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21 July 2015

Phoenix partner Kartikeya Singh is to become deputy GC at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas has completed another lateral hire in Mumbai with former Prism co-founder Yogesh Chande joining from Economic Laws Practice (ELP).

Meanwhile, AZB turned out to have been the most active firm in private equity in the past 6 months…

In the Maggi mess saga now in the Bombay high court, Nestle’s counsel Iqbal Chagla, instructed by Shardul Amarchand, is alleging overreach by the regulator, according to the Business Standard.

And in jobs: Rainmaker seeks an in-house entrepreneur

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]

12 March 2014

Chandigarh pink slips 79 kin-counsel: The Chandigarh administration has shown the door to 79 empanelled advocates who were the kin of advocate generals, a judge, and union law minister Kapil Sibal. Now around 30 counsel are left on the UT administration’s panel [Hindustan Times]

Madras HC on SMS case update: The Madurai bench of the Madras HC will now use phone text messages to inform litigants and lawyers of the status of their cases. The service has already been successfully introduced since 23 January in the principal bench of the Madras HC [PTI]

Maha prisons to cut costs by Skype-ing inmates: The Maharashtra Prison Department will now deal with a lack of availability of “Police Escort Personnel” by producing inmates in court on internet video messaging program Skype. At the moment 54 prisons and 146 courts are linked through expensive bespoke video conferencing facilities in the state. In the last three months ending February, 2014, over 10,000 undertrials were produced before courts through video conferencing. The bill for a bespoke video conference line is around Rs 15,000 per month [DNA India]

Retd Justice Srikrishna now FPSB chair: Retired SC judge BN Srikrishna is now the chairman of the Financial Planning Standards Board India (FPSB) - India’s professional standards setting body for financial planners. Srikrishna had authored the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission and was also the chairman of the sixth central pay commission. He takes over from Dhirendra Swarup [PTI]

CCI to ease M&A compliance burden: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is about to roll out new M&A guidelines that will reduce the regulatory compliance burden to get M&As approved for businesses and lawyers. The CCI also plans to provide assistance in “substantiative” matters in M&As [Express]

Female advocates politics post-poll fight: Female advocates part of the Indian Federation of Women Lawyers (IFWL) are fighting in the Madras HC over the locking of a room from which the IFWL functions, alleging foul play by the loser of a recent IFWL election who has allegedly taken away documents from the room [Bangalore Mirror]

Artistic Calicut lawyers: 15 Calicut Bar Council lawyers, including seven women, showcased 52 “Rhythmic Painting” works done by them at the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi Art Gallery exhibition [The Hindu]

07 March 2014

Bombay HC called up on unpaid Feb salaries: The Bombay high court chief secretary and registrar have been issued notices by the Goa State Human Rights Commission over non-payment of February salaries of all court staff of around 150 at the Bombay high court bench at Goa. The complaint on which the court was acting was filed by advocate Aires Rodrigues [TOI]

Kerala BC calls for boycott over earlier boycott fallout: Responding to the Bar Council of Kerala’s boycott call, lawyers in Kerala abandoned the courts to protest the alleged assault of an advocate and his physically disabled brother by the Railway Protection Force at Thiruvananthpuram. At the time of the incident, the advocates were reportedly protesting against the arrest of their colleagues for allegedly entering the Central Railway Station without a platform ticket or railway ticket [Zee News]

Allahabad lawyers agitate on HC road for colleague accident compensation: Hundreds of Allahabad high court lawyers blocked the road near the high court, for a few hours, over Wednesday’s road mishap that led to the death of their colleague. They pledged to continue with their agitation until their demand for compensation were fulfilled [TOI]

Delhi advocate MS Khan threatened by Godfather: “Delhi-based lawyer MS Khan has alleged he received threat calls and SMSes from underworld don Ravi Pujari that he and his family would be harmed if he does not disengage himself from pursuing various terror cases,” reported the [PTI]

