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Never-told-before explosive story of the CBIs complicity with

Lalu Yadavs political enemies to nail him in the fodder scam





December 15, 2015





Inderjit Badhwar examines the Indian

legal tangle on snooping
France caught in a web of confusion
Is Belgium the new terror theatre?
US ponders efficacy of mass surveillance 08

Modis balm 54





DECEMBER 15, 2015


Inderjit Badhwar
Managing Editor
Ramesh Menon
Deputy Managing Editor
Shobha John
Executive Editor
Ajith Pillai
Associate Editors
Meha Mathur, Sucheta Dasgupta
Deputy Editor
Prabir Biswas
Art Director
Anthony Lawrence
Deputy Art Editor
Amitava Sen
Graphic Designer
Lalit Khitoliya
Anil Shakya
News Coordinator/Photo Researcher
Kh Manglembi Devi
Pawan Kumar


The Paris Effect

INDERJIT BADHWAR compares the American
experience of mass surveillance in the Indian
legal context

December 15, 2015


In an interview to MURALI KRISHNAN, Taslima Nasreen

worries about the rapidly shrinking space for freethinkers,
be it in Bangladesh or in India

In defense of Lalu


A new book by top cop

AP DURAI tells the
inside story of how CBI
conspired with his
political opponents to
nail the RJD supremo
in the infamous fodder
scam case. An excerpt

For advertising & subscription queries




Modis refusal to take a stand on the repeated instances of hate

crime has fuelled fears that India is fast turning into a bigoted and
narrow-minded country. SMRUTI stresses the need to fight back

Let good sense prevail

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India under attack


Anand Raj Singh
VP (HR & General Administration)
Lokesh C Sharma

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Paris is burning
France takes stock of its options post 13/11 while the clamor for closing
the doors on Syrian refugees grows. A report by Stratfor

The Belgium connection

The trail of those wanted in the Paris attacks leads the police to
Belgium, which has emerged as Europe's hotbed of Islamic terrorism,
observes SEBASTIAN ROTELLA from ProPublica

Does this spying help?

Analysis shows that when it comes to gleaning intelligence about attacks
and tracking down jihadis, mass surveillance may not be a very effective
tool. LAUREN KIRCHNER reports for ProPublica




The dazzle of
With the legal route being used to bring this priceless
gem back to India, will Britain give up its claim on it?
SAJEDA MOMIN reports from London

Haunting memories


Ghost town Kuldhara,

near Jaisalmer,
was abandoned
200 years ago. It is
now being restored
and turned into a
tourist hotspot,
reports PRAKASH



Modis calming effect

The two-day Constitution Debate in parliament was
marked by acrimony and bitter mudslinging till Prime
Minister Modi calmed ruffled feathers, says AJITH PILLAI


Follow the
money trail


Was the murder of Sheena Bora

linked to the Rs 900 crore
siphoned off by Indrani Mukerjea
and her husband abroad?

Farmers fight in Gujarat

Amravatis new awakening
Farming out Gods estate




National Briefs.............................................................25
Supreme Court............................................................28
Courts......................................................................... 30
International Briefs.......................................................45
Campus Update..........................................................78
Figure It Out.................................................................80
Wordly Wise.................................................................81
People......................................................................... 82


INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


They (Indian Muslims) are free to

go anywhere. They can stay here
(in India). If they want to go to
Bangladesh or Pakistan, they are free to
go. Many of them have gone to
Pakistan. But if they are persecuted
there Taslima Nasreen was persecuted there, she came here. If they come,
we will give them shelter.
Assam Governor PB Acharya, on the issue of

Economic policy has no sense

of direction and this is largely
because Planning Commission,
with all its deficiencies....was a
positive dynamic instrument of
steering the countrys economy.

Indian Muslims facing persecution, The Indian

Former PM Manmohan Singh, at a

national convention in New Delhi


Almost 95 percent beef traders are

Hindus. Still a man was lynched in
Dadri because he ate beef...Eating
habits have nothing to do with religion.
Justice Rajinder Sachar, former chief justice of
Delhi High Court, who headed a panel that
recommended quota for Muslims in 2006, at a
conference on world security and radical Islam

Its a new start for India and Nitish should

now start making preparations to come to
Delhi and become the prime minister and
we will extend our full support to him for
National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah to
TV channels before attending Nitishs swearing-in
ceremony in Patna

Of course, it is not joyous to

make blood flow. But, from time
to time, it is pleasant to see the
blood of disbelievers.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the
suspected mastermind of Paris attacks, to
a French-language recruiting video for
ISIS, released shortly before his
supposed death, The New York Times

France would
be unforgiving
with the
from Daesh.

Theres a lot more

to be done, before
our people feel
secure enough to

President Franois
Hollande, after the
terror strikes in Paris

Aung San Suu Kyi,

NLD leader, on Myanmars
recently concluded
democratic elections,
to BBC

December 15, 2015


Laws are spider webs through which the big flies
pass and the little ones get caught.
 Honore de Balzac

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015



Amitava Sen

URING this period of unusual

national turbulence over the primacy of the constitution over
partisan politics, we tackle two
separate but related stories,
across two continents and the huge security
tribulations created in our world by mass terrorist attacks like the recent carnage in Paris.
We all know this was not one of a kind. Ever
since 9/11, terrorism has been ubiquitous. It
has become worse and widespread notwithstanding the use of an ever widening range of
deadly weapons.
One bludgeon in this armamentarium has
been the sharpening of intelligence gathering
through snooping and surveillance and the
preventive arrest and prolonged interrogation
of suspects. But are these methods which,
arguably, impinge on human rights and privacy, effective? The jury is still out on that one,
but there is a raging debate in India and other
democratic countries on how much freedom
can be sacrificed at the altar of building a wall
of impenetrable security.
In fact, there is considerable debate in the
US about the efficacy of mass surveillance.
Lauren Kirchner recently reported in ProPu-

December 15, 2015

blica that government officials have been

pointing to the terror attacks in Paris as justification for mass surveillance programs. CIA
Director John Brennan accused privacy advocates of hand-wringing that has made our
ability collectively internationally to find these
terrorists much more challenging. Former
National Security Agency and CIA director
Michael Hayden said: In the wake of Paris, a
big stack of metadata doesnt seem to be the
scariest thing in the room.
But evidence, according to Kirchner, points
to the startling conclusion that these programs
may indeed have limited value in unearthing
useful information. The word useful was
defined by the USs FBI general counsel as
those leads that made a substantive contribution to identifying a terrorist, or identifying a
potential confidential informant. An internal
review of the Bush administrations warrantless programcalled Stellar Windreports
Kirchner found it resulted in few useful leads
from 2001-2004, and none after that. In 2006,
says ProPublica, she conducted a comprehensive study of all the leads generated from the
content basket of Stellar Wind between March
2004 and January 2006 and discovered that

zero of those had been useful.

Wrote The New York Times reporter
Charlie Savage: The program was generating numerous tips to the FBI about suspicious phone numbers and e-mail addresses,
and it was the job of the FBI field offices to
pursue those leads and scrutinize the people
behind them. (The tips were so frequent and
such a waste of time that the field offices
reported back, in frustration, Youre sending
us garbage.)

everal other intelligence gathering programs under review by reporters created

no more than garbage. They included
the US National Security Agencys (NSA) bulk
collection of phone records or were disguised
as intelligence intercepts when, in fact, they
were gathered from online databases.
In 2014, New America Foundation echoed
those conclusions, says Kirchner. It described
the government claims about the success of
surveillance programs in the wake of the 9/11
attacks as overblown and even misleading.
An in-depth analysis of 225 individuals
recruited by al-Qaeda or a like-minded group
or inspired by al-Qaedas ideology, and charged

in the United States with an act of terrorism

since 9/11, demonstrates that traditional investigative methods such as the use of informants,
tips from local communities and targeted
intelligence operations provided the initial
impetus for investigations in the majority of
cases, while the contribution of NSAs bulk surveillance programs to these cases was minimal.
Edward Snowdens leaks about the scope of
NSAs surveillance system in the summer of
2013 put government officials on the defensive.
Many politicians and media outlets echoed the
agencys claim that it had successfully thwarted
more than 50 terror attacks. ProPublica examined the claim and found no evidence that the
oft-cited figure is accurate.
Like in all functioning democracies, the
debate over privacy versus security is also
robust and a matter to which our justice system, particularly the Supreme Court, have paid
much-needed attention. The matters to which
I shall now refer may not be related directly to
terrorism or security, but have often been cited
as tools which will help prevent attacks and
track down culprits. One significant and wellpublicized case that comes to mind is Justice
K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd)vs Union of India

Are methods
like sharpening
of intelligence
snooping and
and the
arrest and
of suspects
impinge on
human rights
and privacy,

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


(Right) A series of
attacks by ISIS,
including in Paris,
has raised doubts
about government


Like in all
the debate
over privacy
versus security
is also robust
and a matter
to which our
justice system,
the Supreme
Court, have
paid much


December 15, 2015

(August 2015). It was ruled on by Justices

J Chelameswar, SA Bobde and C Nagappan.
I discuss this important issue in this article
because not all readers are familiar with its
implications and concerns for the basic concept of the right of citizens to be protected
against gratuitous intrusions on their rights
and liberties. The initial order in this case,
points to the compassionate involvement of
our judicial system in ensuring that law and
order and the exigencies of data gathering
cannot be used indiscriminately to curtail the
rights of people living in this land.
The Puttaswamy case relates to the government of India collecting and compiling both
the demographic and biometric data of residents of this country (Aadhaar card) to be used
for various purposes. The petitioners argued
that the very collection of such biometric data
is violative of the right to privacy. Some of the
petitioners asserted that the right to privacy is
implied under Article 21 of the constitution of
India while other petitioners assert that such a
right emanates not only from the Article but
also from various other articles embodying the
fundamental rights guaranteed under Part-III
of the constitution of India.
Contrarily, Attorney-General Mukul

Rohatgi submitted that in view of the judgments of the apex court in M.P. Sharma &
Others v. Satish Chandra & OthersAIR
1954 SC 300 and Kharak Singh v. State of
U.P. & Others, AIR 1963 SC 1295(decided
by eight and six judges respectively), the legal
position regarding the existence of the fundamental right to privacy is doubtful. He also
submitted that in several subsequent decisions, the Supreme Court referred to right to
privacy, contrary to the judgments in the
above mentioned cases which resulted in a
jurisprudentially impermissible divergence of
judicial opinions.

he state argued: A power of search and

seizure is in any system of jurisprudence an overriding power of the State
for the protection of social security and that
power is necessarily regulated by law. When
the Constitution makers have thought fit not to
subject such regulation to constitutional limitations by recognition of a fundamental right
to privacy, analogous to the American Fourth
Amendment, we have no justification to
import it, into a totally different fundamental
right, by some process of strained construction. [See: M.P. Singh & Others v. Satish

Chandra & Others, AIR 1954 SC 300, page

306 para 18] Nor do we consider that Art.
21 has any relevance in the context as was
sought to be suggested by learned counsel for
the petitioner. As already pointed out, the right
of privacy is not a guaranteed right under our
Constitution and therefore the attempt to
ascertain the movement of an individual which
is merely a manner in which privacy is invaded
is not an infringement of a fundamental right
guaranteed by Part III.
The contrarians submitted that world over
where Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence is followed,
privacy is recognized as an important aspect
of the liberty of human beings. Additionally,
they said, it was too late in the day for the
Union of India to argue that the constitution of
India does not recognize privacy as an aspect of
the liberty under Article 21. At least to the
extent that the right of a person to be secure in
his house and not to be disturbed unreasonably by the State or its officers is expressly recognized and protected in Kharak Singh (supra)
though the majority did not describe that
aspect of the liberty as a right of privacy, it is
nothing but the right of privacy.
The judges opined: We are of the opinion
that the cases on hand raise far reaching questions of importance involving interpretation of
the Constitution. What is at stake is the amplitude of the fundamental rights including that
precious and inalienable right under Article 21.
If the observations made in M.P. Sharma
(supra) and Kharak Singh (supra) are to be
read literally and accepted as the law of this
country, the fundamental rights guaranteed
under the Constitution of India and more particularly right to liberty under Article 21 would
be denuded of vigor and vitality. At the same
time, we are also of the opinion that the institutional integrity and judicial discipline
require that pronouncement made by larger
Benches of this Court cannot be ignored by the
smaller Benches without appropriately explaining the reasons for not following the pronouncements made by such larger Benches.
With due respect to all the learned Judges who
rendered the subsequent judgments where
right to privacy is asserted or referred to their
Lordships concern for the liberty of human
beings, we are of the humble opinion that there
appears to be certain amount of apparent

The judges opined: We are of the opinion that

the cases on hand raise far reaching questions
of importance involving interpretation of the
Constitution. What is at stake is the amplitude of
the fundamental rights including that precious
and inalienable right under Article 21...
unresolved contradiction in the law declared
by this Court.
Therefore, in our opinion to give a quietus to the kind of controversy raised in this
batch of cases once for all, it is better that the
ratio decidendi of M.P. Sharma (supra) and
Kharak Singh (supra) is scrutinized and the
jurisprudential correctness of the subsequent
decisions of this Court where the right to privacy is either asserted or referred be examined and authoritatively decided by a Bench
of appropriate strength.
We, therefore, direct the Registry to place
these matters before the Honble the Chief
Justice of India for appropriate orders.

(Above L-R) Justices
J Chelameswar,
SA Bobde and
C Nagappan of the
Supreme Court

n the interim, the Court instructed the

government to give publicity in the electronic and print media, including radio
and television networks, that it is not
mandatory for a citizen to obtain an Aadhaar
card. Additionally, the Court held that the
Unique Identification Number of the
Aadhaar card will not be used by the
respondents for any purpose other than the
PDS Scheme and in particular for the purpose of distribution of foodgrains, etc. and
cooking fuel, such as kerosene. The
INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015



Right to freedom
of speech and
expression is
under Article 19
(1)(a) of the
Constitution. This
freedom means
the right to
express ones
convictions and
opinions freely by
word of mouth,
writing, printing,
picture, or in any
other manner.
When a person is
talking on
telephone, he is
exercising his
right to freedom
of speech and
Supreme Court


December 15, 2015

The Supreme
Court gave
to personal
liberty and
privacy while
giving its
ruling on

Aadhaar card may also be used for the purpose of the LPG Distribution SchemeThe
information about an individual obtained by
the Unique Identification Authority of India
while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be
used for any other purpose, save as above,
except as may be directed by a Court for the
purpose of criminal investigation.

ow seriously the Court takes matters

of personal liberty and privacy is evident in some of the footnotes and
citations in the judgment. One reads: The
right to privacy is not enumerated as a fundamental right in our Constitution but has been
inferred from Article 21The right to privacy
by itself has not been identified under the
Constitution. As a concept it may be too broad
and moralistic to define it judicially. Whether
right to privacy can be claimed or has been
infringed in a given case would depend on the
facts of the said case. But the right to hold a
telephone conversation in the privacy of ones
home or office without interference can certainly be claimed as right to privacy.
Conversations on the telephone are often of an
intimate and confidential character. Telephone
conversation is a part of modern mans life. It is
considered so important that more and more
people are carrying mobile telephones in their
pockets. Telephone conversation is an important facet of a mans private life. Right to privacy would certainly include telephone conversa-

tion in the privacy of ones home or office.

Telephone-tapping would, thus, infract Article
21 of the Constitution of India unless it is permitted under the procedure established by law.
Right to freedom of speech and expression
is guaranteed under Article 19 (1)(a) of the
Constitution. This freedom means the right to
express ones convictions and opinions freely
by word of mouth, writing, printing, picture, or
in any other manner. When a person is talking
on telephone, he is exercising his right to freedom of speech and expression. Telephone-tapping unless it comes within the grounds of
restrictions under Article 19(2) would infract
Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.
To come back to the American experience
of mass surveillance, ProPublica reports that
local police departments have also acknowledged the limitations of this technique. Boston
Police Commissioner Ed Davis admitted that
federal authorities had received Russian intelligence reports about bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev before the Boston Marathon bombings,
but had not shared this information with local
law agencies. Davis observed: Theres no computer thats going to spit out a terrorists name.
Its the community being involved in the conversation and being appropriately open to
communicating with law enforcement when
something awry is identified. That really needs
to happen and should be our first step.


LEAD/ Terrorism/Paris Horror/Aftermath

After Paris, France Con templates a Reckoning

Details are still emerging

as to precisely who was
Parisians pay
responsible for the
tribute to 13/11
victims at one of
Nov. 13 Paris attacks.
the attack sites
Sorting through
the jumble of
misinformation and
disinformation will be
challenging for French
authorities, and for
outside observers such as
Stratfor. While the
Islamic State has
claimed credit for
the attack, it is still
uncertain to what degree
the Islamic State core ANALYSIS
French President Francois Hollande publicly
organization was placed responsibility for the November 13
responsible for attack on the Islamic State, declaring it an act
planning, funding or of war. This French response to the Paris
attacks is markedly different from that of the
directing it. Its not clear Spanish Government following the March
whether the attackers 2004 Madrid train bombings. Instead of
were grassroots pulling back from the global coalition working
against jihadism, it appears that the French
operatives encouraged will renew and perhaps expand their efforts to
by the organization like pursue revenge for the most recent assault.
Paris Kosher Deli The precise nature of this response will be
determined by who is ultimately found to be
gunman Ahmed the author of the November 13 attack.
Coulibaly, if the
To date, there has been something akin to a
of labor in the anti-jihadist effort, with
operatives were
the French heavily focused on the Sahel region
professional terrorist of Africa. The French have also supported coalicadres dispatched by tion efforts in Iraq and Syria, stationing six
the core group or if the Dassault Rafale jets in the United Arab
Emirates and six Mirage jets in Jordan. On
attack was some November 4, Paris announced it was sending
combination of the two the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de
Gaulle to enhance ongoing airstrikes against


December 15, 2015

the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. To date,

French aircraft have flown more than 1,285
missions against Islamic State targets in Iraq,
and only two sorties in Syria.
France has numerous options for retaliation at its disposal, but its response will be
conditioned by who was ultimately responsible. If it is found that the Islamic State core
group was indeed behind the November 13
attack, France will likely ramp up its Syrian air
operations. The skies over Syria, however, are
already congested with coalition and Russian
aircraft. With this in mind, the French may
choose to retaliate by focusing instead on the
Islamic State in Iraq, or perhaps even other
Islamic State provinces in places such as
Libya. Another option would be to increase
French programs to train and support antiIslamic State forces in Iraq and Syria, or even
to conduct commando strikes against key
leadership nodes. France also has the option of
deploying an expeditionary force like it did in
the Sahel, although that would probably
require outside airlift capacity from NATO
allies, especially the United States.

