Bar Council objects to inclusion of ‘Lawyers’ under the Consumer Protection Act 2019

On Sunday, Bar Council of Delhi wrote a letter to the Consumers Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan showing dissent towards the contemplation of the Ministry to include the lawyers within the definition of Section 2(1)(o) of the Consumer Protection Act as “The legal Profession is an integral part of justice delivery system and is not a commercial or trade activity and the legal professional cannot be included for any purpose under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 or the Rules as being contemplated.”

Sanjay Rathi, Co-Chairman, Bar Council of Delhi stated that,”This all started with the case Indian Medical Association v. VP Shanta, where the court declared the medical partitioners were subject to the rules and mechanisms of CPA which rose the question, ‘if doctors can be made liable under the CPA, why not lawyers?’

He further states that,”A Lawyer, unlike other professionals, is placed in a very peculiar position while rendering legal services. An architect or a doctor is purely ‘client servicing’ while on the other hand, it is not possible to term the ‘job profile’ of a lawyer as client servicing because lawyers are nothing but the officers of the Hon’ble Court who have a duty to assist the court and not to act as a mouthpiece of the client. The lawyer renders his assistances to his client and nothing more, whereas the doctor-patient relationship is one to one. This places an onerous obligation on the lawyers; on the one hand he has to represent his client to the best of his abilities, and on the other, he has to maintain a far greater degree of detachment than other profession”.

KC Mittal, Chairman, Bar Counicl of Delhi in his letter has stated that,”The legal profession is integral part of justice delivery system and is not a commercial or trade activity and the legal professions cannot be included for any purpose under the Consumer Protection Act,2019 or the rules as is being contemplated”.

Brought CAA to correct historical injustice: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the government has brought the Citizenship Amendment Act to correct “historical injustice” and to fulfil the BJP’s “old promise” to religious minorities living in neighbouring countries

Speaking at the Annual Prime Minister’s National Cadet Corps (NCC) Rally 2020, Modi said the problem in Jammu and Kashmir persisted since Independence and some families and political parties kept issues in the region “alive”, as a result of which terrorism thrived there

He said the present government has been trying to solve decades old problems plaguing the country

Slamming Pakistan, the prime minister said the neighbouring country has lost three wars, but continues to wage proxy wars against India

Previous governments, he said, treated the problem as a law and order issue

“But even when out armies would ask for action, they would not go ahead,” he said, slamming the “inaction” of previous governments at the Centre

He also said that currently, not only J-K, but other parts of the country are also peaceful and the government has managed to address the aspirations of the northeast region which were neglected for decades

Listing out the achievements of the government, the PM referred to the Bodo agreement, Triple Talaq, abrogation of Section 370 in Jammu and Kashmir among them.

It’s govt decision whether to set up KVs in each tehsil :HC

The Delhi High Court said Tuesday that setting up of Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) in every tehsil across the country was a policy decision of the Centre and left it to the government to take a call on the issue raised in a PIL.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said that whether to set up central schools in every tehsil or making it mandatory to study ‘aims, objects and basic structure of the Constitution’ in classes I-VIII, as sought in the petition, was a decision which the government has to take.

It left it to the central government to consider the issues raised by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay in his plea and disposed of the matter.

Upadhyay, also a lawyer, had claimed in his plea that “unity in diversity is observed and celebrated” in the KVs as these schools have students from all parts of a state and “equal opportunities are provided to all students in spite of their religious, territorial differences”.

“The low fee structure of Kendriya Vidyalayas will help the poor students in getting a quality education along with an exposure to the competitive world. The establishment of KVs will encourage nearby schools to provide a better education as they will face a competition,” the petition had claimed.

It had said that presently, there were 5,464 tehsils in India and a total of 1,209 KVs.

“To achieve real equality and elevate poor, weak, Dalits, tribals and deprived sections of society, State must provide uniform education having common syllabus and common curriculum to all students of I-VIII standards in spirit of Articles 14, 15, 16, 21A and Preamble of the Constitution,” the plea had said.

High Court asks Govt to Take Policy Decision on Liquor Ban

The Uttarakhand HC has given the state govt 6 months to formulate a policy to implement provisions of the Excise Act which provide for prohibition of alcohol in the state.

A division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice (CJ) Ramesh Ranganathan & Justice Alok Kumar Verma directed the state govt on Thursday to take a policy decision for gradual prohibition of alcohol, petitioner DK Joshi, an advocate said.

The HC has given 6 months to the state govt, he said.

Besides asking the state govt to ensure compliance of section 37 A of the Excise Act which provides for prohibition, the court also ordered strict compliance of the law prohibiting sale of alcohol to a person under 21 years of age.

