MP high court issues notices to water resources ministries, others

MP high court issues notices to water resources ministries, others

The Madhya Pradesh high court on Thursday issued show cause notices to Union and state water resources ministries and various other departments to explain the irregularities pointed out in the public interest litigation (PIL) filed against diverting Khan River and linking it to Kshipra in Ujjain.

The Indore Bench of MP high court, headed by Justice PK Jaiswal and Justice DK Paliwal, admitted the PIL and issued show cause notices to seven respondents including pollution control board, and Simhastha mela pradhikaran. The government is planning to complete the first phase of the project before Simhastha 2016 in Ujjain.

The PIL pointed out that the Rs. 2,719 crore Khan river diversion project violates the Constitutional Right of Property preserved under article 300A of more than 100 farmers and would affect about 50 hectares of private arable land and 50 hectares of government land.


The Madhya Pradesh government had recently sped up the work of Khan-Kshipra River linking project and has started digging land for laying huge pipelines in village Ragho Pipliya in Ujjain tehsil.

However, the work has been stalled by agitated farmers of the village on December 1, 2014. A 19.5 kilometer-long pipeline laid 12 meter below the ground level was proposed for diverting and linking Khan River into Kshipra River near Ujjain.

The PIL, filed by social worker and advocate Satyanarayana Purohit, pointed out that the government did not take consent of the farmers before starting to execute its plans.

“The government did not issue any notices to farmers; this would affect the arability of land and the crops sown this season,” Purohit told HT. Advocate PK Shukla said, “The government has given contracts for diversion of the river neglecting the interests of farmers and slum dwellers who would be affected due to this.” It has violated land acquisition norms laid out by center before starting the work, he added.

Government counsel Manoj Dwivedi said, “The river linking project was proposed in public interest.”


Provide toilet facilities for women, Bombay High Court tells municipal corporations

Provide toilet facilities for women, Bombay High Court tells municipal corporations

The Bombay High Court on Friday ordered all municipal corporations in the state to evolve a scheme for providing toilet and urinal facilities for women on the streets .

Saying that emphasis was on providing easy and accessible toilet facilities and washrooms for women, Justices A S Oka and A S Gadkari said, “The petitioner has raised an important issue by filing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) of providing essential facilities for a woman walking on the streets.’’

The court noted that such facilities were not available.

One of the suggestions made by the petitioners included establishing such facilities on main roads.

“The municipal authorities are under obligation to provide such facilities on the side of various main roads for women walking on the streets. Ideally, these toilet facilities have to be established along main roads, however, it will depend on facts and circumstances in each case,’’ said the HC.

The petitioners work for a Pune-based monthly periodical ‘Milun Saryajani’, a magazine catering particularly to the need of women. The PIL sought restrooms in convenient locations for women in the Pune Municipal Corporation area. The HC later asked all municipal corporations to follow the PMC model.

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation made a suggestion that after evolving the scheme, adequate provisions should be made for maintenance of these toilets.

“The municipal corporation may charge a slightly higher amount than what is applicable for community toilets. The rate shall, however, be fixed so that it is affordable to the women who use the facilities,’’ said the court.

The HC said that NGOs can make periodical visits to such faculties to oversee the maintenance since the municipal corporation have an inherent difficulty of inadequate staff and infrastructure.

“In local and ward level committees, NGOs working in the field of women’s issues will have to be given representation so that they can make periodical visits to these facilities to ensure they are properly maintained,’’ the HC further said.

The petitioner submitted a list of women associated with NGOs working in this field. “Before formulating the scheme, a meeting of such NGOs should be called by the municipal authorities so that their suggestions are taken into consideration from the planning stage.

These NGOs should be permitted to play an important tole in ensuring cleanliness of such facilities which is of paramount importance,’’ said the judges.

The municipal corporations have also been asked to consider appropriate budgetary provisions for construction and maintenance of these facilities.

“Providing e-toilets (unmanned electronic public toilets) should also be looked into depending on the local situation,’’ said the HC.

All municipal corporations have been asked to formulate their schemes and place their compliance affidavits before the court by March 31, 2015.

