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ML Sharma

15 March 2014

A Supreme Court bench stayed the execution of two of the four men convicted for the rape and murder of a woman, dubbed Nirbhaya by the media, in December 2012.

14 March 2014

Nokia forced into Rs 2,250 cr tax guarantee by SC: The Supreme Court today ordered Nokia to give a Rs 2,250 crore ($368m) guarantee before it can transfer one of its mobile phone factories to Microsoft, which bought the Finnish mobile maker last year with the acquisition held up by the tax dispute with the Indian government [Bloomberg]

ML Sharma strikes again, hits Ranbaxy: Controversial advocate and serial petitioner Manohar Lal Sharma has succeeded in getting the Supreme Court to issue notice to Ranbaxy Laboratories in a PIL against the pharma company alleging it sold tampered and ineffective drugs in India. Sharma cited a recent order in the US against Ranbaxy [Mint]

Law students fast for action against Sri Lanka: 12 Tiruchi government law college students have begun an indefinite fast demanding that India move a resolution in the United Nations against Sri Lanka, for alleged war crimes [The Hindu]

Dec 16 convicts to hang: Del HC: The Delhi high court upheld the death sentence of the four Delhi December 16 gang rape convicts, dismissing their appeal for commutation of the sentence to life term [The Hindu]

21 January 2014

NLU Nagpur almost done: The National Law University Nagpur cleared another hurdle with the Maharashtra government taking the ordinance route to set it up and the cabinet approving the ordinance. Once the draft of the ordinance is sent to the governor for promulgation, the way would be clear to appoint a vice chancellor and other statutory officers for the university [TOI]

Bar council may suspend Delhi law min: The Bar Council of Delhi yesterday issued a notice to Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti asking him to show cause on 7 February, why his name should not be removed from advocate rolls for allegedly tampering with evidence while representing a client before a CBI special court in August [PTI]

ML Sharma vs Kejriwal: The Supreme Court has admitted advocate ML Sharma’s petition against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and law minister Somnath Bharti for “creating chaos in the heart of the capital by going on in an unprecedented 10-day sit-in protest” [India Today]

MHAA strikes some more: The Madras High Court Advocates Association continues working on the demand for recall of the list of judgeship recommendations at the HC, by shunning work yet again – courts were boycotted again today and additionally a “day long hunger strike” from 10am to 4pm was launched. The MHAA also resolved to urge dropping of the ten-year old Supreme Court contempt proceedings against Tamil Nadu Advocates Association president S Prabhakaran [New Indian Express]

Kejri for president’s rule? Former Delhi high court judge RS Sodhi said he sees AAP leader and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s protest as a face-saving tactic to bring about president’s rule and quit from his post as a “gullible martyr” as the party has realised it is beyond its power to govern the city [Telegraph India]

Delhi HC CAG audit order appealed: The Association of Uniform Telecom Service Providers of India has moved the Supreme Court against the Delhi high court verdict allowing the Comptroller and Auditor General the power to audit their accounts [The Hindu Businessline]

14 January 2014

Swatanter Kumar ex-intern PIL admitted: Former SC judge Swatanter Kumar’s ex-intern from NUJS Kolkata who had made sexual harassment allegations against him yesterday moved a petition in the SC for inquiry against him. The intern challenged the SC’s 5 December 2013 full court resolution that it could take no action against Kumar because he was now retired, although he was not at the time of making the allegation.

The intern is supported in her petition by additional solicitor general Indira Jaising, and advocates Kamini Jaiswal, Harish Salve and Vrinda Grover.

The Chief’s court agreed to take up the matter on 15 January [PTI]

NUJS intern sex harassment policy: NUJS Kolkata will, by next month, ready a policy to formally deal with complaints of sexual harassment by its students against anyone they intern with through the university. The law school will also sensitise students on how to deal with any incidence of sexual harassment during internships [Firstpost]

ML Sharma Legally India-CIA link petition dismissed: “ML Sharma [was upset] over @IJaising, @LegallyIndia & @kianganz in CJI's court accusing them of CIA funding for reporting [sexual harassment], Swantantar.” tweeted @JaskiratSB yesterday. Chief Justice of India Sathasivam declined to entertain Sharma’s writ petition, which sought action against the intern, “a website and a national daily” for publishing the “defamatory” allegation, reported the PTI.

03 December 2013

34ilegxoNewslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri interviewed advocate ML Sharma, proud filer of 33 public interest litigations (PILs): “I only file when I see something very wrong happening and I just want it to stop.”

18 November 2013

TOI frontpageSince the allegation early this month that a “recently-retired” Supreme Court judge sexually harassed at least one intern (“SJ”), print, online and TV media news have been reporting the story’s twists and turns avidly.

10 October 2013

Nagpur wins NLS Maharashtra clearance: The proposal for Maharashtra National Law University” (as it will be called) to be based in Nagpur was cleared yesterday by the Maharasthra state cabinet. The government has earmarked a reduced capital grant of Rs 125 crore (from Rs 204 crore) for the NLS, which will take in 100 students for its first batch through the CLAT [TOI]

Justice Singhvi excuses self from 2G case, pre-retirement: Justice GS Singhvi, who was leading the bench in the 2G spectrum case, will not hear the case anymore because he has a lot of workload to finish before his retirement on 11 December [TOI]

World anti death penalty day: To mark today's World Day Against Death Penalty NGO Amnesty International yesterday urged India to commute all its death sentences and impose a moratorium on executions [Firstpost]

ML Sharma again Delhi rape lawyer: Serial PIL filer and the former lawyer of one of the Delhi rape convicts, ML Sharma – who had been dumped as counsel to Delhi gang rape convict Mukesh after failing to appear in a fast track court hearing for him – has again filed a Vakalatnama to represent Mukesh after his defence lawyer VK Anand yesterday withdrew from the case [BS/TOI]

Karnataka circuit fiasco:  The principle bench at Karnataka HC suffers undue vacancies as judges get deputed to its recently consolidated circuit benches at Gulbarg and Dharwad [Deccan Chronicle]

10 September 2013

Judicial rejig: Bombay HC's justice DY Chandrachud is being shifted to the Allahabad HC and may soon take over as its Chief Justice (CJ), Himachal Pradesh HC's CJ AM Khanwilkar is getting transferred to the Madhya Pradesh HC and be replaced by J&K HC’s justice Mansoor Ahmed [TOI]

Hey KGB: The Supreme Court asked petitioner ML Sharma who had addressed former CJI KG Balakrishnan as KGB in his petition for his removal from the NHRC chair: “How can you use such term? It is not the name of a company or organisation.” The SC dismissed Sharma’s petition as being redundant in light of NGO Common Cause’s petition for the same relief already pending with the apex court [ET]

25 June 2013

Lawyers mourn telegram: The closure of India’s telegram service has left lawyers in the lurch, reports the New Indian Express, adding that lawyers will now have to find another way of making representations to authorities on behalf of clients. “In registered post, there is no guarantee of the content you send as the receiver could even say there was nothing in the envelope. But telegram is personally developed (sic) and you get a certified copy, which is a great evidence,” a Madras HC lawyer told the paper

Madras judiciary transfers: Madras HC transferred 31 judicial officers yesterday, posting 26 as chief judicial magistrates across the state [Hindu]

Cops snub bar council: The Tamil Nadu Deputy General of Police (DGP) rebuffed the petition of the Tamil Nadu bar council’s vice-chairman, who wanted the DGP removed for allegedly refusing to file lawyer’s FIR. The DGP replied that if the petitioners had fixed an appointment in advance, had approached in a delegation of a reasonable size, and not facilitated a confrontation with officers, they would have been welcomed like the scores of others who visited his office [New Indian Express]

Immaterial Ranbaxy PIL: The Supreme Court has dismissed serial PIL filer advocate ML Sharma’s petition against Ranbaxy seeking a cancellation of its license for manufacturing spurious drugs. Sharma has however been allowed to file a fresh petition if he can bring in evidence. “Your entire argument is based on proceedings in US. We have no jurisdiction over it. Show us material that things are happening in India and it adversely affects right to life of people here,” the bench observed adding: “Where is the material against Ranbaxy.” [TOI]

Sweet 16 marriages: The local administration’s principal secretary directed civic bodies in Kerala to register marriages of Muslim men below 21 years and women between 16 and 18 years old. Legal commentators in the state have condemned this direction. Kerala HC lawyers said that the move was made to “to woo the orthodox section of the Muslim community” [Hindu]

24 June 2013

Ramlu wants moolah: RMLNLU Lucknow on Saturday decided to raise its fees from the current Rs 80,000 per year to an, as yet, undecided amount, which “will be at par with other national law schools”. However, “the university will consider the financial status of students who come from UP before finalising the fees”, according to university sources [TOI]

CCI short staffed: The Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) director general AK Chauhan has asked for direct recruits for his office up to at least 25 per cent of the CCI’s total employees, after being faced with a manpower crunch. [ET]

Inadequate drug tests: Serial PIL filer, who started a PIL against Ranbaxy in the Supreme Court this month, has argued that the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) suffers from inadequate infrastructure and staff shortages, causing new drugs to be approved for the Indian market by short-circuiting testing (and in some cases not testing them at all on Indian patients) [BS]

Outlook ranks NLS: Outlook India magazine ranked NLSIU Bangalore as India’s “best” law college, ahead of Nalsar Hyderabad, NLIU Bhopal, NUJS Kolkata, ILS Pune and NLU Jodhpur, Symbiosis Pune, GNLU Gandhinagar. Ninth was Amity Delhi, followed by New Law College Pune BVDU, Jamia Islamia Delhi, VHU Varanasi, MS Ramaiah Bangalore, Osmania University Hyderabad and Bangalore Institute of Legal Studies [Ranking, via Bar & Bench]. Rival weekly India Today ranked Nalsar Hyderabad as India’s “best” law school last week. Legally India has reduced coverage of third party law school rankings since last year.

