LEGAL NEWS 07.07.2014

Rajiv Gandhi killing case: Nalini moves SC, questions Centre’s role
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Rajiv-Gandhi-killing-case-Nalini-moves-SC-questions-Centres-role/articleshow/37928905.cms?
Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN | Jul 7, 2014, 04.10 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict Nalini, whose death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 2000, has moved the Supreme Court challenging Section 435(1) of Criminal Procedure Code that mandated Tamil Nadu government to consult the Centre before releasing seven life imprisonments in the case.

A day after the SC commuted the death sentences of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, the Jayalalithaa government on February 19 proposed to remit the sentences of all seven life imprisonments, including the three, and release them from prison. The Centre had immediately challenged the state’s decision and the SC on February 20 stayed their release. Nalini is Murugan’s wife. All the life imprisonments have been in prison for the last 23 years.

Nalini, through her counsel M Radhakrishnan, challenged Section 435(1) which mandates state governments to consult the Centre before remitting the sentences of convicts in cases investigated by the CBI, as in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

She said Section 432 and 433 of CrPC did not put any fetter on the state’s power to release life imprisonments after remitting their sentences. The only consideration for release of life convicts by the state governments was whether the life imprisonments, on release from prison for good conduct, would be able to fit into the mainstream and lead a normal life, she said.

Nalini said since the TN governor commuted her death sentence to life term on April 24, 2000, the state government had released nearly 2,200 life convicts who had served around 10 years in prison exercising powers under Section 432 and 433 of CrPC.

She said though her imprisonment had been for 23 years, she had not been considered for release only because the offence against her was investigated by the CBI, thus attracting the central consultation bar provided under Section 435.

“When the object of premature release is reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners and when the life convicts are released prematurely only on the basis of good conduct in prison, and when such good conduct is assessed only by the state government, requiring the state government to consult the Centre in respect of life convicts, whose offences were investigated by the CBI, would be irrational,” she said challenging the validity of Section 435(1).

“What the state had considered while releasing the life convicts was not which agency investigated the offences against them, but whether the released convicts would be able to join society to lead a normal life,” she said.

A five-judge constitution bench of the SC is scheduled to hear the Centre’s petition challenging TN’s jurisdiction to remit the sentences of the seven life imprisonments in Rajiv assassination case and release them from prison. The NDA government has decided to support previous UPA regime’s stand that the release of life imprisonments, whose offences were investigated by the CBI, would require the Centre’s concurrence.

The accused in the Rajiv assassination case were convicted by the trial court on January 28, 1998. All were awarded death penalty. But, the SC on May 11, 1999 upheld the death sentence for four and awarded various jail terms to many while acquitting some.

Shariat Courts Unconstitutional? Supreme Court to Deliver Verdict Today
http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/shariat-courts-unconstitutional-supreme-court-to-deliver-verdict-today-553751
All India | Written by A Vaidyanathan | Updated: July 07, 2014 07:53 IST
New Delhi: The Supreme Court will deliver a judgement on Monday on whether Shariat courts are unconstitutional or not.

The Top Court will give its verdict on a petition filed by a Delhi-based advocate Vishwa Lochan Madan, challenging parallel courts run by institutions like the Darul Qaza and Darul-Iftaa.

The petitioner had argued that Shariat courts are illegal and operated as parallel courts in the country deciding on religious and social freedoms of Muslim citizens, and that fundamental rights of Muslims cannot be controlled and curtailed by fatwas issued by qazis and muftis appointed by Muslim organisations.

While reserving the verdict in February this year, the Supreme Court observed that it cannot interfere with fatwas or religious decrees issued by Muslim clerics, “These are political-religious issues. We can’t decide them. In this country some people believe Gangajal can cure all ailments. It is a matter of belief.”

The petitioner also told the court that the Darul Qaza and Darul-Iftaa function in 52 to 60 districts which have a sizeable Muslim population. He said Muslims cannot contest these decrees or fatwas, and alleged that these interfere with the life and liberty of citizens. Mr Madan had also argued that a Muslim girl had to desert her husband because a fatwa directed her to live with her father-in-law who had allegedly raped her.

“Don’t be over dramatic,” the court told the petitioner, adding, “We will come to her rescue. You are assuming all fatwas are irrational. Some fatwas may be wise and may be for general good also. People in this country are wise enough. If two Muslims agree for mediation, who can stay it? It is a blend of arbitration and mediation.”

The Muslim Personal Law Board argued that if fatwas affect fundamental rights, one can approach the court. The then UPA government had told the court that it will not interfere with the Muslim personal law unless it affects the fundamental rights of individuals.

Judges wary of SC elevation of lawyers
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1140707/jsp/nation/story_18588649.jsp#.U7oiQpSSxwg
R. BALAJI
New Delhi, July 6: Members of the judiciary are said to be opposing the elevation of senior advocates to the Supreme Court, particularly those who are relatively young.
Sources said although a few judges wanted bright senior advocates to be elevated to the apex court, most feel that promoting the relatively younger ones might affect the chances of many sitting apex court judges to become Chief Justice of India (CJI).
A case in point is the recent attempt to elevate senior advocates Fali Nariman and U.U. Lalit and the aborted bid to promote Gopal Subramanium as an apex court judge.
Had Subramanium been elevated, he would have become Chief Justice for over a year.
While Lalit’s name is yet to be formally recommended by the Chief Justice-headed apex court collegium, there is a feeling that the senior advocate, who is in his 50s, may eventually become the CJI if elevated.
It is said to be causing disappointment among judges as they would prefer somebody from the present lot of high court chief justices or senior judges from the apex court to occupy the coveted post.
If elevated, Lalit would have a stint of at least 10 years as a judge of the Supreme Court by which time all the current judges would have retired.
Sources told The Telegraph that most of the chief justices of high courts and senior high court judges, besides judges of the apex court, had voiced concern over appointing relatively younger advocates directly from the bar.
Chief justices or senior-most judges of the high courts are elevated to the Supreme Court, where the superannuating age is 65, unlike in high courts where the retirement age is 62.
“Yes, there is a general opposition from judges to the appointment of younger advocates’ elevation to the Supreme Court as they feel their chances of becoming the CJI would be affected,” said a senior counsel and a former three-time president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.
Promoting senior advocates to the apex court directly has been done sparingly and the credit should go to the current CJI, R.M. Lodha, for recommending the names of some senior advocates from the bar.
While S.M. Sikri was elevated from the bar to the Supreme Court in the 1960s, there was no such promotion for over three decades.
In the 1990s, senior advocate Kuldeep Singh was directly elevated to the Supreme Court. But he was at that time reportedly placed lower on the seniority list to ensure that the then Gujarat High Court Chief Justice, A.M. Ahmadi, who was elevated to the Supreme Court the same day, became the CJI.
In 1999, senior advocate Santosh Hegde was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court. He retired in 2005.

Companies Act: Cross-border M&As just got tougher
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/418073/companies-act-cross-border-mampas.html
Rishi Shroff, Jul 7, 2014 :

Companies Act 2013 has greatly altered the manner in which Indian business is going to be conducted in the future.

The 2013 Act makes a significant departure from the 1956 Act by specifically mandating that investments can no longer be made through more than two layers of investment companies, except in certain specified circumstances. Although this appears to have been enacted with a view to prevent convoluted structures and diversion of financial assets, this provision is likely to affect complex cross-border merger and acquisition activity.

An “investment company” has been defined as a company whose principal business is the acquisition of shares, debentures or other securities; it remains unclear whether or not the two-layer restriction is meant to apply only to investment “subsidiaries”. The two-layer restriction takes away some structuring flexibility and genuine special purpose vehicles for a large corporation’s varying business interests may become a thing of the past. Compliance costs of ensuring the existence of operating companies between investment companies are also expected to be weighty.

