Citizens' Issues
High Court fines hawker Rs5,000 for filing fake case of abduction

A hawker filed petition in the HC alleging abduction of another hawker by GRP and an activist, which the Court found absolutely fake case


Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has fined a hawker Rs5,000 for filing a petition in which he alleged abduction of another hawker by the Government Railway Police (GRP) and Samir Zaveri, a well know activist.

Zaveri had earlier raised the alleged scam involving Railway Police Force (RPF) personnel, who set up fake magistrate court and collected fines from commuters at Kurla. He said during 2008, the racket, operated in alliance with some insiders, and used to issue fake bail bonds to commuters caught at Kurla station.

The hawker, Akeel Farooque, filed a related petition in the case, claiming that some GRP personnel, with help from Zaveri abducted another hawker Bharti Mahto. Farooque said, Mahto went missing from 10 August 2011, after he was arrested by the GRP. He also claimed that Zaveri accompanied Mahto to the Police Station.

However, Shivaji Dhumal, senior inspector of GRP at Kurla filed an affidavit in the Court, in which he said there was no evidence provide by Farooque about the abduction or his informant. Dhumal said, even the Kalwa address of Mahto, provided by Farooque, turned out to be fake. Besides, Farooque never visited the police station to record his statement despite several reminders.

Zaveri also told the Court that he never met any person named Mahto.

A Bench of justices SA Bobde and Mridula Bhatkar, while upholding contentions of Zaveri and the GRP, said the petition appears to be an 'absolutely fake', and fined Farooque Rs5,000.


Mumbai's position declining slowly thanks to its poor infrastructure

Mumbai’s advantageous location should not be taken for granted. If corrective measures are not taken early, the city will have to be put into the ICU

Mumbai is very advantageously located. Although surrounded by sea, the surrounding land areas are forested and hilly, ideal to impound large quantity of 2,500mm to 4,500mm annual rainfall. It still has not fully exploited the region’s potential. Being forested land and not agricultural, water in the region is pesticide-free. Being on the sea coast, it is endowed with sea-breeze that carries away the polluted air. At one time a manufacturing hub, it is now a metropolis with growing service sector activities. Income levels are rising and so are aspirations of owning a motorcar and an air-conditioned home.

Although the rate of growth of Mumbai population is quite low, the base population being large, the actual addition is significant. Meeting its basic necessity such as water is not such a problem; however transmission losses and uneven distribution makes a mockery of managing abilities. Waste water is incompletely treated before putting it out into the sea and solid wastes are allowed to get accumulated at different places at different times, except for the privileged south Mumbai, it is a matter of concern and frustration.

There are all kinds of violations taking place on roads and the police seem to be in short numbers! Is that really so? If the beat-marshals went on foot or bicycles on their beats randomly round the clock and nabbed the violators, there would be less violations of law and the police force would not be stretched and spend much energy curbing night-life and do moral policing in the space-starved housing. Brothers grow up from childhood into adulthood in a chawl room with their parents who cannot afford another room to bring up their respective families. A little romance in the twilight is frowned upon because the law says so. But private parties going late at night with loud music and impatient honking by party-goers is not looked at. A walking or cycling beat needs to be reintroduced.

Except for the very miniscule proportion, perhaps barely 10,000 of Mumbaikars who gets into the personal car soon after coming down the lift and gets into a lift on reaching office, every other Mumbaikar walks short to long distances while commuting to work or going for entertainment or socializing or go round the corner to a shop. And there are more Mumbaikars using bicycles than number of users of personal motor cars. Their safety and convenience must be central to any mobility plan for Mumbai. However, it is quite the opposite.

The fire at Mantralaya on 21 June 2012, when five persons lost their lives, the government showed much concern, how about showing serious concerns for the daily 10-12 deaths on railway system and 2-3 on Mumbai roads.

When will authorities understand that Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) will not only address the crowd on the railway system but will also bring in mobility to people on the road and equally important, let fire engines, ambulances and security forces not get into traffic jams?

