Can’t keep live-in relations outside purview of rape: HC

live inThe Delhi high court has refused to keep live-in relationships outside the purview of rape under the IPC, saying it would amount to giving them the status of matrimony, which the legislature has chosen “not to do”.

The court made the observation while hearing a PIL, which had sought direction to the government to keep the cases of live-in relationships outside the purview of the offence of rape under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

“As far as the relief sought, of keeping the live-in relationships outside the purview of Section 376 (rape) of the IPC is concerned, the same would amount to giving the live-in relationships, the status of matrimony and which the legislature has chosen not to do,” a bench of chief justice G Rohini and justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

“All that we can observe is, that a live-in-relationship constitutes a distinct class from marriage. It is also not as if the defence of consent would not be available in such cases to the accused. We do not find any merit in the petition and dismiss the same,” the judge added.

The PIL also sought direction that the complaint lodged by a live-in partner against the other should be registered under section 420 (cheating), not section 376 (rape), which was turned down by the court, saying it cannot pass such order.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by Anil Dutt Sharma who had contended that according to the records it has been seen that in many cases, courts acquit men accused of rape as the women file false case.

“In more than 70 per cent cases, the accused is found not guilty and other associated family members of the acquitted accused face humiliation in society,” the plea had said.

It also sought direction to the Centre and Delhi government to secure constitutional rights of the person acquitted from rape charges by the way of compensation and registration of cases against those who misuse the law.

It had said that police should not arrest a person only on the basis of an allegation by a woman prior to conducting preliminary enquiry and getting a medical report, but before arrest, sufficient cause should be recorded by a senior officer to avoid false implication.

Vendor goods being seized under anti-sabotage measures: HC

An association for street vendors has alleged before Delhi High Court that goods of roadside sellers were being seized by police as part of its “anti- sabotage measures”, which the organisation has dubbed as a “fresh modus operandi” to harass squatters.

The allegation made by National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) prompted a bench of justices B D Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva to ask Delhi Police why it was “troubling” street vendors when no survey regarding their existing numbers has been conducted according to law.

“Why are you (police) troubling them, when you have not conducted any survey?” the bench asked.

NASVI alleged before the court that goods of the vendors were seized, sometimes at night, on the ground that they were unattended.

It submitted that the seized goods were only released after the vendors were made to fill a form.

NASVI alleged that it was a “fresh modus operandi to harass the vendors” and said that it would be filing a response to the affidavit placed on record by Delhi Police which has said that no street vendors have been evicted by it.

Delhi Police in its affidavit said that an order has been issued by the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police to carry out, on a weekly basis, anti-sabotage checking at various sensitive areas and in compliance of the same it has seized any unattended objects found in such areas, including Jama Masjid here.

It said that between December 10, last year and January 15, 2015, it had seized several articles by way of 147 seizure memos and of these only five were later established to be that of street vendors and were released according to law.

It has also said some of the seized articles were found unattended at night after closing of the vendors’ market at Jama Masjid and the others during the anti-sabotage checking.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on April 22.


Ex-CM’s Secy denied issuing recommendation letter:Delhi Cops

Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s political secretary Pawan Khera has denied issuing any recommendation letter to a man for a job in NMDC, Delhi Police today told a court hearing a case of cheating.

Investigating Officer of the case filed his Action Taken Report (ART) in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Navjeet Budhiraja, saying “For the said recommendation letter he (Khera) has stated that it was neither issued from his office nor bears his signature.”

The report filed by IO Hukamvir Attri further said that “he (Khera) stated that if anyone has cheated the complainant using a forged letter and false claims of association with him to get job, strict legal action should be taken against him as he is defaming his name as well as of the Congress.”

The report of IO even raised question on the jurisdiction of the case under Malviya Nagar Police Station.

“In view of the facts and circumstances, it is found that neither any monetary transaction/making of documents nor any meeting between complainant and alleged accused took place in the jurisdiction of Police Station Ambedkar Nagar. Hence the course of action does not arise there,” the report said.

The matter has now been fixed for hearing on March 28.

On February 17, the court had asked the IO to file the ATR in two weeks time on a complaint filed by Ambedkar Nagar resident Rajpal Singh alleging that Khera in connivance with others had cheated him by asking him to deposit Rs six lakh in the Congress fund in lieu of government jobs to his sons at New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC).

Singh claimed that he had filed a complaint in the Majnu Ka Tila Police Station to conduct an enquiry but the police officials neither investigated the matter nor registered any case till date

HC contempt on civic bodies if hoardings not moved

The Bombay High Court has warned that contempt action will be initiated against municipal bodies in Maharashtra which are not complying with its orders on removal of illegal hoardings from public places.

