HC upholds detention of ‘sand smuggler’ under MPDA

bhcThe Bombay High Court has upheld an order of a Jalgaon Magistrate detaining an alleged sand smuggler under Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act (MPDA), saying his movements in the society might lead to disruption of public order.

MPDA covers bootleggers, slumlords, sand smugglers and certain other categories of offenders whose activities are a threat to public order.

Dismissing a petition challenging detention of Nilesh Dnyaneshwar Desale under MPDA, a bench of Justice Vijaya Tahilramani and Justice Mridula Bhatkar observed that “sand smugglers on the basis of muscle and money power create terror in the vicinity and they are a menace to the public order.”

Jalgaon Magistrate passed the detention order against Desale, a resident of Jalgaon district near Nashik, in March this year on the basis of four criminal cases and two in-camera statements of witnesses.

“The 4 CRs in which the detenu is allegedly involved pertain to theft of sand. On account of sand smuggling, the water available is reduced. Ecological balance is disturbed.

On account of reduction in water, there is great scarcity of water for drinking purpose and irrigation. There is monetary loss to farmers and citizens in the area,” the court observed.

“People in the area know about the activities of the detenu and are living in a state of fear. This amounts to disturbance of public order,” the bench said in a recent judgement.

“Hence, to protect the interest of the public in such cases, the legislation has amended the definition and incorporated ‘Sand Smugglers’ in section 2 of the Act. The Detaining Authority has rightly considered the situation, the nature of offences and the nature of its effect on public order and has passed the detention order,” the Judges said.

The petition was filed by a friend of the detenu and its counsel Aisha Zuber Ansari argued that the detaining authority had not applied its mind properly by not going through the documents.

Ansari further argued that the detention order was issued within two days of the detenu’s arrest and this was not possible to consider more than 200 page documents in such a short time. Hence, the detention order was not fair, unjust and must be quashed.

However, the high court dismissed the petition saying the detention order was fair and totally justified.

Source : PTI

Youth gets life term for killing prostitute

The Bombay High Court has upheld the life sentence awarded to a 21-year-old youth for stabbing to death a prostitute who refused to marry him.

A division Bench of justices Anil Menon and Vijaya Tahilramani recently dismissed an appeal filed by the convict, Anant, alias Rakesh Ratan Let, against a sessions court order convicting him for the murder.

He is currently serving his sentence in Nashik Central prison.

The judges held, “We are of the opinion that there is sufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant committed murder of Zarina by assaulting her with a knife and in the course of the incident, injuries were also inflicted on Reshma, also engaged in prostitution, who tried to save the victim.”

For causing injuries to Reshma, the convict, who hails from suburban Andheri, was sentenced to one-year imprisonment.

The sentences were to run concurrently. Even this sentence has been unheld by the High Court.

“Finding of blood of the group of the deceased (Zarina) on the clothes of the appellant (shirt, pant and underwear) is a strong incriminating factor against the appellant,” the HC judges noted in their findings.

Besides, the accused was found to have sustained a deep cut injury on his left thumb. “This is sufficient to prove that he had been involved in the attack on Zarina and Reshma,” said the Judges.

Reshma and her neighbour had identified Anant as the person who had stabbed Zarina. Reshma had seen him attacking Zarina after the latter shouted for help while the other witness who was staying in neighbourhood had heard Zarina’s cries for help, the bench noted.

The assailant was overpowered by people after Reshma grappled with him at a residence in Grant Road where they were engaged in prostitution.

The incident occurred in 2009 and a sessions court convicted the accused after a trial in June 2010

HC rejects Parsi man’s plea to nullify wedlock to Hindu

Bombay High CourtThe Bombay High Court has rejected the plea of a Parsi man to declare his 15-year-old marriage to a Hindu as null and void as their wedlock was arranged in accordance with Hindu rituals though they professed different religions.

A division bench recently dismissed an appeal filed by Viraf Phiroz Bharucha, a city resident, against a family court order rejecting his plea to grant divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, saying that there was no merit in the case and that the plea was barred by law.

Upholding the impugned family court order of February 24 this year, justices A R Joshi and Vijaya Tahilramani held that the appellant had taken too long to realise that his marriage to the respondent be declared null and void as they belonged to different religions.

“The appellant has admitted that he got married to the respondent in 1999. The petition was filed before the Family Court in 2011. There was a delay of 12 years (now 15 years) and a baby boy was born to the couple in 2001. No reason is pointed out to show what compelled the appellant to suddenly realise that he belonged to a different religion and hence the marriage should be declared a nullity,” the judges said.

“This shows that the appellant is taking advantage of his own wrong,” the bench remarked.

The bench said the appellant had come up with a very strange case. According to him, he is a ‘Parsi’ by birth and continues to profess his faith in the same religion. However, petition was filed by him before the Family Court under the Hindu Marriage Act.

The Bench held that the provisions of Hindu Marriage Act can be availed and are applicable when both spouses are Hindus and it does not apply to any person who is a Parsi, Jew, Christian or Muslim. “The appellant is a Parsi, so he cannot avail of the provisions of this Act,” the Judges ruled.

“It is also necessary under the Act that at the time of filing of petition, both the spouses are Hindu by religion. If one of the party to such marriage is not a Hindu, the provisions of Hindu Marriage Act cannot be invoked to seek remedy,” the bench held.

HC lowers monthly maintenance by Rs 30,000 in divorce case

The Bombay High Court has modified a family court order by bringing down the monthly maintenance allowance from Rs 50,000 to Rs 20,000 payable by an army colonel to his divorced wife, who is a dentist by profession.

A bench of justices A R Joshi and Vijaya Tahilramani recently ordered Col Joseph Philip to pay Rs 20,000 per month to his divorced wife Ritu from June 21, 2012 to November 21, 2014, within a period of six weeks.

The court also asked him to continue paying Rs 20,000 per month to Ritu even after November 21.The couple had married at Hisar in Haryana on August 30, 1990, and were blessed with a daughter two years later.

 

The bench was hearing an appeal filed by Col Philip against the impugned order of the family court which granted a divorce decree to the couple but ordered maintenance of Rs 50,000. The husband filed an appeal challenging maintenance.

The Mumbai family court had ordered Col Philip to pay Rs 50,000 per month to his estranged wife after going through his salary slips. However, the high court brought it down to Rs 20,000, observing that the maintenance was exorbitant.

“Taking an overall view of the facts and circumstances, we are of the opinion that the amount of maintenance granted by the Family Court in the sum of Rs 50,000 per month is exorbitant and needs to be reduced to Rs 20,000 per month,” said the bench in its order on October 21.

The court noted that the appellant’s 22-year-old daughter was undergoing a veterinary science course in Nagpur for which he was spending money on her hostel accommodation and studies. And this, he did, despite his daughter having an independent source of income from a family business of her maternal uncle. Hence, the daughter was not dependent on Ritu.

The court noted that Ritu was a dentist and also earned some amount out of a trust she ran in the name of ‘Highways Infinite Public Trust’.

Besides, she had a flat and car in her name. The flat was purchased for Rs 15 lakh and half of this amount was contributed by her husband. She also had bought a land in 2008 and sold it for Rs 2.52 lakh, the judges observed while disposing of Col Philip’s appeal.