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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

LEGAL NEWS 28.03.2012


2G scam: HC notice to CBI on Kanimozhi's plea

Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, March 27, 2012
The Delhi high court on Tuesday issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on a plea by DMK MP Kanimozhi to quash charges against her in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

Justice ML Mehta asked the CBI to file its response by May 10. DMK MP Kanimozhi March
23 had moved the high court seeking quashing of charges. Her petition said: "Set aside/quash the charges and also quash the chargesheet filed by the CBI and all the proceedings emanating thereunder."
Kanimozhi, the daughter of DMK chief and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi, was along with former telecom minister A Raja, charged with criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, forgery, accepting a bribe and abetting bribery.
Senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani appearing for Kanimozhi said she had been falsely implicated in the matter and there was no evidence of record that could justify the charges against her.
"The impugned order framing charges against the petitioner is based on a completely wrong and misplaced understanding of the law of conspiracy," the petition filed by the accused said.
"There is not even an allegation that a single penny of the alleged bribe money has gone towards the personal account of the petitioner or has in any manner benefited her on a personal level," her petition said.
On Kanimozhi, the court had found evidence that the Rs200 crore received by DMK mouthpiece Kalaignar TV was a bribe from the Shahid Balwa-owned DB Realty in return for a 2G licence.
She claimed: "As per the CBI the alleged bribe money has been paid to Kalaignar TV between December 2008 and August 2009. During this phase, the status of the petitioner was only that of a shareholder of 20 percent equity of the company and nothing more."
The petition further submitted that Kanimozhi has not taken part in any of the board meetings wherein decisions with respect to the alleged transaction were taken. Neither has she signed any of the agreements or documents pertaining to the same.
"The special judge has committed a grave error in law in framing a charge of 120B/420 IPC against the petitioner, as firstly, the decision not to auction 2G spectrum is based upon the TRAI recommendations dated Aug 28, 2007. And secondly, there is no evidence on record that the petitioner had anything to do with the same," the petition stated.
Kanimozhi is accused of being the "active brain" behind Kalaignar TV and having been in "regular touch" with Raja.
The high court had Nov 28 last year granted bail to Kanimozhi who was named in the supplementary charge sheet filed April 25 as co-accused along with others.







HC to view video footage of Maval police firing incident

Published: Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012, 19:09 IST
Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI
Bombay High Court will soon be viewing the video footage of the August 2011 Maval firing incident to ascertain if police were left with no other option but to open fire at the protesting farmers.
The agriculturists were protesting against the government's decision to lay a closed pipeline to supply water from Pavna dam to the limits of Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporation in Pune district. The demonstrators had claimed that due to the closed pipeline they would be deprived of water for their crops.
A division bench of Justice PB Majmudar and Justice RD Dhanuka was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations seeking probe into the firing incident to be handed over to an independent agency.
The court had on the last hearing come down heavily on the Maval police for opening fire at the protestors resulting in the death of one farmer. "You (police) should have used tear gas shells and fired in the air instead of shooting at people directly," the court had said.
However, the government on Tuesday informed the court that the police was left with no other option but to open fire.
Ashutosh Kumbhkoni, special counsel for the government, urged the court to see the half-hour video of the incident stating that the police had given sufficient warning to the agitators before firing.
"Instructions of the manual were followed (before firing)... The court must see the video footage. Sitting in air-conditioned court room, one can't imagine what must have happened in the field," argued Kumbhkoni.
The counsel argued that after the agitators blocked the Mumbai-Pune highway on August 9 for two hours, one senior police officer went to them with folded hands and requested to call off the agitation. "However, the officer was beaten up and the mob pelted stones on him," said Kumbhkoni.
He added that the footage shows people on the highway running helter-skelter to save their lives when the mob started pelting stones.
Asking the concerned parties to submit the video footage, the court has kept the PIL for hearing on April 11.







HC issues notice to NID on sacking of a faculty member

PTI | 10:03 PM,Mar 27,2012
Ahmedabad, Mar 27 (PTI) Gujarat high court has issued a notice to the famous National Institute of Design (NID) after a faculty member approached the court saying that she was sacked after she alleged sexual harassment by a colleague. High court justice K M Thaker issued a notice to NID yesterday and asked the institute to explain the issue by April 12, the next date of hearing. Deepa Chalke (38), professor of Apparel Design and Merchandising Department of NID, Gandhinagar had alleged in a complaint that Gandhingar hostel warden Shatrughan Tiwari had passed sexist remarks against her in November last year. Later on February 22, she was sacked from service with immediate effect. Chalke was appointed professor on August 22, 2011 for two years. Through her counsel Mukul Sinha, Chalke has moved the high court against her sacking. She has said in her petition that the institute had terminated her service without giving any reason. Chalke had said in the petition that on February 23, a day after she was sacked, she had submitted an application before the institute's authorities challenging her termination. She stated in her application that her service was terminated without assigning any reasons and that she had not been given an opportunity to be heard. The institute had constituted a review committee which upheld her sacking and rejected her application. PTI PD ABC





Madras HC orders CBI probe into 'encounter death'

PTI | 10:03 PM,Mar 27,2012
Chennai,Mar27(PTI) Over 12 years after a Telecom Department engineer-turned-extremist was killed in an encounter with police in Dharmapuri district, Madras High Court today ordered a CBI probe into the death and said there was prima facie evidence to show that police themselves had violated the law. In its order on an plea by Nirmala,widow of K Ravinder, who alleged that her husband was killed in a 'fake' encounter on Jan 10, 2000, a Division Bench said they were pained "at the prima facie evidence available before us to show that there is violation of law by the protectors of law themselves." Transferring the investigation on the file of Marandahalli police station to CBI, the Bench, comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M Venugopal, directed police to ensure smooth transition of all records of the case, if any, within a month. The Judges directed CBI to complete its probe, as per law, and file the final report before the court concerned within six months from date of receipt of the entire case records. The Bench rejected a prayer for a direction to CBI to register a case of murder under IPC section 302 against police personnel responsible for the death.It was for CBI to decide against who the case should be registered and under what section of law, it held. Prima facie the version by police departments seemed doubtful and there was some "foul play" by some police personnel in the death of Ravinder, who allegedly joined the 'Radical Youth League' and subsequently became an extremist after developing contact with Peoples War Group. If such serious allegations of human rights violations, particularly by law protectors themselves, were left without proper probe it would shake people's confidence in entire political system in particular and democracy as a whole,it held. The Bench made it clear that any observation made in the order "is only for the limited purpose of deciding the issue, whether investigation is to be handed over to the CBI or not and shall not be construed as an expression of opinion on the merits of the case by this court." The Bench also made it clear that it was not casting any aspersions on police. MORE PTI GR BN VMN






Kanimozhi plea: HC for CBI reply

Express news service : New Delhi, Wed Mar 28 2012, 00:41 hrs
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the CBI’s reply to DMK MP Kanimozhi’s plea for quashing of various criminal and corruption charges framed by the trial court against her in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
Justice M L Mehta issued notice to the probe agency and fixed the matter for further hearing on May 10.
Kanimozhi, in her plea, had claimed she was falsely implicated in the case and had contended there was no evidence on record to justify the charge that she received bribe.
The 44-year-old DMK leader, who got bail after spending over six months in Tihar Jail, had also sought setting aside of all proceedings which ensued after framing of charges.
She has challenged the trial court’s order framing charges against her contending that it was based on “wrong and misplaced understanding of the law on conspiracy”.






HC asks for status quo at Adarsh building

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 22:26
Mumbai: Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed for status quo to be maintained at the scam-hit Adarsh Society building in south Mumbai pending hearing on the latest petition filed by Defence Ministry.

A division bench of Justices PB Majmudar and R D Dhanuka was hearing a petition filed by the Union Ministry of Defence seeking implementation of an order passed by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) directing demolition of the 31-storey Adarsh building.

According to the Defence ministry, the plush society is built inside Colaba military station in south Mumbai and was a security threat as it looks over vital installations of the defence ministry.

"No one has the right to ignore the security of the nation. Defence of the country is first, rest all is secondary," Justice Majmudar observed.

The court while posting the petition for hearing on April 30 directed for status quo to be maintained.

"Concerned authorities are restrained from issuing NOC, Occupation Certificate (OC), Commencement Certificate (CC) or any other development facility to the society pending hearing of this petition," the court said.

The bench also observed that the state government before granting permission to Adarsh should have insisted on an NOC from the Defence ministry.
Government pleader DN Nalavade informed the court that after the Adarsh scam came to light a circular has been issued on November 4, 2010 making it mandatory to seek NOC from defence ministry in cases where construction is near a defence establishment.

The court was also informed that the MMRDA had already revoked the OC granted to the society and electricity and water supply were disconnected and no member has occupied the building.








HC dismisses PIL seeking stay of Rajoana's execution

Sanjeev Verma, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, March 27, 2012Finding the public interest litigation seeking stay on execution of the death sentence to Balwant Singh Rajoana, one of the convicts in ex-Punjab chief minister Beant Singh and 17 others' assassination case of August 1995, as meritless the Punjab and Haryana high court said on Tuesday that once
the sentence has been awarded by a competent court, no other court except the court in appeal or revision can modify the order of sentence.

