Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Setalvad, Bar Exams, Disability

1. Gautam Patel's moving obituary on Atul Setalvad is worth reading.

2. On Bar Exams - If the Bar Council is going to regulate entry into the profession using a separate bar exam, shouldn't it get out of the business of regulating legal education? Does any one know if law schools are demanding autonomy as their fair share in the bargain?

Update: A reader says 'KN Chandrashekharan Pillai and NS Soman of CUSAT School of Legal Studies have argued for precisely this in a recent article in the "Kerala High Court Cases". I am sorry I cannot provide the citation as I don't have access to this journal right now.' Does anyone else have a scan/soft copy they can share?

3. Disability - In an apparently regressive judgment in Dalco Engineering v Padhye (March 2010), Justice Raveendran of the Supreme Court has held that the non-discrimination obligations under the Persons with Disabilities Act apply only to the State, and not to the private sector. The judgment fails to appreciate global trends where most democracies prohibit discrimination on the ground of disability in public as well as private sector. The case turned on the interpretation of section 2(k), which reads thus:
"establishment" means a corporation established by or under a Central, Provincial or State Act, or an authority or a body owned or controlled or aided by the Government or a local authority or a Government company as defined in section 617 of the Companies Act 1956 (1 of 1956) and includes Departments of a Government;"
Interpreting this clause, the SC held that a company registered under the Companies Act is not 'a corporation established by or under a Central ... Act'. In light of precedents cited in the case, this appears to be an inescapable conclusion. Was it time to revisit those precedents? Or is it best to leave this for Parliament to clarify?
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