The warning was given yesterday by a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka on a batch of PILs alleging that police and civic authorities were not taking action against political parties for putting up illegal hoardings in public places.

The bench was informed that a politician had put up an illegal hoarding on a wall of a police station located in Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation limits in suburban Mumbai and no action was taken by the authorities to remove it.

Taking a serious view of this development, the bench asked the police station in-charge and municipal ward officer to appear before the HC on the next hearing on March 12.

The HC had recently appointed a committee of 17 lawyers to function as the ‘Commissioners of the Court’ to visit various places in the state to detect illegal posters, banners and hoardings put up political parties.

Advocate Uday Warunjikar, appearing for SuSwaraj Foundation, an NGO and one of the petitioners, told the bench that this committee had done a good job to check the menace of illegal hoardings.

He appealed to the bench to extend the tenure of the committee because the HC order on removing illegal hoardings had not been fully complied with, following which the judges adjourned the matter by a week.

The HC had asked the court commissioners to prepare a list of illegal hoardings and inform the civic body concerned immediately so that steps could be initiated to remove them.

The court commissioners were also asked to check whether the municipal body concerned in their area has taken action against such illegal hoardings.

The HC had asked them to submit a report by the end of February 2015 on their exercise to check illegal hoardings. Accordingly, a report was tendered to the HC by the committee.

The PILs have alleged that political parties were putting up hoardings, posters and banners without taking permission, thereby defacing public and private properties.

In August 2014, the HC had ordered appointment of nodal agencies to check this practice and also asked major political parties, including Congress, Shiv Sena, BJP and MNS, to give separate written undertakings assuring that they will not erect hoardings anywhere in the state without permission.

Vigilance Court order set aside by HC

The Kerala High Court today set aside a vigilance court order dismissing a corruption complaint against state Finance Minister K M Mani over alleged provision of ‘illegal’ tax benefits to a poultry trading company and an ayurvedic medicine manufacturer.

Revising the order of Vigilance Court, Kottayam, the High Court directed it to reconsider the petition filed by Noble Mathew, an advocate.

He had earlier filed a complaint against Mani before the Vigilance Court in Kottayam, alleging that Mani received bribe from them for giving the tax discount.

The Vigilance Court had dismissed the petition on November 28 last year, citing lack of jurisdiction.

Challenging the vigilance court order, Mathew approached the High Court.

Justice C T Ravikumar directed the Vigilance Court to hear both Vigilance and the petitioner and consider the question of jurisdiction and merits.

By the High Court verdict, the Vigilance Court has to continue proceedings in the complaint against the Finance Minister.

In his petition, Mathew, who is also the leader of the Nationalist Kerala Congress, has alleged that Mani provided illegal tax benefits to a poultry trading company and an ayurvedic medicine manufacturer, causing huge loss to the public exchequer.

Pointing out that enhancement of tax for these two items were upheld by the High Court and the Supreme Court, he had alleged Mani in an arbitrary manner reduced the tax to favour the beneficiaries.

Mani is also facing allegations of corruption in the bar bribery scam. Hotelier Biju Ramesh has alleged that hefty sum was paid to Mani for his help in reopening some of closed liqour bars in the state.

HC dismisses demand by MHAA on appointment of judges

Madras High Court Advocates AssociationTaking a dig at advocates and Bar Association leaders who filed a PIL opposing the list of nine names forwarded by the High Court to the Supreme Court for appointment as judges, the Madras High Court today said if this type of unhealthy trend continued, all cases would end being transferred to other courts.

A division bench, headed by Justice V Ramasubramanian and Justice P R Shivakumar, observed that the advocates and Bar Association leaders, who earlier demanded their participation in the selection process of the High Court judges, are now suggesting which case has to be posted for hearing and which judge should hear it.

The Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) secretary Arivazhagan had filed a PIL seeking a direction to the Centre to return the list of nine names recommended by the High Court for appointment as judges on grounds, including “arbitrariness”, in the process of selection and that it had ignored eligible candidates from ‘un-represented’ and ‘under-represented’ communities.

When the PIL was posted before the present bench on February 24, the Association leaders gave a representation saying a different bench should hear the case as Justice Ramasubramanian was part of the discussion relating to the appointment and he belonged to Brahmin community, which they said was “over-represented in the High Court.

He had then rejected the demand saying the representation had already been refused to be accepted by Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul.

Today also, the judge rejected the plea for transferring the case to another bench, saying advocates are now trying to decide as to which bench should hear which case.

Referring to a TV debate on judges appointment in which MHAA president R C Paul Kanagaraj participated, the judge said he too was ready to participate in a debate on the issue and expose the “false” statements spread by advocates.