The 2013 Act significantly alters the manner in which mergers may be effected, with an objective of making them less time consuming and providing more flexibility. The Act introduces two concepts novel to Indian law — “fast track mergers” and “cross-border mergers”. A fast track procedure for mergers involving certain types of companies is now possible. For instance, this would apply in a merger between a holding company and its wholly-owned subsidiary, subject to certain conditions such as approval of 90 per cent of the shareholders of the company and no objections being raised by the Registrar of Companies and other authorities.

A question of practicality

The 1956 Act permitted mergers of foreign companies into Indian companies, but did not allow the converse. The 2013 Act now permits “cross-border mergers” — both mergers of foreign companies into Indian companies and mergers of Indian companies into foreign companies.

However, its practical utility will depend on Reserve Bank of India regulations yet to be enacted and necessary changes to India’s foreign direct investment policy. Currently, such a merger would require prior RBI approval. In the case of a company listed on an Indian stock exchange that seeks to merge with an unlisted Indian company, the transferee company can elect to remain unlisted, providing shareholders of the listed company a consequent right to receive the value of their shares and then elect to stay out of the transferee company.

Though arguments have been made in the past that class action suits are always permissible under India’s Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, the 2013 Act now specifically provides for class action suits brought by (i) members or (ii) depositors of a company, where they are of the opinion that the management or conduct of the affairs of the company is being conducted in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the company or its members or depositors.

The Indian understanding still appears to be narrower than the US view on class action where groups of similarly aggrieved persons institute suits with the primary objective of recovering damages from a defendant. However, foreign investors will still be required to play a more active day-to-day role in their Indian investments to ensure Indian companies do not violate corporate governance norms and respect member and depositor interests alike.

Under the 1956 Act, the articles of association of a company could only be altered by a resolution passed by three-fourth of its shareholders. In practise, however, in order to attract foreign investors, existing Indian shareholders would still grant investors higher rights in the form of veto rights for amending important provisions in a company’s articles.

The 2013 Act has now specifically validated the idea of entrenchment, and therefore, all such contractual agreements by shareholders now have legislative recognition. This will provide much needed flexibility for investors to specify that certain provisions of the articles of a company may only be altered if special conditions or procedures are complied with.

Share transfer restrictions

Similarly, whilst under the 1956 Act, share transfer restrictions in investor agreements between shareholders of a public company were not expressly permitted, and the 2013 Act has now legitimatised arrangements in respect of the transfer of securities, which shall be enforceable as a contract. The change finally settles the position on enforceability of agreements with investors providing for pre-emptive rights inter se shareholders of a public company such as the lock-in period, right of first refusal and tag-along and drag-along rights. This importantly takes these issues out of potential litigation in Indian courts.

Foreign investors must be cautious that the 2013 Act introduces a fresh provision relating to insider trading, a concept that was previously dealt with by a separate regulation for listed Indian companies enacted by the Securities and Exchange Board of India and not under the 1956 Act. Under the 2013 Act, all persons, including any director or key managerial personnel of a company are prohibited from indulging in insider trading.

Insider trading has been broadly defined to include acts of subscribing, buying, selling or dealing in securities, or procuring or communicating non-public price-sensitive information. Punishment for contravention includes imprisonment for up to five years, with or without a fine.
The earlier common practice of a back-to-back shareholder approved buyback following a board mandated buyback is no longer possible under the 2013 Act, and this is likely to significantly delay and adversely impact investor exit options. With the
introduction of a non-creditable tax on buyback distributions under tax law, this route had already become less attractive. Under the 1956 Act, companies could do multiple buybacks of shares in the same financial year except in specific cases where there was a cooling off period of one year. However, now the 2013 Act requires a mandatory one-year period between any type of buyback, even if the buyback was achieved through a scheme approved by an Indian court.

The 2013 Act now explicitly deals with the issue of buying out the minority shareholders of a company. In a situation where an acquisition results in the acquirer holding 90 per cent of the issued share capital of the company, it shall be obliged to inform the company of its desire to purchase the minority shareholding of that company at a price determined according to the provisions of the 2013 Act.

This is a key change and significant departure from the 1956 Act, which did not have such a provision. From a minority protection perspective, it is welcome that the minority buyout is not limited to dissenting shareholders, but available to the minority as a whole. This means that a minority might be able to share the upside of a deal and the entire process of squeeze-out could take place without intervention by the court. Further, the 2013 Act also makes the formula to determine the exit price clear and removes the ambiguity that existed under the 1956 Act.
(The writer is an associate with the corporate law team at Khaitan & Co, Mumbai. This is the second of a two-part series that provides a brief analysis of some of the key changes that became largely effective on April 1)

Misuse of rape law by gang: Court seeks status report from Delhi Police
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Misuse-of-rape-law-by-gang-Court-seeks-status-report-from-Delhi-Police/articleshow/37929143.cms
TNN | Jul 7, 2014, 04.17 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Taking serious note of a complaint alleging misuse of anti-rape laws by a woman gang for extortion of money, a trial court has directed Delhi Police to file a detailed status report in the matter. The court also directed a DCP to personally appear before it on July 9 with the report saying, “any abuse and misuse of laws relating to crime against women by a group for attaining their nefarious ends needs to be checked, for it dilutes the cause in genuine cases.”

The complainant has alleged that a woman, who is a key member of the gang, has filed more than 10 false cases in order to “extort money from innocent men.”

The court was hearing the bail application of Narender Pal Kashyap, an accused in a rape case. Pal claimed that he was implicated by a gang involved in extortion and the woman has lodged similar cases against 10 people in the same police station.

Additional sessions judge Kamini Lau said if allegations made by the man regarding the complainant being a member of a gang indulging in extortion activities and filing false cases is correct, “then it is a serious matter which should have been looked and inquired into at the level of district head”.

The court also directed that a senior police official, not below the rank of DCP, would appear before it on the next date of hearing—July 9—along with a detailed status report on the probe being carried out in the FIRs lodged by the woman against others.

The court said the DCP should inform it if any inquiry has been conducted at his level on the allegations made against Ravinder Thakur of running a gang engaged in getting cases of rape, molestation, attempt to kill or criminal intimidation lodged to attain nefarious ends.

Super regulator might soon become a reality; roadmap on FSLRC soon
http://www.business-standard.com/article/finance/super-regulator-might-soon-become-a-reality-roadmap-on-fslrc-soon-114070600412_1.html
FSLRC has recommended a unified regulator for the financial sector, while creating another layer of oversight in the form of FSAT
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 7, 2014 Last Updated at 00:25 IST
In wide-ranging changes to the way the financial sector functions and is regulated, the government might soon lay out a road map for implementation of certain recommendations made by the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC), including creation of a Unified Financial Agency.

However, many provisions suggested by FSLRC might be watered down, including for matters where appeals can be filed with a unified Financial Sector Appellate Tribunal (FSAT), to avoid any abuse of the new law, according to sources.

FSLRC, chaired by Justice B N Srikrishna, was commissioned by the previous United Progressive Alliance government and has recommended a unified regulator for the financial sector, while creating another layer of oversight in the form of FSAT.

A number of financial sector regulators, including the Reserve Bank of India and the Securities and Exchange Board of India, have opposed various suggestions, but sources said the government could go ahead with many key provisions suggested by FSLRC in due course, after necessary changes.

While the final implementation of various legislative changes suggested by FSLRC might take time as the new government is still studying the wider ramifications, it can show “some kind of commitment” towards the panel’s report during the coming Union Budget presentation this week, a senior government official said.

