Uttarakhand High Court, directed the state government to set SIT in all district to probe minors’ rape, murder

NAINITAL: Nainital High Court has ordered the state government to constitute SIT in every district in the next 48 hours to investigate the incidents of rape and murder that took place with minor girls. Concerned over rising crime against children, the division bench of Acting Chief Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Manoj Tiwari ordered yesterday setting up of SITs in all districts to investigate such cases against minor girls.

The court said that at the district level, SIT will include Senior Superintendent of Police or Superintendent of Police, Additional Superintendent of Police or Circle Officer or Inspector, Women Inspector, Psychologist or Counselor and Women Social Worker.

It said the SITs would not only be useful in speedy probe into the crime against children but would also help in preventing such crimes by being vigilant.

The High Court ordered that all such crimes would be investigated by the SIT.

Supreme Court Collegium defers decision on Justice Joseph’s elevation to supreme court

The Supreme Court Collegium today again deferred its decision on the issue of recommending Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph for elevation to the top court after it was returned by the Centre.

An supreme court official said that no decision has been taken as to when the recommendation will be sent to the Centre.

The Collegium comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and four senior most judges –justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph deliberated for more than an hour.

Official details on the outcome of the meeting were awaited. This was the Collegium’s second meeting in five days.

At its last meeting on May 11, the Collegium had agreed in principle to reiterate its recommendation for elevating Justice Joseph as a judge of the apex court, almost three weeks after it was returned by the Centre, but could not decide on a date.

It had then adopted a resolution which stated that there was a need for further discussion on the issue of sending the other names of judges to the Centre and had decided to meet again today.

“The Chief Justice and other members of the Collegium have, on principle, unanimously agreed that the recommendation for appointment of Justice K M Joseph, Chief Justice, Uttarakhand High Court (Parent High Court: Kerala)as a Judge of the Supreme Court should be reiterated.

“However, the said reiteration should also be accompanied by the recommendation of the names of Chief Justices of High Courts for elevation as Judges of the Supreme Court, for which detailed discussion is required,” the resolution of May 11 had said.

It had also decided to consider the names of other High Court Judges for elevation as Judges of the Supreme Court.

Official sources said those high court judges who are in the race to be elevated to the apex court are Chief Justice of Madras High Court Indira Banerjee, who is originally from the Calcutta HC, Gujarat HC Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy, whose parent cadre is Telangana and Andhra Pradesh HC, and Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, who is originally from Rajasthan HC.

The government had on April 26 returned the Collegium’s recommendation to elevate Justice Joseph seeking its reconsideration, saying the proposal was not in accordance with the top court’s parameters and there was adequate representation of Kerala in the higher judiciary from where he hails. It had also questioned his seniority for elevation as a judge of the supreme court.

The Collegium has recommended the name of Additional Judge Justice Ramchandra Singh Jhala to be appointed as a permanent judge of the Rajasthan High Court.

“Taking into consideration the material on record, the Collegium finds Justice Ramchandra Singh Jhala, Additional Judge, suitable for being appointed as Permanent Judge (of the Rajasthan High Court).

“In view of the above, the Collegium resolves to recommend, for the present, that Justice Ramchandra Singh Jhala, Additional Judge be appointed as Permanent Judge of the Rajasthan High Court against one of the existing vacancies,” its resolution said.

Govt asks Supreme Court collegium to reconsider recommendation on Joseph

The government on Thursday returned to the Supreme Court collegium its recommendation to elevate Justice KM Joseph to the supreme court and asked it to reconsider it, a move which may widen rift between the judiciary and the executive.

This comes a day after the government cleared the appointment of senior advocate Indu Malhotra as a judge of the Supreme Court and kept in abeyance a decision on Joseph, who heads the Uttarakhand High Court. Both the names were recommended by the collegium in January

In a ruling in 2016, Justice Joseph had cancelled President’s rule in the northern state of Uttarakhand and brought back the Congress government of Harish Rawat to power. The judgement was seen as major set back to the BJP-ruled government at the Centre

The government’s decision of not approving Joseph’s name has evoked sharp reactions with the Supreme Court Bar Association President terming it as “disturbing”

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra this morning requesting the collegium, a group of five senior-most judges that selects judges for the apex court, to reconsider its decision on recommending Justice Joseph to be a judge of the top court

Prasad also informed the CJI that senior advocate Malhotra has on Thursday been appointed a judge of the Supreme Court.

