LEGAL NEWS 17.07.2014

Supreme Court Issues Notices to States on Legalizing Passive Euthanasia
http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/supreme-court-issues-notices-to-states-on-legalizing-passive-euthanasia-5595479
All India | Agencies | Updated: July 16, 2014 14:44 IST
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today issued notices to all states seeking their views on whether a terminally ill person can execute a living will that life support system be withdrawn if he or she reaches a vegetative state with no hope of revival.

The states have to respond to the notices within eight weeks.

An constitution bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha, Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice J Chelameswar, Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman issued the notice on a plea filed with it, saying the question of passive euthanasia (mercy killing) needs a comprehensive examination as there was no authoritative judicial pronouncement on the issue.

Prashant Bhushan appearing for ‘Common Cause’, an organisation which had filed the plea, argued that it is a fundamental right to die with dignity.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the Court that the issue entirely concerns the legislature and the judiciary should not take it up. The government also told the Court that passive euthanasia is a form of suicide which cannot be allowed.

The Court has appointed former Solicitor General TR Andhyarujina as amicus curiae to assist it in the case.

dnaEdit: Showing mercy
http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/editorial-dnaedit-showing-mercy-2002710
Thursday, 17 July 2014 – 6:05am IST Updated: Wednesday, 16 July 2014 – 9:43pm IST | Agency: DNA
For those who thought the passive euthanasia debate had been settled, the Supreme Court order will come as a huge setback
By issuing notice seeking responses from the states on legalising passive euthanasia, the Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitutional Bench has turned its back on a 2011 two-judge bench decision in the Aruna Shanbaug case that sanctioned this procedure and had even laid down guidelines. Wednesday’s decision comes, rather ironically, on a petition which sought to push the envelope beyond the 2011 judgment. The petitioner pleaded that terminally-ill persons could execute a “living will” requesting withdrawal of life support if medical opinion rules out recovery or they go into a permanent vegetative state. In 2011, the Supreme Court had interpreted the Constitutional Bench judgment in the 1996 Gian Kaur case — which ruled that the “right to life does not include the right to die” and that the “right to live with dignity included the right to die with dignity” — to authorise passive euthanasia. The judgment allowed doctors or near relatives of such patients to approach high courts with passive euthanasia requests and prescribed norms for high courts to follow until Parliament enacted a legislation.
But in February the Supreme Court noted that the Gian Kaur judgment had not “approved” of passive euthanasia and found the 2011 judgment’s reliance on Gian Kaur to sanction passive euthanasia “factually incorrect”. Though the Gian Kaur judgment had left the question of passive euthanasia hanging without stating any opinion about it, it is unfortunate that mere technicality has felled the 2011 judgment which was hailed as yet another example of the judiciary’s courageousness and progressive credentials. At stake is the individual’s sovereignty over the body to which no State can lay claim. Supporting the 2011 judgment, the Law Commission in a 2012 report said: “Rational and humane considerations fully justify the endorsement of passive euthanasia. Moral or philosophical notions and attitude towards passive euthanasia may vary but it can be safely said that…such considerations do not come in the way of relieving the dying man of his intractable suffering, lingering pain, anguish and misery.”
If the sanctity of life is paramount for the State while arguing against passive euthanasia, it then entails a larger debate. Would the Indian State agree to forsake capital punishment then? The “possibility of misuse” argument has no merit either. The 2011 judgment privileges high courts rather than doctors or relatives to decide passive euthanasia requests. The Law Commission draft Medical Treatment of Terminally-ill Patients (MTTP) Bill further supplements the safeguards in the 2011 judgment. For long, Parliament has painfully lagged the judiciary in filling gaping lacunae and flaws in our laws — be it on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the Vishakha guidelines on sexual harassment at workplaces, or the latest on passive euthanasia.
With the Supreme Court undertaking an exercise, akin to reinventing the wheel, Parliament should seize the initiative and enact the MTTP Bill. Alternatively, the Constitutional Bench has the opportunity to surpass the 1996 Gian Kaur judgment that had recriminalised suicide and rectify the minor inconsistencies in the 2011 judgment. By equating passive euthanasia with suicide in the Supreme Court, the Centre has effectively locked out Parliament from another debate. Dubbing a terminally-ill person’s desire to die, or a near relative opting for passive euthanasia for a vegetative person, as suicide or illegality ignores individual and social realities. No social contract can sanctify the State’s tendency to regulate every aspect of a person’s life or their choices.

Husband is bound to give maintenance to separated wife, says Supreme Court
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-husband-is-bound-to-give-maintenance-to-separated-wife-says-supreme-court-2002679
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 – 7:44pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
It is the sacrosanct duty of husband to provide financial support to separated wife even if he is required to earn money with physical labour with “no escape route”, the Supreme Court has said while holding that maintenance must be enough for her to lead a dignified life.
The apex court said it is the obligation of the husband to see that the wife does not become a destitute, a beggar and directed family courts to dispose of cases of maintenance, divorce, custody of child, property disputes as expeditiously as possible to ameliorate the agony and financial suffering of a woman who left her matrimonial home.
“In fact, it is the sacrosanct duty to render the financial support even if the husband is required to earn money with physical labour, if he is able bodied. There is no escape route unless there is an order from the Court that the wife is not entitled to get maintenance from the husband on any legally permissible grounds,” a bench of justices Dipak Misra and V Gopala Gowda said.
Holding that wife is entitled in law to lead a life in the similar manner as she would have lived in the house of her husband, the bench said social status be also considered while fixing amount of maintenance.
“The concept of sustenance does not necessarily mean to lead the life of an animal, feel like an unperson to be thrown away from grace and roam for her basic maintenance somewhere else. She is entitled in law to lead a life in the similar manner as she would have lived in the house of her husband.
“That is where the status and strata come into play, and that is where the obligations of the husband, in case of a wife, become a prominent one. In a proceeding of this nature, the husband cannot take subterfuges to deprive her of the benefit of living with dignity,” it said.
The apex court said it is impermissible that a wife is compelled to resign to her fate and “think of life dust unto dust”, considering the solemn pledge at the time of marriage and also in consonance with the statutory law that governs the field.
“It is the obligation of the husband to see that the wife does not become a destitute, a beggar. A situation is not to be maladroitly created whereunder she is compelled to resign to her fate and think of life ‘dust unto dust’. It is totally impermissible,” the bench said.
The bench passed the order on an appeal filed by a man challenging the Rajasthan High Court order directing him to pay maintenance from the day his wife filed an application in a family court which took nine years to pass order.
The bench expressed displeasure over the delay in proceeding in family court, saying it is unfortunate that the case continued for nine years before the Family Court which is against human rights.
“This delay in adjudication by the Family Court is not only against human rights but also against the basic embodiment of dignity of an individual,” the bench said.
“The approaches, as we perceive, not only defeat the command of the legislature but also frustrate the hope of wife and children who are deprived of adequate livelihood and whose aspirations perish like mushroom and possibly the brief candle of sustenance joins the marathon race of extinction,” the bench said.

Steering change, with a driving licence
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/steering-change-with-a-driving-licence/article6218216.ece
RENUKA PHADNIS
When Bangalorean Akkai Padmashali got a driving licence on June 26 this year, she was elated. Not just because she would be able to drive a scooter but because, she claims, she is the first member of the transgender community to have got a driving licence after the Supreme Court judgment this year recognising the third gender.
Ms. Padmashali, member, Sexual Minorities Forum, said she checkmarked ‘female’ in the box for gender in the application form, which had three boxes to choose from: male, female and transgender.
She said, “The Supreme Court judgment is a blessing. It protects me. Here, I decided my gender.”
For 15 years, she did not get a driving licence as she dreaded filling the application form which would ask for her gender. She did not go ahead to apply for a licence though her father kept telling her he could help her.
Now, three other members of the community, following her instance, are conquering their fears and getting licences.
Sana, a member of the transgender community, said that she had applied after being inspired by Akkai’s success. Ms. Padmashali said while transgenders have got licences before the SC ruling, she is the first to have got it post the ruling.
The procedure to get the licence was in contrast to the time when she had applied for a passport, where she had to answer a barrage of questions about her gender.
The Supreme Court in its judgment issued in April 2014 stated: “Self-determination of gender is an integral part of personal autonomy and self-expression and falls within the realm of personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”
She has a word of appreciation for the official at Yeshwanthpur Regional Transport Office (RTO) who issued the licence. She said he was considerate and treated her with respect.

