Disqualified Karnataka MLAs move Supreme Court for postponement of Dec 5 bypolls

The disqualified Karnataka MLAs moved the Supreme Court on Friday, seeking further postponement of the Assembly bypolls which are scheduled to take place on December 5.

A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana on October 25 had reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions filed by the 17 MLAs, challenging their disqualification as lawmakers ahead of the trust vote by the then H D Kumaraswamy government.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the disqualified MLAs, mentioned the matter and said that the bypolls for the Assembly seats are scheduled on December 5 and candidates are required to file their nomination papers between November 11 and November 18.

He said the disqualified MLAs will not be able to file their nomination and moreover the apex court verdict has not been delivered on the particular issue.

Rohatgi sought postponement of the bypolls till the apex court delivers its verdict on the petitions challenging the disqualifications.

The apex court asked the counsel for the MLAs to file a fresh application in this regard.

Earlier, the Election Commission had postponed the bypolls, which were scheduled on October 21, to December 5 in view of the pendency of the petitions filed by the disqualified lawmakers.

CJI Gogoi to meet UP chief secretary and DGP to review law and order situation in UP.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi is likely to have a meeting with Uttar Pradesh chief secretary and director general of police on Friday to assess the law and order arrangement in the state ahead of the verdict on the Ayodhya land dispute case to be pronounced next week, sources said.

The CJI has called UP Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari and DGP Om Prakash Singh and will have the meeting in his chamber, they said.

The judgement on the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute was reserved on October 16 after a marathon hearing of 40 days. The judgement is likely to be pronounced before November 17 as Justice Gogoi’s tenure as the CJI comes to end on that day.

Delhi High Court to hear in Feb plea for action against police officials for protesting against clash with lawyers

The Delhi High Court on Friday said it will hear in February a plea seeking action against police officials who were agitating in public and sitting on ‘dharna’ after their November 2 clash with lawyers at the Tis Hazari Courts Complex.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar refused to give shorter date for hearing the plea and asked the lawyers to use their good officers for settling the issue with police.

The court was hearing a petition filed by a lawyer seeking action against police officials who had issued statements on social media when the matter is already sub judice.

When the counsel appearing for the petitioner sought a shorter date for hearing the matter, the bench said, “We will see it later. Just wait and watch. You (lawyers) use all your good officers for settlement. A long date is required. ”

Advocate Vivek Narayan Sharma, appearing for the petitioner lawyer, said he has to make submissions on the point of law.

The bench, however, said it will hear the matter later on February 12.

In unprecedented protests by Delhi police, thousands of its personnel on Tuesday laid siege outside the Police Headquarters for 11 hours and staged a virtual revolt sparked by two attacks on their colleagues before calling off their stir following multiple appeals including from their chief.

The petition filed by lawyer Rakesh Kumar Lakra has arrayed as parties the Union of India, the Delhi Police, its Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, Deputy Inspector General of police of Arunachal Pradesh Madhur Verma, former Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police Aslam Khan, Superintendent of Police of NIA Sanjukta Prashar and IPS officer Meghna Yadav.

The plea has sought direction to the Centre to initiate departmental inquiry against the Delhi Police officials who were sitting on ‘dharna’ and “making provocative slogans” and issuing inciting statements on electronic and social media.

It has alleged that the police officials were protesting and agitating in public, which was in contravention of their official duties.

The plea has claimed that it was a failure on the part of Delhi Police Commissioner for not taking action against Aslam Khan who has been giving statement on social media through Twitter when the matter is sub-judice in the high court.

It has said it was a failure on the part of Madhur Verma, Aslam Khan, Meghna Yadav and Sanjukta Prashar in making provocative statements in public through social media, and sought disciplinary action, including their dismissal, for allegedly violating provisions of the Delhi Police Act and Central Civil Services Conduct Rules.

The tension between police personnel and lawyers had been building up since last Saturday when a clash over a parking dispute led to at least 20 security personnel and several advocates being injured.

Thousands of police personnel protested outside the Police Headquarters on November 5, holding up placards with slogans such as “We are human in police uniforms”, “We are not punching bags” and “Protectors Need Protection”, and urged their seniors to stand with them to save the honour of the uniform.

