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Delhi police opposes perjury proceedings against Kanhaiya Kumar, JNU professor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>City police opposed in Delhi High Court a plea seeking initiation of perjury proceedings against former JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar and a JNU professor on Monday, saying there was no material to substantiate the allegation that they had filed false affidavits along with the bail plea of the student leader in a sedition case.Justice SP Garg was informed by the investigating officer (IO) that the court on August 11 had already dismissed pleas to cancel interim bail of Kanhaiya in the sedition case on the ground that nothing was shown that the student leader had made any anti-national speech after his release. “Perusal of petition, under reply, lacks materials and the contents/averments made therein are vehemently denied and, in view of the order dated August 11, 2016 of this court, the petition deserves to dismissed,” the affidavit filed by the Delhi Police said.The reply of the police came in the backdrop of a court notice issued to it on a plea claiming that a JNU professor had “deliberately” filed a false affidavit in the high court along with the bail petition of Kanhaiya in the case. The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on February 23 next year.In his plea, petitioner Prashant Kumar Umrao has contended that the professor had wrongly vouched on oath that Kanhaiya was not involved in any “anti-national activity” and that he was a man of proper conduct. Advocate RP Luthra, appearing for the petitioner, had said the professor should have been aware that the student leader was fined for inappropriate conduct on campus a year ago and there was nothing to show that he was not involved in any anti-national sloganeering. On March 2, Kanhaiya was granted six month interim bail by the high court. He was later granted regular bail by the trial court in connection with the case relating to an event inside JNU campus on February 9 in which anti-India slogans were allegedly raised.While the court at first had felt that since the student leader had been granted bail nothing remained in the petition seeking perjury proceedings, the petitioner however convinced the court that it had nothing to do with him being released on regular bail. Kanhaiya was arrested on February 12 this year on charges of alleged sedition. Two other students, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, were later arrested in connection with the case and they were granted interim bail.A trial court had on August 26 granted regular bail to the three accused.

FIR against Kapil Sharma for destroying mangroves, violating Environment Act

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Andheri court on Wednesday directed Versova police to register an FIR against popular stand-up Comedian Kapil Sharma under section 187 of the Indian Penal code for alleged violation of the Environment Act.The Versova police will book the actor under Environment and MRTP act too.Sharma allegedly dumped the debris near mangroves behind his bungalow in suburban Versova.A controversy erupted after Sharma alleged that he had been asked to pay a bribe of Rs 5 lakh by an official of the civic body Kapil had levelled the bribe allegation in tweets in which he tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking if this was the “achche din” he had promised.
ALSO READ BMC defends its stand of issuing notice to Kapil SharmaSection 187(Omission to assist public servant when bound by law to give assistance) of the Indian Penal code would be registered against Sharma.”The allegations that BMC official demanded bribe should be named by Kapil and if he fails to do so which means he is protecting the corrupt person”, said Abha Singh, Advocate and social activist.”Also the case under MRTP and Environment act would be registered against Kapil for destroying mangroves and illega constructions”, said Singh.

‘No journalist to be prosecuted in Murthal gang-rape case’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reacting to the charges put forward by amicus curiae Anupam Gupta before the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Saturday, Additional Advocate General Pawan Girdhar has said there is no direction to prosecute any journalist with regard to the Murthal gang-rape case.Gupta appealed that the Delhi-based journalist, who filed a report on alleged cases of gang-rape in Murthal, Haryana, during the Jat agitation earlier this year should be prosecuted for producing false and fabricated evidence of the alleged victim.”There is no direction to prosecute any journalist. There is no variation at all and we have submitted all the details before the court as and when required,” he said.”Definitely we are going to file a response to clear any kind of variation that which has been pointed out by learned amicus curiae before the honourable court. We will file a response to clarify the same,” he added.At least 30 people were killed and over 320 injured in the nine-day long Jat agitation for reservation in February this year. There were reports that women had been dragged out to the fields and raped during the violence that ensued.The Haryana Government had initially denied the reports of rape, but admitted in April that there could be a possibility of the same.The SIT report earlier said that no victim of the alleged mass gang-rape or molestation had come forward to lodge a complaint.The High Court, taking suo motu notice of reports in the media about the gang-rapes, had asked the Haryana government and police to submit a status report and appointed lawyer Anupam Gupta as amicus curiae.

World toilet day: Madras HC pulls up Tamil Nadu education dept on lack of toilets in schools

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High court on Friday pulled up the state education department for not coming up with a strategy to provide toilet facilities in all government schools inspite of its earlier order as well as that of the Supreme Court.The court’s Madurai bench, which was hearing a PIL seeking a direction to provide toilet facilities in schools, asked what the officials were doing to implement the court order and why they could not even plan for it. It noted that the director of school education had earlier misled the court that enough toilet facilities were provided in all the schools, forcing the court to appoint an advocate commission to inspect the schools for the real situation.The court said that another report of the school department was not satisfactory and “makes us shed tears about the status of basic amenities in schools in the state”.Even Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were doing better in providing facilities in schools, it said. There were schools where girls use bushes as cover for attending to nature’s call, the court said, adding, such a situation should not prevail in this country 70 years after independence. The court also wondered why power tariff in schools was more than the commercial tariff at 5.75 ps per unit, and why electricity expenses were met by parent-teacher associations in many schools. Additional Advocate General submitted that it would not be possible to build 75,000 toilet units in schools, which do not have the facility, this financial year itself and funds could be allocated only for 22,000 units this year. The remaining schools could be covered next year.The court said the government had already committed contempt of court by not providing toilets in all schools as ordered by it in 2014, and it was now seeking more time to complete the project. About 1,41,000 toilets were required at the rate of one toilet per 20 students. There were about 66,610 units in schools and the remaining should have been constructed by this time, the court said. “This only shows that officials did not have any vision and strategy to do things,” it said and posted the case for further hearing on November 22 when the government is expected to give some concrete reply on the issue.The Supreme Court had issued orders for providing toilet facilities in schools in the country in 2012 itself.

Hyderabad High Court issues notice to 20 YSRC MLAs over defection to TDP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hyderabad High Court on Monday issued notices to 20 MLAs from YSR Congress, who crossed over to ruling TDP in Andhra Pradesh, seeking their response on maintainability of the writ petitions that were filed seeking their disqualification.The petitioner’s counsel earlier filed writ petitions before the High Court submitting that the disqualification petitions pertaining to their (20 MLAs) defection are pending before the Speaker of AP Legislative Assembly.The writs questioned “inaction” of the Speaker in not disposing of the disqualification petitions and sought directions to the Speaker to initiate proceedings against those MLAs.However, AP Additional Advocate General D Srinivas today objected to the petitions saying that the writ petitions are not maintainable after which the court issued notices to the 20 MLAs with regard to maintainability of the writ petitions.”The High Court issued notices to the MLAs to hear on admissibility of the writ petitions and not with regard to the merits of the case. The court in its order clarified that it wants to hear the MLAs on the maintainability of the writ petitions,” Srinivas told PTI.The Court posted the matter after four weeks.The defection of legislators from the lone opposition party to the Telugu Desam Party(TDP) started with two YSR Congress MLAs from Kurnool district on February 22 and so far 20 MLAs have switched over to the ruling party.

DND flyway will remain toll-free

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”You have constructed only a 10-km road but you are talking as if you have made a road to the moon.” These were the strong words that the Supreme Court (SC) used on Friday, as it rejected the Noida Toll Bridge Company’s (NTBCL) request to stay the Allahabad High Court’s (HC) order.On Wednesday, the HC had passed an order that the Delhi-Noida flyway would now be toll-free for commuters. The order was passed following a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by the Noida Residents Association (NRA) in 2012.Appearing for the company before the apex court, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued that NTBCL had built an “excellent highway” and that it had started construction of the eight-lane road in 1997 when no company was ready to come to India. Singhvi said that the flyway, operating from 2001, was one of the best-maintained in the country.Singhvi’s argument earned him little sympathy from the apex court. “You have done a good job…but don’t keep patting yourself on the back for it,” said a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur.The Delhi-Noida toll bridge was completed at Rs 408 crore in 2001 by NTBCL, whose parent company is none other than the Infrastructure Leasing & Finance Company (IL&FS). The IL&FS is an infrastructure and financial services behemoth that has many retired bureaucrats on its Board of Directors.According to the contract signed by NTBCL, IL&FS and the Noida Authority, the toll was supposed to be removed once the company recovered the original project cost of Rs 408 crore with an annual return of 20 per cent or within 30 years, whichever came earlier. However, the concession agreement signed between them also states that if the company cannot realise the project cost within 30 years, the toll on commuters could be extended infinitely.In its order, the HC had stated that NTBCL had already received Rs 1,100 crore in revenue, and thus its contract with the Noida Authority, need to be snapped.Singhvi, however, maintained before the Apex Court that the HC had erred in ignoring NTBCL’s agreement clauses with the Noida Authority. The Senior Advocate argued that NTBCL had to maintain the toll bridge for another 15 years, which meant all liability remained the company’s, without the chance of receiving any further revenue.He also stated that the public limited company had over 80,000 shareholders and had employed more than 400 employees for the maintenance of the whole toll bridge, for which funds needed to be generated. For this, he requested the Apex Court to allow NTBCL to collect toll for at least three months, till an independent auditor submitted its report.Hearing Singhvi’s argument, the Court replied that the NTBCL did not lose much by stopping the toll temporarily for at least a month till an independent auditor submitted a report on the income and expenditure of the company. So far, no auditor has been appointed by the court for this purpose.In its plea before the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday, petitioner NRA alleged that NTBCL had earned over Rs 2,300 crore in revenue, when only Rs 300 crore had been spent on maintaining the highway. Given the high profit margins generated by the company, the NRA had argued that no toll needed to be collected at all.The NRA also contested an audit report submitted before the Noida Authority, and before the HC before its judgment on Wednesday. It stated that out of the three auditors, two were appointed by the company and one by the Noida Authority. The HC had rejected the report.

