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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

LEGAL NEWS & JUDGMENT 28/29.04.2009

GHCL bars Pramod Jain from board meet; director contests

Press Trust Of India / New Delhi April 28, 2009, 16:28 IST
Soda ash maker GHCL Ltd has barred its additional director Pramod Jain from attending a board meeting on April 30 saying he ceases to be a member on that day, a claim contested by the official
Jain, who also claims to hold about six per cent equity in GHCL and was appointed to the board on January 30, said that he had submitted to the chairman a post-dated resignation to be effective on April 30, but withdrew it later after finding financial mis-management in the company.
But, GHCL, which has received an adverse interim order from market regulator SEBI last week on discrepancies in promoter shareholding, said the withdrawal of the resignation was not acceptable and the company has acquired a legal opinion on the issue.
When contacted, a GHCL spokesperson said that Jain had resigned "irrevocably" and it could not be withdrawn as per the legal opinion obtained by them from former Chief Justice of India V N Khare.
Jain, on the other hand, said that he has also obtained legal opinion from former CJI R C Lahoti, as per which his resignation could be withdrawn.
The director-shareholder also said that GHCL did not accept the withdrawal of his resignation as he wanted to raise certain issues with the board regarding the irregularities at the company.
Jain further said that GHCL promoters should come out with an open offer to repurchase share from the public shareholders at the same price -- Rs 100-125 a share -- at which they offloaded their shares last year and brought down their holding from 47-48 % to about 18 %. Shares are currently trading at below Rs 30 a share at BSE.
Jain said that he has also written to market authorities -- SEBI, BSE and NSE -- about the issue and alleged irregularities in the company.
GHCL is holding probably its first board meeting after the SEBI order on April 30, wherein it would consider the company's quarterly results.

SC constitutes new pay commission for 14,000 trial court judges
29 Apr 2009, 0139 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN
NEW DELHI: If the Chief Justice of India and judges of the Supreme Court and the high courts got a three-fold salary hike, should the lowly paid trial court judges be left out? The Supreme Court doesn't think so. On Tuesday, a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal constituted a new pay commission headed by retired Madras High Court judge, Justice E Padmanabhan, to recommend a suitable upward revision of the salaries of 14,000-odd judges of the subordinate judiciary. The Bench requested Justice Padmanabhan to give a report, if possible, suggeting increased pay-scales for the trial court judges by July 28, when the matter would be taken up again. The process of appointment of the Padmanabhan Commission was speeded up thanks to the undiluted support from amicus curiae and senior advocate Fali S Nariman to the cause of the lower judiciary, which received support from additional solicitor general Mohan Parasaran. This order from the SC came on a petition by All India Judges Association, which said the first judicial pay commission headed by Justice Jagannatha Shetty had said that whenever there was an upward revision of salaries of HC judges, the salaries of lower court judges should also be proportionately revised. It has sought a direction from the court to the Centre to "forthwith appoint a committee of one or more persons to look into the matter" relating to the pay-scales of the presiding officers of the lower judiciary. After getting respectable salaries for himself, SC and HC judges, the CJI had on January 7 talked to TOI expressing concern over the low salaries of the lower court judges. "Their monthly take home is even lower than their counterparts in the executive," he had said. The first National Judicial Pay Commission (NJPC) headed by Justice Shetty was constituted on March 21, 1996, and it gave its recommendations in November 1999. It had recommended a salary hike that entitled civil judge (junior division) a starting monthly salary of Rs 11,775, civil judge (senior division) Rs 15,200, District Judge (entry level) Rs 20,800 and District Judge (supertime scale) Rs 23,850. But, this was recommended keeping in view the then salaries of HC judges which was fixed at Rs 26,000 a month and that of an HC CJ Rs 30,000, SC judges Rs 30,000 and CJI Rs 33,000. The salary structure for the higher judiciary recently got changed with the government agreeing to revise the salary of HC judges to Rs 80,000, HC CJ Rs 90,000, SC judges Rs 90,000 and CJI Rs 1 lakh. dhananjay.mahapatra@timesgroup.com

PIL filed over Board's paper assessment issue
29 Apr 2009, 0301 hrs IST, TNN
AHMEDABAD: A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in Gujarat High Court, expressing reservations against the practice of employing Gujarati medium teachers to assess answer papers of English medium students in boards. On basis of newspaper's reports, Praful Desai of Senior Citizen Service Trust has filed a PIL that claims that due to shortage of teachers in English medium, the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) assigns task of assessment of copies written by English medium students to teachers who teach in Gujarati medium. In his PIL, Desai has claimed that the Gujarati medium teachers cannot do justice to English medium students, and the students suffer in their ranking. He has argued that because of defective assessment those students who manage to score high rank in entrance exams for medical and engineering courses, actually score lower than the Gujarati medium students. The petitioner has also informed the court that he sought information in this regard under the RTI laws, and despite a favourable order by a deputy secretary of the education department, the staffers didn't provide any data. When Desai complained in this regard before the information commission, the department forwarded an excuse that the staff was over-burdened with exam work. In his PIL, Desai has urged the court to direct the education department to explain what measures it has taken to resolve this issue, so that the English medium students get fair treatment in assessment of their copies of Class X and XII. A report from the education department in this regard has also been sought by the petitioner. When the petition came up for hearing, a division bench of Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi asked the public prosecutor to take necessary instructions from the education department. The court has kept May 13 for further hearing in this case.

PIL against Akhilesh Das
29 Apr 2009, 0523 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: The High Court has directed the state counsel to obtain instructions from the state government on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging that BSP candidate from Lucknow Parliamentary constituency Akhilesh Das has acquired 76 acre land from Dalit farmers of Barabanki against rules and used it for commercial purpose. Advocate GC Joshi in his PIL has alleged that Das acquired over 76 acre of agriculture land in Sarswa Simra Saraishekh village in low prices from Dalit farmers by violating Lucknow's master plan rules and UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Development Act 1950 and got the land transferred to a company owned by his son. Demanding high-level probe into the matter, the petitioner also alleged that Das also violated rules by levelling a pond and constructing his group of educational institutes over it. However, no action has been taken against Das because he is well connected in the government. Joshi also claimed that senior government officers were also involved in the scam, which had resulted in huge revenue losses to the government. The division bench comprising Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice Sayyed Nazim Hussain Jaidi after hearing the petition instructed the government counsel to obtain instructions from the state government on the matter. The case has been listed for May 12 for hearing.

Apply Gujarat riot case principle to Sikh riots case: PIL in SC
29 Apr 2009, 0138 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: A day after Supreme Court directed a Special Investigation Team probe into the alleged role of chief minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 post-Godhra communal carnage, a PIL sought to draw a parallel between the Gujarat riots and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots seeking parallel treatment by the judiciary. The petition filed by advocate M S Butalia said the Supreme Court has handled the Gujarat riot cases with singular motive to bring to book the alleged perpetrators of the mayhem and requested it to take up the hundreds of anti-Sikh riots cases pending in various courts for 25 years without there being any justice to the victims and their families. The PIL, filed through advocate Harshvir Pratap Singh, was also categoric that pendency of the anti-Sikh riot cases for 25 years made a mockery of the criminal justice system that should equally protect the victims and the right of the accused for a speedy trial. If the accused are guilty, they should be punished or else they be let off, the PIL said while seeking an independent probe into the anti-Sikh riot cases on the line similar to one being conducted by SIT under ex-CBI director R K Raghavan into the Gujarat riot cases. Referring to the infamous Best Bakery case and the judgment in it, the PIL petitioner said the SC had laid down several guidelines regarding the trial, which was transferred to Mumbai, to be conducted in a free and fair manner. Butalia in his petition pleaded that after a free and fair investigation into the anti-Sikh riot cases, the trial should be conducted by public prosecutors appointed in consultation with the families of the victims. The Supreme Court had on Monday ordered a SIT probe into the alleged role of chief minister Narendra Modi, his cabinet colleagues, BJP MLAs, VHP leaders including Praveen Togadia, and top police officials and bureaucrats on the basis of a complaint filed by Jakia Nasim Ahesan Jaffri, widow of ex-Congress MP Ehsan Jaffri who was killed by a rampaging mob at Gulbarg Society in 2002.

CBI's decision to withdraw red corner notice against Q challenged in SC
29 Apr 2009, 0233 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: The CBI's decision to withdraw the Red Corner Notice against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi in the Rs 64 crore Bofors payoff case was challenged in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The challenge came through a hurriedly drafted 18-page application by advocate Ajay Agrawal that was filed in the SC Registry minutes before the court closed for the day. Agrawal moved the application in his PIL, pending since 2006, challenging CBI's lackadaisical approach in getting Quattrocchi extradited from Argentina, where Interpol authorities had arrested him on the basis of the Red Corner Notice issued at the request of CBI. The PIL has also questioned the manner in which the UPA government had given consent in 2006 to the Crown Prosecution of UK to defreeze Quattrocchi's bank account, which was lying frozen since 2003 on the allegation that part of Bofors payoff money was deposited there. In his application in the pending PIL, Agrawal requested the apex court to set aside the CBI's decision to withdraw the Red Corner Notice against Quattrocchi. He has also pleaded that the Red Corner Notice be reissued against the Italian businessman, who should be arrested and produced before the concerned court in India for trial. He said the CBI and the government have done enough "flip flops" on the issue and alleged that both have shown disrespect to the apex court's orders. Giving an instance, he said despite the January 16, 2006, order directing status quo in the defreezing of Quattrocchi's London bank account, the government and CBI did nothing to prevent the money from being withdrawn immediately by Quattrocchi. "It is clear from the conduct of the CBI top officials and the government of India that they wanted Quattrocchi to get the frozen money and for that purpose the government sent its law officer to London to facilitate the release," Agrawal alleged. He also cited the October 7, 2005, unsolicted opinion of additional solicitor general, Kalyan Pathak, who was asked to give an opinion whether or not CBI should appeal against the May 31, 2005, judgment of the Delhi High Court giving a clean chit to the Hinduja brothers. But, he went on to opine that Quattrocchi was not a fugitive and no case against him would stand in the Indian court.

SC asks Centre to appoint committee to solve water crisis
29 Apr 2009, 0218 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Observing that those in power had no right to rule if they could not provide things as basic to life as water, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Centre to set up a high-level committee within two months to carry out research on a war footing to solve the problem of water shortage in the country. "We direct the central government to forthwith constitute a committee which shall do scientific research on a war footing for solving the water shortage in most parts of our country because of which our people are suffering terribly," ordered a Bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and H L Dattu. The order came on a PIL filed by advocate M K Balakrishnan, whose concern was limited to the vanishing wetlands in the country. However, the Bench on March 26 had expanded the scope of the PIL and made it into one dealing with the water crisis in several parts of the country. Quoting poet Rahim on the vital connection between life and water, the Bench said, "The central government is directed to form this committee to address the water shortage problem at the earliest, latest within two months from today. This committee shall have the secretary, ministry of science and technology, as its chairman." Allowing it freedom to take help of foreign scientists if needed, the Bench said the scientific research should focus on finding out inexpensive methods of converting saline water into fresh water. It should also explore means to harness and manage rain water and "also to manage flood water and research in rain water harvesting, treatment of waste water so that it may be recycled and available as potable water". It asked the chairman of the committee to give first progress report by August 11 detailing the activities on solving the water crisis.

HC prod for rail bridge
Ranchi, April 28: Unhappy with the tardy progress of construction of a bridge over Namkum railway crossing, Jharkhand High Court today asked Governor Syed Sibtey Razi to depute one of his three advisers to look into the matter.
The bench also said that the adviser should furnish a report, identifying which agency is responsible for the delay in construction work. The adviser will have to furnish the report on May 15.
The high court had earlier directed a host of senior government officials, including the Union surface transport secretary, liasoning officer, state road construction secretary and the Ranchi divisional railway manager, to appear in person in this regard. While all the summoned officials, except the road construction secretary, were present today, the court again asked them to appear on the next date when the adviser’s report will be tabled.
The court passed the order while hearing a PIL filed by one Dhananjay Dubey. Dubey had said in the PIL that despite tall claims and assurances of the government, the bridge had not been completed, which was a defiance of the court orders. The court observed that though the money had already been sanctioned and released by the Union government, work had not progressed satisfactorily and there was unnecessary delay.
The railway crossing at Namkum is strategically located and is an important link between the Tata and Purulia roads on national highway.
Heavy traffic plies down the road with army vehicles from the cantonement at Namkum. The road being narrow gets congested and results in long traffic jams affecting commuters, the petitioner said.

Arthur Road closure: HC tells state to have a normal trial and not panic
Express News Service
Posted: Apr 29, 2009 at 0051 hrs IST
Mumbai While hearing a PIL opposing the closure of Arthur Road in the wake Ajmal Amir Kasab’s trial, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday told the authorities that though they should be prepared to deal with terror attacks, they should not panic.
The division bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice V K Tahilramani had earlier asked special Judge M L Tahaliyani (who is presiding over Kasab’s trial) to file a report in this matter. The confidential report was handed to High Court on Tuesday. Though the court would pass order on Wednesday, judges underlined that authorities must not go overboard in securing the trial premises.
“Reduce inconvenience (to local people) or shift the trial. Go to some jungle and set up court there,” Justice Nazki said. He added, “We must not give a message that we are frightened. We must have a normal life and a normal trial. There is thin line between preparation and panic. This shows panic.”
“Militants do not strike where you expect them to strike,” the judge said.
PIL was filed by residents and business establishments opposing the closure of Arthur Road to traffic. Petitioners’ lawyer pointed out that though road is closed for traffic, TV channel vans are allowed to park there.The judges then orally said that the vans and platform should be removed although an order to this effect has not been passed.
One half of Sane Guruji road along the jail wall has been closed by police, citing imminent and potential threat to the life of Kasab from terrorist organizations. Also, a platform has been erected for the media near the jail.
The police last week had said that the “underlying motive of contemplated attack is not only aimed to kill accused Kasab but also to scuttle judicial process and to send the signal of insecurity in the country.”
The case will be heard on Wednesday.

Probe anti-Sikh riots a la Best Bakery case: PIL
Legal Correspondent
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has been moved for a further probe into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, in which about 3,000 people were killed, on the lines of the directions issued in the Best Bakery case (during the 2002 riots in Gujarat), and for its monitoring the investigation.
The public interest litigation petition filed through advocate Harsh V. Pratap Sharma, sought a direction to the Central Bureau of Investigation to submit a report on the status of the probe so far; and a further investigation after taking suggestions from the victims and their families.
The advocate-petitioner, Manjit Singh Butalia, said that on March 29 information was leaked to the media that the CBI had given a clean chit to certain accused. It appeared that the CBI had not conducted the investigation freely and fairly, he said.
In the Best Bakery case in Vadodara, the petitioner pointed out, the Supreme Court clearly said, “If the state’s machinery fails to protect citizen’s life, liberties and property and the investigation is conducted in a manner to help the accused persons, it is miscarriage of justice that is perpetrated upon the victims and their family members.”
As per the directions issued in the Vineet Narain case, the filing of every charge sheet should be reviewed by the CBI Director but it was not done in the present case, Mr. Butalia said.
The State government should have taken the same measure as had been adopted in the Gujarat riots case for granting proper relief to the victims.

