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Jerome Merchant + Partners

Jerome Merchant + Partners, formerly known as P&C Legal, was started by Vishnu Jerome.
14 July 2010

Think of those days when you were in your final year of law school and you dreamt of a job / placement in a firm which paid, if not much, just about 50k, and you thought you will rule this world with all the money and the charisma that you would carry around you. You dreamt of this one hot shot lawyer in the firm, ready to impress, if not the clients, at least a hand full of people (ladieeeess!) whom you think would watch you the moment you have stepped into the firm. You would calculate the rate at which you would grow within the firm. By 5 years you would have to (have to!!) have a swanky BMW; by another 5 years you will be a partner and you will have this awesome flat in a posh colony; and ofcourse you would be married by then (most just miss this bit). Life is set, you would be happy that you took up law as a career option. Now there is no turning around, and you are ready to enter the world of corporate lawyers.


Well, that said, you did get a job in the firm, the life seemed all set. Your dreams are following you and you are in command. Work from now on! And not just work but hard work, so you would climb the ladder of the home bread firm (atleast that what you thought) in a short, very short period of time. You would spend days and nights in the firm to get your way through the top. Day after day, month after month, you worked.. you thought that your hard work was being noticed.. though you spend more than half the day in your smoke breaks and goofing around the firm, you spent nights cribbing that you have shit loads of work dumped on you. You sometimes even thought you were indispensible and you went on and on.


And there… the appraisals approach. You start discussing with your colleagues, always sure that the boss will not give you a good appraisal (most of the time, if not always, you have a negative mindset). The only topic of discussion has been your appraisals. You have discussed that in office, while partying, during your daily lunches… and somehow mentally prepare yourself for the discussion you would have with your boss.


And then… it happens! You would be appreciated with ifs and buts, and that you have potential and you should just put in a little (very little) more hard work and you shall reap the benefits. This happened year after year and you discussed it smoke break after smoke break (and that was atleast 20 times a day??). You complained how the firm is against you, how your bosses aren’t putting in the best efforts to promote you within the team and how they are eating into your bonuses. But such is life and so, u think and move on.


Fast forward >>


You are four years in the firm (if you haven’t switched) and you are now desperately expecting that you will get promoted to a senior associate (an unwritten rule that if you have spent fours years you are ready to be promoted to an senior associate and that is without acknowledging the fact that you have done nothing extraordinary in the past four years). And then the day comes, you are invited in your boss’ cabin. You are nervous but you have thought about all that you would say if you wont get promoted. You perhaps even planned that you would just resign right there and then thinking that there in no dearth in jobs in the legal arena. And then…


Boss: You know how the year has been. Very hard year it has been for us. (we have just managed to actually double our profits.. but you don’t get a dime.. you did nothing.. it was us who did all the work…you morons)…


…And life still goes on! No matter what, you are still a lawyer and still earning shit loads of money and still partying hard….. as the Crow flies… or NOT ;)

13 July 2010


How much longer shall we purge?

Laws are but words untouchable Ideas of thought.

It is these words which form the fibers, material for social engineering. The very material by which societies are built, broken and rebuilt.

The reason to take from the weak and give to the rich and the staging grounds for revolutions.

It’s The Law.

Today in our midst in the wide open eyes of the knowing, lies shall not roll under carpets to their mice holes. Let the jesters be silent and the true lords of their realm speak.

We have given the distant fires in dark mountains long to grow, and now the move on our homes.

No more shall the fodder be weak the silent tress of the noiseless mountains and let it try to quench its thirst upon us. For we have awakened and gathered our brethren.

So shed a tear for us today, for tomorrow we shall never be and the fire long past.






13 July 2010

exorcism“Exorcism of Emily Rose”, a horror classic is based on the true story of Anneliese Michel, a 17 year old girl in Germany who was exorcised by her parents and two priests.  She suffered from schizophrenia which could be treated by medicines. But her parents relied on exorcism rituals to cure her. She died after few days of exorcism due to malnutrition and starvation.

The court observed that because of lack of nutrition her body was unable to recover from the injuries which were result of both exorcism as well as self infliction and awarded all the four accused imprisonment of six months.

Recently a similar instance happened in Kodinar near Rajkot. Farida (36 yrs) died when she was not given food for 22 days and made to sleep on sand under sun by her husband and in-law who believed her to be ‘possessed’.

Epilepsy or Possession

Epilepsy (also known as fits or seizures) results from rapid uncontrolled electrical activities of the brain. This could result in contraction of muscles and loss of consciousness for several minutes. The patient may fall on to floor, shake tremendously, urinate or foam at mouth.

Some people consider these symptoms signs of possession. In places like Mehendi Pur Ke Balaji, Rajasthan many frauds are self proclaimed specialists in treating cases of possession. Due to lack of awareness many people are duped in to this trap.

The treatment is not only orthodox but cruel most of the times. Blowing cow-dung smoke, burning pig excreta, beating or pulling the victim’s hair and reciting prayers or mantras are common. The worst suffers are women patients who are sometimes molested, raped or sexually harassed in name of the ritual.

Exorcism: the Global Phenomenon

Exorcism means “to bind by oath”.  It is a ritualistic act of driving out evil spirits from the victims body. It is believed that through exorcism saints in various religions and communities win over evil.

In Ethiopia many forms of zar possession are known to occur.  Zar spirits typically possess women whose husbands intend to marry an additional wife or there are domestic conflicts present in the family.  Exorcism of the zar spirit results in a complicated, large and expensive dance ceremony for the victim.

After the expensive ceremony wives have been known to threaten a relapse if their demands are not met; consequently extorting further economic sacrifices from their husbands. The “zar possession strategy” to get needs met has been adopted by women (and some men) throughout the world: Muslim Somali, Muslim Sudan, Egypt, parts of North Africa, Arabia, East Africa, Arabia, South America etc. The ritual mainly guards the notions of family in these cultures.

When Exorcists were Doctors:

The works of the Exorcists in some societies were similar to doctors in the present times; they cured illness, misfortune and tough luck of their patients.

In ancient Mesopotamia both physical and psychological sickness were considered result of possession. Ancient Babylonian priests were required to destroy the wax image of a demon in order to destroy the attached spirit. Treatment included prayers as well as direct challenges to the demons which were believed to inflict diseases of every type.

Judaism exorcist rituals can be traced back to the 1st century AD.  The dybbuk is considered an evil spirit which possesses the soul of its victim causing mental illness and changes in the personality. The dybbuk is exorcised through the victim’s small toe and may either be redeemed or sent to hell.

Shamanism is another similar example. The word shaman comes from the language of the Arctic Tungus which means “one who is excited, moved, or rose.” The shaman is one who dominates spirits and can introduce them into his own body on his choice. “Arctic Hysteria”, the distress caused to women in chilling winter months in Polar Regions is often termed as spirit possession.

Positivist Stage

Nowadays people have set aside their inhibitions and hesitations in visiting a doctor or a medical practitioner. The help of psychiatrists and counsellors are now being preferred. There is more emphasis on the scientific reasoning rather than the spiritual thoughts. Many diseases like jaundice were earlier considered to have spiritual origin but now people have started taking medical advice.

We are conditioned to respect the almighty and fear the evil. The annual celebration of Halloween has somewhere kept the  belief alive that the ghosts and spirits exist.

Exorcism was probably evolved to overcome the miseries of people. In past, there no medical aid was access-able. It was the only effective and viable solution available. Many psychological problems were healed, relations were protected (like Zar possession in Ethiopia) and people were encouraged to be benevolent.

The social evolution has transformed the beliefs of the people. Exorcism in most of the cases has been diluted to mere fraud and superstition. The people (mostly poor and illiterate) are deceived by the self proclaimed religious healers. The lack of medical facilities in villages and poor understanding of epilepsy has encouraged the practice. The Epilepsy Task Force in Sri Lanka has been applauded worldwide for its awareness campaigns in villages. The task force which consists a multi-disciplinary team of doctors and social workers has been instrumental in providing advance medical treatment to the patients.


The post is a duplication of already published work on authors blog www.legaldrift.com.

12 July 2010

Note:- All of the following people, locations, activities and incidents are purely fictional with absolutely no basis in reality, so if you see a resemblance to anything existent, I compliment your imagination :)


“They’re girls. They’re all girls! And they’re ALL  good looking…I mean, what are the chances?! God hates us.”


Raghu’s face is twisted in pain. He stares at the group of three girls in the distance with a comically morose expression for a few more minutes, his features twitching in silent yet poignant despair. He gets up with a dramatic sigh and turns to me. “Boss, I’m going to get a sutta. Or a hundred.”


I wave goodbye and watch as he walks away. Then I look back at the girls and sigh myself.  Here we were, two skinny, bespectacled, male members of a three member all-male team representing our college at the national rounds of the Perished C. Jurist International Moot Court Competition. We had sweated, lied and bluffed our way to the finals. I took stock of our strengths. We had a compendium of cases with a hundred colourful Post-Its poking out of it like the feathers of an exotic tropical bird. We had shiny shoes. All of us knew how to tie our ties in impressive looking Windsor knots. We had a fairly decent memorial.