The petition filed by Khalra Mission Committee of Tarn Taran, Punjab came up for hearing before the division bench of justice Hemant Gupta and justice AN Jindal, which was dismissed.
The bench observed, "In the present case, as far as this court is concerned, the matter has attained finality when the murder reference as well as the criminal appeal was decided on October 12, 2010. This court in terms of Section 362 of the Criminal Procedure Code cannot modify either the conviction or the sentence. What cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly as well."
Counsel for the petitioner also submitted before the court that an appeal was pending before the Supreme Court at the instance of one of the convict and the Apex Court in exercise of its power under Article 142 of the Constitution can grant benefit to the non-appealing convict. Hence, Rajoana's sentence should not be executed at this stage, it was prayed.
The division bench also did not find any merit in the arguments of the counsel in which he made mentioned about the two Apex Court's judgments related to the case.
The petitioner had also sought directions to the trial courts in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh that where the sentences of two or more accused was same in the trial court and in case of appeal the sentence of any of the accused is reduced in the appellate court, the same benefit be given to all other accused who had not filed the appeal so that the non appealing convict may not undergo the sentence.
On this, the division bench said that the issue, "is required to be raised when the appellate or the revisional jurisdiction is being exercised and not after the announcing of the sentence."
Earlier on March 22, the same division bench had dismissed a similar public interest litigation filed by an NGO Lawyers for Human Rights International for the reason that the third person had no locus standi(legal right) to challenge the conviction of the convict.
The petitioner claimed to be an organisation to prosecute the persons who killed the innocent persons and to defend those who have been falsely implicated in cases because of political vendetta.






HC asks Maha abt awarding officers who fought 26/11 terrorists

PTI | 07:03 PM,Mar 27,2012
Mumbai, Mar 27 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today asked Maharashtra government to inform it about the steps taken to honour officials who showed bravery during the November 26, 2008 terror attacks. A division bench of P B Majmudar and R D Dhanuka was hearing a public interest litigation filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar who has sought for Ashok Chakra awards to be conferred upon all those officers who fought with terrorists during the terror attacks. The petition stated that only four police officers Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte, Vijay Salaskar and Tukaram Ombale were given the Ashok Chakra award. "Several other officers like Sadanand Date, Vijay Khandekar and Arun Jadhav also showed bravery during the attacks. They did not lose their lives but had fought with terrorists," the petition stated. The PIL further claimed that Karkare, Kamte and Salaskar had not even fought with terrorists. "The trio was killed in an ambush. If they have been awarded Ashok Chakra, then there are several other policemen who deserve the award more than them," the petition argued. Observing that brave officials must be rewarded, the court directed the government to file an affidavit next month. PTI SP ABC





Honour all cops who died: HC

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, March 28, 2012
The Bombay high court on Tuesday has asked the Maharashtra government to consider honouring all the police personnel who sacrificed their lives during the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai. “See, it is team work, and if you have honoured some senior police officials who laid (down ) their
lives, you should also consider honouring (the) remaining police personnel,” the division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice RD Dhanuka said.
The judges were referring to the fact that only three senior police officers, killed by sole surviving 26/11 attacker, Ajmal Amir Kasab and his slain buddy partner Abu Ismail, were conferred the Ashok Chakra in 2009.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar contending that while 20 police personnel laid down their lives during the 26/11 attacks,  only three senior officers were appropriately honoured.
The then Maharashtra ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte, and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar, killed during the terror strike, have been conferred with Ashoka Chakra, the highest gallantry award in India.
Tirodkar pointed out that 20 police personnel laid down their lives in the service of the nation during the attacks, and that some of them like police sub-inspector Shashank Shinde and additional commissioner of police Sadanand Date had set examples of bravery while taking on arrested Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Kasab and his slain accomplice Ismail. He said they deserved to be honoured appropriately.
The court agreed with the former journalist and told public prosecutor Pandurang Pol to see whether the state government could honour the remaining police personnel posthumously. “We do understand that not everyone could be conferred with Ashoka Chakra, but you can certainly honour deserving personnel, who sacrificed their lives,” the judges said.
The court, however, directed the former journalist to delete one of his prayers seeking directions to the government to take steps to withdraw Ashok Chakra conferred upon Karkare, Kamte and Salaskar.
In his PIL, Tirodkar alleged the three slain officers had failed to act in accordance with the call of their duty and their conduct was actually a taint on the force. According to him, the slain officers simply stood outside the gate of Cama and Albless Hospital and were shot dead by Kasab and Abu Ismail.
Tirodkar accordingly deleted the prayer as ordered by the court.






HC: Woman cadet allowed rejoining training in OTA

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 13:48
New Delhi: A woman cadet, who had resigned from training for commissioned officer in the Army over a year ago due to a back injury, has been allowed by the Delhi High Court to rejoin the training beginning next month.

Accepting the plea of Shivanjali Sharma, a bench of justices Anil Kumar and S K Mishra directed the Defence Ministry to allow her to join the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai for the next course.

"The resignation from the training given by Sharma under compulsion on account of her injuries, which was also withdrawn by her before it was accepted by the competent authority, is set aside and the respondents (Defence Ministry and concerned departments) are directed to allow her to join the OTA, Chennai for the next ensuing course commencing from April 2012," the court said yesterday.

Directing the government to comply with the order forthwith, the bench also said the petitioner (Sharma) be paid Rs 20,000 as cost within two weeks.

"Considering the facts and circumstances, the respondents shall also be liable to pay a cost of Rs 20,000 to the petitioner. Cost is paid within two weeks," the bench said.
According to Sharma, she was undergoing training at the OTA for being enlisted as a commissioned officer in the Judge Advocate's Department in 2010.

She said she had joined the training on October 8, 2010 but due to the fall in the stairs few days after commencement of her training, she suffered injuries in the tailbone, the lowermost vertebra.

With the injury, she had attended the physical training but could not continue due to persistent pain in her back, Sharma said.

Sharma alleged that she was neither given proper treatment nor allowed to go on sick leave and that the circumstances forced her to resign from the training on October 30, 2010.

"Instead of taking adequate measures to diagnose my injury and provide proper treatment, I was compelled to submit her resignation from the training.

"My compulsion while tendering my resignation from the training was to get my injury diagnosed and to get the appropriate treatment in order to avoid further aggravation of my injury, as even sick leave was refused to me," the petitioner said.

The court considered the woman's argument that after getting cured in Delhi and getting a fitness certificate from a doctor, she had sent a representation for withdrawal of her resignation.

As it was not accepted, she requested the government to allow her to rejoin the training in April last year but she was told that she was physically and mentally not fit for the service, the petitioner said.

"This court is of the opinion that by the letter dated November 16, 2010, the petitioner had withdrawn her resignation from the training before it could be accepted by the respondents....," the court said after the government failed to provide any document establishing that her resignation was accepted ahead of her representation.







HC asks Italian marines to file a fresh affidavit

PTI | 07:03 PM,Mar 27,2012
Kochi, Mar 27 (PTI): The Kerala High Court today asked the Italian counsel to file a proper affidavit in the case filed by them, seeking to quash the FIR against two marines of "Enrica Lexie" for allegedly shooting dead two Indian fishermen off the Kollam coast last month. Earlier, while hearing the petition filed by the Italian consulate, the High Court had observed that there are various defects in the petition and the affidavit was not proper. While considering the Italian Consulate's plea, Justice P S Gopinathan found that the affidavit filed by the Marines, who are now in judicial custody, was not proper. The Court granted them time till March 30 to file an affidavit signed by the Marines, now lodged in the Central Prison in Thiruvananthapuram after being remanded to judicial custody by a court in Kollam The Court asked the Advocate General of Kerala to get the signatures of the marines with the proper consent of the authorities concerned. Marines Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Gironi have been arrested and charged with murder for allegedly gunning down the two fishermen on February 15 off Kollam coast after suspecting them to be pirates. The case is being investigated by a special investigation team led by the Kochi police commissioner. PTI COR JRK NM APR





Bhatta case: HC reserves order on plea seeking probe

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Noida, March 28, 2012The Allahabad high court on Tuesday reserved its order on petitions seeking a CBI probe into a clash at the twin villages of Bhatta-Parsaul in Greater Noida in May last year. Two two farmers and two policemen were killed in the violence.
In January, too, the court had reserved its
judgment and the move came as a setback to political parties which wanted to use the Bhatta-Parsaul case to their advantage. Police and farmers had fought a pitched battle with the latter seeking greater compensation for their land acquired by the government.
The court was likely to pronounce the order in March. The petitions had been filed by Atul Sharma and other residents of Bhatta-Parsaul. The BSP government had ordered a CB-CID probe into the matter. But the petitioners wanted a CBI enquiry for “transparency.”
The Greater Noida police lodged two FIRs, in October and November last year, against more than 30 cops in connection with the alleged rape of two women during the agitation. Both FIRs were lodged on a local court’s orders. In December, the same local court rejected two petitions seeking an order to the police to lodge FIRs against top police and administrative officials for murder of two farmers during the Bhatta-Parsaul violence.
These petitioners approached the CJM court, when the police refused to lodge cases against their own colleagues. They had alleged policemen went on the rampage when male members were on the run, fearing a police backlash.
The anti-land acquisition agitation in May pitched Congress’ Rahul Gandhi against Mayawati. During his rallies, Rahul raked up the Bhatta-Parsaul issue time and again to corner Mayawati. Various central agencies have rallied behind Rahul and put pressure on the state government, leading to FIRs against policemen for Bhatta “atrocities.” But despite all this, BSP candidate from Jewar, which covers Bhatta-Parsaul, won the election.





