LEGAL NEWS 14.07.2013

HC acquits 7 men awarded death penalty in honour killing case

PTI | Jul 13, 2013, 09.53 PM IST

ALLAHABAD: Due to lack of evidence, theAllahabad high court has let off seven persons, who were awarded death sentence by a lower court in connection with an alleged honour killing case of Badaun district in Uttar Pradesh.

A division bench comprising Justice Amar Saran and Justice Pankaj Naqvi on Friday ordered “the release of Natthu, Rakesh, Mahavir, Viresh, Jai Prakash, Pappu and Gulab Singh” holding that they “stand acquitted of charges they had been found guilty of”.

The appellants had challenged July 30, 2012 order of additional sessions judge, Badaun.

They were awarded death sentence for allegedly burning alive Deen Dayal and Anita in a village under Gunnaur police station of the district on the intervening night of May 22-23, 2006.

Anita was the daughter of one of the appellants, Natthu.

The girl’s affair with Deen Dayal was said to have been bitterly opposed by her family.

However, during the trial, Natthu denied his involvement in the incident and claimed that the remaining six accused had “resorted to this abhorrent crime to grab his property”.

The high court struck down the conviction of all the seven accused observing that the trial court had convicted them “on the strength of the statement” given by Natthu, which was “not a substantive piece of evidence which could have nailed the other set of accused persons”.

“The trial court was swayed by the fact Natthu in his statement … had admitted his presence at the scene of occurrence,” the court noted, adding “this approach was absolutely de hors the law.

The prosecution had failed to prove the case, in the mode and manner as alleged by them beyond a reasonable doubt.




HC comes to the rescue of job aspirant

Giving relief to a person whose appointment as Associate Professor in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering in the school of Naval Architecture here was withdrawn, the Madras High Court has directed the Indian Maritime University to allow him to join duty.

Justice D Hariparanthaman, while passing an interim order yesterday, directed the Indian Maritime University to allow M S Ravi Sharma to work as Associate Professor and issued a notice to it directing it not to fill the post.

The petitioner Sharma, who resigned his job in the USA after his selection as Associate Professor, had challenged the University decision to withdraw the appointment order issued to him in this June.

The petitioner submitted that the University invited applications for recruitment of various faculty members in September 2012, pursuant to which he applied for the post.

Sharma further submitted that he attended the interview through Video Conferencing in November 2012 and an order of appointment was issued on December 4, 2012 asking him to join duty on or before March 3, 2013.

In the meantime the Ministry of Shipping, which constituted a Faculty Assessment Committee, kept in abeyance the joining of selected candidates and new set of directions were issued by it because of which he was not able to join duty, he stated.

Sharma contended that there was no deviation in the recruitment process, but on the basis of an order issued by the Ministry of Shipping, the university withdrew the appointment order on June 14 following which he challenged the decision.





HC restrains AI from making staff in south work longer

TNN | Jul 14, 2013, 03.33 AM IST

CHENNAI: The Madras high court has upheld its stay on Air India’s move to make its employees posted in southern region work longer than their counterparts elsewhere in the country.
The airline changed working hours to 44 hours per week for all its employees at airports, hangars and administrative offices in the southern region in February. But the new schedule was implemented only in southern and western regions. The western region, however, went back to the old schedule after the employees approached the Bombay high court against the new rules and some staff unions asked their members not to follow the revised timings.

But the southern region stuck with the new rules. The employees then challenged the increased working hours in the high court, which in May this year issued a stay on the new schedule. An affidavit filed by Air Corporation Employees Union, which opposed the move, said the airline decided to change work hours without amending the Indian Airlines (general employees) Service Regulations and without the consent of employees.

Rejecting Air India’s appeal seeking lifting of the stay order, Justice D Hariparanthaman, in an interim order on July 8, said the court could not accept the airline’s argument that the new work hours were introduced because the company was making a loss.

The issue has it origin in Air India’s decision to hive off ground handling and engineering sections into two subsidiaries. Ground handling employees were to be brought under Air India Air Transport Services and engineering staff under Air India Engineering Services. “A few employees were transferred while a few were sent on deputation. To ensure that the employees did not complain about the change in working hours, the management changed the timings for all employees,” said an employee.

“The new work hours force several employees to stay back for more than one and a half day though there is no work to do,” said another employee. More than 250 employees were affected by the new timings, he said. The airline follows two sets of work hours – 38 hours per week and 44 hours per week – because the nature of work for those at airport terminals, hangars and workshops and those in administrative offices are different. The different working hours are also linked to different incentives and compensations.




HC seeks info on panel to review cancellation of victims’ red cards

JSingh July 13, 2013Asia

Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday directed the Punjab government to inform about modalities for the formation of a high-level committee to review orders of the authority cancelling red cards of victims of the 1984 Sikh genocide .

The division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine George Masih was hearing a bunch of petitions of Sikh genocide  victims taking up the issue of cancellation of their red cards illegally and also about cancellation of red cards of illegal beneficiaries. The state government had issued red cards to riot victims so as to avail compensation of Rs 2 lakh and other benefits in housing schemes and commercial booths as per the state policy.

Appearing for the state government, advocate general Ashok Aggarwal sought time from the court to seek instructions from the appropriate authorities regarding the constitution of the high-level committee.

Representing the riot victims in one case, advocate Mansur Ali said the Ludhiana deputy commissioner (DC) had in an arbitrary manner cancelled red cards issued to the petitioners despite the fact that the latter had submitted all comprehensive proofs to the authorities that during the 1984 genocide , they were displaced from various cities and states.

The court was informed that after the high court directions on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Sikh Danga Peerat Welfare Committee, P unjab, regarding illegal issuance of red cards to some people, the Ludhiana DC had ordered an inquiry into the case.

The high court had on February 13 stayed the Ludhiana DC’s January 29 order cancelling red cards issued to 20 victims of the 1984 genocide .

Source: The Tribune

Decide on controversial appointments in two months: HC to PGI director

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, July 13, 2013

First Published: 18:39 IST(13/7/2013) | Last Updated: 18:44 IST(13/7/2013)
Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) director to decide on the appointment of assistant administrative officers’ and other posts that have been challenged in a petition filed by a workers’ union of the institute, within two months.
The directions came from the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine George Masih on a public interest litigation filed by Adhoc Front PGI Employees’ Union.

The petitioner union had sought quashing of the selection of five assistant administrative officers namely Dinesh Kumar, Sanjay Trikha, Ankur Sharma, Surinder Kumar and Rajesh Kumar Saxena stating that these selections had been made in “utter violation” of rules and advertisements.

It was submitted that also the appointments to the three advertised posts of assistant accounts officers and lower division clerks had been made by violating the rules after 2006.

The court was informed that despite bringing the issue to the notice of the authorities concerned, no action had been taken so far and that needed to be probed.

After hearing the case, though the court questioned the petitioner’s counsel about the delay in filing the petition in the high court but since the matter seemed to be important, the court issued directions to the PGIMER director to look into the issue.





Treatment of SOL students: PIL in HC

14th July 2013 10:11 AM

University of Delhi has hit the headlines again. Now it is the turn of the open school which has been taken to court for its alleged ‘indifferent’ treatment meted out to the students.

A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bhakru of the Delhi High Court has sought responses from the Central Government, Delhi University, and its School of Open Learning (SOL) against a PIL filled by an organisation called Fight for Human Rights by September 4.

The PIL has alleged that the practice and procedures adopted by the SOL were extremely ‘arbitrary and discriminatory.’

“The students are treated as second-class citizens, which discourage the students to take admission for studies with SOL and this results in the defeat of the very purpose of imparting education to maximum number of citizens,” the PIL said.  The plea said that the SOL procedure while conducting annual examinations, rechecking and revaluation of answer sheets and treatment of students is arbitrary and discriminatory.

The plea pointed at the lackadaisical attitude of the school administration stating that the school declares result very late depriving students the chance to pursue higher studies. “The authorities concerned conduct the annual examination for the students of  SOL in May/June every year and declare results very late in November/December,” it said.

It added, “As a result, the candidates, who fail to clear any paper in their final year, are deprived of the chance to pursue higher studies because the result of supplementary examination conducted for failed students is announced very late when admission of all courses are closed by all universities,” it added.

The university, however, remains divided on the subject. Subhadra Channa, professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi says, “There may be disparity in terms of facilities, but this may not necessarily be termed as human rights violation. The biggest problem is that the number of students admitted in SOL are much more than that of regular students and so it takes time to deliver the facilities provided to regular students such as examination results.”





Bombay high court modifies order on St Mary’s School

Vishwas Kothari, TNN | Jul 14, 2013, 06.49 AM IST

PUNE: The Bombay high court has modified its July 1 order which stated that the St Mary’s School in Pune Camp “shall reserve” 25% seats for children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged groups of society as provided under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009.

The high court division bench of justices V M Kanade and K R Shriram stated in its modified order on July 11 that the word “reserve” is substituted by the words “keep vacant”. The movecame after it was brought to the court’s notice that the 25% seats ought to be kept vacant till it issues further orders on the writ petition filed by the school.

The earlier order read, “…the petitioner (St Mary’s School) shall reserve 25% seats for children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged group of the society as defined under the said Act.” Referring to this, the petitioner made an application submitting that it did not mention that the said seats should be kept vacant until further orders.

The bench has since ruled, “In our view, it is obvious that there is a typographical mistake in the said order and it is clarified that the petitioner shall keep 25% seats vacant. In the order, the word ‘reserve’ therefore is substituted by the word ‘keep vacant’. The order is accordingly modified.”

The matter is now expected to be heard on August 8, considering that the court has extended the returnable date for the notices issued to the respondents, including the Pune zilla parishad (ZP) education officer, by four weeks.

Representatives of non-aided minority schools here have expressed their satisfaction over the modified order as the high court – in another petition filed by the Bishop’s education society regarding its schools at Pune Camp, Kalyaninagar and Undri – is dealing with the question as to what constitutes “aid”.

This is in view of the Supreme Court’s ruling that the RTE Act is applicable to aided minority schools only and is not applicable to non-aided minority schools.

The St Mary’s School, relying on the high court’s May 15 order in the Bishop’s Schools matter, had pleaded for an interim stay on the ZP education officer’s May 5 order. The ZP order had directed the school to cancel its admission process for academic year 2013-14 for not adhering to the provisions of the RTE Act regarding 25% quota.

The Bishop’s education society has claimed the status of a non-aided minority institution and has argued that it is not bound by RTE provisions. However, the ZP, which had directed the Bishop’s Schools to cancel their admissions process for 2013-14 for not adhering to the 25% quota under the RTE Act, has contested the society’s claim.

The ZP has submitted in the court that the Bishop’s School in Pune Camp is located on land granted by the central government on lease at a concessional rate, while the schools in Kalyaninagar and Undri were receiving aid in the form of concession in property tax.

The court observed that whether concession in property tax could be considered as “aid” was a matter that required debate. It has since allowed the Bishop’s Schools to fill up 75% seats on a first-come-first basis, while admissions to the remaining 25% seats shall be subject to further orders. The Bishop’s matter is slated to be next heard on August 5.





High court asks Veer Narmad South Gujarat University to give admissions on 600 BCom seats

TNN | Jul 14, 2013, 12.55 AM IST

SURAT: The Gujarat high court on Friday asked Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU) to give admission on 600 seats ofBCom at CJ Patel College (CJPC), Variav, which was suspended by it from the admission process. The university had suspended the college fromCentralized Admission Committee (CAC) in June end and did not allow admissions on the 600 B Com seats.

The university has now initiated the process for admission on the 600 seats of CJPC. “According to the court order, we will immediately publish an advertisement announcing admission on 600 seats. The CAC has also been asked to take necessary steps to include the college in the admission process,” said Dakshesh Thakar, vice-chancellor, VNSGU.

Earlier, the college was suspended from admission process by the university, saying that the CJPC had failed to deposit Rs 50 lakh with it as security deposit towards teachers’ salaries. Teachers at the college were not paid salaries as per the 6{+t}{+h} Pay Commission, the university claimed.

On the Rs 50 lakh deposit, the court order said, “Considering the issue involved in this petition, this court is of the opinion that the demand raised by the university on the basis of the resolution passed by the syndicate is not backed and/or supported by any rule or regulation. Prima facie, the respondents (VNSGU) are not able to establish that there is any legal basis for such demand.”

However, the court asked CJPC to submit an affidavit agreeing to pay salaries to its teachers as per the 6{+t}{+h} Pay Commission. “We are ready to pay salaries as per the norms but the teachers are not qualified. Hence, we are not paying them the full salary. The court is yet to decide the issue,” said Jagdish Tekrawala, managing trustee of CJPC, Variav.