However, amongst the things we did not have, was shiny hair. And glowing skin. Also luscious lips, ditto dulcet tones of voice. We had bad voices, worse legs and singularly terrible hair. My hairstyle was a severe crew cut suggestive of a history in prison, and Raghu, God bless him, would have assaulted anyone who so much as suggested he run a comb through what he called his ‘rockstar’ hair. As for voices, I had what I called a pleasant baritone and what Raghu called a bark, and Raghu’s voice was what may only be described as squeaky. Further, none of us was in the habit of wearing lip gloss that made our mouths pink and pouty. I doubted we smelled like candy either.


The bench judging us was composed of three ancient male judges, two of whom had a definite eye for the ladies. To make it worse, against all my hopes, the girls even had a good memo. I sighed again. It's one thing to fight a memo, it's quite another to fight a libido.


I watched my teammates return from their cigarette smoke-laden self-pity ceremony at the teashop. I eyed them critically. “Look”, I said. “We have made it to the finals of a prestigious moot purely through merit. We are good, it is undeniable. But it is also undeniable that we are ugly and male. So we need to practice the hell out of this memo, or we have no chance of beating Charlie’s Angels there.” I inclined my head towards the girls, one of whom was tossing her annoyingly shiny hair and no doubt making sparkling conversation with her equally beautiful companion. I looked back at my team as it nodded unhappily.


That night we began reading the memo with the best of intentions. Three hours, two bottles of Old Monk and one rather excellent local alcoholic concoction later, Raghu was kissing the top of my head, tears streaming down his face. “I hated you throughout the prep period but you’re a great guy, Folly! I love you, Folly! I love you man! It’s okay if we lose tomorrow! This moot may be the best in the world and winning it may have been my biggest dream but so what! A moot is for one day, a friendship is for ever!” I smiled beatifically through a haze of blue smoke at him. To be sure, I couldn’t remember his name, but he looked familiar, and he seemed like a nice guy. I felt fabulous. I looked around the room and saw my researcher curled up peacefully in a corner hugging an empty bottle. I smiled affectionately.


Fast forward by three hours. Bright sunlight filled the room. I opened one sticky eye and cursed as the light hit me square in the face. My mouth felt like sandpaper and my head felt like it belonged to someone else. I couldn’t really remember where I was. Somewhere near me, my phone was ringing. It had never sounded so abominably loud, like a power drill, before. My head was already throbbing in pain, and this sound kicked it up by a few thousand notches. I groped for the phone, picked it up and grunted. A bright voice informed me that I was to be ready within an hour and a half to give the final rounds of the competition. I sat up in shock; in one sickening second, everything came back.


And then someone giggled softly.


Raghu was sitting up against the wall, wide awake. And he was giggling. He was surrounded by four empty potato chips packets, a half empty cigarette packet, small rolls of paper and one copy of our memorial. The memorial was missing its first three pages. As my head started clearing, I identified the suspicious smell hovering about him. 


My heart sank as I put two and two together. Our team now consisted of a hungover speaker, a herb-happy co-speaker and a snoring researcher. We also had two and a half copies of our memorials, where we once had three. We had one hour to salvage this. I looked around the room, hoping desperately for a solution to walk in through the walls.


To be continued [if interest is exhibited ;) ]

12 July 2010

My cow Gulabo like every other cow in my village has a tendency to chew her grass for long; really long. I read in my grade five science book that the cows can recall some of the chewed grass from their bodily reservoir when required. Nice stuff. All hail the almighty!

One day my cow fell ill; very ill. I took her to the local vet. He told me that Gulabo’s intestines had somersaulted. She could no longer recall the chewed grass. He told me that this disability would at times leave Gulabo without any reservoir of food for long and that she would die soon.

All hail the almighty!

I heard my friend who is in an NLU was fired from a law firm job. His aged, benign lawyer uncle told him that he had not ruminated upon law and that it was important. When you ruminate you digest well. You can also recall the thing well. This can impress everyone and keep you put on your job.

But he had gulped his water, his food and yes even his books. He digested nothing. Rumination was beyond his capability.

All hail the almighty!

My cow is dead.

My friend just as good.

:-{O             (A moustached simily. Totally out of context).

11 July 2010


a) This post has been written based upon situations seen and felt, and may not necessarily reflect law school culture in any particular law school specifically.

b) The situations mentioned herein are not meant to offend anyone. They are purely hypothetical.


‘What is ethical may not necessarily be unlawful, and what is lawful may not be necessarily ethical.’


Law school over the four years that I have seen witnessed and felt it has often brought about certain negation points or points where choices are made, decisions are taken and issues have been resolved in ways which bring about the question of the existence of ethics within law school.

Ethics can be a subjective concept, and therefore, may vary from person to person, however, through a series of instances given below which have been divided into specific headings under which an explanation has been given through examples, common issues arising in law school have been attempted to be analysed:


1. Extracurricular activities - Extracurricular activities particularly at the selection stage to represent a university in an event brings up questions related to ethics and how transparent the selection procedure is.

For example, Moot court competitions are based on rank lists set out through internal selections. Yet, rank lists are overlooked and people try to make sure that compatibility is given primary importance while sending across a team.

Ethical viewpoint: People engage in dealings, manipulations etc. to make sure that compatibility issues don’t arise. A rank 1 may be made a researcher because the rank 10 may be close to the convener of the Moot Court Committee or probably because. This isn’t exactly ethical on the part of Rank 10.

Loophole: The Moot Court Committee rules do not prescribe how the moot courts need to be allocated. Therefore, compatibility comes into question and people take advantage of knowing people in the right place and the right time. Period.

Have any rules been broken?



 2. Attendance- Irrespective of who a person is, where he is from and what he/she does while at law school, attendance is an issue which he/she has to encounter at some point of time or the other while at law school. Students have to deal with it in varying degrees of intensity depending on how severe their case is.

For example, if a person falls short of the 75% cut off to sit for an exam, what does he do?

Ethical Viewpoint: The person’s options to make good the shortage to sit for the exam range from fake medical certificates to false claims in committee work (Jugaad) to sucking up to the faculty. Ethically, this does not definitely sound right since the person is trying his best to make sure a claim which isn’t right gets pushed forward.

Loophole: The examination committee rules may or may not permit such attendance claims to be worked out. So, claims are often adjusted according to the whims and fancies of the people in question and the people in power.

Have any rules been broken?



3.Recruitment- This is an all time favourite topic of most students and amidst the lofty packages offered and the recruitment details put forth by colleges, there always arises a question as to how transparent a campus recruitment process is and how best can bias not creep into the campus recruitment process.

For example, a recruitment committee convener may be close to a person ‘A’ who is applying to firm ‘X’ through campus recruitment. Firm ‘X’ happens to recruit only those people who have interned with them previously. ‘A’ has surpassed the necessary allowance of attendance granted for internships while skipping college in the final year and yet, gets eligible to write the exam.

Ethical Viewpoint: ‘A’ has explained his case to the recruitment committee convener. The attendance is granted to ‘A’ in order to facilitate him to get recruited and also to ensure that Firm ‘X’ can appear in the list of recruiters for the recruitment brochure. But, a flipside to this is that only ‘A’ has clandestinely availed of this advantage and the same treatment isn’t afforded to anyone else sitting for recruitment for Firm ‘X’ despite claiming for attendance for the exact same reason. This happens because ‘A’ happens to be close to the recruitment convener.

Loophole: The recruitment committee has fulfilled its objective of making sure that ‘A’ gets recruited and also to make sure that Firm ‘X’ becomes a recruiter. In order to do this the recruitment committee relies on the words ‘as it deems fit’ in the internship rules while considering attendance claims.

Have any rules been broken?



4. Marks- This category could most certainly apply to autonomous institutes where the syllabus and marking criteria is completely in the hands of the faculty.  

For example, ‘A’, who is a brilliant student, is marked very badly despite having written an almost symmetrical answer to that of ‘B’, another brilliant student who is marked excellently. But, there is a background check which needs to undertaken here, ‘A’ had questioned the faculty’s knowledge with regard to updating of the latest position in the subject matter taught and hence, is facing the repercussions.

Ethical Viewpoint- The faculty member may or may not have bias against ‘A’ but he/she repeatedly pesters A and makes sure he does not get adequate marks in the subject in addition to recommending strict action to be taken against him from other faculties.

Loophole: The faculty member is answerable only to the authorities in question and his/her accountability to students is limited and to a large extent is a by product of the rapport he/she shares with the students.

Have any rules been broken?



5. Secrecy- This, by far is the most common feature seen in law schools. While, there is no doubt that each man is meant for himself and should make sure that opportunities are never missed, sometimes, secrecy leads to hilarious and awkward situations which make heads turn and point in different directions as a blame game begins.

