Patent for Life Saving Vaccine Granted by USPTO

Ashwagandha-patentThe USPTO has granted patent to a new vaccine adjuvant extracted from Ashwagandha which is an Indian plant used as an immunity enhancer. The grant is a welcome move since it could lead to research and development of more vaccines which could help in improving the immune system. The new vaccine is found to possess many advantages as compared to the traditional vaccines. It has shown great effect for many diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria and meningitis. A patent was granted for the same in India. The patent was granted to Serum Institute of India and the University of Pune. Ashwagandha was tested on mice as well as on rats which gave positive feedback. The advantage of Ashwagandha is that it helps patients to better react to the vaccine and also help in reducing the intake of dosage.

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National Legal Framework on water, inconclusive

Most of the states who have participated in the frameworks making are not satisfied with the proposition Legalwhich can defy their constitutional rights and centralize the water resources sector.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda and Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said that the framework was not necessary and that if it is ever proposed, it should be based on providing broad guidelines rather than specific directions.

Kerala Minister for Water Resources P.J. Joseph asserted, “Any move that encroaches on the State’s right to decide on water-related issues is not acceptable as there are several localized issues that cannot be visualized under a broad and uniform national framework. Expressing concern at the plan for legal framework, different states have different suggestion which if conjoined and looked would give the legal framework thumbs down.

The Centre’s proposal of evolving an overarching national legal framework of general principles on water at the National Water Resources Council meeting was thus inconclusive.

,
Gujarat National Law University,
Gandhinagar, Gujarat

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Toyota pays over 1bn$ in one of the largest legal settlement

toyotaIn one of the largest settlement ever in American legal history, a Californian court approved Toyota’s offer of $1.1bn (£683m) to settle claims that its cars could unintentionally accelerate out of control. One of the owners who dragged the car giant to court demanding explanation and relief  on the basis that there was an electronic fault in the acceleration system.

The deal includes payments to customers as well as installation of a brake override system that  prevents unintentional acceleration in about 3.25m vehicles. “This was a difficult decision, especially since reliable scientific evidence and multiple independent evaluations have confirmed the safety of Toyota’s electronic throttle control systems,” Christopher Reynolds, general counsel for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, said in a statement.

More than 14m vehicles have been quoted to be affected of the fault. The fault which has proved to be quite heavy on Toyota includes payments to customers as well as installation of a brake override system that prevents unintentional acceleration in about 3.25m vehicles.

According to a memo filed in court by the plaintiff’s lawyer, the settlement is “a landmark, if not a record, settlement in automobile defect class action litigation in the United States.”

Shalini Singh,
Gujarat National Law University,
Gandhinagar, Gujarat

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Pro bono help being showered on Newton residents

Pro bonoThe Newtown massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School which rocked the legal fraternity and the world has got some good news. Attorney Ron Bellenot, whose practice focuses on criminal and civil litigation and foreclosures, is one of the many lawyers who are ready to offer pro bono help to residents of Newton who lost their children in the unfortunate shooting. He said, “It’s so early … people are just getting through these funerals right now. They’re just trying to get through this week. There still are more funerals to come. i can see processions moving past my office We put it out there, we are willing to help. We sent out a note to everyone we know.”

Lawyers not only from Newton but all over USA are pouring in calls and contacts to help in any way they can. The people affected by the tragedy are glad that there is some hope to get justice without haggling much. Rodgers and two other lawyers, who practice in Bridgeport, and another who lives in Newtown but practices in Danbury are voluntarily providing Pro Bono legal service to charitable organizations.

America woke up to one of the worst shooting massacres at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, about 65 miles north-east of New York, where 18 children died at the scene and two more died in hospital. Few days earlier, two people were killed by a gunman at a shopping mall in Portland, Oregon.

