Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Bombay HC Slams Maharashtra Govt For Job Ad Under Maratha Quota; Mob Attacks Advocate Appearing For Petitioner Opposing Quota

The Bombay High Court on Monday reprimanded the Maharashtra government for rushing to give an advertisement for Maharashtra Public Service Commission jobs under the Maratha quota as petitions challenging the validity of the said legislation is still being heard before the high court.
A division bench of Chief Justice NH Patil and Justice MS Karnik, which is hearing a batch of petitions clubbed together regarding the said legislation, questioned the state as to why was there such a rush to issue an advertisement at this stage.
While some of the petitions challenge the said legislation providing 16% reservation to the Maratha community, some have been filed in support of it.
Advocate Gunratan Sadavarte appears for Dr. Jayashree Patil, who is also an advocate and the main petitioner in the case. He informed the bench that an advertisement inviting applications for jobs has already been issued by the Maharashtra Public Service Commission under the newly-introduced Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) for the Maratha community.
Sadavarte also submitted that by providing 16% reservation to the Marathas, the state is crossing the 50% ceiling for reservation as decided by the Supreme Court, leaving only 32% for the open category in educational institutions and government jobs.
Appearing on behalf of the state, Senior Advocate VA Thorat submitted that for now only advertisement has been issued and the process will take at least six months to be completed.
“This is a serious matter involving the sentiments of millions of people, both for and against the reservation. Such irreverent situations should be avoided and the state should give Courts some breathing space to hear the petitions,” CJ Patil said.
Former Advocate General and Senior Advocate Shrihari Aney appeared on behalf of one of the petitioners opposing the legislation and said that creation of a separate category for Marathas called SEBC cannot be justified as the Constitution has only recognized SC, ST and OBC as the different categories for providing reservation.
Aney argued that the general public should be made aware of the contents of the State Backward Class Commission report that recommended the reservation in the first place.
The court then asked the state to take instructions as to whether the report can be made public. The matter was adjourned to December 19.
Chaos Ensues
Once the hearing concluded, Advocate Gunratan Sadavarte was outside speaking to the media when a mob chanting “Ek Maratha Lakh Maratha” surrounded him and a man assaulted him physically. The police immediately apprehended the man who assaulted Sadavarte. He has been identified as Vaijnath Patil from Jalna district.
Then, Sadavarte headed back to the first Court and narrated the ordeal. He said he had received 1,000 threat calls since he took up the case. He also said people, through these phone calls, also threatened to harm his daughter.
I feel insecure. I get calls where I am being told that I am going against the Brahmins and that I belong to the scheduled class,” Sadavarte said.
The court summoned Advocate General AA Kumbhakoni after hearing all this. AG Kumbhakoni expressed his disapproval of the incident and assured the court that security will be provided to Sadavarte the moment he stepped out of court.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

No tax on up to ₹50k interest for senior citizens

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has learnt of instances where banks wrongly deducted tax at source (TDS) on interest income earned by senior citizens. In a notification issued on December 6, it has clarified that no TDS has to be deducted under section 194-A of the Income Tax (I-T) Act in the hands of senior citizens, unless their interest income in the aggregate exceeds Rs 50,000 in a year.
Section 80-TTB was introduced with effect from April 1, 2018. Any individual, aged 60 and above, can claim a deduction of up to Rs 50,000 from his/her interest income. Thus, if the interest income is collectively less than this sum, TDS requirements do not come into play.


When a person dies without leaving a will, the family members need the succession certificate to certify their legal claim to the assets

Application: A petition must be made to the Civil Court by the legal heir claiming the asset. It should contain names of all heirs; details about time, date and place of death should be mentioned in the application. A copy of the death certificate has to be produced
Newspapers notice: Once petition is received, the court issues a notice in newspapers along with notice to all respondents, calling for objections to issue succession certificate. It provides a period of 45 days to do the same, along with necessary documentary proofs
Issuance: On expiry of the time period, if the court does not receive any responses and no one contests the petition, the court passes an order on the succession certificate in favour of the petitioner
Court fee: Courts levy a fixed percentage of the value of the estate as a court fee for issuance of the certificate. This has to be paid in the form of judicial stamp papers of sufficient amount, after which the certificate shall be typed, duly signed and delivered

Saturday, December 8, 2018

SC: Quota can’t exceeed 50%; Telangana withdraws plea

Telangana withdrew its plea to increase reservation quota for Backward Classes (BCs), SCs and STs in panchayati raj and other local bodies after Supreme Court on 7/12/18 refused to allow the state to enhance the quota beyond 50%.
The state had sought permission for 34% reservations for BCs, 24% to SCs and 9% to STs in the ensuing sarpanch elections as well as in all other panchayati raj and local body elections, taking the total quota proportion to 67%.
Telangana’s contention was that such a permission was essential as the population of BCs, SCs and STs is higher in Telangana.
The SC bench of Justice RF Nariman and Justice KM Joseph told the Telangana counsel that under no circumstances can the state cross the 50% upper cap fixed earlier by the apex court. Telangana then withdrew its plea seeking permission for quota enhancement.
It may be recalled that the Hyderabad high court had earlier made it clear that all quotas put together cannot exceed 50% as per the judgement of the Supreme Court.
With this, the state will have no other option but to put pressure on the Centre to bring in a legislation that allows the Centre and states to increase quotas.

