LEGAL NEWS 23.03.2013

SC stays proceedings against Arun Nehru in pistol deal case

Last Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013, 21:

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed till further order the proceedings pending in a trial court in a corruption case relating to purchase of pistols for the Army in 1998 in which former Union minister Arun Nehru and others are accused. 

A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir stayed the proceedings before the trial court which had fixed March 30 for commencement of arguments on charges in the case. 

Nehru had moved the apex court against the order passed by the Delhi High Court which had refused to stay the proceedings. 


Senior counsel Vikas Singh and advocate Sandeep Kapur, appearing for Nehru, told the apex court that the order on cognisance by the special CBI court was passed “in a casual and perfunctory manner” as the sanction to prosecute Nehru, a public servant, was not taken before proceeding against him. 

“It is pertinent to mention that the bar to taking cognisance under section 197 CrPC is operative even after a person ceases to be a public servant by retirement or otherwise and as long as the act complained of is related to his duties while he was a public servant sanction ought to be sought against the said person,” Nehru, in his petition, said. 

According to the FIR registered by CBI against Nehru, who was then a Minister of State in the Home Ministry, he along with two other senior officials had allegedly caused a loss of Rs 25 lakh to exchequer in a pistol deal with Czechoslovakia in 1988. 

The case dates back to 1985-86 when BP Singhal, the then additional secretary in the Home Ministry, and AK Verma, then director in the Home Ministry, allegedly conspired with Nehru, the then Minister of State (Internal Security) for Home Affairs, to execute the deal. 

However, proceedings against Singhal and Verma have abated as they have died. CBI had alleged that Nehru had ignored the guidelines for conducting the evaluation of 9 mm pistols. 

The trial court had taken cognisance of the 24-year-old case against the accused after rejecting CBI’s closure report which had contended that nothing incriminating could be found against Nehru during the protracted probe. 

Nehru, in his petition filed before the apex court, had contended that the high court had failed to appreciate that in “the instant matter cognisance has not been taken under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 but under Prevention of Corruption Act, (Act II), 1947, under which, there is no such bar on stay of proceedings.” 

CBI, in its probe in the case, had found that a policy decision to replace .38 mm revolvers with 9 mm pistols was taken on February 21, 1986, following which global tenders were invited and the deal was finally clinched with Czech firm Merkuria Foreign Trade Corp for purchase of the pistols. 

CBI had told the trial court that the investigations did not reveal any written instruction by Nehru. “No prima facie evidence has come (up) that the accused had committed any misconduct or had misused his office with regard to the deal,” CBI had said. 

It had also submitted that Nehru gave approval for the purchase on the recommendation of the then Home Secretary. 

CBI had filed the closure report on June 13, 2007 but the trial court had rejected it observing that a few documents reflected involvement of the accused in the case. 

The court had taken cognisance of the offences punishable under various sections of IPC including sections 420 (cheating), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and also under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. 






Geetika Sharma suicide: Supreme Court declines to entertain Gopal Kanda’s bail plea

Published: Friday, Mar 22, 2013, 21:44 IST 
Place: New Delhi | Agency: IANS


The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain the bail plea of Haryana lawmaker Gopal Goyal Kanda currently in judicial custody for allegedly abetting the suicide by air hostess Geetika Sharma and subsequently by her mother Anuradha Sharma.

The apex court bench of Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad and Justice V Gopala Gowda while declining to entertain the bail plea by Kanda asked senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi to approach the sessions court for the relief.

“You can go to the trial court. You have to follow the procedure as followed by others,” Justice Prasad told Rohtagi.

Unmoved by the persistent plea by Rohtagi to hear the plea, the court said let him (Kanda) to go the court seized of the trial and it would decide the bail plea on its merits.

Rohtagi told the court that the Delhi High Court had already rejected his plea for bail by going in the merits of the case and this would influence the trial court.

At this, the apex court pointed to the high court order which said Kanda was “reluctant” to go to trial court for bail.

The high court denied Kanda bail on November 19, 2012, holding that he might influence the witnesses and tamper with the evidence.

The high court was told by the prosecution that before surrendering, Kanda had destroyed the material evidence in the case.

Prior to surrendering before police August 8, 2012, Kanda was denied anticipatory bail both by the trial court and the high court.

Kanda, an independent legislator from Sirsa assembly constituency, was arrested on charges of abetting the suicide by Geetika Sharma August 5, 2012.

Geetika, in her suicide note, had accused Kanda and his employee Aruna Chadha of allegedly harassing her.

Six months after Geetika’s suicide, her mother Anuradha Sharma too committed suicide in February, for which she too blamed Kanda and his employee Aruna Chadha.

Both Kanda and Chadha have been charged under section 306 (abetment of suicide), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), 201 (destruction of evidence), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery with intention to cheat), 469 (forgery with intention to harm reputation) and 471 (using forged documents as genuine) of the Indian Penal Code and section 66A (hacking of computers) of the Information Technology Act.






SC to examine another PIL on age of offenders

New Delhi, March 22, 2013, DHNS:

The Supreme Court on Friday decided to examine yet another PIL relating to the determination of a juvenile delinquent’s age, contending that the rules framed under the Juvenile Justice Act took away discretion granted to a trial judge for the purpose.

A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra issued notice to the Union government on the petition filed by Nisha Bagchi.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi appearing for the petitioner submitted that the rules framed under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, providing the determining factors for a juvenile, go beyond the provision, which has to be quashed. “The provision of the law provided discretion to the judge which has been taken by the rules,” he said.

The petition also challenged the methodology adopted by trail court under which the matriculation certificate is to be given first preference and second the birth certificate and at last ossification test for ascertaining the age of a juvenile. “Suppose a person is hefty and well-built, capable of committing rape and murder and does not seemingly appear to be a juvenile, but produces a matriculation certificate declaring him to be below 18, the judge is helpless,” counsel said. In that circumstances, the accused has to be given the benefit of the special law.

The bench said it would examine the issue and sought response from the government.
A number of PILs, including one by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, has been filed in the apex court.

Court stays interview of victim’s friend

The Supreme Court on Friday allowed a plea made by Delhi police seeking a stay on a High Court order granting permission to December 16 Delhi gang-rape accused to use TV interviews given by a friend of the victim in their defence. A three-judge bench presided by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir issued notice to the accused on a petition challenging the March 7 order. Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran submitted that the interviews were not admissible and the use of a CD permitted by the HC in defence of the accused should be stayed.  The court decided to seek response from the accused on the petition. It said that the use of CD under the Evidence Act is stayed. The HC had allowed a plea made by accused Ram Singh (since expired) and his brother Mukesh against the trial court’s order declining them permission to use the interview during the recording of evidence.





Designate Kollam court as special court: Asaf Ali


Director General of Prosecution says this will help speedy trial

Now that the two Italians are back in India at the end of an unprecedented stand-off between the two countries, the marines will have to stand trial before a special court to be set up by the Union government in accordance with the Supreme Court’s directive.

The apex court had on January 18 directed that a special court be set up to try the marines accused of shooting to death two fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15 last year. One of the main arguments of the Italian government for not returning the marines to India after their four-week stay in Italy had been that the Government of India had taken no step to set up the special court. The Italian media had criticised the extreme delay in the Indian judicial process.

When a special court is set up, now that the issue has grabbed international attention, the biggest challenge before it would be to complete the trial in a short period.


According to T. Asaf Ali, Kerala’s Director General of Prosecution (DGP), who had represented the State government in the Kerala High Court in the marines’ case, the best option before the Union government will be to designate the sessions court in Kollam as special court to try the sailors. “The best way for a speedy trial is to let the Kollam court try the case,” Mr. Ali told The Hindu on Friday. “For this, the Government of India has to designate it as special court on the basis of the Supreme Court directive.”

Mr. Ali pointed out that the police had filed their charge sheet against the marines before the Kollam court. All the records and evidences were now before this court. The police had already completed their investigation and the ship, Enrica Lexie, which was the key evidence, had long left the Indian waters. Moreover, if a special court were to be set up in New Delhi or elsewhere, the witnesses who were in Kerala would all have to travel to Delhi frequently to testify.


“Since the biggest challenge before a special court would be to complete the trial in a short time, designating the Kollam court as special court will be the best bet,” Mr. Ali said. In his view, the Kollam court could complete the trial in three months as all the records and evidences were already before it.

In its January 18 order, the Supreme Court had said that Kerala had no jurisdiction to try the two foreigners and asked the Union government to set up a special court, in consultation with the Chief Justice of India, to try them. The proceedings pending before the Kollam sessions court should be transferred to the special court, the court said. The January 18 order also allowed the marines to be moved from Kochi to New Delhi and let them stay at the Italian embassy.




Can we have an affluent promoter and a sick company? – NO


The other day, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram made no secret of his displeasure at the indulgence shown to wilful defaulters. These are people who have the capacity to repay, or are guilty of diverting loans for personal gain, or for purposes other than the ones stated in the loan applications.

The financial system indulges them through endless corporate debt restructuring. Canara Bank is wringing its hands helplessly after Deloitte reportedly admitted its inability to trace the loan of Rs 400 crore it extended to a Hyderabad-based media group. It is now knocking at the doors of the Debt Recovery Tribunal.

The media group’s dues to the Indian banking system are in the region of Rs 5,000 crore. Its promoter’s dalliance with cricket by sponsoring an IPL team is well known.

The rumour mill has it that the bulk of the money owed by the group has found its way into cricket investments, apart from investments in fancy cars. Another cricket aficionado and liquor baron, too, owes our banking system a whopping Rs 7,000 crore. For too long has the system winked at the shenanigans of wilful defaulters, sometimes going to the extent of converting the outstandings into equity at exaggerated valuations.

The Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985, made industrial sickness fashionable by extending several concessions to sick companies, including stay of coercive legal proceedings against their assets. There were many instances of contrived or feigned sickness, with the BIFR unable to tell between what was genuine and what wasn’t.

The indulgence to wilful defaulters has, predictably, spawned a slew of jokes. Such aphorisms as “you borrow in lakhs, you are in trouble with the bank; borrow in crores, the bank is in trouble with you” have become the stuff of folklore. Levity aside, the truth is the lot of the financial system is not hopeless; but only if it bestirs itself and goes for the jugular of the defaulters.


There is a view that promoters can take shelter behind limited liability. This is not entirely true because the financiers invariably take a personal guarantee from the promoters, be they individuals or corporates. Such personal guarantees should be invoked without the slightest hesitation. The institution of benami, of course, makes things difficult for financiers in India. The money trail is also often lost in the dizzying maze of shell companies acting as a buffer. Add the hawala route and the repertoire of tricks at the disposal of the wily defaulters is complete.

A frontal attack on benami brooks no delay. Vested interests have been scuttling it since 1988, when Rajiv Gandhi made bold to fashion a law that sent fear down their spines with confiscation staring them in the face. Inter-corporate loans need to be regulated more strictly.

(The author is a Delhi-based chartered accountant.)




Durai Dayanidhi moves HC


DMK leader M.K. Alagiri’s son Durai Dayanidhi has moved the Madras High Court bench here to modify the conditions of his anticipatory bail. Mr Durai was granted anticipatory bail on December 10, 2012 in the cases registered against him by the Keelavalavu police for alleged offences under Mines and Minerals Act and Explosive Substances Act in the multi-crore illegal granite quarrying scam. The High Court had asked Mr Durai to surrender his passport at the Judicial Magistrate Court, Melur and appear before the police whenever he was required for interrogation.

In his petition Mr Durai has sought the return of his passport considering the nature of his business. He owns a movie production house and has business interests abroad, making it necessary for him to make foreign trips frequently, he contended. “The petitioner has strong roots in the State and will not leave the country. He will cooperate with the legal process”, Mr Durai’s counsel John Satyan has stated in the petition. The case is expected to be heard on Monday.




HC allows 13 with criminal cases to turn policemen

A Subramani, TNN | Mar 23, 2013, 02.43 AM IST

CHENNAI: They faced rioting, causing hurt and criminal intimidation charges not long ago. But now, at least 13 police constable aspirants, who were denied the job because they were accused in criminal cases, are set to don uniforms, thanks to a Madras high court order asking the authorities to ignore the cases because they had ended in acquittals even before the selection process began. 

A total of 15 people had approached the high court saying they had been unfairly denied employment as police constables, because police verification before the appointment revealed they faced either criminal cases or had bad antecedents. Most of them faced charges like wielding dangerous weapons, causing hurt, rioting, criminal intimidation and destruction of public property. One person was charged with attempt to murder. 

The government issued a notification on March 22, 2012 for selection of candidates for 13,320 posts — 12,152 police constables, 377 jail wardens and 791 firemen. The written test was held in June 2012. These candidates had cleared the written test and undergone medical examination, too. The fact that they once faced criminal cases came to light during character verification by local police. 

Noting that 13 of them had been acquitted from the cases either on the ground of benefit of doubt or due to dropping of charges, they said their acquittals happened much before the selection process began. On the date of announcement of selection process, they had no cases pending against them and hence they should not have been denied jobs. Two of them, however, said they faced a minor punishment of imposition of fine and that they should not be deprived of the job merely because of a minor punishment. 

Justice Vinod K Sharma, allowing the pleas of the 13 aspirants on Friday, said: “In all these cases, the petitioners were acquitted much before the commencement of selection process. Acquittal in criminal cases means that the charges framed against the accused itself were bad, therefore it cannot be said that persons were involved in any criminal case.” 

As for Rule 14(b) of the Special Rules for Tamil Nadu Police Subordinate Services Rules, which says even acquittal due to ‘benefit of doubt’ would not absolve a person completely, Justice Sharma said: “Rule 14(b) can only be interpreted to mean that if cases, pending at the time of selection, end in acquittal on the ground of benefit of doubt, then a person can be denied the right of appointment. But not in a case where much before the start of selection process, the person is acquitted even by giving benefit of doubt.” 

The government submitted that the Rule 14(b), the validity of which was upheld by the apex court, held that a person acquitted or discharged by giving benefit of doubt or due to the fact that the complainant had turned hostile, has to be treated as a person involved in a criminal case. Hence, he can still be disqualified for selection to police service, it said.




HC rap gets woman victim of police brutality CRPF cover

TNN | Mar 23, 2013, 05.43 AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Within hours of Punjab and Haryana high court issuing contempt notice to it,Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Friday provided security to Harbinder Kaur, who was assaulted by Punjab policemen in Tarn Taran town of Punjab earlier this month.

The CRPF had failed to provide cover to the woman despite HC orders issued on Tuesday.

Harbinder has been provided the security by one ‘section’ of the CRPF troops, comprising eight cops.

Earlier, on Friday morning, Justice Ranjit Singh of the HC had issued show cause notice to IGP (Chandigarh zone) of CRPF for not complying with the directions of the court issued on March 19.

The directions came about after the victim had moved the HC informing it that she was not being provided security by the CRPF despite court directions, which amounted to showing disregard to the judiciary.

Within hours after the HC issued the contempt notice, senior standing counsel of the Union government, Onkar Singh Batalvi, summoned one ASI and seven constables of CRPF and asked them to provide security to the victim and her family members.

After this, the CRPF troops left for Tarn Taran in their official vehicle along with the woman and her kin.

On Monday, Harbrinder had moved a petition seeking protection to life and liberty of her and her family members. She had also alleged that Tarn Taran police was exerting pressure on her to strike a compromise in the case.

Hearing her plea, the HC had ordered the transfer of seven cops, who had beaten her up, out of Tarn Taran district and ordered security for the victim and her family.

On March 3, the woman was thrashed in full public view by Punjab cops in Tarn Taran town after she had approached them with a complaint of sexual harassment.





HC order allowing TV interview as evidence in gang rape case stayed


Supreme Court order comes on plea of Delhi Police

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Delhi High Court order allowing the plea of one of the accused in the December 16, 2012 gang rape case to use as evidence a CD containing the interview of the victim’s male friend.

A Bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justices Anil R Dave and Ms. Ranjana Desai stayed the March 7 order after the Delhi Police submitted that the TV interview was inadmissible as evidence and issued notice to the accused.

Solicitor-General Mohan Parasaran appeared for the Delhi government.

The High Court had allowed the contention of accused Ram Singh, who allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar jail, and his brother Mukesh and set aside the trial court order by which they were not allowed to exhibit as evidence the CD of the interview telecast on January 4.

Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Singh are facing trial. The sixth accused, declared as a juvenile, is facing trial before the Juvenile Justice Board.

In its appeal, the Delhi government said that by the impugned order the High Court had allowed the interview to be used as a previous statement though the said interview was recorded after the statement of the complainant (an eyewitness to the crime) was recorded under Section 164 Cr.PC., investigation concluded and a charge sheet was filed.

It said the High Court had erred in not noticing the dangers of allowing media interviews as evidence in a criminal trial, especially when such interviews were taken after the filing of the charge sheet. Such a practice would have a direct effect on the administration of the criminal justice system as it would lead to an erosion of the sanctity of the judicial trial and would result in causing undue interference in criminal justice process.




Devise action plan to prevent custodial deaths: HC

Hindustan Times  Mumbai, March 23, 2013

Taking serious note of custodial deaths in Maharashtra, the Bombay high court on Friday directed the state to devise a plan to prevent the menace.

“The incidences of custodial deaths are continuing unabated in Maharashtra; what preventive steps have you taken?” the division bench of judges Ajay Khanwilkar and Ashok Bhangale sought to know while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by city NGO Indian Center for Human Rights and Law.

The bench directed the secretary (special), home department, to file his personal affidavit by April 1 disclosing what preventive measures were being taken to prevent custodial deaths.

The counsel for the petitioner, Rebecca Gonsalves, pointed out that during the last 10 years, more than 220 persons had died in police custody in Maharashtra. The PIL cites a report prepared by Asian Commission for Human Rights revealing that during between 2001 and 2009, 192 persons had died in police custody in the state.

According to an affidavit filed by the state government earlier, 24 persons died in police custody between January 2008 and March 2009, of which at least 15 deaths were attributable to atrocities committed by police personnel concerned or negligence on their part.





Delhi HC slams Censor Board over vulgar content

PTI  New Delhi, March 22, 2013

First Published: 20:04 IST(22/3/2013) | Last Updated: 20:20 IST(22/3/2013)

The Delhi High Court on Friday slammed the Censor Board for not doing its job “properly” and asked it and the Centre to respond to two separate PILs alleging vulgar content in Salman Khan-starrer ‘Dabangg 2’ and Saif Ali Khan’s ‘Race 2’.

“Nowadays, the Censor Board is not doing its duty properly,” a bench comprising Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain said while asking the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, CBFC and producers of ‘Dabangg 2’ and ‘Race 2’ to file their responses by May 14.

While hearing the PIL of lawyer Sanjay Kumar seeking a ban of alleged provactive item number of ‘Dabangg 2,’ the bench ordered deletion of names from an array of parties of Kareena Kapoor Khan, on whom the song was filmed, director Arbaaz Khan and musicians duo Sajid and Wajid.

“Why you have made the actress a party? This is not a criminal complaint. File a fresh memo of parties. Delete the name of the actress, director and musicians…,” Justice Jain said during the hearing.

The bench, however, refused to stay the release of DVDs of ‘Dabangg 2’ and ‘Race 2’ and their further screening on TV channels. It, meanwhile, gave the petitioners liberty to approach it again if they receive information that the films are going to be shown on channels.

“We are not experts and have not seen the movies. How can we stay the films on the basis of photographs we saw here?” the bench said.

The other PIL, filed by social worker Teena Sharma, has sought an immediate ban on further screening of ‘Race 2’ in cinema halls and its telecast. It also sought deletion of explicit scenes and “vulgar” dialogues in the film.





HC notice to UT DC, MC for not reviving rickshaw stands

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, March 22, 2013

The Punjab and Haryana high court has issued show-cause notice to the Chandigarh deputy commissioner (DC) and municipal commissioner as to why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them for not demarcating and reviving rickshaw stands in the city despite repeated court directions.

A special division bench comprising justice Surya Kant and justice Ajay Tewari on Friday issued the notices when it came to know that the Chandigarh authorities had failed to comply with the court orders and were passing the buck on each other.

The court was hearing a case pertaining to the introduction of eco-friendly cycle rickshaws and designating vehicle-free zones in Punjab, Haryana and UT.

Earlier on November 2, 2012, the court had directed the chief architect of Chandigarh to designate proper parking space for rickshaws in every sector.

The court had said it was interested in how to popularise non-polluting vehicles and also proper parking for them which would reduce traffic chaos and accidents on roads.

Whereas during the hearing of the case, the court was informed that chief architect Sumit Kaur had written a letter to the DC seeking details of demarcated rickshaw stands in the city but her letter had not received any reply till date and thus rickshaw parking places all over the city had not been specified.

Appearing for the Chandigarh administration, senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal informed the court that the administration was mulling levying congestion charges on vehicles in various parkings in the city.

Kaushal further reiterated that parking problem cannot be solved in the city and the ultimate option was to use the public transport system. He also informed the court that very soon the administration would also put its master plan on the website to invite objections from the city residents.

However, amicus curiae (friend of court) advocate Rita Kohli submitted that the administration had failed to properly utilise its existing resources to ensure proper parking space for vehicles, where thousands of vehicles could be parked.

The case would now come up for hearing on May 3.




Gujarat HC gives a go ahead for railway line in Kutch by APSEZ

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court on Friday gave a go ahead for the construction or railway line betweenMundra and Adipur in Kutchdistrict by Adani Port Special Economic Zone. The Court rejected a petition by a local resident objecting the company’s move claiming that it did not take the permission of local gram panchayat prior to constructing the railway line. 

On Ullasba Barach of Luni village in Kutch district had filed a Public Interest Litigation in the high courtclaiming that APSEZ cannot construct a railway track parallel to the existing railway line. She also objected the construction of a compound wall along the tracks without the permission of local gram panchayat. She further demanded that an under-bridge be constructed at Luni. 

The court said that under The SEZ Act, the company is free to construct a compound wall along the railway line which is part of SEZ. The court ruled that once an area is notified as a SEZ, local village panchayat does not have any authority over it. It said that once the plan is approved by the railway authorities, the court cannot interfere with the decision, whether or not to construct an overbridge.




Withdrawal of drug smuggling case against singer KS Makhan under HC scanner

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, March 22, 2013

The Punjab government’s withdrawal of a drug smuggling case against singer KS Makhan is under the scanner of the high court now. Taking up a public interest litigation (PIL) on Friday, the Punjab and Haryana HC directed the state government to produce details of the decision taken by the home affairs department.

The directions came from a division bench headed by chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri on a petition filed by advocate HC Arora, who has challenged the withdrawal of the case that had been registered against Makhan, his relative Hardeep Singh and six other persons on August 1, 2006, under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. The chargehseet was presented in April last year, and additional sessions judge, Jalandhar, framed the charges on February 22 this year.

But when the case was to come up for prosecution evidence, the home department directed the deputy commissioner of Jalandhar to withdraw the case.

Arora informed the high court that under the directions of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, the state police’s crime branch had even conducted an inquiry and concluded that the FIR had been registered rightly. Further, Arora said, in such cases where there is no specific complainant or victim, and the crime is against society at large, a public notice must be issued to invite objections against the proposed withdrawal. The case would now come up for hearing on March 26.

Know the case
KS Makhan and two other Canadian citizens, Lakhwinder Singh Lakha and Raja Boparai, allegedly used to receive heroin from Makhan’s brother Hardeep Singh, a resident of Shankar village in Jalandhar. It was alleged that Makhan, Boparai and Lakha used to send money through the hawala route to Hardeep to purchase drugs from smugglers in Jalandhar, Nakodar and Ludhiana.





Delhi HC issues order for setting up special court to try Italian marines: Sources

IBN KERALA, Updated Mar 23, 2013 at 12:02am IST


New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has issued order for setting up of special court to try Italian marines, said sources on Friday night. The two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast reached Delhi on Friday after India gave an assurance that they will not face death penalty nor will they be arrested, bringing to an end a raging 11-day diplomatic row between the two countries.

The marines, Massimiliano Latore and Salvatore Girone, arrested in connection with the killing of the fishermen in February, 2012 returned late Friday evening in the company of Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Steffan de Mistura in a military plane.

The dramatic u-turn by the Italian government, which had earlier last week said the two marines would not be sent back, enabled the marines to meet the deadline set by the Supreme Court when it gave them permission to go for a month to vote in the elections there. With the Supreme Court acting tough and restraining the Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini from leaving the country, Italy sought and got assurances to enable the marines’ return.


External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who denied any deal was reached on the issue, told Parliament that Italy had sought “clarifications” on death penalty and other issues which were a matter of “concern” to that country. “It (Italy) sought from India clarifications regarding the conditions applicable to the marines on their return and the provisions regarding the death penalty that could be applicable in this case which was an Italian concern,” he said.

“Notwithstanding the pending proceedings, the government has informed the Italian government that the two marines will not be liable for arrest if they return within the time frame laid down by the Supreme Court of India,” the minister added.

India also allayed Italy’s fears by saying that “according to well-settled Indian jurisprudence, this case would not fall in the category of matters which attract the death penalty, that is to say the rarest of rare cases. Therefore, there need not be any apprehension in this regard,” Khurshid said.

(With additional information from PTI)




HC orders govt staff benefits for teachers teaching disabled kids

In a significant judgment, the Gujarat High Court on Friday ordered the state government to regularise around 1,248 teachers who are teaching disabled children and grant them all the benefits and allowances given to government employees.

A division bench of HC passed the order while acting on a series of petitions that included a suo motu action taken by the court.

According to one of the lawyers who appeared for the petitioners, a sizable number of teachers are teaching disabled children in Gujarat and they are deprived of regular benefits by the state government. The HC had taken suo motu cognisance of the matter, said the lawyer who did not want to be named.

Subsequently, a number of such teachers had joined the litigation after they faced problems in getting salaries from the NGOs acting as a nodal agency for the scheme under which they were teaching the disabled students.

The lawyer stated that the teachers were appointed through NGOs under the Integrated Education for Disabled Children scheme of the Central government. The object aims at allowing the disabled children to intermingle with normal students. The scheme was being implemented by the state government.

However, due to this arrangement, there was no job security for the teachers, who also faced problems with payments of their salaries.

“The court held that under the provisions of the Right to Education Act and Disabled Children Special Act, the implementation of Acts is a responsibility of the state government. The court ordered that the teachers be absorbed as the regular teachers by the state government and entitled to all the benefits of a regular teacher,” the lawyer said.

Two killed in building collapse

Two persons were killed Friday when an old two-storey building collapsed in the city. The deceased were identified as Mahesh Kishor Ojha (43) and Natubhai Mochi (40). The incident occurred at Devsa na Pado, on Relief Road in walled city area of Ahmedabad. The police said the building was empty for last few months and it was under renovation.

‘Suspicious’ boat spotted off Porbandar coast

A “suspicious” boat moving towards Porbandar was spotted by a Coast Guard patrol in the Arabian Sea early Friday, sources said, adding that it changed course and headed towards Jamnagar when challenged. The Coast Guard and Marine Police have sounded an alert from Okha to Jhakau coast. “When the Coast Guard ship moved towards the boat, it escaped,” Coast Guard officials said.




HC puts stay on arrest of suspended DIG Alok Kumar

Last Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013, 17:

Patna: DIG Alok Kumar, suspended on charge of seeking Rs 10 crore extortion money from a liquor trader, Friday got a relief from the Patna High Court which put a stay on his arrest. 

Hearing an anticipatory bail petition of the DIG, Justice D K Singh put a stay on his arrest by the police. 

The court ordered police administration to submit case diary.


DIG’s advocate Soni Shrivastava who had filed an anticipatory petition on his behalf argued that the officer has been implicated in a case of extortion and pleaded the court to grant him anticipatory bail. 

The officer, who was put under suspension by the state government on February 5 last, was facing the possibility of arrest in the case. 

Kumar has been charged by a liquor trader Tunnaji Pandey of demanding an extortion money of Rs 10 crore as Deputy Inspector General of Police, Saran.

CID had recently raided his houses and found some papers related to purchase of land. Two of his associates have already been arrested. 

Kumar, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir cadre of IPS officer, had earlier served as Senior Superintendent of Police of Patna. 






Haryana recruitment exam under HC lens

TNN | Mar 23, 2013, 06.08 AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana high courton Friday ordered Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) to provide details of written test and final selection of mandi supervisors and assistant secretaries in view of certain “surprising features” in the selection process.

A single bench headed by Justice Rajesh Bindal also ordered to implead as parties in the case all the 21 candidates selected for the post of mandi supervisions and 15 candidates as assistant secretaries in Haryana State Agriculture Marketing Board (HSAMB) and issued them notice through HSAMB.

Justice Bindal expressed surprise over certain distinctive features of the result of written test, and noted down the argument of the petitioners’ counsel that out of 27 candidates shortlisted for interviews on the basis of written test, as many as 19 were from one particular examination centre, namely BN Senior Secondary School, Panchkula, and again out of 32 candidates shortlisted for interviews for the post of assistant secretaries, as many as 23 were from the aforesaid examination centre.

Thus, for the said post of mandi supervisors, only 8 candidates, and for post of assistant secretaries, only 9 candidates were successful from remaining 11 centres of examination in Panchkula. The HC expressed surprise that this was such a case where the number of candidates passing the written test was less than the number of posts, and even the aforesaid number of candidates were shortlisted for interview by giving grace marks.

The HC further directed HSSC to give information regarding candidates who were shortlisted for interviews from each of the 12 centres of examination and those who were finally selected and appointed.

The directions from the HC came in the wake of petitions filed by candidates Dinesh Beniwal, Mamta Rani and Bhupinder Kumar challenging the selection and appointment of persons to these posts. Now the case has been fixed for further hearing on July 10.




Gujarat HC wants action against cops who beat up dalits last year

The Gujarat High Court Friday came down heavily on police for its “high-handed, arbitrary and barbaric” assault on dalits in Rajkot last year and ordered a compensation of Rs 25,000 each to six of the victims.

The court also ordered principal secretary (home) to constitute a high-level inquiry into the entire episode and take necessary action, including criminal prosecution, against the erring officers.

The HC also said that the amount of compensation be recovered from the salaries of the erring officers.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala, apparently moved by the police atrocities, pronounced the judgment Friday.

The court had taken suo motu cognisance of a letter by a human rights activist addressed to the Chief Justice about the police atrocities on dalits in Rajkot last year.

It all started on June 24 last year when a dalit leader from Rajkot, Gunvant Rathod, was killed by some non-dalits. The next day, a funeral procession was taken out by dalits.

After the cremation, some in the procession staged protests, demanding arrests of the culprits, when police lathicharged them.

The letter sent to the Chief Justice also stated that policemen entered the houses of dalits at Ambedkarnagar and mercilessly beat them up. Those beaten up included children and women.

One of the injured, Rupa Sondarava (16), was allegedly kicked by police following which she sustained serious spinal injury that threatened to cause permanent disability.

The dalits lodged complaints against policemen but no action was taken.

Following this, one Dr Jayanti Mankadiya wrote to the Chief Justice about the police atrocities on dalits and sought his intervention. Photographs and a video CD as evidence of police atrocities accompanied the letter.Subsequently, the court appointed senior advocate Shalin Mehta as the amicus curiae in the matter.

The state government had defended the police action saying they were discharging their duty to maintain law and order. However, the court observed it was quite clear from the video clip that the policemen acted without any provocation and mercilessly beat up even those who were not part of the mob.

The court observed that in the video that “struck us with horror”, policemen were seen pelting stones back at the mob, which was not expected of them. “This was unheard of and unexpected of them (police),” it said.

The court also observed that policemen kept beating a man even after he was lying on the ground, as if he was “a bait before a hungry lion”.

Advocate Hemang Shah, who assisted Mehta in the case, said the court had ordered that the inquiry committee to be constituted by the principal secretary (home) fix responsibilities of the erring officers and take appropriate action against them, which included criminal prosecution.




Mani’s bail term: HC seeks government view

22nd March 2013 12:00 PM

The Kerala High Court on Thursday sought the view of the state government on a petition filed by M M Mani, the former CPM Idukki district secretary and the accused in the Anchery Baby murder case, for relaxing his bail conditions.

Granting the bail to Mani, the High Court had ordered him against entering the limits of Idukki district, except for reporting before the Investigating Officer in the case, between 9 am and 10 pm every Friday.

