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Starting 2016, devotees can’t wear jeans, leggings, bermudas to Tamil Nadu temples

“The department should consider implementing the dress code as follows: for men dhoti or pyjamas with upper cloth or formal pants and shirts and for women saree or half saree with blouse, churidhars with upper cloth, for children any fully covered dress,” the judge had said, adding, it should be followed in temples from January 1, 2016.

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Also ReadIndiaDMK chief slams Centre’s decision on LPG subsidyIndiaCensus 2011: Sikhs, Jains have the worst sex ratioIndiaCentre sanctions 4227 additional posts for Delhi PoliceIndiaStarting 2016, devotees can’t wear jeans, leggings, bermudas to Tamil Nadu templesIndiaWill finalise electoral strategy for Tamil Nadu assembly polls at appropriate time: JayalalithaaIndiaNepal’s KP Oli calls up PM Modi; discusses political situation in Nepal <!– /.block –>

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Delhi High Court says school buses cannot be forced to ply during odd even rule

The odd even scheme is just a day away, but the schools in the national capital have raised concerns over how the school buses that have been procured by the Delhi government to aid their initiative will be used. With the lack of clarity still prevailing, the Delhi High Court observed that the Delhi government cannot coerce, compel or otherwise force private, unaided and recognised schools to provide their buses during the 15-day period whilst the scheme is on.In order to successfully implement the odd even scheme to combat pollution for a trial period of two weeks, the Delhi government announced 4,000 ‘general’ buses would ply the streets of which around 2,000 would be procured from schools. According to a notice issued by the Department of Education (DoE) dated December 18, the Delhi government not only declared a two-week holiday during this period, but also announced the requisitioning of school buses to augment the DTC fleet.A circular issued by transport minister Gopal Rai on December 21, requested the schools to register their buses at the nearest DDE with copies of the Contract of Carriage, Insurance and Fitness Certificates. According to the same circular, failure to comply with the directions would be dealt with seriously.A few schools objected to this forcible closure and the government’s demand to use the buses as well. “This commandeering of the school buses is in complete violation of Article 14, 19 and 21 read with Article 300A of the Constitution,” says advocate Pramod Gupta. The lawyer represented the petitioners Action Committee of Unaided Recognised Private Schools that comprises around 400 private and unaided schools. The school authorities were also concerned about the school buses being used for purposes other than ferrying students, teachers and other school staff which would be in violation of the terms and conditions of the insurance policies taken out on the vehicles concerned.”The RTE is there to regulate school education and matters of education for children. It cannot be used to direct school buses — properties of autonomous bodies — to the DTDC for the implementation of a government scheme,” Gupta further argued. Recognizing the matter, Judge Hima Kohli who presided over the bench questioned the petitioner which school was forced or coerced to which there was no answer. Taking cognizance of the matter she further directed the government not to coerce, force or compel the schools to provide buses.Responding to the allegations, standing council for the Delhi Government Rahul Mehra stated that so far 1,700 school buses have registered on a voluntary basis. With around 400 school apparently not willing to part with their fleet – the number of buses may figure more than 1,000 – it is difficult to quantify how this will affect the number of buses that will actually ply on the streets during the coming two weeks.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Dadri lynching: Name of BJP leader’s son figures prominently in charge sheet, says police

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A murder case under section 302 of IPC was registered in connection with the lynching incident in which 51-year-old Akhlaq was dragged by a mob out of his house and beaten to death over rumours of beef storage in his house and consumption

Mohammad Akhlaq

The forensic lab report on the controversial meat whose consumption led to the Dadri lynching incident is yet to come and the name of the son of a local BJP leader “figures prominently” in the charge sheet filed on Wednesday, police said on Thursday.Greater Noida Superintendent of Police Sanjay Singh said the forensic report is yet to be received to ascertain whether the meat sample taken from the fridge of deceased Akhlaq s house at Bishada village was that of goat or cow. “The lab report hasn’t come. Whenever it comes, we will let you know,” he said. He said the name of Vishal Rana, son of BJP leader Sanjay Rana, “figures prominently” in the charge sheet while others named in the document “are involved in rioting.” The charge sheet in the case filed in a magistrate court here yesterday names 15 persons including Vishal.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A murder case under section 302 of IPC was registered in connection with the lynching incident in which 51-year-old Akhlaq was dragged by a mob out of his house and beaten to death over rumours of beef storage in his house and consumption. His son Danish was seriously wounded in the attack. The victim’s advocate Yusuf Saifi said today that January 4 has been fixed for committing the case to a sessions judge for trial and other proceedings.”All the 15 accused will be produced before the court on that day and then the case will proceed further for evidence and other proceedings,” said Saifi. The charge sheet has been filed in the court by police on the basis of statement recorded by deceased s daughter Shaista and other investigations, he said. According to Saifi, in the accused list, two had claimed to be juveniles. “In one case, the age-proof certificate produced showed his age of 16 while his actual age was 20.Another accused s age proof is being further verified,” he added. Police have arrested two accused and the rest would be arrested soon by police, said Saifi adding Danish’s statement has been recorded by police but there is no need at present to produce it before the court.Meanwhile, notice was yet to be given by the court in the case relating to another BJP leader Sangeet Som who has been accused of violating prohibitory orders in Bishada village. Senior Prosecution Officer officer Daya Shankar Ram Tripathi said “notice is yet to be sent from the court.”

Open fire in Delhi court killing a constable and injuring main target

A gang of four persons were involved in an open firing in Delhi’s northeast district’s Karkardooma court injuring their main target — an undertrial named Chennu Pehelwan alias Irfan – and killing Ram Kumar Meena – the head constable who was accompanying Irfan on Wednesday. Irfan, originally from Meerut, is a history sheeter with more than 16 criminal cases lodged against him in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. He was brought to court on Thursday in a firing case that took place earlier this year. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to eyewitness accounts and police reports, at 11:15 am, Irfan’s matter – item no. 27, in the court had just concluded in criminal court number 73 in front of Metropolitan Magistrate Sunil Gupta. The judge had asked the defence lawyer Saquib Qureshi to present the plaintiff in court after lunch the same day. As the group, including constable Meena, the plaintiff and the defence lawyer, was exiting, two persons fired around eight rounds in an attempt to kill Irfan. People inside the courtroom, numbering more than 30, started ducking and diving behind cupboards to escape the bullets. While Irfan sustained injuries, Meena was hit by five bullets to the chest and was killed in the crossfire. According to unconfirmed reports, a court clerk was also injured, whereas the bullets whizzed past the judge’s head narrowly missing him. While the two shooters were caught instantly, two others, who were lying in wait outside Gupta’s courtroom no. 73 immediately attempted to flee. Along the way they threw their weapons by the main staircase near the toilets to avoid getting caught. However, people from the crowd and a few brave lawyers gave a chase and captured the absconders. “The four suspects — all suspected to be minors — are in police custody and undergoing interrogation,”said B Gujar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (East). One of the minors is also suspected to be a history sheeter with a murder case pending against him. Had the president promulgated the Juvenile Justice Act which was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, the four arrested would have been the first to be prosecuted under it. Meanwhile the Delhi government announced Rs1 crore compensation for the family of the constable who died in the firing.Bystanders present at the time recounted the events to this dna reporter as they unfolded. According to various sources inside the court, there were 62 matters before lunch in courtroom number 73 which mostly handles criminal matters. Hence, the court was filled with at least 20-25 people. “When the firing began, everybody started running helter-skelter. Some even barged in courtroom number 74 – which is exactly opposite the crime scene,” said a court clerk present at the time. “I was busy serving tea to four-five customer when I heard the shots echo, then immediately after, I saw a group of people charging down the stairs followed by police personnel,” says Chandan Pandey, a tea vendor who sits on the fourth floor. The firing took place on the fifth floor of the building. With the crime rate on the rise, and the question of juveniles and crime being a debated subject, the question of security is a matter of grave concern. When one visits the Karkardooma court, one must walk through a metal detector and get the bags scanned. Ironically, right next to the scanner, there is a huge signboard stating “No weapons or photography allowed inside the court premises.” Even the pat down and the frisking performed by security personnel at the main entrance is inept and ineffectual. According, to a police statement, the four suspects were able to sneak in their weapons since their entered from the gates closest to the lawyers parking lot, where the security is inadequate. The under trials brought to court – be it a petty offence, or a high risk prisoner like Irfan, constable merely escort them around by simply holding their hands. There are around 80 police personnel manning and securing the entire court premise where as on the fifth floor, one could count six CCTV cameras – one in the centre of the floor area while the rest were focused on the entrance at the main staircase. According to the police, Irfan and the four suspects belonged to rival gangs and the shootout was gang related.

Road clear for ULFA leader Anup Chetia’s release from jail

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ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia was granted bail on Wednesday in the last of the four cases registered against him.

Anup Chetia
File Photo
PTI
ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia was granted bail on Wednesday in the last of the four cases registered against him, paving the way for his release from jail. Chetia’s counsel Bijon Mahajan told reporters quoting the CBI investigation officer as saying that the investigating agency does not have any objection if Chetia is granted bail.Before granting bail, the Additional Sessions Judge also went through the case diary. Chetia, lodged in the Guwahati Central Jail, was granted bail on a personal bond of Rs 30,000 and a surety from one individual, Mahajan said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The court, however, granted the bail with conditions that Chetia cannot hamper the process of investigation and he cannot leave the jurisdiction of the Special Judicial Magistrate without prior permission,” the senior advocate said.Chetia had earlier been granted bail in three cases out of the four that were registered after his deportation to India from Bangladesh. On Tuesday, Chetia secured bail from the Additional Sessions Judge in one of the cases.On December 17, the designated court here had allowed the ULFA leader to be on bail in two TADA cases for facilitating his trial and for him to participate in the ongoing peace process.Chetia was handed over to India by Bangladesh where he was in jail since his arrest by the country’s police in 1997 on charges of cross-border intrusion, carrying fake passports and illegally keeping foreign currencies.

Uphaar tragedy: Delhi police seek transfer of case to another judge

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The Delhi Police accused the current judge hearing the case of hostility.

Sushil and Gopal Ansal
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Delhi police on Wednesday petitioned the high court for shifting a case of alleged destruction of evidence in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy being heard by a trial court to some other judge, accusing the one currently hearing it of “hostility” towards the complainant and the state.In its plea, the police has also alleged that the sessions court judge is “conducting the case in a manner alien to law and upon his own whims and fancies”.Hearing the matter, Justice Siddharth Mridul ordered issuance of notices to Ansal brothers, the owners of Uphaar theatre, and other accused in the case. The notices issued to real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal, Dharamveer Malhotra and Anoop Singh are returnable before January 5 next year.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The move came on a plea moved by the Delhi police seeking the transfer of the case, pending in the court of an additional sessions judge at Patiala House court in New Delhi, to some other competent court having jurisdiction.”The atmosphere in the court is unfortunately very hostile qua the complainants and the state. The sessions court is conducting the case in a manner alien to law and upon his own whims and fancies which is resulting in the loss of confidence in the trial process. The victims who have fought a long battle in court are feeling intimidated and undermined,” the Delhi police plea said.They further said that the case of the prosecution is one of conspiracy, yet the judge is insisting that the case is argued piecemeal, i.e, the accused-wise and has stated he would pass orders accused-wise which is not only contrary to “elementary principles of conspiracy but also a stand adopted to prevent the prosecution from presenting its case in entirety.”The trial court had on May 31 last year ordered framing of charges against the seven accused for abetment of offence, causing disappearance of evidence, criminal breach of trust by public servant and criminal conspiracy.Theatre owners Gopal Ansal and his brother Sushil Ansal, Anoop Singh, Prem Prakash Batra, Harswaroop Panwar, Dharamveer Malhotra as well as a court employee, Dinesh Chandra Sharma, are accused of tampering with evidence in the case, pending since 2006.On June 13, 1997, a fire had broken out at the theatre during the screening of Bollywood film ‘Border’, killing 59 people and injuring over 100. A court had on January 31, 2003, ordered an inquiry after some documents related to the Uphaar case had gone missing from the court’s record room. After an inquiry, the court employee was dismissed from service.

Bombay HC cancels DU professor Saibaba’s bail, issues contempt notice to writer Arundhati Roy

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Saibaba was arrested in May 2014 by Gadchiroli police of Maharashtra for alleged active links with Maoists.
File Photo
PTI
The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected the regular bail application filed by the Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, arrested for alleged links with the Naxals, and directed him to surrender within 48 hours.Taking a serious view of criticism of the judiciary by Booker prize-winner writer Arundhati Roy in her article about the professor, Justice Arun Choudhary also issued a criminal contempt notice to her which is returnable by January 25. Justice Chaudhary, while dismissing the bail application, declined the request to grant more time to Saibaba to surrender and directed the police to arrest him if he failed to turn up within two days.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The High Court cited a medical report which clearly stated that proper medical aid was extended to Saibaba by the doctors when he was lodged in the Nagpur prison. The lawyers of wheelchair-bound Saibaba had pleaded for extension of bail on the ground of his health.The judge also rejected the argument that the evidence against him was very weak, and stated noted that earlier a single bench had rejected the bail application on merit, and that he will not take a divergent view. Saibaba was arrested in May 2014 by Gadchiroli police of Maharashtra for alleged active links with Maoists.Pournima Upadhyay, an activist, had written a letter to the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court which was treated as PIL and thereafter temporary bail was granted to Saibaba for three months on health grounds by the Principal Bench of High Court in Mumbai.

ULFA gen secy Anup Chetia granted bail in TADA cases

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The Additional sessions judge granted Chetia bail on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and two sureties from two individuals.
File Photo
PTI
ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia, extradited from Bangladesh last month, was granted bail on Tuesday by a local court on a personal bond of Rs one lakh. Chetia’s counsel Bijon Mahajan told journalists that the Assam government had given a “no objection” certificate in writing in the event of Chetia getting released on bail.The Additional sessions judge granted Chetia bail on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and two sureties from two individuals, Mahajan said. Chetia was arrested in connection with four cases. While he has been granted bail in two cases, one more will come up for hearing on Wednesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On December 17 the Designated Court here had allowed Chetia, now incarcerated in the Guwahati Central Jail, to go on bail in two TADA cases for facilitating his trial and participation in the ongoing peace process, he said.Chetia was handed over to India by Bangladesh where he was in jail since 1997 on charges of cross-border intrusion, carrying fake passports and illegally keeping foreign currencies.