For example, in a debate competition, a couple of people represent the college while the college doesn’t even know the existence of such a debate or about these two people.  The invite is kept to themselves since they receive it on mail and so that no internal selection takes place in college. The college gets the official invite after the aforementioned unofficial team has left and sends out its official team after a hurried selection process. As it turns out, in the same debate competition, the official team faces off against the unofficial team with utter confusion arising as to which team is actually supposed to represent college.

Ethical Viewpoint- What the two people did was fine since they did not jump the selection procedure and left for the competition before the internal selections process. But, at the same time not informing the existence of the debate to the appropriate committee was not ethical on their part.

Loophole- The committee rules governed internal selection procedures within the college only with respect to invites they received. It wasn’t obligatory on the part of the unofficial team to inform the committee of the existence of the debate.

Have any rules been broken?



Therefore, there always arise instances where ethics are often compromised or brushed aside in the name of competency or opportunities. While, this has worked for temporary phases at law school, people often fail to realize that the interplay between competency, opportunities and ethics is something which by default manifests itself at some point either today or in the near future. Most people, resort to means like the ones mentioned above and they will continue to resort to doing so unless and until more transparency and accountability arises among law schools at large. Few law schools, do possess this transparency, and for the others that don’t, people will continue doing what they currently do and may even probably carry the same attitude in their professional lives.   



10 July 2010

“Joining CRPF was the biggest mistake of my life. I have realized that the country doesn’t honor its soldiers and it is better to take voluntary retirement after 20 years of service than to be treated as a pawn” says an anonymous CRPF jawan. His opinion reflects the thoughts of thousands of CRPF jawans who have been treated worse than a cattle both by the state and their departments.

Most of the soldiers in the paramilitary forces like Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have lost their faith in the system and think they are being used as scape goats by government in war against the Naxals.

Compared to the army, the paramilitary forces have more to lose than to gain. The job benefits are very low in comparison to the army whereas the chances of death on duty are considerably high.

If we examine the current situation of CRPF, we find that their disillusionment may be justified on various grounds. The problem needs to be seen in context of two major issues :-

1. On-duty deaths

2. Voluntary Retirement Schemes

On-duty deaths

Insurgency is undoubtedly one of the biggest problems in the country. The force is mostly deployed in Naxal effected areas over the last 5 years and has been witnessing the game of life and death everyday. The soldiers are expected to fight insurgents without proper strategic and military support. The encounter with Naxalites is a routine affair for them.

The Naxalites are well aware of the internal areas and they use it to their advantage. They are experts in Guerrilla warfare tactics and successfully trap their prey.  Their strategy is to exhaust enemy’s gun power and inflict maximum damage. First, they fire at the security forces and then take a different way to surround the forces from a different direction. The reinforcements which hardly last some hours are soon exhausted in the encounter. The jawans are left to the mercy of the enemy who never spares them. Various other reasons also contribute to the failure of tackling the Naxal issue.

Reasons for failure to tackle the Naxal Problem:-

1.  The Naxals communicate with the tribes in their local language whereas the jawans are unable to do the same.

2.  Naxalites use traditional ways of communication which is difficult to comprehend.

3.  There is a fear of Naxals in the affected areas and people are scared to act as informers or provide help in anyway.

4.  Naxalites have their agents in the villages and other local areas.

5.  The areas are technologically deficient and lack electricity, water, telephone, proper roads and other resources which makes it difficult for the paramilitary to communicate.

6. Since transportation is a major problem, the forces are not provided with adequate equipment and resources.

What Matters the Most :-

In 2010 alone more than 79 CRPF soldiers have been killed on duty, the figure was 58 in 2009. The jawans realize that they have only two options available: to kill or to be killed and unfortunately they cannot even make a choice. Their sacrifice is hardly valued or honored by the citizens. Their condition is equally neglected by the state.

The State recruits soldiers to protect the nation but an equivalent duty vests on the state to protect its soldiers. The state can not act as a mere spectator to these mass killings. There lies no martyrdom is being a ready bate for the enemy. The CRPF jawans lack proper training, amenities, resources, intelligence system and assistance. The political and ideological fight between the Naxals and the government might probably end one day but till then many precious lives would be lost.

Taking pride in Kargil would serve no purpose if the Indian soldiers are treated as bates on their own soil.

Voluntary Retirement Scheme

The fear of death, lack of job satisfaction, low perks and remunerations and negligible promotions have forced many CRPF soldiers to opt for Voluntary Retirement Scheme (V.R.S). Most of them find the job of a private guard better than serving the paramilitary. The force is usually posted in sensitive areas like J&K, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and North East and at places where election is supposed to take place.

Tehelka reports, “According to official data, an unprecedented 14,422 jawans applied for premature voluntary retirement from service (VRS) in 2009 — up 85 percent from the previous year and 112 percent from 2007. Compare this with the fact that only 4,622 soldiers sought voluntary retirement from the Indian Army — which is three times larger than all the paramilitary forces put together — in the same period, and the contrast becomes painfully stark.”

Probable Reasons for Disillusionment

Although most of their time is spend in traveling, unlike army they are provided with no special train boogies. It is up to the mercy of the railways to provide them with travel passes. The basic amenities have become a luxury for them. They are given low quality food, torn tents, few medical facilities and hardly any leave.

The benefits of the 6th Pay Commission have barely reached its beneficiaries. It is alleged that their own departments ensure that the welfare schemes doesn’t reach them. The officers in the higher cadre enjoy all facilities whereas the soldiers not only face the wrath of their officers but also have to struggle hard to get their rights enforced. They are treated as servants by their commanders and have to follow orders at any cost. The pressure of following orders is immense and any fault may result in serious consequences. They have to provide a bundle of documents to avail the benefits of the 6th Pay Commission which is impossible for them as they hardly get any leave.


In a populated country like India, vacancies would be soon filled by new entries but is it justified to loose these soldiers? They sacrifice their blood and sweat to ensure that we can vote without fear, freely walk on streets and live safely at our homes. On the other hand they are not only deprived the company of their families but barely experience any job satisfaction.
Death is so probable that life seems meaningless to them.The issue has to be addressed or the country would loose considerable number of patriots.

It is unfortunate that the state is unable to protect those who protect its citizens.

This is a duplication of the post on authors blog legaldrift.com. It can be read on http://www.legaldrift.com/the-crpf-will-be-soon-dead/

10 July 2010

New Delhi

In a recent judgment passed by the Honourable Supreme Court of India, a 5 judge bench declared ‘The Right to have Nimbu Paani in summers and Hot Jalebis in winters’ a fundamental right. The SC passed this judgment in response to two PILs, one which was filed two days ago and another filed two decades ago.

“The SC has broadened the scope of Right to Life to include a right to life of respect and dignity and not merely animal existence. Similarly we hold that not having Nimbu Paani in summers and Hot Jalebis in winters would be sub-human ”.

“It reflects the constant struggle of human beings to do better. I mean, which other animal can make Nimbu Paani. They just have to drink water”, said Justice Nimbudaripad.

“The sweet, salt, spicy and sour taste of Nimbu Paani is reflective of our rich cultural heritage too which is an amalgamation of all cultures, of all tastes. Similarly we expect citizens of different religion to come together and make a strong citizenry just as various ingredient of Nimbu Paani make a refreshing drink”, the judgment read.

“Hot Jalebi is so very tasty in winters than no Indian can be deprived of that right”, said justice Bhalla, as large quantities of saliva ran down his mouth, wetting the whole judgment which ran into 1459 pages.

The judge, slightly embarrassed ordered the steno to print it again amidst vehement opposition by environmentalist arguing that so many trees were cut for those saliva wetted pages. It was decided to keep the pages in the SC museum’s almanac as a celebration of this landmark judgment.

“We also order makers of jalebis to make jalebis in desi ghee only. Oil should not be used. If this precedent is followed by America, where Indian dishes are relished, we might have another invasion in the middle east for want of oil in America to make Jalebis”.

Aggrieved by this Patrick Stark, an American said, “Buggers! At least we would enforce the orders of the court which would lead to oil scarcity”. Barbhajan Singh, in response to the American has reported to have something like ‘Oi! ni teri paaen di”. Barbhajan said that he was saying ‘Oi! Nimbu Paani dae’! Sach-chin Bendulkar, his friend however clarified that this is a ‘Punjabi swear word’.

False news with balls news network.

09 July 2010

 I want to haul you down to a Love Court
You’ll get the notice any day now
Probably on pink paper
Or atleast an angry shade of red
It’ll come enveloped in a heart-shaped folder
Which you’ll have to rip apart at the seams
But then, you’re good at that kind of thing -
Aren’t you ?