Shalini Singh,
Gujarat National Law University,
Gandhinagar, Gujarat

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Death penalty upheld by Chinese court to Mekong pirates

Chinese court upholds death penalty for Mekong Pirates

United Nations LogoThe Chinese upper court rejected the appeal of four alleged pirates from Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, a Chinese court earlier who were awarded death sentences by a lower court. Naw Kham, one of the key accused is a drug lord and ring leader. Charged with homicide, hijacking, abduction and drug trafficking, the four pirates had killed almost 12 Chinese sailors brutally, whose bodies were discovered by Thai officials after they boarded two Chinese cargo ships that had come under gunfire. They had been gagged and killed.

The court also ordered the pirates to pay 6 million Yuan ($960,000) as compensation. There had been a detailed and extensive discussion regarding the jurisdiction and case between the governments of China, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar, all of whom decided to cooperate with each other. The incident which happened in Oct, 2011 has now been brought to justice. High sea piracy and killings have become a frequent menace. Jurisdiction between the countries is the main issue on line. China is one of the few countries which has highest rate of death penalties and has not abolished it. With the four pirates been given death sentence, United Nations might certainly interfere but china is firm to hang those who murder on high sea.

Shalini Singh,
Gujarat National Law University,
Gandhinagar, Gujarat

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Kingfisher files rekindling plan with DGCA

LegalWith no flights seeing the sky for months and a debt of $2.5 billion, kingfisher is taking a huge risk with the hope of a New Year revival. The DGCA which suspended Kingfisher’s license to fly after months of cancelled flights and staff walkouts, has demanded a turnaround plan before granting the permit to fly and soar again. Mallya‘s United Breweries Group plans to invest 6.52 billion rupees in the airline and to settle the outstanding debt which it owes to banks, airports, tax authorities, plane leasing companies, and its staff.

Bankers are sure that Kingfisher can fly again but they want a solid turnaround reassurance which is unshakable and economy-proofed. Kingfisher has tried unsuccessfully to raise cash for more than a year and that a deal could be seen in near future with Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways and other potential investors about selling a stake in the carrier.

Chairman of the UB Group – an Indian conglomerate, with diverse interests in brewing, distilling, aviation, pharmaceuticals, real estate, engineering, fertilizers, biotechnology and information technology, the prominent Vijay Mallya in a personal message to the people wrote,” We are optimistic that the government will address the challenges faced by the entire aviation sector. Meanwhile, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and for staying with us during these challenging times.”

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Rape review committee formed

rape review committeeAfter the invitation was sent to the man on road to contribute to the rape law committee to review the ongoing rape laws, social activists and civil society members are offering diverse responses. The Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 376 provides maximum life imprisonment for rape right now. The Imrana rape case, Aruna Shanbaug case, Mathura rape case are some of the unfortunate cases which had made the government and legislator sit and take notice.  The Verma committee has invited people to give their suggestions and views by January 5 by email at justice.verma@nic.in or fax at 01123092675.

Justice J S Verma formed the three-member committee in the recent wake of Delhi gang rape. Many institutions and women across the country feel that rape is a greater crime than murder and that rapists should be awarded death and nothing less. Former solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam and former Himachal Pradesh Chief Justice Laila Seth are other members included in the committee.

Sarat Das, state secretary, Students’ Federation of India said, “Whatever sentence is there under the IPC is alright, but there is a need for reform in the trial process of rape cases. Women have to face a lot of harassment as the cases linger on for years. Trial of rape cases must be in dedicated fast track courts. The committee should be more sensitive to the plight of victims,”

A public rally to protest the gang rape shame had taken place in Delhi and Bhubaneswar earlier. Many students and organizations had participated. The protest had turned violent too. Pradip Pradhan, an RTI activist had said that fast track courts to deal with all the sex related offences is mandatory and not only rape but all cases of women harassment are a worrying issue in India. It should be mandatory to post a fixed percentage of women in these courts to ensure that the victims are dealt with more sensibly, he added.

In 30 days total, the review committee will come up with a definite change plan and instant implementations.

