LEGAL NEWS 14.05.2012

RTE is for the poor, but many parents still unaware of act

Pavan M V, TNN | May 14, 2012, 07.13AM IST

Mysore: Though Right to Education (RTE) Act might turn to be helpful for people from the economically weaker section as their children will be entitled to free education from Class I to VIII, many poor people are still unaware of the act.

Lakshmama, 45, wife of Chikkanna, wants to provide education to her six-year-old daughter Bhavani but due to poverty she has been struggling to get admission in a good school. When TOI visited her house, situated at Medhar Block (a slum) in Bamboo Bazaar, Lakshmama said she don’t know anything about RTE. When she was informed about facilities available under RTE quota she was extremely happy and she said, “No one informed me about this act and if some officers or some teachers tell me how to get admission in a private school through RTE quota it would be very useful.”

Lakshmama says she wants to educate her daughter so that she can get a dignified job. “My husband is a labourer and I am a heart patient. We know what poverty is and I don’t want my daughter to become a labourer like us.” “But why isn’t the government informing the poor if they have introduced the RTE quota?” Lakshmama wondered.

Mala, a homemaker, finds it tough to get both her sons admitted in a good school. She said, “I’m residing in Bangalore with my labourer husband. I had to let my son live with my parents in Mysore since I cannot afford education for both of them in Bangalore.”

She said her parents will be taking care of her eight-year-old-son Harsha in Mysore. When asked about RTE, she said she had no clue about it. “In the past few days I visited four private schools in the city to get my son Harsha admitted, but none of the schools informed me about RTE. All they did was demand an admission fee of Rs 8, 000,” said Mala.

Deputy director of public instructions department BK Basavaraju said schools have to provide 25% admissions under RTE quota. An awareness programme about RTE has already been conducted across the district for teachers. “The department is planning to conduct an awareness programme for the public soon,” he said.

NGO Rural Literacy and Health Programme (RLHP) conducting street plays in different rural areas of the district, creating awareness about RTE. RLHP founder Joy Maliekal said, “Since May 25 is the last date to apply for admissions in schools under RTE quota, RLHP will conduct door-to-door campaign to create awareness as many poor people are unaware about the act.”

RLHP has organized a seminar on RTE Act at Govardhan Hotel on Monday at 11am. Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights member Niranjan Aradhya will speak about the act.






Election Commission reprieve for Chandrababu Naidu

TNN | May 14, 2012, 02.02AM IST

HYDERABAD: Chandrababu Naidu earned a reprieve from Election Commission when it concluded that the TDP president was not guilty of violating the model code of conduct for his remarks on Kadapa MP Jaganmohan Reddy’s visit to Tirumala temple. Chief electoral officer Bhanwarlal said that criticising Jagan for entering the Lord Venkateswara temple without signing the declaration of faith was not tantamount to a violation of the model code. The CEO said that he had reviewed recordings of Naidu’s statement but had found the charges of violation to be without any substance.

Bhanwarlal, however, said that reports of Congress MP Chinta Mohan canvassing inside the TTD administrative building in Tirupati and of TDP leader Chadalavada Krishna Murthy holding a poll meeting at a church have been sent to EC. He said that a report was till awaited on roads and buildings minister Dharmana Prasad Rao’s alleged statement describing Sonia Gandhi as a bigger Christian than Jagan, a remark which had created a flutter in political circles.

Bhanwarlal said that he would review a report on chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy’s comment that voting for any party but the Congress in the temple town of Tirupati would be an unholy act.








Mohanty commission visits Pipili ‘rape’ victim’s village

TNN | May 14, 2012, 04.14AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: The Justice P K Mohanty Commission, which is probing the alleged rape of a dalit girl in Pipili last year, visited the victim’s village, Arjungoda, on Sunday.

Accompanied by Puri SP Anup Sahu, some lawyers and police officers of state crime branch, Justice Mohanty visited the spot where the alleged crime took place on November 29 and interacted with local people.

“We came to see the spot so that when we get evidence and statements we could visualise what happened,” Justice Mohanty told media persons.

This came over a month after the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) recommended arrest of Pipili legislator Pradeep Maharathy and certain police officers and doctors for allegedly playing foul. Chairman of NCSC P L Punia, who visited Odisha in the first week of March, had taken strong exception to the manner in which doctors and police handled the case and said the doctors involved, then inspector-in-charge, Pipili police station, Amulya Champatiray, and ex-minister Maharathy should be arrested. “Police cases should incorporate them as accused,” Punia had said in a report.

The state government has dismissed Champatiray from service, while initiating action against some doctors. Maharathy resigned as agriculture minister on January 19 following allegations that he harboured the accused. He has denied any role in the incident.

The victim continues to be in coma since the alleged incident took place. She was re-admitted at SCB in January following widespread public outcry, which forced police to register a rape case on January 9. The crime branch of police, which had arrested four accused in January, has said in its chargesheet the 19-year-old was a victim of attempt to murder but there was no evidence of rape.









State Election Commission fixes amount to be spent on canvassing

TNN | May 14, 2012, 06.34AM IST

KANPUR: The State Election Commission has fixed the amount that one can spend on canvassing for the post of mayor and a corporator. This time, there would be no extra force from other states and the responsibility of conducting elections would rest with the Uttar Pradesh Police.

The candidates contesting elections to be mayor in the nagar nigams having 80 or more wards can spend upto Rs 12.50 lakh on campaigning. In nagar nigams with less than 80 wards, the mayoral candidates can spend not more than Rs 10 lakh. The candidates who wish to contest for the post of corporator in nagar nigams with less than 80 wards cannot spend more than Rs 1 lakh.

Similarly, for palika parishads and nagar panchayats, the commission has fixed the amount one can spend on contesting elections for the post of president of palika parishad and president of nagar panchayat. For these two positions, the candidates can spend upto Rs 4 lakh and Rs 1 lakh respectively. The candidates who would contest election for becoming the member in either palika parishad or nagar panchayat can spend upto Rs 40,000 and Rs 20,000 respectively on campaigning.

Electronic voting machines would be used during the civic elections. In palika parishads and nagar panchayats, votes would be cast through ballot. On the day of polling, only voters would be allowed to ride their vehicles close to the polling booths. The available police force in the state and PAC would be deployed in and around the polling centres.

The State Election Commission had directed that video and digital cameras be placed at sensitive polling centres. Videography at such centres can also be done. The district administration is making preparations in this regard.

It is expected that in the first week of June, the election dates would be declared. State Election Commissioner SK Agarwal had instructed the authorities of Kanpur and Jhansi divisions to cautiously identify the highly sensitive and sensitive booths.






Jagan assets case: CBI team in Kurnool

TNN | May 14, 2012, 01.30AM IST

HYDERABAD: A two-member CBI team is in Kurnool to serve the summons to YSR Congress president Jaganmohan Reddy to appear before the trial court at Nampally on May 28 in the assets case that is being probed by the investigation agency.

As per the summons, Jagan and the 12 other accused in the case have to appear before principal special judge at 10 am on the appointed day. “The two CBI officials have been instructed to personally serve the summons to Jagan. They are not to hand it over to any of his aides. And if he chooses to refuse to accept, he should give the same in writing,” a CBI official told TOI on Sunday.

The CBI team left Hyderabad by road on Saturday and has reached Kurnool, sources said. On Sunday, the YSR Congress chief addressed election meetings in Nandavaram under Yemmiganur constituency which is one of the 18 assembly seats where bypolls are scheduled to be held on June 12. Jagan was due to halt for the night at Yerrakota at a friend’s guest house and tour Gonagandla and other mandals in Yemmiganur.

In his meetings, Jagan has been alleging that the CBI case against him is a political witchhunt and that it is a result of match-fixing between the ruling Congress and the opposition TDP. However, the YSR Congress leader has said that he would appear before the CBI court on May 28 as per the summons served on him.

According to the CBI sources, all the 13 accused including Jagan would be served the summons by Monday. The summons were served after the CBI court took cognizance of the first chargesheet filed in the assets case by the investigation agency on March 31 this year. Jagan is accused number one in the case.








Aarushi murder case: Nupur Talwar’s judicial custody extended by two days

TNN | May 14, 2012, 09.52AM IST

GHAZIABAD: A sessions court on Monday extended the judicial custody of Nupur Talwar by two days in the twin murder case of her daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj.

The court is also likely to give its order on the plea of dentist couple Nupur and Rajesh Talwar for providing them all the CBI documents pertaining to the case.

Additional district and sessions judge Shayam Lal had during the first hearing of the case on May 11 reserved its order on the Talwars’ plea as their counsel complained deficiency in case-related documents provided to them by the investigating agency.

CBI counsel R K Saini had told the court that the agency had provided all relevant documents to them and has withheld only those on which it is not relying for the couple’s prosecution.

The judge first orally asked the CBI to give all the documents to the Talwars “for the sake of justice”.

Later, he fixed May 14 as the next date of hearing of the case to give a formal order on the plea after the couple gave an application to the court seeking the documents.

In their plea, the Talwars had said the CBI had not provided them with all the documents related to the case, including the report prepared by the first investigation officer, Dataram Nauneria of Uttar Pradesh Police, and their telephone call records.

The CBI stoutly opposed Talwars’ plea for more documents. Special judicial magistrate Preeti Singh on May 9 had sent the case for sessions trial, rejecting a plea by the couple that the case cannot be put to trial as they have not been supplied all the prosecution documents.

Transferring the case, the magistrate had said she did not have the requisite power under the criminal procedure code to hold the trial of a murder case which can only be tried by a sessions court.

-with inputs from PTI








23 tax tribunal members under CBI scanner for ‘fixing’ verdicts

Ritu Sarin : New Delhi, Mon May 14 2012, 02:09 hrs

An estimated 69 orders passed by as many as 23 members of various benches of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) are now the subject matter of an unprecedented nationwide inquiry for alleged corruption by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The ITAT, a quasi-judicial body, is the highest income tax appellate authority. Its bench usually has two members — a judicial and an accountant member — who are selected by a board chaired by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court.

All orders under the scanner are alleged to have been issued in “collusion” with chartered accountancy firm S K Tulsiyan and Co. It was in 2008 that the CBI had first registered a case against Jugal Kishore, an ITAT member from Kolkata, for allegedly receiving a bribe from the bosses of S K Tulsiyan and Co., for delivering “pre-decided’’ judgments. The CBI recovered Rs 28 lakh from Kishore’s residence.

After a three-year-long investigation, the CBI identified at least 69 judgments where it said S K Tulsiyan & Co. not only had prior knowledge of these orders but in many cases is suspected to have written them as well.

The most glaring case is that of the tribunal’s Kolkata bench — as many as 12 of its orders were recovered from Tulsiyan’s hard discs before these were delivered, the CBI has alleged.

The Law Ministry has granted sanction to register Preliminary Enquiries (PEs) against 15 ITAT members and four officials of the Income Tax Department.

Ten ITAT members are working in the Kolkata bench; others are from the benches in Mumbai, Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Patna and Hyderabad. The officers under probe are either judicial members or accountant members.

The sanctions were received by the CBI after a long delay and reportedly after the Law Ministry sought the opinion of Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati. The CBI had already registered three PEs against eight other ITAT members, of the Kolkata and Guwahati benches. These eight ITAT members had retired and, therefore, no sanction for registering PEs was required in their case.








AMC misses SC deadline for night shelters in city

Tanvir A Siddiqui : Ahmedabad, Mon May 14 2012, 05:37 hrs

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has missed the Supreme Court’s March 31 deadline for commissioning 46 night shelters (Rainn Basera) in the city in various areas to facilitate night stay for migrant labourers and workers. Of these shelters, the civic administration has been able to commission only 11 which are being run by five voluntary organisations.

The ones which are functioning are located in the following wards: Jamalpur, Girdharnagar, Dudheshwar, Madhupura, Navrangpura, Ambawadi, Old Vadaj, Stadium, Bhaipura, Odhav and Saraspur.

Municipal Commissioner G P Mohapatra said a hunt was going on for voluntary organisations willing to run these shelters. “These shelters will have to be run by voluntary organisations because this is not our job to run such things,” he said.

Standing committee chairman Bhupendra Patel said he was optimistic that the remaining of the shelters would be ready soon. Each shelter was built to house around 40 people including 20 women, he added.

The shelters will have water tanks, bathrooms, fans, tube lights and the AMC will pay Rs 40 per occupant to the voluntary body. A policeman and caretaker will be provided at the shelters, said an official.







Non-biased justice delivery system bedrock of good governance: SC

New Delhi, May 13, 2012

Non-biased justice delivery system is the bedrock of good governance and is a pillar on which democratic structure survives, the Supreme Court has said.

“It is not to be forgotten that in a democratic polity, justice in its conceptual eventuality and inherent quintessentiality in essence forms the bedrock of good governance.

“In a democratic system that is governed by rule of law, fairness of action, propriety, reasonability, institutional impeccability and non-biased justice delivery system constitute the pillars on which its survival remains in continuum,” a bench of justice P Sathasivam and justice Dipak Misra said.

The apex court’s observation came while dismissing an appeal filed by an ex-army officer Chandra Kumar Chopra challenging his conviction and six months rigorous imprisonment for financial irregularity in claiming transportation bill reimbursement.

The bench dismissed his plea that he was not given fair hearing in court martial by the Army.

“Mere suspicion or apprehension is not good enough to entertain a plea of bias. It cannot be a facet of one’s imagination. It must be in accord with the prudence of a reasonable man.

“The circumstances brought on record would show that it can create an impression in the mind of a reasonable man that there is real likelihood of bias,” the bench said.

It said that considering the rank of the officer, who was a Major, the punishment of six month of imprisonment is not harsh.

“Irreproachable conduct, restrained attitude, understanding of responsibility and adherence to discipline” were expected of him, the bench said.

It said, “The proven charges luminously project that the said aspects have been given a total go by. In this backdrop, it is well nigh impossible to hold that the punishment was harsh or arbitrary.”









Dera head case judgment deferred to May 28

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Karnal , May 13, 2012

A Karnal court has again deferred to May 28 the judgment in the four-year-old case in which an attempt was made to on the life of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
Earlier, the judgment was expected on April 28 but was deferred to May 12. Alleged Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) activist Bakhshish Singh is among eight persons, including a woman, who are accused in the case.

Meanwhile, aprehending law and order trouble after the judgment, the district authorities had deployed a posse of police around the district court complex on Saturday.

Policemen had also surrounded the mini secretariat and maintained a strict vigil on those moving around the campus.
The controversial head of the Sirsa-based dera had escaped unhurt after his convoy was targeted with a powerful blast on the GT Road near Nilokheri on February 2, 2008.
The incident had led violence in various parts of Haryana.










Social justice, terrorism biggest challenges: Arun Jaitley

TNN | May 14, 2012, 03.02AM IST

NEW DELHI: Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley described social justice and terrorism as the two biggest challenges being faced by Indian democracy as Parliament celebrated its 60th anniversary. Speaking just after PM Manmohan Singh to mark the anniversary, Jaitley said it was important to ensure there was no politics involved in handling these issues.

“Social justice, elimination of poverty, healthcare, women’s empowerment, these are all greater challenges in the decades to come,” he said. “We still continue to face the curse of terrorism and insurgency. Let us resolve there will be no politics in these issues. We will not only eliminate but sense will be that those who rebel outside the system one day, we will get them within the system,” he added.

He also paid tribute to security officials who lost their lives in the attack on Parliament in December 2001. Jaitley started his speech by paying tribute to oldest surviving parliamentarian Rishang Keishing, a member of the first Lok Sabha, who was present in the House. Unlike Jaitley, Singh failed to mention Keishing in his speech even though the former Manipur CM is a Congress MP.









No recognition of medical courses after July 15: SC

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 13, 2012

The Supreme Court has fixed a deadline for medical and dental councils to grant recognition and approval for new courses.
A bench of justice AK Patnaik and justice Swatanter Kumar said: “The commencement of new courses or increase in seats of existing courses of MBBS/BDS are to be approved/recognised by the Government of India by 15th July of each calendar year for the relevant academic sessions of that year.”

“After 15th July of each year, neither the Union of India nor the Medical or Dental Council of India shall issue any recognition or approval for the current academic year. If any such approval is granted after 15th July of any year, it shall only be operative for the next academic year and not in the current academic year,” it ordered.

The court also clarified that if any college getting recognition after the fixed deadline admits students, it will stand liable for withdrawal of its recognition.

The bench further warned that violation of its orders would invite both contempt proceedings and initiation of department action against the violators. The directions were issued by the court initiated contempt proceedings against six officials in connection with the admission granted to two girls —Akansha Adile and Priya Gupta — in the MBBS course for the academic year 2006-07 in the Government NMDC Medical College, Jagdalpur in Chandigarh, on September 30, after overlooking the claims of several other meritorious students and the time schedule.

Contempt proceedings were initiated against the director general, Directorate of Health Services; SL Adile, director of Medical Education; the dean of Jagdalpur College; and MS Banjan, PD Agarwal and Padmakar Sasane, members of the selection committee. Akansha is the daughter of SL Adile.










Omkareshwar: SC rejects NBA’s review plea

Express news service : New Delhi, Mon May 14 2012, 01:07 hrs

A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on May 3 dismissed petitions filed by Medha Patkar-led Narmada Bachao Andolan to review an apex court judgment and expunge adverse remarks made against the organisation in connection with the issue of land acquisition for Omkareshwar dam project in Madhya Pradesh.

A Bench of Justices R M Lodha, Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan observed in its order that they had decided to dismiss the review petition filed by the NBA against its May 11, 2011 judgment after careful consideration of the available material.

“The judgment does not suffer from any mistake apparent on the face of the record warranting any review,” the Bench said in its short order.

Disallowing the NBA’s plea against the September 29, 2011 order, the Bench passed a similar order. “We have carefully considered the review petitions and the available material. No ground is made out for the review of the said order,” it said.

The NGO had sought review of the verdict by which the apex court had quashed the February 21, 2008 order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court treating every major member of a family as a separate unit allotment of land for rehabilitation.

The apex court which had examined the NBA’s applications for expunging the remarks, had disposed them by modifying its observations in the September 29 order.

“We reach the inescapable conclusion that the NBA has not acted with a sense of responsibility and not taken appropriate pleadings as required in law. However, in a PIL, the court has to strike a balance between the interests of the parties. The court has to take into consideration the pitiable condition of oustees, their poverty, inarticulateness, illiteracy, extent of backwardness, unawareness also,” the court had said.

“It is desirable that in future, the court must view presentation of any matter by NBA with caution, insisting on proper pleadings, disclosure of full facts truly and fairly and an affidavit of some responsible person in support of facts contained therein,” it had said.







Bill to raise age for consensual sex regressive: Court

Express news service : New Delhi, Mon May 14 2012, 01:32 hrs

A Delhi court has termed a draft law proposed last month to raise the age of consent for sex from 16 years to 18 as “regressive and draconian”.

The court said in view of changing social attitude and sensibilities, exceptions should be made while deciding the age of consent for sex, as in rural parts of the country marriages are solemnised at an early age.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau made the observations while referring to the “conditions in western countries” where there are adequate safeguards for protection against sexual offences.

“In the absence of such a safeguard, the proposed increase in the age of consent would become regressive and draconian as it tends to criminalise teenage/adolescent sex. The need is to correct this behaviour and not punish it,” the judge said.

The court’s observations came while acquitting a youth of charges of kidnapping and raping a seventeen-and-a-half-year-old girl, whom he married and now has a child with.

The court referred to the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Bill approved last month, which provides that no person below the age of 18 will have the legal capability to give consent for any sexual activity and the bill makes sex under the age of 18, even if consensual, to be deemed as statutory rape.

The court acquitted Ghaziabad resident of kidnapping and raping a Delhi-based girl after considering that they were in love and had eloped and married as their families were against the relationship.

“Both the girl and the boy being happily married with a child, any hyper-technical view would be devastating for the young couple. I hold the charges against Ajay do not stand established and I acquit him for the same,” the ASJ said.

“Exceptions and allowances have to be made while considering the age of consent/protection keeping in view the changing social attitudes and social sensibilities and the situation in rural India where early marriage is a norm and acceptable in diverse cultures and religions, particularly where the age gap between the youngsters are within acceptable limits and no exploitative coercive situation is reflected,” ASJ Lau said.

Referring to the case, the court noted the girl had told the magistrate, who recorded her statement, that she had voluntarily gone with Ajay after telling her parents and then married him on November 6 last year.

The judge said it was clear from the evidence that the case was registered by the girl’s brother as the family was against the couple’s relationship but later they accepted their marriage and even performed formal ceremonies as per the Hindu rites.

“The girl is happily residing at her matrimonial house along with her husband Ajay and child,” ASJ Lau said.








DoPT ignores SC order to clear officers’ prosecution

Shyamlal Yadav : New Delhi, Mon May 14 2012, 01:19 hrs

While a Supreme Court order in January said the government has to give sanction to prosecute a corrupt minister or a public servant within four months of a request in this regard, data obtained by The Indian Express through RTI reveals that such clearance has not come through in cases even two years after it was first sought.

Last week, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issued instructions to various departments to follow the deadline for sanction of prosecution.

In case prosecution sanction is to be denied, the DoPT said, departments must submit “copies of orders refusing sanction to prosecute to the next higher authority (the Prime Minister, in case of an order passed by the minister-in-charge of a department), within seven days”.

However, as the RTI reply received from the DoPT itself shows, the oldest request for sanction to prosecute pending with it dates back to January 2010. The DoPT is the cadre controlling authority of IAS officers.

An application had been sent then regarding Orissa cadre officer Prafull Chandra Mishra, who is accused of irregularities in pricing of IMFL (Indian Made Foreign Liquor) while he was chairman of State Breweries Corporation. The DoPT response to the RTI mentions that Mishra “threatened criminal action against officers of state and Central government who issued sanction in an earlier case”.

The second oldest case pending with the DoPT involves Bihar cadre officer Shiv Shankar Verma, accused of irregularities in land allotment. In his case the request for prosecution sanction is pending since June 14, 2010. Says the DoPT reply: “The state government has been requested and reminded to provide (a) complete set of case records, which were not received with the proposal.”

In all, the DoPT is yet to take a decision in 19 cases against 15 IAS officers where agencies have completed investigation and sought prosecution sanction. In 11 of these cases, the requests for prosecution sanction have been pending for over four months. While five requests have come from the CBI, state vigilance and Lokayuktas have sent the other applications.

Before the request for sanction to prosecute is sent, reports of investigating officers are scrutinised by DIG-, IG-level officers in the CBI and thereafter by the DG before it goes to the law officers concerned of the agency.

The DoPT got the latest request for sanction on March 7 and that concerns another Orissa cadre IAS officer, Vinod Kumar, who is facing charges in a housing loan scam.

In the first four months of 2012, the department received requests for prosecution against seven officers. It has cleared only one prosecution so far — that of Gujarat cadre IAS officer O Ravi (on January 25). In case of Himachal cadre officer Sanjay Gupta, permission was denied. Both cases dealt with corruption.

The officers against whom requests have come in this year are P K Mohanty (Orissa), Y Srilakshmi (Andhra Pradesh), L V Subramanyan (Andhra), B P Acharya (Andhra), Raghav Chandra (Madhya Pradesh), B V Selvaraj (AGMU) and Abraham Varicamakkal (AGMU).

Since March 2008, the DoPT has denied sanction for prosecution in case of nine officers, including Mahesh Gupta and R K Sharma, who are facing charges in a scam in recruitment of Group C staff.

The DoPT took two years to refuse sanction against these officers. Prosecution of Vinod Chandra Semwal (Madhya Pradesh), Manoj Kumar Singh (Uttar Pradesh), K B S Sidhu (Punjab), L V Subramanyam (Andhra), Ravi Shankar Srivastava (Rajasthan), Subhash Chand Ahluwalia (Himachal) and Sanjay Gupta (Himachal) was also denied.








SC staff raise quota-in-promotion pitch

Express news service : Lucknow, Mon May 14 2012, 02:40 hrs

State government employees of SC category, who gathered under the banner of “Aarakshan Bachao Sagharsh Samiti (ABSS)” at NBRI auditorium in Lucknow on Sunday, have decided to approach all the MLAs and the MPs, who represent SC seats and seek their support for their agitation in favour of reservation in promotion.

The ruling SP has won 57 seats, reserved for SC, in the Assembly elections this time. The ABSS wants all such MLAs and MPs to convince the ruling SP about the need for reservation in promotion.

The state government had amended the Uttar Pradesh Public Servants (Reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes) Act 1994, abolishing reservation in promotion for government employee. The government also deleted rule 8 (a) of the Uttar Pradesh Government Servants Seniority Rules, which conferred the benefit of “consequential seniority” on SC/ST employee, giving them an advantage over other employees.

The state government’s decision to amend the 1994 Act and the rules is meant to comply with Supreme Court judgment, which struck down the state’s policy of reservation in promotion that was introduced by the previous Mayawati government. The BSP and employees of the reserved category want the government to bring a constitutional amendment to undo the Supreme Court judgement. “We would create pressure on the MLAs and MPs, who are from SC category, to support our demand for reservation in promotion. If they fail to do so, we would socially boycott them,” said ABSS convener Awadhesh Kumar. According to him, such MLAs, who are elected to the Assembly from the reserved seats, are supposed to protect the interest of SC people.

The outfit also announced that it would soon hold demonstrations in the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s constituency in Rae Bareli and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha seat Amethi. “We want both the Congress leaders to do justice to SC people. The reservation must be kept in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution,” Kumar said. ABSS would also organise meetings in New Delhi.

A large number of government employees of SC category arrived from various parts of the state to attend Sunday’s convention. Speaking on the occasion, Justice (retired) Khemkaran appealed the employees to engage top lawyers to plea their case in the Supreme Court. He also underlined the need for unity among the SC employees to get the Constitution amended for reservation in promotion.










Common Law Admission Test, All India Pre Medical Test pass off peacefully

TNN | May 14, 2012, 03.30AM IST

LUCKNOW: Aspiring advocates appeared in the Common Law Admission Test on Sunday. In Lucknow, as many as 3,432 candidates took the exam at five centres. Out of this, 3176 candidates appeared for LLB, while 156 appeared for the post graduate exam, LLM.

As per officials of Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University (RMLNLU), which was entrusted with the task of conducting the exam, CLAT 2012 was simple. “No complaints of any kind were received from the candidates,” said an official.

The candidates had to answer 200 objective type questions carrying one mark each. No negative marking was done. The two-hour long test consisted of English, general knowledge, elementary mathematics, legal aptitude and logical reasoning. Conducted by National Law University, Jodhpur, CLAT 2012 saw as many as 25,769 aspirants taking the exam for admissions in 14 premier law institutions in the country. The test was held in 20 cities across 46 centres. The two hour exam held from 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm.

Lucknow, the second largest centre after New Delhi, saw an increase of nearly 100 candidates from previous year. This year, a total of 6,113 aspirants were registered in Delhi. Jaipur had 1,827, Kolkata had 1,485; Patna had 1,369 aspirants, while Chandigarh had 1,222 examinees appearing in CLAT. While Karnataka had 916 aspirants, Mumbai this time had only 754 applicants. This year, a total of 1,702 undergraduate seats are available in the prestigious law colleges.

On Sunday, nearly 4,000 aspirants also took the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) mains at seven centres from 10 am to 1 pm. The exam conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), was held peacefully. As per CBSE coordinator, Lucknow, Jawaid Alam Khan, “Nearly 99% candidates took the exam. CBSE representatives were present at every centre for smooth conduct of exams.”

The test consisted of 120 objective type questions from physics, chemistry and biology. As per the candidates, there was a little change in the pattern of questions in comparison to previous year. “Match making questions were a little different. But overall the exam went fine,” said a candidate.










Common Law Admission Test 2012: First trial was not a cakewalk

TNN | May 14, 2012, 05.49AM IST

BANGALORE: The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2012 elicited mixed response from aspiring lawyers after the exam on Sunday.

Many found the paper simple, while some said it was tricky. Students felt that Mathematics and English appeared to be easy scoring, whereas the rest were a little tough. Experts said there were many surprises in store for students this year, as the pattern for many sections had changed.

“CLAT seemed to have moved back to its 2009-2010 pattern. Contrary to the given notification; the English section was filled with vocabulary-based questions . There was only one reading comprehension passage with10 questions. This was accompanied by a mix of questions on synonyms, idioms, prepositions , Latin phrases and foreign words. There were also a few questions on Para-Jumbles . This paper was of moderate difficulty level and a decent score would be 28-30 marks,” analyzed Amandeep Raj, national academic head, LST, Career Launcher.

According to experts, the sections that took students by surprise included general knowledge and legal aptitude. The GK section deviated from the format as informed on their site. There were about 20-22 questions from static GK and the rest were current affairs. Students found static GK a little difficult to attempt.

” Last week I appeared for the National Law University, Delhi (NLUD) test, which was difficult. CLAT appeared easy compared to NLUD. Mathematics and English were the easiest sections, but I found the general knowledge section little difficult as most part of it was static. All in all, it was a paper with average difficulty level and I am expecting good result ,” said Divya Natesan, a student, Shanti Bhavan Residential School, Balliganapalli, Tamil Nadu.

The logical reasoning section was dominated by verbal logic, whereas ‘legal aptitude’ was again a surprise for the students.

” There were 10 reason-assertion questions based on legal knowledge. The reasoning part was also unexpected as a few questions didn’t have any legal principles and students were supposed to take the help of their prior knowledge of laws and principles in order to solve the question,” said Amandeep.

“Mathematics had some lengthy calculations, but overall the paper was not at all lengthy and quite manageable in the given time frame. GK section was also easier than expected ,” said Kumar Narayanappa, another candidate.

Result on May 28

As many as 25,769 students applied for the test that holds the key to gaining admission to 14 prestigious law schools in the country, including National Law School if India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, with 1,702 UG seats. The test was conducted in 20 cities across 46 centres. The two-hour exam consisted of English, general knowledge, elementary mathematics, legal aptitude and logical reasoning. It had both multiple-choice and 10 short-answer questions. The result will be announced on May 28 and will be uploaded on the CLAT website.








Money-laundering law: Rigorous jail, hefty fines await tax offenders

Deepshikha Sikarwar, ET Bureau | May 14, 2012, 08.03AM IST

NEW DELHI: Tax evaders could be in for trouble as the government is mulling placing tax crimes on a par with money laundering offences that have severe criminal and financial implications.

India could bring income-tax offences under its anti-money laundering law, making way for easier prosecution, rigorous imprisonment, fines and shifting onus on the accused to prove he is not guilty.

“An inter-departmental group has been set up to examine the changes required,” a senior finance ministry official told ET.

The group’s recommendations could then be placed before Parliament and changes made to the Prevention of Money Laundering (amendment) Bill, 2011.

The offences will include concealment of income, failure to deposit tax deducted at source and false evidence.

These changes are consistent with a global plan drawn up by the Finance Action Task Force, an inter-governmental body to combat money laundering and terror financing, of which India is a member.

Many countries have already incorporated these offences in their money laundering laws even though the FATF adopted them as part of new standards in February this year.

If these offences become scheduled offences under the anti-money laundering law, they will attract rigorous imprisonment of three to seven years and a fine of up to 5 lakh. A proposed amendment to PMLA has suggested open-ended penalty, to be decided by courts, as opposed to a maximum of 5 lakh fine now.

The trial in these cases will be faster as offences under PMLA are tried in special courts and the onus to prove innocence lies on the accused.

Sunil Jain, partner with J Sagar Associates, feels these may act as a deterrent

“Tax authorities already have many tough options and not all of them are used so we do not need any more onerous provisions, particularly in the case of residents,” he said.

The apex direct taxes body, the Central Board of Direct Taxes, had earlier written to the revenue department, the nodal department for PMLA, to bring some tax evasion offences under its ambit.

However, the suggestion made two years back was put on the back burner since there was no compulsion on India to bring them under the PMLA.

India, which became a member of the FATF in 2010, is obliged to make changes in its own anti-money laundering law now.

Under the current rules, the income tax department has to take law ministry’s permission to initiate prosecution against tax evaders. The cumbersome procedure has meant that so far no evader has been put behind the bars although there is a provision for six months imprisonment and penalty on tax evasion.

The tax authorities prefer not to invoke these provisions as prosecution could take many years.

Significant changes have already been made through the Finance Bill, 2012, passed by the Lok Sabha on May 8 that will allow for easier prosecution.

India has submitted a detailed action plan that lists various short-term, medium-term and long-term measures required to conform to FATF standards and some of the amendments proposed in the PMLA Bill are in line with these commitments.









Court questions BCCI on IPL dues to Navi Mumbai police

Mohan K Korappath, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, May 14, 2012

In view of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Bombay high court, regarding dues to be paid by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to the Navi Mumbai police for providing security during the 2010 Indian Premier League (IPL) matches, the court has said that if the claim is valid, the board will have to pay.

 The court was hearing a PIL filed by Santosh Pachalag claiming that BCCI owes Rs. 5,17,73,238 to Navi Mumbai police.

The petition has cited a reply received under the RTI act which shows that out of the amount billed to BCCI by the Navi Mumbai police, which stands at Rs. 4,72,83,575, the board has paid only Rs. 47,53,000 so far.

According to the petition, the dues liable to be recovered pertain to the security arrangement provided by the Navi Mumbai police during the 2010 edition of the IPL. Security was provided for six matches that were held at the D Y Patil stadium between March 12 and April 25.

The petition states that 3,345 police personnel which include personnel from Pune and Satara districts, as Navi Mumbai police were short-staffed, were deployed at the stadium.

Petitioner’s lawyer Ganesh Sovani argued that security should not be provided for the current IPL until all the dues are cleared.

Sovani also argued that the board’s stand that they paid a lesser amount for the matches held at Nagpur, are not valid.

The court pointed out that charges might differ in different cities when BCCI counsel said that they had paid the amount in the line of what was charged in Nagpur. However, BCCI counsel submitted that it is not as if they are not ready to pay.

While directing the BCCI to file a reply, the court has asked the state to find out and reply on the criterion on which the charges are fixed.







Lok adalat settles 149 state university cases

TNN | May 14, 2012, 04.50AM IST

RANCHI: Responding to the call of governor Syed Ahmed, the Jharkhand Legal Services Authority (Jhalsa) organized a lok adalat to dispose of pending cases related to serving and retired employees of universities in the state.

It was for the first time that a high court lok adalat was organized to dispose of cases exclusively related to five universities. During the day-long lok adalat-cum-legal awareness camp, three benches were constituted which took up 149 cases for settlement. Of the 131 cases related to pre-litigation stage, Rs.3.85 crore was given to the beneficiaries while 18 cases related to post-litigation stage were disposed of.

The lok adalat organized at Nyaya Sadan was inaugurated by Ahmed in presence of Chief Justice Prakash Tantia of the Jharkhand high court, Chief Justice M Y Iqbal of Madras high court, Jhalsa executive chairman Justice R K Merathia and other judges of the Jharkhand high court.

Inaugurating the lok adalat, Ahmed said as the chancellor of universities he was concerned about the development of higher education infrastructure in the state and in course of interaction with the vice-chancellors of different universities he was apprised of the hardship being faced by both the serving and retired university teachers because of pending cases in court for long. “I decided to seek the help of the judiciary for the speedy trial and disposal of the cases. The Jhalsa responded positively and the lok adalat was organized,” he said.

Chief Justice Tantia said the lok adala was a social responsibility of the judiciary in which cases are disposed on a fast track. “If the highly placed officials carry out their responsibilities properly, a number of cases coming to the judiciary for settlement will be reduced automatically,” he said. Giving credit to the media for success of the lok adalat where petitioners and respondents come forward voluntarily to resolve long pending issues, he said government employees should ensure that because of their callousness people should not be deprived of their natural rights.

Chief Justice Iqbal admitted that a large number of cases related to educational institutions were pending before the courts. “The initiative taken by the Jharkhand governor is exemplary in the country that such cases were disposed through lok adalats,” he said asking the officials of the human resource development department to be more particular about settling issues at the department level.

Vice-chancellors and pro vice-chancellors of all five universities, HRD department officials, petitioners and retired teachers of the universities were present during the awareness camp.










Local court denies bail to illegal mining accused

TNN | May 14, 2012, 02.46AM IST

JAIPUR: A district and sessions judge in Dholpur rejected the bail application of two accused arrested in sand (bajari) mining. The judge observed that people engaged in mining should not be given bail since they indulge in intimidating the witnesses of the case. The court cited many reasons behind not granting bail to two accused arrested in an illegal mining case.

Chattar Singh and Bal Govind Mallah were arrested by Dholpur police when they were transporting sand from Delhi. They were under judicial custody for the last couple of months and had applied for bail on Friday.

District and sessions judge, Pawan N Chandra while denying the bail to the accused observed, “People engaged in mining were actually responsible for killing IPS officer from Morena in Madhya Pradesh. Such people should not be let out of the jail as after their release they intimidate the witnesses and tamper with the evidences.”

Public prosecutor, Virendra Saxena, while quoting the court order, said, ” The court observed that in a scenario when Supreme Court and Rajasthan High Court are directing the agencies to tighten noose against the mining mafia, people implicated in mining cases should not be given bail.”

“Since these people are into illegal mining and make money out of it, they can bribe investigating police officers or may go to the extent of even eliminating them, thus their bail application stands rejected,” Saxena said while referring to the court order.

The court has further observed that such people also indulge in influencing the investigation process and may get undue advantage. Dholpur district is infamous for mining and the mining mafia from Madhya Pradesh and Dholpur are into criminal activities.










Youngsters require confidence: High Court judge

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Youngsters require great confidence to face whatever they may come across in life and emerge successful, said Madras High Court judge Justice K Venkataraman. Delivering the graduation day address at Dwaraka Doss Goverdhan Doss Vaishnav College in Arumbakkam here on Saturday, he said every achiever in this world had striven hard to reach the heights, overcoming several obstacles. Narrating two stories to drive home the point that god would come to the rescue of those with confidence, he said, “If you think it is not possible, it will remain impossible for ever. But if you think something is possible, it can be achieved.”

Stressing that students should never forget their teachers and parents Justice Venkataraman, who is an alumnus of the institution, said Dwaraka Doss Goverdhan Doss Vaishnav College had not only given him a good education but had also imparted good character, which was very important for a judge.

S Narasimhan, Principal of the college, said the first batch of PG students (2009-11) under the autonomous pattern had done extremely well and posted exemplary results. Of the total 374 students, 332 emerged successful in the final examinations held in April/May 2011, he said.

Pointing out that the placement cell was very active throughout the year, he said, “The professional PG courses – Social Work, Human Resource Management, Management Studies, Computer Science and Applications – have an excellent placement record of well over 90 per cent in frontline organisations here and abroad.”

On the research front the college has to its credit an enviable track record of over 425 MPhils since the 1980s, including 30 for the year 2011 who will be taking their degrees along with 322 PG graduands, and close to 100 PhDs in the short span of ten years from 2001, he said.

P Haridas, secretary of the college, spoke and an ‘Almanac of Graduands’, profiling the alumni, was released on the occasion.









Video-conferencing on, High Court drops

RAGHAV OHRI : Chandigarh, Mon May 14 2012, 03:42 hrs

In a case which witnessed video-conferencing, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has converted the murder charge, slapped against Jeetinder Mohan Singh who was awarded life imprisonment for allegedly murdering advocate Manisha Attri, into causing death by negligence, and reduced the life sentence to two years of rigorous imprisonment. However, since the accused has been behind bars for the past four years, he will now be released.

Significantly, the High Court has awarded Rs 7 lakh compensation to the kin of the deceased. The compensation will be paid by Jeetinder Mohan to Manisha’s family.

The case holds significance as it was arguably for the first time in the region, all district courts of Punjab and Haryana, that the statement of a witness was recorded through video-conferencing. Manisha had died on February 25, 1996, in an “accident” while returning from the district courts.

In his complaint, father and lawyer I P Attri had alleged that the accused killed Manisha as she was not withdrawing a particular case being fought in the Kharar court. He said Jeetinder Mohan’s father was interested in two disputed booths located in Phase IV in Mohali, the owner of which was represented by Manisha.

It was alleged that in order to help his father, Jeetinder Mohan, in connivance with six others, had killed Manisha. A prosecution witness in his statement had stated he had seen a blue Maruti car approaching from Batra chowk, at the speed of about 70 km per hour. The car, he said, abruptly turned towards Sector 23 and hit a scooter being driven by the victim. The girl fell on the front screen of the car. The car turned backwards and then ran over Manisha.

The witness had also added that the pillion rider (the girl’s mother) was thrown about 10 to 12 feet high in the air. Jeetinder Mohan was driving this car, it was later held.

In March 2008, a local court of Chandigarh had awarded life imprisonment to Jeetinder Mohan. Since then he has been behind bars. Holding it to be a case of murder, the lower court had acquitted the remaining six accused. Those acquitted were Paramjit Singh, Jasneet, Ravinder Pal, Jeetinder Pal, Chinder Pal and Gurpreet.

While Jeetinder Mohan moved the High Court challenging his life imprisonment, advocate I P Attri approached the High Court demanding conviction of those acquitted. Finding little conviction in the appeal filed by Attri, the High Court dismissed his appeals.

Refusing to hold it to be a case of murder, the High Court reduced the charge to causing death by negligence. Senior lawyer Vinod Ghai had contended that father of the deceased I P Attri had made improvements in his statement and that it was a case of road accident.









High Court sends back ‘illiterate’ couple’s claim suits to railway tribunal

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Mon May 14 2012, 05:22 hrs

Coming to the rescue of two “illiterate” victims of the 2005 Samlaya train accident who due to lack of knowledge about filing claim petitions fell prey to alleged unprofessional conduct of two advocates, the Gujarat High Court has sent back their claim suits to the Railway Claims Tribunal.

The tribunal had dismissed the victims’ claims while imposing fines on them after two advocates allegedly filed two separate claims for each victim before the tribunal claiming compensation of Rs 2 lakh and Rs 80,000 separately.

The two victims have been identified as Liyakatali Maniyar and his wife Gulshanbanu.

They had sustained injuries when Sabarmati Express had collided with a stationary goods train near Samlaya station in Vadodara district in April 2005. Seventeen persons were killed and more than 80 were injured in the accident.

Subsequently, the Maniyars had moved claim petitions before the Railway Claims Tribunal through advocates M B Shah and N R Kapade. Their lawyers had moved two separate claim petitions on behalf of each of them and claimed Rs 2 lakh and Rs 80,000 respectively.

On discovering this, the tribunal did not decide the petitions on merits and dismissed it on alleged fraudulent conduct of the advocates.

Later, the Maniyars approached the High Court.

Deciding to send back the matter to the tribunal, a division bench headed by Justice Akil Kureshi recently ordered the tribunal to decide the claim petitions on merits where they have demanded Rs 2 lakh as compensation.

The court also ordered to terminate the proceedings on the other two claim petitions moved by the Maniyars’ lawyers on their behalf.

“It appears that the appellants are illiterates and were not having requisite knowledge about filing of claim petitions and they were guided as per the advice of their advocates… the appellants, as might have been asked by their advocates, unknowingly allowed the advocates to present different claim petitions claiming compensation,” observed the bench.

“The Claims Tribunal, however, did not decide the petitions on merits and dealt with the petitions on alleged fraudulent conduct of the advocates. The tribunal mainly proceeded against the conduct of the advocates… The tribunal has taken the conduct of the advocates to be the ground to impose cost on the appellants though it does not appear from the order of the Claims Tribunal that it has recorded any finding about the fraudulent act on the part of the appellants,” the High Court observed.










UPA, Cong govts took decisions on JAL project: Dhumal


PTI | 08:05 PM,May 13,2012

Shimla, May 13 (PTI) With the Himchal Pradesh High Court slamming the “irregularities” in various clearances to Jaiprakash Associates Limited (JAL), Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today claimed that the judgement was severe indictment of previous Congress government and the UPA at the Centre. The BJp leader lambasted the senior state Congress leaders for blaming the his government and said that all the sanctions and clearances for setting up the cement plant at Bagha Bagheri and captive Thermal plant by JAL were given by the previous Congress government between 2004 and 2007 while the reversal of decision not to allow the Thermal plant was taken by the UPA government. “We stand by whatever has been said in the High Court judgement and will take appropriate action in respect of the irregularities pointed out in the judgement, including the action against the erring officials,” he said. The JAL was given permission to set up the cement plant on April 8, 2004 the MoU was signed on July 9,2004 and the proposal to set up the 25 MW captive Thermal plant was also given by the then government on September 16, 2004, when Congress was in power. He alleged that the company lowered the cost of the cement plant to Rs 90 crore to skip Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) by Union ministry of Environment and Forests and the team sent by the Centre “completely” overlooked the irregularities being committed by the company. During the public hearing, the local people “unanimously” opposed the plant but the MoEF team ignored the protests and even tore the attendance sheet, Dhumal alleged, adding that it was intriguing that the cost of project which was about Rs 500 crore was shown as less than Rs 100 crore. The Single Window Clearance committee also conveniently overlooked the “vital fact” and let the “irregularities” go unchallenged, he said. Contesting the claim of Union Minister V B Singh that his government had cancelled the thermal plant project and ordered action against the erring officials, Dhumal said that it was only an exercise on papers and the subsequent notings on the file make it clear that the government had no intentions to punish the guilty. He said that the present government was totally opposed to setting up of coal based thermal plant and the decision of the HC, directing the JAL to demolish the plant, was a welcome step.