The university argued that CJPC was allowed to collect fees from students to accommodate teachers’ salaries as per the 6{+t}{+h} Pay Commission. However, despite it collecting high fees, it was not paying salaries to its teachers as per the norms.





High court to aid of prisoner suffering from cancer

TNN | Jul 14, 2013, 02.12 AM IST

MADURAI: The prison authority, Madurai, has been directed by the Madras high court, Maduraibench, to provide treatment to a remand prisoner suffering by cancer at the Government RajajiHospital (GRH). The prisoner, Sownther aliasSownthrapandian, was arrested on June 17 in connection with a robbery and kept at theMadurai central prison.

Seeking treatment for Sownther at Adayar Cancer Research Institute, his wife, Karthiga Rani, 29, a resident of Thirunagar in Madurai, filed a writ petition before the bench.

Disposing the petition, justice S Manikumar ordered that Sownther should first be treated at Madurai GRH and be shifted to Adayar cancer institute, if necessary.

According to the petitioner, her husband is suffering from giant cell tumor (Grade II), for which he underwent three surgeries on his left leg knee during 2009 -2010 in a private hospital in Madurai. Doctors had advised him to undergo one more surgery.

The petition claimed that the Jaihindpuram police in Madurai had foisted a false case on Sownther on June 17. Sownther has been accused of robbing Rs 700 from a Meenakshi Sundaram at knifepoint. The police booked him in the case with the malafide intention of detaining him, the petition said.

Rani claimed that she visited Madurai central prison four times and found that he was unable to walk without help. She pleaded before the prison authority that he be allowed treatment on July 10. The writ petition was filed as there was no proper response from the prison authorities, Rani claimed.






Bad reputation can justify forced early retirement: Punjab and Haryana high court

TNN | Jul 14, 2013, 01.50 AM IST

CHANDIGARH: An employee may be forced to retire in public interest if his/her “general reputation” is not good even without tangible material to substantiate it, the Punjab and Haryana high court has said.

A division bench comprising Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Fateh Deep Singh passed the order on Friday while upholding the high court decision on premature retirement of Haryana Superior Judicial Services judicial officer Chaman Lal Mohal.

Mohal was entitled to work till the age of 60, but was forced to prematurely retire on January 29 after the court’s administrative judge declared his integrity as “doubtful”.

The officer appealed against the decision in February, arguing there was no material or the basis for doubting his integrity. He submitted that there was no complaint against him in 2011-12 nor any other material or report was ever communicated to him.

The court dismissed his petition and held that it was not necessary to limit the “material” only to written complaints or “tangible” evidence pointing fingers at the integrity of the judicial officer.

“Such evidence may not be forthcoming in such cases,” the bench said. It observed that if an authority bona fide forms an opinion that the integrity of a particular officer is doubtful, the correctness of that opinion cannot be challenged before courts.






Court orders winding up of Deccan Cargo



The Karnataka High Court has issued orders for winding up Capt. G.R. Gopinath’s Deccan Cargo and Express Logistics Pvt Ltd (DCEL), which operates under the ‘Deccan 360’ brand.

The High Court’s order indicates that DCEL, even after being given several opportunities, could not pay dues to the tune of Rs 39 lakh to Dubai-based United Aviation Services (UAS) and Rs 1.36 crore to Patel Integrated Logistics Pvt Ltd.

The court directed the winding up of the company in its June 11, 2013 order based on two petitions — one filed by UAS, which provided various facilities like permits, ground handling and fuelling in West Asia, Europe and Russia for DCEL, and another one filed by Patel Integrated, which had provided various logistic services to DCEL.

Now, the Court has ordered the Official Liquidator to commence the liquidation process. Last year itself, the court had prohibited DCEL from selling any of its assets following these two petitions.

DCEL had opposed Patel Integrated’s plea. It alleged that the petition for winding up was filed to avoid payment of court fee to launch a recovery suit under the civil laws, and to “pressurise the company (DCEL) to act in accordance with the dictates of Patel Integrated”. However, DCEL did not file any objection against the plea of UAS to wind up the company.

Both the petitioners knocked the doors of the court in 2011 after failing in their attempts to recover DCEL’s dues since 2009. It was pointed out in the petitions that DCEL had asked many of its 600-odd employees to either quit or go on long leave due to a serious financial crisis, and that it was selling its assets to clear its debts. As DCEL too had admitted its financial difficulties in making payments, the petitioner-companies had pleaded for the winding up of DCEL.

The court also noticed that though two separate public notices were issued in 2012 about the pleas for winding up, no objection was received against them.

Global Airport and Ground Services Pvt Ltd, JP Aviation Services Pvt Ltd, Lufthansa Tehnik Services India Ltd, Aegis Ltd, Dolphin Transport Corporation and Mindtree Ltd had also approached the court subsequently for winding up DCEL.

However, the court, in its various orders issued between June 12 and 28, has referred them to the Official Liquidator for claiming the amount due through the liquidation process.

DCEL was originally incorporated as Deccan Cargo Ltd in 2001 and later changed its name to DCEL in 2007-08. It launched operations in November 2009, two years after Capt Gopinath sold off his airline business, Deccan Aviation, to Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines.





Court agrees to hear plea to decongest Delhi road

The Delhi High Court has agreed to hear a petition seeking urgent measures to improve traffic flow on the busy Vikas Marg for reducing accidents and saving motorists’ time and energy.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru, before which the petition came up recently, decided to hear it Aug 22.

Petitioner Sudhir Jain, an author, sought direction to the Delhi government and joint commissioner of police (traffic) to apply his suggestions to decongest the east Delhi road.

Jain contended that as per his proposal the traffic flow between ITO to Anand Vihar will become smooth and continuous during office hours.

He said he had surveyed the stretch and found that the techniques currently used by the traffic department to manage the vehicles were adding to congestion.

“The process (of traffic department) encourages lane changing, mixes non-motorised and motorised vehicle flow, creates traffic bottleneck and increases waiting at intersections. The effect, in turn, increases traffic congestion, air and sound pollution and wastes commuters’ time and energy,” the petition said.

He submitted that “the improvement in traffic flow on decongested Vikas Marg can be used as an example to simplify traffic management on all arterial roads, especially on which traffic at intersections is still managed by signals.”

The petitioner said he wrote to various authorities about the plan but they ignored his suggestions.





Supreme Court orders Rs 9.2 lakh relief for landowners

Yogesh Kumar, TNN | Jul 14, 2013, 04.01 AM IST




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GURGAON: Upholding a Punjab and Haryana high court judgment, the Supreme Court has ordered enhancement of compensation payable to several landowners whose land had been acquired to develop Manesar township, the industrial hub of Haryana, near Gurgaon.

Recently, a single bench of Punjab and Haryana high court had enhanced the amount of compensation payable to the landowners from Rs 28,15,356 per acre to Rs 37,40,000 per acre.

The state government and landowners had moved the apex court over the issue of compensation. After hearing a bunch of petitions, the apex court on July 2, ordered the Haryana government and HSIIDC to pay Rs 9,24,644 per acre to petitioners.

The two-member bench of Justice G S Singhvi and Justice S J Mukhopadhya, also ordered that the payment shall be made to the landowners and/or their legal representatives by following the procedure laid down in the interim orders passed by the apex court.

The landowners of dozens of villages near Gurgaon had been fighting a lengthy legal battle against low compensation awarded to them by the Haryana government. The petitioners included people whose land had been acquired in the past several years.

During the hearing the counsel of the landowner submitted that the high court should not have imposed a cut of one-fourth in one batch of appeals (petitioners) and 20% cut in the other batch of appeals (petitioners) as per the average sale price reflected on the ground that the area of the land acquired by the Haryana government was too large. The apex court held that in a matter like the present one, it cannot be ignored that the land was acquired for setting up an industrial model township in Manesar and after developing the land, the HSIIDC was bound to sell the plots at a much higher price to the existing or prospective industrial entrepreneurs.

Commenting on the criteria relied on by the high court, the SC held that in this scenario, the judges committed an error by applying one-fourth or 20% cut on market value determined for the purpose of payment of relief to the landowners. The high court had enhanced the amount of compensation payable to the landowners from Rs 28,15,356 per acre to Rs 37,40,000 per acre. After hearing all the arguments, the SC held that Haryana shall pay Rs 9,24,644 per acre to the landowners and/or their legal representatives along with all statutory benefits within a period of four months.






Court slams Delhi cops for shoddy probe

Smriti Singh, TNN | Jul 14, 2013, 04.23 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The lackadaisical attitude of Delhi Police in probing a criminal case has earned flak from a trial court, which called its investigations a “sham” and pulled up the cops for taking the version of the accused as “gospel truth”.

Chief metropolitan magistrate Ajay Pandey said, “The investigators believe the version of accused is gospel truth and do not bother to recover the misappropriated articles, or cheated money, or to find the nexus among the accused.”

The court’s remarks came on the investigation done by Economic Offence Wing (EOW) on a complaint of forgery, making a false document,criminal conspiracy, etc filed by a Korean national against nine people.

While the FIR was registered in March 2012, cops are still investigating the case. The court was appalled that police relied on the complainant to find evidence, and said if the complainant could have recovered the misappropriated article, there was no need for the court to order filing of the FIR.

Complainant’s counsel Vijay Aggarwal contended that police was shielding the accused and let the evidence disappear. The court directed the investigating officer to make all efforts to recover the embezzled articles and other evidence. It also asked police to submit a compliance report by July 20.





CCI orders probe against CIL – Report

13 hours 22 minutes ago


PTI reported that the Competition Commission has ordered another probe into the allegations that state run CIL and its subsidiaries abused dominant market position in supplying fuel to power plants.

The latest investigation against the country’s largest coal miner comes on a complaint filed by West Bengal Power Development Corporation.

The Commission has already ordered probe in the wake of five complaints against CIL and in at least three cases, the investigation reports have been submitted to the regulator.

Finding prima facie evidence of abuse of dominant market position, the Competition Commission of India on July 5th ordered probe against Coal India and its three subsidiaries. They are Eastern Coalfields, Bharat Coking Coal and Mahanadi Coalfields.

CCI said that “The Commission is of the opinion that the present case was a fit case for investigation into the allegations made by the informant about violation of provisions of Competition Act.”

As per the latest complaint, CIL imposed unfair conditions in the Fuel Supply Agreements for providing coal to thermal power plants.

According to the Commission, CIL is in a dominant position as it accounts for about 82% of coal supply in the country.

It said that “Taking advantage of their dominant position, the opposite parties were allegedly not adhering to the terms and conditions in the Fuel Supply Agreements and conducting themselves in a manner detrimental to the interest of the informant.”

It added that the FSA’s terms and conditions were being “heavily loaded in favour of opposite parties. the consumer had no alternative but to depend on them for fuel supply.

Source – PTI





Man gets life term for killing DU students’ union president

A man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering a students’ union president of a Delhi University college 14 years ago by a Delhi court, which termed it as a “rare” case.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau sentenced Jitender alias Kalla for murdering Anil Badana, the then president of Satyawati College students’ union and made it clear that he would not be considered for any remission till he spends 30 years in jail.

“I am of a considered opinion that this case cannot be put on the same pedestal as other ordinary murder cases. It is also true that punishment in every case does send a message to the community at large.

“Thus besides a number of other factors to be considered one of the relevant factor… Is the sentiments of community or the message which may travel to the community at large and the fact that it may deter similar other such like offenders. The present case can be easily classified as a ‘rare case’ which calls for the exercising of alternative options by the court,” the judge said.

The court imposed a fine of Rs four lakh on Kalla, who is in jail from past over 13 years, and said if the amount is realised, Rs two lakh should be given to the victim’s family.

According to the prosecution, Kalla had shot dead Badana, 26, at a marriage function under Keshav Puram police station on March 10, 1999. Kalla was harbouring ill-will against Badana as he was going to depose against him in a criminal case, it said.

Kalla had also injured the bridegroom’s father Madan Lal Sharma while opening fire indiscriminately as those attending function tried to nab him, it said.

One of the eye witnesses Sumit Nayyar, who had informed the police about the incident, had to pay a heavy price as Kalla immediately went to his home at Mukherjee Nagar to kill him but when he realised that Sumit had not reached there, the accused pumped three bullets in the chest of his father to scare him away from maintaining his stand before the police.






SC tells NDMA to file status report on Uttarakhand rescue operations by July 26

The Supreme Court has asked the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to submit its status report on rescue operations in rain-ravaged Uttarakhand by July 26.

A bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik asked the NDMA to file an affidavit on the status of rescue operations within two weeks.

Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand Government informed the court that pilgrims who were stranded in the various affected areas of the state have been evacuated.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on July 26.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by a lawyer, who has sought the apex court’s directions to the Centre and the state government to rescue people stranded in the flood-hit areas in Uttarakhand

Meanwhile, a team from the National Human Rights Commission-NHRC will visit the flood ravaged Uttarakhand on July 15 (Monday) to take stock of the situation.

The NHRC in a statement said that the team headed by the Director General (Investigation), Kanwaljit Deol, will hold meetings with senior officials of the State Government and Non-governmental organisations during their four-day stay.

The team will also visit the affected areas of the state and make assessment of various aspects including the number of deaths, relief camps, alternate arrangements for rehabilitation of affected people, restoration of infrastructure and monetary relief.






Mishap victim’s kin get Rs20 lakh compensation

Saturday, Jul 13, 2013, 1:05 IST | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA


The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT), Pune recently ordered the owner of a goods carrier and Cholamandalam General Insurance Company to pay compensation of Rs20 lakh to the relatives of a 30-year-old man who was killed in a road accident involving the vehicle last year.

The parties in the case had resorted to mediation and agreed to the amount.

The order was issued by MACT member and additional sessions judge SV Mane after the legal heirs of the deceased, Vinod Gorakh Kadam of Kiwale, filed a claim.

The petition named the goods carrier owner Sandeep Kute and Cholamandalam General Insurance Company as respondents.
Kadam used to work with a private firm and earned Rs20,500 per month.

On September 9, 2012, the goods carrier dashed his bicycle near Dehu Road at 2 pm, killing Kadam on the spot. The Dehu Road police station arrested the goods carrier driver for rash and negligent driving.

In December last year, Kadam’s wife Swati (27), son Shaurya (4) and parents moved the MACT through their lawyer Atul Gunjal, seeking compensation of Rs30 lakh.

The case came up for hearing before the MACT member VK Shewale. Later it was sent for mediation when both parties showed interest for settlement.

Within six months, the compensation amount was settled and the insurance firm agreed to pay Rs20 lakh considering the age and earning capacity of the deceased.





High court deals blow to prevalent illegal police practice

TNN Jul 13, 2013, 06.53AM IST

PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa has held that police cannot deny registration of a FIR by stating that the matter is of a civil nature when the complaint discloses the commission of a criminal offence.

The verdict comes as a blow to the illegal practice adopted by police of declining investigations of criminal cases and advising complainants to approach the civil courts for relief.


The high court passed the judgment on a petition filed by Chowgule and Company Pvt Ltd against Panaji police station. The company alleged that it was forcibly ousted from a premises in a building in Panaji.

A division bench comprising Justice A P Lavande and Justice U V Bakre stated that the law permits the victim to sue for civil wrong and at the same time proceed against the wrongdoer for having committed a criminal offence and hence it was incumbent upon the police to have registered a FIR.

The high court added that the facts stated in the complaint give cause of action to Chowgules to file a civil suit. However, the same, prima facie, also discloses the ingredients of many of the offences mentioned therein, some of which are cognizable, the court opined.

Chowgule claimed that it was a lawful tenant of the premises, however, the possession of the premises, except for one room was taken over clandestinely by business partners Tahir and Zeenat Isani. Later, the Isanis renovated, reconstructed and modified the premises and started using it for their business purposes.

From P1

On November 3, 2010, Chowgule lodged a complaint of house trespass, mischief and under other sections of IPC. On September 12, 2011 police informed the company that the matter was of a civil nature and requested it to approach the civil court for redressal. Later, when the petitioner approached a judicial magistrate first class court, it held that the report filed by the company before the police does not disclose criminal intention.

During the hearing of the case, advocate S D Lotlikar argued that Chowgule was restored possession of the premises by Rizvi Estates and Hotels Pvt Ltd following a consent decree passed in a civil suit in 2007. The Isanis criminally trespassed into the premises and dispossessed Chowgule, he stated. Lotlikar stated that no inquiry was conducted by police to treat the case as a civil matter.

On the other hand, additional public prosecutor M Amonkar submitted that the building owner had sold the premises to Tahir Isani by deed of sale dated April 24, 2007. He submitted that there was delay in lodging the report and that a preliminary inquiry was duly conducted by the investigating officer and found that the matter was of a civil nature.

The high court opined that the consent decree, reveals that Rizvi Estates and Hotels Pvt Ltd had restored possession of the premises to Chowgule and therefore, prima facie, there was ample evidence to show that Chowgule was in lawful possession of the premises.

The high court stated that when a report relating to the commission of cognizable offence is received by an officer in charge of a police station, he has to register a FIR in terms of Section 154(1) of CrPC.

The court observed that there can be no dispute that in appropriate cases a preliminary inquiry may be conducted before registering the FIR. It also noted that Panaji police station records pertaining to the case do not reveal that any preliminary inquiry was conducted to conclude that the case is of a civil nature and not a cognizable offence.

“In our view the report (complaint), prima facie disclosed the commission of offences punishable under Sections 447; 448; 453; 427 read with Section 34 of IPC,” the bench said. Stating that criminal intention is made out prima facie, the court has directed the police to register the offence. tnn





HP High Court in dilemma over defamatory suit against judicial officers


Shimla: Suing a judge for not acting diligently and in good faith, resulting in defamation of the petitioner, is something unheard of in India but the Himachal Pradesh High Court is confronted with just such an issue and has reserved its order for next week about whether to admit or dismiss such a suit.

Yesterday taking up the application moved under section 482 of Cr.PC, Chief Justice AM Khanwilkar heading the bench with Justice Kuldip Singh after issuing a stern warning to the petitioner in person, Deepak Khosla, about the nature of the relief sought, (compensation of Rs 1 Cr) said in open court that in all his career in the bar or as a Judge, he had not come across any such case where judges were intended to be sued. 

Showing preparedness for all judicial action arising out of moving such an application before the higher court, Khosla relied upon the Judges Protection Act 1850 and Judges Protection Act 1985, and stated in court that the 1850 Act granted judges immunity only in civil matters and the 1985 Act had not debarred higher courts from taking action against subordinate judicial officers.

However, the petitioner in court stated that no mala fides was being alleged against two judges of a district court arrayed by name in the application but alleges “implied malice” resulting from their negligence in diligently perusing the case materials before them in which Khosla is an accused.

Besides the two judicial officers of a district court in Solan, ten others, including police officers, public prosecutors and others have been named as respondents. The petitioner has also evoked Article 227 and section 397-404 of CrPC to make out a case.

To buttress his argument Khosla cited the10 April, 2013 judgment in  S.Velankanni v Chitradevi & others case of Madras High Court wherein immunity under the Judicial Protection Act was denied and Rs 1 lakh compensation was imposed on a judicial magistrate for wrongfully remanding a rape victim to judicial custody.

Leading the charge for the state and district judges in question, Advocate General Sharwan Dogra termed the application as an attempt to breech the protection judicial officers had under the constitution and the Judicial Protection Acts. “It could lead to a breakdown of the system,” he said.

Without going into the merits of the petitioners’ case, the advocate general sought outright dismissal of the suit and asked for exemplary treatment so as to discourage such litigation as it was an attack on the very institution under which the judicial system of the country worked.

Given a chance to respond, Khosla said that by entertaining his application, the court could, in fact, send out a positive message, showing that it was willing to entertain cases against judicial officers, rendering all, including judicial officers, equal before law.

The case which was initially listed for the morning session was postponed for the afternoon as the advocate general was not available earlier.

Argued for about two hours, the listed matter evoked much interest in court and was attended by many senior lawyers, before the bench reserved its order for next week.

Before moving to the next listed matter, Khosla, with the court’s permission bowed out saying in Hindi, ‘Gustaki Maaf’, to which the chief justice responded in equal measure, ending the serious proceedings with a smile on the face of everybody present.





Amendment to RTI Act, 2005 will be contempt of assurance given in Parliament: Lokesh Batra

RTI activist Commodore Lokesh Batra has written a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee in which he has said that amendment to RTI Act, 2005 will be contempt of assurance given in Parliament.

“On 05 July 2009, the then Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions had assured the Parliament in a written response to a question that the ‘Non-Governmental Organisations and Social activists’ will be consulted before any amendment to the RTI Act, 2005,” he said in his letter to President Mukherjee.

Commodore Batra told President Mukherjee there are media reports that the Government is contemplating to counter the decision of the CIC declaring six political parties as Public authorities which are subject to the Right to Information Act by amending the RTI Act, 2005.

“The representatives of all political parties have stated that they believe the CIC decision is unsound legally and hence they are opposing it. If they are being truthful, they can certainly go in a writ to the Courts. In the past CIC decisions have been quashed by the Courts,” said Commodore Batra.

“In the instant case I cannot see any reason which justifies any amendment to the RTI Act, 2005 by the Government and that too without consulting all the stakeholders/ Citizenry at large that include ‘Non-Governmental Organisations and Social activists’,” he added.

Commodore Batra in his letter requested President Mukherjee to communicate to the Government not to undertake any amendment to the RTI Act, 2005 without consulting all the stakeholders i.e. Citizenry at large that include ‘Non-Governmental Organisations and Social activists’, as assured in the Parliament lest it becomes contempt of assurance given in the Parliament.





Suspended cop, wife get 3 yrs jail

Jul 12, 2013 – Aamir Khan |

After 13 years of the matter being registered, the sessions court on Thursday held suspended additional commissioner of police Ajay Kumar Jain and wife Anita Jain guilty and sentenced the couple to three years imprisonment in a disproportionate assets case worth around `32 lakh. It also slapped a fine of `25,000 each.
In a separate case, Jain was earlier sentenced to five years in prison for seeking a `5 lakh bribe from a junior in lieu of protection in a departmental inquiry. He was out on bail that was granted by the Bombay high court.
While reading out the order, Special Judge V. A. Daulatabadkar said, “In the case of a default, both the accused will have to serve three months rigorous imprisonment. There is no need for a separate order for the attachment of the disproportionate assets.”
Terming an appeal for bail as Jain’s constitutional right, the court asked him and Anita to furnish a bail bond of `50,000 each.
The matter dates back to 1995 when an open inquiry in the matter was ordered. The state home department had received an anonymous letter in the year 1990 against Jain where it was alleged that a Kandivali slumlord by the name Birender Shukla had gifted Jain a Maruti car.
According to investigation officer of the anti-corruption bureau, Arun Wahable, Jain was involved in several cases of converting “black money into white”. “Jain and one Kasliwal, the owner of the fictitious ‘Coopergaon Estate’, were working in tandem. Jain and his family had flats in the building that existed only on paper. Kasliwal later filed an ‘eviction suit’ to which Jain gave his consent, but demanded `5 lakh,” said Mr Wahable, adding that Jain himself gave the amount in cash and asked him to return it by cheque.
“The common link between the two was their chartered accountant P.C. Lodha, who is an accused in the graft case against Jain,” said Mr Wahable.




LEGAL NEWS 13.07.2013

Govt contemplating an amended act to keep parties out of RTI ambit: Sources

CNN-IBN | Updated Jul 11, 2013 at 04:57pm IST

New Delhi: The government is contemplating an amended act, which will exempt all political parties from the ambit of Right to Information Act, sources said on Thursday. The government has faced a lot of flak for planning to bring in an ordinance to keep political parties out of the RTI ambit.

The Bill is likely to be introduced in the Monsoon Session of Parliament and most parties have agreed to be out of the RTI cover. In a landmark decision, the Chief Information Commissioner had ruled all political parties will come under the ambit of the Right to Information Act. The ruling provides for greater transparency in the working of the political parties as now the public has the right to get information about their functioning and funding.

However, political parties came out opposing the CIC’s order with the Janata Dal United and the Communist Party of India – Marxist slamming the decision saying the CIC exceeded its brief. Even the Congress hit out at the proposal with Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari saying CIC’s order is “a bit of a stretch.”

FIR of rape lodged in a fit of rage, says Bombay high court

Shibu Thomas, TNN Jul 12, 2013, 03.58AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court while acquitting a rape accused Manesh Kotiyan (39) noted: “She had not cried for help and had not taken her resistance to a logical end. Hence, it would not be justifiable to hold that the consent was obtained by intimidation, force meditated imposition, circumvention surprise or undue influence.”

The court, however, upheld Kotiyan’s conviction on charges of cheating as he had failed to disclose to the victim that he was married and had children. Since he has served around three years in prison, the court ordered his release.

“There is no evidence that the accused coerced her and raped her,” said advocate Arfan Sait, who was appointed by the high court legal aid cell to defend Kotiyan. “He had always intended to marry her and had told her he would do so once the divorce proceedings ended.”

