LEGAL NEWS 06.05.2012

Mullaperiyar agitators march to Justice Thomas’s residence

Last Updated: Saturday, May 05, 2012, 20:45

Kottayam: Amid reports that the Supreme Court Empowered Committee on Mullaperiyar had found that the 119-year-old Mullaperiyar dam was safe, Kerala Water Resources Minister PJ Joseph on Saturday maintained that a new dam was the only solution to the long dispute with Tamil Nadu.

A group of protesters marched to the residence of panel member, former supreme court Judge KT Thomas, here alleging that he did not support the state’s cause.

Talking to reporters, Joseph said the state Government stood firm by the resolution passed by the Kerala assembly which held that a new dam was essential to ensure security of the people as the existing structure was unsafe.

Joseph also made some comments against Justice Thomas alleging that he did not support the state’s cause.

Reacting sharply to the minister’s comment, Thomas said Joseph was making statements without studying the contents of the report and his criticism was uncalled for.

Thomas said Joseph was trying to whip up sentiments over the issue by making wrong statements and he would bring the matter to the attention of the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, a march was taken out to Thomas’s residence in the town by activists of ‘Mullaperiyar Samara Samiti’ alleging that he had betrayed the state’s cause.The march was stopped by police before it reached the residence.

While Tamil Nadu has been maintaining that the dam was “absolutely safe” and the water level can be raised to 142 ft, Kerala has been insisting that it be maintained at 136 feet, besides a new dam to replace the existing structure.







Punjab Minister gets jail for misuse of power

However Jathedar Tota Singh was granted bail which allows him to move higher court

Pronouncing him guilty in a case of misuse of power, a court in Mohali sentenced Punjab’s Agriculture Minister Jathedar Tota Singh to one year in prison and slapped a fine of Rs. 30,000. He was, however, released on bail.

Handing down the order in the case that was filed in 2002 by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Additional District and Sessions judge Rajinder Aggarwal, however, acquitted Jathedar Tota Singh in another case related to amassing assets disproportionate to the known sources of his income.

While the court found the Jathedar misusing official machinery, for which he was handed the jail term, misusing a car of the Punjab State Education Board resulted in the fine. While he immediately deposited the fine amount, the Jathedar was granted bail to appeal in a higher court.

The case relates to the activities and decisions taken by the Jathedar, when he was the Education Minister in the Akali Dal-BJP alliance government from 1997 to 2002. The subsequent Congress government headed by Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh had initiated proceedings against various former Ministers. Jathedar Tota Singh was then arrested and subsequently bailed out.

Major embarrassment

The conviction comes as a major embarrassment for the 52-day-old government headed by Parkash Singh Badal. The Jathedar, who successfully contested the Dharamkot seat in the recent Assembly polls, is the second Minister to be convicted. Earlier, a special CBI court in Patiala sentenced a Minister, Bibi Jagir Kaur, who was found guilty on various counts in a case related to the mysterious death of her daughter Harpreet Kaur.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Sunil Jhakhar said the successive convictions of Akali Ministers exposed the goings on in the government. “Two Ministers have bitten the dust, 16 more to go,” he said.

Congress MP from Gurdaspur, Pratap Singh Bajwa said the order vindicated the Opposition’s stand that the Akalis had not only misused official machinery, facilities, transport and personnel, but also indulged in large-scale bungling in public funds and gross squandering away of the State’s resources.






Court diary: Panch examined in German Bakery trial

AADITI JATHAR LAKADE : Sun May 06 2012, 01:55 hrs

PUNE: Five panch witnesses were examined by the prosecution on Thursday and Friday in the German Bakery blast case. The witnesses included those who were present as panch while seizing the CD containing footage of the blast from CCTV installed in the German Bakery and others. The concerned CD was produced in the court. The panch witnesses deposed that a packet containing photo copies of certain documents, driving license, college I-card and so on was seized by the police in Udgir. However, the witness failed to remember who the documents belonged to. The next hearing of the trail is on May 9 and 10.

