Encroachments on govt land are of your own making: HC to DDA

The Delhi High Court on Thursday pulled up DDA for allowing encroachments upon its land saying it was responsible for the situation as it did not take preventive action earlier.

“The moment the first encroachment came up, you should have taken preventive action. This situation is of your own making,” Justice V K Shali said while hearing a plea of a slum cluster in Vasant Kunj against Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) decision to demolish their homes.

The court directed DDA to not demolish the slum colony till it places on record an affidavit on whether it has carried out a survey of the area to identify who among the residents are eligible for rehabilitation.

The court ordered DDA to indicate on affidavit whether it has carried out the survey and what was its result as well as the policy it was following with respect to the removal of the slum, Dalit Ekta Camp, and whether it followed guidelines laid down by the court in 2010 regarding removal of such clusters.

The court also sought names of the officials who were custodians of the land in question and measures taken by them to protect the same from being usurped by land grabbers.

It also queried whether any action was taken against the officials concerned if they were found to have not done the needful in protecting the land from encroachment.

The court issued the directions after observing that DDA allowed the encroachment to occur by not fencing or protecting the land and permitting commercial establishments to come up there.

The court also questioned how the authority can go about demolishing the slum cluster without first carrying out the survey as per government policy and high court guidelines.

“You (Delhi govt) as state and they (DDA) as public authority can’t throw the central government policy into the winds and carry out demolition,” it said.

The court granted eight weeks time to DDA to file its affidavit and listed the matter for further hearing on February 26.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the slum cluster said that not only a survey has to be carried out, but an alternative land has to be provided to those eligible for rehabilitation, else where will they go in the middle of winter.

Meanwhile, in another matter relating to a slum cluster, Jhuggi Jhopri camp, near Rangpuri pahari nala, another bench of the high court has asked the city government to file an affidavit stating that the land in question is forest land.

The second matter will be heard by the court on December 9.

Petitions on behalf of both slum clusters were moved in the high court on the apprehension that houses there would be demolished as had been done on November 25 in the case of another cluster- Israil camp- located in the same area.

The pleas have sought a stay on the authorities decision to demolish the houses there saying the residents have been living there since before 1998 and thus, a survey needs to be carried out to see who among them were eligible for rehabilitation.

 

Court’s contempt notice to Delhi education department

The Delhi High Court Monday issued contempt notice to Delhi’s directorate of education (DoE) for not following its order to grant admission to 81 children in neighbourhood government schools.

Justice V.K. Shali also issued notice to the commissioner, East Delhi Municipal Corporation, on a contempt petition filed by NGO Social Jurist that noted that despite the division bench’s Sep 17 order, 81 children were not admitted to schools.

The court has now posted the matter for Jan 28, 2015, and asked the DoE and EDMC to file their response on the issue.

On Sep 17, 81 children in the age group of 6-14 years moved the high court alleging that they have been denied admission in schools on the ground that they do not have residential proof.

Children from Yamuna Khadar area in east Delhi said they were denied admission in schools of the EDMC on the grounds of non-availability of their residence proof and birth certificates.

The division bench then asked the students to approach the schools for admission and the schools to take proper action in this regard.

During the hearing Monday, advocate Ashok Agarwal appearing for the NGO argued despite the order of division bench, the children were not admitted to the schools.

“This case highlights that the government of Delhi which makes so much propaganda about implementation of RTE (Right to Education) Act is really very insensitive towards the right to education of the children of the poor,” he argued.

Ban on SIMI upheld by Tribunal

A special tribunal has upheld the ban imposed by the Centre on Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which has links with Pakistan-based terrorist outfits including Lashkar-e-Taiba and its front, Indian Mujahideen.

Justice V K Shali of the Delhi High Court, who heads the tribunal, submitted the report to the Home Ministry confirming the ban on SIMI.

The order came after the Home Ministry on February 3 extended the ban on SIMI by two more years, a Home Ministry spokesperson said.

SIMI was declared outlawed on September 27, 2001 when it came to light that the outfit was involved in terrorist activities.

 The group was having close contacts with LeT and was charged with carrying out several terror strikes along with Indian Mujahideen.

Though SIMI had challenged the government’s move in various courts and also before the Special Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act tribunals on a number of occasions, it did not get any relief.

 The tribunal consisting of Justice Shali, a sitting Judge of Delhi High Court, was constituted to adjudicate whether there is sufficient cause for declaring the association unlawful.

Source: PTI

Katara murder: Two cops guarding Vikas Yadav suspended

The government Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that two security personnel were suspended and an inquiry initiated against them for allegedly allowing Nitish Katara murder convict Vikas Yadav leave his hospital room on the Diwali night last year.

Placing the medical records of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) before the court, advocate of victim’s mother Neelam Katara alleged that Vikas was not in his hospital room on Diwali night (Oct 26, 2011).

“Vikas left the hospital at 8.30 p.m. and came back the next morning but the sister who was on duty was not informed either by the patient or the policemen who were with him,” she said.

