INDIA – Religious Bodies Not Authorized to Terminate Marriages: Madras HC
Religious organizations have no authority to dissolve a marriage or to allow marriage, and such exercises by a jamath or any other religious organization are reprehensible and should be dealt with very seriously by the authorities involved, the High Court of Madras said. The Court’s observations were in reaction to a petition by a CISF constable, a Muslim, who appealed against his sacking after his second marriage on the basis that the personal law of his religion permits bigamy. The Court also held that the rules of the CISF governed it and that the termination order could not be interfered with.
INDIA – CJI Sexual Harassment Case: NLU Gold Medalist Misses Ceremony to Protest the Investigation Process
A topper at the National Law University (NLU) in Delhi skipped on Saturday an event where she was to receive a gold medal in protest against the handling of allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Indian Express revealed on Monday (August 19, 2019). Surbhi Karwa, who was first in her Master of Laws class, informed said. “The organization he heads failed the moment accusations of sexual harassment were made against him. I am looking for answers for myself on the role lawyers must play in the protection of constitutional values, and that is something that even the CJI mentioned in his speech.” Karwa specializes in constitutional law, and her thesis was on the topic: “Is the Constitution a feminist document?”
INDIA – At Least 4,000 Individuals Arrested In Jammu and Kashmir since August 5th; Government Sources Claim
The people of Jammu and Kashmir were subjected to rigid constraints since August 5th, when the government of Modi had scrapped Article 370. More than 400 political leaders have been under house arrest, many more people detained, but the government has not revealed any official numbers of people being held in custody or under house arrest. A J&K magistrate, on condition of anonymity, said that at least 4,000 people had been arrested and detained pursuant to the Public Safety Act (PSA), reported AFP. PSA is a controversial law that enables the authorities to incarcerate a person for up to two years without charge or trial. “Most of them had been flown out of Kashmir because the prisons here have run out of ability,” A J&K magistrate said.
INDIA – Increase in the Number of Triple Talaq Cases in India after Law goes into Force
The 2019 Muslim Women’s Protection Act, which criminalizes triple talaq, has so far failed to act as a deterrent to triple talaq cases in Uttar Pradesh. In recent weeks, in the state, there has been a spurt in such cases. A female in the Shamli district claimed that her spouse had phoned her and gave her triple talaq previously this month. “My husband gave me a triple talaq over the phone. I’ve got his call record to prove this. I want justice. If justice isn’t provided to me, I’m going to immolate myself,” the victim said. However, a Muslim woman activist said that the spurt in triple talaq cases was the consequence of increasing indignation among Muslim men who feel that their rights have been violated. “If the police act quickly, this law will serve as a deterrent in the future,” she said.
USA – New York Vaccines: Officials Issues Emergency Regulations Aimed at the Abuse of Medical Exemptions for Student Vaccines
Health authorities have released new Emergency Vaccination Regulations to prevent false claims for a medical exemption and to clarify rules in the wake of state law repealing religious exemptions for student immunization in New York. The new rules require doctors to fill out detailed forms on the legitimate medical reason that a student cannot be fully vaccinated as needed by the law, which also applies to childcare with effective immediately. Previously, doctors could submit a signed statement to schools without having to document in an approved form why immunization may be detrimental to the health of the child.
INDIA – To Ensure Fair and Equal Treatment, India is Required to Draft National Refugee Law: Expert
India should draft a national refugee law to ensure fair and equal treatment among the refugees, said Mohd Shahzad, an expert on refugee issues. Dr Shahzad, a visiting faculty at Jamia Millia Islamia, the central university, holds a doctorate in refugee research in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Recently, he conducted studies on the circumstances of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees residing in multiple camps across Tamil Nadu. According to him, if India is not in favour of having refugee legislation, it is to sign the 1951 Geneva Convention or its 1967 Protocol on the Fair and Equal Treatment of Refugees.
INDIA – Demolition of Ravidas Temple: Supreme Court Urges Punjab, Haryana, Delhi to Guarantee That No Law and Order Condition Arises
The Supreme Court said on Monday (August 19, 2019) that its orders to the Guru Ravidas Temple in Tughlaqabad forest area cannot be given “political colour.” Justice Arun Mishra and Justice MR Shah have asked the governments of Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi to assure that no law and order situation is created politically or otherwise during the protests over the demolition of the temple. “Everything cannot be political. No one on earth can give political colour to our orders,” said the court bench.
USA – Texas Southern School of Law First Female Dean Makes History
Joan R.M. Bullock sits in a meeting room at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University — portraits of several former deans hang behind her, as if each face was looking closely over her shoulder. All nine were men before her, and now Bullock, the first female dean of the historic Black College Law School, is making history. But being the “first” is not new to a successful lawyer, a British Jamaican-Chinese and African-American. By July, Bullock had formally started her role, replacing Gary L. Bledsoe, who had served as acting dean for two years. She said, “I’m just focusing on the reality that I have a work to do, and I need to do it, and I want to do it well.” Her list of responsibilities is reportedly long.
INDIA – Bombay Chief Justice Calls on Lawyers to Guarantee Justice for the Common People
On Friday, Chief Justice of Bombay High Court Pradip Nandrajog called on the legal fraternity to work to bring justice to the common man. Citing the Constitution of India, he said that justice was first given top priority to ordinary people, and then there are other considerations such as equality and freedom. “The Constitution has entrusted lawyers with a great responsibility to ensure that the common citizens are not deprived of justice,” he said. The CJ spoke in a complimentary program organized by the High Court Bar Association (HCBA) here, at Bar Room No. 1 during the lunch hour. Newly appointed HCBA President Gauri Venkatraman congratulated Justice Nandrajog with a memento. HCBA Secretary Prafulla Khubalkar and other officeholders were also present at the event along with other lawyers.
INDIA – Demand for Relocation of AP HC to Visakhapatnam City: Lawyers to Avoid Duty, Today
The advocates of the Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts will boycott their duties today (August 20, 2019) as part of a protest calling for the government to move the AP High Court to Visakhapatnam City. It may be recalled that the proponents of the Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam Bar Associations have established a Joint Action Committee (JAC) to press ahead with the demand. JAC President G Maheswara Reddy said that the AP High Court has been operating from a temporary structure near Nelapadu in the district of Guntur over the previous few months, but the location of the court has caused issues for complainants from different areas of the state.
UNITED KINGDOM – Government Leaked Plan: No-Deal Brexit Causes the UK to Experience Food and Fuel Shortages
With less than 75 days to go until Britain is set to leave the European Union, a government report leaked to ‘The Sunday Times’ reveals the disastrous consequences that no-deal Brexit would have on the country. The United Kingdom is likely to face food, fuel and medicine shortages if it falls out of the bloc without a transition agreement, according to the forecasts compiled by the Cabinet Office under the code name “Operation Yellowhammer.” Nevertheless, Michael Gove, the British Minister responsible for planning a no-deal Brexit, said on Twitter that Yellowhammer was indeed a “worst-case scenario” and that “important steps have been taken over the last three weeks” to speed up planning.
INDIA – Indian Diaspora in the UK Holds Huge Demonstration, Claims not the Democracy that India Has Fought For
On August 18, the South Asia Solidarity Group (SASG) and seven organizations representing the Dalit community in the United Kingdom organized a demonstration on Parliament Square in London entitled ‘This is not democracy for which India fought.’ The demonstration was attended by hundreds of members of the Indian diaspora in the United Kingdom who had gathered to express their anger at the decision of the Narendra Modi Government to repeal Article 370 granting special status to the former Jammu and Kashmir states, as well as the ongoing lockdown, mass arrests and human rights violations in Kashmir. The press release further indicated that, 72 years after India gained independence from British colonialism, the governing Hindu-Supremacist government of the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi had broken the Indian Constitution.
UNITED KINGDOM – Brexit Update: Britain Signs on Order to Stop the Law of the European Union
Last week, Adrian Grace, Chief Executive Officer of Aegon UK, pointed out that a large part of the government’s focus has already been taken up by Brexit, indicating that it is time to tackle other urgent issues, such as social care financing and pensions. Now, in the indication that the UK is moving forward, EU Secretary of State Steve Barclay has signed an order to abolish the Act of the European Communities (ECA) of 1972. The ECA is a vehicle that sees the regulation flow straight from the legislative bodies of the European Union in Brussels to British law.
INDIA – India Turns the Tables on Traffickers with Child-Friendly Courts
Courts in Hyderabad and Delhi have created infrastructure changes to guarantee that victims do not have to face the accused in court, while defence lawyers are not permitted to make victims uncomfortable during the hearing. Radha was only 13 when she had to testify in an open court against the individuals who had trafficked her into prostitution, as a defence lawyer bombed her with questions — why didn’t she attempt to kill herself? Or run away? In Mumbai, the courts for the prosecution of sex crimes against children now have a separate cubicle where the testimony of the victim is recorded. Frightened, Radha tried to answer, but the judge quickly shut down the lawyer. The anti-trafficking bill presently before Parliament involves a provision for special courts in each district to deal with cases speedily.
INDIA – Plea in Bombay HC against Devendra Fadnavis for ‘Misuse of Power’ When Transferring Bank Accounts
A petition was lodged in the Bombay High Court against the supposed move by the Maharashtra Government to transfer the accounts of police staff and beneficiaries of various schemes from nationalized banks to Axis Bank, where the wife of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis maintains a senior position. Petitioner Mohanish Jabalpure, in his plea filed last week, stated that the state government, through a circular dated 11 May 2017, had transferred the bank accounts of the police officers and beneficiaries of Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana to the private bank. The petition claimed that the Chief Minister misused his powers and promoted Axis Bank, causing losses to nationalized banks.
AUSTRALIA – New Zealand Critical of the Deportation Law of Australia
New Zealand’s High Commissioner encouraged Australia to consider granting Kiwis exemptions from tougher deportation laws, which continue to damage ties between close neighbours. The Senate Committee on Legal Affairs examines proposed laws to reduce the bar on the cancellation of criminal visas. Under the law changes, persons would automatically fail the character test if they were convicted of certain offences with a prison term of two or more years. New Zealand High Commissioner Dame Annette King said the changes made to the deportation laws five years earlier had affected Kiwis disproportionately.
INDIA – Online Social Media Accounts Should Be Connected to Aadhaar: Supreme Court Told
Social media profiles should be linked to users ‘ Aadhaar numbers to check terrorist messages, pornography, and fake news, the Tamil Nadu Government, told the Supreme Court on Monday (August 19, 2019). The state has told the court that it is working with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) professors to find a solution to trace the origin of WhatsApp messages. Tamil Nadu made the submissions at the hearing of a petition from Facebook by a two-jurisdiction judge, Deepak Gupta, and Aniruddha Bose, to transfer all such cases pending before separate high courts to the Supreme Court. The High Courts of Madras, Bombay, and Madhya Pradesh hear almost comparable requests linking Aadhaar number to social media profiles. The case will be heard on Tuesday.
UNITED NATIONS – The UN Security Council is Discussing Kashmir, China Is Urging India and Pakistan to Ease Tensions
Although the meeting took place behind closed doors in New York, the Chinese Ambassador, Zhang Jun, spoke to reporters outside the Chamber after discussion, urging India and Pakistan to “refrain any unilateral action that might further aggravate” the already “tense and very dangerous” situation. The majority-Muslim part of India, known as Jammu and Kashmir, had its unique status within the constitution revoked by the Government of India on August 5th and placed it under a tighter central command. Pakistan has asserted that the move violates international law. In a statement issued on 8 August, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated that he was “concerned” about the scenario in Jammu and Kashmir and appealed for “maximum restraint.”
INDIA – More Cases Settled in 2018, Due to the Increase in the Capacity of Judges: Madras High Court
For the first time in many years, the number of cases decided by the High Court of Madras exceeded the number of cases filed in a year: 1,62,081 cases filed against 1,52,609 cases in 2018. The accomplishment, though small, appears to have been the consequence of a significant rise in the strength of judges over the years. The main point that arises from the statistics is that the increase in the number of judges has led to a corresponding rise in the frequency of cases being disposed of. The data also reveals that a full complement of 75 judges could lead to higher long-term disposal of cases.
IRELAND – Govt. to Implement Law on the Right for Employee to Disconnect from Work E-mails outside Working Hours
The Government is to consider the implementation of legislation to guarantee that employees have the right to switch off and no longer feel obliged to check work-related messages outside office hours. Minister for Business Heather Humphreys said that her department intends to review the French strategy to the right to disconnect as part of initiatives to foster a healthy work-life balance for staff across the country. She added that growing involvement in the workforce, through the promotion of a healthy work-life balance, would lead to a more “equitable, balanced and sustainable development of the workforce in Ireland.”