Monday, March 21, 2011

Legally Blind - Part Deux

1) Enemy Property Act revisited: Linky

In a setback to ‘Raja’ Mohammad Amir Khan, whose parents owned properties worth crores in Lucknow and migrated to Pakistan, the Delhi high court refused to entertain his plea challenging certain provisions of the Enemy Property Act. A division bench of Chief Justice Dipka Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna dismissed a petition filed by Khan challenging the provision of Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) ordinance barring the judiciary from entertaining petition against the government.“

2) National interests precede private interest: Linky

The Supreme Court has finally ended the protracted legal battle between global concerns Voith Hydro GMBH Co and Alstom over building the Tehri pump storage plant and paved the way for Tehri Hydro Power Complex to become a major peaking station with an installed capacity of 2400 MW. The Supreme Court has asked Tehri Hydro Power Corporation (THPC) to complete scrutiny of tenders of the two companies within three weeks, saying national interest took precedence over personal one.
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Voith and Alstom’s litigation over contractual rights has delayed the project that could benefit thousands. Keeping in mind national interest, Supreme Court said this case was a “classic example of the whole nation suffering on account of the fight between two multi-national companies”. A bench of Justice VS Sirpurkar and Justice TS Thakur said the issue of “national interest is our prime concern, the importance of which cannot be undermined”. The Supreme Court judgment quashes the stay on contracts given by the Uttarakhand high court on Voith’s plea. It also scraps unsubstantiated allegations of “bias” and “nepotism” made against the government-owned THDC.

3) Not scarred for life: Linky

The court called for a similar “modern approach” of mercy to reform a person, “instead of branding him a criminal all his life”. While applying for the post of a head constable in 1999, Delhi resident Sandeep Kumar concealed the fact that he was once arrested in a criminal case. Later, after selection, in 2001, however, he mentioned in his self-attestation disclosure that he and members of his family were arrested for beating up a tenant in 1998.
The home ministry took serious note of this misconduct and ordered his removal. The central administrative tribunal upheld the government decision but the Delhi high court overturned the then police commissioner’s order removing Sandeep from the rolls.

In yet another thought-provoking judgment, a Supreme Court bench of justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra not only upheld the high court decision but also gave an altogether new dimension to the law regarding leniency. When Sandeep had an altercation with his tenant, he must have been aged about 20 years. “At that young age people often commit indiscretions, and such indiscretions can often been condoned,” the court said, adding, “Condone minor indiscretions made by young people, rather than brand them criminals for the rest of their lives. After all, youth will be youth. They are not expected to behave in as mature a manner as older people.” Sandeep’s offence, the judges said, was not “a serious offence such as murder, dacoity or rape”.

4) War on generics: Linky

Ranbaxy Laboratories’ plans to launch the generic version of the world’s largest selling drug — Lipitor — have hit a roadblock. Mylan Inc has sued the US Food and Drug Administrator in a US court in an effort to stymie the approval process for the grant of a six-month marketing exclusivity to Gurgaon-based Ranbaxy starting this November for a generic version of the cholesterol-lowering drug.
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Mylan Inc, which is also looking to market its version of the drug later, has filed a complaint in a Washington court. Mylan argued that Ranbaxy was not eligible for marketing exclusivity for the cholesterol-lowering drug as it had buttressed its claim using “false and unreliable data” from its manufacturing site in Paonta Sahib. It may be recalled that in 2009, the US drug regulator had halted the review of all pending and new generic drug applications from this facility located in Himachal Pradesh.
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They acknowledged that it would be a huge negative for the Daiichi Sankyo subsidiary if it failed to win the FDA approval. Surajit Pal, pharmaceutical analyst at Elara Capital, said that while one could not predict what the courts would decide, the assumption of Mylan that the drug would be produced in Paonta Sahib might not be correct. Pal was optimistic that Ranbaxy would be able to launch the drug as scheduled. Sushant Dalmia of PINC Research said Ranbaxy was likely to manufacture the drug from some other facility.

5) Electoral code of conduct: Linky

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday set aside the Chief Electoral Officer's order restraining the State government from implementing its decision to extend the scheme to distribute rice at Rs. 2 a kg to families of the Above Poverty Line (APL) category subject to certain conditions. The petitioner pointed out that the scheme was announced in the State budget well before the announcement of the election. While the elections were announced on March 1, the decision to extend the scheme was taken by the Cabinet on February 23 and a notification in this regard was issued on February 25.

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