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Prisoners need better medical aid

Lack of proper medical facilities and vacancies in the Central Jail hospital at Asia’s largest prison, housing more than 15,000 prisoners, came under the scanner of the Delhi High Court as it issued a slew of measures for the authorities.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also expressed shock at the huge number of vacancies at the Central Jail Hospital located in Jail number 3 and the dispensaries in the prison complex.The court noted that the lack of medical facilities in the jail not only causes prejudice to poor prisoners but also affect the exchequers of the government as rich inmates are taken to private hospital for treatment.The bench said that the treatments “creates differences and also acquire a lot of cost on the public exchequer” adding that “private treatment adds to the already over-stressed machinery of Tihar”.”The prisoners have to wait for long, travel long distances and sometimes even wait for the court orders to get treated which may itself cause prejudice to the prisoners,” the court said.During the proceedings, Advocate Sumer Singh Sethi, appointed as an amicus to assist the court in a matter related to the inhumane conditions in prisons, highlighted the need for counsellors for the mental well-being of the inmates.The court was informed that there are 110 sanctioned posts for doctors in the jail premises out of which just 47 of them are filled up. The court was also told that there are 108 sanctioned posts for paramedical staff and 92 of them are physically filled.”A shocking state of affairs has come up regarding the vacancies in absence of medical representatives in Central Jail Complex, Tihar Jail no 3,” the court said.

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Delhi High Court dismisses plea on Bhagat Singh

Stating that it cannot pass any direction on the issue of giving martyr status to freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, the Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking directions from the court. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said “the plea is dismissed. We cannot issue such a direction.” The court dismissed the plea after the petitioner failed to reply to the court’s query on whether there is any law under which the court has the power to issue any such direction.The plea filed by advocate Birender Sangwan had sought granting of ‘shaheed’ (martyr) status to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, who were hanged by the Britishers in 1931. “The grant of ‘shaheed’ status is very much essential for HC a martyr and it is the legal right of a martyr to have such a status declared to them, thus it is an expression of gratitude towards them,” the plea had contended. In 1928, Bhagat Singh and Rajguru had shot a British junior police officer, John Saunders in Lahore, in present-day Pakistan, mistaking him for a British police superintendent. A special tribunal was constituted by Lord Irwin, the then Viceroy of India.

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You are unable to clear garbage, what education will you impart: HC raps Delhi govt, MCD

What kind of education will you impart, if you are unable to remove garbage from your schools — the Delhi High Court today asked the AAP government and the municipal corporations in the national capital.”It cannot be denied that the liability for collection, removal and disposal of garbage rests on the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, which exercises its functions under the MCD Act,” a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal said.The bench, also comprising Justice C Hari Shankar, further chided the civic bodies, saying they were “hopelessly unable to do their duty”.”Cleanliness, maintenance of hygiene in the city are your prime duties. If you are not able to do it, what kind of education will you impart? It is sad that you are not able to remove garbage from your schools,” the bench observed.”The point is inability,” the bench said and asked the counsel of the Delhi government and the three MCDs if it was not their duty.The bench directed the authorities to file their replies as regards removal of garbage generated in the schools run by the Delhi government as well as the MCDs and fixed the matter for April 23 next year.The directions of the court came during the hearing of a plea filed by an NGO, Justice for All, through its counsel Khagesh Jha, who urged the court to direct the authorities to make appropriate arrangements for daily collection and disposal of garbage from the premises of these schools.The petition claimed that multiple agencies in Delhi were busy shifting the blame on each other and that there was no coordination between these agencies as regards improving the infrastructure for the students.The petition also dealt with the “poor” condition of toilets in these schools.

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Delhi HC dismisses plea for ‘shaheed’ status to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru

The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking that freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru be given the status of martyr, saying it cannot issue such a direction.”The plea is dismissed. We cannot issue such a direction,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said.The petitioner failed to reply to the court’s query on whether there is any law under which the court has the power to issue any such direction.The plea filed by advocate Birender Sangwan sought grant of ‘shaheed’ (martyr) status to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru who were hanged by the Britishers in 1931.”The grant of shaheed status is very much essential for a martyr and it is the legal right of a martyr to have such a status declared to them, thus it is an expression of gratitude towards them,” the plea said.Bhagat Singh and Rajguru had in 1928 fatally shot a British junior police officer, John Saunders at Lahore in present day Pakistan, mistaking him for a British police superintendent.A special tribunal was constituted by Lord Irwin, the then Viceroy of India, which had sentenced the duo along with Sukhdev to death by hanging at Lahore Jail.

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Prosecute officials under whose tenure Hanuman idol was constructed: Delhi High Court

Showing displeasure on the allegedly illegally built 108-ft high Hanuman idol in Karol Bagh area yet again, the Delhi High court said on Friday that it will ask the CBI to investigate the construction of the statue and prosecute officials of DDA and municipal corporation during whose tenure it was constructed.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that while it cannot go after individual unauthorised buildings, builders, or the “hapless people” who are buying them, “the time has come” to ensure that the authorities comply with the laws.”We propose to send it (the case) to the CBI,” the court said and asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the municipal corporation of the area to give the names of its officials who have been posted in the area since 1995, when the construction of the colossal statue started.The bench stated that the list of names sought were incomplete and unacceptable, thereby ordering to give the list by December, fixing it as the next date of hearing.The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) filed an affidavit stating that it has taken action to remove some of the encroachments around the statue and commercial activity outside the temple has been stopped. But the court did not seem to be satisfied and said that the NDMC has withheld vital information about when the road and pavement adjacent to the statue came under its jurisdiction.During the proceedings, Delhi police informed the court that it was interrogating the trustees running the temple and was also looking into its source of funding. It was stated that the temple has an account, containing Rs 11 lakh, in a UCO Bank branch at Model Basti area along with a fixed deposit of Rs 40 lakh.They also added that these cannot be the only funds of the trust, whose sole source of earning is the temple which has been running from 1978. The statue, however, was built completely only in 2002.Appearing for the Delhi police, its counsel Satyakam said that the general manager of the UCO Bank was seeking 30-60 days to provide information about who all deposited cheques in the trust’s account.The bench, thereafter, directed the general manager of the bank to provide the information sought by the police at the earliest and not later than two weeks. The DDA and the corporation told the court that neither the temple nor the trust was paying any property tax to them.The court had ordered a police probe after a committee appointed by it in May this year to look into illegal constructions all over Delhi had pointed to encroachments of up to 1,170 square yards on the DDA land which forms part of the Southern Ridge.

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Implement system whereby we know undertrials’ records, Delhi High Court tells Tihar

The Delhi High court has directed the DG (Prisons), city government and the police to implement a system which would let one know about the records of the undertrials lodged in the jail.”We direct the District Judge (Headquarters), DG (Prisons) and Delhi police to make suggestions and implement a system where there is immediate transmission of information,” the court said.The court’s direction comes while hearing a PIL which was initiated pursuant by a letter written by a Supreme Court Judge Justice Kurian Joseph. Dated June 18, 2015, the letter enclosed therewith a Memorandum received from the women prisoners lodged in Central Jail No.6, Tihar, New Delhi stating that out of the 614 women prisoners detained, 412 are undertrial prisoners and many of them are languishing in jail without trial for a long period.The letter also stated that 32 children of the undertrial prisoners are also forced to stay in the prison along with their mothers. The Memorandum, which was enclosed with the letter, highlights the lack of basic amenities in the prison, the gender discrimination to which the women prisoners are subjected to, and particularly, the grievances of some undertrial prisoners who remained in jail for more than six months even in respect of simple offences.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar gave a detailed order after a report was submitted by a committee constituted in Delhi to look into the matter.”In order to enable effective communication and ensure that the spirit of section 436 (A) of CrPc, immediate steps to connect the prison management system with the court should be taken,” the court said.The court had constituted a committee comprising of Professor Mrinal Sathish and Prof Amrita Chandra to look into the working of section 436 (A) of the CrPC . The committee examined the suggestions and gave a consolidated report on December 11. The report suggested guidelines for preparation and updation of the record of the undertrial prisoners. The court said that such directions when implemented “will go a long way to ensure the rights of the prionsers”.

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Delhi High Court tells DPL to preserve its books

The Delhi High Court today asked the historic Delhi Public Library (DPL) to preserve its books which are locked since November last year.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar observed that since the DPL is locked and its members have been prohibited from entering the premises, the books and other valuables lying there might get damaged.It directed the authorities to remove the books, CDs, computers, catalogues and other important material lying in the library to be shifted to the head office or any other safe location.The court passed the order after it was informed that the books may get damaged as the building has been locked since November 15 last year.The first Delhi Public Library was started by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru across the old Delhi railway station way back in 1951.The bench refrained from passing any order on the DPL Board’s application seeking direction to repair the holes in ceiling of the library so that it can be used partially. The bench said it will deal with this aspect on January 16 next year. The court on December 4 last year had extended till March 20 its order restraining North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) from demolishing the building.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Begging not a crime if done due to poverty: Centre to Delhi High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Begging should not be a crime if it is done due to poverty, the Centre today told the Delhi High Court which wondered if anyone begs out of compulsion or by choice.The Centre’s stand came on two PILs seeking basic human and fundamental rights for beggars in the national capital and for decriminalising begging.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and C Hari Shankar asked, “If anybody beg out of compulsion or choice? Have you ever seen somebody begging out of choice?” The central government, in an affidavit, said that at present, 20 states and 2 union territories have either enacted their own anti-beggary legislation or adopted the legislation enacted by the other states.”Therefore, any change in the law related to beggary may require taking the view of the concerned state governments,” said the affidavit filed through central government standing counsel Anil Soni.It said that begging should not be a crime if it is done because of poverty, however, in order to ascertain whether it is being done out of poverty or willingly by a person even if he or she is well off or has been forced into begging, it is necessary to detain him or her.”Only after detention of such person and subsequent investigation, the cause of begging by an individual can be ascertained. Hence, the provision of detention as mentioned in the section in the (Bombay Prevention of Begging) Act is warranted,” the Centre said and sought dismissal of the petitions saying they were not maintainable.The court listed the matter for January 9 next year. The Centre had earlier said begging will not be decriminalised, changing its stance in the high court, which had termed the move as “unfortunate”.Petitioners Harsh Mandar and Karnika Sawhney have also sought basic amenities like proper food and medical facilities at all beggars’ homes in the city.The bench had earlier pulled up the Centre for not amending the law to decriminalise begging and rehabilitate the beggars even after an undertaking was given by it a year ago.The Centre and the AAP government had in October last year informed the court that the Ministry of Social Justice had drafted a bill to decriminalise begging and rehabilitate beggars and homeless people. But, later the proposal to amend the legislation was dropped.Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for one of the petitioners, had earlier said that thousands of poor persons were detained due to operation of the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, which provides drastic sentences.The law prescribes a penalty of more than three years of jail in case of first conviction for begging and the person can be ordered to be detained for 10 years in subsequent conviction, he had said.Currently, there is no central law on begging and destitution and most states have adopted the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959, which criminalises beggary, or have modelled their laws on it. The two petitions have challenged the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act.

