Coalgate: CBI files closure report in case against K M Birla

k m birlaIn a reprieve to top industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and others, who were named as accused in its FIR in one of the coal blocks allocation scam cases, CBI has filed a closure report in a special court here.

In this case,CBI has told the court it will file some documents related to the case before it after which special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar fixed the closure report for consideration on September one. The closure report was filed in the court on Thursday.

The FIR against Birla and former Coal secretary P C Parakh was registered in October last year by CBI which had alleged that Parakh had reversed his decision to reject coal block allocation to Hindalco within months “without any valid basis or change in circumstances” and shown “undue favours”.

(Source: PTI)

JK Govt official sent to jailed for 3 yrs for taking bribe

justiceA special anti-corruption court in Jammu & Kashmir on Friday convicted a government official for taking bribe and awarded him three years’ imprisonment.

The court of additional special judge anti-corruption J&K convicted the then ‘naazir’ (revenue official) in Handwara Tehsil office of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, a spokesman of the state vigilance organisation (SVO) said.

Mohammad Abdullah Geelani, a resident Laribal Handwara, was sentenced to undergo an imprisonment of three years and was also slapped with a fine of Rs 10,000 for the offence, the spokesman said.

He said in default of payment of fine, the accused shall undergo further imprisonment of six months.

Geelani was arrested by SVO in June 2006 while accepting a bribe of Rs 5,000 from a person in lieu of changing the mutation of his ancestral land, the spokesman said.

(Source: PTI)

Hold states’ meet on undertrial prisoners:SC toCentre

gggTerming as “serious” the issue of undertrials languishing in jails, the Supreme Court today asked the Centre to convene a meeting of home secretaries of all the states to find a solution to the problem.

“This is a very serious matter. There are over 31,000 Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Scheduled Caste (SC) undertrial prisoners. This is the obligation of states and every state has to take care of undertrial prisoners,” a bench comprising Chief Justice R M Lodha and justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman said.

The bench asked the Centre not to remain a “mute spectator” and rather act as a nodal agency. “You (Centre) act as a nodal agency. Talk to the states. You cannot remain as a mute spectator,” it said.

The bench then recorded the statement of Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for the Centre and directed that a meeting of home secretaries be held within six weeks for considering the issue of undertrial prisoners, including those from SC and ST communities.

“After the meeting, a report be filed within two weeks thereafter. It shall contain the status of undertrial prisoners as on March 31, 2014,” it said.

The bench, which has made all state government as parties, was hearing the PIL filed by Jinendra Jain on behalf of society ‘Fight For Human Rights’ alleging that thousands of tribals were languishing in various central jails without any trial in Naxal-affected states like Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

Advocate K R Chitra, appearing for the society, had said the Centre and the states be asked to respond as the issue was related to the fundamental rights of the underprivileged sections.

Adivasi undertrials are languishing in various jails for a very long period without any trial and as a result, unrest and hostilities are prevailing in tribal areas of the country, she had said.

“Often, the undertrials are not informed about the grounds of their arrests,” the PIL said. They are not even duly represented by lawyers of their choice as there are very few interpretors available in courts who can speak Adivasi languages like ‘Gondi’ and ‘Halbi’, it said.

The PIL said, “Adivasi undertrials speak only Adivasi language and there are no sufficient number of interpreters/translators available in courts, hence they are deprived of their fundamental right of fair trials as they are unable to explain the real facts and circumstances to the judicial officers.”

The undertrials, arrested mostly in Naxal-violence related cases, are lodged in distant central jails and hence deprived of “their rights to meet their relatives”, it said.

The PIL also sought a direction to the Centre and the states to “initiate urgent concrete action and also appoint a special commission of eminent jurists” to oversee dedicated fast track courts to hear their cases.