Himachal govt blocking probe in DA case against Virbhadra Singh: CBI to Delhi HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Himachal Pradesh government was “blocking” CBI probe in the disproportionate assets case against Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and others by “acting as a proxy” for him, the agency told Delhi High Court on Wednesday. “State (Himachal Pradesh) is blocking the investigation by contesting the matter by acting as a proxy for the Chief Minister. It should actually support us,” Additional Solicitor General (ASG) P S Patwalia, appearing for CBI, told Justice Vipin Sanghi. The ASG said the state”s argument that its police and courts would have probed the matter “pulls wool over no one’s eyes”.”The Chief Minister is the executive head of the state. Police is under the state’s Home Department and the Home portfolio is with the CM,” he said during arguments on petitions filed by Singh and others challenging the CBI’s jurisdiction to probe the case. The day’s arguments commenced with the Advocate General of the state contending that “a subject of the state has been put to discriminatory treatment”. In the present case the ”subject” was the Chief Minister and his family members, he said and questioned how such “indulgence” can be shown by an agency which was “not authorised under the law”.He said police was a state subject under the Constitution and a central agency was claiming that it was also authorised to investigate the matter. The Advocate General also said the state police and the entire hierarchy of courts were there to deal with the matter and added that the state had not consented to transferring it from Himachal Pradesh to Delhi. He said the CBI was set up under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 and when this Bill was proposed, it was said that the agency can conduct probe in all provinces “with the consent of the provinces”. He claimed that under the Act, CBI’s jurisdiction was confined to union territories and added that there has to be consent from a state for extending the agency”s jurisdiction there. Yesterday, Virbhadra Singh’s counsel had claimed that CBI cannot on its own decide to probe offences outside Delhi without the consent of the concerned state. The counsel had contended that in the instant matter, the alleged offence was committed in Himachal Pradesh as the disproportionate assets were located there and hence, the police of that state should have been probing it.Singh had earlier claimed before the court that CBI’s FIR against him was “premature” as it was based on the proceedings of Income Tax department, which was still pending. He had said that CBI had lodged a preliminary enquiry (PE) in October 2012 which was later closed, but the agency registered a second PE on June 17 last year based on the same facts which were already investigated by it.CBI had told the high court that its probe in the DA case against Singh and others was “complete” and it wanted to file the charge sheet in the matter. The Himachal Pradesh High Court in an interim order on October 1, 2015, had restrained the agency from arresting, interrogating or filing a charge sheet against Singh in the case without its permission.The matter, in which Himachal Pradesh HC had passed the interim order, was transferred by the Supreme Court to the Delhi High Court, which on April 6 this year had directed CBI not to arrest Singh and asked him to join the probe. The direction had come when the court was disposing of CBI”s application seeking vacation of the Himachal Pradesh High Court order, which the agency claimed had “seriously held up” its investigation in the case.On November 5 last year, the apex court had transferred Singh’s plea from Himachal Pradesh HC to Delhi HC, saying it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, but simply transferring the petition “in interest of justice and to save the institution (judiciary) from any embarrassment”. CBI had moved the apex court seeking transfer of the case here and setting aside the interim order granting protection from arrest and other relief granted to Virbhadra. A DA case was lodged against the Chief Minister and others by CBI under sections 13(2) and 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and section 109 (punishment for abetment) of the IPC.

SC favours suspended RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav’s custody till victim deposes

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a plea by suspended MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav, accused in a rape case, to remain outside Bihar, favouring that the RJD legislator should remain in jail till the victim records her statement “fairly and without any fear”.

A bench of Justices AK Sikri and NV Ramana, which rejected Yadav’s prayer to stay outside the state till the victim deposed before the court, said it was “more concerned” about the safety of minor rape survivor.

Raj Ballabh Yadav. Pradesh18.comRaj Ballabh Yadav. Pradesh18.com

Raj Ballabh Yadav. Pradesh18.com

“We want prosecutrix to be examined fairly and without any fear and threat. We are more concerned about the safety of the prosecutrix. She should depose in fairest manner and without any fear,” the bench said.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for Yadav, said he was volunteering to stay outside the state till the victim records the statement. The bench said this cannot be done, he should not be “outside” but “inside”.

But Dave said it would amount to staying the Patna High Court order granting bail and suggested hearing of the matter. Advocate Gopal Singh, appearing for state, said if the accused is outside jail, the victim cannot depose before the trial court out of fear.

The bench then posted the matter for further hearing on 27 October.

The apex court had on October 18 directed the trial court not to record the testimony of the minor rape survivor till 24 October after the state government submitted that she felt threatened due to the accused being out on bail.

The apex court had on 7 October sought the response of the legislator on a plea by the Nitish Kumar government challenging the bail granted to him by the Patna High Court.

Yadav had allegedly raped the minor girl at his residence in Biharsharif on 6 February this year. After evading arrest for a considerable time, he surrendered after a local court issue proclamation notice and an order to attach his properties for not surrendering before the police.

The Bihar Police, in its charge sheet, had also named a woman and her relatives as accused on the ground that they had been allegedly supplying women to the MLA representing Nawada Assembly constituency. The RJD had suspended Yadav from the party on 14 February, a day after his arrest warrant was issued.

Fadnavis govt dragged to Bombay High Court for keeping Advocate General post vacant

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dragging the Devendra Fadnavis government to Bombay High Court on the issue of vacant post of Advocate General, the Congress Legislator Sanjay Dutt on Friday submitted a writ petition seeking cancellation of the appointment of the “Acting Advocate General” Rohit Deo who has been handling the charge since erstwhile Advocate General Sreehari Aney had put in his papers in March.Challenging the constitutional validity of the Fadnavis government due to the absence of Advocate General (AG), Dutt in his petition also sought direction from the Court declaring that the post of ‘Acting Advocate General’ as unconstitutional.The petition is expected to be heard in mid-November when the Court opens after Diwali vacation.“As long as the Advocate General’s post is lying vacant, the Government cannot be said to have been properly formed. The government cannot operate without appointing an Advocate-General as mandated by the provisions of Article 165 of the Constitution,” says Dutt’s petition seeking immediate hearing of the matter which is of “national importance”.Challenging the appointment of Acting AG, the petition says, “Any other lawyer appointed under Article 162 of the Constitution, and designed in any manner as the Government deems fit, is not authorised to perform any constitutional and statutory functions of the AG.” Stating that the constitution has no provision for the post of Acting Advocate General, Dutt has sought the Court’s direction to the Fadnavis government to withdraw the charge given to the “Acting Advocate General” till the pendency of this case.Petition points out that acting AG Deo is also working as a full time Associate Advocate General and as the Additional Solicitor General at Nagpur. In addition to these two full time, serious and heavy responsibilities, the State Government has given him an appointment of “Acting Advocate General’ for more than 7 months.“It is humanly impossible to discharge effectively the responsibilities and duties of these three posts simultaneously by one individual, keeping in view the volume of work occupant of each of these posts is expected to discharge, that too by constantly travelling between Bombay and Nagpur,” reads the petition.“How come Maharashtra which contributes 25% of industrial output, 23% of the GDP and has given the nation great scholars like Dr. B.R Ambedkar, sports and film icons, cannot find and appoint an AG?” asks Petition.“I was forced to approach Court after the failure of the Government in making a regular appointment of an Advocate General, in spite of the fact that I have on two occasions raised the same issue in the Legislative Council. An incorrect answer was by the government to justify the post of acting AG. The CM in the Upper House had cited the precedence of 24 times when acting AG was appointed. What he didn’t tell that all these were during British period.”To back his case, Dutt has also highlighted the crucial duties, status and powers of the AG. “The AG being a constitutional post is at par with that of the Chief Minister. He is the trustee of the general public. The AG is the only non-elected individual who is entitled to address the Houses of Legislature.”Dutt had earlier approached the Supreme Court last month raising the same issue. However, the Apex Court has asked him to seek recourse in the High Court first.While his move is being dubbed as a political one, Dutt justifies, “The present Petition has been filed for the simple reason that one of the most important constitutional offices of the state government is lying vacant despite requests in the Legislature. I was left with no other option but to approach the Court.”Dutt also clarifies that he was not casting any aspersions on the abilities and character of the incumbent who is in charge of the post of the Advocate-General of the state of Maharashtra. Therefore, he has not been made as a party to the case.

