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Punjab & Haryana HC sets aside moratorium imposed by Bar Council of India

The court has set aside the three-year moratorium imposed by the Bar Council of India on opening of new colleges as ultra vires of the Indian Constitution.

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In a latest, learned, laudable, landmark and lambasting judgment titled Chandigarh Educational Society vs Bar Council of India and others in CWP No. 7441 of 2020 (O&M) delivered just recently on 4 December 2020 by a single Judge Bench of Justice Rekha Mittal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, it has set aside the three-year moratorium imposed by the Bar Council of India (BCI) on opening of new colleges as ultra vires the Indian Constitution. Without mincing any words, the Bench of Justice Rekha Mittal held cogently, clearly and convincingly that the BCI cannot impose a complete ban on opening of new law colleges, under the pretext of regulating legal education. This judgment has certainly created ripples as BCI is also the top body of lawyers and it has explicitly ruled against the moratorium imposed by BCI on opening of new law colleges.

To start with, Justice Rekha Mittal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court sets the ball rolling by first and foremost explicitly, elegantly and effectively stating in the opening para itself that, “The petitioner has invoked jurisdiction of this Court for issuance of writ of certiorari for setting aside Resolution dated 11.8.2019 (item No. 241 of 2019) vide which moratorium is imposed for three years for grant of approval to New Law Institutes. It has also prayed for issuance of mandamus directing respondents No. 1 and 2 to grant approval to start Chandigarh Law College, Jhanjheri from academic session 2020-21 on the basis of applications filed on 13.12.2019 (Annexure P-9) and 10.1.2020 (Annexure P-10); directing respondent No. 1 to place the aforesaid applications filed by the petitioners before respondent No. 2 for consideration and appropriate decision in the next meeting of the Legal Education Committee and direction to respondents No. 1 and 2 to grant approval to the petitioner-society to start Chandigarh Law College since petitioner-society fulfills the minimum benchmark as provided under Rule 11 of the Legal Education Rules, 2008 (hereinafter referred to as “2008 Rules”).”

While stating the petitioner’s version, it is then stated by the Bench of Justice Rekha Mittal that, “Counsel for the petitioner argues that Chandigarh Educational Society (hereinafter referred to as “the society”) purchased land measuring 5.625 acres in the year 2017-18 for establishing Law College under the name “Chandigarh Law College”, on 15.1.2018. The petitioner passed resolution for starting a new college with intake of 240 students from academic session 2020-21. The society took effective steps w.e.f. 15.1.2018 onwards i.e. obtaining of CLU, construction of infrastructure, obtaining affiliation from Punjabi University and NOC from the State Government. The society is imparting quality education in various fields to more than 15000 students including Engineering, Management, Computer Applications, Agriculture, Commerce, Fashion Technology, Nutrition and Dietetics etc. for the last many years. The society has spent more than Rs. 27 crores for construction of building with two auditoriums with modern amenities. It is argued with vehemence that Bar Council of India respondent No. 1 (hereinafter referred to as “BCI”) has no power under Section 7(1)(h) of the Advocates Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) to ban establishment of new institutes for imparting legal education. In the same breath, it is contended that BCI can only lay down the standard of legal education under Section 7(1)(h) of the Act.”

Furthermore, while continuing in a similar vein, it is then pointed out in the next para that, “Counsel would further argue that resolution dated 11.8.2019 (Annexure P-12) imposing moratorium for a period of three years for grant of approval to New Law Centers of Legal Education/Institutions, New Law Colleges, New Law Schools, New University etc. is liable to be set aside being violative of fundamental right of the petitioner under Article 19 (1)(g) of the Constitution of India. In support of his contention, he has relied upon judgment of Hon’ble the Supreme Court TMA Pai Foundation vs. State of Karnataka 2002 (8) SCC 481.”

Going forward, it is then elaborated in the next para that, “Counsel would argue that the society submitted application dated 13.12.2019 (Annexure P-9) to BCI alongwith prescribed proforma, necessary documents and demand draft. A reminder (Annexure P-10) was issued for grant of approval to start Chandigarh Law College from academic session 2020-21. It is argued that the society has already completed all the formalities such as obtaining of CLU (Annexure P-4), no objection certificate dated 13.11.2019 from the Department of Higher Education, Government of Punjab (Annexure P-7), affiliation from Punjabi University, Patiala vide letter dated 6.12.2019 (Annexure P-8) but respondents No. 1 and 2 have not initiated action for grant of necessary permission/approval under the 2008 Rules. He would inform that on one hand, BCI is not processing application of society but at the same time, the BCI made demand for deposit of money even during pendency of petition. Counsel would inform that written arguments have been submitted by the petitioner.”