Justice Nanavati’s son rapped for threatening opposing lawyer in open court: Retired Supreme Court justice GT Nanavati’s son and advocate Dhaval Nanavati was rapped by the Gujarat high court for threatening an opposing lawyer during court proceedings. Reportedly he told counsel, Megha Chitalia, that he would get her thrown out of the panel of assistant government pleaders. In open court the bench then questioned the basis on which he was issuing such a threat to his opponent. [TOI]

06 March 2014

Bombay HC mandates cinemas to offer free online booking: Bombay HC asked the state government to issue a circular asking all movie theatres and multiplexes to set up their own websites for online booking of movie tickets without a convenience charge. A government resolution had already asked all theatres and multiplexes to do so, but they had outsourced it to websites like BookMyShow, which charge a convenience charge [PTI]

Lawyers soon to apply for ‘jailed interviews’ online: Delhi HC yesterday asked the city government to provide an online application facility for lawyers to get approval from jail authorities to interview their jailed clients. The court was hearing advocate Amit Sahni’s petition against the prison Director General’s 27 February order that restricted legal interviews with inmates to once in a week [PTI]

NUJS sexual harassment guidelines for interns ready: NUJS Kolkata’s draft guidelines on protection of interns from sexual harassment is reportedly ready and awaiting the nod of its executive council to finally come into force. The guidelines allow the submission of oral or written complaints by interns to the law school’s internal complaints committee, which will get 60 days to submit its report on the complaint [Indian Express]

Patna HC sacks 4th corrupt court officer: Patna HC in a full court meeting ordered compulsory retirement of a judicial officer against whom an allegation of taking a Rs 5 lakh bribe had been confirmed in an inquiry. The officer was originally to retire in 2019. This is the fourth case of stern action by the HC against its judicial officers this year. Earlier this year, Ajay Srivastava of Jehanabad was forcibly retired. Then three judicial officers were sacked for involvement in a sex scandal, and only a few days ago the SDJM of Sherghati in Gaya district, Ram Sajan was suspended for allegedly seeking sexual favours [TOI]

Delhi HC worried by shortage of public prosecutors: Delhi HC pulled up Delhi government over shortage of public prosecutors and non payment of fees to existing government lawyers, despite the large scale creation of new court buildings. The court was reportedly “surprised” that the government listed many restrictive conditions in its advertisements for public prosecutor posts, resulting in receiving very few applications [TOI]

Safety of IT women PIL: Asks for a law to regulate the safety of women working in the software and IT industries, filed by advocate KTS Sivakumar. Sivakumar asked for regulation of women employees’ working hours and “foolproof” security measures for those women who work night shifts [PTI]

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]

04 March 2014

Subrata Sahara grovels, inked, still jailed: Sahara chairman Subrata Roy (after an advocate bystander apparently threw ink at his face and Roy made an unconditional and grovelling apology before justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar in a packed court room) was sent to Tihar jail for a week by the Supreme Court for having failed to turn up to previous summons to explain why his company has not refunded Rs 20,000 crore to investors as had been ordered by the court [PTI]

Madras lawyers fast for Tamil as official court language: Three Madras lawyers have fasted for eight days now for their demand to make Tamil the official court language of the Madras HC. The MHAA has also planned a demonstration for today and a protest for Thursday in support of the three fasting lawyers [TOI]

Puducherry youngster progress: A welfare fund for aged lawyers, a stipend of Rs 2,000 per month for young lawyers and a new court complex will soon be set up in Puducherry [The Hindu]

Lawyers protest violently against ‘false case’ against colleague: Allahabad lawyers protested against a case filed against one of their colleagues by blockading the road near the HC and damaging a police jeep. The lawyers were demanding immediate withdrawal of the case and that no coercive measures be taken against the colleague [TOI]

Pakistan lawyers strike after terror attack causes Musharraf trial delay: After a terrorist attack in an Islamabad court that killed at least 11, including a additional sessions judge, lawyers called a boycott resulting in postponement of the treason case against former military dictator Pervez Musharraf by a day [PTI]