Gangster Kalyani convicted for dacoity

PUNE: Dreaded gangster Jalindersingh Kalyani, who committed three dacoities after he was let out on parole in 2006, was recently convicted in one of the three cases and sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment. Vivek Vasant Borkar (42) of Rajyog Heights cooperative housing society in Viman Nagar had lodged a complaint in this regard. According to the complaint, about five to six men had robbed them of gold and silver ornaments worth Rs 51,335. Police arrested Jalindersingh Amitsingh Kalyani (32), Sachin Kantilal Gore (19), Jillusingh, alias Jakhminsh Sanjaysingh Shersingh Dudhani (20), Dipaksingh Harisingh Tak (32), Pankajsingh Kalusingh Dudhani (32), Lalsingh Jagsishsingh Dagar (25) and Ubem Jamil Khan (21). Two other accused — Mannaram Prajapati and Veermaran Prajapati are still absconding. Additional sessions judge N P Dhote sentenced Jalindersingh to 10 years RI under Section 397 (dacoity with attempt to cause grievous hurt) and to seven years RI under Section 398 (attempt to commit robbery with deadly weapon) and fined him Rs 3,000 or three more months RI. All the other accused were acquitted for lack of evidence.

Thamburaj’s bail
plea opposed

PUNE: CBI special prosecutor Vivek Saxena opposed the bail plea of Lt Gen Noble Thamburaj (retired) in the court of CBI special judge D R Mahajan on Friday. “A complaint is likely to be registered against Thamburaj soon. Also, the CBI is scanning documents that were seized from him,” Saxena said. He added that

Thamburaj can tamper with evidence or influence the witnesses. The court has reserved its order till May 22. The Army Headquarters had complained to CBI alleging that Thamburaj, who was then General Officer Commanding in-chief of the Southern Command, had unduly favoured Kalpataru Builders.









AP Land-Grabbing Act challenged

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: A public interest litigation petition was filed in the High Court on Friday challenging the constitutional validity of Sections 7, 7A (3), 8 and 9 of the AP Land-Grabbing (Prohibition) Act, 1982.

The petition also sought stay of the appointment of revenue members to the special court which adjudicates civil and criminal cases under the Act.

Petitioner M Rajender Reddy, a local advocate, requested the court to stay the operation of the above sections of the Act during pendency of the PIL. Under the said Act the special court comprising revenue members has been empowered to conduct trial of cases in respect of ownership and title or lawful possession of the land grabbed, and to conduct criminal trial with respect to the offences. “If the relief sought for is not granted, it will cause grave prejudice since the special court comprising revenue members will continue to adjudicate civil and criminal cases and sit in judgment even though the members do not have the requisite judicial temperament to adjudicate the said cases.

No immediate justice will be possible with the appointment of revenue members to the special court,’’ he contended.

Under the Act, a sitting or retired High Court judge is appointed to the special court as chairman and two judicial and two revenue members.

If revenue members, who do not have judicial knowledge, were appointed, it would delay trial of the cases, he contended.









Defamation case against Army chief Gen VK Singh, 4 others sent to another court

A Delhi court hearing the criminal defamation complaint against Army chief Gen V.K Singh and four others on Saturday transferred it to the court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate (ACMM).

Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Sudesh Kumar, who was to pass an order on Saturday on the plea of former Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh, transferred the matter for further proceedings to ACMM Amit Bansal saying the counsel for the complainant appears to have “lost confidence over the courts of law”.

The matter would now be placed before ACMM Bansal on May 7.

The metropolitan magistrate was to pass his order on Tejinder Singh’s plea for summoning General V.K Singh and four others as accused in the defamation case.

Besides the Army chief, he has named Vice Chief of Army Staff S.K Singh, Lt Gen B.S Thakur (DG MI), Major General S.L Narshiman (Additional Director General of Public Information) and Lt Col Hitten Sawhney, accusing them of misusing their official positions, power and authority to level false charges against him.

M.M Sudesh Kumar, in his three page order, said he does not want to proceed further in the case as counsel Anil Kumar Aggarwal, who appeared for Tejinder Singh, exhibited “lack of confidence over the court.”

“The counsel for the complainant appears to have lost confidence over the courts of law and legal procedure.

“In my considered view, vide this application, counsel Anil Kumar Aggarwal has exhibited lack of confidence over the court and the manner in which he had tried to dictate to this court as to what is required to be mentioned in the proceeding order sheets and as to what type of inquiries this court has to make reflects his lack of faith in this court. Hence, under these circumstances, I do not want to proceed further with the trial in the present complaint,” MM Kumar said.