HC suspends Jerath's sentence
29 Apr 2009, 0440 hrs IST, TNN
CHANDIGARH: Justice Rajive Bhalla of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, on Tuesday, suspended the sentence of three-year rigorous imprisonment handed down by the special judge, CBI, Chandigarh, to former UT chief engineer KK Jerath on April 10 in a corruption case dating back to January 1998. The orders came in the wake of an appeal filed by Jerath against the CBI court’s order on the grounds that it erred in ignoring independent sources of income of some of the defence witnesses, including his relatives BK Khanna, Kapil Jerath and Savita Jerath, and in adding their income and assets to that of the petitioner. The CBI judge had sentenced Jerath to three-year RI for possessing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income, and directed confiscating of the former CE’s property since his assets, including fixed deposits and jewellery, had come to less than the disproportionate assets amounting to Rs 57 lakh. The court had also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the convict. However, the court granted bail to Jerath after he furnished bail bonds of Rs 50,000. Jerath?s jewellery had been assessed to be worth Rs 13 lakh and fixed deposits pegged at Rs 12 lakh. The CBI court had observed: Since these assets - fixed deposits, bank accounts and jewellery - were not sufficient, the plot of the convict (Jerath) in Panchkula also stands confiscated and forfeited. The corruption case had been registered against the former chief engineer following a raid by the income-tax department on November 20, 1997, which lead to the recovery of Rs 6.29 lakh from Jerath’s residence and Rs 5 lakh from his locker. Besides, the I-T department also detected property in the name of his wife and his sons. He had documents showing that his wife took music classes from which his earning had increased. The investigating officer had given some benefit to the accused, mentioning that Jerath had received Rs 2.45 lakh from his father-in-law.

Goshalas must give away cattle to women SHGs: HC
29 Apr 2009, 0337 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the state government to issue a circular to all goshalas in Tamil Nadu, making it clear that instead of auctioning cattle under their care, they should hand them over to women self-help groups (SHGs). The first bench comprising Chief Justice H L Gokhale and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla, passing orders on a public interest writ petition filed by advocate Elephant G Rajendran, also stipulated that the circular should be sent by the authorities within four weeks. The bench, taking into account the apprehensions expressed by the petitioner, referred to a January 6, 2009 report of the government, and pointed out that the government had taken several decisions to accord best possible care to the animals in goshalas. According to the decision, heads of cattle sent to goshalas would not exceed the latter's capacity, and that the district collectors would identity religious institutions and recognised women self-help groups to maintain the animals. Another decision talked about handing over these animals to temple priests, who could use the milk for religious purposes. The government had also decided to establish integrated cattle farms in temple lands at Palani, Tiruchendur, Rameswaram, Tiruchi, Salem, Madurai and Thanjavur. In his petition, Rajendran contended that despite several court directions and government decisions, the practice of sending animals to dubious goshalas and slaughterhouses continued in Tamil Nadu. Claiming that starvation deaths of animals occurred at Sri Ranganathan Temple at Srirangam and Ramanathar Temple at Rameswaram, he wanted the court to call for a detailed report from the commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department.

HC refers back death sentence case to lower court
29 Apr 2009, 0139 hrs IST, Vaibhav Ganjapure, TNN
NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Tuesday referred back a petition of death sentence to the lower court citing that the "convict failed to get enough chances to prove his credentials." Shatrughan Nimbalkar was accused of kidnapping and killing a two-year-old boy in Khamgaon. A division bench comprising justices A P Lavande and P B Varale directed the Khamgaon sessions court to decide the case before August 30. The case pertained to Shubham, son of Shrikrishna Fundkar, a relative of leader of opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council Pandurang Fundkar. The child was found brutally murdered under mysterious circumstances on August 28, 2004. A court of additional sessions judge A Z Telgote pronounced capital punishment to Nimbalkar on May 12 last year. Looking into seriousness of the case, the government had even appointed renowned lawyer Ujjwal Nikam as special public prosecutor. Shubham's killing was earlier believed to be a result of witchcraft as coconut and some other material related to worship was found near the body, but later on it came to light that the murder took place for ransom. After the Khamgaon sessions court's verdict, the case came before the Nagpur bench for confirmation of death sentence. The bench, while referring back the case, cited three discrepancies in the lower court's ruling. The high court bench observed that accused Nimbalkar's statement and documents as well as witnesses testimony based on Code of Ciminal Procedure (CrPC) were not taken into account while giving a ruling. Moreover, out of 14 witnesses, the accused was allowed to cross check only one. Additionally, the death penalty was not based on earlier charges of kidnapping under Indian Penal Code (IPC) which is mandatory as per CrPC. The bench also observed that the accused had full rights to cross check witnesses and examines proofs, but he was not allowed to do so.

HC directs Bar to inspect premises for law
29 Apr 2009, 0336 hrs IST, TNN

CHENNAI: Clearing the decks for the entry of another private law college in Tamil Nadu, the Madras High Court has directed the Bar Council of India (BCI) to inspect the premises owned by a Vellore-based trust without insisting on a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the state government. The first bench comprising the chief justice H L Gokhale and justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla, passing orders on an appeal filed by the BCI, however, said the BCI inspection would be subject to the NOC to be issued by the state government and the affiliation to be granted by the law university. The Vellore-based Shri Swarnavinayakar Educational Charitable and Rural Welfare Trust applied for a law college, and later filed a writ petition seeking a direction to the BCI to inspect the premises without an NOC from the state government and affiliation from the law university. After a single judge ruled in favour of the trust, the BCI filed the present appeal. The government, on its part, contended that under Rule 16 of the BCI Rules, an NOC from the government and the law university's affiliation were mandatory requirements for the BCI inspection. The judges, however, directed the BCI to conduct the inspection within six weeks, and said such an inspection would save time. Clarifying that the order was applicable to this case alone they said otherwise Rule 16 is the procedure to be followed by the authorities concerned.

HC asks for PWD report in sewer case
29 Apr 2009, 0355 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: After a TOI report last week that highlighted deaths of sewerage workers due to lack of facilities, the Delhi High Court has demanded a report from PWD in this regard. It has asked PWD that why despite HC orders to provide safety equipment to sewerage workers the situation has not improved. A division bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah took suo moto cognizance of the news report and issued notice to PWD, giving it a month's time to respond. HC has already issued contempt notices against the top officials of Delhi Jal Board, Delhi Development Authority and Delhi Small Industries Development Corporation on death of their sewerage workers in March. On Tuesday, HC asked the PWD to respond within a month. HC was referring to an incident that took place last week in blocks 59 and 60 at Police Colony when three sewerage workers allegedly fell unconscious due to the toxic gases inside a sewer in the locality. One of them, 25-year-old Vijlesh, regained consciousness and managed to climb out of the sewer. The other two, 30-year-old Vinod and 32-year-old Ajit, eventually drowned. According to the police, despite a 45 minute rescue operation they were not able to save the duo, who were declared brought dead at the Hindu Rao Hospital. The cases of sewer deaths are becoming common. Even after repeated warnings by HC, which had issued a detailed directive asking all government agencies like DJB to provide basic safety equipment to their workers, such mishaps are still taking place. The court had made it clear in its directions that it expects civic agencies not to differentiate between its workers and those sourced in on contract, so that the protective cover against toxic deaths is extended to all. The court also hiked the compensation amount to Rs 2.5 lakhs for every death. When despite these steps deaths occurred, HC issued contempt.

Shirgao mining operation: Environment ministry gets HC notice
28 Apr 2009, 0234 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Monday issued notice to the Union ministry of environment and forests after making it party to a public interest litigation filed by the villagers of Shirgao who complained of extensive mining operations in the village. A division bench comprising Justice B P Dharmadhikari and Justice U D Salvi passed the order while hearing an application filed by the villagers of Shirgao complaining of acute water shortage during the summer. The villagers claimed that the reason for shortage of water was the ground water pollution caused by the proximity of mines owned by three companies. It may be recalled that the court had on April 17, 2009, had directed the state government to provide additional water supply to the villagers of Shirgao during the Larai zatra at the cost of the three erring companies -- Bandekar Company Pvt Ltd, Chowgule Co Pvt Ltd, and Dempo Mining Co Pvt Ltd. However when the application came up for hearing, amicus curiae Norma Alvares pointed out that though the government was providing additional water supply to the area, it was insufficient to cater to the needs of all the villagers. Advocate general Subodh Kantak replied that the government would take steps to provide additional water supply to the area as directed by the court so that the requirements of the villagers are sufficiently met. The matter will be heard further on June 15.

No HC relief on age bar for LLB course
Anshika Misra
Wednesday, April 29, 2009 2:17 IST
Mumbai: Admissions to the three-year LLB course this year may be out of reach for those over 30 years of age. The Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to grant any relief in a PIL challenging the 30-year age bar introduced by the Bar Council of India (BCI) for the course.
The BCI, which governs standards of legal education in India, introduced a 20 years age limit for the five-year LLB course and a 30 years age bar for the three-year LLB course from this year.
Yasmin Tavaria, a city lawyer and law teacher, filed a PIL challenging the new rule. Tavaria sought a stay on the new rule stating that the BCI had not followed the mandatory condition of consulting the university. However, BCI lawyer Nitin Jamdar told the court that the move was a quality control measure to regulate the entry of persons in the legal profession.
Critics have panned BCIs move stating that there cannot be a bar on education and that several professionals enroll into a LLB course to garner legal knowledge. Tavaria sought a stay on the rule stating that colleges had to start printing their admission prospectus and if a stay was not granted then it would lead to chaos during admissions. Refusing interim relief, the HC clubbed Tavaria's petition along with another petition filed by a lady constable challenging the same rule. Both petitions will be heard in June.

New court complex: HC to decide on GMADA, state row
Posted: Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 0108 hrs IST
The ongoing dispute between the Punjab government and the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) over the construction of new district courts complex in Mohali will now be decided by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Despite sanction and clearance of land for the judicial and administrative complex in Sector 76, no construction has been started till date. It has been over six months since nod to the construction was given by the authorities concerned, including GMADA Chief Administrator and Mohali Deputy Commissioner, but no development has taken place on ground.
The GMADA blames the delay on the state government claiming the government has not even submitted a written proposal demanding transfer of land. On its part, the Punjab government says they have already sent the proposal to the departments concerned after which they will be sent to GMADA.
The issue was brought before the Building Committee, which comprises of High Court judges. Representatives from both the sides were called by the members of the committee to resolve the dispute.
Keeping in view the ongoing tussle, the committee has reportedly referred the case to the judicial side for settlement. The case will now be listed before an appropriate Bench with the Punjab government and GMADA opposite parties in the case.
Available information suggests the dispute had also arisen since GMADA officials had demanded market price for the land earmarked for the court complex. The Punjab government had, however, expressed its inability to pay the market price for the land.
Denying, Vivek Pratap Singh, Chief Administrator, GMADA stated: “We have never made any such demand. We are charging the institutional price which is barely ten per cent of the market price. Moreover, there is no delay on our part. We are ready to transfer the land to the Punjab government the moment they deposit the money for the land. But the Punjab government has not even submitted a proposal before us demanding transfer of the land.”
On the behalf of the Punjab government, P S Mand, Deputy Commissioner, Mohali said: “Proposals for the transfer of land have already been sent to the Financial Commissioner and Home Department. We got a little busy with the elections but the needful will be done within a short while.”

Allahabad High Court to decide NSA charge on Varun Gandhi

Lucknow: The judicial fate of Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Varun Gandhi will be determined by the Allahabad High Court today afternoon when the state advisory board takes a final call on the National Security Act (NSA) that was slapped on him by the Uttar Pradesh government earlier this month.
The meeting of the board is slated to be absolutely confidential. Sources, however, confirmed that Gandhi would appear before the board at 3.30 p.m.
The three-member board is headed by Justice Pradeep Kant, senior judge of the Lucknow bench of the high court, and includes two retired high court judges.
As the ultimate statutory authority on the NSA, the advisory board has the right to approve or revoke the government order invoking the act against Gandhi, the BJP candidate from the Pilibhit Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
The verdict of the advisory board is final and if it chooses to revoke the NSA, Gandhi would be set free with immediate effect. The law does not permit any NSA detenu to be accompanied by a lawyer before the advisory board. However, one person is free to join him.
Gandhi was charged for making highly inflammatory anti-Muslim utterances during his poll campaign in Pilibhit. (IANS)

Trace missing child, HC tells crime branch
28 Apr 2009, 0410 hrs IST, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Monday asked the crime branch to trace the four-year old son of an Ulhasnagar resident, who was allegedly kidnapped by her husband.
"We have to verify if the child is all right,'' said a division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice Rajesh Ketkar while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by Priti Chhug (26). Priti approached the HC after her husband Bunty Chhug absconded with their son Sujal on November 14, 2008, after a family court awarded her custody of the child. Bunty's father and brother, who are in the powerloom business, were present in court and said they didn't have any knowledge of his whereabouts. "Our police will find him (Bunty) wherever he flees,'' the judges warned. "We will not hesitate to even order the CBI to trace him.'' Additional public prosecutor Vithal Konde-Deshmukh said the Ulhasnagar police had handed over the probe papers to the crime branch.

Gradmom's drive to get girls back gets HC pat
Anshika Misra
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 3:30 IST
Mumbai: Kisabai Lokhande's desperate fight to bring back her two granddaughters who went "missing" from a children's remand home in Satara got support from the Bombay High Court on Monday.
Lokhande, a 66-yer-old illiterate vegetable vendor from Karad, had filed a petition in the HC seeking the court's intervention to get back her granddaughters, aged 14 and nine, who now reportedly stay with their adoptive parents in Spain. Lokhande has sought a probe against the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), the Central Adoption Resource Centre (CARA), a Spanish NGO and Preet Mandir, a Pune-based private adoption agency, for illegally declaring the two girls "destitute" and executing the inter-country adoption without their guardian's consent. "This is nothing short than kidnapping," Lokhande's lawyer Pradeep Havnur told the court.
"We are worried about such adoptions. There are allegations of malpractice. Such cases are on the rise," observed Justice Ranjana Desai, who heard the matter along with Justice RG Ketkar. The court has issued a notice to CARA,the central agency for inter-country adoptions and summoned a senior cop to the court on May 6.
The petition hints at a global adoption racket where agencies connive to get children declared as destitute, and adoption agencies receive money in the guise of donations for processing international adoptions. Lokhande has alleged that her granddaughters were declared "destitute" without her consent or knowledge.

