Tuesday, August 17, 2010

क्या दहेज विरोधी कानून पुरुष विरोधी हैं? सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने माना है कि धारा 498A का दुरुपयोग हो रहा है और इस कानून पर दोबारा विचार किया जाए। sc on misuse of 498a misuse and amendments – ibn7 discussion – 17aug 2010

एजेंडा: क्या दहेज विरोधी कानून पुरुष विरोधी हैं?

सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने माना है कि धारा 498A का दुरुपयोग हो रहा है और इस कानून पर दोबारा विचार किया जाए।






it is available on http://khabar.ibnlive.in.com/videos/37960

Illegitimate children not entitled to ancestral property: Supreme Court

Illegitimate children not entitled to ancestral property: Supreme Court

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Supreme Court has ruled that children born out of a live-in relationship cannot inherit ancestral property, but only the self-acquired property of their parents.

"A child born of void or voidable marriage is notentitled to claim inheritance in ancestral copercenary property but is entitled only to claim share in self-acquired properties, if any," the apex court said in an order.

A bench of justices BS Chauhan and justice Swatanter Kumar passed the order while quashing a Madras high court judgement which took the view that children born out of live-in relationships were entitled to a share in ancestral property.

In the instant case, a dispute arose whether the two children of Rengammal born on account of a live-in relationship with a bachelor Muthu Reddiar were entitled to a share in the latter's ancestral property after his death.

"In the instant case, respondents (claimants) had not pleaded at any stage that the suit land was a self-acquired property of Muthu Reddiar," the apex court said.

"It is evident from the record that Mutthu Reddiar did not partition his joint family properties and died issueless/intestate in 1974. Therefore, the question of inheritance of coparcenary property by the illegitimate children, who were born out of the live-in relationship, could not arise," it said.

Muthu's relatives had contended that Rengammal was already married to one Alagarswami Reddiar and hence the purported live-in-relationship was void and neither she nor her children can stake claim for a share in the property.

A civil court and the first appellate court both ruled in favour of Muthu's relatives on the ground that Rengammal was already married to Alagarswami and hence her illegitimate children were not entitled to any share in ancestral property.

However, the high court took the view that mere live-in relationship between two parties would lead to presumption of marriage and decided the case in favour of Rangammal.

Interpreting the Hindu Marriage Act, the apex court said that Section 16 recognised the right of a child to inherit properties of their illegitimate parents, provided it was self-acquired.

"In view of the legal fiction contained in section 16, the illegitimate children for all practical purposes, including succession to the properties of their parents, have to be treated as legitimate.

"They cannot, however, succeed to the properties of any other relation on the basis of this rule, which in its operation is limited to the properties of the parents," the apex court said citing an earlier judgement in the PEK Kalliana Amma (1976) case.


'Get professional help to manage marital stress'

'Get professional help to manage marital stress'

Tuesday, Aug 17, 2010, 8:51 IST
By Soumita Majumdar

Is it quite natural to have violent thoughts against one’s spouse? Dr MJ Thomas, consultant psychiatrist and coordinator, department of psychiatry, Sagar Hospitals spoke to DNA about the rising instances of domestic violence and even murder of spouses, after the recent killing of a schoolteacher by her husband in the city.

Is it natural to have violent thoughts against one’s spouse? And are there ways in which these can be curtailed?
Yes, some people do get violent thoughts about their spouses, just as they get similar thoughts about anyone else. This kind of violence is contemplated when there are marital differences, and both partners think they are in the right. Violence could also be contemplated when one partner feels insecure or suspicious and questions the partner’s fidelity. In either case, if this feeling is prolonged and consistent, the couple should seek professional help.

Are there signs to look out for, so that people in marriages could seek help at the appropriate time?
If either of the partners becomes consistently depressed or aggressive and feels that he or she cannot tolerate the partner anymore, then it is about time that the couple seeks professional help. Also, sometimes, if an outsider tells them that they need help, it means that their quarrel has become too obvious. In such cases the couple should seek help from marriage counsellors. If there are problems like dowry harassment or something like that that is rather grave, the couple should seek the help of the extended family. If there is baseless suspicion or extreme stubbornness, which harms the relationship, there is need to meet a psychiatrist.

