LEGAL NEWS 18.05.2013

Supreme Court directives re-ignite debate over IT act

Madhavi Rajadhyaksha, TNN | May 17, 2013, 01.11 PM IST

MUMBAI: The Supreme Court’s diktat to states to implement the Centre’s guidelines with regard to regulating online activity is welcome, coming as it does in the backdrop of arbitrary arrests made for derogatory posts on popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. 

The court like the Centre directed that no citizen should be arrested for any such online posts without the permission of senior police officials. 

The directives yet again bring to the fore the grey areas in the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 and need for review of the legislation. Take for instance, Section 66 A of the IT Act, which spells out as an offence any information sent through a computer or communication device if the material is “grossly offensive, has menacing character, is sent to cause annoyance, insult, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, ill will and enmity, hatred or for criminal intimidation”. The terminology used is very arbitrary and has in the past been used to quell dissent. 

The misuse was best illustrated when two girls on the outskirts of Mumbai (in Palghar) were arrested last year— for posting a comment on Facebook lamenting the shutdown of the city following Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray’s death and the other for ‘liking’ the post. 

Legal provisions that are couched in such generic language are open to misuse and interpretation that curb the fundamental rights of speech and expression. 





Promiscuous character of woman can’t be ground of defence in rape case: Supreme Court

Press Trust of India : New Delhi, Fri May 17 2013, 18:50 hrs

Promiscuous character of a woman is irrelevant in rape cases and a rapist cannot take it as ground of defence for his heinous act, the Supreme Court has ruled saying even a female of easy virtue has a right to life.

Holding that rape is not only an offence against a woman, but a crime against the entire society, the apex court said that courts should deal with such cases sternly and severely.

“Even if the victim had lost her virginity earlier, it can certainly not give a licence to any person to rape her. It is the accused who was on trial and not the victim. So as to whether the victim is of a promiscuous character is totally an irrelevant issue altogether in a case of rape,” a bench of justices B S Chauhan and F M I Kalifulla said.

The bench passed the order on an appeal filed by a rape convict challenging his conviction on the ground that the victim was of promiscuous character and had been habitual to sexual activities.

It, however, refused to grant relief to the accused saying that it is not material that the rape victim was accustomed to sexual intercourse.

“Even a woman of easy virtue has a right to refuse to submit herself to sexual intercourse to anyone and everyone, because she is not a vulnerable object or prey for being sexually assaulted by anyone and everyone,” the bench said.

“The courts should deal with such cases sternly and severely. Sexual violence, apart from being a dehumanizing act, is an unlawful intrusion on the right of privacy and sanctity of a woman. It is a serious blow to her supreme honour and offends her self-esteem and dignity as well,” the bench said.

“It degrades and humiliates the victim and where the victim is a helpless innocent child or a minor, it leaves behind a traumatic experience. A rapist not only causes physical injuries, but leaves behind a scar on the most cherished position of a woman, i.e. her dignity, honour, reputation and chastity,” it said.




Don’t play politics with cooperative societies, Supreme Court warns States


Supersession only in exceptional circumstances, not for extraneous considerations

The Supreme Court on Thursday decried the tendency of State governments superseding elected cooperative societies for political or extraneous reasons.

“Supersession of an elected managing committee/board is an exception and [can] be resorted to only in exceptional circumstances,” said a Bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra.

Sending a warning to the States, the Bench imposed Rs. 1 lakh in costs on the Madhya Pradesh government, payable to the Madhya Pradesh State Legal Services Authority. The court ordered reinstatement of the Board of Directors of the District Cooperative Central Bank Ltd., Panna, forthwith and that it be allowed to continue for the period it had been put out of office by an impugned order which was quashed.

The Bench also imposed costs of Rs. 10, 000 on the Joint Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Sagar, who passed the order. The amount “will be deducted from his salary and deposited in the Panna DCB within two months.”

Writing the judgment, Justice Radhakrishnan said an elected committee should not be penalised for the shortcomings or illegalities committed by the previous committees, unless “there is any deliberate inaction in rectifying the illegalities.” The elected committee should be given at least six months to rectify defects, if any, pointed out in the audit report on incidents which originated when the previous committee was in office. “The Registrar/Joint Registrar is legally obliged to comply with all the statutory formalities including consultation with the financing/controlling banks, etc. Only after getting their view, can an opinion be formed as to whether an elected committee be ousted or not.”

The consequences

The Bench said the Registrar/Joint Registrar should always bear in mind the consequences of supersession, which had the effect of not only ousting the Board but also disqualifying its members from contesting subsequent elections. “The Registrar/Joint Registrar shall not act under political pressure or influence and, if he does, he will be subjected to disciplinary proceedings and also held personally liable for the cost of legal proceedings.” Taxpayers’ money should not be spent by the State government or the Registrar on unnecessary litigation involving disputes among various factions in a co-operative society.

In the instant case, the Joint Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Sagar Division, superseded the Board of Directors of the Panna DCCB without consulting the Reserve Bank of India. The Board challenged the order. A single judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court disposed of the writ petition, directing the parties to avail themselves of alternative remedy provided under Section 78 of the Act. But on appeal, a Division Bench set aside the supersession. Aggrieved, Madhya Pradesh filed the present appeal, which was dismissed.




Supreme Court says will not interfere in functioning of GoM on CBI autonomy

The Supreme Court has refused to interfere in the functioning of the Group of Ministers (GoM) examining the issue of CBI’s autonomy.

A two-judge bench comprising of Justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra on Friday declined to hear the plea of a group of CBI cadre officers who moved the apex court to restrain the Centre from framing new rules for the appointment of officers against the recommendation of the parliamentary committees which have suggested building of a strong CBI cadre and to reduce dependence of deputation.

The judges while noting that they cannot pass such an order, said the officers can approach the bench, which is seized of the matter pertaining to filling up vacancies in CBI after the court’s vacation, for redressal of their grievance.

“We cannot pass such order of mandamus to the government. We cannot pre-empt ordinance,” the bench said, adding, “Propriety says that it should come before the same bench.”

The officers, in their petition, have questioned the government for setting up of the Group of Ministers (GoM) and not implementing the recommendations in parliamentary committee reports.

They have submitted that the GoM must give them the opportunity to make representations before it.

“Under the garb of the direction of this court, the government which has deliberately disregarded and failed to take into consideration various reports of parliamentary standing committees, has arbitrarily set up a GoM,” Advocate Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for the CBI officers, said on Friday.

The petition has said, “Cadre officers have been deliberately kept away in the functioning of CBI as none of them in the last 50 years has even been appointed to any post in the organisation dealing with the administrative and policy-making decision.

“Under the garb of the direction of this court, the government which has deliberately disregarded and failed to take into consideration various reports of parliamentary standing committees, has arbitrarily set up a GoM ,” it said.

The GoM was set up after the apex court had asked the government to bring a law to give the agency functional autonomy and to stop interference in its functioning.

The apex court also is seized of the matter pertaining to large number of vacancies in CBI.





Petrofils land buyers accused of Rs 132 cr premium theft

TNN | May 18, 2013, 02.18 AM IST

VADODARA: Over a decade after it went into liquidation, a major theft has surfaced in the land sale of Petrofils Co-operative Limited (PIL). Investigations by the district administration have revealed that the state government has suffered losses worth Rs 132 crore towards premium during the sale of huge land owned by PIL. Thirty-four buyers didn’t pay any premium on the land that was sold off by the liquidator after PIL, a joint venture between Government of India and Weavers’ Co-operative Societies, went into liquidation in 2000.

District collector Vinod Rao has decided to act in the premium theft case citing flouting of rules under Bombay Land Revenue Code. According to the district administration, the buyers didn’t pay premium worth Rs 132 crore on the PIL land measuring over 1.17 lakh square metre. “The buyers didn’t pay the premium on the land and also didn’t get mandatory government permission required before transferring the land in their names,” Rao said.

The buyers may be sent notices for flouting rules and asked to reply as to why the state government shouldn’t take away the land that costs over Rs 226 crore. Of the 34 buyers, eight are major purchasers who have together bought land worth Rs 104 crore. Aspire Confra Private Ltdpaid Rs 84 crore for the land and is yet to pay Rs 42 crore towards premium.

Prestige Infra Pvt Ltd bought the land at Rs 3.92 crore and didn’t pay premium on it apart from Jyotsna Shah, who purchased five different plots but didn’t pay premium. The district administration has also decided to write to Vadodara Urban Development Authority (VUDA) to cancel the building permissions on the land. VUDA had given building permissions without required documents, said the officials.





Honey Singh booked for obscenity

Harpreet Kaur , Hindustan Times
Nawanshahr, May 17, 2013

Two days after the Punjab government got a rap from the Punjab and Haryana high court for not taking action against rapper Honey Singh, the Punjabi singer was booked at the city police station here under Section 294 (obscene acts and songs to the annoyance of others in public place) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

On Thursday, the police received directions from the under secretary (home), after which the first information report (FIR) was registered at 11:30pm.

