LEGAL NEWS 19.07.2014

NHRC seeks report from MP government over reports of autopsies being done in open in residential colony
Press Trust of India
Jul 18, 2014 at 07:20pm IST
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Firday issued notice to Madhya Pradesh government following reports that autopsies were being done in an open room in the middle of a residential colony in the state’s Sagar district.
According to an official statement, a notice has been issued to the Principal Secretary (Health), Government of Madhya Pradesh, calling upon him to submit a detailed report within four weeks in this connection. The notice was issued after the commission took suo motu cognizance of a media report which said that for over three years, the residents of Bhagat Singh Ward in Garhakota Town of Sagar district had been leading a ‘hellish life’ as autopsies were being done in an open room of a collapsed building of the government hospital. Despite repeated complaints, the hospital authorities had failed to address the issue.
Reportedly, this building, located right in the middle of the residential colony, had collapsed over three years ago and since then seven to ten post-mortems were being done every month at an open dilapidated room. “The residents do not go on the roof top for the fear of seeing the bodies being cut open and internal organs hanging out. The foul smell of rotting flesh hangs in the air. Stray dogs and pigs bring out human body parts,” the statement said.

On NHRC’s recommendations, the UP government pays Rs 3 lakh as relief rape survivor
Ashish Tripathi,TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 06.49 PM IST
LUCKNOW: On the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission, the government of Uttar Pradesh, after initially denying to provide financial assistance to a minor rape survivor by a police constable, finally paid Rs 3 lakh as monetary relief to her, when the Commission, through its show cause notice said that a public servant had violated the victim’s human rights for which the state was liable.

Earlier, in response to the Commission’s notice, the state government had said that there was no provision in the police department to provide financial assistance to the victim. In its communication to the Commission, the state government said that a criminal case under Section 376 IPC was filed against the accused constable and he was arrested and sent to jail.

The incident had happened on September 5, 2012, in Janaki Nagar, under police station Kotwali Nagar in Gonda district. The girl had gone to drop her younger brother to school. While coming back home, she was waylaid by the Constable who dragged her to a bush and physically assaulted her.
The commission has observed that the contents of the newspaper report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of right to health.

Two Declared ‘Passed’ after They Pass Away
By Express News Service
Published: 19th July 2014 09:09 AM
Last Updated: 19th July 2014 09:09 AM
BALASORE: Several innocent lives lost and fate of over a thousand still uncertain, an apathetic State Government is yet to wake up from its slumber. So much so that despite faulty evaluation of matriculation papers wreaking havoc with students, even taking two lives in the process, neither the Government nor the Board of Secondary Education (BSE) has deemed it proper to reply to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
The NHRC had sought an Action Taken Report (ATR) within four weeks over the negligence that led to suicide of two girls who were shown to be failed at the first instance. They were declared to have passed in the exams following revaluation, but it was too late by then. The deadline has crossed, but no response has been filed.
The commission had called for the ATR pursuant to three petitions filed by Supreme Court lawyer and rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy. The deceased Rinki Dehury of Kumanda village in Angul district and Rashmita Sahoo, a student of Government Girls High School in Khurda, had taken the extreme step after being declared failed by the BSE.
Tripathy has appealed to the commission to direct the Government to pay compensation to all the students who have been the victims of wrong evaluation of the BSE. A special package may be ensured to the bereaved family for loss of their children.

Sessions court refuses stay on deportation
Jul 19, 2014 |
• Age Correspondent

A sessions court on Friday refused to grant a stay on the deportation order issued against Siraj Murad Khan Pathan, a resident of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) who is staying in India since age 10.
Additional sessions judge H.S. Mahajan on Friday observed, “On going through the provisions of Citizenship Act as well as aforesaid Act (Foreigners Act) it reveals that so far as respect of nationality or citizenship is concerned, this court does not have jurisdiction at all to enter into said area as jurisdiction of the same is vested exclusively with the authorities of Central government.” In these circumstances, citing inability to pass any order with respect to deportation, the judge did not grant interim stay on the expatriation order.
Pathan’s lawyer Tanvir Nizam told this newspaper that now they are planning to approach the high court in this regard. He also said that the court has admitted his client’s appeal against his conviction.
On January 4 this year, the Bhoiwada court had convicted Pathan for staying illegally in India for many years without valid papers or a visa. He has undergone the six-month imprisonment awarded by the local court and filed an appeal only now. The court accepted his explanation that he was not aware of the legal process and did not have enough money to hire a lawyer, which is why he filed an appeal after six months.
Pathan was 10 years old when he ran away from his home in district Manshera in PoK. He boarded the wrong train and landed in Amritsar instead of Karachi, where his uncle lived. He later settled down in Mumbai and married an Indian girl. The couple has three children. Now, 19 years later, he faces the prospect of being sent back to his PoK without his family after being convicted under the Foreigners Act 1946 and Passport (Entry into India) Rules.

Supreme Court asks Delhi HC to nominate sessions judge to try coal allocation case
Sneha Srivastava/Mint New Delhi:
Paving the way for a structured and consolidated prosecution in the coal block allocation case, the Supreme Court on Friday asked the Delhi high court to nominate a sessions judge for a special court to look into offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and “other allied offences”. A bench consisting of chief justice R.M. Lodha and justices Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph passed orders requiring the Delhi high court to submit a name from the Delhi higher judicial services to be appointed special judge by 25 July. Prashant Bhushan, appearing for non-governmental organization (NGO) and petitioner Common Cause, had asked for the setting up of a special court as had been done in the case related to alleged irregularities in the 2008 allocation of 2G spectrum. Bhushan also asked the court to appoint a special public prosecutor to assist the special court. A rejoinder filed by Bhushan, a copy of which has been reviewed by Mint, states that a special court is required for “swift trial by a court of competent jurisdiction.” At present, different cases are being tried in different courts, which could lead to delay, it stated. There was much debate on what the role of a special public prosecutor would be because the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) didn’t want an outsider overseeing charge-sheets and closure reports filed by the agency. Senior lawyer Amrendra Sharan, appearing for the investigating agency, said there couldn’t be a “supercop” above CBI. The apex court appeared in favour of appointing an independent special public prosecutor who could scrutinize the material available with CBI. The court pointed out that a senior public prosecutor with CBI (with its prosecution department) can scrutinize charge-sheets before they are filed with court and comment on final reports, according to the CBI manual. Similar powers would, in this case, also be available with an independent special public prosecutor. This was contested by CBI, which said a senior public prosecutor’s opinion on charge-sheets and final reports went through several levels of consideration like the deputy legal officer, legal officer and finally the director of prosecution. It was only the director of prosecution who decides whether to proceed with the prosecution or not, CBI submitted to the court. The court added that in a court-monitored probe, the assistance of parties involved is paramount. It highlighted that it had not appointed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) or a special investigative team (SIT). CBI has consistently challenged any move for outsider intervention into its investigation. CBI lawyer Sharan said the agency’s concerns over a special public prosecutor looking into its investigation had been “vindicated”. “The decision to file closure reports or charge-sheets is still with CBI. It decides whom to prosecute and whom not to. The person concerned (the special public prosecutor) will assist the court.” he said. “No lawyer can overturn the decision of the investigative agency.” he added, citing this as the reason for the apex court to not allow the special prosecutor powers to access CBI investigation material. Bhushan said: “The special public prosecutor will have access to all the material.” He added that it was still unclear whether it would be before or after filing of the charge-sheet. In an earlier hearing, the court had asked for suggestions on potential candidates for appointment as a special prosecutor. Manohar Lal Sharma, the main petitioner in the case, suggested senior lawyer Gopal Subramanium’s name. Subramanium had served as a special public prosecutor in the Parliament attack case of 2001. More recently, he stopped practising in the apex court after withdrawing consent to be a Supreme Court judge. Bhushan stated that the court was in favour of Subramanium being the special public prosecutor, if he accepted the post. Three other names had been proposed by Bhushan. He declined to disclose the names to Mint. Alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks could have led to a notional loss of Rs.1.86 trillion to the exchequer, the government auditor, the Comptroller of Auditor General (CAG), said in a report in 2012, uncovering what has been dubbed “coalgate” by sections of the media. The case will be heard next on 25 July.

Judge accuses advocates of committing fraud
Complaint lodged with Mangalore North Police on the directions of the Principal District and Sessions Court
The Principal District and Sessions Court here has accused some advocates, including a Mangalore-based advocate, who are dealing with motor vehicle accident cases, of committing fraud by withdrawing prematurely fixed deposits of several accident victims with the support of false court orders.
In a complaint filed with the Mangalore North police, Chief Accounts Officer K. Prafulla has accused advocate A.C. Jayaraj of producing forged orders of the court to Dena Bank in Kankanady for premature release of fixed deposits related to petitioners who have been granted relief in accident cases.
Ms. Prafulla said that similar forged court orders had been produced by a few other advocates.
The complaint was filed on the directions of Principal District and Sessions Judge Uma M.G.
The judge’s direction came following an inquiry after the manager of Dena Bank’s Kankanady branch came to the court with letters bearing the seal and signature of the Principal District and Sessions Judge directing the bank to prematurely release fixed deposits of accident victims.
These fixed deposits are created on the directions of court using a part of the total compensation granted in accident cases.
The letters presented by the advocates to the bank sought for premature release of fixed deposits stating that the fixed deposit receipts kept in the court custody were lost. Some of these letters were submitted by Mr. Jayaraj.
On inquiry, the judge found that the letters submitted by the advocate bore forged signatures of the then Principal District and Sessions Judges B.V. Prakash and Chaudapurkar Arun. Ms. Uma also found that the fixed deposit receipts were in the custody of the court. These presiding officers had not sent any such orders to Dena Bank, the inquiry revealed.
The Mangalore North police have registered case against Mr. Jayaraj and the other advocates involved. The case is pending before the II Additional Senior Civil Judge Court.

