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German Bakery blast: HC reserves judgment in death confirmation case against Himayat Baig

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A division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice SB Shukhre will deliver their judgment in due course of time against Baig who has also appealed against the judgement.

German Bakery

The Bombay High Court on Monday reserved its judgment in the death confirmation case against the sole convict arrested Himayat Baig for his involvement in the German Bakery bomb blast case of 2010.A division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice SB Shukhre will deliver their judgment in due course of time against Baig who has also appealed against the judgement. Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thackeray has argued for confirming the death sentence by stating that the entire case is based on circumstantial evidence and every circumstance has been proved by relevant records which are of sterling quality. Further, he has argued in favour of the death penalty saying that the trial court reasoning is sound, thus death penalty should be upheld.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Advocate Mehmood Pracha and TW Pathan appearing for Baig have argued that the prosecution evidence is of weak nature and fabricated.Moreover, independent investigations carried out by other agencies like the National Investigation Agency and the Delhi Special Cell have indicated that other accused not before the court were involved in the case. Moreover, two other intervenors have cited several instances of Baigh’s innocence.A Pune court had awarded death penalty to Baig for his involvement in the 2010 German Bakery blast case, after the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) investigated and filed a chargesheet against him. Baig, an alleged member of Indian Mujahideen, was arrested in September 2010. The conviction was handed down in early 2013, in the blast that killed 17people and injured 58, including foreign nationals.The court had found Baig guilty of taking part in the conspiracy and executing the blast.

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

Uber rape case: Accused cab driver likely to be sentenced on Tuesday

New Delhi: The Uber cab driver, who was held guilty of raping a woman passenger in his taxi and trying to strangulate her while committing the act in 2014, is likely to be sentenced on Tuesday by a Delhi court.

Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja, who had convicted 32-year-old Shiv Kumar Yadav, is scheduled to hear arguments on quantum of sentence and pronounce the order on Tuesday.

The accused Shiv Kumar Yadav. PTI

The accused Shiv Kumar Yadav. PTI

The court had on 20 October held Yadav guilty of offences under sections 376(2)(m) (while committing rape causes grievous bodily harm or disfigures or endangers life of a woman), 366 (abducting with an intent to compel her for marriage), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 323 (causing hurt) of the IPC.

The offence of endangering woman’s life while raping her entails a minimum of 10 years rigorous imprisonment and a maximum of life term.

In its 99-page judgement, the special fast track court set up to deal with cases of sexual offences against women has said the victim was reminded of the horrific 16 December, 2012 gang-rape incident after the driver of the US-based service provider had threatened to insert an iron rod in her body.

The court has held that threat perception was very much real in the mind of the 25-year-old victim when the driver had intimated and threatened her that too at an isolated spot in the late hours of 5 December, 2014 night.

According to the prosecution, the incident took place on the night of 5 December, 2014 when the victim, a finance executive working in Gurgaon, was heading back to her house at Inderlok.

Accused driver Shiv Kumar Yadav was arrested on 7 December, 2014 from Mathura and is currently in judicial custody.

Special Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava, appointed for conducting proceedings in the case, has said he would demand maximum punishment of life imprisonment which under the relevant provision of the amended rape law means jail term till the convict’s remaining natural life.

PTI

Uber cab rape case: Will appeal for life imprisonment, says prosecutor

Special Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava on Tuesday said that he will be appealing for the maximum punishment that is life imprisonment for the accused Shiv Kumar Yadav in the Uber rape case.

