The killing of a wild sambar deer in 1998 has had to be buried 15 years on with the death of the veterinary doctor who identified the animal. What this means is that the six of the accused – the seventh one is dead – will get away scot free, thanks to the forest department sleeping for 12 years before filing a chargesheet.
Pawan Chandra Shetty, counsel of Prakash Shetty, the accused
A division bench of the High Court on Monday ruled that two minor children would live with their father and their maternal grandparents would have the rights to only visit them. That should have been the end of the case. However, the two families were involved in an ugly spat outside the court and almost came to blows in the presence of the children. Despite the best efforts of their advocates the warring parties left the court on a bitter note.
He is a senior Supreme Court lawyer who had fought the Indira Gandhi assassination case and the son of former Election Commissioner G V G Krishnamurthy. Yet, it took G Venkatesh Rao 12 long years to get a tenant evicted from his property in Indiranagar. The litigation proved costly, for Rao spent Rs 35 lakh, fought 15 cases and lost Rs 1.5 crore in rents and fell into debt.
SATTUPALLY (KHAMMAM): A junior civil judge from Khammam district was booked for allegedly trying to outrage the modesty of his domestic help here on Wednesday. Following a complaint by the 24-year-old woman, a case under Section 354 ( attempt to rape) of IPC was registered against additional first class judicial magistrate Kuravath Balachander.
Town deputy superintendent of police K Rangan Goud told TOI that the complainant alleged that the magistrate attempted to outrage her modesty while she was working in his house on the morning of February 17.
The DSP said they will investigate the matter from all angles.
The woman, who had been working at the magistrate’s residence for some time, said Balachander called her to his room and asked her to fulfill his carnal desire. When she refused, Balachander allegedly dragged her into his bedroom.
The woman, however, managed to flee from the house.
Mustering courage after her relatives and villagers convinced her to file a complaint, the woman, a resident of Langapally village in Pinabelly mandal, approached the town police on Tuesday.
Sources said some police officials tried to convince the woman and her relatives to take back her complaint but in vain. Meanwhile, Balachander has gone on leave from Wednesday afternoon.
The Kerala High Court on Tuesday held that relief under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 could be sought against domestic violence that took place before the Act came into force.
Justice S.S. Satheesachandran, while dismissing a revision petition against a magistrate court’s order, observed that the definition of a “shared household,” as covered by Section 2(s) of the Act, clearly spelt out that it meant a “household where a person aggrieved lives, or at any stage has lived, in a domestic relationship with the respondent.” This indicated that even in respect of domestic violence committed before the Act came into force, relief under the Act could be sought.
The petitioner contended that alleged assault on his wife took place before the Act came into force. Therefore, the magistrate court’s order was unsustainable, the husband had contended.
The advocate commissioners appointed by the High Court to study the functioning of plywood manufacturing factories in Perumbavoor, Kothamangalam, and Muvattupuzha have suggested that prime importance be accorded to the welfare of migrant workers in these factories.
In a report submitted to the court, the commissioners, S. Subash Chand and Pinkku Thaliyath, said the waste generated by these factories should be scientifically treated. They recommended employment of staff with technical knowledge in the factories and suggested that periodic monitoring of the noise level at these factories by the Kerala Pollution Control Board was essential. The percolation of contaminated water, arising out of mixing of saw dust and rainwater, into nearby waterbodies should be prevented.
The commissioners were appointed when a writ petition filed by the residents of Vengola in Perumbavoor, seeking to prevent the pollution being caused by a plywood factory, and another one filed by the plywood factory owners, seeking no-objection certificates from the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, came up for hearing.
Attacked by Justice Soumitra Sen for wrongly recommending his impeachment, former Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan today said there is no doubt about the Calcutta High Court Judge’s guilt.
“There was ample proof against him. Many committees found him guilty. Though the impeachment is a sad chapter in our judicial history, he left us with no alternative. He was throughout trying to mislead everybody,” Justice Balakrishnan told The Indian Express.
As CJI, it was Justice Balakrishnan who had recommended Sen’s impeachment in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on August 4, 2008.
Presenting his defence before the Rajya Sabha on August 18, Sen had accused Balakrishnan of wrongly recommending his impeachment despite lack of proof. On the contrary, he had added, the former CJI had swept serious charges against other Judges under the carpet.
Justice Sen had also alleged that Balakrishnan and two other seniormost Judges of the apex court — Justices B N Agrawal and Ashok Bhan — had asked him to take VRS so that he could be adjusted in some public sector undertaking.
Asked about this, the ex-CJI said: “What VRS? And, how could we offer to get him a job in some PSU? Where is our power to get something like this done? On 16th March, 2008, I called him to my house where Justice Agrawal and Justice Bhan were also present. We reiterated the advice given to him to submit his resignation or seek voluntary retirement. We told him that with the kind of charges against him, while it may not be possible for him to return to active practice, he could always try for a job in the public sector. However, on March 26, 2008, he wrote to me, expressing his inability to tender resignation or take voluntary retirement. It was then that I wrote to Prime Minister.”
Asked for his reaction to Justice Sen’s claim that the “in-house” procedure was unconstitutional, Justice Balakrishnan said the procedure had been adopted by the Supreme Court and high courts.
On whether he agreed with the unanimous opinion of the political class — as was evident from the Rajya Sabha debate on Sen’s impeachment — that the collegium system of appointment of judges had failed, Balakrishnan said: “They can have an opinion. Let them try another system.”
The former CJI also disclosed that in light of the fact that Sen, whose conduct as a lawyer left much to be desired, became a Judge, the collegium changed the performa that lawyers being considered for elevation to the Bench had to fill. “While earlier, lawyers had to give details only about cases, if any, against them or conviction, after Justice Sen’s experience, we changed the performa. Now we ask them to also inform us if they had ever been appointed receiver by any court and if they were keeping any monies with regard to that receivership. Also, if they were in any litigation about the receivership or any loan,” said Balakrishnan.
