On the Horns of a Dilemma

This state of affairs raises a key concern—will the appointment of nodal officers to check cow vigilantism be a strong enough deterrent against these incidents of mob-lynchings, especially amid reports of police apathy towards victims of such crimes in the past? Though the appointment of nodal officers was a suggestion submitted by Gandhi and Jaising, both agree that while this could be a positive first step towards checking such incidents, there’s still “much more” that needs to be done by the states and the centre. Gandhi told India Legal: “The very fact that these three states filed affidavits saying that they had appointed the nodal officers but failed to check incidents of hate crimes and lynching shows that there is no political or administrative will. These states lied to the Supreme Court in their affidavits. In all probability, the nodal officers hadn’t been appointed at all because of which cases of cow vigilantism and killings continued in these states.” The lack of seriousness shown by the states towards an obviously serious threat to law and order was evident in Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria’s response. Asked why his state’s police had failed to check incidents of hate crimes and whether the affidavit filed by the Rajasthan government on appointment of nodal officers in every district was misleading, Kataria told India Legal : “I will need to check with the concerned officials if there was an actual lapse on our part.…
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CJAR Review Petition challenging dismissal of CJAR WP seeking SIT to probe allegations in CBI FIR of bribery in a case pending before SC

Given the seminal importance of the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s role in Indian democracy, it is crucial that this institution, which is the final arbiter of the Constitution and the last sentinel guarding every citizen’s fundamental rights against encroachment by the government, is protected from any attempt to compromise its integrity and independence. Therefore, when a First Information Report is lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation against a retired High Court judge, the middlemen and other unnamed private and public functionaries, and raids are made unearthing crores of rupees meant to be used as bribes to procure a favorable order in a petition pending before this Hon’ble Court, the same must be investigated with alacrity, honesty and rigour. It is also important that such investigation, as it involves an attempt to influence the outcome of a matter which was pending before this Hon’ble Court, must not be left with an agency which is fully controlled by the Government. Therefore, alarmed by the gravity of the offences alleged in the CBI FIR, but well aware that the CBI, which is controlled by the executive, can be used to compromise the independence of the Judiciary, the present Petitioner, filed Writ Petition (Crl.) No.…
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USPTO Grants Seven New U.S. Patents to Axonics

On December 04, Axonics Modulation Technologies, Inc.—a California-based privately-held medical device company developing an innovative neuromodulation platform based on miniaturized rechargeable technology and developer of the first rechargeable Sacral Neuromodulation (r-SNM™) system for the treatment of bladder and bowel dysfunction—announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted Axonics seven new U.S. patents along with numerous foreign counterparts relating to its implantable sacral neuromodulation technology. The most recently issued patents (US patent nos. 9,802,038; 9,802,051; 9,700,731; 9,770,596; 9,728,981; 9,789,325; and 9,780,596) range in subject matter and include coverage of the Company’s external pulse generator, implantable lead design, and internal system electronics. In this regard, Axonics’ CEO Raymond W. Cohen said, “The continued growth of the Axonics patent portfolio further demonstrates the level of innovation and commitment to technical excellence behind the clinical and business milestones that the Company has reported in 2017. With these seven new U.S. patents, we presently have more than 100 granted and 80 pending patent applications in our portfolio in various jurisdictions around the world.” The Axonics patent portfolio represents technology internally developed by Axonics and technology developed under license from the Alfred Mann Foundation.…
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CJAR Statement on the Supreme Court order dismissing the CJAR petition and imposing unprecedented costs