You broke my heart in the winter,
And again in the summer rain,                                                                                                                         And if I didn’t drag you to court,
You’d just do it again

This Court of Love, it’s not a happy place,
Its title isn’t quite apt,
You appear before it, when love is lost,
And of course, no judge can get it back

The Court of love is a criminal court,                                                                                                           You can’t pay your way out of your mess,
But it takes no prisoners, atleast not in chains,
Though honestly, heartbreak should be a life-term offence

The trial procedure is a bit harsh,                                                                                                                       That even I must admit,
The exhibits are the moments you  twisted the knife,
Read out before a large audience

Of course we believe in a fair hearing,                                                                                                       You’ll get your audi alteram partem
But I have a feeling, that any defence you make
Will only weaken further
Your completely flimsy case

You might say – “Ah I thought it was the right thing at that point..
Clearly, you didn’t think enough
You might argue – “It wasn’t you, it was me …
Well then, you’ll just have to pay for your damn fault

The court will actually surprise you
Right at the very end
For all the harsh procedure, The punishment is plain and simple –

A sincere apology, demands the judge,
One from the bottom of your heart,
Understand the hurt you’ve caused,
And this Court lets you off.

But really, honestly, to tell you the truth
This Love Court’s just a scam
I’m still heartbroken at the end of it all
And you get off with barely a rap on your hand

09 July 2010

Here we were, minding our own business, enjoying life in our 'National' Law University when we were dealt a heavy blow by the university's trinity of ruthless hands: Bureaucracy, Vindictiveness and Subjectivity. But these Hundred faces I talk about have seen it all before. After two years in law school, having been left battle-scarred by the numerous confrontations with the administration, it's almost as if they are expected to go into battle every time an unfair result for our toil is put up on those oppressively silent notice-boards. Yet, they soldier on, ever-strong. It's time for another Battle. Here is an ode to the bravest hundred faces I have known, the Batch I am proud to have been a part of!

An Ode to those Hundred Faces


A hundred faces did emerge,

Faces, bare and desolate.

In a silent trickle, they did disperse:

Dispersal, so disconsolate!


In a single strike, the will to gripe

Was snatched away ruthlessly.

Is this Fate’s way to unite?

I’ve never seen Ate gleam so brightly.


As she began to work her magic,

Fresh life breathed into sagging spirits.

They arose uniquely in times so tragic.

Via caffeine, nicotine and a medley of spirits.


A hundred faces did emerge,

Faces, vexed yet steady.

Vengeance did their actions urge:

A vengeance, oh so heady!


Those who oppress believe they’ve won,

Little they know of the fires they’ve begun.

As the moth-bitten pages of History run,

Oppressors always pay for their shenanigans.


Writ large across their troubled brows,

Gruesome interplay of deception and injustice.

They wouldn’t, before dictators, bow;

The mere thought seemed ludicrous.


A hundred faces did emerge,

Faces, determined and valiant.

They all did in unison surge.

A surge, oh so triumphant!


Unity is life, else a gory demise,

Awaits spineless, lonesome cowards.

When the oppressed do, united, arise.

Tormenters are robbed of unworthy powers.


As trauma turns to grit and steel,

As hands join in a show of unanimity.

The wrath of wounded tigers do tyrants feel:

A wrath so gruesome, so ghastly.


A hundred faces did emerge,

Faces scarred, yet proud!

Suffering did their courage purge,

Courage; exceptional in a gutless crowd.


Those hundred faces; an accomplished task:

The strength they showed; That joyous victory!

Diverse faces, yet a single mask:

The mask of unity!




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08 July 2010


They have never been to a law school or sported the lawyer's black robes butmany women in rural India are dispensing justice in tough cases like rape, child marriage and even divorce mostly in just two weeks - at “NariAdalats.”


I am sure majority of you would not have heard of Nari Adalats. The literal translation would mean "Women's Court". They are a type of ADR system. Mostly unknown, they work very efficiently. They are known as the silent warriors. They fight for justice. It was started in Vadodara, Gujarat.


What is a Nari Adalat?

They are a bunch of women working as a Lok Adalat. There are no male members involved in the decision making process.  Contrary to the opinion that you might have had in the first two lines, they are absolutely gender neutral when it comes to delivering justice.  Yes, you read that right.


They want to involve women into the judicial process. They want women to raise voice against violence and injustice. They want to change the role of women in the society. They want to be less dependent on the patriarchal society of justice. 


General features

It does not have a formal court setup. No fix place. No judge, a large group of women instead. The minutes of the proceedings in a day are written and maintained. The orders decided in the meetings do not bind the parties legally. It only binds them morally and socially. They charge no fees. They travel to the party’s home to solve their disputes. They are sometimes trained by the local lawyers on basic topics of law. These ‘adalats’ have solved more than 23,000 cases till now. The figure is a very conservative estimate. The real figure will be much much higher.


Future plan

They are working on making people aware about the complimentary judicial systems. They want to expand it to every village in the country. It is to be made a bit formal. They will finalise a place. Training will be given to Nari Adalat women. of NA. They will start observing the International Violence against Women day. They will hold legal workshops where people will be made aware about their rights.



The government, the judiciary and the society at large have a duty to encourage such women. The police force of their respective areas is already in awe of these women. They have made identification cards for some of them. They also offer transportation facilities whenever they can. People in the village look up to them.


The faith that people had on the justice system in the olden days is being restored by these women. They are a pillar of strength for other women in the society. They are the symbol of the rise of women in the society.


Inspite of all these positives, they are still ignored by the larger mass. Almost no one knows about them. They have to spend their personal money for travelling expenses. Their only identification is the identity cards that police of certain villages have given them.


I had gone to many such Adalats for a survey for the college. We were moved by the enthusiasm of these women. We asked them what they needed. They said that they want more people to know about this. They want more people to join in the movement. They want a normal uniform, maybe saree so that they can connect with it and feel like one. They want a proper place to function. They do not want tables and chairs, they just want a place which has a concrete shade over it and a fan. All their sessions are held in borrowed places and all of them sit on the floor.

Thank You

This is the first post I have written which has actually given me a sense of satisfaction. I can now tell my subconscious, “This is why I became a law student.”




08 July 2010

Sorry for a month’s delay in bringing this piece, though it was written just 48 hours after the passing of resolution, but I could not upload it for such a long time as my laptop just then decided to go for some vacations. Though I know it will smell bit stale rather than the fresh cake I had intended to serve, but please don’t mind. Since I was feeling quite lazy to edit it so as to cover the time lag, I decided to put this notice instead – dear reader, while reading this blog, kindly cover the time lag by pretending this week to be the week gone a month before.  :)


In the whole week among various International developments, the UN Security Council Resolution against Iran takes the cake. In fact out of all the developments of Bhopal Gas Tragedy, Extradition of William Anderson, and Sri Lankan Minister Douglas being a proclaimed offender in India for various offences, I decided to discuss the UNSC Resolution. And yes, I did. Oh, I did. I did read the whole resolution. 6 pages with perseverance, 7th and 8th page with slight slump in my chair, then 9th and 10th page with bit more slump in my chair. Its heavy reading man!! So this is what all I found in my reading of UNSC Resolution, and this again is sprinkled with little bit of International Politics. Before coming to the legal issue let us spice it up with surrounding political developments.

This resolution comes 18 months after Obama promised to deliver ‘tougher’ sanctions on Iran, and his Secy for State ran around negotiating with Russia, China, and Turkey et al to back them in sanction. While Turkey and Brazil voted against the sanction, probably due to their impending deal with Iran under which Iran had agreed to send abroad large amount of its low enriched Uranium to in return for higher-enriched fuel rods Iran needs to replenish an ageing medical-research reactor. This deal prima facie seems to resemble the one it had made last October with America, Russia and IAEA, but had backed off at the last moment. The Turkey-Brazil-Iran agreement is alleged to be risky business as under the agreement the low enriched Uranium stocks to be supplied by Iran have to be enriched to 20%, a level from which it is not tough to enrich it to the threshold of making a bomb. Asserting its Right to Energy all along, Iran, led by Mr. Ahmadinejad, has once again, as with previous sanctions, has rejected this fresh round of sanctions too.

This fourth set of sanctions against Iran by UN Security Council (UNSC Resolution No. 1929) state (recalls, notes, reiterates, expresses, emphasizes, stresses, welcomes, recognizes and affirms) the following-

1.)    Iran is directed to co-operate with, and comply fully and without qualifications to the IAEA Safeguards Agreement and its additional Protocols.

2.)    Prohibits Iran from constructing any new uranium enrichment or allied works facility, and directs to discontinue any such ongoing construction. And also decides that Iran should not acquire any interest in any State in any commercial activity involving uranium mining, enrichment, production or use of nuclear energy or materials. In furtherance of same, other nation States are directed to prohibit any such investment in their territories and jurisdiction.

3.)    All other national states are directed to prevent direct or indirect supply of war equipments from or through their territory.

4.)    Has added three annexure containing the names of individual officers related Iran’s nuclear programme and directed all the states to prevent their entry into or transit through their territories. The resolution has also explicitly named Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps, and has called upon states to keep vigilance on transactions of IRGC.

5.)    Has given power to states to inspect all the cargo to and from Iran at seaports and airports, and to seize and dispose of such items trade of which is prohibhited. And has further made it mandatory to provide the details of such inspection, seizure or disposal to Security Council.