CUTTACK: The High Court on Friday directed the Orissa Police Association, Orissa Havildar, Constable and Sepoy Confederation and All Orissa Judicial Officers’ Association to restrain themselves from going on strike or rallying in connection with the alleged police assault on a judicial magistrate at Rourkela.
The court directed all the three associations not to take law into their own hands as the matter is sub-judice. The high court bench comprising Chief Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice B N Mohapatra also directed the associations not to make any statement before the media in the matter until further orders from the court.
The directive followed a PIL filed by a lawyer Dayanidhi Lenka, seeking a probe against the erring police official.
The court’s direction came in wake of the recent statements made by police associations that they will go on strike demanding revocation of the suspension order of their colleague. CUTTACK: The High Court on Friday directed the Orissa Police Association, Orissa Havildar, Constable and Sepoy Confederation and All Orissa Judicial Officers’ Association to restrain themselves from going on strike or rallying in connection with the alleged police assault on a judicial magistrate at Rourkela.
The court directed all the three associations not to take law into their own hands as the matter is sub-judice. The high court bench comprising Chief Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice B N Mohapatra also directed the associations not to make any statement before the media in the matter until further orders from the court.
The directive followed a PIL filed by a lawyer Dayanidhi Lenka, seeking a probe against the erring police official.
The court’s direction came in wake of the recent statements made by police associations that they will go on strike demanding revocation of the suspension order of their colleague.
CUTTACK: The alleged assault on a judicial magistrate by a police officer at Rourkela took a new twist on Monday, with the members of high court bar association refusing to take up the case of Orissa Police Association and Orissa Havildar, Constable and Sepoys’ Confederation in the high court.
In its hearing to a PIL, seeking probe in the matter and demanding stringent action against the erring police officer, the high court on April 9 directed the warring organizations — Orissa Police Association and Orissa Havildar, Constable, Sepoys’ Confederation, Orissa Judicial Officers Association and Orissa High Court Bar Association to file counters in the matter on Monday. But since no lawyer agreed to take up the matter, the secretaries of the respective police and constable association had to submit their affidavit to the court in person.
In the affidavit, the police associations had mentioned that they have approached many lawyers to take up their case in the court. But all of them had refused. So they were forced to file the affidavit themselves. “We informed the court that no lawyers were ready to argue the case in our favour. So, the court has granted us one week’s time to appoint a lawyer for ourselves,” said Sunil Mohanty, secretary of Orissa Police association.
Meanwhile, the Orissa judicial officers’ association and the Orissa High Court Bar Association had submitted their reply in the matter. “The police associations had pleaded in court to allot a lawyer to them since no one was ready to represent them in the case. However, the court declined and granted them one week’s time to appoint a lawyer for themselves. The matter will be heard next week,” said petitioner and lawyer Dayanidhi Lenka.
CUTTACK: A judicial commission led by retired high court judge Justice A S Naidu on Saturday started its probe into the alleged assault of a judicial magistrate in Rourkela by a police officer.
Various stakeholders of the case including the Rourkela bar association, the state government, judicial magistrate Arun Pattnaik and D N Lenka, who had filed the PIL in the judge assault case in the high court, appeared before the commission at its first through their counsels.
JMFC Arun Kumar Patnaik was allegedly assaulted by local police inspector Sadananda Pujari on April 2. The incident had evoked a state-wide protest by the lawyers, including that of the high court here, which paralyzed judicial activities in the State for over a week. After this, the state government had formed a judicial commission to probe into the matter.
After hearing the counsels of the various parties on Saturday, the commission has decided to visit Rourkela on September 3. In the meantime the commission has received 36 affidavits in the matter. However, the state government has sought one week’s time to file its affidavit in the matter and the commission granted it.
“A stipulated time of three months has been granted to the commission to complete the probe. We will try our best to complete the hearing of the matter within the stipulated period,” said K N Panigrahi, secretary of the commission.
CHANDIGARH: Acting on a petition filed by Justice Nirmal Yadav who apprehended her arrest in the cash-in-bag scam, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday stayed her arrest in the case. The court has however asked her to first appear before the special CBI court Chandigarh, where she has been chargesheeted for corruption charges, to furnish the bail bond.
The directions were passed by Justice Permod Kohli of the HC while hearing her bail petition. While claiming her innocence in the case, Justice Yadav submitted before the court that she had been falsely implicated by the CBI, bureaucrats and politicians who made her a scapegoat because her brother was a minister in the Haryana government.
Expressing surprise over the charge sheet submitted by the CBI against her, Justice Yadav submitted that she always performed her duties honestly.
HC also issued notice to the CBI asking it to respond the contentions raised by Yadav.
Noted lawyer Anupam Gupta who was also present in the courtroom, accepted the notice on behalf of the CBI. Advocate Gupta has been recently designated as special public prosecutor by the CBI to contest the case before the trial court against Justice Yadav.
The scandal came to fore after a clerk, allegedly sent by the then Additional Advocate General of Haryana Sajeev Bansal, dropped the money at the official residence of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur on August 13, 2008. Justice Kaur said to have reported the matter to the local police about an attempt to bribe her with a briefcase containing Rs 15 lakh in cash.
When the matter was investigated by the CBI and an in-house panel of three judges appointed by the Supreme Court (SC), Justice Yadav was held responsible for irregular purchase of land at Solan.
In its report, the CBI found that Justice Nirmal Yadav required Rs 15 lakh on August 13, 2008 for financing the purchase of 11.01 bighas of land at village Rihun, Pargana Baholi of Solan District in Himachal Pradesh.