03 March 2014

Delhi HC slaps railways with costs for frivolous appeals: The Delhi HC criticised the department of railways for filing “frivolous” appeals to evade coughing up due compensation, and imposed a cost of Rs 20,000 on the Railways officer who had advised moving court in a case where a man was trampled inside a train bogey [The Hindu]

CS Karnan accused SC judge of connivance: Madras HC justice CS Karnan wrote to “a Supreme Court judge” who “had bemoaned the developments at the Madras high court” at a “recent function”, accusing him of heaping insults on him and “conniving” with vested interests to prevent Karnan from inaugurating a court building, reported the [New Indian Express]. The NIE had earlier reported that former Madras HC chief RK Agrawal, in his farewell speech on his elevation to the SC, had adversely commented on Karnan’s allegations, controversial episodes, and on the situation at the HC

New Chhatisgarh law comm and new TN law comm members: Former Madras HC justice T Suthanthiram, former additional secretaries in the State Law Department R Vivekanandan and R Kathirvel, and former district judges R Dayalan and R Munirathnam have been appointed to the Tamil Nadu Law Commission as full time and part time members. Chhatisgarh has meanwhile set up a law commission to review existing laws according to state conditions, for the first time since its formation out of Madhya Pradesh. Till now its law was entirely adopted from Madhya Pradesh state law [The Hindu/TOI]

New anti illegal lending law in Maha: The Maharashtra legislative assembly has passed a bill to regulate transactions of money lending in the state and do away with the five year limitation for probing illegal lending transactions [Mumbai Mirror]

SC lawyer Vineet Dhanda booked: Supreme Court additional standing counsel for Arunachal Pradesh, Vineet Dhanda, was booked at Vishrambaug for allegedly manhandling the police. Dhanda countered that the police hit him on the head and pushed his wife [TOI]

HSF is not renewing Singapore licence: “Allen & Overy (A&O), Clifford Chance, Latham & Watkins, Norton Rose Fulbright and White & Case have successfully renewed their Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) licences in Singapore, while Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has decided not to re-apply,” reported [The Lawyer]

28 February 2014

Separate justice dept for budgetary abundance? A PIL filed in the Kerala HC by the HC’s former finance officer alleged that since the administration of justice was presently under the home department a substantial portion of budgetary allocations were being allotted to the police and jail authorities. However, maintaining that the judiciary wasn’t being discriminated against, the state government told the court that it was not feasible to have a separate adminstration of justice department for the sake of greater budgetary allocation [TOI]

SC asks TN to stay release of 4 more Rajiv Gandhi assassins: The Supreme Court followed up its earlier decision to not let the pardoned Rajiv Gandhi assassins walk, by asking the Tamil Nadu government to stay the release of four more convicts in the case [PTI] Meanwhile, in two other cases, the Madras HC warned the state goverment if it did not comply with a high court order to release other convicts, this would be contempt of court [PTI]

Subrata Roy apologises to SC for absconding, still arrested: The Lucknow police is looking for Sahara chief Subrata Roy, who is missing, but has sent an “unconditional apology” to the Supreme Court for not appearing before it this week, on the ground that his mother whom he was “emotionally attached” to is severely ill, and a request that it recall an arrest warrant against him [NDTV] He has now been arrested in Lucknow after surrending to police [Indian Express]

27 February 2014

Multi-million rupee job scam in Madras HC: A brother and husband to two Madras HC employees masterminded a multi-crore fake appointment letter scam at the Madras HC with 300 aspirants to posts of junior assistant, driver, office assistant and sweeper in the HC paying him between Rs 2 – 4 lakh each for “appointment orders”. The appointment orders rival genuine letters, as they contain the state emblem and 'signature' of the registrar general, besides carrying the name of Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal. They were all issued appointment orders, which mentioned the joining date as September 25, 2012. The date was, however, modified several times later [TOI]

CCI to start rewarding cartel whistleblowers: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is about to set its first precedent in rewarding cartel whistleblowers. The CCI may impose a lower penalty, on the condition of full disclosure, on Phoenix Conveyor Belt, which is one among 17 companies in the conveyor belt segment against which the CCI has directed investigation for alleged cartelisation [ET]