The Paris attacks occurred during a Europewide political crisis over migrant flows from
the Middle East, Asia and Africa. A Syrian
passport was found near the body of one of the
Paris attackers, prompting a Greek official to
say November 14 that the name on the document belonged to a person who passed though
Greece in October. This news means that a
number of politicians critical of the European
Union's response to the immigrant crisis will
amplify their disapproval. In particular, advocates who want to end the Schengen agreement, which eliminated border controls in
Europe, will use Paris to support their cause.
This has already begun. Poland became
the first country to link the Paris attacks to
the uptick in immigration. On November
14, Polish Minister for European Affairsdesignate Konrad Szymanski said the Paris
attacks make impossible the implementation of an EU plan to distribute asylum
seekers across the Continental bloc. As
expected, France's National Front party also
demanded the end of the Schengen agreement. In a televised speech, party leader
Marine Le Pen said France has to recapture
control of its borders.
In Germany, Bavarian Prime Minister
Horst Seehofer said the Paris attack demonstrates that border controls are more necessary than ever. Seehofer has been very critical
of the German government's handling of the
refugee crisis, demanding permanent border
controls as well as faster repatriation of asylum seekers. The Paris attack will likely
strengthen his position and further weaken
the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel,
which was already facing internal dissent
because of the migration crisis. In recent
weeks Germany has seen an increase in antiimmigrant violence, including arson attacks
against refugee shelters. The November 13
attacks may encourage more extremist groups
across Europe to attack asylum seekers.
The anti-Schengen camp will feel vindicat-

Photos: UNI

ed by a parallel event that took place in southern Germany last week, when a Montenegrin
citizen was arrested while allegedly driving to
Paris with several weapons. While German
police have not established a direct connection
between this incident and the November 13
attacks, they have said that a link cannot be
ruled out. The fact that this man was from
Montenegroa country in the Western
Balkansand made it to Germany in his car
will strengthen the demands for stricter border controls along the so-called Balkan route
of migration, which connects Greece to
Northern Europe.
The Paris attacks will therefore improve
the popularity of anti-immigration parties in
many European countries, and continue to
weaken popular support for the Schengen
agreement. Several countries, including
Germany, Sweden, Slovenia and Hungary had
already re-established border controls because
of the immigration crisis. Hungary and
Slovenia have gone as far as building fences
along their borders. After the November 13
attacks, most EU governments will find it hard
to justify a policy of open borders. IL

Courtesy Stratfor

Police patrol a spot
near Eiffel Tower the
morning after the
November 13 attacks

The Paris
attacks will
improve the
popularity of
parties in many
countries, and
continue to
weaken popular
support for the

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


LEAD/ Terrorism/Paris Horror/The Clues

Trail of Paris Atta ckers Winds to

Terrorisms Long time Outpost

As a pre-dawn
raid on November
18 outside Paris
targets suspected
mastermind of
November 13
attack, his roots
point to the
shadow Belgium
casts over the
terror threat
in Europe
by Sebastian

Update, Nov. 19, 2015: Paris prosecutors confirmed today that Abaaoud had
been "formally identified" as one of the
dead at the scene of the police raid and
gun battle Wednesday in the suburb of
St. Denis. His corpse had been disfigured by bullets and shrapnel from a
bomb explosion, prosecutors said.
Police were still hunting for fugitive
Salah Abdeslam, who allegedly took
part in the attacks and oversaw the
rental of cars, safe houses and other
logistics. Belgian police conducted new
searches in the Brussels area today as
part of a massive investigation.
Abdeslam fled to Belgium after last
Friday's attacks with the help of two
accomplices who are under arrest. "We
believe Salah is here," a senior Belgian
counterterror official said today. "He is
our top concern."

ARIS Before a SWAT team

stormed a tenement in the
Belgian city of Verviers in
January, police used listening
devices to monitor their targets inside: Belgian jihadis
who had returned from Syria
to attack a local police station in the name of
the Islamic State.
Police gunned down two suspects during
the pre-dawn firefight, foiling the plot. But a
chilling detail stuck with the Belgian counter-terror investigators who tracked down the
plotters with help from French and U.S.


December 15, 2015

The leading
role of
Belgians in
the Paris
highlights the
large shadow
cast by
Belgium on
the map of
terror in
Europe during
the past two

Mastermind dead

Photos: UNI

intelligence. As investigators listened, the

militants responded to the police assault
with a ferocity forged in the battlegrounds of
the Middle East.
They were talking about their plans to
commit violence here, a senior Belgian
counterterror official recalled in a recent
interview. The police flashbang grenade
goes off. And immediately these two start firing their AK-47s. No hesitation, no panic.
These are guys with combat experience. They
were ready to fight and die.
As the fast-paced investigation of the
rampage in Paris that left at least 129 people

dead unfolded, elite tactical teams carried

out another pre-dawn raid Wednesday on
suspected terrorists holed up in an apartment outside the French capital. The target
was the accused Belgian mastermind of the
thwarted effort to attack the police station in
Belgium in January who is also believed to
have played a central role in directing the
Paris attacks last week: Abdelhamid
Two suspects died in the gunfight this
morning, one of them a woman who detonated a bomb vest, authorities said. Five SWAT
officers were wounded. Police arrested five

suspects. The target of the raid was Abaaoud,

who investigators now believe may have
made a daring return from the Islamic States
stronghold in Syria to lead the Paris attacks
in person. Authorities had not yet announced
Wednesday morning whether he was among
those killed or captured, or if he remained at
large. (Update: Police later confirmed that
Abaaoud died in the raid.)
Abaaoud, 27, was a stick-up man-turnedterror kingpin from the tough Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, which has been raided
repeatedly by Belgian counterterrorism
investigators in the days since the attack.


Policewomen search
residents of Molenbeek,
a Brussels suburb, on
way to a memorial
gathering for the Paris
attack victims

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


LEAD/ Terrorism/Paris Horror/The Clues



Cops track movement
of vehicles near Paris's
Le Carillon restaurant


December 15, 2015

The extent of his role in the Paris massacre is

not yet clear, but he had longtime links to at
least two of the suspected attackers, according to European counter-terror officials.
Abaaouds name had already surfaced in
connection with previous plots targeting
France and Belgium. In one instance that
directly foreshadows Fridays attack in Paris,
French police in August arrested a militant
who had trained in Syria. He told authorities
that Abaaoud had directed him to attack live
music venues in France, officials say.
There are also suspicions that the Belgian
was involved in a deadly shooting at the
Jewish museum in Brussels last year, as well
as the foiled attack on a Paris-bound train
from Belgium by a Moroccan gunman who
was subdued by a trio of vacationing
Americans this summer.
The leading role of Belgians in the Paris
massacre highlights the disproportionately
large shadow cast by Belgium on the map of
terror in Europe during the past two decades.

Belgium featured in a wave of bombings in

France by Algerian-dominated groups in the
1990s. Belgium-based terrorists have been
active in al Qaida: killing an anti-Taliban
warlord in Afghanistan two days before the
September 11 attacks, plotting to bomb the
U.S. embassy in Paris, and sending jihadis to
Pakistan, Africa and U.S.-occupied Iraq in
the 2000s.
In a practice seen again in the Paris plot,
operatives in the Franco-Belgian networks
move back and forth across the border with
Things are easier for terrorists in
Belgium than they are in France, said
Commandant Mohamed Douhane of the
French national police. They use Belgium as
an outpost.
November 13s tragedy in Paris was an attack
foretold. During interviews earlier this year,

French and Belgian terror chiefs warned that

a swarm of threats had reached overwhelming levels. They identified Abaaoud as one of
several senior Francophone militants relentlessly plotting attacks on Europe from Syria.
The threat is so high, a French counterterror chief said during an interview in the
spring. There will be new attacks. There is a
permanent fatwa from the Islamic State:
Attack the West.
As disturbing intelligence reports piled
up in recent months, French and U.S. counterterror agencies teamed up to target suspected European plotters. Complicating matters, the threat had multiple faces. Al Qaida
in Yemen had overseen the attack on the
offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in
January. Although the Islamic State has
many more recruits than al Qaidas affiliate
in Syria, the latter group includes veterans
who have been hatching plots against
Western targets since the early 2000s, when
they operated from refuges in Afghanistan
and Pakistan.
They are a direct threat and, while smaller than the Islamic State, have bigger plans,
the French counterterror chief said. They
want to do more spectacular attacks, [a]
more choreographed style of attacks as
opposed to shootings.
U.S. drone strikes this summer killed two
top names on the al Qaida list who kept
French spymasters awake at night: convert
David Drugeon, an expert bomb-maker, and
Said Arif, who had been linked to plots
against France dating to 2000.
There has been some progress made in
getting guys with strong connections and
who were among the most operationally
capable, a U.S. counterterror official said.
But clearly the bench is pretty deep.
Air strikes also targeted Abaaoud and two
Frenchmen thought to be actively involved in
Islamic State plotting against France, according to U.S. and European counterterror officials. In October, a French bombing raid on
the Syrian city of Raqqah missed Salim
Benghalem, a 31-year-old Parisian ex-convict
known for beheadings and sadistic treatment
of hostages. Another Islamic State
Frenchman who dodged an air strike was
Boubaker el-Hakim, who is suspected of

assassinating two political leaders in Tunisia

in 2013. Both jihadis have ties to the Charlie
Hebdo attackers.
About 2,000 French militants have gone
to Syria, the single largest contingent of
fighters from Europe. French-speaking
Tunisians and Moroccan militants in Syria
are thought to number close to 10,000. But
the more than 500 Belgians are the largest
proportionate group of Europeans. Most
Francophone jihadis join the ranks of the
Islamic State in Syria, where they live and
fight together. They see France as their
top target.
The Islamic States war on the West differs
from the hands-on plotters of al Qaida,
whose foreign operations unit has traditionally hatched plots in Pakistani and Yemeni
hideouts and directed attackers to their targets. Those plots often involved bombs and
specific, highly symbolic targets. Instead, the
primary focus of the Islamic State, whose
leaders are mostly Iraqi and Syrian, has been
conquest of turf and
the consolidation of
their self-declared
The Islamic State
has used a social
media barrage to
abroad to carry out
strikes without training or direct contact.
The group has also
given its trusted foreign fighters considerable autonomy to develop attacks in the
West, delegating details such as target selection to militants who best know their homelands, according to European and U.S. intelligence officials.
The Islamic States general directive has
been to do attacks, the French counterterror
chief said, and the Europeans propose
This year, however, that dynamic seems to
have evolved in response to an offensive by
the coalition fighting against the Islamic
State, according to U.S. and European

The IS war on the West differs

from the hands-on plotters of al
Qaida, whose foreign operations
unit has traditionally hatched
plots in Pakistani and Yemeni
hideouts and directed attackers
to their targets.

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


LEAD/ Terrorism/Paris Horror/The Clues

In an interview, a
senior Belgian law
official said
the swagger
and savagery of
the Islamic
State has a
disturbing appeal
among aimless
young criminals
in Molenbeek
and other


A Belgian special forces
policeman on an apartment
block during a raid in
search of terrorists

counterterror officials. They said the Islamic

State has developed a kind of external operations unit that may be behind a flurry of
large-scale attacks in Paris, Egypt and
Turkey, officials said.
Months ago they created a department to
coordinate the jihad overseas based on the
foreign fighter elements, a senior Spanish
intelligence official said. They werent as
interested in that before. They were interested in the territory.
Belgium small, prosperous, tolerant has
historically been a hub for espionage, arms
trafficking, organized crime and extremist
activity. The country has a generous welfare
state and lacks the huge public housing projects that breed crime, alienation and extremism in France. Nonetheless, the integration
of Muslims in Belgium remains problematic.
Successive jihads in Afghanistan, Iraq and
Syria have radicalized scores of young, disaffected, working-class Muslims. Most are of
North African descent and have criminal
pasts; the groups they join grew out of longtime networks active in Europe and the
Muslim world.
Belgium has skilled counterterror officers
who know the extremist underworld, including a number of investigators of Muslim

descent. Despite the intensity of the terror

threat, the bureaucracy puts constraints on
them. The government has scrambled to beef
up counterterror forces in recent years, with
one unit tripling in size. It is hard to keep
suspects in jail without overwhelming evidence, and sentences for terrorism are short
as in the rest of Europe.
In an interview, a senior Belgian law
enforcement official said the swagger and savagery of the Islamic State has a disturbing
appeal among aimless young criminals in
Molenbeek and other neighborhoods.
They go to Iraq and Syria because there
they will be somebody, he said. Here they are
nobody. They are told that if they join the
Islamic State they will get to drive a nice car,
get women, they wont have to pay in the shops
down there. They will be badass warriors.
The Belgian official described a police
search of the home of three brothers who all
joined the Islamic State and have been implicated in decapitations and other violence in
Syria. Their father had a well-paid job with a
U.S. automotive company. Each brother had
his own room stocked with computers, video
games, clothes and other consumer goods, the
law enforcement official said.
They dont work; they live with their
family into their 20s, he said. They manipulate the welfare system for money; they
dont study. They go to Syria, and they come
back with PTSD. They come back after they
saw killing and raping. What are you supposed to do to cure them? They are ruined
people. Game over.
Abaaouds trajectory is emblematic. He is of
Moroccan descent, a wiry man with an
engaging grin. Like many youths in
Molenbeek, he got involved in low-level
gangsterism and was arrested for a hold-up
along with Salah Abdeslam of Molenbeek,
who is now a fugitive suspected of renting
cars and safe houses for the three Paris attack
teams. Abaaoud also had ties to Abdeslams
brother, who would die in one of the Paris
suicide bombings.
Abaaoud joined the Islamic State and
went to Syria, where he became notorious for
a video in which he hauled a pile of corpses

with a tractor and joked about it. In late

2014, intelligence agencies picked up communications indicating he wanted to carry
out an attack back in Belgium. U.S., Belgian,
French and German intelligence tracked the
plotters for three or four months, officials say.
The Belgians proposed an action to
Daesh [IS], and they said yes, the senior
French counterterror official said. Islamic
State bosses provided $5,000 to help finance
the operation, Belgian investigators said.
Abaaoud dispatched Sofiane Amghar, 26,
and Khalid Ben Larbi, 23, who had fought in
a special squad of fighters in Syria, according
to Belgian investigators. Amghar, a
Molenbeek recruit, posted a fake obituary
about himself online to cover his tracks as he
made his way back. Ben Larbi returned via
the United Kingdom. They set themselves up
in a safe house in Verviers.
Their plot involved using stolen police uni-

forms to storm a police station in the Brussels

area. Three plotters stockpiled weapons in the
safe house, monitored by police. The SWAT
team went into action because an attack
seemed imminent, officials said. We heard
them speaking about projects and manipulating weapons, it was obvious they were about to
do something, a Belgian law enforcement official said. One of them always stayed awake,
standing guard. The stun grenades went off at
the front room window, but they were lucky
because they were in back and werent stunned.
The firefight lasted 10 minutes.
Abaaoud, however, had been directing his
fighters by phone from Greece. He melted
away. And if the allegations are true, he kept
launching human missiles at France until his
dreams of devastation came true on a Friday
night in Paris. IL


Belgian soldiers walk past
a Christmas tree at
Brussels Grand Place in
the wake of the deadly
Paris attacks

Courtesy ProPublica

Photos: UNI


December 15, 2015

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


LEAD/ Terrorism/Paris Horror/Intelligence Snooping

Whats the Evidence

Mass Surveillance Works? Not Much

Officials are again

pointing to the
need for mass
surveillance to take
down terrorists.
Heres what we
know about how
well it works
by Lauren


CIA director John Brennan is
all for implementation of this
security methodology

The program
was generating
numerous tips
to the FBI. The
tips were so
frequent and
such a waste of
time that the
field offices
reported back,
in frustration,
Youre sending
us garbage.

URRENT and former government officials have been

pointing to the terror attacks
in Paris as justification for
mass surveillance programs.
CIA Director John Brennan
accused privacy advocates of
hand-wringing that has made our ability
collectively internationally to find these terrorists much more challenging. Former
National Security Agency and CIA director
Michael Hayden said, In the wake of Paris, a
big stack of metadata doesnt seem to be the
scariest thing in the room.
Ultimately, its impossible to know just
how successful sweeping surveillance has
been, since much of the work is secret. But
what has been disclosed so far suggests the


December 15, 2015

Photos: UNI

programs have been of limited value. Heres a

roundup of what we know.
An internal review of the Bush administrations warrantless program called
Stellarwind found it resulted in few useful
leads from 20012004, and none after that.
New York Times reporter Charlie Savage
obtained the findings through a Freedom of
Information Act lawsuit and published them
in his new book, Power Wars: Inside Obamas
Post9/11 Presidency: [The FBI general
counsel] defined as useful those [leads] that
made a substantive contribution to identifying a terrorist, or identifying a potential confidential informant. Just 1.2 percent of them
fit that category. In 2006, she conducted a
comprehensive study of all the leads generated from the content basket of Stellarwind

between March 2004 and January 2006 and

discovered that zero of those had been useful.
In an endnote, Savage then added: The
program was generating numerous tips to
the FBI about suspicious phone numbers
and e-mail addresses, and it was the job of
the FBI field offices to pursue those leads and
scrutinize the people behind them. (The tips
were so frequent and such a waste of time
that the field offices reported back, in frustration, Youre sending us garbage.)
In 2013, the Presidents Review Group on
Technologies analyzed terrorism cases from
2001 on, and determined that the NSAs bulk
collection of phone records was not essential
to preventing attacks. According to the
groups report: In at least 48 instances, tradi-

tional surveillance warrants obtained from

the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
were used to obtain evidence through intercepts of phone calls and e-mails, said
the researchers, whose results are in an
online database.
More than half of the cases were initiated
as a result of traditional investigative tools.
The most common was a community or family tip to the authorities. Other methods
included the use of informants, a suspiciousactivity report filed by a business or
community member to the FBI, or information turned up in investigations of non-terrorism cases.
Another 2014 report by the nonprofit
New America Foundation echoed those conclusions. It described the government

French police
engaged in rescue
operations at one of
the sites of the
Paris terror attacks

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


LEAD/ Terrorism/Paris Horror/Intelligence Snooping


A Paris attack victim near
Bataclan concert hall

An analysis of
225 individuals
recruited by
al-Qaeda or a
group, and
charged in the
US since 9/11,
that traditional
provided the
initial impetus
for investigations
in the majority
of cases.