M.M Kumar said that Tejinder Singh’s counsel had tried to “pressurise” the court for obtaining shorter date in the matter despite the fact that the case does not fall under the category of priority cases.

The magistrate has now directed Tejinder Singh to appear before ACMM Bansal on May 7.

“Let the matter be placed before ACMM-01 (Bansal) with request to pass further orders in this regards on May 7 at 2 PM. Complainant (Tejinder Singh) is directed to appear before ACMM-01 on May 7 at 2 PM,” he said.

The court had earlier recorded Tejinder Singh’s statement and the pre-summoning evidence in support of his defamation suit over a press release alleging that he had offered bribe on behalf of Tatra and Vectra Ltd, which supplies vehicles to BEML.

Tejinder Singh had refuted the allegations that he had offered bribe to the Army chief for clearing a deal for 600 “sub-standard” vehicles.






Court notice on petition against layout permission on Ambattur lake bed

The Madras High Court has ordered notice of admission on a writ petition challenging a letter of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority of July 25 last year granting layout permission in a portion of the Ambattur Lake bed, on the city’s outskirts. The petitioner also sought a consequent direction to the authorities to remove the encroachments on the lake bed.

A Vacation Bench consisting of Justices C.S. Karnan and K. Ravichandra Baabu said the notice would be returnable by four weeks. It ordered that status quo be maintained.

In the petition, the Ambattur Zone Residents’ Welfare Association, represented by its president Melai Nazar, said the CMDA had granted permission without verifying relevant revenue records and boundaries of the lands mentioned in field map and ‘A’ Register, had granted layout permission. This was per se illegal and contrary to the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act and Development Control Rules and Regulations. The Ambattur Lake was a rain-fed reservoir. It charged the groundwater in the area. Now construction activities were going on in a portion of the bed. This was an encroachment on the lake bed. None of the State agencies had initiated action against the encroachments and conversion of the lake area into house sites. Under the Tamil Nadu Protection of Tanks and Eviction of Encroachments Act, the State should take measures to restore water bodies, the petitioner said.









Supreme Court panel report on Mullaperiyar dam vindicates our stand: Jayalalithaa

Press Trust of India | Updated: May 05, 2012 17:20 IST

New Delhi:  Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said that the state government’s stand on the Mullaperiyar dam has been vindicated by the Supreme Court-appointed Empowered Committee’s report which concluded that the structure was safe.

“That is what we have been saying all along,” she told reporters in Delhi. Ms Jayalalithaa was responding to a question on the report which also asked Kerala to reconsider its proposal to build a new dam.

The five-member committee headed by former Chief Justice of India Justice A S Anand also recommended that the water level at the dam, located in Kerala’s Idduki district and maintained by Tamil Nadu Public Works Department, can now be raised to 142 ft from the existing 136 ft.

In the report, the committee, which made numerous visits to the site and conducted a slew of tests and surveys, has concluded that the Mullaperiyar Dam structure is safe on each of the “hydrologic, structural and seismic considerations”.

While Tamil Nadu has been maintaining that the dam was “absolutely safe” and the water level can be raised to 142 ft, Kerala has been vociferous in its demand for a new dam to be built near the existing structure.










Accident victim kin gets Rs 27.63L compensation

Last Updated: Sunday, May 06, 2012, 09:57

New Delhi: The family of a 34-year-old MCD employee, who died in a road accident in 2010, has been given a compensation of Rs 27.63 lakh by a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) here.

MACT presiding officer Arun Bhardwaj while holding that the rider of the offending motorcycle was driving negligently, directed Iffco Tokio General Insurance Company Ltd, with which the two-wheeler was insured, to pay the sum to mishap victim Manoj Kumar’s family.

“From the evidence of prosecution witness, negligence of respondent 1 (Sukhjinder Sandhu) in driving the offending vehicle which resulted in fatal injuries to the deceased is made out.

“The total compensation payable to the petitioners (family of deceased) would be Rs 27,63,736. Insurance company has not proved any of the statutory defences available to avoid its liability. Therefore, the compensation would be paid within 30 days from the date of this order by respondent 3 (insurance company),” the tribunal held.

Ved Prakash, the primary witness, had testified that he and the deceased were part of a group of ‘kawarias’ (a particular type of Hindu pilgrims) on their way back from Haridwar after a pilgrimage.