KTS Tulsi to become Rajya Sabha member: Senior advocate and former additional solicitor general of India KTS Tulsi has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha. Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra is among Tulsi’s many renowned clients. Tulsi obtained his LLB degree in 1971 and took to criminal law in 1980 when he was appointed as special prosecutor. He refused to defend Gujarat’s government in the SC after CM Narendra Modi justified the Sohrabuddin encounter. Tulsi was designated a senior in 1987 and ASG in 1990 [Indian Express]

Police investigation details on Ganguly beyond disclosure: AN RTI activist who had written to the Delhi police commissioner asking him to take cognizance of the AK Ganguly sexual harassment case, like the Goa police had done in Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal’s instance, filed an RTI to the Delhi police asking if anything stopped it from taking such cognisance. The police rejected the RTI stating that though nothing barred them from taking cognisance, they could not provide details of the action taken since the matter was still pending inquiry [Deccan Herald]

Parole rules to become stringent in Maha, Karnataka: Fed up of paroled convicts absconding in droves, the Karnataka high court has taken suo moto cognisance of 42 parole absconders to revise parole rules in the state and make them more stringent, while the Maharashtra government will change parole rules indicating that this was to avoid the Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt-like situation, where repeated parole was being obtained on the basis of medical certificates [TOI/The Week]

Constitution co-author Trimbak Tope’s centenary: It is the 100th birth anniversary of the Indian Constitution’s co-author Dr Trimbak Krishna Tope tomorrow, who also served as the vice chancellor of the Mumbai University after 17 years as GLC Mumbai’s principal having taught former president of India Pratibha Patil and former attorney general of India Soli Sorabjee. His daughter, leading Mumbai lawyer Mrunali Deshmukh will be present to commemorate his centennial year as will be former Bombay High Court chief justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari, former Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramaniam and former High Court judge Narendra Chapalgaonkar, to discuss how constitutional mechanisms can correct flaws in the system [DNA]

Gay marriage ban almost struck down in Texas: A Texas federal judge Orlando Garcia becomes the first judge in Texas, to hold that a same-sex marriage ban in the deeply conservative US state is unconstitutional. But he also said he would not enforce his ruling pending a ruling by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which already is hearing two other states' cases. He will also give Texas time to appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Garcia was in the 5th Circuit appointed by President Bill Clinton [TOI]

24 February 2014

First female judge elevated from Goa: North Goa Principal and District and Sessions Judge Anuja Prabhudessai is set to become the first Goan judge who is a woman to be elevated to the Bombay high court. Once in her two-decade-long judicial career she was suspended for using her discretion in awarding compensation in a motor vehicle accident claim petition, but was later cleared of all her charges and reinstated [Hindu]

Gurgaon’s hi fi tower of justice: Gurgaon is set to get a nine-storey building costing Rs 225 crore with 55 planned courtrooms and provision for 15 more, a single window care centre for all legal issues, a centralised complaint filing system, a library and a bar room with a seating capacity of 1,500, a separate bar room for women, 20 mediation centres and a separate block for facilities such as the post office and bank [TOI]

SC says Guj & Orissa HC can hear PIL against its judge residences: The Supreme Court returned a writ petition challenging illegal allotment of residential plots to high court judges of Gujarat and Orissa, holding that the even though the petition is against sitting judges of those high courts, that is no reason not to file it before those high courts [Telegraph India]

RamJet fell but not injured: 90 year old criminal law veteran Ram Jethmalani suffered a fall in Chennai on Friday but was discharged from the hospital in a few hours [TOI]

Karnataka lawyers hunger strike for KAT bench: Karnataka high court’s Dharwad bench advocates association yesterday launched a hunger strike for a permanent bench of the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal in North Karnataka [DNA India]

Telangana judicial vacancies postponed: “The Telangana High Court Advocates’ Committee on Thursday requested the President, prime minister and chief justice of India to direct the authorities concerned not to fill up the vacancies of judges in the Andhra Pradesh High Court till bifurcation of the state”, reported the [New Indian Express]

