LEGAL NEWS 06.06.2012

List of 20 victims handed over to Home Minister

Chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Dr Mizanur Rahman on Tuesday handed over to the Home Minister Sahara Khatun a list of 20 people who had fallen victims to either ‘enforced disappearances or secret killings,’ reports UNB.

During a brief meeting with Home Minister at her ministry, the NHRC chief also wanted to know whether there is any step to trace those who have gone missing.

Talking to journalists after the meeting, Mizan voiced his grave concern over some recent incidents, including the disappearance of BNP leader Ilias Ali, journalists Sagar, Runi murder, worker Aminul Islam killing and torture on journalists by the police.

Dr Mizan requested the Home Minister to inform the NHRC of the steps taken by the government about those incidents. “The minister informed me about the progress in the investigation into those incidents and said there will be positive results.”

Replying to a question, the NHRC chairman said a section of overenthusiastic police officers violate human rights while performing their duties.

Dr Mizan urged the Home Minister to promote police officers on the basis of recommendations from the NHRC to be sure whether the police officials were involved in any act of human rights violation.

The minister agreed in principle with the NHRC chairman on the proposal.

All the NHRC members were present during the meeting with the Home Minister.






Family refuses to encash cheque even after 2 months

TNN | Jun 6, 2012, 05.19AM IST

CHANDIGARH: In the kidnapping and murder case of Khushpreet Singh, 5, Chandigarh administration had handed over a cheque of Rs 3 lakh as compensation money to the kin of the deceased in April 2012, but they still have not got the cheque encashed in protest.

The father of deceased child, Lakhwinder Singh, said, “We refuse to encash the compensation cheque as seeking money was never our motive. We want strict punishment for the cops responsible for the death of my child.”

Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Delhi, issued detailed orders in this regard on Tuesday. Counsel for the victim family, Arvind Thakur, said the NHRC has also instructed the Chandigarh administration to take strict action against the guilty cops and issued orders in this regard on Tuesday.






35-lakhs for a block of toilets, not two, says Planning Commission

NDTV Correspondent | Updated: June 06, 2012 18:16 IST

New Delhi: The morning began with two toilets occupying national mindspace. A Right to Information application revealed that the Planning Commission has spent 35 lakhs on renovating two toilets at its offices in Delhi. Five lakhs had been invested on installing a system that would limit entry to the toilets to electronic card holders.

Online and elsewhere, there was fierce criticism of what was seen as lavish expenditure by a body that designs India’s economic blueprint – its five year plans – and which had controversially said that Indians who spend more than Rs. 32 a day in cities are above the poverty line. “The Planning Commission’s toilets should be protected as the eighth wonder of the world,” said the BJP’s Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

The Planning Commission used a detailed statement to clear the air. A press release said  that the money had been spent on two toilet blocks that could accommodate 20 users at a time, and that they include facilities for differently-abled users, which can be expensive.

The Commission also said that the smart card system had been introduced to avoid “pilferage” of sanitation equipment and that it had been discontinued because it was not practical. The toilets were for public use, it emphasized, while pointing out that the upgrade followed many complaints made by ministers and foreign dignitaries who had visited the building.

“The plan to renovate the toilets was in the budget and we thought the public toilets is used by everyone and it’s not one or two it’s an entire block which is being renovated. these toilets were 50 years old and the pipelines was very old and it was leaking which could cause health issues as well. That’s why the entire toilet block is being renovated here,” said Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission.

Though the explanation presented the rationale for the expenditure, stressing that it had been accounted for in the Commission’s annual budget, critics remained unconvinced.

“There is almost everything that is wrong with what was done and with the justification for it. The Planning Commission represents planning for whom, the poor of the country. And there has been a dispute with their figures because there has been a perception with everyone that within the planning commission they have one standard for the poor and another for the rich,” said Nikhil Dey, an activist.






Khushpreet case: UT files compliance report to NHRC

Express news service : Chandigarh, Wed Jun 06 2012, 02:36 hrs

The UT Administration has submitted a compliance report to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) along with the proof of payment of Rs 3 lakh compensation which was paid to the family of Khushpreet. The administration made the payment to Lakhbir Singh, the father of Khushpreet, on April 4.

Five-year-old Khushpreet Singh, son of a dairy owner, was kidnapped and subsequently murdered by his neighbour on December 21, 2010 near his house in Burail. His body was recovered from Mohali. Khushpreet was not released despite his family paying Rs 4 lakh in ransom. The police had arrested Sukhdev Singh, Gurvinder Singh and Nand Kishore in connection with the case.





Tribunal rejects IL&FS’ plea to allow work on Cuddalore plant

PTI | 04:06 PM,Jun 05,2012

New Delhi, Jun 5 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal has refused to stay its order suspending the environment clearance granted to IL&FS Tamil Nadu Power Company Ltd for its 3,600 MW thermal power plant in the state’s Cuddalore district. The Tribunal rejected IL&FS’ fresh plea for keeping its May 23 order for suspension of the environment clearance (EC) in abeyance and to allow it to carry out construction works for the project. The tribunal had suspended the May 31, 2010 EC on May 23, this year and had directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to review its decision based on a cumulative impact assessment study and stipulate additional environmental conditions, if required. Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) had sought a stay on the Tribunal’s May 23 order contending that preparatory civil works like construction of storm water drainage and levelling of the site must be completed before the onset of monsoon in mid September 2012. The tribunal rejected its plea saying a rapid cumulative impact assessment study can be completed before the onset of monsoon and “civil works referred to by IL&FS may not take very long to complete if planned and executed properly”. “In view of the importance of cumulative impact study in decision making, in the case on hand and the logistic reasons with regard to completing the civil works, we see no reason to provide relief as sought in the application,” a bench headed by Tribunal Acting Chairperson Justice A S Naidu said.






Allahabad ‘kripa’ on Nirmal Baba: HC stays arrest

Source:   |   Last Updated 11:52(05/06/12)

New Delhi: In a much-needed relief for the self-proclaimed godman, the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court stayed Nirmal Baba’s arrest.

According to reports, Nirmaljeet Singh Narula aka Nirmal Baba got relief after the court put a stay on his arrest until chargesheet is filed.

Nirmal Baba had filed a writ petition seeking quashing of FIR against him and staying his arrest. The Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM’s) had ordered filing of an FIR against Nirmal Baba on charges of fraud.

The CJM order came on a petition filed by two students Tanya Thakur (16) and her brother Aditya (13) in Lucknow. In his petition, Baba has said that he is among renowned religious persons and denied all allegations against him. He has described CJM’s order as ‘legally incorrect’.






MBA student’s encounter case: 11 cops surrender

TNN | Jun 6, 2012, 01.40AM IST

NEW DELHI: Three years after the alleged fake encounter case of MBA student Ranbir Singh in Dehradun, 11 of the 18 Uttarakhand police personnel accused in the case surrendered before a trial court on Tuesday.

The policemen, who surrendered before Special CBI judge V K Maheshwari after non-bailable warrants were issued against them this May, have been sent to judicial custody.

The cops who surrendered include Satbir Singh, Sunil Saini, Chander Pal, Saurabh Nautiyal, Nagendra Nath, Vikas Chandra Baluni, Sanjay Rawat, Mohan Singh Rana, Inder Bhan Singh and Manoj Kumar – all constables during the incident – and head operator at the city control room Jaspal Singh Gosain.

The constables were chargesheeted by CBI in connection with the encounter case that rocked the hill state in July 2009. The other accused are lodged in Tihar Jail. They include then inspector Santosh Jaiswal, sub-inspectors Gopal Dutt Bhatt, Rajesh Bisht, Neeraj Kumar, Nitin Chauhan and Chandra Mohan and constable Ajeet Singh.

While fixing July 4 as the next date of hearing, the court allowed the plea of these 11 accused that they be kept together in jail as they are police personnel and apprehend fear from other inmates.

The court asked CBI to file its reply on the regular bail pleas of the 11 accused by July 14, the next date of hearing. The court will hear the arguments on bail on July 4, the next date of hearing.

The accused policemen had earlier moved the Delhi high court for bail but their plea was dismissed. The Supreme Court also upheld the high court’s decision on May 29. The CBI judge noted that the Supreme Court had observed that the trial court should conclude the trial expeditiously, preferably within six months.

The court said CBI must examine Ram Kumar, one of the two persons who were seen with the victim on the day he was killed. Kumar has been partly examined by CBI.

Singh, an 22-year-old MBA student from Ghaziabad, was allegedly gunned down by Uttarakhand police after being caught on Mohini Road where he and his companions were allegedly trying to commit some crime on July 3, 2009. The case was transferred to Delhi by the Supreme Court on the plea of Ranbir’s father Ravindra Singh.

Ranbir’s father had alleged that his son had gone to Dehradun in search of a job where he was arrested by the police on July 3, 2009 on pretext of being involved in some robbery.

He had alleged that on the same day, 29 bullets were pumped into his body and the incident was passed off as an encounter.

All the 18 policemen have been charged for various offences such as murder, kidnapping, criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence and public servant framing incorrect record.






Government seeks Special Task Force to reclaim forest

TNN | Jun 6, 2012, 02.33AM IST

BANGALORE: The state government which was once described as the No.1 enemy of forests by the high court during a hearing, on Tuesday put up a “green plea” before a division bench headed by the Chief Justice.

It has sought for setting up of a special task force for reclaiming the 68,000 hectares of reserved forest which is still under occupation/encroachment.

“Today is World Environment Day. We had 1.1 lakh hectares of forest land under encroachment.

“Of this, 42,000 hectares have been reclaimed by evicting 40,000-od families. But to reclaim the remaining 68,000 hectares is a mammoth task. Many of these lands fall under the Western Ghats area in five districts -Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu. The occupants also need to be heard before being evicted. We need a special force-type mechanism for this task,” Ravindra G Kolle, government advocate, requested the high court bench.

The court, which was hearing a PIL related to encroachment of forest land in Shimoga district, observed that forming a committee may sometimes delay the process itself.






Censor says yes to Shanghai song, no to abuses

Subhash K Jha, Mumbai Mirror | Jun 6, 2012, 09.46AM IST

The decks have been cleared for Dibakar Banerjee’s eagerly awaited political thriller Shanghai which hits theatres this Friday. The Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has accorded the film a UA certification, which means it is suitable for under-age viewing under parental guidance, albeit with one major cut.

CBFC CEO Pankaja Thakur refused to dwell on the cut, adding, “Beyond that one scene, we saw nothing objectionable in the content.” And while no one is willing to divulge any details, we hear the censored scene originally had an abusive term addressed to a politician.

Explaining the censor board’s stand on the controversial song Bharat mata ki jai against which a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Delhi High Court by the Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena, Thakur said, “The matter is subjudice, so I can’t comment on whether the song stays or goes from the film. It was cleared by our Revising Committee when submitted to the board members earlier. As far as the censor board is concerned, the song has been cleared.”





TN to continue 3 per cent reservation for differently abled

PTI | 01:06 AM,Jun 06,2012

Chennai, Jun 5 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu government today informed the Madras High Court that it would continue to provide three per cent reservation for the differently abled in the posts of nutritious noon meal organisers. While appointing the organisers, three per cent reservation would be provided for partially deaf persons and those with lesser degree of locomotor disability, Advocate General A Navaneethakrishnan said. The Advocate General informed this to a bench comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam when a PIL seeking three per cent reservation as per the Persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act came up for hearing. However, the posts of cook and assistants had been exempted from the specified reservation as the differently abled would have to handle large cooking vessels and also be entrusted with the task of feeding children, the Advocate General said. copy of the May 25 government order issued by state Principal Secretary for Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Programme was produced before the bench. The PIL sought quashing of the August 18, 2010 government order and issuance of a fresh order by incorporating the statutory three per cent reservation for the differently abled while filling up 28,500 posts under the Noon Meal Programme and in the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme. Disposing of the petition, the bench observed that it was fully satisfied with the reservation provided for the persons concerned.





Made Snana ritual case hearing adjourned

TNN | Jun 6, 2012, 02.35AM IST

BANGALORE: A high court division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen on Tuesday adjourned by a month hearing on a PIL seeking ban on the Made Snana ritual at the Subramanya shrine in Dakshina Kannada district. The court will await the state government’s decision as the chief minister had promised to discontinue the practice. The government advocate informed the court that though the CM had made the statement, no formal order has been passed yet.

The petitioners have described the practice as pernicious and against the spirit enunciated in the Constitution which speaks about imbibing the scientific spirit. Made Snana is a ritual in which people roll on plantain leaves off which Brahmins have had a meal.






Five officers get bail in firemen death case

PTI | 08:06 PM,Jun 05,2012

Thane, Jun 5 (PTI) Five officials of Thane Municipal Fire Services including the chief fire officer who were booked following the death of six firemen in the infamous ‘Punarvasu’ building fire have been granted bail by a court here. All the five, who were given anticipatory bail were booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Thane Assistant Sessions Judge, N B Dhaitadak, ordered that in event of their arrest by Vartak Nagar police with whom the offence under Section 304 RW 34 of the IPC is registered, they be released on each one of them executing a bond for Rs 15,000 and furnishing surety in like amount. The applicants were: Munir Shaikh Usman Mulla, station in-charge of Mumbra Fire station, Pundalik Ladku Patil, sub-Fire Officer, Samadhan Vitthal Devre, sub station officer, Arvind Prabhakar Mandke, Chief Fire Officer and Girish Murlidhar Zhalke, sub-station Officer. On the ill-fated day October 18, 2009 and when they received a call following a fire in Punarvasu Building, they went to the site at about 4.30 am, the court was told. They further said in their application that firemen G C Singh, A S Thanekar, K G Patil, S R Jamadar, T G Kale and S K Shinde rushed into the lift in presence of the officers of Vartak Nagar police station to douse the fire on 14th floor of the Society. But the lift stopped and the firemen died due to suffocation. Kavita R Sangrulkar, a social worker and trustee of Abhay Abhiyan Trust made an application in the court in 2010 in which they stated that the firemen died due to carelessness and negligence of the applicant. Based on the directions of the court, police carried out investigations and filed offences under sections 304 rw 34 of the IPC against the applicants following which they approached the court for anticipatory bail. In their application, the officers said they were innocent and have been falsely implicated in the case. On perusing the FIR as it the ingredients offence u/sec 304 rw 34 of IPC are not attracted, at the most the provisions of section 304 (a) will be applicable. Therefore, there is no hindrance in releasing the applicants/accused on anticipatory bail. The documents on record shows that the heirs of the victims are already compensated by the various institutions including the government, the court said. The judge further noted the investigation is practically completed and nothing incriminating is to be recovered or discovered at the instance of the present applicants/accused. Therefore the physical custody of the present applicants is not required for the interrogation.





Online counselling for MBBS: SC seeks MCI take

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | Jun 6, 2012, 04.16AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought Medical Council of India’s response within two days to a proposal from Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) for maiden online counseling for allotment of over 2,000 MBBS and BDS seats in medical colleges from this academic session.

A bench of Justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar sought medical education regulator MCI’s response by Thursday, when it would examine the DGHS proposal for doing away with existing mode of counseling that require candidates to appear in person.

Delhi used to be the main centre from where allotment of 15% all-India quota of MBBS and BDS seats in various medical colleges used to take place, with candidates participating in counseling through video conferencing from other centres like Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. In 2011, DGHS conducted counseling for 4,150 candidates for 2,194 seats in MBBS and BDS courses.

Till now, the candidates used to take long journeys up to six times from their home towns to the metros within a short period of time to attend counseling sessions. “The expenditure for candidates during online counseling will be almost nil and much less for the government. The online counseling process will be faceless yet fully transparent and fair,” the DGHS promised.

The proposal for online counseling was recommended by an expert committee headed by Director General of Health Services, which was tasked by ministry of health and family welfare to find out ways and means to address the problem of seats remaining vacant even after two rounds of counseling every year.

In its application before the apex court, the DGHS said: “The committee has recommended that by changing the method of allotment from existing counseling by personal appearance to online counseling and by increasing the number of candidates eligible to take part in counseling both in undergraduate and post-graduate courses may significantly reduce the number of seats that remain unfilled at the end of All India quota counseling.”

The salient features of the proposal for online counseling are:

* All candidates who qualify All India Undergraduate Entrance Examination or five times number of seats available under the all-India quota, whichever is less, will be allowed to take part in online counseling.

* Qualified candidates will give option of course and college online. There will be a total of three rounds of online allotment instead of existing two.

* After the first round, candidates will be given provisional allotment letter online and will be required to report to the allotted medical/dental college within 10 days. The respective colleges would check the documents of eligibility of candidates.

* Candidates, who fail to take admission in 10 days, would forfeit their claim for admission and would not be considered for allotment of seats during subsequent rounds of counseling.

* Candidates who join the course after the first round may give their option for upgrade of h/his choice of course or college to be considered during subsequent rounds of counseling subject to availability of seats.

* Arrangement for online counseling process will be made by the National Informatics Centre, which conducts the online counseling for allotment of seats under All India Engineering Entrance Examination.





Fresh case registered against M.M. Mani

Anand Haridas

The police registered a fresh case against M.M. Mani, Idukki district secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI-M], for conspiring to commit a murder.

The police had initiated an inquiry into the statements by the accused that the party had prepared a hit list. The new case pertained to the murder of Ancheri Baby, who was shot dead on November 13, 1982. Though the case was tried then, all suspects were acquitted. During the new inquiry, the second accused in the original case, Mohandas, gave a statement about the role played by Mr. Mani in conspiring to execute the murder, it is learnt.

Following this, the Rajakkad police registered a case under Section 120(b) (murder conspiracy) and section 118 (concealing the design to commit the crime) of the Indian Penal Code against M.M. Mani and K.K. Jayachandran, the then area committee secretary of the party; Lambodaran, M.M. Mani’s brother; and two others.






Bengal lists ‘corrupt’ cops in gazette

RAJIB CHATTERJEE : Kolkata, Wed Jun 06 2012, 00:40 hrs

In an unusual move, the police have published a gazette containing tale of two “corrupt officers” and the action taken against them. It also ordered wide publicity of the “nefarious act” of the officers among their colleagues in order to send a clear message that any violation of the government’s policy of “zero tolerance against corruption” would be firmly dealt with.

The order to put the misconduct of the two officers in the police gazette, published in mid-May, had come from DGP Naparajit Mukherjee.

The two “corrupt” officers — Inspector Kishore Ghosh and Assistant Sub-Inspector Prabir Bal — along with two civilians, allegedly tried to “extort money” from one Madan Ghatak of Berhampore, Murshidabad on May 1.

They were arrested and charged under Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code.





Man kills wife for dowry, gets life term

Upasana Mukherjee , Hindustan Times

Calling dowry a “customary extortion”, a Delhi court has sentenced a man to life imprisonment for setting his wife on fire in 2006, three years into their marriage.

Taking a strict view of the crime, additional sessions judge Anju Bajaj Chandna said, “Taking one’s life for dowry

is so heinous and grave that leniency has no place to stand with it.”  The court also imposed a fine of Rs. 20,000 on Anand Sharma, the victim’s husband.

The incident occurred on August 3, 2006, when the victim sustained burns all over her body after being doused with kerosene oil while she was asleep and set on fire. The victim in her dying declaration to the police named her husband and in-laws for setting her on fire. She categorically mentions being harassed and beaten up by her in-laws for not bringing enough cash and gifts from her maternal home as dowry.

Advocate Kush Sharma, appearing on behalf of the victim’s parents, said the dying declaration of the victim is categorical about the incident and it can be the sole basis of the conviction of the accused persons.

The court also pronounced the mother-in-law of the victim guilty of the offence of dowry death and sentenced her to 10 years in prison, together with a fine of R15,000, adding that dowry disgraces the sacred institution of marriage.

The prosecution also alleged that the victim was ill treated after she gave birth to a daughter in 2004. “In the present case, a young woman has lost her life and her little daughter is left to live without motherly care,” the Judge said, adding that Anand was responsible for the victim’s safety and security at her matrimonial home.

The duo has been charged with offence of dowry death (Section 304-B) and cruelty by husband and relative of husband (Section 498-A) of the Indian Penal Code.





Court refuses to summon John Abraham, says picture not obscene

Published: Tuesday, Jun 5, 2012, 17:19 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Refusing to hold a nude picture of Bollywood actor John Abraham, published in a news daily as “obscene,” a Delhi court has dismissed a plea to summon him and the newspaper’s editor to answer charges of spreading vulgarity in society.

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Rajneesh Kumar Gupta dismissed the plea saying that the actor’s alleged photographs were not likely to “corrupt the mind” of the readers and its purpose was merely to give the latest news about Bollywood.

“After going through the photograph of John Abraham and contents of the news item, I am of the opinion that the alleged picture of John Abraham is not obscene which is likely to deprave and corrupt the mind of its readers and its purpose is only to give information to the news readers as to what is the latest happenings in the Bollywood,” Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Rajneesh Kumar Gupta said.

The court dismissed the revision petition of Kirti Nagar resident Chander Mohan Dua, who had sought summoning of John Abraham and the editor and publisher of the daily which had published the picture in June 2009.

“I do not find sufficient material on record to summon the accused persons. Accordingly, there is no infirmity or illegality in the order passed by the trial court and it is upheld. The revision petition is dismissed,” ASJ Gupta said.

Dua had sought prosecution of John Abraham and the daily’s editor and publisher for allegedly violating sections 292 and 294 of the Indian Penal Code (relating to sale, circulation or publication of obscene pictures and indulging in obscene acts), besides various other statutory provisions.

Dua had filed the complaint saying that on June 11, 2009, a “vulgar photograph” of Abraham was published in the daily which was viewed by his children and lakhs of people including the young and adolescent ones who may easily be depraved and corrupted by such acts of obscenity and vulgarity.

He said he had filed a complaint in this regard in the Moti Nagar police station here but no action was taken on his complaint.

Dua had then approached the court but the magistrate had refused to summon Abraham as an accused and had dismissed his plea.






‘We are sick of illegal parties’

Published: Tuesday, Jun 5, 2012, 10:27 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

The high court has issued notices to the BBMP regarding a public interest litigation, which alleges that loud parties are being held in a community hall in the city without licence, creating a lot of nuisance for people living around it.

Two people have filed the PIL, alleging that the community hall in Central Public Works Department (CPWD) quarters premises in Vijayanagar is hosting parties almost every day without permission.

The petitioners contend that non-veg food is served in these parties. Animals are butchered in the wee hours of the day, which creates an unpleasant scene, what with the cries of the animals.

Stray dogs keep roaming around the hall for raw meat and the surplus food that is thrown after the parties are over.

The PIL says that the area around community hall has become a mess. Residents have to put up with foul smell all the time. The place has become home to rodents and flies.

Further, many people who come to the community hall for the parties urinate on the boundary walls, which just adds to the trouble. The situation is so bad that reaching health clinic on the first floor of the community hall has become an arduous task.

Further, the petitioners have contended that utensils for the parties are loaded and unloaded early in the morning, which creates a lot of noise and disturbs sleep of the people living near the community hall. The visitors park their vehicles in a haphazard manner, which aggravates the traffic problem posed by the construction work for Namma Metro.

The petitioners contended that these parties are not cultural or social functions, but private parties, that too held without permission. They alleged that the BBMP and the deputy health officer are aware of this problem but have not taken any action.

The case came up for hearing before the division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen. Taking note of the matter, the high court issued notices to the BBMP, deputy health officer of Govindarajanagar range, and the organisers of the community hall—Griha Kalyana Kendra Samaja Sadana.






Do new Irda rules on health cover benefit policy holders?

Following the Bombay High Court order in December last year, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) had promised to release draft guidelines to protect health insurance policy holders’ interest and bring more transparency into the system.

Last week, the insurance regulator proposed certain norms, which could bring about the much-needed standardisation in the health insurance space. While some of the norms are already in place, there are also several fresh proposals. Here’s a look at the newer ones:

Measure: 30-day deadline for claim settlement

Impact: You can take insurers to task if the claim is not processed within 30 days of submitting the required documents. “While it was part of Irda (Protection of Policyholders’ Interest) Regulations, 2002, it never found a mention in insurance policy documents.

Henceforth, it will have to be included in the policy documents,” explains civic activist Gaurang Damani, who had filed the public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court demanding that regulations be framed for the health insurance sector. Irda’s undertaking to devise draft guidelines was a fallout from this case.

Measure: Specific reason required for claim denial

Impact: Since the insurance company has to give the reason for rejecting a claim in writing, it could bring down the instances of claim repudiation on flimsy grounds.

Measure: Insurers to pay hospitals directly

Impact: Payments will become smooth. “In cases where the cheques for claim settlement were issued by the third-party administrators (TPA), payments used to be often delayed. Besides, it was difficult to ascertain whether the TPA had passed on the entire claim amount approved by the insurer to the claimant,” says Damani.

Measure: Contribution clause will not come into play in the case of multiple policies

Impact: Policyholders with two or more indemnity-based policies can make optimum use of their total coverage. Until now, claim made on two policies was split between the two insurers in the ratio of the sum insured. “The policyholder will have the option of choosing the insurer with whom the claim is to be settled,” says Amarnath Ananthanarayanan, CEO, Bharti-AXA General Insurance.





Allegations against Deshmukh, Shinde being probed:CBI tells HC

Mumbai, June 05, 2012The CBI probing the Adarsh housing society scam has informed the Bombay High Court that it is thoroughly investigating the allegations made against Union Ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushil Kumar Shinde by a social activist based on the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

This was stated by the CBI in an affidavit filed by it in the High Court on June 1.

Social activist Pravin Wategaonkar had in April this year filed an affidavit before the High Court based on the CAG report alleging that Deshmukh, former Maharashtra Chief minister, own two proxy flats in the scam tainted Adarsh society in south Mumbai.

Wategaonkar, in his affidavit, had sought that the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) to investigate the role of Deshmukh, Shinde and other politicians and bureaucrats for alleged irregularities committed by them while showing favour to Adarsh Society.

The High Court on April 30 directed the CBI and ED to file their reply affidavits to Wategaonkar’s allegations. The CBI in its affidavit filed on June 1 has said it was investigating the allegations made by Wategaonkar based on the CAG report.

“I say that the reference made by the petitioner (Wategaonkar) about the report of CAG on Adarsh society, which has brought out certain acts of commission and omission on the part of public servants are being thoroughly investigated by CBI”, states the affidavit filed by Ravindra Singh, CBI Superintendent of Police (SP).

“I say that the allegations made by the petitioner against Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Sunil Tatkare (cabinet minister) and others are being thoroughly investigated by CBI”, the affidavit stated.

It further said that the agency has examined all relevant witnesses, including two former chief ministers as part of the probe.

“Whatever evidence has come on record are being ascertained. Investigations are at a crucial stage and efforts are being made to finalise the same at the earliest after which CBI shall file its final report”, the affidavit states.

The High Court had on the last hearing posted the matter on June 18 after CBI informed the Court that it would file its chargesheet in the case by June 15.

“It was noticed in the audit that in most cases decisions that were taken resulted in undue favour to the Society. Many of the officials who were involved in such decisions were direct beneficiaries. Either they or their relatives already were or later became members of the Society”, Wategaonkar said in his affidavit quoting the CAG report.

According to Wategaonkar, Vilasrao has procured two proxy flats in the 31-storeyed plush society as quid pro quo for the clearances given to the Society in his official capacity as Chief Minister and minister-in-charge of the Urban Development department.

The activist had sought the CBI and ED probe these irregularities.






Emaar: HC okays plot registration

June 6, 2012

A High Court Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice V. Eswaraiah and Justice Vilas V. Afzulpurkar on Tuesday granted stay on an order issued by a single judge, who had stayed a government order restraining the authorities from registering the plots in Emaar project.

The single judge had directed owners of plots and villas in Emaar project to deposit Rs 15,000 per sq. yd. to the APIIC before their documents are presented for registration. The interim direction was granted on a petition by the plot owners. The state government subsequently filed an appeal.

BIE: No scope for inter re-exam
The BIE on Tuesday told the High Court that there was no provision under to hold re-examination for second-year students who failed to appear on May 16 due to a delay in receiving their hall tickets. A Division Bench was dealing with the appeal, challenging a single-judge Bench’s order to conduct a re-examination. Additional A-G K.G. Krishna Murthy contended that details of the students were uploaded after the due date, and 777 students failed to take the exam. The Board, he argued, did not delay in issuing of hall tickets. Students’ counsels said they paid the fee on time and their colleges remitted it before the due date, but there was a 24-hour delay in uploading their details.





HC rejects ex-CLB member’s plea for joint trial in graft cases

Press Trust of India / New Delhi June 05, 2012, 17:45


The Delhi High Court has rejected a plea of R Vasudevan, former member of Company Law Board (CLB), seeking to club two graft cases lodged separately against him for allegedly taking bribe of Rs seven lakh and amassing assets more than his known sources of income.

“I find no infirmity with the order of the learned Special Judge. Hence, (the petition is) dismissed,” Justice M L Mehta said, adding that “both the offences for which the petitioner has been charged are distinct offences and not parts of same transaction…”.

Vasudevan, then acting chairperson of CLB, is accused of taking Rs seven lakh bribe from co-accused Manoj Banthia, company secretary of a vernacular news daily, for assuring him a favourable order in 2009 in a case being decided by him.

Except Vasudevan and Banthia, four others were also named as accused in the graft case lodged by the CBI which filed the charge sheet in 2010 in the case.

However, CBI, which also conducted raids at Vasudevan’s premises in Delhi and Chennai during probe, later lodged another FIR against him for amassing disproportionate assets.

The former CLB member, whose plea seeking to club the cases was rejected by the lower court, moved the High Court which upheld the decision saying the offences were “distinct and separate” and their trial cannot be clubbed.

Citing a Supreme Court judgement, Justice Mehta said in a disproportionate assets case, the onus to prove the genuineness of income lies with the accused.

However, in a bribery case, the duty to prove allegations shifts to the prosecuting agency (CBI) and hence, both FIRs are separate and the trials cannot be clubbed, the court said. (More)






Delhi HC rules, Muslim girl can marry at 15 if she attains puberty

Published: Tuesday, Jun 5, 2012, 17:39 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Ruling that a Muslim girl can marry as per her choice at the age of 15 years if she has attained puberty, the Delhi High Court has held the marriage of a minor girl valid and allowed her to stay in her matrimonial house.

“This Court notes that according to Mohammedan Law a girl can marry without the consent of her parents once she attains the age of puberty and she has the right to reside with her husband even if she is below the age of 18….,” a bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and S P Garg said.

Citing various Supreme Court judgements on the issue of minor Muslim girls’ marriage, the bench said “In view of the above judgments, it is clear that a Muslim girl who has attained puberty i.e. 15 years can marry and such a marriage would not be a void marriage. However, she has the option of treating the marriage as voidable, at the time of her attaining the age of majority, i.e 18 years.”

Accepting the 16-year-old girl’s plea to allow her to stay in her matrimonial home, the bench has disposed of a habeas corpus petition filed by the girl’s mother alleging that her daughter was kidnapped by a youth and forced into marriage in April last year.

The bench accepted the girl’s statement she had left her parental home of her own will to marry the man of her choice and her husband should not be booked on the charge of kidnapping.

Meanwhile, to ascertain the girl’s well being, the court has directed the couple and in-laws to appear before the Child Welfare Committee once in every six months till the girl attains majority.

“The Committee shall take necessary steps, including obtaining the necessary undertaking from the man(husband) in this regard. Subject to completion of these steps, the girl be allowed to live in her matrimonial home,” the bench said.

The girl has been currently residing in Nirmal Chhaya, a government sponsored home for rehabilitation of poor and elderly women.






city anchor: HC sets aside 38-yr-old UT resumption order on ‘oversized window’

RAGHAV OHRI : Chandigarh, Wed Jun 06 2012, 02:58 hrs

Unhappy over a “major” violation, the Chandigarh Administration ordered resumption of a house located in Sector 10 in 1974. The violation was of an “oversized window” on the ground floor of the house. Refusing to relent from its stand, the Administration declined to withdraw the resumption proceedings against the owner, Harkishan Singh, for nearly four decades. Finally, the Punjab and Haryana High Court put an end to the dispute last week.

Terming the resumption orders issued and the consequent dismissal of appeals of the owner by the UT Administration “not justified”, the High Court has expressed shock that the dispute was allowed to linger on for nearly four decades. “We are unable to hold that the building continues to be resumed after the year 1974,” a division bench comprising Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice A N Jindal has ruled.

Consider this: Battling with the Administration to withdraw the resumption proceedings, the allottee Harkishan Singh died on March 9, 2007. When his son applied for transfer of the property on the basis of a will dated March 27, 2001, he (son) was informed that the property “stands resumed”. To his dismay, he was told that the property can be got resumed only from the higher authority in the UT Administration.

Another bout of litigation, this time to get ownership transferred, began in 2007. The son’s demand for transfer of ownership was declined by the UT Administrator’s Advisor on the ground that the petitioner “had slept over the matter for more than 36 years and as such they (petitioner & family) are not entitled to any relief”.

Senior lawyer Puneet Bali, counsel for the petitioner, vehemently contended that the only violation noticed by the building branch and communicated to the Architect of the Administration is about the size of a window on the ground floor.

Bali argued that the allottee had communicated in 1974 that minor changes be ignored or compounded. Aggrieved with the attitude of the Administration, the petitioner moved the High Court seeking quashing of the resumption orders and the order dismissing demand for transfer of ownership passed by the Advisor to the Administrator on December 2, 2010.