Padmavati Controversy: Delhi HC dismisses plea, says such petitions encourage agitators

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed a plea against the film “Padmavati”, observing that such petitions were encouraging those agitating against the movie.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar termed as “hopeless” and “misconceived” a petition seeking that a committee be set up prior to the release of the movie to check whether there was any distortion of history.”Have you (counsel for the petitioner) seen the film.Have the people, who are burning cinema halls seen the film? By this kind of petitions, you are encouraging the people who are agitating,” the bench observed.It further directed the petitioner, Akhand Rashtrawadi Party, which claims to be a political party, to approach the Censor Board as the court was not inclined to entertain it.The plea has said that the committee was necessary as there was alleged distortion of historical facts in the film starring Deepika Padukone.

Delhi High Court: Map dengue breeding areas in Capital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the municipal corporation of the national capital to provide a geographic map of the city areas which are usually affected by vector-borne diseases like dengue.A direction was also issued to the Centre by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar to place before it a status report on whether any steps have been taken to develop the National Capital Region (NCR) as suggested by it in May this year.The directions for mapping of dengue-affected areas and development of the NCR came from the court when it was hearing some PILs relating to unauthorised constructions in the city.”Give us a geographic mapping of the areas affected by dengue,” the court said and added that the map would help it issue appropriate directions.The bench also said that carrying out the mapping would also help in better monitoring of those areas and prevention of the spread of vector-borne diseases.The bench said that developing of the NCR would help in reducing air pollution, over-crowding and vehicular congestion in the city, apart from addressing the problems of lack of cleanliness and rise in coaching centres being run from residential areas or properties.According to the data released by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Monday, the total number of dengue cases in Delhi has touched 8,549 with 486 cases reported in the previous week. Meanwhile, the number of people affected by malaria has also climbed to 1,111 while the figure for chikungunya stood at 878 with 23 new cases reported during the last week.The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), till November 18, reported 692 cases, the highest among the three civic bodies whereas the SDMC registered nearly 689 cases in the same period. Over 359 cases reported came from east Delhi.NEWS IN NUMBERSSDMC recorded a total of 8,549 dengue cases, and NDMC recorded 692 cases on Monday
Over 359 cases reported came from east Delhi.

Delhi HC asks authorities to ‘airlift’ the 108-foot Hanuman statue in Karol Bagh to remove encroachments around it

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Anguished over illegal constructions in the national capital, the Delhi High Court on Monday suggested to the local authorities to consider “airlifting” of the 108-foot Hanuman statue in central Delhi to remove the encroachments around it. Observing that entire skyscrapers have been relocated completely in the United States, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar gave the suggestion while hearing a PIL by an NGO seeking removal of unauthorised constructions and encroachments in the Karol Bagh area in the city. “Consider if the statue can be airlifted. Speak to the LG.You know, in the US, entire skyscrapers are shifted as a whole,” it said. The court also said if the civic bodies could “at even one place show that the law was being enforced, “the mindset of the people of Delhi would change”. It said enough opportunities have been given to the municipal corporations to enforce the law “but no one wants to do it”.The matter came up before the bench today as the local authorities were seeking a modification with regard to the police station which would be responsible for implementing the court’s November 15 direction to remove encroachments from the area. After modifying the order, the court listed the matter for hearing on November 24.

Delhi High Court: We can’t intervene on Metro fare hike issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming it a policy decision and beyond their jurisdiction, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to interfere with the latest fare hike by Delhi Metro.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar stated that it was “not inclined”to step into the decision taken by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, it being a policy decision. “Neither do we have any jurisdiction to go into it,” the bench said, noting that the petitioner did not first approach the authorities with his representation.Amer Vaid, a second year law student, sought the quashing of recommendations by the fourth Fare Fixation Committee that gave a go ahead to revise metro fares by 100 per cent.The petition said that the increased fares were in contravention to the previous norms of the FFC, wherein, the distance zone was reduced from 15 to six kilometers, leaving citizens of the national capital region in a “detrimental situation”. It also contented that the new fare slab meant passengers travelling distances differing by nine kilometers, were made to pay the same amount, which was “unfair and unjust”.The bench, however, questioned why the DMRC could not charge the fare they desire. It also directed the petitioner to take up his representation with the DMRC, which would take a call on it and communicate to him immediately.According to the new fares, the cost of travelling upto 2 km was Rs 10, 2 to 5 km — Rs 20, 5 to 12 km — Rs 30, 12 to 21 km — Rs 40, 21 to 32 km — Rs 50 and for journeys beyond 32 km — Rs 60.Smart card users, who, according to the DMRC’s estimates, happen to be 70 per cent of the metro’s total ridership, would continue to get 10 per cent discount on each ride coupled with an additional discount of 10 per cent while travelling during off-peak hours. That is from the beginning of services till 8 am, between 12 pm and 5 pm and from 9 pm to the end of the services.The DMRC invited a lot of criticism for revising Metro fares for second time in less than six months. This also led to the Delhi government mounting pressure on the body to roll it back, even seeking Centre’s intervention in to the matter. The Metro, however, refused to stall the new fares.NEW FARESCost of travelling up to: 2 km — Rs 102 to 5 km — Rs 205 to 12 km — Rs 302 to 21 km — Rs 4021 to 32 km — Rs 50journeys beyond 32 km — Rs 60.Smart card holders to get extra 10% discount during off-peak hours

EDMC arrears: Delhi High Court raises objection to Delhi Government changing counsel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court took objection to the AAP government’s decision to change their counsel in connection to the release of arrears to the sanitation work of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said it has already heard Delhi government’s standing counsel Ramesh Singh on the issue and he was supposed to seek instruction on the amounts which were payable under the 3rd and 4th Finance Commissions to the EDMC.The court said that this practice cannot be allowed at this moment and the government has to keep their house in order. It also added that the counsel should not accept such brief from the ministers.The bench said it does not like a change of counsel in any pending matter, as it also sought to know from the government the amounts they have disbursed to the three corporations.Meanwhile, the court directed the government to disburse 1.5 per cent of the arrears after the counsel for Delhi government submitted that in a meeting they have decided to give the funds being demanded by the workers.The court was hearing a plea seeking a direction to the authorities to ensure that the workers of East and North Delhi Municipal Corporations call off their strike, which started on October 11 and October 16 respectively, and resume work.After the court intervened, the sanitation employees returned to their work and the government has also paid their salaries. However, their arrears are still pending.

Filthy pond makes teen move High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fed up with the foul smell of garbage and sewer water in a pond adjacent to a government school, a 16-year-old girl has knocked the Delhi High Court’s door, seeking directions to the authorities to clean the water body.Simran, a student of Class IX in Sarvodya Kanya Vidyalaya, Aya Nagar, in south Delhi, has highlighted the plight of all her friends, teachers, and residents of the area, who have been falling sick because of the garbage that is being dumped in a nearby pond in the absence of ‘dhalaos’.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar expressed concerns over the condition and the health of individuals because of the pond. The court ordered immediate inspection of the area, directing the Delhi government, South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to do so.The court also asked the petitioner, Simran, to point out the area to the authorities, who would have to file a status report about the garbage and the sewer issues in the area.Speaking to DNA, Simran said she has been facing the issue for the last one year. “I have been studying in this school for the last six years. But from the last one year, the situation has become intolerable. Many of my friends have fallen sick. Also, there is a mosquito menace because of the garbage,” she said.She further said that several complaints have been made in this regard, but no action has been taken to solve the issues. “Both me and my parents had told the principal, who assured us that she will complain to the authorities. But, nothing happened. Teachers and students, all face the same problem,” she added.The court said that if the allegations were found to be correct, rectification measures will be taken immediately.Meanwhile, councillor of Aya Nagar, Ved Pal, told DNA that students have been facing this problem as there is not even a single dhalao in the area. “We are waiting for the dhalao land for Aya Nagar and Jonapur. As soon as we get the land from the Delhi government, the problem would be solved,” he said.The court has fixed the next date of hearing on February 5.

Delhi High court expresses anguish over Kathputli disorder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expressing its anguish, the Delhi High court said on Tuesday that all of Delhi was unauthorised. The court’s observation comes after it was informed about the ongoing demolition of jhuggis in Kathputli Colony in violation of the court’s orders.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar directed the SHO of Ranjit Nagar police station to ensure protection to representatives of the NGOs after an application was moved by a woman activist, who was part of a three member panel that alleged in court that some men at the site misbehaved with her.The court also directed strict compliance of its previous orders.”The respondents shall ensure that our previous orders are strictly complied with,” the bench said, thereby listing the matter for November 16.”…The reading of a copy of the unsworn affidavit…makes for an extremely distressing reading, and if true, may render the persons against whom allegations have been leveled in the same liable under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971,” the bench said.The court had, on October 31, put on hold the demolition work at the site for two weeks, but had modified its order the next day by allowing DDA to demolish jhuggis whose residents were eligible for relocation and had voluntarily moved out of the Kathputli colony to transit camps at Narela and Anand Parbat.According to the affidavit filed by Sunayana Wadhwanof Sanchal Foundation, she was surrounded by a group of women who verbally abused her when she reached Kathputli colony at 3pm on Monday.She alleged that DDA officials did not help her and that when she requested a policeman to stop the demolition of a jhuggi, he directed her to speak to the concerned DDA officer.She further claimed that at the DDA site office, she was once again surrounded by 30-40 people who were verbally abusing her. She managed to escape and called the police.GOINGS-ONA woman alleged DDA officials did not help her when she was being verbally abused, and when she requested a cop to stop demolition of a jhuggi, he directed her to speak to the concerned DDA officer.

