Delhi HC: PIL to frame norms on police probe into Marital rows

New Delhi:  A senior citizen, who was accused of rape by his daughter-in-law and discharged from the offence two years after the incident, has moved the Delhi High Court seeking framing of guidelines on how police should handle probes into cases arising out of marital rows.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Delhi Police and sought its stand on the plea in which the senior citizen has claimed that the agency colluded with his daughter-in-law, who had also accused her mother-in-law of aiding in the alleged sexual assault.

The plea has claimed that the petitioner, Shashi Kumar Mahajan, was immediately arrested on registration of FIR which was lodged nearly a month after the alleged incident and without any preliminary investigation.

According to the petition the woman had lodged the complaint on May 21, 2014 alleging that her father-in-law raped her on April 21, 2014 with the aid of her mother-in-law while her husband was not present at home.

The father-in-law, a diabetic and heart patient, had to spend two months in Tihar Jail before he was granted bail and a sessions court had later discharged him of the charge of rape only in April 2016 by saying the offence was not made out, the petition has said.

The couple parted ways in 2014 after the arrest of the father-in-law, the plea has said.

It has claimed “abuse of power” by police officers who were investigating the woman’s complaint and has sought initiation of disciplinary action against them.

The PIL, filed through advocate Ashok Mahapatra, has contended,”There is no provision and due process to achieve and secure objectivity and accountability in the investigation, which leads to arbitrary probe and abuse of power and authority in many cases, as in the present matter.”

It said that in the instant case the police officers investigating the case did not obtain any document from the woman to corroborate her allegations regarding demand of dowry made against her husband and in-laws.

The joint plea, also by the woman’s husband and mother-in-law, claimed that the police lodged an FIR a month after the alleged incident of rape and the offence was included in the charge sheet without even carrying out a medical examination of the complainant.

The petition has contended that a “new trend has emerged of foisting alleged rape cases against in-laws, which has become rampant, so that senior citizens are incarcerated in jail”.

The petitioners have claimed that had their mobile phone locations been examined, it would have shown their innocence.

However, the police did not examine this aspect, despite their repeated requests, their plea said.

Apart from the PIL, the petitioners have moved a separate plea in the high court seeking lodging of an FIR against the woman for levelling false allegation of rape against the father-in-law.

In his plea, the senior citizen has claimed that the police instead of hearing his side of the story, “blindly” proceeded on the complaint filed by his daughter-in-law.

He has alleged in his plea that the police of the area was in cahoots with the woman and no fair and impartial investigation was conducted.

The high court is likely to hear the matter next on September 10.

Delhi held to ransom by traders who protested against the sealing drive : Delhi High Court

 In an apparent disapproval of the government’s proposed amendment of the master plan after traders protested against the sealing drive, the Delhi High Court has observed that a few people have “held the city to ransom”.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar further observed that by sitting on a dharna “you can get the master plan changed”.

“Not because it is required nor after checking if the city can handle it. It is done because a few hundred people sit on a dharna.

“The master plan is being amended because the traders have held the city to ransom by pulling down their shutters,” it said and asked the authorities whether an environment impact assessment was conducted before proposing to amend the Master Plan-2021.

The Master Plan-2021 is a blueprint for urban planning and expansion in the metropolis to ensure overall development and the proposed amendments were for bringing a uniform floor area ratio (FAR) for shop-cum-residential plots and complexes on par with residential plots.

The observations by the bench came while hearing matters pertaining to unauthorised constructions and encroachment of public land.

The traders, across Delhi, had on February 2 shut down their shops in protest against the sealing of commercial establishments running from residential areas or premises.

The Delhi Development Authority had, thereafter, proposed to amend the master plan by providing uniform FAR for shop- cum-residence plots or complexes on par with residential plots, as given to properties on mixed-use street.

The FAR is the ratio of a building’s total floor area (gross floor area) to the size of the piece of land on which it is built.

