Supreme Court asks Rajasthan to file affidavit in a matter pertaining pollution from buses.

The Supreme Court today asked the Rajasthan government to file an affidavit within three weeks in a matter pertaining to pollution from buses operating to the state from Bikaner House near the India Gate here.

The apex court ordered that if the state does not file an affidavit in three weeks, all the buses originating from or terminating at Bikaner House here would be restrained from operating with effect from April 1 this year.

A bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta observed that notice was issued to the state earlier, but no advocate has appeared on behalf of Rajasthan for the hearing.

“Notice was issued to the state of Rajasthan and the standing counsel but despite service, no one has entered appearance. In any case, no one is present today,” the bench noted in its order.

“In view of the pollution in Delhi, we direct that in case the state of Rajasthan does not appear and file a counter affidavit within three weeks, all buses originating from or terminating at Bikaner House near India Gate, New Delhi are restrained from operating with effect from April 1, 2018,” the bench said in its order.

The apex court was hearing an application for restraining Rajasthan from running passenger buses from the Bikaner House here.

The bench, which fixed the case for hearing on March 26, directed that copy of its order be sent to standing counsel for the state for compliance.

The court is dealing a PIL filed in 1985 by environmentalist M C Mehta who had raised the issue of air pollution in the Delhi-national capital region (NCR).

SC asks CPCB, states to prepare plan to check pollution

SC asks CPCB, states to prepare plan to check pollution
SC asks CPCB, states to prepare plan to check pollution

The Supreme Court today asked CPCB, Delhi government, EPCA, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan to hold a meeting within two weeks and come out with a comprehensive plan to check pollution in the national capital.

A bench headed by Justice M B Lokur also asked the Centre to implement the ban in four weeks on furnace oil and Petcoke used by industries in the NCR region, terming it as a single biggest source of pollution in Delhi.

The bench also comprising Justice P C Pant also granted nod to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to withdraw Rs 2.50 crore from Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) fund created on direction of apex court.

The apex court directed CPCB that Rs 2.5 crore should be used for purchasing equipment for real time air quality monitoring stations being set up in Delhi and NCR.

It also directed Environment Pollution Control Authority to inspect the Pollution Under Check (PUC) centres in NCR region also.

( Source – PTI )

Ex-Raj minister Babulal Nagar acquitted of rape case

Ex-Raj minister Babulal Nagar acquitted of rape case
Ex-Raj minister Babulal Nagar acquitted of rape case

Former Rajasthan minister Babulal Nagar was today acquitted by a local court of the charge of raping a married woman on the pretext of providing her a government job after prosecution failed to prove the case against him beyond reasonable doubts.

Additional District Judge Prahlad Rai Sharma after hearing the prosecution and defence witnesses, said the prosecution failed to prove the case against him beyond reasonable doubts.

The former minister, who was arrested by the CBI in 2013, was brought to the court from jail under heavy security cover in the morning, but the judgement was pronounced in the afternoon.

Prosecution presented 19 witnesses whereas statements of 13 witnesses were taken from defence.

Hearing both the sides, the court had reserved its decision.

“Today, the court acquitted Nagar from rape charges,” Nagar’s counsel Purushottam Banwada told PTI.

Nagar, who was Dairy, Khadi and Rural industries in the erstwhile Congress government, was accused of inviting the victim to his official residence in Jaipur on the pretext of getting her a government job.

Later, the woman lodged a complaint at Sodala police station alleging that Nagar had raped her and threatened of dire consequences.

She approached the court, after the local police allegedly tried hushing up the matter.

An FIR was registered against Nagar on the court’s direction, and he was booked for allegedly raping and beating the woman.

Nagar was expelled from the cabinet.

The CBI investigated the case and arrested Nagar on October, 25, 2013.

Nagar had been lodged in Jaipur Central Jail since then and failed to secure a bail.