(Source: PTI)

Judge complaint: SC stays MP HC panel proceedings

supreme courtThe Supreme Court today stayed the proceedings of a judicial panel set up to probe sexual harassment allegations levelled by a former woman Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) against a Madhya Pradesh High Court judge after she raised apprehension over getting justice from it.

Issuing notice to the High Court judge, a bench headed by Justice JS Khehar also sought responses from the Secretary General of the Supreme Court and Registrar General of the High Court on her plea to scrap the existing panel and constitute a fresh committtee including two Chief Justices from other High Courts.

“In the meantime, proceedings in furtherance of the order dated August 8, 2014 (of MP Chief Justice)shall remain stayed,” the bench said in its order after a brief hearing.

The former Gwalior judge, who had resigned alleging sexual harassment by the HC judge, had moved the apex court raising questions over the judicial panel to look into her complaint.

In her plea, she has said that her resignation is a “constructive termination” and she be reinstated with all consequential benefits.

She said the HC order of August 8 constituting a judicial panel should be quashed as she felt it will not do justice to her.

“Chief Justice of India in his administrative capacity constitute a committee comprising two Chief Justices from outside the High Court of Madhya Pradesh and another High Court judge and also an external non-judicial member to enquire into her complaint,” the petition said.

She had earlier also raised objections to the inclusion of a MP High Court judge in the committee set up to go into her complaint.

She had said the judge, who had harassed her sexually, was still discharging judicial and administrative functions over the staff who were working with her and have witnessed her victimisation.

The Gwalior judge had also objected to the summons being sent to her husband and daughter to be present at the enquiry.

(Source: PTI)

Tatra deal case: Court summons Tejinder Singh

Tatra deal caseTaking cognisance of CBI’s chargesheet, a special court on Thursday summoned Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh on September 1 for allegedly offering Rs. 14 crore bribe to then Army Chief Gen VK Singh for clearing file pertaining to procurement of 1,676 heavy mobility Tatra vehicles.

Special CBI judge Madhu Jain took cognisance of the charge sheet and relied upon statements of former defence minister AK Antony, VK Singh and other witnesses whose testimonies were recorded by the agency during the probe.

“I have gone through charge sheet and statements of Gen (retd) VK Singh, Major Gen JP Singh the then military assistant of the COAS, AK Antony the then defence minister to and other witnesses, published Rajya Sabha debate dated March 27, 2012 in which Antony has stated in the upper house that Gen VK Singh had informed him about the bribe offered by Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh and other relevant documents.

“On the basis of material on record, there is sufficient ground to take cognisance of offence under section 12 (abetment of offence) of Prevention of Corruption Act… though offence under section 7 (public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act) of PC Act was not committed in consequence of the said abetment and I accordingly take cognisance under section 12 of PC Act,” the judge said, while summoning Tejinder Singh as an accused on September 1.

During the arguments on consideration of the charge sheet, senior public prosecutor VK Sharma had told the court that there was sufficient evidence to take cognisance and summoned the accused.

The CBI in its charge sheet had alleged that in the month of August-September 2010, the file pertaining to procurement of 1,676 Tatra vehicles was pending before VK Singh, who is now a minister of state of external affairs and minister of state in-charge of department of Northeast region.

(Source: PTI)

Bags destroyed by rats during journey; Rlys to pay

bags destroyed by ratsIndian Railways has been held deficient by a consumer forum here which directed it to pay Rs 15,000 compensation to a retired serviceman, whose bags were damaged by rats in a train.

New Delhi consumer disputes redressal forum, presided by C K Chaturvedi, asked the Railways to pay the amount to Delhi resident R K Bansal.

“It has happened due to lack of proper maintenance of compartment due to loco shed staff where bogies are kept for cleaning and maintenance for further departure but they never bothered to care.

“Consequently such incident occurred which amounts to be deficiency on the part of Opposite Party (Railways) and lack of supervision of Railway authority,” the forum’s bench, also comprising its members S R Chaudhary and Ritu Garodia, said.

