Monthly Archives: November 2013

Law intern sexual harassment: SC ex-judge AK Ganguly’s statement recorded: 29-Nov-2013

CNN-IBN | 29-Nov-2013 16:01 PM
New Delhi: The Supreme Court appointed panel that probed alleged incident of sexual harassment of a law intern by one of its recently retired judge submitted its report to the Chief Justice of India on Friday. The committee has also identified the former Supreme Court judge and recorded his statement.

The committee has also recorded Justice (Retd) AK Ganguly’s statement. The committee held seven meetings on the matter.

Reacting to this, Justice Ganguly expressed shock. “I’m shocked and shattered and I totally deny the allegations. I’m a victim of the situation,” he said speaking to IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai.

“The intern has worked with me, she never raised the issue with me,” he said. He also said he was not given an opportunity to present his case.

“I tried to contact her couple times after she levelled the allegation but she refused to speak to me,” Justice Ganguly said.

The law intern who had alleged sexual harassment by a former Supreme Court judge had deposed before the committee last week. The law intern recorded also requested the committee that confidentiality of her testimony be maintained.

The members of the committee include Ravindra Maithani, Secretary General of the apex court, justices RM Lodha, HL Dattu and Ranjana Prakash Desai.

The intern was requested to appear before the committee which is inquiring into the allegation levelled by her against the judge. After Chief Justice P Sathasivam had on November 12 constituted the three-judge committee to look into the charge of the lawyer, she was called to record her testimony to substantiate her charge.

Observing that he was concerned as head of the institution (judiciary), Chief Justice Sathasivam had said, “In the cases of sexual harassment, we cannot take it lightly.”

The CJI had said that the committee “will go into the whole affair and find out the facts and prepare the report and from today evening (November 12) they are going to start their work”.

The matter was mentioned before the bench by Attorney General GE Vahavati who had termed it as “an extremely serious matter”.

The young woman intern had accused the sitting judge, who retired recently, of having misbehaved with her in a hotel room last December when the nation was grappling with the gangrape of a 23-year-old woman in the capital.

(With additional information from PTI)


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CNN-IBN Live: Tarun Tejpal taken into custody as Goa court denies bail; Panaji: 9:20 pm ; 30 Nov, 2013

Panaji: 9:20: Tehelka Founder-Editor Tarun Tejpal has been taken into custody by the Goa police.

9:00 pm: NCW member Nirmala Samant says that she is happy with the court verdict denying Tarun Tejpal’s anticipatory bail plea. “I am happy that the justice has been done to the victim,” says Samant.

ALSO SEE Tarun Tejpal’s bail hearing on Saturday, will the court grant him relief?

Live: Tarun Tejpal taken into custody as Goa court denies bail

Tarun Tejpal is at the crime branch office of Goa Police which is probing the sexual assault case involving a woman journalist.

8:47 pm: We will arrest Tejpal shortly: Investigation Officer Sunita Sawant.

8:40 pm: Tarun Tejpal’s lawyer Geeta Luthra says that she is yet to receive a statement. Luthra also said that Tejpal was fully cooperating with the police. “The detailed order has not yet come. Court has told us that they can not accept our anticipatory bail plea,” says Luthra. Meanwhile, the court has allowed Tejpal’s lawyers to be present for some time during interrogation. He will be allowed home cooked food and clothes.

ALSO SEE Relief for Tejpal, arrest stayed till Saturday 10 am

8:28 pm: Goa DGP has confirmed that Tehelka Found-Editor Tarun Tejpal will be arrested. To be taken into custody after seeing the order. He is already with Crime branch. Sources say court order is 20-page long.

8:00 pm: The Goa court has denied the anticipatory bail to Tehelka Found-Editor Tarun Tejpal in the sexual assault case involving a woman journalist. The Goa Police will formally arrest Tejpal soon. Within 24 hours of arrest, the Goa Police will have to produce Tejpal in court. “Case is sensitive and we need custodial interrogation,” said Goa DGP.

