Ensure action against Illegal Slaughter House: Bombay HC

MUMBAI: Division Bench headed by Justice S C Dharmadhikari said it is for the Maharashtra Government to ensure that there is no breach of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Food Safety and Standards Act in the state.

Court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Ajay Marathe raising concerns over Illegal Abattoirs operating across the city. The petition sought directions to the municipal corporations for following an ethical procedure like rendering the animals unconscious before slaughtering them.

Justice Dharmadhikari said,”We are concerned about public health and safety. Those persons who consume (meat) should not suffer. There are several places in the city where we see slaughter shops throwing carcasses and garbage on the roads and people are not even able to walk near those places.” He added,”This is something that should not be tolerated.”

BMC counsel Anil Sakhare told the court that the civic body has been conducting periodical checks on such erring shops.

Bombay HC quashes FIR against actor Armaan Kohli

Mumbai:  The Bombay High Court today quashed an FIR against actor Armaan Kohli after he submitted an affidavit from jail expressing “remorse and regret” for assaulting his girlfriend.

The court observed that since the victim, Neeru Randhawa, had consented to the quashing of the FIR and did not desire to take the case forward, it was best to quash the FIR.
In the affidavit that Kohli’s lawyer brought to court in compliance with its previous order, the actor also assured the court that he will not repeat such behaviour.

Randhawa, who was present in court, also filed an affidavit stating that she and Kohli had decided to amicably settle the matter following the intervention of Kohli’s family and their mutual friends.
She also told the court that she has already received some monetary compensation from Kohli’s family and that she was to receive some other post-dated cheques from them.
“If the conditions of settlement are met then I will be happy to take back the case,” she told the court.

“We hope and trust the petitioner (Kohli) will abide by what is stated in the affidavit in its true spirit,” the bench said.

Supreme Court sets aside Bombay HC order asking MCI to conduct inspection in college

New Delhi:The Supreme Court today set aside a Bombay High Court order directing the Medical Council of India (MCI) to inspect a medical college, where “large-scale deficiencies” were found during an inspection last year, for granting renewal for admission in academic year 2018-2019.

A bench comprising justices L Nageswara Rao and M M Shantanagoudar allowed the appeal filed by the MCI, which had challenged the high court’s order asking it to carry out the inspection and submit a report to the Centre before April 30.

The apex court referred to one of its previous judgment, in which it had held that medical education must be taken very seriously and when an expert body certifies that facilities in a medical college were inadequate, it was not for the courts to interfere with the assessment except for reasons like mala fides of the inspection team or others.

“In view of the large-scale deficiencies found in the inspection report dated September 25, 2017 and September 26, 2017…the respondent no. one and two (Vedantaa Institute of Academic Excellence Pvt Ltd and Vedantaa Institute of Medical Sciences) are not entitled to claim another inspection,” the bench said.

“For the aforementioned reasons, the judgment of the high court is set aside and the appeal is allowed,” it said.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing the MCI, had argued in the apex court that in view of deficiencies found in the inspection conducted last year, there was no question of an opportunity being given to the institute to rectify these deficiencies.

The counsel appearing for the institute and college had argued that inspection was not conducted in a fair manner and the committee’s report does not represent the correct picture.

The Centre had told the apex court that standards fixed by the MCI were the bare minimum and have to be strictly complied with to ensure maintenance of basic minimum standards of medical education.

The Centre had issued a letter of permission in May last year to the institute to admit the first batch of 150 students for the academic year 2017-2018.

The inspection for granting the first renewal for admission of students for academic year 2018-2019 was conducted by an MCI panel on September 25 and 26 last year.

After several deficiencies were pointed out, MCI’s executive committee decided to recommend to the Centre to invoke the Establishment of Medical College Regulation, 1999 and disapprove the application of institute for renewal of permission of MBBS course second batch for academic year 2018-2019.

The matter then reached the high court which held that inspection conducted by the committee was not fair.

Time to see if IPL is in interest of cricket: Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court today said the IPL has made people familiar with phrases like “betting and fixing” and in view of the alleged violations of foreign exchange rules it was time to see if the tournament was in interest of the game of cricket.

The scathing remarks were made by a division bench of justices S C Dharmadhikari and Bharati Dangre while passing its order on a petition filed by former Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi challenging a July 2015 order of the adjudicating authority of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) refusing him the permission to cross-examine witnesses in a FEMA case.

The ED has alleged violations of foreign exchange rules during the 2009 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) held in South Africa.

The court allowed Modi’s petition and permitted his legal counsels to cross-examine the witnesses but made strong observations on the tournament.

“If IPL has led to serious violations then it is high time the organisers realise whether what has been achieved by conducting the tournament since the past ten years can be termed as a sport or game…for it is full of illegalities and breaches of law,” the court said.

“IPL has made us familiar with phrases like betting and fixing of matches. It is for the central government, RBI and organisers to now consider if conducting IPL is in interest of the game/sport,” the court said in its order.

The bench while allowing Modi’s petition said the impugned order grossly violates the principles of natural justice as the adjudicating authority was going to rely on the statements of the witnesses against Modi.

The court also noted that the proceedings have been dragged for too long now.

“We direct the adjudicating authority to issue summons to the witnesses to appear before it on March 2. The cross- examination shall be concluded positively by March 13. The proceedings shall be completed by May 31,” the court directed.

In 2013, the ED initiated adjudication proceedings against Modi under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) regarding a bank account opened by the BCCI and IPL authorities in South Africa ahead of the 2009 edition of the IPL.

Show us average prisoner gets same treatment as Sanjay Dutt : HC

 The Maharashtra government said today it can justify “every single minute” of parole or furlough granted to actor Sanjay Dutt, who was in jail in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, prompting the Bombay High Court to ask if same rules were applied to every inmate.

A public interest litigation has questioned the “frequent” parole or furlough Dutt, sentenced to five years in jail in the case, got, and his early release from prison in 2016.

Parole is granted for special reasons, while prisoners are entitled to furlough as a matter of right.

Maharashtra Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni today said, “Not even for a single minute or second was Dutt out of jail in breach of law. We can account for every single minute that he was permitted to stay out of jail.

“We follow a strict, standard procedure for granting parole for every inmate. In times of RTI queries and public interest litigations, we take no chance,” he said.

During a hearing last year, the state had told another bench of the high court that the actor earned early release by displaying exemplary conduct while in jail.

The court had, however, pointed out that Dutt got parole just two months into his sentence, and also a furlough at the same time, a concession other convicts rarely get.

Kumbhakoni said today this concession was granted in July 2013 on account of medical emergencies in his family.

“This was on account of his daughter’s illness and his wife needing a surgery,” Kumbhakoni said.

“In cases of medical emergency, we take between 24 hours and eight days to decide on applications of parole. In Dutt’s case, we sent a police officer to interview the doctor who was to perform the surgery to ensure that this was a genuine case,” the advocate general said.

The division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Bharati Dangre directed the state to submit an affidavit detailing the steps followed while granting parole and furlough to an “average” inmate.

“You can show us that you follow the same procedure for all inmates….Else we’ll have to issue directions,” the judges said, adjourning the hearing to February 1.

According to the state government’s submissions, in view of Dutt’s good conduct, it decided to release him on February 25, 2016, eight months and 16 days before he completed his five-year sentence.

Dutt was convicted of charges of illegal possession and destruction of an AK-56 rifle that was part of the consignment of firearms and explosives to be used in the 1993 terror attack.

He spent over a year and four months in jail as an undertrial, and about two-and-a-half years as a convicted prisoner between June 2013 and February 2016.

During this period, he was out of jail for over five months on parole and furlough.

Source : PTI

Bombay HC refuses parole plea of prisoner but allows surgery in hospital

bhcThe Bombay High Court has refused to release a prisoner from Kolhapur Central Prison on parole for treatment of a nasal problem as he had violated furlough condition earlier. However, on humanitarian ground, a bench of Justices Vijaya Tahilramani and Mridula Bhatkar, in a recent order, allowed the prisoner, Wilson Benjamin Castellino, to undergo reconstruction surgery at a Kolhapur Hospital although he was refused parole leave. As far as the prayer for parole is concerned, the plea of the petitioner was rejected on the ground that he had violated furlough condition earlier.

