Diwali bonus for 40,000 Mumbai civic workers

Nearly 40,000 civic employees, who went on strike last month, Wednesday got a festival gift from the Bombay High Court which asked the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to pay them Diwali bonus of Rs.7,500 by Nov 1.

The relief comes with a rider that if the MCGM wins its case in court, it would be allowed to deduct the bonus amount from the employees’ salaries.

The decision in favour of the workers affiliated to the Municipal Mazdoor Union (MMU) was given by the division bench of Justice S.J. Kathawala and Justice A.M. Thipsay.

The judges were hearing an appeal filed by the union challenging a single judge court’s order, upholding MCGM’s decision to deny bonus to the employees who struck work last month.

“Let them celebrate the (Diwali) festival and do not make it an ego issue. You can release the amount by Nov 1. If the single judge bench rules in your favour, you can deduct it from the employees’ salaries,” the judges said.

They also directed the single judge to conclude the matter by Nov 9 and pass the order by Nov 14.

Last fortnight, the MCGM issued a circular citing that those employees who went on an MMU-supported strike Sep 19-20 would not be eligible for Diwali bonus this year.

Terming the civic agency’s decision vindictive, the MMU challenged the circular before the industrial court, which directed the MCGM to pay the bonus to all employees.

The MCGM challenged the industrial court’s order before the high court’s single judge who upheld its decision, following which the MMU approached the two-judge bench.

The MMU had gone on a two-day strike last month demanding a salary hike.

Shiney slaps notice on Micromax for ‘Bai’ commercial

Actor Shiney Ahuja, accused of raping his domestic help, has sought legal action against Micromax Mobile for a recent commercial about maid servants that allegedly pokes fun at him, an aide said Monday.

Currently out on bail, Shiney has taken umbrage at the new ad by Micromax Mobile released this week in which two ‘bais’ (maids) allegedly poke fun at him.

According to his publicist, the advertisement – said to have been made especially for the Diwali season – has infuriated Shiney.

“Shiney has sent a legal notice to the mobile company as the advertisement amounts to willful character assassination,” his publicist Dale Bhagwagar told.

Shiney was arrested June 2009 following charges of rape, wrongful confinement and criminal intimidation levelled by his maid servant, and spent nearly five months in jail.

On March 30, 2011, he was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment by a Mumbai fast track court, a decision he challenged before the Bombay High Court.

“For the mobile company to air such a commercial influencing public opinion when Shiney’s appeal is pending hearing is equivalent to contempt of court,” Bhagwagar added.

Shiney, star of movies like Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, Life In A Metro and Gangster, is expected to make a comeback with releases like Ek Accident, Ghost and Chaloo Movie.

Bhandarkar making false statement, claims Preeti Jain advocate

Advocate Sushan Kunjuraman, representing actor Preeti Jain, who had filed a case against noted film director Madhur Bhandarkar accusing him of raping her, today said that accused Bhandarkar is making false statements to the media that he is approaching the Bombay High Court with an appeal challenging the lower court order which had summon director on the complaint moved by Jain.

”After the last hearing, the director issued a press note to media houses informing them that he would be going to the High Court with his appeal, however, till now he has done nothing and is spreading rumours about this,” he said.

Earlier, Bhandarkar, in a release, had told the media, ”As the lower court has issued a process against me, for a case which has been going on for seven years, I would like to state here after reading the judgment that, we will challenge this order in higher courts and seek justice. Now, since the Magistrate Court has issued a process against me in this case, my lawyer will take all legal remedies. I have full faith and respect for the judiciary and I am confident of proving myself innocent.” In September 2005, Preeti was arrested after she reportedly hired a contract killer for Rs 70,000 to murder Bhandarkar. In January 2006, police requested the court to dismiss the case against Bhandarkar as they had found Preeti’s allegations to be false.

Court admits plea for federal probe in July 13 Mumbai blasts

The Bombay High Court admitted a petition demanding that the probe into the July 13 Mumbai blasts which killed 27 people be handed over to central agencies as they constitute “an attack on the nation”.

According to petitioner V.P. Patil, an advocate, presently the probe into the triple blasts was being conducted by Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and Mumbai Police Crime Branch.