ALSO SEE Full text: Complainant’s fresh statement in Tejpal sexual assault case

6:50 pm: The judge is still to decide on the anticipatory bail plea moved by Tarun Tejpal. She is inside the chamber for over 2 hours now.

5:45 pm: Judge hearing Tarun Tejpal’s anticipatory bail plea hearing is getting the order typed in her chamber.

5:00 pm: Tarun Tejpal has reached the crime branch office of the Goa Police. He is unlikely to be present in court when the court passes its order on his anticipatory bail plea.

12:45 pm: A person tried to throw a black cloth on Tarun Tejpal to mark his protest outside the court while he was trying to enter his car after the arguments on his bail plea ended. The police have taken the protester into custody.

12:45 pm: Tejpal leaves the court. His three-member counsel team remain at the court to strategise on his behalf.

12:35 pm: The arguments in the bail plea hearing have concluded. The Goa court will give its order on Tarun Tejpal’s bail plea after 4:30 pm.

12:15 pm: Prosecution demands 14-day custodial interrogation of Tejpal accused for a proper investigation. It said Tejpal has attempted to influence the complainant and has maligned her. His being at large is not in the interest of the investigation.

12:13 pm: The prosecution said that they were adding salt to the girl’s injuries by questioning her character. “You are worried about your reputation getting sullied, let me tell you, it has already gone for a toss. We have to ascertain his claims of ‘ mild bantering’,” it added.

12:10 pm: The prosecution argued that the complainant’s statement makes out a case of rape. “CCTV footage confirms that to an extent,” the lawyer said.

The prosecution also accused Tejpal of trying to misguide the investigations. “You are trying to misguide and you are saying that police is biased. You can not be interrogated at your own terms so that you can be properly interrogated,” the prosecution argued adding that the possibility of the accused interfering in the investigation was visible.

11:48 am: Accusing Tejpal of cooperating on only his terms, the prosecution demanded a custodial interrogation for him.

11:45 am: The prosecution said that the ‘nature’ of their meeting what Tejpal referred to as a ‘light hearted banter’ needs to be probed.

11:40 am: The prosecution said that the girl has been consistent in her version throughout the case. “The victim’s version has been recorded in front of a magistrate while the accused is constantly changing his version.

11:36 am: Arguing for the case, the prosecution says that she is the “sole bread winner of the family”. The prosecution added, “the accused gave a job to her. The father of the victim and the accused are friends. If the lady had reacted at the fest there would have been commotion. After discussing with her colleagues present at the fest she communicated it to her other boss in Delhi.”

11:30 pm: Defence ends its arguments in the case. Prosecution begins its arguments now.

11:05 am: Tejpal’s lawyer said that Tejpal was willing to comply even if his bank accounts are frozen.

10:59 am: “I will give my mobile number and location and I will not go to Mumbai where the victim stays so there is no scope of tampering with evidence and affecting the victim,” Tejpal’s lawyer said.

10:50 am: Tejpal offers to stay in Goa for the entire course of the investigations. “I offer to stay in Goa for no matter how much time they want, till they decide to file the chargesheet. I can present myself whenever they want at a reasonable notice,” Tejpal’s lawyer said on his behalf.

10:32 am: Tarun Tejpal reaches the Goa sessions court.

10:31 am: Judge asks Tejpal’s lawyer not to repeat the arguments and to cover those points which were not covered during the arguments on Friday.

10:30 am: Arguments for the bail plea hearing have resumed. Continuing its arguments, the defence questioned the need of custodial interrogation when Tejpal was already cooperating the in probe.

10: 05 am: Tejpal’s lawyer arrives at the Goa sessions court for the bail plea hearing which is expected to begin at 10:30 am.

9:55 am: While Tejpal is claiming to have joined the investigations at the crime branch, the Goa police has decided not to ask him even a single question before they get his custody. It is being said that this move by the Goa police is to avoid the argument by the defence that he has already joined the investigations and thus there was no need to take him into custody.

9:35 am: Asserting his stand yet again that he is not evading investigations, Tehelka Founder-Editor Tarun Tejpal before leaving for the court said, “We have joined the investigations of Crime Branch. We joined the crime branch investigations yesterday itself.”