On March 4 this year, the CBI filed a charge sheet against advocate Sanjeev Bansal, Delhi based hotelier Ravinder Bhasin, Justice Nirmal Yadav, Chandigarh based businessman Rajiv Gupta and Nirmal Singh. At present, the trial of the case is pending with the special CBI court Chandigarh. Justice Nirmal Yadav is evading appearance before the court for one or the other reason and the special court has recently directed to paste court summons outside her residence.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notices on a petition filed by Justice (retd) Nirmal Yadav – chargesheeted in the judge bribery case – seeking anticipatory bail.
The court made it clear in the garb of anticipatory bail, she cannot seek exemption from personal appearance. The court told Yadav’s counsel not to play tricks, but said Yadav would be granted bail after she appears in the trial court.
Yadav’s counsel undertook to appear before trial court on August 27.
Terming herself a “scapegoat” because her brother is a Cabinet minister in Haryana, Nirmal Yadav had submitted she has been “falsely implicated”’ by politicians, bureaucrats and the CBI.
As reported first by The Indian Express, Nirmal Yadav has sought anticipatory bail apprehending arrest by the CBI.
This is arguably for the first time that a retired judge of the HC has moved a court seeking anticipatory bail.
In a sharply worded petition, running into 225 pages, Justice Yadav has taken a dig at the CBI for raising a question mark on the judicial system. She has submitted that this act of the CBI is “contemptuous”. She has for the first time taken such grounds to seek relief from the court. Yadav has questioned: “Will the CBI now teach courts how to decide cases in urgent, motion or ordinary?” This ground has been taken in response to a finding given by the CBI in the chargesheet that Yadav had advanced the date of a case to decide it in the favour of a co-accused. In yet another ground, she has submitted that prior to investigating officer Ramnish, a DSP with the CBI, couple of other investigating officers had given a clean chit to the case.
Submitting she had decided a case on February 4, 2008 on merits and not with the intention to favour any individual, Yadav has stated that the CBI cannot look into the said case which has been formed as the basis of the chargesheet in the judge bribery case.
The CBI, in the chargesheet filed in March, had stated that Yadav had demanded Rs 15 lakh to decide the case in favour of a client represented by Sanjiv Bansal, a co-accused and former Additional Advocate General of Haryana.
Yadav has also annexed a valuation report given by the Income Tax Department to justify that the land purchased in Solan, Himachal Pradesh, by her was legally justified and that it was not undervalued. The purchase had come under the scanner of the CBI.
Yadav has said a special court of the CBI was not competent to look into whether the prosecution sanction denied by the President was faulty. In her petition she has submitted that she was “surprised” to learn that she had been chargesheeted. She has contended that she had performed her duties honestly.
NEW DELHI: The 40-hour standoff between Anna Hazare and the government ended on Thursday, with the Gandhian leader agreeing that his fast would not exceed 15 days. The Hazare group also clearly indicated that it is ready to drop its insistence over a key sticking point on inclusion of the higher judiciary within the ambit of the proposed Lokpal law.
Team Anna might consider dropping the contentious demand to bring the judiciary in the anti-corruption ombudsman’s jurisdiction if the government delivers on a strong judicial accountability bill. The inclusion of higher judiciary has been opposed by both the government and main opposition party BJP on the ground that it would affect the independence of the courts.
There is also a possibility that the Hazare group and the government might be able to find middle ground on another important demand relating to including the prime minister in the law’s jurisdiction.
If the government’s plans for a Judicial Accountability and Standards Bill meet the expectations of the activists, judicial probity need not be addressed by the Lokpal, said Anna’s associate Arvind Kejriwal. “If a strong judicial accountability bill is brought to Parliament, we are open to excluding this from the Lokpal,” he said.
Hazare’s associates sealed a deal with Delhi police early on Thursday morning and Kejriwal said Anna’s fast would not continue beyond 15 days. “It depends on how the government responds to the demands put before it,” he said. This was echoed by another key member of Team Anna, Kiran Bedi, who said the Gandhian would fast as long as his medical examiners, including Dr Naresh Trehan, felt he should.
Clauses of the undertaking that Team Anna has agreed to and which were part of the original terms include – no damage to public property; gathering will not exceed the limit of the ground; the crowd will not spill over to nearby roads; protesters will cooperate with traffic police; loud speaker use within the ambit of a Supreme Court order setting a 10 pm limit.
Team Anna, however, is insistent that the Lokpal must be able to probe the Prime Minister. “The PM has to be in the ambit of the Lokpal,” Kejriwal said. There is a possibility of this demand being conceded as unlike in the case of higher judiciary, BJP and Left parties differ with the government with the Opposition backing the activists.
Government sources felt the inclusion of the PM’s office with riders like excluding decisions relating to national security and foreign policy can be considered by the standing committee examining the Lokpal bill. It is a bargaining chip the government can use. At the Cabinet meeting that cleared the bill, four ministers supported Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s view that examination of an incumbent PM is better than an inquiry after he demits office.
Indications from both camps point to the likelihood of another round of negotiations or at least exchange of proposals with the government still opposed to Team Anna’s demand for a large bureaucratic structure and inclusion of lower-level officials in the law’s ambit. The government sees Lokpal as an institution to specifically combat corruption in high places.
Speaking to TOI, lawyer Prashant Bhushan said the core committee of India against Corruption was meeting on Friday to discuss the demands. “The matter will be discussed in the core committee then.” Sources said while the group has been militant about its demands, it would soon decide on the inclusion of judiciary.
Team Anna’s statements gain significance as they come at a time when they have won a battle of wills with the Centre after a 40-hour standoff. The breakthrough came in the small hours on Thursday after Anna associates met Delhi Police commissioner B K Gupta, and reached an agreement.
The other clauses are arrangements for drinking water, medical aid, mobile toilets, proper lighting; no carrying of lathis or weapons; no provocative slogans or speeches; no inflammatory slogans within 200 meters of religious or worship places; care to be taken of public safety and no use of crackers.