Court summons Chhota Rajan to Mumbai for J Dey murder trial

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The court directed the Tihar jail officials (in Delhi) to ensure that Rajan is present in the court on January 7

Chhota Rajan

PTI
Gangster Chhota Rajan would be tried alongwith the other accused in the journalist J Dey murder case, the special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court here said on Tuesday and issued a warrant against asking him to appear before it onJanuary 7.”The court has ordered a joint trial,” special public prosecutor Dileep Shah told PTI. The judge A L Pansare observed that the trial cannot be deferred as the Bombay High Court had expedited it, Shah said. “Moreover, no one from the CBI has been coming to the court to apprise the court about their progress in the investigation,” Shah added. The court directed the Tihar jail officials (in Delhi) to ensure that Rajan is present in the court on January 7.”The court said it will frame charges against him and start the trial on the same day,” said the prosecutor. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The judge also said that with the available material against Rajan in the charge sheet, the trial can start. The court observed that a joint trial (as against trying Rajan separately) was required as it will save the time of the witnesses as they would not have to come to the court again and again, Defence lawyer Santosh M Deshpande contended.Rajan was arrested at Bali airport in Indonesia on October 25 after he arrived from Australia, and was later deported to India. Maharashtra government has handed over all the cases against him to CBI. Dey, a veteran crime reporter, was shot dead in suburban Powai on June 11, 2011. The first charge sheet names the arrested accused Satiah Kaliya, Abhijeet Shinde, Arun Dake, Sachin Gaikwad, Anil Waghmode, Nilesh Shendge, Mangesh Agawane, Vinod Asrani, Paulson Joseph and Deepak Sisodia.Later, another chargesheet was filed against the journalist Jigna Vora who is now out on bail. Rajan was allegedly upset with two articles written by Dey and therefore ordered his killing. Vora allegedly instigated him, owing to her own professional rivalry with Dey.

Death sentences for India rape-murder

A court in India sentence seven men to death for the brutal rape and murder of a Nepalese woman in February.

IITians are not Indians, says Markandey Katju

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“Please don’t have any illusions, I also don’t have any illusions about you. You are not Indians. I don’t regard you as Indians.”

Markandey Katju

zeenews.com
Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju calls IITians non-Indians while addressing the students of Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay.He visited the Institution on Friday to speak on various issues. He said that the students of IIT do not have genuine love for the country and they are utterly selfish with no patriotism or idealism left among them.Later he took to twitter where he posted “Most of you IIT students have no genuine love for the country. You are utterly selfish, with no patriotism or idealism.”Katju further said, “Please don’t have any illusions, I also don’t have any illusions about you. You are not Indians. I don’t regard you as Indians.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He even said that he doesn’t expect anything from IIT students.”India should not have any hopes from you because eventually you will serve America or Germany,” he added.In his Facebook post, Katju mentioned that IIT students are utterly selfish.
He wrote, “All you want is to migrate to America (and most of you manage to do that), usually by first going for an M.Tech degree there (for which you get a scholarship), and then settling down there and enjoying comfortable life — and to hell with India.”Not only that, he even went on to the tax sector where he said, “Your education in IIT is largely subsidized by the Indian taxpayer. But after we Indians pay for your education, you are taken away by America who benefit form your knowledge, which was imparted by us.He lashed at IITians and further mentioned, “And after settling down in America, you will become NRIs — supercilious know-alls, who will give lectures to Indians about what is good for them and what is not.”

Mother of Sikh student in US asks bomb threat charges be dropped

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Kaur said the family didn’t learn of Armaan’s arrest until hours after it happened.

Armaan Singh, left, the 12 year old boy arrested by police in Arlington for allegedly making a bomb threat

Image Source: Facebook
The mother of a Sikh middle school student accused of threatening to detonate a bomb at his Texas school is asking police to drop charges, saying that her son never made such a threat. Armaan Singh, 12, was arrested on December 11 after police said he admitted to making the threat while they were questioning him without his parents present. He spent three days in juvenile detention before being released and placed under house arrest with ankle monitor. He also was suspended from school. His mother, Gurdeep Kaur, said a classmate asked whether a battery in Armaan’s backpack was a bomb, and that he said it wasn’t, but the classmate told the teacher he said it was. There was no bomb in the backpack.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Kaur said the family didn’t learn of Armaan’s arrest until hours after it happened. She told The Associated Press that she panicked when he didn’t come home from school, and after searching the apartment complex, they went to the school to look for him. She said they called the principal, who told them Armaan had been taken into custody. “She told them that he was with the police but she didn’t know which facility,” said Arlington schools spokeswoman Leslie Johnston. Kaur said the family finally learned Armaan was in the detention center four hours after his arrest when they called police. She said when they arrived at the detention center late on Friday, Armaan, who has had three open-heart surgeries, asked to be taken home. But she said there was no judge available to arrange his probation. Police have rejected allegations that the boy’s Sikh religion played a part in his arrest. Sikhism, a monotheistic faith, was founded more than 500 years ago in Southeast Asia and has roughly 27 million followers worldwide, most of them in India. Even though Sikhs aren’t Muslim, reports of Sikhs being harassed have increased with the recent rise in anti-Islamic sentiment. Even though all four of her children were born in the US, Kaur said she wonders if Armaan’s background factored into his arrest. “I know they’re taking it very seriously, but is this thing what they do with a 12-year-old because his parents are not from here? My husband and I are from India,” Kaur said.

Asaram moves fresh bail plea citing health grounds

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The 74-year-old has been denied relief on six occasions earlier.

Self-styled “godman” Asaram, who is in jail for the last two years, has moved a fresh application in a court here seeking bail on the ground of old age and ill health in a rape case lodged against him.The 74-year-old has been denied relief on six occasions earlier. He was sent to jail in August, 2013 for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old schoolgirl. The move has come a day after Asaram got relief from the High Court, which allowed the defence to not only have access to the original documents pertaining to the age of the victim teenage girl but examination of the concerned witnesses also. The bail application will be taken up by the court for hearing on December 21.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the sources, BJP leader Subramanian Swami may appear in the court for the second time as a pleader to take up Asaram’s bail plea. The ground for bail, like previous applications, is again the old age and ill health, victim’s counsel Pramod Verma said. “Besides this, he has also mentioned in the application that the trial of the case was nearing completion with the last prosecution witness, the Investigation Officer of the case, being examined,” said Verma.He said that while moving the bail plea, the counsels for Asaram also cited heart attack to Asaram’s wife to judge Manoj Kumar Vyas. On Friday, the High Court, while allowing a Criminal Miscellaneous Petition by one of the co-accused in the case, Sharat Chandra, had ordered the trial court to summon the original documents pertaining to the age of the victim girl and has entitled the defence to prove these documents by examining the witnesses concerned.Earlier, three bail petitions of Asaram were turned down by lower court. Apart from the lower courts, he had twice unsuccessfully approached the High Court and was also denied relief by the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court defers swearing-in of UP Lokayukta; takes up plea against appointment

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In an extraordinary hearing on a holiday, a bench comprising justices A K Goel and U U Lalit raised some pointed question as to how the name of Justice Virendra Singh was placed before its bench when the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court had specifically made some objections.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The swearing-in of former high court judge Virendra Singh as Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta was deferred on Saturday after his controversial appointment was challenged in Supreme Court before which the state government gave an undertaking to keep it in abeyance till the matter is decided.In an extraordinary hearing on a holiday, a bench comprising justices A K Goel and U U Lalit raised some pointed question as to how the name of Justice Virendra Singh was placed before its bench when the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court had specifically made some objections.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When the bench said that there has been no statement by the government denying the stated position of the chief justice who had written a letter to the Governor and reported in the media, UP’s additional advocate general Gaurav Bhatia gave an undertaking on behalf of the government that there will be no oath taking ceremony on Sunday.The court was hearing a petition filed by UP resident Sachidanad Gupta alleging that the state government has played a “fraud upon the apex court” by hiding the fact that the Allahabad High Court Chief Justice had expressed his reservations to the name of Justice Virendra Singh.

UP Governor ends row, okays Lokayukta for oath

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The Governor will administer the oath of office to the new appointee on Sunday.

UP Governor Ram Naik on Friday finally gave his assent for the appointment of Justice (retd) Virendra Singh Yadav as the new Lokayukta ending a rather unseemly episode marked by controversies and uncertainty throughout the selection process.The Governor will administer the oath of office to the new appointee on Sunday.In an unprecedented step, the Supreme Court had on Wednesday used its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution and named the Lokayukta, severely chiding the Constitutional authorities responsible for the selection over the undue delay in making the appointment despite several reminders by the apex court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Justice Yadav was one of the five candidates whose names were under consideration by the three-member selection committee comprising the Chief Justice (CJ) of the Allahabad High Court, the UP CM and the Leader of Opposition.On Thursday, the anointment of Justice Yadav had come under a cloud despite a clear order of the apex court after Allahabad High Court CJ Justice DY Chandrachud shot off a letter saying Justice Yadav’s name had already been scrapped, and that a serving judge Justice AN Mittal was the consensus choice of the three-member selection panel.However, the UP Governor has apparently chosen not to be drawn into any further controversy, and has gone by the word of law as clearly spelt out in the Supreme Court’s Wednesday order.

Delhi teenage rapist set to be freed

A legal challenge to stop the release of the teenage convict of the 2012 Delhi gang rape is unsuccessful.

UP government misled Supreme Court: High Court CJ

On Wednesday, the apex court had taken the unprecedented decision of unilaterally finalizing the name of Justice Yadav for the post after several of its severe nudges to the Akhilesh Yadav government to make the appointment failed.

The Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court Justice DY Chandrachud has put the proverbial spanner in the works in the appointment of Justice (retd.) Virendra Singh Yadav as the new UP Lokayukta.On Wednesday, the apex court had taken the unprecedented decision of unilaterally finalizing the name of Justice Yadav for the post after several of its severe nudges to the Akhilesh Yadav government to make the appointment failed.On Thursday, the High Court CJ shot off a letter to UP Governor Ram Naik and to the Chief Justice of India saying that the Supreme Court had been misled about the names being considered for this post. The CJ is part of the three-member selection panel for the Lokayukta’s appointment, besides leader of the Opposition and the UP CM.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The allegation puts the state government’s counsel Kapil Sibal in the dock as he was the one who after consulting the state government gave the five names to the bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi. The bench named retired judge Virendra Singh as the new Lokayukta.Though a copy of the letter was not available, Governor House sources said Justice Yadav’s name had already been struck off the list of probables on Tuesday evening when a five-hour marathon meeting of the three-member selection committee failed to name a unanimous choice.The panel had met again on Wednesday morning, an hour before the apex court was to hear the related case. The Supreme Court had fixed Wednesday as the deadline for the UP government to name the new Lokayukta.Sources said that on Wednesday morning, the selection committee named Justice Mittal, a serving judge of the Allahabad High Court, as the unanimous choice for this post.How and why Justice Virendra Singh Yadav’s name was included in the list of probables at the last moment before the apex court remains a mystery. Sources said that the High Court CJ had vetoed Justice Yadav’s name as he was known to be close to the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) leadership.The CJ’s letter, virtually voicing his opinion against the judge the apex court has named, casts doubts about whether the UP Governor would administer the oath of office to Justice Yadav. Chances of this happening seem rather bleak under the changed circumstances.

People who start their careers from lower courts, become complete lawyers: CJI TS Thakur

CJI TS Thakur was present at the inauguration of coffee table book ‘Tis Hazari Nama’ on Thursday.
File Photo

Chief Justice of India T S Thakur on Thursday inaugurated a coffee table book ‘Tis hazari Nama’, prepared by various advocates on the 125th anniversary of the Delhi Bar Association (DBA). The book contains the history of Tis Hazari District Courts, one of the oldest courts in Asia, including details of how it was formed.”People who start their careers in law from lower courts are the ones who become complete lawyers in the end,” Justice TS Thakur said. Apart from Justice Thakur, Supreme Court judge Justice A K Sikri, Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Justice G Rohini, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and various other judges of the high court and district courts were present at the programme here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking at the function, Justice Rohini remarked that there should be cordial relation between the bar and the bench and a proper balance and understanding is required between the two. She added that in Delhi, the relation between the bar and the bench has always remained cordial barring few incidents.Advocate Sanjeev Nasiar, President of DBA, raised the issue of lawyers’ strike which had recently drawn the attention of the apex court and said 90 per cent of the strikes were done only on two issues– bifurcation of courts and pecuniary jurisdiction of trial courts. He suggested that courts in Delhi should be centralised and there should be no bifurcation and it will also reduce pollution in the national capital.Justice Sikri also raised the issue of lawyers’ strike and sought a promise from the lawyers that there should not be any strike by them in 2016, whereas the issues should be sorted out by way of discussion. The programme marked the attendance of thousands of lawyers.

MPs ‘condemn’ Guj High Court judge’s anti-quota remark, warn of impeachment

The meeting was attended among others by Union Ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Thawar Chand Gehlot.

Members of a Parliamentary panel on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, cutting across party lines, on Thursday assailed the alleged “anti-reservation” remarks of a Gujarat High Court Judge and warned of impeachment proceedings against him. The members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on SC/ST at a meeting in Parliament House “condemned” the remarks by Justice J P Pardiwala and resolved to stage a protest in front of B R Ambedkar’s statue on December 23.The meeting was attended among others by Union Ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Thawar Chand Gehlot. “At the meeting the remarks of the judge were condemned and it was decided that MPs will protest on December 23 in front of the statue of B R Ambedkar. The judge has abused the Constitution and we will move impeachment proceedings against him in Rajya Sabha,” BJP MP Udit Raj told PTI. He said the process of moving an impeachment motion against the judge has begun with several MPs already having signed the petition. Signatures of 50 members are required for moving such a motion. Weeks after the Supreme Court scrapped the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, BJP member Udit Raj had targeted the judge in the Lok Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pardiwala, while declining to drop the charge of sedition against Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel, had recently said,”If I am asked by anyone to name two things which have destroyed this country or rather has not allowed the country to progress in the right direction, then the same is reservation and corruption.” “It is very shameful for any citizen of this country to ask for reservation after years of independence. When our Constitution was framed, it was understood that reservation would remain for a period of 10 years, but unfortunately it has continued even after 65 years of independence,” he had reportedly said in his order.