Madras HC stays order on Subhiksha liquidation
Sreejiraj Eluvangal
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 3:48 IST
Mumbai: Embattled retail chain Subhiksha said the Madras High Court has granted its appeal for staying an earlier order appointing a provisional liquidator in a winding-up petition filed by Kotak Mahindra Bank.
The bank, one of the 13 financial institutions which have exposure to the 12-year-old retail chain, had broken ranks with others and filed a winding up petition against Subhiksha in the Madras High Court four weeks ago.
The banks are negotiating with Subhiksha to explore the possibility of an easier repayment schedule on the Rs 800 crore worth of loans they have advanced to the company.
Kotak Mahindra, which is estimated to have an exposure of Rs 40 crore to the chain, alleged that Subhiksha's case was not of normal bankruptcy but one of siphoning off of funds by the promoter, R Subramanian. The single judge had appointed the provisional liquidator before Subhiksha presented its arguments in court.
Subramanian, who is trying to resuscitate the closed down discount store, pointed to the stay on operations of the liquidator as vindication of his argument for more time. "It is pertinent to note that this stay has been granted only after hearing the counsel representing Kotak Mahindra Bank and after considering their representations," he said on the stay order.
Kotak Mahindra Bank did not confirm whether the earlier order had been stayed or not.
The court had earlier asked Subhiksha to submit all its accounts for the last three years for scrutiny by the liquidator by April 27. It was not clear whether that order was also stayed.
Subramanian has maintained that he is trying to raise around Rs 300 crore to restart the operations and it was premature to wind up the company now.

HC wants probe into Gehlot land transfer
28 Apr 2009, 0748 hrs IST, TNN
JAIPUR: With just over a week to go before the May 7 polls in the state, Rajasthan High Court on Monday directed a city court to start proceedings in a case of land allotment involving chief minister Ashok Gehlot. The high court also quashed the order of the trial court passed in February this year whereby it had refused to order a police investigation into the alleged land scam and had taken unto itself the work of investigation under Section 200 of the CrPC. Though Justice R S Rathore of the high court did not explicitly direct the trial court to order a police investigation in the case, it has asked the court to follow the direction given by the high court itself in the case of one Babulal last week in which the court had made it clear that in cases of a private complaint being filed by an individual under Section 156(3) of the code of criminal procedure, the trial court has no other option but to refer the matter for police investigation. The police, in turn, has to file an FIR before the investigation. An inference is now being drawn that an FIR shall be ordered to be registered against Ashok Gehlot and four others. The high court was hearing a criminal revision petition filed by Krishan Kumar Bharadwaj, a local resident, against a previous order of the additional chief judicial magistrate No 2 of the city.

Maidan: HC rejects DYFI plea
28 Apr 2009, 0238 hrs IST, TNN
KOLKATA: Calcutta High Court, on Monday, refused to buy the DYFI (CPM's youth wing) plea that it had no role to play in the damage done to the Maidan during its rally on December 20, 2008. Reacting to a submission that the damage had been done by caterers and hawkers, the division Bench of Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice T K Dutt observed that if an organisation brings out a rally and there is a violation of court orders by others, it does not have the right to hold any such programme in future. The court was hearing an appeal filed by environment activist Subhas Datta against violation of the court orders on protection of the Maidan by DYFI during its rally. In its report to the court, submitted on April 2, the army claimed that DYFI had violated the court orders and that it was not in favour of such programmes being held at the Maidan. DYFI, on the other hand, in its affidavit submitted on April 9, claimed that the army's allegations were baseless as there had been no violation of the court orders. The outfit referred to a Kolkata Police report, which stated that the violation had been committed by caterers and hawkers. The court expressed displeasure at the police's inability to enforce its orders of September 28, 2007, and May 8, 2008. Through those orders, the court had restricted activities within a three-kilometre radius of the Victoria Memorial Hall. One of the strictures was against lighting of open fires at the Maidan. The court had also forbidden digging up of the Maidan for any purpose. "We had fixed responsibility and had confidence but police failed. They simply expressed helplessness," the judges said regarding the police reaction. "You had organised the rally. If you had no control over the goings-on there, you should not hold such programmes. If any violation takes place, you are responsible. You cannot avoid it. You ought to have detected that cooking and other violations are taking place. For such offences, those responsible should have been handed over to police. That you did not do. Now, you take the plea that outsiders violated the court orders during the rally. For, the caterers did not come on their own. They must have been there at the behest of the organizers," the Bench told DYFI. Datta submitted that violations were taking place on a regular basis and reports and photographs were appearing in newspapers. He prayed to the court to set up a watchdog committee, comprising officers of the army

and police. The court reserved its order on the matter.

File SEZ pleas by May 7, HC directs petitioners
28 Apr 2009, 0242 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Monday directed all advocates appearing in petitions relating to special economic zones (SEZs) in the state to finish filing and exchanging their pleadings by May 7, 2009. A division bench of Justice B P Dharmadhikari and Justice U D Salvi made it clear that "no further adjournments would be granted". They further suggested that the petitions could be taken up for final disposal in June this year. The court was hearing petitions filed by six SEZ promoters who have challenged the show cause notices issued by the Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC). The notices direct the promoters to stop work and revert the land allotted to them by the state government, in view of a change in the state's SEZ policy. The promoters Meditab Specialities Pvt Ltd, Peninsular Pharma Research Centre Pvt Ltd, Paradigm Logistic & Distribution Private Ltd, Planetview Mercantile Company Pvt Ltd, Inox Mercentile Company Pvt Ltd and Maxgrow Finlease Pvt Ltdhave pleaded in their petitions that as they have invested heavily in the SEZ projects, they suffered huge losses due to the stop work orders issued by the state government. They prayed that the notices be quashed. Goa Industrial Development Corporation had acquired about 3.8 million sq m of land across the state to set up SEZs. Following large scale opposition from locals to the special economic zones in 2007-08, the state was forced to rethink its policy and subsequently issued show cause notices through the GIDC. Meanwhile, the court will, on May 7, also hear various public interest litigations filed by the villagers of Keri, Sancoale and Verna challenging the GIDC's decision to allot land in their respective villages on lease agreements for SEZs. The villagers have complained that the land was allotted fraudulently and without public involvement in the land allotment process.

Cover Sonsoddo site with tarpaulin, HC directs MMC
28 Apr 2009, 0242 hrs IST, TNN


PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Monday directed the Margao Municipal Council (MMC) to cover the Sonsoddo garbage site immediately with tarpaulin before the commencement of the monsoon, to prevent leachate from flowing out. A division bench of Justice B P Dharmadhikari and U D Salvi was hearing the public interest litigation filed by NGO Goa Foundation, who prayed that the court direct the MMC to treat the piling garbage at Sonsoddo. Advocate for the petitioner, Norma Alvares, pointed out that the government had allotted Rs 3 crore to the MMC to set up the landfill site at Sonsoddo. However, the money was lying unutilized, she told the court and pleaded that the MMC be directed to ensure that the site is covered with tarpaulin before the monsoon to prevent the garbage from being washed away. "The leachate would ultimately result in groundwater contamination," she argued. Advocate S D Padiyar, appearing for the MMC, told the court that the monitoring committee appointed by the government to ensure proper utilization of funds to manage the site, had still not taken a decision on the matter. He further informed the court that the MMC chief officer, who is also the convenor of the committee, will have to convene a meeting on the issue. The bench subsequently, directed the MMC to immediately cover the site with tarpaulin and also directed the chief officer to convene a meeting to decide the allotment of funds to purchase the tarpaulin. The court further ordered the MMC to submit a report of the meeting on May 5.

Settle I-T dispute out of court: HC tells Jet, Sahara
28 Apr 2009, 0139 hrs IST, ET Bureau
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Monday advised Jet Airways and Sahara India Commercial Corporation to resolve their dispute over an income tax liability out of court. Justice DY Chandrachud expressed hope, while hearing a separate application by Jet, that both the parties would sit together to sort out their differences over the issue. Jet and Sahara are fighting a legal battle over an income tax payment. The origin of the dispute dates back to April 2007. Jet had agreed to buy Sahara Airlines for Rs 1,450 crore, but paid about Rs 900 crore. The remaining amount of Rs 550 crore was to be paid in four equal installments. One of the clauses in the agreement between the parties stated that if there was a tax liability of over Rs 50 crore for the period before the filing of consent terms, the same would have to be borne by Sahara. When a tax liability of Rs 107 crore arose, the Jet paid only Rs 100.50 crore as the first installment after deducting the tax liability in March last year, to which Sahara did not raise any objections. However, when Jet did the same in March this year, Sahara claimed a default of Rs 37 crore. The High Court
will hear the case on Wednesday.

State healthcare system: Submit fresh report by May 4, HC tells panel
28 Apr 2009, 0237 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa has directed the panel of comissioners appointed to study the state's healthcare system, to submit a fresh inspection report by May 4 with regards the availability of infrastructure in government hospitals and primary health centres (PHCs). The order was passed on Monday after amicus curiae, senior counsel Saresh Lotlikar, pleaded for extra time for the commissioners to file the report. The division bench of Justice B P Dharmadhikari and Justice U D Salvi were hearing a public interest litigation filed by Prakash Sardessai last year. The petitioner has complained that the state's healthcare system is below the prescribed standards. He has alleged that the hospitals are understaffed and that some departments function in an inappropriate manner. Subsequently, the court appointed a team of commissioners to visit the state's healthcare facilities to examine the allegations made. On July 4, 2008, the commissioners submitted a detailed report highlighting the pathetic health facilities in the state. During the hearing of the matter on December 15, advocate general Subodh Kantak filed a chart detailing the infrastructure available in government hospitals and PHCs. The government also submitted the various steps it proposed to remove the defects and deficiencies in the system. On January 20, the court directed the commissioners to verify whether the steps proposed by the government had been put into action.

HC relief for real estate group Lok in IT issue

Published: April 28,2009

Mumbai , Apr 27 The Income Tax department has decided not to continue the attachment of 20 properties of city-based real estate company Lok Housing and Construction Ltd, the Bombay High Court has been told.
Lok had challenged the attachment, but following the department&aposs statement, High Court disposed of the case.
The I-T department had attached Lok properties and seized its bank accounts for non-payment of tax dues to the tune of Rs 98.42 crore
But as per the Income Tax Act, if such attachment is not extended, it ceases to have effect after six months. Last week, department&aposs lawyer told the court that attachment would not be extended.
The attached properties included Lok&aposs upcoming projects in Mumbai suburbs and lands. The property seized was valued at about Rs 210.67 crore
Lok had disputed the assessment done by IT department, saying that recession had hit it hard and taxable income was much less than the department&aposs calculation.
Several deals for sale of under-construction flats could not materialize because of recession, Lok said.
In view of its cancelled deals, tax liability for 2007-08 and 2008-09 would be around Rs six crore as against IT department&aposs demand of Rs 98.42 crore, it had said.
Source: PTI

Media should not interpret judgements: CJI
Posted: Apr 26, 2009 at 1942 hrs IST

Guwahati: Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan asked the media not to interpret courts' judgements, observing it leads to ‘distortion’ of facts.
"Very often it has been observed that media reports project a distorted version of the facts and the judgements delivered by the courts," Balakrishnan said.
Addressing a workshop on "Reporting on court proceeding on media and administration of justice" and "Implementation of national rural employment guarantee scheme", he asked the media to report court proceedings ‘correctly’ so that common people are not deprived of justice.
Urging the ‘senior editors’ to intervene and ensure that "wrong versions of judgements" are not reported, the CJI said there should be some "moral bindings" on journalists while reporting court proceedings.
"The media is the Fourth Estate of democracy and so they have to behave responsibly and work for the development of the society and the people," Balakrishnan said.
The CJI had a word of praise for the NREGA and said the scheme has been an instant success and helped in a big way in employment generation.

NREGA implementation Onus on Govt, NGOs, says CJI
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Staff ReporterGUWAHATI, April 26 – Chief Justice of India Justice KG Balakrishnan today said that onus is on the Government, administration, volunteers and the non-government organisations (NGOs) to effectively implement the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), 2005 in the North-east, which would go a long way in improving the condition of the rural population in the region. “If these forces work sincerely to ensure proper implementation of the Act, it would give a new boost to the rural employment scenario of the region,” he stated. Justice Balakrishnan also stated that proper implementation of NREGA in States like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala are showing good results and there is no reason why the same cannot be replicated in other parts of the country, including the NE.Balakrishnan was speaking during the inaugural session of a workshop on ‘Reporting of Court Proceeding by Media and Administration of Justice’ and an interactive programme on ‘Implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme’ here at the Administrative Staff College, Khanapara.“There are still some minor problems cropping up like delayed payment of wages which need to be sorted out but the good thing is that the women population of the country are availing the benefits of the scheme, which strives to ensure employed to rural unemployment youths for at least 100 days,” he pointed out. Dwelling on the issue of media reporting on court proceedings, the senior justice urged the mediapersons to be responsible, fair and accurate while reporting on legal affairs.“The mediapersons do enjoy special rights but they at the same time need to draw a line while dealing with sub judice and confidential matters,” he stressed, adding that the media, especially the visual media, by resorting to ‘sensationalisation’, at times knowingly and unknowingly, deprives the accused of a fair trial.“There are also chances of the judges, especially those with comparatively lesser experience, getting influenced by the media reports, which would not be right. Media should work with the judiciary to protect rights of both the victim and the accused,” the Chief Justice of India opined.“The Press Council of India also has a role to play in this regard and the media in the present scenario must work to empower the rural people,” he added. The seminars were also attended by Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court Justice J Chelameswar, Justice GN Ray, chairman, Press Council of India, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, judge, Gauhati High Court, besides several noted personalities. ASSAM TRIBUNE

Verdict in Ramabai Nagar firing case adjourned to May 5
27 Apr 2009, 1458 hrs IST, PTI
MUMBAI: The judgement in the 1997 Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar firing case has been adjourned till May 5 after the main accused filed an application seeking adjournment on health grounds. Advocate for prime accused State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) officer Manohar Kadam, M Pawar, today filed an application on behalf of the police officer seeking an exemption from appearing in the court since he was not well. Kadam is accused of having ordered indiscriminate firing on a Dalit mob in north east Mumbai on July 11, 1997 in which 10 persons were killed and 25 injured. The mob was protesting against the desecration of an Ambedkar statue. The prosecution argued that considering the gravity and sensitivity of the case the judgement should be delivered today and the accused should be summoned to court through a non-bailable warrant. However, additional sessions judge S Y Kulkarni said considering the accused's regular attendance in the past he can be exempted and the judgement will be delivered on May 5.

Court quashes appointment of JSEB chairman
Ranchi, April 27: Jharkhand High Court today quashed the appointment of H.B. Lal as the chairman of the Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB).
Declaring it illegal, the court in its order also questioned the role of the state in selecting Lal, who is 90 years old, for a second term as the JSEB head, ignoring rules for appointment to government posts.
A division bench of Justices M.Y. Eqbal and Jaya Roy said that the state should constitute a committee of JSEB officials to select the most suitable candidate.
It said government posts should be filled after inviting applications in general and then selecting the most eligible candidate on the basis of merit alone. However, in case of Lal, the state was rather hasty and did not follow the rulebook, it added.
Talking to The Telegraph, Lal said the judgment was not proper. “I will appeal to the Supreme Court against the order. I have been appointed again on the basis of merit and there is nothing wrong with it,” he said.
Lal's appointment came under scanner after one Sahodar Lal Mahto filed a public interest litigation (PIL) stating that the nonagenarian was incapacitated by age and was not the fittest candidate to head the organisation. Moreover, the PIL said that Lal had already retired from active service and could not take the post.
The division bench in its 22-page judgment said that the high court had on earlier occasions, too, observed that retired persons should not be re-appointed to the state power board.
Instead of appointing those superannuated, opportunity should be given to others to prove their mettle, the court had said.
Flouting the order, the state not only appointed Lal, who retired in 1978, as the chairman for the first time in 2004, but several other retired persons in different capacities in the JSEB.
The petitioner also pointed out that Lal was notified of his second tenure on September 17, 2008, the same day the appointment order was issued. This is against the rule. The usual procedure is to notify a person at least a week after the order is issued.
Defending its stand, the state said that Lal had been appointed for a second time because there was no other candidate to match his qualification and experience. It maintained that no rule had been violated.
Besides quashing Lal’s appointment, the court also directed the state to implement the Electricity Act, 2003, by June 15. The act warrants division of the power board.

