LEGAL NEWS 27.05.2012

Telecom panel refuses to decide spectrum pricing

TNN | May 27, 2012, 04.58AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Commission on Saturday avoided a decision on recommending the reserve price for auction of 2G spectrum and instead lobbed the ball back into the regulator’s court, asking it to analyse the impact on consumers, investment and government resources.

The analysis from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), which is expected before the end of the month, will then be passed on to an empowered group of ministers for a final decision.

Already the Telecom Commission, which consists of top officials from various ministries, has got Trai to review its own recommendations but reflecting the unease in bureaucratic circles to take a decision amid pressure from private players to water down the suggestions, the panel decided to get Rahul Khullar, the new Trai chief, to analyse his predecessor’s recommendations.

J S Sarma, who had submitted the recommendations and also answered queries from the Telecom Commission, was of the view that his proposals would push up mobile tariffs by 4 paise a minute. But telecom operators who would have to shell out at least 10 times more than what was charged in 2001 have been arguing that they would be impacted severely and call charges would rise by up to 100%.

Even ministers have waded in with commerce minister Anand Sharma taking up the concerns expressed by the operators with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who heads the ministerial panel.

“We will ask for further analysis by Trai on what the impact of the reserve price will be on the sector. We have not rejected Trai’s recommendation, but have only asked Trai for a detailed analysis on the impact on consumers as well as operators, so that it can be placed before the EGoM for a well-informed decision,” telecom secretary R Chandrasekhar, who also chairs the telecom panel, said.

This analysis will be submitted at the month-end by Trai, which will then be placed before the EGoM without any further delay. The analysis will try to strike a balance between customer impact, return of investment in telecom sector and revenue to the government.

Other key decisions include the favouring of 3% revenue sharing model and the rejection of deferred payment by the operators.







Green tribunal asks MoEF to make public info on projects

PTI | May 27, 2012, 11.23AM IST

NEW DELHI: Stressing on greater transparency, the National Green Tribunal has asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to bring in public domain the relevant information regarding ventures in eco- fragile zones.

“We also feel there is need to have more transparency in the EIA process and as such, whatever relevant information regarding the projects are used during the time of appraisal of the project from environmental angle by the Environment Appraisal Committee (EAC) and MoEF should also be made available in public domain including the executive summary of specific studies.

“Therefore, we direct the MoEF to make available relevant information other than EIA report and report of the public hearing considered during the appraisal of the project through its website,” a bench headed by Tribunal’s Acting Chairperson A S Naidu said.

The bench, also comprising G K Pandey as an expert member, passed the directions while suspending the environmental clearance (EC) granted to the proposed 3,600 MW coal-based thermal power plant developed by IL&FS Tamil Nadu Power Company Ltd, at Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu.

The tribunal also directed MoEF to upload “from time to time the compliance status of various stipulated conditions during the grant of EC to projects so as to bring compliance status in public domain in case of all the projects granted EC under EIA Notification, 2006”.

It said the concerned project proponent must also upload the compliance status of EC conditions, including the executive summary of the specific studies done in respect of the project and update the same periodically.









Bidaris case will be decided on Monday

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2012, 10:50 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

The case of former director general and inspector general of police (DG&IGP) SM Bidari is entering a decisive stage as the division bench headed by Justice N Kumar has reserved the order for Monday.

On Friday, a day after the high court dropped Bidari’s plea to change the bench of his case, he withdrew his request.

The arguments in the main writ petition commenced post lunch session.

The counsel for Bidari argued that the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal had no jurisdiction to go into the empanelment of the candidates to the post of DG and IGP. Infant should not be aggrieved because his name figured in the empanelment list.
Counsel for Infant Uday Holla argued that for every selection, the criteria should be length of service, experience and good record of the candidate. However, Bidari’s records were questionable as many atrocities were committed against women when he was heading the special task force to capture forest brigand Veerappan. They were tortured during the investigation.
If Bidari cannot handle a 1,000-member task force, how he will handle a 90,000-strong police force, he asked.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had given a directive to the high court to reexamine its decision to quash Bidari’s appointment as DG&IGP.
Following this, Bidari had filed a petition in the high court requesting that the hearing of his case be referred to a bench different from the one that had quashed his appointment.
He contended that possible prejudice on the part of the division bench headed by Justice N Kumar might come in the way of fair judgment.
On March 30, the bench headed by Kumar had quashed Bidari’s appointment as DG&IGP.










SC upholds conviction of duo for Rs100 bribe

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2012, 8:45 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

More than 17 years after being caught demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs100 from a patient at a government hospital, the Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of two employees under Prevention of Corruption Act.

But since the incident was nearly two-decades-old and the duo – Mukut Bihari and Kalyan Mal – had undergone considerable trauma during the protracted litigation, the court reduced the punishment to one year RI as against the two-year sentence imposed by the trial court and affirmed by the Rajasthan High Court.

“However, considering the fact that the incident occurred about two decades ago and the appellants suffer from severe ailments, they have lost their service long ago and suffered the agony of protracted litigation, the appellant no 1 (Mukut) has been suffering from acute pancreatitis and both the appellants have served the sentence for more than six months, in the facts and circumstances of the case, their sentence is reduced to one year,” the court said.

A bench of Justice BS Chauhan and Justice Dipak Misra, rejected the convicts’ claim that they were falsely implicated and no independent witness was present when the trap was laid by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau in November 1994 in Rajasthan’s Tonk district.

The trap was laid for the two employees of Sahadat Hospital, Tonk on a complaint by one Rafiq that they demanded Rs100 bribe to issue the discharge slip in favour of his father Deen Mohd who had undergone treatment for a urinary infection.

The trial court on September 7, 2001, imposed a two-year sentence on the two, which was affirmed by the high court on October 12, 2011, following which, they appealed in the apex court.

“The explanation furnished by the appellants that they had falsely been enroped due to enmity could not be proved for the reason that no evidence could be brought on record indicating any previous enmity between the complainant and the appellants nor any evidence was available to show that the complainant was not satisfied with the treatment given to his father and he could act with some oblique motive in order to falsely implicate the appellants,” the bench said.

The apex court said the trial court had rightly appreciated the evidence on record before convicting them and the high court was justified in dismissing their plea. Hence, it said there was no infirmity in the two lower court’s findings.

“The courts below considered the facts properly and appreciated the evidence in correct perspective and then reached the conclusion that the charges stood fully proved against the appellants,” the bench said.











Trial court reserves verdict on Sajjan plea

TNN | May 27, 2012, 01.31AM IST

NEW DELHI: A trial court has reserved its order for June 2 on a plea by Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, who is facing trial in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, seeking to confront the witnesses with their affidavits submitted to the judicial commissions set up to examine the riot cases.

District judge J R Aryan on Saturday reserved the order after hearing the arguments. Kumar has filed an application that prosecutor R S Cheema had on July 12, 2010, made a statement in the court that affidavits and statement of key witness and complainant Jagdish Kaur, recorded by G T Nanavati and Ranganath Mishra commissions, cannot be used because of contradictions.

Advocate I U Khan and Anil Kumar Sharma, appearing for Kumar, said, “The prosecution is trying to say that it will use those affidavits/statements for securing our (accused) conviction but will not allow the accused to use that part of examination in chief.”









Get to know a bit of law, Hegde tells Yeddyurappa

Former Lokayukta hits back at his detractorsStrongly denying the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s allegations that the Lokayukta report on illegal mining was prepared within a week to victimise him and that the donations made by a mining company to his family-owned trust were being misinterpreted as bribes, the former Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde on Saturday advised him to “know a bit of law”.

“Nearly 40 lakh bank accounts have been collated by the investigating team while preparing the report. Do you think it is possible to complete such a task within a week?” Mr. Hegde wondered while participating at a meeting organised by the Karnataka Jagruti Janandolana to chalk out its future course of action on speeding up the process of appointing a Lokayukta.