Special court to hold trial in the coal block allocation scam
Friday, 18 July 2014 – 7:09pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered setting up of a special court to exclusively hold trial of the coal blocks allocation scam and asked the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court to nominate a judge, who will deal with the cases arising out of the investigation conducted by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate.
A bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha also decided to appoint an eminent lawyer as Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) for conducting the trial proceedings before the special court in the national capital for which the Chief Justice of the High Court has been asked to nominate a judge within a week. “As of now we direct the Secretary General of the Supreme Court to write to the Registrar General of the Delhi High Court to take orders from the Chief Justice to nominate an officer from the Delhi Higher Judicial Service as Special Judge to deal with coal block allocation matters registered under the Indian Penal Code, Prevention of Corruption Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act and other allied offences,” the bench, also comprising justices M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, said. The bench said the Registrar General will communicate the decision to the apex court before July 25 when the matter will be taken up again for hearing.
Meanwhile, the bench asked all the stakeholders to hold consultation for unanimous choice on the appointment of SPP, for conducting the trial of cases arising out of the probe in the coal blocks allocation scam. “We want a person of impeccable integrity and with free legal mind,” the bench said and the name of senior advocate Gopal Subramanium was mentioned as the first choice among others.
While lawyers, appearing in the matter, were in agreement with Subramanium’s name being suggested as SPP, the CJI said there would be a need to persuade him to take up the assignment. “If I failed in something you (lawyers appearing in the matter) should persuade him,” CJI Lodha said in an apparent reference to the controversy which led Subramanium withdraw his consent from the apex court collegium for his appointment as the judge of the Supreme Court.
However, two-hour long hearing on the issue of SPP, witnessed the Centre supporting the CBI in its stand opposing the apex court’s suggestion and that of the petitioner NGO that the SPP would be allowed to scrutinise and examine the case materials before the filing of the charge sheets. Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar concurred with the contention of CBI counsel Amarendra Sharan that scrutinising and examining of the materials was the task of in-house prosecutors and the role of SPP would come after filing of the charge sheets before the designated court which can seek the opinion of the SPP wherever required. The bench, which initially favoured that any lawyer appointed as SPP would be entitled to scrutinise documents before filing of charge sheets, later relented as there was a view that people in CBI can refuse to accept the opinion of the SPP.
“It will put the person (SPP) in an embarrassment if his opinion is not accepted by the people or officials in the CBI. We want to appoint a person of stature as the SPP who will feel comfortable before the court rather than taking a position before the department people,” the bench observed. The bench also dropped the idea of SPP dealing with the CBI people before the filing of charge sheets as Solicitor General suggested that such a step could prove as “game changer” in the criminal justice system. “It will have a wide-ranging implication on the entire criminal justice system. It will open a pandora box,” Kumar said while CBI counsel was trying to impress the bench that such authority lies with the prosecutors working in the agency

Bail petitions of 4 involved in fake passport racket dismissed
Press Trust of India | Chennai
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 22:39 IST
Bail petitions of four persons, including three Sri Lankan Tamils, arrested and lodged at Puzhal prison here in connection with a recent fake passport racket, were dismissed by a court today.

Principal Sessions Court Judge N Authinathan rejected the petitions, saying the investigation is at the preliminary stage.

City Public Prosecutor M L Jagan who opposed enlarging the accused on bail, contended that six persons, including five Sri Lankan Tamils, were arrested near Egmore railway station here on June 23 following an alert from Interpol and were later detained at Puzhal prison.

Krishamoorthy, kingpin of the racket, who was one among the arrested, used to send Sri Lankan Tamils to various countries, including Australia and Canada using fake visas and fake Indian passports over the years. The four petitoners had collected between Rs four to Rs six lakh from each Sri Lankan Tamil for sending them abroad, the CPP said.

He submitted that they had committed a crime against the country and noted that police had alerted the respective embassies about Sri Lankan Tamils who had left the country using fake documents.

He also submitted that police were yet to receive information about the same and prayed that their petitions should therefore be rejected.

Meanwhile another accused, Sivarangan moved the Madras High Court for bail.

1993 Surat Bomb blasts: Supreme Court acquits all accused
Friday, 18 July 2014 – 2:40pm IST | Agency: ANI
The Supreme Court on Friday acquitted all of the accused in the 1993 Surat bomb blasts case, in which one girl was killed and more than 40 people were injured.
Quashing the TADA court judgement, which had convicted 11 people in 2008 and sentenced them to imprisonment for up to 20 years, the apex court bench headed by Justice T S Thakur acquitted all of the accused. “We have appealed against the judgement of the TADA court, in which the accused were convicted for the blast. So, we had appealed before Supreme Court,” said lawyer Sanjay Jain. “The major contention that we took before the court was the approval under Section 20 (A) of TADA. It appears that court has accepted our arguments and given its judgement,” Jain added.
The apex court judgement comes as a shock to the Gujarat Government which had appealed for enhancement of punishment of some of the accused and had also challenged the acquittal of some of the accused.
Two blasts had rocked Surat in 1993. On January 21, a bomb had exploded near Sadhna School in Mini bazar in Surat’s Varachha area, in which a female student Alpa Patel was killed. 11 other people had sustained injuries.
The very next day, another bomb exploded at the Surat Railway station, injuring 38 people. The TADA court, while delivering its judgment, had observed that all of the accused had carried out the attacks in an apparent retaliation for the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.

Switzerland raises legal issues on list of illegal bank a/c
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 18:01 IST
Swiss authorities have raised some legal issues after Indiawrote to them for providing a list of illegal bank account holders in Switzerland, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.

Jaitley gave this information in the Lok Sabha while asserting that Government was making all efforts to procure the list of the illegal bank account holders in Switzerland and that it was collecting evidence in this regard.

He also said that India was in the process of communicating with the Swiss authorities and enter into an agreement which was in the best interest of the country within the parameters of Swiss laws.

The Minister told the House that Swiss authorities have raised some legal issues after India sought the list.

“We are in the process of communication with the Swiss authorities, and whatever is the best agreement, within the parameters of their law, we are going to enter into,” he said replying to a supplementary on illegal Swiss bank accounts.

Jaitley said the treaty between India and Switzerland on sharing of information on illegal bank account holders was of future and prospective in nature and that is why the European country was not cooperating on the previous lists of such account holders.

“The treaty between India and Switzerland is that of the future and prospective in nature and that is why they will not cooperate on the names previously given.

“But we will make all effort with the Swiss authority in this regard. Indian government is taking all efforts to get evidence required to support the list,” he said.

Jaitley said India had received a list of 700 illegal Swiss bank account holders, which was procured from the French government on the precondition that the names would not be made public.

India had earlier received another such list from Liechtenstein bank following which the government had initiated the process of identifying Indians, he said.

Income tax and criminal proceedings have been initiated against all such persons identified, Jaitley said.

Allahabad HC issues notice to PM Narendra Modi on petition challenging his election from Varanasi
Friday, 18 July 2014 – 4:43pm IST | Place: Lucknow | Agency: PTI
The Allahabad High Court on Friday issued a notice to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a petition challenging his election from the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
Justice VK Shukla, while passing the order on the election petition of Congress MLA Ajay Rai, who had contested as the party’s candidate from Varanasi, fixed September 5 as the next date of hearing in the matter.
Rai has alleged in his affidavit that Modi had left blank columns relating to his wife Jashodaben’s PAN card details and her income, which violated Supreme Court’s directions.
Rai has also alleged that though the Election Commission had laid down that a candidate in a Lok Sabha poll must not spend more than Rs 70 lakh during electioneering, crores were spent during Modi’s campaign.
He has also alleged that T-shirts and caps bearing Modi’s name and image were distributed among the people on a large scale which was in violation of the Model Code of Conduct. Rai, who is an MLA from Pindra assembly segment of Varanasi district, had finished third in the Lok Sabha election wherein he also ended up losing his deposit.
Modi, contesting his first election outside Gujarat, registered a stunning victory by defeating his nearest rival Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party by a massive margin of nearly 3.71 lakh votes.
After assuming Prime Ministership, Modi had resigned from the Vadodara seat from where he had won by a record margin of 5.70 lakh votes, retaining Varanasi.

HC asks MC to start cleanliness pilot project from Sector 16
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Chandigarh, July 18, 2014
First Published: 14:50 IST(18/7/2014) | Last Updated: 14:53 IST(18/7/2014)
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday directed the Chandigarh municipal corporation to start a pilot project from Sector16 to maintain cleanliness of the sector to avoid roaming of stray dogs mainly near to the garbagedumping areas.
As per the HC orders, before starting of such pilot project, survey of stray dogs in Sector 16 should be undertaken and after maintenance of proper cleanliness of the sector area for a complete month, again survey about number of stray dogs in the sector should be carried out and the report be submitted to the court.
The court was of the view that it was mainly because of the lack of cleanliness, scattered garbage as well as eatables in various sectors that stray dogs menace is uncontrollable.
However, the municipal corporation, in its reply submitted to the HC that from June 8-11, a team, headed by city mayor Harphool Chander Kalyan, and six councillors and corporation officials had visited Nashik inMaharashtra to study dog menace and measure taken by the municipal body to control the same.
After the study tour, the committee made several recommendations like creation of own infrastructure for sterilisation and operation of dogs, association non-government organisation for conducting sterilisation operations and postoperative treatment, creation of common incineration facility for dead dogs and other animals to dispose them off scientifically.
It was also informed that the issue of dog menace was also discussed in the general house meeting of the corporation on May 13. The case will now come up for hearing on July 27.

HC order on teacher merit list puts education dept in a fix
Vivek Gupta, Hindustan Times Chandigarh , July 18, 2014
First Published: 12:03 IST(18/7/2014) | Last Updated: 12:08 IST(18/7/2014)
A recent order by the Punjab and Haryana high court (HC) that directed the education department to prepare a fresh merit list of the 536 teachers hired in 2009, on the basis of the revised criteria, seems to have opened the Pandora’s Box for the department.
The court recently found out that five marks assigned in the descriptive test were illegal and the new merit list was to be prepared by deducting those five marks from the criteria, finalised on July 21, 2009.
Ashok Yadav, a candidate, recently submitted a representation in the Directorate of Public Instruction (Schools) office, claiming appointment as trained graduate teacher (TGT) mathematics on the basis of revised criteria set by the HC.
He insisted that the department prepare a fresh merit list for teaching posts for mathematics because according to the revised criteria, he was now eligible for
the regular appointment.
This representation might escalate the department’s problems, which has been so far shying away from preparing merit lists for all subjects, even as the court has specifically directed it to do so.
The department has so far prepared a new merit list for posts for social studies only.
It argued that the writ petition that forced the department to revise the criteria and draw a new list involved petitioners of this subject only.
The department has already served termination at a month’s notice to two regular school teachers after the department redrew its fresh merit list for social studies and found the two ineligible.
However, according to sources, the department would not touch the merit list of other subjects unless it was directed to do so by the court’s order.
“As for the merit lists of other subjects is concerned, we will certainly adhere to any further court order, if any, on this issue,” Kamlesh Kumar, director of public instruction (schools), recently told HT.
Yadav, on the other hand, has already made up his mind to move a petition in the Chandigarh administrative tribunal next week.
He is expecting a favorable order regarding his regular appointment.
Meanwhile, many serving teachers of 2009 batch are in a lurch demanding that the department take a lenient view of the issue.
A school teacher, wishing to remain anonymous, said the department must absorb those teachers who were likely to get terminated by virtue of a fresh list.
“If it doesn’t do so, disqualified teachers would have no option but to knock on the court’s doors for justice,” he added.

HC raps Punjab on non-disbursal of post-matric scholarship
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Chandigarh, July 18, 2014
First Published: 22:18 IST(18/7/2014) | Last Updated: 22:20 IST(18/7/2014)
Noticing that the Punjab government had failed in the timely disbursement of payments on account of the post-matric scholarship for Scheduled Caste students, pending since 2007-08, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday said there was no use of making such schemes on paper.

