LEGAL NEWS 03.06.2010

Ruchika case: Rathore’s bail plea deferred again
IANS, Jun 3, 2010, 03.15pm IST
CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday again deferred a decision on the bail plea of former Haryana Police chief SPS Rathore, who has been convicted of molesting teenager Ruchika Girhotra in 1990. The verdict is expected on Friday. Rathore was sentenced to 18 months rigorous imprisonment by the district and sessions court here on May 25. Rathore is currently lodged in the Burail jail here.

CIC to challenge Delhi high court order in Supreme Court
Thursday, June 3, 2010 16:30 IST
New Delhi: The Central Information Commission will move the Supreme Court against a decision of the Delhi high court scrapping the procedures being followed by the panel in disposing of appeals.
This was decided at a meeting of all the information commissioners early this week.
The commission, while deciding to move the apex court, took note of a Patna high court ruling which had allowed Bihar’s state information commission to frame its own rules for the conduct of its business.
“There seems to be a contradiction between the Patna high court and Delhi high court decisions. We have decided to approach the Supreme Court so that the matter could be clarified,” chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said today.
A decision by the Supreme Court will also bring uniformity in the functioning of the information commissions across the country, he said.
The commission, meanwhile, has decided to continue with its routine business and conduct daily hearings.
The Delhi high court had last month struck down the rules framed by the chief information commissioner on the procedure for deciding appeals before the panel under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, saying the commissioner had no power to enact such regulations under the transparency law.
The order was passed on a plea of the DDA (Delhi Development Authority) seeking quashing of the Central Information Commission (Management) Regulations, 2007, drawn up by the commissioner to decide the procedure for special appeals before the panel.
“The chief information commissioner has no powers to make rules under the RTI Act,” a bench of justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and justice Veena Birbal had said.
Both the “appropriate government” and the “competent authority” have been empowered by the rules to make rules to carry out provisions of the Act,” the bench said.
“The CIC by formulating the regulations and prescribing the procedure for deciding appeals has clearly violated the provisions of the RTI Act,” the court added.
Concern was also expressed by one information commissioner that the high court ruling impinged upon the functional autonomy of the panel.
“Not only autonomy in the functioning of the CIC has thus been impinged upon, but the future course of action, in respect of protecting the rights of information seekers, has been halted at the cost of jeopardising the RTI movement launched by the civil society and strongly supported by the UPA government,” MM Ansari said.
According to Ansari, the implication of the high court order was that a single or division bench cannot decide an appeal before the commission.

Locus standi: Students will have to fight their own cases, says High Court
Express News Service
Posted: Thu Jun 03 2010, 00:38 hrs New delhi:
Sending across a loud message that students would have to marshal their own cause, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed three PILs, two of which challenged the credibility of the IIT-JEE examination system and flaws in its 2010 question paper. The court also refused to entertain the third PIL challenging the admission procedure for Delhi University’s undergraduate programmes.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Madan B Lokur held that petitions could be entertained only if the students moved court and not people who had no locus standi in the matter. “We cannot entertain the PIL. Let the students approach the court. The aggrieved person should approach the court through a guardian and the petitioner cannot espouse the cause of students. It is open to the students to approach the court,” said the Bench dismissing the PIL filed against the DU admission system. The petition had contended that the marks in the subject in which the student wants admission should be made the sole criteria for admission.
The PIL was filed by Advocate Sunil Kumar, challenging the criteria followed by the University for admission in undergraduate programmes. He pleaded that a student is taught only one subject in detail in graduation and the other two are not main subject and so the admission should be granted only on the basis of marks obtained by a candidate in the main subject in 10+2. Noting that he failed to establish his legal standing in the case, the Bench dismissed his plea and said students would have to approach either personally or through guardians if they were aggrieved in academic matters.
Similarly, while adjudicating the PILs relating to IIT, the Bench dismissed the PIL filed by one Chetan Upadhyaya, who had asked for a stay on the publication of results and a re-examination because of alleged errors in the question paper. As the Supreme Court had earlier questioned Upadhyaya’s locus standi in the case, Justice Misra took no time in throwing out his petition, holding he was neither a student nor could relate to them in any manner for entertaining the petition.
The other PIL filed by Professor Rajeev Kumar of IIT-Kharagpur also met the same fate, even though the petitioner’s counsel argued that his plea related to the discrepancies and non-transparency of the IIT-JEE examination system. Asked to respond, the counsel for the IIT said the petitioner too had no locus standi as no students, before the result or after it, had come to the court with grievances.
The Bench agreed to the contention and said it would dismiss this PIL too by a written order, a copy of which would be made available only on Thursday.