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Lawyer pleads guilty in connection with criminal activities

legalEven as Greek gangs are multiplying all over in every criminal activity thinkable and getting convicted in group of five and three’s…in Vancouver, a famous Vernon lawyer William Jacob Mastop has pleaded guilty of being involved in criminality of Greek gangs. In B.C. Supreme Court Thursday, in the same high-security courtroom where members of the Greeks gang were found guilty of murder Nov. 25, Mastop, 46, pleaded guilty of committing criminal activities prohibited by law in involvement with Greek goons.

Crown David Jardine cited such case of being first of its kinds in Canadian history, he said, “”To my knowledge there has been no other case in Canada where a lawyer has been charged – and now admitted – to participating in the activities of a criminal organization. So it is unprecedented from that point of view,”

Law Society communications manager Robyn Crisanti said a disciplinary process will get underway as soon as Mastop is sentenced. The Vancouver hot shot is believed to be given a federal sentence. The trial went smoothly, mastop complying fully and the court heard taped telephonic conversations between the gang members and him, regarding the killing of 3 drug associates. Mastop’s bail includes a ban from practicing law until the end of proceedings, among other unnamed conditions.

Shalini Singh,
Gujarat National Law University,
Gandhinagar, Gujarat

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Bill to Ban US adoption of Russian orphans

Moscow Passes a Bill to Ban US Adoption of Russian Orphans

Child Adoption lawTension is in the air. As a new adoption bill has created quite disquiet between Russia and America. The two superpowers which were always in news regarding CIA and KGB have now got themselves embroiled in adoption issues. And the news is bitter. Intended as a political strike against Washington, the bill does some shocking collateral damage.

The bill is to stop US citizens to adopt Russian orphans. 400 voted in support of the bill in Russian parliament.  American journalists called the bill “cannibalistic and beastly” as it was politics playing dirty with lives of children. Many rescued Russian children have been adopted by families all over America. Even many scholarships and schools make it a point in the stats to habituate Russian orphans. With Vladimir Putin being called sadomasochism and for the legislation to back him with the outrageous bill, it has left America wondering why the sudden human right trample.

Over the past 20 years, more than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by American families, and 19 of them have died in their care through negligence or domestic violence.

One of the main parliamentarians behind the bill is Alexei Pushkov, the chairman of the Duma’s foreign-affairs committee said, “Each death is a tragedy, but the rate of child mortality, deprivation and abuse in Russian orphanages is far higher. But if the US federal authorities wanted, they could act to at least restore a sense of justice,” he says. “These parents adopt children to get extra welfare benefits, to get money, or they just began to hate this child. It doesn’t matter. There needs to be justice. It is a nationwide consensus. That is why we initiated this.”

Education Minister Dmitri Livanov tweeted on Wednesday , opposing the bill, “But that logic is wrong, because our own children may suffer, the ones who could not find foster parents in Russia.” even as the future for Russian orphans remains bleak, the bill is to go into effect from Jan 1st.

Shalini Singh,
Gujarat National Law University,
Gandhinagar, Gujarat

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Reforms needed: SC judge on Delhi shame

Massive procedural reforms needed: Mother of three SC judge on Delhi shame

Legal ReformsWho can understand the plight of rape victim more than a female in the justice system with daughters? Angered and shaken by the Delhi gang rape, which has shocked the whole country, a Supreme Court female judge, Justice Gyan Sudha Misra, who is also a mother of three beautiful girls, said that evidence act requires major reforms. She called the rapists “cobras and beasts” and said that such people can only be prevented by some legislative action and that speedy justice to rape victims is slow and very hostile process in India. “Trial in cases relating to crimes against women needs lot of reforms. Recording of evidence of witnesses by the police should be done in the presence of a magistrate and made admissible in a trial,” she said, adding that this would not need witnesses to depose for a second time in a trial and would prevent them from turning hostile. “But this would require changes in the evidence Act,” she said

4 of the men who raped the paramedical student have been arrested while 2 other are on run.  Police sources said, they had decided to “punish” her for trying to stop them from attacking the male friend who was accompanying her.

Shalini Singh,
Gujarat National Law University,
Gandhinagar, Gujarat

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