Friday, May 29, 2015

Indian in UAE jailed for 'blasphemous' FB status

DUBAI: A 41-year-old Indian national has been sentenced to one year in jail after which he will be deported from the UAE for posting a 'blasphemous' status on a social networking site.

The Dubai court of first instance convicted him of blasphemy for a Facebook status he posted last July after reading a news bulletin about the Iraq war, according to a media report.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Doctor forgets mop in patient's body, asked to pay Rs 8 lakh

A city-based gynecologist and an insurance company will have to shell out Rs 8 lakh with 9% interest for 12 years for forgetting a mop inside a patient's body after a surgical procedure.

Gynecologist Dr Vandana Amin ran a nursing home in Patan in 2002. One Mitaben Patel consulted her after the bleeding in her uterus did not stop even after a laser therapy. The gynecologist advised her to remove the uterus and a surgery was performed on the patient in October 2002.

After the surgery, patient encountered another problem. A sonography report revealed a piece of gauze was present in the body. It was found attached with the intestine and was creating multiple problems for her. Mitaben had to undergo another surgery and the mop was removed more than a year after her first operation.

In 2003, Mitaben moved a consumer court in Surat, where she used to live. She demanded Rs 10 lakh compensation for the doctor's negligence. The court concluded that the mop had damaged the intestine and other inner parts of the body, and therefore ordered the doctor to pay Rs 8 lakh for her gross negligence. Since the hospital was insured, the insurance company also came into the picture.

However, the doctor and insurance company questioned the order at the Gujarat State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission. The commission upheld the earlier decision of the consumer court. "Was is not the duty of the gynecologist to verify that every instrument, gauze, cotton and other articles used during the operation were back on operating table after completing the operation or not?" the commission said. "If anything remains in the body during the operation, it is gross negligence on the part of the operating doctor."

Besides asking to pay Rs 8 lakh to patient with interest, the consumer commission also ordered the doctor and insurance company to pay Rs 10,000 to the patient for dragging Mitaben to court again.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Cannot attribute obscene words to Gandhiji: SC

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that no one had the poetic license to use a historically respected person like Mahatma Gandhi as a character and attribute obscene words to him in any fiction, poetry or any type of literary work.

A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said if an author, writer or poet used historically respected personalities as fictional characters than attribution of obscene words would make him liable to face penal action.

The court said in such writings involving historically respected figures as fictional characters, their depiction and unwarranted attribution of obscene words to them would invite rigorous test of contemporaneous community parameters.

The SC upheld framing of charges against the author who used Mahatma Gandhi as fictional character in his poetry and attributed obscene words to him.

SC stays Kejriwal govt's 'anti-media' circular

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government's circular which said that the government will pursue the case against any person for making defamatory allegation against its employees.

A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra stayed the circular issued on May 6 allowing the government to proceed against a person who publishes defamatory imputation against Delhi CM, ministers, or any public servant.

According to the circular issued by the directorate of information and publicity department, if any officer associated with the Delhi government feels that the published or aired news item damages his or the government's reputation, he should file a complaint with the principal secretary (home).

Asking Kejriwal to explain why the directorate of information has issued "such circular", the court sought a reply within six weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on July 8.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

No photos of netas except President, PM and CJI in govt ads: SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme court on Wednesday restrained the Centre and state governments from publishing pictures of ministers, chief minister, and president of ruling political parties in government advertisements. 

The apex court ruled that only pictures of the President, the PM and the Chief Justice of India would be published in government advertisements. 

With Wednesday's order, the pictures of other functionaries would not figure in government advertisements.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Supreme Court stays Madras High Court judge’s order against Chief Justice Sanjay Kaul

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed suo motu orders and contempt proceedings sought to be initiated by a Madras High Court judge against the Chief Justice of High Court Sanjay K Kaul.
A bench led by Chief Justice of India H L Dattu said that there shall be stay on the notice of contempt issued by HC judge Justice C S Karnan and that he wouldn’t pass any orders in this matter till the case is decided by the top court.
The bench further said no person or judge shall interfere with the process of the appointment of civil judges initiated by HC Chief Justice on the administrative side.

