LEGAL NEWS 25.05.2012

Court allows Ansari to attend UP Assembly session

PTI | 09:05 PM,May 24,2012

New Delhi, May 24 (PTI) Sitting Uttar Pradesh MLA Mukhtar Ansari charged under MCOCA was today allowed by a Delhi court to attend the Uttar Pradesh assembly session. Additional Sessions Judge Savita Rao allowed Ansari, an MLA from Mau, to attend the assembly session beginning May 28. “A letter dated May 23, 2012 sent by jail superintendent, Agra Jail, UP has been placed on record seeking the permission for production of accused (Ansari) to attend the Legislative Assembly Session. “Accused Mukhtar Ansari, as reported, is a sitting MLA from UP Legislative Assembly. Permission is accordingly accorded for his production to attend the Vidhan Sabha proceedings in the coming sessions of Vidhan Sabha, UP,” the court said. An independent legislator form Mau and an accused in the 2005 murder of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai, 53-year-old Ansari was charged earlier this month under section 3(4) of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) for being a member of an organised crime syndicate.










New high for criminal case disposal in Thane

Nitin Yeshwantrao, TNN | May 25, 2012, 04.00AM IST

THANE: Disposal of criminal cases by the sessions court in Thane rose to over 52% towards the end of 2011 as against the 31% disposal in 2009, according to statistics compiled by authorities.

A top police official said that cases are dealt with expeditiously at the Thane district court and convictions or acquittals are pronounced in one to two years. Statistics show that criminal cases disposed of at the end of December 2009 were 1.09 lakh, 1.73 lakh in the next year and 2.04 lakh in 2011.

“Criminal cases registered during these years show a rise of around 13%. In 2009, the district courts were dealing with 3.44 lakh criminal cases which rose to 3.90 lakh in 2011. However, the judgments were pronounced swiftly and many cases including the Mira road incest case or the murder of a girl working in a BPO were disposed of in less than 24 months’ time,” a law official said.

Interestingly, the civil cases disposal paled in comparison. Just about 36% cases related to property or other civil disputes were disposed off by district courts by the end of December 2011 as against 33% in 2009.

As against the disposal of 26,885 civil cases in 2009 in the sessions and civil courts in Thane, Kalyan and Palghar, statistics at the end of 2011 shows that judgments were pronounced in 31,322 cases of the 85,900 pending before the courts. Advocate Mahendra Bajpai said civil disputes tend to drag longer due to reasons including lethargy by litigants. “In quite a few property disputes, landlord remains absent or does not pursue the matter once he secures a stay on a lower court order,” he said.









Car bombing case: Court staff warned for misplaced papers

TNN | May 25, 2012, 02.41AM IST

NEW DELHI: A trial court on Thursday pulled up the court’s record keepers for a “goof-up and wastage of time” after they misplaced some documents in connection with the Israeli diplomat car bombing case.

The court found itself embroiled for over two hours in a lost-and-found drama of some applications of the police for extension of journalist Syed Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi’s judicial custody after his arrest for an alleged role in the attack.

The drama unfolded in the court of additional sessions judge S S Rathi, as he took up for hearing Kazmi’s plea for copies of remand applications of the police for extension of his custody after his arrest.

The sessions court had called for the record of the case including the remand papers from the court of chief metropolitan magistrate, where the case is pending. On perusing the record, the ASJ found five remand applications missing and summoned the CMM’s record-keeper who said that he has given all the documents he had.

The ASJ gave the record-keeper thirty minutes to search all the almirah and bring the record, after which one more document relating to the case was recovered. As the court was hearing the matter, one person came to the court and handed all the remand papers to the record-keeper, who then told the court that his assistant was successful in finding the papers in one almirah.

The court said it was “very strange” that papers were located minutes after the record-keeper stated that he searched all almirah but failed to locate the papers. The court warned the record-keepers, saying that “there was no plausible explanation as to why six original remand papers were not sent to this court earlier”.

Kazmi’s revision petition will be heard on Friday.









Ex-minister Pramila Mallick’s brother held in acid attack case

TNN | May 25, 2012, 05.19AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Former minister Pramila Mallick’s brother Khirod Chandra Mallick was remanded in judicial custody on Thursday for his alleged involvement in an acid attack on a man in Bhubaneswar’s Mancheswar area in October 2011.

A trial court rejected his anticipatory bail plea following petition by the police on the ground that he was booked under section 307 (attempt to murder). Mallick, who is chairman of Biswa (an NGO), was sent to custody for fourteen days, sources said.

“He was earlier booked for conspiring in the acid attack on the man, whose relatives were working in his NGO. We want to know the nature of his involvement in the case. We have prayed the court to take him on remand for interrogation,” Bhubaneswar DCP Nitinjeet Singh said.

Earlier in the day, Mallick appeared in the court of judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) seeking bail in connection with a firing incident in Mancheswar area. Miscreants had opened fire at a BPO company girl on April 13, 2012. He was a suspect in the case as his driver, who was arrested in the incident, pointed the finger at him. Apprehending arrest, Mallick had moved the Orissa high court seeking bail. The high court recently heard his plea and asked him to get the bail from lower court. Soon after he was granted bail by JMFC, police reached the court to arrest him in the acid attack case. Mallick applied for bail, but to no avail.

“My client has been falsely implicated in the case. He was not at all involved in the acid attack case. Police became vindictive after he managed to get bail in the firing incident,” Mallick’s lawyer Dharanidhar Nayak told TOI.

Incidentally, the firing incident is said to have links with the acid attack and another firing incident in Sashtri Nagar in April 2011. Victims of the three cases belonged to the same family and were earlier working with the NGO, sources said. Police suspect that the family was targeted following monetary dispute with the NGO.









Aarushi murder case: Court orders framing of charges against Talwars

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2012, 14:45 IST | Updated: Thursday, May 24, 2012, 16:25 IST
Place: GHAZIABAD | Agency: PTI

A local court today ordered framing of charges against dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the double murder case of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj four years back.

The framing of charges will take place on Friday.

The court said charges under sections 302 (murder) read with 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information to screen offender) read with 34 of IPC will be framed tomorrow against the couple.

Charges under section 203 (giving false information respecting an offence committed) IPC will be also be put against Rajesh.

“The court agreed with the arguments of the CBI that there were four people in the house in the night and in the morning two were found dead and two were alive,” CBI counsel RK Saini told reporters here.

“Another charge for filing a misleading FIR under section 203 IPC has been ordered to be framed against Rajesh and the case will commence now,” he said.

Saini said the agency’s version that the dressing up of crime scene and no evidence of entry of any outsider shows that the crime was allegedly committed by these two (Rajesh and Nupur), was relied upon by the court.

“Tomorrow charges will be framed and accused will be asked whether they plead guilty or not and the date of producing evidence, i.e, beginning of trial will be given,” he said.

14-year-old Aarushi was found murdered on May 16, 2008 in her bedroom in her Noida house and the body of Hemraj was found the next day from the terrace.