Under Section 294 of the IPC, the accused can be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both.

“We have registered a case against Honey Singh and started an investigation,” said Nawanshahr senior superintendent of police (SSP) Dhanpreet Kaur.

The matter had reached the HC through a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Nawanshahr-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), Human Empowerment League of Punjab (HELP), through its general secretary Parvinder Singh Kittna.

The PIL had sought directions to set up an effective mechanism to curb the menace of lewd songs. The PIL, filed through advocate HC Arora, had submitted that all limits of decency were being violated by certain singers. The petitioner had particularly mentioned Honey’s song “Main hoon balatkari” (I am a rapist), stating that it had hurt the sentiments of all civilised citizens of the country. But for promoting rape culture, the song had no message to convey, the petitioner had claimed.

The high court bench comprising acting chief justice Jasbir Singh and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, that heard the petition, had taken exception to the song and remarked that it was difficult to go through the whole of it. The bench, on May 14, had directed the Punjab government to take appropriate action against the singer for the vulgar song. It had also asked for fresh summons to be served on Honey for July 4 through e-mail as he had failed to appear for the previous hearing. The court ordered to implead the Haryana government as well as the Chandigarh administration as respondents in this case, asking them to take action in accordance with the law on the issue of vulgar songs.

Expressing satisfaction at the registration of the FIR, Kittna said other such “irresponsible” singers should also be taken to task. “The Punjab government is not taking the issue seriously. At a hearing, the government submitted in the high court that a policy was underway to check cultural vulgarity, but on the next date, it washed its hands of its responsibility by stating that obscene songs could be downloaded from any online source,” rued Kittna.

He alleged that the NGO’s complaint, submitted to the Nawanshahr police on January 1, was kept pending for several days before he was told that it had been forwarded to the Gomti Nagar police station in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), where a case had already been registered against Honey.

“The dilly-dallying made us invoke the high court’s intervention under Article 226 of the Constitution,” he added.

The SSP claimed that it was not under any pressure that the police had not taken action when the complaint was submitted. “The complaint was referred to the police station where a case had been registered against the singer,” she said.






Madhya Pradesh High Court seeks reply from UP over state CM Akhilesh Yadav’s presence at minor marriage ceremony

Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday sought a reply from the state government on a plea seeking action against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, his wife Dimple, who happens to be MP, and others for attending a mass marriage in which at least 20 minors tied the knot at Niwadi, Tikamgarh in MP on March 9 this year. Akhilesh and Dimple were chief guests at the function.

The mass marriage was organized by MLA from Niwadi, Tikamgarh, Meena Yadav and her husband MLA from Garrauthai, Jhansi, in UP Deep Narayan Yadav, the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), said.

A division bench of High Court comprising Acting Chief Justice K K Lahoti and Justice MA Siddiqui directed the State to file reply within four weeks on what action it has taken in the matter, after Gyandeen Ahirwar, a BJP activist, moved the PIL stating that police haven’t taken action against the organizers under Child Marriage Act.

He claimed that though he apprised officials present during solemnizing the marriage, they didn’t heed and abandoned the child marriages. The petitioner’s counsel Dinesh Upadhyaya told the court that police didn’t even receive the complaint of his client on the day of marriages or thereafter.

The petitioner has also sought direction for taking action against the chief guests and those attended the mass marriage function.

Furthermore, the petitioner has demanded action against Niwadi Police station incharge Priyanka Pathak for not taking action despite being in the know of the minor marriages.

There are provisions under Child Marriage Act to prosecute the organizers and persons who attended the mass marriage where minors entered into the wedlock, Upadhyay contended.

Akhilesh, Dimple, Deep Naryan Yadav, Meena, Tikamgarh collector, sub-divisional officer (Niwadi), the superintendent of police, sub-divisional officer police (Niwadi), Priyanka and Niwadi Family and Child Welfare project officer DK Dixit have been made the respondents in the PIL.




High court quashes circular on quota recruitments

Prafulla Marpakwar | May 18, 2013, 01.48 AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has quashed a controversial circular issued by the general administration department (GAD) onrecruitments and promotions against reserved posts in the state government.

According to the circular, if a scheduled caste (SC) candidate is not available for a reserved post, then the GAD can fill up the vacancy by a scheduled tribe (ST) nominee or the next candidate in the roster, while a law enacted on October 27, 2004, provided that such a post should be kept vacant for a prescribed period.

“The circular issued by the GAD on October 27, 2008, is quashed being contrary to the Maharashtra Act of 2004, as well as it violates the Constitution,” Justice R M Borde and Justice T V Nalawade had observed in a 23-page order in their order last week.

The 2004 law was enacted to provide for reservation of vacancies and posts in public services in favour of persons belonging to SC, ST, de-notified tribes, nomadic tribes, special backward category and other backward classes (OBC). The act specifies that posts reserved for SC, ST, de-notified tribes, nomadic tribes, special backward category and other backward classes mentioned in the law shall not be filled in by other candidates not belonging to that caste, tribe, category or class for which the posts are reserved. It prescribed a specific procedure to be followed for filling unreserved vacancy if no suitable candidate is available.

It was submitted that in the event of non-availability of the candidates belonging to the SC, ST, de-notified tribes, nomadic tribes, special backward category and OBC, the posts shall be kept vacant for up to five recruitment years. Even then after making efforts for recruiting candidates from among the backward categories, if the post cannot be filled in, the same shall be filled in by interchanging reservation among the categories. But even after interchanging of reservation, if a candidate is not available, the post shall be declared to be available for general category nominees in the seventh year and a proposal shall be forwarded to the GAD.

For filling up vacancies through promotions, the act provided that in the event of non-availability of candidates, the posts will be kept vacant for three recruitment years and efforts would be made to fill the vacancies from among the reserved categories concerned.

The GAD circular on October 27, 2008, provided that if there is a difficulty in filling up the posts or candidates of a particular reserved category were not available, the post will be offered to the next roster point category within the reservation percentage.

But the petitioner contended that by doing sofilling up the vacancy in such a manner, the basic right of the candidate of a particular reserved category is taken away and thus, the circular is bad in law. “In fact, the new circular is a departure from the original law,” the petitioner said.

He pointed out that if the roster point prescribed for offering promotion to ST nominee and in the event of non-availability of a candidate belonging to ST, the reservation will be shifted to de-notified candidate or any other category. “This prescription is against the spirit of the original law,” he said.






Kerala high court declines to prevent Mani’s arrest

TNN | May 18, 2013, 04.22 AM IST

KOCHI: Kerala high court on Friday declined to prevent the arrest of actor Kalabhavan Mani, who moved the court seeking anticipatory bail in connection with the alleged assault on two forest officers at Athirappilly.

Hearing Mani’s plea, justice K Ramakrishnan also sought the view of the state government on the anticipatory bail. He later adjourned the hearing of the case to Monday.

The Vettilappara police had registered a case against Mani for the offence under Sections 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 294 (b) (utters obscene words) and 506 (i) (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.

Police registered the case after Mani had allegedly assaulted two forest officials on May 15. According to the police, Mani allegedly attacked them when they asked him to stop the car for checking. Mani had contended that he was travelling along with his friend Dr Gopinath and his wife Jaya when the forest officials asked him to stop the car. “Without any provocation, the officials showered abusive words and insulted the woman,” he submitted.

Police had also registered cases against the forest officials in connection with the incident.





Employment in PSU be not denied on ground of conviction: Delhi High Court

By PTI | 17 May, 2013, 08.18PM IST

NEW DELHI: Employment in a public sector organization shall not be denied to a job-seeker on the ground of conviction in a criminal case unless offences have an element of “moral turpitude”, the Delhi High Court has said. 

A bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and V Kameswar Rao said an inference should not be drawn about the antecedent and character of a job-seeker on the basis of his conviction in a criminal case. 

“The law declared was that every conviction for an offence would not require an inference to be drawn that the antecedent and character of the wrong doer is of a kind that public employment has to be denied,” the court said. 

Citing a previous verdict, the bench said “further, offences being classified as cognizable and non-cognizable, bailable as well as non-bailable, it was highlighted that only such offences which have an element of moral turpitude would warrant public employment to be denied.” 

The observations came while dismissing an appeal of Delhi police which was filed against the judgment of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). 

The CAT had given the judgement in favour of a constable who was earlier convicted and fined by a criminal court after he pleaded guilty in a case lodged for rashly driving his motorcycle. 

Police had taken the plea that the constable used to drive four-wheeled police vehicle and after the conviction, he cannot be allowed to continue. 

The court upheld the judgment of the CAT. 




