LEGAL NEWS 29.05.2012

NHRC concerned over crime against women in Assam–NHRC-concerned-over-crime-against-women-in-Assam-.html

Assam,Immigration/Law/Rights, Tue, 29 May 2012 IANS

Guwahati, May 29 (IANS) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Tuesday expressed concern over the rise in crimes against women in Assam but described the situation as better on the issue of rights violations.

“The data available with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that Assam is ranked second in the country in the category of crime against women. Most of the cases are related to kidnapping, rape and cases of domestic violence under section 498 (A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” said NHRC chairman Justice K.G. Balakrishnan.

The NHRC described the situation in the state better on the issue of human rights in comparison to other states in the country.

Expressing concern over spurt in crime against women, he said: “Increasing cases of domestic violence indicates that women in Assam are becoming more aware about their rights, the high number of cases of kidnappings and rape are of concern.”

The Commission held a two-day camp sitting at the North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited House in Guwahati since Monday and heard about 50 cases, which were pending.

To contain the increasing number of crime against women, the NHRC Chairman, observed that the state government should concentrate on addressing social issues like the health.

NHRC member Satyabrata Pal mentioned that the women in this part of the country enjoy special status as there is no dowry system and no purdah (veil) system exists in this part of the country.

The NHRC member, however, pointed out that Assam is not doing well as far as the IMR (Infant Mortality Rate) and MMR (Maternal Mortality Rate) are concerned.

“There is no reason for high IMR and MMR in Assam but it is high in Assam,” he said and added that the government should intervene to contain the high IMR and MMR here.

The Commission also said that the cases it took up mainly related to bonded labour, prison reforms and crime against women etc.






Shankar Bidari gets HC jolt; Karnataka govt gets a slap in the face

Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 10:49 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Shankar Mahadev Bidari’s wish to retire as the state police chief has been shattered.

The high court on Monday —after going through the National Human Rights Commission Report (NHRC) and the Sadashiva Panel Report— dismissed his plea to reconsider its earlier order, which had quashed his appointment as the Director General and Inspector General of Police (DG and IGP).

The division bench— headed by Justice N Kumar—dismissed Bidari’s plea while making extensive references to the Sadashiva Panel Report. The Sadashiva Panel Report had documented several atrocities committed against tribal people and women when Bidari was the head of the Special Task Force (STF), constituted to capture the forest brigand Veerappan.

The division bench said that the panel report and the orders passed by the NHRC— which upheld the findings of the report and recommended payment of compensation —constituted as relevant data, which should have been placed before the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) by the state government while appointing a new DG&IGP. But, the bench noted, only a one-sided version of Bidari’s record was sent to the UPSC.

The division bench further observed that an institution is more important than an individual. While empanelling names for the post, Bidari’s experience and style of functioning – when he was heading a small force like the special task force – is very much relevant.

Since the panel report and the NHRC orders were withheld from the UPSC, the empanelment of Bidari by the UPSC was vitiated and, consequently, the order of appointing Bidari as the DG and IGP of the state was also vitiated, the bench observed.

The division bench held that there was a specific reference to Bidari in the panel report, which is in the nature of adverse comment, with respect to his functioning as a commandant of the task force.

The findings of panel said that the allegation of rape of one Lakshmi – committed by the STF – has been proved.

There are references in the panel report indicting that some witnesses had been subjected to torture, including the outraging of modesty by the STF. Similarly, Erammal one of the witnesses, had suffered indignity at the hands of the STF.

The division bench said this meant that the STF commanded by Bidari had committed excesses as set out in the report. The division bench further observed that the apex court’s direction for appointment to the post is not just confined to a candidate who has very good service record.






J &K high court dismisses petition against DGP Kuldeep Khoda

PTI | May 29, 2012, 01.09PM IST

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir high court today dismissed a writ petition against DGP Kuldeep Khoda seeking registration of a case against the senior police official for his alleged role in a triple murder case in Bhaderwah.

Justice Virender Singh announced the order dismissing the petition filed by two widows — Nazira Begum and Shaheena Begum, wives of victims Fazal Hussain Dar and Mohammad Hussain — at the Jammu wing of the high court, advocate general Ishaq Qadri told PTI.

Qadri had closed the arguments on behalf of the state last Friday after the petitioners’ counsel had cited a crime branch report and called for a CBI investigation.

The case was heard and disposed by Justice Hasnain Masoodi while Justice Virender Singh announced the judgement.

According to the petition, four people– Fazal Hussain Dar, Mohammad Hussian, Fareed Ahmad and Talib Hussain– were allegedly picked up by men in a police vehicle on January 3, 1996.

While the bodies of three arrested persons were thrown into river Chenab in Jammu division’s Bhaderwah district later, one of them Talib Hussain managed to escape from the clutches of men who abducted them and later shared the tale, the petition said.

A case was filed with the police after investigations directed by the chief judicial magistrate’s court, Bhaderwah. The victims’ families, however, not satisfied with the investigation approached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). It directed the police’s crime branch to investigate the case.

Khoda, a 1974-batch IPS officer, retires on May 31 after a tenure of four years and 10 months as DGP. His name is believed to have been recommended by the state government for the post of state’s first chief vigilance commissioner.






NHRC move for starvation victims in Assam

Press Trust of India / Guwahati May 28, 2012, 20:55


Taking note of starvation deaths of tea garden workers in Barak Valley of Assam, the National Human Rights of Commission today asked the state government to pay Rs 17 lakh to 15 persons.

“In matters relating to starvation deaths in Cachar district, the Commission has asked the state government to pay Rs two lakh each to two poor and malnourished tea garden workers and Re one lakh each to about 13 dependents of the workers who had died due to starvation”, an NHRC team said in an order here.

“The Commission has also directed the state government to inquire whether the Tea Association of India was distributing food grains properly among the workers”, the order said.






3-member tribunal to probe land grab in Punjab: HC

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh , May 28, 2012In a bid to end illegal ownership of government land by private parties, including politicians, bureaucrats, police and revenue officials across Punjab, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday ordered setting up of a three-member tribunal headed by former Supreme Court judge Kuldeep Singh.


A division bench comprising acting chief justice MM Kumar and justice Alok Singh asked the tribunal to submit its report within four months period. In case the probe panel required more time to probe the land grab cases, it would have to revert to the high court for extension of the deadline. 

The tribunal would inquire whether the land acquired by various persons was at any point of time public/shamlat/forest/nazul and as to how the ownership of land was changed or mutated in the names of private parties.

It was made clear that the tribunal’s function would be with regard to the investigation of the possession of land and legal issues would be debated before the high court.

The bench also directed the Punjab government to ensure compliance of the court’s directions and to provide office space for the tribunal along with secretarial staff within two weeks.

Advocate PN Aggarwal, expert in revenue matters, has already given his consent to be a member of the tribunal. However, during the arguments on Tuesday, the bench on the suggestion of counsels for various parties for considering the name of retired Haryana district judge Baru Nath Gupta, who is well-conversant with Punjabi language, directed to seek Gupta’s consent. In case of Gupta’s reluctance, the high court directed the counsels to suggest other names.

Showing little conviction in Punjab advocate general Ashok Aggarwal’s arguments that vehemently opposed the constitution of the tribunal, the bench said, “If such cases are to be decided by statutory authority working under influential persons, it would not be decided in common man’s interest. Therefore, there is ample justification for appointment of a tribunal by this bench.”

The bench also reiterated that despite passage of long time after submission of inquiry report by now retired Punjab additional director general of police Chander Shekhar, no steps had been taken by the state to adopt it and to take any action.

It further stated that as per the affidavit submitted by the Punjab chief secretary, about 60 influential persons have been given clean chit by the state government, including chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, director general of police Sumedh Singh Saini, other ministers, IAS and IPS officers with which it was not satisfied.

“We were compelled to proceed with the idea of setting up a tribunal and requested senior advocates ML Sareen and Arun Jain to finalise the terms of reference,” the bench stated.






We don’t appreciate the act of Poonam Pandey: NCW

Shiv Prakash

28 May, 2012

National Commission for Women (NCW) has criticized model Poonam Pandey for her bare all act on the..

NCW’s CHAIRPERSON Mamta Sharma, while speaking to this Citizen Journalist , said that Poonam Pandey could have expressed her happiness over the victory of Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 5 season in many other ways.

“We don’t appreciate the act of Poonam Pandey. Being an Indian lady she should not have done this. There are many other ways to express happiness,” said Mamta Sharma, Chairperson, NCW.

Notably, the 21-year-old model had said that she will pose nude if Shahrukh Khan’s team won the Indian Premier League. She fullfilled her promise by posting her nude picture on the micro-blogging site Twitter with a caption: “Here is a pic as I promised”.

Going further, she had also warned that those who are under 18 should not see this picture.

Read more at:






Bhopal tragedy: Supreme Court slams Centre for ‘failure’ to dispose waste


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today pulled up the Centre for not being serious on disposal of toxic waste lying in the defunct Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL) plant, now represented by DOW Chemical Company, in Bhopal for the last 28 years and asked it to take a final decision on it soon.

“You are not sure even after 28 years. It is because people affected and living in Bhopal are poor. It is a failure on your part to deal with this,” a bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya said, adding that “there is lack of seriousness in handling this problem”.

It asked the Centre to place before it the decision taken by the Group of Minister (GoM) on the issue by the end of June.

The toxic waste has been lying in the UCIL plant since the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, the world’s worst industrial disaster that left over 15,000 people dead and thousands maimed.

Expressing reservation in interfering in government decision, the bench said it “never wants and should never want to run the government”, but it has to keep in mind public interest.

The court on May 11 had put on hold its order directing disposal of toxic waste lying in the plant at the Pithampur waste treatment storage and disposal facility (TSDF) in Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar district.

It had deferred the implementation of its April 4 order in the wake of various issues raised by Madhya Pradesh government and some NGOs about the “possible fall-out of the trial run” for the disposal of UCIL wastes and the fact that the “GoM considering the issue is yet to take a final decision”.

When the matter was taken up today, the government, however, said that it will soon decide on the issue and the GoM will be meeting on June 8 to take a decision on it.

“In Pithampur, people are bound to protest. They are entitled to protest. You have not taken any decision. Even this affidavit of yours is so vague and you always say that you are hopeful,” the bench said and said that people affected by the toxic waste can approach court for compensation.





Ajai Shukla: Thank God that’s over…

Ajai Shukla / May 29, 2012, 00:26 IST


On April Fools’ Day 2010, while taking over as Chief of Army Staff, General V K Singh identified his foremost goal as restoring the army’s “internal health”. On Thursday, in what surely will be a frosty ceremony, he will hand over to his successor, General Bikram Singh, an army whose generals are badly divided. Not even in the 1950s and 1960s, when the ambitious Lieutenant General B M Kaul exploited his proximity to Jawaharlal Nehru to split the officer community into pro-Kaul and anti-Kaul factions, did India witness the sorry spectacle of an army chief publicly denigrating his top commanders.

Where did V K Singh go wrong? Many argued (including this columnist) that the army chief was within his rights to take his government to the Supreme Court. This after the defence ministry rejected his petition to adjust his date of birth, and thereby allow him another 10 months in office. But once the Supreme Court judges rubbished his case in court, forcing him to withdraw his petition, V K Singh faced the prospect of an anonymous retirement just four months away. His desperate riposte was ill-judged from the start. Soon after his setback in the Supreme Court, a group of illustrious citizens, including a retired navy chief, Admiral Ramdas, filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court that rested on the communal narrative of a Sikh conspiracy to get General Bikram Singh into office. While the petitioners cannot be conclusively linked with V K Singh, the evidence suggests that they were at least manipulated by him. On February 10, the day V K Singh withdrew from the Supreme Court, the general’s henchmen approached me with a detailed briefing on “Operation Moses”. Reduced to its cringe-worthy essentials, this had Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife; Planning Commission Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and his wife; former army chief General J J Singh and his wife; and the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (every Sikh down the chain, you get the drift?) in cahoots to get V K Singh out of office on May 31, 2012, when Bikram Singh would be poised to take over from him. I declined to pursue these improbable and slanderous allegations. Regrettably, Admiral Ramdas & Co approached the Supreme Court, challenging Bikram Singh’s appointment.

Perhaps this communalism should not have been a surprise. After all, the Rajput card was played without compunction whilst V K Singh was fighting his date of birth battle. A group of Rajput parliamentarians was dispatched to the prime minister to plead on his behalf. When a proxy was needed to file a Supreme Court writ petition on the general’s date of birth, the “Rohtak Grenadiers’ Association”, packed with the general’s fellow-Rajputs, was conveniently at hand.

