LEGAL NEWS 31.05.2012

Spiritual guru blames rupee symbol for currency woes

Agence France-Presse | Updated: May 31, 2012 17:47 IST

New Delhi: Businessmen may blame global troubles or inept governance, but a Hindu guru has an alternative theory for the historic weakness of Rupee: the newly adopted symbol for the currency is inauspicious.

Rajkumar Jhanjhari, an expert in the ancient Hindu doctrine of vastu shastra, has called for a new design, arguing that a line on the symbol has “slit the throat” of the rupee and sparked the country’s financial gloom.

The rupee symbol, unveiled in 2010 during happier times for the economy, is inspired by the letter “R” in the Roman alphabet and “Ra” from the ancient Devanagari script used in Hindi.

“India managed to withstand a severe global slump in 2009, before the symbol came up. One must ask why our growth rate is taking a beating now before rubbishing pleas for changing the symbol,” Mr Jhanjhari told the Hindustan Times.

Data on Thursday showed India’s economy grew just 5.3 per cent in January-March, its slowest pace in almost a decade, pushing the rupee to its lowest ever rate against the dollar.

It has shed about a fifth of its value against the US currency in the last 12 months.

Mr Jhanjhari, based in Guwahati, has offered tweaks to the rupee design that he believes would boost the troubled economy, the newspaper reported.

The 50-year-old said that he wrote to the Prime Minister with his suggestions late last year and copies of the letter were also sent to the finance minister and the central bank.

Similar to Chinese Feng Shui, Vastu Shastra is a Hindu system of space design that aims to promote well-being, by auspiciously making buildings or other constructions align with natural forces.

The designer of the rupee’s current symbol, student Udaya Kumar, said a change would be up to the government. “Frankly, I don’t know what to say,” he told the paper.

At the time of the launch of the rupee symbol, Information Minister Ambika Soni said it would establish the arrival of the Indian currency “as a robust currency.”






Cabinet postpones decision on Power Board

Roy Mathew

The Cabinet on Wednesday deferred a decision on corporatisation and unbundling of the State Electricity Board for discussions with the employees’ organisations in the Board.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media after the Cabinet meeting that the employees’ organisations had submitted differing representations on the proposals. The government wanted to take them into confidence and hold discussions with them.

The Power Minister had earlier held discussions with the employees. He would now convene a conference with the employees which would be attended by the Finance and Power Ministers. He and the Ministers would then place final proposals for approval of the Cabinet.

The Chief Minister said that about 2500 persons would be given promotions in the Police Department in two years. About 1000 constables would be promoted as head constables and 1000 head constables would be promoted as additional sub Inspectors. Besides, 500 additional sub inspectors would be promoted as sub inspectors. The remaining recommendations of the Shetty Commission on revision of pay scales for non-judicial staff would be implemented.

The Cabinet had decided to allocate Rs. 12 crore for building 800 houses for fishermen. This was in addition to the Budget provision of Rs. 4 crore. A project leader and six sectoral officers would be appointed for implementation of the Rs. 148-crore project for development of primitive tribes, funded by the Centre. A branch of the Civil Services Training Academy would be set up at Victoria College at Palakkad.

The Cabinet had sanctioned Rs. 10 lakh each as grant for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi and centenary celebrations of Sri Chitira Tirunal Balarama Varma )who was Maharaja of Travancore). The Nadukkara Agro-processing Company near Muvattupuzha would be handed over to the Vegetable and Fruits Promotion Council- Kerala. The compensation recommended by NHRC to endosulfan victims would not be curtailed.

Replying to questions, the Chief Minister said that the police had not tortured anyone who were taken into custody in connection with the murder of T. P. Chandrasekharan as alleged by the CPI (M). The accused had disclosed details of the plot to kill Chandrasekharan when confronted with scientific evidence. “Did CPI (M) State secretary M. M. Mani disclose the details of murders that had taken place in Idukki district because he was tortured by anyone? It showed that the truth could not be hidden for long.”

Mr. Chandy said that none forced Mr. Mani to leave the State after his disclosure. There were precedents of the police investigating old cases in the light of new disclosures as in the case of murder of naxalite Varghese.

He lamented that the communal violence was happening in some parts of the State though Marad, where violence had occurred previously, was now very peaceful. The people of Kerala know who are behind the violence. The government was trying to address the problem. “Communal amity is our strength. If communal incidents happen, it would lead to our destruction.”

He said that the ban on pan masala would be implemented strictly. Existing stocks in Kerala would not be allowed to be sold. However, traders would be allowed to take the stocks out of the State.

He said that the government was considering the Railways’ proposal that the Wagon factory at Palakkad should be set up with private participation. It needed time to examine the proposal.





Former Karnataka DGP Bidari moves SC for reinstatement

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 31, 2012, 17:15


Former Karnataka DGP S M Bidari today moved the Supreme Court seeking his reinstatement as state police chief, the appointment for which had been quashed by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).

A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar, however, recused themselves from hearing the plea and ordered its listing before a different bench.

Bidari approached the apex court challenging Karnataka High Court’s order which had held that Bidari’s empanelment for the post of state police chief was vitiated as the state government had not placed before the empanelling authority the report of the NHRC’s panel on atrocities committed by the Special Task Force (STF), headed by Bidari during the operation to arrest elusive forest brigand Veerappan.

It had dismissed his petition after reviewing findings of the Justice Sadashiva panel, which probed the alleged atrocities committed by the STF headed by Bidari to nab Veerappan.

The high court had noted that there is a specific reference to Bidari’s name in the Sadashiva panel report which was in nature of adverse comments upon his functioning as a commandant of the Task Force.

“As the said panel report/NHRC orders are withheld from the UPSC/not placed before the UPSC, the empanelment of the third respondent by the UPSC is vitiated and consequently the order appointing the third respondent as the DG and IGP of Karnataka is also vitiated”, it had said.





India’s human rights report to UPR flayed

Source: The Sangai Express / Ninglun Hanghal

New Delhi, May 30 2012: India’s human rights review report which was presented at the 8th sitting of the ongoing thirteenth session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva that began from May 4, drew flaks from an activist and Director of ACHR, Suhas Chakma who termed the report as ‘a reflection of India’s anachronistic position on human rights’ .

Eighty countries made their comments and observation during the session which is scheduled to conclude on June 4 .

The delegation of India headed by Goolam E Vahanvati, Attorney General of India, presented 32 case points.

This includes India’s efforts in initiative for good governance such as the RTI, introduction of rights based approach such as MGNREG Act, RTE and NFSB for social and economic advancement, India’s leniency towards refugees from its neighbours, Myanmar, Tibet, Sri Lanka.

India’s presentation stated that an internal challenges posed by terrorism and insurgency is being met with resolve coupled with compassion and people oriented development.

The dialogue session adopted recommendations to be examined and responded by India before the coming 21st session of the HR Council in September this year.

Among others, the sixty nine recommendations include; ratification of the convention against torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, International Convention for protection of all persons from enforced disappearance and Repeal or adopt amendment for accountability of security forces under AFSPA.

Reacting to the precedings of the India case at the UPR, Suhas Chakma, Director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights said “the 22 page report sadly reflects India’s anachronistic position on human rights” .

He lamented that India did not give any report on the implementation pledge taken in the Human Rights Council earlier in May 2008.”What India did was inviting the UN Special Rapporteurs this year,” he added.

Chakma finds that India’s reports gives an impression that there is no Human Righst violation in India, presenting only on the positive aspects.

The Asian Centre for Human Rights Director went on to state that the Indian delegation, led by none other than the Attorney General, should make a commitment that all laws that undermine the supremacy of the judiciary will be repealed.

Suhas countered that there is no evidence that India intends or has intended to ratify the UN Convention Against Enforced Disappearances.

In India Enforced disappearance is not codified as a criminal offence in its domestic law despite NHRC receiving 341 complaints of disappearances in 2010 and 338 in 2011 alone.

He underlined that about 35 per cent of the complaints to the NHRC annually are against the police but custodial justice remains a problem.

Quoting India’s contradictory stand in its 2011 report on the Optional Protocol to the CRC which says India does not face either international or non international armed conflict situations, Chakma said “The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) is still in force in Jammu & Kashmir and the North Eastern states” .





SC wants to know of mysterious disapearance of NRI

Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 17:29 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Following the mysterious disappearance of an Indian engineer from his home in Saudi Arabia over two weeks ago, the Supreme Court has issued a showcause notice to four states including Delhi and Karnataka, the external affairs and home ministries, and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

A bench consisting of justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar sought their response by June 1 when the petition of Nikhat Parveen, 22, wife of the missing engineer, Fasih Mahmood, 28, will come up for hearing.

On May 13, Mahmood was said to have been taken away from his home in Jubail, Damman, by a group of Indian and Arab men in civil dress after they conducted a search and seized a laptop and a mobile phone.

His wife, Nikhat Perveen, was held in a room by an Arab woman.

While leaving, they informed her that Mahmood would be deported as he was wanted in India. Parveen alleged that Mahmood, who hails from Darbhanga in Bihar, was picked up for alleged terror links.

Avocate Naushad Ahmad Khan, appearing for Parveen, pleaded that the court should direct the government to reveal the whereabouts of Mahmood.

Earlier, Parveen had appealed to several authorities, but to no avail.

First, she approached the Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia. When they failed to respond, Parveen, who had married Mahmood in September last year and joined him in Saudi Arabia in March, returned to India on May 15. Next, she approached the external affairs and home ministries. When they denied having detained her husband, Parveen filed a habeus corpus with SC seeking respite.





NHRC asks Meghalaya govt to stop employing children in mines

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 30,2012

Shillong, May 30 (PTI) The National Human Rights Commission today asked the Meghalaya government to “stop” employment of children in all mines and business establishments in the state. “We emphatically have told the government to stop child labour in mining areas and all areas concerned in which children are purportedly employed as direct labourers or as bonded labours,” Chairman of the Commission, K G Balakrishnan told reporters after the meeting. He said the Commission suggested that there should be a detailed survey of all mines in the state to check child labourers and bonded labourers. For such cases, the government should provide compensation and rehabilitate the victims besides taking action against such employers. At present, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences has been appointed by the state government to conduct a survey in the mining areas of the state on the issue of child labour for which a report would be shared with the Commission. The Commission had taken cognisance of the issue after it was reported that more than 70,000 child labourers were present in the coal belts of Jaintia Hills district. The Commission has also taken cognisance of the fact that mining in Meghalaya is not regulated which is resulting in environmental degradation and causing health hazards besides exploitation of the mine workers. On a query about the setting up of a state human rights commission, the NHRC Chairman said it is the prerogative of the state governments to set up such bodies. The Commission had earlier written to all Chief Ministers on the issue.