Meghalaya high court dismisses writ petition filed by CMJ university

PTI | May 18, 2013, 11.48 AM IST

SHILLONG: The Meghalaya high court on Friday dismissed the writ petition filed by Chandra Mohan Jha (CMJ) university against the order issued by governor RS Mooshary who is also university’s visitor directing the varsity to stop new admissions and to submit a fresh proposal for appointment of the Chancellor. 

Chief Justice T Meena Kumari said “this Court finds that the letter of the Secretary of the Governor as contained under April 30, 2013 has no legal infirmity and it need not be interfered with by this Court.” 

In line with the governor’s order, the Court directed the University to stop fresh admission till controversy is resolved. 

“It is also made clear that till controversy is resolved, the University shall not admit the students in the university,” the order said. 

On April 30, Meghalaya governor, RS Mooshahary who is also the visitor has directed the CMJ University to withdraw all the degrees awarded by it so far and to submit a fresh proposal for the appointment of the Chancellor.




Allahabad High Court reserves judgement on Talwars’ petition

Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013, 19:08 [IST]


Justice Rajesh Dayal Khare reserved judgement on the petition of the Noida-based couple, whose petition was filed on May 15, two days after they were ticked off by the Supreme Court for adopting “a wrong procedure” by approaching it directly without first having moved the High Court.

The Talwars have challenged a CBI court order on May 4 whereby their request for summoning and recording statements of 14 witnesses, including top IPS officer Arun Kumar who is at present the ADG (Law and Order) of Uttar Pradesh and was a Joint Director of the CBI during the probe, was turned down.


The initial suspicion went on Hemraj whose body was later found in the terrace at their residence in Jalvayu Vihar in Noida on the outskirts of Delhi.

The high-profile case was handed over to CBI after a recommendation to the effect by the then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, in the wake of outcry against alleged shoddy investigation by the police.

A closure report was filed by the CBI in December, 2010, wherein Rajesh Talwar had been called the sole suspect but lack of adequate evidence was also cited.

However, in February, 2011, the special court at Ghaziabad expressed the view that there was enough evidence against Aarsuhi’s parents and initiated proceedings against them.






High Court grants temporary relief to former PWD engineer

Mumbai Mirror | May 18, 2013, 08.22 AM IST

The Bombay High Court has directed the police not to file a chargesheet against a retired PWD engineer, accused of spending Rs 113 crore more than a sanctioned budget. The court has asked the police to wait until June 20, where it will hear the official’s petition.

A division bench was hearing a petition filed by Swamidas Chobe, who served in Maharashtra PWD as executive engineer from 2010 to January 2012, seeking to quash the case lodged against him by the Azad Maidan police last October. Chobe was booked for for alleged criminal breach of trust and issuing cheques to contractors well above the sanctioned budget amount.

As executive engineer, Chobe was required to look after maintenance and repairs of minister’s bungalows, Mantralaya, High Court building, judges’ residence building, MLA hostel, all government buildings and heritage buildings for which contractors were appointed.

Chobe’s advocates argued that in a number of cases, repair works are required to be carried out on a priority basis and considering the urgency, pending bills are cleared at the earliest and cheques are issued. PTI




Visit ex-CJ S S Dewan and his wife to ensure their safety: HC to SSP–and-his-wife-to-ensure-their-safety-hc-to-ssp/1117267/

Express news service : Chandigarh, Sat May 18 2013, 01:39 hrs

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday refused to enlarge the scope of the petition as demanded by former Chief Justice Shanti Sarup Dewan, finding averments raised by him apprehending threat to his life from his son, as “insufficient”.

However, keeping in view his “exalted stature and status”, the High Court on Friday directed the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Chandigarh or any other officer to visit Dewan and his wife at their residence in Sector 11-B of the city. The court has asked the officer to visit the elderly couple within 24 hours to “take stock of the situation”.

Liberty has been granted to the police to take all necessary steps “as deemed fit to ensure the protection of life and liberty” of Dewan and his wife.

The court refused to go into the other demands raised by former Chief Justice Shanti Sarup Dewan wherein he had averred that special cells be created to deal with the complaints of senior citizens in the city.

Showing no conviction in the demand, the High Court held, “A legislation called The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 is already in place.”

“This is a comprehensive enactment covering the issues relating to maintenance of parents/ senior citizens,” it pointed out.

Dewan had petitioned the High Court alleging that his son and his daughter-in-law have “traumatised the petitioners and made their lives a living hell in the twilight of their life.” The petitioner alleged that at times their son and his wife use unparliamentary language while addressing them.




HC notice to police on Swamy’s plea to quash FIR

By PTI | 17 May, 2013, 02.55PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today sought response from the police on a plea of Janata Party President Subramanian Swamyseeking quashing of an FIR lodged against him for writing an “inflammatory” article in a Mumbai daily in 2011. 

Issuing notice to Delhi Police, Justice Kailash Gambhir sought its response by August 26 on Swamy’s plea for quashing of the FIR on the ground that “whatever investigation has been done by the police in past 21 months, no material has been found which would cause communal disharmony in society”. 

A case was filed against Swamy in October 2011 by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police, on a complaint from the National Commission for Minorities, for writing in July 2011 the alleged inflammatory article which the complaint said was intended to spread communal enmity. 

Appearing for Swamy, senior advocate KTS Tulsi submitted before the court that, “In 2005, Swamy had written a book on terrorism in India and the content of the book did not cause any sort of communal disturbance but writing an article, which is based on the book, became offensive.” 

“The investigation is going on from past 21 months and no case has been made out so far,” the counsel also argued. 

To this argument, Justice Gambhir said, “These kind of expressions cannot be expected from you as you are a political leader, economist and also an educationist,” and issued notice to police. 

Swamy was granted anticipatory bail in January 2012 by the high court after he had given an undertaking in the court that he would refrain from writing such articles in future. 

Earlier, Swamy’s counsel had argued that this case was lodged to harass his client as he (Swamy) had exposed the 2G scam against the government. 




Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta is new Chief Justice of the AP high court

TNN | May 18, 2013, 05.27 AM IST

HYDERABAD: Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta of the Uttarakhand high court has been appointed Chief Justice of the AP high court. Following assent from President Pranab Mukherjee, the Centre on Friday notified the new CJ’s appointment. 

Born on May 7, 1953, and brought up in Kolkata, Justice Sengupta started his legal journey as a lawyer in April 1981 and practised civil, criminal and constitutional matters at the Calcutta high court. He was appointed permanent judge of the Calcutta high court in 1997. He also held the position of the executive chairman of the West Bengal state legal services authority and also the post of acting chief justice of Calcutta high court in October 2012.




CBI probe into Deccan Chronicle on: Canara Bank

CMD says action should be taken against the media companyThe Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has begun a probe into the debt-laden media company Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd (DCHL).

The investigation follows a complaint by Canara Bank of irregularities in the DCHL balance sheet when it had done a forensic audit of the Hyderabad-based company.

“There are irregularities in the books of accounts and, accordingly, action should be taken,” said Canara’s chairman and managing director, R K Dubey. “We have filed a case in the Debt Recovery Tribunal. We have also filed a case with the CBI and they have started investigation. Initial action has been initiated and every effort will be made to recover the money.”

He said the bank had written to CBI about three months earlier, after the forensic audit it had commissioned was found to be making no progress. DCHL, he said, owed Rs 360 crore to Canara; the former’s total debt liability was around Rs 4,000 crore.

The CMD was responding to a volley of questions, on his first visit to this city after taking charge of the bank.

“The purpose of the forensic audit was to know where the money had gone,” he explained further. “But that purpose was not served fully as the balance sheet did not reveal the true picture. The balance sheet did not contain all the loans lent by banks. That means there are several issues in the balance sheet itself.”

He said the forensic audit threw limited light on these things, as it was very difficult to find the end-use of the funds after these got transferred. He clarified that Canara was not a lead bank for DCHL and nor was there any consortium of lenders to the firm.  

Beside the absence of loan entries, the forensic audit also pointed to filing of wrong registration certificates, in a bid to take loans by mortgaging the same property with multiple lenders, he alleged. It was, he added, difficult to know as to what part of the security was available to whom.

“About 40-50 per cent of loans have been secured by current assets and receivables. There are multiple claims because the security charged to me is also charged to other banks,” he said, stating it was going to be a court or a judicial authority which would decide which secured lender has got what share of security.

Hopeful of recovering the money, he said the bank had taken all legal measures, including recourse under the Securitisation Act and multiple suits seeking interim relief.

On the demerger plan DCHL had referred to in its annual report, the Canara Bank chairman said it had not sent any proposals to the bank in this regard.





HC upholds govt’s decision forfeiting service of cop

The Delhi High Court today upheld the central government’s decision forfeiting four years’ service of a police officer for demanding bribe to bail out the driver and release the vehicle in a rash and negligent driving case in 1999. 