No name dropping

Throughout his speech, Mr. Hegde never mentioned Mr. Yeddyurappa’s name and referred to him as the former Chief Minister “who has been taking my name every day”.

He strongly defended the report on illegal mining that indicted Mr. Yeddyurappa.

Referring to Mr. Yeddyurappa’s claims that he had not shown any official favours to the mining company in lieu of donations made to his family trust, Mr. Hegde asked him to get to know a bit of law saying that according to the law, there was no need to prove the quid-pro-quo towards a bribe amount taken by a government servant. He recalled the episode of the former Bharatiya Janata Party national president Bangaru Laxman, who was awarded jail sentence for accepting a bribe.

“In the case, there was no question of Mr. Laxman showing official favour to the bribe-giving company, as such a company never existed since it was only a ‘sting’ operation. Even then the court has awarded jail term,” he said.

He added: “Let the investigations go on and let the truth come out. My conscience is clear.”

Mr. Hegde alleged that when he was the Lokayukta, there had been a search of all his documents by the State Intelligence wing. “But they kept quiet as they could not find anything,” he said.

‘All that I have’

Hitting out at Mr. Yeddyurappa, Mr. Hegde said: “I have paid more income tax than that paid by Mr. Yeddyurappa and his children put together. But all that I have got is one flat in Bangalore.”

He also admonished the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who had demanded that an inquiry should be conducted into his spendings on nightlife. “In the 40 years of my career, all that I have earned is one flat and one wife. There is no need for these people to teach me transparency,” he said.








Villagers to move apex court to save farmland

Jaideep Deogharia, TNN | May 27, 2012, 06.34AM IST

RANCHI: Jodha Oraon has replaced his late mother’s place on the protest ground in Chaura Nagri after she (Mundri Orain) succumbed to severe heat wave while sitting under the sun for several weeks in protest. The Oraon family is one among those hundreds of families who once supported the Jharkhand separate state movement and are now looking to the government with bated breath to save their agricultural land from being snatched away.

The land has been acquired by the state government for construction of central education institutions including central law university. The move has been protested by the villagers who are not ready to part with their agricultural land. The land on which the villagers have been sitting on dharna is being brought under a boundary wall.

It was after death of Mundri Devi that the agitation has started gaining momentum. The first human sacrifice in form of the tribal woman succumbing to heat wave has resulted in people from different walks of life coming together.

Social activist Dayamani Barla said of the 153 families selected to be compensated by the government, 128 families had not accepted the money. “After filing repeated RTI applications, I was told that Rs1.33 lakh has been deposited in the district treasury in name of these 128 families who refused to take their compensation and part away with their land,” she said.

Jharkhand high court advocate Rajiv Kumar who has been taking up the cause of these hapless villagers moved to Delhi on Saturday to approach the apex court against the high court order that held land acquisition by state government as legal and proper.

Meanwhile, social activists have started garnering support to mobilize the intelligentsia and also approach the voters in Hatia byelection to understand the political realities in state. Jharkhand Small-scale Industries Association (JSIA) member R P Shahi said the tribal villagers were in dire need of support from other sections of the society because their number was less. “There could be 300 families but in government papers 153 families are residing there. Whatever the real number may be they cannot take on the government,” he said.






Taj corridor case: FIR against former cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh

PTI | May 26, 2012, 01.46PM IST

LUCKNOW: An FIR has been lodged against former cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh, senior IAS officer Navneet Sehgal and two others for allegedly threatening a litigant in the Taj corridor case.

“The FIR was lodged with Hazratganj Police Station against former cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh, Navneet Sehgal, founder of Amity University Ashok Chauhan and former MLA Ajay Pratap Singh alias Lalla Bhaiya on a complaint filed by Anupama Singh,” Additional Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar said.

He said the FIR was lodged last evening under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 504 (criminal intimidation), 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) and 452 (trespassing) of the IPC.
The ASP said the complainant has alleged that she was being harassed by the accused.

“As the case related to Gomti Nagar police station, investigation has been transferred and further action would be taken on the basis of evidences and facts,” he said.

Anupama said that she had filed a PIL against former Chief Minister Mayawati and PWD Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court in 2009.

The complainant alleged she was being harassed by the officials, who even got her services in a private educational institution terminated.

Anupama alleged that her service with Amity university was also terminated without any valid reason on May 16.

She alleged that on March 22 and April 11 former MLA Ajay Pratap Singh came to her Gomti Nagar residence along with 30 to 40 people and pressurised to withdraw the PIL while issuing threats.

The Rs 175-crore Taj Heritage corridor scam was unearthed in 2002-2003.







Bench closes PIL alleging harassment of Muslims

The Madras High Court Bench here on Thursday closed a public interest litigation petition filed by an individual alleging that the Madurai police were harassing Muslims and maintaining illegal surveillance in Muslim dominated localities.

Justices K.B.K. Vasuki and R. Karuppiah disposed of the PIL petition after recording submissions made by an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) attached to Special Intelligence Cell that the surveillance was conducted in all communally sensitive areas irrespective of religious denominations.

He also said that the surveillance was carried out as a routine measure in view of Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani’s visit to the city on May 10 and 11 to participate in Thamarai Sangamam, the fifth conference of the State unit of Bharatiya Janata Party.

The counter affidavit filed by the ACP denied any selective surveillance in the house of particular individuals. However, it pointed out that the police had opened a history sheet against the PIL petitioner, S. Syed Abdul Kather, as he was an accused in a number of criminal cases.

The petitioner had made the Home Secretary, Director General of Police, Collector and Commissioner of Police as respondents to the case and sought for a direction to them to refrain from harassing the Muslims in the guise of enquiries and stop illegal surveillance in their residential areas.

He alleged that the police were conducting arbitrary searches in the houses of Muslims without following the procedures established under the Code of Criminal Procedure as well the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in D.K. Basu’s case and treating them as anti-nationals.










Full transcript: Army didn’t leak confidential letter to the Prime Minster, says General VK Singh

NDTV Correspondent | Updated: May 26, 2012 21:01 IST

New Delhi: In an exclusive interview to NDTV, the outgoing Army Chief General VK Singh has said neither he nor anyone from the defence services leaked his letter to the Prime Minister. He also said that all controversies that broke out during his tenure were ‘perceived’.

Here is the full transcript of the interview:

NDTV: Let me start with the tenure you had, eventful and controversial. How do you look back at these 2 years?

Gen VK Singh: Well, as eventful as every chief has had. Because you start some things, you push some things, you try to achieve some things. So I think all chiefs must have felt the same. Some controversies were raised or otherwise, not by me, but I think they were perceived by some people. I found it to be a very happy tenure, something which one started with aims and certain things. I think it has been good.

NDTV: But the controversy, apart from your age controversy, which we will talk about later, the latest controversy which everybody is saying that you are going with guns blazing and you issued a show cause notice to a serving Lieutenant General which is not fair. What is your take on that particular incident?

Gen VK Singh: See the problem is people don’t understand how the Army functions. And they start taking out bits and pieces and start making a story out of it. Incident took place in the month of December, and if I can quote the words of a very senior IB officer who was looking after north east, he said “it is a blot on the name of the Army.” It was that type of an incident. It was outside the jurisdiction of 3 Corps, should never have happened. Court of enquiry took its own time despite us trying to push them. It has come only at the end of April. Now, just the month of May is left. By the time it has been finalised, so whatever actions could have been taken two months back, if the court of enquiry had come in time. Now they are appearing as if they are moving at the fag end of the tenure. That’s not the case. And a show cause notice is a show cause notice. So what is so big about it, what is the big deal.

NDTV: No, they are saying that you have tried to upset the succession plan in the Army.

Gen VK Singh: Army is not a monarchy. There is no succession in Army, it’s not hereditary. People come, people are found fit and that is it. Somebody will become chief somebody will not become a chief. More than that there is nothing. My mind is quite clear. Some mistakes have occurred, a show cause notice was given, and I think it has been morally wrong for somebody to go to press with that show cause notice.