‘NHRC never recommended AFSPA repeal’


Assam Tribune | Shillong, May 30

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has never recommended repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) but asked State governments to consider review of the controversial Act.

Justice KG Balakrishnan, chairperson of NHRC, said that the Commission has no jurisdiction when it comes to asking States to repeal the Act as it is a State policy. “The State governments have to take a decision to repeal the Act as it is a policy decision. The NHRC has therefore never recommended for its repeal,” he said at the sidelines of the NHRC’s camp sittings here.





Green Tribunal approached for protecting Western Ghat ESZs

PTI | 12:05 PM,May 31,2012

Panaji, May 31 (PTI) A group of non-government organisations (NGOs) have approached the National Green Tribunal in Delhi, seeking ban on projects in Eco Sensitive Zones (ESZs) identified by Professor Madhav Gadgil panel in the Western Ghat region. Five NGOs have pleaded the tribunal that the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF), state governments, respective pollution control boards and environment impact assessment authorities should not be allowed to give permission for projects in the ESZ –I and II, identified by the panel. The Western Ghat Ecology Expert Panel (WWEEP) led by environmentalist Madhav Gadgil had submitted its report to the MOEF in August, last year. After a delay, the report was kept open for the public this month inviting suggestion. The report has demarcated ESZs depending on the bio-diversity present in those areas. The NGOs have said that all the six states through which the Western Ghat passes should respect these ESZs. National Green Tribunal has issued notices to MOEF and all the six states and the case would be heard on July 25, 2012 when tribunal bench will meet after the vacation. Five NGOs – Goa Foundation (Goa), Peaceful Society (Goa), Samaj Parivartana Samudaya (Karnataka), River Research Centre (Kerala) and Parisara Samrakshana Kendra (Karnataka)- have filed the petition. All these organisations were part of Western Ghat Bachao Abhiyaan, a campaign held in 1987-88.






Notice to defence ministry on non-functional AFT courts

Bhartesh Singh Thakur, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, May 31, 2012

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday issued a notice to the union ministry of defence (MoD) over the ‘paralysis’ of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) benches due to non-appointment of judges by the ministry.
Major Navdeep Singh, AFT Bar founding president, in a public interest litigation (PIL), highlighted the ‘excessive’ control of the MoD over appointments, infrastructure, rule-making and functioning of the AFT, even as it was this ministry against which the tribunal had to pass all orders. The petition said having the MoD as the parent ministry for the AFT was against the spirit of the law laid down by the Supreme Court.

The petition stated that of the 15 courts in the country, only three were functioning because of non-appointment of judicial members. “The Chandigarh bench is also faced with a paralysis of sorts, with only one court functioning out of three, and that too partially since the court also has to sit in the circuit bench at Shimla. The Chandigarh Bench, which covers Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh, and has the maximum pendency, is hence currently at the mercy of the MoD, which has taken no effective steps of filling vacancies of judicial members, though it is learnt that the selection process had been initiated more than a year back.”

The petition added that the MoD had recently informed a parliamentary standing committee incorrectly that only 303 decisions of the AFT had not been implemented, whereas 3,500 to 4,500 decisions remained unimplemented.

“Though the tribunal exercises criminal appellate functions, there is no police presence to undertake such functions as provided for under the AFT Act or under the CrPC; the security is handled by private, unarmed security guards outsourced from a private security agency,” the petition said.

It prayed for directions for placing the AFT benches under the union ministry of law and justice as there was no provision in the AFT Act for the MoD to take over the rule-making powers, authority, functioning, appointments, infrastructure, manpower or administrative support of the tribunal. It also asked for the selection of judges in a time-bound manner, particularly for the Chandigarh bench of the AFT, which covers the largest area and has the maximum load of cases.






Harsher law to crack down on fraud by NRI grooms: Sukhbir

Anju Agnihotri Chaba

Posted: May 31, 2012 at 0319 hrs IST

Jalandhar The Punjab government has announced that it will bring in a strict and comprehensive new law in August to check fraud being committed by NRI grooms who desert their wives immediately after marriage and disappear.

“The law will take these NRI grooms to task,” said Punjab Deputy Chief Minster Sukhbir Singh Badal after attending a national seminar on ‘Overseas Marriage and Deserted Wives by NRI grooms’ organised by Punjab police in collaboration with National Commission for Women (NCW) on Wednesday. He also launched a helpline for women in distress and said that Punjab will not tolerate fraud committed against innocent Punjabi girls.

Sukhbir said that the new law will stipulate verification of NRIs seeking to marry a Punjabi girl, a compulsory registration of such marriages besides sifting of such details from the Indian consulate in that country from where the NRI resides.

“It is painful to witness desperate deserted wives run pillar to post for justice,” Sukhbir said, adding that a district-wise census of ‘deserted wives’ will be conducted to provide them legal assistance.

The Deputy CM said that under the new law, parents of the girl can be taken to task for marrying their daughter off without proper verification of the groom. “In many cases parents marry their daughters off to NRIs due to greed and leave her at the mercy her in-laws,” he said.

Former Union minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, who has been fighting this battle along with his close associate R S Bharowal for over a decade and getting relief for such girls, said that out of a total 30,000 such cases in India around 15,000 belong to Punjab, including 10,000 from Doaba region alone.

Sukhbir acknowledged the efforts of Ramoowalia and said that what the government should do was being done by Ramoowalia for years .

SAD MP Harsimrat Badal suggested that a website should be made where photographs of such fraud NRI grooms and their families should be pasted. “It would act as a big shame for these NRI grooms and their families,” she said, while registering her displeasure at the measly number of cases of fraud brought to light by NCW to the Punjab police.

Zonal and NRI Affairs IG Gurpreet Deo said that they have been steadily receiving more complaints. “From 26 cases in 2007 we have had 200 cases till date,” she added, while revealing that only in 102 cases were NRI grooms declared Proclaimed Offenders (POs).

Decide cases in 80 days: Ramoowalia

Ramoowalia suggested a mechanism to tackle marital disputes of NRI grooms including deciding of such cases in 80 days. He also said that the deputy commissioner should take an affidavit from the groom about his immigrant status, while the parents should ask for copies of his various documents like social security, driving license number, bank account statements and guarantees.






Land acquisition for SIPCOT upheld

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The proceedings of the TN government to acquire land belonging to Sri Venkateswara Educational and Charitable Trust in Cheyyar in Tiruvannamalai district� for expansion of SIPCOT Industrial Estate has been upheld by the Madras High Court.

Justice K Chandru upheld the proceedings while dismissing a writ petition filed by the SVEC Trust challenging the notification issued by the State government under section 3 (1) of the Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Land for Industrial Purposes Act, recently.

According to the Trust, the State government had published a notification for acquiring an extent of 25.71.0 hectares. The trust had sent a letter to the District Collector seeking exemption of 14.69.0 hectares to start an engineering college. The letter was forwarded to the Special Commissioner/Commissioner for Land Administration recommending dropping of lands from the acquisition proceedings.

When the matter was pending, the State had issued a final notification asking the petitioner to surrender the land. Even after this notification, the petitioner was corresponding with the government. Since no response was forthcoming from the State, the Special Commissioner had directed the District Collector to send an appropriate report to the government. It was at this stage, the present petition was filed.

During the course of hearing the additional government pleader produced a GO dated March 27, 2012 rejecting the request for exemption on the ground that the exemption, if granted, would disturb the continuity of the scheme.

S Vadivelu, counsel for the petitioner, placed reliance on the fact that the authority below had recommended for an exemption, but that was not considered in the impugned order.

Justice Chandru said that the petitioner could not seek for exclusion of its land from the acquisition. There was no construction activity in the lands in question as per the communication of the District Collector. SIPCOT had opined that any exemption would affect their expansion programme, he pointed out.

“In view of the above, there is no case made out to entertain the petition. This court is satisfied that necessary statutory procedures have been followed before invoking the power under the TALIP Act,” the judge added and dismissed the petition.






Kishangarh international airport gets high court nod

TNN | May 31, 2012, 03.59AM IST

JAIPUR: A division bench of high court comprising Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice R S Rathore on Thursday allowed the construction of an international airport at Kishangarh near Ajmer. The bench rejected the plea of the royal family of Kishangarh and held that the petitioners mislead the court by filing wrong statements and were challenging the acquisition after 24 years.

The matter was strongly contested on behalf of petitioner Brajraj Singh, the eldest son of erstwhile ruler Sumer Singhji and his other siblings whose 3003 bigha of land at Kishangarh-B village was acquired by state government in 1976 for constructing the airport. The Centre had recognized private properties of former estate of Kishangarh by an order dated August 8, 1949 wherein the land in dispute was treated as estate property.

After death of erstwhile ruler Sumer Singhji on Feburary 16, 1971, the Central government recognized Brajraj Singh as ruler of Kishangarh. An acquisition proceeding was initiated by the district collector under Land Reforms and Acquisition of Landowner’s Estate Act, 1963 and on February 20, 1976 the land in dispute was acquired and possession also taken. The tehsildar of Kishangarh passed an eviction order with fine under Section 91A of Rajasthan Land Revenue Act on May 22, 2000 which was challenged by the petitioner in the court. A writ petition, as also an appeal, were dismissed by the high court holding the royal family guilty of suppression of facts and making misleading statements.

It was contended by K K Mahrshi, senior counsel for petitioner that the petitioners were not served with the notice of acquisition proceedings and the compensation commission passed the compensation at their back. The plea was opposed by advocate general G S Bapna who contended that a notice was duly served on Brajraj Singh, who happens to be the main petitioner and once a notice is served to co-owner of a land, the same is deem sufficient service over the other co-owners.

In a review petition file by the petitioner, the division bench of Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice R S Rathore came down heavily on the petitioner saying: “The state government is right in saying that the petitioners were duly served. Even this is their own admission in Para no. 15 of the writ petition. In a review, court does not sit in an appeal.”

“The very invocation of high prerogative jurisdiction impales a party to state truth and correct facts. Misrepresentation and misstatement was thus one aspect but the other aspect was that writ was filed after a delay of 24 long years and that too without availing an alternative remedy before the Revenue Board against the order of eviction passed by tehsildar. As such, there is no ground for interference,” Justice Rafiq observed in the order on behalf of bench.





Plea on books with Ambedkar toon

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan has approached the Madras High Court with a writ plea to restrain the Centre from publishing and circulating the books containing a cartoon, which denigrated Dr BR Ambedkar, the Father of Indian Constitution.