Medical examination of Anna and those who will keep fast along with him will be conducted by government doctors thrice a day, while Team Anna promised to abide by the April 16, 2009, order of the Supreme Court which stipulated rules and regulations for public protests.
Although the motion has to be adopted by Lok Sabha, the outcome may not be different, considering the support of all major political parties for Sen’s removal from the Calcutta High Court. The timing of the debate: coming at a time when Parliament’s will and capacity to fight corruption has been questioned, also virtually ensures that Justice Sen will be the first judge to be removed.
In the Rajya Sabha, the motion was carried by 189 votes in support and 17 against — thus meeting the requirement that the vote should be supported by two-thirds of members present with the turnout in the House not less than half the total strength.
Support for Sen came from BSP which in a surprise last-minute move decided to break ranks from the rest. Members of Trinamool Congress absented themselves, in what was perhaps a move to align itself with any sympathy for Sen in Bengal.
Lok Saba will take debate the matter for two days from August 24.
This is the first time that a motion for removal of an HC judge has been successful in any House of Parliament. In 1993, the motion to remove Justice V Ramasami failed in Lok Sabha as the judge reached an understanding with the P V Narasimha Rao government that he would quit if he was spared the embarrassment of being removed.
Sen, who valiantly defended himself, has decided not to take the Ramasami route. The outgoing judge, who declared in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that he was not a quitter, told TOI after the motion was passed that he would defend himself in Lok Sabha as well.
After a powerful presentation on Wednesday which he concluded by saying that he was fighting for his life and existence, Sen seemed to have almost carried the day before leader of opposition Arun Jaitley blasted holes in his defence. The judge was perhaps also handicapped by timing of the debate. With corruption having acquired an unprecedented resonance, MPs cutting across party lines were loath to leave any room for the perception of being soft on sleaze. “Apart from other things, he is also the victim of timing”, remarked a senior Cabinet minister, saying that many judges had got away with worse.
The political class’s resentment over “judicial overreach” formed another sub-text of the debate, with speakers using the debate to ask judiciary not to encroach on the domain of the legislature and the executive.
As a matter of fact, while moving the motion, CPM’s Sitaram Yechury had suggested that the impeachment motion was an opportunity for Rajya Sabha to signal its tough anti-corruption intent.
Sen skillfully latched on to the argument to say that should not be showcased for cleansing the judiciary. “Judge my case on the basis of facts,” he said.
Unfortunately for him, the House overwhelmingly felt that facts established his guilt.
The sympathy for Sen that was evident on Wednesday was missing on Thursday as the House resumed the debate on the impeachment motion. Picking up from where he had left on Wednesday evening, Jaitley argued that Sen’s case qualified for “proven misconduct” – the ground laid down under the Judges Inquiry Act for the removal of a judge.
With the exception of BSP’s Satish Mishra, all the speakers rebutted Sen’s defence: that the charge of misconduct dated to the period when he was not a judge; that he had done no misappropriation as alleged; that he was not heard; and that he was the victim of a conspiracy hatched by former Chief Justice of India K J Balakrishnan.
The cross-party sentiment favouring the impeachment was evident from the way Prime Minsiter Manmohan Singh sat through the proceedings on both days. The mistrust and rancour between the government and opposition was put on pause for two days. After the voting, Singh walked up to Yechury and thanked him for “upholding the original values of the republic”. He also endorsed Jaitley’s remark that judiciary could not be allowed to make policies.
The subterranean anger of the political class against the judiciary could be seen as speaker after speaker questioned the system of judges appointing judges and demanded the setting up of a National Judicial Commission.
He relies on technicalities, not on substance: Jaitley
The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday listened in rapt attention to a nearly two-hour defence Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court put up against his impeachment.
As the members assembled at 3 p.m., Chairman Hamid Ansari asked the marshals to bring Justice Sen to the bar of the House. Two crisp sentences from Mr. Ansari — “Is Justice Sen in attendance? Bring him to the bar of the House” — began the first-ever impeachment proceedings before the Rajya Sabha.
Justice Sen’s observations were preceded by the mover of the resolution and senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) member, Sitaram Yechury, detailing why the Rajya Sabha, for the first time in its history, decided to impeach a judge.
After Justice Sen presented his defence, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley made out an equally forceful case for his impeachment, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior Ministers listening to both sides. The debate was inconclusive, and will continue on Thursday. It will be followed by voting.
By turns emotional and arguing on the facts of law, Justice Sen contended that he was being made a “sacrificial lamb” to cleanse the judiciary and said he had “exhausted my remedies in accordance with law. I have come here to seek justice. If you impeach me, it will be the gravest of injustice done ever. Kindly apply your mind before deciding on the judgment, as it is a question of my life.”
Mr. Yechury’s motion was supported by Mr. Jaitley, with both contending that the judge should be removed for misappropriating money when he was the Receiver of the Calcutta High Court and for misrepresenting facts about the misuse of the money.
Justice Sen said: “The decision to hold me guilty was taken long time back” and without naming anyone, took potshots at the former Supreme Court Chief Justice, K.G. Balakrishanan, who had sought a deeper probe against the judge in a letter to the Prime Minister.
He also argued that his conduct as a judge was never under examination. The allegations of misappropriation against him were in his capacity as Receiver of the High Court and not as a judge.
Moving two motions, Mr. Yechury said he was doing so with a “deep sense of anguish and the move was not against the judiciary, which we hold in high esteem, but against a judge for his misbehaviour.”
If Justice Sen appeared to have garnered sympathy among journalists who had packed the press gallery, this was offset when Mr. Jaitley took on the judge for relying on technicalities rather than substance.
