Friday, February 9, 2018

Hospital Asked To Pay Rs 30 Lakh To Child, Parents For Negligence

Delhi state consumer commission had directed the Max Hospital in Delhi's Pitampura area to pay Rs 30 lakh to a 10-year-old boy and his parents for negligence at the time of delivery leading to permanent abnormality in the child's left arm.
The Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission bench imposed the hefty amount on the private hospital saying this may serve the purpose of bringing about a "qualitative change" in the attitude of hospitals of providing "service to the human beings as human beings".
The commission awarded a compensation of Rs 20 lakh to Sonepat-based Ritesh Kumar Garg, Aarti Garg and their son Kush Garg for the suffering, mental pain and agony caused to them.

Besides this, it also directed the hospital to pay Rs five lakh to the mother as incidental expenses incurred from the time she was admitted for delivery till the child's check-up at a hospital in Mumbai and another Rs five lakh to them as litigation cost.
"This may serve the purpose of bringing about a qualitative change in the attitude of the hospitals of providing service to the human beings as human beings.
"Human touch is necessary; that is their code of conduct; that is their duty and that is what is required to be implemented," a bench of member (judicial) O P Gupta and member Anil Srivastava said.
It said proper and due care was not exercised while conducting the woman's delivery leading to shoulder dystocia (when baby's head passes through the birth canal and their shoulders become stuck during labour) resulting in permanent disability.
"The negligence on the part of the hospital is writ large of the face and is established...," the commission held.
The parents had approached the commission alleging medical negligence on the part of the hospital at the time of delivery, damaging the neuro motor functioning of the child's left arm.
The child was born at the hospital on June 5, 2007, and the doctors had claimed that everything was fine but soon after the birth, abnormality was discovered in the child's left arm allegedly due to crude and violent pulling of baby.
The parents consulted various other hospitals but the damage could not be rectified and the child showed no improvement, the complaint said.
The hospital, however, claimed that the allegations of negligence and deficiency of service were false and baseless.
It also maintained that the doctors had taken the utmost care and due precaution in handling the delivery of the baby and no malfunctioning in the child's left arm was discovered at the time of delivery.

Legal Rights for Woman

10 Legal Rights every woman must know

Knowing the times that we are in, we give you, yet again, an overview of some important legal rights for women that every one must be aware of.

Free legal aid

Exercise your right to free legal aid. Often, women go to the police station unaccompanied by a lawyer to get their statement recorded, and they stand the risk of being misquoted or their statement being tampered with. The police may also treat the entire episode lightly and not lodge an FIR. So, it is necessary to have a lawyer with you while you lodge the FIR. “According to a Delhi High Court ruling, whenever a rape is reported, the SHO has to bring this to the notice of the Delhi Legal Services Authority. The legal body then arranges for a lawyer for the victim,” says Saumya Bhaumik, women rights lawyer.

Right to privacy while recording statement

Under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a woman who has been raped can record her statement before the district magistrate when the case is under trial, and no one else needs to be present. Alternatively, she can record the statement with only one police officer and woman constable in a convenient place that is not crowded and does not provide any possibility of the statement being overheard by a fourth person. The cops have to, by law, upkeep the woman’s right to privacy. It’s important for the person to feel comfortable and not be under any kind of stress while narrating the incident.

Time doesn’t matter

The police cannot refuse to register an FIR even if a considerable period of time has elapsed since the incident of rape or molestation took place. If the police tells you that they can’t lodge your FIR since you didn’t report it earlier, do not concede. “Rape is a horrifying incident for any woman, so it’s natural for her to go into shock and not want to report it immediately. She may also fear for her safety and the reputation and dignity of her family. For this reason, the Supreme Court has ruled that the police must register an FIR even if there has been a gap between the report and the occurrence of the incident,” says Tariq Abeed, advocate, Supreme Court.

Email to the rescue

According to the guidelines issued by the Delhi Police, a woman has the privilege of lodging a complaint via email or registered post. If, for some reason, a woman can’t go to the police station, she can send a written complaint through an email or registered post addressed to a senior police officer of the level of Deputy Commissioner or Commissioner of Police. The officer then directs the SHO of the police station, of the area where the incident occurred, to conduct proper verification of the complainant and lodge an FIR. The police can then come over to the residence of the victim to take her statement.

Cops can’t say no

Arape victim can register her police complaint from any police station under the Zero FIR ruling by Supreme Court. “Sometimes, the police station under which the incident occurs refuses to register the victim’s complaint in order to keep clear of responsibility, and tries sending the victim to another police station. In such cases, she has the right to lodge an FIR at any police station in the city under the Zero FIR ruling. The senior officer will then direct the SHO of the concerned police station to lodge the FIR,” says Abeed. This is a Supreme Court ruling that not many women are aware of, so don’t let the SHO of a police station send you away saying it “doesn’t come under his area”.

No arrests after sunset

According to a Supreme Court ruling, a woman cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise. There are many cases of women being harassed by the police at wee hours, but all this can be avoided if you exercise the right of being present in the police station only during daytime. “Even if there is a woman constable accompanying the officers, the police can’t arrest a woman at night. In case the woman has committed a serious crime, the police has to get it in writing from the magistrate explaining why the arrest is necessary during the night,” says Bhaumik.

You can’t be called to the police station

Women cannot be called to the police station for interrogation under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code. This law provides Indian women the right of not being physically present at the police station for interrogation. “The police can interrogate a woman at her residence in the presence of a woman constable and family members or friends,” says Abeed. So, the next time you’re called to the police station for queries or interrogation when you have faced any kind of harassment, quote this guideline of the Supreme Court to exercise your right and remind the cops about it.

Protect your identity

Under no circumstances can the identity of a rape victim be revealed. Neither the police nor media can make known the name of the victim in public. Section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code makes the disclosure of a victim’s identity a punishable offense. Printing or publishing the name or any matter which may make known the identity of a woman against whom an offense has been committed is punishable. This is done to prevent social victimisation or ostracism of the victim of a sexual offense. Even while a judgment is in progress at the high court or a lower court, the name of the victim is not indicated, she is only described as ‘victim’ in the judgment.

The doctor can’t decide

Acase of rape can’t be dismissed even if the doctor says rape had not taken place. A victim of rape needs to be medically examined as per Section 164 A of the Criminal Procedure Code, and only the report can act as proof. “A woman has the right to have a copy of the medical report from the doctor. Rape is crime and not a medical condition. It is a legal term and not a diagnosis to be made by the medical officer treating the victim. The only statement that can be made by the medical officer is that there is evidence of recent sexual activity. Whether the rape has occurred or not is a legal conclusion and the doctor can’t decide on this,” explains Bhaumik.

Employers must protect

It is the duty of every employer to create a Sexual Harassment Complaints Committee within the organisation for redressal of such complaints. According to a guideline issued by the Supreme Court, it is mandatory for all firms, public and private, to set up these committees to resolve matters of sexual harassment. It is also necessary that the committee be headed by a woman and comprise 50% women as members. Also, one of the members should be from a women’s welfare group.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

SC orders Lucknow medical college to pay Rs 10 lakh each to 150 students who were illegally admitted

The Supreme Court directed a medical college in Lucknow to grant compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the 150 students it had admitted in the MBBS course without formal permission from the government,.
The court also told the college to refund the students’ fees and pay a fine of Rs 25 lakh to the Supreme Court registry and barred it from admitting students for the 2018-’19 academic year.
The college, run by the GRCG Memorial Trust, was one of the 32 institutions that the Medical Council of India had barred from admitting medical students till 2019 because of substandard facilities and not fulfilling other criteria.
The college had moved the Allahabad High Court against the medical council’s order. In September, the High Court had allowed the college to admit the 150 students despite the medical council concluding that it had indulged in “unethical and callous” practices.
A Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud rebuked the High Court and said this was a case of “judicial indiscipline and impropriety”.
“It is most unfortunate, which may cause [an] institutional problem,” the bench said. The lawyers appearing for the medical council said that the High Court failed to consider that the college had poor infrastructure, clinical material, and faculty.
The top court also reprimanded the GCRG Medical Trust and said that it had jeopardized students’ careers by illegally admitting them. The college must compensate them for “playing with their careers” and “polluting young minds”, the court said.