Setting aside the orders passed by UT, the High Court ruled “the fact remains that after communication dated March 30, 1974, the allottee has not been informed by the Administration of any continuing violations or that the request for compounding the violations has been rejected. Once the allottee has informed the Administration within the time granted that he has completed the construction as per the revised plan and that the minor changes be either ignored or compounded, the inference that the building stands resumed is not justified. Still further, the only objection was regarding oversized window. It was admitted by the UT Administration that the same is compoundable as per regulations”.

The Administration has been directed to decide the claim of the petitioner for transfer of ownership in accordance with law expeditiously.





HC orders probe into ‘honour killing’

Bangalore, June 5, 2012, DHNS:

The Karnataka High Court has ordered an inquiry into the death of Bhramarambika, a fourth semester LLB student of Seshadripuram Law College here, after some students of the college wrote to the court seeking a probe into what they see as a case of ‘honour killing’.

In a letter to Justice D V Shylendra Kumar, Bhramarambika’s classmates said the girl student’s death in her home village of Badi Maralur in Gowribidanur taluk in Chickaballapur district was shrouded in mystery.

According to the students, Bhrarambika went to her home town to prepare for her fourth semester examinations. She had appeared for the viva voce on May 10, 2012. The semester examinations were scheduled in June. On the morning of May 20, her classmates received a message stating that she was dead. Shocked, they rushed to her village. But by the time they reached, her body had already been cremated.

Conflicting versions

When the students inquired about the cause of death, the family members reportedly came up with conflicting versions. While some family members claimed she had committed suicide by slitting her throat, another said she had consumed poison. Yet another version was that she suffered a heart attack while seated on chair and had fallen down and died.

The classmates were perplexed when some family members blurted out that severe vomiting and food poisoning led to her death. Deepening the mystery, residents of the village too were in the dark about the cause of the death.

It was then the students decided to write a letter to the High Court. In their letter dated May 28, 2012, the students wrote to Justice Shylendra Kumar, narrating the entire episode, and expressing their suspicion that it was a case of honour killing. The judge forwarded the letter to the Chief Justice.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna has now directed the State government to look into the matter and report in three weeks.
The court has also appointed an amicus curiae to assist the court and issued notices to State government, the Director General and Inspector General of Police and Superintendent of Police, Chikkaballapur.





HC directs probe in allegations against Indian Institute of Management Indore director

Ashish Gaur, TNN | Jun 6, 2012, 03.29AM IST

INDORE: The Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court has directed the ministry of human resources development (HRD) and the Chairman and board of governors of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Indore to inquire into allegations of financial irregularities leveled against the director of IIM-I, N Ravichandran.

The court issued the directives after hearing a writ petition that was filed by Dr P.K Singh and six others on May 28, 2012. Justice U.C Maheshwari disposed of the matter saying that the complaints maybe inquired in to and a report be submitted within six months. Advocate Vivek Dalal is representing Singh in the court.

Nearly six months back, eight professors of IIM-I had registered their complaints with the former chairman of IIM-I L N Jhunjhunwala alleging financial irregularities and corruption by the director of the institute.

According to sources, Jhunjhunwala had asked the professors to report to him personally on April 9 but director did not allow them following which former chairman resigned from the post. The complaints were also sent to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) but no action was taken.

After receiving cold shoulder response from various quarters on their complaints the faculty members moved court. The faculty members have submitted a 20-page complaint against the director of the institute alleging financial irregularities. A separate petition was filed in the Indore bench of MP High Court against Ravichandran alleging plagiarism in research papers.





Madras HC judges set example, remove sun films from their cars

A Subramani, TNN | Jun 5, 2012, 05.34PM IST

CHENNAI: The Madras high court has become the first high court in the country to follow the recent Supreme Court order banning the use of black sun control films in cars. A decision to remove the film from the cars of 53 judges of the chartered high court was taken by the court’s vehicle committee headed by Justice D Murugesan, and it has since been approved by the high court.

“We have asked the local Toyota car dealers to send their men to remove the films our Toyota Altis cars on Wednesday,” said an official.

Explaining the rationale behind the move, a senior judicial officer told The Times of India that the judicial officers hearing the cases related to the implementation of the ban did not want to be accused of adopting double standards.

“We do not need any special treatment in the matter. Though it will cause some minor inconvenience to us, we wanted to set an example for other citizens to follow. The apex court’s ban on the sun control films has strong security and safety reasons. We believe our decision will bring moral pressure on others to follow suit and voluntarily remove the dark films,” he said.

Another judicial officer said: “We are already living in a glass house, as we are under constant public attention. Now we will travel in glass cars. At times when you happen to pass through known areas and people, we may feel vulnerable. We may have to be careful about what we read on the move too.”

In its recent judgment, the Supreme Court banned the use of sun control films of all shades and colours in cars. People can now use only tinted glasses that come along with the vehicle. While the visibility cannot be less than 30% on side glasses, it can be up to 50% in front and rear glasses. Though the apex court has said VIPs in specific cases could be exempted from the requirement, it has not defined the term VIP.

Several states, including Delhi and Tamil Nadu, have already started implementing the Supreme Court ruling, which came into effect from May 1.






HC rejects bail plea of developer who duped investors

Press Trust of India / New Delhi June 05, 2012, 21:05


The bail plea of a city based developer, arrested for allegedly duping thousands of investors worth crores of rupees in a township project, has been rejected by the Delhi High Court.

Dismissing the plea of Sanjay Gambhir, the Director of M/s D D Infrastructure, for regular bail, Justice M L Mehta noted that the offences he had been accused of were of “high magnitude of mass public fraud and cheating” and such offences were on a rise in the city.

It also observed that his bona fides were “extremely dishonest and deceitful”.

“…The number of complainants/investors rising on every following day and the amount of their investments considerably rising and the fact that all the complainants/investors have been raising hue and cry for having been duped of their hard earned money.

“And the prosecutor as also the investigating agency pressing for custodial interrogation for the investigation of the FDI amount of about 230 crores, which had been received by the petitioner and his co-accused persons as valuable consideration towards the transfer of their rights in the projects, and the bona fides of the petitioner not being honest, but extremely dishonest and deceitful, the petitioner is not entitled to be enlarged on bail,” the court said.

Taking serious note of Gambhir’s conduct, it said the accused was granted interim bail by this court with certain conditions including refunding of money to some complainants but he had failed to comply with the conditions.

“The offences which have been committed by the petitioner (Gambhir) with other co-accused (wife and son) are of high magnitude of mass public fraud and cheating and such offences being on high rise in the city, the petitioner does not deserve any indulgence of this court. In view of all this, the petition has no merit and is hereby dismissed,” the court said.

Gambhir was on interim bail till December 22 last year but after he failed to comply with the conditions including refund of money with interest to the investors, the court cancelled the interim protection given to him in December last year and since then he has been in custody. MORE





HC guidelines for police probe in girls’ cases

Source: The Sangai Express / Press Trust of India

Guwahati, June 05 2012: The Gauhati High Court has issued a set of guidelines for investigation of all cases in which minor or adolescent girls are involved and directed the Assam Director General of Police to ensure scientific investigation of all such cases.

Justice B D Agarwal issued the guidelines while delivering judgement in the case of a 13-year old girl, who was allegedly kidnapped under the garb of elopement.

The judge, who delivered the verdict yesterday, came down heavily on investigating agencies for conducting probe in a casual manner.

The court held that while recording statements of minor girls, judicial magistrates should cause a preliminary enquiry to ascertain the correct age of the victims.

Due to their immaturity, minor and adolescent girls are easy prey and are brain-washed to such an extent that they speak in favour of the accused and suppress their actual age.

He also directed the magistrates to record their statements after giving them sufficient time for reflection to neutralise the emotional bonding with the accused.

Justice Agarwal observed that kidnapping or procuring adolescent girls for marriage or sexual acts not only affects the girls’ health but also shatters their dreams in life.

On the particular case, the judge rejected the bail plea of the accused and directed that the statement of the victim be recorded afresh after keeping her in an Observation Home for at least five days.

The court ordered that as the accused had claimed that they had married before a qazi, administrative action should be taken against the doctors and the qazi for issuing incorrect age certificate and registering the marriage, without proper proof of age.






HC seeks action plan to promote mango sale

Bangalore, June 5, 2012, DHNS:

The High Court on Tuesday, directed the State government to submit an action plan to promote the sale and procurement of mangoes across State and warned that it would have to summon the chief secretary if the government failed to act.

Hearing a petition filed by the Kolar District Mango Growers and Sellers Association, the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna asked the government to submit a detailed report on the implementation of the programmes vis-a-vis mango sale and procurement.

During the hearing, the State government submitted that following the High Court directions, it had set up two HOPCOMS stalls, while the Karnataka Agriculture Marketing Board had released Rs 10 lakh to HOPCOMS to procure mangoes.

They also submitted that two persons of the cadre equal to the Additional Director, Agriculture Marketing Board, and Joint Director, the Department of Horticulture, have been appointed personally to oversee the procurement of mangoes.

However, when the petitioner pointed out that there was no action taken by the State government, other than the submissions before the court, the Chief Justice lashed out at the government saying, “We do not want your submissions just on papers. We want what has been submitted (before the court) to be implemented. If there is no action taken, we will be forced to summon the chief secretary.”

S S Naganand, senior counsel and amicus curiae, said many improvements introduced in the recent past in HOPCOMS had been undone because of political interference, and its turnover had reduced drastically in the last two years.

He pointed out that facilities at mango melas were not sufficient as no assistance was given to the growers, which includes space for marketing produce and amenities.

Though the horticulture department states that it has provided cultivators subsidy for cold storage facilities and packing, more needs to be done, he said. No effort is made to produce value-added products like pulp, concentrate, juice, essence flavours and packaging of ripe fruits.

The amicus curiae suggested that the court consider and appoint a monitoring committee chaired by the chief secretary and a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, the Department of Horticulture, the Department of Agriculture Marketing and a representative of the growers. He also sought a time-bound plan of action for short-term and long-term measures to improve the plight of mango growers.





Defamation case: Delhi HC to summon VK Singh


New Delhi: The Delhi Court on Wednesday will decide whether or not to summon former Army Chief VK Singh in Lt General Tejinder Singh’s defamation case. The court had earlier noted that it cannot draw any conclusions based on Tejinder’s witnesses.

The Delhi High Court earlier refused to direct the Centre to take back a press release of the Army alleging that Tejinder Singh offered a bribe to the Army chief in connection with a defence deal.

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

The court also considered the reply of the Ministry of Defence that it had no role in the issuance of March 5 press release as it was given out by the Army Headquarters.

The court, however, said that Tejinder Singh could make a representation before the authorities concerned seeking initiation of disciplinary proceedings against five Army officials including Chief of Army Staff Gen VK Singh.

In the criminal writ petition filed through his counsel Anil K Aggarwal, Tejinder Singh had contended that the press release issued by senior Army officials, including the Army chief, was “defamatory” and had sought its withdrawal.

The Army chief had earlier claimed that a lobbyist, who had “just” retired, offered him a bribe of Rs 14 crore for clearing a file relating to purchase of a tranche of 600 “sub-standard” TATRA trucks and that he had immediately informed Defence Minister AK Antony about it.

With additional information from PTI





HC slams red-tape over death records

TNN | Jun 6, 2012, 04.11AM IST

CHENNAI: Once a death is brought to the notice of authorities by a competent person, then it must be registered and certificate given without going into questions such as cause of death and place of occurrence, the Madras high court said recently.

A division bench comprising Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice M Venugopal, passing orders on an appeal filed by the Perungalathur town panchayat, said: “When an information is furnished by the head of the family or the nearest relative or the oldest adult male person in the house within the jurisdiction of the registering authority, the registrar is duty-bound to register it.”

The matter relates to a petition filed by N Vedantam, who said his wife died on May 3, 2010 while travelling from New Delhi to Patna by train. The couple hailed from Perungalathur, a Chennai suburb, and the woman’s body was brought here and cremated.

Later, when Vedantam applied for registration of the death and sought death certificate, the Perungalathur town panchayat officials said they could not issue the certificate as she died beyond their jurisdiction. They asked Vedantam to approach officials in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Vedantam approached the high court and a single judge directed the authorities to issue the certificate. Challenging it, the town panchayat filed an appeal.

Justice Elipe Dharma Rao, writing the judgment for the bench, flayed the panchayat authorities for driving Vedantam from pillar to post, and said there was no justification in the denial of death certificate.

As per the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969, the foremost duty of the registering officer was to register the information, as the rules do not provide for refusal to register the information, said Justice Elipe Dharma Rao.

“When the government is propagating and trying to educate the citizens to register marriages, births and deaths on the one hand, it is not proper on their part to take a contra stand and drive persons from pillar to post for registration of the same,” the order read.

The town panchayat was then directed to register the details without probing into the nature or circumstances of the death.

When the government is propagating and trying to educate the citizens to register marriages, births and deaths on the one hand, it is not proper on their part to take a contra stand and drive persons from pillar to post for registration of the same.





UP lawyer who ducked HC fine ‘pays’ at last for PIL against Guv

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Wed Jun 06 2012, 03:40 hrs

Lucknow-based lawyer Ashok Pande, who was recently arrested by UP Police on the basis of a non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued by the Gujarat High Court (HC), has deposited Rs 25,000 with the HC registry as fine for moving a frivolous public interest litigation (PIL) seeking removal of Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal.

A division bench of HC had issued the NBW against Pande after he did not pay the fine and repeatedly ignored court notices in that regard.

A team of UP Police arrested Pande on June 3 and produced him before Justice Akil Kureshi of the Gujarat HC at the latter’s residence in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

Additional Public Prosecutor J K Shah said Pande deposited Rs 25,000 with HC registry and gave an undertaking that he would remain present before the Chief Court of HC on June 11. “Following this, the court suspended the NBW and released Pande,” Shah said.

According to Shah, Pande complained that he was arrested on June 3 and was kept in custody by police till his production before the court without obtaining even a transit warrant. “Justice Kureshi has ordered that he may raise his grievances at appropriate time before appropriate forum,” Shah said.

Last year, Pande had moved a PIL stating that the appointment of Kamla Beniwal as Governor of Gujarat was unconstitutional because the President had not obtained consent of Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the same.

Pande, introducing himself as a president of Hindu Personal Law Board, a non-government organisation, had moved the PIL arguing that under the constitutional provisions if a person is not acceptable as Governor to the elected government of a province, he/she should not be posted in that state.

Pande also argued that before appointing a person as Governor in a state, the state government’s acceptance must be obtained.

A division bench of HC comprising the then acting Chief Justice A L Dave and Justice J B Pardiwala had, in October last year, dismissed the PIL while asking if it was a publicity interest litigation or personal interest litigation.

Pande had earlier hit headlines in 2006 when he had announced a Rs 51-crore “reward” to kill late M F Hussain for allegedly making “obscene” paintings of Hindu goddesses.





Kerala governor clears state information commission appointments

T Ramavarman, TNN | Jun 6, 2012, 05.25AM IST

KOCHI: Acting governor H R Bharadwaj has cleared the appointment of two new members to the State Information Commission, despite criticisms that they are political nominees. The new members – Vithura Sasi and Kuriyas Kumbalakuzhi – are likely to be sworn in on June 13, according to commission sources.

Sources told TOI here that Bharadwaj, who is also the governor of Karnataka, had informed the commission of his inability to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new members.

He has asked Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Siby Mathews to go ahead with the swearing-in in consultation with the new member-designates.

With this the number of members in the State Information Commission (SIC) will go up to six, including the CIC.

Civil society groups in the state had earlier objected to the appointment of new members alleging that the government had not followed any selection process in appointing them and that both of them had political links.

General secretary of Human Rights Defence Forum D B Binu had urged the governor to return the recommendation for appointment of the two politicians as State Information Commissioners.

The selection committee which made the recommendation is headed by chief minister Oommen Chandy while leader of the opposition V S Achuthanandan is a member.

The forum had filed a writ petition before the high court, seeking a fair and reasonable procedure affording opportunity to all qualified and interested persons in the state to apply for the posts of information commissioners.

The case is still pending before the high court.

Interestingly, the previous LDF government had also faced criticisms when it appointed Soni B Thengamom, to the commission – though he had resigned all his Communist Party of India party positions just before the nomination.






Parties can seek info under RTI: CIC

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, June 06, 2012

Supreme Court (SC) registry can no longer avoid parting with information about petitions filed, saying it does not come under the purview of RTI Act. The Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled that the parties involved in the case/s can seek information related to their case/s under RTI Act.

When T Jhansi Lakshmi’s special leave petition was not listed for hearing even after more than 75 days, she filed an RTI query with the SC registry.

She sought to know from the Public Information Officer (PIO) the genuine reason as to why her SLP was not listed. However, both the PIO and the Appellate Authority (AA) denied it, stating that the inspection or search of judicial records can be undertaken only by following prescribed rules and orders of the apex court and not under RTI.

When chief information commissioner Satyananda Mishra upheld the right to demand information about a petition under Act, the registry’s PIO and the AA pointed out that she was not a party to the litigation, instead her husband was.

The decision has come as a ray of hope for several RTI applicants filing queries with the SC registry as most of them have faced similar situation.






New bench may fast-track hearing on DLF row over CCI fine

Published on Tue, Jun 05, 2012 at 17:00 |  Source : CNBC-TV18

The Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) is considering fast-tracking the hearing into DLF ‘s appeal against the CCI order. The Compat has decided to bring forward the dates of the case to June 27 from July 18.

As one would recall following the retirement of former Compat chairman Justice Arijit Pasayat last month, it was decided that a new bench would re-hear the case led by the newly appointed chairman Justice VS Sirpurkar. This meant that the final Compat order on the much-awaited case would be delayed.

Sources say that the DLF case would now be among the first to be heard when Compat reopens on June 25 after the short summer break.

On 12 August last year, the Competition Commission of India slapped DLF with a penalty of Rs 630 crore for alleged abuse of its dominant position and passed a ‘cease and desist’ order over unfair conditions imposed by DLF on buyers of its flats. Then late August,CCI passed another separate order in which it again cautioned DLF not to misuse its dominant position but did not impose any penalty.

DLF, in turn, challenged the CCI directive on various grounds to Compat, including the jurisdiction of the case, the basis for determining relevant market and dominant position, as well as not being served with show-cause notices before the CCI penalty was announced.

The penalty was imposed following an inquiry based on complaints filed by the flat buyer associations’ of two separate DLF projects in Gurgaon, DLF Park Palace and The Belaire. The associations complained that there were delays in the projects and that DLF had increased the number of floors from what was initially planned, among other things.





Rajasthan Government reinstates suspended Bharatpur Collector

Special Correspondent

Following a stay granted by Central Administrative Tribunal

In a quiet move following a stay granted by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), the Congress-led Government in Rajasthan has reinstated former Bharatpur Collector Krishna Kunal who was suspended for his failure to control communal violence at Gopalgarh on September 14 last year. Mr. Kunal had ordered police firing on a mosque in the town in which 10 people were killed.

A Division Bench of the CAT here earlier this week granted an interim stay on Mr. Kunal’s suspension on the technical ground of the suspension orders not being accompanied by the departmental or disciplinary inquiry. The suspended Collector had contended that no probe was contemplated or pending against him.

The State Government issued orders for Mr. Kunal’s reinstatement over the week-end reportedly after Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot reviewed the matter and gave a green signal for withdrawal of suspension. Mr. Kunal has been asked to wait for his new posting orders and register his presence in the Personnel Department as of now.

Ten people praying inside the Jama Masjid at Gopalgarh were killed and 38 injured on September 14, 2011, when the police resorted to indiscriminate firing on the mosque amid tension between Gujjars and Meo Muslims. Some of the policemen allegedly joined the armed Gujjar mob which stormed into the mosque and lynched the worshippers.

The CAT’s directive staying the operation of the September 28, 2011 suspension order and the December 22, 2011 order by which the suspension was extended for 180 days was an interim in nature. The CAT issued notices in the case and posted it for hearing on June 13.

The State Government’s decision to revoke Mr. Kunal’s suspension on the basis of the CAT’s interim stay has led to shock and outrage among the social activists and Muslim groups here. The “hushed manner” in which a legal loophole was left for the benefit of the suspended Collector has especially caused indignation among the informed circles.


The Rajasthan Muslim Forum and Rajasthan unit of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind have accused Mr. Gehlot of denying justice to the victims of police firing. They said the ruling Congress’ decisions after the firing to hand over investigation to the CBI and suspend the Collector and Superintendent of Police were meant to “deceive the people”.

JUH State general secretary Abdul Wahid Khatri pointed out that the next of kin of those killed in the firing had lodged as many as 12 FIRs against Mr. Kunal and the then SP, Hinglaj Dan, with the charges of murder. Strangely, the CBI has neither taken up any of these FIRs for probe nor arrested any of the policemen who sprayed bullets on the mosque.

Mr. Khatri said the Collector’s reinstatement went against the principle of rule of law.

“The State Government should have sought a legal opinion for an appeal against the CAT’s interim stay or corrected the lapse on [the basis of] which the order was passed. On the contrary, it has used the stay as a ploy to revoke the guilty officer’s suspension.”

Rajasthan Muslim Forum convenor Qari Moinuddin wondered as to what prevented Mr. Gehlot from ordering a departmental inquiry against the accused Collector when he believed that he had ineptly handled the Gopalgarh incident: “From Mr. Gehlot’s conduct, it is clear that he does not want to punish those guilty of carrying out one of the most horrific massacres in Rajasthan.”

The Muslim groups alleged that Mr. Kunal had been reinstated to defeat the spirit of this past week’s order of the Rajasthan High Court instructing the CBI Director to monitor the probe into the Gopalgarh violence and submit the progress report in the court. “The way the ruling Congress is resorting to various tactics to obstruct justice is outrageous. The [State] Government is acting against the constitutional mandate to uphold the rule of law,” said Mr. Moinuddin.

Muslim groups, which have been demanding Mr. Gehlot’s removal ever since the Gopalgarh violence, have sought an appointment with Governor Margaret Alva to draw her attention to the State Government’s conduct and seek action in accordance with the constitutional provisions.

Independent investigations carried out by civil rights groups, including the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, had pointed to “collusion” between the local police, an aggressive section of the Gujjar community and some local RSS, Bajrang Dal and VHP leaders during the violence. The PUCL report stated that some self-styled Hindu leaders had “pressured Mr. Kunal into ordering the firing.”





HC To Rule On SAC’s Suo Moto Powers Today

Srinagar, June 05: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court is to outline the jurisdiction of the State Accountability Commission (SAC) on Wednesday in a simultaneous hearing of around 35 high-profile cases involving former ministers, bureaucrats and businessmen.

The cases challenging the authority of the SAC to take suo moto action have been pending in the High Court for over five years, with a large number of lawyers defending petitioners targeted by the Commission.

In one of the petitions – pertaining to minister for co-operatives Manohar Lal Sharma – Justice JP Singh had directed that all cases involving the SAC would be heard by Justice Hasnain Masoodi.

According to sources, with the assistance lawyers, Justice Masoodi has sorted and classified the cases according to their nature, noting that most involved the authority of the SAC to take suo moto action.

Justice Masoodi has decided to take this category of cases up first in an en masse hearing tomorrow.

Observers feel that the High Court ruling would delineate the jurisdiction of the State Accountability Commission to initiate action on its own.

The high-profile names figuring in the cases include former deputy chief minister Mangat Ram Sharma, former health minister Suman Lata Bhagat, her PRO Vikas Bahl, former education minister Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed, cooperatives minister Manohar Lal Sharma, former DIG Satvir Gupta, commissioner secretary Atul Duloo, former minister and MLA Doda Abdul Majeed Wani, former district development commissioner for Rajouri Sheikh Rafiq Ahmad, former commissioner secretary for the animal husbandry department Dr. Deen Muhammad, former vice chairman of the Jammu Development Authority Ashok Parmar, PWD executive engineer Dharamveer Koul, police inspector Jhumroo Singh, and the former secretary of the J and K housing board Farhat Qureshi. Observer News Service



LEGAL NEWS 05.06.2012

States fail to submit report on asbestos safeguards to NHRC

Press Trust of India / New Delhi June 05, 2012, 19:05


Except for Mizoram and Nagaland, none of the states have submitted the mandatory reports sought by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on safeguards they have put in place relating to exposure to asbestos, forcing it to extend the deadline for the second time.

The Commission has now asked the states and other concerned authorities to submit the report within six weeks, a release issued by the NHRC said today. The NHRC has issued this order on May 21.

“Most of the authorities in Centre and states/Union Territories have failed to submit requisite reports to the NHRC on safeguards they have put in place relating to exposure to asbestos. Only the states of Mizoram, Nagaland and the National Institute of Occupational Health Ahmedabad have submitted the reports,” it said.

The NHRC had given six months time for submitting reports and on March 5 this year, they were given another six weeks’ extension when most of them failed to give the requisite reports.

The Commission had asked them to share with it the information on the action taken by them with regard to the Supreme Court judgment on exposure to asbestos.

The Supreme Court had asked the central and state governments to review safeguards in relation to primary as well as secondary exposure to asbestos.

The Commission had taken cognisance of a complaint in July 2011 alleging that about 50,000 people die every year in the country due to asbestos related cancer.

The complainant had sought Commission’s intervention for a ban on the use of chrysotile asbestos (white asbestos), which is hazardous to health of people and causes various incurable diseases.

The white asbestos is a fibrous material used for building roofs and walls, among others.





NHRC public hearing in Chennai to deal with grievances of SCs

PTI | 03:06 PM,Jun 05,2012

New Delhi, Jun 5 (PTI) National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will hold a three-day public hearing in Chennai to deal with grievances of Schedules Castes on August 7. Those belonging to SC category who have a complaint of atrocity committed by a public servant or of negligence by a public servant in prevention of atrocity can send their complaints to the Commission by June 25. The complaints deemed fit for enquiry shall be taken up at the public hearing, the Commission said. PTI CORR SJY SCY





HC advocate petitions NHRC against CBI in Jagan’s case

Monday, 4 June 2012

Hyderabad, June 04:

An advocate of Andhra Pradesh High Court has petitioned National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) against the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
for violating all constitutional rights and also discretionary power conferred by CrPC by arresting YSR Congress Party president Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy in connection with the the disproportionate assets case, here on May 27.
Advocate P Sai Krishna Azad told UNI here today that the NHRC had admitted his petition filed on June 1 and said Jagan was a law abiding person who always cooperated
with the CBI. Mr Azad contended in his petition that the investigating agency did not have the powers to kill the freedom of expression and it acted as ultra vires in this case.
The Indian Constitution has guaranteed the fundamental rights under Article 19 and 21, he said, and alleged that the CBI was acting with malafide intention influenced by
the state and union government. He prayed the commission to issue a direction to the
Centre to take action against the CBI and also direct the Centre and Andhra Pradesh Government to take up the matter seriously as a president of a particular party was arrested before election which prevented him from campaign.





Shah Commission starts hearing corruption charges against Modi

Agencies : Ahmedabad, Tue Jun 05 2012, 11:29 hrs

The inquiry commission set up by the Gujarat government to probe charges of corruption levelled by Opposition parties against Chief Minister Narendra Modi began its hearing yesterday.

Retired Supreme Court Judge M B Shah is the chairman of the one-member Commission appointed by the state government on August 17, 2011.

Making its case against Modi, People’s Union for Civic Liberties demanded that the state government should furnish details about the land given to various industrial houses and also sought to know whether rules were followed while allotting the plots.

Special public prosecutor appointed by the Gujarat government, Bhaskar Tanna, argued that the charges made against the chief minister were baseless as the state government allotted land as per the rules.

Media was not allowed inside the court room.

Further hearing would be held by the Commission next Monday.

The Modi government had set up the Commission in the wake of Opposition Congress submitting a memorandum to President Pratibha Patil in June 2011 alleging that the state government under Modi had indulged in large scale corruption and favouritism to industrial houses.

The terms of reference of the Commission include inquiry into the allegations of Congress regarding favouritism toward certain industrial houses, state government’s negligence in this regard, if any, and any other allegation that the Commission deems fit to inquire.

The Commission has also to study the manner in which land had been allocated to industry and analyse all tax concessions given vis-à-vis other states with Gujarat.

The Commission will also look into post-1980 role of successive Gujarat governments in giving special relaxations to industrial houses.

The terms of the Inquiry Commission are comprehensive and include all points raised by the Congress party in its memorandum to the President.

The 15-point charter of allegations handed over to the Inquiry Commission includes conducting inquiry in allegation that land had been given to industries near the state capital at Gandhinagar at very low prices; that Rs 33,000 crore concession given to the Tata’s Nano car project for relocation from Singur in West Bengal to Sanand.

It also includes allegations over the land allotment to Adani Industrial House for Mundra Port and Mundra SEZ.





Green nod for Chettinadu power project suspended

P. V. Srividya

Ministry told to commission study of all proposed thermal power plants along coast

Suspending the environmental clearance (EC) given to the Chettinadu Power Corporation’s 1200-MW power project in Tharangambadi taluk of Nagapattinam district, the National Green Tribunal has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to commission a Cumulative Impact Assessment study of all proposed thermal power plants along the district coastline here within one year.

In its May 30 order, the Tribunal has also asked the MoEF to consider all related clearances for any project under the Environment Protection Act simultaneously to avoid piecemeal evaluation of its impact on ecology and environment.

Disposing of an appeal against the Environmental Clearance given for the 1200 (2×600) MW thermal power plant, the NGT censured MoEF and its Experts Appraisal Committee (EAC) for blatant oversights during the grant of the EC.

The Principal Bench’s order came on an appeal filed by Ossie Fernandes of Coastal Action Network, Vangakadal Meen Thozhilalar Sangam, and fishermen S. Chitravel and T. Kumar.

The Bench criticised the terrestrial ecology study that denied the existence of Olive Ridley Turtles in the area as opposed to the data given by the Forest Department and two other study reports.

The MoEF, it said, had not verified the claims and simply relied on the presentations by the project proponent that did not even cite sources of study. Further, EIA’s denial of turtle sightings also raised doubts, the Bench observed.

Flaying the vast discrepancies between the draft EIA and final EIA, the Bench termed it “highly deplorable” practice that “needs to be checked critically by MoEF.”

“If such practice is allowed to continue, there is no need for holding public consultation because the very purpose of having transparency in the decision making process gets defeated,” read the judgment.

On the contention of cumulative impact of multitude of projects with captive ports proposed within a 10 km radius here, the Bench frowned upon the MoEF and its EAC for making only a cursory suggestion of common port/jetty, without adequately looking into environmental safeguards at the time of appraisal for EC.

Stating that the cumulative impact of discharge from the various projects was bound to adversely affect the carrying capacity of the environment and ecology, the Bench suggested a carrying capacity study “invariably in all cases where more than one project of similar or different nature” was involved.

The Bench also faulted the MoEF for adopting separate procedures for EC and CRZ clearance. Except for a generic summary on marine ecology, no comprehensive report was given by the project proponent at the time of appraisal, despite the requirements under Terms Of Reference (TOR).

However, a comprehensive report was given for CRZ clearance that was obtained subsequent to EC. This gave an impression that impact on marine ecology was not of concern for the EC while it mattered for CRZ clearance, observed the Bench.

All clearances, including EC, CRZ and others mandated under the EIA notification, 2006, and the Environment Protection Act should be considered simultaneously. Otherwise it would lead to “piecemeal analysis of environmental impact,” the Bench said.

However dismissing the appellants’ plea for scrapping the EC, the Bench stated that there was no clear case made out that the deficiencies resulted in clear and present ecological threat.

It disposed of the appeal with a direction that the project proponent shall update the EIA report on terrestrial and marine ecology and the MoEF shall appraise the project in the light of objections/suggestions received within six months.

The EC for the thermal plant shall stand suspended till a final decision was taken by the MoEF. The MoEF shall verify the compliance of the draft EIA with the TOR before it is uploaded on the Ministry’s website prior to the public hearing. Also, the final EIA will be evaluated with respect to TOR, draft EIA, and the objections raised during the public hearing by the EAC.





SC defines chargesheet quashing

June 5, 2012


New Delhi

A chargesheet filed in departmental proceeding cannot be quashed by courts unless it adversely affects the rights of the aggrieved employee, the Supreme Court has held.
“In fact, chargesheet does not infringe the right of a party. It is only when a final order imposing the punishment or otherwise adversely affecting a party is passed, it may have a grievance and cause of action.
“Thus, a chargesheet or show cause notice in disciplinary proceedings should not ordinarily be quashed by the court,” said a bench of justices B.S. Chauhan and Dipak Misra, in an order.
The bench passed the order while disposing of an appeal by the ministry of defence challenging a Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order quashing the chargesheet against one Prabhash Chandra Mirdha in a two-decade old bribery case.
“Law does not permit quashing of chargesheet in a routine manner. In case the delinquent employee has any grievance in respect of the chargesheet, he must raise the issue by filing a representation and wait for the decision of the disciplinary authority thereon.
“In case the chargesheet is challenged before a court/tribunal on the ground of delay in initiation of disciplinary proceedings or delay in concluding the proceedings, the court/tribunal may quash the chargesheet after considering the gravity of the charge and all relevant factors involved in the case after weighing all the facts, both for and against the delinquent employee, and must reach the conclusion which is just and proper in the circumstance,” the bench said.
The bench said chargesheet cannot generally be a subject matter of challenge as it does not adversely affect the rights of the delinquent unless it is established that the same has been issued by an authority not competent to initiate the disciplinary proceedings.