Arguing on behalf of Talwars yesterday, the defence counsel had refuted the prosecution case that their clients could have killed 14-year-old Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj after having seen them in an objectionable position.

The counsel had contended that the Talwar couple were practicing doctors, had an intercaste marriage and belonged to the elite class of the society and could not have stooped to a level of provocation so as to kill their only daughter.

The defence had also refuted the CBI’s case that since there were four people in the house, the onus was on Nupur and Rajesh to explain what happened on the fateful night of May 15-16, 2008.

It had said the Talwars had gone to sleep and Hemraj had access to the entire house and could have allowed entry of outsiders who could have carried out the killings.

While Rajesh is out on bail, Nupur is lodged in the Dasna jail in Ghaziabad.









UP High Court noitce to NLU Jodhpur on CLAT 2012 question paper ‘anomalies’

Ashish Tripathi, TNN | May 24, 2012, 06.02PM IST

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has issued notice to National Law University (NLU), Jodhpur, on a petition of a class 12th student who pointed out several anomalies in the question paper of Common Law Admission test (CLAT) 2012 and demanded a re-exam.

Justice SS Chauhan, after hearing the petition, issued notice to NLU, Jodhpur, to explain its position. Looking at the urgency of the matter, he has fixed the next date of hearing on May 28. The CLAT result is also expected on May 28. Counsel for the petitioner was permitted by the court to send FAX message to the opposite party informing about the filing of the writ petition and also requesting for appointment of a lawyer to represent the opposite party in the court.

T anaya Thakur in her petition stated that NLU Jodhpur had stated that general knowledge section will only test students on their knowledge of current affairs, that is, matters featuring in the mainstream media between March 2011 and March 2012. Further, it has stated, the exam will test students only on legal aptitude and not any prior knowledge of law or legal concepts. And, if a legal term is used it will be explained in the question itself.

But, Tanya claimed in her petition, at least 22-25 questions in the general knowledge section were beyond the current affairs period. Similarly, there were many legal terms in legal aptitude section whuch were not defined. Since the institution violated its own guidelines and syllabus, Tanaya has prayed that CLAT 2012 should be scrapped and a fresh examination should be held.

The CLAT 2012 was held on May 13 at 46 centres in 20 cities across the country. Almost 26,000 undergraduate and 1,050 postgraduate students took CLAT for admission to bachelor and master courses in law at various National Law Schools. After examinations, many students claimed that more than 25 questions were out of syllabus. Even a protest page against CLAT 2012 came up on Facebook with over 2000 members demanding a re-exam. Some asked for grace marks like last year when 12 marks were awarded to every student because some questions were wrong. One of the student pointed out that some of the questions were similar to Semester one Exams of BA.LLB of Calcutta University.

T he organising committee of CLAT, however, had then denied all charges. Officials had said that the question paper was set by the experts and questions are from within the frame work.







Supreme Court stays CA extension plan

Judicial over-reach, says Bhattarai’s aideResponding to a writ petition, Nepal’s Supreme Court on Thursday issued an interim stay order against the government’s proposal to amend the interim constitution and extend the term of the Constituent Assembly. A single bench of Chief Justice Khila Raj Regmi passed the order.

On November 25, the Court had issued an order in name of the chairman of the Constituent Assembly, the Prime Minister and Office of Council of Ministers, declaring that the extension of the CA, ending on May 27, would be the last one and the CA must promulgate the constitution within the stipulated deadline. If the CA failed to do so, said the Court, its term would end, and there should either be fresh elections for a new CA, or referendum or any other ‘appropriate arrangements’ according to the constitution. A review petition filed against the decision, on the grounds that this was entirely a political decision beyond the prerogative of the judiciary, was quashed by the Court.

On Tuesday, an all-party meeting agreed to initiate the process to amend the interim constitution and extend the CA’s term by another three months. The Cabinet endorsed the decision, and tabled an amendment bill in the legislature-Parliament accordingly. The Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) have since backtracked from the agreement, and opposed an extension.

In its verdict on Thursday, the Supreme Court said instead of taking steps towards the alternatives it proposed — elections, referendum or other appropriate arrangements — the government had acted as if there was no Court decision at all by initiating the process to amend the interim constitution to extend the CA. This, it said, was in violation of the earlier Court order as well constitutional provisions. Since the decision was ‘faulty’, the Court issued the order.

In a separate case against the Prime Minister for contempt of court in proposing an extension, the Court directed both Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Law and Justice Krishna Prasad Situala, who undersigned the amendment bill, to appear personally in court with a written reply within seven days.

Political reactions

Dr. Bhattarai’s political adviser Devendra Poudel however strongly opposed the verdict. He told The Hindu, “This is a direct intervention in the work-spheres of the legislature and the executive. The judiciary has over-reached since this is a purely political matter. We cannot accept this, and will counter this ideologically.”

UML leader Pradeep Gyawali told The Hindu, “The best option would be to agree on a constitution incorporating the areas of agreement between all sides, and promulgate it before May 27. If we do that, the legislature-Parliament will remain intact after that, and it can resolve the other remaining contentious issues like state restructuring.”

But Mr. Poudel said the Maoists would not agree to a ‘constitution without federalism’, as that lies at the heart of the constitution. Madhesi parties and Janjati MPs too have expressed opposition to this proposal however, saying this would be a ‘conspiracy’ to derail their federal aspirations. The party whip will be enforced in Parliament, unlike in the CA which adds to the apprehensions of ethnic lawmakers who want to retain the option of voting against their party decision on issues like federalism. Mr. Gyawali admitted there was a trust deficit. “Madhesis, Janjatis and women feel that future house will not address their concerns. We need to win their trust.”

Lawyers said if the CA gets dissolved without the constitution being written, the institution of the presidency and the government of the day would continue to exist.









EC asked to consider common symbol for YSRCP

A Division Bench of the High Court comprising Justice B. Seshasayana Reddy and Justice K. G. Shankar on Thursday directed the Election Commission of India to reconsider the application submitted by the YSR Congress Party for allotment of common symbol for its candidates in the ensuing by-elections.

The writ petition was filed by a party spokesman B. Govardhan Reddy who contended that the YSR Congress had sought a common symbol but the Election Commission had refused the plea. He filed a writ petition challenging the order of the Commission.

The Bench felt that the application needed to be reconsidered as the rules regarding the allotment of symbols do not deal with the by-elections.

The fledgling party, which is yet to be recognised by the EC, has fielded its candidates in all the 18 Assembly constituencies and to the Nellore Lok Sabha seat.







NCW seeks Patil’s intervention for 33 per cent quota for women

PTI | 11:05 PM,May 24,2012

New Delhi, May 24 (PTI) The National Commission for Women today sought President Pratibha Patil’s intervention to ensure 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state assemblies. Led by NCW Chairperson Mamta Sharma, a delegation met Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan and handed over a memorandum in this regard. They urged President to take action to ensure that there is 33 per cent reservation for Women In Parliament and State assemblies become a reality. The memorandum said it should be appreciated that the bill would not only revolutionize electoral politics in India but would be a harbinger of social change ending age old gender discrimination in the political system, a statement said. The delegation also discussed various women related issues with the President besides submitting the memorandum to her.









