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Supreme Court

17 July 2014

“Daring” the government to do away with laws requiring tribunals to be headed by judicial members chief justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha said that it is these laws that create a public perception that retired judges are “running and running and running after tribunals”, reported the Economic Times.

He reportedly said:

The government enacts all these laws insisting that they be headed by judicial members. This creates a perception among the public that retired judges are running and running and running after tribunals

The CJI was part of a five-judge bench hearing a petition challenging the central government’s move to create, among other things, a National Tax Tribunal and a Companies Appellate Tribunal, when he said this.

16 July 2014

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has warned Supreme Court interns that if they use the court’s main canteen between 12:30pm and 2:30pm, they may face “the embarrassment of being asked to leave”, as those hours at the canteen are reserved for the exclusive use of SCBA members.

In a notice published on the SC website today, SCBA secretary Aishwarya Bhati stated:

“It has been observed that Interns are occupying the main Canteen especially during lunch hours leading to server inconvenience [sic] being caused to the Members and even Senior Members.

Members are requested to kindly instruct Counsel/persons interning with them not to occupy the canteen especially during lunch hours, as the main Plaza Canteen and cafeteria is for the exclusive use of Members.

We have specifically directed the canteen contractor not to serve any non-lawyers between 12:30pm and 2:30pm.

Interns are also requested to scrupulously comply with this notice to save themselves of the embarrassment of being asked to leave.”

15 July 2014

Kian Ganz explains on Newslaundry how over the last week the papers have been happily running with a news story about how AK Ganguly, the former Supreme Court judge who had allegedly harassed one of his interns after retirement, with headlines such as “Ganguly gets Centre’s clean chit in intern case”.

The only problem: it never actually happened. Read the full article on Newslaundry that shows how badly they got it wrong.

09 July 2014

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi accused the SCBA of “crass commercialisation and periodic auctioning and re-auctioning”, on its decision to rename the Supreme Court’s “Dr LM Singhvi library” to “Dr Awadh Behari Rohatgi library” after senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, instead of Singhvi, ended up donating the money required for the library’s renovation this year. Bar & Bench reported that in addition to this accusation, Singhvi also alleged that the SCBA had possibly “squandered” the Rs 20 lakh he had donated for the library in 2009.

According to the B&B report, Singhvi said:

“In 2008 and 2009 they took Rs. 20 lacs from me. I gave it with happiness for the service of the Bar. I had also asked them to keep the money locked in corpus, so that it is not squandered for dinners and lunches. It was not done. Till 2014, nothing happened.”

The SCBA had in May asked for Rs 20 lakh from Singhi to renovate the library, but after he had allegedly qualified the donation with four conditions the association had decided to strip the library, named after his late father, of its title. Rohatgi has now donated Rs 25 lakh toward the library’s renovation and the library will be renamed after his late father.

SCBA president PH Parekh told B&B:

“[Singhvi’s] daily income is more than Rs. 20 lacs. If it was a lawyer who did not have money, we would not have asked for a single penny. It is when he set out those four conditions that we decided that enough was enough. […] It is not a question of payment but about the conditions he imposed. He said that he will pay Rs. 20 lacs but he will dictate the terms. We felt very hurt by that and did not like it. By imposing a condition that an inaugural ceremony should be held, he was trying to show his money power. So, the point is that we did not like the way in which he troubled us for a couple of months before agreeing to pay and then imposing those conditions.”

02 July 2014

Senior advocate Arvind Datar is being considered by the Supreme Court collegium, the Times of India first reported yesterday, after Legally India reported last week that senior counsel Uday Lalit too was in the process of being elevated to the Supreme Court.

26 June 2014

Supreme Court senior advocate Uday U Lalit will be elevated to the apex court’s roster, it has been confirmed, as former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium withdrew his candidature facing controversy over his elevation.

25 June 2014

Senior counsel and Supreme Court judge candidate Gopal Subramanium has sent a rather candid letter to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) withdrawing his candidature.

19 June 2014

The law ministry has returned the file to elevate senior counsel Gopal Subramanium to the Supreme Court bench to the collegium, which will again have to reconsider whether it wants to elevate the advocate, though the ministry cleared the elevation of senior counsel Rohinton Nariman and high court chief justices Arun Mishra and Adarsh Kumar Goes for the president's confirmation, reported The Hindu.

The collegium of the Supreme Court has the option to again put forward Subramanium, which the government would have to go with, contrary to earlier opinions by advocates suggesting the government would have the option of delaying elevations indefinitely by sitting on files and never returning them to the collegium.

18 June 2014

RM Lodha The SC has said that from 8 July, two benches would only hear miscellaneous matters in service matters, cheque bounce appeals and labour matters.

16 June 2014

The Maharashtra government is dropping a provision in the Bombay Police Act 1951 that allowed dance performances in “exempted” establishments like three-star and five-star hotels but banned it elsewhere, and proposing to have a blanket ban on dance bars in the state, reversing the Supreme Court’s July 2013 ruling, reported the Express.

The Supreme Court had categorically told the state in its July ruling that the restrictions on dance bars in the Bombay Police Act were not reasonable under Article 14 of the Constitution, and that it would be better to bring about safety measures and improve working conditions for dance bar girls.

22 May 2014

Anup SurendranathThe Supreme Court is for the second time in its history attempting to create its own dedicated intellectual and institutional research unit with the appointment of NLU Delhi assistant professor Anup Surendranath to the post of deputy registrar (research).

20 May 2014

Supreme Court justices TS Thakur and AK Sikri told the Sahara Group after a two hour hearing that they would have to pay Rs 10,000 crore to get its boss Subrata Roy and two directors released from jail.

The judges, who replaced the previous bench of justices KS Radharkrishnan and JS Khehar amid unprecedented controversy, said: "You come with a specific proposal and not cast your net so wide, stalemate will not help anybody, including investors. Come with a specific, logical and acceptable proposal." [IANS]

They also responded to Sahara's offer, represented by senior counsel Rajiv Dhawan and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, that a refund of Rs 17,000 crore had been made to investors in cash, saying: "What business you [Sahara] have? How did you generate Rs.20,000 crore overnight? You must have deposited the money in a bank or the money was stacked somewhere... Was it somewhere in a locker or in gunny bags stacked in some corner?" Sahara is now considering selling its foreign hotels to get the money, reported Reuters.