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6 lakh cases pending for decade or more in high courts: Data

Nearly six lakh cases are pending for a decade or more in various high courts and the Bombay High Court leads the tally with over one lakh litigations, according to latest figures collected by a monitoring system which seeks to identify and reduce pendency.A total of 40.15 lakh cases were pending in the 24 high courts of the country at the end of 2016 and the cases which are 10 years old or more constitute 19.45 per cent of the total pendency.According to data available on the national judicial data grid, as on December 7, as many as 5,97,650 cases were pending disposal in 20 high courts for a decade or more.Also readIn 94.6% cases of rape, accused known to victim, says NCRBThough there are 24 high courts, data of some of the courts, including the Allahabad High Court, was not available.The Bombay High Court leads the list with 1,29,063 pending cases. These include 96,596 civil, 12846 criminal cases and 19,621 writs.A writ petition is a court petition for extraordinary review, asking a court to intervene in a lower court’s decision.Also readDelay no reason for relief in child sex abuse cases: CourtThe Punjab and Haryana High Court is second in the list of pending cases which are over 10 years old. A total of 99,625 cases, including 64,967 civil, 13,324 criminal and 21,334 writs are awaiting disposal there.The Calcutta High Court faces a pendency of 74,315 cases awaiting disposal for the past years or more.According to the data, these include 40,529 civil, 14,898 criminal cases and 1,888 writs.Pending cases in the high courts were pegged at 41.52 lakh at the end of 2014.In December, 2015, the pendency went down to 38.70 lakh.But at the end of 2016, the cases went up to 40.15 lakh, but were less than the pendency in 2014.Also readNCRB data reveals surge in human trafficking cases

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Ryan student murder: Pradyuman’s family files petition in SC challenging bail granted to Pintos

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly a week after the Punjab and Haryana High Court granted anticipatory bail to Ryan International Group’s three trustees in connection with the killing of a student in its Gurgaon school, the parents of the victim have moved to Supreme Court challenging the bail granted to Pintos.The family of seven-year-old Pradyuman has filed a petition challenging the anticipatory bail granted to the Pintos”We are filing a petition challenging the anticipatory bail granted to the Pintos by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. We are challenging the manner the anticipatory bail is granted to them,” Sushil Tekriwal, Pradyuman’s father Varun Thakur’s lawyer in the case told ANI.”We have said that a wrong message will be sent if anticipatory bail is given,” he added. ALSO READ Ryan student murder: Conductor Ashok Kumar’s wife says cops thrashed him, hung upside downEarlier, Ryan Pinto, and his parents, Augustine Pinto and Grace Pinto, had approached the high court on September 16, seeking anticipatory bail in the case.On October 7, the high court had granted interim bail to the three trustees.Class 2 student Pradhuman Thakur was found with his throat slit in the school washroom in Gurugram on September 8.School bus conductor Ashok Kumar was arrested by Haryana police in connection with the crime. A Gurgaon civil court today granted bail to Kumar on a bond of Rs 50,000.The Pintos, who are based in Mumbai, had approached the Bombay High Court as they had apprehended arrest in the case after the school was accused of negligence in the death of seven-year-old-Pradyuman. ALSO READ Ryan school murder: Juvenile accused to be defended by Rajesh and Nupur Talwars’ lawyer