Triple talaq: Sharia law can’t be changed, Centre can hold referendum, suggests AIMPLB member

Muzaffarnagar: Stressing that Sharia law cannot be changed, Member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board Zafaryab Jilani suggested that the central government can hold a referendum on the issue of triple talaq.

Talking to reporters in Muzaffarnagar at an event on Monday evening, Jilani claimed, “Ninety percent Muslim women support the Sharia Law.”

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Union government can hold a vote on the issue of triple talaq… Muslims will not tolerate any interference in the Muslim Personal Law,” the Additional Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh said.

“The move of banning triple talaq is a conspiracy to impose a uniform civil code,” he alleged. However, he said that in Islam, divorce is considered an unpleasant act and is discouraged.

On tensions between India and Pakistan, he said every Muslim is with the country to teach a lesson to the neighbouring nation. He said Pakistan was affected by its own conspiracy and even Pakistani mosques are not safe from terrorist attacks.

On 7 October, the Centre had opposed in the Supreme Court the practice of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims and favoured a relook on grounds like gender equality and secularism.

The Ministry of Law and Justice, in its affidavit, referred to constitutional principles like gender equality, secularism, international covenants, religious practices and marital law prevalent in various Islamic countries to drive home the point that the practice of triple talaq and polygamy
needed to be adjudicated upon afresh by the apex court.

Delhi: Court sends senior judge to 14 days judicial custody on corruption charges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A special court here on Thursday sent Senior Civil Judge Rachna Tiwari Lakhanpal to 14 days judicial custody on allegations of illegal gratification. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) accused Lakhanpal, a sitting judge at Tis Hazari District Court (THC), of allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs. 20 lakhs.The CBI also arrested the judge’s husband Alok, a criminal lawyer and Vishal Mehan, a court commissioner (CC) appointed by her on charges of corruption.In its press release, the BI stated, “A case was registered U/s 7 & 8 of P. C. Act, 1988 against the Advocate on a complaint alleging that in a matter being heard by a Senior Civil Judge (West), Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi, she had appointed an advocate as Local Commissioner for conducting an inspection of the disputed property and submitting his report. The Advocate (appointed as Local Commissioner) allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs.2 Lakh for himself as well as Rs.20 Lakhs for the said Senior Civil Judge for deciding the matter in the favour of complainant.”Acting on the complaint, the CBI laid a trap and arrested Mehan when he was accepting a bribe. During his interrogation, Mehan confessed and claimed that he was allegedly acting on directions of the judge. The Lakhanpal’s were then arrested when Mehan delivered their share of the money to them. The CBI further conducted a raid at Lakhanpal’s residence at around 2 am on the intervening night of September 28 and 29 and recovered almost Rs. 94 lakhs, two locker keys and other material. Sources close to the case claim that almost Rs. 60 lakhs were recovered from Lakhanpal’s bedroom, whereas the remaining amount was found in their sons’ room.Special Judge (CBI) Sanjeev Agarwal allowed CBI’s plea and remanded Alok and Mehan to two days police custody. “Source of huge recovery of Rs. 94 lakhs is yet to be established and the investigation is at a very nascent stage, therefore fair investigations and interest of justice requires two days PC remand each be granted,” the court said.”Regarding Ms. Rachna Tiwari Lakhanpal only judicial remand has been sought, as it is stated that the investigation qua her is at initial stage and she may influence witnesses and tamper with the evidence,” the court added.According to sources, the complaint was registered on September 27. During the raids, two independent witnesses – one official from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and a government schoolteacher, were present at the time.The CaseSources within the CBI state that the matter involved a property at Saraswati Garden in West Delhi’s Kirti Nagar area. Apparently, the judge had appointed Mehan as a CC to inspect the property and submit his report. This report is crucial since it becomes a part of the judicial report. A judge would then base his, or her final order based on the submissions made in the report.Court sources claim that Rachna Lakhanpal, who started out as a public prosecutor, was elevated to the position a judge and rose through the ranks to become a senior civil judge. It was rumoured that she was going to be promoted to the position of the Additional District Judge (ADJ)when the new round of promotions would be announced in the next few months to come.Alok Lakhanpal and Mehan will be produced in court on Saturday, whereas Rachna will be produced on October 13.

Tamil Nadu: HC states notification for local body polls done ‘in a rush’

Chennai: Madras High Court on Tuesday observed that the notification for next month’s local body polls in Tamil Nadu was done ‘in a rush’ without giving breathing time to political parties to prepare themselves and directed the state government to give details of the date of notification and date of nominations in previous polls.

Representational image. News18Representational image. News18

Representational image. News18

The court, acting on a petition from DMK, seeking to quash the notification, asked the State Election Commission why the polls were announced on Sunday evening and the process of receiving nominations commenced the next day itself, without giving breathing time to political parties and orally observed that it was done ‘in a rush’.

DMK had also sought a direction to Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, Tamil Nadu State Election Commission, Director of Town Panchayats, Commissioner of Corporation of Chennai, to conduct the polls by strictly providing adequate reservation to Scheduled Tribes, followed by necessary rotation of seats in all the posts, as mandated in the Constitution.

The party said that under the Constitution, reservation for Scheduled Tribes, both in panchayats and municipalities throughout the state is mandatory, while no reservation was made for STs for the post of District Panchayat presidents and Panchayat Union Presidents.

It alleged that even in Chennai, reservation for STs was not made available.

DMK submitted that the notification was issued on Sunday evening and the process of receiving nominations started the next day. While no time was given to parties, the ruling party, which came to know of the reservations in advance, released the list of candidates on Sunday night itself.

DMK produced an earlier judgement of the Full Court and said the plea is maintainable.The court perused it and pointed out that the order was actually against the then DMK regime.

“You are actually using the bomb which was fired against you,” the court said.

The Advocate General submitted that the writ was not maintainable on two grounds.The first was that there is bar on hearing the election petition particularly after the issue of the election notification.

The other was that the term of local bodies cannot be extended after five years and it is mandatory to conduct the elections before the expiry of current term, he said.

The court however orally observed that there was a rush on the issue of notification and directed the Advocate General to furnish details of the date of notification and the date of nominations in the previous elections.

It then posted the matter for further hearing to 6 October.

On 25 September, the State Election Commission had said that elections to over 1.31 lakh local body posts in Tamil Nadu will be held in two phases on 17 and 19 October.

It had said the nominations would begin on 26 September.

Petition filed in Pak court seeking ban on Indian movies ‘to express solidarity with Kashmiris’

Sat, 24 Sep 2016-06:09pm , Lahore , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A petition was filed on Saturday in the Lahore High Court seeking a ban on the exhibition of Indian movies in the country till resolution of the Kashmir issue. The petition, filed by Advocate Azhar Saddique, alleged that Indian forces are committing atrocities in Kashmir and the Pakistan government has allowed Indian movies to be exhibited in local cinemas and this act is not only hurting the sentiments of Kashmiris but also the Pakistanis. It said the Indian movies are opposed to Pakistan’s Kashmir policy and are a ‘big hurdle’ in freedom movement of Kashmiris.”To express solidarity with Kashmiris the Pakistani government should be ordered to put immediate ban on exhibition of Indian movies across the country,” it pleaded. Besides, the petitioner alleged that the Indian government and other extremist organisations are threatening Pakistani actors to leave India after Uri attack therefore the Pakistani government should respond to India in a firm manner and ban its movies. The court will fix the date of hearing next week.