SC dismisses PIL on Sidhu case

Published: April 27,2009

New Delhi, Apr 27 The Supreme Court today dismissed a PIL challenging the suspension of conviction of BJP leader Navjot Singh Sidhu in a road rage death case to contest Lok Sabha election.
The court also pulled up the petitioner for filing a"frivolous"PIL and said it was not maintenable.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan was so anguished with the conduct of the petitioner Hanuman Tripathi that it even had imposed the cost of Rs 10,000 on him.
However, later it withdrew the cost after his lawyer S K Tripathi repeatedly pleaded that the court should not be that harsh on him.
Before withdrawing the order of cost, the Bench reminded him that in the past also, he had been filing frivolous PILs and wasting the time of the court.
"You have been repeatedly filing such frivolous petitions,"the Bench said.
Source: PTI

Injuring woman in cops firing HC asks State to reply within 6 weekshttp://www.e-pao.net/GP.asp?src=7..280409.apr09
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, April 27 2009: In connection with a police firing incident at Imphal last year which left a woman injured, Gauhati High Court today issued notices to the State respondents asking them to reply within six weeks.The notices of the Court followed a writ petition filed by one Kumudini Devi, a vegetable vendor who sustained bullet injury on her right foot after State police commandos resorted to indiscriminate firing while she was doing business at the crowded Keishampat junction on July 20 last year.Kumudini had filed the writ petition under the initiative of Imphal unit of the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) .In her writ petition, Kumudini said two unknown youths were killed in the said incident.However, the police commandos while submitting report on the incident to the Officer-in-Charge of Imphal Police Station did not mention anything about causing injuries to her.The petitioner further said that she had spent over Rs one lakh while undergoing treatment of the bullet injuries on her right leg at hospitals in Imphal for over 45 days but her right foot has become permanently disabled.On October 10, 208 Kumudini had submitted a representation to the Deputy Commissioner of Imphal West claiming compensation/ex-gratia and demanding punishment of the police commandos responsible for causing injuries to her.Three days later she submitted a similar representation to the Principal Secretary (Home) claiming Rs two lakh as compensation.But she had not received any response to her representations.After hearing the writ petition today, the Court headed by Justice UB Saha issued the notice of motion to the State respondents asking them to reply within six weeks.The listed State respondents include Principal Secretary (Home), Director General of Police and Superintendent of Police ( Imphal West) .

Rights activists rope in NHRC, NCW
17 Apr 2009, 0009 hrs IST, TNN
CHANDIGARH: Alleging that police is not performing its duties well, a battery of local human rights activists moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Women (NCW) and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in the Pushpa death case. The 14-year-old domestic help was found dead under mysterious circumstances at her employer’s Fair Deal Housing Society flat in Panchkula on Tuesday. The pleas were filed against state government, Haryana DGP and SP under provisions of the Protection of Human Rights Act. Claiming that police was not ready to take action against the culprits, the petition stated, “The police station is just 100 yards away from the place of incident, still cops reached the spot after 45 minutes.” Regarding the protest, the petition said, “The public reaction was a result of police’s callous attitude. Cops mounted pressure in order to sweep the issue under the carpet.” Advocate Arvind Thakur, one of the complainants, said, “The state and police authorities are violating public?s human rights at large. They are taking advantage of non-existence of human rights commission in Haryana.”

CIC issues show cause notice to NCW
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The CIC has issued a show cause notice to the National Commission for Women for not providing information to an RTI applicant within the mandatory period stipulated under the RTI Act. "The NCW is in the habit of delaying furnishing of information and also not responding at all to RTI requests," Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit said in her order. Asking the Chief Public Information Officer of NCW to explain why a penalty of Rs 250 per day should not be imposed on him for not replying to an application, Ms. Dixit said there was an urgent need to streamline the functioning of the organisation.

NGOs posing as rights groups flayed
27 Apr 2009, 0202 hrs IST, Julie Mariappan, TNN
CHENNAI: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has come down heavily on non-government organisations (NGOs) for using the words ‘human rights' in their names in a manner that would suggest that they represent the commission, thus misleading the public. In its order last week, the SHRC recommended that the state government make it mandatory for all societies (registered as well as unregistered) to mention clearly in English and in Tamil that they are private organisations' and not to use human rights' on their signboard, letterheads, visiting cards or in any correspondence. The SHRC direction comes in the wake of a complaint filed by R Karthikeyan of Vadapalani. The complainant alleged that many organisations used the phrase human rights commission/organisation' as a prefix or suffix to their names and thus cheated innocent people and collected money. Also, members of the organisations used the phrase to coerce government officials to act on illegal demands. Taking serious note of the violations, SHRC's chairperson, justice A S Venkatachalamoorthy, directed the director general of police, inspector general of registration and all district collectors to take action against societies or body of persons posing as representatives of SHRC or the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). SHRC also recalled similar complaints received in the past, which pointed to human rights activists or organisations indulging in unscrupulous activity. Recently, three real estate brokers had posed as SHRC members and tried to extort Rs 3 lakh from an export firm owner. They were, however, arrested. Following discussions with the inspector general of registration, joint secretary of the public department and additional director general of police, SHRC directed the state government to ensure that the names or emblems of either NHRC or SHRC were not used by NGOs on name boards, signboards, letterheads, visiting cards or in any other from of communication. According to SHRC, necessary provisions must be made in the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975, to deal with cases where registered or unregistered societies carry the words human rights' along with their names. Many such organisations operate from other states but open branches in Tamil Nadu and include the words human rights' in their names to circumvent the provisions of government rules and regulations. Against SHRC's recommendations, the TN government has now to submit an action taken report within three months.

SIT report leak, betrayal of trust: Supreme Court
Legal Correspondent
“In a way, report is charge sheet; copies not given to all”
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed concern at selective leakage of the Special Investigation Team’s report on the Gujarat riot cases in the media, while reserving verdict on a batch of petitions filed by the National Human Rights Commission and others.
A Bench consisting of Justices Arijit Pasayat, P. Sathasivam and Aftab Alam took on record the suggestions given by the amicus curiae, the NHRC, the Gujarat government and Citizens for Justice and Peace. The court had stayed the trial of over a dozen cases following the demand for a CBI probe. The SIT was appointed by the court to probe afresh 10 relatively gruesome incidents that occurred during the 2002 pogrom.
When senior counsel Indra Jaising complained about a news item (relating to social activist Teesta Setalvad) in an English daily, quoting excerpts from the SIT report, Justice Pasayat said: “The SIT report is in a way a charge sheet given to the Supreme Court. That is why we have not given copies to all. We gave copies only to the State of Gujarat and the amicus curiae.”
Justice Pasayat showed counsel copies of the SIT report given to the court still in sealed covers. “If anybody has given a copy or access of the report [to the newspaper] he has betrayed the trust of this court. We don’t approve of this. We deplore this…”
Justice Alam said: “Whoever did it, this is grossly unjustifiable. It should not have been done. It is a grossly irresponsible act and we feel ashamed.”
Ms. Jaising accused the Gujarat government’s senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi of divulging the contents of the SIT report to the electronic media. “I am entitled to speak to television channels,” Mr. Rohatgi retorted. However, Justice Pasayat cautioned him not to mention anything selectively about the report.
Earlier, Harish Salve, amicus curiae, stressed the importance of continuing with the SIT and taking directions from the Supreme Court from time to time. Justice Pasayat indicated that the SIT would continue to function.
Mr. Salve pleaded for vacating the stay on trial in these cases and establishment of fast track courts in Gujarat to conduct the trial on a day-to-day basis.
His submission said supplementary charge sheets would have to be filed in each of the cases as the SIT had found further material. A team of prosecutors must be appointed to conduct the trial, for which senior judicial officers should be appointed. It would be helpful if some of the SIT officers were available to assist the public prosecutor.
Witness protection
Mr. Salve said there must be a programme to ensure safe passage for witnesses to and from the court precincts, provide security to them in their residences and relocate them in another State wherever the need arose.
The SIT “would continue to function and carry out any investigations that are yet to be completed, or any further investigation that may arise in the course of the trials. The SIT would also discharge such functions as have been cast upon them by the order as may be made by the Supreme Court,” Mr. Salve said.

NHRC seeks status report of probe into Anara case
Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, April 19, 2009
First Published: 12:30 IST(19/4/2009)
Last Updated: 13:34 IST(19/4/2009)
NHRC has directed Jammu and Kashmir police to submit status report of the investigation in the sensational porn-video case of 2004 allegedly involving former Miss Jammu Anara Gupta.
The Commission also asked the state police chief to submit, by middle of May, a copy of the order of the Jammu Chief Judicial Magistrate which had rejected the final investigation report submitted by the Crime Branch in the matter and had directed for "further investigation" of the case by a SIT.
The rights panel directed the state police to "transmit" a copy of the final investigation report of the Crime Branch along with annexures which it had submitted in the CJM court.
"Before proceeding further in the matter, the Commission would like to see the final report submitted by the Crime Branch... And the order passed by the CJM, Jammu, thereon," the NHRC order said.
"The Commission would also like to know about the status of investigation being made by SIT," it said while hearing the sensational case that came to light in 2004.
The case registered against Anara and some others for making of a pornographic film was investigated by the Crime Branch and the final report was submitted in the court.
Another case was registered in 2007 against some police officers on complaint of Anara, who alleged illegal detention. In this case, J&K Police have informed NHRC that the case registered in 2004 has been “closed as challan”.
NHRC was not satisfied and had sought clarifications, saying the state police had not indicated the circumstances leading to the constitution of the SIT.
Responding to this, J&K Director General of Police Kuldip Khoda said final report submitted by the Crime Branch in the 2004 case had not been accepted by the Jammu CJM and the SIT had been constituted in compliance of directions given by the court.

SC order Cong conspiracy, claims Modihttp://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090429/main3.htm
Dinesh Kumar writes from Ahmedabad
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi used the CBI decision to withdraw the red corner notice against Ottavio Quattrocchi to break his silence on the Supreme Court’s order for a probe into the BJP leader’s alleged role in the 2002 post-Godhra riots by painting himself as a victim of political vendetta alleging that the apex court’s verdict was “a Congress conspiracy”.
“The Supreme Court has remembered me. The Congress wants to send me to jail. What should I do?” Modi asked the public. He then went on to say, “About 15 days ago (Congress Union Minister) Kapil Sibal said that Modi should be prepared to go to jail. The Supreme Court has now tightened the noose on me. What does it mean? Has the Congress conspired against me?” He raised these doubts while addressing an election rally in the milk town of Anand.
In an attempt to whip up emotions, Modi then went on to declare “Italy’s brother is being released whereas the country’s son is being jailed”.
Modi tried to portray that his arrest would weaken the fight against terrorism. “The Congress is trying to put me behind bars. But this will not stop me from fighting terrorism. I am not worried about my future but I will not bow down to terrorism,” he said.
Interestingly, by afternoon, BJP workers and sympathisers had begun trying to whip up sympathy for the BJP leader by making it look like a son-of-the-soil Indian versus Sonia Gandhi’s Italian origin. A bulk SMSes sent out at 4.21 pm by Parag Seth of the BJP read “Gujarat ke bete ko jail aur Italy ke bhai ko bail” (Gujarat’s son is being jailed while Italy’s brother is being given bail).
But whether or not such measures will translate into votes for the BJP in Gujarat will only be known when the election results are announced.

Illegal abortion: 10-year jail for doctor couple http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090429/punjab.htm#12
Rajneesh Lakhanpal
Ludhiana, April 28Dr Sharan Kaur and her husband Dr Avtar Singh of Guru Ram Dass Hospital, Field Ganj, Ludhiana were sentenced to 10 years in jail by Additional Sessions Judge Kishore Kumar . The court also ordered them to pay fine of Rs 1,000 each.
The couple was caught while conducting illegal abortion of Baljinder Kaur of Ashok Nagar, near Jallandhar bypass. The prosecution had also claimed to have recovered the 12 to 14- week foetus from their possession, allegedly aborted by the doctor couple. The police had raided premises of the couple on a complaint of then Family Welfare Officer Dr Manorma Avasthi.
The woman had changed her previous statement recorded with the police. She had stated in her statement before court the accused did not conducted her abortion. Actually, she had gone to Field Ganj for buying some clothes. There she had pain in the abdomen. Then she went to the hospital of the accused for getting treatment. When she was entering the hospital of the accused, she aborted and there was no fault of the doctor couple.
The accused had pleaded innocence,accusing Dr Manorma Avasthi of implicating them as they failed to bribe her. It was alleged the complainant used to demand money but they did not pay and faced harassment.

Amritsar Sex ScamFormer mayor seeks quashing of FIR http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090429/punjab.htm#18
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 28Amritsar’s former mayor wants the first information report (FIR) in Amritsar sex scam to be quashed. He has claimed political malafides as the grounds for the same. The FIR was registered initially under Sections 406, 420, 506, 386 and 120-B of the IPC. The offence of rape under Section 376 was added later.
In his petition placed before Justice Rajan Gupta, Subhash Chander Sharma claimed his name did not figure in the FIR. It was only mentioned that the city’s mayor was caught with a girl. During investigation of the case, however, no evidence was found against him. He added the implication in the case due to political considerations had ruined his political career.
As the petition came up for hearing, Justice Gupta recused himself as he was the CBI’s standing counsel prior to his elevation as a high court judge. The petition has now been forwarded to the Chief Justice for placing it before some other Bench.
The FIR was registered on June 3, 2006, after Justice Ajit Singh Bains of Punjab Human Rights Organisation, and his team, carried out investigations in the matter. They had come to the conclusion that the representatives of a cable firm were paying money to the police, the political leaders and other, besides supplying girls. In lieu, the powers that be were helping them in their illegal work.

