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Lawyer Practising at Supreme Court of India. Court Experience: Criminal, Civil & PIL (related to Property, Tax, Custom & Duties, MVAC, insurance, I.P.R., Copyrights & Trademarks, Partnerships, Labour Disputes, etc.) Socio-Legal: Child Rights, Mid Day Meal Programme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, Women Rights, Against Female Foeticide, P.R.Is, Bonded Labour, Child labour, Child marriage, Domestic violence, Legal Literacy, HIV/AIDS, etc. Worked for Legal Aid/Advise/Awareness/Training/Empowerment/Interventions/Training & Sensitisation.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

HC seeks report on pending warrants

Mumbai, April 23 Alarmed with the huge number of pending non-bailable warrants in the state, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the district and sessions judges to have a monthly meeting with the respective police chiefs and superintendents of police and file a report within three months.
Advocate General Ravi Kadam assured the court that a mechanism will be devised to reduce the number of pending warrants. The court directed that meetings to be conducted and execution of warrants be monitored in districts.
On Tuesday, the Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor held a meeting with Kadam, public prosecutor Satish Borulkar, Additional Director General of Police Rashmi Shukla and Principal Secretary (Home) P Subramaniam in this regard.
The move has come after the court noticed earlier this month that a whopping 4,71,451 non-bailable warrants are pending with the police across Maharashtra with Mumbai alone accounting for 89,914 of those.
A division bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice A P Deshpande on April 9 had directed Kadam to assist the court to “evolve a mechanism” which would reduce the time in execution of warrants issued by courts. The court had observed that this is very alarming and “in such situation it would be difficult for magistrates and sessions judges to dispose of matter expeditiously.”
“This problem needs to be addressed jointly by the judiciary and the executive,” the court had observed.
In February, the court had issued a direction to the Registrar General of the HC asking to know the number of warrants issued by various district and magistrates’ courts in the state that were yet to be executed by the police. As per an updated list submitted this month by M L Tahiliyani, registrar (inspection), there are 89,914 pending warrants in Mumbai, followed by Pune with 45,347 and Yavatmal with 37,423 pendings warrants.
The court’s direction came while hearing a petition filed by Mazgaon-resident Sheriar Patel who had filed a petition in 1995 alleging a petroleum adulteration racket run by a local hotel owner Parmanand Thakur. The police had stated that Thakur had secured bail while three out of the ten accused were absconding.
On February 6, the court was told that the NBWs issued against the absconding accused were still pending. The case will come up for hearing on July 30.
Express news service
Posted online: Thursday , April 24, 2008 at 01:26:49Updated: Thursday , April 24, 2008 at 01:26:49

HC quashes charge against Shilpa Shetty

MADURAI: The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday quashed the case against actors Shilpa Shetty and Reema Sen, relating to publication of their 'obscene and lascivious' photographs in a Tamil eveninger. Justice S Nagamuthu, however, directed the trial court to proceed against the publisher. In his orders, Justice Nagamuthu said there was no prima-facie material to show that that the actors were in any way involved in the publication of their photographs and hence the judicial magistrate ought not to have issued summons to the actors at all. In 2006, T Dakshinamurthy, an advocate from Madurai, filed in the judicial magistrate-II against the Tamil eveninger and the two actors under the provisions of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act and Young Persons (Harmful Publication) Act. The lawyer contended that the newspaper had published 'obscene and lascivious pictures' of these two actors on different dates between December 26, 2006 and February 6, 2006. He said the pictures were "third-rate publications which would promote crime against women and unhealthy social trend." He wanted the court to order legal action against the three. However, as the actors did not appear before the magistrate, he issued non-bailable warrants against them. The actors moved the Madurai bench for the quashing of the case. In the high court, petitioner's counsel, W Peter Ramesh Kumar argued that once non-bailable warrants were issued, the case could not be quashed. Justice Nagamuthu observed, "no one is above law and so the actors should have appeared before the magistrate or made an alternative arrangement to dispense with their personal appearance. Their failure to do so cannot be appreciated." "But, at the same time, when they have come to the court with a plea that the case is baseless, the court cannot shut the doors of justice on a technical ground that non-bailable warrants were pending against them," the judge said, adding that there was no prima facie evidence to prove that the actors were involved in the publication of the photos. "There may be a prima-facie case against the first accused (the publisher). Hence, it is made clear that the trial court may proceed with the trial against the first accused.
24 Apr 2008, 0408 hrs IST , TNN

Madras HC asks TN Govt to stop quarrying in hill station

Chennai, April 24: Madras High Court today directed the Tamil Nadu Government to stop all illegal quarrying and mining activities in the hill station of Udhagamandalam.
The First Bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Ms Justice Prabha Sridevan directed the Regional Transport Officer,Ooty to prevent all JCPs,tipper lorries and heavy vehicles from transporting rocks,blue metal or any other mining materials without valid permit.
Such JCPs,tipper lorries and heavy vehicles used in illegal transportation of such material as also explosives used for blasting operations should be seized.
The court gave the direction following a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate and Managing Trustee of 'In Defence of Environment and Animals, Mr G Rajendran.
In his PIL, Mr Rajendran submitted illegal mining and quarrying in the hill station was going on in several places.
Mining and other non-forestry activities would definitely affect the environment and the ecology. These unscrupulous persons were exploiting the natural resources for minting money thereby cheating the future generation.
Such mining operations in hill areas should not be allowed and they should be stopped immediately.
The petitioner further submitted the District Collector,Ooty issued a notice in February 24, 1999 to all Municipal Commissioners, Town Panjayat EOs and Panchayat Presidents to ban the use of heavy vehicles for levelling the land. But subordinate officials did not follow the order of the collector, he contended.
The Bench also directed the District Forest Officer, Deputy Director,Geology and Mines, to inspect the area in question and make a report to the Court about illegal quarying and mining activities in the entire hill area and the extent of damage caused by such illegal activities in terms of area and cubic meter within a period of four weeks from today and posted the case to June 11 for further hearing.
Published: Thursday, April 24, 2008

Society Sec moves HC to review order

Chennai, April 24: The Agri-Horticultural Society Secretary V Krishnamurthy moved the Madras High Court to review the order made in a land lease case and expunge the remarks made against him.
In his review petition, Mr Krishnamurthy submitted that it was not correct for the court to observe that land was sub-leased to Woodlands Hotel by him. He also contended that he became Secretary of the Society in August 1996 only, and the Woodlands became lessee of the Society since 1962. In fact, the lease in favour of the Hotel had expired in 1985 and the term was extended by the previous committee headed by Mr Justice R Sadasivam by a resolution dated April four, 1985 and it was sent to Tamil Nadu Government for approval.
Hence, the obeservation made against him are to be expunged from the order, he added.
He further submitted that the allegations that he is using the premises for his car rental business or his other business activities were not made by any authority and are not connected to the issue of resumption of land, and hence the directions in the judgement should be expunged.
It may be recalled that a division bench of the Madras High Court upheld the government order to take back the land by the Society on lease.
Published: Thursday, April 24, 2008

Essar Oil plant gets HC nod for tax sop

The Gujarat High Court has today allowed Essar Oil’s refinery in the state to avail of the sales tax/value-added tax deferment benefit to the extent of 125 per cent of the eligible capital investment.
The benefit is to be availed of under the New Capital Incentive Policy — Capital Investment Incentive to Premier/ Prestigious Unit Scheme 1995-2000.
In the late 1990s, the Gujarat government had issued a policy allowing deferment of sales tax/VAT up to a certain amount, with the benefit capped for a period not exceeding 17 years. Projects with investment over Rs 1,000 crore could be eligible for the tax benefit.
A deferment benefit on sale tax means a dealer is allowed to postpone the payment of tax on purchase of raw materials sales of products for a fixed period or/and up to a specific monetary limit.
Similarly, a deferment benefit on value-added tax (VAT) means payment of VAT cab be deferred for the agreed number of years or up to a certain amount. Projects of Reliance Industries and Essar Oil’s refinery were among the eligible investments under the scheme.
Granting the sales tax/VAT benefit, the Gujarat High Court order capped the deferment benefit amount for Essar Oil to Rs 1,000 crore. The cap has been put on the ground that the state government’s infrastructure development in the region may have benefited Essar Oil. The Gujarat High Court has directed the state government to issue the final eligibility certificate within a month.
The state government had earlier rejected the deferment benefit on the ground of delay in commencement of production at the project. Essar Oil had contested the decision of the state government.
Under the scheme, the deferred amount of sales tax will be recovered by the sales tax department from Essar Oil in six equal annual instalments, beginning from the financial year subsequent from the year in which Essar Oil exhausts the limit of sales tax/VAT deferment granted to it or after the expiry of the relevant period of time limit, during which the deferment is available, whichever is earlier.
BS Reporter / Ahmedabad April 25, 2008