Get off drain, court tells hotel

TNN | Jun 5, 2012, 05.47AM IST

BANGALORE: The high court on Monday allowed a writ appeal filed by Gstaad Hotels Pvt Ltd, which is constructing a 17-storey star hotel in UB City, with regard to the khata controversy with the BBMP.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen directed the hotel not to appropriate the storm water drain running beside its property, without the Palike’s permission . The bench, however, permitted landscaping on the other side of the segregated parcel of land, which is separated by the SWD. The hotel management, in its appeal, challenged the April 19, 2012 order of the single bench, dismissing their petition.

The single bench had held that bifurcation of khata with respect to two pieces of land separated by the SWD doesn’t affect the right of the hotel, as the khata is only a fiscal entry enabling payment of property tax, and the SWD continues to be the property of the BBMP.

However, the hotel management, which claims to have invested Rs 500crore in the project , said the segregation reduces floor area ratio (FAR).

Sampangi moves HC

BJP MLA from Kolar Gold Fields Y Sampangi, who was sentenced to three-and-a-half years RI by a special Lokayukta court, moved a criminal revision petition in the HC. The plea will be taken up by Justice V Jagannathan on Tuesday.

He was jailed for allegedly accepting Rs 5-lakh bribe.





Nirmal baba seeks relief against CJM’s order

TNN | Jun 5, 2012, 02.54AM IST

LUCKNOW: The Delhi-based self proclaimed godman Nirmaljeet Singh Narula alias Nirmal Baba, filed a writ petition in the Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court seeking relief against the order of the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) through which an FIR was registered against him on charges of fraud.

The CJM order came on a petition filed by two students Tanya Thakur (16) and her brother Aditya (13) in Lucknow. In his petition, Baba has said that he is among renowned religious persons and denied all allegations against him. He has described CJM’s order as ‘legally incorrect’.

He has requested the High Court to quash the FIR and stay the arrest. The case will be heard on Tuesday by the bench of Justice Ashwani Kumar Singh and Justice SUZ Siddiqui.

Baba moved High Court after police investigating officer Rajesh Kumar Singh sent him a notice under Section 160 CrPC on May 16, 2012, asking him to present facts before May 24. Neeraj Jain is the counsel for Nirmal Baba while Neeraj Kumar and Tripurari Tripathi are counsel for Tanaya and Aditya.






Gulbarg Society massacre case: Special court pulls up special investigation team

TNN | Jun 5, 2012, 03.55AM IST

AHMEDABAD: The special court hearing the Gulbarg Society massacre case pulled up the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) over its reluctance in submitting its final report on Zakia Jafri’s complaint against chief minister Narendra Modi and others in connection with the 2002 riots.

Asking it to submit the report, designated judge B J Dhandha commented on the SIT’s approach, “What is there for the investigation agency to hide about its investigation?”

The SIT had earlier told the court to defer submission of its report before the trial court after the magisterial court, where the report was placed at the SC’s instance in February, took a final view regarding the closure summary. The SIT’s contention was rebutted by witnesses’ lawyer Salim Shaikh, who filed an affidavit in rejoinder stating that the proceeding over SIT’s final report may go on for years together before a magisterial court. Hence the process before the magistrate must not hinder the trial proceedings before the special court in connection with the Gulbarg Society case.

The witnesses have contended that they had been seeking arraignment of some police officers, including the then JCP M K Tandon and DCP P B Gondia and former investigator S S Chudasama.

Till date, the SIT was deferring the issue on the ground that further probe on SC’s direction was underway. Once the probe is over and evidence has been placed before the magisterial court, the SIT should place concerned document before trial court also, their counsel argued. Further proceeding on these issues will take place on June 18. And hearing on plea filed by witnesses seeking arraignment of cops has also been kept on the same day.





Notice to Gupta in libel case

TNN | Jun 5, 2012, 02.22AM IST

NEW DELHI: A trial court on Monday summoned Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta on the complaint of chief minister Sheila Dikshit seeking his prosecution for allegedly defaming her in the recent MCD elections.

Metropolitan magistrate Saumya Chauhan directed Gupta to appear in the court on June 22 to respond to Dikshit’s allegation. “I find it a fit case to call the respondent (Gupta) under Section 499/500 (criminal defamation) of the IPC. So the respondent is summoned for June 22,” the magistrate said.

Dikshit’s lawyer Mehmood Paracha, who was allowed to go through the order, told reporters that the court in its order has said that reputation is the most important thing for a person. The counsel had earlier told the court that the BJP leader is required to be summoned to ascertain if his defamatory remarks before the April 15 civil polls were to gain political mileage by maligning the chief minister. Dikshit had recorded her statement before the magistrate in the case on May 30.

She had filed the criminal defamation case alleging that the BJP leader used “uncivilised” language before MCD polls. The chief minister had also filed a civil suit in the Delhi High Court against Gupta for erecting hoardings across the city, accusing her government of conniving with private discoms and indulging in corruption in determining power tariff.






PIL filed against ‘Bharat Mata ki’ song from ‘Shanghai’

Subhajit Sengupta, Rohit Vats,

New Delhi: A petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court for an interim stay on the release of forthcoming Bollywood film ‘Shanghai’ until its controversial song ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ is removed from the film. Tejinder Bagga of Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena, has filed the petition, “We have problems with the words used in the song. Sone ki chidiya, dengue, malaria, gud bhi hai, gobar bhi, Bharat Mata ki jai. Bharat Mata is not a person, it’s not a political party, it’s not a system either. She is like a goddess to every Indian. In our national song Vande Mataram, she is compared to the goddess Durga. And, here she is told to be the home of such diseases, so, we have a strong objection to it.”

Tejinder Bagga also had a conversation with the singer-composer of the song Vishal Dadlani on micro blogging site Twitter, “I had a conversation with Vishal Dadlani, around a month ago, where I pleaded him to take out the objectionable words from the song. This doesn’t seem to be a mistake, it’s deliberate. Then he tweeted that Tejinder Bagga is threatening him. Then we thought probably he is seeking some cheap publicity, so we kept silence for one month before filing a police case. We want punishment for such people.”

“Vishal said you remove dengue, malaria from the country and I will remove these words from the song, then I asked him ‘is there any country in this world which is devoid of diseases, but is it fair to make any disease the identity of that country,'” asks Tejinder Singh Bagga.

Bagga further says, “We filed one FIR against the song. When a prominent media house asked Dibakar Banerjee about it, he said that he will follow whatever the Indian constitution says, but he should have the freedom of expression. This statement shows that Dibakar clearly knows that the song is hurting the people’s sentiments, but probably he is waiting for a controversy to evolve.”

This is not the first time when Tejinder Singh Bagga is in the news. Earlier, his name had featured in the Prashant Bhushan assault case. The court has still not given any decision on the controversy. ‘Shanghai’ is scheduled to hit the screens on June 8.





PCA: PIL wants more teeth for police body

Express news service : Chandigarh, Tue Jun 05 2012, 03:19 hrs

Seeking more teeth for the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), a public interest litigation was filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday. The petitioner, Advocate Arvind Thakur, has demanded that the authority should be given powers to pass directions to the Chandigarh Police so that its (authority) orders are implemented.

The petitioner contended that the Chandigarh Police is not complying with the recommendations of the complaints authority. Stating that the authority should not be reduced to a “complaint box”, the petitioner has sought directions in this regard.

The petitioner has also annexed various orders of PCA, ordering suspension against police officers, which have not been complied by the Chandigarh Police. The UT Home Secretary and PCA have been made respondents in the petition.

The vacation bench of the High Court adjourned the case to July to let it come up for hearing before a regular bench.

‘Issue recorded warning to SI’

CHANDIGARH: The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) has requested the UT Inspector General of Police to issue a recorded warning to a Sub-Inspector for helping a violator.

The complainant, Chander Singh, a first-floor resident of a house in Sector 47, had alleged that Usha Rani, who had been allotted the ground floor in the same building, encroached upon and covered the courtyard and constructed a room. Chander filed a civil suit as the illegal construction affected his privacy, and the court ordered demolition in December 1999. Usha left the house and the new owner, Upinder Gupta, again raised the construction.

Chander again filed a civil suit and a complaint with police alleging that Gupta raised the unauthorised construction in connivance with and in the presence of SI Charanjit Singh, posted at Sector 31 Police Station. Chander even showed court orders to the Sub-Inspector, but he did not listen to him. However, a case under section 107/150 of the CrPc was registered against the complainant and a neighbour.

It was alleged that Gupta then started creating nuisance and his family members starting throwing stones and hurled filthy abuses. They also used the house for commercial purposes by placing a wood cutter. The cutter was removed after some residents complained to the SSP.

The PCA order reads, “It is found that SI Charanjit Singh has not acted fairly. He has abused his position by helping the violator in encroachment and in creating nuisance and quarrel.”






IT capital is also a killer of lakes

BANGALORE: There was a time when unfiltered, clear water from the 625 lakes of Bangalore used to be supplied to homes for drinking. Bangalore was then a pensioners’ town. One huge lake for instance, Dharmambudhi, supplied a major share of the drinking water. Today this lake lies buried under Bangalore’s biggest bus terminus Kempegowda.

Most of the lakes, some dating back to the 16th century, died a slow death. Many were poisoned by discharge of sewage and effluents and some were buried by landsharks. The Lake Development Authority (LDA) says around 100 water bodies have gone totally dry. More than 265 acres of lake area has been encroached. The remaining are in various stages of deterioration.

Only recently, a court order took note of the destruction and directed government agencies to mend things. But as things stand, this intervention might have come a bit late in the day.

Now, Bangalore’s drinking water needs are met by pumping about 900-925 million litres per day (MLD) from the Cauvery, 100 km away. Greater Bangalore has no water. High-rises, where most techies live, depend on watertankers that suck water out of illegal bore-wells. Tippegondanahally lake used to pump 143 MLD but supply is down to 25 MLD now, because upstream inlets are blocked by encroachments. Water lost in distribution to Bangalore is 30% , nearly 270 MLD.

Bangalore reached this sorry state after encroachments, especially from real-estate giants, killed the water bodies. No agency stopped this. One problem was that there were too many agencies involved. There was the forest department, the municipality ( BBMP), the water supply and sewage board (BWSSB) and the LDA. Even if residents wanted to complain, chances were that they wouldn’t know who to approach.

An Institute for Social and Economic Change research report last year said data on lakes is missing from important government agencies. This points to corruption in these departments.

Among those that remain, most are classified ‘dead’. There’s barely any oxygen and dead fish can often float on the surface. Residential areas discharge their untreated sewage in these lakes. In the 1980s, the state made efforts to protect lakes, crucial as they were to Bangalore’s growing needs. They served as home to migratory birds. But unplanned urbanization led to dislocation of lake communities (agrarian, fishing and grazing) that protected and maintained these commons. It had a debilitating effect on surface and groundwater.

In 2004, the LDA invited private companies to develop and maintain the water bodies for 15 years. They’d help desilt and dredge the water bodies, ensure sewage diversion, build treatment plants and landscaping. But in 2008, the Environmental Support Group filed a PIL in Karnataka High Court. They contended that leasing out of the lakes (four had been leased out) was against norms. The water bodies, they said, were in prime areas and their privatisation benefiited only hoteliers and builders.

The court disposed of the PIL on April 11, 2012 with a list of directions. It ordered removal of unauthorized constructions within 30 metres of a lake’s periphery. Officers were made incharge and directed to hold regular meetings with LDA and take effective steps to protect Bangalore’s lakes.

BWSSB chairman Gaurav Gupta said, “BBMP and BDA send proposals on lake maintenance to LDA, which focuses on an approach to keep them in good condition. There are issues of sewage disposal and recharging of channels, which we have to respond to. This process is taking place.”





Madras high court sets June 20 for final hearing on secretariat

TNN | Jun 5, 2012, 05.33AM IST

CHENNAI: The case concerning the new assembly-cum-secretariat project will be taken up for final hearing by the Madras high court on June 20.

A decision was taken by a division bench comprising Justices D Murugesan and K K Sasidharan on Monday, after advocate-general A Navaneethakrishnan informed the court that the present government’s plan to convert the facility into a hospital and medical college had been given environmental clearance by the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority. Now that the clearance had been given, the interim order restraining authorities from doing any alteration on the building should be vacated, he said.

P Wilson, senior counsel for the petitioner submitted that the PIL had raised several issues other than the environmental clearance. The bench, noting that the matter needed detailed deliberations, posted the matter to June 20 for final hearing.





Notice to CM for delay in framing of water meter rules

TNN | Jun 5, 2012, 02.31AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court has sought to know the stands of chief minister Sheila Dikshit, as Delhi Jal Board chairperson, and DJB’s CEO on a plea for launch of contempt of court proceedings against them for their alleged failure to frame rules on installation of water meters. Justice Vipin Sanghi also issued show-cause notices to DJB member (finance) and member (water), seeking their replies by November 9 on the contempt plea, made by an association of water meter manufacturers.

According to the association, the single bench on January 25 had directed DJB to frame rules relating to installation fee and rent to be paid for use, maintenance and testing of water meters, but no rules have been framed so far.

“Initiate contempt proceedings against contemnors for deliberate and intentional breach of the judgment dated January 25 and punish them in accordance with the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act,” the petitioners said, claiming the Board has deliberately ignored a court order. Earlier, the single judge had asked the DJB to place before it the rules and regulations and in case the DJB hasn’t made the rules, to frame the same in eight weeks and inform the court.

The water meter manufacturers had said in their plea that the consumers were allowed by a division bench of HC to purchase water meters from the open market but DJB had no comprehensive guidelines relating to the usage and installation of the same.

“On a PIL by the RWA of Rajendra Nagar, the division bench had allowed consumers to purchase water meters from the open market and had asked DJB to frame comprehensive guidelines relating to the usage and installation fee…” the meter manufacturers said.






CBI files closure report in horse trading case against Ajit Jogi

TNN | Jun 5, 2012, 04.08AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a closure report in the case of alleged horse trading against Congress leader Ajit Jogi where it was claimed that he and his son attempted to bribe BJP MLAs after the assembly elections in Chhattisgarh in 2003.

CBI sources said the agency took the step after obtaining the opinion of the attorney general and had filed the closure report some time back. The sources, however, did not give details of the report or when it was filed.

In 2008, the CBI had written to the law ministry that there was no provision either under the Indian Penal Code or Prevention of Corruption Act under which the Congress MP could be prosecuted.

On December 9, 2003, the CBI had registered a case under Prevention of Corruption Act against Jogi, his son Amit and defected BJP MP P R Khunte for allegedly trying to bribe BJP MLAs after the assembly elections in the state. Jogi is alleged to have bribed BJP leaders to prevent the saffron party from forming the government after the assembly polls.

However, after scrutinizing the statements of Jogi and the available provisions under the law, the CBI came to the conclusion that no case could be registered against him as he was a “caretaker” chief minister at the time of the alleged crime and he, therefore, could not come under the category of public servant, the sources said.





Khalil Ahmed, Dawood’s alleged aide, refused bail

New Delhi, June 04, 2012

Khalil Ahmed, an alleged aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, was on Monday refused bail by a Delhi court in a 2009 case of alleged attempt to extort money from a businessman in New Delhi. Chief metropolitan magistrate Vinod Yadav denied bail to Ahmed. Khalil had sought bail on the ground that the Indian Penal Code provides a maximum punishment of seven years for the offence of extortion and he has spent a substantial period in judicial custody, pending trial.

His counsel also said argued all the prosecution witnesses in the case have already been examined and there is no likelihood of Ahmed threatening any witness.

The court, however, noted the argument of the prosecution that Khalil was not given bail in December, 2011, by a sessions court which had considered the merits of the case, his conduct and the societal impact that is going to be caused if he is granted bail.

“I find substance in arguments of the prosecution that although the accused has undergone substantial sentence as an undertrial, his bail was dismissed by the sessions court on merits,” the CMM said.

The court also noted the submission of the prosecution that Khalil’s conduct inside the jail was not acceptable and it could only be imagined what he may resort to if he is granted bail.

Businessman Qmar Ahmed had alleged that on February 16, 2009, when he was in his shop with his partner, two persons came and handed over a mobile phone to him forcing him to speak to Khalil. Khalil allegedly demanded Rs. 10 lakh as extortion money and threatened to kill him and his family if his demand was not met.

Khalil was booked under stringent MCOCA on the charge of running an organised crime syndicate but was absolved of the charge by the sessions court and the Delhi high court.

The police had accused him of being involved in 34 cases of extortion, dacoity, kidnapping, murder, intimidation and attempt to murder from 1985 to 2009.





Aarushi case: Hearing adjourned till June 8–Aarushi-case-Hearing-adjourned-till-June-8-.html

Uttar Pradesh,Crime/Disaster/Accident,Immigration/Law/Rights, Mon, 04 Jun 2012 IANS

Ghaziabad, June 4 (IANS) A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ghaziabad Monday adjourned the hearing in the Aarushi-Hemraj double murder case till June 8.

Central Bureau of Investigation Special Judge S. Lal put off the hearing after the Bar Association of Ghaziabad decided to suspend work following the death of a lawyer.

Aarushi’s parents, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, are being tried for the 2008 murders.

Aarushi, 14, was found murdered at her parents’ Noida residence May 16, 2008. The body of her domestic help Hemraj was found the next day on the terrace of the house.

The CBI court had May 25 formally framed charges against the Talwars.

The court charged the Talwars under sections 302/34 (murder with common intention) and 201 (destruction of evidence with common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). In addition to these, the court charged Rajesh Talwar under section 203 (giving false information respecting an offence committed) of IPC.






Watch out for cyber bullies


It’s time to take a closer look at this form of cyber crime in India

The suicide of Tyler Clementi, the 18-year-old New Jersey student in 2010, had triggered a strong debate on invasion of privacy in the cyber age.

His roommate, an Indian student, captured the boy kissing another man in their hostel using his web camera.

The boy jumped into a river unable to take the humiliation, when the former tried to circulate the clip. Though the court refused to link the recording with the death, it sentenced the Indian youth to 30 days in prison last month.

What Clementi was subjected to is cyber bullying, argued those who campaigned for the Indian student’s deportation.

Along with other cyber crimes, cyber bullying is on the rise in India too. The fledgling cyber police wings in different states are being flooded with complaints of invasion of privacy, blackmail and circulating electronic messages that cause annoyance.

· Ms Aparna (name changed) was aghast when a close friend called her up about a nude picture of her being circulated on the web. A quick check pointed the needle of suspicion at a friend who she had just spurned. Angered by her rejection, the boy morphed her picture, checked into her email account and sent it to all the people in the contact list.

After finding Facebook not so amusing, Sujatha (name changed) decided to close her account and discussed this with a few friends too. A few days later, she found both her FB and gmail accounts compromised. She also found obscene pictures posted on the same.

Legal issues

Incidents like these are growing sharply with poor knowledge among users abut how to protect accounts. Sharing one’s passwords with others too is proving dangerous.

Prof. Madabhushi Sridhar, a cyber laws expert at NALSAR University, says the crimes cited above come under the bracket of invasion of privacy.

He says Section 66A in the amended IT Act deals with these crimes. Sending any message (through a computer or a communication device) that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; any communication which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing insult, annoyance, criminal intimidation comes under this section. This crime, he says, is punishable up to three years with a fine.

Prof. Sridhar, who has just completed a book on cyber laws, feels that punishments under the IT Act are insufficient. “They should be read with the Indian Penal Code. This will be an effective method to check cyber crimes,” he says.

Prof. Sridhar also represents the Institute of Global Internet Governance and Advocacy (GIGA) at the Law University. GIGA conducts research on the Internet and takes up advocacy and training programmes on Internet Governance.

“We already have anti-voyeurism provisions in the IT Act under Sec. 66E,” Mr Sunil Abraham, Executive Director of Centre for Internet and Security, says.

This offence is punishable with ‘imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine not exceeding two lakh rupees, or with both.’

Repeated harassment aka cyber bullying can be addressed using the already over-broad provisions under Sec. 66A. Unfortunately this Section goes too far and can be used to censor legitimate speech.

“Security and privacy awareness in India is very poor. It would be very useful if both the government and civil society was more aggressive in awareness raising and triggering change in behaviour. Unfortunately this is a bit like smoking – even though people are aware of the issues – they engage in risky behaviour online,” he says.

Lack of data

MR Pavan Duggal, Chairman of Cyber Law Committee and Cyber laws expert, said there is no specific data on cyber crime in India and the data available with the NCRB (National Crimes Records Bureau) of around 900 cases for overall cybercrime is also doubtful.

“The solution is to make cyber laws more strict as current law under IT Act 2000 is a bailable offence with three years imprisonment and a fine,” he points out.

“IT Act 2000 has to be re-amended to specific provisions pertaining to cyber bullying. Further, cyber bullying needs to be made a serious offence with minimum five years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10 lakh. Unless you have deterrence in law it will be a continuing offence,” he observes.

Fortunately, there are some safeguards which can help prevent such acts of cyber offences. In most cases, the acts of bullying or blackmailing are done by someone close to the victims. People should make it a point to keep their Internet identities very safe.

One should not disclose their identities such as passwords or hint questions to anyone – no matter how close they are. Parents should keep an eye on their children who are addicted to the Internet. They should inform and educate their children on the clear and present dangers that lurk on the Net.

They should also teach the importance of respecting others’ privacy apart from taking precautions to keep their private space very safe.

(with inputs from Ronendra Singh)




Adarsh scam: CBI fails to file chargesheet, Jairaj Phatak & Ramanand Tiwari seek bail

Rebecca Samervel, TNN | Jun 5, 2012, 02.09AM IST

MUMBAI: Former civic chief Jairaj Phatak and ex-state information commissioner Ramanand Tiwari, arrested in the Adarsh housing society scam, filed for bail in the special CBI court on Monday after the investigating agency failed to file the chargesheet within the stipulated 60-day period. Phatak and Tiwari have been in custody since their arrest on April 3. The matter will be heard on Wednesday.

The bail application filed by Pathak’s lawyer Swapna Kode states that he is entitled to be released the chargesheet was not filed within 60 days and the stipulated period came to an end on Monday at 3pm, he is entitled to be released on bail.

“All the said offences are punishable for less than 10 years and… therefore the CBI ought to have filed the chargesheet within 60 days from the date of his production before this court,” states the bail application filed by Pathak’s lawyer Swapna Kode. All accused have been charged with criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act.

Last week, the court granted bail to seven of the other accused on same grounds. Special CBI judge M V Kulkarni granted bail to Maj Gen (retd) A R Kumar, Maj Gen (retd) T K Kaul, Brig (retd) M M Wanchu, former collector Pradeep Vyas, former sub-divisional superintendent of the defence estate office R C Thakur (one of the main promoters of the Adarsh housing society), former deputy secretary of the state urban development department P V Deshmukh and former Congress MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani (the chief promoter of Adarsh). Their sixty day period ended earlier as they were arrested on March 20 and 21.





Second defence counsel withdraws in siblings’ murder case

V. S. Palaniappan

Rajendran, defence counsel for Manoharan, the second accused in the siblings’ murder case has withdrawn from the case citing personal reasons. He was the second defence counsel to withdraw from the case.

On October 30, 2010, a 10-year-old girl and her seven-year-old brother, children of a textile merchant from the city, were abducted by a van driver, who used to transport the children to the school. Originally, the abduction was planned for ransom, subsequently the accused Mohanakrishnan along with his accomplice Manoharan, sexually abused the girl and drowned both the girl and her brother in the PAP contour canal. The bodies were recovered subsequently and the accused were secured by the police. Cases were registered against both of them under sections 120 B (Conspiracy), 364 A (kidnap for ransom), 376 (sexual assault) and 302 (murder) and 201 (concealment of evidence) of Indian Penal Code. On November 8, 2010, the City Police took custody of the accused.

On November 9, 2010 morning, while being taken to the scene of crime to record statements, the police shot the first accused to death. Police said that the encounter was reportedly in a bid to foil his attempt to kill the police officials and escape to Kerala.

With the death of the first accused, charges abated against him and the trial was on against the second accused Manoharan. The lawyers in Coimbatore resolved not to appear for the accused in the trial. Meanwhile, nearly 121 prosecution witnesses were listed and 60 documents marked as material evidences besides filing of a 500-page charge sheet in the case.

However, according to the legal requirements, the District Aid Legal Services Authority appointed a counsel for Manoharan. The lawyer withdrew from the case, following difference of opinion between the defended accused and his counsel, sources said.

Legal Aid Services Authority then appointed another counsel Rajendran, who has also now withdrawn from the case citing personal reasons. The State had appointed a Special Public Prosecutor in the case to ensure undivided attention to bring about a logical conclusion to the case. Investigating Officer in the case, Inspector M. Kanagasabapathy said that prosecution side had completed its work and after appointment of another counsel by the legal services authority to defend the accused, the trial was likely to resume. Now, the trial before the Mahila Court Judge M.N. Subramanian has almost reached mid way and a verdict was expected within the next 40 to 60 days, sources expressed confidence.





Child Welfare Committee orders cops to book child’s employer

TNN | Jun 5, 2012, 02.20AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) on Monday ordered the police to register a case against the employers of a minor boy who had engaged him as a domestic servant for the past two months.

The bench directed police officials of the Madhu Vihar police station in east Delhi to register a case against the employers, who are property dealers and residents of IP Extension in east Delhi. The minor had been rescued on Saturday after he was discovered locked inside the employer’s house and crying.

The CWC has asked the police to register a case against the employers under section 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act, section 16 of the Bonded Labour act and section 344 (confinement for more than 10 days) and 374 (unlawful compulsory labour) under the Indian Penal Code. The child was produced at a CWC court on Monday and a written order was passed on the matter after the minor gave his statement.





Nothing is official here

Story Dated: Monday, June 4, 2012 10:17 hrs IST

The ease with which Dr Sudam Munde and Dr Saraswati Munde have repeatedly escaped the law suggests the nexus between authorities and doctors in Beed. Nationalist Congress Party legislator Vidya Chavan has a letter written by Parli Police Inspector Ramrao Gadekar on May 19 to the judicial magistrate first class of Parli Vaijnath requesting him to withdraw the charges filed against the doctors under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act and the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act.
Gadekar in his letter claimed, “There has been no written proof from the civil surgeon about framing the doctors under the Acts, and so it is requested that these charges be withdrawn.” A strange request, when the doctors were practising even after their clinic’s licence was cancelled. Accordingly, the couple was charged under section 304A of the Indian Penal Code and then released on bail.
Chavan alleged that support from Gopinath Munde, deputy leader of the BJP in the Lok Sabha, had shielded the doctors. “Saraswati considers Gopinath Munde as her brother. He inaugurated her hospital and Saraswati was a director of Vaijnath Bank founded by Gopinath Munde,” she wrote in a letter to the chief minister.
Activists said even the state health department had not been proactively pursuing the matter. “Why didn’t the health department take any action when social activist Varsha Deshpande has been pursuing the case for the last three years?” asked women’s rights activist Vidya Bal. Deshpande recalled how the doctor couple managed to get bail from the session court. “The public prosecutor remained absent and the couple was released on bail,” she said.
The Mundes’ sonography clinic is said to be registered under the name of a radiologist at a government hospital. “Sudam registered it under the name of Dr Anand Gitte, who is working at the sub district rural hospital in Parli. Gitte is the first accused in the case against the doctors in 2010. He has also signed consent letters for 12 other clinics in Parli. But, Gitte claimed he did not go to any of these places,” said lawyer Atul Tandale.





Justice Lokur sworn in as Supreme Court judge

Posted on: 04 Jun 2012, 03:46 PM

Justice Lokur now a Supreme Court judge

New Delhi: Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court Madan B. Lokur was Monday sworn in as a judge of the Supreme Court by Chief Justice of India (CJI) S.H. Kapadia.

Prior to his elevation, Justice Lokur was the chief justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. With his elevation to the Supreme Court, the strength of the apex court has gone up to 26, five short of the sanctioned strength of 31 judges.

Interestingly, this is the first time that a judge, on his elevation to the apex court, was administered the oath of office during the summer vacation.

Justice Lokur, as the Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, had headed the bench that recently quashed the 4.5 percent reservation in educational institutions and government jobs for Muslims within the existing reservation quota.







NBT can’t escape judicial writ: HC

June 5, 2012


New Delhi

The Delhi high court has held that the National Book Trust (NBT) is an “alter ego” of the government and is amenable to judicial reviews for its actions concerning fundamental rights as the state has all “pervasive control” on the publication body.
The National Book Trust, a registered society which is working for the last 50 years in the field of publication, took the plea that it does not fall under the definition of state under the Constitution and hence, no petition, for enforcing fundamental rights against it, was maintainable. A three-judge bench of acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri, Justices Hima Kohli and Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said “we, thus, conclude that National Book Trust is ‘other authority’ and thus, ‘State’ within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution.”
“No doubt, every autonomous body with some kind of government involvement cannot be construed to be ‘State’ within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution.
“However, when we find that NBT is within the tight grip of the government and the control of the government runs through at every stage right from the creation of NBT to the appointment of the members, to the fundings, to the appointment of various functionaries, to the controlling of the functioning through those appointed members and also through means of audit, etc.
“Further that the parameters within which NBT is to function and even when the amendments are to be carried out, there cannot be any other conclusion but to say that it is an alter ego of the government’s instrumentality,” Justice Sikri, writing the verdict, said.
The court judgment came on the petition which was referred to a larger bench by a single judge who took the view that NBT was not ‘State’ under the Constitution and hence, it was not amneable to writ jurisdiction.






Sampangi moves HC seeking bail

PTI | 02:06 PM,Jun 04,2012

Bangalore, Jun 4 (PTI) Jailed in a corruption case, BJP MLA Sampangi today moved the Karnataka High Court seeking bail and review of the Lokayukta court verdict. The matter will come up for hearing tomorrow before Justice Jagannathan. In the first-ever conviction of an elected representative of the people in Karnataka, Lokayukta court Judge N K Sudhindra Rao had on June 2 convicted and sentenced Sampangi to undergo more than three years rigorous imprisonment and slapped Rs 1 lakh fine, besides ordering extension of imprisonment by six more months in case he failed to pay up. Sampangi, who represents KGF assembly constituency, was caught by Lokayukta Police on January 29, 2009 while accepting Rs 50,000 in cash and Rs 4.5 lakh by cheque from Farooq, a businessman, to settle a civil dispute. Sampangi is lodged at Parappana Agrahara central prison on city outskirts.





J&K HC quashes detention of four persons

Srinagar, June 04, 2012

Jammu and Kashmir High Court has quashed the detention of four people, including senior leader of breakaway Hurriyat Conference (HC) Masarat Alam, detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA) for their alleged role in 2010 unrest in the valley.
A single bench of the high court comprising Justice Hasnain Masoodi directed the government to release all the detenues if they were not involved in any other offence.

The court gave the order on Saturday after hearing arguments from both sides on separate petitions filed the detenues, challenging their detention under the PSA.

Alam, considered a confidant of Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, was alleged to have provoked people to take to the streets and observe strikes in 2010, when more than 120 people, mostly youths, were killed in alleged firing by security forces.

The state government had slapped another detention order under the PSA against Alam in January this year after his earlier detention was quashed by the court.

The petitioner through his counsel, Mian Abdul Qayoom, had challenged his detention on several grounds, including the one that the latest detention order had the same grounds under which Alam was booked earlier which was quashed by the court.

The counsel for the petitioner said, “It is a well-settled law that after a detention order is quashed against a detainee, he cannot be detained again on the same grounds on which he was booked earlier.”

He pleaded before the court that the detention order passed against Alam in January 2012 was illegal, improper and unconstitutional and required to be quashed.

The court also quashed the detention orders of Ameer-e-Hamza, Nazir Ahmad Ganie and Waqar Ahmad Morkah.





Madras HC asks government to amend town planning act

A Subramani, TNN Jun 4, 2012, 02.03PM IST

CHENNAI: The Madras high court on Monday directed the Tamil Nadu government to make necessary amendments in the Town and Country Planning Act, to exempt hundreds of unauthorised buildings from demolition, within a period of two weeks.

The first bench comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam, declined advocate general A Navaneethakrishnan’s request to grant the government six months to bring about the amendment. The court asked the government to amend the Act by July 24.

The vexed issued of unauthorised constructions relates to hundreds of multi-storied commercial as well as residential buildings in Chennai and other parts of the state. There have been several attempts by the successive state governments to grant exemptions through the ordinance route. When the ordinances and acts were set aside by the high court, the state government approached the Supreme Court. After several rounds of litigation, the apex court had asked the high court to take a decision on the issue. The matter being remanded back to it, the high court had asked the government to come out with a policy on the subject.

On Friday, the Tamil Nadu government filed a counter-affidavit stating that it had decided to accept Justice S Mohan committee’s recommendations. As per the recommendations, all buildings constructed on or before July 1, 2007 would be eligible for exemption from demolition, subject to a set of guidelines which included fire service clearance and provision for parking facilities within 250 metres of the respective unauthorised building.

On Monday, the government filed a counter-affidavit disclosing its steps and policy decisions. It also wanted the court to grant six months to enable the government to table the matter before the assembly during the winter session and bring about the necessary amendment. However, granting only two months for the government to amend the Act, the high court posted the matter to July 24 for further hearing.





Kerala HC pulls up govt on cop-criminal nexus

TNN | Jun 5, 2012, 05.52AM IST

KOCHI: The state government was sharply criticized by the Kerala high court on Monday for sitting on former additional DGP Sibi Mathews’ report on police-criminal nexus for more than four years.

Considering a petition filed by former MLA Joseph M Puthussery, division bench of acting chief justice Manjula Chellur and justice A M Shaffique directed the government to file an affidavit explaining the action taken by the government on Mathews’ report highlighting nexus between police officials and criminals.