Dunlop: HC order spells hope for retd employees

Express news service : Kolkata, Wed Mar 28 2012, 03:42 hrs
The Calcutta High Court’s order to appoint a provisional liquidator for the assets of Dunlop India Limited (DIL) has brought a ray of hope to around 319 people who went for the Early Retirement Scheme but did not receive any post-retirement benefits.
“Only the Provident Fund has been given to those who retired earlier, other benefits have not been given to them. The present employees have not been paid the salaries of October and November 2008. About 258 retired employees have not received their dues,” said a Citu leader of the Dunlop’s Sahaganj unit, Bitan Chowdhury.
While most employees of DIL’s Sahaganj unit welcomed the move, some demanded immediate intervention of the state government in the interest of the 843 employees who are allegedly deprived of their salaries.
Work at the plant was suspended on October 8 last year over alleged law and order trouble on its premises.
Some employees also demanded a tripartite meeting to sort out the problems that the unit is facing.
“The salary was stopped in October last year after suspension of work notice was issued at the plant. There are 843 employees in the unit whose fate has become uncertain. The management has no intention to run the plant. Had they been interested, the situation would not have come to such a pass. With the High Court appointing a liquidator, there is some hope that we will get our dues,” Prosidhnath Dubey, a Dunlop employee, said.
Dubey also expressed displeasure over the government’s attitude. “We had sent three to four letters to the Chief Minister, Industry Minister and the Labour minister, seeking a tripartite meeting. The government only held bipartite meeting with the company representatives,” Dubey said.
After lying closed for several years, the Sahaganj unit of Dunlop reopened in March 2006 after industrialist Pawan Ruiya took over. An agreement was signed between the management and employees’ associations.
Dunlop’s reopening was termed as the opening of a new chapter in industrial rejuvenation in West Bengal by then Chief Minister Buddhedeb Bhattacharjee.
But the hope of betterment disappeared quickly.
“Though operation began at the plant, the production had remained always below the breakeven point. The management had no intention make the unit a profitable one. The machines gradually become obsolete,” an employee said.
Vice-Chairman, Hooghly Chinsurah municipality, and INTTUC leader of Dunlop, Amit Roy said: “The HC order has virtually paved the way for selling of the property of the company and it has no mention about revival of the plant which we have been demanding. The state government was also putting pressure on the DIL to reopen and run the factory. The Central trade unions need to come to a common platform to fight for reopening of the plant.”







HC says Tata can build Camelot - conditions apply

Sanjeev Verma, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, March 27, 2012
In a ruling that underlined the changing, urbanising character of Chandigarh's periphery, and also marked these areas out as a source of affordable housing, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday said the proposed Rs 1,800-crore Tata Camelot Housing Project in Kansal can come up, but only if
all the mandatory permissions are taken as per the law of the land, including the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act of 1952.
The project, which comes in SAS Nagar district, already lacks permission from the central government under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 and has been once denied the nod under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
Now it would also need permissions under the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act 1995 from Punjab, and under the periphery act of 1952 from Punjab as well as Chandigarh UT, according to the ruling by a division bench comprising chief justice Ranjan Gogoi and justice Mahesh Grover that came after nearly 16 months of the filing of a public interest litigation (PIL) by advocate Aalok Jagga.
Originally, the project, which came under a cloud after persistent reporting by the media, is proposed to come up on 53.39 acres of land. It would have around 2,100 flats in 19 buildings that would have 12 to 35 floors, at no point rising beyond 92 metres. Significantly, the project has managed some key clearances, including height clearance from the defence ministry.
The bench observed that the periphery control act "does not contemplate a complete embargo on the raising of construction in the periphery". On the contrary, it said, a reading of the various provisions of the act would point to a regulatory mechanism where construction activity is permissible subject to certain checks and balances.
"The court also cannot be oblivious to the fact that the periphery of Chandigarh, which initially comprised of villages, may have essentially lost its rural character and the country-cousin inched closer to its city compatriot in some ways… and these villages have become a source of cheap and affordable housing to those who cannot afford to bear the expenses of the city," the bench observed.
Justifying the applicability of the 1952 periphery act as well as the 1995 Punjab planning act to the project, the bench did "not see any conflict" in the application of the two statutes to the areas that fall in the periphery of Chandigarh and immediately beyond it.
"Rather we are of the view that the periphery control act as well as the 1995 act should be given strict effect to ensure regulated development in the peripheral area as well as in the immediate vicinity of such area," held the bench.
MATTER AND THE PRICE
Tata Housing Company and Hash Builders propose to develop the project. It purchased around 21.2 acres in Kansal from the 129-member Punjab MLAs' society, called the Punjabi Cooperative House Building Society, and around 31 acres from the Defence Services Society, which had 130-odd members, in 2006. The proposed cost of a two-bedroom flat was pegged at Rs 1 crore. A three-bedroom could set you back by as much as Rs 1.5 crore.
November 17, 2010: HC takes suo motu notice of a news item and also issued notices on a PIL filed against the project
January 20, 2011: HC orders stay of the project
January 13, 2012: On Tata's plea, Supreme Court orders HC chief justice to dispose of the case at the earliest
February 15, 2012: HC reserves its judgment
March 26, 2012: HC disposes of the PIL with directions

Grounds taken to challenge project
Falls in eco-sensitive, protected area within 10 km of Chandigarh; also within Sukhna Lake's catchment area and affects Sukhna wildlife sanctuary
Sanction refused under Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972; violation of Environment (Protection) Act 1986
Against the vision of Chandigarh's architect Le Corbusier; will adversely affect UT's claim to World Heritage City status. Permissions under Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act 1952 not obtained
Punjab MLAs' society sold land to the builders under dubious circumstances
Permissions


OBTAINED
Approval of zoning plan and building plan from Nayagaon nagar panchayat .
Height clearance from union ministry of defence.
Central Ground Water Authority nod.
No-objection certificate from Punjab forest department.
No-objection certificate from fire officer, SAS Nagar.

PENDING
Nod from central govt under Environment (Protection) Act 1986 and Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972
Permissions under Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act 1952 from Punjab as well as Chandigarh and under Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act 1995 from Punjab

LAW OF THE LAND
Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act 1952
It came into force when Chandigarh was in the process of being developed as a capital of Punjab. The aim was to prevent unregulated and haphazard growth around the city. It covers Punjab's area adjacent to and within a distance of 10 miles (16 km) on all sides from the outer boundary of the land acquired for Chandigarh known as controlled area. Permits erection or re-erection of any building in the controlled area in accordance with the plans and restrictions and with the previous permission of the deputy commissioner.
Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act 1995
 The act, which is applicable to whole of Punjab, came into force to make provision for better planning, preparation of regional plans, master plans and undertaking housing programmes for establishing new towns. It seeks to regulate the location, height, number of storeys and size of buildings, other structures, open spaces, use of building, structures and land.






No more permissions to society: HC to govt, BMC

Express news service : Wed Mar 28 2012, 00:13 hrs
Affirming that issues of national security are paramount, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) not to issue any further permissions to the controversial Adarsh housing society in Cuffe Parade.
The court passed the order while hearing a petition by the Union government through the defence department, which demanded directives from the court to implement an order to demolish the 31-storey structure. The order was passed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in January 2011.
The department reiterated that the building is a serious security threat to nearby defence installations.
In response to the petition, the division bench of Justice P B Majmudar and Justice R D Dhanuka said, “No one has the right to ignore the security of the nation. The defence of the country comes first; everything else is secondary in nature.”
In a lighter vein, Justice Majmudar said that in the future, people might try to “sell the Gateway of India as well”.
The judges reiterated a suggestion made in a previous hearing that the building can be transferred to the defence department instead of being demolished.
In its order, the court restrained both the state government and the BMC from issuing any no-objection certificate (NoC), commencement certificate (CC) or occupation certificate (OC) to Adarsh pending the resolution of the dispute.
Meanwhile, government pleader D A Nalavade told the court that the state, after the controversy erupted, has made it mandatory for any construction near defence establishments to have an NOC from the defence department. This has been done through a circular dated November 4, 2010, he said.
The MMRDA also informed the judges that it has revoked the OC and has disconnected electricity and water supply to the structure. In its petition, the department said the building provides a direct view of the Colaba military station and that it can interfere with military activities in case it is occupied by hostile forces. This is the first time that the defence has moved court specifically seeking demolition of the building.







