Daily Archive: August 28, 2017

HC seeks Centre, AAP govt’s reply on plea to vacate stay order

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Monday sought the response of the Centre and the AAP government on a plea by the Assembly Speaker seeking to vacate a stay on breach of privilege proceedings against the PWD secretary for allegedly misleading a house panel on the issue of de-silting of drains.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also issued notice to the office of Lieutenant Governor, PWD secretary Ashwani Kumar and the legislative assembly’s Committee of Privileges (CoP) which had initiated proceedings against the bureaucrat.

Senior advocate P Chidambaram, appearing for Speaker Ram Niwas Goyal, argued that the Speaker’s powers cannot be challenged in a court of law and the high court’s order staying the breach of privilege proceedings initiated by CoP should be vacated.

He said the question is that legislature’s proceedings cannot be interfered by the high court and submitted that the matter involved two branches of the state which must be resolved.

He sought an early hearing in the matter which was listed for November 8.

SC refuses to give any relief to Delhi Govt on ads issue

New Delhi, Aug 28 (PTI) The Supreme Court today refused to give any interim relief to the Delhi government on its plea seeking clarification over the jurisdiction of a panel constituted by the Centre to entertain complaints with respect to advertisements issued by it.

The apex court also refused to stay the August 10, 2016 order of Delhi High Court directing the panel to decide the representation of Congress leader Ajay Maken that alleged that the Arvind Kejriwal government has issued advertisements in violation of the guidelines.

“No interim orders. We will examine the matter. Issue notice returnable in six weeks,” a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Naveen Sinha said.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the Delhi government, said that they need a clarification over the jurisdiction of Centre’s panel which was constituted in compliance of the apex court’s earlier order.

“Central government thinks that it can decide complaints against advertisements issued by the Delhi government. We need clarification,” he said.

Dave said that they have also challenged the August 10, 2016 order of they Delhi High Court by special leave petition and sought a stay on it.

The bench, however, refused to pass any interim order.

The plea filed by the Delhi government also sought the apex court’s direction to quash the orders passed by the Centre-appointed committee in September and November of 2016, contending that they were not applicable on it.

The committee, headed by former Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon, in its report of September 16 last year, had held that the Delhi government had spent the exchequer’s money on advertisements projecting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party in violation of the apex court guidelines of May 13, 2015.

Delhi HC dismisses Kejriwal’s plea against speedy trial

New Delhi, Aug 28 (PTI) In a blow to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi High Court today dismissed his plea questioning the decision of a judge to expedite hearing of a defamation suit filed against him by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said the appeals filed by Kejriwal and AAP leader Ashutosh against the July 26 decision of a single judge was “misconceived” and “devoid of merit”.

It said speedy trial was the “need of the hour” and “highly recommended in all cases”.

“Indeed, the principle that every litigating party in a case, as well as every witness in a trial, civil or criminal, in court, is entitled to be treated with regard and respect, and not subjected to insults, insinuation, and injury, is a proposition so elementary as to obviate the necessity of reference to any further judicial authority in its support,” the bench said.

It said the appeals are totally misconceived and only serve to protract the proceedings which, in the interests of the parties to the lis, deserve to be brought to a quietus as soon as possible.

“In view of the above, we are constrained to dismiss these appeals as devoid of merit,” the bench added.

The bench also said “we are constrained to observe, much against our will, that the present appeals essentially impugn a decision which is clearly aimed solely at ensuring orderly and dignified conducting of the trial proceedings.

“Such appeals do disservice to the cause of justice in the long run, and we would request counsel to be more circumspect in raising such challenges. We say no more,” the bench said in its 33-page judgement.

The single judge on July 26 had directed the joint registrar of the high court to expedite the recording of evidence in the civil defamation suit filed against Kejriwal and five Aam Aadmi party leaders while disposing of an application filed by Jaitley.

Senior counsel Anoop George Chaudhari and advocate Anupam Srivastava, who appeared for Kejriwal, had earlier contended that a judge could not interfere while proceedings related to recording of evidence was going in a court of joint registrar.

The bench in its judgement objected to their contention and noted “we fail to understand how the appellants can claim to be aggrieved by the order, so as to enable them to maintain the present appeals.”

“The impugned order of the single judge limits itself to issuance of three directions, viz., that no attempt to scandalise or browbeat the respondent (Jaitley) would be permissible (for which purpose the undertaking of Chaudhuri was recorded), that the trial be expedited, and that only counsel, who are appearing in the present case, be allowed in the court room.”

The bench said that the single judge’s direction to expedite the trial between Kejriwal and Jaitley is “clearly unexceptionable and cannot be faulted for any reason.”

The bench in its 33-page-order also observed that every trial deserves to be conducted with all due expedition, and that delay, in the progress of any legal proceeding, substantially defeats the cause of justice.

“It is an inalienable truism that no litigant can ever claim to be aggrieved by a judicial direction for expediting the process of a trial, or of recording of evidence therein.

“In fact, this court is making every effort to address court delays and improve case management in all jurisdictions and cases, which range from implementing e-filings, promoting judicial education, effectuating scrutiny and evaluation of case pendency, and case management,” it added.

