LEGAL NEWS 30.05.2012

DTC victim’s relatives given Rs 17 lakh compensation

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 19:22

Tags: DTCMACTDTC victim

New Delhi: The family members of a self-employed man, who died in an accident while travelling by a DTC bus last year, have been awarded a compensation of nearly Rs 17 lakh by a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) here.

The Tribunal directed the New India Assurance Company Ltd, with which the vehicle involved in the accident was insured, to pay Rs 16,88,000 to the wife and four minor kids of Rajendra Prasad Yadav who died in the accident.

Yadav had died in the accident in October last year when he was travelling by a DTC bus standing on its foot-board and it was hit by another bus driven rashly.

“In view of the testimony of the parties and supporting documents available on record, it is prima facie proved that the deceased (Yadav) died due to rash and negligent driving of the driver of the offending bus,” MACT Presiding Officer Dinesh Bhatt said.

The accident took place at Burari Road when the driver of the offending bus was reversing it and hit the DTC bus. Due to the impact, Yadav fell down and sustained fatal injuries.

After the accident, the 46-year-old Burari resident was taken to hospital where he was declared brought dead.

Anil Kumar, driver of the offending bus belonging to M/s City Life Line Travels Pvt Ltd, however, denied his involvement in the accident and said it has occurred due to the negligence of the DTC bus driver and because of Yadav’s fault as he was travelling on the footboard.

Yadav’s wife submitted he was engaged in the business of selling and purchasing of goods, had no fixed place of work and was earning Rs 10,000 per month.


Former Chief Justice of India calls for fresh look at International Humanitarian Laws

29.5.2012 (UNI) Justice S Rajendra Babu, Former Chief Justice of India and Former Chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), today called for a fresh look into the international humanitarian laws to mitigate the effect of destruction caused due to wars across the globe.

‘The existing international humanitarian laws need to be readdressed if they are unable to deal with issues in war-torn countries’ he said, adding ‘with wars being fought using drones and cutting-edge technology, 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.

He was speaking at a three-day South Indian Regional Teachers Training Programme on International Humanitarian Law organised by the Department of Studies in Law, Mysore University and International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), New Delhi. UNI

Loop seeks 2G licence fee refund

Agencies | May 30, 2012, 05.34AM IST

NEW DELHI: Loop Telecom on Tuesday took the government and Trai before the telecom sector’s tribunal TDSAT seeking refund of Rs 1,454 crore paid for 2G licence and sought Rs 1,000 crore damages for loss of reputation after licence cancellation.

In its petition, Loop Telecom has argued that the decision of Supreme Court to cancel the UASL license issued to it by the government under its “flip flop” first-come-firstserve policy has caused a huge loss to the company. “The reason for quashing the first-come-first-serve policy , the UASLs and the subsequent allocation of the spectrum are wholly and absolutely attributable to acts and omissions of the respondent (DoT & Trai) and as a direct proximate result thereof, the petitioner has suffered huge losses and damages,” claimed Loop in the petition. It alleged that due to “faulty issuance of license and policy flip-flops of government, Loop have had to pay very heavy price” and requested for “compensation of Rs 1,000 crore for loss of reputation” along with 12% interest.

ATDSAT bench headed by its Chairman Justice S B Sinha has issued notice to the Department of Telecom (DoT) and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. The tribunal has asked the DoT and Trai to file their reply within four weeks and posted the matter on July 17 for next hearing.

Loop was issued 2G spectrum bundled with licences for 21 circles in 2008 during the tenure of the then telecom minister A Raja.The Supreme Court on February 2 held that the process of allocating all the 122 2G licenses, including those to Loop, was ‘arbitrary and unconstitutional’ and cancelled all of them. Loop has requested the tribunal to direct DoT to pay interest of Rs 737.59 crore at 12% per annum on entry fee of Rs 1,454 crore and discharge bank guarantees of Rs 696 crore submitted at the time of allotment of spectrum.

Besides, it has requested TDSAT to direct DoT to pay Rs 265.50 crore for expenses incurred on infrastructure. “Direct the respondent to pay a sum of Rs 565.65 crore towards corporate expenses/finance cost under various heads incurred in bank guarantee renewal commission, processing fees and interest of loans the petitioner for roll out,” it said.

The operator has sought interim protection from the tribunal seeking directions to DoT “not to take any coercive action” against it under the UASL agreement, such as encashment of bank guarantees . Loop rejected contentions of government that it was due to wrongdoing of former telecom minister and said “the licenses were issued by respondent no 1 (government ) and not by one single minister” .

NHRC concerned on violence against women in Assam

Tue 29 May 2012 19:46   Law et al. News Network   Guwahati

After two day long camp in the state and hearing 50 cases on human rights violation, the National Human Right Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday expressed its concern with the growing numbers of crimes against women in the state.

Though the NHRC said that Assam in comparison to other states of the country is on an improved position in terms of human rights violation cases, it recommended the state government to take strong steps for safeguarding the rights of women, bonded labours, children and disables.

Addressing the media here NHRC chairperson Justice (retd) K G Balakrishnan said that the hike in crimes against women in all sections of society must be addressed immediately.

NHRC also said that the state government also needs to work the various issues like childcare, bonded labours and physically and mentally disabled people.

“We received complaints regarding disables’ admission in schools and wage distribution among tea workers and bonded labours. The authority is needed to look into these matters too,” said Balakrishnan.

Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate gets appreciation from National Commission for Women

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 11:28:37 by Imran Shaukat Khan

Bollywood superstar, Aamir Khan, is hosting a TV serial ‘Satyamev Jayate’ which focuses on the social issues of the society. The actor started off by creating awareness among the people about the female foeticide. In the next episode he moved on to the issue of child abuse in the country and his efforts are being appreciated by almost everyone out there.

National Commission for Women’s chairperson, Mamta Sharma, has commended Khan as she believes the actor is doing a great job.

Sharma insisted in the seminar, which was organised by the NGO ‘Message’, that people have a great attraction for the star therefore other Bollywood celebrities should also come forward in order to highlight issues of the society,

“Aamir Khan began with the issue of female foeticide with special reference to Rajasthan. It is a good beginning because it helps in creating awareness,” she said at a seminar in Poornima engineering college in Sitapura area here.

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

In the meantime, Sharma revealed that the commission has launched a 24-hour helpline in Gujarat for women and it will be introduced soon in other cities like Haryana and Rajasthan.

The chairperson stated that these days a lot of complaints about the rape and suicide cases are coming up with the NCW and keeping these things in front what Aamir is doing is great.

The Chairperson of Poornima Group of Institutions, Dr S M Seth, was too present at the event and he emphasised upon the empowerment of women in each sector, especially in the remote areas of the country since he believes this thing will ensure the overall growth of the nation.

Bhatt accuses SIT of tweaking timings of meetings held by Modi

Press Trust of India / Ahmedabad May 29, 2012, 23:25

Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt today accused the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) of “deliberately tweaking” timings of the meetings held by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on February 27 and 28, 2002, which he claims to have attended.

“It is now apparent from the report submitted by SIT that certain very crucial portions of my statement, including the timings of extremely consequential meetings with the chief minister Mr Narendra Modi on 27/02/2002 and 28/02/2002, have either been incorrectly recorded or deliberately tweaked by the SIT,” Bhatt said in his additional affidavit filed before the National Commission of Minorities (NCW).

“This has been done possibly with the ulterior motive and intent of shielding certain powerful persons including the chief minister Modi, from legal punishment,” he said.

These “deliberate acts” on part of SIT would amount to offences under sections 218 and 219 of the Indian Penal Code, Bhatt said, adding that he arrived at this conclusion after going through the final report of the agency given to Zakia Jaffery after the court order. The report is in public domain now.

Section 218 deals with the public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture, and section 219 with public servant in judicial proceeding corruptly making report, etc., contrary to law.

In his earlier affidavit with NCW, Bhatt had accused Gujarat Government of playing a “dubious role in shielding the high and mighty including chief minister Narendra Modi from lawful inquisition and legal punishment”.

“I had also averred in my earlier affidavit that the honourable Justice Nanavati and Mehta Commission of Inquiry and the SIT were deliberately turning a blind eye to the overwhelming documentary, oral and circumstantial evidence to conceal the complicity of the government of Gujarat and its high functionaries in the carnage of 2002,” Bhatt said quoting from his first affidavit filed with the NCW.

Conductor to get retirement benefits

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the TN State Transport Corporation to consider a representation from a conductor, due to retire from service on May 31 this year, to allow him to retire with all monetary benefits.

A vacation judge B Rajendran gave the direction last week, while disposing of a writ petition from K Rathinam of Mettur Dam in Salem district.

According to advocate RY George Williams, Rathnam joined the STC as a conductor in 1987. After 23 years service, he was posted as helper in 2010. While so, he received a communication from the management stating that he would be retired from service on May 31. It did not speak anything about the retirement benefits. Apprehending that he would be forced to retire without any monetary benefit, he sent a representation on May 5 last to the STC MD in Salem division, requesting him to either release the retirement benefits on the date of his retirement� or to continue his service till the benefits were released. As there was no response from the STC, he filed a writ petition, Williams said.

Decks cleared for Khoda to be 1st J&K CVC

M Saleem Pandit, TNN | May 30, 2012, 03.32AM IST

SRINAGAR: A day after PDP president Mehbooba Mufti objected to the appointment of incumbent DGP Kuldeep Khoda as chief vigilance commissioner, the J&K high court on Tuesday dismissed a writ petition against Khoda for his alleged role in a fake encounter case in Bhaderwah in Doda, clearing the way for him to become the state’s first CVC.

The screening committee had recommended three names for the post of CVC including Khoda’s to governor N N Vohra. The other two names are of ex-secretary, home, Samuel Verghese, and ex-DGP, CID, Ashok Bhan. Three out of four members of the screening committee for the selection of CVC and two vigilance commissioners on Monday had recommended Khoda’s name for CVC.