Justice S S Satheesachandran issued the order seeking to delete the condition of restriction on entry into the district and adjourned the case to Monday.

Mani was arrested in connection with the murder of Anchery Baby, a Youth Congress leader who was shot dead on November 13, 1982. He was arraigned as the second accused in the case registered at the Santhanpara police station. Mani submitted that for almost two month now, he had been forced to live outside his hometown. He submitted that as a known politician and social worker of Idukki, his presence was required in the district for carrying out his political and social obligations.

He added that his wife has been staying alone at the couple’s house in Idukki for long, and that he had to be in the district to take care of her.




peed up installation of CCTVs on e-way: HC

Bombay High Court (HC) directed the state government Friday to expedite installation of CCTV cameras on Mumbai-Pune Expressway and ensure heavy vehicles without indicators do not ply on the road.

Hearing a PIL seeking ambulances and quick medical aid, a division bench of justices A M Khanwilkar and A P Bhangale asked the government and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) to improve surveillance on the expressway that has witnessed several accidents.

“Expedite the proposal and get it (CCTV) installed. This will reduce workload on police,” justice Khanwilkar said.

Advocate general Darius Khambata told High Court an MSRDC proposal seeking Rs 37 crore to install CCTVs would be submitted to the government soon.

“The plan is to install fewer cameras with high range to cover the entire expressway.

“The main control room in Lonavla will do the monitoring,” he said.

After it was brought to its notice that a majority of accidents on the expressway involved heavy vehicles plying without proper indicators, High Court asked the government to appoint dedicated officers at toll booths to check indicators of vehicles.

“In case a vehicle does not have proper indicators, do not let it ply on the expressway,” the court said.




Chief Justice of new Manipur HC to be sworn in tomorrow

Justice Ahay Manohar Sapre will be sworn in as the Chief Justice of the new Manipur High Court tomorrow by Governor Gurbachan Jagat. 

Justice Sapre, a former judge of Chhattisgarh High Court, was appointed on March 19 by President Pranab Mukherjee, official sources said today. 

Manipur High Court will have three judges including Chief Justice Sapre, the sources said. 

Judge of the Guwahati High Court N Koteswar Singh has been appointed as one of the judges of the high court. 

The third judge will be appointed soon, the sources said. 

The new Manipur High Court will be inaugurated by Union Law and Justice Minister Ashwani Kumar on March 25. 

Supreme Court Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh will be present at the inauguration ceremony, the sources added.




High court orders TMC to complete road projects

Nitin Yeshwantrao, TNN | Mar 22, 2013, 09.19 PM IST

THANE: The Thane municipal corporation invited the ire of the Bombay high court recently for its failure to undertake road projects approved in the city development plan but are at a cross purpose with rules of coastal regulation zone and forest.

Citizen activists Pradeep Indulkar had filed a PIL in the HC pointing out that the TMC had suspended the construction work on as many as 19 internal roads and three roads connecting Mumbai to Thane. This has greatly inconvenienced the citizens and put a strain on the vehicular traffic as the TMC was hesitant to proceed with the road project for fear of inviting action from environment and forest department.

The PIL came up for hearing before a division bench of Justices Ajay Khanvikar and AP Bhangle who then directed the TMC to take up the issue with the concerned departments and resolve it within two weeks.

The court is said to have expressed optimism that the civic administration would be able to convince the state departments about the need to improve connectivity and remove traffic bottleneck in the city.

The court said the Thane municipal commissioner will be personally responsible to ensure compliance of their directions to the administration to apply for permissions from state departments in two weeks time.

Indulkar pointed out that after laws pertaining to CRZ , forest and environment were strengthened after the development plan of the city was approved. Most of the roads displayed in the DP could not be taken up due to the stringent CRZ and forest laws, he said.

In quite a few cases, the TMC had taken up road widening work but had to abandon it in some patches as any conduction activity was prohibited due to CRZ or forest rules. Such obstacles have resulted in traffic congestions on the streets, he argued.

The court directed the state urban development department to look into the issue where three road projects connecting Mumbai and Thane were incomplete and also directed the BMC andTMC administration to ensure that work is undertaken and completed in specified time.





High Court knocks outs Sanjay Dutt starrer ‘Knock Out’

Subhash K Jha | Mar 22, 2013, 13:11PM IST

The Sanjay Dutt starrer ‘Knock Out’ which was locked in a copyright battle with 20th Century Fox  has suffered a  serious blow with the High Court ruling in favour of 20th Century Fox, thereby putting Mani Shankar into a position of deep embarrassment at a time when  he has just completed a very successful stint  with Gujarat’s chief minister Narendra Modi in using the holograph 3D technique to project Modi’s life-like image on stage in several cities of Gujarat simultaneously during the recent election campaigning.


So impressed is Narendra Modi by Mani Shankar’s technological panache that the Gujarat CM tweeted, “Gujarat Election Campaign 2012 becomes even more memorable with the 3D interaction  creating a Guinness World Record.”


Says Mani Shankar, “In truth it was the most challenging 14 days of my life with a 1200-men team spread over 53 locations. Over 100 checklists had to be got right in each location, a fresh crisis every hour, unbelievable team-work. It was exhilarating. I’d rather focus on the good work with Modiji than concern myself with a lawsuit that I had no hand in bringing about.”


Reluctant to talk about the copyright issue involving his film ‘Knock Out’ Mani protests. “None of my films so far, whether it was December 16, ‘Rudraksha’ or ‘Mukhbir’ has been remotely unoriginal. As far as I  am concerned ‘Knock Out’ was an original story with original characters. One could argue that it bears a rough similarity, and that too only in certain parts of the plot structure, to the Colin Farrell starrer Phone Booth. But I could also argue that another Hollywood film ‘Liberty Stands Still’ starring Weslet Snipes is uncannily similar to ‘Phone Booth’. Certain similarities with existent works are inevitable in the creative process. It doesn’t mean I copied any other film in ‘Phone Booth’. Anyone who has seen my other films would vouch for my penchant for originality. We are all inspired by what we see hear and read. But after all the reading and thinking is done, if what we create comes from within our hearts then it should be deemed original.”


Incidentally when the resemblance between ‘Knock Out’ and ‘Phone Booth’ became evident, Mani Shankar repeatedly told the producers of ‘Knock Out’ to talk to 20th Century Fox and settle the matter before it went to court.


One of the producers of ‘Phone Booth’ Amitabh Parekh passed away a month ago. And the other producer Sohail Makhlai refuses to comment. That leaves poor Mani Shankar to defend the film against charges of plagiarism.


We hear Mani Shankar now intends to seek Narendra Modi’s help in the matter.





CIC asks CM office to explain ‘Shrimant’ tag on Scindia road

NEW DELHI, Sandeep Yadav, March 23, 2013, DHNS:

Surprised to note that a monarchy title ‘Shrimant’ was prefixed to the road named after Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia in Lutyens Delhi, Central Information Commission has asked the chief minister’s office to provide complete information on the decision taken.

No other roads named after former rulers like Akbar Road, Aurangzeb Road, and Ashoka Road has a monarchy title attached to it.

Not satisfied with New Delhi Municipal Council’s reply that ‘Shrimant’ was added to the name of the road after a mere letter by chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s then parliamentary secretary Ramakant Goswami, RTI activist Subhash Chand Aggarwal had approached the CIC three days ago.

When CIC sought to know the reason behind adding the title of former rulers of Gwalior, NDMC produced a couple of letters written by Goswami to its then chairman Subhash Sharma. Goswami had initially requested to name a road after Madhavrao Scindia and NDMC informed him of renaming Canning Road as Madhavrao Scindia Marg. 

On February 26, 2002 he again requested Sharma to add ‘Shrimant’ before the name.
The CIC has directed NDMC to provide Aggarwal all papers in relation to the decision — whether it was Goswami’s decision or the CM’s order.

According to Article 18 of Constitution, no title, not being a military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the state.

Aggarwal told Deccan Herald that the CM should undo the wrong done by writing to the New Delhi Municipal Council to remove the word ‘Shrimant’.





Blackbuck case: Court frames fresh charges against Salman, Saif, others

PTI | Mar 23, 2013, 11.15 AM IST

JODHPUR: Fresh charges were on Saturday read out against actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre,Tabu and Neelam by a court here in the 14-year-old blackbuck poaching case.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Chandrakala Jain read out the charges under sections 9/51 and 9/52 of Wildlife protection Act and 149 of IPC and posted the case for next hearing on April 27.

The actors denied the charges read out to them by the judge.

Salman Khan was also supposed to appear in the court but failed to do so.

The high court had revised the charges against the actors in December 2012, charging Salman Khan with section 51 of Wildlife Protection Act and others including a local accused Dushyant Singh with section 51/52 of Wildlife Protection Act and section 149 of IPC.

They are accused of poaching two Blackbucks in the intervening night of October 1 and 2, 1998 in Kankani village near Jodhpur during the shooting of the film ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’.

Blackbuck is a protected animal and hunting or poaching of the same is a punishable offence under law.







LEGAL NEWS 22.03.2013

31 accused get bail in Suryanelli case


A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday granted bail to 31 accused persons in the Suryanelli sex scandal case on stringent conditions after suspending the execution of the sentences awarded to them by a Special Court.

The Bench comprising Justice K.T. Sankaran and Justice M.L. Joseph Francis, while allowing the bail pleas, observed that it would not be just and proper to direct the accused to remain in jail till the disposal of appeals, particularly when they were on bail during the trial and the appellate stage. The court also noted that the High Court had earlier suspended the execution of sentence in 2000 and released them on bail during the hearing of the appeals.

The accused moved the High Court following the Supreme Court verdict setting aside the High Court judgment acquitting all the accused including three women accused, except Dharmarajan in the case.

Dharmarajan did not file any petition seeking to suspend the execution of the sentence and to release him on bail.

So, Dharmarajan, arrested recently from Karnataka, will continue to stay in the Central Prison, Thiruvananthapuram.

Dismissing the pleading of the prosecutor that the accused be directed to surrender before granting them bail, the Bench pointed out that the appeals had been posted for hearing on April 2. It would be possible to dispose of the appeal at the earliest .Therefore, it was improper to direct the accused to surrender before the trial court.




Onchiyam murder: witness deposes in trial court


Says he saw some of the assailants 9 days ahead of incident

A prosecution witness in the T.P. Chandrasekharan murder case told the trial court in Kozhikode on Wednesday that he saw M.P. Sanoop (accused number 22), along with T.K. Rajeesh (fourth accused), one of the alleged killers, on the Vadakara-Nadapuram road nine days before the incident.

Deposing before Special Judge R. Narayana Pisharadi, Special Additional District and Sessions Court (Marad cases), the witness, P.M. Pramod, said he had seen Sanoop arrive in the Toyota Innova multi-utility vehicle allegedly used by the assailants.

The case related to a seven-member hired gang hacking to death Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T.P. Chandrasekharan at Onchiyam on May 4, 2012.

According to the prosecution, Sanoop, an activist of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), had gone with some of the alleged killers to identify the regular routes used by Chandrasekaharan between April 25 and May 4, 2012.

The accused had facilitated the murder of Chandrasekharan and voluntarily concealed the existence of the design to commit the murder, as per the charge sheet.

The witness said he had seen Sanoop arrive in the Toyota vehicle at the eastern side of the bus station near the AKG Centre on the Vadakara-Nadapuram road at 4 p.m. on April 26. At that time he was waiting at the bus station after some work at a furniture shop owned by one Ashokan, he said.

Pramod said he had particularly noticed Sanoop, who was his neighbour and friend, as he had arrived in a luxury car.

Afterwards, he went to a shop. A fat bald man was sitting in the front seat apart from the driver in the vehicle. Some others were also inside.

He came to know that through newspaper reports that the Toyota vehicle was used by the assailants.

He had identified Rajeesh through news reports.

During cross-examination, Pramod admitted that he was an activist of the RMP and he was named second accused in a case relating to the attack on P. Mohanan (fourteenth accused in the murder case), member of the Kozhikode district secretariat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

He said he had been involved in two cases including an attack on Sanoop. One case had been settled. A case was also registered against Sanoop for attacking him, he said.

Special public prosecutor C.K. Sreedharan examined the witness while defence counsel B. Raman Pillai cross-examined him.

The prosecution also decided to give up examination of two other witnesses, P.P. Preejith and U. Rajan, after suspecting that they could turn hostile during trial.


The court ordered that the accused be released on bail on their executing a bond for Rs.50,000 each with two solvent sureties each to the like amount before the trial court.

The other conditions were that they should ‘not cause any annoyance to the peaceful life of the victim and her family members in any manner whatsoever, and they should ‘not leave the State without the permission of the court and should surrender their passports before the court.’




Court lifts ban on media coverage of Delhi gang-rape trial

Edited by Ashish Mukherjee | Updated: March 22, 2013 11:43 IST

New DelhiThe Delhi High Court has ruled that reporters from newspapers will be allowed to attend and report on the trial of four men accused of raping and murdering a medical student on a moving bus in Delhi in December.

The trial was being held in-camera or behind closed doors on the orders of the special fast-track court in south Delhi commissioned to handle the case. The media could not report on what witnesses said in court, for example.

Six men were arrested for the horrific assault on the student, which included violating her with an iron rod. One of them, a 17-year-old, is being tried by a juvenile court. Of the five adults, the alleged mastermind Ram Singh committed suicide earlier this month by hanging himself in his cell at Tihar Jail.

December’s attack on the student made international headlines and forged massive street protests in India, resulting in new and tough laws to punish crimes against women.

The laws – cleared by Parliament this week – recognise stalking and voyeurism as criminal offences and provide for the death penalty for extreme cases of rape which leave the victim dead or in coma.




Aashiana rape: Case sent back to juvenile board

TNN | Mar 22, 2013, 07.07 AM IST

LUCKNOW: In a relief to the main accused in the Aashiana gang rape case, a local court on Thursday allowed his appeal against the Juvenile Justice Board’s order which had declared him an adult at the time of the crime in 2005. The accused, Gaurav Shukla, had submitted that he was not allowed by the Board to produce evidence in support of his contention.
Additional Sessions Judge S N Agnihotri gave a month’s time to Gaurav to produce evidence and directed the board to dispose of the case in a month after submission of age proof. The other five accused in the case have already been convicted.

The victim, daughter of a scrap dealer, was 13 years old when she was allegedly abducted, assaulted tortured brutally and gang-raped by six brats on May 2, 2005. While the five accused in the case have been convicted so far, the trial of the prime accused could not begin due to dispute over his age. Significantly, while the prime accused is married and has settled in life, the victim is forced to live in hiding due to life threat and social stigma.

Gangrape victim’s quest for justice continues

On January 15 last, when the Juvenile Justice Board declared Gaurav Shukla, the prime accused in the Aashiana gang-rape case, an adult at the time of incident (May 2, 2005), the victim’s family was overjoyed that the justice, though delayed , has finally been delivered.

However, two months later, it found itself back to square one with additional sessions court sending the case back to the board on the appeal of the accused , who claimed that he was not allowed to put evidences in his defence, while deciding the age dispute.

The victim, Zahira (name changed), broke down after hearing court’s order, but thanked the court for fixing a time frame for disposal of the case. Zahira’s father said, , “We are back to square one. Why the Almighty has put us through such a difficult test…How long we will have to fight for justice.” Social activists supporting Zahira were also disheartened. State general secretary, All India Democratic Women’s Association , Madhu Garg, said the sequence of events and legal battle in the case show how difficult it is in India for a rape victim, particularly from a poor family to fight against an influential accused . She also drew attention towards the controversy, which had erupted last month when the birth record of Gaurav went ‘missing’ from the record room of the Lucknow Municipal Corporation . However, it was ‘discovered’ later when municipal commissioner RK Singh took a tough stand on the complaint of victim’s father. The LMC birth record is crucial evidence because on its basis, the Juvenile Justice Board had declared Gaurav adult at the time of incident.

To recall, the prime accused in the case is also nephew of mafia-turned-politician Aruna Shankar Shukla who is close to the ruling Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and party’s candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Unnao. Shankar, however, claims he has no relations with Gaurav’s family for last 20 years.