December 15, 2015

claims about the success of surveillance programs in the wake of the 9/11 attacks as
overblown and even misleading.
An in-depth analysis of 225 individuals
recruited by al-Qaeda or a like-minded group
or inspired by al-Qaedas ideology, and
charged in the United States with an act of
terrorism since 9/11, demonstrates that traditional investigative methods, such as the
use of informants, tips from local communities, and targeted intelligence operations,
provided the initial impetus for investigations in the majority of cases, while the contribution of NSAs bulk surveillance programs to these cases was minimal.
Edward Snowdens leaks about the scope
of the NSAs surveillance system in the summer of 2013 put government officials on the
defensive. Many politicians and media outlets echoed the agencys claim that it had successfully thwarted more than 50 terror
attacks. ProPublica examined the claim and
found no evidence that the oft-cited figure
is accurate.
Its impossible to assess the role NSA surveillance played in the 54 cases because,
while the agency has provided a full list to
Congress, it remains classified.
The NSA has publicly discussed four
cases, and just one in which surveillance


made a significant difference. That case

involved a San Diego taxi driver named
Basaaly Moalin, who sent $8,500 to the
Somali terrorist group al-Shabab. But even
the details of that case are murky. From the
Washington Post: In 2009, an FBI field intelligence group assessed that Moalins support
for al-Shabab was not ideological. Rather,
according to an FBI document provided to
his defense team, Moalin probably sent
money to an al-Shabab leader out of tribal
affiliation and to promote his own status
with tribal elders.
Also in the months after the Snowden
revelations, the Justice Department said
publicly that it had used warrantless wiretapping to gather evidence in a criminal case
against another terrorist sympathizer, which
fueled ongoing debates over the constitutionality of those methods. From The New
York Times: Prosecutors filed such a notice
late Friday (November 13) in the case of
Jamshid Muhtorov, who was charged in
Colorado in January 2012 with providing
material support to the Islamic Jihad Union,
a designated terrorist organization based
in Uzbekistan.
Mr. Muhtorov is accused of planning to
travel abroad to join the militants and has
pleaded not guilty. A criminal complaint
against him showed that much of the governments case was based on intercepted e-mails
and phone calls.
Local police departments have also
acknowledged the limitations of mass surveillance, as Boston Police Commissioner Ed
Davis did after the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. Federal authorities had received
Russian intelligence reports about bomber
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but had not shared this
Massachusetts or Boston. During a House
Homeland Security Committee hearing,
Davis said: Theres no computer thats going
to spit out a terrorists name. Its the community being involved in the conversation and
being appropriately open to communicating
with law enforcement when something awry
is identified. That really needs to happen and
should be our first step. IL

Courtesy ProPublica

More courts than judges

ue to the logjam caused by the
adoption and subsequent repeal
of the National Judicial
Appointments Commission (NJAC)
Act, India may find itself in a situation where it has more courtrooms
than judges, reports The Times of
India. No judicial appointments
were made in any of the 24 high
courts for nearly a year following
the passage of the NJAC Act in
December, 2014. After the repeal of
the NJAC Act and the restoration of

the collegium system, no new

appointments have been made so
far, even as 2,000 new courtrooms
are expected to be completed by the
end of the year.
Currently, there are 16,400 court
halls, including rented premises in
the country, and around 15,600
judges. Out of the high courts sanctioned strength of 1,017 posts for
judges, 371 are vacant. In the subordinate and district judiciary,
4,580 posts of judges are vacant.

on Swamy

early a month after saying it supported the prosecution of BJP leader

Subramanian Swamy for alleged
hate remarks in his book Terrorism in
India, the central government
backpedaled from its stance in the
Supreme Court. The ministry said it not
feel that Swamys book constitutes hate
speech, and that the book is the subject
matter of legal challenge before
trial courts.
The Indian Express reported that on
October 28, the home ministry
(MHA) had told the apex court that
Swamy violated IPC provisions with
his writing.
The MHA had filed its response to defend
the validity of Section 153A of the IPC,
which makes promoting enmity between
different groups on the basis of religion or
race an offense.
Following the registration of various
cases against him under Section 153A and
similar IPC provisions relating to hate
speech, Swamy challenged the validity of
Section 153A and similar provisions in the
apex court, on grounds that they violated
the fundamental right to freedom
of speech.

petrol woes
aharashtras legal metrology
department has threatened
criminal action against state-owned
oil companiesHindustan Petroleum
Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum
Corporation Ltd and Indian Oil
Corporation Ltdfor using outdated
technology for measuring and dispensing fuel, as a result of which
retail outlets receive less fuel while
being forced to pay for the full quantity, reports The Indian Express. To
curb this problem, the state govern-

Nirbhayas parents
move NHRC
he National Human Rights
Commission (NHRC) received
a petition from the parents of the
victim of the December 2012
Delhi gang rape, saying that the
juvenile offender in the rape and
murder of their daughter, who will
be released on December 15, continues to be a threat to society.
The NHRC has issued notices to
the center and the Delhi government on the complaint.
The Times of India reported
that the parents asked the NHRC
to recommend that the govern-

ment is planning an advertisement

campaign to warn customers of the
malpractices by companies and
petrol dealers.

ment prepare a plan to protect citizens from such delinquent juveniles upon their release. They
urged that laws requiring states to
monitor and track convicted sex
offenders following their release,
like those in countries like the
US and Canada should be
implemented in India.
Concluding that the parents
fears were well-founded and needed to be looked into, NHRC asked
the Delhi government to inform it
whether any post-release plan had
been prepared in the case and
whether the juvenile was
recently subjected to
psychiatric assessment.

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015



Womens rights sacrosanct


he Supreme Court recently came

up with some significant judgments in favor of women. In one of
the verdicts, the apex court made it
clear that women, including widows,
have an absolute right over assets
given to them under maintenance.
After a womans death, her husbands family cant claim it back. The
Court further held that she is also
well within her rights to leave it in
anybodys name after her death.
In another significant judgment,
the Court ruled that women have total
rights over streedhan or all things

they got before and after marriage,

even after being legally separated
from their husbands. In case, they
are deprived of valuables by their
husbands or in-laws, they will be
liable for criminal prosecution under
the Domestic Violence Act, the
Court said.
Focusing on the concept of judicial separation, the Court clarified
that under that arrangement, the concerned man and the woman are still
husband and wife, and the woman
could take the help of the Act to
assert her rights over streedhan.

Navy gets relief


onsidering that there was no

avenue under which women short
service commission officers could be
awarded permanent commission in
the Navy, the apex court struck down
a Delhi High Court order. The High
Court, while accusing the Navy of
sexist bias and gender discrimination, had asked it to award permanent commission to such officers.
The center knocked the doors of

UP to pay compensation
he Supreme Court slammed the UP
government for procedural lapses
that led to the sacking and eventual
arrest of a forest officer in UP on false
charges. The Court asked the state
government to pay him `10 lakh as
compensation for mental agony, loss
of reputation and financial loss.
It was during Mulayam Singh
Yadavs regime in 2003 that Dr Ram
Lakhan Singh, an Indian Forest Service
officer, had to suffer such ignominy.


December 15, 2015

he apex court directed Vodafone India, Indias number two telecommunications company, to pay
`2,000 crore to the Department of Telecommunications
(DoT). If the UK-based company does that, it will be
able to re-start a three-year-old process of merger of its
six group units in India for operational efficiency.
The merger process had come to a grinding halt
due to a payment dispute with DoT as Vodafone needed
a license from it to proceed with the merger. The apex
court asked Vodafone to cough up the amount before
the merger takes place.
Whether Vodafone needs to pay more to settle the
payment dispute once and for all will depend upon the
result of litigation on the matter in lower courts. The
company had already received a favorable order from

MP governor

the Supreme Court, objecting to the

High Court order. It held that the High
Court had made a mistake in concluding that the Navy was against
womens progress.
The apex court also issued
notices to those officers, both retired
and serving, who had approached
the High Court seeking an order to
the Navy to give them permanent

Vodafone to
proceed with merger

His fault was that he had refused to

comply with the CMs diktat that he
take steps for the denotification of
Benti sanctuary in Kunda, Pratapgarh
district. That is what the officer alleged. Singh was then a member of the
National Board of Wildlife. The Benti
sanctuary was earlier notified by the
previous Mayawati dispensation.
According to Lakhan Singh, he had
to face an inquiry under a false case
slapped by a Samajwadi Party MLA.

cting on petitions by a group

of lawyers from Madhya
Pradesh, the Supreme Court
asked the state governor Ram
Naresh Yadav as well as the
center as to why Yadav

the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal

(TDSAT) over `6,930 crore demanded by DoT for the
merger. TDSAT had rejected the amount but said that
Vodafone must abide by the amount decided by the
lower courts.
TDSATs decision was challenged by DoT in the
apex court. The court finally arrived at a overall figure
of `2,000 crore.

should not be sacked from his

post. The court sought the
response in connection with the
Vyapam scam in the state.
Allegations have been flying thick
and fast that Yadav was a party
to the scam.
The court also asked the
Madhya Pradesh government
and the governor to respond to a
petition that questioned the
Madhya Pradesh High Courts
order quashing FIR against the
The lawyers had raised
objections to Yadav occupying the august position
despite his name cropping up in the scam.
Considering the
gravity of the issue, the
apex court will also
take up the issue of
the need to frame
fresh rules for a
governors removal, in
case he or she faces
grave allegations.

stray dogs

hile hearing pleas

objecting to the
decision of mass killing
of stray dogs by the
Municipal Corporation,
the apex court held that a
balance had to be arrived
at between protecting animal rights and saving
human lives.
Taking a grim view of
the senseless way in
which stray dogs were
being culled, the Court,
however, in its interim
order allowed civic
authorities to cull only
dogs which were irretriev-

ably ill, wounded or

suffering from rabies
and could pose a danger
to humans.
The Court further
added that the ruling will
hold true for any contrary
order by high courts on
the matter. It alluded to
the Prevention of Cruelty
to Animals Act 1960, as
well as Animal Birth
Control (Dog) Rules
2001. The Court
observed that it was the
solemn duty of all local
bodies to strictly abide by
laws on stray dogs and
provide them proper infrastructure. It also wanted a
comprehensive information from states on
what was being done for
their welfare.

Compiled by Prabir Biswas; Illustrations: UdayShankar

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015



All TERI offices open for Pachauri

Crackdown on illegal hoardings

Delhi trial court permitted TERI

director-general RK Pachauri,
accused of sexually harassing a
woman colleague, to enter the
think-tanks headquarters at Lodhi
Road, New Delhi, as well as the
Gurgaon office. This is in light of
the fact that the colleague has left
the organization. The order came
after Pachauri pleaded for the relief.
The court thus changed its earlier verdict that had debarred
Pachauri from entering both the

he Bombay High Court stopped just

short of issuing a contempt notice
against political parties for continuing
with the practice of putting up illegal
hoardings, posters and banners
throughout Maharashtra.
The Court was upset that the NCP,
Congress, Shiv Sena and MNS continue
to flout laws despite filing affidavits to
the contrary, and in total disregard of
notices from Court commissioners.
They were appointed by the High Court
to stop the practice.
The violation was brought to light by

HC clears test match

n a huge face-saving relief for the Delhi & District
Cricket Association (DDCA), the Delhi High Court
removed bottlenecks that had put a question mark
on the fourth India-South Africa Test match slated
from December 3. The match will be played at the
Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium in Delhi.
The interest of the players and cricket fans was
paramount for the High Court and the sanction
was only an interim order, it said, asking the Delhi
government to give approval for the match. It also
ordered the South Delhi Municipal Corporation
(SDMC) to give a provisional occupancy certificate
to DDCA. The court appointed retired justice Mukul
Mudgal to keep a close watch on the arrangements
for the test match.
DDCA was to pay, as an interim measure, `50
lakh to SDMC as property tax. The
total amount it owes to
SDMC is more than `1
crore. Besides, DDCA
had to pay `1 crore
to Delhi governments excise
department as
entertainment tax.
The state government had
demanded `24
crore from DDCA as
outstanding dues.


December 15, 2015

offices while allowing him to walk

into offices in other locations. This
was in addition to the anticipatory
bail granted to him.
The observation by the sessions court that Pachauri did not
take undue advantage of the liberty
granted to him earlier also worked
in his favor. The court felt that there
was no reason to believe that the
former D-G would impair the probe.
The alleged victim of sexual
harassment left TERI in November.

Relief for
he Madras High Court
did not approve
the cancellation of
registration of
Greenpeace India
by the Tamil Nadu
Register of
Societies (RoS) and
put a stay on the
latters order. It
ruled that the NGO
would operate in India
until the judiciary gave its
final verdict on charges of
financial improprieties
slapped on it by the center.
The Courts ruling
came after Greenpeace
India approached it
following the action taken
by RoS.
In April this year, the
center had put on hold the
NGOs registration in India
for six months. Greenpeace was not allowed to
source funds from abroad
and even its accounts in

David Headley to face

Mumbai court

hether he does
appear or not is a
million dollar question,
but a Mumbai sessions
court has summoned
David Coleman Headley
as an accused in the
26/11 terror attacks in
the metropolis.
Summons have been
shot off to the concerned
authorities in the US and
Headley will have to face
the court in a hearing
through video-conferen-

India were frozen. The

government claimed that
the NGO was not transparent about its money flow
from abroad and was
using the money without
the centers permission.
Greenpeace had denied
the allegations. It even
approached the Court and
got a favorable order on
drawing money from
domestic accounts.
The protracted legal
battle between Greenpeace
and the center continues.

cing on December 10.

If that happens,
Pakistan-born Headley
will hold the distinction
of being the first foreign
national to appear
through a video link in a
terror trial in India.
Headley, a US national, was pronounced
guilty by a US court for
conspiring in the 26/11
Mumbai attacks and is
serving a 35-year prison

two PILs, which also alleged that as a

result, private and public properties
were being vandalized.
The Court also asked political parties to assign one worker for each ward
in the state for removing hoardings. It
also said that parties which put up illegal hoardings be denied direct permission from authorities on a regular basis.
Political parties which had promised to
follow rules must furnish the addresses
of party workers who were displayed
on illegal hoardings so that action could
be taken against them.

Nothing legal about it

he Madras High Court did not offer legal sanctity
to a marriage between a Hindu woman and a
Christian man. The Court observed that one of them
should have converted to solemnize the marriage as
per Hindu or Christian customs. Or else, the marriage should have been registered under the Special
Marriage Act, 1954, if they were against conversion.
However, the Court allowed the woman to go
with the man as she was a major.

Go ahead with Rail Neer

he Railways got a thumbs up from the Bombay
High Court on its circular that only Rail Neer be
stocked and sold at railway stations and platforms.
IRCTC manufactures and supplies the packaged
drinking water brand. The High Court did not buy the
argument of the Indian Railway Caterers Association that the Railways was trying to have a stranglehold on the supply of drinking order. It also did not
agree with their contention that consumers will have
limited options. The Court observed the order was in
no way affecting their business.

Compiled by Prabir Biswas

Illustrations: UdayShankar
INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


SOCIETY/ Growing Intolerance

Idea of

There have been numerous acts of

intolerance in India, a country known
for its secular and inclusive nature.
But with PM Modi preferring to
embrace silence, there are fears of
where this will lead to
By Smruti


December 15, 2015

N the 18 months that Prime Minister

Narendra Modi has led India, he has
attempted to package the country in
various acronyms and pithy slogans,
mainly for his audiences abroad. Yet,
the one slogan, more precisely a phrase,
which has come to qualify India in
recent weeks, is the one that must rile
him the mostintolerant India. It
threatened not only Modis carefully packaged
marketing of the country, but more importantly, it
cleaved into the very idea of India as a pluralist

and secular democracy.

Now, as the government braces up for
another parliament session this winter, the
signs are on the wall. The opposition, especially the Congress under a resurgent Rahul
Gandhi, is expected to corner the Modi government on intolerance. The defeat of the
BJP-led NDA in the Bihar assembly elections
to the Nitish Kumar-led mega-alliance has
provided the necessary boost to opposition
parties to press home the point about the
country turning intolerant.

The government will undoubtedly unleash its
defense in parliament and attempt to bolster
it outside. After all, Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley dismissed the resistance against intolerance and bigotry as manufactured rebellion earlier. Others will attempt to dismiss
the movement too. But this is more than a
political issue. The resistance to the threat of
India turning into a bigoted, fanatical and
narrow-minded society has gathered social
momentum and brought a wide range of

Vehicles were set on
fire during violent
clashes between
Hindus and Muslims
in Vadodara; Modis
refusal to speak up in
the face of such
incidents is worrying

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


SOCIETY/ Growing Intolerance

For the first time, Kiran

said, should we move
out of India? Thats a
disastrous and big
statement for Kiran to
make to me. She
fears for her child. She
fears about what the
atmosphere around us
will be.
Aamir Khan, actor

It is stupid to be
intolerant and this is our
biggest issue, not just an
issue Religious
intolerance and not being
secular in this country is
the worst kind of crime
that you can do as a
Shah Rukh Khan, actor
protestors out into the public domain.
Two incidents in recent times acted as
catalysts: the cold-blooded murders of rationalists Dr MM Kalburgi in Dharwad,
Karnataka, and Govind Pansare in Kolhapur,
allegedly by right-wing Hindu fundamentalists on August 30, and the horrific lynching
of Mohammed Akhlaq in Dadri, near Delhi,
following allegations that he and his family
had consumed and stored beef in their house.
The latest to voice his insecurity about an
intolerant India has been actor Aamir Khan,
who on November 23, said: Kiran (wife) and
I have lived all our lives in India. For the first


December 15, 2015

time, she said, should we move out of India?

Thats a disastrous and big statement for
Kiran to make to me. She fears for her child.
She fears about what the atmosphere around
us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers everyday. That does indicate that
there is a sense of growing disquiet, he said.
As an individual, as a citizen, certainly I
have also been alarmed, I cant deny it, by a
number of incidents, he said, and added:
For us, as Indians, to feel a sense of security,
two-three things are important. The sense of
justice gives a lot of security to the common
man. The second thing, that is important, are

the people who are the elected representatives we look upon these representatives to
take a strong stance, make strong statements
and speed up the legal process to prosecute
such cases. It doesnt matter who the ruling
party is.
The resistance started with writers returning
their awards to the Sahitya Akademi to symbolically protest against its studied silence as
writers freedom came under the shadow of
guns and open threats after Kalburgis murder. Soon, scientists, a community that rarely
takes a public stand on social issues, joined
their voices to the protests. Shah Rukh Khan
too spoke up.
As many of the protestors pointed out, the
stifling of dissent, curbs on freedom of expression and diktats being issued on what one
should eat, wear, read or watch by right-wing
Hindutva outfits seemingly enjoyed tacit
support from those in power.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, chose complete silence instead of
words of reassurance or commitment to the
constitution. It was not lost on people that a
man who embraced social media and wished
colleagues on their birthdays and remembered leaders on anniversaries, did not offer
any comment on the rising intolerance.
When finally he did, under pressure, it was

(Clockwise from above)
In the light of growing
director Anand
Patwardhan has
returned his national
film award, novelist
Shashi Deshpande has
resigned from the
Sahitya Akademi
General Council and
writer Nayantara
Sahgal has returned
her Sahitya Akademi

the most wishy-washy statement in the circumstances: Hindus and Muslims must fight
poverty together.
Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh
and others attempted to change the narrative
but the tag intolerant India had stuck.
Instead, BJPs spokespersons and apologists
mocked the Idea of India that stands for a
plural, secular, multi-denominational, inclusive and egalitarian country. Cultural Affairs
Minister Mahesh Sharma mocked that writers should stop writing. Together, they were
effectively undermining the letter and spirit
of the constitution.
INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


SOCIETY/ Growing Intolerance

Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP leader

Mahesh Sharma, culture minister

Dinanath Batra, RSS ideologue

Hamid Ansari, vice-president

MM Kalburgi, Kannada writer

He questioned Shah
Rukh Khans patriotism
and said his soul is in

Calling award wapsi

writers personal choice,
he challenged them to
stop writing.

As convenor of Shiksha
Bachao Andolan Samiti,
he is pushing Sanghs
ideology in textbooks.

Has faced criticism for

his views on intolerance;
was not invited for Yoga
Day celebrations.

A critic of idol worship

and superstition, he was
gunned down in August
this year.

This began to inform international perception, provided ammunition for Modi

jokes and allowed people to move away from
the rah-rah narrative that had been built up.
On social media platforms, where Modi and
his managers had unleashed a blitzkrieg in
the run-up to the 2014 general election and
his loyalists continued to drum up support
for him later, the tone had altered.
Though Modi toadies, as author Salman
Rushdie termed them, persisted in their
abuse of anyone who spoke for the Idea of
India, there was comparatively less bile and
sharpness. The only defense that they were
left with was Go to Pakistan, hurled at anyone who remarked on the growing intolerance. It sounded juvenile and funny. This was
ironic because many protestors had been
pointing out that intolerance and bigotry was
turning India into a Hindu Pakistan.
The national and international conversation about Intolerant India coming on the
back of a less-than-stellar performance on


December 15, 2015

the economic front, rising prices that saw

pulses sell in retail outlets at `200-220 a kilo
and the loss in Bihar means Modi is on the
backfoot. His standard response in such a situation is to brazen it out and go on the offensive. Will he, indeed can he, do it against a
revived opposition in parliament and the
new-found confidence of many Indians to
speak the truth to those in power?
The Kalburgi murder and the Dadri incident
were the last in a series of events that have
been cause of much concern. Beef bans, meat
bans during Jain festivals, lynching of truck
drivers on suspicion that they were transporting beef, disruption of book launches
and art exhibitions, the mythification of
science with Ganeshs head being the first
plastic surgery in the world, selective hounding of activists and NGOs believed to be Leftof-centre have all happened in the last oneand-a-half years.

Other intolerant incidents include:

threatening music concerts of Pakistani
artistes such as Ghulam Ali, increasing visibility of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Modi
and his cabinet at a governance status update
program of the RSS, a Muslim scholar being
stopped from writing columns on Ramayana,
Nobel-awardee Dr Amartya Sen being ridiculed and vilified, Vice-President Hamid
Ansari being taunted for his religion, the
systematic saffronization of cultural and
educational institutions, appointment of
Dina Nath Batra to education boards, the
Machiavellian twisting of the religious census to bring alive the BJPs old bogey of
Muslim population growing faster and
much more.
It was the worst nightmare coming true
for many, especially those who always suspected that the BJP and Modis talk of development and good governance was a marketsavvy mask for the right-wing agenda of
turning India into a Hindu state. It was a

Mohammad Akhlaq, Dadri


A mob killed him over

rumors that he had beef
in his house.

spiral of darkness of the kind that India had

not seen in decades.
The government strategy to dismiss the writers as disgruntled leftists with failed
Nehruvian ideals did not help. Banal questions likethey have returned the award but
what about the prize money (`1 lakh), why
are they protesting nowproved ineffective.
In fact, when Hindi writer Kashinath
Singh, who hails from Varanasi, Modis constituency, returned his award on October 16,
he pointed out that he was upset by the dismissive manner in which the government
treated the protest by writers. He told news
channel APN that he was particularly annoyed by the response of some of the ministers
in the Union cabinet: The statements one
heard from our ministers showed that they
were in the least concerned about the issues
that were being raised. The ministers have
insulted the writers.
INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


SOCIETY/ Growing Intolerance

The Shiv Sena did not
allow Pakistani singer
Ghulam Alis show to
happen in Mumbai

Even BJPs allies, the Shiv Sena and the

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) have been critical
of the intemperate remarks made by BJP
leaders and ministers. SAD MP Naresh
Gujaral reportedly said: The prime minister
had spoken (against Dadri lynching) earlier,
but these motormouths have not paid enough heed to what he said. Its high time that
the BJP leadership takes action against at
least against one such person so that there is
some kind of sanity back in national affairs.
Pradnya Daya Pawar, writer and poet, and
daughter of path-breaking Dalit writer Daya
Pawar, in her letter to Maharashtra chief
minister Devendra Fadnavis in October,
while returning the state award and prize
money, even stated it was undeclared emergency. Joining her were three other writers
and poets in Maharashtra.
What is happening now seems worse than
even the Emergency, said noted documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan. The
undercurrent of his sentiment found a
release in well-known novelist Shashi
Deshpande resigning from the Sahitya
Akademi general council and in noted writer
Nayantara Sahgals letter returning her


December 15, 2015


award. In it, Sahgal explained: The Prime

Minister remains silent about this reign of
terror. We must assume he dare not alienate
evil-doers who support his ideology. It is a
matter of sorrow that the Sahitya Akademi
remains silentIn memory of the Indians
who have been murdered, in support of all
Indians who uphold the right to dissent, and
of all dissenters who now live in fear and
uncertainty, I am returning my Sahitya
Akademi Award.
The rising protests meant that a section of
the intelligentsia had come awake from the
comatose state that award-winning novelist
Kiran Nagarkar had lamented they were in
last year. Yet, instead of paying some attention, the Prime Minister chose to disregard it
all and move on as if he did not grasp the full
import of what the bigotry was doing to the
countrys social fabric. This was no fringe
group, this was the mainstream and majoritarian political party leaders or elected MPs.
What is the way out of this spiral? Nagarkar, Patwardhan and others say that all those
who believe in the Idea of India must stand
up for it now, irrespective of the profession
they pursue, and speak up against the storm
of hatred and intolerance.
Though such incidents took place during
the Congress governments too, there was a
difference. As a Mumbai-based social scientist put it: There were hate crimes before
2014 too and the Congress was guilty of colluding in some of them. But theres a difference. There is now a systematic diminishing
of the plurality and tolerance, there is a triumphalism of Hindu majoritarianism, and
there is visibly less acceptance of the other.
Writers and thin-kers, who are considered
the soul of the society, are resisting by returning their awards. Others will have to find
their own language of protest.
The fight against this spiral of darkness,
clearly, cannot be one-dimensional and uniform, or short in tenure. A wider range of
Indians, those in other fields, must discover
their means of protest and find the nerve to
say what they want to. Let no one tell us that
the Idea of India as enshrined in the constitution is not worth fighting for, irrespective
of how Modi and his ministers handle the
parliament session. IL

Smart policing by 2017

he center has set an ambitious deadline of March
2017 for integrating the countrys 15,000 police stations
with e-courts, e-prisons,
forensics and prosecution as
part of the home ministrys
`2,000-crore Crime and
Criminals Tracking
Networking and Systems
project. The project will

Practice in
lower courts first
enior advocate and
chairman of Bar Council
of India (BCI) Manan
Kumar Mishra told a
five-judge constitution bench
headed by Justice
JS Khehar that the BCI
is contemplating framing
of rules which would
make it mandatory
for a lawyer to practice
for a minimum of five years
in lower courts before joining
the high court, reports
The Times of India. At
present, a law graduate can
argue a case in all courts,
including the Supreme
Court, after clearing the
All India Bar Examination
conducted by
the BCI.

ensure quick data transfer,

enhanced transparency and
also reduce processing time. It
will digitize data related to
FIR registration, investigation
and chargesheets in all police
stations, reports Business
Standard. This would lead
to the development of a
national database of crimes
and criminals.

Close Balakrishnan probe: Govt

nderlining that it may set a
dangerous precedent, the
government has favored closure
of Supreme Court proceedings
against former Chief Justice of
India KG Balakrishnan (in the
picture) over allegations of illicit
monetary transactions and
disproportionate assets, reports
The Indian Express.
Attorney-General Mukul

Rohatgi told the Bench led by

Justice Dipak Misra that after
the income-tax inquiry against
the former CJI and his family
yielded nothing, there should
not be any fresh probe by the
CBI or any other agency.
We cannot have investigation like this in such cases.
Everybody will start making wild
allegations, he said.

Sacrilege will get life

he Punjab cabinet has announced that it
would introduce a new amended section
295 AAin the IPC to punish with life imprisonment those involved in the sacrilege of the
Guru Granth Sahib, The Times of India
reports. Hurting religious sentiments, currently
covered under Section 295 A, makes sacrilege
punishable by a three-year jail term. The move
follows a dozen cases of Guru Granth Sahib
desecrations which triggered violent protests
in which two protesters were killed in Faridkot
in October. The BJP welcomed the move, but
added that the government should seek similar
punishment for disrespect to Hindu idols.

Pre-nuptial agreements
nion Minister for Women and Child
Development Maneka Gandhi wants to
make pre-nuptial agreements, which have
already caught favor in the western world,
to be recognized in Indian courts as a standard legal document, reports The
Huffington Post.
At the moment, the pre-nuptial agreement is not recognized in India. Couples
may enter into an agreement under the
Indian Contracts Act, but this has not been
legally upheld in courts. The ministry has
now called for a consultation on the matter
from several stakeholders, including former
solicitor-general Indira Jaising,
women-centric NGOs and so on.

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


INTERVIEW/ Taslima Nasreen

This is a Different
India...! Hope Good Sense
Will Prevail
Exiled in 1994 for criticizing Islam in her novel
Lajja, controversial Bangladeshi writer
TASLIMA NASREEN is still dauntless and does
not mince words when it comes to opposing
religious fundamentalism and espousing the
cause of freedom of expression. Since 2004, she
has an Indian visa on a continuous basis. In an
interview to MURALI KRISHNAN, Nasreen, 53,
shares her worries about the shrinking space for
freethinkers in her country and says Islam
cannot be exempt from the critical scrutiny other
religions go through. Excerpts:


December 15, 2015

(Left) More and
more Bangladeshi
youth are taking
to the burqa and
the Hijab now
The Jamaat-eIslami, whose
leader Abdul
Quader Mollah
(below) was
hanged in 2013
for war crimes,
has infiltrated the
Awami League

built for indoctrinating young boys.

These mosques and madrasas are the
breeding ground of Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists.
During the 70s and 80s in
Bangladesh, I never saw so many girls
and women wearing hijab and burqa.
Arab Wahhabi culture has invaded
Bangladesh. And political Islam is
present with its guns. It has replaced
the innocent form of Islam practiced
by my grandparents.

Do you think religious fundamentalism in Bangladesh has become

more pronounced, especially in the
backdrop of the killings of bloggers, writers and publishers?

The Awami League is in power.

They are considered pro-independence and secular. How come
fundamentalists are gaining
ground in the country?

I think so, yes. In my time, hundreds of

thousands of fundamentalists demanded my execution by hanging because I
criticized Islam. Now, young writers
and bloggers, who are critics of Islam,
are being hacked to death by Islamic
Islamization started in Bangladesh
in the 80s. Huge amounts of money
arrived from the Middle East. Numerous mosques and madrasas are being

The Awami League is not secular

anymore. Its more like the Jamaat-eIslami. This party has an ulema league
which was formed by Islamic fundamentalists. They are the people who
okay the killing of freethinkers and
liberals. Members of the Jamaat-eIslami have been joining the Awami
League because they have more or less
the same ideology.
Sheikh Hasina has not issued any

statement so far against the brutal

killings of progressive and secular
writers. She has rather warned the
freethinkers that they must not cross
the limit or hurt the religious feelings
of people. She created a law which is
against freedom of expression. She
made atheist writers and bloggers
victims of a dangerous provision of
Section 57 of the Information and

Communication Technology Act.

Many suggest that the main

conflict in Bangladesh today is
between pro- and anti-independence forces that has escalated
with the starting of war tribunals.
Do you agree?
Not really. Many pro-independence
forces are also against the atheist
INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


INTERVIEW/ Taslima Nasreen


Russian court bans Church of Scientology


(L-R) Bangladesh
blogger Avijit Roy
and Indian thinker
MM Kalburgi
both fell prey to

Moscow city court has ruled

that the Moscow branch of the
Church of Scientology should be
dissolved, reports The Guardian.
The court accepted the arguments of Russias justice ministry
that as the term scientology is a
registered US trademark, the
church cannot be considered a
religious organization. The church
condemned the ruling and

Thailand repatriates
Chinese dissidents

bloggers and writers. All pro-independence people are not necessarily freethinkers. Many are believers. They support the punishment of war criminals
as well as the atheists. The real conflict
is between secularism and fundamentalism. Between rational, logical thinking and irrational blind faith, between
humanism and barbarism, between
those who value freedom and those
who do not.

The rise of fundamentalism can

also be seen in India. Is the world
changing in a new direction?
I have been witnessing the rise of fundamentalism in India. Rationalists
have been slain by Hindu fanatics.
Four people have been killed over beef.
Two have been killed in clashes over
Tipu Sultans birth anniversary celebrations. This is a different India. I cannot
be proud of this intolerant India. I
hope good sense will prevail.

If you hadnt left Bangladesh, do

you believe the fundamentalists
would have killed you?
Of course. I live in exile. The Islamic


December 15, 2015

I said that
people who speak
against Hindu
fundamentalists but
not against Muslim
fundamentalists are
hypocritical. I dont
understand why they
think they should
defend minority
killers are still after me. They have
made a new global hit list and my
name is on it.

You said a majority of Indian intellectuals are hypocritical as they did

not speak up when Muslim fanatics
attacked you.
I did not say that Indian intellectuals
are hypocritical. I said that pseudo-

secular people who speak against

Hindu fundamentalists but not
against Muslim fundamentalists are
I respect intellectuals in India.
They are against all kinds of fundamentalism. It is true that many writers
and artists who call themselves secular
did not defend me when I was attacked
by Muslim fundamentalists. They believe it is their duty to defend Muslims
in India as they are a minority. Thats
fine, but I dont understand why they
think they should defend minority fundamentalism. There is no difference
between minority religious fundamentalism and the religious fundamentalism of the majority community.

hina has defended its

repatriation of two
Chinese activists from
Thailand who had been granted UN refugee status, BBC
News reported. The foreign
ministry said the men were
guilty of crimes but did not
say which laws they were
accused of breaking. Jiang
Yefei and Dong Guangping,
who fled China after being
jailed for criticizing the government, were sent back.
The United Nations
strongly criticized Bangkoks
decision to repatriate those
who had been granted
refugee status, warning that
the men were at risk of grave
human rights violations.
Political cartoonist Jiang
Yefei was a vocal critic of the
Chinese government and had
been tortured by Chinese
authorities in the past. He
had been living in Thailand.

Bangladesh hangs opposition politicians

angladesh announced that it had carried out

the hanging of opposition politicians Ali
Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and Salahuddin
Quader Chowdhury, accused with war crimes
committed during the countrys 1971 war of
independence fought against Pakistan, reports
Al Jazeera.
Chowdhury, 66, was a member of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and
was convicted of atrocities, including genocide,
during the 1971 war.
Mujahid, 67, was a member of the banned

Jamaat-e-Islami and was sentenced for war

crimes, including the killing of top intellectuals.
The executions have been decried as being
politically motivated by opposition groups.

Iran sentences US journalist

ranian authorities
announced that American
journalist Jason Rezaian, a
reporter of The Washington
Post, held by the government for 16 months and
charged with espionage,
had been sentenced to jail,
reported NBC News.
Rezaian, a dual
American-Iranian citizen,

was accused of espionage

and other charges in
October. His family and The
Washington Post insist that
the charges against him
have no merit and have
accused Iran of a lack of
Neither the US State
Department nor Rezaian's
family confirmed the report.

Pakistan nabs over 40 for arson

You said there is idiocracy in

Bangladesh, not democracy. Why?
Yes. If they werent idiots, they would
have created laws based not on misogynistic religion, but on equality and
justice. They would have had sciencedriven education rather than religiondriven education. Now the country is
fully of idiocy and theocracy. I have lost
all hope for that country. IL

pledged to appeal against it.

Created by science fiction
writer L Ron Hubbard in 1954 and
based in Los Angeles, California,
the Church of Scientology has
generated controversy around the
world. Critics say that it is a cult
and that it scams its members,
while many others maintain that
it provides spiritual support to
its followers.

Chinese rebel Jiang Yefei

ollowing the burning of

an Ahmadi place of
worship as well as a
chipboard factory,
Pakistani law enforcement
agencies arrested over 40
suspects in a midnight
raid for their alleged
involvement, Pakistani

daily Dawn reported.

Sources told Dawn that
authorities used video
footage of the incidents to
identify the suspects. After
the arrest, the suspects
were supposedly shifted
to an undisclosed location
for interrogation.
INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


BOOKS/ Pursuit of Law and Order/ AP Durai

The Persecution of
Lalu Prasad Yadav

For those who were active in Indian

journalism during the 1980s and
1990s, AP Durai was a legendary
figure. There were many like him.
Nonetheless, that adjective was
rarely used for a cop, especially in
post-independence India in which
the police force is by and large excoriated as corrupt or politically
The back flap of his new book,
Pursuit of Law And Order
(NotionPress) describes the authors journey aptly: As Durai raced
through positions he held in Indian
Oil Corporation, as Director of the
SVP National Police Academy,
Hyderabad, and as Director
General of Karnataka police, as

The book questions
CBIs overzealousness
in dragging Lalu
Yadavs name into
corruption cases

This never-told-before inside story of the CBIs complicity with Lalu

Yadavs political enemies when he was nailed in the fodder scam. Now
with Lalu making headlines all over India following his triumph in Bihar,
this revelation will probably send shockwaves across the country

December 15, 2015

Protection Force, he left behind him

many reforms and a new spirit of
optimism and public service in the
forces he commanded.
But his journey was no bed of
roses. His autobiography is sprinkled with tales of his struggle with
politicians and jealous colleagues,
of frequent transfers and humiliation. Nonetheless, it proclaims the
triumph of the human spirit
imbued with the ideals of public
service and professionalism. The
book, therefore, would be a source
of inspiration to all public servants
involved in the governance of the
There are tales of horror, of
humanity, of deep spiritual introspection, of constitutional legali-

attempt by the CBI officers in
Patna headed by UN Biswas,
Joint Director, CBI from
Calcutta on 31st July 1997 to
summon the assistance of the
army authorities to arrest Lalu
Prasad Yadav, former Chief Minister of
Bihar, I was appointed by the Cabinet
Secretariat to enquire into the incident and
submit a report in ten days time. There had
been uproar in the Parliament and to
assuage the feelings of other MPs cutting
across party lines, Prime Minister Gujral
decided to institute an inquiry. How this
assignment came my way while I was serving as DG RPF was a mystery to me. Perhaps
it was a vindication (and recognition) of my
consistently apolitical and independent
stance in my career.
I visited Patna and recorded statements
and collected the facts from concerned CBI
officials and army authorities and submitted
my report on 18th August 1997. In what
came to be known as the Animal Husbandry
Department scam, CBI had registered 49
cases and Lalu Prasad Yadav was involved in
seven cases, including RC-20 (A) /A/96Patna, which was a case of larger conspiracy (a term invented by Joint Director Biswas

ties, of courage, throughout this

238-page book written in flawless,
often poetic prose and sensibility.
Its clarity stems from its inherent
honesty. One chapter that stands
out and makes the readers hair
stand on end is the extent of constitutional impropriety in which the
CBI and its political masters conspired to capture Lalu Prasad
Yadav in the infamous fodder
scam by trying to bring in the
Indian Army.
This never-told-before story,
now with Lalu making headlines
all over India following his triumph in Bihar, will probably send
shockwaves across the country.

obviously to rope in Lalu Prasad Yadav and a

number of IAS officers) and the charge sheet
had been filed against him in this case on
23rd June 1997 in the court of the Special
Judge, CBI in Patna.
In the order issued by the Department of
Personnel and Training on 1st August 1997,
the Government said they had taken serious
note of the conduct of the CBI in requisitioning the army in the circumstances of this
case. From the very beginning the case
against Lalu Prasad Yadav had become
politicized and the opposition leader in the
state assembly, SK Modi was carrying on a
crusade due to which the Supreme Court
had appointed two judges of Patna High
Court as the Monitoring Bench to oversee
the investigation of the bunch of cases on a
fortnightly basis. Although their jurisdiction had ceased once the charge sheet
was laid in the Special CBI court,
my enquiry revealed that the judges
continued to monitor CBIs efforts
to arrest and disgrace Lalu
Prasad. I would quote from the
order of the Supreme Court in
Union of India vs Sushil
Kumar Modi and others on
24th January 1997: In case of
persons against whom a

AP Durai is wellrespected for his
upright image

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


BOOKS/ Pursuit of Law and Order/ AP Durai

The drama proved that our polity could be

manipulated by the concerned functionaries,
driven by extraneous considerations, as in
the case of UN Biswas.
prima facie case is made out and a charge
sheet is made out and a charge sheet is filed
in the competent court which will then deal
with that case on merits in accordance
with law.

The second player in this scenario was the
Director, CBI of the relevant periodwho
also seemed to show keen interest in the
arrest of Mr Lalu Prasad but at the same
time, was helpless as Biswas had virtually
declared independence from his Director.
This collapse of the chain of command was
due to the fact that the Monitoring bench
had directed the Director, CBI not to interfere with the work of the Joint Director
(East). In addition, they had also injuncted
the Director from transferring out Biswas
from his present post. Thus a CBI within the
CBI was created, violating all cannons of
good administration. The Director should


December 15, 2015

have fought this issue legally and in the

worst case scenario, should have resigned as
he had been divested of control over his own
subordinate. The Government of India
should have taken all steps to uphold the
primacy of the Director as chief of the
organization, but during this period, one
weakling government was followed by
another, and the CBIs unity of command
was destroyed.
In my view, these are unhealthy precedents and dangerous experiments added to
the arsenal of judicial activism, to take control of the executive functions of the state,
which is not contemplated in our
Constitution. These are populist devices and
however much they are applauded at the
moment, they tend to leave behind tears on
the fabric of governance, upsetting the balance of power. The other organs of the government are overawed, and even terrorised
by the judicial arm which tends to assume
an aura of infallibility. Instead of saying,
The Law will take its course, we are now
compelled to say, The courts will take their
own course. I would put the blame for this
state of affairs not on the judiciary but on
the political executive, their loyal bureaucracy and the police, all of whom have developed a nexus for mutual benefit. They have
forfeited their right to govern and people at
large see only the judiciary as their savior.
Courts appointing their own Special
Investigating Teams (SITs) is also another
step. I feel, in the wrong direction, as such
teams supersede the authority of the state
and central agencies, who are statutory
authorities to maintain law and order or
investigate crimes. The creation of extraconstitutional authorities sometimes headed
by retired IPS officers needs to be reviewed
for its constitutional validity. The existing
agencies must be made to deliver by the
courts and for the purpose, they should not
hesitate to summon the political executive to
the courts to explain their gross failures on
the public order front. It is the political executive in India that had poached on police
administration, resulting in miscarriage of
justice and violation of the rule of law.
The third player was, of course, the
media who carried on a campaign against

Lalu and conducted a trial, and even convicted him in their newspapers. Under the
Rule of Law, everyone accused of a crime is
presumed to be innocent till he is pronounced guilty by the competent court. But
the press and electronic media in this country have gradually become judges in cases
which are pending investigation or pending
The lakshman rekha has been crossed
by all players and the resultant victim is the
rule of law in this country.
To get back to the main story: Once the CBI
had got a non-bailable warrant issued
against him on 23rd July 1997 and his arrest
was imminent, Lalu Prasad had quit office
and installed his wife as chief minister. He
then promptly announced his plan to surrender to the court in view of the non-bailable warrant issued against him. Joint
Director UN Biswas and his CBI team in
Patna, decided to thwart Lalus plan and
arrest him on 30th July, but they could not
do it thanks to the big gathering of Lalus
supporters around his residence. This
prompted Biswas to think of obtaining the
Armys assistance. If he had succeeded, the
emotionally surcharged atmosphere would
have exploded in Patna, placing the
Government of India in a
big mess.
Seeing that the state
police did not share their
zeal, the CBI officers consulted the monitoring
judges orally and sent a
requisition to the army
commander in Dhanapur
to render help in arresting Lalu on the morning
of 31st July 1997. UN
Biswas and his legal
counsel, Rakesh Kumar,
were in constant touch
with one of the judges of
the monitoring bench.
This they quoted in their
statements before me
during my enquiry as
their authority for what

they had attempted to do in contravention of

the law of the land, and the laid down procedure to seek the assistance of the armythat
is, they should have requested State
Government to call in the Army! The letter
addressed to the Army Brigadier was shown
to one of the judges of the Monitoring Bench
before it was taken by the emissary from the
CBI. The Bench had no jurisdiction over the
case as it had been charge sheeted and only
the trial court had all the authority to pass
orders on the issue. The trial judge when
approached, had asked the CBI (and rightly
so) to file an application in the court the next
day and the CBI officers had panicked and
resorted to the extra legal procedure of
direct approach to the army.
The monitoring style adopted in this case
by the Patna High Court was unusual, to say
the least. In my entire service, I had never
come across an instance of this kind where
police/CBI officers could approach the
judges outside their courts unofficially and
seek oral directions. The DIG CBI, Patna,
advised Biswas to taker Directors clearance
before taking this extreme step, but he was
brushed aside. Biswas had earlier told him of
his intentions, I do not want to arrest small
people. I want to arrest important people.
During my inquiry, I made attempts to
meet the two judges of the Monitoring

The erring CBI officials
requisitioned the army to
arrest Lalu Yadav, in
violation of the law of
the land

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


BOOKS/ Pursuit of Law and Order/ AP Durai

The media carried on a campaign against Lalu

and conducted a trial, and even convicted him in
their newspapers. They have become judges
in cases which are still pending trial.
Court, but the Registrar of the High Court
communicated to me the message that their
Lordships were not interested in meeting
me. The Army Brigadier had phoned one of
the judges for confirmation when he
received the requisition from the CBI and he
was told that the Judges had not given any
such permission but had told the CBI that
they may seek the assistance of the army if
they wished to do so. The entire drama
showed up serious fissures in our polity and
proved that it could be manipulated by the
concerned functionaries, driven by extraneous considerations besides garnering personal glory, as in the case of UN Biswas.
Ultimately, the Army Brigadier Nautiyal
refused to depute his men to facilitate the
arrest, but Biswass attempts to bypass the
procedures and exceed his powers was taken
serious notice of by the Parliament and the
entire country.
In my report, I held that:
1. The CBI need not have asked for issue
of a non-bailable warrant against the
accused. It would have sufficed if they had
filed the chargesheet and asked the court to
issue process to ensure the attendance of the
accused. The earlier low key style of the CBI
had now been abandoned for reasons
unknown. The CBI need not have tried to
execute the NBW themselves. They could
have got it endorsed by the local police as the
CBI do not have the wherewithal to effect
the arrest.
2. The CBI could have saved themselves
(and others) a great deal of pressure and
tension by allowing the accused to surrender
to the court.
3. In any event, the CBI did not have the
authority to requisition the services of the
In my recommendations, I suggested
action against the Joint Director and his SP


December 15, 2015

(Left) Lalus performance as railway
minister during UPA-I regime attracted much
public admiration
(Below) The author found Lalu Yadav a man of
earthy common sense and devoid of arrogance

and the Standing Counsel of the CBI in

Patna High Court, all of whom had crossed
the boundaries of their mandate and caused
a crisis, pitting the Centre against the State,
I also suggested that CBI officers be selected
with due care and that the Government
might start from the top. I suggested that
the selection of the Director should be a collegial process which would include the
Prime Minister, the Union Home Minister,
the Leader of the Opposition and a retired
Judge of the Supreme Court and that a fixed
tenure should be given to the Director.
About the Directors status in the CBI, I
said in the concluding part of my report
A study of the functioning of JD (East)
Calcutta and his subordinates in relation to
the handling of AHD scam cases would give
an impression that it was time that the primacy of the Director CBI was reasserted to
bring back professionalism and discipline
among the officers concerned. The CBI
today has the power to destroy the careers of
both officials and politicians and therefore,
the personal character and affiliations of

their investigators and supervisors should be

subjugated to scrutiny from time to time.
My report was treated by the Government as secret for some time and only some
portions were made available to the press.
Later, Buta Singh, MP, laid it on the table of
the Parliament and it became a public document. On August 27th, Home Minister
Indrajit Gupta convened a meeting which
was attended by the Home Secretary,
Director CBI, Secretary (Personnel), the
Law Secretary and me. I stated my case for
initiating disciplinary action against the
erring CBI officers and the face of the
Minister remained expressionless. When
charges were framed subsequently against
him, Biswas approached Calcutta High
Court and got the proceedings quashed.
My report was perhaps the quickest inquiry
report ever submitted to the Government of
Indiawithin eighteen days! Another feature of this inquiry was that I did not try to
meet Lalu Prasad and examine him and

record his statement, as I did not want to

introduce a political dimension in an administrative inquiry. My focus was only on the
CBIs attempt to summon the army to assist
them in arresting Lalu Prasad. I retired in
May 1998 and left Delhi. Six years later,
while I was in Bangalore, there were calls
from Lalu Prasad and his associates and I
learnt that Lalu Prasad wished to have me as
a defence witness in another case filed
against him by the CBI subsequently. This
time the charge was that he and his wife had
amassed assets disproportionate to known
sources of their income. I evaded the telephone calls, but one day I received the summons from the Special Judge, Patna. After
that Lalu Prasad talked to me and I told him
I was bound to obey the summons. Lalu
came down to Bangalore and telephoned
INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015



BOOKS/ Pursuit of Law and Order/ AP Durai


Views On News (VON) is Indias premier fortnightly magazine that covers the wide spectrum
of modern communication loosely known as the media. Its racy, news and analysis oriented
story-telling encompasses current global and Indian developments, trends, future projections
encompassing policy and business drifts, the latest from inside the print and electronic
newsrooms, the exciting developments in ever-expanding digital space, trending matters in
the social media, advertising, entertainment and books.
The author found it
strange that CBI officers
could meet Patna High
Court judges outside the
courts and seek oral


By AP Durai
Publisher: NotionPress
Price: `299, 238 pages


December 15, 2015

from his hotel to say that he wanted to meet

me. I told him he was welcome to come to
my apartment in Frazer Town and he came
and spent an hour with me and my family.
Lalu praised my report and expressed his
gratitude for my having stated the facts
boldly, which gave him a breather from the
CBI. He gave instructions to his companions
on how my travel to Patna and my accommodation should be taken care of. The court
itself had stipulated in its orders that I
should be granted facilities that I was entitled to, before my retirement. In my conversation with Lalu about the deterioration in
administration due to political interference,
I told him, You might be Chief Minister or
even Prime Minister, but you must allow
officers to do their work without interference. When Lalu Prasad became Railway
Minister shortly thereafter, he seemed to
have taken this advice in good spirit and his
performance in the railway portfolio attracted public notice and admiration.
I went to Patna in February 2004 (if my
memory serves me right) and deposed as
defence witness. Before my examination in
chief started, the Judge told me in the open
court why I had been summoned, The case
of the defence is that the CBI found it difficult to go forward in the AHD case against
Mr Lalu Prasad because of your inquiry
report and so they have come up with a new

case against him for disproportionate assets

this time. Through you, they want to prove
mala fides on the part of the CBI. On the
first day, Lalu himself accompanied me to
the court and sat in the first row while I was
examined. As my cross examination lasted
another week, I had to continue to stay in
the State Guest House, very close to the
Chief Ministers residence. Lalu took me
around and showed his cows, horses and
vegetable garden. I found him to be a man of
earthly common sense and devoid of arrogance while interacting with people. He told
me how he had entered into Jayaprakash
Narayans movement while he was doing his
law and went to jail during the Emergency
with Nitish Kumar and others.
Apparently, Lalu Prasad wanted to show
his appreciation or gratitude to me and
when he became the Railway Minister, he
spoke to me twice and asked me to take up
an inquiry into the Godhra incident (2002)
where a sleeper bogie in which Karsevaks
and pilgrims returning from Ayodhya had
been set fire to, allegedly by a Muslim mob,
killing fifty-eight passengers. I declined it
and later, a minister of his party offered me
the position of Administrator in a failed Chit
Fund company in Chennai. I declined again
on ground that I was serving Shri Ram
Chandra Mission on a full-time basis and
could not give attention to anything else. IL


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Indiasan 24

PAR AMAkhtars
Javed show

POLITICS/ Parliament Debate

Salve after
Mindless Salvos
Day debate
was marked by
acrimony and
verbal dual till
Modi reached
out and
ruffled feathers
By Ajith Pillai

(Above) Modi tried
to soothe ruffled
feathers in his
address on the
Constitution Day in


December 15, 2015

HANK God there were no adjournments and walkouts! That

would have diabolically complemented the bitter mudslinging
between the treasury benches
and the Opposition that dominated the two-day special session of parliament last week. It was ostensibly convened to discuss the nations commitment to the hallowed constitution of the
republic and as a solemn and celebratory
occasion to mark the 125th year of the birth
of Dr BR Ambedkar.
But it was unfortunate that it dithered
into a mindless show of one-upmanship that
was, for the most part, regrettable. In fact,
the architect-in-chief of our constitution and
the principles he stood for were lost in the
din of verbal exchanges in which party agendas were given top priority. One can safely

The unstated implication was that Ambedkar

disapproved of the two words. This, as we all
know, is far from the truth.
Singh did not stop there. He pronounced:
People mistake Ambedkar as a leader of the
Dalits. He is actually the Rashtra Rishi (national sage) of this country. That would certainly have not gone down well with Dalits.
To add insult to injury, he pouted this gem:
What is more democratic than Lord Rama,
who took Sitas agni pariksha (trial by fire) on
the basis of comments by a person of low
social standing? The honourable home minister while drawing references from ancient
Hindu texts perhaps forgot that Ambedkar
had renounced Hinduism because of its caste
discrimination and embraced Buddhism.
Neither did Congress leaders do themselves proud by playing football with
Ambedkar and the Constitution Day debate.
Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the Congress
party in the Lok Sabha and a Dalit leader,
countered Rajnath Singh with this divisive
remark: We (Dalits) wont go anywhere. It
was the Aryans who came from outside, not
us. We are from here.

say that neither the BJP nor the Congress

came out smelling of roses.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh set
the tone and tenor of the debate on day one.
He started well by paying tributes to Ambedkar, Patel and Nehru as the architects of the
Indian republic. But he soon strayed into familiar Hindutva-RSS territory which seemed
to occupy much of his mindspace.
Indeed, donning saffron bifocals, Singh
Ambedkar, he said, was subjected to humiliation but he never ran away from India (a
thinly veiled reference to Aamir Khans much
misquoted statement). The home minister
then courted further controversy by pointing
out that Ambedkar deliberately did not use
the words secular and socialist in the preamble to the constitution. These were later
introduced through the 42nd amendment.

nd Sonia Gandhi needlessly referred

to the history of Indian Independence to reiterate something that is
known and recognised: that the Congress
had a major role in freeing the country from
British rule and that Ambedkar was closely
linked to the party. The Congress president
also quoted Ambedkar in good measure to
substantiate her point: It is because of the
discipline of the Congress Party that the
drafting committee was able to pilot the constitution in the Assembly with the sure
knowledge as to the fate of each Article and
each amendment. The Congress Party is,
therefore, entitled to all the credit for the
smooth sailing of the draft constitution in the
Assembly. It seemed as if she was desperately trying to appropriate the Ambedkar legacy.
Was it really called for?
Day two saw Arun Jaitley launching a
broadside against the judiciary for striking
down the NJAC Act and the 99th Constitutional Amendment which sought to give
politicians and civil society a final say in the
appointment of judges to the highest courts.