India's farmed chickens dosed with world's strongest antibiotics, study finds

Chickens raised in India for food have been dosed with some of the strongest antibiotics known to medicine, in practices that could have repercussions throughout the world.
Hundreds of tonnes of an “antibiotic of last resort” – only used in the most extreme cases of sickness - are shipped to India each year to be used, without medical supervision, on animals that may not require the drugs but are being dosed with them nevertheless to promote the growth of healthy animals.
Routine use of some of the strongest antibiotics, which doctors have said should be preserved for the most extreme cases lest resistance to them should increase and prevent their use for the diseases for which they are intended, is now a common practice in farming in the developing world. The consequences will be felt throughout the world because resistance to strong antibiotics is spread among organisms.
Germs with qualities that can make them dangerous to humans will, if untreated or poorly treated, mutate into more powerful pathogens that are resistant to treatment. Poor or inadequate public heath treatments assists this process, potentially spreading pathogens around the world.
A study by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has found that hundreds of tonnes of colistin, described as an antibiotic of last resort, have been shipped to India for the routine treatment of animals, chiefly chickens, on farms.
The finding is concerning because the use of such powerful drugs can lead to an increasing resistance among farm animals around the world. Colistin is regarded as one of the last lines of defence against serious diseases, including pneumonia, which cannot be treated by other medicines. Without these drugs, diseases that were commonly treatable in the last century will become deadly once again.
There is nothing to prevent Indian farmers, which include some of the world’s biggest food producers, from exporting their chickens and other related products overseas. There are currently no regulations that would prevent such export to the UK on hygiene terms, except for those agreed under the EU. Any regulations to be negotiated after Brexit might not take account of these regulations.