NDTV: You mean this serving Lieutenant General went to press?

Gen VK: Obviously. It is a communication between me and him. There is no third party involved. He has got time till May 26 and he should reply, rather than seek the assistance of the TV channels.

NDTV: You said there is no succession plan in the Army, but your entire age controversy is also seen as the part of succession plan. What do you have to say about it?

Gen VK: I won’t put it that way. Yes, certain things were done by some people to put certain things in place. And I won’t say more than that. I think it has received enough ink and paper in days gone by, and there is no point in beating about a dead horse. May be after I retire I will talk more freely about it.

NDTV: Are you bitter about it?

VK: No, I am not bitter at all. I was never bitter. In fact, I can share this, and I have said this in many forums: my ambition in life was to get a rank higher than my father. My father retired as Lieutenant Colonel. If I attained that I felt very happy. And the second part of ambition was that I should command my battalion. I commanded it. I commanded it for 3 years. After that whatever has come is bonus. So I think, even if I had got one day as chief, I would still be okay.

NDTV: So you were not looking for additional…

Gen VK Singh: I was never looking for additional tenure. Let me also say that I have told my honourable Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister) that the day you feel you don’t want me, tell me. I will go away.

NDTV: Did this entire controversy, contrived or manufactured or otherwise, affect your working as the Army Chief, because you came in with lot of ideas. The first day you told me that the Army’s internal health must be set right, do you think that affected it or you could still achieve something?

Gen VK Singh: No, it never affected me. It was something which I put on a different plane all together. My professional life, my commitment to the organisation never wavered. Because that is how I am made. I don’t look at these issues as something which will come in the path of what I am doing.

NDTV: But there is also this criticism, which one is increasingly hearing as day go by, that you are going to leave a faction-ridden Army, a divided Army, when you leave your office..

Gen VK Singh: I really don’t know. When I go around and talk to people, talk to my men, talk to my officers, I don’t find any factions. I don’t find any feuds. I don’t find any divide. I think a lot of people use their imagination to invent certain things and then put it out there. I don’t think that is correct. Let me also say, most of the Army, most of it, does not feel it this way. There may be some disgruntled people in a 1.3 million strong Army like any other organisation you will have. Some people who are disgruntled, people who will bellyache, people who will crib. Well, that’s part of it.

NDTV: You know they point out 2 or 3 incidents which I must point out to you. You must have heard that you went and inaugurated a former prime minister’s bust. Then there was some Jantar Mantar rally and also on communal lines a PIL was thought to be sort of supported or tacitly was given support by you against your successor. What do you have to say to that criticism?

Gen VK Singh: All I would say is that a warped mind will only think of warped things. The former prime minister’s statue was in a school, which had invited me, because I was visiting that area which no chief in the history of Indian Army had visited. And I had gone there to interact with ex-servicemen. When they came to know they invited me they said we have got a statue. I said ex-prime minister (so why not). But then there are some great newspapers, there are some great journalists who say ‘oh! He was a rajput, he (the Army Chief) is a Rajput’. I think you cannot be more sick that that. Tomorrow somebody visits the memorial of our great Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shahstri, are you going to say that he is a brahmin? I think let’s get out of this. Similarly, I have got no this thing with any PIL. In fact I don’t even have time to see what is happening beyond what my profession is. So what is happening in PIL, or people went and sat out on Jantar Mantar, it is there wish. Where am I in it?

NDTV: Somebody, some relative of yours was there at Jantar Mantar or so…

Gen VK Singh: Some relative must have been there, some people from my village must have also gone. How does it make a difference? Let’s not unnecessarily read things which are not there and describe motives which are wrong.

NDTV: But coming to the other controversial part, the press release that the Army issued under your watch against Tejinder Singh charging him, not only offering a bribe but being behind the conspiracy to defame you, do you have regret about issuing that press release and is there is conspiracy against you?

Gen VK Singh: See, I will put it this way: there is a media policy which was made in 2005. Army is authorized to do certain things, especially when somebody is trying to malign the Army. And here was a case where someone was deliberately doing it. It started with so called the bug story, it went on to the off-air monitoring system and it persisted. And I think I have always told to some of the journalists who meet me, it is like a mandi. Anybody who is doing anything in this mandi other people comes to know. And unfortunately, this officer was out briefing people, telling them stories in a particular manner, and therefore the Army had to come out and say here is a man who is planting stories and this is what his character is. We have got no regrets.

NDTV: Was there a conspiracy against you by a group of officers?

Gen VK Singh: See the thing is, when there are some disgruntled elements when some people have some certain agendas like the great Sukna lobby had, and the Adarsh lobby had, there be more such lobbies which will come up. Obviously their interests coalesce. They all come together and they all start thinking that this is the person who has done A B and C, it has troubled us, now let us trouble him. So this makes a coterie, do all kinds of things. Some of them are absolutely sick in mind. I think they all require some sort of treatment because you cannot do such things that are harming the organisation.

NDTV: But what about the government? The perception is that there was a lot of difference between you and the government as such. How do you see that relationship which you had with the government, and, going forward, how it should be?

Gen VK Singh: See I don’t know if there are differences between me and the government. My perception of being a chief is I should be truthful and forthright in telling the government, which is the supreme authority that this is what is required, and these are the fault lines, this is our view. And let me assure you, I have had an excellent relationship with the honourable Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister). I admire him for his integrity, equanimity and maturity. And I haven’t found him wanting in any way in the type of support that we wanted. Whatever people might keep saying anywhere else, we have always provided him with the absolutely forthright advice.

NDTV: Do you think the controversies could have been avoided. Would you be happier if all this controversies wouldn’t have come up?

Gen VK Singh: See the problem is that, because we started action in the Sukna thing, that gentleman wanted to start something because he wanted to use this as his defence. So it came up. Well, Sukna should have been avoided, buried. The chap should have been given another tamga, another honour and let go. That is one method of dealing with it. But that is not the correct method. I think they have had a hand, because their interests, they felt, were getting eroded to a certain extent, because we insisted on transparency. We insisted on ensuring that everything is multi-vendored. We insisted on ensuring that everything we take is good. I think that is all we wanted.

NDTV: Same thing happened in Tatra when you actually said that everything must go multi-vendored. What is the thing that took so long in reference to Tatra to come up with that allegation or that charge?

Gen VK Singh:  It didn’t take me long. The day I was given this lucrative offer I went and told my Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister). That’s why I said I admire my Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister). He has said so in the parliament.

NDTV: But he didn’t take any action, neither did you that time.

Gen VK Singh: See, what I told him was certain things which I did. And if there were more things to be done then there must have been some lack of understanding where I am concerned. But I think we went as per what was to be done. And in any case, we were trying to make our things multi-vendored. Even before this was done, the multi-vendor thing has started. When I came in, I said, with the technology going up, with better vehicles coming in, let’s go multi-vendor. Why do we have to carry old technology?

NDTV: Let me move away from all these controversies and move on to the transformation study that you have done and the test beds and the implementation of test beds. How far have we come in that aspect?

Gen VK Singh: We have come a long way. Transformation was meant to make the Indian Army ready, relevant, agile, better structured and an Army which can function in a network-centric environment. A great deal of work has been done. We did the test-beddings of our organisations where pivot and strike Corps were concerned. We did organisational changes in certain things in Army headquarters to make it more effective. There were certain things required in the Corps of Military police. There were things required in the theaterisation of combat support. We have test-bedded. We are in the process of implementing logistic support system which will become more responsive. We have been able to bring a fair degree of awareness of network centricity and I am quite sure, by the end of year, we will see the results. I think as part of transformation the biggest thing that was required was change of mindsets.

NDTV: I was just coming to that, did you find a lot of resistance because sometimes I feel more than the civil bureaucracy it is the military bureaucracy which is more obdurate
Gen VK Singh: It is not like that. I think change is something which is resisted everywhere.

