LEGAL NEWS 10.07.2014

Get Zee editors’ voice samples, cops told
TNN | Jul 10, 2014, 02.54 AM IST
NEW DELHI: A trial court has directed Delhi police to collect the voice samples of the Zee editors in the presence of the experts in an extortion case. The court was hearing a revision plea filed by Zee editors Samir Ahluwalia and Sudhir Chaudhary against a magisterial court order. The editors had sought the session court’s direction for collection of voice sample in the presence of a judicial magistrate.

Additional Sessions judge Bharat Parashar ordered police to collect the voice sample of the Zee editors Samir in the CFSL (Central Forensic Science Laboratory) laboratory in the presence of the experts. “It will be appropriate if the CFSL experts at CBI laboratory are directed to prepare a text inter-mixed with sufficient sentences from the questioned text which may facilitate the examination of voice sample identification by them (Zee editors),” the court said observing that it will strike a fine balance between the right of the accused persons and the state in carrying out a proper and fair investigation.

Ahluwalia and Chaudhary along with Zee group chairman Subhash Chandra are facing trial in a forgery case for attempting to extort money from Congress leader Jindal’s company— Jindal Steel and Power Limited allegedly in exchange for not filing news reports linking his firm to the coal blocks allocation in 2012.

SC notice to Salman after Rajasthan govt opposes HC reprieve
TNN | Jul 10, 2014, 12.17 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Bollywood star Salman Khan to respond to a petition by Rajasthan government which said it was wrong on the high court’s part to suspend his conviction and sentence under Wildlife Protection Act merely to facilitate his travel abroad.

Khan was convicted in the black buck killing case by a Jodhpur magisterial court under Section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act on April 10, 2006. On appeal, the sessions court on August 24, 2007 upheld the magistrate’s decision to convict him and sentence him to five years simple imprisonment and a fine of Rs 25,000. The HC on November 12 last year stayed the conviction and sentence on Khan’s appeal.

Appearing for the state, senior advocate V Prakash said courts were traditionally reluctant to stay conviction in criminal cases. He said the HC erred by staying Khan’s conviction only on the ground that it was coming in the way of the actor travelling to certain countries like the UK, which do not allow entry to convicts.

“The reason for suspension of conviction has been only for the purpose that the respondent/accused may travel abroad. Such logic is legally unsustainable and may set a bad precedent,” the state said.

A bench of Justices S J Mukhopadhaya and S A Bobde, after a brief hearing on Rajasthan’s appeal, issued notice to Khan and asked him to file reply within four weeks.

Row over Sanskrit language: High Court asks Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan to respond to PIL
By PTI | 9 Jul, 2014, 07.31PM IST
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today asked Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) to file its response to a PIL seeking quashing of its notifications to introduce foreign languages in place of Sanskrit as third language in classes VI to VIII from academic session 2011-12.

“File your (KVS) counter (affidavit) or ask your Commissioner to appear in person before the court if the reply is not filed,” a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

The bench, which listed the matter for August 6, was hearing the plea filed by Sanskrit Shikshak Sangh through its president Dheerendra Kumar Jha.

The PIL challenges the decision of KVS to introduce foreign languages like German, French, Chinese and Spanish in place of Sanskrit as third language from the academic session 2011-12 in classes VI to VIII.

The petition, filed through lawyer Monika Arora, said that the notifications are against the fundamental rights of the citizens and Sanskrit teachers have been asked by KVS to take training in these foreign languages, so that they may teach these languages in due course in place of Sanskrit.

“Issue a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the respondents to take effective measures for promotion and education of Sanskrit as provided in National Curriculum Framework for School Education,” it said.

“The action of the respondents (KVS and CBSE) would cause irreparable damage to Sanskrit language and Indian culture and as a result, the next generation would not learn Sanskrit and hardly have any knowledge of Sanskrit and the rich ancient Indian culture.

This is also in violation of the various provisions of the Constitution of India as also violation of the various Supreme Court judgments,” the plea said.

The training of KVS teachers to make them “proficient in teaching German” would be restricted to Sanskrit teachers only, it said.

“Foreign languages viz. German, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese language are being promoted at the cost of Sanskrit,” it said.

Tamil Nadu government to decide if schools can still be called matriculation
TNN | Jul 10, 2014, 05.52 AM IST
CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government, which ushered in the uniform system of school education (Samacheer Kalvi) three academic years ago, will decide on the fate of schools still calling themselves matriculation and Anglo-Indian institutions soon, the Madras high court was informed on Wednesday.

A submission to this effect was made by additional government pleader (education) P Sanjay Gandhi, when a PIL seeking abolition of these boards came up for hearing before the first bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice M M Sundresh. “The government will take appropriate and necessary

steps in the matter soon,” Gandhi said. The bench then adjourned the matter by a week for further proceedings.

The matter relates to a PIL filed by the Cuddalore-based Parents Union for Students Educational Rights (PUSER), seeking abolition of nomenclatures still being used by schools even after the state switched to the Samacheer Kalvi system after discontinuing matriculation, oriental and Anglo-Indian streams.

The association said private schools were clinging on to now-irrelevant nomenclature, mainly to divert attention of people and charge hefty school fees by claiming they ensure standards higher than government schools or other schools offering Samacheer Kalvi education.

Mumbai High Court to hear PIL against Maratha reservation
Jul 09, 2014 at 12:28pm IST
Mumbai: A Public Interest Litigation against Maharashtra government providing 16 per cent reservation for Marathas, is scheduled to come up in Mumbai High Court on Wednesday.
The PIL filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar, said that Marathas are not a caste and they are a linguistic group. It said that they are a dominant community and not backward.
The PIL stated that the 16 per cent reservation is against the Supreme Court order which set a 50 per cent limit on quota.
The Maharashtra Cabinet had cleared a 16 per cent quota for the native Marathas in the state last month. It also approved 5 per cent reservation for the Muslim population.
The Chavan government had actually sought a 20 per cent quota.
Reservations already exist among OBCs for a section of Marathas, known as Kunbis. Maratha Kunbis, who are largely agriculturists, constituted 31.5 per cent of the population. They have a large presence in Vidarbha and Konkan.
At present, a total 356 backward castes get 19 per cent reservations, 51 scheduled castes and tribes get 11 per cent and 11 other castes in the special backward category get 2 per cent.

HC passes strictures against govt for shielding corrupted officers
Thursday, 10 July 2014 0:04
• Written by: admin
• Editor KR
Jammu: A Division Bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice MM Kumar and Justice Tashi Rabstan Wednesday issued various directions of wide public importance in a much publicized PIL filed by two social activists.
The bench after hearing advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with advocate Suraj Singh appearing for the PIL whereas senior additional advocate general Gagan Basotra for the state and senior advocate Sunil Sethi with advocate Ankesh Chandel expressed its dissatisfaction over the pace of 147 departmental inquiries pending against various gazetted/non-gazetted officers of the state against whom there are serious allegations of corruption, misappropriation and fraudulent transactions causing heavy loss to the public exchequer.
The court after going through the compliance reports dated May 29, June 6, July 4 and July 7, 2014, observed that it has been submitted that 12 departmental inquiries have been disposed of by different departments including School Education, Cooperative Department, Health and Medical Education Department, Rural Development Department, Public Works Department and J&K Special Tribunal.
The court further observed that it has not been disclosed in these 12 inquiries as to what were the nature of allegations and the status of the delinquent employees.
“The court is constraint to observe that the GAD is slack in securing information from the concerned departments for obvious reasons and the concerned departments are shying away in disclosing complete information. Our attention has been drawn to annexure R-4 which gives the list of cases pending against officers/officials. The name of the officer is concealed nor the present place of posting has been revealed. Is it with the apprehension that there nexus with might would be exposed or with some other motives? The perusal of the list would show that the officers suffer from serious allegations,” the court said.
“At item number 5, for example, the name of the officer has been withheld, who belongs to Revenue Department, nor his place of posting has been revealed. Officers suffer from the allegation of transfer of 1200 kanals of government land to land grabbers in Kot Balwal area of Jammu.”
The court further said that if a person who faces serious allegations of corruptions he would not deserve a public-dealing posting. The DB also issued directions for immediate filling up of the post of CPOs in order to make seven courts of additional district and session judges who have been empowered to deal with cases under prevention of corruption. The court also took serious note of inaction on the part of the Higher Education Department for not taking action against two Principals namely Prof Nutan Kumar Resudra and Prof Hemla Aggrawal. The then Principal Government Degree College Rajouri, presently, Nodal Principal GGM Science College Jammu and then Principal SPMR College of Commerce Jammu and presently Principal government degree college for women Parade Jammu.— CNS

Water woes at Dwarka: HC seeks response from govt, DJB
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 9, 2014 Last Updated at 20:32 IST
The Delhi High Court today sought responses from the city government and Delhi Jal Board on a PIL seeking a direction to hand over possession of land to DDA for laying pipelines to Dwarka water treatment plant.

A bench comprising Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw also asked the DJB to file a status report detailing the steps taken in this regard.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by Dwarka resident advocate S B Tripathi alleging that adequate water supply to his area has not been ensured due to non-laying of pipes water treatment plant in the area.

The plea had sought a direction to Delhi government to hand over possession of land to DDA near villages Dichaun Kalan, Sakarwati, Masoodabad, Mubarakpur Dabass, Rani Khera and Nagli for ensuring laying of water pipelines to ensure adequate water supply to Dwarka area.

“At time of granting sanction to DDA for establishment of Dwarka sub-city, DJB had made clear way back in 1993 that DJB had no water to spare for Dwarka and DDA would have to make its own arrangement till DJB was able to do the same.

“Unfortunately DDA developed Dwarka without making any arrangement for Dwarka and is relying, even today, on water supplied by DJB from its Nangloi Water Treatment Plant,” the petition claimed.

It has also sought a direction to DJB and Haryana to complete the 103 km-long Carrier Lined Channel from Munak to Haiderpur, also known as “Munak Canal”, through which water is to be supplied by Haryana to Delhi.

“Direct the DJB to supply an additional 2.20 MGD of water from Nagloi water treatment plant to DDA in Command Tank-2 at Madhu Vihar for Dwarka,” the plea said.

Calcutta High Court seeks Bengal government’s views on Tapas Pal remarks
Wednesday, 9 July 2014 – 7:46pm IST | Place: Kolkata | Agency: PTI
The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday sought West Bengal government’s views on Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Tapas Pal’s derogatory comments against women and opposition party supporters in connection with a petition seeking action against him.
Justice Dipankar Dutta directed government pleader Ashok Banerjee to clarify the West Bengal government’s stand and take its instructions on it while adjourning the matter till July 17. Banerjee submitted that the petition was a PIL and as such should be heard by a division bench.
The court said that the question of admissibility and whether the petition was only a writ petition or a PIL would be decided after the state came up with its position.
A PIL was filed before the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday seeking suo moturegistration of FIR by the West Bengal Police and penal action against TMC MP Tapas Pal who is in the eye of a storm over his derogatory comments against women.
Samit Sanyal, a lawyer, filed the petition before the high court last week, praying that the state police take suo motu action and register an FIR against Pal, who has tendered a written apology to his party and the media for his remarks.
He prayed that the court take cognizance of the MP’s comments and direct the West Bengal government to take action against Pal, senior counsel Subrata Mukhopadhyay, who represented Sanyal in court, said.
It was also prayed before the court that as Pal has said in his letter of apology that the incident occurred during the campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the Election Commission be asked to take action against him, who was re-elected from Krishnagarseat.
“Some remarks made by me in the heat and dust of the election campaign have caused dismay and consternation. I apologise unreservedly for them,” Pal said in the letter.
Pal tendered the unconditional apology for his threat to kill Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI-M workers and unleash “his boys” to rape their women after he was asked by an embarrassed party leadership to do so following widespread outrage.

SC restrains states on giving remission to life convicts
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 09, 2014, 18:49

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today restrained all states from exercising power of remission for releasing convicts from jail who are serving life sentence and sought their response whether the Centre’s nod was needed for the purpose in cases prosecuted by central agencies like CBI.

A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha issued notices to all state government asking them to file their response by July 18 so that the matter can be taken up for hearing on July 22.

“Meanwhile, state governments are restrained from exercising power of remission for releasing life convicts till the next date of hearing,” the bench, also comprising justices J S Khehar, J Chelameswar, A K Sikri and Rohinton Nariman said in an interim order.

The bench made it clear that there was need for a categorical response “whether in CBI cases, states have any role on the question of remission to life convicts”.

The issue of remission was referred to the Constitution Bench after the Centre had challenged the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to remit the sentences of all seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The court had on February 20 stayed the state government’s decision to release three convicts–Murugan, Santhan and Arivu– whose death sentence was commuted to life term by it on February 18 in the case.

It had later on also stayed release of four other convicts Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran in the case, saying there were procedural lapses on the part of the state government.

When the matter came for hearing along with other similarly situated convicts including the Red Fort attack case, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar submitted that Tamil Nadu Government has no power to exercise jurisdiction in the cases investigated and prosecuted by the central probe agencies like CBI.

“Today Tamil Nadu has exercised power (of remission). Tomorrow other states would also,” he submitted while reading out the April 25 order of the apex court when the matter was referred to the Constitution Bench by framing the issues that need to be deliberated.

The Solicitor General said in the cases filed by the CBI or other central agencies, the Central Government is the appropriate authority to take such calls.

He said while considering the issue of remission, there was also a need to look into the rights of the victims. The bench also made it clear that it would not go beyond the questions which were framed in the Reference.

However, during the brief hearing, the bench also posed a question to the Centre that in the case in hand how the writ petition was maintainable.

“How is the writ petition maintainable. You have to file a written submission on the question of maintainability the bench said.

The Jayalalithaa government had on February 19 decided to set free all the seven convicts who have been in jail for 23 years for their role in Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination on May 21, 1991 in Sriperumbudur.

The apex court had referred the case to the Constitution Bench saying this issue has been raised for the first time before the court and an authoritative pronouncement is required on the matter which could have wide ramifications.

“Accordingly, we refer this matter to the Constitution Bench to decide the issue pertaining to whether once power of remission under Article 72(by the President) or 161 (by Governor)or by this Court exercising Constitutional power under Article 32 is exercised, is there any scope for further consideration for remission by the executive,” it said.

It had said that the Constitution bench will also decide whether the sentence of a prisoner, whose death penalty has been commuted to life, can be remitted by government.

The Constitution bench will also decide whether life imprisonment meant jail term for rest of the life or a convict has a right to claim remission.

It will also decide whether a special category of sentence may be made for cases where death penalty might be substituted by the punishment of imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term in excess of fourteen years and to put that category beyond application of remission.

It will also decide whether the Union or the State has primacy over the subject matter enlisted in concurrent list of Seventh Schedule of the Constitution for exercise of power of remission.

First Published: Wednesday, July 09, 2014, 18:49

HC reserves order on PIL maintainability against Vadra firms
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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its order on maintainability of a PIL seeking a court-monitored CBI probe into various land deals allegedly entered into by Robert Vadra firms.
A bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw, which had so far not issued a notice on the PIL, reserved its order after hearing brief arguments of advocate M.L. Sharma, who had filed the plea in his personal capacity.
“First satisfy us on the the issue of jurisdiction of this court,” the bench said.
The cause of action partially had arisen in Delhi as various offices and constitutional bodies such as Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and Ministry of Urban development are located here, the lawyer said.
“I have already given a representation to the CBI. But it neither registered an FIR nor lodged even a preliminary enquiry in the case which relates to huge loss caused to the exchequer during 2005 to 2012,” he said.
He also submitted a copy of a recent Supreme Court judgement which directs police authorities to register an FIR “mandatorily” if the allegations disclose the commission of cognizable offences/offences.
The plea had also sought a probe into grant of licenses to change land use of agricultural plots purchased by Vadra companies in Gurgaon.

Court summons Swaroopanand Saraswati on complaint of Sai Baba devotee
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 09, 2014, 22:05
Indore: A local court on Wednesday issued summons to Shankaracharya of Dwarka Peeth, Swaroopanand Saraswati asking him to appear before it on August 8 after it took cognisance of a complaint filed against the seer for allegedly making controversial statements against Sai Baba of Shirdi.

“The court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM), Deepak Pande issued summons to the Shankaracharya on a complaint filed by a devotee of Sai Baba, Rajesh Shivsangia (50),” his lawyer Ashwin Kumar Adhyaru told reporters.

The court took cognisance of the complaint under section 298 (giving statement with an intention to hurt religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code and directed the 90-year-old seer to appear before it on the next hearing (August 8).

Shivsangia, who runs a gents beauty parlour in Rajwada area, had filed a complaint on June 25 alleging that the religious feelings of himself and lakhs of devotees of Sai Baba were hurt due to the statements made by Shankaracharya.

The complainant had also submitted a CD of the statements purportedly made by the seer, Adhyaru said.

Three witnesses have so far recorded their statements before the court against Shankaracharya whose comments have caused a lot of furore. Devotees of Sai Baba had filed a string of cases against him for hurting their sentiments, at various places in the country.

The devotees had also taken out rallies at various places against the seer for asking them to desist from worshipping Sai Baba.


First Published: Wednesday, July 09, 2014, 22:05

‘No case against Justice Ganguly’
Ajanta Chakraborty,TNN | Jul 10, 2014, 01.48 AM IST
KOLKATA: The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has cleared the air about Justice (retd) Asok Kumar Ganguly, saying there is no case against him. It has referred to the Delhi Police’s feedback that there isn’t adequate evidence to lodge an FIR against Justice Ganguly and no probe is on against him.

The former Supreme Court judge was indicted by a three-member apex court committee for “unwelcome conduct of sexual nature” towards a woman who was interning with him in December, 2012, though the allegations came a year later in a blog entry on a legal portal. The judge eventually resigned as chairperson of West Bengal Human Rights Commission.

The MHA’s declaration comes in response to a letter from BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. Soon after the apex court panel held Ganguly “prime facie guilty”, the BJP leader shot a letter to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take steps to end the “witch-hunt against Justice Ganguly”.

Swami told TOI on Wednesday: “I wrote to the PM that it was extremely important at that juncture to get an investigation completed before any precipitate action was taken merely to make out Justice Ganguly guilty without an opportunity of being heard.” He added, “What will the media say now? Everyone at that time was out to malign the judge and had him removed from the rights panel.”

Ganguly had resigned from WBHRC in January, just before the Union Cabinet passed a proposal for sending a presidential reference to the SC to remove him. The MHA has written to Swamy that the Delhi Police has said the probe into the sexual harassment complaint has been suspended since the complainant has not been cooperating with the police despite repeated appeals.

“The Delhi Police have further informed that despite repeated requests, the woman complainant has not joined the inquiry and hence no further inquiry into the incident of alleged unwelcome behaviour of the former SC judge was possible,” the MHA wrote, adding, “Delhi Police added that the available material in the public domain on the issue did not disclose sufficient ground to proceed with the filing of the FIR under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.”

On December 7, after TOI reported the matter, the intern was asked to record her statement before the police so that a criminal case could be initiated against Ganguly. At that time, the intern wrote to the police that she was out of the country and needed time to appear before the cops.

The judge had the rights body take suo motu cognizance of maximum violation cases in Bengal, thus inviting the ruling party’s wrath. After his resignation, the commission has become almost non-functional with no permanent chairperson.

“I’m a victim of circumstances,” Ganguly had told the three-judge fact-finding committee by then chief justice P S Sathasivam. The complainant, on the other hand, said the judge, who was “old enough to be her grandfather”, harassed (“not physically injurious, but nevertheless violating”) her in a hotel room in Delhi.

Following his resignation, several senior counsels and former Speaker Somnath Chatterjee publicly stated that the allegations were part of a “malicious campaign” against the judge.

Soon after, there was another complaint of sexual harassment against an SC judge, Swatanter Kumar. Justice Kumar subsequently moved Delhi high court in a defamation suit against the intern. Asked if he, too, would now file a defamation case, Justice Ganguly told TOI: “I shall think about that later. I have no comment on the matter now.”

High court quashes NTSE stage-I exam result
TNN | Jul 10, 2014, 02.47 AM IST
CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday quashed the result of National Talent Search Examination (stage-I) for Haryana, which was conducted by the state council of educational research and training (SCERT). The HC has also directed the state authorities to re-conduct the examination on August 24 and declare the result within two weeks.

Justice G S Sandhawalia of the HC passed these orders while hearing a petition filed by Arundhati Dixit and others challenging the examination on the grounds of widespread manipulations. The petitioners had sought quashing of the stage-I conducted in Haryana on February 20 and requested “re-conducting the same in a fair and transparent manner.”

Earlier on May 9, the high court had stayed on the conduct of NTSE stage-II exam after Haryana’s school education department confirmed the use of unfair means during the stage-1. The court was informed that 46 of the 99 students, who had qualified the stage I exam from the state, were from the same school. The high court then put a stay on the result as those qualifying the state-level test are eligible to write the national exam.

CCI fines Amarchand client Adani Gas $4m for unfair gas supply conditions
Amarchand Mangaldas lost steady client Adani Gas’ case in the Competition Commission of India which fined the company Rs 25.67 crore ($4.3m) on the complaint of the Faridabad Industries Association (FIA). FIA was advised by advocate Sharad Gupta.
Amarchand Mumbai competition partner Nisha Kaur Uberoi and senior associate Gauri Chhabra acted for Adani which was penalised with 4 per cent of its average turnover of the last three years, for abusing its dominant position in the market to impose unfair conditions on buyers signing its Gas Supply Agreement (GSA).
Update: Advocate Aditya Sondhi was also listed as appearing for Adani in the order.
The FIA had alleged that Adani had:
“not only reserved to itself the unrestricted right to change/modify/revise the Contract Price and Excess Gas Price in an opaque and non-transparent manner, but was also revising gas prices arbitrarily and irrationally from time to time.”
The CCI observed that while the peculiarities of the gas industry made it impossible to have a fixed formula based pricing mechanism and gas prices were reasonably prone to fluctuations, certain clauses in Adani’s GSA were definitely unfair.

HC grants state 6 weeks to formulate policy on bar hotels
Press Trust Of India | Kochi
July 8, 2014 Last Updated at 20:24 IST
The Kerala High Court today granted six weeks further time to the government formulate its policy regarding renewal of licences of 418 bar hotels serving liquor.

Justice PN Ravindran while granting more time observed liquor was not an essential commodity and time was required by the government for formulating its policy.

The direction was issued on an application seeking extension of time by the government to formulate a policy in this regard. The court had in the previous hearing asked the government to formulate the policy in 30 days.

The state has put on hold renewal of the licences of 418 bars as they were found to be substandard and yet to upgrade their facilities.

Aggrieved, a batch of over 50 petitions had been filed by the bar owners challenging the government decision.

When problems requiring urgent attention of government like spreading of epidemics and price hike comes up, this issue is not of much concern, the court held.

The government has to take a decision on the complaint given by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) requesting to stop functioning of bar hotels within 200 meters of hospitals. This also required time, the court said.

In another case, the court today granted three more months to the government to take a decision on the recommendations of the Justice M Ramachandran Commission on limiting the working hours of bar hotels.

It was granted by Justice Alexander Thomas on a petition filed by one Basil of Kochi complaining non-implementation of the recommendations of the commission.

HC rejects plea of carmakers against CCI order for probe into trade practices
Sajan C Kumar | Chennai | Published: Jul 09 2014, 02:18 IST

SUMMARYThe Madras High Court has dismissed writ petitions filed by Hyundai Motor India and Nissan Motor India against the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) directive for probing the alleged unfair trade practices of carmakers in the country
The Madras High Court has dismissed writ petitions filed by Hyundai Motor India and Nissan Motor India against the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) directive for probing the alleged unfair trade practices of carmakers in the country.
However, the court has asked the carmakers to move the Competition Appellate Tribunal against the CCI diktat as it sees no violation of fundamental rights and denial of natural justice, which could be otherwise addressed by the court.
Observing that the CCI was well within its powers to order such a probe, Justice V Dhanapalan said: “In the instant case, in the absence of any infringement of the fundamental rights or the principles of natural justice or the rule of law, the questions raised by the petitioners on merits, as to locus standi of the CCI in passing the April 26, 2011, impugned order, unexplained delay by director general (DG) in conducting the investigation and competency of the quorum of the CCI,
are all matters to be looked into by the Competition Appellate Tribunal.”
The court has directed the car companies to approach the tribunal within six weeks and and said that till such time, the parties to these proceedings shall maintain status quo.
Both Hyundai and Nissan in separate writ petitions had prayed for the quashing of the CCI order for probe, citing that the same was without jurisdiction, unconstitutional, without authority and against the principles of natural justice.
However, the high court observed that the impugned proceeding was only an inter-communication between the CCI and DG, and it does not specify any particular entity for the action to be taken. Therefore, it has to be concluded that the impugned proceedings are absolutely intra vires, but not ultra vires the provisions of the Act or the statute, as contended by the writ petitioners.
A person named Shamsher Kataria had filed an information with CCI, against three companies, Honda Siel Cars India, Volkswagen India and Fiat India Automobiles, alleging anti-competitive methods/agreements and abuse of dominant position.
Following this, the fair-trade watchdog in its meeting held on February 24, 2011, formed an opinion on the existence of a prima facie case as against the said three car manufacturers and asked the director general to probe it and submit his investigation report within 60 days.
As the said practices were not confined to the said three entities, the case involved a larger issue related to the prevalent conduct of players in the automobile sector and its implication on the consumers at large, it was proposed that the scope of the probe be expanded to examine the practices in the areas under consideration of all car manufacturers in India.

HC declares TMC’s tree authority illegal
Rajshri Mehta,TNN | Jul 9, 2014, 10.28 PM IST
THANE: The Bombay high court on Tuesday declared that the 14-member tree authority that was constituted by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) on May 20 was illegal. It has now directed the TMC to reconstitute a new tree authority.

Judges A S Oka and A S Chandurkar said that the TMC had violated Secion 3 (3) of the Tree Act by appointing only corporators and no member from any social group or from the environment field. The HC has also stayed the permissions granted by the authority to cut trees. The TMC has been asked to file an affidavit before the next hearing, which has been scheduled for August 1.

The court passed this order after a Thane-based social activist Vikrant Tawde filed an affidavit stating that the current tree authority was formed in violation of the rules. As per the Tree Act, the authority must have a minimum of five and maximum of 15 members. Out of these, one is the TMC commissioner, who heads the team, seven must be corporators and seven NGOs or environmentalists. But this wasn’t the case in the current tree authority.

The affidavit also said that the authorities did not maintain the trees that were cut during development projects. Out of 933 tree, only 17% were planted and the others were neglected. The report said that the deposit of Rs 1.33 crore that was taken from developers and societies was not utilized properly.

