Labour: We will cut luxury lodgings exclusively used by High Court judges

Labour: We will cut luxury lodgings exclusively used by High Court judges 

They include penthouse flats and Georgian townhouses -sometimes with full-time staff including cooks and housekeepers and cleaners.

But the days of luxury lodgings for High Court judges forced out into provinces to hand down justice now look to be numbered.

Labour is preparing to announce that they will do away with the fifteen permanent residences in cities such Birmingham, Nottingham, Preston and Leeds to save £2.9 million a year from the Ministry of Justice budget.

The accommodation cost is also being reviewed by the Coalition and whichever party wins power in May looks almost certain to force their Lordships into the less salubrious surroundings of a city centre hotel.

Labour said the move would save an estimated £2.9m a year in running cost as well as an estimated £26.3m from the sale of the publicly-owned properties.

It intends to invest the money into improving the collection of fines issued by the courts which, it claimed, could raise an extra £67 million a year.

As part of its review of Government spending Labour also said it would find saving from the current court budget by  co-locating two-thirds of the remaining single-use county courts and magistrates’ courts on the same site.

Chris Leslie MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “We will look at whether taxpayers would be better served by selling off the penthouse flats and Georgian townhouses, which are owned and maintained by the state for the exclusive use of High Court judges.

“The abysmal record of Ministers allowing so many criminal penalties to go uncollected isn’t just bad for justice – it’s bad for our public finances too.

Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, added: “This shows that Labour is taking tough decisions when it comes to finding savings in the justice budget.”


HC dismisses pleas for nod to stage protests

HC dismisses pleas for nod to stage protests

The Madras High Court has dismissed petitions seeking a direction to the police to permit protests in Chennai, Krishnagiri and Coimbatore on January 26.

Justice T.S. Sivagnanam said the police would find it hard to provide security to the protests as educational institutions and government offices would have various functions that day. The organisers could have their demonstration on some other date if they so desired. However, it was for the police to decide on the requests.

Petitioner Kovai Maavatta Puthiya Jananayaga Thozhilalar Munnani (workers front) had sought police permission to organise a dharna at Thudiyalur in Coimbatore to focus on the tragedy caused by the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak.




SC sets free two Italians guilty of friend’s murder

SC sets free two Italians guilty of friend’s murder

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has set free two Italians, undergoing life imprisonment for murder of their friend in 2010, saying the evidence submitted by the prosecution to suggest motive does not inspire confidence.

A bench of justices A R Dave, Kurian Joseph and R Banumathi set aside the Allahabad High Court order which had confirmed the life imprisonment to Italian nationals Tomaso Bruno and Elisa Betta Bon Compagni.

“In the case at hand, evidence adduced by the prosecution suggesting motive is only by way of improvement at the stage of trial which, in our view, does not inspire confidence of the court…In the present case, the courts have not properly appreciated the evidence and gap in the chain of circumstances sought to be established by the prosecution.

“Upon consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the view that the circumstances and the evidence adduced by the prosecution do not form a complete chain pointing to the guilt of the accused and the benefit of doubt is to be given to the accused and the conviction of the appellants is liable to be set aside,” the bench said.

It also said that the courts have ignored the importance of “best evidence” i.E CCTV camera in the case at hand and also have not noticed the absence of symptoms of strangulation in the medical reports.

According to the prosecution, Tomaso and Victa along with their friend Francesco Montis had arrived in Varanasi from London on January 31, 2010 and checked in at a hotel in the city.

On February 4, 2010, Victa informed the manager of the hotel that Francesco’s condition was not fine after which they took him to a hospital, where the doctors declared the tourist as “brought dead”.

Later, on the basis of the postmortem report and other materials, an FIR against Tomaso and Victa was lodged.

In July 2011, the lower court had awarded life imprisonment to them besides a fine of Rs 25,000.

The High Court upheld the verdict.



High court notice to govt for denying corrupt officers’ names under RTI

High court notice to govt for denying corrupt officers’ names under RTI

The Punjab and Haryana high court has issued a notice to the state government and the state information commission over a plea by a right to information (RTI) activist, who said he was denied information about corrupt administrative officers.
Subhash, state convener of Rohtak-based Haryana soochna adhikar manch, said he had filed an RTI application seeking a list of IAS, IPS, HCS and HPS officers who faced corruption charges between January 1, 2000 and October 31, 2013.

He also asked the government to provide details about action taken against such officers.

Refusing to divulge the details, the chief secretary had replied that the application “in respect of IAS and HCS officers is personal in nature and is exempted” from being sought under RTI, Subhash told the court.

The RTI activist, through his advocate Pradeep Rapria, said he later approached the appellate authorities but was still not provided the details.

