Today’s Legal Updates

Tesday, 6th June 2023

Legal Awareness: – CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

Part – IXA THE MUNICIPALITIES

Article – 243Q Constitution of Municipalities.

  1. There shall be constituted in every State,—
    • (a) a Nagar Panchayat (by whatever name called) for a transitional area, that is to say, an area in transition from a rural area to an urban area.
    • (b) a Municipal Council for a smaller urban area.
    • (c) a Municipal Corporation for a larger urban area, in accordance with the provisions of this Part:
      Provided that a Municipality under this clause may not be constituted in such urban area or part thereof as the Governor may, having regard to the size of the area and the municipal services being provided or proposed to be provided by an industrial establishment in that area and such other factors as he may deem fit, by public notification, specify to be an industrial township.
  2. In this article, “a transitional area”, “a smaller urban area” or “a larger urban area” means such area as the Governor may, having regard to the population of the area, the density of the population therein, the revenue generated for local administration, the percentage of employment in non-agricultural activities, the economic importance or such other factors as he may deem fit, specify by public notification for the purposes of this Part.

Today’s Legal Updates: 

  1. On Tuesday the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD), the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) and other lawyers’ bodies in the capital have sought a stay on the recently issued Bar Council of India (BCI) Rules allowing the entry of foreign lawyers and law firms to practice foreign law in India on a reciprocity basis.
    • BCD has submitted an interim report to the BCI stating that it had appointed a special committee on 20th March 2023 to consider the BCI Rules for registration and regulation of foreign lawyers and law firms in India.
    • the report, The same has been issued without taking the legal fraternity across the country into confidence.
    • The interim report of BCD contained the deliberations which took place in the three meetings held by the special committee.
      • Legal profession in India, which is considered to be noble, would come within the definition of commercial activity.
      • There is no categorical provision for reciprocity as Indian lawyers need to register with solicitor firms and are required to pass Solicitor Qualification Examination (SQE).
      • Advocates will be subjected to the jurisdiction of consumer forum and will have to face cases lodged by their clients before the consumer redressal forum.
      • Foreign lawyers would be free to advertise, solicit, share commissions, which is not permissible to Indian lawyers under the Advocates Act and BCI Rules.
  2. On Friday (2nd June) the Kohima Bench of the Gauhati High Court set aside a Nagaland government order issued in 2020 to ban the sale and consumption of dog meat in the State. (Neizevolie Kuotsu Alias Toni Kuotsu and ors v. State of Nagaland and ors)
    • Justice Marli Vankung held that the government could not have banned dog meat without there being any legal backing to the same.
    • the order, the prohibition of sale and consumption of dog meat, by the Executive branch of the Government, without there being any law passed by the legislation in relation to trade and consumption of dog meat is liable thus to be set aside even though the impugned notification dated 04.07.2020 is said to have been passed in accordance with a Cabinet decision.
    • The meat of dogs is consumed only in some parts of the North Eastern states and the very idea of consuming dog meat is alien in other parts of the country. The thought of adding canine/dogs as an animal for human consumption under regulation 2.5.1(a) would be inconceivable, since consumption of dog meat would be considered unthinkable…The consumption of dog meat appears to be an accepted norm and food amongst the Nagas even in modern times, wherein the petitioners are able to earn their livelihood by transporting dogs and selling of dog meat.
  3. On Tuesday the Calcutta High Court refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a social activist alleging gadgets and spyware like Pegasus to invade the privacy of civil society.  (Sujit Kumar Datta vs State of West Bengal)
    • A division bench of Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya said that the prayers made by the petitioner were vague.
    • the bench said, the prayers made are vague thus, we do not deem it fit to entertain the petition. However, we grant liberty to the petitioner to make representation before appropriate authorities, if his individual privacy is invaded.
  4. On Tuesday a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Bar Council of India (BCI) and its counterparts in England and Wales has confirmed that the English and Welsh legal services market is open to Indian lawyers and law firms, subject to certain restrictions.
    • The Law Society and the Bar Council of England and Wales have agreed to support the implementation of the BCI’s regulations to permit the practice of English law by English and Welsh lawyers and law firms in India in international commercial arbitration and non-litigious matters only, on the basis of reciprocity.
    • Schedule A of the MoU contains the conditions and restrictions on practice of foreign lawyers in the UK. Foreign lawyers in England and Wales are free to practice any kind of law, including English and Welsh law, and without any requalification requirement, except for the following activities:
      • The exercise of a right to audience in the courts and certain tribunals
      • The conduct of litigation
      • Reserved instrument activities
      • Probate activities
      • Notarial activities
      • Administration of oaths.
    • Foreign lawyers can practice in England and Wales as:
      • a) sole practitioners,
