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CCTVs, street lights needed for safety: Delhi High Court

Lack of CCTVs, public toilets and street lights are contributing factors for rising crimes against women and children, according to the Delhi High Court, who directed that immediate measures be carried out to rectify the same.The court’s direction came while hearing a petition filed by Asha, a rag picker, whose daughters aged eight and 10 years have been missing from the Delhi’s Aman Vihar district. A bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice PS Teji directed the installation of high resolution, sufficient storage capacity and high technical specification CCTV cameras as top priority after the counsel for Delhi Police, Rahul Mehra informed the court that there are 118 vulnerable locations identified for which 587 CCTVs are required to be installed, and would be delayed due to lack of funds.The court said that there was a “grave urgency” for taking such steps and if sufficient funds were not available with the agencies, it would direct that the money was drawn from the Nirbhaya and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan funds. As per an affidavit filed by the then DCP of Outer District, Pankaj Kumar Singh, 389 children went missing from the area out of which 290 have been traced including 138 minor girls and 152 minor boys.Taking note of the “alarmingly” large number of missing cases of minors and adults in the area, the court has said it “reflects an extremely poor state of affairs” there.
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Delhi HC awards 3-year jail term to father ‘responsible’ for death of unborn baby

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There is no quick answer to the pain a woman feels after losing an unborn child, regardless of circumstances”, the Delhi High court has said while enhancing the sentence of a man for banging his car to a tree in fits of rage resulting in the death of his unborn eight-month baby in his wife’s womb.A bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice PS Teji enhanced the sentence to three years from a period already undergone. He also directed the accused to deposit Rs 3, 50,000 at the NPS School for Deaf and Dumb, Near Delhi Police Apartments, Mayur Vihar Phase-I, Delhi, an orphanage by way of seven installments in the sum of Rs.50,000 each. “It is also apparent that due to the act done by the respondent, not only his wife/complainant suffered injuries on her person, but an unborn child has also lost his life. There is no quick answer to the pain a woman feels after losing an unborn child, regardless of circumstances.”“The victim has been the unborn child. He is not in this world and, in view of the settlement arrived at between the respondent and his wife, his cause is not being pursued by his mother,” the bench said.The court’s direction comes while hearing an appeal by the State wherein they requested the enhancement of sentence of the Arshdeep Singh who was found guilty under sections 307 (Attempt to murder) and section 316 (Causing death of quick unborn child by act amounting to culpable homicide ) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).According to a complaint lodged by his wife, Singh had marital discords with his wife. It also revealed that on April 17, 2013 her husband had come to her parental home to take her back and picked up a quarrel with her at parental home also.She also divulged that while returning in Santro Car, Singh threatened that he would kill her as well as the unborn child and would also kill himself. The convict then gave fist punches on the abdominal region of his wife and deliberately struck the car against a truck and then against a tree.The court held that even though both the parties might have come to a settlement but considering the background, the sentence should be enhanced.“In view of the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case and considering the submission made by the counsel for the respondent/ convict as well as learned APP for the State, we are of the opinion that the sentence awarded to the respondent/convict under Section 307/316 IPC is on the lower side and he deserves to undergo minimum sentence of three years of imprisonment, in addition to the period already undergone (19 days),” the court held.