As against what has been stated above, it is then stated in the next para that, “Respondents No. 1 and 2 filed reply and additional reply. Counsel for respondents No. 1 and 2, by relying upon the written arguments, has supported the resolution (Annexure P-12) to justify non-grant of approval to the society to start a New Law College on the basis of application dated 13.12.2019 (Annexure P-9). It is argued that since there was mushrooming of Centers of Legal Education/Law Institutions and many centers were not maintaining/improving standards, institutions are required to be inspected frequently and it is only in the interest of maintaining standard of Legal Education, resolution dated 11.8.2019 (Annexure P-12) was passed by BCI whereby it was unanimously resolved that a moratorium be imposed for a period of three years. Counsel would argue that running of educational institutions can legally be regularized by way of rules/notifications/guidelines and circulars etc.”

To put things in perspective, after hearing both the parties, Justice Rekha then states that, “I have heard counsel for the parties, perused the paper book particularly various annexures appended with the petition. The primary question that calls for consideration is “Whether the BCI can legally impose moratorium qua opening of New Law Educational Institutes?” This is obviously the real question also. There can be no denying it.

Truth be told, it is then pointed out in the next para that, “Section 7 of the Act provides for functions of Bar Council of India. Clause (h) of Section 7(1) of the Act, reads as follows:-

“1(a) to (g) xxx xxx xxx

(h) to promote legal education and to lay down standards of such education in consultation with the Universities in India imparting such education and the State Bar Councils”

Without mincing any words, Justice Rekha Mittal then goes on to say directly, dependably and definitely that, “Counsel for respondents No. 1 and 2 has failed to point out any provision in the Act that empowers the BCI to impose complete ban on setting up new institutes for imparting Legal Education under Section 7(1) (h) or any other provision in the Act in execution of its functions to promote legal education and lay down standards of such education.”

To be sure, it is then pointed out that, “In the resolution (Annexure P-12), relevant observations are to the following effect:-

“As of now there are about 1500 Centers of Legal Education in the country and such Centers of Legal Education are required to run/operate with proper infrastructure, adequate and qualified law teachers/faculties. Most of the existing Center of Legal Education are not improving standards, so such institutions are required to be inspected frequently.

The MORATORIUM is imposed due to non adherence of guidelines/circulars issued to affiliating the Universities and Institutions from time to time.”

To state the ostensible, it is then brought out in the next para that, “A plain reading of the aforesaid makes it evident that the BCI decided to impose moratorium due to non adherence of guidelines/circulars by the institutions imparting Legal Education, already approved. This Court passed order dated 29.6.2020 and a relevant extract therefrom reads as follows:-

“Perusal of the impugned Resolution at Annexure P-12 apart from containing a bar of a period of 3 years for grant of approval recites that for the next 3 years, the Bar Council of India will lay stress on improvement and raising the standard of existing law institutes and those institutes which do not have proper infrastructure or faculty would be closed down.

The reply placed on record on behalf of respondent Nos. 1 and 2 is sketchy insofar as the afore noticed aspect is concerned. The only averment coming forth in the reply is that certain notices have been issued to approximately 30 law institutes. The reply does not clarify as to whether any law institute on account of lack of infrastructure or faculty has been shut down till date.””

What’s more, it is then stated quite upfront in the new para without mincing any words most elegantly, effectively and eloquently that, “Counsel for BCI or for that matter respondents No. 1 and 2 including BCI was directed to file a specific affidavit in response to the observations made in the aforesaid order. In response thereto, additional reply was filed by respondents No. 1 and 2 wherein a plea was raised that due to situation created on account of Corona pandemic, the BCI is constrained to extend the time for compliance till 31.10.2020 and without affording proper opportunity in a normal Covid free atmosphere, it would not be in the fitness of things to shut down existing law colleges as it involves the question of career and future of many students and livelihood of teaching and non-teaching staff working there. Counsel for respondents No. 1 and 2 has failed to point out that any Law Institute or Centre of Legal Education has been shut down till date for non adherence to the prescribed standard of Legal Education or circulars issued by the BCI. If the existing Centers of Legal Education/Law Colleges/Law Institutes have failed to comply with the guidelines and circulars issued by the BCI or BCI has failed to ensure compliance thereof by getting timely inspection reports or scheduled information etc., the BCI can not justify its failure to ensure maintenance of standards of Legal Education by imposing complete ban on setting up of New Law Colleges, in violation of fundamental right under Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution of India that deals with right of citizens to practice any profession, or to carry any occupation, trade or business. In TMA Pai Foundation’s case (supra), it has been held that right to establish an educational institution is a fundamental right.”

