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.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: