Archive for the ‘Judiciary’ Category

Court pulls up Rana Pratap Nagar police for violating SC guidelines on arrest

Nagpur: A judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) on August 23 rejected police custody remand of Ashwin Ingale underlining violation of supreme court guidelines by Rana Pratap Nagar police in a case registered under Section 498-A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) filed by wife for alleged torture at in-laws place. No notice was also served to Ingale before arrest violating the guidelines laid down by the apex court.

The violation, now on record, may lead to departmental action against the investigating officer apart from a proceedings of contempt of court to be instituted by high court having territorial jurisdiction as per the order issued by the apex court. Apart from Section 498-A of IPC, Ingale was booked along with mother, maternal aunt, sisters and a woman friend under additional charges under Sections 323, 504, 506 and 406 of IPC following a complaint from his wife Rasika on July 23 at Rana Pratap Nagar police station for alleged torture at in-law’s place along with charges of assault, threatening and criminal breach of trust. A woman friend of Ingale was also made an accused as they were thought to be having an illicit relationship.

Ingale was arrested on August 22 from a kin’s place by cops from Rana Pratap Nagar police station. Sources claimed Ingale’s arrest was made under pressure from a top politician. He was produced before a JMFC court by the cops who pleaded for two days of custody till August 25. Police wanted to secure remand custody to recover ‘streedhan’ of the complainant that they had recorded as reason in the document of arrest.

The court, finding the cops’ motive for arrest unjustified, observed that there was no reason ‘concrete and meritorious enough so as to justify the arrest made by the investigation officer in this case’. The court further lambasted the police stating ‘the reasons mentioned by investigation officer are mostly vague, general and cryptic in nature’. The magistrate also observed ‘the investigation officer has not recorded satisfactory reasons in this case before arresting the accused, as has been directed by Hon’ble supreme court in authority of Arnesh Kumar (supra).’ In a similar manner, court also observed that police did not make any ‘serious effort’ to serve the accused notice before arresting him.

Ingale was sent to magisterial custody till August 31. Counsel Sameer Sonwane, representing Ingale, said he would soon file a petition against the police for irregularities

Categories: Judiciary

Chargesheet delayed is justice denied, FIR Quashed: HC

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.

The chargesheet, which should have been filed within 90 days, named only one of the accused since the police does not know the whereabouts of the others. But the huge delay meant that it could not stand the scrutiny of the court and the chargesheet, filed in Aug 2010, has been quashed by the High Court.
On the night of November 5, 1998, forest department guards spotted seven people carrying about 10 kg of meat in the Kasanamakki forest area in Someshwara, Karkal range. When they were asked to stop, they ran away leaving behind the meat, suspected to be of a wild animal. The forest guards also recovered plastic bags, torches and a countrymade gun from the spot.
A veterinary doctor who checked the meat reported that it was from a sambar deer. The culprits who killed the deer were identified as Dadu Poojari, Gopala Naik, Soma Koraga, Ranga Harijana, Gurva Koraka and two others. Since the meat was found adjacent to a farm owned by one Prakash Shetty, the forest department identified him as also responsible for the killing. In fact, Shetty was the only accused who was produced in court. 
While the matter remained undecided in a lower court, Shetty approached the HC. The matter came up before Justice V Jagannathan on Friday. Shetty’s counsel Pawan Chandra Shetty argued that his client only happened to have his farm near the place where the meat was found and had no hand in killing the animal. Moreover, the forest department’s delay in taking action was to help the real culprits, Shetty’s counsel said. 
The court held that there was an inordinate delay in filing the chargesheet and quashed the case against Shetty. With this, the 15-year-old mystery on who killed the sambar will remain buried forever.
My client only has his farm near the place where the meat was found. Forest department delayed taking action to help real culprits
Pawan Chandra Shetty, counsel of Prakash Shetty, the accused
Categories: Judiciary

Kids are not things, HC tells warring families but advice falls on deaf ears

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.