Robust Haryana braves challenges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Six months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi paved way for resurgence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the party, riding on the Modi-wave, scripted its maiden victory in Haryana.The state, which had been a traditional battleground for Congress and home-grown Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), witnessed BJP’s historic victory as it emerged, for the first time, as the single-largest party with a majority in the Assembly. BJP won 47 seats in the 90-member Assembly, restricting INLD to 19 and Congress to 15 seats. BJP had won just 4 seats in 2009.The party then announced first-time MLA from Karnal and RSS pracharak, Manohar Lal Khattar, as the chief minister of a state that had not seen a non-Jat CM in the last two decades. While the victory was a clean sweep, the next three years lent a rough pitch to the maiden government.Be it massive damage caused due to the Jat agitation or an outbreak of violence following the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim, the Haryana government came under fire for its inept handling of emergency situations. In three major incidents of civil violence in the last three years, at least 74 people were killed and the Army had to be called in. While CM Khattar faced backlash, infighting among the warring factions added to his woes.Op Rampal: 6 killedBarely a month after it took charge, the government faced its first challenge when the head of the Satlok Ashram in Hisar, Rampal, failed to appear before the Punjab and Haryana High Court after repeated summons and also failed to honour a non-bailable warrant for contempt of court. The court then directed the government to affect his arrest, which led to the launch of a 10-day operation.The so-called Godman remained inside his 12-acre Ashram while thousands of his followers, armed with a huge cache of arms and ammunition, engaged in a violent stand-off with the security forces. The water and power supply to the Ashram were also snapped.At least six persons, including women, were killed in the tense stand-off that ended on November 19, 2014, with Rampal’s arrest and evacuation of thousands of his followers, mainly women and children. He was produced before the court a day later and then sent to jail. Apart from contempt of court, he was charged with sedition, arson, raging war against the state, rioting, and murder.The state exchequer lost over Rs 15.43 crore in the operation, which cost Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, and Centre a total of Rs 26.6 crore.Jat agitation: 30 lives lostThe government faced its biggest administrative failure when protests erupted among Jats, who constitute nearly 29 per cent of the state’s population, in February 2016. The community was demanding reservation under the Other Backward Category (OBC).The protests that escalated and spread across Haryana paralysed the state for nearly 10 days, during which property worth several thousand crores was gutted, with Railways itself summing its loss to Rs 55.9 crore. Even as arson and violence spread to various districts, the government failed to take requisite action on time. The Army had to be called in.At least 30 people were killed and several hundred injured. It was also alleged that women were raped by the mob in Murthal during the agitation. The case stands trial in the High Court.The Opposition hit out at CM Khattar for his failure in manoeuvring the situation, even as party’s own ministers, including MP Rajkumar Saini, added fuel to the fire with his provocative, anti-Jat statements.Reeling under pressure, the Haryana Assembly passed the Haryana Backward Classes Bill, 2016, within a month to provide reservation to Jats and four other communities in government jobs and education. But, the Punjab and Haryana High Court put a stay on the Bill. Even as Jats threaten to launch another protest, the demand for reservation remains pending.Dera violence: 41 lives lostIf Jats left the state counting its losses, the self-proclaimed Godmen were no less a challenge. While Haryana was yet to recover from the damage inflicted on it due to the Jat agitation, it was hit by another wave of violence, when Gurmeet Ram Rahim, head of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, was held guilty for raping two women followers and sent to jail for 20 years on August 25.This time, the government was able to arrest the Dera head after his conviction by Special CBI Court and put him behind the bars. But it failed to control the violence, which engulfed Panchkula and claimed 35 lives, with the youngest victim being a 16-year-old boy. Six persons were killed in Sirsa.The Haryana Police, led by DGP B S Sandhu, and the government was slammed by the High Court, which castigated them for failing to implement its own prohibition orders under Section 144 of CrPC. The police watched as thousands of Dera followers swarmed Panchkula, camping on roads and parks, a week before the verdict.History was repeated as the mob went on a rampage, torching vehicles, especially those of journalists, and vandalised government property. The government also faced allegations of facilitating removal of incriminating evidence from the Dera, much before the search operation began. It also came under fire when education minister Ram Bilas Sharma visited the Dera a few days before the judgment and donated Rs 51 lakh, which he later withdrew. The Dera had played a crucial role in shaping the party’s victory in 2014.The Dera head remains behind the bars while his other aids, booked for sedition, including Aditya Insan, remain on the run. The verdict in two other murder cases against the Dera head is also expected soon.Improved fiscal healthAt a time when its neighbouring Punjab is struggling to strengthen its crippled finances, Haryana has managed to bring fiscal discipline. The state government successfully brought down the revenue deficit from 1.9 per cent during the former Congress government to 0.94 per cent during the budget of 2017-18. The GDP also improved from 5.7 in 2014-15 to 8.7 in 2016-17, and might touch 9 per cent in 2017-18.Haryana held its first-ever Global Investors’ Summit and brought in investments worth Rs 80,000 crore. With its new enterprise promotion policy, the state jumped from 14th to 4th rank among all states in the Ease of Doing Business rankings prepared by the World Bank and the Department of Industrial policy and promotion.Unlike its neighbouring Punjab, Haryana also set aside Rs 70 crore to provide subsidies to farmers on agricultural equipment, to prevent them from burning stubble and made provisions to ensure the subsidies were deposited in banks. The government also increased the compensation to farmers, in cases of crop loss, from Rs 1,000-1,200 per acre, apart from waiving tube-well bills of farmers in regions where the crop loss was 25-50 per cent.Whether it was promoting cash-less transactions or linking various government subsidy schemes with Aadhar to weed out fake beneficiaries, the government took the lead. It announced that all government payments of more than Rs 5,000 would be made digitally.E-governanceBe it strengthening its grievance redressal system through the launch of CM Window or introducing Aadhar-linked biometric attendance system in all offices, the government, which came to power with a promise of graft-free good governance, took several steps to bring reforms through e-governance. The government brought transparency through the launch of e-stamping and a centralised online system for integration of property registration and digitisation of land records in the state.A web portal, Harsamay, was also launched by the Haryana Police to facilitate registration of FIRs. But the biggest e-reforms came in the education sector, with the launch of online transfer policy, which was later adopted by Punjab and UP government.Women police stationsTaking a step ahead in its Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign, the government empowered women by setting up a network of Mahila police stations across the state, with one in each district. The first Mahila police station was inaugurated in Panchkula on August 28, 2015, on the eve of Raksha Bandhan. According to the government, this has helped increase the percentage of women in police from 6 to 8.5.TASKS ACCOMPLISHEDOpen defecation-free state: Haryana became the fifth state in the country to be declared open defecation-free in June this year, after an intensive campaign that included barring people from contesting the Panchayat elections, if they did not have functional toilets at home. A grant of Rs 1 lakh was also announced for every Panchayat whose village was declared open defecation free.
Women police stations: In order to empower women, a network of Mahila Police Stations was set up in the state, with one in each district. The first was set up in Panchkula on August 28, 2015, on the eve of Raksha Bandhan. According to the government, this has helped increase the percentage of women in police from 6 to 8.5.
Online transfer policy: The step helped curb corruption in transfers of government teachers, as eligible teachers seeking transfers could apply online by submitting their choice of school, which would then be issued as per the necessary criterion. The system was replicated in Punjab.
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao: The government hails it as an achievement, stating that the campaign helped the state improve the sex ratio from 850 to 922.
E-governance: Be it strengthening its grievance redressal system through the launch of CM Window — an online portal in all districts — or Aadhar-linked biometric attendance system in all offices, e-Stamp, e-bills, the government took several steps to bring reforms through e-governance.
Minimum education for Panchayat polls: The government laid down a law to ensure minimum education qualification to contest Panchayat polls — Class X for men, Class VIII for women, and Class V for Dalits. The revolutionary step encouraged the inclusion of more youth. SETBACKSJat reservation: Even though the government has passed the Jat Reservation Bill, 2016, in the Assembly, it is yet to clear the legal test as the Punjab and Haryana High Court has put a stay on it. With the decision awaited and Jats adamant on seeking reservation, the issue remains a big challenge for the government.
Jobs for youth: The government was flayed for not fulfilling its promises to the youth, including an unemployment allowance of Rs 9,000 and the assurance of organising student elections in the state.
Pending inquiries: Be it Murthal gangrape, Jat agitation, Dera case investigation, or Junaid lynching case, the government has been under scrutiny for its investigation into many such cases. The cases are pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Smog: The thick blanket of smog that envelops the northern states every year in October remains a key challenge. Stubble burning is rampant across the state, despite subsidies announced on additional agricultural equipment.
Education: Haryana has failed to improve the performance of students of government schools in the state, with declining pass percentage every year.
River water dispute with Punjab: The decades-old dispute over construction of the Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal with Punjab remains a teething concern, with the main Opposition party, INLD, set to rake the issue until the canal is constructed. The Apex Court has ruled in favour of Haryana.
Stray cattle: The government had announced to make the state stray-cattle free by August 2017, but with all cow-shelters full to capacity, it seems like a distant dream.

Ryan student murder | Class 11 student killed Pradyuman as he wanted exams postponed: CBI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday apprehended a Class XI student in connection with the killing of a seven-year-old schoolboy in Gurgaon’s Ryan International School.Pradyuman, a class II student of the school, was found dead with his throat slit by a sharp-edged weapon on the morning of September 8.”The agency has apprehended a child in conflict with the law, a student of the senior class of Ryan International School in a case related to the murder of a student,” CBI said.”On basis of scientific evidence, thorough inspection of the crime scene, analysis of CCTV footage, the initial investigation revealed that the child wanted examination and parents-teachers meeting postponed,” CBI said in a statement.The agency had taken over the probe on September 22.The prime suspect in the killing was the school bus conductor, Ashok Kumar. However, the agency said that the bus conductor has not committed the crime. It further said that the agency doesn’t give a clean chit to anyone. It is the court’s call.”The agency also said that no sexual assault theory came out during our investigation.The post-mortem report of Pradyuman had cited “shock and hemorrhage” as the cause of death.The CBI has taken over the probe after receiving a notification from the Centre. The case had been registered at the Bhondsi police station in Gurugram under the IPC section related to murder, and relevant sections of the Arms Act, the POCSO Act and the Juvenile Justice Act.The Punjab and Haryana High court has granted bail to Ryan school founders in the case till December 5, with conditions.The High Court, however, has imposed stringent conditions along with the bail.

NOT PINK ENOUGH: Where are women judges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shortage of judges in courts has been a much debated issue. Former chief justice J S Khehar got emotional once during a programme over this matter. However, everyone seems to be silent over the lack of women judges. Even in the Supreme Court, there is only one woman judge R Bhanumati among 25 judges. In last few years, fewer women judges have been appointed in High Courts and the Supreme Court.There are only 10% women judges in 24 High Courts. Total sanctioned posts of High Court judges are 1092 against which 692 judges have been working out of which 70 judges are women. Interestingly, judges have different opinion on this matter. Eight High Courts don’t have a single woman judge. Rajasthan High Court has two women judges but in nine High Courts no woman judge has been appointed in the last one decade. Kerala, which is the most educated state in the country, got its first woman judge Anna Chandy in 1959 but here too the process of appointing women judges has slowed down and it has fallen behind Mumbai, Chennai, Punjab & Haryana High Courts. Bombay High Court is number one in the country with 12 women judges.Majority of women judges have come through judicial quota. In last three decades, Bombay, Delhi and Punjab and Haryana High Courts have been liberal in appointing women judges from the lawyers’ quota but Rajasthan is still waiting. In 70 years, only 4 women judges that too from judicial quota have been appointed judges in the high court. The first judge was Kanta Bhatnagar who was appointed in 1978. Jaipur and Jodhpur high court bar association have been demanding appointment of women judges from the lawyers’ quota.HC name judge’s posts working judges no of female judgesFull Bench MeetAfter a long time, Rajasthan high court’s full bench would sit in Jaipur on Saturday morning. The meeting would be presided over by chief justice Pradeep Nandrajog in which all judges from Jaipur and Jodhpur bench would be present. Judicial officers have been eagerly waiting for this meeting whose most important agenda is decision on promotion of CJM and ADJ cadre. In addition, transfer of judicial officers posted at one place for a long time, appointment of DJ and senior lawyers and reconstitution of committees would be decided. The full bench would also discuss reducing pendency of cases and fixing responsibility of judicial officers. In past, full bench meeting was fixed twice but cancelled at the last moment.