Plots in GurgaonHUDA asked to hold mini draw of lotshttp://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090429/haryana.htm#25
Saurabh MalikTribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 28The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to hold a mini draw of lots for providing alternative sites to allottees not delivered possession of plots in Gurgaon.
Taking up a bunch of eight petitions by Air Marshal Loreto P Pereira (retd) and others, Justice Surya Kant observed: “The petitioners are successful allottees/re-allottees of plots in different Sectors of HUDA at Gurgaon. The possession of the allotted plots could not be delivered to them for one or the other reasons.
“Some of them have been offered alternative plots, which due to their disadvantageous locations are not acceptable to them. Their grievance is alternative plots ought to have been allotted by holding a limited draw of lots in terms of the policy decisions taken by the HUDA on September 15, 2004, and February 15, 2007.
“Some of the petitioners have also challenged the re-allotment of alternative plots to the private respondents by alleging various irregularities…. During the course of hearing, standing counsel for the HUDA states in order to obviate the hardship of those allottees/re-allottees, who are clamouring for allotment of alternative plots, the HUDA authorities have no objection in holding a limited draw of lots for re-allotment of the available plots.
“The stand taken on behalf of the HUDA is acceptable to counsel for the petitioners. Counsel for the private respondents also has no serious objection provided that the mini-draw of lots is held without loss of time”.
Justice Kant added: “These writ petitions are disposed of with a direction to the HUDA authorities that all available plots, including those already been allotted to the private respondents, be pooled together and put to a limited draw of lots, which shall be confined to all those allottees/re-allottees, who are eligible for allotment of alternative plots in their respective categories.
“The previous allotments made in favour of the private respondents are accordingly set aside, as they will be entitled to fresh allotments in the manner, directed above. The mini-draw of lots shall be held under the supervision and control of Dipti Umashankar, IAS, DC, Gurgaon, who is requested to donate some time for this public cause. The mini-draw of lots shall be held as early as possible but not later than two months.
HUDA counsel states this is a one-time concession and may not be taken as a binding precedent.”

HC rejects plea of dismissed BSF jawan http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090429/j&k.htm#13
DS Chauhan
Jammu, April 28Declining to interfere with the verdict of Summary Security Force Court (SSFC) directing dismissal of petitioner from service, Justice JP Singh of the J&K High Court at Jammu, dismissed his petition seeking quashing of findings and verdict of the SSFC on a charge under Section 21 (1) of the BSF Act, 1968.
Raj Kamal Sudan, a BSF jawan, was dismissed from his service on August 31, 2001, pursuant to the verdict of the SSFC on a charge that he had shown wilful defiance of authority and lawful command given by his superior, sub-inspector Darshan Lal, to proceed to post at FDL Jungle.
The petitioner questioned the findings and verdict of the SSFC on grounds that he was unaware about the nature of the proceedings being not conversant with English language. Neither the petitioner was not given any opportunity of hearing before amendment of charge nor was informed about the plea of guilt or its effect as contemplated by the BSF Rules.
Justice JP Singh while declining to interfere with the verdict of the SSFC observed: “Records demonstrate compliance of all rules which respondents were required to follow while proceeding against the petitioner. There is no material on records in support of petitioner’s plea that he was not made to understand the nature of proceedings that had been held against him.
On the other hand, the records reveal that petitioner pleaded guilty where after the Commandant directed recording of evidence which was attended by petitioner saying that he would not cross-examine the witnesses or make his statement when provided opportunity in this behalf by the officer recording the evidence.
The court observed: “The petitioner has signed a certificate appended to the proceedings which negates his plea that he was unaware about the nature of the proceedings. Proceedings held by Commandant 59 Bn. of the BSF specifically record that officer holding trial has been duly affirmed in terms of rules and the trial has been attended both by witnesses as well as by BK Mohanty, Deputy Commandant, friend of the accused.
Justice JP Singh: “After going through records of the SSFC, trial proceedings, which carries the records of the recording of evidence and hearing of the petitioner on the Offence Report, I do not find any infirmity in the trial of the petitioner and pleas raised by the petitioner in the writ petition are not found substantiated.”

Ragging DeathJudicial custody of accused extended http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090429/himachal.htm#14
Our Correspondent
Kangra, April 28Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Avinash Chander Sharma at Kangra today extended the judicial custody of four students of Dr RP Government Medical College, Tanda, who were involved in the ragging incident that allegedly led to the death of first-year student Aman Kachroo, for three days. They would be produced in the court on April 30.
The four accused, Ajay Verma, Naveen Verma, Abhinav Verma and Mukul Sharma, facing the murder charge under Section 302 of the IPC were presented in the court.
Public prosecutor Pankaj Dhiman said copies of the 194-page charge sheet prepared by the police were today handed over to the accused in compliance of Section 207 of the CrPC.
The charge sheet names 37 witnesses, including faculty members, police officers and relatives of Aman.
The final post-mortem report, which is in conformity with the preliminary autopsy report that Aman died due to head injury, is also annexed with the charge sheet.

CCI to be functional soon http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090429/nation.htm#8
Yoginder GuptaTribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 28The newly-constituted Competition Commission of India (CCI), which will ultimately take over some of the functions currently being looked after by the Monopoly and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission, will start functioning in full earnest within a fortnight.
Stating this here today its chairman Dhanendra Kumar, a former Haryana cadre IAS officer of the 1968 batch, said the appellate tribunal, which was essential under the Competition Act, would be shortly set up. The union department of company affairs would also soon notify relevant sections of the Act, after which the commission would start its job.
Dhanendra Kumar, who took over as CCI chairman after the completion of his term as executive director of the World Bank, said post-liberalisation after 1991, it was felt that the objective of the MRTP Act, 1969, to curb monopolies had become obsolete. Pursuant to the recommendations of the high-level Raghavan Committee, the Competition Act was enacted to align the Indian with the market-based economy.
He said the commission would prevent practices adversely affecting competition. It would promote and sustain competition in the Indian markets and ensure freedom of trade to protect the interests of the consumers and enterprises. The commission, the role of which was primarily semi-judicial, would have an overarching influence on all sectors of the Indian markets.
Kumar said the Competition Act was an improvement over the MRTP Commission, which remained a paper tiger as it had insufficient penal powers. Unlike the MRTP Act, the Competition Act was a comprehensive legislation bestowing sufficient powers for investigation of cases contravening the Act and impose penalty on the lawbreaker. He said the commission would have a director-general to investigate the cases of cartelisation. The commission had the power to initiate action against any violator suo motu.

Polls: It is wiser for judges to defer cases with political overtoneshttp://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090429/edit.htm#4
by Fali S. Nariman
THE TRIBUNE’s front page report (April 28) saying that under directions of the Supreme Court (April 27) the Special Investigation Team (already appointed by it) has been now directed to investigate a complaint against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his Cabinet colleagues that they had aided and abetted mob violence in the Godhra Riots of 2002 is certainly delayed justice. Chief Minister Modi has much to answer for what happened in those tragic times. But I am extremely disturbed at the impression the order gives of the image of our Supreme Court as an independent arbiter of disputes.
If the order had come one month before or one month after April 27, 2009, I would have loudly applauded. But why now? Are our judges playing politics? The answer is: No, they are not. But in a country governed by the rule of law, reasonable people must never be left under the misguided impression that they are trying to!
Gujarat will go to the polls in a couple of days, and what two judges of the country’s highest court have said in the April 27 order will certainly influence people as to how they will cast their vote.
Public memory is short but just two years ago, in March 2007, another Bench of two Judges of the Supreme Court had directed a CBI inquiry against the Chief Minister of another state (UP), Mulayam Singh Yadav. This was in a PIL filed by a Congress party sympathiser. That order, too, was singularly ill-timed because the UP Assembly elections had just been announced — to be held in May 2007. The presiding Judge retired a few days later and was appointed by the government of the day as Chairman of the Law Commission. He deserved to be so appointed but bloody-minded people wagged their malicious tongues.
All this does little credit to the Supreme Court of India as an institution.
As a lawyer I recommend a precedent worthy of emulation by all the judges of our highest court. When a contempt petition had been filed against Prime Minister Narasimha Rao in respect of the Babri Masjid case, and the matter came up for hearing, many years later before a Bench presided over by Justice S.P. Bharucha (not yet Chief Justice), it was pointed out to the Court that the case was motivated only in order to embarrass Narasimha Rao at a time when elections were round the corner.
It was also suggested that many years had elapsed since the demolition of the Babri Masjid, and, therefore, whether a contempt case should be proceeded with or not raised serious questions of law and propriety. However, counsel for the petitioner — my distinguished friend Rajeev Dhawan — told the judges that he was prepared to answer all legal questions immediately, and the court must deal with the case. But the presiding judge on the Bench, imbued with much wisdom, merely said in a speaking order that “in the light of all the circumstances” (a beautifully evasive phrase frequently used by courts when they want to be imprecise) “it will be more appropriate to adjourn the case beyond the elections.”
Justice Bharucha made it plain that he did not want the Court to be dragged into any political controversy. The right approach. As Shakespeare would have said: “A Daniel come to judgement.”
The writer is a senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India.

Varun deposes before HC
LUCKNOW, April 28: Mr Varun Gandhi today appeared before the Advisory Board of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court in connection with the state government slapping the National Security Act on him. Mr Gandhi, Bharatiya Janata Party nominee from the Pilibhit Lok Sabha seat, is out on parole for 15 days, granted by the Supreme Court, to allow him to campaign before election in held in Pilibhit on 13 May. The Uttar Pradesh government had invoked the NSA against Mr Gandhi because of his alleged “hate” speeches delivered in Pilibhit on 7 and 8 March. He came to court today around 4 p.m. for an in-camera proceeding. Earlier, BJP supporters gave a rousing welcome to Mr Gandhi on his arrival in the city by helicopter. He was escorted to the party headquarters where he addressed the gathering. n SNS

‘Will go to jail if found guilty’
PTI & SNSAnand, April 28: A belligerent Gujarat chief minister Mr Narendra Modi today said he was ready to go to jail if he was found to be involved in the 2002 riots in the state and accused Congress of hatching a conspiracy to put him behind bars.In his first public response to the Supreme Court order yesterday directing the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe his alleged role and also of his administration in aiding and abetting the riots, Modi said he was not afraid of going behind bars for the people of the land.“After three months I might be in jail. But people of Gujarat should remember one thing, that Modi will live for Gujarat and die for Gujarat,” he said at a poll rally here. The Supreme Court had ordered the SIT probe “within three months” into a fresh complaint regarding the post-Godhra riots.“If people ask me if you want to go to jail or gallows, then I will say I want to be hanged so that I can be reborn again to serve my Gujarat,” Mr Modi said, adding, “there are conspiracies against me to send me to jail.”Mr Modi said: “Union minister Kapil Sibal had given a threat that if I did not stop talking against Congress I would end up in jail.”“Just after 15 days the order has come from the Supreme Court. What does this mean?. This is a Congress conspiracy to send me behind bars,” Mr Modi said. “On the one hand a foreign relative of Sonia (Gandhi), Quattrocchi has been given a clean chit by CBI. Everybody knows who controls CBI. On the other hand conspiracy is formed to sent me, who is the son of Bharat Mata, to jail,” he added.“To my Congress friends, I want to say that you have dialled the wrong number. You can scare the world not me. It has been seven years and everytime there is election, games are played to target Modi,” the chief minister said.“Inspite of all this, I will not stop my fight against terrorism. Delhi Sultanat can keep me any jail but nobody will be able to stop me,” Mr Modi added.Taunting Mr Sibal, the BJP leader said if there is no space in the existing jails in the country “create a new one for Modi.”“Modi is ready to spend his life in jail, But I am strong in my decisions,” he added.In New Delhi, the CPI-M has welcomed the Supreme Court’s directive to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the role of the Mr Modi, and his Cabinet ministers and top officials, in the 2002 riots in the state. Calling the directive a “welcome step, though a belated one,” the CPI-M said it was now imperative that the SIT investigate the complaint and submit their conclusions within the three-month timeframe set by the court. “It is shameful that the BJP continues to defend those responsible for the carnage in Gujarat,” the party said. Talking about the Sri Lanka situation, the CPI-M said the Sri Lankan government’s decision to halt combat operations using heavy weapons and airplanes was welcome. “This should open the way for the rescue of the tens of thousands of the Tamil civilian population who are still in the war zone. The LTTE has to stop holding the people by force and facilitate their safe passage,” the party Politburo said.

Kasab not a juvenile
Statesman News Service MUMBAI, April 28: A panel of four doctors with government-run Sir JJ Hospital today submitted their medical test report of captured terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab in the special court of judge Mr ML Tahilyani suggesting that the main accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack is not minor and should be above 20 years of age. At the previous hearing, the judge had ordered necessary medical tests like ossification and dental to determine whether or not Kasab was a juvenile as was argued by the defence lawyer Mr Abbas Kazmi. Mr Kazmi wants the case to be tried under Juvenile Justice Act in a juvenile court as he claimed the Pakistan-trained terrorist was minor as on 26/11. The medical team headed by Dr Nandgaonkar of Sir JJ Hospital had done bone-marrow and dental tests on Kasab and inferred that the results suggested his age above 20. Dental test determined growth of “wisdom tooth” which was positive in this case. Bone marrow test (marrow is a soft fatty substance inside human or animal bones) further reinforced the already drawn conclusion. Chief prosecutor Mr Ujwal Nikam examined two witnesses to buttress his contention that Kasab was above 20 years of age. First, he questioned Dr Venkataraman Murthy of the Nair Hospital where Kasab was taken after his arrest on the midnight of 26-27 November. Dr Murthy said that the accused told him his age as 21. Next, Ms Swati Sathe, superintendent of the Arthur Road Jail deposed before the court that when Kasab was brought to the jail he gave his date of birth 13 September 1987 and confirmed he was a native of Pakistan. Ms Sathe also told the court that the accused asked her permission to make a call back home to Faridkot which she rejected since it was against the jail manual. Two more witnesses, CMO of Nair Hospital and medical record controller are likely to appear in the court. The defence lawyer, Mr Kazmi, however, insisted that Kasab should be re-examined by doctors from private hospital. He argued the report by Sir JJ Hospital’s department of forensic sciences could not be accepted at its face value and was not foolproof. The next hearing in the case is due on 2 May.Smiles the accusedMUMBAI, April 28: Showing no sign of tension, prime accused in Mumbai terror attack case Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab smiled throughout the court proceedings today as two witnesses testified that the terrorist was 21-years-old and not a juvenile as claimed by him. As the jail superintendent showed records to point out that Kasab had given his age as 21 years when he was brought to the Arthur Road prison, the accused gave a broad smile and did not show any signs of discomfort or tension. n PTI

Undertrial attempts suicide in Alipore Court
KOLKATA, April 28: A 29-year-old undertrial prisoner, who was arrested on charge of possessing banned narcotic substance in 2007, attempted suicide by slitting his throat with a blade inside the Alipore Court this afternoon.The undertrial, Mr Budhiya Das, a resident of Kedarnath Chatterjee Road in Behala, took out a blade from his mouth and injured himself when on trial in the court room of the fourth additional district judge of Alipore Session Court around 3.15 p.m., said a police officer. Mr Das was arrested in Thakurpukur on 28 June, 2007 for allegedly carrying banned narcotic substances. He was booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act. He has been languishing behind the bars in Alipore Central Correctional Home since the trial began. The police officer said that Mr Das was produced before a judge around 3.15 p.m. today. He took a blade from his mouth and injured himself in front of the judge who was hearing the case. Some of those present in the courtroom quickly overpowered Mr Das and handed him over to police. He was immediately taken to SSKM Hospital with minor injuries in the throat and chest, said the officer. Following treatment, he was taken back to Alipore Correctional Home. n SNS

Court directive in favour of Raju’s family
Legal Correspondent
HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh High Court Judge Justice L. Narasimha Reddy on Tuesday directed the officers of Sub Registrar not to interfere with the lawful transactions pertaining to the properties of the family members of Satyam Computers former chairman Ramalinga Raju.
These interim orders were passed while hearing a writ petition filed by Raju’s family members. The petitioners said that the higher officers of Stamps and Registration Department have issued a memo asking the local Sub Registrars not to entertain any documents pertaining to properties of Raju’s family members. The petitioners said there is no power under the relevant statute to issue such sweeping orders.

