INDIA – Lawyers in word conflict on Day 12 over the establishment of the Haryana Administrative Tribunal
The continuing strike by the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association over the establishment of the Haryana Administrative Tribunal virtually led to a war of words today on the 12th day between advocates with allegations and counter-allegations flying thick and fast. It all started with a letter supposedly written by a senior advocate claiming that the elected office-bearers and the Bar Association’s executive committee allowed the proceedings of a meeting to be high-jacked and taken over by another senior advocate. The letter triggered sharp reactions, with rounds of letters and more letters in social media. The participants were sitting at all five entrances of the High Court “with ongoing vocal protests” as a sign of protest.
INDIA – Tax War: ICC Wants India Revenue Lessened, BCCI Set To Contacts UK Law Firm
The BCCI or Board of Control for Cricket in India is set to seek advice from an English law firm after the ICC threatened to deduct part of the annual revenue share of the Indian cricket board in an ongoing tussle of tax exemptions for events held in India. The Shashank Manohar-led International Cricket Council (ICC) seeks full tax exemption for all worldwide events taking place in India and is still awaiting waiver for the country’s 2016 World T20. “The BCCI cannot change current public tax laws. We have repeatedly intimated this to the ICC,” the official informed PTI on Thursday (August 8, 2019). He decided that unless the present tax law system is altered or the day’s government agrees on a waiver, there could be issues hosting the next two large events in India — the 2021 World T20 and the 2023 50-over World Cup.
INDIA – Delhi High Court Begins ‘Aasra’ For Victims of Burns
In a move to help rehabilitate the victims of burns, a Delhi High Court single-judge panel has started with a unique fund known as ‘Aasra.’ The fund for this will be created by the High Court bench of Justice Najmi Waziri with the punishment imposed on the parties in other litigation cases and will be managed by the Delhi High Court Registrar General. While ordering the opening of a separate fund account, Justice Waziri said, “The fund can be used for plastic surgery and other rehabilitative efforts for burn victims. Victim identification for rehabilitative surgery etc. will be done …”
INDIA – Colonel Faced With an Adultery Charge Under J&K Law, Cleared By Supreme Court
Ending a provision allowing military staff to be prosecuted for adultery, the Supreme Court quashed General Court Martial (GCM) proceedings against a serving colonel in the light of its September 2018 decision extinguishing adultery as an offence under the Indian Penal Code. The Bench of Justice R F Nariman and Surya Kant declared Section 497 of the Ranbir Penal Code applicable to Jammu and Kashmir to be unconstitutional as its content was similar to Section 497 of the IPC. The bench said RPC also made the wife an adultery abettor as Section 497 of IPC, categorizing adultery as a crime, was held unconstitutional. “Therefore, the entire Section (497 RPC) is proclaimed unconstitutional.”
EUROPEAN – Luxembourg to be the First European Nation to Legalize Cannabis
Luxembourg called on its EU neighbours to relax their drug laws as its health minister confirmed plan to become the first European nation to legalize cannabis production and consumption. Residents over the age of 18 are anticipated to be able to purchase the drug for recreational use within two years legally. The state will regulate manufacturing and distribution through a cannabis agency. The draft law is expected to be unveiled later this year, providing further details on the types of cannabis that will be on sale and the level of tax that will be imposed.
INDIA – Tamil Nadu Law University to Host The First Indian-US Constitutional Law Debate on Friday
Tamil Nadu National Law University (TNNLU) Trichy is hosting Friday’s (August 9, 2019) first edition of the India-US comparative constitutional law debate. The debate, organized in cooperation with the U.S. Consulate General and Loyola College in Chennai, intends to initiate an inclusive discourse and foster a stronger understanding of the constitutional value of the two countries. TNNLU has got more than a hundred entries from universities and colleges where the rules allow students between the ages of 18 and 25 to participate in the debate. The debate’s judges include eminent members of Madras Bar and Chennai, the U.S. Consulate General.
INDIA – Changes on India Gazettes Law Budget Tax
India published legislation in its Official Gazette to give effect to tax announcements in the 2019-20 budget. In its July 5 budget, the Indian government announced that the scope of the reduced 25% corporate income tax rate would be extended to cover 99.3% of Indian businesses. The Finance Act (No. 2) 2019 raises the threshold for access to the concessionary corporate tax rate to INR4bn from INR2.5bn (USD36.5m). The Budget also announced a new tax deduction for those buying electric vehicles with loans. This follows from the GST Council’s approval of a decreased 5% GST rate on electric vehicle purchases, down from 12%. The law will extend until March 31, 2021, the exemption from capital gains tax on gains resulting from the sale of a housing house where the capital is used to invest in a start-up and relax the eligibility requirements.