Delhi High Court seeks response over insurance cover to HIV/AIDS patients

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the response of several public sector insurance firms on whether any policy was being offered to people suffering from HIV-AIDs. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Harishankar’s query came on a petition which sought inclusion of HIV positive and AIDS-afflicted people in life and health insurance policies with consequential benefits.The court, while posing the question, also directed the PSU insurance firms to forthwith take a stand and comply with the guidelines of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).”Inform this court about your (insurance firms) stand on making available insurance services to people afflicted with HIV and AIDS,” the bench said and asked them to file an affidavit and listed the matter for January 22 next year.Appearing for the Centre, its counsel informed the court that the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act, mandates equality of people and prohibits any discrimination against people suffering from HIV or AIDS.The counsel for the state-owned insurance companies submitted that the issue was under consideration and they required time but were ready to follow the guidelines of the IRDA. Earlier, the court had issued a notice to Ministry of Health, public sector insurance companies and the IRDA seeking their responses. The plea had alleged discrimination against people with HIV and AIDS (PLHAs).The petition filed by Rajeev Sharma has alleged that there was no “effective progress and implementation of any insurance policies for the benefit of PLHAs”.The court has tagged the matter with another similar pending petition which had the grievance of non-availability of the facility of insurance for children born with congenital or birth defects.The plea had contended that the Centre had in 2013 said that by April 1, 2014, the insurance cover would be available to all PLHAs, but nothing has happened.

PIL seeking to treat Vande Mataram at par with Jana Gana Mana dismissed by Delhi HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A PIL seeking direction to treat the national song ‘Vande Mataram’, authored by poet Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, at par with the national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was today dismissed by the Delhi High Court.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that though it agreed with the petitioner’s view, but it cannot grant the relief sought.”Though we agree with the petitioner that ‘Vande Mataram’ be recognised by the respondent as equal to ‘Jana Gana Mana’.We are of the view that we are unable to grant the relief sought in the petition,” the bench said.The court’s order came on a plea of Delhi resident Gautam R Morarka, who had urged the bench that directions be given to the Centre in this regard so that proper dignity and respect can be maintained when ‘Vande Mataram’ is played or sung.The Centre had opposed the plea saying ‘Vande Mataram’ occupies a “unique and special place” in the psyche of Indians but it cannot be treated at par with ‘Jana Gana Mana’, penned by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.Seeking dismissal of the PIL, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had said the plea that ‘Vande Mataram’ be treated on par with ‘Jana Gana Mana’ cannot be accepted.The PIL had also sought a direction to amend the 1971 National Honour Act accordingly to ensure equal respect for ‘Vande Mataram’.The MHA had said that on the petitioner’s representation and subsequent PIL, it had set up a committee which had met on March 29, 2016 and recommended that status quo be maintained in this regard.The panel had expressed hope that every citizen would remember the historic role of ‘Vande Mataram’ in the freedom struggle and show due respect to it whenever it is played or sung, it had said.”It has become synonymous with valour, dedication and love for one’s motherland and does not require any crutches to hold it (the song) in the heads and hearts of India’s citizenry,” the MHA had said.Morarka in his plea had said even in 1950, the then President of India had said that ‘Vande Mataram’ shall be honoured equally with ‘Jana Gana Mana’.

Delhi High Court tells police: Ensure provisions of Explosives Act are followed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi police to ensure that various provisions of the Explosives Act, 1884 and the Explosive Rules, 2008 are strictly adhered to after a plea was filed alleging that the city police is not complying with the requirements that the sheds for possession and sale of fireworks shall be at a distance of at least three metres from each other and 50 meters from any protected area.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Harishankar dsiposed off the petition while directing the the Delhi police to ensure that the provisions of the Acts are adhered.The directions from the court came after a plea was filed by Jai Hind Sewa Kendra, an NGO which alleged that while inviting applications for issuance of licenses for sale of fire crackers, the Delhi police is not complying with the requirement of Rule 84 of the Explosives Rules, 2008 and more particularly the mandate of sub-rule of Rule 84 of the Explosives Rules, 2008.Rule 84 (2) of the Explosives Rules 2008 empowers the District Magistrate to issue temporary licenses for possession and sale of fireworks in a temporary shop provide that, “The sheds for possession and sale of fireworks shall be at a distance of at least three meters from each other and 50 meters from any protected area.”It cannot be denied that the statutory mandate as well as the stipulations of the Rules framed thereunder have to be strictly adhered to and complied with,” the court said in its order.Earlier this month, the Supreme Court lifted its order of suspending the permanent licences for sale and retail of firecrackers within the National Capital Region (NCR) “for the time being” .

Delhi HC seeks govt reply on plea for laws to protect parents

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the Delhi High Court (HC) has claimed that there is no law to protect parents, apart from senior citizens, from the hostility and violence of their children.A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Harishankar sought the response of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on the plea that was filed by a 57-year-old man. The petition also wanted the term ‘senior citizen’ to include parents who have not yet attained the age of 60 years.The court directed the police to provide protection to the petitioner when he visits his home, where he has not been staying, as he fears there is threat to his life at the hands of his 34-year-old son. The court has also sought a status report from the police by November 27 on the allegations against the son.Ghanshyam Singh Rawat has alleged that his younger son, along with some others, had severely assaulted him and tried to kill him when he refused to sell his house, and give the proceeds to him. He also alleged that the police failed to act against his son, thereby adding that when he was hospitalised after the assault, his son broke into the house and forcibly occupied it.The petitioner further said that he does not want any maintenance but only peace. He further claimed that he cannot avail any benefit under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act as it caters only to parents who have attained the status of senior citizen.The plea has also sought striking down of the provision in the Act that creates the distinction between parents who are senior citizens and those who are not. Rawat said the Act does not contain any provision to meet the needs of persons like him, who do not seek any maintenance from their children but only wish to be allowed to live in peace.He also contended that such people need to be protected from hostile and violent children who are only interested in grabbing the properties of their parents and do not care how much suffering they cause.

Delhi: Soon, a mobile app to locate public toilets in the city

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhiiites can soon hope to take the help of an application on their smartphones to locate a washroom in the city to attend urgent call of nature.The Delhi High Court, which found it difficult to ascertain the location of public toilets in the city on perusing the response of civic bodies, directed the municipal bodies to carry out mapping and geo-tagging of public toilets to make them more accessible for citizens.If the direction is implemented in letter and spirit, soon Delhiiites can use their smart phones to locate public toilets as the information would be digitised and made available on online maps or mobile applications.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar perused the affidavits of tri-furcated Municipal Corporation of Delhi and could not ascertain where such washrooms exist.”It is therefore directed as follows. Let the Municipal Corporations place before us a mapping of these public toilets.”All agencies shall explore and examine the possibility as well as the feasibility of mapping the locations of these public toilets by way of geo-tagging and making the same available, by an appropriate application, to all mobile users or otherwise on the Internet to facilitate accessibility of all information regarding location of public toilets,” it said.It said that a report on the steps taken on this aspect be filed before it by October 30, the next date of hearing.The court said the North Delhi Municipal Corporation will be the nodal agency of exploring the possibility of geo- tagging.It said all the other agencies shall furnish requisite information regarding location of their public toilet facilities to the Commissioner of North Delhi Municipal Corporation or its Director of the Delhi Environment Management Services (DEMS).The bench also directed the municipal bodies to take steps to ensure that adequate number of public toilets are available in crowded places, especially in commercial markets.The direction by the high court came while hearing a PIL seeking toilet facilities for slum dwellers of Shahbad dairy area in outer Delhi.On an earlier date of hearing in the matter, the high court had asked the municipal bodies whether sweepers and on- duty traffic cops have access to toilet facilities.

Delhi High Court orders govt for info after newborn dies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the death of a newborn girl child due to unavailability of beds at three major hospitals in the city, the Delhi High Court issued an order to the Health Department and Delhi government to make available the information regarding bed occupancy and other medical facilities online.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari also took note of a report highlighting difficulties faced by patients on the facilities available in the hospitals.”Perhaps if this information was readily available to the family of the newborn, the life of the child may have been saved.”Given the availability of websites and internet connectivity, it would appear justified if all information in this regard especially the position of bed occupancy at a particular point of time is made available to the public at large especially, patients and their attendants, to obviate distress to them and also to ensure availability of the best medical assistance at the earliest,” the bench said.Activists lauded the bench’s decision stating that the newborn’s born was a violation of basic rights under the Constitution”This is a clear violation of the Article 21 — Right to Life. If this is the case in Delhi, then imagine what people are facing outside. Infant mortality is anyway an issue in India,” said Advocate and social activist Ashok Aggarwal.

Delhi High Court asks Delhi Univ to give admission to blast victim’s son

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High court on Monday asked the Director of Delhi University’s School of Open Learning (SOL) to consider the possibility to get a youth, whose father was killed in the Delhi High court blast, to be admitted in college. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Harishankar passed an order under exceptional circumstances and directed the SOL executive director to allow the youth to submit his admission application for BA (programme) course. “Considering the exceptional circumstances and that September 16 and 17 were holidays, we are of the view that Rishab Sharma deserves to be granted exception and should be permitted to apply for admission to BA course for the current academic year, if he applies within three days,” it said.The court’s directions come after Sangita Ashok, widow of Ashok Kumar Sharma, came to the court seeking help for the admission of her son. The denial of admission had pushed her son into depression, she had said. Meanwhile, the court also asked the woman whether she had seen the broken memorial of which she had shown the picture to the Acting Chief Justice. “Have you seen the memorial? It has been repaired,” the Acting Chief Justice said.