Subscribers welcome TRAI direction on Value Added Services
M. Dinesh Varma
Telecom operators instructed to maintain transparency and clean up their VAS portfolios within 45 days
Move in response to user complaints of inadvertently subscribing to services
For VAS offers, service provider should obtain consent of subscriber before activating service
CHENNAI: Mobile subscribers and consumer rights campaigners on Tuesday welcomed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) order directing all telecom operators to maintain transparency in Value Added Service offerings.
TRAI’s instruction to service providers, including BSNL and MTNL, to clean up their VAS portfolios within 45 days of its order comes in response to large-scale user complaints about inadvertently subscribing to services they did not need in the blitz of hello tune, outbound dialler call (an automated call from the operators during which different tunes are played to attract the user) and other special offers.
The direction states that in all cases of subscription to VAS offers through “pressing of star key or other keys,” the service provider shall, subsequent to the pressing of the key by an interested user, convey to the subscriber in writing or through SMS/fax/email details of the VAS scheme.
The information should include terms and conditions and applicable charges as well to obtain explicit consent of the customer through telephone/SMS/fax or email prior to activation of the service.
TRAI has also directed service providers not to activate chargeable services during a customer-initiated call to a third party unless the subscriber’s consent had been obtained. The order also states: “Music or video related value added services such as caller ring back tune, background music, wallpaper etc; shall not be provided, even if it is free of charge, without taking explicit consent of the consumer in the above manner.”
The order follows a survey of 22,009 subscribers, which found that 24 per cent of respondents had stated that they had not given explicit consent for activating VAS offers. “These practices need to be streamlined with proper opt-in approach…” the order said.
Welcoming the order, consumer activist T. Sadagopan said its implementation would provide immense relief to mobile subscribers.
“However, we need to see how effectively operators implement these instructions.” He also suggested that TRAI’s contact details be displayed in monthly bill statements and at customer service centres.
The order has also been hailed by a cross section of subscribers, who had complained about unauthorised activation of a paid service – some were even aggrieved that the tunes were inappropriate with their social stature.
TRAI’s move is to eliminate user complaints claiming accidental activation of caller ring back tunes through the facility of “Press star to copy hello tunes” without their explicit consent.
The regulatory body’s assessment showed that almost all operators offered this service where a pre-recorded song plays out before the called party answers.
TRAI noted that most service providers induced users while dialling numbers of those who already use hello tunes by resorting to “pre-call” announcements. It is also possible that a customer may not have listened to the announcements fully or understood them before pressing the activation key.
Such examination of complaints revealed that there was a likelihood of consumers accidentally or unintentionally subscribing to such services by pressing the star button.
The body also noted that the process of customer consent vide an earlier order of October 30, 2007 had not been complied with.
A BSNL official said the move was welcome even from a service provider’s perspective as it removed room for users to activate a service and then claim that it was accidental.

PIL plea dismissed
MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here on Tuesday dismissed a public interest litigation petition filed by an advocate to restrain political parties from canvassing votes in the ongoing Parliamentary election campaign by highlighting the tribulations faced by Tamils in Sri Lanka.
A Division Bench, comprising Justice S.K.Krishnan and Justice M.Venugopal, declined to entertain the case stating it did not find any merits in the petition. The judges said it was open to the petitioner to approach the Election Commission of India. — Staff Reporter

Judge transferred
Rajampet III Additional District Judge K. Manjusri has been transferred as the Judge of SC/ST Court in Vizianagaram, according to Rajampet Bar Association

High Court summons SVU registrar
Special Correspondent
TIRUPATI: Andhra Pradesh High Court has issued orders directing Registrar of Sri Venkateswara University, here to appear before the court immediately in connection with a contempt case.
The High Court order comes in the wake of a contempt of court case which it admitted on Monday. The SVU’s deputy executive engineer in his petition has inter alia alleged that the university had failed to implement the High Court orders directing it to relieve the executive engineer (in-charge) of the post on the ground that he was not ‘competent’ to hold the same. Following the High Court orders, Registrar Y. Venkatrami Reddy on Tuesday rushed to Hyderabad with all the relevant papers.

We will hear urgent matters, says SHRC
Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: The Karnataka State Human Rights Commission has said the commission will not be closed during the vacation period but hear all urgent cases.
In response to a report that appeared in these columns on April 28, SHRC public relations officer M.C. Poonacha said during the vacation between April 28 and May 22, the commission will hear urgent matters on the notified dates.
The commission will not remain closed and there will not be any temporary break from its duties, he has said.

Ousted math head back with court order
Staff Correspondent
Devotees feel he has tarnished the institution’s image
They staged a dharna seeking his removal
Vow to fight against him through the courts
BELLARY: Kampli town in Hospet taluk was tense on Tuesday when devotees of the Kal Math opposed Gurusidda Swami, the religious head, from re-assuming charge of his duties.
According to sources in the district administration, the devotees and the executive committee members of the math were opposed to the swami continuing as the religious head as his image had been “tarnished”. The swami, armed with a court directive, sought to enter the math premises, but many devotees and members of the executive committee stood outside opposing his entry.
The Kampli police, along with the Hospet tahsildar, intervened and tried their best to prevent the situation from getting out of hand. The officials told the devotees that the swami had obtained a court order and could go inside the math to perform his religious duties. The devotees and committee members dispersed when the authorities urged them not to create a law and order problem. They were told to approach the court instead and get the injunction stayed.
Arvi Basavanagouda, chairman of the executive committee, told The Hindu that Gurusidda Swami was anointed in 2004 by his senior.
After the latter’s death, the swami allegedly behaved in a manner that brought disrepute to the math. The devotees asked him to leave the premises. He left the math, but came back with a court injunction.
Mr. Basavanagouda, while stating that he would not be allowed to continue as the religious head, made it clear that the committee would fight the case in court.

Kerala policemen released on bail
Staff Correspondent
MANGALORE: All the eleven reserve policemen of Kerala, who had been arrested on Saturday at Panambur beach, have been released on bail here on Tuesday.
The reserve policemen from Kerala had been arrested on charges of misbehaving with women and the locals at Panambur beach. The Panambur police personnel confirmed the release of 10 constables and one head constable by the JMFC second court.

Court tells police to file affidavit
Kidnap of panchayat member
Abducted panchayat vice-president produced in court
Court seeks steps taken to trace him
Kochi: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court, on Tuesday, suo motu impleaded the Circle Inspector (CI), Pullpally, Wayanad, as a respondent and directed him to file an affidavit regarding the steps taken to investigate the complaint lodged by the wife of the abducted vice-president of the Poothadi grama panchayat, V.N. Saseendran.
The Bench passed the directive when Mr. Saseendran was produced before the Bench comprising Justice P.N. Ravindran and Justice P.R. Ramachandra Menon. The court also directed the CI to state the steps taken by him to trace Mr. Saseendran. The Bench directed the police to produce Mr. Saseendran before the magistrate court concerned. The CI was directed to file the affidavit before May 5.
The court had earlier directed the Superintendent of Police, Wayanad, to trace and produce Mr. Saseendran on a habeas corpus petition filed by his wife, Vijayamma.
When produced in court, Mr. Saseendran told the Bench that he was forcibly taken away by A.V. Jayan, T.B. Sureshkumar and P.S. Janardhanan, all CPI(M) activists. He was kidnapped from the panchayat in a van and beaten up. He lost his mobile phone. They released him in Koduvalli town at 7 p.m. on Monday. He told his wife about his release over the phone and went with the Circle Inspector of Police, Pulpally, who reached there. He was not produced before the magistrate court concerned as the High Court had already issued a directive to trace and produce him before it.
The Bench recorded the statement of Mr. Saseendran.
He was allegedly abducted a few days before the Left Democratic Front-ruled Poothadi grama panchayat was to take up a no-confidence motion against its president. Mr. Saseendran who was elected to the panchayat on LDF ticket had joined the Congress recently. In the 21-member panchayat, the LDF’s strength was reduced to 10 after Mr. Sasi joined the Congress two months ago. The 11-member Congress-led United Democratic Front then moved a no-confidence motion.
The motion was adjourned for lack of quorum when it was taken up for discussion on April 27.

Writ against order on retirement
Kochi: A writ petition has been filed before the High Court challenging the government order on extending the service of the government employees and teachers who retire during the course of the final year till the end of the financial year.
The petition was filed by Kunjachan, Section Officer, General Administrative Department and another person. According to them, the government order modified the statutory rule prescribed in Part-I Rule 60(a) of the Kerala Service Rules. As per the rule, the date of retirement should take effect from the afternoon of the last day of the month in which a government servant attained the age of 55 years.
Thus, the statutory rule was now sought to be modified by an executive order. The order also referred to the budget speech for 2009-10 in which it was stated that effecting promotion and transfer at the beginning of the financial year contributed to efficiency but the existing retirement system stood in the way of such reform. The budget had not been debated in the Assembly. The legislature would express its will to alter a statutory rule only when it was discussed. The statutory rules could not be overridden by executive order or practices. The petitioners said that the government had decided to amend the rules did not mean that the rules had been modified. Besides, the executive order did not have any reason for modifying the rules.

Bail for 12 policemen
Mangalore: Twelve police personnel from Kerala who were arrested on the charge of attacking tourists on the Panambur Beach in an inebriated state, were granted bail by a local court on Tuesday. Magistrate Manjunath granted bail to the accused. — PTI

High Court stay on phone towers
Staff Reporter
Petition by residents of Nehru Enclave
“Poses a health hazard to people living in its vicinity”
“Causes noise and environmental pollution as well”
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday stayed further installation of cellular phone towers at Nehru Enclave in South Delhi on a petition by a group of local residents arguing that it would pose a health hazard to people living in its vicinity.
The petitioners through their counsel Manjit Singh Ahluwalia submitted that electro-magnetic waves emitted and vibrations caused by the tower led to diseases like cancer and hypertension and health problems like dizziness and nausea.
Mr. Ahluwalia submitted that children and pregnant women were particularly susceptible to the health hazard.
“The electro-magnetic waves and vibrations have detrimental and irreversible effects, particularly on pregnant women and children,” the petitioners submitted.
The petitioners further stated that since the tower was run on diesel, it caused noise and environmental pollution as well.
There was also risk of damage to life and property from the tower in case it fell, the petitioners submitted.
Besides seeking a stay on further installation of towers, the petitioners also sought removal of the installed towers in the colony.
Justice S. Ravindra Bhat also issued notices to the Delhi Government, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and cellular phone operators asking them to file replies to the petition by July 20.

NDPL settles cases in Lok Adalat
NEW DELHI: Power distribution company North Delhi Power Limited settled over 900 cases at the one-day “Lok Adalat” held over the weekend at the Delhi High Court premises.
The Lok Adalat was organised jointly by NDPL and Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee for settlement of pending cases, disputes or grievances pertaining to power thefts, misuse charges, dues against disconnected electricity connection and restoration of disconnected connection.

Lawyers to boycott work
NEW DELHI: Lawyers of district courts here decided to abstain from work on Wednesday in protest against alleged “arrogant and unwarranted” action of a judicial officer who ordered police to take their two colleagues into custody.

HC respite for Ghatkopar hospital in Metro project
29 Apr 2009, 0701 hrs IST, Swati Deshpande, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court offered relief to a hospital trust against acquisition proceedings by the MMRDA for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro Rail project and the Andheri-Ghatkopar Link Road projects. Sarvodaya Hospital, situated on an eight-acre plot in Ghatkopar, came under a demolition and relocation threat when the MMRDA began acquiring land for the Metro rail project. In response to a petition filed by the hospital trust, a bench comprising Justices P B Majmudar and R M Sawant asked the MMRDA to maintain a status quo and to consider the representations made by the trust, which is seeking compensation of Rs 2,000 per sq ft or alternate land and transferable development rights (TDR) for loss of land and hospital building. Milind Sathe, H Ganatra and Meenaz Mechant, advocates for the hospital, said the MMRDA had issued notice last year to acquire 9,000 sq metre of land and 87,000 sq ft of the existing hospital building. "The hospital caters to thousands, mainly those suffering from tuberculosis. Despite several representations to the MMRDA and the state to provide alternate land or TDR or to realign the metro-rail route, there was no response. The only alternate was to move court for relief,'' the lawyers said. The matter will now be heard on May 5. The MMRDA and the state government will have to inform the court if it is possible to accept the hospital trust's suggestions.

Give number of flats, HC tells Parsi Panchayat
29 Apr 2009, 0653 hrs IST, Swati Deshpande , TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Tuesday directed the Bombay Parsi Panchayat (BPP) to state the number of flats it has in Mumbai that are available for allotment to needy persons in the community. The court also directed the Panchayat to file an affidavit stating the number of such flats that had been allotted since December 2006 and those that the body could not allot for "whatever reasons''. The court also said no further action can take place on the issue of allotments. The next hearing is on June 19. These queries were posed by a bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Amjad Sayed after intense arguments on a petition centred around allotment of flats to a list of 104 poor members of the Parsi-Irani community in Mumbai by the erstwhile BPP trustees last year. However, the present trustees wanted to review these 104 cases. In January, the charity commissioner had ordered the BPP to give away at least 74 out of the 104 flats. According to Rafiq Dada, counsel for BPP chairman Dinshaw Mehta, and a few of his co-trustees who had moved the court, they had cleared the application of 64 people from the 104 list. Besides, 10 other families__"overwhelmingly deserving'' candidates__have been shortlisted subsequently by the new board of trustees in a sense of "fair play.'' He said they had been taken on merit__some are those who sleep on the fire temple floors or are "recently engaged.'' But Iqbal Chagla, representing the 40 members whose flat allotments have still not been cleared by the current BPP board, said, "It is not open for a new board to now come up and open the decision taken by the earlier trustees, who had followed the proper process. Besides, they can't show scant respect for court orders, which had restrained further steps on the issue.'' Meanwhile, advocate Nilima Dutta, representing two members, questioned the "merit-based rating system'' of the BPP. She said the panchayat had 5,000 flats, which were mainly allotted to the rich.