NGOs seek proper deliberations on new Juvenile Justice Bill
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-ngos-seek-proper-deliberations-on-new-juvenile-justice-bill-2002742
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 – 11:37pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
A group of 58 NGOs and individuals working for children’s rights in the country on Wednesday urged the Centre to carry out proper deliberations before deciding to repeal and re-enact the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
The coalition – ProChild Network – has offered to help the government find a solution to the problems of crimes like sexual violence by juveniles, by giving professional suggestions based on evidence and research.
The group comprises 58 NGOs including the Aangan Trust, Centre for Child and the Law, NLSIU-Bangalore, CRY, HAQ:Centre for Child Rights, Leher and Save the Children. “We strongly condemn all sexual violence, be it by adults or juveniles… But we also condemn pitching human rights of women against human rights of children since that will not provide an answer to creating a healthy society. All we want is a dialogue with the government before a final decision in this regard is taken,” said Bharti Ali, Co-Director of HAQ:Centre for Child Rights.
On June 18, the Ministry of Women and Child Development stated their intent to repeal and re-enact the Juvenile Justice Act and invited feedback from stakeholders and civil society groups on the draft Juvenile Justice Bill, 2014.
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 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.
“We firmly believe all human beings, especially growing children, need to be taught that there are consequences of their action and that they need to be accountable for their behaviour,” a statement issued by the group said.
“However, we assert that the means for ensuring such accountability should be grounded in child and adolescent psychology, the rights of children and a deeper understanding of the circumstances that lead to such behaviour or action, be it indiscipline, anti-social or criminal behaviour,” it adds.
The government move comes over a year after the role of a juvenile in the December 16 gang rape case sparked off a debate over lowering the age limit for juveniles involved in heinous crimes.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau statistics, in 2013, as many as 33,707 rape cases were registered in the country as against 24,923 cases in 2012. As many as 1,884 juveniles were involved in rape cases in 2013.

Amend Juvenile Justice Act: NCW chairperson
http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/amend-juvenile-justice-act-ncw-chairperson-114071601122_1.html
IANS | New Delhi
July 16, 2014 Last Updated at 19:02 IST
Pressing for a debate on the issue of juveniles who commit rape, National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Mamta Sharma Wednesday called for amending the Juvenile Justice Act.
“Forty-five percent of rapes are committed by juveniles, and by sending them to correctional homes, we are just encouraging them… Until juveniles are brought under the purview of law, I do not think there will be a change in the situation,” Sharma said during an interaction at the Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC) here.
“There is a need for an amendment in the Juvenile Justice Act now… This is because times have changed over the past 20 years,” she added.
Sharma, however, added that the issue is “debatable” and said there be proper consultation.
“To think that four people sit together and talk about amendment is not correct. It is a technical issue and needs to be looked at in a social context,” she added.
Quoting the Dec 16, 2012 Delhi gang rape case, Sharma said despite the victim herself stating that the juvenile was the most “brutal”, he was spared based on a mere school certificate.

“I believe that if there were proper investigation and tests, it may have been proved that the boy is not a juvenile. And even if he was, I believe that in such cases there should be an amendment in the act and the accused should be punished,” she said.
Sharma added that the minors who commit such crimes should be sent to reform houses and schools where they live a “hardened” life and are given “proper counselling”.
Stating the importance of sex education, she said children aged 16 these days are “fully grown up” and need to be made aware.
“… Initially when families used to live in a joint set-up, children were made aware by grandparents. But now, in a nuclear set-up, parents don’t have time… so in such a scenario, I feel that sex education is a must and will only prove to be helpful,” she said.

Juvenile justice? Supreme Court calls for stricter Juvenile Justice Act just before two minors, convicted for gang rapes, were sentenced to three years
http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/xNzwPQ2u1sXcRmayLEoaoK/Juvenile-justice.html
Livemint
Calling for a stricter Juvenile Justice Act, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said, “You can’t have a cut-off date for crime like you have for government jobs”. The statement came just before two minors, convicted for the gang rapes of a photojournalist and telephone operator in Mumbai’s Shakti Mills case, were “sentenced” to three years in a borstal school to learn “good behaviour”. Just in case the absurdity is unclear: two rapists, repeat offenders no less, have been sent to a reform school to get “education” and “vocational training”. Juxtapose that with the offence these men, and let us not be naive enough to call them teenagers, have committed and one wonders who the law is meant to protect. Human rights, child rights, and all other assorted rights activists, allege that “children” can be reformed. Such is the thinking that leads to criminals being sent to reform schools instead of jails. Such is the thinking that sees rape at par with a child caught cheating in an exam.

CJI R M Lodha blames government for public perception that judges are hungry for posts
By ET Bureau | 17 Jul, 2014, 05.06AM IST
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NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of India RM Lodha blamed the government’s insistence on having judicial members on tribunals and regulatory bodies for creating a public perception that retired judges were hankering for these posts. “The majesty of the law must prevail. The judiciary functions on the faith and trust of the people,” the chief justice said on Wednesday while hearing a petition challenging increasing tribunalisation at the cost of the judiciary.

“The government enacts all these laws insisting that they be headed by judicial members. This creates a perception among the public that retired judges are running and running and running after tribunals” Justice Lodha said, prompting quite a few chuckles in the court.

At one point, he dared the government, represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, to do away with all such laws which provide that a judicial member would head these quasi-judicial and regulatory bodies. “Do it tomorrow,” Justice Lodha told the AGbut stopped short of passing such an order.

Justice Lodha is part of a five judge bench – other members are Justices JS Khehar, Jasti Chelameswar, AK Sikri and RF Nariman – which is hearing the petition filed by the Madras Bar Association.

Core judicial functions cannot be outsourced, said the lead counsel for the association, Arvind Datar.

He was challenging the central government’s move to create, among other things, a National Tax Tribunal and a Companies Appellate Tribunal.

These bodies will now decide substantial questions of law, he said, adding that no tax issue, whether direct or indirect, will now go to high courts. The first tribunal was set up in India 25 years ago to take the load off high courts. At last count, there were 93 specialised tribunals in India, DatarBSE 0.00 % said.

The latest that the government intended to create, a 61-member Companies Appellate Tribunal, he charged, would deal with only 3,199 such pending cases.
The constitution bench was, however, reluctant to halt the process of setting up tribunals on the ground that they were encroaching on core judicial functions. “They are just adding another layer to the existing hierarchy,” Justice Lodha said.

The discussion will continue on Thursday when the court would decide on whether or not to interfere with the government move to create additional tribunals. Rohatgi said the government would go ahead with its plans.
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Maha CIC orders judicial probe against top cop Rakesh Maria
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/maha-cic-orders-judicial-probe-against-top-cop-rakesh-maria-114071600864_1.html
Press Trust of India | Mumbai
July 16, 2014 Last Updated at 16:59 IST
In a major embarrassment for Mumbai police chief Rakesh Maria, Maharashtra’s transparency watchdog has recommended a judicial inquiry against him for “withholding and giving misleading” information to the wife of an IPS officer killed during the 26/11 terror attack.

Chief Information Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad, in a recent order, asked the state government to institute an inquiry headed by a sitting or retired judge under Commission of Inquiry Act to go into why “misleading” information was provided to Vinita Kamte, wife of slain IPS officer Ashok Kamte, by Maria.

“Considering the information available, it looks like in this matter misleading information was provided, deliberately no information was shared or information was destroyed, delays were caused in providing information etc. And the Commission agrees with the doubts raised by the complainant (Vinita Kamte),” Gaikwad said in a scathing 3-page order passed on July 9.

“Hence, I order the state government through the Chief Secretary to initiate an inquiry under the Commission of Enquiry Act 1952 headed by a sitting or retired judge,” the order said.

Maria as Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) had led the probe into the brazen terror assault launched by 10 Pakistani terrorists on November 26, 2008 and was heading the police control room for some time during the 59-hour siege.

Vinita Kamte had under RTI sought call logs of wireless conversations between the control room and Kamte’s van in which he was killed with Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar.

She had alleged the details were first denied to her. However, when information was provided in November 2009 and February 2010, there were “serious discrepancies”.

“Maria did not allow information to be shared with Vinita Kamte. It is highly irresponsible. Is he trying to hide some information in the matter? It looks like if an impartial inquiry is not initiated then Vinita and the public will not be able to receive true information,” the order that read like a virtual indictment of Maria, who took over as Mumbai Police Commissioner in February this year, said.

Vinita has accused Maria of not telling her who sent her husband towards Cama Hospital where he was killed even though he was in charge of the main control room during the first few hours of the attack.