After gang-rape , the accused dumped the profusely bleeding girl on the roadside to die but she survived and lodged a case with the police. Before the arrest in the rape case, however, the prime accused was booked by the police in another criminal case in which he managed to get himself declared juvenile. As a result, he was declared minor in the rape case as well. But, after the victim’s family challenged the order, the district court directed the Juvenile Justice Board to re-examine the case on the basis of the medical examination reports and the documents produced by the victim. The legal battle continued for years before the board declared Gaurav adult at the time of incident on January 15 earlier this year, paving way for the trial to start.

The trial was to begin from January 21, but on January 18, Gaurav filed appeal against the board’s order before Sessions Judge KK Sharma. The appeal was admitted for final adjudication but the judge refused to stay the order. He, however, put a rider that the final verdict will not be delivered till the disposal of the appeal. Initially, hearings of the appeal and the trial of Gaurav were held in the Court of Judge Sharma. On February 4, however, Justice Sharma transferred the trial to the Court of Additional Sessions Judge Akhilesh Dubey. On February 5, after hearing the appeal for few days, Judge Sharma transferred it to the Court of Additional Sessions Judge S N Aginihotri. Justice Dubey fixed February 6, for the trial to begin.

Gaurav, however, moved an application against Justice Dubey requesting the Sessions Court to transfer the trial to another court. He said Justice Dubey had already convicted a coaccused Faizan, hence, the judge would be prejudiced and he had no hope of a “fair trial” . On February 19, the trial was shifted to the court of additional session judge ( CBI) Brijesh Kumar Mishra . But before the trial could begin , Gaurav filed a petition in the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court pleading that he had filed an appeal against the Board’s order, hence, trial proceedings should be stayed till its disposal. The court stayed the trial and issued order to decide the appeal within a month. Now, the Additional Sessions Court has sent the matter back to the board.




Convict had urged TADA court to drop “Kutta” tag

PTI : Mumbai, Thu Mar 21 2013, 17:04 hrs

A convict in the 1993 serial bomb blastsc, also known as “Salim Kutta”, had urged the designated TADA Court to drop the epithet as he found it derogatory.

Mohammed Salim Mira Shaikh, whose life sentence was today confirmed by the Supreme Court for his complicity in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case, had urged the designated TADA Court during the trial to drop the offencive epithet “Kutta”, which means dog in Hindi, from the court records.The convict was known as “Salim Kutta” in underworld circles because of his ruthless approach towards rivals as he used to pounce upon them like a ‘ferocious dog’. “Do I look like a Dog?” he politely asked the court once.

However, hearing his plea, designated TADA Judge P D Kode had passed an order dropping the word “Kutta” from the records after observing that every person had the right to live with dignity under the Constitution. Salim was leading a module working for the prime absconding accused in this case- Mohammed Dossa.

He had participated in the landing of arms and ammunition in Gujarat. Salim and his men had collected the weapons and RDX and distributed them to co-accused. These explosives were used in the 1993 blasts.

There were two other landings of arms and ammunition at Dighy and Shekhadi coasts in Raigad district of Maharashtra which were organised by another absconding accused Tiger Memon. Salim was convicted by the trial court for participating in the conspiracy leading to 1993 serial blasts and distribution of arms and ammunition used in explosions.





AP to challenge Supreme Court relief for SKS Microfinance on resuming ops

BV Mahalakshmi : Hyderabad, Fri Mar 22 2013, 10:16 hrs

The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to challenge the Supreme Court interim relief order given to SKS Microfinance for resuming loan operations in the state. The SC order says that the company has to adhere to the Andhra Pradesh Microfinance Institutions (Regulation of Money Lending) Act, 2011, with respect to new loan disbursements, interest rates and recovery practices.

Speaking to FE, Reddy Subramaniam, principal secretary, rural development, Andhra Pradesh government, said, “The interim relief came without any notice to the state government, which is the main party in the SKS case. We could have clarified if we were informed earlier as in any special leave petition (SLP) cases. Hence, we have decided to challenge the interim relief order at the earliest.”

Reddy clarified that there was no blanket ban on the company to stop operations. “We only suggested that the company has to abide by the state regulations to carry out their operations,” he said. “We have neither arrested anybody so far as claimed by the company and not stopped them from recovering their dues from borrowers,” he said.

The state law, the Andhra Pradesh Microfinance Institutions (Regulation of Money Lending) Act, 2011, defines that no company should use any coercive methods or any mode of harassment on borrowers.

More than 80 suicide cases have been reported in the state due to harassment by the microfinance institutions due to bad recovery methods. Incidentally, the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) had also cancelled the registration of SKS Microfinance in Mahabubnagar district for allegedly not following rules.

Recently, insurance regulator Irda also slapped a penalty of R50 lakh on SKS, which collected extra funds, apart from the premium, as a corporate insurance agent without proper disclosure to policy holders.

Recently, the Andhra Pradesh HC division bench dismissed the petitions filed by SKS and other microlenders against the Andhra Pradesh Microfinance Institutions (Regulation of Money Lending) Act, 2011. The company then moved the apex court. Also, the SC asked the AP government not to take coercive steps against the company.





Sadik encounter case: Guj HC refuses bail to DySP

Last Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013, 23:26

Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court today rejected the bail plea of Deputy Superintendent of Police Tarun Barot, one of the accused in the 2003 Sadik Jamal encounter case.

Justice A S Dave, while rejecting the bail application, noted that CBI, in its charge sheet, had prima facie found Barot’s involvement in the case.

The charge sheet says that Barot went to Mumbai in January 2003 and brought Sadik to Gujarat before the alleged encounter, the court noted.

Co-accused and former Mumbai journalist Ketan Tirodakar, who had claimed that Sadik was not killed in encounter but was murdered, too had given a statement against Barot, the HC noted.

Earlier, special CBI court in January rejected Barot’s bail plea, noting that as per the central agency’s case, “prima facie Sadik was taken from Mumbai by DSP Tarun Barot on January 3, 2003 and Sadik was last seen with him before he was killed in cold blood”.

Barot was arrested by the CBI on September 26 last year. The CBI has also said that he was a part of the police team which carried out the encounter. He is facing charges under sections 302 (murder), 120(B)(criminal conspiracy), and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code.

Sadik Jamal, a resident of Bhavnagar, was killed in encounter by the Gujarat police in Ahmedabad on January 13, 2003.

Genuineness of the encounter came under a cloud after Tirodkar filed an affidavit before a Mumbai court saying that he was witness to Jamal being handed over to Gujarat police by “encounter specialist” officer Daya Nayak of Mumbai police.






Karnataka HC okays Wipro’s demerger plan; stock down

Wipro gained more than one percent in early trade on Friday after Karnataka High Court approved the demerger plan of the company, but the stock could not sustain its early gains.


At 09:49 hours IST, shares declined 0.64 percent to Rs 431.35 on Bombay Stock Exchange.


In a release sent to exchanges, Wipro said the “High Court of Karnataka has approved the Scheme of Arrangement for demerger of ‘diversified business’ of Wipro as provided in the Scheme”.


Last year in December, the country’s largest software firm Wipro had said its shareholders have approved the scheme of arrangement between Wipro (demerged company), Azim Premji Custodial Services Pvt Ltd (resulting company) and Wipro Trademarks Holding Ltd (trademark company).


The company had announced that it will demerge its non-IT businesses like Consumer Care & Lighting into a new company to focus exclusively on information technology.


Wipro will continue to remain a publicly listed company focusing exclusively on IT.


(With inputs from PTI)






Orissa HC orders eviction around Puri temple

Last Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013, 23:36

Cuttack: The Orissa High court today gave its stamp of approval to Shri Jagannath Temple Administration in demolishing all encroachments within 10 feet distance from the boundary wall of the 12th-century shrine to retain its majesty and splendour.

A division bench of Chief Justice C Nagappan and Justice Pradeep K Mohanty directed all the parties concerned to be present on March 29 at 11 am in the office of the chief administrator for measurement to be undertaken by the district administration to demolish the illegal structures.

With this order, the High Court’s stay on eviction drive around the temple imposed last year is now vacated.

The order said all illegal structures should be demolished within 15 days from March 29 and Archaeological Survey of India would complete all repair works of the Lion’s Gate (Singhadwar) of the temple within three months.

The HC also made it clear that no structure close to the wall should have height more than the boundary wall which stands five meters tall.

Following an earlier HC order, the temple authorities had issued notices to Pratihary Nijog (a body of major servitors) in March last year to demolish its office which was close to the boundary wall and stands taller than it.

The Pratihary Nijog moved the HC challenging the notice stating that its office was about 27 feet away from the boundary wall. The HC had then stayed the eviction drive.

During the adjudication of the petition, two HC judges had visited the temple to ascertain if there was any threat to the Lion’s Gate as perceived by many, including ASI.

Puri district collector had also in a report said the Lion’s Gate needed immediate repair as it posed a threat to the devotees visiting the temple.

The report also mentioned that the boundary wall became unsafe by pressure from the nearby Badachhata Mutt.

The collector had suggested immediate demolition of Pratihary Nijog office located between the gate and the mutt for safety reasons. Similar views were expressed by various other agencies.






Bombay HC’s poser to Maharashtra Police on vacancies

Last Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013, 20:

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Maharashtra Police whether it was geared to tackle the issue of vacancies that will be created due to retirements every year and suggested setting up of more training centres for the force.

A Division Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and AP Bhangale made the observation while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) highlighting large vacancies in police force.

“Every year there might be a percentage of police officers retiring from the force thus creating more vacancies. Are you (police) geared up to tackle this issue? You need to have more training centres so that the number of police personnel recruited after training is double than those retiring,” Justice Khanwilkar said.

Asked by the Bench as to how many police officers retire every year in the state, Additional Public Prosecutor Prajakta Shinde put the figure at 10 to 15 but this failed to convince the Judges.

“How can only 15 persons retire every year from a force with a strength of over two lakh. Ask some senior police officer to remain present on the next date,” the court said and posted the matter for further hearing on March 25.

The HC was informed two additional training centres will be set up soon and by December 2013 the number of posts lying vacant in the police department will come down to 4,900.

An affidavit filed last year by NM Shinde, Deputy Secretary, Home Department, stated that 26,985 posts of police officers were vacant in the state.






Seal polluting agarbathi units, says HC

Bangalore, March 21, 2013, dhns:

The High Court on Thursday directed the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to seal agarbathi units which have been disposing of chemicals into the drains and polluting the environment.

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice B V Nagarathna gave the order, hearing a petition by Suvarna and others, all residents of Adarshnagar in Chamarajpet, seeking that the polluting agarbathi units be closed down.

The petitioners submitted that the chemicals used in making agarbathis were harmful and would lead to several health problems. When the government counsel submitted that the chemicals used in agarbathis were not harmful, the bench objected to it and said, “Even the chemicals used in the kitchen are harmful, how can you say that?”

The bench was surprised when it found that neither the BBMP nor the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board had submitted the list of chemicals used in agarbathis, except imposing several conditions in the manufacturing process.




HC seeks details of plans for litigants security

Saeed Khan, TNN | Mar 21, 2013, 06.18 PM IST

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court has sought a report from the state police on its policy and preparedness for security of the litigants on the court campus. Earlier, Justice Anant Dave had asked the cops to come up with a report on its policy in regards with the security of the high court campus.

The court made these queries during the hearing of a bail application filed by suspended police inspector F M Kureshi, who was in charge of the HC campus’s security. He was arrested by the city crime branch on charges of planting a crude bomb near the court campus and then raising scare by making a show of detection.

Kureshi allegedly planted and recovered the bomb to gain sympathy anticipating that an army officer would level charges of sexual harassment against him. These details he revealed during interrogation over the army officer’s rape complaint. He was booked under the Explosives Act.

After he was granted bail in the alleged rape case by a sessions court, Kureshi moved the high court seeking bail in the plantation of explosives case. Justice Dave asked the city crime branch to come up with a report on the specifications of the bomb Kureshi had allegedly planted, said his counsel Hardik Buch.

The court has sought these details by April 1, when further hearing on Kureshi’s bail plea has been kept.





HC notice to Centre over road construction in Mundra

Saeed Khan, TNN | Mar 21, 2013, 06.25 PM IST

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre over a PIL objecting to laying down of a road in the Adani Port Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) in Mundra block in southern part of Kutch district.

Petitioner Sulaiman Turk has questioned the construction of 9.6 kilometre long road from the Adani group owned Mundra Port to the National Highway No 8A. He has alleged that the road is being planned on fertile land of local farmers in order to save private land of industrialists and influential people. He has demanded that the authorities should make their plans clear about the direction and line on which demolition and green felling would take place.

The PIL contends that in the line of cutting, many date palm trees will have to be chopped off and local farmers would face heavy loss. He also raised the issue of local shrine belonging to Ashaba Pir, which might be demolished for construction of this 10 metre wide road.

The petitioner has claimed that the shrine has got many devotees in this part, and its demolition would cause a problem. Hence in order to avoid demolition of this shrine and other religious places as well as in order to mitigate the possible loss to farmers, the authorities should be directed to re-think their plans for this road.

The bench of Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala has asked the union ministry of commerce and industry to come up with a reply in this regard within a week’s time.





Plea in HC to frame rules to rename Corporation roads

By Express News Service – KOCHI

22nd March 2013 10:29 AM

A petition has been filed before the Kerala High Court seeking a directive to the Kochi Corporation to frame guidelines and procedures for naming and renaming the streets and roads in the city.

The petition was filed by C D Thomas of Thopumpadi and another person.

The petitioners said that their houses were located on a road names Pallichal Road. On the night of March 2, the Corporation removed the board stating the road’s name and erected another board re-naming it as V S Krishnan Bhagavathar Road.

The petitioner submitted that there were other instances of abruptly renaming roads.

There  was a strong lobby engaged in the task, and huge sums of money changed hands in the course of the procedure, they alleged.

There were no set criteria or guidelines for naming roads or streets under the Corporation limits, the petitioners said.




Feed hospital names in GPS of PCR vans: HC to govt

Press Trust of India : New Delhi, Fri Mar 22 2013, 01:53 hrs

The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi government to feed the names of hospitals in the GPS systems of PCR vans so that policemen on duty are able to shift victims of rape and people injured in road accidents to nearby hospitals immediately.

“For effective implementation of our earlier order, the Information Technology department of Delhi government is directed to expedite the process to plot names and details of hospitals in the GPS of all PCR vans,” said a bench headed by Chief Justice D Murugesan.

The court also directed the Delhi Police to ensure within 24 hours that all PCR vans were supplied with the list of hospitals (zone-wise).

The counsel for Delhi Police assured that the zone-wise list of hospitals would be given to the PCR vans in the next 24 hours and once the names are plotted in the tracking units of PCR vans victims will be taken to the closest healthcare centre without any delay.

“… Without any further delay, details of the hospitals to be furnished to the PCR vans in 24 hours,” the bench, also comprising Justice V K Jain, said.

Meanwhile, Additional Solicitor General Rajeeve Mehra sought four week’s time for the Central government to consider the recommendations of Justice Usha Mehra committee, set up after December 16 gangrape, to make Delhi and NCR safer for women.

The bench fixed April 25 as the next date for hearing.

Taking suo motu cognisance of the December 16 gangrape of a 23-year-old paramedic student, the court had earlier directed the Delhi government to issue directions to all hospitals not to deny treatment to victims.

The court had taken exception to the act of police and other authorities for alleged delay in rushing the gangrape victim to a hospital, which was far away from where she had been dumped by her assailants.




Odisha to miss HC deadline on mine lease renewal

The state steel & mines department is set to miss the deadline stipulated by the Odisha High Court (HC) for disposing off pending applications for mine lease renewal.

In an interim order delivered on December 21 last year, the HC had instructed the state government to dispose off all applications for renewal of mining leases within three months.

“There is a huge volume of cases of mining lease renewal pending for disposal. These being quasi judicial matters, it is not feasible to dispose them off within three months. Hence, we have decided to request the HC to offer us some more time,” said a senior steel & mines department official.

As many as 323 mining lease applications are pending for renewal. Three officers of the steel & mines department were deployed to decide on renewal cases.

The HC had asked the state government to expedite renewal applications while hearing a petition filed by social activist Biswajit Mohanty, who prayed  for repeal of the Rule 24-A (6) of the Mineral Concession Rules (MCR)-1960 which allowed operation of mines under “deemed extension” clause in the event of delay in lease renewal.

The HC, however, declined to pass a stay order on the operation of the mines under deemed extension provision, saying it has to examine the constitutional validity of such an action.

