Today’s Legal Updates

Tuesday, 29th November 2022





Article – 176 Special address by the Governor.

  1. At the commencement of [the first session after each general election to the Legislative Assembly and at the commencement of the first session of each year], the Governor shall address the Legislative Assembly or, in the case of a State having a Legislative Council, both Houses assembled together and inform the Legislature of the causes of its summons.
  2. Provision shall be made by the rules regulating the procedure of the House or either House for the allotment of time for discussion of the matters referred to in such address.

Today’s Legal Updates: 

  1. Today A queer lawyer has written to Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud requesting a modification in Supreme Court appearance slips so as to include an additional column where lawyers’ pronouns can be added.
    • the letter, While this may seem simple, and such a change will only require an administrative direction from you, it will go a long way in affirming the identities of the queer lawyers that appear before the Supreme Court.
    • Use of correct pronouns in orders and judgements of the Court will affirm identities and challenge discriminatory attitudes, which, as your lordship will be well aware, is heightened when the subject of these attitudes is queer. The wrong pronouns in orders and judgements can disempower, demean, and reinforce exclusion.
    • In the long run, the lawyers who submit briefs to the Court should be instructed to use gender-inclusive techniques and eliminate the methods we were trained to use in law school.
  2. On Tuesday the Supreme Court allowed the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) to pursue its February 2019 application seeking permission to fell 84 trees to construct the Aarey Metro depot. (In Re: Felling of Trees at Aarey Forest)
    • when such a large outlay of public funds is involved this Court cannot be oblivious to the dislocation of public fund if a project like this is disregarded. Environmental concerns are important as all development must be sustainable.
    • close to 13.85 lakh passengers would benefit from the metro everyday. Now ₹22,000 crores have already been spent at Aarey Milk Colony and now Kanjurmarg cannot be called as an available alternate site and 95 percent of the project is over. Only shunting has to take place, the alternative site is now only more academic.
    • Senior Advocates CU Singh told The [government-appointed] committee found ₹1,850 crores will be saved if it is merged with Kanjurmarg and that it serves as a better place for insertion of trains to come inside or leave. No residential places also nearby.
    • Senior Advocates Shenoy submitted, There are 40 different species of trees in the area. Look at the tree cover around this place. The Central Pollution Control Board has its own guidelines of which category of industry causes pollution, and a train or car shed is a red category industry which causes most pollution and which will be there in this ecologically sensitive area…It is an endowment for us and we should not decimate it to easily.
  3. On Tuesday A Metropolitan Magistrate in Delhi dismissed as meritless a complaint lodged by the Income Tax Department against Newslaundry, it’s directors, valuers, and shareholders.  (Income Tax Department v. Newslaundry Media Pvt Ltd and Ors)
    • the Court said, It is not out of place to mention that the most famed internet based platforms like Amazon India, Flipkart, Zomato, Big Bazaar and Byju’s etc. are all incurring massive loses year after year and yet their shares are being subscribed to by all private equity investors valuing these platforms at tens of thousands of crores. Seen in this context coupled with the fact that the accused company has started making profit and is generating cash from operations, the valuation of equity shares given by the valuer as per DCF method does not seem to be lofty at all and it certainly can not be termed as bogus.
    • Firstly, there was no attempt to evade tax, it is not the case of the complainant that accused no.1 did not disclose the factum of allotment of shares at premium in its accounts or financial statements. It is also not the case of the complainant that there was any wrong entry in the books of accounts, balance sheet and income tax return.
    • All the information that the complainant is relying upon is supplied by the accused. All the information was disclosed in the books of accounts. There may be different points of view on what is to be treated as an item of revenue and what is to be treated as capital receipt but it does not amount to wilful attempt to evade tax. Even a tax exemption wrongly claimed under a bona fide belief would not make section 276C of the Act applicable to assessee.
    • one of the best methods to value a startup is DCF method as other methods which take income, assets or net worth as basis for valuation of a business are bound to give negative value of business as none of these methods are forward looking and initially most start ups incur loses because most businesses have a gestation period,.