UT land grab: Punjab counsel gets the stick from HC

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, May 23, 2012

Showing little conviction in the Punjab advocate-general’s (AG) repeated arguments objecting to a judicial panel to probe grabbing of public land by high-ups in Chandigarh’s periphery, the Punjab and Haryana high court directed him to assist the court as a ‘friend of the court’ and sit with the amicus curiae (lawyer acting as ‘friend of the court’), Arun Jain, to finalise the terms of reference for the panel by Thursday.

Retired Supreme Court judge Kuldeep Singh has already given his consent to head the two-member commission or tribunal. However, the bench said that it was also considering if advocate PN Aggarwal, who had expertise in revenue matters, could assist the panel.

When the case came up for arguments before the division bench comprising acting chief justice MM Kumar and justice Alok Singh on Wednesday, AG Ashok Aggarwal reiterated that there was no need to constitute a commission as nobody had questioned the state government’s detailed affidavit in which clean chit was handed to all but seven prominent persons alleged to have encroached upon government land in SAS Nagar district.

However, the bench asked him, “How was the public land made private? What was the nature of land before Independence, and how was it changed later? Your affidavit tries to justify that 60 (influential) people have private land.”

The bench further added, “When people like Saini (DGP Sumedh Singh Saini) and Badal (chief minister Parkash Singh) are involved, how can we expect that such people will decide against themselves?”

When Aggarwal again argued that there was nothing wrong in the affidavit, the bench asked, “Mr Aggarwal, you know better what is going on.” It stated that as the affidavit carried “entries which are nowhere on the record”.

“You should have mentioned in the report what as the original nature of land…Let the commission come. It will tell the whole world (what the reality is), and you yourself will be surprised,” the bench told Aggarwal.

During the arguments, senior advocate ML Sareen made a submission that he had also been appointed amicus curiae in a similar case by the high court where a huge number of encroachment cases in Punjab had been highlighted. He said that the bench had directed the state to submit the records of all the cases and make efforts to evict illegal encroachers as per the Supreme Court’s directions.






Green tribunal suspends nod for Srikakulam plant

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 24, 2012

The National Green Tribunal has asked the environment ministry to notify all wetlands in the country to avoid developmental projects in its vicinity as it suspended environment clearance to the thermal power plant in Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh.

In an order issued on Wednesday, the tribunal also asked the ministry to finalise the guidelines and site criteria for Thermal Power Plants urgently.  The tribunal had found that the existing guidelines had failed to take note of factors that affect the environment and ecology today.

“It is pertinent to note that the siting criteria produced before us were framed 25 years ago,” the tribunal said, while hearing petitions by six locals against the 2,640 MW thermal power plant of Nagarajuna Construction Company.

The appellants in the case had alleged that the proposed project site was a wetland not suitable for commercial use. It will adversely affect irrigation schemes of the area and lead to scarcity of drinking water and fishing. They also said the project will stop farmers from growing seasonal crops and vegetables, and destroy a breeding area for migratory birds.

The petitioners also contended that the environment ministry didn’t consider objections raised by a majority of those affected.

The project proponents, however, said such claims were baseless and the site was not a notified wetland. The ministry said the project was cleared after taking into account all environmental aspects.

The tribunal said that another opportunity should be provided to locals to express their views on the project and, till then, the approval should remain suspended.

The tribunal also suspended environment clearance to the 1,200 MW thermal power plant in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu.







Tribunal suspends TN power project’s clearance

Nitin Sethi, TNN | May 25, 2012, 03.19AM IST

NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) suspended clearance to a 3,600 MW project of IL&FS Tamil Nadu Power Company Ltd in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, ordering a cumulative impact assessment before the clearance is reactivated even though the laws do not require such a study.

In another decision that will have wide implications, the NGT also asked for continued suspension of Nagarjuna Construction Company’s 2,640 MW thermal power plant at Sompeta, Andhra Pradesh, where two people died and several were seriously injured in firing upon those protesting against the project being built on a wetland.

In its order, it demanded that the government update its criteria for selecting sites for power plants and that project proponents share detailed and complete studies with the affected people during mandatory public hearings.

Both the decisions are expected to have an impact on the clearance process for future and ongoing projects.

The NGT ordered, “We direct MoEF (environment ministry) to make available the relevant information other than EIA report and report of the public hearing considered during the appraisal of the project through its website. Similarly, the concerned State Pollution Control Board should also make available in their website the pertinent information regarding the public hearing proceedings, compliance status etc.”

In the same order recommending a cumulative emission impact before the Cuddalore project is given a go-ahead, it set a precedent that could impact the areas, such as Himalayan river basins – where the demand for cumulative impact assessments has been partly accepted. The government has carried out or has commissioned studies but permitted projects to continue alongside.

In its order on the Nagarjuna case, the NGT said, “We direct the MoEF to finalize the guidelines and siting criteria for thermal power plant urgently and file a copy thereof before this tribunal as early as possible but not later than three months as it is the most important component of EIA process and cannot be delayed any more.”

It further said, “MoEF may also finalize and notify the important wetlands in the country as early as possible so that location of developmental projects in and around such ecologically sensitive areas could be avoided in future.”






AP: Senior IPS Officer Tewari reinstated

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Senior IPS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre SR Tewari, who was dismissed from service following an enquiry by the Border Security Force in September 2010, has been reinstated into service and is likely to be given a posting shortly.

The Union Public Service Commission had recommended that Tewari be dismissed from service with immediate effect following an inquiry into various allegations against him.

The allegations were made against Tewari, a 1982-batch IPS officer, while he was working as BSF inspector-general in North Bengal Frontier and was based at Siliguri in 2006. The allegations range from “misuse of office” to indulging in “certain acts” which brought disrepute to the BSF.

In November the same year he was suspended from the BSF and was asked to appear before top officials of the paramilitary force at its headquarters in New Delhi. A departmental investigation followed and a report was submitted after which the UPSC wrote to the MHA recommending his dismissal.

Tewari moved the Central Administrative Tribunal, Delhi. The matter then went to the Delhi High Court and subsequently to the Supreme Court.

Recently, the Union ministry of home affairs issued orders directing that Tewari be reinstated with immediate effect.

The orders reached chief secretary Pankaj Dwivedi, sources said, adding that Tewari was likely to be given a posting shortly.










CBI moves closer to Jagan with Andhra minister’s arrest

The ongoing probe by the Central Brueau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged disproportionate case of YSR Congress party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy claimed its first casualty in the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh when the CBI arrested minister for excise and prohibition Mopidevi Venkataramana on Thursday afternoon.