HC: BSF can dismiss its jawan without inquiry

The Punjab and Haryana high court has upheld dismissal of a Border Security Force (BSF) constable, Binder Singh of Fazilka for passing sensitive information to a Pakistan spy about the BSF deployment in the border areas of Punjab.
While serving with 41-Battalion of BSF in Abohar sector, Binder had on November 3-4, 2012 communicated some highly-sensitive information about BSF deployment to the Pakistan spy and the information included the names of the commandants, strength of troops and location by using code words. He used words like “haveli” for battalion headquarters and “kutte” (dogs) for BSF personnel to communicate with the spy.

The division bench, headed by Chief Justice Krishna Murari has also held that if it was impractical for the BSF to hold an inquiry inasmuch as it would have been prejudicial to national interest, it can dismiss the services of its personnel without holding a court of inquiry. Finding Binder’s action not only against the BSF rules but also contrary to the provisions of the Official Secrets Act and prejudicial to national interest, the BSF had invoked Rule 22 (2) of the 1969 Rules and dismissed him from service without holding a court of inquiry. The aggrieved man had challenged his dismissal orders on the grounds that his order of dismissal was a nonspeaking order and the commandant was not the competent authority to dismiss him from the service.
Contesting the petition, the BSF had submitted that looking into the seriousness of the charges and as it was impractical to hold an inquiry, the petitioner was duly communicated the reasons for the same and thereafter the order of dismissal was passed in accordance with Rule 22 of the 1969 Rules.
“The test of law to inform him of the reasons as to why it was impractical to hold an inquiry stands fulfilled in the facts and circumstances of the case and, thus, no illegality can be found in the impugned order dismissing him from service,” the BSF had told the high court.
Hearing both the parties, the division bench of the high court upheld the decision passed by the BSF authorities after finding no illegality in the dismissal orders.

Private religious trusts not bound by RTI act: HC

Hyderabad HC has held that religious institutions like temples, churches and mosques that are not funded by the government do not fall within the purview of the Right to Information Act-2005 (RTI).
Justice Challa Kodanda Ram pronounced the judgment after hearing nearly 100 temples, their trustees and officials from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, who had challenged the decisions of their states’ endowments departments, which had asked these religious entities to furnish information regarding their administrative activities under the RTI Act.
Stating that these temples and their officials do not fall under the definition of public authority, as defined in the RTI Act, the judge saidthat the question of these entities following the directives issued by endowments department in respect of RTI does not arise.

Rich Indians eye Carribean Grenada as wait for US investor visa gets longer

The queue of Indians seeking US green cards via the EB investors’ visa has lengthened in the last three years, but so have the delays. Indians have begun seeking passports from the Caribbean island of Grenada as a way to fast-track their entry into the US.

Grenada is the new bolt hole for wealthy Indians seeking to get US residency.
The queue of Indians seeking US green cards via the EB investors’ visa has lengthened in the last three years, but so have the delays. Indians have begun seeking passports from the Caribbean island of Grenada as a way to fast-track their entry into the US. 
“Until recently, a total of 15 Indians had ever applied for Grenadan citizenship,” says Mark Davies, CEO of the immigration law firm Davies & Associates. “This year alone, 32 have got Grenadan passports.” Eighty per cent of these Indians have opted for EB-5 visas from the US as well. “They use Grenada as stopover place.”
Wealthy Indians applying for EB-5 visas has spiked. In 2014, only 99 filed for such visas, investing a total of $49.5 million. 

According to The Invest in US programme, these numbers jumped to 238 and $119 million in 2015. Davies & Associates estimates that in 2017 the number of Indian EB-5 visas filings was about 400, reflecting investments totalling $200 million (Rs 13 billion). 
The state department figures show a similar jump in the total EB-5 visas issued to Indians, going from 96 in 2014 to 491 in 2017. 
Getting a green card via the EB-5 process takes an investment of $500,000 plus about $80,000 in legal fees. The length of time to get a green card is nearly two years and getting longer. 
To get a Grenadan passport, one has to invest between $100,000 to $400,000 in the island’s real estate or National Transformation Fund. One can then invest as little as $100,000 in the US and get an E-2 US visa. “Getting a Grenadan passport takes about four months – largely because of a US state department check. The move to the US takes about two months,” said a lawyer. 
The primary reason for the increase in wealthy Indians seeking such visas is simply that other paths to US residency are being closed down or threatened by the Trump administration. 
“Many wealthy Indians now ask how do I ensure my student son or daughter can continue to pursue their career in the US?” said an immigration lawyer. “Indians are simply wealthier as well and can afford the investment amounts.” 
Among the trends evident among Indians are a lot more EB-5 visa applications involving entire families. For example, said one source, nine members of one of the 300 richest families in India have applied together. Rupee depreciation and the stock market tumble have pushed more to make the jump this year. Financial professionals from Mumbai and Gurgaon, and techies in Bangalore, top the seekers. 
“One of the advantages of a Grenadan passport is that while it is not the only country that can help you get into the US, it is the only passport that gets you visa-free travel to Russia and China as well,” said Davies.

New PAN card rules that came into effect from December 5


  • If you are going to apply for PAN on or after December 5, 2018, then you will not be required to mandatorily quote father’s name in the application form in case mother being a single parent.
  • Non-individual entities conducting transactions of Rs 2.5 lakh or more in a single financial year will now have to mandatorily get PAN before May 31 of the next financial year.