'Pvt divorce' needs proof: HC
29 Apr 2009, 0754 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: Does theJain Marwari community have a custom of "private divorce''? Not persuaded by the argument put forward by a twice-married woman, the Bombay high court recently allowed her second husband's plea to annul their marriage as her first marriage was still subsisting. "Custom is a long-standing practice followed and recognised by particular community,'' said Justice P R Borkar. "In the circumstances, it will have to be stated as to which persons from the same community had obtained divorce as per the custom, what was the custom and since when such custom was being followed.'' With no such details mentioned or proved, the court refused to believe the claim of a Parbhani-based woman, Seema, that she had divorced her first husband, Vijay, according to the practice of "private divorce'' through mutual consent prevailing in her community. Seema told the court that she belonged to the Jain Marwari community. Explaining the custom of "private divorce'', she said in her community, relatives of both sides of an estranged couple hold a meeting, discuss and the divorce is given and accepted through mutual consent. The court pointed out that no divorce deed was produced to substantiate this. Seema has a daughter from her first marriage. She claimed she had obtained a divorce and subsequently married Nitesh in 2001. Nitesh, however, realised that she was still keeping in touch with her first husband and also found that the divorce was not valid. Nitesh filed an application for annulment of his marriage to Seema. While a trial court allowed the annulment, an appeal court quashed the order and restored the conjugal rights. Nitesh then moved the high court to declare that his marriage with Seema was null and void and restrain her from claiming to be his wife. With no proof about the supposed custom or documents to show that Seema was a divorcee at the time of her second marriage, the high court declared the marriage void. The judge also dismissed an application by Seema for restoration of conjugal rights. (Names have been changed to protect identity)

HC asks for PWD report in sewer case
29 Apr 2009, 0355 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: After a TOI report last week that highlighted deaths of sewerage workers due to lack of facilities, the Delhi High Court has demanded a report from PWD in this regard. It has asked PWD that why despite HC orders to provide safety equipment to sewerage workers the situation has not improved. A division bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah took suo moto cognizance of the news report and issued notice to PWD, giving it a month's time to respond. HC has already issued contempt notices against the top officials of Delhi Jal Board, Delhi Development Authority and Delhi Small Industries Development Corporation on death of their sewerage workers in March. On Tuesday, HC asked the PWD to respond within a month. HC was referring to an incident that took place last week in blocks 59 and 60 at Police Colony when three sewerage workers allegedly fell unconscious due to the toxic gases inside a sewer in the locality. One of them, 25-year-old Vijlesh, regained consciousness and managed to climb out of the sewer. The other two, 30-year-old Vinod and 32-year-old Ajit, eventually drowned. According to the police, despite a 45 minute rescue operation they were not able to save the duo, who were declared brought dead at the Hindu Rao Hospital. The cases of sewer deaths are becoming common. Even after repeated warnings by HC, which had issued a detailed directive asking all government agencies like DJB to provide basic safety equipment to their workers, such mishaps are still taking place. The court had made it clear in its directions that it expects civic agencies not to differentiate between its workers and those sourced in on contract, so that the protective cover against toxic deaths is extended to all. The court also hiked the compensation amount to Rs 2.5 lakhs for every death. When despite these steps deaths occurred, HC issued contempt.

Tytler clean chit: Hearing put off
29 Apr 2009, 0354 hrs IST
NEW DELHI: Deliberating on the authority of a trial court to take cognizance of the closure report filed by the CBI giving a clean chit to former Union minister Jagdish Tytler, additional chief metropolitan magistrate (ACMM) Rakesh Pandit deferred the argument for May 23. ACMM posted the matter for hearing on May 23 on a plea of the riot victims as well as Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) that the court should decide that they had the right to be heard in the matter. November '84 Carnage Justice Committee and DSGMC, the organizations representing the victims, moved an application before the court pleading with it to decide their locus standi in the case and allow them to make submission. Senior Counsel H S Phoolka sought the court summon for CBI's DIG and joint director following media reports that they had argued against the closure report. CBI counsel A K Srivastava, meanwhile, sought time to file their reply to the application after which the court adjourned the matter. During the proceedings, the court was repeatedly disturbed by one "self proclaimed'' witness. The court refused to entertain the plea of Man Mohan Singh who tried to move a protest petition on CBI's clean chit to Tytler, claiming himself to be a witness.

Sagar: Send info on steps initiated to prevent future calamities in KG Basin: HC
29 Apr 2009, 0422 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: The AP High Court on Tuesday sought to know from the Central government as to what steps it has initiated to monitor the process of oil and gas extraction in Krishna-Godavari basin to avoid any kind of calamities in future on account of this exploration. The division bench comprising Chief Justice Anil Ramesh Dave and justice Ramesh Ranganathan was hearing a petition filed by Krishna Godavari Deltala Parirakshana Samithi seeking a direction to take appropriate steps to protect the region from land subsidence and environmental hazards due to exploration. A Rajasekhar Reddy, assistant-solicitor-general told the court that the directorate general of hydrocarbons, which is an authorised body to monitor the oil and gas exploration across the country has been monitoring the activities in the basin at regular intervals. The court directed the Centre to submit a report on steps being taken to monitior the exploration activity.

High court turns stage for kidnap drama
29 Apr 2009, 0319 hrs IST, A Selvaraj, TNN
CHENNAI: If the abduction of K Younis Khan, son of north Chennai-based businessman Kalandhar Nainar Mohammed on Saturday was dramatic, the arrest of his three abductors was equally dramatic, marked as it was by some mute tactics by the police. Though the police had knowledge about their movements from the city to Pondicherry, Cuddalore and back in two days, they waited till Khan was released before pouncing on the abductors. Twenty four-year-old Khan, whose marriage was slated for May 10, was abducted by his tenant Moideen (25), his brother Latif and friend Chakravarthi. Moideen was living in a rented portion of Kalandhar's (Khan's father) house in Washermanpet. On Saturday, Moideen took Khan in a Tata Indica to Royapettah and Tiruvanmiyur, promising him a wedding gift. Later, he took Khan to Cuddalore, where Chakravarthi joined them. Khan was told that he was being abducted for money, since Kalandhar owed money to some people. Midway, Moideen forced Khan to travel by a two-wheeler, seated between him and Chakravarthi. That night, they stayed in a teak plantation in Panruti, where Moideen and Chakaravarthi took turns to keep a watch on Khan. "Kalandhar received the first call for ransom at 10pm. The abductors told Kalandhar that his son would be killed if he failed to pay a ransom of Rs 1.5 crore. Kalandhar informed the police, but was asked to keep the channel of communication open. He kept negotiating the ransom amount, which was finally fixed at Rs 90 lakh. Kalandhar said he would pay the money only if he got his son back alive. Khan said he was kept in a room in Cuddalore and later in a lodge in Chennai, before being shifted to a lawyer's chamber on the Madras high court premises. He was kept there for a few hours before the exchange was to happen around 5pm on Monday. Meanwhile, a team of armed police in mufti was ready. "We suspected that a leading gangster from Dindigul was behind the abduction. We had other plans if that was the case. The gang turned out to be a new one and we decided to trail and nab them," said joint commissioner of police (north Chennai) M Ravi. After the ransom was finalised, Moideen and Chakaravrthy took the victim back to Chennai and stayed in a lodge in Parrys on Sunday. Moideen met a lawyer, Mani, of Kasimedu on Monday morning and informed him about the abduction," a police officer said. "We were tracking the gang by monitoring communication signals from the mobile tower. On Monday, the location was found to be near the Madras high court. Special teams silently searched the whole area but could not find anyone. Finally, we realised that the accused could be inside the court. Meanwhile, Kalandhar received a call from the abductor to come to the judge's gate with the ransom." When Kalandhar came with the ransom along with three of his friends, two other associates of the abductors, Santhosh Kumar, an autorickshaw driver, and Srinivasan, a fishcart driver, were waiting in an autorickshaw. They threatened Kalandhar's friends to flee and collected the ransom. They then told Kalandhar that he would find Khan near the judge's gate. Kalandhar found his son there. A police team was watching all this from inside a car parked at a distance. They trailed the gang to Tondiarpet, where Moideen and Latif were arrested from Latif's mobile phone shop. Chakravarthy, who had got down midway from the autorickshaw as Moideen and Latif proceeded towards Tondiarpet, was later picked up from his brother's house in Kottivakkam. The police recovered Rs 7.1 lakh from Chakravarthy and Rs 79.9 lakh from the brothers. The balance amount of Rs 3 lakh is yet to be recovered. Special teams have been formed to track down lawyer Mani who helped the gang hide in the chamber, and a few more involved in the crime.

HC orders Rs 5 lakh relief to wife of man who went missing in custody
29 Apr 2009, 0331 hrs IST, A Subramani , TNN
CHENNAI: S Vanitha's legal battle to find out her husband's whereabouts, and ascertain whether he is still alive or dead, is 22 months old. After being whisked away by two policemen in June 2007, her husband Sathyaseelan is yet to return. The 27-year-old, who had petitioned various authorities, was so frustrated by the lack of response that she flung her thaali (mangalsutra) at judges a few months ago crying for justice. On Monday, a division bench comprising Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice C T Selvam lambasted the state police and awarded Rs 5 lakh as interim compensation to Vanitha and her three minor daughters, holding the government responsible for the misdeeds of its officers. In her habeas corpus petition, Vanitha said her husband, a farm labourer, was picked up by sub-inspector Nagaraj and head constable Uthirapathy at Ezhumahalur village in Nagapattinam on June 21, 2007. Though the bike-borne cops made Sathiyaseelan sit between them while taking him to the police station, later they told Vanitha and her relatives that he had jumped off the vehicle and fled. Disbelieving conflicting claims by the police, Vanitha filed a petition seeking a direction to the authorities to produce her husband in court. When even a judicial order and several interim directions and adjournments did not help, the court handed over the investigation to the CB-CID. But even the agency could not unearth the truth one official filed an affidavit stating that a fleeing Sathiyaseelan might have got electrocuted accidentally and his body might have been disposed of by local farmers. Justice Elipe Dharma Rao dismissed these claims and described the police version of Sathiyaseelan's escape as a "cock-and-bull story", cinematic" and an attempt at "make-belief". Flaying the state police as well as the CB-CID to whom the probe had been entrusted, the judges said: "We are of the considered opinion that there is something fishy in the matter...The snail-paced investigation being conducted even by much-trusted CB-CID does not seem to reach the goal..." Applying the last-seen theory', the bench said the burden of explaining the whereabouts of Sathiyaseelan lay with the cops who had taken him with them. "They are answerable for the missing of Sathyaseelan," they said. Also, the liability for the deeds and misdeeds committed by its officers and employees lies with the state, the judges ruled. Awarding interim compensation, the judges expressed faith in the CB-CID III superintendent of police A Arun, who has been asked to personally supervise the investigation and trace Sathyaseelan within 12 weeks. The matter has been adjourned to July 22.

PIL filed over Board's paper assessment issue
29 Apr 2009, 0301 hrs IST, TNN
AHMEDABAD: A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in Gujarat High Court, expressing reservations against the practice of employing Gujarati medium teachers to assess answer papers of English medium students in boards. On basis of newspaper's reports, Praful Desai of Senior Citizen Service Trust has filed a PIL that claims that due to shortage of teachers in English medium, the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) assigns task of assessment of copies written by English medium students to teachers who teach in Gujarati medium. In his PIL, Desai has claimed that the Gujarati medium teachers cannot do justice to English medium students, and the students suffer in their ranking. He has argued that because of defective assessment those students who manage to score high rank in entrance exams for medical and engineering courses, actually score lower than the Gujarati medium students. The petitioner has also informed the court that he sought information in this regard under the RTI laws, and despite a favourable order by a deputy secretary of the education department, the staffers didn't provide any data. When Desai complained in this regard before the information commission, the department forwarded an excuse that the staff was over-burdened with exam work. In his PIL, Desai has urged the court to direct the education department to explain what measures it has taken to resolve this issue, so that the English medium students get fair treatment in assessment of their copies of Class X and XII. A report from the education department in this regard has also been sought by the petitioner. When the petition came up for hearing, a division bench of Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi asked the public prosecutor to take necessary instructions from the education department. The court has kept May 13 for further hearing in this case.

Will SIT probe its own member?
29 Apr 2009, 0302 hrs IST, TNN
AHMEDABAD: The Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme Court to probe 2002 riots could find itself in a spot. Going by the SC's order of Monday to probe all 63 persons including the chief minister Narendra Modi's role in the Gulbarg Society massacre case, one of the SIT's members is an accused! The FIR filed by wife of slain ex-MP Ahsan Jafri, Zakia, before the Supreme Court, mentions IPS officer Shivanand Jha as one of the accused, charged of "providing false information on the offence". Jha happens to be one of the key members of the SIT headed by former CBI director RK Raghavan, constituted on March 26 last year. Jha heads the probes in the Godhra carnage case where 59 lives were lost and the Ode massacre of Anand district where some NRIs are involved. At least 33 persons died in this massacre. The two other Gujarat officers in SIT are, Geetha Johri who heads the probe in the Sardarpura, Dipda darwaja and the Prantij case of killing of British nationals, and Ashish Bhatia who heads the Naroda Patia, Naroda Gam and Gulbarg Society massacres. Jha was recently promoted as additional director general of police. However, the SIT has probed the Gulbarg massacre case for almost a year and nabbed some 31 accused that were not arrested earlier by the Gujarat police. The local police had arrested 46 persons in this case, but most of them are out on bail. In fact, the issue for SIT is how to go ahead on recent directions particularly after six chargesheets including one by SIT have been filed in this case in last seven years. Retired DGP PC Pande, who is also named as one of the prime accused in the case has reportedly been given a clean chit by SIT, going by contents of its report to the SC, which was leaked to the press recently. When the Gulbarg massacre happened on February 28, 2002, killing 68 persons, Jha was holding charge as additional commissioner of police - Sector 1, while this massacre happened in sector 2. When contacted, Raghavan told TOI, "I haven't got a copy of the order, it will take at least 3-4 days, till then I cannot comment". JM Suthar, the investigating officer in the Gulbarg massacre case told TOI, "When we are asked to probe the case from a particular angle, we will do it".

Khadim case verdict on May 20
29 Apr 2009, 0436 hrs IST, TNN
KOLKATA: The second additional district judge, Alipore, Biswarup Mukherjee, concluded the hearing on the Khadim abduction case on Tuesday. The verdict will be pronounced on May 20. Partha Pratim Roy Burman, the owner of Khadim, was abducted on his way to the factory on July 25, 2001, from C N Roy Road in Tiljala. He was released on August 2. A special court was set up to hear the case and the trial was held under camera surveillance at the Alipore central jail. There are 22 accused in the case, including Aftab Ansari, Happy Singh and Jamil Uddin Nasir. Both Aftab Ansari and Jamil were also convicted in the American Center shootout case. Ansari had been awarded the death sentence in the American Center case. HuJI activist Jalaluddin is another accused in the case. The court examined 139 witnesses. Public prosecutor Nabakumar Ghosh said the CID had stated in the chargesheet that the ransom was fixed at Rs 5 crore and initially, Rs 3.75 crore was sent to Ansari in Dubai through the hawala racket. Several hawala operators of Hyderabad were also arrested.