Pressing his point, the noted lawyer pointed out that not once did the judge, then an advocate, file the return of accounts for the money he had collected. He usurped the money deposited in a bank and issued several cheques to individuals besides withdrawing money against several self-cheques. Money received from another liquidated company was also withdrawn, and when the time came to repay it, he made good the shortfall by transferring money from the first account.
When a judge passed strictures, Justice Sen did not dispute them. A few twists and turns later, the Chief Justice of India appointed a three-member probe panel, which agreed with the single judge that Justice Sen’s defence was inadequate. Justice Sen turned down the CJI’s request to resign, leading to 58 MPs moving a motion for his removal. A Rajya Sabha inquiry committee also concluded that he was guilty of “proven misconduct.”
“A judge has to lead by example. A judge cannot rely on technicalities and try to escape the rigours of law. Litigants cannot be judged by a judge who himself is stigmatised. The defence of Justice Sen has thus to be rejected,” Mr. Jaitley said.
Facing impeachment for alleged graft, Justice P.D. Dinakaran, who had resigned as Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court barely a fortnight ago, wants to withdraw his resignation and has written to the President about his move.
In a letter to President Pratibha Patil, Justice Dinakaran has expressed his desire to withdraw his resignation.
The letter is being processed by the Department of Justice in the Law Ministry, sources in the government said.
Officials pointed that in Presidential appointments, once the resignation is sent it is accepted automatically and according to some judicial pronouncements and past precedents, it cannot be withdrawn.
Judges of High Courts and the Supreme Court are appointed by the President.
Soon after his resignation, Justice Sonam Phintso Wangdi was appointed as the acting Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court.
Facing impeachment on charges of corruption and judicial misconduct, Justice Dinakaran had resigned on July 29, a day ahead of the hearing of the three-member inquiry committee appointed by the Rajya Sabha Chairman to probe charges of land grabbing and acquiring of assets disproportionate to his income.
Justice Dinakaran had failed to get any relief from the Supreme Court after various attempts to stymie the committee proceedings did not succeed.
Former judge Mukesh Rao had illegally installed a blue beacon on his private vehicle. The blue beacon was confiscated by the police and Rao was challaned Rs 100 for the violation.
Sources said that a team of traffic cops, along with DCP (traffic) Bharti Arora, was on a vigilence drive at IFFCO Chowk on Monday morning. At the same time, Rao’s silver coloured Alto, bearing registration number HR51 – AA 6501, was crossing the Chowk and was stopped for inspection.
Rao initially opposed the challan, saying that being a judge, he was authorized to use a blue beacon. However, on verification, it was found that Rao had been dismissed from his job a few months ago and was no longer allowed to move around with a beacon.
Rao was dismissed from the post of judicial magistrate this year by a bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court after he was found guilty in a case. Sources said Rao was on probation when he was dismissed.
Beacons are widely misused as a symbol of influence in Gurgaon. A senior police officer admitted that over 70% of beacon users in the city are not authorized to install them.
That’s not it. Many, who are authorized to use blue beacons, have installed red ones only to show off their importance. He added that all such so-called high profile people will be challaned and the beacons will be confiscated. DCP Arora said the traffic police are launching a drive against the widespread misuse of red and blue beacons from August 16.
AHMEDABAD: A division bench of the Gujarat high court turned down a man’s plea to scale down the alimony to his estranged wife, after it learnt that the man had bought a luxury car.
Dharmesh Desai’s wife Hetal had moved the family court in Surat seeking divorce in 2009 and sought maintenance. The court asked Desai to give her Rs 3,000 every month till the divorce was settled. Hetal found the amount meager and moved the high court.
The single-judge bench took up the case and increased the maintenance amount from Rs 3,000 to Rs 7,500. However, the high court took notice of the fact that the lower court did not ask Desai to pay a penny to couple’s daughter, who was studying in Class XII. The high court on its own decided for fix the amount and accordingly asked Desai to pay Rs 10,000 every month towards the girl’s education.
Desai, who owns two shops in Surat and is engaged in the business of home appliances, challenged this order of payment of Rs 17,500 every month before a division bench stating that this amount is too much for him. He argued that the high court awarded maintenance amount for the daughter, event though his wife did not seek it before the trial court.
During the proceeding, Desai proposed one time settlement at payment of Rs 8 lakh on condition that his wife would withdraw all cases and the divorce petition would be converted to the petition for divorce by mutual consent. The woman agreed, but in the next proceeding Desai’s counsel told the court that she would not be withdrawing from the case because the man had gone back on his word.
Another lawyer appeared for Desai and argued that he did not have sufficient income to pay a huge amount to his separated wife and daughter. In the meanwhile, it was brought to the court’s notice that Desai had just purchased a brand new car worth Rs 6 lakh. This led the division bench to dismiss his appeal with observation that if he could buy a car, he could pay for her minor daughter’s education that is costly these days.
BANGALORE: It was a battle for the custody of a four-year-old boy. While the mother complained that her ex-husband was not letting her to even talk to her son, the boy clung to the father during the hearing in the high court on Thursday.
In the end, the division bench headed by Justice N Ananda asked the authorities to counsel all the three at the Makkala Sahayavani (childline) to find a solution and adjourned the hearing to August 12.
“I have never seen a child turn away from its mother. You have to make up your mind with a hard heart. We cannot pass an order and hand over the child in such a situation,” the bench observed after the boy rushed to his father’s arms.
The mother complained to the court that her ex-husband had changed the sim card 10 times and was not letting her talk to her son.
Vaishnavi (name changed) has filed a habeas corpus petition claiming that her Delhi based ex-husband kidnapped her son on July 15. She had married in Libya in April 2006 and the same was registered in Bangalore in September 2006. The boy was born in March 2007. After learning that her husband had married before, Vaishnavi filed a complaint against him.