Madras HC Bench disposes of 6.24 lakh cases in 10 years
Annual disposal rate had also almost doubled from 42,144 cases in 2005 to 80, 364 cases in 2013.
The Madras High Court Bench here, all set to celebrate its 10 anniversary on July 24 this year, has proven itself to be a hub of justice for the litigants in southern districts by disposing of a whopping number of 6.24 lakh cases ever since its inauguration in 2004.
The annual disposal rate of the Bench had also almost doubled from 42,144 cases disposed of in 2005 to 80, 364 cases in 2013.
The increase in the strength of judges in the Bench from just five in 2005 to 12 in 2013 was one of the reasons for the spurt in rate of disposal.
The Bench began its journey on July 24, 2004 with the transfer of 19,324 cases pertaining to the southern districts from the Principal Seat of the High Court in Chennai. Of the cases transferred here, a majority of 6,723 were Second Appeals followed by 3,359 civil miscellaneous appeals.
They also included 2,995 appeal suits; 2,362 criminal appeals; 1,519 civil revision petitions; 313 criminal revision cases, 312 criminal original petitions and 1,691 civil miscellaneous petitions. Not a single writ petition, writ appeal or contempt application was transferred.
Nevertheless, 4,902 writ petitions; 6,183 criminal original petitions (seeking bail, anticipatory bail and so on); 975 civil revision petitions; 502 second appeals were filed directly in the Bench before the end of 2004 itself thereby proving the value accorded to it by the litigant public.
There had been no turning back since then as the rate of institution of cases as well as that of disposal has been on a steady rise with the filing and disposal of writ petitions having reached 20,970 and 15,336 respectively in 2013 as against 11,776 and 6,692 in 2005.
Disposal rate of criminal appeals was very less in the initial years since the court had only one Division Bench for hearing both writ and criminal appeals.
But the rate improved after the creation of a separate Division Bench to hear criminal matters and habeas corpus petitions.
The result was that the disposal of criminal appeals had been much higher than the institution of new cases ever since 2006.
Though only 674 criminal appeals were filed in 2007 and 571 were instituted in 2008, the number of cases disposed of in the two years were 1,223 and 1,026 respectively.
Ultimately, a huge number of 7,64,885 cases were filed in the Bench directly (apart from 19,324 cases transferred from Chennai before its inauguration) between July 24, 2004 and July 2, 2014 and of the total, it disposed of 6,24,842 cases through judicial orders.
A total of 2,270 cases were either referred to the Legal Services Authority for mediation or conciliation or transferred to the Principal Seat in Chennai thereby leaving a backlog of 1,57,097 cases as on July 2

HC stays ban on service fee for online movie tickets
Rosy Sequeira | Jul 10, 2014, 12.00 AM IST
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Tuesday stayed a ban on the charging of service fee for cinema tickets booked online.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sonak stayed a clause in an April 2013 government resolution that prohibits cinema halls and online agencies from collecting a convenience or service charge for online booking.

Advocate general Darius Khambata said the government was framing legislation. “A proposal will be placed before the Cabinet in a week. Once approved, an ordinance will be promulgated in a month or so,” he said. Khambata said there will be no prohibition but a fixed percentage of the amount char-ged as service fee will be exempted from entertainment duty.’s senior advocate Aspi Chinoy argued that pending legislation, the court must pass a restraining order as it has been 12 months since they stopped charging for online bookings. He cited a 2006 Supreme Court ruling and said, “GRs can’t be used to stop a business.” Chinoy said that in 2000 the government had issued a GR allowing charging of up to 10%. “Now they say you cannot charge,” he said.

Senior advocate Janak Dwarkadas, appearing for PVR Cinema, said the convenience fee was to favour customers who had to travel to buy a ticket and was no precondition for entry into cinema halls.

HC dismisses RCGC petition
TNN | Jul 10, 2014, 01.51 AM IST
KOLKATA: Calcutta High Court on Wednesday dismissed the writ petition filed by Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) challenging a Kolkata Municipal Corporation notice demanding Rs 7.71 crore in property tax.

The court has asked RCGC to move the appellate authority at KMC instead and ordered the club to pay KMC Rs 5,001 as litigation cost.

Dismissing the petition, Justice Soumitra Pal observed that the assessment order had been passed several years ago ? in 2005 ? and RCGC had received the order the same year but made no effort to challenge it at the KMC tribunal. Instead, it chose to move the court after nine years.

Anindya Mitra, Pratap Chatterjee and Soumitra Dutta, who appeared for RCGC, argued that the KMC’s valuation was without jurisdiction as the club enjoyed tax exemption for six years, from 2000 to 2006, but in 2005, KMC had increased the annual valuation from Rs 2 lakh to 64 lakh. According to the counsel, the civic authority had violated the provisions of the KMC Act.

Ashok Banerjee, appearing for the KMC, opposed the petition and argued that the tax revision order had been passed in September 23, 2005 and the club had received the order on December 10, 2005, but refrained from making the payment and finally moved the petition after nine years.

Banerjee further argued that the club had admitted to having made additional construction on the premises. So, it was natural for KMC to enhance the annual valuation. Banerjee pleaded that the court should not entertain the petition as there was a separate forum to adjudicate the issue.

Considering the arguments, Justice Pal dismissed RCGC’s petition.

Reacting to the verdict, mayor Sovan Chatterjee said the civic body would act “tough”.

“We may need to take a tough stance. It may so happen that we will ask the civic officials to go and attach RCGC’s property as an ultimate step in case the club fails to clear the dues,” Chatterjee said.

Madras HC says no role for police in landlord-tenant dispute
TNN | Jul 10, 2014, 05.40 AM IST
CHENNAI: Police should stay off landlord-tenant disputes, as the parties involved can seek remedy only from the competent civil court, the Madras high court has said.

“If there is a landlord-tenant relationship, police are not entitled to inquire the matter. It should advise both the parties to approach the competent civil court or rent control authority,” Justice T S Sivagnanam said recently, passing orders on a petition.

The matter relates to a criminal complaint lodged against R Suresh by his landlord P Syed Omar Sajeeth before the Teynampet police on June 7, seeking recovery of rent arrears. In his petition, Suresh said after being summoned to the police station, he and his counsel met the officers handling the matter. Even after his counsel explained that there was absolutely no criminal offence necessitating the summoning of Suresh, police held inquiries. He then moved the high court.

His counsel S Namo Narayanan said police ought not to have entertained the complaint at all, as there was no criminal element in the allegations. The dispute is civil in nature, he said. He sought a direction to the police not to harass Suresh in the name of inquiry.

When the matter was taken up for hearing, additional public prosecutor admitted that an inquiry had indeed been conducted by the Teynampet police. It was, however, closed, he said.

Recording the statement, Justice Sivagnanam pointed out that a police notice served under Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was furnished in the court to prove that Suresh had been summoned to the station. Since it is stated that the inquiry is already over, Suresh should not be harassed by police any further, the judge said, disposing of the petition.

HC strikes down rule prohibiting dance in liquor joints
The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday struck down Rule 11 (1) of the Karnataka Excise Licences (General Conditions) Rules, 1967, which prohibits dance on the premises where liquor is served in view of the Supreme Court’s judgment allowing dance by women in bars.
Justice Ashok B. Hinchigeri passed the order while disposing of a petition filed by Chef Inn Regency, Bar & Restaurant in Domlur, and two women dancers. The petitioners had sought a direction to the Police Department to consider their application to run a dance bar.
The Supreme Court in its July 16, 2013 verdict in the case of State of Maharashtra and Indian Hotel & Restaurants’ Association had upheld the Bombay High Court order of declaring that “ban on bar dancers violates the constitutional rights.”
Justice Hinchigeri, however, said that the State can initiate action against the liquor-serving joints where dance is allowed in case of any violations.

HC seeks Guj’s reply on scrapping of online draw of houses
Press Trust of India | Ahmedabad
July 9, 2014 Last Updated at 22:14 IST
The Gujarat High Court today issued notices to the state government over its recent decision to cancel allotment of affordable houses made through an online draw by the state Housing Board (GHB).

A total of 73 allottees, who had won houses through the online lottery, have filed petitions over two days, including today, challenging the decision of the state government to scrap the draw on June 19.

While 34 allottees moved the high court yesterday, 39 others filed their pleas today.

Justice K M Thaker issued notices to the Urban Development and Urban Housing Department and GHB seeking their replies by July 11.

“The respondent, Gujarat Housing Board shall positively and without any default file affidavit on or before July 11,” the judge said.

“It is clarified that the petition (of the applicants) shall be heard peremptorily on July 11 and hearing will not be adjourned on any ground including leave-note or sick-note,” the order said.

The petitioners sought setting aside of the state’s decision to cancel the online draw which was conducted by GHB under its affordable houses scheme.

“The state government has the power to cancel the entire affordable housing scheme if any fault has been found but it cannot cancel the draw,” the petitioners said.

They contended the state government has taken the decision citing technical errors but this cannot be done when the specific allotment of houses was made to the applicants.

The chief minister had scrapped the online draw of 8,000 affordable homes built by GHB in Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara and Ahmedabad, after those who were left out held protests alleging anomalies in the allotment.

Many of the applicants had complained earlier that the computerised draw selected only those who filed online applications and not those who submitted their applications in a physical form to GHB office.

Sheila Dikshit to HC: Governor can’t be tried in criminal case
Wednesday, 9 July 2014 – 4:17pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday sought quashing of the trial court order to lodge FIR against her in a graft case, contending in the Delhi High Court that such proceedings cannot be continued against a Governor.
Advocate M Pracha, appearing for Dikshit, said as per Article 361(2) of the Constitution there is a bar on criminal proceedings against a Governor. Dikshit is currently the Governor of Kerala, and as per Article 361(2) of the Constitution “no criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President, or the Governor of a State, in any court during his term of office”.
A bench of Justice Sunil Gaur, however, adjourned the matter to July 23 as the advocate for the complainant, BJP leader Vijender Gupta, was not present owing to some illness. Gupta had filed a complaint alleging that Dikshit´s administration misused public funds of Rs 22.56 crore in an advertisement campaign ahead of the 2008 assembly polls and the trial court had ordered lodging of an FIR against her.
Thereafter, the then Delhi government had moved the High Court against the trial court order which was stayed. AAP government had said that Dikshit will have to defend herself as she is no more the CM and the government lacked the “locus standi” to fight for her.
Then in February 2014, the Arvind Kejriwal-led government had moved the High Court seeking to take back the appeal filed by then Congress government headed by Dikshit. Dikshit had then moved the High Court opposing the plea of the Kejriwal government and had also sought her impleadment in the matter.
Thereafter, on February 26, the high court had said that Dikshit will have to defend herself in the graft case.
A special judge had on August 31, last year, ordered registration of FIR against Dikshit and others for offences including criminal breach of trust (section 409 IPC), criminal misappropriation of public funds and criminal misconduct under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The order had come on separate complaints filed by Gupta and RTI activist Vivek Garg against her.
Both of them had in their complaints alleged that Dikshit misused government funds in an advertisement campaign ahead of the 2008 assembly polls.

HC orders grant of loan to management quota student
Press Trust of India | Chennai
July 9, 2014 Last Updated at 18:10 IST
Madras High Court today upheld order of a single judge directing Indian Overseas Bank to grant educational loan to an engineering student, whose plea for the assistance was rejected on the ground he secured a seat under management quota with less than 60 per cent marks.

Dismissing an appeal by IOB’s Tiruppur Branch challenging the single judge’s June 20, 2013 order, a division bench comprising Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice M Sathyanarayanan directed the bank to grant the loan to the son of one A Ravi within two weeks from the receipt of the order.

The bench said the issue of eligibility has already been settled by the announcement of the Union Finance Minister that students admitted in the management quota were also entitled to get the education loan and all the banks were directed to adopt the said Policy.

On the basis of the announcement, a review meeting of all the Chief Executives of the PSU banks was held on September 27, 2012 which resolved that the Managing Committee considered the recommendations made by the Indian Banks Association Committee on Educational Loan Scheme and after detailed discussions decided to finance the meritorious students, who pursue courses under Management quota, the court said.

“In the guidelines framed in the Review Meeting, nowhere it is stated that educational loan can be sanctioned only for those who have secured 60 per cent and more marks,” it said.

Asha Bhosle’s son to pay maintenance of Rs 40k to ex-wife
TNN | Jul 9, 2014, 05.53AM IST

A family court has ordered singer Asha Bhosle’s son, Hemant Bhosle, to pay a monthly interim maintenance of Rs 40,000 to his estranged wife.
MUMBAI: A family court has ordered singer Asha Bhosle’s son, Hemant Bhosle, to pay a monthly interim maintenance of Rs 40,000 to his estranged wife. “The respondent (husband) is staying in Scotland. Considering the lifestyle of an NRI, the circumstances in which he is born and brought up, status of both parties, in my view, the maintenance of Rs 40,000 per month will do justice,” the court said last week.

The 62-year-old woman, a retired air hostess, had filed the petition through her advocate Neelofar Akhtar in 2012. The couple, who separated in 2002-03, have a 26-year-old daughter who lives in London. The woman claimed that the husband had thrown her out of the house and had been living with another woman for the last six years. She alleged that while she had worked day and night and fulfilled the man’s demands, she was now getting a monthly pension of Rs 800 and was helpless. The woman also claimed that Hemant had several properties worth crores in the UK and in India.

Hemant, however, denied the allegations. “She is spending a huge amount. She has attached huge bills showing her purchase. If she is receiving Rs 800, how is she purchasing such huge articles from various shops? The said facts clearly show that she is having more income than her pension, from her savings and investments,” the husband said in his reply.

The court, while pointing out that both parties had hidden their income, said it was difficult to consider their finances. “There might be some income to her from her investments, but in comparison to the respondent’s status, she is receiving a meagre amount, therefore, she is entitled to interim maintenance,” the court said.

Sandmining: National Green Tribunal issues notice to 24 people in Uttarakhand
Wednesday, 9 July 2014 – 8:01pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued notice to 24 people for carrying out illegal sand mining activities in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar district.
A bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar sought response from all of them after the counsel for Uttarakhand government told the tribunal that certain people were carrying on illegal sand mining. “We issue show cause notice to all the 24 persons who have been found by the state government to be carrying on illegal mining activity in district Haridwar,” the bench said.
It also held that in terms of the provision of the Section 15 of the NGT Act, they are to be held responsible for causing damage to environment and ecology.
The state’s counsel told the bench that it has suspended the licences of all the 24 people who were found to be carrying on illegal mining activity in the district.
The bench also issued notices to the chief secretaries of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu Kashmir, Nagaland, Maharashtra, Telagana and Arunachal Pradesh to ensure that they are present on the next date of hearing.
“In the event of default, we will be compelled to issue bailable warrants against the chief secretaries of all these states,” the bench said.
The tribunal had last year restrained sand mining without any licence or environmental clearance from river beds across the country on a plea filed by the National Green Tribunal Bar Association.
Widening the ambit of the plea, the bench had said its order would be applicable across the nation as the petition raises substantial environmental issues. Initially, the bench had restrained illegal sand mining on the beds and banks of rivers Yamuna, Ganga, Hindon,Chambal, Gomti, among others, but later modified its order saying the issue of illegally removing sand has nationwide implications.
The petition alleged that those who have opposed such sand mining, including field level officers, like suspended SDM Durga Sakhti Nagpal, have been victimised which is also apparent from various news reports. It also alleged that recently a man who raised his voice against the “powerful sand mafia” was killed in his home by few goons in broad daylight.
In its petition, the association had contended that “rampant illegal sand mining in the river beds of Yamuna, Ganga, Hindon, among others, without prior environmental clearance or in violation of the EC is being carried out and the same is affecting the integrity of the concerned river systems and flood plains”. “The activity of sand mining is adversely affecting the ecosystem and the overall ecology of the area,” the plea had said, adding the Supreme Court in a February 2012 order had taken note of adverse effects of sand mining.
The apex court had also held that any person carrying on sand mining on land which is less than five hectares, requires clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests or the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA).

Rash and Negligent Driving; Delhi Transport Corporation to Pay Over Rs. 59.23 Lakh
Cities | Press Trust of India | Updated: July 09, 2014 17:02 IST

New Delhi: A Motor Accident Claims Tribunal here has asked Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), its driver and an insurance company, to pay over Rs. 59.23 lakh as compensation to the kin of a man, who died after being hit by a corporation’s bus.

MACT presiding officer S C Malik found DTC, its driver Virender Singh and United India Insurance Company Ltd, jointly and severally liable to make the payment of compensation of Rs. 59,23,326 to the legal heirs of Harjinder Singh.

“As such in view of testimonies of the deceased’s wife, Amarjeet Singh (an eyewitness to the case), copies of criminal record produced, no doubt is left in respect of the deceased having suffered fatal injuries in road accident on September 26, 2012 due to rash and negligent driving,” the tribunal said.

“Respondent No 1 being driver, Respondent No 2 being owner and Respondent No 3 being Insurer of the offending vehicle are jointly and severally liable to make payment of compensation to the petitioners/claimants,” it said. The family members of 50-year-old Harjinder Singh had approached the tribunal seeking a compensation of Rs. 1.25 crore.

According to the complaint, Harjinder, who was riding his motorcycle, was hit from the behind by a speeding DTC bus in Patel Nagar.

Harjinder, who was working as a senior electronic assistant with Delhi Transco Limited, sustained fatal injuries and died on the spot.

The driver and the DTC, however, had claimed that the accident was not caused due to rash driving of the driver but was rather due to negligence of the deceased.


LEGAL NEWS 07.07.2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shariat Courts Unconstitutional? Supreme Court to Deliver Verdict Today
All India | Written by A Vaidyanathan | Updated: July 07, 2014 07:53 IST
New Delhi: The Supreme Court will deliver a judgement on Monday on whether Shariat courts are unconstitutional or not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Companies Act: Cross-border M&As just got tougher
Rishi Shroff, Jul 7, 2014 :

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

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

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

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

A question of practicality

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

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

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

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

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

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

Share transfer restrictions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NHRC ensures Rs 1.6 lakh relief to mid-day meal poisoning victims
Last Updated: Friday, July 04, 2014, 22:11

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Cyber crimes alone cost india Rs 24,630 crore in 2013, says Delhi HC report
PTI | Jul 7, 2014, 02.30 AM IST

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Bid to impersonate HT domain name blocked by HC
HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times New Delhi, July 06, 2014
First Published: 23:48 IST(6/7/2014) | Last Updated: 01:08 IST(7/7/2014)

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

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

Delay in grant of NoC to imported edibles: HC raps officials
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 6, 2014 Last Updated at 11:45 IST
The Delhi High Court has lambasted officials of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for misusing law to extort money from importers of edible items including chocolates in granting no objection certificates and warned that erring persons will be sent to jail.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Former minister, in custody for 27 months, seeks bail in HC
Last Updated: Sunday, July 06, 2014, 12:52

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ironically, there are transparency issues as well.

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

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

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

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

Don’t register cases in haste, order top cops
By Mubarak Ansari, Pune Mirror | Jul 7, 2014, 02.30 AM IST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LEGAL NEWS 06.07.014

LEGAL NEWS 06.07.014.

LEGAL NEWS 06.07.014

Justice Bahauddin Farooqi passes away
Date: 5 Jul 2014
Justice Bahauddin Farooqi passes away

Srinagar: Eminent Kashmiri Jurist, Legal Authority and Ex-Chief Justice of J&K, Justice Mufti Bahauddin Farooqi passed away in the early hours of morning on Saturday at his residence at Jawahar Nagar in Srinagar. Justice Farooqi served as the 12th Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir from March 7, 1983 to August 23, 1983. He was 87.

Justice Mufti Bahauddin Farooqi is survived by his daughter, three sons Advocate Mufti Showkat, Dr. Mufti Mahmood, Dr. Saadat Mufti and son-in-law Syed Tariq Ahmed Naqshbandi. Hundreds of people including prominent social and religious personalities participated in Justice Farooqi’s Nimaz-e-Jinaza which was held at Khanqah-e-Moula Shrine. Justice Farooqi has to his credit extensive work in documenting and reporting Human Rights violations in J&K and demanding legal prosecution against the culprits.

Various social, religious and political organizations have condoled Justice Farooqi’s demise and paid tributes to the Late Jurist for exemplary services rendered to the State’s Judicial Services. (CNS)

HC to hear MMRDA’s appeal on Metro rail fares on July 7
Saturday, 5 July 2014 – 4:56pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI
Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) has challenged in the Bombay High Court an order of its single-judge bench holding that the state government agency had no right to decide the fare of the Mumbai Metro rail which connects Versova in the west to Ghatkopar in the east.
The appeal filed by MMRDA, a state agency, is likely to come up for hearing on July 7 before a bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah.
On June 24, Justice R D Dhanuka had rejected MMRDA’s petition challenging the Metro fares. MMRDA had pleaded that a minimum fare of Rs 9 and maximum fare of Rs 13 should be charged for the rail corridor as per the agreement between the parties, while the operator– Mumbai Metro One Private Ltd (MMOPL)–announced higher fares ranging between Rs 10 to Rs 40.
Justice Dhanuka, in his order, had also asked the Central government to direct the fare fixation committee (FFC) to expeditiously fix the tariff of the 11.4-km rail corridor.
According to MMRDA, the fares had been decided collectively by all the stake-holders earlier and RInfra cannot change them unilaterally without following a due procedure.

HC orders release of 221 inmates of Akshaya Trust
Registrar, doctors and Advocate Commissioner unanimously state that they were detained against their wish
The Madras High Court Bench here on Friday ordered the release of 222 of the 531 inmates of a destitute home run by Akshaya Trust at Nagamalai Pulluthu near here after its Registrar (Administration), doctors from Government Rajaji Hospital and an Advocate Commissioner were of unanimous opinion that the inmates were detained against their wishes.
Passing interim orders on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by C. Muthurani of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) through her counsel U. Nirmala Rani, a Division Bench of Justices V. Ramasubramanian and V.M. Velumani held that the trust could not be allowed to detain any individual without his/her express consent.
In his inspection report, the High Court Registrar said the Home had 64 mentally challenged male inmates and 27 mentally challenged female inmates. Apart from them, there were 297 normal male inmates and 143 female inmates. “In most of the cases, the inmates had been brought to the home forcibly and their relatives are not aware of their presence in the home,” he added.
Psychiatrist T. Kumanan, who accompanied the Registrar to the Home, said more than one-third of the inmates could not understand Tamil or English since they hailed from places such as Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Bihar, Assam, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand. One of them claimed to be hailing from Nepal.
Advocate Commissioner D. Geetha said the inmates had been brought from public places such as railway stations, bus stands, Goripalayam dargah, tea shops and pavements. Dr. Kumanan added that “despite requests from the inmates (to integrate them with their family members)… no effort has been made to heed their requests. It was also allegedly refused, rejected or denied.”
Though the Registrar as well as the GRH doctors identified a total of 247 inmates who were willing to leave the Home and could be allowed to leave, the judges ordered the release of 222 alone since the doctors had opined that the rest of 25 inmates could not be allowed to go out alone and that they would require the assistance of their family members.
The court directed C. Ramasubramanian, State Nodal Officer, District Mental Health Programme, to visit the Home to ascertain the condition of the remaining inmates and submit his report to the court by Tuesday.

HC directs appointment of woman misbranded as transgender
Press Trust of India
Jul 06, 2014 at 08:30am IST
Chennai: Coming to aid of a 24-year-old woman who was misbranded as a transgender, the Madras High Court has asked the Tamil Nadu government to appoint her as a police constable.
The woman’s application for the post of a constable was rejected by the authorities after being provisionally selected in 2012 as they branded her as transgender on the ground of absence of uterus and ovaries.
Allowing the petition of Nangai (name changed) of Ariyalur, Justice S Nagamuthu said that “if absence of uterus and ovaries is to be taken as a decisive factor for sexual identity as a transgender, it would be disastrous because it is only a congenital defect such as visual impairment or hearing impairment”.
The denial of employment by “misbranding” her as a transgender was not sustainable in law, he held. All government records including her school certificate too mentioned her as a female.
The judge directed the authorities to issue appointment order to her as Grade II women police constable and depute her for training within a period of two months from the date of receipt of the order.

HC directs Maharashtra to declare its river policy
The policy includes allowing constructions along the banks of rivers, lakes, creeks and tributaries
Press Trust of India | Mumbai
July 5, 2014 Last Updated at 13:47 IST
The Bombay High Court has asked Maharashtra Government to file an affidavit within three weeks declaring its policy on allowing constructions along the banks of rivers, lakes, creeks and tributaries.

The order was given by a bench headed by justices V M Kanade and P D Kode yesterday while admitting a PIL filed by Vanashakti, an NGO, asking for a direction to the state to prohibit construction within 100 metres of flood level of all rivers, lakes, creeks and 50 metres of tributaries.

Irreparable damage is caused to the environment by creating hindrances on the banks of natural resources such as rivers, lakes, creeks and tributaries by constructing walls or barriers by housing projects, the PIL alleged.

Referring to a Government notification, the PIL said that as of now there is a ban only on industries from 500 metres to eight kms on either side of rivers. The PIL urged that policy should be changed and this ban should also extend to residential and commercial projects.

The PIL further alleged that a wall running up to two kms had been constructed by a housing project along the banks of river Ulhas, near Dombivali, resulting in changing the course of flood waters of the river. In doing so, many areas have become flood-prone, it said.

The petition said that if such constructions are allowed to continue along the river banks, the lives and properties of the local people would be endangered. Also, there would no check on sewage going from these projects into the river, the PIL alleged.

HC grants bail to two accused of child trafficking
TNN | Jul 5, 2014, 09.39AM IST

KOCHI: The Kerala high court on Friday granted bails to two persons accused of trafficking children to orphanages in the state. While allowing the bail pleas, the court orally observed that the charge of trafficking is not prima facie sustainable.

Justice K Abraham Mathew granted bail to the two accused, Ghosh Muhammed and Jahir of West Bengal. They are the third and fourth accused in the case respectively.

They were taken into custody by police when they allegedly arrived at Palakkad railway station along with over 120 children by train. Palakkad railway police had booked them for child trafficking (Section 370(5) of Indian Penal Code) along with two others. They were accused of bringing children from other states without proper documents and by making false promises as well as not ensuring the safety of the children.

HC dismisses PIL filed against Tamil Nadu minister Ramana
PTI | Jul 5, 2014, 04.13 PM IST
CHENNAI: The Madras high court on Saturday dismissed a PIL filed against former Tamil Nadu revenue minister BV Ramana seeking a direction to the chief electoral officer to take action against him for allegedly filing a “false” affidavit along with his nomination papers in the 2011 assembly polls.

The first bench comprising acting Chief Justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice M M Sundresh dismissed the PIL after recording the endorsement made by the counsel for the petitioner K M Balaji that the petition may be dismissed as withdrawn.

In the PIL, Balaji contended that Ramana had suppressed facts about his first marriage in the affidavit.

Ramana was married to one B Lalitha and had two children. However, in the affidavit, he mentioned R Latha as his wife and a girl as his dependent child.

He did not mention the name of the children from his first marriage as dependants, Balaji contended.

According to the petitioner, filing a false affidavit was an offence as per the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

HC rejects MLAs anticipatory bail
TNN | Jul 5, 2014, 08.47AM IST
JAIPUR: Rajasthan high court on Friday dismissed the anticipatory bail application of Dholpur MLA B L Kushwaha, an accused in a murder case. Kushwaha who is also accused in an alleged chit fund fraud in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh belongs to the BSP.

The single bench of Justice KS Aluwalia rejected his bail plea on the ground that he is charged with a heinous crime following which he could not be granted anticipatory bail. Kushwaha is one of the accused in the murder of Naresh Kushwaha in December 27, 2012.

According to the prosecution, it was a case of honour killing as the accused MLA’s sister had an affair with the victim which led to his murder.
Government counsel Bhrammanad Sandu argued that with the arrest of Satyender, one of the contract killers, it has been established that the MLA had hired the contract killers to eliminate the victim. Another accused Robin Singh is still absconding. One of the revolvers used by them was found to be that of the MLA.

The prosecution argued that with the arrest of Satyender, the police were able to collect enough evidence against the accused MLA and the motive behind the murder. It was a clear case of ‘honour killing’ while Abdul Hamid Khan representing the MLA argued it as a case of political conspiracy.