“What’s more socking is that the state information commission, Haryana, had even maintained that indulging in corrupt practices was part of the officials’ personal information and its disclosure would lead to invasion of their privacy,” Subhash added.

Pleading in court, he said, “The public has the fundamental right to know about the conduct of administrative officers, especially in reference to corruption cases registered during discharge of their public duties. The officials involved in corruption cases do not have any right to privacy and disclosure of such information is larger public interest.”

Seeking time to file its reply, the state government has sought time from the court to respond to the RTI activist’s queries.

The court has set May 2 as the next date of hearing.



HC asks 2 cops to face trial 23 years after torturing woman

HC asks 2 cops to face trial 23 years after torturing woman

MUMBAI: Police can’t torture an accused to extract information, the Bombay high court has ruled in a landmark judgment, and ordered two policemen to face trial for brutally assaulting a woman in custody 23 years ago.

Justice A I Cheema overturned a magistrate’s order in 1998 acquitting the two cops accused by the woman of brutally beating her up and pouring chilli powder dissolved in water into her private parts to force her to reveal information about the recovery of some gold coins in 1992.

Sub-inspector Sheshrao Thombre and constable Kacharu Rengade have been directed to appear before the magistrate on February 16 and asked that the trial be completed in six months.

Significantly, the court held that beating up an accused could not be treated as part of policemen’s duties. The police officers had claimed that they enjoyed immunity under the law for acts done while discharging their official duty. “It is quite clear that after taking police custody, although police could have interrogated the complainant, there was no right to beat her or commit acts outraging her modesty. Instead of resorting to scientific methods of questioning, such acts were resorted to,” said the judge.

He added that there was no material to show that a woman police officer was present at the time the woman was interrogated. Such acts can’t be treated as done under “colour or in excess of duty or authority” vested in the police officials.

The Bombay high court
Referring to a Supreme Court judgment, Justice Cheema said: “It cannot be said that custodial violence can be permitted in a civilized society.”

The victim, a resident of Basmatnagar in Aurangabad, was arrested on July 11, 1992, in connection with a treasure and the recovery of some gold coins. On July 18, when she was produced before the magistrate, she complained about the assault. She claimed the police had beaten her with a belt, the accused had stood on her thighs and that chilli water was put in her private parts—all for information about the location of the gold coins. A medical report found there were 13 injuries on her body, 11 of which had allegedly been inflicted during police custody. After a delay of over two years, the government gave sanction to prosecute the two cops and they were booked for causing injuries and outraging the modesty of a woman. The policemen moved an application saying they had immunity as section 161 of the Bombay Police Act says that a public servant or a government officer cannot be prosecuted for an act done while discharging his duty. The magistrate in 1998 held that section 161 applies in this case and the two officers were acquitted. The state filed an appeal against the acquittal. The HC said that section 161 would apply only when the acts are done in good faith and due care and caution was taken.



Woman burnt to death over dowry

Woman burnt to death over dowry

VADODARA: A 30-year-old woman, who was set ablaze allegedly by her husband and other family members for dowry a few days ago, succumbed to burns here on Tuesday. Deceased Bhavna Waghela was a resident of Natwarnagar of Savli taluka in Vadodara district. The victim’s husband Vikram Waghela and his elder brother Shana Waghela, their mother Bajji Waghela and Shana’s wife Kailash Waghela had allegedly committed the crime on February 22. Bhavna was rushed to a private hospital in Padra and on Monday night transferred to SSG Hospital where she died on Tuesday. Police said Bhavna was harassed mentally and physically by her husband and his family members for over five years for dowry.

“The four accused beat up Bhavna after a heated argument on February 22. They asked Bhavna to bring Rs five lakh from her father and told her that if she did not get the money they will abandon her. While Bajji, Kailash and Shana held her, Vikram sprinkled kerosene on her and set her on fire,” said Savli police sub- inspector J J Vasava.

The police officer said all the accused are on the run. Bhavana, who was a housewife, was a mother of a five-year-old son. Vikram and his brother are farmers.



Child, 5 others killed in separate accidents

Child, 5 others killed in separate accidents

KORATPUR/ KENDRAPADA: Six persons, including a woman and her four-year-old son, died in three separate accidents late on Sunday.

Police said three youths were killed after the motorcycle they were riding hit a culvert between Padmagiri and Malkangiri under Malkangiri police limits, seven km from here. The youths were going to Malkangiri to witness the ongoing ‘Badyatra’ festival. A team of BSF men, who were on combing operation, spotted the bodies, said IIC of Malkangiri police station R K Das.

Earlier around 7 pm, a 26-year-old woman and her son were killed and 10 injured after the tractor, they were travelling in, overturned near Challanguda under Malkangiri police limits.