“If you cannot implement it, don’t make such schemes only for populism,” said chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul while hearing a public interest litigation filed by the Association of Volunteers for Students’ Rights (AVSR), Chandigarh.

The court further observed, “The very objective of such a welfare scheme is made illusionary by not disbursing the funds at the relevant stage of time. If the state government is not interested or incapable of implementing the scheme, it must say so instead of only making the scheme on paper and then not providing funds to the beneficiaries entitled to it.”

The court has thus granted six weeks’ time to the Punjab government to provide data for each financial year, university-wise, as to how many claims are still pending for disbursement, making it clear that within this time the state should also make efforts for the disbursement of payments.

The state government has sent an anticipated proposal for 2014-15, amounting to Rs. 360.13 crore, for benefiting 2.37 lakh Scheduled Caste (SC) students to the union ministry of social justice and empowerment for approval and release of central assistance to the tune of Rs. 299.34 crore, the court was informed by Paramjit Singh, director, welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes.

At the same time, the court was told by Lovely Professional University (near Jalandhar) that its Rs. 1.79 crore under the scheme was still pending for release from the welfare officer, Chandigarh, even including the 2007-08 academic session.

The petitioner association had sought directions to the Punjab government to strictly implement the post-matric scholarship scheme. The Centre had come out with the scheme, as per which SC students whose parents’ income does not exceed Rs. 2 lakh per annum, are eligible for scholarship after matriculation.

The case would now come up for hearing on September 26.

HC refuses to grant relief to ex-UPTU registrar
TNN | Jul 19, 2014, 04.15 AM IST
LUCKNOW: The high court on Friday declined to grant relief to former Uttar Pradesh Technical University registrar US Tomar and directed him to approach the Chancellor of the university under the rules.

Dismissing Tomar’s petition, a bench of Justice Sanjai Mishra and Justice BK Srivastava held that the petition was not maintainable.

Tomar had filed the petition demanding that his suspension order passed by the vice-chancellor on July 3 be declared null and void as it was passed under political influence.

Appearing on behalf of the vice-chancellor, advocate LP Mishra while opposing the petition contended that Tomar was working on class three post in HBTI, Kanpur. Due to political clout, he was appointed as UPTU registrar in 2007, whereas a government order (GO) issued in 2003 clearly states that only a senior PCS rank officer can be appointed on that post. The counsel charged Tomar of granting many affiliations illegally to the university.

In 2013, the Supreme Court had restrained Tomar from granting affiliations but he did not comply with the orders of the apex court. On directions of the court, a committee headed by former judge of high court Justice Alok Kumar Singh was constituted which submitted its report against Tomar.

HC seeks LDA reply on levelling of ponds

Lucknow: The high court has directed the Lucknow Development Authority to submit reply within four weeks on the allegations that it was levelling ponds in Behsa village near Amausi airport. The order came on a PIL filed by Jan Utthan Samiti , Behsa. The local Samajwadi Party MLA Sharda Pratap Shukla is patron of the society. The petitioner alleged that LDA acquired illegally the pieces of land bearing gata numbers 1018, 1019 and 1021 recorded as pond in the revenue records, and of late it had started levelling them.

Government tells HC about refugee citizenship nod
Pranjal Baruah, TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 10.53AM IST
GUWAHATI: The state government on Thursday submitted before Gauhati high court that it advocates granting of citizenship to refugees who fled Bangladesh following religious persecution. The response to the HC notice comes a day after the state cabinet proposed granting of citizenship to these people.

The PIL was filed by one Gopi Ghosh in 2012, where he sought the court’s intervention in granting of Indian citizenship to Hindus, Buddhists and Christians, who migrated to India from Bangladesh after 1971 because of “social persecution and religious disturbances”. He prayed before the court that these people should be treated as “displaced” and not illegal migrants and it was the duty of the Indian government to give them citizenship.

The high court then issued notices to ministry of home affairs, state chief secretary, department of Assam accord implementation and Assam police, asking them to reply on the status of “displaced migrants” from Bangladesh.
State home and political department joint secretary Madhaw Prasad Sharma, who filed the government’s affidavit, said, “The central government is the sole authority to grant the citizenship under the Citizenship Act. However, considering the issue raised by the petitioner, the state government has requested the Centre to frame a policy for granting asylum to those persons, originally subjects of British India at the time of partition, who have had to face religious prosecution or discrimination later and as a result, compelled to come to India for shelter.”

The state government representative submitted before the court that the state government has earlier submitted a memorandum to then UPA government in 2012 that the post-1971 refugees should be given Indian citizenship.

The petitioner’s counsel, Debashish Sur, told TOI, “This (the state government memorandum) is only an executive order. The state government can’t give citizenship to anyone. We have sought the court’s intervention for granting Indian citizenship to the minority Hindu community in Bangladesh, who had no other option but to come to Assam after being driven out of that country.”

Sur said the PIL also contended that like Gujarat and Rajasthan, where the Citizenship Rule was amended and the displaced are being given protection, Assam should also have the same rule.

He added that the issue of Hindu migrants should be considered sympathetically, as victimization of minorities in Bangladesh continued even after the cut-off date set in Assam Accord, which is midnight of March 24, 1971.

HC orders issue of notice to former Madurai police officials
Press Trust of India | Madurai
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 19:06 IST
The Madurai bench of the Madras High court today ordered issue of notice to four former police officials of Madurai on a petition filed by a “land grab” victim seeking to implead them in the case and to transfer the matter to the CB-CID.

Justice T.Sivagnanam, admitting the petition filed by one R.John Sundarapandian, ordered notice to the former SP of Madurai V.Balakrishnan, ADSP K.Gopalsamy, DSP Unnikrishnan and Inspector M.Muthukumar (Oomachikulam Police Station).

The petitioner submitted that he had borrowed Rs.1.50 crore from one Balamurugan, and had also given his property document on the condition that it be returned if the loan was repaid.

He alleged that Balamurugan and others demolished a part of the compound wall of the property in November 2011 and though he gave a complaint to police no action was taken following which he moved the Magistrate court. Cases were registered under several IPC sections but no further action was taken and subsequently the Inspector had closed the case as ‘mistake of fact’. He alleged that the then SP had supported Balamurugan.

He alleged that henchmen again demolished the compound wall in the presence of the Inspector in January this year and felled coconut trees in the land in March.

On the High Court orders, the inspector registered a complaint. Though he gave a complaint to the Home Secretary and the DGP,they also did not take any action, the petitioner alleged.

He alleged that it was clear case of land grabbing with Police assistance.As the local police were not effective,the case should be transferred to CB-CID,the petitioner said.

The court directed the petitioner to implead the former police officials of Madudrai by mentioning their names, in the case and the impleading petition was filed. It was admitted with a direction to issue notice.

HC direction to High Level Committee on backlog of vacancies
Press Trust of India | Chennai
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 19:16 IST
The Madras High Court today directed the High Level Committee, constituted by the state government, to complete the exercise of reviewing and arriving at the shortfall of vacancies for SC and ST in government departments and submit a report within a period of six months.

The First Bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Sathish K. Agnihotri and Justice M.M. Sundresh, recorded the Government Pleader’s submission that a High Level Committee had been set up to review the backlog of vacancies in SC and ST in all government departments.

It also took note of the stand taken by Home Secretary and Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department’s submission that a High Level Committee had been constituted as per the government order dated January 5,2012.

“…We deem it fit to direct the High Level Committee constituted as per the Government order to finalize the process within a period of six months,” the court said, disposing of the petition filed by S.Karuppiah, founder of Central and State Government Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Employees Federation, Chennai.

In the PIL, the petitioner sought a direction to the authorities to conduct special drive to fill the backlog of vacancies which are available for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes within a reasonable time in order to achieve the constitutional goal. The petitioner alleged that inspite of the representation the authorities are not filling up the backlog vacancies of SC and ST.

In reply, authorities submitted that a Government Order was already issued and the matter was already dealt by the High Level Committee constituted by the Government as per the Government order which is continuing the process.

After hearing both sides, the Bench passed the order.

HC stays AICTE’s order refusing approval to 14 institutions
Press Trust of India | Mumbai
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 19:46 IST
In a relief to 14 technical institutions in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court has stayed orders of the All India Council of Technical Education refusing them “extension of approval” and placing them in “no admission” category for the current academic year (2014-15).

Division bench of Justices A V Mohta and Amjad Sayed, on July 14, granted a stay, observing that “prima facie we find that the manner and haste in which AICTE has passed the orders is unjustifiable….There are infirmities in decision-making process in passing the impugned orders.”

The court was hearing petitions filed by 13 of these institutions challenging the orders of AICTE.

The judges, however, made it clear that these institutions can grant only provisional admissions as of now, and they must inform the students that admissions would be subject to the final decision of the court on the petitions.

“The petitioners and the students shall not claim any equity (rights) on the basis of this order,” the HC said.

AICTE is empowered to ensure that all the institutions recognised by it possess complete infrastructure, staff and other facilities.

There are about 1,800 private aided and non-aided institutions in Maharashtra which impart technical education. The court noted that since 2009 AICTE has not inspected the institutions in the state within the timeframe.

HC seeks scheme to protect children of jailed parents
TNN | Jul 19, 2014, 03.11 AM IST
KOCHI: The high court on Friday asked the state government to formulate a special scheme for rehabilitation and protection of children whose parents are in jail in line with the child protective services in developed countries.

A division bench comprising Justices Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and P B Suresh Kumar asked director general of prosecution T Asaf Ali to consult the government and take urgent measures on the issue, while considering a petition filed by a mother jailed for murdering her husband. In the petition seeking suspension of her jail term, the mother had pointed out that there was nobody to take care of her two daughters.

The petition said she had two daughters, aged 11 and 18, and that she was anxious of their safety. The children had to stop their education and they were alone at home, she said.

The court directed the government to come up with a comprehensive scheme for rehabilitation and protection of children in cases where parents are in jail and the children were not able to lead their normal lives for no crime of their own.

It asked the DGP to study the UN conventions on rights of children and suggest ways and means to protect children of those detained. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1992 had declared that providing a standard of living adequate for the child’s development is a fundamental right of the child. However, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, which is the most comprehensive law on child care in India, does not include children whose parents are in jail under its scope. The DGP promised the court to inform about the government’s stance on the issue after consulting the chief minister and officials.

HC rejects interim bail plea of ex-councillor in graft case
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 17:28 IST
The Delhi High Court today dismissed the interim bail plea of former MCD councillor Hiren Tokas who is serving a five-year jail term in a bribery case.

Tokas had sought interim bail for two months to take care of his ailing parents, saying there is no one to take care of them.

