LEGAL NEWS 18.07.2014

Natarajan gets bail from sessions court
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Chennai/Natarajan-gets-bail-from-sessions-court/articleshow/38573948.cms
TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 03.12 AM IST
CHENNAI: M Natarajan, husband of chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s friend N Sasikala, who was arrested in a criminal case, was granted bail by a principal sessions court on Thursday.

The principal sessions Judge N Authinathan has directed him to appear before the Central Crime Branch Police in Vepery everyday for two weeks.

Natarajan was arrested on July 7 for wrongful confinement and criminal intimidation of Karate Master Shihan Hussaini, who is also sculptor.

Hussaini had been commissioned to create a statue as part of the Mullivaikal Ninaivu Muttam in Thanjavur. In his complaint he alleged that he had been assaulted and confined in a room when he refused to complete the statue because he had not been paid the full amount promised.

RSS leader gets anticipatory bail
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/rss-leader-gets-anticipatory-bail-114071700846_1.html
Press Trust of India | Mangalore
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 16:48 IST
The District and Sessions Court here has granted anticipatory bail to a senior local RSS leader, Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat in connection with a case of delivering an allegedly communally provocative speech at the Hindu Sangama at Gurupur on January 5 last.

The Sessions Court judge Uma M G had earlier issued a non bailable arrest warrant against Bhat in the wake of a charge sheet filed against him on the basis of a complaint by one Mohammad, alleging that he had made a speech which hurt the sentiments of Muslims.

Police had filed the charge sheet against Bhat and the court had issued a non-bailable arrest warrant.

Bhat’s counsel argued that the speech only stressed the need to create laws which treated all classes of people equally and sought opinion of all sections of people in this regard. It was not aimed at hurting the religious sentiments of any community, he said.

Custodial torture can’t be tolerated: Court
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Custodial-torture-cant-be-tolerated-Court/articleshow/38567414.cms?
Sana Shakil,TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 12.51 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Cases of custodial torture in the capital have been increasing over the years due to the insensitivity of jail officials and ineffective implementation of court directives. This was observed by a trial court while hearing two cases of custodial violence. The court rapped the authorities and said the judiciary must show zero tolerance in such cases.

In the first case, the jail authorities did not even report the matter to court. Additional sessions judge Kamini Lau found out about the incident when one Sanjay, an inmate of jail number three of Tihar Jail and facing trial in a dacoity case, was produced before her and she noticed his physical condition: his left hand was fractured; there were stitches on his left leg and swelling in both legs; and bruises and scratches on his entire back.

Following this, the court asked Sanjay about his condition and he alleged that he was assaulted by prison staff and that there was an attempt by jail authorities to cover it up.

The court ordered an inquiry into the incident and forwarded the complaint to the chief metropolitan magistrate. An FIR was registered against constable Praveen and Durga (head wardens) and undertrials Vinod, Sunny and Veeru on Sanjay’s complaint.

The court directed the jail superintendent to preserve all the CCTV footages of September 14 and 15 and also the relevant records relating to duty rosters of the jail staff. “I may observe that custodial violence in any form is a serious issue and the courts are required to exhibit zero tolerance for the same being violative of human rights as well as the statutory rights of a person in custody. The manner in which the incident has been concealed raises a doubt in the mind of the court,” the judge said.

The court also took serious note of another case of custodial violence reported by an undertrial named Anil, also lodged in jail number 3. The court forwarded the complaint to chief metropolitan magistrate. Anil claimed that he was beaten up in jail by two inmates, who did so on deputy superintendent Jitender Bhargav’s instructions. Anil alleged that Bhargav wanted to extort Rs 30,000 from him and when he refused, he was beaten up. On being produced before the court, it was noticed that there were injuries on his head and neck.

Around 12,000 people have died?either in jail or in police stations?in the last five years, and 3,532 cases of custodial violence have been reported between 2007 and 2012. Last year, Supreme Court had come down heavily on the authorities for ineffective implementation of its directions to curb such incidents. As of now, Delhi has no special court to try such cases. for allegedly subjecting Sanjay to custodial violence and causing injuries to him. FIR was lodged under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 308 (attempt to culpable homicide), 34 (common intention) of the IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Convict to undergo life sentences together
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/convict-to-undergo-life-sentences-together/article6220877.ece
MOHAMED IMRANULLAH S.
A convict whose death sentence had been commuted to life imprisonment by the President can be ordered to undergo the punishment concurrently along with sentences imposed on him in other cases, the Madras High Court Bench here has ruled.
Justice G.M. Akbar Ali passed the order on a direction petition filed by the brother of C. Selvam, a convict in the 1997 murder of a gangster in a court hall at Nagercoil in Kanyakumari district.
The petitioner, C. Vijayakumar, said the murder led to the conviction of seven persons by a Sessions Court at Tirunelveli on October 5, 1998. While four were awarded life imprisonment, Selvam and two others — Sheik Meeran and Radhakrishnan — were awarded the death sentence.
Court building bombed
According to the prosecution, the convicts had inflicted 12 cut wounds on the face and head of the gangster in the court hall before dragging his body to the compound wall in public view. They had also hurled a country bomb on the court building before escaping.
The Principal Seat of the High Court in Chennai confirmed the death sentence on April 30, 1999, and the Supreme Court dismissed a Special Leave Petition from the convicts, on June 21, 1999, as the execution was scheduled for July 15, 1999.
Mercy petition
However, the convicts escaped the gallows following a mercy petition submitted by them to the President, who, on June 25, 2012, commuted their sentence to life imprisonment under Article 72 (power of the President to grant pardon) of the Constitution.
Another case
Counsel for the petitioner T. Lajapathi Roy said a sessions court at Kanyakumari convicted Selvam on January 6, 2003, in another murder case, also filed in 1997, and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
Since the Kanyakumari court did not mention that the sentence should run concurrently with the punishment awarded in the other case, counsel feared that letting the sentences run consecutively would prove detrimental to the possible release of the prisoner in future on account of good conduct.

Mangalore sessions court dismisses SAC bail application in house demolition case.

http://www.mangaloretoday.com/newsbriefs/Mangalore-sessions-court-dismisses-SAC-bail-application-in-house-demolition-case-.html
mangaloretoday.com

Mangalore, July 16: A press release circulated by DK PUCL to news channels on July 16, is reported below:

“The Second Additional Sessions Judge, Mangalore has dismissed an Anticipatory Bail Application filed by Two Priests, Fr. Almeida and Fr. Cyril, both of whom are the principal Accused in the John Baptist Lewis case.

On the afternoon of 26th June 2014, these two Priests along with the Rector – Fr. Denzil Lobo and their Lawyer – M.P. Noronha, brought a JCB and demolished the residential house in which Lewis and his daughters were residing since decades and the family has been on the streets since that date. A group of over 40 persons who included anti-social elements and students of the college physically manhandled the old man and his young daughters and demolished the structure burying everything that belonged to them in the debris after taking away all the original documents which belonged to Lewis. The dispute was subjudice before the Civil Court, despite which position, this act was carried out. The Police have only arrested the JCB Driver and the three workmen and the Sessions Court has refused to release them on Bail through the Order passed today.

Though the Applicants are Priests and are regular residents of the college, the Police have avoided arresting them and after a period of two weeks, they applied for Anticipatory Bail. Their Application was strongly opposed by JUSTICE M.F. SALDANHA who has taken up the case in the public interest. In his Affidavit, he pointed out to the Court that these Priests have not only acted high handedly and illegally but that they have been using their money power and influence to avoid arrest. It is demonstrated that they have no respect for the Law or for the pending cases or for the Court(s) and that they have committed Contempt of Court and are disqualified from any relief. Also, JUSTICE M.F. SALDANHA has pointed out to the Court that these are serious offences in which Bail cannot be granted and that their arrest and custodial interrogation is essential to trace out and prosecute the remaining 40 persons who had participated in the offence, one of whom is the Vice Principal of the College by the name of D’Silva who is also absconding. The Court has upheld these contentions and dismissed the Anticipatory Bail Application filed by the Priests.

In a strongly worded Notice addressed to the Police Commissioner, Justice Saldanha has pointed out that this incident which has sent shock waves in the public mind indicates a total breakdown of Law and Order and that after today’s Court Order, the Police must arrest all the Accused persons immediately.

PIL referred to Principal seat
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/pil-referred-to-principal-seat-114071701148_1.html
Press Trust of India | Madurai
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 19:06 IST
The Madras High Court bench here has referred to the Principal Seat a PIL seeking a direction to the high court Judicature of Madras to prepare a new judges panel list up to its full strength and seek approval of the Law Secretary.

Referring the PIL filed by the Joint Secretary of the Madurai Bench Advocates Association, a Division Bench of justices M Jaichandran and R Mahadevan said such issues would have to be decided only by a Full Bench of five judges.

The petitioner submitted that 16 vacancies in the Madras High Court should be filled within the timeframe as 36000 writ petitions had been filed in the Principal Seat, and 22000 writ petitions in Madurai Bench last year.

The total strength of the Madras High Court was 60, but there were 16 vacancies. The approved strength of high court judges was 75. The approved strength also had not been taken up for implementation. Now there were only 12 judges in Madurai bench. It should be actually 20, as one third of the cases were being heard here, the petitioner said.

A few months ago Registrar General of Madras High Court had prepared a list and it was sent to the Supreme Court Registrar General and Law secretary for approval.Subsequently the proposal was withdrawn by the Law Secretary for preparing a fresh list. Meanwhile four high court judges retired.

The Madurai Bench High Court Advocates Association passed a resolution to increase the strength of the high court judges up to to approved limit of 60. But there was no remedy except knocking at the doors ot the court. Hence the PIL, the petitioner said.