Delhi HC slams DDA; says people want parks, not community centres

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>People in the national capital appeared to be more concerned about having community centres than parks, the Delhi High Court on Monday lamented while extending till December 8 its interim order putting on hold the construction of a community centre by the DDA.The court was hearing a PIL challenging the Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) decision to convert a park in a north Delhi residential area into a community centre.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said, “Everybody wants community centres at their doorstep. Are there enough parks for the people in the area?”The PIL, filed on behalf of a minor girl, has sought a direction to restrain the DDA from “destroying the park” in north Delhi’s Rohini area by constructing the multi-storey community hall inside the Hanuman Mandir park there.The petitioner’s counsel, Akhil Sachar, claimed that the residents of the locality, especially children, were severely affected and aggrieved by the “illegal and arbitrary decision” of the DDA to construct the centre which will “destroy” the 30-year-old park.The plea claimed that there was a vacant plot of DDA land available in the area which was planned for community services so there was no justification to destroy the park.

Delhi in a mess; businesses cannot make profit at cost of public life: HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi is in a mess, the High Court said today observing that people running businesses cannot make profit at the cost of public life.The high court also said if there is a terrorist attack, the security agencies will not be able to reach the spot on time.”Delhi is in a mess. We have cases were residential places have been converted into coaching institutes. Increase in population have led to increase in crime. Instead of going out of the city, we are coming inside,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said.”There would not have been such a mess in the city if the authorities concerned would have been working together and in same direction,” the bench said.The oral observations came during the hearing of PILs filed by social activist Pankaj Sharma and advocate Anuja Kapur alleging there were over 120 restaurants and pubs running in the Hauz Khas Village of south Delhi without any approved building plans or no objection certificate (NOC) from the authorities, including the fire department.It observed that the people doing business “deserve to make profit, but not at the cost of public life”. It also made it clear that “if restaurants have to run, they have to comply with the law” and “we are concerned with safety”.The bench, which had sought replies from various agencies on different occasions, also said that it needed to decided the issue at large.The bench framed issues for consideration before it in public interest including safety of people visiting he Hauz Khas village and whether requisite clearances have been obtained from the authorities to run the restaurants or not.It said that it is necessary because the crime in that area have also risen.The bench also directed the Delhi Jal Board to inform it about the source of water for the eateries at the village and and also the number of bore-wells in that area.The court fixed the matter for further hearing on September 26.During the hearing the court was informed that several restaurants in the village, which also served liquor, were running in a prohibited area near ancient monuments and a school.It also asked the Archaeological Survey of India to inform it whether the eateries are away from their properties.The bench had earlier sent out a strong message to the eateries at the village operating without mandatory clearances, saying “we are here to protect the life and personal liberty of every person in the city”.The petitioners have alleged “unlawful existence” of restaurants, pubs, fashion studios, bars serving liquor without licence, art galleries and other buildings in the village.They have also claimed that these restaurants posed a grave security risk and fire hazard and apart from that the crowd in the area had made it impossible for emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire brigade vans to gain access to the restaurants.

HC seeks to see marital rape petition filed in SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court (HC) stated on Monday that it would be “highly improper” for it to hear the matter, if the issues raised in the present petition were similar to those being heard in the Supreme Court (SC).A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Harishankar said they wanted to see the main petition before going forward with the hearing in the matter. “We have got to know that a similar matter is being heard in the SC. We want to see the main petition. We cannot overlap the matter,” the Bench stated.Appearing for the petitioners, Advocate Karuna Nandy said the Apex Court has been hearing a plea questioning the validity of a provision under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which permits a man to have a physical relationship with his wife, even if she was aged between 15 and 18 years.Nandy contended that the present petition challenged the constitutionality of Section 375 (rape) of the IPC on the grounds that it discriminated against married women who were being sexually assaulted by their husbands.The court then directed the presence of Advocate Gaurav Agarwal, who has been appearing for the petitioner, NGO Independent Thought, in the SC, on the next date of hearing — September 8.”We want to be satisfied,” the court said, directing that all orders passed by the Apex Court pertaining to the case should also be brought on the next date.The HC is hearing petitions that seek directions to criminalise marital rape, something the Centre is opposed to.Earlier, the Centre had stated before the court that marital rape cannot be made a criminal offence as it could have a destabilising effect on the institution of marriage, and become an easy tool for harassing husbands. The Centre had also sought that state governments be made party to the case, to ascertain their opinion and to avoid any complication at a later stage.‘NOT A RIGHT WAY’Earlier, the Centre had stated before the court that marital rape cannot be made a criminal offence as it could have a destabilising effect on the institution of marriage.
The Centre had also sought that state governments be made party to the case, to ascertain their opinion .

Delhi HC dismisses Kejriwal’s plea against speedy trial

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plea questioning the decision of a judge to expedite the hearing of a defamation suit filed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley against him and five other AAP leaders.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said the appeal filed by Kejriwal and AAP leader Ashutosh against the July 26 decision of a single judge was “misconceived and is devoid of merit”.”Hence the appeal is dismissed. They (AAP leaders) should not have filed this,” the bench said.The high Court observed that expedition of the trial is the “need of the hour” and recommended the same in all cases.It also said that the application against the single judge’s directions was misconceived and “with the intention” to protract the hearing.The court also noted that the AAP leaders had admitted that disparaging remarks had been made by lawyer Ram Jethmalani during cross examination of Jaitley.The court had on August 25 rapped the Delhi Chief Minister for questioning a single judge’s decision to expedite the hearing of a defamation suit filed by Jaitley.It had said that the court had to answer the apex court on delay in trials.The court had on July 26 directed the joint registrar to expedite the recording of evidence in the civil defamation suit while disposing of an application filed by Jaitley.Besides Kejriwal, the five other accused in the defamation case are AAP leaders Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai.They had accused the BJP leader of corruption as the president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), a post he had held from 2000 to 2013.Jaitley, who denied all the allegations levelled by the AAP leaders in December 2015, had claimed that they made “false and defamatory” statements in the case involving the DDCA, thereby harming his reputation.

HC lashes out at Hauz Khas eateries for violating bye-laws

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Will the clearance certificates extinguish fire, an anguished bench of the Delhi High Court today asked the owners of the Hauz Khas village eateries here allegedly running in violation of building bye-laws and the master plan. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that “people have turned blind and to earn profit out of their business, they are doing whatever they want to do”. “Don’t you (owners of the Hauz Khas village eateries) have any responsibility towards the city you live in and its citizens. Is it not your responsibility to ensure safety of the people,” the bench asked. It also asked the eateries who had permitted them to run commercial activities in rural area like Hauz Khas. “Mere permission from the authorities concerned, with regard to the fire clearance and other licences to run an eatery, will not save the life of the people visiting there. “You will have to ensure compliance of building bye-laws as per master plan including parking and other facilities,” the bench said, adding that the roads there are so choked that not even a fire tender can reach the spot during need. The court made the oral observation when an owner of Hauz Khas village eatery approached it for urgent listing of a petition against the south Delhi municipal corporation order to shut down the restaurant. The corporation had issued them notice on the ground that they were operating without any building plan approval or no objection certificate (NOC) from the authorities, including the fire department. Earlier, during the hearing of a plea, the court was told that not a single eatery in south Delhi’s popular Hauz Khas Village appeared to have fire safety clearance. The bench had made the observation as the fire department had not disclosed in its affidavit whether it had received any reference from the police or the civic bodies for fire safety certification to any eatery in the area. The court is already hearing pleas alleging that there are over 120 restaurants and pubs running in the area without any building plan approval or NOC from the authorities, including the fire department.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC deplores encroachments in Delhi, says it is a criminal act

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”What we have done to this city is a criminal act,” an anguished Delhi High Court has said while strongly deploring alleged encroachments of forest land in Neb Sarai village in south Delhi. A bench, headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal, said that no encroachments could be permitted in the ridge areas of the national capital as these were primary “natural features”. It said it was shocking that forest land fell prey to illegal constructions and encroachments. “What we have done to this city is a criminal act. Delhi has become a mess,” the bench observed. The strong remarks came during hearing of an application by a Neb Sarai-based couple who have urged the court to direct the Delhi government’s forest department to provide space for entry and exit from their house. They have said that a boundary wall constructed near their house to protect the forest area, has obstructed access to their flat. The duo have submitted that the space near their house did not come under forest area and if the court found it to the contrary, then they would willingly hand over the possession of the land in front of their house which has been allegedly encroached by the family. “At least for the time being, entry and exit be allowed to them,” their counsel has submitted. The bench, in an interim order, has asked the forest department to give then couple five feet of space for entry and exit. It, however, has made clear that this right was not open to other residents of the area. The bench has observed that the law laid down by the Supreme Court as well as the statutory mandate have to be strictly complied with and should “brook no breach”. “Directions to this effect were passed in 1980 by the Supreme Court in several orders,” it has said, adding that “this order has to be strictly complied with”. “The forest land cannot be converted into a thoroughfare which is clearly beyond planned development under the Master Plan,” it has said. The court had earlier ordered construction of a boundary wall on a PIL by Delhi-resident Deepak Batra, who has sought a direction against alleged encroachments in forest areas near Neb Sarai in Indira Enclave. The petitioner had placed before the court the April 1966 notification issued by the revenue department of the Delhi government declaring the uncultivated land of the ‘gaon sabha’ as a ridge area. The counsel had also said that the lieutenant governor of Delhi in 1994 had declared such land as reserved forest. The petition has sought blocking of a road constructed in the forest area to provide access for emergency vehicles to reach Indira Enclave, an unauthorised colony, close to the posh Sainik Farms area which too has been in news over alleged illegal constructions there. The court had said, “This is more so in view of the imperative need for addressing environmental concerns on a war footing given the adverse impact of global warming.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC to look into gunshot victim being denied treatment by pvt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A news report about a gunshot victim being denied treatment by a private hospital prompted the Delhi High Court today to take up the matter for ascertaining if there was a violation of the Supreme Court’s order to not deny medical aid in medico-legal cases. The news article was brought to the attention of a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar by a lawyer who sought directions to hospitals, both private and government-run, to not deny treatment in such cases. Varun Gosain also sought directions from the court to the police for a speedy probe and proper protection to the eye- witnesses in the case as four out of the five accused in the incident are still absconding. According to reports, a 57-year-old dhaba owner and his 26-year-old son were shot dead allegedly by five men after a dispute over a cooler in outer Delhi’s Najafgarh area on the night of July 26. The accused wanted the cooler to be turned towards them but the dhaba owner, Shyam Verma, and his son Mayank did not agree, leading to a fight. One of the persons in the group of five allegedly pulled out a pistol and shot Mayank in the neck and when his father tried to stop them, he was shot in the head. While the dhaba owner died on the spot, his son succumbed to injuries later, the report said. The report also quoted one of the relatives of the victims as saying that Mayank would have survived if the first hospital where he was taken would have admitted him. The matter will be taken up by the court on August 2.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Delhi HC unhappy over MCD’s slow pace of building bridge

