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N A T I O N

3 suspects in train blasts case discharged
Mumbai, October 13
Three of the 16 people, arrested in connection with the July 11 train blasts, were today discharged by a local court after the Anti-Terrorist Squad informed it that there was no evidence of their involvement.

Graft case against CM referred to Division Bench
Bangalore, October 13
In a major blow to Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, a Public Interest Litigation filed by suspended Bharatiya Janata Party MLC Janardhan Reddy has been referred to a division Bench of the state High Court.

HC judges flayed for passing orders during jail visits
New Delhi, October 13
The Supreme Court came down strongly against the practice of passing judicial orders, including granting bail to accused persons by the Punjab and Haryana High Court Judges while visiting jails in the two states in the capacity of “inspecting judges” to oversee administrative problems in prisons.



EARLIER STORIES


Royal Air Force Tornado F3 aircraft participate in a joint exercise with the Indian Air Force over Gwalior
Royal Air Force Tornado F3 aircraft participate in a joint exercise with the Indian Air Force over Gwalior on Friday. — PTI

Stay on attachment of PO’s property rejected
Jessica Lall murder case
New Delhi, October 13
The Delhi High Court today declined the petition seeking a stay on the attachment of property owned by Vikas Gill, an accused and proclaimed offender in Jessica Lall murder case.

Low cadre morale: Dullo meets Sonia
New Delhi, October 13
Faced with a tough election and a faction-ridden state unit, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Shamsher Singh Dullo is depending on party President Sonia Gandhi to provide the much-needed healing touch.

9 accused in murder case acquitted
New Delhi, October 13
The Supreme Court today acquitted nine persons from Punjab, including some Akali Dal activists in a murder and kidnapping case, holding that the prosecution had failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.

Sabharwal’s death: charge sheet against ABVP men
Ujjain, October 13
Nearly one-and-a-half months after Prof Sabharwal died during students’ union poll here, the Madhya Pradesh police today filed charge sheets against six accused, including ABVP leaders Shashiranjan Singh Akela and Vimal Tomar.

Execution of 2 convicts stayed in mass murder case
New Delhi, October 13
The Supreme Court today stayed the execution of two convicts from Bhittewad in Amritsar district, who were awarded the death sentence for mass murder in the family of their kin Kulwant Singh over a land dispute six years ago.

5 escape unhurt as plane crashes
Mumbai, October 13
A small Beechcraft aircraft with five passengers on board crash-landed at the small Juhu aerodrome near Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai today.

Superstitious Bollywood avoids releases today
Mumbai, October 13
Superstitious film-makers in Bollywood have ensured that no new Hindi movie is released today, Friday the 13th.

8 new cases of chikungunya
New Delhi, October 13
Eight fresh cases of chikungunya, a debilitating viral disease, have been reported in the past 24 hours.

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3 suspects in train blasts case discharged

Mumbai, October 13
Three of the 16 people, arrested in connection with the July 11 train blasts, were today discharged by a local court after the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) informed it that there was no evidence of their involvement.

The persons discharged were Mumtaz Choudhary, arrested from Navi Mumbai, Khalid Ahmed, arrested from Madhubani in Bihar, and Akhmal Hashmi, arrested from Srinagar. They were suspected to have provided logistic support to those who carried out the blasts that killed nearly 200 people.

The ATS moved an application in the court saying that the trio had been arrested in July for their alleged involvement in the blasts. However, during investigations, it came to light that there was no evidence against them and the ATS said that they could be discharged from the case.

“We have sought discharge of the three accused from the court as investigations reveal that they were not involved in the case," Additional Commissioner (ATS) Jaijit Singh said.

Thirteen other accused are in custody under the provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

While announcing a breakthrough in the case recently, Mumbai Police Commissioner A.N. Roy had indicated that the three accused, against whom there is no evidence, may be discharged shortly. — PTI

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Graft case against CM referred to Division Bench
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, October 13
In a major blow to Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLC Janardhan Reddy has been referred to a division Bench of the state High Court.

The BJP leader from Bellary has accused the Chief Minister and two of his ministerial colleagues of collecting Rs 150 crore in bribes from mine owners of Bellary.

Justice H.G. Ramesh, who heard the PIL today, announced the allegations against the Chief Minister and Home Minister M.P. Prakash and Forest Minister C. Chenigappa needed to be taken up by a division Bench of the High Court.