6.)    All member states are further directed to communicate to UNSC information on any transaction or activity of Iran Air’s cargo or division or vessels owned or operated by Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping lines.

7.)    Calls upon states to prevent the provision of financial and allied services, including insurance, by or through their nationals or entities organizes under their laws, or by or through persons or entities in their territory if such services will contribute to Iran’s undesired nuclear activities.

8.)    States are called upon to prohibit any ventures of Iranian Banks in their territories, and, also to prohibit the financial institutions under their jurisdiction to extend their services to Iran, if they have sufficient information and reasonable grounds to believe that activities of such institutions contribute to the nuclear activities of Iran.


These were the highlights of UNSC Sanctions against Iran. I have not been able to make a legal analysis of the same, but will be very soon writing on the repercussions of this sanctions, which will, of course, be less legal and more political because international law is a reluctant law of reluctant nations, its international politics which carries the real sanction.

08 July 2010


PS: This is not to hurt the sentiments of anyone, this should be read as a humorous reading and often I love to express my rights given by the Constitution of India.

I was thinking one day that how economics plays an important role and how it is related to our everyday life and in each decision we make. My economics teacher always emphasis on to look and think in innovative ways how economics is closely related to our life, suddenly I realised how the laws of economics are closely related to how most boys think about love and girls reciprocate in a market of love. As most of the laws of economics is based on assumptions and taking all things as constant, a lot of assumptions need to be made while going through this tutorial. Hope it would be fun and quite informative while reading this.

To begin with consider that the market of love is a open market (i.e., there is no monopoly by a single individual, God can only help if there is a Greek-god in your class or college with lot of bucks in his pocket) with a fair competition (Can’t help if someone with muscle power (Seniorus Bikerboyidae in Folly Nariman's words) tries to get hold of beautiful angels (Fresherus Hotnessa again in Folly Nariman's words ) in your class). So, to start with let’s see what Karl Marx, the great economist says about society and how money is important in our life.

Marxian Analysis of Love: The society is based on two things, the economic base and the superstructure (all other things in society). The super structure is depended on the economic base. Inother words, the whole story of finding and keeping a love is dependent on the money you have.

The law of supply of love states that higher is money more is the supply (getting a beautiful babe), i.e., money is directly related to money.

Similarly, the law of demand of love states that the higher is the price (the amount of money a boy needs to spend), lower is the demand for that girl, as even though many people want to date but don’t have the means to get her. But, there are exceptions to the law of demand; it is not pplicable for those girls who are considered to be symbol of status. Some, girls are extremely damn beautiful (read Fresherus Hotnessa), boys are ready to pay almost anything to get her love as they are considered to be a symbol of status among their peers and the benefit is your confidence level goes up while you see others feeling jealous when you are with her. For, those girls my advice is try to get whatever you can, you hold a monopoly and you have the power to make decisions.

However, there is law of diminishing marginal utility works; it works in the either way for a boy and a girl as well. Utility is nothing but the psychological satisfaction derived. The law of diminishing marginal utility, states that more and more of a thing we get, the intensity of our desire for that thing tends to diminish. Once, a boy start spending more and more, at a point the satisfaction the girl was getting from the gifts gets diminished. Similarly, once a boy start getting  more from the girl after a point he will not get the satisfaction he earlier used to get. So, it is equally important for both the boy and girl maintain the balance otherwise the fun would soon be over.

There is nothing to hide that girls love money and to be praised, so money constitutes an important part in love. No money, no love. There are four factors of love which determines your level of success in love, they are as follows:

Four Factors of Love: Money (K), Physical attributes (P), Intelligence (I), your own creative touch (C)

There is a direct relationship between the physical inputs (K, P, I, C) and outputs (mental and physical benefits, I have explained that while explaining the psychology part at last) obtained from employment of these inputs. This functional relationship is known as production function of love. 

The law of return will explain the change in output as a result of change in input. In a short run, the only thing you can increase or decrease is the amount of money you have and spend on your girl friend other things over a long run may be changed but by that time you  develop those skills, you will lose her. A tip, try to find someone is of the same or below your economic status of living or you may soon become a bankrupt spending all your bucks on a rich babe. The utility (the psychological satisfaction derived) from spending will not be reached.

In a short run, the law of variable proportion works, which states that ‘if more and more unitsof variable factor are employed with fixed factors, total physical product (TPP) (literally, pun intended) increases at an increasing rate in the beginning, then increases at a diminishing rate and finally start falling’.

In the first phase known as stage of increasing returns, TPP increases at an increasing rate with increase in inputs (gifts and expensive dates). In the first few days, you can easily move on to see-each other stage to holding hands and you proceed to holding her waist with inputs obviously. The marginal physical product (MPP i.e., the addition to the total output (benefit) from an extra unit of input) keeps on rising and reaches its highest.

The second phase, or stage of diminishing return the TPP increases at a slower rate and MPP starts falling. In this stage you will find that though there may be a possibility of moving on to a kiss, to a smooch and further. The rate of progress would be slow. Keep your patience, though you will notice inspite of gifts you are not making quick progress like earlier stages, hold on let the relationship grow.

The third phase, or stage of declining returns, in this the TPP starts declining, even after gifts you are not getting what you want. This is the stage, when most of the clashes start as one starts expecting more from the partner and no one getting satisfied, ultimately the relationship falls apart. My advice: Never expect anything in love.

Most of the relationships stay intact in the second stage, as in the first stage, you are trying to achieve something more and in the third stage, MPP is negative and TPP is falling. In second stage, most of the couples have a bit of understanding and realise this stage. So, neither be too slow, nor be too fast, just maintain the equilibrium situation.

Law of Diminishing Return: In a short run relationship, more employment of variable input (spending) can ultimately led to lesser output or the marginal benefit diminishes. As one of the factors may be changed (money) in a short run, other factors (suppose your muscles) may not be changed, so spending (K) too much may not improve the boy’s chance of getting better benefit. This may happen due the efficient combination is falling out, (you have to spend more to hide your physical or other deficiencies) or may be your quantity of fixed factors have become less compared to your variable factors (your physical attribute is so low, that you might have to spend more than what you have spent earlier to impress her, by this time she must have known your weak point but you are helpless.) As, both must have the same level of satisfaction and there is compromise between the two.

Another tip for boys, girls love to be praised and appreciated. However, if they look good, don’t compliment their looks, they know how good they are, otherwise you wouldn’t have been going around and spending, better compliment their intellect later on in the conversation, like “ that’s really original” or, “I haven’t heard that point of view before” Before she takes off in another direction, finish the conversation with “ nice meeting you, it’s rare meeting someone (insert one of these here): Originally insightful, With interesting experiences, Who make their own opinions, With good taste, As well cultured as you, With their own theories”, etc. This shows that you are quite creative and your level of intelligence. On the other hand, if your woman is with an average looks, you may want to compliment them for their choice of clothes, their hairstyle or whatever it is that does look good about her, like may be her voice or smile. Please don’t over-state, be on the safe-side.

Once, both have started seeing each other and dating, and you have already started investing, let’s explain the cost-benefit analysis of this relationship from a boy’s psychology and insight.

· A boy spends money on a girl as a capital investment to reap profit in future.

· The more is the spending on good capital resources (gifts and expensive dates) better is

chance of getting good output or profit.

· The time one spend, feel good and gets excited is what the break-even point of love, if

one is not finding minimum level of satisfaction for his spending he is actually making

loss, and would not like to continue the relationship.

· The moment you get a kiss is what you have started making profit.

· The moment you get into her, is what you have started making super-normal profit and

hit the jackpot.

· And if you could not succeed, it is your bad-debt. The whole investment on capital was a

wrong calculation and lack of efficient management. Let’s try the luck somewhere else.

Now, let’s analyse what going on in a girl’s mind and why they love money more than anything.

· A girl thinks that the boy must be economically sound and can prove to be a good hubby

in future (economically sound).

· More spending shows that his capability to maintain her lifestyle in future.

· Mental satisfaction is the main thing, the girl thinks her break-even point of love, she

feels good but also the amount of gifts obtained plays an important role.

· When a girl gets emotional, she might give a kiss or might be having a plan to get more

gifts from you. Girls are too complex to understand. It’s like a gamble you might hit the

jackpot or be debt ridden.

· This is where, emotions plays a lot than money but it matters as well. Love for boys is a

means to achieve sex which is the ultimate goal. But girls think sex as a means to achieve

stronger relationship as a goal. She might give you a chance, when she feels financially

safe and secure from your side.

· He was just a fool, she played the way around. She gets “I am the winner” feeling. Now

she will try another fool who can pay her bills.


Fresherus Timidus your first semester course of micro-economics is over. You can now happily sit in the end sem. 



08 July 2010


- The events depicted in this blog are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.