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The slow pace of construction of a bridge here, which is yet to be completed by the MCD after it began in 2008, prompted the Delhi High Court to retort that even a child admitted in nursery that year would finish schooling before the structure could be built. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar made the observation while noting that the work was still at the stage of awarding of contract for building a foot-over bridge (FoB) and an underpass on a railway crossing, despite the inauguration of the West Delhi project. “It is very painful as a citizen of the country and also as of this city. Why don’t you admit that you are not capable to do the work? It’s simply a bridge,” the bench said, adding that “it is not a 10-year plan of the government”. “A child who was four years old at the beginning of the construction of a bridge here is now about to finish his schooling but the work is yet to start,” it further said. The sharp observations came when the high court bench was informed that the BJP-run Municipal Corporation of Delhi was yet to complete the construction of an FoB and an underpass on a railway crossing, at Nangloi and Sultanpuri, respectively, in West Delhi. “How do we make you do your duty? Whom do you listen to? The CBI or the vigilance? It is a simple foot over bridge over a railway track, the construction work of which was to begin in 2009. “It is just an over bridge over a railway line. This is 21st century India. You started it in 2009 and now want to complete it in 2019,” it noted and asked why the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) should not hand over the contract to Delhi Metro. The contract for construction of the bridge was given on September 3, 2009, but despite passage of eight years, the matter is still at the stage of awarding the contract, the court observed, adding, via its May 11 order it had called upon the NDMC to place the timeline of completion of the project and escalation in the cost of work since it was conceptualised. After cancelling the contract in 2015, a new contract has not been finalised while the cost of the work has risen from Rs 38.97 crore in 2010 to Rs 56.82 crore in 2017. Neither delay in completion nor escalation of amount can be tolerated, the court said. “Let the last order and this one be given to the ministry of transport for intervention and examination of the matter, so that the same can be taken up expeditiously,” it said. The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on October 16. The court was hearing a PIL, filed by a Delhi-based activist Sandeep Kumar, alleging that delay in construction of a railway FoB and underpass at Nangloi and Sultanpuri in West Delhi was creating problems for commuters and residents of the area. The projects were undertaken as the railway crossings in these areas were unmanned and had led to many fatal accidents in the past.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Plying of buses of other states in Delhi under HC scanner

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today sought a status report from the city police on a PIL seeking a ban on plying of buses from other states in the national capital by private operators in contravention of the law. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar directed the DCP (Traffic) of Delhi Police to file a report in response to the plea which has alleged inaction on the part of the Commissioner of Transport and the law enforcement agencies. The court will hear the matter further on November 13. The petition filed by Rashtriya Rajdhani Kshetra Tipahiya Chalak Union, through advocate Sanjeev Kumar, claimed that a numbers of private buses and vehicles, registered with the Uttar Pradesh government, enter Delhi through different entry points and carried passengers without having a proper permission or permit from the Delhi Government. The petitioner organisation has alleged that these buses do not follow the permit conditions, disobey the traffic rules and neither do that pay the taxes levied by the Delhi government and the National Green Tribunal. The petition has further alleged that all these buses run on diesel, which is a pollution hazard. The plea claimed that plying of these vehicles was also depriving the autorickshaw drivers of their livelihood and the Delhi government was also facing a huge loss of revenue.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Oral evidence enough to probe sexual offences: HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Wednesday has said that justice cannot be denied to the victims of sexual offences for the lack of medical evidence and the woman’s oral testimony was enough.The observation was made by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar while hearing the plea of academician Madhu Purnima Kishwar and two rape accused who have alleged that the amendments to the law relating to sexual offences was being abused in practice.The court said that the amendments made in the rape law in 2013 after the December 16 gang-rape cannot be dismissed as it was an effort of several years.The petitioners have challenged the amendment which widens the definition of rape to include those sexual offences in which it is difficult to obtain medical evidence.It further urged the court to summon the records from the National Crimes Records Bureau, Tihar jail and the Centre to assess the profiling features of rape prosecution after the 2013 amendments thereby seeking a direction to reconsider the case in which a sentence of imprisonment has been passed after the amendments.”In most of such cases, there is no medical evidence. Oral testimony of the victim is sufficient. Just because some false cases are filed, we cannot deny justice to real victims,” the bench said.The court provided time to the counsel of the Centre to file a response to the petition and listed the matter for further proceedings on October 23. It also allowed the Anti-Rape Coalition (ARC), which is a coalition of 17 women’s groups and organisations to be a party in the case.Appearing for ARC, its counsel Vrinda Grover opposed the petition saying that the amended laws include oral rape, digital rape and rape committed with objects and it has filled a long standing gap in the law.AMENDMENTSThe court said that the amendments made in the rape law in 2013 after the December 16 gang-rape cannot be dismissed as it was an effort of several years.

Can’t deny rape victims justice for lack of medical proof: HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Justice cannot be denied to the victims of sexual offences for lack of medical evidence and a woman’s oral testimony can be relied upon, the Delhi High Court said today. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said the amendments made in the rape law in 2013 after the December 16 gangrape incident in Delhi cannot be struck down as it was an effort of several years. The court’s observations came while hearing pleas by academician Madhu Purnima Kishwar and two rape accused who have alleged that the amendments to the law relating to sexual offences was being abused in practice. The petitions challenged the amendment which widens the definition of rape to include those sexual offences in which it is difficult to obtain medical evidence. To this, the bench said, “In most of such cases, there is no medical evidence. Oral testimony of the victim is sufficient. Just because some false cases are filed, we cannot deny justice to real victims.” It further said that the recent amendments in the rape law cannot be struck down as these were the need of the hour and framed after efforts of several years. The court also allowed the plea of advocate Anil Soni, appearing for the Centre, seeking time to file a response to the petition and listed the matter for further proceedings on October 23. During the hearing, the court also allowed Anti-Rape Coalition (ARC), a coalition of 17 women’s groups and organisations, to be impleaded as a party in the case. Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing for ARC, opposed the petition saying the amended law includes oral rape, digital rape and rape committed with objects and it has filled a long-standing gap in the law. Citing apex court judgement, ARC said in the plea that it was held that rape is a crime and not a medical condition and the absence of injuries on the body of the victim does not imply consent. The court also allowed the plea of All India Democratic Women’s Association to be impleaded as a party in the case. The petition has urged the court to summon the records from the National Crimes Records Bureau, Tihar jail and the Centre to assess the profiling features of rape prosecution after the 2013 amendments. It has also sought a direction to reconsider the case in which a sentence of imprisonment has been passed after the amendments. The gangrape of a 23-year-old woman on December 16, 2012 had led to a countrywide agitation. Following the protests, a committee under the chairmanship of retired Supreme Court judge J S Verma was constituted to suggest amendments to the criminal law to sternly deal with sexual assault cases.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Army jawan moves HC alleging served with poor quality food

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today decided to hear on July 10 a petition by an Army jawan claiming that poor quality food was being served to them. The matter was mentioned before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra which listed it before Justice Vinod Goel. The jawan, posted in Assam, alleged that authorities started harassing him after he complained that the troopers were being served with poor quality food. His counsel refused to share any details of the matter claiming that the jawan feared for his life. Justice Goel fixed the matter for hearing on July 10. The matter assumes significance as in January, a BSF jawan had also made similar allegations on social media which was termed as false by the paramilitary force. BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav had posted a video on Facebook showing a meal box comprising a watery soup-like dal which he said had only turmeric and salt and a burnt chapati. He had said this was what jawans were served at meal time on duty and claimed that they often went to bed on empty stomach. Following this, a public interest litigation was filed in the high court seeking direction to the Ministry of Home Affairs to submit a status report with respect quality of food supplied to all paramilitary forces in India. The petition was filed by a former central government employee in the wake of the video posted on Facebook by Yadav alleging corruption among officers and poor working conditions. The BSF, however, has brushed aside the petitioner’s claim of corruption saying there are committees to deal with purchase of food items and even inspect it after it is cooked.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Lalit Kala seeks recall of HC observations on its functioning