Tripura hopeful for a separate HC soon


PTI | 03:05 PM,May 13,2012

Agartala, May 13 (PTI) Tripura government is hopeful of getting a seperate high court in the state soon as the necessary Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha. “As a necessary amendment bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on Friday last it raised the hope that a seperate High court would be established in the state and would help speedy disposal of the pending caes,”Tripura law department secretary Datamohan Jamatiya said. North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2012, was passed by the lower house of parliament on Friday for creation of full-fledged high courts in the three states of Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya. Now the amendment bill would be presented in the Rajya Sabha and then would be sent to the President for her assent. He said necessary infrastrutre was ready for the functioning of full-fledged high court in the state. PTI JOY PR







Green woes: Gujarat HC shuts down Electrotherm steel plant

Ahmedabad, May 13:

Taking a tough stand on environmental issues, the Gujarat High Court has directed steelmaker Electrotherm (India) Ltd to close down its manufacturing plant in Kutch district and quashed the environmental clearance granted to it by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest without holding a public hearing as per rules.

Electrotherm’s 36,000 tonne per annum (tpa) facility for producing structural steel, alloy steel and stainless steel at Samkhiali in Bhachau taluka of Kutch district is also known for making of Yo-bikes, India’s first battery-run two-wheelers.

On Friday, a Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Mr Justice J.B. Pardiwala, directed the company to stop manufacturing immediately and shutdown the plant in 10 days.

The ruling came on a PIL filed by an RTI activist, Mr Vipul Patel, who had complained about the pollution caused by the plant.

According to the petitioner, Electrotherm set up the plant in 2004, commenced operations in 2005, applied for environmental clearance in 2007 and got one from MoEF in 2008, in violation of the Environment Impact Assessment Notification 2006, and without the mandatory public hearing.

In 2009, the company also applied for another environmental clearance for a large-scale expansion of the plant aiming to triple capacity, although it had no green nod for the main project itself.

This clearance, too, was granted in January 2010, again without the public hearing.








HC to hear plea for taking N D Tiwari’ blood sample forcibly

New Delhi, May 13, 2012

The Delhi high court would hear on Monday a plea for taking forcibly the blood sample of veteran Congress leader ND Tiwari for his DNA test to decide the paternity suit of Rohit Shekhar, who claims to be his biological son.
Nearly a fortnight after the Delhi high court asked Tiwari to give his blood sample for DNA test to decide the paternity suit, Shekhar had moved the court last week for forcibly taking his blood sample for the test.

In an application to single-judge bench of justice Reva Khetrapal, Shekhar had sought a direction to former Andhra Pradesh governor Tiwari to comply with the high court’s December 23, 2010 and April 27, 2012 orders.

Alternatively, Shekhar pleaded to the court to appoint a commissioner to take Tiwari’s blood samples with assistance from police force, as mandated by the court’s April 27 order.

“Direct the non-applicant 1 (Tiwari) to furnish blood samples at the earliest convenience of this court. In the event that Tiwari fails to appear on the date fixed by the court, appoint a Commissioner to draw blood samples of Tiwari by force or otherwise,” Shekhar said in his application.

He also sought the court to direct the police to provide assistance to the Commissioner, to be appointed by the court.

On April 27, a bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Rajiv Sahai Endlaw had said police force can be used to compel Tiwari to give blood sample for the DNA test in case he refuses to undergo the test on the paternity suit.

The bench had passed the orders while hearing Shekhar’s plea challenging the single judge’s September 23 last year order which had stated that Tiwari cannot be compelled but an adverse inference can be draw from his repeated refusal to give blood samples.

After the high court ordered taking Tiwari’s blood sample – even forcibly if needed, Tiwari even approached the apex court, which too refused to give him any relief.

“Enough is enough. You (Tiwari) were not present on earlier occasions. Having regard to your age, we had told you to give sample in a sealed cover. We gave you protection under Article 21, but enough is enough,” a bench of justices Aftab Alam and C K Prasad had said.

Shekhar, in his application, has said that the Congress leader be asked to bear the cost of the execution of the order and be restrained from leaving the country to avoid observing the judicial order.

Earlier, a single-judge bench had said that the order asking Tiwari to undergo the DNA test for ascertaining the paternity Shekhar was “un-implementable and unenforceable” and hence, he cannot be forced to give his blood sample for this purpose.

Setting aside the order, the division bench of the high court said “…police assistance and use of reasonable force for compliance thereof” can be taken as judicial orders needed to be executed.

Shekhar, in 2008, had filed the paternity suit to prove that the Congress leader is his biological father and the single judge and a division bench of the high court had asked Tiwari to go for the DNA test.

The Supreme Court also did not stay the order and opined that Tiwari should abide by the court orders as vital evidence may be lost for forever considering his old age.

Tiwari, a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, who had also held key ministerial portfolios at the Centre, was forced to resign as Andhra Pradesh governor in 2009 amid allegations of sexual misconduct against him.








HC says long leave with proof OK

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 14, 2012

The Delhi High Court has ruled that if an employee remains absent for long owing to medical emergency in the family, resultant domestic problems and submits proof of it, he cannot be dismissed for taking ‘unauthorised’ or ‘excessive’ leave.

“Once the enquiry officer was satisfied that the delinquent employee had taken leave, though excessive, for the sickness of his wife and that medical documents had also been given by him, the enquiry officer had no business to say the workman was guilty of availing excessive leave,” Justice PK Bhasin ruled.

He also said the authority could not punish the employee for unauthorised absence.

The court said this while dismissing an appeal by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) against a Delhi Industrial Tribunal order asking it to reinstate driver Anil Kumar, who was dismissed in September 22, 1992, for “unauthorised absence” from duty for 147 days.

The tribunal had asked DTC to reappoint him with full back wages and service seniority. DTC contended that Kumar was dismissed after a proper probe by its inquiry officer.

The tribunal had noted that Kumar had submitted medical certificates of his wife’s treatment at LNJP Hospital from March 1990 to December 1990 and May 1991 to June 1991.

It had also taken into consideration the fact that Kumar said there was nobody except his wife and himself to look after their children. And the resultant domestic problems, which forced Kumar to take leave, and had wondered how the inquiry officer could give an order against Kumar.

The tribunal noted: “There are domestic problems and it cannot be said that the workman availed the leave for no reasons, showing lack of interest in his official duties. Even the findings of the enquiry officer are not to the effect that the conduct of the workman show that he has lack of interest in the duties of corporation.”






HC, NCR board to take up Noida Extn issue

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Noida, May 13, 2012

The Allahabad high court on Monday is likely to hear a petition filed by the Greater Noida authority, seeking early resumption of the stuck housing projects.
The high court on October 21 last year heard a bunch of petitions filed by farmers and ruled that land would remain with builders and farmers would get increased compensation. But the court said construction would not resume till Greater Noida’s master plan was cleared by the NCR Planning Board (NCRPB).

“The court said the authority should ensure that no development by it or by its allottees be undertaken as per the master plan 2021 till the same receives clearance by the NCR board. We have filed a review petition. We don’t need the clearance. The authority is empowered to prepare its plan for land uses within the urbanisable area,” said a senior Greater Noida official.

In a related development, the NCR board in Delhi may meet on May 22 to take up the master plan issue. Noida Extension homebuyers are hoping for relief from the high court and the board.

The Uttar Pradesh government submitted the master plan to the NCRPB on December 15 last year for approval. The NCR board objected to massive acquisition of land despite a low population density in Greater Noida. On March 21, the NCRPB sent its observations and suggestions to the UP government and asked the government to incorporate them and submit a revised plan.

The state government has, after addressing the objections raised by the NCR board, sent the plan back for approval. NCRPB has said that after receiving a revised draft, the same will be placed before the planning committee of the NCRPB for consideration.

On April 3, flat buyers in Noida Extension also moved the Allahabad high court seeking early resumption of the stuck housing projects. On April 10, the high court asked the NCR board to file a reply on the efforts to clear Greater Noida’s master plan-2021.






Dana’s sister moves HC, seeks independent probe

Express news service : Chandigarh, Mon May 14 2012, 03:43 hrs

Demanding an independent probe into the mysterious death of Dana Sangma, niece of Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, the victim’s elder sister Balsame M Sangma has approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court. In her petition, Balsame Sangma has requested the High Court to transfer the investigation of the case from the Haryana Police to any independent agency and has urged the court to transfer the case out of Haryana.

Making Haryana and Amity University as respondents in the petition, which is likely to come up for hearing this week, Sangma has submitted that “the conduct of Amity University and the local police shows that the death of the petitioner’s sister could be suicide / murder / strangulation or any other possibility and therefore needs to be investigated by an impartial agency or special investigation team which generates confidence in the petitioner’s family as well as the public at large”.

Dana had died under mysterious circumstances in Amity University on April 24. A case on charges of abetment to suicide was registered by the Haryana Police. Amity University had vehemently dismissed accusations levelled against it.

The petition further reads: “The petitioner’s family has not been provided any details regarding Dana’s room-mate and have also not been given any access to her belongings. Elementary information like the name of student sitting next to Dana in the examination hall, the room in which she was questioned, the duration of the questioning, the nature of the questioning and the identity of the persons who questioned her have not been provided and the very intention/attempt to hide such crucial information in a mysterious case of death… It appears that the Haryana Police and the Amity University officials are conniving to steer the investigation in a particular direction away from truth and justice”.

The petitioner has also submitted that it appeared that Dana had certain grievances regarding discrimination faced by her. She had allegedly told her father that she was facing discrimination at the University.







HC acquits convict in 23-year-old murder case

NEERAD PANDHARIPANDE : Mon May 14 2012, 03:26 hrs

The Bombay High Court recently set aside a conviction for murder giving the accused the benefit of doubt and observed that the accused was not made aware by the prosecution of his right to remain silent. The court also observed that the prosecution case rested largely on circumstantial evidence and was “not at all free from doubt.” The order came more than two decades after the man was convicted by a Mumbai sessions court.

The prosecution case was that Andhra Pradesh resident Laxman Zinna murdered a man in a forest area in Charkop village near Kandivli in March 1989.

The HC invoked Section 313 of the CrPC that lays down that a court can put questions to the accused as it considers necessary or question him generally on the case after the prosecution has finished its examination. Section 313 (1b) says the court may, after the witnesses for the prosecution have been examined and before the accused is called for his defence, question him generally on the case. Dealing with the issue, the bench of Justice A S Oka and Justice S P Davare observed, “Surely, before the accused is examined, he must be informed that he may decline to give answers to the questions put to him.”

The judges noted that absence of such an intimation can “cause serious prejudice” to a person. The judgement also took note that in such examination, the lawyer appointed by the accused does not have any role to play.

“Therefore, it would be very unsafe to base conviction on such confessional statement especially when the appellant was not warned it could be used against him,” the bench said.

The court also rejected a demand for re-examination of the accused, noting, “The incident occurred 23 years back…it will be very unfair to the appellant if after so long, he is asked to explain evidence adduced against him.”

The court acquitted Zinna.







HC asks Pakistan to give info on ‘freedom fighter’

Utkarsh Anand : New Delhi, Mon May 14 2012, 00:33 hrs

Requesting the Pakistani authorities for assistance seemed the only way in which the Delhi High Court thought it could help an 82-year-old woman trying to establish her late husband as a freedom fighter.

Proving that Sali Ram was indeed a freedom fighter, who spent months in a jail in Lahore in 1931, would make Bhota Devi eligible for a pension payable by the Central government under the Swatantrata Senani Samman Pension Scheme.

Age and ailment haven’t deterred Bhota Devi to travel with her her son from Kangra in Himachal Pradesh to Delhi, only to be told that her request could not be granted since she did not have records to prove that her husband was lodged in jails for more than six months — a precondition to be eligible for the pension. The government said it did not have documents dating 1930-31 to verify if Ram was imprisoned in Lahore. All they could ascertain was his 39 days in Dharamsala and Gurdaspur prisons in 1930-31.

Justice Vipin Sanghi brought a ray of hope for Bhota Devi with his order last week in which he said, “Since the claim of the petitioner, who is over 80 years of age, is for establishment of status of her late husband as a freedom fighter, and for seeking ‘Freedom Fighters Pension’, this court requests the Pakistani authorities to act in the matter and to give a response on the information sought in respect of her late husband at the earliest possible.” Justice Sanghi asked Central government’s counsel Jatan Singh to ensure that the order was sent to the Pakistan High Commission and communicated to Lahore Jail authorities. The court agreed with Bhota Devi’s counsel Anand Mishra, who had requested it to direct the Ministry of Home Affairs to seek help of the External Affairs Ministry in invoking diplomatic channels with Pakistan in a time-bound manner so as to retrieve information available.

Bhota Devi and her son Vikram said: “This court order is like a light at the end of tunnel. It is the third round of litigation for us, besides several reminders and notices sent to the authorities. Now that the judge has sent a communication straight to Pakistan, we hope Ram’s identity will finally be proved.”

Bhota Devi recalls that her children grew up listening to the tales of how their father spent months in Lahore’s “children’s jail” in 1931. He was “arrested” for participating in the freedom movement. “He was then residing at Nadaun in Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur district. He was first lodged in Dharamsala jail, then shifted to Central Jail, Gurdaspur and finally sent to Borstal Institution in Lahore since he was only 15 at that time,” she said. Ram passed away in 1986. Ten years later, his children stumbled upon a box in their house that had documents pertaining to his involvement in the freedom movement.

“These papers comprised a letter from the Central government asking my father to submit documents to get his freedom fighter’s pension. There were also declaration letters by two other persons, who were his co-prisoners in Lahore jail. We travelled to Delhi in 1997 but our request was turned down citing non-availability of records,” said Vikram.

After reminders in 2007 failed to elicit any response, Bhota Devi filed her first petition in the Delhi HC in 2011. The court dismissed her plea, underlining that she did not have enough proof. But her appeal was taken up on humanitarian grounds by the then Chief Justice, who directed the government to have a correspondence with authorities in Pakistan in three month’s time.

“This directive failed to yield any result. The Central government wrote to the Himachal Pradesh government to verify the documents again. We were back to square one. That is why we filed this contempt of court petition before Justice Sanghi and with this order our hopes have been revived,” said Vikram.



LEGAL NEWS 13.05.2012

Officiating principals: SC orders status quo, issues notice to UT

Vinod Kumar , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh , May 12, 2012

Acting on an appeal filed by three officiating principals of post graduate government colleges (PGGC), the Supreme Court has ordered status quo with regard to their present postings. The apex court on Friday also issued notice to the UT administration to file a reply within four weeks.

Achla Dogra, officiating principal PGGC-11; Mani Bedi, officiating principal, PGGC-42; and Manjit Kaur, officiating principal, Government Commerce College, have challenged the Punjab and Haryana high court order, dated February 25, 2012, whereby it had upheld the UT administration’s rules that for regular appointment of college principals, PhD degree would be compulsory.

The high court also said that seniority for promotion to the post of principal was not enough to become the head.

In October 2010, the central administrative tribunal (CAT), Chandigarh, had directed the UT administration to carry out amendment in its rules to consider those lecturers also for the post of principal, who did not possess PhD degree. However, the administration challenged the CAT orders in the high court.

In the apex court, petitioners had stated that they took charge as principals in 2009 under the Punjab rules, 1976, and they were not covered under the new notifications issued in 2010.

According to Punjab rules, for the appointment to the post of principal by way of promotion, PhD was not an essential qualification. Only on the basis of requisite experience as lecturer, a candidate was to be promoted as principal.

The petitioners had submitted that after putting in decades of service, a lecturer was now being asked to possess a PhD for the post of principal, which was unfair. It was submitted that since the petitioners were at the fag end of their careers, they should be considered for promotion.

In February this year, a delegation of associate professors gave a representation to the UT finance-cum-education secretary VK Singh and termed as arbitrary the decision of giving charge of post of principal to those not possessing PhD degree.

The delegation had urged VK Singh to give charge to an eligible candidate as per the rules.







Tollywood strikes it rich in Karnataka

TNN | May 13, 2012, 01.31AM IST

HYDERABAD: The market has just got bigger for Telugu films with Competition Commission of India (CCI) removing restrictions imposed on the release of non-Kannada films in Karnataka. Ram Charan Tej’s ‘Racha’, Jr NTR’s ‘Dammu’ and Pawan Kalyan’s ‘Gabbar Singh’ have all been released in a large number of theatres in Karnataka.

The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), which felt that the survival of Kannada cinema was at stake had recently imposed restrictions on the number of theatres where non-Kannada films could be screened in the state.

Annoyed by this decision, certain production houses had approached the CCI against the KFCC’s decision. With CCI finding fault with the KFCC on the issue a couple of months ago and removing barriers on the release of non-Kannada films in the state, Telugu films are being released in a big way in Karnataka now.

“Telugu films and heroes have a big following in Karnataka. Our production houses have now started releasing Telugu films in as many theatres as they want to. Definitely, the market for Telugu cinema has now got expanded,” Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce (APFCC) president D Suresh Babu told STOI. This means that producers will stand to gain hugely as they can now sell their films rights for a larger amount as they can be released in more theatres. While Telugu film heroes are a big draw in Karnataka, their image will get even bigger and this could result in increase in their remuneration as well.

On April 5, ‘Racha’ reportedly was released in as many as 90 theatres in Karnataka. Before the restrictions were removed not more than 24 theatres were allowed to show non-Kannada films. In addition to 90 theatres where ‘Racha’ was screened officially, 30 followed suit in Karnataka. The Ram Charan Tej-starrer, it is said, collected several crores in the Karnataka market.

With Karnataka now becoming a lucrative market, Jr NTR’s ‘Dammu’, which was released on April 27, tried to take full advantage and the movie was released in 150 theatres across Karnataka. On Friday, Pawan Kalyan’s ‘Gabbar Singh’ now bids to repeat the feat. The film was released in 16 single screen theatres and 17 multiplexes in Bangalore city. In all, the movie was released in 83 theatres in Karnataka.

Ironically, while the Telugu film industry has lost no time in taking its share of the Kannada pie, a section of the Tollywood has been voicing itself against the release of dubbed movies from other languages in Andhra Pradesh.










Essar Oil posts Rs 515 cr loss due to debt restructuring, sales tax

PTI, 12 May 2012 | 07:24 PM

Essar Oil today reported a loss of Rs 515 crore for the three months ended March, 2012, due to reversal in sales tax benefits and provisioning related to corporate debt restructuring.

It had a profit of Rs 321 crore in the year-ago period.

Meanwhile, gross revenues of Essar Oil rose to Rs 19,160 crore in the 2012 March quarter from Rs 14,846 crore in the same period a year ago, it said in a statement. The higher revenues came on the back of increase in product prices.

However, the quarterly performance was hit by decline in gross refinery margin, reversal of sales tax benefits and provision of Rs 322 crore for Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR) exit proposal.

For the full year ended March 2012, Essar Oil posted a loss of Rs 4,199 crore. The company had a profit of Rs 654 crore in financial year 2010-11.

The company said the CDR exit proposal has been approved by majority of its lenders and the process is expected to be complete in the current quarter.

“CDR exit would provide operational flexibility and an opportunity to reduce cost of debt,” it added.

Following rejection of its review petition by the Supreme Court regarding repayment of deferred sales tax, the company had made representation to the Gujarat government.

As the issues could not be resolved amicably with the government, the company filed a writ petition in the Gujarat High Court to seek direction on the repayment installments and interest of its sales tax deferral liability to the government.

Essar Oil said the Gujarat High Court has fixed the next hearing for June 22.

“The company has already provided Rs 4,015 crore as an exceptional item in its book as reversal of sales tax incentive income in Q3 FY12 and considering the net accretion of Rs 53 crore in Q4 FY12 on account of defeasement, the net reversal for the year is Rs 3,962 crore,” the statement said.

Essar Oil’s net worth stood at Rs 3,613 crore for the year ended March 2012. In the year-ago period, the same was at Rs 6,538 crore.

“With our capex funding requirement coming to an end, ensuing (Corporate Debt Restructuring) CDR exit, and benefits of higher capacity and complexity will soon be visible in terms of incremental operational cash flows, which will be utilized to deleverage the balance sheet and boost our valuation,” Essar Oil Chief Financial Officer Suresh Jain said.









Civic body chiefs fate hangs in balance

Express News Service

SAMBALPUR: Uncertainty looms large over the fate of Sambalpur Municipal Council even after the High Court on Friday vacated the stay on the writ petition filed by chairperson Rina Trivedi. She had obtained a stay from the court to reserve the outcome of the no-confidence motion against her held on May 7. Although the case was supposed to be taken up by the court on Thursday, it was postponed to Friday.
While it was expected that the counting would be taken up on Friday and the fate of Trivedi would be decided, it could not be done as the district administration is yet to receive any communication from the High Court.
Earlier on May 7, as many as 20 disgruntled councillors had moved the no-confidence motion against Trivedi.
Of the 29 wards under Sambalpur municipal limits, BJP had maximum 15 councillors followed by Congress with 13 besides one Independent. Congress’ strength reduced by one with death of councillor Ladra Munda while seven BJP councillors had resigned from the party reducing it to a minority. Then the disgruntled councillors, including 12 from the Congress and BJP vice-chairman Siddharth Saha, had closed ranks against Trivedi.
Although an attempt was made to unseat Trivedi on February 9 last year, her mentor and Sambalpur BJP MLA Jayanarayan Mishra managed to bail her out by holding the BJP councillors together. He had then issued a stern warning to Trivedi to mend her ways and take all BJP councillors into confidence before taking any decision.










4,000 cases settled at Lok Adalat

TNN | May 13, 2012, 03.09AM IST

NEW DELHI: More than 4,000 cases pending before various district courts in the capital were disposed of by a special weekend Lok Adalat on Saturday.

The Adalat also awarded over Rs 45.20 lakh as compensation in 44 cases pertaining to Motor Accident Claim Tribunal after deciding them in a single day.

The Adalat, organized by Delhi State Legal Services Authority in all six district courts, comprised 58 benches which dealt with the cases relating to dishonour of cheques, civil, labour, electricity, criminal compoundable offences and recovery matters. Several civil and criminal cases like matrimonial disputes and traffic violations referred to lok adalats by regular courts, were taken up for hearing to facilitate settlement. Out of the 4,000 cases, 197 criminal cases were disposed of by way of plea bargaining in a special sitting where any consumer having disputes could walk in for on the spot settlement of his dispute.

Around 33 cases were disposed of at pre-litigative stage at Patiala House Court Complex, Tis Hazari, Karkardooma, Rohini, Dwarka and Saket district courts.










Green Tribunal seeks details of forest land in Kashang power project

New Delhi, May 13, 2012

The National Green Tribunal has directed Himanchal Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (HPPCL) to furnish details of the forest land likely to be affected by the 243 MW Kashang Hydroelectric Power Project in Kinnaur district of the state. The Tribunal passed the orders on a plea filed by an NGO challenging the forest clearance granted for the project by Ministry of Environment and Forest on April 16, 2010.

“After hearing (counsel for petitioner and respondents), we direct the project proponent (HPPCL) to file a further affidavit clearly furnishing the break-up of forest land measuring 17.685 hectares for which forest clearance has been granted.

“The project proponent is also directed to furnish figures with regard to the nature of the forests, the number of trees existing along with their species and number of trees which are going to be felled either for preparation of head race tunnel or tail race channel or the road,” a bench headed by Tribunal’s Acting Chairperson Justice A S Naidu said.

The Tribunal also said HPPCL will “indicate the number of springs existing in the vicinity as well as the distance of local habitation. They will also furnish the list of springs which may be affected due to use of forest lands for non-forest purpose”.

The bench, also comprising GK Pandey as the expert member, posted the matter for further hearing on July 11.

An NGO, Paryavaran Sanrakshan Sangarsh Samiti Lippa Village, had moved the Tribunal challenging the forest clearance granted to the project being developed by HPPCL.

During the hearing, the bench also allowed Devi Gyan Negi, a Himachal Pradesh native, to file an application for being made a party to the case.

Negi had moved the Tribunal seeking directions to stay the clearance granted to the project.










Gujarat riots: Former Supreme Court judge says SIT findings incorrect

Syed Imtiaz Jaleel and Rohit Bhan | Updated: May 12, 2012 13:14 IST

Former Supreme Court judge Justice PB Sawant, who conducted an inquiry into the 2002 Gujarat riots and found Chief Minister Narendra Modi guilty, has said that he does not agree with the report on the case submitted recently by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT).

The SIT was asked to determine whether Mr Modi should be tried for his alleged role in the riots. In its report submitted to a Gujarat court last month, it gave a clean chit to the Chief Minister and ruled that there was no “prosecutable evidence” against him.

But Justice Sawant says the conclusions drawn by the SIT “are completely incorrect.” “I don’t agree with them,” he told NDTV, adding that the findings of the probe panel are not binding on the court.

“It is for the people to compare both the reports and draw their own conclusions,” he said. Justice Sawant had conducted an inquiry into the Gujarat riots in 2002 and had found Mr Modi responsible for the carnage. He had even recommended his prosecution.

Besides the SIT, the Supreme Court had also appointed senior advocate Raju Ramachandran to investigate allegations of Mr Modi’s complicity in the riots. Mr Ramachandran submitted his report to the Supreme Court in February this year. But his findings differ from those of the SIT.

He said there appear to be enough grounds for offences to be made out against the Chief Minister. “The offences which can be made out against Shri Modi, at this prima facie stage” include “promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and acts prejudicial to (the) maintenance of harmony,” his report reads.

The amicus curiae (one who assists the court) has also said in his report that more attention should be paid to the claims of suspended police officer Sanjiv Bhatt, whose comments against the Chief Minister were dismissed by the SIT. Mr Bhatt claims that on February 27, 2002, hours after 58 passengers were set on fire in a train near the Godhra station, Mr Modi held a meeting at his residence with senior police officers and told them that Hindus should be allowed to “vent their anger.”

Justice Sawant seconds that. “The genocide started after Narendra Modi instructed his ministers and top police officials against interfering with what people will be doing as a reaction to the Godhra incident,” he said.

The SIT and Mr Ramachandran were both asked to study Mr Modi’s role on the basis of a case filed by Zakia Jafri. Her husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was set on fire during the riots. Mrs Jafri has said that Mr Modi was among 63 people who colluded to prevent assistance to those being attacked in the riots.

She has alleged that Mr Modi and his administration did nothing to save Mr Jafri and 69 others at the Gulberg Society when rioters attacked them. She has claimed that her husband made repeated phone calls for help, even to the Chief Minister, but to no avail.

The SIT report claims that Congress leader could have provoked the rioters by firing on them.

On Monday, May 7, Ms Jafri was given a copy of the SIT closure report. But she has alleged that she has not been given all the documents, and at least 20 pages of the report are missing. She has also said that she will continue her legal battle to prove what she calls Mr Modi’s complicity in the post-Godhra Gujarat riots.

In another stunning statement, the SIT has said that even if Mr Modi had told the police during the riots to allow the Hindus to vent their anger over the massacre of 56 kar sevaks in the Godhra train burning incident, the mere statement of those in the confines of a room does not constitute an offence. On this, the SIT seems to have based its report on public statements made by Mr Modi during the riots.

Around 1200 people lost their lives in the riots in 2002 in the state.









Order against CPCL set aside

Express News Service

CHENNAI: An order of a Labour Court directing Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL), formerly known as Madras Refineries Limited (MRL), to absorb 381 members of a trade union with retrospective effect from the date of their initial entry into the service of MRL Industrial Co-operative Service Society Limited (INDCO Serve), has been set aside by the Madras High Court.

Justice K Chandru set aside the order, while allowing writ petitions from the management of CPCL and INDCO Serve, challenging the order of the Central Government Industrial Tribunal (CGIT)-cum-Labour Court.

According to CPCL, it had engaged contractors, of which one was INDCO Serve, which was formed by employees previously working under the contractors. CPCL also became a member of INDCO Serve in 1983. The main object of INDCO Serve was to take up and execute various works entrusted to it by CPCL. Subsequent to the formation of INDCO Serve, its members, through their trade union, raised an industrial dispute to absorb them into CPCL.

The dispute was referred to CGIT, which held that the so-called contract between INDCO Serve and CPCL was only nominal and only a camouflage. It held that INDCO workers were really the workmen of CPCL and therefore, they were entitled to be regularised into the service of CPCL. Challenging this order, CPCL filed the present petition.

The HC judge said that the INDCO Serve was a registered contractor and the CPCL had registered itself as principal employer under the provisions of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act. The workmen employed in INDCO Serve were governed by their own standing orders and the special bye-laws applicable to them.

Employees of INDCO Serve were not appointed by CPCL by any recruitment process conducted by them but were appointed by INDCO Serve.

Therefore, the demand raised by the workmen were misconceived and not legally sustainable. “Hence, the award stands set aside,” the judge said.









NGO refutes Child Welfare Committee report

TNN | May 13, 2012, 02.52AM IST

NEW DELHI: A day after the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) of Lajpat Nagar ordered a police inquiry into allegations of child abuse at the Prayas children’s home, the senior management of the NGO hit back, saying that the CWC order was baseless and they had not been informed about the probe at all.

Amod Kanth, founder of the NGO and former chairperson of Delhi Commission of Protection of Child Rights said he personally checked the files of both the complainants and found no records of the complaint. “The children were not forced to spend the night outside the dormitory as claimed. They were sitting on the stairs for some time after being told to not wear ornaments. When some children requested, they even had food,” Kanth said. He added that the children living in the home are taught about manicure and pedicure and it is possible that they had done the same for the manager in question. “But they were not forced to do so,” he said.

Arun Grover, director, Prayas, claimed the accused manager was “informed about the complaint against her by an informal email, and no formal summon was issued”. “She made a mistake by going to the committee without informing her senior, especially when there was no formal summon. How can the enquiry be proper if it is so one sided-when we were not informed about the allegations, or the order didn’t come through proper channel?” he said.

Raaj Mangal Prasad, chairperson of the CWC Lajpat Nagar refuted the claims made by NGO. He said that the mails were sent to the manager from the official id. “The CWC is a statutory body and we cannot comment on the allegations being made by the said NGO. Law will take its own course,” said Prasad.










Legal action against 3 deemed varsities

Published: Saturday, May 12, 2012, 13:24 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Medical education minister SA Ramdas on Friday said that the department is initiating legal action against three deemed universities—Siddharth Medical College, KLE University of Belagavi and BLDEA’s Shri BM Patil Medical College —for not complying with the 25% seat quota for poor meritorious students, selected through Common Entrance Test (CET).

Although several notices have been issued to these universities in this regard, the managements have not bothered to provide details of the seat-sharing matrix to the department.

“On Thursday too, we had a meeting with the officials of these colleges. But they were not forthcoming in providing seats to meritorious students. So, we have decided to take action against them,” the minister said.

“The managements had given in writing that they would allot 25% seats to government quota students,” he said, adding that even after the government writing to the Medical Association of India seeking information on seat allotments, these universities have failed to provide details.

This year, we have decided not to give away even a single vacant seat to private managements. Last year, 42 seats remained vacant, he said.

“We had given clear instructions to the private managements to begin the counselling process after we finish ours,” he said.
Notices have also been sent to Rajarajeshwari Medical College in Bangalore and AJ Shetty Medical College in Mangalore. Medical education minister SA Ramdas on Friday said that the department is initiating legal action against three deemed universities—Siddharth Medical College, KLE University of Belagavi and BLDEA’s Shri BM Patil Medical College —for not complying with the 25% seat quota for poor meritorious students, selected through Common Entrance Test (CET).

Although several notices have been issued to these universities in this regard, the managements have not bothered to provide details of the seat-sharing matrix to the department.

“On Thursday too, we had a meeting with the officials of these colleges. But they were not forthcoming in providing seats to meritorious students. So, we have decided to take action against them,” the minister said.

“The managements had given in writing that they would allot 25% seats to government quota students,” he said, adding that even after the government writing to the Medical Association of India seeking information on seat allotments, these universities have failed to provide details.

This year, we have decided not to give away even a single vacant seat to private managements. Last year, 42 seats remained vacant, he said.

“We had given clear instructions to the private managements to begin the counselling process after we finish ours,” he said.
Notices have also been sent to Rajarajeshwari Medical College in Bangalore and AJ Shetty Medical College in Mangalore.








A ban that does no justice to future generations

Text of resignation letter written by Prof. Suhas Palshikar and Prof. Yogendra Yadav to the head of the National Council of for Educational Research and Training following Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal’s announcement that the government is withdrawing a political science textbook containing an “objectionable” cartoon of Babasaheb Ambedkar:

1.The textbook (‘Indian Constitution at Work’) was first published in 2006 and so far has received appreciation from various quarters, scholars, educationists and students. This book is being taught since 2006 without change since then. The purpose of the textbook is to not only give reliable information but also to encourage students to think, and seek more information on their own. From this perspective, the textbook has included many additional elements besides the text; these include dialogues by two student characters, photographs, original documents (in facsimile), newspaper clippings and cartoons.

2. The cartoon on page 18 is by the famous cartoonist Shankar. This is a cartoon not done for the textbook but published at the time when the Constituent Assembly was working. It does not criticise or comment upon Dr. Ambedkar. It depicts Dr. Ambedkar as the one who is in charge of Constitution-making. Since the book has included many cartoons from that era, it is only natural that those cartoons depict many leaders of that time, including the makers of the Constitution.

3. However, the text on pages 17 and 18 amply elaborates why the making of the Constitution took considerable time, and what procedures were followed by the Assembly. It is also explained that deliberation and consensus were the key elements of Constitution-making.

4. In no way does the text or the cartoon denigrate or downplay the contribution of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. Since this textbook is in continuation of the Standard X textbook, it assumes the knowledge about the role and contribution of Dr. Ambedkar. In the Standard X textbook, on page 48, Dr. Ambedkar’s role is explained, and also a quotation from his speech is given for students to better understand his approach.

5. It may also be mentioned that the textbook had gone through very detailed scrutiny and finally was also vetted by a Monitoring Committee co-chaired by Professors Mrinal Miri and G.P. Deshpande. The national Monitoring Committee included, among others, Professors Gopal Guru and Zoya Hasan of JNU.

6. Before publication the textbook was also reviewed by many eminent scholars and was highly appreciated for its balanced treatment and student-friendly structure.

Suhas Palshikar, Professor, Department of Politics & Public Administration, University of Pune.

Yogendra Yadav, Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.








SC restricts medical admission till July 15

New Delhi, May 13, 2012

The Supreme Court has framed a series of guidelines for admission to MBBS and BDS courses in the country, saying after July 15 each year, neither the government nor the medical or dental councils shall issue any recognition or approval for that academic year. “The commencement of new courses or increase in seats of existing courses of MBBS/BDS are to be approved/recognised by the government of India by 15th July of each calendar year for the relevant academic sessions of that year.

“After 15th July of each year, neither the Union of India nor the Medical or Dental Council of India shall issue any recognition or approval for the current academic year. If any such approval is granted after 15th July of any year, it shall only be operative for the next academic year and not in the current academic year,” the bench of justices AK Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar said.

The judges said violation of the orders would invite both contempt proceedings and initiation of departmental action against the violating its directions.

The bench initiated contempt proceedings against six officials in connection with the admission granted to two girls – Akansha Adile and Priya Gupta – in the MBBS course for the academic year 2006-07 in the government NMDC Medical College, Jagdalpur in Chandigarh, on September 30, after overlooking the claims of several other meritorious students and the time schedule.

Contempt proceedings were initiated against the director general, directorate of Health Services; SL Adile, director of Medical Education; the dean of Jagdalpur College; and MS Banjan, PD Agarwal and Padmakar Sasane, members of the selection committee. Akansha is the daughter of SL Adile.











CBI court sends foodgrain scam accused to jail

TNN | May 13, 2012, 03.10AM IST

LUCKNOW: A CBI court on Saturday has sent a foodgrain scam accused Uday Pratap Singh to jail under judicial custody till May 26. The CBI produced the accused at the residence of CBI judge RP Sharma.

The CBI on Friday had arrested Uday Pratap Singh, brother of sitting Samajwadi Party MLA from Gonda Awdhesh Pratap Singh in connection with the scam. The CBI team probing the scam summoned Uday Pratap Singh to its camp office in Gonda on Friday morning for questioning. After a series of grilling sessions, the CBI brought him to Lucknow and formally arrested him late in the evening on Friday.

Uday Pratap happens to be a transporter and was among the three Gonda transporters who have been found involved in the scam related to disposal of food grains worth Rs 8 crore that was to be distributed to the below poverty line families through the public distribution system. Allegations are that the foodgrain was sold away in the open market. The transporters who were supposed to transport the foodgrain stocks from the government godowns to PDS warehouses sold the stocks directly from the government godowns and the stocks never reached the PDS warehouses.

The CBI had earlier arrested Rajendra Singh and Shivbux Singh – two leading transporters of Gonda, about a week ago. It was on the basis of the interrogation of these two transporters that the CBI managed to gather evidence against Uday Pratap to establish his involvement in the scam. While the agency has detected that foodgrain scam in Lakhimpur was worth Rs 7 crore, in Gonda it was estimated to be around Rs 8 crore.

The scam had surfaced during the previous Mulayam Singh Yadav regime. Investigators believe that the scam may turn out to be worth over Rs 1 lakh crore. More than 20 persons have been arrested so far by the CBI in connection with the scam from the two districts.










CBI finds Aarushi murder a tough case: Official

Press Trust of India

Ranchi: Terming Aarushi murder as a tough case due to delay in getting the case, the CBI on Saturday felt early handing over the matter could have enabled it to gather solid evidence.

“The CBI gets such cases very late. It gets such cases only after the state police and forensic experts finish their investigation. So, we don t have much time to get crucial evidence and it becomes difficult (to strengthen CBI’s points of investigation), a top CBI official said.

Describing the Aarushi murder case as a tough case, the official said the agency was waiting for a court order on May 14 as the trial resumes.

A special CBI court in Ghaziabad had yesterday reserved for May 14 its order on the plea of dentist couple Nupur and Rajesh Talwar, facing prosecution in the twin murder case of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj, for all the CBI documents pertaining to the case.

The official said the CBI could miss crucial evidence because of the time factor if they were handed over a case pertaining to murder, rape, missing or kidnapping.










CIC says Vohra report annexures be made public

Manoj Mitta, TNN | May 13, 2012, 06.00AM IST

NEW DELHI: In the pre-RTI era, the Supreme Court had ruled that it would be “severely and detrimentally injurious” to public interest if annexures to the N N Vohra Committee report, containing details of the alleged nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and criminals, were disclosed.

But the Central Information Commission (CIC) has now directed that these annexures be made public because the government had not bothered to explain its failure to disclose them in response to an RTI application.

The order passed by information commissioner Sushma Singh on May 10 directed the home ministry to provide the annexures to RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal within two weeks.

Since the government had only provided the already-public main report of 12 pages, the CIC warned the government that the government’s refusal to disclose its annexures spread over 100 pages could invite penal proceedings under RTI for giving incomplete information.

Given the probability of the annexures to the Vohra report naming political leaders who still wield clout, the government is more likely to appeal against the CIC order than to comply with it. Though it would be hard pressed to justify the cavalier manner in which it had withheld the annexures in its RTI reply without any explanation, the government’s best bet for letting them remain under wraps is the SC judgment of 1997 on a petition filed by MP Dinesh Trivedi.

Though based merely on the technicality of an omission in the RTI reply, the CIC order has for the first time raised the larger question whether the statutory immunity provided to intelligence agencies could be penetrated when their inputs had been annexed to the report of a high-powered body like the Vohra committee.

The Vohra committee submitted its report in 1993 in the wake of the Bombay blasts taking off all the available information about “the activities of crime syndicates/mafia organizations which had developed links with and were being protected by governmentfunctionaries and political personalities.”










CBI probe into RS horse trading to be completed in 6 months

Published: Saturday, May 12, 2012, 18:33 IST
Place: Ranchi | Agency: PTI

CBI investigation into alleged horse trading in the election to two Rajya Sabha seats in Jharkhand is expected to be completed within six months and seizures, including the ballot box used in the March 30 countermanded elections, has given many clues.

“Progress in the horse-trading (countermanded RS polls for two seats) case is good,” a top CBI official said in Ranchi.

He declined to share details of the investigation citing sensitivity of the case and said seizures like cash, car and others things had put the probe on the right track.

The countermanding of the RS elections in Jharkhand had come in the wake of police and Income Tax department seizing Rs2.15 crore from a vehicle on the outskirts of Ranchi on the polling day.

CBI sleuths had last month raided the premises of industrialist RK Agarwal, who was in the fray in the election which was countermanded as the premises of an independent candidate, besides those of three MLAs and some other persons were raided and documents and articles seized.

The investigators had on April 26 seized the ballot box used in the countermanded elections and registered a case under sections 171F (undue influence) and 188 (disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code.

Asked about the number of votes polled by Agarwal as the investigating agency had checked each vote after opening the ballot box, the official refused to reveal it.

Fresh polling to the two Rajya Sabha seats was held on May 3 and there was no independent candidates in the fray.











Lucknow: FIR against Nirmal Baba

India Blooms News Service

Lucknow, May 12 (IBNS): The Lucknow Police on Saturday said they have registered an First Information Report (FIR) against godman Nirmal Baba on the directions of a local court.

Nirmal has been charged under several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that include 417, 419, 420 and 508.

Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Rajesh Upadhyaya directed the police to lodge a case against the godman after accepting an application moved by Tanya Thakur and Aditya Thakur.

They filed the complaint after watching the show Nirmal Darbar where the godman was seen giving solutions to people’s problems.

They alleged Nirmal was fooling people and also promoting superstition through his acts.

Earlier, it was reported that Nirmal Baba allegedly used donations from his followers to buy a hotel in Delhi’s Greater Kailash area.

Hindi Daily Prabhat Khabar claimed that Nirmal purchased the hotel for Rs. 30 crores.

The current market value of the hotel is around Rs. 35 crores.

Former owner of the hotel Ashwani Kapoor told a national news channel that Nirmal wanted to start a chain of hotels.

Nirmal landed up in fresh controversies when a voluntary organization accused him of cheating innocent people.

According to reports, complaints were registered against the godman in local police stations at Lucknow and Raipur for charging heavily to device ‘fake’ remedies.

Former President, Ravishankar University Yogendra Shankar Shulka, who filed a complaint against Nirmal, said the godman was giving ‘non-sense remedies’ to commoners who were asking for his help.

He said Nirmal was exploiting innocent people financially.

Actor Nidhi also claimed that Nirmal used to hire ‘fake’ people and they used to ask questions to him.

Nidhi said that she was paid Rs.10,000 for asking questions.










High Court quashes proceedings against Kuldip Sharma

Published: Saturday, May 12, 2012, 16:13 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA

Justice JB Pardiwala of Gujarat high court, on Friday quashed proceedings against IPS officer Kuldip Sharma in connection with criminal case initiated against him by a court in Anand.

“The court has quashed the proceedings by observing that ‘reading the complaint by face of it, there is no offence made out of it’. Therefore, the court, has accepted our submission against the proceedings,” said IH Syed, counsel for Sharma. “We had also opposed state government’s sanction in this case after a gap of 14 years,” he said.

Kuldip Sharma, a senior IPS officer who is not on good terms with the state government, is on deputation with the Central government. A court in Anand had issued summons against Sharma by order to register an offence against him in April 2011.

The offence has been registered following a complaint by Kirit Brahmbhatt, a retired DySP, regarding an incident that took place with him in 2001 when he was working under Sharma.

According to case details, when Brahmbhatt was posted in Anand in 1998, a complaint of criminal intimidation and corruption was lodged against him. The police then closed the case against him by submitting a summary report in the court.

Though, the court had accepted the closing report against Brahmbhatt which was not challenged, Sharma, as a superior officer with CID (Crime), ordered further investigation of the case against Brahmbhatt in 2001.

Sharma’s action was challenged by former cop before the Gujarat high court. When the petition was pending before the high court, Sharma sent a team of police officers to arrest Brahmbhatt at his residence in Anand.