National action plan to end commercial sexual exploitation of children

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>New Delhi India, July 8 (ANI-Businesswire India): The first national level consultative meet on choking demand for commercial sexual exploitation of children recognized the low policy priority accorded to the issue and resolved to create an inter-ministerial framework to ensure better and effective implementation of policy pronouncements on the ground. The national level consultative meet is a first of its kind initiative that attempted to bring key stakeholders within and outside the government on one platform to deliberate a way out of the current environment of lack of enforcement teeth which has led to a proliferation of commercial sexual exploitation of children. The meet, which deliberated on various strands of the issue, has firmed up a national action plan with the child at the centre of its focus. Proposed to be helmed by the Prime Minister?s Office, this will be a network which would bind inter-governmental departments such as the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Women and Child Development (WCD) closely with different government agencies such as the CBI and the like working in close conjunction with one another. With choking demand for children in commercial sexual exploitation at its core, this framework is expected to result in prioritization of the issue in terms of the discourse at the national and at the level of the central and state governments. ?This is not just a WCD issue. WCD can and should take the initiative but the need of the hour is to create an inter-ministerial framework to take this forward,? opined Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Honourable Member of Parliament. Mr. Chandrasekhar, who chaired the meeting, also articulated an important view that technology can play the role of an enabler in sharing intelligence and data when it comes to not just commercial sexual exploitation of children but also in other child related crimes. ?We already have a Nat grid which really enables information sharing on terror-related issues. Why can?t we have a child grid replicated on similar lines which will ensure inter agency coordination and intelligence sharing something which will lend to better enforcement?, remarked the Member of Parliament.? Inadequate data was a key element on which there was complete consensus that poor and insufficient crime records plague this sector. The problem, many speakers said was compounded because the official data is itself under-reported due to issues such as stigmatization, fear, police apathy and the like. It was mooted that better information coordination systems on a digital platform be set up and maintained while at the SHO level, there should be consistent data available on ?history sheeters?- an imperative given the fact that repeat offenders mostly operate with impunity here. A key theme that resonated throughout the conference was that there was no paucity of laws as far as Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children are concerned. However, lack of awareness and sensitization to the issue as also inadequate enforcement and deterrence seemed to be plaguing resolution or at least mitigation in this area. This was an area which was also heavily debated and Mr. Dilip Kumar, Joint Secretary of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs weighed in to say that enforcement capacities are stretched with the police and most of India?s investigative agencies and though ??the typical response is to hold the police and the MHA to book, yet capacity building, especially at the grass roots level and greater sensitization are the needs of the hour??. Ms. Chhaya Sharma, DIG, NHRC (National Human Rights Commission), elaborated on the above and explained the systemic and operational lacunae that police officers grapple with everyday which include lack of funds for rehabilitation of victims, lack of incentives and morale which constrain effective police operations in this area. Another key issue that was deliberated at length at the meeting was the role of the judiciary. Mr. Chetan Sanghi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development mentioned that it?s important that Children’s? courts fast track cases of this nature to serve as better judicial deterrence. ?Deterrence continues to be important, there is a need for special courts and these courts should fast track child related cases??, he opined. Mr. Sanghi also re-emphasised that there needs to be an adequate focus on choking the demand side of this menace as well as victim reintegration- elements which will be integral to the new policy architecture that is being put in place by his Ministry. This view was also echoed by Ms. Jyotika Kalra, Member, NHRC in her closing remarks. Ms. Kalra called for enhanced centre-state and agency to agency coordination for better results on the ground. She also opined that policy actions by central and state level authorities need to be backed by high-visibility media campaigns to create and sustain awareness of the issue and elevate the theme to the centre of national discourse. This, in turn, will prompt policy makers to elevate the issue to the status of a national public policy priority. (ANI-Businesswire India) Ends AD NNNN ANI(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Offensive posts against SC/ST on social media an offence: Delhi HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Offensive statements on the social media like Facebook, whether private or public and intended to humiliate someone belonging to the scheduled caste or scheduled tribe communities, would be a punishable offence, the Delhi High Court has said.However, generalised statements against all and sundry and not against a specific individual from SC/ST community would not be an offence under section 3(1)(x) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Justice Vipin Sanghi said.”To my mind, it would make no difference whether the privacy settings (on social media accounts) are set by the author of the offending post to private or public. “Pertinently, section 3(1)(x) of the Act does not require that the intentional insult or intimidation with intention to humiliate a member of SC/ST should take place in the presence of the said member. “Even if the victim is not present, and behind his/her back, the offending insult or intimidation with intention to humiliate him/her, who is a member of SC/ST takes place, the same would be culpable if it takes place within public view,” the court said.Under Section 3(1)(x) of the SC/ST Act, it is an offence if someone makes statements which intentionally insults or intimidates with an intent to humiliate a member of such communities in any place within public view. The court said in the case of social media platforms, public view would include any independent or impartial witness who has seen an offensive statement.It, however, said that “generalised statements against all and sundry, and not against specific individuals belonging to SC/ST, would not make out an offence under section 3(1)(x) of the Act”. The observations came as the court quashed an FIR lodged by a woman against her sister-in-law for allegedly making offensive statements on Facebook against the ‘dhobi’ community.The complainant had accused her sister-in-law of making the statements to humiliate her as she belonged to the ‘dhobi’ community. The sister-in-law refuted the allegations and sought quashing of the FIR saying the statements about ‘dhobis’ were made on her Facebook ‘wall’ and the complainant had been blocked from viewing it.The police, on the other hand, opposed the quashing of the FIR saying the privacy status of the posts were changed by the petitioner/accused woman from ‘private’ to ‘public’ to enable everyone to read it. Regarding the petitioner’s argument that her posts were private, the court said that even if posts by a Facebook member are private, making an offending statement which fell foul of section 3(1)(x) of the Act, may still be punishable if if any of the author’s Facebook friends are “independent and impartial” persons and “not interested in any of the parties”.The court, however, said that in the instant case, a perusal of the posts by the petitioner on her ‘wall’ “do not show that they were directed against any individual member of any scheduled caste or scheduled tribe”.”For all the reasons, the FIR as well as the proceedings qua the petitioner under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, are hereby quashed,” the court said.

