Legal News 09.08.02013

Supreme Court notice to Centre, Jammu & Kashmir on judicial probe into Ramban firing

PTI Aug 8, 2013, 05.07PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today sought response of the Centre and the Jammu & Kashmir government on a PIL seeking judicial inquiry into the BSF firing in Ramban district of the state in which four persons were killed and several injured.

A bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjana Desai issued notices to the Centre, the state government and the DGP.


The PIL also sought direction to provide security, lodging and medical facilities to Amarnath and Vaishnodevi pilgrims who get stranded during their journey due to imposition of curfew.

The PIL filed by Sudesh Dogra, political secretary of J&K National Panthers Party, said four civilians were killed and 44 persons including security personnel were injured on July 18 when a BSF team had opened fire at a mob that had gathered at its camp in Ramban district protesting against alleged manhandling of an imam of the area by the force.

The petition, filed through senior advocate Bhim Singh, said curfew was imposed after the incident due to which a large number of pilgrims got stuck on their way.

It also sought compensation of Rs 50 lakh for the family members of those killed in the firing and Rs 10 lakh for the injured persons.





Ishrat Jahan case: PIL in Gujarat HC against interference of PMO in the case


A Public Interest Litigation filed in the Gujarat High Court has demanded that `interference’ of Prime Minister’s Office in the probe into the Ishrat Jehan encounter killing be stopped.

A division bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala heard the matter on Thursday before adjourning it to August 16 for further hearing.

Kantilal Chavda, a local resident, has alleged in the PIL that the PMO, through Union Ministry of Home Affairs and CBI, is interfering in the investigation.

“Investigations have revealed, as reflected in the charge-sheet, that the then Director, Intelligence Bureau, was the main conspirator…despite this, he has not been arraigned as accused,” the petition says.

“It appears that the intention of the central government is to play a political game rather than unearth the truth”, it charged.

The charge-sheet filed by CBI claims the inputs about four `terrorists’ entering Ahmedabad in 2004 to assassinate Chief Minister Narendra Modi was provided by Rajinder Kumar, and weapons found on the dead bodies of the four were also supplied by him.

Ishrat, a Mumbai-based student, her friend Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, and their associates Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were gunned down by Crime Branch sleuths on June 15, 2004 near here. According to CBI, the encounter, a joint operation by Gujarat Police and Intelligence Bureau, was fake.




HC Rejects PIL Challenging Z Security to Mukesh Ambani

Observing that the Centre has the executive powers to analyse threat perception and provide protection to any private person or entity, the Bombay High Court today dismissed a PIL challenging the ‘Z’ category CRPF security given to Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sancklecha today dismissed the public interest litigation filed by two social activists Nitin Deshpande and Vikrant Karnik seeking quashing of the April 21 order of the Union government, which gave CRPF security to Ambani.

“There is nothing in the CRPF Act or rules that take away the executive powers of the central government to provide protection to a private person or entity. It is up to the authority to scrutinise and decide on demand for protection, ” the court said.

The court relied on a 1955 judgement of the Supreme Court which said the Centre can take executive decisions and need not wait for the Parliament to enact or amend the law.

“The executive powers of the central government are co-existent with the legislative power of the Parliament,” the High Court said today, quoting the apex court order.

The bench further said that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) can be deployed for protection and prevention of crime.

“CRPF may be deployed anywhere in India not only for restoration of law and order but also for any other purpose as decided by the Centre,” Chief Justice Shah said.

The petitioners’ lawyer Ashish Mehta argued that in 2009, the CISF Act was amended so that they could provide protection to private installations like oil refineries.

“Similarly, if CRPF commandos are deployed for protection of private persons, then even the CRPF Act and rules should be amended,” Mehta said.

“If you (petitioner) do not have objection to CISF providing protection to oil refineries then why are you raising objection to protection given to the person who put these oil refineries?” Chief Justice Shah queried.