“A case was registered and investigation is on. The injured have been admitted to Malkangiri hospital and their condition is stable. The driver fled,” said police.

A 25-year-old motorcyclist was killed on Sunday night at Bilahata village under Patkura police limits in Kendrapada district when a vehicle hit him.

The deceased was identified as Sk Roshan Ali, 25, of Chasakunda village. Police seized the body and sent it to a local government hospital for autopsy.



Telangana speaker gets HC notice on turncoat MLAs

Telangana speaker gets HC notice on turncoat MLAs

HYDERABAD: In a significant development, the Hyderabad high court on Tuesday issued notices to the speaker of Telangana legislative assembly and chairman of Telangana legislative council directing them to respond to the allegations of Congress and TDP, which charged the two constitutional authorities with ‘inaction’ in deciding on the disqualification petitions pending before them.

Both parties sought disqualification of turncoat legislators under the anti-defection law as they got elected on Congress and TDP tickets and later joined the TRS without relinquishing their elected posts. Both the speaker and chairman are constitutional authorities with certain judicial powers and as per the tenth schedule of the Constitution, can deal with disqualification pleas pertaining to legislators. Courts have generally refrained from issuing notices to the speaker and council chairman, but the Hyderabad high court deemed it fit to do so on Tuesday.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice Sanjay Kumar was dealing with two pleas filed by the Congress whip in the council, M S Prabhakar Rao, and TDP floor leader in the assembly, Errabelli Dayakar Rao, who urged the court to declare the ‘inaction’ of authorities as illegal and sought setting of a timeframe to decide on the disqualification petitions. As many as five Congress MLCs and three TDP MLAs switched loyalties to the TRS. “Though we urged the speaker and the council chairman to disqualify the defectors, they are not even taking up the matter for hearing,” their advocates told the court.

Earlier, a single judge of the high court dismissed the pleas saying that the court would not intervene at a premature stage like this when authorities are yet to adjudicate the matter. Aggrieved by this, the current appeals were filed by the TDP and Congress which came before the bench headed by the CJ. Apart from speaker S Madhusudhanachary and council chairman K Swamy Goud, the bench issued notices to all the 8 legislators. Five Congress MLCs_KR Amos, V Bhupal Reddy, N Rajalingam, T Bhanu Prasad Rao and S Jagadeeswar Reddy and three TDP legislators Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Teegala Krishna Reddy and Ch Dharma Reddy have to explain their case to the court in the form of an affidavit.

Counsel for the petitioners, Jandhyala Ravi Shankar, mentioned the decision of the Supreme Court which gave three months time to the speaker of the Punjab assembly to decide the disqualification pleas pending before him. CJ Sengupta said that they are not in favour of giving any direction to the two constitutional authorities but instead decided to request them to decide the matter and issued notices to them.



Madras high court refuses to treat encounters as murders

Madras high court refuses to treat encounters as murders

CHENNAI: Five years after two rowdies — Dindigul Pandi and Velu — were gunned down by the Chennai police in an encounter, the Madras high court on Tuesday said police action done in the exercise of the right of private defence could not be termed as an offence.

“An action done in the exercise of the right of private defence can’t be termed as an offence under Section 96 of the IPC. Every person has a right to defend his own body, and the body of any other person, against any offence affecting the human body,” ruled the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh.

On February 8, 2010, Pandi and Velu were killed in a sensational encounter at Neelankarai in Chennai. Both of them were accused in several cases.

The present PIL was filed by advocate P Pugalenthi, director of Prisoners Rights Forum, seeking a direction to the Tamil Nadu government to register a case of murder against the police personnel involved in the encounter.

According to the police, they intercepted a vehicle of Pandi and Velu on the basis of reliable information. The duo attacked the police with sickle, gun and country bomb.

They said some police officers had also been injured in the attack. In self-defence, the police retaliated by opening fire, which caused death of the deceased.

M Radhakrishnan, counsel for Pugalenthi, however, said the self-defence plea was available to police personnel only at the time of trial and that the jurisdictional police ought to have registered an FIR and investigated.

Since the death had occurred at the instance of police personnel, an independent inquiry ought to have been initiated, he said.

Pointing out that the report of the revenue divisional officer was exhaustive, the bench said: “A perusal of the report would show that an exhaustive inquiry was conducted and statements from different persons, including the family members of the deceased, have been obtained. Publications calling for statements were made in the dailies having wide circulation. The report was also accepted by the government.”

Pointing out that the PIL-petitioner had not assailed the report, they said, “Thus, we do not have any factual premise leading to a conclusion of an offence having been committed.”



Stray dogs kill 3-year-old boy near Vadodara

Stray dogs kill 3-year-old boy near Vadodara

VADODARA: Stray dogs dragged away and killed a three-year-old boy in a village near Bhayli area, about 7km from the city on Sunday.