Prakash had said he and the victim were travelling on foot, as is the practice for pilgrims, who march to Lord Shiva’s abode in Haridwar and back on foot during monsoon.

He said on August 8, 2010 at about 5.30 am when they reached near, Mohan Nagar, Ghaziabad, a motorcycle having Uttar Pradesh registration number, driven at a very high speed and in a negligent manner, hit Manoj from the back with great force.

Prakash said as a result of the impact Manoj fell down on the road and sustained grievous injuries and later died in the hospital.

The rider and the owner of the offending motorcycle had denied the occurrence of the accident.

Out of the compensation, Rs 5 lakh each was apportioned by the tribunal in favour of the widow, three minor children and mother of the deceased, while the remaining amount of Rs 2,63,736 was released in favour of father of the deceased.






Youth mowed down by Blueline, kin get Rs. 16 lakh compensation

New Delhi, May 06, 2012

The kin of a youth, mowed down by a rashly-driven Blueline bus in 2006, has been given Rs. 16.03 lakh as compensation by a road mishap tribunal.

A city’s Motor Accident Claim Tribunal directed the bus insurer, New India Assurance Company Ltd, to release forthwith Rs. 1.03 lakh in favour of the widow of the 26-year-old victim and Rs. two lakh in favour of his parents.

The tribunal said out of the remaining money, to be released later, a sum of Rs. 5 lakh be deposited in a bank in for the victim’s child, who was born a few months after Yadav’s death.

This amount would be released to him after the child attains majority, the tribunal said.

“I hereby award an amount of Rs. 16,03,664 as compensation with interest at the rate of nine per cent per annum, from May 2006 till realisation of the amount, in favour of the petitioners,” MACT presiding officer Nirja Bhatia said.

The Tribunal reached the compensation amount considering the fact that the victim was earning around Rs. 12,000 while working as a sales executive in a private company.

The tribunal was informed that on April 26, 2006 morning, Yadav was riding his motorcycle near Okhla in South Delhi when he was hit by a Blueline bus, driven “rashly and negligently at a fast speed”.

The victim fell from his motorcycle and came under the tyre of bus. He was declared brought dead to the hospital.









U.P. to enforce court order on SC/ST quota

Court had declared as unconstitutional Section 3 (7) of U.P. Public Service Act, 1994

The Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to accept the April 27 order of the Supreme Court that declared as unconstitutional Section 3 (7) of the Uttar Pradesh Public Service (Reservation for SC, ST and OBC) Act, 1994 that gave reservation in promotion, amid the possibility of an all-party meeting against the backdrop of the former Chief Minister, Mayawati, demanding a Constitutional amendment.

The apex court had also struck down Section 8(A) of the U.P. Government Servant Seniority Third Amendment Rule, which gave consequential seniority.

The amendments granting reservation in promotion and consequential seniority to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe officers and employees in government service were introduced by the Mayawati government in 2007.

The apex court made it clear that those who have been granted promotion will not be disturbed.

According to official sources, the decision to do away with the quota system in promotion and consequential seniority for SC,ST officers and employees was taken through ‘Cabinet by circulation’ on Friday. An ordinance to this effect was also approved. Sources said the ordinance had been sent to the Governor for his approval. For implementing the Supreme Court order, the State government will have to amend the U.P. Public Service (Reservation for SC,ST and OBC )Act, 1994 and the U.P. Government Servant Seniority Amendment Rule.

The State government’s decision to implement the Supreme Court order has paved the way for promotions in government services, which had been put on hold in view of the court cases. Needless to say, the officers and employees belonging to the General and Backward Classes category were the worst affected in the light of the previous regime’s decision to introduce quota in promotion for SC and ST officers and employees along with consequential seniority.

Challenging the previous regime’s order, the affected officers moved the Allahabad High Court. The High Court in its ruling declared the system as unconstitutional. The Mayawati government filed an SLP in the Supreme Court.

Review petition

Meanwhile, the Aarakshan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti (Save Reservation Action Committee) has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court.








Kerala High Court permits Italian ship to leave its shores

Press Trust of India | Updated: May 05, 2012 20:07 IST

Kochi:  The Kerala High Court today permitted the Italian vessel ‘Enrica Lexie’, detained off Kerala coast after two Indian fishermen were shot by its marines on February 15, to leave the state’s shores after fulfilling the necessary formalities. Pio Shiano, the ship’s owner, executed the bond for Rs. three crore and submitted the demand draft for an equal amount to the High Court Registrar General B Kamal Pasha this afternoon and got the release order of the vessel.

