Friday, July 31, 2015

Record confessions before magistrate: HC to govt

Gujarat high court has directed the state home department to ask police officers to make it a practice to take an accused, in case he confesses before cops, and witnesses before judicial magistrate to record statements under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code so that conviction can be secured.

The HC issued this direction on July 28 while dealing with a criminal appeal filed by one Chandubhai Dalwadi from Mandal, who had killed his wife in 2006. He first confessed to his crime before cops and also before four witnesses, but later did not admit his guilt before the court and the witnesses also turned hostile. The man was convicted to life imprisonment for murder by trial court in 2008 on basis of circumstantial evidence.

He challenged the conviction. Turning down his appeal, a bench of Justice Mohinder Pal and Justice R D Kothari lamented cops' lackadaisical approach in investigation and commented that timely recording of confession by accused before a judicial magistrate would have strengthen prosecution's case. Had the four witnesses, before whom the husband had made extra-judicial confession, taken to the magistrate, the case would have been stronger.

The statement recorded under section 164 of CrPC becomes a piece of evidence, whereas confession made before cops do not hold any ground once the accused or witness retracts before court.

Stressing upon the need for statement before a magistrate, the judges said, "Admission of guilt by accused before police official has no value in the eye of law. The Investigating Officer would be depriving himself benefit of important piece of evidence, if he fails to avail opportunity to produce the accused or witness before magistrate to record statement. Possibility of accused/witness disowning their statement at later stage ought not to weigh with police authority at the stage of investigation."

In this case, the HC upheld Dalwadi's conviction for murder and criticized the investigation and pulled up cops for not considering the case history because the woman had died within seven years of marriage and she had registered complaint of domestic violence. Hence the HC convicted him under section 304 Part-1 of IPC for culpable homicide and reduced imprisonment to 10 years.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

14-yr-old rape victim permitted to abort child

The Supreme Court's directive, a medical team on Thursday gave permission for termination of a minor rape victim's 25-week-old pregnancy though the law allows abortion only until the 20th week.

"A panel of five doctors four from civil hospital and a private practitioner has given the nod for abortion," superintendent of the civil hospital M M Prabhakar told PTI.

14-year-old rape victim moves SC for abortion

The Supreme Court had on Tuesday last come to the rescue of the 14-year-old victim who had been denied permission to abort the foetus by the sessions as well as the high court. The apex court said she can undergo abortion if medical experts allow it.

The abortion is likely to be performed on Friday, Prabhakar said.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Share house with ousted Husbond : HC

Gujarat high court has ordered a woman police constable to vacate a house and hand over its possession to her husband. She had earlier ousted him with the help of policemen after a lower court, in proceedings under the Domestic Violence Act, ordered that shelter be provided to the wife.

The high court was angry because the wife had got her husband evicted by other policemen after claiming that there was a high court order for this when there was no such order. However, since the law provides for the wife's right to shared accommodation, the high court permitted her to stay in the house during vacation.

According to case details, a schoolteacher, Hasmukh Patel, and police constable Manjula's marriage took place in 2003. The couple has a daughter. The husband has got a house in Ambawada village near Prantij in Sabarkantha district and the couple used to live here. Later, both of them went to Daanta after they got transferred. The wife has got a government quarter for accommodation and the daughter lives in a hostel.

When the dispute arose between them, the wife filed a case under domestic violence laws seeking maintenance and permission to live in the Ambawada house. A magisterial court and after that the sessions court ordered interim maintenance to the wife and also directed the husband to permit her to live in the ancestral house in the village. The judge also restrained him from entering his wife's office and daughter's school and hostel. He was not even allowed to phone the daughter.

After this order, Manjula went to the Ambawada house with cops and took its possession by telling the husband and in-laws that the high court had ordered so. This claim was even mentioned in the documents.

Dispossessed of the house, the husband moved the high court and complained that his wife was quarrelsome in nature and used to dictate terms and threaten that if her word was not followed, she would commit suicide and send her in-laws behind bars. She even filed a criminal case under 498A of IPC but all the accused were acquitted.

The husband had argued that as the police department had allotted an official residence to his wife, she cannot claim shared accommodation by evicting him from the Ambawada house.

Justice N V Anjaria asked her to immediately hand over possession of the house to her husband.

Friday, July 24, 2015

SC: Put all police stations under CCTV watch

 The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Centre and state governments to put police stations and interrogation rooms under surveillance of CCTV cameras.

