Citizens' Issues
Police recovered Rs16.68 lakh from contractor for delay in HQ construction

Construction of Mumbai Police headquarter building has been delayed by 32 months for which the contractor was fined Rs16.68 lakh, reveals a reply received under RTI


The Maharashtra State Police Housing and Welfare Corp (MSPHWC) has fined a contractor for delay in construction work for its head quarter building and recovered Rs16.68 lakh, reveals a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. 
According to information received under RTI by activist Anil Galgali, the project has been delayed by 32 months and contractor Choudhary and Choudhary has been fined Rs16.68 lakh for the delay.
Galgali had filed a query with the Maharashtra State Police Housing and Welfare Corp seeking information about the new building for head quarter. 
In response, Public Information Officer (PIO) and Audit officer SM Devkar informed Galgali that, the work order for the proposed project was issued to the contractor Choudhary and Choudhary on 25 August 2011 for a cost of Rs32 crore and the period for completion of the project was envisaged for 18 months. 
The project was supposed to be completed by 24 February 2013 was given an extension upto 31 May 2014. The cost escalation in the project was Rs22.55 crore of which Rs13.88 crore was for building works and other activities, Rs5.75 crore was for interiors and furnishings, Rs23 lakh for kitchen and canteen, and Rs2.69 crore for air conditioning of the building.
Hafeez Contractor was appointed as the Architect for the project and was paid a fee of Rs36.48 lakh, the information reveals. 
Galgali was further informed that building would be for ground plus six floors and the new building would accommodate 32 officers and 950 staff.


SC strikes down National Judicial Appointments Commission
The apex court also holds unconstitutional and void the 99th Constitutional Amendment to bring in NJAC for appointing judges
The Supreme Court, while maintaining that the collegium system for selecting judges will continue, has rejected the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), which was aimed to give the government more say in appointing judges.
The National Judicial Appointment Commission Act, 2014, was challenged in a batch of petitions including by the Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record Association.
Besides contending that the NJAC route for the selection and appointment of judges infringed on the independence of judiciary, the petitioners challenging the NJAC Act, 2014, said it could not have been passed in August 2014 as there was no supporting provision in the constitution. It came into effect only after 31st December assent to the constitutional amendment by President Pranab Mukherjee.
On the other hand, the government contested the maintainability of the petitions, saying that these were premature and academic as statutory provision to bring in the NJAC has not been notified and operationalised.
The government had contended that unless the NJAC was operationalised and someone's rights were affected, there was no cause of action to challenge their validity.
While the Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record Association, NGO Change India, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), Bar Association of India and others had moved the court challenging the appointment of judges to higher judiciary through NJAC route, the Supreme Court Bar Association had come out in the favour of the replacing the collegium system of judges' selection by the NJAC.
Earlier, in April, an apex court bench of Justice Anil R Dave, Justice J Chelameswar and Justice Madan B Lokur had referred to the constitution bench the challenge to the validity of the constitution amendment and enabling law to replace the collegium system for the appointment of judges to higher judiciary.
The SC will hold further hearing on the issue on 3rd November for improving the collegium system of appointment of judges.



Bapoo Malcolm

2 years ago

You cannot improve by improvising. One cannot better by battering, except batter itself. Interference does not cure, it complicates.

The NJAC would mean Law of the government, by the government,for the government. As it is, there is hardly any demarkation between the executive and the legislature, one an appendage of the other.

Police and politicians is a dastardly nexus. Throw in the judiciary and one can say good-bye to liberty as we know it. With so many in the legislatures with criminal charge sheets, can another hand in the pot not mess things further?

A better way would have been a track 2 initiative to iron out the kinks. Steam rolling flattens the pitch completely.

Indira Gandhi's 'Committed Judiciary' is an oxymoron.

Deficient service penalty on operators doubled amid call drops imbroglio
The government on Thursday doubled penalties for deficient services on cellular service providers as per new regulations announced by India's telecom regulator while sources claimed guidelines on call drop would be coming soon.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), on its website, released new regulations termed 'The standards of cellular mobile telephone service' which says that an operator will now be fined up to Rs.1 lakh for first non-complince with benchmarks in a quarter compared to the previous penalty of Rs.50,000.
Cellular operators' service is benchmarked on nearly 15 parameters that come under two heads - technical and customer care services.
Amidst the furore of call drops which comes under the technical category, the TRAI also said that non-compliance with the benchmark of the same parameter in two or more consecutive quarters will result in a penalty up to Rs.1.5 lakh and a fine up to Rs. 2 lakh can be levied for each consecutive contravention thereof.
In addition, it has clarified that the amount of fine will go back to Rs.1 lakh if the operator has met the benchmark of the parameter between two defaulting quarters.
Regarding call drops, both Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Communication Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had on Wednesday asked visiting Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao to address the call drop issue. Prasad said he had told Colao that "call drops need to be addressed and I want Vodafone to play a very proactive role".
Souces from TRAI on Thursday claimed that new regulatory guidelines addressing call drops would be released soon. They further added that only three calls per day per customer will be refunded by the operator.
If what the sources say is implemented, companies like Airtel, Reliance and Idea will end up paying at least Rs.2.3 crore, Rs.1.9 crore and Rs.80 lakh respectively taking into account that only 10 percent of their subscriber base face only one call drop a day.
Airtel, Reliance and Idea have 23.29 crore, 10.99 crore and 8.33 crore subscribers respectively.
The sources however did not clarify the mechanism of identifying call drops.
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.


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