Special Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava on Tuesday said that he will be appealing for the maximum punishment that is life imprisonment for the accused Shiv Kumar Yadav in the Uber rape case.”Oral evidence, medical evidence and scientific evidence was considered during the judgement. I would be asking for maximum punishment that is under section 376 (2)(M) life imprisonment for the accused,” Shrivastava told the media here.A Delhi court on Tuesday pronounced Uber rape cab case accused Shiv Kumar Yadav guilty of raping a 25-year-old woman in his taxi on December 5, 2014.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The argument on quantum of punishment will be heard on the October 23.The rape occurred on the night of December 5 last year, when the survivor, a finance executive working in Gurgaon, was returning to her house in Inderlok after work.The accused driver Shiv Kumar Yadav was arrested on December 7 from Mathura and is currently in judicial custody.The lawyer of the accused, Dharmendra Kumar Mishra, said that his client has been convicted in all the charges filed against him.”Court has convicted him of all the charges for which he has been charged. Accused Shiv Kumar Yadav has been convicted under various sections like 366, 323,” Mishra told the media here.The Supreme Court had earlier set aside the Delhi High Court order allowing the accused to re-examine 13 prosecution witnesses, including the victim.The woman and the Delhi Police had moved the apex court against the High Court order. The proceedings in the case were stayed by the apex court for six months from March 10 to September 10.The trial court had framed charges against Yadav for the alleged offences of endangering a woman’s life while raping her, abduction with intent to compel her for marriage and criminally intimidating and causing hurt.

2008 Malegaon bomb: Sadhvi Pragya, Prasad Purohit, 2 other accused refused bail

National Investigation Agency (NIA) opposed their bail, saying there were evidences against them in the terror attack.

Six persons were killed and 100 others injured in the explosion (File photo of Malegaon blasts)

A Special NIA court on Monday rejected the bail petitions of Prasad Purohit and three other accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case. Besides Purohit, who is in jail since his arrest in late 2008, the other accused whose bail pleas were rejected were Dyanand Pandey alias Swami Amritanand Dev, Rakesh Dhawade and Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhayay. Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Rasal confirmed the development but declined to provide further details as the court passed the order during an in-camera hearing.The accused, in their bail applications, had told the court that they were innocent and incarcerated for the past seven years without the trial taking off. However, National Investigation Agency (NIA) opposed their bail, saying there were evidences against them in the terror attack. Twelve persons, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Purohit, were arrested for alleged involvement in the September 29, 2008 blast in Malegaon, a powerloom town in North Maharashtra district of Nashik, about 200km from here. Six persons were killed and 100 others injured in the explosion.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The accused were booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Indian Penal Code and other relevant laws. Following a Supreme Court order, a special court has been constituted to hear the case. Sadhvi is also an accused in the murder of RSS activist Sunil Joshi in Madhya Pradesh.

Uber rape case: Accused claims innocence, cites ‘discrepancies’

Continuing final arguments in the case, counsel appearing for accused driver Shiv Kumar Yadav alleged that the woman was lying and there were “falsification and manufacturing” of documents by the prosecution to prove its case.

Accused uber driver
File Photo

A cab driver, facing trial for allegedly raping a woman in his car, on Saturday claimed in a Delhi court that there were several discrepancies in the prosecution case and the statements of the alleged victim about the incident.Continuing final arguments in the case, counsel appearing for accused driver Shiv Kumar Yadav alleged that the woman was lying and there were “falsification and manufacturing” of documents by the prosecution to prove its case. “While the woman in her statement said the police reached the spot 5-10 minutes after she made a call to PCR, the police record showed that till half an hour, PCR officials had not reached the spot as they could not locate it and this is by their own admission. Police found the spot after over an hour,” Yadav’s counsel D K Mishra told Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also said despite knowing the name of the accused driver, the woman did not state it in the PCR call or in FIR and gave another name to the police. “FIR names a wrong person. The woman said she later on came to know about the name of accused through truecaller application in her mobile phone. But her friend who had booked the cab for her had all the details of the driver including his name and why she did not call him,” he argued. The counsel also alleged that everything was done with meticulous planning.Earlier, he had claimed that police manipulated documents to implicate Yadav in a “well planned and planted” case. He had claimed that his client was not there at the time of the alleged incident and police has deliberately concealed the location chart of the victim’s mobile phone to implicate him. Special Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava, while advancing final arguments, had earlier said an accused can be convicted on the basis of sole testimony of the victim if it is trustworthy.According to the prosecution, the incident took place on the night of December 5 last year when the 25-year-old victim, a finance executive working in Gurgaon, was heading back home. Police had said the woman had taken the taxi from Vasant Vihar to return her house in Inderlok area of North Delhi but accused Shiv Kumar Yadav took another route and allegedly raped her. Yadav was arrested on December 7, 2014 from Mathura and is presently under judicial custody.The court has framed charges against Yadav under IPC for alleged offences of endangering a woman’s life while raping her, abducting with an intent to compel her for marriage and criminally intimidating and causing hurt.The court had also recorded the testimony of the accused in which he termed the charge against him as “false”.

