LEGAL NEWS 23.05.2012

File reply by May 25: HC to UP govt

PTI | 10:05 PM,May 22,2012

Allahabad, May 22 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court today asked the Uttar Pradesh government to file its reply on a bunch of writ petitions challenging reservation of seats for upcoming local bodies polls in the state. The order was passed by a Division Bench comprising Justice Yatindra Singh and Justice Mohd Tahir. The Bench asked the state government to file its reply by May 25 and fixed May 28 as the next date of hearing. The petitions alleged that reservation of seats had not taken place in accordance with law.









Chief secy’s call for action ignored as indicted SP gets new posting

Prabhjit Singh, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, May 22, 2012

It’s been three weeks that Punjab’s chief secretary (CS) okayed punitive action against officials found guilty of setting up a fake Vigilance Bureau (VB) trap that led to excise and taxation officer (ET) Ranjit Singh’s suicide last year, but even directions from the head of the state’s bureaucracy have failed to have effect.

Despite CS Rakesh Singh’s April 30 orders – which came after the Punjab and Haryana high court issued notices to the government for reply to a writ petition filed by Ranjit’s widow Manjit Kaur – there has been no action against superintendent of police (SP) Amandeep Kaur or former additional excise and taxation commissioner (AETC) Harvinder Kaur Brar, who along with head constable Harminder Singh were indicted in the probe by IAS officer Mansavi Kumar and IPS officer Harpreet Singh Sidhu that found the trap fake.

ETO Ranjit, then posted in SAS Nagar, had committed suicide in April 2011 after he was falsely implicated.

The indicted SP has, in fact, got a new posting last week instead of facing any punitive action, 10 months after the probe report was submitted.

The probe report, submitted to the chief secretary in July 2011, had recommended that the SP and head constable be suspended and be charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act. It sought departmental action against the AETC, who was promoted as deputy excise and taxation commissioner two months after the indictment.

Acknowledging the fresh posting of SP Amandeep at an IRB battalion in Ludhiana, home secretary DS Bains told HT, “I cannot comment at this juncture. The matter is in court now.” Postings of SP-rank officers from the PPS cadre are done by the home department, which is under deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal.

The SP had earlier been pulled out of the VB and repatriated to the Punjab Police headquarters in Chandigarh after HT reported the matter in a three-part series (‘Custodians of corruption’, February 16, 17 and 18).

The home secretary had on March 3 endorsed the report of the inquiry panel sending a two-page note to the chief secretary: “I am inclined to agree with the recommendations of the Inquiry Committee report in which it has been suggested that a case under the PC Act, 1988 be registered against Amandeep Kaur, reader head constable Harminder Singh, Vipan Kansal, Jatinder Pal Singh advocate and Vijay Ghai.” Kansal, Jatinder Pal and Ghai, the three men with whose connivance ETO Ranjit was framed, have also faced no action.

The chief secretary, who heads the vigilance department as it is under direct charge of the CM, agreed with Bains and the orders for action was forwarded by the vigilance department to the home secretary and the excise and taxation department.

Excise and taxation commissioner (ETC), A Venuprasad, remains tight-lipped on the recommended suspension of the then AETC Brar and departmental inquiry against her for “dereliction of duty and telling lies before the inquiry panel”. Asked if he followed the chief secretary’s orders, Venuprasad said, “I don’t remember.”

The state, however, still faces the matter in the high court that served notices to the home secretary, state DGP, the VB director and the indicted cops to file their replies by July 17 to the writ petition by the ETO’s widow.







Dara Singh encounter case: Court to frame charges against Rajendra Rathore on May 28

TNN | May 23, 2012, 01.07AM IST

JAIPUR: After hearing CBI’s counter arguments against the aggressive defence put up by the lawyers of legislator Rajendra Rathore in connection with Dara Singh encounter case, the court has reserved its decision on framing of charges against him on May 28. Rajendra Rathore was once again provided an opportunity to plead his innocence in the court on Tuesday. He spoke for almost 15 minutes before the defence rested its case. During the hearing, the CBI counsel claimed that the merit of evidence cannot be appreciated at this point of time against Rathore.

“The defence counsels are trying to discredit the prosecution witnesses which the court cannot take into consideration as per the Evidence Act at this point of the trial. Whether the evidence against Rathore holds merit or not will be decided after framing of charges,” said the CBI counsel.

Earlier, Rathore claimed that he was being framed as some of the prosecution witnesses are known criminals and their credibility is under question. The defence lawyers had also argued that some witnesses including Debuda and Telia were history-sheeters. They alleged that instead of handing over these history-sheeters to the local police, the CBI got their statement recorded under Section 164 of CrPC before a magistrate. The high court has also lambasted the agency last month for using criminals to build a case against Rathore. “I have been framed by the CBI. There was no material evidence against me in the chargesheet filed by the CBI,” said Rathore. The court heard arguments from both sides and reserved its verdict for May 28.

Rathore was produced in the court under heavy security. He had on Monday asked the court to permit him to put up his innocence plea during the hearing. After court’s permission, Rathore spoke for almost half-an-hour. It was for the third time on Tuesday that he spoke the court. He had pleaded innocence earlier also during hearing on the cognizance of chargesheet filed against him by the CBI.







Notice against ayurveda officials

TNN | May 23, 2012, 01.16AM IST

JAIPUR: The high court on Monday took suo motu cognizance of contempt against three senior officials of ayurveda department including the principal secretary, for harassing a workcharge employee posted at Jamwaramgarh in Jaipur since 1995 despite a court order to give him the status of a semi-permanent employee.

Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari passed the order on a writ petition filed by one Kailash Chand Sharma, who was appointed as Class IV employee in the government ayurveda dispensary, Jamwaramgarh and was initially paid Rs 75 only as wages. However, when he served a notice on the authorities for seeking minimum wages, he was terminated on May 25, 1995. He filed a petition in the labour court in 2000 which directed his reinstatement and the status of a semi-permanent workcharge employee.

The petitioner then sought regular payscale which was denied and ultimately in February 2005 the petitioner was reinstated in the service and that too by the orders passed by high court in a writ filed by him in 2000. It was alleged by the petitioner that despite his reinstatement, he was never paid regular salary, forcing him again to approach high court with a new petition in 2009 where again the court asked the ayurveda department to implement the order of labour court to grant him a semi-permanent employee status within one month.