9:30 am: Tarun Tejpal reaches crime branch office in Goa sessions court for the hearing of his anticipatory bail plea.

This after there was high drama on Friday in the alleged sexual assault case involving Tarun Tejpal. Tejpal got interim relief from arrest and his bail plea hearing was deferred till Saturday morning in the Goa sessions court.

The court had on Friday maintained that Tejpal cannot be arrested till his bail plea is heard. However, the interim relief does not allow Tejpal to escape interrogation from Goa Police. Goa DGP Kishan Kumar said that no one has stopped the police from interrogating Tarun Tejpal in the sexual assault case. “We will attempt again to meet him,” Kumar said.

Tejpal landed at Panaji’s Dabolim airport on Friday evening after raids were conducted by joint teams of Goa and Delhi police at his residence in Delhi. The mystery surrounding his whereabouts unraveled as he finally turned up at the Delhi airport on Friday afternoon to board an Indigo flight to Goa.

Dismissing allegations of him evading interrogation, he made it clear that he had received the summons from Goa Police and was going to join them in the investigations.

Tejpal’s counsel in the court during the hearing of the anticipatory bail plea, raised questions over the timing of the complainant’s e-mail, 11 days after the alleged sexual assault and also questioned her behaviour.

“If there is any CCTV footage I will be exonerated. Let us all view the whole CCTV footage. The fest went on for 7,8,9, 10 and 11 and the incident happened on the 7th and the 8th for a few seconds. I want to ask is the lady normal and her conduct normal. We can’t treat whatever she is saying as gospel. Take my version and also her version,” the lawyer argued.

During the arguments, Tejpal’s lawyer named the woman journalist for which he was forced to apologise in the court.

While, the court granted Tejpal interim relief and deferred the bail plea hearing till Saturday, it also passed some strong comments against him and reprimanded his legal team sharply for attempting to malign the complainant’s image.

The judge pointed out to the lawyer to keep his arguments to the bail application. “At this stage you cannot go into the conduct of the victim. We cannot put her in the dock,” said the judge.

Charged with sexual harassment of an employee at Tehelka’s Think fest in Goa earlier in November, Tejpal has been in the line of fire ever since the complainant made her story public.

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“Judges with compassion can be counted on fingers”, SCBA President MN Krishnamani in his Law Day address: 26 Nov 2013

Law Day poster

The National Law Day was celebrated in the Supreme Court lawns yesterday evening in a function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA). Union Minister for Law and Justice Kapil Sibal was the Guest of Honour for the function while Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam was the Chief Guest.

Every year, November 26 is celebrated as National Law Day to commemorate the adoption of Constitution of India by the Constituent Assembly on that day in 1949. The practice of celebrating Law Day was started in 1979 when the SCBA under the leadership of Dr. LM Singhvi declared November 26 as National Law Day.

Interestingly, the function yesterday witnessed some scathing remarks by SCBA President and Senior Advocate, MN Krishnamani in his address to which the Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal and Chief Justice Sathasivam took objection.

Referring to the great Supreme Court judges of the past, Krishnamani in his speech said that those judges displayed the quality of compassion and,

“Today, judges with compassion can be counted on fingers”.

Hailing Justice VR Krishna Iyer’s contributions to law, Krishnamani also sought for a portrait of Justice VR Krishna Iyer to be installed in one of the courtrooms citing the precedent of Justice HR Khanna’s portrait being unveiled while Justice Khanna was alive. Krishnamani also came down upon the Collegium system of appointment of judges which he dubbed a failure.

Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal, however, made it clear that he would “distance himself from the statements made by Krishnamani”. He said that he believed that the,

“Supreme Court judges of today are as compassionate as those of the past, and we should not point fingers at judges as they are humans and could make errors.”

Chief Justice P Sathasivam also seemed to disapprove of Krishnamani’s remarks and spoke about the steps taken by the Supreme Court to address the problem of sexual harassment in the court precincts. Referring to the incident of alleged sexual harassment of a law intern by a retired Supreme Court judge as an “alleged aberration which has come to our notice”, he said that justice will be done in the matter. He also detailed the steps taken by him to address the problem of pendency of cases in Supreme Court. He further asked the media to carefully consider the facts before reporting any news which might be derogatory to the image of the Supreme Court, as it could have ramifications “not only at the national level but also at the international level”.