Sadly for V K Singh, nothing worked. The PM politely reminded the Rajput MPs that the army must remain apolitical. The Supreme Court, less politely, dismissed the Rohtak Grenadiers’ Association writ petition. And the apex court, while throwing out the “Operation Moses” writ petition in end-April, scolded the petitioners for communalising the issue.

With avenues closing fast, V K Singh apparently decided to use his office to launch himself into politics. By end-March, he had donned the garb of an anti-corruption crusader. First an earlier interview was dusted out in which he described turning down a Rs 14 crore bribe by one of his senior generals; that was followed in short order by the leak of his letter (still a whodunit!) to the PM warning about the army’s poor state of operational readiness. The insinuation was clear: with corruption below him and indifference above, V K Singh alone was a bastion of morality. Last month, in an unabashedly political move, the chief travelled to Ballia for a Samajwadi Party function to unveil a statue of former prime minister Chandra Shekhar.

Last Friday, the outgoing chief proved that he had lost any lingering trace of judgement. Sharing a platform with R K Anand – a disreputable lawyer who the Supreme Court convicted for contempt of court after an NDTV camera caught him buying off a key witness in the notorious BMW kill-and-run case – V K Singh launched a public tirade against one of his corps commanders, Lt General Dalbir Singh Suhag, ironically accusing him of making public a show-cause notice issued to him. Suhag was apparently being targeted as the army chief who would take over from Bikram Singh. Earlier that day, V K Singh had attended an ex-servicemen’s rally in Dharamsala, where he sat listening as former Congressman Vijay Singh Mankotia flayed the government.

Fortunately, it is time to turn the page. It would be a mistake to believe (as Pakistan’s generals are prone to do) that the Indian Army will remain deflated for long. The young and mid-ranking officers, and the rank and file, remain untouched by V K Singh’s shenanigans. Bikram Singh has his task cut out for him: to apply a healing touch and to visibly and conclusively bury the vendettas that V K Singh pursued. The corrosiveness of the outgoing chief will itself make his successor look good. Above all, Bikram Singh must embrace the virtues of silence. An army chief expresses himself with tanks and guns, not in lengthy interviews on news television.





Uncertainty haunts BHEL employees in Bangalore

Published: Monday, May 28, 2012, 14:18 IST
By Y Maheswara Reddy | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Around 450 employees of the Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) are in a bind as they are not sure if they can live in the houses built at sites allotted to them by BHEL House Building Cooperative Society (RHBCS) near Pattanagere in 1992.

RHBCS formed the layout after acquiring 58 acres and 37 guntas of land from farmers in Pattanagere and nearby areas. The society paid compensation to the farmers when it acquired the land. However, the high court passed an order quashing the land acquisition process. Later, the Supreme Court also directed RHBCS to hand over the land to farmers but RHBCS members filed a writ petition and got permission from the apex court to appeal to the HC again. In its judgment, the HC asked not to evict the residents from the layout.

The BBMP allowed BHEL employees to build houses at the layout and has been collecting property tax from them for many years. The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) provided electricity to all houses. “Farmers did not create any problem till a few years ago. They even encouraged us to construct houses at the layout. But the entry of realtors made it worse for us,’’ said MS Balaraju, president, BHEL Layout Residents Welfare Association.

Recently, the BBMP cancelled the katha certificates that it had issued earlier, putting the residents, who spent their lifetime savings to build houses, in a tight spot. Muddu Mohan, joint commissioner with BBMP’s Raja Rajeswarinagar division, in a report dated August 17, 2007, stated that there were 715 sites and 341 houses in the layout and that the residents had been staying in those houses for more than 10 years. Mohan also stated that the layout was not qualified to be considered as agricultural land. “The residents are facing a lot of problems from the land mafia,’’ said Sidda Hanumappa, a resident.

RHBCS allotted 30×40 sq ft sites for Rs32,000 each and 60×40 sq ft sites for Rs64,000 each to its members in 1992. Now, a 30×40 sq ft site commands more than Rs30 lakh. Encouraged by this steep rise in realty prices, the land mafia has lured a few farmers, who had already received compensation when RHBCS acquired the land, to sell their land to them. “We are planning to submit a memorandum to the chief secretary, requesting him to help us,’’ said Balaraju.

Surprisingly, Vimala Gowda, deputy chairperson, Legislative Council, wrote a letter on October 4, 2011, advising the BBMP commissioner to cancel the katha certificates issued by the BBMP. Vimala claimed that one Mirle Varadaraju of Kengeri Satellite Town had submitted an application to her demanding the cancellation of kathas issued to the residents by RHBCS. “It is disgusting to know the deputy chairperson is supporting a land developer instead of hundreds of BHEL employees who bought sites with their hard-earned money. I am not able to understand the connection between Vimala and Varadaraju,’’ said a resident on condition of anonymity.





Top judge ‘pained’ by road rage case

New Delhi, May 28 2012, PTI:

In wake of recent attack on three trial court judges here, Delhi’s Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri has expressed anguish over the incident and has assured all judicial officers of their personal safety and a fearless environment to dispense justice.

“I am pained to know about the recent incidents of attack on judicial officers. Some of them have been reported in the press and few others have gone unreported,” Justice Sikri said in a letter to the district court judges.

Empathising with the judges who had been attacked, Justice Sikri said, “Without referring to any particular incident and without going into the reasons or provocations, if any, caused by any person or circumstance, I must convey my empathy to all judicial officers who have suffered the attack.”

He said as “the head of judicial family in Delhi” and the supervising and controlling authority “I am very much concerned about the safety and security of the judicial officers.”Justice Sikri, in his letter, also added that he has taken a strict view of the incident on judicial officers.

“I and my colleague judges have taken a very serious view of these incidents. A judicial officer requires a fearless and independent mind to do justice and any apprehension in his/her mind about his/her safety would certainly hamper his/her capabilities to judge fearlessly and impartially,” he said.

Justice Sikri said, “I know that our judicial officers have been performing their judicial duties to the best of their abilities. In the backdrop of these incidents of attack on judicial officers, I would request all officers not to lose heart.”

Assuring them of steps to prevent recurrence of such incidents, he said, “I have discussed the matter with my colleagues and I assure all of you that appropriate steps would be taken at the earliest to prevent such incidents in future.

“The matter has already been taken up with concerned government/police department to provide adequate security to all judicial officers. Action on some concrete measures suggested during the meeting is already underway.”

“We judges are required to do justice without fear, favour or ill will. Let that spirit continue to prevail,” the letter read.

On May 18, Metropolitan Magistrate Ajay Garg and two additional sessions judges Inderjit Singh and M K Nagpal were attacked on their way back from court.

While the MM suffered head injuries, the ASJs escaped unhurt. Four persons had been arrested and charged with attempt to murder in connection with the incident.






Jagan Mohan Reddy sent to jail as special prisoner

TNN | May 29, 2012, 01.49AM IST

HYDERABAD: Jaganmohan Reddy took bribes totalling Rs 1,172 crore from various investors and influenced his father and chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy to dole out favours to them in the form of land allotments and leases, the CBI charged while seeking his custody in the trial court on Monday. CBI’s counsel also argued that Jagan had taken recourse to huge hawala transactions.

However, principal special judge A Pullaiah dismissed the CBI’s custody petition and refused to recognize the arrest of Jagan made by the investigationg agency on Sunday. The judge then remanded Jagan to 14-days judicial custody till June 11 as the consequence of the summons served by the court on the accused. He was sent to Chanchalguda Jail after being accorded special prisoner status. Jagan is slated to challenge his remand in the AP high court on Tuesday even as the CBI too will appeal against the denial of his custody.

Hetero Group, Aurobindo Pharma, Penna Group, Dalmia Cements, India Cements, Ramky Group, Vanpic project to Nimmagadda Prasad were named as some of the companies who dealt with Jagan, the CBI said.

“Investigations revealed that Jagan in conspiracy with his financial advisor Vijay Sai Reddy (also an accused) channeled more than Rs 100 crore of ill-gotten money through various paper/suitcase companies based in Kolkata and Mumbai into Jagati Publications which had no business of its own. Just for routing the said ill-gotten money, the said suitcase companies were used,” the CBI said in its remand report.

Appearing for the CBI, special counsel Ashok Bhan told the court that Jagan could no longer project himself as a victim of circumstances to gain political mileage. “He had robbed the assets of the state that would have been otherwise used for the welfare of the poor. It is called the public private partnership (PPP) model but Jagan had reduced it to private, public and public servants connivance model. Jagan cannot evade the majesty of law,” the CBI counsel said. Jagan, who was present in the court, argued his case on his own for a while with the permission of the court and described the whole case as a political vendetta. “Sakshi newspaper is the eighth biggest newspaper in the country and it makes business sense to invest in the paper. Why is it being made out to be a crime to invest in my paper.

When a rival daily Eenadu valued itself at Rs 6,000 crore, nobody faulted it and when my paper was valued at half of that cost, it is being shown as a scam. When Eenadu sold its shares at Rs 5.25 lakh per share and got Rs 2,500 crore as investment it was not seen as a scam. But when Sakshi sells its share at Rs 350 per share, it is being shown as a scam. Since the bypolls are slated to take place, attempts are being made through the CBI to keep me away from the people,” Jagan told the court.

India’s richest MP is now qaidi no. 6093

He wasn’t on his Odarpu Yatra but Jagan still behaved like he was among people when he entered the Central Prison, Chanchalguda . Cheerful and smiling, Jagan folded his hands greeting the huge contingent of cops and mediapersons at jail. After prison officials checked the identification marks on his body and numbered him qaidi no. 6093, Jagan, who is said to be the country’s richest MP with Rs 356 crore assets, was led away into the old hospital block. Prison sources say Jagan was allotted a special room. The room measures 10 ft x 10 ft and has an attached toilet. He has been provided with a cot and a mattress, as per the jail manual.

A TV set is also there, but only DD channels can be accessed. Being a special prisoner, Jagan doesn’t have to stick to any schedule. At the separate kitchen for special prisoners, Jagan can get his choice of food cooked. “If he wants, he can get 115 gm of non-vegetarian stuff every day,” an officer said.

Lukewarm response to bandh

The state-wide bandh call given by the YSR Congress had little impact on the twin cities with most shops, offices and various other commercial establishments staying open. Offices across the city, including IT firms in Hi-Tec City, recorded almost normal attendance although some reported that employees’ turnout on Monday was thinner than usual.

While there was partial response to bandh in coastal Andhra, it had no impact in the Telangana region.






Thane civic body slaps demolition notices on 171 party offices;slaps-demolition-notices-on-171-party-offices/955095/0

Sharvari Patwa : Tue May 29 2012, 03:25 hrs

The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has sent demolition notices to occupants of 171 political party offices in Mumbai’s satellite city. Following a High Court order this month, the municipal authorities found through a primary survey that these 171 offices were illegal or unauthorised constructions.

Thane Municipal Commissioner R A Rajeev said, “Notices have been served to all political party offices found to be unauthorised. The due process of law will be followed now.” He said the parties had been given 15 days to prove the legality of the structures.

As many as 93 of them are Shiv Sena offices. Mayor and Shiv Sena corporator from Thane H S Patil said, “These party offices have been there for 30-40 years and they cannot be termed illegal. We have all gone to court and a stay has been ordered. The civic administation has been told not to take action until July. These are not commercial premises but political party offices conducting public work.” TMC officials, however, clarified that only a handful of offices served notices had procured a court stay on proceedings.

There were 22 Congress offices situated on illegal premises, said Prakash Borse, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (encroachments), TMC. “We have issued preliminary notices to these 171 offices. The parties concerned have been asked why their offices should not be demolished. After proper scrutiny, we will carry out the demolition activity,” said Borse.

The action against these party offices was undertaken after a local group in Thane, the Harit Vasai Samiti, filed a PIL against illegal party offices in the city. The HC has now sought an affidavit from TMC.

Senior Congress corporator and leader of Opposition Manoj Shinde said, “These offices should be considered as places of service for the poor. While some offices identified by the civic administration might be unauthorised structures, most of them are legal. These structures are in slums built before 1995 and come under authorised structures. We have decided to approach the High Court and ask for relaxation to be given to political party offices as they are set up for a larger public good.”






Shift taverns from government land in 30 days’

TNN | May 29, 2012, 04.38AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday directed to shift all liquor vends and taverns running from pre-fabricated structures at roadside one government land within 30 days. While issuing directions, a division bench, comprising acting Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Alok Singh, also made it clear that if the authorities and concerned parties to failed to shift liquor vends and tavern within a period of 30 days, all such vends would be closed down by June 28.