Taking a serious note of the high handedness of the ayurveda department in flouting court orders, the court issued showcause notice to principal secretary, ayurveda department, director, ayurveda department and additional director ayurveda, as also district ayurveda officer-I Jaipur.









Civil judges aspirants allowed revaluation

CHENNAI: Over 15 candidates, who have moved the Madras High Court seeking revaluation of their answer scripts in the recently conducted Civil Judges (Junior Division) examination, were permitted by the court to approach the Registrar-General (RG) with representations. If there were valid grounds for revaluation, the same should be done, the court said.

Disposing of a batch of writ petitions, a specially-constituted division bench on Monday said the petitioners could make a representation to the High Court RG, following which certified copies of the answer scripts will be provided to them. Later, they could make representations. If there was any valid ground for revaluation, the same will be carried out.

In her writ petition, R Kiruthiga Devi submitted that she, belonging to Backward class community, enrolled herself as an advocate in March 2001. She was not selected for the viva voce because she secured only 31 marks in the Law Paper-1, which was four marks short of the minimum to qualify for the interview. She had written all the examinations well and was expecting higher marks in the subject. She had written the translation paper particularly well. Contrary to her expectations, she had been awarded only 37 marks in the paper. Still worse, in the Law Paper-I, she had obtained only 31 marks. She was confident of scoring good marks. She strongly believed that the mistake could have occurred while evaluating or totaling marks in the answer papers. She prayed the court for a direction for revaluation and re-totaling of the Law Paper-I and Translation Paper.









State challenges stay on Sakshi ad ban

HYDERABAD: The state government on Monday filed writ appeals in the High Court seeking vacation the stay of its order stopping ads to Jagan Mohan Reddy’s Sakshi TV and newspaper.

The two separate appeals — one relating to Sakshi TV owner Indira Television, and the other to Sakshi newspaper publisher Jagati Publications — are likely to be heard by the court bench on May 23.

The ad stop order (GO 2097, May 9, 2012) was stayed by vacation judge B Seshasayana Reddy on May 17. In its petitions, the government, represented by the principal secretary (GAD) and the commissioner of information and public relations, argued that the single judge ought not to have granted the interim direction ex parte. Besides, he ought to have noticed that the GO was issued in the public interest as the companies concerned are facing criminal charges.

The money that was invested in the companies was a quid pro quo device for benefits rendered to third parties. Government argued its order does not interfere with fundamental right of the companies.










Civil Aviation may be out of CCI ambit

Mahua Venkatesh, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 22, 2012

The civil aviation sector could be out of the ambit of the Competition Commission of India, once the proposed Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), an independent regulatory authority for the sector, is put in place.
The CAA would have the final authority and powers on economic regulations and consumer protection, legal experts have said. This could mean that the anti-trust body would have limited powers to monitor the sector and protect consumer interests.

“It cannot happen automatically unless the separate jurisdictions are carved out,”  Ashok Chawla, chairperson, CCI told Hindustan Times. “Tariffs for any service are fixed by independent regulators even now.”

Legal experts say that though the proposal to set up the CAA is at a formative stage, it depends on the kind of teeth that the regulator is given.

“Vesting consumer related issues with CAA would go against the spirit and intent behind the formation of the CCI,” Manoj Kumar, legal expert and managing partner, Hammurabi and Solomon.

“Any exemption from the provisions of the Competition Act needs to be done only by the corporate affairs ministry. Different administrative ministries or departments of the Centre should not be allowed to exempt themselves from the applicability of the Competition Act or from the supervision of the CCI,” Kumar said.

Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh had informed Rajya Sabha that the proposed CAA would have financial and administrative flexibility to meet functional requirements of an effective safety oversight system.

The CAA has been mooted to overcome the constraints faced by regulator DGCA (directorate general of civil aviation) in terms of recruitment and retention of technical manpower and inability to quickly address ongoing operational issues due to lack of adequate administrative and financial authority.

The banking industry, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Reserve Bank of India, is already out of the CCI ambit. There have been reports indicating that even the telecom industry, which is governed by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, could be moved out of the CCI radar.










BI rejects RTI activist’s plea

TNN May 23, 2012, 02.27AM IST

clamour for bringing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the purview of the proposed Lokpal to make the agency more transparent is getting louder, the investigation agency has recently refused to entertain a Right to Information (RTI) petition from a Hyderabad-based activist citing the blanket exemption to it from the RTI Act.

HYDERABAD: At a time when clamour for bringing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the purview of the proposed Lokpal to make the agency more transparent is getting louder, the investigation agency has recently refused to entertain a Right to Information (RTI) petition from a Hyderabad-based activist citing the blanket exemption to it from the RTI Act.

However, the activist challenged this decision since no agency, including CBI, can deny information on corruption.

CJ Karira, a city-based activist belonging to ‘’, lodged a complaint with the Chief Information Commission (CIC), New Delhi, stating that the CBI had refused to give information about corruption cases involving politicians, public servants and others during the last five years in violation of the RTI Act.

The activist claimed his RTI application to CBI, seeking information related to corruption, was not even opened by the agency and sent back marked ‘refused’.

“Then I wrote a letter to CBI director A P Singh informing him that his officers had refused to entertain his RTI application by not even opening the envelop. The information sought is about allegations of corruption, which the agency is supposed to share,” Karira said in his letter.

To his shock, the CBI director’s office gave a short and terse reply, “It is to inform you that notification number 1/3/2011- IT dated June 9, 2011 of Government of India, the RTI Act 2005 do not apply to CBI now”.

“My contention is based on section 24 of the RTI Act, which allows the central government to exempt an organisation from the purview of the Act. However, it should be noted that under the same section information sought about corruption and human rights violations cannot be denied by these exempted agencies,” the activist told TOI.

In his complaint to CIC, he also referred about the office memorandum of the Union ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions as proof which clearly stated, “This provision (i.e., exemption to any agency) does not exempt these organisations from the purview of the Act in respect of the information pertaining to the allegations of corruption and human rights violations”.

The activist also requested the CIC to inquire under 18(1)(f), since he suspects that the CBI had disbanded the structure of Central Public Information Officer, which is also against the guidelines of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).







CIC imposes maximum penalty of Rs 25,000 on its own official

TNN May 23, 2012, 04.43AM IST

NEW DELHI: In a rare order, the Central Information Commission has imposed the maximum penalty of Rs 25,000 applicable under the RTI Act on its official for delay in furnishing information to an applicant.

