LEGAL NEWS 05.10.2012

Man in soup for filming in court

Express News Service

The HC has asked A Venkatesan, working as an Assistant Section Officer in Home (P&E) department, Secretariat, as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him for recording court proceedings on his mobile phone on Thursday. During the course of arguments on a habeas corpus writ plea,Venkatesan was seen recording the proceedings in the court hall of Justice KN Basha and N Paul Vasanthakumar and was caught red handed. During enquiry, he told the judges that he had just come to the hall for watching the proceedings and he was not summoned. “Hence, he is called upon to explain as to why action for contempt of court proceedings could not be initiated against him,’’ the bench said and posted the matter  to Oct 5. 






TNPSC allowed to publish results

Express News Service

Vacating the interim stay granted earlier, the Madras High Court has paved the way for the TN Public Service Commission (TNPSC) to publish the results of the examinations conducted in July this year for Group IV services.

While passing interim orders on the writ petitions from K Murugan of Dharmapuri district and another, Justice S Nagamuthu on August 17 this year had restrained the TNPSC from publishing the results. The other process including valuation of the papers could, however, go on, the judge had said.

According to petitioners, the question papers furnished to them for selection to the 10,780 posts in various departments did not carry all the questions. There were in total 200 questions. But the question paper contained only questions 1 to 59 and 154 to 200, with the remaining questions (from 60 to 153) missing.

When the matter came up, TNPSC counsel told the judge that in all 13 candidates were affected by the supply of defective question papers. The TNPSC decided to afford an opportunity to all of them by holding a fresh exam and accordingly the exam was conducted on September 27. Of the 13 candidates, nine, including the petitioners, had participated in the exam. Counsel for petitioners told the judge he had no further grievance.

Disposing the pleas, the judge vacated the interim stay.





Selection of PG assistants quashed

Express News Service

The selection of 2,395 post-graduate assistants and physical education directors (PEDs) for government schools in the State was set aside by the Madras High Court on the ground that more than half of the key answers set by the Teachers Recruitment Board (TRB) were wrong and the reservation formula also had not been properly applied, on Monday (October 1).

Passing orders on a batch of writ petitions from the teacher-aspirants, Justice S Nagamuthu quashed the mark list and the selection list for all posts.

The judge said that a number of key answers had been set wrongly and so the valuation conducted based on the answers was invalid. The selection of candidates had not been done properly by strictly applying the rules of reservation, the judge said.

TRB advertised for the 2,395 posts on February 28 last and the three-hour objective type exam was held for the main subject, educational methodology and general knowledge carrying 110 marks, 30 marks and 10 marks, respectively.

The present batch of writ pleas were filed challenging the key answers to many questions and the faulty application of the reservation formula by the authorities. By an interim order, the court had formed an expert committee to go into the correctness of the key answers.

The panel’s report revealed that more than 50 key answers were wrong and hence evaluation based on these keys had adversely affected the prospects of thousands of aspirants. As for the reservation regime, Justice Nagamuthu said that several reserved category candidates selected under open quota on merit had been adjusted against the reserved quota.

Explaining the illegal application of quota regime, the judge pointed out that one S Selvi, a top scorer with 127 marks, had been shown as having been selected under the backward class (women) quota while the second rank-holder J Kumar with 118 marks had been ‘selected’ against the backward class (general) category, instead of being included in the open category. One Prabakaran who scored 114 marks was shown as a reserved category candidate instead of being listed as an open category candidate selected under merit/open category. In Zoology, G Jagan with 130 marks and J Mohan with 129 marks too had been selected under ‘reserved’ category’ instead of open category, the judge pointed out.

Describing the selection as ‘strange and shocking’, the judge said that  it was clear that the TRB had not understood the method to be followed for selection as against open quota, vertical reservations for BCs, MBCs, SCs and STs and the horizontal reservations for women, disabled persons and Tamil medium candidates. The judge directed the TRB to redo the whole exercise and said that the lists of selected candidates already published were liable to be withdrawn. Hence, the entire selection lists, including the selected lists for the posts for which there was no challenge, were liable to be set aside.





No one from Alagiri’s family called for enquiry without summons: police

Mohamed Imranullah S.

The Madras High Court Bench here on Thursday recorded the submission of the Madurai District Police that no family member of Union Minister M.K. Alagiri had been or would be called for enquiry without a summons being issued in connection with a case registered against his son Durai alias Dayanithi Alagiri.

Justice M.M. Sundresh recorded the submission made by Additional Advocate General K. Chellapandian during the hearing of a petition filed by Dayanithi to quash the First Information Report registered by the Keezhavalavu police near here last month for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore granite quarry scam in the district. However, he refused to pass interim orders restraining the police from proceeding with the investigation until the next hearing of the case.

Earlier, the petitioner’s advocate Veera Kathiravan alleged that the police were harassing the Minister’s family members in the guise of enquiry. Stating that so far Dayanithi’s friends as well as brother-in-law had been called to the police station for enquiry, the counsel sought for a court order permitting family members to be accompanied by their lawyers in future. Rebutting such a request, the AAG said all those enquired so far were accompanied by their lawyers and the police had no objection to that.

“Even he (petitioner’s counsel) is well aware of that. We have also never asked anyone to appear for an enquiry without issuing proper summons in accordance with law,” he added.

He also denied political motives behind the action taken against the petitioner and said the case was registered only on the basis of prima facie evidence available. He claimed that the petitioner had quarried granite illicitly from lands belonging to the Tamil Nadu Minerals Limited, a State government undertaking, since 2006.

Justifying the registration of the case based on a complaint by Keezhavalavu Village Administrative Officer and not TAMIN officials who ought to have been the aggrieved party, the AAG said some of the TAMIN officials were hand-in-glove with the accused and hence they had also been arrested and put behind bars in connection with the same case.

The judge adjourned the hearing to October 11 in order to enable the prosecution to file a written objection to the petitioner’s plea of quashing the FIR.





Petitioner fined Rs 50,000 for flimsy PIL against flyover

Express News Service

Coming down heavily on the trend of litigants moving the High Court by filing petitions to get personal gains, the Kerala High Court on Wednesday observed that misuse of the right given to citizens to initiate public interest litigation could not be allowed.

The court also imposed an exemplary fine of Rs 50,000 on A Subair of Muttom in Thiruvananthapuram, who repeatedly filed petitions on ‘flimsy’ grounds against the construction of Thakaraparambu flyover in the capital city. A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A M Shaffique passed the order while dismissing his plea seeking a directive to halt the construction.

He had submitted that the construction was unscientific and dangerous to the archaeological monuments of the city. The Archaeological Survey Department, however, had submitted that the construction of the flyover from the Power House Road to Thakaraparambil was not detrimental to the forts and monuments. The department had taken all efforts to protect those structures, it said. State Attorney P Vijayaraghvan submitted that the move of the petitioner was a malafide attempt and there was no public interest behind it. The petitioner was ventilating the grievances of certain individuals, the State’s Attorney said.

The Bench observed that not being satisfied by its previous directives, the petitioner had repeatedly filed pleas and his main intention was to stall the construction on the flyover.

“The flyover is being constructed to ease the heavy traffic congestion in the city. The Thiruvananthapuram City, especially East Fort, Thampanoor, Pazhavangad and Over Bridge roads, is always congested with traffic where the railway station, bus stand, Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple and other commercial centres are situated,” the court said. The intention of the petitioner was either to gain popularity or act at the whims of some persons who are against the flyover, it said.





Army forcing us to withdraw case against Gen Bikram Singh: NGO

Harinder Baweja, Hindustan Times
Srinagar, October 05, 2012

Last Updated: 00:29 IST(5/10/2012)

The army has been accused of putting pressure on the civil society in Kashmir to withdraw a PIL against its chief, General Bikram Singh.

YES Kashmir, an NGO, had approached the Jammu and Kashmir high court in October last year to raise the issue of an encounter that occurred

According to the police, an alleged militant dressed as a beggar had approached Singh and opened fire. In the battle that ensued, the militant was killed.

The PIL, however, questions the police theory. A family had come forward in October 2011, claiming that it was their son Abdullah Bhat, an innocent bystander, who had been killed.

The timing of the PIL was questioned in military circles, with many seeing it as an attempt to narrow down Singh’s chances of becoming the army chief.

Soon after Singh took over as the chief of army staff, NGO head Khurshid Ahmed Mir approached the court once again and — in a sworn affidavit — claimed that the force was pressurising him.

Mir has now alleged in the affidavit that “officers of Sector–1 RR are pressurising me to help them withdraw the case by influencing relatives and the counsel for the petitioners… Since the case has turned out to be a high-profile one, I feel insecure in the hands of the army. They are repeatedly putting pressure on me, and can harm me and my family.”

The police had then closed the case, saying the beggar was actually Mateen Chacha — a Pakistan-trained Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist.

They are now refusing to produce a photograph of the ‘beggar’ or identify his grave, demands that the family has made through the PIL.

The board of officers inquiring into the funding of the controversial intelligence unit, constituted by former army chief Gen VK Singh, is now probing possible links between the ‘snoop unit’ and the NGO.

The inquiry notwithstanding, the petition can be embarrassing for the chief as well as the government, particularly if the court orders an investigation into the ‘fake encounter.’ The army declined to comment on the grounds that the inquiry was still on.






Cite guidelines for withdrawing cases against SP men: HC to govt

Express news service : Allahabad, Fri Oct 05 2012, 05:34 hrs

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday asked the state government to apprise it about the guidelines it was likely to follow in its proposed attempt to withdraw criminal cases registered against the workers of the Samajwadi Party (SP) during the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) regime.

The court passed the order while hearing a PIL, based on media reports, seeking directions to restrain the state government from taking any such steps. The court has fixed October 10 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

Hearing the PIL filed by an advocate, Satya Prakash Rai, a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Amitava Lala and Justice P K S Baghel directed the state government to file a detailed affidavit on the matter in the next hearing.

Sanjeev Singh, counsel for the petitioner, said: “Our main contention is that it would be unconstitutional and violative of Section 321 (which says that the public prosecutor can initiate withdrawal of prosecution process as per prescribed norms) of the Criminal Procedure Code if the state government is planning to pass any directions regarding withdrawal of criminal cases registered against SP workers during the BSP regime. Our main prayer is that the state government be restrained from passing any direction in this regard.”



Comfortably dumb, says Bombay high court

Published: Friday, Oct 5, 2012, 8:03 IST | Updated: Friday, Oct 5, 2012, 1:06 IST

By Mustafa Plumber | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

 The government’s heart was in the right place, but looks like its mind wasn’t. It identified posts of forest rangers, port inspectors, junior engineers and security guards for those who have lost 40% of their vision.

Making a note of it, the Bombay high court on Thursday came down heavily on the state government.

“Don’t you apply your mind before preparing the list?” a division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice NM Jamdar asked.
Advocate Chetan Agrawal representing one Nilima Surve, who had filed a PIL, submitted to the court a letter written by the state.

The letter asked JJ hospital doctors to determine whether a candidate from Nashik, who was partially visually disabled, was fit for the post of a security guard in a company.Agrawal said, “Such a post cannot be held by someone with a visual disability.It’s a farce that such posts are being identified.”

Advocate GW Mattos appearing for the state sought time for finding out if the state had adopted guidelines framed by the Centre with regard to recruitment of disabled people or if it had prepared its own. Mattos, however, said petitioners should first approach the commissioner for persons with disabilities before moving court.

The bench has directed the local office of the commissioner to publicise its address, and has directed the petitioners to plead their cases before them.

The court also directed the chief secretary to file an affidavit stating whether the previous court orders directing recruitment were adhered to and give details of backlog, if any.

Surve was appointed by Chetna College in Bandra but later dismissed because of her visual disability. Only
after the high court intervened, she was reinstated.





4-week relief for cell towers on hospitals

TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 09.22AM IST

JAIPUR: A division bench of the Rajasthan high court, while hearing a plea of the state government seeking an extension of the deadline for removal of mobile towers from hospitals , has extended it for another four weeks. The bench, however, declined to extend the time limit for removal of those structures from which the batteries and communication equipment have already been removed. The time limit fixed for the removal of these towers will expire on October 7.
The case camp up before the court on a PIL filed by Justice I Israni (retd). Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for Cellular Operators Association of India told the high court that the Union government had on Wednesday night issued certain guidelines containing do’s and don’ts for the cellular operators including installation of towers which he sought to be placed on record on Monday.





Task force moots three elephant zones

TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 06.12AM IST

BANGALORE: The Karnataka Elephant Task Force set up by the high court to look into elephant-human conflict has made several recommendations, including establishing a Karnataka Elephant Expert Group (KEEG), within the state wildlife board, with a broad mandate to plan, advise, and assist in elephant conservation and management in the state.

The task force headed by IISc scientist Raman Sukumar suggested a three-zone approach — elephant conservation zone, elephant-human co-existence zone and elephant removal zone.

The report was submitted a couple of days ago and filed in response to a court directive in a sou motu PIL in 2008 following deaths of elephants in the state. The PIL came up before a bench headed by Justice K Sreedhara Rao on Monday. With regard to loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats due to ill-planned commercial infrastructure projects and natural resource extraction, the committee recommended a time-bound review of clearances granted or pending in areas within the distribution range of the elephant.

It also suggested prosecution of officials who misrepresented facts about presence of elephants and other wildlife while recommending project proposals.

KETF suggested the 750-kg golden howdah carried by the lead elephant in Dasara procession be replaced with a lighter replica or carried in a chariot drawn by the elephant. KETF feels such a symbolic gesture could make the state a national and international leader in elephant conservation.






PIL filed for deployment of women force in trains

Press Trust of India : Lucknow, Fri Oct 05 2012, 05:41 hrs

A PIL was today filed in the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court seeking direction for deployment of women commandos in trains and an inquiry by an independent agency against an IAS officer, who was arrested on charges of alleged attempt to rape in a moving train.

Citing incidents of misbehaviour with women passengers in moving trains, the petitioner, a local lawyer, Moti Lal Yadav, in his PIL has requested the court to issue direction to Chairman Railway Board to appoint Railway Women Commando Force in every running train.

Yadav has requested the court to issue directive to the state government to appoint ladies force as per the ratio of the population of the women.

He claimed that the Railway Board had in past decided to deploy women commando force, but nothing has been done yet.

The petitioner has also sought the direction to UP government for a detailed inquiry against IAS officer Shahsi Bhushan Sushil by an independent agency. Shushil, who was special secretary in the Technical Education Department, was arrested on Monday last for allegedly molesting a woman in Lucknow Mail.

A local court granted him interim bail on Wednesday.





Coalgate: PIL seeks fines, SC-monitored investigation

TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 02.35AM IST

NEW DELHI: Three weeks after the Supreme Court entertained a public interest litigation on Coalgate, an NGO moved another PIL on Thursday seeking a court-monitored probe by a special investigation team and recovery of punitive damages from private players who allegedly made huge gains.

The PIL, filed by NGO ‘Common Cause’ and six prominent citizens, including ex-Cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian, ex-chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami and former Navy chiefs R H Tahiliani and L Ramdas, said, “The investigation of the CBI at the instance of the Central Vigilance Commission is partial and does not cover the full magnitude of the scam.”

It said that the ongoing CBI probe may not be impartial. “Considering the magnitude of the investigation and possibility of involvement of high public offices, including PMO, and the fact that CBI functions under the same very government it is supposed to investigate, a court monitored probe by an SIT is required,” it said.

Seeking cancellation of all coal blocks to private companies since 1993, the NGO requested the court to direct the “SIT or the CBI and Enforcement Directorate to probe all allocation of coal blocks by Centre between 1993 to 2012”.