“The government will come out with something on FSLRC during the Budget. It will show some kind of commitment on this,” he said.

“One aspect is whether to combine various regulators into one common regulator, to be called Unified Financial Authority and it is likely this would happen. But, that will require changing so many laws. It is unlikely that a Bill will be introduced in the Budget session for this. If they want to do it, they can do it in the Winter session. But they will show their commitment that they want to do this.”

Talking about further possible provisions, as per the discussions currently underway on FSRLC, the sources said that the government is also positively considering allowing the power of appeal against this unified regulator. It is being called a ‘super regulator’ by many as it may subsume existing financial sector regulators and its creation would also reduce the powers presently vested with RBI.

“The government is also going to allow power of appeal against UFA as well. Like Sebi has got SAT, the PFRDA Act also has an appellate provision, the IRDA will also have an appellate whenever the amendment takes place in the insurance act. The FSLRC has suggested an FSAT or Financial Services Appellate Tribunal. This will happen,” the official said.

On both these matters, creation of UFA and setting up of FSAT, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has come out as being very critical and said last month that some of the recommendations made by FSLRC were ‘somewhat schizophrenic’.

Sources said it was unlikely that the convergence and creation of UFA would get announced in Parliament’s Budget Session, which begins tomorrow, but a commitment will be shown that the government wants to do this.

However, when it comes to the question of appeal, there may be some tweaking in the suggestions made by FSLRC.

Right now, the Sebi Act provides that if an order is passed by Sebi then the concerned party can go to SAT against that order.

While the provision to challenge orders passed by a regulator would remain in place even under the new laws, a dilution may be done in the FSLRC recommendations with regard to appeals against regulations, rules and circulars issued by Sebi, RBI or any other regulator.

The FSLRC suggestions provide for even rules and regulations being allowed to be challenged at FSAT, but that might not be allowed in the final law, as almost all the regulators including RBI and Sebi have opposed this.

In its representation, Sebi is believed to have told the Finance Ministry that the validity of a statute, regulation or a rule can presently be challenged only in the High Court or in the Supreme Court and therefore a remedy was there if somebody is unhappy with a particular rule or regulation.

“If someone feels that a rule is wrong or unconstitutional, there is a mechanism to challenge the same before High Court or Supreme Court. If such appeals are allowed at FSAT, then every offender may start challenging it, and rather than contending that the penalty should be Rs 10 crore or Rs 10 lakh, they may start saying that so-and-so regulation was wrong,” said an official privy to discussions in this regard.

“Such appeals against regulations can be filed even before an order is passed, thus putting the entire regulatory mechanism in a fluid state. Such a scenario will lead to uncertainty and that would result in lack of control over the markets or the financial systems,” he added.

The government was initially inclined to accept the FSLRC suggestions on FSAT and other matters in total, but strong objections raised by regulators and other stakeholders are likely to bring in some dilution.

The FSLRC had submitted its two-volume report to the central government in March last year, wherein it has suggested merger of existing regulators like Sebi, FMC, IRDA and PFRDA into the new UFA, while the SAT (Securities Appellate Tribunal) has been proposed to be subsumed into FSAT.

RBI would continue to exist with modified functions. It has been proposed that the Reserve Bank would perform only three functions — monetary policy, regulation and supervision of banking; and regulation and supervision of payment systems.

UFA would take over from RBI the functions related to financial markets trading in areas linked to bonds, currency and derivatives.

Resolve issues of Maheshwar dam oustees, NGT tells MP
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/resolve-issues-of-maheshwar-dam-oustees-ngt-tells-mp/article6182203.ece?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Responding to a petition, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday directed the Madhya Pradesh government to resolve the rehabilitation issues of persons displaced by the Maheshwar dam project. According to a press statement, the NGT directive came after it heard the petition filed by Anatarsingh Patel and Sanjay Nigam, oustees of the project.
The State government will call a meeting of all stakeholders in which outstanding issues can be discussed and resolved. This will include representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company Limited and the project proponent, Shree Maheshwar Hydel Power Corporation.
The oustees said in the last 18 years while the construction of the Maheshwar dam wall across the river Narmada had been completed, a majority of residents still had to be properly rehabilitated.
Nearly 10,000 families are reportedly affected by the dam, according to official figures, but the actual number could be higher, the statement said.
In an affidavit filed before the NGT, the petitioners said the new Land Acquisition Act which came into force from January 1, 2014, should apply to those people who were yet to be paid compensation.
It also stated that they should get the benefit of increased compensation and rehabilitation under this new law.

Dola Sen gets women’s commission post
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Dola-Sen-gets-womens-commission-post/articleshow/37801243.cms
TNN | Jul 5, 2014, 02.46AM IST
KOLKATA: Days after the West Bengal Women’s Commission “condemned” MP Tapas Pal’s hate speech, chief minister Mamata Banerjee has made former Naxalite and trade union leader Dola Sen the vice-chairperson of the West Bengal Women’s Commission.

Sen fought the LS polls from Asansol and lost to BJP’s Babul Supriyo.

The commission, which reconstitutes its committee every three years, still has Sunanda Mukherjee as its chairperson. Mukherjee has been saying that though the panel has condemned Pal’s comments, it couldn’t take up the case suo motu. Incidentally, she is the wife of senior RSP leader Kshiti Goswami. Her appointment in June 2011 was viewed as a political move by the chief minister to include members of the Opposition in such agencies.
The newly inducted Sen, who is the Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress (INTTUC) president, on taking charge, has said, “We shall follow the Mamata (chief minister) Model. We are here to help the chief minister,” even as the West Bengal Commission for Women has been functioning as an autonomous statutory body since 1993.

The recently-formed committee of the state’s women commission now has two actors June Malliah and Locket Chatterjee. Lawyers and rights activists like Jyotsna Agarwal, K R Chowdhury, Mehmuda Begum and Shenaz Kadari have been dropped from the newly-formed panel.

The commission was established in 1992 through the WBCW Act as an apex body that has eminent members with long experience of activism for the cause of women. A woman’s activist who chose not to be named said, “If members of the ruling party are inducted into the commission and are blatantly vouching to function on behalf of the chief minister, then what is the use of having a woman’s commission in the state?”

After her inducted Sen said the commission would hold workshops in the districts after the Pujas to create awareness and curb violence against women. She said the commission’s team would talk to SPs and local police authorities during these visits to the districts so as to monitor the kind of treatment meted out to rural women. “We shall also accommodate late-night distress calls from women,” said Sen, adding, “We want the commission to meet every week instead of once a month.”

The Mamata Banerjee government courted controversy recently over the appointment of actor Rudraneil Ghosh as president of the State Council for Vocational Education and Training.

Mamata’s fetish for Tollywood personalities has been reflected again and again when she has fielded them as candidates in the elections.

National Green Tribunal admits Sharmila, others plea on 300m construction curb in Upper Lake
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/National-Green-Tribunal-admits-Sharmila-others-plea-on-300m-construction-curb-in-Upper-Lake/articleshow/37854246.cms
Rageshri Ganguly, TNN | Jul 5, 2014, 09.04PM IST
In a relief to Sharmila Tagore, wife of Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and others, National Green Tribunal (NGT) admitted their plea in which she and others urged that they be allowed a chance to be heard as intervener in the wake of green panel’s order to ban any construction within 300 metres of full tank level (FTL) of Upper Lake.

Those, who have moved the NGT this week, included Azam Khan, Habeeb Ali, Manmohan Agarwal, Padam Singh and M K Colonizers and Builders Pvt Ltd.