The Odisha HC while admitting the PIL seeking repeal of controversial deemed extension clause of MCR-1960, had issued notices to the state and Union government for responses.

Under Section 24 A clause 6 of MCR, if a miner has applied for lease renewal a year before the lease expiry and the state government fails to expedite renewal applications within due date, then the miner will be considered to be operating the mine under extension of lease validity.

The petitioner said that many miners are operating under this provision with the connivance of state government officials and in some cases, the deemed extension period goes beyond 20 years after lease expiry.

Fifty miners were operating their leases under ‘deemed extension’. They include Tata Steel, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL), Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), Essel Mining & Industries Ltd (EMIL), Mid East Integrated Steel Ltd, Ferro Alloys Corporation (FACOR), Rungta Sons and KJS Ahluwalia to name a few.




Raj HC pulls up govt on pending cases, anomalies in medical recruitments

DNA | Mar 22, 2013, 04:29AM IST

Jaipur: There are 18 cases pending with the government on which decision is yet to be made if prosecution sanction will be given. This was informed to the court by government on Thursday while division bench of justice NK Jain (I) and Meena V Gomber was hearing a PIL filed by Poonam Chand Bhandari. Government also informed the court that from February 1 , 2013 till now five such cases have been disposed off and out of them prosecution sanction in three have been given while in two it has been denied.


Court ordered the government to update it with the status of all other cases and deferred the hearing in this matter for four weeks.


Moreover, the Rajasthan High Court has ordered the state government not to appoint ineligible candidates in the medical officer recruitment 2012. The Court has also issued notice to the medical director and recruitment coordinator of Rajasthan University of Health Sciences (RUHS) and sought their replies. Single bench of justice Manish Bhandari gave this order while hearing the petition of one Dr Chandan Singh and others. The petition has informed the Court that advertisement for the recruitment of medical officers on 1,000 posts was advertised last year. As per the rules till the final stage it is an essential eligibility to get registered with Rajasthan Medical Council. The candidates who did not complete internship till written examination on February 17, 2013 are ineligible. Still such candidates were being chosen which resulted in eligible candidates being denied selection.


Again, in the matter relating to film actor Irrfan Khan allegedly smoking in public place, the complainant has been ordered by the city’s chief judicial to appear in the court and get his statements recorded on April 9. The court gave this order while hearing the complaint of one Anand Singh.




Phone call interception: Delhi HC issues notice to Central government

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Central government on a plea seeking to declare a legal provision on interception of telephone calls as violative of citzens’ fundamental rights.

The plea contended that the action of the government authorities in tapping the telephones of various law-abiding citizens disregarded fundamental rights including right to privacy and were unconstitutional and illegal.

A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice V.K. Jain issued notices, returnable by May 22, to the department of telecommunications, the director general of ministry of communications and information and technology, and the home secretary.

The court’s direction came on a PIL alleging that the government machineries don’t comply with the existing guidelines, laid down by the Supreme Court, while issuing orders to intercept the telephones of individuals.

The plea filed through senior advocate S.K. Rungta said: “The orders for interception of telephones passed by the home ministry are always mechanical and stereotyped wherein one and all allegations in one bunch without applying the procedures laid by law are issued.”

The PIL sought an “order or direction declaring that Section 5 (2) of the Indian Telegraph Act is violative of the fundamental and statutory rights of the citizens, including their right of privacy…”

“And that the administrative action of governmental authorities in tapping the telephones of citizens, without adhering to the guidelines laid down by the apex court is also unconstitutional and invalid,” the PIL added..

Rungta said that under the act, the government can order for interception of phones after following two essential preconditions – occurrence of public emergency or in the interests of public safety.

“The action of telephone tapping affects citizens from all walks of life and it is neither convenient nor feasible nor possible for hundreds of affected persons, to individually approach this court for relief,” the plea said.

The petition citing the Supreme Court ruling on the issue said: “The apex court has laid down that right to privacy is an integral part of fundamental right to Life, and therefore it is imperative upon the legislature to suitably legislate to provide for constitutional safeguards against the arbitrary and indiscriminate exercise of power under Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, so as not to infringe upon the Fundamental Right to Life.”

After the Supreme Court ruling, Parliament ought to have amended the statutory provisions Section 5 (2) of the Act itself, it added.

HC notice to Collector, others on Sharmila plea

THURSDAY, 21 MARCH 2013 21:19


Madhya Pradesh High Court has issued notices to the authorities concerned on a petition filed by actress Sharmila Tagore and her family members demanding access to their 96-acre land in Bhopal which has been blocked by a footpath and its railings.

The notices were issued by a division bench of Chief Justice SA Bobade and Justice Rajendra Menon on Tuesday to Bhopal Collector, Lake Conservation Authority and Housing and Environment department on a petition filed by Sharmila Tagore, her son Saif Ali Khan and daughter Soha Ali Khan.

In the petition, it was alleged that following the construction of a VIP road and the footpath with railings by the authorities, access to their ancestral land situated along the road and facing Bhopal’s picturesque Upper Lake, had been blocked.

The land was registered in the name of Begum Sajida Sultan, mother of late Mansoor Ali Khan, also known as Nawab Pataudi, in the revenue records. After the death of Pataudi, his wife Sharmila and other family members were contesting the case.

Sharmila’s advocate Rajesh Pancholi said the bench had ordered the authorities concerned to reply to the notice within two weeks.

Earlier too, the family had filed a petition in the High Court demanding compensation for laying of VIP road on their land without legally acquiring it, following which the court directed the Collector to file a report in the matter. However, the Collector has not yet submitted his report, Pancholi claimed.





HC orders release of 73 prisoners

The Madras High Court today ordered release of 73 prisoners languishing in various prisons across Tamil Nadu even after having obtained bail, but unable to furnish surety.

Disposing off a petition, a Division Bench, comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M Venugopal directed their release on bail after a self executed bond before the court concerned.

The prisoners to be released are from Puzhal (26), Vellore (six), Tiruchirapalli (17), Tiruchirapalli (Women-three), Salem (seven), Coimbatore (one), Palayamkottai (six) and Madurai (seven).

P Senthil Kumar, in his petition prayed for a direction to the authorities concerned to take necessary action to release on bail the prisoners languishing in prisons in Tamil Nadu for a long time, without insisting on any surety.

A Bench on Dec 23, 2011, had directed DGP (Prisons) to get details of the accused, who despite being granted bail, were still languishing in prisons due to non-furnishing of sureties to the satisfaction of the court concerned.

Accordingly, a statement was filed stating that most bail orders granted by lower courts were not followed by prisons concerned and details of such prisoners was also filed.

Following another order passed by the court on Jan 8, 2013, Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority and SPs of all prisons submitted that there are about 163 prisoners languishing in jail, even after grant of bail.

The bench cited many Supreme Court judgements and said that considering the gravity of offences, it is ordering the release of 73 prisoners on bail after a self executed bond before the court concerned.




HC orders issue of notice to Govt on appeal by IPS officer

: Karnataka High Court today ordered issue of notice to the government on an appeal filed by former Additional Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) T Suneel Kumar challenging the order passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal vacating the stay on his transfer as IGP and Commandant of Anti-Naxal Force, Udupi.

Suneel Kumar in his appeal had sought a stay of the CAT order.

When the appeal came up before a division bench headed by Justice N Kumar, the court ordered issue of notice to the government.

The CAT yesterday disposed of the Original Application filed by Suneel Kumar challenging his transfer, vacating the stay granted earlier this month and directed the government to follow the procedure (pertaining to transfer of IPS officers) as per the Karnataka Police Amendment Act in “letter and spirit”.




Supply subsidised diesel: Kerala HC to oil companies

Express news service : Thiruvananthapuram, Fri Mar 22 2013, 01:58 hrs

In an interim order, the Kerala High Court on Thursday directed oil companies to supply diesel at subsidised price to Kerala State Transport Corporation, which has been buying fuel at higher prices since January.

The corporation had petitioned the High Court, taking a cue from Tamil Nadu, which had last week obtained a court directive to get diesel at market price.

Advocate-General K P Dandapani told the court that the government would meet the loss that the oil firms would incur from subsidised sale of diesel, subject to the court’s final decision. Subsequently, the HC asked the oil firms to supply diesel at subsidised rate.




HC rejects plea to quash FIR against Mohanty

21st March 2013 12:01 PM

In a major blow to former minister Raghunath Mohanty, the Orissa High Court on Wednesday rejected his plea for quashing the FIR lodged against him and his family members including son Rajashree by his daughter-in-law Barsa Swony Choudhury.

The single judge bench of Justice Raghubir Das observed that since prima facie ingredients of the offences alleged were available in the FIR, it was not inclined to entertain the petition. The court had concluded hearing on the petition on Tuesday.

Raghunath, his wife Pritilata, daughter Rupashree and son-in-law Subhendu Kumar Madhuala had filed the petition seeking quashing of the FIR lodged against them and son Rajashree by Barsa alleging dowry torture. Rajashree has been arrested by the Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) of State police and kept in judicial custody.

While moving the petition, the counsel appearing for Mohanty had submitted that the former minister and his wife used to reside at Bhubaneswar away from the daughter-in-law. His daughter and son-in-law also resided in another place. Therefore, the allegations made in the FIR were false and baseless.

Indicating other circumstances and the law on the issue, they had appealed to the court to quash the FIR. They had also appealed to the court to pass interim order directing the police not to take any coercive action against them, which was also rejected along with the main plea.

The Government advocate had argued that as the petitioners had also filed an application seeking anticipatory bail in the Court, there was no need to pass any interim order in this case.




Lawyer moves HC for sacking Mayor

By Express News Service – HYDERABAD

21st March 2013 11:07 AM

The High Court, on Wednesday, admitted a petition seeking to set aside the appointment of Majid Hussain as city mayor.

Petitioner Nisaruddin Ahmed Jeddy, an advocate sought a direction in the nature of “writ of quo warranto” against Majid Hussain. The matter would be heard by Justice Noushad Ali next week.

The petitioner submitted that he had recently approached the mayor’s office to make a representation on the deteriorating condition of the poor and those who have taken to begging at every nook and corner of the city to seek immediate action for their rehabilitation.

He submitted that mayor Majid Hussain had promised to eradicate begging in the city and rehabilitate the beggers. The mayor behaved in a high-handed manner and summoned ‘goondas’ to physically assault, the petitioner said.




No one can deny treatment to swine flu patients: HC

TNN | Mar 22, 2013, 03.05 AM IST

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court on Thursday asked the state government to find out which private hospitals deny treatment to swine flupatients. Justice Anant Dave even inquired what action can be taken against such hospitals for such gestures.

Earlier this week, TOI had reported that various private hospitals refuse to admit patients down with H1N1 virus. The high court did not seem content with the measures taken to contain spread of H1N1 virus and the treatment provided to the affected. The state government and the corporations like AMC have been asked to come up with further details on what “concrete actions” they are planning to take to contain the situation.

Justice Dave has initiated proceedings in this regard after the high court received half a dozen applications from prisons, by which prisoners sought temporary bail so that they could manage treatment for their family members suffering from dangerous diseases like swine flu and dengue. The court sought a report on what action the civic bodies and the government have taken to contain the diseases.

The report was submitted before the court on Thursday, in which the government stated that 63% of swine flu cases have been registered in urban areas governed by corporations. The government submitted that a committee has been formed to take measures to contain the spread of the disease, and preventive measures are being undertaken by the state machineries on war footings.

The state government also claimed that only 6.3% of total swine flu cases registered in India have been reported in Gujarat. This shows that the situation is quite under control in comparison with states like Tamil Nadu, where 42% swine flu cases of the country have been reported this year.

However, Justice Dave expressed dissatisfaction over the report and made oral observation that the government should take concrete steps to check the death toll that is increasing by day. The HC has asked the government to come up with action taken reports on each district. Further hearing is kept on March 26.



LEGAL NEWS 21.03.2013

Sanjay Dutt gets 5 years in jail in 1993 Mumbai blasts case

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | Mar 21, 2013, 11.55 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of actor Sanjay Dutt and has sentenced him to five years imprisonment. The actor has four weeks to surrender. The court said that the circumstances and nature of the offence was so serious that Dutt cannot be released on probation.

The apex court upheld the conviction of Sanjay Dutt under Arms Act in 1993 blasts case, but reduced the six year jail term given by TADA court to five years.

The apex court said it agreed with TADA court’s decision to acquit him of terror charges but offences under Arms Act were clearly made out for possessing and later destroying weapons of prohibited calibre.

Sanjay Dutt, who has already served nearly 18 months in jail, will now have to go to jail and serve the remaining term.

Dutt will not be able to shoot pictures during the remaining three and a half years of prison term, the apex court said.

The judgement was delivered by a bench of Justice PS Sathasivam and BS Chauhan. The judges only read out the excerpts of the voluminous judgement that lasted for one and a half hours.

Sanjay Dutt was sentenced to a jail term of six years for illegal possession of firearms acquired from terrorist acquaintances, who were responsible for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts on July 31, 2007.

He was granted bail by the apex court on November 27, 2007.

A total of 257 persons were killed and 713 others injured when a series 13 coordinated explosions shattered the metropolis on March 12, 1993.

The blasts occurred at 12 places including Bombay Stock Exchange building, Air-India Building at Nariman Point, at Worli opposite Century Bazaar, Hotels Sea Rock and Juhu Centaur.






1993 Mumbai serial blasts case: SC upholds death sentence of Yakub Memon, calls him mastermind of terror strike

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | Mar 21, 2013, 11.35 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursdayupheld the death sentence of Yakub Abdul Razzak Memon in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

The apex court said Yakub, younger brother ofTiger Memon, was the mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.

The Supreme Court commuted the death sentence of 10 other accused to life imprisonment.

The court observed that the other 10 accused were mere ‘arrows in the hands of archers in the shape of Yakub, Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim’.

The SC said though these 10 parked explosive laden vehicles at places in Mumbai, they were mere pawns and deserved life sentence.

The apex court severely criticized Pakistan for training and arming terrorists, who caused mayhem in Mumbai.

SC said Pakistan’s ISI was singularly responsible for training the accused and equipping them to cause the bomb blasts in Mumbai.

Islamabad owes an explanation not only to India but also to the entire world for the terror strike, the SC said condemning Pakistan’s role.

SC also severely criticized Mumbai police, custom department officials and coast guards for failing to check the transportation of sophisticated weapons and RDX into India.

Their greed and lack of honesty and integrity not only resulted in huge loss of lives but also caused a serious set back to India’s economy, the SC said.

The apex court awarded five years sentence to Yusuf Nulwala. The court allowed Samire Hingora to come out of prison as he had already served 6 and a half years, the sentence it imposed on him.

A bench of Justice PS Sathasivam and BS Chauhan read out in one and a half hours the excerpts of the vouminous judgement.

As many as 257 people were killed and 713 injured in the serial blasts that rocked 12 locations in Mumbai on March 12, 1993. Property worth Rs 30 crore was damaged in the terror strike.
The fishermen’s colony at Mahim Causeway, Bombay Stock Exchange, Zaveri Bazar, Plaza Cinema in Dadar, Century Bazaar in Worli, Hotel Sea Rock, Sahar Airport, Air India building, Hotel Juhu Centaur and a petrol pump opposite the Sena Bhavan were some of the places that were targeted.

According to the CBI, fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim, along with Pakistant’s ISI, engineered the blasts, and Tiger Memon and his brother Ayub were the main conspirators.

In 2007, a trial court held 100 people guilty while 23 were acquitted. Twelve people were sentenced to death, 20 to life and 68 were given various prison terms. Three of the convicts — one sentenced to death and two to life-died during the pendency of the appeal in the apex court, which held day-to-day hearings for 10 months before reserving its verdict in August 2012.





Naval guards issue: Bound by statute to obey Supreme Court order on Italian ambassador, govt says

Pradeep Thakur, TNN | Mar 21, 2013, 12.38 AM IST

NEW DELHI: Taking a tough stand on the Italian marines’ issue, the government has asserted that it was bound by the Supreme Court’s order placing curbs on the movement ofItalian ambassador to India, Daniele Mancini.

“Our constitutional mandate to abide by the apex court orders supersedes all other obligation,” law minister Ashwani Kumar told ToI in an interview. The assertion comes amid a raging debate over whether government will be violating its commitment under the Vienna Convention if it were to enforce apex court’s orders.

