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14 January 2016

Ex-Nalsar registrar AcharyuluRetired Supreme Court judges justices Gyan Sudha Mishra, CK Prasad and Balbir Singh Chauhan, were nominated by the apex court to head the proposed Lokpal ombudsman. Also in the running is retired Jharkhand high court chief justice and current Appellate Tribunal for Electricity chairman M Karpaga VinayagamRetired Supreme Court judges justices Gyan Sudha Mishra, CK Prasad and Balbir Singh Chauhan, were nominated by the apex court to head the proposed Lokpal ombudsman. Also in the running is retired Jharkhand high court chief justice and current Appellate Tribunal for Electricity chairman M Karpaga Vinayagam

01 December 2015

Senior advocate Shanti Bhushan and advocate Prashant Bhushan have dubbed the proposed draft Jan Lokpal Bill 2015 as the “Jokepal Bill”, and have alleged that it is a ‘maliciously’ weakened draft of the original Lokpal Bill of 2011 by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). If at all the centre passes the bill it will be an instrument in the hands of the Delhi government to save its own legislative assembly members, allege the Bhushans.

22 August 2014

The Supreme Court told the government that it should explain within four weeks how the “leader of opposition” post should be interpreted under the Lokpal Act, since the Congress party lost to the BJP so badly that it can’t muster enough members in the Lok Sabha to count as an opposition. 55 MPs was stipulated by speaker Sumitra Mahajan as a minimum required to be allowed to choose a leader of the opposition in the house. NDTV.

India Today reported that the Supreme Court “made it clear that if the government fails to resolve LoP issue, the court may give a larger interpretation to the term LoP so that it may include leader of the largest party or leader of the larger group”, as attorney general Mukul Rohatgi said the government would review and seek to amend certain provisions of the Lokpal Act.

Furthermore, the apex court questioned why none of the nine members of the Lokpal have been appointed to date.

06 May 2014

The government has conceded a major criticism against its Lokpal that resulted in several lawyers declining appointment to its search committee, and changed the rules for the search committee allowing it to select anyone qualified for the post of Lokpal, rather than waiting for applications from deserving candidates [Free Press Journal]

10 April 2014

A few days ago the Financial Express did a long interview with senior advocate and former parliamentarian Fali Nariman.

The chat covers a dozen topics, including Nariman's fear of modern Hinduism's intolerance, how a Narendra Modi prime minister would affect the courts and constitution, judicial reforms, Lokpal and more. Well worth a read. [Financial Express] [via @AparatBar on Twitter]

10 March 2014

The fact that a Lokpal bill did get passed at all, should give pause for thought.

03 March 2014

Just a week after senior advocate Fali Nariman declined to be part of the Lokpal search committee, former Supreme Court judge KT Thomas has also told the government he didn’t want to head the search committee that would find candidates to head the anti-corruption ombudsman body.

18 February 2014

Delhi HC pecuniary enhancement clears another hurdle: The Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2014 which seeks enhance the Delhi HC’s pecuniary jurisdiction from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 2 crore, and which was a cause of Delhi HC bar protests, is now in the Rajya Sabha [PTI]

PIL vs anti-activist NGT bar association fine: The Madras HC made secretaries of three bar associations and two advocates association party to a PIL. The associations (Madras Bar Association, Madras High Court Advocates Association, DRT/DRAT Bar Association, The Service Bar Association, Women Lawyers Association, Law Association) had received the proceeds of a Rs 10,000 fine imposed by the National Green Tribunal on a petitioner for being 36 days late for an appeal to challenge an environmental clearance of the Kudankulam nuclear project. He then filed a PIL against the fine in the Madras HC, asserting that it would be difficult to raise such social issues in the face of arbitrary imposition of fines [PTI]

CCI vows to reduce investigation timelines by one third: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) which currently takes one-and-a-half years on an average to decide a case requiring detailed investigation, has come out with a “3-6-3” rule to reduce the average time of completion to one year. The Commission would take three months to decide whether an investigation is required or not, six months to complete the investigation, and three months to conclude hearing pursuant to investigation results [PTI]

Madan B Lokur offers Coal recusal but excused: Supreme Court justice Madan B Lokur offered to recuse himself from the hearings of the coal block allocation scam on the ground that he and his wife held shares in Reliance Infrastructure, which is a party to the case. However, the CBI, which is probing the case, and the two petitioners - lawyer and Aam Admi Party spokesperson Prashant Bhushan of the NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation and activist serial PIL lawyer ML Sharma – who are seeking the de-allocation of “illegally allotted” coal blocks, said they had no objection to Justice Lokur continuing on the bench [Dailymail]

