LEGAL NEWS 05.07.2014

Juvenile Justice Board to decide on Juveniles above 16 years
Press Trust of India
Jul 04, 2014 at 06:03pm IST
New Delhi: In a significant move, Government has decided to revise the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 in a bid to address concerns regarding the implementation of the Act.
To facilitate faster adoption of children and set up foster care homes, the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry intends to make the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) the statutory body, which means it will have powers to regulate inter-country adoptions along with issuing guidelines on adoption and related matter.
“The CARA will perform the functions of promoting in-country adoptions, regulating inter-country adoptions, issuing guidelines on adoption and related matters as may be necessary. It will also carry out the functions of the Central Authority under the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of inter-country adoption,” the draft bill says.
Further, CARA will also have the power to spend money as it thinks fit for performing various functions as prescribed under this Act and such sums shall be treated as expenditure payable out of the grants.
The accounts of CARA will be audited by the Controller and Auditor-General. Besides that, according to the ministry’s proposal, while trying the juvenile in the age group of 16-18 years involved in heinous crimes such as rape, gangrape and murder, the Juvenile Justice Board will decide whether the juvenile should be sent to observation home or required a trial under a regular court.
“In case of a child alleged to be in conflict with law who has completed 16th year of age as on the date of commission of an offence under sections 302, 326A, 376, 376A or 376D of IPC, the JJ Board shall conduct an inquiry regarding the premeditated nature of such offence, the mitigating circumstances in which such an offence was committed, the culpability of the child on committing such offence…” the draft says.
“It will then pass an order for continued adjucation of the case in accordance with the provisions of this Act or to transfer such case to the court having jurisdiction over such offence,” the draft says.
However according to the Bill, in no case the juvenile involved in a heinous crime will be sentenced to death or life imprisonment either when tried under the provisions of JJ Act or under the provisions of IPC, the draft states.
The former WCD Minister Krishna Tirath during the UPA regime had proposed that juveniles above 16 years of age, guilty of heinous crimes, be treated on par with adult offenders.
This move was opposed by various NGOs and NCPCR who stated that this kind of proposal was against child rights. The decision comes almost a year after the role of the juvenile in the December 16 gang-rape case which sparked off a debate over lowering the age limit for juveniles involved in heinous crimes and trying them under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code applicable for adults.
Apart from that, the revised version also calls for heavy penalty for children homes operating without registration and reporting abuse. According to the officials, various organisations have raised the issues of delay in adoption process, inadequate provisions to deal with offences against children and provision related to juveniles in conflict with law, in the age grouo of 16-18 years following which the Ministry decided to repeal and re-enact the JJ Act 2000.

HC notice on wife’s plea for CBI probe into husband’s death
New Delhi, July 4 (IANS): The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to the home ministry and the Delhi Police commissioner on a plea filed by a woman for a CBI inquiry into the death of her husband, who was allegedly abducted and killed by eight policemen.
Justice Mukta Gupta also issued notice to then station house officer (SHO) of Bindapur police station and sought their response by Oct 27 on the plea that sought a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the death of businessman Manoj Rana and Rs.10 lakh compensation.
His widow, Rishi Rana, alleged that on May 26, eight policemen, in a pre-planned conspiracy abducted her husband and took him to an undisclosed location.
She asked the court to transfer the case from the Crime Branch of Delhi Police to the CBI.
Filing the plea, Rishi Rana contended that the investigation showed the pathetic and callous attitude of Delhi Police which, instead of doing a fair investigation, are trying to save the then SHO of Bindapur police station.
She said that after the incident, police had said her husband was an accused in a recent case of opening fire during a wedding in Uttam Nagar area and they were looking for him since the case was registered.
The policemen were forcing him to confess that he possessed an illegal weapon and that he used it to open fire at the marriage party, she said in the plea, adding that after her husband refused to admit any false claims of policemen, they beat him to death.
Prior to the incident, the policemen had came to her house May 19 and threatened to kill her husband, she added.

© 2014 IANS India Private Limited. All Rights Reserved.
The reproduction of the story/photograph in any form will be liable for legal action.
Update: 04-July-2014

HC restrains cops from taking coercive action against singer
PTI | Mumbai | Published: Jul 04 2014, 20:16 IST
SUMMARYAccording to the complaint, Kher had rendered the song, part of an album, in praise of Lord Shiva.
Bombay High Court today restrained Mumbai Police from taking any coercive action against composer -singer Kailash Kher on a bailable warrant issued against him by a Ludhiana Court in Punjab over a song.
The ruling was given by a Bench comprising Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode, which was hearing a petition filed by Kher seeking to quash the complaint against him.
Granting Kher interim relief, the Judges issued notices to the Maharashtra Government and Narinder Makkar, the complainant and a resident of Ludhiana.
The matter was posted for further hearing on August 4.
If Ludhiana Police came here to execute the warrant, they would have to take help of their Mumbai counterpart as they do not have jurisdiction here, said the petition.
Additional Public Prosecutor Poornima Kantharia argued that the complaint was filed in Ludhiana and hence the singer would have to approach the High Court of the relevant state (Punjab) to annul the complaint.
Makkar had filed a complaint in a Ludhiana Court alleging that a 2007 song “Babam Bam” sung by Kailash Kher had hurt his religious sentiments and hence criminal proceeding should be initiated against him.
According to the complaint, Kher had rendered the song, part of an album, in praise of Lord Shiva. It features a skimpily dressed girl and some “vulgar” scenes. Makkar said this had hurt his religious sentiments.
Kher’s advocate Ashok Saraogi argued that the song was rendered in 2007 and the complaint was filed only recently for gaining cheap publicity. Also, the singer has never received any summons or notice from the Ludhiana Court.
The Mumbai-based singer learnt about the bailable warrant from a newspaper and approached the High Court for relief, the lawyer submitted.
Sarogi argued that all the acts pertaining to the song took place in Mumbai and not in Ludhiana. Hence, the Bombay HC alone had the jurisdiction to quash the complaint.

HC orders release of over 200 inmates of destitute home
Press Trust of India | Madurai
July 5, 2014 Last Updated at 00:46 IST
The Madras High Court today ordered the release of 222 inmates of a destitute home here after the court Registrar, deputed along with a team of medical officers to examine them, filed a report stating that most of the inmates were held against their consent.

Justices V Ramasubramanian and V M Velumani of the Madurai Bench of the Court also directed the Nodal Officer of the Central Government’s Mental Health Department to visit the home, run by Akshaya Trust of award-winning social worker Naryanan Krishnan, examine the inamtes who were mentally challenged or retarded and suggest ways of treatment to them.

The bench had on July 1 directed the court Registrar to visit the Home here along with Medical Officers and ascertain the mental and physical conditions of the inmates there after an advocate commissioner appointed by the court found several irregularities in its operation.

The Registrar today submitted in his report that 531 inmates were staying in the home according to the document provided by its authorities.

It was found in most of the cases the inmates were brought to the home forcibly and without their consent.

The report said that 247 inmates wanted to go out of the home and of this 25 were certified to travel with support.

The Advocate Commissioner was appointed on a petition by an All India Democratic Women’s Association functionary seeking a probe into the affairs of the home, levelling serious allegations.

The Advocate Commissioner in his report said that inmates told him they were detained in the home by founder Krishnan against their wishes and suggested his prosecution for illegal detention.

The court has also directed ADSP Shyamala Devi to probe into the death of 22 inmates of the home in the last 14 months. It took a serious view of the deaths of inmates in the home.

On June 5, a 21-year-old woman ran away from the home and was later rescued by residents of nearby Kodimangalam village. She told them that employees at the home used to allegedly sexually abuse her and many other inmates, following which the AIDWA filed the PIL.

The petitioner has also claimed a number of inmates had died in less than one year and suspected organ trade.

HC upholds dismissal of CISF constable
Press Trust of India | Chennai
July 4, 2014 Last Updated at 22:56 IST
The Madras High Court has upheld the dismissal of a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) constable on the charge of sexually harassing a minor daughter of one of his colleagues, saying being a member of such a force he should maintain higher degree of morality.

A division bench, comprising Justice N.Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice M.Sathyanarayanan, endorsed the dismissal order passed by the Director General of CISF and dismissed the petition by constable B M Sanjeeva challenging the action.

“The petitioner, being a member of the disciplined force, should maintain higher degree of morality and the action of the petitioner in misbehaving with a 11-year old cannot be treated as flimsy charge for imposing lenient punishment,” it held.

Sanjeeva, who joined CISF in May 1999 as a constable, was issued a charge memo in June 2009 for allegedly teasing the girl when she and her brother were waiting in the staircase of the CSIF quarters.

In his written reply to the memo, Sanjeeva denied the allegation and submitted he only touched the cheeks of both children and did not misbehave with them.

The CISF Disciplinary Authority, not satisfied with the reply, had imposed the punishment of reduction of scale of pay for a period of five years and a freeze on increments during the period.

Aggrieved, Sanjeeva approached the appellate authority which held the punishment was not proportionate to the gravity of charge and enhanced it by dismissing him from service.