RTI applicant Rajeev Sharma had sought information related to work allocation in the transparency panel from its public information, but the information which should have been provided by June 30, 2011 was provided on April 13 this year.

In his defence, public information officer K L Das said the appellant’s file got mixed up in the process of receiving and keeping these records and it could not be traced despite efforts.

An error was made in not sending the information, Das said, adding that similar situation existed in some other cases too.

Taking strict view of the delay in providing the details, information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said, “No information or communication was sent to the appellant and the information was finally sent to him only on April 13, 2012. At the very least, the PIO should have informed the appellant that the relevant file was misplaced or untraceable. And either the file should have been located within reasonable time and the information provided or a police complaint should have been made for the loss of the said file.

“Since the delay in providing the information is over 100 days and no reasonable cause has been offered for the delay in providing the information, the commission under Section 20(1) of the RTI Act imposes the maximum penalty of Rs 25,000 on K L Das, public information officer and deputy secretary.”








CWC slammed for giving away rape victim’s child for adoption

PTI | 07:05 PM,May 22,2012

New Delhi, May 22 (PTI) The Child Welfare Committee’s act of giving away for adoption a girl child, born to a rape victim and given to it for safekeeping, without biological parents’ consent was gross violation of human rights, a Delhi court has held, observing that the rich and poor hold equal rights. Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Kamini Lau said CWC’s decision to certify the child as free for adoption has deprived the minor of love, affection and company of her biological parents and also the father’s right to rear his daughter in the manner she deserves. “….thereby depriving the father of the love of his own child and inflicting the pain of separation and deprivation on both the child and the parent which is not only a breach of statutory law but is an act of gross human rights violation,” the court said. The court’s observations came on rape convict Bhola’s plea for custody of his child born out of his illicit relation with his minor victim. Bhola was held guilty by the court of raping a 14-year-old girl after “purchasing” her for Rs 20,000 in 2007 and confining her to his house for over three years during which he subjected her to slavery, torture and rape, leading to the birth of the girl child. Bhola had sought custody of his child as her unwed mother, now 19, did not want to keep her. While dealing with the plea, the ASJ came to know that the child was given away in adoption by the CWC. Taking note of several irregularities and illegalities done by CWC, the court said that such incidents were happening frequently which was hampering trial in many cases. “The poor in our country have as much right as do the rich and there cannot be two set of laws governing these two set of citizens i.e. one for the rich and another for the poor,” ASJ Lau said. The court said that it lacks jurisdiction to deal with the custody plea and directed that Bhola’s applications along with other records of CWC be placed before District Judge O P Gupta tomorrow for hearing. (MORE)







Aarushi case: Order on charges on Thursday

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 13:40

New Delhi: The arguments on the framing of charges against Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the Aarushi-Hemraj double murder case concluded on Wednesday.

Special CBI judge S Lal reserved his order, which will be pronounced on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the lawyers of Talwars produced a golf club in court.

As per the CBI, the injuries found on Aarushi were caused by a golf club found in the Talwars’ home.

The couple’s lawyers today produced a similar golf club in court to prove that the investigators’ allegations are incorrect.

The arguments had begun on Tuesday. This was after the court had on Monday adjourned the case for a day after the Talwar’s counsel had sought 15 days to study the documents submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

On May 16, the court had deferred the hearing till Monday to allow the CBI to provide documents to Aarushi’s parents.

The sessions court started the trial on May 11, almost four years after the crime.

Also on May 16, the Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on Nupur Talwar’s petition seeking review of its Jan 6 order directing her and Rajesh Talwar to stand trial for the murder of Aarushi and the family’s domestic help, Hemraj.

An apex court bench of Justice AK Patnaik and Justice JS Khehar had reserved the verdict on the conclusion of arguments by senior counsel Pinaki Misra, appearing for Nupur Talwar.

Misra assailed a Ghaziabad magistrate court’s order that rejected the closure report filed by the CBI in the double murder and took cognizance of the charge against the Talwars.

The CBI filed its closure report in December 2010 before the magistrate’s court in Ghaziabad.

The Talwars are facing charges of murder, conspiracy and destruction of evidence.

Aarushi, 14, was found murdered at her parents’ Noida residence on May 16, 2008. Hemraj’s body was found the next day on the terrace of the house.









Steps on Supreme Court Haj subsidy order after getting judgment: S M Krishna

PTI May 22, 2012, 01.27PM IST

NEW DELHI: The government will decide steps to be taken by it on the Supreme Court order to end Haj subsidy after receiving the judgment of the apex court on the issue, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said today.

In its verdict on May 8, the Supreme Court had directed the government to phase out Haj subsidy within a period of 10 years, saying that this amount can be more profitably used for social and educational development of the Muslim community.

“They have given us an interim order. We are awaiting the final order of the Supreme Court. Once we get that, then we will decide that what will be our next step,” Krishna said when asked if the Government was planning to file an appeal against the apex court order.

He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of an All Indian Haj Committee function.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai had quoted Quran to justify doing away with the subsidy, which was around Rs 685 crores in 2011, noting that many Muslims would not be very “comfortable” to know that their Haj is funded to a large extent by the government.

A number of prominent Muslim leaders had welcomed the court’s order, saying that the subsidy was not exactly benefitting the community and the funds given in subsidy should be allocated for improving the educational and living standards.

Addressing the gathering, the External Affairs Minister said that he has been informed by the Haj Committee chairperson Mohsina Kidwai that the pilgrimage last year had passed off smoothly and was well organised.

“I would like to alert all the officers dealing with Haj 2012 not to let their guard down and remain alert and ahead of the plans and programmes for Haj 2012. Haj is such a complex and tedious operation that we can ill-afford complacency at any point in time,” he said.










CWC erred by giving up child for adoption without consent of father in jail: Court

Deepu Sebastian Edmond : New Delhi, Wed May 23 2012, 00:11 hrs

A sessions court in the Rohini district courts complex has slammed the “irresponsible hasty decision” of the Child Welfare Committee in giving away an infant for adoption without the consent of one of the parents.

The decision comes in a complex case where the mother gave away the baby to the CWC, only for the father — who has been convicted of statutory rape as he lived with her while she was a minor — to approach the court invoking his right as a natural guardian.

Even as she admitted in her May 17 order that her court lacked jurisdiction to decide on the CWC’s decision to give away an infant without its biological father’s permission, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said the adoption may not stand legal scrutiny.