The Italian government had on Saturday told the ministry of external affairs that restricting Mancini’s movement at the behest of any Indian authority will be contrary to New Delhi’s commitments under the Vienna Convention: a stance that has been endorsed by both theEuropean Union (EU) and independent legal experts.

However, the law minister made it plain that the Indian government is duty bound under the Constitution to ensure and facilitate the implementation of the direction of the country’s apex court. “UnderArticle 144 of the Constitution all authorities, civil and judicial, in India must act in aid of the orders of the SC. This constitutional mandate must supersede all other obligation,” he added.

Kumar said that the government will make its position absolutely clear during the next hearing on the issue.

This tough stand of the government comes a day after Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had said that “no country will be allowed to take India for granted”.

While the tough stand is seen as a political imperative in view of opposition’s keenness to embarrass the government, it is certain to aggravate tensions with both Italy and the EU.

“For the moment I can say that the breach of undertaking given to SC by the Italian government through its ambassador has created an unprecedented situation fraught with serious consequences in our bilateral relations with Italy,” Kumar said.

He said the question of extent and nature of diplomatic immunity enjoyed by Italian ambassador under the Vienna Convention ought to be considered in context of specific factual situation. The law ministry and the treaties division of the ministry of external affairs are studying the issues involved and the stand of government in the SC will be a studied response to the situation considered in all its dimensions, he added.





Katara murder case: Court moved against decision to transfer convicts

IANS [ Updated 21 Mar 2013, 09:10:26 ]


New Delhi, March 21: The mother of the murdered youth Nitish Katara yesterday moved the Delhi High Court against the state government’s decision to transfer some convicts, including those sentenced for her son’s killing, for the Tihar jail here to prisons in their home states.

Katara, in her plea, said that as per media reports, the Delhi government’s home department has written a letter to home secretaries of states for transfer of convicts, lodged in Tihar Jail, to their own states. 

A letter was sent to the Harayana home secretary seeking transfer of 55 convicts in the teachers’ recruitment scam to a jail in their state, and a similar letter was written to Uttar Pradesh home secretary for Vikas and Vishal Yadav, serving life sentence in Tihar for killing Katara.

The Delhi government made the requests to the two states on recommendation of the Tihar Jail authorities, the reports said, to cut the number of inmates in the “overcrowded” jail.

Katara sought the court’s direction to call for a report from the Tihar Jail authorities and the office of the home secretary and pass appropriate order if decision was taken on this issue.

It was pleaded that the Supreme Court had transferred the Nitish Katara murder case from Ghaziabad to Delhi on the grounds that Vikas Yadav’s father D.P. Yadav is a very influential person and there is an immense threat to the witnesses.

She further said that high court is hearing the appeal filed by both convicts against the trial court order that awarded life term to them, as well as the appeal by police seeking enhancement of sentence.

Vikas and Vishal killed Katara on the night of Feb 17, 2002 after abducting him from a marriage party in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad.

The trial court sentenced Vikas and Vishal to life imprisonment in May 2008.

PIL filed on Sahara advertisement ‘denigrating’ SEBI–PIL-filed-on-Sahara-advertisement-denigrating-SEBI-.html

Uttar Pradesh,Business/Economy,Immigration/Law/Rights, Wed, 20 Mar 2013IANS

Lucknow, March 20 (IANS) A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Wednesday alleging a print advertisement given by the Sahara Group was “openly denigrating” market regulator SEBI.

The PIL was filed by senior police official Amitabh Thakur and his social activist wife Nutan Thakur.

“The full-page advertisement dated March 17, issued by the Sahara India Parivar and Subrata Roy Sahara is against the provisions of law as it accuses SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India), which is a statutory body established to safeguard the interests of investors and to act as the Market Regulator,” Thakur told IANS.

The advertisement, he said, has also criticised Justice (retd.) B.N. Agarwal’s conduct. The retired Supreme Court judge was appointed by the apex court to oversee its order to two Sahara Group companies for refund of investors’ money was obeyed.

“Both SEBI and Justice Agarwal are only performing their official duty, the matter is still sub-judice before the Supreme Court and hence these people could have presented their grievance there,” the petitioner pleaded.

“The act of criticizing SEBI through an advertisement prima-facie seems to be a criminal misconduct under sections 186 and 189 of IPC and provisions of Companies Act, 1956,” the PIL says.

The petitioners have also sought a complete ban on all advertisements where any constitutional or statutory bodies are criticised.

The PIL is expected to be heard March 22 by the bench of Chief Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice D.K. Arora.

PIL on India role in ‘genocide’ LEGAL CORRESPONDENT
New Delhi, March 20: A PIL was today filed in the Supreme Court seeking a CBI inquiry into the alleged role of the Indian government in “collaborating” with the Sri Lankan security forces in the “genocide”of 40,000 Tamil civilians in the final phase of the war against the LTTE.The petition filed by a Singapore-based Sri Lankan Tamil, A. Kanesalingam, claimed that the alleged Indian collaboration had been clearly mentioned in the findings of a “panel of experts” appointed by the UN secretary general in fixing the accountability for the “genocide.”

Kanesalingam said he is a practising lawyer in Singapore and had been rendering humanitarian service to the Tamils affected by the armed conflict during the past 29 years.

The petitioner said under Sections 3 and 4 of the IPC a person residing in India who commits a crime outside the country can be charged and tried in India.

“The CBI is under a duty to investigate any complaint that there was collaboration between the two governments in a war which had mass killings of civilians,” the petition said, adding that the panel had found that there was evidence that 40,000 Tamil civilians were intentionally targeted and killed by the Sri Lankan armed forces.

PIL For Ban on Junk Food in Schools: HC Seeks Govt Reply

NEW DELHI | MAR 20, 2013

The Delhi High Court today asked the city government if it had issued any direction to schools on regulating sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around their premises even as the Centre said it would come up with guidelines on the issue by July.

Issuing notice to Delhi government on a PIL seeking ban on sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around schools, a division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain sought its response by April 17.

“We want to know whether the Delhi government has issued directions to the schools here regarding sale of junk food and carbonated drinks under the Delhi Education Act,” the bench said.

Meanwhile, Additional Solicitor General(ASG) Rajeeve Mehra told the bench that the central government would finalise the guidelines by July this year to regulate the availability of junk foods and carbonated drinks within 500 yards of a school.

Earlier, the government had informed the court that the task of framing guidelines on making available quality and safe food in the schools has been assigned to AC Nielsen QRG-MARG Pvt Ltd.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said that in pursuance of the court’s earlier order, it has given the task to formulate the guidelines to the private firm after inviting proposals from various expert agencies who do similar work.

The report had stressed the need for guidelines saying besides the students studying in public schools, there are more than twelve crore children studying in government-run primary and upper primary schools in the country.

“There are several reported incidents of food poisoning in the schools due to unhygienic food served there,” it said adding that hence, it necessitated the framing of guidelines.

In January last year, the court had given six months’ time to FSSAI for framing guidelines on banning sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around educational institutions in the country.

The court had also asked the FSSAI to consult the All India Food Processors Association (AIFPA) and restaurant associations for framing the guidelines.

AIFPA, in its application, had said that it deals with processing of fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, milk and milk products and also the manufacturers of biscuits and confectionery products and may give some precious pieces of advice to the FSSAI.

The court was hearing the PIL filed by Rakesh Prabhakar, a lawyer for NGO ‘Uday Foundation’ seeking a direction banning sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around schools.

PIL Seeks Centre’s Reply on Phone Tapping Provision

NEW DELHI | MAR 20, 2013

The Centre was today asked by the Delhi High Court to respond to a PIL seeking scrapping of legal provision on interception of telephone calls, contending its “indiscriminate” use was violative of fundamental rights.

The petition also sought a court-monitored probe into alleged “rampant” illegal tapping of phones in violation of Supreme Court guidelines.

Issuing notices to the Ministry of Telecommunication, the Director General of Ministry of Communication and Information and Technology and Secretary of Home Ministry, a division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain sought their replies by May 22.

The court was hearing a PIL, filed through Advocate S K Rungta, which alleged that the government machineries don’t comply with the existing guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court while issuing orders to intercept the telephones of individuals.

“The orders for interception of telephones passed by the Home Ministry are always mechanical and stereotype wherein one and all allegations in one bunch without applying the procedures laid by law are issued,” the PIL said.

“Order or direction declaring that Section 5 (2) of the Indian Telegraph Act is violative of the fundamental and statutory rights of the citizens, including their right of privacy…. And that the administrative action of governmental authorities in tapping the telephones of citizens, without adhering to the guidelines laid down by the Apex Court is also unconstitutional and invalid,” as per the PIL.

The plea also said, “pass an order to prevent the use of indiscriminate telephone tapping by the government machinery illegally – resulting in the violation of the fundamental rights of the citizens as guaranteed under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.”

The petition alleged that the action of government authorities in tapping the telephones of various law abiding citizens, disregarding the fundamental rights including right to privacy and disregarding the constitutional mandate is “unconstitutional and illegal”.

The petitioner said under the Act, the government can order for interception of phones after following two essential preconditions — occurrence of public emergency or in the interest of public safety.

The PIL contended saying “the action of telephone tapping affects citizens from all walks of life and it is neither convenient nor feasible nor possible for hundreds of affected persons, to individually approach this court for relief.”

Citing the Supreme Court ruling on the issue, the petitioner said “the apex court has laid down that right to privacy is an integral part of fundamental right to Life, and therefore it is imperative upon the legislature to suitably legislate to provide for constitutional safeguards against the arbitrary and indiscriminate exercise of power under Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, so as not to infringe upon the Fundamental Right to Life.”

The petitioner said after the Supreme Court ruling, the Parliament ought to have amended the statutory provisions Section 5 (2) of the Act itself.

20 MAR, 2013, 08.11PM IST,

CCI clears RIL’s block for oil, gas production

CCI on Wednesday cleared Reliance Industries’ producing KG-D6 block and gas discovery area NEC-25.

NEW DELHI: In its first decision, the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) today cleared Reliance Industries’ producing KG-D6 block and gas discovery area NEC-25 along with 3 other areas where the Defence Ministry had either barred oil and gas activity or put stringent conditions on that.

In all, 8 blocks including RIL’s Krishna Godavari basin KG-D6 block and gas discovery area of NEC-25 in the North East Coast (NEC) region, were declared “No-Go” zones for reasons like overlapping with proposed Naval base or being close to missile launching and Air Force exercise area.

Stringent conditions were put for another 31 exploration areas.

The CCI, which had in January-end asked the miniteries of petroleum and defence to sort out differences, cleared five of the “No-Go” blocks, official sources said. Three blocks will continue to be No-Go areas.

RIL’s KG-D6, which has been producing oil since September 2008 and gas from April 2009, was fully cleared for oil and gas activity with total area of 7,645 sq km reduced by 495 sq km to meet defence needs.

Similarly, its NEC-OSN-97/2, where six gas finds have so far been made, cleared after the portion of the block nearest to the coast was relinquished and the remaining portion was found to be beyond 100 km from the Chandipur Missle launch of DRDO and Balasore air-to-air firing range of IAF.

RIL’s KG-OSN-2001/1 was also cleared but the block had already been relinquished by the operator, sources said.

However, state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp’s (ONGC) KG basin blocks KG-OSN-2005/1 and KG-OSN-2005/2 and BG Group’s KG-DWN-2009/1 would remain “No-Go” areas as they fall directly within the boundary of the proposed naval base.

The CCI decided that the Oil Ministry will take steps for termination of the contract.

For Cairn India’s KG-OSN-2009/3 and ONGC’s KG-OSN-2009/4 blocks, only a small portion was cleared as the rest was within the impact zone of IAF’s Suryalanka Guided Weapon Firing Range(GWFR) and Machhlipatnam launch site.

Sources said, of the 31 blocks with stringent conditions, 15 where DRDO clearance was needed, were cleared with some conditions. 17 blocks for which Navy had given conditional clearance earlier have now been cleared by Navy without any conditions.

Further, out of the 11 blocks which were conditionally cleared by IAF earlier, five areas have completely been cleared and one block cleared with a 10 per cent reduction in area. The remaining five blocks have been cleared fully for exploration up to 2016 in portions overlapping with defence facilities.

Bank seeks to impound passports of DCHL honchos

TNN | Mar 21, 2013, 02.01 AM IST

HYDERABAD: YES Bank, which has been waging a legal battle to recover Rs 126 crore dues from Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd (DCHL) at the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT), Hyderabad, has now filed a petition urging the tribunal to impound the passports of DCHL chairman T Venkatram Reddy, directors Vinayak Ravi Reddy, P K Iyer and others to prevent them from leaving the country.

Interestingly, the bank has cited an October 2011 judgment of the Madras High Court that ruled that DRTs had the power to impound passports of defaulters. The bank brought to the notice of the DRT an order of a division bench of the high court comprising Justice D Murugesan and Justice K K Sasidharan that dealt with a petition filed by ICICI Bank, which had lent Rs 222 crore to Subhiksha Trading Services Limited. When the company did not repay the loan, the high court upheld the DRT’s powers to impound the passport of its promoter and said that the powers conferred on the DRT to pass interim orders in matters before them have a wider scope. YES bank is now urging the Hyderabad DRT to use its power under section 19(25) of the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act (RDDBFIA) which confers on it the power to impound passports.

According to Yes Bank’s main petition, the bank had lent Rs 194 crore to DCHL in 2010 for meeting its financial requirements connected to the conduct of IPL-4 and IPL-5. DCHL is yet to pay an amount of Rs 126 crore to it, the bank said. Due to violations in the payment schedule and the unfolding financial fiasco in which DCHL is now embroiled, the bank recalled its loan on November 30 last year and sought repayment of the outstanding amount. Now, the bank has moved an additional application seeking impounding of the passports of DCHL honchos. The DRT posted the hearing in the case to March 28.

In another interesting development, the DRT attached the logo and trademarks of Deccan Chronicle, Asian Age, Financial Chronicle and Andhra Bhoomi newspapers and several other intangible assets of Deccan Chronicle, Odyssey and Deccan Chargers. The order to this effect was passed on March 18 after hearing the plea of Kotak Mahindra Bank which had lent Rs 100 crore to DCHL. The bank claimed the first charge over these assets and wanted the tribunal to restrain the IDBI from unilaterally auctioning them.

K R Raman of Tatva legal services, who is arguing the case of Kotak Mahindra Bank, told the tribunal that they will be put to irreparable loss if the auction is allowed to be conducted without them in the picture. IDBI trusteeship services too had launched a separate winding-up petition in the AP High Court against DCHL, aggrieved by the non redemption of Rs 100 crore to two of its customers, HDFC Bank and HDFC Ltd, which had bought non-convertible debentures of DCHL through IDBI.

When IDBI was planning to auction DCHL assets that were mortgaged to it, Kotak Mahindra bank moved this petition to restrain them from going ahead without taking its interests into consideration.

Court dismisses former Odisha law minister’s plea

Bhubaneswar, March 21, 2013 (IANS)

The Odisha High Court has dismissed the petition of former Odisha law minister Raghunath Mohanty seeking quashing of the first information report (FIR) registered against him and his family, alleging torture of his daughter-in-law for dowry.

Justice Raghubir Das, single-bench judge of the high court at Cuttack, about 26 km from here, completed hearing the petition Tuesday, but had reserved the order.

The judge pronounced his verdict Wednesday, a defence lawyer told IANS.
Mohanty had also applied for interim protection for his family and himself against possible police action. The court refused to grant any interim protection, the lawyer  added.

Mohanty, five-time legislator from Basta constituency in Balasore district, has remained incommunicado ever since he resigned from the state cabinet March 15, a day after his daughter-in-law accused him of torturing her for dowry.

Mohanty was holding the portfolios of urban development, law, and information technology.

In her complaint at the police station in the district headquarters town of Balasore, about 220 km from here, the victim Barsa Swony Choudhury, who holds a Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech) degree, March 14 alleged that she was tortured by her husband Raja Shree, both physically and mentally, ever since she married him June 2012.

She also alleged that her father-in-law Raghunath, mother-in-law Pritilata, sister-in-law Rupashree and other family member were also involved in the crime.

