February 10th, 2013
Abhyaas Law Bulletin …
For the quintessential CLAT aspirant
The Scoop Of The Month
The Editor’s Column Dear Student, Welcome to the February edition of the Abhyaas law Bulletin. The Justice Verma Committee setup by the Center to look into ‘Amendments to Criminal Laws’ with respect to violence against women submitted its report. The report was hailed by all sections of society. Acting on the report, the Government promulgated an ordinance making changes to the existing provisions in IPC(Indian Penal Code) and CrPC.(Criminal Procedure Code). Political parties and Civil Society Organizations protested against the ordinance as it excludes some of the key recommendations of the Justice Verma Report. After dozens of civil society and women’s organisations termed the sexual offences ordinance approved by the Cabinet an anti-thesis of the Justice Verma Committee report, President Pranab Mukherjee accorded his assent to it. At a news conference, women’s rights activists had questioned the motives of the government in going ahead with the ordinance post-haste and appealed to the President not to sign it. They are chalking out plans for nationwide protests to pressure Parliament not to allow the government to have its way. Coming less than three weeks ahead of the budget session, the ordinance makes changes in the criminal law by amending the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC) and the Evidence Act. It provides for capital punishment in cases of rape that leads to death or leaves the victim in “persistent vegetative state,” a proposal disfavoured by the Verma Committee. The ordinance would have a life of six months unless Parliament approves a bill or bills incorporating the amendments effected to the IPC, the Cr.PC and the Evidence Act. The government (Contd…..)
Ordinance on sexual offences promulgated
The Government announced a hike in diesel prices at a constant rate every month to bring the price on par with the global prices. The Railways also announced a hike in passenger fares after a long time.
President’s rule was imposed in Jharkhand after the Jharkhand Mukthi Morcha(JMM) withdrew its support to the BJP led government. Mumbai attacks accused David Coleman Headley was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment by a Chicago court. India expressed its happiness over the sentence.
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(Rakesh Dubbudu) Index: Page 2: National Page 3: National Page 4: Spotlight
The Law Bulletin…
February 10th, 2013 National: managers have sought to give an impression that the ordinance was meant to address ‘a sense of urgency’ in the wake of the nationwide tumult over the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student inside a bus in the national capital on December 16, 2012. The Verma Committee was constituted to recommend changes to the law for addressing such brutal sexual offences. As if responding to civil society’s anguish over the dichotomy between the ordinance and the Committee report, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said: “All you can do is that when Parliament is not in session, we can promulgate an ordinance. It does not mean that widespread consultations cannot take place when the actual bill is brought in Parliament.” He asked the women’s organisations and all political parties to come together for widespread consultations with “all the sensitivity” needed. Besides the death sentence, the ordinance enhances punishment for other crimes like stalking, voyeurism, acid attacks, indecent gestures or words and inappropriate touch. Activist Kavita Krishnan, addressing a press conference here, said: “We wonder what objective and purpose will be served by such a hasty, non-transparent measure since the ordinance does not retrospectively apply to the Delhi gang rape case.” Verma panel says no to death penalty The Justice Verma Committee formed to look into crimes against women ruled against recommending the death penalty even in the rarest of the rare rape cases, and also did not favour lowering the age of a juvenile from 18 to 16. The committee, which was tasked with suggesting legal reforms to deal with sexual assault cases, however said the minimum sentence for a rapist should be enhanced from 7 years to 10 and that life imprisonment must always mean jail for ‘the entire natural life of the convict’. It has also recommended forming a new constitutional authority like the CAG for dealing with issues related to education and nondiscrimination of women and children. Presenting the report on ‘Amendments to Criminal Law’, Mr. Verma said at a time when there were talks of abolishing the death sentence, the committee has “enhanced the punishment to mean the remainder of life”. An overwhelming majority of scholars and women’s organisations told the committee they were strongly against death penalty. After the gangrape and death of the para-medical student in Delhi last month that led to a nationwide uproar, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had said that the government favoured death sentence in the rarest of the rare rape cases. He had then announced formation of a threemember committee headed by the former Chief Justice of India, with former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh Justice Leila Seth and former Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramaniam as its members. “According to the Working Group on Human Rights, the murder rate has declined consistently in India over the last 20 years despite the slowdown in the execution of death sentences since 1980. Hence we do take note of the argument that introduction of death penalty for rape may not have a deterrent effect,” the Committee recommended. The Committee also said that in the proposed Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 2012, the minimum sentence for punishment for rape should be enhanced to a minimum of 10 years (currently it is 7 years) with maximum punishment being life imprisonment. The Committee said castration would be unconstitutional and inconsistent with basic human rights treaties to expose any citizen without their consent to potentially dangerous medical side effects. On the issue of reducing the age of a juvenile from 18 to 16, Mr. Verma said: “Assuming that a person at the age of 16 is sent to life imprisonment, he would be released sometimes in the mid-30s. There is little assurance that the convict would emerge a reformed person.” The Committee has criticised lack of reformatory and rehabilitation policies in jails and juvenile homes. Read the summary of the report here.