Advocate Dharmveer Singh, who is their counsel, told TOI, “The previous no-construction zone was limited to 50 m from FTL of the lake. Now, the NGT order has extended it to 300 m. We have already presented the tribunal land ownership documents. The ban would therefore affect many people as they wouldn’t be able to carry on with any construction on their land and would incur losses.”
He said the entire lake front on the side of VIP Road would come under the purview of 300 m ban including some hotels and colonies. Besides properties of erstwhile Nawab at Ahmedabad Palace, Koh-e-Fiza area would also be affected.

The NGT bench comprising judicial member Justice U D Salvi and expert member P S Rao, in their order stated, “…however, interveners, who claim to have land within 300 metres of the FTL of the Upper Lake submit that the present ‘No Construction Zone’ of 50 metres from the FTL of the lake, if increased, shall have direct effect on their rights to lands in question and thereby they are likely to be directly affected by the final decision in the present matter…”

“…this would make it necessary to give hearing to interveners for just and complete final decision in the present case,” the NGT ruled, allowing them as interveners in the Upper Lake petition.”

Cook who lost fingers to get Rs 4 lakh
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Cook-who-lost-fingers-to-get-Rs-4-lakh/articleshow/37808088.cms
Manish Raj, TNN | Jul 5, 2014, 05.23AM IST
CHENNAI: More than a decade after a cook lost his fingers in a road accident, the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal has directed United India Insurance Ltd to pay him a compensation of 4 lakh.

In his submissions before the tribunal, V Radhakrishnan said he was a ‘parotta master’ at a hotel in Chemmenchery. On September 5, 2003 he was travelling in a van which was being driven in a rash and negligent manner. The driver lost control of the vehicle near Pallavan Colony on OMR and it overturned after hitting the median. Doctors amputated the middle and index fingers of his right hand.

The next year, he moved the tribunal seeking a compensation of 5 lakh, saying he lost his employment skills because of the accident. When the case came up for hearing, owner of the vehicle, S Venkatesan of Pattinapakkam, did not appear before the court. United India Insurance, however, argued that the vehicle did not meet with an accident.
Judge J Chandran said the vehicle was involved in an accident and the van driver was squarely responsible. The owner and the insurer were jointly liable to pay him the compensation, the judge said. “Radhakrishnan would not be in a position to continue his work without his fingers which are important for writing, lifting any articles and making parotta. His earning power would have been affected,” he said.

The judge then directed the insurance company had to pay 4 lakh as compensation along with 7.5% interest from 2004 for loss of income, pain and suffering along with medical and other expenses.

NHRC ensures Rs 1.6 lakh relief to mid-day meal poisoning victims
Last Updated: Friday, July 04, 2014, 22:11
http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/nhrc-ensures-rs-1-6-lakh-relief-to-mid-day-meal-poisoning-victims_945097.html

New Delhi: In two cases of mid-day meal poisoning, NHRC’s persistence resulted in payment of a sum of Rs 1.60 lakh as monetary relief to three victims by Madhya Pradesh government and ten by the Delhi administration.

According to a statement issued by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today, the amount included Rs 60 thousand to three girl students of a secondary school in Mathdevai village of Madhya Pradesh and Rs one lakh to ten girl students of a Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya in Delhi.

In 2012, 85 children of Secondary School in Mathdevai village of MP’s Siwani district had fallen ill, three of them seriously, after eating the mid-day meal supplied by a self-help group.

In the mid-day meal poisoning incident in Delhi, ten students of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya in Rohini Sector-20 complained of stomach ache on August 25, 2011 after consuming meal supplied by an NGO.

The commission had asked the two governments to pay monetary relief to the victims besides taking strong preventive measures to stop recurrence of such incidents.

In both the incidents, a dead lizard was found in the mid-day meal and the issue was brought to the notice of the Commission by human rights activist R H Bansal.

PTI

First Published: Friday, July 04, 2014, 22:11

Youth disabled in road accident gets over Rs 10 Lakh compensation
http://www.financialexpress.com/news/youth-disabled-in-road-accident-gets-over-rs-10-lakh-compensation/1266782
New delhi | Published: Jul 04 2014, 15:00 IST
SUMMARYThe tribunal directed Reliance General Insurance Company, with which the offending car was insured, to pay Rs 10,30,198 to Rohit.
A 25-year-old youth, who suffered physical disability in a road accident involving a negligently driven car, has been awarded a compensation of over Rs 10 lakh by a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) here.
The tribunal directed Reliance General Insurance Company, with which the offending car was insured, to pay Rs 10,30,198 to Rohit, a resident of Trilokpuri in east Delhi here, who was on his way home on his motorcycle when the negligently driven vehicle hit him in 2007.
“There is nothing on record to show that the petitioner had any enmity with the driver of the offending vehicle so as to falsely implicate him in the case.
“The driver (of car) has stood ex¬parte. Therefore, the issue stands decided in favour of the petitioner (Rohit),” MACT Presiding Officer Ravinder Bedi said, while holding that the accident happened due to the driver’s “negligence”.
The tribunal also noted that despite repeated court orders and service by way of publication in local newspaper, the driver and the owner of the vehicle did not turn up before it and were proceeded ex-parte.
According to the petition, the accident took place when on the early morning of September 12, 2007, Rohit, who worked as a waiter, was headiNg home on his motorcycle and the car hit him near Mayur Vihar here.
Due to the impact, Rohit fell down and sustained grievous injuries. He was rushed to a nearby hospital and after treatment he was issued a disability certificate declaring 50 per cent disability in his left hand and leg, it said.
“I assess that due to the disability sustained, his (Rohit) capacity must have reduced, considerably restricting him from carrying his job,” the Presiding Officer said while deciding his compensation amount.
The insurance company, through a written statement, contended that it was not liable to pay the amount as the car driver did not have a valid driving licence at the time of the accident.
The tribunal accepted its contention, saying the insurance company was liable to pay the compensation to the victim but with a liberty to recover the same from the driver and the owner of the vehicle.

Maval firing: HC asks steps taken by govt against guilty policemen indicted by MG Gaikwad committee
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-maval-firing-hc-asks-steps-taken-by-govt-against-guilty-policemen-indicted-by-mg-gaikwad-committee-2000134
Monday, 7 July 2014 – 8:00am IST | Agency: DNA
• Urvi Mahajani
The Bombay High court has questioned the Maharashtra government on what action has taken against the police officers, who were found guilty by MG Gaikwad committee, which was probing the police firing incident at Maval, near Pune, in August 2011.
A division bench of justices Abhay Oka and AS Chandurkar asked the government to file its affidavit by July 30 stating the steps taken against the errant policemen, including then superintendent of police, Pune (Rural), Sandeep Karnik.
The committee has concluded that police firing was not necessary and police acted beyond their powers, violating provisions under the Criminal Procedure Code. On August 8, 2011, police fired on villagers who were opposing the government’s decision of laying a closed pipeline to supply water from Pavna Dam to the limits of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. Agriculturists had claimed that the closed pipeline would cut off water supply for their crops. Three protestors were killed in the police firing.
The HC was hearing a public interest litigation filed by activist IG Khandelwal seeking registration of FIR against Karnik, who was leading the team at Maval. Karnik was the first to open fire. While scheduling the PIL fir hearing for August 4, the HC asked the government to provide a copy of the Gaikwad report to Khandelwal.
Khandelwal had sought a copy of the report which was tabled before the state legislature on June 14. Following a complaint by Khandelwal, FIR was registered against two police officers and six constables.
The police had even filed “C” Summary (There is no evidence against the accused leading to case closure) before the metropolitan magistrate at Maval, stating there was no evidence against the police officers named in the FIR to prosecute them. This was challenged by Khandelwal.
Karnik was later transferred to the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Thane.

