Bury the hatchet: HC tells Gadkari and Kejriwal

delhi-high-courtThe Delhi High Court on Thursday suggested to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Arvind Kejriwal to “bury” the hatchet over the alleged statement made by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and “shake hands” with each other in larger “public interest”.

A bench of justices Reva Khetrapal and S P Garg observed there would be no end to such issues and said it would be better for both the leaders to amicably resolve it and “bury the hatchet”.

“Nothing is there, why can’t you both parties shake hands and finish off the matter on an amicable note? Why don’t you bury the hatchet and utilize time in a more productive manner?” the bench said.

“You both are renowned politicians, people look up to you,” the court added.

In response to the court’s observations, senior advocate Shanti Bhushan, appearing for the former Delhi Chief Minister, said “they (Gadkari) went to the court first, so let them

withdraw their complaint but we will not withdraw our statement or any of the allegations made as we have proofs for all the issues raised by us”.

He further said “let Gadkari give us the assurance that they will not seek prosecution of Kejriwal in this matter in future”.

Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, said “I (Gadkari) am an honest politician and damage has been caused to my reputation by the defamatory allegation levelled against me by Kejriwal. I don’t have any personal enmity against Kejriwal.

She also told the court that her client is ready to resolve the issue if Kejriwal withdraws his statement.

“If Kejriwal withdraws his allegations, then of course I will do (withdraw my case). But if he does not do that, then I will also not do it.

“It’s not that we are scared of him,” the ASG told the court and added that honesty is his (Gadkari) “political strength” and his “reputation is his capital”.

On January 30, Kejriwal had made an allegedly defamatory statement against Gadkari in the media.

(Source: PTI)

Court notice on CRPF bodybuilders’ plea

CRPF bodybuilders' plea(IANS) The Delhi High Court Thursday issued notice to the central government and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on a plea filed by the bodybuilding team of the paramilitary force against the decision to disband them.

Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani sought response from the home ministry and the CRPF and posted the matter for Sep 23.

On May 16, the CRPF disbanded its bodybuilding team saying that the sport did not come under ‘All India Sport’ category.

The aggrieved bodybuilders, many of whom are reigning and former national and international medal holders, moved the high court for direction to allow them to participate in various bodybuilding competitions as part of the CRPF team.

The players have contended that they were selected in the CRPF under the sport quota, which meant they were only to participate in bodybuilding championships, the plea said.

The CRPF notification disbanded its body building and rugby team and dispatched all the players of the two sports to their respective units to perform normal duties.

The players, however, contended that it was factually incorrect as bodybuilding was duly recognized by the sports ministry, the Sports Authority of India and the Indian Olympic Association.

Death penalty reminds criminal that life is precious: Delhi HC

delhi-high-courtThe Delhi High Court, while confirming the death penalty to Dec 16 gang rape convicts, Thursday said that such sentence is retained in law to remind such criminals in the society that human life is very precious.

A division bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani said: “Society’s abhorrence to the atrocious crimes perpetrated upon innocent and helpless victims has resulted in the death penalty being retained on the statute book to remind such criminals in the society that human life is very precious and one who dares to take the life of others must lose his own life.”

The judges’ remark came while observing that courts of law have been faced with the eternal strife between the humanistic approach reflected in death sentence in no case doctrine favoured by the abolitionists and the retributive approach reflected in the death penalty in all heinous crimes favoured by the retentionists.

The court said that the judiciary in India has been vested with the discretion to impose or not to impose the death penalty – one of the greatest burdens it must carry till the death penalty remains on the statute book.

It said that to impose the death penalty is to maintain the integrity of life, the greatest gift bestowed upon mankind, which cannot be allowed to be frittered away by flagitious criminality.

The bench dismissed the appeals of the four convicts, Mukesh, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, and Vinay Sharma and confirmed the death sentence awarded to them by trial court Sep 13, 2013.