- "The mind of man can imagine nothing which has not really existed." --Edgar Allan Poe


Mr. Good Sitizen [(not his real name for obvious reasons) (don’t try to trace him online) (since curiosity might get to you, here is the google link http://bit.ly/asy0Re )] has been a good citizen for almost forty years now. He started out as an engineer in the early 80’s and is now heading the business division of a small company in a large metropolitan town. He has paid his taxes and always asked for a bill. He’s never bribed a person and was actively involved in formulating an anti-bribery policy for his company.


Suddenly one day, GS [(no relation to Mr.Gopal Subramaniam) (ok, I was trying to be funny there but don’t judge my humouring skills yet)] got a call from a person who claimed to be a police officer in his city. The person on the other line wanted to know more about GS’s family and knew his personal details – home address, PAN card, etc. When GS queried why he wanted such information, the man on the other line said he would call back later.


In shock as to why a police officer wanted to know his personal details, he searched for the officer online. Not surprisingly there was no such man. There was no police officer in the whole country by that name. When he called back on the number, he found it switched off. Scared and confused, he went to the nearest police station and told the good people there what had just happened.


After a week, a man was caught. And not surprisingly he wasn’t a low level criminal or a member of the F-company. He’d been collecting simple information about GS from his office. He’d seen his Dudebook(this one is easy) account and got to know his birthdate, place of residence and other small details. With such information and more available on google , the young man had found out GS address as well as his PAN card information. Here is how he did it (do try this at home, it’s kind of fun) –


1)      Visit https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/portal/knowpan.do . Enter the person’s surname and DOB. On the next page you’ll have to enter the name of the person’s father (it’s not that tough knowing how excited people are to related themselves on Dudebook). And you’re done. You’ll know the person’s PAN CARD number.


2)      Now its time to find out where the person lives. So we log on to http://www.bsnl.co.in/map.htm . Then click on the state and find out the address of the person by just filling up their name and city. It’s beautiful how technology works.


There we go. Now we have information like address, phone number, PAN card, etc. India doesn’t have a data protection law unlike other countries. While the Courts have upheld the Right to privacy, there is no specific legislation we can reach out for when we need to protect ourselves. If a company leaks personal information, the client can sue the company for breach of confidentiality. However, where does an individual go if his/her information is put up for the public ? A writ petition could take time and expose the individual to unknown dangers. This takes us to the point of why the Government is yet to take up data protection seriously.


What we're looking for is a data protection policy like the one issued by the European Commission.  The policy which has been adopted by the United Kingdom in the Data Protection Act, 1998 does not allow any agency to process information that will cause an individual distress or expose them in any way. The draft of the National Identity Authority of India Bill, 2010 discusses data protection and imposes punishment on those gaining unauthorized access to our information. The key word here being 'unauthorized' but what do we do when access to such information is authorized?


Today and until the Government does something serious about data protection, we're all exposed...not knowing who is preying on us.

See John2010's other blogs:

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.....

07 July 2010


The strike of the strike, as a newspaper called it.

What are the effects of Bandh? Is it the right way to protest?

Bandh is basically a strike. Everything is supposed to be closed on a day when a Bandh is ‘called’ for.  If you ask a layman about whether there should or should not be bandhs, you will surprisingly get mixed answers. It is true because for a bandh to be successful a lot of people have to co-operate. Kolkata is very infamous for its bandhs. Nationwide bandhs are a rarity but are not entirely unheard of. I was in Gujarat when the Bandh took place. I have stayed here all my life and I have never seen such a huge response to a bandh ever before. There have been minor events but nothing of such magnitude.

I am still not sure most people know why the Bandh actually took place. For those who don't know, it took place as a protest against the rising prices. Inflation.

I would like to quote some figures given in Times of India.

[Economics Loss due to bandh (In cr.):

13,000 according to FICCI 
10,000 according to Assocham 
3,000 according to CII 
Maharashtra (estimated economic loss Rs 1,000cr),Karnataka (Rs 725cr),West Bengal (Rs 250cr),Kerala,Orissa,Bihar and Madhya Pradesh (Rs 150cr each) among worst-hit states Though the stock market remained open,trading volume at BSE was down 52% to Rs 2,857cr against daily average of Rs 6,000cr Rail operations,especially in east,severely affected with 78 trains 60 mail and 18 passenger cancelled and 340 disrupted At least 96 flights were cancelled across India,with at least 47 departures being cancelled in Mumbai alone Over 62 lakh commercial vehicles remained off road,according to trucker unions.]

Bandh has a very negative connotation. Well, to an extent, it is bad. Imagine how many daily wage earners lost a square mean due to the Bandh, and to think that this was a Bandh for them. (Ha!). Even then, as I am a law student, I have been asked to look at both the sides of everything.  So I will deal with it accordingly.



Bandh is a stupid. It is a way for political parties to show power. They bully innocent citizens into participating in the bandh. It causes great economic harm to the country (as stated above). It is a very barbaric way of solving matters or getting our point across. It does nothing good. It’s a extended weekend for the college student, a lucky leave for office goers and tension filled atmosphere for the people whose offices were not closed.  Loss to daily wage earners, most important. I guess we all know a lot of points against. I need not mention all.


Okay. I am sure not many people agree to my views. I advise them to read the entire thing before commenting or framing views about the post. I guess this is the main part of the post.

I agree Bandh is bad. The main problem that I have is, if they don’t listen through any of the legal ways, what do we do?

Common citizens cannot go to the parliament every time. When our elected representatives try to put our point across they are accused of being traditional in their views and being against development of the nation. They are then in a Catch 22 situation. The price rise is not a figment of imagination of the opposition parties. It is out there. Reducing the value of our money consistently.  he Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for May 2010,the latest month for which data is available,shows a 10.2% increase over May 2009. Food inflation, which actually affects the aam aadmi (common man) even higher. The rate of pulses grew by a whopping 32.4%,eggs,meat and fish by 35%,milk by 21.1%,sugar by 26%,flour by 16%,cereals by 6%,and fruits and vegetables by 7.6%. It’s not like everyone else in the world is faced by it. China had only 1% rate of inflation with regard to food prices. India is one of the very few countries where the rate of inflation is above 9%. The above mentioned percentages are with regard to WPI (Wholesale Price Index), the real danger can be found out from CPI (Consumer Price Indices).

So my main contention is that, there is a problem. It has been a problem since a long time. The government has been told about it since a long time. What has the government done? Almost nothing, or even if they have, it hasn’t worked.

Bandh is barbaric but well, when we cannot achieve anything through proper means, are we not allowed to be pissed? Is there no specific waiting period?

I have to make it clear that I am definitely not in favour of holding Bandhs. I want the country to work efficiently through the prescribed mechanism. Bandhs waste a lot of resources. Let’s not do that.

Bandh karo ye bandh ! (Stop the strikes).


Lighter Note:

My dad was scandalized when I told him that now onwards I should get a raise in the pocket money according to the rate of inflation. In his counter offer, he proposed a 10% increase every 6 months. He thought that it would be more economical to him. I guess he has a lot of ‘faith’ in the government. :D

Okay one more.

If the opposite of pro is con then the opposite of progress is ..... ‘Congress’ :D


Disclaimer: I am not a supporter of any party. I like individuals in various parties. I know most of the political parties have both merits and demerits. I wrote this article because I kept on getting ideas about why people resorted to Bandh and so wanted to put it together. All the figures have been taken from the Times of India.

If you guys have constructive suggestions/solutions to the problem, please feel free to share. :)

06 July 2010

Almost everyone around the globe is aware of the catastrophe that happened in Bhopal but there are a very few people who actually know what were the legal lacunae involved in the Bhopal case. The battle was lost before the trial and the victims were betrayed at every step of legal proceedings.

The Battle in United States

At that time Indian Law had no provision of punitive damages to effectively deal with the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. The Government of India through an act appointed itself the sole representative of the victims for any legal course with Union Carbide with regard to compensation. The act empowered the government with the exclusive rights to represent and act on behalf of the survivors/victims of the gas leak. The corollary was that the victims could not seek legal redress of their own.

Consequently, the Government decided to approach the U.S. District Court to seek justice. The government justified its stand mainly on three grounds:-

  1. The US courts could grant higher compensation as compared to the one likely to be granted by the Indian Courts.
  2. It believed that the parent multinational company Union Carbide could be tried effectively in US.
  3. The Indian Courts were incompetent to handle mass tort litigation.

Ironically the government ignored the operating principle in US according to which a suit could be maintainable in an American Court only in cases where the damages or injuries occur on American Soil, to American residents or the dependents of American residents. Alternatively, if the prosecution would have proved a design defect in the plant, the suit could have been entertained by the American Courts. But since it was established that the gas leak happened because of poor maintenance, the parent company was not held liable in the US courts.

US Court’s Decision

The US court ruled that UCIL was a separate entity, owned, managed and operated exclusively by Indian citizens in India. Carbide was ordered to submit to the jurisdiction of Indian Courts; nevertheless it could dispute the verdict rendered by the Indian Courts before its domicile courts. Initially the government of India had filled a suit claiming 3 billion Dollars which could have been achieved only through attachment of UCC’s assets in the US.