The court asked the government to tender an explanation about inaction after Joseph’s counsel Santhosh Mathew argued that not publishing the report was against public interest.

Government pleader P I Davis submitted to the court that government will take action in accordance with law and vigilance enquiry would be initiated against those police officials found guilty.





HC: Rs 29.26L for tree-fall deaths

June 5, 2012


The Madras high court on Monday directed the Chennai corporation to pay Rs 29.26 lakh as compensation to a youth for the death of his parents as a tree fell on their car while travelling on a public road in Purasawalkam in 2005.

Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar allowed the petition filed by K. Karthik, seeking compensation for the death of his father C. Krishnamoorthy, assistant director at the office of the Director, Highways Research Station, and mother K. Chithra, a school teacher.

According to the petitioner, while travelling in a Maruti car, an old big tree fell on the car on Alagappa Road at Purasawalkam on October 12, 2005, causing the instant death of his father and mother. The petitioner aged about 14 years escaped with minor injuries.

The fatal accident would not have taken place if the Chennai corporation had exercised proper care and caution and taken precautionary measures to cut and remove the old trees standing on both sides of the road, he added.

The judge said it was not in dispute that the petitioner’s father and mother died due to the falling of the tree. The postmortem report confirmed the nature of the death and an FIR was registered by the Kilpauk police.

An amount of Rs 50,000 each was sanctioned from the chief minister’s relief fund to kin of victims. If there was any dispute over the death, the chief minister’s relief fund could not have been sanctioned by the government.

It was well settled principle of law decided by the Supreme Court that if the facts were not in dispute, the legal heirs of the victims of riot, custodial killing or death due to negligence on the part of the state authorities can claim compensation. The trees standing on public streets vest with the corporation as per section 203 of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act.

As per Section 204, it was the duty of the corporation to maintain, repair and make all improvements, which were necessary for public safety and convenience. Hence, the corporation was responsible for not removing the dangerous trees for public safety.

The judge said during the corporation enumeration conducted immediately after the death of petitioner’s parents, it was found that 877 trees were to be cut and removed and 85 tress had fallen already including the one that fell on the car driven by petitioner’s father.

If the enumeration was conducted prior to the accident, the lives of the petitioner’s father and mother could have been saved.

Thus, there was negligence on the part of the officials of the corporation in not cutting and removing the dangerous trees and two precious lives were lost.

Therefore, the corporation was liable to pay compensation for the loss sustained by the petitioner on the basis of ‘vicarious liability’, the judge said and directed the corporation to pay Rs 29.26 lakh (Rs 22 lakh as compensation and Rs 7.26 lakh as interest).





999-year lease surprises CM Nitish Kumar

Bhuvaneshwar Prasad, TNN | Jun 5, 2012, 06.31AM IST

KISHANGANJ: The festering problems of forcible grabbing of Bhoodan and government land, serious glitches in teachers’ appointments and the nagging ‘Bijli, Sadak and Pani” which has lately rankled the district authorities surfaced at chief minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Durbar at Khagra Stadium on Monday on the second day of his three-day Seva Yatra to Kishanganj district.

“Land lease for 999 years?” exclaimed CM Nitish Kumar and asked how it was that such a land lease for 999 years was granted and, to cap it all, even registered. This question came up when Aarif Mohammad Abdullah of Rahmani Foundation urged the CM to ask the district authorities to lift the embargo over the use of their 285 acre plot of land at Shitalpur under Pothia police station in Kishanganj district which was imposed on May 6. The district authorities had imposed the embargo after armed tribals had upped their ante and threatened to forcibly enter the plot of land at Shitalpur.

The aforesaid plot of land, which reportedly includes 70 acres of Bhoodan land, belonged to Afzal Hussain who leased it out to Rahmani Foundation for the purpose of establishment of medical and engineering colleges when his bid to offer the same to Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) came a cropper. The CM was caught in a pincer. Many discordant voices were raised at the Janata Durbar where complainants insisted on release of Bhoodan and government land from the clutches of land mafia and tea gardeners.

A dismissed health department employee, Mohammad Badiduzzama caught the CM’s attention when he pointed how, despite Patna High Court’s order for his re-instatement and payment of arrears, the health authorities were dragging their feet. The Patna HC had ordered for his re-instatement on July 29, 2011. A ruckus was created when a number of aspirants for teachers’ jobs, both male and female, said they were running from pillar to post and even went on hunger strike but to no avail. They are awaiting their appointments since 2006.

A number of callers were summoned to a corner of the spacious Janata Durbar by the CM himself. They had a litany of complaints against the power officials’ shenanigans. The Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB) chairman and other top brass have promised to address their grievances in the CM’s presence.

The complainants, contrary to public perception, were not overpacked here on Monday. In all, 955 complaints were collected at the Janata Durbar, according to executive magistrate Ajay Kumar. The complaints related to land, power, appointment of teachers and BPL list. Ministers Vijay Kumar Chowdhury, Brijendra Yadav and P K Sahi and principal secretaries were on their toes as the CM interacted with people and listened to their grievances.






Ordinance reins in rogue policemen

M K Madhusoodan, TNN | Jun 5, 2012, 05.11AM IST

BANGALORE: Police in Karnataka will stop being a law unto themselves if a new ordinance is enforced strictly. The ordinance amends the Karnataka Police Act, 1963, to introduce a host of measures to ensure that the guardians of law don’t become its violators.
The ordinance, gazetted on June 1, empowers the state government to set up a security commission and complaints authorities at the state and district levels.
While the state security commission will ensure the police function within the framework of law, the complaints authorities will look into allegations of human rights abuses against police officers of all ranks.
The complaints authorities will work at two levels. While the state police complaints authority will look into complaints against officers of the rank of additional superintendent of police , superintendent of police and above, the district police complaints authorities will look into complaints against policemen and officers up to the rank of deputy superintendent.

Who will be on panels

The state complaints authority will have three members: a chairman selected from a panel of three retired HC judges set up on the recommendation of the high court chief justice; a retired public servant not below the rank of principal secretary; and a civil-society representative.
A district authority will comprise the regional commissioner, a retired civil service official and a civilsociety representative.
Complaints bodies can act suo motu

Bangalore: The allegations that will be looked into by complaints authorities pertain to serious misconduct including incidents involving death, grievous hurt or rape in police custody, and arrest or detention without following the due process of law. The complaints can also pertain to officers willfully breaching or neglecting any law, adversely affecting the rights of any member of the public.
The authorities can act suo motu or look into complaints received from a victim or any person action on his or her behalf, the NHRC, the SHRC or any other body. The complaints authorities will forward their findings to the competent disciplinary authorities for appropriate action. They will have the power of civil courts in summoning any person for examination.






Priest told to vacate Purana Qila premises

Abhinav Garg, TNN | Jun 5, 2012, 02.34AM IST

NEW DELHI: A mahant who had been living inside the Purana Qila for three decades was on Monday asked by Delhi high court to vacate the premises. A special bench dismissed Mange Ram Bharadwaj’s appeal and asked him to leave the premises as it is a centrally protected monument.

Bharadwaj had challenged the eviction notice of the estate officer, claiming he is the mahant of Sri Kunti Devi Mandir inside the Purana Qila area. He asserted that the government had no right to dispossess him of the temple. The petitioner claimed the temple on the land mentioned was 5,500 years old and was being maintained since 1880, the time of his great grandfather. He urged HC to rule in his favour, arguing he is performing puja in the temple since 1976.

Bharadwaj cited medieval-era revenue records to buttress his claim that the temple existed even then, and with the passage of time small rooms came up near the temple to serve as a guesthouse and for the priest. Though Purana Qila is a declared ancient monument, the temple in question hasn’t been declared so, nor has any attempt been made by the Archaeological Survey of India to acquire it, the priest further argued. He said his family owned the temple and the land it was built on.

On its part, the Centre argued that for some strange reason the priest escaped being evicted in 1962 when the Purana Qila area was vacated of refugees. This, however, didn’t give him the right to live in a centrally protected monument. More so, when he could not produce a single documentary proof to justify his claim.

The bench agreed with the Centre and concluded that Bharadwaj is an unauthorized occupant of a public premises. It, however, allowed the priest to offer prayers at the temple during public visiting hours, so that he may continue with the tradition.





Chargesheet Cannot be Quashed Ordinarily: SC


A chargesheet filed in departmental proceeding cannot be quashed by courts unless it adversely affects the rights of the aggrieved employee, the Supreme Court has held.

“In fact, chargesheet does not infringe the right of a party. It is only when a final order imposing the punishment or otherwise adversely affecting a party is passed, it may have a grievance and cause of action.

“Thus, a charge sheet or show cause notice in disciplinary proceedings should not ordinarily be quashed by the court,” said a bench of justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra, in an order.

The bench passed the order while disposing of an appeal by the Ministry of Defence challenging a Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order quashing the chargesheet against one Prabhash Chandra Mirdha in a two-decade old bribery case.

“Law does not permit quashing of chargesheet in a routine manner. In case the delinquent employee has any grievance in respect of the charge sheet, he must raise the issue by filing a representation and wait for the decision of the disciplinary authority thereon.

“In case the charge sheet is challenged before a court/ tribunal on the ground of delay in initiation of disciplinary proceedings or delay in concluding the proceedings, the court/ tribunal may quash the charge sheet after considering the gravity of the charge and all relevant factors involved in the case after weighing all the facts, both for and against the delinquent employee, and must reach the conclusion which is just and proper in the circumstance,” the bench said.

The bench said charge sheet cannot generally be a subject matter of challenge as it does not adversely affect the rights of the delinquent unless it is established that the same has been issued by an authority not competent to initiate the disciplinary proceedings.

The court said that “neither the disciplinary proceedings nor the chargesheet be quashed at an initial stage as it would be a premature stage to deal with the issues.

“Proceedings are not liable to be quashed on the grounds that proceedings had been initiated at a belated stage or could not be concluded in a reasonable period unless the delay creates prejudice to the delinquent employee,” it added.

The court also rejected the argument that disciplinary proceedings cannot be initiated by an authority lower than the appointing authority, though it agreed that the removal must be done by an authority above him or her

“It is permissible for an authority, higher than appointing authority to initiate the proceedings and impose punishment, in case he is not the appellate authority so that the delinquent may not loose the right of appeal.

“In other case, the delinquent has to prove as to what prejudice has been caused to him,” the bench said.

The apex court however, refused to interfere with the CAT’s order as affirmed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court, as certain material were not placed before it.

The bench also wondered as to why the Defence Ministry did not consider a fresh disciplinary proceedings against the delinquent employee and allowed the case to linger on for 20 years instead.

Mirdha while working as assistant foreman in the ordnance factory, Yeddumailaram, Andhra Pradesh was accused of accepting a bribe of Rs 4,150 out of the total alleged demand of Rs. 37,000 on August 3 1991 from M/s Teela International Limited, Hosur, Bangalore.

“There is nothing on record to show that the respondent delinquent is still in service and that even if the appellants are permitted to proceed with the inquiry, the evidence which was available 21 years ago would be available today,” the bench said.

Filed On: Jun 04, 2012 21:56 IST





2-year tenure for DGP

M K Madhusoodan, TNN | Jun 5, 2012, 05.38AM IST

BANGALORE: In a bid to avert recurrence of embarrassment at the time of appointing the head of police force, the government has issued an ordinance amending certain provisions of the Karnataka Police Act, 1963.

The ordinance dated June 1, titled Karnataka Police (Amendment) Ordinance of 2012, categorically lays down that those appointed as director general and inspector general of police shall have a tenure of not less than two years subject to superannuation. The chief shall be chosen from among three seniormost officers empanelled for promotion to that rank by the Union Public Service Commission on the basis of their duration of service, record and range of experience.

The ordinance also gives ample powers to the state government to transfer the chief before completion of tenure on the following grounds:

  • Conviction in criminal case or framing of charges by a court for corruption or moral turpitude
  • Incapacitation by physical or mental illness or unable to discharge his functions
  • Appointment to another post with his consent
  • Suspension, dismissal, removal , or compulsory retirement under service rules

Preliminary inquiry establishes prima facie case of misconduct or gross negligence.

The ordinance empowers the government to delegate powers or give directions as it deems necessary to the DG & IGP. It comes in the backdrop of a recent legal battle between two former DGPs, AR Infant and Shankar Bidari, both claiming they had the seniority and merit to head the force. Infant’s claim was upheld by the HC, while Bidari has now taken the battle to the SC.

Minimum tenure of a year

Transfers may no longer be the Damocles’ sword hanging above upright police officers. A new amendment has mandated that all police officers in charge of stations, circles and sub-divisions will enjoy a minimum tenure of one year in their posting. They can be transferred only under exceptional circumstances like conviction, incapacitation or on request. The ordinance also empowers the state government to notify the establishment of the Police Establishment Board for overseeing transfers, postings, promotions and other service-related matters of the officer of and below the rank of deputy superintendent of police.

Security commission

The state security commission will be headed by the chief minister as its chairman, home minister as vicechairman and leader of opposition in the assembly, a retired high court judge, the chief secretary and additional chief secretary of the home department as members. The DGP shall be the commission’s member-secretary.






Adidas asked us to manipulate Reeboks’s accounts: Subhinder Singh Prem & Vishnu Bhagat


NEW DELHI: The two former executives of Reebok India, at the centre of an alleged 870-crore alleged fraud, have accused German sports goods maker Adidas of attempting to hammer down the valuation of the Indian unit, as part of its strategy to reduce its payout to the minority shareholder in the company.
Former Reebok India chief executive Subhinder Singh Prem and former COO Vishnu Bhagat have in separate suits filed last month in the Delhi High Court said they were asked to ‘carry out certain illegal and unethical actions’ by the Adidas Group, such as manipulating accounts, booking irrelevant expenses and cancelling large distributorships, to ensure that the market value of Reebok India fell significantly ‘so that a significantly lower amount becomes payable to the exiting Indian joint venture partner’. Reebok India is a subsidiary of Adidas.

While the petitions do not mention the names of the joint venture partner, Focus Energy Ltd, a group company of Ajay Kalsi’s Phoenix International owns 6.85% in Reebok India.

According to the shareholder’s agreement, Adidas has a ‘call option’ or the right to purchase the shares of the Indian partner but the two have been locked in a legal dispute over the price at which Focus Energy will sell its shares. The matter is currently pending before the Delhi High Court.

A person familiar with the development said while Adidas does not want to pay more than 25 crore for Focus Energy’s 6.85% stake while the Indian partner was demanding as much as 550 crore. Both Adidas and Focus Energy declined to comment on these figures.

According to an internal e-mail of July 2010, reviewed by ET, Adidas and Reebok India executives have discussed several strategies to keep their payout to a minimum. One of the options considered then was to “to wind down the operation of Reebok India and remove the distribution rights to reduce market valuation.”

Adidas AG had also explored the option to transfer its stake in Reebok India to Adidas India based on Controller of Capital Issues (CCI) valuation that values a company based on past performance. The valuation based on this method is usually conservative.

In April 2010, the RBI changed this guideline and said the transfer value of the shares should be decided only through discounted cash flow (DCF) method, which takes into account the projected cash flow in the next five years and not on past performance. Under the present guideline, the valuation of Reebok India would be much more than what it would have been under the Controller of Capital Issues method.





Basic rights denied at Kudankulam: Report

Submitted by admin4 on 4 June 2012 – 9:00pm


Chennai : The central and Tamil Nadu governments should stop harassing people protesting against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) and withdraw cases registered against them, a report said Monday.

The report was prepared by a committee comprising retired Chief Justice of Delhi High Court A.P. Shah, lawyer Geeta Ramaseshan and Prabha Kalvimani of the Irular Tribes Protection Association.

The report was prepared based on a public hearing held by the committee at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from here.

Releasing the report here Monday, Ramaseshan told reporters that freedom of speech and movement of people in the area was restricted.

She said people were denied basic information on matters related to their safety arising from the nuclear project.

According to the report, the central government should release information on safety issues as per the orders of the Central Information Commission (CIC).


LEGAL NEWS 04.06.2012

Advocate who sought removal of Gujarat Guv held

Express news service : Lucknow, Mon Jun 04 2012, 03:29 hrs

Lucknow police have arrested a lawyer who was fined by the Supreme Court and Gujarat High Court for lodging a PIL seeking removal of Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal. Advocate Ashok Pande, who had filed the PIL in Gujarat High Court and later in the Supreme Court, was sent to Gujarat on Sunday by the Lucknow police.

Pande was arrested from his Gomti Nagar residence on Saturday night. A non-bailable warrant was issued against Pande by the Gujarat High Court for not depositing the cost imposed on him by the Supreme Court and high court, police said.

A bench of Supreme Court justices H L Dattu and A K Dave had imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on Pande in March for filing the “misconceived” and “misleading” petition. Pande had sought removal of the governor after Gujarat CM Narendra Modi wrote a letter to the PM seeking to recall her for appointing Justice (retired) R A Mehta as Lokayukta without his consent.






Pay Rs 1.80 lakh to 6 injured by PCR van: NHRC to Delhi govt

Press Trust of India / New Delhi June 04, 2012, 18:25


The National Human Rights Commission has asked Delhi government to pay a compensation of Rs 1.80 lakh to six persons injured after being run over by a PCR van in October last year.

The NHRC has asked the government to pay Rs 50,000 each to three persons who were grievouly injured and Rs 10,000 each to three others who had sustained minor injuries and also called for compliance report along with the proof of payment made to the victims, a statement from the rights body said today.

They were injured in October, 2011, when a speeding PCR van, driven by head constable Murari Lal, climbed up the footpath near Barapullah flyover on which they were sleeping.

The reports sent by the Delhi police in response to NHRC notices revealed that the head constable had been arrested for rash and negligent driving following the incident, the statement said.





Minority commission backs Islamic banking

Commission seeks amendment to the banking regulations to open the doors for interest-free banking

Dinesh Unnikrishnan

Mumbai: The long-standing debate on whether India should allow Islamic banking has taken a twist with the National Commission for Minorities, or NCM, stepping into the picture and strongly supporting the model in Asia’s third-largest economy.

Following a proposal from NCM to permit interest-free banking—a variant of Islamic banking—the finance ministry has asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to take a fresh look at the matter.

Seeing benefits: National Commission for Minorities chairperson Wajahat Habibullah says the interest-free model will help the country to channelize more funds from the Muslim business community abroad. (Mint)

Until now, the central bank has maintained Islamic banking is not feasible in India as existing regulations do not permit interest-free transactions.

The minority commission, a constitutional body headed by the former chief information commissioner of India, Wajahat Habibullah, has sought an amendment to the banking regulations to open the doors for interest-free banking in the country.

This is the first time the commission has got itself directly involved in the matter. The commission recently met top finance ministry officials including Sunil Soni, additional secretary, financial services, and Alok Nigam, joint secretary, on the matter.

Since Islamic banking is not allowed in India under current norms, “there should, therefore, be a possibility of permitting interest-free banking by amending the regulations,” Habibullah said, according to a recorded note of the meeting, reviewed by Mint.

According to the note, the finance ministry is open to the possibility of allowing some nationalized banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to open accounts that will offer interest-free products. “Interest-free banking should not be associated with the religion. It is not in violations of any rules, though the current regulations have to be amended to make this model available in India,” Habibullah said. “The conventional form of banking is not stable as is evident from the collapse of the banking systems across the world. Implementation of interest-free model will provide that stability. This will also help the country to channelize more funds from the Muslim business community abroad,” he said.

Islamic banking is prevalent in countries such as Hong Kong, the UK, the US, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Under Islamic, or Sharia, law any payment or acceptance of interest is prohibited in banking transactions. Islamic banking operates on the theory that the return on investment is a compensation for the risk taken by the investor by providing a fund for commercial activity. As per this, the money can be lent on a profit-sharing or a fee-based model.

In 2007, an RBI-appointed working group under the then executive director, Anand Sinha, which was examining the financial instruments used in Islamic banking, said that under existing regulations, it was not feasible for banks in India to undertake Islamic banking or to allow their branches to carry out Islamic banking operations abroad.

The finance ministry has now referred the NCM proposal to Anand Sinha, currently a deputy governor of RBI, to re-look the matter.

Though there have been several attempts by private groups to introduce Islamic banking in india, none of those succeeded due to regulatory constraints and opposition from some of political factions.

In 2009, Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy filed a public interest litigation in the Kerala high court against the inception of a financial institution that was to run on the principles of Islamic banking, backed by the state government-owned Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation.

In September 2010, the Indian Centre for Islamic Finance, a non-profit organization spearheading the call for Islamic banking in India, approached RBI to allow a few banks in Mumbai to open interest-free windows on a pilot basis without amending any of the regulations.

It is yet to receive any response from RBI, according to H. Abdur Raqeeb, convenor, National Committee on Islamic Banking, and general secretary, Indian Centre for Islamic Finance.

In 2008, the Raghuram Rajan committee of financial sector reforms suggested implementing interest-free banking in the country. “The committee recommends that measures be taken to permit the delivery of interest-free finance on a larger scale, including through the banking system… it would be possible, through appropriate measures, to create a framework for such products without any adverse systemic risk impact,” the report said.

According to the report, since certain faiths prohibit financial instruments that pay interest, a section of Indians are unable to access banking products and services. “This non-availability also denies India access to substantial sources of savings from other countries in the region,” the report said.

In May, a Kerala-based NBFC that operates in accordance with Sharia principles moved a petition in the Bombay high court against an RBI order cancelling its licence. The firm, Alternative Investments and Credits Ltd, sought legal recourse after RBI took action against it, charging the company with not complying with its fair practice code for NBFCs, which stipulates that NBFCs should declare the rate of interest at which they lend to borrowers. The court is likely to hear the petition on 11 June.





Jilted lover awarded life term for setting girl ablaze

Agencies : Faridkot (Punjab), Sun Jun 03 2012, 14:54 hrs

A local court here has awarded life term to a jilted lover who set a teenage girl ablaze at Kotsukhila village of the district.

District and Sessions Judge Fatehdeep Singh yesterday sentenced Hoshiar Singh (22) to life imprisonment for setting Veerpal Kaur ablaze in October last year.

Singh wanted to marry the girl, but when she refused, he poured kerosene and set her on fire when she was alone at home.

Kaur, who suffered 80 per cent burn injuries, was rushed to a hospital, where she succumbed later.

In her statement to the police before she died, Kaur said that Singh wanted to marry her forcibly despite the fact that she was engaged to someone else.






Death for man who raped, murdered 8-year-old

Jiby Kattakayam

“There is one and only one sentence which a person charged with raping a child and killing her deserves…”

On July last year when temperatures peaked, a desperately thirsty eight-year-old child living in a park went in search of water, leaving her younger siblings behind, after her poverty-struck mother left for work. The child found what she was looking for, but never returned. She was raped, bludgeoned 15 times with a steel rod and killed behind an NDPL office near Maurya Enclave in North-West Delhi where she had chanced upon a water cooler, but then encountered a sex-crazed accused Sanjay Kumar Valmiki.

This Thursday, a Sessions court at Rohini awarded the death penalty to 21-year-old Valmiki for murder. For the charge of rape, he was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for the rest of his life. For kidnapping, he was given a five-year prison term.

Concluding that this was a “rarest of rare” case, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said: “Let those who mess with children know that the justice system in India has zero tolerance for it and a single moment of madness can lead them to gallows.”

Dr. Lau further added: “There is one and only one sentence which a person charged with raping a child and killing her deserves. It is death and the only place where such a person deserves to go is straight to the gallows, where he is hanged by neck till he is dead.”

In the poignant words of the judge, the rapist “after fulfilling his hunger for sex, does not stop at that and uses brutal force by repeatedly hammering and clobbering the child with a Y-shaped steel rod and smashing her head in order to hide his reprehensible and disgraceful act and cause disappearance of the identity. The injuries on the body of the child, as many as 15 in number, speak volumes of the brutality and force with which the innocent child had been battered to death. The convict then dumps the badly-mutilated body of the child in a trench”.

In her order, the Additional Sessions Judge also recalled the scene outside the NDPL office when the girl’s body was recovered two days later, in a mutilated and decomposed condition.

“The discovery of the mutilated/ decomposed body of the child in the NDPL office resulted in a huge public outcry, where people’s anger spilled on the streets and there was large-scale stone pelting outside the office of NDPL resulting in damage to public property. Had the convict fallen into the hands of the angry mob, he surely would have been lynched and killed. Such was the public wrath.”

The defence plea for a lighter sentence on account of him being a young man was not accepted. “The convict was not a boy in his teens, rather a mature young man of 21 years of age and the victim a child of seven years-eight years. I am of the view that Valmiki is not of such a young age that he could not fully comprehend his actions. He was not a person in his teens but a matured robust young man of 21 years and had not acted on sudden provocation or on being suddenly emotionally disturbed,” Dr. Lau said.

Thirty-one witnesses were examined in the case with the most material being a 10-year-old child, who not only saw Valmiki, a contract sweeper at the NDPL office, talk to the victim, but later also heard her cries and screams from the switch-gear room where she was taken. When 10-year-old witness inquired as to who was inside, she was told by the rapist that it was his brother.

The evidence which conclusively nailed the convict was the DNA fingerprint report. “Thanks to the latest scientific technology and forensics which made it possible to identify the offender despite an attempt by him [offender] to destroy all evidence against him by mutilation of the body of the victim. It is the use of this technology [DNA fingerprinting] which has helped in conclusively establishing the guilt of the offender beyond doubt,” the court observed.





Honour killing accused will lose right to contest polls’

Source: Rakesh Bhatnagar, DNA   |   Last Updated 09:16(04/06/12)

New Delhi: Concerned with the regressive mindset of a section of the male-dominated society that uses the term “honour” to justify killing of young couples who marry outside their castes, the Centre is contemplating amendment to the election law to outcast those involved in the dastardly crime.

If this gets approval of Parliament, an accused involved in “honour killing” would lose the right to vote or contest any election.

However, the government doesn’t want to burden the Indian Penal Code with any additional provision to deal with an individual or members of a pachayat or `khap’ panchayats responsible for such brutal murdering couples in love. So, the Centre plans to amend the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Following a spate of caste-based killings of young men and women with the support of the victims’ families and the despotic local community, the government set up a group of ministers (GoM) for considering the menace of what’s been termed by the Supreme Court as the “barbaric and brutal murders by bigoted, persons with feudal minds”.

Though no serious thought had been given to this burning issue during the past two years, it’s learnt that the Law Commission has given its report on the issue to the GoM.

The Commission recommends amendment to the electoral law with a view to disqualifying all those found guilty of “dishonour killing”. Thus, an amendment in section 8 has been suggested so that these criminals are given the same treatment provided for other persons involved in equally barbarous acts such as dowry death and Sati.

Informed sources say the new enactment is titled the Prevention of Crimes in the name of Honour and Tradition’.

If the Act were in place now, a senior DIG of Uttar Pradesh, SK Mathur, could have been arrested for propagating the dastardly killing by telling the parents of a girl, who was suspected to have eloped with the man of her choice, that if his daughter had run away with a boy of another caste, he would have killed her.
Later chief minister Akhilesh Yadav only transferred the officer.

It may be pointed out that a section of Indian communities isn’t alone in executing or masterminding inhuman killings.

A recent report submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights shows that “honour” killings have occurred in Bangladesh, Great Britain, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Sweden, Turkey, and Uganda.

But dowry deaths and so-called crimes of passion have a similar dynamic in that the women are killed by male family members and the crimes are perceived as excusable or understandable, the report said.






Man granted divorce on grounds of cruelty

K. T. Sangameswaran

Acts of commission by a woman in filing a criminal complaint against her husband and his relatives resulting in the husband being in distress in jail constitute mental cruelty to him and, therefore, he is entitled to get the relief of divorce, the Madras High Court has held.

A Division Bench of Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M. Venugopal said this in its judgment while allowing appeals by a person challenging a common order of the Principal Family Court here of April 24, 2008 dismissing his petition praying for divorce and allowing his wife’s petition seeking restitution of conjugal rights.

He had married the daughter of a former Tamil Nadu MLA here in April 2000 as per Hindu custom.

The appellant’s senior counsel, P. Wilson, contended that his client’s wife after initiating criminal proceedings against her husband and nine others was not entitled to obtain the relief of restitution of conjugal rights because of the inconsistency in her case.

Defining cruelty

The judges said what conduct would amount to cruelty was a question of fact to be decided on the facts and particulars of each case. When a divorce was being sought on grounds of cruelty, the acts complained should be so grave and weighty to enable a court to conclude that one party could not reasonably be expected to live with the other.

The Bench said that in its considered opinion, on grounds of cruelty, the whole matrimonial relations should be considered.

SC judgment

Citing a Supreme Court judgment, the Judges observed that cruelty would normally consist not of harmful acts but of injurious reproaches, complaints, accusations or taunts.

It should be established that one party in the marriage, ignoring consequences, had misbehaved, which the other party could not be called upon to endure, and that misconduct had caused injury to health or a reasonable apprehension of such injury.

The Bench pointed out that in the present case, the husband had been put in jail for 22 days for alleged offences of dowry harassment and attempt to murder. Further, the woman had gone to the extent of filing intervening application opposing the bail sought by her husband. The case later ended in acquittal.

Filing of a criminal complaint by the wife against the husband and his relatives, instituting cases based on it and the same ending in acquittal and before that the husband being in distress for 22 days in jail, all these acts of commissions by the wife clearly constituted mental cruelty to the husband who admittedly would have undergone a traumatic experience and suffered humiliation in social circles.

In the present case, the marriage had become emotionally dead. It had irretrievably broken down. Moreover, the element of separation between the parties unerringly point out that there was an intention to bring cohabitation permanently to an end. The differences of opinion should not be considered as temporary passions.

The Bench ruled that the husband was entitled to get divorce.

His wife was not entitled to get the relief of restitution of conjugal rights. It said the marriage would stand dissolved.





HC refuses to interfere in transfer of civil suit

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Mon Jun 04 2012, 02:30 hrs

THE Gujarat High Court has refused to interfere with an order of the Rajkot principal district judge to transfer a civil suit from one magistrate to the other after the first magistrate wrote a confidential letter to him after reserving pronouncement of judgment on the suit.

The court also held that if a party is aggrieved by the transfer order it may approach the HC on the administrative side.

A petition in this regard was moved before by Sai Developers and one Doli Patel.

According to the petitioners, the civil suit in question was going on in the court of 14th Additional Senior Civil Judge. This magistrate after conducting hearing and dictating half of the judgment wrote a confidential letter to the Principal District Judge on May 11, following which the suit was transferred to the court of another magistrate.

The petitioners challenged the transfer before the HC contending that the arguments were heard, judgment was even part dictated and was kept for pronouncement of the remaining judgment.

Since vacation was there, both sides had given purshis that they do not have any objection if judgment is pronounced in vacation. And at that stage, the transfer order was passed, which was not only without any provisions under the Code of Civil Procedure, but also against settled position of law, they argued.

They also contended that the exercise of administrative powers by the principal district judge to transfer the suit to another court was unjust and illegal.

However, the HC turned down the petition while observing, “…discretion exercised by the learned Principal District Judge on administrative side, that too by referring to the confidential letter of the Judge from whose court the matter is transferred, does not call for any interference… it is open to the petitioner to move the High Court on administrative side, if he so desires.”





HC upholds DTC’s levy of Re 1 surcharge

TNN | Jun 4, 2012, 01.40AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court has upheld the decision of the Delhi Transport Corporation to levy a surcharge of Re 1 on passengers travelling in its buses.

A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw upheld the corporation’s decision pointing out that the surcharge is collected to reduce the cost incurred by DTC when it pays toll tax/toll charges while crossing through municipal toll or at DND flyover or other toll bridges.

“Though the amount to be paid per DTC trip is fixed, if the burden is to be shared by the passengers, in every trip, the amount to be collected from passengers may vary depending upon the number of passengers travelling in a particular trip,” the bench observed. To “obviate such an onerous task” HC added, the corporation is justified in charging a fixed amount which in any case is much less than the actual amount paid by the DTC.

HC also brushed aside the argument that by collecting an extra amount DTC is determining the fare of buses, concluding that the Re 1 surcharge is not part of any fare.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by one Ramesh Chhabra claiming that DTC charges Re 1 as surcharge on the actual fare from each passenger travelling from Delhi to Faridabad.





HC nixes union’s plea for Binny Mill’s office

A Subramani, TNN | Jun 4, 2012, 03.09AM IST

CHENNAI: A labour union’s attempt to get possession of the Binny Mill’s 94-year-old Madras Labour Union (MLU) premises failed after the Madras high court turned down the request of the new set of ‘office-bearers’ recently.

MLU, the first labour union in the state to espouse the cause of textile workers, was formed in April 1918 by a Parsi lawyer from Mumbai, B P Wadia.

Pointing out that the mill had been wound up in 1996 and its premises sold to a real estate promoter, Justice K Chandru said, “It is not clear how the union is still functioning, especially when the B&C Mills have been irrevocably closed. Even as per bylaws of the union, only persons who are working in the B&C Mills are entitled to become members of MLU. Only existing workers can get elected to various committees through department-wise allotments. The petitioner has not disclosed as to who are the workers who will continue to be MLU members in the absence of employment for the workers.”

A general secretary of the MLU preferred the present writ petition seeking possession of the union office located on Strahans Road at Pattalam in Chennai. In 2003, there was a dispute between two rival groups of unions over the property. In October 2003, the jurisdictional tahsildar passed an order stating that they should first prove their title right over the union’s property.