HC lens on blocked road
– Goverment ordered to file response by August 8

Cuttack, July 5: Orissa High Court has taken cognisance of a report in The Telegraph and suo motu registered a public interest litigation (PIL) on squatters blocking an approach road to Bhubaneswar railway station causing inconvenience to commuters.
The court treated the contents of the report, “Raze Drive: Hit some, miss some”, published on June 9, as a PIL saying the matter was of public importance.
The report was on the drive to remove the encroachment near the railway station around Master Canteen Square and the absence of similar action on the other side of the station next to the Cuttack-Puri national highway (Buddha Nagar). It also focussed on indiscriminate dumping of garbage causing problems to both commuters and local residents.
Acting on the report, the division bench of Chief Justice A.K. Goel and Justice A.K. Rath had last month fixed August 8 for listing of the PIL for hearing. The state government has been directed to file its response by then.
The departments and organisations named as parties in the case include the general administration department, revenue and disaster management department, housing and urban development department, Bubaneswar Development Authority and the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation.
The public interest litigation concerns the important thoroughfare at Buddha Nagar, a prime residential area of Bhubaneswar, which connects the city’s railway station with the Cuttack-Puri national highway.
Commuters are facing difficulty in reaching the railway station as the approach road has remained blocked for years due to illegal occupation by slum-dwellers.
Encroachment by the slum-dwellers is not only causing problems for residents of the engineers’ colony, but also creating an unhealthy atmosphere in the area because of the dumping of garbage on the road.
The report said the problem of dumping solid waste on the road had aggravated after 2010 as the East Coast Railway constructed a boundary wall to keep their land free from encroachment. The slum-dwellers have since been dumping their daily waste on the road.
Civic authorities had allegedly made provision for water by digging a bore-well, but as pipe-water connections were made available on the road, the slum-dwellers are practically living on the road leading to the railway station. At night, the road remains fully blocked with the squatters parking their vans and rickshaws there.

HC asks Vigilance, H&ME deptt to submit report of action taken
Sheikh Saleem
Srinagar, July 05: High Court has asked Director Vigilance Organization and Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education (H&ME) department to inform the court about the action taken over illegal selection of Pharmacists (Dawasaaz) on fake certificates.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Hasnain Masoodi asked the officials to produce the record as what action has been taken on the cases of inquiry conducted over the appointments on fake certificates.
Court also asked the Director Vigilance and Commissioner Secretary, Health and Medical Education department to file objections within three weeks to the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed over the fraudulent selection of pharmacists in Indian System of Medicine (ISM).
Earlier High Court issued notices to the government over selection of pharmacists (Dawasazs) on fake certificates allegedly issued by Director Indian System of Medicines (ISM), Dr Abdul Kabir.
According to the petition filed by drop out pharmacists, Kabir in connivance with the top officials of Directorate of ISM in 2008 had allegedly issued fake pharmacists diploma certificates to around 400 persons, who later got jobs under NHRM scheme.
Petitioners through their counsel advocate Bashir Ahmad Bashir seek registration of corruption case against the Director ISM besides his transfer to prevent forging of the records until investigation is completed.
Counsel pleaded that the certificates have been issued without making proper selection for training course of pharmacists and sought directions to state government to make legitimate selection of candidates for imparting Dawasaz training to them through bonafide selection process.
In 2008 a list of 994 ‘blue eyed’ candidates was illegally nominated through backdoor means by the ISM Directorate for undergoing “Dawasaz” training. After a complaint was filed by some aggrieved candidates the government cancelled the list vide Government order No: 121 HME (GR 0f 2008) dated October 17, 2008.
The backdoor selected candidates filed a writ petition in High Court which was dismissed subsequently.
However, the High Court directed government to expeditiously frame and formulate the norms and procedure for making nominations for undergoing Dawasaz training course.
Director ISM again ‘violated’ the court orders and issued diploma certificates to people without any training institute established in J&K.

PIL Filed for Shifting of GAIL Gas Station from Habitation
By Express News Service
Published: 06th July 2014 07:40 AM
Last Updated: 06th July 2014 09:23 AM
HYDERABAD: A public interest litigation has been filed in the High Court seeking directions to the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) to shift the gas control station (GCS) located in the midst of a habitation to an isolated place with immediate effect.
Petitioner Dr RS Ratnakar, a resident of Nagaram village of East Godavari district, submitted that GAIL has established a GCS in Tatipaka village of the district and and the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC)has set up a low capacity refinery at the village. GAIL has laid a pipeline from Tatipaka to Kondapalli at Vijayawada to supply gas.
He submitted that the pipeline was laid through several villages and habitations and leakage of gas from pipelines is a common phenomenon in those villages due to poor maintenance of pipelines by the authorities.
Ratnakar alleged that despite several complaints of gas leakages from the villagers, the authorities had never bothered to address their grievances. As many as 19 people lost their lives and several others sustained injuries in the fire at Nagaram due to gas leakage on June 27.
The petitioner said there is a school adjacent to the GCS in which about 3,000 pupils study. He alleged that GAIL has failed in installing the censors to identify the gas leakages and also setting up the sirens to alert the villagers in case of leakage of gas.
The petitioner urged the court to intervene in the matter to protect lives of the villagers of Nagaram, Tatipaka and other effected villages in Mamidikuduru mandal of the district and direct the authorities to shift the GCS from Tatipaka.

PIL in Bom HC seeks 5 per cent reservation for Christians too
July 5, 2014 6:28 pm
Beed (Maha), Jul 5 (PTI) Close on the heels of Maharashtra government providing 16 per cent reservation for Marathas and 5 per cent for Muslims in jobs and educational institutions, a PIL in the Bombay High Court has sought similar facility for the Christian community.

The PIL, filed by city-based Alpha Omega Christian Community in the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court, said it was demanding five per cent reservation for Christians on the basis of recommendations made by the Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission constituted by National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities.

According to the PIL, Maharashtra government had, on the basis of the Ranganath Commission report, appointed a seven-member committee headed by Dr Mehmoodur Rehman to study the socio-economic and educational status of the Muslim community in the state.

Thereafter, on the basis of the Mehmoodur Rehman Committee report, the Maharashtra cabinet approved 5 per cent reservation to Muslims on June 25.

On the same lines, 5 per cent reservation should also be provided to the Christian community which the PIL said had not been considered on the basis of recommendation of Ranganath Commission report.

The President of Alpha Omega, Ashish Shinde said “we have been demanding 5 per cent reservation to the Christian community. The government has only given verbal assurance in the past. Now that reservation has been approved for Muslim community, we strongly demand for Christians.” PTI COR ARS

HC pulls up officials after PIL alleges corruption in setting up of lake
News18 | Siddharth Shankar Pandey | Sat Jul 05, 2014 | 16:59 IST
#Dindori #Madhya Pradesh For the purpose of preservation of the black buck deer which have been included in the list of endangered species list in India, the government allotted Rs 80 lakh to make a lake in their habitat.
However, only Rs 5 lakh have been used for the purpose, the rest of the funds have been unaccounted for.
Due to this the lake which should have been taken care of has dried out which in turn has had an adverse effect on the well being of the deer.
Mandla resident, Kishor Dua has filed a petition in the Madhya Pradesh High Court. In the petition Kishor Dua claims that he has contacted Dindori Collector and Divisional Commissioner with the matter, but no action has been taken.

Following the petition, Chief Justice Ajay Manikrao Khanvilkar and Justice Alok Aradhey have sent a notice to the concerned authorities, asking them to give accountability of the funds.

Legal experts say convicts can be tried for murder
Ajay Sura,TNN | Jul 6, 2014, 02.34 AM IST
CHANDIGARH: While the Jalandhar police are exploring possibilities of slapping murder charges on the accused convicted for the murderous attack on Yannick Nihangaza, a student from Burundi who died on July 1 in his home country, legal experts are of the opinion that the accused can now be tried for murder.

Seven persons were convicted for attempting to murder Yannick in October 2013 and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment. They are in jail.

Chandigarh-based eminent criminal lawyer A S Sukhija said all those involved and convicted for attempt to murder could be booked and tried for murder since victim has died due to that assault. Sukhija further added that a fresh trial for murder would begin, but time could be saved as the prosecution had already proved its case and simply had to prove that the victim died to the earlier injuries.

Senior advocate of the Punjab and Haryana high court Vinod Ghai said, “Though charges can be amended till the pronouncement of the judgment, if the victim has died on account of same transaction or injuries, the prosecution or complainant can approach the court for fresh charges of culpable homicide against accused.”

Former Haryana additional director of prosecution department N S Bhinder said the police on receiving the information about the death of the victim could book the accused for murder charges if they were sure that the victim had died due to the injuries suffered from the same incident. He also added that the period of imprisonment completed by the accused for attempt to murder would be considered undergone by the trial court if they were convicted for murder.

Congress approaching court over demand for LoP post will embarrass it: Subramanian Swamy
Saturday, 5 July 2014 – 11:50am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: ANI
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday said that the Congress will only be embarrassed if they go to court to have their demand to be assigned the post of the Leader of Opposition (LoP), as they don’t have the required number of seats.
“The requisite for post of Leader of Opposition is clear, and the Congress needs 55 seats for that, which they do not have. They can go to court if they want to, but they will only be embarrassed. It will be a slap on their face,” said Swamy.
Congress has decided to raise the pitch in its demand for being accorded the status of the Leader of the Opposition for its nominee in the Lok Sabha.
It has been contended that Congress does not have the required number of 55 MPs or 10 percent of the total strength of the 543 member of the Lok Sabha to claim the LoP post for itself.
However party leader Shakeel Ahmed has said that there is no such rule and added that the leader of the party in Opposition which has the greatest numerical strength gets the post of LoP.

SC Stays HC Order on MKU V-C’s Removal
By Express News Service
Published: 05th July 2014 07:18 AM
Last Updated: 05th July 2014 07:18 AM
MADURAI: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Madras High Court order quashing the appointment of Kalyani Mathivanan as Vice Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU), according to press release from the university here.
The Supreme Court has issued a stay on the judgment delivered by the Madras High Court of Madurai Bench. The High Court Bench had earlier delivered a judgment setting aside the appointment order of Kalayani Mathivanan as a Vice-Chancellor of MKU, the release said.
Kalyani Mathivanan and the Government of Tamil Nadu filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Madurai High Court Bench. The SC also ordered notices to the parties concerned, the release added.

SC rejects petition challenging allotment of 140 mines in 3 days
— By OUR STAFF REPORTER, July 05, 2014 01:10 am
BHOPAL : The Supreme Court has rejected the writ petition against allotment of 140 mines made before last Vidhan Sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh.
The court has found as baseless all the charges levelled against Mineral Resources Minister Rajendra Shukla pertaining to allotment of these mines.
Parishram Samaj Evam Samaj Kalyan Samiti had filed a writ petition in October 2013 alleging that the Mineral Resources Minister Rajendra Shukla had allocated 140 mines from among 1200 applications within 3 days before enforcement of model code of conduct for Vidhan Sabha elections committing irregularities.
Hearing the petition on October 8, 2013, the Supreme Court ordered status quo in the case of mines’ allotment in Madhya Pradesh.
The petitioner had alleged in his appeal that hearing process on August 20, 27 and September 3, 2013 was illegal. Therefore, hearing done on these dates should be investigated through CBI. The petitioner had also made CBI a party in the case.
The Supreme Court had fixed July 1, 2014 as the last date for hearing and directed all litigants to produce their versions.
Madhya Pradesh Mineral Resources Department produced its reply before the Supreme Court saying that all processes were adopted as per rules in allotment of mines.
In its reply, the CBI informed the court that allegations leveled in the petition are baseless and no illegality was committed in mines allotment. Therefore, the petition is worthy of being rejected.
After hearing all the parties, the Supreme Court, in its final order dated July 1, 2014, rejected the petition, finding all allegations pertaining to allotment of mines against Mineral Resources Minister Rajendra Shukla as baseless.

Suspended DU prof’s family not to be evicted: Univ to court
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 5, 2014 Last Updated at 18:25 IST
Delhi University (DU) today assured a court here that family members of its suspended professor G N Saibaba, arrested for his alleged Maoist links, will not be evicted from their residence provided by DU as the matter is sub-judice.

“He (DU’s counsel) is assuring orally that he will inform the authorities about the court order (passed by a vacation judge on June 9 and thereby staying proceedings of eviction by the university)…,” District Judge A K Chawla said.

The assurance by DU came while the court was hearing a petition filed by Saibaba’s wife Vasantha, challenging the June 2 order of estate officer in which the professor was asked to vacate the Gwyer Hall premises provided to him by DU.

Saibaba, who was an English professor at Ram Lal Anand College, was arrested on May 9 byMaharashtra Police on the charges of being a member of a banned terrorist organisation (CPI-Maoist), providing logistics and helping in recruitment for the group.

Vasantha’s counsel C S Parasher informed the court that a vacation judge has stayed the eviction order of the estate officer on June 9 but even after that the university recently sent a notice that the professor’s residence will be vacated with the help of security agencies.

“Its the contempt of court,” Parasher said.

Initially, the university’s counsel told the court that he has not received the stay order passed by the vacation judge, to which the district judge asked Parasher to provide him a copy of that order.

After getting the copy of the stay order, the DU’s counsel assured the court that it will be forwarded to the university authorities and duly be complied with.

Vasantha, in her petition, has said the estate officer’s order was “illegal, arbitrary, malafide and in violation of the provisions of the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act”.

Divorce detoxed: How to kiss and break up
Joeanna Rebello Fernandes,TNN | Jul 6, 2014, 07.59 AM IST
From 300 in 1989 to 15,000 today — the family court in Mumbai has seen a phenomenal rise in the number of divorce cases it handles every year.

Extrapolate that figure to courts in other metros and you have a grid of conflict zones where combative couples battle for years over kids, property, alimony and so on.

Turns out not everyone is hitting the trenches these days.

Snap deal

Some folk are now seeing wisdom in the peaceful parting of ways. Mumbai-based divorce lawyer Mrunalini Deshmukh says mutual consent divorce is on the rise.

“About 40% of my caseload comprises such cases. It’s what I first recommend to clients because it’s in their own interest. A contested divorce is a no-win and can take minimum three four years to resolve in court. An appeal may then take it to higher courts and a longer wait,” she says.

Geeta Luthra, who has handled the divorces of several of Delhi’s industrialists, builders and hoteliers, recognizes a change in the way people perceive the Great Divide. “Girls have started thinking about remarriage; they’re keen to start a new life and want to quickly break away from the old one,” she says. Almost 90% of the contested cases, she argues, end up in mutual consent anyway because couples run out of steam and eventually settle.

Rules of the writ

Deshmukh, the facilitator of several high-profile splits (Hrithik Roshan-Sussanne Khan, Mahesh Bhupathi-Shvetha Jaishankar), says there was no concept of mutual consent divorce in India till a 1976 amendment in marriage laws.

Now, two people could file for a ‘no fault’ divorce which, as the term suggests, places no blame or fault for the break-up on any one party .

Couples can file for mutual consent divorce one year from the date of separation. After a divorce petition is filed in the district court citing irreconcilable differences and is supported by affidavits from both partners, the court mandates a six-month ‘cooling-off period’ for the petitioners to reconsider their decision. Should they be unreconciled, a second petition is filed at the end of this term and the couple have to present their case before a judge, who invariably grants them a divorce forth with. Should the couple dither for whatever reason, and the 18-month cutoff passes, the petition gets abated and they have to file a fresh petition.

No dirty linen, please

Deshmukh notes that couples today want to end their marriages discreetly and honorably, without hauling each other over the coals. “They may even choose not to disclose the true reasons for their decision, not wanting to wash their dirty linen in public. As lawyers we respect their privacy and won’t probe for de tails,” she says. Unless the judge is unconvinced about the couple’s claim of `irreconcilable differences’, he/she too won’t probe further.

Also, couples may not seek out a lawyer together. “When a client approaches me, I send the spouse a softly worded legal notice declaring the intention of my client, saying he/she seeks a divorce and would like an amicable way out. If the other party agrees, we could have a meeting to discuss the way forward.”

Give & take

This includes deciding how to split the spoils for which the lawyer’s counsel is often sought. “They’ll want to know about the parameters applicable in case of child custody, wife’s rights, division of property and so on,” says Deshmukh. “We tell them about existing laws on such matters, and then leave it to them to decide. In a particular case a wife may decline alimony, in another, the husband will let her have the house; each decision is individual and the court respects it.”

When both parties are on the same page, grudgingly or ungrudgingly, they come to a mutually agreeable settlement. There’s no sure-shot formula and it could vary from one couple to the next.

But Luthra points out that the settlement could be far better than what one might hope to get after a lengthy legal battle.

“In a contested case, when fighting for maintenance you stand to get one-third of your spouse’s declared income. In a mutual consent case you could insist, say, on an alternative house, and it could be worth far more than the declared income,” she says.

The division of spoils is seldom governed by largesse.

But Luthra advises her clients to give a little more than they’d bargained in exchange for a quick exit. One shouldn’t be churlish about visitation rights, alimony and so on, she recommends.

Jiah Khan Case: Pancholi Family Files Rs 100 Cr Defamation Suit
Posted by: Suparno Published: Saturday, July 5, 2014, 12:51 [IST] Ads by Google Spacious 2&3BHK Jalahalli No Common Walls. Great Amenities. Block B booking ending soon. Hurry. While, the High Court has handed over the Jiah Khan death case to CBI, Aditya Pancholi and his family has filed a Rs 100 crore defamation suit against Jiah Khan’s mother Rabia Khan. Aditya Pancholi’s family has now alleged that Rabia Khan has been posting defamatory comments about the former’s family which has hampered their reputation. After the death of Jiah Khan, although police termed it to be a suicide case, Jiah’s mother claimed that her daughter was murdered and accused Jiah’s boyfriend Sooraj Pancholi who happens to be Aditya Pancholi’s son. Now Aditya Pancholi and his family filed a defamatory suit against the victim’s mother in which it is mentioned that Rabia Khan has been posting defamatory comments on her Twitter page against the Pancholi family members. The suit further stated that as many as 18 tweets, posted between March 4th and May 1st are defamatory in nature. The Rs 100 crore defamation suit includes loss of reputation at Rs 50 crore, loss of business at Rs 25 crore and for mental harassment at Rs 25 crore. It is to be recalled, Jiah Khan was found dead in her flat on June 3, 2013 and a suicide note was also found. However, police arrested boyfriend Sooraj Pancholi on charges of abetting her suicide, while Jiah’s mother Rabia Khan moved the HC.

West Bengal tops in cruelty to women by spouse
At a time when a debate rages on the misuse of Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code ( IPC), which deals with cruelty to woman by husband and in-laws, an analysis of the data from National Crime Records Bureau, 2013 shows that West Bengal accounts for the highest number of cases under the particular section.
The NCRB data, which was, published earlier this week, points out that 18,116 cases under Section 498 –A were registered in 2013, which is highest in the country and amounts to 15.24 per cent of cases recorded in the country. The cases registered under Section 498-A in West Bengal also are over 60 per cent of overall crime against women recorded in State, which is 29,836 ( third highest in the country).
The Supreme Court on Thursday had directed the State governments to instruct to its police officers not to automatically arrest when a case under Section 498-A of the IPC is lodged. While the number of cases recorded under this section in West Bengal has dropped from 19,881 in 2012 to 18,116 in 2013 , over the past five years the State recorded the highest number of cases under Section 498-A when compared to other States in the country.
Referring to the apex court’s order, National Coalition of Men, a forum of several NGOs fighting for men’s rights, told The Hindu on Friday that the West Bengal Government should take note of the judgment and ensure that harassment under Section 498-A is stopped. “It is incumbent upon the police of West Bengal to ensure that the people in the State are not harassed under the provisions of 498 –A. Moreover if we look at the conviction rate of those charged with this Section of the IPC we find that it is reducing by two percent every year over the past three years,” Amit Gupta president of NCM said. The conviction rate of those charged with Section 498- A has come down from 6.3 per cent in 2011 to 4.4 per cent in 2012 and 2.3 percent in 2013, Mr. Gupta added. “However, the conviction rate at the national level under Section 498-A shows an increase by 1 per cent – from 15 in 2012 to 16 in year 2013,” the representatives of NCM pointed out.

MPCB official appears as witness in criminal case over Godavari pollution
Sumita Sarkar,TNN | Jul 6, 2014, 04.29 AM IST
NASHIK: The district court on Saturday interrogated Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) regional officer S Fule, while hearing a criminal case related to the pollution of Godavari filed by activist Rajesh Pandit.

The case has been filed under section 431 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against former municipal commissioner Sanjay Khandare.

During the last hearing on June 24, non-technical witness Nitin Ruikar was summoned and interrogated. The district court had then summoned Fulse as the technical witness for the hearing scheduled on July 5. On Saturday, the court asked Fulse about the civic body’s bank guarantee that the MPCB had forfeited.

“Fulse was asked twice about forfeiting of the bank guarantee. The MPCB has forfeited Rs 1.25 lakh bank guarantee of the NMC for river pollution. Based on the two witnesses’ statements, the court will on July 20 decide if an FIR has to be filed or the case should be dismissed,” said Dhirendra Ponkshe, the lawyer of the appellant.

Pandit has been protesting against river pollution since May 2012 and had submitted memorandums to the civic administration. He, along with his aides, had registered an offence at Sarkarwada police station on July 21, 2012 against the civic officials, when the latter failed to meet their demands.

Court seeks ATR on alleged poll code breach by Narendra Modi
Modi, who was then BJP prime ministerial, had addressed a press conference when voting was underway in all 26 seats in Gujarat
Press Trust of India | Ahmedabad
July 5, 2014 Last Updated at 18:10 IST
A local court today asked the crime branch to submit an Action Taken Report (ATR) by August 5 in connection with an FIR filed against then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modifor allegedly violating the Representation of People Act on Lok Sabha polling day on April 30.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate M M Sheikh directed the Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) of Gujarat Police to submit the ATR on or before August 5.

Modi, who was then the prime ministerial candidate of BJP, had addressed a press conference when the voting was underway in all 26 seats in Gujarat on April 30, immediately after casting his vote in a school at Ranip area of the city and displayed his party’s electoral symbol, the lotus.

The FIR against Modi was registered by the Crime Branch on the directives of the Election Commission on the same day under section 126 (1)(a) of RP Act (prohibition of public meetings during period of forty-eight hours ending with hour fixed for conclusion of poll) and under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

However, an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member, Nishant Verma filed a petition before the court saying the FIR was “incomplete” and requested it to direct police to add section 130 (prohibition of canvassing in or near polling station) of RPA and sections 114 (abettor present when offence is committed) and 171 (c) (undue influence at elections) and 171 (f) (wearing garb or carrying token used by public servant with fraudulent intent) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to the FIR.

As per section 171 (f) an offender shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year or with fine, or with both.

During a previous hearing, the court had asked the DCB to submit the ATR on or before July 5 but extended the time limit by a month today on the submission of the agency that investigation into the case is not yet completed.

Verma’s lawyer K R Koshti opposed DCB’s representation and submitted that the probe agency has not filed chargesheet in the case within the stipulated time period.

After hearing both the sides, the court posted the matter to August 5.

What powers the “Section 498A misuse” bandwagon?
Saturday, 5 July 2014 – 1:07pm IST | Agency: DNA
In 2003, JD Kapur, Delhi High Court judge and author of Laws and Flaws in Marriage: How to Remain Happily Married, stirred a controversy with his judgement in the Savitri Devi case. Playing judge and marriage counsellor both rolled into one and blaming Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code for bringing about a social catastrophe and wrecking havoc on the family, Justice Kapur singled out women who apparently have no compunctions in putting their husbands and in-laws through the torture of the criminal legal process. The police, the stickler for arbitrariness and high-handedness that it is, also came in for strong censure, especially in its ineptitude in handling cases of domestic disputes or marital violence and abuse. Besides the palpable misogyny and a justified outburst against the police, there was no data to substantiate the claim of the calamitous misuse of the provision.
Justice CK Prasad’s judgement in the Arnesh Kumar case delivered earlier this week (2 July 2014), takes off from where Justice Kapur stopped. “The fact that Section 498A is a cognisable and non-bailable offence has lent it a dubious place of pride amongst the provisions that are used as weapons rather than a shield by disgruntled wives,” Justice Prasad says. He also goes on to formulate mandatory guidelines which in effect, strike at the heart of the provision brought about to protect women from marital violence. But these guidelines would infact ensure that the police will err on the side of caution rather than make timely, pre-emptive or even deterrent arrests.
The court relies upon mere statistics, saying that from 2011 to 2012, there was a 9.4% increase in the number of cases registered under Section 498A, 6% of those arrested being women (in the words of the court- “mothers and sisters of the husbands were liberally included in their arrest net”) and that Section 498A accounted for 4.5% of total crimes under the penal code – surpassing all offences other than theft and hurt. The court also adds that while the rate of chargesheeting in cases under this section was 93%, the conviction rate was an abysmal 15% and that out of approximately 3,72,706 cases pending trial, nearly 3,17,000 are likely to result in acquittal.
It is evident that the court was tilting at windmills because the statistics and the correlations drawn on their basis remain poles apart. For instance, an increase in the number of offences registered or complaints filed could very well be attributed to more empowered women and a sensitive constabulary. A dismal conviction rate doesn’t allow us to presume that cases were false or frivolous. As a study by Vimochana in Bangalore demonstrated, patently illegal “compromises” – in which victims and their families are induced or threatened into letting the police drop proceedings against the accused, accounted for many cases being passed off as acquittals. Moreover, the National Crime Research Bureau data shows that out of 1,06, 527 cases registered in 2012, 10,235 – around 10% – were “Cases declared false on account of mistake of fact or of law”. In so far as acquittals go, first, it remains unclear how the court arrived at the conclusion of “distinct possibility”. Second, and more fundamentally, in criminal law, where proof beyond reasonable doubt remains the standard, it is trite that marital cruelty would be difficult to prove, for reasons which do not need any restatement here. How could a court stand on such thin ground to allege falsehood?
The malevolent trope of hordes of mendacious women running amok and the ‘498A epidemic’ isn’t a recent one. Nor is the proclivity to make sweeping generalisations in the absence of any data or credible empirical evidence. What’s worse, almost all the sagacious recommendations at reforming the provision, place ‘family values’ and the sanctity of ‘family life’ on a higher pedestal than the safety of a woman’s life and limb.
Justice Kapur’s judgement was preceded by the findings and recommendations of the Malimath Committee on Criminal Justice Reforms (2003) which suggests that Section 498A should be made bailable and compoundable (the case can be withdrawn and settled by mutual agreement between the parties). In para 16.4.4 Justice Malimath states:
“a less tolerant and impulsive woman may lodge an FIR even on a trivial act. The result is that the husband and his family may be immediately arrested and there may be a suspension or loss of job. The offence alleged being non-bailable, innocent persons languish in custody. There may be a claim for maintenance adding fuel to fire, especially if the husband cannot pay.”
Then, in para 14.10.06, he says that the provision being non-bailable and non-compoundable makes it difficult for the couple to resume their marital ties and family lives once the storm has blown over (if only marital violence, cruelty, harassment and deaths for dowry were so trivial!). Also, since matrimonial violence affects only the victims and not societal values, after the wife has gotten a divorce, criminal proceedings against the husband and in-laws must be discontinued.
The 243rd Law Commission report on Section 498A stated:
“the point to be noted is that the value to be attached to the rights of women are no less than the value to be attached to the family as a unit and vice-versa. The challenge before the community is to ensure the promotion of both values.”
Has the absence of data prevented either the government or the courts from surging ahead? The answer is in the negative.
On 22 August 2003 the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2003 which included a provision to make Section 498A IPC compoundable with permission of the Court, was introduced in the Rajya Sabha. In the meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh had already amended the law in this manner via the Code of Criminal Procedure (Andhra Pradesh Amendment) Act, 2003, which came into force on 1 August 2003. And on 17 December, I.D Swami the Minister of State for Home Affairs, stated:
“There is no information available with the Government to come to the conclusion that many families in India are suffering due to exaggerated allegations of harassment and dowry cases made by women against their husbands and other family members involving them in criminal misappropriation and cruelty.”
Thankfully the proposed amendments couldn’t be passed. But what the legislature failed at, a court driven by inherent patriarchy achieved by cherry-picking. Section 41 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which vests the police with powers to arrest without a warrant, forms the plinth of Justice Prasad’s guidelines. This was enacted on the basis of the 177th Law Commission Report which examined how the police’s carte blanche powers of arrest and their consequent misuse could be prevented. It focused mainly on ‘public’ offences, and made no mention of Section 498A. One cannot help wonder, what could have weighed on the judge’s mind to apply such a ‘reasoning’?