The minister was arrested soon after his arrival at Dilkusha guest house, the make-shift office of the CBI in Hyderabad, for the second consecutive day for being questioned in the Jagan case. He was charged with various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including Section 120 (b) read with 420 (cheating with criminal conspiracy), 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 477A (falsification of accounts), as well as Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Before leaving for the CBI office, the minister submitted his resignation letter to Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who later forwarded the same to Governor E S L Narasimhan for accepting it. The CBI later filed a memo in the CBI court, including the name of Venkataramana as one of the accused in Jagan’s case, as his name did not figure in the First Information Report (FIR) registered on August 17 last year.

While producing the minister in court, the CBI sought his custody for seven days. The court, however, agreed only to a five-day custory with effect from Friday, after which he would be sent to judicial remand till June 7. The minister was later sent to Chanchalguda jail.

Venkataramana, who held the portfolio of infrastructure and investment in the Y S Rajasekhara Reddy cabinet, had signed the controversial government orders pertaining to land allotments and other sops to the multi-thousand crore Vodarevu And Nizampatnam Port and Industrial Corridor (VANPIC) project involving prominent industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad, the biggest investor in Jagan’s business ventures.

He is among the six ministers of the YSR cabinet who were named by the Supreme Court recently, along with eight IAS officers, to be questioned in the case. The ministers had signed 26 controversial GOs, doling out various sops to several industrialists as a quid pro quo arrangement for their investments in Jagan’s business empire.

The CBI has already questioned home minister Sabita Indra Reddy in the case and is expected to quiz four others — Ponnala Lakshmiah, Kanna Lakshminarayana, Dharmana Prasada Rao and J Geetha Reddy — who held important portfolios during the YSR regime.

Soon, after the media flashed the news about the arrest of Venkataramana, his supporters enforced a bandh in Nizampatnam, his native village, and Repalle town in Guntur district. All the shops and other establishments were forced to down the shutters in protest.

CBI officials, who had grilled Venkataramana for nine hours on Wednesday, charged him with violation of norms and also not taking the opinion of the finance and law departments while issuing the GO allotting more than 15,500 acres of land in Guntur and Prakasam districts to VANPIC and granting it exemptions under Stamps and Registration Act.

CBI sleuths interrogated him in the presence of industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad and bureaucrat K V Brahmananda Reddy, who was the then special secretary in the investments and infrastructure department. Both had been arrested on May 16. After cross-checking the information given by the two, the CBI arrested the minister.

Before leaving for the CBI office on Thursday morning, the minister said the allotments to VANPIC were made as per the cabinet decisions, and he was being made a scapegoat while it was a collective decision by the cabinet. He lamented that his cabinet colleagues were not coming to his rescue.









Jal Mahal land lease cancellation challenged in Supreme Court

TNN | May 25, 2012, 03.12AM IST

JAIPUR: The Jal Mahal land lease agreement dispute reached the Supreme Court on Thursday, as was widely anticipated.

The private company, the Jal Mahal Resorts Pvt Ltd that was to lose the lease after the Rajasthan High Court declared the agreement illegal, filed a special leave petition (SLP) before the apex court, challenging the verdict passed on May 17. The SLP was mentioned before a division bench of Justice Deepak Verma and Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya that directed that the case to be listed again on Friday.

The state government had leased out 100 acre prime land near Jaipur’s Man Sagar Lake and the 17{+t}{+h} century monument Jal Mahal in the lake to the private company for 99 years. The land estimated to be worth Rs 3500 crore was handed over to the company in return for merely Rs 2.5 crore annual lease money, while the monument was given away for an annual licence fee of just Re 1. The government justified the agreement saying the company would restore and maintain the neglected lake and monument and, thus, boost tourism in the state.

The Ashok Gehlot government, which has been tight lipped ever since the high court termed the lease agreement irrational and illegal, too, appeared before the division bench on Thursday even though no notices were issued to it. The state government was represented by former solicitor general Soli Sorabjee and additional advocate general Manish Singhvi. There were reports, though, that the state government was also examining to file a separate SLP in appeal against the high court judgment of May 17.

Even as the Rajasthan high court verdict was based on public interest litigations (PILs) filed by three separate parties, the private company chose to include only one of them (Prof KP Sharma) as a respondent in its SLP. “We were deliberately not included among the respondents as we had filed a caveat before the Supreme Court in this matter,” said AK Jain, lawyer for the Dharohar Bachao Samiti, which had also filed the PIL in high court.

On behalf of the private company, senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam justified the lease agreement saying that it was signed through international bidding. The company said it was wrong to cancel the agreement seven years after it was signed and when the project’s first phase was almost complete. It was reasoned that the company had invested Rs 80 crore on the project and if the agreement were cancelled now, it would lead to loss of faith against the government among the investors.

The Jal Mahal Resorts Pvt Ltd also opposed the high court ruling that the leased out 100 acre land was not part of the Man Sagar Lake.









Restore Security To Advocate: SC—security-to-advocate-sc/260870-60-114.html

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Andhra Pradesh government for withdrawing security to an advocate that had been provided at the apex court’s direction and asked it to restore it.
Judges Deepak Verma and S J Mukhopadhyay said the state’s director-general of police would have to face contempt of court if he does not provide police protection to R Chandrasekhar Reddy.
Police protection was provided by the apex court after Chandrasekhar Reddy alleged that he was facing a threat to his life after he filed a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court challenging the state government’s decision to release 1500 prisoners in 2007.
“How can you withdraw police protection when it was done on the court’s orders? You might have to face contempt,” the bench warned the state government. The court was hearing an interim application by Chandrasekhar Reddy in which he said he continues to face a threat.
The apex court had in August 2007 stayed the Andhra Pradesh government’s plan to release 1,500 prisoners, including life convicts, on the occasion of 150 years of the First War of Independence.
The court passed the order on a PIL filed by Chandrasekhar Reddy questioning the release of prisoners, alleging that the government wanted to benefit a Cong worker Gouru Venkata Reddy, who was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment .









Karnataka official’s death: Court takes suo moto cognizance

NDTV Correspondent | Updated: May 25, 2012 10:31 IST

Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court has taken suo moto cognisance and initiated a public interest litigation regarding the the brutal attack on S.P. Mahantesh, the Deputy Director of Cooperative Audit Department who died on May 20.

A notice has now been sent to the Principal Secretary of the Home Department and the Bangalore City Police Commissioner who have been directed to file a progress report at least a day before the next hearing of the case on June 21st.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna said “keeping all the dimensions of the death of Mr. Mahantesh in perspective, we exercise suo motu power.”
Mr Mahantesh was found unconscious on May 15, near a hotel in Bangalore. He succumbed to his injuries, five days later. The official was working as Deputy Director of the Audit wing in the state’s Cooperative department and had reported irregularities in different societies involving officials and politicians. There are allegations that this may be the reason for the attack on him.









High Court initiates PIL in Mahantesh case

Dotices to be issued to Principal Secretary, Home Department, City Police Commissioner

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday initiated a suo motu public interest litigation (PIL) petition into the recent murder of Deputy Director of the Cooperative Audit S.P. Mahantesh.