2008 Malegaon blasts case: SC seeks Centre, NIA reply on PIL

A bench comprising Justices J Chelameswar and A M Sapre asked Centre and NIA to file their responses within one week.

Supreme Court
File Photo

The Supreme Court today sought response from Centre and National Investigating Agency (NIA) on a plea challenging removal of Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case and alleging that Government was exerting pressure on her to “go soft” on the accused. A bench comprising Justices J Chelameswar and A M Sapre asked Centre and NIA to file their responses within one week. The bench, however, did not allow the submission of senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Indira Jaising that hearing on the bail applications of the accused persons be stayed for the time being.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The bench has also issued notice to Maharashtra government in the case. Earlier, a Supreme Court Judge had recused from hearing the plea, saying that he had represented certain accused in the matter. The PIL, filed by social activist Harsh Mander, has accused NDA government of trying to interfere with the functioning of the prosecutor in the case by exerting “pressure” on her to “go soft” on the accused. It alleged that the executive was attempting to influence the judicial system. It has alleged that NIA officials had pressured erstwhile Special Public Prosecutor in case, Rohini Salian, “presumably” under instructions from their “political masters”. Salian, who was SPP in the case, had alleged that an NIA officer had told her to go soft on the accused. She also claimed the same officer had told her that she would be replaced. Salian is no longer on NIA’s panel of lawyers. The petition has sought the apex court’s intervention to ensure a fair trial as there were reasons to “credibly fear” that “executive is attempting to influence the judicial system to cave in to the pressure exerted by it in all matters, including affording protection to right-wing extremists who sympathise with its ideology”.

Louis Berger case: HC to decide on former Goa CM Digambar Kamat’s bail next week

Kamat has been booked by the police in connection with Louis Berger bribery case.

Kamat’s defence lawyer said that unless the police executed the arrest and releases him,

File Photo
The Goa bench of the Bombay High Court reserved its verdict on Friday in the crime branch’s application seeking cancellation of anticipatory bail granted by a lower court to former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat in connection with the Louis Berger bribery case. HC’s Justice K L Wadhane heard the arguments by the prosecution and the defence on the crime branch’s application and decided to reserve its order until next week.Arguing on behalf of Kamat, defence lawyer Surendra Dessai said that unless the police executed the arrest and releases him, the challenge (to the anticipatory bail) cannot stand. He also questioned the maintainability of the application. However, Special Public Prosecutor Subodh Dessai argued that the resort to flimsy grounds to avoid anticipatory bail be rejected. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kamat has been booked by the police in connection with Louis Berger bribery case. The investigating agency has already arrested former Goa PWD Minister Churchill Alemao and other officials in the case.

Coalscam: Ex-Coal secy HC Gupta, PSMPL director granted bail

Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) said if the accused are granted bail, conditions should be imposed on them like not allowing them to leave the country without the permission of the court and they should not tamper with evidence.