The case dates back to March 2010, when the victim girl who was four months pregnant lodged a case of rape against Kotiyan. The two had met when they were working at a stationery shop in Borivli. In November 2009, they had gone to Gorai to celebrate Kotiyan’s birthday, where according to the prosecution he forced her into having sexual intercourse. A sessions court in 2012 held Kotiyan guilty of rape and sentenced him to seven years rigorous imprisonment. Kotiyan filed an appeal in the HC. “It is clear from her deposition that she had lodged the FIR in a fit of rage,” said the HC.

3 CPI(M) leaders part of conspiracy, court told


Trial continues in T.P. Chandrasekharan murder case

Three leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI-M] — C.H. Ashokan, former secretary of the Onchiyam area committee; K.K. Krishnan, member of the same committee; and C. Jyothi Babu, member, Kunnothuparamba local committee — were involved in the hatching of a conspiracy to kill Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T.P. Chandrasekharan, K.V. Santhosh, chief investigating officer, told the trial court here on Wednesday.

Mr. Santhosh, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy.SP), Crime Branch, was deposing before R. Narayana Pisharadi, Judge, Special Additional District and Sessions Court (Marad Cases) here.

Chandrasekharan was killed by a gang allegedly hired by the CPI(M) at Vallikkad, near Onchiyam, Vadakara, around 10.15 p.m. on May 4, 2012. Special public prosecutor C.K. Sreedharan examined the main prosecution witness.


The officer said he had arrested the three CPI(M) leaders and the conspiracy angle came to light while interrogating them.

Both Ashokan (9th accused) and Krishnan (10th accused) were arrested on May 23, 2012 and Jyothy Babu (12th accused) on May 19, 2012.

They had conspired with the assailants to murder Chandrasekharan, he said adding that Ashokan expired on July 5, 2013.

Mr. Santhosh said he took over the case from Jossy Cherian, DySP, Vadakara, following an order by Additional Director General of Police (Crimes) Vinson M. Paul on May 15, 2012. He had secured the custody of C. Rajith (27th accused), P.M. Rameesh (28th accused), K.P. Dipin (29th accused), and M.K. Raveendran, aka Padayankandi Raveendran (30th accused), member of the Orkatteri local committee, at the Vadakara DySP office on May 15, 2012.


He said he had prepared the observation mahassar pertaining to disclosures made by Rameesh that he, along with Dipin, had initially concealed the weapons in a shrubbery near an orphanage and a double-storey house at Azhiyoor.

He had furnished a report in the court regarding the arrests of K.C. Ramachandran (8th accused), member of the Kunnummakkara local committee of the CPI(M),  M. Saneesh (41st accused), K.P. Dishad (20th accused), and P.K. Mohammed Faslu (21st accused). They were arrested by DySP A.P. Shoukath Ali on May 15, 2012.


Mr. Santhosh also submitted in court a copy of the lookout circular issued by Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) T.P. Senkumar against P.K. Kunhanandan(13th accused), member of the Panur area committee member of the CPI(M), to all seaports and airports to prevent him from fleeing the country.

The officer said he had filed an application at the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court on May 25, 2012 seeking to record the statements of T.K. Sumesh, aka Kochakkalan Sumesh, Anshith Narayanan, and K.K. Subin to record their under Section 164 (recording of confessions and statements). Subsequently, the Nadapuram Judicial First Class Magistrate Court recorded their statements.

Blow to Mulayam, Mayawati: HC bans caste-based rallies in UP

PTI : Lucknow, Thu Jul 11 2013, 21:19 hrs

The Allahabad High Court today ordered a ban on caste-based rallies across Uttar Pradesh where major political parties regularly hold such gatherings. “We stay caste-based rallies throughout the state of UP,” the Lucknow bench of the court comprising justices Uma Nath Singh and Mahendra Dayal said on a PIL filed by a local lawyer Motilal Yadav. The bench issued notices to central and state governments, EC, Congress, BJP, SP and BSP which have been made respondents in the PIL.

The ruling comes against the backdrop of the BSP recently organising Brahmin Bhaichara Sammelan in 40 districts of the state, including one addressed by party supremo Mayawati in Lucknow. SP too had organised a similar event in Lucknow recently besides a Muslim Sammelan. The PIL submitted that there was a spurt of caste-based political rallies in the state. It said political parties were organising caste-based rallies in the name of different castes like Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya.

The petitioner submitted while such events were causing damage to social unity and harmony, they were also vitiating the society, which was against the spirit of the Constitution.

High Court cracks whip on corporal punishment

Thursday, Jul 11, 2013, 14:19 IST | Place: Delhi | Agency: DNA

DNA Correspondent

Orders government, MCD to devise better ways to address beatings complaints at school.

The Delhi High Court has directed the city municipal corporations and the Delhi government to devise a mechanism to protect municipal and government school students from corporal punishment.

It has ordered both the parties to devise the mechanism by July 31 that will allow both students and parents to file complaints against beatings in schools.

The court order comes after several students from MCD and government schools had written postcards to the then Chief Justice of the HC on Diwali highlighting instances of abuse and assaults by teachers apart from other issues.

“Corporal punishment is banned across the country. However, it has been brought to our notice that such instances continue to occur,” said the court. “Put in a mechanism where the authority is not the school but a third party. Also advertise the new mechanism so that the students and their parents are aware of the same.”

Also questioning the available infrastructure in primary schools run by the MCD, the court further directed all the three municipal corporations to submit a status report detailing the standards prescribed, if any, for maintenance of infrastructure and other facilities by the next date of hearing.

In 2010, several students studying in MCD and government schools had written to D Murgesan, the then Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, raising issues ranging from corporal punishment to infrastructure and quality of teaching in the their  schools. The Court had then taken suo moto cognisance and converted the
postcards into a PIL.

Postcards to pil
The complaints included the following:
Window-panes are broken, exposing the children to the chilling winter-breeze

Desks are in a damaged state.

Mid-day meals are not provided in time.

Students’ toilets remain very dirty; only teachers’ toilet remains clean.

Students are asked to broom the classrooms themselves.

Some of teachers come to class but leave without teaching.

No access to drinking water facility.

High court summons CBSE official over IIT mess

TNN Jul 12, 2013, 06.25AM IST

HYDERABAD: Justice RameshRanganathan of the high court on Thursday directed a senior officer of the Central Board of Secondary Education ( CBSE) to appear before the court on July 17 along with records to explain how normalisation has been worked out and applied for IIT(Advanced) examination.

The judge was dealing with a batch of writ petitions filed by one L Sharat and others. They complained that while making admissions to the National Institute of Technologies (NIT), formerly Regional Engineering Colleges (REC), students who scored high marks in JEE (Advanced), were put to disadvantage in the name of normalisation. Gandra Mohan Rao, counsel for the petitioners, produced a bunch of mark sheets and comparative tables to demonstrate how, in the name of normalization, students of the state were being deprived of seats in premier institutions like NITs.

  • The judge sought to know how the normalisation process was being arrived at. Justice Ranganathan warned that the court will not tolerate any delay in filing counter affidavit. He said prima facie there seems to be something amiss.

Bombay high court bats for Class XII pupil with learning disability

Rosy Sequeira, TNN Jul 12, 2013, 04.03AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday said it is a school’s duty to inform parents to get a certificate stating their child has a learning disability.

The HC also directed the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education to grant 20 grace marks to a Nerul student with a learning disability so that he could pass his HSC exam.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha heard a petition by Belapur resident Sonia Damle after the Board rejected her plea for grace marks to be given to her son Kartik (18) (name changed) who has a learning disability. A student of S S High School and Junior College in Nerul, Kartik had appeared for his exams in February 2013. He had passed all subjects except mathematics and statistics. A revaluation indicated there was no change in marks but he was referred to be assessed for learning disability. On June 14, KEM Hospital certified Kartik as having dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia.

The Board turned down Damle’s plea saying a copy of the certificate stating the boy had a learning disability, had not been submitted within the stipulated date of September 30, 2012, given on a July 2012 school circular. Damle’s advocate Sheetal Kumar argued that the school did not inform the parents about the circular. The school’s advocate said the circular had been displayed on the noticeboard on July 26, 2012, and students had also been informed of the same.

“It will be too much to expect students with learning disability to understand the purport and impact of the circular,” said the HC. It directed the Board to ensure schools are sent a copy of the circular and ordered school managements to send a copy to parents.

Govt washing hands of Sunil Tatkare probe, says Bombay high court

Swati Deshpande, TNN Jul 12, 2013, 04.19AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday expressed serious concern about the inquiry against water resources minister Sunil Tatkare for alleged land grab, money laundering and his role in the multi-crore irrigation scam.

A division bench said the status report submitted by the economic offences wing (EOW) and the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) lacked depth and slammed the Raigad collector for “delegating” his job to a subordinate revenue officer. The HC directed a “proper inquiry” by the Enforcement Directorate, ACB, EOW, Registrar of Companies and the collector into allegations made in a PIL by BJP leader Kirit Somaiya (see box).

Advocate general Darius Khambata handed over the status report in a sealed cover to the bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Suresh Gupte on Thursday. After going through it, Justice Chandrachud said: “Do you realize that they have washed their hands of the matter… the collector had also passed off his responsibility to the tehsildar from whom he sought information. It appeared that he was under pressure from very senior government officials.”

Justice Chandrachud was visibly dissatisfied with the reports which the HC had sought after the state assured that the EOW and collector were looking into Somaiya’s complaints. Taking up the EOW report that annexed one from the collector on the status of agricultural land owned by Tatkare’s companies, he said: “How can companies be agriculturists?”

The judge made it clear to Tatkare’s counsel Aspi Chinoy: “We don’t want to monitor the probe” but “there should be a proper probe”. The ACB is looking into the charges and the ED must probe the money laundering allegations, the court said, pointing out that the PIL has made specific complaints with land records and names of companies.

Earlier, Chinoy had reiterated his “preliminary objection” to the PIL being heard before other legal remedies of filing a proper criminal complaint was exhausted. He said an investigation is still on.

At this, Somaiya’s counsel Rajiv Kumar said since last July, the authorities have ignored complaints against Tatkare and hence, they were “compelled to approach the HC”. “It is obvious the investigation agencies are under the control of those in power in the state and not interested in carrying out a proper probe,” said Kumar.

The counsel added that the minister in his affidavit in reply has made “general evasive denial” whereas he “owed it to the public to explain each allegation against him of the irrigation scam and land grab”.

After the court was told during the earlier hearings the EOW would look into the allegations, Somaiya gave documents to the agency but said there had been “no response from the EOW since February”, it was submitted. The HC asked the agencies to come back with a proper report on August 14.

Supreme Court: Those in jail or police custody can’t contest elections

Edited by Deepshikha Ghosh | Updated: July 11, 2013 19:21 IST

New DelhiThe Supreme Court has barred those in jail from contesting elections, a landmark ruling that will prevent jailed politicians from contesting even if they are not convicted of any crime yet.

This judgement came along with the court’s verdict on Wednesday that MPs and MLAs convicted of a crime would stand disqualified from the date of conviction, and could not stay on even if they appealed to a higher court.

The top court has confirmed the 2004 order of the Patna High court, and agreed that “If a jailed person can’t vote, a jailed person can’t contest elections.”

“A right to vote is a statutory right, the law gives it, and the law takes it away. Persons convicted of crime are kept away from elections. The court has no hesitation in interpreting the Constitution and the Laws framed under it, that persons in the lawful custody of the police also will not be voters, in which case, they will neither be electors. The law temporarily takes away the power of such persons to go anywhere near the election scene,” said the Supreme Court.

Simply put, a person can’t contest if he’s in jail or police custody during the elections.

This could affect politicians like Jagan Reddy, who had been in jail for over a year in a disproportionate assets case.

The verdict is in response to a petition filed in 2004 by the Election Commission, which had been asked by the Patna High Court to strike off names of jailed persons from the voters list.

The poll panel had argued that the election process had already started, and it was too late to change the voters list. The Supreme Court had stayed the high court order at the time.

But experts say the verdict could be controversial, as it would bar jailed persons from contesting even if they have not been charge-sheeted. Many politicians say it opens a can of worms as it can be easily misused against political rivals.

Political parties had also been wary of the verdict disqualifying convicted MPs, since they feared it could be misused for score-settling, though parties like the Congress and BJP had officially welcomed it.



PIL filed in Madurai against BSNL discontinuing the telegram

Jul 11, 2013

Madurai: Against the backdrop of BSNL discontinuing the 160-year-old telegraph service from 15 July, a PIL was today filed in the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court here seeking a stay on the order.