A week after Salman Khan’s acquittal, drunken driving accused Janhavi Gadkar gets her licence back

Two people — Mohammed Abdul Sayyad (55) and Mohammed Salim Sabuwala (50) — had died that night on June 9, when Gadkar’s car rammed into their taxi.

Salman Khan and Janhavi Gadkar

dna Research & Archives
Barely, a week after Salman Khan was acquitted in a 2002-hit-and-run case, corporate lawyer Janhavi Gadkar, accused in a drunken driving case, has got back her driving licence. According to a report in HT, the sessions court ordered the police to return her driving licence. Gadkar was reportedly allowed to take her licence back after she submitted the required endorsement from the regional transport office (RTO). The court had allowed the car to be returned to her last week, and she can use the car without changing its colour.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gadkar was granted bail against a surety of Rs 30,000 on August 5, after spending 57 days in jail. Along with other charges, she is charged with culpable homicide, not amounting to murder. Sessions court judge Sanjay Patil, while granting bail, observed that the investigation of the RCF police in the case is over. Patil also observed that Gadkar is a woman and, hence, the case needs to be dealt with differently.The prosecution, while objecting to Gadkar’s bail, had argued that it will send out a wrong message to the society. The prosecution said that Gadkar was involved in an accident earlier as well and there is a possibility that she might repeat the offence. (Read: Janhavi Gadkar gets bail)Two people — Mohammed Abdul Sayyad (55) and Mohammed Salim Sabuwala (50) — had died that night on June 9, when Gadkar’s car rammed into their taxi.The high court has last week acquitted Salman in the hit and run case, quashing the trial court order convicting and sentencing him for five years. It held that the prosecution had failed to prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that the actor was driving the vehicle at the time of accident and that he was drunk. (Read: 5 questions that haunt us about Salman Khan’s hit-and-run verdict)People on Twitter didn’t seem to be too amused with both the developments:Here’s how Twitter had reacted when the Janhavi Gadkar incident took place:

Talks with Pakistan is ‘to try and turn course of history’, says PM Modi

Speaking to India’s top military commanders on board the country’s largest aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, Modi said “we are engaging Pakistan to try and turn the course of history, bring an end to terrorism, build peaceful relations, advance cooperation and promote stability and prosperity in our region.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspecting a guard of honour during a welcome ceremony in Kochi on Tuesday.

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said resumption of talks with Pakistan was to “try and turn the course of history” and to bring an end to terrorism but made it clear that the neighbouring country would be judged by its commitment on terrorism. Modi also asserted that India will never drop its guard on security as he admitted that there are many challenges and barriers on the path.Speaking to India’s top military commanders on board the country’s largest aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, Modi said “we are engaging Pakistan to try and turn the course of history, bring an end to terrorism, build peaceful relations, advance cooperation and promote stability and prosperity in our region.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There are many challenges and barriers on the path. But the effort is worth it because the peace dividends are huge and the future of our children is at stake. So, we will test their intentions to define the path ahead. For this, we have started a new NSA-level dialogue to bring security experts face to face with each other. But we will never drop our guard on security and we will continue to judge progress on their commitments on terrorism,” he said.This is the first time that Modi has spoken on the relations with Pakistan after the two countries announced the re-engagement under bilateral comprehensive dialogue last week.The announcement came after Modi had met his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the climate change summit in Paris on November 30 where the two also agreed to hold NSA-level talks.Addressing the first ever Combined Commanders Conference to be held outside the national capital, the Prime Minister warned against “reckless” nuclear build up and continuing military modernisation and expansion. Modi said “our neighbourhood is most critical for our future and for our place in the world.”But ours is a difficult neighbourhood with the full spectrum of security challenges. We see terrorism and ceasefire violations, reckless nuclear build-up and threats, border transgressions and continuing military modernisation and expansion. The shadow of West Asian instability is becoming longer,” he said.Modi said beyond that, “our region is marked by uncertain political transitions, weak institutions and internal conflicts. And, major powers have also increased their engagement in our land and maritime neighbourhood,” he said.Modi said that India is also pursuing closer relations with China to harness the full potential of the country’s economic partnership.”We will aim to address outstanding issues, maintain stability on the border and develop greater mutual understanding and trust in our overlapping neighbourhood,” he said.The Prime Minister also spoke about the relations with China and said he believes that India and China can engage constructively across the complexity of their relationship as two self-assured and confident nations, aware of their interests and responsibilities.”We will continue to strengthen our defence capabilities and infrastructure, engage our neighbours more closely and strengthen our regional and global partnerships, including in maritime security,” he said.Noting that in a world of rapid changes, India faces familiar threats and new ones, Modi said the country’s challenges cover land, sea and air at the same time.”It includes the full range, from terrorism to conventional threat to a nuclear environment,” he said.He said that India is confident that its defence forces are prepared to deter and defeat any misadventure.”Our strategic deterrence is robust and reliable, in accordance with our nuclear doctrine, and our political will is clear,” he asserted.Modi said that the country needs capabilities to win swift wars for we will not have the luxury of long-drawn battles.”We must re-examine our assumptions that keep massive funds locked up in inventories. As our security horizons and responsibilities extend beyond our shores and borders, we must prepare our forces for range and mobility,” he said.The Prime Minister stressed that “the armed forces must fully incorporate the power of digital networks and space assets into our capabilities.””Equally, we must be prepared to defend them, for they will be the first targets of our adversaries. And networks must be seamless and integrated across agencies and forces, and are precise, clear and quick in response,” he said.Modi said that old rivalries can play out in new theatres such as space and cyber.”And new technologies offer us new ways to be more effective against both traditional and new challenges,” he said adding that “we in India must be ready for the present and prepare for the future.”The Prime Minister noted that Kochi is at the head of the Indian Ocean and at the crossroads of India’s maritime history.”India’s history has been influenced by the seas. And the passage to our future prosperity and security also lies on this ocean. It also holds the key to the fortunes of the world,” he said.

Did the judiciary help avoid another AAP-Delhi police confrontation over Odd-Even formula?

Some quarters of the Delhi police had begun to anticipate yet another confrontation between the Aam Aadmi Party government and the Centre

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

As the Delhi government announced its decision to allow even and odd number cars to ply in Delhi on alternate days, senior police officers, in meetings held soon after, had voiced their concerns about viability of the plan introduced to counter air-pollution. Some quarters of the Delhi police had begun to anticipate yet another confrontation between the Aam Aadmi Party government and the Centre. However by December 7, three days after the AAP government’s decision, the mood within the Capital’s police had changed. A senior police official, who witnessed the growing opposition within police ranks to the odd-even formula, said, that had it not been the ‘supporting statements’ made by judiciary, especially, Tirath Singh Thakur, the Chief Justice of India, the already rocky relationship between Delhi police and AAP would have suffered another blow.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “Initially there wasn’t any communication between the state government and police about the latest steps taken to reduce air pollution. Naturally a lot of pessimism about the odd-even formula existed, especially among the senior police officials. The concerns were raised in a series of inter-department meetings on Friday last week. But statements in support of the formula made the police re-think its approach,” said the senior police official requesting not to be named. The official added that statements made by CJI Thakur had especially helped to ‘reduce doubts’ among senior police officials. “The top rung of Delhi police now believes that the judiciary, like many other people of the city, wants to at least try the formula. We are now working out a plan to enforce the plan effectively,” the official added. “If a judge of the Supreme Court can pool cars, it sends a message to the people that we have no problem. We can walk down or even take a bus,” Mr Thakur had said. In response Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted, “His (CJI Thakur’s) support to odd-even formula is welcome and a huge encouragement”. “Supreme Court judges pooling cars would inspire millions to follow. Thank you My Lords.” Another senior police official told dna that not only the statements in support of the odd-even formula had helped to cool down possible confrontation between the Centre and AAP, the rejection of a petition to block Delhi government’s proposal had ‘more or less sealed the deal’. The Delhi High Court on Tuesday had refused to block the Delhi government’s proposal to allow vehicles with odd and even registration numbers on alternate days from Jan 1 stating the petition filed against the plan was “premature”. dna contacted Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Muktesh Chander, the officer at the helm of the affairs in the national capital. When asked to confirm if the Delhi police in its entirety supported the formula, the official said, “I cannot speak on behalf of other senior officials. The officials at their personal levels might have varying opinions but the department follows orders and that is what we will do,”. He added that the police department has held multiple meetings with representatives of the Delhi government to work out the details of the formula. “We are also researching on cities that have enforced such a formula and taking notes. Besides this there are discussions to be held on decisions as under which law is the traffic police to fine persons not following the odd-even formula. If it is under the Motor Vehicle Act, then it is under our domain, but if the Environment Protection Act is to be evoked than the Environment Ministry has to be taken on board,” said the senior police officer.

BJP under pressure from RSS to block GST Bill: Congress

Defending the demands by the Congress, Surjewala said there was nothing wrong in wanting 18 percent constitutional cap on taxation and that it was unfair to the common man to pay 30-40 percent tax.

Randeep Surjewala

Hitting out at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for claiming that the grand old party was trying to paralyse the nation by blocking the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, the Congress on Saturday said that the former’s assertion was ‘preposterous’ and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of not wanting to pass the Bill due to the pressure by the RSS.”The Finance Minister’s assertion on the GST is preposterous and we reject it with the contempt it deserves. Jaitley would remember that it was Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh who has pointed out three constructive suggestions to make the GST Bill effective,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defending the demands by the Congress, Surjewala said there was nothing wrong in wanting 18 percent constitutional cap on taxation and that it was unfair to the common man to pay 30-40 percent tax. “We have been saying to keep the tax bracket at 18 percent with a constitutional cap. Why should the GST rate not be same across the states” .Why goods manufacturing states should be permitted extra tax? And if there is a dispute between an individual and a state, then why should the state be the judge and not have a third party judicial mechanism instead”, Surjewala said.Asserting pressure by the RSS as the real reason behind the BJP not wanting to pass the landmark Bill, he added that RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat had warned ‘Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Finance Minister’ to not pass the bill. “The RSS has warned the BJP to not pass the GST Bill since they have opposed the Bill in the past, so Jaitley wants to shift the blame on the Congress while dichotomy and differences lie within BJP and RSS,” Surjewala added. Earlier, Former union minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram told ANI that the Congress Party was very keen to see the GST Bill being passed in Parliament, but only after every ‘flawed’ element in it is removed, or at least addressed in manner that satisfies all parties. Chidambaram also dismissed suggestions that Congress is deliberately using the National Herald case to block passage of GST Bill.”GST issue is not linked to Herald case. I have made it clear that National Herald case has got nothing to do with what is happening in Parliament. Why on a particular day the Parliament is not working or is working, I cannot say. But I am clear that it is not because of the National Herald case. Because there are various other issues that are raised from time to time, for example, for a couple of days, it was the Dalit issue and Retired General V K Singh’s comment on the Dalits. We are waiting for the government to revert on our proposals over the bill. I remain hopeful that GCT will be passed. No one is keener to have GST passed than me,” Chidambaram said.

Park Street rape case: Special Public Prosecutor removed after not pressing for maximum punishment of convicts

Sharbani Ray has expressed her anguish over the state’s move.

Suzette Jordan

Hours after the Special Public Prosecutor Sharbani Ray did not press for maximum punishment for the three convicts – Nasir Khan, Ruman Khan and Sumit Bajaj, in the Park Street rape case, she was removed from the state’s panel of prosecutors.”We demanded maximum punishment for the convicts. The Public Prosecutors should have pressed for life sentence. We are removing Sharbani Ray from our state’s panel of Prosecutors,” Chandrima Bhattacharya, state law minister told Zee 24 Ghanta over a telephonic conversation.Ray expressed her anguish over the state’s move. “I am deeply saddened by what the state has done. It is saddening because the state’s representatives are talking about my removal on television, but nothing officially has been communicated to me,” said Ray, adding, “I never prayed for any position in the state’s panel of prosecutors. I was appointed by the Governor to play the role of Special Public Prosecutor in this case. Hence, the state is not in a position to remove or appoint me.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ray’s role was questioned minutes after the judge at the Sessions Court, Kolkata, Chiranjib Bhattacharya pronounced a sentence of ten years for the three convicts. The Special Public Prosecutor did not press for maximum punishment and said that the three convicts were ‘not directly involved’ in the case.Even after her removal, she stood by her words and maintained that the three convicts were ‘not directly involved’. “I need not consult anyone as far as my case is concerned. I am associated with the case right from the first day. The prime accused, Kader Khan and Md. Ali are still at large. The three behind bars were not directly involved. The crime was committed by one, Kader Khan. The three convicted did not sexually assault the victim. Hence, maximum punishment was not required,” Ray said.Also Read: All you need to know about the Park Street rape case

Delhi HC not in favour of retired judges who head tribunals taking up private work

The court also said “a whole-time employee is expected to bestow all his time, energy and resources to the whole time employment and not to divert the same to any other job, work or vocation.”