Allowing the appeal of Delhi government against the Central Administrative Tribunal’s (CAT) order, a bench of justices B D Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul set aside the Tribunal’s order in which the Home Ministry was directed to restore the four years of service of the officer and pay him all financial benefits. 

Observing that the disciplinary proceedings was initiated to bring out the truth, the court said the inquiry officer had conducted the probe within the rules prescribed under the Delhi Police (Punishment and Appeal) Rules. 

“We find that the Inquiry Officer was well within his powers to ask questions to the witnesses in order to establish the identity of the delinquent officer and his approach was in accordance with the procedural requirements contemplated under Rule 16 of the said rules….The impugned order (CAT) cannot be sustained. The same is accordingly set aside. The petition is allowed,” the bench said. 

“The Inquiry Officer has ample power to put forth questions to the witnesses to test the authenticity of their statements. Disciplinary proceedings cannot be regarded as adversarial in nature as the sublime philosophy behind these proceedings is a quest to unravel the truth,” the court also said.





House panel may suggest scrapping of Chit Fund Act

TNN | May 18, 2013, 04.08 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The finance standing committee of Parliament is likely to recommend scrapping of the Chit Fund Act, 1982, as the existing web of state and central regulations is so porous that preventing a Saradha-type scam was next to impossible.

After hearing finance, tax and stock market officials on Friday, committee chair Yashwant Sinha is understood to have been in favour of doing away with the law altogether so that chit funds were deemed illegal.

Sinha along with some other committee members like CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta felt efforts must be made to ensure people who currently turn to chit funds due to lack of options are provided more trustworthy investment avenues. However, Congress’s Sanjay Nirupam asked for doing away with chit funds, saying that there are now enough financial instruments available.

Senior officials like economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram pointed to the problem of multiple regulators and lack of coordination between the Centre and states that allowed unscrupulous chit funds from taking investors for a ride.

MPs felt lack of banking services in many parts of the country, particularly in rural areas, helped chit funds present themselves as an attractive proposition with promise of high returns acting as bait.

Dasgupta is understood to have suggested widening the reach of options like postal savings to provide the economically vulnerable a safer bet instead of dubious chit funds.

BJD’s Bhartruhari Mahtab is learnt to have argued that existing laws must be made more stringent and all efforts be made to ensure that those guilty of scams like the Saradha case received exemplary punishment.

Trinamool Congress’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay is understood to have said the state government could not be held responsible for chit fund scams, while Dasgupta said the money investors lost was unlikely to be recovered.

While not all committee members are likely to support Sinha’s view — which he said in his personal capacity — the panel’s report could recommend drastic measures as the former finance minister felt chit funds are inherently risky.

Sources said the sentiment expressed by many MPs was that it will be hard to prevent gullible investors, particularly those from the economically less well-off sections, from falling for tempting chit fund offers.

The committee also briefly discussed its long pending report on defining the below poverty line population with members disagreeing on inclusion and exclusion norms.




NGO staffers arrested for raping 2 deaf, dumb girls

TNN | May 18, 2013, 04.34 AM ISTJAIPUR: Two of five orphaned hearing and speech impaired girls between the age of 15 and 17 years were raped, one molested several times for a year, and the others beaten up by some employees of an NGO based in the city’s Kanota area. 

These girls were staying in the hostel of the NGO – Awaaz Foundation – while learning to express themselves by speaking to some extent. The hostel warden, a security guard and a clerk raped two of them. One other girl was molested and two were beaten up. Police said the two girls were forced to have unnatural sex also. 

The police have rounded up the warden and the clerk for rape, while NGO in-charge, a woman, was arrested for hiding the crime and the clerk’s wife was nabbed for beating up the girls. The security guard had left the job about five months ago and is on the run. 

The shocking case came to light when these girls returned to the child shelter home run by the state government in Gandhi Nagar after completing the course and complained to the authorities there. 

The state government’s child welfare committee (CWC) investigated the case for a month on its own and then lodged an FIR on Friday evening. The police officers were recording the statement of the children till late night. 

Commissioner of police Biju Jorge Josheph told TOI that the victims are in the age group of 15 and 17 years. “They are orphaned, so they live in the child shelter home. The inmates study at various schools in the city. As the victims were hearing and speech impaired, the shelter authorities had sent them to Awaaz Foundation in Kanota area to learn to speak or express themselves properly. About 100 students, including girls and boys, were living in the foundation’s hostel and they used to return to the child shelter home during vacations,” the officer said. Police said the foundation was running since 2007. 

These girls had come to the shelter home in the first week of April and lodged a complaint with the shelter authorities. “The matter was brought to the notice of the CWC on April 13. Its members investigated the case on their own and lodged an FIR with the police on Friday,” the officer said. 

The police officials were shocked to hear the stories of rape and harassment of these girls. Two of these girls were beaten up for resisting rape and forced to have unnatural sex by the hostel warden, Ashok Prajapat, security guard Mahesh Mali and clerk Suresh Bairwa. 

“The girls had even complained about it to the foundation’s in-charge Alpana, a woman; however, she hushed it up. When clerk Suresh Bairwa’s wife came to know about the complaint, she severely beat them up,” the officer added.




Ambuja Cements gets stay on CCI penalty order



The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) today granted a stay on the penalty of Rs 1,163 crore levied on Ambuja Cements Ltd by the Competition Commission of India.

However, Ambuja Cements has been asked to deposit Rs 116.30 crore, amounting to 10 per cent of the penalty, within four weeks.

In a communication to the stock exchanges, Ambuja Cements said the CCI had imposed the penalty of Rs 1,163 crore on it following competititon law proceedings that began in 2010 to investigate several prominent cement producers including Ambuja Cements. Ambuja Cements had filed an appeal in the COMPAT seeking stay on the penalty.

The company said COMPAT in an order issued today stayed the penalty levied against the company by CCI with a condition that it deposited 10 per cent of the penalty amounting to Rs 116.30 crore within four weeks from today.

Ambuja Cements shares were trading at Rs 190.65 (face value Rs 2), a gain of Rs 4.05, on the NSE at 1.40 p.m.





Setback for cement cos as COMPAT lifts stay on CCI fine

The Rs 6300 crore fine imposed by the Competition Commission of India has been approved by the Competition Apellate Tribunal. Cement companies will now have to pay the fine within a month.


The Competition Apellate Tribunal (COMPAT) on Friday directed the country’s top 11 cement manufacturers to pay up 10 percent of the total fine imposed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in its June order of last year against these firms. The list of affected companies include Ambuja Cement , Binani Cement, JK Cement , Jaypee Associates and seven others apart from the lobbying firm Cement Manufacturer’s Association. In this interim order COMPAT also ruled that if the companies fail to deposit the expected amount , their pending pleas against the CCI’s order would be rejected. CNBC-TV18’s Ronojoy Banerjee reports.


It is a conditional stay order granted by the COMPAT which means that their earlier stay order on the need for the cement companies to pay the cumulative fine of about Rs 6300 crore remains. However, as the COMPAT hears cases, the companies have now been directed to pay a token amount.


This is going to vary from company to company, cumulatively, this will come to Rs 630 crore, but it will vary from company to company depending on the amount of fine that was originally imposed by the CCI on each of these companies. For instance, in case of Jaiprakash Associates which faces the maximum brunt of the fine by the CCI, they will have to pay out in the range of about Rs 130 crore.


An interim order can only be challenged through a writ petition but according to the legal counsel of many of these companies, there is little taste for a battle with the government. Many companies are expected to pay, in fact, Ambuja Cements has agreed to pay about Rs 116.3 crore.


The next date of hearing is going to be in August. But not much of an impact on cement companies has been exemplified because the share prices did not react too much on this news as this is just a token amount.




Stop discharge of effluent to Upper Lake: Green Tribunal

TNN | May 18, 2013, 03.19 AM IST

BHOPAL: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the state government to take measures to ensure that there no discharge of effluent, domestic discharge, sewage or any solid waste disposal in the Upper Lake. The tribunal also directed the state government to file a report indicating the number of encroachments and buildings in the catchment area of the Upper Lakeand which do not have proper drainage system.

Acting on a petition filed by Dr Alankrita Mehra, a radiologist with the People’s College of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, the tribunal also directed for constituting a committee consisting of collector of Bhopal, member secretary of pollution control board (PCB), regional officer in charge of ministry of environment, Bhopal, conservator of forest and a senior officer from the department of housing, land and environment and department of urban development of Madhya Pradesh, which shall ensure that the said directions are carried out .

The petition mentions that “…the Upper Lake has shrunk appreciably as it has reduced from an initial area of 30 sq kms to 8 sq kms. The total length of the lake was 38 kms, but it reduced to 5 kms in 2009. Further large percentage of population depends on the groundwater which is severely polluted. That the situation is so disappointing as the state government and the local municipal Corporation is consistently ignoring their sewage systems that need upgradation and maintenance…”

Also, it states that the current trend of activities around the upper lake show deviation in land use has been noticed in several places on the banks of the Upper Lake edge.

