INDIA- All prisoners are entitled to14 days emergency parole
The Bombay High Court has made it clear that all prisoners are entitled to 14 days of emergency parole even if they do not qualify for regular parole. Under rule 19(1), 14 days of emergency parole can be granted on account of the death of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or sibling. The division bench of Justice A.S. Gadkari and Justice Abhay Oka stated that “Even if a prisoner attracts disqualification for grant of furlough, emergency parole cannot be denied to him.”
INDIA- Can inmates be given earphones?
The Bombay High Court has asked the Maharashtra government if earphones could be given to convicts or undertrials who consult their advocates through video conferencing. This inquiry comes after a convict on death row, Ankur Panwar, demanded earphones to speak to his counsel through video conferencing. Panwar could not disclose confidential information with his advocate because earphones were not provided to him or his counsel. A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Ajay Gadkari decided that the issue needed to be looked at by the Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority (MSLSA) as well as by the State government.
PAKISTAN – Supreme Court urged to broadcast cases of public importance
A petition issued by a member of the Pakistan Bar Council, Raheel Sheikh, has requested the live-stream or broadcast of hearings of cases of public importance by the Supreme Court. The petition also seeks a declaration from the apex court that any prohibition on live-streaming of court proceedings as discriminatory and arbitrary, as it violates the rights to justice, information, fair trial, and due process. The petition argued that live-streaming would enhance the rule of law while making the Justice system more transparent and accessible.
INDIA – Madras High Court concerned overgrowth of extramarital affairs
After observing an increase in crimes related to extramarital affairs, the Madras High Court has asked the state to present data on the number of deaths due to extramarital affairs. “Is it a fact that the mega television serials and cinemas are major reasons for the increase in scandalous relationships in our country?” the court reportedly asked. It also questioned whether social media platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram etc. made it easier for strangers to connect and engage in “scandalous affairs”.
INDIA- Minimum age limit for District Judge selection challenged by Madras HC
S Nandhivarman has filed a petition in the Madras High Court which challenges the rule of the minimum age required to apply for selection to become a District Judge. The Constitution states that a minimum of 7 years of practice is required in order to be eligible for selection, and despite satisfying the constitutional requirement, Nandhivarman is ineligible because of his age. He is 34. As it stands, the minimum age in order to be eligible for selection is 35 years old, which according to Nandhivarman violates Articles 14 and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.
INDIA- Law change benefits political leaders at posh Worli housing society
A circular released by the State Revenue Department stated that government has significantly cut property transfer charges from high-profile homeowners at the Sukhaha and Shubhada cooperative housing societies. This change in the law, which almost went unnoticed, promises to benefit a group of politicians residing in an upmarket location in Worli who are interested in selling their ridiculously expensive homes. The initial law required the seller to pay 50 percent of the difference between the amounts at which the flat was bought and sold, however, the amended law requires a maximum of only 3% per square foot of transfer charges to be paid to the government.
AUSTRALIA – Senior citizens break the law to treat their aches and pains with cannabis
A growing number of senior Australians are purchasing medicinal cannabis products for pain relief, despite limited research to support the drug’s effectiveness. There is a legal process for using medicinal cannabis, it can only be prescribed by a medical practitioner, and this is done on a case-by-case basis. Doctors can apply to the Therapeutic Goods Commission (TGA) for approval for scripts for individual patients or to become authorized prescribers. There has been mixed evidence of medicinal cannabis’ effectiveness in pain relief.
INDIA- Should prisoners be allowed to vote?
Three law students have filed a petition questioning the constitutionality of section 62(5) of the Representation of People Act, which strips prisoners of their right to vote. According to Praveen Kumar Chaudhary, Atul Kumar Dubey, and Prerna Singh, the removal of the right to vote is a violation of the Constitution and the basic principle of equality. The petition states that all people in any form of confinement should be allowed to vote and that requisite facilities should be made available. The students argue that the prohibiting of voting has ostracised prisoners from political decision making.
INDIA- Madras HC tells the police to submit a report on job racket scam in 2 weeks
Justice S M Subramaniam of the Madras High Court directed the police officer concerned to submit a report on the job scam racket in the Secretariat within two weeks. The direction came after a petition was filed by K Pandian which sought for a fair and thorough inquiry on the job scam in the Secretariat.
RUSSIA – New laws ban “disrespect” of government and “fake news”
Two bills outlawing “disrespect” of government officials and the spreading of what government deems to be “fake news” have been passed by Russia’s parliament. The first ban refers to blatant disrespect of the state, government officials and Russian society. Repeat offenders could face up to 15 days in jail. The second bill prohibits “false information of public interest under the guise of fake news”. Offenders of the new crimes should expect heavy fines. Some lawmakers have praised the legislation, while others have criticized it. A member of Russia’s Civic Chamber, Nikolai Svanidze, said the “barbaric” legislation would make journalists fearful of speaking and writing.
