Monday, May 17, 2010

Supreme Court of India and Bar Council Jharkhand takes cognizance of Sting Video

Truth and Justice cannot be suppressed indefinitely. Firstly Jharkhand bar Council took cognizance of the sting video shot by Saubhik Chattopadhaya.

Mr. Chattopadhaya filed a complaint in Jharkhand Bar Council citing his grievances against Mrs. Ritu Kumar pursuant to directions issued by Jharkhand High Court. As per the complaint Mrs. Ritu Kumar was blackmailing accused in the Famous PIL against Jharkhand politicians and private businessmen. She had abused the process of a Public Interest Litigation and turned the sanctity of a PIL into Personal Interest Litigation. As reported in previous updates this sting video shows Ritu Kumar asking money to ensure that accused in the PIL are relieved because of her favorable disposition in Jharkhand High Court.

After the publicity of this video, Mr. Saubhik Chattopadhaya was brutally attacked at the behest of Mr. Saryu Roy, ex MLA (BJP). Thankfully a criminal case was registered against Saryu Roy and his associates. Incidentally Mr. Saryu Roy was also added as an accused in this PIL, however his name was quite easily removed.

Mr. Binod Sinha, also moved Supreme Court against Jharkhand High Court refusal on three occasions to remove his name from the PIL. His point of contention has always been that he is being dragged into this PIL for political and personal reasons. Jharkhand High Court was not willing to consider his plea that the veracity of allegations against him be established before dragging him into PIL proceedings. His being dragged into PIL proceedings caused him serious prejudice because of ensuing media trial propagated by his business rivals. He was virtually being held guilty by investigating agencies even before the investigation was complete. Coercive measures were being used against him, his family and his representatives. One of his representatives even filed a complaint with National Human Rights Commission. Supreme Court saw merit in his contentions and allowed his petition. Supreme Court has issued notice to all the parties and ordered interim stay against Binod Sinha.

This whole episode is one major example that how PIL can be abused by people with ulterior motives. People with vested interests can turn a bonafide remedy offered by our judicial system into a bogus proxy litigation and use the same to blackmail victims.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sting Video exposing fake PIL uploaded on You Tube

Dear All,

We have finally uploaded the video which exposes the Fake PIL against Madhu Koda.

This video clearly shows how the PIL against Madhu Koda is an attempt to extort money.
The lady in the video is Advocate Ritu Kumar who filed the PIL against Madhu Koda on behalf of Petitioner Durga Oraon.

She admits that accused are suffering unnecessarily. She boasts of her good impression in front of Jharkhand High Court. She feigns ignorance about the documents annexed by her in the PIL. She demands money for favorable actions by her in the Court.

Please see the complete set of videos to see how PIL is being misused for blackmailing.

The links are posted on the blog.

1) Sting Video for 1st day

2) Sting Video for 2nd day part-1

3) Sting Video for 2nd day part-2

4) Sting Video for 2nd day part-3

5) Sting Video for 2nd day part-4

6) Sting Video for 3rd day part-1

7) Sting Video for 3rd day part-2

8) Sting Video for 3rd day part-3

9) Sting Video for 3rd day part-4


PIL Buster

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Is PIL against Madhu Koda accusing him of Rs. 4000 cr. Hawala scam a fake PIL?

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The cost imposed on Bhrastachar Nirmoolan Sanghatana by Mumbai High Court was a welcome step in the direction of people using PIL’s for malafide purposes. However the guidelines set by Supreme Court of India will be the real deterrent in people misusing PIL’s. Now let’s examine a PIL filed in Jharkhand High Court and accusing ex Chief Minister and his cronies to do a Hawala Scam of Rs.4000 cr.

In Jharkhand High Court a PIL was filed by one Durga Oraon in which he has exposed the infamous Madhu Koda Hawala scam and his amassing of Rs.4000 cr. EX CM of Jharkhand Mr. Madhu Koda has been accused of corruption ever since 2007. In Nov.2008 he along with his alleged associates was made party to a PIL pending in front of Jharkhand High Court. Subsequent to PIL these individuals and few others were made party to a case filed in the Vigilance Court in Jharkhand. Later Enforcement Directorate took cognizance of the matter and filed an ECIR. The investigating agencies and media and some individuals have been crying hoarse about a Rs. 4000 cr. Hawala Scam. But was there a scam at all because in the first chargesheet filed by ED the amount in question has come down to Rs. 40cr.