There a few changes regarding the Permanent Account Number (PAN) that came into effect yesterday, i.e., December 5. The changes were notified by the income tax department through a notification dated November 19, 2018. Since PAN is an important ID proof to conduct even the most basic of financial transactions, it is important that you are aware of these changes.
Here is a look at what the new rules state.
Father’s name not mandatory for PAN application
If you are going to apply for PAN on or after December 5, 2018, then you will not be required to mandatorily quote your father’s name in the application form. This rule will be applicable if the mother of the applicant is a single parent. The application form will now give the applicant an option as to whether the mother is a single parent and the applicant wishes to furnish the name of only his mother.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has amended the income tax rules relating to it through a notification dated November 18.
Non-individual entities to apply for PAN card by May 31 of next FY
This year Budget 2018 had amended the Section 139A of the Income Tax Act making it mandatory for non-individuals who have conducted transactions above Rs 2.5 lakh in a fiscal to mandatorily get PAN. This requirement came into effect from April 1, 2018. However, the date by which they have to apply for PAN was not notified. Now with the amendment in Rule 114, this date has been notified which is May 31 of the next FY. The date of May 31 was notified via the above mentioned where it was stated that this rule will come into effect from December 5.
Non-individual entities conducting transactions of Rs 2.5 lakh or more in a single financial year will now have to mandatorily get PAN before May 31 of the next financial year. This means that if a Hindu Undivided Entity (HUF) or any other entity enters into a financial transaction of Rs 2.5 lakh or more during FY 2018-19, then they have time till May 31, 2019 to apply for PAN.

The notification further states that an individual who is the managing director, director, partner, trustee, author, founder, karta, chief executive officer, principal officer or office bearer or any person competent to act on behalf of the non-individual (who conducts the transaction of Rs 2.5 lakh or above in a single financial year) and has not been allotted any PAN, will also be required to apply for PAN on or before May 31 of the following financial year.

In the pipeline: PAN card in four hours
According to a Times of India report, you will soon be able to get a PAN card in four hours. The CBDT chairman, Sushil Chandra said this while addressing industry conference. The allotment of PAN in four hours is expected to start within a year.
Chandra said will come out with a slew of automation measures such as pre-payment of taxes, filing of ITR, refunds, case selection and finalisation of cases for scrutiny and so on.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Advocates ID card issued by Bar Council valid proof to enter Airport Terminals

Photo ID card issued by Bar Councils to advocates can be used as a valid identification proof to enter Airport terminals along with valid tickets.
The same was clarified by Central Industrial Security Force in response to the feedback given by advocate Mohit Kumar Gupta.
As per the response by CISF, instruction has been issued to all Chief Airport Security Officers of all the airports under CISF security cover to accept photo id card issued by the Bar Council as a valid proof for entry in terminal buildings. Valid tickets should also be furnished along with the id proof.
“It is informed that an instruction has been issued to all Chief Airport Security Officers of all the airports under CISF security cover to accept the photo ID card issued by the Bar Council as a valid ID proof for entry in terminal buildings along with valid tickets as per Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) guidelines”, the response states.

UK teen jailed for 3 years for bomb hoaxes

A British teenager has been jailed for three years after his bogus bomb threats led to school evacuations and an airport security incident.
George Duke-Cohan, 19, touched off panic in March 2018 when he emailed thousands of schools, warning about an explosive. The National Crime Agency says more than 400 schools were evacuated.
He later caused a scare by telephoning San Francisco Airport and claiming his daughter had contacted him while on a United Airlines flight from Heathrow to say her plane had been hijacked.
Judge Richard Foster told Duke-Cohan on Friday that the passengers on the Aug. 9 flight "must have been terrified when their plane was taken to a quarantined area."
Fosters says Duke-Cohan was "playing a game" for his "own perverted sense of fun."

Councillor sent topless pic of woman to mums’ group

A COUNCILLOR who shared a photo of a topless woman to a WhatsApp group for mothers has been suspended by the Labour party.
Mohammad Maroof posted the image to the Mums United group as its founder Sahira Irshad was presenting a petition to full council on knife crime.
The married father-of-two said he was trying to attach a video of Ms Irshad speaking at the meeting and instead ‘accidentally’ attached the unsolicited explicit image he had been sent earlier that day.
Apologising for the ‘honest mistake’ he said he asked for the message to be deleted ‘within seconds’ of sending it.
But the 50-year-old, who represents the Nether Edge and Sharrow ward on Sheffield city council, has been banned from attending meetings pending an investigation.
‘I sincerely apologise. I had no intention to do such a thing and cause such disruption. I have a lot of respect for the group. I am very embarrassed,’ he said. ‘This is my private phone and I receive so many things my WhatsApp has been set up to automatically save everything in my phone’s photo file.
‘Somebody sent me this photo and it went to my phone’s file. I tried to send a video and by mistake pressed the wrong photo. As soon as I realised, I asked for it to be deleted. It was only there for a second.’
But one group member, who did not want to be named, said: ‘Is this what is expected of our elected representatives? Absolutely disgraceful. It says a lot when women in his area are crying out for support and he is posting this.’
Mr Maroof helped set up the Mums United group to empower women, stop people falling into gangs and nurture the next generation.
He said he suggested the name ‘to give confidence and assurance to female constituents so, if there are issues, they feel safe and comfortable going to talk to people’.
The council’s Labour leader, Julie Dore, said: ‘This is a very serious matter. We will immediately suspend Cllr Maroof until we have ascertained the details.’