CIC should maintain records: Activist
http://www.asianage.com/mumbai/cic-should-maintain-records-activist-865
Jul 17, 2014 – Anand Mishra |
RTI activists have demanded that the central information commission (CIC) maintain records of murdered, harassed or threatened RTI applicants across the country so that a national level debate can be initiated with participation of the Parliament.
The demand resurfaced following CIC’s denial about having any such information in reply to an RTI query filed by Pune-based activist Vihar Durve.Mr Durve had sought information related to harassed, attacked and murdered RTI applicants to which CIC replied it did not keep records of such cases. Instead, the commission passed the buck to the department of personnel and training (DoPT), saying it was the nodal ministry for implementation of the RTI Act and framing of rules and regulations.
Upset over CIC’s response, Mr Durve wrote letters to top authorities such as the human rights commission and hundreds of RTI activists across the country including Aruna Roy, Narayan Verma, Shailesh Gandhi, Subhash Agrawal, Bhaskar Prabhu, Anil Galgali and Chetan Kothari and initiated a campaign to protect RTI activists in this manner.
“In fact, the chief information commissioner of all states and central commission should maintain records of such atrocities on activists and submit annual reports to the concerned comptroller and auditor general of the state so that CAG can take cognisance in its report that will fetch some seriousness, in turn solving the matter,” said Mr Durve.
Importantly, an earlier RTI query filed by Mr Durve found 151 cases of RTI activists being attacked, murdered, physically or mentally harassed across the country. At the time, the DoPT informed Mr Durve that Maharashtra (35) topped the list of atrocities against RTI activists followed by Gujarat (24) and Delhi (12)

Govt seeks applications for Information Commissioners in CIC
http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/govt-seeks-applications-for-information-commissioners-in-cic-114071601056_1.html
The last date for sending application is August 19
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 16, 2014 Last Updated at 18:35 IST
The government today decided to fill vacant posts of Information Commissioners in Central Information Commission (CIC) and sought applications from eligible candidates.

“It is now proposed to appoint more Information Commissioners in the Commission,” said a circular issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

The RTI Act provides that the Information Commissioners shall be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance.

“Further, the Information Commissioner shall not be a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislature of any state or union territory, as the case may be, or hold any other office of profit or connected with any political party or carrying on any business or pursuing any profession,” the DoPT said citing some of the mandatory requirements.

The DoPT had in February this year issued a circular for the same.Those who have applied need not apply afresh, it said.

The last date for sending application is August 19.

At present there is one Central Information Commissioner and seven Information Commissioners (ICs). The RTI Act provides for one Central Information Commissioner and ten ICs.

Woman, paramour among three get life term for murder
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Woman-paramour-among-three-get-life-term-for-murder/articleshow/38491726.cms
PTI | Jul 16, 2014, 06.34 PM IST
KARIMNAGAR: A local court on Wednesday convicted a woman and her paramour for murdering the former’s husband and awarded them rigorous life imprisonment.

The 4th additional sessions judge G. Venkata Krishnamraju also held an aide of the duo guilty for murder and handed him down the rigorous life term under various charges, including hatching a criminal conspiracy, of Indian Penal Code.

The court has imposed fine of Rs 500 on each of the three convicts.

The court examined 14 witnesses in the 2001 case in which accused Aruna (32), a resident of Bommareddypalli village in the district, hatched a conspiracy to murder her husband, Gaddam Ravinder Reddy (35) with the help of her lover Singireddy Sudhakar Reddy (34).

The couple has two children. According to the prosecution, Singireddy with his friend Kyatam Pritviraj (20) axed Reddy to death while he was on his way to kothur village on May 18, 2001, and dumped his body into bushes at the spot.

Aruna later lodged a missing person’s complaint with police.

Complained filed in court against Ved Pratap Vaidik
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/complained-filed-in-court-against-ved-pratap-vaidik-114071601500_1.html
Press Trust of India | Indore
July 16, 2014 Last Updated at 22:48 IST
A complaint was filed today in a local court by two Congressleaders against journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik for his controversial meeting with 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Mohammad Saeed in Pakistan and also for his alleged statement on the issue of “freedom” for Kashmir.

Congress local unit’s two secretaries Vivek Khandelwal and Mohan Kasera filed the complaint against Vaidik in the court of the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) V P Sharma under Section 124 A (treason) and Section 132 (inciting armed forces to revolt) of the Indian Penal Code.

The court will hear the complaint on August 5 to record the statement of the two complainants, Advocate Ashish Shrivastava who representing the Congress leaders said.

Quoting the complaint, he said Vaidik had met the matermind of the 26/11 (2008) Mumbai attack without informing the government of India and also gave a controversial interview to a Pakistani television channel on the issue of “freedom” for Kashmir, which is “highly condemnable” and therefore, a case of “treason” and “inciting forces to revolt” should be filed against him.

Stir against common High Court gains momentum
http://www.deccanchronicle.com/140716/nation-current-affairs/article/stir-against-common-high-court-gains-momentum
DC | S.A. Ishaqui | July 16, 2014, 02.07 am IST
Hyderabad: The demand for a separate High Court for newly formed Telangana state has been snowballing in the capital city of Hyderabad.
Advocates in Telangana, who have been opposing the concept of notifying the existing AP High Court as the common High Court for both states till the notification of a separate High Court for the residuary state, have begun their direct action.
They are staging protests and conducting relay hunger strikes in subordinate courts as well as the High Court in the city.
Advocates practicing in lower courts of the city organised a relay hunger strike at lower courts on Tuesday.
High Court advocates also organised a relay hunger strike in front of the High Court on Tuesday, demanding separate High Courts for the two states.
Purushotham Reddy and Badrinath, leaders of the Telangana High Court Employees Association, expressed their solidarity with advocates of Telangana carrying out their struggle for a separate High Court.
Bar associations across Telangana also decided to participate in the struggle for bifurcation of the High Court and formation of separate High Court in Telangana.
Office bearers of the High Court Advocates Association — Pasham Krishna Reddy, Jalakam Sampath Kumar, B. Yuvraj, Bargav, A. Giridhar Rao, K. Venu Madhav, D.L. Pandu, S.V. Bharatha Lakshmi, Sarasani Satyam Reddy senior advocate and JAC chairman M. Rajender Reddy — participated in the relay hunger strike.
Mr Satyam Reddy said they will intensify their struggle in the coming days to achieve their legitimate demand of having a separate High Court guaranteed under the Constitution for every state.

Retired SC judge asks Chhattisgarh high court to probe fake letter
Anuja Jaiswal,TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 09.49 PM IST

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RAIPUR: Retired Supreme Court judge, justice BS Chauhan, has asked the chief justice of Chhattisgarh, justice Yatinder Singh, to initiate an inquiry into a fake letter, purportedly written by him, to the state DGP recommending closure of a dowry harassment case against an accused. The judge has also stated that his signatures on the letter, which bears a stamp of the apex court, have been forged.

Justice Chauhan, who relinquished office on July 1 this month, wrote to the chief justice on Wednesday after TOI brought to his notice the existence of the fake letter. This development comes even as the Chhattisgarh police are making attempts to verify the veracity of the letter purportedly sent by Justice Chauhan.

In his letter (copy available with TOI) to the chief justice, justice Chauhan has said, “somebody has written this letter forging my signatures and it also bears the seal of the Supreme Court and appears to have been sent as a DO letter”. He said the matter should be inquired and action taken in accordance to the law.

The purported letter from justice Chauhan was received by the DGP office and forwarded to IG Bilaspur zone on July 4. The letter, which is dated June 25 when justice Chauhan was still serving in the Supreme Court, is written in Hindi on a plain paper.

The fake letter directs the DGP to close investigations in FIR No 282/2014 registered at Kotwali Raigarh police station under section 498A/34 of the IPC on March 28 this year. The letters states, “iss mukadme ke darj hone se poorav mein hi sara prakaran hammarre sangyan tha. Issliye aapse shifarish avum apeksha karni hai ki iss mukadme to tatkal bund kiya jaana hi nayahit mein uchit hai (The facts of the case have been in my knowledge even before it’s registration. In the interest of justice I recommend that this case may be closed immediately).

According to police officials, they suspected that the letter was forged and were in the process of writing for its verification to the Registrar of Supreme Court. “The fact that the letter was in Hindi and written directly to the DGP on a plain paper raised suspicions”, said a senior official.

The officials also revealed that the Raigarh collector office had received a somewhat similar written recommendation on April 28 from the secretary, National Women Commission (NWC) in the same case. The forged letter from the NCW directed the collector to close the case on grounds that the Commission had already investigated the matter.

The NCW letter was too written in Hindi. Officials said the Commission had verbally confirmed that they wrote no such letter.

The said case of dowry harassment pertains to a complaint by one Neha alias Jyanti Singhal, a resident of Raigarh. Nine members of her deceased’s family including his parents, his brothers and sisters were booked in the case. While all the female members have been granted bail, other members of the family are still absconding.

Justice Chauhan’s secretary, Meena Sareen, told TOI that besides sending a letter to the Chhattisgarh chief justice for an inquiry, they were also informing the Supreme Court about it.

Incidentally, this is the second such incident of a fake letter/order from the Supreme Court that has been sent to the Chhattisgarh government in the recent past in an attempt to stall on going proceedings in various departments.

On Monday only, TOI had reported that a fake Supreme Court order was received by post at the Raipur Medical College, staying the recent transfer of 41 doctors by the Chhattisgarh government. Justice HL Dattu had purportedly issued the so-called order. The government is already inquiring into the matter.