It all started with the PIL filed by one Mr. Durga Oraon. We tried to reach him for comments however he could not be contacted and remained untraceable. We requested Ms. Ritu Kumar the lawyer for litigant and she also did not help us in interviewing Mr. Durga Oraon. However her vehement denial to our bonafide requests made us wary. In our zeal to understand the matter better we secured a copy of the PIL. Perusal of PIL documents brought out some glaring facts which made the intentions of the litigant look very doubtful.

Lets discuss these facts.

1. Who is Durga Oraon?

In the original filing of this PIL the litigant is named as Durga Munda. Subsequently he is named as Durga Oraon and continues to be Durga Oraon till date. However the letter that litigant claims that he wrote to the Acting Chief Justice of Jharkhand is written by one Somnath Chatterjee but signed by Durga Oraon. We have visually examined these documents by accessing a court-certified copy of the PIL.

In this PIL Durga Oraon Claims to be a poor tribal with limited knowledge of government functioning. However the sophistication and resourcefulness showed by him in collecting the documents against the accused denies this fact. Another thing which is very peculiar is that petitioner has annexed multiple copies of identical documents to make this a very voluminous petition. Experts tell us that this an underhand strategy usually used to make the authorities believe that charges are grave and there is a lot of substance in allegations. Moreover many of these documents are purposefully misinterpreted.

Apart from the documents which are in public domain the authenticity of the rest is highly questionable. But the real question is how a responsible lawyer filed this PIL without examining the genuineness of these documents or ensuring the veracity of the allegations in the light of these documents. Because even the documents do not support the allegations made by the petitioner. Our investigations further revealed that there may be a nexus of some powerful and resourceful people who orchestrated this drama of deception to settle personal vendetta. We will come to this nexus later but for the time being lets examine the allegations first.

2. The petitioner says that Mr. Binod Sinha was not an income tax payee before 2005. However Binod Sinha’s lawyer tells us that he has been paying income tax since 1993. We will be publishing his PAN number on this blog which will easily establish that for how long he has been paying Income Tax.

3. The list of 44 M.O.U allegedly signed by Madhu Koda were actually signed in the regime of chief ministers preceding him. This is a list freely available on the Jharkhand Govt. Website. And if the petitioner says that these 44 companies bribed someone then why he has not made these companies a party to the PIL. The list currently available on the website is an updated list. As per the list submitted in this PIL the last company is M/S VST Tractors & Tillers Bangalore. The updated list has been uploaded to the following link.

4. The letter purportedly written by P.S. to CM recommending Binod Sinha and Sanjay Chowdhary for banking business is actually written to A Bastwade and Tony Deldar Singh. This letter seems to be an Expression of Interest shown by the Govt. to attract investment in Jharkhand. The genuineness of this letter can only be verified by examining the original. The letters annexed after this are letters of Good Standing issued by Indusind Bank to Mr. Binod Sinha and a separate letter to Mr. Sanjay Chowdhary. It is a blatant distortion of facts and surprisingly how the court or investigating agencies have not taken cognizance of this glaring lie right in front of their eyes. These documents are uploaded to the following links.
page 2
page 3

Binod Sinha’s Letter issued by bank

Sanjay Chowdhary’s Letter issued by bank

5. The next document is an unsigned tenancy agreement document. Such tenancy agreements are standard practices however the original of this document was not available to examine. Even if for a moment we don’t question the authenticity of this document, still only the petitioner or people behind him can explain that how a tenancy agreement which is not even signed be construed as an indication of hundreds of crores of investment in real estate. This is available at the following link.

6. There is another document which seems to be an agreement between Ispat Industries and GAR for the development of a steel complex. We again could not trace the original of this document. However without going into the authenticity this is definnot a document which has anything to do with alleged real estate developments by the accused. This is available at the following link.

7. We tried to find the details of the companies allegedly floated by Binod Sinha and group allegedly used to launder Madhu Koda’s ill gotten money. The petitioner misled the court by saying that these companies came into existence only when Madhu Koda came into power. This again looks like an attempt to bias the court. Few of these companies are well established companies much before Madhu Koda came into power. Out of these companies the ones which are opened recently are dormant companies without any business activities. When we asked the representative of these companies he said that these companies were formed with future projects in mind. Some of these companies don’t even have bank accounts. So how these companies could have been used to launder money. A major company highlighted by the petitioner is Royal Tata based in Thailand. This company was incorporated in 2002 and due government clearances to invest in this company were taken by Binod Sinha.