Young lawyers facing multiple challenges: Supreme Court judge

TNN May 12, 2012, 10.14PM IST

GUWAHATI: Supreme Court judge G S Singhvi on Saturday said young lawyers and the present generation are facing multiple challenges emanating not only from the legal front but also from the social quarter as well.

Justice Singhvi was speaking at a seminar titled “Challenges before the Legal Profession in Contemporary Times” organised by the National Law University and Judiciary Academy, Assam.

While addressing law students, lawyers, and judges at the seminar, Singhvi said people from his generation, which included leaders and bureaucrats, have failed the nation and were responsible for the present state of the country where more than 700 million people are below the poverty line. He also stated that the present generation faced tremendous challenges in matters pertaining to the violation of basic human rights and the destruction that was being meted out to the ecology.

“It is sad to say that my generation has failed the nation. In a country where 700 million people live below the poverty line, we tend to talk about justice. We talk about our fundamental rights being trampled upon but what about those people who do not get two square meals a day, have no right to education, shelter, clothing and other basic amenities. The country is divided into rural and urban and the idea about equality and fraternity needs to be pondered about and the entire process of development had taken place at the cost of rural people,” said Singhvi.

The justice also spoke about his experience as a lawyer and judge, juxtaposing his experiences as a legal person and a citizen of this country. “I feel guilty when I read about equality and fraternity and think about the labourers and farmers who have made our lives comfortable and easy. The ‘jan sevaks’ are fast becoming our masters, the first citizens followed by the rich and the poor only as third class citizens. At this juncture, I urge the young generation to treat Section 4 and 4(a) of the Indian Constitution as a common religion so that 700 million-odd people can come out and compete with us. You should stop thinking about your expectations,” added Singhvi.

Praising the young generation as brilliant as compared to his, the judge was all praise for Assam for its natural tapestry and even commented that Delhi was hell and appeared glamorous only on television.

Also present at the event were Adarsh Kumar Goel, chief justice of Gauhati High Court, Amitabh Roy, B K Sharma, B P Kotoky and Rishikesh Roy – judges of Gauhati high court. The seminar was streamed live through video conference.












Rajasthan High Court clears US teenager of mother’s murder

Associated Press | Updated: May 13, 2012 08:50 IST

Jodhpur The Rajasthan High Court has overturned the conviction of a US teenager who had been accused of killing his mother while on vacation in western India.

The Rajasthan High Court ordered Joncarlo Patton’s immediate release from a juvenile detention facility, according to Press Trust of India news agency. It was not immediately clear on what grounds the court overturned his conviction.

Patton was sentenced last year to three years in a juvenile detention facility after he was found guilty of slitting his mother’s throat at a desert resort in Rajasthan in August 2010. Prosecutors accused Patton of killing Cynthia Iannarelli, of Cecil, Pennsylvania, because he was traumatized over his parents’ divorce. Police said Patton left the wrapped body on a sand dune near the Osian resort and was arrested at the airport as he tried to fly home.
Patton, who was 16 when he was arrested, has said he is innocent and has accused police of forcing him to confess.

The teenager’s father, Richard Patton, said the family was overjoyed at his acquittal.

“While this does not in any way lessen the tragic death of Dr. Iannarelli, both the Patton and Iannarelli families are relieved and joyful with Joncarlo’s acquittal, an outcome we have believed in and expected from the very beginning,” Richard Patton said in a written statement.

The teenager’s lawyer, Rahul Mehra, said Patton had been turned over to US Embassy officials for repatriation.

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said US officials “are aware of the case and are providing appropriate consular assistance.” He declined to comment further citing privacy concerns.

Richard Patton, a professor of business administration at the University of Pittsburgh, said the staff at the juvenile facility had treated his son “with kindness, dignity and respect under very trying conditions.” He also expressed his gratitude to his son’s legal team for working “tirelessly on Joncarlo’s behalf as well as providing him friendship and support.”

“As Joncarlo returns to Pittsburgh, his focus will be on getting back to his studies and activities and continued accomplishments that will make his mother and all of us proud,” Richard Patton added. “At some future point, he may choose to discuss his experiences but for now he will focus on returning to a normal life.”

He declined to comment beyond the written statement.





NHRC suggests night courts to tackle overcrowding in prisons

New Delhi: To tackle overcrowding in prisons across the country, the National Human Rights Commission has suggested holding of night courts in jails for trial of petty offences.

NHRC Chairperson KG Balakrishnan said various strategies could be employed to bring down the prison population like ensuring that police does not make any arrest indiscriminately and also providing legal aid to the poor.

He said the number of undertrial prisoners is very high in India and there is no other country which has such a count in its jails.

Convicts may be in large numbers but not undertrial prisoners, he said.

“In jails itself, there could be some courts so that petty offences could be tried. The timing could be between 4 pm and 8 pm. Some incentive should be provided to the magistrates.

“Earlier, there were evening courts in some places. One third of the basic was given as incentive to magistrates. Only young lawyers less than seven years were allowed to appear,” Balakrishnan said.

He said there can be some facility for court in the prison itself. “Even witnesses would love to come in the evening so that they don’t lose their wages,” he said.

The jails in the country are bursting at the seams, with the NCRB statistics showing that 3,68,998 prisoners are lodged in the country’s 1,393 prisons as against their capacity of 3,20,450 inmates. The occupancy rate was 115.1 per cent in 2010.

Balakrishnan said sometimes people are unnecessarily incarcerated. “But after long trial, they are acquitted,” he said.

“Another issue is that poor people, who get bail from courts, are not able to produce sureties. They are not able to get out of prisons. Such people should be released on some personal bond,” he suggested.

However, Balakrishnan said it will be difficult if these people are accused of heinous crimes. He suggested that others should be given bail.









Lawyers can practise before college and school tribunal: HC

Vaibhav Ganjapure, TNN | May 13, 2012, 01.32AM IST

NAGPUR: In a landmark decision, the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court has ruled that lawyers should be allowed to practice before the university and college tribunals.

“A legal practitioner including an advocate shall not be required to obtain permission of the college and school tribunal to appear before it,” a division bench comprising justices Sharad Bobde and Prasanna Varale ruled, while declaring Section 64 of the Maharashtra Universities Act, 1994 under which legal practitioners are not entitled to appear before the college tribunal as “invalid”.

The court quashed and set aside the order of University and College Tribunal on November 21, 2007, by terming it as “illegal”. “Since Section 64 deals with exclusion of right of an advocate to practise before the University and College Tribunal, the provision must be held to be repugnant to Section 30 of the Advocates Act and consequently void as per Article 254(1) of the Constitution of India,” the court noted.

The petitioners – Mohan Sudame and Sanjiwani Shikshan Sanstha – had challenged Section 64 of the MU Act which stated that a legal practitioner shall not be entitled to appear on behalf of any party in any proceeding before the tribunal.

According to them, the University and College tribunal has wide powers. In any appeal brought before it by an employee who is removed or dismissed, the tribunal can decide all questions of fact and law which arise therein. The tribunal is presided over by a person, who is or has been a judge in high court or is qualified to be appointed as a judge of high court from the panel of three persons recommended by the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court. On November 21, 2007, the tribunal passed an order to withdraw the permission granted earlier to the legal practitioners to appear before it and directed the parties to make their own arrangements to defend their case.

Citing Section 30 of the Advocates Act, the petitioners contended that it was enacted by the Parliament and allows advocates right to practice. This empowers them to practice before all tribunals, University and College tribunals as well.

According to the Constitution, any law by Parliament, whether passed before or after the law enacted by the state legislature shall prevail, the petitioners argued. The court directed that the Advocates Act is act of Parliament and hence, the right of an advocate to practice before courts or any person authorized to take evidence remains intact, before disposing off the petition.









Pollution control board draws HC flak

Anand Bodh, TNN | May 13, 2012, 07.07AM IST

SHIMLA: Functioning of the Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board is now under the scanner on the issue of setting up of a thermal plant by Jai Prakash Associates Limited (JAL) at Bagheri in Solan district.

Ordering the dismantling of this plant, division bench of the Himachal Pradesh high court pointed out that the plant was set up without any valid approval, and construction was carried out even after consent to establish was withdrawn. “In fact, the pollution control board was negligent in not withdrawing consent to establish the thermal plant earlier,” the court said.

The division bench comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjay Karol observed, “We had asked the state to produce record to show in what circumstances was the earlier decision taken about not to entertain such proposals for setting up thermal plants in the future and why did the government change this policy on November 10, 2008, within a short period of only one year. We find that some complaints were received against S P Vasudeva, the then member secretary of the pollution control board, wherein it was alleged that he granted consent to establish thermal power plants without following the policy and norms.”

The court added that the department of environment, science and technology was directed to examine this aspect of the matter. “The note shows that the consent to establish was accorded without any proper scrutiny of the extent of air pollution these thermal plants would cause. It was also pointed out that no regard was paid to the fact that the thermal plants fall under the negative list of industries in the state’s industrial policy. It was specifically pointed out that thermal plants generate carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide and cause very high level of pollution. It was clearly pointed out that the pollution control board had not properly examined these proposals,” the court said.

The court further observed that setting up of the thermal plant was in total violation of the EIA notification of 2006 which had come into force at the time when consent to establish this plant was given. “The draft EIA report prepared in the 2007 is absolutely a sham report. It purports to be based on baseline data collected during the summer of 2004 that is April-June 2004. At that time, there was not even a proposal to set up a captive power plant. We fail to understand how the consultants could have collected data in the 2004 before the signing of the MoU, much before the site had been selected or approved and much before there was any proposal to set up a captive power plant,” court said in its judgment.

The court in the judgment directed the pollution control board to ensure that consent to establish is not granted. It further directed the board to ensure that whenever any public hearing is held, people of the area are well-informed about the benefits and the ill-effects of the project.









HC orders 3% Vidya Sahayak seats for disabled people

TNN | May 13, 2012, 02.02AM IST

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court (HC) has asked the state government not to fill three per cent of total posts of Vidya Sahayak for the physically challenged people.

The Blind People’s Association (BPA) had filed a PIL challenging the state government’s decision of not keeping three per cent of posts reserved for physically challenged and visually challenged persons as per the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities (equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation) Act, 1995.

BPA moved HC contending that the state government was denying teacher’s jobs to physically handicap persons claiming that there are various tasks that cannot be properly performed by challenged people. HC sought explanation from the government. However, the state government did not submit its reply on various pretexts and tried to skirt the issue.






HC stays govt ban on fishing in Amreli reservoir

TNN | May 13, 2012, 02.03AM IST

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court has stayed a state government’s order prohibiting fishing in a water body in Amreli district. An officer of the fisheries department had prohibited fishing in a lake at Kariyana village on the ground that the “religious feelings of the villagers were hurt due to fishing in lake.”

An assistant director of fisheries at Jafrabad had asked fishermen to stop fishing and had suspended their license to fish in Kalubhar Minor Reservoir. Left jobless, a group of fishermen had moved the HC submitting that the government’s decision to snatch their livelihood citing religious feelings of villagers was illegal and it was required to be set aside.

In this case, the fisheries department in November last ordered the fishermen to stop fishing in the lake after the villagers from a nearby Kariyana raised objection to fishing activity because a temple was situated on one bank and they did not want fishing to take place near the religious place. The fishermen agreed on not fishing in the waters near the temple and began their activity at the other end of the reservoir upon restoration of their licenses.

However, in February this year, the department once again issued prohibitory orders and suspended their licenses after it received objection from the sarpanch of the village that the business hurts their religious feelings.

Before the HC, the fishermen’s counsel S H Iyer contended that the fishermen belonged to BPL group and they were awarded contract for fishing for five years. And when a contract is signed, it becomes fundamental right of the fishermen to carry out their business, and on a vague ground of religious sentiments being hurt, the government cannot deprive poor fishermen of their livelihood.

After hearing the case, a division bench of justices D H Waghela and Mohinder Pal stayed the fisheries department’s decision and ordered to permit the fishermen to carry on with their activity on the other side of the lake till June 19, when further hearing is kept.







HC: cant’ allow projects that affect the environment

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, May 13, 2012

Any project that affects forests and the environment and is in violation of rules or lacks required permissions cannot be permitted to continue, the Bombay high court said on Friday. The observation by a division bench of justices DD Sinha and VK Tahilramani came in response to a public interest litigation filed by four activists, including Mayank Gandhi, a coordinator for India Against Corruption, pointing out irregularities in the awarding of contract and construction of the Kondhane dam project in Raigad district.

Appearing for the petitioners, advocate Mihir Desai said hundreds of acres of forests would be affected by this project, which did not have permission from the environment ministry and other authorities. Desai further pointed out that the tender for the project was awarded within a month and in that period the project costs escalated from Rs. 50 crore to Rs. 360 crore.

Desai, however, revealed that two of the petitioners had land in the area but their research and queries under RTI led them to alleged irregularities in the project. The court wanted to know at what stage the construction was. Desai informed that according to Friday’s media report, the governor had ordered a probe into the project.

The petitioners further pointed out that work was going on in spite of a stop work notice from the Archeological Survey of India due to the presence of some caves in the project area.








Don’t decide on parole applications casually: HC

Vaibhav Ganjapure, TNN | May 13, 2012, 12.55AM IST

NAGPUR: In a strong rebuke to divisional commissioners, Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court has ruled that they should apply their mind to the facts and materials before deciding on parole applications.

“Simply signing below the note put up by the clerk, countersigned by the tehsildar or deputy commissioner, may give rise to allegations that there was no application of mind on part of the divisional commissioner,” a division bench of justices Naresh Patil and TV Nalawade stated. The court provided relief to petitioner Sitaram Gaware, who was lodged in the Aurangabad jail and whose application for parole was rejected by the divisional commissioner.

The judges further directed the divisional commissioner to henceforth take note of the observations made by them and streamline the procedure of screening of such applicants. S/he was also told to pass appropriate orders on such applications, reflecting application of mind. “The divisional commissioner is entitled to peruse the notes and endorsements put up by the subordinates. His application of mind shall be reflected in clear terms only if s/he puts opinion on the material placed before the authority concerned,” the court said.

The petitioner had applied for parole after which a note was put up by the clerk at divisional commissioner’s office before the tehsildar. It was then circulated to deputy commissioner and ultimately to divisional commissioner for endorsement. The clerk made adverse remarks on the note that it would not be proper to release Gaware on parole. Accordingly, the commissioner rejected the petitioner’s application on March 16.

When petitioner challenged this order in the high court, the judges remarked that there was an abnormal delay in forwarding police report as noticed in several cases. “On several occasions, this court has issued directions to the authorities to curb delay in forwarding report,” the court observed.

The commissioner’s office then informed that he had taken serious note of the problem of late police reports that frustrate the rights of the prisoners and affect effective implementation of orders. Even the police were subsequently instructed that their reports should be faxed or e-mailed.

The court directed the commissioner to re-appreciate Gaware’s case and pass fresh order considering the past conduct of the petitioner who was released thrice on similar leave.

The superintendent of police was told to comply with the instructions issued by the divisional commissioner in respect of forwarding the reports diligently on fax or e-mail in the future.







HC asks CBI to submit note files on APIIC-Emaar

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The High Court on Friday directed the CBI to submit the note files on allocation of land by the AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation to Emaar Properties, and also on all other transactions between the two for verification by the court.
Posting hearing on the bail application of Bibhu Prasad Acharya, suspended IAS officer and prime accused in the case, to next week, justice N.Ravi Shankar sought details of government’s permission to the CBI for prosecution of the prime accused.
“When you (CBI) are opposing the bail, you must get the note files. You must explain with documents about the activities of the APIIC. I can’t pass any order without seeing these documents. What is your objection (to the bail) when a charge sheet was already filed before the CBI court? When the minister concerned and the chief minister are the final authority, why have you arrested Acharya? Is there any evidence with regard to money transfers involving Acharya?” the judge asked the CBI counsel.
CBI’s counsel P Kesava Rao said that Acharya, while serving as vice-chairman and managing director of APIIC, was nominated by the government as director for three SPVs (Special Purpose Vehicles). Though there was no evidence of his involvement in money transfers, the accused had ignored to take action despite knowing about the irregularities in SPV proceedings and had failed to bring it to the government’s notice.
Acharya’s counsel V Surender Rao said that his client had been in prison for the last three months. Besides, the government had not considered CBI’s application seeking permission to prosecute Acharya, he added.
After hearing both the sides, the judge posted the matter to next week.
On March 27 the High Court had cancelled Acharya’s bail granted by the CBI court, and directed him to surrender in the CBI court forthwith. Acharya applied for bail again but the CBI court dismissed his plea on April 26. Then Acharya approached the High Court again.








HC issues notice as PIL seeks CBI probe against forest officer

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh , May 12, 2012

After a petition sought a CBI inquiry against VK Jhanjaria, conservator of forests, Hisar, for alleged financial irregularities, the Punjab and Haryana high court has issued notices of motion to the central and Haryana governments, besides the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Jhanjaria.

Gurgaon resident Harinder Dhingra filed the public-interest litigation (PIL) upon which an HC division bench comprising acting chief justice MM Kumar and justice Alok Singh issued the notices on Friday.

Dhingra, who claims to be a Right to Information (RTI) activist, has informed the court that a state vigilance inquiry against Jhanjaria, who allegedly possesses assets disproportionate to his knows sources of income, was underway since April 21 last year but no action had been taken till date.

Dhingra also requested for a CBI inquiry into a case of bungling in the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Jind, pending against Jhanjaria, and sought directions to restrain Jhanjaria from holding office in any sensitive field posting as probes are on against him.

The bench was informed that in a letter dated June 21, 2007, Haryana’s financial commissioner (forests) told the financial commissioner (rural development) about irregularities committed by Jhanjaria in a scheme sanctioned by the Centre, called Haryali, in 2004-05.

Subsequently, the Jind deputy commissioner referred to that letter and on May 3, 2010, said that apart from departmental proceedings, criminal action should also be initiated against Jhanjaria.

The bench was informed that during the years 2005-06 and 2008-09, Jhanjaria had claimed to have spent Rs. 16 crore of government money on plantation in Jind, where he was the district forest officer (DFO). But the area available for plantation was not in consonance with the claim.

The matter would now come up for hearing on July 24.



LEGAL NEWS 13.05.2012

AP: Vijayamma goes to SC against Naidu

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: YSR Congress honorary president and Pulivendula MLA YS Vijayamma, on Friday, filed a petition before the Supreme Court challenging the AP High Court’s decision to dismiss her plea for an inquiry by CBI and other central agencies into alleged disproportionate assets of former chief minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu and others. The matter is likely to come up for hearing after the court reopens after vacation beginning Saturday.
It may be recalled that the High Court division bench comprising justice G Rohini and justice Ashutosh Mohunta on February 16 dismissed the public interest petition of Vijayamma, widow of the late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, seeking CBI probe into alleged disproportionate assets of Chandrababu Naidu.
The bench declared the order issued by another division bench on November 14, 2011, ordering a preliminary inquiry by the CBI against Naidu and others, to be a violation of the principles of natural justice.
It observed that there was political rivalry between YSR Congress and TDP and the present writ petition appeared to be a counter attack to the investigation ordered against the petitioner’s son (Kadapa MP Jagan Mohan Reddy). The petition amounted to abuse of the process of court in the guise of a PIL, it remarked.
Vijayamma, in her 45-pages petition before the Apex Court, asked whether it was appropriate for the HC bench to dismiss her petition when another bench had earlier ordered an enquiry into the issue. She said she had ‘doubts’ against justice Rohini and urged that the petition be not heard by the judge. However, a bench headed by justice Rohini dismissed the petition, she said.








HC lets police to drop MCOCA charges against Salem

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 11, 2012

The Delhi High Court on Friday allowed Delhi police to drop stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA) charges against gangster Abu Salem in an extortion case pending in a court.
The police required the order urgently as the Portugese supreme court had in January cancelled Salem’s extradition for violating the extradition terms by invoking MCOCA against him. It was after the Indian government filed an appeal that a Portugese constitution court in March stayed the order cancelling the extradition.

“The petition of Delhi Police is allowed. The order dated August 28, 2009 passed by the designated lower court is set aside. The state is permitted to withdraw the charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA),” Justice V K Shali said.

The judgment came on a Delhi Police petition seeking revocation of the lower court’s order, which had denied it the permission to withdraw the MCOCA charges Salem.

The Delhi police had invoked Section 3(2) and Section 3(4) of MCOCA relating to commission of an offence by an organised crime syndicate as per a criminal conspiracy for extortion of money from a Delhi-based trader in 2002.

Earlier, the Portuguese high court had terminated the extradition of Salem to India on ground that the extradition terms agreed to between the two nations have not been observed. The supreme court of Portugal too had upheld the decision, which left the CBI with the sole remedy to seek reversal in the constitutional court there.

Salem, along with his girlfriend Monica Bedi, was detained in Portugal on September 18, 2002, and handed over to India on November 11, 2005, to face trial in eight cases including the 1992 Mumbai blast case.









HC notice to Punjab and Haryana, UT on rehabilitation policy for convicts


| May 12, 2012, 01.44AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Taking up a vital issue about absence of any policy in the region for rehabilitation of convicts after their release from the jails of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday issued notice to both the states and UT administration seeking their response.

The notice has been issued by a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Alok Singh while taking suo motu cognizance of a letter written to the high court by a convict lodged in Karnal district jail.

In his letter addressed to the high court, one convict from Karnal jail has submitted to the HC that on completion of his jail term, if an accused is released, he lags behind in the society and in case he does not get any job he again starts indulging in criminal activities. While informing about absence of any policy for rehabilitation of convicts after their release, the letter further added that a convict can be motivated to join the mainstream of the society by providing some job so that he may lead a peaceful life with family members. “Attention of the state government should be drawn towards rehabilitation of the convicts after their release from jails,” letter added.

Besides the rehabilitation policy, the HC has also sought reply from both the states and UT to file reply on the issues of remissions granted to convicts and any special provision of remission for convicts with severe disability. Now the case would come up for further hearing on July 24.









HC gives nod for appointment of Pune University vice chancellor

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, May 12, 2012

The Bombay high court, on Friday, dismissed a petition challenging the state’s selection process for vice chancellors (VC), paving the way for the appointment of a new VC for the University of Pune. Thane-based social activist, Suresh Patilkhede, had approached the HC challenging the validity of the Maharashtra Universities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2009.

The Ordinance, which amended certain provisions of the Maharashtra Universities Act, 1994, provides for nomination of a search committee to shortlist candidates for the VC’s post. The Governor then selects one of the short-listed candidates.

Patilkhede contended that the process went against the regulations of the Universities Grant Commission (UGC). He further contended the selection mechanism was illegal and lacked basic sanctity of law.

A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Niteen Jamdar, however, did not find anything wrong with the process. “The respondents have acted in consonance with the provisions of the Maharashtra Universities Act,” the judges observed. The HC also turned down a request by the petitioner to stay the selection process till they moved Supreme Court.

The state authorities, on January 6, had said that they would not continue with the selection process till the petition was pending.

On Friday, after the judgement was pronounced, advocate VB Tiwari, who represented the petitioner, sought a stay based on that statement. 

Girish Kulkarni, representing University of Pune, opposed the request, stating that the VC’s post has been vacant for eight months now, and the university was in urgent need of a VC. The university’s VC, RK Shevgaonkar, left to join the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi as director. The judges accepted this and said that the appointment could not be delayed further..

The petitioner’s counsel, Anil Anturkar, had argued that UGC regulations would prevail over the Maharashtra Universities Act. The HC, however, held that UGC guidelines, at the most, could be termed as subordinate legislations and could not override the provisions of a legislation enacted by the State Legislature.







HC’s 5-day deadline for parking problems

Express news service : Chandigarh, Sat May 12 2012, 03:42 hrs

To find an immediate solution to the increasing parking problems in the city, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday gave five days’ time to the amicus curiae, appointed in the case pertaining to traffic congestion, to submit suggestions for easing out parking problems.

The Chandigarh Administration has been asked to look into the report, and the matter will be taken up for resumed hearing on May 18.

Making it clear that no time should be wasted in taking steps to find solution for parking problems, a division bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and Ajay Tewari expressed strong disapproval of the lackadaisical attitude of the Chandigarh Administration. Advocate A P S Shergill and Reeta Kohli were asked to personally visit the spots and submit a report/list of suggestions to tackle with the problem of parking.

The bench asked the administration what steps it was taking to make use of the underground parking lots. Also, the administration was asked to identify and make use of empty areas near Sector 17, Chandigarh, so that vehicles could be parked there and Sector 17 could be made vehicle-free.

The court slammed the Chandigarh Administration for having “imaginative apprehensions” and not having a parking policy. The court observed that ad hocism was one of the major problems plaguing the Chandigarh Administration because of which no immediate action was taken. The court made it clear that the administration was trying to “stonewall” the ideas of progressive thinking.

However, appearing on behalf of the administration, its senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal said the administration was not trying to stonewall any ideas. He said the administration was doing its best to come up with a solution to the parking problems.

The development took place during the resumed hearing of a PIL arising out of a suo motu notice taken by the High Court on a news item published by The Indian Express highlighting the issue of eco cabs.

The High Court also directed the administration to come up with a final decision on the launch of eco cabs in the city.







HC orders videotaping of autopsy

TNN | May 12, 2012, 04.35AM IST

MADURAI: The Madurai bench of the Madras high court has ordered video-recording of postmortem on the body of a woman who died after being in coma for 13 months following wrong administration of nitrous oxide, instead of oxygen, during tubectomy surgery at a government hospital in Kanyakumari district.

Justice D Hariparanthaman, disposing of a petition filed by her husband, ordered the postmortem to be conducted by a team of doctors at a government hospital in Vellore. The body should be transported at state cost to the victim’s native place in Kanyakumari.

The petitioner S Ganesan feared that the postmortem might not be conducted properly in the government hospital as it was where his wife fell into coma due to “negligence” on March 19, 2011.

It may be recalled that the woman Rukmani died after a struggle that lasted for over a year, at the Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, on May 4.

Rukmani, 37, was admitted to the medical college hospital in Nagercoil on March 18, 2011, for a tubectomy. A day later, she fell into a coma after the team that conducted the surgery administered nitrous oxide instead of oxygen. Doctors blamed the company that supplied oxygen cylinders to the hospital for the mess-up.

An inquiry by the then Kanyakumari district collector, Rajendra Ratnoo, suspended the team that operated on Rukmani. Later, they were reinstated.

Ganesan brought Rukmani to the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai for treatment last April. A Madurai-based lawyer moved the high court seeking justice for her, following which the court asked the state government to bear the cost of her treatment as well the accommodation of her family members.

Experts from Chennai had also visited Madurai to review her condition. She was shifted to Vellore for further treatment on the court’s order.

Ganesan had last week told TOI that CMC Vellore had asked him to take the body without a postmortem, but he refused since he thought an autopsy report was necessary to seek the court’s intervention to secure his children’s future.

“I am determined that the postmortem should be performed at CMC because I have great confidence in them. I don’t trust the government doctors,” he had said. “They destroyed my beautiful family and I am now physically exhausted. I believe in the court to provide help for my family,” he said. He plans to bury Rukmani in his family land and construct a memorial for her.

Ganesan was making a living by selling vessels whereas Rukmani used to do sewing jobs. They have two children – Subash, 15, and Amirthavarshini, 14.









HC okays AI pilots’ ongoing B777 training, stays further ones

New Delhi, May 11, 2012

Refusing to disturb the ongoing training of the Air India pilots on advanced Boeing 777 to be used in international flights, the Delhi High Court on Friday stayed further trainings of more pilots till implementation of Justice Dharmadhikari panel recommendations on the issue.

The high court’s order came on a plea by erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots for a stay on management’s decision to train only erstwhile Air India pilots.

“I hereby make it clear that those pilots of Air India, who are already on training on advanced aircrafts, shall not be disturbed,” said Justice Suresh Kait, adding, however, “… those who have already taken the training on advance aircraft shall be subject to the outcome of the instant petition.”

“I am of the considered opinion that till the report submitted by Justice Dharmadhikari Committee is implemented, the imparting of training on advanced aircraft, in this manner, shall remain stayed,” the court said.

The court’s verdict came on a plea by the erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots under the banner of Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) for an order to stay the ongoing training and also direct Air India to impart training to them as well along with their counterparts in Air India for the rank of Commanders for Boeing 777.

Considering ICPA’s contention that if the new training system is implemented, co-pilots of Air India will be directly promoted to the post of commanders of the advanced aircraft, the court observed it will prejudice the rights of erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots who will remain as commanders of basic aircraft only, thus affecting their seniority.

“.. if the same system is allowed to go on, it will definitely cause prejudice to the rights and contention of the petitioners (ICPA), because the petitioners shall remain commander of basic aircraft, while the co-pilots of Air India, even without holding the position of commander of basic aircraft, would be commander on advance aircraft,” said Justice Kait.

“This imparity would be a great hurdle in the  seniority of the erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots with Air India pilots at the time of implementation of report submitted by Justice Dharamadhikari Committee,” he added.

ICPA had moved the high court alleging it has not been dealt “at a par” with Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), an association Air India pilots.

Seeking parity in training, the petitioner pilots body, in its plea, alleged the commanders (head pilot) of basic aircraft of former Indian Airlines have not been considered by Air India management for training of commander of advanced aircraft like Boeing 747, 787 and 777.

During the course of hearing, Air India counsel Lalit Bhasin had argued that the management had taken the decision to train only Air India pilots for advance aircrafts because of their different nature of job and different experience profiles.











Fake arms deal case: HC calls for trial court records, Bangaru Laxman to stay in jail

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has called for the trial court records on former BJP president Bangaru Laxman in the fake arms deal case. The argument of expediting the case on the basis of Laxman’s old age and medical condition has been rejected by the court. Laxman will now have to spend two months in jail. The next date of hearing in the case is July 5.

Bangaru Laxman had moved the Delhi High Court challenging his conviction and the punishment awarded to him by a special CBI court in New Delhi for taking Rs 1 lakh as bribe in a fictitious defence deal case.

Eleven years after having been caught in a sting operation by a news portal, Laxman was convicted and sent to four years in jail on April 28 and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh.

After spending around ten days in Tihar jail, Laxman moved the High Court seeking quashing of the trial court’s conviction and the sentence awarded to him for taking the bribe from fake arms dealers to recommend to the Defence Ministry to award them a contract to supply thermal binoculars to the Army.

Laxman’s cousel Atul Kumar earlier claimed that in the case the FIR has not been proved and the trial court judge has wrongly convicted him. “The prosecution has not considered the submission made by the witnesses even though it was in his favour,” the counsel said.

Laxman, 72-year-old former union minister, who was caught on camera in a 2001 sting operation conducted by, accepting money in his chamber in the party headquarters, had to quit as BJP President shortly after the expose which had created a huge political storm.

As per the CBI chargesheet, the Tehelka scribes had held eight meetings with Laxman between December 23, 2000, and January 7, 2001, projecting themselves as supplier of defence-related products.

The CBI had alleged Laxman had accepted Rs one lakh from the representatives of the purported firm on January 1, 2001, at his office for pursuing their proposal to supply the products to the Army.

The FIR in the case was registered on December 6, 2006, against Laxman, his Assistant Personal Secretary N Umamaheshwar Raju and Personal Secretary T Satyamurthy.

Satyamurthy, however, had been granted pardon by a trial court after he turned an approver in the case while the trial could not proceed against Raju due to lack of evidence.









Haryana Indian Forest Service officer under HC scanner

TNN | May 12, 2012, 01.41AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Alleged financial irregularities and high handedness in the Haryana forest department at the hands of senior IFS officer V K Jhanjharia, has now come under the scanner of Punjab and Haryana high court, which on Friday issued notice to CBI, Union ministry of forest and environment and the officer seeking response on the issue. Jhanjharia is at present posted as conservator forest (west circle Hisar)

The matter came up for hearing before the Punjab and Haryana high court in the wake of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Gurgaon resident, Harinder Dhingra.

The division bench comprising acting Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Alok Singh has also put the Haryana government, its chief conservator (forest) and the state vigilance bureau on notice seeking their response on the contentions raised in the PIL.

Petitioner has sought directions to take cognizance of the financial irregularities and high handedness of V K Jhanjharia in the department and to order CBI probe to investigate into the matter of disproportionate assets, regarding which the vigilance inquiry is pending since April 21, 2011. It was submitted that the state vigilance bureau has not taken any action till date and neither inquiry is concluded in this matter.

He alleged that as per the information received from various sources, the IFS officer has amassed huge properties, which cannot be accounted for and has also indulged in malpractices so much so that he has not only misappropriated the state property but has also embezzled the funds of the state.

He added that he was appointed as the Haryana Forest Services officer in 1980 and promoted to IFS in 1986.

“The salary of a HFS/IFS officer is very moderate and with this salary the Jhanjharia not only raised a family of four, but also acquired huge valuable properties in Punjab (Aboharand Fazilka) in his paternal village, in Rajasthan (Sri Ganganagar) and in Haryana (Hisar and Gurgaon) and besides that also have petrol pumps in the name of his sons, wife and daughter-in-laws,” petitioner further alleged.

It was also submitted in the petition that one forest guard namely Sher Singh (who was dismissed by Jhanjharia) had submitted all the documents relating to unaccounted wealth submitted to the State Vigilance Bureau in June 2011, in the form of an affidavit. Following that an inquiry was initiated on the basis of complaint but because of Jhanjharia’s influence, till date no final report has been submitted and no action has been taken.

Now, the case would come up for further hearing on July 24.









Supreme Court issues notice over UPCL transmission lines

The Supreme Court issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of Karnataka, and Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (KPTCL) on May 9 in the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Nandikur Janajagriti Samiti against the use of 172.53 hectares of forest land in the Western Ghats for building transmission lines from Udupi Power Corporation Ltd (UPCL) at Yellur in Udupi district to Shanthigram in Hassan, said a release issued by the samiti here on Friday.

The release said the samiti had earlier challenged the forest clearance issued by MoEF on January 17, 2012, before the National Green Tribunal (NGT), in New Delhi.

The NGT disposed of the appeal with direction that KPTCL will not fell any trees nor destroy the biodiversity in the stretch of reserve forest land measuring 8.3 km in Ballur, but allowed felling of minimum number of trees in rest of the forest lands for which clearance had been granted.

It has directed MoEF to take steps and notify detailed fresh guidelines for laying transmission line through forest area.

However, not satisfied with the NGT order, the samiti approached the Supreme Court in PIL (civil appeal) 4,143 of 2012 with a plea that the Supreme Court may restrain cutting of the trees on the entire stretch of Western Ghats.

The contention of the samiti was that that it had challenged the legality of the establishment of power plant from which the power was to be evacuated and if the PIL in the High Court was allowed, the exercise would prove futile.

One of the other main grounds urged by the samiti was that that KPTCL had not considered an alternative option, that was, there existed the 220kv Kemmar-Varahi-Shimoga-Bangalore line for which plenty of forest was already cleared at one stage and these lines could be upgraded to 400 kv DC.

The existing transformers could be used in other areas and after the coastal districts were provided sufficient power, the remaining could go to Bangalore through the upgraded lines.

The present proposal to take the lines through the forest would result in very high ecological cost and transmission losses.

The samiti argued that in a recent judgment, the Bombay High Court issued direction that until the Madhav Gadgil chaired Western Ghats Ecological Expert Panel Report was considered and a decision was taken by the Union Government, there should be no tree felling in the entire Western Ghats.

On the other hand, UNESCO was thinking of granting World Heritage status to the Western Ghats. It was noteworthy that enormous benefits would be derived if such declaration was eventually achieved by India, the release added.









HC seeks UP govt’s response on PIL on sale of sugar mills

PTI | 09:05 PM,May 11,2012

Lucknow May 11 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court today directed the state government to file its response before May 17 on a PIL alleging irregularities in the sale of 21 sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh during the tenure of Mayawati government. The Lucknow bench comprising justices Umanath Singh and V K Dixit passed the order on a PIL filed by social activist Nutan Thakur. It was alleged by the petitioner that during the previous Mayawati government, 21 sugar mills were sold and irregularities were committed in selling these mills. The court directed to list the PIL on May 17 next with another similar matter. Before the next date of listing, the counsel for state government and other respondents may file short counter affidavit to the writ petition, the court said. PTI CORR SAB KKS









High Court quashes PIL against selection process of UoP V-C

Express news service : Pune, Sat May 12 2012, 04:11 hrs

The Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed a PIL challenging the selection process of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Pune (UoP).

While ruling in favour of the university, a division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah held that the procedure is in consonance with the Maharashtra Universities

Act, 1994.

The court also held that the guidelines issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) are at the most “subordinate legislation” and cannot override the Maharashtra Universities Act.

The petitioner, a Thane-based activist named Suresh Patil-Khede, claimed that the process was not in consonance with the UGC guidelines and hence should be quashed and set aside.

The petitioner had cited a regulation which lays down that a person who, in any way, has been connected with the university cannot be a member of the search committee which makes the appointment. He claimed that this rule had been violated in the case of the University of Pune, and demanded that the committee be dissolved and a fresh one be constituted.

Patil-Khede also claimed that an amendment to the regulations made in this regard were illegal and were formulated “with retrospective effect.” However, the court refused to accept his contentions.










2G case: Court reserves order on Raja’s bail plea till May 15

Last Updated: Friday, May 11, 2012, 15:51
New Delhi: The CBI on Friday opposed in a Delhi court the bail plea of former Telecom Minister A Raja, arrested for his alleged role in the 2G spectrum allocation case on February 2 last year, saying there is a new allegation that he got Rs 200 crores as bribe and it is being probed.

CBI prosecutor A K Singh opposed Raja’s bail plea saying there is a new allegation that he has received Rs 200 crores as bribe and this is being investigated.

“I am strongly opposing the bail plea. This accused (Raja) and other public servants are also involved in other tranche of Rs 200 crore which they have received as bribe and this was not known earlier and has come up during the investigation,” Singh told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

The court reserved its order on Raja’s bail plea for May 15 after hearing the arguments from Raja’s counsel and that of the CBI.

“Arguments on the bail plea heard. Put up for orders on May 15,” the judge said.

Senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, who appeared for Raja, told the court that the former telecom minister should be granted bail as all the other co-accused in the case have been granted it, either by the Supreme Court or the Delhi High Court or the trial court.

Referring to the Supreme Court’s order granting bail to co-accused and former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Gupta said the apex court has not distinguished the case of a public servant from others.

“The Supreme Court (in the order granting bail to Behura) had declined to distinguish the case of the public servant from others. Raja is no longer a minister or near the department (DoT).
He is in custody for the longest period and record indicates that he was the most co-operative among the accused during the course of trial,” Gupta said while pressing for Raja’s bail.









HC quashes acquisition of 15 hectares of land in Muzaffarnagar

PTI | 10:05 PM,May 11,2012

Allahabad, May 11 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court today struck down the acquisition of 15 hectares of land in a village of Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh, which was effected during the previous Mayawati regime. The order was passed by a Division Bench comprising justices Sunil Ambawani and A N Mittal while allowing the writ petitions of Anup Rai and other residents of Atmaspur village in the district who had challenged the acquisition through two notifications issued in September, 2007 and December, 2010. The petitioners had challenged the acquisition on the ground that urgency clause invoked by the government had deprived them of an opportunity to raise their objections as per the provisions of Land Acquisition Act though the land was not acquired for any urgent purpose but for constructing residential colonies. Significantly, the previous Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh which was voted out of power in March this year, has repeatedly faced flak from the court because of its land acquisition policy and invoking of urgency clause. Acquisition of thousands of hectares of land in districts like Gautam Buddh Nagar has been quashed vide a number of orders of the court.









Supreme Court stay on Manikonda land has demoralised Muslim community’

TNN | May 12, 2012, 05.36AM IST

HYDERABAD: In the light of the recent interim judgment of the Supreme Court on the Manikonda wakf land issue, a group of 400 activists and politicians staged a dharna at the Haj House on Friday. They condemned the AP State Wakf Board and the state government alleging that there was a nexus between the two which led to the apex court’s directive that went against the board.

Urging the government to return the wakf land to Dargah Hussain Shah Wali, the ‘rightful’ owners, the group noted that the apex court’s stay on the wakf tribunal injunction order prohibiting alienation of wakf land had demoralised the Muslims further.

Activists said that the AP State Wakf Board has lost many cases in courts on account of it appointing weak lawyers. Former Rajya Sabha MP Aziz Pasha said, “Only eight cases were ruled in favour of the Wakf Board of the 296 cases it fought in different courts pointing to a serious lapse in case building and also a disinterested approach.” Attorney general G E Vahanvati had represented the state government in the Manikonda case.

However, activists are hopeful that the final verdict to be passed in the second week of August, after the SC vacations, would be in the favour of the Wakf Board. The question of compensation remained a contentious issue with activists asking who would evaluate the land value. They said that the compensation should not be abysmal as in the case of Ishaq Madani Dargah land in Visakhapatnam which was given to the Hinduja Group where compensation was fixed at Rs 2.25 lakh per acre against the much higher prevailing market value. Activists said that the compensation should be given at the current market rate.









War against illegal mining half won, says SPS

The CBI probe ordered by the Supreme Court against the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa for his alleged role in the multi-crore mining scam is a major victory for the Dharwad-based Samaj Parivartana Samudaya (SPS), a non-governmental organisation, which has been fighting illegal mining in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh for the past three years.

The SPS convinced both the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) and the Supreme Court on the alleged illegalities committed by Mr. Yeddyurappa and his kin, top bureaucrats and mining leaseholders in the State. However, it is a war half won for the SPS, which, according to Vishnu Kamath of the organisation, will continue its fight on the other issues connected to illegal mining in Karnataka.

The SPS filed an Interlocutory Application (IA) in the apex court on January 16, 2012 demanding extension of the scope of the CBI investigation to cover serious illegalities committed by politicians and major corporate groups, including JSW and Adani in Karnataka, as it was upset with the alleged attempts by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government to put the Lokayukta’s final report under wraps and weaken the institution of Lokayukta by transferring key investigating officials.

Considering the IA, the Supreme Court on February 10 directed the CEC to verify whether a CBI probe was necessary in the cases referred by the SPS and gave two weeks to the CEC to file its report.

The CEC in its report to the court on March 28 recommended investigation “in public interest” into a case involving two real estate firms owned by Mr. Yeddyurappa’s kin for allegedly receiving money to grant mining lease.

In its recommendation on April 20, the CEC suggested inquiry by an “independent investigating agency such as the CBI” against Mr. Yeddyurappa and his kin for alleged irregularities in denotification of land and donations made to Prerana Education Trust, belonging to them, from a mining company.

The court panel recommended similar kind of investigation into illegal export of ore from Belekeri port in Karnataka. The Supreme Court after providing enough opportunity to counsel of Mr. Yeddyrappa to defend, finally passed its verdict on May 11.

“The apex court is yet to take up issues related to the links between illegal mining by Obulapuram Mining Company in Andhra Pradesh and widespread illegal mining in Ramgadh area of Bellary district, in connivance with officials,” Prof. Kamath said.

The matter relating to the Bellary City MLA G. Somashekara Reddy allegedly preventing Lokayukta investigator U.V. Singh from discharging his duty; senior police officials’ failure in serving non-bailable warrant against the former Minister for Tourism G. Janardhan Reddy and, issue relating to illegal mining by Associated Mining Company were yet to be probed by CEC. “SPS will take up these issues vigorously in the second round”, Mr. Kamath added.








High court decision clears way for University of Pune vice-chancellor appointment

TNN | May 12, 2012, 01.12AM IST

PUNE: The Bombay high court on Friday dismissed a public interest litigation challenging the appointment process for a new vice-chancellor at the University of Pune. This paves the way for the stalled process to move further.

The governor and chancellor of the state universities will soon conduct an individual interaction with the five candidates, who were shortlisted for the top job by the VC’s search committee, following the interviews held at Yashada in January.

Thane-based activist Suresh Patilkhede had filed the petition on the grounds that the three-member search committee, constituted by the state government, was not in accordance with the UGC’s regulations of 2010.

As per the guidelines of the UGC, a member of the commission should be the part of the search committee.

The three-member committee set up by the state did not have a UGC representative, as the move is not mandatory under the Maharashtra University Act, 1994. The PIL had challenged the validity of the Maharashtra Universities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2009, which amended certain provisions of the Maharashtra Universities Act, 1994.

The government, in response, argued that the conflict between newly-added provisions of the Maharashtra Universities Act and that of the UGC Act were minor and did not warrant a court order declaring the state statute illegal. Also, the UGC itself had not raised any objection to the amendment, the government said.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar accepted the government’s arguments and dismissed the PIL. The governor, who is the chancellor of all universities in the state, can now finalise the vice-chancellor from the five candidates shortlisted by the search committee.