The court acted on its own, observing from media reports that there was scepticism, if not suspicion, in the minds of people regarding the investigation being conducted. It ordered notice to be issued to the Principal Secretary, Home Department, and the City Police Commissioner.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna said that “keeping all the dimensions of the death of Mr. Mahantesh in perspective, we exercise suo motu power”.

The Bench also directed the city police to file a progress report on the investigation a day prior to the next date of hearing while adjourning the hearing till June 21.

Mr. Mahantesh, who was auditing various house building cooperative societies, was found with serious head injuries lying on the pavement on Palace Road on the night of May 15. He succumbed to the injuries at a private hospital on May 21.









HC stays Sakshi freeze order

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday stayed the CBI Court’s order to freeze the current accounts of three Jagan media companies, Jagati publications, Indira Television and Janani Infrastructure. It, however, left the fixed deposits of about `94 crore at Oriental Bank of Commerce frozen.
Justice B Chandra Kumar, in his interim order, permitted the petitioners (Jagati publications, Indira television and Janani infra) to operate the current accounts. He made it clear that all transactions, including salaries to employees, should be made through cheques and the media house would be obliged to submit monthly statements relating to financial transactions to the lower court dealing with the case. “Not only staff working in these organisations, but those dependent on them will be affected if they are not paid salaries,” he added.
The judge also made it clear that none of the companies should alienate, transfer or sell any of the properties in question. The banks concerned should not release the fixed deposits without prior permission from the court.
It may be recalled that the CBI had frozen bank accounts of the three firms with the SBI, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Indian Overseas Bank. Petitioners’ counsel said the company would provide bank guarantee for the amount in three current accounts, but not for the fixed deposits








NGO moves HC for retrieving black money from foreign banks

PTI | 09:05 PM,May 24,2012

Mumbai, May 24 (PTI) An NGO today urged the Bombay High Court to direct the Centre and Maharashtra Government to submit records pertaining to black money stashed away in foreign banks and order an inquiry into siphoning off unaccounted wealth from the country. The PIL filed by the ‘Rashtriya Brashtachar Virodhi Janshakti’ also requested the high court to monitor such inquiry and direct the authorities to register an FIR against those who have deposited unaccounted wealth in foreign banks. The petition referred to media reports which claimed that between 2002 to 2006, black money to the tune of Rs 70,00,000 crores have been siphoned off from the country and stashed away in banks abroad. The NGO said that both the governments had not put in efforts to retrieve the black money lying in foreign banks, which could be used to cover the budget deficit and for the development of the nation. The PIL will come up for hearing after the summer vacation. PTI SVS NSK








Suicide over education loan: HC grants bail to bank official

TNN | May 25, 2012, 12.45AM IST

KOCHI: The Kerala high court on Thursday granted bail to the deputy manager of a private bank who was arrested following the suicide of a nursing student who was denied education loan.

Jobun Feni, a deputy manager of loans section, who was booked by police as second accused was granted conditional bail by Justice N K Balakrishnan.

Jobun was arrested by police on May 9 in connection with the suicide of the student, Sruthy from Kudamaloor. After being summoned to the police station for questioning, he was arrested and produced before Kottayam judicial first class magistrate court.

In his bail application, the deputy manager had stated that he had no role in granting loan and his duty was only to verify the eligibility and forward the application to higher-ups.

Prosecution opposed the bail plea, stating that investigation and collection of evidence was in progress. However, the court granted Jobun bail, noticing that he had been in remand since May 9.

Earlier, additional director general of prosecution K I Abdul Rasheed had opposed the claim of the bank officials that they had no direct role in granting loans.

The additional DGP had pointed out that the loan was passed by the bank a day after the student had attempted suicide, which means that the student was put to undue hardship even when the loan could have been granted.









Victim will have to request HC to repeal FIR: Police

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
May 24, 2012

Unmoved by the speculation that the US national, allegedly molested by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player Luke Pomersbach inside her room at a five-star hotel wants to withdraw the case, the Delhi Police continued its investigation on Wednesday and said they were ready to file the chargesheet in the case.

The police said that in order to withdraw the case, the victim has to approach the high court. This is because once an FIR is lodged, only the court is authorised to quash it.

“We will close the case only when we receive directions from the high court. We will file a chargesheet in the case. The victim can request the high court to quash the FIR. But the court can reject the request,” said a senior police officer.

Pomersbach, who was arrested on May 18, had also allegedly assaulted the victim’s friend — Sahil Peerzada —who had suffered injuries on his left ear and. Peerzada was discharged from Primus Hospital in Chanakyapuri on Monday.

A family member of Peerzada is claimed to have told media that they did not want to pursue the case. Sources said that both the parties were eyeing for an out-of-court settlement.

Sources further claimed that the victim was planning to withdraw the legal notice issued against Siddhartha Mallya while seeking apology for his tweets.

Police sources said that Miraj, who was also present in the hotel room at the time of the incident, had not recorded his statement yet.

“Only Miraj and a few RCB members are left now, else the investigation is almost complete. After recording their statements, we will file the chargesheet,” the officer added. The statements of 12 people, including the hotel staff and friends of the victim, have been recorded so far. The victim had alleged that five persons had threatened her to withdraw the case.

A woman friend of the victim, an Israeli national, was also questioned on Wednesday. The police said that the Israeli national had alleged that her friend (victim) was threatened by the RCB players to withdraw the case.

The police have also identified two persons and are questioned them, while the remaining three (all foreigners) are yet to be identified. The police also plan to record the statement of other RCB  members such as its coach Ray Jennings and its party coordinator.

“We are still looking for evidence to substantiate the claims made by the victim. If we manage to find evidence, a separate case will be registered,” said the police.

Meanwhile, the victim and her lawyer could not be reached for comments.








Murder case:HC orders suo motu notice to Home Secretary

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 24,2012

Bangalore,May 24 (PTI) Exercising suo motu power, the Karnataka High Court today ordered issue of notice to Home Secretary and City Police Commissioner on a PIL based on newspaper reports regarding the death of State Administrative service officer S P Mahantesh, asking them to file a progress report on the matter by June 20. A Division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen also appointed advocate Clifton D Rozario as amicus curiae to assist the court in the case. “From the articles appearing in various newspapers, it is evident that there is scepticism, if not suspicion in the minds of public at large with regard to the enquiry that is being conducted on the unfortunate fatal attack on late Mahantesh, who was conducting audit of House Building Co-Operative Societies,” it said. “Keeping all the dimensions of the death of KAS officer in perspective, we exercise suo motu power and issue notice to Principal Secretary to Home department as well as Commissioner of Police returnable by June 21, 2012,” the bench said. 48-year-old Mahantesh, said to be a whistle-blower in controversial land allotments by societies, suffered head injuries in an alleged attack by unidentified persons on May 15, and died in a private hospital here five days later. Mahantesh was working as Deputy Director of the audit wing in the state’s Cooperative department and had reported irregularities in different societies involving some officials and political figures.










Will 12,500 more people be able to watch the IPL final?