Uphaar case: HC says no to stay proceedings against Sushil Ansal

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court refused to stay proceedings against Uphaar cinema owner Sushil Ansal for allegedly tampering with evidence in the fire tragedy case. "Let the response come from the respondent (city government) then we would provide protection if necessary," Justice G S Sistani said and issued notice to Economic Offence Wing of Delhi police to file its reply by May 22. Sushil Ansal had approached the High Court for quashing a trial court's February 15 order in which it had issued summons against him and his brother Gopal Ansal, besides four others, for allegedly tampering with evidence in the Uphaar fire tragedy case and directed them to appear before it on May 2. Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Ansal pleaded for exemption from personal appearance in the trial court. The Bench, however, refused to give any relief saying that at least he (Ansal) has to appear once before the trial court. Besides the Ansal brothers, the trial court had also directed four others -- P P Batra, Har Swaroop, Anoop Singh and Dharamvir Malhotra -- to appear before it on May 2. Following the trial court's order, a case was registered against them in a police station here for allegedly tampering with cheques, which they had issued as Directors of the cinema hall during the trial in the Uphaar tragedy case. Sushil and Gopal, now out on bail, along with 10 others were convicted by a trial court here on November 20 last year for their complicity in the Uphaar theatre fire case in which 59 cinegoers were killed on June 13, 1997.
24 Apr, 2008, 1951 hrs IST, PTI

Romesh Sharma files appeal in HC in Kunjum murder case

NEW DELHI: Romesh Sharma, an alleged front-man of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim on Thursday moved Delhi High Court challenging the life sentence awarded to him by a city court for killing his fashion designer girlfriend Kunjum Budhiraja. On February 18, a Delhi court had awarded life imprisonment to Sharma and five others for murdering Kunjum on March 20, 1999. The court had acquitted another accused, Jaspreet Virdi alias Sonu, for want of evidence. The Court had also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Sharma and Rs 5,000 each on his nephew Surinder Mishra and a woman convict Tejinder Virdi alias Dolly. Other convicts -- Hemchand, Santram and Ramesh -- were fined Rs 1,000 each. The court had on February 15 held all of them guilty under Section 302 (murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. According to the prosecution, Sharma had hatched the conspiracy to kill 29-year-old Kunjum while he was in judicial custody in connection with several cases, including that of intimidation, property-grabbing and cheating. Kunjum was stabbed to death by a group of hired gangsters from Uttar Pradesh at the instance of Surinder Mishra, a co-accused and nephew of Sharma. Mishra had also met Sharma in the jail a day before the incident, the prosecution claimed.
24 Apr, 2008, 1953 hrs IST, PTI

GVK informs HC it needs Ambani's plot to contruct new runway

MUMBAI: Even as Ambani brothers are at loggerheads to acquire the deed to construct a hanger at the Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) here, GVK, which has been instrumental in giving a new look to the airport, has informed the Bombay High Court that they need the entire plot. Anil Ambani group company, Reliance Transport and Travels Private Limited (RTTL) had approached the Bombay High Court in January this year claiming rights to the title of a property in the CSIA. It had sought that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) be restrained from entering into a lease agreement with Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries (RIL) to construct the hanger. The counsel for GVK however informed the court that they need the entire plot as they are planning to construct a new runway. In January, the court had granted interim relief to RTTL, however yesterday Justice A P Deshpande did not extend the relief restraining AAI entering into the deed. The counsels for RTTL and RIL made statements in the court that neither of them will enter into any lease deed with the AAI for one week. In 2000, the AAI had allotted over 2701 square meters to RTTL which was under the flagship RIL to construct a hanger. However, after the demerger in 2005, RTTL informed AAI that the lease deed should be executed with them and not RIL.
24 Apr, 2008, 2240 hrs IST, PTITHE ECONOMIC TIMES

Now, you can take PF grievance to consumer court: SC

NEW DELHI: In an important judgment that will ensure employees get pension benefits from provident fund authorities, the Supreme Court has ruled that such organisations come under the purview of the Consumer Protection Act and can be held accountable for deficiency of service. A bench comprising Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice VS Sirpurkar rejected the plea of regional provident fund commissioner of Kerala that employees were not a ‘consumer’ within the meaning of Section 2(1)(o) of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), 1986, as it was not rendering any service free of charge. It had also said when a master and servant relationship existed, the CPA would not apply to either of them. However, Justice Kabir, writing the verdict, said: “Regional provident fund commissioner, who is the person responsible for the working of the 1995 Pension Scheme, must be held to be a ‘service giver’ within the meaning of Section 2(1)(o) of the CPA.” The court said the relationship between employees and PF organisation is not that of a master and servant as rendering free service or rendering of service under a contract of personal service was absent in such case. The court, deciding six cases on similar issue, said employees come under the definition of ‘consumer’ within the meaning of Section 2(1)(d)(ii) of the CPA. By becoming a member of the Employees’ Family Pension Scheme, 1971, and contributing to it, they were availing of the services rendered by the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner for implementation of the scheme. The case pertained to one Bhavani, who was a worker in Cashew Factory owned by Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation, Kollam. She retired on December 31, 1995, on attaining 60 years of age. Bhavani was a member of the Employees’ Provident Fund and Family Pension Scheme, 1971, and was making contribution to the scheme. Though she was eligible for pension, it was not ordered by the Regional PF Commissioner. Aggrieved by the refusal of the authorities to release pension, Bhavani filed an application before the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Kollam, seeking grant of pension from the date of her retirement. It was contested by PF authorities on the ground that the CPA, 1986, would not apply to a claim made under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Misc Provisions Act, 1952 and she was not a consumer within the meaning of Section 2(d) of the Act. The district forum, state commission and the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum had dismissed the plea of PF authorities, after which it came to the apex court.
24 Apr, 2008, 0800 hrs IST,Sanjay K Singh, TNNTHE ECONOMIC TIMES

SC judges declare assets but details confidential, clarifies CJI

NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan on Wednesday tried to defend the judiciary from criticism that judges were reluctant to declare their assets and claimed that contrary to perception, the judges of Supreme Court regularly declared their assets to him which was kept confidential. Speaking at the 21st annual Kailash Nath Katju memorial lecture, the CJI took the opportunity to defend the lack of transparency surrounding declaration of assets and maintained that even though judges of SC and HC were not bound by rules to declare their assets it was being done voluntarily. "Judges of higher judiciary have declared their assets to me and I am satisfied. It is given in a sealed cover. Judges are moral persons. Only trial court judges are bound by rules to declare assets," the CJI added. The CJI's clarification came in response to an issue raised in his speech by eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani. Jethmalani had lamented the opacity which shrouds judges appointment and declaration of assets and called for greater transparency in judicial functioning.

24 Apr 2008, 0326 hrs IST , TNN

SC gives Appu Ghar 3 days deadline

NEW DELHI: The last nail in Appu Ghar's coffin was driven on Wednesday in the Supreme Court. The court asked its owner, International Amusement Ltd, to surrender the land within three days even as Delhi Development Authority refused any alternative site for its relocation. The joy rides at Appu Ghar, which enthralled lakhs of children during its over two-decade-long existence which was ground to a halt on January 31, 2008, would now be shifted out latest by May 15. A Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam directed IAL to surrender the 12.19 acre of land to India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and the Land and Development Officer within three days. It also asked the owners of Appu Ghar to shift out all the joy rides and super structures from the land within three weeks. The land has already been allotted to the Supreme Court for an auditorium and other judiciary-related structures as also to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to expand the Pragati Maidan Station. Appearing for IAL, Pratibha Singh requested the court to hear its plea for an alternative site for relocation of the amusement park, which had been in operation since 1982. DDA has filed an affidavit saying that the sites suggested by IAL for relocation of Appu Ghar were not permissible under law. "The request of Appu Ghar for allotment of land as alternate site cannot be considered and Appu Ghar may be advised to participate in tender/auction whenever public notice is issued by DDA," it said in the affidavit. When Singh wanted a hearing on this issue, the court, while observing that relocation was not an issue related to surrender of land by Appu Ghar, kept the hearing for Monday. Though the lease for allotment of land to IAL had expired long ago, possession could not be given to SC and DMRC as Appu Ghar managed to survive on litigational oxygen, which was cut off by the apex court in January.

24 Apr 2008, 0222 hrs IST

SC ruling on third party insurance claims

New Delhi (PTI): Family members of a vehicle owner killed in a road accident are not entitled to any third party insurance compensation, the Supreme Court has ruled.
The insurance company would be liable to pay the compensation to the dependent family members of the vehicle owner only if the later had taken a specific personal accident policy, a bench of Justices S B Sinha and V S Sirpurkar said while upholding an appeal filed by the Oriental Insurance Ltd.
The apex court clarified that Section 147 of the Motor Vehicle Act which entitles family members of an accident victim to claim compensation under "third party" claim would not be available to the family members of the owner who dies in a mishap.
The bench passed the ruling while setting aside a direction of a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) to the insurance company to pay compensation to the family of one Janak Raj who died while riding a motorcycle.
Interpreting Section 163-A of the Act, the apex court said under the proviso the owner of the vehicle shall be liable to pay the victim/dependents in the case of death or permanent disablement due to accident arising out of the use of motor vehicle.
Understandably, if the offending vehicle is insured for third party, the insurance company would indemnify the compensation amount on behalf of the insured owner.
"The liability under Section 163-A of the Act is on the owner of the vehicle as a person cannot be both, a claimant as also a recipient. The heirs of Janakraj could not have maintained a claim in terms of Section 163-A of the Act,"the bench observed.
The Bench quashed the Tribunal's direction for awarding compensation to the the family of Janakraj.
Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Come Clean