“I ask myself a question, can a body exercising judicial powers afford to take away from the parents (disabled on account of poverty) their child without their consent and give it to the rich (financially able) by taking the excuse of welfare of the child. If no, then I assume that the order of the Child Welfare Committee and the manner in which the child Baby ‘J’ has been pushed into adoption without the consent of the biological father, would not stand,” the judge wrote in her 42-page order.

Judge Lau then went on to order that the relevant files be moved to the court of the District & Additional Sessions Judge (West), which decided the adoption.

The case dates back to December 2007 when a 15-year-old Mukundpur girl eloped with a youth who panicked and abandoned her within hours in Okhla. The confused girl got into a bus, which took her to Srinivaspuri and then 18 years old Bhola. According to the court, she was a god-sent for Bhola, a native of Mathura, “where on account of skewed sex ratio it is difficult for young men to find a bride even for a price.”

On the advice of his relatives, Bhola tried to marry her, only for a court in Bharatpur to reject the application based on an ossification report, which indicated that she was a minor.

Bhola took her took to his family in Modinpur village where they stayed together till March 2010. The baby, referred to in the court order as ‘J’ throughout, was born in a government hospital. “During the trial, the prosecutrix had denied that she was married to the convict Bhola and according to her, he had kept her without the marriage but admitted her union with the accused Bhola who had fathered the child Baby ‘J’,” noted the court order.

After obtaining a mobile phone one day, she called her parents who took her away from Bhola. She surrendered her baby before the CWC on April 15, 2010. She told the CWC that, “her parents are ready and willing to take the prosecutrix back but not the child Baby ‘J’ who, according to them, was not welcome.”

Bhola was in judicial custody by then, along with the man with whom she had eloped in December 2007. Both were charged with Section 363 of the Indian Penal Code for taking a minor away from the custody of her guardians without their consent, while the former was also charged with rape, IPC 376. Bhola was sentenced to two years’ rigorous imprisonment by Judge Lau’s court.

After his conviction, Bhola moved an application seeking the custody of his child. He knew that the mother had surrendered the infant to the CWC, but was unaware that the agency had already completed the adoption process.

Judge Lau pointed out what the CWC did was wrong: “….instead of the biological father and his family being traced and informed about his child, the child Baby ‘J’ on the basis of this unilateral surrender deed filed by the prosecutrix ‘P’ and her parents, is first sent to foster care and thereafter declared free for adoption by showing it as ‘abandoned/ destitute’.”

“Great injustice has been done with Bhola, the biological father and natural guardian of Baby ‘J’ and I shudder to think of the consequences and the storm which is arising in the life of Baby ‘J’ just because of this one irresponsible hasty decision,” noted the court, which thanked the Amicus Curiae and the counsel of the Delhi Commission for Women in the order.











High court directive to Sakshi TV management

TNN May 23, 2012, 02.17AM IST

HYDERABAD: Justice B Chandra Kumar of the high court on Tuesday asked the management of Sakshi to specify by Wednesday as to how much money it needed to run its show. The judge made this query while hearing Sakshi’s plea for defreezing its accounts in SBI, OBC and IOB branches in the city.

The CBI froze the accounts as part of its investigation into the Jagan assets case. The judge wondered whether the action of the probe agency would adversely affect the employees of the media group and felt that a solution was needed to be worked out to protect the interests of both parties.

Referring to the contents of the FIR in the case, the CBI counsel told the court that the entire Rs 1,172 crore investments in Jagathi Publications, the parent company of Sakshi media group, were in fact proceeds of fraudulent activities and, hence, they froze the bank accounts. A lot of the tainted money was already siphoned off and there was an immediate need to protect the remaining amount, he said.

Jagathi counsel C Padmanabha Reddy said that while his client was charged with Rs 74-crore irregularity, they froze Rs 110 crore money in the accounts. He gave an assurance that his client would not liquidate the fixed deposits but sought a relief to run the current accounts needed for day-to-day operations.











Supreme Court stays demolition of structures

TNN | May 23, 2012, 05.50AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the demolition of any structure constructed in the catchment area and forest zone of Sukhna Lake.

The apex court directed the authorities “not to demolish any structure made till May 21, 2012, in the said area”. The bench, however, made it clear that no further construction should be made and if any structure is raised after May 21, the high court would be at liberty to proceed.

A division bench comprising Justice Deepak Verma and Justice Sudhanshu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya passed these orders while hearing a bunch of petitions filed by one Kumar Retailers and other residents of Kansal area seeking stay on the orders of the Punjab and Haryana high court.

On May 15, Punjab and Haryana high court had ordered the states of Punjab and Haryana, as well as the UT administration “to put their enforcement agencies in action and construction activities going on in the catchment area as per the map of the Survey of India should be immediately stopped; and any construction raised in violation of the directions issued by the court be demolished without issuing any notice”.







Haryana’s demand for separate high court reaches Parliament

Yogesh Kumar, TNN | May 23, 2012, 05.59AM IST

GURGAON: Demanding a separate high court for Haryana, a Member of Parliament has introduced a private bill in Rajya Sabha. The bill will come up for discussion in the ongoing session.

In the bill (High Court of Haryana, 2012), the MP has reasoned that under Section 214 of the Constitution, it is compulsory that there should be a separate High Court for each state.

“For long, Haryana has been denied its right to have a separate high court. It’s high time that the state now gets its legitimate right which will benefit all the litigants,” said SL Batra, member of Rajya Sabha from Haryana.

The proposed bill states that Haryana was carved out of erstwhile Punjab on a ratio of 40:60 while Chandigarh was made a union territory. “The legislative assembly seats were also divided on the same pattern. On the similar lines, the Punjab and Haryana high court premises can be separated,” said Batra.

The bill also states that Chandigarh is the most suitable location for the principal seat of the high court of Haryana. Batra suggests that the other benches of the Haryana high court can be established in some other cities to expand reach of the judiciary.

The bill states that all the proceedings pertaining to the territorial jurisdiction of Haryana pending in the Punjab and Haryana high court should be transferred to the new high court.

Batra has also suggested that the expenditure of salaries and allowances of the judges of the high court of Haryana shall be borne by the state government. After being discussed in Rajya Sabha, the bill will be tabled in Lok Sabha.