A special court on Monday granted bail to former Coal secretary HC Gupta and Director of Pushp Steels and Mining Pvt Ltd (PSMPL) Atul Jain in a coal scam case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of a coal block in Madhya Pradesh.Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar asked Gupta and Jain to cooperate with the probe while granting them bail on personal bond of Rs one lakh each and surety of a like amount.”Accused H C Gupta and Atul Jain are granted bail. They will not tamper with evidence and will cooperate with probe.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Put up for further hearing on August 26,” the judge said.During the brief hearing, counsel for Gupta and Jain said that they have been cooperating with the investigation and were not arrested by the CBI, so bail be granted to them.Counsel for Jain said no criminal antecedents have been found against his client and the entire case is based on documents, so there is no question of tampering with evidence.Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) said if the accused are granted bail, conditions should be imposed on them like not allowing them to leave the country without the permission of the court and they should not tamper with evidence.The court had on July 6 summoned Gupta, PSMPL and Jain, as accused for their alleged involvement in the allocation of Brahmapuri coal block in MP to the company which resulted in loss to the government.The court had noted that Gupta, who was also the Chairman of Screening Committee, had prima facie facilitated allocation of the coal block to PSMPL “to the detriment of all other applicant companies.””Not only loss was caused to other applicant companies but also to Government of India as valuable nationalised natural resources of the country i.e. coal stood allotted to a company by dubious means,” it had said.CBI had filed charge sheet in the case on May 20 for alleged offences under section 120B(criminal conspiracy) read with section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) of IPC and under relevant provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.While taking cognisance of CBI’s charge sheet, the court had also summoned Gupta for prima facie substantive offence under section 409 of the IPC, which entails life term as maximum punishment, and under provisions of the PC Act.PSMPL was allotted the coal block on the recommendation by the Screening Committee for its proposed Sponge Iron End Use Project in Durg district.An FIR was lodged against the firm and others in April 2013.The agency had alleged that the company had misrepresented facts while applying for the coal block.CBI had conducted searches at the offices and factory of the firm as well as the residential premises of its Directors Atul Jain and Sanjay Jain.It had alleged that the company got mining lease on the basis of recommendation from the state government despite having no experience and lacking enough capital required for starting mining operations.CBI had earlier claimed that the allocation of Brahmapuri coal block was done on the basis of alleged false information that the firm possessed an iron ore mining lease, when it had none.

Justice hasn’t been done: Experts question Yakub Memon SC verdict procedure, victims happy

New Delhi: The Supreme Court’s refusal to stay execution of Yakub Memon on Wednesday drew sharp reactions from legal experts with some questioning the procedure adopted in the issuance of death warrant, while others, including victims of 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, hailing the verdict.

Image courtesy: IBNLive

Image courtesy: IBNLive

Minutes after the pronouncement of the verdict, senior advocate Indira Jaising expressed displeasure, saying “Justice has not been done. I criticise the Supreme Court’s failure to recognise that the right procedure has not been followed.”

Supporting her view, advocate Satish Maneshinde said “it is the darkest day in the history of criminal administration of the country. They are hanging a person who brought the evidence, helped in investigation and brought his family to this country.”

The verdict has brought down curtains on the 22-year long legal battle of the victims of the serial blasts, which claimed over 250 lives and left over 700 injured.

“We welcome the verdict as we were waiting for it for the last 22 years. We feel secured by the government and are now hopeful that the main conspirators — Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon, will also be brought to book,” Tushar Deshmukh, who lost his mother in the blasts, said.

With the fresh mercy petition of Yakub pending before the President, some legal luminaries found it early to comment about his hanging, while some opined that all doors were now shut for him.

Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee said finality has come from the Supreme Court as Yakub has exhausted all his legal remedies.

Choosing to wait for the President’s decision, senior advocate KTS Tulsi said, “Let’s see what the President says. There is nothing stopping the execution as of now but we have to wait for the President’s decision.”

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam also said, “Once the president decides the second mercy petition, law will take its course.”

PTI

NIA seeks to downplay controversy after SPP Rohini Salin’s allegation

New Delhi: National Investigation Agency on Thursday refuted claims made by its Special Public Prosecutor in the 2008 Malegaon blast case that the agency asked her to “go soft” on the accused, saying they had not been charge-sheeted so far, and denied any officer had met her to create “impediments” in her work.

AFPAFP

AFP

The agency, in a long statement, said that Rohini Salian was empanelled as Special Public Prosecutor in National Investigation Agency (NIA) on September 1, 2010.

The NIA said that its Director General Sharad Sinha, an official of the Home Ministry and legal Advisor of the agency had met in January this year to review the performance, suitability and availability of the Special Public Prosecutors who are in the panels of five years or more or who are in the last quarter of completing five years, will be assessed and if need be, recommendations be made for denotifying them, the statement said.

“In compliance of the decision of the designated committee heads of NIA branches were asked to send their recommendations for denotification. In response, the Mumbai branch on June 16 has recommended for denotifying three Special Public Prosecutors including Rohini Salian (who will be completing five years on August 31) in view of many SPP already available for representing the branch,” it said.