“However, these blasts have been termed as ‘attack on the nation’ so I have demanded that the investigations be handed over to either the Central Bureau of Investigation or the National Investigation Agency,” Patil told the media.

The triple blasts killed 27 and left over 100 injured at the diamond hub of Opera House, gold jewellery hub of Zaveri Bazar and the busy commercial locality of Dadar West.

The division bench of Justice D.D. Sinha and Justice V.K. Tahilramani issued notices to the central and state governments and fixed the next hearing for Oct 20.

In December 2008, Patil filed a similar plea seeking a central agency probe into the Nov 26, 2008, Mumbai terror attack and sought measures to streamline the intelligence and security machinery of the state.

The court said that since the prayers in both the petitions were similar, they could be clubbed together.

Patil said that he had not raised any doubts over the competence of either the ATS or Mumbai Police, but sought to highlight that since these were acts of terror against the nation, both the matters were beyond their respective jurisdiction.

Probe if MCOCA can be slapped on Hasan Ali: Court

A special court here Saturday directed Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik to appoint an officer to investigate if the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) can be slapped on alleged money launderer and tax evader Hasan Ali Khan.

The order was given after the court heard a petition of Mumbai-based social activist I.G. Khandelwal, who contended that since various offences, including money laundering and possessing fake passports, have been registered against Khan, the MCOCA should be slapped against him.

“Designated MCOCA Judge S.M. Modak asked Patnaik to appoint a competent officer to conduct the probe whether a case under the MCOCA be made out against Khan and file a progress report within a month,” Khandelwal told.

Modak also said that an extension can be sought after the progress report is submitted a month later.

Khan was taken into custody by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 17 after the Supreme Court cancelled the bail granted to him by a trial court.

He was granted bail by the Bombay High Court Aug 12, but the Supreme court cancelled it Sep 30.

Among other things, Khan is suspected to have stashed away around US$ 8 billion in Swiss bank accounts, transferring cash and assets out of the country through dubious means and evading taxes on income with a suspected liability of over Rs.40,000 crore.

Voter card no proof of tenancy, rules apex court

The presence of a person’s name on the electoral roll would only prove that he/she was residing at the premises at a certain point of time but in no way would indicate his/her status as a tenant or a licensee, the Supreme Court has said.

 “The electoral roll will not show whether a person is occupying a premises as a tenant or as a licensee. It may at best show that the person was residing in the premises,” said Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice A.K. Patnaik in their ruling Friday.

 

“The fact that both respondents were residing in the premises had never been disputed. If they represented that they were husband and wife, the electoral roll will reflect the same,” said the court.

 

The case relates to Dnyaneshwar Ranganath Bhandare, who allowed his maid servant Chhaya to stay in a room of a double-storey house in Sangli district of Maharashtra. Chhaya looked after Bhandare’s mother but he allowed her to stay on in the room even after his mother’s death.

 

Chhaya later brought in Sadhu Dadu Shettigar (Shetty), claiming he was her husband and occupied another room as well.

Bhandare approached the Supreme Court against an Oct 7, 2008, Bombay High Court order which had refused to interfere with the earlier Sangli district court’s judgement that ruled the couple was tenants.

 

Earlier, the trial court had ruled in favour of Bhandare and asked the couple to hand over the possession of premises to Bhandare.

Court tells National Defence Academy to ease security norms

The Bombay High Court Thursday directed Pune’s National Defence Academy (NDA) to ease security restrictions imposed on the road leading to the tri-services institution, a lawyer said.

 

The directions, spelling a setback for the NDA, came on a bunch of public interest litigations (PILs) challenging the institution’s move to restrict movement of people and vehicles on the five-km long NDA Road on security grounds,” said Sandeep Salunkhe, lawyer for some of the petitioners.

 

“Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi of the Bombay High Court have directed NDA to relax barricades for three kms from Chandni Chowk side to Khadakwasla side, where NDA is situated,” Salunkhe told .

 However, the judges have allowed security precautions like metal detectors, frisking and certain parking restrictions.

 Last Monday, several petitioners, including Yogi Holiday Resorts, Shrushti Enterprises, Oasis Club, Garden Resorts and individual joggers, S. Pimpalkhare and S. Tama had moved the court in writ petitions.

