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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