The 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was gang-raped and brutally sexually assaulted by six men, including a juvenile, in a moving bus. The woman died of grave intestinal injuries Dec 29, 2012 at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

(Source: IANS)

‘Dec 16 rape convicts’ counsel making false statements before SC’

delhi gang rapeThe Delhi High Court Wednesday said the counsel appearing for two convicts in the Dec 16 gang rape case was making “false statements” before the Supreme Court.

A division bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani said advocate M.L. Sharma, representing Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh in the case, misled the apex court by saying he was not granted permission to file additional grounds for arguments on appeal.

The bench said Sharma never made such a prayer for filing additional grounds for arguments on appeal before the high court.

“They never made such prayer before us. This prayer was made for the first time before the Supreme Court. We have given them liberty to file additional grounds for arguments,” the court said.

The Supreme Court Tuesday said the high court was rushing through with the hearing of death reference and appeals in the case.

The bench said: “The report says we are trying to rush up the arguments. We have never told them not to argue. We have never asked them to rush. There is no such thing is rushing the arguments.”

The bench also asked Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan if the Supreme Court was informed about Sharma filing a false affidavit in the high court.

Krishnan told the bench that the state was not given the opportunity to file a reply.

Sharma had filed a false affidavit in the high court saying he went to Mumbai to argue a case before Justice D.Y. Chandrachur and hence would not be available to put forth his arguments.

However, Krishnan pointed out that Justice Chandrachur had already taken over as the chief justice of the Allahabad High Court.

Sharma has been making excuses before the bench to avoid the hearing in the high court, which also made the bench warn him of appointing amicus curiae in the case to represent his two clients.

The high court posted the matter for Nov 25.

The trial court Sep 13 awarded death sentence to Mukesh, 26, Akshay, 28, Pawan, 19, and Vinay, 20, convicted in the case, and referred the case to the high court for confirmation of their sentence.

A 23-year-old physiotherapy student was brutally gang raped in a moving bus by six people, including a juvenile. The accused then threw her and her male companion out of the vehicle, stripped of clothing, to die by the roadside on the cold December night.

The woman died of grave intestinal injuries Dec 29 at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital, where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.

One of the six accused was found dead in a cell in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. A juvenile involved in the crime was Aug 31 sent by the Juvenile Justice Board to a reform home for three years, the maximum term under the juvenile law.

(Source:IANS)

Counsel of Dec 16 gang-rape convicts ‘running away’

rapeThe Delhi High Court Friday expressed displeasure over the absence of counsel for convicts in the Dec 16, 2012, gang-rape death sentence confirmation case, saying they are “running away” from court and avoiding proceedings.

“It is a very unfortunate situation, we are extremely pained. That is what we can say,” a division bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani said on the repeated absence of counsel ML Sharma, who is appearing for two convicts.

“Running away will not solve the problem. How long will you run? Better to put your best foot forward,” the bench said, and also warned them of appointing an amicus curiae. The court also remarked that it is a “deliberate attempt” to “forestall” the hearing of appeal.

The bench took strong objection to Sharma’s conduct of leaving Delhi without informing the court.

“Why was the court not informed that he was going outstation? How discourteous is it to the court to go away without informing us,” Justice Khetrapal said.

Through his proxy counsel, Sharma filed an affidavit in the court saying he went to Mumbai Oct 7 to argue before Justice Chandrachud there, and will come before the Delhi High Court for argument Nov 12.

However, Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan pointed out that Justice Chandrachud has taken over as the chief justice of the Allahabad High Court.

The court also issued production warrants for all the four convicts – Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh – for Nov 11. The court noted that none of the family members of the convicts was present.

The bench gave a last chance to advocate A.P. Singh, appearing for Vinay and Akshay, to be present Monday. The amicus curiae (counsel to assist the court) will be appointed otherwise, the bench said.

In the order, Justice Khetrapal said: “Counsel for Vinay and Akshay is also not present. It appears that it is a deliberate attempt to forestall the hearing of the appeal. We are left with no option except to adjourn the hearing for Monday. On that date, if counsel do not come, we shall appoint amicus curiae. Not only this, none of the family members are present in the court.”