The constable moved the high court with a prayer to set aside the dismissal order and reinstatement with all monetary and consequential benefits.

The counsel for the petitioner argued that since the allegation was of sexual harassment, the Disciplinary Authority have no jurisdiction to inquire the same and and it should have been done by the Complaints Committee.

Dismissing the petition, the bench said “none of the grounds raised by the petitioner is found to be accepted by this court. There is no illegality in the order passed by the Appellate Authority in enhancing the punishment to dismissal.

HC says new institutes can participate in CAP round
Himanshu Nitnaware,TNN | Jul 4, 2014, 10.57 AM IST
AURANGABAD: A recent Bombay high court interim order has paved the way for some new engineering colleges, which had sought approval from All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) but were rejected by the state government, to participate in the Centralized Admission Process (CAP) round for first year engineering.

Any new institute is required to comply with AICTE norms to operate. The institutes can directly approach the body without taking prior approval from the state government.

However, with a large number of first year engineering seats lying vacant for the last couple of years and the increase in the intake capacities of institutes, the state government had made a provision to reject and stop any new college from operation and participating in the admission process even after securing the AICTE approval.

The court order dated July 1, a copy of which is with the TOI, states that taking an overall view of the matter, at this stage, in the interest of students, as well as, the institute, “this court be pleased to direct the respondents to upload the petitioner’s name for the CAP and be allowed to participate in CAP round and /or Minority Admission Procedure, for the academic year 2014-15 for the engineering courses…”

The order further states that “non-listing of the Petitioners institute/name on the AICTE website will not affect the admission process and implementation of prayer clause (c).”

Mahesh Shivankar, joint director of technical education (administration), said, “Some institutes in the state had approached the high court requesting that they be allowed to participate in the admission process as they had the necessary approval of the AICTE. As many as 12 new institutes from Aurangabad, which were among the petitioners, will benefit from the high court order.” The next date of hearing is scheduled on July 11.

HC directs police to file complaint against ADGP
Rajiv Kalkod,TNN | Jul 5, 2014, 04.31 AM IST
BANGALORE: The Karnataka high court ordered that a complaint be registered against ADGP (law & order) MN Reddy and other police officers for allegedly interfering with police action in a complaint against Reddy’s relative.

In his June 11 order, Justice SN Satyanarayana also directed the state home secretary to look into the matter and get it investigated through the CID and issue directions to the inspector at the Indiranagar police station to conduct an impartial investigation without buckling under threats of senior officers.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Usha Reddy, a Chennai resident. Usha’s father CS Reddy was a resident of RJ Gardens, Indiranagar II Stage for the past eight years prior to his death on May 9, 2014 at Vikram Hospital in the city.

According to the petitioner, her father was ill and hospitalized on May 1, 2014. She heard that Monisha Reddy, her two sons and others, allegedly unlocked her father’s flat, ransacked it, removed all the valuables and locked it again.

Usha Reddy lodged a complaint with Indiranagar police on May 12. The police didn’t register a case or provide her with a copy of the FIR. She then met all top cops in the city, including the commissioner of police, but to no avail.

The complainant approached the Additional Director General of Police (crime) and on his instruction, the Indiranagar police registered a case on May 23.

“Though it is mandatory for the inspector to send a copy of FIR to the jurisdictional magistrate within 24 hours after registering it, which is X ACMM Court, it was not done by the police till May 26. This lax attitude has prompted the petitioner to approach this court,” the court observed.

“It is also necessary to see that officers at the higher-rungs do not unnecessarily interfere with the day-to-day functioning of lower officials. They should not be allowed to continue to interfere like in the present case,” the court said.

The court said the outcome of the case also should be reported to it within three weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the order.

HC creates record of sorts by solving urban bank row
Orders disbursal of money to all individual depositors
The Madras High Court Bench here has created a record of sorts by ensuring recollection of over Rs.27 crore from loan defaulters of the now defunct Madurai Urban Cooperative Bank and ordering disbursal of the amount to individual depositors.
A Division Bench of Justices V. Ramasubramanian and V.M. Velumani on Thursday directed the liquidator of the bank to disburse Rs.9.18 crore to individual depositors besides paying Rs.15.16 crore to Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC).
Allowing a writ petition filed by the DICGC seeking arrears of Rs.22.96 crore from the liquidator, the Bench said the bank was established around 100 years ago as an institution of cooperative micro-financing and it flourished until 2001.
“However, as had happened in the case of every co-operative institution (except perhaps the milk co-operatives), this institution was also plundered both by the elected office-bearers and staff. Therefore, after 2001, the bank started committing default in making payment to its depositors most of whom were retired pensioners and poor peasants,” the judges said.
The Reserve Bank of India cancelled the bank’s licence on August 29, 2003, and restrained it from carrying on banking business. Thereafter, the Joint Registrar of Cooperative Societies–Madurai Region ordered liquidation of the bank on January 7, 2005.
Since the bank was insured under the provisions of the DICGC Act 1961, the liquidator made an application to the DICGC for sanctioning the maximum guaranteed amount of Rs.1 lakh each to the depositors and, the corporation released Rs.25.04 crore.
Subsequently, many depositors began filing cases in the High Court seeking a direction to the liquidator to return their deposits in full.
When those cases came up before a Division Bench, including Mr. Justice Ramasubramanian, on June 23, 2009, he obtained from the liquidator the details of the debtors who had been evading repayment of bank loans after the institution got liquidated.
It was found that 147 mortgage loans, 187 self-employment scheme loans, 18 housing loans and 35 hire purchase loans had to be recovered. The principal amount outstanding in respect of the self-employment scheme loans alone was Rs.11.18 crore.
The court ordered recovery of the amount through newspaper publications and suggested that the debtors must be first allowed to repay whatever amount they could. Accordingly, the liquidator collected over Rs.27 crore and paid Rs.2.75 crore to the DICGC.
However, the DICGC had filed the present writ petition seeking the arrears of Rs.22.96 crore out of Rs.25.04 crore available with the liquidator. However, the court ordered apportioning of the payments.
Pointing out that the bank’s due to individual depositors was only Rs.9.18 crore, the Bench said the money recovered from borrowers in the future should be used first to pay the balance of Rs.7.13 crore to the DICGC and then to institutional depositors.

HC stays seniority benefit to ReTs
General line teachers challenge Govt order
Teachers battle it out in court
Srinagar, July 4: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has put in abeyance the fixation of seniority of Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers whose five-year service before regularization was to be counted in seniority by virtue of government order following a recent Cabinet decision.
The court also stayed the seniority fixation (if not already fixed) of the general line teachers who have approached it against the government order on ReT teachers.
“Question of fixing seniority vis-à-vis petitioners as well as teachers whose services will be regularized in terms of government order 469-Edu of 2014 dated 25-6-2014 shall remain in abeyance, if not already fixed,” reads an order passed by Justice Muhammad Yaqoob Mir.
Meanwhile, the government has been asked to file reply within two weeks to the petition seeking to set aside the order by Education department taking into account five-year service rendered by ReT teachers before regularization for fixing their seniority.
Counsel for petitioners, Javed Iqbal, pleaded that the proviso added to the government order (No. 396-Edu of 2000 dated 28-04-2000), providing that the five-year service by ReT teachers before their regularization shall count in fixing their seniority, offends the right of the petitioners and runs contrary to the applicable service rules.
He argued that perusal of original regularization clause in ReT scheme manifestly suggests that ReTs would become eligible for appointment as general line teacher on satisfactory completion of five years.
“Therefore, his appointment to the service class or category would be date of his first appointment as general line teacher i-e, first substantive/payment appointment. Extending the benefits of the five years service to ReT on becoming substantive appointee is therefore illegal and as such the impugned order is liable to be set aside,” he pleaded.

HC seeks reply on adolescence programme
TNN | Jul 5, 2014, 03.50 AM IST
LUCKNOW : The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Friday sought reply from the Central and state governments for non-implementation of Adolescence Education Programme and failure to include the elements of the said programme and Adolescence Reproduction and Sexual Health Programme in school curriculum for 13 to 19 year old adolescents.

The court posted the matter for next hearing after two weeks.

The order came on a PIL filed by Naitik Party and former district homeopathic medical officer Dr Vinod Kumar Singh.

Petitioners alleged that the said programme was formulated in 2005 and the Central government decided to implement in 2007 but till date it has not been implemented.

“Adolescence is a critical period during which significant physical changes occur, generating number of problems. Adolescents need to understand these physical changes so that they do not fall pray to quacks,” PIL stated.

HC rejects petition challenging election of Ind MLA
Press Trust of India | Allahabad
July 4, 2014 Last Updated at 21:49 IST
The Allahabad High Court today dismissed a petition challenging the election of Independent MLA Vijay Singh from Farrukhabad in the 2012 Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.

Justice Tarun Agarwala dismissed the petition filed by Major Sunil Dutt Dwivedi, who had contested from the seat as BJPcandidate and lost by only 147 votes.

The petitioner had contended that Singh had been convicted by a court in Lucknow which had also awarded him life sentence vide order dated 17.07.2003 as a result of which he was qualified for fighting the Assembly elections in 2012.