  4. On Monday A lawyer wrote to Attorney General for India R Venkataramani seeking his consent to initiate criminal contempt of court proceedings against an Information Commissioner (IC) for making scandalous observations against the Supreme Court.
    • ccording to Rein’s letter, the IC’s order lowered the authority of the Supreme Court by observing as under, A religious (Islamic) nation Pakistan was born out of the demand of a section of Indian Muslims for partition of India along religious lines. Despite Pakistan choosing to be a religious (Islamic) nation, India chose a Constitution guaranteeing equal rights to all religions. It is necessary to note here that it was the policy of giving special benefits to Muslim community before 1947 that played a key role in encouraging pan-Islamic and fissiparous tendencies in a section of Muslims ultimately leading to the nation’s partition.
    • So giving salaries to Imams and others only in mosques, amounts to not just betraying the Hindu community and members of other non-Muslim Minority religions but also encouraging pan-Islamist tendencies amongst a section of Indian Muslims which are already visible. Steps like giving special religious benefits to Muslim community only like the one taken up in the present matter, in fact severely affects interfaith harmony as they invite contempt for the Muslims as a whole from a section of ultra nationalist population.
  5. On Tuesday Senior Advocate Indira Jaising has written to Bombay High Court Chief Justice Dipankar Datta requesting deletion of a rule requiring advocates applying for senior designations to get recommendations from already designated seniors.
    • her letter stated, There are deserving people specially belonging to marginalised communities who would not get designated merely because they are not a part of the traditional old boys’ club of designated seniors. It is well known that such networks have thrived in the legal profession and the designation of a woman or a person belonging to a minority is still a rarity.
    • the letter underscored, The two systems for applying on the basis of a recommendation and being evaluated on a point system are in contradiction to each other. Making such a recommendation from two senior counsels mandatory for even applying to be designated will create further hurdles for these groups to be designated,.
  6. On Tuesday Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain has approached the Delhi High Court challenging a trial court order denying him bail in the money laundering case filed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) against him.  (Satyendar Kumar Jain v. Directorate of Enforcement, HQs Represented by the Assistant Director)
    • In the opinion of this court, ‘proceeds of crime’ was the amount which was generated by applicant/accused Satyendar Kumar Jain while working as a Minister in the Government of Delhi, for which he could not satisfactorily account for.
    • Shareholding of applicant/accused Satyendar Kumar Jain in the companies would have been relevant if the companies had earned income through legitimate means.
    • the order said,Jain had knowingly done such activity to obliterate the tracing of the source of ill-gotten money and accordingly, the proceeds of crime was layered through Kolkata based entry operators in a way that its source was difficult to decipher.
  7. On Monday the Calcutta High Court held that once a regular case of a scheduled offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) is quashed, the subsequent case registered cannot sustain.  (M/s Nik Nish Retail Ltd v. Assistant Director, Enforcement Directorate)
    • Justice Subhendu Samanta said in the judgment, The quashing of FIR of regular case automatically created a situation that the offences, stated and alleged in the FIR has no existence; thus the “Scheduled Offence” has also no existence after quashing of the FIR. When there is no “Scheduled Offence”, the proceeding initiated under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 cannot stand alone.
  8. On Tuesday the Madras High Court closed the suo motu proceedings it had initiated against Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore earlier this month following an incident of a first-year medical student being ragged, beaten up, and tortured by his seniors.
    • Srinivasan told the Bench, Now there is also the fear of law and fear of God in the minds of the students.
    • Justice Raja said while closing the proceedings. We didn’t even know about the incident. Some of our brother judges came to know about it and asked us to see what was happening. They told us that the principal bench must do something. That is how we took up the matter.
    • the Bench had queried, f it had happened somewhere in the interiors, we would not have taken suo motu cognisance. But CMC is a premier college. If you and I don’t take appropriate action, tomorrow one will say ‘when it happened at CMC nothing happened.’ Will a young student want to come study in your college now? What are you going to do now? How will you ensure that the quality of education is not impacted?

Legal Prudent Fraternity