Appearing for the HC Registry, senior advocate K K Venugopal said that Justice Karnan’s order has brought disrepute to the institution and hence all judicial works should also be withdrawn from him.
The CJI, however, said that this aspect could be decided on the administrative side, in accordance with the in-house procedure evolved by the higher judiciary.
Justice Karnan had triggered a fresh row by threatening to file contempt of court proceedings against Chief Justice Kaul, as well as warning that he would initiate proceedings against him under provisions of the SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act.
In two separate unsigned letters sent to Chief Justice Kaul (on April 16 and 30), Justice Karnan also stated that he was suo motu staying the administrative order of the Chief Justice with regard to selection of civil judges, finding fault with the appointments.
Justice Karnan has said he would go to the National SC/ST Commission against Justice Kaul for “harassing” him.

Collegium dead & buried forever, can’t return: Govt to Supreme Court

The government Monday told the Supreme Court that the collegium system is “dead and buried forever” and it cannot be revived even if the Constitution Bench quashes the new National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC).

The Parliament, it said, will have to frame another legislation to deal with the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary in case the constitutional amendment and the NJAC are held to be bad in law.

“Even if it (NJAC) is quashed, what is dead cannot be revived. You cannot go back to the old system. There is no question of automatic revival of the old system and the Parliament will sit again to re-legislate,” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told a five-judge Bench led by Justice J S Khehar.

The AG added, “The original Article 124 has now disappeared from the Constitution. It is dead, buried and gone forever. It cannot be resurrected. It won’t come to life even after this Bench quashes the amendment and holds that the NJAC is unconstitutional.”

The Parliament has amended Article 124 to state that the Chief Justice of India and other judges of the Supreme Court shall be appointed on a recommendation by the NJAC. Before the amendment, Article 124, by virtue of interpretation by two nine-judge benches in the 1990s, had laid down that a collegium, with primacy to the CJI, will appoint such judges.

Rohatgi asserted that once the Constitution had been amended, there was no way the collegium system could be restored.

In view of the Centre’s argument, the Bench sought to know the legal position regarding the CJI and judges’ appointment in case the amendment to Article 124 is quashed. The AG replied that Article 124 will be deemed to have disappeared forever from the text of the Constitution. Senior advocate K Parasaran, who appeared for the state of Rajasthan, supported Rohatgi’s argument while clarifying that Article 124, in the form it has been interpreted by the top court to establish a collegium, will never be revived.

Further, Rohatgi reminded the Bench, also comprising Justices J Chelameswar, Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and Adarsh K Goel, that the judges were deciding their “own cause” by virtue of a doctrine of necessity.

“In all proprietary, this case must be decided by a bench of nine or eleven judges since all such cases were decided by a bench of nine judges. Let there be an authoritative pronouncement by a proper bench. It is too important a question, why should five judges burden themselves with it,” argued the AG, demanding that the matter be referred to a large bench for a decision.

He said that the government was not resisting scrutiny by the court, nor was it closed to changes that may be suggested by the court after hearing the matter, but it was of the view that this must be heard by a larger bench since the principles evolved in the 1990s judgments shall come into question. The AG pointed out that even the petitioners, who have challenged the validity of the NJAC, criticised the working of collegium, and hence it was time that the system should change to reinforce checks and balances in matters of judges’ appointments.

The bench, which will hear the matter again on Tuesday, has asked the AG to prepare a draft note on the interim order that could be passed for extending the tenure of additional judges, whose probation terms end during the pendency of the case, in case the case is referred to a larger bench.