High court allows amendment in PIL for Chandrapur Government Medical College
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Nagpur/High-court-allows-amendment-in-PIL-for-Chandrapur-Government-Medical-College/articleshow/38504607.cms
TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 01.28 AM IST
NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Wednesday allowed the petitioner to amend his PIL challenging the apex medical education body’s refusal to conduct inspection of Chandrapur Government Medical College. The move comes after petitioner’s counsel Anil Kilor pointed out to the court that the Maharashtra government had sanctioned Rs 100 crores for the new GMC in Baramati by going out of the way, but failed to replicate same efforts for GMCs at Gondia and Chandrapur. He said this was once again meting out step motherly treatment to Vidarbha.

He said that though the GMCs at all three places would not start from the current academic session due to MCI’s refusal, the huge grant of Rs 100 crore would help at least erect infrastructure as per stringent norms of the apex body.

The PIL for the Chandrapur GMC was filed by Rajesh Pugaliya, son of former MP Naresh Pugaliya. In case of Gondia GMC, it was filed by Congress MLA from Gondia Gopaldas Agrawal, citing delay on the part of the Maharashtra government to file documents related to compliance of all conditions prescribed by MCI for setting up of GMC in Gondia.

Last week, the Supreme Court had declined to interfere in MCI and union health ministry’s decisions on establishing GMC in Gondia. A division bench comprising justice Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhyaya and justice Sharad Bobde pointed out that as the deadline to finalize all proposals for new GMCs was July 15, it didn’t want to interfere with the decision-making at the last stage.

Delhi’s ‘death trap’ parks: High Court claims city’s green spaces ‘violate children’s human rights’
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2694903/Delhis-death-trap-parks-High-Court-claims-citys-green-spaces-violate-childrens-human-rights.html
By AYESHA ARVIND
PUBLISHED: 00:21 GMT, 17 July 2014 | UPDATED: 00:22 GMT, 17 July 2014

Dilapidated neighbourhood parks across the city have caught the attention of the Delhi High Court for their abysmal maintenance.
Rapping the civic bodies on their knuckles, the court stated that the agencies seemed to be failing in their task of maintaining parks and recreational spaces across the Capital.
The court also suggested that the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and corporate firms be roped in for the purpose.

+3
Saying that civic agencies did not seem equal to the task, a Bench comprising Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw suggested that other stakeholders, including RWAs, be taken on board to come up with ideas, and to participate in maintenance of green spaces and parks across Delhi.
The court’s observations came during a hearing whereby the court had taken suo moto cognisance of a letter sent by Justice Joseph Kurien of the Supreme Court about the poor conditions of children’s parks in the city.
The court also invited suggestions from senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta, appointed as the amicus curiae to assist the court.
During the hearing, Gupta submitted photographs of various parks in the city, and said that except two – at India Gate and Sarojini Nagar – the rest are in poor condition.
Gupta had also dismissed the status reports of New Delhi Municipal Council and North Delhi Municipal Corporation, stating that the same were merely perfunctory.
In their status reports, the civic bodies had submitted that the parks in question have been repaired and are functional. Gupta submitted the status reports were “incorrect and misleading”.
“The civic bodies have placed on record various photos. However, these have been taken from a distance so as to suit their stand. I have personally visited most of these parks and their condition is deplorable. The swings and other rides are broken. There are exposed nails and dangerous wooden planks that act almost as death traps for children,” Gupta said.
He made the submission after visiting parks at places like Vasant Vihar, Vasant Kunj, Greater Kailash and India Gate.
Gupta cited the standards followed by various countries in maintaining parks and amusement facilities. He submitted that considering that India is a signatory to several international environmental agreements, it is the responsibility of the central Government to ensure upkeep of the green spaces.
The High Court has now directed Gupta to take on board other stakeholders and come up with suggestions for better upkeep of the parks by the next date of hearing.

The court is likely to take up the matter on August 13. In his letter dated April 12 to the acting Chief Justice of HC, Justice Joseph said the condition of city parks was a “serious violation of human rights of children” as it was “their right in their tender times to have a decent environment to play and frolic around.”
By converting the letter into a PIL, the HC expanded the scope of its intervention to all children’s parks in Delhi, asking the agencies to give details regarding the number of such parks and their proposed action plan to upgrade, maintain and repair facilities.
It also directed the New Delhi Municipal Council to take immediate measures to maintain, upgrade and repair facilities at parks in India Gate and Sarojani Nagar.
Parks a ‘violation of human rights’
In a letter to the Delhi High Court Chief Justice on April 12 , Supreme Court judge Justice Joseph Kurien said the condition of city parks were a “serious violation of human rights of children” as it was “their right in their tender times to have a decent environment to play and frolic around.”
Justice Joseph said he visited Children’s Park near India Gate and a few days later the Lake Park near Sarojini Nagar.
“To my shock, I found all slides were partially damaged and children were getting injured. Swings were not maintained properly. The fountain was not working,” he wrote.
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The judge added that the Lake Park no longer had a lake and the condition of the playing area was deplorable with “potholes around the slides and the ground shaky and muddy with children getting injured.”
The apex court judge even suggested that the HC rope in the Delhi Legal Services Authority to do something and requested the Chief Justice to “visit incognito the parks and see for yourself the deplorable conditions.”
“In both the parks, I could infer that there was no responsible authority maintaining it. There was no one to guide the children,” Justice Kurien said in his letter.
By converting the letter into a PIL, the HC expanded the scope of its intervention to all children’s park in Delhi, asking the agencies to give details regarding the number of such parks and their proposed action plan to upgrade, maintain and repair facilities.
The HC said that exercise should be done within two weeks. While this exercise is being conducted, all corporations and others including the DDA shall rectify deficiencies, if any.

NDMC and DDA defend green space regulations
By Mail Today Bureau
While the High Court rued the fact that the civic bodies have failed to maintain green spaces and parks in Delhi, those authorities stepped up to challenge the court’s views.
According to the New Delhi Municipal Council and the Delhi Development Authority, all green spaces under their jurisdiction are routinely supervised and maintained.
“The matter of the children’s park and the Sarojini Nagar park being in a deplorable condition was brought to our notice in April. We immediately visited these parks and fixed the problems,” NDMC chief engineer Anant Kumar said.
“We also conducted checks across all our parks. While we have over 100 neighbourhood parks, 70 of these have swings, rides and other play equipment installed for recreation of children. All these equipment have been re-checked and touched up. A status report has also been filed in this regard,” Kumar said.
DDA maintained that all its parks were in perfect condition.
“The biodiversity parks like Millennium Park, Swarnajayanti Park, Hauz Khas Park etc. are all checked and maintained regularly. The maintenance of the smaller, neighbourhood parks meanwhile, is the responsibility of the MCD,” said DDA spokesperson Neemo Dhar.
On April 17, the High Court had directed the civic bodies to submit a detailed report on all children’s parks in Delhi.
The status report was to be filed by May 30 but the civic bodies, including the DDA and the three corporations, failed to do so.
Following which the court asked the agencies to submit the report by July 16.
Meanwhile, deputy mayor of North Corporation Ravinder Gupta indicted the officials at the horticulture department after visiting the Ajmal Khan Park.
Gupta directed the officials to clean-up the park on a priority basis and plant more trees.

Dhoti controversy goes to High Court
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/dhoti-controversy-goes-to-high-court/article6218326.ece
K. T. SANGAMESWARAN
Is PIL petition maintainable, asks Acting Chief Justice
The controversy over the TNCA Club denying entry to a sitting judge and two advocates for coming to a function here in dhoti came up before the Madras High Court on Wednesday.
A city advocate has filed a public interest litigation petition for a directive to the State government to regulate the functioning of clubs in the State. He also wanted the government to suspend the licence of the TNCA Club.
In the petition, S. Karthik of Chromepet said the judge (Justice D. Hariparanthaman) and two senior advocates went to the club on July 11 for a book release function. Newspapers reported that the three were refused entry into the function hall as they were attired in dhoti, a traditional dress.
The action was against the fundamental rights and civil and cultural rights of Tamils. Clubs could not frame rules or regulations prescribing the dress code, which were without any legal sanctity. Dhoti was a traditional dress and the insignia of Indian heritage. The tradition of wearing dhoti was being followed since time immemorial, the petitioner said. Mr. Karthik submitted that the rules framed by clubs infringed on the fundamental rights of individuals, and they were illegal. The rules of the club that restricted a person solely on grounds of his personal attire were liable to be struck down since discrimination in any form could not be allowed to be practised in India, the petitioner said.
When the matter came up before the First Bench of the Acting Chief Justice (ACJ), Satish K. Agnihotri, and Justice M.M. Sundresh, the ACJ asked counsel how the petition was maintainable. Counsel said the club’s action amounted to violation of fundamental rights.
The ACJ observed that the association was a private body, and it had framed the rules. He wanted to know how it would affect the rights. When counsel pointed out that the matter was raised in the Assembly, he said the legislature was the competent authority to look into the matter.
The Bench later ordered that the petition be posted before some other Division Bench on which Mr. Justice Sundresh will not sit.