Subsequently, the SCBA felicitated the lawyers who had completed 50 years of legal practice and the rank holders in the Advocate on Record exam.

Image of Justice VR Krishna Iyer taken from here

Murali Krishnan On November 27, 2013 – 7:56am

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#InternJudge: SJ’s employer comes out in support over #InternJudge sex harassment claims

SJ said at the time that others who had been in similar situations were often “in positions where these judges play an important role [and they] are afraid of jeopardising their careers”, whereas she was fortunate not to have such concerns. “I have a team that’s incredibly supportive, and three colleagues were first to read the blog post [before publication]. For me, the great thing is that I’m in an organisation where I know that if I come out in public about it, we are 25 people, and I’m pretty sure I’ll have the entire team behind me.”
………………The employer of a law graduate (“SJ”), who alleged that a former Supreme Court judge had sexually harassed her in 2012 while she interned under him, has issued a statement of support and solidarity about her going public.

The South Africa-headquartered not-for-profit Natural Justice: Lawyers for Communities and the Environment, for whom SJ is a fellow in India, wrote on its blog on Tuesday that SJ had “recently made a personal decision to write about her experience with sexual harassment”. The NGO issued a statement of support in response:

We condemn every form of harassment, assault and abuse of women, including in the legal profession itself.

Women who face such attacks and decide to come forward with their experiences in the hopes of preventing others from facing the same are extraordinarily brave and must be supported in their individual struggles as we collectively strive for a world free of discrimination and injustice.

We stand in solidarity with our team member and request all media to respect [SJ]’s privacy.

Natural Justice added it would not respond to requests for comment from media and that SJ’s original statements clearly set out her views.

A three-judge inquiry at the Supreme Court is currently investigating SJ’s allegations, which were first made in an early November blog post followed by a more detailed interview with Legally India a few days later.


SJ said at the time that others who had been in similar situations were often “in positions where these judges play an important role [and they] are afraid of jeopardising their careers”, whereas she was fortunate not to have such concerns. “I have a team that’s incredibly supportive, and three colleagues were first to read the blog post [before publication]. For me, the great thing is that I’m in an organisation where I know that if I come out in public about it, we are 25 people, and I’m pretty sure I’ll have the entire team behind me.”

Sc Intern Harassment Sexual Harassment Supreme court of india
………………By Kian Ganz Thursday, 28 November 2013, 13:40 Bar, Bench & Litigation

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Supreme Court: bank fraud not just a civil dispute: 28 Nov, 2013

The Supreme Court of India has set aside a Madras High Court judgment in the case Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank Ltd vs State. After this decision by the apex court, trial courts are now allowed to proceed with the prosecution of former directors of the bank who allegedly colluded with managers of five different firms to commit fraud against the bank.

SC says, bank fraud not just a civil dispute. According to the charge sheets in the case, the managers of the five  firms were maintaining current account with the bank since 2000, and they collectively siphoned around INR 2.51 crorefrom the bank with the help of the other accused, sources informed.

The fraud which was first discovered in June 2003, deployed the following modus operandi:

The accused managed to encash cheques at the bank’s Tiruppur branch despite the drawers accounts not having the requested amount. Apparently, the branch manager facilitated the transactions using the Local Bill Discounting provisions.

Later, after learning from the bank that their cheques had bounced, the accused deposited cheques with even higher amount in order to “clear the debt”.

After they were dragged to the court, the accused appealed to the High Court for quashing all criminal charges filed against them. The HC, after coming under the impression that the dispute in concern was more of a civil nature and the bank could move the debt recovery tribunal to recover the money, cleared the accused of criminal charges.

However, the SC has now set aside the HC judgment saying that the forgery was not just a breach of contractual terms, but smacked of criminality. Based on that opinion, the court allowed criminal proceedings against the accused to resume full fledgedly.