Police commissioner Shankar Bidari has urged people to walk out of bad marriages rather than commit murder. Do you think divorce is now an acceptable solution for a bad marriage? About 60% of ‘bad’ marriages can be saved if professional help is taken on time. Those who cannot live together despite counselling sessions should live in separation or get divorced as an alternative. Divorce or separation as a concept is much more acceptable in today’s society.

How could the family help, in such situations? Do you think it might be better for them to remain uninvolved?
An extended family should always be supportive. However, most marriages break down as the conflict between the couple develops into a family quarrel. Family members should be careful and not take sides. The problem might only get worse.
The extended family, could, however, guide the couple to professional help so that the problem is treated at the right time, before it aggravates. Often, that is the best possible support that other family members can offer to a couple going through tension and strife in marriage.


Over 5,000 matrimonial cases pending in Delhi alone

Over 5,000 matrimonial cases pending in Delhi alone

By Praveen Kumar
New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) More than 5,000 matrimonial cases have been pending since 1995 in various courts in Delhi. This was revealed during the hearing on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Delhi High Court.

Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Manmohan issued notices to the central and Delhi governments on the PIL which sought directions for the speedy disposal of these cases filed under the Hindu Marriage (HM) Act.

The petition mentioned that there were a large number of pending cases in various district courts as the government had failed to provide exclusive courts to deal with cases related to marital discord and divorce, among others.

There are a total of eight district courts in the city that deal with cases under the act and 4,687 cases since 1995 have been pending in these courts. In Delhi High Court alone, 369 such cases are pending, said the petitioner who collected the data using a right to information (RTI) application.

Till May this year 846 new cases gave been filed in the high court, of which 609 have been disposed of.

The petition, taken up for hearing by the high court on Aug 11, said that the delays in these cases have been taking place as the courts are flooded with other types of cases as well.

The petition alleged that the courts have failed to implement provisions of the act which provide for speedy disposal of cases.

“The courts are adjourning matters without assigning any special reasons as prescribed under the provisions of section 21 B of the HM Act,” said the petition.

According to the act, the trial of a petition filed under it should be held on a day-to-day basis until its conclusion, unless the court finds the adjournment of the trial beyond the following day to be necessary for reasons to be recorded.

“Every petition under the act shall be tried as expeditiously as possible and endeavour shall be made to conclude the trial within six months from the date of service of notice of the petition on the respondent,” the petition said, quoting the act.

The petition also highlighted that in cases of divorce with mutual consent, the courts give six months’ time to both husband and wife to reflect on their move and seek advice from relations and friends.

“But even after this period is over, long dates are given by courts to come to final conclusion” the petition said.

According to the petition, a person filing a case under the act has to wait for a minimum of five years for its disposal before the district courts and a minimum of five years before appellate courts.

“During all these years when the couples are engaged in filing applications after applications, attending hearings, facing adjournments, the golden period of their life is lost in contesting the matter,” said Sarvesh Bisariya, the petitioner and counsel in the case.

This denies them an opportunity to live with dignity and honour, he said.

(Praveen Kumar can be contacted at praveen.k@ians.in)


Can’t find your mum through writ, says Supreme Court

Can’t find your mum through writ, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the petition filed by Arun Dohle, 37, an Indian adopted by German parents, seeking the production of his biological mother. However, his search may have inched closer with the apex court allowing his lawyers access to the original documents of the adoption centre.

Shooting down the objections raised by advocate Neela Gokhle representing the Kusumbai Motichand Mahila Seva Gram (KMMSG) where Dohle was reportedly “abandoned” by his biological mother, the court said, “No national secret is involved in it and the days of privileged documents are over.”

Advocate Jamshed Mistry who was part of the legal team representing Dohle said: “The court’s direction reaffirms the Supreme Court guidelines as stated in 1984 and also the Hague convention to which India is a signatory.”

