HC seeks report on Maha officials’ visits to malnutrition-hit areas

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court directed the Maharashtra government on Wednesday to submit a report on visits conducted by its public health and district level officers to the state’s tribal areas that are battling malnutrition.

A bench of justices A S Oka and M S Sonak directed the state’s counsel Neha Bhide to submit the report by next week.

The direction came after Bhide told the bench that the state had been organising health camps in the tribal-dominated Melghat area of Vidarbha region, Nandurbar district and others areas, to help the residents.

She said several officers from the public health department, the district collectors concerned and other local- level officers regularly visit these areas to take stock of the health facilities and other issues.

The court-appointed core committee then takes cognisance of their observations and extends necessary aid to these areas, Bhide said.

Her submissions, however, were opposed by the petitioners – some NGOs and activists working in the tribal areas.

They informed the bench that despite the state’s claims of extending timely aid to tribal areas, the residents there “continued to face poverty and government apathy”. They lacked access to proper food and basic health care facilities.

They also informed the bench that between October 1 and October 14 this year, 12 children in these tribal areas had died of malnutrition.

At this, the bench asked if the core committee followed a set mechanism to help it take decisions and extend aid to such areas.

“On what basis does the committee take action? Do your officers visiting the tribal areas submit any reports to the committee? We would like to see these reports,” it said.

The bench was hearing a bunch of Public Interest Litigations highlighting a rise in malnutrition-related deaths and illnesses among those living in Melghat region of Vidarbha and other tribal areas in Maharashtra.

Different benches of the Bombay High Court have passed several orders on the issue over the last two years, directing the state government to ensure that those living in tribal areas get adequate nutrition, health care, sanitation and education facilities.

During a hearing last week, the petitioners had told the bench that between January and September this year, 72 tribal children had died of malnutrition in the state.

The bench had at that time asked the state if it could come up with a system to ensure that doctors and health workers posted in the tribal areas conduct door-to-door visits to check whether any child in such homes was suffering from malnutrition or other ailments.

Sohrabuddin Encounter: Bombay High Court to announce verdict on discharge of cops

MUMBAI: 2005-2006 encounter case of suspected gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife and their aide will most likely to get the final  on Monday.The Bombay High Court is likely to pronounce its verdict on whether or not some senior Gujarat and Rajasthan police officers deserve to be discharged in the Fake’ encounters case.

According to the reports submittted by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)  to the court Shaikh, his wife Kausar Bi and their aide Tulsiram Prajapati were killed in “fake” encounters by the police of the two states in 2005-2006.

The matter was heard by a single bench of the high court presided over by Justice A M Badar, had reserved the verdict on five revision applications challenging the discharge granted in the case by a trial court to Gujarat IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian, former Gujarat ATS chief D G Vanzara, Gujarat police officer N K Amin, Rajasthan cadre IPS officer Dinesh M N and Rajasthan police constable Dalpat Singh Rathod.

Incidentally, a special court in Mumbai had discharged 15 of these 38 accused arrested in the case between 2014-17. Those discharged included 14 police officials and BJP president Amit Shah.

However, Gujarat Police had then claimed Sohrabuddin Shaikh had terror links.

Use Scheduled Castes instead of ‘Dalits’ I&B ministry asks television channels

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has asked television channels to refrain from using the term “Dalits, based on an order of the Bombay High Court, which has asked the government to ensure that the term Dalit is not used for referring to the communities included in the Scheduled Castes by the Constitution.

The Bombay high court’s Nagpur bench had issued the order while hearing a petition seeking removal of the word ‘Dalit’ from government documents and communication. Following the court’s order, the ministry had ordered the Press Council of India in June to decide if media could use the term ‘Dalit’ in its reportage.

The I&B ministry on August 7 wrote to the News Broadcasters Association and the Indian Broadcasting Foundation – bodies of TV channels – conveying a June 6 directive from the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court asking the government to direct the media not to use the word “Dalit”.

Dalit rights groups have however opposed the I&B ministry’s order, saying that the term ‘Dalit’ holds political significance and a sense of identity.

Bombay High Court, directed the Maharashtra government to make all its websites disabled-friendly

MUMBAI: A division bench headed by acting Chief Justice Naresh Patil directed the state government to update all its websites, make them disabled-friendly and file a status report in three months.