The court observed that on November 19, 2010, he was released on furlough for a period of 14 days and was asked to surrender on December 4, 2010. However, the petitioner did not report back on time and ultimately he had to be traced.

He was arrested by police and brought back to prison on October 8, 2012. Thus, there was an overstay of 674 days.

Jail doctor Sanjay Padhye, who is attached to Kolhapur Central Prison, stated that the petitioner indeed has a nasal problem and he can be referred to a hospital for a nasal reconstruction surgery.

Accepting Jail doctor’s advise, the the court ordered that the petitioner should be referred to C.P.R. Hospital, Kolhapur for undergoing nasal construction surgery if found necessary. In case, the said facility is not available in C.P.R. Hospital, the petitioner may be be treated in any other hospital where such treatment was available.

“Needless to state that all necessary medical treatment be provided to the petitioner including surgery,” it ruled.

Opposing his plea for parole, the jail authorities apprehended that if the petitioner is released from prison, he will not report back to the prison in time and may abscond.

“Looking into the past conduct of the petitioner, it cannot be said that this apprehension is unfounded, hence, we are not inclined to release the petitioner on parole,” the court held.

The bench, therefore, dismissed the petition of Wilson Castellino seeking leave on parole.

The petitioner appeared before the court through video conference facility and urged that the had a fracture of nose and extra growth of flesh in his right nostril which is causing him severe problem in breathing.

Legal heirs of deceased convicts liable to pay fine: Bombay HC

bombay-hcIn a significant ruling, the Bombay High Court has held that legal heirs of a deceased convicts are liable to pay fines and compensation, imposed by the trial courts, from the properties left behind by him.

The judgement was delivered by Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi, who observed that death of a convict does not discharge him from the liability of paying fine and compensation imposed by court, and this amount can be recovered from the properties left behind by the deceased.
The judge recently dismissed a petition filed by Shamim Sarkhot, a resident of Srivardhan in Raigad district of Maharashtra, praying that she cannot be compelled to pay the fine and compensation imposed by a court on her husband as she was merely a legal heir of a dead convict.

Shamim’s husband, Saifuddin, was convicted by a magistrate in Srivardhan for not honouring a cheque issued by him to a local businessman in 2006.

The trial court had ordered him to pay Rs 25,000 fine to the state government and Rs 2.85 lakhs to the victim.

Saifuddin challenged the order in a higher court and during pendency of the appeal, he passed away.

The victim, however, approached the trial court for recovery of compensation and the magistrate in December last year ordered Saifuddin’s widow to pay the amount.

Shamim moved the Bombay High Court by challenging the magistrate’s order who had asked her to pay the fine and compensation from the estate of her deceased husband.

She contended that she was merely a legal heir and was holding properties of her husband under a will left behind by him. Hence, Shamim argued, she could not have been asked to pay the fine and the amount of compensation, as ordered by the trial court.

The high court, however, rejected her plea saying if a convict fails to pay the fine under the provisions of CrPc, the amount can be recovered from his properties.

The judge ruled that the properties of Saifuddin were now in the custody of his widow and all these came to her along with the liabilities of her deceased husband. Therefore, the order of the magistrate, asking her to pay the fine and compensation on behalf of Saifuddin, was legal and proper.


HC rejects intervention plea to grant stay on Salman’s appeal

salmanThe Bombay High Court on Monday refused accept a plea to grant stay on an appeal filed by Bollywood actor Salman Khan against the five-year sentence awarded to him in the 2002 hit-and-run case. A convict in a murder case, whose appeal has not been heard since 2009, had filed an intervention application seeking a stay on Salman Khan’s appeal. He contended that the matters of celebrities were heard out-of-turn whereas those of other convicts like him were kept pending endlessly as a result of which they continued to languish in jails. The convict has also filed a separate petition in the High Court making the same allegation about appeals of celebrities being heard urgently. He has prayed that his appeal may be heard expeditiously. Justice A R Joshi refused to stay Salman’s appeal saying that both the sides in the case had consented for expeditious hearing of the matter. Moreover, the Judge said, in the petition filed by the convict (who has intervened), the High Court has not passed any judicial order.

