High Court ticks Hardik over his “abduction claim”

High Court ticks Hardik over his "abduction claim"
High Court ticks Hardik over his “abduction claim”

Expressing doubts over his “abduction” claim, the Gujarat High Court today came down heavily on the Patel quota spearhead Hardik Patel and warned him and his lawyer of contempt action, stating no one can take the court “for a ride”.

A bench of Justices M R Shah and K J Thaker, hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by Hardik’s aide, said no opinion is made on it as prima facie the court is not satisfied with the allegations.

“Prima facie it appears that it is required (by Hardik) to substantiate the allegations (made by him that he was abducted). Prima facie, we are not satisfied with the allegations,” the court said.

“If somebody tries to mislead the court proceedings, it cannot be tolerated or permitted. Nobody can take court proceeding for a ride. Looking at the seriousness of matter it is adjourned till September 29,” said the court.

“We express no opinion at present whether the corpus (Hardik) was under illegal confinement of police or not. If there is any need of any FIR (against Hardik), police may proceed as per law,” it said in the order.

Hardik, who is spearheading the Patel community agitation for quota under OBC category, surfaced yesterday after his mysterious disapperance the previous night. He had claimed that he was abducted by “a person looking like a cop.”

Earlier, his two aides Dinesh Patel and Ketan Patel had filed a habeas corpus plea through their lawyer B M Mangukia before the High Court alleging that the Patel leader was illegally confined by police.

The High Court after hearing the plea early morning had asked the state government to find Hardik. Mangukia produced him before the High Court today.

During the hearing, the High Court observed that the Patel leader and his advocate “misused” the court proceedings and warned them with contempt of court proceedings.

“Even before filing the habeas corpus petition, you went to the press, why suo motu cognisance for contempt of court should not be taken against you,” the High Court asked Mangukia.

“You have put the entire state machinery and the court at stake for one person. We have our own doubts about credentials of petitioners,” the bench observed.

( Source – PTI )

Custodial death: HC says no need to monitor probe

Custodial death: HC says no need to monitor probe
Custodial death: HC says no need to monitor probe

The Gujarat High Court today disposed of a petition filed in the case of alleged custodial death of a 32-year-old man of Patel community during the reservation stir, saying there was no need for the court to monitor the case when CIDhas taken over probe into it.

Justice JB Pardiwala disposed of the petition filed by Prabhaben, mother ofSwetang Patel who died allegedly in custody after being caught by the police during the quota violence, while giving direction to the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) that it should carry out a thorough investigation in the case.

The court said there was no need for it to monitor the investigation that was being carried out by CID.

Observing that prima facie it was a case of homicide, the HC had last week directed the administration to file an FIR and also ordered a CID probe into Swetang’s death.

The state today submitted before the HC that the probe has been handed over to CID and an FIR has also been registered in the case.

Government pleader Mitesh Amin also informed the court that the police has recorded statements of Swetang’s mother and sister and investigation has begun.

Advocate Tarak Damani, appearing for Swetang’s mother, submitted that there were some lacunae in the FIR.

The HC said that if the complainant finds any lacunae at any stage then the court can be approached in future.

The court also ordered the police to hand over the postmortem reports to the complainant.

Earlier, the High Court had directed the police to carry out second autopsy of the body.

In her plea, Swetang’s mother demanded setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) to investigate the death of her son.

Prabhaben had alleged in the court that her son was beaten up by the police following which he succumbed to the injuries.

She had said that her son was in the house at around 10.30 PM on August 25 when a few police officers entered their housing society, broke the windscreens of cars and other vehicles parked in the society and forcibly took away Swetang and four other persons who were sleeping.

“Swetang was one of the five persons who was picked up by the police in the night. He was mercilessly beaten up on the main road and thereafter he was taken to Bapunagar police station,” she had said.

“At Bapunagar police station also he was mercilessly beaten up. The boy complained of excruciating pain, but the same was ignored by the police officers. Ultimately, he succumbed to the injuries,” the deceased’s mother further alleged.

The agitation by Patel community seeking reservation under OBC status turned violent after the detention of their leader Hardik Patel on August 25. Ten people died in the violence, including Swetang.