Punjab HC allows cracker bursting for only 3 hrs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the ban on sale of firecrackers continues in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana High Court has restricted the bursting of firecrackers in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to three hours on Diwali.Taking suo moto cognizance of the alarming increase in air pollution ahead of the festive season, the High Court had issued notices to the Home Secretaries of the two states and the UT on the poor air quality due to firecrackers and directed them to submit details on the number of explosive licenses issued, including temporary and permanent.While ruling out imposing any ban at the eleventh hour, considering a few days are left for the festival, the court restricted bursting of firecrackers from 6:30 pm to 9: 30 pm on Diwali. All Deputy Commissioners (DCs), SSPs and Police Commissioners would be required to ensure strict and meticulous compliance of the directions, regardless of the territorial locations.Senior Advocate Anupam Gupta, who assisted the court as Amicus Curiae, told DNA, “The court has imposed a cap on the issue of licenses under the Explosive Acts. While there would be no issuance of permanent licenses under the Act, without the permission of the High Court henceforth, a cap of 20 per cent has also been imposed on the issue of temporary licenses. The total number of temporary licenses will not exceed 20 per cent of the number of licenses issued last year.”Majority of the licenses issued ahead of the festival are temporary and all such licenses will now be issued only through draw of lots, to be conducted by the Deputy Commissioners. Traders can apply for the licenses only by 2 pm on October 16, which will be followed by draw of lots at 5 pm.The firework traders of Chandigarh who are apprehending a major setback to their business, called for a total boycott of the draw of lots process scheduled on October 16.“As many as 360 licences were issued last year, and this time, only 60 of us would be able to get the licence. What about hundreds of other traders? Our monetary losses have not even been considered once,” rued Devinder Singh, from Chandigarh Firework Traders Association.

SC refuses to relax ban on firecracker sale in Delhi-NCR; HC sets time limits in Punjab & Haryana

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the ban on the sale of firecrackers in the NCR region. The bench also expressed its pain that their order was given a communal tone.The apex court said that people can burst firecrackers purchased before its order banning the sale. It added that one can burst crackers only till 11 pm. SC also directed the Delhi Police to implement its order banning the sale of firecrackers.’We will ascertain after Diwali if there has been a difference in pollution levels’, the Supreme Court said.Meanwhile while there is no ban on firecrackers in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, the Punjab & Haryana High Court has fixed timings (6:30 pm to 9:30 pm) on October 19 as the time allowed to burst firecrackers. PCR vans have been asked to keep a check on flouting of the order.The Supreme Court had on October 9 imposed a blanket ban on sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) till November 1 in the run-up of Diwali.A three-judge bench of the apex court had restored its November 2016 order, banning sale of crackers in NCR and suspended its September 2017 order – which allowed limited sale but banned imports from other states.

Rape cases: Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh challenges special CBI court’s verdict in High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has challenged the Special CBI court’s verdict in the rape cases in Punjab and Haryana High Court demanding it to be quashed.A special CBI court in Panchkula had sentenced the Dera chief to 20-year-imprisonment, two sentences of 10 years rigorous imprisonment in each of the two cases.”High Court admitted our appeal that rape conviction is unfair. It directed us to submit a total amount of fine. The amount of fine will be returned to us with interest if the appeal is accepted,” said Ram Rahim’s Lawyer SK Garg Narwana.Meanwhile, the court has also admitted a plea of the two rape victims seeking life imprisonment for Ram Rahim.”He committed a grave breach of trust, as he was addressed as Pitaji and he used his position as a religious leader to exploit followers who had blind faith in him and twice committed rape crime. He should have been sentenced to life imprisonment,” victim’s Counsel had said seeking revision of sentence of Dera Chief. ALSO READ Honey effect: Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim loses 6 kgs in jail worrying about ‘Papa’s Angel’Ram Rahim was found guilty of rape in a case that stemmed from an anonymous written complaint in April 2002 that he had sexually exploited two female followers. The case was registered by the CBI in December 2002 on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been givenDuring the trial for the quantum of sentencing, a special court at Rohtak prison had compared Ram Rahim Singh as a wild beast.The court has also fined him Rs 15 lakh in each of the two cases, of which Rs 14 lakh each would go to the two victims who were part of his sect and were coerced into having sex with him. ALSO READ ‘Will kill all opposing Gurmeet Ram Rahim’: Dera Sacha Sauda’s Qurbani wing issues threat letter

Notorious Punjab officer granted bail in rape case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Suspended Punjab police officer, Salwinder Singh, who was questioned by National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with Pathankot attack case, was on Friday granted bail by Punjab and Haryana High Court in the rape case registered against him in Gurdaspur.Booked for sexually exploiting a woman whose husband was accused in a rape case, the former Gurdaspur SP has been lodged in jail since April after his surrender when he was declared a proclaimed offender if he continued to evade arrest.”He has been given bail in the case, which involved charges of rape and relevant sections of Prevention of Corruption Act. He will be released from jail on Saturday,” Salwinder’s counsel GBS Dhillion told DNA. The bail application was submitted before the court on July 27.Salwinder was booked for allegedly using his position to demand sexual favours from an accused’s wife under the false promise of helping her. The incident took place during his stint as Gurdaspur SP, which was marred by similar allegations from few other women police officials, which eventually led to his transfer out of Gurdaspur. Later, in August, citing his controversial conduct and indiscipline, the Punjab government decided to send him on premature retirement.

Will Honeypreet Insan surrender today? Speculations rife after TV interview

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Honeypreet Insan, the ‘adopted’ daughter of rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, has finally broken her silence.According to latest reports, Honeypreet said media is maligning a ‘holy’ relationship between a father and daughter.The closest aide of now jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief, who was missing for more than a month, has denied any role in the Panchkula violence that erupted after conviction of Ram Rahim on August 25.’Our brain stopped working,’ she said and added that she was under ‘depression’ since the conviction.Honeypreet categorically denied rumours that she had fled to Nepal and said that she would take legal advice and may approach Punjab and Haryana High Court.Looking very frail and talking in broken sentences, Honeypreet kept on saying that media highlighted about ‘skeletons’ in Dera ashram without any proof but nobody spoke about her Pitaji’s good deeds.