The Supreme Court had earlier observed that the rule of law over sanction to construct buildings had “completely broken down” in Delhi and expressed concern over illegal construction.

It had also ordered restoration of its 2006 monitoring committee to identify and seal such offending structures.

With the commencement of the sealing drive, the traders had protested by shutting their shops as well as going on dharnas.

NGT directs sealing of illegal borewells in 3 months in Delhi

The National Green Tribunal today directed the Delhi government to seal all unauthorised borewells in the national capital within three months.

Expressing concern over illegal extraction of water through borewells in the city, a bench headed by acting NGT Chairperson Justice U D Salvi passed the direction after perusing a report filed by the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) saying there were many borewells which were running without consent from the authorities.

The tribunal directed the Deputy Commissioner from the Department of Revenue to enforce the directions and asked the police to provide necessary assistance in this regard.

The green panel also directed the authorities to mark the borewells, which are discharging contaminated water containing high levels of fluoride and arsenic, in red colour to apprise the public that the water was unfit for consumption.

The matter is listed for next hearing on March 20.

The NGT had earlier rapped the civic bodies for not submitting data on the quality of water supplied to households in the national capital by the Delhi government despite repeated directions.

Irked at the approach of the authorities, the bench had summoned the CEO of Delhi Jal Board (DJB), Delhi Cantonment Board, Chairman of Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) and Commissioner of New Delhi Municipal Council.

The appalling picture of water supply in the capital had prompted the tribunal to seek the response of the city government in the matter, after taking suo motu cognisance of a media report that “stinking and dirty” water was flowing through water supply lines and the borewells were pumping out contaminated water.

Later, it had constituted a committee comprising Secretary (Environment) and representatives from Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee, DJB, Central Pollution Control Board and all municipal corporations and asked them to submit a complete and comprehensive report.

“The Committee will ensure that samples of water from different areas are collected, analysed and reports are placed before it before submission of the final report,” it had said.

Police complaint authority constituted for Delhi: Delhi High Court

 A police complaint authority to look into complaints against erring policemen in the national capital has been set up, the Centre told the Delhi High Court today.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar was also informed that the Lieutenant Governor (LG) has constituted the authority on the Centre’s direction.

Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for the LG and the Delhi police, said the Police Complaint Authority (PCA) will be headed by a Chairman with three members, including a woman.

“One of the three members must be a woman. The Chairman will be either a retired high court judge, a person of repute and stature from civil society, a retired civil servant or a retired police officer,” the senior counsel said.

Central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia said a notification in this regard was issued on January 29, which also explains the appointment, removal and terms and condition of the appointment.

He said the order also deliberates upon the role and functions and the powers of the PCA.

As per the notification, the authority shall enquire into allegations of serious misconduct against police personnel, either on its own or on a complaint received from a victim, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), LG, Chief Secretary or Principal Secretary (Home) of the Delhi government.

The authorities were responding to a PIL filed by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, which took exception to the Delhi government’s decision taken on February 27, 2012, designating the Public Grievances Commission here as a PCA for the National Capital Territory.

The petition had sought quashing of the decision.

The notification stated that the PCA may not entertain those cases which are under consideration of any court or the NHRC or any other statutory body.

“Cases of complaints regarding the Delhi police will be looked into by PCA and not by Public Grievances Commission.

Accordingly, the cases relating to Delhi Police pending with Public Grievances Commission shall be transferred to PCA,” the government notification states.

The court noted that the issue raised in the petition was satisfied, so it should be disposed of.

The petitioner, however, sought time to examine the order and file his stand on next date of hearing on February 6.

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

Centre taking measures to decongest Delhi: MoS Hardeep S Puri

Union Minister of State Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep S Puri on Friday laid the foundation stone of Flyover-cum-ROB at Narela in Delhi.

 

Speaking on the occasion, Hardeep S Puri said that now a days Delhi is facing  several challenges and the most critical challenge is population pressure.