Announcing the order, Justice Virender Singh ordered the dismissal of the petition filed by two widows, Nazira Begum and Shaheena Begum, wives of victims Fazal Hussain Dar and Mohammad Hussain. According to the petition, four people, Fazal Hussain Dar, Mohammad Hussain, Fareed Ahmad and Talib Hussain, were allegedly picked up by men in a police vehicle on January 3, 1996, and later killed in a fake encounter near a stream in Doda. The petitioner, after a lapse of over 16 years, had filed a petition last year seeking registration of case against Khoda.

Writ petition in Madras high court against petrol price hike

A Subramani, TNN | May 29, 2012, 06.37PM IST

CHENNAI: Highlighting the crippling petrol and diesel shortage in Tamil Nadu, and demanding the rollback of the last week’s petrol price hike by the Centre, an AIADMK advocate has filed a writ petition in the Madras high court.

Most of the petrol bunks in Chennai and several parts of the state had gone dry and motorists were forced either to queue up in front of petrol bunks or travel extra mile searching for fuel for the past four days. Though short-supply of diesel was building up for nearly a month now, the May 23 announcement of oil companies hiking petrol prices has led to petrol shortage in the city elsewhere.

Describing it as an ‘artificial scarcity’ created by oil marketing companies, the petition, filed by R Balasubramanian wanted a direction to the oil companies to ensure regular and sufficient supply of petrol and diesel in all bunks in the state. The matter is likely to be taken up for hearing by a vacation court on Wednesday.

Noting that he had already sent representations to the union ministry of petroleum and natural gas in this regard, the petitioner sought withdrawal of the petrol price hike as well.

Balasubramanian said that his representation sought details such as the overall quantum of fossil fuel required for the country and the break up of the local production and the quantum of import. These details, along with information relating to duty and taxes levied on fuel, were not furnished by the ministry, he complained, adding that the ultimate sufferer of the opaque pricing policy of the centre and the ‘artificial scarcity’ created by oil companies, were the common people.

Several layers of taxes, imposed under different heads added to the burden of the downtrodden people, who are now starting at the prospect of all round increase of prices of essential commodities and vegetables, Balasubramanian said.

Slamming the Centre for its attempts to blame the price hike on the oil marketing companies and the international trends, the advocate said it was ‘shedding crocodile tears’ for the price hike and said it was acting as an agent of oil companies instead of working towards the welfare of citizens.

Due to the ‘maladministration’ of the fuel prices and availability by the Centre, Chennai had witnessed serpentine queues in front of petrol bunks with vehicle owners waiting for fuel, he said. The commercial attitude of the Centre on the fuel price issue, which results in increase in prices of essential prices and vegetables, cannot be tolerated, he said, and sought the court’s intervention.

Siddiqui trial: Court allows ATS to conceal names of witnesses

Express news service : Pune, Wed May 30 2012, 02:10 hrs

A Magistrate’s court on Tuesday allowed the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) to conceal names of the witnesses who would be involved in the identification parade of Mohammad Qateel Mohammad Jafir Siddiqui, who allegedly tried to plant a bomb outside Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapti Temple.

The ATS had on Monday requested the court not to reveal names of the witnesses under section 44 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2004 for their security. Siddiqui’s lawyers, A Rehman and Kaynat Ali Shaikh, opposed the ATS plea, stating that only the witnesses themselves or the public prosecutor could request the court to do so, while in this case, the investigating officer (IO) Samad Shaikh had tendered the application to conceal witnesses’ names. They added that Siddiqui was in jail and hence there was no threat to the lives of the witnesses.

The court, however, allowed the request of the ATS. The identification parade of Siddiqui is likely to take place next week before his magisterial custody ends on June 8.

Ban on darshan: Lawyers join protest

Express News Service

CUTTACK: The lawyers have joined devotees and public in protesting the Jagannath Temple Administration’s decision to do away with the traditional ‘Paramanik darshan’ inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

�They have moved the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) and Chief Administrator of the temple at Puri against the decision under Rule 9 of the Orissa High Court Public Interest Litigation Rules,� 2010.

�The members of All Orissa Lawyers’ Association, Bar Council and High Court Bar have demanded lifting of the prohibition since it was illegal and violated the civil and constitutional rights of the devotees to have darshan of Lord Jagannath.

�The ‘Satwalipi’ (RoR) of Jagannath Temple states that Paramanik darshan inside the ‘Garba Gruha’ is permissible thrice a day during ‘Mangala Ararti’, ‘Abakash’ and ‘Chandanlagi’. “This is a legal right of the devotees, flowing from the law, emanating from the RoR, which has been framed in consonance with the constitutional guarantee of the freedom of religion under Article 25 of the Constitution. The temple administration cannot interfere in such recorded right,”� Bar Council member Chinmay Mohanty said.

�Mohanty said Paramanik darshan was a restricted and well-coordinated exercise, which enabled the old, infirm and physically-challenged to set foot inside the sanctum sanctorum and seek blessings of the Lord.

�The ‘Sahan Mela darshan’, allowed twice a day inside the sanctum sanctorum, witnesses a rush of thousands of devotees and thus deprives the old and the physically-challenged from having darshan. “It is an irony that thousands are allowed inside in an disorderly manner amid crammed situations in the Sahan Mela tradition while the regulated activity, allowing limited people at one time, is prohibited. This is a clear case of discrimination against the special class of devotees, who though have an equal right of darshan, are deprived of it due to their physical deficiency,”� Mohanty stated.

�The representation is in compliance with the HC PIL Rules that stipulate exhaustion of all channels and communication with the authorities concerned before filing a PIL. If no step is taken, a petition would soon be filed in the High Court.

Haryana: Land allotment to Subhash Ghai stayed


New Delhi: In a setback to Bollywood filmmaker Subhash Ghai, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed the allotment of 20 acres of panchayat land in Jhajjar district to Ghai’s firm Mukta Arts and film school Whistling woods.

Ghai was planning to set up a film institute on the plot. But his plans ran into trouble when villagers from Badhsa filed a PIL challenging the allotment.

Ghai suffered a similar setback earlier in April, when the Supreme Court ordered him to return 21 acres allotted to his institute in Mumbai’s Film City area.

‘Cabinet file on clean-chit to next Army chief doctored’

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 00:22

Pioneer News Service |New Delhi

The appointment of next Army chief Lt Gen Bikram Singh, due to take over from General VK Singh on Thursday, has been dragged into fresh controversy.

The Supreme Court had last month dismissed a PIL against the Army chief designate after being told by the Centre that the Appointment Committee of Cabinet (ACC) had  considered all charges against him. In a new twist, the original petitioners, led by eminent citizens Admiral L Ramdas, former CEC N Gopalaswami among others,  have made a sensational claim that the file shown to Court was “doctored”.

The  petitioners, seeking review of the Supreme Court’s earlier order passed on their PIL on April 23, have alleged that the Centre played a fraud on the Court by showing the file with several “interpolations”.

The review petition filed on Tuesday in the SC said, “The petitioners strongly believe that the original ACC file produced in the Supreme Court was doctored and the suspicion is further strengthened by the presence of page ’15A’ in the file…when the same should normally have been in running numbers.”

Another factor linked to this suspicion was the timing of the grant of clearance to Lt Gen Bikram Singh by the Intelligence Bureau, also placed in the file.

The allegation against Singh was two-fold. One related to his deputation as Deputy Force Commander in Congo as part of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in 2008. An Army Court of Inquiry (CoI) found that soldiers under Singh’s command were guilty of sexual misconduct. The other charge against him related to his alleged involvement in a fake encounter case of 2001 in Jammu and Kashmir while being posted as Commanding Officer of First Sector, Rashtriya Rifles. This issue is currently pending before Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

The review petition further raised questions on how the ACC file on March 3 this year  exhibited an affidavit submitted  before the J&K High Court by Ministry of Defence (MoD) on March 23.  The petition contended if “institutional integrity” alone was the criteria to disqualify former CVC PJ Thomas who had a criminal trial pending against him, applying similar standards here would disqualify Singh,  who was yet to be given a clean chit by the High Court.

With regard to his role at Congo, the petitioners pointed out that on April 13 the MoD sent a query to Army Headquarter seeking clarification on the role and responsibility played by Singh as Deputy Force Commander at Congo operations. However, the notification of his appointment was considered and cleared by the ACC on March 3, over a month prior to sending of the query.

To testify the strength of the Centre’s claim, the petitioners even sought a copy of the documents contained in the ACC file,  but the same was denied to them under the Right to Information Act.

The review petition also challenged the claim of the Government to declare Singh an international civil servant during the Congo deputation. It attached opinions of retired Army officers to suggest that the assignment was purely military in nature and that Singh could enjoy no immunity for actions by soldiers under his command, thus attracting action against him under the relevant military and international laws.

Petition seeks review of SC order favouring Lt Gen Bikram Singh

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | May 30, 2012, 02.23AM IST

NEW DELHI: Two days before Lt Gen Bikram Singh takes over as Army chief, former Navy chief L Ramdas and others on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking review of its order dismissing their PIL, which had challenged the Centre’s decision to name him as Gen V K Singh’s successor.

On April 23, a bench of Justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale had perused Lt Gen Bikram Singh’s file cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) and said his appointment as the next Army chief suffered no discrepancy.

When attorney general G E Vahanvati and solicitor general R F Nariman repeatedly argued that it was a petition aimed at reopening the date of birth issue pertaining to Gen V K Singh, the bench had said, “There is no question of indirectly reopening the Army chief’s date of birth issue which has attained finality. Directly or indirectly, the matter relating to the DoB of the Army chief cannot be reopened.”

But the review petition filed by Ramdas, former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami and others put up a strong ground by making a startling allegation that the government had doctored the ACC file before showing it to the court to convince it on the decision favouring Lt Gen Bikram Singh.

