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).



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