The incidents drew sharp criticism from senior police officials who took to Twitter to register their discontent.

Man gets life imprisonment for raping and killing teenaged girl

A farmer has been sentenced for life by a court in Maharashtra for raping and killing a 17-year-old girl in 2014.

District Judge H M Patwardhan on Monday pronounced Shankar Bhogade guilty under Indian Penal Code Sections 376 (rape), 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The judge also imposed a fine of Rs 5,500 on him.

Additional Public Prosecutor Ujjwala Moholkar told the court that the farmer from Thane’s Jawhar taluk was already married but was involved in a relationship with the girl.

He raped her on several occasions following which she became pregnant.The accused then asked the victim to consume a pill to terminate the pregnancy.

The girl however, wanted the accused to allow her to live with his wife and continue her education, but he opposed it.

On July 20, 2014, the accused offered the girl a poison-laced drink while telling her that he had mixed an abortion pill in it.

After consuming the drink, the girl fell drowsy. The accused then strangulated her to death and hung the body from a window rod to make it appear as a case of suicide, the prosecution told the court.

The accused also forged a suicide note in her notebook, blaming a third person for her ordeal and stating that she was ending her life by consuming poison.

A handwriting expert proved in court that the suicide note was forged and the accused wrote it to hide the crime.

The judge held that the prosecution proved all charges beyond reasonable doubt against the accused who “needs to be punished”.

No bail for two students arrested under UAPA

A court here on Wednesday dismissed the bail applications of two CPI(M) student activists, who were arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for allegedly distributing pro-Maoist pamphlets.

Thaha Fazal and Allan Shuhaib, who are students of Journalism and Law respectively and CPI(M)’s branch committee members, were arrested on November 2 from here, causing widespread criticism in the Left-ruled state.

The counsel of the two students told reporters that the Principal Sessions court had dismissed the bail pleas.

The grounds on which the bail applications were dismissed will be known only after getting copies of the order, they said.

The court has permitted the counsels to meet the accused for an hour this evening.

The petitioners are also likely to move the high court to quash the FIR against them and to seek bail.

The two accused are under judicial custody till November 15.

The brother and aunt of Taha Fazal said they have faith in the judiciary and the police had presented “fabricated evidence”.

Delhi police protest darkest day in history : Bar Council of India

The Bar Council of India Wednesday said that the protest by Delhi Police yesterday seems to be “politically motivated” and the “darkest day in the history of independence” and asserted that the guilty police officials should be arrested within a week.

BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said in a press release that earlier the BCI had asked the Bar Association of Delhi to call off their ongoing strike but after seeing “Delhi Police’s conduct”, it cannot “sit tight over the matter”.

The apex bar body alleged that the policemen remained “absent from duty, shouted slogans, used filthy language” and threatened to “smash and kill lawyers” openly.

The BCI in its letter has also demanded constitution of a high-level committee to find out who were involved in “planning the illegal protest of police yesterday”.

“Our demand is to arrest the guilty police officials within a period of one week, falling which we shall resort to peaceful dharna for the arrest of these people and for proper disciplinary action against them. The Bar stands united,” said the release.

 The Supreme Court asks J&K HC Juvenile Justice Committee to examine fresh allegations of detention of minors

The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the four member juvenile justice committee of Jammu and Kashmir High Court to examine afresh allegations of detention of minors by security forces in the state after abrogation of provisions of Article 370.

A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana asked the committee to place its report as expeditiously as possible and posted the hearing for December 3.

The bench said there was a need for examining the allegations afresh as the earlier reports of the committee was not in accordance with the apex court order due to time constraints.

The top court was hearing a petition which has raised the issue of alleged illegal detention of minors in Kashmir.

Centre has freedom to amend its CGHS scheme : Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday declined to interfere with the modified Central Government Health Services (CGHS) scheme, saying it is for the Centre to decide how to give health benefits and supply medicines to its serving and retired employees.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said prima facie the modified policy creates no hurdles in supply of medicines to the central government employees and also curbs misuse of the scheme as was being allegedly done in the past.