( Source – PTI )

5 of family awarded death penalty for killing 4 people

5 of family awarded death penalty for killing 4 people
5 of family awarded death penalty for killing 4 people

A man and his four sons were awarded capital punishment today by a court in Pali district of Rajasthan for killing four persons, including three of a family, over a land dispute dating back to 2009.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Sukesh Kumar Jain sentenced Shahabuddin, Shakur Khan, Kalu Khan, Usman Khan and Rahim Baksh — all residents of Indrikon ki Dani in Pali district — to death, after finding them guilty of attacking Sharif Mohammad, Babu Khan, Lal Mohammad and Shabir Mohammad with sharp weapons and sticks and then, killing them by pouring acid on them over a land dispute on July 19, 2009.

The accused were found guilty under IPC sections 302 (murder) and 149 (unlawful assembly).

The judge also slapped a fine of Rs 20,000 on the accused.

( Source – PTI )

Debate on practice of ‘santhara’ continues

Debate on practice of 'santhara' continues
Debate on practice of ‘santhara’ continues

The debate on ‘Santhara’, a Jain ritual of fasting unto death which was held illegal by the Rajasthan High Court, is far from over on the question of whether it is glorified suicide or a religious practice.

While ‘Santhara’ was held illegal in August last year by the High Court which made it punishable under section 306 (abetment of suicide) and 309 (attempted suicide) of IPC relating to abetment of suicide, some legal experts say the practice is a “humungous canvas” covering “two cosmologies (of life and death)” which required protection under the constitutional provision.

Within days of the High Court verdict, the Supreme Court had stayed the order after several religious bodies of the Jain community approached it claiming the Rajasthan HC had not appreciated the basic philosophy and tenets of the Jain religion.

The controversial issue was the topic of discussion at a recent seminar organised by Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) here in which MP and senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who professes Jainism, said Santhara is “indeed a humungous canvas”.

His views got the endorsement of Shiv Visvanathan, Vice Dean of JGLS, who said “the real basis of ‘Santhara’ is a meditation on two cosmologies” of life and death.

The High Court judgement was stayed by the Supreme Court and the matter is still sub judice, Khagesh Gautam, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at JGLS, vouched for protection of the practice under doctrine of essential practices under Article 25 of the Constitution on the grounds that it was an important aspect of Jainism.

“While this theme is very unusual, it is quite exciting and interesting, because it stands at the crossroads of so many diverse sub-themes. It stands at intersecting crossroads of law, religion, constitutional law and sociology. It is indeed a humungous canvas,” Singhvi, who has been appointed as adjunct professor of JGLS, said.

Terming Singhvi’s speech as incomplete, Visvanathan drew a sociological perspective on the practice and observed that “a cosmology of death and a cosmology of life; and the cosmology which puts, because of its philosophy of time, a continuity between death and life.

( Source – PTI )

Former HC official sent to jail for seeking sexual favour from lady doctor

Former HC official sent to jail for seeking sexual favour from lady doctor
Former HC official sent to jail for seeking sexual favour from lady doctor

A special anti-corruption coourt here sentenced a former Deputy Registrar of the Rajasthan high Court to four years imprisonment convicting him in a case against him for seeking sexual favours from a lady doctor.

While pronouncing the judgement convicting Govind Kalwani under different sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, judge Ram Suresh Prasad also ordered two separate penalties of Rs.2000 and Rs.5000.

According to the public prosecutor Barkat Ali, complainant doctor Sunita Malviya had complained against Kalwani on October 18, 202 that he came to her skin and hair surgery clinic and while talking to her about a pending case against her, he assured her of dismissal of the case.

“But he said to her that for this, she would have to either give money or spend a night with the justice hearing her case,” said Ali adding that Kalwani then asked her to spend a night with him first assuring her of keeping the matter completely secret.

Malviya then registered a complaint against Kalwani with ACB along with a complaint to the chief justice of the high court.

ACB, after completing the investigation, filed a charge sheet against Kalwani under the Act.

“Today, the court found him guilty and sentenced him to 4 years imprisonment, while sending him to judicial custody,” said Ali.