A vacation bench comprising Justices K Venkataraman and CS Karnan on Wednesday ordered notice to the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry, National Council for Education and Research Training (NCERT) secretary and the New Chanab Offset Printers editor in New Delhi, returnable in four weeks.

In his public interest writ petition, Thirumavalavan, who raised the issue in Parliament on May 10 last, submitted that though the HRD Minister Kabil Sibal tendered an apology,� no step had been taken to remove the cartoon from the XI std text book of the NCERT. The schools were due to open after summer vacation shortly. In that case, the same insult would continue.

Unless the authorities concerned were restrained from publishing and circulating the book during the coming academic year, great hardship and prejudice would be caused to the petitioner and the dalit community, petitioner contended in his petition.

He sought to restrain the authorities concerned from publishing and circulating the objectionable portion contained in page 18, chapter I in the Political Science Book of Class XI students under the title `Constitution at Work’.






Direct TNPCB to inspect KKNPP

Express News Service

CHENNAI: A writ plea was made in the Madras High Court for a direction to the TN Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to inspect the Koodankulam Power Plant in Tirunelveli district with experts and issue consent order to operate the plant only after the project sirector complied with all mandatory requirements as contemplated in the PCB’s order dated February 25, 2004.

A vacation bench comprising Justices K Venkataraman and CS Karnan, before which the public interest writ petition from� the Fishermen Care, represented by its president LTA Peter Rayan of Old Pallavaram came up for hearing on Wednesday, posted the matter after summer vacation.

According to petitioner, the TNPCB had stipulated 15 special and 13 general conditions under Sec 25 of the Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act and 10 special conditions and 10 general conditions under sec 21 of the Air Prevention and Control of Pollution Act.

It had also stipulated that the plant should make a request for grant of consent to commission at least 60 days before the commissioning of the trial production. In response to a query from the petitioner under the Right to Information Act, it was stated that the PCB had not granted the consent order to operate the project. It also stated that the PCB authorities had not made any personal inspection or verified safety measures.






Naroda Patia case: Court issues notice over final report

TNN | May 31, 2012, 02.40AM IST

AHMEDABAD: Now that the trial has been completed in the Naroda Patia massacre case, the special court on Wednesday issued notice to the special investigation team (SIT) in connection with witnesses’ plea demanding final report on further probe conducted in this case.

Seeking explanation from the SIT by June 14 on what happened to its further investigation that was on for more than last two years, designated judge Jyotsnaben Yagnik kept further hearing on the issue next month.

The court issued notice on the basis of an application filed by eyewitnesses and convener of Jan Sangharsh Manch, Amrish Patel, seeking direction to the SIT to submit the final report as per section 173(2) of CrPC on basis of earlier applications for further investigation filed before the SIT and special court since 2009.

Earlier, these applicants requested that further probe was required to be conducted with regard to larger conspiracy, connivance or criminal negligence by cops in incidents that resulted in deaths and destruction and analysis of call details contained in the CD produced by senior IPS officer Rahul Sharma.

When the issue came before the court last year, the court rejected the plea on SIT’s claim that further investigation was already under way as per the Supreme Court’s directions.

On Wednesday, petitioners’ counsel S H Iyer argued that the SIT had not filed any report in connection with earlier applications for last two years, though the court had specifically asked them to submit or forward the report to the court that has taken cognizance of the Naroda Patia case.

This development took place before the SIT submitted its closure report on the complaint filed by Zakia Jafri against chief minister Narendra Modi and others for their alleged involvement in the 2002 riots. The SIT also assured the court that it would place the report before appropriate court only after it submits the report as per the SC directions. Accordingly, it placed its report before metropolitan court No 11 on February 8.

Incidentally, the same court also takes cognizance of the Naroda Patia case, as the SIT filed all its supplementary charge sheets before this court only.






2G case: Court allows Behura, 5 others to visit abroad

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 18:37

New Delhi: Former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura and five others, facing trial in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, have been allowed by a Delhi court to go abroad in June for varying reasons.

Besides Behura, Special CBI Judge O P Saini also granted permission to Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, DB Hospitality (P) Ltd’s Vice Chairman-cum-MD Vinod Goenka, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Director Asif Balwa, Cineyug Films Director Karim Morani and Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra to visit abroad.

Meanwhile, DMK MP Kanimozhi too has moved court for permission to visit her native state Tamil Nadu on the occasion of the birthday of her father and party patriarch M Karunanidhi on June 3. Kanimozhi’s plea is likely to be heard Thursday.

The court directed Behura to furnish a surety of Rs 5 lakh, as he is a “retired public servant”, while the other five were asked to furnish bond of Rs 20 lakh each before taking up their respective foreign jaunts.

Behura had sought permission to visit his daughter in Bangkok and also travel to Hong Kong between June 9 to June 30 while Shahid and Asif Balwa wished to perform religious pilgrimage in Mecca during the same period.

Sanjay Chandra wished to travel to Hong Kong and Shanghai between June 10 to June 16 and also visit Italy, Spain and Turkey between June 22 to July 1 on business matters.

Karim Morani had sought the court’s permission to travel to London and Amsterdam on medical grounds from June 11 to June 29.

In his plea, Vinod Goenka hadaid that he had to attend important business meetings in London had sought the court’s permission to visit the United Kingdom from June 14 to June 29.

“The six accused are facing trial in a very serious matter and it is incumbent upon them to be available… For facing trial. However, at the same time travelling is a natural incident of human life and should not normally be denied without any valid reason,” the court said while allowing their pleas.


First Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 18:37





PIL questions govt takeover of liquor trade

TNN | May 31, 2012, 05.00AM IST

CHENNAI: Assailing the nine-year-old liquor policy in Tamil Nadu, a public interest petition in the Madras high court has questioned the legality of the government decision to take over retail liquor vending in the state by an order dated October 26, 2003.

A vacation bench comprising Justices K Venkataraman and C S Karnan, before which the PIL filed by social activist K R ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy came up for admission, has said the matter would be heard in detail next month.

In his petition, Ramaswamy contended that a government being directly involved in marketing and selling of liquor violates Article 47 of the Constitution. Article 47 says: “… the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health.”

Pointing out that the government took over liquor trade in 2003, the PIL said that instead of conceiving and executing welfare measures, officials like district collectors and revenue officers were spending their time auctioning Tasmac bars, scouting for new locations to open outlets and auctioning empty liquor bottles and cartons .

The policy of promoting liquor sales was an affront to constitutional principles, said Ramaswamy, adding that the state was also raising liquor sales target on a monthly basis and new outlets were being opened in residential areas at regular intervals.

Highlighting the poor sanitary conditions at bars, Ramaswamy claimed that local ward politicians were wielding their influence in the running of Tasmac outlets and bars.

Noting that he had sent several representations and reminders to the government, Ramaswamy wanted the court to restrain the government from commissioning new Tasmac outlets in the state, besides quashing the October 26, 2003 order.






HC rejects PIL seeking inquiry into DoB of SC judge A Kabir

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 30, 2012, 17:35


The Delhi High Court today dismissed a PIL by an NRI seeking direction to the Centre to hold an inquiry to determine the date of birth of Justice Altamas Kabir who is likely to become the next Chief justice of India in September this year.

“The petition is totally motivated and is dismissed with a cost quantified as Rs 20,000,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said while rejecting the contention that there was a mystery over the date of birth of Justice Kabir who is expected to succeed Justice S H Kapadia as CJI.

The court considered the plea of Additional Solicitor General A S Chandhiok, appearing for the Centre, that the petition was motivated one as once Justice Kabir, as a High Court judge, had decided a case against the petitioner, Nirmal Jit Singh Hoon, an NRI.

“There was no question of an inquiry to determine the age of Hon’ble Justice Altamas Kabir at this stage,” the bench said, adding that a proper verification is carried out before a person is elevated as a judge of the High Court.

The court’s decision came on the plea of Hoon alleging that Justice Kabir’s date of birth is not clear and without determining this, he was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court and now in due course, he would be the Chief Justice- designate.

“How the issue of the date of birth could be a mystery ? This could be mystery to you, but, it cannot be a mystery for the Government of India and the Supreme Court,” the bench said.

The petition alleged that the matriculation certificate of Justice Kabir was missing from his service records and evasive responses were given to Hoon on his petitions under the RTI.

Justice Kabir, the senior most judge after CJI S H Kapadia, was the Chief Justice at Jharkhand High Court before being elevated to the apex court in 2005.







MoEF stalls approval of Gadgil report

Viju B, TNN | May 31, 2012, 03.19AM IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) has stalled the approval of Madhav Gadgil-chaired Western Ghat Expert Ecology Panel (WGEEP) report which had made major recommendations for conservation and protection of ecologically-sensitive areas along the Western Ghats.

Kerala and Maharashtra had submitted strong dissenting notes to MoEF, saying that the recommendations would hamper various developmental projects in their respective states.

Kerala had rejected the WGEEP report that had demarcated around 66% of the taluks in the state as ecologically-sensitive zones. Forty-two taluks out of the total 63 taluks in the state were demarcated as ecologically sensitive zones(ESZ).

There will not be any private development in 14 taluks, lying in close proximity to Western Ghats, which falls under ESZ-1 category.

Usage of private forest land for non-forest purpose or agriculture occupation will be banned in areas coming under ESZ-1. But road and public infrastructure development will be allowed after procuring a green nod from MoEF.

“We are yet to give approval for the report. Now we will invite further suggestions and recommendations from all stakeholders as the issue is very sensitive in nature,” a senior MoEF official said. MoEF officials admitted that there was a huge pressure from various states/ agencies to reject the report as they felt that this will adversely affect many hydel and thermal projects along the Konkan belt in Maharashtra and Kerala.

The Union minister for environment and forest Jayanti Natarajan had written to chief minister Oommen Chandy last year, asking for inputs before declaring areas in the state as eco-sensitive regions.

The state government replied that if zonal restrictions, as per the proposed Western Ghats conservation programme, come into effect, the whole state will come under some type of zonal regulation.

In its reply, the state pointed out that there are a number of ecologically-regulated zones like CRZ, wetlands, Ramsar site etc existing here already and further zonal regulation will make development activities cumbersome.

Meanwhile, environmentalists said that the WGEEP report was prepared after extensive consultations with various stakeholders including state governments and local communities. “The draft report was earlier put on the MoEF website, inviting suggestions from all stakeholders The concept of ecologically-sensitive areas was arrived after detailed interactions with stakeholders, site visits and application of scientific norms.

The report is in accordance with the wishes of the local community and will definitely protect the environment. The report needs to be ratified urgently,” said Sumaira Abdulali of Awaaz foundation, an NGO. which has filed a PIL on mining related issues

in Western Ghats.