High court flays cops for inaction against Shreesurya group
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/High-court-flays-cops-for-inaction-against-Shreesurya-group/articleshow/38507958.cms
Vaibhav Ganjapure,TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 02.41 AM IST
NAGPUR: Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Wednesday pulled up the city police for delay in taking action against the Shreesurya group asking them why they had failed to act when the scam was first exposed by the media in February last year.

A division bench of Justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Chandrakant Bhadang directed the government and police to file a comprehensive affidavit within two weeks on all types of transactions made by the Shreesurya owners chairman Sameer Joshi and his director wife Pallavi since February last year. It included cash and property transactions made by the couple before they were arrested and their agents. These respondents were also told to inform about the progress made in the investigations and action taken against the Shreesurya agents after petitioner – Shreesurya Pidit Thevidar Kruti Samiti through its secretary Shriram Dagwar – filed the petition in March this year.

The court’s directives came after petitioner’s counsel Anil Kilor pointed out that had the police machinery acted in February last year, many depositors would have been saved from being duped. He contended that the first complaint was filed on September 13 last year, six months after the media reported it. Subsequently, chairman Sameer Joshi was arrested by the Crime Branch’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on October 15, after a month’s delay.

Kilor added that in this period, Shreesurya owners and agents allegedly siphoned off all funds and also disposed of the properties. The cops managed to seize only Rs 5.50 lakh from their accounts. Citing Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 1999 (MPID), he argued that the EOW could have taken action at the initial stage itself as per Section 4 of the Act by attaching their properties.

The aggrieved investors under the aegis of Kruti Samiti approached HC praying for a CBI enquiry. Contending that the Joshi couple had duped thousands of gullible investors by promising astronomical returns, they demanded offences be registered against firm’s agents and to attach properties of all persons involved in the offence. They also insisted on action against the police officers who failed to lodge the FIR against accused and later deliberately delayed arrest of Joshi couple so they could tamper with documentary evidence.

Making Maharashtra home secretary, Nagpur collector and commissioner of police, and EOW, as respondents, the petitioners demanded stringent punishment to the guilty. EOW had detained three agents for interrogation – A Suryawanshi, Nishikant Mayee and P Dange – but no progress has been made since then. Recently, Pallavi was granted bail by the high court.

What was the scam?

Shreesurya Group began operations with blessings of Anjangaon Surji-based godman from 2005 inviting deposits from the public at large promising returns as high as 30 to 70% per annum through its various schemes. The group is run as a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) to avoid coming under Companies Act. It also floated a plan to double the investment in two years and an insurance scheme without approval from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).

The fraud came to light after an NGO got replies through RTI queries that none of the schemes floated by Joshi were recognized by Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The Joshi couple and their agents collected funds from over 5,000 investors, many of them senior citizens. The schemes collapsed as Shreesurya began defaulting on returns. As a result, many complaints were lodged at Pune, Amravati and Akola, besides Nagpur, which led to arrest of Joshi couple.

Criminals in polls: Kerala high court seeks central govt view
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/Criminals-in-polls-Kerala-high-court-seeks-central-govt-view/articleshow/38514867.cms
TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 05.14 AM IST
KOCHI: The high court of Kerala on Wednesday sought the Central government’s view on a petition that accused it of amending an Act to overcome a Supreme Court ruling, which banned criminals from contesting the elections.

Petitioner Basil Attipetty prayed to a division bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice P R Ramachandra Menon to declare the amendment unconstitutional, null and void.

The Supreme Court had on July 10, 2013, held that the statutory right to vote would legally be suspended in case of persons in police custody, or those convicted in criminal cases. The court had then ruled that a person, whose right to vote has been suspended, was not qualified to contest in polls.

The apex court gave the ruling in the Chief Election Commissioner vs Jan Chaukidar case of 2004.

The section 62(5) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which dealt with the right to vote, was later amended on September 20, 2013. The amendment changed the sub-section, saying those in the electoral roles would remain an elector even if he or she has been jailed or in police custody.

The amendment also clarified that the changes made would remain, and no court or judgment could alter it. Further, the amendment was made effective retrospectively from July 10, 2013, the day on which the Supreme Court had barred criminals from contesting polls.

Challenging the amendment, Attipetty argued in the high court that parliament had no authority or legal sanction to circumvent a Supreme Court ruling.

The petitioner argues that parliament had no authority and sanction of law to circumvent the Supreme Court’s decision. Through the amendment, parliament exceeded its powers and usurped the dominion of the judiciary, he said.

A division bench comprising of chief justice Manjula Chellur and justice PR Ramachandra Menon was considering a petition filed by advocate Basil Attipetty.

On July 10th last year, the Supreme Court had held that right to vote is a statutory right and such right is taken away by law temporarily in the case of persons under lawful custody of police. Persons convicted of crime are also kept away from elections. When it comes to contesting in elections, a person who does not have the right to vote is not qualified to contest, the apex court had held in Chief Election Commissioner vs Jan Chaukidar case of 2004.

In the petition filed to the Kerala high court, an amendment brought to the Representation of the People Act, 1951 on September 20th last year is challenged.

The amendment included altering section 62(5) of the Act, which deals with Right to Vote. The subsection had laid down that a person confined to a prison, whether serving a prison term or under the lawful custody of police, cannot vote. Through the amendment, this was changed to the effect that a person who is already in electoral roll shall not cease to be an elector due to the prison term or police custody.

Further, the amendment declared that the Act, as amended, shall be deemed to have been in effect and in force at all material times notwithstanding anything contained in any judgment, decree, or order of any court.

Above all, the amendment declared that it will be deemed to have come into force on July 10th last year, which is the date on which the apex court ruled against criminals contesting elections.

The petitioner argues that the Parliament had no authority and sanction of law to circumvent the Supreme Court’s decision. Through the amendment, the Parliament exceeded its powers and usurped the dominion of the judiciary, it is contended.

A court order declaring the amendment as unconstitutional, null, and void is being sought by the petitioner.

CBI probe in solar scam case not necessary: Govt to HC
http://zeenews.india.com/news/kerala/cbi-probe-in-solar-scam-case-not-necessary-govt-to-hc_947929.html
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 19:34

Kochi: The Kerala Government today informed the High Court that a CBI enquiry was not necessary into the solar scam case, which had rocked the state last year.

The affidavit in this regard was filed on a PIL by opposition leader V S Achutanandan, seeking a CBI probe in the Solar panel case.

The affidavit, filed by investigating officer, V Ajit, Deputy Superintendent of Police, stated that no evidence could be collected against any other person other than the present accused.

There was no loss to the state exchequer. Investigation of the case was almost complete and files have been placed before the trial courts concerned, he stated.

The petitioner had also sought a probe involving the Enforcement Directorate, corporate affairs department and IT department.

Achuthanandan contended that in order to inspire confidence among the public regarding justice delivery system, a fair and impartial enquiry was required in the solar case. The money trail involved in the case has to be found out in the interest of the state’s economy, he had submitted.

The Opposition leader also sought an investigation into ‘sabotaging’ the statement given to the magistrate court here by one of the prime accused, Saritha S Nair.

The earlier investigation by the crime branch was not impartial, he stated. No efforts were taken by the investigating team to trace the amount collected by the accused, he said.

The scam involving a fraudulent solar company- Team Solar had taken a political turn after a close personal aide of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was arrested for his alleged links with the accused. Two other personal staff of his office were also removed in connection with the scam.

The opposition CPI(M) led LDF had stalled assembly proceedings for several days and had also launched agitations, demanding Chandy’s resignation over the issue.

PTI

PIL on dhoti issue cannot be entertained, Madras high court says
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/PIL-on-dhoti-issue-cannot-be-entertained-Madras-high-court-says/articleshow/38482056.cms
A Subramani,TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 03.10 PM IST
CHENNAI: The Madras high court on Wednesday observed that a public interest litigation (PIL) on the dhoti issue could not be entertained as no constitutional provision had been violated.

The issue relates to the denial of entry for a Madras high court judge, Justice D Hriparanthaman, and two senior advocates by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association club last week because they were wearing the dhoti. The judge went to the club on the invitation of a retired judge for a book release function.

The entry denial has triggered a controversy in Tamil Nadu with various political parties and social activists, besides advocates, unanimously condemning the club rules.

The state assembly also discussed the issue. On Wednesday, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa indicated that the government would enact a law to curb the clubs undermining the importance of traditional dress.

On Wednesday morning, advocate Saravanan Dakshinamoorthy argued the matter before the first bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice M M Sundresh and said the entry denial to a high court judge was an unfortunate incident.

Justice Agnihotri, however, wondered as to how a PIL could be entertained on the matter. “It is a private club and we cannot force them to change rules,” he said.

When the advocate said the judge was at the club for a public function and the Tamil culture had been humiliated, Justice Agnihotri said it was a book release function and not a public function. The judge was there as an invitee and not as a judge, he said.

When the advocate said the assembly itself discussed the issue, Justice Agnihotri said: “The legislature is the competent authority. They can do something about it. But we cannot treat it as a PIL, and this court is inclined to dismiss it.”

The bench, however, posted the matter before some other bench for hearing at a later stage.