She claimed that her parents had given Rs.10 lakh at the time of the marriage, as was demanded, but her husband and family-in-law were unhappy and insisted that her parents pay Rs.25 lakh and also offer a multi-utility vehicle.

After a public outcry and protests by angry opposition parties, police Sunday arrested Raja Shree Mohanty, 28, and remanded him to 14-day judicial custody a day later, after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected.

His lawyer Gouri Kumar Barik said a fresh petition was filed in the district and session court and the hearing is expected Thursday.

The Odisha High Court has not yet taken up for hearing the anticipatory bail plea of Mohanty and his family members, the lawyer said.

Committee recommends amendments to AFT Act

New Delhi, Mar 20, 2013, Agencies:

In its report to parliament on Wednesday, the Standing Committee on Defence said that the defence ministry needs to amend the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007.

The committee said in the report that defence ministry has felt the need to amend the Act to provide the tribunal with stability and confer powers of civil contempt, jurisdiction and authority in respect of civil contempt as a high court.

The standing committee backed the proposal in the Armed Forces Tribunal (Amendment) Bill to increase the term of office of the tribunal’s chairperson and has asked the ministry to change provisions for giving civil contempt powers to the tribunal
for serving and retired defence personnel.

The report on “The Armed Forces Tribunal (Amendment) Bill, 2012,” said that views of all major stakeholders were in favour of increasing tenure of chairperson or member from four to five years and raising the age of judicial members from 65 to 67 years.

On the proposal to give civil contempt powers to the tribunal, the committee said “dichotomous views” had been expressed by major stakeholders.

“The committee is of the view that if unfettered civil contempt powers are bestowed on AFTs (Armed Forces Tribunal), the discipline would be compromised to a great extent,” the report said.

“Hence, the committee is inclined to give civil contempt powers to AFTs with regard to the cases of retired defence personnel but conferment of such powers with regard to serving defence personnel is not acceptable till the justice delivery system through AFTs is stabilised,” the committee said. The committee said no serving defence officer should be made to appear before the tribunal for civil contempt.

It asked the armed forces to develop a strong grievance redress system. The committee recommend that civil contempt powers proposed to be given to the tribunal shall be applicable to defence ministry and all other civilian organisations apart from retired defence personnel.

HC seeks report on security of litigants on its campus

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Thu Mar 21 2013, 02:39 hrs

The Gujarat High Court (HC) Wednesday asked Gujarat police on its preparedness to make sure the safety of litigants on its campus. The court did so while hearing a bail petition of suspended police inspector F M Qureshi who was arrested by Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) for allegedly planting crude bombs near the HC, raising scare and then “recovering” them to gain sympathy.

Qureshi was security in-charge of the HC when he was arrested by police in connection with an alleged rape case. During investigation, DCB officials discovered that Qureshi had planted the bombs near the HC and raised a scare and later he himself found the same.

He has been granted bail by a Sessions Court in the alleged rape case and has presently moved bail petition in the case where he has been arrested for planting the crude bombs.

During the hearing of his petition, Justice Anant Dave Wednesday asked police to submit a report on its preparedness to make sure safety of litigants at the HC campus. The court also asked DCB to submit a report on the details of the bombs that were planted and “recovered” by Qureshi.

The court reportedly also observed that it does not want a situation like the Delhi High Court when blasts took place at its gate. Further hearing in the matter has been posted for April 1.

Racy Bollywood leading youth astray, says HC

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 20, 2013

Bollywood films are way too racy and if stricter censorship doesn’t kick in, there is a danger of children and youth going astray, the Delhi high court has said.

Hearing a public interest litigation for a ban on Saif Ali Khan-starrer Race 2 for “nude scenes and vulgar dialogues”,

the court on Wednesday said the need was all the more urgent as most films were on television within days of release. They were being broadcast without any editing for family viewing.

“You only think about your business and how to make more money. Now, you are also taking everything into the drawing room,” a bench headed by chief justice D Murugesan told the lawyer representing the film’s producer. “You’re teaching indiscipline to the children and youth. There has to be some mechanism in place for tougher censorship.”

The Centre should have the power to review certification given to a film by the Censor Board of Film Certification in case of complaints from the public, it said. The case will now be heard on March 22.

HC describes PIL as ‘motivated ‘, imposes cost of Rs 25,000

Mumbai, Mar 21 , 2013 (PTI)

Describing a PIL against police as “misconceived, motivated and not in public interest”, the Bombay High Court has dismissed it and imposed costs of Rs 25,000 on the petitioners, Prajashathak Samajik Seva Sanstha.

The PIL alleged that Kolhapur Police was “illegally collecting funds from people by coercive methods”.

Interestingly, this is the second time that fine of Rs 25,000 has been imposed on the petitioner on the same issue as it had filed a similar PIL earlier which was also dismissed.

The Maharashtra government opposed the PIL saying the petitioners had filed a similar PIL in 2010 which was dismissed by the Bombay High Court and also fined Rs 25,000 for filing “motivated” PIL.

The matter went up to the Supreme Court which also confirmed the High Court order and refused to entertain the PIL, the government informed the bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and A P Bhangale last week.

Hearing the government’s plea, the court noted that the petitioners, in the current PIL, had not disclosed that they had filed a similar PIL earlier and that costs of Rs 25,000 were imposed. Instead of disclosing material facts, they filed a PIL on the same issue again, the Judges noted.

There is substance in the grievance of respondents that the petition does not constitute a bonafide invocation of the jurisdiction of this Court in public interest, they said.

In the earlier PIL filed on March 19, 2010, even before it could come up for admission, the petitioner issued a press note mentioning that the Court had taken serious note of the issue raised in the petition. Accordingly, diverse reports were published in media about the contents of the petition.

The Judges had then noted “false statement has been recorded in the press release that the High Court had taken a serious note of the issue. At that stage, save and except for directing that the petition would come up for hearing on April 1, 2010, there was no such order of the bench.

“The petition is therefore not a bonafide attempt at ventilating a genuine grievance in public interest”.

The Court had also observed that “the attempt of the petitioner is to obtain publicity for itself and to malign the officers of the Police Department at Kolhapur. This Court must strongly deprecate the misuse of its jurisdiction by litigants such as the petitioner in aid of collateral ends”.

Accordingly, the PIL was disposed of and costs of Rs 25,000 were imposed.
Hearing the current PIL, the judges noted that the petitioner had failed to disclose the fact that they had filed a similar PIL earlier in which costs were imposed after it was dismissed.

S N Patil, Assistant Government Pleader, invited the attention of the Court to a document filed by the petitioner with a description that it is a copy of the synopsis of the work done by the Sanstha and/or contribution of the Sanstha to the public welfare at large.
“However, on perusal of the said document, we are in agreement with the submission of the respondents that it is finding fault with the opinion recorded by this Court in the earlier PIL and which was confirmed right up to the Apex Court,” the Judges, hearing the current PIL, noted.

Counsel for the petitioners, Manoj Patil, submitted that the said document is part of the Special Leave Petition filed before the Apex Court.

The Judges, however, noted “the fact remains that this Court has already declined to entertain PIL at the instance of these petitioners because of their conduct.

For the same reason and for additional reason of non-disclosure of those material facts in the present PIL, which came to be filed much later, on October 14, 2011, we have no hesitation in taking the view that the petitioners have not approached this Court with clean hands.”

Even the present petition ought to be dismissed as motivated and filed by persons unworthy of pursuing PIL. Hence it is hereby dismissed and costs of Rs 25,000 imposed on petitioners,” the judges said.

HC to hear PIL seeking AIIMS in Gorakhpur instead of Rae Bareli

Prashant Pandey : Allahabad, Thu Mar 21 2013, 03:19 hrs

The Allahabad High Court has agreed to hear a public interest litigation demanding that the setting up of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Rae Bareli be stopped. The PIL also demands that such an institute be set up in Gorakhpur first.

The court said it would hear the plea along with four other pending PILs regarding AIIMS institutions in cities like Gorakhpur and Allahabad.

Hearing the PIL on Tuesday, a division bench of Chief Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice Dilip Gupta said, “Ordinarily, we are not inclined to add another PIL when one matter is pending consideration of the court. Learned counsel for the petitioner, however, submitted that in this PIL there is a different stand to the effect that setting up of All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Rae Bareli be stopped.”

It added, “Prima facie such negative prayer when the state is expected to set up such premier health institutions at maximum places does not appeal to us. However, let this writ petition be attached with. four matters pending from before.”

The court also said that it expected the Additional Solicitor General of India to represent the Union of India in these matters. The matter may come up for hearing again after three weeks, though the court has not yet fixed a specific date.

The PIL was filed by Jata Shanker Tripathi, a resident of Gorakhpur and activist, through counsels Siddhartha Verma and Hemant Kumar Dubey.

HC issues contempt notice to PSPCL

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, March 20, 2013

Last Updated: 19:13 IST(20/3/2013)

Taking up a contempt of court petition filed by a Nayagaon resident that Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) was not issuing electricity connections to many nagar panchayat residents despite HC direction, the Punjab and Haryana high court has issued notice of motion to the corporation.

The petition filed by Suresh Kumar of Kamao Colony in Nayagaon came up for hearing before the court headed by justice Rajesh Bindal, which directed the PSPCL to file its reply by the first week of May.

The petitioner informed the court that he along with other petitioners had earlier approached the court on the issue, wherein the high court by its order dated January 30 directed PSPCL “to provide temporary electricity connections to them subject to their fulfilling procedural requirements.”

But, the petitioner claimed, despite supply of a copy of the high court order, the corporation chose to willfully delay the matter which amounts to contempt of court.

The court was told that the petitioner had applied for the electricity connection in July 2012 but the officials were harassing him.

What HC order says?
Earlier, the high court order had said that after completion of paper formalities and deposit of the prescribed charges, the authority concerned shall sanction release of temporary electricity connection in favour of the petitioners within seven days. Within the next 15 days, electricity should be provided to the petitioners who shall have to pay charges for the power consumed as per the tariff prescribed by the competent authority.

The HC had made it clear that providing temporary electricity connections “shall not create any right for the petitioner(s)/applicant(s) either in the matter of regularisation of the construction raised by them or for grant of permanent electricity connection.”

Why electricity not provided?
The PSPCL was not providing electricity connections to the applicants on the ground that the high court orders dated May 28, 2012, had put a stay on the construction activity in Nayagaon. Thus, it argued, all activities, including supply of electricity, had been banned. The court was told that due to illegal constructions in the area, the high court had imposed the ban.

But, the high court in its orders of January 30 made it clear that there was no stay by the HC on supply of electricity to the applicants.

Requirement of NOC
The petitioner told the court that PSPCL authorities were asking for a no-objection certificate (NOC) from Nayagaon nagar panchayat. The panchayat counsel earlier told the HC that even the local body had written to the PSPCL in July 2012 that NOC was not required for the grant of temporary electricity connections for those residing in its jurisdiction and the connection was required to be issued at the PSPCL level.

HC hauls up lawyer for making allegations against judge

Vaibhav Ganjapure, TNN | Mar 21, 2013, 07.31 AM IST

NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Wednesday made it clear that judges and lawyers are not superior or inferior to each other, but are same in the court of law. The court’s stern observation came while giving a dressing down to lawyer Arvind Waghmare, who had levelled serious allegations against a sitting high court judge and a lawyer. Waghmare was charged with contempt of court by the judges, but then let off when he tendered an unconditional apology.

A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Gavai and Prasanna Varale blasted the lawyer for making mala fide and scandalous allegations in a petition filed on behalf of his father Krushanji Waghmare. The petition was dismissed subsequently.

While issuing contempt notice to him amid high drama, the court warned him to withdraw the allegations that cast series aspersions against a sitting judge. He was asked why action shouldn’t be initiated against him, and told to be present in court after lunch hour. Even Waghmare had dared the court to issue a notice to him.

However, when the court resumed work post-lunch, Waghmare looked subdued, with his hands folded. The entire courtroom was packed with lawyers, court officials and visitors, standing even outside the room, to listen to the verdict.

The court began by sternly asking Bar Council of India memberShashank Choubey, who was assisting Waghmare in the contempt proceedings, to tell him to come in proper dress code. Waghmare wore his black gown and tendered an unconditional apology to the judges. He said that certain wordings were used inadvertently and out of emotions; it was not done with a mala fide intention. He added that he would be careful in the future, and also agreed to withdraw all offending words.

The court directed him to read out a Supreme Court judgment of 1955 in the case of Shariff versus Nagpur judges, while warning him of sentencing him to jail for six months for contempt. “This judgment of constitutional bench clearly states that lawyer’s duty is to advice the client and not to allow such allegations,” Justice Gavai said.

Further explaining the role of lawyers, the court said that their duty is first towards the court. “The judges and lawyers are part of an administration of justice where no one is superior. The judges are not in a position to explain to the litigants what is right or wrong and hence it’s the duty of lawyers to guide them properly. If the lawyers themselves indulge in such malicious, scandalous and unwarranted allegations, then it will adversely affect the faith of litigants in the judiciary,” Justice Gavai pointed out.

The court accepted Waghmare’s apology and warned him of not to draft a case on emotions or solely as per the client’s wishes. “We don’t decide cases of lawyers but of litigants, and don’t care who the lawyer is,” the court said.

HC issues contempt notice to Delhi govt officer

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 22:27

New Delhi: An incensed Delhi High Court today came down heavily on a senior officer dealing with night shelters in the city and issued contempt notice against him saying he has attempted to “interfere in administration of justice.”

A bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain refused to accept the apology of A K Sharma, Director of night shelter in Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, who earned the court’s ire for writing a letter to an NGO, which has raised the issue of conditions of night shelters before the court, asking it for information on how payment is being made to its advocate and other details.

“How many nights did you spend in the night shelters. Go and spend nights on roads in the winter then you will know the real situation. Sleeping in AC room, you cannot feel the plight of poor…. He has to face action now. He has to lose his job,” the court said lashing out at the official.

Issuing show-cause notice to Sharma, who was present in the court to attend the PIL relating to city’s night shelters, the bench sought his reply by April 10.

“When the court has taken suo motu cognisance of the matter and case is still pending with it, in what capacity he wrote the letter to the NGO,” the bench also said.

“In our opinion it is a clear case of interference in the administration of justice. We know hat is happening in the night shelters. He has to explain why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against him,” the bench also said.

Senior advocate Jayant Bhushan appearing for the NGO told the court that Sharma had on February 14 written the letter to the NGO asking it to explain how payment is being made to its advocate, adding that if information is not provided it will be presumed that advocate is being paid “unsystematically”.

To this submission, the bench asked Sharma why he wrote the letter to the NGO when the court is monitoring the case. “This court is monitoring very few cases because of the importance of the case… When we are monitoring the case why do you want the details ? We permitted the advocate to argue the matter, than how could you question his (lawyer’s) presence in the case,” the court asked Sharma.

Meanwhile, Delhi government standing counsel Najmi Waziri said that his conduct of the officer is “shocking”.

Sharma in his letter to the NGO, which is fighting case in the High Court for proving night shelters to the poor homeless people, said, “An advocate is appearing in the court on every date on behalf of Shahari Adhikari Manch. The payment of fee might have also been made either through cash or cheque and from the account of this organisation.

“This information may also be provided. In absence of the information, it shall be presumed that payment of fee to the advocate is being paid unsystematically by this organisation.”

Sharma’s letter further stated that the organisation is also providing some books, documents and other information through printing material from source of black money, adding that the information will be forwarded to appropriate authority for action in case the NGO do not reply.

It also sought name of the chairman of the executive committee, registration number of organisation.

The court had earlier taken suo motu cognisance of a media report about the demolition of night shelters set up by the NGO in December 2010 and the civic bodies doing nothing to protect the homeless from the cold.


HC notice to Bhopal admin over Pataudi family’s petition

Jabalpur, March 20, 2013

Madhya Pradesh high court has issued notices to the concerned authorities on a petition by actress Sharmila Tagore and her family members demanding access to their 96-acre land in Bhopal after the construction of a footpath with railings which is blocking the route.
The notices were issued by the division bench of Chief Justice SA Bobade and Justice Rajendra Menon on Tuesday to Bhopal collector, Lake Conservation Authority and Housing and Environment Department on a petition filed by Sharmila Tagore, her son Saif Ali Khan and daughter Soha Ali Khan.