Google adds Indian Railways to its Maps

Internet search giant Google on Tuesday added Indian Railways to its maps, which will allow users to check schedules and routes across eight cities in India.
“Today’s update will now allow you to see information for 12,000 trains, as well updated details for bus and metro routes from Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune,” Google said in a statement.
Using Google Transit, users need to type the destination into Google Maps, click on ‘Get Directions’ button and then select ‘Public Transit’ icon that will now include trains apart from bus, car and walking options.
“Google Transit is part of our effort to make Google Maps more comprehensive, accurate and useful for millions of people around the world who take buses, trains, metros or trams to their next destination.
“We hope that the addition of the Indian Railways schedules pan India and updated information for eight cities to Google Transit in India will make it a little easier to plan your next trip,” Google Maps director programme management Suren Ruhela said.
Google Maps offers public transportation schedules for more than one million transit stops globally in 2,800 cities including New York, London, Tokyo and Sydney.

SC rejects Centre's plea for NJAC's hearing

 In a major embarassment to the NDA government, the Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the Centre's plea for referring the constitutional validity issue to a 11-judge bench.

A five-judge bench took a mid-way 37 minute break and returned to announce that it would not refer NJAC matter to 11-judge bench as was vehemently argued by attorney general Mukul Rohatgi and all BJP ruled states.

The five jdge bench of justices JS Khehar, J Chelameswar, Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and Adarsh Goel gave three more days to Centre and petitioners challenging NJAC validity to conclude arguments.

The SC also extended the term of all additional judges in high courts whose two year tenure was expiring during the pendency of petitions against NJAC, the new system which erased the 22-year-old collegium system for appointment of judges to SC and HC.

The SC said it will complete hearing and decide whether the matter requires recerence and also decide if needed the validity of NJAC.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Judge threatens Madras HC chief justice with contempt

Justice C S Karnan of Madras high court has plunged the HC into a huge crisis by threatening contempt of court proceedings against Chief Justice Sanjay K Kaul accusing him of interfering in his judicial work and seeking a CBI probe into alleged forged educational qualification of another Judge of the HC.

Apart from contempt of court action, Justice Karnan also threatened to direct National SC/ST Commission to initiate a detailed inquiry against the HC chief justice for harassing him, a member of the dalit community, and also slapping a case against the CJ under stringent provisions of SC/ST Attrocities (Prevention) Act.

A beleaguered high court through its registrar general has rushed to the Supreme Court accusing Justice Karnan of judicial indiscipline, challenging the authority of the HC Chief Justice, passing order without jurisdiction and lacking in self-restraint. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India H L Dattu on Monday will hear the petition seeking a stay of Justice Karnan’s orders.

It all started with the CJ constituting the recruitment committee comprising Justices V Dhanapalan, R Sudhakar, D Hariparanthaman, N Kirubakaran and R Mala to interview candidates for selection as civil judges. The Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission chairman and other officers were to be part of the selection committee and it was scheduled to start oral interview of candidates form April 15 till April 21.

On April 16, Justice Karnan initiated suo motu proceedings and passed a judicial order questioning Justice Dhanapalan’s inclusion in the committee. He alleged that latter had produced “bogus educational qualifications” about his bachelor and masters degree in law, he had no locus-standi to conduct interview.

He also alleged that inclusion of Justices Sudhakar and Hariparanthaman, who hailed from the same community besides being relatives, would send a wrong signal about the fairness of selection. He went on to stay the CJ’s administrative order and restrained the public service commission chairman from conducting the interview of candidates for civil judge posts.

“In order to control the mal-administration of My Lord Chief Justice, I am passing this suo-motu judicial order in the interest of justice invoking Article 226 of the Constitution to restore the confidence in the Madras high court and confidence with the general public,” he said and ordered that two judges must be from minorities communities – one from Muslim community and another from Christian community – to give a fair representation to all communities in the recruitment committee.

On April 17, Justice Karnana’s suo motu order was placed before a division bench of Justices S Tamilvanan and C T Selvam, which stayed the April 16 order.

Despite the division bench order, Justice Karnan directed the Registry to place the matter before him on judicial side on April 30. On that day, he reiterated his earlier order and threatened the Chief Justice with contempt of court proceedings.

“This court requests My Lord the Chief Justice to extend his cooperation without any interference with my court’s proceedings and its judicial power in order to maintain decorum of the court and avoid an unhealthy practice of judiciary in the interest of the general public. My deep request to the Chief Justice is to avoid ego and stop acting in an autocratic manner to protect democracy,” Justice Karnan said in his order.

