INDIA – A Lawyer is prohibited from only appearing before the court where his relative is a presiding judge, not from the entire court
The Delhi High Court dismissed a plea from Advocate Mathews J. Nedumpara that sought to ‘disqualify’ Senior Advocate Fali S. Nariman from appearing before the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V. Kameswar Rao were part of the bench that observed that a lawyer is only barred from appearing before a court where a relative of the lawyer is the presiding judge, and not before “the entire court”. In simpler terms, the court meant that the Senior Advocate is not barred from the Supreme Court, just because his son happens to be a judge there.
INDIA – India’s big tax litigation problem
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in February set up a litigation management task force to determine, among other things, “whether the ITAT (Income Tax Appellate Tribunal) has passed perverse or irregular orders, or why submissions of the department representative (counsel for the I-T department) have not been recorded by the ITAT”. Over 90 000 cases are pending at the ITAT level. The I-T department is undoubtedly the largest tax litigant, this fact, coupled with the low success rate, is the reason for concern.
INDIA – Experts claim the future belongs to Super Lawyers
With technological advancements giving rise to a host of new concerns and disputes to settle, glory and respect in the law realm will belong to those who are able to turn themselves into ‘super lawyers’, lawyers with the ability to read and analyze data with the same ease as they would penal codes, legal and cyber experts argued. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor of O.P Jindal Global University, urged young lawyers to broaden their aspirations beyond that of a classic lawyer and become legal entrepreneurs with their own corporate law firms.
INDIA – Supreme Court asks BCI to review its decision regarding LLB age limit
The Supreme Court has urged the Bar Council of India to review its decision to impose an age limit for entry into law courses. Justices SA Bobde, SK Kaul and S Abdul Nazeer made up the bench that acted on a plea filed by aspiring lawyer Rishabh Duggal and others that sought to challenge the BCI notification that fixed upper age limits for students in LLB entrance exams. The BCI notification had fixed 22 years of age for admission in a 5-year BA (LLB) course and also 45 years of age for admission in LLB course.
UNITED KINGDOM- Female genital mutilation bill almost a law
A long-awaited bill that would protect girls from female genital mutilation is almost official, all that is left now is for the Queen to sign it into law. After a month-long delay, Member of Parliament Zach Goldsmith’s Female Genital Mutilation bill passed the Commons on Monday night. With this law courts will be able to place girls in danger of FBM in interim care under the Children Act 1989. Labour MP Sarah Champion said that ‘There is no religious or cultural justification for this crime, it’s child abuse and creates lifelong medical issues.’
INDIA – Key stakeholders point out flaws in Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code
Buyers, investors, and dissatisfied creditors are slowly opening up about what they view as flaws in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. These include repeated litigation, during and after the process, absent physical assets in plants, a shortage of judges and doubts over the integrity of promoters of distressed businesses and resolution professionals. “The bankruptcy code has been very poorly implemented because there have been so many cases of bankruptcy which have not been finalized”, Godrej Group Chairman Ali Godrej said while expressing concerns over the tardiness of the judicial process.
AMERICA- Ohio court blocks Planned Parenthood funding
On Tuesday a federal appeals court upheld the constitutionality of an Ohio law that prohibits state funding for Planned Parenthood programmes. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati rejected the argument that the funding ban violated their due process rights with Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton stating that condition “does not violate the Constitution because the affiliates do not have a due process right to perform abortions.”. The Ohio law is one of many laws passed by Republican-led states which seek to curtail abortion right.
INDIA – Centre yet to act on concerns raised by Election Commission
Nearly two years have passed since the Election Commission, in a letter to the ministry, raised numerous concerns regarding the introduction of electoral bonds, and the Centre has still not acted on the issue. A transparency campaigner brought the oversight to the attention of Chief Election Commissioner. RTI activist Commodore Lokesh K. Batra wrote a letter to CEC Sunil Arora wherein he stated that the Centre was yet to react to the serious concerns raised by the Election Commission on Electoral Funding, and raised specific concerns with regard to the amendments made in the Finance Act, 2017.
INDIA – Centre justifies law for 10 percent quota to economically weaker regions in Supreme Court
In the Supreme Court, the Centre justified its recent law granting 10% quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWSs), claiming it was introduced to promote “social equality” by providing “equal opportunities in higher education and employment for those who have been excluded by virtue of their economic status”. An affidavit filed by the Centre said the law was “necessitated to benefit the economically weaker sections of society… which constituted a large considerably large segment of the Indian population”. The decision has been challenged by several petitioners.
AMERICA- Tax cut law helps future generations
Borrowing money to buy an asset that produces more income that the interest expense rate makes future generations richer, and so does the Republican tax cut law. The cut also spreads these gains across all income levels meaning that a gross domestic product that generations can enjoy for many years is not just a fantasy anymore. The Republican government tax cut legislation has arguably made future generations more prosperous. After raising its growth forecasts the Congressional Budget Office predicts a GDP od $750 billion higher annually.