The boy, Mayur Solanki, was sitting in a field while his mother Saroj, a farm labourer, was working in Raipur village. She saw the dogs taking away her child and called for help. But it was too late.

“Usually, I used to leave my son on a tractor in the fields for having lunch. But on Sunday he insisted that he wanted to sit on the ground. So I left him near a tree with some food and went to collect drumsticks in the field. Within moments, I heard some noise and looked back only to see some dogs dragging away my son,” she said.

“I followed the dogs along with other labourers who rushed for help. The dogs let go my son after a distance and fled. He had suffered grave injuries on throat so we rushed him to Padra government hospital where doctors declared him dead,” Saroj said. The family carried out Mayur’s final rites on Sunday evening in the village.

Bhayli deputy sarpanch Jaswantsingh Parmar on Monday said it was for the first time that stray dogs had attacked and killed a child in the vicinity. The district collector has ordered an inquiry.



Cop accused of torturing wife for dow

Cop accused of torturing wife for dow

BELTHANGADY : A police constable working for the Coastal Security Police has been accused of torturing his wife for dowry and also attempting to kill her. The incident has been reported from Puttur. A complaint has been lodged with Puttur police and the victim is undergoing treatment at the Government Hospital in Mangaluru.
As per the complainant Saramma of Melanthabettu in Belthangady, her daughter Mumtaz (29) was given in marriage to Mohammad Rafique of Haleneranki village of Puttur in the year 2009. She has alleged that Mumtaz’s husband and family members namely Adam Mestri, Aminamma and Ashraf used to continuously torture her for dowy despite the girl’s family offering 100 sovereigns of gold and a cash of Rs 3 lakh at the time of marriage.
It is said Mumtaz was pregnant and on February 19 was once again pestered and attacked with a demand to get more dowry.
It is learnt, the accused cop Mohammad Rafique had faced similar complaint in the past and elders in the family had tried to sort out the issue through talks. Though Rafique used to agree, very soon he used to be back with his old traits. The family of Mumtaz has also lodged a complaint with the Santwana Women’s Helpline in Belthangady.



12-Year-Old Boy Jumps Off School Building, Allegedly After Teacher’s Rebuke

12-Year-Old Boy Jumps Off School Building, Allegedly After Teacher’s Rebuke

Mumbai, Feb 25: A 12-year-old boy jumped to his death from the fourth floor of his school near Mumbai on Tuesday, allegedly after he was scolded by a teacher.

Boy Jumps OffGaurav Kank was a Class 6 student of the New Horizon Public School in Navi Mumbai.

On Tuesday morning, he was allegedly told off by his science teacher for misbehavior.

“His father has complained to us about the negligence of the school authorities and we have started the investigation,” said Janardhan Thorat, a senior police officer.

There have been no arrests so far. Gaurav’s teachers are being questioned.

Gaurav allegedly opened a window and jumped off.

A group of parents gathered to protest at the school, holding it responsible for not ensuring the safety of children.

“The school authority is responsible for the incident. We told them to put the grills in the classrooms,” said a parent.

“How can it be the school’s negligence? We are also shocked as to why this has happened. We are planning to find out why this has happened and this won’t happen in the future,” Renuka Balaji, the school principal, told reporters.



25-year-old Sikkimese woman raped by AIIMS doctor after being trafficked to Delhi, 5 held

25-year-old Sikkimese woman raped by AIIMS doctor after being trafficked to Delhi, 5 held

New Delhi, Feb 28: In yet another shameful incident, a 25-year-old woman from Sikkim was allegedly trafficked to Delhi and raped by an AIIMS doctor at Hauz Khas on Thursday night.

Sikkimese womanThe woman, the wife of an army personnel, was brought to Delhi on February 20 on the pretext of a job at a beauty parlour, reported PTI. Her husband is a Gorkha Regiments jawan posted in Rajasthan.

27-year-old Mehr Tez is attached to the Neurology Department of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS). He, along with four others, including a married couple, was arrested by police.

Police sources said that the accused is a native of Hyderabad and was to get married in two months. He has been living at a rented accommodation in Gautum Nagar area of Hauz Khas for the past one year.

The report quoted a senior police officer telling, “The other two accused have been identified as Suman (37) and her husband Deepak alias Sagar (40). They were arrested from Sagarpur while their associates, Dharamveer (32) and Kamal (31), were arrested from Gautam Nagar itself. We have also seized the auto in which the woman was transported to the doctor’s house.”

The matter was reported around 6 am on Friday when the police got a call from an auto driver from Gautam Nagar area that a woman passenger was crying and saying that she has been raped. A police team then rushed to the spot and brought her to the police station. In her statement, the victim said she was brought her to Delhi on February 20 by a woman named Suman on pretext of getting her a job at a beauty parlour. They kept her with them at their rented accommodation in Munirka area.

