06 March, 2016

Legal News : 6 March 2016

Abdul Karim Tunda discharged in 4th case
In a setback to the Delhi Police, a sessions court discharged suspected LeT bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda and three others, accused of aiding Pakistani and Bangladeshi terrorists sneak into India in 1997 to carry out strikes.
Tunda, 74, one of the 20 terrorists India demanded Pakistan hand over after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, was discharged by the court which said there is no prima facie evidence to proceed against him. With this order, the fourth and final case filed against him by Delhi Police ended without conviction.
However, he will remain in judicial custody in connection with terror-related allegations since he also faces court cases in other parts of the country. The Delhi court also discharged his father-in-law Mohd Zakaria and their two close aides, Allauddin and Bashiruddin, in the case.
The special cell of Delhi Police had filed the chargesheet against the accused for offences punishable under various sections of IPC, including 121 (waging war against the country), 121-A (conspiring to commit certain offences against the state) and under provisions of Explosives Substance Act, Foreigners Act and Arms Act.
According to the police, Allauddin and Bashiruddin met Tunda in 1994 through Zakaria before joining the banned LeT and on Tunda's instruction, the other three accused helped Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals, allegedly involved in various terror strikes in 1997, to infiltrate into India.
Tunda was arrested from Indo-Nepal border at Banbasa on August 16, 2013. He is suspected to be involved in 40 blast cases across the country. However, he was discharged last year in three cases. The cases pertained to a blast in Karol Bagh and two blasts in Sadar Bazaar in October, 1997. The third case in which Tunda was discharged was registered under provisions of Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and under various sections of the IPC.
Madras High Court said that  national anthem should be sung in all private schools in Tamil Nadu
The Madras high court has made it clear that the national anthem should be sung in all private schools in Tamil Nadu during the morning assembly .
A bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh gave the direction on a petition seeking that singing of national anthem be made mandatory in schools. “Private schools must follow such singing of national anthem as part of their curriculum“, the bench said disposing a PIL by N Selvathirumal, an ex-service man, seeking a direction to make it mandatory for all private schools in the state to sing the national anthem during the assembly .
The bench directed central and state departments of secondary education and the Union human resources department to verify weather national anthem was sung in all private schools in the state.
CBI judge recuses self from Ishrat case trial
A special CBI judge here has recused himself from the trial against seven policemen in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case and returned the case papers.
D P Gohil has withdrawn himself on the ground that one of the defence lawyers is his relative, sources said. The principal sessions judge may now assign the case to another judge for further proceedings.
This development comes on the heels of the controversy that arose after David Headley's allegations about Jahan's status as a terrorist.
The trial has been pending for framing of charges for more than two years before the trial court. The case couldn't move ahead because the CBI magisterial court didn't take cognizance of the second chargesheet that the CBI had filed. This was because the home department did not grant sanction to prosecute four IB officials, including former special director Rajinder Kumar. The first chargesheet named eight officials of Gujarat police including ADGP P P Pandey , retired DIG D G Vanzara and SP G L Singhal.
An investigators, IGP Satish Verma, said that he fears a miscarriage of justice in this case because of efforts to create a political controversy in order to shield the accused.
Centre considering ESOPs for bank employees
State-run bank chiefs have strongly backed the idea of consolidation while the government is actively considering employee stock options (ESOPS) for bank employees.
Government to push Aadhaar bill as money bill in Lok Sabha
The government plans to seek the passage of the new Aadhaar bill in Lok Sabha next week in a determined effort to ensure that a key element of the jandhan-aadhar-mobile (JAM) trinity, intrinsic to delivering welfare benefits, becomes law.
The government will face a stiff challenge from Congress that wants the bill to be referred to a parliamentary committee for further scrutiny, a demand that the government sees as a delaying tactic.
The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016, awaits Speaker Sumitra Mahajan's ruling on whether it is a money bill and the government is hopeful of a favourable verdict.
The government has recast objectives of the Aadhaar bill to frame it as a means to deliver benefits through cash transfers so as to meet the yardstick of a money bill, a device that can allow the passage of the legislation without the approval of Rajya Sabha where Congress has the upper hand.
The Aadhaar bill, according to government sources, seeks to address privacy issues by ruling out sharing of biometric data for purposes other than identification of a beneficiary. With more than 92 crore persons holding Aadhaar numbers, fears of exclusion if the unique identity is made mandatory for receiving benefits has receded.
The Aadhaar bill is among 12 legislations the government plans to push next week that has only four working days, These include two appropriation bills relating to demands for grants on account (railway) and supplementary demands for the same department, two appropriation bills  and demands for grants relating to the general budget, the whistleblowers, child labour and waterways bills.
So far, both Houses have passed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016, that gives voting rights to people who have recently become Indian citizens following exchange of conclaves with Bangladesh while the Rajya Sabha has passed the high court and Supreme Court salaries and the carriage by air bills that have been cleared by the Lok Sabha.
Muslim women’s body moves SC against personal law
Nisa - a progressive Muslim women's forum based in Kozhikode - has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking to declare sections in the Muslim personal law dealing with the practice of triple talaq, polygamy, nikah halala (bar against remarriage with divorced husband without an intervening marriage with another man) and inequality in intestate succession as unconstitutional.
Nisa president V P Zuhara, who has been fighting for Muslim women's rights for nearly two decades, has sought to implead in the suo motu PIL registered by the apex court last October titled 'Muslim women's quest for equality'. The apex court had earlier this week admitted a similar petition filed by another Muslim woman challenging the practice of triple talaq as unconstitutional, and issued notice to the Centre, tagging the petition along with the suo motu PIL.
High court urges law commission to recommend signing of Hague Convention
In a rare gesture to ensure that India should recognize inter-country child removal as an offence and to have specific law on the issue, the Punjab and Haryana high court has asked the Law commission of India to intervene and make necessary recommendations for signing the Hague Convention on child abduction.
Justice Rajive Bhalla of the HC has made this reference to the law commission after a minor girl, Aishley Kapoor of Punjab was spirited away from India to England by misusing the directions of the high court passed in 2006. Despite serious efforts made by the central bureau of investigations (CBI) and the amicus curie, advocate Anil Malhotra, the girl could not be brought back to India from England in absence of any provisions.
The case pertains to the custody of Aishley Kapoor, who was born to Jyoti Kapoor and Deepak Kapoor, an employee of CRPF, on August 14, 1999. Aishley used to stay with Deepak's sister Seema Kapoor. Even after her marriage, Seema took away Aishley to her matrimonial house. When Jyoti and Deepak filed a case in Hoshiarpur court seeking custody of their daughter, Seema filed a false affidavit stating that Aishley was adopted by her. She, however, lost the case and was asked to hand over the minor girl to her parents.
Aggrieved from the orders, Seema filed a petition before high court in November 2006. The HC first stayed the orders of the lower court but it directed Seema to appear in the court along with Aishley. Seema, however, left for the UK with Aishley without seeking prior permission of the court.
On April 24, 2008, advocate Anil Malhotra was appointed as an amicus curiae to assist the court, as the dispute involved cross-border transportation of the minor child. Seema reportedly had fled with Aishley to the UK on a false passport.

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