However, the High Court was of the view that the petitioner’s conviction was “kept in abeyance” by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court vide order dated 23.08.2013 which “does not have the effect of obliterating the disqualification”, nevertheless making it “non-operative” and enabling him to stand in the election.

HC notice to Ferozepur MP on plea seeking disqualification
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Chandigarh, July 04, 2014
First Published: 21:30 IST(4/7/2014) | Last Updated: 21:32 IST(4/7/2014)
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday issued a notice of motion to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) member of Parliament from Ferozepur Sher Singh Ghubaya on an election petition seeking his disqualification on the grounds of issuing election advertisements on television channels seeking votes in the name of religion and not declaring the exact amount spent on advertisements and election rallies.
Ghubaya has to file his reply to the high court by August 14 on a petition filed by Bhupinder Singh, a resident of Malout (Muktsar).
The petitioner has alleged that Ghubaya released the advertisements by using religious symbols, Sikh religious places and the national flag to appeal to Sikh voters of Ferozepur parliamentary constituency to vote for him in the name of religion. As per the allegations, advertisements were aired on some TV channels repeatedly during the election campaign, right from the filing of nomination papers on April 7 till the end of the campaign on April 28. It has been alleged that Ghubaya committed a corrupt practice as defined under Section 123 (3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
It has also been alleged that Ghubaya failed to show the election expenditure to the tune of Rs. 17.6 lakh in the election expenses account lodged by him before the district election officer, Ferozepur. It has been submitted that Ghubaya should have shown expenditure of Rs. 9.6 lakh on the election rally held at Bathinda on April 25 and also Rs. 8 lakh spent on print media advertisements.

HC grants interim relief to private Haj tour operators
Press Trust of India | Mumbai
July 4, 2014 Last Updated at 18:37 IST
In a relief to private tour operators (PTOs) who conduct Haj pilgrimage tours, the Bombay High Court today said that eligibility criterion of annual turnover of Rs one crore, laid down by the Ministry of External Affairs, would not be mandatory for the time being.

The order was given by a bench headed by Justice S J Vajifdar which granted interim relief on a petition filed by AllIndia Haj Umrah Tour Organisers Association and two others.

With the interim relief, the bench admitted the petition for final hearing which would be held in due course.

The court had last month restrained the Union Government from disqualifying PTOs on the basis of its press release prescribing conditions for them.

Petitioners have said that the condition of having a certain minimum turnover would put many small-time operators out of business.

HC disposes PIL alleging encroachment by Cong leader
Press Trust of India | Ahmedabad
July 4, 2014 Last Updated at 20:27 IST
The Gujarat High Court here today disposed off a public interest litigation (PIL), alleging encroachment done by Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president Arjun Modhvadia and his brother Ramdev Modhvadia in front of their house in Porbandar district.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and justice J B Pardiwala today disposed off the PIL after the chief officer of Porbandar Nagarpalika informed the court that the alleged encroachment has been removed.

The Porbandar Nagarpalika has issued notice and later removed the alleged encroachment at Bhojeswar road area in the city, as there is no grievance left with the petitioner, the officials informed the high court.

After hearing the submission of the civic body, the State High Court disposed off the PIL and also asked the authorities to ensure that no such illegal construction should take place in near future.

The PIL, filed by a Porbandar- based social activist Prakash Unadkat through his counsel Pranav Dave, had alleged that GPCC chief and his brother, had put up illegal construction on public road without taking any prior approval of the competent authority, which is not only illegal but also blocks the road.

In the PIL, the petitioner also alleged civic body’s inaction in removing the encroachment.

Bombay HC throws out PIL asking Railways to re-impose ban on plastic
Press Trust of India
Jul 04, 2014 at 06:50pm IST
Mumbai: Bombay High Court on Friday declined to entertain a PIL which sought a direction to the Central Railway (CR) to re-impose a ban on use of plastic to pack food items sold at suburban platforms and in local and long- distance trains.
In an oral ruling, a Bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka said it was disposing of the PIL, filed by Rail Parishad, an NGO of commuters, and the reasons for doing so would be recorded later in the order.
The Bench asked the NGO to make a representation to the Railways on the issue, if it so desired.
On last occasion, the Bench had asked the Railways to provide sufficient number of dustbins on platforms. CR had then informed the HC they had invited tenders to award the cleanliness work to a contractor to dispose of the plastic bags found on tracks, platforms and trains.
Besides Central Railway, the other respondents to the petition were the Union of India (Ministries of Railways and Environment and Forests), Maharashtra Government and Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.
The PIl had sought a direction to CR to implement its circular dated May 21, 2012, seeking to ban use of plastic bags by the Railway food stalls on platforms.
The petition claimed the circular had been withdrawn on July 2, 2012, after stall owners, under the leadership of activist Medha Patkar, organised an agitation against the ban.
Demanding that the circular be re-introduced, the PIL said plastic bags could not be recycled and are a source of pollution. Even if the plastic bags are burnt, methane gas is produced which is highly hazardous and poisonous.
Instead, the PIL said, paper or cloth bags should be used which can keep the environment pollution-free. Plastic bags, if dumped indiscriminately, would clog drains.
Plastic is generally a non-biodegradable material and its decomposition takes more than 1,000 years. Petroleum is used to make plastic. But petroleum products are diminishing and getting expensive by the day, it said.

Begin fresh probe in Jiah Khan case: court to CBI
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Mumbai, July 03, 2014
First Published: 17:55 IST(3/7/2014) | Last Updated: 10:50 IST(4/7/2014)
The Bombay high court on Thursday transferred the actress Jiah Khan death case for further investigations to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and directed the central agency to find out if it was a suicidal death or homicidal one.
Though the division bench of Justice VM Kanade and Justice PD Kode did not note any fault with the investigation carried out by Juhu police, the judges thought it necessary to transfer the case to the central agency in order to probe to unearth the truth — if the death was suicidal, as claimed by the police or homicidal one, as suspected by the mother of the deceased actress, Rabbiya Khan.
“We do not wish to find faults with the investigation carried out so far,” the judges said, adding, “However, no useful purpose will be served by either asking some other local police officer or even a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprised of local police officers to carry out further investigation.”
The bench said it was necessary to engage the CBI for further investigation to probe the aspects left out, if any, by the local police in order to unearth the truth and ascertain if the death was suicidal or homicidal one.
The judges felt that the Juhu police have not investigated the angle of possible murder properly. “The possibility of someone entering from the window (and escaping without getting noticed after killing the 25-year-old actress) ought to have been investigated properly,” they said.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Rabbiya Khan urging the Bombay high court to direct the CBI to conduct investigation into the suspicious death of her daughter, suspecting that her daughter died homicidal death.
Her counsel, Subhash Jha, submitted that the investigation carried out by the local police was far from satisfactory and despite orders of the court they did not probe the angle of murder. Relying on reports of two forensic experts, he also claimed that the post mortem was not conducted properly, as it missed out a few injury marks on the body.
The court also came down heavily on CBI for putting forth excuse of lack of manpower and logistical support for carrying out further investigation.
“In a country having over 1 billion population, the CBI has the audacity to tell the court that they have only 11 officers,” the division bench said.
The comment came after Rebecca Gonsalves, who represented the central agency submitted that during past two months the high court has transferred three cases to the CBI and the central agency had some reservations as regards transferring Jiah Khan case to it.
“See the concern shown by the US (United States) administration towards death of their citizen (Jiah was a US national) and see the attitude of the CBI,” the judges said referring to the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officers took out time to look into the papers of Jiah Khan case and even expressed willingness to carry out further investigation, and an officer attached to the embassy regularly attended the matter in high court.
“You cannot shun your responsibility,” the judges said, adding, “An agency like the CBI cannot come with an excuse that it does not have adequate manpower and machinery to investigate cases. The judges expressed utter displeasure over the stand taken by the central agency saying, “Ultimately, it is the duty of the State to protect lives of citizens and to maintain law and order,”
Assistant public prosecutor Poornima Kantharia, on the other hand, maintained that all possible angles, including murder committed either by the present accused or somebody else were investigated by local police. She submitted that even the doubts and suspicions raised by Rabbiya Khan were also looked into.
“Every minute detail has been covered,” Kantharia claimed. “There were no signs of violence and no bleeding injuries on the body,” she added to point out that the local police did not find any sign of possible murder.
The 25-year-old actress was found hanging to the ceiling fan in her flat at Juhu on June 3, 2013.
The Juhu police have booked her boyfriend actor Sooraj Pancholi, on charge of abetting the suicide and now a chargesheet has also been filed against him.

HC unseats judge Raveendran as arbitrator for charging high fee
Subhash Chandra N S, July 4, 2014, Bangalore, DHNS:

The High Court on Friday unseated former Supreme Court Judge Justice R V Raveendran as an arbitrator between Deepak Cables India Limited (DCIL) and Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Company (CESC).