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lalit Kala Akademi has moved the Delhi High Court seeking recall of its order raising questions over its functioning, saying the observations had cast serious stigma on it. The Akademi has sought the recall of the high court’s April 10 order asking the Centre to explain how the appointment of Dr Sudhakar Sharma, who was facing disciplinary proceedings for financial irregularities, as its secretary could be justified. The Akademi has claimed it was not protecting any action of Sharma, who was suspended from the post, or anyone else and strict action would be taken against any irregularity in the cultural body. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar, which had earlier issued notice on the Akademi’s plea to recall or modify its April 10 order, listed the matter for August 24. The court in its order had also said that as per the documents it has gone through, it appeared that “all is not well with Lalit Kala Akademi”. The court’s observations had came on two pleas, by Akhilesh Verma and Manish Pushkale, challenging the appointment of Sharma as the Secretary of the Akademi. The Akademi has claimed in its plea that the petitioners could misuse the orders to fulfil their “motivated agenda” under the garb of the PIL and it was imperative that the court may recall or modify its earlier order. “The April 10 order of the high court cast a serious stigma on the conduct of the Akademi. However, it is nowhere at fault as all the subjects in issue in this petition stands acted upon by it on its own,” it has said. It has also said that action would be initiated on the report of the fact-finding committee as and when it was received and the court also be apprised about it. During the hearing today, the court dismissed a petition seeking contempt action against the Centre and the Akademi for not complying with its April 10 order. “We are unable to hold that the respondents (Centre and Akademi) are in contempt of this court’s order and the contempt petition is dismissed,” the bench said. The court had earlier termed as an “eye-wash” the government’s claim that an administrator was controlling the cultural body and said it appeared the secretary had been controlling the affairs of the Akademi. It had also asked the government and the Akademi to explain why disciplinary proceedings against Sharma, had not been concluded yet. The petitioners, who claim to be artists, had alleged that Sharma’s appointment was in violation of the provisions of Lalit Kala Akademi (Secretary, Lalit Kala Akademi) Recruitment Rules of 1999. They had also alleged that Sharma had indulged in misappropriation of funds and that despite the allegations being proved in the inquiry conducted by the Akademi, he was illegally continuing in the office. “The allegation in the writ petitions that continuation of Sudhakar Sharma is not in the interest of the management of Akademi therefore cannot be simply brushed aside but needs deeper consideration. “Hence, we consider it appropriate to re-open the writ petitions and call upon the respondents (Centre and Akademi) to file their response,” the bench had said and sought Sharma’s response. Sharma was earlier suspended by the Akademi in 2015, but the decision was set aside by the Centre in the same year. He was again suspended by the Akademi in January 2017 which is in effect.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Access to justice is not synonymous with access to court: HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Access to justice is not synonymous with access to a court, the Delhi High Court’s Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal said today. Maintaining that there were several barriers to be overcome, she said these included “empowering and mainstreaming of disability and diversity, dispensing information and knowledge about the court systems and law as well as facilitating physical and mental access”. She made the comments while launching a helpline to dispense information to litigants. The helpline, numbered 1888, the first of its kind in the country, would be initially used on a trial basis to provide certain information as also facilities like wheelchair to needy litigants who need it. The facility can be booked in advance by making a call or sending an SMS to the number, Justice Mittal said at the launch event. She said the number has been alloted by the Ministry of Communication and would be used over a period of time for dispensation of “multifunctional information”, like the listing and filing of cases and information with regard to legal aid, arbitration and mediation. Apart from the helpline, the high court is also working on various other initiatives like computer training of the staff and judges along with pursuing a vigorous and intensive e-court programme, Justice Mittal said. She also said that work rationalisation was underway at District Courts and an example was segregation of the POCSO courts. She said that even the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) was also taking steps to ensure better access to justice. These steps include setting up help desks of legal aid lawyers at traffic and mahila courts as a major grievance of litigants at these courts are that they are unable to access legal justice. The DSLSA is also undertaking a legal literacy programme, she said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Dengue, Chikungunya menace in Delhi: HC to continue hearing

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Delhi High Court will today continue the hearing on several petitions seeking action by the Delhi Government and civic authorities to stop the spread of Dengue and Chikungunya in the national capital. Municipal Commissioners will have to remain present for the hearing. The Delhi High Court, in its earlier hearing on Tuesday, asked the Delhi Government why the citizens of the national capital continue to face the threat of Dengue and Chikungunya. It said this was so because the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has not been able to clear garbage in unauthorised colonies. The High Court also questioned the Delhi Government on the issue of rampant regularisation of unauthorised colonies that is making the job of municipal corporations harder. “For right to shelter and right to city and the community, you are compromising on the health of citizens,” the High Court told counsel of the City Government. The bench said that it would pass an order on the issue on Wednesday. The bench of Justices Gita Mittal and C. Harishankar asked the MCD what would happen if the ‘safai karamcharis’ go on a strike for three months, while referring to the current crisis in East Delhi Municipal Corporation. Justice Gita Mittal noted that garbage was not collected overnight and it was because the job was not done. “We need to streamline process of garbage collection and disposal. We need biometric attendance at least 3-4 times a day. Take pictures of Dhalaos and we will make it a part of the order. There will be a visible difference in Delhi,” Justice Gita said. The court also said that the Delhi Legal Service was also planning to start a programme of awareness for citizens about the cleanliness and solid waste management. Prior to this, the High Court slammed MCD (North, South and East) in failing to manage the sanitation and garbage management in the national capital. The South and North MCD commissioners had appeared before the court, while the EDMC commissioner got exemption as he was out of the country.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC asks MCDs to streamline work of safai karamcharis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lambasting the three municipal corporations here for their “lack of will to work”, the Delhi High Court today asked them to streamline the duties of safai karamcharis to ensure regular removal of garbage from the city roads. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar suggested installing of biometric attendance system and use of instant messaging application like WhatsApp to ensure the presence of safai karamcharis for cleanliness in the area they are entrusted with. “There is a lacuna in assigning of the work to the safai karamcharis and their presence on the spot. Try and streamline a process through which those present at the site can send the picture of the area they have cleaned. They be also asked to put their attendance on the biometric machines, twice or thrice a day. “You regulate their working hours, there will be visible difference in Delhi today and tomorrow,” the bench said, adding that “because of your lack of will to work, people of Delhi cannot be made to suffer from malaria, dengue and chikungunya”. The bench made the observation while asking the MCDs that if they were ensuring proper work, why was so much garbage seen on the city roads. It also said the supervisors should personally keep a tab on the safai karamcharis, so that they perform their duties. On this, the counsel for the corporations told the court that the people living in unauthorised colony threw garbage on the on roads which remained uncleaned some time. The bench said for such problems, the authorities should have thought before regularising the unauthorised colonies. “You (Delhi government and MCDs) are lavishly regularising colonies. See what we have to face. Stop ruthless regularisation. Right to shelter for one cannot be inconvenience to other law-abiding citizens,” the bench said. It also asked the authorities to create an awareness programme and educate people of Delhi to overcome such a situation. “We need to move ahead and undergo some education, like the Delhi State Legal Services Authority is already working on a project in this regard,” the bench said and sought to know the action plan of the Centre, the Delhi government and the MCDs for disposing of the garbage. It also asked the Delhi government to inform it about the funds they have been paying to all the three corporations here for making payment to the safai karamcharis. The matter was then listed for hearing tomorrow. The court was hearing two pleas accusing the AAP government and the MCDs of not acting vigilantly and responsibly to control dengue and chikungunya outbreaks. Earlier during the hearing of the pleas, it had also noted that there has been “wilful violation and disobedience” of the court orders to collect and dispose of garbage. The court had taken note of the matter after a TV news channel showed garbage “overflowing” on to roads from ‘dhalaos’ and “stretching for miles”. The issue of lack of solid waste disposal was taken up by the court after it was told that it contributes to breeding of mosquitoes which cause vector borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Encroachment of water bodies in Delhi cannot be permitted: HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court has made it clear that water bodies cannot be encroached upon in the national capital and have to be preserved. The observation by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rekha Palli came during the hearing of a PIL seeking preservation of a ‘jauhad’ (water body) in the Badarpur area of south Delhi. The court said that a water body has to be “preserved, maintained and utilised as a water body”. It said that pictures filed along with the plea, showed “squatters”, besides deplorable condition and a large body of stagnant water. The bench noted that the Delhi government and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) “have completely abdicated their responsibility” with regard to the land in question and the water body. “The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi squarely absolves itself of any responsibility by stating that the land has been transferred to the DDA. “The DDA submits that this land is not a water body and is a JJ cluster. This submission is made despite the revenue record clearly reflecting that the land in question is a ‘jauhad’,” the court said in its recent order. It also said, “There can be no manner of doubt that a water body has to be preserved, maintained and utilised as a water body and nothing at all. No encroachment thereon can be permitted.” The bench directed the DDA to place an affidavit indicating the water body’s extent, contours and the steps the authority proposes to take for restoring it. The court said that if the squatters have to be relocated from the area, it would be done after an interaction with the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB). “Needless to say this matter brooks no delay and has to be implemented on a war footing especially, keeping the advent of the monsoon in mind,” it said while directing the DDA to file its affidavit before the next date of hearing on August two.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Right to life of people cannot be risked by encroachments: HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The right to life of residents of the national capital cannot be put at risk by allowing activities like encroachments, which could lead to insanitary conditions, the Delhi High Court has said. The ruling by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar came while dismissing a plea seeking review of the high court’s May 16 order declining to stay demolition of some structures at Amir Khusro Park next to Sundar Nagar here. The review plea was moved by some persons who were living inside the park and claimed to be the descendants of past caretakers of a shrine there. Terming the review petitioners as “interlopers”, the court has said it was “clearly evident” that these people had encroached over the park in which they have no right, title or interest. “The same is completely impermissible,” the bench has said which noted that there were no sewage or sanitation facilities on the land in question and if habitation was permitted in the park there would be huge issues of garbage as well urination and defecation in the open area. “No court can permit the lives of the lawful residents in the surrounding areas, as well as of the visitors to these monuments which are of international repute, to be imperilled. “It is our constitutional duty to ensure that the right to life of all residents of Delhi is not imperilled if activity which would lead to increase of insanitary conditions as well as breeding of mosquitoes carrying dangerous diseases is continued or permitted,” the court has said. The bench also noted that there were complaints against review petitioners of indulging in land grabbing and also committing fraud by renting out portions of the land apart from carrying out commercial activity at the park. “Unfortunately, the authorities or local police have failed to comply with the court orders. The police has also failed to conduct any investigation into the gross illegalities at the spot or to ensure compliance with the law,” the court has said in its order dismissing the review plea. It has directed the DCP, south-east district as well as the Station House Office of the police station concerned to investigate the complaints of fraudulent and criminal activities and to proceed in accordance with law against the persons found culpable for the illegal acts. The court directed the police to file a status report within eight weeks regarding its investigation and listed the matter for further hearing on July 24.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

