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16 hours ago
A new hope: Strike & war between DHCBA’s Khosla, Abhijat suspended; DCs to continue fast unto death for pecuniary jurisdiction
Things promised to return to normal in the Delhi high court on Monday after high-stakes drama last week, when the members of DHCBA received message through the newly formed SMS handle DHCBAS declaring that the strike was suspended.
18 hours ago
Delhi HC to hear PIL against DTH co’s for spamming ads onto TV screens illegally while regulators watch
The Delhi high court will hear a PIL by NGO Media Watch-India against all private DTH players and the Central Government for flouting existing laws regarding Direct to Home broadcasting, according to an article by the organisation on factly (republished in full below).
19 hours ago
Slovakian railway wagon manufacturer Tatravagoka AS, advised by Khaitan & Co, has acquired 50 per cent stakes in Jupiter Wagons and Jupiter Alloys and Steel, advised by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, in a deal reportedly worth Rs 100 crore ($15.6m).
Jupiter, which is one of India’s biggest railway freight car manufacturers, was advised by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas partner Abhishek Guha, senior associate Aditya Mehra, and associate Roma A Das.
Tatravagonka drafted in Khaitan & Co Mumbai Mumbai associate partner Kartick Maheshwari on the transactional side, and associate partner Yigal Gabriel on the real estate side.
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited acted as Jupiter's financial adviser, while Alpen Capital acted for Slovakian company as its financial adviser.
Jupiter Wagons and Jupiter Alloys and Steel are set to be merged after this transaction completed on 14 July.
23 hours ago
The union government will urge the Supreme Court’s e-committee to allow audio-visual (AV) recording of Supreme Court proceedings to “usher transparency as it would discourage witnesses from retracting their statements” and to prevent “unwarranted delay in trials (through re-recording of witness testimony)”, reported the PTI.
The law ministry cited law commission chairman justice AP Shah’s pilot project of recording court proceedings in district courts, to request the e-committee to reconsider the AV recording proposal it had rejected last year.
AV recording of court proceedings was in the agenda of the Aam Aadmi Party during its short-lived tenure forming the Delhi government in February 2014, but does not find a place in the agenda of the party currently as it forms the Delhi government for the second-time.
53-year-old businessman-turned-lawyer Deepak Khosla who has been fighting to allow AV recording in courtrooms for years now had a win of sorts in the Calcutta high court in June when the court’s registrar allowed recording his proceedings with Khaitan & Co.
Calcutta high court Justice Aniruddha Bose made history this July as probably the first high court chamber to install a permanent video camera and a microphone on the request of Khosla.
Because the union government has ordered enquiry into allegations of foul play in the Delhi lower judicial services exam (DJS) 2014, two Delhi high court judges whose relatives cleared the DJS 2014 should not be assigned cases in which the union of India is a party, or these judges should be transferred, argued the Rohini bar association president, as reported by LiveLaw.
The association president Inder Singh Saroha wrote a letter to Delhi high court chief justice G Rohini stating:
to maintain the faith and confidence in the judiciary, it is absolutely necessary that the two sitting HC judges, whose kin have been reported to have cleared the said examination, should not be assigned cases in which union government is one of the parties as these judges could be influenced by the union government, which is stated to have ordered an enquiry into the matter. Or if possible judges be posted out of Delhi so that they may not influence the independent enquiry into the scam.
A number of candidates who did not clear the DJS exam this year filed right to information requests and made allegations of foul play in the conduct of the exam, suggesting that relatives of sitting judges had cleared the exam with help from the Delhi high court, as reported by Legally India.
Mumbai lawyer Abhishek Nakashe lodged a police complaint under Section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) against local restaurant Secret Spice, after the restaurant entered a heated argument with Nakashe over an allegedly illegally levied service charge in Nakashe’s food bill, reported Midday. Section 504 attracts two years in jail, or a fine, or both.
Under Indian consumer protection laws restaurants have to mandatorily print on their menu all their charges, including the service charge, but Secret Spice, in Mulund, Mumbai had omitted to do so on mention that a service charge was "applicable". Consequently Nakashe objected to the 8 per cent service charge levied on his Rs 525 bill.
“Service charge is a deceptive nomenclature, and rarely do restaurants clarify the per cent levied in their menus, although it is mandated that they do. While I usually pay up when eating out, I decided to take up the issue this time because there was ambiguity in the menu and the management wasn’t forthcoming with an explanation,” Nakashe told Midday.