Justice S Muralidhar passed the order after perusing the status report filed by CBI and the affidavit of Tokas’ younger brother who has stated that he does not live with their parents but resides separately with his wife and children.

CBI in its status report has said that his parents are not well while Tokas’s younger brother Nalin has said he no longer resides with his parents at the ancestral property in Munirka village here and lives in a flat at Vasant Kunj in south Delhi with his wife and two children since March 1999.

He has also stated Hiren’s family resides at the ancestral home with his family.

“The court has perused the status report as well as the affidavit of the brother, Nalin Tokas, of the appellant. The court is not inclined to accept the prayer for grant of interim bail. The application is dismissed.

“The court is inclined to accept the prayer of the appellant for advancing the date of hearing of the appeal itself. List on October 14, 2014,” the bench said.

The court had on July 14 asked Nalin to file an affidavit stating whether he is staying with his parents as his elder brother had sought bail on the ground that there is no one in his family to look after their elderly parents.

CBI, however, had opposed Tokas’ contention and said Nalin resides in the same house in which their parents currently live.

HC gives MBBS aspirant 6 days to challenge UT policy
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Chandigarh , July 18, 2014
First Published: 11:30 IST(18/7/2014) | Last Updated: 16:11 IST(18/7/2014)
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday granted six days’ time to one of the MBBS admission aspirants in Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector-32, to challenge Chandigarh administration’s reservation policy framed in 2003.
According to the policy, a candidate must have passed the qualifying examination, Class 12 , from schools situated in Chandigarh for being considered against 85% MBBS seats in GMCH reserved for the Chandigarh pool.
Appearing for the petitioner, Akanksha Mehra, advocate Rajiv Kataria requested the court for some time to challenge the policy stating it as ridiculous and without any condition of domicile. He submitted that the policy was unjustified since it allowed a student who had studied for 11 years outside Chandigarh for being eligible for 85% UT quota just by passing plus two from Chandigarh school. Mehra had earlier approached the court challenging UT administration’s decision of not accepting her application for admission in GMCH under state quota, after which the administration had informed the court that it already had a policy on the subject framed in 2003.
Despite being a bonafide resident of Chandigarh and having done her schooling till Class 10 from schools in the city, the petitioner had become ineligible for admission to Chandigarh pool MBBS seats since she had passed Class 12 from a school in SAS Nagar. In All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) 2014, the petitioner had been declared successful and her ranking for Punjab medical colle ges was 313 and for Chandigarh seats as 40.The case will come up for hearing on July 22.

PIL in HC demanding Vaidik’s arrest for meeting Hafiz Saeed
Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Published: Jul 18 2014, 19:13 IST
SUMMARYA plea was today filed in the Delhi High Court seeking the arrest of journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik for meeting with 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan earlier this month.
A plea was today filed in the Delhi High Court seeking the arrest of journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik for meeting with 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan earlier this month.
The PIL also seeks a probe by National Investigation Agency or Intelligence Bureau into the matter, saying it pertains to national security.
The matter is likely to come up for hearing next week.
The PIL filed by an NGO, Gharib Nawaz Foundation, has sought directions to the central government to “immediately arrest Vaid Pratap Vaidik on the charges of sedition, treason and to investigate the reason of his meeting Saeed, the world’s most wanted terrorist, mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai attack and President of banned organisation, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), at his residence in Lahore.”
The petition, filed through advocate Nawal Kishore Jha, also seeks cancellation of Vaidik’s passport.
According to the petition, Vaidik was touring Pakistan with a group of politicians like Mani Shankar Aiyar, Salman Khurshid and others when he had met Hafiz.
The petition also submits that USA and UNO have declared Hafiz a global terrorist and a bounty of USD 10 million has been placed on his head.
USA has also piled sanctions on Jamaat-ud-Dawa, allegedly a front for LeT, the petition has said.
The NGO has also sought directions to the Centre to frame rules for citizens not to compromise national security while they are on tour abroad.

HC directs diversion of funds for Dal de-weeding
Says the order shall not be subject to any ‘bureaucratic booby traps’
• Saturday, 19 July 2014 0:00
• Written by: Marouf Ahmad Parray
• Srinagar: As weeds virtually engulf the Dal lake amid drought of money for its cleaning, the J&K High Court has directed diversion of Rs five crore out of the funds meant for ‘land acquisition’ to tide over the situation.
The direction by a division bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Hasnain Massodi followed submissions by amicus curie, senior advocate Zaffar A Shah and perusal of status report by acting vice-chairman of Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA), Shafat Noor Barlas.
Shah drew the attention of the court to unprecedented weed growth in the lake, which is attributed to free flow of untreated discharge, like sewage, urban and agriculture runoff.
He also pointed out that funds for de-weeding have not been released by the government, compounding the growth of weed which has spread virtually in whole of the lake, the flagship of Kashmir’s tourism.
On the other hand, the status report by acting V-C of LAWDA revealed that there is no European weed like Azolla, to which the court said, “We are not interested in finding out the nature of weed. However the fact remains that there is wild growth of weed throughout the lake and this has to be removed.”
There is indication in the report filed by the V-C, court observed, that a Detailed Project Report (DPR) is being sent to the government for according technical and financial sanction. At the point, Advocate General M I Qadri submitted that the same would mature within four days.
The V-C’s report further stated that funds under the head ‘Operations and Maintenance (O&M)’ were not available. However, a sum of more than Rs 83.00 crore is available under head ‘land acquisition’.
The court discussed the issue of diverting a sum of Rs 5 crore from the head ‘land acquisition’ to the Account Head ‘O&M’ in order to tide over the situation of clearing weeds from the lake and to ensure that the operation of STPs do not come to a standstill.
“There is no serious objection, and the only thing which has been mentioned is that as and when the funds are released under the O&M head, the same be readjusted by recouping, repaying the amount under the head ‘land acquisition’,” the court said.
Accordingly, the bench was persuaded to take the view that a sum of Rs 5 crore from ‘land acquisition’ be diverted to ‘O&M’ head, so as to start the de-weeding process and to ensure the functioning of STPs.
“This order shall not be subject to any other bureaucratic booby traps and the diversion of the funds under the signature of Shafat Noor Barlas would be sufficient, because any further delay would not be in the interest of maintaining the lake and its beauty,” the court said.
However, the court said, diversion of funds by its order should not be construed that no funds under O&M head are required to be released.
“The funds should be released as per the statement made by Advocate General, and the compliance report be filed before next date of hearing,” the court said and posted the case next week.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Sheikh Tahir Iqbal, then a law student, in July 2002 to save the Dal.
Meanwhile, the court kept “pending” the issue regarding reengaging of Irfan Yasin Shah as LADWA’s V-C.
The issue regarding continuation of Irfan Yasin was brought to the forefront by advocate Shah by referring to various court directions in this regard.
Advocate General stated that the proposal has already been initiated by the General Administration Department and the same is under consideration of the Chief Minister.
The Advocate General, who made the statement on the instructions of Feroze Ahmad, Additional Secretary to Government, GAD, also submitted that needful shall be done within four weeks.
At this point, advocate Shah said that no concession should be shown to state because there is no plausible explanation for the culpable delay caused in passing the order of extending tenure of Irfan Yasin as V-C of LAWDA.
“We do not express any opinion on the aforesaid issue and keep the same pending,” the court said.

HC gives Punjab 2 months for finalising PSHRC recruitment rules
HT Correspondent Chandigarh, July 18, 2014
First Published: 22:15 IST(18/7/2014) | Last Updated: 22:17 IST(18/7/2014)
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday granted two months to the Punjab government to finalise recruitment rules for employees of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC), failing which the principal secretary of the department of home affairs would have to remain present on the next date of hearing (October 10).

The directions came from the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Ajay Tewari while hearing a public interest litigation filed by advocate Dinesh Chadha. The PSHRC was allegedly recruiting employees through non-transparent methods, the petitioner had alleged.

During the hearing of the case on Friday, the court also showed its disapproval of the Punjab government’s conduct of not finalising the recruitment rules despite taking several opportunities.

Parliament Attack: HC rejects CRPF jawan’s plea for award
Press Trust of India | Ahmedabad
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 22:19 IST
The Gujarat High Court has rejected a plea filed by a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan, who had played a role in fighting against the ‘2001 terror attack’ on the IndianParliament, demanding an award of Rs 50,000 as announced by the Lok Sabha speaker.

The two-judge bench of the High Court comprising Justice Akil Qureshi and justice Mohinder Pal had rejected the CRPF jawan Mafatlal Makwana’s plea on Wednesday, due to contradictory versions of the incident from the petitioner and the union government.

The division bench observed in its judgement, that the court cannot go into such highly disputed facts in a writ petition. The court observed that the Central government could take a decision on Makwana’s representations.

The petitioner Mafatlal Makwana, who hails from Sonarkui village of Dholka taluka of Ahmedabad district, had filed the plea in the year 2005.

As per his petition, Makwana was posted at Gate Number 5 on December 13, 2001 when the five terrorists allegedly made a ghastly attack on Parliament.

Makwana had also sought that he should be awarded with the Shaurya Chakra, for protecting parliamentarians.

Makwana claimed in his petition that he had confronted the terrorists and fired 18 rounds at them, after they tried to enter the Parliament, firing indiscriminately.

Responding to Makwana’s petition, the additional DIG of the CRPF, had stated that the award for the brave act of 76 personnel was announced by the government, but that decision was cancelled in February 2002.

Makwana took voluntary retirement from service in the year 2004.

Bombay HC directs former Goa minister to undergo 6 months imprisonment
17.07.2014 (UNI) The Bombay HC at Goa today set aside the earlier order passed by a lower court releasing Nuvem MLA Mickky Pacheco on probation in the case of assault on junior engineer in state electricity department Kapil Natekar and directed him to undergo six months imprisonment.
On December 13, South Goa Additional Sessions Judge Vijaya Pol had released Pacheco on probation in the Natekar assault case.

Justice A R Joshi today directed Pacheco to surrender before the Margao JMFC within two weeks and undergo six months imprisonment and pay a fine of Rs 1,500.

Last December, Advocate Aires Rodrigues in his petition before the High Court had challenged release of Pacheco under the Probation of Offenders Act.

The High Court, after hearing Adv Rodrigues, had converted the petition into a suo motu petition and had issued notice to Pacheco.

Adv Rodrigues had stated in his petition that the order of the Judge Pol releasing Pacheco was without jurisdiction as she had no powers to revise an order passed earlier by the Assistant Sessions Judge.

He also drew the attention of the High Court that despite the first information report (FIR) having been lodged in 2006, no action was taken by the police to charge sheet Pacheco till 2009, on account of his political connections.

Adv Rodrigues also submitted that only after he served a legal notice on the government in May 2009, did the Police immediately charge sheeted the then Tourism Minister Pacheco.