PIL against me politically motivated: Bhujbal
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/pil-against-me-politically-motivated-bhujbal/article6221641.ece
VINAYA DESHPANDE
Minister favoured a firm in return of financial favours: AAP
Senior NCP leader and Maharashtra Public Works Department Minister Chhagan Bhujbal on Thursday challenged the maintainability of a public interest litigation (PIL) petition alleging kickbacks to him to the tune of Rs. 82 crore. The PIL filed by the Aam Aadmi Party last year accused Mr. Bhujbal of favouring a firm in return of financial favours to him and his family members, including son Pankaj and nephew Sameer.
Mr. Bhujbal told the Bombay High Court that the petition was filed for getting publicity, and was politically motivated. “We wish to challenge the maintainability of this petition,” advocate Prasad Dhakephalkar, appearing for Mr. Bhujbal, told a Division Bench led by Chief Justice Mohit Shah.
The court has given him four weeks to file an affidavit placing the objections on record. The matter will be heard on August 28.
The PIL claimed that various authorities including the Central Vigilance Commission, the Enforcement Directorate, the Maharashtra Governor and the Chief Minister and the Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau did not take any action against the Minister despite various complaints.
The petition alleged: “Mr. Bhujbal has misused his position for illegally amassing huge wealth for him and his family members in clear violation of the oath he took as the MLA and Minister.”

HC throws out PIL on allowing bikers access to Mumbai’s JJ flyover
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/HC-throws-out-PIL-on-allowing-bikers-access-to-Mumbais-JJ-flyover/articleshow/38563618.cms
Shibu Thomas,TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 11.20 PM IST
MUMBAI: Bikes will continue to stay off JJ flyover as the Bombay HC on Thursday upheld the Mumbai traffic police’s ban on two-wheelers on the bridge.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sonak dismissed a petition filed by a citizen, Asif Siddique, challenging the ban on the 2.4-km flyover from CST to Byculla.

This is the second time that the ban was challenged in the high court; a similar petition was thrown out in 2010.

Assistant government pleader Milind More said that the traffic police had banned two-wheelers following a spate of fatalities, and with a view to protect human life.

The flyover has three sharp, accident-prone curves where bikers are unable to control their vehicles, leading to accidents. The advocate pointed out that between 2002, when the flyover was thrown open to the public, and 2010, there were as many as 254 accidents, with 183 involving two-wheelers. Around 31 bikers were killed in those eight years, while 159 were injured.

Even after 2010, when the ban was upheld, there were accidents on account of errant bikers riding on the flyover. As many as five bikers died on the flyover each year since 2010. In the last three years, the traffic police have apprehended over 10,000 errant bikers on the flyover collecting over Rs 2.5 lakh in fines. Bikers have alleged discrimination and claimed hardship as they have to navigate through the heavy traffic on Mohammed Ali Road.

HC Notice on PIL against Movie Poster
http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/HC-Notice-on-PIL-against-Movie-Poster/2014/07/18/article2336182.ece
By Express News Service
Published: 18th July 2014 08:49 AM
CUTTACK: Acting on a PIL filed by Cuttack-based lawyer Shivsankar Mohanty on obscene use of Indian Tricolour on film posters, a division bench of Orissa High Court comprising Acting Chief Justice P Mohanty and Justice B Mohanty has issued notice to Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
The petitioner has appealed to the court for banning further dissemination of the first look poster of the movie ‘Dirty Politics’ in its promotion campaign in print, electronic and social media. The poster of the upcoming movie by KC Bokadia shows actor Mallika Sherawat wrapped in Tricolour, that too below the waist.
The petitioner alleged that the State Emblem of India has been used for cheap publicity and the actor has been indecently represented by the filmmaker. “The poster violates the provisions of The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950; the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971; Flag Code of India, 2002; The State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005 and The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986,” the petitioner stated.

HC seeks NMCH’s land records
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/HC-seeks-NMCHs-land-records/articleshow/38579481.cms
Anisha Anand,TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 05.02 AM IST
PATNA: Patna land acquisition officer’s statement before the Patna high court on Thursday that the records related to Nalanda Medical College Hospital (NMCH) land are traceless, made the Patna high court bench of Justice V N Sinha and Justice Prabhat Kumar Jha rap the state government for its inappropriate ways of governance. The bench has summoned Patna DM along with the records on Friday. The land acquisition officer (LAO) too will have to be present before the court.

Petitioner Dinesh Kumar had moved the Patna high court against the state government’s notice which classified his construction on the NMCH premises as encroachment and ordered its demolition. His case was being heard along with one Uday Shrivastava’s petition and Guddu Baba’s PIL. Guddu Baba, in his PIL, had appealed for removal of encroachments from six government medical colleges of Bihar, including NMCH.

The other two petitioners had submitted that their respective constructions were not made on the hospital’s land but on their own. However, earlier the court had put an interim stay on the demolition order of Uday Shrivastava’s construction. The bench, in its last hearing, had asked for proper records of the hospital’s land, but the Patna LAO expressed his helplessness in producing the papers. The bench observed that the state government was playing hide and seek with the court and instead of assisting the court in its proceedings, it was hindering the course of justice.

Besides NMCH, Guddu Baba’s PIL is related to S K Memorial Medical College and Hospital, Muzaffarpur, Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College and Hospital, Bhagalpur, A N Magadh Medical College and Hospital, Gaya, and Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital. It may be mentioned here that a few years back, the same case after getting disposed by one of benches of Patna high court, went to the Apex Court. The Apex Court, finding the case and the cause significant, forwarded it again to the high court and asked it to do proper monitoring.

“It happens only in Bihar that records get traceless,” observed the bench and added it will take direct action against the officials concerned if the records are not placed before it on Friday.

Form policy to compensate blast victims’ families: Bombay High Court tells Centre
http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-form-policy-to-compensate-blast-victims-families-bombay-high-court-tells-centre-2002928
Friday, 18 July 2014 – 6:20am IST | Agency: DNA
• DNA Correspondent
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday told the union government that it was dissatisfied with the system of awarding a standard compensation amount to the families of those killed in bomb blasts. It directed the government to instead come up with a workable policy to determine the quantum of compensation.
A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and AS Chandurkar was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Rajeshwar Panchal. Panchal argued that a just and fair amount should be given as compensation to the families of those killed in bomb blasts. He contended that the income of the deceased, the social status of his/her family, and the number of dependents should be taken into account while deciding the compensation. The advocate pointed out that the Motor Vehicles Act and the Workmen’s Compensation Act laid down a formula to work out such a compensation.
In June, the high court had observed that giving suitable compensation to the victims of terror attacks or blasts is a liability of the state and that such relief cannot be ex-gratia. On Tuesday, the union government informed the court that it had come out with a circular announcing an ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh to the families of those killed in bomb blasts. An affidavit filed by the government stated that Rs 3 lakh would be given by the Centre, and the rest would be contributed by the respective state government.
However, the bench was not satisfied with the affidavit filed by the government and asked the Centre to file a fresh affidavit by July 30. It said that the government should come out with a policy to compensate blast victims and a standard figure in the form of ex-gratia would not serve the purpose. The judges also directed advocate general of Maharashtra Darius Khambata to appear in the matter to assist the court.
Panchal’s PIL claims that 724 people had died in terror attacks and blasts in Mumbai from 1993 till the Zaveri Bazaar blasts on July 13, 2011. It says that the victims and their families had failed to get “just compensation” from the respective state governments. “After every dreadful terror attack, the ministers concerned make empty promises to prevent such incidents and eventually declare some ex-gratia, which is always a tiny amount for the victims and their family members, that too as if they are obliging the victims,” the PIL states.
The PIL also urges the HC to declare that the Right to Life and Liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution included the right to secured life or the right to live with safety.

Land developers move Gauhati HC against waterlogging
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Guwahati/Land-developers-move-Gauhati-HC-against-waterlogging/articleshow/38542285.cms
TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 02.40 PM IST
GUWAHATI: The Assam Real Estate and Infrastructure Developers’ Association (AREIDA) in a PIL moved the Gauhati high court and urged the court to intervene in solving the age-old waterlogging problem in the city on Wednesday.

The high court clubbed the association’s prayer to another similar PIL that questioned the unscientific road designs of the city leading to artificial floods. It has decided to hear both the cases on July 30.

The developers urged the court to monitor all measures taken by the government in solving the problem. “Every year after the roads are submerged, various government agencies take up certain temporary measures. But the problem again erupts in the next monsoon. AREIDA wants a permanent solution to this issue and prayed that the high court strictly monitors the government’s measures so that there is a conclusive and affective solution,” said AREIDA president Pranab Kumar Sharma.

This year too, artificial floods have claimed at least 12 lives in the city and damaged property worth millions. Subsequently, the state government decided to conduct an eviction drive to clear encroachments, water channels and wetlands.

The eviction drive was on its 17th day on Wednesday and continuing. The Kamrup (Metro) district administration claimed that it has so far cleared over 85% illegal constructions in and around the water bodies.

The petitioners apprehended that like previous years, the administration may contemplate abandoning the eviction drive ‘half way’ without bringing the process to its logical conclusion for extraneous reasons. “We welcome the eviction drive but it should not just end with the season. Thousands of public money are spent in these drives and it should not be wasted like previous such efforts. With no scientific steps being taken, a single shower can once again fill the already cleared waterbodies with heavy silt and mud. Hence, there should be a scientific approach towards the entire process,” Sharma added.

Pranab Kumar Sharma |AREIDA president

Every year after the roads are submerged, various government agencies take up certain temporary measures. But the problem again erupts in the next monsoon. AREIDA wants a permanent solution to this issue.

HC seeks govt reply on rules for Digha land Act
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Patna/HC-seeks-govt-reply-on-rules-for-Digha-land-Act/articleshow/38579534.cms
TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 05.03 AM IST
PATNA: The Patna high court on Thursday ordered the secretary, urban development and housing department (UDHD) to reply when the rules for the Digha Acquired Land Settlement Act, 2010 would be notified.

Hearing a PIL of Dwivedi Surendra, the bench of Justice V N Sinha and Justice P K Jha gave only one day’s time to the secretary to file his reply. The state government had acquired plots in Digha from farmers in 1974 at the rate of around Rs 2,200 per kattha. The state urban development and housing department had also deposited Rs 17.42 crore with the Patna district collector for the acquisition.

The petitioner informed the court though the Act was notified long back, the related rules were not. Any kind of purchase or sale of land and fresh construction is totally prohibited on disputed land in Rajeev Nagar-Digha area from the day the Act was passed.