Jamia to felicitate girl students admitted in male bastion

Last Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 10:08

Tags: Jamia Millia IslamiaGirl studentsNew Delhi

New Delhi: A batch of about 15 girl students, who have made history by taking admission in an institution which has for the last 300 years been a male bastion, will be felicitated by Jamia Millia Islamia vice chancellor Najeeb Jung on Friday.

The Anglo Arabic School has made history by admitting girls for the first time in its over 300 year existence. Having started off as Madrasa Ghaziuddin around 1692, the school had remained an all-boys school thus far.

The school in the capital’s Ajmeri Gate area has produced the likes of Liaqat Ali Khan, the first prime minister of Pakistan, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, founder of Aligarh Muslim University, JN Dixit, former national security adviser and foreign secretary, among many other luminaries.

In a significant move, the managing committee of the school, in a meeting held on March 26, decided to open its doors to girls. However, this decision was not considered favourably by the staff of the school, which is predominantly male, and it seemed at the time that this decision would not be implemented.

However, a PIL filed by an M Phil student of JNU, Fatima Alvi, was considered favourably by the Delhi High Court recently and the school as also the Directorate of Education, Delhi government, and police were directed to ensure that this decision be implemented.

Following the high court order, the school management swung into action and has so far admitted over 15 girls in Classes 6 to 11. The number is expected to increase in the comings days. Mehvish Rehmani, Darakshan Fatima and Gulafshan Fatima were the first applicants to secure admissions in the institution in Classes 11 (Commerce with Maths) and Class 7 respectively.

Azra Razzak at Jamia Millia Islamia, who is also secretary, Delhi Education Society, under the aegis of which the school runs, said: “We are expecting more girl students in the coming days. At present, we have three women teachers in the 80-member strong faculty. We are planning to recruit more.”

Atyab Siddiqui, honorary manager, said that former president APJ Abdul Kalam’s visit was especially encouraging when he asked the school to consider admitting girls too.

Jung, who is also chairman of the school and president of the Delhi Education Society, will be felicitating these young students at a get-together on June 1 at 4 pm in Yasser Arafat Hall of the university.

Jung has been a votary of women’s reservation in Parliament as well.






Lawyers seek division of Delhi into nine metropolitan areas

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 31, 2012, 00:15


A lawyers’ body today moved the Delhi High Court seeking direction to the city government to issue a notification to divide the national capital into nine separate metropolitan areas to deal with criminal cases.

Dwarka Court Bar Association (DCWA), in a public interest litigation petition to the high court, said Delhi, which has already been divided into nine civil district courts, has not been divided into nine metropolitan areas for dealing with criminal cases.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw decided to hear the matter on June 1.

“Issue an appropriate writ/order directing the Government of the NCT of Delhi for issuing a notification for bifurcation of Metropolitan Area of Delhi into nine separate Metropolitan Areas …,” the PIL filed by DCWA leaders, Avnish Rana, P S Singh and Sunil Sehrawat, said.

The Delhi government, in 2000, had created nine separate civil districts in Delhi, the petition said, adding that so far as the criminal courts are concerned, this decision is yet to be implemented.

“That it may not be out of place to state that despite the directions of the Supreme Court …To carry out necessary amendments in the statutes in a time bound manner for the purpose of the creation of the separate sessions divisions in Delhi as provided in the judgement, it took more than 11 years to make the necessary amendments in Section 8 of the CrPC for enabling bifurcation of the Metropolitan Area of Delhi into nine separate Metropolitan Areas and the consequent creation of nine separate Sessions Divisions in Delhi,” it said.

The government, which has amended the CrPC for creating nine separate districts for criminal cases, has failed to issue a notification on the issue.





Yeddyurappa advance bail plea hearing on June 1

Express News Service

BANGALORE: The CBI, which had sought the CBI Designated Court to order the appearance of former CM B S Yeddyurappa and his kin during the hearing of their anticipatory bail petitions, stated that it would not “press” its demand.

On Tuesday, the counsel for Yeddyurappa, his sons B Y Raghavendra and B Y Vijayendra, and son-in-law R N Sohan Kumar filed objections to CBI’s application in the court.

The CBI counsel, then, said the personal appearance of the accused was not important during the hearing of their anticipatory bail pleas, and that he would not press it.

He asked Judge D R Venkat Sudarshan to grant time till June 1 for final argument, following which the court adjourned the hearing till June 1. The CBI filed an FIR, and raided the residences and offices of Yeddyurappa and his kin on May 16, following which they moved anticipatory bail pleas apprehending arrest. On May 25, the CBI opposed their petitions on the ground that their custodial interrogation might be necessary.

Meanwhile, the Lokayukta Court here on Tuesday posted to June 5 a case against B S Yeddyurappa, Housing Minister V Somanna and his family members in connection with alleged irregularities in denotification of 30 guntas of land at Nagadevanahalli in Doddballapur.

Case Against Mutt Head Adjourned

The Lokayukta Court on Tuesday posted to June 5 the hearing on a case against Balagangadharanatha Swami of Adichunchanagiri Mutt alleging land grabbing and forgery.

The petitioner said unauthorised construction of an educational institution on land near Ramalingeshwara Temple had damaged it.

HC Summons to WCW Dept Secy

The HC issued summons to the secretary to the Department of Women and Child Welfare in connection with low salary being paid to the president of Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

�� A PIL filed in this regard alleged that the president’s post, which was above the level of secretary, entailed only `3,500 as salary.

Katari Veera: Notice to Censor Board

The HC on Tuesday issued notice to the Central Board of Film Certification in connection with a PIL petition alleging that Kannada film Katari Veera Surasundarangi was hurting the sentiments of Hindus.

Petitioner Nagaraju Naidu said the film portrayed Hindu gods in poor light.

The director and the producer of the film had stated that such scenes would be removed from the film, but the film was screened in its original form. He sought a stay on screening of the movie.

Hearing the petition, Justice Mohan Shantana Goudar issued a notice to the Central Board of Film Certification seeking an explanation, and adjourned the hearing.





‘BEML must produce permits to disprove charges’

Staff Reporter

BEML Ltd., a public sector undertaking, will have to produce Mineral Dispatch Permits (MDPs) before the Karnataka High Court to prove otherwise the allegation that it had illegally exported iron ore worth Rs. 118 crore from Karnataka during 2007-08.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna passed an order in this regard after State government counsel R.G. Kolle submitted to the Bench that “copies of the MDPs pertaining to the subject shipment should also be produced so that any doubt that the exported iron ore was illegally sourced may be put to rest.”

Pointing out that it would be difficult for transportation of iron ore without MDPs, Mr. Kolle said production of MDPs and ascertaining its genuineness would ascertain the source of iron ore.

The Bench was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition by K. Subramanyam Sastry, a shareholder of BEML, seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the illegal export of iron ore allegedly by BEML and assets of its Chairman and Managing Director V.R.S. Natarajan.

The petitioner pointed out that the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India (CAG) in its 2009 report pertaining to BEML had stated that “…the statutory auditors had detected sales of Rs. 425 crore shown as receivable from customers where even basic invoices were also not raised on customers… and Rs. 118 crore of sale of iron ore shown as exported without evidencing any document in support of export….

Taken to task

While hearing another case, the Bench pulled up the government for not giving permission for appointment of teachers to an aided minority school in Bellary even after the school management made repeated requests for eight years.

“When a teacher retires, will you appoint a ghost [in that place] or what? You [government] do nothing in these aided schools and interfere in [the functioning of] unaided schools. This is a negative approach of the Education Department. Is education in Karnataka lowest priority? You are directly responsible for falling standards. This is nothing but appalling. Every year some teachers retire. If people are retiring, new people have to come…. We will first call the Secretary and then the Minister if nothing comes from the government by Friday,” the Bench orally observed while adjourning the hearing.

The Bench was responding to the submission made by government advocate that there was a freeze on any appointments in terms of an order in September 2003 as part of austerity measures.

Meanwhile, the counsel for the petitioners — parents of students studying in Zakir Hussein Girls Primary School — run by Bellary Education Society, pointed out that already eight teachers had retired and one more teacher was due for retirement in a few months.

Secretary summoned

The Bench directed the Secretary, Women and Child Development, to personally appear in court in connection with a PIL petition by Campaign Against Child Labour which pointed out anomalies in the monthly remuneration of the Chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, and its Secretary and other employees.

It was pointed out in the petition that the Chairperson gets a monthly remuneration of Rs. 3,500 whereas Group D employees working in the Commission get payment in the range of Rs. 4,500 to Rs. 7.275, while the Secretary, an IAS officer, draws about Rs. 58,000 a month. The court in June last year had asked the government to set right the anomalies.





Decide on CBI probe into foreign funding: HC

Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 8:28 IST | Updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 23:29 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

The Delhi high court on Wednesday directed the Centre to consider in three months a plea seeking CBI inquiry against members of Team Anna for allegedly receiving funds from foreign organisations to run their agitation for Lokpal bill.

A bench of acting chief justice AK Sikri and justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw asked Additional Solicitor General AS Chandhiok to treat the PIL as a representation and dispose it of in three months after giving a hearing to the petitioner who alleged that Team Anna violated the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).

The bench also directed petitioner Manohar Lal Sharma, an advocate, to submit a copy of petition to the home ministry.
In his petition, Sharma submitted that the FCRA mandates the members to seek permission from the central government in order to receive any fund from any foreign company or organisation.

The members have violated FCRA and the Centre has failed to take any action against them, it alleged. Citing a list of some foreign organisations, the petitioner sought the court to declare the agitation launched by Team Anna as illegal.






BSE defends new relisting rules

N Sundaresha Subramanian / New Delhi May 31, 2012, 00:53 IST


The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has told the Delhi High Court here that it has changed the relisting parameters for companies that are delisted from the bourse. It said the new guidelines took effect from May 16.

The BSE move came after Delhi-based Atul Agarwal took it to court for tightening relisting rules, making it difficult for companies. In a public interest litigation (PIL), Agarwal alleged the new relisting guidelines played into the hands of promoters and worked against the interests of investors. The earlier guidelines disputed by the petition were to take effect on May 15.

The petition had alleged the exchange’s delisting and suspension policies along with its earlier relisting rules put to jeopardy the interests of over one crore public shareholders/ investors in 1,405 suspended companies. “Enormous investment of more than Rs 1,79,560 crore invested in these suspended companies is at stake,” the suit had said.

However, BSE has not put the details of these new rules in the public domain yet.

Ajay Veer Singh, advocate for Agarwal, said, “They have submitted the details of the new rules in the court. They said the new rules have come into force on May 16. But they have not made any public announcement yet. We will study the rules and make our responses.”