An undertaking was also given to the court saying that in case summoned with regard to the shooting case, the six crew members of the vessel would be produced before any court.

Yesterday the formalities with regard to the bond could not be completed as they had not received the certified copy of the May 2 order by the Supreme Court.
While allowing the vessel to leave along with its four marines and six crew members, the Supreme Court had directed its owner to execute a surety of Rupees three crore before the Registrar General of the Kerala High Court.

The ship had been detained since February 15 at outer Kochi after its two marines – Latore Massmiliano and Salvatore Girone – allegedly shot and killed two Indian fishermen suspecting them to be pirates. The marines have been arrested and charged with murder and are now in judicial remand at Thiruvananthapuram central jail.







Supreme Court orders end to cancer-causing water in Bhopal

You have three months to give Carbide victims clean supply, Madhya Pradesh told

The Supreme Court has set a three-month deadline for the Madhya Pradesh government to ensure supply of clean drinking water to victims of the Bhopal gas leak tragedy living in settlements around the Union Carbide Factory. They have been forced to drink contaminated water for over 30 years.

The court this past week also directed the setting up of a five-member Monitoring Committee with the executive chairman of the M.P. State Legal Services Authority as its chairman to oversee the Bhopal Municipality carrying out the task of providing fresh water to the 18 affected areas near the plant.

“The entire exercise should be completed within three months from the communication of this order to the chairman and other members of the committee and both the State government and the Bhopal Municipal Corporation shall ensure that the work does not suffer or is not obstructed on account of inadequate or insufficient funds,” said a two-judge Bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and J. Chelameswar.

The groundwater contamination, however, does not have anything to do with the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984, but was generated during the normal course of the working of the Union Carbide Factory, from where toxic wastes started seeping into groundwater in the adjoining areas.

The court had in 2005 directed the M.P. government that clean drinking water be expeditiously supplied to the settlements. In the present case, it was hearing an application filed by the Bhopal Group for Information and Action for non-execution of the order in its full spirit as the work had been progressing very slowly.

An affidavit filed by the M.P. government stated it had already taken steps to supply drinking water through over-ground pipelines and provide each household with a tap connection but the process would take “some” time to complete.

‘Double whammy of diseases’

The court, however, relied on the submissions of the organisation’s lawyer Karuna Nundy, who submitted that the chemicals in the groundwater were known to cause cancer, birth defects and other chronic diseases in people for about 27 years now. She further contended that the people had been subjected to a “double whammy of diseases,” first because of the gas leak and then because of groundwater contamination.

The court has directed the newly appointed Monitoring Committee to submit a report of the work undertaken on August 13.






Introspect on dispensation of justice, Vice-President Ansari urges lawyers

Chandigarh , May 05, 2012

Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Saturday urged the members of the legal profession to introspect on expediting the dispensation of justice. Addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana in Chandigarh, Ansari urged it and the Bar Council of India to lead such an effort so that the legal profession could guide society and the polity.

“I believe the legal profession can, indeed must, reclaim the hallowed ground that it occupied during our freedom struggle and in the early years of the fledgling republic. The need for introspection is imperative; it should lead to an ethical renewal in actual practice. It is essential for the legal profession today to help expedite the dispensation of justice,” Ansari said.

Recalling the sterling role of the Indian bar in the country’s freedom struggle, in formulating the constitution and in providing leadership inputs for steering the fledgling republic, Ansari said that the legal profession had a big role to play in our society.

He observed that advocates, in addition to being professionals, were also officers of the courts and have to play a vital role in the administration of justice. “They have a huge responsibility towards the society,” he added.

He said, “The overwhelming majority of our founding fathers were lawyers, including the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, our first president, Rajendra Prasad, the first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the chairman of the drafting committee of the Constitution, Dr Ambedkar.

“The role of lawyers in the initial years of our independence was critical in emphasizing the rule of law in the governance of the country. As intellectuals and civil society activists, advocates were role models in society, helping the marginalized and the downtrodden.”

Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil highlighted the need for using modern day technology in the process of law. He suggested that there could be a possibility of video recording of eyewitnesses and evidences provided in the court.

Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid said that a pilot project is going to be launched in certain districts of the country soon to provide retainership to young lawyers in order to support them during their initial difficult years.

“This would then be extended to the entire country,” he said.








Bidari, State pleas hearing on May 8

Express News Service

BANGALORE: The Vacation Bench of High Court is likely to hear the review petitions filed by the state government and former DG & IGP Shankar M Bidari on May 8. The petitions pertain to the Apex court ruling staying the HC’s quashing of Bidari’s appointment as DG & IGP.
A division bench comprising Justices Bhaktavatsala and Arvind Kumar referred the petition to Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen on May 2; a division bench comprising Justices N Kumar and H S Kempanna, which had earlier ordered the appointment of A R Infant in place of Bidari, will hear the review petition.
The Supreme Court had on March 25 set aside a High Court order on Bidari’s removal, adding that the state was, however, free to appoint anyone of its choice as the DGP.
The court further stated that the court should decide on the matter before May 31- when Bidari and Infant are due to retire from service.














RTI activists’ group condemns ‘attack’ on colleague–group-condemns–attack–on-colleague/945910/

Express news service : Chandigarh, Sun May 06 2012, 00:27 hrs

The RTI Activists Federation of Punjab today held a press conference to condemn the alleged attack on H S Rathi, an RTI activist, outside the office of the District Food Supply Officer on April 30.

The incident allegedly took place when Rathi had gone to the office to inspect certain records with regard to the Public Distribution Scheme (PDS). He was cornered by around 20 men, who allegedly assaulted him. H C Arora, President of the federation, alleged that various depot holders were involved in the assault on Rathi. He also alleged connivance between PDS depot holders, the District Food Supply Officer of Panchkula and Assistant Food Supply Officer of Karnal.

He said depot holders filed false FIRs of theft soon after RTI applications were filed in order to avoid scrutiny. He appealed to police officials to investigate the case of assault impartially.

Rajesh Bansal, Assistant Food Supply Officer, denied all the accusations and said that it was a malicious campaign to malign his image.










Nanavati panel acquiring SIT reports, govt tells Guj HC

Published: Saturday, May 5, 2012, 15:30 IST
By Nikunj Soni | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA

The Nanavati-Mehta commission has informed the Gujarat High Court that it is in the process of acquiring the SIT report on Zakia Jafri’s petition, as well as the report on Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam massacre cases.

Advocate General (AG) Kamal Trivedi mentioned this before a Gujarat high court bench as one of the reasons why the state government had granted the commission a nine-month extension.

The bench headed by acting chief justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya has been hearing a PIL objecting to the extension granted to the Nanavati commission.

At this, the court expressed surprise and asked why the commission, which has been enquiring into the communal riots of 2002, wants to rely on the report of another agency (SIT). After passing a few stern remarks, the court again asked the state government to furnish details and give reasons why it had granted the commission a nine-month extension.

“The secretary of the Nanavati commission submitted a letter before the high court bench through the AG. The letter mentions that the commission has moved applications to get the SIT reports on Gulbarg society, Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam massacres,” said KG Pandit, counsel for the petitioner.

Pandit further said that the court had expressed surprise over the commission’s move as its terms of reference makes no mention of anything regarding the SIT report or its seeking the report of a different agency.

“I have also objected to the content of the letter in which the commission has said that it will prepare its final report once it acquires copies of the SIT report. The court then posted the case for further hearing on May 9,” Pandit said.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by one Jignesh Goswami through his counsel KG Pandit challenging the huge expenditure incurred by the state government on the functioning of the commission over the last 10 years. Pandit had objected to the recent extension given to the commission as the government had not taken the consent of the high court despite the fact that the matter was sub judice.

The SIT had investigated and submitted a report on Zakia’s petition givingNarendra Modi a clean chit in the matter.








HC rejects petition

Express News Service

KOCHI:The Kerala High Court on Friday rejected the review petitions seeking release of 16,000 kg of ammonium nitrate seized by the police at Walayar Check-post belonging to two industrial units functioning in Kochi.
The court said the release of such a huge quantity of explosives will cause incalculable damage to society and the people at large.
The court passed the order while considering two applications filed by M J Linzad of Kochi seeking release of the container.
The government argued that huge quantity of ammonium nitrate may reach the hands of persons engaged in terrorist activities and may harm society.
According to the state, the issue is a serious one and a probe has been ordered into it.