NGO moves HC against ban on foreign funding

MADURAI: Good Vision, a Kanyakumari-based non-governmental organisation, has moved the Madurai bench of the Madras high court against an order of the Union ministry of home affairs prohibiting it from receiving foreign contributions.
In his affidavit, T Mano Thangaraj, founder and chief functionary of Good Vision, said it was a trust functioning since 2000. In order to carry out certain welfare measures, the trust was registered with the home ministry under the provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act. He said that during the tsunami in Tamil Nadu, they worked in collaboration with some foreign aid agencies and also received foreign contributions through an account with Syndicate Bank, Karungal in Kanyakumari district. They received funds till 2010, but later on stopped such contributions. Later, the trust also implemented welfare schemes of the Union and state governments and
Its bank accounts were properly accounted, audited and regularly monitored, he said. There was no complaint whatsoever against its functioning.
Whileso, Thangaraj said the trust had received an order from the Union ministry of home affairs dated February 9 stating that in public interest, the government prohibits the trust from receiving foreign contributions. The said order further proceeded to freeze not only the foreign contributions' bank account of the trust, but also other accounts. Seeking to stay the order of the Union government, Thangaraj said the order of the Centre was mala fide as it wanted to stifle any dissenting voice against the commissioning of the Kudankulam nuclear plant.
Thangaraj said that he was personally against the installation of nuclear reactors and it was his democratic right to express his sentiments and opinions. However,
his personal opinion and involvement in the anti-nuclear reactor campaign would not have any connection with the trust. There was absolutely no material to show that any foreign contribution received or even the other funds of the trust were being diverted to fuel the anti-nuclear campaign, he added.
Justice R Subbiah, before whom the matter came up, directed the standing counsel of the Union government to get instructions on the petition. The matter was posted for further hearing to March 30.





HC takes suo motu cognizance of illegal saw mills

Vaibhav Ganjapure
NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has taken a suo motu cognizance of media reports over illegal renewal of saw mills licenses by the State Forest Department and has told its registrar office to treat them as Public Interest Litigation (PIL). A division bench - comprising justices Sharad Bobde and Prasanna Varale - on Tuesday appointed Deven Chauhan as amicus curiae to draft a petition and plead the case.
The reports exposed as to how the forest officials were allegedly involved in flouting norms by granting renewal to saw mills licenses which had lapsed long back. Quoting Rule 88 of Bombay Forest Rules, 1942, the report mentioned that if saw mill license was not renewed, it would automatically lapse and could not be renewed nor fresh one could be issued.
The reports also cited a Supreme Court judgment where it directed to close all saw mills and plywood industries which were operating without license in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, considering the ecology, protection and conservation of forest. The contents of reports which were obtained under RTI Act further mentioned that even chief conservator of forest had issued a notification in this regard on January 29, 1998. The court directed amicus curiae to make state chief secretary, additional chief secretary of revenue and forest, and principal chief conservator of forestin Nagpur as respondents in PIL.





HC summons Betul collector over rehabilitation of nomadic tribe

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh high court on Tuesday summoned Betul district collector to appear before it on April 17 to explain reasons for not filing progress report on rehabilitation of members of nomadic tribe - Pardhi, who had been displaced four years ago and since then allegedly living in a miserable condition in that district.
A division bench of high court, comprising acting chief justice Sushil Harkauli and justice Vimla Jain in Jabalpur took a strong stance after the state government failed to file the report on two petitions moved by Alsia Pardhi and Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission (MPHRC).
In February, the state government had sought time to file the report pleading and promising that it was last time to seek such a relief. When the state government sought time again on Tuesday, the petitioners' counsels opposed granting more time.
In her plea, Alsia stated that the displaced Pardis were staying in pathetic condition in government make-shift huts with over plastic sheets.
Her counsel Raghvendra Kumar said this tribe members have lost new pregnant and lactating mothers, new born babies and old persons for want of medical facilities, good diet and unhygienic conditions.
Pardhis lost their houses at village Chauthria in Betul after their settlements were reduced to ashes. Two old women of their tribe were killed and some gang-raped in a mob attack in September 2007, Kumar told the court.
The two petitions have sought direction from the court to the state to fasten rehabilitation of the displaced community members.





HC confirm gallows for 4-year-old girl's rapist & killer

Vaibhav Ganjapure
NAGPUR: Four years after the murder of four-year-old Muskan, daughter of Krishna and Pinki Sharma, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Tuesday confirmed death penalty to her rapist-murderer Vasanta Dupare (48). A resident of Wadi, Dupare had been raped and brutally killed the girl on April 3, 2008.
"While rape is an outrage of womanhood, rape of a 4-year-old girl by a full-grown man also exhibits a perpetrated mind. He would continue to be a menace to the society," a division bench - comprising Justices PV Hardas and SS Jadhav - ruled before dismissing Dupare's criminal appeal and confirming state's application for his death.
Assistant government pleader Sanjay Doifode, assisted by Manoj Sable, pleaded for Wadi police. Doifode earlier ensured capital punishment for Shankar Khade and Anil Anthony in similar cases by convincing the court that they fall under "rarest of rare" category.
"A tragedy of unimaginable magnitude fraught with pain, anguish and having calamitous consequences occurred in Sharma family. The aggravating circumstances would have shocked the conscience of community in general. The accused acted in most diabolical manner and designedly lured the unsuspecting girl," the judges observed.
"Crime is committed by accused in an extremely cruel manner exhibiting brutality and utter perversity. He is not displaying any remorse or repentance for the act," the judges added citing Dupare's criminal records.
The bench delivered verdict in quick time after it came up for hearing on March 21. The judges started hearing arguments on the same morning, completed it by the afternoon and reserved the petition for judgment.
Dupare was first awarded death on September 29, 2010 by additional sessions judge AS Shiwankar. Besides being convicted under Section 302 of IPC, the accused was also found guilty under Sections 376 (2) (f), 367, 363 and 201.
Dupare was awarded lifer along with seven years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of 3, 000 for rape and kidnapping. After the case came up for hearing in the high court, the accused argued that four out of 17 witnesses were testified in absence of his lawyer. His case was then referred back to the sessions court where additional sessions judge GJ Akarte also maintained same punishment. Additional public prosecutor Jyoti Vajani pleaded for both times during sessions trial.
On the fateful day, Dupare lured Muskan on pretext of chocolates and took her on a bicycle. When she failed to return, her parents lodged a complaint naming Dupare as suspect. He was subsequently arrested and spilt beans during interrogation. Muskan's body was found at a secluded spot at Santoshi Mata Nagar. The incident created huge furore in Wadi with citizens wanting to lynch him.







HC notice to railways on refund worth crores to passengers

Vijay Pinjarkar
NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has issued notices to the ministry of railways (MoR) and 16 others on a public interest litigation (PIL) demanding refund of crores of rupees to passengers who travelled in high capacity coaches (side middle berths) but were not paid discount in fares as announced by the government.
Former railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav on February 26, 2008 had announced 6% discount in fares for passengers travelling in high capacity coaches wherein berths were extended from 72 to 81. The decision came into force from April 1, 2008. However, despite a Railway Board circular to this effect, discount was not paid to travellers. TOI was the first to report the matter in 2009.
Petitioner Avinash Prabhune, Nagpur, who had sought information under RTI in 2009, revealed that 6,000 coaches were converted into high capacity coaches in 16 zones.
Railways failed to provide discount to around 60.87 lakh passengers in three zones - South Central Railway (SCR), North Frontier Railway (NFR) and Northern Railway (NR). Other zones did not furnish information to Prabhune.
"The amount may run into crores if discount money is taken into account for remaining 13 zones," said Prabhune, who appeared in person. The petitioner wanted that railways be told to deposit discount amount in Prime Minister's Relief Fund and take action against officials for failure in implementing the budget commitment.
The matter came to light when the petitioner, while travelling to & fro from Nagpur to Delhi on March 15 and 17, 2009 was not granted discount during his journey in high capacity coaches. Prabhune fought back for 18 months to get a refund of 39 in June 2010.
On direction from the chief information commissioner (CIC), railways also paid 4,266 compensation to the petitioner for harassment faced by him while pursing the matter for more than a year under the RTI Act.
"The refund of 39 itself establishes mistake of rail administration. In case of fare hike, railways collect difference amount from passengers. The same principle should follow in case of discount," the petitioner has stated.






HC cancels Acharya’s bail; to surrender today

HYDERABAD: Describing as perverse the CBI court's order that set IAS officer B P Acharya free on bail in the Emaar scam case, justice K C Bhanu of the AP High Court on Monday cancelled the bail and directed Acharya, accused number one in the case, to surrender before the trial court immediately. The CBI court had earlier released him on bail on technical grounds that the Centre's sanction for prosecuting the IAS officer under the Prevention of Corruption Act was not obtained. According to information available, Acharya will surrender before the CBI court on Wednesday morning after which he will once again be lodged in Chanchalguda jail.

Delivering his judgment on a CBI petition that challenged the trial court order, the judge came down heavily on the trial court for being whimsical in its approach rather than judicious. "Judges do have discretion, but it should be used judiciously keeping in view the facts of the case. It is an indispensable part of a sound judicial system", Justice Bhanu said.

Even in the absence of a sanction order, the trial court can keep an accused in judicial remand under various provisions of CrPC, the judge said. During and after investigation and during the trial period, there are several provisions that enable a trial court to keep an accused in remand, he said. "In the current case, the court may not be able to keep Acharya in judicial custody under 167 of the CrPC, but under section 309, it can certainly remand the accused to judicial custody. How can the trial court release a person on bail without there being an application seeking bail by the accused. And that too without even hearing the CBI version?," Justice Bhanu asked.

Trial court faulted for giving bail to Acharya

"It would have been a different case had there been an application for bail and court grants him bail after hearing the matter on merits," he said. The trial court should have applied its mind to the facts on hand, he added.