SC narrows list of suspects in dowry deaths
The Supreme Court has held that only persons related to a husband by blood, marriage or adoption can be prosecuted for dowry death offences.
In a ruling, a Bench of Justices C.K. Prasad and Pinaki Chandra Ghose said under Section 304-B of the Indian Penal Code when a woman dies in circumstances other than normal within seven years of marriage, her husband or any relative of his should be deemed to have committed the offence of dowry death if it was shown that the woman was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband, or by any relative of her husband before her death.
“This section therefore, exposes the husband of the woman or any relative of her husband for the commission of offence of the dowry death,” the Bench said.
Justice Prasad said, “It is well settled that when the words of a statute are not defined, it has to be understood in their natural, ordinary or popular sense. The term “relative” must be assigned a meaning as is commonly understood. Ordinarily it would include father, mother, husband or wife, son, daughter, brother, sister, nephew or niece, grandson or granddaughter of an individual or the spouse of any person.”
In the present case Gurjit Kaur, wife of Paramjit Singh, died of burns within seven years of marriage. The respondent Gurmit Singh, brother of Paramjit Singh’s aunt, was also cited as an accused. Gurmit Singh argued that he was not related to the husband of the deceased in any manner and, therefore, could not be prosecuted.
While the trial court refused to discharge him, on appeal, the Punjab and Haryana High Court set aside the order summoning him as an accused. The present appeal by the Punjab government is directed against this appeal.
Dismissing the appeal, the Bench said “admittedly, the respondent is not the husband of the woman who died. He is not related to the husband of the deceased either by blood or marriage or adoption. Hence, in our opinion, the High Court did not err in passing the impugned order. We hasten to add that a person, not a relative of the husband, may not be prosecuted for offence under Section 304B but this does not mean that such a person cannot be prosecuted for any other offence viz. Section 306 IPC (abetment to suicide).”

Madras High Court comes to the rescue of Southern Railways
Tamil Nadu
Quashes criminal complaints filed by Inspector of Factories
The Madras High Court has quashed the complaints filed by the Inspector of Factories against certain railway establishments for alleged violation of the Factories Act and the Tamil Nadu Factory Rules.
The prosecution case was that the Deputy Chief Inspector of Factories conducted an inspection at the Engineering Workshop, Southern Railways, Arakkonam, and noticed certain contraventions of the Act and rules.
A certificate for the stability of the building had not been obtained, convex mirror had not been fixed in blind corners, safety committee had not been constituted and there was no crèche.
A show cause notice was issued. Later, a complaint was filed by the Inspector of Factories, First Circle, Vellore.
The Deputy Chief Engineer/Occupier of the Engineering Workshop filed a petition before the High Court stating that all the requirements had been satisfied. The counsel submitted the complaint was totally vexatious without application of mind to the explanation given by the petitioner along with relevant records.
The Additional Public Prosecutor said an explanation had been submitted after filing of the criminal complaint and that could not be considered to exonerate the petitioners. Another explanation was not proper.
Justice T.S. Sivagnanam said the petitioner had submitted his explanations showing cause in respect of the allegations in the notice. In such circumstances, the complainant could not ignore the reply to the notice and proceed to lodge the complaint, as if he had not received any response.
He held that the complaint was vitiated on account of total non-application of mind.
He also dismissed the criminal complaints filed against the Locomotive Workshop, Perambur, for alleged violation of the Act and the rules.

High Court issues show cause notice to Maharashtra govt for non distribution of books to Urdu medium students
Submitted by on 5 July 2014 – 9:18am
By A. Mirsab,,
Mumbai: Aurangabad branch of Bombay High court has issued a show cause notice to Maharashtra state government for non-distribution of syllabi books to XI and XII students of Urdu medium. The notice was issued when the court was hearing a writ petition filed by Student Islamic Organization of India (SIO). The court has asked state to submit in writing reply to the petition within 3 weeks’ time.
The education department of the state has provided syllabus books to English and Marathi medium students of Junior colleges but has withhold books to Urdu medium students of Junior colleges. The students of Urdu medium junior colleges are worried as they are compelled to buy books on their own from private sources.
Considering the problems faced by Urdu medium students South Maharashtra unit of SIO approached Aurangabad bench of Bombay High court and has asked for the intervention of court for providing relief to the worried minority students.
The central issue of the petition is that while the state education department MSBSHSE is providing books to Marathi and English medium students of Junior colleges, the students of Urdu Medium are being neglected – which is arbitrary and irregular in practice.
Due to absence of books from the government thousands of Urdu medium students learning in 562 junior Urdu Medium colleges in the state are forced to buy books from private publications.

High Court orders exhumation of two bodies
They were buried by the side of a cart-track at Navakurichi in Salem
The Madras High Court on Friday directed the authorities in Salem district to exhume two bodies buried by the side of a cart-track at Navakurichi and re-bury them in the burial ground of the community concerned.
“It is deplorable that the parties involved in this writ petition have not allowed the dead to lie in rest,” Justice S. Vaidhyanathan said in his order. He also made it clear that the cost should be recovered from two persons who had buried the bodies in a place not meant for burial. Since the two took government officials for a ride, they should pay Rs.10,000 to the community burial ground.
“Unless the citizens of this country, particularly the villagers, realise that they have to abide by laws and norms prescribed by the government, society will not be in peace but in peril,” he observed in his order on a petition by B.B. Venila, whose husband was panchayat president.
In her petiti n, she said K. Anbalagan, with the help of K. Durai, buried his mother in the land adjacent to that of hers in July last. The land had been mentioned as Vandi pathai (cart-track). The 16th-day ceremony was also held there. A complaint was filed. Even as the petition was pending, the body of Mr. Anbalagan’s father was also buried in the same place. She prayed that the court direct the authorities to remove the bodies.
In use for 200 years
Mr. Anbalagan and Mr. Durai argued that the place where the bodies were buried was being used for burial for more than 200 years. The court-appointed Advocate-Commissioner reported that the place where the bodies were buried was not a burial ground, but a cart-track.
The Tahsildar submitted that there was enmity between the families of the petitioner and those of Mr. Anbalagan and Mr. Durai over the local bodies elections. Two cases were registered for the burial of the bodies in violation of rules.
Mr. Justice Vaidyanathan said that the Advocate-Commissioner reported that the bodies were buried in the cart-track, the burial was made adjacent to the track, by the side of the petitioner’s plot. When there were hospitals, temples, bank and other public places in and around the area, using a poromboke land without permission as a burial ground was not appropriate.

Bombay High Court upholds 10-year term for gang rapists based on victim’s testimony
Sunday, 6 July 2014 – 7:00am IST | Agency: DNA
• DNA Correspondent

The Bombay High Court recently upheld a 10-year jail term handed to two youths for gang raping a minor girl in 2011 on the basis of the victim’s testimony.
Justice V M Deshpande upheld the conviction of Narayan Ashok Ragade, 23, and Rahim Bashir Shah, 28, both residents of Shah Nagar in Aurangabad. “The evidence of the prosecutrix shows she has given a detail account of the acts committed by the appellants. There is nothing in the evidence to suggest that she was not subjected to sexual intercourse against her will,” observed the court.
As per the prosecution’s case, the 14-year-old victim was staying with her mother at the time of the incident. On November 2, 2011, she had gone to another house which belonged to them, but was partially constructed. Narayan knocked on the door, but she did not open it. A few hours later, the girl stepped out to buy groceries, when the accused took her to a brick kiln nearby and allegedly raped her.
The girl somehow managed to escape and told her mother, who took her to the police station and lodged a complaint. Acting on the First Information Report (FIR), the accused were arrested. During the trial, the prosecution examined 11 witnesses in the sessions court. While the accused claimed they were falsely implicated, the court convicted them on on October 21, 2013, based on the testimonies of the victim and other witnesses and medical evidence on record. This order was challenged in high court.
The high court rejected the arguments made by the accused and upheld the sentence.

Odisha High Court asks investigating officer to file detailed affidavit on 2nd kidney sale case
Saturday, July 05, 2014
Cuttack: Not satisfied with the affidavit filed by the investigating Police Officer in the alleged kidney sale case, the Odisha High Court on Friday asked the IO to file a fresh affidavit in the court by Monday, detailing the investigations made so far in the case.
The Cuttack city police have arrested at least seven persons, including Director of a Vishakhapatnam-based private hospital Dr N Prabhakar Babu, in an alleged kidney sale case involving a city woman. Babu has already been remanded in judicial custody for 14 days after he was produced before a lower court here on Thursday.

Adjourning the hearing on the habeas corpus writ filed by the arrested Vizag doctor’s wife, a Division Bench of Justices Indrajit Mohanti and Sangam Kumar Sahoo fixed the matter to be heard again on Tuesday after the copy of IO’s affidavit is served on the petitioner counsel.
As directed by the court, the local Mangalabag police station inspector SK Sinha appearing personally in the court failed to answer satisfactorily to the queries of the court. Sinha, who had led a team of three policemen to the neighbouring State a fortnight ago to arrest Babu, returned here only on Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, Babu’s wife N Rathnakumari had approached the HC for its intervention to release her ailing husband from police detention. Babu was taken into police custody on June 17 from his Seven Hills Hospital complex. Soon later, he was taken ill. Only after the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s intervention, the Cuttack police managed to bring him here on transit remand.

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

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

The MRU claimed that the Hakim committee had prescribed annual revision of fare hikes in May on the basis of cost of living and other factors. They have pointed to the rise in CNG rates and other commodities to support the fare hike proposal.
Consumer activists however have sought better facilities and action on complaints of refusal and overcharging before any fare hike is again implemented. The MRU’s application is likely to come up for hearing before the high court next week.

Fill all posts of information commissioners by August 14: HC
Ajay Parmar, TNN | Jul 5, 2014, 08.58AM IST
JODHPUR: The Rajasthan high court on Friday ordered the state government to fill up all the vacant positions of the information commissioners by August 14 in order to ensure speed up disposal of the pending appeals in the state information commission. The court has also asked the government to make functioning of the commission effective in tune with the fundamental principles of the RTI Act so that the common man need not face any hurdle in obtaining information.

A division bench of the court comprising Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Banwari Lal Sharma gave passed the order while disposing of the petition filed by Dinesh Bothra. The petitioner said the state government has appointed only one Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) in state, whereas the Act demanded appointment a minimum of one and a maximum 10 information commissioner with the CIC.

Bothra’s counsel B S Sandhu argued in the court that in absence of information commissioners, the commission was not authorized for second appeals and hearing the petitions as per the provisions of the Act. “But the despite need of the commission as a multi-personnel structure, the state government has not appointed the information commissioners as provided by the Act,” Sandhu argued.
In reply to Sandhu’s arguments, the Additional Advocate General informed the court that the process for appointment of information commissioners has already been initiated. “The government has received 119 applications, which are being screened by a committee comprising the chief minister, the leader of opposition and a cabinet minister. This committee would submit the list of short-listed candidates to the governor after completing the screening by July 24, after the approval of which, the appointments would be made,” the AAG informed.

Hearing both the sides, the court ordered that the government must complete the process and ensure appointment of information commissioners by August 14. Besides, the court also direct the government to make the functioning of the commission effective for the common man.

Huda, Das move Central Administrative Tribunal against DGPs
TNN | Jul 6, 2014, 01.35 AM IST
HYDERABAD: Senior IPS officers SA Huda and Tarini Prasad Das on Saturday filed a petition in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) challenging the appointment of their junior colleagues JV Ramudu and Anurag Sharma as DGPs of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana respectively. Besides making the chief secretaries of both the states and the Union home secretary as respondents, they made the DGPs as parties to the case.

The petitioners also expressed an apprehension that the AP government may extend the tenure of Ramudu, who is set to retire at the end of July, and urged the tribunal not to allow it, saying it was unlawful to promote Ramudu and Anurag as DG when there were no vacancies in that rank. The whole process of IPS cadre division between the two states and the consequent provisional allotment process was done only to make Ramudu and Anurag as DGPs, the petitioners contended.

They described the whole process as illegal and urged the tribunal to set aside the promotions given to Ramudu and Anurag while appointing themselves as DGPs as they happen to be the senior-most officers.

MAIL TODAY COMMENT: Judiciary stands up to executive
PUBLISHED: 00:22 GMT, 6 July 2014 | UPDATED: 00:22 GMT, 6 July 2014
The judiciary has made it clear that it will not be a pushover for the new NDA government
The judiciary, which relentlessly pursued and acted against the previous UPA government in a series of scams, has made it clear that it will not be a pushover for the new NDA government.
This is evident from Chief Justice R. M. Lodha’s remarks that the government’s decision to scuttle the appointment of former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium’s appointment as a Supreme Court judge was “not proper.”
There is no ambiguity about what the Chief Justice intends to do if he feels the executive is interfering in the affairs of the judiciary.
“I promise the 1.2 billion people of India that the independence of judiciary will not be compromised…I will be the first person to leave this chair if the judiciary’s independence is compromised,” Lodha has said.
Lodha described the NDA decision to “unilaterally” segregate Subramanium from the panel of four names recommended by the collegium for appointment as Supreme Court judges as “not proper”.
He said what “really shocked” him were questions about the judiciary’s independence.
Matters could have reached a flashpoint if Subramanium had not withdrawn his candidature as the collegium could have re-submitted his name.
All of this brings into focus the current system of appointing judges through the collegium system.
With several more vacancies likely to come up in the Supreme Court in the near future, any more differences could adversely impact the relationship between the judiciary and the executive.
The executive is effectively kept out of the collegium’s system of appointing judges and the NDA is widely expected to follow the UPA’s move to amend the law governing the process.
Reports have suggested the NDA will hold consultations on setting up a National Judicial Commission to replace the collegium system so that the executive can have a say in the matter.
The government’s desire to act now on the issue of the National Judicial Commission is apparently linked to the fact that several recommendations by the collegium were returned in the past five years because of allegations against the candidates.
Given the Chief Justice’s assertion about upholding the independence of the judiciary, the government will have to ensure that any future system of appointing judges is to the satisfaction of both the judiciary and the executive.
Any stand-off between these two key pillars of democracy will benefit no one.

Judge, Jury And Executioner
How the government turned the cogs to stall Subramanium’s appointment
Intelligence Bureau
• Cleared Subramanium in one report, cast aspersions on him in the next, to the law ministry
• Wrote to the CBI with newspaper clippings demanding confirmation of a dispute
• Advised the President to sign warrants without knowledge and concurrence of the CJI President
• Agreed to segregation of names, signed warrants without confirming if the CJI was consulted
• Cast unsubstantiated aspersions on Subramanium, quoting anonymous sources in the government
• His emotional outburst painted him in a bit of poor light too
In the 64 years since 1950, only six lawyers have been invited to be Supreme Court judges, four have taken the bench so far. To see those figures in perspective, consider that, during the same period (till June 2014), the SC has had 210 judges. The last a lawyer was made an SC judge—it was N. Santosh Hegde—was in 1999. Of the lawyers raised to the SC bench, one—Justice S.M. Sikri—retired as the chief justice of India (CJI). Senior advocate and former solicitor-general Gopal Subra¬man¬ium, 56, invited to the bench this year, could have risen to become CJI—if the sly media campaign against him, launched with the obvious blessings of the government, had not led to him withdrawing consent.
The damning dribbles were all attributed to anonymous sources and the government did not utter a word of denial. First, it was said the government did not favour Subramanium; then, the disfavour was justified with contents from allegedly adverse reports on Sub¬ra-manium from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Central Bureau of Invest¬igation (CBI); finally, the government confirmed that it had segregated Subra¬manium’s name and cleared the rest of the names recommended by the collegium that selects judges.
The reaction of CJI R.M. Lodha to these developments, which took place when he was abroad, could not have been sharper. “I’ve taken objection to the segregation unilaterally done by the executive without my knowledge and concurrence. It was not proper,” he declared. He said he’d consistently fought for the “non-negotiable” independence of the judiciary, and if it was threatened, he’d be the first to quit. This was a public rap on the knuckles of Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, but the usually garrulous minister responded with stoic silence. Anonymous sources again piped up with calibrated innuendo, hinting they could do even more damage to Subramanium’s reputation. Subraman¬ium continues to be blamed for releasing his letter of withdrawal to the CJI.
Some jurists underplay the controversy: they call it a procedural impropriety; the government can only be blamed for not having the courtesy to inform the CJI. But the larger legal fraternity sees in the events the government’s willingness to interfere in judicial appointments. Justice Lodha retires in September after one of the shortest tenures as CJI—barely five months—and this may have emboldened the government to do what it did. The President has already signed the appointment of three of the four names recommended to the bench, so the CJI is left with little option but to administer the oath of office to them.
The government certainly departed from procedure. The practice, if it has reservations on even one name, is to return the entire list. By segregating one name without the CJI’s knowledge, it essentially interfered with the collegium’s prerogative to examine the objections and change its mind. It also deprived Subramanium of any opportunity for rebuttal or redress. Worse, it ensured that if he is at all nominated again, he’d lose his seniority. It is not clear, too, if the President was aware of the segregation. If he was, jurists say, he might well have advised the government to wait till the CJI returned. The appointments were hardly an urgent matter, for the SC was on vacation.
There are more hints of machinations at work. The IB’s informal report to the CJI cleared Subramanium’s name. But a later report to the PMO—according to leaks to the media or anonymous sour¬ces—pointed out “oddities”, including his spiritual inclinations. This would have been seen as farcical, but media rep¬orts have the government citing this in annulling the wisdom of the five seniormost SC judges on the collegium. Anonymous sources were also quoted saying Subra¬manium’s interest in the occ¬ult and his turning up at Parliament in a veshti (south Indian dhoti) after the 2001 terror strike also went against him. The leaked report also cited a snippet from the infamous Radia tapes, in which lobbyist Niira Radia discusses with ind¬ustrialist Ratan Tata the possibility of giv¬ing Subramanium a complimentary membership for use of a swimming pool at the Taj hotel in Delhi. It leaves out that Radia also said in the conversation that Subramanium was far too upright to be influenced—even if he accepted the offer.
The CBI plays no role in the appointment of judges, but the law ministry, citing news reports, had sought official word on a dispute between Subrama¬nium and the agency. A CBI insider said, “It was just a matter of record, and since there was official correspondence bet¬ween Subramanium and CBI on the issue, the agency confirmed it.” But the fact that Subramanium represented the agency before and after this dispute was glossed over. Clearly, the government has been proactive in building a case—however flimsy—against Subramanium.
The widespread belief is that Amit Shah, the PM’s confidant who’s tipped to be the next BJP president, does not want Subramanium as an SC judge. The lawyer was amicus curiae in the fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, in which Shah was chargesheeted. He opposed unconditional bail and tightened the net around Shah.
The charge that a vindictive governm¬ent tripped up Subramanium because of his past association with the UPA and cases related to Gujarat is, however, com¬pli¬cated by the fact that Rohinton Nari¬man, the other lawyer invited this year to the bench and cleared by the colleg¬ium, was cleared though he’d ser¬ved the UPA as law officer and argued cases agai¬nst the Gujarat government. But then, Nariman hadn’t crossed Shah’s path.
A lawyer with a reputation for legal acumen and probity, Subramanium was first considered for elevation when he was barely 39, say people who know him. He was dropped because then he would have remained a judge of the apex court for 26 years. He was again sounded in 2011, but turned it down as a relative was an SC judge at the time. On the third sounding, this year, he had consented.
With as many as eight SC judges retiring this year and with six current vacancies, the appointment of judges is going to be an exercise that will be watched closely and contested bitterly during the next several months.

Facing Manifold Mounting Problems
So the Narendra Modi-led BJP Government at the Centre has at last been forced to act against hoarding of onions and potatoes. Yesterday it brought these two vegeables under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. This move, whose purpose is to empower State governments to undertake dehoarding operations and control the prices of these commodities which are definitely shooting up, was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Now the States will be free to impose their own stock holding limits; this is primarily for retailers in respect of the storage of these two products.
The BJP is essentially a traders’ oarty, no matter howsoever much it claims that in the 2014 elections it got electoral endorsement from all sections of the polity. Traders constitute the core of the party’s support-base. It is thus interesting to find the BJP taking measures that would act against the traders’ hoarding operations. This only goes to show how the party is facing the music while in power. After all, governance is not a child’s play. Of course this step is a knee-jerk reaction as the party has run out of options. Already those at the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder are groaning under the incessant rise in prices of essential foodstuffs in particular.
Meanwhile, the Chief Justice of India has spoken out on the Gopal Subramanium issue. In a public speech on July 1 Chief Justice R.M. Lodha said:
The first thing I had taken objection to was the segregation of Gopal Subramanium’s file unilaterally by the executive. It is not proper… It was done unilaterally… without my knowledge and consent.
By this statement the CJI made it abundantly clear that he strongly disapproved of such a move by the executive. But what he said thereafter was even more noteworthy.
What really shocked me were questions regarding the independence of the judiciary. I have always fought for it and I will be the first person to leave this chair if it is compromised. I promise 1.2 billion people of India that independence of the judiciary will not be compromised.
Analysing the CJI’s open disapproval of the government’s act, The Indian Express has aptly observed:
Those are strong words and they go a long way in reassuring those who have watched the building confrontation in recent days between an executive emboldened by a decisive mandate and the judiciary with growing apprehension. Justice R.M. Lodha’s intervention holds out the assurance that a hard-won and delicate institutional balance will be safeguarded. It also demands an answer from the government.
Without a cogent explanation as to why it chose to do what it did in the Gopal Subramanium case, the Modi Government will not be able to remove the shadow of doubt regarding its adherence to the concept of an independent judiciary notwithstanding all the assertions of the Union Law Minister to the effect that it holds the judiciary in the ‘highest esteem’.
Since it assumed power, there have been direct and surreptitious attempts to muzzle freedom of expression generating loud protests from secular democrats of all hues. The Narendra Modi dispensation cannot get sanction from the public at large by diversionary steps including wild attacks on its political adversaries by employing such terms as “pseudo-secular”. In all such matters it needs to mend its ways and not adopt confrontationist postures.
In the wider world the situation in Iraq has turned grave with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) declaring the establishment of a caliphate in the territory under its control in Syria and Iraq, and the self-proclaimed ‘caliph’ Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of the group which now describes itself as the Islamic State (IS), issuing the call for a global Jihad to avenge the violations committed against Muslims (read Sunnis) worldwide. In this scenario India finds itself one of the prime targets of attack. Is the Modi Government prepared to meet the challenge by ways and means suited to the Indian genius and steering clear of any communal approach? The question cannot be evaded for long.

LEGAL NEWS 05.07.2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Prabhakar Mishra can be reached at

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LEGAL NEWS 04.07.2014

PIL seeks facilities for labourers at Gujarat shipbreaking yard
by Jul 4, 2014 07:41 IST
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Thursday sought replies from the Centre and the state government in response to a Public Interest Litigation seeking measures for ensuring labourers’ safety and coastal security at Alang shipbreaking yard in Bhavnagar district.
A division bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice JB Pardiwala gave respondents two weeks’ time.
Earlier, the court had issued notices to Ship Recycling Industries Association of Alang, Gujarat Maritime Board, Union Ministries of Labour, Steel, Environment and Forests and Home Affairs, Gujarat Home Ministry and state Labour and Employment Department.
The PIL, filed by Bhavnagar resident Pradeepsinh Gohil, claims that workers of the famous ship-breaking industry at Alang lack housing, health and sanitation facilities that are guaranteed under the labour laws.
“Thousands of labourers are living in slums close to the shipbreaking yard with little or no sanitary facility. Workers die or sustain severe injuries owing to explosions, fire, falling steel plates, gas leakage, inadequate safely measures during cutting or by suffocation,” the petition says.
“However, there is a lack of full-fledged hospital to deal with emergency and life-threatening situations,” it says.
This apart, the area is vulnerable to terrorist attack, it says. “The police personnel at Marine police station near Alang shipbreaking yard do not have patrolling boats. There is no specialised commando unit or anti-terrorist squad,” it says.
The PIL has also demanded curbing of polluting practices at the yard. The next hearing is on 17 July.

SC pulls up Bihar for delaying employment dues

Submitted by IANS on 3 July 2014 – 8:57pm
New Delhi : The Supreme Court Thursday frowned at Bihar government for not paying the retirement and other dues of the employees who had worked with Bihar State Road Transport Corporation but were now caught up in competing claims between it and Jharkhand after the state’s bifurcation in 2000.
“You are a welfare state. You have to work for the welfare of the people. You (BSRTC) are an instrumentality of the State. This is not the way you function. They are dying of hunger. They are starving. You are not ready to pay,” said a bench of Chief Justice R.M. Lodha, Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph frowning at the position taken by the state government.
Directing the BSRTC to deposit Rs.4.9 crore with the apex court registry, Chief Justice Lodha said that “people can’t die when there is a fight between two states. This is what happens when states are divided”.
“They are dying of hunger and starvation. You must have a human consideration,” the court said pulling up the BSRTC n as counsel for the employees said that it was nearly 14 years and a number of employees who had retired have not been paid their retirement dues and other benefits, while some of them have also died.
As the court said that if the claims were genuine, then they could not be held back on mere technicalities, the counsel said that there was no dispute over the claims but a dispute on who will pay.
The court then asked Bihar to pay.
“You make the payment, if later it is found that it was Jharkhand which had to pay then we will make it reimburse the amount with interest. We can’t close our eyes,” the court said adding that the erstwhile employees are dying because they were not being paid while there is litigation between Bihar and Jharkhand on the issue.
Chief Justice Lodha said: “You can’t deal with such matters where the consequence is life and death.”
As counsel for BSRTC sought one month’s time instead of two weeks given by the court to deposit the amount of Rs.4.9 crore, the court said that they should not get even one day, and ruled out any extension.
The case relates to 80 employees of BSRTC who have retired but have not received their retirement dues and other benefits on account of dispute between Bihar and Jharkhand on their status.

SC orders BSES Yamuna to pay power dues before July 15
fe Bureau | New Delhi | Published: Jul 04 2014, 02:12 IST
SUMMARYThe Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Anil Ambani-led discom BSES Yamuna to pay current outstanding dues of R161 crore, against the alleged arrears of R410 crore, for the period January to June this year to generating and transmission (G&T) companies before July 15.
The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Anil Ambani-led discom BSES Yamuna to pay current outstanding dues of R161 crore, against the alleged arrears of R410 crore, for the period January to June this year to generating and transmission (G&T) companies before July 15.
It also directed the company to continue paying the recurring monthly demands raised by the G&T companies on the basis of its earlier order of May 6, 2014.
A bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha, while refusing to grant extension of time to BSES to pay the dues, took on record the statements of accounts submitted earlier by it showing liability of R161 crore. “We are directing you only to pay current dues. Power generation and transmission companies are no baniya shops. You must clear all dues since January 2014 if you want electricity. You can’t continue like this. You are in arrears, arrears, arrears… This isn’t our headache,” observed the court, adding issues relating to the recovery of past dues would be dealt with separately.
While the central G&T companies include NHPC, PowerGrid, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam, THDC, Aravali Power, Tala Power and Sasan, the state G&T companies are Indraprastha Power, Delhi Transco, Pragati Power, Bawan and others. BYPL owes Aravali dues of more than R16 crore, NHPC R12 crore, Damodar Valley Corporation R23.59 crore and Delhi Transco R370 crore. The two Reliance discoms have paid R1,596 crore to 10 companies as of now.
The Supreme Court on May 6 had ordered two Delhi discoms (BRPL and BYPL) to clear outstanding dues of NTPC, amounting to over R788 crore, and other G&T companies for the period January- March 2014 by May 31 or face disconnection of power supply.
The court had then asked the two BSES firms to pay as per the figures, duly signed by both NTPC and the firms, submitted to the court. While both firms have cleared NTPC’s dues, they have not paid other generating and transmission companies. Even BRPL has cleared 94% dues.
BSES’ senior counsel KV Vishwanathan insisted the firms are not able to pay the dues until the issue of arrears (regulatory assets) amounting to about R21,000 crore was sorted out. “It has to be liquidated someday. It can’t be always notional,” he said, adding discoms cannot pay dues because power tariffs have been kept low and they suffer revenue shortfalls.
BSES said in a press release that current tariffs in Delhi do not cover current costs. The Ambani firms further said they had borrowed R1,000 core to clear current shortfall as directed by the apex court. Seeking modification in the roadmap given by DERC on recovery of dues, BSES said the roadmap for liquidation of regulatory assets should be for three years than six.