Service charge is separate from service tax the proceeds from which go to the government. The proceeds from the service charge are distributed between the hotel or restaurant staff after deducting the damages. Consumers argue that menu items are priced to make profits and remunerate staff and the service charge is an unnecessary burden over and above this. Hoteliers argue that the service charge has replaced the generous tips that customers used to offer but have now dried up.
4 days ago
Return of the bar wars: Abhijat alleges hacked SMS’ as DHCBA prez Rajiv Khosla, secretary Abhijat suspend each other from office
One day after members of the Delhi High Court Bar Association received text messages that its president Rajiv Khosla had been suspended for alleged antibar activity, members were left confused when they received messages today that the DHCBA secretary Abhijat was suspended.
In a breather for social activist Teesta Setalvad, the Bombay High Court on Friday extended her and her husband Javed Anand's interim bail by two weeks.
The high court order came barely hours after a special court rejected their anticipatory bail application, paving the way for their immediate arrest.Anticipating arrest for custodial interrogation sought by the Central Bureau of Investigation, Setalvad's lawyers moved the Bombay High Court.
Setalvad, Anand and an associate G.M. Peshimam have been charged with committing fraud and irregularities pertaining to foreign donations received by her NGO, Sabrang Communications & Publishing Pvt. Ltd. under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act.
A CBI Special Court in Mumbai today rejected the anticipatory bail plea of social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand, paving the way for her immediate arrest.
Soon after, her lawyers moved the Bombay high court for relief.
Setalvad, Anand and some others have been charged by the Central Bureau of Investigation with fraud and irregularities under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act on foreign donations received by the activist’s Sabrang NGO
On July 8, the CBI had registered a case against them for accepting foreign donations from the Ford Foundation without seeking prior permission of the concerned authorities.
Last week, the CBI followed this up with raids at Setalvad’s residence and offices in Mumbai for allegedly diverting funds from the foreign donors to her organisation.
The Supreme Court will hear on Monday the plea by 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts convict Yakub Memon’s plea challenging the death warrant issued against him and for the stay of his execution set for July 30.
“I have already assigned the bench. It will come by Monday,” said Chief Justice HL Dattu as senior counsel TR Andhyarujina mentioned the matter before the bench on Friday.
Update: The NLU Delhi death penalty litigation clinic has issued a statement:
The writ petition filed by Yakub Memon along with an Intervention Application filed by National Law University, Delhi through its Death Penalty Litigation Clinic will challenge the validity of the death warrant on the grounds that the protections available to death row prisoners during death warrant proceedings (as laid down by the Supreme Court in Shabnam v. Union of India in May 2015) were violated by the Government of Maharashtra.
5 days ago
The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2015 expert panel, which was formed twice to examine alleged errors in the CLAT 2015 question papers, was composed of secret members. CLAT 2015 convenor RMLNLU Lucknow rejected a right to information (RTI) request for the names of the members of the panel which had dismissed allegations that one-fifth of the CLAT 2015 LLB paper was error-ridden.
The Indian Express reported that 44 days after her arrest, while still in jail without bail and the court expected to give its order on 24 July:
Arguing for lawyer Janhavi Gadkar to be released on bail, her advocate said that the traffic authorities were maligning the law fraternity by putting up posters which show two cars colliding and depict a lawyer’s white collar with a caption “No one is above the law, not even the law”.
Her advocate added that there was no reason to “tamper” with evidence, if Gadkar was released. “Their investigation is all over. What is there to tamper with? They should and they must’ve taken adequate precaution. There is no allegation that I have tried to influence the police or tampered with evidence until now and there is no material to corroborate such allegations,” Gadkar’s lawyer Mahesh Sabnis argued.
22 July 2015
Liberalisation step 1? Gov’t to allow foreign lawyers to arbitrate in India by amending Act, perhaps via ordinance
Commerce ministry joint secretary Sudhanshu Pandey told a US-Indian delegation today that the government would seek to pass an amendment to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act this session that would allow foreign lawyers to come to India to act for their clients in arbitrations in order to boost domestic arbitrations.
22 July 2015
Parliament today: First shouty shouty, then GST select committee report submitted, Land Acquisition in a week (no pecuniary jurisdiction)
PRS Legislative Research’s Trina Roy reports:
Both Houses of Parliament faced repeated disruptions and were unable to take up scheduled business for the day. Opposition parties in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha continued to raise demands insisting upon the resignation of the Minister of External Affairs.
Opposition parties also raised the issue of allegations against Chief Ministers with regard to developments relating to VYAPAM and Lalit Modi. It was pointed out by the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha that such issues were outside the purview of the central government and were related to state governments. Opposition benches challenged this view, stating that these developments were not ‘state’ issues and concern national interest.
