Shining Glory

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 01 Jan 2019 10:35:03


 

By Rahul Pande,

Judiciary cracks whip against  corruption

Judiciary continued to be the last ray of hope for citizens in pursuit of justice. From irrigation scam to unauthorised shrines, corruption at high places to granting ST status to Gowari community, fast-tracking corruption cases to expedite pending appeals in Mantralaya, misuse of Public Utility plots to misuse of PILs, the judiciary handled it all firmly and with an aplomb.

Year 2018 will be remembered for the tough stance adopted by the High Court towards corruption by public servants and those responsible for siphoning of public money. From February onwards, the High Court asked the Government to spell out role of former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar in mind-boggling irrigation scam and after many twists and turns, the State Government finally indicted Pawar for his role in the irrigation scam. The two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) were also formed to probe irrigation scam and five FIRs have been filed against scamsters before the special court with a direction to complete the trial in six months. Echoing strong public sentiment, the High Court also mooted imposition of collective punishment on entire Irrigation department to reimburse loss caused due to scam. Later, High Court formed two member panel consisting of ex-HC judge and a district judge rank officer to monitor corruption related cases involving public servants.

Illegal list and  unauthorised shrines


The tough stance of High Court over removal of religious shrines stirred public opinion and witnessed a massive social unrest. The meek surrender by civic agencies before the High Court, to protect its own officers responsible for the mess, led to social uproar and all political parties came together on this issue. However, after some hearings and demolition of some temples and bouddha vihar, the necessary course correction happened, after the High Court quashed the faulty and illegal list of shrines prepared by NMC. Justice Bhushan Gavai who headed the bench, directed the authorities to follow the proper procedure before touching shrines. The palpable tension with society and administration was resolved after this pragmatic approach.

Gilani panel finds 113 PU plots illegal


Justice (retd) M N Gilani, appointed by the High Court to probe irregularities in allotment of public utility plots to politically influential individuals made several recommendations about vacant plots, where alleged irregularities had taken places, procedural lapses. Panel found irregularity in practically every allotment and lambasted NIT, which was the Planning Authority for Nagpur till February 2002, for “frustrating the very objective of Development Plan” and becoming a mute spectator to brazen commercial misuse of the PU plots by politically influential allottee. The panel recommended constituting a panel to streamline future allotment of PU plots in a just and fair manner to ensure its proper use and to preserve natural resources like open spaces, play grounds and to maintain green cover of the city.

Grants ST status to Gowari


Undoing a great historical injustice faced by Gowari community since last 100 years, Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court in a historic verdict delivered on the eve of Independence Day declared Gowari Community as eligible to be categorised as Scheduled Tribe (ST) and emphatically noted that “Gond Gowari” community as mentioned in Constitution (Scheduled Tribe) Order, 1950 in relation to State of Maharashtra pertained to Gowari community. It was omission to put a comma between Gond and Gowari due to which ST status was denied to Gowaris in Independent India for past six decades and this judgement authored by Justice Ravi Deshpande finally granted ST status to Gowari community.

Tigress shooting gets judicial nod


The much debated shooting of problem T-1 tigress got nod of judiciary after several rounds of hearing in which activists opposed it tooth and nail. However, taking a pragmatic view about loss of human life, the High Court and later Apex Court confirmed the shoot-at-sight order issued by Forest Authorities. After the shooting of tigress, the matter has again snowballed into a controversy and post-vacation, another round of litigation is inevitable. Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar filed a criminal defamation case against Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam for making reckless allegations.

Suo-motu contempts


The High Court has still not accepted the apology tendered by Satish Uke and two more suo-motu criminal contempts have been initiated against him. The High Court is examining genuineness of the apology, but due to his tantrums, the specially constituted division bench initiated the contempt against him. Similarly, suo-motu contempt proceedings were initiated against Adv Dipesh Parate who slapped a judicial officer in court premises.

Death penalty of six quashed

Reversing death penalty of six persons awarded by Yavatmal Sessions court for beheading a tiny tot Sapna Palaskar as part of human sacrifice, the High Court quashed the sentence and acquitted all the accused for want of any cogent evidence.
The HC observed that entire case was based on circumstantial evidence and there was no direct evidence against any of the accused. Mother of the girl child also did not support the prosecution case and refused to implicate any of the accused persons.

Justice Sharad Bobde becomes first Apex Court judge to  participate in J-20 conference

Justice Sharad Bobde, the senior-judge of Supreme Court, became the first ever Indian Apex Court judge to participate in prestigious J-20 conference held at Buenos Aires in Argentina. He delivered a very erudite lecture on Sustainable Development and stressed the need to have stronger laws to prevent further degradation of ecology. Justice Bobde, who is now part of Supreme Court Collegium, is likely to become the next Chief Justice of India in November 2019. 

Highlights

Hospitals, nursing homes covered under establishment

HC bans parking of 4-wheelers at Agyaram Devi-ST Stand

Charges framed in Wasankar scam


No new LPG connections without Aadhar verification


Construction of cold storage on APMC land held illegal

Respite to Munna Yadav in assault case

Six PIL petitioners ordered to pay Rs 5 lakh to prove bonafides

Metro Rail construction near Ambazari cleared

PIL against LED light contract dismissed

Landmark orders to improve coal supply of power plants

Adv Kamal Satuja elected as DBA President, Adv Nitin Deshmukh is DBA secretary

HCBA team led by Anil Kilor undertakes innovative projects

Justice Ravi Deshpande is new Administrative Judge of Nagpur bench