HC pulls up govt for delay in ex-gratia payment
http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/detailsnew.asp?id=jul0714/city05
Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 6 – The Gauhati High Court, in a recent judgment, has pulled up the State Government for delaying payment of ex-gratia to the wife of Gandhiram Rongpi, a resident of Azara area, who was killed by a wild elephant on his way back home.
The Court of Justice Hrishikesh Roy also directed the Government to pay Rs 1 lakh as ex-gratia to the deceased’s widow who was initially paid Rs 40,000, which the Court ruled as unjust keeping in view the delay in the release of the amount.
The prosecution although sought to justify the release of the earlier amount stating that the enhanced amount of ex-gratia would be applicable only after March 6, 2010, the Court refused to buy the argument.
The ex-gratia amount, it needs mention, was enhanced from Rs 40,000 to Rs 1, 00,000 through a notification dated March 6, 2010 while Rongpi was killed in April 27, 2007.
While advocates R Devi, Anup Ranjan and Smita Deka appeared on behalf of the petitioner, HM Phukan was the public prosecutor.

Cyber crimes alone cost india Rs 24,630 crore in 2013, says Delhi HC report
http://www.punemirror.in/news/india/Cyber-crimes-alone-cost-india-Rs-24630-crore-in-2013-says-Delhi-HC-report/articleshow/37915037.cms
PTI | Jul 7, 2014, 02.30 AM IST
THE2-MINUTEREAD

NEW DELHI Cyber crimes have cost India a whopping about Rs 24,630 crore (USD 4 billion) in 2013 alone as criminals used sophisticated means like ransomware and spear-phishing, says a Delhi High Court-commissioned report.

The facts figure in a report submitted by Surinder S Rathi, additional district judge and OSD to Delhi Legal Service Authority (DLSA), before the court in pursuance of a direction that a comprehensive study be conducted on various issues including the cost incurred in running the criminal justice system.

The bench of justices Gita Mittal and J R Midha, which is yet to pronounce the quantum of sentence to three convicts including Vikas Yadav in the 2002 Nitish Katara murder case, had also asked DLSA to compute the cost incurred in the trial of this case, besides determining the compensation paying capacity of the convicts. However, the reports gives no further details of cyber crime stalking the country.

Dealing with other crimes in the chapter, of ‘Cost of Criminal Justice System’, the report, quoting from the National Crime Records Bureau data, said that in 2013, as many as 66.40 lakh criminal complaints were received by the police stations across the nation.

DELHI TOPS THE LIST FOR PROPERTY FRAUD CASES; MAHARASTRA SECOND

NEW DELHI New Delhi Delhi tops the list in terms of cases to property fraud and misappropriation among all states and union territories in the country, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

The total number of cases reported in sections of property lost under criminal breach of trust and cheating during 2013 was 181, the highest in the country, the report says. While eight cases among them were of criminal breach of trust, 173 cases were of cheating. Delhi was closely followed by Maharashtra with 176 cases, while Punjab came third with 82.

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police which investigates financial crimes also says that there has been a spurt in such cases. “Around 30 per cent of all the cases which are reported to us are related to real estate,” Joint Commissioner of Police (EOW) Satish Golcha said. Selling mortgaged property to multiple buyers or on fudged papers have been the typical methods, but people are coming up with unique ways to con investors these days, police said.

PTI

Bid to impersonate HT domain name blocked by HC
http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/attempt-to-impersonate-ht-domain-name-blocked-by-hc/article1-1237542.aspx
HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times New Delhi, July 06, 2014
First Published: 23:48 IST(6/7/2014) | Last Updated: 01:08 IST(7/7/2014)

The Delhi High Court has blocked an attempt to impersonate the domain name of the official website of Hindustan Times, saying it would confuse the target audience.
Justice Manmohan Singh restrained Navneet Chaturvedi and Hindustan Times Online from using the domain name http://www.hindustantimesonline.com on the ground that the domain name was similar to the one being operated by Hindustan Times i.e. http://www.hindustantimes.com.
“The plaintiffs (HT Media Limited and Hindustan Times Limited) have got the domain name registered in their favour namely http://www.hindustantimes.com and http://www.hindustantimes.in. Therefore the defendants (Chaturvedi and Hindustan Times Online) are not entitled to use the domain name and website under the name http://www.hindustantimesonline.com, their logo or create any confusion or deception in the trade,” Justice Singh said.
In case the interim order is not passed, the plaintiffs will suffer irreparable loss and injury, the HC said.
The HC order came on a plea filed by HT Media Limited, the publisher of India’s leading English national daily ‘Hindustan Times’, seeking action against the website and its owners for dishonesty using the company’s registered trademark.
In June 2014, HTML learnt that Chaturvedi was maintaining a website, with the name ‘www.hindustantimesonline.com’, which was providing news in Hindi. The website was not only using a mark that is identical to the registered trademark ‘Hindustan Times’ but also used a logo similar to HTML’s trademark logo “HT”. Not only had the website mischievously used HTML’s registered trademark as its domain name, but also extended its illegal use over social networking platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Odisha HC asks Puri police to provide land, security to DTS buses
http://odishasuntimes.com/69150/odisha-hc-asks-puri-police-provide-land-security-dts-buses/
Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, July 6:
The Odisha High Court has asked the Puri district police to provide land and security to eight air-conditioned buses of Dream Team Sahara which will ferry passengers during the ongoing Rath Yatra and also Suna Vesha.
A single bench of Justice BR Sarangi issued the directive while hearing the appeal of the Dream Team Sahara (DTS) on Saturday.
The bench also rejected the petition of the Cuttack Private Bus Operators’ Association which had demanded to reject the DTS appeal.
It may be recalled here that the DTS had requested the state government to allow it to ply 42 non-AC and eight AC buses to Puri during Rath Yatra but the latter had granted it the permission to ply only eight AC buses and also asked the Puri district administration to provide a parking place for these buses.
However, opposing the decision of the state government to allow the plying of DTS buses, the Cuttack Private Bus Operators’ Association later filed a petition in the High Court. When there was no response or support from the district administration over this, the CEO of Dream Team Sahara Sudhanshu Sekhar Jena had moved the High Court.
The court, after hearing the DTS petition, directed the Puri district administration to allot a parking place for the DTS buses with adequate security.

Delay in grant of NoC to imported edibles: HC raps officials
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/delay-in-grant-of-noc-to-imported-edibles-hc-raps-officials-114070600146_1.html
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 6, 2014 Last Updated at 11:45 IST
The Delhi High Court has lambasted officials of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for misusing law to extort money from importers of edible items including chocolates in granting no objection certificates and warned that erring persons will be sent to jail.

Justice Manmohan said FSSAI officers, authorised to test the samples of imported edibles and grant NoCs to customs department to release them to the importers, have been creating “undue hassles” in clearing the food articles and use the law, which is otherwise “good”, as a tool to extort money from innocent traders.

Expressing dismay over the rise in such incidents, the court warned that it may think of sending the guilty officials to jail.

“If a policeman (authorised officers) becomes terrorist and extortionist then who will have faith in him. The FSSAI is not understanding my polite way of dealing the matter. I think one officer has to be sent to jail,” the judge said.

“Other day, I was in the mood to send one of the officers behind the bars. Hearing a food and health matter is not good for my health. I just cannot understand why they are are not testing the sample and releasing the same? How these things will be controlled,” the judge asked.

The FSS Act has a provision of appointing authorised officers who are empowered to carry out inspection of imported food and issue a no objection certificate (NoC) or Rejection report (RR) to the Customs department leading either release or confiscation of the imported edibles.

The court’s observations came during the hearing of the petition of M/s United Distributors Incorporation which had imported a consignment of chocolates from Belgium in January.