It also wanted a probe into the manner in which states send recommendations as well as “an investigation into how coal block allocated for captive use of ultra mega power projects were allowed to be diverted for non-captive use to permit private players to indulge in undue profiteering”.

The NGO also said those UMPP owners who indulged in illegal diversion of coal from captive blocks must lose their licences. It said the government must also recover windfall profits made by private players from the illegal exploitation of blocks.



Horse, mule journey banned for Kedarnath

Press Trust of India / Dehra Dun October 04, 2012, 17:59

Following directions from Uttarakhand High Court to maintain sanitation on pedestrian route to Kedarnath from Gaurikund, movement of horses and mules has been temporarily suspended.

The decision came in the wake of the High Court expressing dissatisfaction over sanitation on the 14 km-long pilgrimage route, additional chief officer of Rudraprayag district panchayat, Yashwant Rawat said.

Hearing a PIL, the court had recently directed the Panchayat to ensure sanitation for pilgrims and present a working plan before it on October 6 in this regard, he said.

A working plan will be submitted and action will be taken according to the directions issued, he added.




Karnataka moves SC for stay on CRA directive

TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 05.43AM IST

BANGALORE/MANDYA/MYSORE: As farmers took centre stage by sidelining politicians, Karnataka filed a petition in the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking a stay on the CRA directive to release 9,000 cusecs daily to Tamil Nadu until October 15.

A week after the apex court directed Karnataka to abide by the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) directive, Bangalore will face the heat of the protests on Friday with a spate of demonstrations and dharnas planned by all parties separately ahead of the Karnataka bandh on Saturday. The Bangalore-Mysore highway continued to be blocked.

Farmers’ representative Kodihalli Chandrashekhar has threatened to block all highways in the state on Friday.

The two teams from the Centre reached Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on Thursday to assess the water levels and the agricultural operations in both states. The team led by chief engineer Jacob will start touring the Cauvery basin projects in Karnataka from Friday.

The Jacob team, comprising three experts, will tour the areas till Sunday. It will reach Maddur, where it will get down to business at 11am, and arrive at the KRS dam at 2.30pm. Along with Jacob, BP Pandey from the Central Water Commission, P K Saha, deputy commissioner in the ministry of agriculture and D Ranga Reddy will tour the areas. According to an official communication from the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam, the team will inspect KR Pet, Pandavapura, Mysore, Nanjangud, T Narasipur, Hunsur, KR Nagar, Holenarsipura and Channarayapatna.

In Mandya, a day-long hunger strike was observed by the Cauvery Protection Committee led by former MP G Made Gowda. After virtually laying siege to the KRS dam in the district, the farmers vented their ire on politicians. Congress leader Siddaramaiah had to bear the brunt; he was heckled by the crowd, which accused him of letting them down. Siddaramaiah had to leave the venue amid police escort.

Karnataka’s petition in the court described the September 19 directive of CRA as “arbitrary and ad hoc”.

“We have cited drought, no distress formula regarding water sharing in place and receding storage level as the reasons for seeking a stay on the directive,” water resources minister Basavaraj Bommai told TOI. Another petition filed by Mandya farmers seeking same relief is slated for hearing by the apex court on Friday.

While the farmers protested and the government moved court, priests at Mysore’s Chamundeswari temple sought divine intervention to rescue Karnataka.

times news network Filed by Naheed/shiv/aravind cleared by naheed




SC gives six months to states to improve school facilities

Submitted by admin4 on 4 October 2012 – 10:31pm


New Delhi : The Supreme Court has asked state governments to provide educational, sanitation and drinking water infrastructure in the schools including separate toilet facilities for boys and girls, drinking water facilities, sufficient class rooms and the appointment of teaching and no-teaching staff within six months.

There are 1,096,064 government schools. Out of these, 624,074 schools have girl toilets and 824,605 schools have common toilets for boys and girls.

An apex court bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishanan and Justice Dipak Misra Wednesday asked the state governments to give effect to various directions already given by it for “providing toilet facilities for boys and girls, drinking water facilities, sufficient class rooms, appointment of teaching and non-teaching staff etc., if not already provided, within six months from today”.

Justice Radhakrishnan said: “We make it clear that these directions are applicable to all the schools, whether state-owned or private, aided or unaided, minority or non-minority.”

Disposing of a petition moved by NGO Environment and Consumer Protection Foundation, the court said: “We make it clear that if the directions are not fully implemented, it is open to the aggrieved parties to move this court for appropriate orders.”

The NGO moved the apex court seeking directions to improve the conditions in schools.

Referring to its April 12 verdict, upholding the constitutional validity of the right to education law providing for free and compulsory education to students up to the age of 14 years, the court said that it gave some directions so that the mandate of the law could be carried out.

The court in its April judgment highlighted the necessity of constituting a regulatory authority for effective functioning of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act.

The judgment said that on the basis of the directions issued by the apex court in the instant matter some States submitted the details of the infrastructure facilities in the schools in their respective states.

“This court noticed that some of the schools have not provided proper toilet facilities for boys and girls and, in some of the schools, it was noticed that there is no provision for drinking water as well,” the judgment said.

Under the the “Total Sanitation Campaign” a school sanitation hygiene education programme is operational in 607 districts spread across 30 states and union territories and a total of 1,199,117 school toilets have been financially assisted under the TSC.





Fresh SC look at Mayawati’s disproportionate assets case likely

TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 04.11AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday decided to hear in open court a petition seeking review its July 6 judgment quashing the CBI’s FIR accusing former UP CM Mayawati of amassing disproportionate wealth, raising the prospect of a fresh judicial look at the politically sensitive case.

The decision by a bench of Justices P Sathasivam and Dipak Misra is significant given that an overwhelming majority of such petitions are dismissed in chamber without lawyers for the parties getting an opportunity to argue their stand.

But the bench’s decision to hear Kamlesh Verma’s petition in open court will provide him the opportunity to cite facts and try to convince the court to reconsider the decision to quash the FIR against Mayawati. After the CBI went back on its initial resolve to seek review of the apex court’s judgment quashing the DA case FIR against Mayawati, Verma had on August 4 filed the petition requesting the court to permit the agency to take the investigation already done in the case to its logical conclusion.

Verma had intervened in the proceedings before the apex court in the petition filed by Mayawati seeking quashing of the FIR. He had alleged that the July 6 order of the apex court quashing the CBI investigation was based on wrong facts pleaded by the former UP CM.

The SC said it had on July 16, 2003, directed the CBI to probe the alleged illegality and irregularity committed by officials and other persons in the release of Rs 17 crore for the Taj Heritage Corridor scam, but it had not directed the agency to register an FIR on the alleged disproportionate assets of Mayawati.

In its July 6 judgment, the court had objected to the CBI registering an FIR in the DA case showing a Supreme Court official as complainant when there was no specific direction for lodging an FIR to probe her alleged disproportionate wealth.

During the hearings on Mayawati’s petition which came to be filed in 2008, the court had permitted the CBI to submit probe status report. The agency, in its affidavits, repeatedly said that it had got enough material to file charge sheet against the former CM.

Verma’s review petition filed through advocate Kamini Jaiswal said more than a year after the direction to probe the Taj Heritage Corridor scam, the apex court on October 25, 2004, had de-linked the DA case FIR from the scam and said, “In any event, CBI will be entitled to take action on the basis of the investigation as it may think fit.”

Verma’s review petition said Mayawati had filed the writ petition in SC to thwart CBI from filing the chargesheet. “The judgment under review belies the requirement of public policy that cases of corruption by public servants cannot be dealt by courts with a technical approach,” he said.

“Rather, public policy required that even if there was some technical flaw in the investigation, same could not have been given precedence over the overwhelming evidence collected by the CBI against Mayawati,” he said.





Court clears Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief’s Europe trip

TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 06.13AM IST

CHENNAI: A sessions court on Thursday allowed a plea of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) chief Vaiko for a holiday to Europe and ordered his diplomatic and ordinary passports to be returned to him. Vaiko is to leave for Europe with his wife on October 10.

Giving his order, Justice K Kaliyamurthy, Additional Court-VI judge, said the MDMK leader would have to return his passports within three days of his return to the country. “Considering the attitude of the petitioner in attending the case hearing and that fact that he had obtained the same permission on an earlier occasion, the petitioner is allowed,” Justice Kaliyamurthy said. Special public prosecutor N Vijayaraj, who was asked to file a counter on Thursday, endorsed no objection for the return of passports to Vaiko.

Vaiko is facing charges under the anti-terror law, POTA for allegedly speaking in support of the LTTE in June 2002.






Delhi court sends alleged 26/11 plotter Abu Jundal to judicial custody till Oct.8

New Delhi/Mumbai , Thu, 04 Oct 2012 ANI

New Delhi/Mumbai, Oct.4 (ANI): The suspected key plotter of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in 2008, Sayeed Zabiuddin Ansari, was sent to judicial custody till October 8.

A Sessions Court in New Delhi, before which he was produced, pronounced this on Thursday.

The court also directed that after the current judicial custody expires, Ansari would have to be produced before a Special Court of National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Ansari, also known as Abu Hamza and Abu Jindal, was arrested at Delhi airport on June 21 on his arrival from Saudi Arabia.

The police revealed his arrest only on Monday, after interrogating him for five days about the three-day rampage in Mumbai that killed 166 people.

According to prosecution, Ansari helped coordinate the attack by 10 members of Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group from a ‘control room’ in the Pakistani city of Karachi and also helped to train the gunmen who laid siege on prime spots in Mumbai for three days.

Until his arrest, Ansari had been living in Saudi Arabia on a Pakistani passport. An official of New Delhi’s anti-terrorist police unit had revealed this to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Speaking to media after Ansari was produced before the Sessions Judge in New Delhi on Thursday, the lawyer for the NIA, Ahmed Khan, said that Mumbai’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had transferred the case to the NIA.

“We asked for him to be produced in the court for a hearing on October 08 and the court has given that date. He will be produced before the Special Court of National Investigation Agency (NIA) on October 8 at 2 p.m.

Ansari’s arrest has cast a fresh spotlight on Pakistan’s history of backing militant groups as a tool of its foreign policy.

Pakistan’s military intelligence agency, the ISI, nurtured the emergence of the LeT in the early 1990s to serve as a proxy to fight Indian forces in Kashmir.

Pakistan denies backing militant groups, but experts believe the security establishment maintains a relationship with LeT. Pakistan’s government has not commented on Ansari’s arrest.

The Mumbai attacks heightened tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, which have fought three wars since 1947, and have continued to cast a pall over fragile relations ever since.

Ten militants arrived on the Mumbai shoreline in a dinghy on November 26, 2008, before splitting into four groups and embarking on a killing spree.

They held off elite commandos for up to 60 hours in two luxury hotels and a Jewish centre in the city. The only attacker to survive was sentenced to death in 2010.

A voice believed to belong to Ansari was recorded talking to the gunmen attacking the Jewish centre.

He is reported to have told the attackers to convey to the media that the “attack was a trailer and the entire movie was yet to come”. (ANI)




Court denies criminal bail for skipping hearing

TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 08.12AM IST

PUNE: The court of additional sessions judge S D Darne on Thursday rejected the bail plea of a criminal on police record Prakash alias Haribhau Londhe from Loni Kalbhor for not attending a hearing in a criminal appeal filed by him in a theft case.

In 2006, a magisterial court here had sentenced Londhe to three years of rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 5,000. His wife, Vijaya Londhe, was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Londhe had challenged his conviction by filing a criminal appeal before the district and sessions court here. The appeal came up for hearing before judge Darne on July 24, but he did not turn up before the court. A non-bailable warrant for arresting him was issued on August 10 after he again failed to turn up before the court.

A police team headed by inspector Suhas Garud, in-charge of the Loni Kalbhor police station, arrested Londhe on Wednesday. He was produced before the court on Thursday afternoon. Londhe’s lawyer filed a plea to release him on bail.

However, public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar pleaded that the bail be rejected since Londhe had 51 cases registered against him. She said that Londhe had challenged his convictions before the district court in three cases and complained that the hearing had to be deferred repeatedly because of his frequent absenteeism. She feared it would be difficult to secure his presence at the time of the hearing, since he may go absconding if he was given bail. Also, the accused had committed a murder at Yevat in 2011 while on bail.

After hearing both sides, the court rejected Londhe’s bail and sent him to the Yerawada central jail.






Dalit group demands special court at Laxmipeta

Express News Service

The Laxmipeta Dalit Struggle Solidarity Committee has demanded that the state government immediately set up a special court at Laxmipeta and begin the trial of the persons accused for massacring five dalits at there on June 12. They also demanded that the trial be completed within three months.

The committee’s convener Bojja Tharakam accused the state government of dawdling in bringing the guilty to the book and criticised it for issuing GO no 103 for setting up of a special sessions court at Srikakulam town instead of at Laxmipeta.

Addressing mediapersons at a half-day protest here on Wednesday against the delay of setting up of the court, Bojja Tarakam demanded that the state government should immediately withdraw GO No 103 and set up the court there.

State convenor of the Dalit Stree Shakti Geddam Jhansi demanded that the state government distribute 250 acres of land among the landless Dalits in Laxmipeta village and alleged that the state government was shielding the upper-caste culprits.





Kush’s friends bravely testify in court against Ayush

Soumittra S Bose, TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 04.17AM IST

NAGPUR: Two children, aged eight and nine, showed amazing poise in the witness box of the packed court during the hearing in the Kush Kataria kidnapping and murder case on Thursday to get their slain friend justice at a time of their life when they were merely expected to pass school’s unit tests with flying colours.

The two children endured the ordeal for around an hour each in the trial before district and additional sessions judge GJ Akarte.

Shubham Vaid (9) and Ridham Puria (8) appeared as prosecution witnesses 4 and 5 respectively. They recalled the chain of incidents of October 11 last year, replying confidently to questions from special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam. Later, the children also remained undaunted when defence counsel Amrish Sonak tried to drag them out of the prosecution’s chain of events and establish contrary facts.

Judge Akarte also took pains to patiently explain the defence questions to the children, make them comfortable, offered time for a break and ensured the proceedings did not overwhelm the minors. He also pulled up the defence a couple of times for cross examining the minors for omission in testimony, instead, suggesting such questions be kept for the investigation officer.

Young Ridham’s calm demeanour drew praise from all those in the court, including the family members of eight-year-old Kush, who was abducted and killed by Ayush Pugaliya.

Shubham and Ridham, with negligible variations, said they were enjoying chips in the balcony of Kush’s residence. They narrated how Kush was called by their neighbour ‘Ayush bhaiyya’, who took him away on his scooter. They both claimed to have seen Ayush speeding away with Kush. The children convincingly faced the defence questions and negated their argument that their vision was blocked from the balcony and there were others in the lane in front of Kush’s residence apart from Ayush.

The Pugaliya brothers remained nonchalant through the proceedings. Eldest Navin and younger Nitin, charged with destruction of evidence, seemed to be more attentive than their youngest brother Ayush, who is the main accused. Ayush’s look was more of indifference. Both children identified him in the court in front of judge Akarte.

On Friday, the court is slated to examine Kush’s aunt Hema, cousin Priya, and Sneha Karnani. The two panch witnesses at the discovery of blood stained clothes would also be examined.





Man sentenced till rising of the court for stealing power

Agencies : New Delhi, Thu Oct 04 2012, 20:12 hrs

A man was sent to day-long detention till rising of the court for stealing electricity and directed to pay Rs three lakh as civil liability to the power company by a court here.