Guj High Court condones Teesta Setalwad’s delay in filing plea

jailThe Gujarat High Court today condoned the delay in filing a plea by social activist Teesta Setalwad to defreeze her bank accounts in the alleged fund embezzlement case and fixed the next hearing on August 5.

Last month Setalwad had moved the plea to defreeze her bank accounts in an alleged embezzlement case wherein she had allegedly collected Rs 1.51 crore from national and international donors promising to convert Gulberg Society to a 2002 riots museum, but allegedly spent money for personal purposes.

The city crime branch had frozen the bank accounts of Setlavad, her husband Javed Anand and two of their NGOs’ accounts after they began probe into the embezzlement case filed by a former resident of Gulberg Society last year.

They had challenged the order of a city metropolitan court, which had rejected their pleas to defreeze the bank accounts in November 2014.

However, as the plea was filed 90 days after the order was given, the applicant filed to condone the delay.

During the hearing today, Teesta’s lawyer Kalpesh Shastri contended that the delay in filing the application was caused mainly because his client was busy trying for anticipatory bail from the Supreme Court.

Justice Sonia Gokani took into account these explanations and admitted the application. The next hearing has been fixed on August 5.

Teesta moves HC for de-freezing bank accounts

Teesta moves HC for de-freezing bank accounts
Teesta moves HC for de-freezing bank accounts

Social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand have approached the Gujarat High Court for de-freezing the bank accounts of their two NGOs – Sabrang trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace.

The bank accounts of Setalvad, Anand and the two NGOs were frozen by the city crime branch last year, soon after it began investigating an alleged embezzlement case wherein she was said to have collected Rs 1.51 crore from national and international donors promising to convert Gulbarg society to 2002 riots museum but later used the money for personal use.

Setalvad along with others had filed the plea before the High Court on June 24 and it is likely to come up for hearing before Justice Sonia Gokani on July 10.

They had challenged the order of a city metropolitan court, which had last November rejected their pleas to de-freeze the bank accounts and observed it may affect the investigation of the case.

The lower court in its order had also observed that the accused did not cooperate with the investigation of the case.

One of the residents of Gulbarg Society, Firoz Khan Pathan had filed a complaint against Setalwad and others alleging that money was raised to make a museum at Gulbarg Society in memory of those who were killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots but it had not been utilised for the purpose.

On January 5 last year, an FIR was lodged under IPC Section 120 (B) for criminal conspiracy, Section 406 (fraud) and Section 420 (cheating) against Setalwad, Anand, Tanvir Jafri, son of slain Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, chairman of Gulberg society Salim Sandhi and secretary of the society Feroz Gulzar for allegedly usurping Rs 1.51 crore.

Yesterday, the Centre had asked CBI to probe the receipt of over Rs 3 crore by her private firm Sabrang Communication and Publishing Pvt Limited (SCPPL) linked to her from foreign donors, including US-based Ford Foundation, in alleged violation of FCRA rules.

Government had also frozen the bank account of the firm located in Juhu, Mumbai, as the Home Ministry claimed that the firm was not authorised to receive funds from abroad as it was not registered under Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA).

On 28 February, 2002, after the Godhra train carnage, 69 people including Ehsan Jafri, were killed by a mob at Gulbarg Society here during the riots.

Bajrangi withdraws bail plea from Guj HC

Bajrangi withdraws bail plea from Guj HC
Bajrangi withdraws bail plea from Guj HC

Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Babu Bajrangi, undergoing life imprisonment in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case, today withdrew his plea seeking regular bail after the Gujarat High Court observed the application should be rejected as bail cannot be granted only on medical grounds.

A division bench of Justices Mohinder Pal and R D Kothari ordered that Bajrangi’s application be “dismissed as withdrawn”.

Bajrangi had moved the HC through his advocate Pravin Gondaliya seeking regular bail on medical grounds for treating eye ailment and also sought suspension of the sentence awarded to him by a special trial court.
However, the HC observed the plea should be rejected as bail cannot be granted only on medical grounds because any prisoner can be provided with treatment as per the jail manual and existing laws.

This prompted Bajrangi’s lawyer to withdraw the application, which was allowed by the HC.