Meanwhile, the prosecution concluded its arguments on the confirmation of death sentence to the four convicts, saying: “By giving the maximum sentence, the message to the society would be that deviant behaviour of an extreme kind will not be tolerated.”

Krishnan argued that the socio-economic status of convicts cannot be determinative in sentencing in a gangrape, coupled with murder.

The trial court Sep 13 awarded the death sentence to Mukesh, 26, Akshay Thakur, 28, Pawan Gupta, 19, and Vinay Sharma, 20, convicted in the case, and referred the case to the high court for confirmation of their sentence.

The 23-year-old student of physiotherapy was brutally gangraped in a moving bus by six people, including a juvenile. The accused then threw her and her male companion out of the vehicle, stripped of clothing, to die by the roadside on the cold December night.

The woman died of grave intestinal injuries Dec 29 at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital, where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.

One of the six accused was found dead in a cell in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. A juvenile involved in the crime was Aug 31 sent by the Juvenile Justice Board to a reform home for three years, the maximum term under the juvenile law.

(Source:IANS)

December 16 gang-rape convicts sought kill:HC

Delhi Police on Thursday told the Delhi High Court hearing the confirmation of the death penalty awarded to four convicts in the December 16, 2012 gang-rape case that a conspiracy was hatched to commit rape and then kill the victim.

Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan, appearing for police, also told a division bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani that the claim of the accused before the trial court that they were not present at the time of incident was false.

“The manner of the crime, the nature of weapon used and the fact that they (the victim and the man accompanying her) were thrown out of the bus in naked condition in the cold night to die, can leave no iota of doubt in court’s mind that there was an intention of murder,” Krishnan said.

He added: “The victim and her male friend were lured into the bus as they were made to believe that it was a bus of carriage….”

The prosecutor said the “gruesome nature of injury” on the 23-year-old student of physiotherapy, who was returning home with a male friend after having watched a movie, only reflected the intention of murder.

“There was also a clear intention to kill the victim. I wish the English language had words to describe the injury better than ‘brutal’ and ‘grotesque’. ‘Brutality’ and ‘grievous’ are not enough to describe the act,” Krishnan said.

 

Krishnan also told the court that he would argue Friday on the trial court’s sentence awarded to the convicts and conclude his arguments before the court’s lunch break.

 

To this, the bench said that after the prosecutor concludes his argument, defence counsel ML Sharma, appearing for accused Mukesh and Pawan Gupta, will begin his arguments.

 

The proxy counsel, who appeared on behalf of Sharma, however, said that Sharma would be available for arguments only Tuesday.

 

On his contention, the bench said: “If he will not argue the case, we will close it. He can move the Supreme Court against our order.”

 

The trial court Sep 13 awarded the death sentence to Mukesh, 26, Akshay Thakur, 28, Pawan Gupta, 19, and Vinay Sharma, 20, convicted in the case, and referred the case to the high court for confirmation of their sentence.

 

The woman was brutally gangraped in a moving bus by six people, including a juvenile. The accused then threw her and her male companion out of the vehicle, stripped of clothing, to die by the roadside on the cold December night.

 

The woman died of grave intestinal injuries Dec 29 at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital, where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.

 

One of the six accused was found dead in a cell in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. A juvenile involved in the crime was Aug 31 sent by the Juvenile Justice Board to a reform home for three years, the maximum term under the juvenile law.

(Source:IANS)

Dec 16 gang-rape: Prosecution argues for death sentence

The Delhi High Court Friday commenced hearing on the confirmation of the death penalty awarded to four convicts in the Dec 16, 2012, gang-rape case here.

rape The prosecution said it has all the evidence against the four convicts awarded the death penalty by the trial court.

Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan, starting the arguments, briefed the court and said all the accused had conspired to rob and rape the victims.

“She (victim) was brutally gang-raped by each one of them. Even by the driver (Mukesh). They weren’t satisfied with rape and inserted iron rods into her. They both (the victim and her male friend) were thrown out of the bus in naked condition, and that was done with the intention of killing them,” Krishnan said.