A Division Bench of Justice Paul N Vasanthakumar and Justice P Devadoss directed the central government advocate to get instructions and posted the case for hearing tomorrow.

Seeking the court’s intervention to stay the order of BSNL senior GM discontinuing the service, the petitioner highlighted the various important roles played by telegram.

The petitioner, President of the Federation of Consumer and Service Organizations, M.Sekaran, rejected BSNL’s contention that there are no users of the telegram, alleging the service alone had faced step-motherly treatment.

If BSNL felt that it could not run the service, it could as well hand over the service to the postal department which was handling it efficiently from 1850 to 1990.

Robert Chandrakumar, another petitioner, also filed a PIL with the same prayers on the issue.

The petitioner wanted the telegraph service to be continued at affordable rates.

According to a recent circular issued by Shameem Akhtar, Sr General Manager (Telegraph Services) Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) Corporate office, New Delhi, the telegraph service is to be discontinued with effect from 15 July, 2013.


PIL seeks court’s help in setting up museum

TNN Jul 12, 2013, 07.19AM IST

MADURAI: A public interest litigation (PIL) filed before the Madras high court bench here had sought the court’s intervention in setting up a museum in Tuticorin district.

The petition has sought direction to the district collector to set up museum at the Adhichanallur Village Panchayat, as the district authority started its work to set up museum at another Karunkulam village panchayat.

The petition was filed by C Sankar Ganesh of Veloor-Adhichanallur, Tuticorin. The petitioner contended that the district authority’s action is against the notification issued by the department of culture and archaeological survey of India.

According to him, Adhichanallur village is located on the right side of the Tamirabarani river in Srivaikuntham taluk in the district and it is described as paleo-neolithic archaeological site.

The first extensive urn in village was discovered by Dr Jagor of Germany in 1876 and many things found by him are kept in Berlin Museum, Germany. In 1903, the French archaeologist excavated one more urn in 1903 and took his findings to Paris.

Thereafter, Alexander Rea, attached to Chennai museum, discovered a good number of urns, gold diadems and thousands of potshords from the village.

Besides, the ASI, Chennai resumed its excavation work at the village in 2004 and 2005 and found more than 160 urns involving Tamil Brahmi scripts.

Apart from this, the village also had the iron-age habitation site, which was discovered recently, the petitioner stated.

Following it, the authorities took steps to set up museum in the very same place of Adhichanallur itself and planned to exhibit the excavated things including the things kept in Chennai museum.

But, to shock and surprise, a place near Tamirabarani river in Karunkulam village panchayat was identified for setting up of museum.

Challenging it, the villagers sent a representation to the district collector on June 3, requesting him to set up museum at the original place where the excavations were made. But, there was no action on the part of the collector and construction work was started at the new place.

Hence, a writ was filed.

When the PIL came up for admission before the division bench of Justices N. Paul Vasanthakumar and P. Devadass on Wednesday, the bench ordered notice to the collector and superintending engineer of ASI, Chennai and posted the matter by two weeks.

HC relief for Kripa in land grab case

Jul 11, 2013 |

MLA and former Mumbai Congress president Kripashankar Singh on Wednesday got some relief when the Bombay high court dismissed a PIL seeking CBI probe against him in connection with property grabbing allegations.
A division bench of Justices P.V. Hardas and Mridula Bhatkar dismissed the petition filed by Tulsidas Nair, who had alleged that Singh and his son had usurped his properties worth crores of rupees, and were threatening to kill him if he did not vacate his house at Kalina.
However, the division bench noted that an inquiry conducted by a magistrate on the high court’s order had given a clean chit to Singh and therefore, there was no need for CBI investigation into the allegations.
“The magistrate’s report found that none of the grievances were genuine. The petitioner also had adequate remedies like filing private complaint under Section 156 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code. Therefore, the relieves sought in the petition cannot be granted,” the high court said.
Under Section 156 (3) of CrPC, a magistrate can direct the police to conduct investigation and register a case if there is substance in the complaint.
The high court, however, said police protection provided to Mr Nair as per an earlier order would continue, and if the police wanted to withdraw it, they would have to seek the court’s permission.
In November last year, the HC had ordered magisterial inquiry into the allegations. In its report, which was submitted in the HC in January this year, the magistrate held that Mr Nair did not produce any record to prove that he was forced to sell his properties because of the alleged threats and “torture”.
The report reads: “There is also no material to prove that respondent 6 (Kripashankar) had instructed police officers to implicate the petitioner in false cases. The name of respondent 6 appears to have been included in this petition after a PIL was filed by another person against the same respondent for disproportionate assets.”

Police tells HC that plans are on to ban processions and meetings on weekdays

TNN Jul 12, 2013, 06.40AM IST

KOLKATA: The Kolkata Police, in a report submitted to Calcutta high court, has stated that it is contemplating a ban on processions and meetings on roads leading to the central business district (CBD), College Square and Jadavpur on weekdays. Processions and meetings can be organized at a space earmarked by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on weekends, the police have stated. Discussions on this have apparently been taken up with the urban development department and KMC.

The report is in response to directions on the police by the high court while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by environment activist Subhas Datta in 2003. In the PIL, Datta had submitted that citizens, particularly motorists and those availing public transport, face tremendous trouble due to processions and meetings on weekdays.

“While not hampering democratic rights, we should ensure that the rights of the common citizen are not infringed. Restriction on processions and meetings on the roads on working days in and around the commercial and office area of BBD Bag and Esplanade, the educational hubs of College Square and Jadavpur is being contemplated. Such meetings may be held in the space provided by the KMC on non-working days, so that the flow of traffic is not disrupted. The matter has been taken up with the urban development department and KMC,” the report signed by the deputy commissioner (traffic) of Kolkata Police states.

The police have also stated in the report that multi-level and underground parking facilities have been planned. “Multi-level parking or underground parking on tram and bus terminuses/depots, KMC stores or godowns, KMC parks as well as Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) land have been planned. The matter has been taken up with the transport department, urban development department, KMC, KoPT and public works department (PWD),” the report said.

On hawkers, the Kolkata Police has stated that no new encroachments are being permitted while a high-power experts’ committee of the urban development department is examining the issue of hawkers. It has also been stated that a process is on to install a large number of close-circuit television cameras with connectivity to the police control room in Lalbazar. Greater emphasis is being given on signals at intersections where the volume of traffic is heavy to avoid congestion.

Police have also stated the measures taken to attend to bad roads and healthcare provided to personnel involved in managing traffic.

“After going through the report on Thursday, the division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalya Bagchi directed KMC to submit a report with its views within two weeks. The transport and urban development departments, KoPT and PWD have also been asked to submit reports within two weeks,” Datta said.

State, Centre refuse to pay NEERI’s consultation fee

Sumita Sarkar, TNN Jul 12, 2013, 05.33AM IST

NASHIK: The state and the Union governments on Thursday refused to contribute funds for the consultation fee of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) which has been assigned the work of suggesting measures to control Godavari pollution to the Nashik Municiapal Corporation (NMC).

The case was heard at the Bombay high court by the divisional bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Gautam Patel.

At the hearing, advocate general of the state Khambata Darayas and additional solicitor general Kevick Settlewad of the cenral government said the state and Union governments refused to contribute for NEERI’s consultation fee.

“Darayas said that since the NMC was responsible for polluting the river, it should pay the entire amount. He said that if the state and Union governments paid for the NMC, then every corporation will end up asking for financial assistance from them. He also questioned where all the money collected as taxes by the NMC for the sewage treatment plants (STPs) went. Settlewad also gave similar arguments. They said, as per sections 66 and 67 of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act, this is the responsibility of the corporations,” said lawyer of the petitioners Pravarthak Pathak, who pointed out that the petitioners had already stated this in the PIL.

The high court, on Monday (July 8) had ordered the additional solicitor general of the Union government and advocate general of the state government to be present on Thursday to sort out the issue of funding the consultation fee of NEERI. NEERI had been appointed by the court on April 18, on the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board’s (MPCB) suggestions, to give solutions to the NMC to control river pollution. The hearing was on public interest litigation (PIL) filed by non-governmental organisation Godavari Gatarikaran Virodhi Manch against government officials for failing to control river pollution.

On May 6, NEERI had presented a proposal of Rs 80 lakh to provide solutions to the pollution issue which the high court accepted. The court then ordered the NMC to pay Rs 15 lakh within two weeks and also ordered the central and state governments to contribute the remaining amount. Thereafter, NEERI visited the city, inspected the river and submitted its report to the high court on June 21 and the next hearing was scheduled for Monday.

On Monday, representatives of the state government said the Centre refused to pay for NEERI’s consultancy following which the court ordered the additional solicitor general of the Union government and advocate general of the state government to be present on Thursday for the hearing. The order was passed by the two-judge bench, Abhay Oka and Gautam Patel.

The next hearing has been scheduled for July 18 as the lawyer of the NMC was not present for Thursday’s hearing.

The petitioners have also submitted a rejoinder to their PIL, stating the NMC had not shown the pipelines of the STPs from where untreated sewage water entered the river to NEERI, due to which the issue did not reflect in the latter’s report.

Satish Verma files fresh plea in HC to clear name in 15-yr-old case

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Fri Jul 12 2013, 03:34 hrs

Senior IPS officer Satish Verma, who assisted CBI in the Ishrat Jahan encounter probe, Thursday filed a petition in the High Court stating that an inquiry report that cleared him in a case involving alleged fake police encounters and custodial deaths in Porbandar district in 1998 had been submitted in the HC long ago.

A PIL filed by a voluntary organisation has accused Verma, who was then Superintendent of Police in Porbandar district, of complicity in three staged encounters and custodial deaths.

The officer stated in his latest petition that the court had earlier ordered the then Special IG of CID (Crime), Hiralal, to investigate the case and that the latter had submitted a compliance report before the HC registry after which the matter was disposed of.

“We have moved the petition before the chief court (of the HC) to clarify that the report was submitted before the court and that the matter was disposed of. Hearing on the same is scheduled on Friday,” Verma’s counsel I H Syed said.

The case has seen several twists and turns.

Last year, Hiralal Shial, brother of Jasu Shial who was one of three people who allegedly died in custody, moved a petition in the HC claiming nothing was done on its order of investigation in the matter and sought fresh directions from the court.

A single-judge bench of HC, in April last year, ordered the state government to initiate a fresh inquiry and submit a report in three months.

Verma challenged the HC order in the Supreme Court, arguing that the then Special IG of CID (Crime), Hiralal, had held an inquiry and given him a clean chit in a report, a copy of which was available with him.

On its part, the state government claimed the report was missing from its records and raised doubts over the authenticity of the report produced by Verma.

The SC dismissed Verma’s petition on May 3 while directing him to approach the HC with a fresh petition. Verma again moved a petition before HC, which is pending.

Construction at graveyard: HC seeks reply

Press Trust of India : Mumbai, Fri Jul 12 2013, 02:40 hrs

Expressing shock at allegations of a graveyard in Pune being dug and skeletons removed for development and construction of five Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) buildings, Bombay High Court (HC) sought replies Thursday from Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and SRA.

A division bench of justices D Y Chandrachud and S C Gupte was hearing a PIL by Mushtaque Fakhruddin alleging a three-acre plot having a mosque and burial ground was fraudulently sanctioned for development by the civic body in connivance with developer Golden Constructions. He said the developer had started construction of five buildings on the land and was removing skeletons from the graveyard.

“It is shocking where we are headed. Hope skeletons are not being removed,” justice Chandrachud said. The bench directed PMC and SRA to file an affidavit by July 16 stating if construction was taking place at the graveyard.

Lost SC berth for opposing HC judgeship for CJI Kabir’s sister: Guj CJ

Maneesh Chhibber , Appu Esthose Suresh : New Delhi, Fri Jul 12 2013, 08:59 hrs

Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya has complained that Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir — who retires on July 18 — blocked his elevation to the Supreme Court earlier this year because, as a member of the collegium of the Calcutta High Court, he had opposed the appointment of CJI Kabir’s lawyer sister to the Bench, a decision he said was tantamount to “rape” of the court.

On September 13, 2010, the CJI’s sister, Shukla Kabir Sinha, was appointed to the bench of the Calcutta HC after the HC collegium ignored Justice Bhattacharya’s written submission on why she should not be appointed to the post.

CJI Kabir — then a senior judge of the apex court — was a member of the SC collegium that considered the HC’s recommendation. However, sources said he had recused himself from the meeting.

On March 19 this year, after being overlooked for elevation to the Supreme Court by a collegium headed by CJI Kabir, Chief Justice Bhattacharya, who was the third seniormost High Court Chief Justice at the time, sent a 10-page letter to the President of India, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India.