Delhi HC lifts stay, CBI charge sheets Virbhadra Singh & wife

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife were today charge-sheeted by the CBI in a special court here in a disproportionate assets case, hours after the Delhi High Court refused to quash the FIR and lifted the stay on their arrest. The high court, which rubbished the Chief Minister’s claim that the FIR is the result of any “political vendetta”, paved the way for criminal proceedings which were stalled due to the October 1, 2015 order of the Himachal Pradesh High Court restraining the CBI from arresting, interrogating and filing the charge sheet against the accused. After Justice Vipin Sanghi of the High Court passed the verdict in the morning in the case which was pending before it since November 2015, the agency swung into action and filed a charge sheet before the special court here against nine people including the 82-year-old Congress leader for alleged offences punishable under section 109 (abetment) and 465 (punishment for forgery) of IPC and under various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act. The over 500-pages charge sheet filed before special CBI judge Virender Kumar Goyal, has also arrayed LIC agent Anand Chauhan, a close associate of the chief minister. Chauhan, currently in judicial custody, was arrested by Enforcement Directorate on July 9 last year in a separate money laundering case related to the present case. The CBI report claims that Singh had amassed assets worth around Rs 10 crore which were disproportionate by 192 per cent of his total income during his tenure as a Union Minister. The charge sheet, which will be considered by the special court tomorrow, has arrayed around 225 witnesses and 442 documents. While clearing the deck for taking further the case, the High Court said, “There is no factual basis brought on record to claim that the registration of the FIR against Singh and his wife is actuated or legally or factually mala fide or that the registration of the FIR/ RC is a result of political vendetta.” Justice Sanghi said the Himachal Pradesh High Court order which was coming in the way of CBI to file the charge sheet was passed without hearing the necessary parties. “It is well settled that a court should not undertake to decide an issue unless it is a live issue between the parties,” the judge said and quashed the questions framed by Himachal High Court including whether the permission of the Speaker of the HP Legislative Assembly was mandatory before registration of FIR. Justice Sanghi held that there is “no legal basis to claim that the permission of Speaker of Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly was mandatory before registration of the FIR/RC in the case which pertains to the tenure of Virbhadra Singh while he was a Central Minister under the Union Government during the check period.” The high court also turned down the chief minister’s claim that the CBI has no jurisdiction, saying “the accused cannot dictate to the prosecution that the case should be registered at a police station that he desires”. “The case may be registered at any one of the police stations within whose jurisdiction the same can be legally instituted,” it added. Singh had sought directions from the court for quashing the FIR registered against him and his wife under Sections 13(2) and 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 109 of IPC by the CBI on September 23, 2015 here and urged the court to summon records of the preliminary inquiry and the FIR. Meanwhile, the Congress today ruled out removal of the chief minister and maintained that the case was file due to political vendetta. Singh will fight it out and emerge victorious, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said, adding there was “nothing to worry about” in the case.