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Madras high court

17 September 2014

RajinikanthTamil movie legend Rajinikanth, also less well known as Shivaji Rao Gaikwad, has filed a petition and managed a stay of the Bollywood movie Main Hoon Rajinikanth.

11 September 2014

Madras high court chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul has ordered that every judgment must mention on its first page, the dates on which it was reserved and pronounced, in a bid to increase transparency of and reduce the delay in pronouncing judgments, reported The Hindu.

Kaul relied on the 13-year-old Supreme Court order in Anil Rai vs State of Bihar, in which justices KT Thomas and RP Sethi said that “if the judgment, for any reason, is not pronounced within six months, any of the parties shall be entitled to moving an application before the Chief Justice with a prayer to withdraw the case and make it over to any other Bench for fresh arguments. It is open to the Chief Justice to grant the prayer or pass any other order as he deems fit”.

Kaul has directed the the high court’s registry to create a new column in judgment templates to contain those dates, and to send him a list of all judgments reserved but not pronounced.

25 August 2014

SCBA tea at 4 on SC Rules: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) will meet at 4:10pm today to discuss the new Supreme Court Rules and some of the minor tweaks regarding A4 paper and other concessions made by the Chief Justice of India (CJI), including putting “in abeyance” two examples of AoR misconduct (absence without justifiable cause and failure to submit appearance slip), and that excess court fees will be refunded if the committee decides to undo the new raised fees. [Meeting notification] / [Background note to meeting] / [SC Rules 2013]

How Bombay profits from & criminalises homelessness: Though over 100,000 homeless persons live in Mumbai as the “backbone of the city economy”, many facets of their existence are still criminalised Mumbai Boss

Madras HC steps in for Swamy: The Madras high court has continued the stay on a Singapore defamation case against BJP politician Subramanian Swamy, which was launched by a Chennai-based consultancy firm’s Singaporean subsidiary, which objected to a press conference by Swamy. The consultancy filed the case to “arm-twist Swamy from proceeding further in his action of unearthing scams”, held Justice RS Ramanathan, and continued the stay on the Singapore proceedings [PTI]

26 July 2014

Punjab and Haryana high court chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul was today sworn-in as chief justice of the Madras high court.

The 55-year-old Delhi University law graduate and former senior counsel replaces Justice RK Agrawal, who was elevated to the Supreme Court, and acting chief justice Satish K Agnihotri. [The Hindu]

13 June 2014

A Madras high court bench of Justices V Ramasubramanian and V M Velumani has ordered the Common Law Admissions Test (CLAT) convenor GNLU Gandhinagar to list the new Tamil Nadu National Law School (TN NLS) in Srirangam to its website, after having earlier told GNLU to provisionally allocate 14 places to the college.

The same petitioner had approached the court to request the CLAT website to include TN NLS on the website. The CLAT website, to date, carried a brief notice on its frontpage summarising the earlier high court decision, but did not include Tamil Nadu's second NLS in the list of 14 other national law schools.

The petitioner, Tiruchy-based advocate R Rajkumar, also submitted to the court that the CLAT should be "monitored and conducted" by a nodal agency, the Bar Council of India (BCI) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to "avoid the allegation of partiality and favouritism against a particular university conducting the exam each year", reported the New Indian Express.

02 May 2014

Madras high court bench justices V Ramasubramanian and VM Velumani directed the Common Law Admissions Test (CLAT) convenors GNLU Gandhinagar to provisionally reserve 14 seats for the new Tamil Nadu National Law School in Srirangam in this year's upcoming exam.

The petitioner and advocate R Rajkumar said that the law school's proposal to become part of CLAT was ignored by the CLAT core committee, which promised an inspection that never happened despite meeting on 21 January.

14 national law schools are currently part of the CLAT. [New Indian Express]

30 April 2014

The Madras high court ordered Nokia to deposit Rs 240 crore as a deposit against the tax department's claim of Rs 2,400 crore against the Finnish mobile phone maker. Its sales from a Chennai factory are subject to a tax demand, which it claims is without merit, and that it won't be able to make the deposit within eight weeks due to cash flow issues.

The high court has also asked the Tamil Nadu government to reconsider its demand in the meantime. Senior counsel Arvind P Datar and Luthra & Luthra partner Vikas Srivastav are representing Nokia. [Economic Times]

18 April 2014

The police had fired the policewoman after compelling her to take medical exams several years ago that determined she was transgender.