Supreme Court questions appointment of ex-army officer as AMU VC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Questioning the appointment of a former army officer as vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) rather than a person from teaching background, the Supreme Court on Monday decided to examine whether the university being a Central university has followed the UGC Regulations or not.Asking the AMU why can’t it follow when other central universities follow the University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur decided to examine the issue in detail on a PIL challenging the appointment of a non teaching staff as VC of the university.”You (AMU) are a central university. UGC regulations apply to you as they are mandatory. The VC must be an academician and he should be a person who has the work experience for at least 10 years as a professor in a university. If every other central university follows the regulations why can’t the AMU? Why to appoint a former army officer?” the bench said while clarifying that the court does not dispute the Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah’s abilities.The bench was hearing a plea challenging the appointment of Shah as VC. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner Syed Abrar Ahmed, contended that Shah was a retired army general and had no academic qualification as mandated by UGC Regulations, 2010.”The Vice Chancellor should be a distinguished academician with a minimum of 10 years of experience as professor in a university system or 10 years of experience in an equivalent position in a reputed research and/or academic administrative organisation,” Bhushan said.Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, appearing for AMU, opposed the submission and said UGC Regulations were only meant for teachers in central universities and not for appointment to the post of VC which is the post of an officer.Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, appearing for Shah, referred to section 26 of UGC and said AMU is a minority institution.

Shahabuddin bail: SC issues notice to controversial RJD leader; rejects plea for interim stay on HC order

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court has rejected plea for interim stay on Patna High Court order granting bail in a murder case to Shahabuddin, saying it wants to hear him too. It has issued notice to controversial RJD leader Shahabuddin on a plea challenging the bail granted to him by court. Bihar govt seeks issuance of NBW against him.The bench comprising justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy asked Bihar government to serve its notice on Shahabuddin and fixed the matter for hearing on September 26. During the hearing, the apex court asked Bhushan as to whether he was seeking cancellation of bail granted to Shahabuddin or he was challenging the Patna High Court order.The apex court had heard petitions of the Bihar Government and Siwan native Chandrakeshwar Prasad against the bail granted to gangster-turned politician Mohammad Shahabuddin by the Patna High Court. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government last week filed an appeal in the apex court, challenging the Patna High Court’s order granting bail to Shahabuddin. Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan has also challenged the latest Bihar High Court order which recently granted bail to Mohammad Shahabuddin. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Siwan-based Chandrakeshwar Prasad whose three sons have been killed in two separate incidents, said Shahabuddin is a “notorious criminal” and his reign of terror is in Bihar “in general” and Siwan “in particular”. “There are 58 criminal cases pending against Shahabuddin and out of them he has been convicted in eight cases,” he said. The petition has been filed by Bhushan on behalf of victim’s family who was unhappy to see Shahabuddin walking out of the Bhagalpur jail. Shahabuddin, who had been in jail for more than 10 years in connection with multiple cases, was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 7 in connection with the murder of a man who witnessed the killing of two brothers in Siwan.Shahabuddin’s release from jail evoked widespread criticism of the grand alliance in the state with the opposition accusing the government of paving way for his release by not opposing the bail strongly in the court.

Attempts being made to destroy Maratha identity, Sena only guardian of Maharashtra: Saamana editorial

Shiv Sena, which will on Sunday celebrate its golden jubilee at a grand function in Mumbai, claimed on Saturday that it is the “only guardian” of Maharashtra.Attempts were being made to destroy the Marathi identity and the unity of the state, which would not be allowed to happen, alleged the party, whose relations with the ruling ally BJP have been strained for a long time.The Uddhav Thackeray-led party will be staging a grand event in suburban Goregaon on Sunday to celebrate its 50 years of existence. “Like India, Maharashtra too has its share of problems.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>What pains us more is that people who call themselves Marathis are the ones who aggravate problems. Maharashtra with Mumbai as its part was formed, thanks to the sacrifice of hundreds of people. King Shivaji’s soul would be hurt to see attempts are being made to hand over the control of Mumbai to Delhi,” the editorial in the party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said today. “The Sena is Maharashtra’s only guardian and it has been guarding it honestly for the last fifty years. Today, attempts are being made to destroy the Marathi identity and unity of the state which we will not let happen,” it said.In the recent past, the demand for a separate Vidarbha was raised, notably by the former Advocate General Shrihari Aney, who is supposed to be close to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Sena is bitterly opposed to the demand. Tomorrow’s event is being seen as bugle for the next year’s crucial elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation which the party currently controls.

Madras HC’s new rules for lawyers’ conduct signal no confidence in TN & Puducherry Bar Council

A battle is brewing in the Madras High Court. Relations between the Bar and the Bench have taken a steady turn for the worse, especially in light of the repeated disruptions and instances of indiscipline by lawyers that judges presiding over the courts have been subjected to. Matters have now come to a head as the Madras High Court has promulgated amendments to Rules framed under Section 34 of the Advocates Act, 1961 giving itself (or the Principal District Judge) the power to debar advocates from appearing before the High Court. Some of the new grounds on the basis of which an advocate may be debarred are quite illuminative of the kinds of indiscipline that judges of the High Court have possibly faced.

Those who maybe debarred include:
“An Advocate who is found to have tampered with the Court record or Court order;”
“An Advocate who is found to have sent or spread unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations/petitions against a Judicial Officer or a Judge to the Superior Court
“An Advocate who actively participates in a procession inside the Court campus and/or involves in gherao inside the Court Hall or holds placard inside the Court Hall;”

Before the reader concludes that these are peculiar to the Madras High Court or some other lower court, I can attest that I have witnessed this kind of misbehaviour myself in the halls of no less than the Supreme Court. In the one instance that such misbehaviour was brought to the notice of the Court (tampering of the Court order), it turned a blind eye and let off the advocate in question with just a warning.

The Bar has of course protested. The Madras High Court Advocates Association has issued a statement that calls upon the Chief Justice to withdraw the Rules or else face rallies and agitations against it. A smaller minority of lawyers have welcomed the move pointing out that it is only in furtherance of the Supreme Court’s directions in Capt Harish Uppal and RK Anand cases, though they have expressed misgivings about some of the drafting in question. Do the advocates protest too much?

Legal basis for the Rules

Section 34 of the Advocates Act gives High Courts the power to frame Rules to determine who can practice before it and the lower courts under that High Court. In parallel, the power to lay down professional standards for practice and enforce such standards has been vested with the Bar Councils under Section 35 of the Advocates Act. On a first reading, it would seem that the Madras High Court’s rules have tried to take over the Bar Council’s power to discipline lawyers.

A file photo of madras High Court. Image credit: Wiki commonsA file photo of madras High Court. Image credit: Wiki commons

A file photo of madras High Court. Image credit: Wiki commons

This very argument was raised at the Supreme Court in an earlier tussle between the Kerala High Court and the Bar Council of India. The Kerala High Court had framed Rule 11 which prevented advocates who had been held in contempt of court from practising before it or lower courts in Kerala until the contempt was “purged”. This was irrespective of whether such advocate had been disbarred by the Bar Council.

A three judge bench of the Supreme Court upheld the Kerala High Court’s Rule in its judgment in Bar Council of India v State of Kerala. The Court clarified that in debarring an advocate from appearing before the Court, the High Court was not trying to discipline the advocate but upholding the dignity of the court. It relied on an earlier decision which had pointed out that misbehaviour by an advocate can be both professional misconduct and contempt of court, and consequences for one (from the Court) need not necessarily prevent consequences for the other (from the Bar Council).

While they don’t prescribe the content of the Rules, the directions of the Supreme Court in the Harish Uppal and RK Anand cases are clear in re-affirming the power of the court to discipline advocates in order that proceedings in court may be carried out and that the dignity of the court is maintained. All the kinds of behaviour which can get an advocate disbarred under the amended Madras High Court Rules relate directly to a lawyer’s behaviour in court or with judges, and don’t deal with say, lawyer-client relationships.

The Madras High Court rules are thus entirely within the Court’s remit to manage court proceedings and don’t really impinge on the Bar Council’s power to discipline a lawyer for misconduct.

Failure of the Bar Council

Whatever be the legality of the Rules in question, the fact that the Madras High Court had to promulgate the same is a resounding vote of no-confidence in the capability of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry to rein in misbehaviour by lawyers. Lawyers have long argued that self-regulation (statutorily codified and enforced under the Advocates Act) is the best form of regulation for lawyers, like other professionals. The powers vested in the State Bar Councils and the Bar Council of India to frame standards for professional conduct and punish advocates who engage in professional misconduct has, relative to the problem at hand, been little used.

The reason for this is structural – the members of the Bar Council are elected by lawyers themselves and have little incentive to go after instances of indiscipline when it affects their chances of re-election. This is especially true for those lawyers who have the backing of the local Bar Association (a private body of lawyers as opposed to the Bar Council which is a statutory body) which is usually more influential among lawyers. This also explains the proliferation of lawyer strikes and boycotts, and also the ugly violence in the Patiala House Court (under the very noses of Supreme Court observers) when Kanhaiya Kumar was produced.

The Bar Councils have themselves been embroiled in controversies. Whether it is corruption in the approval for law colleges or the manner in which the All India Bar Exam has been conducted, the conduct of the Bar Council has been less than entirely above board, if not criminal. It is perhaps no surprise that a body with such little credibility can barely enforce standards of professional conduct for the lawyers it is supposed to discipline.