PIL filed against Shankaracharya by Sai Baba devotees
Lucknow: Infuriated with Dwarkapeeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand’s remarks over Sai Baba, the Sai Temple authority in Lucknow has filed a petition in the Allahabad High Court demanding an FIR against the proclaimed saint, for hurting religious sentiments.

As per reports, the petition alleges that the controversial remarks made by Swaroopanada Saraswati have hurt the religious sentiments of thousands of followers of Sai Baba and hence legal action should be taken against him.

It is expected that the court might take up the case on July 04.

The brawl between the Sai devotees and Swaroopanada Saraswati started after Shankaracharya said that worshiping Sai was a conspiracy to divide Hindus.

He said, “In Sanatan Dharma, there are said to be 24 avatars (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu, In Kalyug, there is no mention of other avatars than Kalki and Buddha. Hence, Sai Baba can certainly be not an avatar.”

Also, Shankarachraya has claimed that the motive behind building Sai Temples is to distract people’s attention from Ram temple movement in Ayodhya. He even claimed that Sai Baba used to call himself a Muslim and so he avoided to take a dip in Ganga river.

200 buildings near Juhu airport: PIL questions AAI’s nod for building heights
Swati Deshpande, TNN | Jul 3, 2014, 07.27AM IST
MUMBAI: A public interest litigation in the Bombay high court has questioned the clearance allegedly granted by the Airports Authority of India to the height of about 200 buildings around the Juhu aerodrome and demanded that those exceeding the permissible heights under the Air Safety Regulations be demolished.

“The AAI has given illegal height clearance for about 200 buildings in violation of their own Air Safety Regulations and the rules of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA),” said the PIL, which seeks judicial enforcement of right to life of residents and passengers as it says pilots are flying blind relying on an outdated Obstacle Mapping of 2000. “If any aircraft crashes into one of these buildings, the result will be catastrophe,” said petitioner Yeshwanth Shenoy , an advocate.

Based on International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards, the DGCA regulations say a residential building within a radius of 4km of an international airport should be 56.27 m high and that within 2.5 km of the Juhu Airport should be 49.87 m or 15-floor high. For commercial buildings, the height should be even less. The DGCA specifies that in overlapping areas, the lower height shall prevail.
Highlighting air safety concerns, the PIL has demanded that AAI be directed not to grant any more clearances for excess heights. Expected to come up in the HC on Thursday , the PIL also wants the HC to direct the AAI to furnish safety audits of Juhu and the international airport from 2005 and order criminal action against AAI officers and others who allegedly colluded to contravene air safety regulations to allow illegal heights for buildings that directly put people’s lives in danger.

“Because of high demand for real estate around the 10km radius of these airports, a lobby of developers have been trying to get more than the permitted heights,” said the PIL. Their efforts, it alleged, in “collusion with some top AAI officials” resulted in the 2011 Negi report. The report declared a Juhu runway non-operational and also allowed for the higher of the overlapping Inner Horizontal Surface heights to prevail, negating the existing air safety regulations. “The Negi Report by former AAI executive director JMS Negi is now a part of investigation by both the CBI and the CAG for criminality and corruption,” the PIL said questioning if an aeronautical study can “override air safety regulations”.

HC notice to CEPT on PIL against its decision to end course
Press Trust of India | Ahmedabad
July 3, 2014 Last Updated at 23:29 IST
The Gujarat High Court today issued a notice today to the Centre for Environment Planning and Technology (CEPT) University on a PIL challenging the city- based institute’s decision to discontinue a course on climate change.

The two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala sought CEPT’s response about discontinuing the course on ‘Climate Change and Environment Sustainability’.

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

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

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

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

The petition demanded setting aside of an order passed by the CEPT executive committee to discontinue the course on May 10 and sought the high court’s direction to the university to continue with the course.

The high court is set to hear this plea on July 17.

Starvation deaths in closed tea gardens in north Bengal: PIL
Press Trust of India | Kolkata
July 3, 2014 Last Updated at 18:38 IST
A PIL claiming starvation deaths of workers and their families of closed tea gardens in Jalpaiguri district and seeking free food and medical aid for them was moved before the Calcutta High Court today.

Claiming that 29 tea garden workers or their family members died due to starvation and malnutrition in the past one year, petitioner Bishu Das stated that six persons, including two infants, died recently at Raipur Tea Garden in the district in the Dooars area of North Bengal.

The matter was mentioned before a division bench comprising Justice Asim Kumar Banerjee and Justice Tapash Mookherjee, which asked the petitioner to wait till Monday for fixing a date for hearing of the petition.

The petitioner’s lawyers Rabishankar Chatterjee and Udayshankar Chatterjee claimed that 50 per cent workers of the 25 closed tea gardens were suffering from malnutrition.

They stated that India was a welfare state and there were several schemes like Antyodaya Anna Yojana, BPL and that the Food Security Bill was also passed in the Parliament for the benefit of poor people.

There was also the ICDS scheme for child welfare, they said.

The counsels claimed that despite all these welfare schemes for the poor people of the country, they were dying of starvation and malnutrition.

They prayed for a direction to the West Bengal government that free food and medicine be provided to the suffering people.

It was also prayed in the petition for an interim order that the government provide 7 kg rice, 3 kg potatoes every week and free medical aid to each family in the closed tea gardens.

SC dismisses PIL for recovery of Rs 21,00 crore from Vodafone
1.7.2014 (UNI) The Supreme Court refused to entertain the PIL seeking directions to the Centre to recover Rs 2,100 crore from Vodafone.
The Income-Tax department had demanded Rs 2,200 crore from Vodafone as Income-Tax on Vodafone-Essar deal.

Vodafone has challenged Bombay High Court order in the Supreme Court and the court had quashed the Income-Tax demand’s notice.

The apex court dismissed the PIL saying the issue has already been decided by three Judge bench of this court and cannot be re-opened by way of PIL. UNI

Schemes in place, but homeless not using them: Delhi Govt
Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 03 2014, 10:40 IST
SUMMARYA PIL cited examples of problems suffered by women…
Even as several hundred homeless families in Old Delhi live without access to any maternal and child health schemes, the Department of Women and Child development (WCD) of the Delhi government in an affidavit before the High Court has said it had created adequate anganwadis and health centres under the Integrated Child development Scheme (ICDS) and it was the responsibility of the people to get themselves registered at the nearest centre.
In May, a PIL was filed by social worker Shakeel Ahmad seeking directions to the government provide basic healthcare and ante-natal care to women living in the Pul Mithai area near the Old Delhi railway station.
Ahmad, through advocates Reshma Jaffrey and Amiy Shukla, alleged that over 300 homeless families in the area were being denied access to healthcare and welfare schemes as they did not have necessary documents to prove that they were residing in the area for over five years.
The PIL also cited examples of problems suffered by women in the area as they did not have access to healthcare and nutrition schemes introduced by the government for the welfare of pregnant and lactating mothers and children. The plea also claimed that a representation had been sent to the government asking for an anganwadi to be set up in the area, but no action was taken.
In its affidavit filed before the court of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice RS Endlaw, the WCD said it has received no such request. It also said the issues raised in the PIL were under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
“The pregnant and lactating women could have approached the nearby anganwadi centre for benefits,” it further stated.
The affidavit also states that directions had been issued to all officials concerned that “none of the beneficiaries under the ICDS project should be denied any of the services on account of not having a permanent place of residence”.
According to the affidavit, two shelter homes — specifically for pregnant and destitute women — had been set up at Sarai Rohilla and Jahangirpuri, and nutrition supplements were being distributed through anganwadis to all pregnant and lactating mothers in the capital.
The court on Wednesday granted further time to the Centre and the Department of Health to file their responses.

PIL on migrants return from Iraq: HC to hear views today
DC CORRESPONDENT | July 04, 2014, 02.07 am IST
Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court will hear a petition on Friday seeking to declare the action of the Centre in not taking steps to bringing back the poor Indian migrant workers stranded in Baghdad and Mosul in Iraq in view of the dangerous political situation prevailing in country, as illegal and unconstitutional.
Migrants Rights Council, member of Migrant Forum in Asia, represented by its president P. Narayana Swami, moved the petition, stating that nearly 16,000 Indian workers were stranded in Iraq in conditions resembling war due to the internal strife in the nation. He said that the workers were willing to return home to India but neither the Indian Embassy in Baghdad, nor the Union government has come forward to look into the issue.
The petitioner urged the court to direct the Centre that National Human Rights Commission to visit Iraq along with the petitioners’ union members to ensure the safe passage of the migrant workers.

HC directs civic body to stop work on Nerul reserved forest plot
TNN | Jul 3, 2014, 12.02AM IST
NAVI MUMBAI: Responding to a PIL filed on January 17, Bombay high court directed the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) on Tuesday to immediately stop construction of a new civic school on reserved forest land.The school was being built at a cost of Rs 10 crore, on plot no 54B, in sector 50, Nerul.

The court has asked NMMC to file a reply within three weeks effective from June 24. NMMC failed to respond to the PIL, which prompted the two bench judges A S Chandurkar and A S Oka to pass a stay order on the construction. Appearing for NMMC, the counsel had sought time to file the reply.

The forest department, another respondent of the PIL, has been directed to notify that the plot is part of reserved forest land, said the judges.
City-based NGO Save Mangroves and Navi Mumbai Existence (Samne) had filed a PIL in Bombay high court to highlight blatant destruction of mangroves and reserved forest land by dumping debris and ‘illegal’ construction.

“We have produced the notification copy of the government confirming the land as reserved forests,” said Sukumar Kiledar, the petitioner.

HC seeks state reply on steps to end scavenging
Swati Deshpande,TNN | Jul 3, 2014, 11.52 PM IST
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Wednesday expressed concern at the plight of manual scavengers in Pandharpur and directed the state government to set rules for effective implementation of the year-old Prohibition of Manual Scavenging law. It also directed that adequate number of toilets be built ahead of the July 9 annual pilgrimage at the holy town in Solapur district.

The HC bench, headed by Justice Abhay Oka, said, “It is a fundamental right of people to follow their own religious beliefs but it’s equally a fundamental duty of the state to maintain environmental cleanliness.”

The court was hearing a PIL filed by a group under the banner of ‘Campaign against Manual Scavenging in Maharashtra’. Advocate Asim Sarode, who appeared for the petitioners, said, “The fact that manual scavenging exists even 66 years after Independence is a shame and the grave violation of their human rights must be immediately corrected.”

Advocate Mihir Desai, appointed as an amicus curiae (friend of court), said the new law as well as an earlier 1993 law were never implemented. Advocate for the SC/ST commission, Rutuja Ambekar, also pointed out that letters sent by the commission to the state to implement the law received no response. The state has to reply on the steps taken by September 15.

The law to ban manual scavenging has failed to stop the authorities from continuing with hazardous manual cleaning of septic tanks, the PIL said. Manual scavengers are still employed in Pandharpur where every year over 1 crore pilgrims assemble, it added.

The PIL raises important issues, including cleanliness in Pandharpur city, implementation of the law throughout the state and pollution of river Chandrabagha in Pandharpur, the HC said. The HC has appointed a committee headed by the collector to ensure cleanliness. The Solapur SP has to set up a panel to monitor proper implementation during festivals and the Neeri has to give a report on the river pollution soon.

HC directs Govt to constitute special task force
Sheikh Saleem
Srinagar, July 03: High Court has directed the state government to constitute a Special Task Force to check freebies being offered by pharmaceutical companies.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), a division bench of Chief Justice, M M Kumar and Justice Hasnain Masoodi directed the government to constitute the task force which will make surprise checks to find out if any doctor has indulged in accepting freebies in return of prescribing their medicines along with the pharmaceutical companies who offer such kick backs.
Court also directed the government to black list the companies for public dealing which are identified of offering freebies to the doctors and appropriate case shall be registered against the company.
The division bench also asked for details of movable and immovable properties of five doctors including Medical Officer, Yaripora, Incharge CMO, Budgam, Consultant Medicine, Baramulla and Medical Officer, Chadoora who have been found taking gifts in cash and kind from various companies.
The court said it will be helpful at appropriate time in ascertaining if their assets exceed the known source of income.
Earlier Health and Medical Education Department (H&ME) informed the court that charge sheet has been filed against five doctors.
The court said the charge sheet filed against the identified doctors should be taken to its logical end and be concluded expeditiously within a maximum period of six months.
Court asked the state to submit a status report of compliance to the directions before Registrar Judicial within a period of two months.
In earlier directions, the court had directed H&ME to amend its earlier circular to make it stricter wherein doctors have been prohibited from taking gifts. Secretary H&ME has issued a circular No–14-HME of 2014 dated 23-01-2014 whereby doctors practising in the field of medicine, have been prohibited from receiving freebies from the companies.
The bench had directed Secretary Health and Medical Education to locate statuary provisions under which a circular has been issued, so that the circular has a binding effect and any violation constitutes misconduct and disciplinary proceedings are initiated against the erring doctors.
Likewise pharmaceutical companies were asked not to make any arrangements for tours of doctors within or outside the country.
On December 23, last year, Court had directed all Pharmaceutical Companies to restrain from giving gifts to doctors. Companies were also directed to restrain from making arrangements of tours for the doctors within and outside the country.
Court passed directions while hearing a PIL filed by Naseer Ahmad Shah, Lateef Punjabi and Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah- residents of Srinagar following reports of nexus between doctors and companies offering gifts to doctors for prescribing medicines of the Macri Lab Ltd.
The PIL which was disposed off today demanded that the licence of the erring doctors should be cancelled. “Poor patients are being compelled to purchase unnecessary medicines and that too having no efficiency,” the petitioners said, adding, “The transactions are simply, at the cost of patient care, and resultant in surfacing of the spurious drugs or substandard drugs in the market.”
The petitioner through advocate Qazi Ayaz had demanded initiation of action against doctors who are involved in the commission and omission of offences.

Notice to government on fire alarm absence in hospitals
TNN | Jul 3, 2014, 10.02AM IST
BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh high court (MPHC) on Wednesday issued notice to principal secretary health and director health while hearing public interest litigation challenging non-availability of fire alarm in government hospitals of the state. PIL was filed in light of recent incident of fire in sick newborn care unit (SNCU) at Satna while 37 newborn children were getting treatment. A day later, one new-born died during treatment in Rewa.

Double bench comprising Chief Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Alok Aradhe sought replies from principal secretary health and director health in four weeks and scheduled the next date of hearing on July 30.

In its petition, Nagrik Upbhokta Manch said, “Had there been smoke and fire alarm at the hospital at the time of incident the casualty could have been avoided.”
The petitioners demanded it should be probed whether fire and smoke alarm has been installed in hospitals or not.

‘Dollar’ Seshadri Gets Another Term as Tirumala Temple OSD
By Express News Service
Published: 04th July 2014 08:00 AM
Last Updated: 04th July 2014 08:00 AM
TIRUMALA: The term of Tirumala temple Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Seshadri — popularly known as ‘Dollar Seshadri’ – has been extended by another more two years. He has been working as the OSD since July 5, 2006 after his retirement from service in the TTD. His present term is set to expire on July 5.
TTD Executive Officer MG Gopal announcing the decision to newsmen during a brief interaction with them outside the temple on Thursday.
Seshadri had joined as a clerk at the TBC enquiry office and was shifted to the temple, because of his earlier service as ‘Ekanki’, the helper to the temple pontiff Chinna Jeeyar Swami. He had worked as an Upper Division Clerk till 2003 was later promoted as a Superintendent. In 2006, ahead of his retirement he was promoted as AEO. But on the day of his retirement, he was appointed as OSD for a period of two years.
On the expiry of his term, the TTD Board, which was then chaired by Chairman Bhumana Karunakar Reddy, had granted him a two-year extension. Subsequently, his term was extended by another three years as a contract employee till 2011.
But he was removed from service on April 28, 2010 at the behest of the AP High Court on the basis of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a person named Mangati Gopal Reddy in 2009, saying that the extension granted to Seshadri was against the TTD Rules. However, on an appeal by Seshadri the Supreme Court had overruled the AP HC order and Seshadri was back in his saddle in 2011. Since then he has been continuing as OSD.
Gopal explained that as there was no TTD Trust Board now in the wake of the formation of the Residaury AP state, he had given the orders extending the term of Seshadri. Later, the decision would be put before the board – whenever it was resconstitued — for ratification, he said and added: “We will use Seshadri’s services in the Tirumala temple or even in other temples, if needed.’’

PIL seeking an end to freebie culture: |Blacklist pharma companies offering gifts to medicos: HC
July 3, 2014 21 Views
SRINAGAR, July 3: Directing the state government to constitute a Task Force to ascertain and check the pharmaceutical companies indulging in offering freebies to doctors, the High Court has asked the government to blacklist the pharma companies who are found doing malpractices to increase their profits in the state.
A division bench of the High Court comprising of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Hasnain Masoodi also asked the state government to conclude the enquiry within six months against five doctors who have been served charge sheets for taking freebies form pharma companies.
The court has also asked the five and other accused doctors to furnish details of their assets within two months and the government has been asked to file a status report within two months before the registrar judicial.
The orders came in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking an end to gift taking menace by doctors. On April 9, the High Court had directed its Secretary to ‘trace’ statutory provisions under which it has passed the circular, so that disciplinary proceedings are initiated against the erring medicos.
In this regard, additional advocate general Javid Kawoosa had said the Secretary H&ME Department had issued circular (no.14-HME of 2014) on January 23 last, prohibiting doctors practicing in the field of medicine from receiving freebies or gifts from the companies.
While the Court observed that the circular does not indicate any statutory provision under which it has been issued, Kawoosa had insisted that it has been done in compliance of order by the court on December 23 last year.
“A closer look on the (December 23) order would reveal that no direction has been issued to the respondents, requiring them to issue a circular,” the bench said.
“In the said background, it would be appropriate to direct the Secretary (H&ME) to locate statutory provisions under which circular has been issued, so that the circular has a binding effect and any violation constitutes misconduct and disciplinary proceedings are initiated against the erring doctors.”
As per the circular, the Secretary has directed all the Heads of the Departments working under its administrative control to comply with the December 23 directions from the High Court.
“It has come to the notice of the (H&ME) Department that some doctors are receiving cash and gifts/freebies for prescribing medicine of particular companies including unrecognized companies. The matter has been viewed seriously by the High Court,” the Secretary has emphasized while issuing the circular.
On December 23 last year, the division bench besides restraining doctors had also asked all the pharmaceutical companies to restrain themselves from giving gifts of any kind to doctors. The bench had also directed the pharmaceutical companies not to arrange tours for doctors within India or abroad.
“The doctors shall attend research conferences only after it is certified by the Head of the Department that it is in the interest of patient care and the HODs concerned will be at liberty to authorise the doctors to attend the literary seminars after it is certified that the same is in the interests of public,” the court had said.
Meanwhile, the bench also directed respondents including Chief Secretary, Commissioner Health and Medical Education, Director Health, and Principals of Government Medical College Srinagar/Jammu to file statement, indicating participation of the doctors from the state in conferences workshops and seminars within or outside India after the December 23 direction.
The statement, court said, shall give details where formal permission was granted by the government.
“This will enable the bench to pass further directions in the matter,” the court added, observing that a blanket ban on doctors to participate in conferences, workshops, seminars would be counterproductive, adversely affecting the doctors who are keen to participate in such conferences and workshops to enhance their knowledge and profession skills.
Meanwhile, as per the ‘statement of facts’, government has already instituted an enquiry against the doctors alleged in the PIL to have received cash and gifts from pharmaceutical companies in lieu of prescribing their medicine, some “unnecessarily”.
The petitioners, Naseer Ahmad Shah, Lateef Panjabi and Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah—all residents of Srinagar, have named a few doctors in their petition, claiming that they have proof against them for taking gifts and cash for prescribing medicine of a particular company.
In the statement of facts, the government has said that it was inquiring into the allegations against doctors including Firdous Ahmad Vaid (Medical Officer Yaripora), Fayaz Ahmad Peerzada (incharge CMO Budgam), Abdul Ahad Wani (Consultant medicine, Baramulla) and Javaid Ahmad Zargar (Medical Officer Chadoora). The PIL has been posted by the bench for further consideration in May.

Court asks man to pay Rs 1 lakh interim maintenance to wife
Press Trust of India | Thane
July 3, 2014 Last Updated at 12:55 IST
A local court has ordered a Raipur-based businessman to pay a monthly interim maintenance of Rs 1 lakh to his estranged wife and two daughters who are staying in Mumbai.

The case relates to a marital dispute between one Deepak Mahaveerprasad Gupta and his wife Sonu. They married in February 1997 and have two daughters. The couple have been living separately since 2002.

In her recent order, the Thane additional sessions judge UM Nandeshwar also asked Gupta to pay Rs 30,000 per month towards house rent of his wife and daughters.

Gupta had filed a petition for divorce in 2006 before the district and sessions judge, Delhi, which directed him to pay the sum of Rs 20,000 per month to his wife.

The petition was then transferred to a family court in Mumbai on the transfer application filed by the wife, which is at present pending before the family court at Bandra and is at the stage of evidence.

She had filed a complaint before a Navi Mumbai court in 2010 against Gupta under section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 alleging physical and mental harassment and sought interim relief.

After hearing both the counsels, the sessions judge said: “However, in the facts of the case as from record, it appears that the financial condition of the husband is prima facie very sound and considering the status of parties, the wife and daughters are required the interim maintenance equal to the status of husband and father.”

The woman had contended that her husband was well-off and the Hindu Undivided family of the respondent owns business in various sectors like steel, power, transportation and finance, while she is unemployed.

She had stated in her complaint that Gupta was irregular in paying the amount directed by the Delhi court and the amount is very meagre considering the high living cost in Mumbai with education expenses of her daughters.

After Gopal tiff, two key judicial bills put on hold
Pradeep Thakur, TNN | Jul 3, 2014, 02.20AM IST
NEW DELHI: The NDA government has put in abeyance the Judicial Appointments Commission bill that proposes to replace the collegium system of appointing judges to the Supreme Court and high courts. Even judicial accountability bill, that is intended to lay code of conduct for the judiciary, has been junked for now.

The move comes on the back of government’s rejection of Gopal Subramanium’s candidature from the list referred by the collegium for appointment as Supreme Court judges – something that ruffled feathers in the higher judiciary.

The government has decided to restart the consultation process with jurists, retired apex court judges and the SC bar after the Budget session, sources said, which is likely to take at least a few months after it begins.
Though the previous UPA government had completed a wide-ranging consultation on the judicial appointments bill and had even received recommendations on it from the parliamentary standing committee on law but the present regime believes the time is not right for taking up the bill. The rethink is believed to be result of recent controversy over rejection by the government the name of one of the senior advocates recommended by the SC collegium for judgeship of the apex court.

On Tuesday, chief justice of India R M Lodha had publically expressed his displeasure in the manner in which the government had rejected the recommendations of the collegium. The CJI said the collegium which includes four of his senior colleagues had spotted the best talent and “segregation of Gopal Subramanium file” was not justified.

The government also fears that in view of the recent controversy the higher judiciary may overturn any new law by constituting a bigger bench of 10 judges to review the law passed by Parliament replacing the collegium, and that will be a bigger disappointment.

On Wednesday, Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a reconciliatory tone said, “The Narendra Modi government has the highest respect for the judiciary.” He said that the independence of the judiciary “is an article of faith for the government”.

Earlier, the government was prepared to take up the two bills on urgency so that large-scale vacancies were filled up in several high courts. The purpose of initiating the bills was also to give the executive a say in appointment of judges in SC and HCs. As of now, the apex court’s collegium has the final say in selection of names for judges of SC and HCs. The government can return some recommendations made by the collegium, but if they are reiterated it becomes binding on the government.

Though it is intended to buy time, the consultation process on the two bills is set to begin once again after the Budget session, say sources.

In the Judicial Accountability Bill proposes giving statutory recognition to the code of conduct evolved by the judiciary to escape any future confrontation with them and also make some provision restraining the judiciary from making remarks on constitutional bodies and authorities in open court.

Delhi court acquits father of charge of murdering daughter
Last Updated: Thursday, July 03, 2014, 14:33

New Delhi: A man facing trial for allegedly killing his daughter has been set free by a Delhi court after his wife and son turned hostile.

Additional Sessions Judge Rajesh Kumar Goel acquitted Bihar native Fudur Bhagat of the charge of murdering his daughter whose body was found last year in the fields near Narela here.

“I find that the prosecution has failed to prove the offence against the accused beyond shadow of doubt. Thus, I am left with no option but to acquit him,” the judge said, while noting that the wife and son of Bhagat had turned “hostile” and resiled from their statements that he had killed the girl.

According to the prosecution, Bhagat’s wife had lodged a complaint against him after their daughter’s body was found in the fields near their residence in north-west Delhi on the morning of June 24, 2013.

She had told the police that her daughter was not mentally fit and used to go out of the house often without informing anyone due to which Bhagat used to remain angry with her and beat her regularly, it said.

It added that on the intervening night of June 23-24 last year, when everyone was asleep, Bhagat strangulated the girl and dumped her body in the fields nearby where he used to work. He was arrested the same day.

However, in their cross examination in the court, the woman and her son did not support the prosecution case and said the girl was mentally fit and was killed by some unidentified men and not by Bhagat.


Human trafficking rising due to female foeticide: Court

Submitted by IANS on 3 July 2014 – 9:04pm
New Delhi : A court here has urged exercising of zero tolerance in female foeticide cases, observing that the illegal sex determination tests are giving rise to human trafficking.
Citing the figures of sex ratio in India and statistics that said that nearly 10 million female foetuses have been aborted in the country over the past two decades, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said that “courts have to exercise a zero tolerance for those prima facie involved in the crime of female foeticide”.
“Of the 12 million girls born in India, one million do not see their first birthdays. As a result of this human trafficking has become common in various states of India where teenage girls are being sold for cheap money by poor families, being treated as sex objects with more than half of such cases going unreported,” she said in an order Wednesday but only made available Thursday.
The court order came on a revision plea filed by two doctors, Sunil Fakey and Urvashi Fakey seeking discharge in a case filed against them for carrying out illegal sex determination test.
Police has lodged an FIR against them under the provisions of Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulations and Prevention of Misuse) Act, commonly known as PNDT Act, and Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act in Ashok Vihar in west Delhi October 2010.
While dismissing the plea of doctors, the court said: “This is a harsh social and national reality and a court of law cannot shut its eyes to the same.”
The judge cited the United Nations’ World Population Fund reports which indicate that India has one of the highest sex imbalances in the world and the demographers warn that there will be a shortage of brides in the next 20 years because of the adverse juvenile sex ratio.
The court observed that advent of technology like ultrasound techniques resulted in the foetal sex determination and sex selective abortion by medical professionals.
“Is it not that when a female child is aborted after sex determination, it is the doctor whose aim is to save the lives of people, who connives in this illegal act only for earning a few extra bucks?” it asked.
It noted that there are thousands of such clinics where such illegal activities of sex determination and abortions are carried out on a daily basis and in some cases, in connivance with politicians, police and other local authorities.
The judge urged that as a part of a national policy, this court is required to come down heavily on those involved into illegal acts relating to female foeticide.