Court denies bail to tainted LNJP doctors

Upasana Mukherjee, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 23, 2012

A city court has dismissed the bail plea of two doctors arrested for their alleged involvement in a medical equipment supply scam.
Special judge BR Kedia dismissed the bail applications of Dr VK Ramteke and Dr Manmohan Singh Chopra “keeping in mind the seriousness of the allegation and gravity of offence”.

Dr Ramteke is director-professor and head of the department (Surgery) at the city’s LNJP Hospital while Dr Chopra is a retired medical superintendent of the same hospital.

The duo is accused of purchasing medical products at a higher rate than the market price in connivance with some medicine and equipment suppliers, causing heavy financial loss to the government exchequer.

The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of Delhi Police arrested the duo on May 15 and charged them under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The prosecution had contended that the case was at the stage of investigation and the estimated financial loss to the government might be of several crores of rupees. Some of the items were priced exorbitantly and were never supplied allegedly due to disputes between the hospital officials and suppliers on sharing of illegal margin.








HC issues notice to Maurya

TNN May 22, 2012, 10.14PM IST

ALLAHABAD: A division bench of the Allahabad high court on Tuesday issued notice to leader of opposition Swami Prasad Maurya and asked him to appear in the court on charges that he is absconding in a criminal case.

The order was passed by a division bench of Justice Amar Saran and Justice H S Yadav on a PIL filed by Prafulla Kumar of Pratapgarh district.

According to the PIL, an FIR against Maurya had been registered at Dalmau PS in Rai Bareli district on June 30,1987, by Ram Surat Upadhyay.

The allegation in the FIR was that Maurya had made an attempt to murder. It has been alleged that notice in this criminal case has not been served upon him and he is absconding in the case.

The court will hear this case in the first week of July.

HC seeks government reply on quota in local body polls

A division bench of the Allahabad high court on Tuesday asked the state government to file its reply by May 25 and fixed May 28 for next hearing on a bunch of writ petitions challenging reservation of seats in respect of local bodies election.

The bench of Justice Yatindra Singh and Justice Mohd Tahir passed this order on the bunch of writ petitions challenging reservation in local body elections.The plea of the petitioners in the court was that reservation was not made properly in accordance with law.

The high court has directed to hear this case on May 28, 2012.







Ban on Nirmal Baba’s shows: High court seeks reply

TNN | May 23, 2012, 05.01AM IST

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday sought a reply from the Centre on the PIL seeking ban on broadcast of Nirmaljeet Singh Narula alias Nirmal Baba’s programme on different TV channels.The matter will come for next hearing on July 16.

A notice was issued by a division bench of Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice VK Dixit after hearing a PIL filed by a local lawyer K Saran, who alleged that the programmes of Nirmal Baba violate the norms laid down in Cable TV Network (Regulation) Act 1995 and Rules.

These rules prohibit telecast of any programmes, which amounts to befooling people facing various problems in life through improbable solutions and promotes superstition.Last week on the direction of a local court, Lucknow police registered a case of fraud and cheating against Nirmal Baba. tnn









Deceased HC judge’s wife also breathes her last

PTI | 07:05 PM,May 22,2012

Bangalore, May 22 (PTI) The wife of Additional Judge of Karnataka High Court, Justice K Govindarajulu who recently died in a road accident in Ananthpur district of Andhra Pradesh, succumbed to injuries in a hospital here today. Rajalakshmi, who was seriously injured in the May 19 accident “succumbed to injuries in Narayana Hrudayalaya Multi-Speciality hospital today”, hospital sources said. Their son Nikhil is being treated at a private hospital. Apart from Justice Govindarajulu, four others, including three of his family members were injured when the car in which they were travelling overturned near Odulapalli village under Talupula police station limits in Anantapur district. PTI BH MSR APR HKS








Karnataka HC judges wife succumbs

Express News Service

BANGALORE : Rajalakshmi, 48, wife of Justice K Govindarajulu, Additional Judge ofKarnataka High Court, who was injured in an accident recently, succumbed to injuries at a private hospital on Tuesday.

Govindarajulu, his wife, and their two sons were going to a relative’s house in Proddatur in Kadapa, to attend a family function when their car met with an accident near Odulapalli in Talupula Mandal in Andhra Pradesh on May 19.

Govindarajalu had succumbed while shifting to a hospital, and Rajalakshmi, was battling for life at Sparsh Hospital in the city, where she succumbed in the wee hours of Tuesday.








CWG scam: HC grants bail two accused in street-lighting scam

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 19:43 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

The Delhi High Court has granted bail to entrepreneurs JP Singh and TP Singh, arrested for their alleged roles in a corruption case involving award of a contract to their firm for upgrading Delhi’s street lighting before the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Justice Mukta Gupta granted bail to the promoters of Delhi-based Sweka Powerteck Engineers Pvt Ltd on a personal bond of Rs five lakh each along with two sureties of same amount.

Singhs along with MCD Superintendent Engineer DK Sugan, Executive Engineer OP Mahala, Accountant Raju V and civic body’s tender clerk Gurcharan Singh have been accused of causing a loss of nearly Rs1.43 crore to the exchequers in illegal award of the contract to the firm.

Justice Gupta granted them bail accepting Singhs’ counsel Sidharth Luthra and Pramod Dubey argument that the accused have been in the judicial custody for more than a year and all the material witnesses have been examined in the case.

The trial court on March 12 had framed charges against Singhs and other accused for criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.










For a musician, training under guru trumps formal degree: HC

A Subramani, TNN | May 23, 2012, 06.53AM IST

CHENNAI: A formal academic qualification or proven excellence inherited through tutelage? Which is the most desirable criterion for an instrumentalist to be appointed the official nagaswaram vidhwan of a temple under government control?

When this question came up for consideration before a division bench of the Madras high court, the judges felt that an academic degree/certificate cannot be rated above excellence passed on by distinguished artistes.

“A person’s performance, who has not gone to college but has taken a training from a vidhwan will be so vibrant and different to hear than a person who merely passed out from the college with a degree of nagaswaram without sufficient training from a leading musician,” observed the bench comprising Justice R Banumathi and Justice B Rajendran. The bench, however, made it clear that courts would not normally interfere with the selection made by a committee of experts well-versed in the subject.

The matter relates to the government’s efforts to appoint a nagaswaram vidhwan to the famous Arulmigu Kallazhagar Thirukoil at Azhagarcoil in Madurai district. When the job notification was issued in July 2004 with a condition that the candidate must possess a certificate or degree from a government institution, M Sankaranarayanan applied for the post.