However, while dismissing Dohle’s appeal, justices Markandey Katju and TS Thakur said he could file a suit for seeking relief.
Dohle was two months old when a German couple, Michael and Gertrude Dohle, adopted him in 1973. He contested that he was abandoned by his mother and was given in adoption without her consent. He alleged that his adoptive parents were helped by union minister and NCP leader Sharad Pawar’s brother Pratap Pawar.

The judges said, “You don’t even know the identity of your mother. How can you find her through a writ petition? Unless you know
your mother, how can you say that she is in illegal detention?”
The judges observed that sometimes unwed mothers gave fictitious names to orphanages. On the judges’ query whether the ashram maintained any register, its counsel answered in the negative. Dohle’s counsel Shekhar Naphade said there was something fishy in the whole affair.




SC snubs HC, says living in akin to marriage

SC snubs HC, says living in akin to marriage

August 17, 2010

Days after the Delhi High Court held that a partner could "walk in and walk out" of a live-in relationship, the Supreme Court has ruled to the contrary. The bench held: "The live-in-relationship if continued for such a long time, cannot be termed in as 'walk in and walk out' relationship and there is a presumption of marriage between them which the appellants failed to rebut".

The bench dismissed an appeal filed by one Madan Mohan Singh from UP who had sought to reverse the Allahabad High Court judgment permitting the authorities to include the names of four children, born out of the live-in relationship, as legal heirs to the legacy of the petitioners' father.

After perusing the records and concurrent findings by the district authorities, the bench held the petitioners' father, Chandra Deo Singh, lived with his live-in partner, Shakuntala  till his death on December 12, 1979. Their relationship, as husband and wife, had been accepted not only by the society but also by the family members.

Singh's children born out of the live-in relationship moved the authorities to include their names as legal heirs. The petitioner claimed there was nothing on record to show that Singh got married with Shakuntala in accordance with law.

"At the most she could be Singh's concubine and, therefore, the respondents have no right to inherit any share in the land," the petitioner claimed.




Introducing a fresh aspect towards the lively debate on legitimacy of the ‘live in’ relationship as well as legitimacy of kids given birth to out of this kind of relationship, the Top court has decided the fact that such children are not necessarily unlawful. The Supreme Court has additionally held that such kids possess a right to inherit the properties left behind by one of the partners in this kind of relationship, reports dnaindia
“If a man as well as a lady are living under the same roof and living together for quite a few years, there will be a presumption under Section 114 of the Evidence Act that they live as husband and wife and the children born to them will not be illegitimate,” said a bench of Justices P Sathasivam and BS Chauhan on Friday. The bench said the law presumes in favour of marriage and against concubine.

Earlier, Delhi high court had said that the alliance is like “walk- in and walk-out without strings attached to it.’’ But the Supreme Court has held that the relationship is presumed to be marriage in the eye of law if the partners keep the bonding alive for a long time.

The judgment that may have a strong bearing on several petitions raising the dispute on legitimacy of children born out of the live-in association among others was delivered in an appeal filed by one Madan Mohan Singh, challenging the judgments of Allahabad High Court and the two land consolidation tribunals which had allowed the right on the estate left behind by one Chandra Deo Singh, to the two sons and four daughters of Chandra Deo.

Madan Mohan said he solely inherits the property left behind by Chandra Deo, but Rajni Kant, his brother Anjani Kumar and four sisters contested the claim by saying since they were born out of the decade-long live-in relationship between Chandra Deo and their mother Shakuntala, they were the inheritors of the landed property.



citer for the above mentioned judgment

Civil Appeal No. 6466 of 2004
Madan Mohan Singh & Ors.           ..Appellants
Rajni Kant & Anr.                     ..Respondents

To strengthen case, lawyers, litigants make beeline for private eyes

To strengthen case, lawyers, litigants make beeline for private eyes



Litigants in the city are hiring more than lawyers to help them win cases. In fact, with the stakes getting higher and higher, many of them have started approaching private detectives to collect evidence against their opponents in court. In turn, the detective agencies assure clients that the “litigation support” provided by them will be completely “admissible under the laws”.