NDTV: Is there a change in focus in the Indian Army’s doctrines, just the focus in terms of who will be our main adversary– Pakistan or China?

Gen VK Singh: If you are a capability based Army it doesn’t matter, when you have created capabilities to deal with any threat that may occur. And we are slowly moving towards that.

NDTV: But have you got support from the government, because your letter again became bone of contention which you wrote to the prime minister, who leaked it? Why don’t you shed some light on that particular incident?

VK: I really don’t know who leaked it. But I am quite sure, and my Army is quite sure, that it is not the Army that leaked it. Now there can be all kinds of theories, all kinds of things which we scratch our heads on. Somebody is going to find out this. Something came on PTI. But let me assure you, each man in the Army knows it cannot be leaked out from the Army. Where you talk of support, I think we have got support. At times, because of our procedure, because of our great ability of not taking decisions in time, because of our internal service procedures where things take too much of time, or we don’t push things in manner which they should be pushed, the shorter tenures you don’t have continuity, by the time the person learns his job, he is moving out. So all this have contributed (to the delay). We have put all this in place to sort this out.

NDTV: I have a question on that support itself, in terms of human resource management within the Army we haven’t had, as far as my knowledge goes, a Corps commander in one of the Corps in past 6 months; you haven’t had a DG Assam Rifles for the past 6 months, we don’t know who will be the Army commander in the east or the West in next 3 days when they should be actually be declared much ahead. Don’t you think that there is some kind of disconnect between the Army headquarters and the ministry of defence or some other authority.

Gen VK Singh: This disconnect is sad. All that I can say is that everybody has to make the effort. I have said so in a number of forums in which we meet our officials from the MoD that everybody is a stake-holder in how the Army runs or the air force runs or the navy runs. Let’s not separate out that he is in uniform and he is not. Till the time we don’t combine, we will not be able to achieve result. And some of these things which you are pointing out, they are glaring inadequacies of the system.

NDTV: What is your future plan?

Gen VK Singh: I actually haven’t thought of anything. I haven’t had time to think of what am I going to do after 31st. In fact the first thing that is happening which is I am still working on is my doctorate thesis which I am writing, it doesn’t seem to be finishing, I am not satisfied. The subject is Afghanistan and the geo-strategic importance of Wakhan. So it will take a little time. I am working on that, because finding time out of all other things that one does and then sitting late at night correcting or work out a thesis it is quite strenuous. Like they say in this journey of thousand steps the first step will start only on first of June.

NDTV: Will that step take you towards politics?

Gen VK Singh: I have got no clue at the moment. I haven’t even thought of it and there are N numbers of option available which one ultimately you decide on. Only time will tell.

NDTV: I am asking because you have got an offer from Team Anna also.

Gen VK Singh: That is ok. All kind of offers will come. You have to decide.

NDTV: When you joined the Army in 1970, it’s been a journey of 42 years now, which is your most satisfying or most memorable moment? Because you have participated in the Bangladesh campaign, you have been to IPKF and you have been in Kashmir, the northeast everywhere . What is it that remains in your memory?

Gen VK Singh: Wars will always remain etched for various things. Whether it was 71 where we were busy for a long time it was not just those 16 days but there was more to it. Operation Pawan was very interesting. One was there for 2 years that will remain ever etched. But when you look at a particular tenure, and that tenure is the commanding officer’s, the whole ambition in life was to command your battalion.

NDTV: So these 42 years, if you have to do it again, would you do it differently?

Gen VK Singh: No, I think I would like to live it the same way. Well mistakes are there, other things are there, let all those lessons remain. But then I always give this little advice which I can give it to you also; live your present, don’t think of the future, nobody has seen the future. If you keep thinking about the future then you will spoil your present also. That’s my philosophy. Each day is important, each moment is important, and I think each moment of these 42 years is unique by itself.

NDTV: So when you are hanging your boots on 31st, can we say that you are leaving as a satisfied man, an Army which is as good as it has been?

Gen VK Singh: I am satisfied. I am quite sure my Army, my family is good, and it is a satisfied Army.









NCW chairperson lauds Aamir Khan’s show Satyamev Jayate

Press Trust of India | Sunday, May 27, 2012 (Jaipur

Appreciating superstar Aamir Khan for raising social issues through his TV serial Satyamev Jayate, National Commission for Women’s (NCW) chairperson Mamta Sharma said celebrities should come forward for social issues.

“Aamir Khan began with the issue of female foeticide with special reference to Rajasthan. It is a good beginning because it helps in creating awareness,” she said.

“The government and NGO volunteers have also been making efforts to curb the social evil and their role is definitely prime, but celebrities have their attraction among people which really works,” she added.

Mamta said in the seminar, which was organised by NGO ‘Message’, that the commission launched a 24-hour helpline in Gujarat for women and soon it would be introduced in Haryana and Rajasthan and other states.

Expressing concern over increasing cases of rape and suicide by rape and dowry victims, she said that the cases of rape were on the top of complaints with the NCW these days.

Chairperson of Poornima Group of Institutions, Dr S M Seth emphasised upon empowerment of women in each sector and in the remote areas of the country so as to ensure overall growth of the nation.










CBI chargesheet incomplete: Jagati

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Senior criminal lawyer C Padmanabha Reddy contended before the High Court on Friday that within the meaning of Section 173 CrPC the trial court was not empowered to take cognizance of an incomplete charge sheet.

He was arguing before justice B Chandra Kumar on behalf of Jagati Publications, accused in Jagan’s assets case challenging the order of the Special CBI court in taking cognizance of first charge sheet of the CBI filed on March 31 and to direct the lower court to consider taking cognizance of the matter after entire investigation is completed.

The senior counsel said the courts ruled on several occasions that a trial court could not take cognizance of a charge sheet without completion of investigation. But the principal sessions judge for the CBI cases took cognizance of a charge sheet filed by the CBI in the Jagan’s assets case on March 31, and passed an order on April 24.

He told the court that the CBI had filed the first charge sheet against three companies and some individuals, and filed two more charge sheets later which was not permissible under law.






Ex-DSP booked for shoddy investigation in Nabha murders case

Vishal Rambani , Hindustan Times
Patiala , May 26, 2012

In an exemplary action, the police have booked retired deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Harbhajan Singh, the investigating officer in the Nabha family murder case, for conducting a shoddy investigation which led to the acquittal of the accused.
Harbhajan has been booked under sections 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender), 217 (public servant disobeying direction of law with intent to save person from punishment) and 218 (public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment) of the IPC after the special investigation team (SIT) indicted him for helping the murder accused, Amritbir Singh, get acquitted.

The SIT was set up by deputy inspector general (DIG) LK Yadav after Hindustan Times reported Amritbir’s acquittal. Amritbir’s father Iqbal Singh, mother Jaswinder Kaur, grandfather Hamir Singh and cousin Gurmanbir Kaur had been found murdered in their house at Nabha in Patiala district on August 12, 2010.

The local district and sessions court had acquitted Amritbir last month due to ‘lack of evidence’.
The Special Investigation Team stated that shoddy investigation and concealment of facts and evidence, including fingerprint and ballistic reports, had led to the acquittal in a case in which the public was anticipating a major punishment.

The Special Investigation Team also found Harbhajan guilty of preparing a ‘weak’ challan and including some relatives of the accused as witnesses to favour him (Amritbir).

“Despite a heinous case in which a person murdered four members of his family for quick inheritance of property, the investigating officer failed in his duty to follow the law… with mala fide intention and doing dishonesty with his job, he helped the accused by concealing facts and important evidence, including relatives of the accused as witnesses. Thus, an FIR must be registered against him (Harbhajan) to set an example,” reads the Special Investigation Team report.

Ironically, the Special Investigation Team has found enough evidence to nail the accused.

In its report, the Special Investigation Team, led by superintendent of police (SP) Pritpal Singh Thind, said there was also suspicion of corruption by Harbhajan, who was the SHO at Nabha police station when the crime took place. Harbhajan retired as DSP in 2011.