The notification was, however, cancelled and a fresh one issued in December 2004 with a condition that candidates must have a certificate to prove that he had undergone training in nagaswaram. A committee then selected a woman, R Chandrakala as the vidhwan. Following this, Sankaranarayanan approached the HC, which cancelled the appointment. The present appeals were preferred by Chandrakala and the administrative officer of the temple.

The officer, explaining the reason for the cancellation of the first notification, said that people who had proficiency in nagaswaram due to hereditary knowledge or personal training may not have a degree on the matter. Concurring with the submissions, the judges pointed out that the selection had been made by experts. Upholding the appointment of Chandrakala, they further said the court would not normally interfere with the selection process made by experts.












Briefly Nation: Justice Majmudar back in Gujarat HC

Press Trust of India , Express news service : Wed May 23 2012, 00:50 hrs

Justice Majmudar back in Gujarat HC

AHMEDABAD: Justice P B Majmudar, who was transferred from the Gujarat High Court in 2007 under controversial circumstances following a squabble with the then HC judge, Justice B J Shethna, has been transferred back to the High Court. He was administered the oath of office by acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya at a function Tuesday morning.

Smoking: Shah Rukh gets court summons

MUMBAI: A Jaipur court has summoned actor and co-owner of Kolkata Knight Riders Shah Rukh Khan for smoking in public during an IPL match at the Sawai Man Singh stadium on April 8. Khan has to be present in court on May 26. The court has issued the summons based on a private complaint as smoking in public is prohibited under the Rajasthan Prohibition of Smoking Act, 2000.

Algerian caught with live cartridge gets RI

CHHATTARPUR: A citizen of Algeria who was recently caught at the Khajuraho airport with a live cartridge was sentenced to one-year rigorous imprisonment by a local court on Tuesday. Nehar Raiban had arrived at Khajuraho to visit the world famous temples. While leaving the city, he was caught by security guards at the airport with a live cartridge in his belongings.

Two English men go missing in Tamil Nadu

MANDYA: Two British nationals who set out on a boat ride from Muthathi forest range in the district on May 19 have been reported missing since May 20, a police official said on Tuesday. “Two British nationals Mike Eastern, 60, and Ian Turton, 45, set out on a boat ride in the Cauvery from Muthathi forest range on May 19 to Anchatti in Dharmapuri in Tamil Nadu. They were reported missing since the next day,” SP Koushalendra Kumar said.

Bihar school principal beaten to death

PATNA: A day after a primary school principal was beaten to death in Munger for refusing to pay levy, another primary school principal was beaten to death in Samastipur on Tuesday over a land dispute. The police said the incident took place when principal of primary school, Patauli, was going to school from his Balirampur village at around 7 am. The police have registered an FIR but no arrest has been made.

Site users parties to suit, says Facebook

NEW DELHI: Facebook’s lawyers told a Delhi court Tuesday that users own the content they post and that the website is only an intermediary. Facebook Inc was responding in writing to a complaint filed by a Mufti Aijaz Arshad Quasmi, accusing it of hosting allegedly objectionable content. It said the users of the website are the “necessary parties” to the suit as they post content on the site and as such the suit is not maintainable for non-joining of “necessary parties”.

Bus falls into Ganga, 26 pilgrims killed

At least 26 pilgrims from Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh were on Tuesday killed and 16 injured when a bus carrying them fell into the Ganga at Kodiyala near Byasi in Tehri District, the police said.

The mishap occurred Tuesday afternoon when the private tourist bus, carrying 45 passengers, was going to Rishikesh from Badrinath and fell into the river while trying to overtake a truck, said Tehri SP Janmejaya Khanduri. While 21 people died on the spot, five succumbed to their injuries on way to hospital, he said.

All the bodies have been fished out, the SP said. The condition of four of the injured was stated to be critical, Khanduri said.

‘I-T, ED will audit IAC, Bedi trust accounts’

The police on Tuesday told a Delhi court that they have written to the Income-Tax authorities and the ED to audit the accounts of India Against Corruption, which is associated with Anna Hazare’s movement. The Delhi Police said this in a status report on its probe into a case against Kiran Bedi for allegedly misappropriating funds donated to a trust run by her.

The police have sought details from the HRD Ministry about complaints filed against Navjyoti Community College, Jahangirpuri, a part of Navjyoti India Foundation run by Bedi. I-T has been asked to audit the accounts of Public Cause Research Foundation, to which Bedi and other Team Anna members allegedly diverted donations received by the IAC for illegal tax benefits.









HC raps Punjab, Haryana govts

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, May 22, 2012

In a step towards safeguarding children’s rights, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday directed Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to constitute commissions in this regard and submit their compliance reports.
The directions came from the division bench comprising acting chief justice MM Kumar and justice Alok Singh on a bunch of petitions seeking directions for constitution of such commissions.

The Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 was framed to provide for the setting up of national and state commissions to safeguard child rights. The Act also ordered setting up of children’s courts to provide for speedy trial of offences against children or of violation of child rights.

During the hearing of the case on Monday, the Chandigarh administration apprised the high court that as it already had a juvenile justice board, it had sought exemption from the Centre to create the commission.

On this, the bench made it clear that the Act made it mandatory for the states as well as the union territories to constitute the commission and no exemption could be sought. In case of Haryana, the bench observed that though the state government had in 2010 given a clearance for the constitution of two children’s courts, no status report had been filed regarding its constitution till date.

However, answering the Punjab government counsel’s request for time to file their reply, the division bench made it clear that if the state failed to file a detailed report on the next date of hearing, then its principal secretary of the department of social security and women and child development would remain present for explanation.

The case is listed for hearing on May 28. 








HC relief for Ramjas official

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 23, 2012

The Delhi High Court has set aside an inquiry report on the basis of which a vice-principal of Ramjas College was removed fire years ago, following charges of sexual harassment by some male students. A division bench of Justices BD Ahmed and VK Jain directed the inquiry committee to prepare a fresh report after allowing the accused to cross examine the witnesses in six months.

The court allowed the former vice-principal’s plea that the inquiry procedure under the Delhi University Ordinance was violative of Article 14 of the Constitution, as he was not allowed to cross examine the witnesses who had deposed against him.











