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Adv. Manoj Laxman Shirsat vs. Bar Council of India (Bombay High Court)

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DATE: March 30, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 31, 2017 (Date of publication)
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Strike by Advocates: Giving a call to protest when the Bill is still at a draft stage is premature. Wisdom has to prevail on the Advocates in the light of the law laid down in Harish Uppal AIR 2003 SC 739. The law laid down by the Supreme Court is binding on the Advocates as well under Article 141 of the Constitution. The lawyers' community has to appreciate their responsibility in discharging the duties of their profession

If one has to understand the implication or consequences of abstaining from work in general terms, the strike would mean abstaining from work apart form other meanings. It is nothing but demonstration of protest against the suggestions or resolution denying in line with the demand. It can also mean temporary stoppage of activities in protest against any act or a condition imposed. Petitioners’ counsel also rely upon the order dated 5th December 2016 passed in Contempt Petition (C) No.19/2016 in Writ Petition (C) No.132/1988 (Prem Prakash Panigrahi v. Md.Shabbir Ahmed and others) on the file of the Apex Court so also the judgment of the Division Bench of this Court dated 27th October 2014 passed in PIL No.75/2014 (Adv.Manoj Laxman Shirsat v. Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa). The observations in the case of Capt. Harish Uppal v. Union of India (supra) indicate that the proceedings inside the Court are always expected to be held which commands confidence of the public in the efficacy of the institution of the Courts. In the said decision, the Apex Court has also referred to the duties, obligations, responsibilities and the divine work of the community of the lawyers while discharging their professional duties

S. Baskar Mathuram vs. The State of Tamil Nadu (Madras High Court)

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DATE: August 22, 2016 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 26, 2016 (Date of publication)
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A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a lawyer to gain popularity and publicity and attract more clients amounts to an unethical practice of soliciting work and is in violation of the Code of Conduct. The Media should not publish the names of the advocates who appeared in any case as it is an indirect method of soliciting work or indulging in advertisement of the professional abilities or skills of the advocates. The Media should also not publish the names of the Judges unless it is so essentially required

Often times, we have been noticing that the Print and Electronic Media is carrying on publication of the names of legal practitioners as well as the names of the Judges of the High Court concerned, who dealt with particular cases, publication of names of practitioners who may have appeared for one party or the other in a particular case can lead to an indirect method of soliciting or indulging in advertisement of the professional abilities or skills of the advocates. We, therefore, direct the Registrar (Administration) of this Bench to immediately circulate instructions to all Print, Electronic and Media Houses not to publish the names of the practitioners as part of news item

Sales Tax Tribunal Bar Association vs. The State of Maharashtra (Bombay High Court)

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DATE: June 28, 2016 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 6, 2016 (Date of publication)
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Severe strictures passed at the attitude of the Government in creating “hurdles and obstacles in the smooth working and functioning of all the tribunals and courts” and the fact that the “State has yet to adopt a culture of respect and regard for the judiciary”. Directions given that issue of allotment of residential quarters to Tribunal Members should not be kept a “closely guarded secret” but made public

It is these dismal state of affairs which compel us to observe as above. We are still apprehensive for this State has yet to adopt a culture of respect and regard for the judiciary. The judiciary is an important organ of the State. The State has a wider connotation and included in it are the legislature, executive and the judiciary. The executive wing of the State Government continues to show disrespect and disregard to the judiciary in matters which are of above routine nature. We have seen precious time being wasted on the judicial side on such trivial issues. There are ways and means by which the General Administration Department and the Finance Department of the State create hurdles and obstacles in the smooth working and functioning of all the tribunals and courts set up by the State.

Uttam vs. Saubhag Singh (Supreme Court)

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DATE: March 2, 2016 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 18, 2016 (Date of publication)
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Important law on concept of "ancestral property" under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 and the formation of a HUF by the surviving members of the deceased explained

On a conjoint reading of Sections 4, 8 and 19 of the Act, after joint family property has been distributed in accordance with section 8 on principles of intestacy, the joint family property ceases to be joint family property in the hands of the various persons who have succeeded to it as they hold the property as tenants in common and not as joint tenants

Prakash vs. Phulvati (Supreme Court)

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DATE: October 16, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 16, 2016 (Date of publication)
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Law on prospective vs. retrospective operation of legislation explained. The Hindu Succession (Amendment Act), 2005 which came into effect on 09.09.2015 and by which daughters in a joint Hindu family, governed by Mitakshara law, were granted statutory right in the coparcenary property (being property not partitioned or alienated) of their fathers applies only if both the father and the daughter are alive on the date of commencement of the Amendment Act

An amendment of a substantive provision is always prospective unless either expressly or by necessary intendment it is retrospective3. In the present case, there is neither any express provision for giving retrospective effect to the amended provision nor necessary intendment to that effect. Requirement of partition being registered can have no application to statutory notional partition on opening of succession as per unamended provision, having regard to nature of such partition which is by operation of law. The intent and effect of the Amendment will be considered a little later. On this finding, the view of the High Court cannot be sustained. Interpretation of a provision depends on the text and the context (RBI vs. Peerless (1987) 1 SCC 424, para 33). Normal rule is to read the words of a statute in ordinary sense. In case of ambiguity, rational meaning has to be given (Kehar Singh vs. State (1988) 3 SCC 609). In case of apparent conflict, harmonious meaning to advance the object and intention of legislature has to be given (District Mining Officer vs. Tata Iron and Steel Co. (2001) 7 SCC 358)

Sujata Sharma vs. Manu Gupta (Delhi High Court)