HC notice over women lock-ups
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/HC-notice-over-women-lock-ups/articleshow/38502854.cms
TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 12.50 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Wednesday issued notice to the Centre and the Delhi government on a PIL, seeking separate police lock-ups for women detainees in order to protect them from “sexual abuse” and “ill-treatment”.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw sought responses from the ministry of home affairs, the Delhi government and the commissioner of Delhi Police by September 10. The court’s order came a plea filed by advocate Avadh Kaushik which said that there was an urgent need to bring down the sexual abuse, harassment, ill-treatment and torture committed upon women detainees in police lock-ups.

The PIL comes at a time when a trial court judge had sent a letter to the chief justice of the Delhi HC on the issue and it had cited two cases where women accused were illegally detained and abused. TOI had first reported on June 3, 2014 about the plight of these three women and that the letter has been sent.

In the petition filed before the court on Wednesday, it was pointed out the two criminal cases registered in Rohini, where those three women were arrested at night without proper permission from the magistrate courts concerned.
He said that they were arrested by male police personnel, and were produced before the magistrate courts the next day.

In both cases, the women alleged they were sexually abused, harassed, humiliated, and tortured at the hands of male police personnel, the plea said.

“Direct police commissioner to deal with the complainants and information received regarding violation of human and women rights by police officers in lock-ups promptly, seriously and with heavy hands in a deterrent manner to prevent the abuse of power by police officers,” it said.

The petition also asked for suitable “sensitization programmes” to make metropolitan magistrates more trained, sensitive and judicial with respect to granting permission to police to arrest a woman at night.

Surat: Sessions court rejects Narayan Sai’s bail plea in rape case
http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/GUJ-AHD-surat-sessions-court-rejects-asaram-bapu-son-narayan-sai-bail-plea-in-rape-case-4682188-NOR.html
Dailybhaskar.com | Jul 16, 2014, 19:34PM IST
Ahmedabad/Surat: A Surat sessions court on Wednesday rejected bail plea of controversial godman Asaram’s son Narayan Sai. Rape accused Narayan Sai will now move high court.

According to reports, the court has observed that Sai can tamper with evidence and harm the witness in the case, if released on regular bail at present.

“The state police have filed the charge sheet in the month of March which indicates that the probe in the rape case has been completed,” Sai submitted in the bail plea.

Sai had further said in the regular bail plea that the complaint of rape was filed against him after a time-span of 11 years with malafide intentions. “There is nothing substantial in the facts of the case, so the applicant (Sai) should be released on the regular bail,” the bail plea said.

However, the court has not granted the submission of Sai and sent him to judicial custody after rejecting his bail. The police had charge sheeted Sai with the charges of rape under section 376, unnatural sex under section 377 and criminal conspiracy under sections 120(b)of IPC.

He was also booked under IPC sections 346 for wrongful confinement of the victim, 356 for physical assault, 506 for criminal intimidation, 148 for attempting deadly attack and 153 for rioting. Two sisters had lodged complaints against Sai and his father Asaram of rape, sexual assault, illegal confinement and other charges.

In her complaint, the younger of the two had accused Sai of repeated sexual assault between 2002 and 2005 when she was living at the Surat ashram managed by the father-son duo. The elder sister had filed a rape complaint against Asaram and a separate case is going on against him in the Gandhinagar court.

(With PTI inputs)

Court denies leniency to man who molested minor
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/court-denies-leniency-to-man-who-molested-minor/article6215720.ece
AKANKSHA JAIN
A man aged 60 years and sentenced to one year imprisonment for molesting a minor has been denied leniency by a Delhi court which felt that his case deserves no consideration.
“There is no reason to interfere with the order of conviction and sentence passed by the trial court. The depraved action of the accused with a girl child old enough to be his granddaughter deserves no consideration and speaks of the increasing malaise in society which needs to be curbed with an iron hand,” District and Sessions Judge Ina Malhotra said.
Convict Gopal Yadav, a native of Uttar Pradesh, had moved Sessions court challenging his conviction.
The allegations against him were that on July 31, 2012, in the afternoon, he molested a girl of seven years by forcibly hugging, kissing and disrobing her.
The victim had told the police and the court that on the day of the incident, she had gone out to call her friends for tuition. Yadav, who was working as a servant at a nearby dairy, took her to a side and misbehaved with her. She also disclosed that he had misbehaved with her two months ago too and had given her Rs.4.
In the instant case, the girl said the convict let her free as she started screaming out of pain when the man molested her. She said he threatened to stab her if she disclosed the incident to anyone.

Arrest warrant against MS Dhoni recalled by AP High Court

http://www.cricketcountry.com/news/arrest-warrant-against-ms-dhoni-recalled-by-ap-high-court-158758
By Press Trust of India
July 16, 2014, 10:19 pm
Anantpur: Jul 16, 2014
A local court on Wednesday recalled a bailable warrant it had issued last month against cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni in connection with a complaint which accuses him of hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus. Dhoni’s lawyers Pankaj Bhagla and M. Vishnuvardhan Reddy on Wednesday filed a “vakalatnama” before the sessions court judge.
Vijayakumar who accepted it and withdrew the warrant before posting the matter for final hearing to July 25. The lawyers told the court that Dhoni came to know about the warrant against him only through the media.
The complaint in this regard had been filed in June last year by Gopal Rao and Shyam Sunder who reportedly belonged to a right wing Hindu organisation. The duo had said Dhoni was shown in the form of a Hindu deity on the cover page of a business magazine, holding among other things a shoe in his hand, which they said was “hurting the religious sentiments.”
They also wanted registration of an offence against the then editor of the magazine. In his counter affidavit filed before the court on Wednesday, the then editor said the complaint, filed under section 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) of IPC, was not maintainable and there are no grounds to restore the plaint.
“The publication neither destroyed, damaged or defiled any place of worship or any object. The complainant has also failed to establish the intention to insult any religion or the knowledge of the same on the part of the accused.
“The magazine page has to be seen in consonance with the article published inside the magazine, which does not mention about any God directly or remotely not has it made any attempt to portray Dhoni as Lord Vishnu…It is purely a work of art,” he said in the affidavit filed through his advocate V. Yagna Dutt. The affidavit will also be heard next week

• Bail plea of accused rejected by Muzaffarnagar court
http://www.ptinews.com/news/4924994_Bail-plea-of-accused-rejected-by-Muzaffarnagar-court-.html
10:39 HRS IST
Muzaffarnagar, July 16 (PTI) The bail plea of five riot accused has been rejected by a court here in a case of murder of three youths here.

District and Sessions Judge Vijay Laxmi yesterday rejected the bail plea of five accused Rajender, Saran, Harher, Arvind Kumar and Sahenserpal, saying there is no case of bail.

Three youths were murdered in Husainpur village in the district during the riots.

Law secretary goes back to court
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/Law-secretary-goes-back-to-court/articleshow/38506766.cms
TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 02.15 AM IST
PANAJI: Law secretary Pramod Kamat has been appointed district judge and additional sessions judge, North Goa, as his deputation to the government ended on Wednesday. Principal secretary R K Srivastava has been given additional charge as law secretary.

Kamat was appointed law secretary on July 16, 2010, on deputation from court. His term was extended by the Congress and BJP governments.

As per the order issued by the registrar general of the high court, Kamat has been appointed district judge II and additional sessions judge. Sources said he will take charge on Thursday. They added he may soon be appointed at a Ponda court.

Sources at the secretariat, opined that being an upright officer, Kamat will not be influenced by his former political masters.

Trial court can hear all Adarsh cases: State
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Trial-court-can-hear-all-Adarsh-cases-State/articleshow/38500449.cms
Swati Deshpande,TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 11.52 PM IST
MUMBAI: The state government on Wednesday told the Bombay high court that the CBI had filed its chargesheet in the Adarsh housing society case and hence the court should no longer monitor the probe. It also said that all Adarsh-related matters can now be raised before the trial court.

The government’s counsel, Anil Sakhare, placed the state’s stand while seeking dismissal of a plea filed by public interest litigant Pravin Wategaonkar who demanded that former CM Sushil Kumar Shinde be added as an accused in the Adarsh case on charges of misconduct. The counsel for Adarsh society also informed a bench of Justices P V Hardas and Anuja Prabhudesai that the HC need no longer monitor the probe.

Meanwhile, ex-journalist Ketan Tirodkar, has sought appointment of a special investigation by the CBI to probe an alleged conspiracy to shield former CM Ashok Chavan, an accused named in the original FIR, whose prosecution the state governor refused to sanction.

High court upholds man’s life term for setting ablaze wife
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/High-court-upholds-mans-life-term-for-setting-ablaze-wife/articleshow/38489488.cms
PTI | Jul 16, 2014, 05.51 PM IST
NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court has upheld the life imprisonment awarded to a man for setting ablaze his wife, saying that the trial court was right in relying on the victim’s dying declaration.

