Delhi High Court seeks response of Delhi government on plea for Unani doctors in Tihar jail

The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Delhi government and jail authorities on a plea seeking ayurvedic doctors for prisoners lodged in the high-security ward of Tihar jail, without any discrimination.

Justice Mukta Gupta asked the authorities to file a status report and listed the matter for further hearing on January 25.

The plea filed by prisoner Daya Singh Lahoria claimed that he was suffering from serious ailments and has been recommended hot water by an orthopedic doctor and it was also allowed by the trial court but the jail authorities were not providing it despite repeated requests.

He sought direction to jail authorities to provide facilities for keeping electronic kettle for hot water as recommended by the orthopedic doctor.

Advocate Harpreet Singh Hora, appearing for Lahoria, alleged that unani/ayurvedic doctor was being provided to the prisoners but the jail authorities were acting in a “discriminatory manner” and have discontinued the same to the prisoners lodged in the high-security ward of the Tihar jail, that is ward number 8/9.

The plea said no reason was given by the authorities for discontinuing the Unani doctor’s treatment.

Delhi HC asks for details of physiotherapy facilities in Tihar Jail

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has asked the director general of prisons to give details of the facilities, Observing that several inmates lodged in Tihar Jail here require physiotherapy, including the number of machines and trained physiotherapists, available at the prison.

Justice Mukta Gupta issued the direction while hearing a plea of Jagtar Singh Hawara, undergoing life sentence for conspiring to assassinate former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.

He has sought special facilities for treatment of his back pain and other spinal problems.
The court noted that while Hawara was being provided the necessary medical and other facilities for his ailment, there were other inmates in the jail who require physiotherapy.

“The issue which needs consideration is the fact that a lot of inmates require the facility of physiotherapy,” it said.
“In this regard a detailed affidavit will be filed by DG (Prisons) before the next date detailing the number of machines available for physiotherapy in the (Tihar) jail dispensary, whether they are in working condition or not and whether trained physiotherapist are available for the same,” it said

HC stays NBWs against top bosses of Unitech Ltd

unitech-indiaIn a relief to three top officials of beleaguered real estate major Unitech Ltd, Delhi High Court today stayed the execution of non-bailable warrants against them issued by a trial court on a private complaint alleging delay in handing over of flats to buyers.

Justice Mukta Gupta granted the relief to Unitech Ltd’s Chairman Ramesh Chandra and Managing Directors Ajay Chandra and Sanjay Chandra after their counsel assured the high court that they would appear before the trial court on the next date of hearing on October 26.

“Considering the fact that counsel for the petitioners says that petitioners (three officials) will appear before the trial court on the next date of hearing on October 26, till the next date of hearing the execution of non-bailable warrant (NBWs) is stayed,” the court said.

Senior advocates Sudhir Nandrajog and Dayan Krishnan, who appeared for the Chandras, told the court that trial court had on September 5 summoned the three on October 4 in the complaint case by various investors who have alleged delay in handing over of flats in a housing project in Noida.

Nandrajog said since the summons were not served to them, they were unable to appear before it on October 4 and the trial court had then issued bailable warrants against the trio and fixed the matter for further hearing on October 17.

“The summons issued against us was not served. Then, bailable warrants were issued and that too was not served on us. On October 17, the trial court issued NBWs against us.

Neither summon, nor bailable warrant were served,” he said.

To this, the court, which also sought the reply of state by December 15 on the pleas filed by Chandras through their counsel Saket Sikri, asked “Why these bailable warrants were not served?”

Responding to this, the counsel said “they were out of Delhi due to business exigencies as they keep travelling due to their work”.

However, the counsel appearing for the state claimed that summons were served upon them and after they did not appear before the trial court, warrants were issued. He said the summons were affixed on their residential address.

During the hearing, Nandrajog countered the state’s claims saying it was not clear from the records as to when the summons were served as they were not present in their home. He said without execution of bailable warrant, the trial court should not have issued the NBWs against them.