A Subramani, TNN May 24, 2012, 02.38PM IST

CHENNAI: The fate of three massive stands at M A Chidambaram cricket stadium at Chepauk in Chennai, with an additional seating capacity of 12,500, will be known at 2.30 pm today when a vacation court of the Madras high court hears the matter at a special sitting.

The stadium is set to host the high-voltage IPL-V semifinals on Friday and finals on Sunday. Keen to avoid empty stands during the event, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) approached the Madras high court on Wednesday seeking permission to put the stands to use for at least on these two days. TNCA told the court that they plan to sell Rs 500 and Rs 750 tickets for the stands, which would fetch Rs 25 lakh as entertainment tax for the state government.

On April 16, the housing and urban development department issued a conditional approval for the galleries, stating that the TNCA authorities must obtain traffic, fire safety and environmental clearance from competent authorities.

Today, the bench of Justice V Dhanapalan and Justice B Rajendran will hear the state government’s stand on the matter and pass orders.

The newly built I, J and K Stands were sealed by the Chennai Corporation in August 2011 as they had been constructed without due planning permission.







Man seeks to withdraw plea against cops, gets HC showcause

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Fri May 25 2012, 02:55 hrs

After a man sought to withdraw his petition in which he had accused Jamnagar SP and two other policemen of torturing him in police custody, the High Court on Thursday issued him a showcause asking why he should not be prosecuted for furnishing false information.

A day earlier, the HC had asked the petitioner, one Vishal Singala, to lodge a criminal complaint against Jamnagar SP Subhash Trivedi and the two other policemen he had accused of torturing him.

Singala had moved HC seeking directions for prosecution of the three policemen.

Public Prosecutor Prakash Jani said the state government on Thursday informed the court that it had initiated an inquiry against the three policemen to be conducted by a DIG-level officer. “However, after this, the petitioner sought to withdraw his demand saying he did not want to proceed on the matter because his community members did not want him to continue with this,” Jani said.

“The court took this very seriously and issued a showcause notice to the petitioner asking him to explain by next Tuesday as to why he shouldn’t be prosecuted for furnishing false information before the court ,” Jani added.

According to Singala, in August last year, Trivedi and two other

policemen had beaten him severely while he was in police custody after being arrested in a case of prohibition.

He had approached the HC alleging slow pace of progress on his complaint before a magisterial court in Jamnagar district.






HC permits TNCA to use stands of MAC stadium for IPL matches

PTI | 07:05 PM,May 24,2012

Chennai, May 24 (PTI) The Madras High Court today allowed the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association to use three stands, declared as unauthorised by the state government, of the M A Chidambaram stadium here during the semi-finals and finals of the Indian Premier League on May 25 and 27 respectively. Giving the interim injunction, valid for a week, on a petition by the TNCA, the court directed the Association to provide a written undertaking to ensure the safety, security and maintenance aspects of the ‘I’, ‘J’ and ‘K’ stands and posted the petition for hearing after two weeks. A division bench, comprising Justices V Dhanapalan and T Mathivanan, made it clear that the order would be subject to the outcome of petitions being heard pertaining to the stands. Chennai Super Kings take on Delhi Daredevils tomorrow and the winner of that match will play against Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL final on May 27. (More)








HC asks John to approach RPO for passport renewal

PTI | 05:05 PM,May 24,2012

Mumbai, May 24 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today directed actor John Abraham, convicted for negligent driving and injuring two persons, to approach the regional passport office seeking renewal of his passport. Justice P D Kode has asked the passport office to consider John’s application on merits and in accordance with law. John had approached the high court seeking direction to the passport authority for renewal of his passport for a year which expired within six months. John approached the passport office seeking renewal. However, the passport office refused to decide on his application saying if any case is pending against the applicant then court permission has to be taken before renewal or issuance of a new passport. In his petition, the actor claimed that since the High Court has granted him probation there was no case pending against him. The High Court had recently upheld the 15-day sentence awarded to John for rash and negligent driving in 2006. However, his sentence was suspended and the actor was released on probation under the Probation of Offenders Act. John wants renewal of his passport to travel to Turkey for a film shoot. In his petition, John said the Turkish government rules prescribe that work visa should be given only to those who have a passport valid for over six months. PTI SP GK









Zohal moves HC for nixing case against Luke

New Delhi, May 24, 2012

US national Zohal Hamid on Wednesday moved the Delhi high court seeking quashing of FIR against Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach, whom she had accused of molesting her. Zohal Hamid on Wednesday night decided to withdraw molestation case against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player Pomersbach after both parties reached an out of court settlement.

She will also drop legal proceedings against RCB director Siddhartha Mallya for casting aspersions on her character through tweets after she complained to police about molestation by the cricketer.

“Yes,” Rajneesh Chopra, Hamid’s lawyer told PTI in a text message when asked whether the American national was withdrawing case against Pomersbach and legal proceedings against Mallya.

In a late night Tweet siddharth Mallya said, “So glad that all charges have been dropped and Luke can return down under A FREE MAN!”

“I’ve always been a very loyal person who stands up for friends. The tweets/comments made were unfortunate, being the product of stressful circumstances & I realise people drew meaning and connotations other than and beyond what was intended against Zohal,” he tweeted.

Pomersbach was arrested last Friday after Hamid alleged he molested her and hit her fiance Sahil when he objected to the cricketer’s behaviour. Pomersbach was arrested and a court granted him bail later.

The first indication to this out of court settlement came earlier on Wednesday when Sahil’s brother Feroz claimed they did not want to pursue the case. Feroz said that Pomersbach should not have done what he did.

“He should have respect for women. Luke has done a blunder. He should apologise and we should also forgive and forget.

“We don’t want to pursue against Luke. We have not been pressurised by anyone. No one has approached us,” he said.

He also said they do not want to pursue a case against Mallya.

He also rebutted Hamid’s claim that she was Sahil’s fiancee.

“Whatever happened was most unfortunate. Officially I am saying, Sahil is not engaged to Zohal,” he said.









SC stays HC order on removing cellphone towers

New Delhi , May 24, 2012The private telecom operators in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh are going to be a relieved lot. The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed a Punjab and Haryana High Court order on removing cellphone towers installed in residential areas till further orders.
A bench of justices Deepak Verma and SJ Mukhopadhaya gave these order on a plea filed by private telecom operators against the high court order and issued notices to the state governments, asking it to file their response by the next date of hearing.

The private telecom operators had moved the apex court against the high court’s order, which had said last week that state governments could demolish the towers that did not comply with the norms.

A division bench of the high court on Monday had asked the state governments to direct all municipal councils, corporations and other local bodies to take action against mobile phone towers installed in residential areas without following the norms. The bench had also directed the administration to file a survey report on towers in Chandigarh.











Vectra Helicorp moves HC against DGCA order

New Delhi, May 24, 2012

A Director and a shareholder of Global Vectra Helicorp, the aviation arm of the Ravi Rishi-led Vectra Group, on Thursday moved the Delhi high court against the order of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to suspend its permit to fly choppers.

The court is already hearing the plea of Global Vectra Helicorp against the same order, and today its director Raj Menon and a shareholder Rohit Hans, who has 960 shares in the company, approached the court, questioning the DGCA’s actions.