HC warns doctor who married second time without divorcing first wife that suo motu action can be taken against him
Posted On Thursday, August 04, 2011 at 10:41:52 PM
Dr Jahnavi Mishra (30) filed a habeas corpus for her missing four-year-old son, Gaurav, in the High Court of Karnataka on July 20. Acting on the court’s order, the police presented the child, along with his father, Dr Anuj Mishra, before the division bench of Justice N Ananda and Justice V Suri Appa Rao on Thursday. What followed was an embarrassing family drama which made a livid bench tell Arun, “You are not a doctor. You are a criminal…”
Jahnavi is from Bangalore and Anuj from Delhi. They met while both were practising in Libya, and tied the knot there in 2006. Returning to India a few weeks later, they married again at the Gandhinagar sub-registrar’s office in Bangalore.
Jahnavi went for higher education in the UK, leaving Gaurav with Anuj. She returned earlier this year, and the three started living together again.
But after a few months, on July 15, Anuj left home with Gaurav, leaving behind a note that said he was taking the child to Chennai. Jahnavi waited a few days expecting him to return, then moved the high court.
On Thursday, when Anuj and Gaurav were presented in the court by the police, Justice Ananda and Justice Appa Rao said that the child should be returned to Jahnavi. After ascertaining that the child’s age was four years and four months, the bench said, “We cannot go against the law. A mother is the best person to know what is good and what is bad for a child.”
Taken aback, the bench lashed out at Arun: “We do not understand this. What type of a combination is this? It was a joke for us, the American saying, ‘Your child and my child are playing with our child.’ Now, we are seeing it in front of our eyes in the courtroom. What is your lifestyle? You have committed bigamy. I wonder if you have even brought your first wife to court.”
When Anuj’s counsel tried to interrupt and blame Jahnavi for the situation, the court said, “It is not just you and me who are watching this. The entire audience in the court is watching. We are confused. What sort of merits are you talking about?” Anuj’s first wife, Bineeta, tried to speak, but the bench stopped her, saying, “You are fortunate we have not asked you to leave the court.”
The court then asked Jahnavi, “Six years ago, did you not realise he was already married?” She requested the bench for Gaurav’s custody for life. “You are the mother. You can keep the child in whatever manner you want,” the judges said.
Seeing this, the judges said, “The child is attached to the father. This is the first time we are seeing that a child is not even looking at the mother… We have never come across such a case.”
Considering the extraordinary situation, the court ordered the investigation officer of the case, inspector Ratnakar Shetty, to take the husband, wife and child for counselling at the Child Counselling Centre, Infantry Road. “It won’t be sorted out in one counselling. You have to take them thrice,” the court told the cop.
Sunanda, the mother of a girl who had eloped (Bangalore Mirror, July 21, 2011), disowned her daughter in court on Thursday. Meanwhile, the boy produced documents to prove that he has obeyed an earlier order to deposit Rs 2 lakh in the girl’s name. However, the court found that the parents of the couple had not got them married.
The girl’s mother had filed a habeas corpus after the couple eloped. The boy and girl, both adults, were produced in court. The mother of the girl and the parents of the boy had agreed to get them married. The court had ordered the boy to deposit Rs two lakh in the girl’s name to prove his bona fides.
When the case came up before the division bench of Justice N Ananda and V S Appa Rao on Thursday, the boy showed a copy of a DD in the girl’s name. However, the girl’s mother backtracked from her promise to get them married and also disowned her daughter.
The court then told the boy’s parents to get the couple married in eight days.
NEW DELHI: An Allahabad high court judge made an unusual attempt to determine which lawyer should represent the CBI in a case and even threatened criminal prosecution against the agency’s joint director while making allegations against him in an undignified language.
A shocked Supreme Court bench set aside the order of the HC single judge, who had asked the joint director, Javed Ahmed, to appear before him on August 1 with a threat that he would seriously consider arresting him to show him his place. After hearing Attorney General G E Vahanvati, the SC bench expunged all extraneous remarks against Ahmed in the two orders of July 28 and July 29 and asked the HC chief justice to entrust the hearing of the case to a judge other than Justice Vinod Prasad.
On July 28, a counsel sought adjournment of hearing on a CBI case telling the judge that the main counsel Anurag Khanna was indisposed. Justice Prasad said he has come to know that Khanna was not engaged by the CBI at all and that his appearance in the matter was illegal.
Out of the blue, Justice Prasad directed Ahmed to appear before the court on July 29 “to explain his conduct and why an FIR be not directed to be registered against him in cheating the court” by allowing appearance of Khanna. The judge also asked why a recommendation be not sent to the Union government for his removal.
The CBI challenged the HC judge’s unwarranted aggression and remarks in the apex court.
NEW DELHI: Sex workers, including those from Nepal, Bangladesh and CIS countries, are not bad persons but forced into flesh trade by terrible poverty, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday while directing the states to frame schemes for their vocational training to lead a dignified life.
“A sex worker is obviously not surrendering her body to a man because she loves and respects him, but just for sheer survival,” a bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra said.
But the court was aware of the enormity of the task. “We are fully conscious of the fact that simply by our orders, the sex workers will not be rehabilitated immediately,” it said. It directed, “The states should not only come out with schemes indicating therein rehabilitation of the sex workers but they should also demonstrate their commitment to the cause by coming out with some concrete results, at least in phases.”
Quoting novels depicting sex workers as women of high character, it said, “If sex workers are given proper technical training, they will be able to come out of sex work and instead earn their livelihood through their technical skills instead of by selling their bodies. That will enable them to live a life of dignity.”
It asked the SC panel headed by senior advocate Pradip Ghosh to provide by August 24 a list of sex workers who were living under dire circumstances and were willing for rehabilitation. To begin with, the panel was asked to focus on the four metros first.
The court wanted to involve the youth in helping the panel draft measures for rehabilitation of sex workers and created a new e-mail ID – panelonsexworkers @ gmail.com – to receive inputs from the public. The bench said, “We are informed that some NGOs have a list of numbers and localities of such sex workers who are immediately willing for rehabilitation and want to get out of the flesh trade.”