The Indian Mistakes

A significant order was passed by Justice Deo of Bhopal District court which directed UCC to pay Rs. 350 crores as interim relief. The order being  interim could not be decreed. And without a decree UC could and did refuse to pay it.

On February 14, 1989 the Supreme Court directed Union Carbide to pay up US $ 470 million in “full and final settlement” of all claims, rights, and liabilities arising out of the disaster in 1984. The victims and legal heirs of the dead, were not informed  before this settlement took place.

None of the courts ever directed UCC to reveal any epidemiological information that it had. It refused to render any toxicological information as it formed an integral part of its “trade secrets”. It denied that the gases released during the disaster could cause any adverse health effects in the victims. Moreover, UCC was never ordered to clear the toxic material present on the disaster site which it could have been under the “polluter pays” principle evolved in Oleum Gas Leak Case.

The SC refused to consider UCC liability as unquestionable and absolute. The principle of absolute liability was never evoked by the SC. According to this theory where an enterprise is engaged in a hazardous or inherently dangerous activity and an accident in such an operation results in the escape of a toxic gas, the enterprise is strictly and absolutely liable to compensate all those who are affected by the accident, and such liability is not subject to any of the exceptions under the rule of strict liability.

SECTION 304 TO 304(A)

Originally the charge sheet was filed under Section 304 of IPC i.e. culpable homicide not amounting to murder specially paragraph 2 which deals with the accused having the knowledge that the act would cause death. The charge sheet clearly stated that the UCC plant in Bhopal was deficient in safety and design measures. It further stated that the management was aware of these defects and their probable consequences but it failed to inform the district administration.  In 1996 the two judge SC bench held that the charges under Section 304 were not made out and the accused could only be charged under Section 304(A) for causing death by rash or negligent act. Justice Ahmadi while delivering the judgment observed,

“Even assuming that it was a defective plant and it was dealing with a very toxic and hazardous substance like MIC the mere act of storing such a material by the accused … could not even prima facie suggest that the concerned accused thereby had knowledge that they were likely to cause the death of human beings.”

Hence the diluted charges ensured that accused could now be awarded merely a maximum punishment of 2 years and not 10 years.

How was the UCC benefited?

The long trial benefited UCC in various ways. First of all, the fear of length prompted the government to enter into a swift settlement. Secondly, the adverse public pressure on the government also evaded with time. Lastly, UCC saved interest on the sum it finally had to pay.

Are we still left with a remedy?

1. A curative writ petition must be filed under article 32 r/w 142 of the Constitution to set aside the 1996 judgment; seeking the relief of a fresh trial under Section 304 Pt 2 of IPC.

2. An appeal to the sessions court under Section 377 of CrPc on ground of inadequacy of sentence because of lesser charge under Section 304 A IPC can also be filed.

3. Pursuing Extradition is significant for the effective trial of Warren Anderson.

4. Civil Liability of both the government and the UCC needs to be re-addressed. Cleaning of the affected area, proper medical treatment of the victims and distribution of compensation are some of the vital steps that need to be taken.


Bhopal Gas Tragedy is aptly referred to as the night that never ended. The long legal battle benefited none but the accused. The victims were continuously victimized by the fluctuating judgments rendered in the country. The media, bar, bench, authorities, central and state governments all failed to effectively fulfill their responsibilities.

“The greatest disaster in India was not on day of Bhopal Gas Tragedy but on the occasion, when we failed to protect our own countrymen and decided to sell the living dead to a multinational for some dollars.”


The article is a duplication of author's post on her blog www.legaldrift.com.

06 July 2010

Note - If you are offended by regional stereotypes, or stereotypes of any other sort, please refrain from reading. Thanks :)

Another year, another day, another sweaty evening in law school. From the terrace of my hostel, I survey my kingdom. My kingdom is composed of the occasional tree, patchy grass, sunbathing dogs, the venerable Academic Block, and - ah! What is that? What is that I see heading down the road?

It is a bird of diminutive size. Its plumage is muted and its eyes are firmly downcast. It carries a full backpack, and - glory of glories! - appears to be heading for the library straight after class. That settles it. It could only be one thing.

I congratulate myself on having spotted the male of the elusive Fresherus Timidus, a species peculiar to the genus Fresherus that inundates law school every summer semester.

 I watch it move from hostel to the academic block. Its progress is interrupted several times by flocks of predatory Seniorus Bikerboyidae who descend on it and poke at its feathers continuously until they are satisfied that it indeed belongs to the species Timidus. The large Bikerboyidae feed on ethanol, herbs of a three-leaved nature, and the young of the species Fresherus Insolentia. They do not feed on Fresherus Timidus birds, they merely attack them and use their feathers to line their own nests.

This particular Timidus valiantly fights his way through multiple gaggles of Bikerboyidae and is almost safely at his destination, when alas! he is distracted by a Bird of Paradise.

The Birds of Paradise are indigenous to Delhi and South Bombay, and form a distinctive part of law school ecology. They are brightly coloured, perfectly groomed and female. They feed primarily on ethanol, nicotine and birds of the male persuasion, which latter they trap using their mating calls. 

Birds of Paradise do not mate for life, and usually mate successively across species. The mating of a Bird of Paradise is a complicated ritual involving high pitched, tinkly mating calls, copious quantities of alcohol and repetitive dance-like movements emphasising the more...pneumatic.. aspects of its body.

Of course, if the mating ritual is successful, they will stun him with their plumage and exhaust his winter store of grain before he recovers, but birds are not a species known for their forethought, and male birds even less so, so my outlook regarding young Timidus' prospects is rather pessimistic. But our little Fresherus Timidus is presently safe from these feminine guiles, because the pecking order of the jungle does not entitle him to attractive female company while the Seniorus Bikerboyidae are still checking her out.

I decide to take a walk towards the gaggle of Bikerboyidae, who are presently engaged in closely observing the contours of a young female Fresherus Hotnessa. Certain chicks of the Fresherus Hotnessa species, while timid and possessing relatively drab colouring, have the unusual power to moult into Birds of Paradise within two years of living in law school. It remains the solemn, time-honoured responsibility of the Seniorus Bikerboyidae to identify which of the Hotnessa are likely to undergo such a mutation, and which are likely to die in unpopular oblivion. This prediction is usually accomplished by means of a detailed ten-point scoresheet evaluating the Hotnessa on various bases (which can not be discussed on a family friendly forum such as this one). 

They are engaged in furious debate regarding the potential of a particular Hotnessa, when I interrupt them. They do not take kindly to this interruption. What are you making casual conversation with us for, don't you know that Bikerboyidae never interact with Dorkii like yourself? One of them said sternly. 

That's true, I admitted, I just wanted to know, why do you persist in attacking the Fresherus Timidii when you are perfectly capable of feathering your own nests by yourselves? 

It is a time honoured tradition, they say. We are breaking the ice in a healthy fashion.

But Timidii are only timid by nature, not frightened of you, I respond.

And we respect their right to be timid! they say, fluffing their feathers angrily at my insinuation otherwise - We only reserve the right to bully them mercilessly out of their natural timidity!

Besides, they say, shrugging, we are simply earning respect.

Wouldn't the Timidii respect your seniority anyway, with or without your having to earn it? I say confusedly.

Oh naive Dorkus, they laugh. Why would other birds respect us if we did not threaten to eat them up?

Good question. Perhaps for your wit, intelligence and breathtaking knowledge of copyright law and cricket trivia? I venture humbly.

There is a resounding silence, broken a few seconds later by the Bikerboyidae rolling about in incredulous laughter. I stand by in genuine puzzlement.

As the laughter dies down and the sun sets, I look over to our friend Timidus in the distance, who has been accosted by a flock of Seniorus Positiveinteractiona.

I strain my ears, and I hear the low-pitched, unhappy birdcall of the Fresherus Timidus float faintly across the college grounds. 

"My name is Fresherus Timidus and I am from Kanpur. I am from Arya Chidiya Mandir. I like cricket and singing songs....oh...I have a cough...I don't know the lines... okay.."

I wait anxiously in the pregnant silence, hoping he'll do the right thing.

The air suddenly fills with the worst rendition of Chura Liya Hai Tumne I have ever heard. His audience cheers him on with catcalls and whistles.

I walk away, satisfied. Perhaps he'll be okay after all. :)

01 July 2010


India is perhaps the only country in the world which has the dubious distinction of having maximum number of laws to regulate the conduct of society. It is the only country where almost all aspects of human behavior i.e. behavior with human beings, behavior with animals (both domestic & wild) with nature & environment etc. all are sought to be governed by laws rather than through education or innate enlightenment which is the preserve of every egalitarian society. Should we study or not? Should we know something or not? Are prescribed by laws such as right to education, right to information etc. We even have framed laws for such a subtle issue as to how should we respect our aged parents and what consequences would befall on us on default. Thus there is a plethora of laws on virtually all subjects/aspects of human behavior.

