HC upholds life term to 5 convicts in 2010 Dhaula Kuan gangrape

The Delhi High Court has upheld the life imprisonment awarded to five convicts in the sensational 2010 Dhaula Kuan gangrape case of a 30-year-old BPO woman executive from north-east.

A bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and P S Teji dismissed the appeals of five convicts and said that not only was the victim’s testimony sufficient, but her deposition was also corroborated by her friend, who was with her at the time of abduction, and her employer.

The bench handed down the jail term to Usman alias Kale, Shamshad alias Khutkan, Shahid alias Chhota Billi, Iqbal alias Bada Billi and Kamruddin alias Mobile, all residents of Mewat region in Haryana.

It said the prosecution has been able to establish all the charges against the convicts who have failed to make out any ground in support of their appeal and the same deserves dismissal.

The bench said that from the woman’s testimony, the prosecution has established that on the night of November 23 -24, 2010, the five men had kidnapped the victim near Sharma Automobiles in south Delhi’s Moti Bagh, took her in a pick-up van and raped her in the moving vehicle.

The incident took place when she along with a friend was returning home from their office in Gurgaon and were just dropped by the office cab.

The convicts then took her to Mangolpuri in outer Delhi, gangraped her and left her at an isolated road. The victim has since returned to her home in Mizoram.

Upholding the conviction of the five, the bench said that the trial court found the woman’s evidence credible and trustworthy and the high court finds no reason to take a different view.

“In our considered view, the testimony of the prosecutrix is natural, reliable, credible and trustworthy, free from any kind of glitches. She in simple language narrated the incident at the time of her deposition before the trial court and her testimony has duly been corroborated by her friend and employer,” it said.

The five men were convicted and sentenced by a trial court here in October 2014, with the judge observing that the the offence demonstrated that the five married men having children, “were on the prowl, looking for a prey to satiate their sexual lust.”

It had said that they were “psychopaths” who should be kept away from the society as long as possible.

The five men were held guilty for offences of gangrape, abduction, criminal intimidation and common intention.

Besides awarding them life term, which was the maximum sentence for the offence, the court had also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on each of the convicts.

The convicts challenged the trial court verdict claiming that they were falsely implicated and that there was a gap in the prosecution story regarding identification of the accused and linking them up with the crime.

The bench, however, rejected their claims saying that while Usman and Shamshad were identified by the woman during their test identification parade (TIP), Shahid, Iqbal and Kamruddin had refused to participate in TIP proceedings and an adverse inference is warranted against them.

It also said the DNA report clearly demonstrated that the victim was raped by them.

HC starts yoga classes ahead of International Yoga Day

With International Yoga Day coming up on June 21, the Delhi High Court has kicked off a series of yoga classes within its premises for judges and office staff.

Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal inaugurated the classes in the presence of Justices P S Teji and C Hari Shankar on June 9. They also joined the staff and officers in the yoga class conducted by an expert.

The idea for the classes, according to court sources, came from the acting chief justice who is of the view that yoga would be instrumental in relieving the stress under which judicial officers and staff are working.

The classes would be held till June 21, post lunch, inside the extension block of the high court complex as very few judges would be holding court due to the ongoing vacation.

HC dismisses Sajjan Kumar’s plea to transfer ’84 riots case

sajjan-kumarDelhi High Court today dismissed the pleas of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and others for transfer of their case relating to 1984 anti-Sikh riots before another bench, saying these were “baseless and misconceived” and an “abuse of law”.

A bench of justices Gita Mittal and P S Teji also rejected their plea alleging bias by one member of the division bench which is hearing the matter, saying the contentions raised amounted to contempt of court but it was not initiating any action as it would delay the proceedings.

“The present applications are baseless, malafide and misconcieved. We find no merit and hence the same are dismissed,” the bench said, adding “it is abuse of law”.

Kumar and others had alleged in their applications that Justice Teji should not hear the matter as he had heard the case as a trial court judge earlier.

Countering their submissions, CBI had said that Justice Teji had never conducted trial proceedings in the case but only heard the bail plea when he was a trial court judge, as being a sessions judge then, he was handling bail matters.

The bench today said that none of the life convicts in the case joined the applicants alleging bias by any member of the bench and hence there was “no apprehension of injustice”.

The applications are “just a delaying tactics. Therefore we cannot allow this because the incident is of 1984”, it said.

The bench said the contentions raised in the petitions tantamounted to contempt of court, but it was not initiating such proceedings against Kumar and others so that the matter is not further delayed.

The bench, in its order, said they were also refraining from imposing

fine on the petitioners for filing such baseless applications and there was no reasonable apprehension of bias as expressed by them.

Besides Kumar, former MLA Mahender Yadav, who was handed a three-year jail term in the matter and is currently on bail, had alleged that “Justice Teji was exercising keen interest in the matter” and should recuse himself from hearing these appeals.

Convict Kishan Khokkar, who was sentenced to three years in jail and is on bail, had also filed a similar application.

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.

PIL in HC to eliminate child beggary in Delhi

child beggaryHighlighting the plight of child beggars in the city, a PIL has come before the Delhi High Court seeking directions to ensure their rehabilitation and eliminate the evil of child beggary.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice P S Teji after brief arguments posted the matter for further consideration on January 7.

“The issue of child begging is already seized by the Supreme Court and it was already monitoring the same. We will keep the matter pending,” the bench said.

The High Court was hearing a PIL, filed by Ajay Gautam, seeking directions to identifying exact number of destitute children who are involved in begging and to review the steps taken to solve this problem in all forms.

It has sought proper educational facilities to children who are found begging besides a direction to the Delhi Police to properly enquire the whereabouts of children who are found begging.

“In order to claim fame amongst the Commonwealth nations, Delhi Government exhausted every possible tool to eradicate beggary during the run-up to the Commonwealth Games. However, immediately after the culmination of games, the situation became the same,” the plea claimed.

It contends that though Delhi State Commission for Protection of Child Rights was formed on July 7, 2008 for eradication of child beggary from the city yet it has failed in its task.

It has sought judicial intervention to abolish “use of children for begging” and provide them with their constitutional rights of life.

“While the Centre has enacted variety of legislations for uplift of children, it has failed to ensure that children do not beg,” it said.

Unrecognised play schools: HC seeks govt’s reply

The Delhi High Court today sought response of the city government on a PIL filed against unauthorised and unrecognised play schools in the capital.

A bench of play schoolalso issued notice to civic bodies and DDA while asking them to file their reply before February 11, 2015.

The court’s notice came on a plea filed by an NGO Social Jurist, which alleged that despite the court’s 2008 decision that no unrecognised school be allowed to run in Delhi, the city government’s Directorate of Education (DoE) had done nothing to ensure this, resulting in “continuous existence and mushrooming of hundreds of unauthorised, unsafe and unrecognised play schools and pre-primary schools in Delhi”.

The NGO’s counsel, Ashok Agarwal and Khagesh Jha, informed the court that some action-taken reports were submitted in the court.

“But these were silent as to what action the directorate proposed to take against such schools that had not applied for recognition and were still functioning,” the counsel argued.

The plea said, “The DoE in 2013 had invited applications for recognition of schools running classes up to the elementary level but said that as pre-primary schools are not covered under the Right to Education Act, these schools can continue to function.”

Allowing pre-primary and nursery schools to continue to run without obtaining recognition is “illegal”, the plea said.

In 2008, the High Court had asked the government to frame a scheme for regularising and regulating these unregistered institutions.