Their counsel Kamini Jaiswal said though the government had told the court that the allegations against Lt Gen Singh relating to the misconduct of the Indian contingent in Congo under a UN mission and the alleged fake encounter in J&K in 2001 were considered by the ACC, it actually could not have been.

For, the ACC file clearing Lt Gen Singh’s appointment as the next Chief of Army Staff was dated March 3 while the Congo incident was officially recorded in the file on April 13 and the counter affidavit absolving Lt Gen Singh was filed before the J&K High Court on March 23, she said.

“That is why the ACC file shown to apex court contained a page 15A, which was not in existence when the ACC headed by the prime minister considered appointment of Lt Gen Bikram Singh as the next Army chief. The normal numbering of a file is 14, 15 and 16. So, how does page 15A come into the file,” the petitioners asked.

But it can hardly come in the way of Lt Gen Singh taking over as Army chief on May 31 as the review petition will be considered by the same bench in the chamber, that too without the presence of advocates or law officers, when it is first taken up for judicial scrutiny.

If the bench gets convinced by the arguments, it will then direct listing of the matter in open court for hearing. And all this could happen only after July 2 when the court reassembles after summer recess.

On April 23, the bench of Justices Lodha and Gokhale had perused the ACC file and said, “We do not find any discrepancy in the appointment.”

Appearing for petitioners, Jaiswal had repeatedly referred to an alleged plan of succession put in place by former Army chief Gen J J Singh because of which the correction of date of birth of Gen V K Singh was denied. Gen V K Singh’s request for correction of his year of birth from 1950 to 1951 was denied by the government and the Supreme Court.

MBA student murder case: 2 acquitted

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Wed May 30 2012, 05:02 hrs

Mahendra Sadhu and Hardik Goel, the two youths accused of killing 22-year-old MBA student Priyanka Ramanuj two years ago, were acquitted by a sessions court on Tuesday.

Principal Sessions Judge G N Patel, who passed the order, criticised the police for failing to present evidence to the court, according to defence lawyer Bharat Joshi.

Sadhu and Goel were arrested in October 2010 by the Sarkhej police days after the decomposed body of Priyanka was found at a canal on the SG Highway near Nirma University.

Mahendra Sadhu, son of a local BJP leader and builder Chandu Sadhu, was engaged to Priyanka.

According to police, Mahendra wanted to get rid of Priyanka since he wanted to unite with his girlfriend (Name withheld on request of witness since the acquittal of accused has not been challenged and the witness has been facing humiliation due to publication of her name by police in media).

Investigators claimed that Mahendra was not happy with the engagement since it was forced on him by his parents.

Priyanka’s father Chandrakant Ramanuj had been working with Mahendra’s father Chandu Sadhu for many years and they were close friends.

The police had claimed that the day Priyanka went missing, she had met Mahendra who was accompanied by his friend Hardik.

The three went to a drive-in cinema to watch a movie. On their way, the accused gave the victim a soft drink spiked with sleeping pills. After she fell unconscious, Mahendra allegedly smothered her with a pillow, which the police had recovered.

Later, the accused allegedly dumped the body at a canal on SG Highway.

The Sarkhej police said they will challenge the acquittal in the High Court, adding they had produced all the evidence since the beginning, which was the reason why the accused never got a bail.

HC asks subordinate courts to adhere to judicial discipline

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 29,2012

Mumbai, May 29(PTI)Expressing resentment over subordinate courts showing scant regard to its judgements, the Bombay High Court has directed them to adhere to judicial discipline and take into consideration judgements of the higher courts cited before them. “Of late, we have been told by lawyers appearing in this court that scant regard or disrespect is shown to the orders passed by the high court in the City Civil Courts and orders are passed without taking into consideration the judgements passed by the high court,” a division bench of Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode recently observed. The bench said that the subordinate judiciary should adhere to the judicial discipline and take into consideration the judgements of the higher courts cited before them. The issue of insubordination by lower judiciary was brought to the notice of the high court during the hearing of a petition filed by one Veena Shukla seeking quashing of a dowry harassment complaint filed against her by her sister-in-law. Advocate I A Bagaria, appearing for Shukla, pointed out to the high court that when the petition was pending before it, four persons had filed anticipatory bail pleas in the sessions court. According to the lawyer, the high court had sent the matter for mediation and ordered that no coercive steps should be taken against the accused until then. “Certain observations were made by the public prosecutor before the sessions court regarding the legality and propriety of the order passed by this Court (HC) and it was also argued as to how such orders could be passed,” argued Bagaria. Reacting to it, the bench said, “The learned prosecutor at the sessions court is directed to ensure that such types of submissions, questioning the legality and propriety of the orders passed by the high court, are not made.” Shukla had filed a petition seeking quashing of a complaint filed by her sister-in-law alleging harassment for dowry and intimidation with the Amboli police in December 2011. PTI SP ABC

Bathani Tola: Cry for justice

Pranava K Chaudhary, TNN | May 30, 2012, 03.21AM IST

PATNA: Over 300 intellectuals including Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali and Jean Dreze have demanded justice to the victims and survivors of Bathani Tola massacre. The recent acquittal by Patna high court of all the accused in this carnage has shocked everyone.

On July 11, 1996, 21 landless poor were slaughtered in broad daylight at Bathani Tola, a dalit hamlet in Bhojpur district, by the Ranvir Sena, a private army of landowners from the dominant castes. All the victims were from oppressed castes and minorities, and 20 of them were women, children and infants.

In a joint petition to the chief justice of Supreme Court, intellectuals, social activists and filmmakers have urged him to ensure that the perpetrators of this and other massacres of the poor and oppressed in Bihar are tried and convicted.

The Ara sessions court had convicted 23 people for this massacre in 2010, sentencing three to death and 20 to life imprisonment. But on April 16 this year, the high court overturned the conviction, and acquitted all the accused.

“The fact that, 16 years after this massacre, not a single person stands convicted for the brutal and barbaric slaughter of innocents, raises disturbing questions about whether the oppressed and the poor victims of massacres can expect justice in our courts,” the memorandum said.

“One of the survivors of the massacre, who lost six members of his family, responding to the acquittal, asked, “Who, then, killed 21 people that day?” We believe that the entire country and our system of justice owes the people of Bathani Tola an answer to that question. And we write to you in the hope that the SC will correct the deep injustice to victims and survivors of Bathani Tola, and will take all possible measures to ensure that the perpetrators of this and other heinous massacres of the poor and oppressed in Bihar are tried and convicted,” the signatories said.

The memo said the Ranvir Sena was banned after the Bathani Tola massacre – but in spite of the ban, it continued to operate openly, committing several more such massacres in central Bihar. The Laxmanpur-Bathe massacre in December 1998, in which 61 dalit landless poor were killed, had been called a ‘national shame’ by the then president of India, K R Narayanan.

“The Commission of Enquiry headed by Justice Amir Das, which was set up after the Bathe massacre, to probe the political support received by the Ranvir Sena, was disbanded six years ago when the present state government came to power in Bihar. The Ranvir Sena chief, Brahmeshwar Singh, is yet to be named in the FIRs of the Bathani Tola massacre and other massacres. In fact, the police informed the Ara court in 2010 that Brahmeshwar was an ‘absconder’ – when he was, at that time, a prisoner in Ara jail,” the memo said.

Prominent signatories to the memorandum include Arundhati Roy, Amit Bhaduri, Anand Patwardhan, Uma Chakravorty and Kamal Mitra Chenoy. Bharati S Kumar and Daisy Narain of the Patna University and Santosh Kumar of NIT Patna are among the signatories from Patna.

This RTI activist adds colours, logos to his applications

Yagnesh Mehta, TNN | May 29, 2012, 10.51PM IST

SURAT: His questions in RTI applications may irritate any government officer. Yet the officials nonetheless read the applications filed by RTI activist Kanu Shah, 75, with lot of interest and enthusiasm.

“Normally, the applications are filed in a plain paper and have a simple format. However, Shah adds flavour to them. He uses colours, logos and scanned images to make them look beautiful,” said Nagin Halpati, public information officer, District Education Office, Surat.

PIOs ask him why does he put in so much of hard work for writing RTI applications. “The officials initially smile looking at the applications but begin to argue on reading them. My aim is to attract them to read the applications with interest,” said Shah, a lawyer at Surat District and Sessions Court.

Shah uses colour pictures and attractive fonts in the applications to convey his message. Besides, he uses Gujarati, English and legal language for asking specific questions. Foremost, he keeps them short and simple.

“RTI is a very powerful act. Officials should respect it. I started with filing simple RTI applications and then began preparing designer applications. This is my way of telling the officials that the soul of RTI indeed is beautiful,” Shah said.

In the recent past, Shah has filed a few RTI applications in Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) and DEO. The replies to his application had revealed that SMC was charging maximum for blank forms when the rate charged by other municipal corporations in the state was just Rs 2 or Rs 5. From the DEO, he had sought important details about city schools.

10 judicial officials ordered to go

TNN | May 30, 2012, 03.47AM IST

RANCHI: Following the recommendation of the Jharkhand high court, chief minister Arjun Munda on Monday ordered compulsory retirement for 10 judicial officials on the grounds of unsatisfactory performance. All the judges are above 50 years and have been offered three months salary as compensation.

The judges are principal judge, family court, Dumka, Mahesh Prasad Sinha, additional law advisor Indradev Mishra , civil judge ( senior division ), Ranchi Murari Prasad Singh, secretary, district legal services authority (DLSA) Jamshedpur Brijesh Bahadur Singh, special secretary, cabinet (vigilance) department Pradeep Kumar Singh, chief judicial magistrate, Sariekela-Kharsawan Indrasan Yadav, district and additional sessions judge, Giridih, Nirmal Kumar Agarwal , DLSA Sahibganj secretary Ashok Kumar, additional chief judicial magistrate Godda Sayed Mohamad Wasim, and subdivisional judicial magistrate Deogarh (Madhupur) Radha Bhatnagar. tnnCivil judge (senior division ) Ranchi Satya Prakash has been transferred as deputy registrar, the Jharkhand State Legal Services Authority Ranchi.