Bajrangi is out of jail since April 24 after a division bench of the HC comprising Justices Ravi Tripathi and R D Kothari granted him bail for 90 days for treatment of his eyes.

The VHP leader had been awarded life imprisonment in August 2012 along with then BJP MLA Maya Kodnani and 29 others in connection with the Naroda Patiya riot case in which 97 people were killed in the communal violence.

The massacre had taken place a day after a coach of Sabarmati Express was burnt down by some assailants near Godhra railway station on February 27, 2002 which caused death of 54 ‘karsevaks’.

Naroda Patia massacre case is one of the nine cases of 2002 Godhra and post-Godhra riots, which were investigated by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT.

Bajrangi is also one of the 83 accused in the Naroda Gam riot case in which 11 persons of the minority community were killed on February 28, 2002.

Asaram’s son Narayan gets bail in rape case

narayan saiThe Gujarat High Court today granted conditional bail of three weeks to Narayan, son of self-proclaimed godman Asaram, who has been behind bars for more than a year in connection with a rape case filed against him by a Surat-based woman.

Justice Paresh Upadhyay granted the relief to Narayan, who has been lodged in a Surat jail since his arrest in December 2013, to enable him to attend to his ailing mother Lakshmiben Harpalani.

The bail order will be applicable from May 4, the judge said, adding Narayan will be under the police surveilence during the bail period and state DGP will deploy an officer for this purpose.

Narayan had said in his plea that his mother had been suffering from a spinal cord-related ailement and that doctors at Ahmedabad’s Sterling Hospital had suggested surgery.

The woman had accused Narayan of repeated sexual assault between 2002 and 2005 when she was living at his Surat ashram, following which he was booked under various sections of IPC including rape, unnatural sex, molestation, wrongful confinement etc.

Interestingly, the elder sister of the victim had lodged a separate complaint against Narayan’s father Asaram accusing him of repeated sexual assault between 2001 and 2006 when she was living in his ashram on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

Lakshmiben was also booked by police for abetment, but was later granted bail by a local court in 2013.

Asaram is currently lodged in a Rajasthan jail since his arrest in September 2013 for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl at his Jodhpur ashram.

Breach of promise to marry by partner is not rape: Gujarat High Court

breach-marryIn a path-breaking judgment, the Gujarat High Court on Friday ruled that breach of promise to marry cannot substantiate rape charge and quashed a complaint against a Surat-based man by his former live-in partner.

“I am not convinced with the case of the prosecutrix (the lady who had filed a complaint of rape against her former live in partner). In a case of this type, no other evidence is helpful except the version of the prosecutrix,” a single judge Gujarat High Court bench comprising Justice J B Pardiwala said in an order today.

“Assuming for a moment that there was some assurance of marriage, even then mere breach of promise to marry by itself will not substantiate the offence under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code,” the order said.

The Gujarat High Court passed the order after a plea filed by a Surat-based person Sachin Sangray sought to set aside court proceedings against him under the charges of rape filed by his former live-in partner.

Sangray worked as a sales manager in a Surat-based private insurance company, developed a close relationship with his female colleague and started living together in the Nanpura area of Surat city with her.

However, they parted ways on March 1, 2012, after a live-in relationship of around an year.

On March 10, 2012, Sangray visited the girl’s home to invite her and her family for his marriage, which was to be solemnised on March 13, 2012, the High Court order said.

After this, the girl filed a police complaint alleging rape, claiming that she was duped by her former live-in partner by falsely promising marriage.

The Surat police arrested Sangray and filed a charge sheet against him under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, before a court of the judicial magistrate in Surat last year.

Later, Sangray moved a plea before the High Court to set aside the rape charge against him.

However, the complainant did not appear in the High Court, either in person or through an advocate and Sangray’s application went unopposed by her, the order said.

Sangray’s lawyer A Y Kogze had submitted that the complainant had physical relations with the accused for about a year of her free will and volition, with eyes wide open.

They went their ways later due to some dispute and hence legal proceedings initiated against Sangray is nothing but an abuse of the law, Kogze said.