The observation came while dismissing a PIL challenging an e-tender issued for empanelment of authorised local chemists under the modified CGHS scheme for the national capital area. The petition had opposed the modified scheme also.

Under the earlier scheme, if medicines prescribed by a doctor were not available at a wellness centre or dispensary, an authorisation slip was issued to the patient for procuring the medicine from a local chemist, the Health Ministry told the court.

Under the new scheme, it said, if medicine was not available at the dispensary, the local empanelled chemist supplies it to the wellness centre which in turn provides it to the patient.

The central government further said the scheme was modified as earlier patients used to use the authorisation slip for buying toothbrushes, toothpastes, Horlicks and cosmetics from the chemist shop.

Noting the submission of the ministry, the bench said under the new scheme requirement of issuance of authorisation slip has been given a go-bye and “therefore, chance to buy toothbrushes, toothpastes, Horlicks and cosmetics has been brought down to zero as now medicines will come to wellness centre and patients need not go to the chemists”.

The court noted the ministry’s claim that subsequent to the modification in the scheme, participation by chemists has increased and they were offering better discounts than in the past, and said,”we see no reason to interfere with the modified CGHS policy.

“The government has to be given free movement in the joints. The government should be given the freedom to amend the schemes. More the misuse of a scheme, more tight would be the procedural aspect in grant of benefits. Sometimes government may also close down the scheme if it is being misused,” the bench said.

It noted under the new scheme there was no contact between the beneficiary and the local chemist, due to which “loss may have been caused to chemists as they can no longer sell toothpaste, toothbrushes, Horlicks and cosmetics instead of medicines”.

“However, we are not concerned by loss to chemists. We are only concerned that the benefits reach the central government employees. We, therefore, see no reason to interfere with the modified scheme or the notice inviting tender floated by the central government,” the court added.

Elgar Parishad case: Navlakha moves Pune court for anticipatory bail

 Activist Gautam Navlakha, accused of Maoist links in connection with the Elgar Parishad caste violence case, on Tuesday approached the Pune sessions court for anticipatory bail.

The court will hear his plea on November 7.

The Bombay High Court had on Monday asked Navlakha to approach the sessions court here for anticipatory bail.

Navlakha’s plea for anticipatory bail came up for hearing on Monday before a single bench of Justice P D Naik, who dismissed it and asked the Delhi-based activist to first approach the sessions court in Pune for relief.

Navlakha had filed the application in the high court which had, in September, declined to quash a police case lodged against him in January last year, after which he had moved the Supreme Court.

The apex court had granted him interim protection from arrest and said he could seek anticipatory bail from the court concerned.

According to the police, “inflammatory” speeches and “provocative” statements at the Elgar Parishad conclave held on December 31, 2017, had triggered violence at Koregaon Bhima on 1st January, 2018.

The police have alleged that the event, held at a fort, was backed by people with Maoist links.

Navlakha and the other accused were booked under the relevant provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Besides Navlakha, eight others, including Telugu poet Varavara Rao and Left-wing activists Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Sudha Bharadwaj, are accused in the case.

The Kerala High Court directs Kerala government to preserve corpse of 2 slain maoists

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to preserve until further orders the bodies of two Maoists who were killed in an encounter in Agali forests last week, after their kin filed a plea against a court order permitting their cremation.

It also directed the government to keep the bodies of slain Maoists– Karthi and Manivasagam –at the Thrissur Government Medical College mortuary and produce documents, including post-mortem reports, before it.

Justice K P Narayana Pisharody gave the order on the petition by relatives of the two Maoists, challenging a Sessions court order permitting cremation of the bodies as per rules.

Relatives of Karthi and Manivasagan had approached the Sessions Court to stop the cremation until the post-mortem report was out.

In their plea filed before the High Court, they alleged that the Sessions Court did not consider the plea for an independent and impartial probe into the case.

The Sessions Court in Palakkad had disposed of the matter on Monday, after finding that there was no lapse on the part of the police and none of the specific guidelines of the apex Ccurt were ignored or flouted.

Four Maoists– Karthi, Rema, Aravind and Manivasagan– were killed allegedly in an exchange of fire started by the ultras during a two-day police combing operation in Palakkad district last week.