To most of us the judiciary is an opaque institution. And unlike in the US, Supreme Court judges in India are hardly household names. But for the past few days the Chief Justice of India and his colleagues have been in the headlines, the reason being the unwillingness of the courts to submit to the Right to Information (RTI) Act. It is a healthy sign for Indian democracy that this has sparked a public debate. Last week, this newspaper reported that an RTI application asking whether Supreme Court judges were making a periodic declaration of their assets to the Chief Justice of India - a practice that was adopted in the late 1990s - was returned by the court saying it had no information on this matter. A few days later, Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said that his office was not bound by RTI since he was a constitutional authority. Now Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has waded into the debate by saying that RTI should apply to all public servants. The Speaker is right. There is no reason why judges should be exempt from RTI. If all government offices as well as the country's elected representatives are subject to RTI, why should the judiciary be an exception? The Chief Justice's assertion about his post being a constitutional one is problematic since RTI makes an exception only on information that affects national security. Besides, the RTI application with regard to Supreme Court judges did not ask them to reveal their assets. It merely wanted to know whether the judges were declaring their assets. The reaction of the Chief Justice did nothing to clear the air on questions regarding transparency of the courts. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said last week that corruption was a challenge facing both the government and judiciary. It would be in the judiciary's interest to answer questions about integrity of judges. They should be the first to embrace the ethics of transparency and voluntarily disclose information. The court must be the most accountable institution in any democracy because of its vital role as a watchdog. Indeed, judges must be held to standards that are higher than other government officials. Not too long ago, the Chief Justice had said in an interview that only a handful of judges have allegations of impropriety against their names. If this is true, the majority of judges should have no problems in submitting to RTI.

23 Apr 2008, 0023 hrs ISTTHE TIMES OF INDIA

OBC forum calls for reservation in judiciary

New Delhi: Congress MP Hanumanth Rao, who is also the convenor of the Parliamentary OBC forum of MPs, on Wednesday said the Government must immediately introduce quotas in the judiciary.
Speaking exclusively to CNN-IBN, Rao said, “OBCs should get proper representation in the judiciary. Our people should get into the mainstream. However, this is not about elections because we have been asking for this since 1950. This is not a new demand.”
But Rao refused to comment on whether a bias exits against OBC lawyers and leaders.
The recommendation by the OBC forum has already been made by the Nachiappan Committee set up by Parliament in August 2007.
The Committee had accused the judiciary of keeping out competent OBC candidates by manipulating the system.
The Parliamentary OBC forum, that has now revived that Nachiappan Committee report, has as many as 70 MPs as members.
The members of the forum will be meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on April 29 to present a formal memorandum on quota in the judiciary.
The OBC forum on Tuesday also unanimously rejected the concept of creamy layer as ruled by the Supreme Court.
This rejection of the creamy layer concept that the Government has accepted in the wake of the Court order was taken at a meeting of the forum in New Delhi.
Attended by four members of the Union Council of Ministers — Anbumani Ramadoss, R Velu, Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan and V Narayanasamy — the meeting drew participation from most political parties.
Government to implement quota this year
Ending a week-long uncertainty, the Government on Sunday directed all the Centrally-funded elite educational institutions, including IIMs and IITs, to implement the OBC reservation from this year.
The Human Resource Development Ministry issued the directive to the Central Educational Institutions (CIE) after the Supreme Court on April 10 upheld the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs excluding the creamy layer from its ambit.
The court ruled the 93rd Constitutional Amendment Act, which was the basis of the law providing 27 per cent reservation in aided institutions, didn’t violate the basic structure of the Constitution.
The 500-page verdict came on a petition by anti-quota activists challenging the Act. They had vehemently opposed the Government's move saying caste cannot be the starting point for identifying backward classes.
Bhupendra Chaubey / CNN-IBN
Published on Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 13:23, Updated at Wed, Apr 23, 2008 in Nation section

SC to Delhi govt: raise facilities in schools

New Dehi, April 22 Taking an exception to the goings on in primary schools being run by the government in Delhi, the Supreme Court on Tuesday wondered how schools can be allowed to function without basic amenities like drinking water and toilets.
A Bench comprising justices Ashok Bhand and Dalveer Bhandari observed: “We are talking about higher education and reservations but primary education is in a bad shape.” They also issued stern directions to the government to appoint teachers and head masters — posts lying vacant for years now.
The remarks came during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed in 2004 by an NGO — Environmental and Consumer Protection Foundation — on the basis of a newspaper report, which had pointed out the pathetic condition of government and aided schools.
The PIL had alleged that despite the funds, authorities have failed to meet infrastructural facilities in schools.
The apex court in February 2006 had issued a notice to the Delhi government and has been monitoring the matter since. The progress has not been to its satisfaction. Today, the court was obviously displeased.
It was assured on July 13 last year that things would improve, but nothing has so far, the court said.
The apex court also said the government has failed to put in place proper fire safety measures in schools. On the vacancies — nearly 40 per cent as reported by the Department of Education — the court has fixed the next hearing on July 20. It has also asked a senior officer of the department to be present.
Express news servicePosted online: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 11:22:44Updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 11:22:44

PIL against Delhi University in High Court High Court notice to DU Vice Chancellor

A division bench of Delhi High Court comprising Justice Manmohan Sarin and Justice Manmohan on April 9 issued notices to Delhi University Vice Chancellor Shri Deepak Paintal and the University’s Academic Council on a PIL seeking direction to them to withdraw the alleged controversial essay prescribed for BA IInd year History (Honours) students in which objectionable remarks have been made against Shri Ram, Lakshman, Sita and Hanuman. The court has directed the respondents to file their replies to the petition within four weeks. The court also directed the five member committee appointed by the Vice Chancellor to look into the alleged controversy over the chapter by May 19, the next date of hearing in the case. The PIL has jointly been filed by Shri Dina Nath Batra, Dr Ravindra Nath Pal, Shri Vidya Sagar Verma, Acharya Sohanlal Ramrang, Dr Payal Mago, Shri Mahesh Chandra Sharma and Shri Atul Rawat against University of Delhi, Academic Council of DU, Dr Upinder Singh and Arun Thesis Typing Centre. Shri Batra, convenor of Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, through his counsel Monica Arora, submitted that the chapter titled “Culture in India: Ancient” had hurt the sentiments of Hindus by attributing repugnant conduct and behaviour to the four Ramayana characters. Seeking immediate withdrawal of the controversial chapter, the petitioners submitted that they like many other Hindus were aggrieved by it. The petitioners pointed out that the Delhi High Court in its judgment in the NCERT case last year had said that public sentiments should be kept in mind while prescribing courses for studies for students. They also sought an enquiry into how the chapter was included in the book. The petitioners demanded the respondents to conduct the examination of the students of BA (Hons.) IInd year, history course, in such a manner without having questions from the controversial chapter and also circulate the instructions to the various colleges and other educational institutions not to teach the students the controversial article as it is objectionable, offensive and hurts the religious sentiments of millions of Hindus. An unconditional apology has also been sought from the respondents to the millions of Hindus all over the world for having outraged their religious feelings. They sought to devise a mechanism so that in future such perverse, derogatory and offensive articles do not find place in the course curriculum of esteemed institution of Delhi University. (FOC)

A fine of Rs 1 lakh on Dhoni's PIL tormentor

RANCHI: The Jharkhand high court on Wednesday dismissed the public interest litigation (PIL) against Indian ODI cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni challenging the construction of a swimming pool in his house and fined petitioner Krishna Chandra Sircar Rs 1 lakh for moving the petition based solely on media reports. The petitioner and others were also hauled up for a sharp practice that, the judges said, amounted to contempt of court. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Muthuswamy Karpagyavinayagam and Justice DGR Patnaik got upset after Dhoni's lawyer produced a letter written by one of the signatories to the PIL, B P Sinha, asking the Indian skipper not to construct the swimming pool in his house even if the high court gave him the permission to do so. The judges said this amounted to contempt of court. "Knowing that the matter was sub judice, how could anyone write such a letter to Dhoni?" the court wondered. For the gaffe, Sircar will be poorer by Rs 1 lakh. While Sircar's counsel apologised to the court on behalf of Sinha, the judges nonetheless took a dim view of the transgression. The judges were bemused when they learnt that all that Sircar had to show as proof of a swimming pool being built by Dhoni were a few newspaper clippings. Interestingly, in the course of hearing the matter, the court on learning that the area where Dhoni's house is being built faces water shortage, directed the Jharkhand government to install between 25 to 50 hand pumps.
24 Apr 2008, 0009 hrs IST , TNN

CJI guarded on PM remark

New Delhi, April 19: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday favoured the setting up of special courts to combat the menace of corruption, an idea that was endorsed by Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan.
Dr Singh said at the Chief Ministers and Chief Justices Conference, "Corruption is another challenge we face both in government and the judiciary. The CJI has written to me suggesting that we create special courts to deal with corruption cases. I agree that there is urgent need to do so. This will instil greater confidence in our justice delivery system, at home and abroad."
[Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan on Saturday was guarded on Dr Singh’s remarks on corruption being a challenge "we face both in government and the judiciary", reports PTI.
[At a press briefing after a day-long conference of the CMs and CJIs of high courts, he said what Dr Singh meant was corruption-related cases pending before the judiciary and augmentation of the infrastructure for their speedy disposal.
[But on being asked to react to the remarks in the light of the Judges’ Inquiry Bill, which aims to increase judicial accountability, being redrafted by the government, he said, "I don’t want to comment on a pending bill."
with agency inputs