Interestingly, cases reaching private detectives mostly concern couples either planning to get married or already married. Those yet to get married hire detectives for pre-marital verifications regarding job profile, salary, family details and other habits and also to check on the spouses’ fidelity before they take the plunge. Similarly, post-marital verifications involve those who doubt the fidelity of their spouses and are looking for a conclusive answer to their apprehensions.

“Significantly, more women approach us for vetting spouses than men. They want peace of mind after a comprehensive probe and we help them. Through discreet surveillance and undercover operations, our investigators assist them in determining if the other spouse is being dishonest in the relationship. Audio and visual evidence collected are later produced in court while seeking divorce on this ground,” said Ajit Singh, who runs Hatfield Detectives in Satya Niketan.( click the link) 

Singh said men often approach them for help in alimony battles. “In several cases, married women seek alimony from husbands claiming they are unemployed and depend on their estranged husbands for maintenance even though they are employed and earning. We collect evidence like their salary slips, cheque and bank account details, attendance register etc to nail their lies in the court,” he added.

While pre-marital investigations cost a minimum of Rs 15,000, post-marital probe can cost anywhere between Rs 20,000 and Rs 60,000. “Given the situation where a man can be asked to shell out lakh of rupees apart from harassment, what we charge is nothing and people happily pay us,” Singh said, adding his clients are not limited to the upper strata of society.

Major Ashok Bhalla, director of A B Detectives, said: “Apart from marital cases, we are also hired for assisting a party in cases of cheating, forgery and property disputes. We gather documentary evidence in such matters by using our resources and contacts. We retrieve papers inaccessible to litigants and take them to court.”

Nirmal Mishra, a lawyer, supports the idea of hiring private detectives for strengthening his case. “Why can’t we hire detectives for gathering some more evidence? No lawyer or his client wants to lose the case. When we have the convenience, we should use it to our benefit,” he added.



जांच के घेरे में डिटेक्टिव

जांच के घेरे में डिटेक्टिव


भोपाल. रिटायर्ड जज के पुत्र टेलीकॉम इंजीनियर मनीष शुक्ला की हत्या के मामले में एक प्राइवेट डिटेक्टिव की भूमिका भी जांच के घेरे में है। पता चला है कि मनीष ने एक प्राइवेट डिटेक्टिव से संपर्क किया था। पुलिस के लिए यह जांच का विषय होगा कि मनीष को किस काम के लिए डिटेक्टिव की मदद लेना पड़ी थी। हत्या के 22 दिन बाद भी पुलिस आरोपियों का कोई ठोस सुराग नहीं जुटा पाई है।

सूत्रों के अनुसार मनीष की हत्या की गुत्थी सुलझाने में जुटी पुलिस को जांच के दौरान एक डिटेक्टिव की भूमिका के बारे में जानकारी मिली है। आखिर मनीष ने किस डिटेक्टिव की मदद ली थी और उसे क्या काम सौंपा था? ऐसे ही कुछ सवाल हैं, जिनके जवाब तलाशने में अब पुलिस जुटी है,हालांकि इस मामले में पुलिस अधिकारी आधिकारिक तौर पर कुछ नहीं कह रहे हैं।

गत 21 जुलाई की रात मनीष शुक्ला एमपी नगर की गॉसिप होटल से खाना खाकर निकला था। इसके अगले दिन उसकी लाश बिलकिसगंज इलाके के वीरपुर के जंगल में मिली थी। पोस्टमार्टम रिपोर्ट से पता चला था कि गला रेंतकर उसकी हत्या की गई थी। उसकी सोने की चेन, अंगूठी, पर्स भी नहीं मिला था। मनीष की जेब में उसकी इंडिका कार की चाबी जरूर मिली थी। मनीष के पिता जबलपुर निवासी आरएन शुक्ला सेवानिवृत्त न्यायाधीश हैं।