Bench has also asked the UT administration to inform the court about the compliance of these orders on or before July 2. Pronouncing the orders, bench observed, “In the considered view of this court, for the pre-fabricated structure licence-holder should have in his possession open space in the sector or area of licence either as owner or lessee or licensee.”

Bench also held that it failed to find out any provision in the excise policy which provides that pre-fabricated structures for liquor vends and tavern should only be in a government land near the roundabouts and red lights rather it only specifies the sector number and area.

Directions were passed by the HC in the wake of public interest litigation (PIL) filed by some city residents against the grant of liquor licence in “pre-fabricated temporary structure” in various parts of city.

Petitioners had sought directions to the administration and MC authorities to discontinue with the grant of liquor licence in “pre-fabricated temporary structure” alleging that it is not only illegal, but have also become frequent source of traffic hazards, parking woes, drunken brawls, accidents, crimes and have also become a routine/regular source of public nuisance.






15-yr-old Organ Transplant Act fails to serve purpose

JK without eye banking facility


JAMMU, MAY 28: After the lapse of more than 15 years since the enactment of Jammu and Kashmir Transplantation of Human Organs Act, Jammu and Kashmir continue to lack the facility of an eye-bank, shattering the hopes of physically challenged populace of state to see the world.
Official sources claimed that despite large number of number of physically impaired people, the state government has not been able to fulfill the obligations under the Jammu and Kashmir Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1997, which provides mechanism for the transplantation of human organs and their preservation in a proper and effective ways.
“There is a statutory obligation on the state or appropriate authority within the meaning of section 13 of this Act to establish the required numbers of eye banks with all the requisite modern facilities, but state government has so far failed to do so, even after more than 15 years Act”, sources maintained.
They further said that Jammu and Kashmir has around 1.6 Lakh corneal blind people, out of 15 millions blind people registered in entire country. “The corneal blind people can get sight only after corneal eye transplantation and an eye bank is an organization recognized by the government to collect, store and distribute human eye to those requiring corneal transplantation.” they said, adding that most of the other states across India have eye bank facilities, but J&K government has so far failed to do so.
The nearest eye bank facility, a doctor said, is available for J&K residents at PGI Chandigarh, which too is of no avail to the people of state, “According to the medical science and standards of eye banking, cornea/eye should be removed as soon as possible after death and, in any event, within six hours of the demise of the donor”, the doctor, preferring not to be named said. He added that the outstation eye banks would not serve the purpose of any prospective donor residing in the state.
The non-availability of the eye bank facility has been denying even the prospective donor of the opportunity to donate his eyes, and a blind man to see the world and live a dignified and a happy life.
A social activist and lawyer Rinku Sharma had recently filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in State High Court seeking direction to the state government to establish the banks.






Only registered agencies can provide domestic helps: Govt

Agencies : New Delhi, Mon May 28 2012, 21:52 hrs


The city government’s draft bill on placement agencies, which was today submitted to the Delhi High Court, provides that unregistered agencies will not be allowed to provide domestic helps here.

“No person or private placement agencies shall carry on or commence the business of private placement agency, unless he (/it) holds a license issued under this Act,” said one of the provisions of the Delhi Private Placement Agencies (Regulation) Bill, 2012.

The copy of the draft bill, likely to be tabled in the next assembly session, was submitted to a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri which was hearing a PIL of NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).

The NGO was seeking a direction for formulation and implementation of a “strong policy” to prevent trafficking of girl and child workers by unregistered and unregulated placement agencies.

The draft bill also provides for the appointment of a controlling authority, which would oversee the registration and subsequent functioning of the placement agencies. The authority would also be armed with the power to cancel licenses of an errant agency if it violates the Act.

“Every private placement agency shall maintain a register containing (a) the names and addresses of the persons managing the private placement agency, (b) the names and addresses of the persons to whom it had provided the domestic workers, © the names and addresses of the domestic workers deployed by it and (d) such other particulars as may be prescribed,” the Act said.

The placement agency will have to issue a photo identity card to a domestic help, employed through it, the draft law said.

The law also provides that the placement agencies would issue a pass book to every domestic help employed through them.

The agencies will have to keep a record of the place and the name of the employer of the domestic help, it said, adding that the details of the “next kin of such a worker” would also be required to be maintained.

“No placement agency shall charge any fee, by whatsoever name called, from any domestic worker,” it said.





Andhra high court rejects sub quota for minorities

TNN | May 28, 2012, 05.55PM IST

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh high court on Monday rejected Centre’s move to create a sub quota for minorities, saying that there was no rationale in creating a religion-based quota.

Hearing a PIL filed against the Centre’s move, the high court observed that the sub quota was not required.

The Centre had moved to provide a 4.5% sub quota to Muslims within the OBCs quota of 27%.

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

Meanwhile, the BJP has welcomed the high court’s decision and described the Centre’s move as ‘unconstitutional’.






SEBI’s amended consent rules still has many gaping holes

May 28, 2012 06:06 PM |
Virendra K Jain

Top of Form

The rapid developments with regard to the “Consent Order” mechanism to settle regulatory action initiated by the Securities & Exchange Board of India are rather intriguing

On Friday, 25 May the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) released revised consent rules by amending its Consent Circular of 20 April 2007. It did this even as proceedings related to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the very legality of the Consent Circular were underway at the Delhi High Court.

Meanwhile, The Economic Times reported today that Reliance Industries (RIL), India’s largest private sector group has moved the Bombay High Court urging that action initiated against it in a massive insider trading case should be allowed to be settled under the now-discarded consent regulations.

RIL’s action comes after SEBI has apparently rejected its consent application twice before. However, it is not clear why SEBI has not initiated regulatory proceedings against the group for so many years. The RIL case suggests that there is no clear process for initiating punitive action once the regulator rejects a consent request. It is also unclear under what rules and circumstances it does this, since there is apparently a very long window available to some entities to keep revising their settlement offers.

The PIL in Delhi HC has prayed, amongst others, for quashing of the 2007 circular and all consent orders passed by SEBI pursuant to it. It has argued that SEBI’s circular does not have clear legal basis.

SEBI’s recent amendment to the consent rules states that it will not settle charges such as insider trading, fraudulent and unfair trade practices, failure to make the open offer, front-running, manipulation of net asset value or other mutual funds defaults, failure to redress investor grievances and failure to make  disclosures under the ICDR. But, having said that, it still keeps a window open for by arming itself with discretionary powers to settle any case even in these defaults!

The original SEBI consent mechanism was obliquely justified on the grounds that it was modelled on the lines of the settlement procedure followed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This is factually incorrect.

Unlike the SEBI Act, the SEC has specific provisions in its statues to govern the settlement procedure (and not consent) with clear objectives of investor protection and fairness. They focus on disgorgement of illegal gains and compensation to affected investors from the money disgorged and fines collected. The SEBI Act has no provision for awarding compensation or damages for the losses suffered due to fraud or unfair practices. The fines imposed by SEBI are deposited in consolidated fund of the Government of India. Further, settlement terms of the SEC require the approval of a court (which can also reject the settlement). SEBI’s consent orders are entirely negotiated by its staff and ratified by its own chosen committee, headed by a retired judge. There is no known case where this committee has objected to the consent terms or sought their modification.

This means that even after the latest amendment, the fundamental issue of whether SEBI’s consent rules are legally valid has still to be decided by the courts.  Does SEBI have the powers to settle all type of defaults? In my view, it does not. In fact, once it is satisfied that a violation or transgression of rules has occurred, SEBI is mandatorily required to impose the penalty prescribed for that particular offence under the Act. It has no discretion in the matter. For instance, “a penalty of Rs25 crore or three times the amount of profits made out of insider trading, whichever is higher,” is to be levied for insider trading or non-disclosure of acquisition of shares and takeovers or fraudulent and unfair trade practices.

Both SEBI circulars on consent proceedings—dated 20 April 2007 and 25 May 2012—turn the intent of the legislature as well as the letter and spirit of the legislation on its head. The legislation provides for mandatory and specific (in most of the violations) penalties whereas SEBI’s circulars over-ride this and empowers itself to decide matters on a case-by-case basis. A close reading of the latest amendment makes it obvious that it is another exercise in self-empowerment and SEBI’s sympathies lies with the violators rather than in protecting investors’ interest and safeguarding market integrity.

The new regulations are strange in another respect. They in fact formalize the process for those who commit an offence or violate a rule to walk through the consent door every two years (from the date of the previous consent order or even earlier “if the default is minor in nature”). Only those who have already received two consent orders (or pardons) already have to wait for three years before applying for consent again.

SEBI’s consent rulings so far have been extremely opaque and arbitrary, so one can only draw inferences from the amendments. One such amendment says that a consent application cannot be filed until the investigation is complete. Does this mean that in the past, under a more lawless regime, SEBI has allowed entities to file consent applications even before it had completed its investigations and figured the extent of wrongdoing?

Clearly, the new consent regulations are also grossly inadequate. SEBI is India’s capital market regulator, it would do well to regulate, strictly within the parameters set by the legislature and leave legislation to parliament.

(Virendra Jain is the president of Midas Touch Investors Association. His views expressed are personal.)

Disclosure: Midas Touch Investors Association has filed an application for impleadment in a PIL in Delhi HC challenging the power of SEBI to issue such consent guidelines. It is fixed for hearing on 8 August 2012.

PIL against petrol price hike: HC notice to Centre

May 28, 2012 17:57 IST

Bombay High Court on Monday issued notices to Centre, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Finance Secretary, besides three oil marketing companies on a PIL which claimed that recent hike in petrol prices is ‘illegal’ since it lacked the Parliament’s approval and “ultra vires” of Constitution.

A bench of Justice R Y Ganoo and Justice N M Jamdar ordered service of notices to the respondents, who apart from the central ministries also include the oil marketing companies, namely the Indian Oil Corporation [ Get Quote ], Hindustan Petroleum Corporation [ Get Quote ] and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd [ Get Quote ].

The bench has posted the matter to May 30.

The PIL, filed by Rajendra Phanse, submitted that the petrol prices were hiked ‘abruptly’ on May 23 at the stroke of midnight after the conclusion of the budget session of Parliament.

The petitioner contended that the raise in petrol prices was “totally illegal” as it has no approval of the Parliament.

The Centre increased prices of petrol by Rs 7.50 per litre.

Terming as ‘undemocratic’, the hike since it was announced after the Budget session was over, the petitioner argued that in the past the decisions like raising the rates of postal and telephone services used to be taken during the budget session.

The petitioner further said that the hike was against the principles of natural justice as it is bound to affect the entire population of the country.

Citing lack of uniformity in the prices of petrol, the petitioner said that in Thane (Maharashtra, the price per litre is Rs 81.70, while it is as low as Rs 58.06 in Port Blair, Rs 81.75 per litre in Bengaluru  and Rs 73.18 in Delhi

This showed that the prices of petrol change from city to city within the country, which is nothing but a geographical discrimination in contravention of Article 14 of the Constitution, he said.

Since petroleum is a Central subject, the prices of petrol must be uniform across the country in tandem with the principles of equality before law, the petition maintained, citing uniformity in scales of pay under the central government, including subordinate judiciary, across the country.

Supply of petrol is a essential service required by the nation and the Centre should set up a Regulatory Commission to draft a uniform policy on the petroleum products, including petrol, diesel, CNG and LPG, and place the policy before Parliament for approval, the petitioner said.

Advocate V P Patil, who appeared for Phanse, a resident of neighbouring Thane, urged the court to direct the respondents to fix a uniform rate of petrol throughout the country.

He also urged the high court to direct respondents to roll back the hike of Rs 7.50 per litre of petrol.

Phanse also requested the court to direct the respondents to take any policy decision pertaining to hiking petrol prices only during the parliament session since such decision affects common people the most.

The PIL also maintained that the Centre be refrained from taking any ‘hasty’ decision –about increasing prices of petrol — when the House is adjourned sine-die because such decision is undemocratic and illegal in nature.

Easing traffic: School timings to be staggered

Express news service : Chandigarh, Tue May 29 2012, 06:28 hrs

From staggering of opening and closing school timings to putting zebra markings outside schools in place, a host of ideas were discussed at the recently held meeting between Chandigarh Traffic Police officials and school authorities. The minutes of the meeting, held on May 16, were placed on record before the Punjab and Haryana High Court today during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL).

The petitioner I S Kohli, a local resident, had moved the High Court seeking directions to the UT Administration to ease out traffic and provide for parking space outside a school in Sector 26 which houses several schools in one lane. In one of the suggestions, the officials discussed widening of the road from SGGS light point to St Kabir School.