Mr Reddy has appealed that the entire case should be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The PIL is supported by a number of documents including bank statements of the sister-in-law of the Chief Minister and even compact disc recordings in which the Forest Minister is shown making disparaging remarks against the Chief Minister while sitting in front of a stack of currency notes.

The Janata Dal (Secular) party, including the Chief Minister’s father H.D. Deve Gowda have claimed that the CDs are doctored and that there was no evidence of wrongdoing against any of its leaders.

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HC judges flayed for passing orders during jail visits
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, October 13
The Supreme Court came down strongly against the practice of passing judicial orders, including granting bail to accused persons by the Punjab and Haryana High Court Judges while visiting jails in the two states in the capacity of “inspecting judges” to oversee administrative problems in prisons.

Terming the practice as unconstitutional, a Bench of Mr Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Mr Justice A.R. Lakshmanan in a strongly worded judgement said, “In the course of inspection, a High Court Judge cannot pass any order on interim applications, such as bail petitions or transfer applications or applications for interim injunctions, howsoever justified they may be.”

The apex court said that it was not within the competence of any single judge or the division Bench of the High Court to give any direction to its Registry with regard to any judicial function while on a visit to a jail as “inspecting judge”. It would run contrary to the rule as such directions could be issued only by the Chief Justice of the High Court.

“In the scheme of things and judicial discipline demand that in the event, a single judge or a division bench considers that a particular case requires to be listed before the court for valid reasons, it should direct the Registry to obtain appropriate orders from the Chief Justice only,” Mr Justice Balakrishnan, writing the judgement, said.

The issue passing judicial orders by the High Court inspecting judges during jail visits was brought before the apex court in the wake of such an order passed by one Judge, who recommended the case of corruption case-accused Jasbir Singh for grant of bail to Fatehpur Sahib Sessions Judge, while visiting Nabha jail in June 2003.

The Sessions Court consequently had granted Jasbir Singh bail on a surety of Rs 20 but this was brought to the notice of High Court Chief Justice by Usha Rani, the main complainant in the case.

The apex court expressed surprise in its judgement pronounced yesterday that “it indicates that there has been a constant practice of inspecting judges receiving applications from inmates in jail for grant of bail and while, in some cases, the Judge himself would pass the order, in other cases, he would direct the Sessions Judges to grant bail or direct the application to be dealt with in accordance with the law.”

Terming this practice as contrary to laid down constitutional provisions, the apex court said, “The power of superintendence exercised over the subordinate courts and tribunal does not imply that the High Court can intervene in the judicial functions of the lower judiciary. The independence of the subordinate courts in the discharge of their judicial functions is of paramount importance, just as the independence of the superior courts in the discharge of their judicial functions.”

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Stay on attachment of PO’s property rejected
Jessica Lall murder case
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, October 13
The Delhi High Court today declined the petition seeking a stay on the attachment of property owned by Vikas Gill, an accused and proclaimed offender (PO) in Jessica Lall murder case.

The Division Bench, headed by Justice R.S. Sodhi and P.K. Bhasin, ordered that the police should continue their drive to attach Vikas Gill’s property, whether movable or immovable.

According to state counsel Mukta Gupta, Gill’s properties included a nursing home, a house and 18 acres of land spread across three villages.

In another development, fashion designer and key witness in the Jessica Lall murder case, Ms Malini Ramani, was today granted permission by the Delhi High Court to travel abroad to attend exhibitions.

Justice Anil Kumar asked her to submit the passports of her parents besides Rs 5 lakh as pre - conditions for travelling.

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Low cadre morale: Dullo meets Sonia
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 13
Faced with a tough election and a faction-ridden state unit, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Shamsher Singh Dullo is depending on party President Sonia Gandhi to provide the much-needed healing touch.

Mr Dullo met Ms Gandhi today. He said they would like the Congress President to address meetings in all three regions of Malwa, Majha and Doaba as her visit would boost the morale of the party cadres.

Punjab Congress leaders admit that the next year’s Assembly poll will prove to be a tough contest. The state unit is hopelessly divided and the Amarinder Singh government is facing strong anti-incumbency factor. Although the state leaders have been conducting mass contact programmes, it is clearly not enough. They are hoping that Ms Gandhi’s tour will provide the necessary encouragement to the workers and turn the tide in their favour.

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9 accused in murder case acquitted
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, October 13
The Supreme Court today acquitted nine persons from Punjab, including some Akali Dal activists in a murder and kidnapping case, holding that the prosecution had failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.