Justice Patil gave the order, while hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by city-based NGO Disability Rights Initiative, seeking a direction to the government and other authorities concerned to make their websites user-friendly for disabled people. The court asked the State Bank of India to make its website available in Marathi as well.

Advocate Kranti L C, appearing for the petitioners, told the court that even today, certain government websites are difficult to access for those who are disabled, including the visually challenged. Kranti explained to the court that when a blind person/lawyer is accessing the Bombay High Court website, he may not know that there is some new update popping on the website, unless it blinks or there is some sound.

The high court directed the state government to ensure guidelines are complied with and that all their websites are disabled-friendly. The court also said the state government and local bodies like the zilla parishads and gram panchayats shall upgrade their websites according to the guidelines.

Activist Arrest case: Bombay High Court pulled up the Maharashtra Police, for holding press conference

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Monday questioned the press conference by Maharashtra Police elaborating on the evidence it had against activists arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case.

The Maharashtra Police on Friday held a press conference and elaborated on the evidence it had against the activists it had arrested. While hearing a petition, the court said how can the police hold a press conference when the case is subjudice.

In the press conference, ADG Singh had exhibited certain emails, letters and other communication that allegedly changed hands among the activists, whose arrests from different parts of India have triggered condemnation from several quarters.

The court was hearing a petition demanding inquiry by the National Investigation Agency into an event in Pune that reportedly triggered violence in Bhima Koregan near Pune on January 1. The court said copies of the petition had not been served to all concerned persons, and adjourned the matter for September 7.

Last week, the Pune police raided the houses of prominent Left-wing activists across several states as part of a probe into anti-Dalit violence at Koregaon-Bhima village near Pune after the Elgar Parishad conclave on December 31 last year.

Pharma Co. Guilty In Infringement Case will Donate Rs 1.50 Cr For Kerala Floods: Bombay High Court

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court has ordered a pharmaceutical company to deposit Rs 1.50 crore as the company was found guilty of infringing on trademark under the Intellectual Property Rights Act. The Court directed  to deposit the punishable amount towards the Kerala Chief Minister’s Fund for flood relief work.

The company had allegedly copied a product manufactured by Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Justice S J Kathawalla on August 28 held that Galpha Laboratories was a “habitual infringer” of various medicinal products, whose trademarks have been registered by other pharma companies.

Advcoate Hiren Kamod appearing for Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd, had argued that the product Candid-B cream is copied by the defendants to the ‘last millimeter’. He also informed the court about the defendants being habitual offenders.

Drugs are not sweets. Pharmaceutical companies which provide medicines for the health of the consumers have a special duty of care towards them,” Justice Kathawalla said in his order.

These companies, in fact, have a greater responsibility towards the general public. However, nowadays, the corporate and financial goals of such companies cloud the decision of its executives whose decisions are incentivised by profits, more often than not, at the cost of public health.

This case is a perfect example of just that,” the court said.

The accused company has been asked to deposit the money in the Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund, which it did today.

Kamala Mills fire: Bombay HC asks investigating committee to submit its report on September 10

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court today asked the committee investigating into the Kamala Mills Compound fire incident to submit its report before the court on the 10th of September. In April this year, the high court had ordered that a three-member committee be set up to conduct an inquiry into the incident that took place last year.

The panel was later set up and it is headed by retired chief justice A V Savant and has two other members – Vasant Thakur, an architect on one of the high court panels, and former chief secretary K Nalinakshan.

The court earlier this year in April had ordered that a three-member committee be set up to conduct an inquiry into the incident. The committee was directed earlier to submit its report to the high court on August 31.

Earlier In January Bombay High Court granted bail to a Mumbai Fire Brigade officer, who was arrested in the Kamala Mills fire case. Fire Officer Rajendra Patil was arrested, along with others, following the blaze at two roof-top restaurants in the Kamala Mills compound in central Mumbai in December last year.

HC rejects bail plea of corporator in abetment to suicide case

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today rejected the pre-arrest bail plea of a corporator in Pune district in a case of alleged abetment of suicide of a real estate broker over a property dispute.

NCP leader and corporator Deepak Mankar had approached the high court after a sessions court in Pune rejected his anticipatory bail application on June 6.

Earlier this month, the Pune Police had lodged a case against Mankar and six others for allegedly abetting the suicide of real estate broker Jitendra Jagtap, who took the extreme step earlier this month.

