Govt doubles tax exemption limit to Rs 5 lakh

 In a major relief to the middle-class, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal Friday proposed to double the threshold tax exemption limit to Rs 5 lakh and increased the standard deduction to Rs 50,000 from Rs 40,000.

The proposal will benefit 3 crore middle-class tax payers, Goyal said while unveiling the Budget proposals for 2019-20.

Doubling the threshold exemption limit will increase the burden on the exchequer by Rs 18,500 crore.

If an individual invests in the specified tax saving schemes of the government, the effective tax-free income limit will be Rs 6.5 lakh a year, while it may go further up with additional avenues like NPS, medical insurance and home loan interest payment.

Court tells railways to pay Rs.5 lakh relief to Arunima

The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday directed the Indian Railways to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to national level volleyball player Arunima Sinha whose left leg had to be amputated after she was pushed off a running train last week, a lawyer said.

Arunima was pushed out of the general compartment of the Padmawati Express near Bareilly April 11 while resisting a chain-snatching attempt by some hoodlums while she was travelling from Lucknow to Delhi.

The court ordered the railways to pay the monetary assistance on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by lawyer Adarsh Mehrotra.

‘In the PIL filed Monday, I cited Arunima’s case and sought the court’s direction on ensuring safety and security of train passengers,’ Mehrotra told reporters here, sharing details about the relief ordered by the court.

‘I also stressed on the need of starting a helpline for redressal of emergent problems of the railway passengers,’ he added.

According to Mehrotra, the next hearing of the case would take place after two weeks.

Arunima, who is now in the orthopaedic department at AIIMS, was brought to the hospital’s Trauma Centre on Monday night after a serious infection was noticed in the amputated leg for which she underwent a second round of surgery at Lucknow’s prestigious King George’s Medical College — now renamed the Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University.

Jailed as juvenile, man awarded Rs.5 lakh compensation

 The Delhi High Court Friday directed the Delhi government to pay a compensation of Rs.5 lakh to a man who was jailed for eight years despite being a juvenile when he committed a murder.

According to law, juveniles cannot be punished for more than three years.

Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice G.P Mittal said: “In this case, the facts would reveal that the accused juvenile suffered incarceration for over eight years, nearly three times the maximum prescribed under the Act for sending a juvenile, found to have committed an offence, to a special home (which is three years)”.

The court passed the order on an appeal filed by Ramesh challenging a trial court order of 2004, which awarded life term to him and his friend for murdering his colleague.

“The report relied on by this court, which has not been challenged by the state, indicates that he was about 14-15 years as on the date of occurrence.”

“These facts reveal an extremely disturbing picture, pointing to wholesale violation of the procedure established by law, and illegal detention of Ramesh for 5 years. This failure was systemic, because neither the police nor the prosecution, nor the counsel or even the court, all of whom had sufficient opportunity to observe the accused, even thought it appropriate to consider, let alone explore the possibility of applying for determination of the age,” said Justice Bhat.

He observed that there is a clear violation of the right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Ramesh and Subash, who was 23, after consuming liquor, had banged their colleague Mukesh’s head against a bench Nov 11, 2001. They then strangulated him to death with a pipe.

The High Court held Subash guilty.

The bench said: “The appellant (Subash) has been rightly held guilty. We do not find error or infirmity in the trial court judgement and order impugned in this appeal, accordingly, Subash’s appeal is dismissed.”

“Unfortunately, Ramesh has already spent eight years in jail far excess of the maximum period of three years, that too could have been spent by him in a special home as per section 15 (1) (g) of the juvenile Act,” the verdict said.

The bench, putting a question to itself, said: “What do we do? Should we again send Ramesh to the juvenile justice board to be dealt with or shall we end the proceedings here.”

“We are of the opinion that it would be great injustice to direct Ramesh to face an inquiry again before the board,” said the bench.

The bench, putting a stay on all the proceedings against Ramesh, directed the concerned department to quash all criminal cases lodged against him.

“Having regard to all these circumstances, this court directs the Delhi government to pay Rs.5 lakh to Ramesh within eight weeks’ time,” said verdict said, adding that Delhi government shall file an affidavit indicating compliance with these direction within ten weeks.