Talking to the Hindustan Times, DIG LK Yadav said the police would file an appeal against Amritbir’s acquittal. “We have collected vital scientific evidence, which then station house officer (SHO), with mala fide intention, did not present in the court, bringing a bad name to the police. With the new evidence, we will take the case to its logical end to set an example,” he added.

He said another SIT, headed by Barnala senior superintendent of police (SSP) Surjit Singh, had been formed to look into the monetary benefits which the ex-DSP got from the accused, apart from probing his assets.

Harbhajan could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.








Bijal Joshi rape case: Convict gets bail

TNN | May 27, 2012, 03.07AM IST

AHMEDABAD: Sajal Jain, convicted in the infamous 2003 Bijal Joshi rape case by a sessions court, is all set to walk out of jail after spending eight years behind bars. He was given interim bail by the Supreme Court on Saturday.

The case had shocked Ahmedabad because of the gruesome manner in which Bijal was gang-raped by Sajal and his friends during a New Year ‘s Eve party in 2003 which had later led to the victim committing suicide. Sajal, son of a Delhi-based businessman, was married in 2003 and having an extramarital affair with Bijal.

On that fateful day, the prime accused and four of his friends were on a drinking binge in a hotel. Sajal had invited the victim, where her drink was spiked. The five men raped her, beat her up and burnt her with cigarette stubs. They then drove off and abandoned her in a car on a highway. The accused called up her sister early next morning asking her to pick up Bijal.

Unable to bear the humiliation and physical torture, Bijal had hung herself on January 7, 2004. Her suicide note had accused Sajal, 33, Chandan Jaiswal,27, Ashok alias Mandan Jaiswal, 26, Sugam Jaiswal, 26, Dharmendra alias Karan Jain, 30, and Manish Jain of driving her to suicide.

Sajal was sentenced for life imprisonment by a sessions court after he was found guilty of raping Bijal. His appeal is pending in the Gujarat high court.

The Supreme Court, while granting Sajal interim bail, took into consideration his mother’s ill health and the fact that he has a minor daughter. The court also noted that the Gujarat high court had not disposed of the case within six months as it had directed.

Chandan had first approached the Supreme Court in 2010 to get bail. The bench of Justice V S Sirpurkar and Justice Cyriac Joseph has stated it was not inclined to grant bail. “However, we request the high court to dispose of the appeal within six months from the date of receipt of the order,” the bench had added. “If the matter is not disposed of within six months, then the accused may apply fresh application for bail.”

With the case still pending in the high court in 2012, Sajal approached the Supreme Court which granted him bail. The bench of the Justice Deepak Verma and Justice Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya in its order stated, “Petitioner has applied for grant of interim bail, as according to him, even though his criminal appeal is being heard by the high court, but has not yet been concluded and it is not known by what time it is likely to be concluded.”

The apex court granted interim bail to Sajal on furnishing bond for a sum of Rs 25,000 and a solvent surety.









Central Vigilance Commission reconstitutes advisory board to check commercial frauds

NEW DELHI: The Central Vigilance Commission has reconstituted an advisory board with the inclusion of two new members to assist the CBI in probing cases related to bank, commercial and financial frauds.

The new entrants are Radha Vinod Raju, former IPS officer and the then Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and R Ramachandran, former Chairman and Managing Director of Andhra Bank.

Other members of the board include retired IAS officer Vivek Mehrotra, ex-Executive Director of Corporation Bank, Asit Pal and Chartered Accountant, T N Manoharan.

The members of the board are entitled to get an honorarium of Rs 30,000 per month in addition to travelling, halting and sitting fees. The CVC had in March announced formation of the six-member board.

“It has later been observed that two of the members i.e. Balwinder Singh, IPS (retd) and A S Bhattacharya, ex-CMD, Bank of Maharashtra of the reconstituted board were not fulfilling the terms and conditions of appointment as members,” a CVC statement said.

The board will have a tenure of two years. It would form part of the organisational infrastructure of the CBI and the Reserve Bank of India, providing the required investigative and secretarial services.

“The Board’s jurisdiction would be confined to those cases where, in disagreement or dispute with the Bank, Public Sector Undertakings or financial institution, the CBI desires to register a Regular Case or Preliminary Investigation in respect of an allegation of a fraud,” an order said.

Besides, it may also advise on any other technical matter referred to it by the CBI or the CVC.

The board, under the chairmanship of former Deputy Governor of RBI Shyamala Gopinath, will be based in Mumbai but it can meet anywhere in the country at its convenience.

“Considering the limiting number of such disputes arising annually, the Commission does not, at the moment, find it appropriate to specify the levels above which the reference could be made to the Board,” it said.

The CBI can refer any case to the Board where it has a difference of opinion with the organisation concerned, irrespective of the level of the officials involved in it.








HC orders fresh PG dental counselling

Express News Service

BANGALORE: The High Court on Friday asked Comed-K to redo PG dental counselling following a petition alleging irregularities in the process.

Petitioners Sharadha Udupa and other dental students stated, “Comed-K had barred us from postgraduate dental counselling on May 18 saying we had not presented DDs from nationalised banks. But nowhere in the notification had they mentioned that DDs must be drawn only from nationalised banks.” The petitioners said some students were even barred because their DDs did not have seals or signatures. “Since DDs these days are computer printouts, they do not bear seals or signatures,” they pleaded, adding that Comed-K had not even arranged a help desk.

The counsel for the respondent replied, “Students had time during counselling and could have brought DDs from nationalised banks.” Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri observed, “Students are tense at such situations and cannot do much.”

The judge then asked the counsel, “Is Karur Vysya Bank a nationalised bank?”

When the counsel replied that he was not sure, the judge observed, “Then, how can one expect students to know whether a bank is nationalised or not? You haven’t mentioned it in the notification too.” Justice Hinchigeri then directed Comed-K to redo the entire selection process.







HC orders relief to sailors kin

Express News Service

CHENNAI : The Madras High Court has awarded Rs 60 lakh compensation to the family of an Indian sailor, who had a fatal fall inside the container hold area from aboard a Panamanian ship berthed at the Chennai Port.
T S Frank Midson (33) of Kanyakumari district was the third officer of Gati Pride. While checking the cargo aboard the vessel, he accidentally fell into the empty cargo hold and died on March 24 last.
The High Court had earlier ordered the ship be arrested and not allowed to leave the port without clearing the wages due to its crew members. Lying in the outer anchorage of the port since November 2011, the vessel owners had cleared the dues in the first week of March and it was preparing to leave the port when Midson fell and died.
Midson’s wife Bino Sesley and her two minor children had moved the High Court seeking `1 crore as compensation. According to petitioner’s counsel S Vasudevan, Justice R Subbiah had first directed the ship owner to deposit `1 crore. However, the owner filed an appeal and a division bench comprising Justices P Jyothimani and R Karuppiah settled the issue for Rs 60 lakh. The judges said that the victim’s wife and her two children would get Rs 20 lakh each and that the money should be deposited in a nationalised bank, where the monthly interest accruals would be about Rs 15,000 each.
The matter again came to the single judge and was then referred to a Lok Adalat for a formal settlement, so that the victim’s families could get refund of the court fee paid by them. As the vessel owner had settled the wages due to the crew members and also paid the compensation, he was permitted by the court to sail away.









HC orders security to Bhuma–to-bhuma/261629-60-114.html

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Justice B Chandra Kumar of the High Court on Friday directed the state government to continue security by providing gun men to former MP and YSR Congress leader Bhuma Nagi Reddy for six weeks and posted the petition for hearing to June 18 for further orders.









HC asks State to file details

Express News Service

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Friday asked the state government to submit the details of persons who had encroached forest land after June 1, 1977, and the details of the steps taken against them.

A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A M Shaffique passed the order while considering a petition filed by the Thiruvankulam Nature Lovers’ Movement seeking a CBI probe into the encroachment of forest land.