AFRICA – High-end legal services consumed in Africa by lawyers and firms in Europe; LawPavilion
LawPavilion Business Solutions, Nigeria’s leading legal technology company, said that between 70 and 80% of high-end legal services consumed in Africa is provided by law firms and lawyers in Europe and North America, leaving Africa to the stage and scramble for the remaining 20 to 30%. This was revealed at the opening of the Experience Centers in Lagos and Abuja to incorporate the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, ACTA, dispute settlement procedure in the toolkit of Solicitors and Arbitrators kept in Lagos. He said the company keenly observed and followed the decorations on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AFCFTA, which has the primary objective of enhancing intra-African trade, thereby promoting the African continent’s accelerated economic integration.
INDIA – Indian Transgender Couple Got Married in Landmark ‘Rainbow Marriage’
An Indian transgender couple whom both underwent sex reassignment tied the knot in a traditional Bengali ceremony, in what is thought to be the first “rainbow wedding” of the state. The bride, Tista Das, 38, and groom, Dipan Chakravarthy, 40, took part in ceremonies in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal state, surrounded by family and friends. India’s Supreme Court recognized them as a third gender in a historic 2014 decision. India’s lower house enacted a transgender bill on August 6, to enshrine the freedoms of transgender people in law. The bill is on discussion in the upper house.
GERMANY – A Former Nazi Concentration Camp Guard, 92, Will Be Going To Trial
A 92-year-old former SS private will go to trial in Germany this autumn on 5,230 counts of being an accessory to murder, convicted of assisting the functioning of the Nazi concentration camp Stutthof, a Hamburg court said Thursday (August 8, 2019). Although he is not accused of any particular murder, Bruno Dey is prosecuted as an accessory to those committed at Stutthof from August 1944 to April 1945 when he served as a guard there because, according to the allegations submitted by Hamburg prosecutors, he helped avoid inmates from escaping. When he was charged in April, the prosecutors called him “a tiny wheel in the murder machinery.”
INDIA – IMA Calls For an ‘Aggressive Public Campaign’ against NMC Bill, Appeals to the President to Withhold His Approval of the Draft Law
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) deferred its call for the withdrawal of services to a “later choice date” and decided on an aggressive public campaign against the bill of National Medical Commission (NMC) deleterious clauses. On Sunday the IMA emergency action called for a nationwide withdrawal of services on 8 August. The IMA also appealed to President Ram Nath Kovind to “retain consent until adequately addressing the risks to the nation’s health from several sections.
INDIA – Ayodhya case: Top Lawyers’ Battery Line Up For Ram Lalla
Former AG K Parasaran, one of the most renowned figures among lawyers, launched arguments on Wednesday (August 08, 2019) for “Bhagwan Sri Ram Virajman,” as referred to in appeals before the SC as well as in title suits before the HC. A battery of top lawyers advocates the claim of idol Ram Lalla over the whole chunk of Ayodhya land that has been in litigation for 70 years. Waiting in the wings are former attorneys General Harish Salve and Ranjit Kumar, former additional attorneys General C S Vaidyanathan and P S Narasimha, and senior attorney Shyam Divan. Senior advocate Vaidyananthan is scheduled to begin arguments after Parasaran, a 92-year-old. Given its stature and advanced age, CJI Ranjan Gogoi, head of the five-judge bench hearing the Ayodhya land dispute case, offered Parasaran that if he wished he could argue sitting in his chair, a departure from the court tradition of any counsel or petitioner in person standing before a bench while making submissions. While appearing for Muslim parties, CJI had an innocuous proposal to advise Sushil Jain not to read records that were not essential to Nirmohi Akhara’s claim.
USA – The New York Times Wrongly Defines Hate Speech Law in the Hate Speech Article
The New York Times (NYT) published a correction to an article in which they misidentified the law protecting the liberty of expression. The article of Aug. 6, “Legal Shield for Websites Rattles under Onslaught of Hate Speech,” appeared in the chapter on technology and detailed the legal hurdles for websites as they try to expunge hate speech from their content. The New York Times issued the correction later that day, but the article’s headline and scope, written by Technology Correspondent Daisuke Wakabayashi, remained unchanged. Law & Crime, a blog that reports on legal problems, remarked on the gaffe stating that the mistake was a “legal reporting blunder that, honestly, is neither extremely complex nor hard.”
