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The central government and its law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad are set to meet in Delhi with a number of advocates today, to discuss the shape of a constitutional amendment on judicial appointments, reported the Times of India.
The panel to give feedback on a possible change to the collegium system includes “former CJIs AM Ahmadi, AS Anand, VN Khare and RC Lahoti; former AGs K Parasaran, Soli Sorabjee and Ashok Desai; eminent lawyers Fali Nariman, Shanti Bhushan, Anil Divan, KK Venugopal and Harish Salve; eminent jurists NR Madhava Menon and Upendra Baxi [and] attorney general Mukul Rohatgi and solicitor general Ranjit Kumar,” according to the TOI.
The previous government's draft Judicial Appointments Commission Bill proposed a panel of the CJI and two Supreme Court judges, the law minister as well as two eminent citizens, who will be nominated by the prime minister, the CJI and the Lok Sabha's Leader of the Opposition - a position currently unfilled.
The Bar Council of India (BCI) has stated that under Rule III of the BCI rules “wearing of advocate’s gown shall be optional except when appearing in the Supreme Court or in High courts”, reported the Times of India, and under Rule IV, “wearing of black coat is not mandatory” during summer.
The relaxed dress code, communicated in a letter of 16 July by the BCI, was a response to a letter sent on 2 June by the Tamil Nadu Federation of Women’s Lawyers, requesting the exemption because of the inordinate heat in summer, particularly in Tamil Nadu.
Punjab and Haryana high court chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul was today sworn-in as chief justice of the Madras high court.
The 55-year-old Delhi University law graduate and former senior counsel replaces Justice RK Agrawal, who was elevated to the Supreme Court, and acting chief justice Satish K Agnihotri. [The Hindu]
The force feeding of a fasting Muslim by a Shiv Sena politician was termed “very regrettable and unfortunate” by the home minister in Parliament; an NGO meanwhile took legal action:
Advocate Imran Ali alleged that the act of Sena MP Vichare was a “deliberate act” to “grab public attention” and “hurt sentiments and religious feelings of Muslims”. He claimed that the act was “intentional” since the “Shiv Sena claims and has projected itself to be a non-secular party”.
The lawyer sought registration of an FIR under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity), 295A (deliberate act to insult religious belief) and 298 (intent to wound religious feelings).
The Bar Council of India (BCI) has extended the registration date for the All India Bar Exam (AIBE) to 13 August, according to a notice dated today (25 July) on the official AIBE website. Registrations were scheduled to end today after the bar exam date was postponed to 7 September 2014.
The Supreme Court has appointed senior advocate RS Cheema as the special public prosecutor (SPP) in the Coalgate scam special court trial, reported the PTI, presided over by additional sessions judge Bharat Parashar.
A week ago the bench of Chief Justice RM Lodha, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph had heavily pushed for Gopal Subramanium, who bowed out of the apex court judgeship process, to become SPP.
4 days ago
The seventh All India Bar Examination (AIBE – VII) has been postponed for candidates appearing from Cochin from 7 September to a yet undecided date.
The Bar Council of India (BCI) said in its notification that the exam was postponed in Kerala due to Thirunoam celebrations on that date. The notification on the AIBE’s website states:
“As per the council decision via letter ref no : BCI:D:3487/2014, This is to inform the candidates from the state of Kerala who have applied for AIBE-VII that the examination will not be conducted on 7th September 2014 in Kerala due to the celebration of Thiruonam. All the candidates who have selected their examination center as Cochin will be allowed to appear for the examination that will be held on a later date. The date of the examination will soon be published online."
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Justice Chellur became a Karnataka HC judge in 2000 and replaced now SC justice Chelameswar as Kerala HC’s CJ in November 2011.
22 July 2014
Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha has notified the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 that have received the president’s assent and will reduce the maximum time of the apex court’s summer vacations from 10 to 7 weeks, reported the Indian Express, though the total annual holidays will remain capped at 103 days [Download rules here].
The court took 49 days (7 weeks) of summer vacations this year, against an average of 45 days for the past few years. However, the move is seen as symbolic of Lodha’s desire to reduce pendency in the courts by increasing the number of working days, which has seen heavy resistance from bar councils and associations.
Supreme Court advocate Vineet Dhanda, who was booked in March for an alleged altercation with the police, has hit back at the cops by reportedly exonerating himself with CCTV and video footage of his interaction with the police that he obtained via a right to information (RTI) request for the police’s internal inquiry files into the case. The video evidence apparently directly contradicts the police’s charges against the advocate.
Dhanda now told the DNA that he would sue the cops for defamation after filing false cases against him and roughing up him and his wife.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha said that senior counsel Gopal Subramanium, who recently withdrew from the process to become a Supreme Court judge after government leaks about his suitability, should be the special public prosecutor in the Coalgate scam cases, reported the PTI.
Lodha, who had expressed his regrets about Subramanium's withdrawal from the judgeship process, told the bar appearing before him and two other judges: "If I failed in something you [lawyers appearing in the matter] persuade [Subramanium]... We want a person of impeccable integrity and fine legal mind."
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“Daring” the government to do away with laws requiring tribunals to be headed by judicial members chief justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha said that it is these laws that create a public perception that retired judges are “running and running and running after tribunals”, reported the Economic Times.
He reportedly said:
The government enacts all these laws insisting that they be headed by judicial members. This creates a perception among the public that retired judges are running and running and running after tribunals
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16 July 2014
The Supreme Court collegiums turned down the government’s advice to “reconsider” its recommendation to elevate Karnataka high court justice Manjunath to chief justice at Punjab & Haryana, reported NDTV.
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