The Delhi High Court on Friday observed that if retired judges who head or are part of statutory bodies, tribunals and commissions also simultaneously get involved in any other “commercial-legal” activity like arbitration, it may jeopardise reputation of their office.A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said “not only would pursuing such a vocation or occupation simultaneously with the office occupied be at the cost of the work of the said office, but may also jeopardise/ appear to jeopardise reputation of the said office…”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The court also said “a whole-time employee is expected to bestow all his time, energy and resources to the whole time employment and not to divert the same to any other job, work or vocation.””Moreover, retired judges appointed as chairpersons or members of statutory bodies, tribunals.. discharge judicial /quasi-judicial functions and their involvement in any other commercial legal activity or as arbitrators would necessarily require them to interact, in all possibility, with same set of people…, giving rise to speculation about their impartiality in discharge of their duty in such capacity.”The court noted that though some statutes on appointment of chairperson/member of tribunals/statutory bodies prohibit taking up of any other work, this provision was not present in all legislations, and this “lacuna” resulted in some judges being entitled to taking up arbitrations while others who were similarly placed were barred.”It is precisely to remedy such a situation that amendments to the existing legislations/new legislation are/is proposed. However, the said process, inspite of our waiting for the last nearly five years, has not yielded any fruit,” it said.It, however, did not issue any directions on the issue as it felt the subject fell in the “domain” of the legislature. It only asked the government “to bestow special attention on the issue and to ensure that appropriate legislation is made at the earliest”.The court’s observations came in its judgement disposing of a PIL by NGO Common Cause, represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, seeking that no retired Supreme Court or High Court judge should take up arbitration work while he/she was a chairperson/member of any government appointed constitutional /statutory body, commission, commission of inquiry, tribunal or appellate body.

Chennai Floods: PIL alleges faulty release of reservoir water, demands action against Tamil Nadu officials

Businessman-activist Rajiv Rai has filed a PIL in the Madras High Court on Thursday, asking for action to be taken against certain Tamil Nadu government officials.

Businessman-activist Rajiv Rai has filed a PIL in the Madras High Court on Thursday, asking for action to be taken against certain Tamil Nadu government officials.A report in The New Indian Express states that he has filed the PIL against those officials who were responsible for the unannounced and late release of water from the Chembarambakkam reservoir. Rai also asked for an investigation to be conducted by a high-powered committee headed by a former judge of the high court or Supreme Court as to why the flooding was caused in the city <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rai has alleged that the release of excess water on December 1 from the Chembarambakkam reservoir caused the flooding in the city. In his petition, he stated, “If one studies the levels of water in the various catchment tanks on a daily basis, one can see that the reservoirs had much greater inflow than outflow right through November 2015. Some Standard Operating Procedures ought to have been in place whereby water was let off from Chembarambakkam and other reservoirs in stages and not held back till the fateful night of December 1, 2015.”The petition alleges that state Chief Secretary K Gnanadesikan waited for three days after the Public Works Department (PWD) wrote to him on November 29 to release water from the Chembarambakkam reservoir. “The chief secretary, even though he was well aware of the reports that there was going to be heavy downpour for a few more days, didn’t direct the release of the water when he received the warning from PWD. The said act of the chief secretary and other officials is willful and resulted in loss of over 280 lives and caused damage to property… Court should form an independent committee to investigate the matter and punish the officials for failure to perform their duty, as it amounted to nothing short of manslaughter,” stated the PIL.

Former RJD MP Shahabuddin sentenced to life imprisonment in double murder case

Former RJD MP Md. Shahabuddin was on Friday sentenced to life imprisonment by a special court in connection with the murder case of two brothers 11 years ago in Siwan district of Bihar.

Former RJD MP Md. Shahabuddin was on Friday sentenced to life imprisonment by a special court in connection with the murder case of two brothers 11 years ago in Siwan district of Bihar.Shahabuddin and three other accused were held guilty by the court on Wednesday.According to the prosecution, three sons of one Chandrashekhar Prasad were abducted from their house at Goshala road by Rajkumar Sah, Sheikh Aslam and Arif Hussain on August 16, 2004 and taken to Pratappur village where acid was poured on Girish and Satish resulting in their death.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One of the sons, Rajeev Raushan, managed to escape.The bodies of the two brothers could not be recovered.The victims’ mother Kalawati Devi had lodged an FIR charging Shahabuddin’s three henchmen with the murder of her sons.The former RJD MP’s name had cropped up during probe and he too was made an accused for hatching conspiracy for kidnapping of the three siblings.The lone surviving brother appeared before the judge as an eyewitness in the case, but was subsequently murdered by unidentified assailants on June 16 last year.Shahabuddin is lodged in the Siwan central jail for the past several years in connection with several cases against him.(With PTI inputs)

Centre declares Tamil Nadu floods as ‘calamity of severe nature’; Opposition slams govt

DMK President M Karunanidhi levelled allegations of red-tapism, citing news reports. He sought the government’s response on allegations of it not properly handling the issue of discharge of excess water from Chembarambakkam reservoir into the Adyar river.

Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said that on her plea with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Centre had declared the floods as a calamity of severe nature.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The Centre on Thursday declared the floods in Tamil Nadu as “calamity of severe nature” even as Opposition questioned ruling AIADMK’s handling of discharge of excess water from a city lake during the heavy downpour.Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said that on her plea with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Centre had declared the floods as a calamity of severe nature. She also said that the Parliament Secretariat had issued a circular to MPs stating that they can allot Rs one crore worth renovation and rehabilitation efforts in the flood-affected districts from Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the state government would apprise lawmakers of the requirement in the respective districts on this matter, her party (AIADMK) MPs, totalling 49 in both Houses, had already been asked to contribute Rs one crore each from MPLADS, she said. The state government said 347 persons had died and over 3,300 heads of cattle lost so far, but rehabilitation work had been taken up in full swing.Over 17.64 lakh people were rescued and sheltered in 6,605 relief centres across the state while over 1.28 crore food packets have been distributed, it was officially stated. An amount of Rs 67.47 crore has been disbursed among over 1.11 lakh families as immediate relief.The Opposition parties, which had been critical of the Jayalalithaa government over its handling of the northeast monsoon, demanded a probe into the issue of discharge of excess water from Chembarambakkam reservoir here, which flooded Adyar river, resulting in heavy inundation of the embankments.DMK President M Karunanidhi levelled allegations of red-tapism, citing news reports. He sought the government’s response on allegations of it not properly handling the issue of discharge of excess water from Chembarambakkam reservoir into the Adyar river.”Sad-faced people of Tamil Nadu are awaiting a response from the AIADMK government, especially from Chief Minister Jayalalithaa,” he said in a statement.To ascertain facts behind this issue, a proper probe should be ordered into it, he demanded. His son and party Treasurer M K Stalin also made similar remarks, but the government shot back saying it had properly executed its responsibilities.Electricity Minister Natham R Viswanathan said it was due to government’s prompt work that people were moved in quick time before the river went in spate, which averted loss of life. However, there was damage to property, he admitted.CPI(M) state Secretary G Ramakrishnan blamed “official apathy” for the disaster and alleged that red-tapism over discharge of water had resulted in such a damage. He demanded that an inquiry commission under a sitting High Court Judge be formed with the members, including water management experts, to probe lapses and fix responsibility.PMK founder S Ramadoss said the problems arising out of the post-rains scenario cannot be solved by writing letters to the Prime Minister, saying “political pressure” must be exerted on the Centre to get results.An all-party meeting should be convened to discuss the matter after which Jayalalithaa should lead a delegation of members from all political parties to meet the Prime Minister to take up the issue, he urged. BJP state President Tamizhisai Sounderrajan said the government should come out with a detailed water management for the future.

Salman Khan hit and run case: Here’s what the judge said while delivering the verdict

The Bombay High Court on Thursday acquitted Bollywood star Salman Khan of all charges in the 2002 hit-and-run case.

The Bombay High Court on Thursday acquitted Bollywood star Salman Khan of all charges in the 2002 hit-and-run case in which he had been earlier convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment by a sessions court.On September 28, 2002, Salman’s car had rammed into a bakery shop in suburban Bandra. One person was killed and four others were injured in the mishap.Here is what Justice A R Joshi said:<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1) The appeal is allowed. The trial court’s verdict is quashed and set aside. Salman is acquitted of all charges.2) The prosecution failed to establish its case against the appellant-accused (Salman) on all charges. The burden is on the prosecution to establish the guilt of the accused and this needs to be done beyond reasonable doubt.3) There are various shortcomings by the prosecution like not recording evidence of necessary and important witnesses and omissions.4) There are contradictions in the evidence of injured witnesses, which definitely create a doubt about the involvement of Salman for offences for which he has been charged. On the basis of such evidence, Salman cannot be convicted.5) The investigation was conducted in a faulty manner with many loose ends and as such, benefit of this had to be given in favour of the accused.6) The trial court erred in accepting bills (of Rain Bar and Restaurant where Salman had gone before the mishap) without a panchnama, 7) The judge said he is of the considered view that the appreciation of evidence done by the trial court while convicting the appellant was not proper and legal, as per the principles of criminal jurisprudence.Also Read: All you need to know about Salman Khan hit-and-run case

Court overturns Salman Khan sentence

The high court in the Indian city of Mumbai overturns Bollywood star Salman Khan’s conviction for a 2002 hit-and-run case.

Chennai Floods: Why the December music season must go on

If there was a good time to show that art and artistes can be of great social relevance and help, it is in these times of crisis.

Dr Padma Subrahmanyam says we must support Chennai by attending the Margazhi concerts

Picture courtesy: Facebook
What is a reference to Chennai without Bharatanatyam or Carnatic music? It would be like VS Naipaul’s idea of India; tone-deaf and blind to culture. Criticism aside, the December Margazhi festival and life in Chennai are interlinked. The Margazhi, over the last century, became the city’s signature festival. However, this December didn’t begin well for Chennai and parts of Tamil Nadu with the century’s worst floods creating havoc. Death, devastation and destruction were unprecedented. At a time when social media was being debated as one of the most intrusive inventions of the century, for once, it felt useful and worthy. Scores of volunteers launched into mobilising funds and other relief material. Amidst all this chaos, the artistes’ community that was readying itself for the Margazhi was caught off guard. Social media went abuzz with several dancers and musicians announcing the cancellation of their season performances. There were two sides to this. It was ok to cancel performances. But those cancelling, suddenly began giving ‘gyaan’ to others, about being insensitive, cold-hearted and what not. Cancelling their shows seemed to have given them a sense of moral superiority and the need to preach. Hundreds of messages were flying across, for and against performing this Margazhi. I was asked what I felt. My old theatre background and training always told me ‘the show must go on’. It is not about right or wrong or trying to be judgmental. I decided to get the voice of a few artistes and what they felt. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also Read – Margazhi Utsavam: As Chennai gets back on its feet, should artistes be the exception?Dr Padma Subrahmanyam, a dance veteran who needs no introduction, spoke to me over a frail phone connection. “I just returned from London. If I were an hour late, I would have been one of the four thousand stranded in the airport. My house and dance studio have been flooded. These are miserable times for all of us. I think artistes have a role to play in the society. We cannot sit home and mourn. If you feel art is auspicious, this is the time to spread that auspiciousness. That is why it was a part of our ancient temple rituals too, despite all the wars and bloodshed in the land. Our city needs prayers and positive energy now, more than ever before. We as artistes must come ahead and do our bit. I remember when floods happened in Odisha, I gathered many dancers and we performed and raised funds for relief work. Everyone is going through misery and still putting up a strong face and helping with the aim of ‘Nishkaama Karma’ or doing good without desiring any benefits. I am very proud of Chennai. If you want to show your support to Chennai, come for this year’s Margazhi. Attend concerts and show support!” she said. “Also think of the junior artistes, dance music orchestras and others who have worked hard for this. This is their source of livelihood. Is it fair to deny them?”, she added. “If Bombay Jayashri cancelled her concerts, it is up to her. She is a brand name today, rich and famous and can afford to cancel and wear her solidarity on her sleeve. What about us juniors? Once all this ends, sabhas will still call her and she will perform. She is a brand name in the market and they want to encash on it. For us, it will continue to be a struggle. I think this is a very personal thing. If others are going to office and working, and continuing to help in relief and rehabilitation, so can musicians. I see nothing wrong in performing and doing relief work on the side”, said another young musician who didn’t want to be named. “I heard Sudharani Raghupathy and Chitra Vishweshwaran cancelled their shows. It was laughable. How many shows did they have anyway? They are veterans who have barely performed in the last decade. If I say this in this open, I will be killed. Being seniors in the field, they have seen more of the world than me. Shouldn’t their wisdom allow them to think ahead? They should be the first to organise shows and raise funds. Instead of that, they sit back and preach. This is no time to judge anyone with a moral compass,” added another dancer who didn’t want to be named. One could sense the threat of being judged, or worse labeled for a lifetime for speaking out in the open. This would also affect their careers in the future. But these are voices of the next generation artistes. They want to make a difference to this world and they believe their art will do it. They must be allowed to. Several prestigious institutions like the Madras Music Academy, Krishna Gana Sabha, Bhavans and others have issued a joint press statement in support of the Margazhi. They plan to divert funds towards relief and rehabilitation measures. We got reports of several artistes who suffered badly in the floods. These funds could go towards helping them. “The Margazhi has turned into a fund-raising effort, more than just a festival. So hopefully this helps many musicians and other displaced individuals who will need aid in rebuilding their lives in the months to come,” said Sandeep Narayan, a young Carnatic vocalist who has been offering help in several relief camps. Some artistes were worried if venues and sponsors would profit more from benefit concerts. Transparency is the key word. Monitoring fund-flow strictly will help curb any malpractices. Film actor Siddharth and RJ Balaji have been mobilising funds very efficiently. If they can do it, there is nothing stopping classical artistes from replicating a successful module of working. Last but not the least, this is the birth centenary year of MS Subbulakshmi. For the larger part of her performing career, she gave benefit concerts to raise large funds towards humanitarian causes. Her Ramon Magsaysay award is a witness to her public service. She had the strong conviction that, through her art, she could help resurrect many battered and suffering souls. Were she around today, she would have done what she did all her life, perform with the same sense of ‘Nishkaama Karma’ that Padma mentioned. If there was a good time to show that art and artistes can be of great social relevance and help, it is in these times of crisis. For now, the show, my friends, must go on! Veejay Sai is a writer, editor and a culture criticRelated Read: Can artistes serve humanity by postponing the December music season?