Two other High Court CJs — Bombay High Court CJ Mohit S Shah and Uttarakhand High Court CJ Barin Ghosh — too were overlooked for elevation.

In his letter to the CJI, accessed by The Indian Express, Chief Justice Bhattacharya wrote: “As a human being, I have a reasonable basis to apprehend that the fact that as a member of the collegium while I was a judge of the Calcutta HC, I raised serious objections against the elevation of Smt Shukla Kabir Sinha, your (CJI Altamas Kabir’s) younger sister, is the real reason for making such observations against me.”

When contacted, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said: “The letter was addressed to the Chief Justice of India, and the PMO had no role to play in it as appointments of judges are decided by the collegium.”

Justice Bhattacharya has asked that his letter be shown to all members of the collegium. He has also requested that he be shown “the material which led you (CJI Kabir) to take such a decision regarding my competence and character”. He has said that he will resign if he is given “justifiable reasons”.

Neither CJI Kabir nor Justice Bhattacharya could be reached for a comment. Questionnaires emailed to their offices elicited no response. Justice Shukla Kabir Sinha was not available for a comment. Law Minister Kapil Sibal declined to comment.

While rejecting the claim of the three seniormost CJs, the collegium had said that they were “not suitable to hold the office of Supreme Court judge and their elevation as such would prove to be counter-productive and not conducive to administration of justice,” according to a Hindustan Times report which Justice Bhattacharya has quoted in his letter.

Justice Bhattacharya has also given his reasons for opposing the CJI’s sister’s name for judgeship, including what he has called her poor practice, reflected in her annual income-tax statements.

“In my view as an advocate who at the age of 58 years is just capable of earning a net amount of Rs 88,000 from practice should in no case be recommended for judgeship. We cannot lose sight of the fact that a High Court chaprasi gets more than Rs 13,000 per month as salary which is equivalent to Rs 1,56,000 per annum which is almost double the income of Mrs Shukla Kabir Sinha from her practice as a lawyer,” he wrote in his note for the collegium, extracts from which are part of his letter to the CJI.

The letter also says that he had raised the issue of the CJI’s sister taking “four years for passing BA examination after clearing senior Cambridge and five years for getting MA degree after graduation, although the usual time taken for clearing these examinations is three years and two years respectively”.

“I don’t have a personal inimical feeling against Mrs Sinha who is just like my sister… However, as I treat the HC to which I belong for the full time-being as my mother, I earnestly believed that to elevate Mrs Sinha at the age of 59, there is no instance in the past of elevation of a Judge from the Bar at the age of 59 years… would give a wrong signal and people would lose faith in the judiciary and the collegium system… For the above reasons, I made my observations which, however, didn’t get the approval of the Chief Justice of the Calcutta HC and of Judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose, who was the other member of the collegium and who has superseded me this time,” the letter reads. “So far as I can remember, Justice Pinaki Ghose in his recommendation observed that if Shukla Kabir is elevated as a judge, she would be an asset to the judiciary.”

Justice Bhattacharya has also written, “When time came for selection of Smt Shukla Kabir Sinha as a Judge of the HC, I was pressured to agree to such a proposal as a member of the collegium, but I thought it would amount to committing rape of the Calcutta HC, which was like my mother and if I didn’t raise any objections that would amount to closing my eyes while my mother was being raped. As a result, I used rather strong words so that by looking at the nature of words used by me, the person responsible for sending such a recommendation would have a second thought… Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in resisting the rape of my mother in spite of my earnest endeavour. However, at the time of my death, I will not repent that I ever compromised with wrong for the sake of my career.”

‘Another incident’

* Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya also referred to “another recent incident” that he says could have made the collegium reject him.

* According to Justice Bhattacharya, a former Gujarat HC Chief Justice who is now in the Supreme Court withdrew an excess amount of Rs 54,650 as TA/DA which is not permissible without furnishing proof.

* “There are several other honourable judges who had withdrawn similar amounts in excess of the rules. After receiving such clarification from the Centre, I, as the chief justice of the Gujarat HC, placed the matter in the Standing Committee of seven judges and they unanimously resolved that the honourable judges… should pay back the excess amount,” his letter reads.

* As per the letter, when the judge, who is now in the Supreme Court, was requested to repay the excess amount, his office wrote to the HC registrar telling him “not to make any such unnecessary and unwarranted correspondence.”

* “As your younger brother, I seek advice from you as to what should be my duty as the present CJ if I find that a former Chief Justice of the High Court who is now judge of the SC is found to have withdrawn excess amount not intentionally but due to some ambiguity in existing rules?” the CJ asks the CJI.

HC: Chalk out policy to check pollution in rivers

TNN Jul 12, 2013, 06.14AM IST

JABALPUR: Calling for an immediate halt on illegal construction on the banks of Narmada river, Madhya Pradesh high court (MPHC) has issued directions to the government to formulate a cohesive policy to check pollutions in all rivers flowing across the state. A division bench comprising acting chief justice KK Lahoti and Justice Subhash Kekde has demanded a detailed action plan to be perused by the state by July 18.

The petition filed by Narmada mission had drawn courts attention to the practice of idol immersion in Narmada during major Hindu festivals which it claimed is leading to greater toxicity in the water. The chemical pollutants, the petitioner claimed, is not only endangering aquatic life but is also posing a major health challenge for the populace residing by the bank. The court had on April 5, directed the state to make alternate arrangement for immersion and follow the guidelines prepared by the Maharashtra pollution control board as per the directives of Bombay high court.

During the hearing of the matter on Wednesday, the court ordered municipal authorities to check release of polluted drain and sewage water into the river. Narmada, the bench observed, is the one of the few rivers in the country which has a comparative lower pollution level. The lifeline needs to be protected from pollutants and if the state government did not realize the urgency of the situation there would be a crisis of drinking water in next fifteen years.”

Taking cognizance of another petition filed by Satish Verma, the bench has banned construction within the 300 metres of the river bank.

HC upholds RTE provision which bans holding child back upon flunking exam

Last Updated: Thursday, July 11, 2013, 20:13

Mumbai: Observing that a child suffers an intense psychological trauma if he or she is expelled or continued in the same class upon failing in the final examination, the Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation challenging a provision in the Right to Education Act.

Under section 16 of the Act, no child shall be held back or expelled till completion of elementary school (standard eight).

“A child who is not allowed to progress to the next standard suffers from an intense psychological trauma resulting in loss of self-worth. Holding back for want of adequate performance assessed with conventional methods like examinations places the child in a position of disadvantage in relation to his or her peers,” the court said.

The division bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and S C Gupte was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Arun Joshi, director of a Solapur-based educational institute, stating that this provision had resulted in deterioration of educational standards.

The High Court, however, disagreed.

“The kind of pressure we put on our children these days… .At such a young age learning process need not be based only on exams. I was also a student and now a parent…I know how exams can be,” Justice Chandrachud said.

The court observed that while enacting the RTE Act the Parliament was aware of social realities. “Assessing knowledge merely in terms of performance in examination takes a very narrow view of the purpose of education. Education must emphasise the need to initiate the child into a holistic pattern of development,” the bench said, dismissing the PIL.


HC issue notices to ministry of youth affairs

PTI Jul 11, 2013, 10.48PM IST

CHENNAI: The Madras high court issued notices to ministry of youth affairs and sports, New Delhi, Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu and Indian Olympic Association on a petition filed by Dr Srinivasa Ragavan, Professor of Forensic Medicine, Chennai.

Raghavan prayed to take appropriate legal action against one PV Rathee of Chandigarh, P Prabhu of Chennai and Kulwinder Singh of Gurgaon for issuing bogus National Level Sports Certificates and declare the sports/merit certificates issued by them as null and void.

Justice K K Sasidharan sought reply from the Centre and state sports authorities by August 5.

Ragavan submitted that his son being an outstanding Gymnast at state and national level had an occasion to see the certificates issued by those persons the legal action sought by him.

He alleged that on an enquiry by him to Gymnastic Federation of India and Indian Olympic Association, it was revealed that the above persons were not recognised by Indian Olympic Association and Gymnastic Federation of India.

He also alleged that issuing certificates by them would amount to forgery and criminal breach of trust and cheating, and sought for direction from high court for appropriate legal action by the Central and state sports authorities.

HC: Frame charges against accused, including justice Yadav

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, July 11, 2013

First Published: 23:38 IST(11/7/2013) | Last Updated: 23:46 IST(11/7/2013)

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday directed the special CBI judge, Chandigarh, to frame charges against the accused, including former high court judge Nirmal Yadav, by July 21 in the August 2008 case of Rs-15-lakh bribe.

Taking up the application from special CBI judge Vimal Kumar, justice Paramjeet Singh granted the authority 10-day extension for framing the charges. In the application moved on July 6, the special CBI judge had mentioned that arguments for the framing of charges had commenced and would continue for some more days.

On May 13, the high court while disposing of justice Yadav’s petition, had granted justice Yadav 15 days to inspect the case record and ordered the trial court to decide the issue of the framing of charges within 15 days thereafter, after hearing both parties (petitioner and the Central Bureau of Investigation).

However, the special CBI judge in his application mentioned that in the meantime, justice Yadav had moved the Supreme Court, challenging high court’s order of May 13, so on her counsel’s request, the case had been adjourned to July 6. But on July 5, the Supreme Court had dismissed her petition.

The special CBI judge mentioned that it was on July 6 that CBI’s senior public prosecutor Anupam Gupta had commenced his arguments on the framing of charges. The case was then adjourned for July 8 and, after the arguments, posted for further arguments to July 15.

The case

In August 2008, a parcel containing Rs. 15 lakh allegedly meant for justice Nirmal Yadav of the Punjab and Haryana high court was delivered by mistake to justice Nirmaljit Kaur. On November 11, 2010, the high court gave the nod for justice Yadav’s prosecution. On March 1, 2011, the President granted the prosecution sanction.

HC puts an end to wait, to post daily orders online

RAGHAV OHRI : Chandigarh, Fri Jul 12 2013, 01:44 hrs

In a development which will not only benefit litigants, but also bring down “frivolous adjournments”, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has started posting daily orders on its official website.

Till now, one had to wait for days and in some cases, weeks to obtain copies of orders passed by the high court. But now, the court has made a special provision that will ensure that daily orders are made available online. Minutes after a high court judge signs a daily order, it will be posted online.

The development assumes significance as this facility was, a couple of months back, limited to lawyers and court staff on the high court premises. But now, the daily orders will be made available to all, including litigants.

One can access the orders by visiting the official website ( A separate tab under the head ‘daily order’ has been created on the website. The window has three fields – case type, case number and case year. One can fill the details of case type and number to learn the day’s development. Even, interim orders can be obtained.

This facility has been introduced by the high court for the first time. Till now, as per available information, such a facility was only available in the Delhi High Court.

Will reduce adjournments the process is expected to bring down the number of adjournments sought by lawyers. “Since daily and interim orders were difficult to access and one had to request for inspection of files, lawyers had to seek adjournment if an interim order was not available on the file. Plus, the entire exercise of seeking permission to inspect the file was cumbersome and time consuming. This has been done away with,” said a senior high court officer.

The court is also in the process of streamlining the facility, so that there are no technical glitches, while obtaining the daily orders. “We cannot afford to delay posting of daily orders online,” the officer added.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has already begun its exercise to be paperless. The court has initiated the system of e-filing, with an aim to put the justice delivery system on fast track and end the morass of paperwork.

SC stays proceedings in Andhra Pradesh High court on IIT admissions

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed all the proceedings related to admissions in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the Andhra Pradesh High Court which had directed the premier instutute not to fill four seats which were offered to students from the state but were denied on the ground of poor percentile.

A bench comprising justices K S Radhakrishnan and Pinaki Chandra Ghose issued notices and sought response within two weeks from those candidates on whose petition the high court had passed the order on July 8.

The appeal was filed by the organising chairman of Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) (advanced) 2013, IIT Delhi, seeking stay of the interim order contending that the high court completely ignored the terms and conditions of the JEE.

Senior advocate V Giri and advocate Madhu Smita Bora contended that the high court failed to appreciate that many deserving candidates would get adversely affected as a result of keeping four seats reserved for the respondent students who did not fulfil the minimum eligibility criteria for admission into the IIT.

The four students had contended before the high court that the prescribed condition of successful candidates being within “top 20 percentile of successful candidates in class 12th examination conducted by the respective boards in applicable categories” was arbitrary and unreasonable.

SC to hear plea against high court verdict on nursery admissions

PTI | Jul 12, 2013, 12.53 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a plea challenging the Delhi high court’s order that the Right to Education (RTE) Act is not applicable to nursery admissions in unaided private schools.