“Last night, one of Suman’s associates dropped her to Mehr Tez’s rented accommodation where she was raped by him. Following this, we picked up Mehraj, who is a doctor at AIIMS for questioning,” the officer said.

The doctor told police that he had paid Rs.9,000 to a pimp who supplies sex workers for money after which he dropped the woman at his home on Thursday night.

“The woman stayed at his residence for the night where he established physical relationship with her which was consensual,” said an official, quoting the doctor’s statement.

However, police got the victim’s statement recorded before a magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC where she maintained that she was raped. After the medical examination, the police arrested the doctor. A case of rape, immoral trafficking and other charges has been registered by the police.

The accused told police that they were involved in such racket for the past two months. The police are investigating whether they had brought other women to Delhi as well and forced them into prostitution.



Bengaluru: Techie stabs friend’s wife to death, caught red-handed

Bengaluru: Techie stabs friend’s wife to death, caught red-handed

Bengaluru: (DHNS): A software engineer with a leading IT firm in the City was caught by alert residents minutes after he stabbed his friend’s wife to death at her flat in Domlur on Monday afternoon.

Basudev Jena, 37, from Jagatsinghpur village in Odisha, works with IT firm Mindtree here. The police said Jena tried to loot valuables from the house of the victim, 35-year-old Prachi, to clear his debts.

Prachi was the wife of Jena’s friend Debashish Das, who has been working for Wipro since last June. With the presumption that Prachi would have a lot of jewellery at her flat as she had recently married Das, Jena went to see her around 2:45 pm and carried a knife with him in case she resisted his attempt to rob her. He also intended to take around Rs 25,000 from her.

Jena threatened Prachi at knifepoint and tried to snatch her gold chain. Prachi raised an alarm and rushed inside the kitchen. Jena then tried to silence her and hit her on the head. As Prachi continued to scream for help, Jena slit her throat repeatedly and she collapsed, bleeding profusely, the police said.

The landlord rushed to the flat on hearing Prachi’s screams, and was shocked to see Jena carrying a bloodstained knife. Soon, a few other local residents came and caught hold of Jena.

On being alerted, the Ulsoor police arrived on the scene and arrested him.

During interrogation, Jena confessed that he killed Prachi to loot valuables to overcome financial problems. The police have booked Jena under IPC Section 302 (murder).

Jena came to Bengaluru 11 years ago and helped five people from Odisha, including the victim’s husband, get jobs here. Later, he went to New York where he incurred losses up to Rs 1 crore after several failed endeavours.

He returned to Bengaluru in September last year and landed a job at Mindtree with a monthly salary of Rs 1 lakh. He lives with his wife in Rajarajeshwarinagar here while his son studies in New York, the police said.



Kundapur: Two girl Inmates of Spoorthi Dhama go Missing

Kundapur: Two girl Inmates of Spoorthi Dhama go Missing

Kundapur: Two girl inmates of Spoorthi Dhama Kedoor Thekkatte, Manjula (16) and Lalitha (17), have gone missing since 28 February.

The Director of Spoorthi Dhama, Keshav Koteshwara filed a complaint at the Kota Police Station on Tuesday, March 3 and stated that the two girls went out from the hostel at 5 pm. When the girls did not return back, the hostel authority searched for the girls in many places, including their relatives house.

Anyone noticing these girls are requested to contact the Kota Police Station at 0820-2564155 / 9480805454 or the Brahmavar Circle Office 0820-2561966 / 9480805432



Mangaluru: Home-alone elderly lady charred to death in accidental fire

Mangaluru: Home-alone elderly lady charred to death in accidental fire

Mangaluru, Mar 1: In a tragic incident, an elderly home-alone lady was charred to death in an accidental fire at her house at Saripalla, Kulshekar here in the wee hours of Sunday March 1. The incident came to light in the morning.

The deceased has been identified as Louisa Pereira (72). She was unmarried and staying alone.

It is said that the fire sparked off after a kerosene lantern next to her bed fell on the floor while she was asleep. The fire immediately engulfed her bed and she was unable to escape. Police sources also said there were a lot of wooden sticks in the house.

Her body was completely charred in the fire.

It is said that Louisa had not been well and had been in hospital a few days back.

A case has been registered in Kankanady rural police station.



Bengaluru: Power cut killed man in hospital, claims family

Bengaluru: Power cut killed man in hospital, claims family

Bengaluru, Mar 2 (DHNS): The family of a 53-year-old man, diagnosed with swine flu, said he died at the State-run Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) in the City on Sunday as ventilators shut down following a power cut.