Hearing a petition by DCIL, seeking to unseat him, Justice Abdul Nazeer, who allowed the petition, replaced him with Justice V Jagannathan as arbitrator.
The petitioners had moved the Court stating that the former Supreme Court judge, who was appointed as arbitrator between the parties, is demanding excess fees than that fixed by the High Court.
Deepak Cables, one of the contractors, was seeking Rs 54 crore as claim for works undertaken under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyuthikaran Yojana (RGGVY) by CESC.
Stating that the High Court has directed that the arbitration fees should not exceed Rs eight lakh, the petitioners said there was no cap on the fees to be paid to the arbitrator nor were there any restrictions on the number of sittings.

The petitioners informed the court that the former apex court judge has stated that he will conduct arbitrary proceedings at the place of his choice and charge fees as per his terms until High Court modifies the order.
“The learned arbitrator vide minutes of the preliminary meetings dated September 16, 2013 held at his residence proposed a fee structure and said he would be holding the sittings at Anup Shah Law Firm, subject to the consent of the parties,” the petition said and sought to replace Justice Raveendran and appoint any other arbitrator on the panel of Karnataka High Court Arbitration Centre.
Justice Raveendran, in his objections, has said that the petition is an abuse of process of law and should be dismissed by imposing exemplary costs.
On the fee structure, he has said the petitioners’ statements that there was no cap on the fees to be paid to the arbitrator is totally misleading.

Justice Abdul Nazeer replaced him with Justice V Jagannathan along with a direction to follow High Court arbitrary rules and have sittings at the High Court Arbitration Centre.
“In these peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, it is just and proper to appoint another arbitrator to adjudicate the dispute.

Therefore, Honourable Justice Sri V Jagannathan, former judge of this court is requested to enter upon the reference and arbitrate over the dispute between the parties and conduct arbitration proceedings at Arbitration Centre in terms of the Arbitration Center Karnataka (Domestic and International) Rules, 2012,” Justice Nazeer observed.

HC pulls up CB, asks IGP to supervise probe
Cellular companies directed to cooperate with Crime Branch
SRINAGAR, Jul 2: While pulling up the crime Branch for its ‘lackadaisical approach’ adopted in causing arrest of 15 absconders, the High Court today asked IGP Crime to supervise the investigations into Common Entrance Test (CET)-2012 paper leak scam and submit a status report within two weeks.

As the matter came up for hearing today, a division bench of the High Court comprising of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Hasnain Masoodi censured Crime Branch for its ‘tardy’ investigations into the matter. The crime branch has now been asked to expedite the arrest of 15 absconders wanted by the court in the matter.

The Court further asked Board of Professional Entrance Examination (BOPEE) to submit status report with regard to steps taken for cancelation of admissions of four new beneficiaries of the CET-paper leak scam identified by the Crime Branch. Meanwhile, the division bench rejected the Crime branch proposal of closing its investigations into the CET-2009 and CET-2011 admissions saying that no evidence was available to establish any kind of fraud.

The Crime Branch had in its report said that it has got some links in CET-2010 admissions but the same are not conclusive which could establish a fraud. The Court however, said that if the crime branch has got some clues in 2010 admission which warrant a probe how can investigations in 2009 and 2011 be closed?

The court directed all cellular companies including BSNL, Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone, and other companies to cooperate and provide all necessary information to the crime branch.

On February 17 this year, in compliance to the high court directions, the BOPEE had cancelled admissions of 12 students who had allegedly purchased papers prior to the conduct of CET in 2012.

The admissions of the 12 beneficiary students were cancelled as their names surface in the Crime Branch list of students who secured admissions in government medical college here after purchasing the CET question papers two years ago.

Six of them are presently lodged in Central Jail here while fresh arrest warrants have been issued against three others-two of them girls-by the Court. The three remaining beneficiaries are minors (below 18-years of age) and they have been lodged in juvenile home, sources in crime branch told Kashmir Times.

The High Court had earlier censured BOPEE for its ‘snail pace’ shown in prerequisite legal formalities for cancellation of admissions of tainted candidates. The court had said that nobody would be allowed to reap fruits of CET-2012 paper leak scam. Since the high court is scheduled to hear the matter on Tuesday, the BOPEE filed its status report informing the court about cancellation of admissions.

In its status report, sources said that the BOPEE has said that it needs consent from authorities including Medical Council of India (MCI), registrar examination of two universities of the state, principal government medical colleges of the state before allotting the seats that felt vacant following cancellation of admissions to meritorious candidates of 2012. A division bench of the High Court comprising of Justice Hasnain Masoodi and Justice A M Mgarey has said that whosoever has secured admission through deceitful and fraudulent means is to be ‘de-seated’ so that the meritorious candidates who would have been able to get admission by the dint of their hard work and on the strength of their merit are not deprived of usufructs of their labour and get admission that has been wrongfully snatched away from them. On February 15, the accused turned approver Farooq Itoo who was granted pardon by a city court deposed before Judicial Magistrate here saying that he purchased CET-2012 question paper against a payment of Rs 60 Lacs in 2012.

“In his statement which was recorded under section 164 before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar, Itoo said that he gave Rs 60 Lacs to Mushtaq Pir, former Chairman BOPEE in two equal installments in lieu of CET papers which he later sold among various students aspiring to become doctors,” a crime branch officer told Kashmir Times, pleading anonymity. Pertinently, Pir is lodged in central jail Srinagar.

HC Asks SBH Not to Release Rs 2 Crore Transferred to ESIC
By Express News Service
Published: 05th July 2014 07:20 AM
Last Updated: 05th July 2014 07:32 AM
HYDERABAD: Following a plea by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), the High Court directed the State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH) not to release the Rs 2 crore for three weeks in pursuance to recovery orders to the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).
According to advocate K Satyanarayana Rao, the GHMC filed a writ petition in the High Court against releasing the amount to ESIC.
Meanwhile, Senior officials of the SBH met GHMC commissioner Somesh Kumar at the corporation’s head office and assured him that in accordance with the court order, the amount will not be encashed into the ESIC account.
SBH officials also requested the commissioner to sort out the issue amicably and promised to transfer the assistant general manager of the Tank Bund branch Srinivas Rao at the earliest.
It may be recalled that Somesh Kumar was furious with Rao for transfering Rs 2 crore in the ESIC account without giving prior intimation the corporation.
The GHMC took serious view of the issue and had decided to proceed with legal action against the AGM for breaching trust.
The money belongs to the public and cannot be released without informing the concerned authorities, Somesh Kumar told SBH officials.
Meanwhile, the GHMC commissioner is said to have asked the SBH officials to vacate from their office in the GHMC head office.

HC notice to CEPT on PIL against its decision to end course
Publish Date: 04 Jul 2014, 10:02 AM
The two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice JB Pardiwala sought CEPT’s response about discontinuing the course on ‘Climate Change and Environment Sustainability’.

The PIL, filed by a CEPT alumnus Chirag Shastri, submitted that the “vital course” was discontinued without any prior information.

Advocate Daxesh Raval for the petitioner contended before the High Court that CPET’s executive council discontinued the course overruling Dean Shravan Kumar’s recommendation to continue with it.

The petition said that students pursuing the ‘Climate Change and Environment Sustainability’ course were transferred to another course.

The petitioner submitted that there are no specific courses on climate change and therefore CEPT’s decision is improper.

The petition demanded setting aside of an order passed by the CEPT executive committee to discontinue the course on May 10 and sought the High Court’s direction to the university to continue with the course. The High Court is set to hear this plea on July 17.

SC talks tough on illegal Aravali mines
Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN | Jul 5, 2014, 01.20 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Haryana government to stop all illegal mining and stone crushing units in Aravali hills in two weeks or face contempt of court proceedings and sought a fresh site inspection report from its environmental panel.

The order came on a PIL filed by NGO ‘Bandhua Mukti Morcha’, which said despite the SC suspending all illegal mining in the Aravali and Shivalik ranges of Haryana, it continued to flourish in Mewat, Bhiwani and Mahendergarh districts, causing immense damage to the environment and ecology of the area.

The NGO said the court had been monitoring steps to eliminate illegal mining for the last 18 years yet the state government had turned a blind eye to illegal mining, which feed the stone crushing units too.

A bench of Justices F M I Kalifulla and A K Sikri was livid with the rampant violation of court orders as was evident from the satellite imagery of the area provided by the NGO. It issued notice to the state and said, “There have been numerous orders of this court banning illegal mining. Yet, it seems the situation has become worse. There should be no illegal mining and it should be stopped forthwith.”

The bench asked advocate A D N Rao, who is also an amicus curiae for the SC’s green bench, to request the court’s high-powered environmental panel – Central Empowered Committee – to inspect the area and furnish a report.

The court also asked the Haryana government to file a response affidavit along with a status report on stoppage of illegal mining within two weeks. “If illegal mining continues despite the Supreme Court’s orders, then the state government authorities would risk facing contempt of court proceedings,” the bench warned. The court also sought response on the PIL from the ministry of environment and forests.

The NGO said rampant illegal and unscientific mining in the ecologically fragile Aravali range would have devastating effect in the long run as it would not be able to stop spread of Thar desert into the fertile plains.

The petitioner said it had obtained satellite imagery of 28 villages in Haryana which showed that about 287 hectares had been brought under stone quarrying in violation of the apex court order as it was taking place in forest and cultivated areas.