High Court imposes Rs. 4 lakh fine on four convicts in attempt-to-murder case
Four convicts in an attempt-to-murder case will have to pay Rs. 1 lakh each as fine besides serving rigorous imprisonment for seven years. The total fine amount of Rs. 4 lakh will have to be paid to the victim as compensation.
The Karnataka High Court on Thursday imposed the penalty on them while confirming their conviction and modifying the life imprisonment imposed on them by a sessions court in Mysore.
A Division Bench, comprising Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and Justice C.R. Kumaraswamy, in its order also said the convicts — Devappa, Siddappa, Fayaz, and Kumar — would have to undergo three more years of imprisonment if they fail to pay Rs. 1 lakh each. The Bench ordered for setting off the period that they had already spent in the prison from the period of imprisonment.
Devappa of Anche village in Mysore attempted to kill his younger brother, Puttaswamy, in July 2007 along with the other accused persons, some of whom are his relatives. The prosecution had said that the crime was a result of denial of a share in the property to Devappa by his father.
The Mysore sessions court convicted them in 2010 for unlawful assembly with lethal weapons and attempt to murder, and sentenced them to six months’ simple imprisonment for other offences and to life for attempt to murder.

Odisha Uliburu mining scam accused sent to seven day judicial custody
Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, July 3:
The District Sessions and Judge Court, Khordha today sent the prime accued Deepak Gupta and his associate Satyabrat Rout to a seven-day judicial custody in connection with Odisha’s multi-crore Uliburu mining scam.
Both have been sent to Jharpada jail after they were produced before the court today.
The court has posted the hearing of the bail petition filed by the accused as well as the petition by the Enforcement Drectorate (ED) seeking a 15-day remand of the accused to July 10.
ED’s special public prosecutor advocate S Mohanty said they had prayed before the court to take Gupta and Rout on remand for interrogation in connection with offences committed by them in the mining scam.
The sessions court Judge Dr Durga Prasanna Choudhary, after hearing both public prosecutors of plaintiff and ED, ordered that both the accused be sent to judicial custody for seven says.
Deepak Gupta, who was operating the Uliburu iron ore mine leased out to B K Mohanty by virtue of a power of attorney, has been accused of violating forest and mining laws. The mine is closed since 2009 after the government cracked down on illegal mining operation in the area. The reports of the mines department suggest that the miner excavated huge amount of iron ore from forest area by shifting the boundary pillars into adjacent reserve forest even after the lease validity expired in 2003.
Earlier, the State Government had suspended 16 officials including two officers of the Indian Forest Service in connection with Uliburu scam.

High Court to decide on letting Nusli Wadia testify
Mumbai Mirror | Jul 4, 2014, 06.57 AM IST
The Bombay High Court is likely to decide on Friday whether NRI industrialist Nusli Wadia should be allowed to depose before the trial court in a case in which an employee of Reliance Industries has been accused of conspiring to kill Wadia 25 years ago.

Justice Revati Mohite-Dere, who heard the matter on Thursday, criticised the premier investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), for its attitude in the case.

The court posted the matter for Friday and asked the CBI to clarify its stand.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Kirti Ambani, a senior executive of Reliance Industries. The petition seeks to restrain Wadia from deposing before the trial court. Wadia was supposed to depose before the court on June 30, but the deposition has now been adjourned to July 15.

The petition filed by Ambani challenges the Sessions Court’s order allowing Wadia to depose in the case. It calls Wadia’s application seeking to depose before the trial court as a “motivated application with ulterior motive”.

Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for Wadia, raised questions over the CBI’s intentions in the case. He submitted that while the CBI had made efforts to find “an inconsequential witness”, it failed to summon Wadia despite requests from him.

Jethmalani submitted that one Kupuswamy, who was a factory manager at that time and had deposed in the case from the United States through Skype, had no knowledge of the corporate conspiracy against Wadia.

Criticising the CBI, Justice Dere observed, “When he (Wadia) was ready to depose, what was the impediment for you to call him? This is very serious if you haven’t made efforts to summon him when he has been saying he is willing.”

Jethmalani claimed that Wadia had made written applications to the CBI on March 6, 2012 and to the trial court on April 2 last year seeking a date for recording of his statement. “I am an NRI. Previously, when I was not here and they (CBI) sent me a summons, they had threatened to issue a non-bailable warrant against me.
When I came down and wrote to them to record my statement, they never contacted me again,” Jethmalani submitted on Wadia’s behalf.

The CBI’s advocate put the onus on the prosecutor appearing before the trial court. The advocate submitted before the HC that the prosecutor claimed before the trial court that it was her responsibility to bring Wadia for a deposition, after which the agency did not take any steps in the matter.

Finding this strange, Justice Dere asked the CBI to file an affidavit to this effect. “If you are saying the prosecutor was responsible, then put it on paper. File an affidavit, because this is strange,” observed the court.

Seven years for bid to sodomise granddaughter

by Natasha Sim. Posted on July 4, 2014, Friday
KOTA KINABALU: The Sessions Court here yesterday sentenced a 58-year-old man to seven years’ jail after finding him guilty on two counts for molesting his 11-year-old granddaughter and for an attempt to sodomize her.
Judge Azreena Aziz imposed seven years’ jail sentence on the first count, and another seven years for the second count, and ordered for the jail sentences to be served concurrently.
He molested his granddaughter at a hut in a forest in a village in Beaufort during midnight around May, 2013.
The first charge under Section 354 of the Penal Code carries a maximum jail of 10 years and whipping, upon conviction.
On the second count, he was accused of trying to insert his penis into the victim’s anus at the same time and place.
The indictment under Section 377C of the Penal Code carries a jail term of up to 10 years and also liable to whipping, upon conviction.
In mitigating for leniency, the accused through counsel Loretto Padua Jr, said that the accused was a first-time offender and had six children, all of whom are away, leaving a wife that currently stays alone.
In reply, deputy public prosecutor Effizah Ernie Idris remarked that the accused does not deserve a lenient sentence, especially considering the victim’s emotional trauma after the incidences.
She said the victim is now embarrassed and ashamed to face her friends in school, and her own grandfather, and urged the court to take notice of the victim’s single mother as well.
Effizah said that the accused as a grandfather had taken advantage of his position by way of committing the offences.
She also said that the accused, as a 58-year-old, should be mature enough to consider the nature of his act, which has also affected the rest of the family.
The prosecution had called 12 witnesses to testify against the accused since the trial commenced last year, while the defence had called three witnesses.

Supreme Court refuses bail plea of Asaram in Gujarat rape case
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain self-styled godman Asaram Bapu’s bail plea in a rape case lodged against him in Surat, Gujarat but agreed to hear his petition for bail in another rape case filed in Jodhpur in Rajasthan.
A bench headed by Justice T. S. Thakur asked the 76-year old controversial godman, who has been in jail since September last year, to approach the Gujarat High Court for getting bail.
Asaram is facing trial along with his wife Lakshmi, daughter Bharti and his four women followers —Dhruvben, Nirmala, Jassi and Meera in a rape case filed by a Surat-based woman.
The complainant had accused him of sexual assaults between 1997 and 2006, when she was living in his ashram on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.
The bench, however, issued notice to Rajasthan government on his bail plea in Jodhpur case asking it to file its response and posted the case for hearing in August.
It also agreed to hear Asaram’s plea seeking its direction to trial court to allow him to place evidence to prove that the alleged victim was not a minor on the date of the incident.
A complaint was registered by father of a girl alleging that Asaram had raped her when she was studying in a school in his Ashram.
He was then booked under sections 376, 342, 506 and 509 of the IPC (dealing with rape and sexual harassment), section 8 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and sections 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act.

Mohindra’s excel sheet may fall in court: like Jain diaries: Lawyers
P Naveen, TNN | Jul 3, 2014, 09.56AM IST
BHOPAL: Special Task Force (STF) probing Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (PEB) aka ‘Vyapam scam’ will have to dig more to unearth credible evidences that can stand in a trial court. Else, state’s largest ever education and recruitment scam, legal expert’s claim, will meet the fate of Jain Hawala case of 1990s, which collapsed in court without convictions.

Legal experts said that current evidences based on excel sheet recovered from computer system of Nitin Mohindra, chief system analyst of MPPEB, is weak to take the case to a logical conclusion. They also draw a parallel between MPPEB scam and Jain Hawala case.

In Hawala case (which broke out in 1991), entries found in the diaries of Hawala broker S K Jain, were presented as crucial evidences against top politicians including senior BJP leader L K Advani in the court by CBI. While in PEB scan STF has attached Mohindra’s excel sheet data with the charge-sheets.
Diaries recovered from Jain (now infamous as ‘Jain dairies’) revealed that the accused had carried out transactions with at least 115 people, working as a middleman on deals for multinational power companies.

Similarly, Mohindra’s excel sheet reveals name of several businessman, doctors and politicians, who worked as middleman on deals.

“What, for instance, are the STF’s own independent investigations other than Mohindra’s excel sheet?” asks Deepesh Joshi, a senior lawyer, claiming probe agency will have to work harder.

Other legal experts claimed STF will have to bring on record material which could be converted into legally admissible evidence else case against prominent personalities will fall. “Investigating agency has not come across even a single witness in the case who will prove monitory transactions. I don’t think person who took the money or the one who gave will maintain their stand in the court. Making some of the accused a witness in the case will help the agency,” claimed Raghvendra Kumar, a senior high court practitioner and expert on criminal cases.

Similarly, advocate Virag Tiwari said “STF should at least collect transcript of calls between the middlemen and beneficiaries to corroborate the charges. Producing only calls records between two people will not solve the purpose. After all entries in the excel sheet are no proof of payment.”

While quashing charges against L K Advani and others in Hawala case Delhi high court Justice Mohammad Shamim, had ruled that ‘Jain diaries’ are not legally admissible evidence under Section 10 of Indian Evidence Act. “…a bundle of sheets, detachable and replaceable at a moment’s notice, can hardly be characterized as a book of account” Justice Shamim had ruled.

STF officials could not be contacted for their version.

A person, not a relative of the husband, may not be prosecuted under Section 304B IPC: Supreme Court

On July 3, 2014 by Apoorva Mandhani
Observing that a person, not a relative of the husband, may not be prosecuted for offence under Section 304B IPC, a Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice Chandramauli Kr. Prasad and Justice P.C. Ghose upheld the quashing of a trial court order summoning the respondent under section 304B. The bench added that this does not mean that such a person cannot be prosecuted for any other offence viz. Section 306 IPC, in case the allegations constitute offence other than Section 304B IPC.
The appeal was filed by the State of Punjab against an order passed by Punjab and Haryana High Court, setting aside a trial court order summoning the respondent to face trial.
The respondent was charged under Section 304B of the Indian Penal Code. The respondent was then summoned to face trial, even though his name didn’t appear in the charge sheet. The High Court set aside this order, while giving liberty to take recourse to the provisions of Section 319 of the CrPC.
The respondent’s name then came up again during the trial, through the testimony of a witness. The respondent was summoned once again for commission of offence under Section 304B IPC.
This order was challenged by way of a revision petition, contending that since the respondent is not a ‘relative’ of the husband of the deceased, he cannot be tried for an offence under Section 304B. The respondent was the brother of the husband’s aunt (chachi). The High Court accepted this contention and quashed the order of the trial court.
According to the State, the High Court erred in holding that the respondent is not a relative of the husband of the deceased.
While considering the question, the court closely looked into the definition of a “relative”.
Section 304B exposes the husband of the woman or any relative of her husband for the commission of offence of the dowry death. The expression “relative” has not been defined in the IPC. The Court hence referred to Ramanatha Aiyar’s, Advance Law Lexicon which defines the word relative as any person related by blood, marriage or adoption. It referred to the cases of U. Suvetha vs. State by Inspector of Police and Anr. and Vijeta Gajra vs. State of NCT of Delhi which uphold the same meaning.

Law for accountability needed in building collapse cases: Naidu
Jul 3, 2014 14:47 IST
Need law to fix accountability in building collapse: Naidu
New Delhi: Against the backdrop of building collapse incidents, Urban Development minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday favoured incorporating in law provisions which hold the concerned officials responsible when such mishaps happen due to their negligence.

The minister termed as “a sad commentary on our urban planning” the incidents of building collapse in Delhi and Chennai.
“I strongly feel that we can incorporate in law that people like the building inspector, the local town planner, the area incharge, should be made responsible and accountable if something happens in their tenure,” Naidu said at a conclave here where ministers from various states were present.
He also emphasised that no official should be held responsible if any such incident happens after his tenure ends, but stressed that accountability should be fixed.
“You can’t hold the official responsible for something which has happened earlier. Let us make a beginning. Let us incorporate in our municipal laws that there will be an accountability factor, this is very much required,” he said.
Talking about the media role in such incidents, the Union minister said “whenever there is a building collapse incident, media highlights it, then there is concern and some good, well meaning, dynamic officer comes in and orders demolitions. After this there is hue and cry, again the focus of media, then the exercise is stopped.”
Naidu’s comments come in the backdrop of recent incidents of building collapse in Chennai, where 53 people have died and in Delhi, in which ten people lost their lives.
Naidu said transparency should be encouraged and suggested that detailed signboards should be put up at project sites to inform the people.
“We must provide on-line opportunity to the people to make complaints. And well meaning people should be rewarded, it may not be in the form of cash but as appreciation will also go a long way,” the Urban Development Minister said.
He also stressed that illegal construction should be checked right in the beginning.
Naidu said that Urban governance and Housing for all were the two challenges before the country which can be converted into opportunities and stressed that lives of people needs to be made better in urban areas.
He said Mahatama Gandhi had given the ‘back to villages’ call but “unfortunately the country’s planners had shown their back to villages and moved towards urban areas.”
Naidu, who is also Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation minister, said 33 per cent of the country’s citizens were already residing in urban areas and “18 percent of urban population lives in slums, in some major cities it is close to 31 percent.”
Almost 30 percent of urban households do not have tapped water and dependence on tube or borewell has increased, which is not desirable, he added.
The minister said 22.5 percent urban households do not have bathroom and only 44.5 percent urban households have closed drainage. 18.6 per cent of the urban households do not have toilet facility within premises.
“These are challenges before us,” he said.

‘Collegium system: solution worse than the disease’
Justice Shah questions “unusual system” of judges appointing judges
Law Commission of India chairman Justice A.P. Shah lauded Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha’s move to invite distinguished members of the Bar as judges of the highest court.
Referring to the recent controversy over the recommendation of Gopal Subramaiam, Justice Shah said “I personally feel this was a significant step by the CJI. In the past, we had only a few occasions like this. It should not happen that this episode [the recent controversy over the recommendation of Mr. Subramaniam] will become a setback … lawyers may not consent [to join the Bench] because of this controversy.”
In an exclusive interview to The Hindu, he said the Judicial Appointments Commission was a step in the right direction to free judicial appointments from “inappropriate politicisation.” “Ultimately, the rationale of having the Commission instead of the collegium system is to strengthen the quality of appointments made, promote diversity and sustain public confidence in judicial system,” Justice Shah said.
But the Bill in its current form remained silent on transparency and offered no role to the civil society in judicial appointments. “The mere setting up of a Judicial Appointments Commission cannot solve the problem of the present system of appointment of judges,” he stressed.
“The inception of the collegium system was well-intentioned. In all fairness, it did solve the problem of excessive executive interference. But on the whole, the collegium system is a solution which has proved much worse than the disease,” Justice Shah said.
“Judges are today chosen on undisclosed criteria in largely unknown circumstances. Justice Ruma Pal [a former woman Supreme Court judge] remarked that it is one of the best-kept secrets in the country. The system is completely opaque,” Justice Shah said.

Bombay High Court Asks CBI to Probe Jiah Khan Suicide Case

All India | Written by Saurabh Gupta | Updated: July 03, 2014 21:40 IST

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has handed over the probe in actor Jiah Khan’s suicide case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The court’s order comes after Jiah’s mother Rabia Khan filed a plea last year seeking a probe by the CBI into her daughter’s death alleging foul play. She had raised strong suspicions about her daughter’s death being a case of murder and not suicide, as claimed by police in its charge sheet filed in January this year.

The court also came down heavily on the investigative agency as it informed the court that it was not inclined to take up the case due to lack of man power and technical expertise. The court said that it is unfortunate that agencies from the USA come and attend every hearing for their citizen’s death but our own agency is not interested in investigating. Before transferring the case, the court asked whom should we send citizens to when they come to us in cases of injustice?

Jiah, a 25-year-old US citizen, was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her home in Juhu on June 3 last year. The police arrested actor Suraj Pancholi on June 10, last year on the basis of a six-page letter which was found in the house, purportedly written by Jiah. Suraj was granted bail by the Bombay High Court on July 1, 2013.

The Mumbai police had in January filed a charge sheet in the case, accusing Suraj, son of actors couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, of abetting Jiah’s suicide. Suraj who was in a relationship with Jiah and had allegedly pushed Jiah to suicide, the police had claimed in the charge sheet.

The court has asked the police and the state to extend logistical support and other help required by CBI to carry out further probe. This after it had earlier asked the state and police to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe whether it was a case of murder as Rabia Khan had challenged the police investigation by producing forensic evidence that she sourced on her own which suggested that her daughter could have been killed. The US had offered to involve the FBI and provide forensic and technical assistance to the Mumbai police in the case.

Jiah Khan, born in New York before moving to London and then Mumbai, made her Bollywood debut in 2007 with Nishabd. She went on to star alongside actor Aamir Khan in Ghajini. Her last film was Sajid Khan’s multi-starrer Housefull.

Gujarat High Court orders state to stop illegal use of beacons
Press Trust of India | Ahmedabad
July 3, 2014 Last Updated at 20:24 IST
The Gujarat High Court ordered the the state government today, to stop usage of illegal beacons atop vehicles of various functionaries within two weeks in connection with a contempt of court petition.

A division bench of Justice Jayant Patel and Justice Z K Syed today ordered removal of all such illegal beacons and directed the state to file an ‘action taken report’ within two weeks.

The division bench acted upon a contempt petition filed by Junagadh-based K B Sanghvi who sought the Gujarat High Court’s direction to remove all illegal beacons from vehicles of Gujarat government functionaries.

Earlier in August last year, the Gujarat High Court had directed the state government to remove all illegal beacons from vehicles of office bearers who are not entitled to either red or yellow light.

However, the Gujarat state authorities did not take steps to follow the high court’s order, the petitioner alleged in his contempt plea.

“Chief Minister of Gujarat state, the Governor, judges of the high courts and the Supreme Court, Lokayukta (ombudsman) and disaster management officials are entitled to use the beacon, but office bearers of municipal corporations also use beacons, which is illegal,” Sanghvi’s petition said.

The petition said that the mayor, chairmen of standing committees of civic bodies sport beacons atop their vehicles, though they are not entitled to this facility.

Last year, the Gujarat High Court had asked authorities to remove illegal beacons from all vehicles which are not found legitimate as per the two notifications issued by the Gujarat state government in 2004 and 2012.

The government notifications mention the category of office bearers who are entitled to use beacons on their vehicles.

CAT Highlights Misuse of Sexual Harassment Law
By Umesh R Yadav
Published: 03rd July 2014 08:42 AM
Last Updated: 03rd July 2014 08:42 AM
BANGALORE: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), hearing four cases, has cautioned that the law against sexual harassment is “double-edged”.
The Tribunal has sought a review of two sections of the law, describing them as ‘unconstitutional’.
Section 4 and 7 of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, are slanted and “destroy the fairness concept embedded in adjudication”, a CAT verdict states.
A bench comprising judges K B Suresh and P K Pradhan has ruled in favour of employees petitioning against internal inquiry committees, also called Vishakha committees.
Whistleblower Case
Three women employees allegedly used the sexual harassment law against upright store officer T Ramesh to silence him. Newly transferred to the Kudremukh Iron Ore Company in Mangalore, he had restricted the movement of contractors and ensured better inventory control. Thanks to his efforts, the Central Industrial Security Force had intercepted five truckloads of coal being stolen from the company, and brought it back to the company.
Later, three women employees filed written complaints against him. One said when she told Ramesh she had lost her mangalasutra, he remarked she ought to have worn it inside. The remark, by her reckoning, was sexually coloured.
The second woman said Ramesh would sit close to her and keep his hand on her chair when he dictated letters. The third woman employee made a complaint about Ramesh’s remark about her riding pillion with a male colleague.
Ramesh had approached the CAT. The bench observed that a conspiracy involving his colleagues and contractors had led to the “silly complaints” whose intention was to silence a whistle blower.
The proceedings of the Vishakha committee, which had inquired into the allegations, were flawed and manipulated, the bench said.
ESI Officer’s Case
P Jagannath, a senor officer of the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), had an unblemished record and was due to retire soon.
He had challenged his repeated transfers at the behest a trade union, which used as its weapon a complaint made by a woman employee.
Her complaint was that Jagannath had shouted at her following a problem in the office. She had not reported to work for eight days and when she came back, she found that he had marked her absence in red ink.
She had then signed the register, describing him as ridiculously strict.
She had no intention of making any sexual harassment complaint. Yet, the authorities had formed a Vishaka committee, examined two witnesses, and transferred Jagannath as a punishment.
When the trade union said the punishment was not enough, senior officers transferred him to Chennai. The bench wondered what relevance the Vishakha committee had in such a case, especially when the complainant’s behaviour was unbecoming of a government servant, and could amount to forgery, which is a criminal offence.
The entire hierarchy was terrorised and Jagannath was penalised, the bench said, cancelling his transfers and posting him to the original place.
The law is a double-edged sword, the bench warned, and granted him permission to file for damages, if any.
Nimhans Case
John Johnson, a psychiatrist at Nimhans, Bangalore, had been accused of sexual harassment by an MPhil student after he told her to wear her dupatta properly.
Johnson explained he had said so in the context of a discussion on methodology before students were allowed to interview psychiatric patients. She was about to interview a person with sexual problems, and Johnson said he had offered her advice only by way of caution.
But she had complained that he had said the size and shape of her breast were annoying him.
She completed the interview and later that day, filed a complaint, which was supplanted by another.
Two units of psychiatry have a record of long-standing rivalry. The complaint against him was signed by five women students, and received by Dr Reddemma, Head of the Department, and member of a rival psychiatry unit.
A Vishaka committee was formed and an inquiry commenced. The MPhil student did not take part in the inquiry. Two other male colleagues testified in favour of Johnson. During the inquiry, two of the five girls said they had been away at Kerala some days prior to and after the incident.
The bench had requested the institute to secure the complainant’s presence, but she had refused to testify, stating in an e-mail, sent to the Registrar, that she had no wish to assist the tribunal but stood by her original complaint.
“There is no way of establishing the provenance of this e-mail,” the bench observed, quashing all proceedings against Johnson and directing him to be reinstated with all attendant benefits.
None of the witnesses presented themselves for corroboration of the complaint.
Live-in or Rape?
An employee in the postal department, filed a complaint against Palaniswami, which led to his imprisonment for six months.
She had complained that he had forced her to stay with him in his government quarters for two years and “raped” her regularly. When she brought the matter to the notice of Superintendent of Posts Koragappa, even he allegedly started molesting her. She then filed a police complaint.
The Vishakha committee in this case recommended that Palaniswamy be awarded punishment.
It also recommended “appropriate action” against Koragappa and transfer of the complainant out of Chikamagalur. Palaniswamy was sent to judicial custody for more than six months.
She had lived in with Palaniswamy, and he got her a job after a year of their starting the relationship.
But after two years, she found that he was thinking of marrying another woman and lodged a complaint, as somewhere along the line, the bench observed, she had hoped he might marry her.
She had alleged that their acts of intimacy constitute rape. Palaniswamy had allegedly taken Rs 1.5 lakh from her and not returned it. After he was released on bail, the committee had suggested her transfer to some place far away.
Challenging this, the she had approached the Central Administrative Tribunal.The bench observed that her transfer was reasonable. “We think that this is one committee which has done its job fairly,” it observed.
The bench said it trusted the committee to resolve the case.
“We direct the committee to recognise the human elements involved in it,” it stated, emphasising that justice must be delivered to the poor applicant with regard to the transfer as well as the matter concerning ` 1.5 lakh.

Centre asked to explain on IPS officers allotment
DC CORRESPONDENT | July 04, 2014, 01.07 am IST
Hyderabad: Expressing displeasure at the attitude of the Union government in responding to a petition regarding the appointment of in-charge DGPs to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the Hyderabad Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal directed the Centre to explain within 10 days from date the basis and the rationale behind the process of allotment of IPS officers to Telangana state.
The Bench comprising members B.V. Rao (judicial) and Ms Minnie Math-ews (administration) was dealing with the plea by senior IPS officers S.A. Huda and T.P. Das challenging the appointments of J.V. Ramudu and Anurag Sharma as in-charge DGPs to AP and Telangana.
The petitioners challenged the notification of allo-tment of IPS cadre to Telangana and AP contending that taking 1982 as the base year for the allotment was discriminatory and reeked of ulterior motives.
Mohammad Shafiquzzaman, counsel for the petitioners argued that his clients should have been made the DGPs for respective states as they were the mo-st senior among the existing IPS officers in the respective states.
He said that the Telangana state filled its DGP post without the Centre creating a separate DGP post for Telangana state after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. He urged the Tribunal to direct both the states not to accord DGP status and the connected apex pay scale to the two temporary DGPs until the process of appointing regular DGPs to both the states duly involving UPSC in accordance with the existing rules is completed.
At the previous hearing, advocate general of Telangana K. Ramakrishna Reddy asked the petitioners why they had not made Anurag Sharma, the current DGP of Telangana state a party to the case as there were contentions raised against his elevation in the petition and the petitioners had failed to challenge the original notification of the Centre.
The petitioners submitted a memo on Thursday to amend their petitions as pointed out by the advocate-general and the Bench accorded permission.
When the Bench sought response from the counsel of the Centre, he cited technical lapses in the plea and sought more time to file the reply of the Centre.
The Bench took a serious view of it as he had been directed to state the Centre’s stand in this regard. The Bench will start final hearing in the matter within 10 days.

Remove adverse remarks against cop, govt told
TNN | Jul 4, 2014, 03.44 AM IST
CHENNAI: The Chennai bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal has directed the state government to remove adverse remarks made in a police officer’s annual confidential report (ACR) as it was communicated to him after a delay of five years. It also dismissed the officer’s petition to reconsider his seniority.

R Tamil Chandran, now Vellore DIG, said he was recruited as deputy superintendent of police in 1989. In 2000, the DGP served him a memo which said adverse entries had been made in his ACR for the period from May 1995 and March 1996 when he was DSP in Rasipuram.

Because of the remarks, his name was not included in the list of officers being conferred the IPS rank in 2001 and 2002.

He was given the IPS status in 2003 and because of the delay lost his seniority, he said.The bench

of judicial member K Elango and administrative member P Prabhakaran

said the adverse entries had been communicated to Chandran after five years. It said according to rules, adverse remark more than three years old could not be communicated to an official if his subsequent performance was good.

LEGAL NEWS 03.07.2014

SC says no to automatic arrests under ‘dubious’ dowry law
Satya Prakash, Hindustan Times New Delhi, July 02, 2014
First Published: 23:39 IST(2/7/2014) | Last Updated: 09:03 IST(3/7/2014)

The police can no longer “automatically” arrest the accused under the “dubious” anti-dowry law, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, expressing concern over the misuse of Section 498A of IPC by disgruntled wives against in-laws and husbands.
The court asked state governments to ensure that the police didn’t go on an arresting spree — as was the practice — in dowry harassment cases.
The attitude to arrest first and then proceed with the rest was “despicable” and must be curbed, it said. The police would have to give reasons and proof to magistrate before making an arrest, the court said.
A bench of justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad and justice Pinaki Chadra Ghose said Sec 498-A was introduced to combat harassment of women at the hands of husbands and his family. “The fact it is a cognisable and non-bailable offence has lent it a dubious place of pride amongst the provisions that are used as weapons rather than shield by disgruntled wives,” the bench said.
Driving home the point, the court, quoting crime statistics, said nearly a quarter of those arrested under Sec 498A in 2012 were women, most of them mothers and sisters of the husbands.
Added to the Indian Penal Code in 1983, 498-A provides for maximum imprisonment of three years and fine while the maximum sentence under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 is two years with a fine.
“As the arrest curtails freedom, brings humiliation and casts scars forever, …we believe that no arrest should be made only because the offence is non-bailable and cognisable,” the court said, asking the police to shun their colonial mindset.
Magistrates, too, would have to put on record that the reasons given by the police justified detention, the court said said. The failure to do so would invite departmental action and amount to contempt of court.
The order came on a petition filed by a man from Bihar seeking anticipatory bail in a dowry harassment case filed by his wife.
Concerned over its abuse, the Law Commission and Parliament’s standing committee on home affairs had recommended that offences under Section 498A IPC be made compoundable i.e. husband and wife should be allowed to settle the dispute between themselves.