20 February 2014

Cal client complains HC advocate sexually harassed her: A Kolkata college professor has complained to the Calcutta High Court Bar Association that an advocate whom she had instructed had sexually harassed her during the course of her litigation. The association will now convene an executive committee meeting to decide whether a probe committee will be constituted to probe into the professor’s allegations [TOI]

Wrongfully enrolled advocates to be filtered out in TN: The Madurai bench of the Madras high court has asked the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu to suspend enrolled lawyers who, after 2009, took admission to law colleges in violation of the Bar Council of India’s (BCI) legal education rules including that relating to age limit [PTI]

AAP asks SC to hold President’s rule in Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party has approached the Supreme Court against the Centre’s decision to impose President’s rule in Delhi after the resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as Delhi chief minister. The petition called it a “malafide” and “unconstitutional” move to rule Delhi by proxy and delay fresh assembly polls [NDTV]

Madras HC black day: The Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHCAA) observed February 19 as a black day as several advocates and Judges were injured in a clash between police and lawyers on that day. The MHCAA also demanded suspension of senior police officials and a withdrawal of the appeal filed before the Supreme Court against the High Court order "to protect the accused police officials." [PTI]

Bill for tribunal rules’ uniformity: A bill to make tribunal tenure, allowances and appointments uniform and governed by a single law instead of the current more than 20 Acts, has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha [PTI]

SC overrules TN call to free Rajiv Gandhi killers: The Supreme Court, following the central government’s appeal, has stayed the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to let the convicted assassins of Rajiv Gandhi walk, after the SC had on Monday commuted the killers’ death penalty to life sentences [TOI]

Vodafone claims gov’t declined ‘int'l conciliation mechanisms’: Telco giant Vodafone yesterday countered finance minister P Chidambaram’s statement that its tax dispute with Indian tax authorities was yet unresolved due to its “indecisiveness”. Vodafone released a statement that it had always “responded to the government’s queries in a timely manner, notwithstanding, at one point, a six month delay by the Indian government in responding to correspondence sent by Vodafone”, with the government refusing to “international conciliation mechanisms” [Mint]

J&K courts: 14 courts of Special Mobile Magistrates (Sub-Judge Level) and 22 Courts of Additional Mobile Magistrate (Munsif level) have been set up in Jammu & Kashmir under the 13th finance commission [PTI]

18 February 2014

Delhi HC pecuniary enhancement clears another hurdle: The Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2014 which seeks enhance the Delhi HC’s pecuniary jurisdiction from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 2 crore, and which was a cause of Delhi HC bar protests, is now in the Rajya Sabha [PTI]

PIL vs anti-activist NGT bar association fine: The Madras HC made secretaries of three bar associations and two advocates association party to a PIL. The associations (Madras Bar Association, Madras High Court Advocates Association, DRT/DRAT Bar Association, The Service Bar Association, Women Lawyers Association, Law Association) had received the proceeds of a Rs 10,000 fine imposed by the National Green Tribunal on a petitioner for being 36 days late for an appeal to challenge an environmental clearance of the Kudankulam nuclear project. He then filed a PIL against the fine in the Madras HC, asserting that it would be difficult to raise such social issues in the face of arbitrary imposition of fines [PTI]

CCI vows to reduce investigation timelines by one third: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) which currently takes one-and-a-half years on an average to decide a case requiring detailed investigation, has come out with a “3-6-3” rule to reduce the average time of completion to one year. The Commission would take three months to decide whether an investigation is required or not, six months to complete the investigation, and three months to conclude hearing pursuant to investigation results [PTI]

Madan B Lokur offers Coal recusal but excused: Supreme Court justice Madan B Lokur offered to recuse himself from the hearings of the coal block allocation scam on the ground that he and his wife held shares in Reliance Infrastructure, which is a party to the case. However, the CBI, which is probing the case, and the two petitioners - lawyer and Aam Admi Party spokesperson Prashant Bhushan of the NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation and activist serial PIL lawyer ML Sharma – who are seeking the de-allocation of “illegally allotted” coal blocks, said they had no objection to Justice Lokur continuing on the bench [Dailymail]