It said most of the 1,100 stone crushing units were operating on the ruse that stones were sourced from Rajasthan. It was unbelievable and non-profitable as the nearest stone sourcing point, Bharatpur, was 120 km away from the crushing units.

“Presently, on paper, there is no mining taking place within the state of Haryana for stone. However, surprisingly, nearly 1,100 stone crushing units have installed capacity ranging between 500 and 2,000 tonnes per day. This accumulates to an astounding figure of 11,00,000 tonnes of stone being crushed every day by these crushing units without there being any legal source of the stones,” the NGO said.

The petitioner said illegal mining and stone crushing activities were continuing in 28 villages, of which 24 were in Mewat district.

SC last hope for Gondia medical college
Snehlata Shrivastav,TNN | Jul 5, 2014, 06.14 AM IST
NAGPUR: Supreme Court (SC) remains the last hope for starting the Gondia Medical College (GMC) this academic year while the fate of the Chandrapur Medical College (CMC) remains uncertain.

Congress MLA from Gondia, Gopaldas Agrawal, who has been pushing the cause of GMC and had filed a PIL in Nagpur bench of Bombay HC has decided to knock the SC doors after the HC in its hearing on July 1 asked the petitioner to approach the SC as the schedule for compliance of norms and there submission to the Medical Council of India (MCI) was fixed by the apex court. “I will be filing a case on Monday with the SC as now it appears the only hope. I am hopeful that the apex court will consider the issue favourably as out of all new colleges trying to launch the MBBS course from this academic year GMC is only one which has fulfilled all the norms,” said Agrawal.

The state government was to send compliance report of both GMC and CMC by June 30 to the Centre so that MCI could consider it and cross check whether the norms for starting a new college were being met or not. Agrawal told TOI that he felt the BJP government was not supportive enough and so SC was the only hope.

“Our only fault was that the state government could not send the papers of fulfillment of norms as per the MCI schedule due to the code of conduct of elections. But it did release the required 10-acre land immediately the day the code was relaxed on March 5. Now we have the district hospital building transferred to medical education department, the posts have been created for teaching and the dean and the administrative officer,” said Agrawal.

The situation of Chandrapur college however is different. Though the college authorities through state government managed to send the required documents as per MCI schedule on time and the council conducted an inspection, the college could not be cleared by the council as it lacked certain basic requirements like the college building, basic infrastructure and hospital. However, the BJP MLA from Chandrapur who has been pursuing the issue like Agrawal told TOI that he had met the CM on Thursday and hence the state health minister had sent files for handing over the women’s hospital building of public health department to the college on lease. But since MCI is adhering to the schedule strictly, the chances of the council considering the subject favourably are very little.

SC moved seeking CBI probe against Tapas Pal’s remarks
New Delhi: A PIL on Friday was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a CBI investigation into the allegedly inflammatory remarks made by actor-cum-Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal.
The PIL was filed by advocate Bijayan Ghosh seeking a probe by CBI as he alleged that the West Bengal Police were acting in a partisan manner in the matter.
The advocate said that since the state government was not taking any action and was dealing with the issue in a “partisan” manner and if no action is taken, it will encourage other leaders to indulge in such activities.
In the petition, the advocate has made West Bengal government and CBI as respondents. Pal was shown in a video footage aired by a vernacular TV news channel on June 30 as threatening to kill CPI-M workers and having their women raped.
“If any CPI-M man is present here. Listen to me. If you ever touch any Trinamool Congress worker or their families at Choumaha, you have to pay for this. Don’t try to act smart with me. I am smarter than you… “… Earlier, you guys have bullied me on various occasions. If you insult the mothers and daughters of Trinamool workers. Then I won’t spare you. I will let loose my boys in your homes and they will commit rape. I will teach each of you a lesson,” the MP had warned.
Pal had two days ago in a statement tendered an apology for his remarks which had triggered a nationwide outrage.

Apprentice Act to be freed from jail terms, compulsory hiring
Vikas Dhoot, ET Bureau Jul 3, 2014, 07.10AM IST
Keeping with its intent to skill India’s increasingly young workforce, the Narendra Modi government is overhauling the moribund 53-year-old apprenticeship law governing on-the- job training, whose draconian provisions include one that puts employers behind bars, forcing industry to stay away from a system used to train millions of people globally. The NDA government has decided to drop the clause that mandates imprisonment of company directors that fail to implement the Apprenticeship Act of 1961 and amend its other archaic provisions.
It has also decided to do away with an amendment proposed by the UPA mandating employers to absorb at least half of its apprentices in regular jobs. “The performance of the Apprenticeship Training Scheme (ATS), which was first launched on a voluntary basis in 1959, is dismal with a large number of training facilities available in the industry going waste, depriving unemployed youth,” the labour ministry has argued in its proposal to change the law, that the Manmohan Singh government had sought to reform but couldn’t.

The previous government had also toyed with the idea of bringing a new law altogether, instead of amending the old law, tasking the then Skills Advisor to the PM, S Ramadorai, to draft it. But even that came to nought. Skill development efforts under the law have had little transformative effect on the abilities of India’s workforce. In 2013-14, just 2.11 lakh apprentices were appointed in industry out of a potential identified capacity of 3.6 lakh seats — numbers that are miniscule for aworkforce that is now growing by 12 million a year with most of them having no employable skills.
To put that in perspective, Germany has 3 million, Japan 10 million and China has 20 million apprentices who pick up critical employment skills through a hands-on approach. With employers avoiding apprenticeships due to fears of imprisonment, the government has proposed replacing prison terms with monetary fines for every violation of the law.
More flexibility will also be granted to firms on their apprenticeship responsibilities. About 500 new trades and vocations are to be brought under the scheme, including skills for services sectors like IT-enabled services. Aclause mooted earlier by the labour ministry that required corporates to reserve 50% of regular jobs for apprentices they train, has been dropped, as it had triggered strong objections from industry chambers, the Planning Commission and the human resources development ministry, which is in charge of training technical and graduate apprentices.
Instead, firms would now be asked to formulate their own policies for recruiting trained apprentices. The changes include allowing companies with pan-India operations to approach a central government body for appointing apprentices rather than approach each state that they have operations in – a process described as extremely cumbersome by firms. Under the new law, any firm operating in more than four states can approach the Centre for apprentices.
To make the scheme more attractive for youth, who shun the scheme for its limited options and low stipends that range from Rs 2,100 per month in the first year to Rs 3,100 per month in their fourth year of training, the government has proposed raising the stipends to at least 70 pere cent of the minimum wages for semi-skilled workers in their first year and 90 per cent in their third year of training. A web-based portal will be created to help youth locate apprenticeship seats available in the country, sorted by trade and companies.

18 minor girls rescued from illegal shelter home
Eighteen minor girls were rescued from an illegal shelter home run by a non-government organisation at Nangal Raya in West Delhi on Thursday. The rescue operation was led by Child Welfare Committee (CWC) chairperson Amita Tiwari along with the local police and activists of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).
According to the BBA team, their activists reached the home around 2 p.m. and were shocked to see the condition in which the girls were kept. The children’s home was without any ventilation, direct sunlight and water supply. Two small rooms – which were more like store rooms – had the belongings of all the children along with a compact sleeping place.
The entire home was infested with cockroaches, rats and insects – making it a difficult place to live in. One of the elder girls who was rescued in the operation was found scolding the young girls and threatening them not to open their mouth under any circumstances. She told the inmates to speak good about the home and say that they lived in a comfortable state, said BBA in a press statement.
Most of the children were allegedly trafficked from Bihar, Orissa, Nagaland and Nepal and aged between 6-16 years.
The BBA team said that one could sense that the children were influenced as the wardens were continuously telling them to have faith in god. Six-year-old Rashmi (name changed), one of the rescued children, said: “My parents died long time back. Some lady from my village brought me here. I do not know for what reason I am here.”
Nandita (name changed), another rescued girl, said: “I have not taken bath for two days. There has been always been water scarcity here. I came here two years back.”
As there has been a violation of several provisions of The Juvenile Justice Act in this case, the CWC ordered to rescue these children. As per Ms. Tiwari’s order, the girls have been shifted to Nirmal Chaaya Girl’s Home.

Finance broker held for harassing wife over dowry
TNN | Jul 5, 2014, 01.11 AM IST
PUNE: The Koregaon Park police on Friday arrested a 29-year-old finance broker and his father from Boat Club Road and charged them under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for allegedly subjecting the broker’s 24-year-old wife to severe cruelty over the issue of not meeting their dowry demands.

Police have also booked the broker’s mother and sister for allegedly abetting the crime. A magisterial court has released the father and son on bail.

Subhash Aniruddha, senior inspector of the Koregaon Park police station, said that the couple married on February 23, but the relations between them soon turned sour over the issue.

In her complaint to the police, the woman has alleged that her parents had spent Rs 70 lakh on the marriage and had also given them dowry.

However, her husband and her in-laws continued to harass her for not meeting their other demands like purchasing a new car, Aniruddha said.

He said that the broker and his family members suspected her character, thrashed, abused and harassed her physically and mentally for not doing household work. They threw her out of the house after her parents did not meet their dowry demands, he added.