Additional Sessions Judge Sukhdev Singh sentenced East Delhi resident Jasvir Choudhary on a complaint by BSES Yamuna Power Limited that he had been stealing electricity through illegal wires, without installing a meter in his house.

The court awarded him milder sentence under the provisions of the Electricity Act which entails imprisonment of a term which may not extend to three years or with fine, saying he is the sole earning member in the family comprising three children, wife and aged parents.

“Keeping in view the fact that he (Choudhary) is willing to make settlement, he is the sole earning sole earning member in his family having responsibility of three children, wife and old parents, I am of the view that sentence of till rising of the court (TRC) under the provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003, shall be appropriate and meet the ends of justice,” the judge said.

“..It is ordered that accused shall make the payment of Rs three lakh towards civil liability. This shall include any amount paid by the accused to the company on account of his case ID. The amount of Rs three lakh shall be paid in three equal monthly instalments commencing from October 15, 2012,” the court said.

The prosecution had submitted that on December 13, 2006, a joint inspection team had raided the house of the accused in Khichripur village here and had found that he was using electricity directly by tapping into the main power supply of the discom through illegal wires and no meter was found to be installed at the premises.

The discom, subsequently served Choudhary with a bill of Rs 5,34,169 for the theft of electricity. As he failed to pay the bill, the company had filed the complaint.





Malegaon blast: SC refuses interim bail to Purohit, others


The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to grant interim bail to ex-Army officer Shrikant Prasad Purohit, Pragya Thakur and other accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.

A bench of justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad refused to grant any interim relief after senior advocate U R Lalit appearing for the accused contended they have been behind bars for four years and their petitions are not being heard by the apex court.

“We will not give interim bail at this stage,” the bench said.

The bench further said that “it’s not our fault” that the petitions are not being heard on a regular basis, after the State government sought adjournment of the case.

The court adjourned the case for three weeks.

The bench also extended its interim order restraining the National Investigation Agency from interrogating the accused.

On January 4 this year, the apex court had extended its stay of the Bombay High Court order allowing the agency to interrogate him and had also impleaded the NIA on the bail plea of Mr Purohit.

On December 16 last year, the bench had stayed the operation of the High Court’s order.

Mr Purohit had approached the apex court challenging the High Court’s October 20, 2011 order allowing NIA to take him from judicial custody to interrogate him.

Mr Purohit was arrested and issued a charge sheet in connection with the Malegaon bomb blast that took place on September 29, 2008 leaving seven persons dead.

According to the prosecution, the accused had formed an organisation Abhinav Bharat Trust at Pune in 2006 with headquarters at the address of co-accused Ajay Rahirkar. It was registered on February 9, 2007. They had allegedly taken an oath to strive to turn India into a Hindu rashtra called Aryawart.

It was alleged that the members met from time to time to discuss various aspects for achieving their goal. Accused Shankaracharya is stated to have recorded conversations at the meetings and these recordings are the foundation of the case against the blast accused.

Approval for applying provisions of MCOCA in this case was granted on November 20, 2008, and the applicants were booked for offences under this stringent act.

Mr Purohit and Mr Rahirkar along with others were issued charge sheet for offences under various enactments including MCOCA.

On July 31, 2009, the special judge had held that charges against them under MCOCA did not survive and discharged them.

He had directed that the case be placed before a regular sessions court to try them for other offences and therefore rejected their applications for bail.

The state had challenged the order discharging the accused from offences under MCOCA before the high court.





Tutor gets 5 yrs’ jail term for trying to kill wife

New Delhi, October 04, 2012

First Published: 14:54 IST(4/10/2012)
Last Updated: 14:56 IST(4/10/2012)

 A 44-year-old man has been sentenced to five years in jail by a Delhi court for trying to kill his wife for her failure to bring sufficient dowry.
Additional Sessions Judge Yashwant Kumar held Vishav Kumar Aggarwal, a private tutor by profession, guilty of attempting to murder his wife as he remained a “mute spectator” to his mother’s attempt to burn his wife to death.

“Convict Vishav Kumar Aggarwal is sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment under section 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of the IPC with fine of Rs. 5,000.

“The convict is further sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment under section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC with fine of Rs. 35,000,” the court said.

The judge also directed that “out of the total fine amount of Rs. 40,000, a sum of Rs. 35,000 shall be given to the wife as compensation for her sufferings and trauma.”

The court did not hold the convict’s parents, also accused in the case, guilty as they had died during the pendency of the trial.

The court refused to release the accused on probation saying “the convict Vishav no doubt was standing nearby the victim as a silent spectator while his mother (since dead) was pouring kerosene oil upon her.”

“Therefore, Vishav cannot be given benefit under the Probation of Offenders Act in such offence.”

According to the prosecution, the couple were married in February 2000. The bride lived with Vishav in his parental home in North West Delhi.

The prosecution added that despite four years of marriage, Vishav and his parents used to pester her to bring more money and house holds goods from her parents and as she failed to bring in more dowry, she was set ablaze one day by her mother-in-law in 2004.

The counsel for the convict had sought a lenient view in the sentencing saying he was supporting himself and paying maintenance to his wife and daughter, living separately from him after the incident.





Bhanwari Devi murder case: Court upholds murder, conspiracy charges against key accused

Press Trust of India | Updated: October 04, 2012 23:30 IST

Jodhpur: A Jodhpur court has charged former Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna and MLA Malkhan Singh Bishnoi for kidnap, murder and conspiracy in the Bhanwari Devi case, paving way for the trial.

Charges were framed against 16 accused by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate court which retained all the sections against 13 of them that were mentioned in the CBI chargesheet, including kidnapping and murder.

Magistrate Girish Kumar Sharma, however, dropped the charges of murder and conspiracy against Paras Ram Bishnoi, brother of Malkhan Singh, and Om Prakash Bisnoi and granted them bail.

While Paras was charged under section 202 (intentional omission to give information of offence by person bound to inform) of Indian Penal Code (IPC), Om Prakash was charged with section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) of IPC.

The murder charge was also dropped against Bhanwari Devi’s husband Amarchand, who would be tried for offences under sections 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) and 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) of IPC.

“The court will now read out the charges against Maderna and Malkhan on October 15 on account of their absence from the court on Thursday and that will be followed by the trial, in which the court will call the evidence,” Special Senior Counsel for CBI Ashok Joshi said.

Maderna is currently out from jail till October 6 following the death of his mother.

Sunil Joshi, the counsel of Paras Ram, argued in the court that his client had no role in the crime and had been framed by the CBI only as he was brother of Malkhan The court discharged him from all the charges like 120 (B), 302 (murder), 364 and SC/ST Act.

Immediately, his counsel moved an application for his bail and admitting the application, the court granted him bail on a bond of Rs. 25,000.

Bhanwari Devi was killed on September 1, 2011, allegedly at the behest of then state minister Maderna and Congress legislator Malkhan Singh. The CBI, which had taken over the investigation a year ago, had alleged that Bhanwari Devi was blackmailing both of them on the basis of some CDs featuring her in a compromising position with the two politicians.

She was abducted from Jodhpur’s Bilara area on September 1, 2011 and killed. Her body was then handed over to another gang which burnt and dumped it in a canal.






Anti-Corruption Branch files status report on complaint against Delhi CM, others

Press Trust of India

Contract for fitness test for commercial vehicles

New Delhi, Oct 4: 

The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) on Thursday told a court here that the contract for a crucial test of commercial vehicles for granting them fitness certificate was awarded to private firm without any tender, with the approval of Delhi Government’s Council of Ministers.

The ACB made this submission to Special Judge, Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, in a probe status report on a complaint against Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, and others of alleged corruption in grant of fitness certificate to commercial vehicles.

“The work (of lane test of commercial vehicles) was awarded to ESP India Ltd on nomination basis without calling any tender with the approval of the council of ministers of the government of NCT of Delhi,” said the ACB in its report.

The report was filed in response to a complaint by RTI activist, Vivek Garg, who had alleged that the Delhi Government gave the contract for lane test of commercial vehicles before grant of fitness certificates to them to ESP India without inviting any tender.

Besides Dikshit, the complaint also names Transport Minister, Arvinder Singh Lovely, former Transport Commissioner, R K Verma and ESP India.

The ACB said scrutiny of documents received from the Transport Department revealed that the Supreme Court had in 1998 directed the Department to introduce automated inspection and certification system, after which Automotive Research Association of India was hired for lane tests.

ARAI hired ESP as consultant and in 2004 awarded it the work for installation of test lanes.

The report said it was after the departure of ARAI that the Transport Department gave the work of operation and maintenance of test lanes to ESP India on nomination basis on February 27, 2008 for five years and also allowed it to charge the vehicle test fee directly from the owners of the vehicles.

The ACB, however, told the court that “certain documents sought from the Transport Department regarding allotment of the work for arriving at the concrete conclusion are still awaited and the documents received by it so far are not enough to unearth the said conspiracy.”

The court asked it to file a conclusive report in the matter by November 9.

Complainant’s counsel, Ajay Geol, had alleged that “due to corrupt and malafide intentions of the said Ministers (Dikshit and Lovely), officer (R K Verma) and company (ESP India), no tender was called for and the contract was given in contravention of the law.”

The complainant had said, “I&C lane test is annually done for all commercial vehicles registered in Delhi. Vehicles which clear this test are given fitness certificates. Earlier the whole process was being done by the Transport Department but now the lane test is done by the said private company for Rs 400 per vehicle, which is not shared with the government.

“After the vehicle clears the test, Transport Department issues a fitness certificate for which a separate fees of Rs 100 is charged from each commercial vehicle.”

The complainant had sought the court’s direction to lodge an FIR against Dikshit, Lovely, Verma and the owner of ESP India for cheating, criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code.

He had alleged the company “is not having adequate and qualified engineers, keeping lives of innocent citizen at high risk and is also causing massive accidents.”




34 MNREGA employees sacked for financial irregularities

Press Trust of India / Patna October 04, 2012, 20:15

The Bihar government has sacked 34 MNREGA employees and booked 43 others for their complicity in irregularities in implementation of the premier centrally-sponsored schemes in Bihar, a minister said today.

The tainted 34 MNREGA employees entrusted with task to implement the scheme in 1512 panchayats have been terminated from service and 43 others booked under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) after charges of irregularities committed by them were found correct during probe, RuralDevelopment Minister Nitish Mishra told PTI.

Most of the sacked MNREGA employees were panchayat ‘rojgar sevaks’ and technical persons, he said.




Abhi Verma murder case: HC okays hanging, but defers execution to give time for appeal

Sanjeev Verma, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, October 03, 2012

First Published: 19:27 IST(3/10/2012)
Last Updated: 13:40 IST(4/10/2012)

 The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday cleared the way for hanging two convicts, Vikram Singh and Jasbir Singh, for kidnapping for ransom and later committing a “cold-blooded murder” of a 16-year-old Hoshiarpur (Punjab) boy Abhi Verma “in inhuman, diabolic and dastard manner” in 2005.

However, the division bench comprising justice Surya Kant and justice RP Nagrath directed the Patiala central jail superintendent to keep the death warrants, issued for October 5 by the Hoshiarpur district and sessions judge, in abeyance till October 12, so as to enable the convicts to avail their remedy of filing appeal in the Supreme Court.

Finding no merit in the petition filed by Vikram Singh and Jasbir Singh, the bench said petitioners’ submission has “no legs to stand and must fall flat” adding that the decision “to hang the petitioners to death has been unarguably taken following the procedure established by law.”

Court had found Vikram, Jasbir and Jasbir’s wife Sonia of kidnapping and later committing murder of a Hoshiarpur goldsmith Ravi Verma’s son Abhi for a ransom of Rs. 50 lakhs in February 2005 in a preplanned manner by injecting Chloroform and Fortwin in heavy doses to the victim after tying both his hands and legs and sealing his mouth with a tape to prevent the detection of offence.

The trial court had on September 3, 2005 convicted the trio under sections 302 (murder), 364-A (kidnapping for ransom), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) Indian Penal Code and sentenced all of them to death.

Later the high court had on May 30, 2008 confirmed the death sentence awarded to the three accused. The convicts filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, which on January 25, 2010 upheld death sentence in case of Vikram and Jasbir. However, Sonia’s death sentence was commuted to life sentence.

With an intention to linger on the death sentence awarded to them, Vikram and Jasbir had approached the high court challenging the legality of convicting them under section 364-A of IPC and had sought directions to strike down the section from IPC stating it against articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

The petitioners had informed that the legislative object of ‘death’ as one of the sentences for the offence under section 364-A was to curb the menace of cross-border terrorism in kidnapping cases against ‘the government or any foreign state or international intergovernmental organization’ and not to punish any individual.

However, the bench said that the petitioners’ counsel’s “contention completely overlooks the fact that the phrase “any other person” was inserted in section 364-A at the onset only to punish a private individual’s kidnapping for ransom.”






Battered baby Ahuti case: After 3 days Mumbai cops register murder case | Oct 04, 2012, 10:39AM IST

Mumbai: Three days after battered baby Ahuti succumbed to injuries, Mumbai police finally woke up to register an FIR in the case on Thursday. 

 The FIR was registered two days after the Borivli police ruled out foul play in the suspected baby battering case and registered a case of accidental death.

 The mumbai police filed an FIR under section 302 of Indian Penal Code. The cops gave in to the pressure by KEM doctors who kept claiming injuries were not consistent with fall. 


Three-month-old Ahuti, who was hospitalised at a civic-run hospital with multiple injuries a week ago, has succumbed to injuries on Monday morning, raising suspicion that her parents might have battered her.  

However, reports said that her parents, who had admitted Ahuti to central Mumbai’s KEM hospital with a skull fracture last week, left the city for their hometown in Gujarat on Tuesday.  A garments businessman, Kalpesh stays with his wife, their eldest daughter Devahuti (2) and his sister in a chawl at Sector-II, Gorai. The Borivli police had on Tuesday recorded the statement of Aahuti’s mother, Dharmishta, before she left Mumbai with her husband, Kalpesh.

 The preliminary findings of the post-mortem confirmed that Aahuti had injuries on both sides of the skull, which were unlikely to be caused by an accidental fall.   The autopsy also found rib fracture and vertebrae dislocation. The paediatric department, however, found that she had multiple fractures on the skull and also suffered from internal bleeding, police said. 

 However, when the baby’s parents failed to give a satisfactory explanation over her injuries, the doctors notified cops. It was learnt that the Borivli police had initially registered a case of accidental death and will probe the child’s death.

 Ahuti’s parents are under suspicion for battering their baby. Her twin sister had died under mysterious conditions 12 days after her birth.

 The Mumbai shocker comes six months after a brutally battered baby, Falak, lost her life in a Delhi hospital. 





Rape cases touch century mark in Rohtak range

Sat Singh, Hindustan Times
Rohtak, October 04, 2012

First Published: 19:29 IST(4/10/2012)
Last Updated: 22:59 IST(4/10/2012)

 The police in Rohtak range – comprising Panipat, Jhajjar, Rohtak and Sonepat districts – have claimed that despite a spike in reports of rape, the number of such heinous crimes has come down as compared to last year.

Ever since the rape of a 16-year-old Dalit girl at Dabra village of Hisar district grabbed headlines on September 9, followed by at least two more similar incidents in Rohtak, the police have been under attack for allegedly not doing enough.

But senior police officials in Rohtak range don’t see anything unusual in six rape cases in less than one month. “There is a decline in the number of cases registered under section 376 (rape) of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) till October 3 this year, compared to the corresponding period last year,” said Alok Mittal, inspector general of police (IGP), Rohtak range, adding, “We had registered 130 rape cases by this time last year, while we have barely 100 cases this year.”
In Rohtak district specifically, according to superintendent of police (SP) Vivek Sharma, there were 49 rape cases by October 3 last year, while there have been only 33 such cases this time.”