KC (M) seeks PM’s intervention for amicable settlement on Mullaperiyar

Kerala Congress (M) has sought the intervention of Prime Minister in finding a lasting amicable solution for the Mullaperiyar issue. Speaking to media persons after the meeting of the party Steering Committee here on Friday , party chairman K M Mani said that it was the studied opinion of his party and that of the Kerala government, that there was no need for reconsidering the demand for a new dam at Mullaperiyar.

Pointing out that the report of the empowered Committee on Mullaperiyar was not final, Kerala Congress working chairman and State irrigation Minister P J Joseph said the EC decision to reject the studies of IIT Roorkee and earlier findings by the Central Water Commission (CWC) on the stability of the dam, was a threat to the interests of the State. He said the State was awaiting the final verdict on the issue by the Supreme Court.

“In the mean time, steps for finding an amicable solution should be initiated,” Mr Mani said and pointed out that the even the EC report has mentioned about such a way out. The earlier endeavour on the part of the prime minister was not successful, as such new steps should be taken under the changed circumstances, he said.

According to him, Kerala has taken a definitive step in the direction of the construction of a new dam by allocating Rs.50 crore for the dam, which will be constructed at 1300 ft downstream from the present dam. “The government will move ahead with the construction of the dam,” he said. The construction of a new dam was necessary to instil confidence in the minds of the people on this side of the border Mr Mani said and added that this confidence was necessary for ensuring economic growth of the State.

Chit Fund Act

The Finance Minister allayed fears over the implementation of the Chit Fund Act of 1982 in the State and said that the State would frame necessary rules under the provisions of Rule 89 of the Act of ’82 to protect the interests of the chit companies including the Kerala State Financial Enterprise.

As per the Act of ’82, companies running chit business have been prohibited from transacting business other than chit business.

According to Mr Mani, the State government has already concluded discussions with the Reserve Bank of India on the issue and has obtained permission for providing exemptions in this regard under Rule 89 of the Act of ’82.

Mr Mani said the State government was not responsible for the delay in implementing the Act of ’82 in the State. As per the Act, the Central government was entrusted with the responsibility to notify the implementation of the Act in respective States. “The Act, though framed in 1982, was notified for implementation in Kerala only with effect from April 30, 2012 by the Central government,” Mr Mani said.








RTI an effective tool to fight corruption: CIC

PTI | 05:05 PM,May 11,2012

New Delhi, May 11 (PTI) Chief Information Commissioner Satyanand Mishra today said the Right to Information Act has proved to be a highly effective tool to combat corruption. “RTI is helping in a great way to fight corruption. It has achieved much more than what could be achieved by registering FIRs and cases through police and various investigative agencies,” Mishra said while inaugurating a workshop on sensitising Staff Selection Commission (SSC) officials about RTI matters here. Noting that the effectiveness of the transparency law in accessing information from government departments was hard to imagine at the time of its enactment, he said, “No one would have thought over its effect then (when the Act was made). It has proved to be an effective tool for fighting corruption.” The two-day workshop is being organised by National Productivity Council (NPC). Terming the Public Information Officers associated with SSC as the “ambassadors of the commission”, Mishra said what they lacked was a sense of pride and belonging to the commission. “You are the ambassadors of the commission. Your attitude would reflect the attitude of the commission. But it has been noticed that the sense of pride and belonging to the commission collectively and individually is missing,” he said. The CIC also called for shedding the rampant attitude of passing the buck to others while dealing with RTI related matters. “There is also a growing disease of passing the buck and shifting of responsibility. It is very rampant. Such attitude should be shed,” he said. Giving the officials various tips on how to handle RTI applications, he told them that a mechanism should be developed to streamline disclosure of information in a particular timeframe. S K Sarkar, Additional Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), called for generating greater awareness among various stakeholders and in changing the attitude of the government employees. “DoPT is looking to improve some of the thrust areas like capacity building of officials, generating awareness among various stakeholders, changing attitude of government servants, lack of resources and reducing the trust deficit among stakeholders like government, general public, NGOs and media,” he said. SSC Chairman N K Raghupathy, in his presidential address, highlighted the steps taken by the commission to establish transparency.









Gangster Act on Abhay to be withdrawn

Arshad Afzal Khan, TNN | May 12, 2012, 02.25AM IST

FAIZABAD: The Uttar Pradesh government is all set to withdraw the Gangster Act slapped on mafia-turned-politician and party MLA Abhay Singh who is currently lodged in Faizabad jail for last couple of years and is facing trial under charges of extortion, kidnapping and murder. The Gangster Act was slapped against him by the Mayawati government.

However, sources said, the Samajwadi Party government has started the process of withdrawing Gangster Act against Singh. According to RK Shrivastava, the prosecuting officer, the state government had asked for the report regarding the withdrawal of a case registered under relevant Section 386 of the IPC for extortion, attempt to murder and Gangster Act pending against Singh in Maharajganj police station.

Shrivastava said that Singh has got bail from the different courts in two other cases of Gangster Act registered at Raunahi police station and Kotwali police stations of the district. the district prosecution unit has sent the details of the case and its ‘no-objection’ for the withdrawal of the charges under Gangster Act is now being examined by the law department.

Singh had won recently held assembly election from Gosaiganj assembly constituency by defeating his rival BSP’s Indra Pratap Tiwari who is also a history-sheeter. Singh was denied bail by the court because of the Gangster Act. As a result, he had to contest elections from jail. The case under Gangster Act has been registered against him in Maharajganj police station of Faizabad district. The case is related to rivalry between Singh and another mafia-turned-politician Jitendra Singh alias Babloo. The Gangster Act was slapped against Singh when Babloo was MLA on BSP ticket and Mayawati was in power. Singh is in jail since October 2010, after a case of extortion was lodged against him by a local businessman Vikas Singh, a close aide of Babloo, in Maharajganj police station.








Naseeruddin Shah’s brother appointed Aligarh Muslim University Vice-Chancellor

Press Trust of India | Updated: May 11, 2012 19:42 IST

Aligarh:  Lieutenant General (Retd) Zameeruddin Shah has been appointed as the new Vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

Lt Gen Shah, who is currently a member of the Armed Forces Tribunal, has been appointed for a period of five years or till he attains the age of 70, whichever is earlier, the Human Resource Development Ministry said in a statement.

“Lieutenant General Shah will put in his papers to the Armed Forces Tribunal and is expected to assume duties as Vice-Chancellor shortly,” an AMU spokesman said.

Lt Gen Shah, who is the elder brother of actor Naseeruddin Shah, made it to the top post after beating two other short-listed candidates — Noor Mohammad, who retired as the Secretary of the National Disaster Management Authority, and Syed Khalid Rizvi, a retired additional Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh.








Supreme Court imposes interim ban on sale of Wakf properties

TNN | May 12, 2012, 03.37AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday imposed an interim ban on any transaction related to Wakf properties in Maharashtra and directed all parties to maintain status quo.

“We direct that in relation to Wakf properties, as distinct from trusts created by Muslims, all concerned, including the charity commissioner, Mumbai, shall not permit any of the persons in management of such Wakf properties to encumber or alienate any of the properties under their management till a decision is rendered in the pending special leave petitions,” said a bench of Justices Altamas Kabir, J Chelameswar and Ranjan Gogoi.

The special leave petitions had challenged the Bombay high court’s decision to vest powers of management and supervision of Muslim Wakf estates in Maharashtra in the charity commissioner. The HC had noted that the state Wakf board had not been properly constituted and that there could not be a vacuum in administering Wakf and the properties vested in them.

The three-judge bench said the question before it was whether the HC had the jurisdiction to make such orders in the writ jurisdiction and vest the management of all Wakf properties in the charity commissioner.

It said there was a vast difference between Muslim Wakfs and trusts created by Muslims. While Wakf properties are dedicated to “God” and the dedicator does not retain any title over it, in the trusts, the property is not dedicated to “God” and the owning trust retains title over its property.

The bench said: “In the present case, the difference between trusts and Wakfs appears to have been overlooked and the high court has passed orders without taking into consideration the fact that the charity commissioner would not ordinarily have any jurisdiction to manage Wakf properties.”

“In our view, it would be in the interest of all concerned to maintain the status quo and to restrain all those in management of the Wakf properties from alienating and/or encumbering the Wakf properties during the pendency of proceedings before this court,” it added.







High court notice to ex-DGP, chief secretary for inaction during Gujjar stir

TNN | May 12, 2012, 02.44AM IST

JAIPUR: Former chief secretary D C Sawant and former director general of police (DGP) A S Gill could be charged for committing contempt of court for their alleged inaction during the Gujjar agitation in 2008. The Rajasthan High Court on Friday issued notices to the then chief secretary Sawant and the then DGP Gill asking them to explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them.

The single bench of Justice Mahesh Chand Sharma, while hearing the state government’s contempt petition against Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla, observed that the government, too, failed to maintain law and order during the community’s agitation for quota in jobs and educational institutions in May-June 2008. Since Sawant and Gill were holding the top government posts then, the bench noted that the officers need to do some explaining. The two officers, who have retired and settled outside Rajasthan, have time till July 23 to file replies.

Principal secretary (home) Ashok Sampatram, DGP Harish Meena and Bainsla were present in the court when the notices were issued. The bench directed DGP Meena to ensure that the court notices were served to Sawant and Gill.

Bainsla, along with his 12 supporters, has been facing the contempt charge as the Gujjar agitation in 2008 witnessed violent clashes between the police and the protesters, resulting in loss of human lives and damage to government properties. The first Gujjar agitation in June 2007 saw similar violent clashes. As per the government reply in court, the two agitations resulted in death of 62 people and loss of government property worth Rs 30 crores. The Gujjars under Bainsla had uprooted railway tracks and forcefully blocked national highways in the eastern districts of Bharatpur, Dausa, Karauli and Sawai Madhopur.

Once the 2008 agitation was called off after negotiations, the then Vasundhara Raje government filed the contempt petition against Bainsla alleging that the Gujjar leader and his supporters knowingly violated the high court order of September 10, 2007, which required the Gujjars to keep their protests peaceful.

Justice Sharma, while hearing the petition, however, wanted to know what the state government did to maintain law and order during the agitation in 2008. On behalf of the government, additional advocate general NA Naqvi said on Friday that Bharatpur collector denied permission for the protest in May 2008. “When Bainsla and his supporters still declared to go ahead with the protest, we made 18,000 preventive detentions, suspended nearly 1600 arms licences, clamped prohibitory orders against public gatherings, deployed Army and RAC at sensitive places and registered police cases against law breakers across the state,” Naqvi told the bench. The court, however, said it was not satisfied with the government reply.








Supreme Court refuses to intervene in Air India stir

MUMBAI: Air India was forced to cancel nearly 30 international flights on Friday after 400 pilots refused to return to work and the Supreme Court declined to intervene saying that it is an internal matter. Striking pilots continued to defy the management and the government for the fourth straight day on Friday, prompting concerns that the agitation will drive up airfares and provoke an outcry from a public weary of troubles in the country’s various airlines.

India’s aviation regulator, the Director General of Civil Aviation, ( DGCA), warned airlines not to take advantage of the situation and increase fares beyond the highest price band. The warning came after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh that airfares should not increase. “The Cabinet has approved a huge amount in the turnover plan to save Air India, but Air India family (union) should understand and co-operate,” agencies quoted the minister as saying. The government agreed to provide 30,000 crore to Air India as equity recently to revive it from a debt squeeze caused by reckless borrowing.

“We have sent out advisory to the airlines that there should not be any inordinate rise in the fares. We are keeping a watch on fare movement,” EK Bharat Bhushan, the director general of civil aviation told ET.

The apex court on Friday refused to entertain a contempt of court petition filed by the Air India management against pilots for not heeding a Delhi High Court order asking them to resume work. The Supreme Court told Air India and the civil aviation ministry to begin talks with the pilots and resolve the ‘internal’ matter.






CBI registers case in defence land sale in Kashmir; raids on

Press Trust of India | Updated: May 11, 2012 12:12 IST

Srinagar:  The CBI has registered a case against Defence Ministry officials and others as a part of its probe into alleged irregularities in the sale of military land near the high-security Srinagar airport.

Immediately after registering the case, the agency carried out searches at various places in Jammu, Srinagar, Patna, Delhi and Chandigarh, official sources said.

The agency had registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) into the matter last year during which it claimed to have found evidences that No Objection Certificates (NOCs) were granted to private persons for this prime and strategic piece of land arbitrarily.

The CBI has named Ajay Chowdhary, a 1997-batch Defence Estates official, and others in the FIR registered under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Corruption Act.

The agency had also conducted enquiry into the records of the Directorate General of Defence Estates and the local revenue, following a request from the Defence Ministry to probe the sanction of the NoC for sale of this land in Kashmir valley.

Defence Minister A K Antony had last year informed Parliament that on receipt of complaint, a preliminary enquiry was conducted during which it was found that prima-facie there have been irregularities in the issuance of NOCs which may have wider implications.

During the preliminary probe of the Defence Ministry, it was found that more than 70 NOCs were issued by the defence estates department in Srinagar during the last four years.

These NOCs were issued to private parties to buy more than 200 acres of land near high-security military installations in Srinagar.







2 Air India employees held for remarks against PMO, SC

Mumbai: Two Air India employees were on Friday arrested for allegedly posting unparliamentary and derogatory remarks on popular social networking sites against Prime Minister office, National flag, Supreme Court and leaders of opposite employees association.

According to the police, the two accused, identified as K V Janannathrao and Mayank Sharma, cabin crew of Air India, were nabbed and remanded to police custody till May 18.

There are two groups in Air India cabin crew association and the groups have a dispute over the presidential post and the association office.

While the dispute was getting accelerated day by day, the two accused started posting unparliamentary words against opposite group when one of members of the latter group complained to the cops, police said.

As the police started verifying the facts upon the complaint by Sagar Karnik, who is also an Air India employee, they stumbled upon various objectionable contents the accused posted on Orkut and Facebook.

“Other than using bad language about the opposite group and their leaders, the accused had also passed unparliamentary language against the PM office, Home Ministry, Supreme Court. The accused also gave death threat to the complainant over union dispute,” said a police officer from Cyber cell police station, but he refused to divulge the exact content.

The duo was booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).









Illegal mining: Karnataka ex-minister GJ Reddy gets bail

Preeti Singh, CNN-IBN

Hyderabad: Hyderabad court on Friday granted conditional bail to former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy in the OMC illegal mining case. Associated Mining Corporation (AMC) and Deccan Mining Syndicate (DMC) owned by Reddy and his wife Aruna Lakshmi have been facing probe over charges of illegal mining.

Additional Civil and Sessions Court judge BM Angadi had remanded Reddy to custody after CBI moved an application in this regard. Former minister and Congress leader V Muniyappa and few other officials are the other accused in the case.

According to the chargesheet, the total amount earned by OMCPL through local sales and exports worked out to Rs 4,310 crore during the 2007-10 period.

The chargesheet further says that Reddys entered into a criminal conspiracy with public servants including late Linga Reddy, Rajagopal, suspended IAS officer and then secretary (Industries and Commerce department) Y Srilakshmi; and ensured that the mining leases for area of 68.5 hectares and 39.5 hectare were granted to OMC.

Gali and others encroached on mining areas of different companies located around lease area of OMCPL and carried out illegal mining, the CBI alleges, adding that OMCPL also laid roads illegally, linking to AGK mines (owned by OMCPL) for illegal transportation of iron ore.











High court acquits US teenager of his mother’s murder charge

TNN | May 12, 2012, 03.36AM IST

JODHPUR: US teenager Jon Carlo Patten, who was sentenced for the murder of his mother Cynthia Iannarelli at Jodhpur, has been acquitted by the Rajasthan high court. Jon was in the custody of a juvenile home at Jodhpur since May 2011.

The 15-year-old teenager from South Fayette (Pennsylvania) and his mother Iannarelli, a 51 year-old divorcee working as a business consultant, were holidaying at a desert resort in Osian village, 60 km from Jodhpur, in August 2010. Two days after their arrival, on the morning of August 13, Iannarelli was found murdered at the foot of a sand dune close to the resort. Her throat was slit and the nude body was wrapped in a bed-sheet.

Jon was preparing to leave for the US and about to board a flight from the Jodhpur Air Port the same day when he was arrested by the Jodhpur police. A chargesheet was filed against Jon on September 23, 2010 as the police accused him of the murder. As per the police, Jon had a heated argument with of his mother on the night before the body was found.

The Juvenile Justice Board convicted him of the murder on May 2, 2011 and sentenced him to three years detention at the special home meant for juvenile criminals. His counsel Rahul Mehra appealed against the conviction before the Sessions Court, which upheld the conviction on October 15, 2011.

During the court trial Jon wrote a letter to the Board’s presiding officer and pleaded innocence. The teenager alleged that the police falsely implicated him for the murder and that was coerced into making a confessional statement.

Jon’s counsel later filed a revision petition before the high court, which quashed the lower court’s decision. Considering the witnesses and evidences, the high court acquitted Jon of the charge and ordered his immediate release on Thursday. “He has been given his passport and is currently in the possession of the US Embassy officials who will arrange to send him back to the US after the receipt of the court order’s copy,” Jon’s counsel said









Aarushi Talwar Murder Case: Parents Stand Trial, Hearing Deferred Till May 14

Latest News in World

The Ghaziabad sessions court on Friday deferred hearing on the Aarushi Talwar murder case till May 14.

The trial of dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, who are the prime suspect in the murder of their daughter Aarushi, began in the sessions court on Friday.

The couple’s counsel demanded the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to give its case diary to the Talwars. The CBI, however, strongly objected to it.

The CBI argued the case diary had important references in connection to the various aspects of the case and it could be used to weaken the case further if it is handed over to the couple.

The couple said they want details of the mobile phone calls made by Krishna, Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal, who were arrested initially in connection to the case.

Rajesh and Nupur also demanded statements of the police officers who investigated the case.

After hearing the arguments of both the sides, the court deferred the case till May 14.

The CBI is scheduled to submit the statement of Uttar Pradesh Police officer Data Ram Nanoria on May 14.

Nanoria was the first investigating officer in the case.

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to hear Nupur’s bail plea and review petition that challenged her trial in a lower court in connection to the murder of her teenage daughter Aarushi, media reports said.

A CBI court on Wednesday rejected dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur’s plea seeking more important documents from the CBI in connection to Aarushi’s murder.

Special Judicial Magistrate Preeti Singh on Wednesday rejected the demands made by the couple for more documents and transferred the case to a Sessions Court.

Teenager Aarushi Talwar was found dead, with her throat slit, at the Talwar residence in Noida in the morning of May 16, 2008. The body of Hemraj, Talwars’ domestic help, was found on the terrace the next day.

The case has since spiralled into one of the country’s biggest unsolved cases, with a prolonged investigation marked by admissions of lack of evidence and dramatic twists.

Nupur and Rajesh maintain that they are innocent, and are being framed by the CBI since the agency has not been able to track down the real killers.









SC verdict hits BSY’s comeback chances

TNN | May 12, 2012, 02.39AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court order of a CBI probe is a setback for former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa who was hoping for a comeback as CM, and interferes with BJP’s plan to put its Karnataka house in order ahead of the challenges of state and Lok Sabha polls. Although the BJP strongly resisted Yeddyurappa’s demand for reinstatement, its hopes of protecting its new-found dominance in Karnataka hinged on the Lingayat strongman’s return to the helm in Bangalore.

The setback for Yeddyurappa may ensure the continuation of Sadananda Gowda as chief minister: Hardly an appealing prospect for those who are worried about BJP’s sliding graph in Karnataka.

Asking the agency to treat the CEC report as “informant’s information to the investigation agency”, the SC said, “The CBI shall undertake investigations in a most fair, proper and unbiased manner. The CBI shall complete its investigation and submit a report to the court of competent jurisdiction with a copy of the report to be placed on the file of this court within three months.”

The court expressed anguish over the CEC report pointing out the inaction on the part of government and statutory authorities to stop rampant illegal mining of iron ore carried out with impunity under political patronage in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

“The facts reveal an unfortunate state of affairs which has prevailed for a considerable time in Andhra and Karnataka. The CEC has pointed out, and the complainant and petitioners have also highlighted, a complete failure of the state in relation to protecting the environment and minerals from being illegally mined,” said Justice Kumar in the 46-page judgment.










SC angry over states’ inaction on illegal mining

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | May 12, 2012, 02.06AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday expressed anguish over the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) report, pointing out the inaction on the part of government and statutory authorities to stop rampant illegal mining of iron ore carried out with impunity under political patronage in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

It asked Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and departments of that or any other state to fully cooperate and provide required information to the CBI. The premier probe agency has been asked to probe the alleged kickbacks received by trusts and institutions run by former CM B S Yeddyurappa and his family after he reportedly showed favours to certain mining majors.

Justice Kumar of the Supreme Court, who wrote the 46-page judgment, said: “The facts in the present case reveal an unfortunate state of affairs which has prevailed for a considerable time in the mentioned districts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The CEC has pointed out, and the complainant and petitioners have also highlighted, a complete failure of the state machinery in relation to controlling and protecting the environment, forests and minerals from being illegally mined and exploited.”

The court said, “Wherever and whenever the state fails to perform its duties, the court shall step in to ensure that rule of law prevails over the abuse of process of law.”

The court said all proceedings pending before any court relating to the matter, which now stood referred to the CBI for a detailed probe, would remain stayed till further orders.

In a 17-page report based on its investigation into serious charges levelled by NGO Samaja Parivartana Samudaya and after hearing all sides, the CEC had indicted the former CM, his two sons Vijayendra and B Y Raghavendra, and son-in-law R N Sohan Kumar for their involvement in the illegal allotment of land to South West Mining Ltd.

The CEC has found truth in the allegation that the Bangalore Development Authority allotted one acre from the Arkavathy Layout plan after irregularly denotifying the plot and converting its usage to non-agricultural purpose. The environment panel underlined that the Jindal Group-owned South West Mining Ltd, as part of the quid pro quo, contributed Rs 10 crore to Prerana Education Society set up by close relatives of Yeddyurappa.

The society, “during March 2010, vide two cheques of Rs 5 crore each, received a donation of Rs 10 crore from South West Mining Ltd, a Jindal Group company, which had a net profit after tax of Rs 5.73 crore during 2009-10”, the panel had said.

What shocked the CEC was the spread and extent of illegal mining in Karnataka. It said a detailed investigation was needed by the CBI into “the massive illegalities and illegal mining found to have taken place in Karnataka and the allegations made against the Jindal Group as being recipient of large quantities of illegally mined material and undue favours shown to them in respect of mining lease of M/s Mysore Minerals Ltd”.

The CEC examined the donation details of South West Mining and other Jindal Group companies. “It is seen that such a large donation has not been made by the said company or other Jindal Group companies to any other trust/society not owned by the Jindal Group,” the CEC had said.

It recommended CBI probe into the donations received by Prerana Education Society and its links to “alleged receipt of illegal mineral by M/s JSW Steel Ltd and the alleged undue favour shown to it in respect of the mining lease of MML”.

It had also recommended CBI probe into Rs 6-crore donation by mining baron R Praveen Chandra to entities managed by Yeddyurappa’s sons and son-in-law. The CEC report said Chandra had paid Rs 2.5 crore to Bhagat Homes and Rs 3.5 crore to Dhavalagiri Property Dealers “as a quid pro quo for allotment of a mining lease”.

“The CBI should investigate the payments made by the above said lessee to these two companies whose directors/shareholders are close relatives of the then chief minister, Karnataka, and whether there was any link between such payments and grant of mining lease to Praveen Chandra,” the CEC said.








SC orders probe into BS Yeddyurappa’s links to illegal mining; JSW Steel’s donations under scanner

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa’s links to illegal mining in the state, almost certainly dashing his hopes of a return to power in the near future.

Also under investigation will be JSW Steel, India’s third-largest steelmaker, which has been accused of making donations to entities controlled by Yeddyurappa’s kin in return for access to illegally mined iron ore.

In an order on Friday, a special forest bench comprising Chief Justice SH Kapadia and Justices Aftab Alam and Swatanter Kumar directed the CBI to complete its investigation within three months. The judges also expressed anguish over the rampant illegal mining of iron ore under political patronage in Karantaka and Andhra Pradesh.

“Wherever and whenever the State fails to perform its duties, the court shall step in to ensure that the rule of law prevails,” wrote Justice Kumar on behalf of the bench.

Sadananda Gowda, the man who succeeded Yeddyurappa, declined to comment, but the opposition Congress said the government must resign. The former chief minister, who spoke to reporters at Nanjangud, near Mysore, insisted he was innocent.

“I will come out clean. I am confident of getting justice after the CBI probe,” he said.

The recommendation for an investigation was made by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC), the SC-appointed panel which has been overseeing the clampdown on illegal mining.

The deals of denotification of government land bought by Yeddyurappa’s relatives and sold to a JSW-linked company South West Mining is under scanner. Another involves the donation of 10 crore to a trust controlled by the family of the former chief minister. Payments of 6 crore by a mine owner to two firms controlled by close kin of Yeddyurappa will also come under CBI scrutiny.

JSW Steel insists that it was a bona fide purchaser of iron ore from the open market, and that it was not obliged to check the origin of the ore. South West Mining, too, maintains it is innocent.

For chief minister Gowda, who has complained to the party’s leadership in New Delhi that the Yeddyurappa faction has been defying him, the Supreme Court’s order will be a relief. It could force Yeddyurappa’s supporters to lie low and give Gowda the room that he needs to carry out a cabinet expansion.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which formed its first government in south India in Karnataka, has been embarrassed by a series of corruption scandals. Besides leaving Karnataka in a state of almost permanent political dysfunction, they have also hampered the BJP’s attempts to corner the United Progressive Alliance government on the issue of corruption.

G Janaradhana Reddy, a former tourism minister and a mining baron from iron-ore rich Bellary, is in jail while being investigated for his involvement in illegal mining. Katta Subramanya Naidu and Krishnaiah Setty, who were both ministers, have been incarcerated in connection with land scams.

The allegations against Yeddyurappa’s kin were made by Samaja Parivartana Samudaya, which has been waging a court battle against illegal mining in the state.










Human rights commission hold open hearing in Ahmedabad on atrocities against Scheduled Castes

Press Trust of India | Updated: May 12, 2012 12:30 IST

New Delhi:  The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will hold a two-day ‘open hearing’ in Ahmedabad from next Monday on issues relating to alleged atrocities against Scheduled Castes in Gujarat and the problems faced by them in seeking justice.

The delegation will be led by NHRC Chairperson Justice K G Balakrishnan. NHRC Member Justice B C Patel, A K Garg, Registrar (Law) and senior officers of the Commission will be part of the delegation.

The Commission after hearing the affected people will also meet the representatives of NGOs and later on hold discussions with the Chief Secretary, DGP and senior civil, police and jail officials on these issues along with other major outstanding cases pertaining to the State of Gujarat.

The Commission has decided to hold such open hearings to reach out to the Dalits and hear their complaints about violations of their rights by the public authorities as part of the recommendations given by K B Saxena IAS (retired) in his report to NHRC on the continuing problems faced by the Scheduled Castes.

The Commission had organized an ‘open hearing’ at Puri in Odisha in April this year during which more than 200 complaints were received.









HC issues notice to ex Rajasthan chief secy in contempt case

PTI | 10:05 PM,May 11,2012

Jaipur, May 11 (PTI) The Rajasthan High Court has issued contempt notice to former Chief Secretary D C Samant for his failure to comply with the court order during the Gujjar agitation for quota in 2008. The order came during a hearing on the contempt plea filed by the state government against Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla and his associates. The court had in 2008 passed guidelines to Gujjar leaders not to disrupt law and order and asked government to ensure its strict compliance but despite this the agitation led to unprecedented chaos. Justice M C Sharma said, “The state government had miserably failed to see compliance of our order and the entire chaos was outcome of failure of state machinery. “We, therefore, would like to seek explanation from the then chief secretary DC Samant to explain as to what prevented him from executing and complying court’s orders.”










HC directs Maha govt to fill up vacancies in consumer forums

Last Updated: Friday, May 11, 2012, 21:38

Mumbai: Observing that people should not suffer due to vacancies in district consumer forums across the state, the Bombay High Court directed the Maharashtra government to fill them up the earliest.

“So many consumer forums are not functioning as there are no presiding officers. People will suffer because of this,” a division bench headed by Justice D D Sinha observed.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO Mumbai Grahak Panchayat stating that out of the 40 consumer district forums across Maharashtra, 19 are non- functional due to the vacant posts of Presidents and Members.

The court was today informed by the government that it has initiated process to fill up the vacancies by issuing advertisements calling for applications.

“Just initiating the process is not enough. You (government) should do it in a reasonable time. When will you finish filling up the vacancies?,” Justice Sinha questioned.

The court has directed the government to file an affidavit within five weeks stating by when it would complete the procedure of filling up vacancies.









HC asks Guj not to take coercive steps for recovery from Essar

Last Updated: Friday, May 11, 2012, 22:12

Ahmedabad: In a relief to Essar Oil Ltd, the Gujarat High Court on Friday asked the state government not to take coercive steps for recovery of ‘sales tax deferral liability’ from the company till further orders.

The direction of division bench of acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala came upon the company’s petition.

The court also issued a notice to the state. The next hearing would be in June.

The company’s petition has sought waiver of interest and penalty — to the tune of around Rs 2,000 crore — on its sales tax deferral liability to the government of Gujarat.

It has also sought that state should allow it to make repayment in annual instalments from April next year. The state government had rejected this proposal.

According to the company, of total sales tax of Rs 6,406 crore, it has already paid Rs 237 crore. The state government has put the company’s tax dues at Rs 8,255.47 crore, which includes payable interest and penalty.

On January 17, the Supreme Court upheld Gujarat government’s appeal against Essar Oil’s tax benefit claims. Subsequently, state tax authorities issued a demand notice.

The SC had said that company could not take the benefit of exemption scheme as it had not started production from its refinery at Vadinar during the stipulated time.










HC seeks Maha govt’s reply on new rule in RTI

PTI | 07:05 PM,May 11,2012

Mumbai, May 11 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today sought Maharashtra government’s reply on a public interest litigation challenging the recent insertion of a rule under the Right to Information Act. The petition filed by advocate Shivaji Kshirsagar has challenged the insertion of rule 3 A, which was incorporated through a notification dated January 16, 2012. The rule states that a person seeking information under section 6 of the act shall limit the same to one subject matter, which shall not “ordinarily” exceed 150 words. If the applicant seeks information on more than one subject matter, they will have to make separate applications, the rule states. The rule further directs the public information officer to deal only with the first subject matter in the event of queries on multiple subjects. Kshirsagar argued that such a rule would deprive the citizens from seeking information within time and reasonable costs. Moreover, the requirement of “one subject matter” is not properly defined and hence, vague, the petition states. A division bench, headed by Justice D D Sinha asked the government the logic behind inclusion of such a rule. “This is a sensitive act and such matters are very important in larger public interest,” the court said directing the government to file its reply within six weeks. The petition states that the amendment to the rules would cause harassment to the citizen seeking information as it gives the public information officer discretionary powers which might be used against the applicant to deny information. Kshirsagar also pointed out that there will be difference in length when it comes to seeking information in English or other regional languages.









HC tells EC to give notice in newspapers about state elections

Last Updated: Friday, May 11, 2012, 19:48

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has directed the Election Commission (EC) to issue a public notice in leading newspapers of Maharashtra, giving details about the forthcoming Legislative Council elections from Graduates Constituencies and inviting applications from people to be enrolled as voters.

The court further directed that the advertisements be issued for seven days in newspapers commencing May 14 in order to bring an awareness among the electorate public about the forthcoming elections from Graduate Constituencies.

“The adverstisement shall also indicate that the last date for receiving applications will be June 15. However, this will not preclude Election Commission from receiving such applications after the date, if the date of nomination is after June 15,” said a bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice NM Jamdar.

The judges clarified that this date (June 15) is indicated only for the purpose of convenience of the intending applicants so that they know about the date by which they should submit their applications.

The bench was hearing on May 9 a petition filed by Surendra Srivastava of Lok Satta party, who made a grievance that EC was not taking requisite steps for preparing and updating electoral rolls for the elections to the state Legislative Council from the Graduate constituencies.

The court also asked EC to indicate the website where applicants can seek further information. The advertisements should also indicate that the applications may be submitted to any of the designated officers whose addresses are given therein, irrespective of the place of residence or work place of the applicants.

EC counsel informed the court that the advertisements would be displayed in cinema halls and cable TV network.









HC orders Bombay Dyeing to hand over land to BMC, MHADA

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 11,2012

Mumbai, May 11 (PTI) Bombay High Court today directed the textile major Bombay Dyeing to hand over a third of its mill-land at Dadar-Naigaon in central Mumbai to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), to be developed as an open space, and another third to the state housing agency MHADA for low-cost houses. In April 2010, the Court had stayed the stop-work notice issued by the municipal corporation to Bombay Dyeing, which was redeveloping the land. The division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi today vacated the stay, and asked the company to hand over one-third of the land each to BMC and MHADA. Bombay Dyeing had approached high court challenging the notice issued by BMC, following a direction from the monitoring committee which oversees mill-land re-development. The committee, headed by Justice B V Chavan (retd), had directed the civic body to issue notice on the ground that Bombay Dyeing had failed to hand over the land to MHADA and BMC as required by the Development Control rules. Bombay Dyeing’s housing projects are coming up on the lands where once textile mills ran: Spring Mills in Dadar-Naigaon where a 38-storey residential-cum-commercial tower is coming up, and Textile Mills in Worli where retail and IT spaces are in the offing on a 1.02 lakh sq m plot. The committee also noted that the layout submitted by Bombay Dyeing was approved in 2005, but still the portions of land were not handed over to BMC and MHADA. Navroz Seervai, counsel for Bombay Dyeing, contended that under the DC regulations it would have to surrender land to MHADA and the corporation only upon completion of 30 per cent of the work. The court has stayed today’s order till June 30 to enable Bombay Dyeing to file appeal.







HC nod for CBI notice to Vijay Sai

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The High Court on Friday granted permission to the CBI to serve a personal notice on Vijay Sai Reddy, accused number two in the alleged illegal assets case of YSR Congress president YS Jaganmohan Reddy.

While granting the permission, justice N.Ravi Shankar, vacation judge, adjourned the hearing to next week of a CBI plea for cancellation of bail granted by a special CBI court to Vijay Sai Reddy. When the judge asked the CBI for reasons for seeking cancellation of the bail, the CBI’s counsel said the lower court had not stuck to the parameters laid down by the Supreme Court and there was every possibility of tampering of evidence by the accused if he was on bail.

On April 20 the High Court had set aside the bail granted to Vijay Sai by the special CBI court and directed the lower court to restore the bail petition of Vijay Sai and take an appropriate decision on it after hearing both the parties.

The special judge for CBI cases had granted bail again to Vijay Sai on April 30 by directing him not to leave the city without the court’s permission.










HC sets aside Bank’s order rejecting education loan plea

PTI | 11:05 PM,May 11,2012

Chennai,May 11 (PTI) The Madras High Court has held that a nationalised bank cannot deny a student-applicant an educational loan solely on the ground that admission was secured under the management quota. Justice M Jaichandren set aside an order of a nationalised bank rejecting an engineering student J Pandiyarajan’s’s educational loan application, as he had been admitted under the management quota. The judge applied the principles laid down in an earlier judgement and said the bank was not justified in rejecting the student’s education loan request. “There is no prohibition to sanction education loan to students admitted in the management quota,” the Judge said and added that if the bank’s stand was accepted, no student admitted under the management quota, in any private self-financing college, would be in a position to secure an education loan. This would defeat the purpose for which the Union Government and RBI had introduced the scheme. Directing the student to resubmit an application to the bank for a loan, the judge said the bank should pass appropriate orders as per the regulations and guidelines laid down for granting educational loans. The petitioner, studying B.E (Mechanical) course in a private institution, here, had challenged a February 13 last order of the Indian Overseas Bank’s branch in Salem district, rejecting his request for educational loan. He had sought a consequent direction to the bank to provide him the financial assistance.PTI GR BN








HC refers Welukar’s appointment to another bench

Express news service : Mumbai, Sat May 12 2012, 02:28 hrs

The Bombay High Court on Friday referred a petition challenging the appointment of Mumbai University’s Vice-Chancellor Rajan Welukar to a separate division bench in order to obtain a majority view on the issue.

In August last year, a bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Girish Godbole had given a split verdict on the case, which was subsequently referred to a third judge.

The third judge, Justice Vazifdar, did not completely agree with either of the judges, but held that there was inadequate material to decide whether the appointment was valid or not. A set of petitions have challenged Welukar’s appointment on the ground that he did not possess the requisite number of research publications.

In August last year, Chief Justice Shah had declined to interfere with the appointment, while Justice Godbole had directed the university’s search committee to reconsider the appointment.







Patna HC quashes Patna University appointments

TNN | May 12, 2012, 01.28AM IST

PATNA: The Patna high court on Friday quashed the Patna University (PU) notifications appointing the head of departments (HoDs) of three different postgraduate (PG) departments.

The order was passed by a single bench presided by Justice A K Tripathi on a writ petition filed by Sachchidanand Sharma and others challenging their removal from the post of the HoD.

Sharma, Ranganath Prasad Diwakar and Bhagwan Prasad Singh were removed unceremoniously from the post of HoDs in March 2011. They were HODs of the departments of political science, philosophy and economics, respectively.

Petitioner’s lawyer Abhinav Srivastava said these three were removed even before completing their tenure of three years as per the June 2008 statute. Sharma, who was elevated to the post of HoD, political science, in February, 2010, was removed after 13 months in March 2011 by the then acting VC of PU, S Adhikari.

The removal was challenged by him in the high court in April 2011.

With the court’s order on Friday, the notifications appointing Sunanda Bannerjee as HoD, political science, Sudha Srivastava as HoD, philosophy, and Rai Murari as HoD, economics, stand null and void.

The high court also ordered that the seniority disputes be put before a screening committee and gave the panel time till June 26 to resolve such cases.








HC issues notices on supply of drugs

Express news service : Chandigarh, Sat May 12 2012, 00:35 hrs

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notices to the Punjab government; its Director General of Police (DGP) and Narcotics Control Bureau, Chandigarh, on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate H C Arora.

The petitioner stated that he had obtained information under RTI Act from 20 police districts of Punjab, and had been informed that between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011, as many as 1,663 cases involving offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act had been decided by various trial courts, and a large number of accused had been convicted.

However, the information states that not even in a single case, the Punjab Police succeeded in apprehending either the source of supply of narcotic drugs or its destination point.

In some of the letters received from the offices of superintendents of police of certain districts, it had been stated that the drugs were supplied from other states, including Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

However, the police have neither succeeded in laying its hands on the source of supply of drugs, nor referred the cases to Narcotics Control Bureau for further investigation.

Arora stated that there was need for co-ordination

between the Punjab Police and the Narcotic Control Bureau, Zonal Office, Chandigarh, so that inter-state suppliers of drugs could be apprehended.








HC notice to CBI on Jaya Jaitly’s plea

Last Updated: Friday, May 11, 2012, 12:40

New Delhi: The CBI was today directed by the Delhi High Court to file its response on former Samata Party chief Jaya Jaitly’s plea seeking a reduction in the surety amount to be deposited by her to visit abroad.

Justice Mukta Gupta issued notice to the CBI and asked the probe agency to file its reply by May 14 besides filing a status report by the next date of hearing.

The court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Abhijat appearing for Jaitly, who is facing trial for allegedly taking a bribe 11 years ago to recommend to the then NDA government a fake defence deal.

A CBI court had on May 1 allowed Jaitly to visit Singapore from May 30 to June 8 to attend a panel debate, but on furnishing a surety bond of Rs 3 lakh in the form of fixed deposit receipts (FDR) of a bank and instructed her not to extend her stay.

Challenging the trial court’s order, Jaitly has sought a reduction in the surety amount, saying she is 65 years old and is not engaged in any monetarily gainful employment.

Claiming that even her entire savings collectively would not amount to Rs 3 lakh, Jaitly has said that earlier she had applied for and was duly granted permission to travel abroad as many as 5 times and always had to deposit Rs 25,000 as FDR.

She has alleged even though her application was allowed, the trial court has indirectly fettered her right to travel abroad by imposing the “onerous” condition of Rs 3 lakh.

The case of bribe against Jaitly was lodged on the basis of a sting ‘Operation Westend,’ conducted by news portal tehelka.Com in 2001, exposing alleged corruption in defence deals.

George Fernandes, founder of Samata party, was the Defence Minister at that time.

The court had framed charges against three persons for offences of criminal conspiracy under IPC and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) dealing with ‘taking gratification for exercise of personal influence with public servant’.

Special CBI Judge Kawal Jeet Arora had put Jaitly, her erstwhile party colleague Gopal Pacherwal and retired Major General S P Murgai on trial after they pleaded “not guilty” to the charges framed by the court against them.

The trial court had said the three accused, along with one Surender Kumar Surekha who has turned approver, hatched a conspiracy to accept bribe from Mathew Samuel, representative of Westend International for inducing officials of Ministry of Defence for obtaining supply orders for hand-held thermal imagers from the Army headquarters in favour of the firm.

The trial court had said that being the national president of Samata Party, Jaitly had on December 28, 2000, allegedly accepted Rs two lakh as “gratification” from Samuel at the official residence of Fernandes.





LEGAL NEWS 11.05.2012

HC stays collection of enhanced toll–of-enhanced-toll/256530-60-117.html

Express News Service

CUTTACK: In a significant order, the Orissa High Court on Wednesday stayed the collection of toll at the enhanced rate at the Toll Plaza near Manguli in Cuttack district.

The division bench of the HC comprising Chief Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice BN Mohapatra further directed since that the toll had already been collected at the enhanced rate from December 14, 2011, the differential amount be deposited with the Registrar (Judicial) of the High Court and the same shall be kept in a separate account till disposal of the writ petition.

Earlier, acting on a PIL filed by Kendujhar Naba Nirman Parishad, the HC had issued notice to NHAI.

The petition challenged the notification of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and decision of NHAI to charge toll at the enhanced rate from the commuters at Manguli Toll Plaza in lieu of use of six-lane road.

During the hearing, the petitioner’s advocate Kedar Jena submitted before the court that the decision to collect the toll by a private company namely Shree Jagannath Expressways Private Ltd of Kolkata, at the enhanced rate for use of the six-lane road was illegal, arbitrary and in violation of law. It was further submitted by the petitioner that before construction of the six lanes, the NHAI should not of have issued such a notification.

On the other hand, counsel for the company stated before the court that the company and NHAI had entered into an agreement for the development, operation and maintenance of the existing four lanes from Bhubaneswar-Jagatpur-Chandikhol section to six-lane divided carriageway on design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis. The Kolkata-based firm has been given 910 days for completing the construction of six lanes and to collect toll for 26 years with effect from December 14, 2011. The division bench will take up further hearing in the case after vacation.








Government must decide on charges against ex- Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan: Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to decide on allegations made against former Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan.

The court said if there was evidence on the charges of corruption and misuse of office against him, the President may make a reference to the court for ordering an inquiry into the allegations.

“We are satisfied, that the instant writ petition deserves to be disposed, by requesting the competent authority to take a decision on the communication dated April 4, 2011, (addressed by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms, to the President of India),” said a Supreme Court bench comprising Justice BS Chauhan and Justice JS Khehar in its judgement on Thursday.

The Supreme Court said, if the allegations were found worthy, the President, based on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers, may proceed with the matter in accordance with the mandate of Section 5(2) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.

The bench refused to order for a presidential reference against Balakrishnan on the ground that the first step contemplated under Section 5(2) of the 1993 act was the satisfaction of the President of India. It is only upon the satisfaction of the President, that a reference can be made to the Supreme Court for holding an inquiry, said justice Khehar writing the order for the bench.

The allegations against former CJI KG Balakrishnan are:

Balakrishnan owned benami properties in the names of his daughters, sons-in-law and brother.

He was the beneficiary of allotted benami properties from the chief minister of Tamil Nadu in the name of his former-aide M Kannabiran.

He approved evasive and false replies to an application under the Right to Information Act relating to declaration of assets by Judges of the Supreme Court.

Balakrishnan resisted attempts to stop the elevation of justice PD Dinakaran to the Supreme Court, despite allegations of land-grab, encroachment and possessing assets beyond his known sources of income.







Vodafone beefs up defence in tax tussle

In a move that signals a two-pronged defence against the government’s penalty proceedings, Vodafone has served notice to the income tax department on a writ petition filed at the Bombay High against the Rs 9000 crore penalty order passed by the government, three individuals familiar with the development told ET NOW.