The then Judicial Magistrate First Class, Margao D M Kerkar by an order on April 27, 2011, had convicted Pacheco for the offence under Sections 353 of Indian Penal Code and had sentenced him to simple imprisonment for one year with a fine of Rs 5,000.

Against that conviction and sentence, Pacheco had on October 5, 2011 appealed in court of South Goa Assistat Sessions Judge Irshad Aga, who upheld the conviction but reduced the sentence of imprisonment to six months with a fine to Rs 1,500. UNI

HC prohibits waste dumping in Gulmarg forests, seeks report about damage to trees
Directs for report on ‘illegal constructions’ by Himalaya Khyber Resort
• Saturday, 19 July 2014 0:03
• Written by: Marouf Ahmad Parray
• Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court High has directed Executive Officer Municipal Committee Tangmarg to ensure that no waste is dumped in the forests of Gulmarg, the most frequented tourist destination in Kashmir Valley.
Hearing an application, a division bench of Justice M M Kumar and Justice Hasnain Massodi also directed the Forest Department to furnish comprehensive report about the damages caused due to the dumping of the municipal waste in the forest area.
The direction followed submission by advocate Tawheed Ahmad for applicant that hundreds of trees have dried up due the dumping of the waste and the forest department may be directed to furnish the list.
Meanwhile the court asked law officer of State Pollution Control Board, Mohammad Maqbool Shah, to visit Hotel Himalaya Khyber Resort and furnish a report in light of an application filed by a lawyer, alleging raising of illegal construction and “willful and deliberate violation of orders passed by the High court” by the hotelier.
“The (SPCB) law officer, who is present in the court, has acceded to our request to personally visit the spot known as Hotel Himalaya Khyber Resort and furnish a report with regard to the allegation made in the application,” the court said.
Advocate Salman Mattoo, the applicant, would accompany him, the court said and directed him to submit the report within one week.
Meanwhile, the court also issued notice to Gulmarg Development Authority which was accepted by its standing counsel, advocate Mohsin Qadri.
The court directed him to file a complete status report with regard to the allegations made in the application.
Both the applications came up during the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation filed by one Rafiq Ahmad Zargar, seeking directions from the court for ensuring planned development and protection of environment and ecosystem of Gulmarg.
Later the court brought Srinagar, Pahalgam, Katra, Patnitop, Jammu and other areas in its purview.

Quota for disabled; HC asks Centre to modify OM on vacancies
Last Updated: Friday, July 18, 2014, 20:38

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to modify its 2013 office memorandum after considering the representation of NGO National Federation of Blind on computation of seats to be reserved for disabled persons in four category posts in government departments.

“We are of the view that the modification made to Para 14 of Office Memorandum dated December 29, 2005 alone vide fresh OM dated March 03, 2013 is not in compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court. Therefore, there shall be a direction to the respondents (Centre) to make further modifications to OM dated December 29, 2005,” a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice RS Endlaw said.

The court asked the NGO to make the representation to the Centre within four weeks and the authorities will have to “consider the same and issue a fresh OM within six weeks thereafter” on the methodology of computation of vacancies in all Group A, B, C and D in government sector.

The apex court had said that the computation of vacancies “shall be in case of Group A, B, C & D posts in an identical manner and that the same shall be on total number of vacancies in the cadre strength”.

The high court said the 2013 office memorandum on computation of vacancies in government departments to provide three per cent quota to disabled persons was not in compliance of the apex court direction.

The court’s verdict came on a fresh plea of National Federation of Blind seeking reliefs including modification of office memorandum to provide for computation of posts to be reserved for disabled persons.

The NGO had also sought issuance of fresh OM to “all the establishments and PSUs” asking them to launch of special recruitment drive to fill the backlog vacancies.

Earlier, the High Court had passed a slew of directions to the Centre for providing quota for disabled persons.

It had asked the Centre to form a committee officials, including the Chief Commissioner for Disabilities (Chairman), and others to do various acts to work out backlog of vacancies for disabled persons.

It had also asked the Centre to undertake special recruitment drive to fill the backlog of vacancies by 2010.

Later, the Centre filed an appeal in the apex court against the high court order.

The Supreme Court issued various directions that included the order to amend 2005 OM on computation vacancies in all categories of posts.

“We hereby direct the ‘appropriate government’ to compute the number of vacancies available in all the ‘establishments’ and further identify the posts for disabled persons within a period of three months from today and implement the same without default,” the apex court had said.

The NGO moved the high court alleging the orders of the high court and the apex court have not been complied with by the government.


First Published: Friday, July 18, 2014, 20:38

HC Talks Tough on Those Blocking Trash Segregation
By Express News Service
Published: 18th July 2014 08:19 AM
Last Updated: 18th July 2014 08:19 AM
BANGALORE: The High Court on Thursday directed City Police Commissioner Raghavendra H Auradkar to take strict action against those obstructing garbage segregation.
A special division bench comprising Justice N Kumar and B V Nagarathna observed that the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has to take up initiatives to solve people’s problems. Those interested can join the BBMP if they want to help, but nobody should obstruct the officials from carrying out their duties. The police should provide security if such cases are reported. The court asked Auradkar to be present at the next hearing.
Later, when the bench was informed that out of the city’s 198 ward committees, 60 have not held meetings, it directed the commissioner to spread awareness on the importance of ward meetings. And if the committees don’t hold meetings even after this, the court will order action against them.
The bench also directed BBMP to name on it website councillors who are not working for the welfare of the people. This will help the common man make a better choice the next time he or she votes, the HC said.
Meanwhile, BBMP Special Commissioner (SWM) Darpan Jain, who too was present in court, sought six months to set up dry waste management centres in the city. The bench directed the civic body to continue using the Mavallipura waste segregation unit but forbade it from dumping trash there.

Diplomat attack case; HC seeks govt’s response on NIA court
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 19:16 IST
The Delhi High Court today sought a response from the city government on a plea of Sayed Mohd Ahmed Kazmi, an accused in the case relating to attack on an Israeli diplomat in 2012, seeking a direction to constitute more than one special NIA court.

“The counsel for GNCTD (Delhi government) shall obtain instruction on the issues raised in the petition including creation of more than one special courts under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act,” a bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and Vipin Sanghi said.

Kazmi, in his plea filed through lawyer Mehmood Pracha, has challenged an administrative order of the Delhi High Court, passed on August 03, 2013, constituting one special trial court under the NIA Act in the city to try all the cases probed by the Special Cell of Delhi police.

“There is only one court in Delhi to deal with one class of offences and it takes away my right under the CrPC to seek transfer of the case from the court on the grounds of bias and apprehension of bias against the accused. My right to seek transfer is being hampered,” Pracha said.

“If you are alleging apprehension of bias without substantiating it, then we cannot deal with a hypothetical situation,” the bench said, adding the accused has legal remedies against the orders or the verdict of a special court.

The counsel for Kazmi also referred to an order of the apex court. The bench then issued the notice to Delhi government.

“The petition involves a substantial question of law having general public importance that whether designation appointment of only single judge to handle a class of cases, investigated by a particular investigating agency, takes away the right to apply and seek relief under section 407 & 408 CrPC and whether appointment of only one judge to the post of Special Court as required by …Of the NIA Act takes away a legal right to apply and seek transfer…,” the plea said.

Kazmi, arrested on March 06, 2012 allegedly from outside Indian Islamic Cultural Centre here, is an accused in the case relating to the attack on Israeli diplomat Tal Yehoshua Koren on February 13, 2012.

Koren, travelling in an Embassy vehicle near Aurangzeb Road-Safdarjang Road Crossing, and three others were injured when the vehicle caught fire after allegedly being attacked.

BBMP to HC: Bescom transformer on Church Street encroached footpath
The BBMP told the Karnataka High Court on Friday that Bescom had installed an electricity transformer on Church Street by encroaching on a huge portion of the footpath. The transformer was allegedly the cause of “electrocution” of a 37-year-old engineer in May last year.
The BBMP Commissioner brought to the notice of the court that Bescom neither sought permission from the BBMP to install the transformer nor had the BBMP accorded permission.
The BBMP pointed out that two 990 kVA transformers, circuit breakers, and other components were installed by encroaching on the footpath to the extent of six feet in width and 34 feet in length.
The report was filed following an earlier direction of the court during the hearing of a petition filed by family members of victim, Manoj Kumar Vasanthrao Patil, who was the vice-president of Sundaram Auto Components.
Compensation sought
The petitioners have sought Rs. 29.81 crore as compensation for the loss that they had suffered due to his death.
They have alleged that Manoj was “electrocuted” due to negligence of Bescom.
However, the BBMP, in its objection, has stated that the petition was not maintainable as disputed facts required to be settled in a civil court through a suit.
Justice Ram Mohan Reddy said that Bescom had failed to submit documents providing correct information on installation of the transformers on Church Street.
While counsel for the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission told the court that it had no role to play in such issues, counsel for Bescom stated that a copy of the BBMP’s report was not made available to them.
Bescom had denied the allegation of the petitioners and had contended that the post-mortem report does not categorically attribute the cause of death to electric shock but only states that death was due to cardiac arrest and that “electrocution being one of the reasons [for cardiac arrest] cannot be ruled out”.
Further hearing has been adjourned till July 23.

PIL questioning law secy continuing in post dismissed
Press Trust of India | Chennai
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 23:06 IST
The Madras High Court today dismissed a PIL questioning the authority of the state Law Secretary continuing in his post and imposed costs of Rs 5,000 on the petitioner.

Dismissing the PIL by one P Subburaj, the first bench, comprising Justices Satish K Agnihotri and M M Sundresh, said various pronouncements by the apex court and exposition of law made it clear that issuing a writ of quo warranto is a limited one and can only be issued when the person holding the public office lacks eligibility criteria or when the appointment is contrary to the statutory rules.

It said the basic purpose of a writ of quo warranto is to confer jurisdiction on the constitutional courts to see that a public office is not held by usurper without any legal authority.

Subburaj, who appeared in person, alleged that Law Secretary Jayachandran’s statement in the application seeking appointment to the post of District Judge in 2005, that he has 15 years practice an advocate, was factually incorrect.

He contended Jayachandran could not have practiced law while pursuing higher studies and prayed for issue of a writ of quo warranto (under what authority he holds office)

The bench, after persuing the records, noted Jayachandran has done his law degree in 1988, obtaining third rank in the University. He was also a gold medallist in the M.L. Degree course in 1990 and did his M.A. From Madras University in 1993 passing in second class. He then did his doctorate in Law in 2001.

It noted that Jeyachandran, in his application filed for the post, had stated he has enrolled as an advocate on October 28, 1988 and had 15 years service in the bar and duly enclosed appropriate certificates.

The bench while discussing about the issue of quo warranto on a petition, said “it cannot be issued for the sake of mere asking. The test to be satisfied is that there should be either lack of eligibility or the appointment should have been made contrary to the statutory rules. Thus, a writ of quo warranto cannot be entertained as a matter of routine.”