Advocate for the petitioner Vivek Choudhary told TOI, “The pollution in the lake has now reached an alarming level “.

“Further no effective measures have been taken for making it pollution free. The lake water is used for drinking purposes and is adversely affecting the health of the people at large, aquatic animals, migratory birds and the quality of the crops and vegetables that are grown in this area,” he said.

The petition also mentions how “…tremendous pressure is placed on these water bodies due to the inflow of untreated sewage and other anthropogenic activity…”

The next hearing in this regard is scheduled on May 24.

Upper Lake woes

Reduction in storage capacity due to siltation

Dumping of sewage

Use of pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture

Eco-tourism activitiesadventure sports and leisure activities like boating, ferry etc

Immersion of idols

Encroachment on the catchment area-construction of marriage gardens, hospitals, educational institutions and others

Establishment and operation of commercial, educational Institutions and illegal colonies

Excessive growth of aquatic plants

Threat to aquatic life (bio-diversity)




Vasant Kunj project: Green tribunal lashes out at PWD

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 18, 2013

First Published: 00:02 IST(18/5/2013) | Last Updated: 00:04 IST(18/5/2013)

The National Green Tribunal on Friday tore into Delhi’s public works department for presenting wrong facts regarding the road-widening project in Vasant Kunj.

When a PWD executive engineer said no trees had been felled for the project, the tribunal said, “The forest department says 48 trees were cut (without its permission). How dare you lie before us?”

When the engineer could not produce any document to substantiate his claim, the tribunal asked the PWD lawyer, “Has he come here for a picnic?”

The NGT expressed anguish at the behaviour of the official and for trying to mislead the tribunal. “His statement in any case is rebutted by the stand taken by the forest department and photographs placed on record by the petitioner,” the NGT said.

The tribunal ordered the official to produce all records, including the layout plan and tender documents, related to the project by May 20, the next date of hearing. Till then, an interim stay on the project, ordered earlier by the tribunal, will remain in force.

The tribunal was hearing a petition filed by Sonya Ghosh, a resident of the south Delhi colony. She said, “We moved the tribunal when a large number of trees were felled without permission from the forest department.”

Her lawyer Parul Gupta said, “We have submitted satellite images of two periods — November 2012 and February 2013 — to show that trees had indeed been felled.” 

The tribunal said the grievance of the petitioner stands substantiated. “The project was in progress without the forest department’s permission,” it said.

The PWD’s plan is to widen the road from 16 to 30 metres to 75 metres. On completion, this will be the Capital’s widest road.

The tribunal on Friday said the PWD’s action was bound to have adverse impact on the environment. “Felling of trees in this manner violates the provisions of the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994 and Indian Forest Act, 1927,” it said.




Inspect closed water units: green tribunal


The National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, on Friday, directed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and the Commissionerate of Food Safety and Drug Administration to inspect the 92 packaged drinking water units that were closed recently.

It has asked them to submit a report on May 27 after analysing water samples obtained from these units that are located in and around the city. Until then, the units should remain closed.

On March 5, the Tribunal Bench, comprising Justice M. Chockalingam and Prof. R. Nagendran, took note of an article in The Hindu revealing pollution and contamination in water packaged by some of these units. When served with a notice, authorities, including the TNPCB, filed replies.

It came to light that there were 121 packaged water units functioning in and around the city and, of them, only 23 had obtained valid consent from the TNPCB. Based on a direction from the tribunal, the TNPCB served closure orders on 92 units.

S. Balaji, TNPCB member-secretary, appeared on Friday before the Bench and filed an action-taken report stating electricity supply to 78 of these units had been disconnected. Power supply to the remaining units too would be discontinued shortly.

Taking up five applications filed by individual units and the South India Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers’ Association, Justice Chockalingam and Prof. Nagendran said, “We are not against closure of water packaging industries completely. Our only concern is that procedures and norms must be followed while processing the water.”

Prof. Nagendran said, “We are making the TNPCB follow the norms. Water packaging should be done as per standard procedures.”

The counsel representing the units said the packaged water they had been supplying until now met the required quality norms. There was no illegality or violation of any procedure. They sought a stay on the closure orders.

S. Saravanan, TNPCB’s counsel, said the closure orders should continue until the quality of water supplied by the units was certified.




Punjab forms tribunal to probe Sarabjit’s death

our correspondent
Saturday, May 18, 2013 
From Print Edition


LAHORE: The Punjab government on Friday formed an inquiry tribunal, comprising Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi of the Lahore High Court, to ascertain the facts about to the death of an Indian death row prisoner confined in Kot Lakhpat Jail.


The tribunal will start its inquiry proceedings at the LHC principal seat and in the jail from the date to be notified later on and, if needed, in India.The government handout said that any person desirous of making submissions before the tribunal was required to register with registrar of the tribunal, Yousaf Aujla, and file written submissions along relevant documents, if any, accompanied with the copy of CNIC within seven days. The persons within India are required to get themselves registered with the tribunal at official URL at the following email address: “registrartribunalss@”.


All the state functionaries including all the officers concerned of the federal and provincial governments are notified to render full assistance and cooperation to the Tribunal and its authorized officers





P’kula MC can use Sec 23-25 for now; tribunal team to scout sites next month

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Panchkula, May 17, 2013

Providing some relief to the municipal corporation (MC) of Panchkula and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the National Green Tribunal, New Delhi, on Friday ruled that the dumping ground in Sector 23-25 could be used temporarily. However, a two-member expert panel from the tribunal would visit Panchkula next month and submit a report about the best-suited sites for garbage dumps.

The sites in contention include one in Jhuriwala, which already has environmental clearance for a solid waste management plant, besides the Sector 23-25 ground and the one located in Madanwala (Pinjore) suggested by the Hemant Sarin, one of the petitioners in the case. Sarin had raised the issue of fire in the dumping ground of Sector 23-25 that had made the life of residents difficult for many days. The MC informed the tribunal that an FIR had been registered in that regard. 

In an interim order on May 3, the tribunal had restrained both HUDA and MC from using the Sector 23-25 site, as its use was causing environmental pollution. After the order, in the absence of an alternate site for garbage dumping, the MC first stopped lifting the garbage containers, and later it dumped garbage in low-lying areas, even in the industrial area adjoining Zirakpur.

During arguments, the MC told the tribunal expressly that it did not have an alternative site to dump garbage while HUDA submitted that it was looking for one.

Thought the detailed order is yet to come out, it was conveyed to the civic authorities to use disinfectants and scientifically dispose of the garbage for the time being at the Sector 23-25 site. “We hope the MC and HUDA will respect the decision and keep in mind the inconvenience faced by residents,” said Sarin.





‘Free all trees of concrete by July 12 or face action’

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 18, 2013

First Published: 00:05 IST(18/5/2013) | Last Updated: 00:06 IST(18/5/2013)

The National Green Tribunal on Friday ordered various land-owning agencies and departments of the Centre and Delhi government to free all trees in the Capital of concrete by July 12 or face consequences. 

Hearing a petition filed by tree enthusiast Aditya N Prasad and others, the tribunal said the deadline was the “last opportunity” for the respondents, including the three municipal corporations, Delhi Development Authority, New Delhi Municipal Council, Public Works Department, Delhi Cantonment Board, Delhi Transport Corporation and the National Highway Authority of India.

Rajiv Dutta, the petitioners’ lawyer, said, “Central rules for de-choking of trees were issued in 2000. Since then, there have been two high court orders. But concretisation continued. Now the entire de-choking exercise will cost a lot of public money.”

“The story has remained the same for so many years. To date, except for some NDMC areas, not a single tile/concrete has been removed, not even from the trees whose photographs and locations have been annexed to the petition,” Dutta said.

Co-petitioner RL Mahanta said, “Back in 2007 and 2009, these departments assured the high court they would free trees of cement but nothing much happened. This shows they don’t respect the court. Even the tribunal’s order on April 23 to remove concrete around trees has failed to shake them. I hope there’s some action now.”

The laxity could be gauged from the fact even by Friday, many departments had not even responded to the petition. “Let the replies be filed within three weeks by way of last opportunity,” the tribunal said. 

“We express all hope that authorities will complete their work by the next date of hearing. In default, obviously, the consequences of the law shall follow,” it added.

AK Shukla, Delhi chief conservator of forests, said, “Tender documents for construction works continue to be prepared in the old-fashioned way. They don’t mention deconcretisation rules. We have taken it up with agencies concerned.”





Recruitment of district judges challenged in high court

L Saravanan, TNN | May 18, 2013, 02.05 AM IST

MADURAI: Challenging the notification to fill up vacancies for the posts of district judge, a writ petition has been filed before the Madras high court (Madurai bench). The petition filed by a differently abled person states that the government has issued the notification for these entry-level posts without reservation for thedifferently-abled people (DAP).

