Vet rape & murder: Telangana High Court orders second autopsy of four.

 The Telangana High Court on Saturday directed re-postmortem of the bodies of four accused in the gang-rape and murder of a woman veterinarian near here last month, who were killed in an alleged encounter on December 6.

The bodies of the four accused are currently preserved in the state-run Gandhi Hospital here as per earlier orders of the High Court, after somePILs were filed alleging extra- judicial killing of the men and claiming it was a fake encounter among others.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice R S Chauhan and Justice A Abhishek Reddy directed Telangana’s Principal Secretary, Medical and Health Department, to request the Director of All India Medical Sciences, Delhi to constitute a medical team with three expert forensic specialists to conduct the second postmortem.

The bench further directed that the second autopsy should be conducted before December 23, and the report with their findings shall be submitted to the Registrar General of the High Court.

After the postmortem the bodies can be handed over to the kin of the four men.

The doctors were further advised to express an independent view on the basis of the evidence collected by them.

The Bench also directed the Chief of the Special Investigation team (SIT) constituted by the State government to investigate into the encounter killings to seize all material objects such as case diary, movement register of the police officials, inventory of the weapons used by the officials in the encounter among others.

The same shall be placed before the Commission constituted by the Supreme Court whenever requested.

The bench passed the orders after hearing a bunch of petitions seeking a direction from the court.

The bench further directed that the state government shall make all arrangements for the air travel of the medical team from AIIMS, for their accommodation and other facilities which would enable them to efficiently discharge the duty assigned to them.

On Friday, the Advocate General of Telangana argued the bodies of the four were already subjected to postmortem as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court and hence there was no necessity for passing any order for a re-postmortem.

However, the amicus curiae D Prakash Reddy had contended the bodies were preserved under the directions of the High Court to consider the necessity of second postmortem and the Supreme Court also endorsed it.

The Supreme Court last week appointed a three-member Inquiry Commission headed by former apex court judge V S Sirpurkar to inquire into the circumstances leading to the encounter killing of the four accused in the gang-rape and murder of the veterinarian.

The commission, which also included former Bombay High Court judge Rekha Sondur Baldota and ex-CBI director D R Karthikeyan, will submit its report to the Supreme Court in six months.

The four accused were arrested on November 29 for allegedly raping and killing thewoman veterinarian by smothering her and later burning her body.

Later on December 6, they were gunned down by police at Chattanpalli when they were taken to the site of offence for the reconstruction of the scene of crime as part of the investigation, near the culvert where the charred remains of the 25-year-old veterinarian were found on November 28.

The issue rocked the nation with widespread protests across the country seeking stringent punishment to the culprits.

The “encounter” also came under legal scrutiny.

The first post mortem was conducted on December 6, the day they were killed, in a state-run hospital in Mahabubnagar from where the bodies were subsequently shifted to Gandhi Hospital here.

The Cyberabad police had said its personnel resorted to “retaliatory” firing after two of the accused opened fire at police after snatching their weapons besides attacking the latter with stones and sticks, resulting in injuries to two policemen.

Lodge inter-faith couple in safehouse, HC tells Authorities

On Friday, the Punjab & Haryana High Court ordered Haryana Govt. authorities to lodge an inter-faith couple at a safehouse in Panchkula after the woman alleged that Hindu groups were threatening her & her husband.

The 19-year-old woman was on Friday brought before a single bench of Justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa after the court directed police to do so.

The woman said her DoB is Aug 19, 1999, when asked by the court. This was confirmed by her father and Police, who was in court.

She had married her Muslim friend out of her “own will & accord & wishes to reside with him,” the woman said.

She added, her parents opposed the marriage.

After being in a relationship for the past two years they married earlier this month, her petition said.

The woman said she fears for the life & liberty of her & her husband.

Directing the Govt. to file a response before September 19, the court directed that the couple be kept at a protection home in Panchkula. The woman’s counsel had sought a safe accommodation for the couple, stating that Hindu groups had created tension in Mewat’s Ferozepur Jhirka area where they lived.

Supreme Court stays NSA detention order against man accused of cow slaughter

On Friday, the Supreme Court stayed a detention order passed under the stringent National Security Act (NSA) against an Uttar Pradesh man accused of cow slaughter.

A bench headed by Justice R F Nariman also issued a notice on the plea by Mehboob Ali, said his counsel Narveer Dabas.

Ali said in the plea that the “stringent provisions of the National Security Act, 1980 providing for preventive detention have been invoked against” him “in a most arbitrary, discriminatory & malafide manner, & in utter violation of the Fundamental Rights enshrined in Article 21 & 22 of the Constitution of India”.