Oxford professor charged with raping two women

The prominent Swiss academic Tariq Ramadan, a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at the University of Oxford, has been charged with rape and ordered to remain in custody in France.
Ramadan, 55, is being held on charges of rape and rape of a vulnerable person after two women accused him of violently assaulting them in hotel rooms in Lyon and Paris in 2009 and 2012 after conferences.
A regular face on French television, he is the most prominent figure to be held in France after the women, emboldened by the #MeToo campaign to stamp out sexual assault and harassment, went to the police.
The professor – who made his name as an author and commentator on modern Islam, as well as advising successive British governments on Islam and society – has denied the separate accusations by the two women.
After two days of questioning Ramadan, who is married with four children, was brought before three magistrates who have been assigned to the case, suggesting that he is facing an extensive investigation, judicial sources told AFP. In the full investigation opened this week, French magistrates must establish whether he should stand trial.
The first police complaint against Ramadan was made by Henda Ayari, 41, a feminist activist who previously practised a conservative strain of Islam and now heads the women’s organisation Les Lib√©ratrices
She filed a complaint with prosecutors in Rouen in October 2017 alleging rape, sexual violence, harassment and intimidation by Ramadan. She said she was assaulted by him in a Paris hotel room after a conference in 2012. 
“He choked me so hard that I thought I was going to die,” she told Le Parisien newspaper. “He slapped me because I resisted. He raped me. I felt I was in extreme danger.” She said she had gone to talk to him at his hotel after the conference as a kind of “big brother figure”.
Ayari had described the rape in a chapter of her 2016 book, I Chose to be Free, giving her assailant a made-up name and saying that an intellectual had attacked her in a hotel room. She fought back but was insulted, slapped and treated violently, she wrote.
After the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault and harassment scandal broke in the autumn of 2017 Ayari said she had decided to go public and name Ramadan. She made a formal complaint on October 20.
A few days later an anonymous disabled woman, a Muslim convert, accused the academic of raping and violently assaulting her in a hotel room in the south-eastern city of Lyon in 2009.
The French edition of Vanity Fair magazine, whose staff met the 45-year-old woman, said her lawsuit against Ramadan described “blows to the face and body, forced sodomy, rape with an object and various humiliations, including being dragged by the hair to the bathtub and urinated on”.
The woman said Ramadan had asked to meet her in the bar of the Hilton hotel in Lyon, where he was taking part in a conference in 2009. She had previously been in contact with him online for some months, seeking advice. 
In online messages and chats, Ramadan had told the woman he was living separately from his wife, the French newspaper Le Monde reported. 
In the hotel bar Ramadan had complained that people had recognised him and were staring at him, suggesting they instead go to his room. He took the stairs while the woman, who walks with a crutch after a car accident, took the lift. The woman said she was attacked very soon after entering the room, sustaining blows to the face, arms, breasts and stomach before being repeatedly raped.
During three hours of testimony in Paris on Thursday, the woman — referred to in the media by the pseudonym “Christelle” — recounted her allegations to the judge in Ramadan’s presence. She said that Ramadan had a small scar on his groin that could only be seen through close contact, a source said.
Rejecting her testimony outright, Ramadan refused to sign the official summary of the account, sources close to the case said. “Both sides maintained their positions,” a legal source said.
Eric Morain, Christelle’s lawyer, said the charges were “an important step” after what he called “a painstaking three-month investigation, 48 hours of police questioning and a confrontation with my client”.
Police have interviewed dozens of people close to both Ramadan and the two women, and examined email and social media exchanges between them.
Ramadan, a senior research fellow of St Antony’s College, took leave of absence from Oxford University last November “by mutual agreement” after the two women filed complaints. 
He continues to head the Islamic Institute for Ethical Training in France.
Ayari was placed under police protection in November after receiving death threats.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

18-Year-Old British Sikh Girl, Who Plotted To Join ISIS In Syria, Jailed

Monday, January 22, 2018

Image of lawyers in India not very good, says Supreme Court judge

The image of lawyers in the country is not very good and the profession requires more quality, Supreme Court judge Justice L Nageswara Rao today said and urged student-lawyers not to be attracted towards corporate jobs. 

Delivering the keynote address at the 14th K K Luthra memorial moot court competition here, Justice Rao asked the law students to take up the profession and go to courts. 

"This (Court) is the place where real lawyers should be," Justice Rao said, adding the duties of the profession must be understood while entering the field. 

Despite SC order, 4,000 pathology labs running illegally in Gujarat

As many as 4,000 pathological laboratories are operating illegally in Gujarat at present, according to the Gujarat Association of Pathologists and Microbiologists (GAPM) said this on Sunday.
According to the association, the Supreme Court in December last year had upheld the Gujarat High Court's order which had directed that only a qualified and registered pathologist with a postgraduate qualification in pathology can countersign the pathology report of any patient. The SC verdict had emphasised that pathology labs that operate without a qualified pathologist will have to stop all operations till a qualified pathologist is employed by them.

GAPM office-bearers said that after the order of the apex court, the association has submitted complaint regarding 470 such illegal laboratories in the state with details of their names, their addresses and the reports prepared by them as evidence.

"But neither the state government, nor the state's health department nor the police department has taken action against such laboratories which are putting health of citizens of the state at risk," said GAPM's president Dr Rajendra Lalani.
Of the total 470 such illegal labs that the association has brought to the notice of the state government, the maximum number of such labs are operating in Surat. "We had submitted complaint against 67 such labs running in Surat on December 30 and provided a list of another 61 labs on January 20," he said.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sexual pervert" deserves no leniency

No one can touch a woman without her consent, a Delhi court said and termed it unfortunate that women continue to be victimized by "lecherous and sexually- pervert" men.

The court's observation came while awarding five years jail term to Ram for sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl.