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Potholes deaths unacceptable, hold authorities accountable, says SC

‘Nearly 10 Deaths Every Day In 2017’

The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed concern over the alarming number of deaths on Indian roads due to potholes, the number being far in excess of those killed by terrorists and on the border, and said the authorities concerned should be held accountable for it and compensation paid to the family of every such victim.
Calling it “unacceptable” and “frightening”, a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur, Deepak Gupta and Hemant Gupta sought a response from the Centre on how to address the problem, after consulting the state governments.
Potholes claimed nearly 10 lives every day with total deaths at 3,597 in 2017, a more than 50% rise over the toll for 2016. The magnitude of can is understood from the fact that terror attacks in India, including Naxal strikes, killed 803, including terrorists, security personnel and civilians, in 2017.
Advocate Gaurav Agrawal, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae, told the bench that the SC-appointed committee on road safety had compiled data which showed as many as 14,936 deaths due to potholes in last five years (2013 to 2017).
“This is obviously a very high number and it indicates that the authorities concerned whether they are municipal corporations or state governments or National Highway Authority of India or other such bodies or organisations are not maintaining roads effectively. It is not at all acceptable that such a large number of deaths take place due to potholes on roads. To add to the problem, there is no provision for grant of compensation to the legal representatives of the victims who have to live with an unforeseen tragedy which arises only due to lack of concern by the authorities. There is also, unfortunately, no criminal action taken against the authorities concerned for their negligence,” the bench said.
“We would like the response of the Union of India whose response should be in consultation with all the state governments /UTs to remedy the situation and provide succour to the relatives of the victims whose death is caused due to pothole accidents,” it said.
The court had earlier expressed similar concern and directed the states and UTs to set up road safety committee in each district comprising superintendent of police and officer from departments like health, PWD, NHAI, road transport and member of the civil society to take measures to prevent road accidents.
It had also directed states to set up trauma centre in each district for quick care of accident victims besides mandatory audit of roads on safety parameters.

Patan Cong MLA booked for ₹82L embezzlement

Patan police have lodged an FIR against local Congress MLA Kirit Patel, who was the former in-charge principal of an MSW College, in connection with the embezzlement of nearly Rs 82 lakh collected as interview fees.
The FIR was lodged around midnight on Wednesday after a complaint filed by Babulal Prajapati, the vice-chancellor of Patan-based Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University. It is alleged that Patel was involved in the embezzlement of funds between 2012 to 2017 when he was the in-charge principal of the college. As head of the college, Patel had arranged interviews for teaching staff to nearly 250 colleges that offer Masters in Social Work (MSW) degrees that are affiliated to HNGU.
Prajapati alleged that Patel neither gave accounts of the fees collected for the interviews, not did he deposit the money with the university.
“After receiving complaints from a local advocate Pankaj Kumar Vailani and senate member Manoj Patel in October, we called for information from the colleges. Of the 250, 193 colleges informed that they had paid Rs 82,31,584 to Patel,” Prajapati said in his complaint.
However, Patel refuted the charges and said they were fabricated out of political vendetta. Kirit Patel, who was the local convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), was elected on the Congress ticket in December 2017 elections.
The Gujarat High Court has directed Patan police not to take any coercive action against Patel who moved the court to quash the FIR on Thursday

Return victims’ money from scamster’s bank accounts: Court

100 People Duped Of ₹17L

In a first, a court in Ahmedabad ordered the concerned government official to distribute among victims money seized from scamsters under a law that protects depositors’ interests – the Gujarat Protection of Interest of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act.
Principal district judge A C Joshi ordered the sub-divisional magistrate, who is the competent authority for distribution of seized money among the victims, to prepare and submit a list of depositors among whom the money is to be disbursed. The court said it ordered so “in the greater interest of justice” and permitted the government to take out nearly Rs 10 lakh from the alleged scamster’s bank account and pay it to some 100 victims.
The alleged scam involved Hemant Goswami and Mukesh Sharma, who registered Limelite Promotions Pvt Ltd and floated scheme that as part of government’s Beti Bachao Abhiyan and Swachcha Bharat Abhiyan, people could buy scooters at a discounted rate of Rs 38,000. They collected nearly Rs 17 lakh from some 100 persons. When the scam was busted, CID (crime) began investigations in this case. Under the GPID Act, the deputy collector also prepared a report, being the competent authority, to return the amount accumulated through fraud to the victims. CID (crime) requested the court to permit it to attach Goswami’s bank accounts and allow the deputy collector to distribute the money in these accounts among 100-odd depositors. There was Rs 10,24,367 in one account and Rs 9,323 in the other account. More than Rs 5 lakh was spent on administrative expenses of the company. Hence, police demanded permission for repayment of a little over Rs 10 lakh among depositors.
The accused opposed this demand, saying that police have not even filed a chargesheet against them. None of their customers requested CID (crime) to return the money. In the absence of any grievance, the investigators cannot make such demands.
For the state government, district government pleader Praveen Trivedi argued that under provisions of sections 9 and 10 of the GPID Act, the purpose behind attachment is nothing but to return the money to duped customers or depositors. The law empowers the deputy collector to make payments to depositors out of money realised after assessing the liability towards depositors. In case the among realized from the property of the scamster is not sufficient to meet with the entire liability, the authority can make payments on a court’s order. The court is also empowered to pass such an order on the basis of a request by the authority. Principal judge Joshi upheld the prosecution’s arguments and directed the deputy collector to prepare a list of the company’s customers to whom the money is to be returned. This list will be prepared in two months.

Singer Mika Singh arrested in Dubai on complaint filed by Brazilian national: Sources

Singer Mika Singh has been arrested on charges of sexual harassment in Dubai, as per sources. 

He is currently lodged in the Muraqqabaat police station, sources confirmed to Republic TV, adding that it was a 17-year-old Brazilian girl who filed the complaint against him, allegedly for sending an inappropriate picture. 
According to sources, the singer was arrested at 3 am last night from Bur Dubai. The Dubai police has confirmed that Mika is in their custody. 
 The Brazilian teenager in her complaint to the police, alleged that Mika sent her inappropriate pictures. 