Though no party approached an appropriate civil court to establish their title over the property, the present petition was filed in 2008, stating that the union had been ‘revived’ and that 2,060 ’employees’ of the union had elected new office-bearers and authorized them to claim the union’s property.

Justice Chandru, pointing out that no one had approached a civil court to establish their right and take control over the property, said the union was allegedly ‘revived’ five years after the tahsildar’s order. He said such rights cannot be proved and granted in the high court under Article 226 of the Constitution.

Tracing the rich history of the union, the judge said the bylaws clearly state that in the event of dissolution of the trade union, the property should be entrusted only to the Pachaiyappa Trust Board, which would utilize the fund derived from it to provide free scholarship to the children of textile workers in Chennai. Citing the Supreme Court rulings, he said dissolution of the union will not vest the property with the members of the union.






Cops open Parel school gate after HC order

Published: Monday, Jun 4, 2012, 9:48 IST
By Mustafa Plumber | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

After verbal directives by the Bombay high court, the Bhoiwada police have opened the main gate of a school in Parel and handed over the keys to the trust running the school. The trust was fighting a legal battle with two alleged illegal tenants staying on the terrace of the school building.

On April 27, the Bhoiwada police had locked the Kranti Veer Nana Singh Patil School at Naigaum in Parel, which is run by the Naigaum Education Trust, after complaints from the tenants against the school staff.

Division bench of Justice S J Kathawalla and Justice P D Kode asked the police to open the gates of the school and allow the teachers and other staff to enter the school.

The trust moved the high court seeking directions to the police to unseal the premise. They also wanted the unauthorized occupants staying on the terrace to be vacated, who they claimed were miscreants.

The trust got into an agreement with two people-Rajendra and Devendra Patil. As per the agreement, the trust gave them three rooms on the terrace of the building for setting up a computer lab to impart computer education.

However, the school authorities started getting complaints from girl students of alleged misbehavior by the Patils.

Last year, the trust terminated the contract and the Patils were supposed to leave. However, they moved the small causes court claiming that they were tenants and were being forcibly evicted from the premises. The suit is still pending before the court.






Allahabad high court orders probe into lapses in Ayodhya case judges security

Ashish Tripathi, TNN | Jun 4, 2012, 06.16AM IST

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court has ordered an inquiry into lapses in the security of three judges who delivered the verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit case on September 30 2010. The court has also directed the Centre and governments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to take immediate steps to provide adequate security to the judges. The next date of hearing in this case is July 18.

The court issued order after UP’s anti-terror squad (ATS) informed court that activists associated with the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) may attack the three Judges. In the statement submitted before the court by Rajiv Sabbarwal, deputy inspector general (DIG), ATS, submitted that during the course of investigation, even in the months of March and April, 2012, it was found that the judges who decided Ram Janamabhoomi case are still under continuous threat and the SIMI activists are in process to constitute a fresh module to assault the judges. The statement given by Sabarwal also revealed that there was an imminent threat to the life of the judges.

The ATS submitted the statement in response to the previous order of a division bench of the High Court comprising Justice Devi Prasad Singh and Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya. The bench had issued order on a petition filed by advocate Ranjana Agnihotri in connection with the threat preception to the judges and advocates associated with the case. The three judges who delivered the Ayodhya verdict are Justice Sudhir Agarwal, Justice SU Khan and Justice DV Sharma.

Justice Agarwal, in fact, was stopped by anti-social elements in Ghaziabad in July 2011. The judge, who was in his car, escaped a possible assault and had revealed that he had no police escort with him during the incident. The judge informed in writing to the authorities concerned about the incident.

Justice Sharma, who is now in Uttarakhand for an assignment, had also made a written complaint to the UP high court registrar that he was not being provided adequate security by the Uttarakhand government . Justice Khan, however, has refused any security cover.

It was also revealed during the hearing that for the past one year, the Registrar General of the High Court has been continuously informing state government officials about the developments.

However, on behalf of the state government, HP Srivastava, additional chief standing counsel, informed the court that the letter of Justice Sudhir Agarwal was received by the state government on May 23, 2012 along with the letter dated May 19, 2012 sent by the Registrar General.

On the other hand, Balwant Rai, additional superintendent of police, security, has informed the court that after filing of the present writ petition and keeping in view the threat precept, the state government had decided to provide Z-category security to all the three judges, provided them with two gunners along with an escort round the clock.

After hearing the statements, the high court directed UP government to hold an inquiry keeping in view the contents of the letter on security lapse of Justice Agarwal and submit a report to this court. Further, the court directed that the DIG, ATS, UP and the UP home secretary would review the security requirement of the judges in view of an enhanced threat perception. Also, the court said that keeping in view the incident happened with Justice Agarwal and after discussing the matter DIG, ATS, UP, and other officers present, it would be appropriate to provide two escorts to the judges concerned.

The court also directed that though Justice Khan had declined to accept any security, the additional director general of police, security, UP, should meet the judge personally and apprise him about the threat perception to take future course of action. The bench directed the state of Uttarakhand to provide Z category security to Justice Sharma immediately.

The government of India was also directed by the court to issue appropriate order or circular to all the states in the country to provide Z category security to the three judges during their movement outside UP. The security provided to the three Judges would not be withdrawn except with prior permission of chief justice of Allahabad high court.

The officials have also been asked by the court to personally meet the three judges and find out whereabouts of their residences and that of their family members for security arrangements. Officials have also been directed to hold a meeting to find out if more security, other then what was discussed in the court, was required in view of threat precept.

The court also directed the registrar general to consult chief justice/senior judge and strengthen the security arrangement on court campus and implead government of Uttarakhand through its home secretary and government of Madhya Pradesh through secretary, home, and inspector general of police, ATS, as respondents.






High court quashes criminal case against man

TNN | Jun 4, 2012, 02.58AM IST

CHENNAI: The Madras high court has quashed a criminal case against a man, who was detained under Goondas Act, after it came to light that the Vellore police had obtained signatures of another man in blank papers and created a false criminal complaint to arrest him.

Justice T Mathivanan quashed the case against G G Ramesh, after the original ‘complainant’ Mohamed Shareef appeared before the judge and filed an affidavit stating that he had merely signed some blank papers given to him by the police and that he was no way responsible for the arrest and detention of Ramesh.

Quashing the complaint against Ramesh, the judge said: “Shareef has submitted that he was just called to the police station and asked to sign a paper. Later, his signature was utilised to fabricate a complaint against Ramesh, for which he (Shareef) may not be held responsible.” Shareef also clarified that he was not under any pressure to file such an affidavit dissociating himself from the criminal proceedings against Ramesh. The state government, however, objected to the quashing of the complaint stating that Ramesh was a Goondas Act detenue and even the quashing of the present complaint would not result in his immediate release.






High court rules in favour of hotels in waste management row

Aswin J Kumar, TNN | Jun 4, 2012, 04.51AM IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The city corporation that has been issuing closure notices to hotels functioning without waste treatment plants in the city has been pulled up by a high court order.

Following a petition filed by the Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association, the court has held that if a hotel did not have space or if there was an objection from the neighbouring shop owners for setting up the treatment plant, it was for the corporation to make arrangement to collect waste and treat it at the cost of the hotel.

The ruling that has come in favour of the hotel owners, dismayed the corporation officials. The health standing committee has been slamming notices on all the hotels that function without a waste treatment plant, ever since the garbage crisis has started bugging the city.

A deadline was also set for the hotels and it was pointed out that their licences would not be renewed if the owner fails to comply with the conditions mentioned in the notice.

“The order has come at a bad time. We had asked the hotel owners to set up plants in plots far away from their hotels. With this order there is no way corporation can ask them to get on with the project,” said a health inspector of the corporation.

The association members had claimed that the time span allotted for them to set up the plants was too short which the court upheld in its ruling. The court also maintained that section 334 of the Kerala Municipalities Amendment ordinance visualizes waste management by corporation which had to be maintained in a centralized manner.

The court has also directed the corporation to help the hotels in setting up the waste plant. A health official said that it would be very hard to maintain the waste from hotels with the court terming it as the corporation’s responsibility.

“In a way it has made us helpless. We could have persuaded the hotels into processing the waste themselves. Now the corporation cannot do so that as it would be against the court order,” he said.

The ruling also said that no hotel should be closed down and no fine should be charged unless the hotels fail to either process the waste to the satisfaction of the corporation or fail to pay the fees fixed by the corporation to collect the waste and treat the same. “Paying fees to collect the waste from the hotels is not all the issue. The question is what to do with the collected waste,” the official said.

We had asked the hotel owners to set up plants in plots far away from their hotels. With this order there is no way corporation can ask them to get on with the project.





Information hidden despite rulings

Paul John, TNN | Jun 4, 2012, 02.32AM IST

AHMEDABAD: Central Information Commission (CIC) and Gujarat Information Commission (GIC) rulings have deemed that facts pertaining to salaries and qualification of government personnel belong to the public domain – yet, people are still being denied access.

In several cases in the state, public information officers (PIOs) have interpreted such details as being ‘third-party information’.

The latest victim happens to be a middle-aged woman, Bhavna Patel of Shahibaug, who has been demanding for four years – under the RTI Act – the salary slip of her husband who serves with the Indian Railways. Bhavna is fighting for a revision in maintenance compensation in the family court and needs the salary slip to make that claim. “I receive Rs 600 and my 18-year-old son receives Rs 1,900 from his father as maintenance,” Bhavna said. “My husband earns between Rs 25,000 and Rs 30,000 and the court fixes a specific maintenance amount based on the salary.” She and her son Yash Diwakar were shocked when the public information officer M R A Mirza replied that the information pertained to a ‘third party’.

“After we appealed to central information commissioner Annapurna Dixit, the railways sent a letter which claimed to have an annexure consisting of my father’s salary slip,” Diwakar said. “The letter had no such thing. We have already filed a complaint with the CIC. It’s a cruel joke.”

Public agencies are under obligation to reveal their employees’ salaries, CIC has ruled in a case involving Punjab National Bank zonal office in Uttaranchal. “Under section 4 of the RTI Act, the public authority must not only provide a directory of its officials to public but also the amount of remuneration given to them,” central information commissioner M M Ansari had ruled. “The information should be published and put on the departmental website.”

In Gujarat, there have been five instances of PIOs denying salary details of government functionaries, said Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pehel co-ordinator Pankti Jog. “These functionaries are paid from public coffers. Not only salaries but qualification of officers too is public information,” Jog said. For instance, in the Dinesh Anajwala versus Surat Municipal Corporation case of October 2008, former Gujarat chief information commissioner R N Das ruled, “Before the selection and assumption of charge of the government post, the person is a private person and copies of his marksheets and any information furnished by him to the selection committee is personal information. However, once the person has become a public servant, the nature of that information can no longer be treated as entirely and purely personal.”






Explanation on RTI Act issue sought from HC official

R. Sivaraman

The State Information Commission has called for an explanation from the Public Information Officer of the Madras High Court on why he should not be penalised for not furnishing within the prescribed timeframe, information sought by a person under the Right to Information Act.

In 2009, P. Kalyanasundaram of Pattalam, in his application before the Public Information Officer of the High Court of Madras, had sought to know the list of registers, forms, ledgers and records maintained by the office of High Court registry.

Contending that the Public Information Officer had not provided the information even after two years, he filed an appeal before the State Information Commission. He also sought compensation for the loss.

However, the Public Information Officer in his counter said it was confusing as to what kind of information the applicant was seeking. He had sought information in a casual, indiscriminate and haphazard manner. Such an attitude would defeat the purpose of the Act. The information sought was already published on the website of High Court. Hence, he sought dismissal of the application.

After hearing both sides, the State Chief Information Commissioner K. S. Sripathy in his order said the public authority should have understood at the first instance itself what kind of information had been sought and the correct details could have been provided. The public authority should have provided some concrete answer whether the information could be given or not within the timeframe. Nearly two and half years had passed since the information was sought and refusal to provide information was violative of the provisions of the RTI Act.

The order said, “Since it failed to respond in time on whether the information could be given or not to the applicant, there is room to believe that the public authority was adopting delaying tactics by not providing information. In the circumstances, under section 20(1) of RTI Act, the Public Information Officer should explain within 15 days why a penalty of Rs.25,000 should not be imposed.”

However, the commission dismissed the applicant’s prayer seeking compensation, stating that the denial of information would not be detrimental to his interests.





Advani wants collegium for CEC, CAG selection

Monday, 04 June 2012 00:12

PNS | New Delhi

Senior BJP leader LK Advani has suggested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to set up a collegium to appoint the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), as the present system of President appointing the head of Election Commission solely on the advice of the Prime Minister, “does not evoke confidence among the people”.

He has recommended a similar committee for appointment of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) as well. While the tenure of serving CEC SY Qureshi ends later this month, the CAG will retire next year.

In a letter to Singh on Saturday, Advani suggested that the collegium could include the PM as its chairman and Chief Justice of India, Law Minister, and Leaders of Opposition in both the Houses as members.

“There is a rapidly growing opinion in the country which holds that appointments to constitutional bodies such the Election Commission should be done on a bipartisan basis in order to remove any impression of bias or lack of transparency and fairness,” Advani said in his letter to the PM.

Underlining that the CVC and the CIC were also appointed through such a collegium, Advani asserted that keeping the appointment of CEC as an exclusive preserve of the ruling party rendered the selection process vulnerable to manipulation and partisanship.

“Indeed, the credibility of this system was severely dented when a dubious appointment to the crucial office of CEC was made a few years ago. The time has, therefore, come to reform the selection process for the EC and other Constitutional bodies, as has indeed been done in the case of the CVC and the CIC,” Advani wrote to the PM.

Incidentally, the BJP had objected to appointment of Navin Chawla, Qureshi’s immediate predecessor, as the CEC for his alleged proximity to the Congress and its chief Sonia Gandhi. The 2009 Lok Sabha election were held under Chawla as the CEC and widespread allegations on rigging of EVMs were made during that time. Even, Chawla’s predecessor N Gopalaswami had recommended to the Government to remove Chawla’s from the panel for his “partisan” role.

The senior BJP leader pointed out to the PM that the Second Administrative Reforms Commission, set up by the Singh Government, had recommended in 2009 that the CEC and other members of the Election Commission be appointed by a collegium.

“In respect of the CVC and the CIC, the change has come about because of the intervention of the Supreme Court.  Let the wholesome change come this time as a result of an initiative taken by the Executive,” Advani said, requesting the PM to suitably amend the Article 324 of the Constitution that deals with the Election Commission.


LEGAL NEWS 03.06.2012

8,023 cases settled in Lok Adalat

TNN | Jun 3, 2012, 02.20AM IST

CHANDIGARH: 8,023 cases of different categories were disposed of in a Lok Adalat that was held inside the premises of the district court on Saturday.

Out of the total cases, 502 were settled under the Negotiable Instrument Act. In MACT cases, compensation of Rs 16,85,000 was awarded. In execution petitions, Rs 24,14,278 was disbursed to the petitioners. In 7,231 traffic challans, Rs 18,10,450 were imposed and realized as fine. Besides this, about 290 civil, rent, labour and other categories of cases were also disposed off.

20 benches were constituted in which cases of different categories like motor accident claim, matrimonial, civil, civil appeals, compoundable criminal and rent cases were taken up for settlement in Lok Adalat.





Naquee was in touch with Yasin via social networking site: ATS

Mumbai, Jun 3, 2012, (PTI) :

Naquee Ahmed, one of the jailed 13/7 blasts accused, who had claimed to be an informer of Delhi police, was in contact with Indian Mujahideen’s (IM) elusive chief operative Yasin Bhatkal through a popular social networking site since 2008, Maharashtra ATS claimed today.

Naquee, who hails from Darbhanga district of Bihar, was initially arrested on January 10 this year on charges of forgery for allegedly procuring mobile phone SIM cards using fake documents.

According to the Maharashtra ATS, these SIM cards had been used by the IM module that executed the terror strikes at Dadar, Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House on July 13, 2011 leaving 27 dead and 127 injured. Later, Naquee was held in the blasts case, the ATS said.

“Naquee, who claimed to be a police informer and had been helping police solve the 13/7 blasts case, had actually been in touch with Imran, who in reality is Yasin Bhatkal, since 2008 through the Facebook”, an ATS official told PTI.

Naquee knew the antecedents of Yasin and he had helped the latter throughout the conspiracy hatched to execute the blasts, the officer claimed.

“Not only Naquee, even Nadeem and Waqas (two other accused) were in touch with each other through the Facebook”, the official said, adding that the terror suspects communicated with each other using code language.

“We have taken the printouts of their Facebook accounts to prove their communication with each other since a long time. It is a crucial piece of evidence”, the officer added.

However, the officer declined to divulge details when asked if the accused maintained real names or used fictitious names on the site.

The officer also parried a question if the terror suspects’ Facebook accounts still existed.

Naquee’s brother Taqi Ahmed had in January approached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Minorities, Delhi Police Commissioner and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram claiming that his brother was a police informer and had been wrongfully framed by the ATS in the serial blasts case.

Maharashtra ATS had filed a 4,788-page charge sheet recently in a special court against ten IM members, including its top operative Riyaz Bhatkal believed to be hiding in neighbouring Pakistan.

ATS has so far arrested five accused – Naquee, Nadeem Shaikh, Kanwar Pathrija Haroon Naik and Mohammed Qafeel Ansari.

Mohammed Qafeel’s name was not mentioned in the charge sheet filed against ten accused as he was recently arrested. A supplementary charge sheet would be filed soon in which his name and other wanted accused names would be mentioned.

According to the ATS, Yasin, Waqas and Tarbez had rented a third floor flat at Byculla’s Habib building in south Mumbai where they allegedly assembled explosives.

As per Yasin’s instructions, Naquee and Nadeem had stolen two-wheelers a day before the blasts and explosives were fitted in them to carry out explosions in Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House.

Kanwar Pathrija and Haroon Naik were involved in providing financial aide through the hawala (informal money transfer system) route. Mohammed Qafeel was involved in providing logistics support.




NGT asks Gujarat govt not to take coercive action against OPG

Press Trust of India / New Delhi June 03, 2012, 10:25


The National Green Tribunal has directed Gujarat authorities not to take any “coercive action” without its permission against OPG Power Gujarat Pvt Ltd for alleged violation of conditions on which the environmental clearance was granted for its 300 MW Bhadreshwar thermal power plant at Mundra.

The Tribunal passed the orders on an application by OPG expressing apprehension that “taking advantage of the summer vacation of the Tribunal, the authorities may take coercive action against it (OPG)”.

A bench headed by Tribunal’s Acting Chairperson Justice A S Naidu said the authorities should not take any coercive action against OPG without its prior permission and directed the MoEF to file an action taken report on July 17, the next date of hearing.

“Though we are satisfied that no emergent urgency is there, still we feel the ends of justice and equity would be better served if we direct the authorities to complete the exercise as per our order, but not to take any coercive action without obtaining prior permission from this Tribunal.

“The MoEF is directed to file the report on the action taken by the authorities on the next date of hearing. List this matter on July 17, 2012,” the bench said.

The Tribunal had on May 10 directed Gujarat government to initiate proceedings against OPG for allegedly starting the construction work on the project before forest clearance was accorded to it on April 26.

The June 11, 2010 clearance for the 2×150 MW thermal power plant at village Bhadreshwar, Mundra, District Kutch, Gujarat had stipulated that OPG shall not start the work without “all requisite prior permissions”.

In the May 10 judgement, the Tribunal had directed the state government and the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) to initiate proceedings against OPG, issue show cause to them and “on perusal of the cause shown, if satisfied that the project proponent has violated the terms and conditions of the environment clearance or had committed any other omission or commission and/or encroached upon Khari river unauthorisedly, take such action as deemed just proper and in accordance with the law”.






TDSAT pulls up govt for imposing fresh penalty on Idea

Telecom tribunal TDSAT has pulled up the government for imposing fresh penalties on Idea Cellular despite an earlier order setting aside a similar fine due to the operator’s alleged delay in service roll-out obligations in five circles.

A TDSAT bench headed by its Chairman Justice S B Sinha said it has already set aside the penalty on Idea Cellular on December last year observing that “principles of natural justice” were not followed by Department of Telecommunications while imposing the aforesaid liquidated damages.

“We fail to see any reason as to why despite our judgement dated December 5, 2011 the impugned demands have been raised without complying with the principles of natural justice; the core issue between the parties remaining the same.

“We, therefore, are of the opinion that the impugned demands cannot be sustained. They are set aside, accordingly,” said the tribunal and asked DoT to pay Rs 50,000 to Idea Cellular as cost of litigation.

However, it also said that the DoT may raise fresh demand against Idea Cellular “upon complying with the principles of natural justice”.

The matter relates to roll-out obligation in five circles – Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. These circles came to Idea’s fold after its merger with Spice Communications.

Earlier, DoT had imposed a penalty of Rs 4.55 crore for each circle for delay in meeting the roll-out obligations after 39 weeks of spectrum allotment.

This was subsequently challenged by Idea before the tribunal, which set aside the penalty after observing that DoT did not gave a proper chance to the operator to represent its case and was in violation of principles of natural justice.

TDSAT had asked DoT to rework on the issue.

However, DoT imposed additional liquidated damages of Rs 1.8 crore per circle on Idea Cellular for the same circles again on December 23, 2011.

This was again challenged by Idea Cellular before the TDSAT, terming the fresh demands as “ex-facie illegal and without jurisdiction”.

DoT contended the demands were raised as Idea had failed to meet its roll-out obligations for a period of 52 weeks as is provided for in the clauses of its license agreement.






Notices under BIPA worries govt

Anil Sasi : New Delhi, Sun Jun 03 2012, 01:06 hrs

At a time when the Centre is working overtime to build bridges with aggrieved global investors, the growing list of notices — at six and counting — served by international investors invoking provisions of the numerous bilateral investment protection pacts signed by India could put the Government is a spot of bother.

The fact that India has, in the past, lost the only such dispute that went on to the arbitration stage is among the reasons for the mounting worries.

In its award dated September 30, 2011 of the International Tribunal in the case between Australia’s White Industries Ltd and the Government of India (Ministry of Coal), under the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA) between India and Australia, had gone against the Government of India.

This is a case that dates back to a decade, when White Industries won a foreign arbitration against Coal India but was unsuccessful in enforcing the award till last year when it used the Indo-Australian bilateral investment protection treaty.

“Six notices have been served. Each of these (cases where notices have been served) is being looked at on a case-to-case basis,” an official involved in the exercise said.

The official added that BIPAs were intended to provide fair and equitable treatment to the investors of either country in the territory of the other country and include provisions for settlement of disputes between an investor and a contracting party shall, as far as possible, be settled amicably through negotiations between the parties to the dispute. “In case a dispute is not settled amicably, a provision exists for arbitration,” the official said.

In case of Vodafone’s notice under the BIPA, the government, in its reply, has told the British telecom major that there is no cause of action for the company in the ongoing tax dispute with the Indian income tax authorities.

According to foreign trade analysts, the fact that India’s gone on to sign bilateral pacts with a large number of countries, combined with the Government resorting to flawed policy measures and retrograde steps to shore up revenues, is a recipe for disaster.

Till date, India has signed BIPAs with 82 countries, starting with the United Kingdom in 1994. Of these 82 countries, BIPAs with 72 countries have been enforced.

Besides, India has signed 17 Free Trade Agreements, Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA),  Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs).


Notices served by foreign investors against India under BIPAs and CECA

* Devas Employees Mauritius Pvt Ltd, Mauritius under BIPA with Mauritius

* Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation, Russia under BIPA between India and Russia

* Telenor Asia Pte Ltd, Singapore under CECA between India and Singapore

* Capital Global Limited and Kaif Investment Limited, both Mauritius based-investors in Loop Telecom Limited under BIPA with Mauritius

* Vodafone International Holdings BV, the Netherlands, under BIPA with the Netherlands

* The Children’s Investment Fund Management, United Kingdom under BIPA with the UK and Cyprus






NCW chief seeks one-time payment for ex-women Test cricketers

Rakhi Chakrabarty, TNN | Jun 3, 2012, 03.05AM IST

NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Saturday asked BCCI for one-time payment for former women Test cricketers from the profits of the Indian Premier League as was done for their male counterparts.

NCW chairperson Mamta Sharma said, “Like the men, women, too, have contributed to the country’s cricket. Then why should they be discriminated against?”

In a letter to union sports minister Ajay Maken, she argued if former male players are entitled to the payment, women should also get it.

“I have sought the minister’s intervention. Why should a woman’s efforts on the field be ignored?” Sharma said. She will also write to BCCI chief N Srinivasan to press for the demand.

Last week, the BCCI paid about Rs 70 crore obtained as profits from the IPL to 20 former international and domestic players who had retired before 2004.

She also suggested an IPL for women cricketers. “Why shouldn’t women play in the IPL?” she asked. The NCW will discuss it at a meeting and raise this with the BCCI soon.

Besides women cricketers, Sharma plans to rope in actor Aamir Khan for creating awareness about women’s issues. The idea struck her after she watched the actor take up social issues on the TV serial Satyameva Jayate.

While talking about rising crimes against women, Sharma slammed Uttar Pradesh. “Don’t ask me what kind of crimes occur there, instead ask what crimes don’t happen in UP. It’s very bad in UP. But there is a new government in the state. So, we should give it some time,” she said.

The NCW chief said a large number of cases are reported from areas of UP adjacent to Delhi, including Noida and Ghaziabad.

The NCW has launched a 24-hour helpline for women in Gujarat. “Within about one and a half months of its launch, 1,000 cases were reported,” she said. Similar helplines would be launched in Haryana and Rajasthan soon.





NCW to launch 24-hour helpline in Haryana

New Delhi, June 02, 2012

The National Commission for Women will soon start on a pilot basis a 24-hour helpline exclusively for women in distress in Haryana, months after it launched a similar project in Gujarat.
Announcing this here today, NCW chairperson Mamta Sharma said the project would take off in July and the statutory body was also mulling over launching similar round-the-clock helplines across the country by October-end.

“The helpline we launched in Gujarat was a huge success. Within a span of two months we received over 1000 complaints. The NCW is now thinking of launching similar projects in all the states by the end of October,” Sharma said.

“The helpline would not only provide useful advice to the depressed complainant but would also make sure that she is given instant shelter, legal aid, medical treatment and police help,” she said.

To a question on the shortage of hands in NCW, Sharma said she had written to the ministry of women and child development on the matter.

“To address the shortage, the NCW recommended making the temporary staff permanent. The ministry has given its approval and we are working in this direction,” she said.





CLAT confusion

Jun 2, 2012, 10.12AM IST

The Common Law Admission Test, popularly known as CLAT, is the entrance examination for admission to 14 National Law Universities (NLUs) in India. Every year, thousands of students from all over the country take this exam.

CLAT results were announced on May 28, it led to confusion over supposedly incorrect declaration of ranks and wrongful allotment of institutions to students. The declared results were taken down by the National Law University, Jodhpur (NLUJ), CLAT 2012 organising institution, on the evening of May 28 itself, creating further confusion. The CLAT convener admitted these errors and mentioned that he is trying to resolve them judiciously (source: Legally India:

CLAT 2012, comprised a number of questions being allegedly outside the declared CLAT syllabus for the year. Aspiring candidates found that about 70% of the Legal Aptitude section of the paper featured questions that required prior knowledge of legal provisions, while the syllabus had clearly stated that “candidates will not be tested on any prior knowledge of law or legal concepts. If a technical/legal term is used in the question, that term will be explained in the question itself.” In addition, the general knowledge/current affairs section of the paper, which was supposed to test candidates only on their knowledge of ‘current affairs,’ “broadly defined as matters featuring in the mainstream media between March 2011 and March 2012,” allegedly had ‘static General Knowledge’ questions on architect Le Corbusier’s citizenship and shapes of oceans, to name a few.

A writ petition was filed before a single judge at the Delhi High Court abut a week ago (prior to the publication of results), against the organisers of CLAT 2012 for posing questions that were allegedly out of syllabus {Writ Petition (Civil) No 3208 of 2012}. However, the petition was dismissed, in limine, or without going into the merits of the case. The judge held that the petition was premature as the results had not been declared then, and suggested that the petitioners could approach the courts once the results were declared. A similar writ petition was also filed before the Allahabad High Court and is pending.






PG medical quota for differently-abled

Gulbarga, June 2, 2012, DHNS:

In a bid to further empower differently-abled persons, the State government has reserved some seats for them in select branches of post-graduate medicine.

Under the new ruling, the differently-abled will have a three per cent reservation in select branches of the medical PG through the revised matrix at the time of the Post Graduate Entrance Test – due to be effective from this academic year.

This initiative was taken only after offical intervention by the judiciary. Previously, a differently-abled candidate, Dr Veeresh Hallur and others had filed a writ petition in the High Court seeking directions to ensure that there is reservation for those in his category with regard to PG medical seats. Based on the petition, the court has instructed the State  to evolve guidelines.

In a recent meeting chaired by the medical education principal secretary, department heads at the Bangalore Medical College examined the ways to implement the HC ruling.

Within the framework of the High Court ruling, a three percent reservation will be opened up in dermatology, radiotherapy, pediatrics, general medicine, radio diagnosis, psychiatry and pulmonary medicine.

In addition, the differently-abled will be entitled for admission in anatomy, physiology and bio-chemistry, and in all the branches of para-medical courses namely pharmacology, pathology, micro-biology, community medicine and forensic medicine.

But other medical branches, such as surgery, ophthalmology, orthopedics, ENT, anaesthesia, and obstetrics and gynaecology will continue to be barred as it is felt that the differently-abled will not be able to perform satisfactorily in such branches





Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik appeals to governor for probe into BHEL work order

TNN | Jun 3, 2012, 12.59AM IST

RANCHI: A delegation of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik, led by former chief minister Babulal Marandi, on Saturday met governor Syed Ahmed and demanded a probe into the alleged irregularity in allotment of work to the Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL) by the Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB).

The delegation alleged that the JSEB allotted the renovation and maintenance work of Sikidri Hydel Power Project to the BHEL at an exponential rate and also violated guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). All senior leaders of the party were present in the delegation which demanded probe by a high-powered committee consisting of at least three secretaries excluding state energy secretary.

Coming out of the Raj Bhawan, Marandi said recently the JSEB awarded the maintenance work of the hydel power plant to the BHEL 10 times the estimate prepared by engineers of the board. “We have documentary evidence that the JSEB engineers had prepared project report according to which the total cost of renovation for both the units would have been around Rs 2.6 crore. The JSEB management turned down the project report and gave the work to the BHEL which would cost the state exchequer around Rs 24 crore,” said Marandi.

“We informed the governor that the JSEB had allotted the same work to the BHEL in 2005 for Rs 65 lakh,” he said adding that the JSEB management violated the guidelines set by the CVC which permit 10% advance and that too after taking a bank guarantee of 110%. The JSEB did not take any bank guarantee from the BHEL.

“The governor accepted our memorandum and patiently heard the matter. He assured us that he would ensure a proper inquiry in the matter,” said Marandi.

Party’s general Pradeep Yadav said if the government fails to come clear on the matter, he would then file a writ in the high court.






Bribery case: Court awards jail term to BJP MLA in K’taka

Agencies : Bangalore, Sat Jun 02 2012, 15:11 hrs

In the first ever conviction of a Legislator in Karnataka under the Prevention of Corruption Act, a ruling BJP MLA was onSaturday sentenced to three-and-a half year rigorous imprisonment in a bribery case by the Lokayukta Special Court.

Judge N K Sudheendra Rao also imposed a fine of Rs 40,000 on Y Sampangi failing which he has to undergo imprisonment for another six months.

The judge directed the Lokayukta DSP to issue arrest warrant on Sampangi and take him into custody.

Sampangi, who represents Kolar Gold Fields Assembly constituency, was trapped by Lokayukta police on January 29, 2009 while accepting Rs 50,000 and a cheque for Rs 4.5 lakh from a person to settle a civil dispute.

He was found guilty under section 13 (1) d of the Prevention of Corruption Act in the trial that lasted more than three years.

Sampangi’s conviction has come as an added embarrassment to the ruling BJP in the state where several of its leaders, including former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, are battling cases of corruption in courts.






1984 anti-Sikh riots case: Court rejects Sajjan Kumar’s plea

Agencies : New Delhi, Sat Jun 02 2012, 17:56 hrs

A Delhi court on Saturday dismissed Congress leader Sajjan Kumar’s plea to use in his defence a 1984 anti-Sikh riots victim’s statements to judicial commissions, allegedly contradicting her testimony to trial court.

The witness’ statements to judicial commissions cannot be used for any purpose, including that for discrediting her or to impeach her, District Judge J R Aryan said.

The Congress leader, in his application, had said the earlier affidavits and statements of complainant and key witness Jagdish Kaur to the judicial commission be allowed to be used to confront her with her recent testimony in the ongoing trial.

“It is clear that without going into the wider questions, even a plain reading of section 6 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act will prohibits the use of the previous statements at the trial either for the purposes of cross examination to contradict the witness or to impeach his credit,” the court said.

The former Outer Delhi MP had filed an application saying that CBI prosecutor R S Cheema on July 12, 2010 had told the court that affidavits and statement of complainant and key witness Jagdish Kaur, recorded by G T Nanavati and Ranganath Mishra Commissions, cannot be used because of contradictions.

The CBI had said as per the provisions of the Commission of Inquiry Act, the affidavits and statements of a witness given before any Commission cannot be used against her for the purpose of questioning her testimony.