As it turned out, is then further envisaged that, “No doubt, the BCI can issue guidelines/circulars etc. and press for compliance thereof as well as 2008 Rules either at the grant of approval to a New College or adherence thereof by the Colleges/Institutes for Legal Education already existing throughout the country but under that pretext it can not impose a complete ban on opening of New Institutes for imparting Legal Education. It is pertinent to mention here that society has not approached this court to seek any relief against issuance of any circulars/guidelines or 2008 Rules. Even in the resolution (Annexure P12), the BCI has noted that when the Bar Council of India has refused to grant approval to more than 300 institutions which had obtained NOC from the State Governments and affiliation by the university, the institutes approached some of the High Courts and adverse directions were issued to the BCI to consider the proposals of New Law Colleges. Counsel for respondents No. 1 and 2 has failed to advance any arguments much less meaningful to give legal justification in regard to resolution/decision of the BCI to impose moratorium for a period of three years for grant of approval to New Law Colleges/Centers/Institutes. In this view of the matter, I find merit in contention of the petitioner that resolution dated 11.8.2019 (Item No. 241 of 2019) vide which moratorium is imposed for three years for grant of approval to New Law Institutes does not stand the test of judicial scrutiny and accordingly set aside being violative of Article 19 (1)(g) of the Constitution of India.”

No doubt, it is then rightly added in the next para that, “Indisputably, the society submitted application on 13/12/2019 (Annexure P-9) well before the stipulated date i.e. 31.12.2019. The application was not processed by BCI as it had decided not to grant approval to New Law Colleges for a period of three years. As the resolution passed by the BCI imposing moratorium of three years for approval of New Law Colleges/Institutes has been set aside, the BCI is duty bound to process application of the society in accordance with the 2008 Rules/circulars/guidelines etc. relevant in the context. Accordingly, respondents No. 1 and 2 are directed to process application of the society in accordance with relevant rules/circulars etc. It is made clear that it is for the BCI to decide, taking into consideration the relevant rules/circulars/guidelines etc. if the society satisfies the requirements for grant of necessary approval as this Court has not gone into the question of eligibility/non-eligibility of the society for grant of approval. However, since application of the society is pending for the past about one year, respondents No. 1 and 2 are directed to take a decision in the matter expeditiously, preferably within a period of three months from the date of receipt of certified copy of the order.”

As a corollary, it is then held that, “In view of what has been discussed hereinbefore, the petition stands disposed of in the aforesaid terms.”

Finally and far most importantly, it is then rightly and remarkably held in the last para that, “Before parting with this order, I would like to express that the BCI should seriously dilate on the issue of maintaining standard of legal education. Many new entrants in legal profession are not upto the mark in drafting of petitions or assisting the Court. Some of them are not confident enough to speak court language. The BCI may take steps to ensure practical training to Law students in its real meaning and sense. It may also examine of creating a portal or/and nodal agency to ensure compliance of BCI instructions, guidelines, 2008 Rules etc. by the centers of legal education.”

On a parting note, it may well be said that Justice Rekha Mittal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it absolutely clear in her judgment that the BCI cannot impose a complete ban on opening of new colleges under the pretext of regulating legal education. What BCI can do has already been stated in detail above. The Bench of Justice Rekha Mittal also mentioned that the Council failed to mention any provision of the Advocates Act which empowers it to impose a complete ban on the establishment of any new education institute. The bottom-line of this noteworthy judgment is that the BCI has the authority to issue any circulars or guidelines to ensure that the law institutes or centres of legal education are adhering to certain standards, but it does not have the right to impose a complete ban on opening of new institutes for imparting legal education. This notable ruling has to be implemented now unless and until it is overruled by either a Division Bench or by the Supreme Court! All hinges on what course of action the BCI prefers to adopt – whether to abide by it or challenge it!

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No need for a NOC to transfer flats built on land leased to the developer: SC

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Supreme Court

The Maharashtra government cannot require a “no objection certificate” from the collector in order to register the transfer of flats in cooperative societies built on land not provided directly by the state, the Supreme Court ruled last week.

