INDIA – Lawyers seek ‘Senior Advocate’ title from Gujarat High Court
32 lawyers have applied to be designated the coveted title of “Senior Advocate” by the high court of Gujarat. The list includes some prominent names in Indian law including GM Joshi, Asim Pandya, Jal Unwalla among others. The designation is ultimately handled by a committee consisting of two senior judges of the head court, an advocate general, a nominated member of the bar, headed by the Chief Justice. Only 43 Senior Advocates currently practice law, and although the designation gives no obvious advantage, the title commands respect from anyone within the practice.
INDIA – Masood Azhar’s brother-in-law among the 300 dead after the airstrike
What was described as a “non-military, preemptive strike” left 300 terrorists dead in Balakot. The assault took place pre-dawn and was carried out by a 12 Mirage 2000 aircraft that dropped 1000 kg bombs. This came after a suicide bomber drove into a troop convoy with a car rigged with explosives and killed 40 Indian paramilitary officers. After reports that another attack was about to place, India responded with an almost immediate preemptive strike. India has repeatedly urged Pakistan to help dismantle terrorists groups within the country, though no measures have been taken to do so.
INDIA- Supreme Court allows Rafale deal review to take place in open court
The Supreme Court of India has decided to review its decision absolving the Modi government’s controversial Rafale deal, in open court. Traditionally this process happens in the Chamber where lawyers are not allowed advance their arguments. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices K M Joseph and Sanjay Kishan Kaul granted an open court which affords parties the chance to prove that was an error in the previous judgement. Another petition relating to the Rafale deal seeks perjury proceedings against government officials who allegedly gave false information in the high-profile case.
FRANCE- New French law will see schools refer to mothers and fathers as parent 1 and parent 2
A new law aimed at abolishing discrimination against same-sex parents requires the words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ to be removed from administration and school-based documents. MP Valérie Petit says that article is “a measurement of social equality” and is aimed at promoting equality in society.
ENGLAND- New English organ donor law set to pass
The amended rules on organ donation consent are set to clear the final stages of Parliament. The legislation will be dubbed as Max and Keira’s Law, named after a boy who received a heart transplant from a girl who donated it. Under the new legislation, organ donation consent will be presumed unless otherwise is stated. Government believes that by increasing the availability of organs, the new rule could save up to 700 lives a year.
AMERICA- Trump’s strict laws are pushing legal immigrants to Canada
Trump’s “Hire American, buy American” executive order has forced a decline in international student applications and enrollment for the second year in a row. According to lawyers, many students are looking to Canada as a back up plan, where it is much easier to work and stay. Attorney Shah Peerally says that the visa process has become a “nightmare”. The Trump administration policies are forcing international graduates who have trained in the U.S to take their knowledge to other countries.
INDIA – Madras High Court stays trial against 31 lawyers who clashed with police
On Tuesday the Madras high court halted all proceedings against the 31 lawyers accused of clashing with police on February 9 2009. The CBI, responsible for probing the clashes, has four weeks to respond. According to the lawyers, there was an incident involving police that led to an incident that “had never happened on any of the court campus in the whole world.” Although the high court instructed the CBI to probe both allegations against the lawyers and police, only the lawyers have been charged, with the probe against the police still pending, reportedly.
INDIA- Imams to take Mosque trustees to High Court
A group of Imams in Mumbai are planning to take mosque trustees to the Bombay high court. With their current salaries, the Imams are unable to make ends meet and are demanding better treatment and pay increases. Imams pray 5 times a day while Muezzins called out the azaan with every prayer. Underpaid Imams and Muezzins have been encouraged to take their stand and make people aware of their situations, as well as stop working altogether until their demands are met.
CANADA- Edmonton woman’s daughters denied Canadian citizenship
Victoria Maruyama, a woman living in Alberta, says that she feels as though she is not Canadian enough after her daughters were denied citizenship. Maruyama was born in Hong Kong however her father was Canadian and this is how she obtained citizenship. Unfortunately in 2009 amendments to the citizenship laws stripped her of her right to pass on citizenship to her children, as they were both born in Japan. Advocate Don Chapman believes that the law goes against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was signed by Canada in 1990.
AMERICA- Lawmaker proposes taxing violent video games
Lawmaker Christopher Quinn is proposing that violent video games should be taxed, as he believes that they are a contributing factor to the rise of school shootings and violent acts in American schools. Quinn proposes money collected from a 10% sales tax on videos games should be placed in a fund used solely to enhance school safety.