Govt plans headcount of undertrials in jails
TNN, Jun 3, 2010, 04.49am IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Wednesday told the Delhi high court that it intends to do a headcount of undertrials languishing in prison despite having got bail because they were unable to arrange for surety. In an affidavit submitted in HC, the government said the Tihar administration is going to compile a list of such undertrials on a monthly basis so that their cases can be forwarded to the district judge. The affidavit came in response to a petition filed by an advocate serving with Delhi HC Legal Services who came across 91 such cases in Rohini jail where prisoners continued to be behind bars because they were unable to furnish a surety or pay bail bond money. The lawyer complained in his petition, that while the rich accused barely spend hours in jail once granted bail as they can immediately arrange for money and surety it is the poor who bear the brunt of the stringent bail conditions imposed by Delhi courts, making them rot in jail despite getting the relief on paper. In his petition, the advocate pointed out the anomaly between the treatment meted out to convicts getting parole and to undertrials getting bail, as conditions are often relaxed for the benefit of convicts to enable them to taste freedom even though undertrials get no such benefit. Arguing that by keeping undertrials behind bars, the state was robbing them of an opportunity to prepare their defence for the trial, take care of finances, meet their family, the lawyer urged HC to direct loosening of stringent bail conditions imposed by the courts. Most of the undertrials come from other states so they have no one to turn to for surety and are too poor to pay the bail amount, the PIL further states.

Orissa HC concludes hearing on PIL on “police excess”
Updated on Thursday, May 27, 2010, 21:27 IST
Cuttack: Orissa High Court today completed hearing on the PIL seeking a probe by either CBI or human rights commission into the alleged police excess at Kalinganagar industrial complex in Jajpur district.
The vacation bench of Justice L Mohapatra and Justice B P Ray completed hearing of the case after Advocate General Ashok Mohanty submitted to the court to dispose off the petition as it “lacks merit.” Earlier, as directed, the Orissa State Legal Services Authority (OSLSA) filed its report in the court after conducting investigation at Kalinganagar for two days. The HC on May 22 had directed the member secretary of OSLSA to conduct a probe into the allegations made in the PIL. Alleging government-sponsored anarchy at Kalinganagar, lawyer and social activist Ramachandra Ray of the locality had filed the PIL seeking CBI or Human Rights Commission probe into the “police excess”.
The PIL also urged the High Court for a direction to stop the ongoing evacuation at Kalinganagar area until disposal of the petition. The petitioner alleged that rehabilitation and resettlement policy of central and state governments were not being sincerely adhered to. PTI

PMCH sans CT scan machine despite HC directive
Madhuri Kumar, TNN, Jun 3, 2010, 04.05am IST
PATNA: Notwithstanding Patna High Court directive to expedite the process of purchasing a new CT scan machine, the 1675-bed Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) is still bereft of this facility. Founder of Ganga Bachao Abhiyan Vikas Chandra alias Guddu Baba on Tuesday held a dharna to protest the lack of basic infrastructure at PMCH. The dharna was also held in the backdrop of the Patna High Court directive issued on April 20 last on a PIL filed by Guddu Baba on the ill-equipped condition of PMCH. The court had then directed both the state government and PMCH authorities to expedite the process of purchasing a CT scan machine, procure life saving drugs within a period of four weeks, to properly equip the ICU and make MRI facility available. Incidentally, the hospital did install an MRI machine following the court’s directive but it remains non-functional. But a CT scan machine is yet to be purchased, though a tender has already been floated in this regard. As principal secretary, health, CK Mishra said, “The MRI machine has been made functional recently. However, the technicians could not repair the old CT scan machine and a new one will be purchased soon.” It may be mentioned here that the CT scan machine is lying defunct for the last five months causing hardship to patients, particularly those who cannot afford to undergo it at private diagnostic centres. This despite the fact that the state government had retierated its promise of providing better health care to the people during the last session of the state legislature. According to hospital sources, many patients turn up at PMCH every day for CT scan. But they have to go back without availing the service or approach a private disgnostic centres where they have to cough up exorbitant charges. The cost of a CT scan at PMCH is Rs 800 per patient, while at private centres the minimum charge is Rs 1,800. Health minister Nand Kishore Yadav had also told TOI that as the installed machine is quite old and outdated, procurement of faulty parts has proved to be a stupendous task. The minister said an agreement has been reached with another company and soon the CT scan services would be resumed. It may mentioned here that the CT scan machine of 800-bed Nalanda Medical College Hospital (NMCH) is also non functional. The principal health secretary said the CT can facilities are available in one or two other medical colleges of the state. According to sources, the CT Sacn at DMCH is also non-functional for the last four months. However, the CT scan at ANMCH, Gaya and JLNMCH, Bhagalpur, are in order.