Additional sessions judge Seema Maini awarded rigorous imprisonment to Uttar Pradesh resident Chavi Ram, who had inappropriately touched the minor at a crowded market in north Delhi's Mukherjee Nagar in 2014.

The court said a woman's body is her own and it is she who has an exclusive right over it and all others are prohibited to touch her body, without her consent, for any purpose whatsoever.

It also said that right to privacy of women does not seem to be recognised by men and they do not think twice, before making untoward advances or satisfying their lust by sexually assaulting helpless girls.

"Such perverts, get a sexual kick by assaulting the women, oblivious to the rights of privacy of the female gender including a female child," it said.

The court said that Ram being a "sexual pervert" deserves no leniency and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him out of which Rs 5,000 would be given to the girl.

Apart from that the court asked the Delhi State Legal Service Authority to pay Rs 50,000 to the child.

"In a free, fast progressing, technically-strong country like India, it is an unfortunate scenario that the female citizens, be it an adult or a small child, continue to be consistently victimised by lecherous and sexually pervert male folk, found in abundance in public places, especially crowded markets, public transports like buses and Metros and recreation joints like movie halls and theatres," the court said.

According to the complaint, on September 25, 2014, while the girl was with her mother at the market near Mukherjee Nagar here, Ram inappropriately touched the child and tried to molest her.

The minor immediately informed her mother and pointed to Ram after which he started running from the spot. He was caught by the mother with the help of passersby.

The man claimed he was falsely implicated in the case as the market was crowded and it was a case of misconception.

He claimed that the real offender ran away after committing the crime.

The court, however, rejected Ram's claim and said it was clear that he was with a sexual intent, taking advantage of a crowded market place, wilfully touching the girl and thereafter trying to run away.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Caste decided by birth, can't change on marriage

A person's caste is unalterable and can't change after marriage, the Supreme Court said on Thursday, setting aside the appointment of a woman teacher who joined Kendriya Vidyalaya 21 years ago taking benefit of reservation on the ground that she was married to a Scheduled Caste man.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and M M Shantanagoudar said the woman, who has now become vice-principal after serving two decades in the school, was not entitled to the benefits of reservation as she was born in an upper caste family and her caste remained so despite marrying into a Scheduled Caste family.

"There cannot be any dispute that the caste is determined by birth and the caste cannot be changed by marriage with a person of Scheduled Caste. Undoubtedly, she was born in 'Agarwal' family, which falls in general category and not in Scheduled Caste. Merely because her husband belongs to a Scheduled Caste category, she should not have been issued with a caste certificate showing her caste as Scheduled Caste," the bench said.

The woman was issued a caste certificate in 1991 by the district magistrate of Bulandshahr certifying her as of Scheduled Caste. Based on the academic qualifications and caste certificate, she was appointed as a Post Graduate Teacher in 1993 at Kendriya Vidyalaya at Pathankot in Punjab. During the course of her service, she completed her M.Ed.

Two decades after her appointment, a complaint was filed against her seeking cancellation of her appointment, alleging she had illegally taken the benefit of reservation without belonging to Scheduled Caste category. After conducting an inquiry, authorities cancelled her caste certificate and Kendriya Vidalaya terminated her job in 2015. Challenging KV's decision, she approached the Allahabad HC which dismissed her plea, and upheld her termination. She then approached the apex court for relief.

Taking into account her unblemished service of over two decades, the SC modified the HC order and said the order of termination from service shall be treated as the order of compulsory retirement. "While exercising leniency, we have also kept in mind that she has neither played fraud nor misrepresented before authorities for getting the caste certificate... No questions were raised against her till the complaint ... came to be lodged, even when the authorities had seen the high school certificate.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Banks run immigration checks in Home Office crackdown

Banks are to begin immigration checks on millions of accounts as part of a Home Office scheme to create a "hostile environment" for people living in the UK unlawfully.