Sajjan Kumar, Balwan Khokkar, Kishan Khokkar, Mahender Yadav, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal are facing trial in the killings of six people in Delhi Cantonment area during the 1984 carnage which had broken out after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

They are accused of instigating a mob to attack and kill the Sikhs.

In his application, Sajjan Kumar had said the CBI had earlier brought on record and even examined Kaur’s affidavit and statement to the judicial commissions but it now says it is not relying on them.

He had said prosecutor Cheema had on July 12, 2010, made a statement in the court that affidavits of the witness in the case cannot be used due to contradictions.

Earlier, Sajjan Kumar’s counsel had said law and justice dwell together and law does not permit this situation and “now the prosecution cannot claim protection of the provisions of the Commission of Inquiry Act as no such protection could be given in respect of evidence given in the court.”

Advocate Anil Kumar, appearing for other accused, had said if the prosecution and the witness would use the affidavits filed before Ranganath Commission and Nanavati Commission, then there is no law which forbids the defence from confronting them.

The case against Sajjan Kumar was registered on the recommendation by Nanavati Commission. The CBI had filed two chargesheets against him and others in January 2010.

The trial court had framed charges against Sajjan Kumar and five others in 2010 under Sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief to cause damage to property), 153A (promoting enmity between different communities) and other provisions of IPC.






Radiation case: Bail to DU teachers

TNN | Jun 3, 2012, 02.01AM IST

NEW DELHI: A trial court on Saturday granted bail to five Delhi University professors chargesheeted in a case relating to radiation leak in Mayapuri in which one person died due to exposure to radioactive substance at a scrap market in 2010.

The court had summoned six professors after police had filed the chargesheet accusing them of endangering the lives by auctioning a radioactive Cobalt-60 gamma irradiator without mandatory precautions. While five of them were granted bail, one was allowed exemption from personal appearance in the case till further order.





Minor inconsistencies in witnesses testimony irrelevant: SC

Press Trust of India / New Delhi June 03, 2012, 10:05


Minor inconsistencies in witnesses’ testimony can be overlooked if the principal part of the oral and ocular evidence is in conformity with the medical evidence, the Supreme Court has ruled.

A bench of justices H L Dattu and Anil Dave gave the ruling, upholding the life sentences of two convicts Kathi Bharat Vajsur and Kathi Ramku Vajsur in a 1984 murder case relating to Gujarat’s Amreli district.

Kathi Fakira Vajsur, the prime accused in the case had died during the pendency of the trial.

The apex court concurred with the Gujarat High Court’s decision to reverse the acquittal by the trial court which had disbelieved the prosecution’s evidence.

“Perhaps the trial court took a hyper-technical view by primarily concentrating on minor contradictions to hold that the prosecution has failed to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

“We are not in agreement with the findings and conclusions reached by the trial court. When the medical evidence is in consonance with the principal part of the oral /ocular evidence, supporting the prosecution story, there is no question of ruling out the ocular evidence merely on the ground that there are some inconsistencies or contradictions in the oral evidence,” observed Justice Dattu, who wrote the judgement.

Citing an earlier ruling of the apex court that there is no fixed pattern of reaction of an eyewitness to a crime, the bench said, “When faced with what is termed as “an unusual reaction” of an eyewitness, the Court must only examine whether the prosecution story is in anyway affected by such reaction.





Facebook face-offs pepper divorce cases across India

Swati Deshpande, TNN | Jun 2, 2012, 11.48PM IST

MUMBAI: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has not marked his relationship status as “married”. His wife Priscilla Chan has. He has no picture of them as newly-weds on his page, she does. It’s fine for the couple after the billionaire-founder of the world’s most popular social networking site tied the knot about a couple of weeks ago, but in a small town in Tamil Nadu, a similar “failure” by a man to update his “basic info” on Facebook is being cited by his wife as grounds for cruelty.

In Mumbai, a young couple stood in front of a family court judge last week. Their complaint against each other was that the other was always glued to Facebook. The judge reprimanded them, then counselled them. They finally admitted that they still did like each other, resolved to not “unfriend” and to give their marriage another shot.

Some marriages may get saved, but Facebook, which a recent survey in UK blamed for nearly a third of all divorces, is leading to a rise in face-offs in family courts across India too. “Facebook is fast becoming a reason why many marriages are faltering,” said celebrity divorce lawyer Mrinalini Deshmukh.

As divorce petitions get peppered with the mention of Facebook and printouts of web pages, the reason is not merely because couples spend more hours individually on the site, Deshmukh said. “Spending more time, especially at night before bedtime, with friends on Facebook or merely playing games on the site is no doubt eating into couples’ together-time or intimacy. More pertinently, if someone wants to have an affair or flirt, then FB is an easy place to do it. People also use the ‘friend finder’ to re-unite with school or college friends and some really unite. One couple opted for mutual consent divorce when her husband found his former love on FB,” the lawyer explained.

Facebook posts, photos now court evidence

“There are now FB widows and ‘spending time on Facebook’ is replacing ‘spending time online watching porn’ as grounds for cruelty,” said Deshmukh.

Neela Gokhale, a divorce advocate, recounts that in Pune, a woman found her husband “obsessed with FB and ‘adding’ women friends. She has filed for divorce”. Facebook posts and pictures are being used as evidence in courts.

Facebook actually throws up proof of infidelity through pictures posted on friends’ pages, said Arthi P S, a Chennai-based divorce lawyer, who believes that distraction in a marriage is endemic, it is just that the mode has changed for most with Facebook.

In Chennai, a woman dragged her husband to court after she found a picture of him in a “compromising” position with another girl on the page of a friend of her friend. “It was a recent picture,” she claimed, citing it as evidence. He is denying the charges in court.

Senior lawyer Sunil Mittal from Delhi said: “Photographs posted by friends or even husbands and wives are finding their way into divorce battles in a big way.”

Families frown at “inappropriate status updates, comments and photographs”, said veteran family court lawyer Tara Hegde. In an ongoing case, a man moved court after he found out what his wife was really up to from her FB status updates. “People tell the court one thing, but post the truth online. Facebook exposes a person for what he or she really is,” Hegde said.

A lawyer said Facebook has opened avenues to help reinforce suspicions. In Mumbai, a woman, newly married, refused to consummate her marriage. Her husband was patient, said advocate Hegde, till he stumbled on to her FB profile page — it had pictures of her with many male friends. Now, he has filed for annulment with FB pictures as evidence.

The Bandra family court right now is struggling to figure out where to even send summons to a “wife” who a man says he married after meeting on Facebook.

“I am trying to make the world a more open place,” says FB founder Zuckerberg. Millions like him for it, but some are now clicking “unlike.”





Ruchika Girhotra case: Family gives up fight against ex-Haryana DGP

Ajay Sura, TNN Jun 2, 2012, 04.09PM IST

CHANDIGARH: The family of Ruchika Girhotra, a minor girl who allegedly committed suicide after molestation by former Haryana director general of police (DGP) SPS Rathore, has given up its fight for justice in the court of law after 22 years.

The special CBI court Panchkula on Friday accepted the closure report submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in two cases – attempt to murder and forgery of documents- filed against former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore.

Ruchika’s father Subhash and brother Ashu raised no objection to the closure report.

Admitting that he was not in a position to pursue the matter further, Subhash said, “I do not see any hope now. We feel cheated. My family is vulnerable. The circumstances have pushed us back by 20 years.”

“When Rathore was convicted in 2009, I met union home minister P C Chidambaram who assured me of justice. I thought time and system had changed and dared to move fresh complaints against Rathore.” On January 12, 2010 the CBI registered three fresh FIRs against Rathore – attempt to murder, abetment to suicide and doctoring of documents. However, in November 2010, the CBI submitted the closure report in two cases. The closure report was accepted by the court on Friday.

“But now after finding that the system cannot be changed, we decided not to pursue it further,” Girhotra said.

Ruchika’s disillusioned father said that he had presented a lot of material and some witnesses related to the fresh cases before the agency. “But the agency was adamant on closing the case.”

Subhash forced his son and family into exile after Ruchika’s death, fearing further harassment at the hands of the former DGP. During this period, the family shifted between several cities and returned to Panchkula many years later only to lead an inconspicuous life.

The third case against Rathore- abetment to suicide – is still pending. The CBI could not file any report as the Punjab and Haryana high court has ordered status quo on it. Besides Rathore, former Ambala SP KP Singh, sub-inspector Prem Dutt and assistant sub-inspectors Jai Narayan and Sewa Singh were also named in the FIR.

In its closure report, the CBI has said that the allegations levelled by Subhash Girhotra and his son Ashu against Rathore were unfounded. The CBI also claimed that the allegations could not be substantiated “as per the documentary evidence and oral testimony of witnesses.”

Ruchika Case—Timeline

August 12, 1990– SPS Rathore, then IG and President, Haryana Lawn Tennis Association (HLTA) molested Ruchika

September 1990–Ruchika expelled from school for ‘indiscipline’ following her allegations against Rathore

September 3, 1990– An Inquiry report indicts Rathore

October 23, 1993– Ruchika’s brother arrested in several theft cases

December 28, 1993– Ruchika consumed poisonous substance

December 29, 1993– Ruchika died

August 21, 1998– High Court directs CBI to conduct inquiry

December 21, 2009– CBI court sentenced six months’ rigorous imprisonment to Rathore

January 12, 2010– CBI registered three fresh FIRs leveling charges of attempt to murder, abetment to suicide and doctoring documents

November 10, 2010– CBI filed closure





Civic polls to be held within six months in Puducherry

PTI | 06:06 PM,Jun 02,2012

Puducherry, Jun 2 (PTI) The State Election Commission in Puducherry has launched steps to conduct civic polls in six months in keeping with the directives of Madras High court. The term of office of all the civic bodies ended in July last year and have since been officially administered. The High court gave the directive to Puducherry administration in March this year to hold civic polls within six months in a PIL filed by CPI-M’s Puducherry unit seeking posting of the State Election Commissioner and holding of polls. The SEC had since been appointed and former Secretary to Lt Governor R.Udipta Ray has taken charge as SEC. Officer on Special duty (Civic elections) K.Uthaman said in a release that the electoral rolls for the civic polls would be prepared on the basis of the voters list published by the Election Department for the last Assembly polls here. The Union Territory had the first civic polls in June/July 2006 after 38 years under the Puducherry Municipalities and Village and Commune Panchayat Act of 1973. N.Rangasamy, the present Chief Minister heading the AINRC government, had headed the Congress ministry in 2006 when the last civic polls were held here.





Woman along with two others convicted for murdering husband

Press Trust of India / Mohali June 02, 2012, 21:55


A woman along with her paramour and one of his accomplice were today convicted by a sessions court here for killing her husband six year ago.

Additional District and Sessions Judge, Rajinder Singh Rai, held Neki Nalwa, her alleged paramour Himmat Singh Brandy and accomplice Paramveer Singh guilty of the murder.

Quantum of sentence will be announced on Monday.

It was on December 4, 2005, when Sukhwinderjit Singh, an engineer in his late 20s, was shot dead while he was taking a walk with his wife near their residence in Sector 69.

Victim’s aged parents had registered the case and fought a sustained battle for justice.

Ever since they were arrested on December 7, 2005, Neki along with Brandy, both in their early 30s, had been lodged in Patiala Central Jail.

However, Paramveer, who was accused of providing cartridge used in the crime, was out on bail.

Though she had been claiming innocence, Neki had been denied bail repeatedly by the High Court as well as the sessions court.





Court orders inquiry against cop for helping relatives

Soumittra S Bose, TNN | Jun 3, 2012, 06.20AM IST

NAGPUR: Ad hoc district and additional sessions judge KL Vyas has come down heavily on a sub-inspector of Nandanvan police station for falsely implicating three youths in a case of kidnapping to help his relatives who were upset over one of them proposing to a girl of the family. The cop also got help from a woman prosecutor who was a relative.

The court has asked the city police chief to conduct an enquiry against PSI CT Maske within three months of the judgment which was passed on April 30. Interestingly, Maske was promoted as assistant police inspector (API) and transferred to Bhandara a couple of months ago.

The court was shocked to learn that in the chargesheet Maske had shown that the accused Sachin and his brother Nitin Bhagwat and Pawan Naik were produced before the judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) on December 4 in 2009 even before they were arrested. The court observed that as per the arrest panchanama the three were produced before JMFC at 3pm while they were taken into the custody at 4pm later that day.

The case was about a teenager who was forcibly married after being kidnapped in November 2009. The court trashed the case after discovering that the incident of alleged kidnapping and subsequent marriage took place with the consent of the victim who was studying engineering at a private college at Wanadongri in Hingna.

It was after Sonali (name changed) returned after spending a month with Sachin that her family took Maske’s help to book the boy and the other two on trumped up charges.

Sonali’s family is a distant relative of Maske who got help from Nandini Thete, the advocate who assisted prosecution. Thate was the cop’s cousin. The court also observed that the five witnesses in the case were all from the same family, which included the teenager who was supposedly kidnapped, her uncle and parents.

The court pulled up Maske for conducting a shoddy investigation and sending the three to jail where they spent more than 10 days. While Maske recorded in his FIR that Sonali was kidnapped from Nandanvan while on way to college, her mother stated that her daughter was picked up from Kelvad while she was taking a walk. In her statement, Sonali had claimed that she was taken away from college.

The court criticized Maske for not verifying the place of kidnapping or where the girl was kept and the marriage solemnized. ‘Bogus and false case prepared in collusion with the family of the complainant with the help of their relatives and authorities concerned’ is what the court observed. The court also pointed out that the girl’s age was 19 years on the day of kidnapping and not 17 years as what Maske had mentioned.

The court also underlined the fact that the case was not only false and malicious but was also investigated in contrary to the provisions laid in law.





Man gets death penalty for rape, murder of 7-year-old

TNN | Jun 3, 2012, 01.54AM IST

NEW DELHI: A trial court has sentenced a person to death for raping a seven-year-old girl before killing her, as it stressed the need for courts to have zero tolerance for crimes against children.

Additional sessions judge (ASJ) Kamini Lau handed out the death penalty to Sanjay Kumar Valmiki, a resident of Haiderpur in north Delhi, saying there was only one sentence for a person convicted of raping and killing a child. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1,61,000 on the convict stipulating that, if recovered, Rs 1 lakh should be given as compensation to the victim’s family.

Valmiki had raped and murdered the minor last year at the NDPL office in the capital when the girl had gone there in search of water. The matter came to light when the victim’s decomposed body was found from the NDPL office’s switch gear room after two days.

The court said there was a public outcry after the incident, and that if Valmiki had fallen into the hands of the mob, he would have been lynched. “This court cannot ignore the loud cry for justice by society in this case involving a heinous crime of rape on an innocent child and her grotesque killing, and will respond by imposition of proper sentence lest people loose faith in the judicial system and take law into their hands,” the judge said.

While expressing anguish over such heinous crime, Lau said a message should be sent to society that the judicial system in the country has “zero tolerance” for those “who mess with children” and “a single moment of madness can lead them to gallows”.

“In a country of Gautam Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi, governed by faith believing in sacredness of all living creatures, urging the avoidance of harm and violence and practicing ahimsa, the convict without a moment of remorse and regret even for once murdered the child and it is hence that the case falls in the category of rarest of rare cases,” the judge said.

The court said the convict committed an unthinkable act of ravaging the child’s body, which even an animal won’t do. “The injures on the body of the child, as many as 15 in number, speak volumes of the brutality and force with which the innocent child had been battered to death,” Lau said.





Conjugal rights cant be claimed after plaint

T S Sekaran

CHENNAI: A woman, who has lodged a police complaint against her husband and in-laws alleging that they have subjected her to cruelty, cannot expect restitution of her conjugal rights, the Madras High Court has observed.

A division bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M Venugopal made the observation on May 30 last, while granting divorce to K Ramesh from his wife, daughter of a former MLA.

Based on the complaint for offences under two sections of the IPC and the Dowry Harassment Act, Ramesh and his parents were incarcerated in prison for 22 days. When they applied for advance bail before the arrest, the wife had also gone to the extent of filing an intervening petition opposing grant of any relief to them. They were, however, acquitted of the charges by the Sessions Court/Mahila Court after 22 days of detention in prison, the bench noted.

“All these acts by the wife clearly constituted mental cruelty meted out to the husband and his parents, who admittedly would have undergone a traumatic experience and humiliating affairs in the social circle.� Certainly it would amount to causing cruelty to the husband and fall within the ambit and purview of cruelty and therefore, the husband is entitled to get the relief of divorce,” the bench said after listening to the arguments of senior advocate P Wilson.

When there was a love lost between the husband, his parents and the wife, it was not the prudent course of action for the wife to file a petition seeking restitution of conjugal rights nearly two years after Ramesh filed the petition for divorce and on that basis it was inequitable for the court of law to grant her relief, the bench observed.

The bench added that the marriage between the parties had become emotionally dead and the marriage tie betwen them had irretrievably broken down. Moreover, the element of separation between the parties unerringly pointed out that there was an intention to bring cohabitation parmanently to an end and the differences of opinion between the spouses were not to be considered as temporary passions or the normal wear and tear troubles/problems in family life.





Man awarded 6 years’ jail term

TNN | Jun 3, 2012, 03.29AM IST

DARBHANGA: The court of the adhoc additional district and sessions judge (ADJ)-4, Darbhanga, Sunil Kumar Singh on Thursday sentenced one, Md Munna, of Harlakhi village in Madhubani district to six years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000 for drugging a train passenger, Md Rizwan, at Darbhanga railway station on May 1,2008, making him unconscious and robbing him of all his belongings.

According to Darbhanga PP B K Singh, when Rizwan of Bisfi village in Madhubani district got down from the train at Darbhanga station for going onwards to his village, Munna befriended him and offered tea mixed with an intoxicating drug. The accused hired a rickshaw and he, along with the victim, sat on it and reached Ahilapur Ghat under Bahadurpur PS in Darbhanga district. By that time Rizwan became unconscious, all his belongings had been looted by the accused.

Meanwhile, the rickshaw-puller had raised a hue and cry. The accused was caught by the people. Chowkidar Bishwanath Paswan lodged a case against Munna with Bahadurpur police station. On March 31, 2009, the court framed charges against him.

The prosecution presented 12 persons as witnesses in this case during trial. The court held Munna guilty on May 29 and announced the quantum of punishment on Thursday. Munna has been in judicial custody since May 1, 2008.





Custody extended for Kazmi; Delhi Police get 90 days more for probe

Staff Reporter

Investigation will now extend to foreign countries, say police

A court here on Saturday allowed a police plea seeking extension of the custody of journalist Syed Mohammed Ahmed Kazmi, who is suspected of involvement in the February bomb attack on an Israeli diplomat here.

Mr. Kazmi, who was arrested on March 6, would have completed 90 days in custody on June 3.

The application of the Delhi Police Special Cell was moved under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which allows a suspect to be kept in custody for 180 days from the date of arrest, during which time a charge sheet has to be filed. Otherwise, the suspect will become automatically eligible for bail.

Remand till June 22

Extending judicial remand till June 22, the court also allowed the Special Cell to continue its probe for another 90 days, while Mr. Kazmi is kept in judicial custody. Police sources said the investigation would now extend to some foreign countries too.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Vinod Yadav passed the order after stating he would have to go through the entire investigation record to satisfy himself that investigation was progressing properly and that a “specific reason for detention of the accused beyond 90 days is made out.”

The public prosecutor sought in-camera proceedings on the ground that the Special Cell findings had to be protected at this stage of the case.

A police source said a Letter Rogatory was being sent to Georgia and Israel and LRs were also being sent to Iran, Malaysia and Thailand seeking information on the suspects, their movements and records of mobile phone call details. A special team, besides seeking information on mobile phone call detail records of the suspects from Georgia, Thailand, Malaysia and Iran, will, if necessary, visit these countries. The Delhi Police suspect that the series of blasts in India, Georgia, and Thailand in February were targeted at Israeli diplomats and that there was a common conspiracy.

Notice to Delhi Police

In another development, the CMM issued notice to the police asking them to reply to an application, filed on behalf of Mr. Kazmi, seeking a detailed inquiry, and initiation of legal action and registering of a criminal case against the persons responsible for “illegal removal/possession and production of the remand papers” in the case.

The application requested the court to pass an order to get the remand papers, including original remand applications and original orders, verified and scientifically examined by the Forensic Sciences Laboratory to rule out forgery/manipulation.

Mr. Kazmi also demanded that he be unconditionally released, saying he was “illegally detained under the force of unsustainable orders.” He said the remand orders could not be taken as “legal/sustainable” until they were “examined and established upon examination by the FSL and/or any other expert in this field”.

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) S. S. Rathi had on May 25 set aside the CMM’s May 1 order declining certified copies of the judicial/police custody remand applications to Mr. Kazmi’s counsel, Mehmood Pracha. After perusing the remand applications/orders, the ASJ said the CMM’s order of March 7, granting the Special Cell 20 days’ police custody for Mr. Kazmi, was “handwritten so poorly, that it is almost illegible.” The remand applications/orders were initially missing, but were produced before the ASJ, a few hours after the proceedings began, by the staff of the CMM’s court who said the papers were misplaced in another file.

(With inputs from Devesh K. Pandey)





Indian Council for Cultural Relations ex-DG, three others face trial for trafficking

Smriti Singh, TNN | Jun 3, 2012, 01.36AM IST

NEW DELHI: A former director general of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), along with three others, is all set to face trial with a special CBI court ordering the framing of charges against them for their alleged involvement in trafficking nine people to Germany in 2005.

Special CBI judge Kanwaljeet Arora said there was “prima facie” evidence that the accused, including Rakesh Kumar, the then DG ICCR, misused his official position and collected ill-gotten money from the persons who defected in Germany for including them in the “so-called cultural group” so as to facilitate their entry into a foreign land.

The court ordered framing of charges against Rakesh Kumar, Shiv Kumar Sharma — the then Punjab Agriculture University employee, Balwinder Bawa — a Punjabi singer, and Gurbhej Singh — constable of Punjab Armed Police, for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code.

“Rakesh Kumar used his official position.. to ensure empanelment of the group on the basis of forged documents for extraneous consideration in cash and kind. It is further apparent.. the accused persons had included such persons in this group, who were not the Bhangra artists with the knowledge that they would defect as and when sent abroad for extraneous considerations, which infact they did,” the court said while fixing June 8 for framing of charges.

A bogus cultural group ‘Mehak Punjab Di’ was formed in 2005 after Harghulab contacted Sharma for sending his son Randeep abroad, it said. Harghulab Singh, a Punjab-based farmer, however later turned approver and was granted pardon.





Innocent until proven guilty

June 3, 2012

  • By S. Ramachandra Rao

The various charges and cases against Jagan Mohan Reddy almost have an unknown flavour in Indian Constitutionalism. The allegations leveled against him are that of abusing the power of office, which his father had held for a period of six years. He allegedly benefited enormously to the tune of several crores, the modus operandi being that his father showed enormous favours to certain persons or concerns and they in turn, through proxies or by themselves, made heavy investments in the firms that were either owned or controlled by him.

This may or may not be true depending upon the final adjudication by competent courts. As of today, several people may suspect him of illegal enrichment, but there are three stages in any case which require attention. As long as it is suspicion or as long as such issues are raised in the media, they do not establish anything.

At the second stage, when a reputed investigating agency is entrusted by the High Court to probe the allegations, several considerations are involved and are implicit in both Constitutional law and criminal law. Any citizen, for legal purposes, is presumed innocent till the competent courts declare him guilty. Secondly, every citizen is entitled, whether guilty or not, to be properly and fairly investigated and is entitled to two things i.e. equality before law and equal protection of laws.

In all the cases against Jagan, without going into the truth of the charges levelled against him, two basic infirmities stare at us: whether the premier investigating agency i.e. the CBI, is acting fairly and impartially or whether it is being remotely controlled by the Central or state governments. Secondly, whether the proceedings in court against him by the CBI are uniform in accordance with law or whether special procedures are being adopted for extraneous or political considerations.

Suspicions apart, where cases are launched for violating the penal provisions of the law either by way of breach of trust, conspiracy or misappropriation of public funds, it is not for the accused to establish that he is innocent. The presumption in law is that he is innocent till proved guilty. That is an essential procedural safeguard provided in criminal law and constitutional law expects fair and non-discriminative investigation.

When the state or its agencies act differently, the citizen is entitled to be protected by the principle of constitutional equality.

The other important aspect in these cases is that Jagan was not a public servant till 2009, when he became an MP, which is not an office of profit. Criminal misconduct, as defined under the Prevention of Corruption Act, is applicable only for public servants when they hold posts in public services. Under the Indian Penal Code, having properties of any magnitude by any citizen is not an offence by itself; though one is answerable under financial laws including Income Tax. There can be no question of a citizen holding any properties, huge or small, being charged under Criminal Misconduct of Disproportionate Assets under Section 13 E of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, which is applicable only to public servants.

If he is to be treated as a public servant, then sanction by the appointing authority is mandatory under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The Lok Sabha Speaker never gave any sanction to proceed against Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy. As far as he is concerned, unless the links are established, the money or properties he allegedly possesses cannot be presumed to be tainted till established by the courts.

There can be no trial and conviction of any person, either by opposing politicians or by a motivated media.

S. Ramachandra Rao is a senior advocate and ex-advocate general





Engineer gets 10 years in jail for wife’s suicide

R. Sivaraman

Victim agonised over his extra-marital affair

A Mahila Court on Friday sentenced a software engineer to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment (RI) for abetting his wife’s suicide, five months after their marriage.

Meena Satheesh, Judge of Mahila Court said, “Since the accused is responsible for his wife’s suicide, merely five months into their marriage, no leniency should be shown to him.”

The Judge held S. Veeraraju alias Savakula Veeraraju (30), a software engineer, guilty for offences under Sections 306 (abetment of suicide) and 498 A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of the Indian Penal code.

She sentenced him to three years’ RI and imposed a fine of Rs. 5,000 under section 498 A, and ten years’ RI and a fine of Rs. 20,000 under section 306.

He will have to serve the maximum term of 10 years.

According to the prosecution, Veeraraju tied the knot with Durgambika in Andhra Pradesh on June 15, 2006 even though he was in a relationship with another woman. Three days after the wedding, he left for Bangalore, where he worked as a software engineer.

From there, he contacted his wife and informed her about his intention to continue his extra-marital relationship. Following this, Durgambika left for her parents’ home. A few months later, when Veeraraju was transferred to Chennai, Durgambika’s father brought her back but the couple failed to make their marriage work.

Unable to bear the agony, Durgambika consumed poison on November 2, 2006, and died the next day, the prosecution said. Her father then lodged a complaint with the police.

In her order, the Judge said it was clear that the deceased was mentally harassed by the accused and hence, deserving of the punishment.





Acharya to go on trial

June 3, 2012

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Saturday gave the go-ahead for prosecuting senior IAS official B.P. Acharya while denying the same for Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Executive Officer L.V. Subramanyam. The Chief Minister met advocate-general A. Sudarshan Reddy on Saturday morning and held a detailed discussion on the matter before taking the decision.

Mr Acharya, who is already in jail and is facing charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, would now have to face charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Sources said that the Chief Minister, after careful and extensive examination of the material furnished by the CBI and the response from the concerned officer (Mr Acharya), decided to recommend to the Governm-ent of India for prosecution of the IAS officer under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Regarding Mr L.V. Subramanyam, the Chief Minister, after perusal of relevant records, decided not to recommend permission for prosecution. The CBI had also sought permission to initiate prosecution proceedings against Mr Subramanyam. According to Section 197 (1) of the CrPC, permission is must before the investigating agency proceeds to prosecute an official under the Prevention of Corruption Act.





Man sentenced to 3 years imprisonment

PTI | 04:06 PM,Jun 02,2012

Madurai, Jun 2 (PTI) A Magistrate court here has sentenced a person to three years imprisonment for issuing fake documents to enable some accused get bail. Judicial Magistrate Umamaheshwari said the accused had helped anti-social elements and had made the entire judiciary a laughing stock. The Magistrate sentenced him to three years imprisonment under five IPC sections including cheating, forgery and cheating the judiciary and said the sentences would run concurrently. Ravichandran was arrested on December 21,2004,when he was moving around suspiciously at Koodalnagar.Seals of village administrative officers and that of the panchayat President and other officials were seized. He had issued fake property tax receipt, patta and ration card to enable some accused get bail.






AP HC dismisses Jagan petition against arrest

June 3, 2012

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Saturday justified the arrest of YSR Congress party president and Kadapa MP Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy in the illegal investments case by the Central Bureau of Investigation. While dismissing a writ and also a criminal petition by Jagan seeking declaration of his arrest as illegal, Justice B. Chandra Kumar said that there was nothing mala fide in the arrest of the petitioner.

Jagan Mohan Reddy had alleged that the CBI had arrested him under political pressure from Delhi to prevent him from taking part in the election campaign in the ensuing by-polls. The judge said that the CBI had arrested the accused fearing that he would influence witnesses and tamper with evidence by misusing his position as MP and party president. The judge said that there was evidence for the apprehension of the CBI as some of the witnesses who were prepared to depose against the accused in the case, had refused to give their statement before the magistrate. The CBI has shown the case dairies to the court in this regard, the judge added.

The judge dismissed the pleas of Jagathi Publication, V. Vijaya Sai Reddy and Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy seeking a direction from the court to declare the action of the CBI court as illegal, by taking cognisance of the CBI chargesheets in the case. The judge also dismissed the pleas by Jagathi Publications by issuing a summons in the case.

HC: No interim bail plea from Jagan pending
Justice B. Chandra Kumar of AP High Court on Saturday made it clear that no application is pending before the court to grant interim bail to YSR Congress president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and let him participate in the election campaign. While allowing a plea by the CBI, seeking a direction to set aside the CBI court’s order in remanding Jagan Reddy under Section 309 of CrPC, Justice Kumar observed that the question of granting interim bail dose not arise since there was no application from the petitioner.

Section 309 of CrPC specifies that a trial court should remand an accused after completion of probe and taking cognizance of offence, while Section 167(2) CrPC stipulates a trial court to remand an accused till the probe is over. Setting aside the CBI court’s order, Justice Kumar remanded Jagan under Section 167(2) of CrPC.






HC seeks reply on tiger task force delay

TNN | Jun 3, 2012, 03.34AM IST

LUCKNOW: Taking cognizance of three tiger deaths in UP within a week, the high court has asked the Central and state governments to explain why the proposed Special Task Force for protection of tigers in the national parks not been constituted yet.

The court has also directed state government to set up the task force before July first week.

The court will hear the case in July first week.

The order was passed by a division bench of Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice VK Dixit on a PIL seeking directions to the government for constitution of the force.

The Central government’s counsel told the court that the Centre has released the funds and now the onus is on the state to set up the task force.

The idea of setting up a dedicated tiger protection force was mooted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on November 5, 2007. Dudhwa, along with 16 tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Bihar was nominated to be manned by the special task force to accord protection to the dwindling population of big cats against rampant poaching.

The task force will comprise forest guards and locals. Besides shortage of forest guards, most of them are old too, said sources.

Dudhwa, in 2008, was sanctioned one company of 120 trained personnel for STF. The company was to be headed by an assistant commandant, deemed to be at par with an assistant superintendent of police.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) was expected to bear the expenses for arms and vehicles for patrolling and other logistics involved.

The specialised force was to be recruited by the state home department as per the rules and regulation finalised by the state government and the Centre. Its recruitment and deployment was meant to be confined to man the tiger belt alone. The state government was to make arrangements for training of the personnel and setting up the infrastructural support required.

Meanwhile, additional advocate general, UP, Zafaryab Jilani said he would seek instructions from the state government on the issue.





Finally, Italian naval guards out of jail on bail

TNN | Jun 3, 2012, 04.34AM IST

KOCHI: Two Italian naval guards arrested in connection with the February 15 high-sea killing of two Indian fishermen were released on bail on Saturday.

The naval guards — Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone — left the borstal school, where they had been lodged since May 25. They were shifted from the central prison in Poojappura, Thiruvananthapuram, to the school following Italy’s request. The Italians, who left the school around 9.30pm on Saturday, would be staying at Trident Hotel in Willington until the completion of the trial.

The marines of Italian navy’s San Marco regiment, who were taken to a judicial first class magistrate court in Kollam, were returned to the borstal school in the evening. Later a team of officials, including consul general Giampalo Cuttilo, followed them to Kochi with the bail bond.

They were released after Italy, on behalf of the naval guards, furnished a surety of Rs 1 crore. While pronouncing the bail conditions, the HC had directed them to reside within 10km from the office of the Kochi police commissioner. They were also ordered to report to the police commissioner’s office daily. The Italians were part of the security personnel on board the Enrica Lexie. The naval guards had opened fire at St Antony, an Indian boat, reportedly mistaking its crew for pirates. Fishermen Ajesh Pink and Valentine were killed in the incident.






Reserve 25 pc for poor in every class: HC

Ashish Tripathi, June 2, 2012, New Delhi:

Schools admitting new students to any class will have to reserve 25 per cent of their seats for children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged group following the mandate of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the Delhi High Court has held.

A bench comprising acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw passed the order after a PIL (public interest litigation) was filed by an NGO apprehending that schools making admissions were not following the reservation criterion set by the RTE Act. The court had also sought clarification from the Department of Education (DoE) regarding reservation of seats in schools.

The bench further explained that the schools, which are imparting pre-school education, would have to provide 25 per cent reservation to children belonging to EWS and disadvantaged groups at the pre-school level.