HC fast-tracks draw of lots in CGHS society
TNN, Jun 3, 2010, 05.14am IST
NEW DELHI: In a ruling that could bring relief to a number of members awaiting allotment of flats under the cooperative group housing society (CGHS) scheme in Dwarka for the past four years, the Delhi high court has fast-tracked the holding of draw of lots for all 74 members of a society. A division bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Valmiki J Mehta has asked the Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS) to forward the case of 74 members of Apni CGHS to DDA for the holding of the draw. In the process, HC permitted bypassing of scrutiny of the society’s records by a special committee entrusted with the job by a previous HC bench. In its 2008 order, another HC bench had said all 57 societies in Dwarka which were investigated by the central bureau of investigation (CBI) would have to get their records verified by a “committee under rule 90” before their case is forwarded to DDA. However, while going through the case of Apni CGHS, Justice Kaul and Justice Mehta realised that the CBI had already given a clean chit to the records of the society and that there was no need to subject the waiting members to another committee. HC also made it clear that its previous order was a general one outlining the broad modalities to be followed while the Apni CGHS case was an exception. “We see no reason why members of the petitioner society should continue to await their due entitlement of flats, four years having already gone by,” the bench noted while asking the RCS and DDA to swiftly process the claims. The bench also remarked that the case need not be referred to the “non-functional” Justice Chopra Committee, which was set up after another Delhi HC order in August 2008. Its responsibility was to scrutinise the documents of members once again after these were cleared by the rule 90 committee. “After this judgment, it is even more apparent that societies which had submitted their documents for draw of lots to the RCS office before October 19, 2007, when both the committees were not in existence, should not have been routed through these two committees,” said Ashok Kumar, convener of Association of Suffering Members of CGHS. He added that in another judgment of Ashadeep CGHS in 2009, the HC had observed that if against newspaper advertisements issued by the societies inviting objections, no complaints are received, then all the members should be allotted their flats. “All societies both those investigated by CBI and those which have not had issued such advertisements as per the court order and there was no objection. We are taking up the matter with the LG, quoting these two judgments,” Kumar said.

I-T dept files caveat against Vodafone in HC

BS Reporter / Mumbai June 2, 2010, 22:09 IST
The Income Tax (I-T) department has filed a caveat in the Bombay High Court in the Vodafone tax case, according to a television news channel. The caveat was filed to avoid ex-parte proceedings.
Apart from the 761-page order, the I-T department has also issued a seven-page showcause notice to Vodafone, which allows the department to start fresh proceedings against Vodafone and representative assesses.

Briefly Nation
Press Trust of India
Posted: Thu Jun 03 2010, 00:38 hrs
HC stays film opposed by Asaram followers
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday stayed the release of film ‘Swaha’, which allegedly has a character based on the life of spiritual leader Asaram Bapu. Asaram Mahila Utthan Ashram, a trust looking after the administration of various Asaram Bapu ashrams, filed an appeal in the High Court after a lower court dismissed its application. Vacation judge of the High Court, Justice Rajesh Ketkar, on Wednesday continued the interim stay imposed earlier, and adjourned the hearing till June 9. According to the trust, the leading character in the film, which is directed by Pravin Bharadwaj, resembles Asaram Bapu, and defames him.
Sukna: Lt Gen goes to Army Tribunal
NEW DELHI: Former Military Secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash, who has been indicted by a Court of Inquiry (COI) in the Sukna land scam, approached the Armed Forces Tribunal on Wednesday to allow him to produce witnesses before the reconvened COI in the case. Prakash filed a plea seeking permission to produce as witness his realtor friend Dilip Agarwal, who is alleged to have benefitted by the ‘No Objection Certificate’ issued by the Army for the construction of an educational institute on a piece of land adjacent to the Sukna Base in West Bengal.
Abdul Samad moves court for bail
MUMBAI: Abdul Samad Bhatkal, arrested in a 2009 arms seizure case and a suspect in the Pune blast case, has approached a sessions court for bail. Samad, who was sent to judicial custody on Tuesday in connection with the arms case, moved the sessions court after the metropolitan magistrate rejected his bail plea stating that investigation was still in progress. The bail plea will be heard on Thursday.