Court discharges two accused in organised crime case

Submitted by admin4 on 29 May 2012 – 8:40pm


New Delhi : Discharging two people, a Delhi court Tuesday said the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) could not be invoked against an accused just because he was earlier involved in cheating and forgery cases.

Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain’s remarks came while discharging two accused, Judge Chawla and Shonika Chopra, from the stringent provisions of the MCOCA.

“I am of the view that the stringent provisions of the MCOCA cannot be invoked against the accused persons merely on the ground that accused Judge Chawla was previously involved in multiple cheating and forgery cases … the same is against the object of the enactment of the act,” said Judge Jain.

The court was hearing a case against Chawla and Chopra chargesheeted in 2009 under the MCOCA for their alleged involvement in around 13 cheating cases spanning over 10 years.

Police said they had filed charge sheet against them in seven cases, in which courts had taken cognisance.

“Judge Chawla had accumulated huge wealth by continuing with the unlawful activity in an organised manner and he along with his associate (Shonika Chopra) was in the habit of grabbing the disputed properties by way of forged documents and cheating for pecuniary benefits,” said the charge sheet.

The court said that to invoke the MCOCA the prosecution had to show prima facie that Chawla had committed the continuing unlawful activity as a member of an organised crime syndicate.

“But in the instant case, the prosecution failed to establish prima facie that Judge Chawla had formed a gang or organised crime syndicate with Shonika Chopra or anyone else,” said the court.

The court said that as per the charge sheet Judge Chawla was involved in 11 cases. Out of these, three matters were quashed following compromise between the involved parties.

Honor killing: Man who murdered ‘hapless’ wife gets life term

Smriti Singh, TNN | May 30, 2012, 12.55AM IST

NEW DELHI: She was a rape victim but her husband blamed her for the incident and punished her with death. Three years after Devender Pal Singh killed his wife after he got to know that she was raped by his neighbour, the 25-year-old man has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court, after a trial court termed it a case of honour killing. The couple had just been married for a year.

“The case in hands is redolent of the primordial savageness of mankind. It sings vociferously how much cruelty a man can assume and that too for vanity,” additional sessions Judge Rajender Kumar Shastri said while holding Devender guilty of murdering his wife Poonam Pal in 2009.

The court also slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on the convict, noting that a “mejudice, condign punishment” of life term would “convey to the society the result of killing a hapless woman like victim Pal so brutally”.

Talking about the plight of women in the country, the court said, “A girl is no man’s child. Her parents call her dhan paraya (property of someone else) since her birth. She is brought up and taught to stand to the expectation of he prospective in-laws.”

The incident dates back to September 6, 2009 when Devender beat his wife and then pushed her to death from the roof of his house. Devender took this step after Poonam told him that their neighbour had raped her. He even called his relatives and “publicized” the incident to humiliate her, the court noted.

In its judgement, the court said that a message needed to be sent to the society so that an offence like this should not be dealt with leniency. “It raises hackles to imagine the agony which the victim would have suffered. She was beaten black and blue by her husband (accused) without any fault of her. Even as per convict, she was forced to surrender by the offender by tying her hand and gagging her mouth to commit rape. She was insulted before the relatives including her own family members, i.e brother and his wife. She was beaten repeatedly and was killed like an animal. An offender like convict in this case… who takes away life of another and that of a subservient and subdued lady like his own wife does not deserve to enjoy fruits of life,” the court order stated.

Court discharges alleged land grabber, partner from MCOCA

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 29, 2012, 19:15

A Delhi court today absolved alleged land grabber Judge Chawla and his partner Shonika Chopra of the stringent MCOCA charges holding that the police failed to prove that they were running an organised crime syndicate.

Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain discharged Chawla and his alleged live-in-partner Shonika from the stringent charges, saying “the stringent provisions of MCOCA cannot be invoked against the accused persons merely on the ground that accused Judge Chawla was previously involved in several cases of cheating and forgery.”

While Chawla now faces cheating and forgery charges under the Indian Penal Code, Shonika has been absolved of all charges and was set free on a personal bond of Rs 10,000 and a surety of like amount.

Chawla and Shonika were arrested by police in July 2009. The police had alleged that Chawla, along with his associates, had accumulated huge wealth by grabbing disputed properties by cheating and forging documents.

The prosecution had also said Chawla was continuing his activities in an organised manner and in the last ten years, was involved in 13 cases of cheating and forgery and was chargesheeted in seven cases out of them.

It was also revealed that he was having benami properties and his partner Shonika was also associated with him in various crimes, the police said. (MORE)

Fishermen’s killing: Kerala high court dismisses Italy’s plea, says Indian courts can try naval guards

PTI May 29, 2012, 07.50PM IST

KOCHI: In a setback to efforts by Italy to secure release of its two naval guards charged with murder of two Indian fishermen, the Kerala high court on Tuesday turned down its plea for quashing an FIR against them, holding that they were liable to penal jurisdiction of Indian courts.

Terming the killing of fishermen by the naval guards on board ‘Enrica Lexie’ in February off Kerala coast as “brutal” and “cruel”, Justice PS Gopinathan said the accused were not entitled to sovereign immunity and also imposed a cost of Rs one lakh on them.

“The shooting was ‘cruel’ and ‘brutal’ and hence it can be inferred that they (naval guards) did so on their own. “Shooting cannot be said to be an act of sovereign function and the naval guards are not entitled to sovereign immunity,” it said.

Dismissing the petition filed by Italian consul general in Mumbai Giampalo Cuttilo and naval guards — Latore Massimilliano and Salvatore Girone, Justice Gopinathan imposed a cost of Rs one lakh on the two accused, payable within two weeks. The petitioners, who had also sought a stay on all further proceedings in the case pending before a Kollam court, contended that Kerala Police had no authority to conduct the probe and courts in India have no jurisdiction as the incident occurred beyond the Indian territorial waters.

Rejecting the contention, the court said Kerala police has jurisdiction to investigate the case and courts have the jurisdiction to try the case and it was not an invasion.

“The marines are liable to the penal jurisdiction of Indian courts and police was right in registering a case and proceeding with investigation irrespective of the fact that they were on board a foreign vessel,” the court held. The high court made it clear that the trial court shall consider the contentions of the naval guards untrammelled by the observations in its judgment.

Marines liable to penal jurisdiction of Indian courts

KOCHI In a setback to efforts by Italy to secure release of its two Marines charged with murder of two fishermen, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday turned down its plea for quashing an first information report (FIR) against them, holding that they were liable to penal jurisdiction of Indian courts.

Terming the killing of fishermen by the Marines on board Enrica Lexie in February off Kerala coast as “brutal” and “cruel”, Justice PS Gopinathan said the accused were not entitled to sovereign immunity and also imposed a cost of Rs100,000 on them.

The shooting was ‘cruel’ and ‘brutal’ and hence it can be inferred that the Marines did so on their own. “Shooting cannot be said to be an act of sovereign function and the Marines are not entitled to sovereign immunity,” it said.

Dismissing the petition filed by Italian Consul General in Mumbai Giampalo Cuttilo and Marines, Latore Massimilliano and Salvatore Girone, Justice Gopinathan imposed a cost of Rs100,000 on the two accused, payable within two weeks.

The petitioners, who had also sought a stay on all further proceedings in the case pending before a Kollam court, contended that Kerala police had no authority to conduct the probe and courts in India have no jurisdiction as the incident occurred beyond the Indian territorial waters.

Rejecting the contention, the court said Kerala police has jurisdiction to investigate the case and courts have the jurisdiction to try the case and it was not an invasion. “The Marines are liable to the penal jurisdiction of Indian courts and police was right in registering a case and proceeding with investigation irrespective of the fact that they were on board a foreign vessel,” the court held.

The high court made it clear that the trial court shall consider the contentions of the Marines untrammelled by the observations in its judgment.

In its 60-page judgment, the court said the state practice also indicates that in appropriate cases, coastal states can exercise jurisdiction over the vessel in contiguous zone. “As long as vessel is engaged in innocent passage, she cannot be interdicted, but when passage hinders the security of the state, the state cannot be asked to remain a mute spectator,” it said.

The court said as per a 1981 notification, state can exercise its penal laws within the Exclusive Economic Zone, 200 nautical miles from the coast.

“The vessel is not owned by the Republic of Italy. It is a private vessel engaged on commercial activity. There is nothing on record to show that the Italian Marines were allowed ‘absolute freedom’ to shoot and kill any person. They were under command of the captain,” the court pointed out.

It said there was no material to show that the Marines were under the control of the Italian Navy. “There is nothing on record to show that captain gave instructions to shoot,” court said.

The Marines, arrested on February 19 and in judicial custody, have been charged with murder of fishermen Valentine alias Jalestine and Ajesh Binki, who had put out to sea from the Needakara coast in Kollam.

The court also directed the relatives of the two fishermen to deposit Rs10,000 as cost, criticising their dependents for wasting the court’s precious time.

It pointed out that they first impleaded themselves in the case to oppose quashing of FIR and later withdrew their contentions after reaching an understanding under which the two families received Rs10 million each as compensation from the Italian government.

Justice Gopinathan said the court was refraining from imposing heavy cost in view of loss suffered by them and considering they are women.

Meanwhile, the federal government, responding to bail pleas, informed the court that if the two had valid passport, government can issue necessary direction to concerned foreign registration officer to make necessary endorsement in the passport for a visa with a limited validity.

Press Trust of India








INDIA: Student tortured in West Bengal to extort confession

May 29, 2012


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-090-2012

29 May 2012
INDIA: Student tortured in West Bengal to extort confession

ISSUES: Arbitrary arrest and detention; torture; inhuman and degrading treatment; impunity; police violence; judicial system; right to health; right to food; judicial system; fabrication of charges; minorities

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from MASUM concerning another case of police brutality by personnel of Raninagar Police Station, under the captaincy of Sub-Inspector Nilanjan Roy of Raninagar Police Station, against 19-year-old Golam Mujtuba and a few of his friends from Char Majhardiar Village. Such impunity on the part of police personnel, tasked to uphold the law, is morally and legally unacceptable. We urge you to write in to appeal to the relevant authorities to take actions against the police personnel responsible for these violations against the victim’s constitutional and human rights.