When the counsel for Acharya sought time for his client's surrender before the trial court, the judge refused to grant any time. "It was a perverse order. How can the trial court judge refuse to send him (Acharya) to jail. Let your client surrender before the court. Otherwise, the CBI officials will take care of him," Justice Bhanu said. "How can the trial court refuse to extend the judicial remand merely on the ground of no sanction? This does not in any way entitle the accused to get automatically released," the judge said.

Appearing for Acharya, senior counsel C Padmanabha Reddy said that the trial court has no other option in the absence of a sanction order. Extending judicial remand in this case would be illegal, he said. Justice Bhanu declined to accept this line of argument and said that mere lack of sanction would not wipe out the case against the accused officer. "Once the investigation is over and before the commencement of trial, there is a stage called framing of charges. The interregnum period that lies between the charge sheet and the framing of charges is covered under section 309 of the CrPC, under which the trial court has powers to remand the accused to judicial custody even in the absence of a sanction order and even without the court taking cognizance of the cases against the accused," Justice Bhanu said. During the interregnum period, the court starts the inquiry and this forms the crux of section 309, the judge explained to the senior counsel.





HC stops Fitch from rating Srei Infra

KOLKATA/MUMBAI:In a first of its kind case in India, Calcutta high court has restrained Fitch Ratings from taking any ratings action on Kolkata-based Srei Infrastructure Finance. As a result, the Indian arm of the global ratings major has informed all that it would not be publishing any ratings and opinions on ratings on Srei Infra.

A release from Fitch on Tuesday noted that it has received an order from the high court, dated March 20, "pursuant to which Fitch India has been restrained from publishing a rating action with regards to Srei Infrastructure Finance."

Fitch is therefore unable at this time to publish a current rating on the issuer, the ratings major said.
On its part, Srei Infra said that there has been a "long, protracted dispute for last one year between the parties resulting the matter taking a legal shape. Since the matter is sub-judice, it would not be possible for us to comment on this matter any more."

Although the parties involved in the matter declined to comment on the case and its origin, industry sources said that the 'one year' that Srei Infra mentioned in the note, relates to adetailed release that Fitch had issued on March 28, 2011.




Disclose reasons for accepting Aarushi case: CIC to CBI

New Delhi: Why did the CBI decide to take up the Aarushi murder case while it has refused other such cases? The Central Information Commission has directed the premier agency to disclose the reasons for agreeing to carry out probe into much-hyped murders of a 14-year old girl Aarushi Talwar and servant Hemraj.
The case relates to an RTI application filed by one Raghunath Prasad Gupta of Ballia, Uttar Pradesh who sought to know from the agency the reasons for taking over probe in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder.
The CBI had provided partial information while refused most of it, saying that the details sought do not come under the definition of information under the RTI Act.
During the hearing, Gupta said he wanted to know whether the grounds on which the Arushi murder case had been taken up by the agency were any different from the reasons on which the previous murder case under reference has been refused.
"We think that this is a very legitimate query. Since all decision by public authorities are expected to be based on objective reasons, there is no harm in the CBI providing him with the copies of the relevant records in which competent authorities had decided to accept the Aarushi murder case for investigation," Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra said ordering to disclose information within 10 days.
Aarushi, daughter of dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, was found dead with her throat slit in her home at Jalvayu Vihar in Noida on May 16, 2008. A day later body of their servant Hemraj was also found on their roof.
The CBI took over probe on May 29, 2008. After probing the murder for over two and half years, CBI had filed its closure report in the Ghaziabad Special CBI court. The court had, however, rejected the CBI closure report.




Barkatullah University changes tune, to accept cash from RTI applicants

BHOPAL: Barkatullah University will have a separate counter to accept cash from RTI applicants seeking information related to BU issues soon. The facility will save RTI applicants from paying more money, the university registrar said.
The decision came a day after the TOI carried a story on how RTI applicants are forced to cough up Rs 27 for a photo copy because the university doesn't accept cash and insists on a challan of Rs 2, for which the bank charges a commission of Rs 25.
"We will have a separate counter to accept the cash. We do not want any RTI applicant to suffer," Barkatullah University registrar Sanjay Tiwari said.
Former chief information commissioner (CIC) PP Tiwari had told TOI that the applicants could not be forced to deposit RTI fees through challan or postal order. "It is the applicant's choice to deposit money as per his convenience. It is wrong, if the university is forcing applicants and taking more money than the prescribed amount," Tiwari had said.






 ‘No indefeasible right of appeal against AFT order'

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 20:31
New Delhi: The government or the Army personnel have no "vested, indefeasible or absolute right" to appeal against orders of the specially-constituted Armed Forces Tribunal, the Supreme Court has ruled.

A bench of justices T S Thakur and Gyan Sudha Mishra said an appeal, if any, can be filed only with prior permission of the Tribunal or the Supreme Court as provided under Sections 30 and 31 of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007.

The bench said Section 31 of the Act specifically provides for an appeal to the Supreme Court but stipulates two distinct routes for it.

"Section 31 (1) in no uncertain terms forbids grant of leave to appeal to this Court unless the Tribunal certifies that a point of law of general public importance is involved in the decision.
This implies that Section 31 does not create a vested, indefeasible or absolute right of filing an appeal to this court against a final order or decision of the Tribunal to this Court.

"Such an appeal must be preceded by the leave of the Tribunal and such leave must, in turn, be preceded by a certificate by the Tribunal that a point of law of general public importance is involved in the appeal," said Justice Thakur, writing the judgement for the bench.

The other option, the bench said, was to seek permission of the apex court for filing an appeal.
The apex court passed the ruling while dismissing appeals filed by the Centre and Krite Kumar Awasthi in wo separate issues.





Notices to state in liquor scam

HYDERABAD: A division bench of AP High Court comprising Chief Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice PV Sanjay Kumar on Monday made it clear that notices in the writ petition filed seeking CBI investigation into liquor scam were confined to the state government only.
The bench has passed this order on Monday morning. It made it clear that the notice will be issued to the government alone.
It may be mentioned here that the bench, on Thursday, ordered for issuance of ‘notice to respondents’ in connection with liquor syndicate scam.
But it was not clear whether all the respondents are to receive these notices and respond to the issues raised in the writ petition. It directed the state government to file a counter affidavit in two weeks and adjourned the case to April 16.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu, ministers Mopidevi Venkata Ramana, Botcha Satyanarayana, former minister P Shankar Rao, Union home secretary, state DGP, ACB DGP, vernacular dailies and television channels are among the 20 respondents named by the petitioners.






High court restrains execution of DIOS order

KANPUR: The Allahabad High Court had recently suspended the appointment of 61 observers and restrained the execution of the order passed by the district inspector of schools.
Justice Arun Tandon passed the order on a writ petition filed by the management of DAV Inter College.
According to DAV College manager Nagendra Swarup, district inspector of schools Shiv Sewak Singh had appointed 61 teachers as observer for various unaided schools of the district on March 13, 2012. In the list of observers, KK Verma of DAV College was at number one. Verma's services had been suspended by the management on January 31, 2012. Despite that, the DIOS appointed him. In his petition, Swarup claimed that appointment of Verma was illegal and against the rules.
Justice Tandon observed that legally services of KK Verma should be revoked in 2007 but he was kept illegally in services for five years. The court directed the secretary, education department, to realize the salary amount from management as well as from personal account of DIOS.





Staff Selection Commission row: HC seeks records of selection of junior engineers

TNN Mar 26, 2012, 10.03PM IST
PATNA: The Patna high court on Monday called for records of selection of junior engineers in a case relating to alleged removal of names of the petitioners from the list of selected candidates posted on the website of the Staff Selection Commission (SSC).
A single bench presided by Justice Navin Sinha issued the directive to the SSC while hearing the writ petition of Binod Kumar Yadav and others.
Petitioners' counsel Manan Kumar Mishra submitted that the commission had published the results of 800 successful candidates, including the petitioners, on its official website after the Supreme Court intervened in the matter.
But, when the petitioners approached the commission to get their results, they were told that they had not qualified in the competition. The counsel contended that the right of petitioners for appointment had been infringed as their names had been replaced with others.