JSW Steel ignores HC stay order

Bhukker Madhu Kumar

SANDUR(BELLARY): JSW Steel Limited, which had allegedly violated the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board Act (KIADB) for acquiring agricultural lands to lay a railway track, continued with its work despite a stay by the High Court circuit bench in Dharwad.
JSW Steel asked the KIADB to provide 213 acres of agriculture land, including forest land, to lay more than 9 km long railway tracks via Lashmipura, Bhujanga Nagar and Hulikunta in Sandur taluk. Some of the farmers before HC circuit bench on March 31, demanded a halt to laying of tracks in their lands. The farmers contacted the JSW Steel representative. However, apparently the representative threatened the farmers and did not halt the work.
One farmer said JSW Steel had violated the norms by laying railway tracks in survey 211A instead of 211B. JSW Steel also illegally used agriculture land in survey number 207/3 at Lakshmipura for commercial purposes.
Most of the farmers have yet to receive compensation. “Farmers who raised their voices were put behind bars through false cases,” said Mahadevappa, a farmer.
The farmers alleged that JSW Steel threatened them and acquired more land than it required for the tracks.







Pipili gangrape: HC seeks ATR on doctors, cops

Express News Service

CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Friday ordered the Crime Branch to file a detailed report on action taken in connection with the criminal liability of doctors and police in the alleged Pipili gangrape incident.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice B N Mohapatra expressed displeasure over the inaction of the Crime Branch in investigating the culpability of doctors and police in the incident despite its earlier orders. The Bench directed the investigating officer to file the report on the issue before Wednesday __ the next date of hearing.

The Court took exception to the status report, filed by the Crime Branch on the progress of investigation on Friday, observing that there was nothing new in it. The Crime Branch had stated that the investigation was still open even after filing of chargesheets as the statement of the victim girl, who is still lying comatose, is yet to be recorded.

It also stated that the Government had formed a three-member committee, headed by Director of Medical Education and Training (DMET), to inquire into the aspect of negligence by doctors at Pipili hospital and Capital Hospital here in not treating the victim as they should in a medico-legal case when she was brought there. The Committee has submitted its report to the Crime Branch. But the Crime Branch in its affidavit failed to specify the actions taken on the report.









JAL says studying implications HC order slapping Rs 100cr fine

PTI | 10:05 PM,May 05,2012

New Delhi, May 5 (PTI) Jaiprakash Associates Ltd (JAL) today said it is studying the implications of the Himachal Pradesh High Court ruling that imposed a penalty of Rs 100 crore on the company for violating environmental laws while setting up a cement plant in Solan district. The court on Friday had also cancelled the environment clearance for setting up the 25MW thermal plant in the cement plant’s vicinity. In a statement, JAL said since the judgement is voluminous, “we are studying the implications thereof, both legal as well as factual and depending upon the legal advice that we receive, we shall decide our future course of action in accordance with the well established constitutional provisions”. “We, however, feel that perhaps our contentions and submissions factual as well as legal could not be put across in proper perspective for which we shall adopt appropriate remedial measures,” it noted. Further, the company said that before the judgement, it had decided not to go ahead with the captive thermal power plant at the location of the cement plant. “… the plant under reference has created employment for thousands of persons and proved to be boon to the region, bringing economic benefits to thousands of families, the statement said. The green bench of the High Court consisting of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjay Karol said the JAL “lied” about the cost of the cement plant project and contended it was less than Rs 100 crore to skip the clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests whereas the actual cost of the project was more than Rs 417 crore.









Enrica Lexie sails off Kerala waters on completion of formalities

Last Updated: Saturday, May 05, 2012, 23:54

Kochi: Italian oil tanker ‘Enrica Lexie’, detained off Kerala coast since February 15 after its Marines shot dead two Indian fishermen, on Saturday sailed off from here for Colombo after completion of all legal formalities, including execution of a bond for Rs 3 crore.

The ship set sail from the Cochin Port’s outer harbour at 11 pm tonight, coastal police sources said.

Port authorities permitted the vessel to leave the outer harbour where it was berthed for about 80 days on receipt of a fax message from the Kerala High Court Registrar General permitting the ship to leave Kerala waters and after completion of all other formalities, port sources said.