Uttrakhand HC for death sentence to those who rape minors

 The Uttarakhand High Court has suggested that the state government bring in a law which imposes death penalty for raping minors, so that it acts as a strong deterrent against such offences.

A division bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Alok Singh yesterday made the observation, while upholding the death sentence of a man, who was convicted by a lower court last year for raping and killing an eight-year-old in June 2016.

Citing steady rise in crime against children in recent years, the bench observed that it is the state government which can bring an appropriate legislation to impose death penalties on convicts, who are found guilty of raping minors aged 15 or below.

The high court underlined the need for a strong deterrent as it is coming across a number of cases, where the victims aged 15 or below are being raped and murdered.

It quoted a recent report by the National Crime Records Bureau titled ‘Crime Against Children (States & UTs)’, which said 676 such cases were registered in the state in 2016, compared to 635 in 2015 and 489 in 2014.

U’khand HC dismisses Roshan’s plea seeking stay on arrest

U'khand HC dismisses Roshan's plea seeking stay on arrest
U’khand HC dismisses Roshan’s plea seeking stay on arrest

The Uttarakhand High Court today dismissed a petition filed by filmmaker Rakesh Roshan, seeking a stay on his arrest in a case of alleged copyright violation.

Justice VK Bisht rejected his plea on the ground that a charge sheet had already been filed against him.

Dehradun-based novelist Rupnarayan Sonkar had filed a police complaint against the filmmaker last year, accusing him of copyright violation.

The complainant had alleged that the plot of the 2013 Bollywood film, ‘Krrish 3’, was based on his novel ‘Suardaan’.

Roshan had then filed a plea in the high court, seeking quashing of the FIR against him.

Sonkar’s lawyer H C Bisht said the novel was published in 2010 and hence, the case was filed against Roshan.

( Source – PTI )

Youth’s custodial death case: Uttarakhand HC serves notices to four cops

Youth's custodial death case: Uttarakhand HC serves notices to four cops
Youth’s custodial death case: Uttarakhand HC serves notices to four cops

The Uttarakhand High Court today issued notices to four policemen including the investigating officer probing the custodial death of a youth at Katoratal police chowki here.

Justice UC Dhyani issued notices to constables Pravin Kumar, Balwant Singh Bally, Virendra Bhatt and investigating officer Bipin Chandra Pant while hearing a petition filed by the father of the deceased Mohammad Yamin seeking a CBI probe into the incident and sealing of the spot where the boy allegedly hanged himself.

The matter will now come up for hearing after Holi.

Ziauddin had allegedly hanged himself at the police Chawki while being interrogated in connection with the alleged abduction of a minor girl.

However, his family had alleged, soon after the incident, that he had been tortured to death.

The police chawki staff had been suspended for dereliction of duty following the incident.

Advocate Manisha Bhandari argued before the court on behalf of the petitioner.

( Source – PTI )

N D Tiwari seeks extension of deadline to vacate premises

N D Tiwari seeks extension of deadline to vacate premises
N D Tiwari seeks extension of deadline to vacate premises

Former chief minister N D Tiwari today sought an extension of the deadline set by Uttarakhand High Court to vacate the official bungalow allotted to him, saying he cannot shift out due to infirmities of old age and prevailing cold.

The nonagenarian leader filed an application through his counsel Aditya Kumar Arya in the high court seeking extension of the court’s deadline for vacating the premises which expires today.

Due to infirmities induced by old age and the winter season, he was unable to shift elsewhere, the veteran leader said in his application.

Tiwari had given a written undertaking to the court in December last year, saying he will vacate the premises allotted to him on FRI campus, Kaulagarh Road, Dehradun by February 15.

However, terming it as “evasive tactics”, petitioner Avdhash Kaushal said he will approach the court when it reopens on Thursday demanding rejection of Tiwari’s application for extension.