This case has now been clubbed with another petition filed by Midas Touch Investors Association in the same matter and hearing will resume on June 11





Open BRT stretch to all vehicles till final order: HC to GNCT

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 30, 2012, 19:35


In a relief for commuters, city government was today directed by Delhi High Court to allow all vehicles to ply on the lane reserved for buses on BRT corridor till it passes the final order on a PIL seeking opening of the stretch to all vehicles for smooth traffic movement.

The court asked the government to continue with this arrangement made by by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) during the experimental trial run of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand from May 12 to May 23 till it decides the issue.

“The arrangement which was made during the trial run was smoother for the traffic…,” a division bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said and posted the matter for July 18.

The court’s direction came on the plea of Nyay Bhoomi, an NGO, seeking to reinstate the vehicle movement on the BRT corridor which was stopped by the government after the experimental trial run by CRRI in which all vehicles were allowed to ply on the lane meant for buses.

Referring to interim report of CRRI which was filed after trial run, the NGO said CRRI in its report had also given its nod to continue with the trial run arrangemnet on BRT corridor.

CRRI in its report had said that the experimental trial run has proved very effective, almost all vehicles crossed during one cycle, there was no traffic jam and commuters took a sigh of relief.

“The concept plan has received excellent response from the travelling public as well as appreciation by print and electronic media,” said the CRRI report.





Ravi Shanker Kapoor: Welfarism without governance

The government plans grandiose entitlement schemes – but cannot assure the people the simple right to unadulterated milk

Ravi Shanker Kapoor / May 31, 2012, 00:19 IST


All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” said British philosopher and statesman Edmund Burke. In India, the situation is worse: it is not only the good people, but even those who are duty-bound to combat unconscionable practices do nothing. The phenomenon of milk adulteration – which is nothing but mass murder – has been spreading in the country, especially in north India, since the early 1990s. It has been reported by the media in considerable detail — yet, few (least of all those in the government) are bothered.

So, a public interest litigation (PIL) had to be filed to make our netas and babus move. In response to the PIL filed by a group of citizens, led by an Uttarakhand-based pontiff, the Supreme Court recently issued notices to the Centre and Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Haryana governments.

In February this year, the Food Safety Standards Authority of India had stated that at the national level “68.4 per cent of the samples were not found to be conforming to the FSS [Food Safety Standards] Regulations”. Moreover, “14 per cent of the samples were found to be non-conforming because of the presence of traces of detergent”.

It is depressing that a writ of mandamus is needed to make the administration do what it should have been doing on its own to check this menace, for the criminality and sinfulness of making and selling synthetic milk is beyond reasonable doubt. Milkmen in our country have been mixing water with milk since time immemorial, but this traditional adulteration is nothing compared to the hideous innovation called synthetic milk. While the milk mixed with water is less nutritious, synthetic milk is actually no milk; it is a lethal concoction of vegetable refined oil, detergents, urea, fertilisers and other inedible substances.

The Indian Council for Medical Research and medical experts have warned of the hazardous health effects of consuming such milk. These include food poisoning, other gastrointestinal complications, liver damage, kidney impairment, heart problems, cancer or even death. They have also pointed out that the effect on children would be more severe. There are no studies or estimates available as to how many people have died because of synthetic milk and how many have suffered. But why have governments not done anything to eradicate the evil?

One reason is corruption. According to a 2010 estimate, while one litre of pure milk usually sold for Rs 30, synthetic milk fetched Rs 20 per litre. However, the cost of the latter was just Rs 2. With such huge margins, the people involved in the business are left with enough money to share with local authorities and police. It is normal.

The situation brings to the mind the phrase “banality of evil,” which was coined by Hannah Arendt. Her 1963 work, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, asserts that ordinary people, rather than some monstrous Dr No or Mogambo, are responsible for great evils like the Holocaust. And they carry out unspeakable atrocities under the assumption that such activities are normal.

This brings us to the second and more important reason for the menace: in the Indian context, it is not some totalitarian state that has occasioned the mass murder; it is the total abdication of essential duties by the state that is responsible for the crime. A political class consumed by the ideology of entitlements has little patience for such matters. This ideology reduces statecraft to an exercise in selling dreams to stay in power. Unsurprisingly, the conventional duties of the government like administration and law and order get short shrift.

It is instructive to note that the term “law and order” does not appear in the 2009 manifestoes of the country’s two largest parties — the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is difficult to remember a time when a serious, informed and meaningful political debate took place over issues like law and order and administrative, police and judicial reforms. From politicians’ perspective, these issues are not sexy; entitlements are. Politicians don’t realise that governance precedes welfarism, that the essential duties of the state cannot be efficaciously replaced with poverty alleviation or job generation schemes, that populism is no substitute for administration. In fact, the success of these schemes presupposed the existence of functional administration — for a welfare state is still a state; and a failed state cannot become a welfare state.

The things that were thought to exist in the realms of startling philosophical theses and the pages of history have come to haunt us — and that too as normal. The normal has become frightening. That politicians and bureaucrats would build fortunes is a truism; that the job of police is to provide security to VIPs, serve the interests of the ruling party and collect hafta is an accepted and tolerated practice.

Such being the postulates of our polity, it is not surprising that a basic goal of liberal democracy – harmonising liberty with order – has been forgotten.

In Dostoevsky’s novel, The Brothers Karamazov, a character says something to the effect that “without God… all things are lawful…” I don’t know whether or not God exists, but one thing is indubitable: in the absence of state, or when the state does not carry out its essential duties, everything becomes permissible. Even synthetic milk.





Raj Govt to issue ordinance on fee regulatory commission

Press Trust of India / Jaipur May 30, 2012, 17:25


Rajasthan government is all set to promulgate an ordinance to establish a school fee regulatory commission to ease the burden on parents, who have accused private schools of charging high and irrational amounts.

The measure to constitute a fee regulatory commission will take shape by the end of June this year, this was stated today by Additional Advocate General (AAG) N A Naquvi before the High Court which was hearing a PIL challenging “exorbitant” fee hike by private schools in every academic year.

The division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Mahesh Bhagwati on Thursday granted time till second week of July to the government to do the needful.

“I have personally talked to the Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary Education and the process has been finalised.

“We will bring an ordinance in this regard as the legislature is not in session,” Naquvi told the court.

The court directed state government to act sincerely in the matter before the next session of such private schools commences in July.

The state government was pulled up by the high court after the PIL highlighted that earlier also a committee headed by Rtd. Justice P K Tiwari was constituted and it suggested various measures in 2006 itself to check unwarranted hike and irrational fees charged by private schools.

But the government took no steps and the report failed to see light of the day.

According to sources, the law will be on the lines of the one in Tamil Nadu but will address the local needs.

Care is being taken that the parents are not burdened by the unjust fee structures introduced at any point of time without prior notice in any academic session as also no institution is allowed to charge unnecessary money in name of uniform, excursion, etc, the AAG said.

The high court will be informed about the final outcome on the draft of the bill to be prepared in this regard in three weeks, he said, adding the government will constitute a fee regulatory authority headed by a reitred high court judge as its chairman under this new proposed law.

Private education institution have been contending that the state governments cannot interfere in the affairs of the private schools and their decision to raise the fee.





PIL not a bar for Sky City clearance, says high court

TNN | May 31, 2012, 12.49AM IST

KOCHI: The pendency of public interest litigation is not a bar for considering the applications for clearance for the proposed Sky City project by Yashoram Infra Developers at Chilavannoor, the Kerala high court ruled on Wednesday.

While hearing a petition by Indian Institute of Architects, a division bench of acting chief justice Manjula Chellur and justice A M Shaffique held, through an interim order, that the ministry of environment and forests (MEF) and coastal zone management authority (CZMA) can process the applications for clearance for the project even while the petition is pending.

Untrammelled by the pendency of the public interest litigation, MEF and CZMA can consider the application in accordance with law, the division bench ordered.

The public interest litigation filed through advocate Sivan Madathil alleges that the Rs 467-crore project at Chilavannoor would cause violation of coastal zone regulations. The project, which involves construction of two flyovers across Chilavannoor backwaters, is in violation of coastal zone regulations as backwaters are also covered under the regulations, the petitioner had alleged. However, advocate P B Sahasranaman, who appeared for the builder, had contended that the project w ill not cause any damage to any coastal ecosystems or backwater system and no reclamation activities have to be carried out as part of the project.

The builder had pointed out that the bridge construction similar to the Sky City project was approved by the high court in the case of Goshree Bridges. A full bench of the court had held in 1998 that the design of Goshree Bridges will not violate coastal zone regulation rules, the builder group said.





Held guilty of beating cop, let off on probation

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 19:06

Tags: Constable Manoj KumarDelhi High CourtVirender Bhat

New Delhi: Three men convicted for beating up a policeman on duty in April 2010 and languishing in jail since then, has been let off on probation by a Delhi court on the ground that they committed the crime “in heat of moment.”

Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat released the trio also saying that they are the sole bread winners of their respective families and keeping them in jail any longer would jeopardise the future of their families and children.

“All the convicts are the sole bread earners of their respective families and there would be nobody to maintain their minor children, if the convicts remain in jail for a longer period.

“It is also a possibility that the children may either starve or take to vices and criminal activities,” said ASJ Bhat, while releasing them on probation.

“I am also satisfied that the convicts had committed the offence in the heat of moment and without any preplanning or premeditation,” the court said, while imposing a fine of Rs 11,000 on the three Najafgarh residents Karambir Singh, Vikram and Rambir Singh.

The prosecution case dated back to April 2010, when the trio had picked up a fight with Constable Manoj Kumar and beat him up after he got their truck, parked on road, towed away to a ‘traffic pit’ in a police station.

As per the prosecution, after spotting the truck, the constable enquired about it and even waited for about five minutes, after which he got the truck towed away.

As the truck owner Karambir, his younger brother Rambir and driver Vikram reached found the truck missing, they reached the police station, where he picked up a fight with the constable and beat him up and even torn his uniform.

The trio were arrested and put on trial and were convicted by ASJ Bhat.






Suspended cop gets life term for killing neighbour

Express news service : Thu May 31 2012, 04:35 hrs

A suspended police inspector was sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday for shooting a lawyer following a land dispute in 2004. Additional sessions judge D R Mahajan passed the order.

The deceased lawyer, identified as Anand Baubrao Dank (57) of Anand Nagar, Sinhagad Road, was inspector Sadanand Kadam’s (86) neighbour. There was a dispute between the duo over the common boundary wall of their houses.

Police said Kadam had shot at Dank with a revolver around 9.30 am on February 10, 2004, that led to his death. Danke’s son Vishwajit had lodged the complaint of murder and trespassing against Kadam and his daughter Shobhana at the Haveli police station.