The government informed the division bench of Justice Gita Mittal and Justice V.K. Shali that Vikas’s cousin and co-convict Vishal Yadav had made telephone calls costing Rs.55,000 during his stay in the Batra hospital in south Delhi.

Submitting reports related to visits of both the convicts – Vikas and Vishal – to various hospitals, the state government said that it incurred an expenditure of around Rs.20 lakh on security of both the convicts between September 2009 to February 2012 during their visits from jail to hospitals for treatment.

The bench told both the convicts that in case they failed to pay the money, it would pass an appropriate order, while asking their lawyers whether they were willing to pay the expenditure on security during their visits to hospitals.

The court was hearing the plea filed by Neelam Katara alleging that Vishal visited Batra hospital more than 40 times and Vikas visited AIIMS more than 80 times since their conviction in 2008 by misusing their financial and political influence.

Vikas and Vishal killed Nitish Katara, son of an Indian Administrative Service officer, on the night of Feb 17, 2002, after abducting him from a marriage party in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad as they were opposed to his relationship with Vikas’ sister Bharti.

 

 

Katara murder: Court sets up panel to probe convicts’ hospital visits

Taking serious note of allegations that Nitish Katara murder convict Vikas Yadav, who visited AIIMS for treatment, left the hospital Diwali night without informing the staff, the Delhi High Court Friday set up a panel to probe if his visit was justified.

Acting on the complaint of Katara’s mother Neelam, a division bench of Justice Gita Mittal and Justice V.K. Shali ordered a medical committee of army doctors to examine medical records of both convicts – Vikas and Vishal Yadav – to examine how many of their numerous visits from Tihar Jail to various hospitals were required.

Seeking the expert committee’s report within four weeks, the court said: “An independent committee is required to evaluate the medical records of both Vikas and Vishal to ascertain which medical visits were warranted and which were not.”

The medical superintendent of Army’s Research and Referral (R & R) Hospital has been asked to set up a board of doctors to evaluate the medical records of both the convicts, said the court.

The medical superintendent of AIIMS and Batra hospitals have been asked to ensure every cooperation to the committee, the bench said.

Placing the medical records of AIIMS before the bench, Katara’s advocate alleged Vikas was not in his room on Diwali night (Oct 26, 2011).

“Vikas had left the hospital at 8.30 p.m. and came back next morning but the sister who was on duty was not informed either by the patient or the policemen who were with him.”

“This is something very serious,” the bench said after going through the documents submitted by advocate in support of his allegation.

The advocate also informed the court that many times Vishal Yadav was advised discharge but he remained hospitalised on one pretext and other and especially for non-payment of the bill.

“Vishal Yadav was granted bail on October 2005 and after conviction went to custody on May 2008. As per record during this period of two and a half years, he did not visit Batra hospital,” the advocate alleged.

Vikas Yadav, son of Uttar Pradesh politician D.P. Yadav, was convicted in 2008 along with his cousin Vishal for kidnapping and murdering Nitish Katara, a close friend of his sister Bharti.

The duo killed Katara, son of an Indian Administrative Service officer, on the night of Feb 17, 2002, after abducting him from a marriage party in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad as they were opposed to his relationship with Bharti.

The court was hearing the plea filed by Katara’s mother alleging that Vishal visited Batra hospital more than 40 times and Vikas visited All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) more than 80 times since their conviction in 2008 by misusing their financial and political influence.

 

 

Nitish Katara murder: Vishal to pay Rs.16 lakh for security

Vishal Yadav, jailed in the 2002 Nitish Katara murder, was Friday told by the Delhi High Court to pay nearly Rs.16 lakh spent by the government on his security during his visits to hospitals outside prison.

A division bench of Justice Gita Mittal and Justice V.K. Shali: “It was all taxpayers money that the government has spent for your security during your visit to hospitals including Batra hospital. Let us see some bonafides.”

Taking note of Tihar Jail’s report, the court said that it was apparent that more than Rs.16 lakh was spent on security personnel who accompanied Vishal to hospitals.

The court said that it would evaluate the total amount spent on Vishal’s security during his hospital visits after perusing the documents submitted by the jail authorities.

The bench asked the counsel representing Vishal’s case to seek instruction from him and inform the court by March 23.

Vikas Yadav, son of Uttar Pradesh politician D.P. Yadav, was convicted in 2008 along with his cousin Vishal for kidnapping and murdering Nitish Katara, a close friend of his sister Bharti.

The duo killed Katara, son of an Indian Administrative Service officer, on the night of Feb 17, 2002, after abducting him from a marriage party in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad as they were opposed to his relationship with Bharti.

The court was hearing the plea filed by victim’s mother Neelam Katara alleging that Vishal visited Batra hospital more than 40 times and Vikas visited All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) more than 80 times since their conviction in 2008 by misusing their financial and political influence.

