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20 August 2010
News and current affairs

Next time visit a prostitute, but only to fight their cause


Prostitution, does the word ring a bell for you? If it does, then wouldn’t you just stand up and say loudly, it’s a burning issue and we need to do something about it. And I would laugh at you and say, here we go again. 


The media loves the sensationalism in it. The scandals, the rackets and the child traffickers make a good story. The politicians often involve themselves for such good cause or rather inter course. The activists have a running agenda and running cash-cow with such issues and its ‘ill’ effects on children, society and blah blah. What’s important, the terrorists also never target them at all. And, for people like you and I, we just do a sneak preview of the stories that runs in the newspapers with gushing erotic details and skip the issues (read: burning issues) surrounding it.      


So to bore you now, let’s understand the issues. Ah! I so much love the word ‘issues’, who doesn’t now-a-days.    


To begin with, when a call girl comes at your place, gives you a great massage and does stuffs (spare the details, it’s not an Adult blog) and in exchange, you pay her some money. That’s prostitution and it is legal. But consider this - You go to a brothel house and visit a beautiful prostitute, have a massage, do stuffs with her and pay her some money, that’s again prostitution but it is illegal.


So what is the real difference between the two? It is not because the prostitute did not give you a good massage than a call girl, so hell she is charged with criminal conduct. The difference in both is, in providing service, one coming at your place and other servicing you from her place.  


If one runs a brothel house and does sex trade along with several others then that by Indian laws is considered immoral. But if the same girl goes to a private place and establishes, that there is no sex trade taking place, just love blossoming between the two, then she is off the police records.


The laws are pretty ancient and dated. It never thought then, that prostitution would take place in hotel rooms, pent houses or private cabins. The laws just considered that prostitution is confined within a brothel house or a brothel street (eg. Khetwadi in Bombay or Sona Gachi in Calcutta) where flesh trade would take place.


So it’s actually the difference between a private place and a public place where law differentiates and possibly believes that prostitution should well be served underground or at yours and mine private farm-houses than displayed outside with a huge board ‘Sex, at your service, Sir’.


Moreover, the goof-up with the law is such, that your pretty call girl will never be put behind bars because as soon as she is confronted by the police, she will smartly say that the client and she were lovers etc. However, the prostitute would see herself behind bars because she would be running a brothel house which is not allowed under Indian laws.


So I think I have fought enough for the cause of our dearest prostitutes and their continuous discrimination at the hands of the call girls. But I have squarely spared both of their common ‘Clients’ who are off the hook always, if you note.


Well, because the burning issue here was Prostitution and not immoral society, dissatisfied husbands, sex starved boy friends or male empowerment even.


That calls for another write up, on male empowerment.   


14 August 2010
News and current affairs

The Department of Political Science of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law,Punjab is organising a two day Multi Disciplinary Congress on Political Science and Global Governance in collaboration with Indian council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) on 26-27 March,2011.

The State is a plural body; a system of systems. The International Relations are carried out beyond the influence of the powerful nations with strong structures. The world today is a multi-centric world. New concepts like International Community, Globalism etc. are more frequently used and practiced. Another aspect of this ‘Globalised World’ is the intellectual merger, therefore, it is hard to separate the effect of one activity from the other. Therefore, the research and study of one discipline has more than one dimensions to it. Hence, we chose the first word of this Congress to be ‘Multidisciplinary’. As mentioned above the nature of Politics has seen a lot of change in recent years, therefore, it was felt to highlight the subject of Political Science in this Congress. Since we wanted to address the emerging global trends of politics we added the term Global Governance. We look forward to overwhelming response from professionals and students of different disciplines to this Congress.
Themes and sub themes can be seen on the website of the event which is mentioned below.

First Session: Relevance of Political Science to Other Social Sciences
Social Sciences

1. Interaction between Political Science and other Social Disciplines (Economics, History, Law, Literature, Psychology, Public Administration, Religion, Sociology, etc.)

2. Political Science in Retrospect and Prospect: Redefining various Concepts in the Face of Growing Globalization of Governance

3. Relevance of Political Thought to the Study of International Relations

4. The Development of Political Science from the Greek ‘Polis’ to the ‘United Nations’ 

Literature, Psychology, Public Administration,
Religion, Sociology, etc.)
Social Disciplines (Economics, History, Law,
Literature, Psychology, Public Administration,
Religion, Sociology, etc.)
2. Political Science in Retrospect and Prospect:
Redefining various Concepts in the Face of Growing
Globalization of Governance
3. Relevance of Political Thought to the Study of
International Relations
4. The Development of Political Science from the Greek
‘Polis’ to the ‘United Nations’

Second Session: Relevance of Political Science to International Law

1. Forgotten Concept of ‘We, the Peoples of the United Nations’ vis-à-vis the Concept of National Interest/National Power

2. UN Security Council and the Deficit of Collective Security

3. The International Court of Justice and the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes

4. Violations of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

5. Protection of the Environment and Global Governance

6. Corporate Governance and International Organisations

7. The Problem of Terrorism and Anti-Terrorist Measures 

Third Session: Emerging Trends in Multidisciplinary Research Methodology

1. Multidisciplinary Research: From Singular Research to Holistic Research Methodology

2. Human Dignity and the Overlapping Political, Economic, Social, and Cultural Aspects of Research

3. The Relevance of Human Rights as a Core Doctrinal Analysis to all Social Research

4. The Role of the Education and the Educationists vis-à-vis the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations and Aims and Objectives of the UNESCO 

Fourth Session: Global Governance: Contributions by Regional Governance

1. Comprehensive Regional Initiatives to support Global Governance (European, American, Asian and African)

2. Regional Security Organizations in the Framework of the United Nations Charter and Global Governance

3. Regional Prosperity in the Frameworks of the New International Economic Order

4. The Future Development of the SAARC as the Youngest Regional Organization


Last date for abstract submission is: 20 February,2011
Last date for full paper submission is: 16 March, 2011



Dr. S.R.S. Bedi,

Former Head of the Archives Division,International Court of Justice, The Hague, Former Head of Department of Information, Embassy of Japan, The Hague, Professor of International Law, RGNUL, Patiala

Hague, Professor of International Law, RGNUL,
Hague, Professor of International Law, RGNUL,
Hague, Professor of International Law, RGNUL,
of Department of Information, Embassy of Japan, the
Hague, Professor of International Law, RGNUL,
International Court of Justice, the Hague, Former Head
of Department of Information, Embassy of Japan, the
Hague, Professor of International Law, RGNUL,

The Resource Persons


1. Dr. Eckert Klein,
Professor University of Potsdam,
Germany, J ad-hoc, European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France, Former member of the UN Human Rights Committee (New York, Geneva)
2. Dr. Phillipe Cullet,
Professor of International and Environment Law,
University of London, SOAS, England
3. Dr. Manoj Kumar Sinha,
Former Director, Indian Society of International Law, New Delhi, Professor
of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, WB
National University of Judicial Sciences, Kolkata.
4. Dr. Golukesh Sharma,
Law Secretary, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh
5. Dr. Sanjeev Sharma,
Professor, Department of Political Science, C.C.S. University, Meerut
6. Dr. Surinder Shukla,
Professor, Department of University School of Open Learning, Panjab
University, Chandigarh
7. Dr. Uttara Shastrabuddhe,
Professor, Department of Civics and Politics, University of Bombay,Mumbai
8. Dr. Ajay Kumar Dubey,
Centre for African Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
9. Dr. R.S. Ghuman,
Professor, Department of Economics, Punjabi University, Patiala
10. Dr. Rajesh Gill,
Professor, Department of Sociology, Panjab University, Chandigarh



for more details, please visit:

12 August 2010
News and current affairs


Law school faculties are a rare breed. 

I am sure this post applies to all the faculties but I am in a law school and so will comment only on them.

So, where was I? Yes, they are a rare breed. 

‘Good’ law school faculties are even rarer. 

There is a very simple reason behind the situation. Why would someone who has such a qualification and decent presentation skills want to become a faculty?

What does a faculty get? Around Rs. 50,000 per month give or take a few. Normal perks. Partially human conditions to live in, if they are lucky. The worst part is that students treat faculties very harshly. There are only two categories of faculties when students classify them. Great and pathetic. There is no middle level. 

A faculty does not get enough appreciation for the effort they put it. I have done one hour presentations and I can assure you that you need to prepare for atleast three hours for giving a decent presentation. Law school faculties have to update themselves constantly to survive. They are expected to surf search websites and learn how to use softwares as soon as they are out. So we can see that the expectations are pretty high.

What’s the flip side?

The results aren’t that good even if the faculty meets the high expectations. Students sleep off in class. It’s not that the lecture is boring, it’s just that he was playing Counter Strike all night or she was watching One Tree Hill, but the reason that will be given by them is that the faculties are not up to the mark. Criticizing is so easy. It takes away all the blame from your end. As soon as anything happens, “Oh, the faculties are not good”. 

Whoever said truth was the ultimate defence did not know that he could also blame the faculty instead!

If I had a LLB, LLM, MPHIL degree and had cleared the NET exam, I would never teach. If I can get a job which pays a lot more than a faculty’s salary and that too with amazing chances of growth, my life is set.

What people don’t understand is that to become a teacher you need to have a tremendous sense of public service. They watch students they teach get more starting salary then their current salary. They see that in 10 years of their teaching carriers their students have gone on to become important people in big companies and are much more successful. They are the butt of all jokes in the college. They are a generation behind the students and still try to learn all the new things. They also encourage the good students. They take extra care of the not so bright students. They give tips of all aspects of life. They take all the criticism from the students. They do academic work and are more often than not also assigned administrative work. They sometimes live away from their families just for the sake of teaching. They are the last support the students have before the students’ start their ‘professional lives’. They sacrifice so much and get nothing in return still they never complain to the students.

I now understand why in ancient India people used to respect their ‘Guru’ so much. They knew the sacrifices that he/she was making and respected it. It is that respect that I feel is now gone. It is a very sorry state of affairs. People who want to teach are not given the opportunity and those who teach are not given enough credit. They transform a student into a professional and do not get enough credit for it. 

I have, and will respect all my faculties. I might criticize them from time to time but that is because I am weak and because I cannot appreciate their effort sometimes or because their methods are a bit traditional but in the end when I sit and think about it, they are pretty darn awesome!

If you think you are better than any of your faculty then try taking classes for a week, I am absolutely sure that at the end of the week you will be a changed person. You will become more tolerant, more open to criticism and above all, more content with life. 


My other posts 

What's your CGPA?

Entry of Foreign Law Firms: Let them in

Love in the times of Law School

Compulsory Voting

Nari Adalat: A Social Experiment



Thank You!


Constructive suggestions are welcome. 

P.S. - I might end up being a faculty :) 


31 July 2010
News and current affairs

Commonwealth games, the event that people have awaited since past couple of years with a strong belief that it will make India a stunning representative in the sphere of cultural togetherness and bonding through the combination and play of various sports with players coming from throughout the world. The Commonwealth is primarily an organization in which countries with diverse economic backgrounds have an opportunity for close and equal interaction. The primary focus of the Commonwealth is to create an atmosphere of economic co-operation between its member nations, as well as to promote democracy, human rights, and good governance in those nations.

But can anyone in the country justify the common wealth games because in the glitz of this event we have forgot that the host of such a powerful event is the country of India with such a high rate of food inflation having almost fifty percent of the population under the poverty line?

An expenditure of 20000 crore on the commonwealth games in a country where half the population is unable to consume a meal a day is what creates a question mark on this event and asks the government for justification for a lot of matters. The Commonwealth Games to be hosted by India in 2010 is going to have 5000 athletes participating from 53 countries. But sadly, one fears if we are ready for them. A lot of money has already been spent and much more is going to be lost in the whirlpool of corruption this time around.

As far as the legitimacy of the issue is concerned, it is indubitably required if India is to match the global standards. But the fundamental question that stands up is whether all the expenditure is affordable given the instability of the national and global economy. A few examples would help to draw a consensus. The commonwealth games fame will be hailed as one of the most marvelous feats of achievements in the league of stadiums and will serve unforgettable experiences throughout the duration of the game. Audiences across the world will remember it for its grandeur and aesthetic magnificence. But weeks after the games, the colossus will stand haunted by silence and disinterest. The Indian population themselves will forget the road to the stadium, let alone the world. Instead what it may leave is a bruising memento of national expense in scales never seen before. Though it is a perfect site for the games but its future remains questionable as no other game can possibly be held in it without reconstructions. It cannot expect to have audiences to fill the seats for local games of any nature, and the maintenance costs would always soar above the earnings from the tickets and other revenues. All the work will have to be re-thought of, and something concrete would have to be built out of it in order that it may not perish with time. So what’s all the spending for, in the first place? It creates negative impressions about the future aspects and situations.


India is a developing country. Focus on the word developing as India is not yet developed. Ironically, India is a country which is, on one hand struggling with the problem of poverty since the time of independence while on the other hand is spending millions on the commonwealth games.

Climatic change like global warming is causing an agricultural crisis for the peasants all over the country, worsening their conditions which, in turn, is leading to inflation in the economy, energy resources are getting depleted, unskilled and poor people are forced to get involved in unorganized employment with least possible wages and let’s not forget the skilled and literate unemployed…but who really cares? India is too busy with Commonwealth Games.

India’s present goal should be the development of human resources, dealing with poverty and creating a healthy, wealthy and literate India. I believe that as a result of the approaching Commonwealth Games, India, especially Delhi is undergoing a complete makeover where the infrastructure is concerned. Lavish five-star hotels, better flyovers, etc, are being constructed. Better buses can be seen running on the roads of Delhi. All this is Just to show that India is on its way to become a developed nation soon.

But can it hide those shabby and disguised slums behind the shimmering and glamorous construction? Can it suppress the cries of those million hungry stomachs? Can it? Unfortunately not! And can anyone explain how modern infrastructure helps those million unemployed men who have to support half a dozen of their family members without any source of income?

I won’t deny the fact that may be these games will have an international impact and benefit a particular section of the society temporarily. But this is where the most significant question arises that if the games will benefit a certain strata of the society which is already rich and powerful then what happens to those strata of the Indian population which is below the poverty line? Who bears the responsibility of their welfare?

I also agree that the Commonwealth Games will usher in a certain amount of employment but it will not provide employment to millions of those who are unemployed and even if it does, it is only for a temporary period of time and then back to square one. Thus, a country like India wearing poverty in the form of national shame cannot afford to conduct such games at the cost of its poverty stricken citizens. Therefore India should first win the race against poverty and then think of going international through such ventures.