The woman registered a complaint with the police after efforts to reunite with her husband proved futile.

Woman booked for misuse of new anti-stalking law
Avantika Mehta, Hindustan Times New Delhi, July 05, 2014
First Published: 00:05 IST(5/7/2014) | Last Updated: 00:10 IST(5/7/2014)
A Delhi court has ordered the police to register an FIR against a woman who had allegedly filed false complaints against a Delhi-based pharmacist last year. Police said she had a record of having filed 10 cases — mostly of molestation and rape — against various people who registered counter FIRs against her.
In the present case, the pharmacist Naveen Kumar complained that this woman had falsely accused him on charges that were recently amended to section 354 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
His story goes that on the night of March 30 this year, when he was returning home from Kondli Mor after dropping his colleagues, the woman suddenly jumped in front of his car and started crying. She then threatened to call the police, taking Rs. 5,000 and his gold chain.
A policeman was present on the scene and he took Kumar to the Kalyan Puri police station where the woman filed her statements against him (the court has now directed that these be probed properly).
Kumar realised that the woman was known among his colleagues. Later, he started receiving anonymous phonecalls on behalf of the same woman, demanding Rs. 50,000. If he failed to serve up to it, he was threatened with more criminal implications.
Critics of the anti-stalking law (sec 354D) amended last year have long said it is ripe for misuse by women to settle personal scores. The section defines punishment for persons who are found guilty of non-consensual interaction both physically and via any means of electronic communication.
On June 3, the Supreme Court ruled that persons implicated in the anti-dowry law can no longer be “automatically” arrested before a proper probe has taken place. This was to keep in check women who were lodging false cases against their husbands and in-laws.
In March this year, the High Court had asked Delhi police to create a crime map with a special focus on crimes against women.
The one-of-a-kind report was filed in a sealed cover before a bench headed by Justice BD Ahmed in April, and the court had noted that since the police now have the ‘crime mapping’ data, it should begin tackling the problems area-wise.

Set up a judicial commission to select judges, don’t interrupt the process meanwhile
Jul 3, 2014, 12.14AM IST
Neither the executive nor judiciary have covered themselves in glory in the case involving the controversial proposal to appoint former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium as Supreme Court judge. The underhand manner in which the NDA government segregated Subramanium from the proposed panel of legal luminaries for elevation as SC judges is an unfair intrusion into the affairs of higher judiciary in nominal pursuit of accountability. On his part, by withdrawing his candidature for judgeship, Subramanium has not stood up for independence of judiciary by which he took his stand.

By focussing on external threats, the higher judiciary has distracted itself from dangerous threats to judicial independence that result also from its opaque collegium system of appointment of judges. On part of the government, its job is to build not destroy institutions. Given that the collegium system continues to be in force, the NDA government should not interfere in the process of selection of judges. Instead, it should strive towards long-term reform of the judiciary.

The government could consider Arun Jaitley’s suggestion during the previous NDA regime that a national judicial commission (NJC) be appointed to select judges. It is in the context of frequent criticism that the collegium system is a clubby arrangement that lacks transparency and accountability, making the higher judiciary the sole arbiter of appointments, that Jaitley’s suggestion deserves serious consideration. The Narendra Modi government could amend the 2013 Judicial Appointments Commission Bill by expanding the proposed seven-member authority to include representatives from judiciary, executive, legislature (including opposition leaders) and eminent legal academics drawn from civil society. This will ensure that the judiciary is not exempt from the requirement of accountability to the people it serves.
Since the judiciary is a co-equal branch of government, the proposed NJC could give due weightage to a public consultation and foolproof vetting process whose records should be publicly available. The judiciary should not have any reservations on vetting if it believes that judicial independence does not excuse it from compliance with appropriate standards of accountability. But it is equally critical that some of the Supreme Court’s senior-most judges themselves define and communicate in an open manner the standards by which they must be selected. The public has the right to expect that judges will be willing and able to behave in accordance with the highest professional and ethical standards.

Madras High Court Directs Highway Authority to Shift Madurai Toll Plaza
South | Press Trust of India | Updated: July 04, 2014 09:36 IST

Madurai, Tamil Nadu: The Madras High Court today directed National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to shift a toll plaza at Kappalur on NH-7 in the district so as to allow public using a small stretch of the highway pay less toll.

Passing orders on a PIL, a bench here comprising justices V Ramasubramanian and V M Velumani held that the present location of the toll plaza did not satisfy the mandatory proviso of the National Highway Act and ordered NHAI to shift the plaza to a place near interjection of NH-7 (Varanasi-Kanyakumari) and NH-205 (Madurai-Kollam) within four weeks.

This was required so that there was no violation of the National Highway Act provisions and to ensure that persons who used small section of the NH-7 for the purpose of proceeding to NH-208 were not charged the same rate of toll fee as charged for those travelling by NH-7.

Until the shifting, toll should not be collected from those who used the NH-7 to go to NH-208. Later they could resort to collecting toll only for the short distance used by those going to NH-208.

The judge made it clear that there was no impediment for collecting toll for those using NH-7.

PIL filed in SC for NIA or CBI probe into Sunanda’s death
Friday, July 04, 2014 1:50 PM
Prabhakar Mishra for ENI

New Delhi: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in Supreme Court on Friday seeking a probe from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) or the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with Sunanda Pushkar death case.

Advocate N Rajaraman filed the plea and demanded to investigate the role of Sunanda’s husband and the then UPA minister Shashi Throor alongwith and Ghulam Nabi Azad into the case.

On Wednesday, the forensic department head of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Dr Sudhir Gupta, had claimed that he was pressurized to give a false report in the case.

Dr Gupta wrote a letter to the health ministry stating that a UPA minister had pressurized him to tailor the report and asked him to show it as a “natural death”.

Later in the day, the AIIMA had made it clear saying that there was no pressure on Gupta to amend the post mortem report.

“AIIMS categorically denies any such allegations,there was no pressure on Dr.Sudhir Gupta,” Dr.Neerja Bhatla had said while addressing a press conference.

(Prabhakar Mishra can be reached at

HC notice to CEPT on PIL against its decision to end course
Publish Date: 04 Jul 2014, 10:02 AM
Last Updated: 04 Jul 2014, 10:05 AM
The two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice JB Pardiwala sought CEPT’s response about discontinuing the course on ‘Climate Change and Environment Sustainability’.

The PIL, filed by a CEPT alumnus Chirag Shastri, submitted that the “vital course” was discontinued without any prior information.

Advocate Daxesh Raval for the petitioner contended before the High Court that CPET’s executive council discontinued the course overruling Dean Shravan Kumar’s recommendation to continue with it.

The petition said that students pursuing the ‘Climate Change and Environment Sustainability’ course were transferred to another course.

The petitioner submitted that there are no specific courses on climate change and therefore CEPT’s decision is improper.

The petition demanded setting aside of an order passed by the CEPT executive committee to discontinue the course on May 10 and sought the High Court’s direction to the university to continue with the course. The High Court is set to hear this plea on July 17.

Mumbai auto union moves high court for auto, taxi fare hike
Shibu Thomas,TNN | Jul 4, 2014, 08.31 PM IST
MUMBAI:A fortnight after the MMRTA proposed to increase the auto and taxi fares in Mumbai by Rs 2, the Mumbai Rickshawmen’s Union approached the Bombay high court seeking orders to implement the hike. Claiming hardships and the rise of prices the union’s application also seeks to intervene in the PIL filed by the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat against the last fare hike. Since the PIL is pending in the high court, the state is yet to pass a formal order to hike fares.

As per the MMRTA’s proposal the minimum fares for autis in Mumbai and its suburbs would go up to Rs 17 from the existing Rs 15, while the taxis fares would rise from Rs 19 to Rs 21. The last round of fare hike took place in October 2012 based on the one man Hakim committee’s report. The MGP — a consumer rights body — had then challenged the fare hike as well as the report of the Hakim committee. The PIL is pending before the high court.

The MRU claimed that the Hakim committee had prescribed annual revision of fare hikes in May on the basis of cost of living and other factors. They have pointed to the rise in CNG rates and other commodities to support the fare hike proposal.

Consumer activists however have sought better facilities and action on complaints of refusal and overcharging before any fare hike is again implemented. The MRU’s application is likely to come up for hearing before the high court next week.

Ban construction near water bodies, says PIL
TNN | Jul 4, 2014, 11.45 PM IST
MUMBAI: The HC on Friday admitted a plea seeking cancellation of permission for construction in the floodplain of rivers, lakes, creeks, tributaries, estuaries and beaches.

The petition filed by NGO Vanshakti has sought that wherever constructions have been carried out and public access blocked, an opening be created to allow access.

The NGO, in its plea, said that there are advertisements wherein builders promise houses adjoining rivers, creeks, beaches and lakes.

“These builders, in the garb of fulfilling buyers’ drea- ms … destroy ecologically important and sensitive areas like areas bordering rivers/floodplain/seas etc.” Most of these constructions are in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

On the Kalyan-Shilphata road, two km of the river bank has been walled in for a housing project. At Vajreshwari, famous for its hot springs, a developer has fenced in bungalow plots along the river.