The petitioners alleged that following the construction of a VIP road and the footpath with railings by the concerned authorities, access to their ancestral land situated alongside the road and facing Bhopal’s picturesque Upper Lake was blocked.

The land was registered in the name of Begum Sajida Sultan, mother of late Mansoor Ali Khan, famously known as Nawab Pataudi, in the revenue records.

After the death of Pataudi, his wife Sharmila and other family members were contesting the case.

Sharmila’s advocate Rajesh Pancholi said the bench has ordered the concerned authorities to reply to the notice within two weeks.

Earlier also, the family had filed a petition in the high court demanding compensation for constructing VIP road on their land without legally acquiring it following which the court directed the collector to file a report in the matter.

However, the collector has not yet given its report in the matter, Pancholi claimed.

HC seeks status report on PIL for release of grants to widows, destitute

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 21:49

New Delhi: The city government was today directed by the Delhi High Court to respond to a PIL seeking directions for release of pension for widows, divorced or destitute women as their pleas have been pending for past several months.

The court also asked the concerned department to file a status report on it by the next date of hearing.

A division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain sought a response from Delhi government’s Department of Women and Child Development and also asked it to file a detailed status report within two months.

“We direct the Department of Women and Child Development to file a detailed status report explaining the number of applications received by it seeking pension, how many applications has been rejected by it and also the reason of rejection,” the bench said.

The court fixed May 29 for further hearing of the matter.

The PIL, filed by Delhi Anusuchit Jati Vikas Sangathan, a registered society, said that to provide social security, Delhi government had started pension schemes for widows and also the grants by way of financial assistance to perform marriage of their daughters.

However, needy women were not able to get the benefits under various schemes on time and their applications have been pending with the department for months.


HC seeks report on liquor shops in City

Bangalore, March 20, 2013, DHNS:

The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday directed the State government to conduct an inquiry and file a report on issuing licences indiscriminately for liquor shops/bars and restaurants across the City.

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice B V Nagarathna has taken up a suo motu petition following a letter to the Chief Justice by Raja Rao, senior citizen and a resident of Bangalore.

In his letter, Rao has said that 50 per cent of the bars were operating in residential areas and that a majority of them have a second entrance allowing people to enter and exit even after prescribed hours, in collusion with the police.

He has claimed that grant of permission to bars was in violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Pointing to the wine shops in Upparpet, Magadi Road, West of Chord Road, RPC Layout and Mysore Road, Rao in his letter has said that most of them were open till 4 am. “There are several instances of wine shops besides religious places. Shift the liquor shops or shift the temples,” the letter said. Complaint to officers in this regard will in turn result in harassment of the complainant, the letter said.

Government counsel R Devdas submitted that government cannot initiate action if the permits have been obtained from a competent authority. He stated the difference between commercial and residential areas was not clear.

BMW hit and run: accused moves HC for bail

Saeed Khan, TNN | Mar 20, 2013, 05.27 PM IST

AHMEDABAD: Vismay Shah, an accused in the BMW hit and run case in which two youths lost their lives last month, has approached Gujarat high court for bail. Two persons were killed in the incident.

He was denied bail by additional sessions judge B J Jadav on March 11. The rejection of his bail application was mainly based on three reports establishing that the luxurious car was speeding at more than 100 kilometre per hour, when it hit the motorcycle in Vastrapur area. The cops had obtained reports from from the forensic science laboratory, the BMW company engineers and the RTO. In rejecting Shah’s bail plea, the court took into account testimony of three eye witnesses also. The same judge refused to send Shah to further remand, as the cops wanted to question him in their custody for 13 more days.

Shah, 27, was allegedly driving his luxury sedan on February 25 when it rammed into a motorcycle near Lad Society in Vastrapur. The two youths riding the bike – Shivam Dave, 25, and Rahul Patel, 21 – died. Shah managed to escape from the spot and surrendered before police a couple of days later as pressure mounted from all sides.

After the incident, the cops invoked section 304A of IPC, but later booked Shah under section 304 Part II of IPC, which has provision of 10 years’ imprisonment. Shah’s bail plea may come up for hearing later this week.

Madras HC dismisses plea for reservation in coop polls

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 20:48

Chennai: Madras High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition seeking its direction to authorities to implement reservation for SC/ST candidates in the posts of cooperative society presidents for the coming elecctions to the societies in Tamil Nadu.

A bench comprising acting Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar said the plea cannot be considered by Election Commissioner of Tamil Nadu Cooperative Election Commission, as he is not the competent authority to reserve posts of President for SC/ST candidates.

“.. Even otherwise, the election process has already started and notification was issued on March 4, whereas the writ petition was filed only on March 12. After the commencement of the election process, this court cannot interfere with the same,” they said.

Petitioner A P Gowdhamasidharthan of the city had sought a direction to reserve 18 per cent of the posts for SC and one per cent for ST candidates.

Pointing out that there was no reservation for them in the posts of President of these societies, he said Article 335 of the Constitution must be considered for reservation for them in the said posts.


HC orders reinstatement of dismissed teacher

Making a grunting noise when the school Correspondent passed by was apparently one of the reasons why S. Peter Raj, a teacher of R.C. Middle School in Tuticorin, was sacked from job in 1998.

On Monday, a division bench comprising Justice Chitra Venkataraman and Justice S. Vimala upheld a single judge’s order directing immediate reinstatement of Mr. Peter with full back wages after counsels I. Robert Chandrasekar and G. Prabhu Rajadurai argued on behalf of the petitioner. Incidentally, Counsel Robert is one of the former students of the petitioner.

Mr. Peter was the Headmaster of St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School from 1985 to 1989. Later he continued service as a postgraduate assistant. “The Correspondent of the school denied me promotions, refused to sanction casual leave, deducted money from my salary illegally and harassed me before dismissing me from service on August 22, 1998,” Mr. Peter told the court.

Failing to produce his degree certificates at the school, suppressing facts about past service experience, misrepresentation of facts to the Joint Director of School Education and making a grunting noise when the Correspondent walked past the staff room were the reasons for which Mr. Peter was dismissed from service. Mr. Peter was then given compulsory retirement after he approached the High Court. Disposing of the case, Justice Vinod K. Sharma, in an order dated September 13, 2012, held that the punishment imposed on the litigant was “shockingly disproportionate” to the allegations levelled against him. He also ordered immediate reinstatement of the teacher in service and directed the school management to give him full back wages from the time his services were discontinued.

In a writ appeal, the school management contended that the punishment cannot be considered “shockingly disproportionate” to the misconduct of the petitioner.

The division bench dismissed the appeal and directed the management to immediately reinstate Mr. Peter in service.

HC issues notice to Raj, Ajit Pawar

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, March 21, 2013
The Bombay high court on Wednesday issued notices to the state government and MNS chief Raj Thackeray on a petition seeking to register a case against Thackeray and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar for allegedly instigating their party workers to engage in rioting.
The petition filed by activist Hemant Patil has sought direction to register cases against the duo, whose public criticism of each other allegedly outraged party workers, who engaged in rioting last month. It also urged the court to direct the government to recover the cost of damage to public property.

The court issued notices to all the respondents in the petition and scheduled the next hearing on April 25.

HC tells Govt to conduct local body polls before April 30

WEDNESDAY, 20 MARCH 2013 20:22


The Uttarakhand High Court has directed the State Government to conduct elections for local bodies in the State on time before April 30. The HC gave its decision here on Tuesday, in an appeal filed by the members of the Uttarkashi municipality council. As per the court directions, the electors’ list will be based on the 2001 census.

Talking to The Pioneer, Dehradun Mayor Vinod Chamoli said that the court’s decision had vindicated his allegation that the Congress had conspired to defer the local body elections in the State due to fear of defeat. “The Congress-led State Government was trying to manipulate the system in the hope of faring better if local body elections were held later. However, by directing that the elections be held on time, the HC has facilitated a welcome development because the BJP is strong and will do well in the local body elections,” he stressed.

Chamoli said that as per the directions of the High Court, now all tasks like delimitation of wards have to be completed before April 7. Since the tenure of the local bodies is going to be over on May 5, 2013, therefore, obviously these civic body polls have to be completed before May 5, 2013, he added.

Leader of Opposition in the Municipal Corporation of Dehradun, Ashok Verma, said that the BJP had misused power. Stating that the Congress respects the decision of the HC, he said that the party is politically strong and will do well in the election.

The matter of fact is that whereas the tenure of the civic bodies is going to end on May 5 this year, even  after upgradation of the Haldwani and Haridwar municipal councils into municipal corporations over a year ago, there is no elected representation in these aforesaid civic bodies. Therefore, resentment among local public representatives here is quite high.

They are of the view that after dissolution of the Haldwani municipal council over a year ago, there is no elected representation in the Haldwani Municipal Corporation. It is presently being run by the officials concerned of the district administration.

That is why they are of the view that since, civic bodies are directly related to the issues of common people, timely elections of the civic bodies is vital.

High Court slams Centre on failure to set up BIFR in western region



The Bombay High Court has pulled up the Union Government for not making any efforts to set up a Board for Industrial and Financial Restructuring (BIFR) in the western region.

The court was also upset over the failure of the Centre to inform the number of pending cases in keeping with its earlier order.

A Division Bench of Justices A.P. Bhangale and A.M. Khanwilkar on March 15 expressed its unhappiness over this issue while hearing a PIL filed by the Association for Aiding Justice.

“We are appalled to note that although this petition is pending since 2009 praying for direction against the Respondents (Centre) to set up BIFR in the western region of the country, no efforts have been taken by the appropriate authority. No reply has been filed to explain that position,” observed the judges.

“Not only that, even the basic information, desired by this court in terms of order dated November 14, 2011, of number of pending cases, has not been furnished to the court, which is completely unacceptable,” the bench noted.

“By way of indulgence, we defer the hearing of this petition till March 21, 2013 with a hope that at least the later information will be furnished to the Court before the next date of hearing,” the bench said.

As regards the issue of setting up of BIFR, the Judges said they may consider passing appropriate order/directions, as may be warranted, after considering the figures of pending cases that will be furnished to the court.

The matter would be heard tomorrow.

Make websites disabled-friendly: High Court to Centre, state

Published: Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013, 10:30 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The Bombay high court on Tuesday issued notices to several departments of the state and Central government to make their official websites disabled-friendly.A division bench comprising Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Anoop Mohta was hearing the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Indian Centre for Human Rights, an NGO working for the betterment of disabled persons.

The PIL states that “the internet has emerged as a critical medium for communication and dissemination of information by the central and state governments…to the citizens of India.”

It adds: “The internet, in conjunction with appropriate web design, can revolutionise and vastly improve the governments’ capacity to communicate and provide information to persons with disabilities. A range of assistive technologies exist, which enable persons with disabilities to access important governmental and civic information and enable avenues for civic engagement, on an equal basis with others.”

For instance, visually impaired individuals could make use of electronic screen readers, which read text out loud, while those with hearing impairments can access videos or audio with captions and transcripts. Those with motor disabilities can access web content through other tailored technologies.

However, oversights in design and web content development, like mouse-only based web navigation, uncaptioned audio and video content, as well as unlabelled graphics, needlessly hamper the access of persons with disabilities to information.

Although the National Informatics Centre, the Department of Information Technology, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, and the Government of India had formulated guidelines to standardise government websites to ensure they are disabled-friendly, the guidelines are not being utilised.

The PIL seeks that directions be given to various departments to make their websites disabled-friendly. It will come up for hearing after four weeks.


High Court stays single judge order on land registration

20th March 2013 10:58 AM

A division bench of the High Court on Tuesday stayed a single judge order that the registering officers across state should not refuse registration of lands only on the ground that they were included in the prohibitory lists, the re-settlement register (RSR) etc and they shall not insist on production of NOCs as a precondition for land registration.

The bench granted interim stay in a writ appeal by the state government challenging the single judge order. It adjourned the case for final hearing to April 15.

In Jan, the single judge allowed a batch of writ petitions by various individuals challenging rejection of their documents by sub-registrars and district registrars across the state on the ground that the RSR contains dots against the name of the owner, or the lands are assessed lands or belonged to religious or charitable institutions or local bodies. The judge specified several dos and don’ts for the authorities in respect of registration of land.

The single judge held that the court directions shall bind revenue authorities and registering officers and violation of the directions will be viewed as contempt of court.

High Court seeks report on steps to tackle potable water shortage

20th March 2013 12:02 PM

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to report details of the measures taken to tackle the acute drinking water shortage being experienced in the state as it has been declared drought hit.

A Division Bench comprising Justice K M Joseph and Justice K Ramakrishnan also asked the government as to “what precautionary methods were adopted by it to tackle the drought”.

The court issued the directive while considering a petition filed by Hanan Abdul Rahim of Kollam seeking police protection for drilling tubewell in his house compound.Counsel for the petitioner K R Sunil submitted that Hanan had obtained permission from the Groundwater Department and the panchayat.

However some people were obstructing the working of the tubewell. Hence, he sought police protection. The court also observed that disputes regarding installation of tubewell were on the rise.

Find alternatives to save trees while widening highways, says High Court

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday asked the Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project (KSHIP) of the Public Works Department to come out with alternative ways to widen certain stretches of State Highways in Tumkur division so that all 4,153 trees identified need not be cut.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna issued the direction while hearing a public interest litigation petition initiated suo motu by the court based on a letter written by Arun Kumar G. from Tumkur complaining about felling of 4,153 trees in the division. The court in July last year had restrained tree felling.

“We do not like to come in the way of a development programme. But at the same time, it [development] should not be at the cost of environment. How can you replace old trees? You have not even submitted applications before the tree authority. Submit them first. Also, come out with an alternative plan to save as many trees as possible,” the Bench orally observed.

“You will also have to allocate money for environment management plan before taking up the project plan,” it observed while adjourning further hearing.

Court-appointed amicus curiae, advocate H. Srinivas Rao, had submitted his report indicating that some stretches of the state highways in this division will witness very less traffic movement and some stretches could be widened without cutting large number of trees.

‘IT camp office’

The High Court on Wednesday said that Section 131(1A) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, does not invest an IT official to set up a camp office at the residence of a person for the purpose of collecting evidence or investigation.

Justice Rammohan Reddy made this observation while disposing of a petition filed by Prakash V. Sanghvi, a resident of Mangalore. The petitioner had questioned the conduct of an Assistant Director of Income Tax (Investigation), Mangalore. The petitioner pointed out that the officer, G. Ramesh, had gained entry to the house in the guise of a salesman and later set up his camp office, from where the officer issued summons to the petitioner for production of certain documents and evidences.

It was also complained in the petition that the officer, “without any regard to privacy of women present in the house, searched every nook and corner of the house” without the help of any woman officer from the department.

While expressing displeasure over the manner in which the officer conducted himself, the court asked the department why it could not use women officers as the police department did in such cases.

CAT refuses to quash transfer of senior cop

Bangalore, March 20, 2013, DHNS:

The Central Administrative Tribunal on Wednesday refused to quash the transfer of T Suneel Kumar as Inspector General of Police and Commander of Anti Naxal Force, Udupi.

Suneel Kumar, who was serving as Additional Commissioner (Law and Order), Bangalore, had moved the Tribunal against the March 11 government order transferring him as the IGP and Commander of Anti Naxal Force. He had contended that his transfer was in violation of Section 20(B) of the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act, 2012, since the government had not obtained recommendations from the Police Establishment Board before effecting his transfer. The Tribunal, which granted a two-week stay on the transfer, dismissed the petition on Wednesday.

“This tribunal can envisage that in certain contingencies the State government may have to issue orders of transfers and postings, particularly concerning assignments dealing with law and order and internal security on an emergent basis and it may not be possible to wait for the formal recommendations of the Police Establishment Board in such contingencies. But such occasion can only be rare and State government also may be required to record reasons for such emergent transfers,” The Tribunal noted.

When the Tribunal noted that it had passed an order a month ago in a similar case making recommendations by the Board mandatory, the government advocate submitted that the government was not intimated of the said order before effecting the transfer. The Tribunal stated that the government, in future, will have to comply with the direction.

T Suneel Kumar was relieved from charge Wednesday afternoon by the City Police Commissioner. He is yet to take charge in Udupi as Commander of Anti Naxal Force. Alok Kumar assumed charge as Additional Commissioner (Law and Order), Bangalore. Both the senior officers refused to comment on the issue.

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