He also rejected the Association president S Prabakaran’s stand that once an impression of bias rises in advocates’ minds, the judge should recuse himself from the case and adjourned the matter by two weeks, on request from the lawyers.

HC asks bar associations to give suggestions for safety of NE

The Delhi High Court today asked bar associations here to mull over its suggestion to make lawyers from the northeast special invitees in their meetings as well as give any other recommendation to provide advocates from that region more visibility and people greater safety.

A bench of justices G S Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal also said each and every person, including lawyers, have to “take up the role of policemen” to prevent racial attacks against people from the northeast and women in general as it is not possible to provide one cop per individual.

“One policeman per person is not possible. We all are policemen. Unless we take up this role it would be difficult to prevent such instances,” the bench said while hearing contempt proceedings against two lawyers for allegedly abusing and manhandling some people from the northeast, including a woman advocate.

“We can’t just say police will do it. We all have to do our little bit. It all adds up. We want Delhi to be the safest city,” the bench said and invited suggestions from the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) and other district bar associations to prevent such incidents in future.

It said the suggestions should be “simple, rustic and public-oriented” and also asked the bar associations to include the methods for implementing their recommendations.

The court listed the contempt case as well as the suo motu proceedings it initiated into the death of a 19-year-old northeast-origin student, Nido Tania, on March 18 and directed all parties to give their respective suggestions to make the city more safer for people from that region and women in general.

The contempt proceedings were initiated by the High Court on a letter sent by an Additional District and Sessions Judge of Tis Hazari court who had referred to an order of the metropolitan magistrate (MM) in whose courtroom the incident of assault on female northeast lawyer had occurred on May 23, last year.

Apart from that, the victims of the assault had also moved a plea for contempt proceedings against the two lawyers, Azad Chandra Prakash Gautam and Varun Jain.

Over 37,000 RTI appeals pending with CIC

Over 37,000 appeals under the RTI Act are pending with the Central Information Commission, the government today said, indicating that a lack of time limit for disposal of 2nd appeals by the body is the reason behind the large pendency.

As on February 17, a total of 37,935 2nd appeals are pending with the CIC, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

“As per the Right to Information Act, the RTI applications and first appeals are required to be mandatorily disposed off within 30 days of their receipt. However, no time limit has been prescribed for disposal of 2nd appeals pending with the CIC,” he said.

As on December 31, 2013, 22,097 2nd appeals were pending before the information body. The number stood at 35,854 on December 31, 2014.

PIL for CBI inquiry into AIIMS graft: HC

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Union Health Ministry and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) seeking a CBI inquiry into various cases of alleged corruption and irregularities in the country’s premier health institution. The cases were earlier brought to light by the thennadda.The notices, returnable in four weeks, were also issued to the respondents named in the case, including Health Minister J.P. Nadda, CBI, Central Vigilance Commission and AIIMS. The public interest writ petition, moved by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), has sought revival of all cases in which Mr. Chaturvedi had initiated action before he was removed from his post in August last year.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw, issuing notices, posted the matter for hearing on April 22.

The petition, filed through counsel Prashant Bhushan, also a member of Aaam Aadmi Party, alleged that the probe into several irregularities had been slowed down, even though the corruption in the institution was likely to have a bearing on the health and well-being of thousands of patients visiting it.

Corporate espionage: Court sends 4 to jail till March 6

corporate-espionageFour accused, who were arrested in the corporate espionage case, were on Monday remanded to judicial custody till March 6 by a Delhi court where they alleged that they were forced to sign on blank papers by the police during their custodial interrogation.

The four accused–Lalta Prasad, Rakesh Kumar, Prayas Jain and Shantanu Saikia — were produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Dheeraj Mittal after expiry of their police custody.

The Crime Branch of Delhi Police said they be remanded to 11 days judicial custody as they were not required for further interrogation at this stage.

During the hearing, the counsel appearing for these four accused told the magistrate that their clients were forced to sign five-six blank papers during custodial interrogation.

At this, the magistrate individually asked four accused whether they were forced to sign the papers or not.
Responding to the court’s query the accused said they were made to sign blank papers by the interrogators.

During the hearing, defence counsel also contended that the court should sign the case diary of the matter.

The court allowed the plea and directed the IO to get the case diary signed by it.

The court also allowed the submissions of defence counsel to meet their clients for ten minutes each.

The Crime Branch had earlier told the court that these four persons, along with other three arrested persons, were passing certain “sensitive documents” to some corporate houses to benefit them.
The other three accused — Ishwar Singh, Asharam and Rajkumar Chaubey, were on February 20 remanded to judicial custody for two weeks.