” Notice has been served recently on the petition filed by Vodafone. It seeks to quash the penalty order passed by the income tax department in April 2011″, said one of the individuals cited above.

Vodafone has earlier challenged the same penalty order at the CIT or Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals), the first appellate authority for taxpayers.

According to sources,the Vodafone writ petition relies upon the Supreme Court order of January, 2012 which had ruled that the Hutch-Vodafone deal was not taxable in India.

The plea alleges that proper opportunity was not given to Vodafone to defend itself in the penalty proceedings, sources added. The case is likely to come up for hearing post the Bombay High Court vacation, The Bombay High Court reopens on June 11th, 2012.

Finance Secretary RS Gujral had clarified earlier that there was no question of the government negotiating with any company on the tax amendments proposed in the Finance Bill for 2012-13.

Vodafone remained unavailable for comment, while LN Pant, DIT ( International Taxation), Mumbai and Mahesh Shah, Additional DIT ( International Taxation), Mumbai were also unavailable for comment.







Quashing of FIRs against lawyer sought

TNN | May 11, 2012, 04.42AM IST

PATNA: A writ petition was filed in the Patna High Court (HC) on Thursday seeking quashing of the three FIRs lodged against Samastipur advocate Anil Kumar Singh and 12 other lawyers by the district police charging Singh with taking money from his client for writing a petition for her. Singh was illegally detained for 28 hours allegedly on the orders of the Samastipur DM on April 19.

Lawyer Umesh Kumar Singh, who filed the petition, said a compensation of Rs 50 lakh has also been demanded for illegal detention of Singh, besides transfer of the DM and the Samastipur DDC who were responsible for the incident.

Meanwhile, members of the Bihar State Bar Council will stage a day-long dharna near Ambedkar statue outside the HC on Friday demanding transfer of the DDC for arrest of Anil.










Lt Gen (Retd) Tejinder Singh withdraws plea against Army chief Gen VK Singh

TNN | May 11, 2012, 06.15AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed as withdrawn a writ petition by Lt Gen (Retd) Tejinder Singh seeking a CBI inquiry into Army chief Gen VK Singh’s alleged role in the reported bugging of the defence minister’s office despite the government denying any such incident.

The reluctance of a bench of Justices P Sathasivam and J Chelameswar forced the retired Army officer to withdraw his plea.

The petition was filed days after the Army chief accused Tejinder Singh of offering him a bribe of Rs 14 crore for purchase of Tatra trucks. Following the complaint by the Army chief, the CBI initiated a probe into the matter.

Tejinder Singh had also accused the Army chief of professional misconduct by making “political statements” while holding the key post. He said the Army chief had stated that the Maoist problem in the country was the creation of the government when the Centre had sought the Army’s help in Naxal affected areas.

He has also filed a criminal defamation case against Gen VK Singh and four other senior Army officers in a trial court.









Post-protests, S.K. Mathur removed as Saharanpur DIG

His comment on honour killings comes under flak. Following an uproar by women’s organisations and political parties over an objectionable comment made by Saharanpur Deputy Inspector-General S.K. Mathur, the Akhilesh Yadav government removed the senior IPS officer from his post on Thursday. But the action came 48 hours after the officer he made a remark reportedly justifying honour killings.

The DIG has been attached to the DG Police office and Bhola Nath Singh has been sent in his place to Saharanpur. Also transferred was Sant Kabir Nagar Superintendent of Police Dharmendra Kumar, who had also passed some uncharitable comments which lowered the dignity of women. Mr. Kumar has been sent to the Provincial Arm Constabulary, Gonda.

In all, 21 IPS officers, including Mr. Mathur and Mr. Kumar, were moved in a police reshuffle by the State government on Thursday.

Action was taken against Mr. Mathur for telling a complainant during a routine inspection in Saharanpur on Tuesday that had he (the DIG) been in his place he would have shot his own sister for eloping, or would have shot himself. The comment was made when a person had come to file a complaint about the elopement of his sister with a youth. Mr. Mathur’s comment was flayed for its anti-women slant and one which supported the inhuman practice of honour killings. In fact, Western Uttar Pradesh and the area adjoining Haryana are notorious for this practice.

Sant Kabir Nagar district police chief Dharmendra Kumar was caught on camera while stating: “Apradhiyon ke peechhe hum bhagenge ya ki ladkiyon ke peechhe [Should the police catch criminals, or recover girls who had eloped.]” His remarks made during a routine meeting with local persons were made in respect to the cases of kidnapping of girls in the district and were seen as an attempt to lower the dignity of women, especially young girls.

Serious issue: Akhilesh

An indication that action would be taken soon was given by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav at the City Montessori School, where he had gone to address a Teachers’ Thanksgiving function earlier in the day. Referring to the comment made by Mr. Mathur, Mr. Yadav said action would be taken against the officer if he was found guilty. He said it was a “serious issue” and an inquiry was being conducted.

Aware of the deteriorating law and order and crime situation in the State since he took over as the Chief Minister and the damage caused to his government by his own party men, Mr. Yadav said strict action would be taken against those who indulged in lawlessness and crime, even if they belonged to the Samajwadi Party.

Home Secretary Deepak Kumar said at the routine briefing of his department that the government had taken a serious view of the comment made by the police officer. Mr. Kumar said the government was committed to upholding the dignity and honour of women.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) and the Opposition parties demanded that the police officer be suspended as his remark amounted to supporting the cause of honour killing.

Mr. Yadav warned police officers that they would be taken to task if they failed to redress people’s grievances. “Capable police officers will be given full opportunity to perform, but irresponsible officers will not remain in their posts,” he said.







Green Tribunal directs proceedings against OPG for violations

PTI | 06:05 PM,May 10,2012

New Delhi, May 10 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal has directed Gujarat government to take action against OPG Power Gujarat Pvt Ltd for violating the conditions on which the environmental clearance was granted to it for its 300 MW Bhadreshwar thermal power plant at Mundra. The Tribunal held that OPG had started construction work at the project site before Forest Clearance was accorded to it on April 26 which was in violation of the conditions laid down in the environment clearance granted to it on June 11, 2010. The June 11, 2010 clearance for the 2×150 MW thermal power plant at village Bhadreshwar, Mundra, District Kutch, Gujarat had stipulated that OPG shall not start work without “all requisite prior permissions”. “The forest clearance was admittedly granted to the OPG only on April 26, 2012. Thus, any construction made before the said date would be hit by the terms of environment clearance,” a bench headed by Tribunal’s Acting Chairperson Justice A S Naidu said. OPG counsel Kamal Budhiraja, however, said “the order has not held the company to be in violation of environment clearance.” He said the Tribunal has merely directed the Gujarat state authorities to ascertain whether allegations made against the company are factually correct. In the order, the Tribunal directed the state government and the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) to initiate proceedings against OPG for the violation within a period of four months. “In view of the discussions made above, we direct State Government/ SEIAA, Gujarat to initiate necessary proceedings against the Project Proponent (OPG), issue show cause to them and on perusal of the cause shown,” the bench said. (More) PTI UPT RKS









State commission for women chief moots meet to end lawyers’ agitation

May 11, 2012, 09.40AM IST

BHUBANESWAR/SAMBALPUR: The State Commission for Women chairperson, Jyoti Panigrahi, on Thursday recommended the state government to convene a meeting to resolve the deadlock in wake of the lawyers’ dispute with Sambalpur district collector Mrinalini Darswal.

In her five-page report to chief minister Naveen Patnaik on the collector-lawyers standoff, Panigrahi asked the government to convene a meeting of state Bar Council chairperson, IAS Officers’ Association president, Sambalpur Bar president and Sambalpur collector with director general of police for early solution to the impasse. “The issue needs to be resolved early because due to the stalemate, litigants including women were suffering and the state was facing huge revenue loss,” Panigrahi told TOI.

Panigrahi said she had made three principal recommendations in her report. Besides the suggestion for a high-level meeting, she also suggested to the district administrations to take sufficient precautionary measures to avoid such incidents while highlighting that the Sambalpur collector was not well prepared while going to the agitating lawyers. Thirdly, the SCW chief advised the district administrations to make sufficient police deployment when they apprehend law and order problem.

“I have not made any comment on who was at fault as the crime branch is probing into that matter,” she said.

Meanwhile, functioning of courts and judicial offices has been severely affected in Sambalpur for the last 15 days. No legal work can be done in the town at present, and common people are suffering immensely.

Even the signing of an affidavit for students opting for higher education is almost impossible as notary public and stamp venders are not available in the court area. “I need a residential certificate to apply for my higher studies, but as the lawyers have continued their cease-work, I am not able to get the certificate,” a student of Sambalpur said.

Lawyers, on the other hand, said they knew about people’s plight, but were helpless. They accused the government of giving rise to such a stalemate. “We understand the plight of the people, but we are undone. The government should take appropriate steps to solve the problem immediately. We have decided to continue our agitation till May 19,” general secretary of Sambalpur district bar association Bijitendriya Pradhan said on Thursday.







Mining scam: SC orders CBI probe against BSY

Last Updated: Friday, May 11, 2012, 12:10

New Delhi: In a major setback to BJP strongman BS Yeddyurappa, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities committed by him during his tenure as the chief minister of Karnataka.

The order in this regard was passed by the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice SH Kapadia, who asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to submit its report before it by August three.

The central probe agency has been asked to probe into Yeddyurappa’s alleged role in the state’s mining scam.

The apex court, while accepting the recommendations made by its Central Empowered Committee, directed the CBI to investigate allegations that the Prerna Trust managed by members of Yeddyurappa’s immediate family received a huge donation from the mining company favoured by him.

The apex court, however, said that all other proceedings against the BJP leader in any other court will remain stayed.

The Lingayat community leader has been under scanner over alleged irregularities committed by his office in a case relating to denotification of land and kickbacks received by his family members from the mining corporates.

The apex court order comes days after the SC-appointed panel had recommended for a CBI probe against Yeddyurappa.

The CEC, in its report, had pointed to Yeddy’s alleged role in illegal export of iron ore, transfer of some police officers and certain land deals for the benefit of his family.

The panel had suggested that the CBI should investigate in detail, alleged misuse of office by Yeddyurappa as Chief Minister, noting that prima facie massive illegalities seemed to have taken place, including serious violation of rules to de-notify agricultural land, allowing the BJP leader’s relatives to make a huge windfall when they resold de-notified land at an enormous profit.

The court panel has recommended that the CBI investigate cases of de-notification of Bangalore Development Authority land.

It has also suggested that the CBI investigate the link between Yeddyurappa allegedly favouring some companies in mining deals – South West Mining, a subsidiary of Jindal Steel, which allegedly made donations worth crores to the Prerna Educational Society Trust run by Yeddyurappa’s family members.

In view of the controversy, Yeddyurappa was asked by his party leadership to step down as Chief Minister last year after he was strongly indicted for corruption by the Karnataka Lokayukta in a report on illegal mining.







HC asks govt to stop mining in Bharatpur

TNN | May 11, 2012, 02.20AM IST

JAIPUR: A division bench of the Rajasthan High Court, headed by Chief Justice Arun Kumar Mishra on Thursday asked the state government to stop all illegal minings in the 21-km stretch of Kala Pahar region in Bharatpur district. The court also issued show cause notice to the state authorities on the issue.

The interim order was passed on a PIL filed by one Laxman Singh, who complained that largescale illegal mining was taking placing at Kala Pahar in Alipur village. The petitioner said there were a large number of residential houses of farmers and the poor at the foothills where the illegal mining is going on.

“It was brought to the notice of the court that stone blasting results in noise pollution. As fallout of the stone blasting, 13 people have died so far,” said Karan Pal Singh, advocate for the petitioner.







SC seeks report on GM crops’ field trials issue in 3 months

New Delhi, May 10, 2012

The Supreme Court on Thursday sought form an expert committee a report on desirability of the field trials for genetically modified crops within three months.

A bench headed by chief justice SH Kapadia asked the committee to submit the report on whether field trials for GMO (genetically modified organisms) can be completely banned and if they are to be allowed what should be the protocol.

The bench directed the committee to submit an interim report on the issue within three months if the final one is not possible.

The court passed the orders on a PIL filed in 2004 by NGO, Gene Campaign and anti-GMO activist Aruna Rodrigues, who had sought a complete moratorium on field trial for GMO.

The bench said the expert committee would be appointed in terms of the reference accepted earlier by the parties.

The apex court is hearing the plea on which it had on September 22, 2006 restrained the Genetic Engineering Advisory Committee (GEAC) from granting approval for the GM crops. However, it had modified its order on May 8, 2007 allowing it to look into 24 varieties of the transgenic food.

The petitioner had alleged that GEAC was not properly constituted and allowing the open field trials for transgenic seeds will lead to contamination of related species and environment as proper safety guidelines were not in place.

The issue of GM crops have been in the apex court since 2004 and it has passed several orders.

While allowing the field trials, the court had imposed certain restriction including that the government should increase the isolation distance up to 200 metres between the GM planted fields and the other fields and a protocol for testing contamination up to 0.01 percent of neighbouring fields was established.

It had also said a designated scientist should be made responsible for ensuring that all the conditions were complied with during the field trials of GM seeds.







Nurses’ degrees: SC informed about Govt action

PTI | 07:05 PM,May 10,2012

New Delhi, May 10 (PTI) The Centre today told the Supreme Court that steps have already been taken to stop private hospitals from retaining original certificates of nurses while employing them and states have been asked to “initiate penal action” against violators. “The government has taken a very serious view of such unethical practices on the part of the certain private hospitals / clinical establishments in the states and Union territories,” the apex court was told during hearing of a PIL filed last year by NGO Pravasi Legal Cell after the matter was raised at various fora including Parliament. A bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia posted the matter for further hearing in July after it was informed that the Centre has swung into action and a circular has been sent in February to the state governments stressing upon the need to protect and safeguard the interests of nurses /para-medical staff working in private hospitals and clinics. Additional Solicitor General Gaurab Banerji submitted to the bench, which also included justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar, a February 24 letter of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which asked the state governments to issue instruction to private hospitals to “refrain” from retaining original certificates of nurses and para-medical staffers. “All the state governments are hereby directed to issue instructions to the effect that all the hospitals / clinical establishments registered with the state / within their jurisdiction, may strictly refrain from the practice of retaining any of the original certificates or the documents of the nurses / para-medical staff employed by them. “They may return forthwith the original certificates / documents to the concerned personnel within a fortnight at the latest and in case of any doubt, the original documents could be sought, however, only their attested photocopies may be retained by the authorities,” said the ministry’s letter to the state governments. (MORE)






Supreme Court refers PIL on Tashiding HEP to High Court

Thu 10 May 2012   Law et al. News Network   Gangtok

The Supreme Court has referred two public interest litigations (PILs) seeking stay on the ongoing 97 MW Tashiding hydro power project on Rathongchu River in West Sikkim to the Sikkim High Court saying that the issues involved in the petition was of local nature.

A bench of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice SS Nijjar ordered “The question raised in these writ petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution should, in our view, be first considered by the Sikkim High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution. There are various issues involved which are local in nature and should be considered at that level.”

Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee (SIBLAC) and National Sikkimese Bhutia Organisation (NASBO), have been demanding scrapping of the said project, mainly citing religious sentiments and the violation of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act of 1991, extended to Sikkim in 1998.

Two of the three hydroelectric projects on the Rathong Chu that were opposed by many organisations on religious and environment grounds, have been scrapped by the Sikkim government.

On January 25, the cabinet decided to scrap the Ting Ting (99MW) and the Lethang (96MW) projects proposed over the Rathong Chu, a river considered sacred by the Buddhists in Sikkim.

The decision to scrap the projects came a month after a high-powered committee constituted by the state government submitted its report. The panel was asked to examine if the Rathong Chu projects could be implemented. The decision on “further examination” of the Tashiding project was taken as more than Rs 100 crore had already been invested and tunnelling work had started.

Tseten Tashi Bhutia Convener of SIBLAC said, “Any project on the Rathong Chu is not acceptable to us since it is on the waters of the most sacred river according to Neysol Buddhist texts.”








PIL seeking prosecution of IAS, KAS officers filed in JK HC

PTI | 11:05 PM,May 10,2012

Jammu, May 10 (PTI) A PIL has been filed in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court seeking directions to the Commissioner of Vigilance to file charge sheets against some administrative officers in the state in various cases of corruption. The PIL has been filed by social activists S K Bhalla and Sheikh Shafi through advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed. It sought prosecution of some IAS and KAS officers in various cases of corruption pending in State Vigilance Organisation and passing directions to the Commissioner of Vigilance to file charge sheets against them. The petitioners listed over a dozen pending cases against the officers for their alleged involvement in the Gulmarg land scam, rural electrification scam, illegal appointments in local bodies and illegal and backdoor appointments in Jammu and Kashmir Legal Service Authority.









UP sugar mill scam: PIL filed in HC

Ashish Tripathi, TNN | May 10, 2012, 08.14PM IST

LUCKNOW: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Thursday by by RTI activist Nutan Thakur seeking actions against the officials responsible for selling 21 government sugar mills at throwaway prices during Mayawati regime. The PIL shall come for hearing on Friday before Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice V K Dixit.

In her PIL, Nutam has stated that irregularities took place in the sale of 10 sugar mills belonging to the Uttar Pradesh State Sugar Corporation Limited and 11 sugar mills of Uttar Pradesh Rajya Chini evam Ganna Vikas Nigam. The mills were sold by previous Mayawati government. She has cited the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the sale of these sugar mills, which has exposed large scale irregularities resulted in huge loss to the public exchequer.

The CAG report titled “Performance review on sale of sugar Mills of Uttar Pradesh State Sugar Corporation Limited” was sent by Pawan Kumar Mittal, Deputy Accountant General, Lucknow, to Brinda Swarup, then principal secretary, finance, UP government, on November 17, 2011. The report has brought to the fore how the `core group of secretaries for disinvestment’ formed by the state government for sale of mills favoured buyers at every step.

Nutan has prayed in the PIL that the UP government should be directed to take suitable legal and administrative actions in accordance with this CAG report within 3 months. The CAG report states that not only mills were under-valued before sale but the bidding was also rigged and expected prices were disclosed to the bidders. Further, large scale stamp duty evasion also took place. The anomalies led to loss of around RS 1200 crore to the public exchequer.

Nutan’s PIL is the second against sale of sugar mills to have been filed in last one year. the CAG found that under-valuation of the sugar mills upto 30% was done by the authorities. Thereafter, expected prices reduced further by 50%. Though on papers there were several bidders were shown but in reality there were three players — one group having links with liquor baron Ponty Chadha and second led by a Muslim BSP leader and third the Indian Potash Limited.










PIL seeks quashing of Andhra Pradesh high court judge’s appointment

TNN | May 11, 2012, 05.19AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a PIL seeking to quash the appointment of a sitting Andhra Pradesh high court Judge for allegedly suppressing information about pendency of a criminal case against him at the time of his elevation to the constitutional post.

A bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana P Desai posted the PIL by one Manohar Reddy for further hearing on July 9 but said the relief sought by the petitioner was unprecedented.

Senior advocates Shanti Bhushan and Ram Jethmalani said the facts of the case were also unprecedented and requested the court to initiate steps on the administrative side against Justice NV Ramana and convince him to quit the post.

Reddy alleged that when Justice Ramana was a student of Nagarjuna University in Guntur in 1981, he was named as an accused in a case relating to rioting and disruption of public property in 1981. Two years later, when he enrolled as an advocate, he did not mention the pending criminal case against him despite a mandatory requirement.

Police filed chargesheet against him in October 1983. During the meandering trial before a Guntur court, he was allegedly declared a proclaimed offender on May 8, 2000. A month later, he was appointed as a judge of Andhra Pradesh HC. On December 2, 2000, the trial court issued warrants against the HC judge, the petitioner said.

The petitioner alleged that while on one hand the warrants went unanswered, on the other hand, the then TDP government sought to withdraw prosecution in the rioting case. On January 31, 2002, the case against the judge was closed.

Bhushan said, “If the case is withdrawn against a judge, what will the country feel. The courts have declared him an absconder and he is dispensing justice. It vitiates the entire consultation process for appointment of judges to the high court.”










Supreme Court allows Chishty to visit Pak till Nov 1 on surety of 5 lakh

TNN | May 11, 2012, 04.31AM IST

NEW DELHI: Twenty years after he got involved in a brawl resulting in a person’s death while on a visit to India, octogenarian Pakistani virologist Mohammed Khalil Chishty may get to see his home and family in Karachi again.

The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed Chishty to visit his Karachi home till November 1 on a security deposit of Rs 5 lakh. The virologist has been convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. He is out on bail pending an appeal against the verdict in the apex court.

The go-ahead by a bench of Justices P Sathasivam and J Chelameswar came despite additional solicitor general Mohan Parasaran’s apprehension that absence of an extradition treaty with Pakistan would make it difficult for India to bring Chishty back if he decided not to return.

Bench takes view of old age

Parasaran argued that the Indian government was ready to facilitate visits by Chishty’s relatives from Pakistan if he was yearning to see his family members.

But the bench said in view of his old age and scholarly achievements, it was inclined to allow Chishty’s plea to visit Karachi. However, it asked him make the security in the apex court registry within two weeks as a guarantee for his return to India on November 1.

The court also asked Chishty to surrender his passport to the Indian high commission office at Karachi immediately after he reaches his hometown.

A trial court on January 31, 2011, convicted him for murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment. The Rajasthan HC upheld the verdict. During pendency of Chishty’s appeal against the HC decision, the SC had granted him bail. Now, the court has fixed November 20 for hearing on his appeal against his conviction and sentence in the murder case.

Chishty was born into the family of caretakers of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s shrine. During the partition, he was studying in what became Pakistan and decided to stay on in that country. In 1992, he came to see his ailing mother but got involved in a brawl in which a neighbour was shot dead and his nephew was injured.

Chishty, who suffers from heart, hearing and other ailments, lived in his brother’s poultry farm till his conviction. A former SC judge, Justice Markandey Katju, had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh advocating grant of pardon to Chishty, who was a renowned professor of virology in Karachi Medical College and also holds a PhD from Edinburgh University.








Aarushi murder: Supreme Court should not interfere in summoning Talwars, CBI says

TNN | May 11, 2012, 04.18AM IST

NEW DELHI: The apex court on Thursday sought to know from the CBI what evidence made the trial court come to the conclusion that Aarushi’s private parts were cleaned after the murder.

During the arguments on Nupur Talwar’s petition seeking review of the apex court’s January 6 judgment asking her to face trial for her daughter’s murder along with Rajesh Talwar, a bench of Justices AK Patnaik and JS Khehar asked senior advocate Siddharth Luthra to show on Friday the evidence that could have led to such an inference from the magistrate.

Before facing this question from the bench at the conclusion of Thursday’s arguments, Luthra argued for the CBI and pleaded with the SC not to interfere at the preliminary stage of trial in the double murder case just because the magistrate had summoned Aarushi’s parents as accused.

“Let us not proceed on a premise that the magistrate did not have the benefit of perusing the entire documents submitted by the CBI along with the closure report. This is not the stage which warrants interference by the apex court. The questions asked by the petitioner could be addressed at the stage of framing of charges where the trial court weighs the evidence,” Luthra said.

The court wanted to know from CBI whether there were prior instances where a trial court had rejected a closure report and issued summons to persons to face trial.











Dara Singh encounter case: Court to decide Rathore’s fate on May 16

TNN | May 11, 2012, 02.37AM IST

JAIPUR: A local court completed hearing arguments in connection to the application of jailed BJP MLA Rajendra Rathore who had challenged his arrest in connection with the Dara Singh encounter case of 2006. The court has reserved the judgment and will pronounce it on May 16.

Rathore on May 6 had moved an application at the district court terming his judicial custody after his arrest by the CBI last month as illegal. In his application, the MLA said there were no grounds for his detention and that he should be released.

The court while extending the judicial custody of the former minister on Thursday, has given May 16 as the next date of hearing in the case. The court will decide if his arrest by the CBI is legal or not and on if he could be released.

“We challenged the arrest of Rathore since neither in the first chargesheet filed nor in the second, CBI has managed to give enough evidences to prove Rathore’s role in the case. Thus, we requested the court to release Rathore,” Rathores’ counsel Ajay Kumar Jain.

However, the court has already taken cognizance against Rathore on April 24 and trial in this case has already begun.

Heavy rush of BJP leaders and supporters of Rathore were seen at the court on Thursday morning for the hearing. Rathore while talking to newsman claimed that he was innocent and has full confidence in the legal system.










High Court orders shareholders’ meeting on MSat-Tech Mahindra merger

Press Trust of India, 11 May 2012 | 09:11 AM

Mahindra Satyam (formerly Satyam Computer Services) said the Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed it to convene a shareholders’ meeting on June 8 to consider merger with Tech Mahindra.

“By an order made on April 18, 2012… the High Court has directed that a meeting of the Equity Shareholders of the Company be convened and held on June 08, 2012, for the purpose of considering…proposed Scheme of Amalgamation,” MSat said.

Last week, competition watchdog CCI approved the proposed merger of Mahindra Satyam and other companies with Tech Mahindra, creating a $2.4 billion entity.

Tech Mahindra took over the scam-hit Satyam in April, 2009, and rebranded it as Mahindra Satyam. Founder-Chairman of Satyam, B Ramlinga Raju, had admitted to multi-crore accounting fraud at the firm in January 2009.

Boards of both the IT firms have approved the merger with swap ratio of 2:17, giving shareholders two Tech Mahindra shares for every 17 owned in Mahindra Satyam.










Supreme Court permits Centre to withdraw 2G review plea

TNN | May 11, 2012, 06.11AM IST

NEW DELHI: A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Friday will hear the presidential reference seeking the apex court’s opinion on a host of queries arising from the 2G judgment, including whether judiciary had encroached into the executive’s policy domain by mandating auction for allocation of natural resources including spectrum.

The Presidential Reference No. 1 of 2012 is listed for hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices D K Jain, J S Khehar, Dipak Misra and Ranjan Gogoi. In a 12-page reference under Article 143(1) of the Constitution, the President on April 12 had sought the court’s opinion on eight questions, including the effect of the judgment — which ordered auction of the 122 cancelled 2G licences — on spectrum allotted since 1994 on a first-come first-served basis (FCFS).

The main focus of the reference was “whether the only permissible method for disposal of all natural resources across all sectors and in all circumstances is by the conduct of auctions”. The SC had held the FCFS method to be inherently flawed.

The President had also reminded the court that the “auction only” route for allocation of natural resources seemed to run contrary to earlier judgments by larger benches of the apex court. The government argued that the FCFS policy formulated and followed by successive regimes was a viable route for allocation of spectrum as the purpose was to increase rural tele-density.

The reference sought the court’s view whether enunciation of a broad principle by the apex court in the 2G judgment did “not really amount to formulation of a policy and has the effect of unsettling policy decisions formulated and approaches taken by various successive governments over the years for valid considerations, including lack of public resources and the need to resort to innovative and different approaches for the development of various sectors of the economy”.

But on Thursday, the Supreme Court’s February 2 judgment cancelling irregular allotment of 2G spectrum to 122 telecom licensees attained finality as the Centre was permitted to withdraw its petition seeking review of the auction alone route mandated by the court.

A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan nonetheless took affront to the Centre’s May 8 letter requesting the CJI to “constitute the bench at an appropriate date and time to avoid disruption of benches and any inconvenience to the learned judges”.

It rejected the letter saying when the bench was already scheduled to sit on Thursday, there was no need for such a request. Additional solicitor general Indira Jaising made an oral request for withdrawal of the review petition while requesting the court to ignore the letter. The court accepted Jaising’s request.

Appearing for NGO ‘Centre for Public Interest Litigation’ (CPIL), advocate Prashant Bhushan said it was unfortunate that the Union government was indulging in forum shopping.

“They are withdrawing the appeal as the court was not inclined to grant any substantial relief in the operative portion of the February 2 judgment. They now want to proceed with the Presidential Reference which raised identical issues mentioned in the review petition. This amounts to forum shopping and the court should not permit it,” Bhushan argued.

But the bench said if the Union government wanted to withdraw its review petition, it meant that the entire judgment was acceptable to it. “The court has already dealt with the issues relating to ‘first-come first-served policy’ and ‘auction of natural resources’. The petitioner has a right to withdraw the review petition. And we will not comment on the Presidential Reference. You (Bhushan) can raise the objections before an appropriate forum,” the bench said.

Jaising objected to the “forum shopping” accusation leveled by Bhushan against the Union government and said the court should not take on record the written submission given by the NGO’s counsel.

The bench said it had not taken on record the submission. “We cannot say when the presidential reference will be heard and what arguments would be made during its hearing. But it seems the judgment is now clear in all aspects to the Union government which is seeking withdrawal of its review petition,” Justices Singhvi and Radhakrishnan said.

Through the Presidential Reference, the Centre wants to know “what is the permissible scope for interference by courts with policy making by the government including methods for disposal of natural resources”.

If a court cancels a policy decision terming it flawed, then what would happen to investments, including foreign direct investment under multilateral or bilateral agreements, made in the projects pursuant to implementation of the said policy decision, the President had asked.








President to look into complaint against KGB: SC

PTI | 07:05 PM,May 10,2012

New Delhi, May 10 (PTI) The Supreme Court today asked the President to take a decision on a complaint filed before her against the NHRC Chairman and former CJI K G Balakrishnan regarding his alleged misconduct during his tenure as a judge in the apex court. The apex court, however, refused to direct the Centre to recommend a Presidential reference for removal of Balakrishnan as the chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). A bench of justices B S Chauhan and J S Khehar said if there is any truth in the allegations, then it is for the President to make a reference to the Supreme Court, on the advice of Council of Ministers, for inquiry against the former Chief Justice of India. “In the peculiar facts noticed hereinabove, we are satisfied, that the instant petition deserves to be disposed of by requesting the competent authority to take a decision on the communication dated April 4 2011 (addressed by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms, to the President of India). “If the allegations, in the aforesaid determination, are found to be unworthy of any further action, the petitioner shall be informed accordingly. Alternatively, the President of India, based on the advice of the Council of Ministers, may proceed with the matter in accordance with the mandate of Section 5(2) of the 1993 Act,” the bench said. The court passed the order on a PIL by civil society Common Cause, which had sought directions from the court to the government to make a Presidential reference to the apex court for removal of Balakrishnan as the chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The NGO had alleged that the ex-CJI and his relatives amassed wealth far exceeding their legal income during Balakrishnan’s tenure as an apex court judge. Interpreting the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, the bench said that it is for the President to take a decision on the reference for the removal of the Chairman. MORE PTI AAC RKS GSN








SC refuses to entertain plea against ex-CJI

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 10, 2012

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to direct the Centre to initiate proceedings for removing former Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan from the post of NHRC chairman for alleged misconduct during his tenure in the top court.
“It is not possible for us to accept the prayer made at the hands of the petitioner, for the simple reason that the first step contemplated under Section 5(2) of the 1993 Act is the satisfaction of the President of India. It is only upon the satisfaction of the President that a reference can be made to the Supreme Court for holding an inquiry,” a bench of Justice BS Chauhan and Justice JS Khehar said.

The bench left it to the competent authority in the government to look into allegations levelled against the former CJI by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms in its April 4, 2011, letter to the President. If there was any truth in the allegations, it was for the President to make a reference to the SC, it said. For this, the President would act on the advice of the council of ministers.

The court’s order came on a PIL by Common Cause, an NGO, seeking a directive to the government, asking it to make a presidential reference in this regard. According to the NGO, the ex-CJI and his relatives had amassed wealth exceeding the NHRC chairman’s legal income during his tenure as SC judge. It had sought a direction to the Ministry of Home Affairs for making a reference to the SC for a probe under the Human Rights Act.

Justice Balakrishnan was appointed as the CJI on January 14, 2007. He was appointed as NHRC chairman on May 12, 2010, subsequent to his retirement.








Supreme Court should halt undermining of the purpose of setting up an SIT

The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) has concluded in its final report that it would not amount to an offence even if Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi hypothetically did say something about ‘allowing Hindus to vent their anger’ in a meeting with top police officers after the Godhra carnage in 2002. That is an appalling conclusion. If Modi did actually make that statement, it patently cannot be called a case of an individual expressing his private biases ‘within the four walls of a room’.

Rather, it would be a case of a chief minister effectively telling officers of the law how to behave in a situation of organised killing. Even at face value, this sort of a conclusion by the SIT – even as it has closed investigation into the Gulberg Society massacre after finding no evidence to prosecute Modi, top political leaders, bureaucrats and police officers – raises doubts about whether it is fully and impartially doing the job entrusted to it by the Supreme Court. The whole point of setting up the SIT was a lack of faith in the ability of the state investigative agencies to impartially investigate the communal riot cases given that apprehensions about complicity in the carnage at virtually all levels of the state machinery were rife. If the SIT itself, in turn, is giving cause for worry that it too may be inclined to shield (or be partial towards) guilt at the top levels of government, then it would be time for the Supreme Court to intervene again in a manner it sees fit.

Given the twists and turns the investigations have taken, the crucial differences between the SIT’s preliminary report and its final one included, apprehensions of bad faith cannot be dismissed. The issue is not just justice for the victims of the organised violence against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002. At stake is the institutional integrity of the constitutional process of Indian democracy . If the best intentions of the Supreme Court cannot counter the penchant of the local state machinery, excluding no part of it, to be complicit in violence against a section of Gujarati society, that would mean an open, gaping wound for Indian democracy.









HC asks govt to submit details of assets of IAS, IPS and IFS

Ashish Tripathi, TNN | May 10, 2012, 09.42PM IST

LUCKNOW: In a significant development, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad high court on Thursday directed the central and the state governments to file affidavits showing the cadre strength of officers of all India services working in UP, maximum period of their stay at places of postings in the last three years, the details of properties possessed by them and their family members before entering into service and thereafter, and the number of criminal cases and civil cases including those filed under Prevention of Corruption Act and departmental proceedings pending against them on the next date of hearing.

The order was passed by a division bench comprising Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice Virendra Kumar Dixit on the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Lok Prahari, an association of retired civil servants through its general secretary SN Shukla. The PIL was filed in March last year seeking direction from the court for central and state governments to implement the Indian Administrative Services (Cadre Amendment) Rules, 2006, in UP, which provides for a fixed term to all India officers on a particular post. The petitioner had argued that arbitrary transfers of the India Administrative services, India Police Services and Indian Forest Services is a major obstacle in honest, free and fair functioning. The government of India has already issued notification of fixed tenure for some states. However, for UP, the order was approved by the then union government but the notification was not issued.

Further, the petitioner had stated, the UP government has not formed the Civil Services Board as prescribed in the amendment rules of 2006. Also, the state government has not executed the fix term rule which it can enforce on its own. Later, in subsequent hearings, the petitioner also stated that transfers are being frequently made at the whims of the government. He drew the attention of the court towards the letter dated September 1, 2009, written by the home secretary, government of India to the chief secretary, government of UP. The letter had figures of the officers of the all India services posted in UP transferred between June, 2007 to June, 2009. According to the letter, which the petitioner used to support his argument, four officers were transferred within a day, 25 within three days, 49 within a week, 144 within a month and 609 within a year. These officers included administrative, police and forest services.

According to figures available with the TOI, there are around 1300 officers of the all India services — administrative, police and forest — in UP. As per the All India Services (Conduct) Amendment Rules, 2011, every officer has to declare his/her assets annually by January 31. However, many officers including 53 IAS have not filed required information for the year 2011 till date. Also, figures show that Mayawati, in her first term as chief minister which lasted four months and 14 days in 1995, around 578 bureaucrats were transferred. The second one which lasted for six-months in 1997 saw 777 heads rolling. The third one year three months 26 days stint in 2002 claimed 970 scalps. In her fourth from May 2007 to December 2009, Maya re-shuffled officers over 1000 times. The Samajwadi Party government, which took charge on March 15, 2012, in 55 days so far has reshuffled around 220 IAS and 241 IPS officers.

While politicians say that re-shuffling of officers is done for effective governance, many officers in private confided that transfers and postings are major source of corruption and has assumed proportion of an `industry’. “While politicians want those officers who serve them and not the public, officers seek `lucrative’ postings. Officers close to power centre get good postings and long tenures but those who do not succumb to whims and fancies are harassed,” claimed an officer. Another claimed that on an average an officer is transferred 2-3 times in a year. “If you are in field posting, marching orders every 3-6 months not only disturbs your family but also takes toll on their health,” he said. Another officer said that besides money, caste also plays a role in transfers and postings. “Politicisation of services, dividing officers on caste lines and corruption is mainly responsible for the backwardness of UP,” he added.








HC stops government from moving agriculture officers

TNN | May 11, 2012, 03.47AM IST

CHENNAI: The Madras high court has restrained the Tamil Nadu government from transferring officers from the agriculture department to fill up vacancies in horticulture department.

Justice K Ravichandra Babu passed the interim order on a writ petition filed by the Tamil Nadu Horticulture Officers Welfare Association. The restraint order will be in force for a period of four weeks.

In its writ petition, the association contended that though the horticulture department was created in 1979, it was yet to have its own separate service rules to regulate the service conditions of the technical staff working there. In 2007, after ascertaining that horticulture department is overstaffed, the government decided not to fill up vacancies arising in the department and resolved to fill up such vacancies with officers from agriculture department.

Since then, for instance, a joint director of agriculture on promotion as additional director was transferred as additional director of horticulture. Similar promotions and transfers happened at all level, the writ petition said, adding that the technical staff of the horticulture department found that their promotional avenues had been blocked and that they were all taken over by transferees from agriculture department.

Noting that horticulture was a technical job requiring expertise, the petition said inducting any more agriculture department personnel would be illegal and against the service law jurisprudence.

Assailing the provisions of the December 24, 2007, which was issued after the staff surplus in horticulture department was notice, the petition wanted it to be quashed. As an interim measure, it wanted the court to forbear the government from inducting agriculture officers in horticultural posts.








HC asks website to remove ‘defamatory’ blog against Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Published: Thursday, May 10, 2012, 19:51 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

The Delhi High Court has ordered removal of objectionable blogs and remarks posted by a man against Art of Living (AoL) founder and spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Google’s website

While ordering removal of his “defamatory” blogs, Justice Manmohan Singh also restrained blogger Jitender Bagga from sending objectionable emails and publishing blogs on the website against the AoL founder.

The court order came on an NGO’s civil suit, seeking damages of over Rs5 crore from the blogger and the website.

“It appears that the plaintiffs (NGO and its volunteers) have been able to make out a strong prima facie case for passing an ex-parte interim order. The balance of convenience also lies in favour the plaintiff and against the defendants (Bagga and the website).

In case, interim order is not passed, the plaintiffs will suffer irreparable loss and injury. Thus, till the next date, the defendant 2 (website) is directed to remove all defamatory contents about the plaintiffs posted by defendant 1 (Bagga) on website,” the court said.

“Bagga is restrained from sending any email or posting any material over the website which has a direct or indirect reference to the plaintiffs or the Art of Living Foundation or any member of AoL or His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,” the court said.

Filing a civil suit through its trustee Mahesh Gupta, the NGO Vyakti Vikas Kendra, India Public Charitable Trust has sought a damage of Rs5.9 crore from Bagga and the website.

It alleged Bagga has created and published various materials against the volunteers of this NGO, which promotes spiritual, educational, cultural and social developmental activities and also runs the programme called AoL. It added Bagga has published materials against its founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and his family members.








HC seeks routine report from Jaipur Municipal Corporation on removal of commercial units

TNN | May 11, 2012, 02.39AM IST

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan High Court has directed JMC commissioner Lok Nath Soni to file fortnightly compliance report on the removal of commercial activities from residential units of Mansarovar locality of the state capital. The court also said it will not tolerate the defiance of order of the division bench on removal of such establishments.

In 2004, a division bench of the high court had directed the civic authorities to check commercial activities from residential areas and stop the same but no action was taken. It came to light while hearing a petition filed by a local resident of Mansarovar whose commercial establishment running from his home was stopped.

The single judge bench of Justice Alok Sharma took note of the fact that there are a large number of such commercial activities still going on and called the JMC Commissioner in person on Thursday.

Soni told the bench though there is shortage of staff at the JMC, action has been initiated. It was ensured that 10 houses will be identified each week form where commercial activities will be stopped and the report will be submitted fortnightly to the court.

“Continuous action by the municipal corporation is essential for a sense of justice in those whose commercial activities from residential premises has been stopped. Defiance in respect of directions issued by the court will not be tolerated,” the bench observed in its order.










HC directs Anjali Behera to reply in murder case

TNN | May 11, 2012, 09.29AM IST

CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Thursday issued a notice to women and child development minister Anjali Behera over her alleged involvement in the murder of Hindol block chairman Nabaghana Sahoo. The division bench of Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice B N Mohapatra directed the minister to file a reply to the allegations of the petitioner within two weeks.

The direction came in response to a PIL filed by a citizens’ forum, Dhenkanal Nagarika Manch, and a petition filed by the deceased’s mother, Durmilla Sahoo, seeking a CBI probe into Sahoo’s death. The petitioners had alleged that Nabaghana’s murder was pre-planned at the behest of local MLA Anjali Behera.

“The court has issued notice to women and child development minister, Anjali Behera to reply to the allegations of the petitioners,” said Himansu Mishra, petitioner’s counsel. BJD leader Nabaghan died on May 14, 2011, after being hit by a SUV near his cashew field, one-and-a-half km away from his village Ganjara.

The petitioners had alleged Anjali used to perceive Sahoo as a threat to her political career and there had been political rivalry between them. The petitioners had cited that since Anjali is a state minister, the crime branch probe will not be fair and the court hand over the case to CBI.









Air India moves Supreme Court, 9 more pilots sacked

Last Updated: Thursday, May 10, 2012, 23:37

New Delhi/Mumbai: Crisis-hit Air India Thursday moved the Supreme Court against striking pilots as it stopped flight bookings for the US, Canada and Europe till May 15 and sacked nine more pilots on day three of their agitation.

Over 20 international and domestic flights were cancelled and several delayed, leaving hundreds of passengers fuming.

Air India moved a petition in the apex seeking initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against the office bearers of the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) for allegedly obstructing implementation of its order on training of pilots for the Dreamliner aircraft.

An application in this regard alleged that the ongoing protest action by IPG, which has disrupted international flight operations of airline, amounts to contempt of the apex court orders.

With over 200 pilots owing allegiance to the IPG refusing to join duty, AI said it was suspending its international bookings to New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Toronto, London, Paris and Frankfurt till May 15.

The airline sacked nine more pilots taking the number of pilots whose services have been terminated to 45. While 10 pilots, mostly office bearers of the IPG were dismissed on Tuesday, another 26 were shown the door yesterday. AI management has also derecognised IPG.

A defiant IPG demanded that the AI management must withdraw the sack orders and till then there was no question of pilots resuming work.

The agitating pilots sought the intervention of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to resolve the impasse.

“It is a matter of life and death and career for the pilots. Talks were held by IPG with AI management which did not honour its commitments. The management is having a non-serious attitude towards our grievances,'” Jitendra Awhad, IPG president, told reporters.

From Delhi flights to Frankfurt, Shanghai, Toronto, New Jersey, Chicago and Seoul were cancelled while AI flights to New York, Riyadh and Shanghai were not operating from Mumbai.

Air India daily operates about 50 international flights and 400 domestic flights.

As the agitation entered the third day, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said, “if they (pilots) are not willing to follow the court order, why would they listen to me. They have to decide to follow the High Court order. That’s the law but they are not willing to do so. What can we do.”

Singh, however, reaffirmed government’s readiness to hold talks with the pilots and hoped that they would abide by the High Court order which held their stir as illegal.

The Delhi High Court had yesterday held the strike as illegal and barred the pilots from resorting to sick leave and staging demonstrations.

The pilots protesting against rescheduling of Boeing 787 Dreamliner training and matters relating to their career progression have showed no signs of relenting..

“Three international departures from Mumbai and 8 from Delhi have been cancelled due to non-availability of pilots”, an Air India official said.

Around 12 international arrivals at Delhi airport were also cancelled, according to the website of Delhi airport.

Passengers were inconvenienced as airline officials were unable to accommodate them in others flights or give any concrete information on when their flights will take off.

Around 200 pilots owing allegiance to IPG had reported sick on Tuesday resulting in cancellation of several flights.

The IPG has a strength of about 250 pilots while the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) has over 1,200 membership out of a total of 1,600 pilots. The remaining are mostly executive pilots.

Asked whether the government planned to close down Air India, the minister said, “Closing down is not a solution. Air India has a large base in international travel.”