“In this widening, double-lane dual carriageways would be constructed which should be separated by a physical median. Moreover, a footpath of approximately six feet width would be constructed adjacent to the boundary walls of all the said Institutions. Beyond the footpath, there should be a bay parking area,” read the minutes of the meeting.

For the widening, the officials have submitted that there might be a need to prune/ cut certain trees. The Traffic Police officials and school authorities “unanimously decided that various school managements should stagger the opening and closing timings of their schools, ie at least 15 minutes to ease out traffic congestion during the opening and closing of schools”.

A copy of the staggered timing will be forwarded to the Traffic Police Department accordingly.

“It was informed that the Sacred Heart School and St John School on one hand and St Kabir School and Strawberry Field School on the other hand were already staggering their opening and closing timings. It was also unanimously decided that various school managements should also stagger their parent-teacher meetings (PTMs) after coordinating with each other and hold PTMs for only a certain number of classes at once,” read the minutes of the meeting.

Moreover, it was further decided that the Traffic Police Department would be informed well in advance by the concerned school management about the PTM so that necessary traffic arrangements could be made. The Traffic Police has also decided to put zebra markings in place and challan violators.

Govt submits to HC draft bill to regulate placement agencies

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 28, 2012, 19:35


The city government today submitted to the Delhi High Court a copy of its proposed legislation for regulating private placement agencies and preventing trafficking of girl and child workers.

“The draft of the Delhi Private Placement Agencies (Regulation) Bill, 2012 is ready and suggestions are being invited and it would be presented before the assembly in February next year,” the counsel for Delhi Government told a bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw.

The copy of the draft legislation was placed on court’s record during the hearing of a plea of NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) seeking the court’s direction for formulation and implementation of a “strong policy” to curb trafficking of girl and child workers by unregistered and unregulated placement agencies.

The court had earlier asked city police and the Delhi government to ensure registration of all placement agencies and probe allegations that some of them were involved in trafficking of maid servants.

Meanwhile, the bench, which was hearing another PIL filed by the same NGO on the issue of child workers employed here, asked the city government to file by July 30 a status report, detailing the progress made in rescue operation of the child workers and their subsequent rehabilitation plans.

Allowing the plea, made through senior advocate H S Phoolka, the court said the premises, from where child workers have been rescued, be remained sealed till the errant owners deposit a fine of Rs 20,000 per child with the city government.

The court then asked the government to file a status report on July 30, the next date of hearing. (More)

HC pulls up Co-op dept

Bangalore, May 28 2012, DHNS:

The High Court pulled up the Cooperation Department for their apathetic attitude towards mango growers in the State.

Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen, on Monday, noted that the bureaucracy had failed completely in providing benefits to farmers.

“If you cannot work, look for some alternative jobs and close down the APMC. The farmers should receive fair price for their yield,” remarked Sen caustically.

The Division Bench headed by Vikramjit Sen and B V Nagarathna yet again asked the government to provide Minimum Support Price (MSP) for mango. It also directed the State government to submit an action plan in the next one week.

Earlier, the Principal Secretary to the Co-operation Department submitted that production of mangoes was very low this year increasing the cost of production.

“Besides, the horticulture department is the one which fixes price and we need to examine it. The government has provided Rs 84 lakh for the development of Kolar APMC market,” he said.

The PIL was filed by the Kolar District Mango Growers’ and Farmers’ Association which was seeking regulation of APMC markets in Srinivaspur, Chikkaballapur, Bangalore and Ramanagara.





BU withdraws PhD degree of Mylarappa’s student

Bangalore, May 28 2012, DHNS:

Bangalore University (BU) has withdrawn the PhD degree awarded to M Venkataramanappa in 2003, after it was found that the thesis was plagiarised.

Syndicate, BU’s highest decision-making body, passed a resolution by a two-third majority at a special meeting on Monday to withdraw the PhD awarded to Vankataramanappa, Vice-Chancellor N Prabhu Dev said.  The withdrawal was not supported by six members who, the VC said, “indirectly supported copying”. Interestingly, the controversial thesis was prepared under the guidance of BU’s present Registrar (Administration) B C Mylarappa. The move is seen as a fallout of the skirmishes between Prabhu Dev and Mylarappa.

The controversial PhD had come to light when the then BU Academic Council member, Vasudevamurthy, alleged fraud and plagiarism in the award of the doctorate. The BU Registrar (Evaluation) sent the thesis to the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) to detect plagiarism. The ISEC confirmed plagiarism and copying, the VC stated.

The then Governor appointed a committee under the retired IAS officer, K V Irniraya, to examine the ISEC report. Venkataramanappa, however, filed a writ petition before the High Court, challenging the committee’s formation. The petition was dismissed later.

Venkataramanappa moved the Division Bench against the single-judge order, but could not get a relief. Vasudevamurthy then filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the HC, seeking directions to BU to withdraw the PhD. The State government issued an order on March 29, 2011, annulling the PhD. Venkataramanappa challenged the GO before the HC but could not succeed.

According to the VC, the BU Academic Council unanimously decided on May 9, 2012, to recommend to the Syndicate withdrawal of the PhD. Accordingly, the Syndicate withdrew the degree. It also resolved to issue a show cause notice to Venkataramanappa.


Government opposes bail plea of Italian Marines

Express News Service

KOCHI: Keenly opposing the bail plea of the two Italian marines, the state government on Monday submitted that it would be difficult to produce the accused before the court once the bail is granted.

Appearing for the state, Director General of Prosecutions T Asaf Ali has also sought a directive to expedite the trial of the case pending before the Kollam Sessions Court.

However, the marines, sergeant Massimiliano Latorre and sergeant Salvatore Girone, submitted that they would not leave the country without the permission of the court and would cooperate with the trial of the case.

The Republic of Italy would undertake to stand as surety of the accused before the High Court and produce them as and when required.

There was no scope for disquiet regarding their fleeing from justice or tampering with evidence, since an independent sovereign country is taking on the responsibility for the implementation of the required terms and conditions, the marines said.

Meanwhile, NRI John Thekkekara of Kottayam moved the court arguing that he will submit the required surety, stating that he has an acre of land in Kerala and other properties in Italy.

Court denies bail to Maoists, gives 90 more days to NIA for chargesheet

Express news service : Kolkata, Tue May 29 2012, 00:18 hrs

Rejecting the bail plea of five Maoists, arrested from Kolkata on February 29 by the Special Task Force(STF) of the Kolkata Police, the city sessions court today gave another 90 days tto the National Investigative Agency (NIA) to file the chargesheet.

The NIA had approached the sessions court to extend the time limit to frame charges from 90 days to 180 days.

The agency took up the investigation on April 16 as instructed by the central home ministry, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, (UAPA) 1967.

NIA counsel Ashoke Kumar Mondal, stating legal provisions of the UAPA, urged the court to extend the period for filing the chargesheet.

According to the FIR, the STF had arrested two alleged hardcore Maoists Sadanala Ramakrishnan and Dipak Kumar from Kolkata along with their three aides — Bapi Mudi, Sambhu Charan Pal and Sukumar Mondal. Ramakrishnan, who is from from Andhra Pradesh and Dipak Kumar from Chhattisgarh, had allegedly come to Kolkata to hatch a criminal conspiracy against the state. The STF claimed to have recovered components used to make rocket launchers and sketches from their possession.

Citing the reason behind delay in filing the chargesheet, the NIA counsel said another person had been held in Maharashtra in connection with the arrest of the five Maoists. Therefore, more time was required to file the chargesheet since the Maoist links of several states like were involved, he said.

Court rejects plea to hold Goa Cricket Association polls as scheduled

TNN | May 29, 2012, 03.46AM IST

MARGAO: South Goa district and sessions court judge Anuja Prabhudesai on Monday dismissed the pleas filed by several cricket clubs seeking orders to the Goa Cricket Association (GCA) to hold elections as scheduled on May 27.

Passing the order, Prabhudesai observed that “considering the fact that fair play is the foundation of free exercise of electoral rights, the balance of convenience lies in the postponement of the elections.” The court had earlier heard arguments on May 26 and adjourned the matter to Monday for orders.

Speaking to mediapersons, GCA counsel Subodh Kantak said fresh elections will be held before the present body’s term ends on July 26. The court also upheld arguments advanced by GCA’s election committee, respondents in the case, that most of the members had not filed nominations owing to the controversy over the elections. The court noted that these members would be deprived of contesting the elections if they were held as scheduled. “As against this, the petitioners have not spelt out any prejudice that will be caused to them if the elections are postponed,” the court held.

Observing that the clubs have failed to establish the “prerequisites essential for granting interim relief”, Prabhudesai rejected the petitions filed under Section 9 (interim measures by court) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996.

During the hearing, senior counsels from Mumbai, Pradeep Sancheti and Jamshed Mistri, who argued on behalf of the clubs, said the election process once set in motion cannot be stopped. On the other hand, the GCA counsel, stated that several clubs had a grievance about holding the elections in view of the conflicting stands adopted by the GCA and association’s election committee.

The issue was referred to arbitrator Vallabh Salkar, who in an interim order, restrained the election committee from carrying on with the election process.

Court raps cops for putting wrong man on trial

Agencies : New Delhi, Mon May 28 2012, 17:34 hrs

Questioning the police for putting a wrong man on trial in a rape case, a Delhi court has asked the city’s North West district deputy commissioner of police (DCP) to take action against the erring officials for it.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau also directed the DCP to hold an in-house inquiry to ascertain as to how a wrong man was booked for the offence of rape instead of the actual culprit.

“The DCP concerned is directed to take necessary action against the erring officers for their failure to get the identity of the accused cross-checked / established from the victim before filing the charge sheet in the court,” the judge said.

The matter came to light at the time of recording of the statement of the victim who refused to identify the person facing trial as the real accused and told the judge that the one who had raped her was standing outside the court room and had threatened her not to depose in the case.

The court pulled up the investigating officer (IO) in the case for not cross checking the identity of the accused through the statutory Test Identification Parade (TIP).

“On the face of it, either Jai Kumar has been falsely implicated on mistaken identity perhaps only to work out the case or a deliberate attempt has been made to divert the allegations from Dinesh to Jai Kumar and perhaps it is for this reason that no identification was got conducted. It is this which makes the court suspect the intent of investigating agency and the fairness of the investigation,” ASJ Lau said.

The police had produced before the court one Jai Kumar who was in jail since December 2011 and was facing trial in the case instead of another Jai Kumar alias Dinesh.

Dinesh was arrested after the last hearing of the case when the victim apprised the court about the identity of the accused.

The court said it was necessary for the IO to have Jai Kumar’s TIP done before the victim but the record revealed that at no point of time the officer bothered to get it done.

“A million dollar question which now arises is as to why was it that the IO did not bother to cross check the identity by putting the accused to the victim for identification,” it


The court observed that life and liberty of an individual is most “sacrosanct” and cannot be taken away by the state in the manner as done by the police in this case.

The judge also noted that Jai Kumar was arrested by building pressure on him by getting coercive process issued against him from the court. Due to this pressure, Jai Kumar had surrendered before the police.

The court granted bail to Jai Kumar who said he was implicated in the case by police and the victim had not identified him as one of the assailants.

Hand over Adarsh land: Defence Ministry to Maharashtra government

NDTV Correspondent | Updated: May 29, 2012 00:09 IST

Mumbai: The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has sent a notice to the Maharashtra government claiming the ownership of the land on which the Adarsh Housing Society is built. According to the notice, the land was taken by fraud, connivance between politicians, bureaucrats and defence officials, and that the Maharashtra government is illegally denying property to the Centre.

“The 31-storey building (Adarsh) has been constructed illegally and unlawfully. The MoD is the sole owner of the land. By fraud, collusion and connivance on part of Adarsh members, ministers and bureaucrats of the state government and officials from the defence ministry acting beyond their scope of authority, the land was transferred to Adarsh society,” the notice claims.

The notice, which was sent to the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra, Registrar of Cooperative Societies and Adarsh society, also says that if the Maharashtra government does not reply within 60 days, the Ministry of Defence will file a title suit in the Bombay High Court.

“In a final attempt to avoid litigation, the defence ministry calls upon the government and Adarsh to reconsider their legal position and acknowledge title of MoD within two months,” the notice reads.

However, last month, the judicial commission of inquiry looking into the Adarsh housing scam held that the land on which Adarsh Housing Society stands belongs to the government, and not the Army.

The state government had approached the commission a few months ago seeking an interim report on the points of title and reservation. A two-member panel was set up to probe the scam in January last year.