8. Petitioner has also attached company master data of many companies which are freely available from the Registrar Of Companies website. Only petitioner can say that who these companies belong to as the information doesn’t highlight who shareholders are. Very interestingly there is a company called Ranchi Ispat and Metal Pvt. Ltd in this list. Petitoner has even attached documents which show that Mr. Saddam Azad son of Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad resident of South Avenue Delhi is one of the partners. I wonder why the petitioner has not made Mr. Saddam Azad a party to this litigation?






So far there have been some glaring discrepancies and misleading submissions by the petitioner in this PIL. Still why this PIL is continuing for over an year? Is it just a saga of proxy litigation and blackmailing in the guise of PIL? Has the media been manipulated into believing the accused are guilty even before trial? Have conspirators managed to prejudice investigating agencies and judiciary against the accused? Is there any hope for the accused to receive a fair treatment and trial till their guilt is proven?

There is lot more to this story which I will be writing about and providing facts and documents to support it. This is a story which almost sounds like the Plot of upcoming Ram Gopal Verma movie “Rann”.

Too tired now. Will continue after a nap . Feedbacks, complaints and queries are welcome. Long hyperlinks to the documents will be shortened soon. Please bear with me.

SC lays down 10-point guideline to prevent frivolous PILs

NEW DELHI: Despite the undeniable social benefit of public interest litigation (PIL), the Supreme Court has expressed concern over gross abuse of this instrument in courts in the recent past.

To curb PILs from being hijacked by vested interests, a Bench comprising Justices Dalveer Bhandari and M K Sharma has laid down a 10-point stringent guideline for all High Courts, including imposing exemplary cost on busybodies and frivolous PIL petitioners.

Terming PIL jurisdiction as extremely important, the Bench said guidelines were necessary to preserve the purity and sanctity of PILs.

Highlights of the guidelines are:

* Encourage genuine and bonafide PIL and discourage and curb those filed for extraneous considerations.

* Instead of every individual judge devising his own procedure for dealing with public interest litigation, it would be appropriate for each HC to properly formulate rules for encouraging genuine PILs and discouraging PILs filed with oblique motives. HCs should frame rules in this regard within three months.

* Verify credentials of petitioner before entertaining a PIL

* Ascertain correctness of facts mentioned in PIL

* Check whether substantial public interest is involved

* Give priority to PILs involving larger public interest

* Ensure that the PIL seeks redressal of a genuine public harm or injury and that there is no personal gain, private motive or oblique motive behind it

* Impose exemplary cost on busybodies and frivolous PILs.

The Bench asked the Supreme Court registry to send this judgment to all HCs and listed the matter for hearing again on May 3. The judgment came in a case relating to appointment of a law officer in Uttarakhand government.

Narrating the importance of PILs, the apex court said, "Courts' directions have immensely benefited marginalised sections of society in a number of cases. It has also helped in protection and preservation of ecology, environment, forests, marine life and wildlife."

HC ire on frivolous PILs: NGO fined Rs 40 lakh

MUMBAI: Taking a strict view of frivolous petitions that flood the courts, the Bombay high court, in an unprecedented move, has ordered a city-based organisation, the Bhrastachar Nirmoolan Sanghatana , to pay Rs 40 lakh as legal costs after dismissing its public interest litigations against a super-luxury tower on Peddar Road. Terming it as an abuse of the process of law , a division bench of acting Chief Justice J N Patel and Justice B R Gavai said that the tendency to file PIL on flimsy grounds needed to be curbed.

The court remarked that it had become a practice to obtain information under the Right To Information Act. A flood of such RTI-based PILs, many with sketchy details, had been filed, added the court. The petitioners who drag people to court themselves do not have anything to lose, said the HC, adding that it caused harm not only to the finances of the respondents but also to their reputation.

The judges gave the organisation four weeks to pay Rs 10 lakh each to the opposite parties: the BMC, Ispat Industries (owner of the Pedder Road land) and builders Peddar Realty Developers and Sameer Bhojwani. And, if the amount was not paid within the stipulated time, the court asked the collector to initiate proceedings against the trustees of the NGO to recover the money, including seizing their properties.

The tower, coming up on Pedder Road, has 18 duplex flats of around 6,000 square feet each, with the premium price tag reportedly starting at Rs 75,000 per square foot.