The government issued the notification without following a 2011 order of Madras high court in reply to writ petitions directing the government to give chance to the DAP in the next recruitment drive (ie the current one) for the district judges, the petition filed by advocate M Ponniah, who himself is disabled, stated.

A few days ago another petition was filed before the Madras high court principal bench by P Ramalingam, former president of TN Judicial Officers Association and retired district judge, challenging the same notification on the ground that the government fills up the vacancies without using the service quota (promotion should be given to the sub judges as district judge). On this petition, the court has ordered notice to the government and the high court registry.

After hearing the petition of Ponniah, the division bench, comprising Justices M Duraiswamy and T Raja, ordered notices to be issue to the chief secretary of the Tamil Nadu government, secretary of the public department and the registrar general of the Madras high court.

On May 1, the public department had issued the notification inviting applications from advocates with seven years of practice to fill up 23 vacancies of district judge in the Tamil Nadu State Judicial Service.

The notification also contained the details about distribution of vacancies, according to reservation, among backward classes (6 posts), general (8) scheduled castes (3), most backward classes and denotified communities (4), scheduled castes (Arunthathiyars on preferential basis) (1) and backward class Muslims (1). However, the notification did not provide for reservation for DAPs who are entitled for 3% reservation under the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. Even though, the DAPs were selected to the post of civil judge (junior division), so far they have not been given a chance in the recruitment for district judge. After the Act came into force, two selections to the district judge cadre were made. In 2011, 17 candidates were selected to the post out of 2,541 applicants who appeared for the written examination. Prior to this, 11 persons were selected.

The recent notification aims to fill up 23 vacancies.

The current vacancy in district judge cadre is 51. According to the Act, one DAP should be appointed in the government service as one among 33 judges. As the government issued notification without giving reservation to the disabled, the writ petition was filed challenging the notification, the petitioner alleged.





Spot fixing: Sreesanth moves court for copy of FIR

By PTI | 17 May, 2013, 07.58PM IST

NEW DELHI: Indian pacer S Sreesanth, who is being quizzed along with 13 others in the IPL spot-fixing scandal case, today moved a Delhi court seeking a a copy of the FIR registered against him. 

Sreesanth, his two teammates of Rajasthan Royals franchise and 11 bookies were yeserday remanded to police custody for five days. 

The cricketer be supplied with a copy of the FIR for preparing his defence, the application, filed before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Lokesh Kumar Sharma, said. 

The court has so far not fixed a date for hearing it. The accused should be told about the grounds of arrest, Deepak Prakash, counsel for the cricketer, said. 

The accused is an international player and had no reasons to get involved in such acts, the lawyer said. 

While seeking seven days police custody for interrogation, the police had told the court that Sreesanth and his IPL teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan, who were arrested in Mumbai yesterday, had betted and taken money for every ball and run in every over. 

Police had also sought remand for custodial interrogation of the cricketers and others to unearth the entire conspiracy relating to spot-fixing in three IPL matches involving Rajasthan Royals. 

Sreesanth and two other cricketers were arrested in a post-midnight operation in Mumbai on May 16 by Delhi police for spot-fixing in IPL matches for payments of upto Rs 60 lakhs just for giving away pre-determined number of runs in an over. 

It said the cricketers had indulged in spot-fixing in at least three IPL matches as per arrangements with bookies who have underworld connections abroad. 

The players, who have been suspended by the BCCI, have been booked under section 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.





High court orders cops to act on beacon misuse

TNN | May 18, 2013, 03.01 AM IST

KOLKATA: Think before you flash a red light on your car just for fun. The Calcutta high court on Friday gave the police power to combat the misuse of beacons in cars in the state.

The division bench of Justice Ashim Kumar Royand Justice MP Srivastav directed the director general of state police and the commissioner of Kolkata Police to act on the order.

If any person misuses the red light in the car, then the police can start cases against him or her under Section 419 of the IPC which reads as “cheating impersonation, the bench ordered. The court has also given police the power to initiate cases against the accused without taking the sanction of any authority.

The high court observed that common people should also be aware that use of red light in cars is a crime and the nearest police outlet should be informed in case they come across such misuse. Police will then take action against.

Advocate Jayanta Narayan Chatterjee had argued in the court that it was fashion to use red light in private cars these days. The state government had already issued a notification stating names of the people who are entitled to use a beacon on their car.

In spite of such notification people are violating norms by using beacons at their whims and fancies which should be dealt with strongly, Chatterjee added.





1993 Mumbai blast: TADA court issues NBW against 2 convicts

PTI : Mumbai, Fri May 17 2013, 18:56 hrs

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Mumbai serial blast case



The special TADA court today issued non-bailable warrants against two convicts of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case as they failed to surrender within the deadline set by the Supreme Court.

Actor Sanjay Dutt, for whom yesterday’s deadline had been set by the SC, has surrendered before the authorities.

But the two fellow convicts, Sharif (Dada) Parkar and Zebunisa Kazi, today moved separate applications before the TADA Court seeking more time to surrender on medical grounds.

Sharif (Dada) Parkar, who is over 80 years old, had been hospitalised following chest pain, and doctors had advised him angioplasty procedure, his lawyer Farhana Shah told the Judge G A Sanap.

The lawyer of Zebunisa Kazi (75) said Kazi had been advised to take certain medical tests and she needed time till May 20.

The TADA judge, however, said it would not be possible for him to consider these pleas as the deadline had been fixed by the apex court.

While Parkar was to surrender yesterday, Kazi was to give herself up before the court today.

Prosecutor Deepak Salvi moved an application seeking non-bailable arrest warrants against the two for not following the Supreme Court’s order. The court accepted the plea and issued non-bailable warrants.

Parkar had played a role in organising the landing of arms and RDX in Raigad district at the instance of Tiger Memon. The RDX was used in the March 1993 serial blasts. He had also arranged a conspiracy meeting in Raigad.

Kazi was convicted for allowing the co-accused to keep some weapons at her house for a while.




HC upholds eviction notice to tenant for causing ruckus

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, May 18, 2013

The eviction order of a tenant for creating nuisance at a housing society in Thane by running a playgroup in a residential tenement, was upheld by the Bombay high court.

Acting on a suit filed by landlady Sudha Barve, a joint civil court junior division at Thane had, on July 29, 1999, ordered the eviction of  Ranjana Padhye, because of the nuisance created by 18-20 children at a crèche run by her and change of use of the residential premises without the consent of the landlord.

Three years later, a joint district judge at Thane reversed the order based on an appeal by Padhye and dismissed Barve’s suit. “If parents of the children come to the premises on scooters or by autorickshaws, some nuisance is bound to be created. However, this is not an actionable nuisance,” the joint district judge had said.

However, on May 10, the HC struck down the joint district judge’s order and upheld the order of eviction. Justice Bhushan Gavai struck down the appellate court’s findings after finding several witnesses supporting the landlady’s case. The judge also noted that the cooperative housing society had complained about the nuisance and requested Padhye to stop it.

Justice Gavai also upheld the trial court’s finding that the residential tenement had been put to commercial use without the consent of the landlady.

Further, HC also looked into the point of comparative hardship. In this respect, the trial court had ruled in favour of the landlady since she had a family of six and needed the premises for accomodating her family. Further, since Padhye owned a house at Dombivli, she could shift there with her family, the court had held. However, the judge rejected this approach of the appellate court to direct a separation of the landlady’s family.





Give fee, salary details, HC to private schools

TNN | May 18, 2013, 06.08 AM IST

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday directed all private schools of Chandigarh to provide complete information about their fee and salary structure and also told it to make payments to its teachers through account payee cheques only.

The directions come in the wake of a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking better facilities in government schools in the UT. However, during the hearing of the case, the Independent School Association moved an application requesting the high court to implead them as a party to assist the court in the matter.

A division bench comprising acting chief justice Jasbir Singh and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain directed the association to prepare a chart, comparing it with government schools, mentioning their fee structure and salary paid by them to their teachers. Directions have also been given to provide information about the qualifications of teachers serving in private schools of the city. The HC also asked private schools to provide information about the number of teachers dismissed by them in the past five years. The case would now come up for hearing on July 23.





Class 3, 4 contractual employees should be paid at par with regular staff: HC

Express news service : Allahabad, Sat May 18 2013, 01:01 hrs

The Allahabad High Court on Friday directed all the district courts in the state to ensure that all the Class 3 and 4 employees, engaged on contract basis, be given salary and other allowances at par with the regular employees. The court has asked the Registrar General of the High Court to communicate the order to all the district courts immediately for compliance. A single judge bench of Justice Sabhajeet passed the order in this regard on a petition filed by Mohammad Saeed and another. The petitioners were sweepers, engaged on contract basis in Jaunpur district court. They had sought wages equal to those of the regular employees. The petitioners had also submitted that they had been engaged since 2004 and were getting only Rs 2,000 per month as consolidated fixed salary.