The firm alleged the consignment has neither been cleared nor been tested by the authorised officers despite a direction that such refrigerated consignment should be tested and cleared within 24 hours.

The court asked the FSSAI to test the consignment and submit the report before it on July 15.

Former minister, in custody for 27 months, seeks bail in HC
http://zeenews.india.com/news/maharashtra/former-minister-in-custody-for-27-months-seeks-bail-in-hc_945414.html
Last Updated: Sunday, July 06, 2014, 12:52

Mumbai,; Former Maharashtra Housing Minister Suresh Dada Jain has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking bail on health and compassionate grounds in the infamous Jalgaon housing scam case.

The petition would come up for hearing in due course, court sources said.

Jain, 71, in the petition, has prayed that he has been in prison for 27 months and undergone a complex bypass surgery during this period. He said his health has been frail and he has developed many complications due to diabetes and old age.

He said that he was also suffering from various other ailments such as hypertension, enlarged prostate, digestive system-related issues, cramps in legs and imbalance while walking, among others.

Jain, who has been a member of the state Legislative Assembly for over three decades and is currently a Shiv Sena MLA, said he had been a victim of larger political conspiracy and vendetta hatched by his opponents. He further alleged that he had been falsely implicated in Jalgaon housing scam case.

The former minister, who was arrested on March 11, 2012, pleaded that the charge sheet had already been filed and the investigations were over. Even charges had been framed in the trial court.

He cited Supreme Court guidelines which stipulate that cases under Prevention of Corruption Act against public servants (MLAs and ministers) must be competed within a year.

In this case, ten months have passed after charges were framed and he continues to be in jail, Jain contended.

The prosecution has opposed the bail plea, saying he was an influential person and might tamper with evidence or influence witnesses.

However, Jain said in a counter affidavit that the case had been transferred from Jalgaon to Dhule district. Hence, there was no scope of his influencing witnesses as alleged by the prosecution, he submitted.

PTI

First Published: Sunday, July 06, 2014, 12:52

Accused SCB prof seeks anticipatory bail from Odisha HIgh Court
http://odishasuntimes.com/69137/accused-scb-prof-seeks-anticipatory-bail-odisha-hc/
Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, July 6:
Dr Sitaram Mohapatra, former professor and head of the Pathology department of SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, who was recently shifted to the Health and Family Welfare department by the state government following his alleged sexual torture of a woman PG student, has sought anticipatory bail from the Odisha High Court.
The absconding professor, in his petition to the High Court, has alleged that the allegations leveled against him are false and baseless and attempts have been made to malign him.
Mohapatra, who has gone on a long leave since allegations against him were made by the SCB students and junior doctors, was relieved by the Health and Family Welfare department through e-mail.
According to the commissionerate police, they are looking for the absconding professor but have not been able to nab him despite a series of raids.

Disciplinary proceedings can’t continue after retirement: SC
Satya Prakash, Hindustan Times New Delhi, July 06, 2014
http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/newdelhi/disciplinary-proceedings-can-t-continue-after-retirement-sc/article1-1237548.aspx
First Published: 23:59 IST(6/7/2014) | Last Updated: 00:02 IST(7/7/2014)
The Supreme Court has ruled that disciplinary proceedings cannot continue against employees after their retirement unless such action is authorised under the rules regulating their service. The ruling came on a petition filed by one Dev Prakash Tewari challenging the disciplinary proceedings initiated against him in 2006 by UP co-operative institutional service board which continued even after he retired in March 2009. The Allahabad HC had turned down his plea.
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“Once the appellant had retired from service on March 31, 2009, there was no authority vested with the respondents (Board) for continuing the disciplinary proceeding even for the purpose of imposing any reduction in the retiral benefits payable to the appellant,” a bench of justices T S Thakur and C Nagappan said.
“In the absence of such an authority, it must be held that the enquiry had lapsed and the appellant was entitled to get full retiral benefits,” the bench added setting aside the Allahabad HC’s order validating the continuation of disciplinary proceedings against Tewari.
The ruling is likely to benefit thousands of government employees who often continue to face disciplinary proceedings even after their retirement and their retiral benefits such as pension, gratuity etc are withheld.
Interpreting the Uttar Pradesh Co-operative Employees Service Regulations, 1975, the bench said there was no provision in it for initiation or continuation of disciplinary proceeding after retirement nor was there any provision stating that in case misconduct was established a deduction could be made from his retirement benefits.
The SC rejected the Board’s contention that the right of the employer to hold a fresh inquiry cannot be denied on the ground that the employee has since retired from service. It directed the state government and UP co-operative institutional service board to give retirement benefits to Tewari along with arrears and allowances during the period of his dismissal and up to the date of reinstatement as if there had been no proceeding against him.
A disciplinary proceeding was initiated against Tewari, an assistant engineer, under the Uttar Pradesh co-operative employees service regulations. He was served a charge sheet and after inquiry he was dismissed from service by an order dated April 27, 1988.
The Allahabad HC held that since disciplinary proceedings were not conducted in accordance with the procedure, there was violation of principles of natural justice and as such it was quashed. The HC, however, said the department was at liberty to conduct fresh proceedings against him in accordance with the regulations.
In July 2006, fresh proceedings were initiated against Tewari which continued even after his retirement in March 2009. In the second round of litigation, the HC allowed proceedings against him forcing him to approach the SC.
Tewari had contended before the SC that the disciplinary proceeding had been on for more than three years and in the absence of any provision in the regulations providing for continuation of disciplinary proceedings post retirement, the Board had no authority to continue such proceeding against him.

Bombay High Court grants bail to wrongly arrested
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-bombay-high-court-grants-bail-to-wrongly-arrested-2000138
Monday, 7 July 2014 – 6:29am IST | Agency: DNA
A 47-year-old, who was arrested by LT Marg police for allegedly raping his 19-year-old mentally challenged niece, was recently granted bail by the Bombay High Court (HC). A single bench presided over by Justice Sadhana Jadhav, while granting bail, held that there was a delay on the part of the police to register an FIR and there is no plausible explanation for the arrest.
The case dates back to May 8, 2013, when the LT Marg police station received a message that a mentally challenged girl was allegedly assaulted at her home and was sent to GT hospital for treatment. When the police reached GT hospital, they were informed that the victim was referred to Cama and Albless Hospital. The victim’s neighbour, who had accompanied her along with a social worker, informed the hospital authorities that the victim was in a state of trauma. The police claimed they could not record her statement on the incident considering her situation.
The medical authorities from Cama Hospital informed the police that as per the preliminary tests, it appeared that she was assaulted. “The victim had multiple injuries over her body. She also had nasal bleeding,” claimed medical authorities.
After three days, the police registered a case of molestation against an unknown person. However, a day after police registered the FIR, the victim’s brother recorded a statement, where he mentioned that he had seen the accused coming out from the room in which the victim was locked.
After recording the statement, the police immediately arrested the accused. However, as the molestation charge was a bailable, he was granted bail. The victim’s medical reports confirmed that the presence of semen leading to alteration of charge from molestation to rape. Meanwhile, police approached the court seeking permission for cancellation of bail of the accused in order to conduct inquiry under rape charges.
The court granted permission to the police to take appropriate action. However, without any prior formal notice, the accuse was arrested on December 16, 2013 and he was behind bars since then.
The accused then sought bail from the Lower and Sessions court but both the courts rejected it. Finally, he approached the HC. After going through the arguments, the HC granted him bail. Also, medical tests proved that the semen did not belong to him
Advocates Ayaz Khan and Zehra Charania, who were appearing on behalf of the accused claimed, “One of the major grounds on which the accused was granted bail was that he was kept in detention illegally for almost six months. Medical tests proved that he was not the rapist.”

Bombay High Court to hear petition on reservation of 25% seats for EOW students
http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-bombay-high-court-to-hear-petition-on-reservation-of-25-seats-for-eow-students-2000146
Monday, 7 July 2014 – 6:25am IST | Agency: DNA
• DNA Correspondent
A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Bombay high court by the Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Samiti (ASBS), an NGO on behalf of affected parents whose children did not get admission under the Right to Education (RTE) Act in pre-primary. The HC is likely to decide on the petition on Monday.
According to ASBS, many parents’ wards are still waiting to get enrolled, despite being allotted seats for admission for the 25% seats reserved under the RTE.
A division bench of justices JJ AV Mohta and AA Sayed, has kept the hearing for Monday.
According to ASBS, all admissions for the paid seats for nursery, Jr KG and primary were completed in January, that too within a span of two weeks or less. Meanwhile, the process of admission for children
under RTE, has been dragged beyond limits, despite repeated claims of “success” by the authorities.
Sudhir Paranjpe, co-convener of ASBS, said, “There are 350 parents whose children have got allotment letters from the BMC for admission, but are still out of school. These parents are from Andheri and Dharavi areas. We want the BMC to first complete the admission process for round I and II of the online RTE lottery. Later, they can conduct round III.”
Another ASBS convener, K Narayan, said, “The schools are coming up with minute reasons to reject the admission of these children. Some state that the surname is not mentioned or that the child is living 3km away from the school.”

66,000 RTI complaints pending in six info panels, Maharashtra tops list
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/66000-RTI-complaints-pending-in-six-info-panels-Maharashtra-tops-list/articleshow/37918884.cms?
Anahita Mukherji,TNN | Jul 6, 2014, 11.48 PM IST
MUMBAI: The aam aadmi’s favourite law, the Right to Information Act, turns nine this year. Information commissions were set up to decide on complaints and appeals filed by people against government authorities for blocking access to information. How have they performed?

At present, over 66,000 complaints and appeals are pending at six information commissions.

Maharashtra tops the list with 34,158, followed by the Central Information Commission (CIC; Delhi). Kerala, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir are next. The states are the only ones to provide pendency figures besides Sikkim and Tripura, which showed no pendency.

The findings are by the non-profit Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI). The data raises questions about the composition of the commissions.

While much has been said about the need for more women in parliament, their representation in the commissions is abysmal. Goa is the only state whose commission is headed by a woman.

A woman information commissioner in Tripura is serving as the acting chief information commissioner. Only 11 of 93 information commissioners in India were women as of May 2014.

Ironically, there are transparency issues as well.

A former director of the Intelligence Bureau now heads the CIC, the country’s apex decision making body on RTI appeals. IB is one of the few organizations exempt from providing information under RTI, except in cases of corruption and human rights violation.

“The problem with a former IB director heading the CIC is that such an individual has no experience of embedding transparency in administration. The RTI is path-breaking because it aims to replace a regime of secrecy with one of transparency. But IB has deliberately been kept out of RTI purview. Will a person with a background in IB be adequately able to champion transparency?” asks RTI activist Venkatesh Nayak, who headed the CHRI research on information commissions.

That the vast majority of information commissioners are retired civil servants raises fears of the information commissions turning into a geriatric bureaucratic ward; 69% of CICs are retired IAS officers. In 2013, the Supreme Court directed governments to identify candidates other than retired civil servants as information commissioners.

The Supreme Court has also asked governments to identify candidates for the post of information commissioner, with expertise in the fields mentioned in the RTI Act, which includes law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media, and administration and governance.

Don’t register cases in haste, order top cops
http://www.punemirror.in/pune/crime/Dont-register-cases-in-haste-order-top-cops/articleshow/37916633.cms
By Mubarak Ansari, Pune Mirror | Jul 7, 2014, 02.30 AM IST
‘FALSE’ RAPE COMPLAINTS ON RISE

All police stations have been sent judgements by Supreme Court to help policemen tell a ‘real’ case from false; as many as 106 rape cases lodged across city this year

Concerned with rising ‘false rape’ cases, top brass of Pune City police have sent Supreme Court judgements on consensual sex to police officers, asking them to not register rape cases in haste and comply with verdicts. Additionally, officers have been told to register rape cases according to specific incidents, as defined in the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

If a certain case doesn’t fall under the purview of the code, they can register a non-cognisable (NC) offence and direct the victim to a magistrate. According to police officials, many women are filing rape cases against their ex-boyfriends after break-ups and failed live-in relationships.

City police had registered less than 90 rape cases per year till 2012, but saw a sharp rise in rape complaints in the city following the Delhi gang rape in December 2012 and its coverage in the media, with 135 rape cases being registered in the city in 2013 and 106 cases being lodged till June this year.

A police officer from the Crime Branch said, “Despite a rise in awareness, many cases go unreported. In over 90 per cent of rape cases, the accused is known to the victim. Now-a-days, most victims allege that they were raped after false promise of marriage.” Last year, the Koregaon Park police arrested a 35-year-old ayurvedic doctor for allegedly raping a New Delhi-based 25-year-old woman.

The woman had started living in with him after he assured her of marriage and introduced her to his family members. In her complaint, the woman alleged that the doctor repeatedly raped her under the pretext of marriage and forced her to undergo an abortion. She registered a rape and cheating complaint against him after he refused to marry her.

In another case when Kondhwa police arrested a 23-year-old marine engineering student for allegedly raping a 21-year-old model on the pretext of marriage.

They had a live-in relationship and the girl lodged a rape and cheating case after he forced her to undergo an abortion and refused to marry her. “Sex after promise of marriage doesn’t amount to rape,” said citybased criminal lawyer Kainat Ali Shaikh. “When a man and woman enter into a relationship, they are aware of the consequences.

A Delhi High Court judgement states that rape laws are often misused by women to harass their boyfriends for money, and even to force the hapless men to marry them,” he added. “According to the IPC, rape is committed if a woman is forced into a sexual relations against her will, without her consent, with consent which has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or hurt, etc.

If there is an FIR and an arrest is made, the onus is on the man to prove that the woman’s consent for sexual intercourse was voluntary and not under a misconception of fact,” he explained.

WRONG TO GENERALISE CASES

However, activist Kiran Moghe of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) believes that ‘courts must restrict themselves from generalising cases’. “People should understand that when a woman agrees to physical relations, it is because of the condition of marriage.

If the man promises to marry but refuses to do so later on, it amounts to rape. Since some years, we have seen various courts generalising rape cases as false cases but there is no provision in law to deal with such cases. Therefore, the court should focus on cases before them and leave the lawmaking part to the Parliament.” Advocate Supriya Kothari, who has worked on cases regarding crimes against women, says, “Men should not be charge with rape after a failed relationship. Both are adults and know right from wrong.

If a man backtracks from a promise of marriage after establishing sexual relations with a woman, he should be charged for cheating. On the other hand, if the victim is a minor and a man has intercourse with her after promising marriage, then he should be arrested for rape.

Police should register a rape case after going through statements of the victim from case-to-case basis and the same yardstick should not be applied in all cases. Pune being an education and IT hub, a lot of young men and women enter into relationships but when these turn sour, women approach the police.”

Joint Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) Sanjay Kumar said, “Apart from passing on the judgements, we have ordered our officers to go by wording of the victim during registering a case after a failed relationship. There is no blanket order about not registering rape cases in such a relationship.”