It dismissed the petition and directed the petitioner to deposit Rs 5,000 to Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority within four weeks.

Supreme Court raps Madras High Court over child custody case, says ‘girl child is not a chattel’
Friday, 18 July 2014 – 7:59pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
• Supreme Court of India RNA Research & Archives
‘A girl-child is not a chattel,’ said the Supreme Court while lamenting the order of the Madras High Court which treated a four-year-old as a “shuttle cock” in a custody battle between her parents.
“We are sorry the way the High Court has handled. She is treated like a shuttle cock that she has to be with mother for four days and with father for three days. Agony of the child should not be put in the manner the High Court has put. We are not satisfied with this arrangement. This has to be corrected,” the bench, also comprising justices Kurian Joseph and RF Nariman said.
“The arrangement of the High Court is something which is shocking the conscience of this court,” the bench said, adding that “this arrangement can’t be permitted to continue”.
The bench was hearing the battle for the custody of the daughter, whose mother alleged that she was snatched from her by her estranged husband. At the outset, the bench expressed its displeasure over the arrangement made by the High Court which allowed the girl child out of the custody of her mother.
“A girl child is not a chattel. She can’t be lifted and taken away. She cannot be removed from her mother. Law takes into account what is paramount welfare of the child,” the bench observed before passing a formal order by which the father who is presently having the custody of the child “bring her” to the apex court on July 21.
“You bring the child here on Monday,” the bench said while appointing two women apex court lawyers Madhavi Divan and V Mohana as mediators to resolve the custody dispute. The bench said the two lawyers would sit with the girl child and talk with her and are also free to take whatever way they think fit to arrive at some solution and thereafter in-chamber hearing will take place.
However, during the hearing, the bench expressed unhappiness over the entire episode and asked senior counsel for the mother and father, Nalini Chidambaram and Abhishekh Singhvi respectively, that techinical issues should not be pressed in such matters.
“Technical things does not matter. The core issue is a child who is hardly four-year-old,” the bench said, adding, “We are very concerned that this is not the way a girl child has to be treated”. “We are firmly on the facts of the case and the issue of law can be deferred,” it added.
While Singhvi was making submission, the bench said, “There is no justification for you (father) to take away the child from the mother when she was in the custody of the mother”.
“We are of the view prima facie that the child should be with the mother,” the bench said but warned the couple that if they don’t take corrective measures their daughter may be put in the child care home.
The case pertains to the couple who was married in 2001 and have two daughters with the elder one staying in a boarding school.

Madras high court stays two Madurai Kamaraj University appointments
L Saravanan, TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 07.03PM IST
MADURAI: The Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Friday stayed two recent appointments made by the Madurai Kamaraj University.

Acting on the writ petitions filed by R Sekar from Chidambaram and G Kalaivanan from Namakkal, Justice K K Sasidharan gave an interim stay on the appointments to the posts of associate professor in political science and assistant professor in English. The appointments were made on July 7.

The judge also ordered to issue notices to the vice-chancellor and the registrar of the university.
Both petitioners belong to the Arunthathiar community, which is a Scheduled Caste. Sekar had applied for the post of associate professor in political science while Kalaivanan had applied for the post of assistant professor in English. Both claimed they attended interviews in May 2014, but the varsity appointed non-Arunthathiar candidates to the said posts.

They said they came to know that the varsity had not followed the Arunthathiar Internal Reservation Act and a related government order while filling the posts.

High Court seeks reply on petition challenging voting rights
Friday, 18 July 2014 – 9:39pm IST | Agency: PTI
The Allahabad High Court has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to file a counter-affidavit on a petition challenging an amendment in state’s urban local self-government laws giving nominated members right to vote in meetings of municipalities.
The order to file the counter-affidavit was passed by a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Dilip Gupta. The petition was filed by Neera Chandra, hailing from Meerut, who had contended that the provision was in violation of Article 243R of the Constitution which “specifically provides that nominated members shall not have a right to vote in meetings of the Municipality”.
Issuing notice to the state’s Advocate General, the court fixed July 31 as the next date of hearing even as it directed that nominated members of the Nagar Palika Parishad, Mawana, Meerut, “may participate in the meetings but they shall have no right to vote”.

Misunderstanding a good judgment
The Supreme Court ruling on fatwas is mindful not only of the law of the land and the deplorable condition of Indian Muslims but also of religious sensitivities in the country
“Historical judgment in India: Fatwas, Shariat courts illegal, says Supreme Court”, “Supreme Court slams Shariat Courts, says fatwas are ‘illegal’”, “‘Shariat courts not legal’” — these are some of the headlines that were carried by national dailies in India. As the media went hammer and tongs in its pursuit to make people believe that shariat courts have, indeed, been banned by the apex court, ill-informed ‘experts’ hailed this exceptional “Constitutional victory”, and Muslim clerics refuse to tolerate “judicial interference” in their religious affairs.
Has the Supreme Court really held that shariat courts and fatwas are “illegal”? A bare reading of its judgment delivered on July 7 in Vishwa Lochan Madan v. Union of India would suggest otherwise.
Resolving disputes

At the outset, both the Court and the petitioner have confused two issues. The first is of fatwas being issued by clerics, and the second is of shariat courts. The two issues are independent and distinct. A fatwa is an opinion on a religious matter which ought to be sought from and delivered by a well-read religious scholar. In practice, however, Muslims seek such opinions from maulvis presiding over small mosques in every nook and corner of the country, who are often far too ignorant to even lead prayers, much less render scholarly opinions on sensitive inter-personal issues. Clerics, both well-read and ill-informed, have been rendering such opinions on a variety of issues ranging from the correct method of cooking food to the pre-requisites of a valid divorce. As is the case with every opinion, it is up to the querist to accept or reject it. Undoubtedly, the religious flavour of such opinions read with the religious sensitivities of Indian Muslims demands that, at the very least, strict self-regulatory rules ought to be framed in this matter.
From the early twentieth century, an institution called the Dar-ul-Qaza, known in common parlance as the shariat courts, has been operating in many parts of the country. The Dar-ul-Qaza is devised as a permanent alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism to resolve family disputes of consenting parties. Like in arbitration, if both parties agree, instead of a civil court they may approach the Dar-ul-Qaza for resolution of their disputes. The Dar-ul-Qaza does not issue fatwas. It also does not administer criminal law; it simply resolves family disputes by applying principles of Islamic law, which even civil courts are bound to apply in cases where both parties are Muslim (just like if both parties are Hindu, the disputes will be resolved in accordance with Hindu law). Muslims, like all other citizens, continue to be governed by the law of the land and be subject to the jurisdiction of Constitutional courts in equal measure.
Issue before the Supreme Court

In 2005, a 28-year-old uneducated Muslim woman named Imrana was allegedly raped by her father-in-law in a village in Western Uttar Pradesh. A local Muzaffarnagar-based journalist approached the well-known Islamic seminary in nearby Deoband and, without disclosing the facts of this particular case, sought a general opinion (fatwa) on the status the marriage of a woman who has been raped by her father-in-law in a hypothetical case. An ill-informed cleric who had no business to render opinions in such sensitive matters, opined that, in such a case, the victim’s marriage with her husband would stand dissolved. He founded his opinion on the Quranic edict which commands men to “marry not the woman whom your father married”. It is needless to accentuate how bizarre the opinion was and how misplaced was the reliance on this salutary Quranic edict. The fatwa was, rightly, rubbished by scholars across the board. The matter rested there was never taken to the Dar-ul-Qaza.
Appalled by the absurdity of the fatwa and its ramifications, a Delhi-based lawyer approached the Supreme Court by way of a public interest petition and alleged that Muslim clerics who have set up shariat courts all over the country are rendering judgments like courts in the form of fatwas and are, thus, running a ‘parallel judiciary’ in the country. Somewhat confusingly, he clubbed together the two different and distinct issues of fatwa and establishment of shariat courts. In his petition, he impleaded as Respondents the Union of India, some States where Dar-ul-Qaza were running, and some Muslim religious organisations like the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, and sought declarations from the Supreme Court to the effect that the very establishment of the Dar-ul-Qaza was illegal and the fatwas so issued were void. He also sought a direction to the Union of India and the States concerned to forthwith take steps to disband all Dar-ul-Qazas throughout the country.
In response to the petition, all the Respondents took a common stand. Broadly speaking, their argument seemed two-fold — first, that the Dar-ul-Qazas were not in the nature of civil or criminal courts but were, in fact, institutions devised as ADR mechanisms. Like other ADR mechanisms, this could also be used by consenting parties to resolve their private disputes out of court; no one can be forced to acquiesce to the jurisdiction of the Dar-ul-Qaza. Second, fatwas issued by clerics were merely their opinions on given queries and like any other opinion they were not binding on anyone.
After seven years, the matter came up for hearing in the Supreme Court early this year. The Court did nothing to do away with the confusion between the two issues of fatwa and the establishment of Dar-ul-Qaza, perhaps because it was not asked to. It agreed with the Respondents that a fatwa is merely an opinion and neither a fatwa nor a decision of the Dar-ul-Qaza can be enforced like a court decree. According to the Court, for this reason, neither a fatwa nor a decision of the Dar-ul-Qaza has any “sanction under our Constitutional scheme.” However, it categorically upheld both the establishment and functioning of the Dar-ul-Qaza as well as the practice of issuing fatwas, adding that “this does not mean that existence of Dar-ul-Qaza or for that matter, practice of issuing fatwas are themselves illegal. It is (an) informal justice delivery system with an objective of bringing about amicable settlement between the parties. It is within the discretion of the persons concerned either to accept, ignore or reject it.” Holding that fatwas and shariat court decisions were not legally enforceable, the Court refused to grant any of the prayers sought in the petition.
A sensible decision

However, the Court was disturbed by the practice of clerics issuing fatwas on the request of third parties who were strangers to the dispute in question, like in the Imrana case. Mindful of the fact that “since fatwa gets its strength from religion… it causes serious psychological impact on the person intending not to abide by that” and “has the potential of causing immense devastation”, the Court “advised” clerics, and rightly so, that in inter-personal disputes, fatwas ought not to be issued at the request of strangers. With these observations, the Court rejected the prayers. Shariat courts were not declared illegal, fatwas were not declared void and directions were not issued to the government to disband the shariat courts.
The Supreme Court judgment, though it could have been better-worded, is sensible. It is mindful not only of the law of the land and the deplorable condition of Indian Muslims but also of religious sensitivities in the country. It seeks to strike a judicious balance among all three. However, the judgment does not make any practical difference to the legal position as it existed till the day it was delivered. It will neither stop the self-seeking ignorant mullas from issuing bizarre fatwas, which are an onslaught on the basic tenets of Islam, nor prevent ill-informed people from publicly expressing their ostensibly anti-Islamic prejudices under the garb of supporting the cause of equality before law.
(Saif Mahmood is an advocate of the Supreme Court. )

Supreme Court notice to govt over bungalow squatters
Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN | Jul 19, 2014, 05.30 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to respond to ex-CAG Vinod Rai’s allegation that there was indiscriminate abuse of discretionary powers by urban development minister and secretary to allow politicians and others to overstay in government bungalows in Delhi’s Lutyens’ zone.