The panel, which submitted its interim report to the government on April 13, also held that the 31-storey high-rise was not reserved for war heroes and Kargil widows.

When the Adarsh scam broke, politicians, bureaucrats and Armymen were accused of grabbing Defence land. The interim report had come as a vindication of the state’s stand that it was government land and it was free to allot it.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai Sessions Court is likely to pronounce its order in the bail hearing of the seven people accused in the scam today. They had filed bail applications saying the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had not filed its chargesheet even after the mandatory sixty days period from their date of arrest.

The accused in the Adarsh society scam include suspended Maharashtra Finance Secretary Pradeep Vyas, P V Deshmukh, Retired Brigadier MM Wanchoo, former Defence Estates Officer RC Thakur, Retired Major General A R Kumar, Retired Major General TK Kaul and former Congress MLC K L Gidwani.

CLAT results: Davanagere lad makes it to top 3

TNN | May 29, 2012, 03.21AM IST

BANGALORE: Even when the Allahabad High Court was hearing a petition on conducting a re-exam for the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) on Monday, celebrations had begun for many, with the organizing committee declaring the results in the morning. While the North bagged a major share of the pie in the CLAT top 10, it was Ashwij Suresh Ramaiah from Davanagere who stole the limelight in the South.

Anhad Singh Miglani from Chandigarh bagged rank one with 159 marks. “The interest in law was inculcated in me from childhood. I’m sure Perry Mason and John Grisham have played a role in my career decision! All the features tested in CLAT are of my interest. Even when I was a child, I liked watching news and kept myself updated on current events. So when it was time for a career decision, I thought why not,” he said. A student of Vivek High School, he scored 91% in the Commerce stream.

While Anhad’s father is an IAS officer, rank two Pallavi Panigrahi’s is an IPS officer.

Ashwij, a commerce student of Sri Vyshnavi Chetana Science and Commerce College, Davanagere, shared the same marks as Pallavi. Aiming for civil service, Ashwij believes law could be a good foundation. “I have the qualities that a law graduate requires, in terms of oratory skills, debating and writing, and I’m interested in political analysis,” said this son of a civil engineer.

Pallavi, from Odisha, secured 157 marks in CLAT and 93.4% in Commerce stream in CBSE Class 12 exam. Says Pallavi: “I wanted to take up a career for which I had the right aptitude and skills. Throughout my school days, I was good at debating and essay writing. I love reading. All these match the requirements of a career in law. Moreover, it’s an upcoming field and is lucrative,” she said.

The obvious choice of all toppers was NLSIU, Bangalore. Boys and girls shared the laurels, with equal representation of both genders in the top 50. In the top 10, it was six boys against four girls. Twelve students — from Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra — scored more than 150.

The Q paper hitch

CLAT 2012 came under a cloud after students alleged that the questions were not from the syllabus. According to them, the CLAT website clearly stated that in the general knowledge section, students would be tested “on their knowledge of current affairs (broadly defined as matters featuring in the mainstream media between March 2011 and March 2012)”. For legal reasoning, “candidates will not be tested on any prior knowledge of law or legal concepts. If a technical/legal term is used in the question, that term will be explained in the question itself”, it stated. However, at least 15 questions were static GK and 5-8 questions required some knowledge of law, which the pre law students claimed was unfair.

CLAT was taken by over 28,000 students across the country and holds the key to the 14 law schools of the country.

Times View

The Davanagere young man in the top three in the nationwide law entrance test is more confirmation of the theory that it’s in the small towns that the hunger for success is much more. In recent times, this has gained wider currency, with young persons in cricket, films and many other fields proving time and time again that given the right break, they can do as well if not better than their urban counterparts. It’s up to the system to encourage and mould this raw talent.

CBI searches in connection with teacher recruitment scam

Posted on: 28 May 2012, 01:03 PM

Haryana: The CBI on Sunday carried out searches in connection with the alleged bungling in recruitment of teachers in Chandigarh against three persons, including a Haryana civil services officer.

The case was registered by the CBI after directions from the Punjab and Haryana high court under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act against two persons Hardev Singh and Jolly, CBI said.

The case was earlier registered by Chandigarh Police in September 2009 but was subsequently re-registered by the CBI on the directions of the high court after the police failed to make any headway in the case.

It was alleged that during the period from 2007-09, Singh and Jolly allegedly in collusion with the unknown public servants of the department of education, Chandigarh, were demanding bribe for appointment of teachers, the official spokesperson said in a release.

Searches were conducted today at four places, including that of the residence-cum-office of the then director physical instructor (Schools) Samvrat Singh, a civil service officer of Haryana and premises of Singh and Jolly.

Singh is at present secretary in the Haryana Urban Development Authority.


Activist seeks sanction to prosecute former CMs

TNN | May 29, 2012, 03.32AM IST

BANGALORE: A petition seeking sanction to prosecute two former CMs — N Dharam Singh and H D Kumaraswamy — regarding their roles in alleged illegal mining was filed before the Karnataka legislative assembly speaker KG Bopaiah here on Monday by a private individual.

Activist T J Abraham files this petition after his request on the same issue was turned down by the Lok Sabha secretariat on the grounds that the allegations pertained to the period when they were members of the Karnataka assembly. To a similar petition filed by him against Union minister SM Krishna , the Rajya Sabha secretariat said prosecution at this state is unwarranted for and can happen only when a chargesheet is filed, according to Abraham.

In his petition, Abraham said as a social worker he was pained by the deterioration of ethics and morality in public life, more so with alarming levels of indulgence in corruption by people holding public office. “I have decided to initiate criminal proceedings against the three MPs (Krishna, Singh and Kumaraswamy) and get them prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; The Karnataka Forests Act,1963; The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980; Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 and the Indian Penal Code,” he added.

The basic premise, he said, is the revelation by two Lokayukta reports on illegal mining released by Justice Santosh N Hegde when he headed the anti-graft agency. When contacted, Bopaiah said he wasn’t aware of the petitions as he’s in his constituency.

Times View

The Karnataka government must be ashamed that a significant event in its history may well have gone unsung. But in a case of better late than never, it’s finally mobilizing its resources to unearth nuggets of the assembly and showcase them to a generation which is understandably ignorant about the glorious past. It’s also a good opportunity to honour the early pioneers of Karnataka governance who set the tone and tenor for good administration. It may even remind the present lot why the state’s visionaries were hailed across the country.

70 booked for staging protests over power cuts

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Faridabad, May 28, 2012The City police have registered cases against 70 people for blocking National Highway 2 (Mathura Road) in protest against erratic power and water supply on Sunday. Cops have launched a hunt for all the named and un-named people in the FIR.

A large number of people from Aurangabad village near Palwal had staged a protest on Mathura Road, demanding uninterrupted power and water supply. Due to the protest, traffic was disrupted for about three hours. Police on Sunday slapped cases against 10 named and 60 un-named people.

The cases were registered in Palwal Sadar police station.

“Cases under sections 147,149 and 283 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) have been registered,” a police officer said.

In Faridabad as well, protests have become the order of the day with frequent power cuts. The rural areas of this satellite township witnesses 10 to 12 hours of load-shedding.


Court seeks sworn statement against BSY

Bangalore, May 28, 2012, DHNS:

The Special Lokayukta Court on Monday took cognisance of a private complaint filed against former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and his son B Y Raghavendra, accusing them of accumulating wealth and possessing properties disproportionate to their income.

Pronouncing the orders, Judge N K Sudhindra Rao directed the complainant Vinod B to give his sworn statement on June 30. The cognisance has been taken for offences Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 13(1)(c) and 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

On May 21, 2012, a complaint had been filed by Shimoga-based advocate Vinod B alleging that the properties had been obtained in the name of Yeddyurappa’s relatives and associates. The complaint also named private persons B K Somashekar, Adilakshmamma, B S Umadevi, B K Radhamani and H V Manjunath as the accused.

It is alleged that Yeddyurappa and his son were indulging in land conversion deals and utilising them for benami transactions. He misused his powers and got the conversion done in a short time and he and his son misused their posts.

Kerala CPI(M) leader faces murder charge

Kerala Bureau

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kerala has suffered a major setback with the State police registering a case of murder against the party’s Idukki district secretary M. M. Mony for his sensational disclosure that the CPI(M) eliminated its enemies during the 1980s according to a list prepared for the purpose.

The Idukki district police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Mr. Mony and a few more people under Sections 302 (murder), 109 (abetment) and 118 (concealing design to commit offence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The FIR was registered on the basis of legal advice received by the government and the police on the course of action in the light of Mr. Mony’s statement.

Mr. Mony had, while addressing a rally at Thodupuzha in the district on Saturday, said that killings were nothing new to the CPI(M), as the party had finished off around 13 Congress workers in the early 1980s.

The first was shot, the second beaten to death, and a third stabbed. Following these deaths, the remaining Congressmen had fled and later returned only after taking the permission of CPI(M) leaders, he had said.

Idukki Superintendent of Police George Varghese told The Hindu on Monday that Thodupuzha Deputy SP Antony Varghese had been directed to register a case on the basis Mr. Mony’s statement. The Thodupuzha Circle Inspector of Police would investigate the cases in question. State Police Chief Jacob Punnoose told The Hindu separately that evidence was being collected to reopen the cases mentioned in the reported statement.

Soon after reports of Mr. Mony’s statement started appearing in the visual media, inferences were made that Mr. Mony was alluding to the killing of Ancheri Baby, Mullanchira Mathai and Muttukad Nanappan, all of them Congress workers, in the early eighties.

Senior police officials pointed out that the trial process in these cases was completed, and the accused were exonerated for want of evidence.

Ancheri Baby was shot dead on November 13, 1982. It is said that the gun produced in court was rejected as unusable by forensic experts, leading to the acquittal of the accused. Mullanchira Mathai was beaten to death on January 16, 1983, but want of witnesses led to the acquittal of 11 CPI(M) activists arraigned in the case. Muttukad Nanappan was stabbed to death on June 6, 1983, but this case too didn’t stand due to want of witnesses.

Adarsh scam: CBI to add stringent sections of IPC against accused

Published: Monday, May 28, 2012, 20:15 IST | Updated: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 2:01 IST
Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI

Fourteen accused in the multi-crore Adarsh Housing Society scam might land in more trouble, as the CBI told a special court today that it might add stringent sections of the IPC, which could attract life imprisonment for them.

The CBI told the court that it was likely to add section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and section 467 (forgery of valuable security and wills) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the accused, who could get life imprisonment if convicted under these sections.

The CBI was filing its reply after seven accused arrested in connection with the case – IAS officer Pradeep Vyas, former deputy secretary in Urban Development Department PV Deshmukh, Brigadier (retd) MM Wanchoo, retired Defence Estates Officer RC Thakur, Major General (Retd) AR Kumar, Maj Gen (Retd) TK Kaul and former MLC Kanhaiyyalal Gidwani – filed a bail application.

“If the sections are applied, the maximum punishment would be life imprisonment and the time limit of filing a charge sheet is 90 days,” special public prosecutor Bharat Badami said.

CBI had collected samples of the signature of the accused, which had been sent for analysis for further investigation, Badami said.

He further told the court that the CBI was collecting evidence to prove that the accused had committed the offence under sections 409 and 467.

In their bail application, the accused had said that they were entitled for bail by default as the CBI had not filed the charge sheet in the stipulated period of 60 days.

The court is likely to pass an order on their bail application tomorrow.

The scam pertains to alleged irregularities in construction and allotment of apartments in the 32-storeyed highrise, originally meant for families of Kargil war heroes, in the upmarket Colaba area in south Mumbai.

The FIR had also named the former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, who had to step down following allegations that he had recommended allotment of 40 per cent flats in the housing society and that his relatives had got flats in the building as quid-pro-quo for extending favours to the society.

CBI opposes bail pleas of seven accused, says fresh charges likely

Express news service : Tue May 29 2012, 03:33 hrs

Over a year after the CBI registered a case against 14 persons in the Adarsh housing society scam and two months after making the first of nine arrests, the central agency is likely to add two new charges against the accused.

Opposing the bail application filed by seven of the nine arrested accused, CBI counsel Bhart Badami on Monday told the court that while investigations are still on, the agency is finding out if two additional sections under the Indian Penal Code can be applied too — 409 (Criminal breach of trust by public servant or by banker, merchant or agent) and 467 (forgery of valuable security).

The accused on May 21 moved a fresh bail application seeking bail on the ground that 60 days have passed since the first arrest and the investigating agency is yet to file a chargesheet. “Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, it is a mandatory provision that an accused can avail bail. We have cited Supreme Court judgment, which clearly stated that it is a court’s duty to inform an accused if he has spent 60 days in jail,” said former Mumbai collector Pradeep Vyas’ lawyer Swapna Kode.