The schools, which do not have pre-school education and are admitting children in class I, should provide 25 per cent reservation to children belonging to weaker section and dis-advantaged groups.The bench also pointed that the interpretation given by it was in consonance with the historic judgment the Supreme Court upholding the Constitutional validity of the RTE Act. The Act is to be applied from the academic year 2012-13.

NGO Social Jurist approached the court seeking direction for enforcement of certain facets of the RTE Act.

It referred to an order issued by Delhi government’s Director of Education (DOE) on May 18, which had deferred the direction to schools for filling vacant seats under the EWS and disadvantaged category in classes other than pre-school and pre-primary, till receipt of clarifications from the Union government’s Ministry of Human Resource Development.

The NGO contended such a deferment would delay the admission to other classes, till beyond the beginning of the academic session, and would lead to the seats remaining vacant for the current academic year.

The DOE submitted that the unaided schools were interpreting the provision of the Act to mean that they are obliged to admit students belonging to EWS and disadvantaged group at entry level only and not at any other level, even if they were making admission at any other levell.

The court clarified the position making it mandatory for the schools to follow the Act by directing them to admit students from that group at each level and not confine it to only at entry level.





Truthful in mosque, not in court: HC calls it sin

Utkarsh Anand : New Delhi, Sun Jun 03 2012, 01:56 hrs

HE was a ‘truthful’ man who never lied when in a mosque, but in a court of law he withheld the truth — on two occasions.

The Delhi High Court has held Mohd Shamim guilty of contempt of court and called his lying in court a “sin”.

“For those who believe in God, God is omnipresent in whatever form and it is the inevitable truth. Thus, for the believers of God, He is present in every form, all pervasive and ubiquitous — in the mosque as well as in court and more importantly in our hearts,” said Justice Kailash Gambhir.

The judge noted that courts are often referred to as “temples of justice” and asked “how one can be untruthful before the temple of justice, and be truthful at the place of worship,” said Justice Gambhir.

Shamim and his brother have been embroiled in a dispute, which was resolved with the latter agreeing to pay Rs 5 lakh in settlement. While the brother claimed that he had made a payment of Rs 1 lakh in March this year, Shamim refused to acknowledge the receipt and moved the court. In the court, both the brothers stuck to their claims and swore by the Quran.

Perplexed, the court by an unusual order on May 21 sent both of them to a nearby mosque to record their statements. A senior advocate and a Delhi Police DCP were appointed as court commissioners. While his brother reiterated about the compromise and having given Rs 1 lakh, Shamim took a U-turn and agreed in the mosque that he had received the money.

But once back in court, Shamim went back on his statement again and said no compromise was reached between him and his brother.

Incensed by his lies, the court issued to him a show-cause notice for contempt of court. Even though Shamim tendered an apology, the judge refused to let his act go unpunished, wondering how a litigant could lie in the court after swearing in the name of the God and speak otherwise in a place of worship.

“What is lamentable and pricks the conscience of this court is that the decree holder (Shamim) differentiated between the court and the mosque as if God is present only in the mosque and not in the courts,” said Justice Gambhir.

“The decree holder while swearing in the name of God in the courtroom not once but twice spoke untruth. But while in mosque he spoke the truth, which has not only perverted the course of justice but also questioned the sanctity of the oath administered in the court. The importance of the virtue of truthfulness is intrinsic in all religions and there can be no religion or scripture that does not tell us to speak the truth at all times,” said the court, putting the matter in July for pronouncing the punishment against Shamim.





HC suspends judge dealing with CBI cases

Hyderabad, Jun 1 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh High Court has placed First Additional Special Judge for CBI cases– T Pattabhirama Rao under suspension after considering some information it received against the judge.

Incidentally, the judge had granted bail to former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy in the OMC illegal mining case last month, while he had rejected bail to IAS officer Y Srilakshmi, another accused in the OMC scam.

Though, following an appeal by the CBI, the High Court had kept under suspension till June 5 the orders on granting bail to Gali.

Registrar General (Vigilance), who issued the order in this regard last night, said after considering the information received against the judge, the High Court decided that it was necessary to place him under suspension in public interest, with immediate effect.

While suspending Pattabhirama, the order further said he shall continue to be under suspension till the conclusion of the disciplinary proceedings proposed to be initiated.

Suspending the judge under Rule 8(1) of the AP Civil Services (CC&A) Rules, 1991, the HC further directed that Pattabhirama shall not leave Hyderabad without obtaining prior permission from it during the period the order remains in force.

Pattabhirama was appointed CBI court judge in April this year after three Additional Special CBI courts were opened at Gagan Vihar here.

In view of the development, Principal Judge for CBI cases, A Pullaiah, has been placed in full additional charge of the post of the First Additional Special Judge for CBI cases, the order said.





Appointment in commissions arbitrary, politically motivated: Shailesh Gandhi

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, June 02, 2012

Email to Author

Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi has taken a dig at the government for the way commissioners are appointed and his own organization — the Central Information Commission — for slow disposal of cases.

Gandhi an IIT Mumbai Alumuni and the only non-bureaucrat in the CIC will retire on July 6. In his five years in the CIC, Gandhi had taken several initiatives in the commission including prescribing minimum limit of 3,500 for each commissioner to dispose cases in a year and citizen charter.

Before parting ways, Gandhi had questioned the way government appoints commissioners in commissions including CIC are appointed and parameters to evaluate their performance. “The way commissioners are appointed is totally arbitrary, politically motivated and non productive,” he told Hindustan Times in an interview.

While there is a process to appoint lower rank officials in these commissions, there is no such system for commissioners. “If there is no accountability these commissions will fail the citizens,” he said.

It truly holds for the CIC, which is mandated to ensure that citizens get information from the government in time. But, Gandhi feels that the present pace of disposal of cases the information commissions will fail to meet expectations of citizens.

“As per my calculation, there will be a backlog of around 80,000 cases in next four to five years. It will mean an appeal is heard after three years and by that time the information would have lost value for the citizen. There is a need to ensure that the citizen gets information fast or else the RTI will die,” he said.

To prevent death of the transparency law, Gandhi suggested that an information commissioner should dispose off 6,000 cases a year — as compared to existing CIC criteria of 3,200 per year —- and have people interested in their job to be appointed as commissioners.

He, however, refused to blame retired bureaucrats in the information commissions for slow pace of disposal of cases. “Even journalists in many states have a poor track record,” he said, that information commissions having journalists in Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh is taking years to dispose off the cases.








LEGAL NEWS 01.06.2012

Apex court stays order in Karnataka cop’s case–Apex-court-stays-order-in-Karnataka-cop-s-case-.html

Nd,Crime/Disaster/Accident,Immigration/Law/Rights, Fri, 01 Jun 2012 IANS

New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) In a relief to former Karnataka police chief Shankar Mahadev Bidari, the Supreme Court Friday stayed the high court order of May 28 holding as illegal his appointment to the top post.

Bidari had moved the high court challenging the March 16 order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) quashing his appointment as head of the state police.

Bidari moved the high court for a second time after the apex court April 24 sent the matter back to it.

CAT had quashed the appointment of Bidari, holding that the entire material about him was not placed before the Union Public Service commission when it prepared a penal of three senior most officials for the appointment of state DGP and IGP.

The high court had dismissed the plea by Bidari challenging the high court order.

An apex court bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice C.K. Prasad, while staying the May 28 order of the high court, left it to the state government to appoint anyone as state police chief.

The court stayed the high court order after it was told by senior counsel Gopal Subramanium that there was nothing adverse against Bidari during his service career.

This included alleged atrocities committed by some personnel of the Special Task Force on tribals during a joint operation against sandalwood smuggler Veerappan.

Subramanium told the court that the entire question involved “far reaching question of law”.

He told the court that Indian Police Service officers were governed by the All India Service rules and the high court had held that there was new jurisprudence to deal such cases following an apex court judgment.

Subramanium told the court that both in the report of Justice Sadasivam and that of NHRC there was no prima facie adverse comments against Bidari.

The counsel said that after ordering compensation to the tribal victims, the NHRC closed the case as there was nothing to proceed against Bidari.

When the court inquired if there was anything against Bidari in the Justice Sadasivam report, Subramanium said: “Not even a word.”

Subramanium told the court that the joint task force of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka police was headed by Tamil Nadu’s Walter I. Dawaram and Bidari was his deputy.

Subramanium told the court that Bidari was appointed the state DGP and IGP in November 2011. Under the apex court guidelines in Prakash Singh case he has two years tenure that would end in November 2013.

The senior counsel told the court that reinstatementof Bidari as DGP of the state police would not unsettle anyone as the earlier officiating DGP A.R. Infant retired May 31.





Sakshi Ads: Hearing of Govts plea on June 11

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The High Court on Wednesday adjourned to June 11 hearing on the writ appeal filed by the state government questioning the single judge’s order suspending ban on release of advertisements to Jagati Publications and Indira Television which run Sakshi newspaper and TV channel.

When the appeal came up for hearing an adjournment was sought on behalf of the petitioner’s counsel and the vacation bench comprising justices B Chandra Kumar and KG Shankar adjourned the case.

�Ex-journalist’s appeal admitted

HYDERABAD: A vacation bench of the HC comprising justices B Seshasayana Reddy and KG Shankar on Wednesday admitted a writ appeal filed by former journalist Sunil Reddy questioning the order of a single judge who had set aside the pardon granted in his favour in a criminal case of forgery.

�The appellant is accused of forging the signature of an MP and for making allegations against DGP V Dinesh Reddy. The prosecution said he had done it at the instance of senior IPS officer Umesh Kumar.

Grant bail to Tara, HC tells Lower Court

HYDERABAD: Justice B Chandra Kumar of the High Court directed the criminal court dealing with the case of Tara Chowdary alias Rajeshwari, arrested in a prostitution case, to grant her bail as the prosecution had failed to file a chargesheet within the prescribed period (60 days). Tara was arrested in a prostitution case last month.

The Criminal Procedure Code provides for grant of bail when a chargesheet is not filed within the prescribed period.

The judge, however, made it clear that the lower court, while granting bail, would be free to impose such terms.





Court stays food safety norms

May 31, 2012

The Madras high court has stayed the operation of the newly prescribed regulations of the Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) pertaining to licensing and registration of food business on Thursday.

Vacation judge K. Venkataraman granted the stay, while passing interim orders on writ petitions filed by the Tamil Nadu Hotels Association in Egmore and others.

The regulations among other things, defined petty food manufacturer by prescribing an annual turnover and imposed certain other restrictions and the petitioners contended the new regulations were impracticable.

Advocate G. Sankaran, appearing for them said when section 31(2) of the FSSAI’s licensing and registration of food business act of 2011 defined petty manufacturer only with reference to the nature and scale of business, the regulation could not put restrictions in the name of annual turnover.

“Therefore, the regulation was inconsistent with the provisions of the main Act 34 of 2006.
The judge said since an interim stay had already been granted by the Madurai bench of the Madras high court, there should be an order of interim stay on these petitions too.

On admission of the petitions, the judge ordered notice to the Union ministry of health and family welfare and the commissioner of food safety of Tamil Nadu, returnable in three weeks.

The petitioners prayed that the court declare as unconstitutional, unreasonable and arbitrary, the provisions and the regulations framed by the FSSAI under Sec.

92 of Article 34 of 2006 in 2001 with regard to licensing and registration of food business and food additives.





No need for fresh PG dental counselling, says HC bench

TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 04.50AM IST

BANGALORE: The division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen on Thu8rsda y set aside the single be8nch order asking the Con8sortium of Medical, Engin8eering and Dental Colleges in Karnataka (ComedK) to go in for fresh counselling for post-graduate dental courses.

“When an overwhelming majority of candidates have already meticulously complied with all the stipulations, the single bench has re-written the conditions and this is impermissible,” the bench has observed while allowing the writ appeal challenging the May 25 order.

The division bench said that the petitioners, who were educated, knew that there would be multiple aspirants for each seat and hence should have complied with all the stipulations.

It said that it was debatable that the examination system determined the students’ merit. “There is always an element of luck. The CBSE %is presently considering not placing total reliance on one exam and instead take into account the students’ record in the previous academic year. The petitioners may %understandably be disappointed, but to think that their rights have been infringed upon is a misnomer. Courts cannot always ensure the redressal of every nuance of grievance,” the bench has observed.

Dr.Amritha Chakroborty and 11 others, all top rankers, had moved the high court after ComedK disallowed them from participating in counselling on the ground that the counterfoils they had produced did not carry the seals / signatures of the bank, and in some cases the demand drafts produced were not that of nationalised banks.

The single bench while allowing their petition had directed ComedK to hold re-counseling to all the 200-odd seat s citing that merit cannot be overlooked as petitioners we8re ranked between 4 and 200.





High court to hear on authority of Lokayukta on July 10

TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 03.08AM IST

ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court on Thursday has posted a petition questioning the authority of UP Lokayukta in continuing in the office on July 10. A division bench of Justice Sunil Ambwani and Justice Aditya Nath Mittal has also asked the state government to furnish the details before the court in this regard.

The petition filed by Mukul Upadhyaya, Member of Legislative Council sought issuance of a writ of quo warranto as to under which authority Justice NK Mehrotra was holding the post, who had approached to the High Court, seeking quo-warranto, directing NK Mehrotra, Lokayukta Uttar Pradesh to show cause as to under which authority of law he is continuing to hold the office and drawing salary and allowances.

The petitioner has also challenged the new ordinance number 1 of 2012 whereby Justice Mehrotra’s term has been extended. The petitioner contended that the ordinance was issued in contravention of the constitutional provisions and hence Justice Mehrotra should be restrained forthwith from his functioning as Lokayukta.

Additional advocate general, CB Yadav assisted by Ramanand Pandey, standing counsel contested the petitioner’s plea stating that the petition was not maintainable because the petitioner has bias against Justice Mehrotra.





Set up panel to monitor city traffic, says HC

: Fri Jun 01 2012, 00:52 hrs

The Bombay High Court recently directed the appointment of a ten-member high-power committee (HPC) headed by the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) to monitor the city’s traffic and suggest ways to improve its management.

“ …it appears to the court that it would be in the fitness of things to appoint a high-power committee to monitor the traffic situation in Mumbai and suggest the required corrective and remedial measures for ensuring smooth and disciplined vehicular as well as pedestrian traffic,” Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar observed.

The state government has been asked to appoint the committee by June 7. The committee will also include the principal secretaries of the Urban Development and Transport departments, the transport commissioner of Maharashtra, Joint Commissioner of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), Additional Municipal Commissioner (Roads), Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), an office-bearer of the Western India Automobile Association and two citizens of Mumbai. The committee has been asked to submit its report to the court within three months.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vivek Phansalkar had informed the High Court that the police department would fill up the 676 vacant posts for constables and head constables within two months. He added that the technology used for traffic signals and CCTV cameras installed across the city would also be upgraded.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by the Bombay Bar Association (BBA) and the Western India Automobile Association seeking greater traffic safety and strict adherence of traffic norms in the city. The case has been adjourned till August 2.

In an affidavit submitted by the state government in February, the High Court was told, “After a delegation of officers visited London to study the operation of CCTV cameras for traffic management there, a proposal regarding the installation of more than 5,000 cameras is on the anvil. It is expected that these cameras will be operational within a year,” the affidavit stated.

According to the state government, 1,27,969 traffic offences were registered in January this year and fines amounting to Rs 1.59 crore were collected.





BSE eases relisting norms for suspended companies

Minimum paid-up capital, networth and profitability conditions done away with promoter lock-in post relisting increased to one year

N Sundaresha Subramanian / New Delhi Jun 01, 2012, 00:27 IST


The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has revised the relisting norms for companies, which were recently challenged by a public interest litigation (PIL) at the Delhi High Court. According to the new norms, which the exchange’s board approved on April 27, suspended companies are not required to comply with requirements, such as minimum paid-up capital, minimum networth and profitability track record.

However, it has increased the lock-in on promoter group shareholding to one year after commencement of trading, up from the earlier six months. Further, promoters are also barred from selling their shares up to six months before the revocation of suspension.

Earlier, BSE had aligned the relisting norms in line with the conditions for fresh listing, which came into effect in July 2011. According to these rules, companies which have remained suspended for over a period of one year had to have a minimum paid-up capital of Rs 10 crore and a minimum networth of Rs 50 crore.

Further, it needed a profit-making track record. Accordingly, the company should have “distributable profits in terms of Section 205 of the Companies Act, 1956 for at least three out of five immediately preceding financial years based on audited financial results with the last financial year reporting profit. Provided that extraordinary income shall not be considered for calculating distributable profit. Provided further that latest three financial years should comprise a period of at least 12 months.”

According to several investor associations, these conditions made it practically impossible for suspended companies to relist and trade on the bourses again. According to the PIL, over Rs 1.8 lakh crore was stuck in such suspended firms. The petition alleged that by making relisting difficult with these conditions, BSE and Sebi were playing into the hands of the promoters. It further alleged that they did not make any efforts to protect the interests of the investors.

BSE, in its submission to the Delhi High Court, said it had reconsidered the norms “suo motu” in the interest of investors even before the petition was filed. The relaxed norms are likely to take effect after the minutes of the board meeting are approved by the board.

Other conditions that do not figure in the new norms submitted by BSE to the court include the minimum requirement of 500 public shareholders and at least 50 per cent of public shareholding to be in demat shares.

Ajay Veer Singh, advocate for Atul Agarwal, who filed the PIL, said: “The change in rules offers a ray of hope for investors. But this is a minor issue, if one looks at the larger issue of inaction on large number of suspended companies. Our goal is that there should not be a single dead share.”





Govt rules transparent’

Abhinav Sharma, TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 03.07AM IST

JAIPUR: A PIL was filed by one Jago Janata Society through advocate Poonam Chand Bhandari challenging the validity of the regularizations made after June 17, 1999 as it was contended that it was a one time scheme to regularize only those illegal constructions in the state which have been made prior to June 1999.

It was also given out that there is no scheme for conversion of agricultural land for commercial, residential, or other non-agricultural use as such and all the allotments made after the date notifying Section 90-B should be declared illegal. On Thursday, additional advocate general SN Kumawat, appearing for state government, told a division bench that government has framed detailed rules which are quite transparent and therefore, there is no grievance pertaining to 90-B as the same is no more a part of statute books. As such, the PIL has become infructuous.





Notice to Haryana on PIL seeking approval to run schools on one-acre land

Express news service : Chandigarh, Fri Jun 01 2012, 01:23 hrs

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued a notice to the Haryana government on a public interest litigation (PIL) demanding change in rules of the Haryana School Education Board wherein no organisation or body is permitted to set up a school if it (organisation) does not have two acres of land.

This, the petitioner, contended was contrary to the guidelines laid down by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)/Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE). The PIL has demanded that the rules should be changed and the minimum land required for construction of a school should be reduced to one acre.

The petitioner has also sought directions to Haryana Urban Development Authority to frame an appropriate policy for allotment of school sites in terms of CBSE and ICSE.

The petitioner submitted that all recent auctions in Panchkula for school sites failed miserably as no auction was conducted in less than four acre.





Torture’ of kids in observation home: HC notices to IG, UT

Express news service : Chandigarh, Fri Jun 01 2012, 01:46 hrs

Taking note of serious allegations of brutal torture, harassment and thrashing of poor children in Observation Home, Sector 25, the Punjab and Haryana High court on Thursday issued notices to the Inspector General of Police, Chandigarh, and the UT Administration.

The notices have been issued by a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Alok Singh on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Utsav Singh Bains, a resident of Sector 2, Chandigarh.

The petitioner has sought directions for detailed guidelines to be issued to the police on how to deal with poor children.

The petitioner has also sought guidelines to be issued to the Juvenile Justice Boards to record statements of children, when presented before them regarding police abuse and order registration of an FIR in case the child states police abuse.

Also, the PIL has demanded setting up of a Special Investigation Team to investigate the abuse of children by the police and review cases of children lodged in the Chandigarh Observation Home by any independent agency.

The agency, the petitioner has said, should submit a periodical report regarding police abuse and other grievances to the court for appropriate action. Directions to the Inspector General of Police have also been sought to initiate criminal and disciplinary proceedings against the police officers for the brutal torture and abuse of children in police custody.

It is for the first time that the court has taken cognisance of audio recording to set the law in motion. In April-May, 2011, the petitioner interviewed children inside the Observation Home. The petitioner was then in the final year at law school. The interviewed children disclosed to the petitioner that they had been illegally detained, stripped naked and tortured with electric shocks by police officers inside police stations in Chandigarh.

Bains has annexed statements of the victims and their audio recordings with the petition. One of the children told the petitioner that he had committed a theft in Sector 38 last year. After the arrest, he was thrashed by policemen. Another child, an inmate, told the petitioner that he was given electric shocks by the Chandigarh Police officers.

The High Court has given the IG and Chandigarh Administration six weeks to file their replies. The case will now come up for resumed hearing on August 16.





Aarushi-Hemraj murder case: Allahabad HC rejects Nupur’s bail plea


New Delhi: Murdered teenager Aarushi Talwar’s mother Nupur failed to convince the Allahabad High Court on Thursday to grant her bail in the double murder case of her daughter and domestic help Hemraj. The High Court rejected Nupur Talwar’s bail application and said that the trial in the sensational murder case would continue.

Nupur had applied for bail after the sessions court rejected her plea. She has been lodged in Ghaziabad’s Dasna Jail since April 30.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had opposed Nupur’s bail saying that she may try to scuttle the legal process if she was set free. The agency also said that the court should consider her conduct since the time she was made accused and not grant her bail.

Nupur and her husband Rajesh Talwar have been charged with murder, destruction of evidence and conspiracy in the double murder case that took place in May 2008. Rajesh Talwar has also been charged with misleading the investigation in the double murder case.

The CBI has claimed the Talwars’ maid, the guard and driver corroborate their ‘last scene theory’ according to which there were four people living in the house – Rajesh Talwar, Nupur Talwar, Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj – and there was no sign of a fifth person’s entry at the time of the murders. “Four people were there, two died and two were left. When a murder takes place in a closed house and two are dead, then the onus shifts on those who are alive,” the CBI had argued.

The CBI also claims that Aarushi and Hemraj’s injuries were identical. “The golf stick recovered from the house matches the injury. The Talwars refused to identify Hemraj’s body and gave false information regarding the crime scene,” according to the CBI.

Aarushi was found murdered in her Jalvayu Vihar residence in Noida on May 16, 2008. The body of Hemraj, who was initially suspected to have killed the teenager, was found on the terrace of Talwar’s home on May 17.





Raising age of consent for sex to 18 regressive, undemocratic: Court

Smriti Singh, TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 02.13AM IST

NEW DELHI: Terming a new law that raises the age of consent for sex from 16 to 18 years “undemocratic” and “regressive”, a trial court feared it would act as a “tool for the police to harass minors”.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act ( PCSOA), passed by Parliament in the recently concluded session, criminalizes all sex by teenagers.

“Such a move would open the floodgates for prosecution of boys for offences of rape on the basis of complaints by girls’ parents irrespective of whether the girl was a consenting party,” said additional sessions judge Virender Bhat, in an order passed earlier this week.

While the court made it clear that it was against teenage sex and shared the concern of parents and the government, it said raising the age bar was not a solution. Imparting sex education in schools was a better option, it said.

“Good virtues cannot be inculcated and good conscience cannot be imbibed in a child by legal provisions. It would be better and wiser to leave this job to parents and school teachers… Children need to be imparted sex education in the schools,” the judge said while sending a copy of the order to the secretary, law department and chairman of the National Law Commission as a suggestion from the court.

The observations were made while acquitting one Sandeep Paswan, facing trial for kidnapping and raping a minor girl who had eloped with him. The two had married at an Arya Samaj Mandir in Lucknow.

According to the police, the 15-year-old girl had gone missing from her house in January 2011. Her father then reported the matter to the police on February 17, 2011 and an FIR was registered. The girl was found in August 2011 from a village in Uttar Pradesh where she was living with Sandeep as his wife.

While absolving Sandeep of the charges, the court noted that it was clear from the girl’s testimony that she eloped with him as they were in love.

The court said, with the advent of cable television, internet and rapid changes in biological factors, children were getting exposed to knowledge about sex and marital relations at an early age. “With the result, cupid strikes them at an early age, before they attain majority…. Since parents are always opposed to such an alliance, may be rightly so, the loving couple elope,” the judge observed.

The court said even boys in some cases become victims as they do not understand the consequences of their actions and are sometimes lured by the girl.

“Such cases should be an eye opener for the worthy lawmakers of our country, who, I understand, are contemplating raising the age limit for consensual sex from 16 to 18 years. Gone are the days when a child of 16 or 17 years of age was ignorant about sex and the desire to have sex,” the judge said.

The order comes on the heels of another judge, additional sessions judge Kamini Lau raising similar concerns.

Times View

We are in complete agreement with the observation of this trial court that the new law is likely to become a tool to harass teenagers rather than one that protects them. Unfortunately, the law has already been passed by Parliament and given presidential assent. We would still urge our lawmakers to reconsider what they have done and amend the law to ensure that consensual teenage sex is not criminalized. Neither Parliament nor the government should see this as a matter of their prestige. What is important is what is good for our young and that should remain the prime consideration. Sticking to a bad law does not enhance the authority of the state, it diminishes it.





Youth gets death for rape, murder

May 31, 2012

Viswarajan, 22, accused in the raping and killing of 34-year-old R. Smitha, a native of Koippallykarayma near Kayamkulam, was awarded the death penalty by the Mavelikkara additional district and sessions court-II on Thursday.

The verdict was pronounced by judge A. Badharudheen after a nearly two-month-long trial. The trial started on April 9. Hearing the verdict, Vishwarajan who had a hint of a smile on his face, bowed his head without any signs of remorse.

Additional public prosecutor S. Ramanan Pillai who was appointed by the government for the victim said that apart from the death penalty for murder, Vishwarajan had been awarded six months rigorous imprisonment for illegal detention and a Rs1 lakh fine as well.

“If the fine is not remitted, he would have to bear an additional six months of rigorous imprisonment. The court has observed the case as being the rarest of rare. The verdict will help to spread the message about the consequences of an assault against women,” he said.

The incident relating to the case happened on October 24, 2011, at 7 p.m while Smitha was on her way home from work. She was working with a private shop in Kayamkulam as a saleswoman.

Vishwarajan who was in an inebriated condition, hid near Smitha’s home and raped her. He then abandoned an unconscious Smitha in a marshy area. The incident took place just 200 m away from Smitha’s home. Viswarajan, a native of Oachira was living with his relatives whose home was near Smitha’s.

Following the incident, the investigation team led by the then Kayamkulam circle inspector A.N. Shanihan submitted a report before the court.

As many as 38 witnesses appeared before the court during the course of the trial. Shanihan told dc there was no hurdle in the way of the investigation. The mobile phone which was found at the spot of the incident was the turning point in the investigation, he recalled.

“The main significance of this case was that the majority of witnesses who appea-red before the court were women,” he pointed out.

A police officer who accompanied Vishwarajan from Poojappura central prison said that he had tried to break out of jail by jumping out of the prison building. This resulted in Vishwaraj-an fracturing his leg. Vishwarajan was brought to court from the Poojappura central prison at 10 am and returned to Poojappura at 2.30pm in a police van. The court pronounced the verdict by 11.15 am.

Security was tightened in the court premises. Advoca-te G. Madhu who appeared for Vishwarajan said to media persons that the verdict would be challenged in a higher court.




Motive has ceased to exist: Experts

TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 02.55AM IST

JAIPUR: The findings recorded by the district and sessions court that absolved BJP legislator Rajendra Rathore in the Dara Singh fake encounter case have dealt a heavy blow to the CBI.

Legal experts believe that even if the investigating agency appeals against the release of Rathore in the HC, the prosecution’s case appears to have been weakened. “The CBI arrested Rathore on the charge that he was the key conspirator in the fake encounter, as only he had a motive for eliminating Dara Singh. Now that the court has absolved the main accused of the conspiracy charge, the motive has ceased to exist and the entire investigation has come under question,” said Deepak Chauhan, who practices criminal law at the sessions court. “In a criminal case, establishing the motive is of utmost importance,” he added.

CBI lawyer Sarfaraz Haider Khan, however, said the court ought not to have gone into the merits of the case at the stage of framing charges. “The merits of charges are decided when the witnesses are questioned and cross-examined before the court once the trial begins. If the case’s merit were to be decided at the charge framing stage, where was the need to have the provision of trial under law,” Khan said.




Rajendra Rathore absolved of charges in Dara fake encounter case

TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 02.36AM IST

JAIPUR: A district and sessions court here on Thursday absolved BJP legislator and former minister Rajendra Rathore of all criminal charges against him in the Dara Singh fake encounter case even before he faced a trial.

About an hour after the court order, a relieved Rathore walked out of the Jaipur Central Jail around 1:15 pm. In the first statement after his release, the BJP’s senior leader accused the Ashok Gehlot government of a carrying out a political vendetta against him and said that he would be seeking “retribution for every single day spent in the jail” since his arrest 55 days ago.

Reacting on the development, leader of opposition Vasundhara Raje said, “We reiterated that we have full faith in judiciary and the court decision is a victory of the justice. This decision has exposed the ulterior motives of the Congress. The court verdict has confirmed that the Congress misuses the CBI for its political ends.”

BJP leaders, including legislator Digambar Singh received Rathore outside the jail and drove him first to Moti Doongri temple and later to the party headquarters. Party president Arun Chaturvedi, Digambar Singh and Rathore again hit out at the Gehlot government while addressing the BJP workers there.

While discharging Rathore of the charges against him, district judge PC Jain listed out several loopholes in the case. Experts opined that the order was likely to have a negative bearing on the prosecution against other accused also, including suspended additional director general of police AK Jain and inspector general A Ponnuchami.

“The accused is discharged as the criminal conspiracy charges of stage managing Dara Singh’s encounter is not made out against him going by the loopholes in the evidence,” the court said in its order. One of Rathore’s lawyers, Hemant Nahta said that the court found that the evidences did not prove the criminal conspiracy claimed by the CBI in its chargesheet.

“The court said that the CBI has failed to prove that Rathore met Dara’s rival Virendra Nyangli in the jail after the latter’s arrest in April 2003. Similarly, the court observed that the only evidence against Rathore in the case were the phone call details between him and ADG Jain. The court was of the opinion that Rathore could not be framed under Section 120-B of IPC (criminal conspiracy) simply on the basis of the call details,” said Nahta.

Rathore’s another lawyer AK Jain said that the CBI has also failed to prove the motive behind the killing on the basis of the statements of prosecution witnesses. The court stated that the details of four phone calls made between Rathore and Jain were prior to October 19, almost four days before Dara was killed. The court observed that neither Dara nor a contractor Vijay Singh were in the custody of Rajasthan police’s SOG at that time. “There is nothing to prove that Rathore and Jain had personal relations which could have prompted the policemen to kill Dara Singh in a fake encounter,” the court observed. It stated that Rathore’s name did not come up in the case for four years after the encounter.

The CBI arrested Rathore on April 5, charging him with criminal conspiracy to kill Dara Singh on Jaipur’s outskirts on October 23, 2006.





ATC Telecom Tower Corp approaches TDSAT to recover dues from Etisalat DB

PTI May 22, 2012, 10.45PM IST

NEW DELHI: Telecom infra firm ATC Telecom Tower Corporation has approached the sectoral tribunal TDSAT to recover its dues from mobile operator Etisalat DB, which has closed operations after cancellation of its license.

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

The TDSAT has listed the matter for hearing on Friday. ATC Telecom Tower was providing telecommunications infrastructure services to Etisalat DB, a joint venture between UAE-based telecom giant Etisalat and Dyanmix Balwa group.

Earlier, on May 4, TDSAT had restrained Etisalat DB from transferring its equipments lying with the Anil Ambani group company, RInfra.

The RCom subsidiary is claiming over Rs 1,200 crore as dues from Etisalat DB for using its telecom towers and other infrastructure.

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





CWG street-lighting scam: Three accused granted bail

Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 19:13 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

A Delhi court today granted bail to three MCD officials, arrested for their alleged roles in a corruption case involving award of a contract to a firm for upgrading the city’s street lighting before the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

Special CBI Judge Pradeep Chaddah released on bail MCD Superintendent Engineer DK Sugan, Executive Engineer O P Mahla and civic body’s tender clerk Gurcharan Singh on a personal bond of Rs one lakh each along with one surety of the same amount.

The three along with others have been accused of causing a loss of nearly Rs 1.43 crore to the exchequer in illegal award of the contract to Delhi-based firm, Sweka Powertech Engineers Pvt Ltd.

“Keeping in mind the fact that the two co-accused have been enlarged on bail and the present accused are in custody for nearly a year, it would be in fitness of the things to enlarge the accused on bail.

“Let accused D K Sugan, O P Mahla and Gurcharan Singh be released on bail on furnishing personal bond in sum of Rs 1 lakh with one surety each in the like amount,” the court said.

The trio were granted bail on ground of parity as the promoters of Sweka, T P Singh and J P Singh, have already been granted bail by the Delhi High Court on May 21.

The special court also noted that the accused have been in judicial custody for nearly a year and the material witnesses in the case have already been examined, which was a reasonable ground for granting bail. (MORE) PTI SKV AKI RAX 05311833 NNNN


The CBI had opposed the trio’s bail on the ground that they cannot claim parity with other co-accused as they were MCD officials and were in a position to influence witnesses belonging to their department.

The court, however, granted them bail saying, “I questioned the investigating officer and what has emerged is that the witnesses are merely to depose from the record and they will not be able to do much to save the skin of the accused.”