The maternal grandmother of a six-year-old and four-year-old had filed a habeas corpus petition contending that the children were kept in illegal confinement by their father. The mother of the children is dead and they are in the custody of their father for the last two years. The children were presented in court along with their father. His brother, mother and other family members also came to court. The maternal grandmother, her son and other members were also present in court.
When the matter came up before the division bench of Justice DV Shylendra Kumar and Justice BV Pinto, the father contended that he was taking care of his sons and they were not in illegal confinement. The grandmother said that she was not even being allowed to visit the children and would be threatened with weapons if she went to his place. The judges told both the parties to set aside their differences and remarked that children were not things or properties that they should fight this way. They noted that, at this juncture, the father was the guardian and the grandmother or others could not be given custody. However, the father was told that the grandmother and other relatives should be given the opportunity, without bias, to visit the children. In the court, the grandmother took one of the children in her arms. After the court ruling, she came out crying with the kid still in her arms.
Right outside the court hall, the father tried to snatch the kid from the grandmother. She resisted and before things could worsen, a police sentry shooed them away. They moved a little further and started trading charges. The father then left but his brother continued to argue with the grandmother. In the presence of other advocates, the two families started trading charges. Their counsel tried to pacify them and it was agreed that the child would be handed to the father in a few minutes. 
However, the exchange of foul abuses continued. They were warned by the police on duty once again. Advocates and other clients told the fighting parties that they could get into trouble with court authorities if they continued to fight. All of them then came out of the HC building and gathered near the Mark Cubbon statue, which is inside the court’s security perimeter. Just when everyone thought that the matter was over, tempers flared up again with the families started abusing each other. Two of them almost came to blows. They stood on either side of the road and exchanged words. Finally, the grandmother let go of the child she was holding. The child ran towards his father’s family. The two parties went in opposite directions continuing to shout obscenities that drew the attention of more advocates and passersby.
Categories: Judiciary

SC lawyer, but still had to wage a 12-year legal war to get back property

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.

Today, after fighting a bitter battle in Bangalore and Delhi high courts and taking possession of the property, Rao dusts piles of files and documents pertaining to the case to preserve them for posterity. The 5,400 sqft property, located on Indiranagar 100 Feet Road, is a premium space which currently commands nothing less than Rs 15,000 per sqft. It was gifted to Rao’s wife Padmamalini by her father.
Rao’s family, which is based in Delhi, had rented it out. The tenant had tried to grab it using all possible tactics, including fabricating documents.
“If this is what I have gone through despite being a senior lawyer and coming from an influential background, you can imagine the plight of those unaware of the law. My tenant refused to budge from property, stopped paying rent, began construction and hired goons to hold out threats.”
Rao’s family filed eviction suits against the tenant in 1998 after the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Customs and Income Tax officials raided his premises and seized incriminating documents from him. In 1999, Rao gave his tenant six months’ time to vacate. The latter went to court with a false suit.
“In 1994, my tenant paid Rs 15,000 as rent for the 1,500 sqft space. In 1996, he added another 1,500 sqft and paid Rs 20,000. A few years after the litigation began, he stopped paying rent (from 2007). Anyone in my place would either have given up or would have gone insane,” says Rao.
Rao fought 15 cases, including criminal trespass, injunctions, theft, Section 145 CrPC and extortion – his tenant allegedly made extortion calls to his family in Delhi demanding Rs 3 crore to vacate the premises. The long-drawn eviction process also saw a series of correspondences to the state administration – from internal security wing of the ministry of home affairs to then DG & IGP, to Raj Bhavan directing the police commissioner to look into the issue, and the CBI, requesting city police to initiate action.
As a junior counsel in attorney general’s office in the eighties, Rao was a part of the government team which handled the appeal in Indira Gandhi assassination case in SC, which went on for three years. “The case was a challenge, getting two of the accused to the gallows. But handling my own case was nothing short of torture,” he added.
The 12-year legal battle saw the family paying huge sums to fellow lawyers — Rs 35 lakh, incur professional loss of Rs 1.5 crore and a rental loss of Rs 1.5 crore. “We went into debt, sold shares and my profession was seriously affected.”
As the son of former EC, did Rao use his father’s name? “My father was not even fully aware of my struggle. I felt he would be hurt to know my wife and I got into such a situation. But people knew who I am and who my father is. Of course, my family name worked for me.”
Rao, who is still facing some litigation, threats and intimidation, got the premises renovated and rented it out anew. The premises now sports a new nameboard, ‘G V Rao and Mrs P G Rao’
Categories: Judiciary

Judge booked for attempt to rape

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.

Categories: Judiciary

Domestic violence Act has retrospective effect-Kerala HC

September 6, 2011 1 comment

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.

Categories: Judiciary

No doubt about Sen’s guilt: Ex-CJI Balakrishnan

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.

Categories: Judiciary