The Select Committee examining the Constitutional Amendment Bill on GST submitted its report. The committee, as reported has made certain recommendations with regard to the additional 1% tax and compensation for states.
The Bill is an enabling legislation which will subsequently give Parliament and state legislatures concurrent powers to make laws on GST. The proposed Bill exempts alcohol for human consumption from the purview of GST. GST will apply to five petroleum products at a later date. The Bill empowers the centre to impose an additional tax of up to 1%, on the inter-state supply of goods for two years or more. This tax will accrue to states from where the supply originates.
In this context, it may be argued that the provisions of this Bill do not fully conform to an ideal GST regime. Deferring the levy of GST on five petroleum products could lead to cascading of taxes.
It may also be argued that the additional 1% tax levied on goods that are transported across states dilutes the objective of creating a harmonised national market for goods and services. Inter-state trade of a good would be more expensive than intra-state trade, with the burden being borne by retail consumers. Further, cascading of taxes will continue.
The deadline for the Committee to submit its report on the Land Acquisition Bill has been extended to the first week of August.
22 July 2015
Shroff vs Shroff Mumbai: Chudasama faces Cyril Amarchand, brings home record $280m Warburg-Piramal deal
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (SAM) Mumbai office managing partner Akshay Chudasama is acting for Warburg Pincus, which is buying a Rs 1,800 crore minority stake in Piramal Realty, which was advised by Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas Mumbai office.
22 July 2015
J Sagar Associates (JSA) funds formation partner Jay Gandhi and his team of five associates will join Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (SAM) in Mumbai under former JSA senior partner and SAM Mumbai Akshay Chudasama.
22 July 2015
Senior general counsel (GC) could earn Rs 80 - 300+ lakh per annum, revealed a recruiter, adding that generally pay in-house was still lower than in private practice.
Meanwhile our feature in Mint revealed that GCs may not be the only ones holding the purse strings though when it comes to the bitter fight initiated by law firm lawyers against chartered accountants (CAs): if the CFO is powerful in a company, they’re more likely to brief a CA firm than a law firm, claimed one GC.
Likewise, we spoke to a bunch of CAs, GCs and law firm partners about whether it was fair for Society of Indian Law Firms (Silf) to go after the CA firms for transactional advice, which may or may not be legal.
Also, the Supreme Court is in the throes of a series of death penalty appeals and petitions. Ram Jethmalani clashed with SG Ranjit Kumar over the commutation of the Rajiv Gandhi assassins’ death penalties before a constitution bench.
Things were quicker for Yakub Memon, whose curative petition failed in the Supreme Court yesterday, which means that the accountant to 1993 Mumbai bombers could get executed on 30 July (unless death penalty lawyers can rely on young jurisprudence or create a new loophole at the 11th hour).
Memon’s public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam celebrated the judgment, though Saurav Datta wrote earlier that day in The Quint that Nikam regularly lied, played to the media and otherwise behaves in a manner unbefitting a public prosecutor.
Sadly, new research data has confirmed that the death penalty is a deadly tax on poverty – more than 75% of death row inmates are poor or disadvantaged in India’s birth lottery.
Oh, and there’s a new round of indefinite strikes in the Delhi district courts about – yes, you guessed it - the increase in their pecuniary jurisdiction, which Parliament might get around to passing today.
Finally, ML Sharma – who recently unconditionally grovelled before the Supreme Court to file PILs again - has picked up the mandate for the Salman Khan victim’s mother’s transfer petition, reported the Indian Express. Sharma will try to move the Bollywood actor’s appeal from the Mumbai to the Delhi high court, because Maharashtrian judges allegedly love bhai too much.
Lawyers of Delhi’s district courts on Tuesday began an indefinite strike against the delay in passage of an amended bill in parliament on enhancement of pecuniary jurisdiction of trial courts.
Advocate RK Wadhwa, chairman of the coordination committee of all district courts bar associations, said lawyers would abstain from work till the bill is passed by parliament.
The lawyers’ association would wait for one week for passage of the bill and thereafter intensify the protest, he said.
The committee said that despite assurances, the government has not cleared the proposed bill enhancing the pecuniary jurisdiction to Rs.2 crore.
Judicial work in six city courts -- Patiala House, Tis Hazari, Rohini, Karkardooma, Saket and Dwarka -- was paralysed.
21 July 2015
Khaitan & Co overtook Amarchand Mangaldas in data provider mergermarkets half-yearly (H1) M&A charts by value, with the first quarter of Amarchand functioning as the split firms of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (SAM). AZB & Partners maintained its deal volume lead which it has claimed for two consecutive years.
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