The Law Bulletin…
February 10th, 2013 Padma Awards for Jaspal Bhatti, Gayatri Spivak, Sridevi Here is the full list of Padma Awardees for this year. Rule of reservation can be applied only during final selection, says High Court Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) should apply the rule of reservations only during final selection of a recruitment drive and not at every stage of selection such as written test, physical examination and oral test, the Madras High Court has ruled. In a judgement reserved in the Principal Seat of the High Court in Chennai but delivered in the Madurai Bench, Justice S. Nagamuthu also held as illegal a provisional selection list published by TNPSC last year for filling up 80 vacancies in the post of Forest Apprentice through direct recruitment. SC quashes Chandrashekaraiah’s appointment as Upalokayukta The Governor of Karnataka can appoint the Lokayukta or the Upalokayukta only on the advice tendered by the Chief Minister, and the Chief Justice of the High Court is only one of the consultees, and his views will have no primacy, the Supreme Court held. A Bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Madan B. Lokur gave this ruling in different, but concurring, judgments while quashing the appointment of the former judge K. Chandrashekaraiah as the Upalokayukta by notification on January 21, 2012. The Bench upheld the Karnataka High Court order quashing the appointment. Haryana, U.P. Police give clean chit to khaps before Court Whose baby are missing children? Supreme Court summons 6 Chief Secretaries Expressing serious concern over the plight of missing children, the Supreme Court summoned the Chief Secretaries of six States for not responding to the notice issued on a public interest litigation petition. A Bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justices J. Chelameswar and Vikaramajit Sen expressed dissatisfaction with the lukewarm response from all State governments, in particular Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Arunachal Pradesh. The Chief Secretaries of these six States should appear in person on February 5, as they had failed to show up before the court and file a status report. According to statistics including those available with the National Crime Research Bureau, between January 2008 and January 2010, a total of 1,17,480 children had gone missing in 392 districts and 41,546 of them were still untraced. The figure would be higher as eight States and three Union Territories had not furnished data on missing children. GAAR will come into force from April 2016
In the last four or five years, no khap or its member has been directly or indirectly involved in crime against people who went against community norms, Haryana Additional Director-General of Police (Law & Order) M.S. Mann informed the Supreme Court. He told a Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Desai, hearing a PIL petition filed by Shakti Vahini, that khap panchayats were not involved in honour killings of inter-caste or same gotra couples. A senior police officer from Uttar Pradesh also said there was no honour killing in the State. These officers supported the khaps’ contentions and said they were not fomenting any law and order problem.
Seeking to set at rest the concerns expressed by worried investors at home and abroad, the government announced the postponement of the implementation of the controversial GAAR (General Anti Avoidance Rules) by two years to April 1, 2016. The postponement and other modifications in GAAR provisions marks the acceptance of the recommendations of the Parthasarathi Shome Committee, which was set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh following concerns expressed by investors on the Budget provision in this regard and the subsequent withdrawal of portfolio investment by foreign investors.
Ex-Attorney General made Chief Justice Despite international criticism and protest by lawyers over the dismissal of former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, Sri Lanka’s former Attorney-General Mohan Peiris, who has never been on the Bench, has been appointed the Chief Justice.
The Law Bulletin…
February 10th, 2013
This month in pictures:
Justice D.K. Jain is the new Chairman of the Law Commission of India .
Halimah Yacob is the first woman Speaker of Singapore’s Parliament .
Y.V.Reddy is the Chairman of the 14th Finance Commission.
U.R. Rao is all set to join the prestigious international Satellite Hall of Fame.
Srilankan Parliament impeached Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.
General Bahadur Rana, Chief of the Army Staff of Nepal was conferred the honorary rank of Suprabal Jana Sewa Shree of the Indian Army.
Spotlight: Hidayatullah National Law University (HNLU), Raipur
"Dharma Sansthapanartham” (for the sake of establishing the primacy of the laws of eternal values) is the motto of Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur, established by the Government of Chattisgarh in 2003. HNLU is a Residential University and is sixth in the series of National Law Schools in India. HNLU has been included in the list of the Universities maintained by the University Grants Commission under Section 2(f) of the UGC Act, 1956 and has been declared fit to receive Central assistance. Admission to the B.A.LL.B. (Hons.) Program is made strictly on the basis of merit as assessed through a Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). The intake capacity for the Degree Program is eighty (80) including reservations. The HNLU has a three-storied library with an air conditioned reading hall. The HNLU Library has adopted an open access system so as to make it easier for the readers to access to the library resources thereby saving precious time. The library has a large collection of law books, case law reports and journals. HNLU has a fully air conditioned Computer Lab with sufficiently large number of Desktop Computers with Internet connectivity. Computer Lab is at use useful for preparing their project reports and Memorials for Moot Court Exercises. One of the features of HNLU is its Six Schools as Centers of Excellence in the respective fields and Six Units/Centers under each School with total of thirty six units.
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