A bench of Justices T S Thakur and R Banumathi also directed that the governments must appoint at least two women police constables in every police station.

It also expressed concern that Delhi, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland have so far not set up state human rights commission and directed them to form the panel as soon as possible. The bench also asked other states to fill up vacancies in their human rights panel within three months.

The bench passed the order on the basis of recommendations made by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singvi and advocates Amit Bhandari and P K Mullick who assisted the court in the matter.

The apex court also accepted their recommendation for regular and random inspection of police stations to ascertain whether any custodial violence took taking place after talking to inmates and examining CCTV footage.

AIPMT: Supreme Court refuses to allow hijab in test

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to allow hijab or any other head gear in the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT ), stating faith would not disappear if it is not worn on one particular day. 

A bench led by Chief Justice H L Dattu called it a “small issue” and upheld the CBSE notification that prohibited wearing hijab. The court pointed out that the AIPMT exam was being re-conducted because the top court had to scrap it earlier owing to irregularities. “Examiners cannot conduct inquiry into everyone’s faith. They have to do it appropriately this time,” it added. 

Install CCTVs at All Prisons in India: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday directed the central government and all the states to install CCTV cameras in all the prisons across the country and take a call on installing them in police lock-ups, if there are incidents.

The top court bench of Justice TS Thakur and Justice R Banumathi in their judgement said that CCTV cameras should be installed in the prisons within one year but not later than two years.

The court said that every police station should have at least two women constables.

Pronouncing the judgement, Justice Thakur said that all the state governments must fill up the vacancies in the state human rights commissions within three months time.

The court also directed union territories to set up state human rights commission, noting that none of them, including Delhi, have their own state human rights commission.

The court directions came while deciding a PIL by one Dilip K Basu seeking prison reforms and filling of the vacancies of the state human rights commission.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Facebook Must Hand Over New York Users' Info to Prosecutors, Court Rules

Facebook Inc cannot challenge search warrants New York prosecutors used to get information from its site on hundreds of users suspected of Social Security fraud, a state appeals court said on Tuesday, in a decision likely making it harder for New Yorkers to keep their digital lives private.

The warrants, which applied to 381 users' photos, private messages and other account information, could only be challenged by individual defendants after prosecutors gathered evidence, the Manhattan-based court unanimously ruled.

Facebook was backed in the case by a group of large Internet companies including Google and Microsoft Corp, which argued the case could set a troubling precedent giving prosecutors access to all kinds of digital information.

Internet companies are pushing back broadly against U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies' demands for customer data, in the wake of revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden of wide-ranging online surveillance.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office served the warrants on Facebook in 2013, seeking information on dozens of people later indicted for Social Security fraud, including police officers and firefighters who allegedly feigned illness in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The world's biggest online social network turned the records over to prosecutors last year after a state judge threw out its claim that the warrants violated users' Fourth Amendment rights, but it also went ahead with an appeal.

The court on Tuesday said the only way to challenge warrants was for defendants in criminal cases to move to suppress the evidence they produced.

A Facebook spokesman said the company disagreed with the decision and was considering an appeal.

A spokeswoman for the district attorney's office said prosecutors had secured nearly $25 million (roughly Rs. 159 crores) from people who were targets in the probe.

"In many cases, evidence on their Facebook accounts directly contradicted the lies the defendants told to the Social Security Administration," she said.

Prosecutors said Facebook pages showed public employees who claimed to be disabled riding jet skis, playing golf and participating in martial arts events.

Mariko Hirose, a lawyer with the New York Civil Liberties Union, which also submitted a brief in support of Facebook, said the court "side-stepped" an important question by ruling on Facebook's right to challenge the warrants and not on their legality.

The case is: In re 381 search warrants directed to Facebook Inc and dated July 23, 2013, Appellate Division, First Department, No. 30207-13.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Kerala HC exempts two Muslim girls from dress code for AIPMT

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday granted conditional exemption to two Muslim girls from the dress code introduced by the CBSE for candidates of All India Pre-Medical Test slated for July 25.

While allowing the litigants to wear headgear/hijab during the examination, the bench of justice K Vinod Chandran said the exemption was applicable only for the petitioners.

Earlier this month, the CBSE had issued a bunch of instructions, including dress code, for the students appearing for the All-India pre-medical test.

The court directed that the petitioners, who got permission to wear hijab, should turn up before a woman invigilator half an hour before the exam. Besides, the woman invigilator would be free to examine them while the test is going on if she develops any suspicion.

