DSLSA and DCW set up legal clinic at commission office

The Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) office now has a legal clinic for providing free legal aid to women who approach the women’s panel.

The DCW and Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) inaugurated a DSLSA clinic at the panel’s office in ITO on Wednesday.

The panel said it receives several complaints on a daily basis and a significant percentage of them require free legal aid which they cannot afford otherwise.

“The lawyers of DSLSA deputed to the Commission herein shall ensure that the process of getting free legal aid for women shall be made smoother and more accountable,” the panel said.

Earlier, the complainants faced certain problems with the services due to lack of proper coordination between DCW and DSLSA, the panel said.

The newly appointed DSLSA Member Secretary Kanwaljeet Arora suggested that a DSLSA Legal Clinic be set up in the commission itself to streamline the process and provide free legal aid to women who approach the commission, it added.

Banks Cannot Recover From Customers The Amount Lost By Them Through Online Fraud : Kerala HC

Exercising their authority as per SARFAESI Act, banks cannot recover amount lost due to online fraud from customers. Instead they would need to take the matter to the civil court to get their dues back from the persons responsible, the court said.

In accordance with SARFAESI Act, a bank does not need to approach a court or tribunal for enforcing any security interest established in its favour. Previous to this, banks were allowed to assert their rights only via adjudication.

Justice A Muhamed Mustaque after referring to earlier two rulings by the SC and a decision given by the high court that banks are held responsible for unauthorized withdrawals in the judgement said, “Thus, it is clear that the bank cannot claim any amount from the customer when a transaction is shown to be a ‘disputed transaction’ And such a claim can be made from the customer only when the bank can prove unequivocally independent of the civil court that the customer had been responsible for such a transaction.

The HC deliberated on two customer pleas that sought a declaration that customers have zero liability in respect of the fraudulent transactions in their bank account. Senior advocate who represented the two customers said that the customers had bank overdraft facility and found that the money went missing from their bank account.

The fraudulent transaction was given shape by the miscreants as they could get duplicate SIM cards issued of the petitioners. Also the matter was reported to the bank within 3 working days.

And in the judgment, the court clearly pointed out that matter can no longer be included within the ambit of SARFAESI Act if it comprises allegations of fraud. However, if the loss is on account of customer’s negligence, he or she would have to bear the entire loss, the court said. To what extent the customer can be made responsible for such negligence is a matter of probe and adjudication through a civil suit, the court added.

Plea to link property with Aadhaar: HC seeks UIDAI stand

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought response of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on a plea seeking linking of movable and immovable property documents of citizens with their Aadhaar number to curb corruption, black money generation and ‘benami’ transactions.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to UIDAI, which issues the 12-digit unique identification number called Aadhaar, and sought its response in the matter before November 20, the next date of hearing.

The court also asked the Centre and the Delhi government to file their response, which they had not despite issuance of notice to them on July 16.

The authority was impleaded in the petition by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay after it moved the court seeking to be heard in the matter.

Upadhyay, also a lawyer, in his plea has said it is the duty of the state to take appropriate steps to curb corruption and seize ‘benami’ properties made by illegal means to give a strong message that the government is determined to fight against corruption and black money generation.

“If the government links property with Aadhaar, it will lead to an increment of 2 per cent in annual growth. It will clean out electoral process, which is dominated by black money and benami transaction and thrives on a cycle of large black investments…use of political strength to amass private wealth, all with disdain of the citizen,” the petition has said.

The plea has claimed that ‘benami’ transaction in high denomination currency is used in illegal activities — terrorism, naxalism, separatism, gambling, money laundering and bribing.

“It also inflates the price of essential commodities as well as major assets like real estate and gold. These problems can be curbed up to great extent by linking movable-immovable properties with the owner’s Aadhaar number,” it has further claimed.

Chidambaram produced before court in INX Media money laundering case

Former finance minister P Chidambaram was produced before a Delhi court Monday in connection with the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate.

Chidambaram, who is in judicial custody till October 17 in the INX Media corruption case filed by the CBI, was produced before special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar.

The ED had on Friday moved a plea seeking production warrant of the 74-year old senior Congress leader.

The probe agency said in its plea that it requires custodial interrogation of Chidambaram in the money laundering case related to INX Media.

Protracted Ayodhya hearing in SC to enter final leg on October 14

The protracted hearing in the politically sensitive Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute at Ayodhya will enter into the crucial final leg on Monday when the Supreme Court resumes proceedings on the 38th day after the week-long Dussehra break.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, which started the day-to-day proceedings on August 6 after mediation proceedings failed to find an amicable solution to the vexatious dispute, has revised the deadline for wrapping up the proceedings and has fixed it on October 17.

Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

Initially, as many as five lawsuits were filed in the lower court. The first one was filed by Gopal Singh Visharad, a devotee of ‘Ram Lalla’, in 1950 to seek enforcement of the right to worship of Hindus at the disputed site. In the same year, the Paramahansa Ramachandra Das had also filed the lawsuit for the continuation of worship and keeping the idols under the central dome of the now-demolished disputed structure. The plea was later withdrawn.

Later, the Nirmohi Akahara also moved the trial court in 1959 seeking management and ‘shebaiti’ (devotee) rights over the 2.77 acre disputed land.

Then came the lawsuit of the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Wakf Board which moved the court in 1961, claiming title right over the disputed property. The deity, ‘Ram Lalla Virajman’ through next friend and former Allahabad High Court judge Deoki Nandan Agrawal, and the Janambhoomi (the birthplace) moved the lawsuit in 1989, seeking title right over the entire disputed property on the key ground that the land itself has the character of the deity and of a ‘Juristic entity’.

Later, all the lawsuits were transferred to the Allahabad High Court for adjudication following the demolition of the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri masjid structure on December 6, 1992, sparking communal riots in the country.

Earlier, the bench, also comprising justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, had said it would wrap up the hearing by October 17, a day sooner than the earlier schedule.

Fixing the schedule for the final leg of the lengthy arguments, it had said that the Muslim side would complete the arguments on October 14 and thereafter, two days would be granted to the Hindu parties to sum up their rejoinders by October 16.

October 17 would be the last day for wrapping up the hearing when the parties will have to make the final arguments about the relief they are seeking, the court had said.

The bench had earlier fixed the deadline of October 18 to conclude the hearing. The judgment in the matter is to be pronounced by November 17, the day the Chief Justice of India will demit the office.

The apex court had on August 6 commenced day-to-day proceedings in the case as the mediation proceedings initiated to find the amicable resolution had failed.

It had taken note of the report of the three-member panel, comprising Justice FMI Kallifulla, spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate and renowned mediator Sriram Panchu, that mediation proceedings, which went on for about four months, did not result in any final settlement and it had to decide the matter pending before it.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

Parents unable to afford medical treatment of child seeks her mercy killing from Court

A couple moved the District Sessions Court in Chittoor, seeking permission for mercy killing for their one-year-old daughter Suhana as they are unable to afford her treatment costs.

The child has breathing disorders, down syndrome and is on life support since birth.

According to sources, the couple Bawajan and Shabhir — both daily wagers — have filed a petition at the family court in Madanpalle town.

The couple sold off their land and spent around Rs 12 lakh for her treatment. However, with no improvement in her health, the couple decided to file the plea.

Hurt caused due to teeth bite does not fall under Section 324 IPC

Delhi High Court has prima facie opined that hurt caused due to teeth bite does not fall within the ambit of Section 324 IPC.

A bench of Justice Bakhru has passed the order in the case titled as NEETU BHANDARI vs DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF POLICE on 25.09.2019.

FIR was registered on the basis of a complaint of one landlord against the tenant wherein the prime allegation was that the tennant was not vacating the premises and threatening to implicate the landlord in false cases and one day, his wife bite his hand. The police registered an FIR for offences punishable under Section 323/3234/34 IPC. The accused challenged the FIR before the High Court.

The High Court has made following observation:

“The learned counsel appearing for the petitioner relies upon the decision of the Supreme Court in Shakeel Ahmed v. State: (2004) 10 SCC 103.

A plain reading of the said decision indicates that in the facts of the present case, an offence under Section 324 IPC is not made out.

Mr Mahajan, learned ASC appearing for the State seeks time to examine this decision”.

Thereafter the High Court adjourned the matter.

Pertinently, the Supreme Court in Shakeel Ahmed v. State: (2004) 10 SCC 103 has made following observation:

“The appellant stands convicted under Section 326 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code. Injuries, no doubt, are grievous as the phalanx of the index finger has been snipped off.

But the allegation is that the assailant had bitten the index finger and caused the said injury. Teeth of human being cannot be considered as deadly weapon as per the description of deadly weapon enumerated under Section 326 of the IPC.

Hence the offence cannot escalate to Section 326. It can best remain only at Section 325 of the IPC. We, therefore, alter the conviction to Section 325 of the IPC read with Section 34 of the IPC”.