An inquiry undertaken by MASUM reveals the following facts.

The victim, Mr Golam Mujtuba, is an engineering student of a local college at Narsinghapur. His father, Mr Nazrul Islam, is a respectable and educated figure who tries hard to educate his two sons.

On 3 March 2012, on his way home from his hostel at Narsinghapur College with friends from the same village and chatting in the vicinity of Mr Badal’s shop at Mahardiar Village, Mr Nilanjan Roy, Sub-Inspector, and seven constables set upon Golam from the Raninagar Police Station. Golam and his friends were shoved towards the policemen’s parked vehicle without being informed of the reason for their arrest. The personnel physically abused the youth during the arrest and on the way to Raninagar Police Station in the presence of Mr Sahaban Ali and other villagers.

The youths were conducted to the Raninagar Police Station around 8.30pm. While in custody, the youths were denied warm clothes and were again physically and mentally tortured. They were not provided any food or water throughout their detention. The police were reportedly attempting to extract confessions concerning an earlier scuffle, which broke out a few days before at the adjoining Danrakaci Village, which is also under Raninagar Police Station.

The youths were driven from Raninagar Police Station at 1am on 4 March after the police had obtained their signatures on blank pieces of paper. They were forced to spend the night out in the open and returned to their respective home only hours later.

Golam Mujtuba visited a doctor at Sekhpara Village at 7am on 4 March. The doctor there concluded he had suffered severe mental and physical torture. The families of the other victims did not register complaints with the police concerning the illegal arrest, detention and torture due to paralyzing fear that the local police, who perpetrated the acts of violence in the first place, would react against such a challenge. Later, Golam’s father gathered the courage to lodge a report with the Superintendent of Police of Murshidabad on 9 April and a copy of that report was sent to the Chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission. Unfortunately, no action has been taken to date against the errant police personnel who detained and assaulted Golam and his friends.

The above case highlights several systemic faults in the police administration of Murshidabad:

1. Lack of justification for arrest, detention and physical trauma of victims, Golam Mujtuba and the friends that had been walking home with him that night;
2. Lack of transparency and accountability in judicial proceedings (e.g. coercing torture victims into signing blank pieces of paper with which charges could be fabricated and their “statements” presented);
3. Lack of responsiveness of the provincial authorities (in this case, the Superintendent of Murshidabad) to aggrieved locals who, despite the violations of their rights, demonstrate great courage and confidence in the system by lodging police reports

This general deviation from proper legal procedure is troubling. Such observations also sit uneasily against a backdrop of the guidelines laid down by the case of D K Basu. The police did not seem to have a legal document or memo requiring or justifying his arrest, did not subsequently inform the victims’ family members their arrest and did not conduct the stipulated medical check upon arrest. Instead, they abused their positions of authority to physically injure Golam and his friends, to deprive them of food, water and adequate clothing, to extract blank pieces of paper with the victims’ signatures on them and to detain them unreasonably. These actions violate the victims’ right to security and liberty of person and right to be treated humanely while deprived of their liberty. These are individual rights set out in Articles 6, 7, 9 and 10 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which the Indian state is signatory to in 1979.

Golam’s father has already written to the Superintendent of Police, who has not taken any action to assist the victims and their families. Golam and his friends’ only recourse appear to be to appeal to the very perpetrators who have in the first place violated their rights. Without state intervention and international pressure, Golam and his community face for the foreseeable future continued abuse of their freedoms and physical persons.


The AHRC has documented substantial number of cases from India over the years that reiterates our argument that often, criminal investigation in India begins and ends with a forced confession extracted from a person in custody. The case at hand substantiates this practice. A government agency arresting anyone in India should follow a set of rules prescribed in the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. This includes (i) informing the person the reason for arrest, (ii) informing a family member about the place where the person would be detained and the court in which the person would be produced. The investigating agency has no right to torture a person while in custody, though it has not been made a crime by way of a separate statute.

For a public servant to physically harm a person while that person is in custody is however a separate offence under Section 330 and worngful restraint to extrort confession is a crime punishable under Section 348 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Section 167 of the Penal Code also states that for a public servant to frame an incorrect document with content intended to be injurious to the person involved is criminal. Yet this is exactly what the Sub-Inspector and the constables from Raninagar Police Station have done by obtaining the victims’ signatures on blank pieces of paper, which could later be used to fabricate confessions or statements unfavorable to the victims in court. Sections 321-323 also define the crime of voluntarily causing hurt, which the Sub-Inspector and his officers were guilty of during the arrest and detention of Golam and his friends. Perhaps the article most damning of the patently unlawful acts of violence and intimidation against the victims is Article 330(a), which launches an indictment against police officers torturing a victim to extract a confession for a particular crime.

Rule of law is crucial to the maintenance of peace in any society. The Indian justice system suffers certain significant weakness which must be soon addressed. The central government of the world’s largest democracy owes its mandate and legitimacy to the masses. Its organs and instruments should be held to account for their failure to uphold the law and consider the best interests of the people accordingly. Lives at are stake and reform is in order – will India’s government respond to its people’s cries for justice?

Please write to the authorities mentioned below demanding an investigation into this case. The victims must be compensated for the physical and psychological torment suffered. The police personnel perpetrators must themselves be arrest immediately and brought to stand trial for their misdeeds. Golam, his family and eyewitnesses should also be provided adequate protection against further retaliatory attacks.

The AHRC is also writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Chairperson of the Working Group on Arbitrary Arrest and Detention calling for further intervention.

Election panel refuses to intervene in Jagan’s arrest

Agencies | Updated: May 29, 2012 22:27 IST

Hyderabad: The Election Commission of India has refused to intervene in YSR Congress Party leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), party sources said.

The commission conveyed to YSR Congress Party President Vijayamma that since the matter was in court, it would not intervene, the sources said.

Mr Reddy was arrested on Sunday in a case of illegally acquiring assets, and sent to judicial custody for two weeks yesterday.

Ms Vijayamma, who is Mr Reddy’s mother, had  on Monday sent a letter to Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi, seeking his intervention to direct the CBI to immediately release Jagan Mohan Reddy so that he could continue campaigning for the June 12 by-elections to one Lok Sabha and 18 state assembly constituencies.

Ms Vijayamma had complained that her son was arrested to keep him away from the party’s campaigning. She had also alleged that the arrest was undemocratic and was aimed at helping the ruling Congress in the elections.

According to sources, the commission discussed her letter at a meeting presided over by Mr Quraishi and decided not to intervene.

Meanwhile, taking cognisance of the second chargesheet filed in the disproportionate assets case against Mr Reddy, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court issued a Prisoner on Transit warrant against him in Hyderabad today.

The court also issued summons to two other accused to appear before it on June 11. Summons were issued against his financial advisor V Vijay Sai Reddy (second accused in the case and currently out on bail) and Jagati Publications Pvt Ltd (JPPL), owned by the Kadapa MP, who were charged under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The CBI has so far filed three charge sheets in the disproportionate assets case (on March 31, April 23 and May 7) against Mr Reddy and others accusing him of getting investments of several crores from various firms into his own businesses as part of quid pro-quo, when his father Y S Rajasekhara Reddy was the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh.

812 Foundation’s plea: Verdict on June 12

TNN | May 30, 2012, 03.59AM IST

MANGALORE: The JMFC II court judge Roopashri here on Tuesday posted for orders on June 12 a private complaint filed by 812 Foundation accusing three government agencies and 12 officials responsible for the Air India Express 812 crash of May 22, 2010 which claimed 158 lives.

Making submissions at the court here on Tuesday, the foundation’s president Yeshwanth Shenoy said though at first he thought the persons responsible could be charged under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 304 A (causing death by negligence punishable by 10 years imprisonment and fine or both) of Indian Penal Code (IPC), after investigation he found the charges were grave and made a plea to charge the officials under Section 302 (punishment for murder).

In case the court finds there is a cognizable offence, the private complaint may be changed to a criminal complaint.

Yeshwanth accused DGCA for failing to verify Capt Zlatko Gluscia’s Airline Transport Pilot License ( ATPL) licence before issuing the FATA (Foreign Aircrew Temporary Authorization) licence. He said AIE 812 pilot did not have the requisite flying hours for 737-800.

He also said the pilot was not under the direct control of AI as he was sourced from Sigmar Aviation, Isle of Man.

The complainant also pointed out the Court of Inquiry (CoI) showed that the Instrument Rating Check (IRC) of the pilot was valid only till May 13, 2010 and the accident occurred a week later.

Yeshwanth said it was clearly established in the Court of Inquiry that the fire started after the aircraft wing hit the ILS structure making AAI responsible putting the non frangible structure at the end of runway.

“If ILS was not mounted on the concrete structure the pilot may have been able to take off or the resultant crash would not have resulted in such loss of lives in the absence of fire,” he said.

Adarsh scam: 7 accused get bail

Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 8:00 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The seven accused in the Adarsh society housing scam were let off on bail on Tuesday.

The special CBI court asked the accused to provide a surety of Rs5 lakh each and have directed them to be present at the CBI office every Tuesday and Thursday until further notice.

Besides the chief promoter and former Congress MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, the others who got bail are Pradeep Vyas, IAS officer, PV Deshmukh, former deputy secretary in Urban Development Department, Retd Brigadier MM Wanchoo, Retd Defence Estates Officer RC Thakur, Retd Major General AR Kumar and Retd Major General TK Kaul.

The accused have been charged with criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and also under the various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act.

The accused applied for bail saying that the CBI had not filed the charge sheet within the stipulated 60 days.