जांच में अब तक क्या

मनीष को होटल तक छोड़ने आए ऑटो चालक से पूछताछ।उस मैकेनिक से पूछताछ, जिसके पास मनीष की कार सुधर रही थी।मनीष की कंपनी के कर्मचारियों व उसके दोस्तों के बयान।सचिन नाम के एक युवक से पूछताछ, मनीष का उससे विवाद हुआ था।मनीष के पिता सेवानिवृत्त न्यायाधीश आरएन शुक्ला के बयान।

.. और अब डिटेक्टिव की भूमिका की पड़ताल

क्या रही दिक्कत

मनीष का निवास निखिल होम्स में, लाश मिली बिलकिसगंज में।पुलिस को नहीं मालूम मनीष का प्रोफाइल। शव मिलने के तीन दिन तक नहीं हो सकी थी मनीष की शिनाख्त।दोस्तों व कंपनी के कर्मचारियों से भी नहीं मिली थी मनीष की ज्यादा जानकारी। पखवाड़े भर तक पुलिस मनीष के परिजनों के बयान नहीं ले सकी।

सीसीटीवी फुटेज खंगालेगी पुलिस

मनीष अपनी मौत से पहले एमपी नगर के जिस गॉसिप होटल में आया था, पुलिस उस होटल के सीसीटीवी फुटेज से भी आरोपी की जानकारी जुटा रही है। फुटेज से पुलिस यह पता करने की कोशिश कर रही है कि उस दिन होटल में किसी ने मनीष की रैकी तो नहीं की थी।

पुलिस के लिए यह भी जांच का विषय है कि ऑटो चालक मनीष को छोड़कर क्यों चला गया था? क्योंकि मनीष ने उस ऑटो चालक से रुकने को कहा था। मनीष ने उस ऑटो चालक को 100 रुपए भी दिए थे। पूछताछ में ऑटो चालक ने पुलिस को बताया था कि उसकी बहन अस्पताल में थी, उसे देखने वह जल्दी चला गया था।


Infosys HR Manager confesses to killing wife - Priyanka's hubby in jail


TNN, Aug 21, 2010, 07.46am IST
BANGALORE: After eight days in police custody, Infosys HR manager Sathish Kumar Gupta was remanded to judicial custody on Friday and sent to Parappana Agrahara jail.

He has been accused of murdering his wife Priyanka Gupta, a teacher with DPS South. Priyanka was found dead in her house at Hulimavu on August 10, with her throat slit. Sathish, who was arrested, confessed to the murder.
He said Priyanka repeatedly `harassed' him by imploring him to stay away from his parents, and threatening to lodge a dowry harassment case against him.

Infosys HR Manager confesses to killing wife

Aug 14, 2010
Bangalore: A senior employee of Infosys Technologies Ltd has confessed to murdering his wife, a Delhi Public School teacher, on Tuesday, police said on Saturday.
Satish Kumar Gupta, a senior manager in the IT bellwether's human resource department, was arrested late on Friday. "He has admitted to murdering Priyanka after sustained questioning by us. There were discrepancies in his statements over the sequence of events and the details of the mobile calls he received and made," said a police officer investigating the case.
"Though Satish has said he eliminated her because she was not treating his parents well, we are probing the dowry angle also," the officer said.

He has been sent to police custody by a magistrate.
The couple, hailing from Lucknow and married for four years, had shifted to a rented house in Hulimavu in south Bangalore from his parent's house in the same locality about six months back, police said. They had no children.
Priyanka was found dead in her flat early on Tuesday, with her throat slit and hands and legs tied.
In a statement on the day of the murder Satish had told the police that when he went for a morning walk at around 5.40 am, his wife called him on his mobile to check if he had asked anyone to supply newspapers, as two unidentified people were standing at the door telling he had sent them to the house and to open the door.
"I told her that I did not send anyone and that she should not open the door but carry on with her yoga session. When I returned at 6.40 am, I found the door locked and there was no response to the door bell or her mobile. I thought she would have gone back to sleep. Then I went to office to bring the duplicate keys and was shocked to find her dead on entering the house," Satish, 32, said in a statement to police.
City Joint Police Commissioner (crime) Alok Kumar had said after visiting the second floor rented house of the couple, "We are not clear why Gupta didn't inform the police immediately or enquired from neighbours about the crime."
"How could the main door have remained locked and her throat slit? How and from where did the assailants enter the house?" Kumar said.
Satish had told the police that gold, jewellery and some other valuables worth Rs.2.5 lakh were missing from the house though a gold chain around Priyanka's neck and a gold ring on her finger were intact on her body.