The CBI probe against Rishi, who is one of the directors of the company and has three percent stake in it, in connection with Tatra truck deal cannot be the basis for blacklisting a company which has been supplying choppers for various purposes in the country since 1998, senior advocate Parag Tripathy contended while appearing for the petitioners.

On May 7, DGCA has suspended the firm’s operating permit after the home ministry raised security concerns.

Tripathy contended that while issuing the order, no reason was cited by DGCA and it has not applied its mind while issuing order.

He submitted that Home Ministry informed the DGCA that security clearance of Ravi Rishi has been withdrawn and as a consequence DGCA has proceeded to exercise its power and suspended the non-schedule operator’s permit.

Currently, the CBI is probing the alleged role of Rishi, London-based Vectra Group chairperson, in connection with the multi-crore-rupee deal for the heavy-duty all-terrain Tatra trucks for the army and the bribery charges made by Army chief Gen V K Singh.

“This is the commercial operation of the company, I have to fly to Vaishno Devi to take pilgrims there, and to operate onshore and offshore operations for oil companies. Commercial operation cannot be stopped,” Tripathy said.

Maintaing that the Directors’s positions has to be protected here, the counsel said that because of Rishi the whole company cannot be come to an end.

The lawyer also argued, “People have been employed there, we have to pay salaries of pilots and by the time government will come with its preliminary enquiry report, whole of my business would be shut down.”

The central government earlier informed the court that a preliminary enquiry has been initiated by it against the Global Vectra Helicorp, and the probe will be completed in three weeks.

“On the basis of preliminary enquiry, we will decide within three weeks whether we want to continue with the suspension order or not, and on that basis, we will pass further orders as to whether the suspension of the permit against the company would continue or not,” the government counsel had said.

Justice Vipin Sanghi, hearing the matter, posted it for Friday hearing.

The company had earlier contended that the order on the company’s operating permit and cancelling the security clearance had been passed without a show cause notice and hence was in complete violation of the principle of natural justice.

With a fleet of 23 choppers, the company operates onshore and offshore operations for oil companies and also caters to tourists in northeast India.






HC: Ensure 25 pc EWS reservation in all classes

Express news service : New Delhi, Fri May 25 2012, 00:32 hrs

The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed all the unaided private schools in the city to ensure 25 per cent reservation in all classes between nursery and Class I for students belonging to disadvantaged groups and economically weaker sections (EWS).

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said all such schools, whenever they admit students between nursery and Class I at at any stage, will have to admit 25 per cent EWS students as per the RTE Act.

While disposing a plea by NGO ‘Social Jurist’, through advocate Ashok Agarwal and Khagesh Jha, the bench relied on a Supreme Court judgment, which had upheld the constitutional validity of the RTE Act and reiterated May 30 as the deadline for admitting such students under a special drive of the Directorate of Education (DoE).

Agarwal had referred to the DOE’s report, mentioning they had sought a clarification from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) on whether the 25 per cent criterion for EWS admission was also applicable when admissions are given beyond the entry-level in schools.







Disciplinary action can be taken against Gen: HC

TNN | May 25, 2012, 04.48AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Thursday ruled that the Centre cannot be asked to withdraw a press release issued by the Army against a retired lieutenant general, but disciplinary action “can be taken” against the Army chief and four others who “exceeded their jurisdiction and defamed” the officer.

Justice Mukta Gupta refused to direct the government to withdraw the March 5 press release in which Army chief General V K Singh had accused Lt Gen (Retd) Tejinder Singh of offering him a bribe. “The press release was not issued by the central government, so it cannot be directed to disown, retract or withdraw the press release,” she said.

However, the court noted that the Army chief and four other officers exceeded their jurisdiction and defamed Lt Gen Singh and thus disciplinary action could be taken against them by the concerned disciplinary authority. “Respondent 2 to 6 (Army chief and four officers) exceeded in their jurisdiction and defamed petitioner and thus disciplinary action be taken against them. Taking disciplinary action is a part and parcel of the concerned disciplinary authority,” the court said, adding that Tejinder Singh could make a representation before the authorities concerned seeking initiation of disciplinary proceedings.

Lt Gen Singh had approached the court after the Army chief issued the release that said he was offered Rs 14 crore in bribe to clear a tranche of 600 ‘sub-standard’ vehicles for the Army. He moved the court seeking withdrawal of the press release that levelled “serious allegation” against him.

Accepting the government’s argument that the press release was issued by the Army, the court said the statement was not issued by the Union of India or with its approval.

Justice Gupta said that in case Lt Gen Singh made any representation for taking disciplinary action against the Army chief and other officers, action could be taken by the authority in accordance with law.









HC rejects Bidari’s IA, refers it back to the same bench

PTI | 10:05 PM,May 24,2012

Bangalore,May24 (PTI) Karnataka High Court today rejected the interlocutory application filed by former state DGP Shankar Mahadev Bidari praying that his plea seeking reinstatement, be referred to a different bench. Rejecting the application, a Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen referred it back to the same bench which had heard the matter earlier. On May 17,a Division bench, comprising Justice N Kumar and Justice H S Kempanna, referred the matter to be placed before the Chief Justice. Asked whether bench headed by Justice N Kumar had recused themselves from hearing the matter, senior counsel S N Chandrashekhar representing Bidari said they had not done so and only referred the matter to be placed before the Chief Justice for appropriate orders. “If they recuse themselves, then it is an administrative action. It can be referred to a different bench, it is not a problem. If they don’t, we are not an appellate court….if a CJ has to take back a case every time a bench is not willing to hear it, it is doomsday”, the bench headed by the Chief Justice said. “In these circumstances, we think it proper to post the writ petition and all pending portions before the same bench for taking a decision as to whether the lordships comprising that bench would think it appropriate to recuse themeselves from the matter”, the bench observed. The bench sought to know from counsel whether filing an Interlocutory Application will not amount to “bench hunting.” “If there is going to be bench hunting, I will not do it…. go back to the bench”, the Chief Justice said. “In what capacity do you expect the Chief Justice to move one case from one bench to another bench. We are not an appellate court”, the bench said. Senior counsel submitted that he was not indulging in bench hunting and that he was not given an opportunity to make submissions on his IA. MORE











HC issues contempt notices to pilots, IPG

Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 23, 2012

The Delhi high court on Wednesday issued contempt notices against 67 Air India pilots on strike, including top office-bearers of the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), for continued defiance of its repeated directions to end their agitation.

The Air India management had moved court seeking contempt proceedings after all efforts to persuade the pilots failed. Pilots and the IPG have to reply to the notices by July 13. If found guilty of contempt, the pilots face a jail term of maximum three months.

On May 9, the court first declared the strike illegal and asked pilots to resume work.

“I still feel better sense will prevail on pilots. Nobody seems to be concerned with the plight of the passengers. A public utility service cannot be held to ransom in this fashion,” justice Reva Khetrapal said.










