As the challenge to compulsory Aadhaar identification to file IT returns was heard by the Supreme Court for the second day today (27 April), the mood among the anti-Aadhaar activists has been upbeat.

Khaitan & Co’s Calcutta partners and some of the firm’s current and one former associate have been summoned by the Calcutta high court to respond to perjury and criminal contempt allegations made against them by advocate Deepak Khosla on behalf of his client.

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today that the government had not yet taken a decision on the Law Commission proposals to overhaul the regulation of the legal profession, which included the banning of lawyer strikes and induction of non-elected, non-lawyer members into bar councils.

As Bar Council of India (BCI) chairman Manan Kumar Mishra today said the national strike was a resounding success in a Facebook post (including the praising of Law Commission-report burnings), it is worth bearing in mind the cost of lawyer strikes on the judicial system.

Bombay high court Justice Gautam Patel has awarded a “reasonable” Rs 184 in costs on a petitioner because the date was 18 April (18.4) on the day of the order, after he was unconvinced by a lawyer’s counterarguments against a permission to refile a case.

Tamil Nadu-based advocate K Muthuramalingam won an undertaking from the state bar council last week in his Madras high court writ petition against the call for nationwide strikes by the Bar Council of India (BCI) and its chairman Manan Kumar Mishra.

In a first of its kind, the Supreme Court on 30 March directed the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to deactivate one of its cell phone towers, located in a residential area in Gwalior since 2003, on the mere suspicion by a petitioner that it might have caused the cancer of a resident, working in its vicinity, as first reported by the Times of India.

Lawyer strikes are fuelled by lawyers who hardly have court work and also by bar councils who guard their vote bank and disregard the interests of justice, as even elite law schools have failed in their mission, said Law Commission (LC) chairman and former Supreme Court judge Justice BS Chauhan in an interview with Outlook magazine, demonstrating a pretty decent understanding of the legal profession and some of the problems that beset it.

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has vowed to lead a massive law and order breakdown if the law ministry does not reject the latest recommendations of the Law Commission (LC), it decided this weekend in a meeting, at which it also demanded the immediate removal of former Supreme Court justice BS Chauhan as the LC’s chairman.

Ram Jethmalani, apparently proposed to charge Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejrriwal a Rs 1 crore retainer and Rs 22 lakhs per appearance to defend him against political rival Arun Jaitley’s defamation claim.

Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) secretary Gaurav Bhatia joined the Bhartiya Janata party (BJP) yesterday, having resigned five months ago as the spokesperson for the Samajwadi Party (SP), reported the Hindustan Times.

The Bar Council of India (BCI) call for a nationwide strike on Friday was joined by at least 3 lakh lawyers in various cities, disrupted court work across India, added pending litigation in thousands and perhaps resulted in the resignation of a bar council chairman in protest, even as the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and other bar leaders did not support the call.

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has passed a resolution slamming the Bar Council of India (BCI) and that it opposed the Law Commission’s reforms of the profession and that it’s members should wear white arm bands in solidarity with striking lawyers tomorrow.

The Bar Council of India (BCI) chairman Manan Kumar Mishra has published a lengthy and detailed call for a strike on the BCI’s website earlier today.

After the apex court in September 2016 took suo motu notice of former Amity Law School, IP University, student Sushant Rohilla’s suicide, the case was transferred to the Delhi high court March 2017 to be decided on merits, where where progress has been slow.

It’s perhaps not enough of the transparency that the systems needs, but it’s an important step in that direction: once judges get used to a camera staring at them without adverse repercussions (and possibly even benefits, in stop the worst of lawyer theatrics and occasional riot-like behaviour in court rooms), we may even get audio recording, and, eventually maybe, full access to live feeds from courts...

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