Mentally-ill women find a friend in HC
Harish V Nair , Hindustan Times
Email Author
New Delhi , June 03, 2010
More than 2,500 mentally ill women roam the streets of Delhi, exposing themselves to the hardships of daily life.
On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court issued a series of directions to various civic authorities to ensure rehabilitation of these women in seven homes to come up in identified in Dwarka, Rohini and Narela.
A Bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Ajit Bharihoke was hearing a PIL filed by Pratibha Chopra, a Delhi University law student, drawing the court’s attention towards the plight of mentally ill people in the Capital.
The PIL was inspired by the plight of Gitanjali Nagpal, a model found begging on the streets of Delhi three years ago.
Nagpal (32), who once walked the ramp for top designers in the country, was found begging at a market in south Delhi. The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW)
took her to VIMHANS Hospital, where doctors diagnosed her with fear psychosis.
The petitioner referred to Nagpal’s case and said there were more than 2,500 women in Delhi who were mentally ill and do not receive any aid from the government,
leading to their exploitation.
The Delhi Development Authority had identified the spots for shelter home for such women after the court expressed its anger over the delay during the last hearing.
The court had also directed the Delhi police to amend its training module to change chapters on how to deal with and handle mentally ill people.
The court said for proper implementation of the provisions of the Mental Health Act 1987, the standard operating procedure for police officials had to be formulated.
The court also mooted the idea of sensitising magistrates.

HC orders action against leprosy centre encroachers
Utkarsh Anand
Posted: Thu Jun 03 2010, 00:55 hrs New delhi:
Days after a report revealed that even the land meant for leprosy patients was grabbed by the city land mafia, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the government to evict unauthorised persons to ensure the benefits reached the targeted persons.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Madan B Lokur told the counsel for the Social Welfare department that they were obligated to take action against illegal encroachments. The counsel said that the Delhi cabinet had decided to constitute a seven-member committee to look into the matter. The court asked the committe to submit a report in six weeks.
The court had taken a suo motu cognizance of the matter last year that the 50-acre land meant for leprosy patients in Tahirpur Leprosy Complex, Northeast Delhi, was encroached on by the land mafias. The Delhi government and the welfare department were asked to take action. The department, however, repeatedly bought time for inspection and scrutinising the claims of those residing in the complex.
The court then summoned the Director of the Social Welfare department, after which it was assured that the matter would be considered by the Delhi cabinet.
Senior Advocate Arvind Nigam, amicus curiae in the matter, told the Bench that no positive action could be expected from the authorities as “they were scared to visit the society because of the nature of the ailment”.
Taking strong note, the Bench asked the Committee to hold its first meeting within 15 days to chalk out a plan of action.
Tahirpur Complex was set up as a colony exclusively for leprosy patients on a 50-acre plot in the 1970s. The MCD and the Social Welfare department are the owners of the plot.
After a survey, the Deputy Commissioner (Northeast) had submitted a report that of the 1,810 houses constructed for leprosy patients at Tahirpur, 1,614 had been illegally occupied. Besides, many shops were run in the area by “outsiders”. While there are panchayats and pradhans to manage the affairs, the report stated they obtained hefty amount for commercial use.