From Jhajjar, the data is 32 rape cases till October 3 last year, as compared to 12 by now this year.

Panipat SP KK Rao said, “There are nine cases less this year, compared to 39 rape cases in the corresponding time last year.”

And Sonepat police, too, have data to prove that they have registered 25 cases this year so far, compared 30 till this time in 2011.

A senior police official said, “Rape is a heinous crime which should be stopped at any. And figures show that there is a decline.”

It is pertinent to mention that Karnal district was also part of the Rohtak range before being taken out in October 2011. Hence the comparative data excludes the number of rape cases registered in Karnal. 






Finally, UT starts process to set up education tribunal

Express news service : Chandigarh, Fri Oct 05 2012, 00:42 hrs

Finally, after drawing flak from the Punjab and Haryana High Court for not setting up an education tribunal despite a Supreme Court judgment, the Chandigarh Administration has “started the process” in this regard.

This was conveyed to the High Court by advocate Sanjay Kaushal, senior standing counsel for the Chandigarh Administration.

The tribunal, as per the Supreme Court’s judgment, will decide on all disputes pertaining to appointment/removal of teaching staff and other administrative decisions.

Earlier, a communication from the office of the Director Public Instructions (DPI), Chandigarh, was communicated to the High Court which read that the administration was “considering” setting up of the tribunal.

The senior standing counsel told Justice Rajesh Bindal that “modalities are being worked out” and that the file concerned was with the Legal Remembrancer.

The statement was made during the resumed hearing of a petition filed by the managing committee, S D High School, Sector 24. Advocate Puneet Gupta, counsel for the petitioner, had challenged an order passed by the DPI wherein he had set aside the removal orders of a head mistress of the school. The High Court had later stayed the said orders by the DPI.

Advocate Gupta had contended that the administration had not set up an education tribunal, as directed by the apex court, while the Punjab government had established such a tribunal. Taking note, Justice Bindal had, on a previous hearing, slammed the administration for its lackadaisical attitude.

The Supreme Court had held that “in the matter of day-to-day management, like appointment of staff, teaching and non-teaching and administrative control over them, the management should have the freedom and there should not be any external controlling agency… For redressing the grievances of such employees who are subjected to punishment or termination from service, a mechanism will have to be evolved and, in our opinion, appropriate tribunals could be constituted, and till then, such tribunal could be presided over by a judicial officer of the rank of District Judge”.





HC notice to EC, State on no-trust move at Eloor

Express News Service

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the State Election Commission (EC) and the state government on a petition filed by the former Eloor municipal chairperson seeking a directive not to proceed with convening of council meeting to select a new chairperson.

Jusice K Surendra Mohan issued the directive and posted the hearing of the case to Monday.

Chairperson Lissy George was ousted in a no-confidence motion moved by council members on September 17.

 In the 31-member council, 13 LDF councillors – eight CPM and five CPI – backed by three BJP members. Independent councillor Subaida Hamsa voted in favour of the ouster of Lissy as 13 Congress councillors stayed away from the session following a whip issued by the district congress committee.  Counsel for the petitioner Sivan Madathil also sought a directive to declare the no-confidence motion as illegal and violative of constitutional norms.

He said that five members of the Eloor municipal council have been directed to appear before the State Election Commission on Wednesday, based on a petition filed by Lissy.

So the special council meeting to be held under the monitoring of Legal Metrology Department assistant controller to select a new chairperson should be stayed since the issue is pending before the Election Commission.





Crack down on littering, defacement: HC to UT

Express news service : Chandigarh, Fri Oct 05 2012, 01:38 hrs

During June and July, the Chandigarh Police and health authorities issued 217 challans to people for throwing garbage and littering. The police registered 32 cases against various individuals on account of defacing public property. Of the 32 cases, the court convicted people in 15 cases. This information was furnished to the Punjab and Haryana High Court by the Chandigarh Administration on Thursday during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL).

The PIL arises of a suo motu notice taken by Justice Rajesh Bindal over the menace of throwing garbage at public places and defacement of public property. During the resumed hearing of the PIL, a division bench asked counsel for Chandigarh Administration, Punjab and Haryana to take strict action against those defacing public property and impose heavy penalty on the offenders.





1,983 Hry PTIs to remain in service till final decision of the appeal: HC

Sanjeev Verma, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, October 04, 2012

The Punjab and Haryana high court has ordered that 1,983 physical training instructors (PTIs) in Haryana whose selection was quashed by the high court’s single judge bench last month, would continue to remain in service till the final decision of the appeals filed by the state government and around 300 aggrieved PTIs on Thursday.

The PTIs were selected by Haryana staff selection commission (SSC) between 2006 and 2010 and the high court’s single judge bench had quashed the selection process on September 11 directing the commission to hold a fresh selection within a period of five months.

The appeals came up for hearing before the division comprising chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain on Thursday which issued notices of motion to the petitioners who had filed the petition before the single judge resulting in quashing the selection.

Appearing for the state government, advocate general Hawa Singh Hooda assured the bench that till pendency of appeal, the state was not going to remove PTIs as the government also needed them.

Many of these PTIs were present in the court during the hearing of the case on Thursday.

The bench also said that till the appeals are pending, the respondents would not exercise the option to petition the high court for implementation of the single judge order for starting fresh selection process.

Allowing the prayer made in a bunch of 68 petitions, the single judge bench had observed that all decisions for selection were solely taken by chairman of commission without involving other members and the selection criteria was changed many times after advertisement of the posts on July 20, 2006 till the interviews held in September and October, 2008. The result was finally declared after a gap of one year and six months on April 10, 2010.

However, the state government filed the appeal before the division bench on the grounds that criteria of selection was decided by the commission members and not solely by the chairman. However, it was also informed that the criteria made by the chairman was never implemented and the last decision for selection was taken by the commission and not alone by the chairman. The division bench was informed that the unsuccessful candidates could not have challenged the selection process, as per law, as they all had been called and also participated in the interview.

However, in their appeals, the serving PTIs also mentioned that they were not given the opportunity by the single judge to submit their reply on the date of argument. It was also informed that the state government had followed the same selection criteria in 2003.

The case would now come up for arguments on October 9.







Jailed man can’t be a petitioner in PIL: HC

Express news service : Fri Oct 05 2012, 03:17 hrs

The Bombay High Court on Thursday questioned the ability of a person in jail to continue as a petitioner in a PIL. The court was hearing PILs filed by activist Nitin Deshpande and former journalist Ketan Tirodkar challenging the allotment of land to two housing societies for judges in Bandra (East).

Tiordkar, who is currently in jail, was arrested last month in connection with the 2003 Sadiq Jamal encounter case in Gujarat.

The court said a person in jail is not fit to carry on with a PIL. The court asked Advocate General D J Khambata whether a person in custody for an offence can continue as a petitioner in a PIL. Khambata said such person would cease to be a “correct petitioner” even if there is a cause for the petition.

Meanwhile, Deshpande’s lawyer V P Patil sought discharge from the case citing personal reasons. The court, however, told Patil that the hearing would not take more than an hour and asked him to continue. Patil, however, told the court that Deshpande would make necessary arrangements for a lawyer.

Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice R V More said this was the last chance for the PILs to be heard and adjourned the case till October 9.

The PILs had challenged the government’s decision to de-reserve plots to build residential societies for judges of the higher and subordinate judiciary.

“The government has extended illegal and undue favours to Nyay Sagar and Siddhant Housing Societies formed by sitting judges of the Bombay HC. The plot was reserved for dishoused (sic) persons but the revenue department illegally issued a resolution changing the reservation,” Deshpande’s PIL alleged.





Stay on VTI nominations absolute: HC

Express News Service

The Madras High Court on Thursday made absolute its interim order restraining the government from implementing its various orders nominating five government officials as members of the committee of Victoria Technical Institute (VTI), on Anna Salai in the city.

Justice D Hariparanthaman dismissed the petition seeking to vacate the stay from the State and made the stay absolute and posted the hearing on the main petition filed by VTI honorary secretary A Nageswaran to October 29.

Nageswaran sought to quash the GOs appointing the Handlooms Secretary, the Director of Industries and Commerce, the Chairman and Managing Director of TN Handicrafts, the Deputy Secretary of Handlooms, Handicrafts, Textiles and Khadi Department and the Joint Secretary of Finance Department as nominated members of the VTI’s governing council.

The judge said that the VTI was a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. After the TN Societies Registration Act, 1975 came into force, the latter Act governed the VTI society. Section 15 (3) of the Act stated that the members of the committee should be appointed at a meeting of the society by a resolution of a majority of the members present and entitled to vote.

Admittedly, the five government officials were not appointed to the committee at the meeting of the society by a resolution of a majority of the members present and entitled to vote therein.

They were nominated by the State government by way of various orders based on the by-laws of the society.

Section 53 of the TN Societies Registration Act made it clear that the by-laws, which were inconsistent with the provisions of the Act, should not operate.






HC refuses to stay demolition of illegal college building

Bangalore: Oct 5, 2012 DH News Service

The Karnataka High Court’s Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and justice B V Nagarathna on Thursday ordered the demolition of a private educational  building in violation of building bye-laws.

The bench directed the institute to comply with an earlier court order and start demolishing the unauthorised part of the building by Friday morning.

The appeal was made by Thirumala Education Trust (TET) at Chikka Adugodi against the demolition of a five-storeyed structure, which was originally made by Justice Ram Mohan Reddy in the last week of September.

TET sought a stay on the demolition order for a couple of months, arguing that it would not occupy unauthorised portions of the building. When the court refused, the appellant sought time till Dasara festival so that students who are appearing for examinations are not be disturbed.

‘No love for law’

The Bench lashed out at the appellants and said: “You have no love for law. You have no love for children. If we stay the order it we will be sending a wrong message to the public.”

“Let the public around be aware that they cannot get away with such things. People approach the court when authorities don’t act. You have come here when the authority has acted stating that you do not want them to act,” said the court.

When the bench asked whether TET would demolish the structure on their own or authorities should be entrusted with the job, the appellants said they preferred the former.

The bench then directed the educational institute to start demolishing the structure from 8 am on Friday and complete the same within 10 days and report back to the court.





Check fitness of horses pulling Victoria carriages every 3 months: HC

Express news service : Fri Oct 05 2012, 03:01 hrs

Bombay High Court (HC) suggested on Thursday the state government renew on a quarterly basis fitness certificates issued to horses used to pull Victoria carriages. It was hearing a PIL by NGO Animals and Birds Charitable Trust highlighting that the carriages did not have licences and the horses were subjected to physical cruelty.

When government lawyer Benny Chatterjee told the court BMC was renewing the fitness certificates once a year, a bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar said: “You (corporation) can consider renewing them every three months.”

The court also directed BMC to start by October-end the process of taking decisions on whether to issue licences to individual stables.

At the previous hearing, the corporation had told HC it had taken a policy decision in 1973 to not grant licences to stables for horses that pull Victoria carriages owing to health concerns. The court, however, asked it to decide on granting licences in accordance with law. It said BMC could insist on the “highest standards”. The matter has now been posted for hearing on November 1.





Delhi HC relief to Airtel: Ban on 3G roaming pacts stayed

October 04, 2012 10:30 IST

In a major relief to 3G subscribers of Bharti Airtel [ Get Quote ], the Delhi [ Images ] High Court on Wednesday granted a stay on a government order asking the telecom major to stop offering 3G mobile services outside their licensed areas through roaming pacts.

The Delhi HC has asked the department of telecommunications to not take any coercive action until the next hearing of the case.

This effectively means that Bharti Airtel can continue to offer 3G services in the seven circles-Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh [ Images ], Kolkata [ Images ], Uttar Pradesh [ Images ] East, Gujarat, Kerala [ Images ] and Haryana — where it does not have 3G spectrum, but offers 3G services through roaming pacts.

The date for next hearing has not been decided.

However, the court has asked Bharti Airtel to respond to the show cause notice issued to them by DoT within 60 days.

Country’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Monday had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court challenging an advisory by DoT which asked the operator to stop intra-circle 3G roaming services within three days.

In its plea, Bharti Airtel had sought quashing of the government’s September 28, 2012 decision directing the service provider to stop providing intra-circle roaming services and alleged that the decision is contrary to the interim orders passed by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal.

When contacted Bharti Airtel spokesperson declined to comment as the matter is sub judice.

However, industry association representing GSM players, COAI welcomed the High Court’s decision. According to COAI (Cellular operators Association of India [ Images ]) Director-General Rajan Mathews “This (stay on DoT notice) is a good move.

“Intra circle roaming is for consumers as it increases competition and reduces tariff, it is good for the government as well as through intra circle roaming as it leads to maximum utilization of spectrum.”

On September 28, DoT had issued a notice to Bharti Airtel, asking the telecom operators to stop providing third-generation mobile services through roaming pacts outside its licensed circles.

DoT had also indicated that similar notices would be sent to Vodafone and Idea Cellular [ Get Quote ].

Though, both Vodafone and Idea are yet to receive notices from the DoT, the Delhi HC stay order augurs well for them.

In the auction of 3G airwaves in a 2010, no single company managed to get spectrum in all of the country’s 22 zones. Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea had entered into mutual agreements to offer 3G services in circles where they could not bag 3G spectrum.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, are currently, offering 3G roaming services through such intracircle roaming pacts.

Airtel has 3G spectrum in 13 circles but offers 3G services in 20 circles.

Idea Cellular has 3G spectrum in 11 circles but offers 3G services in 19 circles.

While Vodafone has spectrum in only nine circles, it offers 3G services to its customers in 20 circles.

The number of circles where 3G spectrum was auctioned is 22.

Over one fifth of the 30 million 3G customers across the country would be affected if the three operators suspend the intra circle roaming pact.

DoT had ruled such pacts illegal in December 2011 and asked the operators to stop offering 3G services beyond their licensed circles through roaming agreements.

The operators had filed a petition challenging DoT’s verdict in the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal.

Tata Teleservices [ Get Quote ] and Aircel was also party in the petition filed by the telcos.

A two-member bench of TDSAT in July gave a spilt verdict on the matter.

While member P K Rastogi said the operators could not provide roaming services, as they were not allowed to provide 3G services with 2G licences, Chairman Justice S B Sinha ordered DoT to start the procedure afresh, as the department had not followed proper procedure and the operators were not given enough time to present their views.

Following the spilt verdict, the operators were maintaining “status-quo” and continuing with their 3G roaming pacts.

Though the operators paid higher prices for bagging 3G airwaves, but the uptake of the service remained, slow among the subscribers partly due to the high cost of such services.

Shares of Bharti Airtel closed at Rs 265.65, up by 0.15 per cent at the Bombay Stock Exchange [ Images ].




Mathura stampede: HC issues contempt notices to judge, SSP

Press Trust of India / Allahabad October 04, 2012, 22:25

The Allahabad High Court has issued contempt notices to the District Judge, Senior Superintendent of Police of Mathura among others on a petition which alleged that court norms were violated in the Vrindavan temple, which led to the stampede.

Single judge bench of Justice Vikram Nath passed the order on October 1, on a contempt petition filed by one Rasik Raj Goswami of Vrindavan.

Goswami had said that a High Court order dated December 8, 2004 had approved “a map showing details of the temple and arrangements of darshan etc” with variations being allowed “only on festivals” after which barricading was to be restored as per the map.


However, the petitioner alleged that barricading arrangements were changed by the district police with the approval of District Judge Ram Avtar Kaushik who was assisted by Civil Judge Amarjeet Singh.