Coalscam: Court reserves order on plea to call former PM Manmohan Singh as witness

Rungta’s counsel, who also sought summoning of various documents, argued that these two witnesses would depose about the genuineness of the documents brought from their respective offices that is the Prime Minister Office (PMO) and Ministry of Coal.
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A special court on Tuesday reserved for December 19 its order on an application by Jharkhand Ispat Pvt Ltd (JIPL) Director R S Rungta, an accused in a coal block allocation scam case, seeking to summon former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a witness in his defence.Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar fixed the matter for pronouncement of the order on the application which also seeks to summon former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao as a defence witness. Rungta’s counsel, who also sought summoning of various documents, argued that these two witnesses would depose about the genuineness of the documents brought from their respective offices that is the Prime Minister Office (PMO) and Ministry of Coal.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During the arguments, the court asked the defence counsel to explain why it was relevant to summon Singh and Rao as defence witnesses in the case. The counsel argued that these witnesses would also depose about the constitution of screening committee, which had dealt with JIPL’s application seeking coal block allocation, and its power.”These files, which I seek to summon in my defence, will tell about the power of screening committee and how it was constituted,” he said.Regarding Singh, the accused has said in his plea, “He will prove the record of the Coal Ministry and the decision taken by him about constitution of screening committee and its functions and powers and would also prove the corresponding record of the Ministry of Coal.””Further, the two witnesses (Singh and Rao) named above may also be directed to be summoned to depose about genuineness of the documents being produced from their respective office (as they were holding at the relevant point of time),” the plea has said.Besides R S Rungta, the other two accused in the case are JIPL and its director R C Rungta. The court has fixed the case for recording of defence evidence on December 19. The case pertains to allotment of North Dhadu coal block in Jharkhand to Jharkhand Ispat Pvt Ltd allegedly on the basis of false and forged documents. The court had on November 21 concluded the recording of statements of accused in the case.JIPL and both the Rungtas were earlier put on trial by the court which had framed charges against them for securing allotment of the coal block allegedly on the basis of false and forged documents. The court had framed charges against the three accused for alleged offences punishable under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating) and 471 (using a forged document as genuine) of the IPC.All the accused had pleaded not guilty and claimed trial while refuting the allegations levelled against them by the CBI. In its charge sheet, CBI had alleged that it had found in the probe that JIPL had “grossly misrepresented” a number of aspects before Ministry of Steel (MoS) and Ministry of Coal (MoC) to inflate their claim, thereby inducing MoC officers and the screening committee to allocate the coal block to them.

Salman Khan hit and run case: Bombay HC begins dictation of verdict

Salman contended that the charge of culpable homicide was not justified and wrongly invoked in the case

The Bombay High Court on Monday said it would give its ruling on the applicability of culpable homicide charge against Bollywood star Salman Khan in the 2002 hit-and-run case and also on other key questions like the admissibility of the statement of the actor’s former bodyguard as evidence.This was stated by Justice AR Joshi while giving dictation of the verdict in the open court in the appeal filed in the High Court by Khan against the May 6 judgement of a Mumbai Sessions court which sentenced him to five years jail term. Justice Joshi said he would give a ruling on whether the statement of Ravindra Patil, an eye witness and former police bodyguard of Salman, was admissible as evidence under section 33 of Indian Evidence Act. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Salman contended that the charge of culpable homicide was not justified and wrongly invoked in the case. He also challenged the prosecution’s step of relying upon Patil’s statement in the trial court, saying this witness died and hence was not available for cross-examination. The prosecution opposed Salman’s plea and justified invocation of culpable homicide charge against the actor saying he had driven the car in a rash and negligent manner under the influence of liquor on September 28, 2002, when he met with a mishap.During the course of the judgement, the Judge said the High Court would also scrutinise other important issues including whether the deceased had been killed due to the impact of the car mishap or whether the car dropped off the hook of a crane, called to remove it, and fell accidentally on the victim. The HC would also give a ruling on the “drunken” state of Salman Khan on the ill-fated day.While the prosecution has argued that the actor had taken alcoholic drinks at Rain Bar and Restaurant at Vile Parle before meeting with the mishap in suburban Bandra, Salman has denied the charge saying evidence does not suggests this. The Judge said that in the verdict he will also dwell on the issues such as why Kamaal Khan, singer-friend of Salman, who was with the actor in his car on the ill-fated day, was not examined.The HC had recently rejected Salman’s plea on issuing a directive to examine Kamaal Khan as witness.

Coalgate: SC orders handing over of ex-CBI Director Ranjit Sinha’s visitors’ diary to panel

The bench, also comprising justices Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri, further said that the stipulated 12 weeks time, granted to the court-appointed panel, would begin from the day it receives the documents.

Ranjit Sinha

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered handing over of original visitors’ diary of the official residence of ex-CBI director Ranjit Sinha to a court-appointed panel to probe whether his meetings with accused and others led to botching up of investigation in Coalgate cases.The visitors’ log book, which was lying in sealed cover with another bench hearing 2G cases, be given to the panel headed by former special director CBI M L Sharma who will have to share the contents with other probe team members only and file a report in the court within 12 weeks, a three-judge bench headed by Justice M B Lokur said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bench, also comprising justices Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri, further said that the stipulated 12 weeks time, granted to the court-appointed panel, would begin from the day it receives the documents.Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the former CBI Director, reiterated his stand that the alleged meetings alone cannot “per se” be termed objectionable as the real test would be whether those meetings led to according of favours to any named accused or other persons.The bench, meanwhile, did not pass any order on the plea seeking a direction to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) that the panel be given documents of those cases where the CVC did not favour prosecution.”Let him (Sharma) make a request. We are not saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ at the moment. In any case, he cannot sit in judgement on the decisions of the CVC,” the court said. Initially, it was said that the panel will have access of all requisite documents, Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO Common Cause, said.”At the moment, he (Sharma) does not have the (visitors) register, the primary document,” the bench said. The court had on May 14 admonished Sinha for his “completely inappropriate” meetings with coal scam accused in the absence of investigating officers (IOs), saying that “further inquiry is necessary” to ascertain the fairness and impact of his conduct in the coalgate probe.Ordering the probe, the bench had then said that there cannot at all be any justification for Sinha to meet any accused in a criminal case where “investigation is underway, without the investigating officer being present”. It had sought the assistance of the CVC to determine the methodology for conducting an inquiry on whether his meetings with the accused had any impact on the investigations and subsequent charge sheets or closure reports filed by the CBI.The bench then appointed a panel headed by Sharma who later sought the visitors’ diary for proceeding with the probe.As the visitors’ diary was sealed by an order of a bench, hearing 2G cases, the three-judge bench, which hears the coal scam matters, said it would be appropriate that the CJI-headed bench decides whether the Sharma panel can be given the sealed diary or not.However, the CJI referred back the matter to the present bench, which today ordered handing over the diary to the panel. Sharma was appointed by the apex court to probe whether the meetings of Ranjit Sinha with the accused in coal block allocation scam had impacted the probe or their final outcome.It had on September 14 allowed Sharma to access whatever records he felt necessary for the purposes of inquiry. After court’s directions, Sharma had asked the CVC to make available to him its comments on the CBI’s probe in each of the 254 coal blocks allocation.He had also urged the CVC to provide him the correspondence that might have been exchanged between it and the CBI on the subject. The reports sought by Sharma from the CVC includes some information which the anti-corruption watchdog had submitted to the apex court in a sealed cover after scrutinising the CBI probe into each of 254 coal blocks allocation.

Janlokpal Bill passed in Delhi Assembly

Delhi government yesterday had approved two amendments in the appointment and removal clauses in the draft Janlokpal legislation as suggested by veteran social activist Anna Hazare during his recent meeting with AAP leaders.

The Jan Lokpal Bill has been passed in Delhi Assembly on Friday.Delhi government yesterday had approved two amendments in the appointment and removal clauses in the draft Janlokpal legislation as suggested by veteran social activist Anna Hazare during his recent meeting with AAP leaders.The decision was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday, said senior officials in Delhi government. As per the changes, there will be a provision for one more High Court judge and one eminent person in the selection panel while the impeachment process for removal will begin only after a higher court monitored probe of any allegation against the Lokpal, a senior government official said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>These were among the points over which former AAP leader Prashant Bhushan has targeted Kejriwal saying he had “diluted” key provisions of the original draft, a product of the 2011 anti-graft movement. But the government had dismissed the criticism earlier saying that Supreme Court had argued against inclusion of eminent persons in such positions during deliberations over NJAC and had argued that impeachment was the best possible removal clause.As per the draft Bill, the Chairperson or any member of the Janlokpal can be removed on the ground of proven misconduct or incapacity only by the Lt Governor on the recommendation of the Assembly by a minimum two-third majority of the total membership.It has provided for a four-member Selection Committee comprising the Chief Minister, Speaker, Leader of the Opposition and one Delhi High Court judge. The Bill that has already been tabled is scheduled to be debated upon in the assembly tomorrow. With agency inputs

Justice TS Thakur sworn in as 43rd Chief Justice of India

The senior-most judge of the apex court, 63-year old Justice Thakur took over from incumbent Justice H L Dattu who retired on Wednesday.

Justice TS Thakur

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Justice Tirath Singh Thakur was on Thursday sworn in as 43rd Chief Justice of India by President Pranab Mukherjee at an elegant function in Rashtrapati Bhavan.The senior-most judge of the apex court, 63-year old Justice Thakur took over from incumbent Justice H L Dattu who retired on Wednesday.As a Supreme Court judge, he headed the bench which had delivered the verdict to reform cricket controlling body BCCI in the wake of allegations of betting and spot-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League.Justice Thakur also headed the bench which ordered probe into the multi-crore chit fund scam in eastern India, also known as Saradha scam.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He has also heard the multi-crore rupee NRHM scam, in which ex-UP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha is also an accused, besides other politicians and bureaucrats.Born on January 4, 1952, he would have the tenure as CJI for a little over one year and would retire on January 4, 2017.Son of former Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Devi Das Thakur, a well known jurist and judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Justice Thakur enrolled as a Pleader in October, 1972 and joined the Chamber of his father.He was designated as a senior advocate in 1990. On February 16, 1994, he was appointed as an additional judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court and transferred as a judge of the Karnataka High Court in March 1994.He was appointed as a permanent judge in September 1995 and transferred to the Delhi High Court in July 2004.Justice Thakur was appointed as acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court on April 9, 2008 and on August 11, 2008, he took over as Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.He was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court and assumed charge on November 17, 2009.

Chhota Rajan’s remand proceedings to be conducted through video conferencing

The court’s order came after the CBI moved an application, saying due to serious threat perception to Rajan from his rivals, it would be “extremely unsafe” to produce him in the open court and requested for conducting the proceedings through video conferencing.
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PTI
Underworld don Chhota Rajan, who is lodged in Tihar jail under judicial custody in an alleged fake passport case, will not be produced physically in the court for remand proceedings due to “serious” threat perception. Special CBI Judge Vinod Kumar said the remand proceedings in the case will be conducted through video conferencing from jail.The court’s order came after the CBI moved an application, saying due to serious threat perception to Rajan from his rivals, it would be “extremely unsafe” to produce him in the open court and requested for conducting the proceedings through video conferencing.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The accused (Rajan) is required to be produced on December 3. Therefore, I direct that further judicial remand of accused, who is lodged in Tihar Jail, shall be granted through video conferencing facility and accused need not be produced physically in the court,” the ordered.”Copy of this application be sent to the concerned Jail Superintendent as well as to branch incharge of the computer branch, who is managing the court room having video conferencing facility,” the court said.Rajan was sent to high-security Tihar prison in judicial custody on November 19 in connection with the case. Deported after being on the run for 27 years, the 55-year-old gangster, whose real name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, was remanded in judicial custody in connection with the fake passport case.Rajan, once a close aide of fugitive terrorist and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, has been brought to the country to face trial in over 70 cases of murder, extortion and drug smuggling in Delhi and Mumbai.After his arrest in Bali on October 25, India had pressed for his early deportation.

Malegaon blast: Supreme Court gives 2 more months to decide bail pleas

The court also said that by its order dated April 15, it had already given a month time to “dispose of the bail applications expeditiously, preferably within one month from the date of his/her assumption of office as special judge”.

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.
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dna Research & Archives
The Supreme Court on Monday granted two more months to a special court in Maharashtra to hear and decide the bail applications of the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case including Lt Col S P Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.”Two months more time is given,” a bench of justices J Chelameswar and A M Sapre said when Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta informed it that the Presiding Officer of the special MCOCA court has sought a two-month extension. The ASG said that the trial judge has recently taken over and hence more time be granted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The court also said that by its order dated April 15, it had already given a month time to “dispose of the bail applications expeditiously, preferably within one month from the date of his/her assumption of office as special judge”. The apex court in its order had said that barring accused Rakesh D Dhawade, who is alleged to be involved in other similar cases in Parbhani and Jalna before the Malegaon blast, the provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA) would not be considered while dealing with the bail applications of other accused persons.It had said that there were “considerable doubts” about the involvement of other accused in Parbhani and Jalna blasts cases and “therefore, they are entitled for their bail applications to be considered on merits”. The apex court had also asked the special court to commence trial at the earliest and conclude it expeditiously noting that the matter pertains to 2008 and nearly seven years have passed.While dealing with the issue of expeditious trial of the seven-year-old case, the bench had noted that “no officer has been posted for the special court as on date.” The accused persons had moved the apex court challenging denial of bail by the Bombay High Court.The accused persons had also sought direction against the high court order restoring the charges under the stringent anti-organised crime law MCOCA. The high court had ordered that Pragya and 10 other accused in the Malegaon bomb blast case would face trial under MCOCA and quashed the decision of a special court which had dropped the charges under the special law.Seven people were killed in the blast on September 29, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in Nasik district of north Maharashtra. The probe into the blast brought into focus the activities of some right-wing Hindu groups. A special court had earlier ruled that Anti Terrorist Squad had wrongly applied MCOCA in the case against Pragya, Purohit and nine others.The 4,000-page charge sheet had alleged that Malegaon was selected as the blast target because of a sizeable Muslim population there. It named Pragya, Purohit and another accused Swami Dayanand Pandey as the key conspirators. The charge sheet had further alleged it was Pandey who had instructed Purohit to arrange RDX, while Pragya owned the motorcycle which was used in the blast.Ajay Rahirkar, another accused, allegedly organised funds for the terror act, while conspiracy meetings were held at Bhonsala Military School in Nasik. Rakesh Dhawde, Ramesh Upadhyay, Shyamlal Sahu, Shivnarain Kalsangra, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, Jagdish Mhatre and Sameer Kulkarni are the other accused.