HC stays order allowing Nooriya to go abroad

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 22:19

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday stayed an order passed by the sessions court permitting beautician Nooriya Haveliwala, who is accused of mowing down two persons including a constable, to travel abroad for a month.

Nooriya, who is facing trial for culpable homicide and under the NDPS Act for consumption of narcotics, was allowed to travel to US and Dubai for a month. Nooriya was to leave India on May 16.

However, the state government had approached the High Court challenging the lower court’s order on the ground that Nooriya, who is a US-born Indian national, would abscond if allowed to leave the country.

Additional public prosecutor Poornima Kantharia informed the court that the order was obtained from the sessions court, without giving notice to the investigating agency.

Neither the investigating agency nor the Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO) was asked to file its reply to Haveliwala’s application to travel abroad.

Vacation judge P D Kode today stayed the order of the sessions court and posted the matter for further hearing on June 19.

On January 30, 2010, Nooriya rammed her SUV into a police check post at Marine Lines in south Mumbai killing a traffic policeman and a motorcyclist. She later tested positive for alcohol and drugs.









Guj HC asks man to file police complaint against SP for custody torture

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Wed May 23 2012, 04:35 hrs

The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday directed a resident of Jamnagar district to lodge a criminal complaint against district superintendent of police, Subhash Trivedi, and two other policemen for the custodial torture he was allegedly subjected to by the three in August last year.

According to the plea filed by Vishal Singala in the HC, Trivedi, along with police inspector A P Jadeja and sub-inspector G N Vaghela, had severely beaten him up in custody after he was arrested under the provisions of the Prohibition Act in August last.

After being released, Singala lodged a court complaint against the three policemen and the magisterial court ordered an inquiry. However, not happy with the slow pace of the inquiry, Singala had approached HC.

According to Singala’s lawyer Gayatri Jadeja, a single-judge bench of HC comprising Justice Anant Dave heard the matter at length on Tuesday and directed Singala to lodge a criminal complaint against the policemen.









Italian marines move HC for bail

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 22,2012

Kochi, May 22 (PTI) Two Italian Marines, arrested for allegedly shooting to death two Indian fishermen off Kerala waters on February 15, today moved the Kerala High Court for bail. The Marines, Latore Massimilliano and Salvatore Girone, contended they have not committed any offence as alleged by police and there was no justification in their remaining in custody. Justice M K Balakrishnan, before whom the matter came up, directed the petitioners to implead the central government in the case and posted it to May 25. They have moved the High Court after a Kollam court on May 19 rejected their bail applications observing that releasing them at this juncture might affect the conduct of the case which is set to enter the trial stage. The naval guards onboard Italian oil tanker ‘Enrica Lexie’ were arrested on February 19 and charged with murder of fishermen Valentine Jalastine and Ajesh Binki who took to sea from Neendakara in Kollam. The accused were in police custody for the first 14 days and remanded to judicial custody since March 5. Police had last week filed the chargesheet against the marines in the Kollam court charging them with murder and also invoking the International Maritime Law.











Judge shifted after spat with peer back at HC

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Wed May 23 2012, 03:57 hrs

Justice P B Majmudar, who was transferred from the Gujarat High Court (HC) in 2007 in controversial circumstances following an alleged squabble with the then HC judge, Justice B J Shethna, has been transferred back to the HC.

He was administered the oath of office by the acting Chief Justice of the HC, Bhaskar Bhattacharya, at a function held at the HC building on Tuesday morning.

Registrar General of the HC G R Udhwani said Justice Majmudar’s oath ceremony was organised at HC’s Committee Room No. 1 which was attended by several senior HC lawyers apart from Law Minister Dilip Sanghani, Minister of State (Law) Pradeepsinh Jadeja and Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil.

In January 2007, Justice Majmudar got engaged in an ugly confrontation with the then HC judge, Justice Shethna, when the former alleged the latter of misbehaving with his wife and then threatening him to beat. Justice Majmudar did not lodge a police complaint but, had written a letter in this regard to the then Chief Justice of the HC to put things in “black & white”.

Following the episode, both Justices Shethna and Majmudar were transferred out of the HC. Justice Shethna was transferred to the Sikkim High Court and Justice Majmudar was transferred to the Rajasthan High Court. Justice Shethna did not resume his judicial duty in Sikkim and chose to resign. Justice Majmudar resumed his duty in Rajasthan and was subsequently transferred to the Bombay High Court. He is due to retire on September 9 this year.









HC raps Mumbai varsity for ‘insensitivity’ towards students

Mumbai, May 22, 2012

The Bombay high court on Tuesday came down heavily on the University of Mumbai and its Unfair Means Inquiry Committee (UMIC) for its “insensitivity” towards students, whose answer sheets were lost in an alleged theft case in June 2011.
A vacation bench of Justices SJ Kathawala and PD Kode has directed the university to file a detailed affidavit explaining its tardy efforts in the matter.

The bench has directed its order to be forwarded to the Vice Chancellor and also the Governor of Mumbai, who is the Chancellor of Universities, to take note of insensitivity shown on the part of the University as well as the UMIC.

The court was hearing a petition filed by three engineering students, whose results were withheld by University for May 2011 examination for Electronics & Computer Programming as “Reserved Copy Case” (RCC).

Amruta Patil and Virendra Neve, advocates for the petitioners, have sought quashing of a verbal order of University not allowing the students to appear for the examination this year.

Chandrakanta Gongane, advocate for the University, informed the court that a peon Ramsingh Girasingh, was caught with some papers of students inside the university premises on June 22, 2011 and was handed over to police.

Answer paper of one subject of petitioners was also found with the peon. Hence results were not declared as scheduled in August 2011, said Gongane.

The University had appointed UMIC to look into the matter only in September 2011.

However, till date, the committee has not even called students to appear before them to give explanation on the charges against them.

Irked by this, the judges said that the students have a right to be heard by the inquiry committee. “A right that they have been deprived of till date and also entitled to an expeditious decision by the University, to enable them to decide the future course of action of their career.”

The court has further observed that the University as well as its Unfair Means Inquiry Committee are completely insensitive to the problems faced by these petitioners.

The court has directed the university to file an affidavit in June.











HC directs CBI to probe acid attack on girls in Haryana

Ajay Sura, TNN | May 23, 2012, 05.09AM IST

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday, directed CBI to probe an acid attack on three girls in Rohtak. The court order came as a blow to Haryana cops, who have been accused of hushing up the case. The incident took place in June last year.