Corruption in judiciary a challenge: PM

Prime minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said that corruption in government and judiciary was as big a challenge as the huge backlog of pending cases.
Inaugurating a joint conference of chief ministers and chief justices in New Delhi, the prime minister underscored the “urgent need” to “create special courts to deal with corruption cases.” He agreed with Chief Justice of India (CJI) KG Balakrishnan’s suggestion in this regard. “This will instill greater confidence in our justice delivery system at home and abroad,” Singh told the conference, an annual exercise aimed at achieving better administration of justice.
But the CJI tried to avoid reporters’ questions regarding the PM’s comment on corruption in “government and judiciary”. “The prime minister has not said anything about corruption in judiciary….He has talked about corruption cases investigated by the CBI….CBI cases are not against the judiciary,” he told reporters when repeatedly asked to react to Singh’s comment.
Law Minister HR Bhardwaj too tried to downplay the PM’s remarks saying, “Judiciary is the only institution in India which people think is corruption-free.”
The CJI parried questions regarding declaration of assets by judges and judges' accountability. The only thing he said on this issue was that the Supreme Court judges submit in a sealed cover, details of their assets at the time of their elevation and also inform him about purchase of property thereafter.
The CJI's statement, however, runs contrary to the 10-year-old resolution adopted by Supreme Court Judges, making it mandatory for all the judges of higher judiciary to regularly declare their assets along with those of their family members.
To a question if the CJI's office came within the purview of the Right to Information Act (RTI), Justice Balakrishnan said it was a constitutional post and not a government office.
The judiciary has been under fire for its reluctance to provide information sought under RTI on judges' appointments, declaration of assets and disciplinary action on allegations of corruption and misconduct against judges.
Earlier, in his address, the Prime Minister said the Centre might step in to establish family courts in the country as many states had failed to discharge their legal obligation in this regard.
Bhardwaj voiced concern over delays in disposal of cases, saying mounting arrears in courts raised a "serious question mark" on the efficiency of the justice delivery system. "The issue of huge backlog and pendency of cases has been a matter of concern for quite some time and still remains the most important challenge before us that needs to be solved at the earliest," he said.
Satya Prakash, Hindustan Times
Email Author
New Delhi, April 20, 2008
First Published: 02:13 IST(20/4/2008)
Last Updated: 02:20 IST(20/4/2008)

Speaker disagrees with CJI, says RTI should apply to all

Disagreeing with Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan’s statement that the Right to Information (RTI) Act did not apply to his office, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Monday said the Act was a mechanism for the people’s constitutional right to know.
Asked to respond on the CJI’s comments that constitutional offices were out of the purview of the RTI Act, the Speaker said, “As a constitutional functionary, my view is that nothing should be held back from the people, except on matters related to country’s security.”
“I have the highest regard for the hon’ble CJI. However, in a democracy, if information is denied, there is scope for speculation which may affect credibility.”
On Saturday, the CJI had said his office was not covered under the RTI Act, since it was not applicable to constitutional authorities. Questioning the argument of constitutional offices being out of RTI purview, Chatterjee said, “Everything is under the Constitution. The question is whether people are entitled to know. The constitutional provision for their right to know has been recognised by the RTI Act, which was implemented to enforce this right.”
Asked about the reluctance of Supreme Court and High Court judges to make public the details of their wealth, the Speaker replied, “I would only speak for the House”. In a departure from the old practice, the Lok Sabha has decided to provide the details sought by RTI applicants on the assets owned by MPs, he said.
“Elected members are supposed to provide details of their wealth in a sealed cover to the Speaker’s office. These are to be kept confidential till the time there was a pressing need to open them. However, not going by technicalities, I have allowed these details to be provided under the RTI,” the Speaker said.
In a bid to make the functioning of parliament more transparent, Chatterjee said he had even proposed to allow the media access to parliamentary standing committee proceedings.
“However there were some reservations, and there has been no consensus among the MPs on opening up of these proceedings to the media, therefore it could not be done so far,” he said. The efforts in this direction, would, however, continue, the Speaker said.
Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times
Email Author
New Delhi , April 22, 2008
First Published: 01:44 IST(22/4/2008)
Last Updated: 01:54 IST(22/4/2008)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

HC grants temporary bail to 1993 blasts convict

Mumbai : Bombay High Court on Tuesday grantedfurlough (temporary bail) to Bashir Ahmed Gani Khairulla,sentenced to life imprisonment in the 1993 serial blasts, butrejected a similar application by a Best bakery case convict. Khairulla, sentenced by TADA court last year, hadapproached the High Court after being refused the 14-dayfurlough leave by the Maharashtra government.He was granted furlough on a surety of Rs 10,000. He hasbeen directed to furnish his address and attend the Mahimpolice station every alternate day.But the court refused furlough to the Best bakery convictRaju Baria because of adverse reports of police and themagistrate.Reports said there could be "breach of peace" if Bariawas allowed to visit Panchal town in Gujarat.

HC stays allotment of lands to societies

Hyderabad, April 21: A division bench of the AP High Court comprising Justice Nooty Rammohana Rao and Justice C.V.Nagarjuna Reddy on Saturday stayed the allotment of lands made to various societies.
The bench was dealing with a batch of writ petitions filed by various individuals questioning the Government’s decision to grant lands for various individual societies in the State.
The bench was mainly dealing with G.O.Ms.No.434 wherein the Government had allotted an extent of 70 acres to journalist society and the bench passed an interim order that such of those respondent societies which have already taken possession of the land shall not make allotment in favour of their individual members and thus create third party interest therein. And if allotments had already been made by some of the societies, no further development by way of improving the existing status of the land shall be taken up by them.
Respondents shall file their counter affidavits by July 25 and reply affidavits shall be filed by August 6 and posted the batch of cases to August 8 for final hearing. A division bench of the AP High Court comprising Justice T.Meenakumari and Justice S.Ashok Kumar on Saturday suspended the G.O.Ms.No.1103 dated 17.8.2007 issued by the Government wherein the Government had decided to absorb 2,151 APSP constables working in Prohibition & Excise Department on deputation and declared as surplus in police department, be absorbed as Prohibition & Excise constables in the existing vacancies in the Prohibition & Excise Department.
A writ petition was filed by around 500 candidates questioning the order of the AP Administrative Tribunal in upholding the above G.O. They stated before the court that around 1700 candidates were selected in all districts in pursuance of recruitment notification issued by the Excise Department for the post of constables in 1994 and that they were not issued appointment orders due to the ensuing elections.
Subsequently, the Government imposed total prohibition and therefore the entire selection was cancelled as the services was not required but on the other hand the Excise Department had deputed nearly 3000 constables and in the process had issued the above G.O. to absorb the APSP constbles without following the direct recruitment procedure on the ground that they were surplus in the polcie department. The bench admitted the writ petition and suspended the above G.O.

HC bench in Berhampur issue: Police lashes lathi on lawyers

Berhampur : The peaceful demand for permanent HC bench at Berhampur turned violent as security forces lashes lathis on agitation lawyers on Tuesday at court premises in Berhampur. As per the order of the High Court, the police under the direct supervision of Ganjam SP Debadatta Singh have opened the court premises at around 9.30 am , before the scheduled time on Tuesday when there were no lawyer present. Earlier the high court had ordered police to open the court using minimum of force, as the agitating lawyers have been continuing their stir since Dec 04, demanding a permanent high court bench at Berhampur. Lawyers were surprised, when the turned to the court on 10 am when they saw the court premises opened at presence of as many as 16 platoons of police and other high ranking officials including the Ganjam SP DD Singh, SDPO Chhatrapur, A Sahu, DSPs and several magistrates. The agitating lawyers as a part of their protest, after reaching at the court entered into the court premises, peacefully. However, when the lawyers reached near the district judge's office, the security forces confronted with the lawyers following, which a tussle took place. Afterwards, the police resorted to lathi charge. Even, the higher-ranking police officials were heard using filthy language while ordering the lathi charge. The police forces have also allegedly ransacked chairs and tables of the Bar Association. At least 25 to30 lawyers including former bar president SS Panda and state bar council member Deepak Patniak have sustained injuries. Meanwhile the police have detained 6 lawyers from the court premises and 3 others from near the bar association hall. They have been sent to the Ambapua police and being held captive. Patnaik, alleged that the police have acted inhumanly on the lawyers and resorted to lathi charge brutally by crossing all limits as they went on biting intentionally even after the lawyers were protesting peacefully at the court premises. Patniak who has sustained injuries near his neck and backbone told over phone from the police captive point at Ambapua that they would lodge FIRs against these police officials including Ganjam SP DD Singh, SDPO A Sahoo, DSP D Jena and Town Police Station IIC A Nayak. The lawyers have alleged that the police have not allowed the doctors to treat the injured lawyers, when the Bar Association President SN Rath asked for. Situation in Berhampur remains tense, as hundreds of lawyers were present near the sub collector’s office and blocking the national highway-217 by burning tiers. They have also not allowed anyone through the way, which created inconvenience to public for hours. All most all the shops near the court premises along the national highway remained closed following the violent on Tuesday. The lawyers have been agitating since Dec 04, demanding a permanent bench of the high court at Berhampur.
By Shantanu Barad
Last updated: 04/22/2008 23:12:45