INDIA – Lawyers claim that former Mumbai top cop interfered in the Sheena Bora investigation
Indrani Mukerjea’s lawyer, senior counsel Sudeep Pasbolla, has accused the former Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria of interfering in the Sheena Bora murder case investigation. Pasbolla claims that there was a criminal conspiracy to implicate his client and wanted to know why the case was transferred from Mumbai police to the CBI. At the time of the investigation, Maria was the police commissioner and his visits to the Khar police station has raised a few eyebrows. Former Maharashtra Principal Secretary (Home) Bhushan Kumar Upadhyay said that order to transfer the case came from the office of the Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) in 2015.
INDIA- Central government to set up insurance scheme for lawyers
After a delegation of lawyers, led by BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra, met the Union Law Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad to discuss lawyers demands and concerns, the Central Government has set up a committee to examine a framework for providing an insurance scheme for advocates across the country. The committee would operate under the chairmanship of Secretary of Legal Affairs and should submit its reports on the issue within the next three months.
CANADA – CRA allows the cosmetics firm to share its branding
The Canadian Revenue Service has used the word “TIPS” as a short English name for its Tax Information Phone Service, a toll-free number for tax filers seeking assistance, since 1990. National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier, however, has allowed a Canadian cosmetics company to use the name for its line of nail-care products. “There is minimal risk of confusion between the CRA’s tax information phone service and nail care products”, an internal CRA memo read. A spokesperson for the agency also revealed that the Government of Canada received no payment for the consent.
CANADA – Spy pen and shocking court case show that technology will always outpace the law
Ryan Jarvis, a schoolteacher from Ontario, used a spy pen to secretly capture videos of female students around the school he was teaching at. In 2015 Jarvis was charged with voyeurism and the initial judge was not convinced that Jarvis took the videos with any sexual purpose and he was acquitted. After the ruling was appealed, the Ontario Court of appeal found Jarvis acted with sexual intent but found the students involved had no reasonable expectation since they were round-the-clock security surveillance in and around the school. The Supreme Court, however, realized that our expectations of privacy are subjective and can change, so he was found guilty. This case shows how technology threatens privacy, and laws will have to be adjusted according to technological advancements
AMERICA – Hundreds arrested and cited across California
In a coordinated effort to enforce underage drinking laws, ABC agents and more than 70 local law enforcement agencies joined forces. Held just before St Patrick’s Day, this is an annual blitz that started a decade ago and is still in full swing. ABC is hopeful that the enforcement will draw attention to the many issues associated with underage drinking. ABC agents made 24 local arrests. Across the entire operation, the police officer has arrested or cited well over 3000 people.
AMERICA – Federal law protects youth from sexual abuse in youth sports
February 14 marked the one year anniversary of the “Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sports Authorization Act of 2017”. The law is intended to protect young athletes in youth sports, specifically in national governing bodies (USA Swimming, USA gymnastics etc.) and amateur sports organizations that participate in interstate and international competition. Very few people know of the law’s existence. The law was passed in the midst of the Larry Nassar trials that involved the statements of over 150 young women. Owners and managers of youth sports organizations should know that child sexual abuse prevention and response is now federal law.
BELGIUM – New law leaves Muslims and Jews with food shortages
A new law in the Flanders region of Belgium has banned the practices needed to produce halal and kosher meat. Halal and Kosher products have since become much more expensive and harder to find. Some owners of halal butchers have stopped selling meat altogether. As a result, Jewish and Muslim communities have united to oppose the law. A group of Muslim and Jewish organizations, with the help of US legal fund, have taken legal action to overturn the law. The Belgian Constitutional Court heard their arguments and a ruling to the case is expected within a few weeks.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES- Employers must bear recruitment expenses
In the UAE it is a law that the employer will sponsor and be responsible for the recruited employee. This includes recruitment expenses and employment fees in accordance with the employment contract. According to Article 6 (a) of the Ministerial Order No. 52 of 1989, “An undertaking from the employer to the effect that he shall sponsor and be responsible for the recruited employee, the bearing of his recruitment expenses and his employment in accordance with the employment contract in a way not prejudicing the provision of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 referred to herein.”
SUDAN- Sudan Court punishes 9 female protestors with lashings
9 women protesters were punished, by a Sudanese emergency court, with 20 lashes each for participating in an unauthorized demonstration challenging the rule of current president Omar al-Bashir. The lashings were issued despite Bashir ordering the release of all female detainees held during the nationwide demonstrations which have been ongoing since December last year. Authorities have set up emergency courts to investigate violations of a nationwide state of emergency imposed by Bashir early last year which sought to end demonstrations. The demonstrations challenge Bashir’s 3-decade rule, with large crowds asking the president to step down.