IAS officer Vyas has been behind bars along with eight others – Maj Gen (retd) A R Kumar, Maj Gen (retd) T K Kaul, former Congress legislator Kanahiyalal Gidwani, retired defence estates officer R C Thakur, Brig (retd) M M Wanchoo, former deputy secretary (urban development) P V Deshmukh, former municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak and retired information commissioner Ramanand Tiwari.

In past, too, the accused had moved for bail, but their applications were rejected after the CBI told the court that the accused are influential persons and could possibly influence witnesses.

Meanwhile, a senior IAS officer’s deposition in the two-member judicial commission has revealed that the state government might have delayed taking action against the society for two years regarding issuing a stop-work notice. This came during questioning of the official, Additional Chief Secretary (Urban Development) T C Benjamin, by the Adarsh commission. Benjamin was shown a letter written by the urban development department (UDD) to the Western Naval Command, the MCGM and the MMRDA. The letter had asked the MMRDA to file a reply with respect to allegations against the Adarsh society, subsequent to a complaint received by activist Simpreet Singh regarding alleged civic violations.

The MMRDA, in its reply, had said permission to construct the building had been granted and that construction had begun on the site. According to Benjamin, the UDD had expected a detailed report on the complaint by Singh and the MMRDA “did not address these issues.”

This communication took place between September and November 2008.

However, it was only in October 2010 that the the state government issued to the MMRDA to stop work on the project. Deposing before the commission, Benjamin admitted that in this period, “the construction of the Adarsh CHS was nearly complete.”

Etisalat DB directed not to shift equipment from ATC towers

25 May, 2012, 2251 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: Telecom tribunal TDSAT today directed Etisalat DB not to shift its equipments lying on the towers of ATC Telecom Tower Corporation till Tuesday, the next date of hearing.

Passing an order, Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) directed Etisalat not to remove its equipments fixed on ATC Telecom Tower Corporation, which is claiming dues from the operator.

The Tribunal further said that any further consideration on the pleas of the ATS Telecom Tower would be only on Tuesday, when the Chairman would head the TDSAT bench.

Today’s order was passed by its Member P K Rastogi. Earlier, on May 4, TDSAT had restrained Etisalat DB from transferring its equipments lying with the RInfra. The RCom subsidiary is claiming over Rs 1,200 crore as dues from Etisalat DB for using its telecom towers and other infrastructure.

TDSAT’s direction came, while hearing a petition filed by ATC Telecom Tower to recover its dues from Etisalat DB, which has closed operations after cancellation of its license.

In its petition, the Kerala-based firm has requested the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal to direct Etisalat to pay Rs 70 lakh in dues.

ATC Telecom Tower was providing telecommunications infrastructure services to Etisalat DB, a joint venture between UAE-based telecom giant Etisalat and Dyanmix Balwa group.

Presently, Etisalat DB also is facing recovery suits on various forums including High Courts and Debt Recovery Tribunal.

Scribe fined Rs 1 lakh for contempt plea against Katju

Express News Service : Lucknow, Tue May 29 2012, 03:46 hrs

Press Council chairman did not implement ban on troop movement story, petition alleged

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has slapped a fine of Rs 1 lakh on social activist and freelance journalist Nutan Thakur for filing a “frivolous petition”, which accused Press Council chairman Markandey Katju and four others of committing contempt by not taking action to implement a judgment banning media reporting on movement of army troops. Katju had also criticised the judgment as “not correct”, the petition said.

Justice Devendra Kumar Arora, while dismissing the petition, said, “The applicant has made an unsuccessful attempt to make a case out of nothing just for the sake of sensationalism.”

On April 10, a high court bench of Justice Uma Nath Singh and Virendra Kumar Dixit directed the Union home secretary, the secretary of Information and Broadcasting, and principal secretary (Home) of UP to ensure that there was no reporting of any news item by the media regarding movement of troops.

The order was passed on a PIL of Thakur which contended that a report carried by The Indian Express on April 4 on unauthorised movement of two army units towards NCR on the night of December 16-17 last year, as also some other media reports, were against national interest.

In her contempt petition, Thakur said the Press Council Chairman had termed the judgment as “not correct” and even stated that the council would challenge it in the Supreme Court. Later, the Press Council actually moved the Supreme Court. Thakur said that the Press Council Chairman should carry out the court’s directions instead of commenting on it.

She said other authorities had also not taken steps to enforce the court’s judgment and submitted copies of news items published in some newspapers, including The Indian Express, and said that these violated the high court’s directions.

In his judgment, Justice Arora pointed out that these news items were regarding a statement made by the Defence Minister in the Rajya Sabha about the movement of troops on the night of December 16-17, not any fresh movement. Justice Arora said the Press Council was not a party to the case in which the court imposed restrictions on reporting on movement of army troops, nor had the court given the council any directions. Besides, the Press Council was a statutory body with quasi-judicial functions.

As for the council chairman expressing an opinion on the judgment, Justice Arora said, “…terming the order of the writ court as ‘not correct’ is just an opinion of the chairman of the Press Council of India, who has every right of fair and healthy criticism of the judgment.’’

The bench said, “The petition lacks bona fides and is an abuse of the process of the court. It appears that the petitioner has filed this petition just to come to the limelight and nothing else, which wasted the time of the court.”

Vijayamma’s letter: EC to seek legal opinion

J. Balaji

The Election Commission will seek legal opinion, before deciding on the request made by YSR Congress MLA Y.S. Vijayamma, seeking its intervention to order CBI to release her son and party president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, arrested in Hyderabad in a corruption case. Sources said the Commission – Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi and Election Commissioners V.S. Sampath and H.S. Brahma – would meet on Tuesday and take up the petition from Ms. Vijayamma and consider it along with the legal opinion.

In her memorandum, the wife of late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, had said the “most undemocratic” arrest of Mr. Jagan, just 15 days before the June 12 by-elections in Andhra Pradesh, was “part of a larger conspiracy to prevent his (Mr. Jagan) participation in the elections with the sole objective of helping the ruling Congress candidates. This is an SOS from YSR Congress Party”. She accused Congress and TDP of misusing every institution with impunity.

Time to discern intl humanitarian laws: Ex-CJI

Mysore, May 28 2012, DHNS:

‘Conflict between countries a concern’

Existing international humanitarian laws need to be readdressed if they are unable to deal with issues in war-torn countries, said former Chief Justice of India S Rajendra Babu.

He was addressing a three-day South Indian regional teachers’ training programme on international humanitarian law organised by International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and University of Mysore in the city on Monday.

Justice Babu said the law should mitigate the effect of destruction caused due to wars across the globe.

Also, the emphasis should be on reducing human suffering, he added.

With wars being fought using drones and cutting-edge technology, justice Babu said international humanitarian law needs a relook as existing regulations are insufficient to deal with present scenarios.

Citing the example of frequent wars, he said bombs are now released from the defence headquarters to another country. In such situations, while there is no involvement of soldiers, a country continues to take the beating through guided missiles. In such cases, international humanitarian law should come up with regulations to prevent any country from being attacked.

Questioning if killing Osama Bin Laden was legal, justice Babu, who was also former chairman of national human rights commission, said the Geneva convention is valid for matters of conflict between countries and those issues related to insurgency groups.

However, with Al Qaeda and Laden not being either a country or an insurgency group, he asked how the convention would apply. He said even though USA is at war with Al Qaeda, international humanitarian law could have made it unlawful.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Sanoj Rajan of ICRC said the organisation is conducting programmes similar to this to spread the message of humanitarian law on international-level. Gaining knowledge in this area would help policy-makers while taking decisions on international matters.

West Bengal University of Juridical Sciences vice-chancellor Prof P Ishwara Bhat, National Law School of India vice-chancellor Prof R Venkata Rao, law department chairman M D Krishna, dean Prof C Basavaraju and coordinator Maruthi T R were present.

Apex court refuses info under RTI on CD relating to Singhvi

New Delhi, May 28, 2012, DHNS:

The Supreme Court has refused to confirm if the Chief Justice of India (CJI) had taken cognisance of the news reports relating to a sex CD allegedly involving Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

In a reply furnished under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the apex court’s registry did not confirm whether the news reports on the CD allegedly containing “some mention of interference in judicial appointments” were considered or not.

“It is beyond the jurisdiction and scope of the duties of the Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the Supreme Court of India under the Right to Information Act 2005 to authenticate news report to interpret the law, or judgments of this court or of any other court, opine, comment or advise on matters, your request cannot be acceded to under the RTI Act,” Additional Registrar and CPIO Smita Vats Sharma said.

The CD allegedly involving Singhvi and a woman lawyer in a purported compromising position was circulated last month, prompting the Congress leader to resign from Chairman of a Parliamentary Standing Committee post. Singhvi had claimed that the CD was “fabricated and morphed” and denied its contents.

Noted RTI activists Subhash C Agrawal had sought the response from the apex court on a news-report stating that Justice S H Kapadia had sent for review names of five persons, recommended for appointment as Judges at the Delhi High Court.

With regard to development on appointments of judges, the CPIO referred to an SC order of December 4, 2009, staying disclosure of any such information, saying that it would amount to contempt of court.

Dissatisfied with the response from the SC registry, Agrawal filed an appeal before the appellate authority. He decried the refusal of information saying “such an attitude on part of registry of country’s highest court is highly regrettable which not only harasses RTI petitioners, but also involves valuable time of all concerned including of already over-burdened Central Information Commission.”

“In an earlier RTI response, CPIO had confessed about being a system at Supreme Court to take cognisance of news reports.”

Allahabad HC directs state CMOs, DMs to take action on ISM doctors practising modern medicine

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

In a significant order, the Allahabad High Court last week directed the Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) and the District Magistrates (DMs) to initiate prosecution against those ISM practitioners who administer modern medicine to their patients by prescribing drugs and carrying out surgeries in their nursing homes.

The Court also ordered to conduct raids in such nursing homes and prohibit those persons from practising modern system of medicine. The judgement said besides initiating prosecution, an FIR should be lodged and those clinics/nursing homes should be sealed. There were reports in the media that large number of unauthorized, unqualified and unregistered persons and physicians in homoeopathy, Unani, Ayurveda and Siddha are practising modern system in several places in the state.

In the judgement it is noted that there was allegation that the quacks were practising modern medicine in connivance with the chief medical officers and their staff.

In his judgement on the contempt application filed by one Rajesh Kumar Srivastava, Justice Sunil Ambwani also directed the chief secretary and the principal health secretary to comply with the earlier orders passed by the Court prohibiting those persons, who are unqualified and unregistered, from practising modern medicine. The court reminded the state’s chief bureaucrats of its earlier orders and directed them to submit a compliance report in the court by July 13, 2012.

In February 2010, in a similar case, the High Court of Madras in an order restrained the ISM practitioners from practising allopathic system. Passing the order, Justice K K Sasidharan had held that police could take action against those who practise modern system without qualification. Following this order, the state police had started widespread crack down on ISM practitioners for practising allopathy.

Desperate over the police action the traditional physicians approached the High Court and on July 30, Justice FM Ibrahim Kalifulla ruled that the registered practitioners in Siddha, Ayurveda, Homoeopathy and Unani were eligible to practice surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, anaesthesiology, ENT, ophthalmology, etc. and said penal action against such practitioners should be dropped immediately. The court took note of section 17 (3) B of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 to issue the order.

After the order came out, the state government wrote to the state police that the institutionally qualified and registered practitioners of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani could practise their respective systems with modern scientific medicines including surgery, gynaecology & obstetrics, anaesthesiology, ENT, ophthalmology, etc. based on their training and teaching in the course. This was based on section 17 (3) B of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970.

Later the Tamil Nadu branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) appealed against the verdict before the High Court and the case is still pending with the court.

HC bails out Gurgaon Citibank fraud mastermind, his father

Sanjeev Verma , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh , May 28, 2012

Mastermind of multi-crore Gurgaon Citibank fraud case, Shivraj Puri, and his father Raghu Raj Puri, who are behind bars at Bhondsi jail in Gurgaon, were granted bail by the Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday.

The high court had earlier granted anticipatory bail to Shivraj Puri’s mother Deeksha Puri.

Shivraj Puri is behind the bars since December 2010 and his father was arrested by the police in February 2011. The first FIR was registered against Shivraj Puri and others on December 27, 2010 by Citibank assistant vice-president Binu Sonam and second on January 4, 2011 by one Sanjiv Aggarwal at police station DLF Phase-II, Gurgaon.