Cannot depend on whims of judiciary, Bench told

Krishnadas Rajagopal : New Delhi, Wed Mar 28 2012, 00:10 hrs
A constitution Bench of the Supreme Court was told that neither can journalism be left to the “whims” of the judiciary nor can a judge stop the media from reporting a court case merely because he is “embarrassed” with the news report.
These observations were made by senior advocates invited to assist the five-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia “frame guidelines for reporting of cases in the media”.
One of them, senior advocate Fali S Nariman, suggested to the Bench that the best way would be to “pull up” the reporter for misrepresentation on a case-by-case basis, but not sit down to frame “general” guidelines which may in effect curb the freedom of press. “We cannot build a wall around ourselves,” Nariman said.
Senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan asked the court how it intends to enforce the guidelines, if formed, in a society where “everybody is a journalist”.
Speaking for the Bench, Chief Justice Kapadia said the court was not meant as an adversarial exercise and the judiciary was not trying to “control content” in a news story, but the guidelines, if framed, were meant to prevent misreporting which affects administration of justice and the rights of the accused. “If we are misrepresented, arguments are misrepresented, can’t we do anything about it. We have 11 complaints, all from senior advocates. We are misquoted day in and day out... can’t we do anything about it? “ he asked.
Nariman replied that self-restraint is applicable to the judge and the lawyer as much as to the media. “A high court judge says in court that 97 per cent of the people in the country are fools. The media reports it. All sorts of judges say all sorts of things, all sorts of lawyers say all sorts of things... we cannot build a wall around ourselves... there should be self-restraint on lawyers and judges as well not to say just about anything in court,” Nariman submitted before the Bench also comprising Justices D K Jain, S S Nijjar, J S Khehar and Ranjana Prakash Desai.
“I have this grave apprehension... I don’t want the freedom of press to go,” he underlined his point on the first day of the court hearing, which he said should be held as an “exalted seminar” and not “litigious proceedings”.
Nariman was himself aggrieved when a confidential communication detailing valuation of assets of Sahara House, of which he is lawyer in an ongoing litigation in the SC, was leaked to a news channel, which aired it a day before a scheduled hearing of the case. His written complaint is one of the catalysts for setting up the Bench.
Senior advocate Soli Sorabjee said he believed that “mere embarrassment to the counsel or judge” is not good enough a reason to stop the media from reporting a case.
“Can we issue an injunction on reporting which affects the assets of a corporate house or a company? Look at the recent news on the CAG report... the report was yet to be submitted in Parliament. The news item may be right or wrong, but the whole economy has already suffered. We are giving an illustrative example of how a news item has affected an institution,” the Bench said.
It stressed that the right to life and dignity of an accused is as important as the freedom of speech of the media.
Attorney General GE Vahanvati, also asked to assist the court, apprised the Bench that media does have “self-regulation”. “Journalists do not operate in vacuum. They have editors. If they feel that something has gone wrong, they act. That by itself is a check,” the AG submitted.





SC refuses to stay Gujarat high court order

AHMEDABAD: A Supreme Court bench on Tuesday refused to stay the Gujarat high court order granting relief to suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in the 1990 custodial torture case in Jamnagar district.
On March 22, Justice A S Dave allowed Bhatt's plea and directed the Jam Khambhalia court to overlook the 15-year delay in filing a revision application in the Prabhudas Vaishnani murder case.
Vaishnani's brother, who is a complainant in the case, rushed to the apex court as soon as HC ruled in favour of Bhatt. The case was mentioned before a bench of justices P Satashivam and B S Chauhan, who refused to grant interim relief in the form of staying the HC order. This was because the litigant did not have copy of the order passed by HC last week, as the duly signed and certified copy of the order has not been made available yet.
The counsel for Bhatt, I H Syed said, "The bench asked the applicant how can the court pass any direction in absence of the order that is subject to challenge." The hearing on the petition in SC is now scheduled for April 4.
Bhatt and six other policemen are facing a trial in Jam Khambhalia's sessions court for Vaishnani's death. The state government had refused to grant permission to prosecute Bhatt in 1995. However, a magisterial court took cognizance of the case and instituted a trial against the cops. The state government filed a revision application in a sessions court against the magisterial court's decision stating that no case was made out against the cops.
However last year, after Bhatt implicated chief minister Narendra Modi in 2002 riots, the state government withdrew its revision application by which it was opposing the prosecution, thus paving the way for the trial. Immediately, Bhatt filed an independent revision plea before the sessions court claiming that the prosecution was illegal and barred by law. However, the lower court refused to entertain it on the ground that it was filed 16 years after the court took cognizance of the case.




Hang Rajoana as scheduled on March 31, orders Chandigarh court

Published: Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012, 16:44 IST | Updated: Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012, 20:13 IST
Place: Chandigarh | Agency: PTI
A Sessions court on Tuesday rejected the petition seeking deferment of the hanging of Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted for assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, and ordered carrying out of the sentence on March 31 as scheduled.
The court in Chandigarh also returned the warrant of execution for compliance.
In a brief order, Additional District and Sessions Judge Shalini Singh Nagpal said "the execution order is returned for compliance."
Earlier, the court had on March five ordered execution of Rajoana, a Babbar Khalsa militant lodged in the Patiala Central Jail, on March 31.
The Judge issued a show cause notice for April 16 to the Superintendent of the Patiala Central Jail LR Jakhar.
Additional Advocate General Anoopinder Singh Grewal, who represented the Jail Superintendent, told mediapersons outside the court that the state would move the Punjab and Haryana Court against today's order.
In the petition, the Jail Superintendent had submitted that the death warrant could not be executed as the petition of another convict, Lakhwinder Singh, in the Beant Singh case was pending before the Supreme Court.
CBI counsel RK Handa and Rajan Malhotra had contended that Jakhar had no locus standi to challenge the execution warrant issued by the court.
On the plea that they would be moving the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Judge said "I have closed the order."
The death warrant should be executed as directed earlier, the Judge said during the proceedings lasting barely three minutes.
The Additional Advocate General said the hanging of Rajoana could not take place as a mercy petition filed by the SGPC seeking clemency for him was before the President.
He said the petition of Lakhwinder Singh was also pending before the Supreme Court.
The Jail Superintendent told reporters that they would move the higher court for relief.
"I am a government servant and I am supposed to do what is according to the law," he said.
On his locus standi in the case, Jakhar said there was a judgement of the Supreme Court in a similar case which bestowed on him legal rights to become a party in the Rajoana case.
In a related development, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today dismissed a petition filed by the Khalra Mission, a Human Rights body, seeking relief for Rajoana.
A Division Bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and KS Bindal dismissed the petition filed by D S Pheruman, an advocate, who represened the Mission.
The Bench said the Mission had no locus standi to file a PIL in the case.
The CBI counsel had yesterday submitted the attempt of the Jail Superintendent was only an attempt to present facts in a "distorted manner" and confuse things.
The CBI had produced a letter of agreement between Punjab and Union Territory Chandigarh under which prisoners like Rajoana can be kept. It said the agreement had been renewed in 2010.
The special CBI court had awarded death sentence to Rajoana and Jagtar Singh Hawara on August 1, 2007.
Lakhwinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Shamsher Singh were sentenced to life imprisonment for hatching the conspiracy to kill Beant Singh.
Rajoana did not appeal against the judgment. The death penalty of Hawara, who filed an appeal against it, was commuted to life term.





Court denies CID custody of Pradeep Sharma, says too late

Express news service : Rajkot, Wed Mar 28 2012, 04:37 hrs
The Bhuj Sessions Court on Tuesday rejected an application of the state CID (crime) seeking remand of suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma in connection with a graft case wherein he is accused of using a cellphone whose bill was footed by Welspun, a textile manufacture based in Kutch.
Sessions judge N T Acharya turned down the plea saying the agency cannot seek custody after more than a year of registering an FIR.
The decision came as a breather for the former Kutch district collector, who is facing eight criminal cases, with the latest one related to a land scam in Anjar taluka.
There were speculations that Sharma, who is out on bail since December, might be arrested on Tuesday in the latest case. But the CID did not arrest him after the hearing.
In one of the cases, Sharma is accused of allotting land to Welspun in Anjar taluka for pittance during his posting in Kutch between 2003 and 2007.






Hang Beant Singh's co-assassin on March 31: Punjab court

New Delhi: The Chandigarh Sessions court on Tuesday ordered execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana on March 31 and also issued a showcause notice and contempt of court against Patiala Jail Superintendent for not carrying out the orders. The Court has returned Rajoana's hanging order to Patiala Jail "for compliance" in the Beant Singh assassination case of 1995.
Anupinder Singh Grewal, Additional Advocate General, Punjab, said, "Court has asked to carry out orders. We will approach superior court and explore legal remedies."
However, Patiala Central Jail Superintendent Lakhwinder Singh Jakhar once again wrote to the Additional Sessions Judge Shalini Singh Nagpal that he would appeal against the order.
"We are going to the High Court against the order. Legal process will be followed and according to the law I can be the part of case that's why I am going to the High Court and will appeal in case," said Jakhar.
Jakhar has also moved an application expressing his inability to carry out the execution in terms of the law laid down by the Supreme Court. He said that there is a mercy petition filed in the court which is pending and if the President decides to grant clemency or commutes the sentence from death to life, how will the life of the person be brought back.
Punjab police and paramilitary forces on Tuesday conducted flag marches across the state apprehending violence if the execution of Rajoana convicted in the assassination of former Chief Minister Beant Singh is carried out.
Various Sikh organisations have given a bandh call in Punjab on Wednesday in view of the expected hanging of Rajoana who has neither challenged his conviction nor filed any mercy petition.
Earlier, Rajoana, who has been convicted for the assassination of former Chief Minister Beant Singh, described Akali leaders as "cheaters" and asked them not to seek clemency for him.
In his latest letter released to Sikhs from the Central Jail here, he said, "I don't need any help from blue-turbaned Akali leaders, who have not done anything so far to secure justice for Sikhs. Akali leaders have started speaking up now as they fear that if they don't, they will lose their support."
The copies of the letter were distributed by his foster sister Kamaldeep Kaur outside the Central Jail where he is lodged.
Rajoana also wrote that Akali leaders failed to secure justice from Delhi for innocent Sikhs and should not now throw their turbans before Delhi to seek clemency for him.
"Akalis are trying to secure sympathy for me from Delhi with folded hands. But history would never forgive them for their failure to secure justice for Sikhs," said Rajoana.
About support being offered by Beant Singh's family members and Amarinder Singh, Rajoana said, "Didn't want to seek any help from them, who are the representatives of killers".
The special CBI court in Chandigarh had awarded death sentence to Rajoana and Jagtar Singh Hawara in the Beant Singh assassination case on August 1, 2007. Three others - Lakhwinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Shamsher Singh - were sentenced to life imprisonment for hatching the conspiracy to kill Beant Singh.
Rajoana did not appeal against the judgement nor has he filed any mercy petition. The death penalty of Hawara, who filed an appeal against it, was commuted to life sentence.
On August 31, 1995, as Beant Singh stepped out of his office at the high-security Punjab civil secretariat in Chandigarh, a suicide bomber Dilawar Singh blew himself up, killing the then Chief Minister and 17 others. Rajoana was the second human bomb to be used in case Dilawar had failed in his mission.
SGPC, the apex religious body of Sikhs, has sent a mercy petition to the President seeking clemency for death row convict Balwant Singh Rajoana even as Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said he would soon meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard.