No encroachment can be permitted in Delhi’s ridge areas: HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>No encroachment can be permitted in the ridge areas of the national capital as these are primary natural features, the Delhi High Court has said. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that the law laid down by the Supreme Court as well as the statutory mandate have to be strictly complied with and should “brook no breach”. “This is more so in view of the imperative need for addressing environmental concerns on a war footing given the adverse impact of global warming,” it said. The court made observations during the hearing of a PIL by Delhi-resident Deepak Batra, who has sought a direction against alleged encroachments in forest land near village Neb Sarai, Indira Enclave in south Delhi. The petitioner, through his counsel Manu Chaturvedi, has placed before the court the April 1966 notification issued by the revenue department of the Delhi government declaring the uncultivated land of the ‘gaon sabha’ as a ridge area. The counsel also submitted that the lieutenant governor of Delhi in 1994 had declared such land as reserved forest. The petition has sought blocking of a road constructed in the forest area to provide access for emergency vehicles to reach Indira Enclave, an unauthorised colony, close to the posh Sainik Farms area which too has been in news over alleged illegal constructions there. The court did not approve of the road being built through the forest, saying, “No encroachment can be permitted in the ridges which are the primary natural features of the city.” Directions to this effect were passed 1980 by the Supreme Court in several orders, it said. “The forest land cannot be converted into a thoroughfare which is clearly beyond planned development under the Master Plan,” it said. The bench observed that there was already an order of the Delhi government’s forest department that has directed construction of a boundary wall in the already-demarcated forest area to protect it from illegal encroachment. “This order has to be strictly complied with,” it said. The bench has sought a compliance report by July 31.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pvt schools recognised by MCDs hike fees without sanction: PIL

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today sought the response of the AAP government on a PIL alleging that MCD- recognised private schools which were given concessional land on several conditions, were violating rules by hiking fees without prior sanction. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and the municipal bodies and sought their replies on the issues raised in the petition, which also claimed that most private schools had not submitted their annual returns. The petitioner NGO also alleged that in some cases, the schools were filing returns of the society which runs them and in others, unaudited accounts were being filed. The NGO, Justice for All, has said that under the Delhi School Education Act and Rules, every school has to file its annual returns, which have to be audited first by the Directorate of Education (DoE) and then the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). “The respondents (Delhi government and civic bodies) have completely failed to ensure the audit of the accounts of any of the schools and the schools continue to exploit the parents without any check and balance,” the PIL, filed through advocate Khagesh Jha, said. The petition has sought directions to the Delhi government and the municipal bodies to ensure that schools recognised by the civic authorities and located on concessional land given by DDA shall not raise their fees without prior permission of DoE. It has sought directions to the all the authorities to ensure that schools under their jurisdiction submit the proposed fee statements for each academic session before its commencement and that these are duly audited.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC says it can’t give direction on liquor bottle warning

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today refused to give a direction to increase the size of statutory warning on liquor bottles and packaging, saying it is in the realm of policy making. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Navin Chawla, however, directed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to consider the plea as a suggestion and take a firm view in this regard. “The subject matter of the writ petition and the prayers made are in the realm of policy making and it is the respondents who are best placed to examine the same and take a view. “Even otherwise, the matter complained of and the prayers made are in the nature of policy decision making which are beyond the writ jurisdiction of this court,” the bench said. It disposed of the matter, saying if any action is required to be taken to mitigate the grievances pointed out in the petition, the same may be taken at earliest. The court was hearing pleas by Delhi resident Ved Pal and by an NGO Community Against Drunken Driving (CADD). They had file the plea suggesting written and pictorial warnings on liquor bottles against dangers of consuming alcohol and drunken driving. They have also sought directions to alcohol manufacturers to increase the size of the existing statutory warnings on the alcohol bottles. The petitions sought directions to the governments “to mandate all alcohol producers, manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, sellers, etc., nationwide to print in large font the dangers of consuming alcohol and driving”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC puts on hold construction of urinal near transformer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Construction of a public urinal near a power transformer in Sultanpuri here was today stopped by the Delhi High Court which said it would put the life of users under “extreme danger”. “The agency will have to maintain status quo with regard to the construction of a public urinal,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Navin Chawla said. It also issued a notice to Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited, which supplies electricity in the area, and sought their reply by May 25. The court also asked the authorities to submit their proposed plan and observed “you are directly putting the life of users under extreme danger”. Earlier the bench had termed the decision as “incredible” and had asked the authorities “how can you do this?” “Don’t you have experts, who can assist you. Is there any building bye-law or not for the city,” the bench had asked. A residents welfare association (RWA) of Sultanpuri here moved the court seeking direction to the authorities to restrain them from constructing a public urinal in the close proximity of the power transformer in the locality. The petitioner has claimed that the transformer can be extremely dangerous for users of the urinal.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC queries authorities on ground water contamination

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Concerned over the possibility of ground water contamination in the city due to industrial units in residential areas, the Delhi High Court today asked the authorities what steps they were taking to prevent it. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Navin Chawla issued notices to the Central Ground Water Board, Delhi government, Delhi Pollution Control Board and various civic bodies of the national capital and sought their stand by May 25. It queried the authorities after taking cognisance of a news report about discharge of carcinogenic chemicals by cloth dyeing units in Mustafabad locality of northeast Delhi. The report published in a national daily states that the untreated effluents are contaminating ground water, which is the main source of drinking water in the area, and that it is being linked to the high rate of cancer there. The bench expressed displeasure over the dyeing units operating in residential area and said, “This is happening because nobody wants to get out of their offices and see what is happening in the areas under their jurisdiction”. “None of the agencies are working properly, even the MCDs are not performing their duty as per the statutory provisions under the law,” it said, adding that there is not even a water policy in the country. It asked all the authorities to inform it whether they have taken any steps to prevent such activities in Delhi. The news report states that though no study has been conducted in this Mustafabad locality, locals trace the genesis of the abnormal rate of cancer to toxic chemicals used by the denim dyeing units. Shocked to learn from the report that the locality is known as ‘cancer colony’, the bench observed, “the issue is of large environment concern”. Two deaths and eight suspected tumour cases have been detected in the locality “Release of poisonous substance from these industries may not only impact the ground water in that area, but it may soon spread over other part of the city,” the bench said. It directed the Delhi government to place a preliminary report with regard to the impact on the health of residents in and around Mustafabad area due to such units. It also asked the Delhi government to ensure that proper medical facility is made available to the residents of the area. It observed that the “genesis of the problem is misuse of properties by the people”. The court noted that the residents of the locality depend on borewells and it is quite likely that the acids, dyes and untreated effluents discharged into the drain eventually seep into the ground water.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Delhi HC rejects plea against India Against Corruption

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Delhi High Court on Tuesday rejected a plea seeking a probe into the accounts of India Against Corruption, an anti-corruption movement spearheaded by Anna Hazare during 2011 and 2012, and rapped the petitioner for not informing the court about filing a similar petition in the name of an NGO run by him. A plea was filed by activist Chand Jain seeking investigation into the alleged use of funds collected by the NGO for personal use. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar termed the petition as ?misuse of legal process? and rapped Jain for not providing proper information about the charges.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Whom should we warn to put your house in order, HC asks MCD

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today wondered whom in the municipal corporations should it warn to put their “house in order” in connection with the rising numbers of illegal construction in the national capital. “We do not know whom to warn to get your house in order. For 30 years, since 1986, this is what your client (MCDs) is saying. Even the words have not changed,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra told the lawyer appearing for North Delhi Municipal Corporation. The strong remarks from the bench came after it was told by an NGO that there were hundreds of illegal constructions in the Karol Bagh area of central Delhi, while the lawyer for the corporation said action was being taken against such buildings by booking them and passing demolition orders. The bench, however, questioned how these buildings came up in the first place and how did the corporation grant occupancy certificate to these unauthorised constructions. The court also asked the corporation in how many cases had it inspected the property or premises and then issued completion certificates. The bench was hearing a PIL by an NGO, Paardarshita, seeking a CBI probe into the matter and lodging of FIRs against the officials of the corporation, police and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) who allegedly allowed such unauthorised constructions to come up. The petition has also sought directions to the authorities to put a stop to all future unauthorised constructions in the area and completely demolish the existing ones. The court did not pass any order in the matter and listed it for hearing on May 11.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC dismisses plea to transfer probe into NEET test