This violation of the court order inconvenienced devotees visiting the temple and was also responsible for the stampede of September 16, Goswami alleged in his petition.

The court issued contempt notices to the aforesaid judicial officers, besides Mathura SSP N Padmaja, the Station House Officer concerned Ved Singh Yadav and manager of the temple Abhilash Singh for having facilitated the changes in arrangements despite the court order.

The court directed them to comply with the December 8, 2004 order within a month.

On September 23, three pilgrims were killed and over half a dozen injured in the stampede at the Radha Rani temple in Barsana.




HC grants interim bail to 22 BNP leaders

It also asks police not to harass Mizra Abbas

The High Court (HC) on Thursday granted ad interim anticipatory bail for five weeks to 22 BNP leaders, mostly those confined to their party office, in two criminal cases filed for Tuesday’s violence in Nayapaltan area, reports UNB.

An HC division bench, comprising Justice Quamrul Islam Siddiqui and Justice AKM Zahirul Hoque, passed the order in the afternoon as the accused surrendered before it seeking bail.

Those granted the interim bail include Swechchhasebak Dal president Habibunnabi Khan Sohel, general secretary Mir Sharafat Ali, Jubo Dal general secretary Saiful Alam Nirab, former Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) president Azizul Bari Helal, incumbent JCD president Abdul Quader Bhuiyan Jewel, general secretary Habibur Rashid Habib, organising secretary Rajib Ahsan and JCD Dhaka University unit president Mohidul Hasan Hiru.

Meanwhile, the HC bench also asked police not to arrest and harass BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas.

Advocate Zainul Abedin appeared for the accused.

The police filed two cases early Wednesday against about four dozen of leaders and activists of BNP in connection with Tuesday’s police-BNP clash and damaging of vehicles in the capital.

The police have already arrested 24 opposition activists during the clash.

Paltan thana sub-inspector (SI) Sazzad Karim filed one case against 49 leaders and workers of BNP for assaulting the police.

SI Idris Ali filed another case against the same 49 leaders and activists, including the arrested 24, under the Speedy Trial Act.

Most of the accused BNP leaders were besieged inside the party’s Nayapaltan headquarters since Tuesday evening. They took shelter there to avoid police arrest following the clash.

At least 20 people, including four cops, were injured and two vehicles torched and four others vandalised, during the clash in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office and nearby areas.




HC orders immediate release of innocent youth

Press Trust of India / Cuttack October 04, 2012, 21:35

The Orissa High Court today ordered that a innocent youth, having shared the same name with a history sheeter, should be immediately released from jail after incaceration for over a month.

A single-judge bench of Justice Indrajit Mahanty ordered the Cuttack rural police to immediately release the 35-year- old Bijay Guin alias Bula who had been taken into custody in August this year for sharing the same name and surname of an accused against whom an NBW was issued.

Bula of Niali village was taken into custody by the police on August 28 in the wake of an execution of an NBW issued by the local court.

Subsequently, it was found that the NBW was issued against another Bijay Guin alias Babula of the same village against whom cases were pending for years.

Babula is absconding from the village since 1997 after he secured a bail from the same lower court following his arrest in a theft case.

When police refused to buy the argument that they have actually arrested the wrong person, the family members of Bula approached the Odisha High Court in a writ petition.

The court adjudicated over the matter and asked the police to immediately release Bula after quashing the NBW issued against him by the lower court.





HC orders probe against two medical colleges

TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 12.59AM IST

HYDERABAD: HC on Thursday directed the NTR University of Health Sciences to conduct an enquiry into the allegations of a student that Shadan Institute of Medical Sciences and Dr VRK Women’s Medical College were flouting norms in management quota admissions. The bench comprising Justice V Eswaraiah and Justice Noushad Ali directed the university to submit a report in this regard and posted the matter to October 10 for hearing.

Petitioner Farha Sultana of the city complained that the colleges concerned had refused to admit her under the management quota despite her securing 97.3% marks in intermediate.tnn She requested the court to direct the colleges to give her admission in any one of these colleges as per merit under the management quota.






Telenor seeks HC’s nod for assets sales of JV Uninor

NEW DELHI: Norwegian company Telenor, which controls joint venture (JV) Uninor, today told the Delhi High Court that auction of its assets be allowed to save the venture in which real estate major UnitechBSE -0.97 % Ltd has got minority stake.

“Can I be forced to to do business with ‘cheat’ managing director of Unitech Ltd, facing prosecution in a criminal case and moreover, he has also been castigated by the Supreme Court…I cannot be forced to get along with a man who cannot be trusted,” senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, appearing for the Norwegian telecom major, told Justice Indermeet Kaur.

The multinational partner to the Indian real estate major in their JV Uninor is seeking setting aside of the judgement of the Company Law Board (CLB) by which it was stopped from auctioning the assets of Uninor.

The CLB had said that the auction notice issued by Uninor was “under the garb of transparency is an attempt by Telenor to dissuade any prospective bidder from participating in the auction and to be bid in the auction itself”.

The panel had also said that it was an attempt to oust the Indian firm from the JV. Uninor is a 67:33 joint venture telecom company between Telenor and Unitech.

During the nearly four-hour-long arguments, Sethi referred to the agreement entered into by Sanjay Chandra, on behalf of Unitech Ltd and other group firms with the Norwegian firm for constituting the JV for doing business in telecom sector here.

“I was made to understand that the Unified Access Services Licenses (UASL) for 22 circles were validly and legally obtained. However, the facts are contrary. These licenses obtained by Unitech Ltd were used to entice us to make huge investment,” Sethi said.

The counsel for Telenor also referred to the charge sheet to drive home his point and said “the MD of the real estate major entered into a conspiracy with then Telecom Minister A Raja for obtaining the UAS licenses.” He also cited the Supreme Court judgement on the issue.

Seeking court’s nod to proceed with the auction sale of the assets, the counsel said “The business has come to an end. The company is going to lose Rs 3,000 crore if the sales of the asset is not undertaken.”

He also alleged that Unitech Ltd did not come forward to bid for the assets of the JV and in fact, it was acting as a “spoiler” by opposing every move to save the company.

The arguments on the petition remained inconclusive and would continue tomorrow.

The JV partners are at loggerheads and pursuing various litigations against each other, besides the arbitration proceedings being held at Singapore following the cancellation

of its 22 UAS licenses. Earlier, the CLB had stopped auction of Telenor- controlled joint venture Uninor.

Uninor had on August 1 invited potential bidders to express interest by August 6 to buy the joint venture and said its majority owner, Norway’s Telenor, was willing to pay Rs 4,190 crore for its 30 million customers and assets in case no other bidder turns up. The move was opposed by Unitech, which had moved the CLB.




HC direction to TN on GAIL project

Press Trust of India / Chennai October 04, 2012, 21:15

The Madras High Court today directed Tamil Nadu government to convene a meeting of district collectors, Gas Authority of India Limited officials and land owners to arrive at a “workable solution” and facilitate laying of pipelines for the Kochi-Kuttanad-Mangalore-Bangalore Gas Pipeline Project in seven districts of the state.

The court, however, upheld a single judge order who earlier declined to grant police protection for GAIL employees, involved in the project.

A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam, in their order, directed Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary to convene a meeting for each of the seven districts on the matter.

They said land owners “should also bear in mind” that the project was of national importance and in public interest and therefore, they “should endeavour to make the project successful,” so that it would be completed within the scheduled time.

The bench also said suggestions given by the land owners proposing an alternate route may be discussed at the meetings.

GAIL had submitted that it was executing the Kochi-Kuttanad-Mangalore-Bangalore Pipeline Project for the Central Government and was involved in laying of underground transmission lines through Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka for supply and distribution of natural gas to various sectors for over 600 km.

One of the farmers, whose objection to the pipeline passing through his land was rejected by the competent authority, filed a petition, challenging the order.

Later, on a Central government notification declaring the right of user in the lands specified in the schedule of notifications, GAIL began preliminary work, when certain land owners and farmers prevented it.

GAIL lodged a complaint with Rayakottai police on June 16 last and followed it with a representation to state government for adequate protection to enable them execute the project.

Alleging that their representation was not considered, GAIL filed a petition for a direction to grant police protection, which a single judge declined to grant.





HC stays probe against Arathi Rao

Express News Service

The High Court on Wednesday stayed the investigation against the self-styled godman, Nithyananda’s former disciple Arathi Rao following a petition filed by her to quash the complaint against her and sought the interim stay of the investigation.

Ranjitha and some other followers of Nithyananda had filed a complaint alleging that Arathi had morphed a sleaze CD purportedly showing the actress and the godman in a compromising position and had extorted over Rs 25 lakh from her. A case of criminal intimidation, blackmail and extortion had been registered against Arathi Rao in this regard.

Arathi is the second accused in the case in which Lenin, Nityananda’s former driver is the prime accused. Hearing the petition, Justice Nagamohan Das stayed the investigation and directed the police to file objections and adjourned the case for further hearing. 




HC adjourns Madani’s bail plea to Oct 10

 Story Dated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 18:46 hrs IST 


Bangalore: Karnataka High Court Thursday adjourned to October 10 the bail petition filed by Abdul Nasser Madani, Kerala-based PDP leader Abdul Nasser Madani, an accused in 2008 Bangalore serial bomb blasts, on health grounds.

Justice H N Nagamohan Das adjourned the petition to October 10 after Special Public Prosecutor H S Chandramouli sought time to file objections to the bail plea and submit medical report on Madani’s health.

On September 26, the Court had ordered issue of notice to the government in the bail petition and directed the Superintendent of Parappana Agrahara Jail, where Madani is lodged, to submit a medical report on his health condition by October 3.

Madani, who was arrested in Kerala on August 17, 2010, and remanded to judicial custody, has been lodged in the ail since then. Madani submitted he was a chronic diabetic, wheelchair dependent with one of his legs having been amputated. He also suffered from cardiac problems, disc prolapse, cervical spondylosis and has been diagnosed with “diabetic retinopathy” (eye ailment).

He pointed out that ever since he was arrested and remanded to judicial custody, no proper medical treatment was given to him for the any of the above ailments.

He submitted that he had already lost vision in his right eye and has only 30 per cent vision in the left eye.

He also said that inspite of directions by the High Court and the Supreme Court, no serious attempt was made to treat him, as a result of which his condition aggravated and he had lost his vision. 





TV channel in TRS HQ: HC calls for action

Express News Service

The High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to take action in accordance with law against those responsible for airing programmes of a television news channel in ‘Telangana Bhavan’ in violation of the government order.

A division bench of the High Court comprising acting chief justice P C Ghose and justice Vilas V Afzulpurkar while disposing a public interest petition seeking the cancellation of government land allotted to Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) party headed by Mahabubnagar MP K Chandrasekhar Rao. The bench directed the government to act lawfully against the concerned if ‘T’ news channel is being aired from Telangana Bhavan in violation of the prescribed guidelines.

After perusing the government’s counter affidavit wherein it has stated that violation took place on the land meant for TRS party office and that it would take necessary action against the concerned, the bench directed the government to take action as per law.

The bench, however, refused to agree with the petitioner’s counsel request to fix six months’ time frame for the said action. It has directed the government to serve notices to the respondents concerned before initiating any action on the issue. In April 2012, a public interest petition by KCR’s nephew Ch Umesh Rao was filed in the HC seeking cancellation of allotment of one acre land to the TRS and to take the possession of the land on which T Bhavan is located.





For ‘third degree torture’, HC issues notices to Patiala SSP, other police officers


Posted: Oct 05, 2012 at 0039 hrs IST

Chandigarh For allegedly giving electric shocks on private parts of a 40-year-old and use of third degree torture in police custody, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday issued notices to the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Patiala.

Notices were also issued to Davinder Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police; Karnail Singh, Station House Officer, and Gurmeet Singh, Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI), Police Station, Ghanaur, Patiala.

Contending on behalf of petitioner Balwinder Singh, a resident of Patiala, advocate Navkiran Singh demanded a judicial probe into the “custodial torture”, and sought initiation of criminal action against the errant police officers.

Significantly, an order passed by a lower court of Rajpura clearly states that the police officers had used “third degree torture” on Balwinder. Taking serious note of the multiple injuries on his private parts, a Judicial Magistrate (first class) had on August 24 reprimanded the policemen.

The magistrate was deciding a request of Patiala Police seeking police remand of Balwinder, who was booked on charges of attempt to murder and attack on a public servant on duty. Shocked over the medico legal report (MLR) furnished by the Patiala Police, the magistrate had observed that “all these injuries are fresh in nature which were not present at the time of arrest nor when the accused was remanded to police custody. This clearly shows that police has used third degree torture against accused”. The magistrate had summoned senior police officers to explain the torture.

Significantly, the day Balwinder was taken into police custody (August 22), his first MLR report had read only three minor injuries including abrasion on back and bruise on left shoulder. After the police remand of one day had expired, the second MLR report had read serious and multiple injuries on Balwinder. The magistrate had declined his further police remand.

The counsel for Balwinder had told the magistrate that the accused was taken to police station, Ganda Kheri, and thereafter to CIA Staff, Patiala, where he was subjected to all the third degree torture.

Advocate Navkiran told the High Court that on August 22, Balwinder was going to his village and was carrying Rs 2 lakh. He was stopped at a naka by the police officials who allegedly “snatched” the cash from him. Balwinder entered into an altercation with the police officials following which an FIR was registered against him, alleging that he attacked a police official.

Navkiran requested the court to “mark an enquiry to the Sessions Judge (Vigilance), Haryana, or any other Judicial Authority outside Patiala District”.

He also said that the petitioner should be suitably compensated for the injuries suffered by him in police custody.





Amending a schedule doesn’t require President nod: HC

Vaibhav Ganjapure, TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 04.51AM IST

NAGPUR: In an important order, Bombay High Court’s Aurangabad bench has ruled that amending a schedule for making variation in tax levied on vehicles doesn’t require President of India’s nod. “As the Bombay Motor Vehicles Tax Act has been duly enacted with President assent on August 23, 1958, the variation in the rate of tax by amending a schedule does not require his fresh consent. The amendment in schedule cannot be assailed as ultra vires on this ground,” a division bench comprising justices Ambadas Joshi and AV Nirgude ruled before dismissing a PIL filed by Jalna-based Maharashtra Tour and Travels and Bus Owners Association.

Its secretary Rakesh Agrawal has challenged taxation of buses owned by their members, which were “kept for use” and classifying the same in the category of first schedule attached to Bombay Motor Vehicles Tax Act, 1958. He argued that the President’s assent was not secured to carry out amendments for levying additional tax.

“While the basic legislative action of passing the enactment has already received the assent of the President, the amendment in the schedule as to levy is left to subordinate legislation within the power of executive. It would be too imaginative and strange to urge that the power of the executive to vary rate of tax prescribed in the schedule would every time require assent of the President,” the judges said.

They added that buying the vehicle, registering it, and keeping it for use awaiting a contract carriage is a business eventuality. “For any owner to be eligible to apply for permit for contract carriage, the vehicle has to be roadworthy and ready to be “kept for use”. Therefore, taxing such a vehicle is as natural as a postulate. There is no element of violation of fundamental right creeping therein.”

The judges stated it was a contingency that the petitioner did not have business and was unable to have business and hence had not applied for permit and, therefore, they could not run the buses. “This contingency does not bring the vehicles outside sphere of the term “kept for use in State,” the judges said while rejecting petitioner’s prayers.






2002 Gujarat riots: Dipda Darwaza convicts move HC

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Fri Oct 05 2012, 04:01 hrs

The 22 accused convicted in the 2002 Dipda Darwaza riot case moved the Gujarat High Court Thursday challenging their sentence awarded by a trial court.