Delhi HC ruling may delay RTI cases
TNN, Jun 3, 2010, 12.18am IST

HYDERABAD: The waiting period between filing a petition at the Andhra Pradesh Information Commission (APIC) and its date of hearing might just get longer if a ruling of the Delhi High Court is declared binding on state information commissions across the country. The recent high court ruling has directed commissions to function as one bench and not as separate benches headed by the information commissioners as is presently the case. Aimed at ensuring that the commission functions as a holistic unit, this move is also to bring about a transparency in the functioning of the commissions. Given that out of every 100 petitions filed at APIC, only 77 get disposed off within the stipulated time period of thirty days, officials in the state commission are worried that the statistics might get worse if the Delhi High Court ruling is made binding on all states. “It is an impractical idea wherein the cause of RTI Act will be severely impacted,” said CD Arha, state chief information commissioner. According to the figures available, around 40,000 fresh cases are admitted by the APIC each year, complaints and second appeals put together. Add to that the pending petitions from the previous year and the numbers get worse. Given the situation, the last thing APIC would want is all four information commissioners, including the chief information commissioner, to comprise one single bench to pass orders on one case at a time. The justification behind such a move is to ensure that the order passed by the commission is approved by all commissioners and not decided by the one commissioner hearing the case. If APIC is reeling under so many pending cases at any given time, the chief information commission, Delhi, is not much better placed. With 10 commissioners holding separate hearings now, 10,000 is the number of pending cases there. After hearing about the Delhi High Court directive the APIC commissioners have asked for a copy of the judgment to get legal help from its counsel in understanding the ramifications of the judgment. APIC commissioners told TOI that they would move higher authorities if the judgment is made binding on them as well.

Reconsider arms plea of wakf unit chief: HC to govt
TNN, Jun 3, 2010, 12.21am IST

HYDERABAD: Noting that the state should be responsible for protecting lives and properties of the citizens in tune with the amended Arms Act and allow good citizens to possess arms for self defence, the A P High Court on Tuesday quashed a memo issued by the state home secretary that rejected an application of a citizen for an arms licence. Justice C V Nagarjuna Reddy, while allowing a petition filed by one Syed Afzal Mehdi, president of Rajendranagar area Wakf committee in Ranga Reddy district, directed the state home secretary to reconsider the petitioner’s application for an arms licence within two months. Afzal had applied for an arms licence stating that he wanted to protect his life and the wakf properties under him, which were worth Rs 17,000 crore. Police authorities verified his claims and rejected his application on the ground that there was no necessity for him to possess a weapon for self protection. Aggrieved by the order, Afzal approached the court. Justice Reddy reminded the state that independent India had felt it necessary as far back as 1959 to repeal the repressive Indian Arms Act, 1878 which prohibited people from possessing simple weapons like bow and arrows, swords, daggers, etc., even for self defence. There is no point in keeping the people unarmed when anti-nationals possess dangerous ammunition, the judge said. If the police are satisfied that the antecedents of the applicant are good then they should not hesitate to issue the licence, he said. The judge did not accept the reason cited by the police in the present case that the applicant was a resident of a communally sensitive area. Since the police found the applicant to be good, they should consider his application afresh, the judge said.

Meenakshi Arora withdraws consent to be Delhi HC Judge; CJI wants review of the 5 member list;%20CJI%20wants%20review%20of%20the%205%20member%20list&page=brief&id=766
Bar&Bench News Network
Jun 02, 2010

Chief Justice of India, S.H. Kapadia (CJI) [pictured] has recommended that the names of five senior lawyers who were recommended by former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, Justice A.P Shah for their appointment as judges to the Delhi High Court be reviewed.
According to media reports, the collegium headed by the CJI has written to the Union Law Minister, Veerappa Moily regarding the issue. Justice A.P. Shah had recommended senior lawyers, Abhinav Vasisht, Rajiv Virmani, Anusuya Salwan, Meenakshi Arora and Maninder Acharya for elevation to the High Court.
Soon after recommending these names to the collegium, Justice Shah retired. The CJI therefore wants the newly appointed Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, Justice Dipak Misra to approve the elevation before it can be taken any further. Another reason being touted as the reason for review of the appointment is the withdrawal of consent by constitutional lawyer, Meenakshi Arora regarding her appointment as a judge. Speaking to Bar & Bench, she said, “Yes, I have withdrawn my consent to be a judge and the reasons are personal. I do not want to discuss the reasons with the media.”
Justice A.P. Shah had openly expressed his disappointment at not being elevated to the Supreme Court. Incidentally, Justice Kapadia was a part of the panel which recommended the names of elevation of judges to the apex court.