The Court was hearing a petition filed by the state government challenging a decision issued by the Bombay High Court on September 29, 2009, which held that the state could not insist on payment of a premium and the issuance of a NOC for registering the transfer of plots when there is clear evidence that the land was allotted first to builders who built flats and then sold it to purchasers. Following that, the owners formed a cooperative society.

The HC decision was based on a petition filed by Aspi Chinoy, a senior advocate in Mumbai, and the Cuffe Parade Residents Association, who were residents of the 22-story Jolly Maker Apartments.

The top court bench of justices BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna dismissed the state’s appeal on Friday, “Since the land was not allotted to a society but to a builder on lease, who has constructed flats for private individuals, who have subsequently formed a Cooperative Society, the 1983 Resolution and 1999 Resolution would not be applicable to the members of such a society.”

The state had relied on two resolutions, dated May 12, 1983 and July 9, 1999, to levy a premium as a condition for granting permission for flat transfers.

The Resolution of 1983 provided for the grant of land at reduced rates to various categories of co-operative societies.

Following the 1983 Resolution, the government issued a modified resolution in 1999 that applied to co-operative societies to whom government lands were sanctioned at reduced rates.

Chinoy had approached the HC, questioning the resolutions’ relevance to their plot. He had challenged the collector’s letter of June 27, 2000 to the sub-registrar, Bombay City, Old Custom House, directing him not to register any transaction involving the transfer of flats in the buildings located in B.B.R. Block Nos. 3 and 5, Nariman Point and Cuffe Parade, Bombay, without first obtaining a NOC from the collector.

According to the residents, their building dates back to 1971, when the state government solicited bids for the lease of Plot Nos.93, 94, 99, 100, and 121 from Block V Back Bay Reclamation Estate. In response to the notice, M/s. Aesthetic Builders Pvt. Ltd. successfully won the bid and completed the construction of flats. On December 12, 1975, the building’s occupancy certificate was issued. Two years later, the owners established the Varuna Premises Cooperative Society Limited.

The bench said, “The present case is not a case where the land is allotted to a co-operative society by the government. The land was leased out to the builder, who was the successful bidder and after the ownership of flats was transferred to the private individuals, a society of the flat owners was formed.” The judges also lifted the stay on the refund order issued by the Supreme Court.

Chinoy claimed that the flat in which he lives was first sold to A Madhavan in 1972 and then to Reshmidevi Agarwal in 1978.

Chinoy then entered the picture by signing an agreement with Agarwal in December 2020 in exchange for five shares in the society.

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Seeking centre’s response on plea for digitisation of medico-legal documents: Madras High Court

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The Madras High Court in the case Dr. Mohamed Khader Meeran A.S v. State of Tamil Nadu observed and has recently sought the response of the Central and the State government on a plea seeking computerisation of medical records having legal importance, including postmortem report, injury report/ accident, etc.
The bench comprising of Chief Justice T Raja and Justice D Krishnakumar heard the case.
It was submitted by the petitioner, Dr Mohammed Khader Meeran that Medico Legal Examination and Postmortem Reporting (MedLeaPR) is a software developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to issue various medico-legal reports and certificates digitally and to store the data in cloud storage in the encrypted form. Presently, the software is being used by many states and union territories in the country.
It was also directed by Madras High Court to implement this software in the state of Tamil Nadu by January 1st 2021. Thus, even though more than an year has passed, no effort has been made by any authority to implement the same, it was averred. The petitioner added that there is no standard proforma that exists in the State.
It was also contended by him that the present proforma is not at all at par with the standards prescribed by the Supreme Court in the case Samira Kohli Vs Dr. Prabha Manchanda And Anr., Civil Appeal No.1949 of 2004.
Further, the petitioner also submitted that documents like Injury Report, Post-Mortem Report (including viscera/chemical analysis report), report of examination after Sexual assault, age estimation reports have legal importance. However, if these are computerised, it would increase the efficiency of hospital administration, governments and the judiciary also.
The petitioner seek directions from the court to implement this software in all the Government hospitals.