The amended Rules of the Madras High Court are likely to be challenged shortly though the chances of success are dim. That will not however, put an end to the troubles. The real task before the Madras High Court will lie in enforcing the rules it has framed. The advocates it seeks to debar are not going to go quietly. As the resolutions passed by the Madras High Court Advocates Association suggest, they might even enjoy support for their antics – if not openly, then perhaps tacitly.

Make no mistake though, this is not the situation in the Chennai or the Tamil Nadu Bar alone. Across the country, save for a thin crust at the top, the practice of law is in a deplorable state and enjoys little by way of respect or remuneration. If the best and the brightest who graduate from the top law schools and colleges are no longer choosing to practice in courts, it is because they are being driven away from it by what they see with their own eyes. The coming confrontation between the Bench and the Bar over the Madras High Court Rules may therefore be well worth it.

The author is a resident fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy. Views are personal. 

P Chidambaram, his wife & family have assets worth Rs 95 crore

Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram (70), his wife and family have total assets worth Rs 95 crore, according to the affidavit filed by him on Tuesday to contest the Rajya Sabha election.Chidambaram filed his nomination papers for biennial elections to Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra. According to his affidavit, filed in 22 pages before the Returning Officer, he and his family have movable properties worth Rs 54.30 crore while he and his family own immovable properties worth Rs 41.35 crores. He showed a total income of Rs 8.58 crore for the year 2014-15 while his spouse (Nalini Chidambaram) showed income of Rs 1.25 crore for the same period during the filing of income tax return.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chidambaram has movable properties of Rs 42.95 crore and immovable properties worth Rs. 4.25 crore. His wife Nalini Chidambaram is the owner of movable properties worth Rs 11.23 crore and immovable properties worth Rs 25.03 crore. He has shown Rs 3.50 lakhs cash in hand and his wife has cash in hand Rs 1.24 lakh. He has bank accounts in 13 branches of different banks spanning from Chennai to New Delhi to Karnataka while Nalini has six bank accounts in different places.
ALSO READ P Chidambaram files nomination for RS seat from MahaUnder the details of movable assets, the affidavit says Chidambaram possesses 32 gram gold (worth Rs 87,232) and 3.25 carat diamond worth Rs 97,500. His wife has 1.43 kg gold (worth Rs 39.17 lakh) and 52 kg silver worth Rs 20.46 lakh and 76.61 carat diamond of Rs 22.98 lakh. He has one Honda and one Skoda car while his wife is having Toyota Innova car.Under the details of immovable assets, Chidambaram’s affidavit says he has said that he bought 38.72 acres land in 1994 for Rs 25.16 lakh in Karnataka and thereafter developed it by investing another Rs 3.77 lakh into it and the current market value of this piece of property is Rs 1.93 crore, according to the affidavit.
ALSO READ Shiv Sena slams Congress for fielding Chidambaram from Maharashtra for Rajya SabhaHis Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) movable properties are worth of Rs 11.86 lakhs while immovable properties are having monetary values of Rs 12.07 crore, according to his affidavit in which Chidambaram has described himself as a senior Advocate in the Supreme Court and his wife as a senior Advocate in the Madras High Court. He does not have Facebook account but is active on the Twitter.

Goa: Lokayukta asks government if he can use ‘red beacon’ on car

Goa Lokayukta office has sought to know from the state government whether its head can use car with ‘red beacon’, in view of a complaint filed in this regard by a social activist.Activist Aires Rodrigues had earlier lodged a complaint with state Chief Secretary claiming the Goa Lokayukta was using a red beacon on his car though he was not entitled to. “I will not offer any comment on the issue. There is some correspondence happening between the secretary Lokayukta and the government,” Goa’s Lokayukta Justice (Retd) PK Misra said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said a notification issued by the central government following a Supreme Court order on red beacon car says that “any dignitary declared as equivalent to Supreme court judge can use red beacon car”. “And under section 6 of Goa Lokayukta Act, Lokayukta is having status of Supreme Court judge,” he said.”Possibly there is a scope for interpreting that Lokayukta can use car with red beacon,” Justice Misra said, adding that he has already stopped using the red beacon, awaiting clarification from the government. Rodrigues had in his complaint said that Lokayukta using red beacon car amounts to “gross contempt of the Supreme Court’s order”.As per the complaint, in accordance with the Supreme Court order, the Goa government by a notification issued on July 3, 2014 notified the list of persons entitled to use the red beacon on their official vehicle. As per that notification, only the Governor, Chief Minister and Ministers, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court, Leader of Opposition, Advocate General and the Chief Secretary, are allowed to use the red beacon, the complaint had said.

Kerala Dalit rape and murder: No interference warranted at this stage in SIT probe, says HC

The Kerala High Court on observed that no interference is warranted at this stage in the probe by state police’s Special Investigation Team into the brutal rape and murder of a Dalit woman, and adjourned till May 30 a PIL seeking CBI investigation.Considering a PIL filed by Advocate TB Mini, a vacation bench, comprising Justices A M Shaffique and K Ramakrishnan, also observed that the investigators cannot be guided by media reports. Appearing for the state government, Director General of Prosecutions informed the court that the investigation into the rape and murder of the law student is in progress and is at a crucial stage.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also said details about the progress made in the SIT investigation can be submitted before the court in a sealed cover. Following this, the court adjourned the PIL to May 30. Earlier, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, while addressing a BJP election meeting in Kollam district, said the Centre is ready to conduct a CBI probe into the incident. “CBI probe should be held into the murder. As the country’s Home Minister, I assure you that as soon as we get a recommendation (in this regard) from the state government, we are prepared to conduct a CBI probe,” said Singh, who began electioneering for the May 16 Assembly polls in Kerala.
ALSO READ Kerala: Centre ready for CBI probe in brutal rape and murder of law student, says Rajnath SinghThe Home Minister said the guilty will be brought to book. The 30-year-old woman, who hailed from a poor family, was raped and brutally assaulted using sharp-edged weapons before being murdered at her house at nearby Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district on April 28.

Delhi HC rejects INLD leader Ajay Chautala’s parole plea

Delhi High Court today dismissed the plea by INLD leader Ajay Chautala, serving a 10-year jail term in teachers’ recruitment scam case, seeking 12 weeks’ parole for medical treatment.Justice Pratibha Rani declined the plea of Ajay whose appeal against the high court verdict convicting him and his father, Haryana’s former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, and sentencing them to 10 years in jail was dismissed by the Supreme Court on August 3 last year.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court which upheld their conviction, however, had said the convicts may move the high court with their pleas seeking relief like parole on health grounds. Advocate Amit Sahni, appearing for Ajay, had sought 12 weeks’ parole for enabling the convict “to get treatment and to maintain social ties”.The high court had on March 5, 2015, upheld the 10 year jail term awarded to Chautalas and three others, saying, “the overwhelming evidence showed the shocking and spine-chilling state of affairs in the country.”The father-son duo and 53 others, including two IAS officers, were convicted on January 16, 2013 by the trial court for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior basic trained (JBT) teachers in Haryana in 2000. Besides Chautalas and two IAS officers, the high court had also awarded 10-year prison term to Sher Singh Badshami, then an MLA and political adviser to Chautala senior. The high court, however, had modified the trial court’s order on the quantum of sentence and awarded two-year jail term to 50 other convicts.All the 55 convicts were sentenced under sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 418 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 471 (using forged documents as genuine) of IPC and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act. Initially, there were 62 accused in the case. While two had died before filing of the charge sheet, four passed away during the trial of the case and one was discharged by the trial court.

Kerala polls 2016: Complaint lodged against VS Achuthanandan for his remarks on Oommen Chandy

A complaint was lodged against opposition leader VS Achuthanandan for his remarks against Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Monday. Advocate V. Ashokan of Vanchiyoor court lodged the complaint stating that Achuthanandan through his remarks aimed to spread hate politics.The CPI (M) veteran had earlier alleged that more than 31 cases are pending against Chief Minister in the Supreme Court and over 136 corruption cases against pending against 18 UDF Ministers.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, Chandy had slammed Achuthanandan and asked him to stop his ‘lie campaign’ and apologise for his ‘blatant lies’.”Achuthanandan is using his election campaign to spread blatant lies. He has stated that there were 31 cases pending against me in the apex court and 136 corruption cases against 18 UDF ministers,” Chandy said.In a statement issued in Thiruvananthapuram, Chandy said the opposition leader should make it clear which were the cases pending against him and his Cabinet colleagues.The general election for the fourteenth legislative assembly will be held on May 16, 2016 to elect representatives of the 140 constituencies in Kerala. The tenure of Kerala Legislative Assembly ends in May 31, 2016.