“Now that the (Delhi High) court has also asked them to join, they should do so,” he said, adding passengers must not be inconvenienced.

The IPG, whose members have been reporting sick, are protesting the national carrier’s move to send pilots from both Air India and erstwhile Indian Airlines in equal numbers to get trained for flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the first of which is likely to be inducted later this month.








HC restrains Mhada from selling 1% flats through lottery

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | May 11, 2012, 03.37AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday asked the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) not to put up all its flats for sale through lottery to be held on May 31, but to set aside 1% for the disabled. This is the second year that the HC has sent the order to the government agency. Currently, 2,593 flats are up for allotment.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar was hearing a petition filed by an NGO, India Centre for Human Rights and Law, stating that Mhada reserved only 2% against the required 3% of its flats for the disabled. The NGO’s advocate, Kranti L C, argued that in 2010, the State Coordination Committee on Disability had directed Mhada to increase the quota from 2% to 3% but the agency was yet to comply. “As they had not done it last year, the court had restrained the sale of 1% of its total flats. Similar direction should be passed this year,” he said.

Kranti also submitted that though the court had directed Mhada to rework its definition of disability to be inclusive of seven categories provided in the Persons with Disabilities Act, the agency have out flats to just two categories, blind and low vision.

Deferring the hearing beyond vacation, the judges directed Mhada to amend its definition of disability as well not to draw lots for 1% of its total flats.










HC vacates stay on recruitment of NU teachers

TNN | May 11, 2012, 05.37AM IST

NAGPUR: In a respite to Nagpur University, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Thursday vacated the stay on recruitment advertisements for lecturers. A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Ashok Bhangale vacated the ad-interim stay after NU counsel Bhanudas Kulkarni informed them that they will be deleting the specific clause in the advertisement related to appointment of persons with disability and will soon publish a corrigendum in this regard in the media.

The bench then admitted the plea by blind lecturer Rajesh Asudani (35), who claimed that NU has violated Persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation) act, 1995, in its advertisements for recruitment of professors, associate and assistant professors.

The petitioner contended that these advertisements for filing posts in teaching departments and conducted colleges provided reservation for disabled but “subject to availability”, and preference will be given to physically handicapped. He added that the advertisements failed to specify exact nature of disability and are against various circulars issued by UGC, Government of Maharashtra, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, and are also against the settled laws established by judgments of Supreme Court and various high courts.

Asudani, working with RBI as class-I officer, pointed out that NU had issued advertisements for recruitment of lecturers three times in five years but failed to move beyond that till date.










HC orders status quo on razing home near stupa

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | May 11, 2012, 04.39AM IST

MUMBAI: The high court on Thursday directed status quo in a case pertaining to the demolition of a house in the vicinity of a protected Buddhist stupa, a dome structure, in Nalasopara.

A division bench of Justice P B Majmudar and Justice Anoop Mohta was hearing a petition filed by Sunanda Sitad, an adivasi widow, challenging the February 8, 2010, show-cause notice by the department of archaeology asking her to demolish the 5,000 sq ft house, saying it is an encroachment built upon a mound. The stupa was declared a historical monument, the petition said.

Her advocate argued that the house is over 100 years old and she has been paying taxes to the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation. “Her husband looked after the stupa’s maintainance. Her son works with the ASI,” he added. He said Sitad is willing to shift outside the prohibited area, provided the corporation rehabilitates her. In the meantime, he urged the court to prevent the demolition of her home. “She is poor,” he said.

Advocate Aniket Nikam, appearing for the central government and Archealogical Survey of India, submitted that under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological and Remains Act 1958 , the stupa is a protected structure and no unauthorized construction can remain within its periphery. “The structure has to go,” said Nikam . “She may not have legal rights, but on human rights, let her stay in the meantime,” said Justice Majmudar.

The judges issued notices to the Thane collector and Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation, who were unrepresented. They directed that a status quo be maintained and that Sitad not be evicted until the next date of hearing after vacation.










HC summons DGP over missing persons’ case

Abhinav Sharma, TNN | May 11, 2012, 02.57AM IST

JAIPUR: A division bench of Rajasthan High Court on Thursday summoned the DGP and additional DGP (crime) to appear in person and explain the lacunae in the investigation in the cases of missing persons. The court was peeved at the fact that the investigating officers were not provided with any assistance by their seniors and by the time a missing person is traced, they are either dead or have undergone irreparable suffering. As per official records, there are 6,000 persons missing for the past eight years in the state.

The order came on a habeas corpus petition filed by one Teeja Devi. As per the facts of the case, a girl was missing for the past six months from Sikar district and the person with whom she is said to have fled away was a school teacher.

It was brought to the notice of the court by the investigating officer of the case that the accused is a ‘clever’ person who manages to get jobs in private schools and when the school management insists for his academic and other records he leaves the job. His cellphone number is also not traceable as the same has not been in operation after the incident.

The bench comprising Justice Dalip Singh and Justice Meena V Gomber took a serious note of the fact that there is no special investigation unit or team to look into such matters.

“We are surprised that we have time and again cautioned the public prosecutors to ask the police authorities to see that if a special cell can be created to promptly and efficiently investigate cases of missing persons, and there are uncountable number of habeas corpus petitions coming day in and day out seeking search and production of such missing persons,” observed Justice Singh.

“It pains us to know that in the present case a girl is missing for last six months and her sufferings and pains cannot be measured. We feel either she has been killed or put to sexual abuse or human trafficking, but the police shows no extra efforts to unearth the realities. The SP concerned seeks only progress report and feels no professional bondage to guide his subordinates over such sensitive matters. The procedure needs revamping,” observed the bench.

It also came up in the investigation that the missing girl had a few days of acquaintance with the accused.

“It is clear that there cannot be any intention of marriage. Probably the girl has been disposed off after sexual assault. It is required that there should be a hierarchy of investigation and response team in case of missing person investigation at district, range and state levels as also such a case should be immediately addressed so that the detainees can be freed immediately and without loss of time,” said Justice Singh.

The bench, while summoning DGP, additional DG (crime), IG of various ranges and SP Sikar Saurabh Shrivastav to appear in person on May 19, directed in its order regarding missing persons that, “In most of these cases there is hardly any supervision by the senior officials and in most of the pending case detenue remains untraced for years. The copy of order be sent to DGP with immediate effect.”






HC issues notice to teachers, but stir to continue

Shibu Thomas & Yogita Rao, TNN | May 11, 2012, 03.32AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday issued a notice to the Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organization (MFUCTO) for its response to a petition challenging its strike call and the decision to boycott the assessment of answerscripts.

However, despite the government claiming to have accepted their demands, teachers affiliated to MFUCTO said they were not in favour of calling off the strike.

A petition filed by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had sought action against teachers and associations that had given the strike and boycott call.

The boycott call had led to the state attempting to get the answersheets checked by contractual and non-permanent teachers. The petition claimed that this was contrary to the interest of students. Contending that the process of admissions would be delayed, it urged the court to direct the teachers to return to work and correct the answerscripts.

Meanwhile, at a meeting in Jalgaon on Thursday, college teachers from across the state decided not to report for assessment duty as they were not satisfied with the assurances given by the state. The teachers even claimed that the education minister had failed to keep his promise.

The state’s higher and technical education minister, Rajesh Tope, on Wednesday announced that the state had agreed to the striking teachers’ demands and expected them to resume work within two days. “Strict action will be taken against teachers who do not report to work tomorrow. Even the colleges will be asked to initiate action against them,” he said on Thursday.

However, the teachers claimed that the minister had gone back on several of their demands in the signed minutes given to them. The promises made were not even time-bound, they contended. “Even for the NET/SET issue, they (authorities) had promised that they would regularize the appointment of teachers affected. The minutes say the state will go back to the UGC to seek clarification. The process will be time-consuming. So, we have decided to continue with the strike,” said C R Sadasivan, MFUCTO member and president of the Bombay University and College Teachers’ Union (BUCTU).

“We are prepared for any kind of action that the government initiates against us, but the strike will continue across the state. The government will have to accept our demands. There are several universities in the state where not a single paper has been assessed yet,” Sadasivan said. However, Tope had on Wednesday said the vice-chancellors of all state universities told him that the results would not be affected as most of them had completed 50% of their assessment work.






HC admits Tota’s appeal against conviction

TNN | May 11, 2012, 07.31AM IST

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday admitted an appeal filed by former Punjab agriculture minister Tota Singh against his conviction in a corruption case. The court also issued notice to Punjab vigilance on Tota’s plea for bail in this case.

The former agriculture minister is on interim bail from trial court Mohali till June 5. Now the case has been fixed for further hearing for May 17.

A special court of Mohali had sentenced one-year rigorous imprisonment to Tota Singh on May 5 for misusing official car during his previous tenure as state education minister from 1997 to 2002.

In his appeal, Tota Singh has pleaded that he was given a private vehicle with unlimited fuel and there was no need for him to misuse the official car. The minister also submitted that the lower Court, in its judgment, had cast serious aspersions on the investigating agency. He submitted the investigating agency was biased against him and he was implicated in the case.

Tota Singh was sentenced after convicting under section 13 (2) of Prevention of Corruption (PVC) Act. The court had also slapped a fine of Rs 30,000 on him.

However, he was released on bail on production of a surety bond of Rs 25,000 and was given time till June 5 for filling an appeal against these orders. If he fails to get any relief from the HC till June 5, he will have to surrender before the Mohali court.

Case against Tota Singh relates to a car number PB65-A-270, which was issued to one Veena Dada OSD to the then chairman of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) for her official purpose but the said car was actually used by Tota Singh and his family members in their constituency. The case was registered by the state vigilance Bureau Punjab in 2002. During the trial Veena Dada tried to save Tota Singh by claiming that she had actually used the car while visiting with education minister for the official purpose. However, court found that Veena Dada had actually countersigned the entries in the logbook of that car but it was not being used by her, thus misused by Tota Singh and his family for personnel purpose. Court, however, acquitted Tota Singh from two other charges of disproportionate asset (DA) and misusing of telephone.


LEGAL NEWS 06.05.2012

Mullaperiyar agitators march to Justice Thomas’s residence

Last Updated: Saturday, May 05, 2012, 20:45

Kottayam: Amid reports that the Supreme Court Empowered Committee on Mullaperiyar had found that the 119-year-old Mullaperiyar dam was safe, Kerala Water Resources Minister PJ Joseph on Saturday maintained that a new dam was the only solution to the long dispute with Tamil Nadu.

A group of protesters marched to the residence of panel member, former supreme court Judge KT Thomas, here alleging that he did not support the state’s cause.

Talking to reporters, Joseph said the state Government stood firm by the resolution passed by the Kerala assembly which held that a new dam was essential to ensure security of the people as the existing structure was unsafe.

Joseph also made some comments against Justice Thomas alleging that he did not support the state’s cause.

Reacting sharply to the minister’s comment, Thomas said Joseph was making statements without studying the contents of the report and his criticism was uncalled for.

Thomas said Joseph was trying to whip up sentiments over the issue by making wrong statements and he would bring the matter to the attention of the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, a march was taken out to Thomas’s residence in the town by activists of ‘Mullaperiyar Samara Samiti’ alleging that he had betrayed the state’s cause.The march was stopped by police before it reached the residence.

While Tamil Nadu has been maintaining that the dam was “absolutely safe” and the water level can be raised to 142 ft, Kerala has been insisting that it be maintained at 136 feet, besides a new dam to replace the existing structure.







Punjab Minister gets jail for misuse of power

However Jathedar Tota Singh was granted bail which allows him to move higher court

Pronouncing him guilty in a case of misuse of power, a court in Mohali sentenced Punjab’s Agriculture Minister Jathedar Tota Singh to one year in prison and slapped a fine of Rs. 30,000. He was, however, released on bail.

Handing down the order in the case that was filed in 2002 by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Additional District and Sessions judge Rajinder Aggarwal, however, acquitted Jathedar Tota Singh in another case related to amassing assets disproportionate to the known sources of his income.

While the court found the Jathedar misusing official machinery, for which he was handed the jail term, misusing a car of the Punjab State Education Board resulted in the fine. While he immediately deposited the fine amount, the Jathedar was granted bail to appeal in a higher court.

The case relates to the activities and decisions taken by the Jathedar, when he was the Education Minister in the Akali Dal-BJP alliance government from 1997 to 2002. The subsequent Congress government headed by Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh had initiated proceedings against various former Ministers. Jathedar Tota Singh was then arrested and subsequently bailed out.

Major embarrassment

The conviction comes as a major embarrassment for the 52-day-old government headed by Parkash Singh Badal. The Jathedar, who successfully contested the Dharamkot seat in the recent Assembly polls, is the second Minister to be convicted. Earlier, a special CBI court in Patiala sentenced a Minister, Bibi Jagir Kaur, who was found guilty on various counts in a case related to the mysterious death of her daughter Harpreet Kaur.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Sunil Jhakhar said the successive convictions of Akali Ministers exposed the goings on in the government. “Two Ministers have bitten the dust, 16 more to go,” he said.

Congress MP from Gurdaspur, Pratap Singh Bajwa said the order vindicated the Opposition’s stand that the Akalis had not only misused official machinery, facilities, transport and personnel, but also indulged in large-scale bungling in public funds and gross squandering away of the State’s resources.






Court diary: Panch examined in German Bakery trial

AADITI JATHAR LAKADE : Sun May 06 2012, 01:55 hrs

PUNE: Five panch witnesses were examined by the prosecution on Thursday and Friday in the German Bakery blast case. The witnesses included those who were present as panch while seizing the CD containing footage of the blast from CCTV installed in the German Bakery and others. The concerned CD was produced in the court. The panch witnesses deposed that a packet containing photo copies of certain documents, driving license, college I-card and so on was seized by the police in Udgir. However, the witness failed to remember who the documents belonged to. The next hearing of the trail is on May 9 and 10.

Gangster Kalyani convicted for dacoity

PUNE: Dreaded gangster Jalindersingh Kalyani, who committed three dacoities after he was let out on parole in 2006, was recently convicted in one of the three cases and sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment. Vivek Vasant Borkar (42) of Rajyog Heights cooperative housing society in Viman Nagar had lodged a complaint in this regard. According to the complaint, about five to six men had robbed them of gold and silver ornaments worth Rs 51,335. Police arrested Jalindersingh Amitsingh Kalyani (32), Sachin Kantilal Gore (19), Jillusingh, alias Jakhminsh Sanjaysingh Shersingh Dudhani (20), Dipaksingh Harisingh Tak (32), Pankajsingh Kalusingh Dudhani (32), Lalsingh Jagsishsingh Dagar (25) and Ubem Jamil Khan (21). Two other accused — Mannaram Prajapati and Veermaran Prajapati are still absconding. Additional sessions judge N P Dhote sentenced Jalindersingh to 10 years RI under Section 397 (dacoity with attempt to cause grievous hurt) and to seven years RI under Section 398 (attempt to commit robbery with deadly weapon) and fined him Rs 3,000 or three more months RI. All the other accused were acquitted for lack of evidence.

Thamburaj’s bail
plea opposed

PUNE: CBI special prosecutor Vivek Saxena opposed the bail plea of Lt Gen Noble Thamburaj (retired) in the court of CBI special judge D R Mahajan on Friday. “A complaint is likely to be registered against Thamburaj soon. Also, the CBI is scanning documents that were seized from him,” Saxena said. He added that

Thamburaj can tamper with evidence or influence the witnesses. The court has reserved its order till May 22. The Army Headquarters had complained to CBI alleging that Thamburaj, who was then General Officer Commanding in-chief of the Southern Command, had unduly favoured Kalpataru Builders.









AP Land-Grabbing Act challenged

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: A public interest litigation petition was filed in the High Court on Friday challenging the constitutional validity of Sections 7, 7A (3), 8 and 9 of the AP Land-Grabbing (Prohibition) Act, 1982.

The petition also sought stay of the appointment of revenue members to the special court which adjudicates civil and criminal cases under the Act.

Petitioner M Rajender Reddy, a local advocate, requested the court to stay the operation of the above sections of the Act during pendency of the PIL. Under the said Act the special court comprising revenue members has been empowered to conduct trial of cases in respect of ownership and title or lawful possession of the land grabbed, and to conduct criminal trial with respect to the offences. “If the relief sought for is not granted, it will cause grave prejudice since the special court comprising revenue members will continue to adjudicate civil and criminal cases and sit in judgment even though the members do not have the requisite judicial temperament to adjudicate the said cases.

No immediate justice will be possible with the appointment of revenue members to the special court,’’ he contended.

Under the Act, a sitting or retired High Court judge is appointed to the special court as chairman and two judicial and two revenue members.

If revenue members, who do not have judicial knowledge, were appointed, it would delay trial of the cases, he contended.









Defamation case against Army chief Gen VK Singh, 4 others sent to another court

A Delhi court hearing the criminal defamation complaint against Army chief Gen V.K Singh and four others on Saturday transferred it to the court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate (ACMM).

Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Sudesh Kumar, who was to pass an order on Saturday on the plea of former Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh, transferred the matter for further proceedings to ACMM Amit Bansal saying the counsel for the complainant appears to have “lost confidence over the courts of law”.

The matter would now be placed before ACMM Bansal on May 7.

The metropolitan magistrate was to pass his order on Tejinder Singh’s plea for summoning General V.K Singh and four others as accused in the defamation case.

Besides the Army chief, he has named Vice Chief of Army Staff S.K Singh, Lt Gen B.S Thakur (DG MI), Major General S.L Narshiman (Additional Director General of Public Information) and Lt Col Hitten Sawhney, accusing them of misusing their official positions, power and authority to level false charges against him.

M.M Sudesh Kumar, in his three page order, said he does not want to proceed further in the case as counsel Anil Kumar Aggarwal, who appeared for Tejinder Singh, exhibited “lack of confidence over the court.”

“The counsel for the complainant appears to have lost confidence over the courts of law and legal procedure.

“In my considered view, vide this application, counsel Anil Kumar Aggarwal has exhibited lack of confidence over the court and the manner in which he had tried to dictate to this court as to what is required to be mentioned in the proceeding order sheets and as to what type of inquiries this court has to make reflects his lack of faith in this court. Hence, under these circumstances, I do not want to proceed further with the trial in the present complaint,” MM Kumar said.

M.M Kumar said that Tejinder Singh’s counsel had tried to “pressurise” the court for obtaining shorter date in the matter despite the fact that the case does not fall under the category of priority cases.

The magistrate has now directed Tejinder Singh to appear before ACMM Bansal on May 7.

“Let the matter be placed before ACMM-01 (Bansal) with request to pass further orders in this regards on May 7 at 2 PM. Complainant (Tejinder Singh) is directed to appear before ACMM-01 on May 7 at 2 PM,” he said.

The court had earlier recorded Tejinder Singh’s statement and the pre-summoning evidence in support of his defamation suit over a press release alleging that he had offered bribe on behalf of Tatra and Vectra Ltd, which supplies vehicles to BEML.

Tejinder Singh had refuted the allegations that he had offered bribe to the Army chief for clearing a deal for 600 “sub-standard” vehicles.






Court notice on petition against layout permission on Ambattur lake bed

The Madras High Court has ordered notice of admission on a writ petition challenging a letter of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority of July 25 last year granting layout permission in a portion of the Ambattur Lake bed, on the city’s outskirts. The petitioner also sought a consequent direction to the authorities to remove the encroachments on the lake bed.

A Vacation Bench consisting of Justices C.S. Karnan and K. Ravichandra Baabu said the notice would be returnable by four weeks. It ordered that status quo be maintained.

In the petition, the Ambattur Zone Residents’ Welfare Association, represented by its president Melai Nazar, said the CMDA had granted permission without verifying relevant revenue records and boundaries of the lands mentioned in field map and ‘A’ Register, had granted layout permission. This was per se illegal and contrary to the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act and Development Control Rules and Regulations. The Ambattur Lake was a rain-fed reservoir. It charged the groundwater in the area. Now construction activities were going on in a portion of the bed. This was an encroachment on the lake bed. None of the State agencies had initiated action against the encroachments and conversion of the lake area into house sites. Under the Tamil Nadu Protection of Tanks and Eviction of Encroachments Act, the State should take measures to restore water bodies, the petitioner said.









Supreme Court panel report on Mullaperiyar dam vindicates our stand: Jayalalithaa

Press Trust of India | Updated: May 05, 2012 17:20 IST

New Delhi:  Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said that the state government’s stand on the Mullaperiyar dam has been vindicated by the Supreme Court-appointed Empowered Committee’s report which concluded that the structure was safe.

“That is what we have been saying all along,” she told reporters in Delhi. Ms Jayalalithaa was responding to a question on the report which also asked Kerala to reconsider its proposal to build a new dam.

The five-member committee headed by former Chief Justice of India Justice A S Anand also recommended that the water level at the dam, located in Kerala’s Idduki district and maintained by Tamil Nadu Public Works Department, can now be raised to 142 ft from the existing 136 ft.

In the report, the committee, which made numerous visits to the site and conducted a slew of tests and surveys, has concluded that the Mullaperiyar Dam structure is safe on each of the “hydrologic, structural and seismic considerations”.

While Tamil Nadu has been maintaining that the dam was “absolutely safe” and the water level can be raised to 142 ft, Kerala has been vociferous in its demand for a new dam to be built near the existing structure.










Accident victim kin gets Rs 27.63L compensation

Last Updated: Sunday, May 06, 2012, 09:57

New Delhi: The family of a 34-year-old MCD employee, who died in a road accident in 2010, has been given a compensation of Rs 27.63 lakh by a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) here.

MACT presiding officer Arun Bhardwaj while holding that the rider of the offending motorcycle was driving negligently, directed Iffco Tokio General Insurance Company Ltd, with which the two-wheeler was insured, to pay the sum to mishap victim Manoj Kumar’s family.

“From the evidence of prosecution witness, negligence of respondent 1 (Sukhjinder Sandhu) in driving the offending vehicle which resulted in fatal injuries to the deceased is made out.

“The total compensation payable to the petitioners (family of deceased) would be Rs 27,63,736. Insurance company has not proved any of the statutory defences available to avoid its liability. Therefore, the compensation would be paid within 30 days from the date of this order by respondent 3 (insurance company),” the tribunal held.

Ved Prakash, the primary witness, had testified that he and the deceased were part of a group of ‘kawarias’ (a particular type of Hindu pilgrims) on their way back from Haridwar after a pilgrimage.

Prakash had said he and the victim were travelling on foot, as is the practice for pilgrims, who march to Lord Shiva’s abode in Haridwar and back on foot during monsoon.

He said on August 8, 2010 at about 5.30 am when they reached near, Mohan Nagar, Ghaziabad, a motorcycle having Uttar Pradesh registration number, driven at a very high speed and in a negligent manner, hit Manoj from the back with great force.

Prakash said as a result of the impact Manoj fell down on the road and sustained grievous injuries and later died in the hospital.

The rider and the owner of the offending motorcycle had denied the occurrence of the accident.

Out of the compensation, Rs 5 lakh each was apportioned by the tribunal in favour of the widow, three minor children and mother of the deceased, while the remaining amount of Rs 2,63,736 was released in favour of father of the deceased.






Youth mowed down by Blueline, kin get Rs. 16 lakh compensation

New Delhi, May 06, 2012

The kin of a youth, mowed down by a rashly-driven Blueline bus in 2006, has been given Rs. 16.03 lakh as compensation by a road mishap tribunal.

A city’s Motor Accident Claim Tribunal directed the bus insurer, New India Assurance Company Ltd, to release forthwith Rs. 1.03 lakh in favour of the widow of the 26-year-old victim and Rs. two lakh in favour of his parents.

The tribunal said out of the remaining money, to be released later, a sum of Rs. 5 lakh be deposited in a bank in for the victim’s child, who was born a few months after Yadav’s death.

This amount would be released to him after the child attains majority, the tribunal said.

“I hereby award an amount of Rs. 16,03,664 as compensation with interest at the rate of nine per cent per annum, from May 2006 till realisation of the amount, in favour of the petitioners,” MACT presiding officer Nirja Bhatia said.

The Tribunal reached the compensation amount considering the fact that the victim was earning around Rs. 12,000 while working as a sales executive in a private company.

The tribunal was informed that on April 26, 2006 morning, Yadav was riding his motorcycle near Okhla in South Delhi when he was hit by a Blueline bus, driven “rashly and negligently at a fast speed”.

The victim fell from his motorcycle and came under the tyre of bus. He was declared brought dead to the hospital.









U.P. to enforce court order on SC/ST quota

Court had declared as unconstitutional Section 3 (7) of U.P. Public Service Act, 1994

The Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to accept the April 27 order of the Supreme Court that declared as unconstitutional Section 3 (7) of the Uttar Pradesh Public Service (Reservation for SC, ST and OBC) Act, 1994 that gave reservation in promotion, amid the possibility of an all-party meeting against the backdrop of the former Chief Minister, Mayawati, demanding a Constitutional amendment.

The apex court had also struck down Section 8(A) of the U.P. Government Servant Seniority Third Amendment Rule, which gave consequential seniority.

The amendments granting reservation in promotion and consequential seniority to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe officers and employees in government service were introduced by the Mayawati government in 2007.

The apex court made it clear that those who have been granted promotion will not be disturbed.

According to official sources, the decision to do away with the quota system in promotion and consequential seniority for SC,ST officers and employees was taken through ‘Cabinet by circulation’ on Friday. An ordinance to this effect was also approved. Sources said the ordinance had been sent to the Governor for his approval. For implementing the Supreme Court order, the State government will have to amend the U.P. Public Service (Reservation for SC,ST and OBC )Act, 1994 and the U.P. Government Servant Seniority Amendment Rule.

The State government’s decision to implement the Supreme Court order has paved the way for promotions in government services, which had been put on hold in view of the court cases. Needless to say, the officers and employees belonging to the General and Backward Classes category were the worst affected in the light of the previous regime’s decision to introduce quota in promotion for SC and ST officers and employees along with consequential seniority.

Challenging the previous regime’s order, the affected officers moved the Allahabad High Court. The High Court in its ruling declared the system as unconstitutional. The Mayawati government filed an SLP in the Supreme Court.

Review petition

Meanwhile, the Aarakshan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti (Save Reservation Action Committee) has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court.








Kerala High Court permits Italian ship to leave its shores

Press Trust of India | Updated: May 05, 2012 20:07 IST

Kochi:  The Kerala High Court today permitted the Italian vessel ‘Enrica Lexie’, detained off Kerala coast after two Indian fishermen were shot by its marines on February 15, to leave the state’s shores after fulfilling the necessary formalities. Pio Shiano, the ship’s owner, executed the bond for Rs. three crore and submitted the demand draft for an equal amount to the High Court Registrar General B Kamal Pasha this afternoon and got the release order of the vessel.

An undertaking was also given to the court saying that in case summoned with regard to the shooting case, the six crew members of the vessel would be produced before any court.

Yesterday the formalities with regard to the bond could not be completed as they had not received the certified copy of the May 2 order by the Supreme Court.
While allowing the vessel to leave along with its four marines and six crew members, the Supreme Court had directed its owner to execute a surety of Rupees three crore before the Registrar General of the Kerala High Court.

The ship had been detained since February 15 at outer Kochi after its two marines – Latore Massmiliano and Salvatore Girone – allegedly shot and killed two Indian fishermen suspecting them to be pirates. The marines have been arrested and charged with murder and are now in judicial remand at Thiruvananthapuram central jail.







Supreme Court orders end to cancer-causing water in Bhopal

You have three months to give Carbide victims clean supply, Madhya Pradesh told

The Supreme Court has set a three-month deadline for the Madhya Pradesh government to ensure supply of clean drinking water to victims of the Bhopal gas leak tragedy living in settlements around the Union Carbide Factory. They have been forced to drink contaminated water for over 30 years.

The court this past week also directed the setting up of a five-member Monitoring Committee with the executive chairman of the M.P. State Legal Services Authority as its chairman to oversee the Bhopal Municipality carrying out the task of providing fresh water to the 18 affected areas near the plant.

“The entire exercise should be completed within three months from the communication of this order to the chairman and other members of the committee and both the State government and the Bhopal Municipal Corporation shall ensure that the work does not suffer or is not obstructed on account of inadequate or insufficient funds,” said a two-judge Bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and J. Chelameswar.

The groundwater contamination, however, does not have anything to do with the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984, but was generated during the normal course of the working of the Union Carbide Factory, from where toxic wastes started seeping into groundwater in the adjoining areas.

The court had in 2005 directed the M.P. government that clean drinking water be expeditiously supplied to the settlements. In the present case, it was hearing an application filed by the Bhopal Group for Information and Action for non-execution of the order in its full spirit as the work had been progressing very slowly.

An affidavit filed by the M.P. government stated it had already taken steps to supply drinking water through over-ground pipelines and provide each household with a tap connection but the process would take “some” time to complete.

‘Double whammy of diseases’

The court, however, relied on the submissions of the organisation’s lawyer Karuna Nundy, who submitted that the chemicals in the groundwater were known to cause cancer, birth defects and other chronic diseases in people for about 27 years now. She further contended that the people had been subjected to a “double whammy of diseases,” first because of the gas leak and then because of groundwater contamination.

The court has directed the newly appointed Monitoring Committee to submit a report of the work undertaken on August 13.






Introspect on dispensation of justice, Vice-President Ansari urges lawyers

Chandigarh , May 05, 2012

Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Saturday urged the members of the legal profession to introspect on expediting the dispensation of justice. Addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana in Chandigarh, Ansari urged it and the Bar Council of India to lead such an effort so that the legal profession could guide society and the polity.

“I believe the legal profession can, indeed must, reclaim the hallowed ground that it occupied during our freedom struggle and in the early years of the fledgling republic. The need for introspection is imperative; it should lead to an ethical renewal in actual practice. It is essential for the legal profession today to help expedite the dispensation of justice,” Ansari said.

Recalling the sterling role of the Indian bar in the country’s freedom struggle, in formulating the constitution and in providing leadership inputs for steering the fledgling republic, Ansari said that the legal profession had a big role to play in our society.

He observed that advocates, in addition to being professionals, were also officers of the courts and have to play a vital role in the administration of justice. “They have a huge responsibility towards the society,” he added.

He said, “The overwhelming majority of our founding fathers were lawyers, including the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, our first president, Rajendra Prasad, the first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the chairman of the drafting committee of the Constitution, Dr Ambedkar.

“The role of lawyers in the initial years of our independence was critical in emphasizing the rule of law in the governance of the country. As intellectuals and civil society activists, advocates were role models in society, helping the marginalized and the downtrodden.”

Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil highlighted the need for using modern day technology in the process of law. He suggested that there could be a possibility of video recording of eyewitnesses and evidences provided in the court.

Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid said that a pilot project is going to be launched in certain districts of the country soon to provide retainership to young lawyers in order to support them during their initial difficult years.

“This would then be extended to the entire country,” he said.








Bidari, State pleas hearing on May 8

Express News Service

BANGALORE: The Vacation Bench of High Court is likely to hear the review petitions filed by the state government and former DG & IGP Shankar M Bidari on May 8. The petitions pertain to the Apex court ruling staying the HC’s quashing of Bidari’s appointment as DG & IGP.
A division bench comprising Justices Bhaktavatsala and Arvind Kumar referred the petition to Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen on May 2; a division bench comprising Justices N Kumar and H S Kempanna, which had earlier ordered the appointment of A R Infant in place of Bidari, will hear the review petition.
The Supreme Court had on March 25 set aside a High Court order on Bidari’s removal, adding that the state was, however, free to appoint anyone of its choice as the DGP.
The court further stated that the court should decide on the matter before May 31- when Bidari and Infant are due to retire from service.














RTI activists’ group condemns ‘attack’ on colleague–group-condemns–attack–on-colleague/945910/

Express news service : Chandigarh, Sun May 06 2012, 00:27 hrs

The RTI Activists Federation of Punjab today held a press conference to condemn the alleged attack on H S Rathi, an RTI activist, outside the office of the District Food Supply Officer on April 30.

The incident allegedly took place when Rathi had gone to the office to inspect certain records with regard to the Public Distribution Scheme (PDS). He was cornered by around 20 men, who allegedly assaulted him. H C Arora, President of the federation, alleged that various depot holders were involved in the assault on Rathi. He also alleged connivance between PDS depot holders, the District Food Supply Officer of Panchkula and Assistant Food Supply Officer of Karnal.

He said depot holders filed false FIRs of theft soon after RTI applications were filed in order to avoid scrutiny. He appealed to police officials to investigate the case of assault impartially.

Rajesh Bansal, Assistant Food Supply Officer, denied all the accusations and said that it was a malicious campaign to malign his image.










Nanavati panel acquiring SIT reports, govt tells Guj HC

Published: Saturday, May 5, 2012, 15:30 IST
By Nikunj Soni | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA

The Nanavati-Mehta commission has informed the Gujarat High Court that it is in the process of acquiring the SIT report on Zakia Jafri’s petition, as well as the report on Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam massacre cases.

Advocate General (AG) Kamal Trivedi mentioned this before a Gujarat high court bench as one of the reasons why the state government had granted the commission a nine-month extension.

The bench headed by acting chief justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya has been hearing a PIL objecting to the extension granted to the Nanavati commission.

At this, the court expressed surprise and asked why the commission, which has been enquiring into the communal riots of 2002, wants to rely on the report of another agency (SIT). After passing a few stern remarks, the court again asked the state government to furnish details and give reasons why it had granted the commission a nine-month extension.

“The secretary of the Nanavati commission submitted a letter before the high court bench through the AG. The letter mentions that the commission has moved applications to get the SIT reports on Gulbarg society, Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam massacres,” said KG Pandit, counsel for the petitioner.

Pandit further said that the court had expressed surprise over the commission’s move as its terms of reference makes no mention of anything regarding the SIT report or its seeking the report of a different agency.

“I have also objected to the content of the letter in which the commission has said that it will prepare its final report once it acquires copies of the SIT report. The court then posted the case for further hearing on May 9,” Pandit said.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by one Jignesh Goswami through his counsel KG Pandit challenging the huge expenditure incurred by the state government on the functioning of the commission over the last 10 years. Pandit had objected to the recent extension given to the commission as the government had not taken the consent of the high court despite the fact that the matter was sub judice.

The SIT had investigated and submitted a report on Zakia’s petition givingNarendra Modi a clean chit in the matter.








HC rejects petition

Express News Service

KOCHI:The Kerala High Court on Friday rejected the review petitions seeking release of 16,000 kg of ammonium nitrate seized by the police at Walayar Check-post belonging to two industrial units functioning in Kochi.
The court said the release of such a huge quantity of explosives will cause incalculable damage to society and the people at large.
The court passed the order while considering two applications filed by M J Linzad of Kochi seeking release of the container.
The government argued that huge quantity of ammonium nitrate may reach the hands of persons engaged in terrorist activities and may harm society.
According to the state, the issue is a serious one and a probe has been ordered into it.








JSW Steel ignores HC stay order

Bhukker Madhu Kumar

SANDUR(BELLARY): JSW Steel Limited, which had allegedly violated the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board Act (KIADB) for acquiring agricultural lands to lay a railway track, continued with its work despite a stay by the High Court circuit bench in Dharwad.
JSW Steel asked the KIADB to provide 213 acres of agriculture land, including forest land, to lay more than 9 km long railway tracks via Lashmipura, Bhujanga Nagar and Hulikunta in Sandur taluk. Some of the farmers before HC circuit bench on March 31, demanded a halt to laying of tracks in their lands. The farmers contacted the JSW Steel representative. However, apparently the representative threatened the farmers and did not halt the work.
One farmer said JSW Steel had violated the norms by laying railway tracks in survey 211A instead of 211B. JSW Steel also illegally used agriculture land in survey number 207/3 at Lakshmipura for commercial purposes.
Most of the farmers have yet to receive compensation. “Farmers who raised their voices were put behind bars through false cases,” said Mahadevappa, a farmer.
The farmers alleged that JSW Steel threatened them and acquired more land than it required for the tracks.







Pipili gangrape: HC seeks ATR on doctors, cops

Express News Service

CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Friday ordered the Crime Branch to file a detailed report on action taken in connection with the criminal liability of doctors and police in the alleged Pipili gangrape incident.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice B N Mohapatra expressed displeasure over the inaction of the Crime Branch in investigating the culpability of doctors and police in the incident despite its earlier orders. The Bench directed the investigating officer to file the report on the issue before Wednesday __ the next date of hearing.

The Court took exception to the status report, filed by the Crime Branch on the progress of investigation on Friday, observing that there was nothing new in it. The Crime Branch had stated that the investigation was still open even after filing of chargesheets as the statement of the victim girl, who is still lying comatose, is yet to be recorded.

It also stated that the Government had formed a three-member committee, headed by Director of Medical Education and Training (DMET), to inquire into the aspect of negligence by doctors at Pipili hospital and Capital Hospital here in not treating the victim as they should in a medico-legal case when she was brought there. The Committee has submitted its report to the Crime Branch. But the Crime Branch in its affidavit failed to specify the actions taken on the report.









JAL says studying implications HC order slapping Rs 100cr fine

PTI | 10:05 PM,May 05,2012

New Delhi, May 5 (PTI) Jaiprakash Associates Ltd (JAL) today said it is studying the implications of the Himachal Pradesh High Court ruling that imposed a penalty of Rs 100 crore on the company for violating environmental laws while setting up a cement plant in Solan district. The court on Friday had also cancelled the environment clearance for setting up the 25MW thermal plant in the cement plant’s vicinity. In a statement, JAL said since the judgement is voluminous, “we are studying the implications thereof, both legal as well as factual and depending upon the legal advice that we receive, we shall decide our future course of action in accordance with the well established constitutional provisions”. “We, however, feel that perhaps our contentions and submissions factual as well as legal could not be put across in proper perspective for which we shall adopt appropriate remedial measures,” it noted. Further, the company said that before the judgement, it had decided not to go ahead with the captive thermal power plant at the location of the cement plant. “… the plant under reference has created employment for thousands of persons and proved to be boon to the region, bringing economic benefits to thousands of families, the statement said. The green bench of the High Court consisting of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjay Karol said the JAL “lied” about the cost of the cement plant project and contended it was less than Rs 100 crore to skip the clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests whereas the actual cost of the project was more than Rs 417 crore.









Enrica Lexie sails off Kerala waters on completion of formalities

Last Updated: Saturday, May 05, 2012, 23:54

Kochi: Italian oil tanker ‘Enrica Lexie’, detained off Kerala coast since February 15 after its Marines shot dead two Indian fishermen, on Saturday sailed off from here for Colombo after completion of all legal formalities, including execution of a bond for Rs 3 crore.

The ship set sail from the Cochin Port’s outer harbour at 11 pm tonight, coastal police sources said.

Port authorities permitted the vessel to leave the outer harbour where it was berthed for about 80 days on receipt of a fax message from the Kerala High Court Registrar General permitting the ship to leave Kerala waters and after completion of all other formalities, port sources said.

Earlier, the Registrar General of the High Court had permitted the release of the vessel after the ship’s owner executed a bond for Rs three crore and submitted a demand draft for an equal amount.

Pio Shiano, Managing Director of Dolphin Tankers Ltd, the ship owner, executed the bond and presented the DD to High Court Registrar General B Kamal Pasha this afternoon and got the release order of the vessel.

Two marines from the vessel Lattore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone, who had allegedly shot dead the two Kerala fishermen Valentine alias Jelestine and Ajesh Binki suspecting them to be pirates, were arrested and have been charged with murder. They are lodged in Thiruvananthapuram Central Jail.

On a petition by Italy and the ship’s owner, the Supreme court had on May 2 allowed the release of the vessel after directing them to execute a bond for Rs three crore and on an undertaking that six other marines on the vessel would be brought before Indian court when required.

Italy had maintained that Kerala government had no locus standi to register any criminal case as the alleged offence ought to be treated under international law and covenants as India is a signatory to the UN Charter.









With riders, HC allows PMC to undertake storm water drain work

Express news service : Sun May 06 2012, 02:03 hrs

The Bombay High Court has permitted the Pune Municipal Corporation to undertake construction work for storm water drainage system in the city in conformity with the recommendations of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF).

Even as the HC bench of justices V K Tahilramani and D D Sinha gave their nod, they restrained the PMC from carrying out concretisation work. “We want to make it clear that the Corporation should not carry out the activity of concretisation without obtaining court permission. The corporation is required to relocate sewer line outside the drains immediately so as to prevent ground water contamination through percolation.”

The HC had last year ordered a stay on storm water drain work in the vicinity of rivers in the city. Civic officials said they would adhere to the HC directions.

The order came in respect to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed last year by Baner Area Sabha and Jal Biradari, through their lawyer Gayatri Singh. The PIL challenged the channelisation of Devnadi and alleged that the PMC was destroying the natural flow of the river.

The PMC had submitted to the court, through its lawyer A A Kumbhakoni, that the storm water drainage system was absolutely necessary to eliminate the hurdle of water logging, flooding, loss to life and property and provide safety, good health to the citizens and improve hygienic conditions in the city. The Rs 177.95-crore project was approved by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) in 2009.

Suneel Joshi of Jal Biradari said they had told the court that if it is inclined to grant permission to the PMC to carry out construction of storm water drainage system, it should be in accordance with the six recommendations of the MOEF. It said the width of the natural water bodies as shown in the Development Plan must be maintained, there should be no intervention in water bodies wide enough to serve their natural functions and non-concretisation techniques may be used for interventions, no debris dumping may be allowed in the vicinity of water bodies, sewage or drainage lines may not be laid in water bodies or their flood plains or wetlands and nine metre wide corridor on either side of water bodies in urban areas should be afforested to create green belt.







SC seeks consent to transfer two HC judges

RAGHAV OHRI : Chandigarh, Sun May 06 2012, 00:56 hrs

In a significant development, the Supreme Court has sent an official communication to the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking consent of the Chief Justice to transfer two of its judges to different high courts.

As per the available information, the SC has proposed to transfer Justice Alok Singh to Jharkhand High Court and Justice Nirmaljit Kaur to Rajasthan High Court.

Sources revealed that Justice Alok Singh had himself opted for transfer after his son cleared the judicial services examination and was posted as a lower court judge in Haryana.

While Alok Singh was elevated as a judge to the Uttarakhand High Court on October 12, 2009 , before being transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on December 21 the same year, Kaur was elevated as HC judge on July 10, 2008.

It might be mentioned that Justice Nirmaljit Kaur was the one who had reported to the Chandigarh Police about the delivery of a packet containing Rs 15 lakh at her residence on august 13, 2008.

The money, allegedly meant for Justice Nirmal Yadav, was said to have been delivered to Kaur due to confusion over their names. Justice Nirmal Yadav stands charge sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the now infamous judge bribery case.

As per the information, the consent letters are yet to be responded and sent back to the apex court. The high court is already facing a shortage of judges – it has 40 judges against the sanctioned strength of 68.

While Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was recently elevated as Supreme Court judge, acting Chief Justice M M Kumar will shortly be joining as Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Also, Justice Permod Kohli of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had recently joined Sikkim High Court as Chief Justice.


LEGAL NEWS 04.05.2012

Supreme Court refuses judicial probe in Azad case

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to order any judicial inquiry or a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the alleged fake encounter killings of top Naxalite leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and a Delhi journalist Hemchandra Pandey.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and C.K. Prasad said there was no reason to believe the allegation that the investigation conducted by the CBI into the encounter was not “honest.”

The bench directed the CBI to file its investigation reports before the jurisdictional magistrate concerned in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh, where the encounter took place on July 1, 2010.

The court said that the Magistrate shall not be influenced by any observations or findings of the CBI report and should proceed in accordance with the law as provided under section 173 CrPC which relates to ‘report of police officer on completion of investigation.’

The court passed the order while disposing of the petition by Bineeta Pandey seeking a judicial inquiry or a probe by the SIT into the encounter on ground that the probe conducted by the CBI was not honest.

Counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for the petitioners alleged that the CBI officers, who gave a clean chit to the Andhra Pradesh Police on the encounter, were under the influence of the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

He claimed that though the CBI was technically under the control of DoPT, the cadre controlling was under the Union Home Ministry and hence was vulnerable to pressure and influence.

The counsel further submitted that the slain Naxalite leader Azad was in constant touch with Chidambaram as part of the Central Government’s efforts to reach a ceasefire with the Maoists.

Additional Solicitor General Haren Raval, appearing for the CBI, and senior counsel Altaf Ahmed, on behalf of Andhra Pradesh Government, however, opposed any judicial inquiry or SIT probe on the ground that the agency had done a fair and professional investigation.

The counsel argued that any fresh probe would reflect on the “credibility, capacity and competence of the CBI to conduct investigations in such matters“.