A bench of justices HL Dattu and Dipak Misra issued notice to Delhi government seeking its response on an appeal filed by an NGO, Social Jurist, challenging the high court’s order.

Advocate Ashok Aggarwal, appearing for the NGO, submitted that the high court erred in holding that the RTE Act applied only in the matter of admission of children between the age of 6 years to 14 years and that is not applicable to nursery admissions.

“The Delhi high court has clearly erred in law in holding that the provisions of Section 13 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, apply only in the matter of admission of the children between the age of 6 years to 14 years and are not applicable to the admission of children below 6 years in unaided private schools,” the NGO has submitted in its petition.

“Section 13 of the act was formulated in the context of rampant screening practices being adopted by the private unaided schools in nursery admissions which had resulted in a comprehensive round of litigation in the high court. It was to correct this mischief the said provision was incorporated,” the petition said.

The high court had passed the verdict on February 19, holding that the RTE Act and subsequent government notifications were not applicable to nursery admission in unaided private schools.

It had, however, asked the Centre to consider amending the act to include nursery education as well, saying that the schools could not be allowed to run as “teaching shops” as it would be “detrimental to equal opportunity to children”.

The high court had said, “Though we have held that the Right to Education Act is not applicable to nursery schools, in our opinion there cannot be any different yardstick to be adopted for education to children up to the age of 14 years irrespective of the fact that it applies to only elementary education.”

“It is the right time for the government to consider the applicability of the Right to Education Act to the nursery classes as well, as in many of the states admissions are made right from the nursery classes and the children so admitted are automatically allowed to continue from class I. In that sense, the provisions of Section 13 would be rendered meaningless insofar as it prohibits screening procedure at the time of selection,” it had said.

Centre to SC: Difficult to ban international porn websites

TOI Tech | Jul 12, 2013, 02.30 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Government’s attempt to put a ban on pornographic websites seems to have hit a roadblock. The central government has told the Supreme Court that it is difficult to block international porn websites in India.

In response, the apex court has advised the government to work with various ministries to find a solution for this issue.

Earlier this week, a Parliamentary committee decided to look into the aspect of cyber porn and ways to check it amid complaints that it is “distorting and distressing” the society. The Committee on Petitions of the Rajya Sabha has taken cognizance of a plea made to it, seeking a check on cyber pornography by amending the IT Act, 2000. The petition has demanded an amendment to the IT Act so as to make pornography on computer or mobile a crime, attracting severe punishment to the producers, distributors and viewers of such sites.

The committee sought opinion from stakeholders and public to help formulate its view.
In an order dated June 13, Department of Telecom (DoT) has directed internet service providers (ISPs) to block 39 websites. Most of them are web forums where internet users share images and URLs to download pornographic files. But some of these websites are also image hosts and file hosts, mostly used to store and share files that are non-pornographic.
While watching or distributing child pornography is illegal in India, watching adult pornography is not banned. The blocked websites are hosted outside India and claim to operate under the 18 USC 2257 rule enforced by the US. The rule specifies that producers of pornographic material are required to retain records showing performers were over 18 years of age at the time the video or image was captured.

Though IT Act doesn’t criminalize watching porn, the new rules notified in 2011 have certain provisions that show the government wants to dictate what people watch or do not watch on the web. For example, the rules ask an intermediary like an ISP to “inform users of computer resources not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, and transmit any information that is obscene and pornographic.”

(With PTI inputs)

HC orders second autopsy


After medical experts gave conflicting opinions on the cause of Dharmapuri youth E. Ilavarasan’s death, the Madras High Court on Friday ordered a fresh autopsy by a team of forensic experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.

The post-mortem examination will be done on Saturday and the body handed over to the Dalit youth’s father. The Bench, comprising Justices V.Dhanapalan and C.T.Selvam, directed the AIIMS Director to depute a team of three forensic medicine experts for the purpose of conducting the fresh autopsy on the body, which now lies at the mortuary of the Government General Hospital, Dharmapuri.

Ilavarasan was found dead near a railway track in Dharmapuri on July 4. A. Ramesh, his friend, filed a petition in the High Court for a direction to get the autopsy done by a team of doctors, along with a doctor of his choice.

The Public Prosecutor opposed the plea, contending that a post-mortem had been done and videographed. The Bench ordered that the body be preserved.

The judges viewed the video recording of the autopsy last Tuesday in the presence of seven medical/ forensic experts. As conflicting opinions arose among them, two more forensic medicine experts – K. Thangaraj of SRM Medical College and Research Centre, and P. Sampath Kumar of Sri Ramachandra Medical College – were directed to examine the body on Thursday. Mr. Justice Dhananpalan observed, “One has suggested that it was suicide while another has termed it otherwise.”

They noted that the two, who were only asked to find out whether a second post-mortem was needed, had “exceeded their brief”.

The Bench said: “We firmly express that we do not find any reason to suspect any wrongdoing in the conduct of the previous autopsy. Even so, when two experts appointed by us are at variance, it only would be appropriate to permit a second post-mortem. We add that the course we are adopting is not to be seen as any blemish upon the State.”

It felt that fresh autopsy be done by a team that is independent and neutral. Asking the registry to communicate the order to AIIMS, New Delhi, urgently, the court directed the State government to make arrangements for the travel and accommodation of the doctors

HC reserves order on admitting petition seeking compensation from judicial officers

Ravinder Makhaik, TNN | Jul 13, 2013, 05.25 AM IST

SHIMLA: Suing a judge for not acting diligently and in good faith, resulting in defamation of the petitioner, is something unheard of in India but the Himachal Pradesh high court is confronted with just such an issue and has reserved its order on whether to admit or dismiss such a case.

On Thursday, taking up the application moved under Section 482 of CrPC, Chief Justice A M Khanwilkar heading the bench with Justice Kuldip Singh after issuing a stern warning to petitioner Deepak Khosla about the nature of the relief sought, (compensation of Rs 1 Cr) said in the open court that in all his career in the bar or as a judge he had not come across any such case where judges were intended to be sued.

Showing preparedness for all judicial action arising out of moving such an application before the higher court, Khosla relied upon the Judges Protection Act 1850 and Judges Protection Act 1985 and pointed out that the 1850 Act granted judges immunity only in civil matters and the 1985 Act had not debarred higher courts from taking action against subordinate judicial officers.

However, the petitioner in court stated that no mala fides was being alleged against two judges of a district court arrayed by name in the application but alleges “implied malice” resulting from their negligence in diligently perusing the case materials before them in which Khosla is an accused.

Besides, the two judicial officers of a district court in Solan, 10 others, including police officers, public prosecutors and others have been named as respondents. The petitioner has also evoked Article 227 and Section 397-404 of CrPC to make out a case. To buttress his argument Khosla cited the April 10, 2013, judgment in S.Velankanni v Chitradevi & others case wherein immunity under the Judicial Protection Act was denied and Rs 1 lakh compensation was imposed on a judicial magistrate for wrongfully remanding a rape victim to judicial custody.

Leading the charge for the state and judges, advocate general Sharwan Dogra termed the application as an attempt to breech the protection judicial officers had under the constitution and the Judicial Protection Acts. Without going into the merits of the petitioners’ case, the advocate general sought outright dismissal of such a plea, asked for exemplary treatment so as to discourage such litigation as it was an attack on the very institution under which the judicial system of the country worked.

Given a chance to respond, Khosla said that by entertaining his application the court could, in fact, send out a positive message where it was willing to entertain cases against judicial officers, rendering all, including judicial officers, equal before law.

Argued for about two hours, the listed matter evoked much interest in open court, which was attended many senior lawyers, before the bench reserved its order for next week. Before moving to the next listed matter, Khosla, with the court’s permission bowed out saying in Hindi, ‘gustaki maaf’, to which the chief justice responded in equal measure, ending the proceedings with a smile on everybody present.

HC asks Maha govt if it knows national anthem

Last Updated: Friday, July 12, 2013, 19:08

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday asked the Maharashtra government if it knows India’s national anthem, while hearing a PIL seeking withdrawal of class X and XII text books in which the word ‘Sindh’ has been replaced by ‘Sindhu’.

A division bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and SC Gupte issued notice to the state government and the Principal Secretary of the Home Department and asked them to file their affidavit by August 02.

“Does the state government not know what our national anthem is? You (government) cannot start changing words in the national anthem. What do you propose to do?” Justice Chandrachud asked.

Additional government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani said nearly seven lakh text books have been printed and the government would soon decide on the issue.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Mulund resident Dakshata Shet, saying the latest Class X geography textbook of Marathi medium school printed by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education mentions word ‘Sindhu’ in the national anthem.

Shet, who is also a volunteer for education for street children, says in her petition that the same error is reflected in Class 12 text books of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics.

The PIL states that the Supreme Court, as well as the Bombay high court, have ruled that the national anthem should not be amended even if geographical changes take place in India. “These rulings are specifically in relation to the word Sindh,” the petition adds.

PIL prays that all the text books should be recalled from the market and be destroyed. Shet has also sought registration of offence against the concerned persons for exhibiting disrespect towards the national anthem and towards the nation as a whole.


HC dismisses pleas as advocate insists on arguing in Tamil

The Madras High Court bench here today dismissed two petitions after the advocate insisted on arguing in Tamil, holding that the Constitution clearly states that the language of the Supreme Court and High Courts “shall be in English”.

Justice S Manikumar said the court was constrained to dismiss the writ petitions “having regard to the constitutional provision and the binding effect of the Constitutional Bench judgment of the Supreme Court in Madhu Limaye Vs Ved Murthi Case in which the court held that the court language was English.”

The judge said when advocate Raj Narain insisted that he would speak only in Hindi, the Supreme court bench HAD pointed out that the Attorney General was opposing him (speaking in Hindi).

Some of the members of the Bench could not understand the arguments made in Hindi and the bench had observed that in the circumstances, it was futile to permit Raj Narain to speak in Hindi, the judge said.

The apex court had also given three alternatives to Raj Narain, including to argue in English, or allow another lawyer to present his case,or submit a written arguement in English. If Raj Narain was not agreeable to the options, there was no other alternative except to cancel the intervention (dismissing), the judge said quoting the apec court.

Similarly in this case also, Justice Manikumar said Advocate Bhagavath Singh had options which he could have taken, and dismissed the petitions.

Besides Art.348 of the Constitution of India clearly stated that the language of the Supreme courts and High courts “shall be in English”, the judge said.

One of the petitions dismissed today was by a woman Ayisha Banu had requested the court to direct the Ministry of Overseas Affairs to bring her husband back to India from Saudi Arabia.

The other was from Sundar Rajan of Kanayakumari who sought court’s intervention to direct the executive officer of Karunkal panchayat in Kanyakumari district to give plan approval for his house. The plea was also dismissed.

1984 riots: HC notice to CBI on convict’s bail plea

Friday Jul 12, 2013

New Delhi, July 12 — The Delhi High Court Friday issued notice to the CBI on the bail plea of former councillor Balwan Khokkar, serving life sentence in the jail after his conviction in a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Justice G.S. Sistani and Justice G.P. Mittal sought a response from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by Aug 27.

Apart from bail, Khokkar also challenged the trial court’s April 30 order convicting him and sentencing him to life imprisonment.

The trial court April 30 acquitted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar but convicted five others, including Khokkar, in a case related to the killing of five people in Delhi Cantonment area during violence against the Sikhs following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on Oct 31, 1984.

The other four are former legislator Mahender Yadav, Kishan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal.


HC notice to Purti Group in tax case

Vivek Deshpande : Nagpur, Sat Jul 13 2013, 01:34 hrs

The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court has served a show cause notice to the sugar unit of the Purti Group as to why it should not be penalised for not paying income-tax.

The notice was issued on an appeal filed by the I-T department against an order of the Income-Tax Tribunal in December upholding a Purti Group’s plea against the penalty.

The tax was imposed on the company, which was in news last year for its association with former BJP president Nitin Gadkari, after it agreed to pay dues accrued after “revision” of returns.

The I-T department has sought to know from HC if the appellate tribunal erred in cancelling the penalty without appreciating that it was imposed after the assessee revised income following action by the department.

“The assessee failed to prove reduction in income shown earlier was bona fide,” the petition says.

The taxes are for five assessment years beginning 2001-02.

The default was noticed in documents seized during searches at Mehta Group of Industries in Nagpur in 2006. Purti Group claimed to have taken money from Mehta Group for capital expenditure and showed interest paid. The I-T department found the deal suspicious.