The court further said that it cannot entertain PILs filed for publicity and that the petitioner should specify some illegality and injustice therein.

The government had sanctioned security after Ambani’s office informed the Mumbai police about threatening letters purportedly sent by terror group Indian Mujahideen (IM).

Additional Solicitor General Kevic Setalvad argued that Ambani, who has been provided 25 CRPF commandos, is paying around Rs 15 lakh every month towards the protection.

According to the PIL, CRPF is constituted to tackle emergency situations, and not for day-to-day law and order duties.

“The service of the CRPF is required only when there arises situation of national emergency, terrorist attacks, internal disturbances, riots or otherwise which is beyond the control of the local police,” it states.

It further says that such security is given only to high-risk individuals including Cabinet ministers, chief ministers, Supreme Court and High Court judges, leading politicians and senior bureaucrats.






PIL on waterlogging: HC pulls up MCDs, NDMC, PWD and DJB

Last Updated: Thursday, August 08, 2013, 19:48   

New Delhi: Pulling up the civic agencies and other public bodies for their failure to stop water-logging in the city during this monsoon, the Delhi High Court on Thursday asked their heads to fix responsibilities on the officers and make them accountable. 


“We want results not the words. We are not impressed by the affidavits. There should not have been water-logging after the assurance given by the civic and other agencies to court on July 24….,” a division bench of acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru said during an hour-long hearing of a PIL seeking steps to end the problem of water-logging in the national capital. 

The bench asked three MCD Commissioners to fix responsibilities on Deputy Commissioners to take measures to stop water-logging in their respective zones for short term-measures and in case of their failure, the heads will take disciplinary action against them. 

“MCD Commissioners to fix the responsibilities on Deputy Commissioners(DC) in charge of each zone to ensure that there is no waterlogging. In case, the DCs failed to carry out the mandate, the MCD Commissioners are to take disciplinary action against them,” the bench said. 

In addition, the court sought an affidavit within four weeks from the Corporations indicating the role played by the Municipal Magistrates and directions given by them time to time. 

Similarly, the bench asked the Public Works Department (PWD) to fix responsibilities on the Superintending Engineers in each circle to carry out the work. 





PIL on conservation of water bodies

STAFF Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Aug 8 – The Gauhati High Court today took cognizance of a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) filed by a number of eminent personalities including Dr Nirmal Choudhury and Homen Borgohain over protection and conservation of water bodies in Guwahati.

The Court also issued notices to concerned authorities including the Chief Secretary, State Environment and Forest department, Guwahati Development department, State Revenue department, Water Resources department, Chief Conservator of Forest, Guwahati Municipal Corporation, Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority and the Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup (Metro) to respond on the matter.

Ruing over the present state of water bodies, especially the Silsako and the Bondajaan water bodies, Dr Nirmal Choudhury told mediapersons that greed and ignorance of the people have pushed the water bodies towards near-extinction point.

Dr Choudhury, who headed the one-man inquiry commission formed by the Government ten years back, said, “I had made a number of recommendations regarding conservation of water bodies and on the ways to tackle the problem of artificial flood in Guwahati. Unfortunately, most of the recommendations remained on papers only.”

“A holistic approach is required from the Government to conserve and protect the water bodies which are so important for our eco-system. Of course, funds would be required but that would be worth an investment, especially in view of the future of the nextgeneration.

Eminent journalist and former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha Homen Borgohain said that although the Government had enacted a law in 2008 to protect and conserve the water bodies, it itself resorted to gross violations of the law by allotting the land for construction.

“Had the recommendations of Dr Choudhury inquiry commission been executed, the state of affairs would have been far better. Inquiry commissions formed by the Government have turned into gimmicks,” Borgohain said.

Borgohain said that the Government must evict the illegal occupants and also demolish unauthorized constructions in the prohibited (water bodies) areas.

“If immediate and concrete steps are not taken, the problem of artificial flood will never be solved,” Borgohain opined.



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