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Territorial Jurisdiction of HC where an accused is arrested in a State different from where the FIR is lodged: 12 Nov, 2013

Delhi High Court:- Delhi-HC-copy

Delhi High Court yesterday decided the question of territorial jurisdiction where an accused is arrested in a State different from where the FIR is lodged. It has been  that only such High Court, within whose jurisdiction the subordinate Court is located before whom the trial proceedings are pending and whose quashing is sought, should entertain writ petitions under Article 226 . It was in Sayed Mohd. Masood v. Union of India [W.P.(CRL.) 1546/2013] Justice Manmohan decided the issue. The facts of the case are, on 30th October, 2009, an Enforcement Case Information Report was registered by the Enforcement Directorate, Mumbai Zonal Office, based on preliminary investigation carried out in three FIRs by Cuffe Parade Police Station, Mumbai, by Amboli Police Station, Mumbai and by Vakola Police Station, Mumbai.  All these FIRs had been registered under Sections 420 and 120B of Indian Penal Code, 1860 against M/s. City Limouzines (India) Ltd. and its Directors including the petitioner for cheating investors who had subscribed to various schemes floated by it. On 11th February, 2013, the prosecution filed a complaint under Section 3 read with Section 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 before a Special Court in Mumbai, alleging that the companies floated by the petitioner had collected monies from investors and had cheated them and had further illegally transferred monies abroad.

Preliminary objection was raised by Union of India (Respondent) with respect to the jurisdiction of Delhi Court to entertain the present petition on the ground that no cause of action had accrued within the territorial jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court.. Appearing for the petitioner, senior counsel V P Singh submitted that Delhi Court had jurisdiction to entertain the petition for the reason that substantial cause of action had arisen in Delhi as summons were sent to the petitioner asking him to appear in person in the office of Directorate of Enforcement at Delhi and also the arrest order had been issued from the same Delhi office pursuant to which the petitioner was actually arrested in Delhi.

Citing relevant portions of Navinchandra N. Majithia vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors , which read as follows: “ the mere fact that FIR was registered in a particular State is not the sole criterion to decide that no cause of action has arisen even partly within the territorial limits of jurisdiction of another State. Nor are we to be understood that any person can create a fake cause of action or even concoct one by simply jutting into the territorial limits of another State or by making a sojourn or even a permanent residence therein. The place of residence of the person moving a High Court is not the criterion to determine the contours of the cause of action in that particular writ petition. The High Court before which the writ petition is filed must ascertain whether any part of the cause of action has arisen within the territorial limits of its jurisdiction. It depends upon the facts in each case. In the aforesaid situation it is almost impossible to hold that not even a part of the cause of action has arisen at Bombay so as to deprive the High Court of Bombay of total jurisdiction to entertain the writ petition filed by the petitioner. Even the very fact that a major portion of the investigation of the case under the FIR has to be conducted at Bombay itself shows that the cause of action cannot escape from the territorial limits of the Bombay High Court”, Mr. Singh submitted that  facts were adequate enough to establish that a substantial cause of action had arisen in Delhi, which would entitle the petitioner to file the present petition in Delhi Court.

Opposing the contentions,  Mr. Rajeeve Mehra,  ASG submitted that Delhi Court did not have jurisdiction as the case proceedings under the PMLA, 2002 of which the petitioner is seeking quashing, the entire cause of action had arisen in Mumbai. Mr Mehra invited  the Court’s attention to the fact that ECIR was registered in Mumbai by the Mumbai Zonal Office and also the complaint under PMLA, 2002 had been filed before Special Court, Mumbai and hence petition was not maintainable due to lack of territorial jurisdiction.. Regarding petitioner’s writ petition filed to challenge the detention order under COFEPOSA which was entertained by Delhi Court, according to Mr. Mehra  it was entertained as the detaining authority under COFEPOSA was in Delhi and the detention order had also been passed in Delhi.