The capital cost shown on paper initially by Purti Group was found to be inflated and was revised downward after the I-T department brought it to the notice of the company. This increased income. The tax it attracted was seen as evasion vis-a-vis returns filed earlier and hence the penalty.

HC tells Punjab to decide on Bhaniara’s book in 9 weeks

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh , July 12, 2013

Considering the request made by Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara to remove objectionable parts from his banned book, ‘Bhavsagar Samundar Amarbani Granth’, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday directed the Punjab government to take a decision on the matter in nine weeks.

The full bench comprising justices Surya Kant, Jitendra Chauhan and Surinder Gupta, while hearing Bhaniara’s petition, also made it clear that if the final decision in the case could not be taken by September 23, the case would be heard on a daily basis thereon.

The Punjab government had imposed a ban on the book on December 15, 2008. Baba Bhaniara had moved the high court challenging the state government notification imposing the ban. The book was opposed by many members of the Sikh community on the ground that the Baba was equating himself with the Sikh Gurus.

Also, in its report already submitted to the high court on June 3 last year, four members of the five-member expert committee constituted on the high court’s order had justified the ban on the book.

On May 13 this year, the court of the chief judicial magistrate, Ambala, had sentenced Baba Bhaniara and seven others to three years’ jail on the charges of promoting religious enmity for burning pages of Guru Granth Sahib in 2001.

HC gives interim protection to BSF man against transfer order

A BSF constable was today granted interim protection by the DelhiHigh Court on his plea seeking cancellation of orders asking him to move to Gujarat on the ground that he has to look after his wife who suffers from acute gangrene that has made her handicapped and completely dependent on him.

A bench of Justices Geeta Mittal and Deepa Sharma granted interim protection to Head Constable Subhash Chander and put a stay on his movement order till August 21.

Chander told the court that he was given movement orders even as his representation against being transferred was pending before DG, BSF and that the medical treatment advised to his wife is available only in Delhi.

Counsel appearing for BSF informed the court that the representation made by Chander against the transfer/ movement order is under consideration after which the court put a stay on the same till August 21.

Chander, working as a driver in the 25th Battalion of Border Security Force, had moved the High Court against the Centre and Director General of BSF seeking cancellation of order dated June 6 by which he was to move to Gujarat.

His counsel Kamal Katyan told the court that Chander joined BSF as a constable in March 1989 and has maintained a clean record since then.

He told the court that in April 2008, while he was posted in Punjab, his wife started complaining of acute pain in her legs and doctors advised that she be taken to Delhi for better diagnosis and treatment.

In November 2008, doctors at RML hospital diagnosed the disease as gangrene and performed surgery on her legs but it did not improve her situation and in February 2009, artificial arteries were inserted in her legs.

HC orders whistle-blower PCS officer to file report of inquiry

The Allahabad High Court today directed senior PCS officer Hari Shankar Pandey to file report of the inquiry conducted by him in the alleged Rs 1,400 crore scam in Uttar Pradesh Rural Engineering Department on July 17.

The Lucknow bench of the High Court, comprising justices Devi Prasad Singh and Vinay Kumar Mathur, gave the directions on a petition filed by Pandey challenging the departmental charge sheet served upon him by the government for “conducting inquiry in a wrong way”.

The court also directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file all records related to sending police force for serving the notice of departmental inquiry at the residence of Pandey.

The PCS officer had alleged that police force was sent to his residence for serving the notice of inquiry, which was against the norms, and demanded a compensation of Rs 5 crore from the government in this regard.

Pandey had also alleged that at the instance of senior IAS officer and Principal Secretary, Appointment, Rajiv Kumar, with whom he reportedly had some rivalry, departmental proceedings were initiated against him.

He had alleged that he was being continuously harassed by Kumar and other officers concerned with the scam and sought direction that penal action be taken against them.

On behalf of the state government, additional advocate general Zafaryab Jilani opposed the petition and filed documents before the court denying Pandey’s allegations.

Pandey had on July 1 opted for voluntary retirement in protest against the government order of filing a charge sheet against him.

HC notice to minister Anjaneya, 3 MLAs

TNN | Jul 13, 2013, 04.43 AM IST

BANGALORE: The high court on Friday ordered notice to social welfare minister H Anjaneya and three other MLAs in response to four petitions challenging their victory in the recently held assembly elections.

Justice HN Nagamohan Das ordered notice to the minister in response to a petition filed by Chandrappa challenging his election from Holalkere constituency in Chitradurga district.

The judge also ordered notice to Congress MLA Anil Lad representing Bellary city constituency in response to a similar election petition filed by T Parthasarathi, the defeated candidate. Both these cases were adjourned to August 7.

Similar notices were served to Sindagi MLA Bhusanur Ramesh and former minister PM Narendraswamy (Malavalli MLA by Justice L Narayanaswamy. These two petitions have been adjourned to August 5.

HC directs state to draft policy to ensure safety of tourists

Last Updated: Friday, July 12, 2013, 19:30

Mumbai: Observing that it was the state’s responsibility to ensure safety of tourists and students, the Bombay High Court directed Maharashtra government on Friday to draft a policy to keep tab on trekking camps organised by unregistered tour operators, within three months.

A division bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and S C Gupte was hearing a PIL filed by a city-based couple who lost their teenage son on a trek conducted by a private organiser.

According to the PIL filed by Anil Mahajan and his wife, their only son Harshal had gone for a trek organised by Pune- based group Sahyadhri Adventure Foundation in 2006 to Himachal Pradesh.

However, Harshal had health problems and died due to shortage of oxygen at a high altitude.

The petition claimed the tour operator was not able to handle the emergency medical situation.

The bench was irked when informed that despite a direction given to the government last year to draft the policy, no steps had been taken till date.

The court observed that tourism has increased, especially during the monsoon season, and steps have to be taken to ensure safety of tourists.


HC issues arrest warrant against Surankote Sarpanch

SRINAGAR, July 12: The High Court has issued arrest warrant against Sarpanch of Faisalabad village of Surankote after a girl wrote letter to Chief Justice seeking justice for her being allegedly raped by the Sarpanch who is out on bail.
Sources in the Court said that the letter was treated as a petition by the Chief Justice and the case was listed before Justice M H Attar who directed the police to arrest the accused Sarpanch forthwith.
On May 25, police had claimed to have booked Mohammad Riaz, 40, son of Mohammad Shafi Sarpanch of Faisalabad village of Surankote Tehsil in Poonch district for allegedly raping a minor girl, who was working and living as maid in his house for the last couple of years.
Police had said the domestic help Naiheda (name changed) along with her kin reached Police Station Surankote and gave a written complaint alleging the Sarpanch allegedly raped her for more than two months and when she became pregnant, he aborted her pregnancy by using some medicines.
Kin of the victim pleading anonymity had told Kashmir Times Jammu edition that the girl was living in the house of Sarpanch for the last couple of years. The girl was minor and was working as maid in the house of Sarpanch, who lured her and started allegedly raping her for last three months. According to him when the girl became pregnant he aborted her pregnancy with the help of some medicines. He claimed that Sarpanch threatened her with dire consequences if she disclosed it to anyone. The Sarpanch threatened to kill her along with her parents, he added.
The relative of the victim, who accompanied her to Police Station also claimed that last evening girl managed to escape from Sarpanch’s house and reached her father’s house where she narrated the whole story to her family. The family along with the girl came to Police Station Surankote and lodged a FIR against Sarpanch.
A case was registered under FIR number 55 under section 376 RPC at Police Station Surankote and police had raided various places to arrest the culprit. However, the culprit was still at large when the reports last came in.

IPL betting case: HC seeks to know if BCCI is probing players

By PTI | 12 Jul, 2013, 07.09PM IST

The Bombay High Court today sought to know from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) if it has initiated any probe against cricket players in the IPL spot fixing scandal.

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court today sought to know from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) if it has initiated any probe against cricket players in the IPL spot fixing scandal.

A division bench of Justices S J Vazifdar and M S Sonak was hearing a petition filed by the Cricket Association of Biharchallenging the constitution of the two-member commission set up by the BCCIand IPL Governing Council to probe the allegations of betting and spot fixing.

The petition alleged blatant bias by former BCCI president N Srinivasan in the light of mounting allegations against himself and in constituting the probe panel as he is the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of India Cements Ltd, which owns the IPL team ‘Chennai Super Kings’.

The bench was today informed by senior counsel Rafiq Dada, appearing for BCCI, that the commission was inquiring into allegations against official member of CSK team Gurunath Meiyappan, India Cements, Jaipur Cricket and Raj Kundra, who owns Rajasthan Royalsteam.

“What about players then? Spot fixing will include players’ complicity also. Is the BCCI probing players also,” the court queried.

Dada replied that the cricket board was inquiring into that angle also but it is being done separately and is not part of the probe being conducted by the commission. Dada also pointed out that the commission has already finished hearing arguments of all parties involved. “Written submissions will be handed over to the commission after which the panel would submit its report,” the senior counsel said.

Kerala HC seeks details of funds allocated to school libraries

13th July 2013 10:28 AM

The Kerala High Court on Friday directed the State government to file an affidavit explaining the details of funds allotted in the last three years for setting up libraries in government and aided higher secondary schools in the state. The Bench also issued notices to General Education department and the Higher Secondary director.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice K Vinod Chandran issued the directive on a petition filed by Manutious, plus one student of SNDP Higher Secondary School, Udayamperoor in Ernkaulam  seeking a directive to the state to ensure that libraries were set up in all the aided higher secondary schools in the State.

The Bench also directed that the details should include the amount allotted for setting up the library, buying books and posting librarians.     The petitioner pointed out that despite mandatory requirements under the Kerala Education Rules, the aided school managements were not setting up libraries and the students were thus deprived of their right to pursue their studies. Libraries were really an integral party of the studies and the post of librarian has been mandatory in the special rules, it was submitted.

The petitioners pointed out a government order stating that if aided higher secondary schools failed to set up a library and post a librarian, they should not be given permission to admit students in plus two courses.

Even a Division Bench had directed setting up libraries and posting sufficient librarians. However, no aided higher secondary school had set up libraries in their schools.

According to the state government, there were 672 aided and 769 government schools in the state. Hence 1441 librarians are to be posted in the schools. The financial commitment for the posts would be more than `20 crore.

It had given a direction to regional deputy directors to conduct regular inspection in all HSSs to ensure that the libraries were functioning in the school.

Geetika Sharma suicide case: Cops seek removal of adverse remarks

Last Updated: Friday, July 12, 2013, 21:25

New Delhi: Seeking expunction of adverse remarks by trial court against it in the former airhostess suicide case, the Delhi Police on Friday told the High Court that they amounted to “destroying the prosecution case before it begins.”

Appearing before Justice G P Mittal, Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra read out certain remarks from the trial court’s order on framing of charges against former Haryana Minister Gopal Kanda and his employee Aruna Chadha.

“The trial court’s remarks that the investigating agency has chosen not to unearth further circumstantial or other credible evidence on this aspect to reach the truth (with regard to the sexual exploitation of the victim) is like destroying the case of the prosecution before it begins.

“What more evidence can we bring to support our case,” he said while pointing to the statement of various witnesses collected and the documentary evidence gathered by the police.

Luthra was arguing for a plea moved by Delhi Police objecting to the trial court’s remark dubbing the probe as “tainted and stinking” and seeking that the adverse remarks be expunged.

Luthra also said that if the trial court felt that more was needed to be done, it could have directed for further investigation.

The trial court had in its May 10 order said, “It appears that taking a cue from the victim’s post-mortem report dated August 6, 2012, the investigation progressed towards ascertaining sexual exploitation of the deceased. The disclosure statement of accused Aruna Chadha was recorded on August 10, 2012. The statement of the doctor (gyanecologist) was also recorded on August 12, 2012.

“Thereafter, it appears that for reasons best known to the investigating agency, further investigation in this direction has not been conducted to collect further evidence.”

The former air hostess, who was earlier employed with Kanda’s MLDR airlines, was found dead on August 5 last year at her Ashok Vihar residence in North West Delhi. In her August 4 suicide note, she had said she was ending her life due to “harassment” by Kanda, 46, and Chadha, 40.


Contempt case filed against DRT chief

13th July 2013 11:04 AM

The Madras HC on Friday initiated contempt proceedings against Desingu, president of the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) in Chennai, on the basis of a letter from the members of the legal fraternity dated July 11 2012. The first bench of Acting Chief Justice R K Agrawal and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, which initiated the proceedings, posted the matter for further hearing on September 3 and dispensed with the presence of Desingu in the court on that day. The July 7 letter allegedly explained the “questionable tactics of a  member of the Bar in approaching DRT presiding officer for certain favour”.

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