Ryan International murder forgotten? Parents outraged after suspended principal joins another Gurugram branch

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The suspended principal of Ryan International School ( Bhondsi), where a seven-year-old student was brutally murdered, has joined the private school’s Gurugram Sec-40 branch as a teacher.Neerja Batra was suspended for negligence of duty after Pradyuman Thakur, a Class II student, was found dead in school’s washroom with his throat slit on September 5. The news of Batra joining another school has fumed the victim’s parents. “How can you expect her (Neerja Batra) to fulfill responsibilities as a teacher. It’s a risk to security & safety of students,” father Varun Thakur told ANI.In a less than month since he lost his son, Varun slammed the school’s management for the move, “How can you reinstate the principal who failed to fulfill her responsibility? What is the meaning of suspension then?”The parents in Sector 40 were also outraged over school’s latest decision. “She was suspended for negligence in delivering her duties and now the management cannot assign her a new task in another branch. How can they reinstate an employee who is found guilty of not doing her job responsibly?” a parent, Ramneek Vashishtha, was reported as saying by Hindustan Times.“Until and unless she is declared not guilty, she should remain suspended,” another Nirmala Arora said.The Punjab and Haryana High Court on September 28 had granted bail till October 7 to the founders of Ryan International School in connection to the murder.Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana High Court refused to stay the order of Augustine F Pinto, his wife Grace and their son Ryan.The CBI on September 22 took over the probe into the killing of Pradyuman after his father threatened to move the Supreme Court if the investigation does not start.Ryan Pinto was also served a notice by Gurugram police which sought answers from him about security lapses in the school and names of those responsible for those lapses.

Tarun Tejpal, Baba Ramdev, Ryan school founders and Honeypreet: DNA evening must reads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1: Tarun Tejpal, former Tehelka editor, charged with rape by Goa courtTarun Tejpal, the former editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine, has been charged with rape by the Goa High Court on Thursday. He has been charged under Section 341, 342, 343, 354 A, 354 B and 376 subsection 2 of the Indian Penal Code. Justice Prithviraj Chavan refused to stay the process of framing of charges against Tejpal after hearing the petition and also directed that examination of witnesses at the lower court could only begin, after its consent. dnai.in/f5IW2: Ryan murder case: CEO Ryan Pinto, kin get interim bail till October 7Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday granted bail till October 7 to the founders of Ryan International School in connection to the brutal murder of seven-year-old student inside the Gurugram campus on September 8. Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana High Court refused to stay the order of Augustine F Pinto, his wife Grace and their son Ryan. dnai.in/f5IY3: Mole in Haryana Police helping Honeypreet Insan to evade arrest?Honeypreet Insan, the ‘adopted daughter’ of rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, has been evading the arrest with help of a ‘mole’ in the Haryana Police. A probe has been launched to ascertain the circumstances in which the crucial information about the police movement was leaked to her. dnai.in/f5J54: Baba Ramdev owned Patanjali Ayurved considering Rs 5,000 crore loanTo weed out foreign competition from the markets and to expand its business further, Baba Ramdev owned Patanjali Ayurved is considering taking a Rs 5000 crore loan. “We have taken a loan of Rs 500 crore initially and now I have to take loan of Rs 5,000 crore for my expansion plans,” Ramdev said. dnai.in/f5J35: Learning from BHU, top Uttar Pradesh universities act on time, file FIR against molestersTwo new harassment cases at Uttar Pradesh’s top universities were reported on Thursday even as the controversy over the last week’s lathicharge at the BHU continues. But unlike the apathy shown by the BHU administration, Lucknow and Allahabad universities not only acted in time but also made sure that justice was done for the victims. dnai.in/f5Jz

If you are scared for your life, surrender in court: Delhi High Court to Honeypreet Insan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Honeypreet Insan, the ‘adopted daughter’ of rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, has been asked by the Delhi High Court to surrender in the court.The Delhi High Court is hearing the anticipatory bail plea of Honeypreet, who approached the court saying that she is ready to cooperate in the probe from day after tomorrow.The court, however, asked her why she didn’t approach Punjab and Haryana High Court instead.Her lawyer claimed that she fears for her life and hence has come to Delhi High Court.At this point the court asked Honeypreet to surrender in court if she fears for her life.In her bail plea, Honeypreet has said that she is a single woman with clean antecedents, adding, “I am a law-abiding woman and willing to join the investigation.”After the hearing, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday reserved its order on Honeypreet’s bail plea.

Honeypreet Insan moves Delhi HC for anticipatory bail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Priyanka Taneja alias Honeypreet, the adopted daughter of the jailed Dera chief, tops the list of 43 persons ‘wanted’ by the Haryana Police in connection with incidents of violence that had followed Ram Rahim’s conviction in the rape cases.Earlier, a lookout notice was issued against Honeypreet by the police. Her lawyer Pradeep Kumar Arya told PTI that they have filed the anticipatory bail petition in the Delhi High Court and the matter would be mentioned tomorrow before a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal for early hearing.Ram Rahim was convicted by the special CBI court in Panchkula on August 25, following which violence and arson had erupted in Panchkula and Sirsa districts of Haryana which had left 41 people dead and several others injured.The CBI court on August 28 had sentenced Ram Rahim to 20 years in prison for raping two of his disciples in 2002.Honeypreet had accompanied the Dera head when he had come to the special CBI court on August 25. She had also travelled along with him in the special chopper which ferried them to Rohtak from Panchkula after the conviction.The controversial sect head is currently lodged in Sunaria jail in Rohtak district of Haryana.Several teams of Haryana Police have travelled across the country, including the Indo-Nepal border, to trace the whereabouts of Honeypreet.Meanwhile, Ram Rahim today moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court challenging the trial court’s verdict.In April 2002, an anonymous letter was written to the then chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, complaining about the alleged sexual exploitation of women followers at the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa.In May 2002, the high court had directed Sirsa district and session judge to probe the allegations in the letter. In September 2002, the high court handed over the matter to the CBI after the district court indicated the possibility of sexual exploitation.In December 2002, the CBI registered a case of rape, criminal intimidation against Ram Rahim.The CBI had filed a charge sheet against the Dera head in Ambala court in July 2007. The charge sheet mentioned the sexual exploitation of two ‘sadhvis’ between 1999 and 2001.In September 2008, the special CBI court framed charges of rape and criminal intimidation against Ram Rahim. PTI SKV ABA PPS HMP RKS

Ryan International murder: CEO Ryan Pinto and family summoned by Gurugram police for interrogation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If you thought public outrage and media frenzy–after the murder of seven-year-old Pradhyumn ​Thakur in Ryan International School’s Bhondsi branch–would make Gurugram police take swift action to nab the real culprits, then think again. Gurugram police, already battling charges of going slow in the case allegedly to protect the real culprits, seems in no hurry to interrogate the trustees of Ryan School. Pinto family has been summoned by Gurugram police for interrogation on September 26.This despite the fact that Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday refused to stay arrests of Ryan School trustees in this case. Earlier, the Bombay High had rejected anticipatory bail application of Pinto family. But, Gurugram police has decided to wait until September 26 to interrogate the high-profile Ryan School trustees. The school owners – founder Augustine Francis Pinto, MD Grace Pinto and CEO Ryan Pinto — are based in Mumbai. Police teams could have easily gone to Mumbai to interrogate the Pinto family so as to pitch together all the evidence that could still be retrieved. Delay in investigation and interrogation would, at best, help the accused and this also increases the chances of tampering with the evidence. At a time when police teams should actually be pouncing on the head to suspects to get to the bottom of the real truth, the excaxtly opposite seems to be happening on the ground. Denial of anticipatory bails from two courts meant the noose was actually tightening on Pinto family. But Gurugram police has decided to wait till Tuesday to start with the interrogation of Pinto family.Earlier, Ryan Pinto was served a notice by Gurugram police which sought answers from him about security lapses in the school and names of those responsible for those lapses. Ryan Pinto’s statements become vital as the school faces a criminal case for negligence.