“The state government said that efforts were on to identify the encroachers and steps were taken to evict some persons from the forest area. However, there are no details about those who were evicted and against whom steps are still pending,” the court observed and asked the government to explain about the areas encroached upon. It also asked the government to explain how much encroached land could be reclaimed.

The court directed the state government to file a detailed affidavit within four weeks explaining the exact action taken by it to evict the encroachers. The government had submitted that the Forest Department officials had been taking all possible steps to evict the encroachers and conserve the forest areas.

In the majority of cases, eviction could not be conducted owing to strong protest romencroachers and local people backed by social and political groups.

“In some cases, the encroachers obtained stay order from courts. There had only been marginal encroachments after June 1, 1977. The decision of the state government to regularise encroachments made before June 1,1977, was followed by a joint verification conducted by the Forest and Revenue officials. Earnest attempts were made to evict the post-June 1977 encroachers, the affidavit said.

However, the process of eviction is yet to be completed in certain forest areas where there were organised resistance.

The affidavit said the intensity and the extent of encroachment on forest land were proportionate to the pressure of demographic growth. The eviction of those who encroached the forest land after June 1, 1977, could be ordered only in accordance with the law.

The affidavit had also pointed out that there was large-scale encroachment in Idukki district with the support of social and political groups. It is to check this tendency that the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary was notified.









Ill-gotten wealth must be confiscated: HC

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Central and state government authorities concerned must complete the proceedings as expeditiously as possible when the CBI or ACB seeks sanction orders (to prosecute IAS officers allegedly involved in scams), taking into consideration the magnitude of economic offence and its ramifications on national economy, the High Court has said.

Dismissing the bail petition of BP Acharya, accused number one in Emaar Properties scam, justice B Chandra Kumar hoped that the CBI would complete its investigation with regard to end beneficiaries, particularly the monetary benefit, if any, got by the petitioner (Acharya) as early as possible, preferably within the next three months.

‘‘The very object of the directive principles of state policy seemed being defeated because of economic offences. As the state has no sufficient revenue, it is the duty of the state to see that wealth is not concentrated in the hands of a few persons. The problem is not only wealth but also black money. Ill-gotten huge wealth is challenging the very economic and democratic fabric of this country.

‘‘The object of the Constitution cannot be achieved unless the economic offences are dealt with with an iron hand and economic offenders are brought to book and black money is confiscated. It is not only sufficient to register a case against an economic offender but the entire ill-gotten wealth must also be confiscated by the state. Even punishing a few offenders may not yield the required results. It is for Parliament and the legislature concerned to make and amend relevant laws in this regard,” the judge said.

Justice Chandra Kumar remarked that it was most unfortunate that most of the public servants, IAS officers, politicians who had decent salaries and facilities were not bothered about their fundamental duties. They should not forget that every citizen of this country was also paying taxes to the state. Therefore, they should not forget the suffering people and the incidents of starvation deaths in the country.









Jorhat dacoity victim to ask HC for probe

TNN | May 27, 2012, 03.42AM IST

JORHAT: Surajit Gogoi, a contractor with Military Engineering Service, will ask the Gauhati High Court for a proper probe into the “Jorhat dacoity case” on June 1 when the affidavits of the Army and the Assam police will be heard. This is the case for which Army chief General V K Singh sent a showcause notice and imposed a discipline and vigilance (DV) promotion ban on 3 Corps commander Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, who is the frontrunner to become Army chief in August 2014.

This was supposed to be an “intelligence-based operation” which was botched up. Gen Singh had said a senior IB officer told him the operation last December was “a blot on the impeccable reputation” of the Army. What happened during that “operation”? Around midnight on December 21, 2011, a team of army personnel of Dimapur based 3 Corps, headed by a woman officer Major Robina Kaur Keer, barged into Gogoi’s house. He was not at home then. They tied up his wife, two sons and a daughter and locked them in a room before taking away the almirah keys.

They allegedly looted a licenced .32 pistol, Rs 1.5 lakh cash, five cellphones, gold jewellery and other valuables from Gogoi’s house at Rowriah in Jorhat. Gogoi filed an FIR and Assam police began probe. Tracking the call record of one of the cellphones stolen from Gogoi’s house, the police found it was being used by Army havildar Sandeep Thapa of 3 corps. The police succeeded in finding Gogoi’s pistol and other documents from Army personnel.









Minority quota: HC verdict tomorrow

TNN | May 27, 2012, 01.13AM IST

HYDERABAD: The high court will on Monday pronounce its verdict on the validity of the government’s move to provide a 4.5% sub quota to Muslims and linguistic minorities from out of the 27% reserved for OBCs.

Following a petition by OBC leader R Krishnaiah, who has challenged the Centre’s decision in this regard, the bench headed by Chief Justice Madan B Lokur had earlier heard the case at length and reserved its judgment.

However, since Justice Lokur is now slated to be elevated to the Supreme Court any time now after his candidature was cleared by the apex court, the high court bench is especially convening on Monday to deliver the verdict.

The Centre defended its action saying that the decision was not based on religion but backwardness. The centre also brushed aside the argument that it should consult BC commission before taking such decisions.

It contended that the role of the BC commission is limited to the extent that it can only make suggestions about the need of adding new castes and also to delete those BC communities which are deemed to no longer be in need of reservations in education and employment.









93’ blast convict seeks HC nod to attend daughter’s wedding

Express news service : Sun May 27 2012, 02:51 hrs

Abdul Gani Turk, a convict on death-row, on Friday approached the vacation bench of the Bombay HC seeking a day’s release from the Yerwada prison to attend his youngest daughter’s wedding.

Turk’s lawyer Farhana Shah mentioned his case before the court on Friday and said Turk requires the court’s permission to attend his daughter’s wedding on June 4. Turk, who was held guilty in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case, has three sons and two daughters. The court will, however, hear the case on May 28.

Turk’s application states that he may be escorted to the wedding by the jail staff and he will bear the expenses for the same.

Since, Turk is on death-row, the jail authorities do not have the power to decide his application. Although, the Supreme Court is yet to confirm the death sentence awarded to Turk by the special TADA court in 2006, his punishment has not been suspended and he continues to be on death-row.

Convicts on death-row are not entitled to release on parole or furlough like other prisoners. However, they can seek the court’s permission to seek release from prison on certain days.

Turk, who was arrested on March 18, 1993 for his alleged involvement in the serial blasts that killed 257, has contended that he was allowed to attend his mother’s funeral at his Dongri residence in 2009 and urged the court to let him attend his daughter’s wedding.

Turk, a former recruit of prime absconding accused Tiger Memon, was handed out the capital punishment for parking a jeep filled with RDX at Century Bazaar in Worli on March 12, 1993. This blast caused the maximum fatalities – 113 – and injured 227 people. Property damage is estimated to be Rs 2.41 crore.











HC blast accused gives J&K cops the slip

Arun Sharma : Jammu, Sun May 27 2012, 01:48 hrs

Even as the Jammu and Kashmir Police are trying to confirm reports about the killing of Junaid Akram Malik by his own accomplices in Kishtwar, another Hizbul Mujahideen militant wanted in connection with the September 2011 Delhi High Court blast managed to give it the slip last week.

Admitting it, Inspector General of Police, Jammu zone, Dilbagh Singh said that police and security forces had carried out a joint operation at Patimahal and located several Hizbul militants, including Chotta Hafiz and Akhtar Hussain. In the encounter that followed, while Hussain had been killed, Hafiz — wanted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for the high court blast along with Amir Kamal and Junaid Malik — had escaped.

The NIA has announced a cash award of Rs 10 lakh for information leading to the arrest of the three wanted accused in the blast. The operation to hunt them has so far cost lives of two Army jawans and a constable.

The IGP also admitted that they had not been able to confirm yet if Junaid was dead, amid reports that he had been killed by his own accomplices who feared he would surrender. Junaid’s elder brother Waseem Akram Malik, who was studying medicine in Dhaka, is already under arrest. He is among the three boys from Kishtwar arrested in connection with the September 7 blast.









