Bombay HC declines to hear PIL against Maratha reservation

Bombay HC declines to hear PIL against Maratha reservation
Bombay HC declines to hear PIL against Maratha reservation

The Bombay High Court today refused to hear a petition against the decision of the Maharashtra government to provide 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community in jobs and educational institutions.

“Not before me,” said Justice V M Kanade sitting in a division bench with Justice Swapna Joshi when the PIL, filed by the activist Ketan Tirodkar, and an application filed by Vinod Patil seeking expeditious hearing, came up.

Justice Kanade did not give any reason for recusing himself.

In December 2014, the HC had stayed the decision to grant reservation in response to PILs filed by Tirodkar and others.

The stay is still in operation.

Tirodkar’s PIL contended that the decision to term the Maratha community as socially and educationally backward is a “fraud” committed upon the country and its Constitution.

The Congress-NCP government in 2014 had announced reservation for Marathas, a politically dominant community.

It had also provided five per cent reservations for Muslims.

The PIL has only challenged the reservation for Marathas.

75 per cent or more land in the state is owned by the Maratha community and between 1962 and 2004, over 1200 out of the over 2000 MLAs were Marathas, and more than 72 per cent of the cooperative institutions are controlled by the people belonging to the community, it said.

( Source – PTI )

Patna HC dismisses PIL for spl pkg of Rs 1.25 lakh cr

Patna HC dismisses PIL for spl pkg of Rs 1.25 lakh cr
Patna HC dismisses PIL for spl pkg of Rs 1.25 lakh cr

The Patna high court today dismissed a PIL seeking its direction to the central government for implementation of the special package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore for Bihar which was announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during last Assembly polls.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Iqbal Ahmad Ansari and Justice Anjan Mishra dismissed the PIL filed by advocate Anil Kumar Mukund who sought direction for implementation of special package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore for Bihar.

The bench said that it could not pass such an order and the petitioner could approach other forum for redressal of grievances.

The court dismissed the PIL after hearing both the counsel for the central and the state governments, besides that of the petitioner.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a special package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore for Bihar at a public meeting at Ara in the run-up to the Assembly polls in the state last year.

( Source – PTI )

PIL says only 1 lab in Mumbai for swine flu test; HC tells Maha to set up more

PIL says only 1 lab in Mumbai for swine flu test; HC tells Maha to set up more
PIL says only 1 lab in Mumbai for swine flu test; HC tells Maha to set up more

Hearing a PIL that claimed there is only one laboratory for testing swine flu in the city, the Bombay High Court has asked Maharashtra government to inform how many such labs exist in the state and take steps to increase such facilities all over.

The Public Interest Litigation claimed that there was only one laboratory in Mumbai to test for swine flu and samples were being sent here from various parts of the state.

Such labs should be set up in every district all over the state to test H1N1 samples as part of the measures to control the spread of the disease, the PIL, filed by advocate Datta Mane, contended.

Currently, there are very few labs in the state, the petition claimed.

A bench of Justices V M Kanade and Swapna Joshi, hearing the PIL recently, observed that it was the duty of the state to set up such labs, while directing the government to file a reply to the PIL on or before October 10.

The PIL referred to media reports saying the state government and local authorities were not serious about adopting steps to tackle swine flu and cure people of the dreaded disease.

The petitioner’s counsel, Pradeep Havnur, said there was only one lab in Mumbai and a few in some districts but these were not sufficient.

He claimed that due to lack of laboratories in the state, several people are succumbing to the dreaded disease because test facilities are not sufficiently available.

The division bench was of the view that the state government and the concerned authorities cannot ignore this and should take steps to set up labs to test for swine flu.

The matter has been posted for further hearing on October 10 when the state would file its response.

( Source – PTI )

PIL in HC against section in Continental Shelf Act

PIL in HC against section in Continental Shelf Act
PIL in HC against section in Continental Shelf Act

The Madras High Court today ordered notice to the Centre on a PIL challenging constitutional validity of a particular section in an act covering maritime offences that prescribes death penalty as the only punishment for certain offences.

Ordering notice to the Union Home and Law ministries, a bench comprising justices S.Nagamuthu and M V Muralidharan of the Madurai bench posted the PIL for hearing after two weeks.

Petitioner R Rameez Ajmalkhan in his PIL challenged the Constitutional validity of Sec 3(1)(g)(I) of Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation Fixed Platform Continental Shelf Act 2002.

Stating that the act prescribed death penalty as the only punishment for offences that led to the death of a person, he contended that this was against Article 21 of the Constitution (Protection of life and personal liberty).

Whereas Sec 3(1)(a) to 3(1)(f) of the act listed out various offences that could be perpetrated against a ship, or maritime navigational facilities and prescribed different terms of imprisonment.

Hence, such a prescription (of capital punishment) without paving the way for judicial discretion to impose alternative or lesser punishment was against the Constitution, fundamental and human rights, the petitioner submitted.

The Indian Penal Code also prescribed death sentence for certain offences but gave discretion to the judge to impose lesser punishment.

Even the Supreme Court has ruled that death sentence should be imposed only in the rarest of rare cases, he pointed out.