Once liberty is given to accused to move bail after a fixed period of time, he should not be granted permanent bail at any earlier moment

Supreme Court has cancelled the bail granted to an accused who was earlier given liberty to move bail application after 6 months but HC given him permanent bail prior to that period.

A bench of Justice Gupta and Justice Kant has passed the order in the case titled as TARA DEVI vs BHIKAR RAI @ BHIKARI RAI on 04.10.2019.

Supreme Court observed “The first bail application of the respondent no.1 was rejected on 17.02.2018 and liberty was given to the appellant to make a prayer for renewal, if the trial is not concluded within six months. This six months were to end on 07.08.2018. However, prior to that the respondent no.1 filed a bail application before the High Court on the ground that though this period of six months has not elapsed, he is seeking provisional bail for treatment of his wife, who had been referred to AIIMS, New Delhi for some neuro problem. Considering the prayer, the bail was granted. But unfortunately High Court did not grant provisional bail as prayed for a limited period but granted permanent bail”.

It further observed “The record produced before us also shows that the respondent no.1, who got bail sometime in June 18, 2018 did not appear in the Court for more than a year. It was only after notice was issued in the present petition that the respondent no.1 appeared before the Trial Court. It is now urged that the appellant was not served with summons. We are unable to understand or appreciate this argument. In a matter where a person against whom a criminal case is pending, obtains and furnishes bail, he cannot be permitted to urge that he is not aware of the dates in the criminal case against him”.

Supreme Court then cancelled the bail saying “The respondent no.1 is also involved in various other criminal cases and all those facts were not taken into consideration by the High Court and only in view of the alleged illness of his wife he was granted interim bail. It is apparent that the respondent no.1 has misused the liberty granted to him. Therefore, we cancel the bail of the appellant. Appellant is directed to surrender forthwith to the concerned jail authorities”.

SC reiterates: Article 14 of the Constitution of India forbids class legislation.

In the judgment of the case – Rajasthan state Road Transport Corporation v. Danish Khan, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta, at the Supreme Court, have held that as the respondent has received the compensation under the Motor vehicles Act, 1988, he is not entitled for compassionate appointment under the RSRTC Compassionate appointment Regulations, 2010.

The Apex-Court has pointed out that it is well-settled that though Article 14 of the Constitution of India forbids class legislation, it does not forbid reasonable classification for the purposes of legislation.

The Court has noted that the dependents of a deceased employee, who claim compensation from the Corporation under the Act and compassionate appointment from the Appellant- Corporation form a separate class.  When any impugned rule or statutory provision is assailed on the ground that that it contravenes Article 14, its validity can be sustained if two tests are satisfied. The first test is that the classification on which it is founded must be based on an intelligible differentia which distinguishes persons or things grouped together from others left out of the group; and the second test is that differential in question must have a reasonable relation to the object sought to be achieved by the rule or statutory provision in question. (see State of Mysore & Another v. P. Narasing Rao- 1968 SCR(1) 407).

According to the Supreme Court, after holding that the classification of two categories of dependents of deceased employees reasonable, it remains to be examined that whether there is a rationale nexus of the classification with the objective sought to be achieved by the Regulation 4(3).

The intention with which Regulation 4(3) is made is to obviate the liability of the Corporation in payment of compensation under the Act and to provide compassionate appointment to the same person. The Court’s finding is that that there is a rationale nexus between the basis of classification and the object sought to be achieved by the Regulation.

The Supreme Court has referred its own decision in the case – National Insurance Company Ltd. v. Rekhaben & Others – (2017) 1 SCC 547. The question which arose for consideration in that case related to the deduction of salary which was earned by the claimant therein after being appointed on compassionate grounds while calculating the compensation payable to her under the Act for the death of her husband.

It was held that the salary earned by compassionate appointee cannot be deducted from the compensation which the claimant is entitled to under the Act. However, it was made clear that the salary which flowed from the compassionate appointment that was provided by the tortfeasor was liable to be deducted if the employer was the owner of the offending vehicle and thus liable to pay compensation under the Act.

In other words, the employer who has provided compassionate appointment can claim deduction of the salary of the dependent while calculating it if he is liable to pay compensation under the Act, being the owner of the offending vehicle.

The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation had filed this appeal aggrieved by the judgment of the Rajasthan High Court’s Jaipur Bench by which Regulation 4(3) of the RSRTC Compassionate Appointment Regulations, 2010, has been declared as violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

The respondent’s father Mohammad Shahid, who was working as a helper in the appellant-Corporation died in a motor accident. He was travelling in a bus of the appellant, which collided with another bus. A claim was made by the respondent before the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal, Tonk under sections 166 and 140 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. An amount of Rs 1,35,50,000/-  was claimed, but the Tribunal awarded a compensation of Rs 22,95,775/- .