The singer was in Dubai for a Bollywood performance. The police also stated that his friends attempted to release him. 

  • Singer Mika Singh has been arrested on charges of sexual harassment in Dubai, as per sources
  • He is currently lodged in the Muraqqabaat police station, sources confirmed to Republic TV, adding that it was a 17-year-old Brazilian girl who filed the complaint against him

U.K. Suspends Visa Program for Super Rich in Crime Crackdown

The U.K. is suspending its top tier of investor visas, closing a route to permanent residence and British citizenship that’s proved popular with the wealthy, including Russian oligarchs.
The Tier 1 Investor visa program will be suspended from midnight on Friday ahead of reforms designed to tackle money laundering and organized crime, according to a Home Office statement. They require applicants to provide audits of their financial and business interests and exclude government bonds as a qualifying investment. The suspension will lift once the changes, due in 2019, have been put in place.
The visa has been available to those with access to at least 2 million pounds ($2.5 million) to invest in the U.K. It’s open to those from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland. Such government-backed immigration schemes aren’t uncommon. The U.S. has an immigration program, known as the EB-5 visa, that lets immigrants who create jobs in the U.S. stay permanently.
The move could hamper people worldwide, but Russian oligarchs may be most affected by the change. The U.K. has long been a particularly appealing jurisdiction for ultra-rich Russians as a safe and stable place to do business, hold their wealth and educate their children. But the suspension is the latest sign that such appeal may be fading as the government cracks down after the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy on British soil.

SC Relief To Ex-IAF Officer Who Had Married A Foreign National Without Requisite Permission

“If an officer after his release or retirement could, therefore, validly contract the marriage with a foreign national and the spouse would therefore be entitled to all the benefits including medical or hospital facilities or club membership or canteen facilities etc., it does not stand to reason why the appellant, at least after his release from the Indian Air Force, should be disentitled in that behalf.”
The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Indian Air Force authorities to include the names of the wife and daughter of an ex-IAF officer in his Service Certificate, who had married a foreign national without requisite permission.
Sqn. Ldr.  Navtej Singh was invalidated out of service on medical grounds in November 2009. While in service, he had applied to the Director, Directorate of IMINT, Air Headquarters (VB), New Delhi, seeking permission to marry a Canadian immigrant.
As per the policy, a serving officer would be required to obtain permission before any marriage with a foreign national could be contracted. He married the lady without waiting for the express permission or the expiry of 120 days (deemed permission). His application seeking ex-post facto permission for marriage was not considered at all. No departmental action was initiated against him in this regard.
In 2013, he made an application to include the names of his family members in the Certificate of Service and issuance of ECHS cards. As this application was rejected, he approached the Armed Forces Tribunal, which held that he was not entitled to take benefit of his marriage with the foreign national, since the marriage was contracted without any permission.
The issue considered by the apex court, in his appeal, was whether his marriage can be recognized for purposes of grant of post-retirement benefits, medical facilities and family pension etc.
Taking note of the factual scenario, the bench observed: “During the course of hearing we asked the learned counsel for the respondents as to what advantages and benefits a retired service person including his family would be entitled to. We have been given to understand that the wife may in certain cases be entitled to pension, in event of death of the officer and the family including the spouse would be entitled to benefits such as canteen facilities and membership of officers club and such other benefits. We further asked the learned counsel for the respondents that if an officer after his release or retirement wished to contract marriage with a foreign national was there any restriction or prohibition under any of the policy documents in force. The learned counsel could not lay his hands on any such policy or point out any such provision. The stand of the respondents thus is clear that the policy in question is aimed at regulating certain aspects while the officers are in service. If an officer after his release or retirement could, therefore, validly contract the marriage with a foreign national and the spouse would therefore be entitled to all the benefits including medical or hospital facilities or club membership or canteen facilities etc., it does not stand to reason why the appellant, at least after his release from the Indian Air Force, should be disentitled in that behalf.”
It then allowed the appeal directing the authorities to include the names of the wife and daughter of the appellant in the Service Certificate at least from the date of his release or retirement and also to extend them all such benefits which a spouse and children of a retired officer would be entitled to.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

SC pulls up Kerala, K’taka & Bengal over judicial infra

The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up West Bengal, Karnataka and Kerala for poor infrastructure for trial courts, while terming the performance of Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand as “satisfactory”. In the process of assessing judicial officers’ vacancies in states and the status of infrastructure, a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph criticised the West Bengal government and Calcutta HC for “poor vision” about providing infrastructure to judicial officers.
“Affidavit filed by West Bengal chief secretary (present in court) is skilfully drafted. When the need is for construction of 422 court halls and 630 residences for judicial officers, the state is moving at snail’s pace for 75 court halls and 39 residences. The state promises to provide all funds required but in tranches, and it appears that projects for adequate judicial infrastructure would be completed only in 2027,” the bench said.
Turning its attention to Calcutta HC, the SC said, “These projects will be complete only if the HC, which appears to be in a slumber, provides infrastructure requirement details to the government in time.” Karnataka was next and it surprised the bench by informing that of the 30 vacancies it had advertised for district judge posts, it found only four suitable for appointment.