A division bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Mukta Gupta upheld the life term given to Delhi resident Shailender by a trial court here in 2010 and dismissed his appeal.

“The totality of the evidence compels us to accord our approval to the view taken by the trial judge. The appeal is dismissed,” the bench held.

“The fact that there was past acrimony between the two would be indicative of the fact that in a fit of rage, the appellant set his wife on fire…,” it said.

Shailender was awarded rigorous imprisonment for life by the trial court which had also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him on September 15, 2010 under section 302 (murder) of IPC.

He had approached the high court challenging his conviction on the ground that burnt clothes of his wife were seized but were not sent for forensic examination and kerosene oil was also not detected on her scalp hairs.

According to the prosecution, Shailender was married to Manju in 1996 and had two children. Initially, the couple lived happily but after a year, he started harassing her under the influence of alcohol.

He used to beat his wife and in 2007, she had lodged a complaint with the police.

On the intervening night of April 22-23, 2008, Shailender had a quarrel with his wife. Thereafter, he brought a can of kerosene oil from the kitchen and poured it on Manju and set her on fire, it said.

Manish Kumar, the couple’s son who was sleeping in the adjacent room, woke up on hearing the commotion and rushed to the house of his maternal grandfather, who lived nearby, and told him about the incident, it added.

An ambulance was called which took her to LNJP Hospital where she died the next afternoon.

Trial court can hear all Adarsh cases: State
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Trial-court-can-hear-all-Adarsh-cases-State/articleshow/38500449.cms
Swati Deshpande,TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 11.52 PM IST
MUMBAI: The state government on Wednesday told the Bombay high court that the CBI had filed its chargesheet in the Adarsh housing society case and hence the court should no longer monitor the probe. It also said that all Adarsh-related matters can now be raised before the trial court.

The government’s counsel, Anil Sakhare, placed the state’s stand while seeking dismissal of a plea filed by public interest litigant Pravin Wategaonkar who demanded that former CM Sushil Kumar Shinde be added as an accused in the Adarsh case on charges of misconduct. The counsel for Adarsh society also informed a bench of Justices P V Hardas and Anuja Prabhudesai that the HC need no longer monitor the probe.

Meanwhile, ex-journalist Ketan Tirodkar, has sought appointment of a special investigation by the CBI to probe an alleged conspiracy to shield former CM Ashok Chavan, an accused named in the original FIR, whose prosecution the state governor refused to sanction.

HC issues notice to J’khand govt on foeticides in state
http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/hc-issues-notice-to-j-khand-govt-on-foeticides-in-state_948004.html
Last Updated: Thursday, July 17, 2014, 02:07

Ranchi: Jharkhand High Court has issued a notice to the state government seeking details of the steps taken by it to check instances of illegal abortion and foeticide in the state.

Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports on the rising incidence of foeticide in the state, a bench of Chief Justice R Banumathi and Justice Amitabh Kumar issued notices to the Jharkhand government chief secretary and its health secretary in this regard.

HC has asked these officials to explain in two weeks’ time whether these reports were true and, if so, what are the steps which have been taken by the state government to check such practices.

HC also asked the state government to provide details of registered and unregistered ultrasound centres in Jharkhand.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014, 02:07

HC orders one-stop relief in rape cases
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/HC-orders-one-stop-relief-in-rape-cases/articleshow/38502628.cms
TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 12.46 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Rape survivors will not have to wait for months to get compensation from the government. In an order that would expedite the rehabilitation process, the high court on Wednesday asked the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) and the Delhi government to devise a “single-window” mechanism for providing immediate compensation to the survivors.

“We feel that victims need to be immediately awarded the amount and for this purpose there has to be a single window where they can take the receipt and get the money,” said a division bench of Justice B D Ahmed and Justice S Mridul.

Observing that it was “not satisfied” with the way disposal of compensation was being done, the high court asked the Delhi State Legal Services Authority to work out the modalities with the divisional commissioner and place a concrete proposal on the disbursal of compensation before the court by August 6, the next date of hearing.

“We feel victims ought to be compensated immediately after it is awarded by the legal services authority. For this we feel there should be a single window, where award can be presented and compensation can be paid. For this to materialize, it is necessary that a payment mechanism is available at each legal services authority office,” the bench said.

The court, which had taken suo motu cognizance of the December 16 gang rape, expressed its displeasure over Delhi government’s status report on funds disbursed to rape survivors and the time taken for the same, saying even now there is a delay of four to six months in disbursal of funds.

The court said that in case there is a delay on the part of divisional commissioner, he shall remain present in person to explain the same.

The court passed these orders after hearing the submissions of advocate Meera Bhatia; district and sessions judge Dharmesh Sharma, member secretary, DSLSA; and ASJ S S Rathi, officer on special duty, DSLSA.

On April 16, 2014, the court had termed as “unacceptable” the delay in payment of compensations to rape survivors and had asked Delhi government to ensure that they are paid within two weeks after the issue is decided by the DSLSA.

HC backs youths’ church service offer, quashes murder bid case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/HC-backs-youths-church-service-offer-quashes-murder-bid-case/articleshow/38503391.cms
Rosy Sequeira,TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 01.02 AM IST
MUMBAI: Service to the church will make them better citizens, said the Bombay high court while quashing an attempt to murder case against two youths from Hariyali Village, Vikhroli (E).

A division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice P D Kode made the observation following an offer made by the youths’ advocates that they are willing to do community service as a form of repentance. The bench was hearing an application filed by Johnson (27) and Conrad (23) Doraiswamy (names changed), urging to quash the proceedings before a magistrate.

On February 6, 2010, one of the two youths had held their neighbour Deepak Pawar (25) by his hand and the other had hit him on his head with a hammer for objecting to their playing cricket.

A complaint was registered under Section 326 (grievous hurt by dangerous weapon or means) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. Subsequently Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC was added. The youths’ petition urged the court to quash the proceedings by saying that they had ended their dispute with Pawar and had agreed mutually to withdraw the case.

Public prosecutor Sandeep Shinde submitted that the offence is of Section 326 and not of Section 307 as the wound was not grievous and Jadhav was not admitted to a hospital. The judges noted the Supreme Court has held that where an offence is registered under 307 but evidence is otherwise, the court may permit the parties to settle. They noted that the Doraiswamys are “youngsters and do not possess a criminal record” and the act was committed in a fit of anger. Quashing the complaint, the judges directed them to pay cost of Rs 15,000 to the Tata Hospital Cancer Research Society.

Nothing that the Doraiswamys have offered to do community service to the church for two weeks, the judges said although they have no power to issue such direction, but the offer must be supported. “In our view, service to the church will make them better citizens and they will not be provoked into committing such offences in future,” they said. Allowing their plea, the judges said the “boys are of impressionable ages and should control their anger”.

HC notice to Delhi agencies over boy’s death
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/hc-notice-to-delhi-agencies-over-boys-death/article6215714.ece?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication
MOHAMMED IQBAL
The parents of a seven-year-old boy, who drowned in an open manhole in Kondli area of East Delhi earlier this year, have moved the Delhi High Court seeking compensation of Rs.20 lakh. The petitioners have alleged that negligence by authorities had led to the mishap.
Justice Manmohan on Tuesday issued notices on the writ petition which has named the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, Public Works Department, Delhi Home Secretary and Delhi Police as respondents in the case. The Court sought response from all of them while posting the matter for hearing on November 5.
Mohammed Aslam Khan and Talat Jahan, parents of Sadaf, stated in their petition that their son was rushed to Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital after he fell in the open manhole while playing with another boy in Harijan Basti on January 31 this year. He was declared “brought dead” at the hospital and his post-mortem report revealed asphyxia as the cause of death.
“The manhole, which was old and in a dilapidated condition, was open for a long time. No action was taken to cover it and no safety measures were taken despite the fact that it was [situated] in a residential area,” stated the petition.
Mr. Khan and Ms. Jahan alleged that Sadaf had died as a result of negligence by the authorities. The police were also liable under the Delhi Police Act, 1978, they said, while pointing out that though the matter was reported immediately at the Ghazipur police station, no action was taken.
After a lot of endeavour, the area Sub-Divisional Magistrate gave a financial assistance of Rs.1 lakh to the boy’s parents, but it was described as insufficient by the petitioners.