“Recommendation of the branch has reached the head office and the matter is under process,” it said.

The NIA claimed that the work for a SPP starts only after the investigating agency files charge-sheet in a trial court.

“NIA Special Court proceedings during the stage of investigation are of miscellaneous nature and usually the branch PPs deal with the same, except when a complex legal matter is involved which warrants the services of SPP.

“The Malegaon blast case 2008 has not yet reached the trial stage. Therefore, it is incorrect to infer that Salian was being bypassed for court appearances,” it said.

“Further, NIA completely denies the issuance of inappropriate briefing by any officer of the agency to the SPP or creating impediments in her prosecution work of NIA cases she has been handling,” the statement said.

The Malegaon 2008 case was investigated by late Hemant Karkare, who was killed in the 26/11 terror attack, and this case opened a Pandora’s box in country’s terrorism history, with groups owing allegiance to Hindu outfit was unravelled.

After this case, the Malegaon 2006 blasts was also found to be a handiwork of right-wing terror groups, besides the infamous blast in Samjauta Express, the rail link between India and Pakistan, Ajmer Sharif blast in Jaipur and twin blasts in Hyderabad.

A serving Colonel of Indian Army Col R Purohit, and Sadhvi Pragya have been arrested in connection with Malegaon 2008 blast case and have been since in custody.

Salian had alleged that she had been asked to “go soft” on the accused who were to apply for bail in the Bombay High Court again.

The NIA has filed a charge sheet in the Malegaon 2006 bomb blast case against four accused Lokesh Sharma, Dhan Singh, Manohar Singh and Rajendra Choudhary, who were arrested by the agency after two years of probe from various places. However, the charge sheet in 2008 case was yet to be filed due to litigations in various courts from time to time.

While 37 deaths took place in 2006 blasts, the 2008 blasts had claimed lives of eight victims.

PTI

Go soft on Malegaon accused: NIA rubbishes allegations, denies any officer briefed Rohini Salian

New Delhi: National Investigation Agency on Thursday refuted claims made by its Special Public Prosecutor in the 2008 Malegaon blast case that the agency asked her to “go soft” on the accused, saying they had not been charge-sheeted so far, and denied any officer had met her to create “impediments” in her work.

AFPAFP

AFP

The agency, in a long statement, said that Rohini Salian was empanelled as Special Public Prosecutor in National Investigation Agency (NIA) on September 1, 2010.

The NIA said that its Director General Sharad Sinha, an official of the Home Ministry and legal Advisor of the agency had met in January this year to review the performance, suitability and availability of the Special Public Prosecutors who are in the panels of five years or more or who are in the last quarter of completing five years, will be assessed and if need be, recommendations be made for denotifying them, the statement said.

“In compliance of the decision of the designated committee heads of NIA branches were asked to send their recommendations for denotification. In response, the Mumbai branch on June 16 has recommended for denotifying three Special Public Prosecutors including Rohini Salian (who will be completing five years on August 31) in view of many SPP already available for representing the branch,” it said.

“Recommendation of the branch has reached the head office and the matter is under process,” it said.

The NIA claimed that the work for a SPP starts only after the investigating agency files charge-sheet in a trial court.

“NIA Special Court proceedings during the stage of investigation are of miscellaneous nature and usually the branch PPs deal with the same, except when a complex legal matter is involved which warrants the services of SPP.

“The Malegaon blast case 2008 has not yet reached the trial stage. Therefore, it is incorrect to infer that Salian was being bypassed for court appearances,” it said.

“Further, NIA completely denies the issuance of inappropriate briefing by any officer of the agency to the SPP or creating impediments in her prosecution work of NIA cases she has been handling,” the statement said.

The Malegaon 2008 case was investigated by late Hemant Karkare, who was killed in the 26/11 terror attack, and this case opened a Pandora’s box in country’s terrorism history, with groups owing allegiance to Hindu outfit was unravelled.

After this case, the Malegaon 2006 blasts was also found to be a handiwork of right-wing terror groups, besides the infamous blast in Samjauta Express, the rail link between India and Pakistan, Ajmer Sharif blast in Jaipur and twin blasts in Hyderabad.

