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India: High Court Denial of Abortion Petition Prompts Review of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act

(Sept. 17, 2008) Upon being advised by their physicians that the baby to be born to them would have a congenitally defective heart, an Indian couple, Haresh Mehta and his wife, Niketa, applied for permission to abort the 24-week-old fetus. The Bombay High Court denied permission. India's Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971(MTPA) allows physicians […]

India: Supreme Court Upholds State Wiretap Law

(Sept. 11, 2008) On September 1, 2008, the Supreme Court of India in effect affirmed the constitutional validity of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA), a state law that empowered the state government to intercept telephones and use the results as evidence in organized crime cases, including terrorist cases. Previously, the Bombay High […]

India: Supreme Court Upholds Constitutional Validity of OBC Reservation

(May 2, 2008) In a unanimous 500-page judgment delivered on April 10, 2008, the Supreme Court of India upheld the validity of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006, which provides for a 27 percent quota reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in higher educational institutions like the various Indian Institutes of Management […]

India: No Short-Cut Dissolution of Hindu Marriage

(May 2, 2008) On April 1, 2008, the High Court of Bombay, India, ruled that a couple seeking divorce by mutual consent cannot dissolve the marriage within a few months, but must wait for a year after solemnization of the marriage, as prescribed by section 13(B) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, before applying for […]

Bangladesh: Former Prime Minister’s Son Implicated in Corruption

(May 2, 2008) In an effort to control corruption by the country's politicians, on April 1, 2008, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of Bangladesh filed a charge sheet against Tarique Rahman, the elder son of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, for allegedly amassing wealth illegally and concealing information about his assets. The ACC has also charged […]

India: Minorities Commission to Have Constitutional Status

(Apr. 2, 2008) India's National Commission for Minorities, a statutory body since its creation in 1992, will shortly have constitutional status. As a statutory body, it was unable to investigate complaints or grievances; upon being conferred constitutional status, it will have the power to investigate such complaints suo moto and to pass verdicts that will […]

Pakistan: Death Sentence for Cyber Crimes

(Apr. 2, 2008) The death sentence may be awarded under Pakistan's new Cyber Crimes Ordinance, 2007, which took effect on December 31, 2007. Crimes set forth in the Ordinance include serious cyber crimes, such as damaging nuclear assets by hacking; cyber terrorism; and swindling and commission of other offenses through cellular phones. A cyber crimes […]

Pakistan: Loans to Politicians Waived

(Apr. 2, 2008) On January 21, 2008, the Supreme Court of Pakistan issued a suo moto notice to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The notice was in response to a press report stating that the SBP had approved a scheme in October 2002 (during the military regime of President General Pervez Musharraf) to quietly […]

India: A Foreign Arbitration Award May Be Challenged

(Mar. 2, 2008) The Supreme Court of India has ruled that a suit in an Indian court is maintainable against a foreign arbitration award if the award contravenes public policy and the statutory provisions. In its ruling, the bench observed that the provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, would apply to the international […]

India: Marriage Age for Men May Be Lowered to 18

(Mar. 2, 2008) The Law Commission of India has proposed a reduction in the legal marriageable age for men from 21 to 18 years, while recommending that unions contracted below the age of 16 be considered void. The Commission states that there is no scientific reason for keeping different marriage ages for men and women. […]