( Source – PTI )

Concerned SC agrees to hear PIL on Kashmir separatists funding

Concerned SC agrees to hear PIL on Kashmir separatists funding
Concerned SC agrees to hear PIL on Kashmir separatists funding

The Supreme Court today said it “shares the same feelings” as a PIL, seeking to declare as “unconstitutional and illegal” the alleged release of government funds to Jammu and Kashmir-based separatists, as it agreed to hear the matter next week.

When a lawyer sought urgent hearing of his plea and alleged that the separatists “enjoyed” the exchequer’s money and promoted “anti-India activities” in the Valley, the apex court said “we also share the same feelings. Everybody sitting here feels the same.”

The bench comprising of Justices A R Dave and L Nageswara then said that the plea be listed for hearing on September 14.

The direction came after lawyer M L Sharma, who has filed the PIL in personal capacity, mentioned it in the court.

In his plea, he has also sought a CBI inquiry into alleged disbursement of government funds to the separatists.

“Declare the impugned release of fund from Consolidated Fund of India, without authority and valid permission for supporting separatist group for working against the country, as unconstitutional, illegal and amount to criminal breach of trust attracting section 409 of the IPC…,” the plea said.

The PIL, which has made Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Jammu and Kashmir government and CBI as parties, has also alleged that an offence of corruption for misusing of public office and funds has been made out in the case.

It has also sought a direction to the MHA and the state government asking them not to “release/provide” any fund either from “the Consolidated Fund of India or state treasury” under any “head or object”.

The plea has sought a direction to CBI to register an FIR against the “impugned release of fund from Consolidated Fund of India without authority and valid permission for supporting separatist group working against the country and to conduct investigation…and file the report before this court for further action”.

( Source – PTI )

PIL against Pokemon Go for ”hurting” religious sentiments

PIL against Pokemon Go for ''hurting'' religious sentiments
PIL against Pokemon Go for ”hurting” religious sentiments

PIL has been filed in the Gujarat High Court against developers of the location-based augmented reality game Pokemon Go, alleging it hurts religious sentiments of certain communities by showing eggs in places of worship.

Filed by Alay Anil Dave, the PIL is likely to be heard tomorrow by a division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Vipul Pancholi.

As per the plea, among other things, the image of eggs shown in the augmented reality game appear in places of worship of different religious groups.

The petitioner has said eggs are considered as non- vegetarian food, and it is blasphemous to carry non-vegetarian food inside a place of worship of Hindus and Jains.

“People playing the game get their points in the form of eggs which generally appear in the places of worship of different religious groups. To find eggs in temples of Hindus and Jains is blasphemous, and therefore my client has sought ban on the game from the country,” petitioner’s lawyer Nachiket Dave said.

Among other points raised against the game are that it infringes upon the privacy, and it poses threat of life and limbs to the players, who have to walk around to score a point.

San Francisco-based developer of the game, Niantic, Inc., and Central and state governments have been made the respondents.

( Source – PTI )

Dengue cases: PIL accuses govt of not being vigilant

Dengue cases: PIL accuses govt of not being vigilant
Dengue cases: PIL accuses govt of not being vigilant

A plea has been filed in the Delhi High Court accusing the AAP government and MCDs of not acting vigilantly and responsibly to control dengue, a mosquito-borne tropical disease.

The PIL was filed by an advocate in the wake of dengue deaths and cases in the national capital.

The plea, which is likely to be taken up for hearing next week, alleged that despite 320 cases of dengue reported this year, the authorities concerned have not been “rising up and taking measures to prevent the disease or mosquito breeding”.

“Delhi this year has been facing the worst dengue crisis in five years, as all the three civic bodies, particularly the South Delhi Municipal Corporation and Delhi government have failed to discharge their statutory duties, though it is their responsibility to take preventive measures to control this disease,” the plea filed by advocate Shahid Ali said.

The plea has not only sought direction to the Delhi government and statutory bodies to control the menace but also to initiate proper inquiry as to whether the government and statutory bodies could have controlled the menace and could have prevented the breeding of dengue mosquitoes.

The plea has also asked whether the Delhi government has released sufficient money to statutory bodies to take effective measures to tackle the menace and why sprinkling of medicines and fogging has not been done in unauthorized areas.

The petitioner said the disease claimed its first victim on July 21 when a girl from Jafrabad in northeast Delhi died at Lok Nayak Jay Prakash (LNJP) Hospital.

“Okhla MLA Amannatullah Khan’s sister-in-law died of dengue on August 12 at Apollo Hospital. A total of 91 cases were reported in July, six cases were recorded in May, while June witnessed 15. Thirty-four fresh cases were reported till August 20 since the last count and the total number of cases so far in the city is more than 320.

“Despite so many deaths, civic bodies have not been rising up and taking measures to prevent disease or breeding of mosquitoes and even safai karamcharis are rarely spotted in the areas like…because nearly 80 per cent of these areas are unauthorised,” the plea alleged.

( Source – PTI )

PIL for action against cow vigilantes for violent acts

cow vigilantesA petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking direction to the Centre and some states to take action against so-called cow vigilantes, who are allegedly spreading violence and committing atrocities against Dalits and minorities.