HC notice to Kamal Haasan on film body’s plea

TNN | May 18, 2013, 04.53 AM IST

CHENNAI: On the 100th day of Kamal Haasan’s film ‘Vishwaroopam’, the Madras high court has issued notice to the actor on a petition filed by a film exhibitors’ body accusing the actor of submitting forged documents before theCompetition Commission of India.

A vacation judge, Justice M Venugopal, issued notices, returnable in four weeks, on a petition of R Panneerselvam, general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Film Exhibitors Association, on Friday.

The matter relates to a complaint lodged by Kamal’s film company, Raj Kamal International, against a non-existent Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association, alleging that the latter had adopted a resolution not to release ‘Vishwaroopam’ in Tamil Nadu in January this year.

As evidence, the actor had submitted a resolution printed on a letter head carrying the name of Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association, which is non-existent, but had the registration number and address of the Tamil Nadu Film Exhibitors Association. The commission has issued notice to the exhibitors.

Denying that it had ever adopted such a resolution, and stating that exhibitors had contributed to the success of the film, the association said its reputation had been maligned and that the complaint aimed at harassing the forum.

Since the Chennai city police had not taken any action despite a complaint, the present petition to direct the authorities to register a criminal case and proceed in accordance with law had been filed, said Panneerselvam.





State election commission challenges HC ‘consent’

TNN | May 18, 2013, 02.52 AM IST

KOLKATA: The state election commission filed an application in the Calcutta high court on Friday seeking deletion of the portion of Tuesday’s division bench’s ruling that records it as a “consent order”. But that is only a fraction of the application, where the state election commissionhas virtually challenged the division bench’s ruling on Tuesday, a rarity in the history of the high court.

The state election commission’s petition says that it disagrees with the government counsel over deployment of forces and categorization of polling booths – normal, less sensitive, sensitive and high sensitive. The state election commission also expressed dismay over the division bench’s order that asks the state government to meet any shortfall in security forces by requisitioning police from the Centre or other states, “as may be considered appropriate by the state government”.

The state election commission application submits that the bench, while passing the order, had said that the state would make the arrangements in consultation with the state election commission. The ‘consultation’ part is missing from the order that contravenes with the powers and functions of the state election commission as enshrined in the Constitution and also in the West Bengal Panchayat Elections Act, 2003, says the 800-page petition. State election commission secretary Tapas Ray filed it on Friday with annexures of the division bench ruling and the Justice Biswanath Somadder order.

The state poll body doesn’t agree with the division bench’s ruling that states: “The findings recorded before the single bench on merits shall not be treated as precedent …” The division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalya Bagchi will take up the matter for hearing when the high court reopens after summer vacation on June 3.

By moving the application, lawyers say, the state election commission is keeping the door open to move Supreme Court with a petition to strike down Section 42 of the West Bengal Panchayat Elections Act, 2003, which doesn’t go with Article 243 K of the Constitution that provides for the supremacy of the state election commission in all matters concerning elections.

According to senior counsel Samaraditya Pal, the state election commission move won’t affect the panchayat poll process underway. The state election commission will only urge the high court to drop the opening line of Tuesday’s ruling that says: “Happily the disputes raised in this appeal between the state government and the state election commission with respect to holding of panchayat polls have been amicably settled and is being decided by the following consent order.” Pal took exception to this portion of the ruling on getting a certified copy of it and said he is “neither happy nor was his consent sought in the order”. Such a revision application is unique as it seeks a review or revision of the court order.





15 yrs on, HC acquits Pappu Yadav in MLA murder case

Ravi Dayal, TNN | May 18, 2013, 01.33 AM IST

PATNA: Fifteen years after the murder of Ajit Sarkar, CPM MLA from Purnia, the Patna high court on Friday acquitted former Purnia MPRajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, former MLA Rajan Tiwari and Anil Yadav of the charge of murder, giving them benefit of doubt.

Sarkar was shot by motorcycle-borne criminals when he was in his car in Khazanchihat in Purnia town on June 14, 1998. Pappu, then an RJD MP and known political rival of Sarkar, was arrested in 1999, and is currently lodged in the Beur Central Jail.

A division bench comprising Justice V N Sinha and Justice A K Lal set aside the judgment of a special CBI court which had awarded them life sentence on February 14, 2008. While allowing the criminal appeals filed by the trio, the division bench held the circumstantial evidence gathered by the CBI against Pappu, Rajan and Anil was not strong enough on which their conviction could be based.

After an FIR was lodged in the Khazanchihat police station, the case was handed over to the CBI. The investigating agency filed the chargesheet, maintaining Pappu hatched a conspiracy to get Sarkar killed by shooter Rajan. The chargesheet further said Anil was driving the motorcycle and Rajan was riding the pillion when he shot Sarkar.

The circumstantial evidence collected by the CBI was that after the murder, Rajan reached Katihar and talked to Pappu on phone. The CBI also produced three prosecution witnesses in the trial court.

The trio’s defence was that Sarkar’s bodyguard, Ramesh Oraon, who was sitting with Sarkar in the car when the murder took place, had not seen the prosecution witnesses.

The division bench had reserved the judgment on the three criminal appeals on February 26 this year. On Friday, it delivered the 273-page judgment.

CBI counsel Bipin Kumar Sinha said after studying the judgment, the investigating agency might move the Supreme Court and challenge the verdict of the division bench. He said Rajan had confessed in his statement before a magistrate that Pappu had hatched the plot to kill Sarkar.





HC slams civic bodies for not completing development works

TNN | May 18, 2013, 05.22 AM IST

GURGAON: Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday issued notice to the state government, director general of town and country planning (DTCP), Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), Haryana Urban Development Authority(HUDA) and others for not completing the external and internal development works at residential colonies within the given time frame. The court has directed them to file a report before August 19.

The court issued notice on the basis of a petition filed by the Gurgaon Citizens’ Council (GCC) after the state government and other parties concerned despite the directions issued by the apex court issued tax demand to the petitioner.

President of the council, R S Rathee said in December while hearing our case the Supreme Court had directed HUDA and the private builders to finish the external and internal development within six months and hand over charge to the MCG so that it can start providing the essential services to those residing in private builder areas.

The private builder area residents have long been protesting against the way they are being made to pay twice – to the private builder for maintenance and to the MCG as property tax.

Even after inclusion of licensed areas in the Municipal Corporation way back in 2008 the MCG did not take over the licensed areas and did not provide any services but were very prompt in issuing public notice for imposition of tax and also issued individual notices to the resident without following due procedure as prescribed under the act, said Rathee.

Earlier GCC wrote to MCG commissioner to find out if it will be able to take over the private builder area within this timeframe and start providing us services. But when it failed to take over, GCC approached the high court and filed a petition against all three government agencies – HUDA, MCG DTPC for failing to comply with the Supreme Court order.





HC issues norms for Arya Samaj marriages

Milind Ghatwai : BHOPAL, Sat May 18 2013, 01:49 hrs

Holding that marriages performed without parents’ consent were creating social problems, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has issued detailed guidelines to Arya Samaj temples, a favourite place where couples in hurry usually tie the knot.

The Gwalior Bench said that it had come to its notice that teenage girls were getting married and Arya Samaj temples were issuing certificates causing tensions in


In his brief order, Justice N K Mody asked the Arya Samaj temple managements to take written applications from the would-be bride and groom and fix the marriage date at least a week later.

The management should inform both sets of parents by a registered intimation the date and time of the proposed ceremony as also to the police station and district collector in whose jurisdiction the would-be groom and bride reside.

The judge said that at least five relatives from each side should be present at the time of the marriage.

The order came on habeas corpus petition filed by a 28-year-old resident of Gwalior who wanted the custody of his 21-year-old wife.

The woman told the court that it was true that she married on April 5 at an Arya Samaj temple in Gwalior but insisted that it was “under undue influence”. She said that only a priest and a photographer were present but no relative or friend was present.




State challenges high court order on Dhaniakhali

TNN | May 18, 2013, 02.57 AM IST

KOLKATA: The state government on Thursday filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Courtchallenging the Calcutta high court division bench’s May 13 order handing the Dhaniakhalicustodial death case to CBI.

The order was a stinging indictment of the state’s premier probe agency, CID, which the HC blamed for “shutting its eyes to conspiracy angle in the case involving a police officer and the local MLA”. The HC had in its order cited six specific instances where it held CID could have probed better.




Bhubaneswar faces illegal temple demolition heat after Cuttack

Ashok Pradhan, TNN | May 18, 2013, 02.32 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Following mass demolition of temples on encroached government land in Cuttack, the spotlight has now shifted to Bhubaneswar.