 

The petitioners claimed that the NDA has illegally barricaded a public road leading to its sprawling campus, which was causing great inconvenience to the public at large.

 

Advocate Girish Kulkarni, who represented NDA, contended it was not in a position to relax the security norms.

 

A day later (Tuesday), the court sought replies from the central government, the NDA and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) over the issue.

 

On its part, the NDA argued that these (security) measures were thrust upon it by the continued violation of existing rules by vested interests and the lack of will to resolve the long pending security related issues.

 

The NDA contended that in recent years, the unchecked proliferation of commercial ventures has started attracting large crowds on the NDA Road, posing a security threat to the institution spread across more than 8,000 acres and housing over 15,000 people, including staff and students.

 

The NDA has moved the top PMC authorities, and the Pune district collector and sought a meeting with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to resolve the matter.

Bhandarkar to move High Court on rape charges

Mumbai, Film-maker Madhur Bhandarkar, who was summoned by a local court in connection with a rape case filed in 2004, today said he would challenge the lower court order in the Bombay High Court.

In a statement on the social networking site ‘Twitter’, he said “As the lower court has issued a process against me on September 19, 2011, for a case which has been going on for seven years, I would like to state here after reading the judgment that we will challenge this order in higher courts and seek justice.” A struggling model and actress Pretti Jain had accused Bhandarkar of raping her on the pretext of giving a lead role in his forthcoming films and marrying her.

While giving details of the case, Bhandarkar, without taking anyone’s name, said “Initially, on July 12, 2004, the complainant had sent a legal notice to me stating if I don’t cast her in my film as the leading lady within 48 hours of the legal notice served then she would adopt necessary criminal and civil legal proceedings against me by lodging a police complaint and complaining before the Court of Law against me for cheating, cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage and criminal intimidation. There was no whisper of rape charges in that notice.” Further, the filmmaker has accused the complainants of being not trustworthy.

The renowned director writes on his blog “Then we came to know that on July nine, 2004, she had already sent a legal notice to one Sohail Khan, an upcoming music director, stating that she is pregnant with his child, affirming that with a DNA test, and she threatened him saying that if he doesn’t accept the paternity of the child then she would take legal action against him in seven days.

“On July 22, 2004, she filed a complaint with the police alleging me of raping her, for which I was granted bail in the sessions court which was upheld by the High Court. The High Court had passed strong strictures against her saying her credibility should be checked. She was trying to falsely implicate me, which cannot be ruled out,” he added.

Court urges SEBI, MCX-SX to amicably resolve issues

The Bombay High Court Friday directed the markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to resolve pending issues with MCX-SX promoters in a business-like manner and give thm a fresh chance.

 

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud also urged the SEBI to consider withdrawing its show-cause notice, based on which it passed its order to MCX-SX last year rejecting its application to start an equities trading platform, since most of the issues in the order have been resolved, an official said, requesting anonymity.

 

The two parties – SEBI and MCX-SX – have also been directed to return to the high court Sep 30 with a workable solution through assurances and undertakings.

 

The high court noted that for some small reasons, institutions should not be closed down as markets need competition.

 

After it secured recognition in 2009, MCX-SX was granted a one-year licence with a condition to comply with the Securities Contract (Regulation) – Manner of Increasing & Maintaining Public Shareholding in Recognised Stock Exchanges – within one year.

 

The other condition was it could only offer trading in currency future and would not be eligible for introducing any new class of contracts in securities till it fully complied with SEBI’s regulations.

 

Last year, the MCX-SX challenged the SEBI order rejecting its application to start the equities platform, on grounds that the former (MCX-SX) had not complied with its regulations.

 

Ajmal Amir Kasab challenges death penalty in Supreme Court

Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving gunman in the Mumbai 2008 terror attack, Friday moved the Supreme Court challenging the death penalty awarded to him by a trial court and upheld by the Bombay High Court.

Kasab’s appeal was filed by the authorities at the Arthur road jail in Mumbai where he has been lodged since he was arrested in 2008.Kasab was convicted by the trial court for murder, conspiracy and waging a war against India and sentenced to death last year. The verdict was upheld by the high court this year.

A Pakistani national, Kasab was one of the 10 gunmen involved in the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008 in which 166 people were killed.