Mukesh earlier in the trial court claimed that he only drove the bus and did not rape the 23-year-old student of physiotherapy who was returning home with a male friend after having watched a movie.

A division bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani heard the arguments of the prosecution on the death reference and the appeals filed by the accused against the sentence.

The bench, posting the matter for Nov 6, said it would hear the matter on a day-to-day basis.

 

“We will hear the case on a day-to-day basis,” the bench said.

 

In the morning, before starting the hearing, the father and brother of accused Pawan and Mukesh informed the court that their counsel could not turn up for the case as he was attending some other matter in the Supreme Court.

 

To this, the bench gave counsel a last chance and adjourned the matter for one hour, saying it cannot grant any other date as sought by them, as according to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling, “criminal cases were to proceed even without the counsel…”

 

“We gave this date (on last hearing) on your lawyer’s choice, if he doesn’t want to come, what can we do? We can appoint an amicus curae (government lawyer) for you, he will come on every date,” the bench said, refusing to give another date.

 

“The Supreme Court has said we cannot give dates in the criminal cases. We have to proceed even without counsel,” it added.

 

The trial court Sep 13 awarded the death sentence to Mukesh, 26, Akshay Thakur, 28, Pawan Gupta, 19, and Vinay Sharma, 20, convicted in the case, and referred the case to the high court for confirmation of their sentence.

 

Awarding death penalty to the four, the court said their “hair-raising beastly and unparalleled behaviour” definitely qualified as one of the “rarest of rare cases” that deserved the death sentence.

 

A 23-year-old woman was brutally gang-raped in a moving bus by six people, including a juvenile. The accused then threw her and her male companion out of the vehicle, stripped of clothing, to die by the roadside on the cold December night.

 

The woman died of grave intestinal injuries Dec 29 at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.

 

One of the six accused was found dead in a cell in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. A juvenile involved in the crime was, Aug 31, sent by the Juvenile Justice Board to a reform home for three years, the maximum term under the juvenile law.

(Source:IANS)

Delhi HC dismisses plea for translated documents

The Delhi High Court Monday dismissed the plea of two of the four accused in the Dec 16, 2012 gang-rape case, seeking Hindi translation of certain documents including the conviction and sentence orders.

A division bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani rejected the plea saying the language of the courts here is English and a translated version is provided only in cases where court proceedings are recorded in a different language.

It observed that the plea was filed to “delay” the hearing of the appeal.

At one instance, the court said: “If you go on trying to delay the case, the court will have the feeling that you don’t have any case.”

Accepting the arguments of the Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan, that all the accused in the case have been provided with a translated copy during the trial at the lower court, the bench posted the matter for Nov 1.

It said: “It seems that this application is only a methodology adopted to protract the hearing of the appeal. No effort have been made to remove objections in the appeal, although ample time is granted to file the appeal.”

During the hearing, the bench also asked counsel M.L. Sharma, appearing for Mukesh and Pawan Gupta, who were among the four accused who were convicted by the trial court and received the death sentence, that “if you go on like this, feeling will come in the mind of court that you want to delay the case. You want this feeling to come in court’s mind?”

“If you do not want to delay the appeal why don’t you get the documents translated? If you want justice, you argue on the case,” the bench said.

The court’s remark came after Sharma said that it is the court’s duty to direct the prosecution to supply the Hindi translated copy of judgments.

The bench was hearing the trial court’s reference for confirming the death sentence to four convicts in the Dec 16 gang-rape case.

The lawyer had moved the application seeking the Hindi version of the First Information Report, the charge sheet, evidence, the Sep 10 conviction judgment and the Sep 13 sentence order.

The trial court Sep 13 awarded the death sentence to Mukesh, 26, Akshay Thakur, 28, Pawan Gupta, 19, and Vinay Sharma, 20, convicted in the case, and referred the case to the high court for confirmation of their sentence.