Petitioner’s lawyer Kartikey Hari Gupta said the former chief minister is violating his own written undertaking and that too on expiry of the deadline set by the court for vacating the bungalow.

Tiwari is the lone former CM who is yet to vacate the premises allotted to him.

Rest of the former CMs made respondents in the case have already vacated their bungalows.

( Source – PTI )

Uttarakhand HC notice to Uttarakhand CM’s media advisor

Uttarakhand HC notice to Uttarakhand CM's media advisor
Uttarakhand HC notice to Uttarakhand CM’s media advisor

Uttarakhand High Court has sent a notice to Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s advisor on a petition of former Congress MLA Rekha Arya alleging threat to her life and that of her husband from Rawat and others.

A division bench of the high court comprising justices KM Joseph and Alok Singh sent the notice to the CM’s media advisor Surendra Kumar yesterday asking him to file his response within two weeks.

In her writ petition, Arya had made a plea for security for herself and her husband citing threat to their lives from the CM and others.

Formerly a Congress MLA from Jageshwar, Arya had cross voted against Harish Rawat during the floor test in the state Assembly and subsequently joined the BJP prompting Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal to disqualify her under the anti- defection law.

( Source – PTI )

HC quashes govt order on appointment of guest teachers

HC quashes govt order on appointment of guest teachers
HC quashes govt order on appointment of guest teachers

The Uttarakhand High Court today quashed a Government Order which had paved the way for appointment of 6,214 guest teachers in government intermediate colleges across the state.

Quashing the May 25 order, Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia observed it was violative of the right to equality.

However, the court permitted the state government to continue with makeshift appointments up to March 31, 2017, making it clear that such appointments cannot be made after the end of the ongoing financial year.

It directed the state government to initiate regular selection process for supplementing the vacant posts in the cadre of assistant teachers and lecturers in government secondary schools.

The high court’s order came on a writ petition filed by Alok Parmar and others who contended that via the GO dated May 25, 2016 the government provided for appointment of guest teachers on regular vacancies which was contrary to service rules.

They contended that 6,214 guest teachers were being given preference over lakhs of unemployed B.Ed, post graduate teachers in the state who were both eligible and available.

(Source : PTI)

Activist moves Ukhand HC over eviction of former CMs frm govt bungalows

Activist moves Ukhand HC over eviction of former CMs frm govt bungalows
Activist moves Ukhand HC over eviction of former CMs frm govt bungalows

Human rights activist Avdhesh Kaushal today filed an affidavit in Uttarakhand High Court for early hearing and disposal of his petition seeking eviction of five former CMs of the state occupying government bungalows here.

“I have filed an affidavit in the High Court through my counsel seeking early hearing and disposal of my petition seeking a direction from the court to five former CMs of Uttarakhand who occupy huge government bungalows in Dehradun despite owning houses of their own in the city and elsewhere including Lucknow and Delhi,” Kaushal, who runs an NGO named Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK), told PTI.

“It is a drain on the state exchequer as former chief ministers have been occupying these accommodations free of cost for years despite demitting their offices besides enjoying other facilities,” he said.

The activist said it was hard to accept this at a time when important constitutional offices like the State Human Rights Commission office was housed in a rented accommodation in the city for which it has to pay a monthly rent of Rs 1.20 lakh.

The Supreme Court had recently directed former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh to vacate government bungalows occupied by them for years in Lucknow despite demitting office. The apex court had ruled that former Chief Ministers are not entitled for government accommodation for lifetime.

Former Uttarakhand CMs named in Kaushal’s petition are Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Vijay Bahuguna.

Citing the instances of N D Tiwari and Vijay Bahuguna, the activist said both of the leaders own big houses of their own in different cities.

“While Tiwari owns a house each in Dehradun, Lucknow and Delhi, Bahuguna owns six flats in Delhi as per an affidavit filed before the returning officer for 2012 state assembly elections,” he said.

The RLEK chief said he was hopeful of the Uttarakhand High Court endorsing the apex court’s judgment in this regard.

(Source : PTI)