The respondent made a representation to the Chief Manager of the appellant seeking compassionate appointment. This request was rejected on the ground that the respondent was not entitled in light of Regulation 4(3) of the Regulations.

Dissatisfied with the rejection of the request for compassionate appointment, the respondent filed a writ petition in the HC challenging the constitutionality of Regulation 4 (3). The HC allowed the writ petition on August 29, 2016 on the ground that Regulation 4(3) of the Regulations of 2010 is discriminatory and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

The HC held that the object of compassionate appointment is to mitigate the hardship of the family members of the bread-winner and for that reason compassionate appointment should be provided to the family in distress.

According to the Regulation 4(3) of the Regulations, claim for both compassionate appointment and compensation under the Act cannot be made against the Corporation in case of death of an employee while travelling in the  vehicle of the appellant-Corporation. Regulation 4(3) was held discriminatory because compassionate appointment can be provided to an employee who dies in an accident while travelling in a vehicle not belonging to the Corporation though he had claimed compensation either  from the owner of the vehicle or the insurance company under the Act.

The HC was of the opinion that the dependents of the employees of the Corporation who died due to an accident while travelling in a vehicle of the Corporation cannot be treated differently from dependents of the employees who died in an accident while travelling in a vehicle not belonging to the Corporation.

The purpose of the appellant-Corporation in carving out two classes of dependents of the deceased employees in respect of claims for compassionate appointment is to avoid extra burden on the appellant.

The dependents in these two categories are not similarly situated in respect of their claims against the Corporation. They cannot be treated as equals. Therefore, Regulation 4(3) cannot be said to be discriminatory. In this view of the facts and circumstances, the Supreme Court has said that it does not agree with the judgment of the HC that Regulation 4(3) is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. As the respondent has received the compensation under the Act, he is not entitled for compassionate appointment under the Regulations. In result, the SC has set aside the impugned judgment of the HC and  allowed the appeal.

Notice to SEBI, MCA and Enforcement Directorate in NSE co-location case : Madras HC

 The Madras High Court has admitted a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Chennai Financial Markets and Accountability (CFMA) in the National Stock Exchange (NSE) co-location case and issued notices to the SEBI, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), the CBI, Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the NSE. According to the PIL, SEBI has not taken any effective steps to unearth the scam, “one of the biggest financial frauds ever taken place”.

It has also issued notices to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The High Court has directed the noticees to respond on November 11.

The petition stated that NSE has violated the fundamental objective inside the trading and thereby in the process and given illegal preferential access to certain trade members to access NSE trade data at the cost of entire securities market.

The order copy dated September 27 also said that the PIL brought to the knowledge of the court that the third respondent, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed the first investigation report bearing “No.RC AC1 2018 A0011” on 28.05.2018, in relation to NSE co-location Scam and there appears to be a slow progress in the said investigation.

“We state that the NSE Colo Scam have tarnished the reputation of a major market infrastructure institution and severely challenged the integrity of the securities market. Millions of investors, mostly retail investors, would have suffered huge losses due to relatively delayed dissemination of order-book data to them and in the absence of the awareness that some select TM”s were able to access the order book data ahead of them,” the PIL said.

It further said that the terms of reference (TOR) for SEBI approved auditor and NSE approved internal auditor for the data centre and also the broker “OPG: must be investigated to see if they were adequate to unearth the illegalities and complicity and whether cognizance of all the findings of these auditors was taken by the authorities.

“Surprisingly this was not done by the 1st respondent SEBI at all,” it said. It also noted a slow progress in the CBI investigation into NSE co-location scam.

The co-location case dates back to 2015 when a whistleblower wrote to SEBI alleging that NSE was giving a few high-frequency traders and brokers preferential access to its trading platform which benefited both the parties at the cost of others.

The whistleblower had alleged that some trading member of NSE in collusion of employees or management of the exchange including preferential treatment to certain trading members to obtain faster access to market trade data.

The PIL further said: “It is shocking that the 1st Respondent (SEBI) had absolved the 7th respondent NSE and its officials of all allegations under the SEBI (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices relating to the Securities Market) Regulations, 2003 (“PFUTP Regulations”) in the relevant SCNs.”

“It is submitted that when there is a serious fraud and misdemeanors committed by the top officials of the NSE who were acting hand in glove with the TMs towards manipulating the market and providing unfair trade access, NSE cannot be allowed to go scot free.”