Rani gets respite in Shirdi land case
29 Apr 2009, 0400 hrs IST, Syed Rizwanullah, TNN
AURANGABAD: Bollywood actress Rani Mukherjee got some respite on Tuesday in the case related to her land in Shirdi when Justice Naresh Patil of the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court directed the authorities to take mutation entries of Rani Mukherjee's ownership on the 7/12 documents, subject to the final decision of the HC bench in the case. The HC bench is hearing a petition filed by Mukherjee challenging the Shrirampur sub-divisional officer's (SDO) order scrapping her right on the property. The court also directed the actress to provide a bank guarantee of Rs 30 lakh subject to the decision on the petition. The SDO had imposed a fine of Rs 66 lakh on Mukherjee, said government pleader Umakant Patil, who had opposed the relief saying that it may amount to clearing the land for the actress. Lawyer Shashikumar Chowdhary, who represented the actress, said "Following the high court directives in June 2008, we had applied to the authorities for processing our application regarding inclusion of her name on the 7/12 documents. But the officials had rejected our plea." In June 2008, too, the court had prima facie agreed with the argument of Rani's lawyer that the SDO had no jurisdiction to pass a diktat rejecting Mukherjee's application for inclusion of her name in the 7/12 documents and to impose a fine of Rs 66 lakh, if she wanted to own the property. On April 9, 2008, too, the court had ordered a status quo in the case and questioned the government as to why only the petitioner has been fined by the official concerned, when she happened to be the last person to buy the piece of land from the total property of 58 gunthas' (12,000 square feet) in question, occupied and possessed by 16 people or organisations. Rani had purchased an open space measuring 11 gunthas') closer to the pilgrim town of Shirdi.

Ashwin Naik acquitted in estate agent's murder case
29 Apr 2009, 0430 hrs IST, Asseem Shaikh, TNN
PUNE: Almost 12 years after real estate agent Deepak Deo of Shivajinagar was kidnapped and murdered, the district and sessions court here on Tuesday acquitted alleged gangster Ashwin Maruti Naik (49) of Mumbai and seven others in the case. It was the 17th and last case pending against Naik, defence lawyer Arun Dhamale told TOI soon after the verdict. "Naik was brought to the Yerawada central prison after he was acquitted in the murder case of his wife, Neeta, about three months ago," he said. "As per my information, there is no other case pending against Naik," Dhamale added. The others who were acquitted along with Naik on Tuesday are: Pimpri-Chinchwad corporator Rajesh Govind Swamy Pillay, Babasaheb Sadashiv Bhosale of Yerawada and Mumbai residents Sandeep Dicholkar, Amar Pawale, Rajesh Pimpale, Abdul Inamdar and Dabbu alias Krishna Devendra. Naik was produced before the court on a wheelchair amidst tight security around 3 pm. Pronouncing the judgement, additional sessions judge H S Mahajan said, "The case is based on circumstantial evidence, but the prosecution has not established any link to complete the chain of circumstances. Hence, I cannot conclude that the suspects are offenders in the case." The judge held, "There was no evidence to prove that Deo was kidnapped in the two vehicles recovered by the police from the suspects. Neither blood stains nor hair of the deceased was found in the vehicles". The judge said, "There is no other evidence showing the suspects' involvement in the commission of crime. One of the suspects had stayed in a hotel at Pimpri, but he cannot be connected with the crime". Citing a Supreme Court ruling in the famous case of Sharad Sharda versus State of Maharashtra, the judge concluded: "That I cannot hold the suspects guilty merely on emotions that they might have committed the offence". Additional public prosecutor Subhash Kalbhor said, "The Pune police had properly investigated the case. They had exhumed Deo's body from Satara after interrogating the suspects." The prosecutor said, "The prosecution had examined 26 witnesses, but 18 of them turned hostile. Eight others, including the investigating officer, various experts, magistrates and a ‘panch' witness, supported the prosecution's case, but its evidence was not enough for completing the chain of circumstances for proving the suspects guilty". Kalbhor said, "After receiving a certified copy of the judgement, I will decide whether to appeal before the Bombay high court." Naik was arrested by the West Bengal police on the Indo-Bangladesh border on August 1, 1999. He was brought to Pune two months later and formally shown arrested in the Deo murder case. Deo was kidnapped from his residence at Shivajinagar in Pune on October 1, 1997. His body was later found at a secluded spot in the hilly areas of Wai taluka of Satara district. During the trial, the prosecution had argued that Deo was eliminated by Naik's associates over suspicion that he had links with Naik's rival, Arun Gawli. In April 1998, three associates of Naik — Sandeep Dicholkar, Abdul Inamdar and Krishna Devendra — were arrested by the Mumbai police for their alleged involvement in the murder of Ramdas Ambavkar, a leader of Gawli's Akhil Bharatiya Sena. Later, they were handed over to the Pune police, who re-arrested them in the Deo murder case. Within a few months, six more people, including city hotelier Anil Bhide, were arrested for their alleged involvement in Deo's murder. Bhide was, however, discharged from the case later. One of the suspects, Vilas Kakade of Mumbai, was killed in an encounter with the Mumbai police in 2001. According to defence lawyer Dhamale, the vigilance branch of the Pune police had filed a supplementary chargesheet against Naik after he was brought to Pune for interrogation in Deo's murder case.

Candolim assault: Bail plea of accused rejected
29 Apr 2009, 0312 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The sessions court, Panaji, on Tuesday rejected the bail application filed by one Salvador Fernandes, who was arrested by the Crime branch in connection with an alleged attempt to murder Reis Magos-Verem panchayat member Francisco Serrao at Candolim. Opposing the bail application, the investigation agency pointed out that the applicant faked illness and got himself admitted in a hospital under the pretext of availing medical treatment, and instead supervised the attack on Serrao with the help of a mobile phone. The prosecution also told the court that the motive behind the assault was to force Serrao to leave the ruling faction in the panchayat. While dismissing the application, judge U V Bakre held that the case appears to be very complicated and would require time to be given to the investigation officer to conduct a proper inquiry. "Public interest of society at large is jeopardized by such acts. The complainant is seriously assaulted and bedridden," the judge observed. It may be recalled that in Febrauary 2009, the victim was restrained by masked accused and attacked with iron rods causing injuries to his legs and hands.

Maintain status quo over grant of NOCs for plots in Bethora: HC
29 Apr 2009, 0255 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Tuesday directed the Department of Forests (DoF) to maintain status quo over granting of no objection certificates (NOCs) for development of plots in Bethora village until demarcation of the forest area is completed. A division bench comprising Justice B P Dharmadhikari and Justice U D Salvi passed the order while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Nisarg and Goa Foundation. The petitioners have challenged the NOC granted by the forest department to Goodluck Developers for survey no 156/1/B in Bethora. During the hearing, the petitioners' advocate Norma Alvares pointed out to the court that the DoF had issued NOCs to the developers despite the fact that offences had been registered against them for the illegal felling of 120 trees in the area. She further told the court that, according to DoF standards, for an area to qualify as a forest its canopy area has to be 0.4%, but in case of Bethora village it is only 0.3%. Alvares argued that the canopy of the area in question has been reduced because the developer had allegedly felled 120 trees. Alvares prayed that the forest department should be restrained from issuing any fresh NoC until demarcation of the area is complete. It has also been stated in the petition that the Sawant and Karapurkar committees appointed by the government could not assess the forest area in Bethora village as the construction of the new Ponda bypass in 1994 had rendered the area inaccessible. This led to the illegal felling of trees in the forest area, the NGOs has alleged. At this point, senior counsel Atmaram Nadkarni, appearing on behalf of the developers, filed a affidavit and argued that the developers have obtained all necessary permissions. Around 90 plots have been developed in the survey no 156/1/B, out of which 60 plots have been already sold, Nadkarni said. Subsequently, the Bench ordered status quo on issuance of further NOCs. The next hearing has been fixed on June 15.

Dust pollution: Build shed at Curchorem rly yard by 31 Dec, says HC
29 Apr 2009, 0257 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Tuesday directed the Ministry of Railways to construct and commission a temporary shed at the Curchorem railway yard by December 31, 2009, inorder to control pollution caused by handling of mineral ore. A division bench comprising Justice B P Dharmadhikari and Justice U D Salvi passed the order while hearing a petition filed by Goa Foundation, John Pereira and others. The petitioners had complained that people residing in Curchorem were affected by dust pollution due to loading and unloading of ore at the railway yard. When the public interest litigation (PIL) came up for hearing on Monday, advocate Norma Alvares appearing on behalf of Goa Foundation told the court that the pollution in the area affects the health of the people living there. She pointed out that the only way to combat the serious levels of dust pollution in Curchorem is for the railway authorities to construct an enclosed shed, so that the dust will not spread in the air. At this point, the Bench asked the Central government counsel, Joseph Vaz, as to how much time the Ministry of Railways would require to finish constructing the temporary shed. Vaz informed the court that according to an inspection carried out by the railway administration, the temporary shed for enclosing the railway yard at Curchorem could be constructed within a period of nine months. Subsequent to this statement, the court issued directions for completing the construction and commissioning of the temporary shed by December 31. The court has also directed the Ministry of Railways to file a status report in the court on June 26, 2009, informing the court about the progress made in the construction of the shed. It may be recalled that on March 26 the court had directed the Ministry of Railways to conduct a survey of the yard and submit a report to the court.

Policeman tricked seniors, judges
29 Apr 2009, 0504 hrs IST, Saurabh Prashar, TNN
CHANDIGARH: Not only did he manage to deceive three seniors, a suspended cop also successfully tricked judges. During his four-year tenure as incharge of Sector 17 police station malkhana (storeroom), head constable Balbir Singh made wrong entries in files regarding weapons, but the three former SHOs Satbir Singh, Vijay Kumar and BS Negi never got a whiff of the deceit. To top it all, Balbir also managed to fox the judges in granting him permission to destroy the weapons, which were firearms and not knives as shown on the papers, the investigating officers said on Tuesday. Now, a departmental inquiry will be initiated against Balbir. Though the accused was sent to one-day police custody on Tuesday, cops would seek an extension on Wednesday. Police said the firearms recovered from the suspended head constable’s house included six pistols and 66 cartridges. While some of these were reportedly seized during 1990s in cases related to murder Arms Act and TADA, others were recovered from militant hideouts. However, officers said the cartridges were police property. The investigating agency has not ruled out the possibility of more bungling by Balbir during his tenure as the malkhana incharge. Interestingly, sources said the accused enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. His son is reportedly in Australia on study visa. However, he is fighting a legal battle with his wife, who has slapped a dowry case against him.

HC notice to govt on pharmacist posts
29 Apr 2009, 0559 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: The Patna High Court on Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to the state government asking it to explain why the court's order for filling up 700 posts of pharmacists was not complied with. A single bench presided by Justice Shailesh Kumar Sinha issued the directive while hearing a contempt petition of Pramod Kumar who submitted that the process for the 700 appointments started in 1999 through an advertisement but it was not completed despite the high court verdict passed in November 2006.


People's Union for Civil Liberties ...Appellant
Union of India & Ors. ....Respondents
1. Heard learned counsel for the parties. It has been submitted by learned counsel for the Union of India that keeping in view the orders passed by this Court on several dates, several actions have been taken, which substantially comply with the directions given by this Court.
2. Colin Gonsalves, Sr. counsel on the other hand stated that though there has been substantial compliance of the directions given by this court yet there is some reservation about the revised nutritional and feeding norms for supplementary nutrition in ICDS Scheme. It is submitted that there is scope of involving contractors in the supplies which was prohibited by that Court.
3. By affidavit dated 2nd March, 2009, the Union of India has highlighted several factors which create serious dent against malnutrition. It is stated that same can be made to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of malnutrition. The said affidavit
clarifies that these interventions include universalization of ICDS (by sanctioning 13.80 lakh Anganwadi/ Mini Anganwadi Centres and20,000 Anganwadis-on-Demand making a total of 14 lakh Anganwadis/Mini Anganwadi Centres as mandated by this Court) and, most importantly, reduction in the gap between Recommended Dietary Allowance (hereinafter referred to as "RDA") and Actual Dietary Intake (hereinafter referred to as "ADI"). On a careful consideration of the matter, the Central Government has revised both the nutritional and feeding norms as well as thee financial norms of supplementary nutrition under the ICDS Scheme.
4. It is noted that the nutritional norms have remain unchanged since inception of the Scheme (in 1975) until a recent comprehensive review by a Task Force constituted by the Central Government. On the basis of the recommendations of this Task Force, the calorific and feeding norms for supplementary nutrition in ICDS Scheme in respect of children of all categories below 6 years of age and pregnant women and nursing mothers have been revised. The Table below shows the old and revised norms:
Old Norms Revised Norms
Category Rate Calories Protein Rate Calories Protein
Rs./ per (Cal) (g) Rs./ per (Cal) (g),
benefici- benefici
ary per ary per
(i) Children below 2.00 300 day
8-10 4.00 500 12-15
3 years
(ii)Children 3-6 2.00 300 8-10 4.00 500 12-15
(iii)Severely 2.70 600 20 6.00 800 20-25
(iv)Pregnant & 2.30 500 20-25 5.00 600 18-20
Lactating (P&L) mothers
The above revised norms are incorporated in para 8.2(b) of the affidavit.
5. The Revised Nutritional and Feeding Norms for SNP in ICDS Scheme circulated vide letter no.5-9/2005/ND/Tech (Vol. II) dated24.02.2009 states that children in the age group of 6 months to 3 years must be entitled to food supplement of 500 calorie of energy and 12-15 gm of protein per child per day in the form of take home ration (THR). For the age group of 3-6 years, food supplement of 500 calories of energy and 12-15 gm of protein per child must be made available at the Anganwadi Centres in the form of a hot cooked meal and a morning snack. For severely underweight children in the age group of 6 months to 6 years, an additional 300 calories of energy and 8-10 gm of protein would be given as THR. For pregnant and lactating mothers, a food supplement of 600 calories of energy and 18-20 gm of protein per beneficiary per day would be provided as THR.
6. The letter dated 24.02.2009 No.5-9/2005/ND/Tech (Vol.II) has been annexed to the affidavit dated 2nd March 2009 filed by the Union of India. It is directed that norms indicated in the said letter addressed to all the State Governments and Union Territories have to be implemented forthwith and the respective States/UTs would make requisite financial allocation and undertake necessary arrangements to comply with the stipulations contained in the said letter.
7. It is further stated by the Ld. Additional Solicitor General that Supplementary Nutrition Food (SNP) in the form of THR shall be provided to all children in the age group of 6 months to 3 years, an additional 300 calories to severely underweight children in the age group of 3 to 6 years, pregnant women and lactating mothers as per paras 5(c), 5(d) and 5(e) of the letter dated 24th February 2009. Accordingly all Union Territories and State Governments are directed to ensure compliance with the aforementioned stipulations without fail.
8. Further, all the States and Union Territories are directed to provide supplementary nutrition- in the form of a morning snack and a hot cooked meal to the children in the age group of 3 to 6 years as per Para 5(d) of the guidelines contained in the letter dated 24th February 2009 preferably by31st December 2009.
9. As far as adolescent girls are concerned, they would continue to be covered by the entitlements of the Nutritional Programme for Adolescent Girls (hereinafter referred to as `NPAG') and Kishori Shakti Yojana(hereinafter referred to as `KSY') till such time as a comprehensive universal scheme for the empowerment of adolescent girls called `The Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for the Empowerment of Adolescent girls' is implemented within six months from the date of the order.
10. It shall however be ensured that the following direction by order dated 7th October, 2006 which was reiterated by order dated 13.6.2006 shall continue to be operative.
11. It is pointed out that several States like Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Nagaland have not met the requisite norms. These States are directed to take steps as required to be taken.
12. Compliance reports filed by all the States and Union Territories by15th January, 2010.
13. Put up thereafter.
.....................J. (Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)
...................J. (S.H. KAPADIA)
New Delhi
April 22, 2009