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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."
Verus Advocates Mumbai partner Jay Parikh, assisted by associates Aastha Khurana, Rashna Jehani and Priyanka Devgan, acted for Hyderabad-based Sagar Cements which sold 47 per cent of its Vicat Sagar Cement to an affiliate of its French joint-venture partner Vicat Group for Rs 435 crore. MNK Law Delhi partner Probal Bhaduri and associate Kamalika Bhattacharjee acted for Vicat.
5 days ago
“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
The CJI was part of a five-judge bench hearing a petition challenging the central government’s move to create, among other things, a National Tax Tribunal and a Companies Appellate Tribunal, when he said this.
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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.
The Chief Justice of India, R M Lodha had criticized the government, two weeks ago, for dropping former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium's name from the panel of names suggested by the collegium for appointment as Supreme Court judges.
16 July 2014
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has warned Supreme Court interns that if they use the court’s main canteen between 12:30pm and 2:30pm, they may face “the embarrassment of being asked to leave”, as those hours at the canteen are reserved for the exclusive use of SCBA members.
In a notice published on the SC website today, SCBA secretary Aishwarya Bhati stated:
“It has been observed that Interns are occupying the main Canteen especially during lunch hours leading to server inconvenience [sic] being caused to the Members and even Senior Members.
Members are requested to kindly instruct Counsel/persons interning with them not to occupy the canteen especially during lunch hours, as the main Plaza Canteen and cafeteria is for the exclusive use of Members.
We have specifically directed the canteen contractor not to serve any non-lawyers between 12:30pm and 2:30pm.
Interns are also requested to scrupulously comply with this notice to save themselves of the embarrassment of being asked to leave.”
15 July 2014
Kian Ganz explains on Newslaundry how over the last week the papers have been happily running with a news story about how AK Ganguly, the former Supreme Court judge who had allegedly harassed one of his interns after retirement, with headlines such as “Ganguly gets Centre’s clean chit in intern case”.
The only problem: it never actually happened. Read the full article on Newslaundry that shows how badly they got it wrong.
15 July 2014
Trilegal advised US-based multimedia company Tribune’s Singapore arm in its Rs 161 crore ($27m) acquisition of What’s On India Media which was advised by V Law.
Trilegal Bangalore partner Kosturi Ghosh acted for Tribune Digital Ventures – the Singapore arm. V Law founding partner Vivek Daswaney acted for the Mumbai-based television guide firm whose existing investors – Nexus India, INTEL Capital and Sequoia Capital exited through this deal, according to VC Circle.
15 July 2014
The Rajasthan high court issued criminal contempt notice to the president of the Bar association and other lawyers, for giving a boycott call demanding the transfer of a judge, reported the PTI.
Bar Association president Gopeah Kumbhaj, former general secretary Rajesh Choudhary, lawyer Bharat Bhushan and others were served for going on boycott to demand that a lower court judge Mahnendra Choudhary, who had allegedly refused to favour Bhushan in his personal case, be transferred.
15 July 2014
The Centre asked the collegium to reconsider its recommendation of Karnataka high court justice Manjunath for elevation to chief justice at Punjab & Haryana high court after, according to “highly placed sources in the law ministry”, the Centre received complaints against him, reported The Hindu.
Manjunath was recommended for the post alongside the transfer of present Punjab & Haryana chief justice Sanjay Kishen Kaul to Madras high court. Justice Kaul’s transfer file was cleared, but justice Manjunath’s file was sent back to the collegium for “clarification or reconsideration”.
The nomination of senior advocate Gopal Subramanium elevation to the Supreme Court bench was derailed after a series of media leaks about Subramanium resulted in the advocate declining his nomination.
14 July 2014
“For the first time in the history of judiciary, the Bar Council of India has decided to address the woes of new entrants in the Bar by providing `5,000 as stipend, per month, for a period of five years,” reported the New Indian Express.
The BCI’s members and various state bar council chairmen and vice chairmen met recently in Delhi, according to the report, and resolved that advocates who accept the stipend can in return provide legal aid to poor litigants under the Legal Service Authority Act 1987.
The BCI charges law graduates Rs 2560 as registration fee to take the All India Bar Examination for their practice certificate.
14 July 2014
Khaitan & Co partner Siddharth Shah has been included on the Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) advisory group on real estate investment trusts (REIT) alongside 10 representatives of various banks, real estate and financial services companies, according to the PTI.
REITs are aimed at attracting long-term funds to the cash-strapped realty sector from both foreign as well as domestic investors.
It is hoped that after the newly announced budget’s exemption from capital gains tax to popularise REITs, they will bring in around $10bn of foreign funds into the realty sector by the end of this fiscal.
11 July 2014
Crest Law Partners co-founding partner and 1998 ULC Bangalore graduate Dhyan Chinappa was designated a senior advocate, alongside lawyers BM Shyam Prasad, DL Jagadish, G Krishna Murthy, M B Nargand, M N Sheshadri, M V Seshachala, R L Patil, V Lakshminarayana, Vivek Subba Reddy and YR Sadashiva Reddy in a second round of senior designations at the Karnataka high court, reported Bar & Bench.
Chinappa, who according to B&B is the youngest designated lawyer in this batch, started his career with Dua Associates and re-joined the firm after obtaining his LLM from ULC London in 2003. He set up Crest in 2006.
Four others, inlcuding one non-NLSIU alum Prabhuling Navadgi, were also designated in a previous round at the high court this month.
10 July 2014
Senior advocate and BJP spokesperson Pinky Anand was appointed Additional Solicitor General (ASG) in the Supreme Court and she assumed office yesterday, reported The Hindu.
The former Additional Advocate General of Uttarakhand is only the second woman ever to be appointed ASG. The first – Indira Jaising – demitted office after change of government in May.
Bar Council Member S Prabhakaran, senior advocates NR Chandran, G Rajagopalan and former Karnataka Advocate-General Uday Holla are meanwhile contenders for two posts of Additional Advocate General to the Madras high court.
Six senior advocates were appointed ASG in the Supreme Court on 7 June: L Nageswara Rao, Paramjit Patwalia, Maninder Singh, Tushar Mehta, Neeraj Kishan Kaul and PS Narsimha.
Karnataka high court Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri has struck down the part of Rule-11(1) of the Karnataka Excise Licences (General Conditions) Rules 1967 banning dance as a form of entertainment in error petition filed by a restaurant in Domlur and two professional female dancers, reported the Times of India.
Petitioners' counsel M Krishnappa argued that the ban was gender discriminatory, since most dancers were women, and an unreasonable restriction of freedom of expression and livelihood, relying on 2013 Supreme Court case State of Maharashtra & another vs Indian Hotel & Restaurants Association and others, which held that "dancing is a fundamental right and it cannot be excluded by dubbing it as res extra commercium". The court agreed over the government's objections.
09 July 2014
09 July 2014
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi accused the SCBA of “crass commercialisation and periodic auctioning and re-auctioning”, on its decision to rename the Supreme Court’s “Dr LM Singhvi library” to “Dr Awadh Behari Rohatgi library” after senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, instead of Singhvi, ended up donating the money required for the library’s renovation this year. Bar & Bench reported that in addition to this accusation, Singhvi also alleged that the SCBA had possibly “squandered” the Rs 20 lakh he had donated for the library in 2009.
According to the B&B report, Singhvi said:
“In 2008 and 2009 they took Rs. 20 lacs from me. I gave it with happiness for the service of the Bar. I had also asked them to keep the money locked in corpus, so that it is not squandered for dinners and lunches. It was not done. Till 2014, nothing happened.”
The SCBA had in May asked for Rs 20 lakh from Singhi to renovate the library, but after he had allegedly qualified the donation with four conditions the association had decided to strip the library, named after his late father, of its title. Rohatgi has now donated Rs 25 lakh toward the library’s renovation and the library will be renamed after his late father.
SCBA president PH Parekh told B&B:
“[Singhvi’s] daily income is more than Rs. 20 lacs. If it was a lawyer who did not have money, we would not have asked for a single penny. It is when he set out those four conditions that we decided that enough was enough. […] It is not a question of payment but about the conditions he imposed. He said that he will pay Rs. 20 lacs but he will dictate the terms. We felt very hurt by that and did not like it. By imposing a condition that an inaugural ceremony should be held, he was trying to show his money power. So, the point is that we did not like the way in which he troubled us for a couple of months before agreeing to pay and then imposing those conditions.”
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