The forum said that Bansal “unnecessarily suffered loss during journey due to lack of proper maintenance and cleaning of compartment”.

“Thus, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Northern Railway, is held responsible due to lack of proper maintenance at local shed staff or supervision lacking at big junction where hundreds of trains leave every day for journey in which lakhs of people travel for various destinations,” the forum said.

Bansal had told the forum that he was travelling on October 8, 2013 by Kerala Express from New Delhi to Ernakulum.

During transit, his bag was damaged by rats in a running train and his clothes were torn into pieces.

Alleging negligence on the part of the competent Railway authority, he lodged a complaint with the forum seeking compensation of Rs 18,400 for damaged goods.


Terror accused Maulana Quavi gets bail from Gujarat HC

Maulana QuaviThe Gujarat High Court here today granted bail to terror accused Maulana Abdul Quavi, a Hyderabad based cleric who was arrested by Crime Branch on allegation of taking part in anti-national activities with the aide of Pakistan-based terrorist outfits.

A division bench of justices Anant S Dave and Moninder Pal granted bail to Quavi on a surety of Rs 50,000 and directed him to surrender his passport.
The court has also directed Quavi to appear before the Ahmedabad city Crime Branch office once a month.

Quavi had sought bail from the High Court last month in the alleged ‘2003 ISI conspiracy case’, after a special court under Prevention of Terrorism Activities Act (POTA) had rejected his plea in the same case.

The state agency, Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) had alleged that Quavi was involved in anti-national activities with the help of some of the Pakistan-based terror outfits along with Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI).

Additional principal judge Geeta Gopi of the Special POTA court had on July 2 rejected Quavi’s bail plea on the ground that he remained absconding for more than 11 years.

Quavi’s advocate M A Saiyed had submitted before the high court that as the probe agency DCB has filed the charge sheet in the case, there is no reason to keep him behind the bar.

He also submitted that the witness, who had named Quavi in the alleged case of terrorism, had later turned in court.

The state, on behalf of the probe agency DCB, on the other hand had submitted before the High Court that Quavi remained absconding for more than 11 years and was involved in hatching conspiracy against India and participated in anti-national activities.

The state submitted that a co-accused in the case has also named Quavi as the conspirator of waging war against the country.

Quavi, the founder of madrasa Jamia Ashraf-ul-Uloom in Hyderabad, was arrested from New Delhi airport on March 24 this year by a team of DCB. He has been named ‘wanted’ by DCB for last 11 years.

DCB has filed a charge sheet against Quavi last month saying that Quavi (58) allegedly took part in the proxy war with direct or indirect support of Pakistan’s ISI and other terror outfits like Lashkar-e-taiyaba (LeT) to avenge post-Godhra riots. It also alleged that Quavi has sent several Muslim youths to Pakistan based training camps run by LeT and Jaish- E-Mohammad to spread terror in India. Quavi is currently lodged in Sabarmati Central jail in Ahmedabad.

(Source: PTI)

HC dismisses Kingfisher Airlines appeal

Kingfisher AirlinesCalcutta High Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal by Kingfisher Airlines against a trial court order that chairman Vijay Mallya and board of directors may be represented by its law officers or company secretary on a showcause notice by United Bank of India (UBI) for alleged wilful default on payment of dues of Rs 400 crore. A Bench of Jayanta Biswas and Iswar Chandra Das upheld an order of judge Dipankar Dutta, who had, on July 10, directed the UBI authorities to give a 72-hour notice to Kingfisher for fixing a date for the meeting.

Justice Dutta directed that the company’s law officers or the company secretary may appear before the bank authorities on Mallya and other board members’ behalf while dismissed the petition of Kingfisher Airlines challenging a communication by UBI that asked Mallya and other board members to meet the bank officials for alleged wilful default on payment of dues.

The airline authorities had in the petition prayed for withdrawal of the notice of wilful default by UBI and that they be allowed a personal hearing along with legal representative on the issue.