The panel, which included senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, Saima Hasan of NGO Roshni and Usha Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society, told the court that its focus was to prevent trafficking of women, rehabilitate sex workers who wished to quit and also create conducive conditions for sex workers who wanted to continue with their work.
However, it complained about lack of funds from the Centre for undertaking meaningful work. The court asked additional solicitor general P P Malhotra to find funds and permanent office space for the panel to meet and discuss rehabilitation strategies.
NEW DELHI: Ghost writers are common in the literary world, but this probably is the first case in the judiciary. A Jharkhand trial court judge has been shown the door for outsourcing writing of judgments.
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the Jharkhand governor’s July 31, 2003, order removing Ajit Kumar, a subordinate judge in Garhwa. It quashed Kumar’s plea that he was dismissed from service without the mandatory inquiry into his alleged misconduct. A bench comprising Justices Mukundakam Sharma and Anil R Dave said in cases where the removing authority had recorded the reason in writing for dispensing with the requirement of inquiry before ordering dismissal of a public servant, the order could not be faulted.
The inspecting judge from the Jharkhand HC while on a supervision tour to Garhwa court on May 5, 2003, found Kumar’s judgments unusual. He started looking into official records and gave a report to the Chief Justice of the HC saying, “Kumar did not prepare judgments on his own, rather he used to get them prepared through somebody else before delivering the judgments.”
Alarmed by the level of misconduct, CJ of the HC referred the matter to the full court for consideration of the inspecting judge’s report and recommended appropriate action. On June 18, 2003, the full court resolved that Kumar can be recommended for removal from the service, without any inquiry as it was felt that it was not practicable in the interest of the institution to hold an inquiry since it may lead to the question of validity of several judgments rendered by him. The SC found this reason sufficient for dispensing with the inquiry.
Mumbai: The demand for repeal of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, dealing with cruelty to a woman in her marital home, made by some sections of society and even the judiciary is “male chauvinism,” Justice A. K. Ganguly of the Supreme Court said on Saturday. He was delivering the keynote address at a seminar on ‘Negotiating Spaces: Gender Concerns in Conflict Zones’ here.
“There is a lot of argument that 498A should be repealed because it is being abused. I am sorry to say that even Supreme Court judges have said it openly in courts. Which law in this country is not abused? This [498A] is a law which empowers women. I am not saying it’s not abused. Just because it empowers women and gives them a negotiating space, [there are demands] that it be repealed. This is male chauvinism.”
Justice Ganguly pointed out that Section 307 of the IPC was the most abused with instances of even a slap being construed as an attempt on one’s life.
Urging that women’s fight against injustice continue, he said: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Justice Ganguly drove home the importance of the Preamble in the delivery of justice. It was “the organic part of the Constitution” on which depended “the fulfilment of the constitutional promise.”
He also referred to his judgment last year on assessing the value of homemakers’ work. “In the census, homemakers are equated with prostitutes, beggars and prisoners. It is said they are economically non-productive. Where is the dignity?”
Without mentioning his name, Justice Ganguly expressed dismay that Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who was fined Rs. 10 lakh by the Supreme Court for protecting the interests of a moneylender family, continued to be in the Cabinet. “The [former Maharashtra] Chief Minister is still a Minister. He is looking after Rural Development…He continues in equal glory. We cannot pull him down from [there].” Justice Ganguly said.
An irate division bench of Justices P B Majmudar and Amjad Sayed on Friday called the letter “reckless” . Tikotekar apologized to the court and must now file an affidavit tendering the apology along with a request to withdraw the letter.
“Nobody has a right to address any letter to the judges in any manner, as it may…interfere with the administration of justice,” the judges observed.
Tikotekar offered Rs 20,000 for a 60-minute hearing before the judges. “Tomorrow if someone deposits Rs 1 crore, should we hear him for an entire day?” said an irked Justice Majmudar.
Tikotekar, a trader in his mid-60 s and a resident of Shivaji Nagar, Pune, has the power of attorney to argue on behalf of his wife Anagha, who filed an appeal in an arbitration case in 2004.
Pune trader Anil Tikotekar, in his mid-60 s, is fighting an arbitration case on behalf of his wife, Anagha He said an appeal in the case listed for January 11, 2011 was not put on board, nor mentioned in the weekly list Tikotekar couriered a Rs 20,000 cheque to the Bombay high court registry, asking that he get an early, 60-minute hearing as he was unwell.
He also wrote to the court, offering money “If someone deposits Rs 1 crore, should we hear him for an entire day?” said an incensed Justice Majmudar Tikotekar apologized. He must now file an affidavit and withdraw the letter
Pune man may be in contempt for offering HC money
The appeal has since been heard and adjourned . The judges observed that Tikotekar told the court that “by ignorance and mistake, it has been mentioned in the letter that if 60 minutes time is given to him, he is ready to deposit Rs 20,000 with this court” . “So far as the amount is concerned, it is for him to approach the registry and withdraw the same by filing the appropriate application,” the judges said.
In his email sent to the registry on January 9, Tikotekar said the appeal in the arbitration case had been listed for hearing on January 11, 2011. However, the case was not put on the board and was not even mentioned in the weekly list.
“I am a senior citizen and have to come from Pune every time. I am unable to walk properly and I am under treatment for the same. Please allot me a particular date and please arrange to put the matter high on board so that I am saved the agony of going through uncertainties and travelling problems,” he said in the email.
“Matter was partly heard on November 20 and 21, 2010 and was then heard by another bench on November 29, 2010,” he added.
The judges also said they might consider contempt proceedings against Tikotekar for interfering with the administration of justice, after going through the affidavit tendering his apology. “In the judicial system, the judges are required to decide the cases after hearing both the sides and no litigant can write a letter of such a nature to prejudice the mind of judges,” the bench observed.
