Delhi HC confirms life term to two for killing a police sub inspector

Delhi High Court upheld a trial court’s order of life imprisonment for two men convicted for the killing of a police sub inspector eight years ago.

Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Indermeet Kaur held Ghanshyam and Kishore guilty of gunning down sub inspector Vinod Kumar.

The court, while upholding the order of life imprisonment, relied on the testimony of other police officials who were at the spot at the time of the killing. Court said, In appreciating the evidence of an eye witness, the approach of the court is to see whether the evidence of the witness as a whole is reliable and has a ring of truth in it. Even honest and truthful witnesses may differ in some details unrelated to the main incident because power of observation, retention and reproduction differ with individuals.

The case dates back to Jan 1, 2001, when a police patrol comprising sub inspector Vinod Kumar found a Maruti car under suspicious circumstances.

SC gives Kerala 16 days to pay teachers’ arrears

Supreme Court warned the Kerala government that it would face a scrutiny of expenses on ministers and legislators if part-time teachers were not paid their arrears, pending for 17 years by this month.

Justice B.N. Agrawal and Justice G.S. Singhvi gave this warning to the state government, rejecting its argument of paucity of funds.
“We can’t go by your claims. If you do not comply with the order by Sep 30, we will have to review the expenses incurred on your ministers and MLAs,” the bench warned state counsel.

The bench made the observation while hearing a lawsuit by the Kerala’s Aided Higher Secondary Teachers Association seeking the arrears of the part-time teachers of the government and aided schools.

Plea on Kamal Hassan’s film: HC orders status quo

Madras High Court ordered status quo on a petition by an entertainment company seeking to restrain Rajkamal Films International, Kamal Haasan and others from releasing a film “Unnaipol Oruvan” in Tamil and Telugu.
In his affidavit, Pyramid Saimira Productions International Ltd., Nandanam, represented by its director, N. Narayanan, said it had already filed a suit against the respondents for recovery of Rs.7.82 crore with interest and costs.

Rajkamal Films, the actor and others had entered into an agreement with the company in April last year for the joint venture production of “Marmayogi” on a budget of Rs.100 crore. The petitioner said the company had parted with a huge amount to the respondents, but they had not evinced any interest in the production of “Marmayogi”.
respondents had diverted the funds for the production of their picture “Unnaipol Oruvan” and were attempting to release it. Thus, the terms and conditions of the MoU had been violated, the petitioner said.

Strike in western UP courts

Work in all courts in western Uttar Pradesh (16 districts) was paralyzed as a three days strike called by lawyers to demand a High Court bench in the region.

All bar associations falling in the 16 districts of western Uttar Pradesh are participating in the strike call, Lawyer Association said.

The lawyers plan to expand the strike to include all commercial and industrial establishments in the western UP.

Strike hits Punjab lower courts

The functioning in district courts of Punjab came to standstill with many lawyers across the state going on a strike in protest against the hike in court fee by Punjab government.

The two-day strike call has been given by the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana HC here. Bar Council said, “The strike is complete in Punjab as no lawyer is attending work,” Council said, The lawyers held demonstrations and protests on roads in front of district courts in the state.

The Punjab government had recently increased the court fee by up to 25 times.

HC lets off Pandher in one Nithari case

Allahabad HC found no evidence in one case against Moninder Singh Pandher, the key accused in the sensational killings of at least 18 young girls and boys in Nithari in Noida(UP).

Court gave a clean chit to Pandher, who was awarded death sentence by the special trial court of the CBI, it upheld the same sentence on his domestic servant Surinder, believed to be an equal partner in the gruesome killings.

Justice Imtiaz Murtaza and Justice KN.Pandey, however, made it clear that the acquittal was only with respect to the rape and murder of 14-year-old Rimpa Haldar, a maid who had disappeared from Pandher’s house about four years ago. The remaining 18 cases against the two accused would continue, the court clarified.

Significantly, the CBI had also given Pandher a clean chit after the UP police handed over the case to the premier investigation agency following much public outcry across the state and Delhi.Pandher and Koli had challenged the death sentence awarded to them on Feb 13 this year by the trial court in Ghaziabad.

The high court, while upholding the death sentence of Koli, who had admitted to have killed the 14-year-old girl, observed that the crime committed by him was “gruesome, heinous and cold-blooded” and “we would not forebear from expressing that the accused Surendra Koli is a menace to the society”.

The bench observed: “The depraved and brutish acts of Koli call for only one sentence and that is death sentence. We agree with the reasoning of the sessions judge awarding death sentence and affirm the same award to Koli.”

The conviction in the murder of 14-year-old Haldar, who was one of the 19 victims to be sexually exploited and brutally murdered at Pandher’s house at Nithari in Noida, was the first one to be pronounced against the duo.

While Koli was found guilty by the court under various sections of Indian Penal Code for murder and rape, Pandher was convicted on the same charges along with Section 120-B -criminal conspiracy.

Court orders UP govt to take over Vindhyachal Temple

Mirzapur court (UP) has ordered the UP government to take over the management of the world famous Vindhyavasini Temple at Vindhyachal — an order which has sent the all powerful ‘pandas’ (local priests) into a tizzy.

Devotees, though, have welcomed the court decision, and are relieved that ‘panda cult’ would go away.

Civil judge in Mirzapur, Ramesh Kumar Yadav, on Thursday directed the state chief Secretary to complete the formalities for taking over the functioning of the temple within a month, and issue necessary instructions in this regard to the district magistrate of Mirzapur.

The verdict was delivered by the court in continuation with a Civil Judge’s 14-page order in a civil suit pertaining to management of the temple between the priests of temple and another party represented by Vedanti Prasad.

CJI for law to seize corrupts officials’ property

Chief Justice of India KG. Balakrishnan said, “If a public official amasses wealth at the cost of public, then the state is justified in seizing such assets.”

“One prominent suggestion is the inclusion of a statutory remedy that will enable confiscation of properties belonging to persons who are convicted of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA),” said Balakrishnan, inaugurating a national seminar on ‘Fighting crimes related to corruption’.

The seminar organised jointly by the Central Bureau of Investigation and National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences, was also attended by Minister of State for Personnel and Public Grievances Prithviraj Chavan

The chief justice said various competent authorities, empowered under the Prevention of Corruption Act to grant sanction to various investigative agencies to prosecute corrupt officials, often deny the sanction, rendering all investigation meaningless.

“Even in instances where the investigating agencies have gathered substantial material to proceed against a person, it is felt that the necessary sanction is not given on account of extraneous considerations,” he said.

The chief justice also termed the investigative agencies’ method of marshalling several witnesses instead of one committed witness as flawed in proving a corruption case.

HC says no to serving liquor any time

Delhi High Court denied a PIL asking for permission to serve liquor in bars and restaurants in the capital at any time in the day.

Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Manmohan dismissed the petition that sought to amend the Delhi Police Act of 1978 so that liquor can be served anytime at bars and restaurants.

The bench also imposed a cost of Rs.10,000 each on the petitioners for filing what it termed as “unnecessary petitions”.

Shirish Gupta and Jagdish Lal, in their petition filed through advocate Shikha Singh said that while the state excise department had given permission to 5-star hotels to serve liquor anytime, the Delhi Police Act forced other bars and restaurants to close shop by 1 a.m.

SC allows producer to release film ‘Wanted’

Supreme Court allowed film producer Boney Kapoor to release his film ‘Wanted’ on Sep 18. Salman Khan actor in this film.

Justice B.N. Agrawal allowed Kapoor to release the film after he offered to deposit Rs.2 crore with the Bombay HC as security amount in a dispute on an advance he had taken from LMB Holdings, a B4U group company.