A bench of Chief Justice RM Lodha and justices Kurian Joseph and RF Nariman treated Rai’s five-page letter accompanied by newspaper reports as a public interest litigation, issued notice to the Centre asking it to respond within four weeks and appointed senior advocate Shaym Divan as amicus curiae.

A newspaper had on May 8 reported that “22 ex-ministers including A Raja, Dayanidhi Maran and Lalu Prasad are in the list of VIPs and they stay in violation of the SC order” in SD Bandi case. The SC had ordered that a grace period could be given to a Union minister or MP to vacate the house after he ceases to hold office. If he did not vacate after the specified period, then he should be evicted, the court had said.

Others in the list of squatters prepared by the newspaper included ex-Union ministers Pawan Bansal, SM Krishna, Mukul Wasnik, Agatha Sangma, CP Joshi and Harish Rawat. It had also reported that Lalu Prasad was staying in the bungalow on the ground that he was undergoing treatment for a heart ailment in AIIMS. He had also said that his grandson was in a nearby school and his daughter was undergoing treatment.

Rai’s letter was placed in chamber before Justice HL Dattu, who opined that it be treated as a public interest litigation.

The former comptroller and auditor general said the VVIP squatters were blocking the bungalows in brazen violation of the apex court’s July 5, 2013 judgment in SD Bandi case. He had asked, “What are the norms/power which entitles government or a minister to exercise discretion in allotting type VI and above category of houses out of turn?

“How can government permit its chosen few to overstay the legitimate tenure? Should government be not a model in impartiality and uniform application of norms to all its employees.”

Referring to Lalu’s case, Rai asked, “Is it a legitimate ground to overstay in a government accommodation merely to ensure the education of a grandchild? This appears to be the reason given by a member of Parliament who has been disqualified due to criminal prosecution.”

The ex-CAG said the other reasons for overstay in government bungalows included “memories of a deceased father” and “to retain it as a memorabilia” at public expenses.

DLF moves Supreme Court against Rs 630-Crore Penalty
Press Trust of India | Updated On: July 18, 2014 19:53 (IST)
The Supreme Court today issued a notice to Competition Commission of India(CCI) on a plea of DLF challenging its order imposing a fine of Rs 630 crore for allegedly resorting to unfair business practices and restrain it from taking coercive action against the firm till August 7.

A bench of justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and N V Ramana also sought responses from Haryana government, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the resident’s association on whose plea the competition watchdog had imposed the penalty on the company.

It posted the case for further hearing on August 7.

The bench passed the order on an appeal filed by DLF challenging Competition Appellate Tribunal’s order passed on May 19 upholding the penalty of Rs 630 crore imposed by the CCI.

In August 2011, the Commission had found DLF violating fair trade norms and imposed a fine of Rs 630 crore on it following a complaint by a Belaire Owners’ Association in Gurgaon.

It was in May 2010 that the buyer’s association had complained against DLF.

Haj vaccine: CCI slams health ministry for favouring MNCs
Jul 19, 2014 – TEENA THACKER |
• New Delhi
• The Competition Commission of India has pulled up the Union health ministry, accusing it of “limiting the competition to multi-nationals” after the ministry recently changed the criteria of buying meningococcal meningitis vaccine required for the Haj pilgrims.
Every year 1.75 lakh doses are required for the Haj pilgrims travelling from India for the largest annual pilgrim. While, the ministry has been buying the vaccine from a Ghaziabad-based Bio-med Private Limited company.
This year it changed the conditions of purchase in its tender floated in June, which has resulted in the litigation. While there is a huge shortfall of vaccine needed urgently for the Haj pilgrims, to sort out the matter the Union health minister has now formed a committee.
According to sources in the ministry, only 35,000 doses are available in the country against the requirement of 1.75 lakh doses.
“If nothing is done on urgent basis, it may lead to crisis. The ministry will have to do away with the new tender condition, if this is not done huge amount of money will unnecessarily be spent for buying the vaccine from foreign companies,” sources said.

PIL on Noida land scam disposed off
TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 09.33AM IST
ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday disposed off a PIL seeking probe into a case of land embezzlement in NOIDA, Gautam Budh Nagar after it was informed by the state government that a probe headed by principal secretary (revenue) had already been instituted to inquire into the matter. It was alleged that one SB Singh, who was posted as consolidation officer, had embezzled land worth crores of rupees belonging to gram sabha in Afzalpur, Jaganpur, Ata-Fatehpur and Gankaur villages of GB Nagar and transferred it in the name of his relatives.

Taking the submissions made by the state government on record, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Dr Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud and Justice Dilip Gutpa disposed off the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Jitendra Goyal.

As per the previous direction of the court, the commissioner (consolidation) as well as the district magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar, appeared before it and filed an affidavit on behalf of the state government. In the affidavit, they made the above-mentioned submissions and urged the court to exempt their personal appearance on future dates. The court accepted their request and exempted them from personal appearance in future.
It was alleged in the PIL that then consolidation officer of Gautam Budh Nagar SB Singh had transferred land worth crores of rupees belonging to gram sabha in the name of his relatives and had made them owner of the land. Subsequently, when the land was acquired by the state government for the construction of road, these persons obtained crores of rupees as compensation for the land, which actually belonged to the gram sabha.

Later, this PIL was filed alleging huge embezzlement of land in connivance with the then consolidation officer, which has caused loss to the revenue of the government. The court at one stage had directed the authorities concerned to appear before it and also apprise it about the steps taken in this regard. However, when the authorities concerned apprised the court about the present status, the court disposed of the matter with the direction that the principal secretary revenue who is heady the probe would continue the monitoring of the investigation.

PIL seeks action against Sharad Pawar for luring voters to vote twice
Last Updated: Friday, July 18, 2014, 19:53

Mumbai: A petition in Bombay High Court has sought action against NCP Chief Sharad Pawar for luring voters to take advantage of phased schedule in Lok Sabha polls which concluded recently and vote first in Satara on April 17 and then in Mumbai on April 24 by removing the indelible ink.

The PIL, filed by activist Hemant Patil, is expected to come up for hearing for the first time on July 24.

The petition said that Pawar, in a public speech just before the Lok Sabha polls, had advised Mathadi workers from Agriculture Produce Market Committee market in Navi Mumbai to vote twice by taking advantage of the phased polling. Later, Pawar had clarified that his remarks were in lighter vein.

Such comments are, in effect, an advise to violate the Indian election laws that allow only one vote for one person, said the Pune-based petitioner.

The PIL said that Mathadi workers mostly hail from Satara in Western Maharashtra which is considered as a citadel of NCP.

The petitioner said he had made complaints to the Home Minister R R Patil, Pune Police Commissioner, Union Government and Election Commission of India against Pawar. But no action had been taken against the NCP leader so far, said the PIL.

The PIL also urged that the authorities may be asked to produce before the court a taped version of Pawar’s speech.

A similar PIL filed by activist Praveen Wategaonkar was dismissed recently by the Bombay High Court which held that it would not interfere in the poll schedules fixed by the Election Commission.


First Published: Friday, July 18, 2014, 19:53

CJI wants Gopal Subramanium persuaded to prosecute coalgaters
Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha said that senior counsel Gopal Subramanium, who recently withdrew from the process to become a Supreme Court judge after government leaks about his suitability, should be the special public prosecutor in the Coalgate scam cases, reported thePTI.
Lodha, who had expressed his regrets about Subramanium’s withdrawal from the judgeship process, told the bar appearing before him and two other judges: “If I failed in something you [lawyers appearing in the matter] persuade [Subramanium]… We want a person of impeccable integrity and fine legal mind.”

To beat LoP hurdle, govt to tweak judicial jobs bill
Pradeep Thakur, TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 03.23AM IST
NEW DELHI: The NDA government is considering amendments in the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill to get over a provision that says leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha shall be a member of the selection committee that will choose the panel. The JAC is set to replace the Supreme Court’s collegium system of appointing judges for the apex court and high courts.

The JAC Bill provides that the commission shall comprise the Chief Justice of India (CJI), two senior most judges of the apex court, the law minister and two eminent persons to be nominated by the Prime Minister, the CJI and the leader of the opposition in the LS.

Since the government has decided not to grant the leader of the opposition (LoP) status to any political party in the LS, the provision in the JAC bill could cause an impasse on selection of two eminent members of the JAC.
Law ministry sources said the government is considering amendment in the JAC Bill on the lines of the Central Vigilance Commission Act that provides for leader of the largest political party in LS as member of the selection panel in case there is no recognized LoP.

The NDA government has decided not to grant leader of opposition status to any party in the Lok Sabha.

The section 4(1)c of the CVC Act says the central vigilance commissioner shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the PM, the home minister and the leader of the opposition in LS. It clarifies that when there is no LoP recognized, this shall include the leader of the single largest group in opposition in the LS.

The government is likely to call an all-party meeting over the JAC bill towards the end of this Parliament session to evolve a consensus on changes it may propose to the original bill.

Besides the ruling BJP, some other political parties had earlier expressed reservation over the composition of the proposed selection panel when consultations were held under the aegis of the previous regime.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The JAC Bill was referred to the parliamentary standing committee on law which had also recommended certain amendments in the original bill, part of which the UPA government had agreed to incorporate before tabling it in the previous Lok Sabha.

In its final report, the standing committee had recommended that the JAC should be made part of the main Constitutional amendment bill and not taken up separately; also the selection panel headed by the CJI should be a seven-member commission instead of six as proposed in the original bill.

The parliamentary panel had suggested having three eminent citizens instead of two. Sources said odd numbers would avoid a possible deadlock in case of a tie while taking a decision. The standing committee said one of the three eminent members should either be a woman or a member from the minority community or SC/ST by rotation.