The order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Joshi, an advocate & a resident of Garuda in Bageshwar district.

High Court : Acquittal of Driver Involved in Accident no Ground for Denial of Insurance Claim (Read Judgement)

The Punjab & Haryana HC has made it clear that acquittal of driver in criminal proceedings pertaining to accident of a vehicle & a complainant turning hostile in the case isn’t a ground for denial of insurance claim to the family of the person killed in that accident.

Justice Lisa Gill of the HC passed these orders while upholding the decision of Motor Accident Claims Tribunal(MACT), Chandigarh, directing the Oriental Insurance Company Limited (OICL) to pay Rs 77.77 lakh claim to the family members of an ex- serviceman who was serving as constable in Chandigarh police when he died after allegedly being hit by a bus.

The man, Jagtar Singh, 42, died on Dec 11, 2016 after he was hit by a bus while crossing a road in the city. It was alleged that the accident was caused by rash & negligent driving by the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) bus driver.

On Dec 21, 2018, the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal(MACT) awarded Rs 77,77,322 to the deceased’s family. The amount was to be paid by Oriental Insurance Company Limited (OICL) which had insured the bus.

Aggrieved from these orders, the insurance company had approached the HC arguing that the vehicle in question has been falsely involved in this matter only to extract compensation. The firm added that the propounder of the First Information Report (FIR) Narinder Kumar has turned hostile during criminal proceedings & the driver of the bus had been acquitted in the said proceedings. The company said it wasn’t liable for compensation in this case as it wasn’t proved on record that the bus in question was involved in the accident.

Read also : Punjab and Haryana High Court stays Reservation for Jats and five other communities

Hearing this, the HC found that the identity of the offending vehicle was duly established on record. The bus was found to have been taken in custody by the police from the spot of the accident & was released on superdari.

“The complainant may have turned hostile in the criminal proceedings but in the wake of the positive evidence on record in the present proceedings where the claimant has to prove his case on the touchstone of preponderance of probabilities & not beyond reasonable doubt, it cann’t be concluded that the offending bus wasn’t involved in the accident. Acquittal of the accused driver in the criminal proceedings by itself isn’t a ground to non-suit the claimants in the given factual matrix,” observed the HC while upholding the tribunal’s order.

Corruption Here an Open Secret, Says this State High Court Judge, Chief Justice Withdraws All Work from Him

Chief Justice of High Court of Patna has withdrawn judicial work from the senior-most Judge in the HC after the latter delivered an order on how the judiciary in Bihar had plunged deep into corruption.

“Corruption in this HC is (an) open secret,” Justice Rakesh Kumar had held in his 20-page order delivered on Wednesday. Hours later, the chief justice withdrew all judicial work from him & asked him to wait in his chamber for allotment of work.

The Judge implored upon the Chief Justice of India & the Supreme Court Collegium to take cognisance of the corrupt practices plaguing the judicial system at all levels in Bihar.

The Judge recorded on Wednesday, “After my elevation as Judge, I started to notice that senior judges were buttering Chief Justice. Initially, I thought why such action was shown by the senior judges, but after some time, I could gather that such actions were being taken to get their favourite or caste man elevated as a judge or do some favour to corrupt judicial officers”.

Justice Kumar presented an illustration of four judicial officers who had allegations petitions ranging from 11 to 21 but, the Judge said, they were all let off with mild punishments & remained in judiciary although they should have been dismissed in the best interest of the system.

High Court restrains portal from using ‘Vistara’ on products; says it poses security threat

An aviation studies portal has been restrained from offering counterfeit ‘Vistara’ branded products by the Delhi High Court, which said that it posed security risks at airports as it is a distinctive Tata-SIA airline trademark in the airline industry.

The high court said that Pilot 18 Aviation Book Store, which operates the web portal, was not just selling products bearing the mark ‘Vistara’ but also products of various other airlines including Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Air India and this posed a serious security threat.

Justice Prathiba M Singh directed Pilot 18 to pay Rs 2 lakh as cost to the operator of Vistara Airlines within a month.

The court’s order came while deciding a suit filed by Tata SIA Airlines Ltd seeking to restrain the portal from using its trademarks and selling badges, name tags and other accessories, including mugs and baggage tags, bearing the mark ‘Vistara’ with an identical device mark/logo form.

The plaintiff said it came to know in February about ‘Vistara’ branded products on the website of the defendants as also on various e-commerce portals such as Amazon and Snapdeal.

Justice Singh took strong exception to the incorrect statement made by the portal that they have never used the trademark ‘Vistara’.

This constitutes perjury, the court said and noted that the portal had no remorse whatsoever while making the statement.