Photos: UNI

He went on to attack judicial activism which

he said had crossed the Lakshman Rekha.
Jaitley did not spare the Congress either
when he compared the misuse of the constitution during the Emergency to repressive
measures imposed in Hitlers Germany. As
Union finance minister one would have
expected Jaitley to be more measured and
less volatile. All the more so, since the crucial
GST Bill has to be cleared during the Winter
Session and the government requires the
cooperation of the Opposition in that regard.
But there seemed to be no stopping the
finance minister as he bulldozed along.
It was left to Prime Minister Narendra
Modi to bring some semblance of calm into
the proceedings. He not only reached out to
the Opposition but even addressedperhaps
for the first timeSonia as Madam Sonia
Gandhiji. It was a conciliatory prime minister who wanted to undo the damage done in
the last two days by some in his party and cabinet colleagues. His body language and tone
of voice was shorn of its earlier arrogance.
This quote from Modi summed up his
position and predicament before the Winter
Session post the Bihar rout: I have said this
before and will say it now that this country
would not have advanced without contribution of all prime ministers, of all governments of the past and of all shades of people.
I accept their contributions with gratitude.
Yes, there are expectations and when those
expectations are not met complaints are
made but thats the beauty of democracy.
Perhaps, the pragmatic prime minister
realised he has no option but to take the
Opposition with him. So he took the lead in
smoothing ruffled feathers. IL

(Above) Congress
president Sonia
Gandhi was
desperately trying
to appropriate the
Ambedkar legacy in
her speech

Home Minister
Rajnath Singh
set the tone and
tenor of the
debate on day
one. He paid
tributes to
Ambedkar, Patel
and Nehru but
soon strayed
into familiar

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


PROBE/ Sheena Murder Case

The Money

Photos: UNI

(L to R) Peter Mukerjea
being taken for
interrogation; Indrani
Mukerjea with the cops


December 15, 2015

Did the murder of Sheena

Bora have anything to do with
the `900 crore that was
siphoned off by her mother
Indrani Mukerjea and her
husband, Peter, to secret
accounts abroad?
By Ajith Pillai

ITH each passing day,

the Sheena Bora murder case has thrown up
the trademark characteristics of a 19th century Russian novela
complex and twisted
plot, a surfeit of melodrama and the darker
side of human greed revealed in a multi-layered modern saga. In fact, comprehending
the story involves delving deep into the life
and liaisons of Sheena Boras mother,
Indrani Mukerjea, who allegedly plotted the

Vidhie, Indranis
daughter from
her marriage to
Sanjeev Khanna

murder of her daughter with the help of her

present husband, her ex-husband and her
driver. Could it get more complicated
than that?
The plot has only thickened since Indranis
current husband, ex-media baron Peter
Mukerjea, was formally arrested as an
accomplice on November 19 by the CBI.
New strands of information have suddenly
emerged, adding a shocking twist to the tale.
These seem to suggest the following:
 There may be a direct link between the
murder and the monies stashed abroad by
the Mukerjeas after the sale of their company, INX Media (which also owned NewsX
channel) in 2009. The CBI told the special
court in Mumbai on November 26 that as
much as `900 crore illegal funds from the
INX Media transaction were parked
through shell companies abroad, including
in accounts opened for Sheena Bora in
HSBC, Singapore. Was the murder then a
case of Sheena trying to extort more share of
the loot and invoking the ire of her mother
and her husband? Did they think she was
better off dead than alive and demanding?
 Peter Mukerjea was aware of the plan to
bump off Sheena. He was not a gullible
husband and a nice guy as he wanted the
world to believe. It is now revealed, through
a series of emails he had sent to his son,
Rahul, that he was very much part of the
plot and knew virtually every step his wife
was taking.
 Sheena was bumped off by her mother to
ensure that her other daughter, Vidhie (from
Indranis earlier marriage to Sanjeev
Khanna), who was later adopted by Peter,
would be the sole inheritor of the wealth of
the Mukerjeas.
 Sheena would have had a claim to the
inheritance if she and Rahul (Peters son
from an earlier marriage), who were in a
relationship, got married. Eliminating
Sheena was seen as the only way out to
ensure that Vidhie and Rahul would be the
rightful heirs.
 The wealth the mother was eyeing for her
daughter, we were earlier informed by the
CBI, included a flat in upscale Mumbai, a

house in the UK and the monies in overseas

accounts in Peters name.
But was murder most foul committed for
just that? Going by what the CBI told the
court, there is obviously much more than
meets the eye. The agency has now gone
back to a 2013 probe report of the Serious
Fraud Investigation office (SFIO), under the
ministry of corporate affairs, which looked
into the dubious sale of INX Media (which
included NewsX ). Hundreds of crores
changed hands in the deal and Peter and
Indrani seem to have funneled the money
abroad to secret accounts.
In fact, SFIOs draft report had recommended a criminal investigation into the
sham transaction in which the buyer and
the sellers were one and the same. SFIO had
then launched its investigations under
instruction from the government following a
revelation in the Radia tapes that PR consultant Niira Radia was liasoning with the
then NewsX management on financial

The arrest of
Peter Mukerjea,
on November
19 by the CBI,
came as a
surprise. New
strands of
have suddenly
adding a
shocking twist
to the tale.

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


PROBE/ Sheena Murder Case

On record, there
was an inflow of
about `750 crore
into INX Media.
Much of it came
from equity
companies and
was shown in
the books as
expended or as
losses and
siphoned off.

Sheena with Rahul,
Peter Mukerjeas son


December 15, 2015

matters. These included day-today running costs on behalf of a

top Mumbai-based Fortune 500
corporate house with strong political links and interests in petroleum and the media.
SFIOs draft report was never
followed upon, though it identified
those involved in the selling and buying of
the news channel through a maze of shell
companies in India and abroad. Some of
these were linked to the corporate group in
question. It also revealed that Indrani
Mukerjea was at the center of the entire
deal, acting on behalf of Peter.
The SFIO report made this pertinent
observation about the INX Media sale: It is
important to highlight that the cost of purchase of shares between March 2007
(`208.24 per share) and January 7, 2009
(`208.23) differs only by a decimal, that is
` .01 only. However, when the shares were
sold on January 7, 2009 the share price was
taken at `10 per share. There is no reason to
show such a sudden decline in the share
price by `198 per share, especially when the
company is not listed on the exchanges.
Even in the case of listed companies a fluctu-

Why would he (Sanjeev Khanna,

left) get involved? The explanation
that he willingly joined the plot so that
his daughter, Vidhie, would become
the rightful heir to Peters wealth is
too simplistic.

Niira Radia was
liasoning with the
NewsX management
on financial matters

A Mumbai police official

ation of more than 20 per cent raises a red

flag which invites the intervention of SEBI.
SFIO had recommended a detailed probe
but neither the UPA government nor the
current dispensation has so far moved on it.
The CBI has taken cognizance of the SFIO
report, although it may look at it only within
the narrow ambit of the murder
investigation. An official of the agency
explained the situation to India Legal: We
have sought Interpols help to identify Peter
Mukerjeas overseas accounts. But the investigation into the fraud transaction and the
mechanics of how it was carried out will be
outside the scope of the murder investigation we have been mandated to carry out. In
fact, that aspect calls for an entirely different
probe into a financial crime by an appropriate agency like the ED or the revenue intelligence. However, if monies did change hands
and were parked outside the country as
Peter has told us, then we would be interested because it would provide a far more substantial motive for the killing than Peters
properties in Mumbai and his declared personal bank accounts.
According to him, there is also the point
about the Mukerjeas having siphoned off
operational funds from INX Media while
they were involved in the running of NewsX
and other associated entities. It may be

recalled that in 2007-2008 when INX

Media was launched, Peter leveraged his
influence and equity as a successful former
CEO of the Star Network to attract investments into the new company.
On record, there was an inflow of about
` 750 crore into the company and much of
the funds came from equity companies like
Temasek, New Silk Route Advisors, Kotak
Mahindra Bank and New Vernon Private
Equity. There were also unofficial money
infusions. Much of the funds that came in
were shown in the books as expended or as
losses and allegedly siphoned to offshore
accounts by Indrani with her husbands
The staff of NewsX who were given pink
slips when its parent company changed
hands, wrote to the then I&B ministry complaining about the misappropriation of
funds by the Mukerjeas. The ministry forwarded their complaint to the finance ministry for action but nothing came out of it
except a notice to Peter Mukerjea from the
Enforcement Directorate.
The big question which emerges from this
narrative is whether Sheena was aware of
the money that was allegedly stashed away.
More importantly, was she using the
information to blackmail her mother and
Peter? The investigators are not ruling out

that possibility.
A police official in Mumbai who has been
following the case closely told India Legal
that high stakes must certainly be involved
for someone like Sanjeev Khanna (Indranis
ex-husband) to get himself entangled in the
sordid mess. Remember, he was a fairly successful and respected businessman in
Kolkata, owned an upscale restaurant and
dabbled in real estate and the hotel development business before he was implicated in
the murder. Why would he get involved?
The explanation that he willingly joined the
plot so that his daughter Vidhies interests
would be served and she would become the
rightful heir to Peters wealth is too simplistic. It may be recalled that Sanjeev was
dumped by Indrani and their daughter was
legally adopted by Peter. Why would Sanjeev
agree to be part of the murder unless there
were big bucks involved and he was promised a share? he asks.
There are several questions that have
bewildered investigators ever since the
sensational murder came to light in August
this year. What has complicated the case
further is the fact that those linked to the
crime, including the Mukerjeas, have
emerged as people with no real emotional
bonding between each other. And yet their
lives criss-crossed.
As for the killing itself, it was speculated
that Indranis own insecurity and misgivings
may have made her strangle her own daughter. It was even said that she was simply a
person with a diseased mind. But if that was
true, then what about the others who were
willing accomplices to the crime? How did
Indrani convince them to come on board?
We now know that money was part of the
murder matrix. And that too big money... IL
INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


STATES/ Gujarat/Dholera Controversy

An artists impression of
the smart city of Dholera

of No
Farmers in 22 Gujarat villages whose land
has been acquired for the Delhi-Mumbai
Industrial Corridor Project are an unhappy
lot. Though a PIL has been filed,
nothing has come out of it
By Kaushik Joshi in Ahmedabad

ARMERS in Gujarat are up in

arms against a government
move to take over their lands.
Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar and
Kutch, the Gujarat government
is acquiring land for the proposed Dholera Special Investment Region
(DSIR), a major project under the DelhiMumbai Industrial Corridor Project.
Dholera, 90 km from Ahmedabad, is an
ancient port city in the Gulf of Khambat and
is proposed to be developed into a smart city
by 2025, six times the size of Shanghai. The
Gujarat government has declared 920 square
km in these 22 villages as DSIR under the


December 15, 2015



Gujarat Special Investment Region Act,

2009. The farmers were served notices under
Section 17 (2) of this Act, which deprived
them of 50 percent of their lands. Instead,
they were given saline plots where nothing
could grow. Incidentally, the DSIR area is a
fertile region and is known for its exportable
wheat variety. It requires only one watering
session, whereas elsewhere it takes three.
Sagar Rabari, secretary of the Gujarat
Khedut Samaj, is spearheading the agitation
for protecting farmers, and says: Clearly,
this means snatching away the means of
livelihood of farmers, farm labor, cattle
breeders and rural artisans. Bhal Bachao
Andolan and Jameen Adhikar Andolan

Gujarat (JAAG) are supporting Sagar in the

fight against giving 28,503 hectares of land
to the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) by the
DSIR Development Authority. They have
filed a PIL (writ no 227/14), before the
Gujarat High Court in 2014. Unfortunately,
there have been more than 25 adjournments.
By its revenue department resolution
dated January 12, 2011, Gujarat sold 28,503
hectares of the 22 villages to DSIR at the rate
of Rs 20 per square meter. The office of the
collector, Ahmedabad, issued an order dated
March 18, 2011, whereby DSIRs name was
entered into revenue records of all 22 villages. The mamlatdar office (in charge of a
taluka) did not pay heed to condition No. 8 in

the order which directed it to enter only

those lands which belonged to the government and were not under dispute.
Pradumnasinh Chudasama, who heads
Bhal Bachao Andolan, says: There are lands
over which farmers have ownership under
tenancy and talukdari laws. But the mamlatdar office didnt care about it and transferred
the whole lot to DSIR. We have documents
with us and we want the government to
check them and give our land back. The stock
reply from the office of the mamlatdar is that
the land now belongs to DSIR. Chudasama
himself had 28 acres, 50 percent of which
was taken away by the government.
Though an environmental public hear-

The Dholera Special

Investment Region is a
major project which aims
to make the area into a
global manufacturing hub
supported by world-class
infrastructure. It will have
centralized digital control
of all infrastructural facilities such as water, power
and gas through an
underground sensor system. The projects goals
are: to double employment potential, triple
industrial output and
quadruple exports from
the region.

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


STATES/ Gujarat/Dholera Controversy

Clearly, this means

snatching away the
means of livelihood
of farmers, farm labor,
cattle breeders and
rural artisans.
Sagar Rabari,
Gujarat Khedut Samaj

We have documents
with us and we want
the government to
check them and give
our land back. The
stock reply is the land
now belongs to DSIR.
Pradyumnasinh Chudasama,
leader, Bhal Bachao Andolan

the Prant (local area) officer to look into it

and dispose of the cases soon. The revenue
office will examine the merits of each case
and do the needful.
The farmers took out a five-day-long
protest march on foot from November 1 to 5
from Bavaliyari village to Ahmedabad to submit a memorandum to the collector of
Ahmedabad. These were their demands:
 Hold land kacheris in our villages to
solve disputes regarding land
 Enter our names on revenue records
for land we got under tenancy, taluqdari and
urban land ceiling laws
 Enter all water bodies in revenue records
 Give surplus land in our villages to the
 The collector should ensure that the
government and the Narmada Corporation
promise us water
 Give us gauchar land (grazing land) in
proportion to the number of cattle

We have already
started the process
for verifying the
records and if
there are genuine
grievances, we will
redress them.
Rajkumar Beniwal,
collector, Ahmedabad
ing was presided over by the collector of
Ahmedabad on March 3, 2014, where he
promised to do justice to the farmers within
a month, nothing has been done so far, allege
the farmers. These are lands the farmers got
under the tenancy and agricultural land ceiling laws. Though they have evidence to that
effect, thanks to shoddy records of the revenue department, the lands were treated as
government land and allotted to DSIR.
Ahmedabad, said: We have already started
the process for verifying the records and if
there are genuine grievances, we will redress
them. It could take a couple of months. AB
Gor, resident additional collector of
Ahmedabad too said: We have instructed


December 15, 2015

A sit-in by farmers
at the office of
the collector in

What is more, these lands, which were in

the irrigation area of the Sardar Sarovar
Narmada Nigam, have now been taken out of
the irrigation area, thereby depriving the
farmers of water to irrigate their lands. The
Vallibhipur canal for irrigation purposes was
completed in 2002, but the farmers didnt
benefit from it, thanks to the arrival of DSIR.
Worse, a distributary canal also cant be
made in the DSIR region. Consequently, surplus water from the canal flows into the Gulf
of Khambhat. Sagar asks: What does the
government achieve by depriving the farmers
of water? It is against the ruling of the interstate Narmada Water Tribunal.
Ashok Patel, deputy collector of DSIR
Development Authority, said: If the farmers
dont like the location of the final plots allotted to them, there is a town planning officer
who can hear both parties and take a decision. If he decides the case in favor of the
farmers, we will abide by it. He said they had

We are left in the lurch

 Mahesh Makwana, 30, a farmer from Shela village, a postgraduate, has 350
bighas of land. Under DSIR, he has lost half of it. Does the government want
us to do petty jobs in DSIR? Do we have to go to work with
tiffins? We shudder to think of it.
 Sixty-year-old Lakhadhirsinh Chudasama (in photograph) is
from Kadipur village in Dhandhuka tehsil of Ahmedabad
district. He has 30 bighas of land and is entirely dependent
on agriculture. The government has applied town planning
law to our agricultural land. If we are not given what is
rightfully ours, we will commit suicide on the same
land. They have denied us even the Narmada canal
waters for irrigation, leaving us in the lurch.
 Narubhai Makwana, 50, is from Mingalpur village
in Dhandhuka tehsil of Ahmedabad district. He has
55 bighas of land and said: They (revenue officials)
came, measured our land and entered DSIRs
name even in land under dispute. But we have the
documents. Earlier, princes ruled over us. Now we
have government officials in the same role. Where
do we go?

no objection if the Sardar Sarovar Narmada

Nigam Ltd. authorities allow the farmers to
use the water for irrigation. I think they are
now letting them have it for irrigation.
To make matters worse, DSIR authorities
are also collecting development charges at
the rate of Rs 30-50 per square meter from
the farmers though they have no place in the
whole project. The Act also has no provision
for the rehabilitation of these farmers. The
farmers are sacrificial lambs in the whole
project which is clearly going to make rich
industrialists richer, says Indukumar Jani,
editor, Naya Marg, a monthly devoted to
causes of the downtrodden.
The government has ignored environmental concerns too. There cannot be any residential or industrial development in the 10-km
range of Velavadar Black Buck Sanctuary in
Bhavnagar, but the DSIR is being developed
despite it being an eco-sensitive zone. The
Gujarat Khedut Samaj wants it to weigh environmental issues and determine the coastal
regional zone accordingly. The government
has determined the coastal regional zone
based on revenue mapping done a century
back. We want it done afresh considering the
oceanic tide, argued Sagar.
The wait for justice continues. IL
INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


STATES/ Amravati Vs Hyderabad

Andhra CM
Naidu wants
Amravati to be
a rival to
Hyderabad as
the historic
city combines
history and

Tale of Two
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister
Chandrababu Naidu has grand
plans to develop a new state
capital which will be both historic
and futuristic. But the big
question is whether Amravati
can be a second Hyderabad
By Kalyani Shankar