Govt reply sought: Hearing a PIL related to consumer forums, the same bench directed principal additional advocate general (PAAG) to seek reply from the state government by which time these forums will be made functional. Petitioner Prashant Sinha informed the court many forums in the state were non-functional for want of staff.

The petitioner had also pointed out that an advertisement was issued by the government for the recruitment of grade III and IV employees for different forums, but no appointment was made. Giving a day’s time, the court also directed the PAAG to seek reply from the state by when the employees will be appointed.

Mumbai HC throws out PIL against PSA terminal in JN Port
http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/mumbai-hc-throws-out-pil-against-psa-terminal-in-jn-port/
in Port News 17/07/2014
The Bombay high court dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to prohibit Singapore’s PSA International Pte Ltd from constructing a new container terminal with an investment of Rs.7,915 crore at Union government-owned Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai. The dismissal of the petition will remove the uncertainty and potential delays surrounding the construction of the new facility, billed as the biggest single foreign direct investment (FDI) in an Indian port project.
“The PIL has been dismissed,” said N.N. Kumar, chairman of JN Port, India’s busiest container gateway. However, a Mumbai-based lawyer familiar with the case said that the petitioner may take the case to the Supreme Court. The petitioner, Mandar Narhari Parab, could not be reached immediately for comment. Through the PIL, the petitioner, a journalist, had sought a court order prohibiting PSA from developing the new facility, as the firm’s failure to fulfil its obligations on winning the same project in an earlier round of auction in 2010 raised the project cost by Rs.1,215 crore. The delay in building the terminal resulted in a loss to JN Port, thereby compromising public interest, according to the PIL. The petitioner contended that PSA should have been black-listed by JN Port and barred from participating in the re-tender because of its failure to abide by the tender conditions in the earlier round.
Though, JN Port subsequently encashed the bid security of Rs.67 crore submitted by PSA in the earlier auction for the Rs.6,700 crore project that was designed to load 4.8 million standard containers a year, the petitioner said that this loss for PSA was “minuscule” as compared to the “loss caused to the country in monetary terms as well as opportunity costs”. In its price bid submitted in 2013, PSA has offered a revenue share of 35.79% compared with 50.82% in 2010. “By forfeiting a measly amount of Rs.67 crore, PSA made a huge killing on the re-tendered project,” the petitioner submitted. Hence, awarding the project again to PSA would be “counter-productive and against national interest”, the petitioner contended.
“Awarding the contract to PSA would amount to setting a bad precedent whereby bidders would be encouraged to take a chance in respect of submitting bids and walk out with measly forfeiture of bank guarantee and put the exchequer to huge loss as has happened in the present case,” Parab contended in his petition, a copy of which was reviewed by Mint. The petitioner also sought the court’s directive to black-list PSA from submitting a bid on any tender issued by the government and also to initiate legal proceedings against PSA to recover losses incurred by JN Port. When contacted, PSA said it had no comment to offer. In May, PSA International signed a so-called concession agreement with JN Port to build a Rs.7,915 crore container loading facility at the port that handles more than half of India’s container cargo shipped through its ports. The project involves FDI of about Rs.3,100 crore. A concession agreement sets out the terms and conditions of a port contract and puts the project in motion.
PSA emerged the highest bidder for the project by quoting the highest revenue share price bid of 35.79%. Port contracts at Union government-controlled ports are decided on the basis of revenue share—the bidder willing to share the most from its annual revenue with the government-owned port gets the contract, typically stretching over 30 years, according to the port privatization policy of the government. PSA International, the world’s biggest container port operator by volumes, is fully-owned by Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore. PSA handled 61.81 million standard containers in calendar year 2013, according to its website. In October 2012, JN Port withdrew the letter of award given to a consortium led by PSA after the group failed to sign a concession agreement a year after it was awarded the project in September 2011 in a public auction. The consortium of PSA and local firm ABG Ports Ltd was awarded the project after it quoted a then record high revenue share of 50.828% in a public tender. The winning bidder has to sign the concession agreement within 30 days of accepting the letter of award for the project, according to tender conditions.
The new project, the fifth at JN Port, is key to the port’s capacity expansion plans, as it will double the container loading capacity of the port and help it position as a hub port on India’s western coast.
Source: LiveMint

In HC, Govt admits land grab at Gulmarg
http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2014/Jul/18/in-hc-govt-admits-land-grab-at-gulmarg-12.asp
Violators in possession of land without allotment
D A RASHID
Srinagar, Jul 17: In a startling revelation, the J&K government has admitted before the High Court that some persons are in possession of hundreds of kanals of land without proper allotment in the famed Ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir.
The Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) in its status report has stated that notices have been issued to 31 persons for occupying more land than leased while eviction notices have gone to 11 persons to vacate the land in 21 days.
While the division bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice HasnainMassodi took on record the status report, it asked the counsel representing the GDA, MohsinQadri, to present the encroachments in a tabular form by the next hearing.
The report reveals that land has been occupied by some persons without any authority while others have stretched the original allotment to hundreds of kanals illegally.
It divulges that the GDA has issued notice to six establishments or organizations “in possession of land with structures without any valid document.”
Interestingly, four of them have pleaded in their response that they are in possession of the land for four decades and the area stands developed by them on the strength of permission granted by then Town Area Committee. The GDA has however sent their cases for legal opinion to the Law department.
Some persons who have occupied land in excess of leased area and against whom the GDA has issued notices include:
Umar Khaleel c/o Hotel NedusGulmarg possesses 101.4 kanals against 2 kanals and 3 marlas leased in his favour; Enar smith c/o Hotel Palace Platinum is in excess of 7 kanal 6 marlas; Ahmad Sofi c/o Hotel Hill Top Gulmarg 3 kanals 7 marlas; Qutub Din c/o Hotel Zehgeer 2 kanals 11 marlas; Bakshi Bashir Ahmad c/o 119 No. Hut, 0.9 marlas; GhulamQadir C/o Hotel ZumZumGulmarg 7 marlas; S TejBahadur Singh c/o Hotel Affarwat 10 marlas; SardarAmarjeet Singh 3 marlas; Muhammad Afzal Khanday c/o Hotel Alpine Ridge 19 marlas; Ajaz Ahmad Murtaza c/o Rose Wood Hut Gulmarg 16 marlas; Shabir Ahmad Malik c/o Khilan Hut Gulmarg 12 marlas; Ghulam Ahmad Khanday c/o Falak Hut Gulmarg 3 marlas; Ali Muhammad Khanday c/o Hotel Florence Gulmarg 10 marlas; Dr M H Basu c/o hotel OC Road Gulmarg 15 marlas; Ghulam Muhammad Qazi c/o Shanoo Lodge 1 kanal 3 marlas; Ali Shah c/o Hotel Vintage 1 marla; Haji Ahmad Shahdad and Sons c/o Hotel welcome Gulmarg 4 marlas; BenjiNedous c/o Hotel High lands 5 marlas; QaziNizam Ahmad c/o Hutson OC Road 2 kanals 1 marla; PrithviNath c/o PrithviNath Hut 14 marlas; Matoo Brothers c/o Hotel Khaleel Palace 12 marlas; Muhammad Abdullah c/o Hotel Pine Spring 3 kanals, 1 marlas; Abdul Rashid c/o Hotel Shaw-In Gulmarg 1 kanal 14 marlas; Muhammad Ibrahim c/o Hotel Green Heights Gulmarg 1 kanal, 12 marlas; Imtiyaz Muhammad Yasin c/o Lupin Resort 7 marlas; Abdul Hamid Dar c/o Hotel Mama Gulmarg 1 kanal, 1 marla; GhulamMohidinKhanday c/o Pride Resort 17 marlas; Sham Kak c/o Serendipity Hut 4 marlas and Mansoor Ahmad c/o Falcon Hut 1 kanal 2 marlas.
The GDA has also sent eviction notice to Agriculture Department. It has issued notice to eight lease holders where term of the lease has expired and lessees have failed to raise any construction. Besides, notices have been issued to nine lease holders where term of lease is alive but the lessees have failed to raise any construction.
None among the lease holders have responded to the notices and appropriate action will follow sooner, the GDA said.
Meanwhile the bench directed Advocate General, M I Qadri to collect information regarding land-grabbing at other places and produce the same to the High Court.
The court was assisted by Amicus Curie Ajez Ahmad Chesti.

HC allows consumer body to challenge auto fare hike in Mumbai
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/hc-allows-consumer-body-to-challenge-auto-fare-hike-in-mumbai-114071701145_1.html
Press Trust of India | Mumbai
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 19:06 IST
The Bombay High Court today allowed the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, a prominent consumer rights body, to challengeMaharashtra government’s recent decision to hike fares of auto rickshaws and taxis for the city and neighbouring Thaneand Navi Mumbai.

A division bench, headed by Justice Abhay Oka, adjourned the hearing to July 28, stating that MGP, which had opposed a hike through a PIL two years ago, can amend it to challenge the latest (proposed) hike.

The High Court is currently hearing a petition filed by Mumbai Taximen’s Union, which wants a court’s direction to the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Transport Authority (MMRTA) to implement its decision to effect a hike.

MMRTA has proposed a Rs 2 increase for both rickshaws and taxis. Accordingly, the minimum fare of auto rickshaw would go up from Rs 15 to Rs 17, while that for taxi would increase from Rs 19 to Rs 21.

The court has yet to approve it.

MGP had moved the court two years ago on the issue of fare hike, following which the court asked the government to form a committee to look into issue.

The HC had then ruled that in future fare hikes by MMRTA shall not be implemented without the court’s permission.

MGP’s lawyer Uday Warunjikar has opposed the hike saying that quality of service offered by auto rickshaws and taxis is extremely poor and the hike should be avoided when inflation is raging.

HC directs UT to control stray dog menace
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Chandigarh/HC-directs-UT-to-control-stray-dog-menace/articleshow/38579977.cms
TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 05.12 AM IST
CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday directed Chandigarh administration to launch a special drive, beginning from Sector 16, to control stray dog menace in the city.