06 June 2013

Glivec dissected: Must-read (long) feature in the Caravan delving into the history, background and repercussions on the Novartis Supreme Court patent judgment and the future of IP laws in India and globally [Caravan]

Public interest injections: Serial PIL lawyer ML Sharma filed in the SC yesterday seeking cancellation of generic drugs maker Ranbaxy’s manufacturing license on the grounds that it fudged data and sold adulterated products in the US [ET]

Taskmaster SEBI: SEBI has taken action against 105 companies that have flouted its minimum public shareholding norms and have missed the 3 June deadline to dilute promoter stakes. It has suspended 33 companies [Hindu BL/order]

Free speech SLAPPed: The Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) discusses the increasing incidence of SLAPP suits (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) and how they target free speech by holding a gun to the head of commentators and authors of academic opinion [CIS-India]

NHPC deal auction: 15 law firms including Luthra & Luthra and AZB & Partners will bid this month for a role on the divestment of 11.36 per cent stake in the National Hydropower Corporation for over Rs 2,200 crore [PTI]

CCI penance delays: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is yet to realise a majority of the Rs 8,000 crore it has imposed in penalties since its inception, since all defaulters have appealed before the judiciary [SME Times]

Release thy neighbour: Supreme Court justice AK Ganguly is in Pakistan with SC lawyers Colin Gonsalves, Prashant Bhushan, Mukul SInha and Nijhari Sinha to attend an Indo-Pak conference on judicial activism, PIL, and human rights. The delegation will invite the Chief Justice of Pakistan to India to discuss the release of Pakistan’s prisoners in Indian jails [Pakistan Today]

Fat packets: Clifford Chance hikes newly-qualified associate pay up to £76,200 (Rs 67 lakh) with maximum bonus [The Lawyer]

02 May 2013

The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed petitioner ML Sharma’s public interest litigation that had challenged the government’s decision to allow 51 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.

The bench, comprised of justices RM Lodha, Madan B Lokur, and Kurien Joseph, said that while there are enough examples of countries where small unorganised retailers have continued to co-exist with organised multinational retailers even after implementation of FDI, the risk is lower in India where the policy would be tried on only 13.3 per cent of the population.

The bench also said: “The middlemen are a curse to the country. They work like Shylocks and suckers. If they are sought to be thrown out of the system, what is wrong with the policy.” The SC said it would not interfere with a policy unless it is arbitrary, unconstitutional, contrary to statute, irrational, or an abuse of power [TOI/ET]

11 January 2013

Public interest litigation (PIL) activist lawyer ML Sharma, who is defending three of the six Delhi rape-accused in Delhi’s Saket district court, said in an interview that he had never heard of a “respected lady” being raped, and that the rape victim’s male companion was “wholly responsible” for the incident as the unmarried couple should not have been on the streets at night.

In an interview at a café outside the Supreme Court he said:

Until today I have not seen a single incident or example of rape with a respected lady.

Even an underworld don would not like to touch a girl with respect. [Bloomberg]

Sharma most recently filed a PIL against the government’s September notification allowing FDI in multi-brand retail. His other PILs this year include a dismissed petition for CBI probe into senior advocate Shanti Bhushan’s evasion of stamp duty, a PIL seeking cancellation of 194 coal-block allotments, and a challenge to the setting up of the Lokpal bill drafting committee, among others.

Last week the Saket Bar Association resolved that its 2500 members must not represent six Delhi men accused of the rape and murder of a 23-year old on 16 December, on the grounds of immorality. The fast track court for the trial was inaugurated 10 days ago.

24 September 2012

Thursday’s DIPP notification allowing FDI in multi-brand retail has been challenged in the Supreme Court by advocate ML Sharma on the ground that the notification lacks parliamentary approval. Sharma has been active in filing public interest litigation in the past.

He said:

The notification would hit the life and livelihood of more than 35 crore citizens of India “who are surviving through their small retail trade upon footpath, small shops, hand-trolley and even door-to-door.

The notification has been issued in the name of reform but, in fact, it is a sale of India, citizens of India, their business and future of the country to foreigners. [The Hindu]