The Bombay high court is monitoring the probe being conducted by CBI, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax.

The next date for hearing is June 18. The CBI is likely to file charge sheet next month as per the high court’s directive.

Charges framed in Kush Katariya murder case

TNN | May 30, 2012, 03.48AM IST

NAGPUR: District and additional sessions judge GJ Akarte framed charges in the Kush Katariya murder case on Tuesday. The court charged Ayush Pugaliya with Indian Penal Code section 302, 364(A) and 201 for murder, kidnapping for ransom and causing disappearance of evidence respectively. Ayush’s elder brothers Navin and Nitin were charged with only section 201 of IPC.

It is learnt that the court explained the charges to the Pugaliya brothers, accused of being involved in the kidnap and murder of 8-year-old Kush, before he asked them whether they wanted to plead guilty or face trial. The Pugaliyas opted to face the trial in the case.

The next hearing is scheduled on June 1 when the prosecution will issue a notice for denial or admission of list of documents annexed to the charge sheet under section 294 of Criminal procedure code. The step is learnt to be undertaken to invite the defence counsel to admit or deny the documents attached to the charge sheet sent by the police in the case before the court. If admitted, then such documents could be used as exhibit in evidence or the same would be required to be examined with the help of a witness.

Kush was kidnapped and killed on October 11 last year for a ransom of Rs 2 crore. A case was registered at Nandanvan police station. Ayush was arrested within a couple of days of the incident. His elder brother Navin and Nitin were arrested later after it came to fore that they had extended indirect help to Ayush by disposing off his blood soiled clothes near Kasturchand Park.

Additional public prosecutor Jyoti Vajani represented the prosecution. Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who has been roped in by the state government for this case, was not present in the court when the charge was framed.

Defense counsel Sudeep Jaiswal too was present in the court. It is learnt that the Pugaliyas were eager to switch to a different lawyer for the rest of the trial. However, Jaiswal said the Pugaliyas were still his clients. “I will fight for them until they formally communicate their decision to me. Initially, when the entire city was after them I came forward to take up their case. I was criticized by all persons for the decision but I braved those brickbats to appear for Pugaliyas,” said the president of the district bar association.

2G scam: Former telecom secretary Behura seeks court’s permission to travel abroad

TNN | May 30, 2012, 02.20AM IST

NEW DELHI: Former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, on Tuesday moved a special CBI court seeking permission to visit his children abroad.

On Behura’s plea to visit Hong Kong for a week in June to meet his children who are settled there, special judge O P Saini sought CBI’s response by May 31.

Behura also moved the court for release of his documents, like his driving licence and those of his financial investments, seized by the CBI during the probe. The special court will hear these applications on Wednesday.

Behura is facing charges of breach of trust by a public servant and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code for his alleged role in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Behura was granted bail by the Supreme Court on May 9 after he was arrested by the CBI on February 2 last year along with former telecom minister A Raja and the latter’s erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia.

Behura is facing trial in the case along with 13 persons and three companies.

Mulayam receives International Jurists Award 2012

London, May 29, 2012

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Pakistan’s Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry have been awarded  the prestigious International Jurists Award 2012. Yadav, former defence minister and ex-chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, was selected for the award for his unflinching  “contribution to the advancement of the bar and the bench.”

“His support to the development of the legal fraternity is unparalleled in the world,” said the citation, read out at the International Conference of Jurists on Rule of Law, yesterday evening.

Yadav was, however, not present to receive the award. Justice Chaudhry received the award from Lord Phillips, President of the Supreme Court of the UK, for his “unique and tremendous contribution in the field of administration of justice and for the tireless and fearless endeavours towards administration of justice in Pakistan against all odds.”

Shortly before Justice Chaudhry received the award, two persons barged into the auditorium at the Hotel Court House raising slogans against killings of Shias in Pakistan.

 “I accept this award with profound gratitutde on behalf of the Judiciary of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan who had struggled for the independence of Judiciary.” Justice Chaudhry said, in a brief statement.

 “The protest indicated that the freedom of speech is live and well.” Lord Phillips, referring to the protest demonstration said, while presenting the award.

Referring to corruption, one of the topics discussed at the conference, Lord Phillips made an indirect reference to social activist Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption in India without naming him. “India was in lead to stamp out corruption. Unfortunately it did not happen.” He said at the comference.

In his address, Adish C Aggarwala, senior advocate and President of the International Council of Jurists, called upon Jurists from all over the world to stand united and make a “sincere effort to bring about reforms and accountability in the system of administration of justice.

“We shall re-dedicate ourselves to the service of society, and ensure easy, faster and equal justice to all.” He said.

HC reserves order on aviation firm-Global Vectra’s plea

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 29,2012

New Delhi, May 29 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today reserved its verdict on a plea by Ravi Rishi-led aviation firm-Global Vectra Helicorp challenging DGCA’s decision to suspend the company’s operation permit. Justice Vipin Sanghi reserved the order after counsel appearing for the aviation firm and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Home Ministry concluded their arguments. The DGCA had on May 7 scrapped the firm’s permit after the home ministry withdrew the security clearance of the company raising security concerns. The government had also withdrawn security clearance of Ravi Rishi. Appearing for the company, senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul contended before the court that the order on the company’s operating permit had been passed without a show cause notice and hence was in complete violation of the principle of natural justice. “It cannot be disputed that no explanation was sought from the petitioner nor any enquiry conducted prior to taking such serious action of withdrawal of security clearance and suspending its non-scheduled operator’s permit which virtually brings its business to an end,” Kaul added. The company had submitted that the home ministry informed the DGCA that security clearance of Ravi Rishi had been withdrawn. The DGCA then suspended the non-scheduled chopper operator’s permit. On the other hand, defending the decision, DGCA advocate Anjana Gosai had told the court that it had only followed the process suggested by the home ministry, which was acting on grounds of public safety. “MHA (ministry of home affairs) is the main department to give security clearance, we have followed the process. If security clearance of the company is withdrawn by the MHA, the DGCA has to withdraw operating permit,” she had said. PTI PNM UPT

HC directs random checking of radiation emission

PTI | 11:05 PM,May 29,2012

Jaipur, May 29 (PTI) The Rajasthan High Court today directed random spot checking of emission of radiation from any two mobile towers in the state and sought a report in this regard by Wednesday. The checking should be done with instruments provided by BSNL, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice N K Jain (senior) said. It rejected the radiation emission report prepared by the Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) cell of the Telecom Department, New Delhi. The TERM Director submitted before the court that a survey of 440 mobile towers of Jaipur district was conducted with the help of instrument provided by the mobile companies themselves as per directions of the Central government. The survey revealed there was no excessive emission below the permissible limit of 4.5 watt per square meter. The Bench took a serious view about alleged health hazards posed by mobile tower radiation and brushed aside the contention of moblie companies that high radiation frequency is required at some places to maintain high audio quality. Additional Advocate General Dinesh Yadav told the court that a committee was constituted on May 21 after the directive of the court to monitor the problem of radiation. The Bench, however, said “mere paper work cannot suffice as it yields no results.” When asked that whether any independent inquiry had been conducted, the government counsel replied that the exercise was being done by a Central government cell known as TERM.

Gujarat HC may hand over custodial torture case to CBI

PTI | 11:05 PM,May 29,2012

Ahmedabad, May 29 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court today indicated that it might hand over a case of custodial torture, involving IPS officer Subhash Trivedi, to an independent probe agency after the complainant backtracked from his stand and wanted to withdraw the case. Justice Anant Dave has shown strong indication of entrusting the custodial torture case of Vishal Singala against Jamnagar DSP Trivedi to independent investigating agency like the CBI. As per the case details, Singala, an alleged bootlegger had filed a complaint in the court against Trivedi, police inspector A P Jadeja and police sub-inspector G N Waghela, whom he accused of thrashing him in police custody. Justice Dave had then told Singala to file an FIR in Jamnagar against Trivedi and two other cops, however, he filed another application in the court, saying that he wanted to withdrew the case against the police officers following pressure from his community elders. The judge made it clear that the court was primarily concerned with issue of custodial torture and asked the state government to transfer the three cops out of Jamnagar so that independent inquiry can take place in the case. Today, the court indicated that inquiry can be given to an independent investigating agency like CBI. At the court’s insistence over handing over the probe to CBI, the government pleader Prakash Jani proposed that the state government is more than willing to hold a preliminary inquiry into whether the complainant was forced by the cops to withdraw his petition. Jani also expressed strong reservations against assigning the inquiry to CBI, saying it would have a demoralising effect on police force, particularly when actions are initiated on basis of a complaint of a history-sheeter. Justice Dave has also roped in the assistant solicitor general P S Champaneri on behalf of the Centre on what disciplinary action could be taken against Trivedi and under which rules his IPS nomination could be suspended. Champaneri is likely to address the court on Wednesday after which justice Dave may pass the final order in this case.

HC seeks report on infant deaths at GB Pant Hospital

South Asian News Agency (SANA) ⋅ May 29, 2012 ⋅

SRINAGAR, (SANA): The High Court directed the Chief Secretary to file affidavit indicating the steps taken by the government to arrest alarming infant mortality reported by the media at GB Pant hospital.

The court asked the Senior Additional Advocate General, A M Magray to file an affidavit on behalf of the government showing what steps have been taken by the government to prevent the infant deaths in the hospital.

A division bench comprising justices Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Hasnain Massodi passed the directions on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by social activists, Dr Rouf Mohidin Malik and Tanveer Khan, seeking directions for an inquiry into the recent infant deaths and other issues relating to healthcare in GB Pant hospital.

Magray, representing the Health and Medical Education department accepted the notice in the court on behalf of the respondents.
The court also directed Magray to file affidavit from the Principal Secretary to Government Health and Medical Education department by or before June 1, 2012 indicating the total deaths that have occurred in GB Pant hospital since Jan 1, 2012.