Citibank relationship manager Shivraj Puri had allegedly siphoned off around Rs. 400 crore of various customers to fictitious accounts. Shivraj was denied the bail by the Gurgaon court after which he had moved the high court on March 2.

Raghu Raj Puri was the managing director of a Kolkata-based firm Normans Martin Brokers Pvt Ltd through which Shivraj allegedly used to divert money into stock markets.

The FIR mentioned that an account was opened in Citibank in the name of Deeksha Puri(Shivraj Puri’s mother) and two other relatives of Shivraj Puri(Prem Nath and Sheela) jointly in September 2009.
It was further stated that in December 2009 the bank examined the account and found a lot of transaction had been done from the account.

Shivraj allegedly used to show a forged notification of Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) to sell investment products to clients claiming that these would generate high returns.

HC orders release of arrested Stamp Deptt official

PTI | 09:05 PM,May 28,2012

Allahabad, May 28 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court today ordered the release of a senior official of the Stamp and Registration Department of Uttar Pradesh observing that his arrest here in connection with a fraud case could have been “a case of mistaken identity” even as it ordered an inquiry to verify it. Justice Pankaj Mithal ordered the release of Ashwani Kumar, currently posted as the DIG(Stamp) at Lucknow, “subject to his furnishing personal bond of Rs 25,000 and two sureties of the like amount before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Allahabad”. Kumar was arrested from Georgetown police station area of the city on Saturday night, following a direction issued by the High Court on May 21 for the arrest of three erstwhile directors of Tathagat Small Scale Industries Ltd, a now-defunct company, charged with having “defrauded innocent depositors” way back in the 1990s. The three ex-directors are Ashwani Kumar, R B Shakya and Manju Shakya. Appearing on behalf of the DIG (Stamp), his counsel Arun Kumar Gupta informed the court that his client “was never the director of the company in liquidation and this fact has come on record but even then he has been arrested, whereas the director of the company is some other person with the same name”. Gupta also pointed out that earlier a warrant had been issued against Kumar because of the same confusion but it was “kept in abeyance” by a court order passed on October 09, 2006. The court remarked “it may be a case of mistaken identity but at this stage it can not be conclusively said that Ashwani Kumar who is present in court is not the same person who happens to be one of the directors of the company in liquidation. The possibility of both being one and the same person cannot be ruled out”. “The Senior Superintendent of Police of Allahabad is directed to make an inquiry about the identity of ex-director of the company in liquidation, named Ashwani Kumar, and also as to whether Ashwani Kumar arrested by him is the same person who at one time was the director in the company in liquidation”, the judge said. A report in this regard, after thorough investigation, shall be submitted before the court in a sealed cover within a period of six weeks”, the court added. “It is made clear that arrest of aforesaid Ashwani Kumar at this stage and his being in jail would not affect his service adversely as on date subject to final order to be passed in this regard.

HC orders medical test of all Rohtak shelter home abused

Ajay Sura, TNN | May 29, 2012, 05.16AM IST

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday ordered a detailed medical examination of all inmates of the infamous Rohtak-based shelter home, which was recently rocked by a sex scandal.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) team had rescued over 90 minor girls, between 10 and 15 years, from the home on May 9.

Jaswanti Devi, owner of the home, has been charged with immoral trafficking, torture and promoting bonded labour. Initial investigations have also revealed that some girls were allegedly forced into physical relationship with men, and if they protested, beaten and paraded naked.

A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Alok Singh ordered medical examination of all home inmates who were victims of sexual abuse by a special panel of women doctors at PGI, Chandigarh.

The court asked Haryana chief secretary to furnish a medical report on June 1. The DGP and Rohtak superintendent of police will also file their reply in the court that day.

The court took cognizance that Rohtak police and PGIMS, Rohtak, a premier hospital, did not conduct medical examination of girls who were sexually abused and that the district administration treated the case casually.

The high court issued the order following a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by lawyer and child rights activist Utsav Bains.

“Politicians and law-enforcers are known to support and protect brothel owners, pimps and child-traffickers in exchange of money, and are therefore interested in subverting the law,” Bains said, demanding a probe by a special investigation team (SIT) comprising members from outside Haryana.

Referring to a news item published in TOI in which the main accused had “threatened to expose government officials who frequented her place as she had proofs as entries in the visitor book,” Bains submitted that the authorities were trying to cover up the incident.

HC dismisses ABVP plea to make teachers put in extra hours

Express news service : Tue May 29 2012, 04:33 hrs

The Bombay High Court on Monday refused to entertain a demand of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) that Mumbai University (MU) teachers should be asked to put in additional hours per day for correction of answer papers.

The ABVP had initially moved the court against the strike, which had been called to demand recognition for non- National Eligibility Test (NET) / State Eligibility Test (SET) teachers who were appointed between April 1991 and January 2000. The strike, however, was called off on May 19.

In a hearing before a Vacation Bench of the court, counsel for the ABVP Uday Warunjikar contended that the interests of university would be greatly harmed on account of the strike and suggested that the university ask its staff to evaluate answer sheets for 10 hours a day.

He pointed out that the results have already been delayed beyond 45 days after completion of the examination, which is the outer limit laid down for declaring the results.

Reacting to this, a Bench of Justice R Y Ganoo and Justice N M Jamdar said, “In fact, if teachers are asked to check answer sheets for 10 hours, then grave injustice will be caused to the students. It is not mechanical or clerical work and it requires concentration.”

Justice Jamdar noted that the delay in results is a “genuine problem”, but opined that it must be dealt with at the level of the university.

The judges, however, noted that the state government and various universities across the state have not filed affidavits stating their stand and asked them to do so by Friday.

Justice Ganoo, while recalling his own experiences of assessing law answer sheets, said, “Even if a person does his work in an extremely dedicated manner, it is not possible to fairly check more than forty answer sheets.”

In its petition, the ABVP notes that the strike has adversely affected 13 lakh graduate and post-graduate students with their answer sheets remaining unassessed.

Karnataka High Court bench stays order on Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges Karnataka

TNN | May 29, 2012, 03.34AM IST

BANGALORE: A division bench of the Karnataka High Court on Monday passed an interim stay on the single bench order of May 25 whereby the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges Karnataka (ComedK) was asked to redo the entire selection for post-graduate dental courses.

“For 12 students, we can’t upset the prospects of 194 (admitted) others who are not party before the court,” the division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen observed while admitting a writ appeal filed by ComedK challenging Friday”s order. The next hearing is on May 30.

Earlier, the petitioner students were told they’d be given priority with regard to counselling for surrendered seats. But they refused it as these were leftover seats, even by those who had a much lower rank. ComedK claimed that in the counselling on May 19, 194 students have been admitted and 17 seats are available. The counsel also claimed that since this is an all-India selection, the single bench order cannot be implemented as the Supreme Court had strictly said all admissions should be completed before May 31.

On Friday, a single bench allowed petitions by 12 dentists who were denied permission by ComedK to participate in counselling as they had produced “faulty” demand drafts and related documents.

Aam measures

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen on Monday directed the state government to file an action taken report (ATR) by next Tuesday with regard to measures taken to alleviate the suffering of mango growers. The bench also asked senior advocate S S Naganand to assist the court to prepare a plan of action. The Kolar Mango Growers’ Association had filed a PIL complaining about apathy of the state government with regard to mango farmers.

CMOs murder: High Court grants three more months to CBI

TNN | May 29, 2012, 05.36AM IST

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Monday posted the matter related to scam in implementation of the National Rural Health Mission in Lucknow and murder of two chief medical officers Dr VK Arya and Dr BP Singh on August 23, virtually granting about three months further extension to the CBI to solve the murder mysteries. The court had in July 2011 directed the central agency to take up the cases with the expectation that the reputed agency will solve the cases within three months. The CBI over and again sought extension of time, since July 2011 and every time the court accepted its demand with little rebuke.

On Monday, complying with a direction issued by a division bench, the CBI investigating officers appeared before the court with the case diary of the cases. Considering the seriousness of the matter, the judges of the bench called the CBI counsel Bireshwar Nath and investigators in the retiring chamber for perusal of case diary and probe papers. After a considerable period, the bench directed to list the matter on August 23 for orders.

The two sensational murders had rocked the state capital and it was suspected that the murders had close links with sharing of NRHM funds. Earlier, the police took up the investigations and almost reached to the conclusion forwarding a chargesheet against few accused, but the lower courts had returned the chargesheets to the police to do the probe in right direction. Thereafter, the high court issued directives to the CBI in July 2011 for further investigation into the matter. After a year, the CBI is still beating around the bush. Ironically, the accused put in the jail are neither being tried for murder charges nor are they able to get bail.

Senior official moves HC against info commissioner

HT Correspondent, Hindustan TimesAn internal war within the Central Information Commission (CIC) has come out in the open. An IAS official, AD Chakravarti, serving as Joint Secretary (Law) in the commission has filed a petition against Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi in the Delhi High Court.

In the petition, Chakravarti has accused Gandhi of “gross and malafide exercise of power and personal bias”. Justice Vipin Sanghi on Monday issued a notice to Gandhi and also stayed proceedings in the case where Gandhi had allegedly initiated inquiry against CIC officials, including Chakravarti.

In his plea, Chakravarti claimed that Gandhi went beyond his jurisdiction to start an inquiry against him though the complaint against him was being examined by a larger bench of the CIC.

Appearing for the officer, advocate Rajiv Bansal, informed the court that Gandhi’s decision smacked of arbitrariness.

PJ Thomas’ empanelment records: Govt to challenge CIC order

May 28, 2012 03:22 PM |
Moneylife Digital Team
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The cabinet secretariat has refused to furnish the records of empanelment of Mr Thomas’ appointment at the Centre under the RTI Act. However, earlier acting on an appeal filed by Delhi-based activist Subhash Agrawal, the CIC had directed the government to disclose of the documents

The central government has decided to challenge the Central Information Commission’s (CIC) order in Delhi High Court, directing it to disclose records, including the file noting, related to the empanelment of former Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) PJ Thomas for appointment at the Centre. The decision comes three month after the CIC order.

Hearing an appeal filed by Delhi-based Right to Information (RTI) activist Subhash Agrawal, Central Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra had, on 29 February 2012, set aside the orders of the central public information officer (CPIO) and appellate authority and directed the cabinet secretariat to disclose the required documents.

“The entire information relates to a certain rule made by the Central government for empanelment of officers for posting at the level of additional secretary and secretary to the Government of India and the subsequent relaxation in that rule. The framing of the rule and its subsequent relaxation cannot be classified as Cabinet papers. Cabinet papers refer to only those papers which are placed before the council of ministers or any committee of ministers constituted by it for considering any particular proposal; framing of rules for empanelment of officers at the level of additional secretary and secretary, we understand, does not require the approval of the council of ministers.”

The cabinet secretariat had refused to furnish the records of empanelment of Mr Thomas’ appointment at the Centre citing it to be Cabinet documents not to be disclosed under the RTI Act.

In a reply to Mr Agrawal’s RTI application, the CPIO did not provide information on some questions such as if there is any provision that required an officer to serve at least for three years in the central government before joining post of joint secretary and above at the Centre, any changes in those norms, etc. The decision was endorsed by the Appellate Authority.

PTI reported that the Centre had a rule that only those IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officers who had served at least three years at the Centre would be considered for appointment to the post of joint secretary and above at the Centre. Accordingly, officials who were facing vigilance cases in their states could not come to the Centre for these positions. The rule was reportedly changed allowing the officials who had been cleared of vigilance inquiry to come and serve at the Centre.

Mr Thomas had joined the Centre as parliamentary affairs secretary in 2009 before his appointment as telecom secretary and subsequently as central vigilance commissioner, which was quashed by the Supreme Court on 3 March 2011. He was selected as CVC in September 2010 by the three-member high-powered committee (HPC) including prime minister Manmohan Singh, home minister P Chidambaram and leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. Ms Swaraj had put a dissenting note opposing the selection of Mr Thomas. The Supreme Court quashed the appointment of Mr Thomas as CVC, saying the recommendation made by the HPC did not consider charge-sheet relating to a corruption case pending against him during his tenure in Kerala government.

Answer sheets cannot be checked mechanically: Bombay high court

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | May 29, 2012, 06.47AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Monday said answersheets cannot be assessed in a mechanical manner. The court wanted the state government to reply to what measures it had taken to ensure that answersheets are evaluated on time.

A vacation division bench of justice R Y Ganoo and justice Nitin Jamdar were hearing a petition filed by the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) seeking action against teachers and associations, including the Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers that had given a call to boycott assessment work. While in Mumbai the strike would delay the assessment of only final year answersheets, the assessments of all years would be affected in the rest of Maharashtra.