All the time in Delhi there is traffic congestion and the Government is taking several steps for decongestion and the construction of this flyover is part of it.  This flyover would cater to around 16 lac commuters daily.

He also added that as the Land Pooling Policy is ready to be rolled out there will be more construction activities and surely vehicular traffic will increase.

For smooth flow of  traffic in the area,  Puri also said that there is  a need for  Phase-4 of Metro Project  and he would like to appeal to the Chief Minister of Delhi to prepare a proposal and submit it for finalization by  Govt. of India.  Union Minister assured that the flyover would be completed in 15 months.

 

Keep round-the-clock vigil at Sarojini Nagar market: NGT

Keep round-the-clock vigil at Sarojini Nagar market: NGT
Keep round-the-clock vigil at Sarojini Nagar market: NGT

The National Green Tribunal today directed the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to maintain a round-the-clock vigil at the Sarojini Nagar market here to ensure that vehicles are not parked on the streets around it.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the civic body and the traffic police to ensure deployment of appropriate force at the famous South Delhbi market place.

“You (traffic police) deploy force even at night so that people don’t park their vehicles on the road,” the bench observed.

The observation came after advocate Sakshi Popli, appearing for NDMC, told the tribunal that though people were parking their vehicles at the multi-level facility during the day, the shopkeepers were parking their cars on the roads at night.

She informed the bench that the NDMC was still facing non-cooperation from the local shopkeepers as they were unwilling to take monthly passes for the multi-level parking which costs around Rs 2,000.

The lawyer said additional police force should be deployed to ban surface parking in the market.

Advocate Tarunvir Singh Khehar, appearing for the Delhi traffic police, told the NGT that they have towed away 11,500 cars till date.

Rejecting a plea by the market association to park vehicles on the roads, the NGT had on November 17 banned parking in the market and said the violators would be fined Rs 5,000 as environmental compensation, in addition to the fines mentioned under the Motor Vehicles Act.

The green panel had directed the shopkeepers and the shoppers to park their vehicles at the multi-level parking lot built by the NDMC, which remains open round-the-clock.

The NGT had directed the corporation to consider reducing the parking fees for shopkeepers who live in the area.

It had also directed the NDMC to cancel the contract of the contractors engaged in surface parking business in the popular market.

It had directed the officials of Delhi Traffic Police and the enforcement department of the Delhi government to be present continuously for two weeks near the multi-level parking lot and ensure compliance of its directions.

( Source – PTI )

Delhi HC calls for mapping of dengue affected areas in Delhi

Delhi HC calls for mapping of dengue affected areas in Delhi
Delhi HC calls for mapping of dengue affected areas in Delhi

The Delhi High Court today directed the municipal corporations of the national capital to provide a geographic map of the city areas which are usually affected by vector-borne diseases like dengue.

A direction was also issued to the Centre by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar to place before it a status report on whether any steps have been taken to develop the National Capital Region (NCR) as suggested by it in May this year.

The directions for mapping of dengue-affected areas and development of the NCR came from the court when it was hearing some PILs relating to unauthorised constructions in the city.

“Give us a geographic mapping of the areas affected by dengue,” the court said and added that the map would help it issue appropriate directions.

The bench also said that carrying out the mapping would also help in better monitoring of those areas and prevention of the spread of vector-borne diseases.

The bench said that developing of the NCR would help in reducing air pollution, over-crowding and vehicular congestion in the city, apart from addressing the problems of lack of cleanliness and rise in coaching centres being run from residential areas or properties.

( Source – PTI )

‘Litigant cannot be put at peril for raising public cause’

'Litigant cannot be put at peril for raising public cause'
‘Litigant cannot be put at peril for raising public cause’

A litigant cannot be put at peril because he or she has raised a public cause, the Delhi High Court has said taking note of a recent assault on two persons, one an elderly woman, who filed PILs against unauthorised constructions and encroachments in the national capital.