Supreme Court says live-in relationships are fine but don’t expect ancestral property’t%20expect%20ancestral%20property&page=brief&id=762&gn=0
Bar&Bench News Network
Jun 01, 2010
The Supreme Court held that a child born out of a live-in relationship is not entitled to claim inheritance in Hindu ancestral coparcenary property (in the undivided joint Hindu family) and can only claim a share in the parents’ self-acquired property.
The Bench set aside a Madras High Court judgment, which held that children born out of live-in relationships were entitled to a share in ancestral property as there was a presumption of marriage in view of the long relationship.
Reiterating an earlier ruling, a Vacation Bench of Justices B.S. Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar said, “In view of the legal fiction contained in Section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (legitimacy of children of void and voidable marriages), the illegitimate children, for all practical purposes, including succession to the properties of their parents, have to be treated as legitimate. They cannot, however, succeed to the properties of any other relation on the basis of this rule, which in its operation, is limited to the properties of the parents.”
The Apex Court also stated that while the marriage exists, a spouse cannot claim the live-in-relationship with some other person and seek inheritance for the children from the property of that other person. The relationship with some other person, while the husband is living is not “live-in-relationship” but “adultery”. The illegitimate children have got inheritance rights from the property of the husband and not that from the other person. It is further clarified that “live in relationship” is permissible in unmarried heterosexuals (in case, one of the said persons is married, the man may be guilty of adultery and it would amount to an offence under Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code).
Geeta Luthra, Senior Counsel, speaking to Bar & Bench said that the judgment is interpreting the fiction of Section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, in relation to the declaration of children born out of a void/voidable marriage and a child being deemed legitimate for the purposes of inheritance due to the fiction created. She further said that for the first time, recognition was given under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 to entitle women with some sort of protection with regard to live in relationships. Secondly, in the case of Actress Khushboo, the 3 Judge Bench, headed by Juctice Balakrishnan shed light on pre-marital sex and live-in relationship for the first time in India. The relevance of pre-marital sex and Khushboo’s comments, connect her with criminal cases filed against her. The present judgment does not deal with the concept of live-in relationship per se. It says that a child can only make a claim on the person’s self acquired property, in case the child is illegitimate. It can also be interpreted in a way in which a child could lay a claim on the share of a parent’s ancestral property as they can ask for that parents share in such property, as Section 16 permits a share in the parents property. Hence it could be argued that the person is not only entitled to self acquired property but also a share in the ancestral property.
Suruchi Suri Grewal, a lawyer, notes that this is yet another instance where the judiciary has accepted the existence of live-in relationships in contemporary society and clarified the rights of those involved and persons likely to be affected by such a relationship. This ruling of the highest court of the land is welcome as there will be no room for doubt vis-a’-vis inheritance rights of children born out of live-in relationships.
Sanjay Agnihotri, an Advocate with Suri & Company says that the judgment, though in accordance with law as of today, does not differentiate between children borne out of live-in relationship, where both the partners/parents are single. The judgment talks about a scenario where one of the partners in a live-in relationship is committing adultery. One can understand the ratio of the judgment in such a case. While the judgment does lend some sort of credence to “live-in” relationships, yet it deprives the children borne out of such a relationship, to what should be their rightful inheritance, which would have come to them but for the formal ceremony of marriage.
The Apellants, Bharatha Matha and another were represented by Advocate K. Ram Kumar and the Respondents, R. Vijaya Renganathan and others were represented by Sai Krishna Rajagopal along with Advocates Hari Shankar K., Vikas Singh Jangra and Bharat S. Kumar presenting the case.

Bar Council logs in with Rainmaker: Bar Exams, Law School in every state, Oppose Foreign Law Firms,%20Law%20School%20in%20every%20state,%20Oppose%20Foreign%20Law%20Firms&page=brief&id=765
Bar&Bench News Network
Jun 02, 2010

