Bhopal gas tragedy : Justice S Ravindra Bhat recuses from hearing Centre’s plea for additional fund.

Supreme Court judge Justice S Ravindra Bhat on Tuesday recused himself from hearing the Centre’s plea seeking Rs 7,844 crore as additional fund from successor firms of US-based Union Carbide Corporation for giving compensation to the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy victims.

A five-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra adjourned the hearing till Wednesday and said Chief Justice of India S A Bobde would take a call on composition of the bench to hear the matter.

“We will not take it up today. We are waiting for CJI’s order,” said the bench also comprising justices Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M R Shah and Bhat.

Expressing his unwillingness to be part of the bench to hear the matter, Justice Bhat said, “I had appeared for the union of India in the matter when union had sought review”.

The Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), now owned by Dow Chemicals, gave a compensation of USD 470 million (Rs 715 crore at the time of settlement) after the toxic gas leak from the Union Carbide factory on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984 killed over 3,000 people and affected 1.02 lakh more.

Maradu flats: SC directs demolition to be completed in 138 days

The Supreme Court on Friday directed that demolition of flats built on the coastal zone of Kochi’s Maradu be completed in 138 days, in accordance with the time schedule provided by the Kerala government.

The apex court also directed payment of R 25 lakh as interim compensation by the state government to each flat owner within four weeks.

The top court also ordered setting up of a one-member committee of retired high court judge to oversee demolition and assess total compensation.

A bench comprising justices Arun Mishra and S Ravindra Bhat directed freezing of assets of builders and promoters who were involved in the construction of illegal buildings in the coastal zone areas of Kochi.

The bench further said the government may consider recovering the interim compensation amount from builders and promoters.

National Herald case: Delhi High Court rejected, Sonia Gandhi, Son Rahul’s Request In Tax Case

NEW DELHI: A bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice A.K. Chawla of Delhi High Court dismissed the pleas of Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi challenging the reopening of their tax assessment for the year 2011-12.

Rahul has moved the court challenging a notice issued against him by Income Tax Department seeking to re-open his tax assessment for financial year 2011-12 related to the transactions between National Herald and Young India Pvt Ltd (YI).

The judges also dismissed the petition of Congress leader Oscar Fernandes who too had challenged the reopening of his tax assessment for the same year. The Income Tax Department in March this year had served a notice to the Gandhis saying that their tax filings will be reviewed. The Congress leaders had challenged the notice in the court.

The I-T department has told the court that they have concealed facts for evading tax. Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi are major stakeholders in Young Indian which has acquired Associated Journals Limited (AJL). National Herald newspaper was published by AJL.

On March 19, the Delhi High Court directed Young Indian to deposit Rs 10 crore in the Rs 249.15 crore income tax proceedings against the firm. The bench has listed the matter for further hearing on August 14.

National Herald case : Young Indian Pvt Ltd asked to deposit Rs 10 cr in IT case

The Delhi High Court today directed Young Indian Pvt Ltd, in which Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi are major stakeholders, to deposit Rs 10 crore in the Rs 249.15 crore income tax proceedings against it.

A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and A K Chawla directed the company — earlier summoned along with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi as an accused by a trial court in the National Herald misappropriation of assets case — to deposit half the amount with the Income Tax department before March 31 and the remaining by April 15.

The high court said subject to deposit of the amount, the tax authorities shall not enforce the demand of Rs 249.15 crore made on the company for the assessment year 2011-12.

The high court also sought the IT department’s response on the company’s plea challenging the demand and the proceedings emanating from it and listed the matter for further hearing on April 24.

The company had on March 14 moved the high court seeking a stay on the income tax proceedings against it.

YI, which was incorporated in November 2010 with a capital of Rs 50 lakh, had acquired almost all the shareholding of Associated Journal Ltd (AJL), the owner of the National Herald newspaper.

The IT department’s move followed its probe on a complaint alleging that the Gandhis had misappropriated AJL’s assets while transferring their shares to the newly formed Young Indian.

HC to pass order on DDCA reforms

 The Delhi High Court today said it will pass an order to usher in reforms at the controversy-ridden Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) after its general body rejected a majority of amendments on good governance, including abolition of ‘proxy votes’, proposed by a court-appointed Administrator.

A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and A K Chawla reserved its decision after it was informed that DDCA’s general body, at a meeting held in September last year, had in a resolution rejected almost all the amendments proposed by the Administrator, former Supreme Court judge Vikramajit Sen.

The amendments were based on the recommendations of the apex court appointed Justice R M Lodha committee on the IPL controversy for reform in the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the high court noted.

Apart from being against abolishing of the proxy vote system of the past, the cricketing body’s members had also opposed the issue of 1000 complimentary passes for matches to be held at Feroz Shah Kotla grounds that the Administrator had allowed.

The lawyers for some of the DDCA members told the bench today that the number should be cut down to around 200 as otherwise it would not be profitable for them.

The Administrator for proper functioning of DDCA was appointed during the ongoing hearing of a 2010 petition of the cricketing body seeking occupancy certificate from South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to hold matches at the Ferozshah Kotla stadium.

HC questions need of committees for government to do its work

 The Delhi High Court today questioned the need to set up “elaborate committees” for the government to do its work.

“Does the government need committees to do its work? Why do you need elaborate committees,” was the query posed by a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and A K Chawla to the Delhi government.

The posers came after the lawyer for Delhi government, Naushad Ahmed Khan, told the bench that a committee has been set up to remove illegal speed-breakers from the city roads and it was looking into the issue.

The court, however, was of the view that it could turn into an “endless circle of committees, meetings and reports for a small task of removing illegal speed-breakers”.

“When will it end,” it asked the Delhi government lawyer as the issue regarding the illegal speed-breakers was raised in the high court in 2015.

It told the Delhi government that setting up a committee would not be considered as progress in the matter.

“There would be progress in the matter only if the illegal and unauthorised speed breakers are removed,” the bench said.

It also asked the government lawyer to give a list of the illegal speed breakers on the city roads, saying the figure of 340 mentioned by him cannot be the correct number and it must be much more than that.

Khan, thereafter, told the court that he would get the complete data regarding all the speed breakers from all the agencies concerned only by January 23.

In view of the submission made by the Delhi government lawyer, the bench listed the matter for hearing on January 29.

The court was hearing two PILs filed by advocate Rajiv Singh and NGO, Guru Hanuman Society of India, claiming that the city’s civic agencies, have allowed construction of speed breakers without complying with the guidelines of the Indian Road Congress and the Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure Centre.

The court had in May and August 2016 directed the agencies maintaining roads in the national capital for removal of all speed breakers not approved by the traffic police and which do not conform to the prescribed norms.

Thereafter, it had told the traffic police that all speed breakers, both authorised and unauthorised, on Delhi roads must be geo-tagged and their location marked by GPS.

The authorities were also asked to ensure that signages regarding speed breakers and U-turns are put up in advance “to warn drivers” and “aid in reducing accidents”.

Source : PTI

HC praises DoE for online facilities in schools for disabled

The Delhi High Court today closed the contempt proceedings against the Directorate of Education (DoE) while lauding its efforts for providing on its website all data pertaining to facilities for disabled kids in private unaided schools.

A bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and R K Gauba while appreciating the efforts of the DoE also observed that it could have done so much earlier.

The order was passed after DoE submitted before the court that it has inspected 351 private unaided schools in the capital and of these 231 were found to have facilities to cater to children with special needs (CWSN).

It also told the bench that the details of the facilities available in the 231 schools have been uploaded on its website www.Edudel.Nic.In and are easily accessible from a scroll running on the left side of the site.

While closing the contempt proceedings, the bench listed the matter on February 25 to examine the issue of admission process of disabled kids and how it can be monitored by the nodal agencies set up by DoE.