Ryan student death: Punjab & Haryana HC Judge recuses from hearing anticipatory bail pleas of school trustees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Justice Chaudhari on Tuesday recused himself from hearing the anticipatory bail pleas of Ryan School trustees in connection with the killing of a seven-year-old Pradhuman Thakur in its Gurgaon branchThe school owners – founder Augustine Francis Pinto, MD Grace Pinto and CEO Ryan Pinto — are based in Mumbai and had earlier approached the Bombay High Court seeking pre-arrest bail till they could move the court concerned in Haryana.However, the Bombay HC had on Thursday rejected their bail plea.The northern zone head of Ryan International Group, Francis Thomas, who was arrested by the Haryana Police in the case, also moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking regular bail.Thomas along with the school’s HR Head, Jeyus Thomas, were arrested by Gurugram police on Sunday night.Meanwhile, the Ryan International School will remain closed till September 25 as the family of Pradhuman Thakur raised apprehensions about vital evidence being destroyed.The school was opened to thin attendance on Monday but following the victim’s father’s objections, the district administration decided to close it till Monday next week.A class 2 student, was found dead in a school toilet, his throat slit. Schoolbus conductor Ashok Kumar was arrested the same day for allegedly killing the child.

Old currency notes, ‘plastic money’ recovered in searches at Dera HQ

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Old currency notes, plastic currency used for cash transactions inside the Dera, hard disks, unlabelled medicines and a luxury car without registration number were recovered as search operation began at the Sirsa headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda headed by now– jailed Gurmeet Ram Rahim.The team also recovered plastic currency used by the Dera followers for making purchases from the shops inside the Dera. The huge Dera campus has a stadium, a resort, a hospital, educational institutions and several bungalows.Curfew was imposed in the district as a precautionary step before officials entered the Dera, with armed commandos for protection. Over 4,000 paramilitary personnel patrolled at the area and mobile and internet connectivity was shut down to to thwart any backlash from the supporters of the controversial dera head, who was recently awarded 20 years in jail for raping two women.After his conviction, the Dera chief’s followers had indulged in rioting in several parts of Haryana, resulting in death of thirty six persons.As many as 10 teams were formed under the directions of Court Commissioner, former judge AKS Pawar, to conduct the search operation in the Dera which is spread over 700 acres. Sanitisation process would also be carried out in the old Dera, spread over 300 acres, following the orders of Punjab and Haryana High Court.The search operation which began 15 days after the Dera Chief’s conviction has raised several question marks, with allegations that remains of his followers are buried in the premises of the Dera. While any such recover will emerge only after investigation, which is yet to be made by the teams, the Dera through its mouthpiece, Sach Kahun, has refuted the allegations and stated that the buried remains were of those who willingly donated their bodies to the Dera.Apart from bomb squads, dog squads, locksmiths, videographers, the teams are being assisted by forensic scientists from IIT Roorkee. “Apart from hard drives, stock of unlabelled medicines, walkie-talkie the team has also taken in its possession an OB van found in the premises and a luxury car without a registration plate. Some rooms have been sealed. The teams have begun searching the residential area of the Dera Chief,” said Satish Mehra, Deputy Director, Information and Public Relations, Haryana.Internet and telecom services were clamped down following the state’s Home Department’s directive to check any adverse reaction from the public till September 10 and all the roads leading to the Dera were sealed, with force deployment in villages surrounding the Dera.Each of the ten teams are being led by an SP-rank officer. As the team proceeded to the Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s residential area, called ‘Gufa’, where the two sadhvis were raped, the team also found five youth, including two juveniles, in the room who were rescued.According to police, the search operation would be completed only by September 10, as the entire area had been divided into as many as ten zones.

No question of successor to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh: Dera Sacha Sauda spokesperson

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dera Sacha Sauda spokesperson, Vipassana Insan, on Tuesday categorically stated that there is no question of a successor to the Dera chief.Speaking to reporters, Vipassana said, “More than seven thousand students, including girls, continue to study at Dera school and there are also international players here. If there was anything wrong, they would not have been studying and staying here even now. Also, no declaration from Dera about the successor has been decided.”After the High Court directed a search operation of Dera premises under judicial supervision, the Dera Sacha Sauda spokesperson stated that they will co-operate in all possible way.”The Dera will co-operate with the directions issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court and by the Haryana government. Also, no connection with Honeypreet Insan since August 25,” she said.Vipassana further added that licensed weapons had been deposited by Dera followers at Sirsa with the police authorities.Earlier in the day, the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered for a search operation in the headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa under the supervision of a judicial officer.The Court has appointed retired judge KS Pawar to be the court commissioner for the search operation.This order came after the Haryana Police seized a cache of 33 licensed weapons of the Dera Sacha Sauda. These weapons include 14 revolvers, nine guns, four rifles and other modified weapons.The police later seized and sealed all the weapons.

Search operation inside Sirsa Dera to begin soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ten days after the verdict against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, Haryana government may finally start the search operation inside the Sirsa Dera.Acting on the application filed by the Haryana government, Punjab and Haryana High Court has allowed the government to start the search operation under judicial supervision. A full bench comprising Justice Surya Kant, Avnish Jhingam and Augustine George Masih appointed retired District and Session Judge A K S Pawar as the Court Commissioner, under whom the search would be carried out.”The Sirsa dera is spread over 700 acres and there are a number of educational and health institutions inside. Government wanted a fair and transparent sanitization,” Haryana AG Baldev Raj Mahajan said. The delay has raised several questions, considering the para-military forces and police remained deployed outside the Dera, with no permission to enter as yet.

Dera violence: Let them demand resignation, we have done good job: Haryana CM ML Khattar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid criticism over violence after the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday gave a clean chit to himself.After meeting BJP President Amit Shah in the national capital, Khattar refuted all the charges.Responding to demands of his resignation as Chief Minister of Haryana, Khattar said, “Let them demand the resignation, we have done our job nicely.” Political parties have been demanding Khattar’s resignation after the large scale violence perpetrated by Dera supporters.It’s being alleged that Khattar allowed Dera supporters to camp in sensitive areas because Dera chief had extended support to the party during the assembly election in the state.
ALSO READ Dera violence: Willful neglect by Khattar govt, says BSF ex-DGPunjab and Haryana High Court had on August 26 severely criticised Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government, calling its inaction ‘a political surrender to allure vote bank’.More than 36 people died and over 250 got injured in the violence after conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a rape case.
ALSO READ It was a war-like situation: Punjab and Haryana High Court asks for SIT to investigate Dera violenceKhattar government is being slammed for letting things go out of control by allowing Dera supports to enter and stay in Panchkula, Sirsa, and Chandigarh. The bench, comprising acting Chief Justice S S Saron and Justices Surya Kant and Avneesh Jhingan on August 29, directed that no FIR registered by the two states during the episode shall be cancelled without the permission of the High Court.It also ordered the Haryana government to file detailed status report regarding steps taken to sanitise Dera Sacha Sauda centres including its headquarters at Sirsa.The bench slammed the Haryana government for going soft on Dera supporters. “You cant go soft when some people come armed with petrol bombs and deadly weapons to indulge in arson and lawlessness,” the court said. “This was a war-like situation and it had to be fought like a war-like situation,” Justice Saron observed verbally.(With agency inputs)