The portal owner was not only liable to be permanently injuncted from using the mark Vistara’ but are also liable to pay costs and damages.

“The mark Vistara is quite popular in India and has acquired a unique status. It is a distinctive mark that enjoys enormous goodwill and reputation in the airline, travel and tourism industry. Use of this mark, even in respect of unrelated services would create confusion and deception. It deserves to be declared as a ‘well-known mark’,” the court said and passed a decree in the favour of the airlines.

The airlines said the mark ‘Vistara’ is registered in India, Singapore, and various other jurisdictions.

It said the defendants are not only offering these products on their website, but also claim that they were supplying ‘Vistara’ branded aviation products to Vistara Airlines.

The portal, however, claimed that it had not used the trademark ‘Vistara’ and that the plaintiff had concocted a false story.

After perusing the report by the local commissioner, the court said it was clear that the portal was taking a false stand that they have not used the mark.

“The sale of so much merchandise with the names of various airlines is not only violative of the trademark rights of the respective parties, including the plaintiff, but also poses a serious threat owing to the fact that some unauthorised persons may try to seek entry into airports etc., on the basis of the counterfeit badges, labels, uniforms and other merchandise illegally bearing the trademarks of these airlines,” it said.

“Such a threat cannot be ignored by this court in the manner in which it is sought to be done by the defendants,” the court said.

It said the written statement given by portal is not only a misstatement but clearly constitutes misrepresentation to the court.

The court said that on the next date, September 12, it will consider if any further action is required to be taken in view of the false plea taken in the written statement and the apology that has been tendered.

Madhya Pradesh trader fined Rs 4.5 lakh from adulterating ghee

A Madhya Pradesh court has imposed a fine of Rs 4.5 lakh on a trader selling adulterated ghee.

Additional District Magistrate S K Mishra fined Manish Bansal in a case dating back to July 10, 2016, when the state Food department raided his dairy and seized over 100 kg of adulterated ghee, an official said.

A laboratory in Bhopal confirmed that adulteration, he added.

Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Tulsiram Silavat had last week told PTI that the state government had decided to impose the stringent National Security Act (NSA) on those adulterating milk and dairy products.

Statewide raids have been carried out since mid-July to nab dairy adulterators in which many people have been arrested, including one on July 19 this year, in Morena and Bhind districts of Chambal region.

In the raid, synthetic milk and dairy products being supplied to five states were seized and 62 people arrested.

Parliament adopts resolution concerning 200 per cent duty on Pakistani goods

The Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha approved the amendment in the first schedule of the Custom Tariff Act.

The notification had been made on February 16 this year to impose basic custom duty to 200 per cent on all goods originating or exported from Pakistan.

The decision was taken after Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed had taken responsibility for the terror attack. India had also withdrawn MFN (most favoured nation) status to Pakistan.

The two houses also adopted a resolution to approve a notification issued last month to increase the basic customs duty on lentils, boric acid & diagnostic & laboratory reagents.

On lentils, the duty has been increased from 40 per cent to 50 per cent, on boric acid it has been increased from 17.5 per cent to 27.5 per cent & on diagnostic items from 20 per cent to 30 per cent.

Plea in High Court against linking Aadhaar to UAN to avail Provident Fund, pension

A petition has been filed in the Madras High Court challenging the notification mandating linking of Aadhaar with Universal Account Number (UAN) for availing pension and provident fund benefits.

In the plea, Elisha Ebenezer, a software engineer, claimed the notification dated January 4, 2017 was unconstitutional for being violative of Articles 14, 21 and 300A of the Constitution and contrary to the directives of the Supreme Court, which made it clear that Aadhaar was mandatory only to avail benefits under various government-run social welfare schemes and subsidies.

A division bench of Justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad admitted the plea and directed the Employee Provident Fund Organisation to respond.

The petitioner submitted that prior to the January, 2017 notification, the use of Aadhaar was limited to only those members who had begun receiving their pension and who were required to provide life certificates each year to continue receiving the pension.

However, in view of the notification, now all members of the pension scheme would have to link their Aadhaar with their UAN just to continue their membership in the pension scheme.

The petitioner submitted that the pension fund comprises regular contributions from the employee’s salary and therefore to deprive pensioners of the amount citing non-linkage of Aadhaar would also entail a violation of the right to property under Article 300A of the Constitution.

“The present requirement of linking UAN with Aadhaar interferes with my right to operate and deal with my provident fund, which has no government contribution,” the petitioner claimed.

Further, the petitioner submitted that the present requirement also prevented her from saving for her old age or accessing the amounts saved till date in the pension account.