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Madras high court

05 August 2015

Criticism of a district judge attracted criminal contempt charges by the Madras high court against two advocates who also prevented a court staff from performing his duties, reported the Express. The court further ordered the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to initiate disciplinary proceedings against them

Advocates Manikandan Vathan Chettiar and Mathankumar had allegedly made “reckless and unsubstantiated” allegations against a district judge in a criminal original petition on which they were acting for their client, before Madras HC justice PN Prakash.

Justice Prakash initiated contempt proceedings against the two advocates after observing that it is their “habit to file such petitions and ask for omnibus prayers”. Chettiar and Mathankumar were also criticised by the court last week for their “repeated and unsubstantiated” allegation against a public prosecutor, and their client was fined Rs 10,000.

08 July 2015

If advocates have not passed the Bar Council of India (BCI) All India Bar Exam (AIBE) within three years of enrolment, their advocates licence “has to be necessarily revoked”, held a Madras high court bench of chief justice SK Kaul and Justice TS Sivagnanam, reported The Hindu.

The bench added that the BCI should also do surprise spot inspections of colleges to find those that that award “dubious” law degrees. Petitioner and advocate V Ramesh had claimed in his plea that the profession had been polluted by advocates with fake degrees bought from fake colleges.

20 June 2015

The Hindu reported that Tamil Nadu-based National Law School Srirangam vice chancellor N Murugavel has resigned long before the end of his three-year term, despite him having “pooled his professional and administrative experience to build the school from scratch since the day he assumed office. However, he could not get support from some Executive Council members. They could not accept the national recognition received by the Law School within a short span of time.”

The executive council did not cooperate and his contribution was limited, he told the paper.

Tamil Nadu’s national law school became the 15th member of the core Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) member law schools this year after an order from the Madras high court.

11 March 2015

The Madras high court ruled that the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) is unconstitutional, reported SpicyIP.

The high court held that the provisions creating the tribunal are unconstitutional where they allow bureaucrats to be elected as judicial members to it even to the extent of becoming its chairman or vice chairman.

The court also ruled that any committee electing members to IPAB must also be constituted of members with judicial qualifications.

The ruling was made on a writ petition by Spicy IP founder Shamnad Basheer.

06 February 2015

Madras high court judge Justice TS Sivagnanam, hearing a petition by a mother that her daughter was not paid her prize for winning a beauty contest at an engineering college, decided to issue notice to the local government in his interim order to ban such events at universities.

“It is not known as to how walking the ramp would benefit a student pursuing a course in engineering,” said the judge, according to reports in the Times of India and elsewhere, wanting an investigation into how such events by colleges, ordering until the next hearing on 22 May: “Till these issues are considered, the secretary of higher education department, commissioner of technical education and director of collegiate education are directed to issue a circular forthwith to all institutions, universities, deemed universities and colleges in the state to ban or not to conduct any beauty show or programme to decide best looking male/female student in their institution or at inter-collegiate level.”

19 January 2015

The Department of Justice in the law ministry has begun drafting a bill to rename the Bombay and Madras high courts to Mumbai and Chennai high courts, respectively, reported the PTI.

The two high courts were established under the Indian High Court Act, 1861 alongside the Calcutta high court, and have so far resisted attempts to be renamed in line with their hosting cities.

05 November 2014

Madras HC lays another brick in the wall against RTIKarnataka advocate @certiorary argues that a recent Madras high court judgment is the latest erosion of transparency in the judiciary, despite the RTI Act, and needs to be fixed at a higher level.

04 November 2014

A circular issued by Madras high court registrar General P Kalaiyarasan, as agreed to by all the bar associations in the city, said that lawyers should now file their cases without folding the case papers in half along the longer side, reported The Hindu.

The so-called ‘flat filing system’ was a “wonderful system that will help judges in knowing the day-to-day development of the case by glancing through the first few pages itself”, Isaac Mohanlal, president of the Madurai Bench of the Madras high court Bar Association (MMBA) told the paper.

The court reportedly also introduced an obligation to translate all vernacular documents into English, which Mohanlal was less enthusiastic about as adding to cost and time, according to the report. [Hat-tip @khushant4 on Twitter]