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh verdict: Judge will travel to Rohtak to pronounce quantum of sentence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tight security arrangements are being put in place in Sunaria jail in Rohtak, where the CBI court judge will pronounce the quantum of sentence in the rape case against 50-year-old sect chief on Monday.Authorities said they are ensuring that law and order is maintained at all cost when the sentence is pronounced.The CBI judge Jagdeep Singh will be flown to the district jail in Sunaria, Rohtak, for pronouncing the quantum of sentence.Security forces are on high alert in Haryana and strict vigil was being maintained in sensitive districts including Panchkula, Sirsa, Rohtak and Fatehabad.At many sensitive places in Punjab too, security forces conducted flag marches and kept a tight vigil in sensitive areas.The Punjab and Haryana High Court has on Saturday castigated the Haryana government over the deadly violence that erupted in the state, saying it had “surrendered” before the followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda head for “political considerations”.In a big crackdown, the Haryana government had sealed over 30 congregation centres of the Dera Sacha Sauda across the state on Saturday even as it came under attack from the high court over Friday’s violence that claimed 36 lives.Four rifles, including an AK-47, pistols and petrol bombs were among the weapons seized from the supporters of the sect whose chief was convicted on Friday in a 2002 rape case that sparked violence and arson, mainly in Panchkula and Sirsa, police said.Two cases of sedition were also registered against Dera followers, it added but did not give details.Facing flak over the violence, the Haryana government had suspended Ashok Kumar, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Panchkula, alleging that his “defective” prohibitory orders allowed the crowd build-up in the district.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim case: How an anonymous letter changed address of Dera chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim has been convicted of raping two women followers in a case dating back to 2002. This has been a long and arduous investigation for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Dera Chief Ram Rahim has long enjoyed political patronage and huge mass support which made things move very slow and it was nearly impossible to dig out the evidence and nail the culprit. The crime came to light with the help of an anonymous letter in 2002, and now the criminal is behind the bars. The sexual exploitation case was registered against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in 2002 by the CBI on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. An anonymous letter, written by a rape survivor who was also woman disciple at the Dera,reveals the criminal mentality of Dera Chief and how he enjoyed the act of exploiting women and still claimed to be nothing less than God. “Lord Krishna had 360 gopies and he loved them, yet people worship him as God, so what I am doing is not a new thing,” Gurmeet Ram Rahim had reportedly told all this to the women disciple while making sexual advances. This incident was mentioned in the anonymous letter written to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and then chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Pistol, underground quarters, adult movies and Ram Rahim The letter mentions how Gurmeet Ram Rahim forced himself upon the woman and threatened to throw the woman and her family out of the Dera if she did not submit to his will. He even threatened to eliminate the family members, the letter claims. She was called by Dera Chief inside his gufa (underground quarters) late in the night around 10 pm. The letter reveals that Ram Rahim was sitting on a bed, watching an adult movie and a revolver lying on the pillow. “I have bestowed upon you a special favour by choosing you as my dearest Sadhvi,” Dera chief told the woman, reveals the letter. The rape survivor was raped by the Dera head. This continued over the next three years. Saga of torture and sexual exploitationThe letter claimed that other sadhvis who were 35-40 years of age, were also exploited. The letter among other things mentioned the activities inside the Dera when the girls who objected to these activities were beaten up and generally harassed. Around 30-40 girls were forced to live this life, the letter claimed. Suo moto cognizance of the issue was taken by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel of Punjab and Haryana high court. He directed the district and sessions judge of Sirsa to visit the Dera and submit a report. After receiving the report, Justice Goel ordered CBI probe into the case on September 24, 2002. On August 25, 2017, the rapist Dera chief was sent behind the bars.An anonymous letter finally managed to change the address of the powerful Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

Dera chief convicted: Timeline of the rape case against Gurmeet Ram Rahim

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A special CBI court on Friday convicted Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim of rape.A chronology of the case:April 2002: Anonymous letter written to Punjab and Haryana High Court chief justice complaining about the sexual exploitation of woman followers at Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa.May 2002: High court directs Sirsa district and sessions judge to probe the allegations in the letter.September 2002: High court hands matter to CBI after district court indicates possibility of sexual exploitation.
ALSO READ 3 days, 3 bold decisions by the Judiciary: Twitter hails CBI court’s conviction of Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim SinghDecember 2002: CBI registers a case of rape and criminal intimidation against Gurmeet Ram Rahim, head of the Sirsa headquartered Dera Sacha Sauda.July 2007: CBI files chargesheet against the Dera head in an Ambala court. The chargesheet refers to the sexual exploitation of two ‘sadhvis’ (women followers) between 1999 and 2001.
ALSO READ LIVE | Gurmeet Ram Rahim rape case: 12 dead, train set on fire in Delhi, Army called in PanchkulaSeptember 2008: The special CBI court frames charges against Gurmeet under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.Between 2009 and 2010: Two complainants record their statements before the court.April 2011: The special CBI court shifts from Ambala to Panchkula. The case against the Dera chief also transferred to Panchkula CBI court.July 2017: Special CBI court orders daily hearingAugust 17, 2017: Arguments of prosecution and defence concludes. Special CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh fixes August 25 as date for pronouncement of verdict. Gurmeet asked to appear in person before the court the same day.August 25, 2017: The special CBI court convicts Gurmeet. Quantum of sentencing to be announced on August 28.

HC seeks status report in minor girl’s ‘kidnapping’ case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Punjab and Haryana High Court today asked the police to file a status report in the case of kidnapping of a minor girl, in which the accused are said to be related to a BJP leader. Justice Lisa Gill has sought the report after hearing a petition filed by the 17-year-old girl’s mother and one more petitioner. The petition was filed on June 1 and the court on the previous date of hearing had sought the statement copy of the girl recorded under Section 164 of the CrPc. The girl was warned against making any statement against the accused, the petitioners have alleged. The petitioners in this case alleged that that police were not taking action against the four accused, because two of them “are related to Tohana MLA (and BJP state chief) Subhash Barala”. The court said that status report of the investigation of the case has to be filed by August 31. The petitioners said that the FIR in the matter was registered on May 8 for kidnapping and another offence at Tohana police station in Fatehabad district. The minor girl from Bidhai Khera village alleged that one of the accused of the same village had abducted her in pursuance to a conspiracy with the other accused. The petitioners claimed the girl was recovered by the police a day after the incident and taken to Bhuna police station, while the matter came under the jurisdiction of Tohana police station. The girl’s brother was accompanying her while she was being taken to the area magistrate for recording of statement, but police allegedly forced him to alight from the vehicle, it has been alleged in the petition. It has also been alleged that she was threatened with dire consequences if she made a statement against the accused. “She was scared and was influenced by the accused. Hence she made a statement that she left the house on her own due to family problem,” the petition added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