The Madras high court, relying on this week's Supreme Court judgment, told the police to reinstate her in service [TOI]

20 March 2014

The police had objected to bail for Munnetra Kazhagam because of his history of rowdiness and political affiliation; Justice RS Ramanathan said the risks of jumping bail were thin because he was a politician [The Hindu]

12 March 2014

Chandigarh pink slips 79 kin-counsel: The Chandigarh administration has shown the door to 79 empanelled advocates who were the kin of advocate generals, a judge, and union law minister Kapil Sibal. Now around 30 counsel are left on the UT administration’s panel [Hindustan Times]

Madras HC on SMS case update: The Madurai bench of the Madras HC will now use phone text messages to inform litigants and lawyers of the status of their cases. The service has already been successfully introduced since 23 January in the principal bench of the Madras HC [PTI]

Maha prisons to cut costs by Skype-ing inmates: The Maharashtra Prison Department will now deal with a lack of availability of “Police Escort Personnel” by producing inmates in court on internet video messaging program Skype. At the moment 54 prisons and 146 courts are linked through expensive bespoke video conferencing facilities in the state. In the last three months ending February, 2014, over 10,000 undertrials were produced before courts through video conferencing. The bill for a bespoke video conference line is around Rs 15,000 per month [DNA India]

Retd Justice Srikrishna now FPSB chair: Retired SC judge BN Srikrishna is now the chairman of the Financial Planning Standards Board India (FPSB) - India’s professional standards setting body for financial planners. Srikrishna had authored the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission and was also the chairman of the sixth central pay commission. He takes over from Dhirendra Swarup [PTI]

CCI to ease M&A compliance burden: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is about to roll out new M&A guidelines that will reduce the regulatory compliance burden to get M&As approved for businesses and lawyers. The CCI also plans to provide assistance in “substantiative” matters in M&As [Express]

Female advocates politics post-poll fight: Female advocates part of the Indian Federation of Women Lawyers (IFWL) are fighting in the Madras HC over the locking of a room from which the IFWL functions, alleging foul play by the loser of a recent IFWL election who has allegedly taken away documents from the room [Bangalore Mirror]

Artistic Calicut lawyers: 15 Calicut Bar Council lawyers, including seven women, showcased 52 “Rhythmic Painting” works done by them at the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi Art Gallery exhibition [The Hindu]

05 March 2014

The Supreme Court has dismissed the petition by lawyers challenging the recommendation of 12 names for the Madras high court bench by its chief justice, saying it could only review for eligibility but not suitability.

03 March 2014

Delhi HC slaps railways with costs for frivolous appeals: The Delhi HC criticised the department of railways for filing “frivolous” appeals to evade coughing up due compensation, and imposed a cost of Rs 20,000 on the Railways officer who had advised moving court in a case where a man was trampled inside a train bogey [The Hindu]

CS Karnan accused SC judge of connivance: Madras HC justice CS Karnan wrote to “a Supreme Court judge” who “had bemoaned the developments at the Madras high court” at a “recent function”, accusing him of heaping insults on him and “conniving” with vested interests to prevent Karnan from inaugurating a court building, reported the [New Indian Express]. The NIE had earlier reported that former Madras HC chief RK Agrawal, in his farewell speech on his elevation to the SC, had adversely commented on Karnan’s allegations, controversial episodes, and on the situation at the HC

New Chhatisgarh law comm and new TN law comm members: Former Madras HC justice T Suthanthiram, former additional secretaries in the State Law Department R Vivekanandan and R Kathirvel, and former district judges R Dayalan and R Munirathnam have been appointed to the Tamil Nadu Law Commission as full time and part time members. Chhatisgarh has meanwhile set up a law commission to review existing laws according to state conditions, for the first time since its formation out of Madhya Pradesh. Till now its law was entirely adopted from Madhya Pradesh state law [The Hindu/TOI]

New anti illegal lending law in Maha: The Maharashtra legislative assembly has passed a bill to regulate transactions of money lending in the state and do away with the five year limitation for probing illegal lending transactions [Mumbai Mirror]