AMERICA- New law makes it mandatory for bus drivers to check for sleeping kids after parking
On September 11th 2015 a special needs child, Paul Lee, was found dead after being left in 90-degree heat for 9 hours. That’s why the new California law, named in Lee’s honor, requires bus drivers to check that no children are left in the vehicle before parking. A button will be installed at the back of school busses requiring the driver to walk the length of the bus to check if any learners have been left behind, if the button is not pressed an email will be sent to the school’s administration offices.
AMERICA – California Attorneys close loophole to protect consumers
Written legislation by Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General, and Assembly Member Marc Levine has closed a loophole in California’s data breach law that now requires businesses to notify consumers of compromised biometric information and passport numbers. The law required business to disclose any breaches of a consumer’s personal information to an unauthorized individual. This did not include compromised passport numbers and other biometric information, such as fingerprints and retina images, but thanks to the two California attorneys, it now does.
INDIA- Advocate files petition that calls for one-time court fee
A plea seeking rules and regulations for the filing of a one-time Court Process Fee with the Registry has issued notice from The Delhi High Court. The Court has granted respondents three weeks to respond to the plea. Advocate Paya Bahl claims the payment process inconveniences litigants and advocates. The petition aims to address an archaic court rule that proves troublesome for litigants. The petitioner calls for a nominal court fee, as deemed fit by the appropriate authorities, to be collected upfront from litigants when they file a case in court.
INDIA – Thousands gather in the march against gender violence
Thousands of people gathered in a historic first Dignity March, a 10 000 km long walk across India, to raise awareness about sexual violence and break the stigma around victims of sexual abuse. The march started on December 20 and concluded on February 22 and attracted survivors from all parts of India. A larger percentage of sexual abuse cases go unreported and the conviction rate for sexual assault crimes are dangerously low when compared to other crimes. The Dignity March aims to address these issues as well as encourage communities to be empathetic to the stories of the abused.
INDIA – MEA airstrikes fully compliant with International Law
A carefully worded statement by the MEA confirmed an airstrike on a JeM training camp in Balakot where JeM terrorists, as well as trainers and commanders, were killed. The MEA provided just reason for the airstrike in its statement citing, amongst other things, no risk in civilian casualties as the training camp was situated far away from civilization. Pakistan are looking to retaliate, but their options are limited. Their best bet might be a technical dispute in the UN Security Council or International Court of Justice over whether India’s military action was justified. A diplomatic squabble is preferred.
INDIA – Central Government contends airport privatization is compliant with the law
The Central government has decided to privatize 6 airports, with lease agreements of 50 years, with fixed amounts determined through auctions, the specified method under provisions of the Airports Authority of India Act. Mahesh G of Kollam and Ashik Nizar Hassan filled a petition that claims that the privatization of airports goes against public interests and is not altogether legal. Petitioners also pointed out that it was legal to lease an airport for 30 years whereas the lease proposal for Trivandum is 50 years.
INDIA – JeM chief’s brother-in-law killed in Indian airstrikes
Yousuf Azhar, also known as Mohammed Salim, was among the 300 dead after India’s airstrike on a JeM training base in Balakot. Azhar was on the list of INTERPOL and one of the most wanted terrorists in India. He is also infamous for hijacking Indian Airline flight IC-814 to Kandahar in 1999 along with other terrorists. In exchange for the passengers on board, India were forced to release JeM chief Masood Azhar. Yousuf Azhar was running the terrorist base that was targeted by India.
INDIA- Report suggests Cow vigilantism is a front to target India’s Muslim minority
A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report has revealed that Radical cow protection groups have killed over 40 people in India over the last three years, 36 of which were reported to be members of India’s Muslim minority. Reports across India show evidence of deadly attacks on Muslim farmers and those linked to eating beef. With National Elections just around the corner increased tensions between Muslims and Hindus is imminent, however killing people because of cow worship is “not acceptable” according to PM Modi.
INDIA- Rs 73.9 crore in tax refund received by MakeMyTrip after Supreme Court Verdict
After depositing Rs 73.9 crore as tax with the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DCGEI) under protest, the online travel frim MakeMyTrip has received its tax refund in full. MakeMyTrip’s Vice-President of Finance, M K Pillai was arrested in 2016 for alleged tax evasion which was challenged by the company in the Delhi High Court. After the Supreme Court backed the Delhi High Court’s decision, MMT was refunded the amounts of tax due to them from the DCGEI.
INDIA- Delhi HC questions Centre on giving retrospective effect to black money law
The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to explain how it awarded retrospective effect from July 2015 to the black money law which was authorized in 2016 to deal with undisclosed foreign income and assets. Lawyer Gautam Khaitan has filed the petition and has contended that action was taken against him under the Act for assets which did not exist before the law was authorized.