The hospital authorities attributed B G Ganesh’s death to his deteriorating health condition, but admitted that there was a power cut followed by ventilator shutdown in the intensive care unit (ICU) where he was undergoing treatment.

Ganesh was an auto consultant and a resident of Bapujinagar on Mysuru Road. His relatives staged a protest in front of RGICD, off Nimhans campus, on Sunday afternoon against the “negligence”.

Uma, Ganesh’s wife, said he was admitted to hospital on February 20. She said he died as the ventilator shut down at 3 am on Sunday following a power cut. On alerting the hospital authorities, Uma claimed she was asked to wait till they got the device functioning again.

“We were asked to wait till it was repaired. He was declared dead at 4:30 am, and we were forced to take the body without a post-mortem,” she said.

Ganesh’s family claimed he had nearly recovered and was shifted from the ICU to the H1N1 ward on Friday. However, since he experienced respiratory problems on Sunday, he was shifted back to the ICU.

RGICD medical director Dr Shashidhar Buggi said: “There was a power cut. However, we have a 250-kW generator for the campus. There were technical issues due to which there was power cut in the Medical Intensive Care Unit. At 4:15 am, I got a call from the hospital regarding the power cut.”

He added: “Soon, we had instructed that all patients be treated with hand-held ventilators and be moved to the surgical ICU.” He added, “His (Ganesh’s) condition was critical. His condition was co-morbid as he was obese. This is the cause of death.”

Minister for Medical Education Dr Sharan Prakash R Patil has sought a report on the incident, reports DHNS from Bengaluru. Patil said he has directed officials concerned to visit the hospital. “No compensation will be given to the family. However, if the doctors are found guilty, action will be taken against them,” he said.



Kasargod: Conmen arrested for duping job aspirants of crores

Kasargod: Conmen arrested for duping job aspirants of crores

Kasargod, Mar 3: Two persons who are reported to have conned people of crores of rupees with false promises of providing employment in Singaporean ships have been arrested.

Abdul Lathif (35) from Mulleria Nettanige and Rakesh (28) from Udama Palakunnu are the persons arrested.

Abdul Lathif (35) from Mulleria Nettanige and Rakesh (28) from Udama Palakunnu are the persons arrested. Over ten other persons were allegedly involved with this fraud, and all of them have gone underground.

It is alleged that the duo demanded Rs 1. 25 lac per visa for securing them jobs in ships operating from Singapore. The aspirants were promised lucrative jobs with hefty salaries,it is said. The duo demanded for payment of Rs 40,000 to Rs 60,000 per person in advance. In November 2014. Many people reportedly paid the money as demanded above, duly selling their valuable possessions in order to land in the foreign country for the promised jobs.

But when the promises were not fulfilled, many approached the above persons to either return their money or provide them visas as promised. But the duo left them high and dry, and just disappeared without any trace. Avinash, Ajith and Sajith from Kasargod and Rajendran, Muhammed and Ashraf from Thiruvananthapuram had lodged police complaints allegint that they had been cheated.

Now the police are looking for the others involved with this fraud.



Techie arrested for killing friend’s wife in Bengaluru

Techie arrested for killing friend’s wife in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, Mar 3 (IANS): A young techie was arrested on Monday for murdering his friend’s wife, a homemaker, in Bengaluru’s upscale eastern suburb, police said.

“The suspect, 32-year-old Basudev Jena went to his friend Debashish’s house to borrow Rs.25,000 from his wife Prachi, who was alone at home. When she said she did not have so much money to lend, he tried to snatch her gold chain. Panicked by his attempt, she screamed, that led him to slit her throat with a kitchen knife to silence her and rush out to escape,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (East) N. Sathish Kumar told IANS.

The woman’s loud screams forced her landlady Saraswati, who lives on the ground floor, to rush upstairs to the flat on the second floor of the three-storey building to check what was happening.

“As the landlady went up, the accused ran down the stairs with blood stains on his hands and shirt. As he attempted to run away from the place, passers-by pounced on him and nabbed him, after hearing the landlady shouting to catch him. They handed him to a police patrolling team,” Kumar said.

Police registered a murder case under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code against Jena, who hails from Bhubaneswar in Odisha.

His long-time friend Debashish is 35 years old, while Prachi was in her mid-30s.

“Jena admitted to have slit the woman’s throat in panic and to silence her as she was screaming in the kitchen. He said he was working as a software engineer,” Kumar said.

Incidentally, Jena borrowed Rs.25,000 recently from Debashish, who works as a senior manager at software major Wipro in this tech hub.

“Both the friends were living in the same flat till a year ago. Jena shifted from the flat after Debashish got married to Prachi 8-10 months ago,” the police officer said.

Jena is said to have accumulated debts to the tune of Rs.1 crore after he returned from the US where he was working on IT projects for seven years.