Krishnan, representing Ramesh Chandra, said his client was not involved in day-to-day affairs of the company and, keeping in view his age, he should be exempted from personal appearance before the trial court.

The court said, “How can this court grant him exemption.

He has to appear before the trial court and seek bail”.

However, it said, “after appearance before trial court on October 26, in case the petitioner files application seeking exemption from personal appearance in future, the court will consider it as per the law”.

Can’t be allowed to re-appear in exam on ground of being

Can't be allowed to re-appear in exam on ground of being
Can’t be allowed to re-appear in exam on ground of being

The Delhi High Court has upheld cancellation of admission of a student to third year of an under-graduation course at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU), saying there is no question of giving him another chance only on the ground of being a Scheduled Caste.

“In the instant case, since the appellant was found ineligible after second academic break, his admission stood automatically cancelled. Therefore, there is no question of any further chance only on the ground of being an SC/ST,” a division bench of Justices Mukta Gupta and V P Vaish said.

Dismissing the plea of Gourav Joshiya, who was pursuing Bachelor of Technology from Amity School of Engineering and Technology, the bench said he was ineligible for admission to third year as he could not clear the previous four semesters.

It upheld the single judge order refusing another chance to the student for clearing the exams and said the opportunity would have been given to him if he had been able to satisfy the necessary eligibility criteria.

“To attain an egalitarian society, we have to urgently remove socio-economic inequalities. Therefore, in order to promote these weaker sections of the society an educational institution must take all endeavours by providing any form of additional assistance in order to bring them up at par with general category students.

“The appeal of the appellant may have been allowed on this ground alone, if he would have been able to satisfy necessary eligibility criteria for continuance of his admission with the respondents,” it said.

Gourav had challenged a single judge order of May 25, 2015 denying him a chance to re-appear in the examinations to get admitted to the third year.

In his appeal, the student, who got admitted to the college in 2010, had claimed he had sent a mercy application to the university’s committee concerned in October 2014, but through a notification on November 7, 2014, it was rejected and his admission was also cancelled.

He had contended that the single judge has misconceived that he had to appear in 10 papers in May-June 2015, whereas he had to appear in five.

The university, however, said there was delay in filing the writ petition by the student as he filed it in April 2015, but the admission was cancelled in November 2014.

It also told the court that during academic year 2012-13 and 2013-14, the appellant had reappeared in the failed papers of first year and second year but could not clear them and hence failed to secure minimum credits for promotion to third year.

HC gives no interim relief to Uber in licence case

HC gives no interim relief to Uber in licence case
HC gives no interim relief to Uber in licence case

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to grant any interim relief to app-based cab company Uber on its plea challenging rejection of application for licence to operate in the national capital, saying that it was not supposed to ply if it did not have any permit.

Justice Mukta Gupta issued notice to the Delhi government and city police and sought their response by 8 July on Uber India Technology Pvt Ltd’s plea that a June 3 order rejecting its licence application be quashed.

The Delhi government had cancelled the licence application of Uber for not complying with the provisions of the recently amended Radio Taxi Scheme of 2006.

The amendment was introduced after app-based cab companies were banned in the capital following an Uber cab driver allegedly raping a finance executive in December last year.

The modified scheme imposes various mandatory requirements, including having prefixed calibrated metres, a GPS device and running on CNG, on the companies for grant of licence.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Uber, said its case was similar to that of two other companies, Apra Cabs India Pvt Ltd and Serendipity Infolabs Pvt Ltd (Taxi for Sure), whose applications for licence was rejected by the Delhi government on 3 June.

He sought parity with them as another bench of the high court had quashed the rejection of licence application of the two companies and had also held the coercive action taken against them as invalid.

Though the court refused to pass any interim order till it gets the replies of the government and police, it listed the matter for 8 July after counsel for Uber sought that the matter be given an early date.