Men demand union ministry for their welfare, gender neutral laws, time-bound settlement of matrimonial cases and launch National Litigant Bench (NLB)

Men demand union ministry for their welfare, gender neutral laws, time-bound settlement of matrimonial cases and launch National Litigant Bench (NLB)

August 15th, 2010

Chennai, Aug 15 (IANS) Over 100 men’s rights activists who held two-day deliberations at Tamil Nadu’s Yercaud hill station have demanded a separate union ministry for men’s welfare and fast-track courts for deciding matrimonial cases.

The delegates at the conference also sought amendments to various laws to make them gender neutral and demanded time-bound settlement of matrimonial cases in courts.

Manoj David, an activist, told IANS: “The conference passed a resolution demanding the union government to form a separate ministry for men’s welfare.”

“The conference also passed a resolution demanding substitution of words husband/wife with spouse in all laws. We also want the words man or woman occurring in laws to be replaced with the word person,” he said.

According to him, the judiciary should decide all matrimonial cases within two years.

“In matrimonial cases, the youth and vitality of the disputing parties are also involved. Delaying such cases will affect their lives beyond repair. Hence, such cases have to be settled by courts in a time bound manner. Setting up of fast track courts to try matrimonial cases is our demand,” David said.

The conference also passed several other resolutions and saw the launch of the National Litigant Bench (NLB) to help litigants in knowing their rights so that they are protected from undue judicial delays.

Members belonging to around 22 NGOs from different parts of the country participated in the conference.

The members celebrated the country’s 64th Independence Day as sugarless, day drinking coffee and tea sans sugar.

The conference was organised by Bangalore-based Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF).






HC rebukes CBI for 17-year-probe in a graft case - Corrupt can go scot free by giving bribe: Court More at : Corrupt can go scot free by giving bribe

Quoting a saying that “if your are caught taking bribe, you can go scot free by giving bribe”, the Delhi High Court on Monday charged the Central Bureau of Investigation with doing the same in a corruption case in which the agency took 17 long years to investigate a case against an executive engineer of then Delhi Electricity Supply Undertaking (DESU).

The engineer has since taken voluntary retirement.

A team of the investigating agency had caught the engineer, A.K. Gupta, red-handed at his office on a complaint by a man from whom Gupta had demanded a bribe to process some work in 1990.

After as many as eleven years of the incident, the CBI filed a report in a special court here seeking closure of the case against Gupta. However, the Special Judge rejected its plea in 2002. Thereafter, the country’s premier investigating agency filed a charge-sheet in the case after seven years in February, 2009.

Justice S.N. Dhingra made the observation while dismissing a petition by the engineer seeking quashing of the charge-sheet on the ground of the undue delay, first in investigating the case and then charge-sheeting the accused.

Concurring with the plea of the accused that speedy investigation and speedier trial is the right of an accused, Justice Dhingra said but fast and fair investigation is also a right of Society, being the victim of crime.

Commenting on the role of the investigating agency in the case, Justice Dhingra said: ``There is an apparent connivance between the petitioner and the CBI officials.’’

In a trap case, where a person is caught red-handed, the investigation to be done involves only recording of statements of witnesses to the trap, of the complainant, seizure of the bribe amount and forensic examination of the hand wash of the accused,’’ Justice Dhingra further observed.

The Court was also surprised over the investigating agency giving no explanation of the delay of 17 years. It inferred that the agency was not at all interested in bringing to book corrupt officials holding public offices.