AN Hyderabad and Amravati

be the crown jewels of the
two Telugu statesAndhra
Pradesh and Telangana? They
can, if they decide to complement and not compete. After
all, they share language, history, rivers and a long boundary. Before the
bifurcation on June 2, 2014, Hyderabad as a
high-tech capital had attracted huge investments from abroad but now both states are
struggling to find their feet.
Building a new capital has its own pains,
challenges and benefits. Andhra Pradesh
Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has
begun this challenging task at Amravati on
33,000 acres of land south of Vijayawada.
Amravati will be the fifth new capital built
since Independence, the other four being
Gandhinagar, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh
and Naya Raipur.
Naidu is impatient to move out to his own

(Left) Prime Minister
Narendra Modi,
Andhra Pradesh CM
Chandrababu Naidu
and others at the
ceremony of Amravati
(Below) An artistic
impression of

capital due to some irritants between him

and Telangana Chief Minister K
Chandrasekhar Rao. Both states had fought
for Hyderabad city, the cash-rich capital of
united Andhra Pradesh and, eventually, they
had to reconcile with accepting it as a joint
capital till 2024. Neither has made peace
with the decision and both are now facing
problems of adjusting to their new status
with unfinished issues involving employees,
division of assets, sharing of water and so on.
Why did Naidu choose Amravati located 290
km away from Hyderabad? It is because of its
huge potential. He wants it to be a rival to
Hyderabad as the historic city will combine
mythology, history and modernity. Amravati
is one of the five sacred places of Lord Shiva
that is called Pancharavams. History shows
that the Telugu kings Shatavahanas ruled
with Amravati as their capital and later,

Ishkwakas, Kakatiyas and even Muslim kings

did the same. Gautama Buddha was believed
to have visited this place. His Holiness the
Dalai Lama had conducted a Kalachakra festival here a few years ago. It has also been
declared by the Union government as one of
the 12 heritage cities of the country. So
Amravati boasts of more ancient history as
compared to Hyderabad, which was built
400 years ago by the Qutub Shahi dynasty on
the Musi River.
Located on the banks of Krishna in picturesque surroundings, Amravati can be
built as a twin city to Vijayawada which is
just across the river, like Hyderabad and
Secunderabad. It is also equidistant between
coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema.
It took more than 16 months for Naidu to
start work. The seat of the government is
proposed on a grand scale to match the
worlds modern cities in aesthetics, infrastructure, liveability, connectivity and hisUNI


December 15, 2015

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


STATES/ Amravati Vs Hyderabad

Photos: UNI

Charminar in Hyderabad,
where the old and the
new exist seamlessly


December 15, 2015

toric importance. The city is being built with

expertise from Singapore at a cost of about $
2 billion on a public-private partnership
model. The state government has signed a
memorandum of understanding with the
Singapore government, which will construct
the core capital region, comprising government buildings, in exchange for 10,000 acres
of land in other parts of the city which it will
develop for real estate. Naidu has also roped
in some help from Japan.
The center has given approval for a 26 km
metro project in Vijayawada, at an estimated
cost of `6,823 crore and a greenfield airport.
Officials say that the state expects $30 billion
in investments over the next decade.
Infrastructure projects proposed in the master plan will require $16.5 billion, according
to one estimate.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid
the foundation stone for the new capital on
October 22, Vijayadasami day.
Water and soil from 16,000 villages in
the state, 33 rivers and holy shrines
across the world have been collected and
sprinkled in the 8,352 sq km Amaravati
Capital Region.
Modi brought water from river Jamuna
and soil from parliament.

The master plan for the new
capital envisages a core capital, capital city and capital
region in three layers boasting of tall glass structures,
boulevards, wide roads and a
pedestrian way, metro and
river-way transport and
walkways. A water taxi service like in Venice is also being
planned. The core capital will
consist of the Raj Bhavan, a
secretariat and an assembly
but financial support for
these structures has to come
from the Union government
as specified in the Andhra
Pradesh Reorganization Act.
The 7,325-sq km Capital
Region Plan is the first of a
three-stage master plan for
the capital city. Amravati will
be a blue and green city involving nine mini
cities dedicated exclusively to entertainment,
education, health, economy, justice, hardware, electronics and tourism. Till now, the
central government has allocated `1,500
crore. The new capital is planned for 1.40
crore people by 2050 and for creating 40
lakh jobs in the next few years.
According to officials, in the first phase,
95,000 jobs will be created followed by
1,60,000 in the second, 52,000 in the third,
1,77,000 in the fourth and 1,13,000 jobs in
the fifth phase. The Andhra Pradesh government, through the AP Capital Region
Development Authority, has acquired some
33,000 acres of land through a land pooling
scheme. If government land is tagged, the
land pool swells to 54,000 acres creating a
massive land asset.
Naidu may face many challenges in fulfilling his dream. The first is the political challenge. Naidu is not on a strong wicket as the
opposition parties, including the YSR
Congress led by Jaganmohan Reddy, the
Congress and the Left are critical of his
inability to get special status for Andhra
Pradesh. Prime Minister Modi announced no
special package on the occasion of the capitals foundation laying ceremony; he just

stated that the center would stand

Andhra Pradesh.
Secondly, Naidu has to look elsewhere
to mobilize funds for building
Amravati. But despite his excellent
marketing abilities, will he be able to
attract finance? The fiscal deficit of
Andhra Pradesh is more than `18,000
crore as compared to the cash-rich
Cyberabad as part of the Hyderabad
city, Naidu was in complete control
and got finances from the center,
which survived on his partys support.
Now the BJP has its own majority and
TDP is a junior partner in the NDA.
Modi has to balance requests from all
the states.
Thirdly, there is criticism from
other regions of the new state that they
have been neglected and that regional
imbalance is being created by diverting
development funds meant for backward
regions like Rayalaseema to the proposed
Fourthly, although Naidu has acquired
33,000 acres, the opposition is critical of the
acquisition process, and some farmers and
civil society groups have moved courts claiming that environmental laws have been violated. It was also alleged that legislators and
other TDP functionaries had coerced the
farmers to sell their land.
Fifthly, there is the problem of Naidus
continuity as CM. If the capital is to be built
by 2024, he should come back to power after
the 2019 assembly polls. That is why he plans
to complete phase-I by 2018. It depends on
how he establishes himself politically and
whether he will be able deliver on all fronts.
Lastly, it also depends on how Naidu deals
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had
accused Naidu of being the mastermind in
the recent cash-for-vote scandal, involving
the buying over of MLAs. And as a competition to the Tirupati temple, Chandrasekhar

Rao is now developing Yadagirigutta, a temple town 50 km from Hyderabad. Telangana

has held massive overseas roadshows and has
attracted investments from Amazon.com and
other companies. Naidu, on the other hand,
without even a capital, has attracted Japans
SoftBank group in partnership with Bharti
Enterprises, and Taiwanese firm Foxcom has
promised $20 billion in solar and hybrid
energy projects. Airbus and Essel are also
likely to invest.
However, setting aside all bitterness,
Naidu showed some statesmanship by personally inviting his Telangana counterpart
and the latter responded warmly by attending
the function. If this is taken forward, both the
cities will shine as jewels. The two CMs
should realize that complementing each other
is more beneficial than being competitive. If
Andhra could leverage its coastline and fertile
lands and Telangana could develop its mineral-rich areas and benefit from the economic
potential of Hyderabad, both states would
benefit. Hyderabad is in the same class as
Mumbai, Chennai or Bangalore. Amravati
could develop into a modern city and both
Hyderabad and Amravati can be the pride of
the Telugu people. IL

(L to R) Andhra
Pradesh Chief Minister
Chandrababu Naidu
and his Telangana
Chandrasekhar Rao

The CMs of
Andhra Pradesh
and Telangana
realize that
each other is
more beneficial
than being

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


STATES/ Rajasthan/Temple Land Issue

Anil Shakya

Can a Deity Own land?

A Rajasthan High Court judgment has held that if temple lands are
transferred to a tenant for cultivation, they cannot be immune from
acquisition by the state. It has been challenged in the apex court
By Venkatasubramanian


The top court will
decide the limits of
a deitys land rights


December 15, 2015

N Mahant Damodar Dass vs State of

Rajasthan, the Supreme Court is set
to hear an interesting question of
lawcan a temple deity, legally recognized as a minor, be entitled to
own land attached to the temple and
can the property be cultivated on his
behalf by sevaits (pujaris or guardians)?
The Rajasthan High Court had given a
nuanced verdict in the case in July and the
appellant in the Supreme Court, a pujari, has
challenged the correctness of that decision as

it has gone against his interests.

In Rajasthan, prior to abolition of jagirs by
the Jagirs Act of 1952, there were two categories of landlands held by the ex-rulers,
known as khalsa lands and those held by
jagirdars as jagir lands. The essential features of a jagir are that it was held under a
grant from the ruler, and that grant is the
land revenue. The word jagir connotes state
grants, which conferred on the grantees the

rights in respect of land revenue.

The Jagirs Act of 1952 was found to fall
within the ambit of Article 31A of the constitution, by which the jagirs were abolished.
The Jagirs Act of 1952 is a legislation which
aimed at acquisition of property, whereas
Section 20 of the Act exempted properties
which were dedicated for religious services.
The Supreme Court had held that when
property is given absolutely for the worship
of an idol, it vests in the idol itself as a juristic
person. This view has been consistently
accepted in a long series of judicial decisions.
The idol is capable of holding property in the
same way as a natural person.
The Supreme Court had held that the
deity has a juridical status with the power of
suing and being sued. Its interests are
attended to by the person who has the deity
in his charge and who is in law its manager
with all the powers which would, in such circumstances, be given to the manager of the
estate of an infant heir.
The question before the High Court, however, was whether the idol is capable of cultivating the land personally. It was argued
before it that a person who is subject to any
physical or mental disability shall be deemed
to cultivate the land personally if it is cultivated by the servants or by hired laborer. In
other words, an idol or a Sansthan that
would fall within the meaning of the word
person can well be regarded to be subject to
a physical or mental disability and land can
be cultivated on its behalf by servants or
hired laborers. Thus, it was urged that the
idol would be in the same position as a
minor and it can certainly cultivate the
land personally.
The High Court rejected this contention by
holding that the dominating idea of anything
done personally or in person is that the thing
must be done by the person himself and not
by or through someone else. Relying on a
Supreme Court judgment, it held that in
order to claim a certain cultivation as a personal cultivation, there must be a direct
nexus between the person who makes such a
claim and the agricultural processes or activities carried on the land. In other words, all

the agricultural operations, though allowed

to be done through hired labor or workers,
must be under the direct supervision, control, or management of the landlord. It is in
this sense that the words personal supervision must be understood.
The High Court held that the legal
requirement of personal supervision under
the category of personal cultivation does not
admit of an intermediary between the landlord and the laborer, who can act as agent of
the landlord for supervising the operations of
the agricultural worker. It makes no difference whether the landlord is a juristic person
or a natural person, the High Court reasoned. In other words, the cultivation of the
land concerned must be by natural persons
and not by legal persons, the High Court
In another case, the Supreme Court held
that the idol would be in the same position as
a minor and it can certainly cultivate the

The Supreme
Court had held
that when
property is given
absolutely for
the worship of
an idol, it vests
in the idol itself
as a juristic
person. The idol
is capable of
holding property
in the same way
as a natural

Every deity,
such as
Karni Mata
(left), has
a juridical

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


STATES/ Rajasthan/Temple Land Issue

Southern shrines like
the Meenakshi temple
in Madurai have
traditionally owned
large tracts of land

A queue in Karni Mata
temple at Deshnoke.
The apex court holds
that deities must
have a direct link to
cultivation of land with
the temple

According to the High Court, the Jagirs Act of

1952 took away all the rights of the jagirdars,
including Hindu idols, as dolidar or muafidar
on the land cultivated by the tenants.
land personally. It was held that in case the
idol is treated to have cultivated the land, it
should be personal cultivation in which a
direct nexus should be established between
the person who makes such a claim (Hindu
idol) and the agricultural processes or activities carried on the land. It was held that all
the agricultural operations, though allowed
to be done through hired labor or workers
must be under the direct supervision, control
or management of the landlord, without any
intermediary. The concept of juristic person,
the Supreme Court held, has to be understood in the sense that such juristic person
must cultivate the land and have direct nexus
with the cultivation.
The Supreme Court also held in that case
that it is the deity/idol or the Sansthan which
owns and holds the properties. It is only the
possession and the management which vests
in the manager.
Relying on the Supreme Courts previous
judgment, the High Court held that the deity


December 15, 2015

could only hold such lands in jagir, where the

sevait/pujari was cultivating for such deity.
They could have direct nexus with agricultural operations either themselves or through
hired labor engaged by them as to claim to be
khudkasht (personal cultivation) and to be
protected from resumption/acquisition
under the Jagirs Act of 1952.
The High Court further held that if the land
was given for cultivation to a tenant, or was
cultivated through a tenant, such land became
khatedari of (entered a state of being occupied
by) the tenant. According to the High Court,
the Jagirs Act of 1952 took away all the rights
of the jagirdars, including Hindu idols, as dolidar or muafidar on the land cultivated by the
tenants. They ceased to have any right on such
land. The sevait/pujari could not have any
independent status to have claimed any right
over such land cultivated by tenants. Such
tenancy could also not be regarded as sub-tenant of Hindu idol to confer any right on it, the
High Court held.
The High Court thus decided the issue in
favor of the state and against the
sevait/pujari claiming the land to be saved by
the Jagirs Act of 1952. It held that the land
held in jagir by Hindu idol as dolidar or

muafidar cultivated by a person other than

the sevait/pujari personally or by hired labor
as a tenant of the deity, shall vest in the state,
after the Jagirs Act of 1952. The Hindu idol,
even if it is treated to be a perpetual minor,
cannot continue to hold such land, the High
Court explained. A tenant of such land and
cultivating it, acquired the rights of khatedar
(tenant/renter of agricultural land) of the
state. The name of Hindu idol from such land
had to be expunged from the revenue records
with sevait/pujari having no right to claim
the land as khatedar. Consequently, they had
no right to transfer such lands, and all such
transfers have to be treated as null and void
in contravention of the Jagirs Act 1952, and
be resumed by the state.
The High Court, citing the Hindu
Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, held
that immovable property of minor cannot be
sold without the permission of the court, and
hence the deity lands cannot be alienated
except for legal necessity, after obtaining the
permission of the court.
The appellant in the Supreme Court, a
pujari, told the court that that the High
Court had correctly laid down the law by saying that the pujaris who were cultivating the
land themselves or through hired labor

would be protected as registered tenants

under the Jagirs Act, 1952. The appellants
counsel in the Supreme Court conceded that
a pujari of a temple is trustee of the land vested in a temple and is not entitled to alienate
the property.
The appellant, however, appears to be
aggrieved with the result of the High Courts
decision, which is that all lands of deities
would now vest with the Rajasthan government, which has even issued an advertisement for auction of deity lands. The appellant said this ruling affected lakhs of small
temples/deities, primarily in rural areas and
small villages. The likely economic loss to be
suffered as a result was thus interpreted by
the appellant to be an unreasonable restriction on the freedom of religion itself. The
appellant has therefore challenged the High
Courts judgment in the Supreme Court
mainly on the ground of infringing his right
to profess and practice religiona ground
which the High Court did not consider in
its judgment.
As the court is set to hear further arguments in the case on January 4 next year, it
cannot help revisiting the issue of secularism,
which is one of the basic features of the
constitution. IL

The Hindu idol,

even if it is
treated to be a
minor, cannot
continue to
hold such land.
A tenant of
such land
cultivating it
acquired the
rights of
(renter) of
the state.

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


HERITAGE/ Rajasthan/ Kuldhara Restoration

did not agree to the alliance, the village would

regret it. Upon hearing this, the elders of
Kuldhara and 84 surrounding villages held a
council. By then, Singh in a fit of revenge, imposed heavy taxes on Kuldhara which the villagers found difficult to pay. But instead of submitting to Singhs demands, one night the villagers abandoned the village as well as their
ancestral homes.
Before leaving, they put a curse on Kuldhara
anyone who settles there would come to grave
harm. Ever since, the village has remained
deserted. It is believed that a few families who
later tried to settle down there were driven away
by strange paranormal sightings and happenings attributed to spirits and ghosts.
Luckily, Kuldhara has been declared as a
protected village by the Archaeological Survey
of India. Today what remains are rows of
deserted houses, some in a state of utter disrepair. There is a temple, though it has no deity.
The landscape is dry and desert-like and
Kuldhara blends into the landscape and wears a
desolate, forlorn look of a town or village that
has been abandoned.

From Ghost
Town to Glory

Kuldhara, near Jaisalmer, was abandoned

about two centuries ago. Legend has it
that it is cursed and haunted by spirits. In
a welcome move, the Rajasthan tourism
department is reviving and developing it
into a tourist attraction
By Prakash Bhandari in Jaipur

(Above) Today,
Kuldhara blends into
the alien desert
environment and
wears a desolate,
forlorn look


December 15, 2015

HE Rajasthan government has taken the lead in developing a ghost

town (or should we say village)
into a tourist attraction. Kuldhara,
currently abandoned and in ruins,
is located 17 kilometers from Jaisalmer, home to Sonar Kella, the
historic fort that attracts thousands of tourists
every winter. It is now being restored and the
state government has started the process of
conservation. In the first phase, some havelis
and a temple are being brought back to their
lost glory using the same technique and raw
materials used by the original builders.
The state government is serious about the

restoration project. Shailendra Agarwal, principal secretary, tourism and archaeology, said:
Kuldhara has a story to tell and a look at the
ancient village would give the visitor an impression that once it was a prosperous place. We
have decided to restore the glory of this village
and in the first phase, `4 crore has been earmarked to restore some of the historic havelis.
The idea is to encourage tourists to extend their
stay in Jaisalmer so that apart from the famed
fort and the sand dunes, they will also be able to
see Kuldhara.
Till some two centuries ago, Kuldhara, in the
thick of the Thar Desert, was a thriving center
of trade that connected the Sindh province (in
undivided India) with the rest of the country.
That was till it fell upon bad times. Legend has
it that the then Kuldhara chieftain, a Rajput
Paliwal Brahmin, had a stunningly beautiful 18year-old daughter who caught the fancy of the
debauched dewan of Jaisalmer, Salam Singh.
Word was sent to the village chieftain that he
wanted to marry his daughter.
Salam Singh was so keen to marry the girl
that he also held out a threatif the girls father

Recently, a team from the Paranormal Society
of Delhi visited the village after hearing stories
about it. Equipped with electronic equipment,
it scanned the entire village and encountered
strange happenings. From moving shadows
and haunting voices to hand imprints of children on cars, the team members lived through
one of their scariest nights while they were
there. However, the team could not concretely
detect any supernatural phenomenon in Kuldhara. Perhaps the alien desert environment
was playing tricks on their mind.
A team of geologists from the Indian
National Science Academy, including famous
geologist Professor AB Rai of Udaipurs ML
Sukhadia University, presently working at Kuldhara, provided a more rational clue to the mystery. It discovered that the region was located
on an active earthquake faultline. The geologists believe that a natural calamity or the fear
of one must have forced the villagers to abandon their village in 1824-1825. Their conclusion
is that the story of the Paliwal Brahmins abandoning the village overnight might have nothing to do with the conduct of Singh.