While directing the UT administration to start it as pilot project from Sector 16, the HC asked the administration to launch a cleanliness drive in the sector so that the vulnerable spots, where stray dogs are found assembled for most of the time, could be identified and cleaned.

The court also asked the administration to launch an awareness drive in the sector asking residents to not throw eatables or other food waste in the open. It asked the UT to conduct a survey of the sector before launching the drive.

The administration has also been asked to submit before the HC a report on the drive within one month. Next hearing in the case has been fixed for August 27.

The matter had reached the HC through a petition filed against stray dog menace in the city by local resident Gurumukh Singh.

Highlighting the menace of street dogs in the city, particularly the Rose Garden in Sector 16, the petitioner had submitted before the court that, on February 1, 2014, he was chased by certain street dogs while on a morning walk and saved by other persons present there.

The municipal corporation has already informed the HC that 8,199 incidents of dog bites have been reported in the rabies vaccination clinic in Sector 19 between January 2013 and April 2014. Out of these, 1,823 incidents pertained to bites by pet dogs and 6,376 to bites by stray dogs.

HC upholds life term of man for raping five-yr-old girl
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/hc-upholds-life-term-of-man-for-raping-five-yr-old-girl-114071700923_1.html
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 17:07 IST
The Delhi High Court today upheld the life term awarded to a man for raping a five-year-old girl saying that the minor’s statement had a “ring of truth” and there was no reason to disbelieve her.

A bench of justices P K Bhasin and J R Midha dismissed the appeal of Om Prakash and upheld the sentence given by a trial court here in 2011 saying the evidence of witnesses has remained unshattered in their cross-examination.

“Evidence of all the witnesses remained unshattered in their cross-examination and all of them render full credence to the prosecution case. In fact, the accused-appellant himself did not explain in his statement under Section 313 CrPC (recording of statement of accused) as to how he came to be apprehended by the public,” the court said.

“We are, therefore, of the view that there is no merit in this appeal and accordingly it is rejected,” it said.
Om Prakash, a resident of Aman Vihar here, was awarded rigorous imprisonment for life by the trial court which had also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 under section 376 (2)(f)(rape on a woman under twelve years of age) of IPC.

He had approached the high court challenging his conviction and sentence on the ground that the version of the child witness was contradictory in nature.

Relying on the statement of the child, the bench said the trial court, after being satisfied that the child was capable of giving evidence, had recorded her statement and her evidence was accepted.

The bench said there was nothing that could make her testimony doubtful.

“… Her version had a ring of truth and there was no reason to disbelieve her,” it said.

According to the prosecution, on June 6, 2009, the victim was playing outside her house with her four-year-old brother and another boy.

After some time, when the victim’s mother came out, she could not find her kids there.

During search, her son came and apprised her that one ‘buggiwala’ (Om Prakash) had taken his sister with him towards the fields.

When the woman went to the house of Om Prakash, who lived nearby, she saw her daughter crying in his lap. She snatched her daughter from the man and informed the police. He was then arrested by police.

HC stays proceedings in AERAAT over airport charges
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/hc-stays-proceedings-in-aeraat-over-airport-charges-114071701244_1.html
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 20:00 IST
The Delhi High Court today stayed proceedings in the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal (AERAAT) in relation to a plea challenging BangaloreInternational Aiport Ltd’s (BIAL) decision to start collecting aeronautical services charges from airlines.

Common User Terminal Equipment (CUTE), Common User Self Service (CUSS) and Baggage Reconciliation System (BRS) charges, categorised as aeronautical services, were to be recovered from airlines from July 1, 2014 as per a June 10 tariff order of Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA).

A two-member bench of the Tribunal had on July 1 directed that the status quo be maintained with respect to the recovery of these charges on an urgent plea by the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA).

The high court today stayed the proceedings in the Tribunal on a plea by BIAL which has contended these charges are being collected by other airports in the country, so there is nothing new about the same.

BIAL has alleged that airlines, despite getting a status quo order preventing recovery of the charges from them, are collecting the same from passengers.

Senior advocate and former Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, appearing for BIAL, contended this practice of collecting the charges from passengers and not paying it to the airport amounts to “unjust enrichment”.

He also questioned how a two-member bench of the Tribunal can pass the order when, as per the statute, a three-member quorum has to preside over the matter.

He also contended that the tenure of one of the members of Tribunal had expired in 2013 and thus the bench does not exist in the eyes of law.

This view was supported by AERA, represented by senior advocate Atul Nanda.

However, the Federation of Indian Airlines, represented by senior advocate A S Chandhiok, opposed the claim of BIAL and said the Tribunal was competent to pass the order of July 1.

The court will hear the matter on July 28.

HC issues notice to MLA
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/hc-issues-notice-to-mla-114071701503_1.html
Press Trust of India | Cuttack
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 23:39 IST
The Orissa High Court today issued a notice to Chilika MLABibhuti Bhusan Harichandan of BJP and seven others in connection with an election petition filed by BJD leader Raghunath Sahu.

Sahu, a former MLA who lost to Harichandan by a margin of 541 votes in the assembly elections held in April this year, has challenged the entire process of election and the counting of votes in his constituency.

Taking up the petition of Sahu, Justice Raghubir Dash issued notices to the respondents and fixed the next hearing of the case on August 12. While BJP leader was declared elected by polling 69433 votes, Sahu had polled 68892 votes.

Justice Dash had on Wednesday also issued notices to Khurda MLA Rajendra Kumar Sahu of BJD in another election petition filed by a voter of the assembly segment. Urging the HC to annul the election of Sahu to the assembly, the voter Upendra Kumar Routray had alleged that there have been lot of discrepancies in the affidavit submitted by the BJD leader along with his nomination papers.

Around 19 petitions have been filed in the High Court challenging the election of several MLAs and an MP.

Taking up at least four such petitions, two separate benches of the High Court had issued notices to respective respondents including four MLAs on Tuesday.

HC allows consumer body to challenge auto fare hike in Mumbai
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/hc-allows-consumer-body-to-challenge-auto-fare-hike-in-mumbai-114071701145_1.html
Press Trust of India | Mumbai
The Bombay High Court today allowed the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, a prominent consumer rights body, to challengeMaharashtra government’s recent decision to hike fares of auto rickshaws and taxis for the city and neighbouring Thaneand Navi Mumbai.

A division bench, headed by Justice Abhay Oka, adjourned the hearing to July 28, stating that MGP, which had opposed a hike through a PIL two years ago, can amend it to challenge the latest (proposed) hike.

The High Court is currently hearing a petition filed by Mumbai Taximen’s Union, which wants a court’s direction to the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Transport Authority (MMRTA) to implement its decision to effect a hike.

MMRTA has proposed a Rs 2 increase for both rickshaws and taxis. Accordingly, the minimum fare of auto rickshaw would go up from Rs 15 to Rs 17, while that for taxi would increase from Rs 19 to Rs 21.

The court has yet to approve it.

MGP had moved the court two years ago on the issue of fare hike, following which the court asked the government to form a committee to look into issue.

The HC had then ruled that in future fare hikes by MMRTA shall not be implemented without the court’s permission.

MGP’s lawyer Uday Warunjikar has opposed the hike saying that quality of service offered by auto rickshaws and taxis is extremely poor and the hike should be avoided when inflation is raging.

HC asks SECR to regularize 152 parcel porters
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/HC-asks-SECR-to-regularize-152-parcel-porters/articleshow/38569797.cms
Vijay Pinjarkar,TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 01.38 AM IST
NAGPUR: Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has directed the South East Central Railway (SECR), Nagpur, to absorb 152 parcel porters as per vacancies available. The court decision comes as a big relief for the porters who were fighting the legal battle for regularization of their services since 1994. They have won after 20 years.

Interestingly, SECR is paying Rs 7 lakh per month towards interim relief to the porters as wages under Section 17-B of the Industrial Dispute Act (IDA) 1947, from April 2012. IDA’s Section 17-B states: “Where in any case, a labour court or tribunal directs reinstatement of any workman and employer prefers any proceedings against such award in a high court or Supreme Court, the employer shall be liable to pay full wages last drawn by the workman during the pendency of such proceedings in the courts.”

In 2010, the Central Government Industrial Tribunal (CGIT) has twice ordered regularization of services of these porters but SECR has been buying time by going into appeals. The decision was challenged and the matter was pending in the high court. Disposing of the petition on July 9, Justice ZA Haque refused to grant interim relief to SECR considering the facts on record. The court said as per submission made by the counsel for SECR RS Sundaram that vacancies of parcel porters are not available, it directed the railways that as and when vacancies are available, the workmen concerned will be absorbed as per the CGIT award, according to seniority.

Senior advocate KH Deshpande along with NW Almelkar appearing for the respondent Parcel Porters Sanghatana (PPS) said SECR was depositing the wages with the registry of the high court, which was being disbursed to the workmen. Deshpande also submitted that of the 152 workmen, four, who are beneficiaries of the impugned order have expired and their legal representatives are entitled for the amount. The court supported the view and directed SECR that legal representatives of such workmen be paid from April 2012 till death of the workmen concerned.

Though all appeals of the SECR in the matter have been dismissed, it is still reluctant to absorb the porters. Divisional commercial manager (DCM) Tanmay Mukhopadhyay said, “They were licence porters not selected as per rules and recruitment process. We will communicate the court order to the headquarters at Bilaspur. We will also challenge the order in Supreme Court.”

On April 18 last, a three-judge bench headed by then Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir, Justices Aftab Alam and Vikramjit Sen did not entertain the special leave petition (SLP) for non-payment of wages filed by SECR and dismissed it at admission level.

Rajesh Supatkar, general secretary of the Sanghatana, said, “We will file contempt petition against the SECR. The railways is paying us without any work and is also paying crores of rupees to private contractors for loading and unloading work, which is criminal.” He further said a complaint has already been filed with SK Roy, assistant labour commissioner (Central) SECR, for violating Section 10 of Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, that prohibits deployment of workers for perennial nature of work.