They claimed that the bank authorities have refused to allow any legal representative, which would mean a practising lawyer, to accompany Mallya or his board members for the meeting, which was scheduled to be held at the UBI headquarters here on July nine.

They submitted that the bank cited the Master Circular of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which has not kept any provision for such representation.

The counsels had claimed that as there was no provision it was the discretion of the bank concerned, but UBI disallowed its contention without citing any reason.

The counsels for UBI had stated that a credit limit of Rs 398.22 crore was sanctioned to Kingfisher Airlines, Bangalore, by the bank.

They alleged that repayment was defaulted and funds were diverted.

It was claimed that a consortium of banks with the lead bank being the State Bank of India had extended loans to Kingfisher. UBI was part of the consortium.

(Source: PTI)

Samjhauta blast: Aseemanand granted bail

AseemanandSwami Aseemanand, one of the accused in the Samjhauta Express blast case, was on Thursday granted bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. A division bench comprising Justice SS Saron and Justice Liza Gill passed the orders on the application moved by the accused saint.

Aseemanand was arrested by NIA on December 26, 2012 in a case which was registered on July 26, 2007, following a blast in the Samjhauta Express near Panipat.

Swami Aseemanand and three co-accused for their alleged involvement in the Samjhauta Express train blast in 2007 were charged with murder and sedition.

The charges were framed under Section 120-B (conspiracy), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 124-A (sedition), 438 (punishment for mischief with intent to destroy a decked vessel with explosive substance) and 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death), of the IPC.

Sections under which charges were framed include Section 151 (destruction of certain railway properties), 153 (endangering safety of persons traveling by railway by willful act) of the Railways Act, Section 3 (punishment for causing explosion likely to endanger life or property) and 4 (punishment for attempt to cause explosion or keeping explosive with intent to endanger life or property) of the Explosive Substances Act.
(Source: PTI)

Herald case:Court to hear matter against Sonia, Rahul on Dec 9

sonia-rahulA Delhi court on Thursday fixed December 9 for hearing the complaint case, in which it had issued summons against Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others, on the issue of acquisition of National Herald daily.

Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha postponed the matter after the counsel appearing for Sonia Gandhi and others informed the court that Delhi High Court had stayed the criminal proceedings pending before the trial court till September 3.

The complaint case in the matter was filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.

During the hearing, Swamy informed the court that he had served the summon issued against accused Sam Pitroda, who according to him is presently residing in the USA.

He also told the court that the high court had stayed the proceedings before the trial court for other accused and not for Pitroda.

“The stay is for other accused and not for Pitroda. I have served the summon to him,” he told the court.

Senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, who appeared for Sonia, Rahul and others, countered Swamy’s submissions saying the summon has to be served through the Ministry of Home Affairs.

During the hearing, the court asked Swamy, “Is there any other way to serve the summon?”.

It, however, said that it will hear the arguments on this aspect on the next date of hearing.

Swamy had earlier requested the court to hand over the summons issued against Pitroda to him so that he could serve it on him.

In a reprieve for Sonia, Rahul and others, the high court had earlier stayed the criminal proceedings pending before the trial court against them.

The Congress leaders have challenged the lower court’s summoning orders against them on a complaint of Swamy alleging cheating and misappropriation of funds in the acquisition of the daily by Young Indian(YI).

The stay from the high court had come as a relief to Sonia, Rahul and others including Congress treasurer Moti Lal Vora, General Secretary Oscar Fernandes and Suman Dubey who were summoned as accused by the trial court.

Pitroda is the only accused who, so far, has not moved the high court.

While summoning the accused in the case, the trial court had held that Swamy has established a prima facie case of cheating, misappropriation of funds and criminal breach of trust against them.

Swamy had accused Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh by which YI obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore which the Associated Journals Limited had owed to the Congress party.

The accused persons were summoned under sections 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property, 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) read with section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

(Source: PTI)