The CBSE told the court that the dress code was not meant to hurt any religious sentiments, but to prevent malpractices during the examination.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

US firm paid $976k bribe to win India water project

A New Jersey-based construction management firm has been charged with bribing Indian officials several crores of rupees to win two major water developmental projects in Goa and in Guwahati.

The bribery of $976,630 for a Goa project by Louis Berger included that to a minister, the details of which have not been disclosed by the Department of Justice.

On Friday, the company agreed to pay $17.1 million criminal fine to resolve charges that it bribed officials in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Kuwait to secure government construction management contracts.

Two of its former executives - Richard Hirsch (61) of Philippines, and James McClung (59) of the UAE - pleaded guilty to the bribery charges.

McClung previously served as senior vice president responsible for the firm's operations in India and in Vietnam.

Sentencing hearings for Hirsch and McClung are scheduled for November 5, 2015.

The Indian government, assisted by Japanese government, initiated the five-year Goa Water Supply and Sewerage Project to expand, rehabilitate and build water and sewerage facilities.

Louis Berger was part of a consortium for the project in Goa. The consortium included two Japanese firms and an Indian partner.

The team developed a project management information system and plan, evaluated bids, reviewed design and construction plans, and ensured quality work was done on time and within budget, the company says on its website.

Federal prosecutors, in their 11-page chargesheet, alleged that Louis Berger maintained a detailed diary and account of bribery made to Indian officials.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

No fine till 3 days after credit card due date

Reserve Bank of India has said that henceforth banks can levy a penalty on a credit cardholder only if they fail to receive payment for three days after the due date. The directive will benefit those whose payment or transfer gets delayed due to a bank holiday or for any other reason.

Besides not charging penalty, RBI has said that banks should also report delayed payment to credit information companies like Cibil only when a credit card account remains 'past due' for more than three days. At present all banks state that late payment charges are applied if payment is not made by due date. The late payment charges vary between Rs 100 to Rs 700 depending on the total payment due.

Although earlier RBI had issued a directive stating that the next statement date should be the reference date for computing penalties and reporting defaults to credit bureaus banks have continued to use the due date for imposing late fee.

In a circular issued to all banks RBI said that in order to bring in greater credit discipline as also to provide operational flexibility to credit card issuers, 'past due' status of a credit card account for classifying bad loans would be reckoned from the payment due date mentioned in the monthly credit card statement. "Consequently, in case of banks, a credit card account will be treated as non-performing asset if the minimum amount due, as mentioned in the statement, is not paid fully within 90 days from the payment due date mentioned in the statement," RBI said.
Banks shall report a credit card account as 'past due' to credit information companies (CICs) or levy penal charges, viz. late payment charges only when a credit card account remains 'past due' for more than three days. The number of 'days past due' and late payment charges shall, however, be computed from the payment due date mentioned in the credit card statement," RBI said. Earlier it was to be classified as NPA if payment was not received within 90 days of next statement date.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sebi has power to regulate GDRs, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court said on Monday that capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has the power to probe Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) sold by Indian companies, backed by local shares, to foreign investors and listed on overseas exchanges.
A bench comprising justices F.M.I. Kalifulla and S.K. Singh favoured the minority view held by presiding officer J.P. Devadhar in a 30 September 2013 ruling by the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT). The bench set aside the majority ruling by SAT.
SAT had ruled that regulation of GDRs is outside the purview of Sebi. The regulator managed to get a stay on SAT’s order by the Supreme Court.
The case pertains to GDR issuances by a merchant banking firm, Pan Asia Advisors Ltd, in 2009. In each of these issuances, large-scale on-market and off-market transactions took place in 2009 and 2010. When Sebi investigated these transactions, it found that entities related to Pan Asia formed an entire chain—facilitating the GDR issue for small Indian companies, arranging for investors, and then providing an exit for these investors in the Indian markets through a chain of known stock brokers.
Sebi’s case was that the GDR issuances were a sham. The initial subscribers to these GDR issues were almost always the same set of investors, who would, soon enough, cancel their GDRs, convert them into Indian shares and then sell them in the Indian market.
Sebi found that a large portion of these sales were in the form of synchronized trades with the same set of stock brokers based in India. Even the brokers were found to be connected to Pan Asia and its founder.
The Sebi verdict of 20 June 2013 restrained Pan Asia from accessing the capital market for 10 years on grounds of manipulation of the market through fraudulent activities.
SAT had to decide if Sebi had jurisdiction over allegations of irregularities in terms of GDR issuances. The majority ruling by two SAT members—Jog Singhand A.S. Lamba—said that only the Reserve Bank of India or the finance ministry could investigate such irregularities.
The tribunal said Sebi would have jurisdiction only when the GDRs are converted into shares and transacted on Indian stock exchanges.
The minority view of Devadhar was that Pan Asia had “beyond a shadow of doubt... caused misleading statements (to be) published on the website of stock exchanges that the GDRs are fully subscribed by foreign investors” when in fact, they had been subscribed to by a company controlled by Arun Panchariya, promoter of Pan Asia Advisors.
“Supreme Court’s order, conferring powers of full jurisdiction of Sebi over GDRs will help the regulator to take action on entities misusing GDR routes even if such an issuance is carried out outside India,” said Sandeep Parekh, co-founder and partner of Mumbai-based law firm Finsec Law Advisors.
“If any entity uses the GDR route in a way that may have an impact on Indian markets or be detrimental to the interest of shareholders here, Sebi must have the power to step in and take coercive and enforcement actions. So it is an important decision by the court.”
He added: “Through IOSCO, Sebi has bilateral and multilateral agreements of co-operation with 125 countries. So the latest order will help Sebi a lot to tackle cross-border capital market violations by Indian entities that have a bearing on domestic markets.”