The court set a six-month deadline to CBI to complete the probe and directed the agency to also investigate allegations of police exonerating the culprits. The Haryana government was also asked to pay compensation to the victims by May 31.

It’s perhaps the first time when an acid attack case has been handed over to CBI. The petition was filed by Haryana State Legal Service Authority on behalf of the victims.

On June 18 last year, three minors suffered burns when two youth threw acid on their face. Two of the victims were Class X students while the third studied in Class XII. The girls were returning from tuition when they were attacked. An FIR was lodged by Rohtak police for attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy.

One of the victims had identified an attacker, but police chose to bury the charges. Unable to fight their case, the victims approached the state legal services authority, which moved the high court.










Bombay HC raps MU for answer sheet theft

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 8:30 IST
By Urvi Mahajani | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The Bombay high court rapped Mumbai University (MU) as well its Unfair Means Inquiry Committee (UMIC) for being “insensitive towards its students” while dealing with a case of alleged theft involving answer sheets of engineering students last year.

Thevacation bench of justices SJ Kathawala and PD Kode was hearing the plea of three engineering students whose results of the Electronics Computer Programming paper, held as part of their May 2011 examination, were withheld after MU termed theirs a “Reserved Copy Case” (RCC).

According to Chandrakanta Gongane, advocate for the university, the answer sheet of one of the petitioners was found on peon Ramsingh Girasingh, who was allegedly caught along with other answer sheets from inside the MU premises on June 22, 2011. While Girasingh was handed over to police, MU appointed a UMIC to look into the matter. However, this was done only in September 2011, a delay which deputy registrar (examination) Datta Gughe (also present in court), was not able to explain.

What shocked the court most was the fact that till date, the panel has not called the students to appear before them and explain the charges levelled against them. When MU justified the delay by saying the confiscated papers were still with the police, an irked bench said, “The students not only have the right to be heard by the inquiry panel — a right that they have been deprived of till date, but are also entitled to an expeditious decision by the MU, so that they can decide the future course of their career.”

While observing “complete insensitivity on part of MU as well as the UMIC to the problems of the petitioners”, the HC bench directed the varsity to file a detailed affidavit stating its reasons for referring the matter to the UMIC in September and why the said committee has not taken any steps in the matter. Also, it asked MU to explain why no steps were taken till April 2012 to get the certified copies of the answer sheets from the BKC police, which is probing the theft.

While the petitioners’ advocates, Amruta Patil and Virendra Neve,sought the quashing of MU’s verbal order of not allowing the three to appear for the examination this year, the bench directed the university to produce their results in a sealed cover.










HC orders probe into pay drawn by teachers on paper

Express news service : Allahabad, Wed May 23 2012, 04:58 hrs

Chief secy given a month’s time to finish probe

The Allahabad High Court today directed UP Chief Secretary Javed Usmani to get an inquiry conducted across the state into the allegations that salaries were being withdrawn illegally in the name of non-existent or unqualified teachers in many government-aided intermediate colleges.

The court has given Usmani a month’s time to complete the exercise.

The court also directed the top official to get FIRs registered against those found guilty and the illegal payments made to unqualified teachers or withdrawn in the name of non-existent teachers be recovered from the personnel concerned. The court warned that if the action taken was not found satisfactory then the CS will be required to explain the same. The court has fixed July 9 as the next date of hearing.

The order was passed by a single judge bench of Justice Arun Tandon on a petition filed by Sudhakar Pandey, an advocate. “The petition was initially filed in 2010 and was in connection with a few intermediate colleges in Ballia, where the management and principals of the colleges, were allegedly involved in drawing salaries in the name of teachers using fraudulent means. We had sought strict action against the guilty,” said Pandey.

During the hearing, the court had ordered an inquiry by the CB-CID and directed registration of FIRs against those found guilty. However, over a period of time, a dispute arose on whether any formal order had been passed for inquiry by the CB-CID.

Taking a strong note of the “confusion”, the court passed an order on March 17, 2011, stating: “Let the Chief Secretary examine the records as well as the orders passed by this court from time to time and to ensure that free and fair investigation is conducted in the matter.The Chief Secretary shall file his personal affidavit disclosing as to whether an enquiry by CB-CID has been initiated or not and why the Home Department has not been able to respond even after 10 months to the request made.”

“The court took note of the fact that even after that order, not much action has been taken by the departments concerned in over a year,” said Pandey.











HC pulls up UT over mobile towers deadline

Express news service : Chandigarh, Wed May 23 2012, 04:23 hrs

The Punjab and Haryana on Tuesday reprimanded the Chandigarh Administration for extending the deadline for removing the mobile towers from residential areas from May 18 to June 1 on its own.

A division bench took the Chandigarh Administration to task for extending the deadline without even taking prior permission from the court. On the last date of hearing, the administration had told the High Court that it had given a deadline to companies to remove the 180 mobile towers from residential areas. The administration had undertaken that if by May 18 the towers were not removed, the UT would remove them on its own.

However, the administration had later extended the deadline to June 1. This was questioned by the High Court on Tuesday during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking removal of mobile towers from residential areas.

Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel Limited on Tuesday moved the High Court seeking modification of the High Court orders whereby it had ordered removal of mobile towers from residential areas.

The company submitted that as per the Central government’s notification, the deadline to implement the same is September this year. In its application, the company has stated that “UT Administration and municipal authorities are not expert bodies for assessment of EMF norms laid down by the Department of Telecommunications and taking action for non-compliance thereof. The assessment of emission norms is a highly technical matter, especially when there are multiple operators present at a site. In such a scenario, non-compliance of emission norms by one operator may lead to demolition of entire site when other operators are in compliance of the norms. Demolition of a site as a whole even presuming non-compliance by one of the mobile operators would lead to irreparable and irreversible loss and damage of very large amount to the infrastructure providers who have nothing to do with the compliance of norms”.

The HC directed the Central government to clarify its guidelines for Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh by May 30. Also, the trio have been directed to submit their action taken reports by May 30.

20 unauthorised security tents removed: MC

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab government on Tuesday informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that out of the 23 unauthorised security tents pitched by VVIPs outside their residences in Mohali, 20 had been removed by the authorities. This was submitted by the Mohali Municipal Corporation during the resumed hearing of a PIL seeking removal of unauthorised security tents pitched outside the residences of VVIPs in Mohali.



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