Earlier, the Registrar General of the High Court had permitted the release of the vessel after the ship’s owner executed a bond for Rs three crore and submitted a demand draft for an equal amount.

Pio Shiano, Managing Director of Dolphin Tankers Ltd, the ship owner, executed the bond and presented the DD to High Court Registrar General B Kamal Pasha this afternoon and got the release order of the vessel.

Two marines from the vessel Lattore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone, who had allegedly shot dead the two Kerala fishermen Valentine alias Jelestine and Ajesh Binki suspecting them to be pirates, were arrested and have been charged with murder. They are lodged in Thiruvananthapuram Central Jail.

On a petition by Italy and the ship’s owner, the Supreme court had on May 2 allowed the release of the vessel after directing them to execute a bond for Rs three crore and on an undertaking that six other marines on the vessel would be brought before Indian court when required.

Italy had maintained that Kerala government had no locus standi to register any criminal case as the alleged offence ought to be treated under international law and covenants as India is a signatory to the UN Charter.









With riders, HC allows PMC to undertake storm water drain work

Express news service : Sun May 06 2012, 02:03 hrs

The Bombay High Court has permitted the Pune Municipal Corporation to undertake construction work for storm water drainage system in the city in conformity with the recommendations of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF).

Even as the HC bench of justices V K Tahilramani and D D Sinha gave their nod, they restrained the PMC from carrying out concretisation work. “We want to make it clear that the Corporation should not carry out the activity of concretisation without obtaining court permission. The corporation is required to relocate sewer line outside the drains immediately so as to prevent ground water contamination through percolation.”

The HC had last year ordered a stay on storm water drain work in the vicinity of rivers in the city. Civic officials said they would adhere to the HC directions.

The order came in respect to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed last year by Baner Area Sabha and Jal Biradari, through their lawyer Gayatri Singh. The PIL challenged the channelisation of Devnadi and alleged that the PMC was destroying the natural flow of the river.

The PMC had submitted to the court, through its lawyer A A Kumbhakoni, that the storm water drainage system was absolutely necessary to eliminate the hurdle of water logging, flooding, loss to life and property and provide safety, good health to the citizens and improve hygienic conditions in the city. The Rs 177.95-crore project was approved by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) in 2009.

Suneel Joshi of Jal Biradari said they had told the court that if it is inclined to grant permission to the PMC to carry out construction of storm water drainage system, it should be in accordance with the six recommendations of the MOEF. It said the width of the natural water bodies as shown in the Development Plan must be maintained, there should be no intervention in water bodies wide enough to serve their natural functions and non-concretisation techniques may be used for interventions, no debris dumping may be allowed in the vicinity of water bodies, sewage or drainage lines may not be laid in water bodies or their flood plains or wetlands and nine metre wide corridor on either side of water bodies in urban areas should be afforested to create green belt.







SC seeks consent to transfer two HC judges

RAGHAV OHRI : Chandigarh, Sun May 06 2012, 00:56 hrs

In a significant development, the Supreme Court has sent an official communication to the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking consent of the Chief Justice to transfer two of its judges to different high courts.

As per the available information, the SC has proposed to transfer Justice Alok Singh to Jharkhand High Court and Justice Nirmaljit Kaur to Rajasthan High Court.

Sources revealed that Justice Alok Singh had himself opted for transfer after his son cleared the judicial services examination and was posted as a lower court judge in Haryana.

While Alok Singh was elevated as a judge to the Uttarakhand High Court on October 12, 2009 , before being transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on December 21 the same year, Kaur was elevated as HC judge on July 10, 2008.

It might be mentioned that Justice Nirmaljit Kaur was the one who had reported to the Chandigarh Police about the delivery of a packet containing Rs 15 lakh at her residence on august 13, 2008.

The money, allegedly meant for Justice Nirmal Yadav, was said to have been delivered to Kaur due to confusion over their names. Justice Nirmal Yadav stands charge sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the now infamous judge bribery case.

As per the information, the consent letters are yet to be responded and sent back to the apex court. The high court is already facing a shortage of judges – it has 40 judges against the sanctioned strength of 68.

While Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was recently elevated as Supreme Court judge, acting Chief Justice M M Kumar will shortly be joining as Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Also, Justice Permod Kohli of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had recently joined Sikkim High Court as Chief Justice.



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