It did not give any date in June saying the company by its own admission has not been functioning for last six months and added, “You are not supposed to ply if you do not have any licence.”

The counsel for the Delhi government said that other matters related to plying of app-based cabs are listed for hearing on 22 July and sought that this petition be also
listed then.

The court in response said the bench concerned on 8 July will decide when to hear Uber’s petition.

On 12 June, a division bench of the high court had refused to hear Uber’s plea and had asked it to mention before another bench.

In the case of Apra Cabs and Serendipity Infolabs, the court had on 11 June set aside the rejection order and had also held as invalid the coercive actions, including issuance of challans, against them.

Transgenders option in UPSC only after SC clarifies

Transgenders option in UPSC only after SC clarifies
Transgenders option in UPSC only after SC clarifies

UPSC today told the Delhi High Court that it cannot include transgenders as a third gender for applying for civil services exam as the category was not yet clearly defined by the Supreme Court.

The central government’s Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) told a bench of Justices Mukta Gupta and P S Teji that once the apex court clarifies the issue, then it can frame rules for the benefit of transgenders, which includes providing reservation for them.
The Centre submitted that it has moved the apex court seeking clarification on various issues, including the definition of transgenders as well as who would certify them as a third gender.

The submissions were made by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and DoPT in their affidavits filed before the bench which said it would hear the matter after the apex court takes up the Centre’s application for clarification.

The PIL, which has sought quashing of UPSC’s notice for CSP examination to the extent of the gender or sex eligibility criteria it has laid down for the test, has now been listed for hearing on July 27.

The petition has contended that lack of the third gender option has resulted in transgenders not being able to apply for examination which is scheduled to be held on August 23.

During the hearing, the court told the petitioner lawyer, Jamshed Ansari, that there is no definition of transgenders in the medical dictionary, nor are there any identifying features and the apex court had not said who would be the certifying authority, which is why there is “difficulty” in implementing the Supreme Court’s judgement.

UPSC, represented by senior advocate A S Chandhiok, said that as per apex court verdict of April 15, 2014, transgenders also include bisexuals, gays and lesbians.

DoPT, represented by advocate Navin Chawla and assisted by advocate Kritika Mehra, said it has filed the application for clarification which is expected to be heard after the court vacation.

Meanwhile, Ansari argued that transgender community only comprises hijras, eunuchs, Kothis, Aravanis, Jogappas, Shiv- Shakthis etc. and “they, as a group, have a strong historical presence in our country in the Hindu mythology and other religious texts”.

The PIL has also sought addition or inclusion of transgenders as an eligibility criteria or gender option in the online application forms for the exam.

The petition has said that if the plea was allowed, “it would benefit the transgender community who are socially excluded from public employment and are suffering from social backwardness in the society”.

It has also said that the apex court had directed the Centre and state governments to “take steps to treat transgender community as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens and extend all kinds of reservation in cases of admission in educational institutions and for public appointments”.


Why transgender not an option in civil service exam form: HC

Why transgender not an option in civil service exam form: HC
Why transgender not an option in civil service exam form: HC

High Court today asked the Centre and UPSC why transgenders have not been included as a third gender option in application forms for Civil Services Preliminary (CSP) examination.

A bench of justices Mukta Gupta and P S Teji asked the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) and Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) why transgender category has not been included as an eligibility criteria for the exam, when the Supreme Court had declared such individuals as a third gender.

No HC relief for Plea for shut down of app-based cabs

No HC relief for Plea for shut down of app-based cabs
No HC relief for Plea for shut down of app-based cabs

Delhi High Court today refused to provide any interim relief to an association of radio taxi operators on a plea seeking that non-licenced app-based cabs be taken off the road as well as their websites be shut down.

Justice Mukta Gupta refused to pass any interim order saying three PILs are already pending before a division bench of the high court and no conflicting orders should be passed.

The court tagged this petition with the three PILs which are listed for hearing on July 22.