HC directs Bengal govt to file affidavit on opposing BJP plea
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/hc-directs-bengal-govt-to-file-affidavit-on-opposing-bjp-plea-114071701157_1.html
Press Trust of India | Kolkata
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 19:07 IST
The Calcutta High Court today directed the West Bengalgovernment to submit an affidavit stating reasons for its opposing the state BJP’s prayer to be added as a party in a petition by State Election Commission, which proposed dates for holding polls for 17 municipalities.

The SEC, which has been at loggerheads with the state government for some time, has prayed for direction to the state to hold election to the municipal bodies, the terms of which are due to finish by the end of this month.

The state opposed the BJP’s application for being added as a party in the matter, supporting the SEC petition to hold the municipal elections in time.

Justice Soumitra Pal directed the state government to file an affidavit by July 24 stating why it was opposing the BJP’s prayer.

The SEC counsel submitted a proposal before the court for holding the elections by August 31 and complete the process by September 11.

According to the proposal, the elections are to be notified on July 31.

The matter would be taken up for hearing by the court again tomorrow.

The SEC and the state government had been embroiled in a legal tussle in 2013 over holding of panchayat elections in West Bengal.

HC seeks NMCH’s land records
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Patna/HC-seeks-NMCHs-land-records/articleshow/38579481.cms
Anisha Anand,TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 05.02 AM IST
PATNA: Patna land acquisition officer’s statement before the Patna high court on Thursday that the records related to Nalanda Medical College Hospital (NMCH) land are traceless, made the Patna high court bench of Justice V N Sinha and Justice Prabhat Kumar Jha rap the state government for its inappropriate ways of governance. The bench has summoned Patna DM along with the records on Friday. The land acquisition officer (LAO) too will have to be present before the court.

Petitioner Dinesh Kumar had moved the Patna high court against the state government’s notice which classified his construction on the NMCH premises as encroachment and ordered its demolition. His case was being heard along with one Uday Shrivastava’s petition and Guddu Baba’s PIL. Guddu Baba, in his PIL, had appealed for removal of encroachments from six government medical colleges of Bihar, including NMCH.

The other two petitioners had submitted that their respective constructions were not made on the hospital’s land but on their own. However, earlier the court had put an interim stay on the demolition order of Uday Shrivastava’s construction. The bench, in its last hearing, had asked for proper records of the hospital’s land, but the Patna LAO expressed his helplessness in producing the papers. The bench observed that the state government was playing hide and seek with the court and instead of assisting the court in its proceedings, it was hindering the course of justice.

Besides NMCH, Guddu Baba’s PIL is related to S K Memorial Medical College and Hospital, Muzaffarpur, Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College and Hospital, Bhagalpur, A N Magadh Medical College and Hospital, Gaya, and Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital. It may be mentioned here that a few years back, the same case after getting disposed by one of benches of Patna high court, went to the Apex Court. The Apex Court, finding the case and the cause significant, forwarded it again to the high court and asked it to do proper monitoring.

“It happens only in Bihar that records get traceless,” observed the bench and added it will take direct action against the officials concerned if the records are not placed before it on Friday.

HC: ‘weed out’ councillors who thwart trash-disposal plans
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/hc-weed-out-councillors-who-thwart-trashdisposal-plans/article6222053.ece
KRISHNAPRASAD
It is the time Bangaloreans “weed out” BBMP councillors, who come in the way of effective implementation of plans to solve the city’s garbage menace, by voting against them, the High Court of Karnataka said on Thursday.
The court also said that NGOs should inform people about the hurdles caused by the councillors in solving garbage problem in their wards and create an awareness to vote against such councillors.
‘Resisting initiative’
A Division Bench comprising Justice N. Kumar and Justice B.V. Nagarathna made observations in this regard in its order on the public interest litigation petitions that many councillors were resisting plans to collect waste in segregated form though the residents were willing to cooperate.
“When the councillors, who solve people’s problems, become the hurdle, it speaks about the sorry state of affairs and the helplessness of the public. This situation should be an eye opener for the voters in the city. These councillors are unfit to hold the post and they should be shown the door,” the Bench observed.
The court also expressed serious displeasure after noticing that 60 ward committees, headed by the councillor of the respective wards, had not held meetings since their constitution more than a year ago.
“It is the failure of the respective councillor and members. We are aware whether the meetings were not held deliberately or they were not aware of the rules…,” the Bench said while directing BBMP Special Commissioner (Solid Waste Management) Darpan Jain to educate the councillors and members on their responsibilities.
To a query by the Bench, BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayana said that city MLAs were cooperating in the implementation of waste management plans.
During an earlier hearing, the court had castigated the MLAs as it was complained that they were preventing setting up of waste processing units in their constituencies besides supporting contractors’ cartel.

UT to HC: Forensic reports to be drawn up within 15 days
http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/chandigarh/ut-to-hc-forensic-reports-to-be-drawn-up-within-15-days/article1-1241465.aspx
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Chandigarh, July 17, 2014
First Published: 16:47 IST(17/7/2014) | Last Updated: 16:51 IST(17/7/2014)
The Chandigarh administration informed the Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday that after the expected approval of the centre government in the coming days for the new narcotic drug division, the central forensic science laboratory (CFSL), Sector-36, would be able to prepare final reports within 15 days.
The information was submitted before the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Ajay Tewari by Prerna Puri, additional secretary of home department, Chandigarh.
It was informed that soon sanction from the centre government is expected for three posts for the establishment of narcotic drug division.
During 2013, the CFSL received approximately 4,000 cases and examined 2,727 cases of all disciplines, including under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act from Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir.
The court was informed that the time limit to examine a case depends upon the analysis of a number of samples/exhibits that are actually analysed one by one by the examiner.
It was also submitted that last year, the CFSL had examined 100 NDPS cases of Chandigarh, eight from Punjab and six from Delhi and other states.
As many as 177 cases, including 101 under the NDPS Act, are pending with the laboratory as on June 30 and the tentative goal of the laboratory to dispose of all these cases is December 31.
As of now, there is no separate narcotic drug division in CFSL, Chandigarh, for probing NDPS cases and such cases are being examined by its chemistry division.
It was also informed that recently, the centre government has sanctioned about ? 285 corore under 12th five year plan for the upgradation of existing disciplines as well as establishment of six new divisions for all the six CFSLs at Bhopal, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune. Disposing of the case, the high court granted six months time to the Chandigarh administration to file compliance report.

Mumbai HC judgement to give fillip to nutraceutical industry
http://www.business-standard.com/content/b2b-pharma/mumbai-hc-judgement-to-give-fillip-to-nutraceutical-industry-114071700847_1.html
Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA) says food producers can now continue unhindered manufacturing of nutraceuticals
BS B2B Bureau | Mumbai July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 16:44 IST
The Mumbai High Court’s judgement on June 30, 2014 terming the Product Approval (PA) advisories issued by the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India as illegal is likely to give a boost to nutraceutical industry, according to Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA), which recently organised a press meet to discuss the implications of the judgement.

As per the judgement, the advisory seeking PA dated May 11, 2013 (which supersedes all previous advisories) has no force of law and is not within the ambit and scope of the power conferred on FSSAI under the provisions of the Food Safety Standards (FSS) Act, the Rules and the Regulations framed thereunder. The judgement was issued in a case filed by Vital Neutraceutical, a Mumbai-based food business operator (FBO), and IDMA.

The FSSAI introduced PA advisory in January 2012 and thereafter amended the system more than 8 times and last such Advisory was issued in May, 2013. These Advisories required mandatory product approval for all proprietary products (for which standards were not specified) as a precondition for issuing food license, although there was no such requirement in the law. Many FBOs manufacturing and selling products for decades were suddenly asked to file product approval applications to continue their established businesses.

The order passed by the Mumbai High Court now paves the way for issuance of food licenses as per the existing licensing regulations and allows the units to continue selling their well-established products. The discontinuing of the PA system will allow unhindered manufacturing of nutraceuticals, market for which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18%. Also, product-wise approval for proprietary food (nutraceuticals) will not be required and now cannot be demanded or enforced. The judgment is applicable for not only the existing ones but all FBOs.

“The consumers will have safe and natural options for their healthcare similar to the Over-The-Counter (OTC) products in most countries,” said IDMA.

IDMA added, “The FSSAI claimed that for safety of consumers the PA was imposed; however, there is no such requirement for the same category of products in most regulated markets such as US. Any new ingredient for the first time included in a product in the country, and not mentioned in Codex needs to undergo ‘ingredient approval’. Hence, the FSS Act has already provided a mechanism to ensure safe consumption of products.”

HC bans transfer of Thachankary’s assets
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/HC-bans-transfer-of-Thachankarys-assets/articleshow/38567615.cms
TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 12.54 AM IST
KOCHI: The Kerala high court on Thursday ordered to prevent former IG Tomin J Thachankary from transferring assets involved in a case of amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Justice K Ramakrishnan ordered for attaching property worth around Rs 1 crore involved in the case of amassing disproportionate wealth for two months while considering a petition filed by the state government.

The court has also asked the state government to file an application before Thrissur vigilance court, where the case on disproportionate wealth is pending, for attaching the property involved.

It was found in a vigilance enquiry that the senior IPS officer had gained property worth Rs 1.64 crore between January 2003 and January 2005. Out of this, property worth around Rs 1 crore was unaccounted for, the probe had found. Though Thachankary had furnished a bank guarantee and got interim custody of the property earlier, he had later withdrawn the guarantee.

In the petition filed by vigilance SP V Muraleedharan Nair, it was alleged that Thachankary is trying to sell the property that is involved in the case without furnishing any other guarantee.

HC CJ recuses from hearing PIL on vacancies in lower judiciary
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/hc-cj-recuses-from-hearing-pil-on-vacancies-in-lower-judiciary-114071601253_1.html
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 16, 2014 Last Updated at 20:12 IST
Delhi High Court Chief Justice G Rohini today recused herself from hearing a PIL seeking a direction to the high court administration to advertise all existing 262 vacancies of lower court judges.

The Chief Justice said that the matter be listed before another bench on July 22.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by advocate R K Kapoor seeking direction to the Registrar of Delhi High Court to “notify/advertise” all the existing vacancies as were existing on February 18 for recruitment to the Delhi Judicial Service (DJS).