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Bail can’t be cancelled without giving notice to accused, giving him an opportunity of being heard: Allahabad High Court

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The Allahabad High Court in the case Rajendra Kumar and 2 Others v. State Of U.P. Thru Prin Secy Home And Another observed that the cancellation of bail cannot be done without giving notice to the accused and giving him an opportunity of being heard.
The bench comprising of Justice Ajai Kumar Srivastava-I observed and has set aside the order of the Sessions Judge, Raebareli cancelling the bail granted earlier to Rajendra Kumar and 2 others in connection with a criminal case.
It was noted by the High Court that the impugned order cancelling the bail was passed without issuing notice to the accused/applicants and without affording them a reasonable and sufficient opportunity of hearing and the same was patently illegal being in flagrant violation of the rulings of the Supreme Court.
With this regard, it was also referred by the court to Apex Court’s rulings in the cases of Samarendra Nath Bhattacharjee vs. State of W.B. and another case of (2004) 11 SCC 165, Mehboob Dawood Shaikh vs. State of Maharashtra (2004) 2 SCC 362, and the case P.K. Shaji alias Thammanam Shaji vs. State of Kerala.
In the present case the accused/applicants were granted bail vide by the Sessions Judge, Raebareli on November 22, 2021. Later, the court was informed that the accused allegedly threatened the witnesses and the complainant to desist from prosecuting the case after being granted bail.
The court finds that the aforesaid conduct of the applicants was violative of the conditions of bail subject to which they were enlarged on bail, it has been directed by the trial court that the applicants be taken into custody and also passed the impugned order cancelling the bail granted to the applicants.
The Applicant challenging the order, moved the Court arguing that in this case and their bail was cancelled without giving them any opportunity of being heard.
The court noted that it is a settled law that once bail has been granted by a competent court after due consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case and the same should not be cancelled in a mechanical manner without there being any supervening circumstance(s) which are not conducive to the fair trial.
However, it was not made clear by the court that trial court would be at liberty to issue notice to the applicants stating therein the grounds which are to be considered by it for cancellation of bail being granted to the applicants.

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Dispute Of Unregistered Partnership Firm Can Be Referred To Arbitration, Bar U/S 69 Partnership Act Not Applicable

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The Calcutta High Court in the case Md. Wasim and Another v. M/S Bengal Refrigeration and Company and Others observed while hearing an application filed under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (‘Arbitration Act’) for appointment of an arbitrator to resolve the dispute between the parties, wherein it was held that the bars for instituting a suit or any other proceeding under Section 69 of the Indian Partnership Act, 1932 (‘Partnership Act’) shall not be applicable to arbitral proceedings under Section 11 of the Arbitration Act.
The present case of the applicants was that, although unregistered, a partnership deed was executed between the applicants and the respondents containing an Arbitration Clause mandating the referral of all disputes and questions to a person who ahs been appointed unanimously to act as an arbitrator.
However, a dispute arose between the parties, subsequent to which, the applicants sent a notice to the respondents invoking the arbitration clause and proposing the name of an advocate as sole arbitrator to resolve the dispute. The respondent denied the appointment of an arbitrator alleging that the allegations raised by the applicants in their initial notice were false. The applicants filed the application under Section 11 of the Arbitration Act for appointment of an arbitrator, aggrieved in these circumstances,
The application was filled by the applicants and it was argued by the respondents that since the partnership firm was ‘unregistered,’ the dispute could not be referred to an arbitrator in view of the application of and the bar created by Section 69 of the Partnership Act, 1932. Further, their case was that since sub-sections (1) and (2) read with sub-section (3) of Section 69 of the Partnership Act restrict the filing of suit by any person as a partner of an unregistered firm including by means of a claim under ‘other proceedings,’ the appointment of an arbitrator could not be seek by the applicant, the partnership deed in their case being ‘unregistered.’
It was observed that Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava relied on the Supreme Court decision in Umesh Goel v. Himachal Pradesh Cooperative Group Housing Society Limited and on the Madras High Court decision in the case M/s. Jayamurugan Granite Exports v. M/s. SQNY Granites, wherein both of which held that arbitral proceedings shall not come under the expression ‘other proceedings’ of Section 69(3) of the Partnership Act, 1932 and that the ban imposed under Section 69 can have no application to arbitration proceedings and as well of the arbitral award under Section 11 of the Arbitration Act.
Accordingly, it was held by the Calcutta High Court that non-registration of the partnership firm would not attract the bar under Section 69 of the Partnership Act, so far as institution of proceedings as stated under the provision of Section 11 of the Arbitration Act is concerned.

