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India: New Anti-Terror Law

(Dec. 19, 2008) In the wake of the November 26, 2008, terrorist attack in Mumbai by Pakistani nationals, the Cabinet of the Indian government introduced two new bills in Parliament on December 16, 2008. One of the bills seeks to set up a National Investigation Agency (NIA) with special powers. The other amends the Unlawful […]

India: No-Fly Zone over Nuclear Plant

(Dec. 19, 2008) India's Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) recently notified all airlines that all flying activity up to a height of 10,000 feet over the Kalpakkam area in South India is prohibited. No aircraft may fly within a radius of ten kilometers of the Kalpakkam nuclear plant, as a measure of extra safety. The […]

India: Court Recommends Establishing Body to Regulate Muslim Marriage and Divorce

(Nov. 24, 2008) A bench of the Kerala High Court, which is in the southernmost portion of India, consisting of Justices Kurian Joseph and Harun-Ul-Rashid, asked the Government of India to set up regulatory bodies in states and at the national level to regulate what the Justices described as “indiscreet marriages and divorces,” for the […]

India: Government Plan to Restrict Publication of Exit Polls

(Oct. 22, 2008) With the Union Government Cabinet's approval on October 8, 2008, India went ahead with plans to restrict publication and dissemination of exit polls until the completion of voting in the parliamentary (early 2009) and state assembly (later in 2008) elections. The Representation of People's Act, 1951, will accordingly be amended. In the […]

India: Continuation of Reservation of Government Posts, Services for Certain Castes and Tribes

(Oct. 22, 2008) On October 8, 2008, the Union Government Cabinet approved the enactment of the Scheduled Castes (SC) and the Scheduled Tribes (ST) (Reservation in Posts and Services) Bill, 2008. The proposed law would ban “de-reserving” of posts in seats reserved for SCs and STs. It would also provide for penalties against offices that […]

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 […]

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 […]