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC judge refuses to recuse himself from Virbhadra’s DA case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi High Court judge today turned down Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s plea to recuse from hearing his petition in a DA case as he was a close relative of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, saying he was capable of judging the matter independently and fairly. Justice Vipin Sanghi, who dismissed the petition of Singh and his wife for quashing of the disproportionate assets case filed against them by the CBI, said the Congress leader and his lawyers were aware of his relationship with Rohatgi when the hearing in the case had commenced but they made the prayer at a “highly belated” stage after the judgement was reserved. “As a judge of this court, I owe my allegiance only to the Constitution of India and the laws of the land. I am completely independent – financially and otherwise, and I am not subordinate to any one, much less to the Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi – either on account of his office, or on account of my personal relationship with him,” Justice Sanghi said. He said, “I am fully conscious of my responsibilities as a judge of this court and the trust that has been reposed in me including in my integrity and my independence, by the President of India in appointing me as a judge of this court. He said he would have himself recused from a case if he had even the slightest inkling or doubt in his mind that he would not be able to decide the cause freely or independently. “Like all men, I am my own conscience keeper. I would myself recuse from a case if I have even the slightest inkling or doubt in my mind that I would not be able to decide the cause freely or independently, or that it would be improper for me to judge a cause, even though, I find myself in no way incapable of judging the cause independently and fairly.” Singh had sought Justice Sanghi’s recusal from the matter on the ground that Sanghi and Rohatgi were related to each other and the Attorney General had represented CBI before the Supreme Court and pressed for transfer of the proceedings from the Himachal Pradesh High Court to the Delhi High Court. The judge said if the parties had any apprehension, they should have mentioned it at the start of the proceedings and if such a request had been made at the initial stage itself, he might have recused from the case. “… I may have recused from the case not because I find myself incapable/unable to decide this petition strictly on its merits due to my relationship with Rohatgi, but because I have no particular interest in, or attachment with any particular cause that is listed before me as per roster,” the judge said, adding that his relationship with Rohatgi does not pose a real danger of bias against Singh. (More)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Dishonest recording of proceedings is greatest injustice: Delhi HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A judge who does not record court proceedings “honestly and fairly” does the greatest injustice to litigants, the Delhi High Court has observed while transferring a corruption case from one trial court to another.The high court, which appreciated the efforts of the special judge to expedite the trial in the case, said it does not mean that while doing so the lower court can act in a “brazen and uncompassionate manner”.”A judge who does not honestly and fairly record the proceedings, does the greatest injustice to parties. A judge is supposed to have no personal interest in a case being tried or dealt with by him. He is always expected to truthfully record the proceedings conducted by him,” Justice Vipin Sanghi said.”It is for this reason that the proceedings recorded by a judge in his orders are accepted as true. If a judge breaches this trust reposed in him, it reflects on his credibility and on his independence and impartiality,” the high court said. The court passed the order while transferring a 16-year- old graft case from the court of a special CBI judge here to another trial court.The high court also reminded the special judge of the aphorism that ‘justice should not only be done but also be seen to be done’.The high court agreed with the submissions of the counsel for the petitioner, an accused in the graft case, that the way the trial judge was conducting the proceedings “smacks of bias” and there was reasonable apprehension that he would not get justice.”It is clear to me that the special judge, in his haste to conclude the trial, and even otherwise, had conducted the proceedings unfairly and his approach in the case, and the orders passed by him, disqualify him from proceeding any further in the matter. I am satisfied that a fair and impartial trial of the petitioner accused cannot be held before the special judge… in the present case,” the judge said.

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