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today turned down a plea seeking transfer of the probe into the alleged hacking of servers during the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), 2016 from the city police to the CBI. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra declined to transfer the case, saying the crime branch of Delhi Police is “extensively” investigating the matter. “In-depth investigation is being carried out by the Delhi Police, crime branch. The investigation is at a sensitive stage, wherein few accused persons have been arrested,” it said. It also turned down the petitioner’s — Sanklap Charitable Trust — request that the high court should monitor the investigation of the matter. “We are not at all inclined to look into the issue, once the Delhi Police is actively looking into it,” the bench said, adding that the petition is dismissed. The petitioner had moved the court seeking direction to transfer the probe to the CBI into the case. The police had registered a case after irregularities were pointed out in the 2016 NEET exam. The exam is held to admit students into postgraduate medical courses. The police represented by advocate Gautam Narayan, submitted that they have arrested three persons in connection with the case and the investigating officer is at present in Bihar to nab the rest of the accused. The Supreme Court on September 28, 2016, had directed the state governments to hold centralised counselling and allot colleges to students based on their performance in NEET. NEET 2017 will be conducted by CBSE on May 7 and it will be a one-stage medical entrance exam.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Put details of vacant seats in MCD schools online: HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court has directed the three municipal corporations in the national capital to put online the details of the number of vacant seats in the schools run and aided by them. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra said it was the responsibility of the Municipal Corporations of Delhi to direct their primary schools to forward the list of vacant seats in each class by December 31 of each year, so that it can be uploaded on time. “This should include the number of vacancy in the lowest class of the schools,” the bench said, adding that in case the schools have any specific criteria for admission, it needs to be mentioned in the information list put on their websites. The court issued the direction on a plea by educationists and RTI activist, Anurag Kundu, who had alleged that lack of transparency regarding the seats available, the rules and regulations for admissions, violated the fundamental right of children to free and compulsory education. The public interest litigation (PIL) has said the parents would not be able to obtain such information if the process was not made transparent. The bench concurred with the petitioner’s demand that the civic bodies should publish on their websites all the data about the availability of seats and the filling up of these seats in every school, ahead of the academic sessions. It said the complete information should be uploaded by April 1 of every year. “The MCDs shall strictly abide by the courts directions,” the bench said, adding that it was their duty to inform all schools under them and upload it within the time fixed by this court. The court directed MCD to upload all circulars stating the time-lines, rules, process, documents required, procedures and grievance redressal process, along with the address and contact details of the officers concerned on the portal. The petitioner had claimed that while the new admission season was beginning, there was no way for the parents to find out the number of vacant seats in their neighbourhood schools due to non-transparency and unaccountability. It had alleged that “no public notice/circular is put up on the notice boards or portals of the schools,” which infringes the fundamental right of students to education.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Make public transport, govt offices disabled-friendly: HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today asked the authorities to take care of the “comfort” of differently abled persons at government offices, public buildings, public transport and metro services in the national capital. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra sought reports from the Centre, Delhi government, civic bodies, colleges, schools, Delhi Metro and the other authorities on the ‘disability audit’ of public buildings in the city. While referring to its earlier order, the bench said it had already directed civic agencies to reserve space for the disabled in parking areas across the city and punish errant contractors and attendants. “Understanding the magnitude of the problem (of the disabled), all authorities to inform us within a week which all buildings here are disabled-friendly,” the bench said, adding that the comfort of the differently-abled persons need to be kept in mind in such places. The court listed the matter for hearing on April 19. It issued the direction during the hearing of a PIL filed by 29-year-old Nipun Malhotra seeking directions to make the capital’s roads, government offices and public transport friendly for the disabled people. The plea has alleged that “most public facilities”, right from public transportation, sidewalks, roads, footpaths to government buildings, were “woefully equipped” to meet the needs of the disabled. He has sought a “disability audit” of public transport facilities as well as government buildings in the city. The government is expected to ensure non-discrimination in public transport, rail compartments, buses, vessels, aircraft and waiting rooms in such a way as to make them comfortably accessible to the physically challenged persons, the petition has said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Allow Afghan girl to study without an Aadhaar card: HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today directed the AAP government to ensure that a 12-year-old Afghan refugee girl, who has been allegedly asked by her school not to attend classes since she does not have an Aadhaar card, be allowed to study. “We do not want a child to lose a year,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhothra said. “Find it out. Please sort it out and tell us what you have (Delhi government) done. Then we will pass our order,” the bench said. The court issued the direction to the state government after advocate Ashok Aggrawal apprised the court about a newsapaper report on the alleged expulsion of a sixth class Afghan refugee girl Hadya, who was studying in a government school in Tilak Nagar area of West Delhi. “The school is wrong in this case. This is a violation of the fundamental right to education which is available to every person, foreigner or refugee. A school cannot ask this student to leave on the ground that the student does not have an Aadhaar card,” the advocate told the court. It is being alleged that the Principal told Hadya’s father that she cannot attend school if she does not possess an Aadhaar card, the counsel said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC dismisses plea to remove party symbols from EVMs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A plea seeking removal of the candidates’ party symbols from the electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the MCD poll was today dismissed by the Delhi High Court. “We are not inclined to interfere in the issue,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra said and added that as far as the plea to include photographs of contesting candidates on the EVMs was concerned, it has been implemented by the poll panel in the MCD election. Sensing the mood of the court, the petitioner wished to withdraw her petition, which the bench termed “dismissed as withdrawn”. During the brief hearing, Delhi state election commission (SEC) sought dismissal of the plea. Any order on the petition “would directly affect all the national and state political parties. Since all the national and state political parties have not been impleaded in the present petition, it is liable to be dismissed on this ground alone,” SEC’s counsel Sumeet Pushkarna contended. He also submitted that the petitioner has not impleaded the Election Commission of India (ECI) as a party in the plea. The SEC “has been following the steps taken by the ECI…,” Pushkarna said. The SEC was responding to a plea by law student Sanjana Gahlot, who in her plea had said there was no provision in Part IX-A of the Constitution or the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Act for the political parties or their election symbols to be mentioned on the EVMs. “The presence of a party symbol on the EVM is arbitrary, illegal, unconstitutional and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. The SEC, have failed to conduct free and fair elections (by-elections in 2016 for filling up casual vacancies in posts of councillors),” the petitioner’s counsel had submitted. “The SEC is duty-bound to conduct free and fair elections and this duty is of public nature,” the plea had said. It had alleged that the state poll panel “simply” copied same format and design as was used by the ECI for elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. The plea said that the MCD Act nowhere has reference to a recognised political party or to allocation of the symbol for contesting an election.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

History repeats itself, HC warns those who abuse aged parents

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>History repeats itself, said the Delhi High Court today as it warned a man, who and his brother are facing allegations of mistreating their parents. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra told the brothers that the way they treated their parents, the same treatment could be meted out to them by their kids. “History repeats itself. I am not making comments on the merit of the case, but that is the reality of life. What you will do to your parents, you will get the same back from your children,” the bench said. “Why don’t you create your own world and allow your parents to live peacefully in their old age,” it added. The court’s oral observation came during the hearing of a plea by one of the two brothers, challenging a single judge ruling that the parents can evict from the house their adult children who abuse them. The bench has listed the appeal for consideration on September 19, the next date of hearing in the matter. It also asked the authorities to produce before it the records of the Maintenance Tribunal which had ordered that the two brothers be evicted from the premises where they were living with their ailing parents. The single judge had on March 15 held that as long as parents have the legal possession of the property, be it self- acquired or inherited, they can evict their abusive adult children. The ruling had come on the appeal of the two brothers, one of them an alcoholic policeman who had challenged an October 2015 order of the Maintenance Tribunal. In the appeal against the single judge’s decision, it has been contended that the senior citizens neither owned the premises, nor were they the tenants there. The petition has also sought that no third-party interest be created in the property. The government had earlier told the high court that it has implemented the single judge’s order by evicting the brothers from the residence. The March 15 ruling was a major improvement in a 2007 law which had left it to the state governments to frame rules to protect the life and property of senior citizens. In their plea before the single judge, the brothers had contended that the tribunal had exceeded its jurisdiction in passing the eviction order as there was no claim for maintenance and the relief was granted only on the allegations of physical assault, maltreatment, harassment and forcible ouster of their parents from the property. The alcoholic son, who was dismissed from service by the Delhi Police, had said that even in cases of parental abuse, no eviction order could be passed under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007. The single judge, however, had interpreted the provisions of the Act to say that the “Senior Citizens’ Maintenance tribunal can issue eviction order to ensure that senior citizens live peacefully in their house without being forced to accommodate a son who physically assaults and mentally harasses them or threatens to dispossess them”. The judge had also directed the Delhi government to amend its rules and formulate an action plan to protect the life and property of senior citizens. Noting that the “Act, 2007, amongst other remedies, provides for eviction of adult children in cases of parental abuse, like in the present case”, the judge had asked the SDM concerned and SHO, police station Civil Lines, to ensure that the sons were evicted from the house immediately.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PIL in HC for ban on 66 pesticides restricted world over

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A PIL has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking a ban on 66 pesticides used in India, claiming these are banned or restricted in several countries. The plea seeks cancellation of the registration of the 66 chemicals and a prohibition on their sale in India on the ground that they pose a risk to the health of humans, animals and plants. The petition came up for hearing before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra which has agreed to hear it on August 28. The petitioner, a law graduate, has alleged that the expert panel which was set up to examine the continued use of these pesticides, has been dominated and influenced by the pesticide manufacturers lobby. “The private pesticide manufacturers became part and parcel of the expert committee and played a role much larger than an invitee. “The minutes show that the expert committee relied almost exclusively on the data generated by the very same industry that it was seeking to regulate,” the petition by K V Biju said. The petitioner, who also claims to be part of an organisation fighting against hazardous chemicals, has sought setting up of a new expert committee comprising people who are independent of the pesticide industry. He has also alleged that while most of these pesticides are banned in European nations on the basis of safety to human and animal life as well as the environment, “India is becoming a safe haven and dumping ground for such hazardous chemicals”. Apart from the 66 pesticides, including DDT which is still used in India for vector control, the petitioner has listed out some other chemicals which are banned or restricted in several countries but continue to be used here. The petitioner has, therefore, sought a review of such other pesticides, apart from the list of 66 chemicals, which have been banned or restricted in other countries but are still in use in India. The petition contains a list of the 66 pesticides which also include aluminium phosphide, carbosulfan, dazomet, zinc phosphide, captan, carbofuran and many others.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ensure no dengue or chikungunya cases occur this year: HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today directed the AAP government and civic bodies to ensure that no dengue or chikungunya cases occur this year in the national capital. “You (government and civic bodies) must ensure that this time, the same things do not occur again,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra said. The court also asked the agencies to inform it about what preventive steps they have taken in comparison to last year with regard to breeding of dengue mosquitoes. Expressing concern over the numerous deaths in 2016, the bench said the authorities concerned should have a policy, instead of shifting the blame on each other, to stop recurrence of mosquito-borne tropical diseases. It directed the government and municipal bodies to place before it the action taken report, explaining the steps proposed to be taken by them to control vector-borne diseases. It fixed the matter for May 1. The court has been hearing pleas accusing the AAP government and MCDs of not acting vigilantly and responsibly to control dengue and chikungunya. Four dengue deaths and as many as 1158 dengue and 1057 chikungunya cases have been reported in the national capital till September 10 last year. Delhi government’s senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra, meanwhile, denied claims of the petitioner that Delhi was facing the “worst dengue crisis” and a slew of measures have been taken to control these vector-borne diseases. He submitted that the Delhi government was continuously taking steps and has even held a high level meeting in this regard. Public awareness campaigns like information, education and communication are also being carried out, Mehra submitted. Out of two petitions, one was filed by law student Gauri Grover who has sought lodging of FIR against directors of hospitals which had denied treatment to a seven-year-old boy, who died of dengue and whose parents subsequently committed suicide in September 2015. In her petition, she had alleged that the boy had died due to the callous attitude of the hospitals. A PIL was also filed by an advocates in the wake of dengue deaths and cases in the national capital. The court had earlier asked the Centre and AAP government on another plea by advocate Arpit Bhargava to explain the steps taken by them to contain the disease while voicing concern over the rise of dengue cases. It had also asked the three municipal corporations and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to explain the steps taken by them in this regard.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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