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

CBI registers case against Teesta Setalvad for ‘illegal’ foreign aid

The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad for allegedly receiving funds from foreign entities without prior permission from the government.

The FIR also names Teesta’s husband Javed Anand, businessman Gulam Mohammed Peshimam and Sabrang Communications and Publishing.

The CBI is currently examining Sabrang’s documents and bank account details, with media reports speculating that the trio may soon be questioned by the agency.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Supreme Court consents single mother to be child’s guardian

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favour of an unwed mother to be the sole legal guardian of a child, without the permission of the father.

The woman had challenged the statutory necessity of involving the father of her child in guardianship petition even though she had never married him.

An apex court bench, which heard her plea, said that the lower courts had lost sight of the main issue and decided the matter without taking into account the child’s welfare.

The apex court further said that it was not required that the mother should reveal the father’s identity and include him as a party to the guardianship petition in certain cases.

As per the current law, a notice has to be sent to the child’s father seeking his consent when there is a petition for guardianship.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Japanese Court Orders Google To Scrub Records On Man’s Arrest

Over in Europe, Google has agreed that users had the right to be forgotten, meaning that users could submit requests to Google to have any information on them that comes up in search results erased. Of course it should be pointed out that this only applies to Google’s search results, and that other search engines could potentially list those details.

However with Google being the giant of search engines, we suppose it’s a start. While this is a service Google mainly offers in Europe, over in the Japan the Saitama District Courthas ordered the company to scrub the records of a man’s arrest from three years ago. The man in question was arrested for molesting a girl under 18 and was subsequently fined 500,000 yen.

Reports on his arrest are still surfacing when users Google his name and address, which apparently has led to him having a hard time trying to start a new life and turning over a new leaf. According to the man’s lawyer, “He harbors remorse over the incident and is leading a new life. The search results prevent him from rehabilitating himself. Publicizing past criminal information with a person’s real name doesn’t serve the public’s needs, and is therefore illegal.”

This was agreed upon by the presiding judge who then ordered Google to remove the man’s records from their search results. Like we said this is a service that Google typically offers in Europe, although French privacy watchdog recently lambasted Google, claiming that all links should be removed on a global scale.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Small Cause courts Bills get President assent

Under the provisions of the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act-1882, the financial jurisdiction of the Small Cause Court was only Rs 2 lakh since 2002. The pecuniary jurisdiction of a civil judge, whose cadre is junior to that of a judge of Small Cause Court, was raised to Rs 10 lakh in 2014.

Considering this and in view of the fall in purchase value of the rupee and the substantial appreciation in the value of immoveable property in recent times, it was considered necessary to raise the financial jurisdiction of Small Cause Court from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 10.

Currently, court fees in legal suits, appeals and applications filed in Small Cause Courts, and process fees are applicable according to the provisions of Gujarat Court Fees Act-2004. This has been raised by the amendment. Under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act too the financial jurisdiction of the courts has been increased from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

SC refuses to divulge medical expense of judges

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a petition seeking disclosure of medical expenses incurred by judges and their family members under Right to Information Act.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu said if the SC today allows such a plea then tomorrow there would be another RTI plea asking for details of medicines consumed by the judges.

