Soumya murder case, accused will not hang
Govindachami alias Govindaswamy, the main accused in the infamous Soumya rape and murder case, will not go to the gallows. On April 28, the Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Prafulla C Pant and UU Lalit dismissed the curative petition filed by the government of Kerala.
The bench declared (see picture): “Having gone through the Curative Petitions and the relevant documents, in our considered opinion, no case is made out within the parameters indicated in the decision of this Court in Rupa Ashok Hurra vs Ashok Hurra & Anr.
The curative petition is accordingly dismissed.
However, the accused has already been convicted for rape,
Pakistanis in Indian jails’ case
A PIL filed by Bhim Singh on fast-tracking all types of criminal cases against accused who are of Pakistani origin, came up for hearing in the Supreme Court before the bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan. The PIL wanted justice to be delivered expeditiously.
In its last directive, the court had asked the matter to be posted before a bench which did not have Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul.
On April 28, Bhim Singh said: “I filed this writ petition in 2005 and the court directed the government to give details if such prisoners languishing in Indian jails were from Pakistan.” He said that four prisoners were supposed to be deported, but the government stayed this without any reasons.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar argued for the government that this was an ongoing process. He said people cross over frequently without passports, and often Pakistan refuses to accept that those people were from that country.
The court set the final hearing for May 3.
Many Kanpur CETPs inept or not functioning
Digging into the Kanpur tanneries’ polluting situation, the National Green Tribunal has found that some of the Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETP) along the drainage route either need to be upgraded or were just not functioning properly.
The long-drawn out case regarding the Ganga Action Plans 1 and 2, heard by the Green Bench, headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, found a few problems on April 28.
It was found that drain No. 29 was supposed to discharge 86 mld, but was discharging 11.5 mld. The drain is highly polluted and contains metals such as chromium and also pesticides. While it has a CETP, it has to be upgraded to treat all the metals and pollutants.
Drain No. 30 discharges 22 mld, but its CETP is not functioning properly. It was decided to connect this drain to another CETP.
New technology in effluent treatment was also discussed.
The matter has been listed again for May 2.
Pay up or go to Tihar Jail, SC tells Sahara boss
The court had ordered that Sahara’s prime property Aamby Valley be auctioned. CBI counsel Arvind P Datar told the court that the property was valued at around Rs 44,000 crore. Official liquidator Vinod Sharma said the court can direct him to initiate the process of auctioning.
Defending Roy, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said: “Two post-dated cheques of Rs 1,500 crore and Rs 552 crore are being provided to the court and the remaining Rs 3,000 crore will be paid on or before October 30.” He protested the auction of the property, because it was from this property that the money is being generated.
He said that there was no “emergent need” of auctioning the property, to which Justice Dipak Misra said: “It is not a question of emergent need, it is a question of emergent realization.” Justice Misra said Roy should be present in person on the next day of hearing (June 19). The court has set June 15 as the last date of encashing the first cheque of Rs 1,500 crore.
Meanwhile, Prakash Swamy, a former journalist, who was close to Roy, filed an affidavit on the payment, but could not comply. He was convicted of contempt of court and sentenced to one month simple imprisonment in Tihar Jail.
Rent defaulter behind bars
A case of rent arrears and eviction of tenant has dragged on for a long time and landed before the Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justices DY Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul.
The current petitioner, Surinder Singh Arora had declared in the last hearing (February 17, 2017) that he was ready and willing to deposit the entire arrears of rent. As per the order of January 18, 2017, the outstanding rent was calculated at approximately Rs 50 lakh.
However, the money was not deposited with the Registry of the court, as per office reports of April 21. On that day neither the petitioner nor his counsel was present in court, at which the court issued bailable warrants of Rs one lakh.
That worked, and on April 28 the petitioner was present in court. The petitioner, against his earlier statement that he was willing to pay, said on April 28 that he was in no position to pay the arrears and also argued that the amount was actually not due. The bench quickly ordered the man to be taken into custody and directed that payment should be made before Monday. When the counsel said that the petitioner was unwell, the court said the jail doctor will take care of that.
He is to be produced again on May 1.
—India Legal Bureau
BSF food issue again, in Delhi HC PIL
The Delhi High Court bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Abu Malhotra on April 27 heard the petition of Puran Chand Arya, a former central government employee who wants to know the status report of paramilitary forces in the wake of videos showing apparent poor quality of food, as uploaded on social media by dismissed BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav.
The petitioner claimed to have worked in the military and that he too had seen poor quality food.
The bench asked the petitioner if he ever raised such claims while serving, or whether he got interested just now? “We have to see whether you filed this petition in national interest, public interest or personal interest. It doesn’t show that it is in public interest,” the Chief Justice observed.
While the bench was of the opinion that such “broad statements” should not be made in a PIL, it fixed May 5 for further hearing.