There is more to Mumbai than deteriorating transport, housing and open accessible public space issues and these are positives which make things tick. However, if main arteries get blocked, organs cannot function properly, what use will the “Mumbai Spirit” be of?
It is only hoped that when the patient Mumbai is taken into the ICU, hope that situation does not arise at all, a situation is not beyond repair that even when put on the ventilator, it does not respond.

The current transport infrastructure projects that have been taken up with the vision to provide the much needed solution to transportation woes and are under implementation will be so delayed in completion that their even inadequate capacity will be nothing but waste of money and unnecessary additional hardship to Mumbaikars over a long period without providing relief at the end.

Unless the Mumbaikar shows his anger now and demands that low-cost quickly implementable infrastructure that gives priority to walking, cycling and the BRTS, emphasizing on mobility of people and not just motor vehicles, Mumbai will have to go into ICU with one-way ticket.

Hope is seen when the Government of Maharashtra declared that 20% of area under development will have to be for low-cost housing at that site itself and handed over to the government for allocation in the vision to make the city slum-free. Hope the government looks beyond the Metro Rail in addressing transportation problem of Mumbai.

(Sudhir Badami is a civil engineer and transportation analyst. He is on Government of Maharashtra’s Steering Committee on BRTS for Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s Technical Advisory Committee on BRTS for Mumbai. He is also member of Research & MIS Committee of Unified Mumbai Metropolitan Transport Authority. He was member of Bombay High Court appointed erstwhile Road Monitoring Committee (2006-07). While he has been an active campaigner against Noise for more than a decade, he is a strong believer in functioning democracy. He can be contacted on email at


Acid attacks: Supreme Court questions Centre, states on open sale

The apex court asked the Union and state governments to appraise it on measures to regulate the sale of acid to prevent its misuse as a weapon, particularly against women by their jilted lovers


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to appraise it of their measures to regulate the sale of acid to prevent its misuse as a weapon, particularly against women by their jilted lovers, reports PTI.

The court sought a 'comprehensive affidavit' from the Ministry of Home Affairs, which was asked to 'consider proper action' for making appropriate provision for 'regulation of sale of acids so that it is not easily or readily available to offenders'.

A bench of justices RM Lodha and AR Dave also asked all the state governments and Union territories to file their replies to the notices issued to them on 11 February 2011 for restricting the sale of acid to prevent the growing incidents of attack on women with it.

The court on 29th April this year had asked the Union Home Ministry to coordinate with the various states and the Union territories for formulation of an appropriate scheme.

The apex court had also sought the responses of the Centre and the state governments on whether any suitable scheme can be prepared by them to provide adequate compensation to the victims for their treatment and rehabilitation.

The court's directions came during the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL), filed in 2006 by Laxmi, a minor girl whose arms, face and other body parts were disfigured in an acid attack.

Laxmi, through her counsel Aparna Bhat, had sought framing of a new law or amendment in the existing criminal laws like IPC, Indian Evidence Act and the CrPC for dealing with the offence and had also sought compensation.

Luxmi was subjected to acid attack by three youths near Tughlaq Road as she had refused to marry one of them. The trial is going on for the offence of attempt to murder and two of the accused are out on bail.

The Centre had earlier told the apex court that the report of the Law Commission on the issue was supplied to all concerned parties and the National Commission for Women has placed a draft legislation to make acid attack a serious offence.

The advocate had pleaded for a total ban of sale of acid as there were increasing number of incidents of such attacks on women in different states.

The counsel had submitted that even a small country like Bangladesh had banned the use of acid to prevent such attacks.

The apex court in its 11 February 2011 order had noted that during the pendency of this writ petition, the code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 has been amended and Section 357A has been inserted by Act 5 of 2009.

It also noted that the amendment requires every state government, in coordination with the Central government, to prepare a scheme for providing funds for the purpose of compensation to the victims or their dependants who have suffered loss or injury as a result of the crime and who require rehabilitation.

"Though the said section has come into effect on 31 December 2009 and more than a year has elapsed, we are informed that no schemes have been formulated by any of the state governments," the bench had noted in its order.

While issuing notices to the Centre and state governments in February 2011, the court had directed them to prepare schemes as provided in Section 357A for the purpose of providing compensation to victims of crimes, in particular, acid attack victims.


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