Kadam too had registered a cross complaint, claiming that he had opened fire in self defence as the Dankes were beating him badly. Vishwajit was booked on charges of attempt to murder.

While Vishwajit was acquitted, Kadam’s daughter too was discharged form the murder case by the Bombay High court.

Investigations revealed that Danke and Kadam family had good relations earlier. They had purchased the land together in Anand Nagar. But a dispute arose over the fencing of the compound wall later.

Police said Kadam was suspended from service on corruption charges long back. And in 2001, he was sentenced by the lower court to one-year rigorous imprisonment for accepting bribe from a sex worker. He was later granted bail by the Bombay High Court.

Meanwhile, additional sessions judge Mahajan held him guilty for murder. District government pleader and public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar examined 10 witnesses. Police inspector A D Walture lead the investigation team.





Death sentence for man for killing wife and daughter

Soumittra S Bose, TNN | May 31, 2012, 01.19AM IST

NAGPUR: Convicting Prakash Shingnapure for killing his wife and daughter at Jagruti Nagar (on Kamptee Road) last year, ad hoc district and additional sessions judge KL Vyas, on Wednesday, issued a death sentence and imposed a fine of Rs 3 lakhs under section 302 of the IPC. Additionally, he has also been convicted under section 309 of IPC and sentenced to one year, and fined Rs 500. The sentence has to be confirmed by the high court.

The court has announced that the fine amount would be divided between the district legal aid committee and the state. While the committee is to get Rs 2.50 lakhs, the rest of the amount would be given to the state for expenses incurred by the prosecution. In the event of Shingnapure being unable to pay the fine, he faces imprisonment for another five years.

After stabbing Pranita (34) and Shreya (13), who were in deep sleep, Shingnapure attempted to end his life with a kitchen knife in the early hours of April 8 last year. As per medical evidence, Shingnapure had stabbed his wife 62 times and daughter 45, and himself for about 20.

While Pranita and Shreya died in the bedroom where they were assaulted, Shingnapure was taken to the hospital in a critical condition. In a suicide note, Shingnapure had said that he took the step as he was unable to ‘maintain’ the family.

On the fateful day, Shingnapure, who used to run a grocery shop, and Pranita had taken Shreya, their only child, to a doctor as she was not feeling well. The family dined together and later watched television before retiring to their respective rooms.

It was Shreya’s loud shriek that alerted the rest of the family. Shingnapure’s younger brothers Anup and Ajay forced opened the door and then alerted the Jaripatka police.

Additional public prosecutor Deepak Kolhe said that the court treated the case as ‘rarest of rare’. “The brutality of the murder without any provocation and helplessness of the victims who were asleep provided solid grounds for the judgment along with the fact that the wife and daughter were dependent on him,” said Kolhe.

The prosecution examined 20 witnesses. “The forensic experts had said that there were homicidal wounds on the mother and daughter and self-inflicting ones on the man. This eliminated the theory that there could be someone else who would have done it,” said Kolhe who added that Shingnapure’s brothers too had deposed before the court.

Kolhe added that Shingnapure’s statement was recorded in hospital as dying declaration (DD) under section 32 (1) of the Indian Evidence Act by the executive magistrate even though he survived. The court later transformed the DD to his statement before a magistrate under section 164 of criminal procedure code (CrPc). A handwriting expert corroborated that the suicide note was written by Shingnapure.

“Prakash’s statement too corroborated the case of the prosecution,” said Kolhe who was assisted by Aditya Paliwal and Bharat Borikar.

Pranita’s father Rambhau Aglawe, who was present in the court, said with a moist eye that Prakash deserves the death sentence.





Setback for Reddy, aide in mining case

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 23:32


The Additional Civil & Sessions Court and CBI special court in Bangalore on Wednesday dismissed the bail applications of former Karnataka Minister and Bellary mining don Gali Janardhana Reddy, his personal assistant Mehfuz Ali Khan and three others in the Associated Mining Corporation (AMC) case on alleged large-scale illegal trade.

CBI special judge BM Angadi dismissed the petitions on grounds that the accused had committed an economic offence of “high magnitude, affecting the very economy of the country”. The judge added that “as the matter was under investigation, the possibility of the accused tampering with evidence or threatening the witnesses cannot be ruled out”. He adjourned the matter to June 5.

All five were produced in court via video-conferencing. Even though Reddy and his brother in law BV Srinivasa Reddy were given bail by the CBI special court in Hyderabad, they are in judicial custody in another case in Bangalore and jailed.

Gali Janardhan Reddy and his brother-in-law BV Srinivsas Reddy, managing director of the Obalapuram Mining Company (OMC), were arrested on September 5 from Bellary and taken to Hyderabad.

The CBI had filed a chargesheet against Janardhan Reddy and others on December 3 in OMC case and took them to Bangalore in connection with another illegal mining case in Karnataka.







Wahida Shah’s case: Court overturns verdict of summary trial

By Our Correspondent

Published: May 31, 2012


Syeda Wahida Shah Bukhari, who was caught on camera assaulting polling staff during the by-elections, won one of her two ongoing court battles on Wednesday.

A district and sessions court overturned the punishment of her summary trial which was conducted by the returning officer Asghar Ali Siyal.

The 6th Additional District and Session judge, Shahid Pervez Memon, announced the order which he had reserved on the last hearing. The RO had imposed Rs1,000 penalty or a day’s imprisonment on her. If convicted, she would have been disqualified from contesting the elections.

“I was optimistic about getting justice from the courts,” said a triumphant Shah, who won the February 25 by-elections on PS-53 constituency in Tando Muhammad Khan.

She is fighting two separate lawsuits in the district and sessions court and the Sindh High Court (SHC). In the latter case, she has challenged the verdict of the Election Commission of Pakistan which disqualified her from contesting the elections for two years and also nullified the results of February 25 by-polls in Tando Muhammad Khan. “The outcome of this case will make her plea in the SHC stronger,” contended advocate Hyder Imam Rizvi, Shah’s counsel. The SHC, which earlier stayed the April-26 by-polls in the 53- constituency on the request of Shah, adjourned the hearing.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2012.






Man gets custody of minor wife

TNN | May 31, 2012, 12.36AM IST

NEW DELHI: A man facing trial for allegedly kidnapping his minor wife, has been granted her custody by a sessions court. The couple had eloped in 2010.

Additional sessions Judge Sanjay Garg handed over the custody of the 16-year-old girl to her husband from Uttar Pradesh after she told the court that she had married him willingly 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. The revision petition is allowed,” ASJ Garg said.

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

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.






Recruitment scam: VB probe indicts Gurdaspur college principal

Prabhjit Singh , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh , May 30, 2012

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) has indicted the principal of Beant College of Engineering and Technology, Gurdaspur, for his role in the recruitment scam in which better-qualified candidates were left out for about 35 teaching and non-teaching posts three years ago.
After an

investigation that took more than 10 months, the VB had sent the probe findings in the last week of April to the principal secretary, technical education, seeking the nod for action against Dyal Chand, principal of the government-aided college.

The VB is awaiting the technical education department’s directions about whether the government would initiate action against the principal or the bureau would be allowed to register a case against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

On Tuesday, the case file was moved from the principal secretary’s office to the directorate of technical education, seeking “comments of the director, technical education, within 15 days for the required necessary action.”

The scam pertains to interviews which were conducted in Bathinda (October 2008) and Gurdaspur (January 2009) to fill college posts.

Two of the non-teaching staffers appointed during the recruitment drive, laboratory attendant Harbhupinder Singh and storekeeper Mandeep Kaur, have already lost their jobs for submitting fake certificates.

While Mandeep was asked to resign after an inquiry revealed that she submitted fake experience certificates, Harbhupinder was sacked.

As per the VB probe report, the selected candidates had lower academic qualifications than those left out but were given more marks in the interview and ‘short talk’.

Only one of the 12 posts reserved for the SC/ST category was filled during the interviews. There was a common note for every rejection: “The committee did not recommend any candidate for appointment.” Only in one instance did the committee cite ‘poor performance’ for the rejection.

Among the rejected candidates was MSc gold medallist Pallavi Mahajan, who had applied for the post of lecturer in applied mathematics.

The first interview for the post was conducted on October 22, 2008. Nearly three months later, Pallavi was called for a second round of interview on the college premises in Gurdaspur. Finally, she was rejected in favour of Rishi Tuli on the basis of interview and ‘short talk’.

A senior official of the technical education department revealed on the condition of anonymity that the file was still ‘on the shelf’ and had never been forwarded to the present minister concerned.

Tainted record

College principal Dyal Chand is facing an inquiry for allegedly tampering with his own ACR (annual confidential report).

The directorate, technical education, had prepared a draft chargesheet in May 2009, but then technical education minister Swarna Ram halted the move on May 27, 2009, as per documents obtained under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.

During Dyal Chand’s earlier tenure as the college principal (August 2004 to April 2005), 14 of the 17 appointees were terminated after their appointment was found illegal, according to documents procured under the RTI Act, on the basis of which a complaint was lodged with the VB last year.





CBI files chargesheet in NRHM case, arrests five

Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 22:08 IST
Place: New Delhi, Lucknow | Agency: PTI

The CBI arrested former Managing Director of government-owned co-operative PACCFED VK Chaudhary and four others in connection with alleged corruption in the upgradation of 89 district hospitals in Uttar Pradesh under NRHM.

The agency arrested Chaudhary, the then managing director UP Processing and Construction Cooperative Federation Limited and now MD UP Warehousing corporation, senior engineer AK Shrivastava, chief engineer MM Tripathi and assistant engineer Vipul Kumar Gupta from Lucknow while Sunil Sehgal, owner of CNC Metal Forming Limited, was taken into custody in Delhi, CBI sources said.

The CBI also filed its charge sheet in connection with the case before a Ghaziabad court accusing a close of aide of the then Family Welfare Minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, Saurabh Jain, former Director General Family Welfare S P Ram, already in judicial custody and Sehgal, who was arrested today, of alleged corruption in the upgradation of 89 district hospitals under National Rural Health Mission, the sources said.

The CBI also charged Sehgal’s Ghaziabad based company CNC Metal Forming Limited in connection with the case.

Among others, the agency slapped charges under sections of cheating and forgery of Indian Penal Code on the accused and relevant provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

It was established during investigation that officials of PACCFED in connivance with private persons favoured the ineligible and sick firm CNC Metal Forming Limited which was allegedly front of Jain who was close aide of Kushwaha and released Rs16.93 crore to it without any reciept of material or services on the basis of false and forged documents, CBI sources said.