Teacher trying to rape student thrashed, turned in to police

Teacher trying to rape student thrashed, turned in to police

Belagavi, Mar 3: Residents of Beejagarani village in the Belagavi taluk thrashed a teacher of a higher primary school in the village after finding that he was trying to rape one of his students.

He was later handed over to the police. The incident occurred on Monday March 2 morning.

The accused has been identified as Maruti Parashuram Kankutkar.

It is said that the girl he was trying to rape was a fifth standard student of the government higher primary school (Marathi medium) in that village. The girl screamed for help when the teacher unexpectedly tried to rape her, after which nearby villagers rushed to her rescue.

He was taken into custody by policemen of rural police station here. It is learnt that some more students have now complained about sexual harassment they went through at his hands.


Girl confined, raped for 40 days; rescued

Girl confined, raped for 40 days; rescued

JAIPUR: An 18-year-old girl was rescued by Sanganer police from a contractor who had confined him to his house in Mansarovar for 40 days and allegedly raped her several times in Sanganer area.

The girl alleged that the accused kept her drugged. The police admitted the girl in a hospital after she fled the house and informed the police on Monday.

According to police, the girl was missing from her house, a resident of Shyopur. She called up the police from a place near Dhanwantari Hospital requesting them to rescue her. Police found her in a semi-conscious state due to drugs and injuries on her body.

In her statement to the police, the girl stated that she met one Giriraj Bairwa on May 27. “Giriraj, a contractor, offered her job at a construction site and took her along with him to a house in Mansarovar. He drugged her there using psychotropic substance, so that she could not rescue. The girl says that he raped her every day,” said a police officer.


Kottakkal sex scandal gets murkier

Kottakkal sex scandal gets murkier

MALAPPURAM: The sex scandal involving a Kottakkal family became murkier on Tuesday with the police detaining a 19-year-old for allegedly raping his stepsisters—aged 12 and 11—and nine-year-old stepbrother.

The detained youth’s mother (37) and stepfather (50) were arrested on Monday, based on the 12-year-old girl’s complaint that they had forced her into flesh trade and presented to over 40 persons during the past two years. Some of the abusers, police said, were prominent persons in and around Kottakkal.

The girl’s ordeal came to light when the Class VI student confided the matter to Malappuram Childline counsellors, who visited her school on Monday. She reportedly told them that her mother was expanding the illicit trade in collusion with local agents.

Following the revelation, the girl was shifted to the social justice department-run shelter home on Monday itself. She was produced before a court on Tuesday after a medical examination, which confirmed rape.

Childline officials said the girl’s father—a driver-cum-marriage broker—solicited customers by showing them the 12-year-old’s photograph, and charged them anywhere between Rs 3,000 and Rs 5,000.

Police have charged her parents under sections 5 and 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act, Section 376 and 354 of IPC and Section 23 of the Juvenile Justice Act.

Childline volunteers Muhsin Pari, Ruby Raj, Rashid Tirur and Rajish Babu, who visited her house on Tuesday, was in for another shock when the girl’s 11-year-old sister accused her stepbrother of raping her for “more than 100 times” in the past two years. The younger boy, too, said he had been sodomized by the same man.

Police said the youth abused the children with the knowledge of their parents. “We have confirmed that the minor girl had been abused by her brother. He has been detained and his arrest will be recorded soon,” district Childline coordinator Anwar Karakkadan said.

The arrested man is the woman’s second husband, and they have five children, Karakkadan said. The woman have another two children, including the detained youth, from her first husband, whose whereabouts were not immediately known. Except her eldest 24-year-old daughter, the remaining six lived with her.

Childline has now shifted all the children, the youngest aged four, to the shelter home. Though the couple claimed that they got married 15 years ago, they could not produce a certificate.

The district police chief, meanwhile, convened a meeting on Tuesday and asked Tirur DSP to monitor the case. The family had shifted from Kozhikode to a rented accommodation in Kottakkal three years ago, police said.


No dedicated court for POCSO cases

No dedicated court for POCSO cases

NEW DELHI: An RTI reply has revealed that there is no designated court in Delhi to exclusively try offences against children under the POCSO Act.

The reply, furnished in response to an RTI query by advocate Gaurav Bansal and now part of court records in Delhi high court, reveals that special courts set up to try crimes against children under POCSO are burdened with cases of human rights violations and cases under SEBI, MCOCA and TADA. “As per office records the court of ASJ-01 is functioning as children court/human rights court/drugs & cosmetics acts 1940/ POCSO Act/SEBI/TADA/POTA/MCOCA,” the reply states.