Ordering status quo on interviews to be conducted by the public service commission, Justice Karnan also threw in his dalit card.

He said: “My deep request to the Chief Justice is that you should not interfere in my judicial process in the instant case, failing which, this court will initiate contempt of court proceedings against you and also give direction to the chairman, National SC/ST Commission to initiate proceedings to conduct a detailed enquiry regarding your harassment of me being a dalit judge to make you perforce to book you under the SC/ST atrocities Act.”

DA case: Karnataka HC acquits Jayalalithaa

AIADMK supremo and former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa scored a sensational legal victory on Monday, as the Karnataka high court acquitted her of all corruption charges in the 19 year old Rs 66.65-crore disproportionate assets case that had been hanging like an albatross around her neck for nearly two decades.

Justice C R Kumaraswamy overturned the September 27, 2014 verdict of a special court in Bengaluru. The judge also acquitted her associates - Sasikala Natarajan, her niece Ilavarasi, her nephew and the chief minister's disowned foster son Sudhakaran.

When the judge read out the word 'acquitted,' AIADMK lawyers rose in unison and greeted him with folded hands. They trooped out of court halls shouting "Amma Vaazgha...Amma Vaazgha"

Live: Jayalalithaa, others acquited in disproportionate assets case

Bengaluru special judge John Michael Cunha had sentenced Jayalalithaa to four years in jail and fined Rs 100 crore on September 27, 2014. She was convicted in the disproportionate assets case that was launched by Subramanian Swamy on 20 August 1996.

The special court had sentenced Sasikala, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran to four years in jail and fined Rs 10 crores each.

The judgement by the special court had disqualified her from the post of CM and legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu.

Now, her acquittal by the Karnataka high court means she can assume the chief minister's post. Jayalalithaa is expected to address the press on Monday.

O Paneerselvam, who assumed the post of the chief minister after Jayalalithaa was convicted in the case, called on her at her residence immediately after high court acquitted her.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Married daughter can get dad's job: Madras HC

Married daughter of a government employee is eligible for a job on compassionate grounds after the death of her father while in service, the Madras high court has ruled. But, she should fulfil two requirements, the court said. One, she must obtain no-objection certificate from other siblings; two, she and her husband must give an undertaking that she will take care of other members of her parents' family from her salary.

An order to this effect was passed by a division bench of Justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice M Venugopal recently, while dealing with a case of I Kayalvizhi whose father V Indarjith died while in service in the education department.

"A married daughter is eligible for consideration, subject to submission of no-objection certificate of other members of the deceased's family and also with an undertaking from her and her husband that she will take care of other members of the parents' family," the bench said.

Kayalvizhi was the only daughter of Indarjith and she was married by the time he died in harness. She then applied for appointment under compassionate grounds. When she was denied appointment, she moved the high court. Citing a government order governing the issue, a single judge said she was entitled to be considered for the job. Her marriage alone need not necessarily disentitle her from claiming the job, as marriage is not a disqualification, the judge said.

Assailing the order, the assistant primary education officer in Anthiyur in Erode district filed the present appeal before the bench.

The judges upheld Kayalvizhi's rights in this regard, and directed the authorities to consider her case for appointment within a period of four weeks. The only modification made in the single judge order was the NOC from members in her paternal family and an undertaking from her husband.

In this regard, the bench cited an earlier order of the court in the Kamatchi vs state of Tamil Nadu, wherein it had been said that even if there are other members in the family, the beneficiary could take a no-objection from them and stake her/his claim for appointment under compassionate grounds.

The GO, on its part, clearly said an NOC from the remaining members of the family, an undertaking from the beneficiary that he/she shall be helpful to her/his parents' family and an assurance from the spouse of the beneficiary that he/she shall not cause hindrance to her/him in helping members of his/her parents' family in future, should be fulfilled to become eligible for appointment.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Supreme Court upholds maintenance for live-in partners

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said if a live-in relationship breaks down, the man is bound to pay maintenance to the woman and the children born from the relationship. 