HC turns tables on Nirmal Baba in libel case

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 24, 2012

A defamation suit filed by self-proclaimed godman Nirmal Baba against a media portal seems to have backfired on him.

While hearing a plea by Nirmaljit Singh Narula, popularly known as Nirmal Baba, demanding removal of ‘ defamatory’ articles from the website and Rs. 21 lakh as damages, the Delhi high court on Wednesday sought the response of the vernacular media portal — bhadas4media — in the case.

Justice Kailash Gambhir, however, also asked Nirmal Baba to file copies of complaints and FIRs registered against him to judge as to whether the articles are defamatory or not.

“The plaintiff is directed to place on record the copy of complaints and FIRs against him. In the meantime, summons of the suit and the notice be sent to respondents (bhadas4media and Yashwant Singh) returnable on May 30,” the court said.

Baba, who has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons, had moved court seeking directions to stop the Hindi portal from publishing defamatory articles.

“Around 30 TV channels show programmes of Nirmal Baba who has 3.7 lakh followers on Facebook. Such write-ups have defamed him,” his petition said.









HC directive to EC on YSR Cong’s symbol plea

TNN | May 25, 2012, 02.14AM IST

HYDERABAD: A division bench of the high court comprising Justice B Seshasayana Reddy and Justice KG Shankar on Thursday directed the Election Commission of India to reconsider the application made by the YSR Congress for allotment of common symbol to its candidates who are contesting the ensuing byelections. The writ petition was filed by B Govardahn Reddy.

He contended that his party had sought common symbol and the election commission had refused the plea. The present writ petition was filed challenging the order of the commission. The bench felt that the application needed to be reconsidered as the rules regarding the allotment of symbols did not deal with the byelections and directed reconsideration.

Arguments in the case filed by CBI seeking cancellation of bail granted to auditor Vijay Sai Reddy, close aide of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy accused number one will continue on Friday. Justice Chandra Kumar heard the case for a while and adjourned the case to Friday.










HC refuses to ask govt to withdraw army press release

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 24, 2012

In a boost to army chief General VK Singh, the Delhi high court on Thursday refused to direct the Centre to withdraw the March 5 press release of the army, which accused Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh of offering a bribe to the army chief in connection with a defence deal.

“The Union of India cannot be directed to disown or retract the aforesaid press release,” justice Mukta Gupta said while disposing off a petition by Tejinder Singh seeking withdrawal of the alleged defamatory press release.

The court also considered the reply of the defence ministry that it had no role in the issuance of March 5 press release as it was given out by the army headquarters.

The court, however, said Tejinder Singh could make a representation before the authorities concerned seeking initiation of disciplinary proceedings against five army officials including chief of army staff Gen VK Singh.

Tejinder Singh also wanted vice-chief of army staff SK Singh, Lt Gen BS Thakur (DG MI), Maj Gen SL Narshiman (Additional Director General of Public Information) and Lt Col Hitten Sawhney to be made accused in the case.

He contended that the release issued by senior army officers, including army chief general VK Singh, was “defamatory”.

“Taking disciplinary action is part and parcel of the disciplinary authority. In case a representation is made for taking the action, the same would be considered by the authorities concerned,” justice Gupta said.

In his plea, ex-Lt gen Tejinder Singh had said he was also accused of managing media reports and was questioned for his alleged role in the purchase of off-the-air monitoring system.










HC asks Shankar M Bidari to file objections

TNN | May 25, 2012, 06.51AM IST

BANGALORE: A high court division bench headed by Justice N Kumar has asked Shankar M Bidari, MD, Karnataka State Police Housing Corporation, to file his objections to the application filed by AR Infant, DGP, for initiating contempt proceedings.

In his application, Infant has sought for initiating contempt proceedings against Bidari in the backdrop of his filing an application seeking change of the bench. The hearing will resume on Friday.
As per the Supreme Court’s order, the matter has to be decided afresh before May 31 , when both the contesting officers are due for superannuation .


In the morning session ,the matter came up before a division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen. However , the bench was of the view that since the bench headed by Justice N Kumar had not passed orders on the application seeking another bench, the petition cannotbetaken up by this bench (CJ bench ) as it is not an appellate bench.

As regard to Bidari”s apprehension that the bench headed by Justice Kumar may not change its view vis-a-vis March 30 judgment on the controversy , the Chief Justice said that in many matters like the present one , the judges have taken a different view from the first view.

The Chief Justice also said that Bidari could have told the Supreme Court about this when the matter was returned by it last month. Bidari’s counsel replied that it did not occur to them that the matter would be sent back .


The bench after perusing the March 30 judgment renderedby thebenchheaded by Justice N Kumar wondered why Bidari had invoked names like Saddam Hussein or Colonel Gaddafi in his statements before the CAT .

Counselling for in-service candidates stayed

Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri on Thursday stayed counselling for admission to PG courses under in-service quota. The judge also ordered status quo with respect to counselling already held in this category . Dr Shivanagouda Y Mulkipatil, Dr Mitaxari M Hugar and Dr P Santhosh Kumar have challenged the selection of three candidates under the category. They claimed Dr C Suresh and Dr Hanumantha Raju had been selected despite they not completing six years of service from their absorption. The petitioners claimed the notification issued on Feb. 21, 2012 amending with retrospective effect from December 30, 2011 omitting the key clauses is illegal and arbitrary. They alleged the amendment was brought to benefit these three candidates.









Periphery encroachments: HC expands probe scope

Express news service : Chandigarh, Fri May 25 2012, 02:20 hrs

Expanding the scope of investigation of the case on illegal properties owned by high-ups, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today decided to include other cases pertaining to grabbing and encroachment on shamlat/ common land in other areas of Punjab. The development took place during the resumed hearing today of a PIL on properties owned by high-ups in the UT periphery. Today’s hearing was to decide the terms of reference of the investigation to be handed over to a Judicial Tribunal. The High Court observed that other cases can be clubbed together with this petition.

Senior lawyer M L Sarin had pointed out to the Bench on Wednesday that he was appointed an amicus curiae in a case pertaining shamlat/ common land grabbed by highs-up in Mohali and related areas. The Bench today observed that the cases, five in number, can be heard together to be decided whether they (case) should also go to the Judicial Tribunal to be headed by Justice (Retd) Kuldeep Singh of the Supreme Court.

The cases will now come up for hearing on May 28. On Wednesday the High Court had raised eyebrows over the change in entries of land from public to private, owned by 60 high-ups in the periphery of Chandigarh,. The High Court had questioned the “clean chit” given by the Punjab government to its “elite group” of 60 high-ups.

Rejecting the stout opposition of the Punjab government to handing over of the probe of the case to a judicial tribunal, the High Court had observed on Wednesday, “How do we expect that those who are to decide will decide against themselves?”

Refusing to believe that the investigation has been done by Punjab in a transparent manner, the Bench had made it clear that the probe would be conducted by a judicial tribunal headed by Justice (Retd) Kuldeep Singh, who will be assisted by a District and Sessions Judge (DSJ).



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