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05 May 2014

The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition by ex-Maharashstra chief minister Ashok Chavan into whether the Election Commission can probe "paid news" allegations in cases where the expense was not accounted for in candidates' election returns.

The bench of justices Surinder Singh Nijjar and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla said that the Election Commission would hear the complaint for 45 days daily. A rival had alleged in 2009 that Chavan had paid for a supplement in a Marathi daily but had not disclosed the expense in the returns, which Chavan and the paper deny, with Chavan having approached the Delhi high court for a stay of the EC case in 2010, which was declined [IANS]

25 April 2014

The embattled Sahara Group has withdrawn a defamation case in the Calcutta high court, which had granted a stay order, against Mint journalist Tamal Bandhyopadhyay's book Sahara: The Untold Story.

As part of the settlement, the book will now include a disclaimer by Sahara stating: "The book at best can be treated as a perspective of the author with all its defamatory content, insinuations and other objections, which prompted us to exercise our right to approach the court of law... By getting the opportunity to put forward our objections in the form of a disclaimer...in the best tradition of Sahara and our respect for a journalist's freedom, we are...withdrawing the case we had filed against the publication of the book."

Less than a week ago Sahara had sent a defamation notice to the maker of Amul dairy products for a comic strip parodying the firm's financial troubles. [Mint] [Amul notice]

04 April 2014

India Today senior editor Gayatri Jayaraman has been live-tweeting diligently from the Mumbai sessions court in the Shakti Mills gang rape sentencing hearing today, at which the judge will decide whether the accused will get the death sentence.

13 March 2014

kynumsnxThe Talwars, who are in jail after a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court last year found them guilty of murdering their daughter, have won permission to watch a movie allegedly about them.

05 March 2014

Election Commission wants paid news to be crime: Election Commission said it has proposed to the law ministry to make “paid news” a criminal offence, estimating that Rs 500 crore was currently being spent on paid news [NDTV]

RamJet accuses Kejriwal of demonic pact with Congress: Senior counsel and sometime BJP politician Ram Jethmalani tore into Arvind Kejriwal in a newspaper column after he had “expressed nothing but goodwill and support” for the activist-turned-ex-chief-minister, but had now realised that a rather complex “Faustian bargain” was made between Kejriwal and the Congress to capture potential Modi voters [New Indian Express]

Reliance Infra files defamation vs AAP: Reliance Infrastructure filed a Rs 100 crore defamation suit against the Aam Aadmi Party in late February in the Bombay high court for accusing the company of overcharging customers on purpose [The Hindu]

Delhi HC stays semi-biopic after seeing trailer: Holds that the Gulaab Gang movie, allegedly based on the life of Sampat Pal who formed a vigilante group of women in pink saris in Uttar Pradesh, would cause a “loss of reputation can not be compensated by monetary terms” and stayed release that was scheduled for Friday [IANS]

SC upholds Uphaar cinema fire convictions, passes on quantum: The Supreme Court has upheld the convictions of the cinema owner brothers but has passed onto a three-judge bench the question of how long the Gopal and Sushil Ansar should be jailed for their role in causing the death of 59 in a cinema fire in 1997 [PTI]

25 February 2014

The next hearing will be on 19 May in the Delhi high court case filed by Swatanter Kumar against three media companies and an NUJS Kolkata graduate who alleged the former Supreme Court judge had sexually harrassed her while she interned with him, reported the PTI.

14 February 2014

Penguin India has released a statement, blaming section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, which bans “outraging the religious feelings of any class of citizens” with “malicious intent”.

12 February 2014

Kian GanzLegally India editor Kian Ganz was in an online Q&A today, fielding some excellent and insightful questions on freedom of speech for an hour from CNN-IBN’s viewers. It was fun! Do read and let us know your thoughts.

11 February 2014

Journalists wage hike coming up: The Supreme Court last week upheld recommendations made by the Justice Majithia wage board hiking salaries for journalists and non-journalists in print media on Friday and dismissed challenges filed by the managements of various newspapers, reported the [Mint]

Karnataka HC pendency and vacancy stats: Pendency: over 12,000 more than five-year old cases pending, over 500 are more than 10 years old and six are from two decades ago. The HC is functioning with 12 less judges than its sanctioned strength [India TV News]

Bail fail for Asaram Bapu: Veteran criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani’s client Asaram Bapu, whom Jethmalani had initially defended by stating: “The only way to test his potency is to expose him to some member of the opposite gender”, has been denied bail by the Rajasthan HC [One India]

New Rs 50 crore Mangalore court: Mangalore has a new six storied court complex where the the courts of first and second class judicial magistrates have already been relocated and 18 other courts will start functioning from where in the next few days. The new building has cost the state exchequer Rs 49 crore, and was inaugurated on 8 February [Daijiworld]

10 February 2014

The chilling effect of the Delhi high court’s gag order it the Swatanter Kumar case is only the latest in a long line of examples of the media losing out in its fight to report on the judiciary, argues advocate Prashant Reddy.

