About Anju Xavier

I am Anju Xavier, 3rd year student of Kerala Law Academy Law College, Thiruvanathapuram.

The Boston marathon tragedy 3 dead, 144 wounded

Boston marathon tragedy

boston-marathon-tragedyMonday, 15th of April 2013 was a tragic day for the people of Boston. Two bombs exploded near the finishing line of the Boston marathon which is conducted on the third Monday of April every year. According to the reports, three people have lost their lives and there are around 130 people known to be injured. Many of the people injured include children and out of the three who lost their lives, there is also an eight year old boy. After the first two explosions, a third explosion was also reported. The marathon runners had not completed the race when the event occurred. One of the explosions was near the Copley hotel which remains closed.

The investigation is by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and says it is a terror attack.  According to the police commissioner of Boston, there are no suspects. FBI is to overlook to the criminal investigation of the attacks.

US president barrack Obama said in a determined tone that they will find out who did this and also requested to the Americans not to jump to a conclusion. He also offered condolences and prayers and said that whoever was responsible for this would suffer the full weight of justice. He also said that he had spoken to the FBI director secretary of homeland security and also to the Massachusetts governor.

A US intelligence officer also said that police had found two more unexploded devices. As of now high security is provided in New York and Washington.  Yellow tape was used by the police to stop the pedestrians from getting into the white house. Only credentialed pass holders were allowed to get inside and leave the place. The speaker of the House of Representatives Mr John Boehner in order to pay respect to the victims, flags would fly on federal government buildings and hall staff over Capitol Hill.

Mostly the patients were admitted in Massachusetts general hospital where some patients were said to be critical.  Around 20 patients mostly with leg injury were admitted in the Boston medical centre.

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Young lawyers in India helps tribal branded Maoists

Pro bonoOn April 5th 2008, Jeetan  Marandi who was a cultural activist from Jharkhand was arrested. He was arrested for the murder of 20 villagers which included the former Jharkhand chief minister, Babulal Mirandis son Anup. The incident came to be known as Chilkhari massacre which occurred in Chilkari in 2007. The lower court had pronounced capital punishment. The high court of Jharkhand turned down the death sentence as there was no substantial evidence.  He was also acquitted from the charges. Presently his wife Aparna Marandi is in jail on allegations of being a Maoist. There has been no legal assistance provided to her till Ahmed Raja and Anup Aggarwal, the Johar lawyers decided to see to her case.

Another example was the Topchanchi massacre of 2001 where 13 people were tagged as Maoist and 13 police officers were killed. Even though they were acquitted by the Dhanbad district court, they had had to spend so many years in jail.

It was a blessing for the tribal in Ranchi as a group of lawyers decided to take up their cases. There are thousands of tribal in Ranchi who are stigmatized as Maoists and put in jails. A nine member committee was formed to take up their cases and called themselves as NARA (network of advocates for rights and actions). This was done under the protection of JOHAR (Jharkhand organization for human rights) which has also decided to take a survey to find out similar cases and offer them legal advice gratuitously. They also decided to call themselves “muft mein wakil” so that the people can understand that it is free of cost.

Even though there are other agencies offering free legal aid, people do not approach them as they are either scared due to the financial burden or are ignorant of the law. Human rights violation has turned to be a major problem in Jharkhand as many of the tribal are tagged as Maoists and put in jail. An exact number is still not known as to how many of such persons are there in jail.

Lawyers often find it difficult to take case of people who have been branded as Maoists. An example to this would be the case of Sanjay and Suresh Thakur who were charged with being a part of the 2008 Maoist attack. Illiteracy is also a major problem among the tribal.

,
Kerala Law Academy Law College,
Trivandrum

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Corporate Sector in India Pays Exorbitant Legal Fees

legal-fees-jokeThe legal fee market has exorbitantly increased especially in the last two years. India’s corporate sector has paid $ one billion as legal fees last year. The leading and top most law firm like Amarchand and Mangaldas and other leading firms such as azb partners, Khaitan & co, Luthra and Luthra, j Sagar associates etc are earning around 77% of the total fee which is 1.07 $ by India inc. The remaining 23% of the fee is paid to the foreign firms for their foreign legal advice. This is according to the report by RSG consulting. Around $ 500 million was spent in the year 2010 and in 2012 it has reached one billion.

Filing a case and going through all the court procedures is both an expensive as well as time consuming process. Even though there is a pressure on the fees and high rate are charged, the charge rates have declined in 2011. In 2011 the hourly rates paid to senior partner were $374. Now this has reduced to $359. For the junior partners it has fallen from $239 to $186. Now a days the top law firms have also started working on a fixed basis for the companies in the corporate sector.

Things have changed and tri legal appears to be the only firm with client satisfaction. Among the top six firms. The big law firms received lower scores in client satisfaction.

The sectors which paid the highest amount of fees are the telecom industry, media, banking and finance and the pharmaceutical sector.

The increase in the litigation and the arbitration activity has increased the legal fees paid to the top law firms. According to the report by the RSG consulting Amarchand and Mangaldas tops the list followed by AZB Partners, Luthra and Luthra, Khaitan & co, j Sagar etc.

In 2011, India’s biggest private firm had to pay Rs 654 crores for the case of supplying gas from d6 in the Krishna Godavari basin. The LIC housing finance bribery case, the 2g spectrum scam etc are other cases for which a big amount of money was spent. The corporate sector also pays $2000-$ 10000 fixed day rate for the leading advocates of the Supreme Court.

According to the reports of RSG consulting India is still under layered. There is a shortage of good quality lawyers.

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Drug patent : Appeal filed by US firm

The US pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp and Dohme has filed an appeal against the interim order of the Delhi high court. Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw had refused to provide any interim relief to MSD against Glenmark pharmaceuticals which are an Indian based firm.

drag-patent-lawThe US based firm MSD had filed a case against Glenmark pharmaceuticals to stop them from the production and manufacturing of drugs zita and zitamet which are used for treatment of type 2 diabetics. The allegations by MSD were that Glenmark had used sitagliptin salt which was invented by them. Glenmark pharmaceuticals stated that they had used ‘sitagliptin phosphate’ which is a distinct product and has not been patented by the US based firm. Merck Sharp and Dohme also alleged that the Indian based firm has violated their intellectual property rights.

Even though the single bench has set aside the plea, it had ordered the Indian firm to maintain accounts of the manufacturing and sales of the product and to file the same before the court. However the main petition of the Us based firm has been kept pending by the high court. An appeal was filed before a bench consisting of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Indermeet Kaul.

The drugs januvia and janumet by Merck Sharp and Dohme has a patent protection of 20 years in India which started from 2008. According to the drug and cosmetic act of India, after 4 years of the launch of a product, a company may apply for a generic version of the product. Also while the US based firms drugs are priced at RS 300 for a strip, Glenmarks drugs are 30% lesser in cost.

 The division bench will hear the matter today.

,
Kerala Law Academy Law College,
Trivandrum

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