“The affidavit should indicate the total sanctioned strength of the doctors in the hospital rank-wise and the number of doctors who have remained in place in the hospital since January 2012,” the court held.
The court also asked for details about the laboratory facility available in the hospital and the sanctioned strength of trained staff meant for it, directing that if there is any shortfall, it should be indicated explicitly.

Seeking details about the nursing staff in the hospital, the court directed the respondents to indicate total sanctioned strength of nursing staff and the number of nurses posted in the hospital.
The court asked the Principal Secretary to provide details about total number of ventilators available in the hospital and the strength of trained staff handling the ventilators. The court also sought details of the available staff operating the ventilators apart from training imparted to the staff to handle the equipments.

“The Principal Secretary shall also give details of the shortfalls which the government thinks need to be attended urgently to mitigate the present healthcare situation in the hospital” the court ordered.
The court directed the Registry to communicate its order through fax to A M Magray and Principal Secretary to Government Health and Medical Education Department forthwith for information and compliance.

Andhra HC striking down sub-quota: IITs seek govt’s direction

Agencies : New Delhi, Tue May 29 2012, 21:42 hrs

In wake of Andhra Pradesh High Court striking down the 4.5 per cent sub-quota to minorities within OBC reservation, the IITs, which are in midst of the counselling process, have sought a direction from the government.

As many as 325 aspirants belonging to economically and socially backward sections of minority communities have been shortlisted for admission to the 15 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) under the sub-quota.

The high court order has not only raised the worries of these candidates but has also left the IITs in a confused state.

“We have sought advice from the HRD Ministry and are awaiting a view from them,” said a source in the IIT joint admission board.

Counselling for admission to 15 IITs and IT-BHU and ISM-Dhanbad is currently underway and the process will go on till 5 pm on June 10.

The web release of the first seat allotment will be made on June 14.

Sources in HRD Ministry said they are evaluating the situation following the high court order even as Law Minister Salman Khurshid today said they would move the Supreme Court against the high court ruling.

The HRD Ministry had asked all institutions to implement the sub-quota from January 2012. The IITs are the first to implement the government’s decision.

Vienna murder aftermath: HC asks govt to set up compensation commission in a week

TNN | May 30, 2012, 04.18AM IST

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday directed the Punjab government to set up a compensation commission within one week to decide the claims of victims of large scale violence witnessed in some parts of the state in 2009, in the wake of the death of a particular community leader, Sant Ramanand, in Vienna of Austria.

Directions were passed by a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Alok Singh while hearing a PIL filed on the issue.

In its orders, the bench has also specified that such commission should be headed by a retired judge of the high court and the state government should provide appropriate staff to the commission. The commission would determine the perpetrators of violence and the amount of compensation, which should not be more than double the total loss suffered by the victim. The bench also permitted the commission to engage the services of some assessors to estimate the losses, if required.

The commission would work under the supervision of the HC and can approach court at any point of time for any assistance.

The death of Sant Ramanand in Austria on May 24, 2009 had triggered large scale violence in Jalandhar, Phaghwara, Hoshiarpur and some other towns of Punjab.

Importantly, it was only after cognizance of the matter was taken by the high court, the state police swung into action and started registering cases.

The matter had reached the HC in December 2010 through a PIL by Phagwara branch of General Samaj Manch through their counsel, Hitesh Kaplish. Advocate Kaplish had sought directions for fixing responsibility of each and every official concerned in the administration for failure to anticipate such violence and punish the culprits.

Punjab police had to face the wrath of the high court for not taking any tangible action against those involved in the violence and even the state home secretary as well as DGP had also been summoned in person by the high court for their failure to take action in the matter. Following HC intervention, 75 cases were registered, 57 persons were arrested, around 445 witnesses identified and statements of around 258 persons recorded.

HC condemns workers stripping manager naked

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | May 30, 2012, 12.54AM IST

MUMBAI: Stripping a person naked is an extreme way to protest, observed the Bombay high court while hearing an appeal against the reinstatement of a worker accused of tearing the clothes of the personnel manager of a factory 20 years ago.

On May 2, a division bench of Justice P B Majmudar and Justice Anoop Mohta was hearing an appeal filed by Digvi Metalwares Pvt Ltd against a single HC judge’s order directing reinstatement of a worker, Shrikant Kadam. Granting interim relief to Kadam, Justice Girish Gokhale had observed that “the incident was over 20 years old” and “interests of justice would be served” if Kadam, who was left with barely four-five years of service, was allowed to resume work conditionally.

The case dates back to November 2, 1992 when over some grievances, 20 workers, led by union leaders, went to the factory at Shivare in Pune where they assaulted the manager, forcibly tore his clothes and stripped him. “What? They made him naked?” asked Justice Majmudar, even as the judges were told the manager was left with nothing but his undergarments. “Labour protests 20 years ago used to be vociferous, but you can make someone naked?
This is an extreme way of protest. It can be demeaning,” said Justice Majmudar.

The petition said Kadam was among those who instigated employees to stop work for eight days. A lockout on the factory was declared from November 1, 1992 to March 3, 1993. Kadam’s service was ended on November 24, 1997. The labour court directed Kadam’s reinstatement, saying while the charges had been “proved”, the “punishment was disproportionate”.

The company moved HC, where the single judge directed to reinstate Kadam. The company then filed a plea in the HC and the division bench admitted it. The judges clubbed the petition with another, filed against Prakash Acharya, also involved in the incident. In December 2007, the HC, hearing an appeal against Acharya’s reinstatement, admitted the petition saying “charges were serious” and it pertained to “humiliating the manager by tearing his clothes off”. The hearing has been expedited and posted to August.

On November 2, 1992, over some grievances, 20 workers, led by union leaders, went to a factory at Shivare in Pune where they assaulted the manager, tore his clothes and stripped him.

HC stays admission to dental colleges

TNN | May 30, 2012, 03.06AM IST

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court has stayed the Gujarat University (GU) and certain self-financed dental colleges to go ahead with the admission process in the postgraduate programme on 50-50 management-government seat ratio as per the consensus arrived at between the state government and the consortium of self-financed dental colleges.

Students of dental colleges had questioned an agreement, labeled as amicable settlement/arrangement, between the state government and self-financed dental colleges to admit 50% students on management quota excluding 15% NRI quota and keeping the rest 50% for students getting admission on government seats. This arrangement was in modification of earlier 25%-70% ratio of management-government seats.

The students challenged the move by managements and government claiming that it was in violation of various laws and rules laid by the state government itself. The government and the colleges as well as their consortium opposed the petition. However, justice M R Shah concluded that earlier petitions challenging vires of the laws providing 25%-75% ratio were dismissed by court and the new arrangement has not even been reduced down to writing by the government. In such circumstances, no such consensus or arrangement between the government and colleges can by-pass or substitute statutory provisions and this arrangement can be termed as absolutely illegal and contrary to provisions of law.

With this observation, the HC has directed the university to stall registration/enrollment of certain students who have passed the entrance test conducted as per 50-50 management-government seat arrangement. The court has also directed that those students who have already enrolled after having passed the test, which was held in February this year, to wait till final order of the HC, as their admission is subject to the outcome of final order of this petition.

Further hearing has been kept on June 25.

Court gives minor girl’s custody to her husband

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 29, 2012, 16:15

A youth has won from a Delhi court the custody of his minor wife, whom he had married after elopement and is facing prosecution for allegedly kidnapping her.

Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Garg gave the custody of 16-year-old girl, an East Delhi resident to her husband from Uttar Pradesh after she told the court that she had willingly married him and wished to stay with him instead of with her parents or at Nirmal Chhaya, a woman-cum-children welfare home.

ASJ Garg gave the girl’s custody to the youth, relying on higher court rulings which said natural guardian of a married Hindu minor girl is her husband and the preferences of minor, who is old enough to make an intelligent decision, ought to be considered by the court.

“The girl is no longer required to be kept at Nirmal Chhaya. She being minor, subject to her wish her custody be given to appellant husband. The revision petition is allowed,” ASJ Garg said.

The sessions court gave its ruling, setting aside the Child Welfare Committee’s order, which had denied the youth the custody of his minor wife, who had been lodged at Nirmal Chhaya for the last five months after the youth’s arrest on charges of her kidnapping.

The youth, after securing bail, had first moved the CWC and then the sessions court, for her custody. In his plea to the sessions court, he had argued that the CWC order was passed in a “mechanical manner” without appreciating the facts.

He said the girl was his legally-wedded wife since 2010 and had been happily living with with him and his family for over a year and she has not consented to go with her parents.

While allowing the minor girl’s custody to her husband, the court rejected her parents’ contention that her marriage was illegal as she was a minor and her custody should be give to them.

The court also noted that an inquiry was conducted by the CWC and the police regarding the age of the girl and as per the report of the Station House Officer, her school records showed her age to be more than 16 years.

Inmates of Mahila Mandiram allege physical violence nightmare

Urgent need of a separate rehabilitation home for girls

Inmates want new superintendent

By Dhanya Ezhuthachan

Kerala Government – Social Welfare Department’s Mahila Mandiram at Ramavarmapuram has become a nightmare for the inmates.

Four girls aged between 16 and 18 from the refugee home reached the Viyyur police station Monday evening with complaints that the temporary superintendent Ramla Biwi tortured them physically and mentally. The girls were sent back home after the mediation effort by Women Police Station authorities with the superintendent. But the problems did not end there. The inmates insisted on their demand of appointing a new superintendent; otherwise, they would commit suicide.

The inmates said that the superintendent beat them with iron rods and make them kneel for many hours. Food is not given properly and they are not taken to hospital if they fall sick.

Considering the seriousness of the issue, the District Collector PM Francis has informed CHILDLINE authorities to file an immediate proposal to the government seeking approval for a separate rehabilitation centre for the girls below the age of 18, said Jomon MC, centre coordinator of CHILDLINE Thrissur.