Encouraged with the execution of Orissa high court’s January 6, 2011 direction to evict religious structures on government land in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) have also started consultation for a suitable process to end encroachments in the name of temples.

BMC commissioner Sanjib Mishra said the civic body has already decided to raze unauthorized temples on its premises. “We will remove all such intrusions. In fact, we have already decided to bulldoze the temple inside BMC Hospital. In case of two other temples, the HC has stayed the demolition,” Mishra said.

A team of enforcement squad of BDA on Friday went to Cuttack Development Authority (CDA) to learn about the modalities of eviction under the latter’s jurisdiction. “Because of religious sentiments, the government was earlier lenient while dealing with encroachments by places of worship. However, in view of the Cuttack example, we also have to gear up for such future action on temples here soon,” said a senior BDA officer.

Though the government has not prepared any comprehensive list of religious structures on encroached government land in the state capital, sources estimate the total number of such places would be around 150 in and around Bhubaneswar. The temples are on lands under the general administration, BDA, BMC and revenue department. Apart from giant structures on NH sides at Rasulgarh and Vani Vihar, there are temples inside Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority office, heads of department building, near Master Canteen and several police stations, among several other places.

Revenue divisional commissioner (RDC), central zone, Aravinda Padhee who is chairman of the committee overseeing demolition of places of worship in Cuttack, said the mass demolition in Cuttack is on the specific direction of the HC. “There is no such direction for other cities. However, the encroachments everywhere are being removed under the Orissa Prevention of Land Encroachment Act 1972,” he said.

One Abhiram Mallick has filed a PIL seeking demolition of temples on the premises of government establishments across the state. “The HC direction on the basis of which the demolition is being undertaken in Cuttack has cited an interim order of the Supreme Court. The same order of the apex court has also directed all the state governments to review unauthorized religious structures on a case to case basis and prevent future encroachments. We have thus prayed the HC to direct the state government to demolish all such buildings in the state,” said Mallick’s counsel Khirod Rout. Mallick has also pleaded for removal of photographs of deities from government offices and police stations to maintain a secular ambience in the offices.






L&T moves HC against KPCL over Bidadi power project

Bangalore, Chethan Kumar, May 17, 2013, DHNS:


The controversy surrounding the proposed Rs 2,184-crore 700-mw gas-based power project at Bidadi seems far from dying.

Larsen and Toubro (L&T), one of the shortlisted bidders for the project has moved the Karnataka High Court contesting Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL)’s move to term its bid unresponsive without furnishing reasons for the same. KPCL, which had selected Alstom, one of the bidders as the lowest bidder (L-1) had come under severe criticism for not having followed the procedures. 

The matter was even taken up before the High Court by two of the other shortlisted bidders–L&T and Tata Projects earlier this year. The court had disposed off the matter stating that it was not an appropriate time for the petition to be filed as the contract was not handed over to anybody yet.

And, in its 322nd meeting, the Board had said: “As an outcome of the writ petitions filed by L&T and Tata Projects before the High Court, it was decided to form a sub-committee to examine the relevant issues and make suitable recommendations for expeditious finalisation of the tender of the project.”

Following the recommendations of the sub-committee, KPCL contacted all the four shortlisted bidders, Alstom, L&T, Tata Projects and BHEL to resolve the aforementioned issues.

The Board has noted that Alstom, vide a letter dated February 12, 2013 had expressed its inability to withdraw “such permitted, albeit unresolved, technical and commercial deviations on the terms requested,” which disqualified Alstom.

New controversy

In pursuit of a vendor, KPCL however got itself into a new controversy by terming the bid of L&T, which was the second lowest bidder (L-2) when Alstom was still in the race ‘unresponsive’, despite the company agreeing to withdraw all the deviations (technical and commercial) unconditionally.

L&T has since moved the High Court against this vide a writ petition (18607), the preliminary hearing of which is already complete and the matter is posted for hearing post vacation.

On March 4, 2013, KPCL communicated with L&T, inviting them for a meeting to resolve the deviations.

During the meeting on March 5, L&T was asked to withdraw deviations without any financial implications to KPCL and among the deviations mentioned were those relating to Auxiliary Power Consumption and Entry Tax.

L&T, KPCL sources said, had raised a clarification as these two things were not mentioned in the scheduled list of deviations in the tender document and that it did not qualify as a deviation. However, the Corporation was not willing to concede and eventually, sources said, L&T agreed to unconditionally withdraw all the deviations unconditionally.

In a surprising move, KPCL has termed L&T’s bid unresponsive, while, with the unconditional withdrawal of the deviations, L&T, which was the L-2 should have automatically qualified for price negotiations.

But, minutes before the Election Commission invoked the model code of conduct on March 20,  the then Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who was also the Chairman of KPCL, awarded the Rs 2,184-crore contract for a power project at Bidadi to Tata Projects.





Kerala sessions court orders DNA test on Bitti Mohanty

PTI [ Updated 18 May 2013, 07:07:52 ]

Kannur (Kerala), May 18:  A Sessions Court here on Friday  ordered DNA test on Bitti Mohanty to obtain scientific proof for establishing his identity following his arrest in March this year after being on the run for several years.






Obliged to set aside orders obtained fraudulently, says SC

by F wire May 18, 2013

#NewsTrackerNew Delhi, May 17 (IANS) The Supreme Court has said that an order that has been obtained by an accused by practising fraud and suppression of facts could not be allowed to survive and it was obligated to set aside such an order.

“A victim of a crime has as much right to get justice from the court as an accused who enjoys the benefit of innocence till the allegations are proven against him,” said a bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra in their judgment pronounced Thursday.

The court said this while setting aside the order of the Rajasthan High Court and that of an additional district and sessions judge, Jodhpur and restoring the order of the additional chief judicial magistrate summoning Prem Prakash to face trial in the wake of a complaint received by it.

In the instant case, on a plea by one Prem Prakash, the additional district and session judge, Jodhpur, quashed the order of the additional chief judicial magistrate taking cognizance of a protest petition and summoned him through arrest warrant. The judge quashed it holding that when the offences were triable by the session’s court, the magistrate could not have taken cognizance on the basis of a protest petition.

However, it was held back from the court of the judge, that another additional district and sessions judge at Jodhpur had, after hearing detailed arguments, July 27, 2009 framed the charges against the accused that included Prem Prakash.

Holding that it was clear case of suppression, the court said, “…though the respondent was fully aware about the fact that charges had been framed against him by the learned trial Judge, yet he did not bring the same to the notice of the revisional court hearing the revision against the order taking cognizance”.

“Any one who takes recourse to method of suppression in a court of law, is, in actuality, playing fraud with the court, and the maxim supressio veri, expression faisi, i.e., suppression of the truth is equivalent to the expression of falsehood, gets attracted,” said Justice Misra pronouncing the judgment.

Noting that as the order has been obtained by practising fraud and suppressing material fact before a court of law to gain advantage, the court said that it cannot be allowed to stand.

Invoking its powers under article 142 of the constitution, the court said that “cognizance of the offences had been rightly taken by the learned Magistrate and charges, as we find, have been correctly framed by the learned trial Judge”.

The court said that when an order of quashment of summons has been obtained by suppression of facts, “this court has an obligation to set aside the said order and restore the order framing charges and direct the trial to go on”.





70-year-old man gets life term for rape and murder

17th May 2013 11:58 AM

The Additional Sessions Court (Fast Track-III) on Thursday sentenced a 70-year-old man accused in the rape and murder of a 48-year-old woman, to life term rigorous imprisonment. Judge C S Sudha awarded the sentence to Egerios Michael of Thodiyilkizhakkethil, Padappakkara. Besides the life term he has been awarded with a fine of `1 lakh and 10 year RI.  The incident took place in Vellimon on 14 November, 2005, when the woman had gone for bathing and washing clothes at an unoccupied plot near her house. The elder sister of the victim went in search of her, after the latter failed to return home even after a couple of hours, only to find her body dumped in the nearby Kanjiracode Lake.  According to prosecution case, Egerios had reached the area in a boat, while the victim was bathing near a well located at the plot.  The accused brutally attacked her and subjected her to sexual assault. In an attempt to destroy evidence, the victim, who had fallen unconscious, was thrown into the lake nearby. He also robbed the gold chain weighing two sovereigns worn by the victim. The post-mortem report had confirmed that the victim died after drowning in the lake compounded by injuries in her neck.

 The accused was awarded life term and fine after the court found him guilty under IPC Section 302 (murder), seven-year RI under section 326 (rape), two-year RI under section 201 (destruction of evidence) and one year RI under section 379 (robbery). On failure to pay the fine, he will have to serve an additional term of one year.

 As there were no eyewitnesses, the prosecution had to rely on circumstantial and scientific evidence.







One Response

  1. thanks for a good explanations
    be a goo advocate!

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