Here’s why people’s President APJ Kalam wanted to quit during UPA rule

When the Apex court quashed the proclamation, Kalam was penitent saying he should have rejected the Cabinet’s decision and thought of resigning from his post

APJ Abdul Kalam

APJ Abdul Kalam had thought of quitting as the President in 2005 after the Supreme Court quashed the proclamation dissolving Bihar Assembly, according to S M Khan, who was his Press Secretary at that time.”Though Kalam was reluctant, he signed the proclamation. He could have rejected it but would have had no option but to sign the same if it was sent to him for the second time,” Khan said while addressing the students of Sikshya O Ansandhan University in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. When the Apex court quashed the proclamation, Kalam was penitent saying he should have rejected the Cabinet’s decision and thought of resigning from his post, Khan said, adding “He even consulted his elder brother in Rameswaram. Kalam later decided against any such step as it would have triggered a lot of constitutional problems, said the former Press Secretary, who is at present the Director General of RNI, in his lecture titled ‘My Days with the Greatest Human Soul Ever’. In 2005, the then Bihar Governor Buta Singh had recommended the dissolution of the Assembly which the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved and forwarded to the President. Kalam, who was on a visit to Moscow at that time, signed it there.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was challenged in the Supreme Court whose five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, in a majority verdict held on October 7, 2005 that “the proclamation of May 23 dissolving the Bihar Assembly is unconstitutional.” Describing Kalam, who passed away in July this year, as a person who was completely detached from material things, Khan said the late President did not own anything, be it a house, a car, a television or a refrigerator.”Almost all his life as a scientist and teacher, he lived in hostels and guest houses. But his only possession were his books. And he insisted that he should buy his books and never took any book from any one as a gift saying chances were that he would not read them,” he said.

Behind closed doors: Sonia Gandhi spoke the most; GST bill might soon be approved

It was Congress President Sonia Gandhi who did most of the talking during the 45-minute meeting with Narendra Modi on Friday evening. It was to her that the prime minister and his two senior ministers, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, responded and did all the explaining on the sticky points of the Goods and Services Tax Bill. They also spoke to her on the need for smooth functioning of the Winter Session of Parliament for the passage of several other pending legislative businesses.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, who accompanied Sonia to the prime minister’s official residence at 7 Race Course Road, mostly sat quietly through the meeting. He was the principal architect of the GST Bill. The impression which the three top ruling leaders got from Singh’s limited response was that he didn’t think that the Congress’s objections had much merit and were viable. But then he is not the person in command in Congress.

Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu discuss the GST bill. PTISonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu discuss the GST bill. PTI

Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu discuss the GST bill. PTI

Contrary to the popular perception that Modi was not reaching out to Opposition leaders, Gandhi in particular, a top government source said Modi wanted to have a meeting with the latter on GST and other issues during the Monsoon Session but then it was conveyed by the Congress that it was not the opportune time for such a meeting. The Congress then was bent on securing the resignations of Sushma Swaraj, Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Vasundhara Raje. GST was then nowhere on their radar. By Winter Session, circumstances changed.

When Jaitley briefed Sonia and Manmohan on the background, history and view of the government on the three objections – first, doing away one per cent additional tax benefit to the producing states and spreading it uniformly to all the states; second, constitutional cap of 18 per cent, and third, an independent dispute redressal mechanism or setting up adjudication authority – the two leaders seemed to be positive in their attitude. They told PM Modi and the two ministers that they (Sonia-Manmohan) would consult on the subject with their party and respond.

After that meeting was over, Jaitley had told media persons that the government would establish fresh contact with the main Opposition party and carry forward the negations or so-called consultation process.

When asked, “What’s the outcome of the meeting, will GST baby will be delivered in this session?,” a senior BJP leader quipped “Pregnancy is in advance stage, labour pain is being felt”.

Sources said after that big meeting, which had almost assumed proportions of a summit, was over the parliamentary affairs minister spoke to Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Jyotiraditya Scindia.

The government is not agreeable to the three objections put forward by the Congress. “How can you provide for a cap on taxes in Constitution and create flawed tax architecture. You can’t have constitutional amendments for increasing or decreasing tax, each time it’s felt and go through that cumbersome process. More so, what wisdom would suggest that you put a cap of 18 percent on super luxurious items, including on cars like BMW, Rolls Royce. You can’t also put a lower tax cap on liquor and tobacco products. In a country like India you need three different kinds of tax structures on goods – one meant for the poor, other on items of mass consumption in urban areas and the third on luxury items,” a top BJP leader said.

On the issue of one percent additional tax to producing states, he said this was being negotiated.

On the Congress’ third objection or insistence on setting up of an adjudication authority, government sources said, “No chief minister would allow that. Taxation was the exclusive domain of the Legislature and the Executive and it can’t be handed over to a Supreme Court Judge or to judiciary (as adjudication authority head). Even the Congress chief ministers would not like that. This can’t be negotiated.”

He, however, said that the government had an alternative mechanism in mind for all the three objections put forward by the Congress. The alternate proposals have been conveyed to the Opposition leaders but the government sources are not willing to reveal it yet.

Were Sonia and Manmohan convinced by the government’s arguments? Sources said they seemed to be favourable but perhaps the final call would be taken by Rahul Gandhi. Top government functionaries are cautious in committing whether GST was a done deal. They had a last minute slip up on GST in the Budget Session.

Madras High Court directs police to allow meetings of pro-Tamil outfits

Justice M.M. Sundresh allowed two different pleas filed by C Ramamurthy, town secretary of the Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam and by P Bharathi of Sethiathope in Cuddalore district, a functionary of Naam Thamizhar Katchi, praying for direction to police to permit the meetings

Madras High Court

The Madras High Court on Thursday permitted two pro-Tamil outfits to hold meetings to commemorate those, who laid down their lives during the ‘Eelam war’ between 1989 and 2009 in Sri Lanka, at Kolathur in Salem district and at Palanisamy grounds in Alamoor on November 27.Justice M.M. Sundresh allowed two different pleas filed by C Ramamurthy, town secretary of the Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam and by P Bharathi of Sethiathope in Cuddalore district, a functionary of Naam Thamizhar Katchi, praying for direction to police to permit the meetings. The judge directed the respective police authorities to allow the petitioners to conduct the meetings.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ramamurthy submitted that he had been conducting the meeting for the past 10 years. But when he applied for permission on November 6, police refused the same and sought a direction to police to allow the meeting.The judge, while quoting earlier orders passed by the Madras High Court on similar petitions, based on the rulings of the Supreme Court, said “the same can be made applicable to the case on hand. Sec. 30 (2) of TN Police Act is only regulatory in nature and there cannot be a blanket prohibition on any meeting. Petitioner is proposing to hold the meeting in a private land and directed the police to grant permission with the conditions as they impose.”Allowing Bharathi’s plea, the judge said “there is no material to come to the conclusion that the meeting will create law and order problem as the petitioner has been conducting the meeting for the past 20 years without any trouble. The permission for the meeting is sought for only one day and the authorities can very well regulate it by fixing the time and venue.””It is now agreed that the meeting can be held at Palanisamy Grounds Situated in Alamoor. Therefore, the respondents can very well regulate the meeting by imposing the conditions including the time and manner in which the meeting has to be conducted. They can take appropriate action if any of the conditions imposed is violated.”

DA case against Virbhadra Singh: Court asks CBI to place preliminary enquiry records

The court’s direction came during the hearing of an application filed by 81-year-old Singh in which he has accused CBI of not furnishing the complete copy of FIR registered against him

Virbhadra Singh

The CBI was on Tuesday asked by a Delhi court to place before it the records of preliminary enquiry (PE) it had conducted in a disproportionate assets case against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and others.The court’s direction came during the hearing of an application filed by 81-year-old Singh in which he has accused CBI of not furnishing the complete copy of FIR registered against him. Special CBI Judge Vinod Kumar directed the agency to place records of preliminary enquiry before the court on or before December 2, the next date of hearing, when the court is likely to decide Singh’s plea.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In his plea, Singh has said that CBI should be directed to file in court complete copy of First Information Report. CBI had registered a PE which was converted into a regular case this September against Singh and his family members for allegedly amassing wealth of Rs 6.1 crore, alleging that it was disproportionate to their known sources of income during 2009-2011 when he was serving as Union Minister of Steel in the UPA government.CBI had lodged the FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act, naming Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh, LIC agent Anand Chauhan and Chunni Lal Chauhan.The agency has claimed that during this period, Singh, a six-time Chief Minister, had invested Rs 6.1 crore in life insurance policies in his and his family members’ names through Chauhan. In an unprecedented action on a serving Chief Minister, CBI had on September 26 searched his official residence and 10 other places in connection with the case, the day of the marriage of his daughter. Searches were also carried out at his official residence in Delhi, his two houses in Shimla and Rampur and a farm house in Mehrauli in South Delhi which is in the name of his son Vikramaditya Singh.

Andhra Pradesh: Three people washed away in rising flood water in Nellore

The three people who were washed away were identified as A. Suneetha, 26, of Anantamadugu, Mangapudi Ramanamma, 30, of SC Colony and Sriramsety Sekhar, 27.

An aerial photo of flood relief operation by Indian Coast Guard at flood affected areas of Kanchipuram District on the outskirt of Chennai on Tuesday

PTI
Two women and a man were washed away in the Tippavarappadu stream in Gudur Mandal on Sunday night. A report in Deccan Chronicle states that a fourth person caught a tree branch and was rescued on Monday morning.The three people who were washed away were identified as A. Suneetha, 26, of Anantamadugu, Mangapudi Ramanamma, 30, of SC Colony and Sriramsety Sekhar, 27. They were all from Saidapuram. , Lebaka Venkateswarlu, 30, managed to escape the tragedy.The report quotes Gudur Rural Sub Inspector Jaganmohan as saying that all four of the people took an autorickshaw to go to Tippavarappadu junction. From there they started to walk to Saidapuram as they couldn’t find transport. After crossing the Tippavarappadu stream, they couldn’t go further because another stream was overflowing on the road. The waters in the Tippavarappadu stream also increased suddenly and since it was dark they were not able to judge the water levels. Thus, they got washed away states the report. Officials are still looking for them.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Delhi court allows RK Pachauri to enter TERI office

The court had earlier allowed Pachauri to enter his office premises, barring the Gurgaon branch where the victim was working and head office in New Delhi.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
TERI Director General R K Pachauri, facing allegations of sexual harassment, was on Saturday allowed to enter TERI headquarters and its Gurgaon office by a Delhi court, which noted that the victim had resigned and was not associated with the institute any longer.The court had earlier allowed Pachauri to enter his office premises, barring the Gurgaon branch where the victim was working and head office here. This order was a modification of the previous order granting him anticipatory bail but barring his entry into all TERI offices.”As victim herself is not entering in the premises of TERI and no more associated with the institution, therefore, no prejudice would be caused either to the investigation agency or the prosecution if the application of the accused is allowed,” Additional Sessions Judge Raj Kumar Tripathi said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The judge, while allowing the application filed by advocate Ashish Dixit today, said “Order dated March 21 is modified to the extent that accused is permitted to enter and visit all the premises of TERI including the head office as well as Gurgaon office. Application is disposed off.”The court also said there was nothing on record to suggest that Pachauri had ever misused the liberty given to him or violated any bail condition.Seeking permission for Pachauri to enter the premises, senior advocate Ramesh Gupta said his client has cooperated in the investigation and not violated any term or condition imposed on him. He said the complainant has already resigned from the institute and was no more concerned or connected with TERI.Investigating Officer of the case did not oppose the plea of Pachauri and said the investigation in the case was almost complete and final report, on conclusion of the probe, was likely to be filed in the court very soon. The complainant had on November 2 resigned from her post in TERI alleging she was being treated in the “worst possible manner” by the institute, a charge denied by the organisation as “completely false and baseless”.The application said Pachauri was facing “tremendous hardship” in effectively fulfilling his duties as the Director General of TERI as majority of the employees were posted in the head office in South Delhi.”All research facilities, laboratories etc are situated in the Head Office complex. Therefore, Pachauri’s presence in those premises is extremely crucial for proper functioning and supervision by CEO/Director General of TERI,” the plea said.It said the investigation has been pending for last nine months and there was no progress in the matter as the police has not questioned him since July 17.On February 13, an FIR was registered against Pachauri on charges of sexual harassment under IPC sections 354, 354(a), 354(d) (molestation) and 506 (criminal intimidation). TERI governing council had on July 23 appointed Dr Ajay Mathur, currently the director general of Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), as its Director General. Pachauri had also stepped down from United Nations’ IPCC and Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change.

Kerala High Court admits plea against revocation of ban on Nirapara spices

KKR Food Products, Kalady, manufacturer of the Nirapara brand of spices, had gone to court when the ban was imposed.

Representational Image

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A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday, admitted a writ appeal against the judge’s verdict revoking an order of the ban by the Food Safety Commissioner, according to a report in The Hindu. The manufacture, storage and sale of Nirapara spices (chilly, turmeric and coriander powders) had been banned by the Food Safety Commissioner. The appeal has stated that the gluten used in the Nirapara products had been proved to be injurious to those allergic to it. Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice AM Shaffique admitted the plea, adds the report. But the Bench has stated that the Food and Safety Commissioner could take product samples and take other legal measures. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ban imposed on Nirapara brand of spices by the Food Safety Commissioner was quashed by a judge who stated that there was no evidence that the products were unsafe. KKR Food Products, Kalady, manufacturer of the Nirapara brand of spices, had gone to court when the ban was imposed.