The PIL, filed by Congress activist Tehseen S Poonawalla, said the violence committed by these ‘Gau Raksha’ groups have reached to such proportions that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently declared them as people who are “destroying the society”.

It alleged these groups were committing atrocities against Dalits and minorities in the name of protection of cows and other bovines and they needed to be “regulated and banned in the interest of social harmony, public morality and law and order in the country”.

“The menace caused by the so-called cow protection groups is spreading fast to every nook and corner of the country and is creating disharmony among various communities and castes,” the petition said.

It also sought a direction to remove the alleged “violent content” uploaded on social media and hosted by the cow protection groups.

The plea sought to declare as “unconstitutional” section 12 of the Gujarat Animal Prevention Act, 1954, Section 13 of Maharashtra Animal Prevention Act, 1976, and Section 15 of Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964, which provide for protection of persons acting in good faith under the Act or rules.

“These laws and the protection granted therewith act as a catalyst to violence perpetrated by these vigilante groups,” it said.

The PIL has arrayed as parties Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, governments of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Jharkhand.

Seeking action against the vigilantes, the petition said the atrocities committed by them were punishable under various provisions of IPC and under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of atrocities) Act, 1989.

It alleged that in many cases, the police and other probe agencies were either “complicit in such illegal actions or have merely been mute spectators against such evil”.

The plea said the actions of these groups were in complete violation of Article 21 of the Constitution as it takes away the victims’ “Right to life and personal liberty”.

SC fines Rs 25K to Centre for not replying to PIL

SC fines Rs 25K to Centre for not replying to PIL
SC fines Rs 25K to Centre for not replying to PIL

The Supreme Court today came down heavily on the Centre and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on it for not replying to a plea seeking framing of guidelines for vehicles carrying protruding objects like iron rods and stationary ones which cause thousands of fatal mishaps across the country.

“Innocents are dying from haphazardly parked vehicles, protruding rods from trucks and for three years you did not change law or respond.

“Due to your indifference, thousands of people are losing their lives. How can you ask for more time? You have not filed counter affidavit for more than a year,” a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said observed while hearing a PIL filed by NGO Save Life Foundation.

Initially, the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and reacted sharply when the lawyer sought a lenient approach and more time.

“Is this a panchayat going on here? If you ask one more time then the cost would be Rs one lakh,” it responded, forcing Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to intervene to save the day for the lawyer representing the Centre in the case.

“Please grant one more opportunity,” Rohatgi pleaded.

The court then scaled down the fine to Rs 25,000 and granted four weeks time to the Centre to file the response.

“Despite final opportunity granted for the purpose in terms of our order dated October 30, 2015, the counsel appearing for Union of India has not chosen to file any counter affidavit. The Attorney General who appears today seeks one more opportunity to do the needful finally.

“Four weeks’ time is granted to the respondent – Union of India — for filing counter affidavit subject to the condition of payment of Rs 25,000 as costs to be deposited in the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Welfare Trust. Rejoinder affidavit, if any, be filed within one week thereafter,” it said.

At the outset, the Centre said that it has changed the law with regard to vehicles carrying protruding objects as they can only carry such objects protruding one metre more than the size of the vehicles.

“You are the biggest litigant on the planet and this is your conduct. You have not filed the reply for so many years,” the bench said, adding that the government, which does not respond, blames judiciary for the delay.

(Source : PTI)

HC seeks DJB’s action plan on sewage treatment

HC seeks DJB's action plan on sewage treatment
HC seeks DJB’s action plan on sewage treatment

Observing that the national capital could become a cess pool by the time all households in the city were connected to the sewage system, the Delhi High Court today directed DJB to get an overall perspective and come out with an action plan to address the issue of sewage treatment.

A bench of Justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul also expressed concern over the fact that more than 500 million gallons per day (MGD) of sewage was being dumped in river Yamuna as only about 400 MGD of the 900 MGD sewage generated by the city reached sewage treatment plants (STPs) which only have a capacity of 604 MGD as per DJB.

The observations came after Delhi Jal Board (DJB) told the court that only 55 per cent of the city had sewerage facility while the remaining 45 per cent will have to wait till 2031 to be connected to the sewage system.

“Delhi will be a cess pool by then (2031),” the bench said and asked what was happening in such areas where there was no sewer system.

The other questions raised by the court were how much sewage was generated by the city, how it would be treated, how much water would be generated after treatment, how much of the treated water would be reusable and potable, and what was the sewage treatment capacity of the city?

As DJB’s lawyers were unable to give “clear cut” answers to these queries, the court asked the civic body to either carry out a study “in-house” or if it lacks this capacity then to engage outside experts to conduct the survey to identify the problems and arrive at solutions so that an action plan can be formulated.

It directed DJB to submit a progress report on the next date of hearing on October 21.

The court was hearing a PIL, regarding functioning of Munak canal and water received from Haryana, in which on October 9 last year it had asked DJB and the Delhi government about steps taken towards recycling of water for drinking purposes.

(Source : PTI)