Earlier on April 13, the court had agreed to consider a plea for an independent probe into the encounter of the two in an allegedly staged gun battle by the Andhra Pradesh police, who were given clean chit by the CBI.

The court had agreed to consider the plea after Bhushan raised suspicions on the credibility of the CBI probe.

On March 16, the court had said that the CBI probe had established that the killings of Azad, a senior member of banned CPI (Maoist) Central Committee, and Pandey, by the AP police, were not in a fake encounter.

The bench, which had gone through the final report of the CBI in the investigation, had said the agency has given evidence to support its probe.

The bench had, however, agreed to Bhushan’s plea to be allowed to go through the final probe report of the CBI.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Bineeta Pandey and social activist Swami Agnivesh, seeking an independent CBI probe into the killing.

They had alleged that post-mortem reports of both the persons and a fact-finding exercise carried out by rights groups clearly indicated that the encounter was not genuine.

It was alleged Azad, 58, who carried a reward of Rs 12 lakh on his head, and Pandey, 32, were shot dead from a very close range, which was evident from their post-mortem reports.









Views of ministries sought for amending anti-dowry law: Government

PTI May 3, 2012, 05.55PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Women and Child Development Ministry is eliciting views of other ministries before amending the anti-dowry Act, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.

“We have sought views from other departments on the issue (proposed amendment to the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961),” Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath said during Question Hour.

The amendment bill was drafted taking into account the recommendations of the National Commission for Women (NCW).

However, NCW’s suggestions were opposed by NGOs, she said. The NCW had suggested amendment to the definition of dowry, provision of registration of lists of gifts received at the time of marriage, provision of separate penalties for giving and taking of dowry among others, she said.

Tirath said the NCW held further consultation and provided the minutes of the same to the ministry. Thereafter, the ministry held regional and national consultations on the issue.

“Currently, the ministry is examining the proposed amendments in the light of the deliberations made in these consultations,” she said.

Replying to a separate question, she said 19 states, including Bihar and Rajasthan, have formulated dowry prohibitive rules on the model circulated by the Centre.










NCW’s views to be included in anti-dowry law

Last Updated: Thursday, May 03, 2012, 16:33

New Delhi: The Women and Child Development Ministry is eliciting views of other ministries before amending the anti-dowry Act on the basis of recommendations of the National Commission for Women (NCW), the Rajya Sabha was informed Thursday.

“We have sought views from other departments on the proposed amendment to the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961,” Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath said during Question Hour.

The amendment bill was drafted taking into account NCW’s recommendations relating to definition of dowry, provision of registration of lists of gifts received at the time of marriage and provision of separate penalties for giving and taking of dowry.

Replying to a separate question, she said 19 states, including Bihar and Rajasthan, have formulated dowry prohibitive rules on the model circulated by the Centre.










IGL v/s PNGRB case adjourned again, will go to appellate tribunal

ET Bureau May 3, 2012, 05.15PM IST

NEW DELHI: IGL’s (Indraprastha gas limited) hearing in the high court against the petroleum and natural gas regulatory board (PNGRB) has been adjourned to May 8, 2012. The sole supplier of compressed natural gas in Delhi/NCR has appealed in the court against the regulatory board’s decision to regulate its network tariff and selling price.

IGL in its earlier statement has also mentioned that it will file an application in the Appellate Tribunal also.

“The order has various facets some of which will be challenged before the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity as well. There are various issues in the order of the Board which needs clarification, on which IGL will have to await the response of PNGRB before the court during the next hearing,” said the company’s statement dated April 11, 2012.

PNGRB in its order dated April 9, 2012 has asked IGL to cut down its network tariff by 63%. In a retrospective decision, it also asked the company to refund the difference to its customers for the period from April 1, 2008 till the date of issuance of order.

IGL in its petition has however alleged that PNGRB is not entitled to regulate the price of gas sold by the company and the variables taken into account by the board to calculate the network tariff are misleading.










TDSAT restrains Etisalat from taking telecom gear at RInfra

NEW DELHI: Telecom tribunal TDSAT today restrained Etisalat DB from transferring its equipment that is lying with the Anil Ambani group company RInfra, which has claimed dues of Rs 1,270 crore from the operator.

Passing an interim order on RInfra’s plea, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal held that Etisalat DB is “restrained from disturbing the possession” of its transmission equipment installed on the towers of the ADAG group firm.

The tribunal did not agreed with the submissions of the Etisalat DB that it should not pass any order as the matter related to the recovery was pending before various forums.

“Petitioner (RInfra) cannot be put to any disadvantage only because other creditors of the Respondent (Etisalat DB) have approached the other forums,” said the TDSAT bench headed by Justice S B Sinha.

However, it would apply for the equipment, which is not hypothecated to banks, said the TDSAT.

“We are of the opinion that interest of justice will be sub-served if in respect of the equipments of the Etisalat DB, which are in possession and control of the RInfra in terms of the agreement, it is restrained from interfering with the possession or transferring the said equipments,” TDSAT said.

One Viom Network has already taken Etislat DB before the Delhi High Court and Standard Chartered Bank, which is a secured creditor, has approached the Debt Recovery Tribunal.

Moreover, an application for winding up has also been filed at the Bombay High Court by Etisalat Mauritius Ltd to liquidate Etisalat DB.

The DRT has already appointed a receiver to take the possession of Etisalat DB’s inventory.

However, in its order TDSAT has said that if the DRT asks receiver to take possession of the equipment installed on RInfra towers, “it must give access to the Receiver with regard thereto”.

Etisalat DB, a JV between UAE-based telecom major Etisalat and DB group, had entered into an agreement with the RInfra for sharing telecom infrastructure on a 10-year lease in 2009.

However, following the recent Supreme Court decision cancelling the licences of Etisalat along with other new entrants, RInfra moved TDSAT for recovery of its dues.

TDSAT’s directions came over a petition filed by RInfra against Etisalat DB claiming Rs 1,270 crore in dues for the use of its telecom infrastructure.









AP requests Centre to set up CESTAT tribunal in state

PTI | 05:05 PM,May 03,2012

Hyderabad, May 3 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh government today requested the Government of India to create and set up a south-central zonal bench of the Tax Appellate Tribunal under Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax (CESTAT) laws in Hyderabad. In a letter to Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, state Information Technology and Communications Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah said the Tribunal covering Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala was now located in Bengaluru. About 45 per cent of the litigation pending before the Tribunal was from AP. “Most of the Information Technology companies are registered as Software Technology Park units or Special Economic Zones in AP, which are eligible for Customs and Central Excise exemption. The indirect tax litigation has touched new heights in AP causing more hardship to the industry, mainly IT and ITeS sectors as personal representation has to be made before the zonal bench in Bengaluru,” the IT Minister pointed out in the letter. Hence, he requested the Union Ministry of Finance to create and set up a south-central zonal bench of the Tribunal in Hyderabad to aid in “effective and speedy delivery of justice” and time and efforts of the industry were saved and put to more productive use.









Kerala: Tribunal hearing on SIMI begins sitting

Last Updated: Thursday, May 03, 2012, 20:06

Thiruvananthapuram: Officials of National Investigation Agency in Kerala on Friday deposed before a tribunal hearing ‘evidence’ that the banned Students Islamic Movement of India continues to function across the state.

In the first day of the sitting before the Tribunal, headed by Delhi High court Judge VK Shali, NIA claimed that SIMI continues to operate in parts of the state in various forms.

According to sources, state police has already submitted a report to Centre, seeking continuation of the ban on SIMI.

The sitting would continue for two more days, the sources said the movement was banned in 2001 under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1963.











AP seeks Tax Appeallate Tribunal in Hyderabad

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The state government has requested the Central government to set up a south-central zonal bench of Customs Excise Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) in Hyderabad.

In a letter to Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, IT minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah stated that the tribunal under Customs, Central Excise and Service tax laws for the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala is presently located in Bangalore although about 45 percent of the litigation pending before it is from Andhra Pradesh.

“Most of the IT companies are registered as software technology park units or SEZs in AP, which are eligible for customs and central excise exemption. However, based on recent representations received from the industry representatives, most of the indirect tax exemptions, benefits available to the IT, ITes industry are rejected on trivial grounds and as such all the matters invariably reach CESTAT level,’’ he said. “Indirect tax litigation has touched new heights in AP, and is causing hardship to the industry, mainly the IT and ITeS sectors, as it requires personal representation before the zonal bench in Bangalore,” the minister pointed out.

Hence, he requested Pranab Mukherjee to set up a south-central zonal bench of the tribunal in Hyderabad to aid in “the effective and speedy delivery of justice”.










Bangalore is likely to host southern chapter of Cyber Appellate Tribunal

Special Correspondent

Two-day third Cyber Security Summit inaugurated Bangalore is likely to host the southern chapter of the Cyber Appellate Tribunal, said M.N. Vidyashankar, Principal Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science and Technology, here on Thursday.

The Cyber Appellate Tribunal, established under the Information Technology Act, started functioning in 2006.

Speaking at an inaugural session of the third edition of the Bangalore Cyber Security Summit, Mr. Vidyashankar said that the State has taken a lead by establishing the first cyber security laboratory in the country, at Mangalore.

Mr. Vidyashankar said that a recent study of cyber security across the world showed that it costs 2.7 times more to plug “security breaches” after they are found, than investments made in preventive measures.

He cited examples of the breaches in Sony’s PlayStation last year and of the data security breaches at the National Health Service in the U.K. to underline the importance of the issue.

Suresh Kumar, Minister for Law, Justice and Human Rights, Parliamentary Affairs, Legislature and Urban Development, pointed out that the first exclusive police station in the country to track cyber crime was established in Bangalore.

Mr. Suresh Kumar said that an “organised underworld” is active, which uses fake email identities.

“Internet and email users are particularly vulnerable,” Mr. Suresh Kumar said. “Bangalore,” he said, “is ready to become the cyber security capital of India.”

“The Internet is a double edged weapon,” said K.D. Nayak, Chief Controller, Research and Development, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

A new computer would be compromised in about 2-3 years some years ago; now it takes just eight minutes for a new computer to be compromised, Mr. Nayak observed.

Referring to the problem of ensuring cyber security, he said, “In this field there are no time frames, no boundaries and no laws.”

Latha Reddy, Deputy National Security Advisor, National Security Council Secretariat, called for “a coordinated implementation of security measures.”

The two-day event concludes on Friday.











Green tribunal finally gets office space

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Centre to allot the entire 36,000 square feet space available in the Capital’s Faridkot House to the National Green Tribunal within 15 days and make it fully functional by appointing a chairman and members by September 15.

This means, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) headed by former Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan and Press Council of India (PCI) headed by Justice Markandey Katju will have to vacate the space occupied in Faridkot House.

A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya directed the government to allot alternative space for other tribunals and offices functioning from Faridkot House.

If the urban development ministry had a lot to answer over the long delay in providing office space and infrastructure to NGT and residential accommodation to its chairman and members, the ministry of environment and forests faced questions from the court over the delay in approving Justice R V Raveendran’s name as the chairman and filling vacant posts of members.

Solicitor general R F Nariman blamed the delay on red-tape but the bench was critical of the Centre’s approach towards the tribunals. Terming NGT as the most important tribunal, it asked the government why it was setting up tribunals and asking the judiciary to nominate retired judges to head them when it did not have the wherewithal to provide basic requirements.

The court wanted to examine the veracity of space crunch pleaded by the Centre for the delay in providing accommodation to NGT chairman and members after the urban development ministry said it had no spare official flats/bungalows for the three expert members and four judicial members of the tribunal.

Refusing to buy the Centre’s excuses, the bench directed the ministry to furnish within two months a “complete list of houses/flats and other accommodation being occupied by political parties/individuals and non-political persons beyond the tenure of their appointments”.

On the Centre’s proposal to expand NGT by appointing six expert members and four judicial members, the bench said, “In our view, the green tribunal is the most important quasi-judicial body in the country. For chairmen and members of many other tribunals, houses are earmarked. If this is the attitude of the government, how can you persuade judges to join these tribunals?”

Nariman said 19,000 square feet space in Faridkot House would be available to NGT after NHRC shifted to its own building by the year-end. But the bench directed the ministry to pass orders within a fortnight allocating the entire Faridkot House to NGT.

The bench said, “This institution must have space to expand… NGT is an important statutory tribunal, the functioning of which will impact the country from north to south, east to west.”

Press Council of India, through senior advocate P H Parekh, pleaded against eviction and informed the court that the office space in Faridkot House was allotted to it on November 25, 2011, within two months of Justice Katju becoming its chairperson.

The bench directed the ministry to allot alternative space to PCI, saying that compared to the media regulator, the green tribunal needed the space much more.












Deport Pak prisoners in time-bound manner: SC

New Delhi, May 03, 2012

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to put in place a proper mechanism to ensure that the Pakistani prisoners are deported back to their country in a time-bound manner after completing their sentences.

A bench headed by justice RM Lodha gave the direction while expressing concern over the delay in deporting prisoners who remained in the detention centres in the country despite completing their prison terms.

“It should not be an unending exercise. After completion of sentences, the prisoners should be deported in a time-bound manner,” the bench said while pointing out that many such prisoners are mentally unsound.

“There should be some sense of urgency. You should develop some mechanism for timely deportation,” it said.

The bench was referring to 43 prisoners, 19 of whom are mentally unsound and 13 fishermen, who are languishing in jails despite having served their sentences.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by Jammu and Kashmir Panthers Party leader Prof Bhim Singh seeking its direction to the Centre for repatriation of Pakistani prisoners, languishing in various jails across the country despite having served their sentences.

The bench, however, expressed satisfaction over the efforts made by the Centre to deport such prisoners but said it must be done in a time-bound manner.











PTI | 10:05 PM,May 03,2012

The PIL had also alleged that the state government The PIL had also alleged that the state government appointed two sons of Justice Nanavati as public prosecutors to represent the state government. The High Court has also sought to know the rules for appointment of public prosecutors by the state government. The next date of hearing has been kept for tomorrow. Advocate General representing the state government had objected to the personal allegations in the PIL regarding sons of the Justice Nanavati. The PIL filed in December had also questioned about using public money of Rs 6.37 crore on the Commission since its inception in March 2002. And even after over nine years and 17 extensions, it only submitted an interim report in September 2008, but not given its final report, nor has it informed the state government or the people of Gujarat when it intended to submit the final report, it said.











Give reason for Nanavati Commission’s extension’

Last Updated: Thursday, May 03, 2012, 23:11

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Thursday asked the state government to give reasons for giving nine-month extension to the Nanavati Commission probing the 2002 post-Godhra riots case.

The High Court query came on a PIL which said that the state government had disregarded the authority of the high court by unilaterally granting extension of nine months to the 2002 riot probe panel.

Last December, one Jignesh Goswami through advocate K G Pandit, had filed a PIL on the status of Nanavati Commission comprising of Justice G T Nanavati and Justice Akshay Mehta and sought to know as to when the Commission intended to file its final report.

However, even as the PIL was pending in the court, the Gujarat government extended the term of Nanavati Commission by nine months for the eighteenth time.

Hearing the PIL today, Division bench of acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and JB Pardiwala asked the state government as to what has prompted it to give an extension of nine months to the Commission.

When the matter was sub-judice, the state should have informed the court before giving further extension to the Commission, the court observed and directed the government to place before it the terms of reference of the Commission.









2002 riots: Verdict in Ode case today, judge gets transfer orders–Verdict-in-Ode-case-today–judge-gets-transfer-orders/945291/

Parimal Dabhi : Ahmedabad, Fri May 04 2012, 04:05 hrs

A day before he was expected to pronounce the verdict in a post-Godhra riot case in which three of a family in Malav Bhagol locality of Ode were killed on March 1, 2002, R M Sareen, the additional sessions judge of Anand district court, was transferred by the Gujarat High Court on Thursday.

Besides Sareen, the principal district judge of Sabarkantha, Gita Gopi, who is conducting trial in the case related to the killing of three British nationals at Prantij during the 2002 riots, has also been transferred.

While Sareen has been shifted to Bhavnagar as additional sessions judge, Gopi has been sent to Ahmedabad City Civil Court as additional sessions judge.

Both have to report on their new jobs by May 18.

Sareen and Gopi were among the judges specially appointed to conduct trials in the nine post-Godhra riot cases which were reinvestigated by the special investigation team (SIT) under supervision of the Supreme Court.

Forty-one persons are undergoing trial in the case related to the Ode killings, most of them from the local influential Patel community. Sareen has conducted trial in the case right from the beginning.

Gopi was about to conclude the trial in the case in which four persons, three of them British citizens, were killed near Prantij on February 28, 2002, by a mob. Her court had examined two former British diplomats to India — Ian Reakes and Howard Parkinson — on video as witnesses in the case.









BPO girl’s killer gets life term from Mumbai court | Updated: May 03, 2012 15:40 IST

Mumbai:  “The judgement does not mean much to me and my family,” said Lincoln Fernandes, father of 26-year-old Paloma, who was stabbed to death by her boyfriend on January 28, 2009 at her Mira Road residence. The killer, Aquino Martis, has now been sentenced to life imprisonment by Thane District and Sessions Court judge AA Sayeed.

However, Lincoln says it is too little, too late and he will move to a higher court. The bereaved father observed that Aquino has already spent three years in jail and only faces 11 more behind bars. At the age of about 40, he would be out and about and live free thereafter, while his beloved daughter will never come back. Public prosecutor Sangeeta Phad, who was pleading the case, said, “I am happy with the judgement, which is based on accounts by independent witnesses and medical reports.” Lincoln, who resides in Goa, always came to Mumbai whenever there was a hearing. He is currently in the city with his family.

How it all began

Lincoln said he is relieved the judgement has finally come because he was expecting further delays, devised by Aquino’s lawyer. He then cast his mind back to 2005, when Paloma came to Mumbai and started working at a call centre in Malad. In June 2008, she shifted to a house in Mira Road. Aquino Martis occupied a flat in the building next to hers. Five months later the two were in love. “My wife Francisca and I were always opposed to this relationship. I spoke to Paloma many times about this, but, like youngsters are, she brushed aside my contentions and said she was old enough to make her own decisions. She was unhappy with me, as I opposed the relationship,” Lincoln recollected.
Blind in love
In December 2008 Paloma fell ill, so Lincoln came to Mumbai to help her. Even then he had asked his daughter to dump Aquino and said she would find a better boy. However, Paloma was unbending and her father returned to Goa. Speaking about the gruesome murder, Lincoln said, “Aquino aimed at my daughter’s heart. He stabbed her several times. He was sitting on the staircase waiting for Paloma the whole night. When my daughter got out of the car and entered the building, he attacked her brutally.”

That night

On January 28, 2009, Paloma, who worked with JP Morgan in Malad, got out of a car outside her Rashmi Hetal residence at Beverly Parks around 3.30 am. As soon as she had unlocked her room, Aquino, who was hiding by the first floor staircase, rushed down and pushed her inside the room. He stabbed the girl in the chest with a kitchen knife and then stabbed himself in the stomach. Building residents rushed the duo to a hospital but Paloma was declared dead. Aquino was shifted to Bhagwati Hospital in Borivli and later recovered. Neighbours said Aquino was unemployed and Paloma had recently withdrawn money from her account and given it to him. That was when Aquino learnt that the victim had a substantial sum in her account. Paloma found her ATM card missing a few days later and, as she suspected Aquino, she complained to her father – who suggested she block the card. This angered Aquino, police officials said.







Aarushi case: Trial may be committed to sessions court on May 9

Agencies : Ghaziabad, Thu May 03 2012, 14:23 hrs

A special CBI judge today fixed May 9 to decide on sending the sensational 2008 twin murder case of teenager Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj to the sessions court for trial.

Hearing the bail plea of 14-year-old slain teenager’s mother and dentist Nupur Talwar, special judicial magistrate Preeti Singh said that the case may be committed to an appropriate court as she did not have powers to try a murder case.

During the proceedings, Talwar’s lawyer cited deficiencies in case documents provided to the defence by the CBI and sought the court’s direction to the agency on submissions.

After hearing both sides, the special judge directed the CBI to reply to the defence plea on May 9 during which she may also decide on committing the case to the district court for the trial.

Nupur, who broke down in the court after hearing the postponement of the date of hearing, was consoled by her husband Rajesh Talwar. She was later taken to Dasna Jail.

Additional District and Sessions Judge S Lal had yesterday denied bail to Nupur in the twin murder case.

Disposing of her petition, the judge had said he could not exercise the discretion of giving bail to her as “there is a prima facie evidence to suggest the involvement of the accused.”

Aarushi was murdered on the intervening night of May 16-17, 2008 at her Noida residence and the body of Hemraj was found on the terrace of the house the next day.

Nupur had faced arrest after the special CBI court in Ghaziabad had issued non-bailable warrant against her on April 11 following which the CBI had carried out searches at her Delhi premises.







Sessions court to hear stockbroker Gautam Vora’s bail on May 4

PTI | 07:05 PM,May 03,2012

Mumbai, May 3 (PTI) A sessions court today deferred till tomorrow the bail plea of stockbroker Gautam Vora, who is charged with sheltering a prime accused in the murder of Delhi-based businessman Arunkumar Tikku after he escaped from police custody. The sessions court today asked Vora’s lawyer to first withdraw his bail petition from the court of Metropolitan Magistrate which did not grant him any relief, following which he moved the sessions court through his lawyer Rajendra Sorankar seeking his client’s liberty. “We have already filed an application withdrawing the bail plea in the metropolitan magistrate’s court,” Sorankar said. Vora, arrested last week, is accused of helping former gangster Vijay Palande alias Karan Sood who is the key accused in twin murders of Arunkumar Tikku and aspiring Bollywood producer Karan Kakkad. In his bail petition, Vora claimed that he was unaware of Palande’s real identity. “I was introduced to Palande though Simran Sood (co-accused in the murders) as Karan Sood. Simran had claimed that Karan was her brother and I believed her,” he said. According to police, after Palande gave police a slip on April 10, Vora allegedly picked him up in his car from Marine Lines police station and also helped him check into a hotel in South Mumbai. Vora also allegedly used his own credit card to buy clothes for Palande who was rearrested on the same day.











DGP gets himself a High Court stay

SExpress News Service

HYDERABAD: Director-general of police V Dinesh Reddy earned a breather from the AP High Court Wednesday, with a vacation bench suspending an order passed by a single judge decreeing a probe into the wealth held by him and by his fellow IPS officer Umesh Kumar.
In a related case, judges G Chandraiah and N Ravi Shankar also stayed contempt proceedings against additional DGP (CID) S V Ramana Murthy.
The DGP and Umesh Kumar, both of whom vied for the top post in the state police, have for months been levelling allegations of impropriety against each other. Umesh Kumar, now posted as chairman of the Godavari Valley Authority, filed a petition against Dinesh Reddy. Hearing the petition last month, single judge Ramesh Ranganathan directed the state to appoint a senior officer to enquire into the conduct of both Dinesh and Umesh. The judge had also directed initiation of contempt proceedings against Dinesh Reddy and S V Ramana Murthy for suppression of material facts in their affidavits.
Both Dinesh Reddy and Ramana Murthy separately filed writ appeals against the orders, the former challenging the probe as well as the contempt proceedings. The DGP’s appeal contended that the order was contrary to the material available on record and therefore unsustainable. It said the judge failed to see that the objective of Umesh Kumar’s writ petition was only to prevent a free and fair hearing of the case.








Disproportionate assets case: AFT dismisses petition by Lt Col

Bhartesh Singh Thakur , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh , May 03, 2012

The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has dismissed a petition filed by a lieutenant colonel challenging his trial by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a disproportionate assets case.
The bench, comprising justice NP Gupta and Lt Gen HS Panag (retd), directed Lt Col Ranbir Singh Yadav to approach the CBI court instead as he had claimed that the army authorities had already tried him for the same offence.

Lt Col Yadav was posted as Commanding Officer of the supply depot at Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh from January 2002 to December 2003. The CBI registered a case against him on June 12, 2003, for demanding money from the father of an ice contractor following a raid at his house. The contractor used to supply ice to the army.

The case was transferred to the army, which issued a chargesheet on four charges, for demanding Rs. 10,000, for asking money without proper authority, for disappearance of the bribe money and for having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The three charges could not be proved and the charge of disproportionate assets was not pressed as the CBI produced no evidence in support of this.

However, General Officer Commanding, Madhya Bharat Area, Maj Gen Ashok Khosla conveyed ‘severe displeasure’ to Lt Col Yadav on May 19, 2006 for having taken undue interest by involving himself in settling the financial dispute between contractors and also having called one of them to his house.

Meanwhile, the CBI lodged another FIR in the disproportionate assets case. According to the army authorities, Lt Col Yadav was asked to furnish details on assets, but he allegedly failed to do so. Another ‘severe displeasure’ was conveyed to Lt Col Yadav on September 30, 2006.

On October 10, 2006, the CBI Special Judge, Jabalpur, issued summons to Lt Col Yadav. He was advised by his superiors to appear before the CBI court in personal capacity and at his own expense. On November 16, 2008, he filed an application under the RTI for information regarding grounds of prosecution sanction, but was denied that in January 2009.

He moved the AFT, Chandigarh bench, in 2010, for impugning the action of the CBI for violation of Section 125 (relating to a decision whether to undertake a trial in a criminal court or a military court) of the Army Act.

Gurpreet Singh, senior panel counsel representing the Centre, submitted that the charge pertaining to the disproportionate assets case was under investigation by the CBI, which was not impleaded in the case.

The AFT bench ruled that Lt Col Yadav should approach the CBI court rather than the tribunal.








SC reserves decision on media guidelines

Express news service : New Delhi, Fri May 04 2012, 02:39 hrs

A constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday reserved judgment on the issue of framing guidelines for media amidst a cautioning note from senior jurists that any attempt to make a “law” to rein in journalists would be branded judicial over-reach and open a floodgate of protest.

Senior advocate Fali S Nariman, whose complaint against the leakage of a privileged communication in an ongoing litigation between SEBI and Sahara Group was quoted as the launching point for media hearings before the Bench, said he had thought of withdrawing his complaint on realising that the Bench had expanded its ambit to media reporting in general. Nariman had said that initially he was under the impression that the court would restrain itself to his complaint alone.

A five-judge Bench led by the CJI S H Kapadia, which had begun hearing on the issue since March 27, was told by lawyers like former attorney general Soli Sorabjee to refrain from taking up the mantle of the legislature and frame laws on media conduct. But the Bench had protested, asking Nariman and Sorabjee as to whether it “can’t come out with some principles (on regulating the media)”.









UP: Mayawati aide booked for duping sportsmen

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh police filed a complaint against former minister and Mayawati aide Lalji Verma after several sportsmen accused him of duping them on the promise of holding a cricket championship in the state, officials said on Thursday.

According to police, a first information report (FIR) was lodged against Verma, a senior Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader, on Wednesday night at the Hazratganj police station on charges of duping the sportsmen of several thousand rupees.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Lucknow Ashutosh Pandey said that the case had been registered against the former minister and two of his aides under section 406 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) – breach of faith.

He added that Verma had collected Rs 20,000-25,000 from 20 sportsmen across the state.

According to police, the money was taken to organise a Twenty20 Uttar Pradesh Premier Cricket league. Though the money was deposited, none of the matches happened.

After receiving the complaints, a probe was ordered. Following the completion of the investigations, the FIR was registered.

The complainants had also met Chief Minister Akhikesh Yadav on Wednesday and were assured all possible help.

Verma has been known for his proximity to the party supremo Mayawati. He has held important portfolios such as parliamentary affairs in successive BSP governments in the state.










HC seeks Army jawan’s death probe report from the Centre

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 03,2012

New Delhi, May 3 (PTI) The Centre has been asked by the Delhi High Court to submit it the official records on probe into the death of an Army jawan and removal of his kidney during postmortem in Jammu and Kshmir in 2001. Seeking the probe report into the death of Army jawan Ajay Kumar Tyagi by May 17, a division bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said, “Original records relating to investigation carried out by Indian Army into the death of the jawan to be produced before the court by the next date of hearing.” The bench was hearing the government’s plea challenging the single judge’s order directing Indian Army to pay Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the widow of the deceased for removal of the jawan’s kidney after his death. The single judge had awarded the compensation on a plea by the jawan’s widow seeking a fresh investigation into the death of her husband who had allegedly committed suicide in Jammu and Kashmir. The court had said the removal of the jawan’s organ could have gone unnoticed, were the second postmortem not conducted on his wife’s suspicion about the nature of his death. “The doctor who conducts the postmortem is expected to be a fair person as full faith is reposed on him by the family members. This faith is shattered by such instances,” the court had said. (MORE)









HC accepts plea for handing over probe to CBI

PTI | 09:05 PM,May 03,2012

Shimla, May 3 (PTI) The Himachal Pradesh High Court today directed that the case pertaining to use of alleged fake documents for getting recognition for Thakur College of Education, Dhaliara, and use of “fake” degrees by siblings of the college’s Director to get government jobs. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Dharam Chand also directed the Additional Director General of Police, State Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau to handover the entire material collected by them in FIR registered in the case to the Superintendent of Police of CBI, Shimla, within two weeks. The orders were passed while disposing the petition of V P Ahluwalia, a retired Principal, which alleged Rajesh Thakur, Director, Thakur College of Education, Dhaliara, had used fake documents to get recognition for educational courses from the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) and demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter as the HP University and the NCTE were not taking any action on his complaints. Ahluwalia had also alleged the siblings of Rajesh Thakur had used fake degrees to get government jobs. CBI had registered a case on complaint of V P Ahluwalia in which he had alleged that Ajit Singh Rana, the then Regional Director of the NCTE, Jaipur, had abused his official position to grant recognition to Thakur College of Education for additional intake of 100 seats for B.Ed and 25 seats for M.Ed during year 2007-08 in gross and criminal violation of laid down norms and guidelines of NCTE. The High Court further directed the SP, CBI, to take appropriate action in accordance with law in three months, as far as this case was concerned.











HC asks govt if it’s serious on contempt action against Bainsla

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 03,2012

Jaipur, May 3 (PTI) The Rajasthan High Court has asked the state government to make it clear whether it wanted to continue with its plea for contempt action against Gurjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla for the 2008 stir, while holding talks with him on the quota issue “Government wants to buy peace at one end and holds fire after putting a gun on the shoulder of court. That can’t be allowed,” said Justice M C sharma to Additional Advocate General N A Naquvi. The single bench also asked Director General of Police to appear in person and file a detailed affidavit as to how many persons had died during Gurjar agitation. The contempt petition was filed in 2008 against Bainsla for flouting an order not to indulge in violence and disrupt public life issued by the court on an application filed by the state government in September, 2007. The court was, however, annoyed that on one hand the government was pressing for action against Bainsla and at the same time it was holding meetings with over quota issue. “It was observed by the bench that if the government is so serious to see Bainsla punished for contempt of the court then why talks are being held and promise is being given for awarding remaining 4 per cent reservation to the Gurjars. “The court has also called a detailed affidavit from home secretary stating the fact if the state government wants to continue to press for the present contempt petition or not,” said senior advocate for Bainsla, Kamlakar Sharma. The state government yesterday filed an affidavit stating that Bainsla was well aware of the court’s order to maintain peace but he deliberately indulged in activities that resulted in law and order situation. But the court was not satisfied with the government’s reply and directed DGP and Bainsla to appear in person before the court on May 11. In its order passed on contempt petition today, Justice Sharma observed, “It is not clarified from the affidavit filed by the government that how many persons have died during the Gurjar agitation after the high court passed order in year 2007. “For that purpose it will be appropriate for this court to direct the DGP to file a detailed affidavit as to how many persons have died during the Gurjar agitation and he will also give the details in the affidavit about the dates and place of occurrence what steps were taken after the death of such persons.”











HC finds Ansal ‘guilty’ of degrading Aravali

Sanjeev Verma, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, May 04, 2012

Dismissing a bunch of petitions of Ansal Properties and Infrastructure and its sister concern, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday said “prima facie” the developer committed “indicated offences” and degraded Aravali hills by developing a township in Gurgaon’s Raisina village against the rules.

The inspection committee examining the case had reported that the builder had developed Aravali Retreat for the cluster of 630 farmhouses on about 1,200 acres of land. The panel found that 108 of the clusters had been constructed and allotted in violation of Aravali notification, 1992 by laying roads, water pipes, electricity, barbed wires, fencing and separate gates.

Hearing the petitions, the court of justice Mehinder Singh Sullar directed the builders to appear before the special environment trial court in Haryana with the directions to the trial court to take all the effective steps as per law.

The builders, Ansal Properties and Infrastructure and Ansals Housing and Construction, had approached the court for quashing of the special environment trial court’s summoning orders dated August 14, 2007. The summons were issued on the complaint of Haryana Pollution Control Board (HPCB).

The court was informed by HPCB that the builders had totally changed the nature of ‘Gairmumkin Mountain’, carved out individual farmhouses in complete violation of the provisions of the 1986 act and sold the same after the commencement of the notification dated May 7, 1992 without applying for the prior required sanction and environment clearance.









Sex change: HC warns boy not to threaten suicide

Mumbai, May 03, 2012

The Bombay high court on Thursday warned Bhidan Barua, 21-year-old student from Guwahati, who wants to undergo sex change operation, that he cannot use pressure tactics and threaten to commit suicide unless his petition was heard and orders passed immediately. The court summoned Bhidan’s lawyer Ejaz Naqvi after the student wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of the Bombay high court and other authorities threatening to commit suicide if his petition was not heard immediately.

In the petition, Bhidan, who feels he is a woman trapped in man’s body, has urged the court to restrain his parents from prohibiting him to undergo sex change operation.

Following the summons from the court, Naqvi appeared before Justices SJ Vazifdar and AR Joshi.

“Your client cannot indulge in such pressure tactics and threaten the court. As a lawyer you should understand the court’s difficulties also,” Justice Vazifdar said.

The court had on Wednesday posted the matter for hearing on May 7. Refusing to hear the matter before that, the court told Naqvi that the petition would be heard on May 7 only.

Bhidan, in his letter, had also said that since his parents have blocked his bank accounts he does not have money for lawyer fees.

On this, the judge said if needed the court would appoint an amicus curiae (friend of the court) to assist him.

Bhidan had written letters to Chief Justice of India, Chief Justice of Bombay high court and National Human Rights Commission urging them to intervene and grant him a favourable order so that he could undergo the sex change surgery or else he will commit suicide.

Bidhan, who likes to call himself Swati, alleged that his parents had thwarted the sex reassignment surgery which was to be performed at Saifee hospital here on April 17.

He claimed his parents threatened doctors who had refused to perform the operation unless the High Court gives a go ahead.

Bhidan had contended in his application that he is female trapped in a male body and wants to marry a flight lieutenant in the Indian Air Force.

In the letters to the Chief Justice of India and other authorities, Bhidan wrote, “I was due to undergo sex change surgery for which I left my job but my parents have blocked my bank account. I have no money to pay for the operation fees.”

“For the last two weeks, I am running from door to door seeking justice but the court does not have time to hear me.

I do not have any money for my food, lodging. So I am finally requesting the court to pass an immediate order against my family or grant me an order for an authorised suicide”.

“I will kill myself if I do not get an order for my surgery by this evening. For my suicide, the Chief Justice of the Bombay high court will be responsible”, wrote Bhidan and signed it under his name.

Bhidan contended that he realised early in life that he was born in the wrong sex and preferred to dress like girls. This angered his parents who ill-treated him and beat him up, he alleged.

Bhidan said it was in standard 7th that he learnt through the internet that medical science could provide a remedy to his problem through a sex change procedure and he decided to go for it. He did odd jobs after school hours to earn money for the operation which would cost him anywhere between Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh.

On March 2, Bhidan underwent a psychiatric test in Guwahati to check whether he was fit enough to undergo such a procedure. As the result was positive, he ran away from home on March 31 and came to Mumbai where he stayed with a cousin.

However, his father Supti Ranjan Barua traced him to Mumbai.












HC stays trial against Sanjay Dutt over speech

Express news service : Allahabad, Fri May 04 2012, 04:26 hrs

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday stayed the trial proceedings and the summons issued by a court in Mau against film actor Sanjay Dutt in a case pertaining to an alleged inflammatory speech while canvassing for the Samajwadi Party in the run-up to the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

The case was registered against Dutt at Dakshin Tola police station in Mau district.

Hearing the revision petition filed by Dutt, a single-judge bench of Justice B K Narayana stayed the orders of the magistrate’s court as well as the sessions court passed on September 15, 2010, and April 18, 2012, respectively. The sessions court had issued summons against Dutt, which, too, has been stayed by the court. The state government has been given six weeks time to file replies.

“Our prayer was that both the magistrate and the sessions court had erred in taking cognizance of the chargesheet filed by the police in this regard. There was nothing on record either at the time of the alleged commission of offence or during the investigation to make out a case against the petitioner,” Dutt’s counsel Kunwar Siddharth Singh said.

Agreeing with the contention of the petitioner, the court said, “Submissions made by the counsel for the applicant prima facie appear to be correct and the applicant has made out a case for grant of interim protection.”

In 2009, Dutt, while campaigning for the Samajwadi Party, had reportedly said in a speech that he was tried under the erstwhile TADA following the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts because his mother Nargis Dutt was a Muslim.











HC puts lens on Nanavati panel, frowns on extensions, delay–frowns-on-extensions–delay/945308/

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Fri May 04 2012, 05:02 hrs

The Gujarat High Court, while hearing a PIL questioning the repeated extensions being granted to the Nanavati-Mehta Commission, on Thursday directed the state government to apprise the court about the scope and exact terms of reference of the panel which is probing the post-Godhra riots.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala also asked the state government to produce rules for the appointments of additional public prosecutors and assistant government pleader along with details on them. The PIL had also raised questions of conflict of interest in the matter while stating that while Justice G T Nanavati headed a commission appointed by the state government, his two sons, Maulik and Dhaval, represented the state government and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation before different judicial fora. The PIL was moved by one Jignesh Goswami before the Commission was granted its latest, nine-month extension recently.

The Commission’s secretary, in a communication dated December 2, 2011, had informed the court that it was likely to submit its final report soon.

The acting Chief Justice today observed it was very “unusual” for the Commission having got an extension of nine months. He also remarked that while criminal trials in cases related to post-Godhra riots were concluding, the Commission was yet to submit its report. The court is scheduled to hear the petition again on Friday.










HC seeks original copy of inquiry report on Ruchika’s expulsion from Sacred Heart

Express news service : Chandigarh, Fri May 04 2012, 01:41 hrs

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the Chandigarh Administration to produce the original copy of the inquiry report conducted by the then Sub Divisional Magistrate SDM (south) Chandigarh, Prerna Puri into Ruchika’s expulsion from Sacred Heart school.

Also, the High Court has directed the Administration to submit the action taken on the said report. The directions were passed today during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking action against the school for allegedly expelling Ruchika at the behest of SPS Rathore, former Haryana Director General of Police (DGP).

On the last date of hearing, the High Court had directed the petitioner, Advocate Ranjan Lakhanpal, Chairman of World Human Rights Protection Council to prove the credentials of his NGO. Lakhanpal today filed an affidavit stating that credentials of his organization cannot be challenged. The respondents have been asked to file their response on the affidavit filed by Lakhanpal.

Ruchika, a budding tennis player was expelled from school in September 1990 for “indiscipline,” following her allegation that she was molested by Rathore.

In her inquiry that was conducted in January 2010, Prerna Puri had found the school guilty of arbitrarily expelling Ruchika almost a month after her molestation at the behest of her molester and former DGP, who was then inspector general (IG) with the Haryana police. The inquiry conducted by the SDM had also found that late fee payment was not a satisfactory reason for expelling Ruchika, as out of the 17 cases of late fee in 1990, eight students had paid their fee after Ruchika did, but no action was taken against them.

The matter had reached the Punjab and Haryana high court in January 2010 after conviction of Ruchika’s molester S P S Rathore. In this public interest litigation , a local lawyer Ranjan Lakhanpal had sought directions to take action against all those officials who sided with Rathore and enabled the trial to continue for 19 years and to investigate the school’s alleged role in driving Ruchika to commit suicide following her molestation.





Delhi HC verdict on erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots’ plea today

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday will deliver a verdict on a plea by a pilots’ association of the former domestic carrier Indian Airlines, seeking parity with their counterparts at Air India. The pilots’ have alleged that commanders of basic aircraft of former Indian Airlines have been overlooked for training of advanced aircraft like Boeing 747, 787 and 777.

Meanwhile, the US Transportation Department has slapped a $ 80,000 fine on Air India. The airlines has been accused of failing to post customer service and tarmac delay contingency plans on its website and adequately inform passengers about its optional fees.

This is the first penalty on basis of the new airline consumer rules in US on foreign airlines.

From August 2011, foreign carriers operating to the US with at least one aircraft of 30 or more seats have been required to adopt contingency plans for lengthy tarmac delays as well as customer service plans, and to post these plans on their websites.

“Our new airline consumer rules help ensure that passengers are fully informed about airline services and fees and what to expect if their flight is delayed on the tarmac,” US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.

US carriers have been covered by this requirement since April 2010, the Department of Transportation said in a statement.

Also both US carriers and foreign carriers with a website that sells tickets to US consumers have been required to include on their homepages a prominent hyperlink that takes viewers directly to a page that shows all fees for optional services the carrier charges, including baggage fees.

Air India failed to post its customer service and tarmac delay contingency plans and to provide a link to its optional fees by the required date, the statement added.

With Additional Inputs from PTI



LEGAL NEWS 03.05.2012

HC orders status quo on GO 610

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The vacation bench of the AP High Court comprising justice G Chandraiah and justice N Ravi Shankar on Wednesday ordered status quo with regard to the state government implementing GO 610, but restricted relief to the petitioners who moved the High Court.

The petitioners challenged the order of the full bench of the AP Administrative Tribunal which had dismissed all the petitions filed by employees of various departments challenging their transfers / repatriation from Telangana and Hyderabad to their native zones and for upholding the state government’s decision to repatriate thousands of employees under GO 610.

The petitioners plead now before the High Court that even persons who were recruited prior to the said GO sought to be repatriated. It is further argued that the repatriation exceeded the quota of locals in the zone and was being effected without reference of the factual situation.

The petitioners who had moved the Tribunal earlier had the stay for over four and a half years.










Bidari moves HC seeking reinstatement

PTI | 09:05 PM,May 02,2012

Bangalore, May 2 (PTI) Senior IPS officer Shankar Mahadev Bidari today moved a memo before Karnataka High Court seeking his reinstatement as the state Director General and Inspector General of Police in the wake of Supreme Court directing it to review its order quashing his appointment. Bidari moved the memo before the vacation bench headed by Justice K Bhaktavatsala who however did not consider it and referred it to be placed before the Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen for further orders. On April 24, the Supreme Court stayed the Karnataka High Court order which had quashed the appointment of Bidari as the Director General of state police dubbing him as “worse than Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gaddafi” in view of allegations of human rights violations levelled against him when he had headed the Special Task Force set up to nab sandalwood smuggler Veerappan. A bench of justices Aftab Alam and C K Prasad had asked the state high court to examine afresh the matter and dispose it of before May 31. The judge said the high court had passed the impugned order on assumption without going into findings of Justice Sadashiva Commission and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which according to Bidari, had given him a clean chit in the case of alleged excesses and sexual abuse perpetrated by the joint STF on tribal women. Bidari is due to retire from service on May 31. PTI BH MSR VS









JK’s Bar On BJP Flag Yatra Unconstitutional: NHRC

Srinagar, May 02: The National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to the Jammu and Kashmir government terming its decision to bar the BJP from hoisting the tricolour in central Srinagar on January 26 last year as a violation of the constitution of India.

The Commission has given the Omar Abdullah-led coalition government two months to explain why it had not upheld the constitution with respect to the BJP yatra.

The Sangh Parivar’s cross-country march scheduled to end in Srinagar had come pointedly when Kashmir had yet to recover from nearly five months of violent unrest in which nearly 114 protestors had been killed in police and paramilitary firing.

Triggered by the army’s killing of innocent Kashmiri villagers in the frontier area of Machil earlier in the year, the 2010 agitation had been the third of the consecutive summer unrests in Kashmir since 2008 that consumed hundreds of lives and left thousands injured in forces firing and tear gassing.

In January 2010, thousands of BJP yatris heading for Jammu and Kashmir had been blocked on the border by the state government as political tensions rose in the valley, and party stalwarts Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley who had landed at the Jammu airport to take up the final leg of the journey had whisked off to a government guesthouse by authorities.   Observer News Service










MHA refuses to restore Rathore’s pension

Express news service : Chandigarh, Thu May 03 2012, 00:09 hrs

Refusing to restore the pension of SPS Rathore former Director General of Police (Haryana), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the order of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Chandigarh.