SC’s six month lease to fill HC vacancies: The Supreme Court told an NGO Centre for Justice that it would entertain its petition regarding filling vacancies in the higher judiciary if after six months the high courts had still not made any progress in strengthening their benches [PTI]

Mukul Mudgal to chair Broadcasting Complaints Council after AP Shah: Former Punjab & Haryana high court chief justice Mukul Mudgal will take over from former Delhi HC CJ AP Shah as the chairperson of the non-news channels’ self-regulator Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC). Mudgal had recently given a statement supporting legalising betting in Indian sports [TOI]

Pakistan in ICJ aghainst Afzal Guru execution: Pakistan may challenge in the International Court of Justice the 9 February 2013 execution of its former citizen Afzal Guru in an Indian court, after Guru had been charged with masterminding a December 2011 terrorist attack in the Indian parliament [ANI]

Marriage certificates through video conf: The Delhi HC‘s justice Manmohan Singh has given a ruling allowing solemnisation of court marriage on video conferencing. Couples based abroad can now confirm their willingness to marry on video conferencing and their relatives can collect their marriage certificate from the registry without the actual couple having to be physically present [Business Standard]

New bar assoc prez in P&H: The Punjab & Haryana High Court Senior Advocate Association has a new president – senior advocate Rajiv Atma Ram, who was unanimously voted in. Senior advocate Puran Singh Hundal was voted in vice president [PTI]

Compared: Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill vs Central Act: The Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill mirrors the central Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 in terms of appointment and removal of Lokpal, fines and penalties but gives greater protection to whistleblowers, greater investigative powers, a citizen’s charter and citizens and the Lokpal can take suo motu cognizance of any alleged act of corruption [TOI]

14 February 2014

SC Judge slams Gov for “scaring away all foreign investors”: “We are sorry to say that lawmakers are not keeping pace with the changing times, especially fast-changing technology. Then you will legislate with retrospective effect, scaring away all foreign investors,” said Justice KS Radhakrishnan today, who had ruled in 2012 that Vodafone would not have to pay Rs 11,000 crore in tax, which was undone by a retrospective amendment by the government [ET]

Is India’s as an investment being damaged by tax disputes? asks [Mint] after Vodafone’s failed conciliation talks with the government over its huge tax bill, Nokia approached the Supreme Court to fight to transfer its India-based factory to Microsoft without a massive tax hit and disputes with IBM and others…

Cong MP sues Kejriwal for defamation for calling him corrupt: Congress MP sues outgoing Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for defamation for calling him one of the “most corrupt persons in India” [CNN-IBN]

Gov pushes for tabling HC judges retirement age bill this session: The Government has pushed for the Lok Sabha the bill pending since 2011 to increase high court judges’ retirement age from 62 to 65 years [PTI]

ET does Cyril Shroff for two hours: The Economic Times does a two hour interview with Amarchand Mangaldas Mumbai managing partner Cyril Shroff and finds out he likes Chinese food (but not much else) [ET]

Bombay HC allows Peta to inspect elephant: The Bombay HC has permitted People for Ethical Treatment to Animals (Peta) to visit Sunder, an elephant that they allege has been abused [DNA]

Lawyers strike forces 87-y-o to argue himself: Due to an advocates strike in Madurai an 87-year-old litigant in a wheelchair had to argue his case himself, reported [TOI]

13 February 2014

Madras HC chief Agrawal talks candidly on local turmoil: Recently elevated Madras HC chief justice RK Agrawal, at his farewell, made reference to HC justice CS Karnan barging into his chamber hurling abuse. Agrawal said that while nobody had “ever raised their voice” to him in his 37 year career, Karnan was the one exception. “I need not tell you that the events of this Court are followed throughout the country. I worry not about the personal comments, but I do get pained when I hear that innuendos are being targeted at the High Court and it is becoming the subject of public ridicule,” he said [New Indian Express] He also said that many of his colleague’s on the HC’s bench desired transfer to another high court [TOI]