According to the plea, a notification was published in the newspapers on February 22 for recruitment to DJS by which only 80 seats were advertised although there were about 262 vacancies.

Kapoor, in his plea, has also sought direction to the high court, Delhi government and others to create requisite infrastructure so that all vacant posts can be filled up in one go.

“Issue a writ order or direction including a writ of mandamus directing the respondent High Court of Delhi, the Delhi government and other respondents to take urgent steps, to create infrastructure within a time-bound programme,” the plea said.

“Issue a writ order or direction including a writ of mandamus directing the Union of India to provide sufficient financial support for creating infrastructure,” it added.

The petition alleged that although an undertaking was given by the Delhi government to the Supreme Court but till date the infrastructure to fill all the existing vacancies is lacking.

HC notice to govt, 5 newly nominated MLCs
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Bangalore/HC-notice-to-govt-5-newly-nominated-MLCs/articleshow/38571452.cms
TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 02.12 AM IST
BANGALORE: The high court on Thursday ordered issuance of notice to five newly nominated legislative council members in response to a petition.

Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri ordered notice to MLCs VS Ugrappa, K Abdul Jabbar, Dr Jaimala Ramachandra, Ivan D’Souza and Iqbal Ahmed Saradagi and also the secretaries of the governor and DPAR in a petition filed by S Rajendran, former two-time MLA from KGF.

The notices were issued after advocate general Prof Ravivarma Kumar clarified that a petition seeking writ of quo warranto (removal) is maintainable even before a single bench.

According to the petitioner, as per the mandate under Article 171(5), the governor has to nominate persons with special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service. The said persons nominated do not fall under any of these categories, he said.

60 corporators yet to hold ward meeting

BBMP’s 60 ward committees, constitutional bodies vested with the responsibility of overseeing solid waste management and other duties, haven’t held a single meeting yet, the high court was informed.

“Of the 198 ward committees, only 138 have held a meeting. Sixty committees, particularly 39 of the 44 wards in East Bangalore, have not held any consultations,” the court was told during the hearing on a batch of PIL on Bangalore’s garbage mess.

“Why have they not conducted any meeting? Are they doing it deliberately or are they not aware of their duties? If things don’t improve, then we will pass further orders,” a special division bench of Justices N Kumar and B V Nagarathna told Darpan Jain, special commissioner (solid waste management). As per the rules, these ward committees have to hold monthly meetings.

Luxury tax row; HC asks Delhi Gymkhana Club to pay Rs 1.45 cr
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/luxury-tax-row-hc-asks-delhi-gymkhana-club-to-pay-rs-1-45-cr-114071701219_1.html
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 19:40 IST
The Delhi High Court today asked Delhi Gymkhana Club to pay Rs 1.45 crore, out of total Rs 2.92 crore for three accounting years since 2009, as luxury tax to the city government.

A bench of justices B D Ahmed and S Mridul asked the club to make part payment of the tax due to the government as a pre-condition to hear its plea that it cannot be levied as the club serves to members only.

The court, meanwhile, asked the Delhi government to lift attachment order passed against the club and issued notices to the Excise, Entertainment and Luxury Tax Department.

The order led to attachment of three bank accounts of the club.

“Issue notice. Counter affidavit be filed by Respondent (Commissioner of the Tax department) within four weeks and rejoinder, if any, thereafter by the petitioner in two weeks,” it said and fixed the matter for arguments on October 15.

“Meanwhile, Delhi Gymkhana Club will deposit 50 per cent (Rs 1.45 crore) of the total amount due to Deputy Commissioner of the department of Delhi government by July 21,” it said.

Delhi government opposed the court’s order saying that 50 per cent formula should not be adopted and “It should have been considered only if they have come to this court after winning the tax case in courts/tribunals below.”

The court, however, did not entertain the submission and said it will deal with it later.

It was hearing a petition filed by Delhi Gymkhana Club alleging that the order passed on July 1 asking it to pay tax of Rs 2.92 crore within seven days under the Delhi Tax on Luxuries Act is “wrong and was done without hearing it”.

The petitioner said it is a social club, governed by the principle of “mutuality”.

“They (Government dept) have considered the club as a hotelier and demanded the luxury tax on the amount collected from its members for making available accommodation to them.

“…No luxury tax is payable on its transaction because it is providing its facilities to member. There cannot be any transaction between petitioner and its members because it is organising its activities as per the principle of mutuality,” the counsel for the club said.

HC transfers 6 judges in Haryana
http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/chandigarh/hc-transfers-6-judges-in-haryana/article1-1241597.aspx
HT Correspondent Chandigarh, July 17, 2014
First Published: 22:52 IST(17/7/2014) | Last Updated: 22:54 IST(17/7/2014)

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday issued transfer orders of six judges in Haryana.

Civil judges (senior division) who have been transferred include Sunil Kumar (Jhajjar to Nuh), Sunil Jindal (Tohana to Fatehabad), Rohit Wattas (Gohana to Jhajjar), Madhulika (Karnal to Tohana) and Nidhi Bansal (Jagadhri to Gohana).

Civil judge (junior division) Mahendra Singh has been transferred from Gurgaon to Sohna.

HC Quashes BDA’s Land Acquisition
http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bangalore/HC-Quashes-BDA%E2%80%99s-Land-Acquisition/2014/07/18/article2336188.ece
By Express News Service
Published: 18th July 2014 08:19 AM
Last Updated: 18th July 2014 08:19 AM
BANGALORE: The High Court has quashed the Bangalore Development Authority’s (BDA) notification to acquire around 4,000 acres for the formation of Nadaprabhu Kempe Gowda Layout.
Justice Anand Byrareddy, who allowed a bunch of petitions filed by hundreds of landowners challenging the acquisition, observed, “The acquisition proceedings are held to be bad in law and consequently the impugned notifications are hereby quashed.”
It was impermissible for the BDA to authorise its Land Acquisition Officer to proceed with the acquisition in the absence of government’s approval for the final scheme.
Justice Reddy observed that the government had prematurely approved the scheme on April 2, 2008, which is prior to the issuance of preliminary notification, under Section 17 of the BDA Act on May 21, 2008.

HC annoyed over non-appearance of political parties
http://www.punemirror.in/pune/others/HC-annoyed-over-non-appearance-of-political-parties/articleshow/38563100.cms
PTI | Jul 18, 2014, 02.30 AM IST
Representatives had been asked to be present for hearing on PILs against illegal hoardings

The Bombay High Court on Thursday expressed displeasure over ‘no show’ by lawyers or representatives of political parties which had been asked to appear in the hearing on public interest litigations (PIL) against illegal hoardings, banners and posters in public places.
The bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka had last week issued notices to prominent political parties, but no lawyer representing any of them turned up on Thursday. The bench issued fresh notices seeking appearance of representatives of political parties on July 24 without fail.

Last week, the court had slammed state municipal corporations for not filing compliance reports on its earlier order to remove the illegal hoardings. The court has also made the Election Commission of India (ECI) a party and asked its representative to appear at next hearing.

On February 21, another bench of the High Court had asked the municipal bodies to file compliance reports on the steps taken to remove illegal hoardings, prosecute the culprits and to recover taxes and fines.

Every careless act of doctors not criminal: HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Every-careless-act-of-doctors-not-criminal-HC/articleshow/38574547.cms
TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 03.22 AM IST
HYDERABAD: In what might sound music to the ears of the medical fraternity, the Hyderabad high court has held that when a patient agrees to go for medical treatment or surgical operation, every careless act of the medical staff cannot be termed as criminal.

Justice B S Ravi Kumar gave the ruling while allowing a plea by Dr P Malathi and Dr L Sudhakar, who sought suspension of a criminal complaint against them in a lower court of the city. While delivering the verdict, the judge relied upon the decision of the British House of Lords in RV Adomako case, in which the they held that a doctor cannot be held criminally responsible for the death of patients unless his negligence or incompetence showed such disregard for the life and safety of his patient as to amount to a crime against the state.

Applying the findings to the present case, the judge said, “It can be termed criminal only when the medical man exhibits a gross lack of competence or inaction and wanton indifference to his patients’ safety and which is found to have arisen from gross ignorance or gross negligence.”

The present case arose when a woman brought for treatment at Shalini Nursing Home in the city died while under treatment. Her husband and parents initially moved the consumer forum, which held that there was no negligence on part of the doctors. The husband then moved the AP Medical Council and its Ethical and Malpractices Committee, which also ruled out negligence and said the woman had died due to a rare complication of Amniotic Fluid Embolism. The husband also moved the Medical Council of India against Dr Sudhakar and the MCI passed an order against the doctor, which was later set aside by the AP high court.

Later, the patient’s parents initiated criminal proceedings against the doctors before a lower court in the city. After perusing the evidence on record and the legal position

, the judge found that the patient’s body was taken away by her family members without conducting the post-mortem. The judge also noted that the incident took place on March 6, 2003 and the complaint before the court was filed on Feb 12, 2004. If death was doubted, the complainant should not have waited for such a long time, they felt.

The judge pointed out that “it is not in dispute that the complainant is a senior advocate and the husband of the deceased a senior bureaucrat and both of them have not insisted on the post mortem and took the dead body, but have not raised even their little finger nearly for a year on this aspect”

Quashing the criminal proceedings, Justice Ravi Kumar said, “I am of the view that there is no material showing gross negligence or recklessness on the part of these two petitioners for the death of the deceased and the ingredients of Section 304-A of IPC are not at all attracted against the petitioners.”

HC stays arrest of YSRCP ZPTC member

The Hyderabad high court on Thursday directed Nellore police not to arrest B Raghavendra Reddy, YSRCP ZPTC member from Nellore, till elections to the Zilla Parishad chairman and vice-chairman posts in the district are over.

Justice Vilas V Afzulpurkar made the order in a plea by Reddy seeking directions to the police not to arrest him in a criminal case registered against him at Kavali rural police station at Nellore on July 11 till completion of elections. The petitioner’s counsel alleged that the police have colluded with the ruling TDP members and are trying to arrest him by filing petty cases in order to prevent him from casting his vote in the polls.

