‘630 idols seized by police examined so far’

Chennai: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) informed the Madras High Court Thursday that 630 idols seized by the idol wing of the state police have so far been inspected by it.

Assistant Solicitor General G Karthikeyan submitted a copy of the communication from ASI Regional Director (South) M Nambirajan before Justice R Mahadevan stating that the idols had been inspected.

A memo had earlier been filed by the idol wing seeking a direction from the court to the ASI for determining the age of the seized idols.

The court had ordered the completion of the task on or before October 24.

Giving details about the inspections, the ASI said 404 objects were from the Icon Centre, Panthanallur, 25 from Mariamman Temple, Punnainallur, 41 from the Big Temple, Thanjavur, and 160 from Icon Centre, Tiruvarur.

The inspection included physical examination, observation of stylistic features, ornamentation, patination and inscription (if any), comparison with old available records and discussion among experts and scientific analysis.

The high court, while hearing the case in the wake of the thefts of idols from temples, had ordered the Tamil Nadu government to appoint Pon Manickavel as the inspector general of the idol wing to carry out a probe.

More than 1,000 idols from 387 temples across the state were stolen in the last 25 years despite enhanced security measures, the government had informed the court.

Madras High Court: Seven newly appointed judges sworn in

CHENNAI:  Seven newly appointed judges of the Madras High Court were sworn in today.

Chief Justice Indira Banerjee administered the oath of office to them.

With this, the total strength of the Madras High Court has reached 63 out of the sanctioned strength of 75.

All the judges are from the Bar. The Law Ministry had on June 1 appointed 14 judges to the three high courts.

While seven additional judges were appointed to the Madras High Court, two were appointed to the Karnataka High Court and five judges to the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

ED raids Karti Chidambaram’s premises in Delhi and Chennai

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today conducted searches at multiple premises linked to Karti Chidambaram, the son of Congress leader P Chidambaram, in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel- Maxis case.

Official sources said the raids are being conducted in Delhi and Chennai since early morning.

The central probe agency, on December 1 last year, had conducted similar searches on the premises of a relative of Karti and others in this case.

The ED case pertains to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval granted in 2006 by the then finance minister P Chidambaram.

The agency had said it is investigating the circumstances of the said FIPB approval granted by the then finance minister (P Chidambaram)”.

The ED also alleged that Karti has “disposed” of a property in Gurgaon, which he had allegedly rented out to a multinational company “to whom foreign direct investment (FDI) approval had been granted in 2013”.

It charged that Karti had “also closed certain bank accounts and attempted to close other bank accounts in order to frustrate the process of attachment” under the PMLA.

The agency said FIPB approval in the Aircel-Maxis FDI case was granted in March, 2006 by the then FM even though he was competent to accord approval on project proposals only up to Rs 600 crore and beyond that it required the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

“In the instant case, the approval for FDI of 800 million USD (over Rs 3,500 crore) was sought. Hence, CCEA was competent to grant approval.

“However, approval was not obtained from CCEA,” it alleged.

Source : PTI

Madras HC gives clean chit to MIOT Hospital

Madras HC gives clean chit to MIOT Hospital
Madras HC gives clean chit to MIOT Hospital

Giving a clean chit to the private MIOT Hospital here, the Madras High Court today observed that it has taken all requisite permission for construction and the building is in conformity with regulations and there has been no violation. The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh, which disposed of the PIL filed by social activist ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy, said the petitioner’s “allegations are based on surmises and conjectures.”

In his PIL, Ramaswamy alleged that MIOT International Hospital constructed a building of 10 floors very close to the Adyar River without proper sanction.

During heavy rains and resultant flood waters in December first week last year, the alleged encroachments by the hospital near the river were flooded, power failure occurred and there were various complications causing death of 18 patients, the petitioner alleged.

He also alleged that no proper action had been taken by police as “an inappropriate case has been registered under Section 174 Cr.P.C.”

The First Bench, which disposed of the PIL after going through the counter affidavit filed by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, said the affidavit shows that requiste planning permission and completion certificates had been issued from time to time depending on the construction work.

The bench, which perused the interim prayer of Ramaswamy seeking relief to the victims, said “we may notice that an interim prayer cannot go beyond the scope of the main petition. The scope of the petition is unauthorized construction.”

The bench observed that another allegation of Ramaswamy that 75 persons were dead during the incident “is purely imaginary” and cited a police affidavit mentioning registration of cases under various IPC sections, including 304-A (causing death by negligence).

It said post-mortem has been conducted in government hospitals on 14 bodies of patients who were stated to be under treatment at the critical care unit of MIOT Hospital. Five more persons died during the same period and the bodies were handed over to the respective relatives and “thus, the allegation that 75 persons died is stated to be purely imaginary.”

( Source – PTI )

Rameswaram a great tourist, pilgrim site:HC

Rameswaram a great tourist, pilgrim site:HC
Rameswaram a great tourist, pilgrim site:HC

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High court today described the Rameswaram Island and temple as a great tourist and pilgrim site and stressed the need for keeping them clean and tourist-friendly.

A division bench of Justice R.Sudhakar and Justice V.M.Velumani directed the Municipal Commissioner to implement the recommendations of the Advocate Commissioner for improving the amenities and conditions in the island.

The recommendations included renovating Agnitheertham (sea near the temple), cleaning it four times a day, better illumination and keeping the four ‘car streets’ litter-free, mobile bio-toilets, among other things.

The bench said the Municipal Commissioner should have voluntarily implemented the recommendations instead of the court directing it to do so.