Kerala mosque welcomes Muslim women in its inner portal for the first time in 1000 years

Kottayam: For the first time in its history, the 1000-year-old mosque at Thazhathangady, famous for its rich architecture and wood carvings, has thrown open its doors for Muslim women in Kerala.
Women were allowed to enter the mosque on Sunday to take a look at its famed architecture.

Thousands of Muslim women, including tourists, flocked to the mosque from various parts of Kerala and abroad. The move comes at a time when the demand for permitting women at places of worship is gaining ground.

“This is a 1000-year-old mosque. Our women had not seen it so far and had a great desire to visit the holy place. So the mosque committee decided to allow women to visit it on 24 April and 8 May”, Advocate Nawab Mulladom, President of the mosque committee, told PTI.

Thazhathangady Juma Masjid. Wikimedia CommonsThazhathangady Juma Masjid. Wikimedia Commons

Thazhathangady Juma Masjid. Wikimedia Commons

The mosque was not opened for “any celebrations or for offering prayers. It was only to allow women to see the place”, he said, adding the men were asked to leave the mosque before the women were allowed in.

Muslim women wore their traditional attire during the visit.

Fathima, one of the lucky ones to enter the holy place, said, “Standing before many historical mosques, I had always wanted to enter and offer worship. But I was afraid of even expressing that desire. I am happy that such an opportunity has come now”.

The Juma Masjid is a mosque situated at Thazhathangady, one of the Heritage Zones of Kerala, in Kottayam town.

Situated on the banks of the Meenachil river, the mosque is famous for its rich architecture, wood carvings and beauty.

The mosque, considered the oldest in India, is also known as the ‘Taj Juma Masjid’.

It has a square inner courtyard, an exquisitely carved wooden gabled roof, a traditional bathing area and lovely latticed windows, making it resemble a king’s palace.

Former AG Shreehari Aney celebrates birthday by cutting Vidharbha from Maharashtra on his cake

Former Maharashtra AG Shreehari Aney celebrated his cut birthday cake showing the map of Maharashtra and separated Vidarbha from in it. The cake was presented to him by lawyers from Nagpur High Court., as per Nagpur Today.This has led to furious reactions from all over Maharashtra.The former Advocate General Shrihari Aney had recently resigned after inviting backlash for backing statehood for Marathwada. He later faced backlash for saying that there should be a referendum on demand of separate state of Vidarbha.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aney, a known votary of separate Vidarbha, said if less then 51% of people supported the separate Vidarbha state, “we will drop the issue for ever”. “I am of the opinion that (the power to take) decision of creation of Vidarbha lies in Delhi and even if the entire Maharashtra Legislative Assembly passes a resolution against the formation of new state, the Parliament can create Vidarbha,” Aney said at a meet-the-press program. The Parliament was supreme in this matter, he said.Vidarbha supporters would be calling on BSP supremo Mayawati, AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to muster support, he said, adding that support of these parties too should be obtained, apart from Congress and BJP.Pro-Vidarbha organizations will hold a sit-in in Delhi on March 31 and he would attend it, he said. Earlier on Saturday, Aney, who visited Nagpur for the first time after resigning as AG, was accorded a grand welcome by supporters of Vidarbha.Defending his decision to resign, he said he feared that Budget session of Legislature would be disrupted over the issue, so he decided to put in the papers. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is known to have close relations with Aney, is yet to accept his resignation.With agency inputs.

IPL 2016: Bombay HC raps Maha govt but refuses to stay opening match

The Bombay High Court on Thursday declined to stay the IPL opening match on April 9 here as sought by a public interest litigation challenging use of large quantity of water for maintaining pitches despite the grave water crisis in Maharashtra due to drought.The PIL, filed by Loksatta Movement, sought shifting of IPL matches out of Maharashtra and wanted a stay on the matches scheduled in other cities in the state as well in view of the water crisis. A bench of Justices V M Kanande and M S Karnik, however, said that it was not staying the match on April 9 as it wanted to know from the state government and the municipal body whether the water supplied to the stadiums in tankers was potable or non-potable.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The court was of the opinion that until this query is answered, the issue of granting stay cannot be considered. “The petition is filed just before the IPL matches are to begin from April 9…we do not propose to grant a stay at this stage…we want to know the source of water supplied to the cricket grounds for maintaining the pitches”, the bench observed in its order. The Judges also asked the state government and the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to file separate affidavits by April 12, stating whether the water supplied to stadiums during the IPL matches was potable or non-potable.
ALSO READ Maharashtra drought: Latur to get water by train in 15 daysThe Judges also asked both the authorities to inform whether they had formulated any policy for supply of potable and non-potable water to Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan and other cities in Maharashtra. The bench also sought to know from the state and the civic body whether any contingency plans had been drawn in case of further scarcity of water due to delayed monsoon this year.The Judges also asked the authorities to inform in their affidavits whether they had made any inquiries about the source of water supplied to the stadiums through tankers. The bench also asked the authorities to inform whether they had imposed any restraint on use of water in marriages and receptions during April-May 2016 when the state was facing acute water scarcity. Earlier, rapping Maharashtra government, the bench said “this is a serious issue…the government needs to look at it seriously.” “People who have money can afford to have as much water as they can whereas in other places people are getting water once in three days…this is an anomaly,” Justice Kanade said.
ALSO READ Maharashtra drought: Sena makes jibe at CM Fadnavis; says people need to be alive to say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’Altogether 20 matches will be played in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur and all these cities are facing water crisis, said the petition. This prompted Justice Kanade to remark “you (state) are dealing with people at large….animals have died, cattle have died, people are dying and you want to maintain pitches and grounds?” The bench asked the government to spell out what short-term and long-term measures it has planned to tide over the water crisis. “It is not the question of IPL alone…what are your (state’s) priorities..how will you regulate water supply…we want to know what you propose to do,” observed Justice Kanade during the hearing.Referring to the issue of tanker lobby, he said “I am told that these tankers charge over Rs 900 per tanker….how it is permissible….how can you allow this…after all, the wells and borewells from where they draw water belong to the Corporation.” Rafiq Dada, BCCI Counsel, said that for IPL matches, the pitches have to remain dry a day before the tournament and a day after that. Hence, water is not required for maintaining the pitches every day.
ALSO READ Supreme Court pulls up Centre on drought relief; says you can’t turn a blind eye towards affected statesActing Advocate General Rohit Deo assured that the state had decided at a high-level meeting today that not a single drop of potable water would be used for maintaining pitches in the stadiums during IPL matches. “We are going to ask the BCCI how much water would they need,” he said.In terms of water scarcity, Mumbai was better off compared to other places in drought-hit state, said the Advocate General. He said, from May 1, water would be transported to Latur in Marathwada region.Justice Kanade remarked “is it not the duty of the state to inquire about water to be used in the stadiums when a drought situation prevails?” “Tankers cannot be used to supply municipal water. Can you allow municipal corporation to make profits by supplying water?,” the Judges said.The bench also sought to know whether the state was considering to draw water from other states to tide over the drought situation in Maharashtra. The PIL contended that 60 lakh litres of water would be used to maintain the pitches at the stadiums where IPL matches would be held from April 9 and it was the state government’s responsibility to impose restraint on the use of water during drought.

Maha Attorney General Aney wants separate Marathwada: Congress wants his head, Opposition wants his suspension

Opposition parties and ruling Shiv Sena in both the Houses of the state legislature are demanding the resignation of Advocate General Shrihari Aney for remarks he made on Sunday in which he expressed support for the demands of separate statehood for Marathwada.

A ruckus ensued in both houses after Nitesh Rane, son of Congress MLA and former chief minister Narayan Rane, asked for Aney’s head on Twitter:

(When his head gets separated from his body, then he will know what it means to break up Maharashtra).

State government also indicated displeasure at the attorney general’s demands for a separate Marathwada. Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde demanded Aney’s suspension and tabled a discussion in the Legislative Council. Munde said that earlier, Aney has supported demands for a separate statehood for Vidarbha and now, he is supporting the demand for statehood for Marathwada “He should be suspended immediately. He can talk about his personal opinions after he is made to sit at home. He shouldn’t give his personal opinions when holding such an important post,” said Munde.

Shrihari Aney. PTI

MLC Kapil Patil said that Aney’s remarks are treason against the state. “Who has given him the right? Until the government suspends him, we will not let the Council function,” he said. The house was adjourned for 30 minutes after the Opposition created a ruckus on the floor of the house.

During a speech in Jalna on Sunday, Aney argued that Marathwada state was the need of the hour as it has suffered grave injustice. Both the houses were adjourned three times as the members wanted debate and immediate action against Aney. After the lower house assembled at 11 am, the leader of the Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil appealed to Speaker Haribhau Bagde to suspend question hour so that Aney’s remarks can be discussed.