The Court  is  of the view that the facts relied upon by Petitioner held no importance to the main issue of quashing of certain provisions of PMLA, 2002 and the complaint filed by respondent before Special Court, Mumbai as “cause of action” for the purpose of Article 226(2) of the Constitution of India, for all intent and purport, must be assigned the same meaning as envisaged under Section 20(c) of the Code of Civil Procedure. It means a bundle of facts which are required to be proved. The entire bundle of facts pleaded, however, need not constitute a cause of action as what are necessary to be proved are material facts whereupon a writ petition can be allowed.

According to   Court  the  jurisdiction cannot be conferred on Delhi High Court by drawing an analogy between proceedings under PMLA, 2002 with those under COFEPOSA as it agreed with Mr. Mehra’s stand that proceedings under COFEPOSA and PMLA, 2002 are two independent and separate proceedings, emanating from two different statutes. On talking about entertaining a writ petition in proceedings under COFEPOSA pending against the petitioner, it said entertaining a petition would not mean that it has to entertain all matters/petitions emanating from one or all cases pending against petitioner in different courts all over India. Even where a part cause of action has arisen within one High Court’s territorial jurisdiction, that High Court can still refuse to exercise jurisdiction under Article 226 on account of other considerations as defined under the concept of forum conveniens.

A Five Judges Bench of Delhi Court in Sterling Agro Industries Ltd. 181 (2011)DLT 658 (LB) after considering a number of judgments including Ambica Industries Vs. Commissioner of Central Excise, has explained the concept of forum conveniens which means that it is obligatory on the part of the court to see the convenience of all the parties before it. The convenience in its ambit and sweep would include the existence of more appropriate forum, expenses involved, the law relating to the lis, verification of certain facts which are necessitous for just adjudication of the controversy and such other ancillary aspects. The Apex Court has clearly stated about the applicability of the doctrine of forum conveniens while opining that arising of a part of cause of action would entitle the High Court to entertain the writ petition as maintainable.

Stating that the Bombay High Court is better equipped to deal with the present case, the Court said that the Special Court, Mumbai is in seisin of the matter and the prosecution as well as the evidence is available there and it would be appropriate that only such High Court, within whose jurisdiction the subordinate Court is located before whom the trial proceedings are pending and whose quashing is sought, should entertain writ petitions under Article 226. Keeping in view the principle of forum conveniens and also since no significant/material/substantial part of cause of action had arisen in Delhi as well as, Court refused to entertain the present petition and dismissed the petition with liberty to the petitioner to file proceedings in an appropriate court having territorial jurisdiction.

………..On 12/11/2013 by

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Bangalore Tops The List Of India’s Most Corrupt Cities: 25 Nov, 2013

Bangalore: The IT capital of India, Bangalore, tops the list of the most corrupt cities in the country, followed by another southern state, Chennai, according to an anti corruption website This anti-corruption site has been set up by Bangalore-based NGO Janaagraha, reports Christin Mathew Philip of TOI.

Bangalore Tops The List Of India’s Most Corrupt Cities

Bangalore Tops The List Of India's Most Corrupt Cities
The website reveals that more than 22,000 people “confessed” of having paid bribe in some way or the other. Bangaloreans have paid 16 crore as bribe followed by Chennaiites with 7 crore, Mumbai- 6.97 crore, Delhi 4.4 crore, Hyderabad 2.9 crore, Kolkata 1.6 crore and Kochi 56, 101.

As stated by Joylita Saldanha, product manager of Janaagraha, Bangalore tops the corruption index mainly due to better knowledge about the organization and the website. He further exclaimed “There is also a good response from Chennai for the website. Most people are using the website to vent their anger at the system,” reports TOI.

“We get an average of 12,000 visits a day from across 544 cities in India. More than 20 ‘bribe experiences’ are reported on a daily basis from all parts of India. The amount varies from 4 lakh (for a seat in a medical college) to 20 (to be let off for a traffic offence),” Saldanha added.

The campaign is an initiative by Janaagraha with an aim to uncover the “market price of corruption” and help people to express their views about a leap in the current system, give them a platform to share their experiences related to bribe and people even ‘confess’ to have bribed someone.



By SiliconIndia  |   Monday, 25 November 2013, 07:50 IST   |    10 Comments

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