Gov blocks 1299 social URLs: Government asked social networking sites to block 1,299 web addresses or URLs to comply with court orders between January 2013 and January 2014, reported the [PTI]

Gujarat prisoners UIDed: Out of total 12,123 inmates in Gujarat prisons, all Indian nationals will get Aadhar cards according to a recent HC direction to the state government [TOI]

3 Bihar district judges dismissed: The Bihar government has dismissed three district judges whose dismissal was recommended by a full court of the Patna high court, after they were “found with some women” in a Nepal hotel’s police raid [TOI]

JAC controversial clause dropped: A controversial clause debarring judges from making verbal comments against any constitutional authority during open hearings was today dropped by the Cabinet in the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, reported the [Indian Express]

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

Amarchand team wins relay race: Amarchand Mangaldas Mumbai general corporate partner Indranath Bishnu, principal associate Himanshu Dodeja, senior associate Aditya Sabharwal and staff member Vasant Ravande were up to a “stampede” last weekend, according to an Amarchand press release. They completed a relay race in 1 hour, 44 minutes and 6 seconds to emerge at the top of 200 teams representing 100 Indian companies running a track of 20km. “Simply logging in three or four runs per week” prepared all team members for the event, said Bishnu. The same team had also previously participated in the Mumbai Marathon

Jan Lokpal bill needs governor assent or not?: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to Lt governor Najeeb Jung countering solicitor general Mohan Parasaran’s opinion that every bill to be passed by the Delhi assembly must first be vetted by Jung in order to be legal. Kejriwal, who intends to have the way clear to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill this week, based his view on the legal opinion of former Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court Mukul Mudgal and senior advocates K N Bhatt, P V Kapur and Pinaki Misra [TOI]

Karkardooma court strike: Lawyers in Delhi’s Karkardooma district courts are boycotting work to protest the shifting of family courts from the Karkardooma court complex to a locality in East Delhi. The Shahdara bar association is attempting to coordinate a strike among bar associations of all the six Delhi districts, over the issue [PTI]

NTPC to continue supply power, unpaid for now: The Supreme Court on Friday restrained India’s largest thermal power maker NTPC from cutting off supply, over unpaid dues, to the two BSES discoms which supply power to 70 per cent areas of Delhi. The two BSES discoms, which were earlier facing possible licence cancellation from the electricity regulator, due to large power outages as a result of fund crunch to buy power, have been ordered to pay up Rs 50 crore to NTPC within two weeks, and the SC has posted the case of dues running up to Rs 20,000 crore, for final hearing on 26 March [PTI]

Western Orissa lawyers force city bandh: Western Orissa lawyers, who are agitating for a permanent bench of the Orissa high court in Western Orissa, have been forcing closure of government offices since last Monday and forced closure of financial institutions and banks from Friday at Sambalpur, while “senior members” of the bar in that part of the state have reportedly been on a hunger strike [TOI]

Law Comm chief AP Shah on homosexuality: Law commission chief and former Delhi high court chief justice AP Shah, who had authored the judgement decriminalising gay sex under Section 377, spoke in favour of homosexuaal intercourse's legality, in an interaction with students [TOI]

07 February 2014

Amit Sibal defamation suit vs Kejriwal: The Supreme Court today issued notice on union telecom and law minister Kapil Sibal’s son, and newly designated senior advocate, Amit Sibal’s challenge to a Delhi high court order that had discharged Delhi chief minister Kejriwal and advocate Prashant Bhushan of Amit Sibal’s defamation suit against them. The suit was a result of Kejriwal stating in a 15 May 2013 press conference that Sibal had been given telecom cases because his father was a telecom minister [DNA India/TOI]

Bhopal district court pendency: Bhopal district courts face pendency of 29,697 cases. District magistrate and registrar APS Chouhan blames it on failing police processes such as tracking accused and getting witnesses to court and to finally depose [TOI]