Vikhe-Patil recalled that when Aney had openly supported separation of Vidarbha from Marathwada in 2015, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had termed it as his personal opinion. However, Vikhe-Patil demanded that the state’s first legal officer should not speak the language of separation of Maharashtra which was formed in 1960. It would be an insult of those 105 persons who died while fighting for Maharashtra’s independence. Nationalist Congress Party leader supported Vikhe-Patil’s demand and pressed for Aney’s resignation.

Shiv Sena member Pratap Sarnaik, who filed a privilege motion against Aney in 2015 over his support to statehood for Vidarbha, said the advocate general should not have made a speech recommending statehood for Marathwada especially when no one else had made a demand in this regard. Instead of keeping the interest of Maharashtra, the advocate general has been delivering speeches for its separation and the Sena would not tolerate it, he warned.

Ganpatrao Deshmukh, a veteran leader of Peasants and Workers Party, also expressed serious displeasure over Aney’s proposal for Marathwada state and demanded his resignation or suspension by the government. NCP leader and former Assembly speaker Dilip Walse-Patil cited the Constitutional provision for the appointment and duties of the advocate general and demanded action against him.

In the past, Advocate General Shrihari Aney had said that he foresees the rise of more political units in Vidarbha seeking statehood, which could create problems for all political parties. “Unless it becomes a state, the problems cannot be addressed. And the Constitution, in Article Two and Three, has outlined steps on how states have to be created,” said Aney.

However, Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse said, “The state government does not agree with the AG’s stand on a separate Vidarbha and has given indication to take action against AG.”

Aney, who is six months into his assignment, is known for his legal acumen, conviction and ideology.

Aney, 65, took over from Sunil Manohar, a Nagpur-based senior lawyer who resigned in June 2015, seven months after he had taken over as AG. Born in 1950 in Pune, Aney completed his schooling in Jamshedpur (then in Bihar, now in Jharkhand). He later completed his BCom from Wadia College in Pune and then studied law at Indian Law Society’s Law School in Pune.

On Tuesday, Fadnavis will personally take a stand on the AG’s remarks.

Bombay HC asks BJP to demolish illegal construction at Mumbai office

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked BJP to remove illegally constructed portion of its state headquarters in the Nariman Point area in Mumbai within six months. The court allowed the ruling party to retain the construction which is authorised.A division bench, headed by Justice Abhay Oka, was hearing a PIL alleging that the BJP office occupies over 4,000 sq feet of area and not all of it is authorised.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP lawyer had told the court on Tuesday that it was ready to reduce the constructed space to 1,200 square feet, as sanctioned originally. The HC on Wednesday directed that the civic body should demolish illegal part of the building if the party didn’t do it in six months. It asked BJP to ascertain within three months how much area had been earmarked for its office as per the development plan of 1991.The judges also asked the government to consider shifting offices of the state undertakings such as Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation and the State Employment Exchange, and also that of Janata Dal from this area which was originally reserved for `recreational garden’.Maharashtra Advocate General Srihari Aney had told the division bench earlier that “anything not permissible under the law must go”.According to the petitioner `Nariman Point Churchgate Citizens Welfare Trust’, there exists no sanctioned plan of the BJP office building. It has also taken objection to other buildings in the area, saying it is reserved for a recreational garden in the development plan.

Supreme Court asks Maharashtra govt to grant licenses to dance bars by March 15

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Maharashtra government to grant licenses to dance bars by March 15. It also ruled that no CCTV will be installed around performance areas in dance bars.The apex court also modified seven conditions imposed by the Maharashtra Police for granting licenses to dance bars in the state. “There were about seven conditions for which the bar owners had strong objections. Two of the main conditions were, with regard to installation of CCTV cameras in the restaurant area and second was erection of railing or non removal partition,” said Chief Standing Counsel of the Maharashtra Government, Advocate Nishant Katneshwarkar<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The court has permitted their condition that there should be a railing of three feet in the dancing area and there should be distance of five feet between the dancers and the viewers,” Katneshwarkar added.The Advocate said that the court has directed that the CCTV camera should be installed at the entrance of the bar only and not in the dancing area. “Only four dancers are permitted in a Bar. Out intention is to prevent obscenity. And protect the dignity of the dance girls,” he added.

Salman Khan had firearms with him during and after blackbuck poaching: Prosecution

Jodhpur: The prosecution on Tuesday told the Rajasthan High Court bench in Jodhpur that Bollywood actor Salman Khan had the firearms with him during and before the 1998 poaching of chinkaras for which he was sentenced to one-year in jail, citing the statements of other witnesses.

Salman Khan. AFP

Salman Khan. AFP

The defence counsel had argued in the court that Khan was in possession of just airguns which could not be used for hunting an animal and the fire arms had been brought by an aide of Khan on demand of the forest department.

Replying to this argument, the prosecution cited the statement of a police office Satyamani Tiwari, who on complaint of missing revolver by Khan, had searched his hotel room and found the revolver in the room itself besides one rifle and an airgun.

“This statement of Tiwari confirms that Khan was in possession of the fire arms which had been used by Khan for poaching and he was lying that he had called these arms only on requisition of the forest department officials,” argued Additional Advocate General KL Thakur before Justice Nirmaljit Kaur.

The HC is hearing an appeal by Khan against his one-year sentence.

For corroborating the statements of Harish Dulani, chief prosecution witness and the driver of Khan’s vehicle then, the prosecution also cited the statements of some prosecution witnesses as the evidence recovery witnesses and signatory of the memos of these recoveries.

“Since there was no material evidence, we are trying to corroborate the allegations on Khan with the help of correlating the statements of the witnesses with a view to proving that there were the arms and there were the blood stains both in the vehicle and the hotel where the animals had been taken for cleaning and cooking,” said the government counsel Mahipal Bishnoi.

Khan was sentenced to one year imprisonment by the lower court in 2006 for poaching of two chinkaras in village Bhawad on 27-28 September, 1998 during the film shooting of Hum Saath Saath Hain.

Khan had appealed in the session court against this judgment, which was later on transferred to the high court.


#SeditionDebate: Why we stand by Kanhaiya Kumar? Because saare jahan se achcha, Hindustan humara

You don’t get it, do you? Your closed minds can’t understand why we are fighting for Kanhaiya Kumar.

Let me tell you.

It is because Saare Jahan Se Achcha, Hindustan Humara.

Because, its people stand up against injustice, fascist propaganda, an insensitive state; they fight for human rights, freedom of expression and the core values of this country.

Because, its patriots are real people, with real feelings, ideals, morals, conscience and a soul; not just slogan-shouting, vote-seeking, flag-waving thugs.

Because, with their deeds, not mere words, Indians prove that deshbhakti is not just on their lips, it isn’t a mere slogan to be bandied around for votes, justifying hate agendas, violence and TRPs. Our love for the country sings in our veins, it beats like a rhythm in our hearts.

Because, deshbhakti is what we do, what we think, what we fight for. It is not the tool they use to divide and rule. It is that bond that unites us.

JNU students' union leader Kanhaiya Kumar. PTIJNU students' union leader Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

JNU students’ union leader Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

So, we fight for Kanhaiya Kumar because he is a metaphor for everybody who wants to fight against injustice, the deep state that is trying to crush him without evidence.

Because, the Kanhaiya in each one of us wants to go out and raise slogans seeking azaadi from all the evils that plague us and the country we love. Because, like Kanhaiya, we want azaadi from the anti-nationals who demean our country with malignant politics.

Because, we want to stand with our courts when they hear our voice every time anti-nationals threaten our Constitution by attacking the rights guaranteed in it. Because, we want to stand with our lawyers who rose above past loyalties and ideologies to defend Kanhaiya.

Because, the symbolism of Soli Sorabjee, the jurist who served as India’s Advocate General in the Atal Behari Vajpayee government, leading the fight for Kanhaiya Kumar’s rights and freedom against a government led by the BJP erases the blot that some goons in black coats put on the nation with their violence and humiliation of the law of the land.

Because, not everything is lost even if some of our institutions and politicians are afflicted with the malaise of bigotry, rabble-rousing and divisive politics. Yes, they are sick because of the viruses that gnaw at their conscience, eat their moral fibre. But, the real India, its democratic institutions, its civil society, its courts, lawyers–not the thugs who take law in their own hand but who fight for it– wants to ensure that this sick fringe either remains where it is or gets well soon.

Because, we want to show not all of our media is unhinged, it has not gone off the pivots of morality, accountability and rationality. It is still dominated by people who, instead of screaming, shouting, demanding answers they believe the country wants to know from TV studios, search for the truth on the ground, among real people, and then stand by it even when beaten, ridiculed and shouted-down in its quest. It is still dominated by journalists who write what they see, not what they concoct, distort and manufacture.