TOI has also accessed a letter written last year by a POCSO special judge to the court administration on the same issue. The letter, made public recently, points out that “many children come to court daily for deposition. It is not conducive and advisable to expose children to MCOCA accused who are brought to court in handcuffs and fetters,” the letter by a Rohini additional sessions judge states.

The judge adds that offences against women and children are increasing day by day. “Voices are being raised in society to expedite such cases…vast number of cases under POCSO pertain to rape which are very time consuming,” the judge explains, arguing that if other offences are also to be heard by the same court, mandate of the POCSO Act gets violated.

Sections 35 of the Act makes it mandatory for a special POCSO court to record evidence of child victims within 30 days of taking cognizance and dispose it within one year. In his letter, the sessions judge wonders how the deadline be adhered to if other cases are to be also decided by the special court. “Soon a day will come when we will need at least two designated courts in each district to deal with cases under POCSO Act.”

This is not the first time the need for dedicated courts for POCSO has reached HC. Bansal had filed a PIL last year questioning why the state government conferred powers of special public prosecutors of POCSO on each additional public prosecutor attached with sessions courts. It also urged HC to ensure POCSO courts don’t take up other cases, thereby delaying justice to children.

Earlier, the court had on Bansal’s plea directed that the government appoint independent special public prosecutors in each complex.


Thailand trial opens for 2 accused of killing British tourists

Thailand trial opens for 2 accused of killing British tourists

KOH SAMUI, Thailand: Ten months after two British tourists were killed on a resort island in Thailand, prosecutors called their first witnesses Wednesday in a case marked by claims that the accused — two migrant workers from Myanmar — were tortured into confessing.

Following widespread attention, the case has been called a test for Thailand’s justice system and its treatment of migrant laborers.

The battered bodies of David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were found Sept. 15 on the rocky shores of Koh Tao, a scenic island in the Gulf of Thailand known for its scuba diving. Autopsies showed that the young backpackers, who had met on the island while staying at the same hotel, had both suffered severe head wounds and that Witheridge had been raped.

The first policeman on the scene, Lt. Jakrapan Kaewkao, told the court that he got a call at 6:30 am that morning about two tourists’ bodies found on the beach. He said he arrived to find a gruesome sight.

“I found a man’s body lying on the beach with seawater lapping his body,” said Jakrapan, the prosecution’s first witness. “Then I found the woman’s body behind the rocks.” The rocks were spotted with blood, he said. The two bodies were several meters (yards) apart and both were mostly unclothed, with Witheridge’s body bearing signs of physical assault, he said.

Inside the small courtroom on Koh Samui, an island near Koh Tao, the accused sat in orange prison uniforms with their legs shackled.

The two men — Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin, both 22 — were arrested in early October and initially confessed to the killings but then retracted their statements, saying they were extracted through beatings and threats, which police deny. Human rights groups repeatedly called for an independent investigation and raised concerns that the men might be scapegoats.

The accused were indicted on several charges related to the murders and to illegally working in Thailand. Prosecutors say they have a solid case against them that includes DNA evidence linking them to the crime.

Journalists were initially allowed into the small courtroom, which seats about 30 people, but then ushered out to make room for relatives of the victims, diplomats and others attending the trial. Prosecutors were also expected to call to the stand a doctor who examined the bodies.

“We hope the truth will be revealed,” defense lawyer Nakhon Chompuchat said as he headed into the courtroom. “We hope the mechanism of justice in Thailand … will have the same standards of international countries.”

From the start, the case raised questions about police competence. Investigators faced a variety of criticisms, including their failure to secure the crime scene and their releasing of several names and pictures of suspects who turned out to be innocent.

Under intense pressure to solve the case, which drew global attention, police carried out DNA tests on more than 200 people on Koh Tao.

Concerns that the men were tortured by police originated with advocates for migrant workers, who are often abused and mistreated without the safeguard of rights held by Thai citizens. But the allegations caught the attention of the British government, which expressed concern to Thai authorities about the way the investigation was being conducted. As a result, British police were allowed to observe the case assembled by their Thai counterparts.

The victims’ families traveled to Koh Samui for the trial and issued a joint statement.

Witheridge’s family urged the media not to focus on the “speculation, rumor and theory” that has surrounded the case, making “an unthinkable time harder to bear.”

Miller’s family said that just hours before he died, their son called home and described the beauty of Koh Tao and the friendliness of the Thai people. “Over the coming weeks we hope to gain a better understanding as to how such a wonderful young man lost his life in such idyllic surroundings in such a horrible way,” they said in a statement.

About 2.5 million people from Myanmar work in Thailand, most as domestic servants or in low-skilled manual labor industries like construction, fisheries or the garment sector.

The gruesome killings tarnished the image of Thailand’s tourism industry, which has been struggling to recover after the army staged a coup in and imposed martial law in May 2014.