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DATE: December 22, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 16, 2016 (Date of publication)
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Pursuant to the amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 by the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 all rights which were available to a Hindu male are now also available to a Hindu female. A daughter is now recognised as a co-parcener by birth in her own right and has the same rights in the co-parcenary property that are given to a son. Consequently, the eldest daughter is entitled to be the Karta of the HUF

The impediment which prevented a female member of a HUF from becoming its Karta was that she did not possess the necessary qualification of co-parcenership. Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act is a socially beneficial legislation; it gives equal rights of inheritance to Hindu males and females. Its objective is to recognise the rights of female Hindus as co-parceners and to enhance their right to equality apropos succession. Therefore, Courts would be extremely vigilant apropos any endeavour to curtail or fetter the statutory guarantee of enhancement of their rights. Now that this disqualification has been removed by the 2005 Amendment, there is no reason why Hindu women should be denied the position of a Karta. If a male member of an HUF, by virtue of his being the first born eldest, can be a Karta, so can a female member. The Court finds no restriction in the law preventing the eldest female co-parcener of an HUF, from being its Karta. The plaintiff’s father‟s right in the HUF did not dissipate but was inherited by her. Nor did her marriage alter the right to inherit the co-parcenary to which she succeeded after her father‟s demise in terms of Section 6

Pralhad @ Pratap s/o Tanbaji Pawar vs. State of Maharashtra (Bombay High Court)

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DATE: January 27, 2016 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 5, 2016 (Date of publication)
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High Court Shocked At Loot Of Taxpayers Funds By Corrupt Babus. Calls For Non-Cooperation Movement By Taxpayers To Eradicate "Hydra Headed Monster" Of Corruption

Hon’ble Justice A. B. Chaudhari of the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court has passed severe strictures against the Government for turning a blind eye to the rampant corruption in the Country. The learned Judge lamented that “It shocks one and all as to the manner in which the taxpayers’ money is being swindled, misappropriated and robbed by such unscrupulous holders of posts”.

He also pointed that corruption has become the order of the day over the past few decades and that taxpayers are helpless victims of the sordid state of affairs.

Does the taxpayers pay the money to the Government for such kind of acrobatics being played” Justice Chaudhari asked in a rhetorical manner.

He also lamented that ethics and morals have taken a back seat in modern India’s scheme of things. He opined that to eradicate the “hydra headed monster” of corruption, citizens have to come together to tell their Governments that they have had enough. He also recommended that taxpayers’ may have to resort to refuse to pay taxes by a “non-cooperation movement“.

The learned Judge also found fault with the attitude of the employees’ unions who are otherwise very vigilant about their rights. He expressed surprise that the Unions do not “condemn, outcast or demonstrate against their counterpart bureaucracy indulging in corruption” and on the contrary support their misdeeds.

Shamsher Singh Verma vs. State of Haryana (Supreme Court)

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DATE: November 24, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 29, 2015 (Date of publication)
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S. 3 of Indian Evidence Act: A "Compact Disc" (CD) is a "document" and is admissible as evidence

In view of the definition of ‘document’ in Evidence Act, and the law laid down by this Court, as discussed above, we hold that the compact disc is also a document. It is not necessary for the court to obtain admission or denial on a document under sub-section (1) to Section 294 CrPC personally from the accused or complainant or the witness. The endorsement of admission or denial made by the counsel for defence, on the document filed by the prosecution or on the application/report with which same is filed, is sufficient compliance of Section 294 CrPC

The Income Tax Bar Association vs. UOI (Allahabad High Court)

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DATE: September 17, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 17, 2015 (Date of publication)
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Allotment of residential accommodation to ITAT Members should be dealt with by the Govt fairly and on a high-priority basis to enable them to discharge judicial work efficiently

The learned Additional Solicitor General has stated that the matter of allotment of residential accommodation to members of the ITAT shall be dealt with fairly and on a priority basis. We are of the view that the same principle should be followed for the future so as to obviate writ petitions being required to be filed by members of the Tribunal or on their behalf before this Court. Unless proper accommodation is made available to the members of the ITAT, the work on the judicial side cannot be expected to be discharged with a degree of efficiency. This is a matter which should be dealt with on a high priority in all respects. We record the assurance of the ASG as noted above

P. Satyanarayana Murthy vs. Dist. Inspector of Police (Supreme Court)

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DATE: September 14, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 17, 2015 (Date of publication)
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Acche Din For Corrupt Babus: Mere possession and recovery of currency notes from an accused is not sufficient to establish an offense under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Proof of demand of illegal gratification is essential. Its absence is fatal to the complaint

Mere possession and recovery of currency notes from an accused without proof of demand would not establish an offence under Sections 7 as well as 13(1)(d)(i)&(ii) of the Act. In the absence of any proof of demand for illegal gratification, the use of corrupt or illegal means or abuse of position as a public servant to obtain any valuable thing or pecuniary advantage cannot be held to be proved. The proof of demand is an indispensable essentiality and of permeating mandate for an offence under Sections 7 and 13 of the Act. Qua Section 20 of the Act, which permits a presumption as envisaged therein, it has been held that while it is extendable only to an offence under Section 7 and not to those under Section 13(1)(d) (i)&(ii) of the Act, it is contingent as well on the proof of acceptance of illegal gratification for doing or forbearing to do any official act. Such proof of acceptance of illegal gratification, it was emphasized, could follow only if there was proof of demand. Axiomatically, in absence of proof of demand, such legal presumption under Section 20 of the Act would also not arise. As a corollary, failure of the prosecution to prove the demand for illegal gratification would be fatal and mere recovery of the amount from the person accused of the offence under Sections 7 or 13 of the Act would not entail his conviction thereunder

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