SC lawyer Vineet Dhanda booked: Supreme Court additional standing counsel for Arunachal Pradesh, Vineet Dhanda, was booked at Vishrambaug for allegedly manhandling the police. Dhanda countered that the police hit him on the head and pushed his wife [TOI]

HSF is not renewing Singapore licence: “Allen & Overy (A&O), Clifford Chance, Latham & Watkins, Norton Rose Fulbright and White & Case have successfully renewed their Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) licences in Singapore, while Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has decided not to re-apply,” reported [The Lawyer]

27 February 2014

Multi-million rupee job scam in Madras HC: A brother and husband to two Madras HC employees masterminded a multi-crore fake appointment letter scam at the Madras HC with 300 aspirants to posts of junior assistant, driver, office assistant and sweeper in the HC paying him between Rs 2 – 4 lakh each for “appointment orders”. The appointment orders rival genuine letters, as they contain the state emblem and 'signature' of the registrar general, besides carrying the name of Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal. They were all issued appointment orders, which mentioned the joining date as September 25, 2012. The date was, however, modified several times later [TOI]

CCI to start rewarding cartel whistleblowers: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is about to set its first precedent in rewarding cartel whistleblowers. The CCI may impose a lower penalty, on the condition of full disclosure, on Phoenix Conveyor Belt, which is one among 17 companies in the conveyor belt segment against which the CCI has directed investigation for alleged cartelisation [ET]

KTS Tulsi to become Rajya Sabha member: Senior advocate and former additional solicitor general of India KTS Tulsi has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha. Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra is among Tulsi’s many renowned clients. Tulsi obtained his LLB degree in 1971 and took to criminal law in 1980 when he was appointed as special prosecutor. He refused to defend Gujarat’s government in the SC after CM Narendra Modi justified the Sohrabuddin encounter. Tulsi was designated a senior in 1987 and ASG in 1990 [Indian Express]

Police investigation details on Ganguly beyond disclosure: AN RTI activist who had written to the Delhi police commissioner asking him to take cognizance of the AK Ganguly sexual harassment case, like the Goa police had done in Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal’s instance, filed an RTI to the Delhi police asking if anything stopped it from taking such cognisance. The police rejected the RTI stating that though nothing barred them from taking cognisance, they could not provide details of the action taken since the matter was still pending inquiry [Deccan Herald]

Parole rules to become stringent in Maha, Karnataka: Fed up of paroled convicts absconding in droves, the Karnataka high court has taken suo moto cognisance of 42 parole absconders to revise parole rules in the state and make them more stringent, while the Maharashtra government will change parole rules indicating that this was to avoid the Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt-like situation, where repeated parole was being obtained on the basis of medical certificates [TOI/The Week]

Constitution co-author Trimbak Tope’s centenary: It is the 100th birth anniversary of the Indian Constitution’s co-author Dr Trimbak Krishna Tope tomorrow, who also served as the vice chancellor of the Mumbai University after 17 years as GLC Mumbai’s principal having taught former president of India Pratibha Patil and former attorney general of India Soli Sorabjee. His daughter, leading Mumbai lawyer Mrunali Deshmukh will be present to commemorate his centennial year as will be former Bombay High Court chief justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari, former Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramaniam and former High Court judge Narendra Chapalgaonkar, to discuss how constitutional mechanisms can correct flaws in the system [DNA]

Gay marriage ban almost struck down in Texas: A Texas federal judge Orlando Garcia becomes the first judge in Texas, to hold that a same-sex marriage ban in the deeply conservative US state is unconstitutional. But he also said he would not enforce his ruling pending a ruling by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which already is hearing two other states' cases. He will also give Texas time to appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Garcia was in the 5th Circuit appointed by President Bill Clinton [TOI]

27 February 2014

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved judgement in the challenge to the controversial 12 names that were recommended for judgeship at the Madras high court.