The new scheme, which will be rolled out this month, requires banks and building societies to check all current account holders against a list of people liable for deportation or wanted by immigration enforcement.

If an account holder is found to be in the UK illegally the bank must inform the Home Office, which will instruct on action that may include closing the account.

"These new measures are part of our commitment to make it more difficult for people with no right to live or work in the UK to remain here," immigration minister Caroline Noakes said.

The measures have been criticised by rights groups who say they will expose vulnerable people to harm, as well as putting those with regular migration status at risk of having their accounts mistakenly closed.

"What is shocking about this system is that people's bank accounts, which they rely on for their jobs, their homes, and every aspect of life, can be closed with no clear means of redress or compensation in case of errors," said Chai Patel, legal policy director of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants.

"Additionally, this places people affected at even greater risk of exploitation and of being driven into a cash-only economy at the mercy of unscrupulous employers and landlords."

Friday, January 12, 2018

Commercial activities banned in basements

As part of an initiative to curb traffic snarls on city roads, city police on Thursday issued a notification banning use of designated parking spots and common areas for commercial activities. Flouting the rules can be punished under provisions of IPC Section 188 and Gujarat Police Act.

According to the notification, it has been found that a number of basements, cellars and parking lots in buildings are used for activities such as sale of second-hand vehicles, fitting accessories, garages and so on. Using such space for commercial activities has been banned by a Supreme Court judgement as it forces vehicle owners to park on the road, mentioned the notification.

It also covered the eateries that utilize such spaces for serving customers or preparing food. The notification mentioned that some of the malls also provide the space for exhibitions and sales.

'With the notification, the use of basement and parking space is banned for commercial activities,' mentioned the circular.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

SC makes anthem optional in cinema halls

Amending its order that had been in force for a little over a year, the Supreme Court made it optional on Tuesday for cinema halls to play the national anthem before screening a film and spared moviegoers of a compulsory display of patriotism by having to stand up.

On November 30, 2016, a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy had passed an interim order that said, "All cinema halls in India shall play the national anthem before the feature film starts and all present in the hall are obliged to stand up to show respect to the national anthem."

The SC had not expected that its order to judicially instil patriotism and nationalism among movie-goers could lead to vigilantism with instances where even the old and invalid were forced to stand up in cinema halls.

A year later, there was a change of attorney general, with K K Venugopal succeeding Mukul Rohatgi and, importantly, an altered perception at the Centre, which filed an affidavit requesting the court to make playing of the national anthem optional in cinema halls.

Venugopal requested a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud to modify the 2016 order by replacing "shall" with "may" since the Centre had constituted a 12-member inter-ministerial committee to look into all aspects related to singing and screening of the national anthem.

Following the Centre's submission, the SC disposed of the petition and said its order making the national anthem optional would remain in operation till the committee came out with recommendations. It is not clear what effect the order making the national anthem optional will have in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, the two states which had issued notifications prior to November 30, 2016, making it mandatory for cinema halls to play the anthem before screening a film.

Aware of the widespread criticism of the order, mainly because of the activities of vigilante groups in enforcing it, the three-judge bench readily accepted the AG's request on Tuesday, which in in sync with the loud hints the SC had dropped during a hearing on October 23 last year on a PIL filed by Shyam Narayan Chouksey.

During the last hearing, the judges were critical of the outcome of its 2016 order. It had said, "Why do we have to wear patriotism on our sleeves? People go to cinema for undiluted entertainment. Tomorrow someone may say people should not come in shorts and T-shirts to cinema halls because the national anthem is played there. Where will this moral policing stop?" The court said the committee could examine laying down a set of rules, like the Flag Code, and set out guidelines for the singing of the national anthem. The SC said the government will take a final decision after receiving the recommendations.

While passing the 2016 order, the SC bench had said, "We have so directed as (then) attorney general Mukul Rohatgi submits with all humility at his command and recommends that the national anthem has to be respected.

The directions are issued for love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the national anthem as well as to the national flag. That apart, it would instil the feeling within one a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism."