Breaking Legal Stories From Chennai

One of the great wonders of the web is the ability it affords us to glimpse the world from different perspectives by reading current papers from around the world.

Starting with today’s Hindu, a great paper from Chennai, we find the following stories:

Bloggers not entitled to any special protection for expressing critical views, Supreme Court of India holds:

Bloggers may no longer express their uninhibited views on everything under the sun, for the Supreme Court said they may face libel and even prosecution for the blog content. Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam refused to protect a 19-year-old Kerala blogger, who had started an Orkut community attacking the right-wing Maharashtran group Shiv Sena, from a criminal summons for hurting public sentiment under sections 506 and 295A of the Indian Penal Code. The case is outraging Indian bloggers


Next Sunday is Black Sunday for lawyers.
The Bar Council of India has announced a national protest about the police charge on advocates at the Chennai courts. Last year, the Bar Council had asked in a national survey whether there was a need for Parliament in New Delhi to pass an Advocates’ Protection Act. It struck me then as hyped rhetoric, but now I’m not so sure. On February 19, the police charged a crowd outside the court, striking a judge of the Madras High Court and number of lawyers with lathis. Chennai lawyers have now gone on hunger strike.

“We appeal to members of the legal fraternity to observe February 27 as Black Day in condemnation of such brutal attack by police on judicial system of the country,” Bar Council Chairman N P Sinha said in a release on Sunday.

India to impose age limits on law students. In India there are two routes to law degrees. The first takes five years, and is open to those leaving school. The second degree takes three years, but requires a bachelor’s degree. The Bar Council is proposing a cut off age of twenty for those seeking a five year degree, and an absolute limit of thirty for everyone else. [When I taught law school my most interesting students were mature students, and I suspect that President Obama had passed thirty when he attended the Harvard Law School – answer no he wasn’t – 28 according to a fascinating extract from the LA Times].

Court Rejects Slumdog Millionaire Lawsuit. Finally, the Chief Justice of Gujarat has rejected an application by Srimati Meena Jagtap of NGO Dastak to change the title of the multi-Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire film on the basis that it was “vulgar, offensive and intended to defame” the country. He viewed the film first. The story reached the NYT blogs.

Slumdog Picture

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