"Once people know the medicines, it will be easy to infer what ailments are being suffered by judges and that will be serious invasion into their privacy", the bench said and dismissed the petition filed by RTI activist Subhash Agrawal.

Petitioner's counsel Prashant Bhushan said this would send a wrong message to public that judiciary passes good orders to bring transparency in politics and bureucracy but divulges little when it comes to judges.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

HC orders inter-district transfer of teachers

The Gujarat high court on Wednesday pulled up the state education department for misinterpreting word 'vibhag' as medium and not division and ordered the director of primary education to act on inter-district transfer applications made by two primary teachers.

Bhavin Patel an English medium teacher from Kubernagar English School and Prachi Korjani who teaches English in a Gujarati medium school in Bordi village in Kheda, had in July last year sought a mutual inter-district transfer at a camp.

Both were denied transfer on grounds that the mediums of their teaching are different and rules say mutual transfer cannot be made in different 'vibhag', which means medium. Both teachers moved the HC and Patel said that though he teaches in English medium school, he also teaches Gujarati his mother tongue.

Korjani submitted that she graduated with english literature and was competent to teach in the chool. After hearing the arguments, Justice J B Pardiwala told the authorities that word 'vibhag' means division and refers to primary and upper primary sections and not medium of instruction and ordered them to take decision on the transfer within a week.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), has no power to regulate the tariff

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the gas distribution regulator, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), has no power to regulate the tariff at which gas is to be sold by entities, such as Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), to the consumers.

Quashing the regulations framed by the PNGRB to determine network tariff for city or local gas distribution network as well as compression charge for CNG, the top court held that the PNGRB Act did not accord to the regulator authority to fix tariff.

A bench led by Justice Dipak Misra noted that the function of the Board is of regulating the inter-se relationship of entities under the Act and not to regulate the relationship between the entities and the consumers.

It rejected a plea by the PNGRB to give a purposive interpretation to the Act in the consumers’ interest and let it regulate the tariff. The court said that the intent of the legislature was clear in not giving this power to the Board and a court can not now frame laws in the guise of an interpretation.

The bench clarified that the PNGRB’s power was confined to provide by regulations the transportation tariff for common carrier or contract carrier or city or local natural gas distribution network and the manner of distribution of such tariffs.

With this order, the bench also nixed the Board’s order in 2012, asking the IGL to to cut prices of piped cooking gas and automobile CNG in the national capital and to refund excess amount charged from consumers since 2008. This order had said the actual network tariff and compression charges that IGL could levy in the capital was Rs 38.58 and Rs 2.75 against the Rs 104.65 and Rs 6.66 respectively levied by the company.

The IGL had challenged it in the Delhi High Court, which said that PNGRB was not empowered to fix maximum retail price of gas and that it could monitor prices only if the marketers of gas in a particular area have formed a cartel or are indulging in any other restrictive trade practices. The Board appealed against this in the apex court, which affirmed the High Court order and said that PNGRB cannot provide for regulations which are not permissible under the Act.

Supreme Court says no to compromise, mediation in rape cases

Days after the Madras High Court favoured mediation in a rape case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held that it would be a “spectacular error” to adopt “any kind of liberal approach” in sexual assault cases.

“Dignity of a woman is a part of her non-perishable and immortal self and no one should ever think of painting it in clay. There cannot be a compromise or settlement as it would be against her honour, which matters the most. Any kind of liberal approach or a thought of mediation in this regard is thoroughly and completely sans legal permissibility,” it said.
Stating that any proposal by the accused to marry the victim was an attempt to put pressure, the court said: “We say with emphasis that the courts are to remain absolutely away from this subterfuge to adopt a soft approach to the case, for any kind of liberal approach has to be put in the compartment of spectacular error. Or to put it differently, it would be in the realm of a sanctuary of error.”
The bench asserted that sexual assaults are offences which “suffocate the breath of life and sully the reputation” of a woman. “Such an attitude (favouring mediation) reflects lack of sensibility towards the dignity and the elan vital of a woman… it ruptures the sense of justice and punctures the criminal justice dispensation system,” it said.
Last week, a Madras High Court judge referred the case of a minor’s rape for mediation between the victim and the accused, and granted interim bail to the latter. The victim, whose parents are no more, is the mother of a child who was born after the rape. While the victim refused to participate in the mediation, the high court order sparked off an outrage over its legality.
In the Madhya Pradesh case which came up before the SC bench today, the accused, Madan Lal, had sought to compromise with the parents of the seven-year-old victim but the trial judge junked his plea. It held him guilty and sentenced him to jail for five years in 2009. The high court, however, converted the charge into molestation and reduced his sentence to the time that he had already spent in jail, which was little over a year.
The state government challenged this order in the top court. Setting aside the high court order, the bench said the high court judge appeared to be influenced by the compromise between the accused and the victim’s parents, which was impermissible.
The bench referred the matter back to the high court for hearing it afresh. It also asked the police to take the accused into custody during his appeal.

