INDIA- Justices Sanjiv Khanna, Dinesh Maheshwari appointed to Supreme Court
The Union government on Wednesday cleared the names of two judges for elevation to the Supreme Court namely,Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna, even as the higher judiciary plunged deeper into controversy with former members of the apex court’s collegium questioning its decisions and asking for more transparency in the selection process. Hours before that, the Bar Council of India and the Delhi Bar Council issued strongly worded statements suggesting the collegium’s recommendations went against the “seniority principle”.
INDIA- Vehicle modification banned in India by the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court, in a recent judgment, said no motor vehicle could be altered to change the original specification made by the manufacturer that has been used for the purpose its registration. The apex court referred to an amended provision of the Motor Vehicles Act and observed that its “clear intent” was that a vehicle cannot be so altered that the particulars contained in the certificate of registration are at variance with those ‘originally specified by the manufacturer’. Such particulars cannot be altered, which have been specified by the manufacturer for the purpose of entry in the certificate of registration.” According to the provision of the Act, ‘alteration’ means a change in the structure of a vehicle.
INDIA- As Bombay High Court intervened, BEST employees called off bus strike in Mumbai
The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) union in Mumbai agreed to withdraw its strike on Wednesday after being pulled up by the Bombay High Court. The union withdrew the strike after the High Court appointed a retired judge as a mediator to negotiate the issues. After hearing all parties in the case, the High Court directed BEST union to announce the withdrawal of strike within one hour, following which the decision was taken. The court also directed the BEST to provide a 10-step increment with effect from January 20, 2019, even as the lawyer of the union argued that employees wanted a 15-step increment. Besides, the court also instructed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Maharashtra government to start the process of merger of budget at the earliest..
INDIA- Student safety tours to be watched, Gujrat High Court demands a response from State Govt
The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday sought a reply from the state home, education, transport, and tourism department after public interest litigation (PIL) questioning the safety of students during educational tours in the absence of proper guidelines came up for hearing. According to the petitioner, various educational institutions, including coaching classes, organise picnics or study tours for their students, but in the absence of proper guidelines, they do not seek any permission from concerned authorities before organising such tours. He also pointed out to the court about the fatal accidents of vehicles carrying students for picnics and study tours resulting in multiple deaths, with the latest being an accident on December 22 in which 10 children were killed after a bus carrying students of a coaching centre fell into a 200-ft-deep ravine in Mahal and Baripada forest area of Dang district. The state government on December 29, 2018, had issued a notification making it mandatory for the schools to take permission from district education officer before planning any trip or picnic. The state government has also banned the plying of school buses used for picnics, or study tours, from plying between 11 pm and 6 am.
INDIA- Good News for gaushalas! Power bills recovery stayed by the High Court for now
Registered gaushalas in the state can breathe easy, at least for the time being, as Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has stayed the recovery of outstanding amount on account of free electricity supply till a final decision is taken by a high-powered committee comprising the Chief Secretary and the PSPCL chairman. Quoting orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court delivered dated October 12, 2018, in disposal of a petition, the PSPCL has issued a circular saying that the recovery of arrears on account of free power supply to registered gaushalas be kept in abeyance and the supply should not be disconnected till disposal of the matter by the designated committee. The power utility has also directed its distribution offices – where cow cess is being collected – not to transfer cow cess funds to their respective local government offices till further orders.
INDIA- Girl’s hospital expenses should be reimbursed, High Court Directs authorities
When a station master pledged his house for Rs 6 lakh for his daughter’s treatment, little did he realise that the authorities concerned would derail his hopes for getting the amount reimbursed on procedural lines. Coming to his rescue, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has not only diagnosed as illegal and unjustified the action of denying her medical reimbursement, but has also prescribed six-week deadline for the amount’s release. “It is clear that the petitioner’s daughter had undergone surgery at the PGI, the surgery was essential and it has resulted in substantial improvement in her condition. Thus, the action of the respondents in denying her medical reimbursement claim was illegal and unjustified,” Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Harinder Singh Sidhu ruled.
USA- Law to end bail must be approved by California voters before trail
The nation’s first law eliminating bail for suspects awaiting trial is on hold until California voters decide whether to overturn it, officials said Wednesday. A referendum that qualified for the 2020 state ballot would overturn the law signed last year by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a statement. The law would replace bail with a risk-assessment system — although it’s still unclear how the system will work. The law scheduled to go into effect in October 2019. Now it must be approved by a majority of voters before it can take effect. The rules would give the state’s judicial council broad authority to reshape pretrial detention policies. Based on the council’s framework, each county’s superior court will set its own procedures for deciding who to release before trial, potentially creating a patchwork system based on where a suspect lives.
USA- USA aims to ban the sale of technology to Chinese firms committing intellectual property theft, trade violations under the proposed law
A group of United States politicians want to ban the sale of US technology components to Huawei, ZTE Corp or other Chinese telecommunications companies that violate US sanctions or export laws. The Trump administration is targeting Chinese firms accused of illegal trade practices Washington has also been pressing allies to refrain from buying Huawei products Diplomatic tensions are rising between China and the US, as well as its allies. Bipartisan-backed legislation was introduced shortly before a newspaper report emerged revealing federal prosecutors are investigating Huawei for allegedly stealing trade secrets from US businesses and could soon issue an indictment. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported one area of investigation is the technology behind a device US firm T-Mobile used for testing smartphones. The report could not be immediately confirmed. The action is the latest in a long list taken to fight what some in the Trump administration have branded China’s cheating through intellectual property theft, illegal corporate subsidies and rules hampering US corporations that want to sell their goods in China.
UK- Motorists driving in UK to need ‘Green Card’ if there is a no-deal Brexit
Irish motorists who travel to Northern Ireland and Britain may in future have to present Green Cards to prove they have valid motor insurance. The measure is being rolled out by the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) as a contingency plan in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Currently, all motorists travelling with an Irish registration in the EU are covered, however that could change for those looking to enter the UK from March when they are expected to leave the bloc. David Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of the MIBI, said the Green Cards will mean if a no-deal materialises, Irish-registered drivers in the UK will still be covered
PALESTINE- Thousands strike in West Bank in protest over PA social security law
Thousands of Palestinians across the occupied West Bank demonstrated against the Palestinian Authority’s controversial social security law, amid fears that the fund will be mismanaged. Shops and businesses in Bethlehem, Ramallah, Nablus and other major West Bank cities shut their doors on Tuesday, while hundreds of Palestinians protested in Ramallah, the PA’s administrative hub. “This strike is a way of telling the PA that most of the Palestinian people are against this law and refuse to abide by it,” said Muhammad Zghayyer, a spokesman for the committee of activists who organised the protests.
LEBANON- Lebanese lawmaker fights ‘degrading’ citizenship law against women
Paula Yacoubian is urging fellow legislators to help change discriminatory laws that are an “injustice” against women. In Lebanon, women married to foreigners cannot pass their Lebanese nationality on to their husbands or children. Stateless children cannot access public healthcare, have difficulty getting access to education, and when they are old enough, they cannot work without a permit, according to the law. Additionally, women in some communities can’t inherit or own property regardless of who they marry. Beyond reform, Yacoubian said it is critical for additional laws to be passed in order to protect young women’s health and against forced marriage.