It is difficult to say if this state of affairs is symptomatic of a healthy state of our society or an ailing state needing urgent treatment. In common parlance a person dependent on a huge cache of medicines is assumed to be ill or not keeping good health and not a healthy being. Though totaling ruling out the use/consumption of medicines ever in one’s life is also utopian wishful thinking defying logic , excess of anything however good is equally bad. This way we are not being educated in real sense but domesticated like animals which definitely is not a good sign of a progressive society.

But what is dismaying is that in spite of a galore of laws created (nigh manufactured) at every bout of sneeze to regulate the conduct of people, the social scenario of our country is far from being heart warming or satisfactory.  There has been a spiraling rise in crimes in our country which is symptomatic of our social decadence rather than betterment.

While this general decadence is a disturbing phenomenon engaging attention of the whole nation, the recent spurt in cases of so called Juvenile delinquency has however rung ALARM BELLS in our society and needs to be addressed to with desired urgency and promptitude.

We follow the dictum “CHILDREN OF TODAY ARE LEADERS OF TOMORROW” and love them and try to provide full facilities for their growth and development accordingly. But paradoxically enough, the more we care for them the more we suffer despondency and despair. Of late there has been an alarming engagement in the sphere of delinquency of children. From minor acts of abuse, fights, theft etc they have now graduated to commit as heinous and serious crimes as Rape, Robbery, and Murder, which suggests there is something radically wrong with our socio-legal dynamics.

It is not that this trend of extra ordinary behavior among children pertains to delinquent acts only. In fact children below 12 yrs of age have done us proud in other areas of activities with a display of rare talent and genius. They have performed in many reality shows of Dance, Music, Drama, Acting etc. They have performed excellently well in certain good films and have been putting up good show in academics and sports as well. So it could not be said that has been a down slide(unilateral) only in their behaviour, but the over all picture that emerges now before us suggests in unequivocal terms that there has definitely been some perceptible change in the behaviour of our youth both ways which indeed is beyond our comprehension. There may be a myriad causes and reasons for this changing trend. The blitz raging impact of cinema and T.V may be one of the prominent reasons influencing the minds of our children. The constraints of both the parents in job not being able to pay adequate attention to their children or the company of their peers etc. There may be a host of other causes and reasons for such a change but this is clear that the COGNITIVE ability and facility of present day children has tremendously changed and the standard of reckoning their CHILDHOOD as we perceived it earlier needs to be thoroughly revised in sync with the changing trends.

In this fast changing world where development of science and technology keeps us on the run with rapidly occurring incredible changes that affect our life styles, we can’t remain contented/being confined in a straitjacketed idealist frame of laws which have no bearing on the present day situation. We have to be pragmatic and realistic rather than bigoted with a kind of idealism that hardly works now.

Some working parents who can’t afford time to spend with their children, suffer from a sense of guilt for not being able to discharge their parental obligations properly tend to shower their love and affection on their children in a highly  lopsided, absurd manner which tantamount to pampering their children. They   fulfill all their demands when the children become cranky. This allows the children to learn the ropes of exploitation, blackmailing, cheating etc at home and cultivate this even as they grow up. In this way the children become spoiled ones and go wayward. They lose respect for rules & regulations and become an undisciplined lot which poses a threat to the egalitarian society. Therefore too much of leniency shown to the children by ignoring their acts of malfeasance often breeds waywardness among children and gives rise to acts of delinquency which are dangerous to the safety & security of our society. So leniency could be the other cause of delinquency and we have to be careful in conducting with the behavior of our children. It however doesn’t mean that they should be asked to walk a tight rope and there no scope left for them to use their free will. In fact too much restrictions also play spoil sport and we have to guard against this as this also is a counter productive approach.

In nut shell we may conclude that we have to take a serious view of the changing trends of behavior among our children which has virtually made AGE as too redundant and irrelevant factor determining who actually is a JUVINILE in real sense and who is not and tailor out a socio-legal plan to govern their conduct in such a way that they get full opportunity to develop their faculties without losing the bliss of their childhood such as innocence, naughtiness, playfulness, which are the basic attributes of childhood and ultimately turnout to be good human beings. Then only we could proudly say our children are assets of our nation on whom we can stake our bright future otherwise they would become a liability to not only the parents but to the whole society.

It is therefore high time that social scientists and legal jurists paid heed to this fast emerging phenomenon and revisited our acts such as JUVINILE JUSTICE ACT etc by making amendments accordingly or else we would ourselves be responsible for spoiling our children and bringing society to dogs.  


29 June 2010



I despise regionalistic politics. And so I despise Raj Thackeray and his politics. Having lived in Bombay (Yes, I still like calling my city Bombay) since six, there is little I haven't seen. What happens in Bombay affects every Indian in some way or the other.

Over the last few days, much of the media has been have focusing on the language of the course that his son, Amit Thackeray, will be taking.  I fear that the media will corner the young man into taking Marathi as his medium of learning.

We know the law. A person is free to choose his life. Amit Thackeray should be free to choose his life and medium of study. I'm not surprised that Raj Thackeray hasn't appealed to the media to leave his son alone. Indian political parties seem to love any sort of publicity. All the MNS has said till now is "He went there as a parent, not as a politician. I am not aware of the purpose of the visit,. In other words, the MNS doesn't know what to do about Amit's decision not to take Marathi . In even better words, this is good for Bombay and probably the Country.

Click to Feed Pets in Need Family opposition to one's politics cannot be ignored. In a country where dynastic politics seems to be preferred, hormonal awkwardness of any sort  should be encouraged (especially  the political elite). Imagine a society where the political elite consists of homosexuals, transvestites, peace obsessed and daughters  who are forever in the mini-skirt  phase. The political elite is bound to set the population free.


The US Federal Marriage Amendment would probably have been passed had Dick Cheney not had a homosexual daughter by the name Mary Cheney. Cuba today would again probably not be openly supporting homosexual rights if Mariela Castro was not so closely associated with the movement against homophobia. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was instrumental in ending his father's nuclear program in Libya.

Rebellion to family politics could also backfire. Consider how Nepal's former king and his wife were murdered after not allowing their son to marry Devyani Rana belonged to the Rana family. Or how Alina Fernández Revuelta, Fidel Castro's daughter, who ran away from Cuba dressed as a Spanish tourist because she became a part of dissident movement in Cuba and for Fidel the revolution always came first.

So for all one might claim, Amit's choice might have no effect on how the politics in India might play out. However, there remains a chance, small as it might be, that change could come.

See John2010's other blogs:

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.....

28 June 2010


Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)

My CGPA just went up. *celebrates*

No, it’s not because I started studying more or anything. My law school just found out that they needed to be more lenient in their marking system to ensure that I get a job.

Unbelievable? Well, it’s happening so better believe it.

In the last few years many law schools have changed their grading system and made them more lenient. Law schools see higher grades as one way to rescue their students from unemployment. Perhaps even to protect their reputation and ‘rankings’.

Till now we have seen a lot of tactics that law schools adopt to ensure better recruitment for their students. Some of them organize recruitment camps early, some of them treat their recruiters lavishly etc.

Grade inflation is probably the most dangerous of these tactics. Imagine everyone’s grades going up. No change in study time or preparatory material or papers. Parents will be happy, in the beginning, and why not, their son/daughter is scoring well. A first class in law school was not that easy to come till some time back but their son/daughter has a first class in almost all subjects. Happy parents, happy students and happy college. Erm, just tell me one thing, if everyone is getting good grades then how will you differentiate between the good students and the bad students? The recruiters will be or should I say, are in a fix. They always look at the CGPA first. (Mistake?) So if my college gives CGPAs out of 10 and half of the class is above 8.5 then does that mean that no one is even mediocre, leave alone bad?

“If somebody’s paying $150,000 for a law school degree, you don’t want to call them a loser at the end,” says Stuart Rojstaczer, a former geophysics professor at Duke who now studies grade inflation. “So you artificially call every student a success.”

Harvard, Stanford and Yale do not have grading systems. They now follow a pass/fail system. This again creates problems for recruiters. But then according to me it the fault of the recruiters to judge a student by CGPA alone, so its fine. I guess if law schools here do that then more emphasis would come on the other activities, the articles, the moots, the internships and as always, Jugaad. Is that good or bad?

If all the law schools start doing it then the status quo will not change. The problem starts when the grades reach such a level that the college cannot increase it any further. So there will be a time when all the colleges will have the same average grades. How cool na? No need for rankings. India Today and Outlook, are you listening? We will have no other choice but to go for the pass/fail system then.

So basically it’s a stupid system. I am sure none of the law schools will change but yes this is something that students and prospective recruiters have to look after. Some of the recruiters keep track of such things but others don’t and so are easy conned.

This will take time and so all of us will pass (with good grades, I must add). If this continues then the future is definitely not bright.

My CGPA just went up. *Oh damn!*   


I did not think of this on my own. These are not my powers of observation. I read about it at a random blog which I don't remember now. It had the US law school perspective to it. I wrote an Indian law school one. The link given in the comments is the NY times link that has similar news.