4 Hry chief parl secys resign, 2 weeks after HC set aside

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four BJP MLAs from Haryana, whose appointment as chief parliamentary secretaries (CPSes) were set aside by the Punjab and Haryana High Court nearly two weeks ago, today tendered their resignations as CPSes. All of them submitted their resignation to the chief minister, official sources said. A division bench of the high court had set aside their appointment on July 5 on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a lawyer, Jagmohan Singh Bhatti. The petitioner had filed the PIL shortly after the four were appointed chief parliamentary secretaries by the BJP government in Haryana in July, 2015. The four MLAs are Shyam Singh Rana, Bakhshish Singh Virk, Seema Trikha and Kamal Gupta. The government’s decision to appoint the four as CPSes was challenged by Bhatti on the ground that there were no such provisions in the Constitution and the appointments were thus, unconstitutional, and also a burden on the exchequer. The high court had given the four CPSes time to file an appeal against the order by keeping it in abeyance for three weeks, but today, Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala told reporters here that all four had resigned and there was no plan to challenge the HC verdict. Barala added that after the July 5 court verdict, the issue was discussed within the party, after which it was decided that all the four MLAs would tender their resignation as CPSes. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had administered oath to the four as CPSes on July 23, 2015. Rana is the MLA from Radaur in Yamunanagar district, Virk, representing Assandh in Karnal district, is the lone Sikh face among the BJP MLAs in Haryana, Trikha is the MLA from Badhkal in Faridabad and Gupta represents Hisar in the Assembly. MLAs are often appointed as CPSes by state governments as all of them cannot be accommodated in the cabinet due to a statutory 15-per cent ceiling on ministerial berths vis-a-vis the strength of the respective Assembly. Bhatti had contended that the state was spending lakhs of rupees of public money on the salaries, perks and facilities of these CPSes, who were de-facto ministers. However, the Haryana government had countered the claim saying the four CPS-es were not getting the salaries or allowances at par with the ministers and were also not included in the category of ministers. In August 2016, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had also quashed the appointment of the CPSes made by the erstwhile SAD-BJP government in Punjab in April, 2012. In that case too, Bhatti was one of the petitioners.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Legal assistance establishment centre set up at Panchkula

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Supreme Court judge Justice Dipak Misra, who is also Executive Chairman, National Legal Services Authority, today inaugurated the legal assistance establishment centre at Panchkula. The centre will facilitate litigants, who are in jail, to interact with their counsels placed at far off stations. Justice Misra also launched a facility for video conferencing and spoke to officials of the jail administration in Hisar and Sirsa, an official release said. He directed them to prepare a list of appeals made by all prisoners and send it to the Haryana State Legal Services Authority (HSLSA) so that it could follow-up on these. In addition, Justice Misra also enquired about the number of jail inmates who are above 60 years of age in these jails. Later, Justice Misra said the purpose of opening such centers was to provide free legal services to the undertrials and convicted persons in jails as well as to provide them complete information about their cases. This centre will serve as a master centre, he said adding that a similar centre called ‘Kanoon Sarthi’, had also been set up in Mohali, Punjab. Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Shiavax Jal Vazifdar, Judge Punjab and Haryana High Court and Executive Chairman, Haryana State Legal Services Authority Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal, Judge Punjab and Haryana High Court Jaishree Thakur, were also present on the occasion.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC sets aside appointment of four chief parl secys in Haryana

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a setback to the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today set aside the appointment of four BJP MLAs as chief parliamentary secretaries. The judgment of a division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court came on a PIL filed by a lawyer, Jagmohan Singh Bhatti, who had filed the litigation shortly after the four were appointed chief parliamentary secretaries in July 2015. A division bench comprising Justices S S Saron and Darshan Singh, however, gave the four legislators – Shyam Singh Rana, Bakhshish Singh Virk, Seema Trikha and Kamal Gupta – time to file an appeal against the order by keeping it in abeyance for three weeks. The Haryana government’s decision to appoint the four was challenged by Bhatti on the ground that there were no such provisions in the Constitution and the appointments were thus, unconstitutional, and also a burden on the exchequer. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had administered oath to four party legislators as chief parliamentary secretaries on July 23, 2015. Rana is MLA from Radaur in Yamunanagar district, Virk, MLA from Assandh in Karnal district is the lone Sikh face among BJP MLAs, Trikha is a legislator from Badhkal in Faridabad and Gupta is an MLA from Hisar. Significantly, chief parliamentary secretaries are often appointed on these posts by various state governments to accommodate MLAs since all cannot be made ministers due to a statutory ceiling of 15 per cent on ministerial berths vis-a- vis the respective assembly strength. Bhatti had contended that the state was spending lakhs of rupees of public money on paying for the salaries, perks and facilities of these secretaries, who were de-facto ministers. However, the Haryana government had countered the claims saying the four chief parliamentary secretaries were not getting the salary or allowances provided to ministers and were also not included in the category of ministers. The government counsel had argued that they were not appointed as ministers on the advice of the chief minister, nor administered an oath of office and secrecy by the governor. The state had argued that the four were appointed in public interest to assist the ministers in view of their multifarious duties. Bhatti told reporters that the Bench observed that the appointments of chief parliamentary secretaries were contrary to the constitutional intent of limiting the number of ministers or the size of the cabinet. Earlier in August last year, Punjab and Haryana High Court had also quashed the appointment of the chief parliamentary secretaries made by the previous SAD-BJP government in April 2012. In that case too, Bhatti was one of the petitioners.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Roads within city can be exempt from highway liquor ban, observes SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A fortnight after the Punjab government amended the law to allow restaurants situated within 500 metres of National Highways to serve liquor within their premises, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said that there was nothing wrong with denotifying highways if such roads are within a city.The court made the observation while hearing a petition filed by NGO ‘Arrive Safe Society’ through its president Harman Singh Sidhu.”There are no such issues when the roads are within the city. Denotifying such roads as highways may have intelligible differentia,” said the court. The court also said that the purpose of its ban was to ensure high speeding vehicles on highways don’t have drivers under the influence of alcohol.The court remarks bring a sigh of relief for pubs shut down along the highway. The hearing in the case has been deferred by a week. On June 23, the Punjab Assembly had passed a Bill to enable hotels, restaurants and other notified places near highways in the state to serve alcohol.Following which, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a notice to the Punjab government.

HC for continuity in service to 43 Kurukshetra cops

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Punjab and Haryana High Court has applied the principle of equal treatment by directing the Haryana government to extend the benefit of continuity in service with 50 per cent back wages to 43 Kurukshetra police officials. The verdict by Justice Rajiv Narain Raina followed allegations of discrimination by the Haryana government against the appellants, who were on probation when discharged from service. Their counsel had argued that several employees were discharged and dismissed from service on the ground of same conduct. The statewide strike was resorted to by policemen in 1991. While regular employees were taken back in service with 50 per cent back wages without punishment in districts other than Kurukshetra, but same yardstick was not followed for them. Justice Raina observed “the basic issue was that the punishing authority did not care to treat the plaintiffs as similarly situated employees were dealt by the police department.” “When the principles of unfair discrimination are invoked and proved beyond doubt, the civil court ought not to sit back and refuse to apply the principles of Article 14 of the Constitution,” the justice noted. He further observes that if the principle was to be upheld with eyes shut, there would be further invidious and hostile bifurcation among homogeneous class of discharged probationers. He observed that “this means that there will be intra- class discrimination between the probationers and appellants and regular police officials involved in the same incident, pardoned by the state in a compromise between the Haryana Police and the state government.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