The designated fast-track court in Mehsana had in July sentenced 21 accused to life imprisonment while then Visnagar police inspector M K Patel was convicted of dereliction of duty and was sentenced to one-year imprisonment.

“There are numerous grounds for challenging the lower court’s order. The basis of conviction found by the court is largely based on IPC section 307 (attempt to murder) and not IPC 302 (murder) and 120B (conspiracy). The Special Investigation Team, which investigated the case, couldn’t find evidence of the people supposed to have been killed. Therefore, life imprisonment is not reasonable,” said lawyer Ashish Dagli, who is representing the convicts.

Dagli said the HC has admitted their appeal and the matter is likely to be heard within a week.

The trial court had acquitted 61 accused in the case, giving them benefit of doubt while 10 others were set free as there were no evidence against them. Among those acquitted were Prahalad Gosa, the then BJP MLA from Visnagar, and MT Patel, the then president of Visnagar Municipality.

As many as 11 members of a family were killed in the massacre on February 28, 2002.

Absconding Naroda Patiya convict in net

AHMEDABAD: THE Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the post-Godhra riots on Thursday arrested Suresh Netalkar alias Suresh Langda, who had been absconding after being convicted in the Naroda Patiya massacre case.

An SIT team nabbed Langda from Nadurbar in Maharashtra, sources said.

Langda was convicted for murder, attempt to murder, rape and conspiracy.

ACP (crime) Nirlipt Rai, who led the SIT team that nabbed Langda, said he was arrested on the orders of the special court, which had issued a non-bailable warrant against him.

Earlier, on August 31, the police had picked up Bhikha Parmar, who had furnished the surety for Langda.





Admit blind students, HC tells hostel

TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 04.47AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court’s intervention has led to admission of two visually impaired girl students getting hostel facility in a government-aided school.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw on Wednesday disposed of a petition by the girls asking the school to extend hostel facilities to them after completion of formalities.

HC was hearing a petition by NGO Social Jurist highlighting lack of hostel to the two girls in Class XI with hostel facility. NGO’s lawyer Ashok Agarwal highlighted that the school had arbitrarily denied admission to the visually impaired students Sita and Ranjana in Class XI with hostel facility in the academic year 2012-13. “The two girls had been studying in the school and also availing of hostel facility in the school since class VI but the school has refused to admit them to Class XI after they completed Class X in violation of their fundamental and human right to education as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India”, Agarwal had argued.

When HC had earlier issued notice on the petition the school had agreed to admit the girls but without hostel facility, expressing reservations regarding local guardianship of one of the girls, namely Ranjana, as she had no relatives residing in Delhi. HC then asked the school to allow the girls to attend classes as an interim measure, which the school complied with.

On Wednesday once the mothers of both the girls appeared in court and assured their guardianship the bench disposed of the petition saying the school can now provide hostel since its apprehensions were taken care of.





HC asks Jamia to admit girl under sports quota

Oct 5, 2012, 04.31AM IST

NEW DELHI: Coming to the rescue of a girl who was denied admission under the sports quota, the Delhi high court has directed Jamia Millia Islamia to induct her in their postgraduate degree in mass communication for the academic year 2012-13.

Justice G S Sistani allowed the plea of Bhawana Singh, a state-level rifle shooter, saying she “will be considered eligible in the sports quota, as per notice dated August 3, 2012, published by JMI in which name of the petitioner finds mention”.

HC, however, made it clear that Singh would adhere to the attendance norms of the university and participate in the sports events. It accepted Singh’s plea that as per the prospectus for 2012-13, she had applied under the sports quota but was denied admission on the ground that the course is no longer available under the quota.





HC allows Wardha water for power plant

Published: Friday, Oct 5, 2012, 8:42 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The thermal power plant in Vidarbha got a major reprieve on Thursday.

The Bombay high court refused to stop the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) from diverting 87.6 million cubic metres (MCM) of water from Upper Wardha Irrigation Project for the thermal project.

The project of Sophia Power, a subsidiary of Indiabulls Limited, is in Amravati district. A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and justice Niteen Jamdar refused to issue restraining orders after the state assured the court that 328 MCM water will be supplied for irrigation and construction of distribution channels will continue unabated.

The reprieve will only be for the current year because the state informed the court that the distribution was possible due to sufficient rainfall.

The orders were passed while hearing a bunch of petitions filed opposing the project. Additional government pleader PG Lad told the court that the state government was willing to make a statement that 200 MCM water will be supplied for irrigation in Vidarbha.

The quantity, according to the Central Water Commission, will be required to irrigate 75,000 hectare of agricultural land in the region.

Madhav Jamdar, who represented Vidarbha Development Board, however, said that last year VIDC has supplied 328 MCM water from Upper Wardha project for irrigation and if that is reduced to 200 MCM, the situation in the region will only worsen.
He added that 373 farmers from Vidarbha have committed suicide in the the last one year.

In May, the department of industries signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Indiabulls Limited, agreeing to supply 87.6 MCM water for the thermal po wer project from Upper Wardha Irrigation Project.

The decision not only faced steep opposition from the local farming community and political leadership but also raked the old issue of backlog of development in the region, where more than 1,000 farmers have committed suicide in the last decade.

The Society for Backlog Removal and Development, Amravati, an organisation of locals and some other individuals have filed petitions challenging the decision to allocate 87.6 MCM water from the irrigation project for the upcoming thermal power plant.
The society comprises social and political activists and claims to represent the farming community in Vidharbha region.





HC notice to govt on land allotment

Published: Friday, Oct 5, 2012, 9:41 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Bangalore

The high court on Thursday restrained the state government and the BBMP from making any construction or allotment at survey number 7 in Hosakerehalli village in Uttarahalli South taluk. It also issued notices to Rajarajeshwarinagar MLA M Srinivas and the state government in this regard.

YH Srinivas filed a public interest litigation in the high court, alleging that on June 10, 2010, MLA M Srinivas sent an application to the chief minister asking for allotment of land in survey number 7 measuring 7 acres in Hosakerehalli village in Uttarahalli South taluk, stating that citizens in his ward wanted to build a park and a bus stand in the government land.

On November 28, 2011, Srinivas asked DC, Bangalore urban, to release Rs50 lakh from MLA’s quota towards the development of the land and to get the work done through BBMP.

On February 3, 2012, the assistant revenue officer issued a letter to Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development to utilise Rs50 lakh from the MLA fund for the development of survey number 7 into a residential layout for allotment of sites without the sanction plan from the authorities concerned. On September 21, 2012 construction started after naming the land as Srinivas Nagar. Construction of the residential layout using tax payers money is illegal, the petitioner contended.

Let Chawla help: HC
The high court on Thursday directed the state government to make Rajeev Chawla, principal secretary, department of public enterprises, to be part of a project to design and install a software to prevent registration of sites in unauthorised layouts in Bangalore and surrounding areas.

Chawla, who was formerly with the revenue department as principal secretary, Bhoomi and Urban Property Ownership Records, was present in the court during hearing on September 27, 2012. He said the state government can use IT infrastructure to end formation of unauthorised layouts around the city and alienation of sites in such layouts already formed. The court then directed Chawla to prepare a report. Chawla filed his report in the high court on Thursday.

In the report Chawla said the legal framework that can be used to control illegal layouts is already in place as per the circular issued by the revenue department on April 6, 2009. “An appropriate software has to be designed and installed in civic bodies like the BBMP, gram panchayats and sub-registrar offices to implement the circular. The software has to be used by offices for the generation of khata certificates. Khata certificates should get uploaded on the internet thought official websites. The software would then be able to check the legality of the site. After registration, khata certificates should be electronically made available to the town planning authority and tahsildar to confirm the content of the certificate. The development of the software will not take more than a month. No additional hardware would be required at the offices as these offices already have the required IT infrastructure,” he stated in the report.

HC asks Tirumala trust to demolish building
The high court asked Tirumala Education Trust (TET) located in Chikka Adugodi to demolish the 4th and 5th floors of the trust building in 10 days starting from Friday since it is constructed in violation of building by-laws.




HC makes guv respondent in PIL on BNMU

TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 06.18AM IST

PATNA: Patna high court on Thursday issued directive to make the chancellor of the universities respondent in a PIL challenging his order to stay the senate meeting of B N Mandal University, Madhepura, which was scheduled to elect two senate members from teachers’ constituency to the university syndicate.

A division bench comprising Justice T Meena Kumari and Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh passed the order on a PIL of Sachchidanand Yadav.

The petitioner’s counsel, Rajendra Prasad Singh, submitted that under provisions of Bihar State Universities Act, the chancellor had no jurisdiction to stay the meeting to elect syndicate members from a senate-teacher constituency.

PIL on waterlogging: The same bench directed the Danapur Nagar Parishad to solve the waterlogging problem in the colonies located on both sides of Bailey Road, from Rupaspur Mor to Saguna Mor, in Patna and file an action-taken report. The order was passed on a PIL of Nawal Kishore Upadhyaya. The judges observed that if waterlogging problem was not solved in the area, a lawyers’ committee would be constituted to monitor the work to clear the water accumulated in these areas.

Directive to SSC: A single bench of Justice P C Verma directed the Staff Selection Commission to delete 10 questions in re-evaluation of the paper for preliminary test (PT) for the posts of secretariat assistant and block supervisor as the commission had, in its counter-affidavit, admitted discrepancies. The petitioner, Suresh Paswan, a candidate for the post of secretariat assistant, submitted that there were discrepancies in 18 questions and at least 10 model answers were wrong. Three questions were incomplete, he submitted.

The petitioner’s counsel, Dinu Kumar and Arvind Sharma, challenged the commission for re-evaluating the answers during pendency of the writ petition. The petitioner sought CBI probe and holding of a fresh PT.

Govt lawyers: The state government’s standing counsel (SCs) and government pleaders (GPs) in the high court on Thursday were concerned over the state law department’s decision to raise the fee of part-time clerks of the advocate general, Bihar, to Rs 7,500 per month which is higher than a retainer’s fee (Rs 7,000) of the SCs and GPs. They were also angry over the raising of fee payable to the APPs to Rs 1,200 per case while the SCs and GPs were given only Rs 1,100 per case.





HC quashes FIR against director Sanjay Gupta

VICKEY LALWANI, Mumbai Mirror | Oct 5, 2012, 09.40AM IST

In March this year, the police had registered an FIR against him for cheating and forgery. However, the latest being the Bombay High Court has quashed the police complaint against filmmaker Sanjay Gupta, implying the case against him stands dismissed.

Gupta, who is busy wielding the megaphone for Ekta Kapoor’s Shootout At Wadala, had been booked by the Versova police for misusing the office of the Mumbai Police Commissioner on an invitation card promoting his film.

The card bore the rubber stamp of the Mumbai Police Commissioner’s office and said he would be present at the film’s launch and would speak about the city’s crime record.

At the time, Gupta had been booked under various sections of the IPC for forging the letterhead of the Mumbai Police Commissioner in media invites sent out for a press conference. He had been issued summons, asking him to present himself within 48 hours to explain his side of the story and find out how people had been involved in making and distribution of the invite.

After the Sessions Court had rejected Gupta’s plea for anticipatory bail on March 5, the filmmaker had approached the Bombay High Court which then granted him anticipatory bail, observing the police had shown ‘over enthusiasm’ in registering the case.

Gupta had claimed his creative team designed the invite but it wasn’t the Police Commissioner’s name on it; rather that of the man playing the commissioner in the film. The filmmaker had also maintained there had been a disclaimer on the card.

When contacted yesterday, Gupta sounded relieved. He said, “The bother is over.” His lawyer Ameet Naik told us,”Gupta had not committed a criminal offence. Which is why the FIR in question was quashed. What more can I say?”





HC moved for stopping state from joining National Eligibility cum Entrance Test

TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 04.16AM IST

NAGPUR: A social worker has knocked the judiciary’s doors seeking cancellation of Maharashtra government’s notifications for joining National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET 2013), the overarching premedical entrance replacing the state-level examinations. Shrikant Khandalkar is the counsel for the petitioner.

Mohan Karemore, who had filed several PILs, stated that junior colleges in Maharashtra are conducting education primarily in English, Marathi and Urdu mediums. He contended that till this year, the state Directorate of Medical Education and Research ( DMER) used to conduct MHT-CET for admission to medical and engineering courses in three languages – English, Hindi Marathi and Urdu. However, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has decided to conduct NEET on May 12 next year in English and Hindi languages only.

He argued that candidates from states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and West Bengal were allowed to opt for question paper in their respective state languages but same facility was not allowed for those in Maharashtra. He further that it will result in a big loss to the students pursuing education in Marathi and Urdu mediums. He termed the state government’s attitude towards medical students as discriminatory and its depriving the minority students.

Karemore demanded setting aside of state government’s notifications of September 12 and 17 to join NEET for the admissions to ayurveda, unani, homeopathy, nursing and other courses. He further insisted on allowing the medical aspirants from Maharashtra to opt for question paper in Marathi and Urdu like allowed for other states. He further sought fulfilling 70% quota for the Vidarbha region in colleges in this area.






HC awards man life term for murder

TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 06.23AM IST

SHIMLA: Turning down the plea of insanity that had led to acquittal of a murder accused by the trial court, the Himachal Pradesh high court on Thursday awarded life sentence after holding the accused guilty of murder.

Sessions court, Shimla, in its May 29, 2004 judgment had acquitted Rajinder Singh for the murder of Madan Singh, whose naked body with head and face smashed with a stone was found near a shop in Deed village of Theog division on May 7, 2003.

The shopkeeper, Balak Ram, a key prosecution witness, had informed the court that Rajinder Singh and Madan had entered into a drunken brawl. He then rushed to his home to call up the victim’s family about the fight. However, when he came back, he found Madan’s naked body in a pool of blood.

The accused was caught hiding at some distance from his residence, the following day. On being medically examined, Madan was charged with murder.

However, the “Trial court acquitted the accused, mainly on the grounds, that there was no eye-witness and this was a case of circumstantial evidence, the circumstances had not been proved and linked in such a fashion that it would lead to irresistible conclusion that it was the accused alone who had committed the murder.”

Before awarding life term to the accused, the high court division bench of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Rajiv Sharma observed that though the main defence of the accused was insanity, there was no evidence to prove the fact that he was insane.

The accused was married, had children, worked with other family. Only on one occasion was the accused treated by a doctor, who had not made a clear cut diagnosis.

“In view of these circumstances, we are of the considered opinion that the trial court gravely erred in giving the accused benefit of Section 84 of IPC,” the judges observed before convicting the accused in a judgment delivered on September 17.

On Thursday, the convict was produced before the court for quantum of sentence and the judges pronounced a rigorous imprisonment for life.






HC’s stay order halts Noida housing projects

Vandana Keelor & Ayaskant Das, TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 04.52AM IST

NOIDA: Construction work in residential projects spread over six hectares of land in Sectors 75 and 120 of Noida have come to a standstill following a stay order imposed by the Allahabad high court. The stay order was granted upon a petition filed by more than 50 farmers from the neighbouring Sarfabad village. The farmers have alleged that their land was allotted to real estate developers by Noida Authority without duly completing the acquisition process.

The high court has granted two weeks for the Noida Authority to submit its reply. The next date of hearing has not yet been fixed, but the court said that it would be indicated within three weeks.

The petition filed by the farmers states that 6.7260 hectares land had been notified for acquisition by Noida Authority under Sections 4 and 17 of the Land Acquisition Act on April 7, 2011, but even before the process was completed, the Authority leased the land to various developers who have begun construction activities. The land comprises 11 khasras in Sarfabad village.