Can’t delete Bhindranwale ‘terrorist’ reference from textbook: State to HC

The state government told Bombay high court on Wednesday it cannot assure deletion of a reference to Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale as a terrorist in class IX history textbooks. Bhindranwale had led the movement demanding Khalistan.
It was responding to a petition filed last year by advocate Amritpal Singh Khalsa to delete the reference and recall the textbook. His petition said Maharashtra State Bureau of Textbooks Production and Curriculum Research (Balbharati) had spread “vicious propaganda against the Sikh struggle movement’’ as against “Shaheed Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale was called terrorist with other shaheeds”.
Khalsa’s advocate, Mathews Nedumpara, argued that for many Sikhs, Bhindranwale was “a sant who stood for lives and died for a cause’’.
Nedumpara said, “Where textbooks are concerned, these kind of references serve no useful purpose. It is 38 years since Operation Bluestar and wounds still remain.’’ He adding that Sikhs face discrimination and alienation. He said the government must reconsider the issue and in the next academic year delete the reference or the chapter. He also said, “Let everything be retained, except the used of the word terrorist for Bhindranwale.’’ Senior advocate V A Thorat, representing the state and Balbharati, said, “By way of assurance, we cannot say the reference will be deleted.’’ He said it was “a long and arduous’’ process of preparing the textbook by 30 experts of history and it underwent unbiased scrutiny. “It is the second year of the textbook,’’ he said. He said Khalsa did not represent the Sikh faith and had “no locus standi to speak on their behalf”. The bench reserved its verdict.

SC: Attach, sell Amrapali bldgs, benami flats

The SC on Wednesday ordered immediate attachment of 28 properties of Amrapali Group, including a five-star hotel and corporate offices, calling its promoters the “worst kind of cheaters”, who misled the court on alleged misuse of buyers’ money. It also ordered that benami properties in the group’s housing projects be attached as well. The court added that the process for sale of the properties be initiated. 
The SC on Wednesday ordered immediate attachment of 28 properties of Amrapali Group, including malls, a five-star hotel, a hospital and corporate offices, calling its promoters the “worst kind of cheaters” and “biggest liars” who misled the court by filing “false affidavit” on alleged misuse of homebuyers’ money.
The court also asked the Debt Recovery Tribunal to initiate the process to sell the properties. The court orders came after the group admitted that it had diverted Rs 3,000 crore of homebuyers’ money and failed to disclose all transactions. The apex court gave one last opportunity to the promoters and their families to return homebuyers’ money by December 10 and asked them to explain the diversion of money.
Taking note of the voluminous affidavit of the group, which runs into hundreds of pages, a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit expressed dissatisfaction and said it failed to give details of diversion of funds and its beneficiaries. It also asked why the company revealed diversion of funds only up to March 2015 while investments made in construction of housing projects and other details were up to 2018. “We are not getting any idea on how the money was transferred and whether it was approved by the board of directors,” the bench said and questioned the veracity of financial statements of the group.
SC-appointed forensic auditors, Ravi Bhatia and Pawan Kumar Aggarwal, who were entrusted with the task of probing the financial irregularities also expressed surprise over the documents placed by the group and said they are seeing such documents for the first time and not a single figure matched with bank statements.
Aggarwal told the bench that according to the documents, the promoters did not invest even one rupee and the vast empire was created out of homebuyers’ money.

The SC asked the group to disclose the name of the person who prepared the documents so that he could be held liable for action if it proved to be false. “First, tell me the name of the person who is responsible for the document. We want to examine him right now,” the bench said. The group preferred to remain silent and did not disclose the name but later told the court that five people, including two chartered accountants, had prepared the report and furnished their names.

Nagpur ACB chief booked for molestation

The Anti-Corruption Bureau’s Nagpur division unit chief P R Patil has been accused of asking sexual favours from a woman constable, a junior in his unit, offering her Rs 1 crore. The 28-year-old constable has also alleged corruption in the ACB unit. Patil has been booked for molestation following the woman’s complaint that he sent her lewd messages on social media and harassed her at work. Patil is among key officers probing the Vidarbha irrigation scam.

Govt definition of ‘domicile’ inadequate: HC

Quashes Cancellation Of Domicile Certificates Of Four Medical And Dental Students

The Gujarat high court on Wednesday highlighted the ambiguity in the state government’s definition of ‘domicile’ and quashed its decision to cancel the admissions of four students in medical and dental courses after holding their domicile certificates invalid.
Justice J B Pardiwala made it clear that the government should consider that the parents of four students were living in Gujarat for more than ten years and they intended to settle in Gujarat for a long time. Here, the domicile of the children would follow the domicile of their parents. The four students have made clear their intention to settle in Gujarat, at least for the present, and their domicile certificates should not have been cancelled.
The HC highlighted that the state government’s amended rules do not define the term ‘domicile’ or ‘domicile of Gujarat’.
They also do not stipulate that only those candidates who establish a ‘minimum continuous stay of ten years in Gujarat at the time of application’ can be considered eligible for the domicile of Gujarat.
Justice J B Pardiwala ordered the authorities to allow these students to continue their studies in the medical courses they were granted admission to.
Their admissions were cancelled after studying for two months, following the state government’s scrutiny of domicile certificates of all candidates in professional medical courses. This followed an HC order, after complaints poured in about bogus domicile certificates being issued.
In October, the state government cancelled these four admissions on the grounds that these students were born outside Gujarat and they did not have a 10-year continuous stay in Gujarat as they had spent some years outside the state for their studies.
The high court reiterated that staying outside Gujarat for studies cannot be considered a break in their continuous stay in Gujarat. The HC found that the word ‘domicile’ is being used in a ‘popular’ rather in a strictly legal or technical sense in the state government’s circulars. After a long discussion, the HC also said that it is difficult to lay down an absolute definition of the word ‘domicile’.