The victim had left a purported suicide note in which he named the accused persons responsible for his death.

Justice Mridula Bhatkar today rejected Mankar’s plea while observing that the charges levelled against him were of serious nature.

According to the FIR lodged by Jitendra Jagtap’s son Jayesh, his father knew Mankar and was taking care of a plot of land at Rasta Peth in Pune since about a decade.

The FIR stated that Mankar along with a builder, Vasant Karnataki, was allegedly putting pressure on Jagtap to give up possession of the land in their favour by signing some blank documents.

The accused persons even threatened Jagtap with dire consequences. This drove him to commit suicide by jumping in front of a moving train on the tracks near B T Kawade Road in Pune on June 2, the FIR stated.

However, Mankar in his anticipatory bail plea claimed that he along with Karnataki were legal owners of the land.

The plea mentioned that Karnataki’s firm Try Builders had allegedly entered into an agreement with another realty company over development rights.

Mankar in his plea also said they were only seeking return of the land, and that making such a demand cannot be construed as abetment to suicide.

Moreover, Mankar had given an application to the police on June 1, complaining that Jagtap was demanding money to vacate the land, the plea said.

High Court extends stay on launch of Nifty-based products by SGX

The Bombay High Court today extended its interim stay on the launch of Nifty-based new derivative contracts by Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX) till May 31.

A vacation bench of Justice S J Kathawalla deferred the hearing on the dispute between the National Stock Exchange India Ltd (NSE) and the SGX after the parties sought time to make up their minds on the terms for sending the dispute to arbitration for resolution.

Earlier this week, Justice Kathawalla had passed an interim order restraining SGX from acting upon its circular issued on April 11 announcing the launch of the derivative products.

The bench, at that time, had also suggested that the parties take the dispute before a court-appointed arbitrator.

While the NSE consented to the above, the matter could not be sent for arbitration as the lawyers for SGX sought time to take instructions on the terms of the stay on the circular until the dispute was heard and disposed of by the arbitrator.

The NSE had approached the high court on Tuesday through senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, seeking an injunction against SGX.

Arguing that it had an intellectual property right over the Nifty benchmark, the NSE sought that SGX be restrained from going ahead with the launch scheduled for June 4.

In February, the three Indian stock exchanges — the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the NSE and the Metropolitan Stock Exchange — had taken a joint decision to stop trading of derivative contracts based on Indian indices on overseas bourses.

However, on April 11, the SGX announced new India equity derivative products that will be based on settlement prices of Nifty Futures contracts.

Derivatives are contracts between two or more parties whose value or prices are determined by the fluctuations of underlying financial assets such as securities, bonds, currencies, stocks or market indexes.

Bombay High Court : Form special team to probe emails sent to Tata firm

The Bombay High Court has directed the Mumbai Police to constitute a “special team” of officials, who are experienced in dealing with cyber crimes, to probe into allegations of defamatory emails received by a subsidiary company of the Tata Motors.

A vacation bench, presided by Justice SJ Kathawalla, also directed the Mumbai Police Commissioner to file a report by May 22 this year, both on the team and the progress made in the probe.

The bench was hearing a suit filed last year by the Tata Motors Insurance Broking & Advisory Services (TMIBASL), a subsidiary company of Tata Motors.

As per the suit, for over a year now, senior officials of the TMIBASL and other group companies, have been receiving emails from several ‘fictitious’ email addresses containing “slanderous and defamatory” allegations against the company, its CEO and other officials of TMIBASL.

In a hearing conducted last week, TMIBASL informed the bench that, recently, similar emails were also sent to the official email address of the Delhi Police Commissioner.

Meanwhile, the Cyber Cell of the city police has informed the court that it had written to the Google India for assistance, and that it was yet to receive details of all the email addresses that were being used to spread the said content.

“Though some response is received from Google, the advocate appearing for the plaintiffs (TMIBASL) points out that further emails have been sent to the Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, under an email address that appears to be fictitious, making allegations against the senior officials/ executives of the Tata Group.

“Though the Cyber Cell, Mumbai has been investigating the matter for more than one year, it has not made any headway in identifying the culprits and taking action against them. In view thereof, the Commissioner of Police, Greater Mumbai is directed to, forthwith, form a special team of police officers, who have experience in solving cyber crimes, to investigate the matter,” the bench said.