Hence India’s poverty and the hosting of Commonwealth Games are not at all compatible as for a nation the welfare of its citizen is its first priority and not the conduction of sports and leisure.

30 July 2010
News and current affairs

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) restrained MSM Discovery, a channel distribution company, from representing Viacom. Viacom 18 Media Private Ltd., Mumbai had filed a petition with the TDSAT alleging that MSM Discovery had materially breached, misrepresented and under reported the subscribers' base on MSM Discovery's distribution bundle in a deliberate, unfair and unfavorable manner.

MSM Discovery was appointed as the designated agent of Colors by Viacom 18 with effect from April 1, 2009. As agents, MSM was supposed take over the distribution of Colors and collect subscription fees from the affiliates. Subsequently, Colors was also converted to a Pay Channel with effect from April 1, 2009 in accordance with clause 7 of the Regulation and clause 6 (v) of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Third) (CAS Areas) Tariff Order, 2006. The Agreement was for a period of three years for a minimum amount of `125 crores.

Viacom’s grievance was that MSM had packaged Colors in an unfair manner such that despite being one of the best-rated Hindi entertainment channels, it was not included in the basic tiers/bouquets/packages of DTH operators like Tata Sky and Dish TV. The agreement clearly provided that V18 Channels shall be part of the existing Bouquet-2 of MSMD subject to regulatory mandates and Viacom was assured that any addition of new channels and deletion of existing channels from the TheOneAlliance (TOA) bouquets of MSMD shall not adversely affect Viacom 18's share of potential revenue vis-à-vis scenario if such change in the TOA bouquets would not have happened. However, when Sony was placed in more prime packages on the top, Viacom, on 13th June, 2010, terminated the distribution agreement and called upon MSMD to pay `20,34,61,982/-.

MSMD filed an application under section 9 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 before the Bombay High Court, wherein, it prayed for an order of injunction but the same was declined and the matter finally reached TDSAT. MSMD argued that Viacom terminated the contract without the 90 day mandatory notice which amounted to a negative covenant and requested TDSAT to dismiss the petition, finding Viacom to be in breach of contract. MSMD also argued that Colors had become the no. 1 channel only after MSMD became its distributor and there was no merit in the petitioner’s arguments.

The tribunal noted that the termination agreement was clearly in violation of Clause XX of the distribution contract. The tribunal was of the opinion that the respondent, in the event of a success, can be adequately compensated on monetary terms. Though the Tribunal admitted that the parties were certainly at consensus ad idem while entering into the contract and the contract did provide for a 90 day notice period, the fact that Colors was not placed at the top of prime packages on Tata Sky and Dish TV and MSDM had expressed its helplessness to do so made Viacom lose its trust and faith in MSDM. The tribunal opined that a court of law shall not thrust an unwilling principal on an agent, particularly, when in terms of the provisions of the Indian Contract Act the latter would have a legal remedy to pursue, namely, to sue it for damages.

The tribunal was prima facie satisfied that MSDM could not be permitted to carry out its business in terms of the contract and since Viacom had successfully raised a triable issue and established a prima facie case, the tribunal held that the balance of convenience and irreparable injury lied in favor of Viacom. MSDM was hence, restrained from representing Viacom with any third parties until further orders.


Case Caption: Viacom 18 Media Private Ltd., Mumbai v. MSM Discovery Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai

Before: Hon’ble Mr. Justice S.B.Sinha, Chairperson; Hon’ble Mr. G.D. Gaiha, Member; Hon’ble Mr. P.K. Rastogi, Member.

Counsel for Petitioner: Mr.Mukul Rohtagi, Sr.Advocate; Mr.Arun Kathpalia, Advocate; Mr. Navin Chawla, Advocate; Mr.Ameet Naik, Advocate; Mr. Rishi Agrawala, Advocate; Mr.Nikhil Rohtagi, Advocate

Counsel for Respondent: Mr.Ramji Srinivasan, Sr.Advocate; Mr.Gopal Jain, Advocate; Mr.Kaushik Mishra, Advocate; Mr.Zeyaul Haque, Advocate; Mr.Ankur Sood, Advocate

Date of Judgment: 27th July, 2010

Petition No. 220(C) of 2010

The original text of the judgment can be found at: http://bit.ly/aU0Z8r

29 July 2010
News and current affairs

In a judgment that can go a long way in clearing the backlog of cases dealing with offences u/s 138 of the N.I. Act, the Delhi High Court directed petitioners (alleged offenders) to not bother the High Court for no reason and go to the court of the Metropolitan Magistrate for the redressal of their grievances.

Several petitions were filed in the High Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C. for quashing of complaints under section 138N.I. Act on the ground that learned MMs cannot recall their own orders of summoning and it is the High Court that should consider that the complaint under section 138 of N.I. Act was not maintainable against the petitioners. The Court noted that the quashing of summoning order was being sought not on the ground that complaint and evidence adduced by the complainant before MM do not disclose commission of offence by the petitioner, but, on the ground that petitioner had various defenses like - the petitioner was not the Director of the company at the time when cheque was issued or when cheque was dishonoured; the petitioner was not responsible for conduct of business of company/firms, the petitioner was only a sleeping partner in the partnership firm, the issuance of cheque and its dishonour was without the knowledge of the petitioner, that cheque was issued without consideration, the cheque was issued as security, the cheque though issued by the petitioner was not from his own account but from some other account, the petitioner was a Director but had resigned from Directorship at the relevant time etc..

The Court also took note that most of the petitioners were affluent people who considered it below their dignity to go to lower court and came rushing to the High Court on mere passing of a summoning order. The Court clarified that Section 143 of the NI Act, as amended in 2002, specifically provides that all offences under this chapter of N.I. Act are to be tried by Judicial Magistrate of First Class or MM in accordance with summary trial provisions of Sections 262 to 265 Cr. P.C. (both inclusive). It was also noted that the legislature had provided for summary trial for the speedy disposal of cases dealing with Section 138 of the NI Act and Section 145 mandates that evidence of complainant may be given by him by way of affidavit and such affidavit shall be read in evidence in any inquiry, trial or other proceedings in the court. This also makes clear that a complainant is not required to examine himself twice i.e. one after filing the complaint and one after summoning of the accused. The affidavit and the documents filed by the complainant along with complaint for taking cognizance of the offence are good enough to be read in evidence at both the stages i.e. pre-summoning stage and the post summoning stage. The complainant is not required to be recalled and re-examined after summoning of accused unless the MM passes a specific order as to why the complainant is to be recalled. Such an order is to be passed on an application made by the accused or under section 145(2) of N.I. Act suo moto by the Court.

After discussing the nature of the offence of "dishonoured cheques" and the differences between a summary trial and a summon trial, the Court laid down the procedure to be followed for offences u/s 138 N.I. Act as follows: -

  1. On the day complaint is presented, if the complaint is accompanied by affidavit of complainant, the concerned MM shall scrutinize the complaint & documents and if commission of offence is made out, take cognizance & direct issuance of summons of accused, against whom case is made out.
  2. If the accused appears, the MM shall ask him to furnish bail bond to ensure his appearance during trial and ask him to take notice u/s 251 Cr. P.C. and enter his plea of defence and fix the case for defence evidence, unless an application is made by an accused under section 145(2) of N.I. Act for recalling a witness for cross examination on plea of defence.
  3. If there is an application u/s 145(2) of N.I. Act for recalling a witness of complainant, the court shall decide the same, otherwise, it shall proceed to take defence evidence on record and allow cross examination of defence witnesses by complainant.
  4. To hear arguments of both sides.
  5. To pass order/judgment.

The Court ordered that since summoning order in all the cases before it had been issued, it was now the obligation of the petitioners to take notice under section 251 of Cr. P.C., if not already taken, and enter their plea of defence before the concerned MM court and make an application, if they want to recall any witness. The petitions were dismissed and the petitioners were directed to appear before the Metropolitan Magistrate so that trial could proceed as directed.


Judgment Day and Date: - Wednesday, 28/07/2010

Judge: - Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra

Court: - Delhi High Court

The judgment can be viewed at http://bit.ly/a5hRoa

28 July 2010
News and current affairs

The other day I came across an old article about how an Indian Court had enforced a foreign divorce decree. It was an article that made me fail to understand and appreciate at the same time why human beings complicate for the sake of complication (or should we say the lack of innovation?).


The problem we’re facing with regards to divorce decrees is a worldwide phenomenon. Because as humans we are open and susceptible to change, it is not surprising that marriages tend to fall apart. The reasons range from adultery to the lack of mutual understanding. And it so happens that when this marriage falls apart, the husband and wife are no longer in the country where they got married. With an economic cost benefit analysis as well as a social face saving benefit analysis, they together or one of the parties obtains a divorce decree in a Court in a Country far away from the one where they were married. With this begins the complication. If the whole objective of the couple was to be separated, there is a greater probability of their paths meeting; the reason being recognition of the divorce decree.


Recognition under domestic law is basically the "full faith and credit" rule. If a sister state recognizes a marriage, the other state is duty bound to recognize it too. However, international law isn’t based on a Constitution unlike our domestic civilities. The latter is a product of negotiation and politics. Until the stakes get high, we shouldn’t expect negotiations or understandings in this field of the law.

Non-resident Indians have been troubled for a fairly long time regarding the handling of marital disputes abroad. So much as to have the Law Commission of India come out with a report in 1976 as well as in 2009 on the recognition of foreign divorce decrees and the need for a comprehensive legislation for non-resident Indians. The Commission suggests that NRIs bring in foreign decree for mainly two reasons: (i) they are quicker or (ii) due to a lack of remedy in Indian Courts.


Private International law is fairly complicated in this area. While Article 10 of the Hague Convention of 1968 on the Recognition of Divorce and Legal Separations expressly provides that the contracting States may refuse to recognize a divorce or legal separation if such recognition is manifestly incompatible with one’s public policy, the Indian Judiciary has rarely tried not to enforce a foreign divorce decree. The reason according to the Law Commission does not lie with the Judiciary but the lack of legislative will. After all, the Judiciary is ensure the laws enacted by the Parliament are enforced.


So now we come to two questions: If foreign divorce decrees tend to create so much controversy then (i) why do Courts accept such foreign decrees at all? (ii) why grant a divorce decree to a foreign couple? 


Let me explain why I am asking these two questions. Regarding the first question, there is no necessity for Courts to accept foreign divorce decrees. True that the Code of Civil Procedure allows the Court to enforce such a decree but it is not mandatory. The relevant provisions of Section 13 of the Code are capable of being interpreted to not enforce such foreign divorce decrees.


Firstly, Clause (a) of Section 13 states that a foreign judgment shall not be recognised if it has not been pronounced by a Court of competent jurisdiction. This can be interpreted as only that court will be a court of competent jurisdiction which the Act or the law under which the parties are married recognises as a court of competent jurisdiction to entertain the matrimonial dispute. Secondly, Clause (b) of Section 13 states that if a foreign judgment has not been given on the merits of the case, the courts in this country will not recognise such judgment. This clause should be interpreted to mean that   the decision of the foreign court should be on a ground available under   the law under which the parties are married.


What I am trying to put forward here is that there is a lot of space for the Judiciary to reject such foreign decrees that grant divorce. If the Supreme Court decided not to enforce foreign divorce decrees, the complexities that arise from enforcing them would disappear. The reason being that once the Supreme Court refuses to enforce such decrees, divorcing couples will begin to seek divorce in India rather than in foreign Courts.


The second question relates to the very act of granting such decrees. Foreign Courts not only lack correct information regarding the couple but also expertise in understanding the complex setup of the Indian family. It would only be logical for them not to interfere in a matter. Now one would argue that suppose an Indian woman is stranded abroad with an abusive husband, what will she do? I must emphasize here that I am arguing against the granting of a divorce decree. Victims would still be able to take the advantage of other laws to protect themselves.


The question that I am scared to ask is: Are Courts using power only because they can? According to me, power must be used as a consequence of need rather than ability. Of course, ability is a precondition to need. I am not the first one to be asking these questions or providing such ideas. The Supreme Court in the landmark case of Smt. Neeraja Saraph v. Shri Jayant V. Saraph, JT 1994 (6) SC 488, the Court suggested a law on the grounds of the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act, 1933 enacted by the British Parliament under which it suggested that no marriage between a NRI and an Indian woman which has taken place in India may be annulled by a foreign court. 

It's time the Judiciary used such an interpretation and stopped the complexities that arise due to the enforcement of such decrees. 


27 July 2010
News and current affairs


Yea! I know why you opened this post. You are insecure. You wanted to know, “Who does this napster think he is? My college is way better than GNLU.”

Well, I have to tell you. I wrote this post just to prove that we are all acceptance seekers. If someone says that your college is the best then you will like him even though you know that what he is saying is all hogwash. 

I am just trying to show what a small title can do.

Why do we keep worrying about what other people think of our college?

How does it even matter?

If you like your college, then it’s good enough. Let other’s speak what they want.

I am tired of reading and hearing arguments about which college is better, which college has what rank, which college is the ‘best’. If the comparison of different national law schools was not enough, we had the entry of debates, no wait, they were not debates, they were arguments, about whether three year colleges are better or five year colleges. Five year colleges have divisions of NLUs and Non-NLUs. How nice!

So, all we do is fight online. Whatever happened to ‘healthy arguments’.

Some people like to boast that their college is Number 1 or 2 or 4. I have just one thing that I need to tell you, I don’t care what rank your college is, or even mine. All I care is that my college gives me the best it can and keeps on improving. That I can give my college my best and come out of it as a better person.

This might seem like a very stupid issue to be a blog post but it’s not. It is one issue that has been excessively discussed on all the websites and public forums. I personally think that people who argue on it are just plain jobless. Will your college’s performance go up if you won an argument about it online?

Just like all mothers think, their child is the best. All students think their college is the best. They cannot take criticism. No one can. They don’t just deny things. They fight over it like dogs. 

People have stopped trusting their instincts. Now they rely only on ranking to know how they feel about their college. They don't think for themselves. If you let someone else judge you then you will always face grief. 

There are many kinds of people who are part of such ‘debates’. One, who state reasons why they think their college is the best. Another so state the negative aspects of other colleges to make their college look better. Another, who think that such debates are futile but in the end, they end up joining the debate. I have seen people who first say that they are not affected by such ‘rankings’ and then later on give us a list of their own. Bravo!

But, there is one kind, which sits on a chair and laments the fact that people around law schools are becoming so insecure.

I am one of them. 

Stop it. Please.


This post is written out of frustration that has crept in after years of reading long futile debates on who is the best. The names in the title are chosen randomly. No offence to India Today and Outlook.  I was one of the people who got carried away and commented. I was stupid. Now I have learnt. They are just giving the public what it wants. Entertainment. 

Check out the ranking. It has 212 comments. I am pretty sure the views would be higher than any other quality blog on this website. 

26 July 2010
News and current affairs


The reemergence of the Naxalites (rechristened Maoists) after 30 years of near lull has been an issue that has generated a lot of public debate. Despite getting more than its share of media coverage, it has not been easy to construe the pith and substance of the multi-faceted issue.


State Supporters v. Maoist Sympathizers

The debate surrounding Maoist violence has been extremely polarized. Things didn’t help when Home Minister Chidambaram took a Bush like -with us or against us- stance on the issue.  

While a set of people completely thrash state violence, the others thrash Maoist violence. Paradoxically both groups maintain- we condemn all forms of violence. While state supporters described the Maoists as “bloodthirsty terrorists” and “cowardly killers,” the sympathetic descriptions have ranged from “misguided ideologues” to “Gandhians with guns.”

Violence begets violence. When the state justifies its action by posing it as a response to Maoist violence, the Maoists turn the table on the state and describe their actions as a natural response to State violence. The reaction of the rebels is further justified on the ground that it arisen out of dire circumstances- poverty, unemployment, lack of basic services. The state on the other hand says that it can bring about all this only if the Maoists are eliminated.

In the public sphere, the ‘big fight’ has been between the stoics and romantics, between the finish them approach and the uplift them approach, between addressing the immediate concern and addressing the root cause, between those who view it as a law and order issue and others who view it as a socio-economic issue.


The Tribal Question

A crucial aspect surrounding the issue, earlier ignored, is regarding the welfare of the tribals who mostly occupy the “Maoist infested” areas. Reports of how the tribals are caught in between the Maoists and the state backed Salwa Judum is now repeatedly coming and the view is that in this war, it is essentially the tribals who loose out. 

Most of the members of the Maoist cadre are from the tribal population and according to an expert committee report of the planning commission, the main support for the Maoists also comes from the adivasis and dalits. The report cites issues such as large scale displacement, forest rights denial, land alienation as the main reason for the spread of Maoism among these people. 

Even while rightly identifying the issues faced by the tribals, the state’s new “two-pronged” strategy may not work. Along with the state device of violent repression, the ancillary scheme is to bring development through large-scale investment. The strategy does not fail to have a rationale, as more investment into these underdeveloped areas can bring in more job opportunities and higher standard of living.

However, large scale investment has been flowing into these mineral rich areas for years. It is exactly this policy of massive development that has resulted in land displacement and related issues. And it is this vulnerability of the tribals that the Maoists have utilized by fighting their fight and offering an alternative to the oppressive state.  

However, despite establishing some sort of an alternative governance system in these areas, even the Maoists have not been successful in improving the wages, education or health of the tribals.  Instead the Maoists have used the tribals as foot-soldiers in their fight to capture power from the bourgeois Indian state.

Along with lack of development, the other issue that has been highlighted as a cause for Maoist support is the lack of good governance. The tribals view the government, represented by the politicians, bureaucrats and police, as merely self-serving with no genuine interest in helping the locals. The lack of easy access to justice has also increased Maoist presence and hence allowed alternative and often inhuman forms of justice through its “people’s court”


Meeting the challenges through law

It is important to understand that the multi-faceted issues facing these areas cannot have simplistic solutions. Hence expressing that development and good governance should eventuate will not do. More so due to the fact that our conception of development and good governance may not be in line with the tribals understanding of the same concepts.

As practitioners of law, we cannot shy away from this issue which deals with the application of law and the idea of justice. On the issue of development, it is known that these areas are mineral rich. Making use of these minerals maybe in national interest. However while exploiting the resources for national (and private) benefit, it cannot be at the cost of the original occupiers of the land.

Making the tribals also partners of the development could be helpful. The draft Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill 2010 seeks to provide 26 percent of shares in the mining company to people holding occupation or usufruct or traditional rights on the land over which the lease has been granted. Even before providing the mining lease, the bill requires the state to obtain permissions from those possessing rights over the land. 

On the question of governance, the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act already empowers the gram sabha in the Scheduled Areas (as per the 5th Schedule of the Constitution) to decide over land use. Its implementation has been a major problem. Self-governance through a powerful autonomous democratic body would mean that decisions affecting the people will be taken by the people itself hence offering a bottom-up rather than top-down approach. 

On the larger issue of social justice, first the basic issues of poverty and unemployment have to be met by effective implementation of government schemes like the MGNREGA. To avoid the “people courts”, more people centric courts which solves basic problems in a simple manners is necessary. The implementation of the Gram Nyayalaya Act would hence be significant.

Will all problems related with Maoist violence cease with this? Perhaps not. But a sincere attempt to implement these laws could be a starting point. So instead of a government policy of violent repression and massive development, a policy of participatory development, self-governance and social justice, if implemented properly, can be an alternative to the alternative that Maoists have established.



25 July 2010
News and current affairs

The lawyer,nay,elf,

had spent himself,

scheming to scuttle,

using precedents so subtle.


Pining for leisure,

and a game of pleasure,

he thought to himself:

"I might as well play cricket,

I'll get to bat and bowl,

it'll clear the emotional thicket,

which has been ravaging my soul."


A match was then played,

between the bar and the bench,

with a bounty to clinch,

neither team flinched.


It went down to the wire,

and the lawyer was asked to bowl.


Though he'd had match practice,

this certainly wasn't a Godsend,

for,waiting at the striker's end,

was the imperious chief justice!


His Lordship scared him witless,

and under such duress,

 he let the bench win,

for ,helping the bar prevail,

was no less than a Cardinal Sin!

25 July 2010
News and current affairs

"The legal profession in so-called advanced countries is a product of Industrial Revolution whereas in India it is a product of Independence Revolution"

-- Mr Lalit Bhasin

These are the words that made me think. Should foreign law firms be allowed in India? Are they necessary?

Just as I questioned myself, a small part inside me said ‘Yes’ immediately. It was then, that I thought about it properly and tried to research on it.


In 1994, two New York-based and one London-based law firm had sought permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to begin liaison office activities in India to advise and assist non-Indian clients in connection with their activities in India and outside India. The three law firms, White & Case (NY), Chadbourne & Parke (NY) and Ashurst Morris Crisp (UK) were granted permission under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) to start liaison activities. However, in 1995, Lawyers’ Collective, a public interest trust set up by lawyers to provide legal aid, moved Bombay HC challenging the right of foreign law firms to “practice law” in India. The High Court had held that the practices engaged by these firms amounted to “practicing the law” and hence were not to be permitted.

Under Section 7(1) of the Advocates Act 1961, foreign law degrees are recognized by the Bar Council of India on a reciprocal basis, and legal academics can teach and engage in legal research without any bar. However, foreign nationals are prohibited from “practicing law” in India as per the same Act.

Countries other than India, usually have two types of lawyers. Barristers and Solicitors. Solicitors can give advice and draft documents but cannot argue in the court. Barristers can do everything that solicitor can and also argue in the court. Indian lawyers can do both, and they usually do it too.

The biggest problem with this debate is that there is a lot of false news going around regarding the it. A lot of people are given only one side of the story and choose sides based on it. We are human beings, we will always oppose change.

Foreign law firms are not here for advocacy work, they are here for transaction work. All the Indian law firm’s majority work is transaction work. Why will they not oppose competition? Who would not want a closed market for such a huge and growing economy? It is simple economics.

The argument in favour of the Indian law firms is that they will bring in professionalism. I am definitely not saying that the current firms are not professional. I mean that global competition will force them to become better than they are right now. Increased competition is always good for the consumer and the economy.

Reciprocity and international law obligations are also very strong arguments. Foreign countries allow Indian lawyers to work there, after certain small requirements are met with, then why should we not reciprocate the favour? India is a founder member of World Trade Organisation’s (WTO), General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The main objective of this agreement is to facilitate free flow of services across the world.

Other countries which allow foreign lawyer and firms have certain restrictions. For example in California the Foreign Law Firms were only permitted to deal in laws not specific to California. In countries like Singapore, Hong-Kong and Japan they are restricted to servicing only foreign firms. The models of all these places, their practices, rules and regulations need to be analysed thoroughly before being incorporated into the Indian system.

There have been news that government is going to allow foreign law firms in a short while. There is immense pressure on the government from both sides. Foreign governments are pressurising it to allow the entry and Indian law firms and the Bar Council of India is asking it to go against it. There have been speculations that foreign law firms may be allowed to enter but in phases. In the first phase, they will be allowed to set up offices here but it has to work solely as if it is outsourcing its work to India. In the second phase they will be allowed to do transaction work in India. It might be restricted to work for foreign companies who are working with Indian companies. In the third and the final phase, they will be given total access. They will be treated like any other lawyer in India. Although they might have to pass some examination. It is still not very clear.

If we look at it in a strict sense then we can see that they are already here. We are all aware of the so called ‘friendship agreements’ between foreign law firms and Indian law firms. They have common training programmes and a lot of other such things. So they are already making a foundation for an entry.

I don’t understand one thing though. It’s a really simple question. If they have allowed us into their markets then why can we not allow them in our? I would like to refer to the book ‘The World Is Flat’ by Thomas Friedman. It advocated the fact that the world is now a common market and all the products and services are launched will have a level playing field. This is not the condition with our legal services. We want other countries to open up their markets. We ask them for more lenient laws for settling there and doing business there. We want all other countries to follow GATS, but what are we doing? How hypocritical are we?

The humorous part is that foreign law firms are not being bogged down. They are pretty smart too. Apart from the ‘friendship agreements’ they have already started hiring fresh law graduates from law colleges in the country. They are giving them monetary benefits which are much more than the average that Indian law firms are providing. They are brain draining us. Their message is clear, if you don’t allow us to work in your country then we will take your brightest law graduates and camp them in our country and charge you in pound sterling or dollars or whatever.

Foreign law firms are more professional. They don’t have the ‘only 20 partners’ restriction. So they have a lot of partners and so employees there have a higher chance of becoming a partner. Indian government is planning on bringing in Limited Liability Partnerships. This way, the situation in India will change. I have heard that Clifford Chance has over 600 partners. I am not sure but if it is then I am surprised.

My suggestion:

Let them enter. They will make the market more client friendly. They will bring more jobs. They will being professionalism. Indian law firms are already facing a lot of competition but are still able to hold on to the top spot. I don’t think they will have a problem with that later on. You cannot avoid competition forever. There should be Special Exams for foreign lawyers so that the quality of lawyers that are allowed to practice can be moderated. Multi National Companies have changed the entire business scene. They have made a MBA degree a special qualification. The students now get a higher salary because they are now wanted by a larger population. Something similar can happen to a law degree. This is very important for people who consider National Law Schools are the IIM’s of law just like people think that IIT’s are the IIM’s of engineering. No one’s vested interest should come in the way of common good. I am not advocating the entry for monetary purposes. I am supporting it so that Indian lawyers become more efficient. They have started slacking in their effort. There is a scarcity of ‘good’ lawyers and law firms in the country. They can be counted on our fingers. I want it to change.


The decision is still pending. Mr. Law Minister is not ready to take a stance. No organisation/website wants to take sides because they are afraid of backlash if the decision goes against them. A lot of polls have been conducted, all which showed a majority of people who want foreign law firms in India.

Don’t push India back by trapping its economy. Imagine the situation if we had not liberalized the economy in 1991. Let’s not do anything that we might regret in the future.


I am not against Indian law firms or the Bar Council of India. I am pro-liberalization. Let the democratic country do its thing. Sorry for the unusually long post. I hope I have made my point.

Constructive suggestions are welcome.

Related read:

Lawyer's Collective

Law Minister

On a lighter note: A picture is worth a thousand words. Click here. 


23 July 2010
News and current affairs


This post is written to provide a cynical view of the categories of people one comes across in a Law School.

1.     The Making Contacts Specialists: These people love to volunteer at moots, Conferences and other academic activities organized by their colleges. You will then find them going on a socializing spree at such gatherings. They start with chatting up seniors and gradually make their way to academicians/Advocates/Judges. They use all devices to make an impression ranging from flattery, humour, wit, knowledge.

2.     I am a Mooter so mankind ought to grovel at my feet” type: As the name suggests these people have their heads in the clouds. They make up the elite class in any law school. Students might hate them, be in awe of them but absolutely no one can ignore them because they make sure of that. In my very personal opinion such people have taken a break from reality and are in need of help.

3.     The Schemers: “Usko mere se accha moot kaise mila??? :-o Maine toh Moot Court Committee ke har member se dosti kar rakhi thi!! Meet the schemers. They have remarkable clairvoyance regarding who can be of what help to them. Therefore their every action is guided by an ulterior motive. They set their goals not according to their own abilities but according to what people around them are doing. If their friend does one moot they have to do two, if he has written two papers; they have to write three. So their entire time goes in plotting/scheming.

4.      Mera baap lawyer/judge hai” type: At times when everybody is anxiously sending hundreds of emails in the hope that they land a good internship; these people casually click ‘send’ on one mail addressed to their “Daddies” and lo and behold they land an internship with the best law firm or the Chief Justice of India even, just like that. Well to these lot I would just like to quote Plutarch It is indeed a desirable thing to be well-descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors, not to us”. Therefore it would be nice of them to achieve things on their own sometime too and not depend upon their baap who is a lawyer/judge.

5.     “I have an opinion on everything” type: It’s good to have your own opinion regarding issues, provided you don’t force every poor soul you come across to listen to your opinion. But this is exactly what this kind takes pleasure in doing. The hapless soul has no choice expect to listen meekly. And God forbid if “I have an opinion on everything “comes across another “I have an opinion on everything” then their tirade just never ends.

6.     The Use and Throw type: As soon as you land a good moot/an awesome internship/a good post in a committee you find yourself surrounded by them. Once you provide them with help regarding the moot/information on how to go about getting the internship/do their work in the committee they vanish from your life .Hence the name Use and throw type for them. To them also I would like to quote Plutarch (Yes yes you guessed it right .I am a fan of Plutarch) “We ought not to treat living creatures like shoes or household belongings, which when worn with use we throw away”.

7.     The Lost Ones: These are ‘I have no clue what I am doing in the law school’ ones. When these people joined law school they had a vision. Some wanted to serve the society; others wanted to fight for human rights/women rights/etc. But five years in law school leave them disillusioned.

8.     The Good Ones: Err...Now do they even exist in a law school? :-o

So which category do you fall in?




23 July 2010
News and current affairs

We all want to be successful. No one can deny it. Although our definitions of success are often very different from one another.  When I decided to do law, I wanted to be successful. I wanted enough money for survival and normal luxuries and also serve the society. I had a dream.

My dream was my definition of success, your dream may be different. Whatever our dreams were, there is one thing common among them, i.e. there was a plan to achieve it. Maybe not a written plan, but a plan in your mind. I know I did.

Here I am, trying to unravel the mysteries of the oh-so-confusing world of law school.

I have divided the entire ‘process’ into parts.

Level 1

Choosing a law school:

I will not get into the stupid debate of whether three year colleges or five year colleges are better. They both have their positive and their negatives. Sometimes people are upset they could not get into a ‘famous’ college. I have news for them. There is less competition in the so called ‘not-s-famous’ colleges and so the chances of excelling are brighter. It’s simple Economics, monopoly is good for the company and competition is harmful. It does not mean that people who got into the ‘famous’ colleges are worse off. They do have the disadvantage of extreme competition but they have the advantage of having so many options to choose from. They get more opportunities and more competition.

So, your law school is just a support system. It will help you grow but it is not the only thing that matters. So don’t be upset about whichever law school you get into. Just be thankful that you are one of the very few in the country who actually got into a college.

Level 2

CGPA: Cumulative Grade Point Average

Now we all know how important it is. The fact is that in law school and even during recruitment, intelligence and competence are measured in terms of CGPA. Some find it hard to digest. I used to find it extremely unfair. I mean, what if I was not a crammer? What if I was good at doing things than writing about them? We have all had that questions in our mind. I asked the same thing to one of the recruiters. He explained it to me very nicely. He said that CGPA is the only thing they can rely upon. It is the only thing that can be used to judge one student from the other. Moots can vary, paper presentations can vary, extra-curricular activities are sometimes very misleading and almost never useful. During interviews, people fake everything. They fake their commitment level, their competence and sometimes even their qualifications and experience. So all that they are left with is just the dreaded CGPA. They have no choice. Although he did tell me that PPOs (Pre Placement Offers) were a better option.

So that solves another point. Your CGPA doesn’t always show your worth but it’s one of the most important thing if you are looking for recruitment through college interviews. So we have two options, either slog our asses off and get the CGPA or slog our asses off during internships are convince them to give you a PPO.

Level 3

Moot Court/Debates/MUN/Paper Publication/ Paper Presentation

MUN= Mock United Nations

To moot or not to moot, that is the question. :D A rather pertinent one.

I personally don’t like the unnecessary importance given to moot courts. My opinion is similar on the other things like Debates/MUN/Paper Publications/Presentations. I must clarify that I am not saying that all of them are ‘bad’. They are good for your personal development but they are not the means to all the things at law school. They teach you a lot of stuff but don’t expect them to get you recruitments singlehandedly. Only thing I will tell you is, try it once. If you like it then you can continue.

Level 4


Now this is according to me, the most important part of being a law student. Make contacts. Socialize with everyone. You can learn from everyone, even if it is something small.  Meeting new people has so many benefits. One is that you get to know how different people react to different situations. Second you can make ‘contacts’. They help you get internships and jobs. They help you get cases when you become a lawyer. No one was ever at a loss because he/she knew a lot of people. So cultivate this habit. Meet new people. Keep in touch. Don’t suffocate them or spam them. A birthday wish, a casual chat, a wish on the new year or something. Humans are supposed to be social, just be a human. It should work out fine.

Level 5


This is what almost all of us are working for. You might be thinking that this is the last level, well, it’s not. Recruitment is important, no doubt. Who doesn’t want money? We all have needs. We all want money. Recruitment is the only path we law students know that leads to money. I am talking about all kinds of recruitments and not just law firm recruitments. So the basic question is, how do you get recruited?

I once got a chance to talk to a recruiter, he told me a lot of things. He was the one who told me how much importance they give to everything else except CGPA. He told that the basic thing now a days is that you have to be smart in the way you talk. You have to be hard working. You have to be good at following orders. These things are important as they form the basis of what student do in their first year in office. The rest of what he told me will be in the next level.

Level 6

After 2 years of job experience

Well friends, recruitment is not the last stop on the law school track. Its what you do after that, that counts. No point getting a job into a good firm but doing work you never wanted to do. No point sitting in a posh office and doing something you don’t believe in. One of my faculties told me about a senior who absolutely hated Corporate Law. He hated it so much that he had written it on his Corporate Law notebook. Everyone knew about this. The irony is when he joined a law firm which dealt with just Corporate Law. Everyone was shocked. He was dejected. He needed the job.

My point is, don’t aim only for the top firms. Sometimes they might not give you what you really want. No one can work in an office for all their life if you don’t like the work. Try to find out your area of interest. I guess, that is why we have internships. They help you decide.


I am guessing this is already a very long post. I wanted to post it in two parts but decided against it. I thought it would spoil the flow. So, these are the six main levels that I divided the ‘process’ into. There can be many more. I am sure there are. Its just that I like these the most. If you have more then you welcome to share.

Constructive suggestions are welcome. 


My other posts:

What's your CGPA?

Love in the times of Law School.

Inception and Dowry Law

Research Foundation for Governance in India: creating a polito-legal revolution.



21 July 2010
News and current affairs

There was a lot of coverage on the IDIA initiative (Click here to read about the initiative ). I like what they're trying to do here. However, the numbers are stacked wildly against anyone trying to bring in change. There are three hurdles one has to get through to become a student of law at a top law school.


The first is based purely on numbers. In the year 1993, three years after I was born, all of us got into primary school. The Government gave itself a pat on the back. By the time it was 2006 , nearly 50% of us had dropped out. And then in 2008, just 8% of us made it to college. We were the lucky 8% who didn't have to fight poverty or be unable to study cause of a lack of guidance. This was the first stage of getting cut-off for a poor student.We were the elite 8% of India who got to attend some form of under-graduate education. Of this 8%,  less than 0.000005% attend the top 10 law schools in India. It doesn't include all those studying law; just the ones studying law at the top colleges.


If the poor student, say his name is Ravi, was among the lucky 8%,  he would face the next big challenge: coaching. Getting into any of these colleges is more about money and less about merit. Money gets one access to resources and access to resources gets you into these law schools. And unfortunately CLAT, like all other competitive exams in India, is based solely on one's ability to have been coached. And coaching centers are not cheap. Rewind two years and I remember my parents shelling out Rs.20,000 for a 8 month course. While that money may not be much for many, it is a lot for someone whose parents don't earn in lakhs.


In the third stage, we assume that Ravi does make it against all odds. If he got into my college, his parents would have to shell out Rs.1 lakh a year for the tuition fees and a minimum of Rs.36000 for other living expenses. For someone whose parents don't earn more than one lakh or two that is quite a burden. A loan you might suggest. Banks require a third party guaranty or collateral security for a loan above five lakhs.  For a family who can barely afford to get through the week, that isn't something they can provide.


And lastly, Universities do not want poor students. It's bad business for them. Poor students would not be as easy as rich ones. They demand answers unlike the rich who can afford the whimsical demands by the Universities. Like no one protested the fines my University a few years ago or the increase in fees. We don't mind paying cause at the end of the end, it's about who can pay and not who wants to study.


While I wish IDIA luck, they need to bring in radical thinking on part of the Universities. I would suggest they request every University to start a free coaching center for students whose parents cannot afford these course. While we may not be able to include everyone, it will go a long way in making law schools truly Indian.


Read John2010's other blogs:

Getting the recruitment process right.

How e-governance almost killed this man.

Celebrating Baby Thackeray's decision to study in English

We're all racists. Can we change?

8 disturbing signs that our elected representatives have forgotten us.

How comrade whistle blower lost his ethical virginity

The PM on legal education: What he said and did not say.

The 26/11 Judgement fails the maturity test and how we can still salvage justice.

Confessions of a chronic cheater.....

When things go wrong.....

21 July 2010
News and current affairs

Well, I saw Inception the other day. Brilliant movie. Awesome storyline and brilliant performances.

One strange thing that caught my attention in the movie was how Mal Cobb dies. She commits suicide but Mr. Cobb ( Dicaprio) is the one who gets into trouble. When I saw this, I was strangely reminded of our country’s dowry death laws. Strange, I know.

What is dowry death?

This Section of the Indian Penal Code was inserted by a 1986 amendment. The Dowry deaths law defines a 'dowry death' as the death of a woman caused by any burns or bodily injury or which does not occur under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage. For a woman's death to be a dowry death, it must also be shown that soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry. If this is proved, the woman's husband or relative is required to be deemed to have caused her death. Whoever commits dowry death is required to be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life.

Well, in a simple language, if the wife dies within 7 years of marriage and there is even a slight reason to believe that she was being harassed by her husband or his relatives, then they will be held responsible for her death.

It doesn’t matter if it was a suicide. The husband and his relatives will be guilty for harassing her and forcing her to take the drastic step. If the conditions under which she died are suspicious, then the husband and the relatives get screwed even more.  

Coming back to Inception.

Well, in the movie we saw that Mal goes to three physiatrists and gets herself declared sane before she jumps off a building as she thinks she is in a dream.  She also accuses her husband of being incapable of handling the children and gets it legally documented.

So, what if such a thing were to happen to a husband in India?

Wife is not sane but somehow gets herself declared as sane. She then commits suicide and then the husband is screwed for life.

There is nothing he can do about it. The worst part is that this is not just my theory. It has been happening for a long time now. Many husbands have fallen victims to this already.

False claims also cause a lot of problems. The court visits, the lawyer fees and the backlash from the society, all this is over and above losing a wife.

I am totally against gender biased laws. I mean, on one side you are advocating gender equality and on the other side you make such laws. Stupid.

I know that for every wrong case there are many women who have had justice due to these laws but that’s not the point. The Indian justice system is supposed to work on the principle of ‘It is better to let nine guilty men free than to convict one innocent man’.


I just wish they could change it and make it gender neutral. I am not being a chauvinist here. I am a fan of equality of the sexes. I think even the laws which are biased towards the males should be changed.

This is India. Things here take time to change.

On a lighter note: Let’s hope this law changes before I get married.


Related Read: Recommendation of Malimath Commission 


19 July 2010
News and current affairs

The State of World Population Report suggests that In India

1.  A Rape is committed every 54 minutes;
2.  Molestation every 26 minutes;
3.  Kidnapping or abduction every 43 minutes;
4.  Eve-teasing every 51 minutes;
5.  Dowry death every 1 hour 42 minutes;
6.  Criminal offense against women every 7 minutes.

Rape is a crime not only against the body of an individual but also against one’s mind, psyche and reputation. The rapist can be questioned only if he is caught but the raped is questioned at every stage by every strata of the society. The victims have experienced that the police is often reluctant to lodge their complaints. Even if the complaint is lodged, the justice is far from being delivered. In courts circumstantial evidence is highly relied upon. The defense always supports the theory that the intercourse was with mutual consent.

In various cases the absence of injury has been considered as a proof of consent by the courts. Victims are forced to lay every slight detail of the incident which may not be possible. Mostly the facts are presented in an inappropriate manner which often leads to the acquittal of the accused.

In traditional society like ours raising voices against any crime of sexual orientation is considered a taboo. Many girls have witnessed oppression from their own family members in such instances. A rape victim needs a lot of courage to bring the matter into notice. But the agony does not end here. It is continued at every stage whether it is medical treatment, lodging of F.I.R or even attending a trial. The entire system is harsh to her. Time and again some N.G.Os have provided the victims both financial and psychiatric support but practically they are unable to help all of them.

The accused may be known or complete strangers. The crime of date rape has increased significantly in the past few years. Not to forget the rape committed by one’s own relative (including fathers and husbands) and those committed by stalkers, taxi drivers, guides and co-workers. Statistics suggest that in about 7 percent of the cases, fathers or other intimate members of the family or close relatives were themselves the offenders. About three-fourth of the offences were the result of offence by Neighbours and other persons known to the victims. Only one-eighth of the offences were committed by strangers. Reports have also shown that when a married woman is raped, she looses her love for husband and bond with the family. This effects not only her but her children and husband as well.

Imrana was asked to marry her rapist father in law as a viable solution put forth by the religious protagonists. Instead of punishing the culprit they decided to reward him. What kind of justice is this?

The offense of rape declares a punishment not less than 7 years which may extend up to life imprisonment too. But a husband who rapes his wife who is below 12 years of age is only liable for an imprisonment which may extend up to 2 years or fine or both. The Indian law doesn’t recognize the crime of marital rape yet. Also there is no section in IPC which punishes boys under 16 years of age for committing rape. They can be prosecuted only under Section 377 (Unnatural Offences) of I.P.C.

The infamous case of Hetal Parekh indeed deserved capital punishment for the accused Dhananjoy Roy who not only raped 14 year old Hetal but also brutally murdered her. His plea to the president for remission of sentence was rejected by Mr APJ Abdul Kalam. The decision was welcomed by almost everyone in the country.

There is an urgent need of speedy trial for such cases. It may be done by introducing a separate legal system for such sexual offenses. Medical help must be provided to the victims which should include counseling and vocational training (in cases where the woman has be out casted from the society and has no means sustenance). The same can be provided by state fund. The fine for such offenses must not be kept nominal.

If the medical examination is not conducted within 48 hours of rape the offense is very difficult to prove. Most of the females are unaware of this and in order to get rid of the physiological scars they take bath before medical surveillance. Awareness programs must be conducted to demonstrate what a victim must do in case of rape. Moreover keeping in mind the mental state of the victims a female doctor must be appointed for the examination.

The recent amendment in Criminal Procedure Code(Cr.pc) is a very optimistic step. Now such cases have to be presented before a female judge. A more effective witness protection scheme is also being guaranteed. The statements of the victim would be recorded at their house or some other safe place preferentially in presence of a female officer.  A female may engage a lawyer to help the prosecution with prior permission of the court. The investigation has to be completed within three months from the date when information was recorded by the officer in charge of the police station. Protection of the victim’s identity, maintaining the confidentiality of the name and address of the parties, camera trials and conduct of trials by a woman magistrate are also provided in the amendment.


This is a duplication of author's post on legaldrift.