20 February 2014

Cal client complains HC advocate sexually harassed her: A Kolkata college professor has complained to the Calcutta High Court Bar Association that an advocate whom she had instructed had sexually harassed her during the course of her litigation. The association will now convene an executive committee meeting to decide whether a probe committee will be constituted to probe into the professor’s allegations [TOI]

Wrongfully enrolled advocates to be filtered out in TN: The Madurai bench of the Madras high court has asked the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu to suspend enrolled lawyers who, after 2009, took admission to law colleges in violation of the Bar Council of India’s (BCI) legal education rules including that relating to age limit [PTI]

AAP asks SC to hold President’s rule in Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party has approached the Supreme Court against the Centre’s decision to impose President’s rule in Delhi after the resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as Delhi chief minister. The petition called it a “malafide” and “unconstitutional” move to rule Delhi by proxy and delay fresh assembly polls [NDTV]

Madras HC black day: The Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHCAA) observed February 19 as a black day as several advocates and Judges were injured in a clash between police and lawyers on that day. The MHCAA also demanded suspension of senior police officials and a withdrawal of the appeal filed before the Supreme Court against the High Court order "to protect the accused police officials." [PTI]

Bill for tribunal rules’ uniformity: A bill to make tribunal tenure, allowances and appointments uniform and governed by a single law instead of the current more than 20 Acts, has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha [PTI]

SC overrules TN call to free Rajiv Gandhi killers: The Supreme Court, following the central government’s appeal, has stayed the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to let the convicted assassins of Rajiv Gandhi walk, after the SC had on Monday commuted the killers’ death penalty to life sentences [TOI]

Vodafone claims gov’t declined ‘int'l conciliation mechanisms’: Telco giant Vodafone yesterday countered finance minister P Chidambaram’s statement that its tax dispute with Indian tax authorities was yet unresolved due to its “indecisiveness”. Vodafone released a statement that it had always “responded to the government’s queries in a timely manner, notwithstanding, at one point, a six month delay by the Indian government in responding to correspondence sent by Vodafone”, with the government refusing to “international conciliation mechanisms” [Mint]

J&K courts: 14 courts of Special Mobile Magistrates (Sub-Judge Level) and 22 Courts of Additional Mobile Magistrate (Munsif level) have been set up in Jammu & Kashmir under the 13th finance commission [PTI]

18 February 2014

The Supreme Court (SC) collegium withdrew the 12 names recommended for judgeship at the Madras high court, which had been opposed vehemently by a section of the HC’s bar and bench since December, reported the Times of India.

The collegium said that the withdrawal wasn’t based on an opinion of the merits of the names for selection, but was done keeping in mind the “unprecedented opposition” and the fact that the HC’s chief justice RK Agrawal had since been elevated to the SC and the new chief justice should be given a chance to consider names afresh.

The recommendation of the now withdrawn list had led to successive court boycotts by the bar, a petition by senior advocate R Gandhi against the recommendation and a controversial outburst by the Madras HC’s judge CS Karnan, among other things such as casteist slurs flying around at the HC’s bench.

13 February 2014

Madras HC chief Agrawal talks candidly on local turmoil: Recently elevated Madras HC chief justice RK Agrawal, at his farewell, made reference to HC justice CS Karnan barging into his chamber hurling abuse. Agrawal said that while nobody had “ever raised their voice” to him in his 37 year career, Karnan was the one exception. “I need not tell you that the events of this Court are followed throughout the country. I worry not about the personal comments, but I do get pained when I hear that innuendos are being targeted at the High Court and it is becoming the subject of public ridicule,” he said [New Indian Express] He also said that many of his colleague’s on the HC’s bench desired transfer to another high court [TOI]

Gov blocks 1299 social URLs: Government asked social networking sites to block 1,299 web addresses or URLs to comply with court orders between January 2013 and January 2014, reported the [PTI]

Gujarat prisoners UIDed: Out of total 12,123 inmates in Gujarat prisons, all Indian nationals will get Aadhar cards according to a recent HC direction to the state government [TOI]

3 Bihar district judges dismissed: The Bihar government has dismissed three district judges whose dismissal was recommended by a full court of the Patna high court, after they were “found with some women” in a Nepal hotel’s police raid [TOI]

JAC controversial clause dropped: A controversial clause debarring judges from making verbal comments against any constitutional authority during open hearings was today dropped by the Cabinet in the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, reported the [Indian Express]

12 February 2014

Madras high court chief justice RK Agrawal was elevated to the Supreme Court yesterday, reported the PTI.

His judicial career began in February 1999 at the Allahabad high court 14 years after which he was appointed acting chief justice of the Madras high court. He became chief justice of Madras HC in November last year. [Correction: Justice Agrawal's name was misspelled in an earlier version of the story. We regret the error]