Rape case high court pendency: Over 23,000 rape cases are pending across Indian high courts, after 8,000  were disposed of in the last three years. The maximum pendency (over 8,000) is in Allahabad high court. Sexual harassment cases numbered 309 on 31 December [Zee News]

SG defines roadblocks for Lokpal Bill: Solicitor general Mohan Parasaran, in an opinion to Delhi’s lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung, said that the Jan Lokpal Bill which the Delhi government plans to enact next week would be illegal without Jung’s consent. Parasaran also opined that the Jan Lokpal Bill will be repugnant and contrary to the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act passed by the parliament last year [TOI]

Jailed undertrials can contest polls: The Delhi high court yesterday dismissed a petition seeking restriction on jailed undertrials from contesting elections. The petition was filed by serial PIL-filer ML Sharma [Business Standard]

Apar G and Pranesh P on Forbes 30 under 30: Forbes does a “30 under 30 list” for “individuals who are already forces in their fields”. Advani & Co partner Apar Gupta and Centre for Internet and Society policy director Pranesh Prakash made it under the law, policy and politics category [Forbes India]

06 February 2014

Madras HC pendency down 50K! Madras high court case pendency has reduced by 50,000 cases to 5.57 lakh cases since 2012 year-end [Hindu]

Six out of 12 clear Kerala DJS: Six candidates cleared the Kerala district judicial service exam, still leaving 50 per cent judges vacancy at the service in the Rs 51,550 to Rs 63,070 pay scale [Zee News]

Ex-SC Justice AK Mathur to head 7th Pay Comm: Former Supreme Court judge and retired armed forces tribunal chairman AK Mathur will head the seventh commission, which will recommend on revising the salaries and pensions of five million current (and three million retired) government employees from 1 January 2016 [Business Standard]

04 February 2014

Every HC bench strength to grow by 25%: The central government has decided to increase the judges’ strength of each high court in India by 25 per cent and has invited proposals from all chief justices on additional facilities concerning courtroom, quarters and support staff for the enhanced number of judges [TOI]

SC to consider banning red beacons outright: After its ban on the widespread ‘misuse’ of red beacon lights on cars, the Supreme Court has yesterday agreed to look into the meaning and constitutional validity of the term “high dignitaries”, as only allowing them to use the lights could be contrary to the “democratic ethos” and reflective of “Raj mentality”. Justices RM Lodha and Shiva Kirti Singh, with amicus curiae Harish Salve, will examine the arguments [Express]

Mysore DCs to become more efficient with self-service kiosks: Mysore becomes the second city in India after Bangalore to have kiosks around its district court campus, where case details can be retrieved by punching in the case number. Three kiosks were inaugurated on Sunday [TOI]. The city aims to reduce over 63 per cent of its case pendency in its ongoing Lok Adalats [Deccan Herald]

Krishna Iyer’s disdain for recusing judges: Jurisprudential luminary and retired Supreme Court justice VR Krishna Iyer commented on the rampant practice of judges recusing themselves from cases. In letters to the Kerala high court chief justice and governor he said: “Vast powers have been vested in judges under the Constitution and they are bound to adjudicate every case posted before them. That is a great duty from which they cannot retreat. Not hearing cases or declining to do justice is breach of the solemn obligation vested in them. To default or decline to exercise this sublime power is to invite impeachment by Parliament or dismissal by the President.” [TOI]

Karntaka SLSA appointment: Karnataka high court justice NK Patil has been appointed executive chairman of the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority [TOI]

Aadhar facility in Gujarat jails: Gujarat high court has asked the state government to facilitate issuing Aadhar cards in prison, after a prisoner’s wife applied for his bail for the purpose of enabling him to apply for his Aadhar card [TOI]

PIL vs Kejriwal: The closing up of several public roads and metro stations in Delhi thanks to protests and demonstrations carried out by the newly elected Arvind Kejriwal government, has spurred a second petitioner to file a public interest litigation against the government [Mizo News]

12 new Allahabad HC judges: Four Allahabad high court lawyers and eight higher judicial service officers have taken oath as Allahabad HC additional judges [TOI]