The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to order CBI probe into Mathura violence in which 29 people, including two police officials, were killed during an eviction drive to remove about 3,000 encroachers from a little known armed sect from Jawahar Bagh.
A bench of Justices PC Roy and Amitava Roy said that Allahabad HC was examining the issue of illegal encroachment of Jawahar Bagh and asked the petitioner to approach and convince HC for CBI probe in the case.
The incident took place on June 2 when the UP police stormed into Jawahar Bagh to remove the squatters who were illegally occupying the 280-acre government park for the last two years and had built a self-sustained unit inside, growing vegetables and even devising their own judicial system. The police took the action after the Allahabad High Court directed the government to remove the encroachers.
Seeking a CBI probe, the petitioner, advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, said that encroachers had a political backing and the state police would not be able to conduct free and fair probe in the case.
He told the bench that the head of the sect was very close to some of the politicians and Mathura administration was intentionally not taking action against them. He alleged that the police sprung into action only after the HC passed the order.
The National Green Tribunal has ordered re-inspection into the premises of beverages major Coca Cola’s Hapur plant in Uttar Pradesh to investigate whether it was discharging effluents into a nearby pond.
The green panel directed officials from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board to inspect the Hapur plant after going through the report of a court commissioner which found “openings” and “leakages” at few spots in the boundary wall of the plant.
“The Local Commissioner’s report brings forth certain facts with respect to openings in the side wall particularly as regards the recently closed and plastered openings in the side wall and leakages at few spots.
“This calls for further investigation to arrive at the necessary conclusions for resolution of present controversy.
We, therefore, direct that team of officials accompanied by Additional Director of CPCB shall visit factory premises, collect soil samples from five locations…,” a bench headed by Justice U D Salvi said.
On the last date of hearing, the tribunal had appointed an advocate as commissioner to inspect premises of the beverages major after a plea alleged that the plant was releasing untreated effluents into the pond situated on the back side of the factory area-UPSIIDC Wide Park Land.
The green panel had directed Coca Cola to pay Rs 20,000 as fees to the Court Commissioner and asked him to videograph and take pictures of the work done and file his report.
The counsel appearing for Coca Cola had refuted the claims and asked the tribunal to appoint local commissioner to inspect the site in question and submit correct facts with regard to the boundary wall of the company.
The tribunal had issued notice to the company last year after finding “alarming facts” in an inspection report of Central Pollution Control Board.
The green panel had also directed Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd (HCCBPL) to submit a drainage map of its plant in Hapur district giving details of sewage and trade effluents generated from the factory.
The Tribunal was hearing a plea by one Sanjay Kumar seeking restraint on the alleged illegal discharge of untreated waste water into the pond situated behind the Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd’s plant in Hapur.
In a major action, 15 judicial officers in Uttar Pradesh have been punished with compulsory retirement by theAllahabad High Court for “doubtful integrity”, “negligence” and “poor performance”.
The decision was taken at a “Full Court” meeting presided by Chief Justice of the High Court D Y Chandrachud held in Lucknow on April 14, S K Singh, the Registrar General of the High Court, said.
12 Additional District Judges (ADJs) and three Additional Chief Judicial Magistrates (ACJMs) were “divested of their charges and stopped from functioning on their respective posts” with immediate effect while a communique to this effect was sent to the state government, he said.
A 10 per cent curtailment in the pension of a retired officer Ashok Kumar Saxena, against whom there were serious complaints, has also been announced, the registrar said.
The ADJs – who were posted in different districts of the state and have been given compulsory retirement are – Shaileshwar Nath Singh, Bans Raj, Ram Murti Yadav, Dhruv Raj, Jagdish, Naresh, V P Kandpal, A K Ganesh, Arvind Kumar, Avinash Chandra, A K Dwivedi and M M Khan while the three ACJMs are Kishore Kumar, S S Singh and Shyam Shankar.
Two brothers have been sentenced to life by a court here for killing their sibling more than 10 years ago.
Additional District Judge Of Mathura I D Dubey has sentenced to life Ashfaq and Azad for killing their brother Istakhar Khan in 2006 in Toly Mohalla of Naujhil town of the district, government counsel Virendra Lavania said today.
Besides Ashfaq and Azad, their brother-in-law Naseer was also awarded the same sentence.
In his order on Friday, the judge also slapped fine of Rs 20,000 each on the three convicts.
Istakhar was killed on January 10, 2006 when he was returning home with his daughter Ajum at about 10.00 AM.
The Allahabad High Court today issued contempt notice to the Principal Secretary (Home) of Uttar Pradesh, Debashish Panda, for allegedly not complying with the directions of the court to provide documents to suspended IPS officer Amitabh Thakur about departmental inquiry against the latter.
Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya gave this order on a contempt petition filed by Thakur alleging non-compliance of an earlier order of the court.
Thakur said that the court had directed the state government on January 13 this year to provide all departmental inquiry-related documents to him within four weeks but instead of providing them, the state government filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court which was dismissed on March 14.
After this, he filed this contempt petition in which the court passed today’s order.
The Supreme Court today reserved verdict on pleas seeking recall of its order appointing Justice Virendra Singh, a former judge of Allahabad High Court, as the Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh, saying it has been “misled” on the issue.
The controversy surrounding Justice Singh, appointed by the apex court as Lokayukta on the ground that the selection panel of the Chief Minister, the Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of the High Court did not appoint anybody in last 20 months despite its orders, took the centre stage in the proceedings.
