Monday, December 31, 2007

Lokayukta to take oath today
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Justice N.K. Sud Chandigarh, January 15
Former Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Justice N.K. Sud, who resigned yesterday, will take oath as the new Lokayukta of Haryana tomorrow morning. He will be administered the oath of office by the Governor, Haryana, Dr A.R. Kidwai, at a ceremony at the Haryana Raj Bhavan.

Hailing from a family of lawyers — his father, Mr Durga Dutt Sud, was a well-known lawyer at Jalandhar — Justice Sud was born on July 23, 1944. The family originally hails from Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh.

Having studied law at Panjab University, Chandigarh, Justice Sud entered the legal profession in 1965. He was a leading taxation lawyer at Jalandhar before his elevation as Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He took oath as High Court Judge in May 1999.

In his new role as Lokayukta of Haryana, Justice Sud will hear and decide complaints against senior Haryana Government functionaries, including the Chief Minister, ministers and officials. He will have a five-year tenure as the Lokayukta.

The post of Lokayukta, Haryana, has been vacant since September 18, 1999, when the then incumbent Justice I.P. Vashishth was unceremoniously removed by the previous Om Prakash Chautala government.

Justice Vashishth, who was appointed the Lokayukta on January 1, 1999, by the Bansi Lal government for five years, was removed by the Chautala government just two months after it came into power. The Chautala government had repealed the Haryana Lok Pal Act, 1997, through an Ordinance.

A PIL had been filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking directions to the Haryana Government to appoint a Lokayukta.

The government initiated the process of appointment of Lokayukta only after a Division Bench of the High Court, headed by Mr Justice H.S. Bedi, on February 25, 2004, directed it to appoint a Lokayukta within six months. On a contempt plea preferred by the petitioner in the PIL, Mr Naresh Kadyan of Rohtak, seeking action against the Chief Secretary, Haryana, for not implementing the February 25 order of the High Court, the High Court has issued a contempt notice to the Chief Secretary.



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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Circus managers disappear, lions in tow
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, December 4
The failure of the district administration to act in time and seize the three African lions of Asian Circus, presently running in Gurgaon, gave an opportunity to the circus owners to run away with the proscribed animals. On the complaint of an NGO, the People for Animals, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had directed the Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arurag Rastogi, on December 2 to take action against the Asian Circus for violating the Union Government notification, which bars exhibition and training of bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers and lions.

Yesterday, the representatives of People for Animals, the police department, the forest-cum-wild life department and the media inspected the circus and found the three African lions being exhibited during a show. However, the local administration did not respond with any urgency and seize the banned lions. Today, Wild Life Inspector, Mr Sultan Singh, And Sub-Inspector, Mr Shahid Khan, along with the chairman of People for Animals, Haryana, Mr Naresh Kumar Kadyan, inspected the circus and found all the three African lions missing. The owners, managers and other senior officials of the circus were also untraceable. In fact, the first show of the circus, which started at 1 p.m., ran as usual. While the show was on, the government officials read out a notice and appealed to the owners/managers of the circus to come forward and accept the same.

Eventually, at about 4 p.m., the wild life officials pasted a notice on the entrance gate of the circus. The notice states that “The circus has three African lions, which were seen on December 3. But today, these lions are missing.”

The owners of the circus have been directed to produce the ownership certificate of these lions. If they fail to do so, legal action would be initiated against them, warns the notice. The Conservator of Forests, South Circle, Gurgaon, whose office had pasted the notice, has also directed the circus owners to produce the ownership certificates of elephants in its custody.

After the notice was pasted, the second show, which was scheduled to start at 4 pm, was cancelled. The show was cancelled by the management of the circus and not by the police, it has been clarified.
PFA seeks dislocation of monkeys as per law

A PUBLIC interest litigation seeking directions to the UT Administration and Director, PGIMER, was filed today in the Punjab and Haryana High Court by People for Animals (Haryana), Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Haryana).
The petitioner has sought directions to the UT Administration and other parties to dislocate the monkeys as well as other wild animals as per law. The petitioner has further sought directions not to use langoors to scare away monkeys from the PGI campus in Chandigarh and also in other places in Punjab and Haryana. It has been further demanded in the petition that the administration and other parties take appropriate decision as per Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and dislocate the monkeys from the residential areas after obtaining the permission from the chief wildlife wardens of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. The petition has been adjourned by the High Court.