High court raps Punjab Police for probe in graft case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Punjab and Haryana High Court has pulled up police for conducting investigations in a highly “unprofessional” manner in an embezzlement case. The rap came up during the hearing of an anticipatory bail plea filed by Manmohan Maheshwari against the state government on May 31. Justice Fateh Deep Singh observed that the investigations in the case are highly unprofessional and needs to be properly supervised. “As the entire records, as has been discovered during the course of hearing, have not been taken into possession by the investigating officer, impels this court to issue directions to the police authorities concerned to ensure that the administration of justice does not suffer on that score,” the judge observed. The allegations against the petitioner were that he was employed as a salesman with the complainant Gaushala in Bathinda where he was deputed to deal with cash regarding sale of green fodder in April. During the course of his employment he had embezzled a total amount of Rs 15.29 lakh of which he returned Rs 1.46 lakh after defalcation was discovered and has also confessed of his involvement in usurping the money of the Gaushala. His counsel H P S Ishar contended that the petitioner was allowed interim bail by the lower court and that there is no semblance of evidence to bring about his posting and handling of cash enabling him to deal with the same and in fact it was the wrongdoings of the management of the gaushala to which the petitioner opposed has led to his false implication and that nothing is to be recovered from him. The bail application was opposed by state counsel K D S Sidhu, Additional Advocate General of Punjab, assisted by Abhinav Gupta, advocate representing the complainant, on the ground that huge amount of money is involved and there is documentary proof of Maheshwari’s wrongdoings including CCTV footage and his confession necessitate his custodial interrogation. Finding no merit in the petition, the court dismissed it.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Government starts process of appointing 44 new HC judges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ending a months-long logjam that strained the relationship between the government and the judiciary, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)-led government has finally initiated the process of appointing 44 new judges at various high courts across the country.The appointment of these 44 candidates was mired in controversy as the Centre had initially rejected the selections made by the Supreme Court collegium.Chief Justice of India JS Khehar achieved what his predecessor could not, making good on the promise he had made when he was elevated earlier this year.The relationship between the government and the judiciary had worsened under former CJI S Thakur, who tried to make appointments in the superior courts. Thakur wept, cajoled, remonstrated, shouted and issued threats, but to no avail.The filibuster that dogged the judiciary and the government was at its peak when in 2016 the Centre returned the candidates proposed by the collegium twice. The government held its ground even though the SC has over-riding power over judicial appointments.Highly placed sources revealed that 29 of the 44 candidates are from the Allahabad High Court, seven are from the Calcutta High Court, six from Madras and two from Karnataka.The latest announcement indicates the increasing thaw between the government and the judiciary. According to an established practice, once a collegium reiterates its suggestion of a candidate, the government usually appoints him or her as a judge. However, in the recent past, the Modi-led government had shown its disapproval over suggestions and sent back several names to the collegium twice.The latest appointment of judges will add to the 17 judges who were appointed at the Bombay and the Jammu and Kashmir High Courts. Fourteen judges were appointed in Mumbai, whereas three were appointed in Jammu and Kashmir.However, the SC has put off its plan to elevate Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal — the third senior-most judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court — as the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court after SC judges Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ranjan Gogoi intervened in the matter.The two apex court judges — who were also once at the Punjab and Haryana High Court — suggested that by elevating Justice Mittal, and superseding Justice SS Saron, the second senior-most judge, a wrong message would be sent out.Justice Mittal’s appointment may have to wait till September, when Justice Saron retires. Elevation to the Delhi High Court — the second-most important and busiest after the top court — is considered to be prestigious. It is said that elevation to the Delhi High Court paves one’s way for promotion to the Supreme Court.According to data available on the Department of Justice website, 24 high courts across the country are working on a strength of 660 judges as opposed to the truncated strength of 1,079. The shortage of 419 judges is taking its toll, as there are more than 3 crore cases pending in courts across India.1 JUDGE, 45K CASES24 high courts are working on a strength of 660 judges.
However, the truncated strength is of 1,079 judges.
There are more than 3 cr cases pending in courts.

Should betting be legalised, law panel asks public

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In what could reignite the debate over legalising sports betting and gambling in the country, the Law Commission of India has invited “views and suggestions” from the public and all stakeholders on the issue.Among the questions that the Law Commission has sought answers are whether legalising betting and gambling will help in curbing illegal activities and if licensing such activities will help the government “earn substantial revenue and generate employment”.It has also raised a moral question: How far will legalising betting and gambling be morally correct in the Indian circumstances?The Law Commission also wants to know if foreign “betting and gambling companies” should be allowed to have a foothold in the country in case both are made legal.All these questions formed part of an appeal that was issued by the Commission chairman Justice BS Chauhan (retd) on Tuesday. The appeal indicated that the Commission is already working towards a probable report that discusses the possibility of legalising betting in sports. The appeal also notes that it would be a futile exercise to take a call on betting without looking at gambling simultaneously.The debate to legalise gambling (which includes betting) has been an subject matter of debate for long, and has since gained traction since the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal. In January 2016, the Justice RL Lodha Committee had batted for legalising betting with a variety of safeguards.As per estimates by various government and non-governmental agencies, a high-profile cricket match like India versus Pakistan attracts illegal betting to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore. However, if one considers betting across the globe, the figures exponentially rise to more than Rs 8,000 crore.Even the appeal put out on Tuesday by the Law Commission notes this, pointing to media reports which say that gambling, though illegal, is widespread and “practiced across the country clandestinely”.In January 2016, the Justice RL Lodha Committee had batted for legalising betting with a variety of safeguards.Former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal (retired), who headed the probe in the spot-fixing scandal, also supports the move to legalise betting.

Court dismisses FIR plea against Sonu Nigam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that a series of tweets of singer Sonu Nigam on azaan were not meant to insult any religion or religious belief, Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed a plea filed by a Sonepat resident seeking registration of an FIR against Nigam for violating his fundamental rights.Aash Mohammad, a resident of Sonepat, Haryana, had filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court stating that the singer had violated his fundamental rights through the tweets posted last month. He had sought directions from the state to file the FIR.Dismissing the plea, the single-judge bench of Justice MMS Bedi reprimanded the petitioner for seeking to exaggerate a sensitive issue and termed it as a cheap mode of attaining publicity by making a renowned singer a scapegoat in the name of religion.”Azaan is no doubt an essential part of the Muslim religion but the use of microphone is certainly not an integral part of azaan,” said Justice Bedi, while stating that the tweets were meant to criticise the use of loudspeakers for religious purposes.The judgment highlighted that there was no violation of any Article of the Constitution.”A fair interpretation of the words used by Nigam clearly indicate that the word ‘gundagardi’ in his tweet is not addressed to the azaan, but is meant for the user of loudspeakers and amplifiers…by the way, Mohammed did not have access to electricity when he made Islam,” read the judgement.”Such a practice deserves to be deprecated to secure the spirit of our preamble and to perform our fundamental duties to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India…” said Justice Bedi.

Punjab HC: Delete column of caste in forms

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday issued a notice to Punjab, Haryana governments and Chandigarh administration stating that the column of caste in various forms, including FIRs, must be done away with. The notice follows a PIL that sought deletion of the column. The matter reached before the High Court following the petition filed by a Chandigarh-based Advocate, HC Arora, who argued that mentioning caste in various forms was in conflict with various provisions of the Constitution which guarantees a caste-free society.Highlighting that the mention of caste was in violation of fundamental rights, Arora sought directions be given to state governments to further direct all Investigating Officers not to mention the caste or religion of the accused, victim or witnesses in recovery memos, FIRs, seizure memos, inquest papers and other forms prescribed under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, as well as under the Punjab Police Rules, 1934.He argued that instead of caste, other alternative forms of identification, including Aadhaar Card number, House Number or Ward Number of accused, witness or victim could be utilised by the officers concerned.Justice SS Saron observed that “Sikh Gurus had already issued an edict more than three hundred years ago”. The next date of hearing is on May 25.

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