INDIA – Lawyers Provide Support to Kashmir
The general meeting was by the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) held against the revocation of the special status of the occupied Kashmir. Several attorneys participated in the conference held in Kayani Hall under the chairmanship of LHCBA President Hafeezur Rehman Chaudhry. Vice President Kabir Ch and Secretary Fiaz Ranjha attended the conference in particular. They said that India’s move to legalize its occupation of Kashmir would fail. They also said that India could not end the unique status by abrogating Article 370 of its constitution as it is internationally regarded and accepted as a disputed territory. Thus, they added, India was unable to change the status of a disputed territory.
AUSTRALIAN – Homelessness ‘ Obligation to Support the Law Could Force the Government to Help Those in Crisis
Australian authorities are being encouraged to consider a new “obligation to assist” law that would force governments to help homeless people find housing, spiralling out of control amid warnings of homelessness, and financing is drying up. Peter Mackie is a worldwide homelessness specialist who visits from Wales to promote the concept and speak to Australian professionals. He said officials in most Western countries did not behave until the situation became critical, and this had to alter.
INDIA – Delhi HC Brings Together A Couple Forced Apart By The Parents Of The Woman, Provides Protection
The Delhi High Court (HC) reunited a 21-year-old girl who was compelled into a second marriage by her family with her first partner. Her first husband had converted to Hinduism to marry her, according to court records. A Bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal also instructed that the SHO of the police station involved “guarantee that no bodily harm or injury is caused to the petitioners (the couple).” The court’s order came on the 24-year-old man’s plea that his wife should be brought before the court as she was forcibly taken away by her parents to their home town in Uttar Pradesh. The court then directed the police to create the lady before her. The bench observed in its order: “(The woman), who is personally present in court, is emphatic and firm in her choice that she would like to remain with petitioner number 1 (her first husband). She also confirms allegations in the petition in writing.
INDIA – Bombay HC provides temporary relief to 63 SC / ST Income Tax officials
On Wednesday (August 7, 2019), the Bombay High Court (HC) momentarily stayed the demotion of 63-income tax officials belonging to the scheduled caste (SC)) and tribal communities whose promotion in 2012-2013 was reversed by order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in 2017. The CAT order had come about as general candidates had questioned the promotion of these officials from the revenue tax ‘ inspectors ‘ post to ‘inspectors.’ They had already served for about five years in the promoted posts by this time. Granting stay on the demotions, a bench of Judges Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre directed the Income Tax department to file a response within four weeks.
AUSTRALIA – The System Of Family Law In Australia Fails Survivors Of Domestic Violence: Angela Lynch
Angela Lynch is the CEO of Women’s Legal Service Queensland, where she advocates for family and domestic violence victims and has led a number of fresh projects to help those experiencing violence. Sadly, she claims demand for their services is rising and that despite their enhanced capacity, they are still unable to respond to 40% of calls to their state-wide Domestic Violence Legal Helpline. As such, she believes that governments need to address better the issue, including by giving urgent attention to how Australia’s family law system fails survivors of domestic violence.
INDIA – There Can Be No Judicial Review Of A Full-Court Decisions: Madras High Court
The Madras High Court on Wednesday (August 7, 2019), made it clear that a judicial review of a Full Court decision was “legally unacceptable,” rejecting a petition from a retired session judge who said he was relieved at the age of 58 and his service was not being expanded. A bench of judges R Subbaiah and C Saravanan noted the extension of service beyond the pension age of 58 was a benefit conferred on the judicial officer subject to the high court’s assessment of his or her potential. Therefore, as a matter of right, the petitioner cannot be allowed to seek interference from this court with such a discretionary judgment, particularly when there was no procedural breach in such a decision-making process, he said.
INDIA – The Decision of the Gujarat HC Relieves the Fabric Manufacturers
The Gujarat High Court (HC) has made it clear that input tax credit (ITC) accumulated up to July 31, 2018, will not lapse in what could be seen as a significant relief for the textile sector. This will facilitate the credit reimbursement for that period and thus end the woes of working capital for fabric manufacturers. According to Anita Rastogi, Indirect Tax Partner with PwC, in the past it is a well-settled law as ruled by the Supreme Court that credit is indefeasible and this Gujarat High Court order reaffirms this position.