The Gujarat High Court also took notice of the fact that the relationship between Sangray and his live-in partner was consensual, which cannot be defined as rape


Gujarat High Court asks Torrent Power to deposit Rs 20 crore with GSPL

Gujarat High CourtThe Gujarat High Court today directed Torrent Power Ltd to deposit Rs 20 crore with the Gujarat State Petronet Ltd (GSPL) as an “interim deposit” until the petition filed by the company against a recovery order by the GSPL is settled.

A Gujarat High High Court division bench, comprising acting Chief Justice V M Sahai and Justice R P Dholaria, directed Torrent Power Ltd to deposit Rs 20 crore out of a total recovery amount of Rs 49 crore to the GSPL, subject to the outcome of the plea.
In a petition before the Gujarat High Court, Torrent Power had challenged an order, passed in July 2014, levying transport tariff on the electricity generation company by the GSPL as per norms of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB).

The Gujarat-based electricity giant has also demanded setting aside of the recovery order of the amount to the tune of Rs 49 crore.
However, the Gujarat High Court directed the petitioner (Torrent Power Ltd) to first deposit Rs 20 crore with the GSPL and it also stayed the tariff order of the PNGRB passed on July 2014, granting a status quo on recovery.

Further hearing of this case has been posted for November 26.

Terror accused Maulana Quavi gets bail from Gujarat HC

Maulana QuaviThe Gujarat High Court here today granted bail to terror accused Maulana Abdul Quavi, a Hyderabad based cleric who was arrested by Crime Branch on allegation of taking part in anti-national activities with the aide of Pakistan-based terrorist outfits.

A division bench of justices Anant S Dave and Moninder Pal granted bail to Quavi on a surety of Rs 50,000 and directed him to surrender his passport.
The court has also directed Quavi to appear before the Ahmedabad city Crime Branch office once a month.

Quavi had sought bail from the High Court last month in the alleged ‘2003 ISI conspiracy case’, after a special court under Prevention of Terrorism Activities Act (POTA) had rejected his plea in the same case.

The state agency, Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) had alleged that Quavi was involved in anti-national activities with the help of some of the Pakistan-based terror outfits along with Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI).

Additional principal judge Geeta Gopi of the Special POTA court had on July 2 rejected Quavi’s bail plea on the ground that he remained absconding for more than 11 years.

Quavi’s advocate M A Saiyed had submitted before the high court that as the probe agency DCB has filed the charge sheet in the case, there is no reason to keep him behind the bar.

He also submitted that the witness, who had named Quavi in the alleged case of terrorism, had later turned in court.

The state, on behalf of the probe agency DCB, on the other hand had submitted before the High Court that Quavi remained absconding for more than 11 years and was involved in hatching conspiracy against India and participated in anti-national activities.

The state submitted that a co-accused in the case has also named Quavi as the conspirator of waging war against the country.

Quavi, the founder of madrasa Jamia Ashraf-ul-Uloom in Hyderabad, was arrested from New Delhi airport on March 24 this year by a team of DCB. He has been named ‘wanted’ by DCB for last 11 years.

DCB has filed a charge sheet against Quavi last month saying that Quavi (58) allegedly took part in the proxy war with direct or indirect support of Pakistan’s ISI and other terror outfits like Lashkar-e-taiyaba (LeT) to avenge post-Godhra riots. It also alleged that Quavi has sent several Muslim youths to Pakistan based training camps run by LeT and Jaish- E-Mohammad to spread terror in India. Quavi is currently lodged in Sabarmati Central jail in Ahmedabad.

(Source: PTI)

Hearing on Asaram’s bail plea on September 3

asaramThe Gujarat High Court today adjourned the hearing of controversial godman Asaram’s bail application in connection with the rape case against him to September 3.

Justice A J Desai adjourned the hearing as the state government sought time to file reply.

On July 22, the court had issued notices to the state government and police, seeking their replies. Asaram has sought release on bail on the ground that police have already filed a charge-sheet.

A Surat-based woman has accused him of rape. Asaram’s petition, however, argues that the complaint was filed after 11 years and it was malafide.

Even after the alleged rape in 2001, the woman continued to stay at Asaram’s ashram here till 2007, it says. The trial court had in January rejected his bail application. The woman’s younger sister has accused Asaram’s son Narayan Sai of rape.

Asaram (72) is currently in Jodhpur jail after being arrested in September last year for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl at his Jodhpur ashram.

(Source: PTI)