SUPREME COURT VERDICTS

2003 – Uday vs State of Karnataka — consensual sex can never be converted into rape charges

2013 – A bench of Justice B S Chauhan and Justice Deepak Misra said that if a man has consensual sex with a woman with the intention to marry her, then it cannot be termed as rape, even though the marriage does not take place

RAPE CASES IN PUNE CITY

Year No. of cases
2009 …………….66
2010 ……………..89
2011………………65
2012 ……………..70
2013 ……………..135
2014 …………….. 106
(till June)

WHAT THE LAW (IPC) SAYS?

Section 375 – It lays down six circumstances to qualify as rape. Of this, three are about consent, two about ‘misconception’, and one is about the statutory age limit

Section 90 – Consent known to be given under fear or misconception

►►► We have ordered our officers to go by the wording of the victim for registering a case after a failed relationship

– SANJAY KUMAR JOINT CP

Judiciary will brook no infringement of its independence
(Column: Legal Ease)
http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/judiciary-will-brook-no-infringement-of-its-independence-column-legal-ease-114070600079_1.html
IANS
July 6, 2014 Last Updated at 10:24 ISTChief Justice R.M. Lodha ticking off the government for not clearing former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium as a Supreme Court judge has sent a rather strong signal to all those worried about executive whittling away at the judiciary’s independence.
Before publically disapproving the government action of segregating Subramanium’s name and returning the recommendation, Lodha wrote to government telling it very clearly: Thus far and no further.
Just a day before he made public his disapproval, Justice Lodha, in a letter to Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote: “I don’t approve of segregation of proposal without my knowledge and concurrence…. In future, such a procedure of unilateral segregation should not be adopted by the executive.”
The firm stand taken by the chief justice has set at rest apprehension in some quarters about a majority government’s interference in the coming days in a zealously guarded turf of Indian democracy – an independent judiciary.
There was a strong basis for such fears.
Though no parallel can be drawn between the office of the Lokayukta and the judiciary, the erstwhile Modi government in Gujarat,though unsuccessfully, did everything to frustrate the appointment of Justice (retd) R.A. Mehta as the Lokayukta merely because his views were not melodious to state government’s ears.
Besides being one of the three pillars of the state apparatus – the other two being the executive and the legislature, an independent judiciary not only forms the basic structure of Indian constitution but is essential for upholding the rule of law.
The judges of the Supreme Court and high courts should not only be men of integrity but be courageous enough to dispense justice “without fear or favour, affection or ill will”. This is also the oath they take while assuming office.
What the framers of the Indian constitution expected from an independent judiciary was aptly summed up by the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who had said that it was important that judges should not only be first-rate people but should be of the highest integrity, people who can stand up to the executive and whoever else come in their way.
From all that has come to light, it is clear that Chief Justice Lodha sought to impress upon Subramanium during his 75-minute meeting on June 28 that he should take back his letter withdrawing consent so that collegium could take the next step. On the face of it, it appears that the grounds on which Subramanium’s name was returned were not “strong and cogent”.
The apex court, by its Oct 6, 1993 judgment that gave birth to the collegium system of appointing judges, had said: “In exceptional cases alone, for stated strong cogent reasons, disclosed to the chief justice, indicating that the recommendee is not suitable for appointment, that appointment recommended by the chief justice of India may not be made.”
The government returned the apex court collegium’s recommendation based on a CBI report adversely reflecting on Subramanium’s role in dealing with the 2G scam and the mention of his name in corporate lobbyist Niira Radia’s tapes.
The government has since has defended its decision, with Ravi Shankar Prasad saying it was based on “cogent, proper and sound grounds”.
There are many questions making rounds in legal corridors. Why did Subramanium withdraw his consent when he was asked by the chief justice on June 24 to wait for him to return to look into the matter?
Why were the media reports so agonising to him that he could not wait for the chief justice to return and take command of the situation?
Why did the same CBI, which put the lid on 14 cases rooted in the intercepted Radia tapes as bragging, but treated all references to Subramanium as the gospel truth, including his role in the 2G case to allegedly help then communications minister A. Raja?
With Subramanium on June 29, reiterating to the chief justice his withdrawal of consent, this chapter stands closed as far as he is concerned.
But one question still begs an answer – the veracity of the CBI report that clouded Subramanium’s name getting cleared by the government, that too after the May 16 Intelligence Bureau report that had given him a clean chit.
Whatever happened in last two to three weeks was disturbing, but apprehensions about the judiciary taking a beating stand dispelled by the assurance that judges led by the chief justice of India would not permit any such tinkering.
“For the last more than 20 years, I fought for independence of judiciary and to me this is one subject which is not negotiable. At no cost, the independence of judiciary can be allowed to be compromised,” Lodha said.
“I will be the first man to leave this chair…if I know that judiciary’s independence has been compromised. I will not hold my office for a second.”
Need we say any more?
(06.07.2014 – Parmod Kumar is the IANS legal correspondent. The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at saneel2010@gmail.com)

High Court admits Digvijay Singh’s letter petition, hearing tomorrow
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-high-court-admits-digvijay-singh-s-letter-petition-hearing-tomorrow-2000086
Sunday, 6 July 2014 – 5:36pm IST | Agency: PTI
Madhya Pradesh High Court Chief Justice A M Khanvilkar has admitted the letter petition written by Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh on the issue of Madhya Pradesh Professional Board Examination (MPPBE) scam and a division bench will hear it tomorrow.
In the petition, Singh, besides demanding CBI probe into the MPPEB scam, raised the issue of “conflict of interest” by pointing out that Additional Advocate General Pushpendra Kaurav, who is defending the MPPEB in the matter, was also a lawyer for former ABVP leader VD Sharma.
The petition was admitted yesterday by the Chief Justice.
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad former national general secretary had filed cases related to admission in private medical colleges and that the case is sub-judice, Singh said in the letter.
The Congress General Secretary claimed that Kaurav was rewarded and appointed Deputy Advocate General and later as Additional Advocate General as he was Sharma’s lawyer, and now he is defending the government and the MPPEB in the scam.
The government, however, contended that Kaurav in his capacity as AAG has every right to defend MPPEB, as it has not committed anything wrong but the officers and employees working in it were involved in the scam.
MPPEB is a body under the state government and is a state subject as per the Constitution, the government said, adding, the Congress leader is trying to mislead the probe.

Man acquitted in 15-year-old cheating case
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/man-acquitted-in-15-year-old-cheating-case-114070600131_1.html
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 6, 2014 Last Updated at 11:30 IST
A man, jailed for three years for dishonestly selling a plot to a woman 15 years ago, has been acquitted by a sessions courtwhich held the complainant’s story as doubtful.

Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala freed Jaipurnative Madan Singh while allowing his appeal against the magisterial court’s order which had sentenced him to three years rigorous imprisonment for the offence of cheating and dishonestly inducing the delivery of property.

“I find the whole story of the complainant (woman) of paying money against transaction of purchase of a land is doubtful and is not proved on record beyond reasonable doubts.

“In that situation, there cannot be any ground to raise assumption of guilt of appellant (Singh) for the offence of cheating… Hence, this appeal is allowed,” the judge said.

The sessions court was hearing an appeal filed by Singh against a trial court order which had convicted him for dishonestly selling a 200 sq yards piece of land for Rs 10 lakh to the woman in east Delhi in 1999.

Singh contended that the woman who was known to him for over three decades had falsely implicated him and denied any money transaction with her.

He said he was employed with a company which was functioning on the rented land of a trust and there was already a dispute between the company and the trust.

He said that the trust wanted the company to vacate the land and being the legal representative of the firm, he was implicated in several others cases also which were decided in his favour.

The woman had lodged the complaint in 2001 alleging that Singh had offered her the land for Rs 10 lakh in 1999. She said that after she made a payment of Rs 6.5 lakh, she found out that she was cheated by him as the land did not belong to him.

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