They said Jain allegedly cornered more than Rs13 crore which was used to pay bribe to officials and bureaucrats and invested in various companies.

Further investigations against accused who are not named in today’s charge sheet is continuing and based on its findings supplementary charge sheet may be filed in connection with the case, the sources said.

The CBI has already arrested former Principal Secretary Health Pradeep Shukla in connection with the case.

The agency has alleged that Shukla and S P Ram, the then DG Family Welfare, along with officials of PACCFED allegedly entered in criminal conspiracy with Saurabh Jain and Rajni Jain DirectoRsof SRJ Infratech Pvt Limited, Seema Varshney Director S S Industries and Suneet Singhal with a motive obtain contracts worth Rs89 crore related to upgradation of district hospitals.

The CBI alleged government suffered losses worth Rs25 lakh per hospital which is about Rs23 crore.






Court frames charges against Santosh Mane

TNN | May 31, 2012, 02.46AM IST

PUNE: Additional sessions judge V K Shewale on Wednesday framed charges against bus driver Santosh Mane (40) who, on January 25, had hijacked an empty MSRTC bus and driven it recklessly for almost 14 km, killing nine people and injuring 37.

The court framed charges against Mane after he pleaded not guilty in the presence of his newly-appointed Satara-based lawyer Dhananjay Mane. The case has been kept for formal hearing on June 21.

Additional public prosecutor Kashinath Dighe told TOI that the charges were framed under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

Dighe said that Mane was not suffering from a mental illness and was fit to stand trial. The charges against him were framed on the basis of the charges levelled against him in the chargesheet. When the case came up for hearing, the court had not altered or deleted any of the charges levelled against Mane, he added.

Mane’s murderous drive had killed Pooja Patil, Ram Shukla, Shubhangi More, Pinkesh Khandewal, Ankush Tikone, Akshay Pise, Milind Gaikwad, Shweta Oswal and Chandeo Bhandwalkar.

A resident of Solapur, Mane had been working at Swargate depot since 2009. He lived alone at the depot’s restroom. His wife had died a few years ago, after which he remarried. His second wife and children live in Solapur. Mane is currently lodged at Yerawada central prison.






Mangalore air crash: 812 foundation complaint verdict on June 12

Stanley Pinto, TNN May 30, 2012, 11.02AM IST



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

Making submissions at the court here on Tuesday, 812 Foundation, president Yeshwanth Shenoy said though at first he thought the persons responsible could be charged under section 304 Part II (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 had found the charges were grave and made a plea to charge the officials under section 302 (punishment for murder).

In the complaint 812 Foundation has named Air India (AI), Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Airports Authority of India (AAI) and 12 officials serving with these agencies. In case the court finds there is a cognizable offence, the private complaint may be changed to a criminal complaint.

Shenoy accused DGCA for failing to verify the Capt Zlatko Gluscia’s Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) licence before issuing the FATA (Foreign Aircrew Temporary Authorization) licence. Shenoy said AIE 812 pilot did not have the requisite flying hours for 737-800, but had 400 flying hours for 737-400. Shenoy also said the pilot was not under the direct control of AI as he was sourced from Sigmar Aviation, Isle of Man. Shenoy also pointed out the Court of Inquiry (CoI) showed the Instrument Rating Check (IRC) of the pilot was on May 14, 2009 and was valid till May 13, 2010, according to aviation norms. The accident had occurred a week later.

Sheony’s 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.





Rs 480-cr loss to govt: chargesheet

Johnson T A : Bangalore, Thu May 31 2012, 03:39 hrs

The CBI on Wednesday filed a chargesheet, along with 18,327 documents in nine trunks, against G Janardhana Reddy and six others in a case related to illegal iron ore mining by the former minister’s Associated Mining Company in Bellary.

The CBI has estimated the loss to the state exchequer from illegal mining at Rs 480 crore.

The CBI has charged them with criminal conspiracy, cheating, theft, criminal breach of trust, forgery, criminal trespass and falsification of accounts under the Indian Penal Code.

The accused have also been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The other six chargesheeted are his wife G Lakshmi Aruna who co-owns AMC; Mehfuz Ali Khan, his associate and employee; M E Shivalinga Murthy, an IAS officer who earlier served as director of the mines and geology department; S Muthiah, an IFS officer who served as the deputy conservator of forests at Bellary; S P Raju, a former deputy director in the mining department at Bellary; and Mahesh Patil, a former Bellary range forest officer. Murthy, Muthiah and Patil are still in government service and the CBI would require a state government sanction to prosecute them.





CBI Court Issues Another Transit Warrant to Jagan

PTI | Hyderabad | May 30, 2012


A CBI court today issued another transit warrant to YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and summoned five other accused to appear before it on June 11 after taking cognisance of the third chargesheet filed by CBI in the disproportionate assets case against him.

The Court of Principal Special Judge for CBI cases took cognisance of the chargesheet filed on May 7 against Jagan, his financial adviser V Vijay Sai Reddy, Jagati Publications, Ramky Group Chairman A Ayodhya Rami Reddy and group company Ramky Pharma City (India) Limited (RPCIL), which is implementing Pharma City in Visakhapatnam and IAS officer G Venkat Ram Reddy, a former Vice Chairman of Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA), while issuing the transit warrrant.

In view of Jagan being lodged in Chanchalguda prison here after his arrest on May 28, the transit Warrant was issued to enable jail authorities to produce him before the court.

The court had yesterday issued a similar warrant to Jagan after taking cognisance of the second chargesheet.

In the third chargesheet, CBI had charged Jagan with conspiring with Vijay Sai to extend benefit to RPCIL by reducing the green belt area in the Pharma City from 250 to 50 meters by prevailing upon his father and late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, to take a decision to that effect.

Venkat Ram Reddy, abusing his official position and in pursuance of the criminal conspiracy in collaboration with the then chief minister and Ayodhya Rami Reddy, dishonestly approved the layout of RPCIL in violation of rules and VUDA master plan resulting in wrongful gain of 914 acres of land to RPCIL in the Pharma City, which sold the land, dividing into plots and made Rs 133.74 crore, the CBI claimed.

As a quid-pro-quo for the doles it received, Ramky Group of Industries, through its subsidiaries ERES and TWC, invested Rs 10 crore in Jagati Publications as illegal gratification, the CBI had said.

The CBI has so far filed three chargesheets in the DA case against Jagan and others for various offences under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh High Court posted for tomorrow the petitions filed by Jaganmohan Reddy challenging his arrest and subsequent custody, after it directed the CBI to file its counter.

Similarly, the CBI petition seeking custody of Jagan was also posted to tomorrow after the high court asked Jagan’s counsels to file their say over the matter.






HC directs govt to close down unauthorized immigration consultancies

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, May 30, 2012

The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the protector of emigrants, Chandigarh to provide list of the names of registered immigration consultancies and agents in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to the respective states and UT so that unauthorized immigration shops can be closed down.

The division bench comprising acting chief justice MM Kumar and justice Alok Singh directed the two states and UT to check the credentials of all the immigration consultancies and agents and take action as per law against the defaulters and file their status reports within four weeks time.

The bench, during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation filed by former high court judge Amar Dutt also issued directions to union ministry of overseas Indian affairs and proctector general of emigrants to put the names of authorited immigration consultancies/consultants on their websites and give it wide publicity so that public could come to know about the genuine consultants. It was also directed that the authorities concerned would also keep a watch on the advertisements being issued in the print and electronic media by the immigration counsultancies to check frauds.

Justice(retd) Dutt is also the chairman of the nodal cell for NRI affairs constituted by the Chandigarh Administration. He had informed the bench through his counsel Anil Malhotra that in the absence of any law made by Parliament to define the offence of human smuggling and illegal trafficking of human beings, unscrupulous agents and unregistered agencies indulge in the illegal business of sending gullible citizens abroad by wrong means upon extracting huge sums of money.

The bench was also informed that the Emigration Act, 1983 is the only legislation on the subject made by Parliament. All the recruiting agents/employers working in any place are duty bound to follow the provisions laid down under the Act, before conducting the business of sending people outside India on the pretext of jobs or employment. The recruiting agents/employers not working as per the 1983 Act are unlicensed and unauthorized, it was informed.

The case would now come up for hearing on July 12.






HC frowns on indiscriminate grant of government lands

TNN | May 31, 2012, 02.05AM IST

BANGALORE: Expressing concern over the way government land is being divested in the name of grants, the high court has asked the state government to account, protect and utilize it in a better way.

“Once the extent of government land is ascertained through digitisation of records, the government could use its own land on priority basis for developmental activities instead of going for indiscriminate acquisition of private land and fertile land,” Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh observed in his order on Wednesday.

“The government lands were being given to unscrupulous persons in the guise of grant in the periphery of the city limits in violation of guidelines. Indiscriminate grants are being made which is being misused by alienating the property for real estate, which fetches crores of rupees to middlemen and the grantee. The government, hereafter, shall stop granting land to individuals,” the judge said.

The judge suggested that the revenue department furnish the statistics of the land available at various places to the government. The grants already made shall also be taken note of and action should be taken as per law to protect government land, he said.

The court has issued many directions while hearing this 2003 petition filed by one Lingappa complaining that records pertaining to his agriculture lands have been lost by the revenue department. The court has been monitoring digitisation of revenue records by way of an order passed in 2010 wherein the state was asked to digitise all revenue records in the state.

Directive to private medical colleges

Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri on Wednesday asked private medical colleges affiliated to ComedK and Karnataka Religious and Linguistic Minorities Professional Colleges Association not to fill those seats reserved under “in service quota “for those doctors working in government hospitals under the health and family welfare department.

The judge gave this direction while adjourning the hearing of a batch of petitions challenging the selection of several candidates under the quota.

PG dental counselling verdict reserved

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen on Wednesday reserved its verdict to Thursday on a writ appeal filed by Comed K challenging the single bench order directing them to redo the counselling for PG dental courses.

Comed K claimed that the single bench’s May 25 order will jeopadise the interests of 194 candidates who have already selected colleges/courses in the May 19 counselling. The single bench’s order followed ComedK’s refusal to allow the petitioner-candidates to select a seat as some of them had not brought demand drafts from the nationalized banks, and a few had not brought the original counterfoils along with their demand drafts.






HC asks NCPCR to inspect city’s 41 children homes

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 30, 2012, 19:45


The Delhi High Court today directed the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CNPCR) to inspect all children homes in the city to find out their living conditions and submit a report by Friday.

A bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and S P Garg also directed the Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA) to verify the orders passed by all six Child Welfare Committees (CWC) while transferring the children to their native places or their relocations.

