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Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT)

09 December 2013

BCI cozies up to NaMo
A delegation led by Bar Council of India (BCI) chief Manan Kumar Mishra met Narendra Modi on Saturday, inviting him to address the valedictory function of the Gujarat bar Council. According to a Gujarat state press release, the BCI respected Modi’s nationalism, while Modi called for better application of technology and faster disposal of criminal cases by improving forensic science education [TOI]

SC settles TDSAT-TRAI turf war: TRAI wins
Telecom tribunals’ TDSAT and TRAI’s three-and-a-half-year-long turf war has been finally put to rest by the Supreme Court which has held that the TDSAT has no business interfering in TRAI-made regulations. TDSAT can only hear and dispose of appeals against TRAI orders [Business Standard / SC judgment]

Crowds admire Kerala HC astrological garden
Kerala high court now has its very own astrological plant garden with 27 varieties of medicinal saplings that relate to the 27 constellations. Crowds thronged the HC complex on Friday in search of their medicinal star-sign flower pot [IANS]

AP HC allows lower courts to accept PILs
We haven’t succeeded in putting our finger on the legal provision Andhra HC chief justice KJ Sengupta has employed in reaching this conclusion: “The common man need not approach the high court for filing of PILs as it involves a cost factor. The filing of PILs can be done at munsiff magisterial courts also.” Can you? [PTI]

Madras HC asked for anti-sex harass cell: After the Allahabad HC is done constituting its anti-sexual harassment cell, the Madras HC is now also under the wave of demand for the cell after a PIL was filed in the HC asking for a mechanism to deal with the problem in all Tamil Nadu courts [TOI]

Bombay HC prioritises ‘younger’ senior citizens’ cases, lowers age limit 
The “precedence age” – the age at which a litigant can get his case listed on priority in the Bombay HC – has reduced from 65 to 60. On 3 December the HC has issued a circular that if even one of the litigants party to a case have attained the age of 60, their case will be listed for final hearing and disposal on priority basis, on their request. In 1999, this age was fixed at 65 [PTI]

Madras HC lawyers against SC lawyers as their judges: Madras HC lawyers will have a 25 per cent empty roster rather than “importing a stranger” to fill judge seats in the HC, if their opposition to the appointment of three SC lawyers to the HC’s judgeship is anything to go by. The Advocates Association of the HC swears that the move will ‘'completely distort the present selection process”, because the appointment will not be made by the collegium’s recommendation but on the request of the SC’s Advocates-on-Record association [The Hindu]

Lawyer punches pesky customs officer for clients: A Madras HC lawyer has managed to make headlines for taking his solemn duty for his client a tad too seriously by roughing up the customs officer who held up his clients after their questioning at the unit was over [TOI]

23 May 2013

Justice for Jessica: The Delhi HC has dismissed perjury charges against 17 of the 19 hostile witnesses in the Jessica Lal murder case. The court has ordered suo moto prosecution against Bollywood actor Shayan Munshi and ballistic expert PS Manocha under Section 340 of the Code of Criminal Procedure [Hindu]

Alam for TDSAT: Former SC judge Aftab Alam will head the presently headless Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), according to CJI Alatamas Kabir’s recommendation with new law minister Kapil Sibal’s nod. Former SC judge Cyriac Joseph was Kabir’s previous recommendation to the post but Sibal was opposed. Joseph may now be a TDSAT member [BS]

Anti-vacation PIL after vacs: Advocate K Shyam has petitioned the Madras HC against its summer vacations; the petition will be heard after the HC’s 1 May to 2 June summer vacations. Shyam asserts that the vacation was useful in the colonial days when the judges could not bear the heat, whereas now judges operate in an air-conditioned environment. Five lakh cases are pending before the Madras HC [Hindu]

Maha SIC on FIRe: The Maharashtra state Chief Information Commission has directed the Director General of Police to publish all first information reports (FIRs), except those decided by an officer of Commissioner level, on its website. The commission holds that uploading FIRs would curb the practice of bribing to obtain a copy of the report and soon denials of FIRs would be a thing of the past in Maharashtra [Money Life]

Sinha pours out: SEBI chairman UK Sinha on dealing with defaulters of the minimum public shareholding directives, slowing down markets to safeguard against algorithmic trading risks, the need for more enforcement powers and the lack of coordination between regulators [BS]

Judicially accepted live-ins: By holding that rape charges cannot be slapped against a man who did not marry a woman after physical intimacy with her, the Supreme Court has paved the way for judicial acceptance of cohabitation between unmarried men and women, writes The Times

Bloggers v Suerage: An Indian university lecturer was jailed in Dubai after he blogged against a Dubai-based private university. He was a senior lecturer at the Dubai university from 2008 to 2012 and had won relief against the university in a Dubai court for improper termination of his contract. After the court’s ruling he had blogged against the institution and moved Karnataka High Court for what he termed was a gross human rights violation [TOI]

Defence secrets out of CAGe: Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan says he intends to challenge the appointment of former defence secretary Shashikant Sharma as the new Comptroller & Auditor General, as illegal and unconstitutional due to conflict of interest from having access to considerable secret defence information [TOI]

Negative list, service tax: The Delhi HC becomes the first high court to examine an issue under the new negative list regime of service tax. The court examined whether a foreman in a business chit fund can be taxed under this regime, and observed that ‘transaction in money’ per se is not a ‘service’ [BMR Advisors/Money Control]

Fitness test: Union law minister Kapil Sibal proposes to amend the Indian Penal Code to include a provision penalising sports-related offences, after the IPL spot fixing scandal. However, sports is a state subject in the Constitution of India. The law ministry is therefore seeking the attorney general’s opinion on its domain [TOI]

P&H AAG resigns: Punjab & Haryana’s additional advocate general Manish Bansal resigns after facing criticism over holding company director posts alongside his government post [TOI]

18 February 2013

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Authority (TDSAT) is now practically defunct, after the body’s only serving member PK Rastogi retired, as predicted in a column on Legally India in January. According to an Economic Times’  telecommunications ministry source, the appointment process for one of two members, former MTNL managing director Kuldeep Singh, has begun.

The tribunal has not had a chairman since former Supreme Court (SC) judge SB Sinha retired from the chair in November 2012. Former SC judge Cyriac Joseph, who was reportedly appointed to take the chair after Sinha, has not joined to date.

According to ET, the process of appointment was underway and the members will be announced before the month-end, although it another source told the paper that the Chief Justice of India (CJI), who takes a call on chairmans' appointments, had not yet recommended names for the position. [ET]

29 January 2013

Cyriac Joseph How is the TDSAT going to function without members, asks Delhi advocate Nidhi Parashar.

06 November 2012

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) got a new chairman in former Supreme Court judge Cyriac Joseph. Joseph who retired from the SC on 27 January after three-and-a-half years on the roster, succeeds former SC judge SB Sinha at the chair after Sinha’s retirement last month.

He is a former chief justice of Uttaranchal high court as well as Karnataka high court.

Joseph enrolled at the bar in 1968, became the senior government pleader in Kerala high court in 1979 until 1987, was Additional Advocate General in Kerala for three years from 1991, and was appointed as a permanent judge of Kerala high court for a month in 1994.

He was transferred to Delhi high court that year, and was appointed as Uttaranchal high court’s chief justice in March 2005. Next year he became chief justice of Karnataka high court. [Indian Television]

Sinha was appointed as chairman in September 2009, succeeding former SC judge Arun Kumar.