A serving Colonel of Indian Army Col R Purohit, and Sadhvi Pragya have been arrested in connection with Malegaon 2008 blast case and have been since in custody.

Salian had alleged that she had been asked to “go soft” on the accused who were to apply for bail in the Bombay High Court again.

The NIA has filed a charge sheet in the Malegaon 2006 bomb blast case against four accused Lokesh Sharma, Dhan Singh, Manohar Singh and Rajendra Choudhary, who were arrested by the agency after two years of probe from various places. However, the charge sheet in 2008 case was yet to be filed due to litigations in various courts from time to time.

While 37 deaths took place in 2006 blasts, the 2008 blasts had claimed lives of eight victims.

PTI

NIA refutes claims of Special Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian on Malegaon blasts case

The National Investigation Agency on Thursday refuted claims made by its Special Public Prosecutor in the 2008 Malegaon blast case that the agency asked her to “go soft” on the accused, saying they had not been charge-sheeted so far, and denied any officer had met her to create “impediments” in her work.

PTI
The National Investigation Agency on Thursday refuted claims made by its Special Public Prosecutor in the 2008 Malegaon blast case that the agency asked her to “go soft” on the accused, saying they had not been charge-sheeted so far, and denied any officer had met her to create “impediments” in her work.The agency, in a long statement, said that Rohini Salian was empanelled as Special Public Prosecutor in National Investigation Agency (NIA) on September 1, 2010.The NIA said that its Director General Sharad Sinha, an official of the Home Ministry and legal Advisor of the agency had met in January this year to review the performance, suitability and availability of the Special Public<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prosecutors who are in the panels of five years or more or who are in the last quarter of completing five years, will be assessed and if need be, recommendations be made for denotifying them, the statement said.”In compliance of the decision of the designated committee heads of NIA branches were asked to send their recommendations for denotification. In response, the Mumbai branch on June 16 has recommended for denotifying three Special Public Prosecutors including Rohini Salian (who will be completing five years on August 31) in view of many SPP already available for representing the branch,” it said.”Recommendation of the branch has reached the head office and the matter is under process,” it said. The NIA claimed that the work for a SPP starts only after the investigating agency files charge-sheet in a trial court.”NIA Special Court proceedings during the stage of investigation are of miscellaneous nature and usually the branch PPs deal with the same, except when a complex legal matter is involved which warrants the services of SPP.”The Malegaon blast case 2008 has not yet reached the trial stage. Therefore, it is incorrect to infer that Salian was being bypassed for court appearances,” it said.”Further, NIA completely denies the issuance of inappropriate briefing by any officer of the agency to the SPP or creating impediments in her prosecution work of NIA cases she has been handling,” the statement said.The Malegaon 2008 case was investigated by late Hemant Karkare, who was killed in the 26/11 terror attack, and this case opened a Pandora’s box in country’s terrorism history, with groups owing allegiance to Hindu outfit was unravelled.After this case, the Malegaon 2006 blasts was also found to be a handiwork of right-wing terror groups, besides the infamous blast in Samjhauta Express, the rail link between India and Pakistan, Ajmer Sharif blast in Jaipur and twin blasts in Hyderabad.A serving Colonel of Indian Army Col R Purohit, and Sadhvi Pragya have been arrested in connection with Malegaon 2008 blast case and have been since in custody.Salian had alleged that she had been asked to “go soft” on the accused who were to apply for bail in the Bombay High Court again. The NIA has filed a charge sheet in the Malegaon 2006 bomb blast case against four accused Lokesh Sharma, Dhan Singh, Manohar Singh and Rajendra Choudhary, who were arrested by the agency after two years of probe from various places.However, the charge sheet in 2008 case was yet to be filed due to litigations in various courts from time to time. While 37 deaths took place in the 2006 blasts, the 2008 blasts had claimed lives of eight victims.

Bombay HC awards third life sentence to murder convict

Nagpur: In a unique case, the Bombay High Court awarded one more life sentence to a murderer after a trial court sentenced him to double life imprisonment for kidnapping and killing an 8-year-old school boy in Nagpur in 2011.