The matter has been posted next for hearing on January 27. A division bench in 2004 had admitted Anagha Tikotekar’s appeal against a share trading firm. She had deposited Rs 87,415 with the registry as per the court’s directives.
The government attached little importance to the court’s query about Thomas’s suitability as CVC. The Executive’s sole prerogative to satisfy itself on the suitability of a candidate could not be questioned in a judicial forum, it said in an affidavit. “The PM and the home minister found Thomas as the most suitable candidate to hold the post of the central vigilance commissioner,” it said, making light of leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj’s dissent which fuelled the demand for his resignation.
It said unanimity in a democratic selection process did not always work. “Merely because one member of the committee (Swaraj) did not agree with the majority view, the majority view cannot be termed as illegal,” the Centre said.
Ruling party leaders had failed to persuade Thomas to resign after filing of a PIL, which sought quashing of his appointment. Fresh hearing on the PIL, on which the court had sought responses of the Centre and Thomas, is scheduled for January 27. The Centre backed Thomas’s selection, integrity and suitability for CVC’s post. It said, “The question of suitability of a candidate is squarely the domain of the appointing authority. The argument about suitability of a candidate cannot be raised in judicial proceedings.”
Less than two months ago, the court had said even if Thomas had impeccable integrity, the pending chargesheet would pose difficulty. “Whenever he will entertain a complaint and order inquiry, he will face the question — ‘you yourself are an accused, how can you look into another complaint’,” it had said.
Last month, the court had asked the Centre and Thomas to respond to a PIL, which sought quashing of his appointment because he was accused of criminal conspiracy in the palmolein oil import scam. High priced import of oil in the 1990s allegedly caused huge loss to Kerala. This month, the court cleared the way for resumption of trial in the case.
The Centre told the court that Thomas was cleared of any wrongdoing in the palmolein import scam by the CVC in October 2009, prior to his appointment as telecom secretary in the Union government through a rigorous process.
Relief for kin of 46 Satara victims New Delhi: The kin of all the 46 victims who died 23 years ago in a freak explosion from a leaking petrol tanker in Maharashtra”s Satara district will be entitled to compensation, the Supreme Court has ruled.
A bench rejected New India Assurance Company Ltd”s claim that the claimants were not entitled to compensation as it was not a road mishap but an explosion that occurred four hours after the vehicle was involved in an accident.
On October 29, 1987, a petrol tanker on NH-4 towards Bangalore collided with a truck in Satara district. The tanker fell into a five-ft pit and the fuel started leaking. A number of locals gathered at the site and started carrying away the petrol despite the driver cautioning them. Four hours after the leakage, there was a huge explosion, killing 46.
(10 Jan 2011)
The Times of India
Justice Reghupathy told TOI: ”I reported the incident (of Raja wanting to talk to him in a bail matter) to (then Madras HC) Chief Justice H L Gokhale by a letter dated July 2, 2009. Justice Gokhale had forwarded the letter to then CJI Balakrishnan. It was for them to take whatever action on my complaint. But both of them did not.”
He added: ”I still drive my small car. I do not have any security. And I want to live like an ordinary citizen. These are big people involved. I am scared. I could have initiated contempt proceedings against the lawyer (who brought Raja’s message to him). But that would have amounted to putting myself as the judge, the jury, the victim and the witness, all rolled into one. I did not want to create a situation that could have attracted adverse comments from the bar as well as jurists.”
Meanwhile, stung by Justice Gokhale’s charge that he didn’t disclose Raja’s name despite knowing he was the offending minister, Justice Balakrishnan said that while he had received Justice Reghupathy’s letter addressed to Justice Gokhale alleging the ”misconduct of a Union minister”, he couldn’t act on the basis of a letter that was not addressed to him.
This failed to convince everyone. Justice Balakrishnan released the August 11, 2009, letter of Justice Gokhale, but did not explain as to why he did not initiate action on the basis of Justice Reghupathy’s letter which clearly identified Raja as the minister in question. Also, it’s unclear why the then chief justice of the Madras high court,
Justice Gokhale, did not initiate contempt as a lawyer had tried to exert pressure on a sitting judge.
Meanwhile, the concerned lawyer, Tamil Nadu Bar Council chairman R K Chandramohan, got a reprieve on Wednesday from the SC, which stayed a Madras HC order suspending him as chairman of the bar council. The reprieve came on the technical ground that Chandramohan had been suspended without an inquiry. So, the SC said that an inquiry may be initiated, but pending its outcome, the Madras HC order was stayed.
All these twists and turns appeared to have left Justice Reghupathy confused. He said that on being pressured on Raja’s behalf he ”narrated the entire incident in a typed three-page letter to Justice Gokhale, who has put it in the correct perspective giving the sequence of events by issuing a press release on Tuesday.” But why didn’t Justice Balakrishnan act on his complaint? ”That you know very well,” Justice Reghupathy said enigmatically.
He said there was a code of conduct for judges and he could not have breached it by going to the media at the relevant time. ”That is why I chose to write to the Chief Justice of the HC,” he said. ”It was for both of them to initiate action,” he added.
Opposition BJP described as “shocking” the controversy over former Union minister A Raja allegedly trying to influence a Madras HC judge in a criminal case and wanted former Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan to explain his stand. “It is shocking. Only the ex-CJI can explain his stand. We will react after he issues some kind of a statement,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said. In an unusual step, sitting SC judge H L Gokhale contradicted Balakrishnan’s claim that the letter sent to him relating to the issue did not mention Raja’s name.
Read more: No one acted on my complaint, I’m scared: Judge – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/No-one-acted-on-my-complaint-Im-scared-Judge/articleshow/7108712.cms#ixzz18FVj7sBY