HC gives Haryana 2 months to remove encroachments
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, July 04, 2014
First Published: 22:03 IST(4/7/2014)
Last Updated: 22:07 IST(4/7/2014)
Taking up a public interest litigation (PIL) submitting that despite the high court’s directions, encroachments on the land of the historical Panipat fort have not been removed by the authorities and portions of the land are even being sold, the Punjab and Haryana high court has granted two months to the Haryana government to take action.
The division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Ajay Tewari made it clear that in case the authorities failed to take action as per law, the Panipat deputy commissioner should remain present in the court on September 19 for an explanation.
The directions came on a PIL filed by Panipat resident Deepak Tayal. The Panipat municipal corporation had earlier informed the court that it was taking action in 242 cases under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971.
The Panipat fort has an area of around 53,840 square yards. The battles of Panipat were fought there and it is believed that the fort was built by the Pandavas. It is also a symbol of the national freedom struggle as Mahatma. Gandhi had visited the place twice, according to the petitioner.
The petitioner had submitted that the government ‘nazool’ land of the Panipat fort, under the management of the municipal corporation, was being encroached upon by raising illegal constructions and some parts of the land had even been sold by private parties.

Badaun case: Allahabad high court asks CBI to file its progress report
TNN | Jul 4, 2014, 05.05 PM IST
ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court on Thursday directed the CBI to submit its progress report in the sensational gang rape and murder of two cousins in Badaun and fixed July 8 as the next date of hearing.

Passing the above directive on a (PIL filed by Stree Adhikar Sangthan, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud and Justice Dilip Gupta asked the petitioner to implead the CBI as it was not a party in this PIL. The PIL was filed with regard to the incident of rape and hanging of two cousins in Badaun on May 27. The petitioner had alleged that the role of the state in Badaun case is not fair, therefore, the investigation of this case be transferred to the CBI.

Earlier on June 11, the court while taking a serious note of increasing cases of crime against women in the state, had directed that it would monitor the investigation of Badaun rape case. The court had also directed the Director General of Police, UP, to file a status report with regard to the investigation of Badaun rape case indicating the progress in the investigation.

The court had further directed the DGP to submit a report with regard to number of crimes against women lodged in various police stations in the state in the past six weeks and also progress report of investigation therein. The DGP was also directed to provide protection to the families of the victims in the Badaun incident in case such protection was not been provided so far.

Nainital to be polythene-free by July 15: HC
Yogesh Kumar,TNN | Jul 4, 2014, 08.09 PM IST
DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand high court has banned the use of polythene bags in Nainital district and ordered that Rs 500 fine be imposed on anyone found using it from July 15.

It also ordered the DM to file an affidavit on the details of construction within 30 metres of all lakes in the district. As per building bylaws, no construction, permanent or temporary, is allowed within 30 metres of the lakes.

A bench of Justice Servesh Kumar Gupta and Justice Alok Singh passed the order on Thursday after hearing a PIL alleging rampant encroachment in Nainital. The petitioner, Ajay Rawat, an environmental activist, had also raised the issues of pollution due to polythene bags in his PIL.

The ban will cover hilly areas like Bhimtal and Mukteshwar and also low lying areas like the industrial Haldwani and Lalquan belts.

The administration has also been ordered to inform the public about the ban by printing advertisements and putting up posters on public boards at the site of lakes in Nainital district.

The district, which has lakes like Bheemtal, Khurpa Tal, Naukuchiya Tal, Sukha Tal and Saat Tal, has been witnessing unchecked commercial construction.

The petitioner welcomed the court order, saying, “I had no option but to seek justice from the court since the authorities and politicians did not help to take up the issue of encroachment.”

Blacklist Pharma Cos offering gifts to medicos: HC
SRINAGAR, Jul 3: Directing the state government to constitute a Task Force to ascertain and check the pharmaceutical companies indulging in offering freebies to doctors, theHigh Court has asked the government to blacklist the pharma companies who are found doing malpractices to increase their profits in the state.

A division bench of the High Court comprising of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Hasnain Masoodi also asked the state government to conclude the enquiry within six months against five doctors who have been served charge sheets for taking freebies form pharma companies.

The court has also asked the five and other accused doctors to furnish details of their assets within two months and the government has been asked to file a status report within two months before the registrar judicial.

The orders came in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking an end to gift taking menace by doctors. On April 9, the High Court had directed its Secretary to ‘trace’ statutory provisions under which it has passed the circular, so that disciplinary proceedings are initiated against the erring medicos.

In this regard, additional advocate general Javid Kawoosa had said the Secretary H&ME Department had issued circular (no.14-HME of 2014) on January 23 last, prohibiting doctors practicing in the field of medicine from receiving freebies or gifts from the companies.

While the Court observed that the circular does not indicate any statutory provision under which it has been issued, Kawoosa had insisted that it has been done in compliance of order by the court on December 23 last year.

“A closer look on the (December 23) order would reveal that no direction has been issued to the respondents, requiring them to issue acircular,” the bench said.

“In the said background, it would be appropriate to direct the Secretary (H&ME) to locate statutory provisions under which circular has been issued, so that the circular has a binding effect and any violation constitutes misconduct and disciplinary proceedings are initiated against the erring doctors.”

As per the circular, the Secretary has directed all the Heads of the Departments working under its administrative control to comply with the December 23 directions from the High Court.

“It has come to the notice of the (H&ME) Department that some doctors are receiving cash and gifts/freebies for prescribing medicine of particular companies including unrecognized companies. The matter has been viewed seriously by the High Court,” the Secretary has emphasized while issuing the circular.

On December 23 last year, the division bench besides restraining doctors had also asked all the pharmaceutical companies to restrain themselves from giving gifts of any kind to doctors. The bench had also directed the pharmaceutical companies not to arrange tours for doctors within India or abroad.

“The doctors shall attend research conferences only after it is certified by the Head of the Department that it is in the interest of patient care and the HODs concerned will be at liberty to authorise the doctors to attend the literary seminars after it is certified that the same is in the interests of public,” the court had said.

Meanwhile, the bench also directed respondents including Chief Secretary, Commissioner Health and Medical Education, Director Health, and Principals of Government Medical College Srinagar/Jammu to file statement, indicating participation of the doctors from the state in conferences workshops and seminars within or outside India after the December 23 direction.

The statement, court said, shall give details where formal permission was granted by the government.

“This will enable the bench to pass further directions in the matter,” the court added, observing that a blanket ban on doctors to participate in conferences, workshops, seminars would be counterproductive, adversely affecting the doctors who are keen to participate in such conferences and workshops to enhance their knowledge and profession skills.

Meanwhile, as per the ‘statement of facts’, government has already instituted an enquiry against the doctors alleged in the PIL to have received cash and gifts from pharmaceutical companies in lieu of prescribing their medicine, some “unnecessarily”.

The petitioners, Naseer Ahmad Shah, Lateef Panjabi and Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah—all residents of Srinagar, have named a few doctors in their petition, claiming that they have proof against them for taking gifts and cash for prescribing medicine of a particular company.

In the statement of facts, the government has said that it was inquiring into the allegations against doctors including Firdous Ahmad Vaid (Medical Officer Yaripora), Fayaz Ahmad Peerzada (incharge CMO Budgam), Abdul Ahad Wani (Consultant medicine, Baramulla) and Javaid Ahmad Zargar (Medical Officer Chadoora). The PIL has been posted by the bench for further consideration in May.

Supreme Court refers AAP plea against imposition of President’s Rule in Delhi to a Constitution bench
Friday, 4 July 2014 – 1:25pm IST | Agency: Zee Media Bureau
Supreme Court has refers to a Constitution bench AAP’s petition for dissolution of Delhi Assembly and to hold fresh elections.
The Supreme Court on Friday heard a petition filed by Aam Aadmi Party against imposition of President’s Rule in Delhi.
The hearing comes a day after former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal accompanied by AAP legislators met President Pranab Mukherjee to demand immediate dissolution of the Assembly and fresh elections in Delhi.
The apex court had on May 05 posted for July 04 the hearing on the petition after it was informed that Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had decided to deal with the matter after the conclusion of Lok Sabha polls.
A bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha was requested by senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for AAP, to keep the matter for hearing in first week of July as the LG had informed that he will deal with the issue after 16 May.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, an AAP leader, had also made the same request and said nobody is coming forward to claim for formation of government.
He had also submitted that elections are being held and the results may change the ground reality since the last Assembly Elections.
The apex court had earlier said that there was no legal impediment for the President to dissolve the Delhi Assembly to pave the way for fresh election in the state.
The bench, however, had clarified that it was not passing any direction in any manner in this regard and it was for the President to decide on the basis of the facts and circumstances.
Delhi has been under President’s Rule since February 17 after Kejriwal resigned as chief minister over the stalling of the Jan Lokpal bill in the Assembly.
(With Agency inputs)

Stepping beyond his powers, state CIC appoints Pratibha Patil’s secretary as Pune IC
VINITA DESHMUKH | 04/07/2014 05:01 PM |
A State CIC has no powers to even sanction a ‘casual leave’ of any Information commissioner. However, Maharashtra SCIC Ratnakar Gaikwad issued a transfer order to make Rajendra Jadhav, full time IC of Pune. Jadhav was the secretary to former president Pratibha Patil

Rajendra Jadhav was appointed by the Maharashtra Governor and has taken oath as Amravati’s Information Commissioner (IC) on 1 March 2014. First he was arbitrarily given additional charge as Pune’s Information Commissioner and now suddenly on 2nd July he has been appointed as Pune’s full time Information Commissioner by State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC) Ratnakar Gaikwad. All this when the SCIC does not have the authority to even sanction a ‘casual leave’ for any IC, as the authority rests with the Governor.