Upholding the trial court verdict of double life sentence for the murderer of Kush Kataria, the Nagpur bench on Monday awarded one more life sentence holding prime accused Ayush Nirmal Pugalia (26) guilty under Section 364-A of the IPC (kidnapping for ransom).

Bombay High Court. IBN Live

Bombay High Court. IBN Live

On 4 April, 2013, a trial court in nagpur had awarded double life sentenced to Pugalia for brutal and cold-blooded murder of Kush, son of a city businessman Prashant Kataria.

A division bench comprising justices Arun Chaudhari and P N Deshmukh, while allowing state appeals, described the trial court verdict as “legally correct and proper” for the offences of kidnapping, murder and destroying evidence of offence and also upheld the prosecution’s claim that the kidnapping was done for ransom.

However, the High Court did not accept the prosecution appeal to award death sentence to Pugalia and rejected the state government’s appeal for enhancing the life sentence to capital punishment.

The High Court felt that this was not the ‘rarest of the rare’ case and accused cannot be said to be a menace to the society.

The trial court had also turned down demand of prosecution and society at large to hang Pugalia for extreme cruelty shown in eliminating Kush and had awarded double lifer considering his young age, lack of criminal past and failure of prosecution to pin-point motive behind this diabolical murder for ransom.

The High Court also dismissed an appeal filed by prime accused Pugalia against his conviction and upheld the double life sentence awarded to him for kidnapping and another for murdering the child and said the two life sentences will go consecutively.

The third one imposed by HC he will go concurrently with the sentence given by the trial court.

During hearing on the point of sentence for this offence, Special Public Prosecutor Rajendra Daga pointed out that Section 364 A, after amendment provides death sentence for such serious offences.

However, the counsel for the accused urged for leniency on account of his young age.

Kush Kataria, a student of a local school was allegedly kidnapped and brutally murdered on 11 October, 2011 by Pugalia to extract ransom to the tune of Rs 2 crore from his father.

Pugalia wanted to spend the money on his girlfriend and continue with his lavish lifestyle.

PTI

Decision on appeal against Jayalalithaa acquittal as early as possible: Karnataka Law Minister

Jayachandra said the Advocate General has recommended to the government to file an appeal in the Supreme Court, but refused to share the details of AG’s views.

Jayalalithaa

File Photo
Karnataka government would take a call “as early as possible” on “merits” on the issue of filing an appeal against acquittal of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case, State Law Minister T B Jayachandra said today. “We (Government) had sought many clarifications and they have been answered by the Advocate General (Ravivarma Kumar).On merits where are we – I am examining it, and I will take a final call as early as possible,” he told reporters here. In the May 11 verdict that restored Chief Ministership to her, Jayalalithaa was acquitted by the Karnataka High Court of “all charges” in the 19-year old disproportionate assets case. Three other convicts, including her close aide Sasikala Natarajan, were also given a clean chit by the High Court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Responding to questions, Jayachandra initially said, “We had sought some clarifications from Advocate General and we have received them. I will look into those recommendations and will take decision in three to four days time.” But later he said the decision would be taken “as early as possible.”Jayachandra said the Advocate General has recommended to the government to file an appeal in the Supreme Court, but refused to share the details of AG’s views. However, Jayachandra said, “As per law, 90 days is the limit. It is not even 15 to 20 days (since the verdict came), and … the law department has to go and study all aspects.” Special Public Prosecutor BV Acharya also had advised the government to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against Jayalalithaa’s acquittal, saying it was a “fit case” to do so.Asked what would be the government’s decision, Jayachandra said he would know only after the law department submits its opinion, which would reach him in next two days. “I can’t say all those things. I have to go through all these things – the Special Public Prosecutor’s letter, which is a big letter. There is Advocate General’s opinion, judgement and clarifications. All these I have to study. The law department will put it across to me – it will come in day or two, then I will take a decision,” he said.To a query, Jayachandra said the matter had nothing to do with the cabinet, instead he has to be convinced of what has been recommended. “That has nothing to do with cabinet. I have to be convinced of what has been recommended and all those things.” Karnataka is the sole prosecuting agency in the case, which was transferred to Bengaluru from Tamil Nadu by the Supreme Court for a “fair” trial.Justice C R Kumaraswamy of the Karnataka High Court had set aside the trial court’s judgement which had sentenced Jayalalithaa and three others to four years in jail and allowed the appeals by all the four convicts. Special Court judge Michael D Cunha had on September 27 last held Jayalalithaa and three others guilty of corruption and awarded four years jail term, due to which she attracted disqualification as an MLA that divested her of Chief Ministership.The judge had also slapped a fine of Rs 100 crore on the AIADMK chief and ]Rs 10 crore each on three other convicts.