In its order, on December 8, 2011, the Tribunal had ordered restoration of Rathore’s pension, which was withdrawn by the Central government after Rathore’s conviction. A Bench issued notices to Rathore asking him to respond to the petition filed by MHA by July 3.

Rathore was convicted by a Chandigarh Court on charges of molesting Ruchika Girhotra.

The pension of Rathore, who is at present out on bail granted by the Apex Court, was withheld by MHA on June 23, 2010 following advise by the Union Public Service Commission.

Rathore had challenged the orders before CAT and then filed a contempt of court petition against Union Home Secretary, when his pension was not resumed.

Comparing his case with that of KPS Gill, former Punjab DGP, Rathore had stated before the Tribunal that “no order for withholding pension of K P S Gill, who has also been found guilty of molestation, has been passed”.

Counsel for MHA averred that as per Supreme Court directions, the MHA does not have to wait for directions of the Apex Court to withdraw pension.

The counsel argued that if the Apex Court passes a judgement setting aside Rathore’s conviction, his pension can be restored.










Assist traffic cops at busy signal for 5 days, court tells man convicted of drink driving–court-tells-man-convicted-of-drink-driving/944612/

Express news service : New Delhi, Thu May 03 2012, 01:21 hrs

A Dwarka Sessions court has come up with a novel way to reform an auto driver convicted of driving in an inebriated condition. While he was earlier sentenced by a magistrate to seven days’ imprisonment, the sessions court directed instead, that he spend five days assisting police at busy traffic signals so that he could “learn the norms of civic society”. Additional Sessions Judge asked Inderpuri resident Mohan Lal to report to the Southwest area DCP (Traffic) for five days starting on May 2.

“Seven days is modified and now the appellant (Lal) is directed to report to the DCP (Traffic), Southwest, at 9 am on May 2. The DCP will depute him to assist traffic personnel at any busy traffic signal under his jurisdiction…,” the court said.

Lal had come to the Sessions court seeking leniency after a magistrate had earlier sentenced him to seven days in jail and a fine of Rs 2,000 for driving his vehicle in an inebriated state on February 13 and for not carrying a valid insurance. Lal pleaded for leniency for the sake of his wife and young children and said he would not repeat the offence in future. He also vowed to do social work.

The court noted that Lal was a first-time offender and as such he deserved a chance to mend himself. “He has no criminal record. Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, it would meet the ends of justice if Lal is given an opportunity to mend himself and learn the norms of civic society,” the judge said.









AP High Court seeks govt reply on Polavaram issue

PTI | 09:05 PM,May 02,2012

Hyderabad, May 2 (PTI) The Andhra Pradesh High Court today issued notices to the Union Government on the issue of tenders for the construction of Indira Sagar Irrigation Project at Polavaram. The Division bench of Justices G Chandraiah and N Ravi Shankar passed the order while admitting a PIL filed by K Kavitha, daughter of TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao and president of Telangana Jagruti Samiti (TJS). The court directed the Centre to file reply by June 6. The petition opposes the construction of Polavaram project, and seeks suspension of the latest tender notification issued by the state government on ground that the project on the Godavari river does not have clearances from Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. PTI Cor VVK KRK HKS






Congman files PIL against builder

Express news service : Thu May 03 2012, 03:38 hrs

A social activist has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay HC claiming that the state government showed undue favours to a builder from the city, causing extensive loss to the public exchequer. The petitioner, Brahmanand Shinde, is a Congress member and also claims to be the chairperson of Namdar Sushilkumar Shinde Saheb Pratishthan. According to the plea, the state government showed undue favours to the developer’s firm Rare Townships Private Ltd. He claims that this was on account of the failure to forfeit Rs 36 crore after the firm had allegedly failed to obtain permission for FSI within the stipulated period of six months. The matter has been adjourned till June 18.










PIL for proposed AIIMS-like hospital in UP

PTI | 10:05 PM,May 02,2012

Allahabad, May 2 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court today directed the Centre as well as the Uttar Pradesh government to file their replies on a PIL seeking setting up of an AIIMS- like hospital in the state, preferably at Allahabad city. A division bench comprising justices Amar Saran and Ashok Srivastava passed the order on the PIL filed an advocate Bhanu Pratap Singh who has submitted that the city was “the best possible venue” for such a hospital which could also help reduce the rush of patients at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Delhi. The petitioner has prayed for directions for setting up of the proposed hospital here and also alleged that lack of coordination between the Centre and the state government has been coming in the way of the project despite more than Rs 800 crore having been sanctioned for the same. Asking the Centre and the state to file their replies within three weeks, the court has fixed May 23 as the next date of hearing in the matter.










Aarushi murder case: Court rejects Nupur Talwar’s bail plea

2 May, 2012, 02.58PM IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: The sessions court in Ghaizabad on Wednesday rejected the bail plea of Nupur Talwar, accused in the Aarushi murder case. The Sessions Court has rejected her bail plea for the third time today.

According to TV reports, she will now be applying for bail to the Allahabad high court. The court refused bail saying she may tamper with evidence. The bail of her husband Rajesh Talwar ends on May 7 and the CBI wants him in custody as well.

Nupur Talwar may have to spend 11 more days in jail since the Allahabad HC will hear a bail petition only 10 days after it is filed.

On April 27, Nupur Talwar was directed by the Supreme Court to surrender before the trial court in Ghaziabad in the twin murder case of her 14-year-old daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj in Noida four years ago.

Refusing to stay the non-bailable warrant issued against her by the special CBI court, a bench of justices A K Patnaik and J S Khehar asked her to approach the trial judge for bail after surrendering which shall expeditiously consider her plea.

The court also turned down her plea for granting protection against any arrest on her surrender.

“We should not anticipate about what the trial court is going to do. You appear before it and the court shall consider your bail. If you do not get bail then there are higher courts,” the bench said.

The bench pointed out that her husband also got bail in the twin murder case.

“We are not inclined to stay the operation of the order of NBW issued by the Special Judge, Ghaziabad. But we direct that petitioner (Nupur Talwar) will appear on Monday and move her bail. In case application for bail is moved, the same shall be considered expeditiously,” the bench said.

Nupur Talwar, an accused in the 2008 double murder of her daughter Aarushi and a domestic help, was jailed on Monday after a district court rejected her interim bail plea in which she said a mother can’t kill her own child.










Fake Vigilance Trap: Chief secy okays action against indicted cops

Prabhjit Singh, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, May 02, 2012

Less than a week after being served a notice by the Punjab and Haryana high court, the Punjab government has initiated action to punish the officers found guilty in the fake Vigilance Bureau (VB) trap case, which led to excise and taxation officer (ETO) Ranjit Singh’s suicide last year.

Chief secretary Rakesh Singh on Friday gave his nod for punitive action – as recommended by a high-level inquiry – against VB superintendent of police (SP) Amandeep Kaur, head constable Harminder Singh and former assistant excise and taxation commissioner (AETC) Harinder Kaur Brar.

The probe panel comprising IPS officer Harpreet Singh Sidhu and IAS officer Mansavi Kumar had recommended immediate suspension and registration of a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act against the SP and the head constable.

The panel had also recommended Brar’s suspension and a departmental inquiry against her for dereliction of duty.

The replies of Amandeep Kaur and Harinder Kaur had been found unsatisfactory, as per the April 30 orders of the vigilance department for punitive action against the guilty.

The orders for action have been forwarded by the vigilance department to the home secretary and the excise and taxation secretary. The chief secretary has the charge of secretary, vigilance, as the vigilance department is under the control of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.

It is learnt that action had been taken after the matter reached the chief minister for his comments.

The high court had issued a notice of motion to the Punjab government on April 25 for a reply on a civil writ petition filed by the victim’s widow, Manjit Kaur, seeking justice.

Ranjit had committed suicide in April 2011 after he was falsely implicated in a corruption case and forced to pay Rs. 8-lakh bribe in an effort to clear his name.

The probe committee had indicted and recommended action against the SP (vigilance) and the head constable for laying a fake trap and then extorting Rs. 8 lakh from Ranjit. Then AETC Harinder Kaur had been found guilty of dereliction of duty and telling lies before the probe committee.

Home secretary DS Bains had written in his two-page noting to the chief secretary that he found Amandeep Kaur’s reply ‘unsatisfactory’.

“I am inclined to agree with the recommendations made in para 9 of the inquiry committee report in which it has been suggested that a case under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, be registered against Amandep Kaur, head constable Harminder Singh, Vipan Kansal, Jaitinder Pal Singh, advocate, and Vijay Ghai,” said the home secretary in his March 3 communique to the chief secretary.

“The Vigilance Bureau is an important wing of the state machinery for preventing corruption. It is only fair that its powers should be used justly and in a transparent manner to gain confidence of the public at large,” the home secretary observed in his communique.

Bains also took note of a ‘suspicious’ trap laid by the same VB team against an excise inspector at Khanauri, near Patiala, in which the complainants and the shadow witness were the same.

HT had highlighted the case in its three-part series, ‘Custodians of corruption’ (February 16, 17 and 18), following which the indicted SP, posted at Ludhiana, was pulled out of the VB and sent to the police headquarters. No subsequent action had been taken since then.

Court notice
The Punjab and Haryana high court recently directed Punjab (through its home secretary), the state director general of police (DGP), the VB director and the indicted cops to file their replies by July 17, the next date of hearing in the case.

The ETO’s widow had prayed in her petition “for issuance of an appropriate writ, order or direction for follow-up action on the inquiry report.”

“… he (ETO) died due to his honesty and the corruption of VB officers who not only planted a false case of corruption but also extorted Rs. 8 lakh during police remand… but also abused and slapped him in his locality and made a demand of Rs. 50 lakh after his release on bail, which forced him to sell his share of the agriculture land and finally, commit suicide,” the petition stated.










Lawyer files plea against Sachin’s RS nomination

Lucknow, May 02, 2012

A writ petition was on Wednesday filed in the registry of the Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court seeking a direction for quashing the nomination of Sachin Tendulkar to Rajya Sabha. The petition filed by a local lawyer Ashok Pandey alleged the nomination was against the legal provision and was in clear violation of the Constitution.

Besides Tendulkar, Government of India and Rajya Sabha through its secretary have been made party to the petition.

The petition alleged Tendulkar’s nomination as “a renowned sportsman” was in violation of Article 80 (3) of the Constitution.

As per Article 80 (3), the members to be nominated by the President shall consist of persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of matters namely literature, science, art and social service.

The petition is likely to come up for hearing on May 4.









CAs plea to revamp exam rejected

Express News Service

CHENNAI: A writ plea from V Venkatesa Sivakumar, a chartered accountant (CA) of Rangarajapuram in Kodambakkam, to constitute an independent experts commitee to study the existing examination system for CA and consider the necessity and possibility of revamping the same in the interest of the students, was rejected by the first bench of the Madras Court, last week. The petitioner had no locus standi to file the petition, asHigh he was not an aggrieved person, the bench comprising Chief Justice MY Eqbal and Justice TS Sivagnanam said and dismissed the public interest writ petition. According to petitioner, many questions asked in the CA final examinations on the papers of Strategic Financial Management, Paper-II (Group-I Final) and Management Accounting, Paper 5 (Group-II Final) were invariably repeated ones and were just the cut-paste copy of the questions asked in the previous examinations.

The presentations in the suggested answers were highly confusing and were of very poor quality, he added.










Supreme Court issues notice to CBI on Pandher’s acquittal

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the CBI on the acquittal of Moninder Singh Pandher in one of the Nithari killings, in which several women and girls were raped, murdered, and some of them devoured by the main culprit Surinder Koli.

A Bench of Justices Swatanter Kumar and Ranjan Gogoi sought the CBI’s response on the acquittal, and posted the matter for further hearing after the summer vacation.

The apex court issued the notice to CBI after Counsel B. P. Singh Dhakray and Shakti Singh Dhakray, appearing for the father of one of the deceased, pleaded that the premier investigating agency be made a party to the case.

On February 15 last year, the Supreme Court had upheld the death sentence to Nithari serial killer Surinder Koli, for murdering a 14-year-old, one of his first victims in the serial rape-cum-killing episode six years ago, saying the case was “horrifying” and “barbaric”.

A Bench of Justices Markandey Katju (since retired) and Gyan Sudha Misra confirmed the death sentence to 39-year-old Koli, who has also been awarded capital punishment by the trial court in three more cases of rape and killing of young women and children in Nithari village near Noida, on the outskirts of the national capital.

A total of 16 cases were registered against Koli. His businessman-employer Moninder Singh Pandher was sentenced to death in the case of the 14-year-old, but he was acquitted by the Allahabad High Court. Fifty-four-year-old Pandher is facing trial in some other cases.

Anil Haldar subsequently filed an appeal in the apex court, challenging Pandher’s acquittal, which came up for hearing on Wednesday.

Voluntary confession

The apex court had earlier, upholding Koli’s death penalty, said the convict, in his confessional statement, had given “graphic details” of how he used to allure and kill young girls in Noida.

The court said, “The confessions had been made voluntarily before the magistrate, and there is no defect in it.”









Retired workers of AFT mill presented pensionary assistance

PTI | 11:05 PM,May 02,2012

Puducherry, May 2 (PTI) Puduchery Chief Minister N Rangasamy today handed pensionary assistance of Rs 25,000 to each of 51 retired workers of the government owned AFT mills today. These workers had retired from the mill between January and April this year. A release from the Puducherry Textiles Corporation running the mill said the Chief Minister handed a cheque for Rs 75,000 as ex gratia payment to each of the families of four workers who had died while in service in the mill.







High Court stays 20-year-old ‘torture’ case against Bhatt

Even as the Jam-Khambhaliya sessions court issued a bailable warrant against the suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in a 1990 case of alleged custodial death, Justice Anant Dave of the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday stayed investigation and all proceedings in another complaint against him of custodial torture in Jamnagar the same year.

On a complaint filed by Vijaysinh Bhatti in January this year, 21 years after the alleged incident, the chief judicial magistrate, Jamnagar, ordered a fresh probe, and the police registered a fresh FIR against Mr. Bhatt.

According to the complainant, he, along with several people, was arrested on October 25, 1990 in Jamnagar for alleged violation of curfew imposed in the city, following communal disturbances. Mr. Bhatti claimed that he was tortured in custody by Mr. Bhatt, then Assistant Superintendent of Police there, before he was produced in court the next day and granted bail. As a result, he suffered permanent damage to one of his kidneys and was still ailing, Mr. Bhatti said, citing his admission to a Rajkot hospital three days after his release on bail, and subsequently to a hospital in Mumbai for treatment.

Mr. Bhatti said that after his return from Mumbai he filed a police complaint in January 1991 against Mr Bhatt and some other police officials. As there was no response, he wrote to the CJM after 21 years, seeking to know about the fate of his original complaint.

Challenging the CJM’s order and subsequent police investigation, Mr. Bhatt, in his petition, pointed out that neither at his court appearance in October 1990 nor during his treatment in the Rajkot and Mumbai hospitals had Mr. Bhatti ever mentioned custodial torture. In the hospitals, no medico-legal case was made out against the police for alleged torture. His complaint was an after-thought. Moreover, in his original complaint, Mr. Bhatti only mentioned that while in custody he was hit with a stick on the back and thigh, which beating, even if true, could not have caused damage to his kidney, Mr Bhatt claimed.

He said 20-year-old cases were resurfacing against him, only because he had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court and before the Nanavati–Mehta Commission, the National Human Rights Commission and some other forums against Chief Minister Narendra Modi in connection with the 2002 communal riots. Any investigation against him by a police officer functioning under Mr. Modi could not be impartial, because of his running battle with the Chief Minister, the IPS officer said.

Only on Tuesday did the sessions court in Jam-Khambhaliya, a small town in Jamnagar district, issue a bailable warrant against Mr. Bhatt for his alleged failure to appear before it for a hearing in the case of custodial death of Prabhudas Vaishnani. A Vishwa Hindu Parishad activist, he was arrested during communal violence in October 1990 but he died a few days after his release. His brother then filed a complaint against Mr. Bhatt and some others, claiming that Vaishnani died of injuries sustained due to torture in police custody.










Fishermen killing: Supreme Court sets free Italian ship Enrica Lexie on Rs 3 crore bond

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has ordered the release of Italian merchant navy ship Enrica Lexie along with its crew and remaining marines.

A bench of justices RM Lodha and HL Gokhale directed the crew members of the Italian commercial vessel and marines to make themselves available whenever they are required by Indian authorities for investigation and prosecution of two arrested marines in judicial custody.

Setting aside a Kerala high court order restraining the ship from leaving Indian shores, it directed the ship owner to execute a bond of Rs three crore before the registrar-general of the Kerala high court as a surety for the presence of crew members and the vessel whenever required.

The ship was seized by the Indian security establishment on February 15, after two of marines stationed aboard shot dead two fishermen, mistaking them for pirates. The marines are in judicial custody.

“In view of clear position taken taken by Kerala government that vessel was not object of crime nor circumstances creates suspicion of offence by the vessel, seizure of vessel cannot legally stand. In view thereof entire reasoning given by the division bench of the high court does not survive. So the order has to go,” the bench said.

The bench directed that the crew members should be made available before the authorities within five weeks after receiving summons or notice from Indian agencies. It also directed that the vessel be brought before the legal authorities within seven weeks after receiving summons or notice.

The bench, however, made it clear that its order would not affect the right of the Kerala government to conduct the investigation and the prosecution of the two arrested marines. “How would you continue seizing the vessel which is not involved in crime,” the bench remarked, adding, “there is no justification in not allowing the ship to go.”

The Italian government, at the start of the day’s proceedings, submitted that the incident was related to affairs between two sovereign nations and assured the court that its marines would be available whenever they are required by Indian authorities. The Centre and the Kerala government, however, vehemently objected to the submission raised by the Italian government which later on modified its view on certain issues.

The court made it clear that it was not going into the legality of the agreement between the foreign government and family members of deceased fisherman which is void in nature.











More than 14 months have passed, HUDA sleeping over SC judgment

Bhartesh Singh Thakur, Hindustan Times
Panchkula, May 02, 2012

More than 14 months have passed after Supreme Court (SC) dismissed the appeal of chairman of Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC), RN Prashar, which cancelled the allotment of his plot no 190 at Sector 4 Mansa Devi Complex (MDC), Panchkula. But Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) is yet to implement the decision.

“We have gone there twice to take possession of plot. Once, RN Prashar’s house was locked and second time he was not available,” said a junior engineer of HUDA.

Administrator, HUDA, Surjit Singh said, “It is the estate officer who has to implement the order. You may ask chief administrator about it.”

Chief administrator DPS Nagal also advised to contact estate officer. When asked about implementing SC order, Ashwani Sharma, Estate Officer, HUDA, Panchkula, reiterated, “Within a day or two, we will implement the order.”

In the illegal release of land in the name of Prasher and then its exchange with a plot worth of crores in Sector 4 MDC, it was the Punjab and Haryana high court, which itself took cognisance of the matter as some petitioners, including RN Prashar, seeking enhancement of compensation after land acquisition started withdrawing their petitions.

Role of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda
In its judgment, dated October 28, 2010, High Court said that it was under the order of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda the land was released to Prashar with a note on July 24, 2006- “CM has seen keeping in view the extraordinary circumstances explained by Sh. Prashar in his representations dated 13.5.2005 and 14.9.2005 the matter be processed for releasing the remaining part of land against which he will return the compensation amount along with the interest thereon. CM has further ordered that a proposal to this effect be brought up before the HUDA Authority.”

Thereafter, the proposal was put up in the 98th meeting of HUDA same year and release of land and its exchange with plot in Sector 4 of MDC was approved, under chief minister Hooda, who is also chairman of HUDA.

Story so far
Prashar had land at Bhainsa Tibba village near Mansa Devi temple. Out of which, for land measuring 848 square meters an award was announced by the land acquisition collector on September 5, 2000. The land was released from acquisition in 2006 under Hooda’s orders and instead of handing over possession of the released land, plot no 190 was allotted to Prashar in exchange of the released land by HUDA.

The high court bench headed by justice MM Kumar and justice Rajesh Bindal had commented in 2010, “…it is a case where a senior functionary of the government (RN Prashar) had been able to give a complete go-by to the provisions of the Act (Land Acquisition Act) by successfully saving the land owned by him from acquisition ever since 1981. The provisions of the Act were swept under the carpet to satisfy his luxurious needs …for construction of his palatial house.”

The high court had even remarked, “The state is trustee of the people. If by violating the Act and the rules, some benefit is granted to someone favourite the court can always step in, as it was not a bounty, which was being distributed by the state.”

Prashar filed an appeal, which was rejected by SC last year in February.

Who is RN Prashar
Prashar retired in 2009 as financial commissioner and principal secretary to the Haryana government irrigation department. After retirement, he was re-employed as the principal advisor to the Haryana chief minister for a year. He took over as the chairman of HERC on January 4, 2012.









Action against Kasab after SC judgment: Chidambaram

Published: Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 19:15 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Under attack in Parliament over delay in implementing the death sentence of Mumbai attack convict Ajmal Kasab, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said action would be taken against him after the Supreme Court gives its decision on his appeal.

“We must decide as a nation are we committed for the rule of law,” Chidambaram said when Shiv Sena member Anandrao Adsul raised the issue of delay in hanging Kasab.

If the nation was committed to the rule of law, then Kasab has to be allowed a fair trial, an appeal and a further appeal to plead his case, he said.

“Kasab’s appeal is pending before the Supreme Court. When the judgment is delivered we can take action,” Chidambaram said.

Supriya Sule (NCP) said people of Mumbai were anguished to see Kasab day in and day out in their midst and India needed to send a strong message to the world that it had zero tolerance for terrorism.









Kidney racket: Court frames charges against kingpin

Last Updated: Thursday, May 03, 2012, 00:02

New Delhi: Amit Kumar, the alleged kingpin of an international kidney racket that came to light in 2008, has been put on trial by a Delhi court for allegedly violating foreign exchange act and stashing black money abroad.

District Judge P S Teji paved the way for the trial of Amit Kumar by framing charges against him saying the Enforcement Directorate has brought sufficient material to show that properties acquired by him were the proceeds of crime, kidney transplant racket, as defined under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering (PML) Act.

“A prima facie charge under section 3 punishable under section 4 of PML Act is made out against accused Amit Kumar. Accordingly, charges under sections of PML Act against accused Amit Kumar framed…,” the court said.

It framed charges under the PML Act after Amit, who is lodged in Ambala Jail, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

It said there is material on record to show that Amit along with his other associates was actively involved in illegal kidney transplantation and he was running a hospital where the surgeries were carried out.

“The complainant/Directorate of Enforcement has brought sufficient material on record to show that Amit along with his other associates was actively involved in illegal kidney transplantation. It has also been shown that he was running a hospital where illegal kidney transplantation was being carried out and he used to carry out surgeries along with his associates,” the judge said.

The multi-crore rupee scandal had surfaced in January 2008 when police had arrested several people for running a kidney transplant racket in Gurgaon. Amit was arrested in Nepal in February 2008.

The ED, in its charge sheet filed through Special Public Prosecutor Naveen K Matta, has said that Amit and his accomplices used to charge Rs 12 to 15 lakh on average from the native organ recipients and USD 25,000 to USD 30,000 from foreign clients. The ED accused them of stashing an undisclosed amount in foreign banks.

The court has also framed charges against other accused, Amit’s brother Jeevan Kumar, his three aides Raghuvinder Singh, Rajiv Chanana and Sanjay Gupta for the same offences.

Alleging that a substantial portion of illegally earned money of accused has been invested in movable and immovable properties abroad, the ED has said that it has also managed to attach their properties in Australia in June last year.

ED said Amit along with Jeevan Kumar hatched a criminal conspiracy with other accomplices and by alluring innocent poor people, they fraudulently removed their kidneys through surgical operations which were given to recipients for a huge monetary consideration.

Framing charges against Amit, the court said there was prima facie evidence that he used to perform illegal kidney surgeries on the victims arranged by his associates.

“It has also been shown that accused was not a qualified surgeon to carry out such surgeries. It has also been shown that by his said illegal activities, accused committed scheduled offences as mentioned in PML Act and the properties acquired by him are the proceeds of crime as defined under section 2(u) of PML Act,” the judge said.

The court refused to accept the contention of Amit’s counsel that he should be discharged in the case as he cannot be tried and punished twice for the same offences.

The counsel had argued that a charge sheet against Amit has already been filed in Ambala court under the provisions of the Transplantation of Human Organs Act and the IPC whereas in the present case, he was also being tried with relation to similar offences.

“There is no force in the contention of the counsel for accused as offences of the present case are different than the case pending in Ambala court…. In the present case Amit has been sent to face trial for acquiring movable and immovable assets as proceeds of crime committed under Transplantation of Human Organs Act and for offence punishable under the Indian Penal Code,” the judge said.

The court would begin recording of prosecution evidence from May 23, the next date of hearing.











Express news service : Thu May 03 2012, 01:44 hrs

Court orders probe against three cops

NEW DELHI: A Sessions court has ordered a probe against three police officials, including an Additional Commissioner of Police, for wrongly filing a closure report in a case where an 82-year-old NRI had been cheated. The court noted that the closure report in the case had been filed in a court other than the one in which it had been lodged, and the complainant was not even notified about it. The three police officials against whom the vigilance probe was ordered included Paharganj ACP Raja Ram Yadav, Desh Bandhu Gupta Road police SHO Inspector Jagbir Singh and Sub Inspector-cum-IO Prakash Roy, who was investigating the case.

CIC get tough on boards showing local works

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 03, 2012

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has indicated strict action would be taken against civic officials failing to put up boards in each wards displaying works carried out under councillors’ local area development (LAD) funds.
The CIC had last time given time till May for erecting proper boards in each wards and a subsequent compliance report by May 10.

Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi had on February 2011 ordered installation of boards displaying works taken under elected representatives’ LAD funds. A joint inspection of boards in various wards by citizens, CIC officials and MCD representatives revealed several lacunae in the boards, with some even missing. Almost 35-odd civic officials had gathered at Gandhi’s office for the hearing in April.

Even as the IC appreciated four officials for best boards in prescribed manners, he issued a stern warning for those who failed to do the job. “The MCD officials themselves then committed to a deadline of May 1 and agreed to a penalty if the boards are not erected,” said Gandhi.

However, post-municipal elections, the transition to trifurcation has led to a delay in works.

“Trifurcation has got nothing to do with implementation of the order regarding boards. If any citizens lodge complaint/s about the non-compliance, strict action would be taken,” Gandhi said.

Gandhi’s original order — on a complaint lodged by Anjali Bhardwaj and 317 others from Satark Nagarik Sangathan — on boards also included display of works taken under LAD funds for MLAs. The status of those boards too is not satisfactory. “We are also carrying out similar audit for boards for MLA fund works,” said Bhardwaj. 










HC issues notices on Kumaraswamy’s plea for quashing case

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 02,2012

Bangalore, May 2 (PTI) Karnataka High Court today ordered issue of notice to Lokayukta police on a petition filed by former Chief Minister H D Kumraswamy seeking quashing of an alleged land scam case filed against him in the Lokayukta court. Justice Anand Byrareddy ordered issue of notices to the respondents, including Mahadevaswamy, on whose private complaint the Lokayukta Court initiated the proceedings. On April 21, the Lokayukta Court had ordered issue of summons to Kumaraswamy and others on the private complaint which alleged he violated rules in ordering denotification of 3.8 acres of land in Thanisandra acquired for formation of a layout. The court had directed Kumaraswamy to appear before it on May 21. Kumaraswamy’s counsel Hazmath Pasha submitted that the land was denotified to the landlords on compassionate grounds as their father, a well-known surgeon had rendered yeomen service. He alleged that the complaint was “politically motivated” filed at the instance rival party BJP and the complainant Mahadevaswamy is a BJP activist. PTI BH MSR VS










Fake encounter case: J-K HC adjourns hearing till May 10–J-K-HC-adjourns-hearing-till-May-10/944406/

Agencies : Wed May 02 2012, 17:25 hrs

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court today adjourned till next week the hearing of the alleged fake encounter case involving Lt General Bikram Singh, the designate Army Chief.

Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir adjourned the case till May 10 after hearing the counsels for Defence ministry and the state government.

Earlier, the state government counsel informed the Court that the objections filed by Senior Superintendent of Police Anantnag in the case be taken on board as that of the state government as well.

Police and Defence ministry had already submitted their objections to the petition filed by Zaituna, who has alleged that her son Abdullah Bhat, a resident of Macchil in Kupwara district, was killed in a fake encounter at Anantnag town in March 2001 and later branded as a Pakistani militant ‘Mateen Chacha’.

According to the objections filed by the defence ministry, Lt Gen Singh, who was then a brigadier commanding the 1 Sector Rashtriya Rifles in south Kashmir, was returning to Anantnag after visiting various army units.

Later, when the army convoy stopped at Janglat Mandi in Anantnag, a militant disguised as a beggar opened indiscriminate fire upon the armymen.

While Colonel J P Janu and Rifleman Ganesh Kumar were killed, Gen Singh and another officer were injured in the attack. The assailant and two civilians were also killed in the incident.










HC asks Delhi govt to appoint prosecutor in Mirchpur case

PTI | 06:05 PM,May 02,2012

New Delhi, May 2 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today asked the city government to issue a notification for appointing a prosecutor to assist it in hearing appeals against a lower court verdict in the 2010 Mirchpur Dalits killings case. “The Delhi government is directed to ensure compliance of our earlier order and issue an appropriate notification at the earliest for appointing a public prosecutor in the case,” a bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and S P Garg said. The direction came during the hearing a batch of appeals of some convicts who have challenged the verdict of the lower court, which last September convicted 15 of 97 undertrials, accused of burning alive a 70-year-old man and his physically challenged daughter at Mirchpur in Haryana’s Hissar district. The court was to commence hearing today on the petitions, also including a plea of the victim’s family for enhancement of punishment for the convicts. It expressed displeasure after it was told by the lawyers that they were not ready as the entire records, running into nearly 7,000 pages, have not been supplied to them. “It had already been made clear to you that the records can be supplied in the form of a CD only,” the bench said. On being told by a prosecutor that the Delhi government, so far, has not issued a notification for appointing a state lawyer in the case, Justice Bhat directed that a decision on the issue be taken “at the earliest”. The court, however, did not issue a direction to appear to the Home Secretary, Haryana as sought by the prosecutor on the ground that the cooperation was needed as Delhi Government is pursuing the case relating to the offence which took place at Haryana. (More)










HC blast: magistrate records accused’ statement in-camera

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 02,2012

New Delhi, May 2 (PTI) Amir Abbas Dev, a key accused in the terror attack at the Delhi High Court reception last year, today recorded his statement in-camera before a magistrate here in connection with the case. Dev, chargesheeted by National Investigation Agency (NIA) for his alleged role in the bomb explosion at the high court’s reception on September 7, 2011, recorded his statement before an Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) in Patiala House Court complex. According to court sources, Dev’s statement was recorded following his request District Judge H S Sharma that his statement under section 164 of the CrPC should be recorded. A magistrate had earlier also recorded Dev’s statement under section 164 of the CrPC. The statements recorded by a magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC binds a person and any deviation from it during the trial would make him liable for prosecution for offence of perjury. Earlier, Dev had moved an application before the court saying he is willing to turn approver in the case. According to the sources, the court would hear arguments on his application on May 9. NIA had filed its chargesheet against six persons including three arrested accused Wasim Akram Malik, Amir Abbas Dev and a minor, besides three others Amir Kamal, Junaid Akram Malik and Shakir Hussain Seikh alias Chota Hafiz who are alleged members of banned terror outfit Hizb-ul Mujahideen and are evading arrest. (More)








HC orders segregation of delinquent juveniles in prisons

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 02,2012

New Delhi, May 2 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today asked Tihar jail authorities and others concerned to ensure that delinquent juveniles are kept in separate wards and not with adult undertrials and convicts in jails here. A bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said that juveniles cannot be kept with adult accused and convicts inside prisons. The court, meanwhile, was informed that over 500 juveniles are kept along with adult inmates. “Around 392 juveniles are kept in jail number seven and 104 minors are there in jail number 2 and eleven minor girls are lodged in jail number 6,” a lawyer told the court. Earlier, the court had taken suo-moto cognizance of the issue after being informed by a team of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA) that on a visit to Tihar Jail complex it was prime facie found that out of 278 prisoners who were spoken to more than 100 were juveniles. The court had expressed concern over the “startling revelation” and had said that it intended to frame guidelines to be followed by police and magistrates in cases involving minors. “This startling revelation clearly demonstrates that neither proper inquiry is being conducted by the police at the time of arresting or by the Magistrates when such prisoners are produced before these Magistrates. “Once it is found that such prisoners were juveniles, sending them to jail even for a day amounts to denial of their fundamental right and right to liberty,” the court had said. (More)








HC raps Raj police, asks it to produce missing mother-daughter

PTI | 06:05 PM,May 02,2012

Jodhpur, May 2 (PTI) Pulling up the state police for its failure to trace a woman and her two-year-old daughter who were allegedly abducted nine months ago, the Rajasthan High Court today asked the DGP to produce them before it on 29 May, while hearing a habeas corpus plea filed by her husband. The court also ordered the DGP to put before the court details about the structure of the newly set up Civil Rights Cell by the state police to deal with such cases and also as to how it will function. According to the petition, Kamala Devi and her daughter Priyanka were allegedly abducted by one Bhala Ram. Chela Ram, husband of Kamla Devi, had filed the missing report with Sindhari (Barmer) police on 27 July, 2011. When police failed to carry out “effective action” towards searching her despite repeated requests and memorandum to the police officials and administration, Chela Ram filed a habeas corpus petition in the high court which summoned the DGP today to submit his response. The Jodhpur bench comprising justices Dinesh Maheshwari and N K Jain asked DGP Harish Meena as to “why the police did not show a will to solve such cases in general and why it has not been able to find the missing mother-daughter in nine months”. DGP Meena sought one month time to produce the mother and the daughter before the court and also apprised the court about setting up of new Civil Rights Cell with a view to deal with such cases along with those of related to women and SC/ST categories, which will be headed by an officer of the level of ADGP. The court listed the petition for hearing on May 29 and ordered the DGP to provide complete details of the mentioned cell with a direction to the ADGP of the cell to appear in the court on that day. The sensational Bhanwari Devi murder case was unravelled last year after her husband had filed a habeas corpus plea claiming that his wife had gone missing which led to a CBI probe and arrest of former minister Mahipal Maderna and Congress MLA Malkhan Singh among others.








HC stays proceedings against Bhatt in custodial torture case

PTI | 07:05 PM,May 02,2012

Ahmedabad, May 2 (PTI) Gujarat High Court today stayed the proceedings against suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in a 1990 custodial torture case. Justice A S Dave, who stayed the investigation against Bhatt, also issued notices to the state government and complainant Vijaysinh Bhatti. Next hearing will be on June 22. Bhatt approached the High Court through his lawyer I H Syed after a case was registered against him on the direction of Jamnagar court on April 21. Bhatti had filed an application before the Chief Judicial Magistrate M D Kundaliya of Jamnagar. The Magistrate asked the police to file a complaint for `wrongful restraint’, `causing hurt with dangerous weapon’ and `insult with intent to provoke breach of peace’. According to Bhatti, in November 1990, when he was 40 years old, he was taken to a police station for stepping out during a curfew. Bhatt, then an ACP, allegedly beat him up. Bhatti claims that one of his kidneys failed as a consequence. He then moved the court, but the matter remained pending. Last month, the magistrate ordered registration of complaint based on Bhatti’s allegations, and a probe by Deputy Superintendent of Police. Challenging this, Bhatt said in his petition before the High Court that when the complainant was produced before the court on January 25, 1990 after his arrest, he did not make any complaint about mistreatment, and was released on bail. The complainant did not act for more than 21 years after filing his complaint in January 1991, Bhatt pointed out. (More)











Okhla MLA faces HC fire for running pvt zoo on DDA land

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 03, 2012

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ordered the closure of a ‘private zoo’ belonging to Okhla MLA Asif Mohammed Khan after it found that the enclosure was built on five bighas of DDA land he had encroached at Jasola village in South Delhi.
A Bench of acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice R S Endlaw asked the DDA to reclaim the land and ordered an inquiry by the Lokayukta. It said “it was a serious case of encroachment by a sitting MLA”.

The court ordered surprise checks to ascertain if his collection violated provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act. The bench was hearing a petition filed by one Kamran Siddiqui, seeking action against Khan for “encroachment” and “criminal trespass”.

The zoo was a collection of exotic birds and animals – emus mini doves, masakali pigeons, turkeys, imported poultry, doves, peacocks deers and horses. Also part of the collection are parrots, 60 pigeons and buffaloes.

The order came after Delhi Government standing counsel Najmi Waziri, who produced the area demarcation report on the court’s direction, said “there was a clear encroachment” by the MLA.

Waziri said the zoo was located on three-and-a-half bighas of land Khan had encroached earlier. Waziri also said the MLA had encroached one and half bighas recently. Khan denied any encroachment and said the Wildlife Act permitted his collection of animals and birds.

Act fast against unauthorised constructions: High Court

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday slammed the MCD for the sudden sluggishness in demolition of unauthorised construction in the capital.

The Bench headed by acting chief justice A K Sikri was concerned over a flurry of PILs against unauthorised constructions. The court was worried over rising complaints of misuse of such PILs and its use for threats and extortion.

“If all the officers of the MCD did their work properly, nothing of this sort would have happened”, said the Bench. The comment came on a day when it heard two PILs against unauthorised constructions in Gautam Nagar and Rajouri Garden.

Lawyer Jyoti Singh, appearing for a builder in Gautam Nagar against whom a such a “PIL” was filed, told the court that she had a sting VCD in which father of the petitioner was asking him to pay up R 25,000 for withdrawing the “PIL” and “settle” the matter. “Such extortionist PILs needs to be stopped”, Singh said. Justice Sikri promptly asked her to submit the VCD to the court and promised a probe.









Delhi HC directs DDA to take encroached land back

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to take suitable actions for taking back possession of land encroached by Delhi legislator Asif Mohammad Khan for running an illegal zoo.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw hearing a public suit seeking the removal of illegal constructions on DDA land by the legislator, also referred the case to the Delhi Lokayukta to initiate appropriate enquiry in the case.

The petition filed by Kamran Siddique alleged that Khan, who represents Okhla constituency, encroached on about 5 bighas (1.25 hectare) of DDA land and was running an illegal zoo on the land.

Accepting the plea that Khan had illegally encroached the DDA land, the bench directed the director of Wildlife Preservation to carry out the inspection of the land immediately and take necessary action.

“Director, Wildlife Preservation to carry out the inspection immediately to find out the ground reality and take proper action,” the court said.

The court, going through the site map and demarcation report submitted by the counsel of Delhi government, also ordered that surprise inspection would also be carried out in future to prevent him from encroaching the land again.

“The MLA (legislator) has encroached about 5 bigha land of DDA bearing khasra no.409, village Jasola, New Delhi and he is running the illegal zoo on the encroached land,” the petition said.

Seeking registration of a criminal case against the sitting MLA on charges of criminal trespass and land grabbing, the petition added that Khan’s act was in contravention of provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Wildlife Protection Act and the court should direct the police to take action against him.








HC disposes of petitions against demolition orders

Express news service : Chandigarh, Thu May 03 2012, 03:04 hrs

Refusing to interfere in a petition filed by residents of Banur challenging the demolition orders of their buildings, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has disposed of the petitions filed by the residents. The orders were passed by a division bench comprising Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice A N Jindal on three separate petitions.

The petitioners had stated that they were the owners of the land on which they had constructed residential/ business premises/ shops prior to November 22, 1995. The petitioners further stated that under the garb of a notification dated November 22, 1995, issued by the Punjab government, officers of the Banur Municipal Council had issued notices to them in May 2008, asking them to vacate their premises so that in accordance with the notification (dated November 22, 1995), the Chandigarh-Patiala Road, within the area of Banur Municipal Council, may be widened.

The petitioners had sent a reply in the shape of a legal notice. No decision was ever taken by the Banur Municipal Council.

The grievance of the petitioners is that without passing an order in pursuance to the said showcause notices, the respondents have caused a publication in the locality for demolition of the buildings. Advocate H C Arora appeared on behalf of the petitioners.

Refusing to interfere, the High Court has ruled, “Prima facie, we do not find any ground to interfere at this stage. It is suffice to state that the respondents are required to pass an order before carrying out the demolition in pursuance of the showcause notices issued. In view of the said fact, the present writ petitions are disposed of with the hope that the respondents shall not resort to demolition without passing an appropriate order in pursuance of the showcause notices issued.”

The petitions were disposed of.






PoWs: Centre challenges HC order to approach ICJ

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Thu May 03 2012, 04:59 hrs

The Central Government has challenged an order of Gujarat High Court (HC) to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan for not releasing 54 Indian Prisoners of 1971 War in breach of the Simla Agreement.

The Central Government’s counsel at HC informed this while replying to a petition that seeks direction to the Central Government to implement the HC order over the issue given in December last year.

The counsel, however, told the court that it would implement the HC order to the extent of giving retirement benefits to all the family members of those prisoners of war (PoWs).

Earlier in December last year, the HC had while acting on a petition by late General Jagjitsingh Aurora, the Indian hero of 1971 war, and other relatives of those prisoners of war stranded in Pakistani jails ordered the Central Government to approach the ICJ against Pakistan for not releasing the 54 prisoners of war in breach of Simla Agreement. The court had also ordered the central government to give retirement benefits to the families of these prisoners of war.

When nothing happened on the HC order, some of the relatives of those prisoners of war who are stranded in Pakistani jails since the 1971 war again approached the HC for the implementation of its orders given in December last year.

The petitioner came up for hearing on Wednesday. And the Central Government counsel – Mehul Vakharia — told the court that they have challenged the HC order to the extent of approaching the ICJ against Pakistan.

Vakharia also informed the court that they will be implementing the HC order on providing retirement benefits to the relatives of the prisoners of war at the earliest.









HC defers sex change plea, man threatens suicide

Mumbai, May 02, 2012A 21

year-old Guwahati student Bidhan Barua, who feels he is a woman trapped in a man’s body, today threatened to commit suicide after the Bombay High Court refused to hear his petition urging for a direction to his parents to allow him undergo a sex change operation. The matter was mentioned by Barua’s lawyer Ejaz Naqvi before Justices SF Vajifdar and AR Joshi who said “we are not going to hear it today”. The judges then adjourned the petition to May 7.

Barua told reporters he had written letters to Chief Justice of India, Chief Justice of Bombay High Court and National Human Rights Commission urging them to intervene by this evening and grant him a favourable order so that he could undergo the sex change surgery or else he will commit suicide.

Bidhan Barua, who likes to call himself Swati, alleged that his parents had thwarted the sex reassignment surgery which was to be performed at Saifee hospital here on April 17. He claimed his parents threatened doctors who had refused to perform the operation unless the High Court gives a go ahead.

Barua had contended in his application that he is female trapped in a male body and wants to marry a flight lieutenant in the Indian Air Force.

In the letters to the Chief Justice of India and other authorities, Barua wrote, “I was due to undergo sex change surgery for which I left my job but my parents have blocked my bank account. I have no money to pay for the operation fees.”

“For the last two weeks, I am running from door to door seeking injustice but the court does not have time to hear me. I do not have any money for my food, lodging. So I am finally requesting the court to pass an immediate order against my family or grant me an order for an authorised suicide”.

“I will kill myself if I do not get an order for my surgery by this evening. For my suicide, the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court will be responsible”, wrote Barua and signed it under his name.

Barua’s lawyer had told the High Court earlier that the parents of the petitioner had got his bank account frozen and were infringing upon his fundamental rights. Being a major, Barua was capable of taking decisions, such as the sex change operation, he said.

Barua contended that he realised early in life that he was born in the wrong sex and preferred to dress like girls. This angered his parents who ill-treated him and beat him up, he alleged.

Barua said it was in standard 7th that he learnt through the internet that medical science could provide a remedy to his problem through a sex change procedure and he decided to go for it. He did odd jobs after school hours to earn money for the operation which would cost him anywhere between Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh.

On March 2 this year, Barua underwent a psychiatric test in Guwahati to check whether he was fit enough to undergo such a procedure. As the result was positive, he ran away from home on March 31 and came to Mumbai where he stayed with his cousin. However, his father Supti Ranjan Barua traced him to Mumbai.

Barua, the youngest of three children in the family, said his father had threatened to kill him and his Air Force officer boyfriend if he underwent the sex reassignment procedure. He alleged that his father even threatened the doctors with dire consequences and asked them not to perform the operation.




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