“Certainly not,” the bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoisaid when senior advocate T R Andhyarujina submitted as to whether Justice Singh would have been appointed by it if the state had apprised the court about the reservations of the High Court Chief Justice against him.
Andhyarujina said, “the Chief Justice suspected the integrity of Justice (Virendra) Singh” and it was agreed to by the Chief Minister and the Leader of Opposition that his name will be dropped, but still his name was given to this court.
“They have misled us. We will deal with them,” the bench said, adding that still, it will not send the issue of appointment back to the collegium.
“There is no question of primacy of views of the Chief Justice. The Chief Minister, the Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice did not do anything for 20 months…Whatever is appropriate, we will do. Leave it to us,” the bench said.
“We will respect the opinion of the Chief Justice of the High Court. Give us the material. They did not do anything for 20 months.
“The moment we appointed somebody, all hell broke loose. The unfortunate part of this is that all the parties did not act…We are used to being blamed. Blame us. We don’t bother about all this,” the bench said, adding that the selection panel did not “respect” the orders leading to a “painful” situation.
At the outset, the bench, which also comprised Justice Prafulla C Pant, made clear that it is not going to vacate its order appointing Justice Singh as Lokayukta till there were compelling circumstances to do so.
“Unless there are compelling reasons, shocking our conscience, we will not vacate our order,” it said.
The bench said it passed the order under Article 142 of
the Constitution as the authorities did not act and sought materials on the allegations against Justice Singh, saying one cannot question the integrity of a person without any proof.
The court also said that though it does “sit in appeal” on the satisfaction of the HC Chief Justice, but there has to be some material.
“What are the specific objections of the Chief Justice to the name of Justice Singh? Can you give us the material,” it asked, adding that the bench took out the names from the list provided by the state and it could have been anybody.
“This was incumbent upon the state to tell this court that his name was dropped and there was no consensus on his name,” Andhyarujina said.
Prashant Bhushan, appearing for one of the petitioners, said there have been misrepresentation and there have been complaints made to the Governor against the person.
“The court has been misled/persuaded by the state government into appointing Justice Virendra Singh,” he said.
The apex court had on December 16 last year exercised its constitutional authority and appointed Justice Singh as Lokayukta, saying the constitutional functionaries– the Chief Minister, the leader of opposition and the Allahabad High Court Chief Justice — had failed to comply with its orders by not appointing the chief of the state’s anti-graft ombudsman.
During the winter vacation, the Supreme Court had heard a fresh plea filed by one Sachidanand Gupta who had alleged that the SP government had “concealed facts” about Justice Singh and “played fraud” upon the apex court.
The state government had also told the court that it will not go ahead with the oath ceremony of Justice Singh as Lokayukta till the apex court had heard the plea.
The court had taken note of the fresh plea which alleged that immediately after the appointment, the HC Chief Justice had written a letter to Governor Ram Naik expressing his displeasure with the state government for not disclosing the facts that he had some reservations on Singh’s name.
The plea had sought quashing of the December 18 order of the UP government appointing Justice Singh as Lokayukta.
In an embarrassment for the SP government in Uttar Pradesh, the bench examined a list of nominees and ordered the appointment.
“The failure of constitutional functionaries to comply with the orders of the highest court of the land is deeply regretted and astonishing,” a bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, adding, “We, therefore, proceed to exercise our right under Article 142 of the Constitution to remedy the situation by passing an appropriate order.”
The court said that it appoints Justice Singh as Lokayukta and asked the state government to file a report by December 20 indicating compliance of its order.
The bench regretted that its several orders have not been “heeded” by the constitutional functionaries — the chief minister, the leader of opposition and the chief justice of the Allahabad high court.
In the forenoon, the bench took strong note of the submission of senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the state government, that though it had shortlisted five names but no consensus has been arrived at on a specific person.
The bench then asked Sibal to provide the names by 12.30 PM today itself and said, “we know how to get our orders complied with”.
The law provides that a high-powered committee of the chief minister, the leader of opposition and the chief justice of the concerned high court together appoints the chief of the state ombudsman.
Earlier on December 14, the apex court had rapped the UP government for not appointing Lokayukta in the state despite its directions, saying it seemed that appointing authorities have their “own agenda”.
The bench was hearing the pleas filed by Mahendra Kumar Jain and lawyer Radhakant Tripathi seeking a direction to the state to appoint the Lokayukta at the earliest in pursuance of the Supreme Court orders.
A Muzaffarnagar court has rejected a plea of Uttar Pradesh government to withdraw a nine-year-old criminal case against Samajwadi Party’s district president Rashid Siddiquiand a few others for their alleged involvement in a clash during the 2006 local body polls.
The court has again issued a non-bailable warrants against Siddiqui.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Sunder Lal rejected the plea filed by the prosecuting officer seeking withdrawl of the case against Siddiqui and others, and ruled that the application to withdraw the case was not maintainable when the accused have not appeared in court despite being issued warrants.
The court also issued a non-bailable warrant against Siddiqui’s nephew Zaffer Iqbal and asked the police to produce them before it on December 19. A non-bailable warrant was also earlier issued against Siddiqui and Iqbal in this connection.
According to prosecution sources, police had filed a chargesheet against four accused– Siddiqui, Iqbal and two others, under several sections of the IPC in connection with the clash that occurred in 2006 during the then local body elections.