Supreme Court gives green signal to collegium to continue higher judiciary appointments

The apex court decided to reserve it order on the collegium system for appointment of judges.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave the green signal for the existing collegium to continue making appointments for the higher judiciary.The apex court decided to reserve it order on the collegium system for appointment of judges. A five-judge bench of the court had earlier rejected the government’s plea to replace the present collegium system, saying that the latter is competent enough to hear the suggestions being made on reforming the present system. The Supreme Court bench asked the government to submit a draft memorandum of procedures for the functioning of the collegium.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>So far, over 3,500 suggestions have been submitted. The government on its part has told the apex court that vacancies have risen by 40 percent due to the halt of Collegium’s operations. The collegium had suspended operations over the course of this matter.The government is of the view that the current system lays more emphasis on seniority and not merit. In a conciliatory gesture, the apex court had said on Wednesday that the government could suggest names for appointment as judges to superior courts under the existing collegium system.In its earlier order, the Supreme Court had struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act introduced by the government in Parliament for passage, which had caused strain in the relations between the judiciary and executive.

Sheena Bora case: Court records Indrani’s driver Shyam Rai’s statement

Earlier, Rai had written to the court and had said that he wanted to ‘reveal the truth’ about the case.

Sheena Bora

Shyamvar Rai, arrested driver of prime accused Indrani Mukerjea in connection with the sensational Sheena Bora murder case, has recorded his statement before a court in Mumbai.”The court recorded Rai’s statement under the provisions of Section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code, which unlike a police statement is admissible in court,” a CBI official said on Thursday. The official added that the statement will be sent to the trial judge by the Magistrate who will unseal it and give copies to the lawyers.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We don’t know the contents of the statement as it was recorded in-camera,” he said. Earlier, Rai had written to the court and had said that he wanted to ‘reveal the truth’ about the case. However, Magistrate RV Adone had then not recorded his statement saying that CBI had not followed proper procedures.43-year-old Indrani, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and Rai will be produced in the court tomorrow as their judicial custody expires even as CBI prepares to file the charge sheet against them. On October 31, the trio was remanded to judicial custody till November 7 which was further extended till November 20. On November 3, Indrani had given her consent for voice sample tests to be conducted on her.The CBI had earlier moved an application before the magistrate seeking her voice samples saying that it had got hold of some call recordings which purportedly featured her voice, and therefore a verification was needed.Indrani, Khanna and Rai were arrested in August on the charge of murdering Sheena and disposing off her body in a Raigad forest in April 2012, about 84 kms from Mumbai. 24-year-old Sheena was allegedly strangled in a car, then her body was burnt before being dumped in the forest.Indrani was recently hospitalised after her platelet count dipped drastically. However, doctors at JJ hospital had made it clear that she had not contracted dengue as suspected. On October 2, Indrani was taken to J J from Byculla womens’ prison in an unconscious state, fuelling speculation that she had overdosed on anti-depressant drugs. But the probe by Inspector General (prisons) ruled out the possibility of drug overdose, poisoning or suicide bid.Later, she was discharged and sent back to jail.

Supreme Ccourt asks government to formulate draft for judges appointments

Nearly 40% of posts are lying vacant in various high courts and this is affecting the disposal of cases.

Supreme Court

The government, whose bid to replace the collegium system was thwarted recently, was on Wednesday entrusted by the Supreme Court with the task of framing a draft Memorandum of Procedure (MOP) for future appointments in higher judiciary after considering all suggestions on the issue.The apex court’s direction, entrusting the major role to the Centre, however faced stiff opposition from senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam who said “suggestions are welcome”, but the executive cannot be allowed to draft even the draft memorandum.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He referred to the judgement, striking down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act and 99th constitutional amendment and said the prime reason for his objection was the endeavour to protect judicial independence and hence, the executive cannot be allowed now to have a role.”You (Subramaniam) are jumping the gun. They are not going to issue MOP. Everybody is seeking transparency and there are no sides. Government also intends to make it transparent and broad-based. We are just taking their inputs as it is a very important stakeholder.”We may or may not accept their suggestions. We have struck down their NJAC. You think we can’t flick out a mere clause in their draft MoP. Nobody can interfere in the process. You are just assuming that this is fait accompli,” a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice J S Khehar said.Subramaniam, however, kept insisting on his arguments and also referred to the second and third judges case to highlight that the Centre should be denied a role in drafting the MoP.”There is no going back as far as second and third judges case is concerned. Independence of judiciary is very vital and must. MOP is only an executive memorandum to operationalise a judicial order. It (MOP) cannot be left to the executive. It is judiciary’s exercise. MOP should only be a proposal after a final view is taken by this court.”Primary consideration of the suggestion must lie with the Supreme Court. Suggestions may keep pouring in, I am not averse to it. However, the final call needs to be taken by this court,” the senior lawyer said.At the outset, Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi raised the issue of vacancy in High Courts and asked the bench, also comprising Justices J Chelameswar, M B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and A K Goel, to give a go ahead to appointment of judges.Rohatgi said that nearly 40% of posts were lying vacant in various high courts and this was affecting the disposal of cases. Responding to Rohatgi’s submission, the bench said it has not put any bar on the collegium.Rohatgi, who has been asked to collate the suggestions in his capacity as a lawyer and not a law officer, also said that most of the representations harp on need for greater transparency in the appointments.He said that government favoured a “transparent criteria” based appointment of judges at the entry level in the high courts. Over the years, merit has taken a back seat and seniority a front seat in judicial appointments, Rohatgi added.Senior advocate Fali S Nariman also joined ranks with the AG in his submission that merit has taken a back seat and seniority was given priority.The AG said there was a general feeling that there must be publicly-known criteria of appointment of judges in higher judiciary.”Some eligibility rule or criteria must be laid down by this court. The question is what is the criteria which needs to be fixed. Today, the criteria is there or not, is not known to people. At the end of the day, if applications are invited, there would be nothing shrouded in mystery.”Transparency can be achieved by inviting applications including nominations. Entry level is most critical. If that is good, judges who come here would also be good. That is from where the Supreme Court judges come from,” the AG said.”For transparency, you should have applications and nominations. These nominations must not be limited to collegium of the High Courts, it should also incorporate other judges from HCs, Bar Council of India and even the government should be allowed to make nominations,” he said.The AG also suggested that the process could be broad- based by seeking names from the governor, chief minister and the state advocate general in case of appointments to a high court and for this purpose, a full-time secretariat was required to filter the dossiers.

26/11 attacks: Mumbai court allows police plea to make David Headley an accused in case

The sessions court had on November 6 had reserved its order till November 18 on Mumbai Police’s plea seeking to make Headley an accused in the case.

David Coleman Headley

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A Mumbai court has allowed the Mumbai Police’s plea to make Pakistani-American LeT terrorist David Headley an accused in 26/11 terror attack case.The court has issued summons to Headley, and directed that he be produced via video-conferencing on December 10.The sessions court had on November 6 had reserved its order till November 18 on Mumbai Police’s plea seeking to make Headley an accused in the case. The police had filed the application before the sessions judge GA Sanap on October 8. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The court had framed charges against Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, one of the key conspirators of the Mumbai terror attack. The prosecution had told the sessions court that Headley had not been tried under Indian law for 26/11 conspiracy. “An American court is not competent to try offences under Indian Penal Code. The charges for which Headley has been convicted by the US court and the charges we are pursuing against him are entirely different,” said Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.The judge said that the judgement of a foreign court only has “persuasive value” and it cannot be relied upon as evidence. “He should have been made a wanted accused. You are coming with evidence collected by others,” he said. The judge also sought to know why the Mumbai police did not launch an investigation after the US took Headley’s custody.Earlier, the Mumbai police had moved an application before the sessions court seeking issuance of Letter of Request (LR) against Headley for his production through video conference in connection with the 26/11 case.The application said that Headley deserves to be tried by the Mumbai court along with Jundal as both are conspirators and abettors. Headley, accused of conducting a recce of targets before the Mumbai terror attack, was sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment by a court in the USA after he entered into a plea bargaining agreement with the US government.

Mughals built the Taj Mahal, you can’t build a road? Supreme Court asks UP govt

Slow progress: Apex court also asks state govt to consider shifting of crematorium located near the monument

The Mughals built the Taj Mahal with just hammer and chisel but the Uttar Pradesh government has failed to build a proper road around the world-famous monument even with all the modern tools being at its disposal, the Supreme Court observed on Monday.The court also directed the UP government and other authorities to consider shifting of a crematorium located near Taj Mahal to prevent smoke affecting the world heritage site. The sharp rebuke came as the top court was hearing a petition filed by the UP government seeking permission to build a cobbled stone road instead of a bitumen road near the monument. “Taj Mahal was built in the 17th century by hands, hammer and chisel. But your government can’t build a proper road with modern tools,” a bench headed by Justice T S Thakur said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The UP government was arguing that bitumen roads add to pollution during summers. As per a study by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, cobbled stone roads which have a lifespan of 50 years, do not have this problem.The bench also expressed displeasure over the quality of road being built near the monument and said there needs to be “finesse” in doing things as people from the world over came to see the Taj. “You are making road, you are not making Taj Mahal. Years ago, people with bare hands with chisel and hammer made a wonder of the world. Such was the craft at that time. Today, with all the facilities at hand, look at the work the contractors and engineers have done,” the bench said.The bench also considered a letter written by Supreme Court judge Justice Kurien Joseph to Chief Justice of India pointing out that Taj was under threat from pollution due to smoke emanating from the crematorium.The court noted that despite several previous orders to the Agra Nagar Nigam and Agra Development Authority “nothing meaningful” had been done and the public crematorium continues to be at present location resulting in possible damage to the historic monument.Justice Joseph in his letter dated October 1 had said that there was a looming threat to the monument due to smoke and ash arising from the cremation ground. He said he along with his family had visited the Taj in September. During his visit, he noted that the emissions arising from the cremation ground may damage the monument’s white marble. Justice Joseph also proposed that the authorities be directed to relocate the crematorium to some other place in order to protect the site.

Hit-and-run case: Salman seeks examination of singer Kamaal as witness

Mumbai: Adding a twist to his appeal proceedings before the Bombay High Court, Bollywood actor Salman Khan, sentenced to five-year jail term in the 2002 hit-and-run case, on Monday sought examination of his friend and singer Kamaal Khan as a witness by the prosecution.

Justice AR Joshi asked the prosecution to file by Tuesday a reply, rejecting or accepting the application filed by Salman’s lawyer Amit Desai.

“Why the prosecution had not examined this witness in the trial court?… Kamaal Khan is the best eyewitness available to the prosecution as he was present in Salman’s car on 28 September, 2002, when it rammed into a shop in Bandra killing one person and injuring four others,” said Desai.

Kamaal can throw light on who was driving the car, the lawyer added. Salman’s defence has been saying that it was his driver Ashok Singh who was behind the wheel.

Other eyewitness, Salman’s police bodyguard Ravindra Patil, died during the trial in 2007. The prosecution relied on his statement before the magistrate implicated Salman, but as the defence couldn’t cross-examine him, it caused prejudice to the actor, advocate Desai said.

Salman Khan in a file photo. AFP

Salman Khan in a file photo. AFP

The prosecution also didn’t examine Ashok Singh, though he had gone to the police station (after the accident) to give his statement, he said.

The trial judge had rejected Singh’s testimony (as a defence witness), observing that he might be trying to save his master by taking the blame on himself.

Desai contended that the prosecution told the trial court that Kamaal was abroad and not available for testifying, but it made no efforts to bring the singer to the court, and it should explain this.

The trial court on 6 May held Salman guilty of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’, upholding the police’s case that he was drunk and was driving the car when the accident took place in suburban Bandra.

Under section 391 of Criminal Procedure Code, the high court can summon a witness while hearing an appeal “if it thinks additional evidence to be necessary”.

The testimony can be recorded either by a magistrate or the sessions court, said Salman’s lawyer.

Justice Joshi then asked the prosecutor to submit a reply on Tuesday.

During the arguments, Desai also said that the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 part II of IPC, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, was not made out because there was no evidence to prove that Salman was drunk and driving.

At best he can be tried under section 304 A (causing death by negligence) which carries a maximum punishment of two years, he said.

Desai cited two other famous hit-and-run cases, namely Alistair Pereira case in Mumbai and Sanjiv Nanda case in Delhi, to show that the circumstances there were different to justify the culpable homicide charge.

Pereira was clearly drinking as liquor bottles were found in his car. In Nanda’s case, the accused had run away after the mishap but Salman had not done so, he said.

In Prabhakaran versus the State of Kerala case, where a bus drive mowed down a school student, the Supreme Court held the act to be only a reckless driving and reduced his sentence to two years from five years, said Desai.

The arguments would continue Tuesday.

PTI

Gujarat HC asks SEC to file report on steps to spread NOTA awareness

Voting for six municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar will take place on November 22, while 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities will go to polls on November 29.

Gujarat High Court
File Photo

The Gujarat High Court on Sunday directed State Election Commission (SEC) to file a compliance report on steps it has taken to spread awareness among people about the use of NOTA (none of the above) option for the upcoming local body polls in the state.Vacation judge Justice C L Soni, who heard a petition filed by advocate K R Koshti at his residence, directed SEC to file by tomorrow a compliance report on a previous court order in this connection. Koshti alleged that SEC has not taken adequate steps to make voters aware on how to use the option of NOTA on the electronic voting machine (EVM) for the local body polls.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Voting for six municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar will take place on November 22, while 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities will go to polls on November 29. Koshti said that voters should be made aware about the entire process of using the NOTA button while casting their franchise.Citing a previous order of the Gujarat High Court in this regard, he said that SEC should have conducted a publicity drive using TV advertisements, banners, etc. to educate citizens about NOTA. He alleged that no such exercise was carried out by SEC till date.The high court had on October 30 directed SEC to include NOTA option for the civic body polls and also directed the state government to provide all the required assistance to SEC in this regard.

Madras HC hears urgent petition seeking protection for a marriage over Skype

Justice Vaidyanathan heard the case from his residence in Chennai and directed the police to provide protection for the marriage ceremony. The judge also said that a procession would not be allowed outside the Adaikala Matha Church.

