Articles

o3mybkefAfter last week’s anthropological exploration of The Living Room Lawyer and the Eternal Junior, Delhi Barfly finds Mister Information and the Curious Onlooker.

Hot on the heels of the government getting ready to create special fast-track commercial divisions of all high courts, Delhi high court chief justice G Rohini has decided to redesignate four benches of the Delhi high court to exclusively handle commercial disputes, of which around 20,000 are currently pending.

“According to information released by the office of the Registrar General, Delhi high court, two benches hearing matters of Original jurisdiction, and two division benches, as Commercial Appellate courts, will start functioning from Thursday,” reported the Indian Express.

“Two of these will be e-courts and will function as paperless courts. Sitting judges with the appropriate experience and expertise have already been appointed,” reported The Hindu].

According to the Express, DHCBA secretary Abhijat said it was “alarming that the decision was taken without consulting the Bar” and said that it was a “prima facie meaningless order” since the issue of jurisdiction was to be finalised by the Parliament. “The decision is at best an administrative order which can’t override or supplant a bill which is still being drafted,” he said.

PTI reported:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought response from two advocates, representing the 16 December gangrape convicts, against whom a women lawyers body has sought action for allegedly making derogatory remarks against women in a BBC documentary on the case. “We have heard the argument, pleadings and grievances urged in the petition. The matter requires consideration in view of the factual and legal submissions,” a bench comprising justices V Gopala Gowda and C Nagappan said.

The bench issued notices to the two advocates, ML Sharma and AP Singh, and sought their response in two weeks. The Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association, in its petition, had sought restriction on the entry of the two advocates in the apex court premises, alleging that their remarks in the controversial BBC documentary were “inhumane, scandalous, unjustifiable, biased, outrageous, ill-minded” and are a “direct affront to and in violation of the dignity of women”, especially those practising in the Supreme Court.

The Delhi high court yesterday stayed until April 27 a decision of its single judge to bring the Attorney General of India’s (AGI) office under the RTI Act.

The Times of India reported that “a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw said that the single judge’s findings “require consideration” and it will hear the appeal filed by the Centre against the ruling” that the AG is not a public authority.

A Supreme Court bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and NV Ramana today stayed the 20 March Delhi high court order that restrained generic drug maker Glenmark Pharmaceuticals from manufacturing an anti-diabetes drug over which Merck allegedly held a patent, reported Mint.

Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi acted for Glenmark, with TR Andhyarujina acting for Merck. The next hearing will be on 28 April.

"New Delhi authorities on Wednesday asked India’s federal information technology ministry to block the taxi-hailing apps of US -based Uber and its local rival Ola in the city in a bid to enforce a ban on the companies’ services,” reported Reuters.

However, QZ reported last year that blocking of services such as Uber, which rent servers in the cloud, could prove to be “practically impossible without accidentally blocking other services”.

A seven-judge Allahabad high court bench led by chief justice DY Chandrachud served notices on the Bar Council of India (BCI), the Uttar Pradesh bar council and district bar associations about the strike by the local bar against the alleged murder of an advocate by a policeman on district court premises, reported the PTI:

The court said that besides taking stringent action against advocates found guilty of disrupting judicial work, it favored debarring from legal practice all those convicted in criminal cases for which the quantum of sentence was imprisonment for seven years or more.

The BCI had called for a national one-day strike following the killing, with local Allahabad lawyers continuing agitation.

Ex-prime minister Manmohan Singh today moved the Supreme Court against the order of a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) trial court that summoned him as an accused alongside industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla in the coal scam case, reported NDTV and others.

Senior counsel KTS Tulsi and Kapil Sibal will represent Singh, reported India Today.

The CBI had filed a closure report telling the court there was no prosecutable evidence against Singh.

The Delhi high court today issued notice to Delhi Aam Aadmi Party’s law minister Jitender Singh Tomar after a new petition, this time by the BJP politician Tomar had defeated in elections, that Tomar had enrolled himself as an advocate on the basis of a “false and bogus” science degree, reported Zee News.

The Hindu reported:

The Supreme Court on Monday granted three more months to the Sahara group to sell its offshore properties to raise the Rs 10,000 crore required to secure the release of its chief Subrata Roy on bail. The court said it was satisfied with the company’s latest proposal and would allow it to proceed further.

“Prima facie, we are satisfied that the proposal appears to be a serious effort and we allow it to pursue it further,” said the court.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal appeared for Roy, and had secured a “final chance" for the Sahara boss to raise the money by selling the company’s properties. Roy has been jailed for one year now for contempt by violating an order from SEBI to repay investors.

IndependenceBeing an independent litigator or founder of a firm, in the bubble of the bar, is a pretty big deal. Most who start in litigation, often only on nominal remuneration (if any) doled out by well-paid senior lawyers, dream of the day they can finally set up their own shop.

Social media was abuzz this morning as Supreme Court justices J Chelameswar and Rohinton Fali Nariman read down section 66A of the Information Technology Act, though upheld section 69A that allows the central government to block entire websites.

Delhi district court bar associations are set to go on a half-day strike again tomorrow over the increase of pecuniary jurisdiction after striking the majority of last week.

An SMS to bar association members today stated:

R/M, U r requested to assemble at PHC 4 PROTEST MARCH on 24.3.15 at 2:30 PM Complete abstinence from work declared after 2PM in all Courts-Avnish Rana,Secy.Gen [Saket Bar Association]

Click here to read more about the issues and factions involved.

The Delhi district court lawyers’ strike for increasing the pecuniary jurisdiction of the lower courts continues today, after “around thousand lawyers marched to the residence of the Union Law Minster today. There our delegation met him outside his residence. We showed him his assurance letter given to us during the last session. He assured us that the bill will be passed but did not give any time frame, even after repeated requests. If they (government) will not do what they have assured us, we will intensify the protest,” RK Wadhwa, chairman of coordination committee of all district courts bar associations, told the PTI.

Click here to read more about the issues and factions involved.

Latest comments