The bench passed the order while hearing a report, filed by the court-appointed panel alleging the Child Welfare Committee V, Sansakar Ashram Complex in Dilshad Garden, has failed to monitor an NGO which runs an orphanage “Apna Ghar” at Mansarovar Park in Shahdara and is not following a proper procedure while transferring a child to his native place after his parents were traced.

Expressing anguish over the deplorable condition of Apna Ghar, the bench has set up a team to inspect the home and sought its suggestions for relocation of the children.

The court also summoned the records pertaining to Apna Ghar by May 1, the next date of hearing the matter.

The bench had earlier directed the Ministry of Woman and Child Development of Delhi government to furnish a list of such homes run by the NGOs in the city.

Filing an affidavit. Delhi government’s Standing Counsel Najmi Waziri had said there were 41 children homes run by NGOs in which 2200 children, including orphans, were staying.






Your website is useless, obsolete, HC tells Delhi Police

Utkarsh Anand : New Delhi, Thu May 31 2012, 02:27 hrs

Describing it as “useless” and “obsolete,” the Delhi High Court on Wednesday criticised the Delhi Police website and said it failed to provide helpful information to users, especially those seeking assistance over missing children.

“The Delhi Police website is completely useless. It is obsolete and does not serve any purpose. Users have difficulty retrieving desired information, especially those who surf its service ‘Zipnet’ for information regarding missing children,” said a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and S P Garg on Wednesday.

Justice Bhat said he had tried to surf the website and was “disappointed” with its user-interface. “The website looks very complicated. You click on one link and several random pages get opened. You then need to track your desired webpage out of these different pages. I think its very difficult to get what you are looking for,” said Justice Bhat.

The court was hearing a petition relating to Apna Ghar, a children’s home. After the CWC, without making the efforts to trace the parents, had declared a child as abandoned and sent him to ‘Apna Ghar’, his father had moved the court. Subsequent inquiries disclosed the deplorable condition in which the 30-odd children were housed at the home.

Justice Bhat said a more interactive ‘Zipnet’ — designed to share crime and criminals’ information in real-time — could help people get information from the website and act accordingly. “It does not even give complete information about missing children,” said the court.

A senior police officer, acquainted with the working of the website was called upon by the court. The officer helped the court scan the website and reposed confidence in the efficacy of the website. The officer further apprised the court that while information relating to missing children was available on the website, data regarding those found was with the Women and Child Development department.

On Wednesday, the court asked the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to inspect all children homes in Delhi and prepare a status report in consultation with the Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA). It also asked the DLSA to vet all orders passed by the six CWCs in the city and submit a report on their correctness. The court will now hear the matter on June 1.





Boy says scrap dealer who reunited him with kin abused him: CWC

Express news service : New Delhi/Gurgaon, Thu May 31 2012, 02:36 hrs

On Monday, Azad Hussain, a scrap dealer from Gurgaon was the hero who helped unite a 12-year-old boy with his family, two years after he went missing.

On Wednesday, the issue took a turn with the boy stating before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) panel and the magistrate that the scrap dealer used to beat him up and also made him work as a rag picker.

The CWC then directed the police to take action on the boy’s statement as per law.

On May 1, two years ago, the boy — then 10 years old — had got on to a JCB parked near his home Savitri Nagar and had ended up in Ghoda Chowk, Gurgaon, where Azad Hussain found him and, according to Hussain, raised him as his own child.

Two days ago, however, the child uttered the words “Chirag Dilli” and it turned out to be the password to reach his family.

Hussain, who said he had been searching for the boy’s parents for the last two years, then came to Chirag Dilli, located his father Iqbal, a stone cutter, and handed the child over to him.

“I was working at Sainik Farms and my son was playing outside,” said Iqbal. The boy spotted a JCB and climbed onto it. The driver of the vehicle drove off and dropped the child off somewhere in Mehrauli.

Police said the child kept walking till he hitched a ride on a bus till Ghoda Chowk in Gurgaon. “The boy told us a man came to him, asked him his name and took him home,” a police officer said.

Hussain, who is unmarried and lives with his three sisters, said, “When I asked the child who he was and where he lived, all he said was that his house was near a nallah. I couldn’t leave him alone and took him home.”

Meanwhile, Iqbal and his family approached police after which a missing child’s complaint was registered. Several advertisements were published in newspapers but in vain.

The day after he found him, Hussain claimed that he took the child to the Sector 40 police station in Gurgaon. “They told me that if I left the child, he would be sent to an orphanage and the chances of locating the child’s parents would be slim. They told me that I should try looking for his parents on my own,” said Hussain.

However, police have denied this claim and said there was no record of any such child being brought to them.

So, for the next two years, Azad said he took care of the child and kept searching for the child’s parents.

On Sunday, the boy uttered the words “Chirag Dilli”. “I knew he had remembered something. I thought I should try just one last time,” said Azad.

“On Monday, I visited Chirag Dilli area, but couldn’t find anything. I was heading back home when I decided to get my helmet repaired,” Azad said.

Azad told a shopkeeper there about the child. “The shopkeeper told me speak to a pakora wallah in the area. It was the pakora wallah who told me that a child had gone missing some time back and pointed out the child’s house. We reached the house and his father recognised him,”said Azad.

The Malviya Nagar SHO was immediately informed and the child then handed over to his family.

Iqbal said, “Now, I don’t let him out of my son even for a minute. His brothers and sister follow him everywhere. Allah has answered my prayers.”





HC pulls up GDA on land, plot allotments

R N Pandey, TNN | May 31, 2012, 06.12AM IST

ALLAHABAD: Taking serious note of the fact that lands, plots, flats and buildings were being allotted to MLAs, MPs and other high dignitaries under various schemes of the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA), the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday asked the GDA Vice-Chairman to file a supplementary affidavit producing such a policy before the court.

The order was passed by Justice Sabhajeet Yadav on a writ petition filed by Sharda Prasad, whose services had been dispensed with by the Authority.

While issuing the direction, the court also took note of the fact that “the Authority has also framed a policy wherein blood relations of officers and employees of GDA are allotted lands, plots, flats and buildings. And after this allotment, allottees are permitted to transfer the flats and plots to the employees of GDA or their family members”.

“Such policy framed by the (GDA) appears to be prima facie contrary to the public policy and permits favourtism and nepotism in public body like the GDA,” remarked the court while issuing the direction to the VC of the GDA.

The court also noticed that Plot No. SK-II/Ol Shaktikhand, Indirapuram Scheme at Ghaziabad had been allotted to Satish Sharma, a minister of state during BJP rule in the state, by the GDA on his letter dated August 8, 2001. Also, the allotment of the plot measuring area 395.17 sq. meter at the rate of Rs 2500 per sq meter was made on the same day by the GDA Vice-Chairman.

The court said such allotments were being made by the Authority on the whims of influential persons without adopting any regular procedure. Therefore, it directed the GDA Vice-Chairman to bring on record both the said policies of the Authority and also the correspondence made by it with Satish Sharma and his wife.

The court also directed to bring on record the names of other MLAs, MPs, ministers, officers and employees who had been benefited by these policies.

The court will hear the case on July 3, 2012.





CAT comes to the aid of ISRO scientist

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:� The Central Administrative Tribunal has come to the aid of an Indian Space Research Organisation� scientist who was denied promotion allegedly because of a flawed assessment of his performance.

�� In a May 15 order, CAT Ernakulam Bench had ordered ISRO to re-examine the performance of Saji K Sam, engineer (SF) with the ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU), Vattiyoorkavu, and consider him for promotion to the grade of scientist/engineer (Selection Grade) for the year 2009. Sam’s troubles began after he was rated ‘average’ in his annual confidential report (ACR) for 2007 and 2008.

�� Continuously from 1996 to 2005, he had been rated ‘very good.’ For the year in

question too, his immediate superiors had given him a higher rating. He was not immediately aware of the cloud looming over his career since he was not informed of the downgrading.

�� Suspecting foul play after being dropped from promotions in 2009 and 2010, Saji took refuge under the Right to Information Act� and obtained a copy of his confidential report. He found that the then IISU director had downgraded him overlooking the assessments of ‘very good’ and ‘tending to be outstanding’ made by his immediate superiors, he said.

�� The Departmental Promotion Committee� should not have heeded� the IISU director’s assessment to deny him promotion.

Also, keeping the decision from him was illegal and arbitrary, Sam said. “Even then, I did not approach CAT. I complained to ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan. I moved CAT only after waiting for eight months for a decision and still nothing was done,” he said.

�� ISRO told CAT that Sam was denied promotion on the basis of the confidential report which said his performance was not up to the mark. Since ‘average’ was not an adverse rating, he was not informed of it.

�� Sam has countered this saying that it was indeed ‘adverse’ since he was denied his promotions. The CAT concluded that the IISU director had downgraded Sam without showing any reason for doing so.

Also, the reporting officer who directly supervises Sam’s work and the reviewing officer had given him higher ratings.

� “The career of an officer is destroyed by below benchmark rating which is made under the cover of secrecy. A responsible and transparent system can never tolerate such deviant ways. The purpose of writing ACR is not to destroy the career of the officer reported upon. It is a tool to be used for development of human resources,” the CAT observed, ordering a review by the DPC within 60 days.





AFT functioning: HC notice to Law, Defence Ministries

Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The administration and functioning of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has come under the High Court’s scanner.

Taking up a public interest litigation (PIL) questioning the “excessive control” of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) over the appointments, rules, provisions, infrastructure and functioning of the AFT, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice to the Union Law and Defence Ministries.

The PIL, filed by president of the AFT Bar Association, Maj Navdeep Singh, pointed out that the Supreme Court had already held that tribunals could not be made dependent upon the sponsoring or parent ministries. To ensure their independence, these could only be supervised by the Law Ministry.

There have been earlier instances where the establishment and composition of the AFT has been challenged before the High Court. The Delhi High Court Bar Association had earlier moved a petition that the establishment of the AFT was against constitutional norms.

A petition was also moved before the Punjab and Haryana High Court questioning the legality and suitability of a retired military officer to adjudicate upon legal and criminal issues. The AFT was set up in 2009 to provide swift judicial redress to members of the armed forces as well as to reduce the workload of the high courts.

The PIL averred that as all orders by the AFT were to be passed against the MoD and that the same ministry was the parent ministry controlling the AFT, it seemed more of an extension of the state rather than an independent judicial body.

The PIL points out that out of 15 courts of AFT in the country, only three are functioning as the government had not appointed judicial members to fill in vacancies arising out of the retirements of earlier incumbents.

This has resulted in absolute absence of judicial remedy to serving and retired personnel in some areas. The Chandigarh Bench, having the largest jurisdiction of five states, was also partially functional with only one judicial member holding the fort against the sanctioned strength of three.







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