Jomon said that they have given request to both the corporation and collector regarding the need of a separate shelter for girls. He visited the girls in Mahila Mandiram and took statements from them. Jomon said that the condition is very pathetic at Mahila Mandiram and an urgent solution is needed. He added that the government should be more responsible in handling the cases of children and should give more priority for the well functioning of juvenile homes in the state. CHILDLINE would have a discussion with the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) also.

The district, where many child labour cases are filed, lacks a separate rehabilitation home for girls. The girls below the age of 18 are sent to the Mahila Mandiram after CWC sitting. Mahila Mandiram is meant for widows, divorced and destitute women above 18 years, who have nobody to look after. Those women approaching the institution with their children are also allowed to stay there till their children attain six years. The little girls are sent to stay with the elders and it creates problems between them. Lack of proper caretakers is also a problem. Most of the girls come to the Mahila Mandiram are from other states and are caught in child labour cases.

In September, City Journal had reported the ill treatment to the inmates. No change in the situations so far. The girls from other states are forced to work and they get least attention from the authorities. They are not allowed to take bath daily. Bath soaps are not distributed to all. The capacity of the Mahila Mandiram is 25. Now nearly 30 inmates live in three bed rooms in an overcrowded condition. This also calls for the need of a separate home.

It is also alleged that the authorities delay the release of some inmates even if their parents or guardians come with certificates to take charge of them. This paper’s sources inside the Mahila Mandiram admit the above said problems faced by the girls.

The institutions like Mahila Mandirams are meant to provide social security and welfare to the economically and socially weaker sections, mainly children and women. Human rights violations inside these homes should be strictly controlled by the government.

The 12 Mahila Mandirams in the state come under the social welfare department of the government. The department allocates funds for them. There are a superintendent, a warden and a peon at each home. Warden stays with the inmates. The ill treatment to the inmates is seen despite sufficient funds are allocated for them by the Social Welfare Department.

District social welfare officer Vasantha Kumari told City Journal she would file the proposal for the separate home for the girls after a discussion with the CWC. She said that she held discussion with both the inmates and the superintendent. Both of them have agreed to behave nicely to each other. A transfer is expected soon for the temporary superintendent and a permanent superintendent will take charge, she added.

CWC chairman CO George told City Journal that he would hold discussions with the social welfare officer and CHILDLINE. Further decisions will be taken after that.

FIR stays, HC fines Italian marines Rs2lakh

May 30, 2012

By Rohit Raj

Italian marines Salvatore Girone and Lattore Massimillano (DC-File Pic)

Cracking the whip on the Italian marines for killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast, the Kerala high court on Tuesday dismissed Italy’s petition seeking to quash the FIR registered against its marines in connection with the murder case.

Justice P.S. Gopinathan also slapped a fine of Rs 2 lakh on the marines and asked Italy to pay the money for wasting the court’s valuable time. The court held that the state government has penal jurisdiction to try the accused marines in the firing case.

The court criticised the acts of the victims’ family members, who agreed for an out-of court monetary compensation from Italians, and said that by doing so, they wasted the valuable time of the court.

The court imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 each on the families of the two deceased fishermen for this unacceptable action.

The court found that the petitioners, chief master sergeant Massimiliano Lattore and sergeant Salvatore Girone, gunned down the two unarmed fishermen in a brutal manner without any provocation. “So, the FIR cannot be quashed, and the marines are liable to be prosecuted.”

“The incident occurred in the territorial waters of India within India’s Exclusive Economic Zone or Contiguous Zone (EEZ/CZ), making the Indian penal laws applicable,” the court held.

The court relied on the notification issued by the Union ministry of home affairs on August 1981, as per which the incident can be registered under provisions of the IPC and Criminal Procedure Code.

“The Republic of Italy has come to this court without any bona fides. No investigation was initiated by Italy to prosecute the marines. There has not been any attempt to know the truth and to get any statement from the captain of the vessel,” the court observed. The court also clarified that Enrica Lexie from which the shooting took place was a private ship. “So, sovereignty of the nation cannot be claimed.”

HC stays CIC order to make public Prez donations

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 22:20

Tags: CICPresidentdonations

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday stayed a Central Information Commission order to make public the donations made by the Presidents of India on humanitarian grounds between 2004 and 2011.

While staying the CIC’s May 4 order, Justice Vipin Sanghi, however, observed that “the President is not above the law” and the public has the right to know about the donation made by the president out of tax payers’ money.

The court stayed the CIC order, while reserving its own order on the President secretariat’s plea against the CIC order.

The court made critical remarks as Additional Solicitor General A S Chandhiok, appearing for the President secretariat, sought to oppose the CIC order and said that many of the donations are made to people seeking financial help for medical treatment and disclosure of such informations would infringe their privacy.

“If somebody goes with begging bowl, which kind of privacy he wants to maintain? How much money has rolled out and where the money has gone?” Justice Sanghi said.

As ASJ argued that the Right to Information Act is not meant to entertain such applications for disclosure of donations from Constitutional authorities, the court said, “We are not a monarchy but a republic.” “The President of India is not above the law,” it added.

ASJ sought to argue that some constitutional authorities like the Prime Minister, have discretionary power to make donations, which he makes from the PM’s National Relief fund.

At this, Justice Sanghi said if the donations given by the President is from tax payers’ money, the general public certainly has the right to know.

The court made the remarks during hearing of a plea by the President secretariat, challenging the CIC’s order, which has asked the First Citizen’s office to disclose the names of receivers of donation, their address and the amount given.

The CIC had asked the Rashtrapati Bhawan to give these information to applicant Nitesh Kumar Tipathi within 15 days, besides uploading the information on the official website of the President’s secretariat. The court, however, stayed the CIC order, while also reserving its own order on the President secretariat’s plea against the CIC order.


Moily irked by growing demands for selective exclusion from CCI scrutiny

K. R. Srivats

New Delhi, May 29:

The Corporate Affairs Minister, Mr Veerappa Moily, is miffed over the growing calls from industries to be exempted selectively from the scope of the competition law.

After the banking regulator Reserve Bank of India made a pitch for exempting bank mergers from the ambit of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), there have been demands from other sectors, especially those like telecom which have their own regulators.

Insurance and shipping players are also reportedly lobbying through their ministries to be exempted from CCI scrutiny.

Exempting bank mergers from the ambit of competition law is still not a reality as the concerned amendment is yet to be approved by Parliament.

There must be a competition culture in the country, Mr Moily said at an Assocham event here. If this trend of various ministries seeking carve-outs were to continue, then there won’t be any need for a competition commission, he rued.

Later, Mr Moily told reporters that the proposed Competition (amendment) Bill has now been referred to a Group of Ministers headed by the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee.

On Companies Bill 2011, the Minister said that the Standing Committee on Finance had firmed up itsviews, but the report is not ready as yet.

CCI approves RIL stake purchase in Network18 group

PTI May 29, 2012, 09.38PM IST

NEW DELHI: Competition watchdog CCI has given approval to Reliance Industries’ proposal to acquire stake in media entities Network18 and TV18 Broadcast.

RIL, through a newly-created vehicle Independent Media Trust, is infusing funds through optionally convertible debentures into Network18 Media and Investments Ltd (NMIL), the group’s holding company, and TV18 Broadcast Ltd.

“Considering the facts on records … the Commission is of the opinion that the proposed combination is not likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India and, therefore, the Commission hereby approves the proposed combination,” CCI said in a notification.

The commission noted that the business of supply of TV channels in India is featured by the presence of significant number of broadcasters operating across various genres targeting national and regional audience/viewership.

“It is apparent that the new television channels can be started with ease in India with sufficient scope for innovation and competition, both in terms of technology and content,” it said in the order.

In January, Reliance Industries and Network 18 group had joined hands for a multi-layered deal, under which the Mukesh Ambani-led corporate giant would sell a part of its interest in Eenadu TV channels and would also fund promoters of the media group.

At the same time, RIL group through an independent trust would provide funding to promoters of Raghav Bahl-led Network 18 group for acquiring shares in their two companies — Network 18 and TV18 — through their respective rights issues.

In all, Network 18 and TV18 would raise about Rs 4,000 crore including Rs 1,700 crore contribution of the promoters.

As per the deal, RIL, which is setting up a pan-Indian broadband network, would also get access to content and distribution assets of the electronic media group.

The deal also involves RIL’s broadband subsidiary Infotel entering into an MoU with TV18 and Network18 Media and Investments (Network18) for preferential access to all their content for distribution through the 4G Broadband Network being set up by it.

Infotel is setting up a pan-Indian world class 4th Generation Broadband Network and aims to take a leadership position in content distribution through broadband technology through a host of devices.

Review plea in Supreme Court on army chief selection

By Mail Today Reporter

PUBLISHED: 23:09 GMT, 29 May 2012 | UPDATED: 23:09 GMT, 29 May 2012

Former navy chief Admiral L. Ramdas and some others have filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against its April 23 order virtually clearing Lt-Gen Bikram Singh’s selection as the next army chief.

The petitioners contended that their plea was dismissed after the government’s law officers made an erroneous statement with regard to Singh’s assignment in the United Nations.

The petitioners had questioned Lt-Gen Singh’s selection on the ground that he was facing fake encounter charges and an inquiry for failing to rein in erring officers deputed under him in a UN mission.

The petitioners said the law officers had submitted that Singh was ‘only an international civil servant and had no operational responsibilities’.

The defence ministry had sought a clarification in this regard from the army on April 13, they said.

A reply spelling out the role of division commander and deputy force commander as ‘purely military in nature’ came on April 24.

MCD babus fined for RTI info delay

The chief information commission (CIC) has fined two MCD officials Rs 25,000 each in two separate cases for delay in supplying information to an RTI activist.

The CIC levied the penalty under the RTI Act that will now be deducted from the salaries of the two MCD employees, I.U. Khan and Manoj Kumar Nijhawan, both information officers with the municipal body.

RTI activist Harish Kumar had filed two separate appeals, seeking information about his RTI filed before the MCD on the sealed DCM factory complex at Bara Hindu Rao.


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