Photos: Vimal Bhatia

However, there is no record of the village

being abandoned overnight because of some
impending natural calamity on the day of
Raksha Bandhan, two centuries ago.
Rai said: The evidence of destruction is visible in each and every house in this village and
surrounding villages. It reminds one of the devastation seen in the remains of the Harappan
cities like Mohenjo Daro and Lothal, which
cannot be linked to the normal processes of
weathering and erosion. Pictures of collapsed
walls, scattered dressed stones, fallen joists and
pillars lying strewn all over rooms in the houses
speak of damage and destruction not generally
witnessed in unoccupied old houses standing
for hundred years or more. He adds that if the
ASI digs here, more facts would come to light.
Professor Harsh, another member of the
team from Banaras Hindu University, further
elaborated: The day the Paliwals migrated was
a full moon night, which is when most earthquakes occur. There is a possibility that on that
day, a severe earthquake might have struck
because of which waters in rivers, ponds and
wells may have drained, forcing Paliwals to
migrate from Kuldhara. He explained that the
faultline ran through several other Paliwal
dominated villages in the region.
Now that Kuldhara will be restored and promoted into a tourist attraction, real stories hidden beneath its ruins will surface. Perhaps there
is a history that needs to be discovered which
will be enlightening as well as fascinating. If all
goes according to plan, then those visiting
Jaisalmer will hopefully have another must see
destination in a year or two. IL

A team of
inspecting Kuldhara

We have decided to restore the

glory of Kuldhara.
In the first phase,
`4 crore
has been
The idea is to
tourists to extend
their stay in
Shailendra Agarwal,
principal secretary,
tourism and
archaeology, Rajasthan

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


DIPLOMACY/ Row over Koh-i-Noor

Queen Elizabeth II wearing the
Koh-i-Noor-studded crown

(L-R) Shah Jahans
Peacock Throne had
been adorned with
the precious
Nadir Shah of Iran
took the coveted
diamond with him
as war booty and
gave it the name


Whose Diamond
is it Anyway?
A group of campaigners is seeking
the help of British courts to get the
Koh-i-Noor back to India. Will this
bring to an end a dispute which has
raged for years over the worlds
most precious gem?
By Sajeda Momin in London


December 15, 2015

HERE are three must-sees on

the list of every Indian tourist
who comes to the UK
Buckingham Palace, Houses of
Parliament and the Koh-i-Noor
diamond. The first two they can
see for free from outside, but to
see the third, they must visit the Tower of
London, buy an entrance ticket costing 25
GBP (`2,500) and see one of the rarest and
most precious stones through a glass case

amidst tight security. However, for most

Indians, its a small price to pay to see the
symbol of the loot the British brought back
from India during their 200-year rule.
Since Independence, there have been
repeated demands by various Indian governments that the Koh-i-Noor, once considered
the largest uncut diamond in the world,
should be returned. But these requests have
been ignored or rejected. The latest was in
2013 when Prime Minister David Cameron
on a visit to India defended Britains right to
keep the diamond, arguing that he didnt
believe in returnism and didnt consider it
However, for the first time, a group of campaigners comprising businessmen and actors
and calling themselves the Mountain of
Lightthe English translation of Koh-iNoorare seeking the help of British courts
to get the diamond back.
David de Souza, co-founder of the Indian
leisure group, Titos, is helping to fund the
new legal action and has instructed British
lawyers to begin high court proceedings.
The Koh-i-Noor is one of the many artefacts

In their bid to get the diamond back,

British lawyers will base their case on the
Holocaust Act (Return of Cultural Objects),
passed by the British Parliament in 2009.
taken from India under dubious circumstances. Colonization did not just rob our
people of wealth, it destroyed the countrys
psyche. It brutalized our society, traces of
which linger even today in the form of mass
poverty, lack of education and a host of other
factors, said De Souza.
British lawyers, instructed by the
Mountain of Light group, will base their case
on the Holocaust Act (Return of Cultural
Objects), passed by the British parliament in
2009. This allows national institutions in the
UK the power to return art stolen by the
Third Reich during and preceding World
War II. Lawyers will argue why there should
be one law for artefacts stolen by the Nazis
and another for those stolen by others.
Satish Jakhu, a UK lawyer with Birmingham-based law firm Rubric Lois King, said
they would make the plaintiff s claim
INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


DIPLOMACY/ Row over Koh-i-Noor

David Cameron defends Britains right to

keep the diamond, arguing that he doesnt
believe in returnism and doesnt
consider it sensible.
under the common law doctrine of trespass
to good, arguing that the government had
stolen the diamond. He also said that if need
be they would be taking their case to the
International Court of Justice in The Hague.
The 800-year-old diamond is considered to
be worth around GBP 100 million, though its
real value is priceless.

Greece too has been
demanding the return
of the Parthenon
marbles from British


December 15, 2015

Believed to have been mined from the Kollur
Mine in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh
sometime during the 13th century reign of
the Kakatiya dynasty, the diamond was said
to have been installed in a temple of a goddess as her eye. From the early 14th century,
the diamond became one of the spoils of war
for various conquering armies. From the
Khilji dynasty to the succeeding dynasties of
the Delhi Sultanate, the diamond was passed

on. When it came into the possession of

Babur who established the Mughal empire in
the 16th century, the precious stone became
known as the Diamond of Babur. Shah
Jahan had the diamond fixed into his ornate
peacock throne.
During the reign of Aurangzeb, the diamond was clumsily cut by a Venetian lapidary named Hortenso Borgia who reduced
the weight of the stone to 186 carats. It is said
that when originally mined, it was 793 carats.
In 1739, Nadir Shah carried off the Peacock
Throne and the Koh-i-Noor to Persia. It is
also Nadir Shah who gave the diamond its
current name by exclaiming Koh-i-Noor,
meaning mountain of light in Persian.
After Nadir Shahs assassination, the diamond fell into the hands of Ahmad Shah
Durrani, Emir of Afghanistan. And in 1830,
his descendant, Shujah Shah Durrani, was
deposed and managed to flee with it to
Lahore where the Sikh Maharaja, Ranjit
Singh, forced him to surrender it.
It was from here that the Koh-i-Noor fell
into the hands of the British. In 1849, the
province of Punjab was formally declared
part of British rule and Lord Dalhousie, who
ratified the Treaty of Lahore, considered the
Koh-i-Noor a spoil of war.
Dalhousie arranged for it
to be presented to Queen
Victoria and Maharaja
Ranjit Singhs 13-year-old
son Dulip Singh was sent
to London to do the
Prince Albert ordered
the diamond be recut to
improve its brilliance.
After being reduced in
weight by 42 percent, the
new oval-shaped, 105 carat
Koh-i-Noor was mounted
into a broach for Queen
Victoria. Legend has it that
the Koh-i-Noor can only
be worn by God or women,
and whoever wears the
jewel will become extremely powerful. However, if
a man wears it, he will
meet an unfortunate end.

It was passed to British consorts Queen

Alexandra in 1902 and Queen Mary in 1911
for their coronation crowns and then in 1937,
it went to the consort of King George VI,
Queen Elizabeth, the current queens mother
and was set in the Maltese Cross where it sits
today. The Queen Mother wore the crown at
the coronation of her husband and again in
1953 at the coronation of her daughter,
Queen Elizabeth II. The crown was placed on
top of the Queen Mothers coffin as she lay in
state in Westminster Hall when she died in
2002, and the rest of the time, it remains on
display with other crown jewels in the Tower
of London. If, and when, Camilla becomes
Queen consort, it is likely that the Koh-iNoor will be placed in her crown. However,
the campaigners are hoping that before that
happens, the British courts will rule in their
favor and the gem will be back in India.
Keith Vaz, UKs longest-serving British
Indian MP, has been backing the campaign
for the return of the Koh-i-Noor. After
Shashi Tharoors speech at Oxford University
demanding Britain pay reparations to India
for plundering it for 200 years went viral a
few months ago, Vaz had again brought up
the issue of the Koh-i-Noor.
Pursuing monetary reparations is complex, time-consuming and potentially fruitless, but there is no excuse for not returning
precious items such as the Koh-i-Noor diamond, said Vaz.
Of course, there are those who sit on the
other side of the debate too. Those involved
in this ludicrous case should recognize that
the British crown jewels are precisely the
right place for the Koh-i-Noor diamond to
reside, in grateful recognition for over three
centuries of British involvement in India,
which led to the modernization, development, protection, agrarian advance, linguistic unification and ultimately the democratization of the sub-continent, said Andrew
Roberts, a British historian.
India is not the only country which has
demanded the return of the Koh-i-Noor.
Pakistan has also put in a claim in the past
arguing that it was taken to Britain after the
Treaty of Lahore in undivided India, and as

Pursuing monetary reparations is

complex, time consuming and potentially
fruitless, but there is no excuse for not
returning precious items such as
Koh-i-Noor diamond.
Keith Vaz, UKs longest-serving British Indian MP
Lahore is now in Pakistan, it should be
returned there.
The Koh-i-Noor is not the only spoil of
war being claimed from Britain. The Chinese
government claims the British Museum
holds as many as 23,000 artifacts looted in
the 19th century from Beijing alone, which
naturally they would like returned.
Greece has been demanding the Parthenon marbles, also on exhibit at the British
Museum for years. Asking for the return of
these objects is something of a ritual that
states observe with solemn regularity, said
one British bureaucrat.
But now with the case being filed in
British courts, it will be interesting to see
what happens to the Koh-i-Noor. If India is
able to get the diamond back, then it will certainly set a precedent and open the floodgates for other countries to take the same
legal route. IL
INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015




Interpretation of Sedition




Liberated sex wo

Chhota Rajan: Political Minefield




rkers turn into par

alegal volunteers


Seminar on tribal law

at Osmania varsity
ollege of Law, Osmania University, plans to
organize a national seminar on Law relating
to Tribes in IndiaAn Audit of Legal, Constitutional
and Policy Perspectives on December 12-13,
2015. The aim of the seminar is to analyze legal,
constitutional and policy perspectives relating to
tribes for the purpose of securing social, economic and political justice to tribes.

NLU Delhi to hold moot court






November 30, 2015



October 31,


15, 2015









s of the

In-depth analysi
l, ethical,
legal, politicaens
ions of
religious dimban 22




Jagdish S Khehar

In an aspiring India, old tactics of

divisive politics will not work 08
Lessons for Modi and Nitish

Kurian Joseph

lusive details and
Indias hottes
lysis of
t judicial conana
troversy 12

By Kalyani Shankar

Modis Freakonomics
By Ajith Pillai
Special colu

Pracharak or PM?
By Inderjit Badhwar

Adarsh K Goel



J Chelameswar



Haji Ali
ute 50
Is Muslim
law Disp
still valid?



Your Lordships,
We be
b g to differ

ees? 46
ar law degr
Scrap 3-ye
im Singh crisis hits
Ram Rah
ics? 54meat 40
ion or polit
Insan: Relig
Italian Mar
war 66

Air travails
of the
disabled 64

Wanting a
Womb 26

Bad blood in
Madras HC 42


Madan B Lokur


to make
\LQJVDIHU the land 48
al continue htra
waste 70
with danc
bar ban?


ICFAI organizes conclave

ational Law University, Delhi, in collaboration with Program in

Comparative Media Law and Policy, University of Oxford, is
organizing the South Asia Round of the 2015-16 Price Media Law
Moot Court Competition from 26-29 November, 2015. This years
edition has participation from 12 teams across three countries
after qualifying through initial rounds. The moot aims to foster
and cultivate interest in freedom of expression issues and the
role of media and information technologies in societies around the

Dont miss a single issue of this independent, scintillating new fortnightly

magazine and get special discounts for yourself and your friends
For advertising & subscription queries

he Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI) Law

School organized a conclave on Independence of Judiciary:
Collegium System at its campus in Hyderabad. It was attended by
students and faculty of the institute. Justice G Yethirajulu, chairman
of the Andhra Pradesh Bar Council A Narsimha Reddy, and senior
advocates Vidya Sagar Rao, L Ravi Chander and Vivek Reddy were
among the important dignitaries. All speakers agreed that there
should be transparency in the appointment of judges.


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Legal Spectra 2015

OA National Institute of Law, Bhubaneswar, is organizing
All India Law School MeetLegal Spectra, 2015, the
fourth edition of its annual seminar, from December 17-20,
2015. Legal Spectra 2015 covers a wide variety of events
that include competitions, literary
events, a fine
arts competition
and other cultural
events. The moot
court competition
will be the flagship event.


NLSIU to publish
a book on RTI

he National Law School of India

University (NLSIU), Bangalore, plans
to publish a three-part book titled Good
Governance The RTI Way, on the
occasion of a one-day national seminar
to mark 10 years since the passage of
the RTI Act. The first book in this series,
titled Contracts, Agreements and Public
Policy in India, was released at the NLS
Convocation, 2015 by Chief Justice of
India HL Dattu.

C^QTbT]cc^)4=2^\\d]XRPcX^]b?ec;cS0(BTRc^a%'6PdcP\1dSSW=PVPa=>830D?! "(
Compiled by Anuj Raina


December 15, 2015


 About 78, 800 bank employees,
including 37,000 officers, will be
retiring in the next one year.
 The electricity bill of Indian
Railways is around `12,500 crore
and has been increasing at the rate
of 5 percent a year.
 The Indian Railways is the
backbone of long distance public
transport in the country. It daily
carries over 2 crore passengers.
 India has 712 universities,
37,204 colleges, 30 million
students and 1.3 million teachers.
 The total number of pending court
cases in India is 32,336,744. At least
1,598 PILs are pending in the
Supreme Court, the oldest having
been filed 23 years ago.
 38 percent of police complaints
relate to economic offenses.
 India has only 11 judges for every
10 lakh people (US has 107).
 During January-June 2015,
Santhara, the Jain practice of
dietary abstinence leading to
death, was chosen by 118 people to
end their life.
 Air India has 1,400 pilots, including 650 in the commander category.
 There is only one doctor for
every 1,700 people in the country,
which has 54,348 seats in medical

 India is the least generous country

among eight South Asian nations
and ranks a dismal 106th in a global
report of people who help strangers,
donate money or volunteer their
time for a good cause.
 The research by London-based
Charitable Aid Foundation (CAF)
found that more than 334
million Indians helped a stranger,
over 183 million gave money
and more than 156 million
volunteered their time.
 While this generosity is attributed
to the countrys large population,
the proportion of people who give is
actually lower than in many
other countries.
 The proportion of people in
India donating to charity in 2014
had fallen to 20 percentdown
eight percentage points on 2013.
 Though Maharashtra has
the highest number of airports
and airstrips in India, it has
commercial operations from
just four airports. The state
has 28 airports and airstrips, of
which four are under-construction
or proposed, two are private and
one is not in use.
 According to the latest statistics
of the home ministry, India
registered 8,083 dowry deaths in
2013 with first three ignominious
spots going to Uttar Pradesh (2,335
deaths), Bihar (1,182) and Madhya
Pradesh (776), respectively.


1. To cut a dash
A: To injure
B: To impress
C: To succeed
D: To fail
2. Look sharp!
A: See for yourself!
B: Get ready!
C: Dont pretend!
D. Be quick!
3. Dead men
A: Martyrs
B: Discarded boxes
C: Fake coins
D: Empty bottles
4. Jim-jams
A: Money
B: Depression
C: Children
D: Utensils
5. To skedaddle
A: To depart quickly
B: To cheat
C: To slip
D: To collide
6. Moxie
A: Sleeping pill
B: Big taxi
C: Courage
D: Maternal aunt
7. To step on the gas
A: To hurry
B: To streamline
C: To run away

Have fun with English.

Get the right answers.
Play better scrabble.
By Mahesh Trivedi

D: To take risk
8. The witching hour
A: Sunrise
B: Midnight
C: Prayer time
D: Hour before death
9. Grotty
A: Gruesome
B: Miserly
C: Strong
D: Unpleasant
10. On with the motley!
A: Join the crowd!
B: Lets begin!
C: Run!
D: Start dancing!
11. To stump up
A: To stun
B: To mess up
C: To pay
D: To ruin
12. Scuttlebutt
A: Thief
B: Poor joke
C: Taunt
D: Gossip
13. Motormouth
A: Nagging wife
B: Constant talker
C: Politician
D: Bad singer
14. Catechist
A: Religious teacher

B: Copywriter
C: Opportunist
D: Social activist
15. Frugivore
A: Man eater
B: Hunter
C: Hunger striker
D: Fruit eater
16. Killing of son
A: Fratricide
B: Filicide
C: Sororicide
D: Progenicide
17. To spin a long yarn
A: To work hard
B: To work overtime
C: To exaggerate
D: To mesmerize
18. Put a sock in it!
A: Act fast!
B: Clean it!
C: Go away!
D: Shut up!
19. To shuffle off this
mortal coil
A: To die
B: To forget
C: To forgive
D: To settle
20. To penelopize
A: To advise
B: To boast
C: To procrastinate
D: To feign ignorance


1. To impress
2. Be quick!
3. Empty bottles
4. Depression
5. To depart quickly
6. Courage
7. To hurry
8. Midnight
9. Unpleasant
10. Lets begin!
11. To pay
13. Constant talker
14. Religious teacher
15. Fruit eater
16. Filicide
17. To exaggerate
18. Shut up!
19. To die
20. To feign ignorance



0 to 7 correctYou
need to do this more
8 to 12 correctGood,
get the scrabble
board out.
Above 12Bravo!
Keep it up!

Compiled by Mahesh Trivedi


December 15, 2015

INDIA LEGAL December 15, 2015


PEOPLE / Inheritance Of Loss

Laila, 8, works at a
brick-making factory
outside Kabul
Young marigold sellers in New Delhi eagerly
await customers

A mother with a
mentally challenged
child at Bengalurus
Asha School for


A migrant child
waits to cross the
border from
Greece into


December 15, 2015

A boy salvages
recyclables from
a fire that killed
two and rendered
500 families
homeless in
Malabon, Manila

Compiled by
Kh Manglembi Devi
Photos: UNI