CAMPAIGN FOR JUDICIAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND REFORMS 6/6 basement, Jangpura B, Delhi – 110014 judiciareforms@gmail.com, judicialreforms.org Patrons: Justice P.B. Sawant, Justice H Suresh, Shri Shanti Bhushan, Prof B.B. Pande, Dr. Bhasker Rao, Ms. Arundhati Roy, Shri Pradip Prabhu, Prof. Babu Mathew, Dr. Baba Adhav, Ms. Kamini Jaiswal, Shri Mihir Desai, Shri Manoj Mitta Executive Committee: Prashant Bhushan, Nikhil Dey, Cheryl Dsouza, Venkatesh Sundaram, Indu Prakash Singh, Devvrat, Siddharth Sharma, Dipa Sinha, Annie Raja, Rohit Kumar Singh, Pranav Sachdeva,Alok Prasanna Kumar, Ramesh Nathan, Vipul Mudgal, Indira Unninayar, Madhuresh Kumar, Vijayan MJ, Harish Narasappa, Koninika Ray, Anjali Bharadwaj 4th December 2017 CJAR Statement on the Supreme Court order dismissing the CJAR petition and imposing unprecedented costs The Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) strongly disagrees with the order of the Supreme Court dismissing the Writ Petition filed by the Campaign to ensure a fair and impartial investigation into the allegations of bribery of judges of the higher judiciary, to obtain favourable orders for medical colleges. To briefly recap the facts: The CBI registered a FIR in the case of Prasad Education Trust based on evidence gathered, of a criminal conspiracy including preparation and planning to pay large sums as bribes to procure a judgement in favour of the medical college, from the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court.…
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Six-member task force set up to draft new direct tax law: Govt

On November 22, the government constituted a task force for redrafting the 50-year old income tax law in sync with the economic needs of the country. Arbind Modi, CBDT Member (Legislation) as the Convener and other members, including Girish Ahuja (chartered accountant), Rajiv Memani (Chairman and Regional Managing Partner of EY) and Mansi Kedia (Consultant, ICRIER) will compose the six-member task force. In September 2017, during the annual conference of tax officers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had observed that the Income-tax Act, 1961 was drafted more than 50 years ago and it needs to be redrafted. “Accordingly, in order to review the Act and to draft a new direct tax law in consonance with economic needs of the country, the Government has constituted a task force,” a finance ministry statement said. Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian will be a permanent special invitee in the task force and the task force is expected to submit its report to the government within 6 months. Keeping in mind the tax system prevalent in various countries, the international best practices and economic needs of the country, the panel has been tasked to draft direct tax legislation. The UPA government had in 2009 come out with Direct Taxes Code to simplify the tax legislation for individual taxpayers as well as corporates, seeking to replace the existing I-T Act.…
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Press Note on an unprecedented hearing before a Constitution Bench at 3p. m. on the 10th of November, 2017

Press Note on an unprecedented hearing before a Constitution Bench at 3p. m. on the 10th of November, 2017 10th November 2017 Today the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms writ petition seeking a SIT to investigate the CBI FIR and allegations of conspiracy and payment of bribes for procuring a favourable order in a matter pending before the Supreme Court, was listed before Court No. 6. After some hearing the court directed it to be tagged along with the Kamini Jaiswal writ petition in a related matter. The Supreme Court yesterday referred the case of Kamini Jaiswal, seeking a SIT in the CBI FIR alleging conspiracy to bribe apex court judges in a medical college case, to a Constitution Bench of the senior 5 judges. In that order the court refers to an administrative note issued by the Chief Justice which has been ordered to be annexed to the order. The note was handed over to Justice Chelameswar’s bench, across the bar, by a registrar in the course of hearing. The order of the court uploaded on the website yesterday did not contain this administrative note which was directed to be annexed. However a copy of that was made available with the certified copy of the order passed by the court yesterday.…
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STARTING A SCHOOL: SOME KEY CONSIDERATIONS

“Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity” – Aristotle There is no doubt that in a country as diverse as India, the need for education is paramount – it needs to act as an ornament as well as a refuge. It is part of the critical social sector that needs greater focus from private players. Private studies indicate that the Indian education sector (at present pegged at USD 100 billion or higher) is expected to grow to USD 180 billion by 2020. This statistic itself, along with the sector’s proverbial recession-proof nature, makes it lucrative. Therefore, we discuss in this series some of the key legal and regulatory considerations for anyone who wishes to set up or invest in primary or higher education in India. Setting up a School In this piece, we restrict the discussion to recognized, regulated, and brick and mortar schools that carry a student at least till the tenth standard, to the exclusion of the many schools that either end by the eighth standard (for lack of affiliation with a board) or continue without affiliation. Before establishing a legal entity or a vehicle that would carry out the activities, it is advisable to first determine what affiliation the proposed school would seek.…
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Media on Trial