Dismissing the petition of the engineer, Justice Dhingra asked the CBI director to fix responsibility for the delay and action taken against the responsible officials. It asked the director to complete the investigation in three months and a file an action taken report in the Court.



New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) “In this country, if you are caught taking bribe, you can go scot-free by giving bribe,” the Delhi High Court said Monday, pulling up the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for delay in probing a two-decade-old graft case.
The court pulled up the CBI for delaying the investigation in the case, which involves a Delhi power utility engineer, saying that the agency’s work was not up to the mark.

Justice S.N. Dhingra said: “The people of this country have a vested right to ensure that officers working in public offices should be honest and persons with integrity and those who indulge in corruption should be brought to book.”

The court also directed the CBI chief to investigate as to who were responsible for the delay in the case and what action has been taken against errant officials.

The court dismissed the plea by A.K. Gupta, who was accused of taking bribe in 1990 when he was working as engineer in Delhi’s electricity department, to close the case against him. Gupta was caught red-handed by the CBI.

“The CBI had no explanation as to why the result of investigation was not filed for all these years,” the judge observed.

In 2004, the CBI filed a closure report in the trial court, which rejected it saying that the reasons given in the report were flimsy, unconvincing and vague.

It was found that the CBI had not investigated the case properly and had unnecessarily doubted the credibility of the complainant.

In 2002, the CBI filed a chargesheet in the court which took cognisance of the same in 2009. Gupta then approached the court seeking quashing of the chargesheet on the ground of delay.

In his petition, he stated that speedy investigation and trial was his right. He said some witnesses whom he could have examined in his defence had retired and it would be impossible for the petitioner to trace them now.

Pulling up the CBI for delaying the investigation, the court said: “The entire investigation does not take more than two months as the accused was caught red handed and the agency has to record only the statements of witnesses involved in the trap.”

“It seems that the CBI was not at all interested that the corrupt officials sitting in the public offices should be brought to book,” the court said.

“Even if the CBI had to file a closure report doubting the credibility of the complainant and other witnesses, it could have filed the same within a reasonable time,” the court said.

“Perhaps, the CBI wanted that the case should die a slow unnatural death that is why for 11 years it kept sitting on this investigation and then filed a closure report giving lame excuses,” the court said.


Court slams abuse of SC/ST Act ,SC/ST Act being misused

August 15.2010

NEW DELHI: Concerned about the growing misuse of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, a trial court has suggested to the commissioner of police that the final reports filed under the Act be monitored at a ''higher level to check its frequent misuse''.

The court's remarks came while refusing to take cognizance of a chargesheet filed by Delhi Police under various provisions of the IPC and SC/ST Act against three persons following a land dispute with S S Khemwal, a former deputy
secretary with the ministry of petroleum.

"The present case is just another glaring example of abuse of a special legislation having stringent provisions; so enacted to ameliorate the lot of hitherto, under-privileged, deprived and marginalised section of the society," additional sessions judge Kamini Lau said.

As per the case, Khemwal, a member of the scheduled caste community, filed a complaint in 2007 alleging that few men were illegally harvesting crop from his land and when he intervened they harassed and tortured him. He further alleged that there was a ''non-performance of duties'' by the public servants since despite the directions of the deputy commissioner, they did not enter his name in Khasra Girdawari (land records) for three consecutive years.

On the basis of his statement, police registered a case against the accused under various sections of IPC. The police later added Section 3(1) (v) of Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, as the complainant belonged to schedule caste category.

After going through the records of the case, the court found that there was no substance in the complaint which could invoke the Act. Slamming the police for naming six revenue officers in the chargesheet, the court said that there was no sanction to seek their prosecution and further they cannot be prosecuted for discharging judicial and quasi-judicial functions.

The court also rapped an assistant commissioner of police (ACP), who investigated the case registered by Khemwal with Swaroop Nagar police station on September 21, 2007, for allowing himself to be played into the hands of the complainant.