Farmers have demanded cancellation of lease deeds of private developers with the Authority and have also sought their land back. They have also demanded quashing of the acquisition procedure by revoking Section 4 of the acquisition Act. “As per law, the final award should have been completed within a year of imposing Section 4, failing which the notification stands suspended,” said Amrita Rai, counsel for the farmers.

Prominent builders developing housing projects remained tight-lipped about the extent to which to the order would affect their projects. Meanwhile, the counsel for the petitioners said that even though the court has ordered halt of construction activity only across the land belonging to the petitioners, the order would affect “nearly 120 hectares of land, which is currently in the possession of more than six builders”.

As per sources in the real estate industry, nearly 10,000 dwelling units are under construction in several projects estimated to be worth more than Rs 5,000 crore, which could be at stake due to the court order. The Authority said that land on which the order has been passed pertains to no more than 500 sqm. Officials said they had not yet received a copy of the court order and would “study its implications in detail” once it reaches them.





HC asks state govt to take final call on retrenchment of teachers

Express news service : Fri Oct 05 2012, 03:08 hrs

The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the state government to take the final decision in three weeks on the issue of retrenchment of teachers from government-aided private special schools across the state.

The staffing pattern in special schools across the state that enforced in 1997 was changed through a government resolution (GR) of August 18, 2004. This led to many teachers becoming surplus. In 2006, aggrieved teachers moved the High Court against the GR. The case was referred to a high-power committee. The committee had recommended that the surplus staff be retrenched and kept on a waiting list to be employed when posts are available.

Assistant Government Pleader V S Gokhale, however, said the recommendation of the committee was not implemented by the government and no teacher retrenched.

In all, 3,961 teachers of various special schools in the state had moved court against the government decision. Gokhale said their action was propelled by apprehensions that the government may retrench them.

The court was told that after the high-power committee’s decision on June 15, 2011, no decision has been taken by the state government.

Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice V K Tahilramani told the state government that the earlier order of the High Court did not restrain the government from taking the final decision in the case. The court said that the government should not have wasted so much time. It could have sought the court’s permission if it wanted to implement its decision.

“We want you to take the final decision,” the court told the government and adjourned the case by three weeks.





Debts Recovery Tribunal directs DCHL not to alienate assets

TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 01.01AM IST

The Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) here on Thursday directed Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd (DCHL) not to alienate its immovable assets until further orders. This was in response to the petition filed by Kotak Mahindra bank which wanted the tribunal to ensure the recovery of the Rs 100 crore loan it gave to DCHL. When the repayment was not made even after the due date and when it came to know that some of the key assets of the group were being sold, the bank knocked the doors of DRT.

The tribunal in its order also directed DCHL promoters T Venkattram Reddy, Vinayak Ravi Reddy and P K Iyer, who stood as guarantors, not to alienate the properties mortgaged for the loan. Similarly, Nagarjuna Hotels and Travels, another company which stood as the guarantor, too was directed not to sell the properties under mortgage. tnn

The presiding officer K Sai Mohan also directed the DCHL to maintain status quo in respect of the movable assets of the company until further orders.

Earlier, the DCHL promoters gave written undertaking to the tribunal that they will not alienate their properties mentioned in the Kotak Mahindra petition till the matter is settled.





Over 43L cases pending before high courts

Himanshi Dhawan, TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 03.28AM IST

NEW DELHI: The wait for justice is likely to be longest if you file a court case in Uttar Pradesh or Tamil Nadu. There are 10 lakh cases pending before the Allahabad high court followed by 4.7 lakh cases in Madras HC.

The Allahabad HC suffers from the double whammy of having the highest number of vacancies of judges as well. Of the 262 judges required in the Supreme Court and HCs across the country, 74 vacancies are in Allahabad.

Data given in response to an RTI application filed by Uttar Pradesh resident Kush Kalra showed that 43.22 lakh cases were pending before the country’s high courts as on December 2011. Incidentally, the government in a Parliament reply had admitted that there were 3.2 crore cases pending before HCs and subordinate courts across the country last year.

The law ministry said the total approved strength of 21 high courts and the Supreme Court was 895.

There were 262 vacancies, led by Allahabad HC with 74 followed by 27 in Punjab and Haryana HC and 18 in Bombay HC. The SC has four vacancies for judges against an approved strength of 31 positions as on July 2012. Other states with high vacancies include Andhra Pradesh (16), Himachal Pradesh (13) and Delhi (12).

Incidentally, the US has a total vacancy of 77 positions in all its courts including the courts of appeal, district courts and courts of international trade.

According to information given by the law ministry as on December 2011, of the 43.22 lakh cases pending before all high courts, 33.69 lakh were civil cases. High courts with the highest number of cases before them were Allahabad with 10 lakh cases, Madras with 4.6 lakh, Bombay with 3.6 lakh and Calcutta with 3.4 lakh cases.

The government recently approved setting up of ‘National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms’ that is aimed at increasing access by reducing delays and arrears in the system and enhancing accountability through structural changes and by setting performance standards and capacities. However, the impact of this project is still to be effectively felt.





“Karnataka should release 48 tmcft of water”

T. Ramakrishnan

The release will meet shortfall suffered by the State during this year’s southwest monsoon (June-September)

Tamil Nadu on Thursday presented a forceful case to the visiting Central team that it should immediately be provided at least 48 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft) of Cauvery water by Karnataka under a distress sharing formula evolved by the Central Water Commission (CWC).

The release will meet the shortfall suffered by the State during this year’s southwest monsoon (June-September), say sources.

This point was made at a meeting at the Secretariat between the officials of the Central government, led by Union Water Resources Secretary Dhruv Vijai Singh, and a group of State government officials, including Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi and Public Works Secretary M. Saikumar.

Another point raised by the Tamil Nadu team was that Karnataka should release water hereafter as per the interim order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal. If this were to be fulfilled, Karnataka has to release 68 tmc ft more.

Of the total quantity of 205 tmc ft prescribed by the Tribunal for a water year (June-May), the period of southwest monsoon (June-September) accounts for 137 tmc ft; northeast monsoon (October-December) – 56.59 tmc ft; winter (January-February) – 4.68 tmc ft and summer (March-May) – 6.73 tmc ft.

The demand of Tamil Nadu for not sticking to the distress sharing formula in the coming months is based on the premise that this year’s northeast monsoon is expected to be normal.

The State also briefed the Centre regarding requirements of farmers in the Cauvery delta. Even as per a conservative estimate, the quantity of water required would be around 150 tmc ft.

Mr. Singh, who later left for Bangalore, told reporters that though he would not be visiting the delta, some of his colleagues would go there. A report would be ready in four days. The sources said the sub-group of the Centre would begin its trip with a visit to the Mettur dam on Friday. A chief engineer of the CWC is part of the team.

On Thursday morning, the water level at Mettur stood at 71.47 ft (full level: 120 ft) with a storage of 34.33 tmc ft (capacity: 93.47 tmc ft). The inflow was 10,019 cubic feet per second (cusecs) and the discharge 14,706 cusecs.

The Cauvery Monitoring Committee, headed by Mr Singh, would hold its meeting on October 11 instead of the originally scheduled date of October 8, the sources added. The Committee, consisting of Chief Secretaries and Chief Engineers of the basin States and CWC Chairman as members, is meant to assist the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) in decision making.

Bid to block trains

Tiruchi Bureau writes:

Hundreds of members of political parties and farmers’ organisations were taken into custody on Thursday when they attempted to block trains at various railway stations in delta districts demanding release of two tmcft of water in Cauvery daily by Karnataka. The protest was held under the banner of ‘Cauvery Urimai Meetpu Kuzhu’ (Cauvery Rights Retrieval Committee)

The agitators demanded gazetting of the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal’s final award. According to the farmers, Karnataka must be compelled to release water under a distress sharing formula for the period up to September 15.

The committee was formed by Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Nam Thamizhar Katchi, Thamizh Desa Poduvudamaikatchi, Thamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam and Puthiya Thamizhagam, among others.

A total of 513 persons, including six women were arrested in Thanjavur district when they tried to stop trains at 18 centres.

At Ayanavaram near Thanjavur, nearly 120 persons including women tried to stop the Mayiladuthurai-Tiruchi passenger in the morning. They were taken into custody. At Budalur railway station, members of these parties tried to stop the same train and arrested by the police.

Rail roko was held at Thanjavur, Kumbakonam and 14 other centres in the district.


A total of 398 people were arrested by the police when they tried to stop trains at various places in the district. The members tried to stop the trains at Tiruvarur, Thiruthuraipoondi and Needamangalam railway stations too and were arrested.


At Nagapattinam, cadres of MDMK and Naam Tamizhar Iyyakkam staged blockades in front of the Tiruchi-Karaikal passenger and Nagapattinam-Velankanni passenger.

Ernakulam-Karaikal express faced the brunt after a prolonged delay caused by blockade in Thanjavur followed by its blockade yet again here at the Nagapattinam station. Similarly, farmers blocked trains in Sirkazhi and Mayiladuthurai stations.

In Mayiladuturai, the protesters called for conferring larger powers on the CRA, and demanded that linguistic jingoism be marginalised from the discourse. According to Arupathy Kalyanam, all political outfits in Karnataka had called for a bandh on October 6, vitiating the atmosphere.


More than 100 members of various political parties and farmers associations were taken into custody at Srirangam railway station when they tried to block the Chennai — Guruvayur express. They were led by A. Malarmannan, Tiruchi urban district secretary of the MDMK.

Aarupathi P. Kalyanam, general secretary of the Federation of the Farmers Associations of the Delta Districts, lamented that Karnataka had been violating constitutional propriety by refusing to release water to Tamil Nadu despite the directions of the Cauvery River Authority and also the Supreme Court. “It is behaving as if it is an independent nation forgetting that we are in a federal set-up in which international conventions should be applied in case of riparian rights.”

Mr. Kalyanam said that it had become the “monotonous practice” of Karnataka to treat Tamil Nadu only as “drainage”.

“It is unfortunate it is not ready for any distress sharing”, he said. He has urged the Central Government to deploy the Army to release water to Tamil Nadu.





Tamil movie restores lost son to family

Oct 05, 2012 – Pramila Krishnan |

Such scripts are written only for Kollywood. Believe it or not, critically acclaimed movie Vazhakku Enn 18/9, telecast on a TV channel as a Vinayaga Chaturdhi special, stunned a Tiruppur family as the kid acting as the heroine’s retarded neighbour turned out to be their mentally challenged boy missing for six years.

Knitwear mill worker Loganathan and wife Manjula rushed to Chennai and traced the movie’s director Balaji Sakthivel, who led them to a government home for mentally challenged kids, where the tearful reunion happened on Thursday.

“Anbu is leaving our home now, restored to his parents who brought his childhood pictures, birth certificate and the ration card to prove he is their child”, state child welfare committee (CWC) chairperson Agnes Shanthi said.

The boy, now 12, had been living at the government Balavihar home in Egmore since 2006 after volunteers found him crying at some Chennai roadside.

The family was on a holiday in Chennai and the kid strayed away. After a fruitless search, they returned broken-hearted.

“He was barely six and mentally retarded. The fear that he might have been picked up by some beggars’ mafia traumatised us. Pillaiyar on his birthday (Chaturdi) brought our kid’s film before our eyes.

Our daughter Kavitha is taking big efforts to welcome her kid brother”, Loganathan told DC. He said he would try to admit Anbu in a school for special kids and ensure his happiness.

CWC member Sheila Charles is doubly happy because she was on the censor panel that had cleared Vazhakku Enn 18/9.

“Anbu’s was a touching role in the film. I felt it would inspire positive response from the audience but never imagined it would reunite the kid with his family”, she said.

Film director Balaji said he felt as if he had received an Oscar when the parents approached him for help to locate Anbu. Over 500 children are rescued by the CWC in a year and about half of them get restored to families.





Gadkari sought central funds

Vivek Deshpande : Nagpur, Fri Oct 05 2012, 00:25 hrs

BJP president Nitin Gadkari wrote to Union Water Resources Minister Pawan Bansal in July this year to push for the release of central funds for contractors of an irrigation project declared as seriously flawed by India’s premier water resources technical organisation.

The Gosikhurd project, the biggest in drought-prone Vidarbha, is at the centre of the irrigation controversy that resulted in the resignation of Maharashtra deputy CM Ajit Pawar last week. The BJP has been part of the loud chorus against the alleged irrigation “scam”.

On July 30, four months after an inspection by Central Water Commission (CWC) chairman R C Jha detected several major construction flaws in the dam, Gadkari wrote to Bansal saying all objections had been clarified, no issues were pending, and central funds should, therefore, be released to the contractors.

“The report (of Special Audit, AG II, Maharashtra) was discussed in the meeting of high-powered committee where the state officers gave clarifications to all objections and stated that allegations made in the complaints carried no basis,” Gadkari wrote. “The project was sanctioned Rs 777.61 crore as second installment for 2010-11. The continuation proposal of Rs 1,295 for 2011-12 was submitted to CWC. As all actions were taken by state government, no new issues are now pending… CWC and Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources have also strongly recommended the continuation proposal. Chairman CWC also carried inspection. If any rectification is needed due to bad quality of work, it will be carried out at the risk and cost of the contractor, not using the national fund.

“All issues were discussed in a meeting of the steering committee on May 14 and it was decided to release Central assistance… (But) It is learnt that some persons again approached Joint Secretary (Finance) and made fresh complaints. Therefore, even after… two and half months, the Finance Department hasn’t released funds.

“Due to non-payment of these dues, the contractors stop their works. This may delay the programme and creation of irrigation potential. Presently, a liability of about Rs 400 crore is pending. It is requested to recommend the project to receive funds for 2011-12 as proposed by state government… at the earliest,” Gadkari wrote.

On Thursday, Gadkari stood by his letter to Bansal. “I did write a letter to Bansal and will write 10 more… It was done in the interest of the farmers of Maharashtra, to prevent farmer suicides in Vidarbha.”

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javedekar said “it is clear that no contractor’s name is mentioned in the letter”, and that “the issue is that a central government project is pending and it should be completed”. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh described the BJP chief as “more of a businessman than a politician”. “It is clear that he (Gadkari) was interested in contractors getting their money which they don’t deserve,” Singh said.

Minister Bansal said Gadkari had written “two to three letters” saying the project was important for the region. with PTI




Tribunal sets aside SEBI’s Rs 14-cr penalty order on 2

Our Bureau

Mumbai, Oct. 4: 

The Securities Appellate Tribunal has set aside the order passed against Dushyant Natwarlal Dalal and Puloma Dalal in the IPO scam and sent the case back to the adjudicating officer for fresh consideration.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India had slapped a fine of Rs 14 crore on the two chartered accountants in June last year for alleged unlawful gains made during the IPO scam of 2003-05.

The two had been accused of making unlawful gains of over Rs 4.94 crore by cornering shares of various companies meant for retail individual investors and the penalty is three times of the amount.

The SAT order said that the adjudicating officer to consider the relevance of certain new documents that the appellants — Dushyant Natwarlal Dalal and Puloma Dalal — said was necessary to inspect.

Apart from this, the order has also asked the adjudicating officer to cross-examine the witnesses, Budhwani and Kakadia, who were the key operators.





12 yrs after father died in mishap, woman gets compensation

Nitin Yeshwantrao, TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 06.41AM IST

THANE: Twelve years after a road accident orphaned Dakshati Jain, the Dombivli girl was awarded a Rs 12 lakh compensation by the Thane Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal after a long battle with the insurance firm and the proprietor of the truck which killed her father.

