SC order on cattle sale for slaughter

i. Sentencing of Vijay Mallya deferred: The Supreme Court has indefinitely deferred the sentencing of Vijay Mallya of the UB Group in relation to its finding that he was guilty of criminal contempt for making an unclear disclosure of his assets, in connection to a claim made by a consortium of creditors led by the State Bank of India. The Attorney General stated that the extradition proceedings were to start in December this year [State Bank of India v. Kingfisher Airlines Ltd., SLP(C) 6828 of 2016, order dated 14.07.2017].

ii. No coercive action against lawyers and law firms under GST: In a case brought by a Delhi-based lawyer, the Delhi High Court directed that no coercive action is to be taken against any lawyer or law firms for the non-compliance with GST till the Central Government issued a clarification in this regard. The Court noted that there was no clarity as to whether all legal services were covered by GST or whether it applied only to representational services provided by lawyers and law firms [J.K. Mittal & Co. v. Union of India, W.P.(C) No. 5709 of 2017 dated 12.07.2017]. The Finance Ministry has subsequently released a clarification that GST would be applicable to all services provided by lawyers.

iii. PIL seeking deferral of GST dismissed: The Bombay High Court dismissed a public interest petition seeking that the implementation of GST be deferred on the ground that it was being implemented in the midst of a financial year and its implementation had no sanction of Parliament. The Court, however, found that GST had the backing of law and dismissed the petition [Dr. Kanagabpathy Sundarm Pillai v. Union Govt. of India, PIL(L) No. 65 of 2017, order dated 11.07.2017]

iv. Burberry granted injunction against website: Noted fashion brand Burberry was granted a permanent injunction by the Delhi High Court against the website www.99lables.com, prohibiting them from using their trademarks - Burberry, the brown and black Burberry Check and the Equestrian Knight [Burberry Ltd. v. 99labels.com, C.S.(OS) 2306 of 2013, order dated 10.07.2017].

v. Compensation to acid attacks victims: The Calcutta High Court held that victims of acid attacks could receive compensation under the victim compensation scheme of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, even if the acid attack had taken place prior to compensation being introduced in the law in 2009 [Piyali Dutta v. The State of West Bengal, W.P. No. 26174 of 2014, order dated 07.07.2017]

vi. Calcutta HC criticizes Union Government for delaying judicial appointments: The Calcutta High Court came down heavily on the Central Government for failing to appoint a sufficient number judges to the Court. It noted that currently the strength of the court was only 50% of the sanctioned strength, with seven more judges to retire by February next year, which would bring the vacancy to 66%. It directed the issues be placed before the Union Law Minister to ensure that it is resolved with priority [In the matter of Bikram Chatterjee, C.R.M. 5169 of 2017, order dated 12.07.2017]

vii. Overseas citizens to be treated on par with NRIs in medical admissions: The Karnataka High Court held that persons, registered as Overseas Citizens of India (OCI), were entitled to be treated on par with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in the field of education. It further held that they were entitled to appear for the All India Pre-Medical Test and other such tests for admission in medical institutes on part with NRIs [Soundarya Muthumari v. Union of India, W.P. 23448 of 2017, order dated 07.11.2017].

viii. TN 85% reservation for medical colleges quashed: The Madras High Court struck down the 85% reservation in government medical colleges and government seats in self- financed medical colleges for students who studied in the Tamil Nadu State Board. The court found that the rule was discriminatory, arbitrary and unreasonable [V.S. Sai Sachin v. State of Tamil Nadu, W.P. 16341 of 2017, order dated 14.07.2017]

ix. Synthetic manjha banned: The National Green Tribunal imposed a total ban on manjha, the thread used for kite flying, made of nylon or other synthetic material or covered with a synthetic material. The Tribunal banned both its sale as well as import into India. The orders were passed on a petition by persons highlighting the fatal accidents caused by kite flying to humans, birds and animals [Khalid Ashraf v. Union of India, Original Application No. 384 of 2014, order dated 11.07.2017]

x. NCLT reinstates Vikram Bakshi in McDonalds dispute: The National Company Law Tribunal has directed the reinstatement of Vikram Bakshi as the Managing Director of Connaught Plaza Restaurants Ltd., which is a 50:50 joint venture between him and McDonald’s. The Tribunal held the proceedings of the board meeting in August 2013 where Vikram Bakshi was not elected as Managing Director were illegal, unjust and mala fide. As the Board was divided 50:50, the Tribunal appointed Justice G.S. Singhvi, former judge of the Supreme Court, to act as an administrator with the power to vote at the meetings of the board [Vikram Bakshi v. Connaught Plaza Restaurants Ltd., C.P. No. 110(ND) of 2013 order dated 13.07.2017]

xi. Compensation to man used as human shield: The Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission awarded a sum of Rs. 10 lakh to Farooq Ahmad Dar, who was chained to the front of a military jeep and used as a human shield. The Commission stated that the compensation was for the humiliation, physical and psychiatric torture, stress and wrongful confinement

Other Legal and Policy Developments

xii. The Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reform has sought the impeachment of Justice Hemant Gupta, judge of the MP High Court, for attempting to influence an investigation by the Enforcement Department Against him.

xiii. The RBI has issued a circular limiting the liability of a customer with respect to unauthorised transactions. A customer will face zero liability, if her or she reports an unauthorised transaction within three days.
[www.rbi.org.in/scripts/NotificationUser.aspx?Id=11040&Mode=0]  (IPA/Concluded)

Sunday, 23 July, 2017