HC restrains Cipla from exporting anti-cancer drug

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today restrained pharma major Cipla from exporting 'Tarceva' to those countries where Swiss company Hoffmann La Roche has patent registration for the anti-cancer drug. The court also sought response from Cipla on an appeal filed by Swiss pharma company against the order of single bench that had refused to restrain the Indian firm from manufacturing and selling anti-cancer drug 'Tarceva', alleged to be a copy of the former's patent. "Respondent (Cipla) in the meantime shall, while complying with the order of single bench, not export the drug in the question where plaintiff (La Roche) has patent registration," a bench of Justice Manmohan Sarin and Justice Manmohan said. The bench, however, also made it clear that observations made by the single bench shall not be used by any third party as precedent for the purpose of manufacturing the drug. It gave Cipla two week's time to file its reply and also directed La Roche to give the list of countries where it has got patent registration for the drug. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Swiss company, contended that the single bench passed an order that was alien to the patent law. The single bench order was said to be in the public interest on the ground that there was a huge price differentiation in the product of the two firms, however there was no correlation between patent law and public interest as patent grants a company statutory monopoly, Singhvi said.
22 Apr, 2008, 1816 hrs IST, PTI

Madras HC sits over huge backlog of cases

Chennai, April 22 : A total of 4,28,832 civil and criminal cases were pending before Madras High Court and its Madurai Bench till December last, Tamil Nadu Law Minister Duraimurugan told the State Assembly today.
The Minister gave this information, while replying to a debate on the demand for grants for his department in the House.
He said that while 3,65,496 cases, both civil and criminal, were pending before the High Court in the city, 63,336 cases were pending before its Madurai bench, which started functioning in 2004.
The High Court began this year with an opening balance of 3,16,096 civil and 26,414 criminal cases, while 1,33,594 new civil and 56,272 criminal cases were filed during 2007. As on December 31, 2007, it had disposed of 1,13,606 civil cases and 53,274 criminal cases.
The Madurai Bench began this year with an opening balance of 56,877 civil and 7,571 criminal cases. It attracted 48,693 civil and 15,866 criminal cases during 2007, he said, adding that it had disposed of 48,830 civil cases and 16,841 criminal cases as on December 31 last.
The pendency of civil and criminal cases in the subordinate courts in the State was more alarming as a whopping 9,28,046 civil and criminal cases were pending as on December 31 last.
These courts had an opening balance of 4,43,656 civil and 4,13,153 criminal cases as on January one, 2007. As many as 7,88,435 new civil and 8,46,835 criminal cases were filed in 2007. These courts had disposed of 7,33,073 civil and 8,30,960 criminal cases during 2007, Mr Duraimurugan said.
He said the pendency of cases in various courts across the State continued to increase and it was a cause for serious concern. As a way to tackle the high pendency, the Government had accepted the proposal of the High Court and constituted 56 evening courts during 2007-08. Of the 56 courts sanctioned, 37 were functioning and they had disposed of 57,322 petty cases in six months. In a bid to expedite disposal of cases, the Government has decided to constitute 'Camp courts' this year on a trial basis, he added.
Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2008

HC notice to Arjun for NIFFT decision

Ranchi, April 22: Jharkhand High Court today issued a notice to Union human resource development minister Arjun Singh questioning the removal of M.K. Banerjee, the former director of National Institute of Foundry and Forge Technology (NIFFT).
The court, while hearing the petition filed by Banerjee, directed him to implead Singh as a party in the case.
Banerjee has challenged his removal from the office of NIFFT director and also questioned the appointment of his predecessor and former Indian School of Mines University director Tarkeshwar Kumar.
Banerjee, in his petition, stated that he was appointed as a director of NIFFT in 2006 for a five-year period. Banerjee was removed unceremoniously before the expiry of his term, which he has alleged to be a result of “political pressure” and “personal interest” of the Union minister.
Banerjee’s removal from office has been made after prior approval of the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). The office of the Prime Minister controls the ACC, which is also responsible for the appointment of Kumar as the new NIFFT director.
Students of the institute believe that Banerjee’s removal was a conspiracy hatched at the level of the Union ministry of human resource development under the influence of one of the senior members of the NIFFT Board of Governors (BoG).
Arguing on the behalf of the technical institute, its counsels said Banerjee was transferred as a routine administrative function. He was directed to join the Bengal technical education cadre, which was his original posting.
Banerjee has already been relieved from his present posting as director, NIFFT, and has also joined his new place of posting in Calcutta, the counsels said.
Banerjee’s removal from office has sparked off tension in the premier technical institute with students going on a rampage to protest his termination.
Students of the institute have abstained from classes and have staged dharnas and demonstrations demanding an immediate recall of Banerjee’s transfer order.
The counsels for the institute argued that since Banerjee has alleged political interference and pressure from the Union minister in his removal, the minister should also be made a party in the case.
The high court after hearing the matter issued a notice to the Union HRD minister directing him to file a reply in the case.
Wednesday , April 23 , 2008

Shivani murder: Killer moves HC

NEW DELHI: Pradeep Sharma, the killer who was hired by IPS officer R K Sharma to murder Shivani Bhatnagar, on Tuesday moved the HC challenging his conviction by the trial court. Stating that the trial court has held the IPS officer as the chief conspirator in the case, Sharma claimed that there was no motive for him to kill her because he had no personal enmity. The trial court convicted Pradeep on prosecution's claim that he took the contract to kill Shivani on the promise that he would be re-instated in HUDA as a clerk. In his appeal Pradeep cites his previous employer to claim he left HUDA willingly and had no interest in joining it again. Another ground for seeking an acquittal by was ignoring key evidence. "My client had left Shivani's house by 3.10 pm as shown by the entry register. However, the complainant in his statement has said that he last spoke with his wife at 3.30 meaning she was alive at that time when the alleged killer had left her apartment," Goswami has argued.

23 Apr 2008, 0216 hrs IST , TNNTHE TIMES OF INDIA

HC orders release of 19 inmates

PATNA: As many as 19 female inmates of Gai Ghat Remand Home were restored to their family members after Patna High Court passed an order for their release from the home on Tuesday. A division bench of acting Chief Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad and Justice J N Singh passed this order after husbands and in-laws of these inmates turned up to accept them. The fate of another 15 inmates who, too, were produced in the court would be decided on May 6 when the HC would take up the case once again. The court did not order release of these 15 inmates as their family members did not turn up.

23 Apr 2008, 0535 hrs IST , TNN

Officials apologise to HC

HYDERABAD: Four officials appeared before Justice Goda Raghuram of AP High Court on Tuesday and apologised for the delay in giving compensation to a woman whose land was acquired for weaker sectins housing scheme. The judge was hearing a contempt petition filed by one Anjaneyamma of Boinpally in Mahabubnagar district whose five-acre land was acquired but compensation was not paid despite a direction from the court. Following contempt proceedings, former collector of Mahabubnagar district Jagadiswar and other officials were present before the judge. Government pleader Somasekhar told the court that 50% of the compensation was paid in 2005 and the remaining was deposited in March 2006.

23 Apr 2008, 0440 hrs IST , TNN

SC reserves verdict on Shaukat Guru's plea

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court rarely reviews its own judgments. It is still rare for it to entertain a curative plea against dismissal of a review petition. But probably for the first time, it entertained a writ petition despite dismissal of a curative plea. A bench headed by Justice P P Naolekar on Tuesday reserved its verdict on such a writ petition filed by Shaukat Hussain Guru, challenging the apex court's verdict awarding 10 years' prison term to him, finding him guilty of not telling the authorities about the conspiracy by terrorists to attack Parliament despite knowing about it. The trial court and the Delhi high court did not have even an iota of doubt about Guru's involvement in the terrorist attack conspiracy and awarded him death penalty. However, the apex court in its 2005 verdict had quashed Pota charges and consequently the death sentence imposed on him. However, it felt that he was guilty under section 123 of the IPC for not informing the authorities about a plot to attack Parliament, which was akin to waging war against the country, and awarded him 10 years' jail. The decision was challenged by Guru on the ground that the apex court came to its own conclusion without affording him an opportunity to defend himself against the charge under section 123 of the IPC. Senior advocate Shanti Bhushan argued that Guru, who had been acquitted of terror charges, had no opportunity to lead evidence in support of his innocence under the new charge, which was neither raised by the prosecution during trial nor before the HC or the apex court. It was unfortunate that he was convicted in violation of the constitutional mandate that no person would be convicted without being heard or be deprived of his fundamental rights without following due process of law, he argued. Opposing the plea, additional solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam argued that the petition was not maintainable as curative option had already been exhausted. Moreover, the courts under section 222 of the CrPC were empowered to convict an accused for a lesser offence, which was done by SC in Guru's case, he said.