"The investigating officer has filed the chargesheet against as many as nine persons without there being any material, this only makes this court ponder the reason why this has been done. Either the investigating officer is unaware of the fundamentals of criminal jurisprudence or he is absolutely indifferent to the consequences of his act," it said.

The court added that the complainant himself had till date not been able to establish his legal right over the land in question at village Nangli Poona that was earmarked by the government for allotment to persons living below the poverty line.

The court said that the Delhi Police chief should be informed about the manner in which the investigation was conducted and chargesheet filed in the case without any substance. "It is, therefore, necessary that the commissioner of police, Delhi, be made aware of the manner in which the investigations have been conducted and the chargesheet filed not only against three public persons but also against as many as six government officials without there being any basis for the same," ASJ Lau said.

Though meant for the oppressed section of society, the Act is often used to settle personal scores LAW cannot be the `absolute property of a few', a Delhi court has said while expressing concern over growing misuse of the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, meant for the oppressed section of the society.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said that court should not remain as `mute spectator' to the abuse of the law which was passed with an aim to improve the lot of a particular section of the society. Unfortunately one comes across growing instances of cases where the provisions of this Act have not so much been invoked for the betterment of those to whom it seeks to protect, than by those who want to settle personal scores by giving to an otherwise ordinary dispute, the colour of an alleged atrocity under the SC/ ST Act, 1989, the court said.

It said authorities should ensure that the legislation is used only to eliminate the exploitation of the marginalised members of the SC/ STs. Law cannot be the absolute property of a few and this court can only hope and appeal that the provisions of this special legislation are not abused by a few so as to ensure that its benefit is able to actually reach the exploited sections, the court said.
The court made the observations while refusing to take cognisance of a charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police under various provisions of the IPC and SC/ST Act against three persons following a land dispute with S S Khemwal, a former Deputy Secretary with Ministry of Petroleum.

The present case is just another glaring example of abuse of a special legislation having stringent provisions, so enacted to ameliorate the lot of hitherto under-privileged, deprived and marginalised section of the society.This court in a case like present will not remain a mute spectator to any abuse of the process of law. This court also will not be a privy to any exploitative situation of misuse and abuse of this Act, whose abuse has otherwise raised serious concerns all over the country, it said.

Video-record statements of accused, orders Delhi district court

Video-record statements of accused, orders Delhi district court

Sumit Saxena, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, August 17, 2010

A city court has ordered recording of evidence of an accused through video conferencing from the Tihar Jail premises, after he threatened two witnesses in the courtroom, in a robbery case, and in the presence of policemen. In  an open court hearing, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said

that in order  to protect witnesses in criminal cases, accused should not be brought to the court.

Video conferencing is the safest mode to record statements without any act of violence.

According to the prosecution ,Sonu, Mohammed Israj, Sachin and Bijender robbed Rs 2 lakh from Veer Bahadur and Sandeep at the Lawrence Road flyover in March 2006. 

Veer Bahadur told the court when he was moving out of the court after his deposition, the accused Sonu sarcastically remarked at him, “Dedi Gawahi” (Have you recorded your statement?)

The court noted that both Bahadur and Sandeep are already under security cover, as Sonu had earlier threatened them inside the courtroom.

The judge said, “Keeping in view the repeated recalcitrant behaviour of the accused, it is important that he is not allowed to be in the proximity of the witnesses”.

The court has ordered the rest of the trial to be held via video conferencing.

Legal experts say that despite first-hand availability of video conferencing in all the district courts, funds are wasted in carting violent accused under heavy security cover to the courtroom.

“Video conferencing should become a regular practice in courts, as many acts of violence, including murders, have been committed inside the court complex,” said K.T.S. Tulsi, senior advocate.

Recently, key accused Ravi Kapoor, named in the Soumya Vishwanathan and Jigisha Ghosh murder case, had attacked the fellow accused with blades inside the courtroom. Former Delhi High court Judge R.S. Sodhi said,

“Courts should make video-conferencing a regular practice during the course of trial. Accused who intimidate witnesses should be avoided inside the courtroom.”