Protect witnesses facing threats: SC

The Supreme Court on 4/12/18 directed state governments to provide round the-clock police protection to witnesses who face threats for deposing against those accused in heinous criminal cases and ordered that their identity is concealed during the investigation and trial.
A bench of Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer said the criminal justice system in this country has been witnessing “traumatic experience” and “sordid phenomena” where witnesses turn hostile resulting in the acquittal of accused in heinous offences and that they (witnesses) must be protected to ensure justice. The court’s order came as it approved the witness protection scheme framed by the Centre in consultation with the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) and Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) and directed all states to implement it till Parliament comes out with a legislation.
As per the scheme, a police escort will be provided to witnesses who are threatened and, if needed, they would be relocated to a safe house. The scheme also says emails and phone calls of the witnesses would be monitored to trace the person threatening them. It said a separate witness protection fund will be created in each state to meet the expenses incurred under the scheme.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Where Are The Facts Of The Case? SC Sets Aside Allahabad HC Orders In Sec. 482 Petitions

‘In our view, the Single Judge ought to have first set out the brief facts of the case with a view to understand the factual matrix of the case.’
 “Now, what I want is Facts”, this is how Charles Dickens starts his novel ‘Hard Times’.
On Monday, the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre set aside four orders passed by the Allahabad High Court in different criminal petitions as those did not contain ‘facts’ of the case.
The bench, also comprising of Justice Indu Malhotra, observed that the high court in these orders has not even referred to the facts of the case, and it only quotes the decisions of the Supreme Court.
“We find that the Single Judge has only quoted the principles of law laid down by this Court in several decisions relating to powers of the High Court to interfere in the cases filed under Section 482 of the Code from Para 2 to the concluding para but has failed to even refer to the facts of the case with a view to appreciate the factual controversy, such as, what is the nature of the complaint/FIR filed against the appellants, the allegations on which it is filed, who filed it, the grounds on which the complaint/FIR/proceedings is challenged by the appellants, why such grounds are not made out under Section 482 of the Code etc. We are, therefore, at a loss to know the factual matrix of the case much less to appreciate except to read the legal principles laid down by this Court in several decisions,” remarked the bench.
The court observed that the single bench of the high court ought to have first set out the brief facts of the case with a view to understand the factual matrix of the case and then examined the challenge made to the proceedings in the light of the principles of law laid down by this court and then recorded his finding as to on what basis and reasons a case is made out for any interference or not.
“This is the least that is required in every order to support the conclusion reached for disposal of the case. It enables the Higher Court to examine the question as to whether the reasoning given by the Court below is factually and legally sustainable,” it said.
The bench then remanded the case to the high court for deciding it afresh.
Last year also, the apex court had set aside a Rajasthan High Court judgment which did not set out even the factual controversy nor dealt with the submissions urged by the parties before it and nor did it examine the issues in the context of relevant provisions of the Act that governed the controversy.
In another instance, the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Sapre found fault with Madhya Pradesh High Court order which started with the narration of facts of the case but contained no reason for its decision.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Demat transfer deadline moved to April 1 next yr

Sebi on Monday extended the deadline for transfer of shares of listed companies only in demat form to April 1. The last date has been extended after taking into consideration representations from shareholders as the initial deadline was to end on December 5.
Shares in the demat form will help in maintaining a transparent record of shareholding at companies amid rising concerns over beneficial ownership of entities In March, Sebi’s board decided that except in case of transmission or transposition of securities, requests for effecting transfer of securities will not be processed unless the securities are held in the dematerialised form with a depository. This measure was to come into effect from 4th Dec 2018.. 

SARFAESI : Borrower Has No Right Of Hearing In Proceedings Under Section 14 : Karnataka HC

The High Court of Karnataka has held that borrower has no right of hearing in proceedings under Section 14 of the SARFAESI Act.
The ruling was delivered by a Division Bench of Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice R Devdas, setting aside the general directions issued by a Single Judge that borrowers have the right to be heard in proceedings under Section 14.
The matter pertained Section 14 proceedings initiated by banks against few tenants, who were possessing the secured assets on lease. Challenging the SARFAESI proceedings initiated against them, they approached the High Court.
The Single Judge disposed of the writ petition, directing them to approach the DRT against the proceedings within two weeks under Section 17(4A) of the Act. The proceedings were kept in abeyance for two weeks based on the undertaking made by the bank. Going further, the Single Judge also held that even the borrower had to be heard before issuing directions under Section 14. Challenging this direction regarding borrowers, appeal was before before the Division Bench.
The Division Bench noted that the Supreme Court precedents in Harsh Govardhan Sondagar vs Internation Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (2014) 6 SCC 1 & Vishal N Kalsaria vs Bank of Baroda and others (2016) 3 SCC 762 had recognized the right of a tenant to be heard before issuance of order under Section 14, so as to ascertain the existence of a valid and genuine tenancy. This is because, a tenant had the protection under Rent Control Laws and cannot be evicted by invoking SARFAESI. However, no such opportunity was extended to the borrower by the Supreme Court. Hence, the declaration made by the Single Judge concerning borrowers was set aside.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Share Holder won’t be able to transfer physical shares from Dec 5

