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

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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.









One Response

  1. […] original here: LEGAL NEWS 03.06.2012 « Advocate Kamal Kumar Pandey […]

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