The intervenor’s counsel, Aparna Vatkar, had sought a stay on Salman’s appeal saying it should not be heard until the petition filed by her client separately before another bench is decided by the High Court.

Salman’s lawyer Amit Desai, in a passing reference, said he also did not understand why the government was too eager to hear the actor’s appeal against conviction on an urgent basis.

He demanded that a Compact Disc (CD) of the proceedings recorded in the trial court should be handed over to the defence team so that they are able to argue to appeal effectively.

However, prosecutors Sandeep Shinde and Pradeep Gharat said no such CD of court proceedings was available and hence, it could not be given to the other side.

The court deferred the matter to July 27 for further hearing.

The 49-year-old actor, who is on bail, did not come to the court today. His sister, Alvira, was, however, present.

Salman was convicted by a sessions court on May 6 and sentenced to five years imprisonment on various counts, including ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’.

A man was killed and four others were injured when the actor’s Toyota Land Cruiser ran over them while they were asleep on a pavement outside a bakery in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002.

The HC had on May 8 stayed the execution of the 5-year sentence awarded to Salman in the 13-year-old case and granted him bail while admitting his appeal.

Salman has challenged the findings of the trial court that he was drunk and was driving.


Bombay HC gives 3-months time to 5 illegal schools for regularisation

Bombay HC gives 3-months time to 5 illegal schools for regularisation
Bombay HC gives 3-months time to 5 illegal schools for regularisation

Taking a lenient stand saying the academic year has begun, the Bombay High Court today granted three months time to five schools that have illegally constructed their building structures on government land to apply for regularisation.

A division bench of justices A S Oka and Revati Mohite Dere was hearing a PIL by Ali Asgar Tehsildar alleging that around eight schools in Malwani area of suburban Malad have illegally constructed extensions to their already existing structures without taking permissions.

Out of the eight schools, St Mathews, St Pauls and Mount Mary, although on private land, have received notice from municipal corporation for illegal construction.

The remaining five schools today accepted before the high court that they have illegally constructed the buildings but sought time to file applications before the civic body for regularisation.

“What education will you (schools) impart to students when your own schools are illegal? Only because students have been admitted and the academic session has begun we propose to show indulgence,” the high court said.

It granted the five schools three-months time to file their applications.

“If within three months the applications are not filed then the corporation is free to take decision in accordance with law. If application is filed then the same shall be decided within two months thereafter,” the high court said.

The bench also allowed an intervention petition filed by BJP MP Gopal Shetty who approached the court in the interest of the school children.

Shetty’s lawyer told the court that over 35,000 students will be affected if the schools are ordered to be demolished. The lawyer informed that since 2014 Shetty has time and again written letters to the civic body raising the issue but nothing has been done.

The petition has been posted for further hearing on July 29.

Bombay HC wants public to take responsibility of waste disposal

Urging people to share the responsibility of proper waste management and disposal, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday suggested that authorities should make it mandatory for residential societies and townships to have a small waste disposal unit.

A division bench of justices N H Patil and V L Achliya was hearing a PIL filed by K D Gokhale and others in 2009 regarding plans for a waste treatment plant to be set up by the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) lying in limbo since 15 years for want of sanction from the state government and pollution control board.
On April 13, the high court had directed KDMC not to grant permission for any new construction until the issue is not cleared. Aggrieved by this, several builders on Tuesday approached the court seeking recall of the stay order.

“At this stage we do not find it necessary to recall our order. We, however, clarify that constructions which have already started, projects in which sanction has been given by KDMC, projects which have received commencement certificate and redevelopment projects can continue,” the bench said.

The court opined that individuals and societies at large should take the responsibility of waste management and disposal. “We cannot always shirk away basic responsibilities and then blame the government and corporation. The tendency of throwing garbage on the road needs to be curbed,” Justice Patil said.

“Make it mandatory for every society to dispose of waste in their own premises instead of throwing it out on the road. All the new townships coming up offer so many luxuries. Make it compulsory for them to set up a small waste disposal unit inside the township. This will minimise the burden of local civic bodies,” the court said.

It directed chief secretary of the state to convene a meeting with commissioners of all municipal corporations, chief officers of municipal councils and principal secretaries of state Urban Development and Environment departments to address the issue.

The court will hear the matter on June 24.