SC stays Allahabad HC order against SBI Life
http://www.financialexpress.com/news/SC-stays-Allahabad-HC-order-against-SBI-Life/1270220
fe Bureau | New Delhi | Published: Jul 16 2014, 01:41 IST
SUMMARYIn a relief to SBI Life Insurance, the Supreme Court has stayed the Allahabad High Court order that asked the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) to scrutinise all policies of the private life insurer and direct discontinuation of its policies and winding up of its business if it detected any regulatory breaches.
In a relief to SBI Life Insurance, the Supreme Court has stayed the Allahabad High Court order that asked the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) to scrutinise all policies of the private life insurer and direct discontinuation of its policies and winding up of its business if it detected any regulatory breaches.
A bench headed by justice Ranjan Gogoi stayed the HC judgment of May 29 that held that the Centre “will do well to ensure that the investors are not cheated in a manner, as in the present case, in which the entire investment of the senior citizen has been lost on the pretext of the policy being in tune with Irda guidelines”. The HC further held that the insurance contract in the present case was “arbitrary, illegal and void document”.
The court noted that SBI Life is a joint venture between State Bank of India and BNP Paribas Cardif and that “SBI Life Unit Plus II – Single”, a unit-linked product on a standard form of contract, did not have the Irda approval to its twin options in which the higher option reduced the entire investment of a senior citizen with high rate of mortality charges. “It was an unconscionable contract and was thus arbitrary, illegal and void document. It did not bind the petitioner,” said the court.
Irda is at present looking into the order and trying to see how to implement the order.
The HC order had come on a petition filed by one SBI Life customer, Virendra Pal Kapoor, who had invested R50,000 in 2007 in SBI Life’s Unit Plus II-Single, a Ulip with an option of a limited term of five years, for a sum assured or insurance cover of R3,12,500 (625% of the investment), with a choice of investment in a growth fund. But on maturity, he was paid a mere R248.
SBI Life in its appeal argued that State Bank of India has been created by State Bank of India Act, 1955, and hence it is a statutory body. Any company created by a statutory corporation, having more than 50% share, is a ‘State’ within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India.
The HC also observed that Kapoor was misled into entering into a contract without the individual knowing the finer details and without him being explained the contents of the policy.

HC fumes over slow induction of cops
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/HC-fumes-over-slow-induction-of-cops/articleshow/38502856.cms
TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 12.50 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Wednesday expressed its dissatisfaction with the steps taken by the authorities in implementing its orders with respect to setting up of forensic labs and recruitment of additional personnel in Delhi Police.

On April 16, the court had asked the Centre, the city government and cops to create and fill additional posts in the police, saying a “great shortage” was felt. The court noted that the Centre had received a proposal for inducting 14,869 cops in Phase I. “We hope the entire process… is expedited, so that Phase II can be rolled out,” the court said. A bench of justices B D Ahmed and S Mridul rejected the Centre’s defence that the delay was due to change in government. Regarding forensic science labs, the court directed the government to set up facilities in rented buildings till land was allocated.

Medical tests: HC dismisses Nithyananda’s plea
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/medical-tests-hc-dismisses-nithyanandas-plea/article6218217.ece
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Bangalore
The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday gave the green signal to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to interrogate Nithyananda of Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam, besides subjecting him to medical tests to find out if he was capable of having sexual intercourse, and to collect his voice sample.
Justice S.N. Satyanarayana passed the order while dismissing Nithyananda’s petition, in which he had questioned the 2012 order passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) of Ramanagaram.
The CID in February 2012 had filed charge sheet against him for offences such as rape, unnatural sex, criminal intimidation, and criminal conspiracy based on a complaint from a devotee.
As the CID, after filing of charge sheet, received complaint from more women devotees alleging rape, the investigating officer decided to continue the investigation and sought the court’s direction to Nithyananda to appear before the investigating officer and subject him to medical tests.
The CJM’s court on June 18, 2012 allowed CID’s plea and directed Nithyananda to subject himself to medical tests. However, on Nithyananda’s plea, the High Court stayed the permission granted to the CID by the CJM’s court in Ramanagaram.
While dismissing Nithyananda’s plea, the High Court on Wednesday upheld the order of the CJM’s court and permitted the CID to interrogate him.
Meanwhile, the High Court also dismissed the petitions filed by the other accused in the case — Nithya Bhakthananda, Nithya Sadananda, Manithya Sachitananda, and Nithya Sachitananda, who were said to have aided Nithyananda in committing the alleged crime.

HC Impleads Government in Plea against Stray Dog Menace
http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/2014/07/17/HC-Impleads-Government-in-Plea-against-Stray-Dog-Menace/article2334438.ece
By Express News Service
Published: 17th July 2014 08:21 AM
KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday impleaded the state government, Director, Health and Family Welfare Department and Managing Director, Kerala Medical Services Corporation Ltd, as respondents in a petition seeking to curb the menace of stray dogs in the state.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice P R Ramachandra Menon issued the order when a petition filed by Basil Attipetty seeking a directive to the state to appropriate measures to prevent the menace, came up for hearing.
The petitioner submitted that section 438 of the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994, had empowered the municipalities and corporations to capture stray dogs.
The petitioner further pointed out that there were reports with regard to the non-availability of rabies vaccine and medicine for the treatment of dogbite victims in government hospitals.
The price of medicine is around Rs 2,500, but when the victim of stray dog bite approached, the government hospitals will not have the medicine. The victims may not be able to afford buying the vaccine from private shops, therefore the government has the duty to supply rabies vaccine and other medicines in government hospitals through Kerala Medical Service Corporation, the petitioner pointed out.

Tandoor case: Delhi HC refuses parole to convict
http://twocircles.net/2014jul16/tandoor_case_delhi_hc_refuses_parole_convict.html#.U8dklpSSxnM
Submitted by IANS on 16 July 2014 – 7:31pm
New Delhi : Sushil Sharma, who is serving life imprisonment for murdering his wife Naina Sahni and throwing her body into a Delhi restaurant’s tandoor, Wednesday withdrew his parole plea after the Delhi High Court refused to grant him parole.
Justice Pratibha Rani said: “I am not inclined to grant parole. The petition is dismissed as withdrawn.”
Sharma had sought parole for three months, saying he needs to take care of his ailing mother who has been advised to undergo a knee surgery and physiotherapy.
Sharma, a former Youth Congress leader, was convicted for murdering his wife Naina Sahni, whom he suspected of infidelity.
He shot her with his licensed revolver July 2, 1995, took her body to a restaurant, chopped the body into small pieces and tried to burn it in the restaurant’s tandoor (oven).
A city court convicted Sharma Nov 7, 2003, and awarded him the death penalty.
The high court upheld his death sentence in February 2007. The Supreme Court, however, commuted the death penalty to life imprisonment Oct 8, 2013.

HC orders notice to BSY
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/420124/hc-orders-notice-bsy.html
Bangalore, Jul 16, 2014, DHNS :
The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday ordered notice to former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, his son B Y Raghavendra and former deputy chief minister K S Eshwarappa in connection with alleged illegal denotification of forest land at Hunasekatte in Bhadravathi taluk of Shimoga district.

Vinod Kumar, a Shimoga-based advocate, had filed a complaint alleging that Yeddyurappa had misused his position to denotify 69 acres of land in Bhadravathi in 2010. The Lokayukta had dismissed his complaint following which Kumar had approached the High Court.
The Court too had dismissed his review petition stating that he had not obtained sanction for prosecution from appropriate authority. However, the petitioner approached the court after obtaining necessary sanctions.Justice S N Satyanarayana ordered issue of notice.

Rs 1 lakh crore undisclosed income detected
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Rs-1-lakh-crore-undisclosed-income-detected/articleshow/38506998.cms
TNN & Agencies | Jul 17, 2014, 02.19 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The income tax department’s search and survey operations last year unearthed over Rs 1 lakh crore of undisclosed income, data shared by the finance ministry with the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money has revealed.

According to reports, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), under the finance ministry, shared data disclosing that the I-T department’s survey operations on many big business houses and some high net worth individuals in 2013-14 had unearthed undisclosed income of more than Rs 90,390 crore.

Both search and survey operations together revealed undisclosed income of Rs 1,01,181 crore. This was more than three times the Rs 29,628 crore disclosed during the previous year as a result of the I-T department’s search and survey operations.

READ ALSO: Some in govt against unearthing black money, Jethmalani says

In its report, CBDT said seizure of jewellery, fixed deposits and cash during its search operations were alone worth more than Rs 800 crore. More entities were covered under the I-T department’s search and survey operations during the last fiscal compared to the previous year.

In 2013-14, the I-T department executed 4,503 search warrants covering 569 entities besides surveys on 5,327 others. In the previous year, 3,889 search warrants were executed besides surveys on 4,630 entities.

Agency reports said over Rs 71,000 crore of undisclosed income was reported by only one corporate house involved in the energy sector. The matter is under dispute at present.

The black money which was seized from a garment shop in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money was notified by the finance ministry in the last week of May under instructions from the Supreme Court. It is headed by retired SC judge M B Shah with heads of all enforcement and intelligence agencies as its members. According to the SIT’s terms of reference, it will have access to all cases investigated by the I-T department, Enforcement Directorate, CBI and the Financial Intelligence Unit related to unaccounted money and tax evasion.

The SIT has also set up an investigating unit of its own with officials drawn from agencies like CBI, I-T, ED, Intelligence Bureau, FIU and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office.

This ‘separate infrastructure’ of the SIT will conduct and coordinate a multi-agency probe on cases of black money both within and outside India, said a top finance ministry official.

“All these investigation reports will be submitted to the Supreme Court which will decide whether names of people investigated should be disclosed,” the official said.

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