PUCLblog

Turkey lawmakers brawl over judicial reforms

Turkey lawmakers brawl over judicial reforms

nkara: A brawl erupted in the Turkish parliament on Thursday as a heated debate on controversial judicial reforms turned nasty.

The deputy leader of the main opposition Republican People`s Party (CHP), Bulent Tezcan, was injured and taken to hospital as fists flew in the assembly.

Media reports said the fracas flared after one lawmaker spoke about claims that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan`s son had been summoned to testify as part of a major corruption probe rocking the government.
But Bilal Erdogan`s lawyer issued a statement, saying his client was “ready to testify” if prosecutors summon him, but that so far no summons had been received.

“Events in parliament today and reports that appeared on some media outlets about my client are statements that have no legal basis but are entirely politically motivated,” lawyer Ahmet Ozel said.

“My client resides at a permanent (registered) address and we are ready to go and testify upon the issuance of a summons by the prosecutor`s office.”

Parliament is expected to vote from late Friday on a bill aimed at giving the government greater control over the judiciary, a move that has raised concerns at home and abroad about the weakening state of democracy in Turkey under Erdogan.

His government has also sacked or reassigned hundreds of police and prosecutors in what is seen as a reprisal for the corruption probe that has struck at the heart of the political elite.
In the latest move on Thursday, more than 160 officers were removed from their posts in the western metropolis of Bursa, a day after a similar shakeup in the main cities of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.

The Turkish media estimates that at least 2,500 police, including top officers, have been punished since the graft scandal erupted in mid-December.

Dozens of prosecutors, including senior lawyers leading the investigations, have also been sacked or reassigned.

More than 50 people including the sons of cabinet ministers and business leaders such as the head of a state bank were rounded up last month as part of the probe into alleged money laundering linked to Iran, gold smuggling and bribery in real estate projects.

Erdogan accuses an erstwhile ally, exiled Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen, of creating a “parallel” state to try to topple his government via loyalists in various institutions including the police and judiciary.

But the purges, coupled with the judicial moves and legislation curbing the Internet, have provoked criticism, particularly in the European Union which Turkey has long sought to join.

Fistfights also erupted earlier this month when MPs were debating the justice bill in a parliamentary commission.

The political turmoil has raised concerns over Turkey`s economic outlook and sent the local currency plunging to all-time lows almost daily this year.

“Turkey is damaging itself with such a blinding quarrel,” Muharrem Yilmaz, the head of the country`s top business association, said of the feud between Erdogan and Gulen.

“We are worried about how groups outside politics are impacting politics,” he added.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/turkey-lawmakers-brawl-over-judicial-reforms_906424.html

 

 

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PUCLblog

Centre working on Justice system reflecting values enshrined in Constitution: Law Min

Top jurists want change in collegium system

New Delhi: Several top jurists on Monday pushed for scrapping the existing collegium system where judges appoint judges but government`s plans to bring a bill to make the process of appointments more transparent may take some more time.
At a meeting to discuss judicial reforms, the “predominant” view was that collegium system needs to be “changed”, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said after three-and-a-half hour long deliberations.

The Attorney General said those present in the meeting gave their point-of-view as to whether the collegium system should remain or not, but the debate has not ended.

He said on how exactly it will be changed and what should be the composition, is still being discussed.

Asked on the next step, he said the Law Minister will decide on the issue and perhaps there could be another exchange of ideas.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “there was a consensus for improvement and the need for making it (appointment of judges) more transparent.”

 

Asked whether there was a consensus to scrap the collegium system, Prasad said it will not be appropriate for him to make a public statement in this regard.

The Narendra Modi government plans to bring the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill in this session of Parliament.

Also on the agenda today was other reforms related to the judiciary including the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill which the previous UPA government had brought.

But those who attended the meeting said most of the time was used on discussing the collegium system.

Almost all those present in the meeting were of the view
that the Executive should not assume control of the appointments in higher judiciary — the Supreme Court and 24 High Courts — riding on the wave of anti-collegium clamour.

Those who attended the meeting said the predominant view was that the judiciary should continue to have the majority say in the proposed JAC and the Government should only be represented by the Law Minister.

Constitution experts Fali Nariman and Soli Sorabjee are learnt to have said that there must be no tinkering with the basic structure of the Constitution.

The government is learnt to have assured the jurists that the exercise was aimed at ensuring more transparency in the appointment process to allow the best of judges enter the higher judiciary.

Issues like whether the recommendations of the proposed JAC will be binding on the government still need to be thrashed out.

Prominent among those who attended today`s consultations included former CJIs AM Ahmadi and VN Khare, eminent lawyers KTS Tulsi, KK Venugopal, Law Commission Chairman Justice AP Shah, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar and former Delhi University Vice Chancellor Upendra Baxi.

The Law Minister had on July 21 said the government was seeking the views of various political parties and eminent jurists for setting up a Judicial Appointments Commission which would scrap the present system of judges appointing judges.

The practice of judges appointing judges started after 1993, replacing the system of government picking judges for higher judiciary comprising the Supreme Court and high courts.

The move to set aside the 1993 Supreme Court judgement, which led to the collegium system, requires a constitutional amendment.