ABVP’s advocate Uday Warunjikar argued that according to a university rule, papers are to be assessed within a maximum of 45 days after exams get over. He said that due to the strike, the entire schedule was delayed by a further two months and the results will now be declared only in August. “There is no clarity on the assessment of answersheets. How much work has been done till now? Results have to be declared within a specified time. Those who are applying for competitive exams will suffer due to the delay,” Warunjikar added.

The judges observed that it is up to the individual universities in Maharashtra to examine the workload of assessment and to direct their professors on how to tackle it. “Don’t presume that universities will not look after the interests of students,” said Ganoo. The judges also declined to direct examiners to put in extra hours. They observed that an examiner would be able to assess answersheets at the most for five to six hours in a day.

“It will be impossible for us to direct universities to ask their professors to work for 10 hours a day. It would be unjust to students especially since in such cases, an examiner would just be putting a figure at the end of the answersheets,” said Ganoo.

The judges also observed that assessing answersheets is not a clerical job.

“Besides, students’ handwritings differ from one to the other. It is neither arithmetic nor computerised assessing of papers. No matter how diligently an examiner checks answersheets, he will not be able check more than 40 answersheets of 100 marks each,” said Ganoo. The judge added that he would know having corrected law exam papers.

Observing that an earlier order was not complied with, the judges directed the state and Mumbai University to file their affidavits on subsequent steps being taken for evaluation of answersheets. They also directed the presence of a “competent officer” to remain present to answer on behalf of the state government.

Delhi high court CJ assures safety to judges

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 29, 2012Expressing concern over the recent attack on three judges, acting chief justice of the Delhi High Court AK Sikri has assured all judicial officers of their personal safety and a fearless environment to dispense justice.

“I am pained to know about the recent incidents of attack on judicial officers. Some of them have been reported in the press and few others have gone unreported,” Justice Sikri said in a letter to the district court judges.

On May 18, Metropolitan Magistrate Ajay Garg and two additional sessions judges Inderjit Singh and MK Nagpal were attacked on their way back from the court. While Garg suffered head injuries, Singh and Nagpal escaped unhurt.

Four persons have been arrested and charged with attempt to murder in this regard.

“Without referring to any particular incident and without going into the reasons or provocations, if any, caused by any person or circumstance, I must convey my empathy to all judicial officers who have suffered the attack,” said Justice Sikri.

He said as “the head of judicial family in Delhi,” and the supervising and controlling authority, “I am very much concerned about the safety and security of the judicial officers.”

“I and my colleagues have taken a serious view of these incidents. A judicial officer requires a fearless and independent mind to do justice and any apprehension in their mind about safety will hamper their capabilities to judge fearlessly and impartially,” he said.


Delhi High Court attaches BK Modi’s bungalow for loan default

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has attached a prime central Delhi bungalow owned by businessman BK Modi, who was the managing director of Modi Rubber, which failed to repay a Rs. 5-crore loan taken in 2001. The property is valued in the market at Rs. 150 crore.

The value of receivables by the lender, Morgan Securities & Credit, which gave the loan in the form of inter-corporate deposit, rose to Rs. 18 crore, including an interest component of Rs. 13 crore.

BK Modi and his brother VK Modi had stood guarantors for the loan taken by the company and they were jointly and severally liable to repay the amount. Modi has since resigned from the board of the tyre-maker and runs the telecom to entertainment group Spice Global.

A spokesperson for Modi, however, said the principal amount of Rs. 5 crore was deposited on September 17, 2010 and bank guarantees of Rs. 13 crore towards the interest liability were deposited on March 19, 2011 with the Supreme Court. The case is pending before the apex court, the spokesperson said, adding that Modi’s office was studying the high court order. “Dr BK Modi will take appropriate legal steps including moving to the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the matter, as advised,” said the spokesperson.

Last week, a high court bench presided by Justice Ravindra Bhat and Justice SP Garg passed an order of execution against BK Modi and said that the property – 1, Prithviraj Road – be attached. The court considered Modi’s three immovable properties – one in Panchkula, near Chandigarh, and two in Delhi, including one on the leafy Amrita Shergill Marg. Modi’s lawyers strongly argued that the property on Prithviraj Road was his “main dwelling house”, but the court ruled that Modi was an NRI who spent most of his time in Singapore and hence the property could be attached. Morgan Securities & Credit confirmed that the property got attached through an order pronounced in open court on May 23. “We are still waiting to recover the short-term loan we had given to Modi Rubber 11 years ago,” said Shahzeb Khan, a spokesperson for the company.

The bungalow, built on about an acre of land across the road from the Taj Mansingh Hotel in central Delhi, is a prime property in the Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone. Modi had bought the house in 2010. Legal experts said that the bungalow could be auctioned if further appeals by Modi are dismissed.

When the company and its guarantors failed to repay the short-term loan, Morgan Securities invoked an arbitration, which they won in 2004 and the court asked the Modis to pay Rs. 6.7 crore, which they failed to do. The Modis then filed separate objections. In 2009, the court also rejected their plea that as Modi Rubber had become a sick company and was before the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR), the direction of the arbitration panel to repay the money to Morgan Securities would not be applicable.

Spirit mafias role fictitious: CBI officials

P Ramdas/Toby Antony

KOCHI: The alleged involvement of the spirit mafia in the custodial death of Sampath was the creation of top CBI officials, stated team members investigating the unnatural death of ASP Haridath.

The two CBI officials – S Unnikrishnan and K K Rajan – submitted before the Central Administrative Tribunal� that the higher-ups in the CBI brought the spirit mafia into the picture to divert the case and save the two accused IPS officers.

The documents in possession of Express reveal that the officers stated that some of the top CBI officials in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi units forced Haridath to alter the case diary.

According to the document, Haridath had pointed out in his two case diaries dated February 4, 2011, and March 5, 2011, submitted before Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakulam, that some of the officials in the department are spreading wrong news to divert the case.

The case diary dated February 4, 2011, pointed out that “Haridath had stated elaborately about the threat and harassment the investigation team had to bear because of the high influence of the accused. He had also referred to the spreading of wrong news using some newspapers.”

Similarly, the case diary dated March 5, 2011,� stated that “Haridath had pointed out the attempts made to tarnish the reputation of the investigation team by the CBI officials. They maliciously propagated that spirit and abkari mafia were behind Murukesan, the petitioner.” The application filed by Unnikrishan and Rajan stated that higher officials demanded Haridath on numerous occasions to hand over the case diary to them but he� refused it. It is also pointed out that many times a senior official in the CBI Thiruvananthapuram unit had leaked the departmental news to the local police and the accused IPS officer for assisting them in the case.

The application also suggested that ever since the Supreme Court ordered in April, 2011, to appoint a Supervisory Officer in the case, the situation became more favourable to the corrupt CBI officials.

“Even the statements were re-recorded and some of the witnesses were influenced to keep mum,” the application stated.

Akhilesh government withdraws Gangster Act lodged against Abhay Singh

Ashish Tripathi, TNN | May 29, 2012, 05.46AM IST

LUCKNOW: A Faizabad court has issued release order of Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA and mafia-turned-politician Abhay Singh after SP government withdrew the Gangster Act slapped on him during previous Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government led by Mayawati. The Gangster Act is a special law in Uttar Pradesh which is slapped on those running organized gang involved in serious criminal and anti-social activities.

There are over two dozen criminal cases against Singh. They include extortion, kidnapping and murder. He had won assembly election from Gosaiganj constituency on SP ticket by defeating his BSP rival Indra Pratap Tiwari in March earlier this year. Singh was lodged in Faizabad jail since October, 2010 after a case of extortion was lodged against him by local businessman Vikas Singh, a close aide of the then BSP MLA Jitendra Singh Bablu, in Maharajganj police station.

However, Abhay Singh contested election from jail and won. And, after coming to power, the SP government decided to withdraw Gangster Act against him. “The law department on behalf of the state government issued instructions to withdraw the gangster case against Singh. Subsequently, district magistrate, Faizabad, and the senior superintendent of police, Faizabad, issued no-objection certificate, on the basis of which the prosecution submitted a no-objection report in the court,” said a senior officer.

The release orders were issued by the court after police sub-inspector Sanjay Nagvanshi recorded his statement in the court for dropping the case against Singh. Nagvanshi is the officer who had registered case against Singh during his posting in Maharajganj police station. Singh has already got bail from the different courts in two other cases of Gangster Act registered at Raunahi police station and Kotwali city police station, he added.

Significantly, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, son of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, had promised during campaign that SP, if voted to power, will put all goons and mafia behind bars. He even had blocked entry of west UP don DP Yadav in SP and refused to give him ticket despite recommendation of some senior leaders of the party. His move was then widely publicized by SP to score over rival parties. The party had also used Akhilesh’s move on DP Yadav to cover up the fact that SP had fielded more than one fourth candidates, out of total 403, with criminal antecedents.

The law and order situation in the state has deteriorated after SP came to power. The seriousness could be gauged from the fact that there have been around 15 incidents in which police was assaulted by the criminals in different parts of the state. A case of murder has been lodged against a minister. In fact, there are 19 ministers in Akhilesh cabinet with criminal records. One of the minister Durga Prasad Yadav had recently created a controversy by saying that ‘even God cannot control crime’.

RTI Act is a powerful tool not a weapon

Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Unlike several others who termed the Right to Information (RTI) Act a weapon, information commissioner P Vijay Babu has described it as a powerful tool in the hands of people.

Speaking to Express here on Sunday after holding a meeting with the Krishna district officials on implementation of the RTI Act, he underlined the need to remove misconceptions among some government officials and employees that it was meant to target them.

Actually, the Act was enacted for the benefit of all people, he said.

He asked the district administration to conduct a two-day workshop on the RTI Act for all the stakeholders, including citizens, RTI activists and public information officers (PIOs), for its effective implementation.

“Many officials are of the view that the RTI Act is meant to target them on the pretext of seeking information for the benefit of public.

Some RTI activists are alleging that they are denied information under the Act by the officials concerned.

Others are saying that it is being misused by some to settle their personal scores.

Hence, there is a need to conduct a workshop on the RTI Act for all the stakeholders for its effective implementation,” Vijay Babu said.

“I asked district collector SAM Rizvi over phone, who could not meet me due to some reasons, to conduct the workshop on the RTI Act in Vijayawada,” he said.

Speaking on his priorities, Vijay Babu said the RTI Commission wants to reduce the pendency of petitions to a large extent.

�When asked what are the departments that receive more applications under the RTI Act, he said they i n c l u d e d Revenu e , Panchayat Raj, Education and Home.

He said notices would be issued to the officials concerned from June 18 seeking explanation pertaining to pending petitions under the RTI Act.

Action would be initiated against the officials if they failed to give satisfactory explanation for the pendency within two weeks, he said.

Incharge joint collector Janaki Devi, commissioner of police N Madhusudhan Reddy and district officials participated in the meeting.

Goonda Act potent weapon for police: IGP

Mysore, May 28 2012, DHNS:

Day-long workshop for police officers organised at JSS Law College

Observing that the Goonda Act was a potent weapon for police personnel, IGP Southern Range A S N Murthy called upon officers to learn the technicalities related to the act and use it effectively.

He was speaking at the day-long workshop on ‘The Karnataka prevention of dangerous activities of bootleggers, drug-offenders, gamblers, goondas, immoral traffic offenders and slum-grabbers act 1985,’ organised jointly by Mysore district police and JSS Law College here on Monday.

He said the act allows police personnel to use preventive detention as a measure only if the district magistrate or the commissioner of police is satisfied with the reasons. Citing examples, he said a total of 27 cases were booked in four districts of Hassan, Mandya, Chamarajanagar and Kodagu during 2010. However, the police were successful in arguing only one case in Chamarajanagar, while the remaining managed to get their detention cancelled. He said according to the Supreme Court, a solitary case is enough for a miscreant being taken into preventive detention.

E S  Indresh, government advocate, High Court, discussed the aspects related to the act with the police officers. SP R Dileep, Commissioner K L Sudheer, deputy commissioner P S Vastrad, additional deputy commissioner Naganaik and JSS Law college principal K S Suresh were present.

Police top brass arrive late

The top brass of the police force in the district probably wouldn’t be the best to explain to their officers about punctuality.Top brass including IGP Southern Range A S N Murthy, SP R Dileep and police commissioner K L Sudheer arrived at the programme nearly one hour late.

Nearly 200 police personnel including inspectors, sub-inspectors and constables had arrived at nearly 9 am for the programme which eventually started at 11 am. When queried, IGP  said, “I was told the programme was at 11 am.”

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