07 February 2014

Artist's Impression 0 For all intents and purposes, a lot of credit should go to Karanjawala & Co, for they have proven what difference a lawyer can make (or a team of six or more, judging by the number cc’d to my recent email correspondence with the firm).

29 January 2014

The Delhi high court’s order, restricting media coverage of the sexual harassment allegations against Swatanter Kumar, should give the Supreme Court cause to consider its Sahara gag order decision, argues Chinamyi Arun, research director at the Centre for Communication Governance at NLU Delhi and fellow at the CIS Bangalore.

27 January 2014

Judge in Robes After sending a takedown request for a photograph last Thursday, Karanjawala & Co, representing ex-SC judge Swatanter Kumar in a defamation case, declined to specify which parts of Legally India’s coverage relating to the case should be removed.

23 January 2014

Artist's impression Karanjawala & Co, the law firm representing Swatanter Kumar in his Rs 5 crore defamation suit, has sent Legally India a legal notice for the removal of an anonyised photograph of the ex-judge.

09 January 2014

Nalsar Hyderabad girl students stand vindicated after the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) fined Sakshi TV Rs 1 lakh for broadcasting a “flawed, one-sided and misleading story” on them when they filmed them outside a local pub in April, reported Gulte.

The students had slammed it as voyeuristic reporting after they were filmed without their consent by the news channel, owned by Congress politician YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, and the footage was edited into allegedly defamatory broadcasts.

The channel had aired the broadcasts with comment on the girls’ attire and alleged inebriation, saying it was culturally demeaning.

The decision was one of several decisions by the NBSA against TV channels, according to MediaMughals.

06 January 2014

Media trial LI reporter Prachi Shrivastava argues that, to date, the pillars of the Indian constitution have been remarkably efficient and fair in the investigation and reporting of the sexual harassment allegations against former Supreme Court Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly.

24 July 2013

Media friendlier new CJI? New CJI P Sathasivam said in a speech that he was in favour of self-regulation of the media rather than strict controls [Hindu] His remarks follow both his predecessors’ significant fall-outs with the media – SH Kapadia constituted a constitutional bench into media conduct, while his successor Altamas Kabir released a six-page statement slamming two newspapers yesterday.

Arbitrary CAG challenge heard: A Delhi high court bench headed by acting chief justice BD Ahmed said it would hear two PILs challenging the central government’s allegedly arbitrary appointment of Shashi Kant Sharma as Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). Centre to respond by 8 August. [PTI]

OBC state college: The Delhi high court ruled that state-established or -affiliated universities can follow their own state’s Other Backward Classes (OBC) reservations and do not have to adhere to the Centre’s [DNA]

Sahara where art thou? The Supreme Court asked Sahara today by when it would pay refunds to its investors, following a contempt petition by Sebi over Sahara’s delays in obeying with the order [NDTV]

SC presumes against gang rape consent: Supreme Court bench of BS Chauhan and SA Bobde rule that in gang rape cases there is a presumption that there was no consent of the victim [Express / Md Iqbal & Anr. vs State of Jharkhand (Cr App 109-110 of 2011)]

Salman trial frenzy: Bollywood star Salman Khan’s culpable homicide trial started today in Mumbai sessions court. He pleaded not guilty. Turn on any TV set near you for wall-to-wall coverage [PTI]

Bear witness to Ambani: Reliance Telecom fields Mukul Rohatgi to argue before Supreme Court special 2G bench that Anil Ambani and his wife should not be called as witnesses in the 2G spectrum scam [PTI]

AP Shah for RTI: Ex Delhi HC CJ AP Shah and other high-powered signatories to a petition have urged MPs not to vote for a bill that excludes political parties from the RTI Act [PTI]

15 April 2013

Nalsar fights media: Nalsar Hyderabad students launch online campaign and vow to sue for slander over local television channels that allegedly forcefully filmed them and edited telecast to show them as drunk and topless outside a city pub where they were celebrating their farewell [Hindu/TOI]

Fashionable arbitration: The Karnataka high court’s arbitration centre – India’s second high court arbitration centre after Delhi – gets launched in Bangalore with arbitration fees ranging from Rs 50,000 and Rs 8 lakhs [New Indian Express]

Canning Katju: Bombay high court admits petition challenging the Press Council Act that does not allow for removal of Press Council of India (PCI) chairman (vis ex-Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju). [Spread_law via Twitter]

Pre-legal aid: Mumbai University Legal Aid Clinic in collaboration with the Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority will now offer pre-litigation mediation and arbitration services to citizens [TOI]

Top billing: GNLU Gandhinagar third-year student Tanya Nayyar wins Pravin Gandhi College of Law’s national legislative drafting competition, for her draft Mobile Towers (Installation and Regulation) Bill (2013), which will now be submitted to the DoT. NLIU Bhopal stands second [HT]

Declining judicial aspirations: Bombay high court chief justice Mohit Shah urges state bar council to train candidates for judgeship. Cites finding only 55 suitable judges in a 2012 advertisement for 159 posts, as compared to 41 judges for 100 posts in 2011, and 100 for 100 in 2010 [HT]