The court also said that the transport department of the Delhi government was hearing representations of various parties on the issue of licence to operate and in the meantime, the association’s representation to the authority on the same subject could also be heard.

The Association of Radio Taxis has contended that the Delhi government had banned operation of all unlicensed app-based cabs in the national capital, but companies like Uber, Ola and others are continuing with “impunity”. It sought that the government be directed to enforce its own orders.

The association, which represents radio taxis like Mega Cabs, Easy Cabs and Meru Cabs, has sought that apart from taking the taxis of the unlicensed companies off the road, their websites be blocked and their CEOs, managing directors and other top officials be prosecuted and punished.

It has also pleaded for penal action against the owners and drivers of cabs which operate for companies like Uber and Ola.

The plea also wanted directions to the app-based cab companies to furnish a list of the taxis that run for them.

Child rape & murder: 56-yr-old’s death penalty commuted to life

A 56-year-old man, facing gallows for brutally raping and murdering a three-year-old girl, has been spared death penalty by the High which has commuted it into life term.

The court considered a report of probation officer (PO) on possibilities of reformation and rehabilitation of convict Singh and concluded that he can be “reformed”.

The high court on April 17 had upheld the conviction and sentence awarded to Singh for raping the minor. However, it had deferred its decision as to whether Singh can be sent to the gallows for murder, as awarded by the trial court, or serve life imprisonment.

A bench of justices S Muralidhar and Mukta Gupta, which was to decide on the appeal of Singh and the death reference plea of the state, had asked the Delhi government to appoint a probation officer for giving a report as to whether there was any chance of convict being “rehabilitated or reformed” or if he is still a threat to the society.

“… Relevant to the present case, the court notes the positive feedback received by the PO from the jail authorities as regards the appellant’s (Singh) conduct in jail and his preparedness to render services to his old and ailing inmates.

“In light of the above reports, the court is persuaded to conclude that there exists a probability that convict can be reformed and rehabilitated. He has been in custody only since April 2011. In the course of his serving imprisonment for life, there would be sufficient opportunity to evaluate the positive effects of the correctional measures,” the court said.

The lower court had on January 15, 2013 awarded death penalty to Singh for the and life imprisonment for the rape of the child, saying the case “fell in the category of rarest of rare cases warranting the capital punishment”.

Man kills vagabond to fake own death

fake own deathThe Delhi High Court has refused any leniency to a man who faked his death by killing a vagabond and placing his identity proofs at the spot so that the body was taken to be his and he could thus “avoid the liability of criminal cases he was undergoing”.

“The law that a person cannot be convicted of his own murder is defied by Karma Agarwal,” said a division bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Mukta Gupta while upholding the life term awarded to Agarwal by the trial court.

“Karma Agarwal in order to avoid the liability of criminal cases he was undergoing killed a vagabond and left his driving licence, purse, and photocopies of the election I-card at the spot so that the dead body is treated to be that of his and he is thus declared dead in the eyes of law,” the bench said.

It was Agarwal’s father-in-law Rajpal who disclosed the truth to police after Agarwal confessed to him that he faked his death.

“His (Agarwal) wife and brother-in-law associated with him and identified the dead body to be that of Karma Agarwal. But for the beans being spilled over by his father-in-law, Karma Agarwal would have gone scot free easily as dead though living,” the court stated in a recent judgment.

“In view of the conduct of Agarwal planting his documents, including the original driving licence, no complaint or FIR having been lodged thereof and his extra judicial confession made to Rajpal resulting in unearthing of the fact that he was actually not dead, it can safely be held that prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he committed the murder of an unidentified person after intoxicating him, assaulting him and thereafter burning his body, and faked the same as that of his own,” the court said, dismissing his appeal.

According to the prosecution, Agarwal killed a homeless person in Bhalsawa Dairy area here in June 2010 and planted his documents for identification on the body in a bid to escape criminal cases against him.