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HC scraps Delhi Police tender for fresh uniforms, cops take U-turn

HC scraps Delhi Police tender for fresh uniforms, cops take U-turn


New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday asked city police to scrap its tender inviting bids from apparel- making firms to supply new uniforms in view of the upcoming visit of US President Barack Obama in January 2015.

A bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and I S Mehta gave the direction after Delhi Police, in a U-turn, informed them that the tender issued on September 17, 2013 will be cancelled as the present petitioner Fashion Fusion cannot be allowed to participate due to allegedly forged documents submitted by it.

“On behalf of the Delhi Police, an officer present in the court has taken instruction from the department and as per it the subject tender of September 17, 2013 shall be cancelled. Fresh tender is invited,” the judge noted in its order and disposed of the petition.

It further asked Delhi Police to withdraw its show cause notice issued to the petitioner Fashion Fusion and the agency said it would comply with the direction.

Delhi Police had issued a show cause notice to Fashion Fusion and debarred it from the tender process after mill-owner Mafatlal Industries Ltd said in a representation that it gave no letter certifying that the apparel-making firm had material to supply the uniforms.

A letter or certificate from a mill owner was a mandatory requirement for being considered in the tender process.

Mafatlal, which has also participated in the tender, had also alleged Fashion Fusion committed fraud as the letter was not signed by the authorised signatory.

Earlier, Delhi Police had said that it did not wish to scrap the tender as it urgently needed fresh uniforms, especially in view of the visit of the US President next month.

The court was hearing a plea by Fashion Fusion which has contended that it had been providing shirts and trousers to Delhi Police but in this year’s tender there was the additional requirement of getting a certificate from a mill- owner that the company has the requisite material.

According to the norms, all policemen from the rank of constables to inspectors, including the station house officers, are entitled to a new pair of shoes and clothes every two years.

HC may have commercial benches

HC may have commercial benches

NEW DELHI: The government is likely to move ahead with a proposal to set up designated commercial benches in high courts that will be able to deal with disputes as original jurisdiction.

The pending legislation is expected to be amended to include the recommendations of a select committee that had proposed that benches dealing with commercial matters will improve disposal of such cases and enhance investor confidence.

The committee that examined a bill on setting up commercial benches took the view that lower courts lack expertise in cases involving increasingly complex disputes about execution of contracts- often between Indian and foreign partners.

The possibility of commercial cases being tried in lower courts did not add to investor confidence given the crowded conditions and lack of experience both at the bar and bench, said a senior MP who had been a member of the select committee.

The government is looking to invest the high courts with the power of original jurisdiction in commercial matters.

The possibility of a steep increase in court fees is also being considered by the government which feels that this might affect the right of a litigant to approach the courts.

Arms licence: HC finds fault with Parrikar’s order in 2013

Arms licence: HC finds fault with Parrikar’s order in 2013

PANAJI: Finding that Union defence minister Manohar Parrikar, in his capacity as chief minister in 2013, had not observed the principles of natural justice while disposing an appeal for an arms licence, the high court of Bombay at Goa recently remanded the matter back to the state government for fresh consideration.

Vasco-based businessman Bharatlal R Halwai’s application for an arms licence was first rejected by the district magistrate, prompting him to file an appeal before the appellate authority—the state government. On February 13, 2013, Parrikar disposed the appeal. Halwai approached the HC alleging he had not been extended an opportunity to be heard by the CM.

Setting aside Parrikar’s order, a division bench of Justices R M Borde and F M Reis observed, “On perusal of the order passed by the (then) CM, it is apparent that the petitioner has not been heard in the matter and the appeal has been disposed of in his absence.”

The court stated that in order to comply with the requirements of observance of principles of natural justice it would be appropriate that the petitioner be extended an opportunity of being heard and to put forth his contentions before the appellate authority.

“The state government shall after extending an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner decide the appeal afresh and in accordance with the provisions of law,” the high court noted.

It directed Halwai to appear before the state government on December 15, and stated that the government shall dispose of the appeal as expeditiously as possible, preferably within a period of three months from the date of appearance of the petitioner. Advocate Shivan Desai appeared for Halwai.