The submissions by DoE came pursuant to the court’s directions to it to give on its website “zone-wise” details of private unaided schools which could cater to the requirement of CWSN in the 2015-16 academic year.

It had also directed DoE to inspect the schools and verify the information given by them.

The court was hearing a contempt plea filed by Pramod Arora, through senior advocate Kirti Uppal and advocate Anshumaan Sahni, alleging that the court’s May 7, 2014, order to reserve seats for CWSN in schools that can cater to them has not been complied with.

Arora, father of a differently-abled child, had initially challenged the Lieutenant Governor’s nursery admission guidelines which clubbed CWSN with children belonging economically weaker section (EWS) category.

Pursuant to this, the high court had held that the clubbing of CWSN with EWS for nursery admissions was illegal.

Kids with special needs: HC seeks details from schools

The Delhi High Court today asked private unaided schools here to provide the city government with all details about facilities available in their institutions to cater to children with special needs.

A bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat & Justice Vipin Sanghi kids with special needsaid the Directorate of Education (DoE) of the Delhi government shall file an affidavit before January 14, disclosing the status with regard to facilities available in all the unaided schools.

Chandni Chowk traffic congestion: HC pulls up DDA

delhi-high-courtThe Delhi High Court today pulled up the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for its failure to devise a smooth traffic mechanism in its Zonal Development Plan for creation of non-motorised vehicle lanes in the congested Chandni Chowk area here.

“With an enormous rise in volume of traffic movement, you cannot do a cut and paste job. It is your duty to facilitate the traffic movement without conflict,” a bench headed by Justice S Ravindra Bhat said.

“Road space is democratic and everybody needs to have space on it. How can you draw a plan which is unmindful of the developments in transportation,” the court said.

The special bench, also comprising Justice S Muralidhar, directed senior advocate A S Chandhiok, who is appearing for the Delhi government, to come out with an effective development plan to decongest the traffic.

The court has now fixed July 30 as the next date of hearing.

The court was hearing a PIL, filed by NGO Manushi Sangathan in 2007, seeking directions to ensure redevelopment of the Chandni Chowk area.

Earlier this year, the government had submitted a proposal to ban motorised vehicles from the main road in Chandni Chowk and start a tram system for the convenience of pedestrians.

There are so many pedestrians on the road, and there are lanes branching out of the main road. A tram service will neither be safe for pedestrians nor will it be financially viable, advocate Indira Unninayar, for the NGO, had said.


Nursery admission: HC notice over guidelines for disabled kids

delhi-high-courtThe Delhi High Court has issued a notice on a plea, seeking to frame guidelines for children with disabilities seeking admissions, to the central and the city governments.

A division bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice R.V. Easwar also asked the Delhi government to indicate its stand on providing three percent reservation for disabled children within the 75 percent general category in nursery admissions .

“The Delhi government shall file a proper affidavit indicating its stand with respect to the issue of whether within the 75 percent quota, the three percent and further reservations under the Disabilities Act can be worked out to the advantage of those covered by the enactment,” said the bench posting the matter for March 19.

The court was hearing a plea which also challenged the fresh nursery admission guidelines that clubbed the economically weaker section (EWS) category with that of children with disabilities.

The Delhi government assured the court that it will suggest the best possible methods for maximising the chances of children with different kinds of disabilities and “categorise all possibilities for admission of allowing particular institutions to admit disabled children within the 75 percent quota earmarked for general category candidates”.

The court also asked the government to also provide information on the total number of available seats to be filled in the entry level in all recognised schools in Delhi and with the necessary break-up in terms of each category.

The government will also provide details with respect to the nature of special facilities extended by different institutions.

The fresh guidelines were issued Dec 18, 2013 whereby disabled children were clubbed with EWS children in a common 25 percent quota for admission in nursery classes.

Earlier, up to three percent seats for children with special education needs were reserved.

The plea also sought quashing of the amendment to section 2(d) of the Right to Education Act, 2009, clubbing the two categories.

(Source: IANS)