INDIA – Supreme Court make the filing of the written statement within 120 days from issuance of summons mandatory
The Supreme Court has stated that failure to file written statements within the statutory time period of 120 days for filing statements in commercial suits will result in the defendant forfeiting their right to file a statement. The apex court also stated that an application for the rejection of plaint is separate from filing a written statement and the filing of such an application cannot be used to retrieve the right to file a written statement. The ruling has divided the opinions of many legal experts.
CANADA- Ottawa launches a review of its official languages law
On Monday the federal government said that it will review Canada’s Official Languages Act in an attempt to modernize the decades-old law. The report said that the oversight mechanisms needed tweaking to ensure that rights are not violated. Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly said that the amended Act seeks to help minority-language communities meet new challenges and also continue to meet the needs of the Canadian people.
INDIA – Madhya Pradesh has the most death row cases in India
In 2018, 22 criminal cases in Madhya Pradesh resulted in the death penalty, the highest across in that year. Ankita Sakar, the associate litigator at Case 39A, said: “If you look at the statistical data, most of those on the death row are extremely poor, with very little or no education and belong to India’s most marginalized groups”. She went to express her discontent the quality of legal representation of those on death row, saying that the short duration of the trials meant a terrible quality of Justice. Legal experts are concerned over the increase in the number of death sentences, especially in fast-tracked cases.
INDIA – Japanese influence on Article 21 of The Constitution of India
India’s connection to Japan is not only limited to technology, sake, and sushi, but also to the framing of a considerably significant part of the Constitution of India. Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees the protection and personal freedom of every person in India. The exception to this protection is found within four very significant words that appear the end, namely “procedure established by law”. These four words have directly been taken from the Japanese Constitution, which was promulgated on 3 November 1946. That seems a little more significant that sake and sushi.
AUSTRALIA- Australia did not support the call for access to safe abortion at the UN
The Australian government has been heavily criticized for declining to sign an International Woman’s Day statement at the UN, which called for better access to safe abortion. Mexico’s Ambassador to the UN, Socorro Flores Liera delivered a statement which focused on ensuring accountability for human rights violations against women. She said that “Accountability requires prompt investigation into violations and punishment of perpetrators as well as legal, policy and attitude shifts in order to prevent future violations,”. Ms Flores Liera spoke on behalf of 59 countries who signed her statement, Australia was not one of them
INDIA- Bombay HC concerned with the delay of satellite mapping in Mulund
A division bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice Nitin Jamdar expressed their concern over the delay of the pilot project which would monitor illegal construction in Mumbai using satellite imagery and mapping. Although the project was approved, implementation had yet to begin. Senior Advocate Venkatesh Dhond said that better coordination among agencies is needed for the project to be a success.
INDIA – 14 additional Bombay HC judges to be made permanent
The Supreme Court Collegium has passed a resolution that has recommended fourteen additional judges be appointed as permeant judges at the Bombay High Court. The 14 justices to be appointed as permanent judges are Justices Sandeep K Shinde, Rohit Baban Deo, Bharati H Dangre, Sarang V Kotwal, Riyaz Chagla, Manish Pitale, SK Kotwal, AD Upadhye, Mangesh S Patil, AM Dhavale, PK Chavan, MG Giratkar, VV Kankanwadi, and SM Gavhane.
DUBAI- Dubai plans to ban electric scooters
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai has indefinitely banned electric scooters from sidewalks in an attempt to reduce the threat to pedestrians. The RTA says that it intends to study the technology and eventually introduce new laws to govern the form of transport. Critics say that scooters are prone to vandalism, misuse and accidents whereas supporters say that they are affordable and environmentally friendly. A notice issued by the RTA says that they are “currently considering the technical and legislative requirements to allow the operation of electric scooters in addition to the conditions and commitment of scooter drivers,”.
INDIA- Delhi HC asks Jawaharlal Nehru University whether they asked for individual expense bills of candidates before 2018 election?
A plea filed by the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) challenged the university’s decision to prevent elected members from performing their duties because they did not provide separate bills of their individual poll expenses. According to Monika Arora, appearing for JNU, poll expenses had to be provided within 15 days of the results, as per the Lyngdoh committee recommendations. The student representative, Senior Advocate Akhil Sibal, argued that prior to the 2018 elections, individual bills were never sought
INDIA- Filmmaker challenges Central Board of Film Certification’s order to change the film’s name
The producer of the film ‘#MeToo’, Sajid Iqbal Qureshi, has a filed a plea challenging the order issued by the Central Film Certification Board to change the name of the film and delete several scenes from it. Qureshi claims that the order violates Article 14 of the Constitution, which ensures equality to all before law, and said the order to cuts scenes and censor content is against the rule of law. The film shows the kidnapping off a girl who is subject to sexual abuse. In his petition, Qureshi states that the portrayal of the female character subject to abuse is a very sensitive issue and that any tampering with the scenes or script could cripple the narrative.