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has today released its vision statement for the next two years covering 2010-2012. The ceremony, which was convened by Law Minister Veerappa Moily,was also attended by Gopal Subramanium, Solicitor General of India and Chairman, Bar Council of India; Dhanpal Raj, Vice President of BCI; Prof. V.B.Coutinho, Directorate of Legal Services and Nikhil Chandra, CEO Rainmaker. The Law Minister also inaugurated the new design of the website of the BCI. BCI governs more than 1.1 million advocates and approximately 1,000 law schools with more than 60,000 students graduating each year and it was time for an overhaul of the website that will provide comprehensive information.
The ceremony took place at the Imperial Hotel in New Delhi where according to Gopal Subramaniam, the Declaration of Independence was signed. The Solicitor General talking about the vision statement said “Some important issues include raising the quality of Bar, with education and training, access to knowledge and having a database of all lawyers, law schools and law students all at a common platform are urgent requirements and we will address them”.
Speaking about The All India Bar Exam (Bar exam) he said, “The exam will help in identifying value and standard that will improve the identity of the legal profession as a whole”.
Nikhil Chandra, said that the Bar exam will be scheduled across India on December 5, 2010. The Bar exam will be a benchmark test to ensure a basic level of skill and knowledge in those joining the legal profession and intending to practice law in India. The exam is not retrospective and shall be mandatory for all law students graduating from the academic year 2009-2010 onwards. Nikhil Chandra also presented a brief overview about the bar exam, a presentation is available here. The BCI and Rainmaker will provide the preparatory material for the Bar exam. “The Bar exam will meet highest standards of transparency, security and fairness” he said.
Veerappa Moily, Law Minister said “Great changes in the legal education will not happen unless there is a change in the legal profession”. “There is wealth, prosperity and progress in the legal profession. The market is not only India, it is the whole world at large, as an advocate and an individual” he said. Laying out his vision for the country he said “We have to set up one National Law School in each State”.
Various questions relating to the Bar exam, health insurance and foreign law firms were raised, to which Gopal Subramaniam answered in detail clearing the doubts in the minds of students and lawyers. “A Student quizzed on what would happen if he fails the Bar exam and when can he repeat the exam?” The Chairman answering these questions said the Bar exam will be held twice a year and there are no limit in the number of attempts by a law graduate.
The BCI has partnered with Rainmaker to manage and conduct the exam.The exam fee will be Rs.1,300 ($28). The revenues generated from the Bar exam will be divided equally between the BCI, State Bar Councils and Rainmaker. Gopal Subramanium also said that the BCI had evaluated several agencies and zeroed in on Rainmaker as they had the ability to adhere to timelines with respect to the academic material, the ability to translate into nine languages and take the test to centers across India.
The Chairman was also asked about the entry of foreign law firms to which he said “The present stand is to oppose the entry of foreign lawyers in India as the standard of practice of law in our country is not consistent. In foreign countries law is a profession while in India it is still a service and the role of the BCI is to protect the professional identity of the Indian lawyer”.
There will be no ranks and the result will be based on Pass/Fail. The application form period will be starts from July 15, 2010. Model papers will be available from August 16, 2010 on the BCI website.
A copy of the Bar Council’s vision statement 2010-2012 is available here.

Collegium system to be scrapped?
Satya Prakash , Hindustan Times
Email Author
New Delhi, June 02, 2010
The judiciary may no longer have monopoly over the appointment of judges of high courts and the Supreme Court.
The Centre is getting ready for a constitutional amendment to change the system of appointments to the higher judiciary in which, since 1993, the executive does not have any meaningful say.
“There are two ways to solve this problem. One is to file a petition in the Supreme Court seeking review of its 1993 and 1998 judgments that established the collegium (a panel of top SC judges) system of appointments. The other is to go for a constitutional amendment. We will take the legislative route,” Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily told HT on Wednesday.
“Everybody agrees that the collegium system has failed and it needed to be changed,” Moily said referring to the reports of the Law Commission and Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice that advocated a change.
He said the amendment bill will be separate from the Judges Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010.
Successive governments have been criticising the collegium system but it’s for the first time that the Centre has said it will bring in a constitutional amendment to change the collegium system. The BCI, too, had demanded it be scrapped.
Under Article 124(2) and Article 217(1) of the Constitution, judges of the Supreme Court and those of a high court respectively have to be appointed by the President after “consultation” with the CJI. The Government was not bound by the CJI’s recommendation.
But in 1993, the SC introduced the collegium system and effectively took over the primacy in appointments. Then, five years later, a nine-judge Constitution Bench ruled that the “consultation” must be effective and the CJI’s opinion shall have primacy in the matter.
Under the present system, the government is bound by the names recommended by the collegium. If the government does not agree, it can only return it once and if the collegium reiterates it, the government is bound by it.

Posted by Kamal Kumar Pandey (Adv. Supreme Court of India) at Thursday, June 03, 2010

3 Responses

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