The incidents came to light after both the individuals moved the high court seeking protection as they apprehended threat to their life owing to separate PILs filed by them.

“The life of a litigant cannot be imperilled merely because he or she has brought a public cause to the notice of the court”, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said while directing the Delhi Police, through separate orders, to provide protection to both of them.

The first order was passed on November 2 in the case of H D Nijhawan, general secretary of NGO Paardarshita Public Welfare Foundation, who claimed before the bench that he was brutally assaulted by some persons outside his residence on November 1 evening.

Nijhawan, with his head wrapped in bandages, told the court that the assailants smashed the front and rear windows of his car and hit him on the head with wooden stems and one of them also took out a gun to shoot him.

The NGO has filed several PILs in the high court against unauthorised construction in various parts of the city, including Sainik Farms here and has alleged that such illegal buildings come up with the active connivance of officials of the municipal corporations and Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

The woman litigant, who was assaulted and provided protection by the bench on November 14 is Marina Torchia Batra who has filed a PIL alleging encroachment of the forest land near village Neb Sarai, Indira Enclave in south Delhi.

She was “rudely assaulted” on November 12 near her residence by three persons who came on motorcycles, an incident which the bench termed as “distressing”.

She had suffered injuries on her face and was limping when she told the court about her plight.

In her PIL, she has objected to the construction of a road through the forest area to provide access to Indira Enclave which is allegedly an unauthorised colony.

In her plea, she has also raised the issues of dust generation in the area due to the movement of two-wheelers and other vehicles through the forest road, apart from dumping of garbage and debris there which, she claims, choked the soil and contaminated the ground water.

She has also claimed that the forest area has become a den of criminal activities like snatching and bootlegging.

In both cases of assault, the high court has directed the police to “conduct a prompt investigation” and “bring the culprits to book”.

( Source – PTI )

Sex racket: Uzbek woman gets 1-yr jail for evading trial

Sex racket: Uzbek woman gets 1-yr jail for evading trial
Sex racket: Uzbek woman gets 1-yr jail for evading trial

A 33-year-old Uzbek woman, accused of running a sex racket in the capital, has been sent to jail for one year by a city court for evading trial for over three years.

The court, however, acquitted her of charges of forcing two other women, also from Uzbekistan, into prostitution in 2013, as the alleged victims were not examined.

According to the prosecution, Palvanova Dilfuza has been living in India since 2010 when she married an Indian man.

When her husband left her, she indulged in flesh trade to earn a living, it alleged, adding that she was arrested on June 18, 2013 on the complaint of two other Uzbek women on charges of wrongful confinement, gangrape, threat and assault.

Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain, however, acquitted her of the offences saying the allegations against her could not be proved as the two women had left India without intimating the court and summons could not be served to them even through the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Dilfuza was released on bail on May 8, 2014, after which she absconded from the proceedings and was declared a proclaimed offender on March 24 this year. She was re-arrested on October 23, the police said.

“It is however proved that the accused absented from the proceedings during the trial and also left the given address.

…Prosecution has thus proved that accused Palvanova Dilfuza failed to appear in this court despite the issuance of Non Bailable Warrants against her on November 25, 2016 and December 22, 2016 whereby she was declared as Proclaimed Offender,” the court said.

The court, while deciding the case, considered that she has been waiting for completion of trial in another case under the Immoral Traffic Prevention (ITP) after which she intends to return to her country.

The alleged victims had come to India in January 2013 on tourist visa and met Dilfuza at a restaurant and then went to her place, the prosecution said.

It alleged they were confined, made to consume sedative-laced drinks and were raped by several men for nearly five months. Their passports were also snatched.

However, they managed to escape and met two men who took them to Safdarjung Hospital here after they complained of pain in abdomen.

A case was registered against Dilfuza under sections 376D (gangrape), 323(voluntarily causing hurt), 341(wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimadation) of the IPC and Section 5 () of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) (ITP) Act.

( Source – PTI )