( Source – PTI )

SC stays HC decision declaring ‘santhara’ as illegal

SC stays HC decision declaring 'santhara' as illegal
SC stays HC decision declaring ‘santhara’ as illegal

The Supreme Court today stayed the operation of a Rajasthan High Court order terming as illegal the religious practice of “santhara”, a ritual of fasting until death prevalent among Jain community members.

“Issue notice. Leave granted,” a bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Amitava Roy said while staying the HC order and issuing notices to the Centre, Rajasthan and others.

The bench was hearing a batch of petitions filed by various religious bodies of Jain community members against the High Court order on santhara.

The pleas had sought a stay on the high court judgement, claiming it was passed without appreciating the basic philosophy and tenets of the Jain religion.

The Rajasthan High Court had on August 10 held ‘santhara’ as illegal making it punishable under section 306 and 309 of IPC related to abetment of suicide.

The petitions claimed that the high court erred in equating the religious practice with the offence of suicide.

The petition came in the backdrop of protests by the community in Rajasthan and some other states against the high court order.

Rape, murder of 4-yr-old girl: Convict moves SC

supreme courtThe Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear on Tuesday the appeal of a 48-year-old man awarded death penalty by the Rajasthan High Court for abducting, raping and killing his four-year-old neighbour at Sriganganagar in 2012.

Besides the convict, his juvenile son also took part in the offence of rape and murder of the minor.

“List it for hearing on Tuesday,” a bench of justices J S Kehar and C Nagappan said after the lawyer for the condemned convict Kalu Khan mentioned the plea seeking urgent hearing.

Khan moved the apex court against the April 4 verdict of the high court by which his appeal against the conviction and award of death penalty has been dismissed.

The high court allowed the state’s reference and confirmed the death penalty in the case.

The girl, whose parents had gone out, was lured by the convict on the promise of giving her some berry on the morning of May 3, 2012, the prosecution said.

Khan and his minor son raped the victim in turn and later, as her condition worsened, they killed her before burying her in a pit in their courtyard, it added.

Some witnesses had said that during the search, they found the juvenile son of the accused burying something in a pit and on being confronted, he panicked and that led to the recovery of victim’s body.

In the appeal, filed through lawyer Asha Jain Madan, the convict said that the courts below have failed to “appreciate that the entire prosecution case rests solely on circumstantial evidence which is wholly insufficient to base the conviction of the petitioner and that too for award of capital sentence”.

It also said that the prosecution’s story is “totally improbable” as the convict and his minor son cannot have done the “sinful” act together.

“The capital sentence at the age of 48 years with clean past, should not have been awarded as there was all possibility of reformation of the petitioner,” it said.

(Source: PTI)

Fast track courts for trial of atrocity on Dalits urged

National Commission for Scheduled Castes Vice-Chairman Rajkumar Verka told that “Trial of atrocity cases against Dalits should be conducted in fast track courts.”

“Cases of atrocities pending for five years should be moved to fast track courts. Atrocity cases are registered, but only five per cent reach a logical end,” According to the Verka.

Stating that such cases are rising in the country, he lamented that such cases have risen in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab.

Verka also expressed disappointment over sidelining of scheduled castes for posts of secretaries in the Union government. “There are around 500 secretaries (in the Union government), but not even a single is from the scheduled castes,” he said.

He stressed on imparting quality education to Dalits. “Quality education should be given to Dalits. They should be taught in convent schools, so that their development will take place,” he also said

Rajasthan: Right to Hearing from Aug 1

The Rajasthan government is set to implement Right to Hearing Act, which provides right of hearing to people on any grievance or complaint related to governance within stipulated time limits, from August 1.

 Functions would be organised at all the district headquarters where ministers in charge of districts will announce the launch. Right to Hearing Bill-2012 was passed in the Legislative Assembly during budget session this year.

 The government has issued directives to all the district collectors and other officers to ensure effective implementation of the Right to Hearing act. They have also been directed to read all the provisions carefully and function accordingly in order to redress grievances of people in a time-bound manner.