Salman Khan’s 2002 accident files burnt in Mantralaya blaze

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government’s home and law & judiciary departments do not have any records pertaining to the Salman Khan accident case of September 28, 2002, an activist said here on Wednesday.

A Right To Information query by Mansoor Darvesh has revealed that the files were burnt in the June 21, 2012 devastating fire that engulfed Mantralaya, the state government headquarters in south Mumbai.

Bollywood actor Salman Khan. PTIBollywood actor Salman Khan. PTI

Bollywood actor Salman Khan. PTI

“I had filed the RTI query to the two departments seeking information on the total number of counsels, lawyers, solicitors, legal advisors, public prosecutors, etc. engaged and appointed by the state government to fight the case,” Darvesh said here.

He even asked for the total expenses incurred by the state on the case, from the start in 2002 till the judgement by the Mumbai sessions court on May 6 this year.

However, the government responded with partial information stating that the documents related to the case was lost in the 2012 fire and “therefore, it cannot be made available”.

All that the state government has knowledge about is the appointment of the last (current) Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat since September 2014 by paying a fee of Rs.6,000 per hearing, he said.

“Interestingly, the state officials had promised to reconstruct all the destroyed files, but till date it has not managed to do so. Salman Khan’s accident case is one such example. The government is unaware how much expenditure it has incurred during the course of the case,” Darvesh said.

On the early morning of September 28, 2002, Salman had rammed his Toyota Land Cruiser onto a footpath in Bandra where people were sleeping, killing one and injuring four others.

On May 6 this year, he was convicted for ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ and other charges and sentenced to five years imprisonment.

The actor appealed against the sessions court ruling in the Bombay High Court which suspended the sentence and enlarged him on bail.

IANS

Matter of common sense: Karnataka HC pulls up TN officials in Jaya DA case

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court on Friday virtually questioned the “common sense” of Tamil Nadu officials who over-valued the properties of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and three other accused in the disproportionate assets case.

Former Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa. PTIFormer Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa. PTI

Former Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa. PTI

“Can anybody accept the market price of marble at Rs 5,000 per square metre in 1994? At the most, the maximum price could be between Rs 100 to Rs 150. Tamil Nadu officials …(it is a matter of) common sense,” said Justice C R Kumaraswamy, who is hearing the appeals filed by Jayalalithaa and three others challenging their conviction in the case.

The Special Bench has been set up after the Supreme Court had on 18 December last directed the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court to constitute it to decide Jayalalithaa’s appeal within three months.

After raising doubts over the officials’ assessment of properties belonging to Jayalalithaa and other accused – Sasikala Natarajan, V N Sudhakaran and Illavarasi– Justice Kumaraswamy orally summoned them to submit proper documents to corroborate their findings during investigations.

Countering submissions made by Special Public Prosecutor Bhavani Singh, Jayalalithaa’s Counsel B Kumar said the case against his client was politically motivated, thus ‘deliberate’ over-valuation of properties held by Jayalalithaa had been made.

Kumar contended that among several judgements the trial court has overlooked and not considered the binding nature of various Income Tax orders and decisions of the appellate tribunal of the Income Tax which had accepted the income and level of expenditure pleaded by her.

“Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) has contentiously arrived Rs 28 crore worth construction properties of all the accused, whereas the total roughly comes around Rs 10 crore… There has been over-valuation. They did it when Jayalalithaa and Sasikala were imprisoned in Chennai, which is impermissible,” he argued.

PTI

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