Jain was nine-year-old in April 2000 when her father, Rajkumar Jain (35) died in an accident on Mhape-Turbhe Road. His vehicle reportedly collided head-on with a speeding truck. The police had registered an accident case against the truck driver and charged him for rash and negligent driving.

The girl had lost her mother in 1999 and was left in the care of her maternal grandparents, who were dependent. Relatives and well-wishers extended support and decided to seek justice.

Advocate DB Mhatre, representing Jain, filed a case against National Insurance Company and truck proprietor M Sagar. Mhatre said the deceased earned Rs 10,000 monthly from his chemical business. He sought Rs 15 lakh compensation collectively from the insurance firm and the transporter

Judge B P Patil gave a patient hearing and

said the truck driver was responsible for the death and calculated the deceased’s annul income at Rs 56,000 to decide on the compensation for the girl.

As he was young at the time of his death, the tribunal calculated his annual income for the next 15 years and arrived at a figure of Rs 8.40 lakh to be given as compensation

. Besides, Rs 2,000 towards funeral expenses and another Rs 5,000 was towards the loss of a dear family member were awarded. The tribunal slapped an annual interest at the rate of 7% on the compensation till the date of realization, taking the total amount to nearly Rs 12 lakh.

However, the orders were passed ex parte as the firm and the transporter were not present. The orders were not complied by either of the parties. Jain’s relatives sought attachment of the offices of the insurance firm and the transporter.

The insurance firm then deposited the money and said it be locked up with the court. Advocate S C Bodulla, representing Jain, argued against itand pointed out that it was mere harassment as the insurance firm had no intentions to make the payments even after the girl had suffered worst tragedy.

Judge S Kulkarni ordered immediate release of funds, of which 10% will go to her guardians and remaining in a fixed deposit in Dakshati Jain’s name.





Info panel resumes work today

TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 08.00AM IST

MUMBAI: The full bench of the state information commission, presided over by its chief Ratnakar Gaikwad, on Thursday decided to resume work with immediate effect.

“Following the apex court verdict on September 14, we stopped work. On Thursday, all the commissioners met to discuss the pros and cons of the Supreme Court order. We unanimously decided to resume work with immediate effect. Accordingly, most of the information commissioners in the state will start hearing appeals from Friday,” Gaikwad told TOI.

On September 14, the apex court observed that as the commission’s work was judicial and quasi-judicial in nature, it should be headed either by a retired chief justice of the high court or that of Supreme Court and the panel bench should have two members, one from the judiciary and the other an expert member. Further, the apex court had also stated that the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and the information commissioners required legal acumen and expertise in law. to meet the ends of justice, as such the CIC should have a judicial back ground and the commissioner should be an expert.

The SC asked the Centre to suitably amend the RTI Act for the purpose.

Ever since the SC order was passed, confusion reigned not only in Maharashtra but also in most of the other states on the legal validity of the existing information commissions and if they could continue disposing of appeals. Questions were raised on the possibility of appointing retired SC judges to head the commission, since the retirement age of such a judge was 65, same as that of the CIC. In view of the order, the CIC took up the issue with the state government and the department of personnel and training.

“We sought advice from the government and DoPT on whether we should continue hearing appeals or wait for instructions from the Centre. Since neither the state nor the department

sent any response, it was unanimously decided to resume hearing of appeals with immediate effect,” a senior official said. About the legal aspects of the order, the official said, it was decided that unless Centre gave instructions, there was no need for the state commission to halt the on-going proceedings.

“We decided to wait since neither the state nor the Maharashtra CIC was party to the litigation before the apex court,” he said.

A government official said in such orders, the usually Centre sent an advisory on the future course of action. “So far, we have no instructions.

We have sought opinion of our advocate general.

We have been told that the Centre is filing a review petition before the apex court and we should wait for the outcome,” he said.





Cine association opposes Central Circuit Cine Association’s decision

Kumud Das, TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 05.23AM IST

INDORE: The Central Circuit Cine Association (CCCA) has gone to the appellate authority of Competition Commission of India against its decision saying that the association should not compel any producer, distributor or exhibitor to become its member as a pre-condition for exhibition of their films in the territories under their control and modify their rules accordingly. The hearing will take place on October 17.

CCCA feels that the CCI’s decision would favour the interests of corporate houses like Eros International and Reliance Entertainment, marring the interest of various associations in the industry that are active in different parts of the country, including CCCA which covers states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Vidarbha & Khandesh regions in Maharashtra.

While Reliance Entertainment’s film, ‘Makkhi’ will be hitting the silver screen on October 12, Eros is releasing Prakash Jha’s ‘Chakravyuh’ on 25 October.

Talking to ToI, president of CCCA, Santosh Singh Jain said, “CCCA is committed to work for rational and integrated growth of the film industry in our central circuit and in the country. Making them (associations) a party and issuing the orders is not their (CCI’s) part of job. All the remaining seven associations in the industry are with us on the issue.”

“In fact, the association has imposed pre-mature telecasting penalty on a few of the corporate houses for their alleged violation of self regulation Act, which was reached between producers and film distribution associations and they have paid the amount, which comes to Rs 2.5 lakh in each case, in time. As per the act, film producers will not telecast any film before 12 months of its release, so that distributor can cover his investment from theatrical release”, said Jain, who turns 92 on Friday and who has been elected as CCCA president for record 43 years.

Jitendra Jain, general secretary, CCCI, said, “They (CCI) want to weaken the associations by such act. By not making registration of pictures mandatory with associations before their release will hit the interest of the distributors and exhibitors too.”

Interestingly, both the corporate houses, Eros and Reliance, have renewed their membership with the relevant association even after the CCI’s order became effective, said a person familiar with the development.





Govt clears tripartite agreement for operationalising IDF

Last Updated: Thursday, October 04, 2012, 22:44

And, therefore, we hope that more debt funds will be available for infra projects,” Chidambaram said.

Rating agency Crisil said the immediate opportunity for IDF-NBFCs to be nearly Rs 20,000 crore.

The IDF, which was proposed in the Union Budget for 2011-12 fiscal, is aimed at accelerating and enhancing flow of long term debt for funding the ambitious programme of infrastructure development in the country.

An IDF may be set up either as a trust or company… A trust based IDF (Mutual Fund) would be regulated by Sebi, while an IDF set up as a company (NBFC) would be regulated by the RBI.

The fund would try to garner resources from domestic and off-shore institutional investors, especially insurance and pension funds. Banks and financial institutions would be allowed to sponsor IDFs.

An NBFCs with a minimum capital of Rs 150 crore can set up an IDF. Such a fund would be allowed to raise resources through rupee or dollar denominated bonds of minimum five-year maturity. These bonds could be traded among the domestic and foreign investors.

Company based IDFs would be allowed to fund projects in public-private partnership (PPP) which have completed one year of commercial operations.

As regards the trust-based IDFs, the fund could be sponsored by a regulated financial sector domestic entity. It would have to invest 90 percent of its assets in the debt securities of infrastructure companies or SPVs across all infrastructure sectors.

Minimum investment by trust-based IDF would be Rs 1 crore with Rs 10 lakh as minimum size of the unit.

The requirement of infrastructure fund in the 12th Plan (2012-17) has been pegged at USD 1 trillion.


First Published: Thursday, October 04, 2012, 22:44





COMPAT gives CCI time to modify sale agreement in DLF case

Agencies : New Delhi, Thu Oct 04 2012, 20:08 hrs

Fair trade regulator CCI today sought more time from the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) to complete draft modifications in the sale agreement between realty major DLF and flat owners of two of its housing projects at Gurgaon — DLF Park Palace and The Belaire.

Accepting the request, a COMPAT bench — headed by Chairman Justice V S Sirpurkar — adjourned the matter to November 21.

On July 18, COMPAT had directed the CCI to complete the process of modifying draft sale agreement by the end of September by giving “top priority to this matter”. The tribunal had also asked DLF to file one draft agreement before the commission, while fixing the hearing for today.

The buyers’ association had filed their draft before the CCI as per tribunal’s order.

The COMPAT was hearing a petition filed by DLF against the CCI order imposing Rs 630 crore penalty on the company.

On August 12 last year, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had imposed a penalty of Rs 630 crore on DLF after finding the realty major guilty of abuse of the dominant market position.

The orders were passed following inquiries into complaints filed by the flat buyer associations’ of two separate DLF projects in Gurgaon, DLF Park Palace and The Belaire, alleging delays in the project and increase in the number of floors than planned earlier, among other things.





Blackstone gets CCI approval for Embassy realty deal

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) today approved a real estate deal between global private equity giant Blackstone group and Pune-based realty firm Embassy Group.

NEW DELHI: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) today approved a real estate deal between global private equity giant Blackstone group and Pune-based realty firm Embassy Group.

The proposed deal involves Blackstone and Embassy group having joint control over an entity engaged in the business of development and management of commercial and office space and related activities.

In an order released today, CCI said the deal is unlikely to have any “appreciable adverse impact on competition in India and therefore the Commission hereby approves the proposed transaction.”

While the exact size of the deal has not been disclosed, it has been billed as one of the biggest realty deals in the country’s commercial and office space real estate business.

As per the proposed deal, certain Singapore-based entities of Blackstone would get compulsorily convertible debentures of Pune Dynasty Projects Private Ltd — currently 51 per cent owned by Embasy Property Developments Ltd (EPDL).

Upon conversion of these debentures, Blackstone Group would get 50 per cent stake in Pune Dynasty Projects Private Ltd (PDPPL) and would have joint control with Embassy group firm EPDL over the assets, business and affairs of PDPPL.

Mauritius based financial investor Alta Vista currently owns the remaining 49 per cent stake in PDPPL, which is proposed to be acquired by Embassy before the Blackstone deal.

Accordingly, PDPPL would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Embassy group prior to the deal with Blackstone group.

The concerned parties had approached CCI on August 24 to seek the fair trade regulator’s approval for the deal, after execution of their investment agreement dated August 14.

Later, CCI had asked the entities involved in the deal to remove certain “defects” and furnish additional details.

Giving its clearance, CCI said Blackstone is engaged in businesses like asset management, financial advisory, private equity funds, realty funds, hedge funds and mutual funds.

EPDL is primarily engaged in the business of real estate development and related consulting services, property leasing, among others. It mostly provides construction development and property management services in Bangalore and Pune.

Blackstone also holds certain investments in enterprises engaged in the business of development and management of commercial and office space in Pune and Bangalore.

However, the combined market share of Blackstone-invested companies and Embassy group in eight major cities of India, including Pune and Bangalore, is in single digits and the proposed combination would not be “significant enough to give rise to any adverse competitive concern,” CCI said.

The regulator further said that “there are no significant entry barriers in the market for development and management of commercial and office space in India” and therefore no adverse impact was likely on the market competition.



CCI to get more teeth in the new Competition Act

BS Reporter / New Delhi Oct 05, 2012, 00:49 IST

The Cabinet today cleared the proposal to amend the Competition Act.

However, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) will retain its powers to regulate competition-related issues across various sectors including banking, insurance, telecom and power, .which have their own regulators.

 While the government has made it clear that no sector will be exempted from the Act, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters that there can be a few exceptions. For example, merger of an ailing bank with another bank may be exempted from CCI’s purview and banking regulator Reserve Bank of India can take a call in public interest.“Voluntary mergers will come under the CCI, but involuntary mergers will be outside its purview. We have sought exemption under section 45 of Banking Act and 37 (A) of Insurance Act,” Chidambaram said.

The move will empower the CCI, which was hitherto struggling to regulate anti-competitive activities related to mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the absence of absolute powers. Once these amendments get Parliament nod, M&As across sectors will need to get a clearance from the CCI.

Initially, various sectors and ministries were opposed to CCI’s jurisdiction cutting across sectors. Their argument was that some sectors such as finance and telecom already have regulators on their own and there could be a conflict if CCI also starts looking into them.

However, putting an end to the debate, Chidambaram said: “The CCI will have over-arching powers to judge on all anti-competitive issues despite sectoral regulations.”

The competition watchdog has a mandate to ensure that M&A deals between various companies do not lead to monopolistic situation that affect fair competition in the marketplace.

Among the amendments approved by the Cabinet include changing the definition of “turnover” and “group”, reducing the overall time limit of finalisation of transaction from 210 days to 180 days, and introduction of Section 5A.






Forces tribunal bench gets judge after 6 months

D Madhavan, TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 06.04AM IST

CHENNAI: Six months of uncertainty for litigants fighting cases related to service in the armed forces are set to end on Friday when Justice V Periya Karuppiah, who retired as Madras high court judge on Thursday, is sworn in as judicial member of the Armed Forces Tribunal (ART) Chennai bench.

Established in August 2009 for swift resolution of grievances of members of the armed forces, the tribunal, which has a jurisdiction over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, has not been functioning since April when judicial member Justice A C Arumugaperumal Adityan retired. Lt Gen (retired) Anand Mohan Verma is the administrative member of the tribunal.

“It will bring cheer to hundreds of litigants from different parts of TN and Andhra Pradesh,” said M K Sikdar, an advocate who practises at the tribunal and is also chief editor of the Armed Forces Tribunal Law Journal.

Since its inception, the Chennai bench has cleared around 600 cases mainly related to compensation to dependents of armed forces personnel. Every year, on an average, the tribunal handles more than 100 cases. Currently, around 90 cases are pending before it.

The Armed Forces Tribunal Act, passed by Parliament in 2007, came into effect in June last year. It provides for adjudication by the tribunal of disputes and complaints about commission, appointments, enrolment and service conditions in respect of those covered by the Three Services Act, and hearing of appeals arising out of orders, findings or sentences of court martial. The tribunal will have original jurisdiction in service matters and appellate jurisdiction in court martial matters.

Though the Chennai bench reopened after vacation on June 1, it remain non-functional because no direct appointment can be done by the principal AFT bench in New Delhi. It can only be done with the consent of the defence ministry. As a result, cases were merely adjourned. Representations by the Armed Forces Tribunal Advocates’ Association from Chennai were made to the ministry of defence and to chairperson A K Mathur in May, but the vacancy remained.





CAT asks state to give pension to retired IFS officer

TNN | Oct 5, 2012, 06.06AM IST

CHENNAI: The Central Administrative Tribunal ( CAT) on Thursday came to the rescue of a retired Indian Forest Services (IFS) officer, directing the state government to give him all retirement benefits, including pension, within three months of the date of receipt of the order and a compensation of 10,000.

The judicial member of the two-member tribunal, G Shanthappa, said V Pasupathiraj had established his case for grant of relief and quashed the impugned disciplinary proceedings against the petitioner. The respondents include principal secretary to the state environment and forests department, principal chief conservator of forests and conservator of forests (Tirunelveli circle).

Pasupathiraj, who retired as ECO development officer for Project Tiger in Tirunelveli on October 31, 2007, was denied commuted value pension, surrendered earned leave and salary along with interest on delayed payments by the state government on the ground that he failed to furnish correct particulars to the conservator of forests (Tirunelveli circle) about the actual number of missing dead trees in Vellambikani area. He also failed to furnish the measurement of such trees, it was alleged. The government also said the petitioner failed to exhibit absolute integrity and devotion to duty. For these lapses, a charge memo was issued on September 18, 2006. “The incident took place between 1995 and 1997, disciplinary proceedings were initiated in 2006 and charge memo issued in 2006. There is no explanation for the delay in framing the charges and in initiating disciplinary proceedings,” said M Ravi, counsel for the petitioner.

The order said there was no specific charge in respect of dereliction of duty as alleged by the respondents. Further, it was not clear when the trees were declared dead and it “is very difficult to give the measurement or length of the dead trees if asked after a lapse of nine years”.



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