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Undaunted, Kar HC green-lights Yeddyurappa prosecution over land deals

Kerala bar council wants to ban lawyers from speaking to journalists

The Kerala bar council is discussing plans to ban all lawyers from talking to the media about their own cases under the anti-advertising rule 36 of the Bar Council of India (BCI) Rules, which could be implemented after a meeting soon, reported the Deccan Chronicle.

The rule states that advocates must not solicit or advertise, and “not promote himself by circulars, advertisements, touts, personal communications, interviews other than through personal relations, furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments or producing his photographs to be published in connection with cases in which he has been engaged or concerned”.

Proceedings in the Kerala high court are currently ongoing to ban open court reporting by media, while former Chief Justice of India (CJI) and current Kearala governor P Sathasivam said last week that if journalists always read judgments first, there shouldn’t be any reason to ban court reporting.

Man jailed under IT Act s66A for 'spreading canards' online, complains it was SC contempt

A Bangalore-based businessman was arrested and jailed by police for 21 days in April under section 66A of the IT Act for “spreading canards” about another on online forums, reported The Hindu (via Pranesh Prakash).

The businessman has filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and demanded a police inquiry that his arrest was in direct contravention of the Supreme Court guidelines that detentions under Section 66A for sending offensive messages over the internet require permission from a high-ranking police officer (inspector general in cities, or, in districts, deputy commissioners or superintendents).

Digital justice (finally?): All lower courts to upload new judgments by 6pm

All 15,000 subordinate courts will have their judgments digitised, with new judgments to be uploaded by 6pm on the day that it is handed down, law ministry sources told the Times of India.

US lawyers & activists contest NaMo's head of state immunity

TV live broadcasts Fali's SC arguments for Jaya: Bar ass'n wants contempt (+ Jonn Oliver!)

The All India Bar Association (AIBA) has has requested the Supreme Court’s secretary general to issue contempt proceedings against Tamil TV news channel, Thanthi, for apparently having broadcast live the arguments of Fali Nariman successfully arguing for J Jayalalithaa’s bail in the Supreme Court, reported the Business Standard.

AIBA chairman Adish C Aggarwala said: “It is inappropriate and contemptuous to record and telecast court proceedings. The telecast of Fali Nariman’s arguments in Jayalalithaa bail matter in the Supreme Court by Thanthi Television on October 18 is contemptuous and the Supreme Court of India should take stern action of contempt of court against all concerned who are responsible for its recording and telecast.”

Also see: Very topical John Oliver on US live Supreme Court TV reporting, via @logic on Twitter

Gautam Khaitan denied bail, as still wanted by Italians

6 things all Bombay HC juniors must learn to become a superstar of the Original Side

Bombay HC Are you dreaming of becoming the next superstar Bombay counsel like Fali Nariman or Janak Dwarkadas?

Advocate writs DU over 'arbitrary' admissions via interviews

Sathasivam guide to journalism: No reason to 'prevent' media from court reporting (if journos always read judgments first)

Kerala Governor and former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam today told journalists to ensure that they report court cases after reading the judgments.

“First get the copy of the judgment... these days in the Supreme Court, it’s available on the internet after two or three hours. Then read the judgment and report. If such a thing takes place, I don’t find any reason to prevent the media from reporting court cases,” said Sathasivam, a former chief justice of India.

Delivering the convocation address at the Institute of Journalism here, he said journalism is a noble profession which not only informs the people but also enables and empowers them.

“A true journalist should be a reporter of the present and a pointer to the future. It was feared in the recent past that with the advent of electronic media and its astounding sweep, journalism would lose its impact and be relegated to the background.

“But the magic of the printed word and that of journalistic pursuit remained unaffected. In fact, both are complementary rather than contradictory, each aiding and abetting the other for mutual benefit,” he said.

Sathasivam urged journalists not to start and end as mere pen-pushers, transmitting news parrot-like to the reader.

“He has to analyse every bit of news, and report only those that will prove to be true. He should be honest to the core, but at the same time use his faculty of discretion to the full,” he added.

RamJet blasts gov't, Rohatgi for invoking treaty confidentiality to keep alleged black money stashers secret

The central government today told the Supreme Court that it could not disclose the names, received from foreign governments, of people who have allegedly stashed away their ill-gotten money to tax havens, as it was bound by the confidentiality clause under the double taxation avoidance agreement.

Its stand was made in an application seeking modification of an earlier court order asking it to disclose the names all such people it had received from German government to the petitioner Ram Jethmalani.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi mentioned the application for an urgent hearing before a bench of Chief Justice HL Dattu, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice AK Sikri.

The government has said that the names of such account holders against whom the prosecution has been launched could be disclosed as they are in public domain but in case of others, it was bound by the confidentiality clause.

The government has said that such disclosures would be counter productive for get information on black money stashed away in tax havens as foreign governments would not share such information in future.

The court had Aug 20 directed the central government to give Jethmalani details of the account holders in banks of Liechtenstein that were submitted to the court on May 1. The court’s order came as senior counsel Anil Divan told the court that government had given him the names of 18 people against whom prosecution has been launched but held back the names of eight people.

However, senior counsel Ram Jethmalani, the petitioner in the plea seeking steps to bring back black money stashed away in tax havens, assailed the government position saying that it could as well be the position of people involved in taking ill-gotten money to tax havens and not that of the government.

Jethmalani Friday told the court that he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.

The apex court by its July 4, 2011 order had set up the SIT which was mandated to undertake the investigations into the unaccounted money stashed away outside the country in tax havens and foreign banks and take steps to bring it back.

The SIT comprises the revenue secretary, the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India, the director of the Intelligence Bureau, the director, enforcement directorate, the director, of the Central Bureau of Investigation, the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, the director general of the Narcotics Control Bureau, director general, Revenue Intelligence, director, Financial Intelligence Unit, and Joint Secretary, (FT & TR-I) in the CBDT The court had said that SIT would also include director, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

However, the SIT could not get operational till May 1 as the government dragged its feet on the issuing the notification. On May 1, the apex court held that there was no ambiguity in July 4, 2011 order and directed the central government to issue the necessary notification.

Initially by July 4, 2011, SIT was headed by former apex court judge Justice BP Jeevan Reddy with another former judge Justice MB Shah as second in commandA

However, Justice Jeevan Reddy withdrew from the SIT citing personal reasons. The court by its May 1 order made Justice MB Shah the chairman with another former apex court judge Justice Arijit Pasayat as vice chairman.

DLF files with SAT to appeal SEBI cap markets ban

Realty major DLF today moved the securities tribunal against the order passed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) banning it and six of its executives from the capital markets for three years on charges of misleading investors.

A DLF spokesperson told IANS that the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) will hear its appeal against the Securities and Exchange Board of India Oct 22.

Ahead of filing the appeal, DLF had said in a statement that it had done no wrong nor had any law been violated during the initial public offer or otherwise. DLF had raised Rs.9,187 crore through the public offer in 2007.

“DLF and its board were guided by, and acted on, the advice of eminent legal advisors, merchant bankers and audit firms while formulating its Offer documents,” the statement had said.

“DLF will defend itself to the fullest extent against any adverse findings and measures contained in the order passed by SEBI DLF has full faith in the judicial process and is confident of vindication of its stand in the near future.”

Those prohibited from the markets include the chairman K P Singh, his son and vice-chair Rajiv Singh, daughter and whole-time director Pia Singh. Others barred are the managing director, TC Goyal, and senior officials Kameshwar Swarup and Ramesh Sanka.

Fali wins Jaya bail, conditional on getting appeal done and dusted quicksmart

The Supreme Court Friday granted bail to former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, convicted of possessing assests disproportionate to her known sources of income.

Alongwith Jayalalithaa, her aide Sasikala Natarajan and two others have also been granted bail.

PTI tweeted: “Jaya volunteered before SC to be kept in confinement in house for 2-3 months while pressing for bail.”

Update: However, the final order by the court, which has now been published, does not specify house arrest as a condition. 

An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu said that all four will be released on bail subject to the satisfaction of the condition by the trial court.

The court made it clear that Jayalalithaa and three others will complete their appeal with all relevant documents before the high court in a matter of two months and thereafter, it will ask the high court to expedite and complete the hearing on the appeal within three months.

The court told senior counsel Fali Nariman, who appeared for Jayalalithaa after Ram Jethmalani had represented her in the Karnataka high court bail plea, that it will not grant a day more to his client if they don’t complete the paperwork of their appeal before the high court with all the documents within a span of two months.

Jayalalithaa is presently in a Bangalore jail after her conviction in the disproportionate assets case. The former chief minister was awarded four-year prison term and a fine of Rs.100 crore.

She had moved to the Supreme Court Oct 9 seeking the bail.

Jayalalithaa, along with her aide Sasikala Natrajan, VK Sudhakaran and J Ilavarasi, Oct 7 were refused bail by the Karnataka high court which held that there were no grounds for granting bail.

Besides her health grounds, Jayalalithaa has invoked section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking the suspension of her sentence and grant of bail till the pendency of her appeal against the trial court order.

The high court Oct 7, while declining bail to Jayalalithaa and three others, had relied on apex court orders as it ruled that putting the sentence on hold after an appeal is filed against the trial court order was not automatic. It had said that plea for bail after the conviction was different from the plea for bail while the trial was on.

It had also cited the apex court ruling that “corruption amounts to violation of human rights and leads to economic imbalances”.

In the 18 year old disproportionate assets case, the trial court in Bangalore Sep 27, convicted Jayalalithaa for possessing assets disproportionate to her known sources of income and sentenced her to four jail term and Rs. 100 crore fine.

The case against Jayalalithaa and three others related to period from 1991 to 1996 involving Rs. 66.65 crores when she became chief minister for the first time.

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