Those named as accused in the case are Sugan, Mahla, Gurcharan Singh, T P Singh, J P Singh and MCD Accountant V Raju, who was earlier released on bail. M/s Sweka Powertech Engineers Pvt Ltd is also an accused in the case.

The trial court had on March 12 framed charges against the six persons and the firm for criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. PTI SKV AKI RAX 05311837 NNNN





7 months on, Citi scam accused walks out of jail

Deevakar Anand & Leena Dhankhar, Hindustan Times

Former bank executive Shivraj Puri, the prime accused in the Rs. 400-crore Citibank fraud case, was released on bail on Thursday from the Bhondsi jail near Gurgaon, where he had been lodged for the last 17 months. He and his father Raghuraj Puri, a co-accused in the case, were granted bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday.

While Raghuraj was released on Wednesday, Shivraj’s release came after his lawyers submitted his passport and furnished bail sureties of Rs. 2 lakh each for two separate FIRs under which he was booked for forgery and cheating in December 2010.

The surety amount was decided by Gurgaon chief judicial magistrate (CJM) Rajesh Sharma on Thursday.

The high court, while granting them bail, had fixed Rs. 5 lakh bail surety for Raghuraj while it had left it to the discretion of the CJM to decide his son’s bail amount.

The court had, however, said that he should be released on a “heavy bond” amount.

The Puri family is believed to be in financial crisis due to the ongoing litigation.

After being released, Shivraj told Hindustan Times, “Being in jail has taught me to value freedom. I always had faith in the judiciary. However, this is only a temporary relief.”

Puri’s uncle had come to pick him up from jail and reportedly dropped him at his (Shivraj’s) house in DLF Phase 4.

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

The only co-accused still behind bars is Sanjay Gupta, former vice-president of Hero Corporate Services.

Shivraj, a former relationship manager with Citibank, had allegedly siphoned off around Rs. 400 crore of various customers to some fictitious accounts.

Puri was booked under sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) early this year along with his parents and Gupta on a complaint filed by Citibank officials and a high net worth account holder.

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





Criminal complaint filed against Bhushan for ‘defa

Last Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 22:32

New Delhi: A lawyer has approached a local court here with a criminal complaint against Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan accusing him of “abusing and defaming” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Lawyer D D Sharma filed the complaint in the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Patiala House.

“The accused is in the habit of defaming and maligning top personalities of the country” and Bhushan should be prosecuted under section 500 (defamation) of Indian Penal Code, Sharma said in his complaint.

Bhushan was in the eye of a controversy for using a particular word against Singh. However, he had claimed that what he said was that Singh’s honesty was used as a shield by Congress.





NRHM: Chargesheet filed against Kushwaha

Press Trust of India : Ghaziabad, Fri Jun 01 2012, 00:26 hrs

The CBI on Thursday filed its supplementary chargesheet in the NRHM scam, accusing former family welfare minister Babu Singh Kushwaha of abusing his official position to favour private companies while allotting contracts for upgradation of 134 hospitals in Uttar Pradesh.

In its chargesheet filed before a special CBI court here, the agency accused the former BSP minister and his close aide, former MLA R P Jaiswal, of misusing their official position to benefit local company Surgicoin Medequip Pvt Ltd, sources said.

“The matter pertained to upgradation of 134 district hospitals for an amount of Rs 13.4 crore under NRHM. It was alleged that the said work was given to Ghaziabad and Lucknow-based private firms without following any codal formalities and on the basis of bogus and forged documents.

“An approximate loss of Rs 5.46 crore was found to have been caused to the government exchequer in the said case,” the CBI said in a statement.

Both Kushwaha and Jaiswal are already in judicial custody and lodged in Dasna Jail.

The CBI slapped Indian Penal Code sections related to criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by public servant, cheating and forgery, besides relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.





Veerappa Moily warns Reebok India against holding back information

NEW DELHI: The corporate affairs ministry has said it will get to the bottom of the alleged Rs 870-crore fraud at Reebok India, and warned the company against holding back information.

The government has enough ways and means to launch a holistic investigation to examine all aspects of the case, Corporate Affairs Minister Veerappa Moily told ET.

Reebok India, part of the Germany-based Adidas group, has been holding out on the government’s demand of handing over its books.

Adidas had last week filed an FIR with the Gurgaon police station, accusing former CEO Subhinder Singh Prem and COO Vishnu Bhagat at its Reebok India unit of commercial irregularities of 870 crore. “We cannot provide any further details since the matter now rests with the Indian law enforcement authorities,” Adidas India spokesman had said on Wednesday, ruling out furnishing of further details to the registrar of companies.

The government had asked the registrar of companies to look into the accounts of Reebok India when reports of the alleged fraud came out, but it was forced to refer the matter to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office after the company refused to cooperate.

“As far as IPC (Indian Penal Code) is concerned, maybe they are right. But what about the fraud committed on the company? And the fraud committed on shareholders?” asked Moily. “This causes economic offence. It needs to be dealt either by Sebi (market regulator) or the corporate affairs ministry,” he added, dismissing the clarification given by Adidas.

The minister also said that he would not hesitate to go after the global auditors of the company if concrete evidence was found against them. “In the process of investigation, if we find the auditors have also joined in supporting the fraud, then we will investigate. But it is too early to draw any inference,” Moily said. KPMG, the global auditor of Adidas AG, had earlier clarified to ET that it had no role in the auditing of the Indian arm of the sports brand.






After eight tiger deaths in Maharashtra, no action taken to prevent poaching

Prafulla Marapakwar, TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 03.11AM IST

MUMBAI: Despite eight tigers having been killed in the last six months in the Tadoba tiger reserve and elsewhere in the state, it has been found that the state government has not initiated stringent measures to halt poaching.

Forest minister Patangrao Kadam visited the Tadoba Andhari reserve in Chandrapur district on Wednesday.

“There were specific reports from %wildlife activists, saying poachers from Madhya Pradesh would enter the state as they had taken supari for killing tigers. However, no steps were taken to halt the poaching,” said a senior Indian Forest Service official.

He said that in view of the stepped up poaching activities, the state forest department, in collaboration with the state police, should have set up special squads to curb poaching. However, the cabinet member woke up only after the Centre sought details from the state on increased poaching in Maharashtra, he added.

Slamming the Centre for not amending the more than century-old Indian Forest Act, the official said that under section 66 of the Act, a forest or police officer has powers to prevent commission of an offence. “The Act is very weak, no forest officer can take direct action against the poachers. If the government is serious about curbing poaching activities, besides amending the Indian Forest Act, 1927, it should set up special forest police stations and grant powers under the Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code to the forest officials. In that event, forest officers will be able to arrest the poachers,” he said.

It also appears that the state government has completely ignored the concept of protection of wildlife and stringent implementation of the wildlife protection act. Nearly 50 officials, specially-trained in wildlife, have been given insignificant assignments. Either they have been deployed in social forestry or planning section. “The government has been told on several occasions about the need to set up a secret service fund and intelligence unit to gather information on illegal activities,” he said.

After the tiger killings, the state forest department had deployed 90 armed forest guards in and around the Tadoba tiger reserve, said another IFS officer.

He added that besides taking corrective measures to halt poaching, Kadam should order a high-level probe into the killings. “Kadam must fix the responsibility and take action against erring forest officials,” he said.






India continues to violate Italian jurisdiction over trial: FM 1 Jun 2012, 0916 hrs


Italy has said it sees no reason to sing a “victory” song over the bail granted to two of its marines charged with the killing of two Indian fishermen as India continues to “violate Italian jurisdiction” over the trial.

Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi hinted the bail decision would do little to end the diplomatic row with India.

“There’s no reason to sing a victory song because the Indians continue to violate Italian jurisdiction,” Terzi told the Italian Senate on Wednesday (May 30) after the Kerala High Court granted conditional bail to marines Latore Massimilliano and Salvatore Girone.

“Together with Defence Minister Giampaolo di Paola we will examine the concrete meaning of the decision and more specifically the conditions that will be imposed,” Terzi said.

The marines, who were arrested from the merchant vessel ‘Enrica Lexie’ on February 19 from which they fired at the fishermen off Kerala coast on February 15, are at present lodged at the Borstal prison in Kochi.

After being in jail for nearly 15 weeks, the two Italian marines were granted bail by the court yesterday with some stringent conditions.

The Court also directed the Kerala government to ensure abundant caution and inform the seaport or other authorities to prevent the two accused from leaving the country.

The Court order in the case which sparked a diplomatic standoff between India and Italy came a day after it turned down that country’s plea for quashing an FIR against the marines.

The court had held that the two accused were liable to penal jurisdiction of Indian courts. While Italy claims that the marines should be prosecuted in their home country as the incident occurred on an Italian-flagged vessel in international waters.

Earlier this month, Italy had recalled its ambassador for consultations after the marines were charged with murder.






Three ‘journalists’ arrested on charge of intimidation

Special Correspondent

Race Course Police on Wednesday arrested three persons on charges of intimidating a journalist and demanding illegal gratification for publishing a correction in respect of defamatory article against him.

According to police, Nandakumar working with a Tamil television news channel preferred a complaint stating that he was intimidated by a group of people claiming to be journalists, when he questioned them for publishing a defamatory article about him.

Mr. Nandakumar saw them near a bakery in front of the Collectorate and questioned them the basis the for the article. Purnami Nilavan (45), his wife Kalaiselvi both acting as Editor and Sub-Editor the magazine and another person claiming to be a journalist representing another magazine reportedly intimidated him.

They reportedly used obscene and abusive language and demanded Rs. 1 lakh for publishing a correction, the police said.

Based on the complaint, police registered a case against the three under sections 294 b (using obscene and abusive language), 384 (extortion) and 506 (i) (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code.

They have been remanded to custody.

Journalists in Coimbatore had already represented the City Police Commissioner about persons claiming themselves as journalists indulging in extortion.

District Collector M. Karunagaran had said that stringent action would be initiated against such persons.

The use of stickers such as PRESS and MEDIA should be used only by those involved in gathering news or in videographing or photographing. Indiscriminate use of these stickers would be severely dealt with.





HC reserves orders on comed-K counselling

Express News Service

BANGALORE: The High Court on Wednesday reserved its orders on a petition pertaining to re-counselling of postgraduate dental courses of Comed-K (Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges – Karnataka), which challenged an interim order on the re-counselling.

During hearing, counsel for Comed-K stated that seats are still available for these students and that they will be given priority in a second round of counselling, which will be held on May 31.

However, the students rejected the offer and sought re-counselling.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna reserved its judgement on the case.

12 students had filed a petition before the HC alleging the Comed-K of barring them from counselling on grounds that they had not produced demand drafts from nationalised banks and a few failed to produce the original counterfoil.

Status Quo on PG Medical admissions

The HC on Wednesday directed the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges and Karnataka Religious & Linguistic Minority Professional Colleges Association to maintain status quo on the admission process of post-graduate medical courses until the matter is settled in court.

�Hearing a petition, Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri said that as per Supreme Court’s direction, counselling should be completed on May 31 and if any merit seats remain, they should be transferred to the management quota.

Teachers’ appointment stayed

The HC on Wednesday stayed a government notification on the appointment of 3,407 teachers over a petition alleging irregularities in appointing physically challenged candidates.

The court directed the government to issue the notification again providing reservation to physically challenged candidates receiving special education in BEd.

Ravi case posted for orders

Lokayukta Court on Wednesday posted for orders a case against BJP MLA C T Ravi in which the complainant had challenged the ‘B’ report filed by Lokayukta Police giving him a clean chit to June 8.






HC opens justice doors for jailed tribals


Ranchi, May 31: Prisoners of Jharkhand — a majority of them tribals — who are facing charges of waging war against the state may have reason to believe that they are no less equal before the law than the free man.

Jharkhand High Court has constituted a committee headed by Justice D.N. Patel to monitor the trial of persons alleged to be members of banned outfits such as CPI(Maoist) and PLFI and speed up the legal process to deliver justice to them.

It will bring ongoing trial in the lower judiciary in cases slapped under stringent legislation like Prevention of Terrorism Act, Criminal Law Amendment Act, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Explosives and Arms Act, besides murder and extortion charges, under the high court’s scanner.

Chief Justice Prakash Tatia formed the panel on May 18, the day the high court closed on account of summer vacation, swinging into action after a report of then Ranchi judicial commissioner A.V. Singh in January painted a grim picture of trial of prisoners in Khunti sub-divisional jail.

Justice Tatia’s action came days before Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh wrote to chief minister Arjun Munda saying that many innocent tribal people in Maoist-hit areas were being implicated in false cases and put behind bars.

The high court has also asked the lower courts to send detailed reports on the status of trials in such cases by June 6.

The lower courts have been asked to explain the status on the number of cases pending and disposed of in the last quarter, the number of accused chargesheeted and reasons for delay.

Newly appointed court managers who are MBAs will analyse the data, following which the court will take corrective measures.

Singh, who had undertaken a study in response to a petition filed by prisoners, observed in his report that 546 sessions cases involving serious offences in which jail terms can be more than seven years were pending in Khunti sub-divisional court for years.

Along with district officials, he interviewed around 100 undertrials, whose main demand was speedy trial of their cases and to ensure the presence of witnesses in the court.

Ironically, the number of sessions cases pending for trial was only marginally less than petty offences, which were pegged at 591.

This implied that police were booking most of the arrested persons in the tribal-dominated district, including ordinary men, under provisions meant to bring extremists to justice.

Singh’s report also said that summons were not being served as Khunti was in a Naxalite-hit zone.

Khunti has seven police stations while improvised explosive devices are planted across the entire area. As a result, police officers are directed to move in a bunch not less than 20.

“Also, there is paucity of security forces, as only 242 policemen, right from constable to the rank of officer, are posted and most of the time they are engaged in anti-Maoist operations. So, there is difficulty in execution of the summons, warrants and processes of the court leading to delay in the court trial,” the report said.

Ninety per cent of the 320 undertrials lodged in Khunti sub-division jail are said to be tribals, the report said.

Justice Patel, who also heads the committee on using IT in judiciary, said the high court’s main focus was on monitoring old cases.

“After successfully putting in place the online trial system at Madhupur, we are working on connecting the central jails with various courts,” he told The Telegraph.

“The persons facing serious charges are supposed to be lodged in high-security central jails. They can face trial from one jail even if the cases are registered against him in various districts,” he pointed out.

Incidentally, the undertrials facing extremism charges in Ghaghidih Central Jail went on hunger strike on May 28 seeking speedy trial of senior rebel leaders languishing in prisons across the state.

Meanwhile, Ramesh had shot off letters Munda as well as the chief ministers of Odisha and Chhattisgarh on May 23 taking up cudgels on behalf of tribals languishing in jails.

The Union minister, who is keen on expediting development initiatives in Saranda after security forces reclaimed the liberated zone, wrote in his letter to Munda that “a large number of tribals are in jail, for no reason whatsoever, and that, in reality, they should be freed at the earliest”.







HC reserve orders on anticipatory bail plea of H.D. Kumaraswamy


Karnataka High Court on Thursday reserved orders on the anticipatory bail petition filed by former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy in a case relating to alleged irregularities in denotification of government land in 2007.

Justice K N Keshavanarayana reserved the verdict after conclusion of final arguments and also extended the interim bail granted to Mr. Kumaraswamy till pronouncement of order on anticipatory bail plea.

Earlier Mr. Kumaraswamy appeared in the Lokayukta court in pursuant with the summons issued to him earlier this month to appear before it on or before May 31 and the matter was adjourned to June 2.

On April 16, the High Court had granted six-week interim bail to him in connection with the case.

The Lokayukta court last month ordered issue of summons to Mr. Kumaraswamy and others in a private complaint filed by Mahadevaswamy alleging violation of rules in ordering denotification of 3.8 acres in Thanisandra which had been acquired for formation of Arkavathy layout.





HC suspends CBI court judge

TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 01.35AM IST

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday night placed T Pattabhirama Rao, the first additional special judge for CBI cases under suspension after duly considering some secret information it received against the judge. <br> <br> It was felt necessary to keep him under suspension in public interest with immediate effect, the <a href=””>HC</a&gt; registrar general said in an order that was released. <br> <br> Pattabhirama Rao was appointed <a href=””>CBI court judge</a> a few weeks ago. He had dealt with only a few cases. <br> <br> While he rejected bail to <a href=””>IAS officer Y Srilakshmi</a>, an accused in the illegal mining scam, he granted the relief to Gali Janardhan Reddy, the key accused in the case. <br> <br> The HC, however, stayed his decision later following an appeal by the CBI. <br> <br> While suspending Pattabhi, the HC which launched disciplinary proceedings against him under Rule 8(1) of the AP civil services (CC&amp;A) Rules, 1991, ordered him not to leave Hyderabad without obtaining prior permission from it. <br> <br> A Pullaiah, the principal special judge of the CBI court, was given the full additional charge of the court. <o:p></o:p></p> <p><a name=authorcmt id=authorcmt></a><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> </span> <iframe id=”google_ad_bot” name=”google_ad_bot” allowtransparency=true title=Advertisement vspace=0 hspace=0 marginheight=0 marginwidth=0 src=”; align=middle frameborder=0 height=95 scrolling=no width=660>




HC refuses to entertain BSP MLC’s plea against Lokayukta

Express news service : Lucknow, Fri Jun 01 2012, 04:27 hrs

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday refused to give any interim relief to BSP MLC Mukul Upadhyay, who had filed a petition questioning the authority under which state Lokayukta Justice N K Mehrotra was continuing in office. The court has fixed July 10 as the next date of hearing on which it will decide the maintainability of the petition.

In his petition, which had come up for hearing before a division bench of Justices Sunil Ambwani and Aditya Nath Mittal, Upadhyay had prayed to the court to issue a show cause notice against Justice Mehrotra to explain how he was continuing in office and drawing salary and other allowances. He had also questioned the validity of the ordinance under which the tenure of Justice Mehrotra was extended by the govenrment. He had further prayed that all the recommendations made by Justice Mehrotra post-extension of tenure should be stayed.

However, government counsels C B Yadav and Ramanand Pandey argued that the relief sought by Upadhyay could not be granted because “he is facing inquiry by the vigilance department for various irregularities.”






Madras HC stays trial against boy who murdered teacher

A Subramani, TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 06.24AM IST

CHENNAI: The trial in the sensational murder of school teacher Uma Maheshwari, who was stabbed by a class 10 student inside the classroom on February 9, was stayed by the Madras high court on Thursday after the boy’s father alleged lapses in the juvenile justice board (JJB) proceedings.

Vacation judge Justice Aruna Jagadeesan granted the interim stay till June 8 after the boy’s father sought transfer of trial to some other JJB or before some other presiding officer. The trial commenced at the JJB here on May 28. The murder took place at St Mary’s Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School at Broadway.

Senior counsel R Shanmugasundaram, representing the boy’s father, told the court that the trial commenced without the boy being furnished the full set of chargesheet and other documents. Alleging serious procedural lapses at the JJB, Shanmugasundaram submitted that mandatory requirements stipulated under Sections 207 and 208 of the Code of Criminal Procedure had been violated. Though the two sections made it clear that the boy shall be furnished a copy of the police report, statements and other documents, the board furnished only portions of the chargesheet and other documents in two instalments, he said.





HC directs Haryana to pay Rs 5L each to acid attack victims

TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 05.03AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday directed the Haryana government to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to three girls injured in an acid attack in Rohtak in 2011. While issuing directions, Justice Rajan Gupta ordered the state government to pay the amount within two weeks.

On May 22, the high court had told the CBI to probe the incident within six months and to look into the victims’ allegations against the cops of exonerating the culprits.

On June 18, 2011, three minor girls had suffered burns when two youths threw acid on them in Sector 3, Rohtak. The girls, two of them class X students and the third studying in class XII, were returning after attending tuition classes when the accused attacked them. An FIR was registered under various sections of the IPC for attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy. In her statement before the judicial magistrate, one of the victims had identified Rohan as the main accused. However, despite her statement, police had exonerated him from the charges.

Unable to contest their case because of poverty, the victims had then approached the state legal services authority.





HC seeks report from govt on compliance of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagjostic Techniques Act

Abhinav Sharma, TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 03.10AM IST

JAIPUR: A division bench of Rajasthan High Court has called for a report from the state government following allegations of non-compliance of the provisions of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagjostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act and also cautioned that its provisions are not violated.

The order came on a PIL filed by Centre For Public Grievances, an organization, which alleged that the various provisions of PCPNDT Act are not being followed. “It was also given out in the PIL that in a survey conducted in 2009, it was highlighted by government officials themselves that as many as 350 fake licences were issued in the name of ‘genetic clinics’ but when an effort was made to search those clinics, not a single clinic was found working. It also came up that six licenses were issued to one doctor alone and there were 15 fake licences in Jodhpur,” said the counsel for petitioner.

The petitioner contended that the Act was amended by the Union government and even the Supreme Court in 2009 asked the state government to take measures for compliance of the Act but no single step has been taken. Highlighting the non-compliance, the petitioner alleged that as per the provisions of the Act, there has to be a state supervisory board with minister in-charge of health and family welfare as its chairperson but the state government has assigned the job to a minister of state. Further, the board has not been properly constituted.

It has also been given out that as per provisions of Section 16A, the meeting of the state board is mandatory to be held once in four months. But the board meeting have not been held after April 1, 2011 and only one meeting has been held in the past two years.

It has also been given out that the advisory committee as per Section-17(6) is required to be constituted at the state level, district level and sub divisional level with eight members each. “The state government constituted an advisory committee at the state-level by a notification dated 25.7.01 and according to this notification, four members will be nominated by the state government. But these four members have not been nominated by the government till today. The act is very powerful but the same has been made toothless with no effective machinery of which the court has taken cognizance,” said Naina Saraf, advocate.






HC lifts ban on land use conversion, okays 90A

Abhinav Sharma, TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 02.38AM IST

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan High Court has lifted its stay on land use change and conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. The court also okayed the newly introduced Section 90A which will now replace the old Section 90B of Land Revenue Act. The order was issued by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Mahesh Bhagwati on Thursday.

The provisions of 90-B, which was stayed by the court last year, so far provided for conversion of agricultural land that has been put to non-agricultural use. The regularizations were being made ever since its inception in 1999. The state government in response to a PIL on Thursday clarified the position of new law, Section 90A, to be introduced for regularization of illegal colonies and plots in the state.

A PIL was filed by one Jago Janata Society through advocate Poonam Chand Bhandari challenging the validity of the regularizations made after June 17, 1999 as it was contended that it was a one time scheme to regularize only those illegal constructions in the state which have been made prior to June 1999.

It was also given out that there is no scheme for conversion of agricultural land for commercial, residential, or other non-agricultural use as such and all the allotments made after the date notifying Section 90-B should be declared illegal.

On Thursday, additional advocate general SN Kumawat, appearing for state government, told a division bench that government has framed detailed rules which are quite transparent and therefore, there is no grievance pertaining to 90-B as the same is no more a part of statute books. As such, the PIL has become infructuous.

The court than granted liberty to the petitioner NGO to withdraw the same and file a fresh petition in case the new provision appears to be non-productive and resultantly the stay order granted in the PIL has also come to an end allowing various local self governing bodies to go ahead with the land use change under the newly framed rules.





HC questions cops’ role in tax evasion cases

TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 01.31AM IS T

HYDERABAD: Wondering what the civil police had got to do with the issue of tax evasion, justice B Chandra Kumar of the high court on Thursday granted bail to jewellers T Venkata Naga Jayasri and Rachapudi Sudheer, the owners of the city’s RSR Jewellers.

The owners had lodged a complaint with the police after a burglary on May 7 at their jewellery shop at Chikadpally.

In the course of the investigation, the police proceeded against the owners of the shop for alleged evasion of Value Added Tax. They were arrested on May 23 and lodged at Chanchalguda jail. They said that their prosecution by police lacked sanction of law in the absence of permission from the commissioner.





Scrap dealer says kept boy as his own

Shreya Roy Chowdhury & Dwaipayan Ghosh, TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 04.04AM IST

NEW DELHI: A fortnight ago, the boy who was restored to his parents by scrap dealer Azad Hussain had sold a water-cooler stand from his scrapyard for Rs 300 and bought a model earthmover — bright yellow, battery-operated. Everyone in and around the scrapyard, on the edge of South City I, Gurgaon, knows how central earthmovers are in the boy’s life. One had brought him to them.

Whenever he went missing — which was often, says Azad — they had to track earthmover movements in the area. “We’d find him by one – he’d be riding it or just sitting in it,” says Azad’s mother, Munni. “He didn’t even tell us he’d bought the model,” says Azad laughing. They still have his clothes, his school uniform — he had been admitted to the same school as Azad’s sisters last year — and his toys. He misses the kid. He called several times the day he dropped him off. “I kept thinking they’d call back but they didn’t.”

Along with the boy, Azad left a piece of advice at Savitri Nagar — “Don’t let him out of your sight for the next seven-eight years.” Originally from Bareilly, UP, and living at Indira Vikas Colony for about a decade, Azad’s family — parents and six siblings — didn’t know Chirag Dilli existed till the 12-year-old recognized the name. As they approached his home, the kid seemed to recall landmarks. A number of locals helped them along. A helmet-wala Azad stopped at to get his visor fixed led them to a kachoriwala, who sent them toward Savitri Nagar. “The boy knew the nala. He next recognized a dumpyard — he must have played there once — and then said his house is white,” recalls Azad, “When he correctly identified a shopkeeper as ‘Sandeep’, we knew we were on the right track. His dadi saw him first and fainted.”

During the first few months after Azad spotted the boy (then 10) at a street vendor near Kataria Chowk and brought him home, the two covered all the bridges and nalas in the area. “If only he had told us he’s from Delhi. He never told us. We spent so much time looking in Gurgaon,” says Azad. In fact, the boy didn’t say much at all. He said his mother had passed away, that he had a brother and a sister and that his father was Iqbal. He didn’t say where they could be found.

“All I’ve ever wanted is for him to be restored to his family,” says Azad. Acquaintances wanted to adopt him; he rebuffed the offer. But after the first round of frantic search was over, the boy got restless and rather difficult to handle. He’d take off several times in a month, sometimes returning after days. “The longest he’s stayed away is for three days. He’d never tell us clearly what he did on these tours — where he slept, what he ate. When he was done, he’d call us,” says Azad.

He got mad, he admits openly; he even slapped the kid a few times just as he would chastise his younger sister. “I wanted him to behave, to fit in, the way I would a younger brother. How else would he learn?” he asks and asserts that the other allegation — that he made the boy work without paying — is untrue. He wants the matter settled and regrets not having kept a copy of the complaint his family had filed at the Sector 40 police station when they first found the boy.

“Will I be put behind bars? Is this what I deserve for doing something good,” he asks. “The CWC can summon me any time so I am skipping a family wedding in Bareilly. I wish all this confusion could have been avoided.”

(With inputs from Joel Joseph)






Maid abuse: CWC wants girl’s statement under CrPC 164

TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 01.15AM IST

NOIDA: With two separate cases of domestic help abuse being reported in Noida within three days, the child welfare committee has instructed police to record the statement of a 13-year-old domestic help under Section 164 of CrPC. She was allegedly abused by her employers in their Sector 44 residence. CWC officials said this move would strengthen the girl’s case and aid in her receiving swift justice.

CWC said that in the FIR, police had applied all sections relevant to child labour, involuntary confinement and bonded labour, but for the girl’s rehabilitation, her statement should be recorded by the ACJM under Section 164 of CrPC. “Once the statement has been recorded by the ACJM under this section, the rehabilitation process for the girl can begin and she can be released from judicial custody,” said a CWC official.

In the other case – in which another girl had been allegedly abused by her software engineer employer for almost a year – police said they were awaiting the medical report to verify the exact age of the girl.

The first case was reported to police on March 24 following which the girl, aged between 13 and 14 years, was rescued from the Sector 44 house in Noida. “The girl was employed by a couple, Jagdeep and Shilpa Relan. The husband didn’t live in Noida. When we rescued the girl, her body was riddled with injuries,” said the police. The parents of the girl arrived in Noida from their village in Jharkhand on Sunday.

In the second case, police are waiting for the health department to submit the age proof of the girl. “In this case, the girl is around 14 years old and we need to be sure about her age because if she’s older than 14, the child labour act doesn’t apply to her,” said a police official. Police also said they had traced the girl’s family in Jharkhand with the aid of the state police.





Experts differ on CWC action

TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 03.59AM IST

NEW DELHI: The curious story of Azad Hussain — the good Samaritan who is now under the police scanner because of a CWC order — has drawn a mixed response from independent observers and legal experts. While some feel that a probe into the allegations by the child Hussain restored to his family about being beaten up by the kabadiwallah or being asked to work is needed, others say there is no conclusive evidence against Azad and any proceedings against the man would amount to unnecessary harassment.

“This is a peculiar case. The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) is well within its right to order a police inquiry if the rescued child has made certain allegations against the person. But, on the other hand, if the version of the man who brought up him for two years is correct — that he treated him like his own children, sent him to school and always tried to unite the child with his biological parents — is correct, it’s serious harassment. It is great injustice to him,” said A P Shah, former Chief Justice of Delhi H C.

A CWC official said that whenever any child is rescued or recovered, a medical examination is conducted to rule out any foul play and then the child is produced before a magistrate for recording his or her statement. “Missing children are produced before CWC because they are in need of care and protection and in order to decide on the custody of the child. The child, in this case, told the magistrate that he was beaten by the man and was made to work. The case was forwarded to us and we asked the police to investigate the matter as per law,” the official said, pointing out that the person had not been pronounced guilty yet.

The well-known retired judge of Delhi High Court S N Dhingra was, however, critical of the CWC. “The CWC should have assessed the seriousness of the charges levelled by the child against the rescuer rather than ordering a police inquiry immediately. It is insensitive on the part of the child rights body,” he said.

“Today, when an accident takes place, few people come forward to help the victim, fearing that police may question them for suspected involvement. Nobody wants to get harassed like this. Azad’s case just proves them right.”

Delhi’s women and child development minister Kiran Walia said going by circumstantial evidence, there was no reason to doubt the intention of the rescuer. “The fact that Azad brought up this child for two years, sent him to school and made extra efforts to look for his biological parents shows his intentions were right. I feel that ordering a police inquiry without any conclusive proof of continuous abuse or harassment is unwarranted. We will look into the case,” she said.

The Malviya Nagar police have said they will be following the CWC order and record statements of neighbours of both the boy’s father, Iqbal, who stays in Delhi’s Savitri Nagar, and Azad. “We are now studying the statement of the child recorded before the magistrate. We are trying to find out if there was any malafide intention in the conduct of Azad. As of now, we have found that he truly wanted to reunite the child with his family. We will contact Gurgaon police and find out if the recovery of the child was conveyed to them by Azad and his family and whether these policemen have often restored the child back to the family whenever he ran off. We will register a case of were are convinced of any evil intention,” said a senior cop.






Sports Ministry appeals to CIC to bring BCCI under RTI

PTI May 31, 2012, 06.56PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Sports Ministry is pinning its hope on the Central Information Commission to bring the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) under the purview of the Right to Information Act.

Sports Minister Ajay Maken said he has appealed to the CIC to bring BCCI under RTI for varied reasons.

“We have appealed to the CIC (to bring BCCI under RTI). Our appeal is based on a number of valid reasons,” he told reporters after unveiling the Draft National Youth Policy on Thursday.

“The first reason why the BCCI should come under RTI is that the lands on which the state federations have built their stadiums and other facilities have been provided by the state governments.

“Moreover, from 1996 to 2006, the government has given a tax exemption of Rs 365 crore to the BCCI,” he said.

“And the most important thing is that the biggest public function they are performing is by selecting the team for India. Any team or institution which plays under the Indian flag should come under RTI,” Maken added.

The proposed National Sports Bill, which was prepared after receiving comments and suggestions from various stakeholders and the public, seeks to have BCCI as National Sports Federation (NSF) and wants it to function as a public authority and comply with the requirements specified in the RTI Act.

If the BCCI becomes an NSF, it would be bound to provide information under the RTI and would also be forced to follow the anti-doping rules as specified by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

These proposals of the Bill have been vehemently opposed by the BCCI and some other sports bodies, including the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), which want to continue functioning in an autonomous manner, free from public scrutiny and accountability.






Supreme Court judge recuses himself from Bidari case

New Delhi, May 31, 2012, DHNS:

A Supreme Court judge on Thursday recused himself from hearing a plea of Shankar M Bidari seeking his reinstatement as the police chief of Karnataka.

As the case came up for hearing, Justice J S Khehar, sitting alongside Justice K S Radhakrishnan in the Vacation Bench, expressed his unwillingness to hear the appeal filed by Bidari against the Karnataka High Court’s order. The matter is now listed for hearing for Friday before a Bench comprising Justice Radhakrishnan and Justice C K Prasad.

In a setback to Bidari, the High Court had on May 29 held that his empanelment for the post of State police chief was vitiated as the State government had failed to produce the Justice Sadashiva panel report and the NHRC order indicting him for alleged atrocities committed during the manhunt for forest brigand Veerappan.

“There is a specific reference to Bidari in the panel report in three paragraphs, which is in the nature of an adverse comment with respect to his functioning as a commandant of the Special Task Force. The Sadashiva panel report and the NHRC order which upheld the findings of the report and recommended payment of compensation, constitutes material information which ought to have been placed before the UPSC by the State government,” the High Court had said.

Bidari had challenged the  order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) quashing his appointment as the DG&IGP on November 30 last year. The apex court had earlier set aside a Karnataka High Court order directing removal of Bidari and appointment of A R Infant as the DGP & IGP.






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