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Supreme Court: Terms Of Invitation To Tender Are Not Open To Judiciary Scrutiny Unless They Are Arbitrary, Discriminatory Or Mala Fide

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Supreme Court

The Supreme Court in the case Airports Authority of India versus Centre for Aviation Policy observed that the terms of invitation to tender are not open to judicial scrutiny, the top court has set aside a Delhi High Court’s order which had quashed the Airport Authority of India’s tender conditions for selecting Ground Handling Agencies (GHA) agencies at Group D Airports.
The bench comprising of Justice MR Shah and the Justice Krishna Murari observed and has stated that the Delhi High Court committed a “serious error” by entertaining a writ petition at the instance of a third party- an group of advocacy called Centre For Aviation Policy -when none of the GHAs challenging the tender conditions. Thus, the writ petition should have been dismissed on the ground of locus standi (Airports Authority of India versus Centre for Aviation Policy).
The court observed that in view of the matter, it is not appreciable how respondent No.1 (CAPSR) – original writ petitioner being an NGO would have any locus standi to maintain the writ petition, wherein challenging the tender conditions in the respective RFPs. Respondent No.1 cannot be said to be an aggrieved party in the case.
The Court stated that the even on merits, the High Court should not have interfered with the tender conditions, observed the Supreme Court. While referring to various precedents regarding limited scope of judicial interference in tender conditions
Further, the court stated that as per the settled position of law, the terms and conditions of the Invitation to Tender are within the domain of the tenderer/tender making authority and are not open to judicial scrutiny, unless they are arbitrary, discriminatory or mala fide and as per the settled position of law, the terms of the Invitation to Tender are not being open to judicial scrutiny and the same being in the realm of the contract. The Government/tender/tenderer making authority must have a free hand in setting the terms of the tender.
The bench observed and has stated that the court cannot interfere with the terms of the tender prescribed by the Government because it feels that some other terms in the tender would have been wiser, fair, or logical.
It was observed that the AAI approached the Supreme Court against the order of the High Court dated July 14, 2021, by which it has allowed the said writ petition of the NGO and has struck down the decision to carry out region-wise sub-categorisation of the 49 airports falling under Group D-1 and the stipulation that only the previous work experience in respect of providing the GHS to scheduled aircrafts shall be considered and will be acceptable. It was also found by the High Court that the revised minimum Annual Turnover criteria of INR 18 crores as discriminatory and arbitrary.
Accordingly, the Supreme Court noted that the AAI explained before the High Court the rationale behind the respective conditions, namely, clustering of 49 airports into 4 region-wise sub-categories/clusters; criteria for evaluation of 36 months having experience in the past 7 years in providing 3 out of 7 Core GHS and the financial capacity and an Annual Turnover of Rs. 30 crores (modified as Rs. 18 crores) in any of the one of last three financial years.
The court stated that while having gone through the respective clauses/conditions which are held to be arbitrary and illegal by the High Court, the court is of the opinion that the same cannot be said to be malafide or/ arbitrary and/or actuated by bias. However, it was for the AAI to decide its own terms and fix the eligibility criteria.

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Court sends Waqf Board scam co-accused to 14 day judicial custody

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A Delhi court on Monday remanded Kausar Imran Siddiqui alias Laddan, co-accused in Delhi Waqf board scam case, to 14 days custody.  

AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan is the primary accused in the case and is out on bail. The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has stated that Laddan is a fund manager for Khan. The Duty Sessions Judge at Rouse Avenue Court also expressed its displeasure over the non-presence of ACB on the previous date.  

ACB had submitted to the court Ladan’s “handwriting sample” and sought 7 days of custody for him.

The court observed that the agency had not given any reasonable answer for its absence on previous occasion. Thereafter, he was sent to 14 day judicial custody.

AAP MLA was arrested for alleged irregularities in appointment in Delhi Waqf Board during his chairmanship.
Accused Kausar Imran Siddiqui alias Laddan was produced on a production warrant before the court on 27th September. He was interrogated and arrested with the permission of the court.

Laddan’s name came into the frame, when additional public prosecutor Anil Srivastava opposed Khan’s bail plea. He stated that a diary was recovered from Ladan’s house.  It was alleged that he was Khan’s fund manager.  Earlier, the (ACB) had said that money was sent to Dubai and other money transactions need to be investigated. It also stated that a large amount of money was transferred to a party via Dubai. There were 100 people who either received or paid money to Laddan. Out of these 37 people have transactions of crores of rupees.                                                                                                                                                                          

This diary also has an entry about one Zeeshan Haider, who received crores of rupees. He is also a close associate of the accused, ACB had argued. The ACB has also submitted that Laddan is a nominated functionary of a political party. He has photographs with the accused during an iftar party. Additionally, 14 crores sale deed is recovered, which is said to be a ‘Benami property’.

Previously, Ladan was in judicial custody in another case lodged at Jamia Nagar police station. He was arrested from Telangana.

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