The counsel for home said there were cases relating to kidnapping against the petitioner and sought the court’s direction to make him appear before the investigating officer to record his statement before the election day. After hearing both the parties, the judge directed the police not to arrest the petitioner till the day of election and directed the petitioner to appear before the investigating officer after the polls.

AP bar council seeks separate HC for Telangana

AP bar council chairman A Narasimha Reddy on Thursday urged the state and central governments to divide the existing high court forthwith and sought the constitution of a separate high court and bar council for Telangana. “Any delay in this matter will obstruct the smooth functioning of the judicial system and create unavoidable problems. Immediate bifurcation will promote goodwill and understanding among members of the legal profession in both states,” Reddy said.

Reddy, along with Bar Council of India member N Ramachandra Rao, told the media that the Telangana government has promised to create a Rs 100 crore welfare fund for the benefit of advocates of the state. However, it would not be possible to identify the beneficiaries of the scheme if immediate bifurcation of the bar council is not implemented.

At present, there are about 88,500 members of the united bar council, he said. While thanking Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao for promising the fund, he appealed to AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu to announce a similar fund for the benefit of advocates of Andhra Pradesh.

Criminal case registered against police inspector
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/criminal-case-registered-against-police-inspector/article6221778.ece
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Karnataka
Bangalore
Two more accused arrested; two others at large
The police on Wednesday filed an FIR against Pulakeshinagar police inspector Mohammad Rafiq for not registering the rape complaint under the relevant clauses given by the 22-year-old student, who was sexually assaulted in Bangalore on July 11.
Home Minister K.J. George told the Legislative Assembly on Thursday that a criminal case had been registered against the inspector, who had already been suspended, under the amended section 166 (A) of the Indian Penal Code.
He refused to give in to the demand of the Opposition for an immediate arrest of the inspector. “Neither the Supreme Court nor the legislature can direct the police to arrest a person with respect to an investigation. Only the investigating officer has the authority to decide on when to arrest the accused,” he said.
He also said two more accused, identified as Mohammed Ali and Wasim Khan, were arrested on Thursday. Another two are at large.
Opposition unhappy
The Legislative Council saw a ‘war of words’ between the Congress and the Opposition, with the latter demanding the immediate arrest of the inspector.
Mr. George’s reply that an FIR had been filed against him failed to mollify Opposition Leader K.S. Eshwarappa. He accused the government of “taking shelter under the law”.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah intervened to say the government was not trying to protect anyone “whoever he is, whatever influence he wields and whatever caste or community be belongs to”.

Govt’s duty to protect gay rights, says Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/gay-rights-harsh-vardhan/1/372894.html
IndiaToday.in New Delhi, July 17, 2014 | UPDATED 18:25 IST

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said that is the responsibility of the government to protect the rights of the gay community.
“Everybody, including gays, has human rights. It is the job of the government to protect their rights,” he said on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi. He, however, declined to make further comments when asked to explain his position as his party, Bharatiya Janata Party, had supported the Supreme Court judgment which had upheld the validity of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code, criminalizing sex among homosexuals.
BJP, which was in opposition when the Supreme Court judgement came in 2013, had said it was for the government to decide the next course of action over the matter, and the party would take a position depending on the official move. The Supreme Court is at present hearing a curative petition on the matter.
Senior BJP leaders have spoken in different voices over the issue. Home minister and then party presidentRajnath Singh had termed gay sex “unnatural”. Another senior leader and present finance minister Arun Jaitleyhad taken a more liberal position, saying he tended to agree more with the Delhi High Court order decriminalizing gay sex, which was later overturned by the apex court.

Abu Salem challenges Supreme Court on conviction in fake passport case
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-abu-salem-challenges-supreme-court-on-conviction-in-fake-passport-case-2002907
Thursday, 17 July 2014 – 7:01pm IST | Agency: PTI
DNA
Underworld don Abu Salem today approached the Supreme Court challenging his conviction and seven-year jail term for possessing fake passport.
A bench headed by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, before whom the case came up for hearing, however, recused herself saying that she had earlier heard the Bombay blast case in which Salem was also an accused.
The case would now be listed before another bench.
Salem, 46, was convicted and awarded seven-year rigorous imprisonment by a special CBI court in Hyderabad in a fake passport case in 2013. He was held guilty under different sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) for obtaining a passport under a fictitious name and address, from Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh.
Salem had procured the fake passport under the fictitious identity of Ramil Kamil Malik by submitting forged documents to the Hyderabad Regional Passport Office, in connivance with some government officials and private persons in 2001.
Salem had obtained three passports – one for his first wife Sameera Zumani, another for his companion and actor Monica Bedi and a third for himself.
Salem and Bedi were extradited to India on November 11, 2005, after a marathon legal process lasting three years.
The fake passport case was transferred to CBI from AP police in October 2002, and a charge sheet was filed in 2004 against 10 accused.
His girlfriend has already been convicted in fake passport case and spent around two and half years behind bars as punishment.
The apex court in 2010 upheld the conviction of Bedi in the case but reduced her sentence to period of jail term she had already undergone.
She was awarded five years sentence by a sessions court in Hyderabad and but it was reduced to three years by the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

NHRC issues notices to Delhi Govt and Police
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/nhrc-issues-notices-to-delhi-govt-and-police-114071600975_1.html
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 16, 2014 Last Updated at 18:01 IST
National Human Rights Commission today issued notices toDelhi government and Police seeking report over “filthy” atmosphere and “insecure” surroundings of an orphanage for Muslim girls at Matia Mahal in Old Delhi.

According to a statement released today, a notice has been issued in this regard to the Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi and Commissioner of Police, Delhi calling upon them to submit detailed reports within four weeks.

The notices were issued after the Commission took suo motu cognizance of a media report that the girls of an orphanage, ‘Bachchiyon Ka Ghar’ for Muslim girls at Matia Mahal in Old Delhi, are facing problems due to shortage of space, filthy atmosphere and insecure surroundings.

The orphanage, built in 1891, is one of the oldest buildings in the National Capital and is approached through congested, filthy and dark by-lanes.

The Commission has observed that the contents of the press report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of girls living in the orphanage.

Housed in a three-storeyed building, the orphanage, consisting of one hall, six small rooms, is rat infested. The rats reportedly often bite the girls during their sleep on the floor.

The hall serves multi-purposes of a drawing room, dining room, bedroom, reading room and entertainment room. More than 50 girl inmates, aged from seven to eighteen years, cannot play outside as the narrow streets approaching the orphanage are always full of vagabonds who chase them till their school and back.

“These vagabonds also hit them with elbows and hurl unspeakably filthy invectives in their ears, snatch their dupatta and catch hold of their hands. When these girls resist their attempts, false complaints are filed against them. Hence, chances of happening of any untoward incident are always there,” the statement said.

Judges of higher judiciary not govt servants: Madras HC RG
http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/judges-of-higher-judiciary-not-govt-servants-madras-hc-rg_948148.html
Last Updated: Thursday, July 17, 2014, 17:58

Chennai: Judges, particularly those of the higher judiciary are constitutional functionaries and not government servants or officials and so no direction can been issued to them, the Registrar General of Madras High Court on Thursday said.

He stated this in a counter affidavit in response to a petition by Prisoners Rights Forum, seeking a direction to constitute a special bench for speedy disposal of Haebas Corpus petitions arising out of the Goonda’s Act, under which prisoners a

The Registrar General contended it is the exclusive prerogative power of Chief Justice or Acting Chief Justice to constitute any bench for speedy disposal of Haebas Corpus petitions and the representation made by the forum addressed to the RG was forwarded to the CJ or ACJ.

He said though the petition was filed supposedly against the high court represented by him, in essence it was filed to issue direction to the ACJ to constitute a special bench.

The Registrar General contended that such a prayer is not maintainable as the exclusive prerogative power to constitute benches is saved under Article 225 of the Constitution.

The word prerogative necessarily implies a high degree of discretion having been vested in the authority enjoying the prerogative, which excludes existence of any duty, he said.

He also stated that in case of discretion, no direction can be issued and the petition was bound to fail.

He further said judges of higher judiciary in India are not ‘persons’ or ‘authorities’ or ‘government’ against whom directions can be issued under Article 226 and that an action to enforce Fundamental

Rights under Article 14 and 21 cannot be sustained as against the judiciary.

He said there are 1632 Haebas Corpus petitions pending before the high court as on May 31, of which 1579 are under Act 14 (Goondas Act). Even during normal course of hearing the division bench disposes of Haebas Corpus petitions commensurate to cases filed daily, drastically reducing pendency, achieved in the absence of any special bench.

Hence there was no need to constitute a special bench to deal with Haebas Corpus petitions, he said and sought dismissal of the petition.

PTI

Centre hikes cap on condoms by 22 pct, prices set to rise
http://www.financialexpress.com/news/cap-on-condom-prices-increased-centre-tells-hc/1270924
PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 17 2014, 20:06 IST
The Centre today told the Delhi High Court that it has increased the cap on prices of all brands of condoms in the country by 22 per cent.
However, the increase in prices comes to Rs 1.48.
The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw which was hearing a plea by pharma firms Reckitt Benckiser and J K Ansell Ltd (JKAL) who have challenged the government’s decision to put a ceiling on the prices of condoms.
During the proceedings, the central government’s Standing Counsel Sumeet Pushkarna handed over to the bench a July 10, 2014 notification issued by the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) as per which the ceiling on condom prices was increased from Rs 6.56 to Rs 8.04 per condom.
Pushkarna also said that pharma firms are, however, selling condoms at much higher prices like Rs 46 per condom despite there being no stay on the government notification.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing on behalf of the firms, agreed that they have been selling at higher prices but contended that their products are ‘devices’ not ‘medicines’ and thus would not fall under the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) and therefore, no cap can be put on their prices.
Reckitt and JKAL have also sought clarification regarding the basis for the price revision, asking what all aspects, including other brands and prices, were considered by NPPA.
The firms have claimed their products are luxury products “meant for pleasure” and have also sought clarification on whether the current ceiling would apply to only utility condoms and whether NPPA proposes to fix a separate cap on “pleasure condoms”.
They also contended that since the prices have been revised by NPPA, admittedly after taking into consideration prices of some other brands — like Durex and Kohinoor — an exercise which was not conducted back in 2013 when the cap was fixed at Rs 6.56, hence, the companies are entitled to be compensated for selling their condoms Rs 1.48 cheaper from December 2013 till date.
The court will now hear further arguments on July 24.
The companies had challenged the November 5, 2013 notification as per which the ceiling on condom prices was fixed at Rs 6.56.
They have contended their objections to the earlier notification are applicable in respect of the latest one as well.