      • b) in a partnership of foreign lawyers,
      • c) as an assistant or consultant with a firm of foreign lawyers,
      • d) in partnership with solicitors,
      • e) as an employee of a solicitor and
      • f) as in-house lawyers.
  5. On Tuesday the Punjab and Haryana High Court refused to stay the development of the Punjab section of the Delhi-Katra Expressway.  (Darshan Singh and Ors. vs Union of India and Ors.)
    • A bench of Justices Lisa Gill and Ritu Tagore found no ground to grant interim relief to 127 petitioners who contended that their houses and other structures were being demolished for the project without any supplementary award being passed.
    • The petitioners claimed that they were not aware of any supplementary award and that they had not received any compensation. They sought to raise other arguments and pleas challenging the very acquisition of land itself.
    • the Court, Be that as it may, at this stage arguments were addressed qua interim relief. We do not find any ground whatsoever to grant any interim relief at this stage to scuttle the project namely ‘Development of Punjab Section of Delhi-Katra Expressway including green field connectivity to Amritsar.
  6. On Monday the Bombay High Court refused to grant any interim relief to Atomberg Technologies Pvt. Ltd. in their suit alleging design infringement and passing off against Luker Electric Technologies Pvt. Ltd.  (Atomberg Technologies Private Limited v. Luker Electric Technologies Private Limited)
    • Single-judge Justice Manish Pitale refused to retrain Luker Electric from manufacturing the ceiling fans in question, noting that Atomberg failed to make out a prima facie case in its favour or show that it would suffer irreparable loss if interim relief is not granted.
    • the Court held, This Court finds that the plaintiff has not been able to make out that ‘something more’, as required under law, to successfully claim interim reliefs against the defendants, even on the aspect of passing off.
  7. On Tuesday the Kerala High Court granted bail to the two persons who allegedly restrained and assaulted a woman advocate commissioner during a local inspection that she was conducting on the orders passed by a munsiff court.  (Sanu & Anr. v State of Kerala)
    • Justice Ziyad Rahman AA granted bail to the two men after taking note of the fact that the accused persons were in judicial custody since 12th April this year.
    • The Court was considering a bail application filed by two persons charged of committing offences punishable under Sections 294(b) (obscene acts and songs), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public person from discharging duty), 324 (voluntarily hurt by dangerous weapons), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), and 506(i) (criminal intimidation), read with Section 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
    • the Court’s order, After taking into account all relevant aspects, including the fact that the petitioners have been under judicial custody since 12.04.2023, I am inclined to grant bail to the petitioners subject to appropriate conditions to ensure that they are not influencing the witnesses. This is mainly because, taking note of the period of detention undergone by the petitioners and the stage of the investigation, further incarceration of the petitioners appears to be not necessary.
  8. On Monday the Supreme Court sustained the finding of guilt against a Delhi Technological University (DTU) student found to have used unfair means in his second-semester examination.  (Yogesh Parihar v Delhi Technical University and Ors)
    • A bench of Justices BR Gavai and Sanjay Karol, however, found that the punishment imposed on him directing him to register for the second semester of his course afresh, was disproportionate to his actions and therefore, reduced the same.
    • the Court said, we do not find that the finding of the High Court that the petitioner was guilty of malpractice needs to be interfered, we find that the punishment awarded is disproportionate to the act found to be proved against the petitioner. Therefore, in the fact and circumstances of the case, we reduce the punishment imposed by the High Court upon the petitioner 1 from Category IV to Category II.
  9. On Monday the Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA) in partnership with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), held the Second Edition of Arbitrating Indo-UK Commercial Disputes Conference in London.
    • Supreme Court Judge Justice Hima Kohli, while delivering the keynote address at the conference provided insights into the challenges and opportunities of arbitrating Indo-UK commercial disputes and emphasised on the fact that judiciary is actively working for an impartial and fair ADR system.
    • Union Minister for Law & Justice Arjun Ram Meghwal, in his special address told that I am sure various reforms undertaken by the Indian Government, including in the field of dispute resolution, will further act as incentive for investors and a stimulus for increasing cooperation in various sectors and take India-UK relations to new heights.
    • Member of Blackstone Chambers and Former Solicitor General Harish Salve KC, shared his expertise and insights during his address at the conference, and said that the journey has begun and it’s time for all stakeholders to come together and make India the next hub of arbitration, like London.
    • Deputy High Commissioner of the India High Commission at the UK Sujit Ghosh, graced the occasion with his insightful address, emphasizing the importance of strengthening the bilateral arbitration ties between India and the United Kingdom.
    • Vice President of the Indian Council of Arbitration and Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India Geeta Luthra, extended her vote of thanks. Ms. Luthra’s expertise and contributions to the field of arbitration further expected to elevate the importance of this conference.

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