Centre ruled out options for AIS officers
DC CORRESPONDENT | July 18, 2014, 03.07 am IST
Hyderabad: The Union of India on Thursday made it clear before the Hyderabad Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal that it will not give any option to the existing All India Service officers in AP and Telangana states to choose a state of their choice to serve.
G. Jayaprakash Babu, counsel representing the Union of India, submitted before a two-member Bench comprising B.V. Rao and Ms Ranjana Chowdari that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has out rightly rejected the requests of All India Service officers to choose a state of their choice to serve.
The Bench was hearing a petition by two senior IPS officers S.A. Huda and T.P. Das challenging their provisional cadre allotment made to Telangana state.
When the matter came up for hearing on Thursday, the Bench questioned the Centre about its stance. The Centre’s counsel replied that the process of cadre division among the two states was over and that it will be communicated to both the states in the next few days.
Despite objections from the counsel appearing for the petitioner granting of time, the Bench granted a week’s time to the Centre to file its counter and warned that it would finalise the matter in the next hearing even if the Centre fails to file its counter by then.
CMs asked to ensure HC split
A. Narasimha Reddy, chairman of Bar Council of the AP on Thursday urged the Chief Ministers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to take steps for immediate bifurcation of the existing High Court and Bar Council for the state of Telangana.
Addressing a press conference along with member of the Bar Council of India N. Ramachandra Rao, he said, “any delay in this matter will obstruct the smooth functioning of the judicial system and will create unavoidable problems. Immediate bifurcation will promote good will and understanding among the members of the legal profession in both the state”.
Justice Vilas Afzulpurkar of the Hyderabad High Court on Thursday directed the police of Nellore not to arrest B Raghavendra Reddy, ZPTC member of the YSR Congress, till the completion of elections to the Zilla Parishad chairman and vice-chairman posts, Nellore district, scheduled for July 20.
The judge granted order while dealing with the plea by Mr Reddy alleging that he was implicated in false cases to prevent him from participating in elections. The judge made it clear that the petitioner shall appear before the investigating officer concerned on July 21.

Defence tribunal to sit in City
Bangalore, Jul 15, 2014, DHNS :
 To enable the litigants from Karnataka to file cases coming under the purview of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, the Chairperson of Armed Forces Tribunal has announced regular bi-monthly sitting in Circuit Bench in Bangalore.

The next sitting of the Tribunal’s Regional Bench Kochi in Circuit Bench, will be held at the Parachute Regimental Training Centre (PRTC), near Doordarshan Kendra, JC Nagar, Bangalore from July 28 to August 1. There will be no sitting on July 29 due to Id-ul-Fitr (Ramzan), a defence ministry release said.

The Armed Forces Tribunal was set up under the
provisions of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 for the adjudication or trial of disputes and conditions of service in respect of persons subject to the Army Act, the Navy Act and the Air Force Act.

The objective was also to provide for appeals arising out of orders, findings or sentences of Court Martial held under the said Acts and for matters connected there with or incidental there to.

National Green Tribunal raps Delhi Metro over dumping construction waste into Yamuna
TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 12.41AM IST
NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal directed DMRC to explain why they dumped construction waste on Yamuna floodplains and why they shouldn’t be fined Rs 5 lakh for it.

NGT had issued a show-cause notice to DMRC after petitioner Manoj Misra submitted several photographs of concrete dumped on the riverbed along NH- 24, opposite CWG Village.

The bench also co-opted two new members — professors from IIT Delhi and IIT Roorkee — to a committee that was formed earlier to study drains in Delhi that directly discharge waste into the Yamuna. The committee that was formed last month was to include an officer, not below the rank of joint secretary, from the ministry of environments and forests, member secretary of Central Pollution Control Board, engineer in chief of DDA, member secretary of DPCC, member (drainage) of DJB, two chief engineers from South Corporation and East Corporation, professor Gosain, and professor Brij Gopal of IIT-Delhi.
The terms of reference (ToR) for the committee was to study drains and gather data on stormwater drains, natural drains, and how many of them carry sewage. On Thursday, the bench broadened the TOR for the committee and asked them to deliberate on two major points — whether it is advisable to install sewage treatment plants of various sizes in all outlets small and big, or is it more beneficial to prohibit discharge of any sewage into the Yamuna by connecting all drains to a new major drain which can carry all the waste of Delhi to a treatment plant.

The bench also directed the committee to file its report, at least the interim report, on the issue within two weeks. The bench was very stern about meeting the deadline and directed all agencies, especially DDA, to furnish the committee with required information.

“In the event, submission is not within requisite time or extension is asked for by concerned officer, we shall treat it as violation of the orders of the Tribunal,” the order said. It will result in initiation of contempt of court proceedings, it added.

National Tax Tribunal: Spotlight on tribunalization at SC hearing–Spotlight-on-tribunalization-at-SC-h.html
The court says the proposed National Tax Tribunal would either take away judicial powers or make a mockery of judicial procedure
Shreeja Sen

The apex court asked attorney general of India Mukul Rohatgi what the value of a tribunal decision substituting that of a high court would be. It then observed that if found binding, the tribunal decision would result in judicial power being taken away and if not, it would just be a mockery of the procedure.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said the proposed National Tax Tribunal (NTT) would either take away judicial powers or make a mockery of judicial procedure, while the Union government defended it as a “restructuring of dispensation of justice”. The apex court was hearing a writ petition challenging a 2005 proposal to set up the tribunal. The case is being heard by a Constitution bench of five judges headed by chief justice R.M. Lodha and justices J.S. Khehar, J. Chelameswar, A.K. Sikri and Rohinton F. Nariman. The hearing veered towards the core debate of “tribunalization”, even though the petition challenges a quasi-judicial body deciding “substantial questions of law” in appeal. Tribunalization refers to the increasing creation of alternative forums to decide cases, which could take away judicial powers, as submitted by the Madras Bar Association, a petitioner in the case. Section 260A of the Income Tax Act says substantial questions of law will be decided by the high court. The NTT, however, looks to substitute that in order to reduce pendency of cases. A “substantial question of law”, according to precedent, is one which is of general public importance or significantly and directly affects the rights of the parties involved. Article 323B of the Constitution, which talks about the creation of tribunals by the executive, was also challenged as being violative of the concept of separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary. The NTT Act allows the executive “extensive control” with regard to appointments of members and procedure of the tribunal. The apex court asked attorney general of India Mukul Rohatgi what the value of a tribunal decision substituting that of a high court would be. It then observed that if found binding, the tribunal decision would result in judicial power being taken away and if not, it would just be a mockery of the procedure. Rohatgi said the decisions of the NTT should be binding on all tax issues it decides, subject to the apex court’s decision. Calling it a “restructuring of dispensation of justice”, he submitted that the NTT would be a cohesive body deciding appeals from various ITATs, instead of multiple proceedings in various high courts. Chief justice Lodha added the efficacy of the NTT law could be questionable if the tribunal consisted of only one judicial member in the form of the chairman and 59 other members with non-judicial backgrounds. Justice Khehar noted that the tribunal would have “far reaching consequences on the financial health of the country”. Hearing will resume on 22 July.

NGT has trappings of a court, has wide powers: Tribunal chief
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 19:07 IST
Giving itself wide powers, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has held it has all the trappings of a “Court” as the distinction between a court and a tribunal is getting thinner day by day.

The green bench in a order held that the word “Tribunal” is a word of wide import and the words “courts and tribunals” embrace within them the exercise of judicial power in all its forms.

A bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar said the Tribunal has the complete trappings of a civil court and satisfies all the stated features for acting as an independent judicial Tribunal with complete and comprehensive powers.

“In our considered view, the NGT has all the trappings of a court and is vested with original, appellate and special jurisdiction, performing exclusively judicial functions and hence is a Court,” it said.

The bench, in its 142-page order, said the very object and the purpose of the NGT Act would “stand defeated” and “frustrated” if every question relating to examining the validity of delegated legislation is first examined by a Constitutional Court and not the Tribunal.

It, further, held that there is nothing in the provisions of the NGT Act that directly or even by necessary implication is indicative of any external control over the NGT in discharge of its judicial functions.

“Minister of Environment and Forests(MoEF) is merely an administrative Ministry for the NGT to provide for means and finances. Once budget is provided, the Ministry cannot have any interference in the functioning of the NGT,” it said.

A senior MoEF official noted that NGT was constituted to help reduce the burden of litigation on green issues in the higher courts but declined to comment on the Tribunal’s order.

The official also noted that NGT is a specialized body constituted to handle green disputes and multi-disciplinary issues.

Ruling on the issue of territorial jurisdiction, the NGT bench said that the Chairperson of the Tribunal, as per provisions of the NGT Act, is vested with the power to transfer cases from one bench to another.

The Tribunal’s order came on two sets of petitions filed before the NGT, demanding withdrawal of environment clearance given to the Vizhinjam Port Project in Thiruvananthapuram and the second one challenging the coastal regulation zone notification of 2011.

The project in Kerala involves the construction of quays, terminal area and port building and is expected to be completed in three phases.

NGT dismisses plea for making Env studies a compulsory subject
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 15:07 IST
The National Green Tribunal has dismissed as “unmaintainable” a plea seeking direction to University Grants Commission (UGC) and others to ensure that Environmental studies is taught as compulsory subject by qualified teachers who are post graduates with specialisation.

Stating that it did not have the jurisdiction to entertain the issue, a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar rejected the petition filed by M C Mehta seeking compliance of a 1991 Supreme Court order, in which it had directed UGC and central and state governments for providing compulsory environmental education to students of schools and colleges throughout the country.

“We are of the considered view that the present application filed by the applicant under Section 14 of the NGT Act is not maintainable and the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to entertain and grant the reliefs prayed for by the applicant….

“In our considered view it would not fall within the ambit of Section 14 of the NGT Act as neither does it raise any substantial question relating to environment nor does the implementation of the Scheduled Acts arise.

“This application is, therefore, dismissed as not maintainable,” the bench said.

The petition had sought directions to UGC, All India Council of Technical Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development and state education boards to ensure that Environmental studies is taught by eligible teachers to the students from academic session 2014.

According to Mehta, none of the universities, colleges or schools has appointed teachers as per guidelines. The syllabus for postgraduate courses in environmental studies has not been framed either.

“Issue direction to the respondents to ensure that compulsory subject of Environmental studies is taught by the qualified/eligible teachers/Astt professors having specialisation in post graduate degree in terms of UGC guidelines…,” the plea had said.

The plea had also sought appropriate action against the respondents for not providing environmental education properly in the educational institutions, thereby, not implementing the Supreme Court order.

Mehta had, further, alleged that except for holding the meetings, the state governments have not taken any concrete steps for compliance of the same.

NHRC issues notice to UP Govt over snake bite deaths in Balia
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 22:20 IST
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today issued notices to Uttar Pradesh Health Department and District Magistrate taking suo motu cognisance of a media report about a 30-year-old man dying of snake bite due to non-availability of anti-snake venom injection at Balia district hospital.

Azad, a resident of Village Manikpur under the Fepana Police Station, was bitten by a poisonous snake and died on the July 1.

According to media reports, the doctors informed the relatives of the man that anti-snake venom injection was neither available in the District Hospital nor in the entire district.

Reportedly, many people had died in the district due to non-availability of anti-snake venom injection.

“The Commission has observed that the contents of the press report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of the residents of the district,” a statement issued by the NHRC said.

A notice has been issued to the Principal Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Uttar Pradesh Government and District Magistrate, Balia calling for a factual report within two weeks.


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