23 Apr 2008, 0330 hrs IST , TNN

Centre vetoes OBC inclusion in SC list

NEW DELHI: With Congress-BSP tussle heading towards a climax, the Centre seems in no mood to indulge chief minister Mayawati on her demand for the inclusion of a clutch of OBCs in the Scheduled Castes list. Mayawati's demand to change "boatmen" and its synonym castes, Rajbhars and 10 other backward castes into Dalits has resulted in a strong rejoinder from the Union social justice ministry which, while detailing the untenability of the demand, also hinted at how BSP government had changed its stance on the issue in a matter of one year. It could prove another point of contention in the fast deteriorating relations between Congress and the BSP, as the Dalit outfit tries to use it to win over OBCs. The importance of the state's proposal in BSP's political gameplan is reflected in the U-turn Mayawati recently did to embrace an issue she had slammed when initiated by her arch-rival Mulayam Singh Yadav. Yadav, in an unconstitutional move, amended a state law to make these OBCs eligible for benefits given to SCs. Her opposition to Mulayam's move was so strong that she shot off a letter to the Centre within 23 days of coming to power to withdraw the demand. But last month, the BSP chief wrote to PM Manmohan Singh to advocate change in caste status of a clutch of OBCs. The reversal of stance saw her argue, "My government strongly believes these castes should be included among SCs... these castes fulfil the criteria for being in the SC list." She had also sought a hike in quantum of SC quota of 15%. While the PM forwarded Maya-wati's demand to social justice ministry for comments, the rejoinder from Union minister Meira Kumar was stinging. It has asked UP to inform "the circumstances for the demand to put these OBCs in SC list when it had earlier withdrawn its demand and requested for status quo". Politics of the demand apart, the RGI, the expert body on classification of castes, has repeatedly turned down the proposal, a fact hammered by the Centre in its reply to UP. The state had sought inclusion of Bhar/Rajbhars in the SC list in March 2004 but it was rejected by RGI in January 2005. Its request of October 2005 for inclusion of Kumhar/Prajapati in the SC list saw the Centre seek district-wise details.

23 Apr 2008, 0340 hrs IST , Subodh Ghildiyal , TNN

pharma companies to face legal action

NEW DELHI: The drug price regulator has asked state governments to initiate prosecution proceedings against five pharmaceutical companies for allegedly selling select brands without getting their prices approved by the regulator. The companies, which would face legal action for allegedly selling 39 specified pack sizes of different medicines without getting prior price approvals, are Alembic, Cadilla Healthcare, Wockhardt, Lupin and Medley Pharmaceuticals. While the largest number of cases are registered against Cadilla Healthcare for flouting prices in about 30 products, Wockhardt and Lupin face regulatory action for one case each. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has asked Cadilla Healthcare to pay the amount it allegedly overcharged from consumers in case of about 25 other products as well. The regulator is also examining close to 30 other cases of overcharging, where companies may be asked to pay back the excess amount collected from consumers. In case of non-compliance, those companies may also face prosecution proceedings.
NPPA’s tough action comes days ahead of a crucial meeting of ministers on April 30 to finalise how drug prices should be controlled in future. The government’s response to alleged price violations indicate that the existing norms are sufficient to keep a close eye on price movements and intervention when required, without further tightening the policy. The policy that the ministers would review, seeks to extend the coverage of price control to all essential medicines while at the same time, softening the intensity of control to a level. The new policy also seeks to introduce monetary penalty in certain cases instead of time-consuming prosecution. NPPA initiated the regulatory offensive after it discovered prima facie violations in a list of about 900 drugs, on which drug makers offered to lower prices voluntarily in return for a softer pricing policy. The government, in the meanwhile, conducted a survey to see if companies honoured their promise. It has noticed that in states such as Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, these drugs were not available at the promised price. However, about half of them were available in Delhi at the price that was promised. This result forced the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers to go ahead with the proposed new policy.
23 Apr, 2008, 0229 hrs IST,Gireesh Chandra Prasad, TNN

Less than one per cent of budget spent on judiciary

“A modernising nation's economic prosperity requires at least a modest budget,” asserted CJI. Judiciary, is the fourth pillar of the democracy but in terms of our GNP, the expenditure on judiciary in India is hardly 0.2 per cent.

JUDICIARY IS called the fourth pillar of the democracy in the country and though there has been advancement to a level in its justice delivery system, a lot more could be done for furthering the process.

As per figures revealed during the annual conference of chief ministers and chief justices of states held at the capital, barring New Delhi, many states of the country have been spending less than one per cent of their budget for subordinate judiciary and trial courts. Even Delhi spends a meagre 1.03 per cent of its budget on subordinate judiciary.

In terms of gross national product (GNP), the expenditure on judiciary in India is hardly 0.2 per cent, whereas it is 1.2 per cent in Singapore, 1.4 per cent in America and 4.3 per cent in Britain.

While the total expenditure by the central government says that in the ninth plan (1997-2000), the centre released Rs 3.85 billion for priority demands of judiciary, which amounted to a meagre 0.071 per cent of the total expenditure of Rs 5.41 trillion (Rs 541,207 crores).

Similarly, during the 10th Plan (2002-2007), the allocation was seven billion rupees, which is 0.078 per cent of the total plan outlay of Rs 8.93 trillion i.e., Rs 8,93,183 crores and these figures show that such meagre allocations are grossly inadequate to meet the requirements of the judiciary.

In the two-day judges meet, the judiciary had raised a demand for raising its budgetary allocation. In his address to the conference, even Chief Justice of India (CJI), KG Balakrishnan made a strong case for enhanced funding for the judiciary saying the courts have been playing an important role in the country’s economic growth and development.

He also raised the monetary argument before Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh for greater funding and budgetary allocation to the judiciary.

“The courts in this country plays an important role in the economic growth and development. There is empirical evidence to show that the rule of law does contribute to a nation’s wealth and its rate of economic growth,” the CJI observed.

Underlying the problem of inadequate judicial infrastructure, leading to the huge backlog of cases and raising dissatisfaction in the public mind about the effectiveness of the court process, Balakrishnan asserted that a modernising nation’s economic prosperity requires at least a modest legal infrastructure.
H A Eklavya, 21 April 2008, Monday

30% of posts of judges lie vacant

CHENNAI: An irregular recruitment and transfer schedule, coupled with stagnation in the ranks, have been causing havoc in the careers of subordinate judicial officers in the state. “The situation is alarming as nearly 30 per cent of the total positions in the subordinate judiciary are lying vacant. About 235 out of the total 765 posts in the subordinate judiciary are awaiting recruitment/promotion,” said an office-bearer of Tamil Nadu if the requirements of the judiciary were not met by the government. Since then there has been no fresh addition to the ranks, though at least 40 vacancies arise every year due to retirements, promotions or otherwise. As of now, seven posts in the cadre of district judge, 17 in sub-judge category and about 200 (including anticipated vacancies) judicial magistrate/district munsif vacancies are waiting to be filled. "There is lobbying and criticism whenever there is a delay in the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary. But the plight of subordinate judicial officers goes totally unnoticed," said another office-bearer of the Association. Many of the judicial officers recruited in 1995 are still waiting for the first promotion in their career, he added. Pointing out that a recent notification issued by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission to recruit over 200 judicial/metropolitan magistrates was cancelled after an adverse high court order, he said, "There is no meeting of minds among the government, service commission and the judiciary on crucial issues such as age criterion for candidates, preparation of question papers and composition of the interview panel." "Artificial vacancies have been created in the subordinate judiciary, because though vacancies are available to be filled and officials are available to be promoted, the process has not been initiated owing to extraneous reasons," said a magistrate. Leave alone fresh recruitment of judicial officers, even routine promotions are not done as it would ultimately add to existing vacancies at the feeder level. For instance, if 25 seniormost sub-judges are promoted as district judges, the subjudge-cadre vacancies will go up to 55. If these 55 vacancies are filled by promoting as many judicial magistrates, then vacancy position at the magistrate-cadre level would cross the 250-mark. "Thus, in the absence of annual recruitment schedule, sidestepping promotions at different levels is the only option available to authorities," a judge said. Had these vacancies been filled in time, nearly a lakh of pending cases could have been cleared during the relevant period, he conceded. subramani.a@timesgroup.com