Jadhav, who was secretary of former President of India Pratibha Patil, while she was serving in the highest constitutional post, seems to be curiously following her like a shadow, with the state government machinery ‘illegally’ supporting the cause.

How else would you explain the audacity of SCIC Gaikwad to appoint Jadhav as Pune’s Information Commissioner, under the garb of Section 15 (4) of the RTI Act? This rule states that the SCIC has the power to exercise his authority ‘autonomously’.

Right to Information (RTI) activist, Vijay Kumbhar, who has taken up this issue with the Governor’s office by writing a formal complaint to him, with copies of the complaint also sent to the President of India and Prime Minister, explains that “the SCIC does not have to consult any other law enforcing or public authority to issue an order pertaining to the RTI Act, but when it comes to the appointment of Information Commissioners, Governor is the final authority. The SCIC has no authority to sanction even a casual leave of any IC; it is the Governor’s prerogative. Therefore, Gaikwad has no authority to merely send a ‘CC’ of his order to the Governor which he has done in the case of Jadhav.” (see box for the Section 15 (4) rule)

It is shocking that earlier complaints by Kumbhar to the Governor regarding such ‘illegal’ transfers by SCIC Gaikwad have been met with stoic silence.

Girish Bapat, senior leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from Pune has also expressed shock at Gaikwad’s ‘style of functioning’. When Moneylife contacted him for this issue, he stated, “Earlier too I had formally complained to the Chief Secretary as well as to the Chief Minister. I have strong reservations regarding Gaikwad’s style of functioning. I am pursuing this recent case of Rajendra Jadhav with the highest authorities of the state.”

In fact, RTI activist Anil Galgali has also taken up the same ‘transfer’ issue by Gaikwad in March this year. Since the post of IC is not transferrable, a high powered committee was set up, which made recommendations to the Governor. Thereafter, the Governor and not the SCIC made the (re) appointments. Galgali was quoted in a Moneylife article stating: “the RTI Act 2005, has no provision for transfer of State ICs (SIC). The power to appoint, or remove SICs are vested the Governor. During 2007, Vilas Patil, the then SIC at Nagpur sought transfer to Nashik. A High Power Committee headed by the state Chief Minister (CM), with the deputy CM and leader of opposition as its members, recommended to the Governor the transfer of the SIC. The Governor sought opinion from the Ministry of Law and Advocate General of Maharashtra (AG). The AG pointed out that as per Section 15 of RTI Act, the Governor can appoint an SIC on recommendations from the High Power Committee.

“After the AG’s opinion, Vilas Patil first resigned as SIC at Nagpur, then the Committee recommended his name for appointment as SIC at Nashik. The Governor accepted the recommendation and issued order to appoint Vilas Patil as SIC at Nashik,” Galgali said. (read Maharashtra SCIC illegally transferred three SICs? )

Also shocking is the fact that Jadhav has taken over the reigns as Information Commissioner, Pune Division, without even taking an official oath, which makes his appointment doubly illegal and dubious. His official oath, as per official record is that of being appointed as Amravati’s Information Commissioner. With a single order, Gaikwad has also transferred Pune’s Information Commissioner MB Shah to take over as Amravati’s Information Commissioner, when he resumes after his illness.

Kumbhar, in his strongly worded letter to the Governor has demanded the following:

1. Cancellation of all orders of SCIC Ratnakar Gaikwad wherein he has encroached on the Governor’s authority

2. To ask Ravindra Jadhav. who was appointed Amravati Information Commissioner on oath and has broken that oath by accepting to be Pune’s Information Commissioner on SCIC’s orders, to resign

3. To cancel Ratnakar Gaikwad’s order of appointing Ravindra Jadhav as Pune’s Information Commissioner as it is null and void

4. Once an information commissioner has been appointed, he cannot be re-appointed, hence Jadhav should not be appointed as Information Commissioner of Pune.

Moneylife had, on Wednesday, published the shocking article of how Rajendra Jadhav was sanctioned an official bungalow in a premier residential neighborhood of Pune Cantonment, despite his being Amravati’s Information Commissioner. Several deserving officers who are posted in Pune in various state government departments have to wait for a year or two before getting accommodation, but Jadhav has got an exclusive bungalow in a jiffy.

Kumbhar states in his letter to the Governor: “-you had appointed Rajendra Jadhav as the Information Commissioner of Amravati on 1 March 2014. However, after a while, SCIC Ratnakar Gaikwad has cancelled that appointment and appointed him as the Information Commissioner of Pune. This action is not only illegal but is an encroachment on your authority. I wish to bring to your notice that even a minor issue like `casual leave’ cannot be sanctioned without your consent as per your own circular.”

“On 26th June, you had appointed Mr Vasant Patil as the Information Commissioner of Nagpur but on 2nd July, Ratnakar Gaikwad has given him the additional charge as Amravati’s Information Commissioner. Also, Gaikwad gave additional charge of Pune’s Information Commissioner to Jadhav and has now appointed him as Pune’s Information Commissioner. Please remember a special committee was appointed by you in order to appoint Jadhav as Information Commissioner of Amravati and hence, SCIC has no authority to re-appoint him elsewhere,” the letter added.

As per Section 15 (4) of the RTI Act –

The general superintendence, direction and management of the affairs of the State Information Commission shall vest in the State Chief Information Commissioner who shall be assisted by the State Information Commissioners and may exercise all such powers and do all such acts and things which may be exercised or done by the State Information Commission autonomously without being subjected to directions by any other authority under this Act.

CAT Turns Down Officer’s Plea
By Express News Service
Published: 04th July 2014 07:36 AM
Last Updated: 04th July 2014 07:36 AM
CHENNAI: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has dismissed the plea of R Tamil Chandran, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Vellore Range), to predate conferment of his IPS rank by two years.
Tamil Chandran, who was recruited as a Group 1 officer by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission in 1989, was conferred with IPS rank in the year 2003.
In his petition filed before the CAT, he had submitted that he was eligible for IPS rank conferment in 2001, but the promotion was delayed due to adverse remarks made against him in the Annual Confidential Report.
He had appealed to predate his conferment of IPS rank to 2001.
In its recent order, the CAT set aside the adverse remarks against Tamil Chandran in the Annual Confidential Report.
However, the Chennai bench consisting of judicial member Justice K Elango and administrative member P Prabakaran rejected the plea to predate the conferment of IPS rank as it would disturb the entire administrative hierarchy and the seniority position of several officers.

DGP Postings: CAT Gives 10 Days to Centre to Reply
By Express News Service
Published: 04th July 2014 08:00 AM
Last Updated: 04th July 2014 08:00 AM
HYDERABAD: Hyderabad bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Thursday expressed displeasure over the attitude of the Central Government in responding to a petition with regard to appointment of incharge DGPs to the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The bench directed the Centre to explain within 10 days from now the basis and the rationale behind allotting IPS officers to Telangana state.
The bench comprising members BV Rao (judicial) and Minnie Mathews (administration) was dealing with the plea by senior IPS officers SA Huda and TP Das, challenging the appointment of JV Ramudu and Anurag Sharma as incharge DGPs to AP and Telangana respectively.
The petitioners challenged the notification of allotment of IPS cadre to Telangana and AP, contending that taking 1982 as the base year for the allotment was discriminatory and was prepared with ulterior motives. Taking 1982 as the base year for the T-cadre allotment was proof enough that the intention was to eliminate seniors like them, they said.
Mohammad Shafiquzzaman, counsel for the petitioners, argued that his clients should have been made the DGPs for both the states because they happen to be the senior most among the existing IPS officers in both the states.
The counsel said the Telangana state filled its DGP post without the Centre creating a separate DGP post for Telangana after the state bifurcation process.
He urged the tribunal to direct both the states not to accord DGP (head of police force-HoPF) status and the pay scale to these two temporary DGPs till the process of appointing regular DGPs to both the states, duly involving UPSC in accordance with the existing rules, is completed.
In the previous hearing, Advocate-General of Telangana state K Ramakrishna Reddy pointed out that the petitioners did not make Anurag Sharma, the current DGP of T state, as a party to the case and also failed to challenge the original notification of the Centre.
The petitioners submitted a memo on Thursday to amend their petitions as pointed out by the AG and the bench accorded the permission. When the bench sought the response from the counsel of the Centre, he tried to cite certain technical lapses in the plea and sought more time to file the reply.


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