The Madras High Court has perhaps for the first time taken recourse to video chat site facility Skype to hear an urgent petition seeking protection for a marriage at a church in Ramanathapuram district and directed the police to provide security during the wedding on Sunday.Justice S Vaidyanathan of Madurai Bench here heard the case through Skype on the suggestion of the administrative Judge of the High Court Bench, Justice V.Ramasubramanian, as none of the judges were in station due to the week-long Diwali vacation and the petition for urgent hearing was filed at the last moment.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Justice Vaidyanathan heard the case from his residence in Chennai and directed the police to provide protection for the marriage ceremony. The judge also said that a procession would not be allowed outside the Adaikala Matha Church.The case documents were scanned and mailed to the judge for his perusal before hearing the petitioner. The certified copy of the order directing police to give protection was mailed at 8 PM yesterday.The petition was filed at the last minute due to “bungling” by local police, counsel for the petitioner, M Jesu, claimed.Court officials said this was the first time in its history that the High Court Bench was using Skype for hearing a case and the idea came from the administrative judge.The petitioner alleged that police had objected to the conduct of the marriage ceremony at Adaikalamatha church on the ground that he had already agreed to perform it in some other church.There was some dispute between the petitioner and church authorities and the undertaking to perform the marriage in some other church had been obtained under coercion, it was allegedThe judge directed that the marriage should be allowed to be performed in the same church.

Arvind Kejriwal complains against Delhi Police to MHA

In a letter to MHA written on November 7, the Chief Minister also said that the Delhi Police was not cooperating with his government on several issues

Arvind Kejriwal

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has complained against Delhi Police to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) accusing it of trying to “hound” ruling AAP MLAs by reopening old cases and creating new ones against them.In a letter to MHA written on November 7, the Chief Minister also said that the Delhi Police was not cooperating with his government on several issues. He has mentioned 10-point complaints against the city police. The Ministry has, in a November 9 letter, sought reply from Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi on issues raised by Kejriwal at the earliest. Sources said that police is preparing reply and it will soon be sent to MHA.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In his letter, Kejriwal raised issues ranging from “non-cooperation” in incidents of violence against doctors in government hospitals, incident of chain snatching on July 3 outside CM’s residence, not putting name, mobile number and area of each beat constable on police’s website etc. “Delhi Police has been trying to hound AAP MLAs by digging up old cases and creating new ones against them.Manoj Kumar, AAP MLA, Kondli was arrested on a matter which was several years old and there was no need for custodian investigation or interrogation of the MLA in this case. “Similarly, Commando Surender AAP MLA, Delhi Cantonment was arrested on charges under SC ST Act when he intervened in a demolition being carried out by the NDMC staff. Even the judge hearing the bail matter of the case observed that it appeared politically motivated. Party MLA Shri Journail Singh was also hounded by Delhi Police in similar fashion,” Kejriwal alleged in his letter. In his letter to MHA, the Chief Minister said that Delhi Police has not registered FIRs in VAT evasion cases despite repeated requests from the government. “Delhi government has taken several steps to strictly deal with diversion of potable water meant for colonies where piped water supply of Delhi Jal Board is not available, but police bluntly refuses to cooperate in this endeavour and also refuses to file FIR when such cases are detected by the DJB officials or other government functionaries,” he said.Apart from these issues, there was recently an incident of assault on a District Magistrate. Thereafter, police was requested to provide security to officers involved in sensitive assignments. However, police has refused to cooperate in this matter, Kejriwal alleged.

Delhi court asks CBI to consider Chhota Rajan’s sisters’ plea

During the hearing which took place at the residence of Special CBI Judge Vinod Kumar, the court asked Sunita Sakkharam Chavan and her elder sister Malini Sakpal to approach CBI’s investigating officer with their application.

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
A Delhi court on Friday directed the CBI to consider the plea of underworld don Chhota Rajan’s sisters, who sought its permission to meet their brother currently in the probe agency’s custody, on the occasion of ‘Bhai Dooj’, saying they have not met him for the past 27 years and wanted to bless him.During the hearing which took place at the residence of Special CBI Judge Vinod Kumar, the court asked Sunita Sakkharam Chavan and her elder sister Malini Sakpal to approach CBI’s investigating officer with their application.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Advocate Rajiv Jai, who appeared on behalf of Rajan’s sisters, said the court has asked the IO to consider the plea keeping in view the security concerns.In an application moved before the court, Rajan’s sisters sought permission to meet the underworld don on compassionate grounds.”The applicants pray that the applicant Sunita Sakkharam Chavan and her elder sister Malini Sakpal may be allowed to meet their brother. That the applicants are physically unfit and may be escorted by their son-in-law Anil Menon for help,” their application said.Both the sisters in their application said they would not hinder the probe and abide by any condition imposed by the court.”Allow the applicant Sunita Sakkharam Chavan and her elder sister Malini Sakpal along with their son in law Anil Menon (for help) to meet their brother Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan who is in police custody (CBI) for ten days since November 7, 2015; on compassionate grounds and allow them to follow rituals of Bhai Dooj subject to any conditions which the court may deem fit and proper in circumstances,” the plea said.After being on the run for the past 27 years, underworld don Chhota Rajan was brought to India from Indonesia on November 6 by a joint team headed by CBI officials to face trial in various criminal cases registered against him in Delhi and Mumbai.On November 7, CBI had got 10 days custody of Chhota Rajan in connection with an alleged fake passport case registered by the agency on October 31, shortly before its team left for Indonesia to deport him back from Indonesia.

No impact of Bihar defeat on PM Modi’s leadership: Arun Jaitley

His comments follow a spectacular victory for Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance in recently concluded Bihar assembly elections over the BJP-led NDA.

Arun Jaitley

Terming Prime Minister’s leadership as ‘strong, decisive and popular’, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said there was no question of any impact on ‘Brand Modi’ from the results of Bihar polls.His comments follow a spectacular victory for Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance in recently concluded Bihar assembly elections over the BJP-led NDA. The newly-formed JD(U)-RJD- Congress alliance secured 178 seats in the 243-member House, while the NDA could get only 58 seats. When asked whether there would be any impact of Bihar results on the ‘Brand Modi’, Jaitley said, “No. Nothing like that… Brand is anyway a word coined by media. His leadership is strong, decisive and popular.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Finance Minister also ruled out any impact of Bihar poll results on investor sentiment and said the economic reforms will continue. “The poll impact won’t deter investor confidence and sentiment… I think investors are very wise people, they will see the performance of this government,” the senior BJP leader told PTI. “They will judge us by our working style and we will provide good governance.””Many reforms are with executive decisions. Those will continue. Many legislative issues also get passed by Parliament. In some cases, there are delays, but those will be sorted out,” he said. To a question on the pending GST Bill, he said this is a priority for the government and it will try to get it passed. He expressed hope that Bihar would support the legislation because as a consuming state, it would benefit from the new indirect tax legislation.”Bihar and the JD(U) had supported this in the Lower House… If Nitish Kumar, as a responsible leader, has been elected on the plank of development, then certainly he wants more revenue for Bihar…,” he said. On whether he would talk to Nitish Kumar for supporting GST, he said, “I will speak to the new government that they should support the Bill.”The government has plans to roll out GST from April 1, 2016, but the Constitution Amendment Bill is stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA does not have a majority. Once rolled out, it will subsume various levies like excise, service tax, sales tax, octroi, and the like and ensure a single indirect tax regime for the entire country.

Congress attempting to ‘harm’ India: BJP

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sidharth Nath Singh on Tuesday alleged that the Congress was attempting to harm India with its intention to disrupt the proceedings in the upcoming Winter Session of Parliament.

BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sidharth Nath Singh on Tuesday alleged that the Congress was attempting to harm India with its intention to disrupt the proceedings in the upcoming Winter Session of Parliament.”They (Congress) had in the past created an obstruction, a manufactured obstruction, on issues which have harmed India. And certainly they continue doing that. Congress should learn that there is no point in harming India,” he said.Singh said India needs to move on and added that the BJP is committed to take the nation forward despite Congress’ obstruction in the Parliament.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Certainly the people of this country will judge who is harming India and who is delivering for India. So, we leave it to the people of India. And Congress will be questioned for their behaviour in the Parliament,” he added.With the last session a virtual washout, the government is keen to take up important legislations to be passed in the Winter Session which is scheduled to be from November 26 to December 23.The Winter Session will take place in the backdrop of BJP’s crushing defeat in Bihar, which has further emboldened the Opposition. The Opposition is likely to corner the government over the “rising intolerance in the country” during the Winter Session.

Lok Adalats eased courts’ pressure, decided 8.2 cr cases:Judge

The already over-burdened judiciary has been aided by the alternate dispute redressal mechanism of Lok Adalats which have decided 8.25 crore pre-litigation and pending cases in over 15.14 sittings in the last two decades, senior Supreme Court judge TS Thakur said on Monday.

The already over-burdened judiciary has been aided by the alternate dispute redressal mechanism of Lok Adalats which have decided 8.25 crore pre-litigation and pending cases in over 15.14 sittings in the last two decades, senior Supreme Court judge TS Thakur said on Monday.Justice Thakur, the Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) who would succeed Chief Justice HL Dattu, said Lok Adalats have been effective and have “relieved judiciary of a huge burden of trial, appeals and revisional proceedings and resultant delays in the disposal of these matters” as their decisions are final and binding.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”To sum up, since January to September this year, more than 1.28 lakh Lok Adalats have been organised in the country and more than 57 lakh cases, including those pending in courts and those at pre-litigation stage, have been settled.”It is also pertinent to mention that as on 30th September, a total of more than 15.14 lakh Lok Adalats have been organised in the country and 8.25 crore cases, including cases pending in the courts as well as those in the pre- litigation stage, have been settled in these Lok Adalats,” he said in his address on Legal Services Day and Commendation Ceremony, also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Highlighting the benefits of the NALSA Act, Justice Thakur said it gave support to the poor people fighting the mighty state, which is the key litigant against whom 80 per cent matters were filed.”We know the state is the biggest litigant in the judicial system of this country. Eighty per cent of the litigation is against the state. Against the mighty state against whom the litigant has to fight his case, poorer sections of the society find themselves isolated.”It was in that spirit of ensuring access to justice to such sections pitted against the state becomes a reality, Parliament has made such a programme. That will continue to be so. No system, no polity, no society can survive where you don’t not ensure justice…,” he said.Justice Thakur also sought the support of public broadcasters, All India Radio and Delhi Doordarshan, and urged the Prime Minister to ask them not to charge NALSA and the State Legal Services Authorities (SALSAs) in promoting legal awareness among the masses.

Bihar results reflect people’s anger against PM Modi: Lalu

Prasad, whose party returned to the political forefront in the state after 10 years, said Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi would be the first stop for him where he would search with the help of his ‘lantern’ (RJD’s symbol) the development promised by the prime minister during Lok Sabha polls.

His party making a strong comeback in Bihar by winning 80 seats, a buoyant RJD chief Lalu Prasadon Tuesday said that the “anger” against Prime Minister Narendra Modi was reflected in the results of the polls in the state.A day after the grand alliance won the popular mandate, he also said he would soon launch a nation-wide agitation against the “kattarpanthi”, or communal, forces.”There is an anger against Prime Minister Narendra Modi across the country. The Bihar results have given some relief to the countrymen,” Prasad told reporters here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Nitish Kumar will look after Bihar and I’ll move around in the country to launch a movement against communal forces,” he added.Prasad, whose party returned to the political forefront in the state after 10 years, said Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi would be the first stop for him where he would search with the help of his ‘lantern’ (RJD’s symbol) the development promised by the prime minister during Lok Sabha polls.”I’ll find out if Varanasi has become Kyoto as promised by Modi, the MP from Varanasi,” he said in a dig at the prime minister.Targeting the BJP-led government at the Centre, he claimed, “Nobody is feeling safe in the country… they have terrorised everybody… ‘bolte thay acche din ayenge, par itna burra din kabhi nahi dekha desh (they used to say good days will come, but the country has never seen such bad days).” Prasad, whose two sons Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejaswi Yadav won the Mahua and Raghopur seats, respectively, as RJD emerged as the single-largest party in Bihar Assembly, also said in an apparent reference to BJP chief Amit Shah that “they used to talk about ‘jungle raj’ and ‘chara chor’ (fodder thief)…people are the best judge who is what.”Prasad, meanwhile, also criticised the media and political commentators for reiterating words like “jungle raj” and “chara chor” and said it was in bad taste. They hoped they would not repeat such phrases in the future.

Bihar elections results reflect people’s anger against PM Modi, says Lalu Prasad

Patna: His party making a strong comeback in Bihar by winning 80 seats, a buoyant RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Monday said that the “anger” against Prime Minister Narendra Modi was reflected in the results of the polls in the state.

A day after the grand alliance won the popular mandate, he also said he would soon launch a nation-wide agitation against the “kattarpanthi”, or communal, forces.

Lalu Prasad Yadav. PTILalu Prasad Yadav. PTI

Lalu Prasad Yadav. PTI

“There is an anger against Prime Minister Narendra Modi across the country. The Bihar results have given some relief to the countrymen,” Prasad told reporters in Patna.

“Nitish Kumar will look after Bihar and I’ll move around in the country to launch a movement against communal forces,” he added.

Prasad, whose party returned to the political forefront in the state after 10 years, said Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi would be the first stop for him where he would search with the help of his ‘lantern’ (RJD’s symbol) the development promised by the prime minister during Lok Sabha polls.

“I’ll find out if Varanasi has become Kyoto as promised by Modi, the MP from Varanasi,” he said in a dig at the prime minister.

Targeting the BJP-led government at the Centre, he claimed, “Nobody is feeling safe in the country… they have terrorised everybody… ‘bolte the acche din ayenge, par itna bura din kabhi nahin dekha desh (they used to say good days will come, but the country has never seen such bad days).”

Prasad, whose two sons Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejaswi Yadav won the Mahua and Raghopur seats, respectively, as RJD emerged as the single-largest party in Bihar Assembly, also said in an apparent reference to BJP chief Amit Shah that “they used to talk about ‘jungle raj’ and ‘chara chor’ (fodder thief)… people are the best judge who is what.”

Prasad, meanwhile, also criticised the media and political commentators for reiterating words like “jungle raj” and “chara chor” and said it was in bad taste. They hoped they would not repeat such phrases in the future.

PTI

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