22 Apr 2008, 0207 hrs IST , A Subramani , TNN

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Govt's quota directive to be challenged in Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: The Centre’s troubles over the OBC quota are far from over. The government’s directive to central educational institutions issued on Sunday will be challenged in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The Youth for Equality, a group of anti-quota activists, will argue that the Centre has gone against the apex court’s ‘directive’ not to extend the quota system beyond the graduation level and transfer of unfilled OBC seats to the general category. The Youth For Equality is giving premium on the judgement delivered by Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice C K Thakker. There has to be proper identification of Other Backward Classes. For identifying Backward Classes, the commission set up pursuant to the directions of this court in Indira Sawhney No.1 has to work more effectively and not merely decide applications for inclusion or exclusion of castes. While determining backwardness, graduation (not technical graduation) or professional education shall be the standard test yardstick for measuring backwardness. Justice Dalveer Bhandari was more categorical on this issue. “Once a candidate graduates from a university, the said candidate is educationally forward and is ineligible for special benefits under Article 15(5) of the Constitution for post graduate and any further studies thereafter,” Justice Bhandari had said. The Youth for Equality will also argue that the Centre’s directive to educational institutions has ‘rejected the SC directive’ on the cut off mark and transfer of seats to the general category. Justices Pasayat and Thakker had sought the transfer of vacant quota seats to the general category. “If any seats remain vacant after adopting such norms, they shall be filled up by candidates from general categories,” Justice Pasayat wrote in the judgement. On cut off marks, Justice Dalveer Bhandari was clear cut: “It is reasonable to balance reservation with other societal interests. To maintain standards of excellence, cut off marks for OBCs should be set not more than 10 marks out of 100 below that of the general category.” Justice Pasayat supported this view, but left the details for the government to work out. “The central government shall examine the desirability of fixing cut-off marks in respect of the candidates belonging to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs). By way of illustration it can be indicated that five grace marks can be extended to such candidates below the minimum eligibility marks fixed for general categories of students. This would ensure quality and merit would not suffer”. Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice R V Raveendran who were part of the five-judge Constitution Bench which upheld the legality of Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006, providing 27% quota for OBCs in such premier institutions did not speak on such cut marks for OBC students.
22 Apr, 2008, 0545 hrs IST,Sanjay K Singh, TNN

Relief for man who dared to file PIL

MUKTSAR: Three years after a criminal case was registered against the family members of a person who filed a PIL in the infamous DSP recruitment scam during the Congress regime in February 2004, vigilance department finally cancelled the FIR.
The PIL had led to cancellation of recruitment of DSPs, and as one of the candidates was Bikramjit Singh, son of BIS Chahal, media advisor to the then CM Amarinder Singh, the person who filed the PIL allegedly faced many problems.
After Jaskaran Singh Brar, a resident of Bhagsar village in Muktsar, filed the PIL in February 2004, his family and friends started facing harassment from police. On October 8, 2004, the vigilance department arrested his father and brother after registering a criminal case against them. They were arrested in connection with an old-age pension case. Though the vigilance produced a challan and the court of special judge, Muktsar, framed the charges, after SAD-BJP government came into power, Jaskaran’s family moved an application for reinvestigation.
After an inquiry by DSP vigilance, Muktsar, the joint director prosecution (vigilance) recommended cancellation of the case in February 2008. The court summoned the DSP who had registered the case in February 2004.Posted by mynation on April 22nd, 2008

Passengers demand commuter-friendly renovation at U’nr

Commuters are alleging that the ongoing renovation at Ulhasnagar station is seemingly not being executed properly and are asking for more passenger amenities at the station
The Central Railway is renovating the Ulhasnagar railway station. However commuters say that this renovation is going to be of no use as they are working without any development plan. The Central Railway (CR) is spending Rs 25 lakh on the renovation work.
The work at the station started four months back and is still continuing. Resultantly the commuters have to face troubles because of several hurdles at the entrance area of the station. Ulhasnagar is one of the busiest stations on the Karjat - Kalyan route of the CR and currently witnesses more than 75,000 commuters daily. The station generates monthly revenue of Rs 2 crore.
Initially the station premise was in ramshackle condition and the railways constructed a bigger structure in 1995. During 13 years of its existence, the CR spent approximately Rs 15 lakh on its repair work and in the present year, they are planning to spend Rs 25 lakh without any proper plan.
Ganesh Patil, a regular railway commuter and an architect by profession informs, "It seems that the work is going on without any proper planning just as it was when it was constructed 10 years back. If the construction work was done with proper planning, then there would have been no need of the ongoing renovation work for the next 25 years. However renovating the premise within 13 years of its construction is not a good sign," he says.
Shitaldas Harchandani, president of the Ulhasnagar passengers' association laments, "We were in constant contact with the CR authorities from the last many years for its development. However when we enquired about the development plan, the in-charge for the project was unable to give satisfactory replies.
" Harchandani claims that since the development work is going on without any proper planning, the association is all set to file a PIL against the railways.Regular railway commuters using the Ulhasnagar railway station say that along with the basic structure, the railways should also work on the amenities provided within the station premises. "Several of the coupons validating machines are not working and one booking window on the West side is also usually closed.
Moreover the commuters waiting for trains are harassed by beggars and stray dogs. The railways must also address these problems," complains a commuter. When contacted, the CR authorities tried to dodge the question of the poor planning of the station premises.
A H Yethe, senior section engineer (Vithalwadi - Karjat) informed, "The CR had planned several development and beautification projects for the suburban railway stations.
We recently completed the work at Ambernath station and have started the work at Ulhasnagar," he said. However when enquired about the pathetic condition of the station in 13 years he replied, "There was a problem in the basic structure of the station and therefore we are working on strengthening the foundation," he said. While speaking over these problems, a railway official said that the railway was planning to add five more booking windows in addition to the existing four. domkalplus@gmail.com
Sudesh Malvankar
Posted On Sunday, April 20, 2008

SC declines to entertain PIL on Haj-like subsidy for pilgrims

New Delhi, April 21: The Supreme Court today declined to entertain a petition seeking a subsidy for pilgrims of various religious faiths, for visiting places of worship in neighbouring countries, as granted by the Government to Muslims for the Haj.The petitioner had sought subsidy for Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist pilgrims for visiting religious places in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and China.A Bench headed by the Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan said it could not pass any direction for providing subsidy on the lines of the Haj pilgrimage and those who wanted such relief could approach the government."We straight away cannot pass any order. You (petitioner) can go to the government and make a representation about the places where you want to go," said the Bench, also comprising Justice R V Raveendran.Following the remarks of the Bench, the advocate Ashok Kumar Pandey, who had filed the PIL, preferred to withdraw the petition.Pandey had challenged the Allahabad High Court order dismissing the PIL seeking subsidy for people of other religious faith as granted by the Government to Muslims for Haj pilgrimage.He had alleged that the actions and activities of Government was discriminatory as far as the grant of subsidies to the Hindus including Buddhist, Jains and Sikhs are concerned for their yatras to religious places in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and China.He submitted that while the government was providing subsidy of Rs 400 crores for Haj pilgrimage, no such grant was there for others.He had sought subsidising travel of Hindus for visiting Ashok Vatika and other places situated in Sri Lanka and other religious places in Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and China.
Posted at Monday, 21 April 2008 17:04 IST

VW shareholders to tangle over VW Law

BERLIN: For the first time since Porsche made it clear it wanted to take over Volkswagen, all key players will gather Thursday for a general assembly of shareholders where fireworks are foreseen. On one side is the Porsche family, headed by Wolfgang Porsche and Ferdinand Piech, united in their plan to acquire the biggest European auto manufacturer. On the other is the IG Metall trade union, which represents more than 90 percent of VW staff, along with the state of Lower Saxony where VW is based and which owns just over 20 percent of the company. The union and political leaders are worried about a possible revolution within the group, one of Germany's iconic industrial successes following World War II. The stakes are high. Both sides want to shape the future of VW, which intends to become the biggest car maker in the world. Since it was created by the Nazi regime, VW has never been a company like the others. Run according to a law that bears its name, it was privatised around 50 years ago only on condition that significant worker rights were guaranteed. Lower Saxony retained a minority blocking stake as well. A model of German co-management, VW then turned out several models that made automotive history and are known worldwide, such as the Beetle, the mini-van and the Golf. But times change, and the auto giant, which has more than 300,000 workers and also owns the Audi, Lamborghini, Seat, Skoda car brands in addition to Scania trucks, is set to be swallowed by a company much smaller than itself: Porsche. The producer of the 911 sports car, said to be the most profitable car maker in the world, is determined to make VW "a normal company," in the words of Porsche boss Wendelin Wiedeking. He fervently opposes the "VW Law" that was struck down in October by the European Court of Justice, and wants to change VW's statutes at the meeting on Thursday in the northern port of Hamburg. The German government however, is working on a new version of the law that would retain key provisions while addressing clauses specifically banned by the court's ruling. One such measure requires that strategic decisions like plant relocations be approved by more than 80 percent of the shareholders, which gives Lower Saxony a virtual veto. The state has already made it known that it would vote against proposed changes to VW's statute on Thursday. "After the war, Volkswagen was destined to become a group owned by the people, with its shares distributed widely. There was not supposed to be a dominant shareholder," regional premier Christian Wulff said recently. "That is why it should be possible to conserve a minority blocking stake," he added. Representatives of IG Metall, which plans a demonstration on Thursday, will also vote against such changes. Union representative Bernd Osterloh considers the Porsche takeover bid to be a hostile offer, and wants to reach a "reasonable balance between a race for profits and job protection." Porsche is therefore unlikely to get changes approved on Thursday. "Nothing spectacular should emerge from the general assembly," commented Juergen Pieper, an analyst at the private German bank Metzler. "These are only simulated skirmishes, rhetoric," he said. "In reality, it will be relatively easy for Porsche to get ahold of VW." But German auto expert Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, a Porsche partisan, said there could well be a major development in Hamburg. "I am convinced that Porsche will announce Thursday that it holds more than 50 percent of the capital in VW," less than two months after saying it had begun to build its stake, Dudenhoeffer told AFP. An announcement would not suffice to change the company's statues but would put serious pressure on those opposed to a takeover.
22 Apr, 2008, 0938 hrs IST, AGENCIES