He contended that the detention order was passed on January 14, 2019 “on a mere apprehension that the petitioner may act in a manner prejudicial to maintenance of public order. The basis of such apprehension is the alleged involvement of the petitioner in two alleged cases of cow-slaughter & the ‘apprehension’ of the petitioner being released on bail in the said two cases”.

Dabas said the petitioner had not been named in either of the FIRs connected with the cow slaughter & had been granted bail in the cases.

According to his plea he “has never been involved in any case which has any nexus with the maintenance of public order nor has he ever been involved in any heinous offence”.

He said the grounds cited in support of the detention order “fail to disclose or even allege any nexus of the petitioner with the incident of mob violence that had occurred on 03.12.2018 leading to registration of a criminal case”.

The detention order had been challenged by the petitioner before the Allahabad High Court, but the plea was dismissed.

High Court Shifts Sexual Plaint Probe Against IG to Telangana

The Madras HC on Wednesday shifted the probe into the sexual harassment complaint filed by a woman superintendent of police (SP) against DVAC joint director S Murugan out of Tamil Nadu & handed it over to Telangana.

A report is to be submitted by the Telangana police to the HC in 6 months.

“We are conscious of the fact that the inquiry & investigation out of a state isn’t envisaged under the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act. But, looking to the nature of positions of both the parties, nature of allegations…we are inclined to ensure complete fairness & independence in the internal enquiry as well as the investigation in the First Information Report (FIR),” said the division bench of Justice Vineeth Kothari & Justice C V Karthikeyan on Wed.

The bench directed the chief secretary of Telangana as well as the Director General of Police (DGP) to undertake necessary steps for constitution of a separate internal complaints committee (ICC) in Hyderabad, headed by a senior lady officer. The complaint as well as First Information Report (FIR) filed shall be probed by a senior & independent official of Telangana police. “The report of internal complaints committee (ICC) & the report on investigation of the First Information Report (FIR) may be transmitted back to this HC within 6 months,” the bench added.

The HC passed the transfer order despite opposition from the Tamil Nadu govt on whose behalf advocate-general Vijay Narayan argued that the state’s image might be adversely affected if such transfer was ordered. Murugan also protested the proposal to shift the case out of Tamil Nadu.

Prosecutor held for Rs 5 lakh bribe in cheating case

In the 2nd arrest of a govt lawyer in 3 months, the Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) on Thursday caught Mangesh Arote, a public prosecutor in the Himalaya bridge Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) collapse case, red-handed taking bribe from an accused in a cheating case.

Arote (39) was trapped in the empty courtroom No. 16 of the sessions court building, near Kalaghoda, after accepting Rs 50,000 as the first instalment of the Rs 5 lakh bribe he had allegedly demanded, reports Mateen Hafeez. “Arote was negotiating with the accused for exonerating him. He had initially demanded Rs 7 lakh,” said an officer.

War and Peace: High court didn’t refer to Tolstoy’s book but that of Biswajit Roy

On Thursday, the Bombay High Court said that during the trial of Bhima Koregaon violence case accused Vernon Gonsalves on Wednesday, it did not refer to the literary classic ‘War & Peace’ by Leo Tolstoy but a book called ‘War & Peace in Junglemahal’ by Biswajit Roy, a Kolkata-based journalist.
The Court said that it was “shocked & hurt” to learn about the media reports stating that it has raised a question over Tolstoy’s book ‘War & Peace.’
It was widely reported on Wednesday that the single judge bench of Justice Sarang Kotwal of Bombay HC had observed that “how can the accused in Bhima Koregaon violence Gonsalves can have a book like ‘War & Peace’ at his home.”
During the proceedings in the Court on Thursday, lawyer Yug Chaudhary, who was appearing for Sudha Bhardwaj, another accused in Bhima Koregaon case, brought this online criticism to the court’s notice & informed the judge that his observations have been misquoted.
Chaudhary told the Court that according to him those observations were not for Tolstoy’s book but for another book of the almost similar name “WAR & PEACE IN JUNGLEMAHAL: PEOPLE, STATE & MAOISTS,” which was in the seizure ‘punchnama’ of the articles seized from Gonsalves’ residence during the raids of Pune Police.
Chaudhary said that he brought this matter to the Court in Thursday’s proceedings.
“I brought this matter to the Court’s notice today as it was completely misquoted & Justice Sarang was hurt. It was clear from the list of seized items recorded in the ‘punchnama’ that which book was referred to by the judge yesterday. This should have been reported responsibly,” he said.