An earlier effort by the NDA-I government in 2003 to replace the collegium system met with no success. The then NDA government had introduced a Constitution amendment bill but Lok Sabha was dissolved when the bill was before a Standing Committee. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was the Law Minister then.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/top-jurists-want-change-in-collegium-system_950835.html

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PUCLblog

Chargesheet filed against minister Mahadev Prasad

Chargesheet filed against minister Mahadev Prasad

MYSORE: When J Jayalalithaa is cooling her heels in jail following conviction in a disproportionate assets case, filing of charge sheet against minister Mahadeva Prasad has seemingly come as a shock to the latter and many people of his ilk in the region.

Lok Ayuktha police on Monday filed a charge sheet in Chamarajnagar law court against co-operation minister H S Mahadev Prasad in a case where he had got allotted a house from KHB despite he owning a house and other properties in Mysore.

One Hirebegur Nandish had filed a private complaint two years ago with Lok Ayuktha that Mahadeva Prasad being a public servant had got allotted a house in Chamarajnagar from KHB in 1996 by making false claim that he owns no house or any other property in his name. After a two year long legal battle recently the high court directed the Lok Ayuktha to investigate and file a charge sheet against the minister and questioned Lok Ayuktha police’s dilly dallying in the case. Nandish alleged that minister despite having a site allotted to him in Mysore by MUDA in 1995 had cheated the government and made false claims before the KHB that he does not own any property in his name.

Mahadeva Prasad who had got elected from Gundlupet for fifth time served as minister in Dhramsingh and Kumaraswamy ‘s cabinet. Later switched over to Congress to get elected from Gundlupet and became a minister in Siddaramaiah’s cabinet in his second stint as a Congress legislator.

Lok Ayuktha has charged the minister under section 415(cheating) 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant ),420( cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 425(mischief) of the IPC and section 13(1) b(3)( criminal misconduct by a public servant ) of the Prevention of corruption act.

Lawyer for the complainant Mallikarjun Swamy said charge sheet has been filed in Principal sessions judge court and the judge V G Sawadker posted the case to October 10 for further hearing. Minister who was busy in dasara celebrations Chamarajnagar evaded a reply on the case when reporters sought his reaction.

Meanwhile, Lok Ayuktha in Bangalore is yet to inquire and proceed against the minister in an another complaint filed by Nandish who had alleged the minister of amassing property disproportionate to his known sources of income. Minister who sensed the danger had recently surrendered a site in Bangalore allotted by BDA in his son’s name to the government.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mysore/Chargesheet-filed-against-minister-Mahadev-Prasad/articleshow/43914256.cms

PUCLblog

Man arrested for killing pregnant wife over dowry

Man arrested for killing pregnant wife over dowry

NEW DELHI: A man has been arrested for allegedly killing his pregnant wife for dowry.

The accused, Mohabbat, is a resident of the Bhatti mines area of Fatehpur Beri. The incident took place on September 22. The woman’s body was found in their house with injuries. During investigation, it was learnt that the woman got married to Mohabbat in 2009. The woman’s body was sent for a postmortem at AIIMS, after which a case of murder was registered.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Man-arrested-for-killing-pregnant-wife-over-dowry/articleshow/43929733.cms

PUCLblog

Somnath Bharti faces molestation charge

Somnath Bharti faces molestation charge

NEW DELHI: More than eight months after former law minister of Delhi, Somnath Bharti, “raided” Khirki Extension and allegedly misbehaved with African women, Delhi Police on Tuesday chargesheeted him under sections of molestation, outraging women’s modesty and several other offences under the penal code.

Senior officers remained tightlipped on the issue but sources confirmed that the police report was submitted late on Tuesday evening. The court will now take cognizance of the chargesheet and may order Bharti’s arrest as some of the charges are of crime against women, hence non-bailable.

Sources said 11 other people who accompanied Bharti that night have also been chargesheeted. The charges against them include: rioting (147/149), molestation (354), wrongful restraint (341), criminal intimidation (506), outraging a woman’s modesty (509), promoting enmity between two groups or religions (153A), assault (323) and criminal trespass (427) of IPC, an officer said.

Seven African women living in the area have deposed against Bharti and his companions, accusing them of misbehaviour, sources added. The 100-page chargesheet includes the statements of the victims under 164 CrPC, medical reports, CCTV footage, video footage shot by TV channels and witness statements. The women have identified Bharti and the others as accused.

READ ALSO: Somnath Bharti, activists charged with rioting, molestation

The statements recorded before a magistrate are admissible as evidence in court and the women can be prosecuted for perjury if they retract. They had alleged that Somnath Bharti, MLA from Malviya Nagar in south Delhi, had barged into their house along with his supporters on the intervening night of January 15 and 16.

Other African nationals had alleged that the women were subjected to a cavity search during their medical examination at AIIMS and Bharti and his supporters had humiliated them by asking them to give urine samples in public.

Bharti and the other accused have denied these allegations and claimed they were taking action against sex and drug rings active in the area.
The court has throughout relied on video footage of the incident and Bharti is seen leading a group of people in the “raid” and arguing with the ACP of the area.

Television footage shows the minister ordering police officers to conduct the raid, claiming he had received complaints of prostitution and drug trade in that area. The women have in their complaint said they were assaulted and molested by the group.

After the women approached the court with an application seeking registration of an FIR, it issued orders in this regard and has been monitoring the police action since then. The investigations have been carried out by the Mehrauli police. On September 10, the court had asked police to file their final status report “without fail”.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Somnath-Bharti-faces-molestation-charge/articleshow/43927830.cms