Bedi blames law enforcement agencies for piracy

Washington (PTI): A veteran Bollywood filmmaker has said that problems of piracy and counterfeiting were plaguing the Indian entertainment and blamed the law enforcement agencies for the scenario.
Ahead of the World Intellectual Property Day on Saturday, filmmaker Bobby Bedi slammed the government of India for poor enforcement of the "great laws" to curb piracy.
"The law is all there. The real problem is the enforcement of the law. The authority at ground level does not really take serious action. As a result it becomes a joke," Bedi, who brought the issue before the US Congress, told PTI.
"Today in Bombay, for example, you could go to jail for a night for talking on your mobile phone while driving. But if you are caught with cable piracy, it is not so easy to prosecute. There is no sense in having a law that cannot be enforced," Bedi said.
"But that is India's problem in so many areas. We have great laws and not so great enforcement," Bedi said.
The top Indian film producer warned members of Congress about the massive problems of piracy and counterfeiting plaguing the entertainment industries in India and other developing countries.
Bedi's remarks assumes significance in view of a recent study by Ernst & Young showing that the Indian entertainment industry was losing $ 4 billion a year, representing almost 40 per cent of their potential annual revenue, due to piracy and counterfeiting.
"Tonight we hear the story of one filmmaker who has made a tremendous contribution to India's burgeoning entertainment industry. He represents one of the thousands of filmmakers around the world who are victims of piracy," said California Congresswoman Diane Watson.
Michael P. Ryan, director of the Creative and Innovative Economy at the GW Law School, argued that originality and innovation are essential to driving long-term growth in developing economies and that piracy creates a real dilemma for filmmakers like Bedi as it curtails their imagination.
"So long as pirates earn a high share of movie revenues, producers must focus on making relatively inexpensive movies. To finance a grander vision, the creators must receive not just the critical but also the monetary rewards of inventiveness.
"The Indian film industry is the largest in the world with more than 1,000 films produced each year," Ryan said.
Bedi is critically acclaimed for his work in films, including Bandit Queen, Fire and Saathya. He is now producing a three-film series on the Indian legend, the Mahabharata, at an estimated cost of $ 70 million. It will be India's most expensive movie venture ever.
According to a report India's television industry loses $ 2.68 billion and as many as 820,000 direct jobs are also lost as a result of theft and piracy.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008


We at e-voice of human rights watch has requested for following information ( ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ) from honourable CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA , SUPREME COURT OF INDIA , NEW DELHI , UNION HOME SECRETARY , GOI , NEW DELHI , DG&IG OF POLICE , GOK , BANGALORE , COMMISSIONER , BANGALORE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY , BANGALORE & COMMISSIONER , MYSORE URBAN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY , MYSORE , as per RTI Act . All of them have failed to provide complete truthful information to us.
Full Case details are given at following web page,
http://crosscji.blogspot.com/ , http://crossexamofchiefjustice.blogspot.com/ ,
http://crimesofsupremecourt.wordpress.com/ , http://crosscji.wordpress.com/ ,
http://crossexamofchiefjustice.wordpress.com/ ,
http://crosscji.blogspot.com/ , http://crossexamofchiefjustice.blogspot.com/ ,
http://crimesofsupremecourt.wordpress.com/ , http://crosscji.wordpress.com/ ,
http://crossexamofchiefjustice.wordpress.com/ ,
http://crosscji.blogspot.com/ , http://crossexamofchiefjustice.blogspot.com/ ,
http://crimesofsupremecourt.wordpress.com/ , http://crosscji.wordpress.com/ ,
http://crossexamofchiefjustice.wordpress.com/ ,
http://crimesofmuda.blogspot.com/ , http://manivannanmuda.blogspot.com/ ,
http://crimesatmudamysore.wordpress.com/ ,
http://crimesofbda.blogspot.com/ , http://bdacrimes.wordpress.com/ ,
Hereby , we do once again request you to order the said public servants - to comply with RTI Act & to provide the full information to us at the earliest. JAI HIND. VANDE MATARAM.
Your's sincerely,
Editor: Nagaraj.M.R....vol.4 . issue.16......19/04/2008

CJI seeks more courts for graft cases under CBI

New Delhi: The Chief Justice of India has asked the government to set up additional courts for trials in corruption cases investigated by the CBI, Law and Justice Minister H R Bhardwaj informed the Rajya Sabha today. "In recent letters dated April 7,2008,the Chief Justice of India has desired that additional courts for trial of corruption cases investigated by CBI and more family courts be set up," the Minister said in reply to a question. The Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan has been emphasising the need to increase the judicial manpower in subordinate courts. "The matter is under consideration with the government," Bhardwaj said. To a separate question, the minister said the government will consider setting up more benches of High Court in Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and other states if the respective state government proposed to finance such an endeavour. Bench of High Courts away from the Principle Seat of Justice can only be set up upon the recommendation of Governor and the Chief Justice of the High Court in the state. Setting up a High Court bench would cost the state government between Rs 200 crore to 300 crore, he said pointing that many states were not ready to spend that kind of money on the infrastructure needed for the new benches. The government had, in 1987,brought to the notice of the state governments the recommendations of the Jaswant Singh Commission fixing norms for setting up of Benches of High Courts away from their principal seats. The Central Government cannot force setting up of new benches, he said, adding there was no proposal from Orissa or Madhya Pradesh for setting up of new benches of the respective High Courts.Source : PTI
Monday, April 21, 2008 14:10 [IST]
Monday, April 21, 2008

Is the CJI a public servant?

NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan's contention that the CJI was not a public servant but a constitutional authority flies in the face of a 1991 ruling by a five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court which held that all judges of the apex court and high courts were "public servants". Justice Balakrishnan recently said, "The Chief Justice is not a public servant. He is a constitutional authority. RTI does not cover constitutional authorities." This assertion appears contrary to the ruling of the five-judge Bench, which by a 4:1 majority, held that "a judge of the high court or the Supreme Court is a 'public servant' within the meaning of Section 2 of the Prevention of Corruption Act". The RTI Act had not been conceived at that time and the SC could not debate whether a person categorised as public servant under PC Act would retain his classification under the RTI Act. In the judgment given on July 25, 1991, the apex court had rejected the plea of a former HC chief justice, K Veeraswamy, seeking quashing of criminal proceedings initiated against him by the CBI for accumulating disproportionate assets during his tenure as CJ. Justices K J Shetty, B C Ray, L M Sharma and M N Venkatachalliah unanimously came to the conclusion that all judges of the superior courts were "public servants". Justice J S Verma dissented. "A judge or chief justice of a high court is a constitutional functionary, even though he holds a public office and in that sense, he may be included in the wide definition of a public servant." He said that as there was no authority nominated in the PC Act to sanction prosecution of SC and HC judges, they could not be classified as public servants under the anti-corruption law. The majority did not agree with Justice Verma. They said for sanctioning prosecution of a judge of the Supreme Court or high court in a corruption case, the President would be the competent authority, though no criminal case would be registered without first consulting the chief justice of the court where the judge was working. "If the Chief Justice of India himself is the person against whom allegations of criminal misconduct are received, the government shall consult any other judge or judges of the Supreme Court," the majority verdict said. dhananjay.mahapatra@timesgroup.com
22 Apr 2008, 0300 hrs IST , Dhananjay Mahapatra , TNN

HC stays narco-tests on Dawood aide

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today stayed narco-analysis and brain mapping tests on Brijesh Singh, an alleged Dawood Ibrahim aide and accused in the 1992 J J Hospital shootout case.Sessions Court had earlier this month had allowed the police to get the tests conducted on him, a decision which Singh challenged in the High Court.A Division Bench of Justices Bilal Nazki and A P Bhangale admitted the petition and stayed the tests.Singh was arrested in Uttar Pradesh last year. He was later handed over to Mumbai Police in connection with the shootout in which Arun Gawli gang member Shailesh Haldankar and two Police Constables were killed by Dawood's men.The shootout took place when Haldankar was admitted to the government-run hospital, where he was being guarded by the police.© Copyright 2008 PTI. All rights reserved.
Monday, April 21, 2008

HC fines man for presenting fake mark sheet

Lucknow: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on a man for using a fake mark sheet to show a minor girl as a major.The Court also directed the registrar of Lucknow bench to lodge an FIR against Ram Shankar who had filed a forged mark sheet so that the court would pass an order in his favour.Justice V.D. Chaturvedi today passed this order on a writ petition filed by Ram Shankar allegedly on behalf of the minor girl.Claiming that the age of the girl was 20 years, the petitioner had filed the mark sheet purported to have been issued by Shiv Bhagwati Junior High School, Unnao which showed her as born in July 1987. It was stated in the petition that she married Ram Shankar at an Arya Samaj temple on August 31, 2007.The girl's father Om Prakash had lodged an FIR saying that the age of the girl was 15 years on July 24, 2007 when she was allegedly kidnapped by Ram Shankar.The girl's father filed another mark sheet issued by Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati Mission School, Unnao which showed her as a minor.Both marksheets were sent to the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Unnao for inquiry and it was found that the mark sheet submitted by Ram Shankar was fake and that she had never studied in the said school.The court further directed CJM, Unnao to recover the minor girl and restore her to the father.Tuesday, April 22, 2008

© Copyright 2008 PTI. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 21, 2008