The suggestions also included providing shelter for mentally-challenged persons, taking steps to get sanction of funds under Clean India project and also to enrol the island as one of the beneficiaries under AMRUT scheme under the auspices of the Urban Devleopment Ministry.

The bench said the Supreme Court was also focussing on keeping places of importance clean and the island administration should not get any adverse comment from the apex court.

It asked the Municipal Commissioner to prepare a standard operation procedure for implementing the recommendations and submit a report on October 26. They also directed the Joint Commissioner of the temple to be present on that date with regard to implementation of suggestions made for improving amenities inside the shrine.

( Source – PTI)

Sex workers’ body to set up RTI centres in four metros

aaThe All India Network of Sex Workers will set up RTI centres in the four metros – Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai – to enable community members get information from government officers in their fight to get their rightful place in society.

“The AINSW will have one RTI centre each in four metropolises – Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. It will use RTI as a tool to get information from all government officers across the states,” the organisation’s principal advisor Smarajit Jana said addressing a session at the Sex Workers’ Festival here.

The pilot project will start functioning in Kolkata from March 3, the eve of International Sex Workers Day, and those at Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai will follow, said Jana.

Right to Information activist Venkatesh Nayak said enhancing skills for using RTI should be an integral component of efforts to make marginal and vulnerable communities like sex workers, gays and transgenders seek their proper position in society.

“Marginalised groups like sex workers, MSMs (men who have sex with men) and transgenders are often at the receiving end of the law, primarily because they are information poor.

“Lack of awareness about their rights and the government’s apathy prevent them from actively participating in the democratic process,” said Nyak, who is associated with Commonwealth Human Rights Initiatives and the co-convener of National Campaign for People’s Right to Information.

“Enhancing skills for using RTI should be an integral component of the efforts to make them seek rightful place in society and equal share in the process of decision-making with regards to social and economic development,” he said.

Over 200 women leaders representing sex workers’ groups from 16 states of the country participated in the session.

AINSW president Bharati Dey said during raids, police arbitrarily take away girls and refuse to share necessary information about those they book under various sections.

“This is against the law. Sex workers, just like any other Indian citizen, have all the right to question the government because we chose them and they are answerable to us too.”

(Source: IANS)

Chennai: 3-yr-old gets Rs 92L for parent’s death in accident

A 3-yr- old girl Kavinaya of Chennai was awarded Rs.92L by a Chennai Court as a compensation. Her software engineer father and mother were fatally knocked down by a recklessly driven sand-laden truck in Chennai. Rs 50 lakh will be kept in her name in a nationalized bank until she’s 18, her grandparents will get Rs 20.9 lakh each as compensation.

Kavinaya’s father Prathap Kumar (28) was working in Canada and had come to Chennai on a 10-day holiday. Though Kavinaya too was on the bike with her parents, safely seated on her mother’s lap, she was thrown off the bike on impact of the crash in the posh Indira Nagar locality on November 20, 2009. Her parents died on the spot.

As a module leader in the Canada-based Kumaran Systems, Kumar was earning Rs 6.53 lakh per annum. His company too confirmed in court that he had been paying tax for the amount in Canada and that he would have reached the Rs 10 lakh salary mark had he been alive now. The girl’s mother was 26 then and was working as a receptionist in a private company in Chennai.

On June 27, N Gunavathi, judge of the motor accidents claims tribunal here, awarded a total compensation of Rs 91.78 lakh taking into account the pitiable condition of the child and the ripe age of her grandparents. The judge also pointed out that there was no delay in the filing of the first information report, no contradiction between medical records and the FIR and the witness account too was coherent. The fact that the lorry driver was negligent and that he was driving the vehicle in a rash and negligent manner too has been proved through eyewitnesses, the judge said.

Considering the victims’ age, positions they held and the salary they had been drawing, the court said that pecuniary loss suffered by the child, along with funeral expenses and loss of love and affection, worked out to Rs 91.78 lakh. The amount, to be paid by ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd. on behalf of lorry owner A Sheik Mohammed, should be deposited in a nationalized bank within three months. The beneficiaries are also eligible for an interest of 7.5 per cent per annum from December 2009, when the claim petitions were filed in the court, the judge said.

Chennai boy’s murder cracked: Retired army officer held

A week after the killing of a 13-year old boy in an Army premises here, Tamil Nadu CB-CID has cracked the case with the arrest of a retired Army officer who confessed to his involvement in the incident.

The special team of the Crime Branch of CID police arrested the 58-year old Lt. Col (Retd) Kandaswamy Ramraj and recovered the 0.3 mm rifle used to fire at Dilshan, who fell to the bullet when he trespassed into the army residential quarters to pluck almond fruits on Sunday last.

Briefing reporters on the breakthrough, CB-CID Additional DGP R Sekar, said Ramraj, who retired in April and was on extension, “has come out with the confession” and told police that he shot at Dilshan after getting annoyed over the boys from a nearby locality frequenting the campus to pluck almond.

The weapon was recovered from Cooum river near the Napier bridge in Chennai, he said.

Sekar said the probe zeroed in on Ramraj after questioning several persons, including Army personnel, with the “full cooperation” of the Army after collecting all evidence.

Ramraj, a native of Madurai, had been charged with section 302 of IPC (relating to murder) and would be produced before a court here.

Dilshan, residing in the Indira Gandhi Nagar locality adjacent to the army quarters in the Island Grounds locality, fell victim to a mysterious bullet when he tried to pluck almond fruit from the army residential area. The victim’s family had alleged he was shot by an Army personnel.

The postmortem report had earlier established that a bullet injury had killed Dilshan when he scaled the Army campus.

An Army officer in the rank of Lt Colonel and some others were questioned in the past few days in connection with incident.