It also objected to the AAP leaders’ contention with regard to allowing only advocates appearing in the case to be present in the courtroom.

The bench stated the court rooms of Joint Registrars, where the union minister is being cross-examined by Kejriwal’s counsel, are small in size, with limited seating capacity.

“Significantly, one of the concerns expressed by the counsel for the chief minister was that, if such a direction, of the single judge, were to be allowed to operate, apart from his own colleagues and assisting counsel, media persons would not be able to attend the hearing.

“While the fourth estate is certainly entitled to be accorded all due respect, in an era such as the present, given the practicalities of the matter, we are unable to appreciate such a contention. The directions, in the order of the single judge, are wholesome and in the best interests of orderly administration of justice,” it added.

The high court had on August 25 rapped the chief minister for questioning a single judge’s decision to expedite the hearing of the defamation suit filed by Jaitley.

Besides Kejriwal, the five other accused in the Rs 10 crore defamation suit 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.

At Least 1.7 Lakh Students of Delhi Govt Schools Yet to Get Free Uniform, Writing Material: Report

New Delhi, August 24: The Delhi Government recently told the Delhi High Court that after inspecting 118 government schools, they found that out of the 7.6 lakh students enrolled in first to eighth standard, 1.7 lakh are yet to receive benefits of free uniforms and writing materials. This delay in paying the students in lieu of writing material and uniforms was reportedly because most of the bank accounts of these students were not linked with the Aadhar numbers.

Hindustan Times report stated that one in every five students from Class 1 to 8 in the government schools have not received the benefits of free uniforms and writing materials. However, the government said all students received free  textbooks.

In an affidavit filed by the Directorate of Education, it states that out of the total 7,59, 517 students from first to eight standard, payment for the benefits in question has been disbursed to 5,50,130 students. It further stated that the payment process has been initiated in respect to 41,298 students and the actual transfer into their bank accounts will occur within a week days time. Reportedly, out of the 118 schools, 85 reported that 50-80 per cent students received the benefits.

Global Crude oil price of Indian Basket was US$ 51.04 per bbl on 25.08.2017

The international crude oil price of Indian Basket as computed/published today by Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas was US$ 51.04 per barrel (bbl) on 25.08.2017. This was higher than the price of US$ 50.94 per bbl on previous publishing day of 24.08.2017.

In rupee terms, the price of Indian Basket increased to Rs. 3270.01 per bbl on 25.08.2017 as compared to Rs. 3263.84 per bbl on 24.08.2017. Rupee closed unchanged at Rs 64.07 per US$ on 25.08.2017 as compared to 24.08.2017.The table below gives details in this regard:

Particulars Unit Price on August 25, 2017 Previous trading day i.e. (24.08.2017)
Crude Oil (Indian Basket) ($/bbl)          51.04               (50.94)
(Rs/bbl)        3270.01          (3263.84)
Exchange Rate (Rs/$)          64.07*           

 

*RBI reference rate for 25.08.2017 is not available. Therefore reference rate of 24.08.2017 has been considered.

Surge pricing: New taxi scheme to put cap on maximum fare

NEW DELHI: Delhi government plans to ban surge pricing by app-based cab aggregatorstransport minister Kailash Gahlot said on Sunday.

“We will not allow surge pricing in the city. We are going to put a cap on the maximum fare that cabs can charge from passengers,” Gahlot told TOI. He said that app-based cab aggregators may be allowed to charge some extra amount above the base price per kilometre but that amount would be fixed and strictly enforced.

The provision to put a cap on the maximum fare that can be charged by cab aggregators is a part of the government’s City Taxi Scheme 2017, which is being finalised at the moment. The scheme aims to regulate operation of app-based cab aggregators, among others, in the city.

Sources in the Delhi government’s transport department said that deliberations are on about fixing the maximum fares that can be charged by cabs. “The amount is likely to be around Rs 10 per kilometre above the base price but nothing has been finalised yet. Meetings are being held to iron out these issues,” a government official said.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison in 2002 Rape Case

New Delhi, August 28: A special CBI court on Monday pronounced a 10-year jail sentence for Dera Sachcha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in 2002 rape case. CBI judge Jagdeep Singh pronounced the sentence in Rohtak Jail, where a makeshift court was installed to carry out the proceedings smoothly. After the sentence, Ram Rahim will go to jail. However, he will have the right to file an appeal against the court order in high court.

The jail library was transformed into a court. Judge Jagdeep Singh was flown in from Panchkula by a helicopter to conduct the court proceedings, along with two of his aides. Both the prosecution and defense were given 10 minutes make their respective cases. According to Zee News, the defense counsels have argued that Ram Rahim was an active social worker–an argument that seems to have worked in his favour as the court didn’t announce the life imprisonment.  (Sentencing Updates)

It was expected that Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh‘s defense counsel will appeal for the minimum sentence, which is 7 years, while the prosecution demanded the maximum punishment, which is the life sentence. (Also read: Ram Rahim sentencing: ADGP issues high alert on Meerut, UP borders)