Awarding death penalty to the four, the court has said that their “hair-rising beastly and unparalleled behaviour” definitely qualified this as one of the “rarest of rare cases” that deserved the death sentence.

A 23-year-old student of physiotherapy was brutally gang-raped in a moving bus by six people, including a juvenile. The accused then threw her and her male companion out of the vehicle, stripped of clothing, to die by the roadside on the cold December night.

The woman died of grave intestinal injuries Dec 29 at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.

One of the six accused was found dead in a cell in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. A juvenile involved in the crime was, Aug 31, sent by the Juvenile Justice Board to a reform home for three years, the maximum term under the juvenile law.

 

(Source:Indo-Asian New Service)

Aviation crisis: Delhi High court reserves order on Air India pilots

The Delhi High Court reserved till Thursday its verdict on a plea by Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), an association of Air India pilots, challenging the single-judge order that restrained the pilots of the national carrier from going on an “illegal strike”.

A division bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Rajiv Shakdher reserved the order after Air India and IPG concluded their arguments.

Hearing a plea by Air India, Justice Reva Khetrapal had May 9 restrained the over 100 pilots, owing allegiance to the IPG, from continuing the strike over the rescheduling of Boeing 787 Dreamliner training and matters relating to their career progression.

The IPG Wednesday told the court that the single-judge had passed the ex-parte injunction order without authority.

“Where is the jurisdiction of Delhi High Court when IPG’s main office is in Mumbai. IPG only has one office in Delhi, and on that basis Air India can not move here,” IPG’s counsel said.

Restraining the pilots from continuing the strike, the single judge had said the guild, “its members, agents, office bearers are restrained from illegal strike”.

“The pilots are also restrained from reporting sick, demonstrating, holding dharnas, or resorting to any other modes of strike in and outside the petitioner company, including its offices in Delhi and outside, and also around airports.”

“Irreparable injury will be caused to petitioner (Air India) if such strike will be allowed to continue,” the court had said.Air India pilots claimed they were more experienced than the pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines and should, therefore, be preferred for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner training programme.

N.D Tiwari restrained from leaving India until DNA test

The Delhi High Court on Monday restrained veteran Congress leader ND Tiwari from leaving India until he furnishes his blood sample for a DNA test.

Justice Reva Khetrapal, hearing the plea of a man who claims to be the biological son, granted two days time to Tiwari to inform the court whether he wants to give blood sample willingly or not.

The high court on April 27 had directed Tiwari to give his blood sample for a DNA test to decide a paternity suit and said that the leader can even be forced to do so if he refuses.

The high court had directed ND Tiwari to give his blood sample for a DNA test to decide a paternity suit.

There is an urgent need of blood sample for DNA test as there are chances that Tiwari may depart from India in order to avoid the court order, Shekhar said in his petition while seeking an order restraining Tiwari from leaving India until he furnishes DNA samples.

Approaching the court, 32-year-old Rohit Shekhar said that due to the Tiwari’s advanced age (86), time is of essence and irreparable loss will be caused him if the samples are not collected at the earliest as vital evidence may be lost forever.

In his petition, Shekhar submitted that in case Tiwari fails to appear or furnish a blood sample on the date that will be appointed by the court, a commissioner be appointed to draw blood sample from him forcefully.

Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri had said that if Tiwari continues to defy the court’s order to give his blood sample for DNA analysis, police force will be used against him.

Justice Sikri had passed the order on Shekhar’s plea challenging the order of Justice Gita Mittal, who in September 2011, said that Tiwari cannot be physically compelled or confined for submitting his blood sample for DNA analysis.

Through the petition, Shekhar sought order from the court that he is the biological son of Tiwari and his mother Ujjwala Sharma. “A decree of perpetual injunction be passed, restraining defendent 1 (Tiwari) from denying in public or otherwise that he is the father of plaintiff (Shekhar),” the petition said.

Tiwari had on June 1, 2011 refused to appear in the high court dispensary to give his blood sample for DNA test to ascertain Shekhar’s claim, saying he cannot be forced to do so.