Sacked German gets breathing space
The Bombay High Court has provided some relief, albeit temporary, to German national Manfred Keiler who had been asked by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to leave the country within 10 days. The court on Tuesday granted him an ad-interim injunction on the leave India notice till February 21.
A general manager with the Hotel Intercontinental The Grand in Andheri (east), Keiler was allegedly sacked by the hotel management in January, following which the Special Branch-II of the CID asked him to leave the country.
The German filed a writ petition in the high court on Monday, stating that the powers conferred to the special branch had been misused. The petition said that the impugned notice asking Keiler to leave India had been issued at the behest of the hotel management and chairman and managing director Jyotsna Suri. It added that the leave India notice was issued despite his having a valid visa and resident permit till August 27, 2007.
The petition also challenged Section 3 and 11 of Foreigners Act of 1946 and the Foreigners Order of 1948, stating that the sections were inconsistent and contradicted Article 14 of the Constitution.
Five convicted for currency racket
One person was sentenced to life imprisonment and four others to 10 years rigorous imprisonment for their involvement in a fake currency racket, allegedly run by Dawood Ibrahim's men.
The sentence was announced by Judge Abhay Thipsay at the Sewri sessions court on Tuesday. The five — Akhtar Mohram Hussain, Abdul Quadir Hanif Batki, Mohammed Aslam Abdullah, Ismail Ibrahim Sayyed alias Babajaan Quasam and Javed Mustafa Khan – were arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the city police in possession of fake currency notes worth Rs 1.4 crore from Jogeshwari (W) on July 28, 2000.
Meanwhile, 15 others accused in the case were let off by the court for lack of evidence.
The court noting that Batki, believed to be a relative of Aftab Batki who allegedly runs a counterfeit currency racket for Dawood Ibrahim in India, had the keys to the Jogeshwari apartment which was raided, convicted him to life imprisonment.
Complaint against jail superintendent
In a complaint against Arthur Road Jail Superintendent Swati Sathe, two people arrested on charges of robbery told the Sewri Sessions court that they were beaten up by jail officials.
Mohammed Latif alias Mohammed Masoom and Justin Fernandes told the court that they were being harassed by jail officials since the murder of two jail inmates.
Taking a serious note of the issue, the court asked the duo to officially register a complaint before a metropolitan magistrate's court. This is the second such allegation by undertrials. Recently a person accused under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act had alleged harrassment by jail officials.
'Ordinance violates fundamental rights'
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging that the state government's ordinance regularising irregular structures in Kalyan and Dombivli is violative of fundamental rights of citizens, came up for hearing on Tuesday. Social activist Kaustubha Gokhale had approached the Bombay High Court seeking the ordinance of November 20, 2006 – regularising the structures constructed by January 1, 2004 – be quashed as it violated Article 21 (protection of life and personal liberty).
The PIL was filed by Gokhale in November 2006.
His counsel Srihari Aney argued that the basic function of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act (MRTP) was breached by passing the ordinance – the MRTP Act along with the development plan which were formulated to guarantee a citizen health and sanitation, orderly development and social services.
Besides, if irregular structures were regularised, the areas reserved for open spaces would be reduced by half in Kalyan and Dombivli, the petition says. When the Kakodkar committee submitted its report in 1988, the number of illegal structures in Kalyan-Dombivli were around 2,300, which rose to 67,920 in June 2006, Aney told the court.
While hearing the PIL, the court asked government pleader Pradeep Patil what action was taken against officers responsible for allowing illegal constructions.
Rafiq Dada, counsel for Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation, told the court that the corporation was taking action against them. The court also asked about the action to be taken against contractors and architects.
Colleges not deemed, court told
Five colleges which had claimed to have acquired deemed university status, and were not following the fee structure prescribed by the Shiksan Shulka Samiti (SSS), got a jolt on Tuesday after the Maharashtra University of Health Science (MUHS) said they were not de-affiliated and hence could not claim to be independent universities.
The MUHS told the Bombay High Court that it had not yet de-affiliated the five colleges – three medical and dental colleges run by the Dr DY Patil Trust and the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Colleges in Navi Mumbai and Aurangabad – and hence they were still colleges and not universities.
The claim of the colleges that they have got deemed status from the University Grants Commission (UGC) was challenged by the Parents Association of Medical Students (PAMS) following which the MUHS was called by the HC to clarify the issue.