A bench of Justices Vikramajit Sen and A M Sapre dismissed a petition by a man who claimed that since he was already married before entering into the live-in relationship, his partner could not claim the status of a wife to be legally entitled to maintenance under Hindu Marriage Act. 

The petition was filed by 'Z', who works in Bollywood, challenging an order of the Bombay high court, which had held that his live-in partner of nine years and the child were entitled to maintenance after their relationship ended. 'Z' argued that he was legally married to another woman for the last 49 years, hence his live-in partner was not entitled to maintenance as she was well aware of his marital status. 

Bill to check piling up of cheque bounce cases moved in Lok Sabha

 A Bill seeking to prevent piling up of cheque bounce cases in various courts and help the payee in the case of default, was introduced in Lok Sabha today. 

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015, which would help in "ensuring" a fair trial of cases under Section 138 that deals with cheques being not honoured, keeping in view the "interests of the complainant". 

"To address the difficulties faced by the payee or the lender of the money in filing the case under Section 138, because of which large number of cases are stuck, the jurisdiction for offence... has been clearly defined," the Statement on Objects and Reasons of the Bill said. 

If Parliament passes the Bill, then cases can only be filed in a court under whose jurisdiction the bank branch of the payee where the cheque is presented falls. 

5-year imprisonment for Salman Khan, gets bail till Friday

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was today (May 6) granted two-day interim bail by the Bombay High Court in the 2002 hit-and-run case, hours after he was sentenced to five years in jail by a Sessions Court.

At around 7:30pm he left for home after signing the final papers at the session court. The High Court will hear Salman Khan's appeal on May 8.

Shares of Eros International Media and Mandhana Industries, two companies associated with Salman Khan, plunged up to 6% on Wednesday after the Bollywood actor was convicted in the 2002 hit-and-run case and sentenced to five-year imprisonment by a Mumbai court.
Eros International has the worldwide distribution rights for two upcoming Salman Khan films – Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Hero.
Mandhana Industries, on the other hand, is a textile company that has a licensee agreement with Salman Khan’s charity Being Human to make and retail Being Human clothing.
“I am not really worried. I feel Being Human is standing tall on its own due to the quality of the product, right pricing and the charity element. I feel now Salman Khan fans will come out in a bigger way to support Being Human,” said Manish Mandhana, MD, Mandhana Industries.
While, Eros International closed at Rs 380.80 down 5.7% on BSE, Mandhana Industries ended down 4.2% at Rs 264.50.

Saturday, May 2, 2015


A Varanasi youth befriended a city girl on Facebook, and lured her into sending her photographs and later started blackmailing her by morphing the photographs. The girl, a resident of Ghatlodia, is said to be the relative of a BJP worker. The youth, who is in Crime Branch custody right now, allegedly extracted Rs 80,000 from the girl's family. "The girl accepted Varanasi- based Ashutosh Gupta's friend request.

After a few months' friendship, the girl decided to call it quits. But Gupta got annoyed and he started blackmailing her by sending her morphed photographs. A scared girl also mentioned her relative's political connection to rid of him. But nothing worked and the youth continued to blackmail her," said a Crime Branch cop. The girl then broke her silence and discussed the issue with the family that planned to end the matter without involving the police.

"The family called Gupta for a one-to-one meeting in Ahmedabad wherein he demanded Rs1 lakh to stop harassing the girl. After negotiation, the family agreed to pay Rs 80,000 to him," the cop said. However, the accused did not mend his way. After a few days, he again started threatening. But this time the target was the girl's mother. "The accused would send her the girl's photographs, threatening to make them public.

The family eventually decided to approach the cyber cell of Crime Branch and filed a police complaint," said the policemen. Acting on the complaint, DCB nabbed Gupta from Varanasi. "The accused would be produced in the court for his further remand," the cop said. Gupta is an educated youth from Varanasi and has been very active on social networking sites. The DCB is investigating if Gupta had approached other women and blackmailing them.