Coal scam: Special Central Bureau Investigation Court acquits former Coal Secretary Gupta

On Thursday, a special CBI Court acquitted Ex-Coal Secretary HC Gupta & a Delhi-based firm Pushp Steel & Mining Pvt Ltd (PSMPL) in an alleged coal scam case pertaining to the allocation of ‘Brahmapuri coal block’ situated in Madhya Pradesh.
Special CBI judge Bharat Parashar while passing Judgement clearly mentioned that prosecution has been miserably failed in proving any of the charges — either for the offence of criminal conspiracy under Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) or for the offence of criminal misconduct, the offence of criminal breach of trust by a public servant under Section 409 of the IPC.
“So, I hereby acquit both accused — PSMPL & Gupta — in the present case of all offences,” the judge said.
Advocate Rajat Mathur, appearing for accused Gupta, had denied the allegations & had claimed that the case of the CBI was false.
The probe agency had alleged that the company got a mining lease on the basis of a recommendation from the State Govt. despite having no experience & lacking enough capital required for starting mining operations.
The company was allotted Brahmapuri coal block on the recommendation by the Screening Committee for its proposed Sponge Iron End-Use Project.
Gupta, who was the Coal Secretary from Dec 31, 2005 to Nov 2008, & PSMPL.

The allocation of Brahmapuri coal block was done on the basis of allegedly false information that the firm possessed an iron ore mining lease when it had none, CBI claimed.

It had said, “It was further alleged the company did not have any experience in steel manufacturing & the net worth of the group companies was around Rs 3.01 crores, which was insignificant”.

Mokama ‘bahubali’ Anant singh sent to 2-day Police remand in AK-47 case

On Thursday, Barh Court in Bihar granted two-day remand to Bihar police for Independent MLA Anant Singh, who was booked in connection with the recovery of an AK-47 from his residence.
He is currently in lodged in Beur jail.
Singh had surrendered before Saket Court in New Delhi on Aug 23. He was on the run since an AK-47 rifle with 26 rounds of live ammunition & grenade was recovered from his residence on Aug 16.
An FIR was lodged against him under the newly amended Unlawful Activities (Prevention) (UAPA) Act.

Law student goes missing after her video alleging sexual harassment by Former Union Minister and BJP Leader goes viral

Law student had accused Chinmayanand, Director of her College of threatening to kill her and her family as she has evidence against him.

She had appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP CM Yogi Adityanath for help.

On Tuesday, Police lodged an FIR against Swami Chinmayanand after the law student went missing following her allegation in video clip that he had been harassing her.

Her father lodged a complaint accusing Chinmayanand of sexually harassing her, a charge which has been refuted by his lawyer who claimed it was a “conspiracy” to blackmail.

Poice has stated that, 72-year-old BJP leader has been booked under IPC sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) and 506 (criminal intimidation).

Court: Cannot compel adult trafficking victims to abide by anyone’s wishes including family

An adult victim rescued from immoral trafficking cannot be compelled to abide by the wishes of anyone, including her family members, observed a Sessions Court recently, rejecting the plea filed by the brother of two victims, who was seeking their custody.

The Court ordered the two women to be set at liberty after ascertaining whether they wish to stay at the special home they were lodged in. A 30-year-old Rajasthan resident, brother of two victims rescued from Ahmednagar in 2017, had filed a criminal appeal seeking their custody from a special home in Chembur.

In his petition, he stated that his sisters were adults and not minors as was initially claimed and they were “wrongfully detained”.

In order passed in Dec 2018, Child Welfare Committee (CWC) directed that they should be lodged in the special home for one year. The brother of the two women filed an appeal against the CWC order.

However, the CWC submitted that the sisters are minors and were found to be involved in prostitution at the behest of their family members, including the brother who sought their custody.

The CWC stated that the sisters were likely to be trafficked again if they returned to their family members, who have been previously booked in similar cases.

The Sessions Court said according to an ossification test of the two victims, conducted on Dec 2018, to determine their age, the age of the younger among the two was found between 17 & 18 years and that of the elder’s between 18 & 19.

The Court held that, according to the test, even with the margin of error, they are both adults now. The Court said according to a recent order by the Bombay High Court, a major victim has the fundamental right to move according to her wishes.

“Since the victims in this case are found to be major, there remains no option but to set them free,” the Court said.

The Court said the birth certificates submitted by the brother “are extremely suspicious” with numerous discrepancies such as different mothers’ names and dates of birth. The Court said the brother had offered no explanation to justify the discrepancies.

It held that the family being booked in previous cases, it will not be proper to let the man have their custody. “Even otherwise, the victims being major are entitled to choose their way and destination and they cannot be compelled to abide by the wishes of anyone, including their family,” the Court said.

However, the court also modified the CWC order, which had directed them to remain in the special home for one year, stating that they can be released according to their wishes.