SC’s six month lease to fill HC vacancies: The Supreme Court told an NGO Centre for Justice that it would entertain its petition regarding filling vacancies in the higher judiciary if after six months the high courts had still not made any progress in strengthening their benches [PTI]

Mukul Mudgal to chair Broadcasting Complaints Council after AP Shah: Former Punjab & Haryana high court chief justice Mukul Mudgal will take over from former Delhi HC CJ AP Shah as the chairperson of the non-news channels’ self-regulator Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC). Mudgal had recently given a statement supporting legalising betting in Indian sports [TOI]

Pakistan in ICJ aghainst Afzal Guru execution: Pakistan may challenge in the International Court of Justice the 9 February 2013 execution of its former citizen Afzal Guru in an Indian court, after Guru had been charged with masterminding a December 2011 terrorist attack in the Indian parliament [ANI]

Marriage certificates through video conf: The Delhi HC‘s justice Manmohan Singh has given a ruling allowing solemnisation of court marriage on video conferencing. Couples based abroad can now confirm their willingness to marry on video conferencing and their relatives can collect their marriage certificate from the registry without the actual couple having to be physically present [Business Standard]

New bar assoc prez in P&H: The Punjab & Haryana High Court Senior Advocate Association has a new president – senior advocate Rajiv Atma Ram, who was unanimously voted in. Senior advocate Puran Singh Hundal was voted in vice president [PTI]

Compared: Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill vs Central Act: The Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill mirrors the central Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 in terms of appointment and removal of Lokpal, fines and penalties but gives greater protection to whistleblowers, greater investigative powers, a citizen’s charter and citizens and the Lokpal can take suo motu cognizance of any alleged act of corruption [TOI]

04 February 2014

After the Supreme Court’s second-most senior judge and next Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha said he would be the last person to accept appointment to the Lokpal selection panel, Chief justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam reportedly nominated the SC’s third-most senior judge HL Dattu to the panel, reported the Indian Express.

The panel, led by the President of India alongside Lok Sabha speaker and leader of the opposition, and an “eminent jurist”, would select select the Lokpal’s chairperson and other members.

Dismissing media reports that he was due to take up the post, Lodha had said in court, according to IANS: “I have not even demitted office. They have named me in the race for Lokpal.”

Lodha will be the next CJI until his retirement on 27 September after Sathasivam steps down on 26 April. Dattu would be CJI for more than a year after Lodha.

In the running for the “eminent jurist” seat on the selection panel are reportedly senior counsel Fali S Nariman, Soli Sorabjee, K Parasaran, Harish Salve, K K Venugopal and attorney general Goolam Vahanvati.

29 January 2014

The names of senior advocates Fali S Nariman, K K Venugopal, Harish Salve and attorney general Goolam Vahanvati have been forwarded in the category of “eminent jurist” to the Lokpal selection panel, alongside former attorney generals Soli Sorabjee and K Parasaran.

They will be discussed in a meeting scheduled for 3 February, reported the Indian Express:

The Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members, of which 50 per cent shall be judicial members and the rest shall be from among SCs, STs, OBCs, minorities and women. The selection committee has to have Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India. A fifth member of the selection committee for selection of Lokpal has to be nominated under the category of “eminent jurist”. These four members will co-opt the fifth member under this category. So far, names of six jurists have been doing the rounds for selection as the fifth member.

28 July 2011

- Adarsh Society writ to defreeze accounts for paying favourite senior lawyers rejected by Bombay High Court: “Nowhere has the SC held that right to legal representation includes right to counsel of one's choice…” [TOI] (Adarsh has used Vidhii Partners in the past, for example)

- Pak foreign minister justifies slow 26/11 trial her country, draws parallels with Indian judicial delays [India Today]

- Satyam trial unlikely to finish by SC fixed deadline of 31 July with defence still cross-examining witnesses after CBI adopting measure to plug in delays  [Mint]

- Cabinet approves govt Lokpal draft over Anna’s, excluding PM from purview; Khursheed fixes 7 year limitation period with bill to hit Parliament monsoon session starting this Monday as Anna’s hunger strike threat looms [NDTV]

- Delhi airport regulator caps decibel levels following high court’s directive on resident’s plea [Indian Express]

18 April 2011

image A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the Lokpal Bill Drafting Committee for having included civil society members.