PIL filed in Calcutta HC for Paul’s arrest
Submitted by IANS on 2 July 2014 – 8:32pm
Kolkata : With the Mamata Banerjee government yet to initiate action against Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul for his rape remarks, a PIL was filed Wednesday seeking penal action.
The public interest litigation (PIL) was filed before the court of Justice Dipankar Dutta of the Calcutta High Court seeking a direction to the police for initiating criminal proceedings and arrest of Krishnanagar MP Paul.
“He has publicly exhorted his partymen to kill CPI-M activists and rape women. But, still this government has not initiated any action. So, we have pleaded before the court to take cognisance and direct the police to initiate criminal proceedings and arrest Paul,” counsel for petitioner Subrata Mukherjee said.
Addressing his party workers in his constituency, Paul was caught on subsequent tapes threatening to gun down CPI-M men and let loose his boys to rape their women. He also asked people to slit the rivals’ throats to prove themselves.
“If a CPI-M man dares to touch anybody, I will take out my gun and shoot him…I will destroy his entire clan… I will ask my boys to go there. They will rape them and leave,” Paul is seen saying in the first video while addressing partymen in Choumaha village.
Proceeding to Gopinathpur, 10 km from Choumaha, Paul is seen in the second video asking women to slit CPI-M throats and exhorts people to kill their rivals and show him.
“Till I am here, don’t spare any CPI-M worker. Our men will kill them. I am also asking the women to slit open CPI-M workers’ throats. Use your bontis (sharp vegetable-cutting instrument) to slash their throats. Why haven’t you done it till now? Don’t you know how to use a knife?
“I will shoot them in front of everyone…. Kill two to four people and show me…. Kill them with an axe and prove yourself. Then I will see….” says Paul in the second video which became public Tuesday when he had tendered an apology for his earlier comments.
There has been countrywide outrage over Paul’s remarks with all and sundry seeking his arrest and expulsion from parliament.

RTI activist flees Maharashtra upon threat to life
An RTI activist who has filed a PIL against granting 16 per cent reservation to Marathas, has fled Maharashtra fearing threat to his life. “I apprehend that I will meet the same fate as late Shri Dr. Narendra Dhabolkar, in whose case also the State was an active participant,” Ketan Tirodkar has said in a letter submitted to the Registrar of the Bombay High Court.
He has claimed that the activists of Sambhaji Brigade and other affiliated Maratha organisations have threatened to kill him. “I informed the court that I will not be able to appear for my matters for a few days now, as I fear I will be killed. I have left the State,” Mr Tirodkar told The Hindu from an undisclosed location.
A poster posted on the Facebook account of Sambhaji Brigademumbai said, “It seems you don’t love your life anymore, Ketan Tirodkar. Tell us what your last wish is.”
Another one said throwing ink was only the beginning. A few activists of Maratha Sangharsha Samiti had thrown black ink on Mr Tirodkar on June 30 in the perimeter of the Bombay High Court, protesting against the petition he had filed.
A day after the incident, Mr Tirodkar submitted a letter to the Registrar of the court, “Various organisations boasted about the said incident on Facebook and other social networking sites, and furthermore, appealed to their supporters to kill me. I have also seen ‘whatsapp’ messages been circulated since the last few days, which are viciously against me. I have been warned personally by well-wishers and well-meaning lay citizens, about possible and serious threats to my life.”
But the chairperson of Maratha Sangharsha Samiti refuted Mr Tirodkar’s claim. “We threw ink on him to protest against his act of opposing reservation for our community. We have not issued any death threat to him. This is a matter of principles. Why would we want to kill Ketan Tirodkar?” Manish Wadje asked.
Mr Tirodkar said he did not wish to approach the police about his grievance as he believed that they had been ordered by the ruling politicians to not offer protection to him. “In any case, the police cansuo motto decide to provide protection to social activists and RTI activists who face such threats. They don’t have to wait for the activist to approach them,” Mr Tirodkar claimed.
Former IPS officer Y P Singh said the police have to assess the risk to an activist. “Yes, they can suo motto provide protection to social activists and RTI activists if their assessment finds that the person requires protection,” he told The Hindu. He said that under the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Bombay Police Act, the police are responsible for maintaining law and order, and this formed a part of it.

HC moved to protect Kumbakonam Mahamaham Tank
Press Trust of India
July 2, 2014 Last Updated at 21:55 IST
The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court today ordered issuance of a notice to the Thanjavur District Collector among others on a PIL by a resident of Kumbakonam seeking to ban public meetings around the famous Mahamaham Tank in the temple town to protect it.

A bench, comprising Justice V.Ramasubramanian and Justice V.M.Velumani, admitting the petition, ordered the notice to the state government officials.

The petitioner submitted that the tank, constructed by Govinda Dikshadhar during the Nayak period, is considered very holy.

However, during public meetings held near the temple tank the attendees ate non-vegetarian food and drank liquor and used the tank as toilet for urinating and defecating.

Millions visit the tank for taking holy bath during Mahamaham, held once in 12 years, besides on Masi Maham day every year.

The tank should be protected at all cost and meetings around the temple should be banned, the petitioner said.

The temple and district and municipal officials failed to maintain the tank, despite repeated plea through representation, it said.

Kerala: CBI prepared to probe child trafficking case
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 02, 2014, 19:23

Kochi: The CBI on Wednesday informed the Kerala High court that it was prepared to takeover investigation of the case relating to bringing of 580 odd children from Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal to the state orphanages.

The stand of CBI was informed while considering a PIL by an All Kerala Anti Corruption and Human Rights Protection Council, an NGO in Palakkad district seeking to handover the investigation to CBI.

Meanwhile, on the court’s directions, Advocate General K P Dandapani handed over details of the investigation conducted so far by the Crime Branch police to the court in a sealed cover.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice K Vinod Chandran opined that since other states were also involved, proper investigation had to be conducted by an outside agency.

According to the petitioner, the present investigation carried out was ‘ineffective’ and only if an independent outside agency conducted investigation, truth could be brought out.

The case has been posted to Monday.

The children, who had been brought to be sent to two orphanages in the state, had been detained by police last month at Palakkad railway station after finding that many of them did not have any proper documents. The issue had snowballed into a major row in the state with IUML, the key partner in UDF, objected treating the incident as a case of child trafficking.


Uttarakhand HC notice to Govt., Sidcul on land deals
1.7.2014 (UNI) A division bench of the High Court, hearing a PIL on alleged irregularities in land allotment in Haridwar and Pantnagar, asked the Uttarakhand government, Sidcul and two private companies to respond within three weeks in the case.
The division bench of Acting Chief Justice V K Bisht and Justice U S Dhyani, heard the PIL filed by Dehradun based journalist Deepak Azad alleging distribution of prime industrial land in Haridwar and Pantnagar to private builders in low rates.

The petitioner has submitted that the Sidcul land had been given to Antriksh Construction Engineer at the rate of Rs 6500 sq metre while in Pantnagar it was allotted at the rate of Rs 5800 sq metre by adopting faulty tender process to benefit the builders. The petitioner claimed that in 2007, the land rate was 20502 per sqm. UNI

Madras High Court moved for MBBS seat to Sri Lankan refugee girl
PTI [ Updated 01 Jul 2014, 23:18:38 ]
Chennai: The Madras High Court has ordered notices to Tamil Nadu and central governments on a PIL seeking a direction to authorities to consider an application by a Sri Lankan refugee girl for admission to MBBS course in the state.

The PIL, filed by woman advocate Sri Priya on the basis of media reports, said the application of T Nandhini, staying with her parents at the Arachalur refugee camp in Erode district, for MBBS course was not considered soley on the ground that she was a Sri Lankan refugee despite scoring 1,170 marks out of 1200 marks in Plus Two.

That she was born in India and that her parents had taken refuge in the country way back in 1990 too did not help her, the petitioner submitted and said the application had been “unfairly and arbitrarily” rejected.

The First bench, comprising acting Chief Justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice M M Sundresh, issued notices to the health department, Directorate of Medical Education and the Union Home Ministry among others.

She wanted the court to direct the authorities to accept Nandhini’s application for MBBS counselling, and to evaluate her candidature in accordance with law.

PIL on Delhi statehood: HC seeks copy of plea filed in SC
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 2, 2014 Last Updated at 20:30 IST
The Delhi High Court today asked its Registrar to procure and file the copy of a petition seeking complete statehood for Delhi and Puducherry, which was disposed of by the apex court.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw sought the copy of the plea filed in the Supreme Court and fixed the matter for further hearing on July 23.

The court was hearing a petition filed by lawyer Gaurav Kumar Bansal seeking quashing of Article 239 AA and 239 AB of the Constitution and complete statehood for the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

Earlier, the court had asked the Centre to apprise it whether the 1991 Constitutional amendments, that made Delhi a partial state and empowered the President to appoint its Chief Minister, has been challenged in any court of law.

The Articles 239AA and 239AB were inserted in the Constitution in 1991 and one of the provisions says the Chief Minister will be appointed by the President, the plea had said.

“The Articles 239AA and 239AB are being ultra vires to the basic structure of Indian constitution because they create structures which is neither a state nor a UT (Union Territory) and go against the basic concept of federalism,” the PIL had said.

The petition had also said “while the Constitution talks only of states as the primary unit of the Union, with a small area being placed among the UTs which possibly were found not fit to be governed through separate states and/or needed to be governed directly by the Union, these Articles 239AA and 239AB create such constitutional entities which are neither states nor UTs and are hence a structure completely unknown in the Indian constitution”.

It had said the features of Articles 239AA and 239AB are creating a large number of complexities and inherent contradictions which go against the basic structure of federalism.

Article 239AB and Article 239AA are special provisions with respect to Delhi and deal with powers of legislatures, council of Ministers etc.

HC rejects PIL against exclusion of Arabic, Persian as papers
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 2, 2014 Last Updated at 18:04 IST
The Delhi High Court today refused to entertain a PIL seeking quashing of a UPSC notification by which Arabic and Persian languages were excluded from the list of optional subjects for the main Civil Services Examinations.

“How this issue falls under the public interest? They all are IAS aspirants and they can come forward to file a case,” a bench, comprising Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, said.

“Do you (petitioner) want us to stall the entire selection process? We are satisfied with UPSC’s response,” the court said while dismissing the PIL filed by Delhi-based lawyer Shahid Ali on the issue.

The PIL had sought quashing of “March 5, 13 notification, published by UPSC in the gazette on March 6, whereby UPSC excluded Arabic and Persian from the list of optional subjects mentioned in group 2 ‘literature of languages’ from the main examination of civil services conducted by UPSC.”

It had also sought a direction to UPSC that Arabic and Persian be included “again in the list of subjects mentioned in group 2 ‘literature of languages’ of the main examination of civil services conducted by UPSC.”

The plea referred to the response of UPSC given to Ali’s earlier representation and said it was the Congress-led UPA-II which had decided to exclude the languages, opted by the religious minority in Civil Services exams, from the list of optional subjects on the ground that they did not fall under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

“On the one hand, the government claims, propagates and even recommends to include students of Madarsas and of minorities in the mainstream, but on the other hand have excluded these two languages, which shall result in creating complete deprivation of students having Arabic and Persian background from being included in mainstream,” the plea said.

PIL in SC seeks stringent action against builders for violating rules
New Delhi: A public interest writ petition has been filed for a direction to the Centre and Tamil nadu government to take stringent action against the builders who violated the laws and rules in constructing multi-storeyed buildings.
In their petition advocates N. Rajaraman and R. Krishnamurthy said in the recent 11-storeyed building collapse at Moulivakkam near Chennai on June 28, several people had died and several others had been trapped and even as rescue operations were on, more deaths were feared as people were caught under the debris.
They said “State Government Officials like revenue, C.M.D.A (Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority), DTP (District Town Planning Authority), fire and rescue services, Hydrologist Constituted under the Central Wetlands Regulatory Authority have measurably failed to uphold the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. There are so many buildings under construction on wetland like water bodies especially near in Chennai in Tamil Nadu.”
They said under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010, the State Government should identify and classify the wetlands within their respective territories in accordance with the criteria specified under Rule 3 (Protected Wetlands) and submit the same to the authority. Though four years had passed, no State had submitted the report under the said Rule to the Central Wetland Regulatory Authority.
They contended that most of the buildings in the country particularly in the Chennai had been constructed by the builders by throwing to winds all the norms and regulations of the CMDA & DTP Rules and other regulations endangering the safety of the people in connivance with State government officials. They said “the Chennai building collapse incident is the saddest example of the illegal constructions and constructions on water bodies (Wet Lands) or near catchment area of the wetlands. The State Government as well as Union of India must ensure the safety and security of the citizens of the multi-storeyed buildings. If the multi-storeyed buildings were found to be unstable by the authority they ought to be demolished in accordance with law.
They prayed for a direction to the Centre and the State to take stringent action against the violators and a direction to pay Rs. 25 lakhs as compensation to the victims in the tragedy.

HC disposes of PIL on 3-yr course
Express News Service | New Delhi | July 2, 2014 1:40 am
The UGC had last month directed the university to scrap FYUP, which had been introduced last year, and bring back the three-year undergraduate programme.

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday disposed of a PIL seeking “expeditious” implementation of the three-year programme in Delhi University after noting that DU had already complied with the UGC directive.
The PIL had been filed by advocate R K Kapoor, seeking court orders to the university to implement UGC’s orders as, according to it, the tussle between DU and UGC would “gravely prejudice the interests of the students”.
On Tuesday, the court of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice RS Endlaw held that the matter had become infructuous and nothing had remained to decide in the case.
Meanwhile, a separate plea, filed by eight students of Maharaja Agrasen College, who had been admitted under the FYUP programme, was withdrawn by the students. In their plea, the students had opposed the rollback of the FYUP, as it would “ruin the careers” of the students who had already been admitted.
The two pleas had been filed before the High Court during court vacations. The vacation bench had declined to hear the cases and had adjourned them to July 1.
The UGC had last month directed the university to scrap FYUP, which had been introduced last year, and bring back the three-year undergraduate programme.

PIL demands CBI probe into Odisha govt’s nod to industrial units to mortgage land
Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, July 2:
A public interest litigation (PIL ) seeking a CBI probe into the ‘objectionable’ manner in which the IDCO has been giving no objection certificate ( NOC) to various industrial units in Odisha to mortgage the land provided by it to help them secure loans, has been filed in the Odisha High Court.
The petitioner Rohan Mohanty, president of Odisha Yuva Manch, who filed the PIL on Tuesday, has prayed for a CBI probe in the matter and sought directives from the court for action against the ‘guilty’ officials.
The state chief secretary, additional chief secretary Revenue and Disaster Management department, principal secretary Home department and chairman cum managing director IDCO have been named as opposite parties in the PIL.
The petitioner has stated in his petition that the state government after land acquisition had provided the land on lease basis to IDCO, which in turn had provided it to different industrial units on sub-lease although it was not legally authorised to do so.
A number of industrial units have ‘illegally’ availed loans to the tune of Rs 52,423. 50 crore from banks and financial institutions by pledging the land they got from IDCO by way of sub-lease , the petitioner stated in his petition.
Alleging large-scale irregularities, the petitioner Mohanty said IDCO has provided a total of 46,732.894 acres of land to various industrial units, out which it has issued NOCs for 13,846. 238 acres to some industrial units for mortgaging.
The petitioner drew the attention of the court to the CAG report which has pointed out to the irregularities committed by IDCO.
While contending that the state government had provided land to IDCO on lease for industrialization of the state, the petitioner has asked how IDCO, which is a lease holder, was allowed to issue NOCs to sub lease holders to mortgage the land allotted to them.

SC quashes PIL to scrap Voda arbitration
— By FPJ Bureau, July 02, 2014 12:02 am
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court dismissed a public interest litigation, seeking directions for recovery of around 200 bln rupees of tax dues from Vodafone International Holding BV for the Vodafone-Hutchinson deal of 2007, and scrapping arbitration in the case. The apex court bench headed by Justice H.L. Dattu rejected the plea saying the petitioner had not furnished all the documents to prove that the tax department did not take any step for recovery of more than 210 bln rupees of tax following amendment to the income tax Act, making the Vodafone-Hutchinson deal retrospectively taxable.

‘Take steps to recover cane dues from mills’

TNN | Jul 2, 2014, 08.09AM IST
ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad high court on Tuesday again directed the state government to take steps to recover sugarcane dues from mill owners in the state so that the growers could be paid their dues.

Passing the above directive, the court also asked the Central government, which is a party in this case, to file its reply in response to this PIL.

While fixing July 24 for the next hearing, the court directed that in the meantime the state government should adopt all necessary process for recovery of dues under relevant laws.
Issuing this direction, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Dr Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud and Justice Dilip Gupta remarked that it is the responsibility of the state government to realize sugarcane price from sugar mill owners under relevant laws.

The court passed the above order on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Rastriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangthan.

It has been alleged in this PIL that farmers are compelled to commit suicide as their dues have not been paid.

HC gives 2 months to Govt to collect data from Ashram schools
Press Trust of India | Mumbai
July 2, 2014 Last Updated at 19:04 IST
The Bombay High Court today granted eight weeks time toMaharashtra Government to collect data about facilities required at Ashram (residential) schools in tribal areas in the absence of which students die due to snake bites, scorpion bites, fever and minor illness.

Government Pleader Aruna Kamat-Pai sought two months time to collect the data, saying they had begun the process of collecting data about facilities needed in the Ashram schools.

Facilities would include providing toilets and vehicles in Asram schools. In the absence of toilets, students go to forests to answer the call of nature and get bitten by snakes and scorpions. Also, there are no vehicles to transport the students to hospitals in case they fall sick, said a PIL.

A total of 793 children in the last decade had died due to snake bites, scorpion bites, fever and minor illness, said Ravindra Talpe, a resident of Nasik, who filed the PIL.

The PIL alleged that the children had died due to negligence of staff who failed to ensure that proper treatment was being given to the children in time.

According to the PIL, there are 1100 residential schools imparting education to 4,50,000 students in the state.

The petitioner had earlier said that the government had admitted before the court that it had to pay ex-gratia amount to 340 parents. However, no statement had been made by the state as to why the amount was not paid to them so far and also why there was a delay in making the payment.

The ex-gratia amount of Rs 15,000 in each case had been increased up to Rs 75,000. But even Rs 75,000 was not enough to compensate the life of a tribal, the PIL further stated.

The government informed the court that 453 parents got the ex-gratia and the rest would receive the compensation as and when funds are available.

The government also informed that in keeping with a government resolution (GR) of March 25, 1998, 372 teams of the medical personnel had been formed and 185 posts created.

However, the petitioner alleged that despite creation of such posts, many inmates of the ashram schools are still not getting medical facilities.

The persons appointed on these posts have either not reported for work or have not performed any work after their appointment, the petition said.

SC Dismisses PIL Seeking Electoral Reforms
Posted on July 3, 2014 in Nation
Express News Service
A Bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha said, “Why you compare elections in the country with that of other countries? You can’t imagine the scale at which elections are conducted through EVMs across the country.
NEW DELIH: Praising the Election Commission for conducting successful elections in the country, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said people across the world envy the way elections are conducted here and dismissed a PIL that sought electoral reforms.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha said, “Why you compare elections in the country with that of other countries? You can’t imagine the scale at which elections are conducted through EVMs across the country.
People, the world over, are envious of the way elections are conducted in the country, it is faster than other countries. Even in the US they are not using EVM machines and in our country it is used across the nation and results are declared within hours.”
The court was hearing a PIL that sought direction to the EC to put in place a mechanism so that voters know antecedents of the candidates before they go to exercise their votes at polling booth as being provided in the UK.
“Values and laws of our country are different from other countries and it cannot be compared. You can’t imagine the scale at which elections are conducted through EVMs across the country. People, the world over, are envious of the way elections are conducted in the country,” the Bench said.

Reconcile, advises HC to woman in a 54-yr-old marriage
By Hetal Vyas, Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Jul 3, 2014, 02.00 AM IST
High court rules that it is not contrary to law if family court had directed the couple to reunite to save their marriage

At a time when courts are being flooded with divorce petitions, the High Court of Karnataka has upheld the stand taken by family courts asking couples to reconcile, thereby ‘protecting the spirit of legislation to save marriages and not break them’.

Hearing an appeal filed by a 68-year-old woman from Hassan challenging a family court’s order directing her to reconcile with her husband (75), a division bench of the HC ruled, “If a direction has been issued to both the parties to live together happily, the direction cannot be treated as contrary to law. It is with the good intention to save the marriage. No court can find fault with the direction issued by the family court in directing the parties to live together.”

The family court’s order was passed on a petition filed by the husband in 2008 seeking divorce from his wife of 54 years. In his petition, the husband alleged cruelty and desertion. He said she was not willing to look after him in his old age and had left his house to stay with their younger son.

The wife alleged mental cruelty by husband, but told the court that she was willing to return to her husband, provided he allowed their younger son and his wife to stay in his house. The husband rejected this condition. When the case came up for hearing, the family court asked the couple to reconcile keeping in mind their family background as well as their age.

The wife appealed the decision in the HC. Her advocate told the court that she was not willing to join her husband without her son and she cannot be compelled to do so. A division bench of justice K L Manjunath and justice Ravi Malimath dismissed the wife’s appeal and noted: “The very intention of the family court is to save the marriage and not to break it. Even if a petition is filed for divorce, an attempt shall be made by the court to settle the dispute amicably.” But the judges also noted that if the wife was not willing to follow the court’s directive, it was open for her to decide her path.

Centre acts to curb price rise, brings onions and potatoes under Essential Commodities Act
Jul 02, 2014 at 08:24pm IST
New Delhi: With onion prices soaring all over in the country, the government on Wednesday brought onions and potatoes under the Essential Commodities Act. In order to put curb stockpiling and hoarding, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has decided to enforce a stock limit on potatoes and onions for one year.
Blaming the previous UPA government for its ten years of misrule and the resultant high inflation, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “The government will keep a close watch on stocks of onions, and other essentials foodgrains.”
The Cabinet minister said that since there were a lot of complaints regarding hoarding of these two vegetables, with six states having confirmed the same, the government decided to include these two under the Essential Commodities Act.
“We hope that state governments will be able to deal effectively with the problem of hoarding. They have been directed to crack down on hoarders and we hope that this move will empower states over the hoarding issue,” he said.
Taking into account the weak monsoon, 5 million tonnes of rice will also be released for BPL and APL families.

Goondas Act slapped against Pollachi home rape accused
TNN | Jul 3, 2014, 05.49 AM IST
COIMBATORE: V Veerasamy (23), who was arrested for raping two minor girls of a home inPollachi on June 12 and presently lodged at theCoimbatore central prison, has been detained under the Goondas Act. Veerasamy was arrested after the girls identified him from his photographs while undergoing treatment at Pollachigovernment hospital.

District collector Archana Patnaik ordered his detention under the Goondas Act based on recommendation from the district police.

The order was served to Veerasamy at the prison on Wednesday and the maximum period of detention under the Act is 12 months.

“There are also two house break-in cases against him in Valparai, where he used to stay earlier before he broke ties with his family and moved to Pollachi,” said a police official.

According to police, Veersamy has been accused in seven other cases including robbery, snatching, house break-in and had been convicted in four of these cases in the past. He has been charge-sheeted in two other cases while another two including the Pollachi rape case levelled against him are in advance stages of investigation. Veersamy was reportedly working at a local eatery in Pollachi and used to frequent the children’s home through an opening in the compound wall.

Now, Rajasthan set to amend Apprentices Act
Expected to help industry get skilled workers and generate more opportunities for the state’s youth
Sahil Makkar | New Delhi
July 2, 2014 Last Updated at 00:47 IST
After announcing a series of labour reforms to attract investment in Rajasthan, the state government has now decided to amend another central law, the Apprentices Act, 1961. It is expected the move will help industry get skilled workers and generate more opportunities for the state’s youth.

The Act was last amended in 1973, when the training of graduates and diploma holders in engineering and technology was brought under its purview.

Since the Vasundhara Raje-led government came to power in Rajasthan in December 2013, 18 companies have either invested or are in the process of investing Rs 34,380 crore in the state. Raje’s government has already announced it will amend the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Factories Act, 1948, and the Contract Labour Act, 1970. These Acts, along with the Apprentices Act, fall under the Concurrent List; amendments to these require the state Assembly’s and, subsequently, the President’s assent. These amendments will be taken up by the Rajasthan Assembly in two weeks.

“Amendments will be made in the Apprentices Act, 1961, to create larger opportunities of employment for the youth,” Raje announced on micro-blogging site Twitter late on Monday.

State parliamentary affairs minister Rajendra Rathore said, “The state will be able to fix the number of apprentice-training related seats in industry and establishments. And, the stipend for apprentices will be no less than the minimum wage. The state government will bear half the cost to train apprentices, if their number exceeds 250,” he said.

The Apprentices Act controls and regulates training of apprentices. Currently, the Act covers 254 categories of industries. According to the Act, it is obligatory for these establishments to appoint apprentices and impart theoretical and practical training to them.

Sources in the state government say after the amendments, the appointment of apprentices will be voluntary and industry will be allowed to design courses according to their needs. “We are not changing the provisions of the Act regarding the punishment. What we are doing is making it more flexible. There will be less prosecution in such cases. The intention is to generate more employment the way we are doing through amendments to other three Acts,” Rajiv Mehrishi, chief secretary of Rajasthan, told Business Standard.

“The Apprentices Act, 1961, was written for a very different India. It has scared away employers because it requires an employer to seek a licence for every apprentice. It has imprisonment provisions for not engaging with the Act. Also, it micro-specifies location, duration and trades,” said Manish Sabharwal, who headed the Planning Commission’s sub-committee on remodelling India’s apprenticeship regime. “Apprentices are vital to building skills,” he adds.

India has only 300,000 apprentices, compared with three million in Germany, 10 million in Japan and 10 million in China. The Act was last amended in 1973 to bring the training of graduate and diploma holders in engineering and technology under its purview.

Cos Act require solution to two-three problem areas: FICCI
In an exclusive conversation with CNBC-TV18’s Malvika Jain, Siddharth Birla, president, FICCI, who was present at the meeting, highlighted the problem areas. 1 1 0Google +0 0 India Business Hour 09:00 pm The ministry of corporate affairs is in the process of reviewing the Companies Act of 2013. The officials of the ministry Wednesday met industry representatives to identify the sections of the act which need to be tweaked. In an exclusive conversation with CNBC-TV18’s Malvika Jain, Siddharth Birla, president, FICCI, who was present at the meeting, highlighted the problem areas. Below are excerpts from the interview: Q: What are the issues in the Companies Act? A: Essentially, there are two-three problem areas. One is the balance that has changed towards how does the majority versus minority work and particularly with the introduction of related party norms and the removal of the earlier 370 and 372 which control capital flows and loans and other things. That has made life difficult as well as a little uncertain. The words require more clarity in terms operation because the intent is understood but whether the intention is that majority does not own the company or the majority has less rights over the company than the minority, I am sure that the majority can be held accountable but whether the minority is the one which rules. There are certain clarity which requires the role of directors; how directors are to perform their duties, particularly independent directors. For example what does the management do? One area of concern is the performance of directors and one area of concern is the majority minority principle, there are certain other issues related to how the board operates, what is the reporting of the board and how to bring about better alignment between what Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) says and what companies bill say. So in a short summary these encompass most of the issues. Q: There are also sources within the ministry who have indicated that changes to the act will be made in three phases; first will be that they would be issuing clarifications, secondly, they might see how they can remove difficulties using certain provisions of the act and then in the third phase if some amendments are to be made would be looked at, did you hear anything on that? A: I am not privy to anything like that but what you are saying is entirely logical. If I had to say how will I address all these issues these are the three options that are open to the ministry but I am not privy to any such information and many of the clarifications which you mentioned, for example the CSR clarification, I believe or I can see that they were clearly in the works.