HC verdict on OBC quota for Muslims on Monday

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: A division bench of the High Court comprising chief justice Madan B Lokur and justice PV Sanjay Kumar will pronounce its judgment on Monday (May 28) on a PIL filed against creation of a sub-quota of 4.5 percent reservation to notified minority groups, including Muslims, from out of the 27 percent reservation meant for OBCs (Other Backward Classes).

As the chief justice is to take charge as Supreme Court judge following his elevation, the bench will sit specially for the purpose in spite of the summer vacation. The bench heard the arguments and reserved its judgment last month.

BC leader R Krishnaiah and others filed separate petitions in the HC challenging the central government’s decision to create sub-quota.

The Centre defended its decision stating that reservation to minorities was provided based on their backwardness but not on basis of religion and the sub-quota was meant for equitable distribution of benefits amongst communities concerned.










D6 Block: Reliance Industries Limited seeks quick government approval

27 May, 2012, 07.23AM IST,

Despite being locked in a legal dispute with the petroleum ministry over cost recovery issues stemming from its D6 block in the Krishna Godavri basin, Reliance Industries Ltd is hopeful the ministry will treat the legal dispute as a separate matter and grant approvals required to resume production in the block.

“We hope that the ministry will have the maturity to delineate the two issues and grant us the regulatory approvals to both resume production and carry out other key exploration and development work or else progress could be severely hampered,” said a senior RIL board member who didn’t wish to be identified.

Last month, consequent to its strategy to preemptively contest a likely government move to restrict the cost recovery at the KG-D6 offshore gas field, RIL had moved the Supreme Court, seeking direction to the government to appoint an arbitrator to resolve the dispute.

RIL requested the Chief Justice of India to appoint the second arbitrator under Article 33 of the production sharing contract (PSC) entered into between it and the petroleum ministry in April 2000 and under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.

Last November RIL had slapped an arbitration notice on the ministry in which it proposed to appoint former CJI SP Bharucha as its arbitrator and asked the ministry to appoint the second arbitrator within 30 days. However, the ministry had asked RIL to withdraw the notice, saying there was no dispute that warranted arbitration.

The company’s move was in the wake of the government’s reported plan to disallow the desired level of cost-recovery by the RIL-led consortium at the KG-D6 block after flagging production led to utilisation of less than half of the infrastructure the consortium had built. “We don’t see this legal dispute as a contingent liability on our balance sheet as of now… we are on a very strong wicket as the PSC does not allow for limitation of cost recovery nor is cost recovery linked to production,” added another RIL official who asked not to be named. Reiterating RIL’s stance on gas pricing, the board member said, “RIL is entitled to market price, all we are asking is to float with the market if the price comes down.”

“We want parity with imported LNG prices as that is the market benchmark,” he added. “We have to justify our costs to investors and all future investments depend on how quickly the government moves on the pricing,” said the board member.

He also said, “It is not true we have recovered all the KG D6 capex, we invested close to $10 billion and are yet to recover a significant part. The costrecovery can be an ongoing process.”









Government, judiciary threat to RTI Act’

TNN | May 27, 2012, 01.26AM IST

HYDERABAD: The biggest threat to the Right to Information (RTI) Act is the government, the judiciary and the information commissioners themselves, believes central information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi.

“The government is not very keen on the RTI Act and may try to amend it in order to render it toothless. A lot of progressive orders by the judiciary are getting stayed due to the Act. If the information commissioners do not expeditiously dispose of cases then pendency will keep rising to finally affect the Act itself,” he said.

Gandhi was interacting with the media at an event organised on Saturday by the Jana Chaitanya Vedika and Association for Promotion of Social Activities in Hyderabad. Stressing the importance of clearing pending cases, he said that if each information commissioner could clear about 5,000 cases a year, the disposal rate would dramatically improve. While accepting that erring public information officers should be penalized by the commission, he suggested that, with a view to improving efficiency, it would be a good idea to have an incentive system introduced for them.

“Only PIO’s are liable to be penalized. Since they are the ones who face the risk of being pulled up, they should also be given an incentive based on their performance,” he said.

According to him, if the paperwork is done away with, the efficiency in most government offices would increase by about 50% to 80%, ultimately helping in the Act’s implementation by decreasing the burden on PIO’s.

As to the stand to be taken by an information commissioner confronted by an uncooperative government department, he said: “The information commissioner should use all his powers. He should take charge of the required information by summoning the officers concerned. But if they still refuse to follow orders, they should be arrested,” he said.










1993 blasts convict pleads court for days bail

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2012, 8:00 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

A 1993 serial bomb blasts convict, Abdul Gani Turk, who had been sentenced to death for executing a blast at Worli by the special Tada court on September 18, 2006, has moved the Bombay high court seeking bail for a day to attend his daughter’s wedding.

His advocate mentioned his plea before the vacation bench of justice S J Kathawalla and justice P D Kode on Friday as the prison authorities cannot decide on his plea. His plea will be heard on Monday.

The plea states that Turk’s last daughter is getting married on June 4 in Mumbai, which he wants to attend.Turk is currently lodged in custody of the police escort party Yerwada, Pune.The HC had allowed Turk to attend his mother’s last rites at his Dongri residence a few years back when his mother had expired.

The Century Bazaar blast took place on March 13, 1993, in which 113 people died and 227 were injured. It led to a property loss of around Rs2.5 crore. Turk, one of the most trusted lieutenant of Tiger Memon (prime accused in the blasts), had driven an explosives laden Mahindra commander Jeep and parked it outside the Century Bazaar.The intensity of the blast was multiplied due to the open market place (unlike Air India or BSE building car parking lots).










Woman, son give blood samples in Tiwari case

TNN | May 27, 2012, 04.07AM IST

NEW DELHI: Rohit Shekhar, who claims to be the biological son of veteran Congress leader N D Tiwari, on Saturday gave his blood samples along with his mother Ujjawala Sharma in the Delhi high court in connection with a paternity suit.

The mother-son duo made themselves available before a joint registrar as ordered by single judge bench of Reva Khetrapal to give their blood samples. A doctor and nurse took the blood samples for the DNA test of the duo in the chamber of Joint Registrar Deepak Garg and kept them in a sealed cover.

“You (Shekhar and Sharma) come inside the chamber along with your lawyers for collection of the blood samples as the court room is small,” Garg said minutes after a doctor and a nurse entered the court room.

The blood samples of the mother-son duo were taken in presence of Bahar-U-Barqi, the counsel for Tiwari.

Earlier, the high court had also asked 86-year-old Tiwari to give his blood sample before it but that order was modified by the SC on May 24 which was communicated to the joint registrar by the counsel for 32-year-old Rohit Shekhar.









Forgery: HC sets aside CAT order

Express News Service

CHENNAI : The Madras High Court has upheld the dismissal of an employee of the Central government on a charge of furnishing a forged community certificate.

Setting aside an order of the TN bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal, a division bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M Venugopal said the authority who had issued the certificate had denied having issued it. Therefore, the authorities had ample powers to dismiss the employee as per Clause 5 in the Appointment Order.

According to the provision, if any information furnished was proved to be false or if the candidate was found to have willfully suppressed any material information, he would be dismissed.

According to R Ramesh, who belonged to the Kattunaicken community, he had obtained a community certificate dated September 21, 1997, from the PA (General) to the Chennai Collector. He was appointed as a Technical Operator (Drilling) in the Central Ground Water Board under the ST quota in 1998.

At the time of appointment, the community certificate was verified. In November 2005, while travelling in a bus, he lost a file containing all educational records and the community certificate. He had obtained duplicate certificates for the records. But he had not been issued a fresh community certificate.

Following a Delhi High Court order that community certificates of ST employees should be scrutinised, Ramesh’s certificate was verified. In September 2007, the Collector said the certificate was a forged one.