I want NCW on par with NHRC: Maneka
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/I-want-NCW-on-par-with-NHRC-Maneka/articleshow/38519306.cms
Mohua Chatterjee, TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 06.53AM IST
Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi has her priorities worked out. She proposes to make the National Commission of Women more effective and already sent it to the law ministry besides uploading it on the internet to seek views from the public. Unless NCW gets teeth, women will not get justice, she told TOI in an exclusive interview.

Q: You are trying to empower NCW. Will it work?

A: The NCW has no powers. It does not even have the power to punish those who have been called by it. As a result, women who complain to the NCW spend their own money to appear as witness while many of the accused just stay away.
Q: Could you give an instance?

A: A very high ranking income tax officer was allegedly molested 6 years ago and because she refused to give in, the accused- her senior-destroyed her career. She has been fighting in the courts and has spent over Rs 10 lakh on lawyers and travel. When we took up the case with CBDT, its chairman said he had no time to come to NCW, nor did the accused. There are two lakh such cases pending. On my email (min_wdc@nic.in), I get 8-10 complaints a day. Unless those refusing to appear or send relevant files are fined, we will never get justice for any woman.

Q: What are the qualifications for NCW members?

A: The commission has become a parking lot for women who are political appointees. They are good women who come in to do something and then after a while find that everything they do is cosmetic, so they go after easy celebrity issues, which attract media attention. But what this country wants at this moment, in this climate of violence against women, is a court of refuge and the NCW can provide that if its powers are enhanced.

Q: How do you want the NCW to work?

A: I want it (NCW) to be at par with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

Q: But the NHRC has judge on board.

A: So put a judge on this body. There are many women judges if you want to have only women on board. I am changing the criteria so that only lawyers and those with a background of public service for at least 10 years are selected as members.

Q: How will that help?

A: I want to make this change so that if the NCW cannot solve your problem, it can at least tell you what to do legally.

Q: Where have you moved on this so far?

A: Within two weeks of my assuming office, I reworked the NCW Act and sent it to the law ministry and other ministries concerned to begin its journey to Parliament. We put the draft on our website two weeks ago and received thousands of letters of support already.

Q: Suppose there is resistance to what you are trying to turn the NCW into from within the government?

A: I don’t think there will be resistance because the Prime Minister has repeatedly announced his commitment to women’s empowerment and giving them access to justice is the first step. It serves another purpose by taking a lot of load off the courts.

NHRC Asks Maharashtra Govt To Pay Rs. 50,000 Each To The Girls Arrested In Palgarh Facebook Case
http://lighthouseinsights.in/nhrc-asks-maharashtra-govt-to-pay-rs-50000-each-to-the-girls-arrested-in-palgarh-facebook-case.html/
By Vinaya Naidu | July 16th, 2014| In News
In a press release dated July 15th 2014(reported by Medianama), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) stated that “it has reiterated its recommendations in yet another reminder that the Government of Maharashtra pay Rs.50 thousand each to the two girls, who, it held, were illegally detained by the police following a Facebook post after the death of Shiv Sena Chief Balasaheb Thackeray. The Commission has held that their detention was in violation of freedom of speech and expression of views guaranteed in the Constitution of India.”
On November 19, 2012, the police had arrested a 21-year-old girl from Palgarh who had questioned the rationality of the total shutdown in the city for Thackeray’s funeral on her Facebook account. Another girl was also arrested in the same case since she had “Liked” the post on Facebook.
The Facebook account and the post which was soon deleted, was reported to have – “people like Thackeray are born and die daily and one should not observe a bandh for that”, according to the MumbaiMirror.com.
The girl and her friend were booked under Section 295 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for ‘deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs’. They were later also charged under Section 505 (2) of the IPC for making‘statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes’.
The police later added Section 66 (A) of the Information Technology Act 2000 on them. Section 66 (A) deals with – messages sent via computer or communication devices which may be “grossly offensive,” have “menacing character,” or even cause “annoyance or inconvenience”.
The NHRC conducted an enquiry into the Facebook post and observed that the police had no reasonable ground for invoking Section 505(2) IPC. The girl’s comment only indicated that the bandh was not necessary as a mark of respect to the departed leader and that the city was shut down due to fear and not due to respect. It stated that bandhs had already been declared as illegal by the court.
NHRC has also observed that every citizen can interpret these comments as per his/her thoughts. However, these did not have any contents to attract provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000. As per Article 19 of the Constitution of India, every individual has a right to freedom of expression, which is a Fundamental Right and therefore, their arrest was a serious violation of human rights.
The NHRC has asked the Chief Secretary of the State to submit the compliance report along with the proof of payment within four weeks failing which, it may be constrained to take recourse to coercive process under Section 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. This has been issued after the Commission received no response to its notice and reminders to show cause why monetary relief should not be paid to the victims of human rights violation.

NCW holds CBDT guilty in I-T officer sexual harassment case
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/ncw-holds-cbdt-guilty-in-it-officer-sexual-harassment-case/486541-3.html

New Delhi: After an Income Tax officer from West bengal alleged that she was sexually harassed by her superior and her complaints to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) were ignored, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has held the CBDT guilty.
The NCW said that the lady officer was indeed harassed. She had approached the NCW two months ago after her complaint to CBDT was overlooked.
The I-T officer had alleged that she was penalised twice and not promoted. The officer being accused of harassment has already retired

NHRC summons Odisha education secretary
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Bhubaneswar/NHRC-summons-Odisha-education-secretary/articleshow/38543871.cms
TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 03.12 PM IST
BHUBANESWAR: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has summoned the school and mass education secretary for denial of education to children in 2,197 government school, despite the Right to Education Act being in force in the state.

Expressing concerns over allegations of lack of basic infrastructures such as school building, water system and toilet in these schools, the rights commission has sought report from the secretary and asked for her personal appearance before it.

“The commission has directed the secretary to submit a report on January 13, 2014, whereas you have failed without any lawful excuse to submit the report within the prescribed time. Now, therefore, you are directed to appear in person before the commission on August 8 with the requisite report,” read a letter from NHRC.

In a petition filed in the NHRC in December 2013, Global Human Rights Communications, a voluntary organization, alleged that there are no basic infrastructures such as school buildings, water system and toilets. Besides, after a survey conducted by the state government, the 2,197 school buildings were identified as unsafe and teaching in these schools have been stopped in view of the safety of school staff and students.

“A few schools run in open air, but teaching in these schools was affected due to rain, winter and cyclone Phailin. Though the classes are not conducted, the authorities falsely reported that mid-day meals are provided,” the petition said.

The petition further alleged that of the total 58,438 government-run primary schools in the state, the infrastructure at 15,493 schools are in a very bad condition. Of these, about 474 schools are in Nayagarh district, 411 are in Angul district, 197 schools are in Kendrapada, 298 in Keonjhar district, 356 in Nuapada and 61 schools in Sonepur district.

It was also alleged that about 2,514 teachers’ posts are vacant in government schools and the regular posts are being abolished and they are being filled up by hiring contractual teachers.

“It is shocking that basic right of children has been denied and the purpose of RTE act was completely defeated in the state,” the petition said, urging the NHRC to intervene in the matter.

Usha Rani Parida, a teacher, said, “This is really unfortunate that the state government wants quality education but does not provide basic infrastructure and adequate teachers in schools. Every year, we come to know that huge amount of money is being allocated for school education. If this is the ground reality, then where is the money going?”

Even though the commission directed the school and mass education department to submit a report within four weeks of getting a notice in January this year, he department did not respond to it. The commission again sent a reminder in June, which the department ignored again, following which the commission summoned the secretary.
The secretary was not available for comments.

Man disabled in road accident gets over Rs 36 L compensation
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/man-disabled-in-road-accident-gets-over-rs-36-l-compensation-114071700578_1.html
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 14:29 IST
A man, who suffered a permanent disability in a road accident after the bus he was travelling in fell into a ditch, has been awarded a compensation of over Rs 36 lakh by a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) here.

The tribunal directed the Oriental Insurance Company, with which the offending vehicle was insured, to pay Rs 36,95,136 as compensation to Krishan Kumar, who was on his way to Katra from Jammu with his family when the bus fell into a ditch due to the rash driving by its driver.

“Since the petitioner (Kumar) suffered injuries in the road accident due to rash and negligent driving by the driver, he is undoubtedly entitled to compensation,” MACT Presiding Officer S C Malik said.

The tribunal relied on Kumar’s testimony and documents on record. It also took into account Kumar’s medical reports which stated that his left hand was crushed and had to be amputated.

The disability certificate showed that Kumar had suffered 65 per cent disability in his left hand.

According to the petition, the accident took place when Kumar, a Delhi resident, was on his way from Jammu to Katra in the bus on December 10, 2005, with his wife, son and friends to visit Vaishno Devi shrine.

It said that Mahender, the driver of the bus, was driving at a high speed and in a negligent manner and despite repeated requests from passengers, he did not slow down. He instead told them that he had another trip to manage after dropping them so he had to drive fast, it said.

The driver lost control of the vehicle near Katra and it fell into a ditch leading to death of three persons– Kumar’s wife and two friends, it said.

Remaining passengers suffered grievous injuries and were rushed to a nearby hospital. Three days later they all were brought to Safdarjung hospital here, where Kumar underwent treatment and his left hand, which was crushed in the accident, was amputated.

Kumar, who worked as a pharmacist with the health department of MCD on a salary of Rs 19,000, had filed a petition seeking compensation of Rs 50 lakh for loss of future earnings.

The driver and owner of the bus were proceeded ex-parte, while the insurance company, through a written statement, had claimed the petition was without any cause of action.

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