Only Demat Form Allowed As Sebi’s Deadline Ends On Tue

› Why has this rule come into effect?
In the last few years, there have been frauds involving physical shares, unclaimed dividend that accrued on such shares and also transfer of these shares. In case of demat shares, there’s a bank account linked to the demat account and this aspect could substantially limit frauds related to physical shares.
› Will all physical shares of all listed companies become worthless?
No. Every physical share will retain its value. The Sebi rule doesn’t take away the value of any physical share. However, these shares will become illiquid, which means while these shares will have their intrinsic value linked to the company’s stock price in the market, but to realise that value one will have to demat those physical shares and then sell in the market to get the money in their bank account. Investors who do not want to sell their shares, can continue to hold them in physical form.
› How to sell physical shares held by a deceased person?
If the current value of the shares is up to Rs 2 lakh, the legal heir can approach the company whose shares he/she has, along with the death certificate of the deceased, to change the name of the owner. He/she can demat the shares and sell them in the market. In case the value of the shares is more than Rs 2 lakh, the legal heir needs to appoint a lawyer to get a probate from the court to establish legal ownership, then change the name on the shares, demat those and sell in the market. Also, the current rules allow transfer of title of shares in case of inheritance and succession, and also for interchanging of the order of the name of shareholders.
› What happens in case one of the joint owners is dead?
The existing joint owner can approach the company whose shares he/she has with the death certificate of the deceased and change the ownership status to single from joint. After that he/she can demat the shares and sell in the market.
› What challenges are companies, and registers & transfer agents facing?
Investors holding physical shares are reluctant to follow the rules and formalities prescribed by the Companies Act and Sebi, to convert physical shares into demat form.

Pocso Act: Law amendments

The law ministry has approved the proposal for amendments to Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act, 2012 , to bring punitive measures against those in possession of pornographic material involving kids. For those found storing such material for commercial use, jail term may extend to five years on first conviction, will be non-bailable and involve hefty fine. On second conviction, jail term could extend up to seven years. Sources said WCD ministry received law ministry’s approval on Friday. WCD ministry will now prepare a cabinet note

USCIS puts ‘1 yr work abroad’ clause for intra-company transfer

The US Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) clarified last week that an L-1 beneficiary (employee for whom the application is filed by the sponsoring company) must be employed outside the US by the company for one continuous year, within three years before filing of the visa application.
However, a leeway has been built in for the employees already working for the sponsoring company on an H-1B visa, as they may be able to adjust the time requirement.
“The new L-I policy guidance clarifies ambiguities between the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act and the implementing regulations. It confirms what a cautious immigration attorney has always been advising clients.”  founder of a New York-based law firm.
“Now it is clear that eligibility must be met at the time of filing. This may require some employers to delay their application for L-1 visas until the full one year is met, but having a clear policy at least puts employers on notice so that they can comply and avoid unnecessary denial,” Emily Neumann, immigration advocate and partner at Reddy & Neumann. 
The L-1A visa is for intracompany transferees who work in managerial or executive positions in a company located outside US, whereas the L-1B visa applies for those employees who work in positions that require specialised knowledge. Companies such as TCS, Infosys and Tech Mahindra are among the top applicants for L-1 visas.
TCS topped the list with 1,802 L-1 petitions being approved during the twelve month period ended September 2017.

‘Unplanned C-sections in pvt hospitals 14% higher’


Births by Csections (caesarean) in India at 17%, according to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16, was higher than the WHO-recommended rate. The rate has got almost doubled from 2005-06. However, what caught the researchers’ eyes was the fact that the probability of unplanned C-section for delivery was 14% higher in private hospitals compared to its government counterparts.
A working paper titled ‘Too much care? Private health care sector and surgical interventions during childbirth in India’ by IIM-Ahmedabad professor Ambrish Dongre and doctoral researcher Mitul Surana explored the phenomenon and claimed that there were potentially 0.9 million (9 lakh) preventable C-sections in the private sector in 2016.
According to the paper, the fourth round of NFHS added a question which was not part of earlier studies – when was the decision to have C-section made. The answer revealed that 53.6% of all C-sections were planned – something which was common across public and private sector. After excluding these cases, the research found that the likelihood of unplanned C-section birth was 13.5-14% points higher at a very conservative estimate.
While exploring the potential reasons for the phenomenon, researchers argued that a number of factors lead to C-section. One of the reasons is fear of legal consequences if it is a risky delivery whereas another is supplier-induced demand driven by financial incentives when the patient has limited information. According to NFHS, a natural birth in private facility costs an average of Rs 10,814 whereas a C-section costs about Rs 23,978.
“One of the ways to prevent such practice is to equalize the rate of normal and caesarean deliveries - which is being practised in a few countries. More study is needed to understand other dynamics of the phenomenon,

LRD recruitment: Paper leaked an hour before exam

It is being termed as the most embarrassing instance in Gujarat’s police recruitment history.
An hour before 8.75 lakh students were to take an recruitment exam for 9,713 Lok Rakshak Dal and jail sepoys posts—constabulary staff on fixed pay — a handwritten answer key to the question paper leaked on social media and reached the mobile phone screens of many, including the chairman of the recruitment board for LRD, additional DGP Vikas Sahay, who cancelled and postponed the exam for a month. An FIR has been lodged in the paper leak case with the sector 7 police in Gandhinagar.
Fuming aspirants took to the streets and protested against the leak. Protests broke out in Rajkot, Botad, Amreli, Junagadh, and Gir-Gadhada of Saurashtra. It was only after the police rushed to the spots that roads were cleared of protesters.
State police chief Shivanand Jha immediately ordered an inquiry into the leak giving a clear warning that anyone involved in the leak will not be spared. Sahay apologized to lakhs of aspirants who had spent time and money to take the exams.
At a press conference Sahay said, “I regret that despite ample precautions — including deployment of force and CCTV surveillance, I came to know that a hand-written answer key to the question paper set by me had leaked. The incident has severely dented the image of the Gujarat police recruitment board and now doubts are being cast on the secrecy maintained around the process.
Police have detained several persons connected with LRD exams and a few outsiders who had received the images of the leaked answer key sheets on their social messaging platform. "We will crack the case soon as we have gathered CCTV footage which has helped us identify some key suspects , " said police.