SC questions bias in treating mercy petitions

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday was at a loss to understand why convict Dhananjoy Chatterjee's execution was swift, but a lot of political muscle flexing was on show when it came to Beant Singh's killer Balwant Singh Rajoana, who is slated to be hanged on March 31.

The controversy over Rajoana's death sentence reached the apex court on Tuesday with a NGO Lawyers for Human Rights International seeking a review of the trial court verdict, against which the convict had not filed an appeal. However, a co-convict's appeal is pending in the SC.

Examining an eight-year delay in deciding the mercy plea of Delhi bomb blast accused Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, a bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya wanted to know from the Centre whether the delay in deciding mercy pleas allowed political parties and legislatures to pass resolutions supporting leniency to the convicts.

The bench observed: "If someone sentenced to the gallows does not have any support, then what is to be done in such a case." It recalled the case of Dhananjoy Chatterjee, who was executed for rape and murder of a minor school student.

"There are several such cases of rape and murder similar to that of Dhananjoy Chatterjee. But he was executed as except for his family members nobody came forward to support his clemency. He was sent to the other world. What criteria did we adopt?" it asked.

The court noted that for murder of nine people Bhullar had been on death row since August 25, 2001, and that he was undergoing treatment for acute depression at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) in Delhi.

Recent decision of the Punjab government to back clemency for Rajoana for assassination of Punjab CM Beant Singh in 1995 seemed to have a bearing on the ongoing proceedings.

The bench said, "We are now witnessing resolutions from legislative bodies and political parties supporting clemency." Earlier too, Jammu and Kashmir and Tamil Nadu Assemblies debated and passed resolution on clemency to be awarded to Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru and Rajiv Gandhi's killers, respectively.

The bench asked the Centre - "What should be the criteria then if somebody has got support from any quarter whether political or non-political." The bench also wanted to know if there were instances in the past where the Indian government made representations for clemency to Indian prisoners awarded death sentence in other countries. Additional solicitor general Harin Raval said he would take instructions.

Raval informed the Court that 15 petitions were pending with the President, while 17 were decided and a mercy plea was pending with the home ministry.






Judges bungalows: Court seeks details on sites

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Monday directed the State government to give information on the availability of places in the city for the construction of Judges’ bungalows in connection with a pubic interest litigation petition challenging the construction work in a playground near HSR Layout.
The government counsel submitted said that the government has marked places near Nagawara, Banaswadi, Aralu Kunte and Arkavathy Layout.
However, the places at Nagawara and Banaswadi were under litigation, he stated and sought time to submit detailed information on the issue.
Hearing the petition, the Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen adjourned the matter for further hearing on the case.
‘Set Up Committee on Malnutrition’
Following the state governments approach to malnutrition of a large number of children in Raichur district, the High Court on Monday came down heavily on the state.
The bench further observed since last September till 93 children died of malnutrition in Bijapur.
Hearing the PIL a Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna directed the Women and Child Development Department, to constitute a monitoring committee over the incident.
The bench directed to constitute a committee in two days and adjourned the petition to March 29 for further hearing on the case.
Hampi Case
The Karnataka High Court on Monday directed the state government to file objections in connection with the petition for the removal of encroachments from 236 mantapas on Ratha Beedhi, Hampi.
Hearing the PILs, a Division Bench of Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna directed the state government to file objections following the affidavit filed by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in this regard.





HC orders notice to Centre on decongestion of ETC

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 15:00
Madurai: The Madras High Court bench here on Tuesday ordered notice to the Centre on a petition seeking to decongest Electrical Transmission Corridor (ETC) so that Tamil Nadu could get power purchased from other states.

Admitting a PIL in this regard by B Stalin, an advocate, Justice Chitra Venkatraman and Justice R Karuppiah ordered notice to Union Power Ministry among others.

The petitioner submitted that the Centre should be directed to ease out the ETC congestion, which according to him, resulted in non-supply of electricity to Tamil Nadu from other states, including Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.

The counsel for the petitioner said the state government had made arrangements for purchasing 500 mw of power from Gujarat and 727 mw from Uttar Pradesh. But it could not be tapped due to electrical transmission line congestion, he said.

The petitioner also sought to restrain the Centre from supplying power generated by Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) to other states until energy crisis in Tamil Nadu was solved.
He said the power generated from NLC was sufficient to meet the demands of Tamil Nadu and hence the energy should not be shared with other states.






High court: Slain 26/11 heroes should be given respect

Rosy Sequeira
The Bombay high court on Tuesday said that all those who laid down their lives fighting terrorists during the 26/11 attacks should be given "posthumous respect". It also asked the state about the steps it has taken to honour them. The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar, who argued in court on Tuesday that all 26/11 heroes, including those who died in the attacks, should be honoured with awards. According to Tirodkar, 20 police personnel lost their lives in 26/11. But, he said in court, only three officers-Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare, additional commissioner of police Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar-were given the Ashok Chakra posthumously. His PIL seeks Ashok Chakra for all 2008 terror attack heroes.

The division bench of Justice P B Majmudar and Justice Ramesh Dhanuka observed that, irrespective of seniority, police personnel who died in 26/11 should be awarded. "Officers also performed and personnel ranked lower also lost lives. Whether soldiers or policemen , there should be respect for all posthumously," said Justice Majmudar. He added that policemen should not be "ignored posthumously " because of their lower rank.

Tirodkar submitted that awards should be given based on actions and not on seniority . "I have received log records through RTI (Right to Information ) that show that they (the three slain officers) did not enter Cama Hospital," said Tirodkar . His petition says the three officers were killed in "an ambush" . And if they were awarded Ashok Chakra, others should be too, his petition argues.

Tirodkar's petition says that, besides the three officers, constable Tukaram Omble was the only other policeman to get an Ashok Chakra posthumously. The petition does not name the policemen who were not honoured . The judges directed Tirodkar to delete his prayer that the Ashok Chakras given to the slain officers be taken back since others were not awarded.

The petition also pleads for gallantry awards for then additional CP Sadanand Date, who is currently the chief of Force One, and constable Arun Jadhav for fighting bravely during the attack.

Public Prosecutor Pandurang Pol told the court he would find out what steps were taken to reward police personnel posthumously and inform the court at the next hearing.






High Court dismisses PIL on denotification

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Monday dismissed a PIL challenging the denotification of one acre of land in Nandini Layout extension at Jarakabandekaval village, Bangalore, which was denotified during the tenure of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna also termed the petition infructuous.
The government had submitted that it withdrew the denotification of the said land acquired.
Mahalakshmi Layout MLA N L Narendra Babu in a PIL had accused former Yeddyurappa and BDA officials of conniving to grant approval to drop the acquisition to benefit an applicant.
He had alleged that the land was acquired for public purposes with the scheme being fully executed as per the provisions of the BDA Act, 1975, and that the denotification order is of mala fide intention.






PIL to restrain TNEB from supplying power for IPL matches

MADURAI: A PIL seeking a direction to restrain the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board and Power Grid Corporation of India from transmitting and supplying power to the M. A. Chidambaram stadium for holding any of the Indian Premier League-twenty20 matches, to be held from April 4, was filed in the Madras High Court bench.

The petitioner A. Benitto said the BCCI was earning hundreds of crores of rupees by various means, and was the richest board in the world, and hence it should not be shown any consideration for power supply for holding IPL matches.

With its heavy income, BCCI would able to install its own power generators for the matches.

Hence government should not provide power from its generating units. Besides the state was facing acute power shortage due to step-motherly treatment by the Centre, the petitioner alleged.





Bhanwari Devi missing case trial to start on April 2

Published: Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012, 21:35 IST
Place: Jodhpur | Agency: IANS
Seven accused in the case of missing nurse Bhanwari Devi, including sacked Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna and Congress legislator Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, were produced in a Jodhpur court on Tuesday after the case was committed to trial, a CBI lawyer said.
The court will hold regular hearings in the matter from April 2.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had on February 29 filed a supplementary charge sheet in the case naming Maderna as the mastermind behind the nurse's disappearance and subsequent murder.
“The case had been committed to trial after CBI filed the charge sheet. The seven of the accused were produced in the court of the special Scheduled Tribe/Scheduled Caste (SC/ST) cases on Tuesday. The regular hearings in the case will be held from next month,” said CBI lawyer SS Yadav.
The charge sheet filed by the CBI contained accounts of 300 witnesses and 313 documents in evidence.
The charge sheet claims that Indra Bishnoi, sister of Luni legislator Malkhan Singh, prompted the nurse to prepare a CD showing the nurse in a compromising position with Maderna.
"Malkhan Singh had not been given a ministerial birth in the cabinet in 2008 when the Congress came to power and that's why the CD was prepared which became the foundation of Bhanwari's kidnap and murder," it said.
The CBI has charge-sheeted Maderna, Malkhan Singh, and Malkhan Singh's brother Parasram Bishnoi as the key conspirators while nine others -- Sohan Lal, Shahabuddin and Baldev Jat alias Balia, Umesha Ram, Sahi Ram Bishnoi, Bishna Ram Bishnoi, Om Prakash Bishnoi, Kailash Jakhar and Ashok Bishnoi -- have been named the murderers. Bhanwari's husband Amarchand has also been booked for criminal conspiracy.
The CBI has kept investigation pending against Indra Bishnoi, who is on the run, and three others.
Most of the accused have been booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections for murder, kidnap, criminal conspiracy and causing disappearance of evidence.
The charge sheet says that Malkhan Singh through his sister had been instrumental in getting the nurse kidnapped and murdered.
As per the charge sheet, three men — Shahabuddin, Sohan Lal and Baldev Jat alias Balia — kidnapped Bhanwari from Bilara in Jodhpur rural on Sep 1, killed her and then handed over her body to a gang of criminals headed by Bishnaram who burnt the body to ashes and dumped her remains in a canal.






Emaar scam: Suspended IAS officer's bail cancelled

Published: Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012, 20:27 IST
Place: Hyderabad | Agency: PTI
The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday cancelled the bail granted to suspended IAS officer BP Acharya, a prime accused in the Emaar township scam.
Justice KC Bhanu of the High Court after hearing the arguments observed that the Emaar scandal caused enormous loss to the state exchequer and the role of accused is visible to naked eye. At this juncture there is no justification to release the accused on bail on a mere technical ground.
The counsel for Acharya requested at least a week's time for surrender, but the Judge refused to grant him any time and directed the accused to surrender before CBI court forthwith.
The Special Court for CBI cases hearing the alleged irregularities in the APIIC-Emaar land deal case had on March 16 ordered release of Acharya as sanction for prosecution from the Centre against him (as also against another top bureaucrat who is also an accused in Emaar scam) was not obtained by CBI.
Excluding Acharya and executive officer, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam(TTD) LV Subrahmanyam, the CBI court had earlier taken cognisance of the charge sheet filed by CBI against 10 others which included individuals and private companies, who have been charged under relevant sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act in the alleged irregularities in land transfer and sale of villas and apartments in the township project at Gachibowli here.
Challenging the decision of the Special Court, CBI had approached the High Court and contended that there was no application for bail before the Special Court but still bail was granted to Acharya.
The central agency also contended that the IAS officer was charged with offences under the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act and there was no need for sanction to proceed against him for offences under IPC.
The 1983-batch IAS officer Acharya was the Andhra Pradesh home secretary when he was arrested by CBI on January 31 for his alleged role in the Emaar scam.
The CBI, in its FIR in August last year, charged Acharya, the then Chairman and Managing Director of Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC), entered into a criminal conspiracy with officials of Emaar Group and unknown public servants to cheat state-run APIIC and secure wrongful gains to the Dubai-based infrastructure firm.
The CBI which filed a charge sheet in the Emaar scam on February 1, had earlier alleged that APIIC was deprived of its legitimate revenue share to the tune of Rs 43.5 crore from the Integrated Township Project it developed jointly with Emaar Group at Gachibowli even as Emaar Properties and Emaar MGF obtained undue pecuniary gain of about Rs 167 crore.






Crime increasing so no leniency to criminals: Court

Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, March 28, 2012Advocating stern action against criminals, a Delhi court has sentenced a man to five years in jail for attempting a robbery at gun-point at a jeweller’s shop. Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) SS Rathi sentenced Ashok Kumar Solanki and also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on him. “Owing
to the recent spurt of crime in Delhi, in my considered view, such criminals deserve to be dealt with sternly so that right message (can) be sent to the society that wrongdoers and violators of law will not be spared,” the judge said.
“Considering the totality of circumstances, he (Solanki) is sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for five years for commission of the offences under Sections 392 (punishment for robbery) and Section 398 (attempting to commit robbery or dacoity armed with deadly weapon) of the Indian Penal Code,” the ASJ said while pronouncing Solanki guilty under the Arms Act.
The court, in its order, also observed that Solanki had made an ‘audacious’ attempt by entering the shop as a customer before whipping out a loaded country-made pistol and aiming it at the head of his intended victim. “But for the daredevilry shown by the victim, Sheikh Mashkoor Ali, in disarming the convict, he (Solanki) would have definitely succeeded in robbing him,” the court added.
The court, while awarding the sentence to Solanki, refused to be swayed by his plea for leniency, pointing out that he had “previously been involved in eight criminal cases.”





President stonewalls Gujarat's anti-terror law again

Vishwa Mohan
NEW DELHI: Gujarat's attempt to have anti-terror law of its own has once more hit Centre's road-block as the President Pratibha Patil has withheld her assent to the controversial Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GUJCOC) Bill that was sent to her for 'mandatory' approval by the state governor over two years ago.

President has returned the eight-year-old Bill to Gujarat as the state government had not made amendments in certain clauses of the proposed legislation as suggested by the Union Cabinet in 2009.

The provisions of the Bill, which attracted the Centre's strong objection, include Clause 16 which allows admissibility of confessional statements of accused before a police officer during trial and Clause 20 that provides that no accused of an offence punishable under the proposed legislation will be released on bail if the prosecutor opposes it.

"The President (Pratibha Patil) has withheld her assent from the Bill on January 22 as the state government had not made any amendments in clauses 16 and 20 in the said Bill as per the directives contained in Presidential message to the earlier Bill.

"The same has been conveyed to the secretary to the governor, Gujarat on February 2," minister of state for home affairs Mullappally Ramachandran told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

It is the second time when President did not give her assent to the Bill which had vigorously been pitched by the state chief minister Narendra Modi. It was returned for the first time to the state in June, 2009 - giving Modi a fodder to criticize the UPA government for being 'soft' on terror.

The GUJCOC Bill, 2003 was passed by the Gujarat Assembly in 2004 and subsequently sent to the Centre for Presidential assent. But, it was returned on June 25, 2009 with the President's message to the state legislature for reconsidering it. However, the Bill was resubmitted by the state without any amendment in November, 2009.

The proposed legislation was earlier rejected by the Centre on the ground that it was not in line with the existing anti-terror law -- Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 1967. The home ministry had argued that both the provisions (clauses 16 and 20) were there in earlier anti-terror law POTA which was repealed by the UPA government in 2004.

The state government had, however, argued that if the state Assembly includes President's suggestion, the GUJCOC Bill would become just another Indian Penal Code which is not good for the state which shares its land and sea borders with Pakistan.

The home ministry, on the other hand, countered it, saying the UAPA which was amended in 2008 was strong enough to deal with terrorism.

Though the President's assent to the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act ( MCOCA) - similar to GUJCOC - was given on April 24, 1999 presumably in accordance with the then policy of the NDA government, the UPA had changed the policy. The government had subsequently conveyed to Parliament that all subsequent state Acts should be in line with the UAPA as approved by Parliament.




Former SP MLA booked for assaulting BSP supporter

Express news service : Allahabad, Wed Mar 28 2012, 04:15 hrs
Sanatan Pandey lost to BSP this Assembly election
A former Samajwadi Party MLA, Sanatan Pandey, and his aide have been booked for allegedly assaulting a 65-year-old BSP supporter at Pandeypur village of Ballia district .
Pandey had lost to a BSP candidate in this Assembly election and apparently took offence to a “friendly” greeting from Malkhan Singh, a known BSP supporter in the area who was also carrying the party flag.
Reported in Garvar area of Ballia, the assault soon after an alleged SP worker had opened fire on a block development officer in Jhansi. It also follows a spate of incidents of violence involving SP workers and leaders ever since the party came to power.
Superintendent of Police, Ballia, Ram Bharose said a case has been registered in this regard and investigations were on.
“The investigating officer is examining the matter. The statement of the victim will be recorded and the former MLA will also be questioned in due course,” he said.
The former MLA and his aide, Tilak Pandey, have been charged under Sections 308 (attempt to committing culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 504 (intentionally provoking somebody to cause breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code on the basis of a complaint lodged by Singh.
According to the police, Pandey, who lost the 2012 election from Rasara constituency in Ballia to BSP’s Umashankar Singh by more than 52,000 votes, was returning along with his aide after offering prayers at a temple at 9 am yesterday.
“It appears that the former MLA took the greeting from BSP supporter Malkhan Singh, who he met on the way, as a taunt and got angry,” said an officer associated with the investigation.
“Pandey snatched Singh’s stick and, then along with his aide, beat him up,” the officer added. Singh sustained injuries on his arms, right thigh and nose and was admitted to a city hospital. His condition was reported to be out of danger, the police said.
Pandey was yet to be questioned. In 2007, Pandey had won the Assembly elections from Chilkahar constituency in Ballia on SP ticket.

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