The court also asked the Tihar Jail authorities to present guidelines framed for the prisoners who were sent to various hospitals.

The bench asked the AIIMS to explain as to why Vikas was offered a higher class of facility during treatment in October 2011.

 

 

Court reserves order on dropping charges against Salem

The Delhi High Court Thursday reserved its order on a Delhi Police plea seeking withdrawal of charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against don Abu Salem in a 2002 extortion case here.

Salem, extradited from Portugal in 2005, was booked under the act for allegedly making extortion calls to Delhi-based businessman Ashok Gupta, demanding Rs.5 crore as protection money.

Justice V.K. Shali was told by Additional Solicitor General Haren Raval, appearing for Delhi Police, that if charges under the MCOCA against Salem were not dropped, the reputation of India at international fora will be harmed.

At the time of Salem’s extradition from Portugal six years ago, India had given an assurance to that country that he would not be given a death penalty or charged under any section of law which entails jail for more than 25 years.

Ravel said: “We will spoil our credibility at international fora and this case will be cited as an example to show that this country does not follow it own commitments.”

The Supreme Court of Portugal recently rejected India’s appeal and cancelled the extradition of Salem, saying the CBI had violated the extradition treaty between the two countries.

The court in Portugal accused the Indian agencies of violating the conditions under which he was permitted to be taken to India in November 2005 to face trial in eight cases, including the 1993 Mumbai blasts.

A trial court in 2009 dismissed the police plea seeking to withdraw charges under the MCOCA against Salem.

Delhi Police earlier told the high court that India will approach the Portuguese constitutional court to challenge the Portugal Supreme Court’s cancellation of Salem’s extradition.

 

 

Court issues notice, Is CIC empowered to prosecute for perjury?

The Delhi High Court Friday issued notice to the Department of Personnel Training (DOPT) on a plea seeking its direction on whether the Central Information Commission (CIC) was legally empowered to prosecute an entity or a person for the offence of perjury if false documents are filed before the commission.

A Delhi-based lawyer, Shanmuga Patro approached the Delhi High Court after being refused by CIC to initiate a criminal complaint against the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, its aides and affiliates, who, according to him, misled CIC by filing forged and fabricated documents in evidence and succeeded before CIC.

Justice V.K. Shali hearing the matter sought response from DOPT before the next date of hearing March 16, 2012.

Through the petition, Patro raised the issue as to whether the CIC could be treated as a court for prosecuting persons for the offence of perjury or not.

Patro, the petitioner, argued: ?If a person or entity is permitted to give false documents and evidence before CIC with impunity, then how can CIC be expected to enforce Right to Information??

The petitioner said that in June 2011, he approached CIC to institute proceedings under Section 340 of CrPC and sought initiation of criminal case against the foundation, its aides and affiliates for filing forged and fabricated documents in evidence before the panel.

In December 2011, CIC had refused to initiate prosecution for the offence of perjury against foundation and ordered that ?it has no powers to take action for perjury under Section 340 of CrPC?.

Based on the information and reports filed by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, the CIC had in October 2010 declared that Rajiv Gandhi Foundation is not a `Public authority? in terms of RTI Act and is not bound to provide information under Right to Information Act.

Patro, however, alleged: ?While Rajiv Gandhi Foundation informed CIC that only about 4 percent of its revenue is received from Government, in reality it receives a greater percentage of its revenue from Government.

Being aggrieved with CIC?s order of expressing inability to examine whether Rajiv Gandhi Foundation committed perjury or not, Shanmuga Patro approached the Delhi High Court.

Outcome of this case will decide CIC?s powers to commence criminal cases against parties who have been committing perjury, offences against public justice and offences relating to documents given in evidence before CIC,? said Patro.

The petitioner in his petition also raised the question whether the Information Commissioners, including the CIC, could be treated as “public servants” within the definition of section 195 of the CrPC.

 

 

Court adjourns plea of Reliance executives

Three officials of the Reliance Group — Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair — Thursday urged the Delhi High Court to quash charges against them in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

Justice V.K. Shali adjourned the plea till Jan 16, 2012. The court also asked the petitioner to file a short synopsis of the case.

Counsel Rajiv Nayyar, appearing for the petitioner, requested the court not to club the matter with that of Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal, who are directors of Kusegaon.

 

 

Sidharth Behura’s bail plea dismissed by Delhi High Court

The Delhi high court on Friday dismissed the bail plea of former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

Justice V K Shali had reserved the order on the bail plea of Behura on December 1.

Only Behura and former telecom minister A Raja, who were arrested on February 2, are left in jail as the other 12 accused, including DMK MP Kanimozhi, are out on bail.

During the hearing, CBI, which did not oppose the bail plea of five other accused also including Karim Morani, however, had sought “stricter scrutiny” of such pleas by a public servant as he is custodian of government properties.

Additional solicitor general Mohan Parasaran, appearing for CBI, said if Behura was released then Raja may also seek the same relief on the ground of parity.