The reluctance of the press to indict one of its own for his mortifying tweets on Modi’s death shows its double standards and lack of courage. It calls for deep introspection ~By Bikram Vohra Columnist Suprateek Chatterjee has placed the media on trial. The general reluctance to pillory him for his outrageous tweets calling for the death of Prime Minister Modi should have had the Indian Federation of Working Journalists and the Press Council taking severe action for what amounts to seditious conduct. No senior editors/writers have stepped up to say that this is not kosher. The search for refuge in freedom of expression and the right to say what one wants become moot when you publicly call for a killing. Peon or prime minister is irrelevant to that demand. Instead, we have a mute media and this journalist’s peer group seems content to shy away from the issue. It is all very well to indict Congress leader Manish Tewari and his tribe for their misadventures in Tweetland but when it comes to our own, we wish to apply different standards of conduct. It is a matter that calls for deep introspection in the Fourth Estate that instead of lauding The Quint for shutting out this writer in the aftermath and protecting its name and staff from any fallout, there seem to be ripples of horror that in some way, press freedom has been compromised.…
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Aadhaar Database: A Risky Revolution

The government’s move to link one billion of these numbers to bank accounts and mobiles is fraught with security risks. Studies say that digital security must be beefed up before this happens Alarm bells have been ringing in the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY). This was ever since Union finance minister Arun Jaitley announced on August 28 that the linking of one billion Aadhaar IDs with bank accounts and mobiles is very much on the cards. The minister, speaking at a function to mark the completion of three years of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna, said that the linkage would ensure “financial inclusion” which will be “nothing short of a social revolution”. Officials in MeitY, are a worried lot. The ministry has been entrusted with the onerous task of ensuring cyberspace security in the country and managing the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) which deals with hacking and related crimes. More importantly, it is also directly responsible for the functioning of the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) which operates the Aadhaar database. It will have an important role to play once the linkage referred to by Jaitley covers all Aadhaar cards—virtually the entire adult population in the country.…
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Jharkhand government takes on the church

Above: Devotees attend mass on the eve of Christmas in Ranchi, Jharkhand. Photo: UNI In a bid to stop the missionary juggernaut in tribal-dominated areas, Jharkhand became the seventh state to pass an anti-conversion law with stiff penalties and a jail term ~By Neeraj Mishra in Ranchi From all accounts, it would appear that anti-conversion laws in India are a race to woo, win and occupy the tribal soul. The string of seven states—MP, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Himachal, Arunachal, Odisha and now Jharkhand—which have enacted anti-conversion laws are home to almost 90 percent of the tribal population of the country and also where Christian missionary activity is supposed to be at its peak. Besides these states, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have also enacted similar anti-conversion bills, but these have since been either repealed or put in abeyance due to lack of gubernatorial consent. The most recent case has been in Jharkhand where the assembly passed what has been called the “Religious Independence Bill 2017”. The Bill has provision for a fine up to Rs 1,00,000 and a four-year prison term for those who convert others through force, fraud or allurement. It also states that a person converting willingly must give a notice to the respective collector of the district with details of time, place and the name of the person administering the conversion at least 15 days in advance.…
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Delhi HC rules on VATability of trademark licences

On 17 May, a bench of Ravindra Bhat and Deepa Sharma, JJ. of the Delhi HC delivered a common judgement in appeals and petitions filed by McDonald’s India, GlaxoSmithKline Asia, Bikanerwala Foods, and Sagar Ratna Restaurants against revenue authorities. The judgement sheds some much-needed light on the taxation of IP licences (albeit in the twilight of the current tax regime’s life). Facts McDonald’s, Bikanerwala and Sagar Ratna were trademark owners who licensed their brands out through franchise agreements. GSK Asia licensed out trademarks dealing with the Horlicks brand to SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare Ltd. for sale in India, Nepal and Bhutan. All the licences were non-exclusive, and the petitioners received consideration valued at a percentage of the revenue earned from the sale of trademark-bearing products (burgers, food, health drinks, biscuits, etc.). Issue The question before the court was whether sales tax or VAT under the Delhi VAT Act 2004 had to be paid on the consideration received by the licensors in these transactions. Background For those of you unfamiliar with the tax regime and its applicability to IP licences, I read all about it in this wonderfully illuminative post on a Bombay High Court judgement from August 2016. In it, the author outlines the constitutional framework, the relevance of the sales/service distinction, the deeming of some transactions (“Transfers of Rights to Use Goods”) as sales by constitutional fiat, and the awkward applicability of this whole scheme to IP transactions.…
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