Chief Justice attacks govt on SC judge appointment row
Says Subramanium’s name was unilaterally segregated
Kavita Chowdhury | New Delhi
July 2, 2014 Last Updated at 00:57 IST
Breaking his silence on the controversy around former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium’s candidature for appointment as a Supreme Court judge, Chief Justice of India(CJI) R M Lodha on Tuesday criticised the Narendra Modigovernment for segregating Subramanium “unilaterally” without his “knowledge and consent”.

“The first thing I had taken objection to was the segregation of Gopal Subramanium’s file unilaterally by the executive. It is not proper,” Lodha said at a function to bid farewell to JusticeB S Chauhan, a Supreme Court judge who retired on Tuesday.

Lodha’s remarks came days after Subramanium went public with his attack of the government and the reasons for the objection to his name being proposed as a Supreme Court judge. The statement of the CJI, who also said “I will be the first person to leave this chair if the judiciary’s independence is compromised”, caused quite a stir on Tuesday.

The government’s critique for dropping Subramanium’s name from a list of four recommended for appointment as Supreme Court judges by a collegium seems to have added credence to the case of the senior lawyer, who had subsequently withdrawn his consent to be a Supreme Court judge.

Subramanium had also said he felt “let down by the judiciary” because it failed to back him and assert itself, even as the government overruled the collegium’s recommendation.

The CJI on Tuesday also tried to put to rest the speculation that the new government, as evident from this incident, was likely to interfere with the functioning of the judiciary. “I promise 1.2 billion people of India that the independence of the judiciary will never be compromised,” he said.

Lodha also expressed disappointment over Subramanium going public with his grievances at a time when he was abroad.

Subramaniam had met the CJI on Saturday to explain why he had withdrawn his consent to be appointed as a judge. The CJI also revealed that he had attempted to dissuade Subramanium but the former solicitor general refused to reconsider his decision. “On June 29, when he wrote a letter reiterating his position, I was left with no choice but to recall the proposal (recommending Subramanium’s name for appointment as a Supreme Court judge),” Lodha said.

The Modi government had drawn attack from all quarters for attempting to tarnish the reputation of a senior lawyer and block his appointment on specious grounds.

Subramanium had also expressed anguish over “planted leaks in the media” of reports that the Intelligence Bureau and the Central Bureau of Investigation had deemed him unsuitable. In fact, in a no-holds-barred letter to the CJI, he had alleged he was being targeted for his upright and honest handling of the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, in which Modi’s close aide Amit Shah was booked.

While Subramanium’s file was returned to the collegium, asking it to reconsider its decision, the names of the other three judges – chief justices of the Calcutta and Odisha high courts Arun Mishra and Adarsh Kumar Goyal, respectively, and senior advocate Rohinton Nariman – were forwarded to the President for his approval.

Credai may move CCI against cement price hike
The Chairman of the real estate developer’s apex body Credai, Lalit Kumar Jain, has expressed concern over the significant hike in cement prices as it would have an adverse effect on the real estate and infrastructure sectors, already reeling under a crisis due to high input costs.
Jain said Credai plans to file a complaint with CCI against the “illogical” price hike as this creates pressure on developers to increase the sale price of homes.
“Cement prices have increased from Rs 120 to Rs 320 over the past few years,” he said.
“Usually, the monsoon brings down the number of constructions, so prices slip. This helps to average out the yearly pricing parameter, which has been the norm. Therefore, the cement price hike is unjustified,” he said.
“The cost of inputs such as steel, labour and funding have been on the rise, contributing to the increased cost of homes and we are fighting against this trend,” Jain said.
(This article was published on July 2, 2014)

Free Pricing Of FDI: What It Means
The true ramifications of RBI announcement and its impact on deal activity in India
The RBI in its monetary policy dated 1 April 2014, announced that as regards foreign direct investment (FDI), it has been decided to withdraw all the existing guidelines relating to valuation in case of any acquisition/sale of shares and accordingly, such transactions will henceforth be based on acceptable market practices.

While the operating guidelines in respect of the above have not been notified as yet, the immediate reaction of the foreign investing community to this announcement has been very positive and they have been jubilant at the prospect of free pricing.

In this backdrop, it is important to understand the true ramifications of the announcement and what impact it would have on deal activity in India, going forward.

FDI in India has been regulated and has been subject to pricing norms. The thumb rule on pricing for foreign investors has been to invest at not less that the prescribed valuation price and to exit at not more than the prescribed valuation price. The principle being to conserve foreign exchange and to protect the Indian promoters from getting a raw deal.

Earlier, the valuation methodology prescribed was as per the Controller of Capital Issues (‘CCI’) method. The CCI method provided for an average of net asset value and profit earning capacity value. This method was essentially backward looking and was based on past performance of the company. In 2010, this was changed to valuation as per discounted cash flow (‘DCF’) method.

In the above context, what does the RBI announcement mean? Is there going to be absolute free pricing going forward? Ie will foreign investors be permitted to invest at below fair price and exit at a premium to fair price? Or does this just mean that while entry and exit need to be in accordance with the fair price, the valuation methodology will no longer be prescribed by the regulator and will have to be based on accepted market practice?

I would concur with the latter interpretation. In my view, the RBI is inclined to give a free hand to the market players to determine the valuation methodology; while having to meet the pricing guidelines. Given that we are still some way from full capital account convertibility, the overall pricing restrictions, to my mind, will continue.

Nonetheless, this is a welcome move to give a free hand to investors as regards choice of valuation methodology.

While transitioning from the archaic CCI method to DCF was a progressive move, one has to appreciate that DCF may not be the appropriate valuation method in all situations. Choice of an appropriate valuation method depends on the industry and the sector that the company belongs to and the stage at which the company is in its life cycle.

No valuation is “right” in any absolute sense. It is appropriate to use several scenarios about the future and even several valuation methods to arrive at the target’s value. Also, it may be more accurate to value the divisions or product lines of a target, than to value the whole company. Also, different valuation methods may be appropriate for different components of a company. It is not prudent to have a “one size fits all” approach as regards valuation. And it is best to leave the choice of valuation methodology to the professional valuers.

Clearly, this is a step in the right direction and will boost deal activity in India. It signals less regulatory interference and higher trust and faith in the investors and professional valuers, which is welcome. The investing community is eagerly waiting for the operating guidelines to be released and one hopes that the guidelines have a positive bent. It would be a further boost if RBI can apply the same logic of flexibility in valuation methodology in the case of put and call option as well, instead of tying it down to a regressive ROE based method.

Lastly, foreign investors are faced with the pricing issue on multiple fronts – Section 56 tax, transfer pricing, Companies Act, SEBI, exchange control and so on; and there is no consistency qua these myriad set of regulations as regards the valuation methodology. While RBI’s announcement is clearly a welcome move and does address one of the various moving parts of a deal; at some stage, all the regulators need to speak the same language and arrive at a common ground on valuation methodology.

To conclude, with this positive announcement, expectation is rife that the trend of liberalization will continue. Further policy reforms are expected as regards dispensing with the lock in and minimum capitalization requirement in real estate as also relaxing some of the sectoral caps that still prevail. Investors are looking for more…..

The article is authored by Punit Shah, Co Head of Tax, KPMG in India with inputs from Sheetal Nagle, Director- Tax, KPMG in India

Improper lower court order no ground for transfer of trial: SC
Submitted by IANS on 2 July 2014 – 10:04pm
New Delhi : The Supreme Court Wednesday said Syed Mohammad Ahmed Kazmi, accused in the Feb 13, 2012, blast in an Israeli embassy vehicle, could seek a video recording of the trial court proceedings if there was another instance of an alleged improper order being passed in the course of proceedings.
The apex court bench of Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh said this while maintaining that an improper or wrong order by a subordinate court can always be rectified but it cannot be a ground for seeking transfer of trial to another court.
The apex court bench said this as petitioner Kazmi sought the transfer of his trial to another special court as he alleged bias by the existing court.
“Sometimes the subordinate court may pass an improper or wrong order. It can be corrected but it cannot be a basis for seeking transfer of trial,” observed Justice Shiva Kirti Singh as Kazmi’s counsel Mahmood Pracha urged the court to shift the trial to another special court.
Counsel Pracha wondered where would he go if the judge of the special court was recording orders that were contrary to what had transpired in the court.
“Where is your right of transfer?” the apex court asked Pracha, and when he referred to the Code of Criminal Procedure, the court said: “They don’t confer any right to you.”
Pressing his plea for transfer of trial, Pracha said he was told by the trial court that his arguments spread over 10 minutes on an application seeking discharge in the case covered his submission on the point of charges also.
He wondered how could a 10-minute argument be sufficient to cover the point of charge in a 2,000-page chargesheet.
The court said if the petitioner Kazmi was faced with another instance of an alleged improper order by the trial court, he can then move the high court and even seek a video recording of the proceedings.
“Next time, go to the high court and seek video recording of the proceedings,” the apex court told Pracha.
Taking it as an impromptu opportunity, Pracha urged the court to pass an order to that effect, and said he would withdraw his petition.
As Pracha repeated his readiness to the court’s suggestion, the court adjourned the hearing till Thursday, seeking the Delhi government’s response to Kazmi’s plea for the transfer of trial.
Kazmi moved the apex court challenging the Delhi High Court order that the designated special court will hear Kazmi on the point of charge.
Kazmi was detained under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with the February 2012 blast in an Israeli embassy vehicle on the Aurangzeb Road-Race Course Road crossing.
The Israeli defence attache’s wife Tel Yehoshua Koren, who was in the car, was injured in the blast.
Kazmi was granted bail by the apex court Oct 19, 2012.

HC Quashes Circular Permitting English in Lower Court Orders
MADURAI | JUL 01, 2014
The Madras High Court bench here today set aside a 1994 high court circular which permitted lower courts to write judgements in either English or Tamil.

A division bench, comprising Justice V.Ramasubramanian and Justice V.M.Velumani, held the circular gave the impression that presiding officers of lower courts could permanently write their judgements in English, which was illegal.

The subordinate court judges and staff should learn Tamil if they did not know. The objective of the circular was to give time to Judges to learn the language. But they could not permanently write their orders in English, the bench said.

They said the Tamil Nadu Official Languages Act, 1956, was amended on November 12, 1976, and Sections 4-A and 4-B were introduced in it, thus declaring Tamil the language of all subordinate courts in the state for recording evidence as well as writing judgments, decrees and orders.

It was also against the Constitution as it had permitted the state government to have their official language. Tamil had been declared the official language of Tamil Nadu.

The Judges were allowing a petition filed by a third party to review a judgment passed by it on February 22, 2013, upholding the validity of the circular.

HC to hear plea to regulate alcohol de-addiction centres
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 2, 2014 Last Updated at 20:29 IST
The Delhi High Court today agreed to hear a plea seeking montoring and regulation of drug and alcoholic de-addiction and rehabilitation centres.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw while agreeing to hear the PIL also said it would appoint an amicus curie to asisst it.

“The issues raised in the petition require judicial examination,” it said.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by Rajiv Boolchand Jain, who himself claims to be an ex-alcoholic, seeking directions to lay down a “coherent policy and procedures” for the drug and alcoholic de-addiction and rehabilitation centres so that they are easily accessible to patients suffering from chronic addictions to narcotic substances and alcohol.

In his petition, he prayed that central government should immediately stop all grants under “Central Sector Scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse” as the NGOs are “misusing” these grants for personal gains.

“Many of them (NGOs) are controlled by friends and relatives of political stalwarts and bureaucrats in senior positions in the executive hierarchy,” he alleged in his petition.

He also sought directions to the Centre to establish a monitoring and regulatory agency for controlling privately-run alcohol and drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres and act as a supervisory, policy-making and facilitatory body with regard to treatment of alcohol and drug addicts and their rehabilitation.

He said “the Manual of Minimum Standards of Services” should be enforced strictly in a given time-frame to ensure effective implementation of minimum standards of care in alcohol and drug de-addiction centres by states and union territories.

“State governments, despite having monitoring powers as per “Central Sector Scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse”, do not undertake any physical inspections of alcohol and drug de-addiction centres and only recommend cases for grants-in-aid sitting on their desks,” the petitioner said.

HC stays BIS Act clause on impure gold sale
Press Trust of India | Chennai
Madras High Court today stayed the operation of a new clause in the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, according to which jewellers are responsible for purity of hallmarked gold jewellery and that they are liable to pay compensation for impure gold.

Justice B Rajendran granted the stay on a writ petition filed by the Coimbatore Jewellery Manufacturers Association, which challenged the new policy of the BIS, holding jewellery traders and outlets responsible for the purity of hallmarked gold ornaments.

A L Somayaji, senior counsel appearing for the association, said traders could not be held accountable for the purity and quality of the jewellery they sell and the responsibility vested with manufacturers and hallmarking centres to ensure the purity.

On May 1, 2014, BIS came out with the Policy of Licensing of Jewellers and said jewelers were “fully responsible” for the declared fineness of hallmarked jewellery/artefacts sold by them.

Besides asking them to redress complaints of substandard quality of gold, BIS said guilty jewelers must pay compensation to the buyer.

Assailing this clause and blaming manufacturers and hallmarking centres for impure gold jewellery masquerading as pure 916-grade gold, Association’s President B Muthuvenkatram said, “Even jewellery having purity content of 78 per cent or 85 per cent are simply hallmarked as 916 in the jewellery and sometimes even 1 gm gold jewellery is also hallmarked as 916. There is no guarantee that all the jewellery which is sent for hallmarking contains same purity.”

Instead of reining in the manufacturers who violate BIS rules, the central agency issues warning notice of cancelling the BIS licence given to jewelers in case an impure gold jewellery is found at the trading outlets, the petition said.

“Hallmarking centres are doing unhealthy practice by not adhering to the BIS rules and regulations, and are hallmarking the jewellery for Rs 8 to Rs 10 per piece,” it said.

Calling for fool-proof hallmarking procedures to save innocent jewelers and consumers, petitioner said, “Nowadays, a lot of iridium and osmium metals are mixed in jewellery manufacturing. Most of the jewellers are not aware of this, and they are dependent upon only hallmarking centres to help them out. When hallmarking centres do not conduct proper test, there is no safety for the jewelers.”

The XRF machines test only one place in the jewellery, and hence iridium and osmium adulteration would go undetected if the metals were not mixed at the particular point in the jewellery which is scanned by the machine, the petition said.

“Jewellers, who are merely traders, cannot be held responsible for any defect or adulteration, especially when jewelleries were given hallmark by BIS-licensed hallmark agents after verifying the quality and weight of the gold,” the petition said.

HC quashes two criminal cases against head of Jacobite church
TNN | Jul 3, 2014, 01.36 AM IST
KOCHI: The Kerala high court has quashed two criminal cases registered against Catholicos Baselios Thomas I, the regional head of Jacobite Syrian Church, alleging misappropriation of the church’s assets and funds.

Cases were registered against the head of the church on the basis of private complaints filed by Paul Varghese and Manoj Kokkott before Kolenchery judicial first class magistrate court.

Considering a petition filed by the church’s head, Justice P D Rajan held that the two cases are not legally sustainable and continuation of proceedings would amount to abuse of process of the court. It was alleged in the private complaints that the Catholicos had misappropriated the church’s funds and bought a Mercedes Benz worth Rs 80 lakh. Assets of the church were misappropriated by the Catholicos to buy three cars and for other personal purposes, the petitioners had alleged before the magistrate court.

In the petition filed to the high court, the Catholicos contended that he didn’t misappropriate the church’s assets or funds. He informed the court that the Benz was bought after taking a loan of Rs 50 lakh from Federal Bank’s Puthencruz branch and using Rs 35 lakh received from selling the earlier car. The complainants were banned from the church and the cases were filed with the intent to defame him owing to enmity from their ousting, the Catholicos told the court.

Quashing the cases against the Catholicos, the court held that the complainants are only raising allegations of misuse and misappropriation of funds, but they have not been able to provide any clear evidence to substantiate the allegations. They haven’t been able to prove that the Catholicos used the church’s assets, which are officially in his name, for personal purposes. In such circumstances, the criminal cases registered against the Catholicos are not sustainable, the court ruled.

Cases were registered against the head of the church on the basis of private complaints filed by Paul Varghese and Manoj Kokkott before Kolenchery judicial first class magistrate court.

Considering a petition filed by the church’s head, justice PD Rajan held that the two cases are not legally sustainable and continuation of proceedings would amount to abuse of process of the court.

It was alleged in the private complaints that the church head misappropriated church’s funds and bought a Mercedes Benz car worth Rs 80 lakh. Assets of the church were misappropriated by the Catholicos to buy three cars and for other personal purposes, the petitioners had alleged before the magistrate court.

In the petition filed to the high court, the Catholicos contended that he didn’t misappropriate the church’s assets or funds. He informed the court that the Benz car was bought using a loan obtained for Rs50 lakh from Federal Bank’s Puthencruz branch and from the Rs 35 lakh received from selling the earlier car.

The petitioners before the lower court were banned from the church and the complaints were filed with the aim of defaming him owing to enmity from their ousting, the Catholicos told the court.

Quashing the cases against the Catholicos, the court held that the complainants have not been able to provide any clear evidence and they are only raising allegations of misuse of funds and misappropriation. They haven’t been able to prove that the church’s head used the church’s assets, which are officially in his name, for personal purposes, the court held. In such circumstances, the criminal cases registered against the Catholicos are not sustainable, the court ruled.

HC allows govt doc to retire, as gen med not rare specialty
TNN | Jul 3, 2014, 03.43 AM IST
CHENNAI: Holding that general medicine is neither a scarce category nor a rare specialty, the Madras high court has ordered the health department to grant voluntary retirement to a senior assistant surgeon in general medicine.

Justice D Hariparanthaman, allowing the plea of Dr Muthusamy recently, said: “No prudent person can say that general medicine is a scarce category. I am doubtful whether it is a rare specialty as well.” The doctor’s VRS request was turned down by the government on the ground that general medicine was a scarce category.

Dr Muthusamy joined the public health services in 1991 as assistant surgeon. After completing 20 years in service which is the minimum required period for seeking voluntary retirement, he applied for VRS in April 2012. Before the end of the three-month notice period, his request was rejected on the ground that general medicine was one of rare specialties, as per a government order issued in December 2009.

Justice Hariparanthaman pointed out that the fundamental rule dealing with voluntary retirement had only one condition: The government servant seeking VRS must have attained 50 years of age or he must have completed 20 years of qualifying service. Noting that an eligible government servant has a right to seek voluntary retirement, the judge quashed the rejection order dated and directed the authorities to pass appropriate orders within two weeks.

HC quashes plaint against taxidermist’s ‘adopted son’
The High Court of Karnataka on Thursday ordered a probe by the CID against a former DCP and a police inspector to inquire whether they falsely implicated Michael Floyd Eshwar, ‘adopted son’ of noted taxidermist the late Edward Joubert Van Ingen. Justice S.N. Satyanarayana passed the order, while allowing a petition filed by Mr. Eshwar, questioning the criminal case booked against him by the Nazarbad police in Mysore based on a complaint that he grabbed assets worth several hundred crores belonging to Ingen. The CID probe will be carried out against the former DCP Basavraj S. Malagathi and the then police inspector of Nazarbad police station G.N. Mohan. The court quashed the FIR though State Public Prosecutor M. Narayana Reddy said the criminal case could be transferred to the CID even though the police officers were no longer handling the probe, which was stayed by the court last year. However, the court held that the complaint, said to be given by Ingen, appeared to be a “concocted one” as it was registered as a FIR on March 11, 2013 though it was received on March 2. Ingen died on March 12, the day the police transferred the FIR to the magistrate’s court in Mysore.
Meanwhile, the court directed the police and the 3rd JMFC court in Mysore to release before noon on June 21, the movable assets seized from Mr. Eshwar.

HC directs AGI to depute officer for assistance
Wular conservation
Srinagar, July 2: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Wednesday directed the Attorney General of India to depute an officer to assist it in proper utilization of funds for conservation of Wular—one of the largest freshwater lakes in north Kashmir’s Bandipora, over 60 kms from here.
“We request the Attorney General of India to depute an officer not below the status of Additional Solicitor General (ASG) to assist this court so that concrete results vis-à-vis spending amounts released by the central and state agencies for Wullar conservation be utilized in proper directions,” a division bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice HasnainMassodi said in its order on a Public Interest Litigation on preservation of Wular lake.
The bench said the paper book along with all orders of this case may be sent to the AG so that the court is assisted on the next date of hearing.
Meanwhile, the Court had asked the department of Environment at the central government through the National River Conservation and Management Authority that in keeping with the directions on August 26 and September 11, 2013, depute an expert to oversee the implementation process after examining the action plan with regard to the conservation and preservation of Wular Lake.
Observing that Wular lake is one of the largest fresh water lakes of Asia and pristine beauty of Dal lake in Srinagar has also been highlighted the world over, the division bench said huge funds being earmarked for saving these lakes could be utilized properly only if some experts are provided to the local scientists.
“The last order is a tell tale story of adhoc expenditure which would not lead to any enduring results,” the court observed. “We sadly feel for the last many years the funds have been spent on various water bodies but the magnitude of results is not matching the funds spent and much more could be easily achieved by close monitoring by the experts,” the court said.
Meanwhile the division bench directed the Chief Executive Director, Wular Lake Conservation and Management Authority to file a fresh compliance report after the Amicus Curie Z A Shah pleaded that the report was not explicitly clear over certain figures.
“There are no details forthcoming on how the surveyor demarcation has been implemented on ground. Z A Shah who is present in the court has tried to explain the implementation process orally. However it would be appropriate to direct that the details of implementation of various projects under the four heads be explained by filing a detailed affidavit,” the court said

HC annuls court martial 20 years after conviction
Bhartesh Singh Thakur , Hindustan Times Chandigarh, July 02, 2014
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday set aside a court martial of an Army Captain after a gap of over 20 years in a case of murder.
A General Court Martial(GCM) trial was conducted which had dismissed Captain Parbinder Singh Gill from the service and sentenced him to life imprisonmenton November 3, 1993,for murder of a Yamunanagar resident, Varjinder Kumar. Captain Gill was commissioned in 1982 in 63 Cavalry of the Indian Army. While being posted at Ambala, he was detailed for certain internal duties in OperationR akshak- II in Punjab.
The allegations were that while on mobile military check post, Captain Gill abducted Varjinder and voluntarily committed theft of Rs. 32,200. It was further alleged that Gill, along with his accomplice, extorted money from Varjinder and caused death on March 3, 1993. However, the ‘body’ of Varjinder could not be recovered.
The high court, however, found several irregularities in the conduct of the trial by the GCM. It questioned the authenticity of the confessions allegedly made by Gill before his commanding officer. The original confession statement was neither ever placed on record no rany evidence wasled to establish that such a confession was actually made.
The court said that the GCM convening order on the face of it nowhere reflects under what warrants or authorisation Brig AS Bal, commanding officer, is signing as a convening authority — a serious illegality which nips the proceedings in its bud. Gill’s counsel Arun Singla had pointed out an element of bias where he produced a copy of an English magazine wherein the then general officer commanading, Lt Gen BC Joshi, issued a statement that Gill shall be exemplarily punished.
On this, the court said that it suggested inherent official bias of the authorities. The court further observed that the GCM trial proceedings were a case of denial of fair and reasonable opportunity to the defence to cross examine the witnesses of the prosecution in respect of their previous stand during the investigation by way of court of inquiry and which has seriously prejudiced the case of the Captain as well

Bombay high court tells railways: Raise height of platforms by March 31, 2015
Rosy Sequeira,TNN | Jul 2, 2014, 11.58 PM IST
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Wednesday took the railways to task for giving the excuse of lack of funds for the delay in raising the height of platforms in Mumbai, saying the safety of 70 lakh commuters was involved. It set a March 31, 2015 deadline for raising the height to 920mm.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sonak heard a suo motu PIL, converted in January out of TOI’s reports of commuters Monica More and Tanvir Sheikh losing limbs after falling into the gap between trains and platforms.

The railways’ advocate, Suresh Kumar, said work on increasing the height of 134 platforms on Western Railway, at an estimated cost of Rs 46.9 crore, and Central Railway’s 24 platforms at Rs 16 crore, will be completed three years after the sanction of funds. CR and WR, in their affidavits, cited acute fund constraints and urged that the state government be advised to bear part of the expenses.

Observing that the work has to be carried out with priority, the judges, in their order, said it was “shocking” that the railways should take three years to complete the work due to lack of funds. “Looking to the fact that suburban trains are being used by 70 lakh people in Mumbai daily, and that it is the lifeline of such a large population in the commercial capital of India, the railways cannot be allowed to give the excuse of lack of funds when the safety of lakhs of people is involved,” they said.

The judges said the question was of fundamental rights of such a large number of commuters who use trains for daily commute to work. “Ignoring their safety is nothing but gross violation of fundamental rights under Article 21 (Right to life) of the Constitution,” they said, and directed the platforms to be raised by March 31, 2015. The judges also wanted to know by when old rakes would be phased out.

They issued a notice to the state government on CR’s request to declare 14 open spaces near railways stations as helipads and to use air force helicopters to lift the injured to hospital. They directed WR and CR to reply what they had done with Rs 1,253 crore collected between 2001-12 as safety surcharge. “You are answerable to passengers,” said Justice Shah.

The judges posted the next hearing on August 7.

HC rejects plea for permanent job of Railway warehouse workers
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 2, 2014 Last Updated at 21:28 IST
The Delhi High Court today rejected a PIL seeking absorption of contractual Railway warehouse workers as permanent employees of Railways or FCI, saying the loading of freight is the responsibility of the consignor and the consignee.

“It is not the case of the petitioner (Akhil Bhartiya Railway Mal Godam Mazdoor Kalyan Sanstha) here that the contractors/sub-contractors who hired the services of the members of the petitioner are so contracted by the respondent Railways,” a bench comprising Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw said.

“On the contrary, from the documents filed by the respondent Railways before this court, it is clear that as far as loading of freight is concerned, the same is not the responsibility of the Railways but of the consignor/consignee. No such relief of absorption in the respondent Railways is made out,” the bench said.

It said that the workers have failed to make out any case for their absorption with the Railways or the FCI.

Justice Endlaw, writing the judgement for the bench, also dealt with other plea of the workers seeking a direction to Railways to provide basic amenities to them at work place.

“From the counter affidavits filed and the material placed on record, we are satisfied that the basic amenities for the Railway Mal Godam/Warehouse workers exist and directions in that regard have already been issued,” the bench said.

“We, however, still direct that if the amenities which the respondent Railways has already directed to be provided for railway Mal Godam/Warehouse workers are not being provided at any place, the concerned officer of the Railways shall, immediately upon the deficiency if any being brought to his/ her notice, remedy the same,” it said.

Securities Appellate Tribunal asks Sebi to pass fresh order on Splash Media & Infra
By PTI | 2 Jul, 2014, 05.28PM IST
MUMBAI: Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) today set aside Sebi order against Splash MediaBSE 1.38 % & Infra and has asked the market regulator to pass a fresh ruling in the case related to violation of disclosure norms.

In March, Splash Media & Infra was imposed with a penalty of Rs 15 lakh by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for violating various provisions of the disclosure norms. According to Sebi, the firm had failed to make disclosures within a stipulatd time given under the norms.

The company had filed an appeal with SAT against the order by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

In its order today, SAT said “we set aside the adjudication order dated March 25, 2014 and restore the matter for fresh decision on merits and in accordance with law after considering the submissions made by appellant”.

SAT observed that each regulation with respect to failure to make disclosure attracts an independent penalty.

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