A Bench of Mr Justice B.P. Singh and Mr Justice Altamas Kabir found that the statement of the eye witnesses, cited by the prosecution was not truthful enough.

Seven of them — Sewa Singh, Hardeep Singh, Jagdeep Singh, Rajinder Singh, Ujjagar Singh, Sukhmander Singh, Gurdeep Singh and Avtar Singh — were awarded life sentence, which was confirmed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The remaining two accused were awarded lesser punishments.

They were accused of kidnapping and murder of Shiv Raj Singh from Bangi Kalan village in 1989 following an alleged property dispute.

The family members of the deceased had alleged that the police had initially not taken action against the accused persons as they were “influential Akali activists”.

The prosecution had mainly relied upon the statements of some women members of the family for evidence, which the apex court did not find sufficient as it found that the police had failed to gather sufficient evidence.

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Sabharwal’s death: charge sheet against ABVP men

Ujjain, October 13
Nearly one-and-a-half months after Prof Sabharwal died during students’ union poll here, the Madhya Pradesh police today filed charge sheets against six accused, including ABVP leaders Shashiranjan Singh Akela and Vimal Tomar.

The CID, probing the death of Prof Sabharwal, filed the charge sheets in the court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) R S Madia against Akela, Tomar, Pankaj Mishra, Vishal Rajoria, Hemant Dube and Sudhir Yadav, the police said.

The charge sheet was filed after questioning 94 persons and three eyewitnesses, the sources said, adding the CID may also file a supplementary charge sheet in the case as the probe was still on in the matter.

The court fixed October 26 as the next date of hearing in the case, they said.

Prof Sabharwal died on August 26 after being allegedly beaten up by ABVP activists, who were protesting against his decision to cancel the Madhav College Student Union poll following allegations of irregularities. — PTI

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Execution of 2 convicts stayed in mass murder case
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, October 13
The Supreme Court today stayed the execution of two convicts from Bhittewad in Amritsar district, who were awarded the death sentence for mass murder in the family of their kin Kulwant Singh over a land dispute six years ago.

The trial court had issued order for the execution of convicts — Jaj Singh and Gurvail Singh — by hanging on October 16 after their appeal was rejected by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on September 22.

The grant of stay on execution is a normal procedural practice in criminal cases once the appeal is admitted by the apex court.

Their counsel Uma Datta alleged that the High Court and trial court had not taken into account the evidence of certain witnesses, including Sharam Singh who was the key witness in the case.

The High Court had, however, converted the death sentence of their mother Amarjit Kaur into life imprisonment and another accused was found to be juvenile. 

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5 escape unhurt as plane crashes
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, October 13
A small Beechcraft aircraft with five passengers on board crash-landed at the small Juhu aerodrome near Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai today.

According to the Air Traffic Control room, the aircraft landed after it experienced engine trouble. All five passengers and the crew are safe. However, the aircraft suffered serious damages.

The aircraft was owned by a transport company which leases aircraft to corporates.

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Superstitious Bollywood avoids releases today
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, October 13
Superstitious film-makers in Bollywood have ensured that no new Hindi movie is released today, Friday the 13th.

All theatres, including multiplexes in major cities across the country, are screening movies released earlier.

“Though this is the peak season for new releases with school vacations, Ramzan and Friday the 13th have prevented new releases”, says Farhan Ahmed, a manager at one of the Fame series of theatres here.

Film-makers avoid new releases during Ramzan since Muslims, who form the bulk of movie goers, avoid theatres during the holy month.

Next week, which coincides with Divali and Id, will have a spate of new releases.

The remake of ‘Don’ by Farhan Akhtar, costing Rs 40 crore.

Jostling with the two is J.P. Datta’s remake of ‘Umrao Jaan’, featuring Aishwarya Rai.

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8 new cases of chikungunya

New Delhi, October 13
Eight fresh cases of chikungunya, a debilitating viral disease, have been reported in the past 24 hours.

With this, the total number of cases in the country has now reached now 1,610. According to the control room update till Friday afternoon, Delhi and the National Capital Region have so far reported 24 cases of the disease.

The maximum number of confirmed cases have been reported from Maharashtra (679), followed by Karnataka (294), Andhra Pradesh (248), Gujarat (145), Tamil Nadu (111), Madhya Pradesh (62), Kerala (38) and Pondicherry (9). — TNS

 

 

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