Stating that he was dismissed without any disciplinary proceedings, Ramesh moved CAT, which quashed the dismissal order and ordered reinstatement. Hence, the present petition.










Students not entitled to know marks, says HC

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 26, 2012

In a significant ruling, the Delhi High Court has said that students appearing under the CBSE, or their parents, do not have the right to know the marks secured by them in each subject even through an RTI application. The directive comes two years after the introduction of grading system.
A Bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice RS Endlaw said this while setting aside the order of a single judge and the Central Information Commission (CIC), which directed CBSE to divulge to a parent the marks his daughter had scored in each subject in her Class 10 exams.

The parent, Anil Kathpal, wanted the information to “identify her weak areas” and take remedial action.

Allowing an appeal filed by the CBSE, the court said, “We feel that the CIC as well as the learned single judge, by directing disclosure of marks in the regime of grades, have indeed undone what was sought to be done by replacing marks with grades and defeated the very objective thereof.”

“We are unable to agree with the reasoning of the CIC and of the learned single judge and allow this appeal. We hold the information, disclosure of which was sought, to be no information and also exempt from disclosure under RTI,” the bench added.

The court noted that the purpose of introducing the grade system was to take away the frightening judgmental quality of marks, to lead to a stress-free and joyful learning environment, was intended to minimise mis-classification of students on the basis of marks, to eliminate unhealthy cut-throat competition and to reduce societal pressure.

The court said no weightage can be given to Kathpal’s submission that marks, even if disclosed, will not be used for any other purpose. “The possibility of the parent and his ward in securing admission and for other purposes using the said information to secure an advantage over others cannot be ruled out,” the Bench said.









Don’t link woman’s character to rape: Supreme Court

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | May 27, 2012, 03.12AM IST

NEW DELHI: If a woman of “easy virtue” accuses a person of rape, then courts must not discard her evidence but it must be “cautiously appreciated”, the Supreme Court ruled while acquitting a Delhi resident concurrently held guilty of rape by a trial court and the Delhi high court.

“Merely because a woman is of easy virtue, her evidence cannot be discarded on that ground alone rather it is to be cautiously appreciated,” said a bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra on Friday.

It is common for accused facing rape charges to term the victim as a woman of easy virtue to lessen their guilt during the trial. The apex court asked the courts to be wary of such arguments.

Writing the judgment for the bench, Justice Chauhan said: “Even in cases where there is some material to show that the victim was habituated to sexual intercourse, no inference of the victim being a woman of ‘easy virtue’ or a woman of ‘loose moral character’ can be drawn.”

“Such a woman has a right to protect her dignity and cannot be subjected to rape only for that reason. She has a right to refuse to submit herself to sexual intercourse to anyone and everyone because she is not a vulnerable object or prey for being sexually assaulted by anyone and everyone,” the bench added.

The ruling came in the case where a woman had accused Narender Kumar of sexually assaulting her on September 16, 1998, near village Khirki in south Delhi by dragging her to the road-side bushes at 8pm. The trial court convicted Kumar on December 7, 1999, under Section 376 of the IPC and sentenced him to seven years of imprisonment. The high court on March 25, 2009, upheld the trial court verdict.

But, amicus curiae Yakesh Anand pointed out to the apex court that the trial court as well as the HC did not consider the evidence placed by the defense that the accused and the alleged victim were having intimate relationship much to the dislike of her husband. Anand said there were defense witnesses who corroborated Kumar’s version that only after he refused to live with her that the rape complaint was filed.

The SC said that though the complainant’s version in a rape case had been traditionally given weight by the courts, but even in such cases the onus was always on the prosecution to prove affirmatively each ingredient of the offence it sought to establish and “such onus never shifts” to the accused.

“However great the suspicion against the accused and however strong the moral belief and conviction of the court, unless the offence of the accused is established beyond reasonable doubt on the basis of legal evidence and material on the record, he cannot be convicted of an offence,” the bench said.

Acquitting Narender Kumar, the bench said: “The given facts and circumstances make it crystal clear that if the evidence of the prosecutrix is read and considered in totality of circumstances along with the other evidence on record, in which the offence is alleged to have been committed, we are of the view that her deposition does not inspire confidence.”









Condition of Delhi’s street children hasn’t improved’

IANS | May 26, 2012, 07.19PM IST

NEW DELHI: The juvenile justice system has been ineffective in safeguarding the rights of around 500,000 street-dwelling children in the capital, representatives of the child welfare committees (CWCs) and police said Saturday.

Lamenting that the condition of such children had not improved despite implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, Neera Malik, CWC chairperson at west Delhi’s Nirmal Chhaya complex, said: “23 years ago, there were 45,000 children on the capital’s streets. Now, there are as many as 5 lakh and their condition has not improved at all.

“…The main problem that we have to face in rehabilitation of the children that come to the CWC is the lack of political will towards addressing the root causes for the plight of these children, such as lack of employment facilities for the parents and education facilities for children in their home areas.”

Malik was speaking at a workshop organised by child rights organisations — the Childhood Enhancement Through Training and Action (Chetna) and the Consortium for Street Children — to examine the successes and failures of the Juvenile Justice Act.

The landmark act provides a framework for the protection, treatment and rehabilitation of children under juvenile justice system and is considered a very progressive legislation but its implementation remains a concern.

“Most of the street children usually come from dysfunctional or abusive families. In such cases, just sending them back home, is not a solution without addressing the family issues,” said Kamla Lekhwani, CWC chairperson at north Delhi’s Rohini.

Lekhwani said such children often returned to the streets, and malpractices such as substance abuse and theft also made their rehabilitation difficult.

“Returning to the streets, these children often turn to malpractices such as theft and substance abuse. Especially, the abuse of whitener fluid, is rampant in these children,” she added.

CWC chairperson from south Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar, Raj Mangal Prasad said: “Most of these centers do not have the any drug rehabilitation capacities. They usually turn down the street children claiming that they have bad influence on other children living there.”

Senior officials from the Delhi Police were also present at the discussion and put forward their own perspectives on the issue.

“The basic issue that drives children out of their homes is deprivation, and since the facilities at the NGOs and childrens’ homes are usually better than those at their homes, the children often leave home again and return to such institutions,” Shibesh Singh, deputy commissioner of police-3rd battalion, said, emphasising the need for restoration of the street children to their families.








NHRC, fellow panels to jointly apprise PM of their problems

PTI | 11:05 AM,May 27,2012

New Delhi, May 27 (PTI) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is taking an initiative along with other Commissions to apprise Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about common concerns like getting better infrastructure and working conditions for their proper functioning. At a recent meeting of NHRC Statutory Full Commission, its Chairperson Justice K G Balakrishnan has expressed the need for joint collaboration of all the National Commissions on important issues of common interest and concern. A senior NHRC official said the Chairperson was of the view that issues like better infrastructure and working conditions should be taken up with the government jointly. “It was decided that all the Chairpersons of the National Commissions may have a meeting with the Prime Minister on common issues,” the official said. He said Justice Balakrishnan will soon write to all the Chairpersons of the National Commissions to finalise issues of common interest and areas of concern, including infrastructural requirements and funding. “In the meeting, it was also proposed that under the leadership of Justice Balakrishnan, all Chairpersons of the National Commissions will meet the Prime Minister to raise these issues and concerns with him,” the official said. In a bid to avoid various Commissions taking up the same case, the NHRC has also suggested that all these bodies have a online common complaint register system. “We need to ensure that there is no duplication in taking cognisance of the same complaint or in the registration of complaints and cases by various National Commissions,” the official said. Justice Balakrishnan had said that unless each National Commission and SHRC is inter-linked through a common complaint registration system, it would be difficult to address the issue. NHRC member Justice G P Mathur said that it is often at a very late stage that it is learnt that the same complaint has been taken up for investigation by two different Commissions with sometimes contradictory orders issued by each. “This results in a tremendous waste of time and resources. This problem must be addressed and resolved to ensure that no contradictory orders are issued,” he said. PTI SJY



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: