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Bar Council of India (BCI)

09 December 2013

BCI cozies up to NaMo
A delegation led by Bar Council of India (BCI) chief Manan Kumar Mishra met Narendra Modi on Saturday, inviting him to address the valedictory function of the Gujarat bar Council. According to a Gujarat state press release, the BCI respected Modi’s nationalism, while Modi called for better application of technology and faster disposal of criminal cases by improving forensic science education [TOI]

SC settles TDSAT-TRAI turf war: TRAI wins
Telecom tribunals’ TDSAT and TRAI’s three-and-a-half-year-long turf war has been finally put to rest by the Supreme Court which has held that the TDSAT has no business interfering in TRAI-made regulations. TDSAT can only hear and dispose of appeals against TRAI orders [Business Standard / SC judgment]

Crowds admire Kerala HC astrological garden
Kerala high court now has its very own astrological plant garden with 27 varieties of medicinal saplings that relate to the 27 constellations. Crowds thronged the HC complex on Friday in search of their medicinal star-sign flower pot [IANS]

AP HC allows lower courts to accept PILs
We haven’t succeeded in putting our finger on the legal provision Andhra HC chief justice KJ Sengupta has employed in reaching this conclusion: “The common man need not approach the high court for filing of PILs as it involves a cost factor. The filing of PILs can be done at munsiff magisterial courts also.” Can you? [PTI]

Madras HC asked for anti-sex harass cell: After the Allahabad HC is done constituting its anti-sexual harassment cell, the Madras HC is now also under the wave of demand for the cell after a PIL was filed in the HC asking for a mechanism to deal with the problem in all Tamil Nadu courts [TOI]

Bombay HC prioritises ‘younger’ senior citizens’ cases, lowers age limit 
The “precedence age” – the age at which a litigant can get his case listed on priority in the Bombay HC – has reduced from 65 to 60. On 3 December the HC has issued a circular that if even one of the litigants party to a case have attained the age of 60, their case will be listed for final hearing and disposal on priority basis, on their request. In 1999, this age was fixed at 65 [PTI]

Madras HC lawyers against SC lawyers as their judges: Madras HC lawyers will have a 25 per cent empty roster rather than “importing a stranger” to fill judge seats in the HC, if their opposition to the appointment of three SC lawyers to the HC’s judgeship is anything to go by. The Advocates Association of the HC swears that the move will ‘'completely distort the present selection process”, because the appointment will not be made by the collegium’s recommendation but on the request of the SC’s Advocates-on-Record association [The Hindu]

Lawyer punches pesky customs officer for clients: A Madras HC lawyer has managed to make headlines for taking his solemn duty for his client a tad too seriously by roughing up the customs officer who held up his clients after their questioning at the unit was over [TOI]

11 November 2013

AIBE The Bar Council of India (BCI) has postponed the All India Bar Exam (AIBE) scheduled for 22 December 2013, to 19 January 2014.

30 September 2013

The Delhi bar council complaint against the December 16 rape convicts’ lawyer AP Singh was transferred to the BCI, which on Saturday issued a show-cause notice to Singh, reported the Hindu.

Singh had made sexist remarks to the media outside the Saket trial court that had convicted his clients, claiming that he would burn his daughter alive were she to be found having premarital sex or going out at night with a boyfriend. He later claimed that he was provoked into his remarks.

The BCI is examining whether his comments can attract the charge of “professional misconduct” under Section 35 of the Advocates Act.

30 September 2013

AIBE results August 2013 AIBE results now out.

24 September 2013

The Bar Council of India (BCI) wants chartered accountants and auditors banned from advising on income tax matters of values below Rs 60 lakh, therefore leaving the domain exclusively to advocates, reported the New Indian Express.

The regulator has sent a communication dated 11 September to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in Delhi and the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) in Bangalore to delete clauses in Section 288(2) of the Income Tax Act 1995 that allow persons other than advocates from advising on tax matters, if the value of the matter is below Rs 60 lakh.

The BCI was acting on the report of its members S Prabakaran and Rameshchandra G Shah, which was considered at its 28 July meeting.

According to the report:

“Originally, under sec 44AB of IT Act, persons carrying on business having turn over exceeding Rs 60 lakh per year have to submit Tax Audit Report in Form 3CD duly signed only by CAs. The Act was redefined, and sec 44AD added to it in April, 2011, which included all business class assessees having a turn over `60 lakh and below within the ambit of tax audit. In view of the redefined clause, assessees approaching the CAs can declare less income and pay less tax. If they approach a legal professional, they have to declare fixed percentage of income and pay more tax, because of no authority to attach such Tax Audit Report. Then, nobody will approach the legal professionals and they will be indirectly threatened to extinction from income tax practice. This will amount to virtual withdrawal of the right conferred on legal professionals under Sec 288(2)(iii) of IT Act.”

25 August 2013

Did you sit the fifth AIBE today (25 August 2013)? How was it for you? Did the questions make sense? Was there enough time? Did anyone cheat?

22 August 2013

AdvertisingSo, Legally India sometimes gets accidentally addressed mail making us privy to some of the less public proposals law firms receive.

06 August 2013

NGT bans sand mining: The National Green Tribunal banned the practice of sand mining from riverbeds without the environment ministry’s clearance, complying with a 2012 order of the Supreme Court and responding to the suspension of young IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal who had conducted a drive against the sand mafia in Uttar Pradesh [Mint]

CJI overtaker, arrested: A man in Coimbatore was arrested after overtaking the wrong car – the one driving the chief justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam around town, escorted by team of cops [NIE]

Sweeping new SEBI powers: Former SEBI executive director Pratip Kar discusses how SEBI’s July 18 ordinance giving it sweeping powers has provided it with the right machinery to play catch-up with errant companies who’re always ahead in the game [BS]

Parental marriage consent, precedent: Political party leader S Ramadoss used the Karnataka HC’s 2011 judgment requiring parental consent for love marriages by girls under 21 years of age, to buttress his argument for an amendment to that effect in the Hindu Marriage Act. Ramadoss said that the HC had explained the “untold misery and hardship” of parents of teenage girls falling in love, reported the [Hindu]

Political parties v RTI: Citizen groups in various parts of India are protesting against the government’s move to amend the RTI Act to exempt political parties from its purview. The other alternative available to the government was to file for a High Court stay on the Central Information Commission’s June order that had directed six national political parties to appoint a Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) under the Act [HT]

BCI enforces norms on university: After the Bar Council of India (BCI) reportedly found that only five full time faculty were available for 1,200 students at the Rajasthan University’s law college, instead of the UGC-devised 1:20 teacher-student ratio, it disallowed the university’s repeated pleas to begin the 2013 academic session, forcing admitted students to leave for other colleges [TOI]

05 August 2013

The Bar Council of India (BCI), which is currently pushing for representation in Supreme Court and high court judges’ appointments, on Saturday staged a demonstration at Rajghat, Delhi demanding immediate withdrawal of the National Judicial Appointment Commission Bill terming it as an “affront on independence of judiciary”, reported the Hindustan Times.

The bill, which is up for introduction in the monsoon session of the parliament according to Deccan Chronicle, proposes to set up a six member Judicial Appointments Commission headed by the Chief Justice of India and including the law minister, a Rajya Sabha nominee, the leader of the opposition and two Supreme Court justices.

"We are totally against this National Judicial Appointment Commission Bill because of the fact that in the process of appointment of judges, we do not want any interference from any outsider, including the executive," BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra told Zee News.

09 July 2013

BCI LLB age-limit challenged : A writ before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad HC has challenged the BCI’s upper age limit to appear in law entrance tests. BCI has banned those 20 or older from sitting for the five-year degree, and those 30 or above for three-year LLB courses through Clause 28 of Schedule III to Legal Education Rules, 2008 [Parda phash]

Late litigation policy: The National Litigation Policy was first floated three years ago when Veerappa Moily was law minister. Now it has resurfaced as a draft policy under new law minister Kapil Sibal. Under the draft, in cases where the court imposes costs against the government as a condition to granting adjournment, the head of the government department will have to report on why and list the persons responsible. “Suitable action” will be taken against the persons, stated the draft [PTI]

Law firms advertise: Lawyers can’t solicit business in India, directly or indirectly, which means they can’t advertise their services. That hasn’t stopped Indian law firms from finding ways of creating a brand and gaining the attention of prospective clients, discusses [Mint]

Academic appreciation: NLU Jodhpur associate professor Prabhash Ranjan argues that the judiciary and the executive are ignoring the constitutional mandate to appoint distinguished jurists to the Supreme Court, while the Supreme Court is constitutionally bound to develop new legal principles and constitutional jurisprudence. Law professors would be perfect for the job [Hindu]

Placement trends: Out of an average batch of 110 law students, only 15 to 20 opt out of placements. Generally such graduates work as assistants to senior lawyer for four to five years before establishing their independent practice, writes the [Business Standard]

Abusive 498A: A Rajasthan HC writ challenging immediate arrests under section 498A (dowry harassment) and 407 (criminal breach of trust) of the IPC, alleges that 70 per cent of matrimonial disputes are converted into criminal cases by misuse of sections 498A and 406 [TOI]

25 June 2013

Pune has been declared one of Maharashtra’s four official bar All India Bar Exam (AIBE) centres, after the Bar Council of India (BCI) acceded to the “persistent and convincing demands” of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa’s demands over the last two months [Pune Mirror]

Pune has been without its own test centre since the start of the AIBE, as previously reported by Legally India.

11 June 2013

The Bar Council of India’s (BCI) chairman Manan Kumar Mishra and vice chairman Zafar A Khan will prepare a report on the manner in which the BCI and the state bar councils could participate in the appointment process of Supreme Court judges and the chief justices of all high courts. The report is planned to be submitted to the central and state governments.

The BCI is acting on the Madhya Pradesh state bar council’s and high court’s letter written to it, highlighting the concerns of former assistant solicitor general of India Radhe Lal Gupta. Gupta had shot a letter in March to all SC judges and chief justices of all HCs, questioning why some name recommendations to the SC collegium for judicial appointments were not considered positively.

Taking this into account the BCI has resolved to lobby for representation of lawyers’ bodies in the appointment process and has decided to raise this issue at a conference of judges and lawyers expected to be held after the court vacations. [Express]

The collegium system of judicial appointments has been a recent bone of contention between the executive and judiciary.

10 June 2013

BCI v Tamil Nadu police: The Bar Council of India (BCI) has written to the chief justice of the Madras HC requesting action against cops who registered a case against 20 advocates in Tamil Nadu who had visited the state police headquarters to lodge a complaint against the Kanyakumari district police [TOI]

Cross-border judicial training: India has offered to train Maldivian judges and judicial officers through linkages between the National Judicial Academy in Bhopal and the Judicial Training Academy in Villingili [BS]

Modi scoffs at lawmin: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi takes a dig at law minister Kapil Sibal. Modi says: “We have a law minister here, who all his life made rounds of the Supreme court wearing a black coat, and when a scandal took place in IPL, he jumped to say he would draft a law on it, without realising that the centre did not have the capacity to do so. He did not know it is a state subject. He first went ahead to say he will make a law, then said he cannot make a law, what is this law minister who does not know the legal system.” [Parda Phash]

Billing high-low: After telco lawsuits coincided with an FDI drop from $2bn to $304m in one year in the Indian telecom market, which is the world’s second largest, communications minister Kapil Sibal, who is also now in charge of the law ministry, vows to resolve the lawsuits after discussion with the telcos [Bloomberg]

I-spy emulator: The UK Guardian’s expose of American eavesdropping program PRISM which sends user information from Gmail, Skype, Facebook and others to American spies, has dangerous analogies in India and its right to privacy [Firstpost] Meanwhile, the PRISM whistleblower has gone public after seeking shelter in Hong Kong [Guardian]

03 June 2013

Bar examMajority of affected candidates from Hyderabad; BCI “regrets any inconvenience caused”.

28 May 2013

 

 

3nj4mcwoThe Bar Council of India (BCI), the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa (BCMG), and the union law ministry were yesterday served with a legal notice asking that the bar councils be suspended for failing in their duty to update a “defective” law syllabus in law schools across the country.