Because, the youth of this country is still the voice of our collective conscience. When the time comes, they still have the moral and physical courage to come out on the streets to take on the enemies of India, speak the truth, tell us, like those brave ABVP students did, hooliganism is not nationalism.

Because, we want our children to get educated in liberal, democratic schools, colleges and universities, not in shakhas or dark rooms of ultra conservatism.

Because the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, his principle of Ahimsa still thrive in this country. Because, even when beaten under the gaze of cops, provoked with violence, its students, teachers and civil society fight back with words, flowers and prayers for the well-being of their misguided assailants.

In today’s edition, The Guardian calls the fight for Kanhaiya Kumar a watershed moment for India. “So what is really at stake here? In short, it is a struggle between those who would lay claim to India as a democratic, heterogeneous, inclusive and at least incipiently egalitarian national project, and those for whom nationalism has devolved into a lethal cocktail of aggressive religious assertion and equally ferocious unbridled capitalist growth, where neither the body count nor widening inequality indices matter,” it argues.

Because, the struggle has begun. And the Rohith Vemulas, Kanhaiya Kumars and other sons and daughters of India are going to win it.

Because, we are India.

Kerala Minister offers unconditional apology to HC over derogatory remarks made against judge

Kerala Culture Minister K C Joseph on Tuesday tendered an “unconditional and unqualified apology” before the Kerala High Court for derogatory remarks made by him against a judge of the court.The Minister, who was ordered to be present before the Court on Tuesday, informed it through an affidavit filed by his counsel, that he could not make it due to the ongoing budget session of Kerala assembly.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The division bench, comprising Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice Sunil Thomas, said the apology will be considered only after his personal appearance before the court. Considering the criminal contempt case filed against him on the issue, the High Court directed the personal appearance of Joseph on March 1.On February 2, the bench had passed the order on a petition by V Sivankutty, MLA, who alleged that the Minister had committed criminal contempt by making derogatory remarks against Justice Alexander Thomas who had criticised the style of functioning of the Advocate General’s office.In an affidavit filed before the High Court, Joseph said “I have utmost respect for this hon’ble court and as a law- abiding citizen, I have no intention to bring disrepute to the instituion of judiciary or any individual judge.” He said the expressions used by him in the Facebook post were not intended to make any slanderous remarks against the judicial system or cause insinuation against a particular judge or to the system as a whole.”I have always maintained the highest respect for the institution of judiciary and have never attempted to offend the majesty of law, undermine dignity of courts or obstruct the administration of justice.””I hereby tender unconditional and unqualified apology before this Honourable court and pray that the Honourable Court may be pleased to accept my apology and drop all further proceedings in contempt against me,” he said in his affidavit.The Minister had made the remarks in a Facebook post in July last while reacting to the Judge’s observations.

Jats continue stir in Haryana; road, rail traffic disrupted

Rail and road traffic was again affected in Rohtak-Jhajjar region on Tuesday as the Jats intensified their ongoing protest demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutions under OBC category.The members of Jat community blocked the highways and other roads in Rohtak-Jhajjar region and also extended their protest to Sonipat and other parts. The protesters had earlier blocked the NH-10 passing through Sampla town in Rohtak district.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rail traffic on the Rohtak-Delhi section has taken a hit in the wake of agitation with many trains diverted, a railways official said on Tuesday. Agitating Jats said they want the government to take concrete steps to fulfill their demand.”We do not want hollow promises and false assurances. We want the government to come out with a concrete action plan,” a Jat protester in Ismaila village in Rohtak district said.On Monday, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had said that the four-member committee constituted by his government on the reservation issue demanded by the Jats in government jobs, would submit its report by March 31. He had also appealed to the protesters to clear the blockade and end protest.On February 9, the state government had formed a committee comprising Chief Secretary D S Dhesi, Principal Secretary, Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes T C Gupta, Principal Secretary (Industries) Devender Singh and a representative from the office of the Haryana Advocate General to examine the issue in detail.Opposition party INLD has extended its support to agitating Jats and blamed the BJP government for not being able to address the Jat reservation issue appropriately.

Chief Justice to assign PIL against Mayawati’s bungalow: Allahabad High Court

Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court has directed that a plea against merger and allotment of bungalows to former Chief Minister Mayawati be placed before Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud so that it can be assigned to an appropriate bench.

“The question of merger, as pointed out by the learned Additional Advocate General, is not directly an issue before the larger bench, but in order to remove all doubts, we hereby direct that this matter be placed before the Chief Justice for nomination of appropriate bench,” the court ordered.

BSP chief Mayawati. ReutersBSP chief Mayawati. Reuters

BSP chief Mayawati. Reuters

A division bench of justices Satyendra Singh Chauhan and Ritu Raj Awasthi issued the order yesterday while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by M L Yadav in 2013 seeking CBI probe into this matter.

On behalf of the state government, AAG Bulbul Godiyal pointed out that identical matters were engaging the attention of a larger bench which had been constituted under the orders of the Supreme Court. Earlier, the court had given one last opportunity to the state government counsel on his request to file supplementary affidavit on information regarding merger of any other government bungalows in Lucknow.

It had also directed the petitioner to do more research and find out as to how many other bungalows had been merged in Lucknow as was done in bungalow allotment to Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati.

The petitioner sought a direction that all the records of bungalows in Mall Avenue be produced and it be made clear under which procedure/channel the houses were allegedly merged and alloted to Mayawati.

He also sought a direction for a detailed inquiry by an independent agency like CBI in the matter.


No immediate plan to acquire land for metro: Gujarat govt tells HC

In a temporary relief to residents of Vejalpur area in Ahmedabad, Gujarat government on Wednesday told the High Court that it has no immediate plan to acquire land from the area for the proposed North-South corridor of metro rail project.After the government’s assurance, the Gujarat High Court bench of Justices Harsha Devani and G B Shah kept the further hearing in the case for February 2. On behalf of the government, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi sought more time to respond in detail about other contentions raised by Vejalpur residents earlier.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government told the court on Wednesday that it would take a couple of months for the actual construction to start by the Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA) Company and hence there is no need for residents to panic at present.Government’s reply came following a petition filed last week by 22 residents of Vejalpur, who alleged that acquisition of their properties, including houses and shops, by MEGA is not in accordance with Land Acquisition Act, 2013. These 22 petitioners are the residents of two societies located near Jivraj over-bridge in Vejalpur area from where the North-South elevated corridor starts.The petitioners claimed that they will lose their houses and shops due to the metro project in that area.In their petition, these residents claimed that state-owned MEGA, which is undertaking the project of metro rail, is not ready to provide anything beyond the cash compensation against the acquisition of their properties, which is a violation of new Land Act.According to petitioners, in addition to the cash compensation, resettlement and rehabilitation were also a part of the original scheme of compensation. However, MEGA had told them recently that rehabilitation and resettlement is not part of compensation, the petition said.Further, the petitioners claim that the Social Impact Assessment Study, conducted by two agencies for MEGA, is not accurate and not conducted as per the provisions of Land Acquisition Act.

Chauhan, who supplied arms to Sanjay Dutt, moves HC against cancellation of his remission

Accused of supplying weapons to actor Sanjay Dutt and the co-accused in the 1993 bomb blast case, Ibrahim Moosa Chauhan, has approached the Bombay High Court after his remission in sentence, granted on account of good conduct, was cancelled. Chauhan was supposed to be released in November last year based on the remission, but is now languishing in the prison.Chauhan,who was convicted and sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment, in his petition filed through Advocate Farhana Shah, claimed that the decision of the deputy inspector general (Prisons) was “without applying judicious mind and with a malafide intention”. Chauhan also claimed that he is being targetted because of his bomb blast accused tag.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chauhan was found guilty of supplying weapons to Dutt and co-accused Salim Sheikh. His sentence was later upheld by the Supreme Court.After he surrendered in 2013 and lodged at Nashik prison, Chauhan was assigned the work of ‘kundi cleaning’ which involves gardening,cleaning toilets, water tank cleaning etc. Over a period of time, he accumulated remission and because of his good conduct and work done,he was granted 80 days’ special remission, based on which he was towalk out free in November, last year. However, when he returned tothe prison after his parole on November 24, he was handed over anorder stating that his special remission has been cancelled.Shah said the cancelling of remission was based on a statement by a jail inmate who was not from his prison yard, that Chauhan had not done his assigned work properly. She said though Chauhan petitioned that the “illegal order” be set aside and he be released immediately,the plea was not granted.Chauhan was alleged to have – along with other accused, including gangster Abu Salem – visited Dutt on January 15, 1993 and informed him that they would deliver him the weapons the following day. Later, a large number of arms and ammunition that were delivered were taken away,except an AK-47 rifle, which was found in the possession of Dutt, for which he was convicted.

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