SC orders Tamil Nadu to pay Rs 1.7 crore compensation to girl who lost vision

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a compensation of Rs 1.7 crore to a girl who lost vision soon after birth due to medical negligence by doctors of a government hospital in Tamil Nadu.

A bench of Justices J S Khehar and S A Bobde awarded a compensation of Rs 1.3 crore — one of the highest ever in the country — and topped it with an additional amount of Rs 42 lakh to take care of the medical treatment that the 18-year-old girl would require.

It asked the Tamil Nadu government to pay the compensation after holding the doctors of the government hospital in Chennai’s Egmore guilty of gross medical negligence. The girl was born prematurely at the hospital on August 30, 1986. She was placed in an incubator in the intensive care unit of the hospital for the next 25 days.

Even after her discharge, the hospital’s doctors kept visiting her but at no point in time they prescribed a test for the disease, Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), which is frequent in cases of premature births. By the time private doctors could flag the problem, the disease had reached its terminal stage and the girl lost vision.

The bench found no justification for why the necessary tests were overlooked by the doctors and held them accountable for negligence. It agreed with the argument by advocate Nikhil Nayyar, who represented the girl and her family, that the girl had remained under constant care of the hospital’s doctors and hence the liability had to be fastened upon them and the state government.

Nayyar had pointed out that one Dr Duraiswamy, who was working in the Neo-natology unit of the hospital, visited the girl at least six times between October and November, 1986 but he or any other doctor never told the parents that a premature baby is prone to a higher risk of retinal detachment, nor were they informed that an internal examination of eye by an ophthalmologist was required.

Accepting the lawyer’s contentions, the court dismissed an appeal by the state government against the order of compensation by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, while simultaneously allowing a plea by girl’s father V Krishnakumar to enhance the damages.

The Commission has granted a compensation of Rs 5 lakh in 2009, which also remained unpaid by the state government till date.

UGC releases list of fake universities

The University Grants Commission, the apex body for higher education, on Wednesday published a list of fake universities in the country for the benefit of students.

A total of 21 universities have been listed by the UGC. Eight of these 21 fake universities are in Uttar Pradesh (the highest in the country) while six others are in Delhi.

Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar and West Bengal have one fake university each.

According to the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, only a university established by the Central/State/Provincial Act or an institution deemed to be university under Section 3 of the Act is allowed to call themselves as university.

Thereby, any institution that does not comply with the above rule is prohibited from using the term 'university' under Section 23 of the Act.

"Therefore, students and public at large are informed that such 21 self-styled and unrecognized institutions, functioning under the contravention of the UGC Act are declared as fake, and are not entitled to confer any degrees further," the UGC said in its notice.

Here is the list of the fake universities:

1. Maithili University, Darbhanga, Bihar

2. Varanseya Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Delhi

3. Commercial University Ltd, Delhi

4. United Nations University, Delhi

5. Vocational University, Delhi

6. ADR- Central Juridical University, Delhi

7. Indian Institution of Science and Engineering, Delhi

8. Badagnavi Sarkar World Open Educational Society, Belgaum, Karnataka

9. St. John's University, Kishanattam, Kerala

10. Kesarwani Vidyapith, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh

11. Raja Arabic University, Nagpur, Maharashtra

12. D D B Sanskrit University, Putur, Trichy, Tamil Nadu

13. Indian institute of Alternative Medicine, Kolkata, West Bengal

14. Mahila Gram Vidyapith, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh

15. Gandhi Hindi Vidyapith, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh

16. National University of Electro Complex Homeopathy, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh

17. Netaki Subhash Chandra Bose University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh

18. Uttar Pradesh Vishwavidyalaya, Uttar Pradesh

19. Maharana Pratap Shiksha Niketan Vidyalaya, Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh

20. Indraprastha Shiksha Parishad, Noida-Phase II, Uttar Pradesh

21. Gurukul Vishwavidyalaya, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh