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Delhi High Court Reserves Verdict on Arvind Kejriwal’s Plea for Additional Legal Meetings

The Delhi High Court on Thursday reserved its decision regarding a plea filed by jailed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, seeking permission for additional meetings with his legal team

Kejriwal is currently held in Tihar jail due to ongoing cases initiated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) concerning irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy of 2021-22.

Justice Neena Bansal Krishna previously requested responses from Tihar Jail authorities and the ED regarding Kejriwal’s plea. After considering these responses, Justice Krishna proceeded to reserve her judgment.

At present, Kejriwal is permitted two meetings per week with his legal team. He initially approached the trial court, requesting permission for two additional meetings due to his involvement in over 30 cases nationwide. He also sought the option to hold these meetings via virtual conference. However, Special Judge (PC Act) Kaveri Baweja rejected this request, noting that a similar plea had been previously denied.

Following the trial court’s decision, Kejriwal approached the High Court for reconsideration.

Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on March 21, accused of participating in a criminal conspiracy with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders, including Manish Sisodia, to manipulate the Delhi Excise Policy in favor of certain liquor vendors. The investigation agencies claim that funds from these activities were used to finance the AAP’s election campaign in Goa.

On June 26, the CBI arrested Kejriwal while he was already in judicial custody for a money laundering case under the ED’s investigation. The Supreme Court granted him interim bail in the ED case on July 12. However, Kejriwal remains in jail as he has not yet secured bail in the CBI case.

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Supreme Court Orders Release of YouTuber ‘Savukku’ Shankar from Preventive Detention

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the release of YouTuber ‘Savukku’ Shankar, who had been detained under the Goondas Act by the Tamil Nadu Police in May

A bench comprising Justices Sudhanshu Dhulia and Ahsanuddin Amanullah granted interim relief to Shankar, who is currently lodged in Coimbatore Central Prison. The bench stated that it would not rule on the case’s merits, as the matter is pending before the Madras High Court.

The bench acknowledged the submissions from the lawyers representing both parties, who indicated they would seek to expedite the hearing before the Chief Justice of the High Court or an appropriate bench early next week.

“We find that the delay in this matter is not attributable to the petitioner. In these unique circumstances, the petitioner should be released until the High Court makes a decision on his detention,” the bench ruled, clarifying that this order pertains only to preventive detention matters. If Shankar is imprisoned for other cases, this order does not apply.

The Supreme Court was addressing an appeal challenging the Madras High Court’s decision to adjourn a habeas corpus petition filed by Shankar’s mother, challenging his detention under the Goondas Act.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, representing the Tamil Nadu government, was asked to justify the need for preventive detention against Shankar. Luthra argued that Shankar was accused of forging documents, among other offenses.

The bench questioned, “How can he be detained? Is he a threat to national security? This is not an ordinary civil dispute but a preventive detention matter. Somebody’s liberty is at stake. He has been in preventive detention for over two months.” Senior advocate Siddhartha Dave, representing Shankar’s mother, argued that the detention was based solely on the fear that Shankar might be granted bail in other criminal cases.

On May 12, a cybercrime police inspector in Chennai served the detention order on Shankar, based on the directive from Commissioner of Police, Greater Chennai, Sandeep Rai Rathore.

According to a Chennai police press note, Shankar faces seven cases in the Chennai police’s central crime branch/cybercrime, with three under investigation, two with charge sheets filed, and the remaining pending trial.

Shankar, 48, was initially arrested by Coimbatore police on May 4 in Theni for allegedly making derogatory remarks about women police personnel in a YouTube interview. He also faces a case for possession of ganja, filed by Theni police, and has claimed in court that he was assaulted in Coimbatore prison.

Under the Goondas Act, a detainee can be imprisoned for up to a year, subject to review by an advisory board. The validity of such detentions is also reviewed by the High Court based on petitions filed by the detainees.

Shankar, known for his outspoken criticism of the DMK regime and Chief Minister M K Stalin, has been accused by several individuals of making personal attacks and uncivil remarks. A former special assistant in the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, he was accused in 2008 of leaking sensitive conversations between officials, but a court later acquitted him.

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Stephenson Harwood Advises Kaya Limited on Middle East Business Divestment

Kaya Limited, an Indian multinational specializing in skincare, haircare, and bodycare treatments, has successfully sold its Middle East operations, including Kaya Middle East DMCC and Kaya Middle East FZE, to Humania GCC Holding Limited.

The transaction, facilitated by legal counsel Stephenson Harwood, involved comprehensive support in drafting and negotiating the transaction documents. Led by Partner Diwakar Agarwal, the advisory team ensured a smooth transition, paving the way for new growth opportunities in healthcare across the Middle East and emerging markets.

Diwakar Agarwal (Partner) headed the transaction team, assisted by Philippa English (Managing Associate), Hajer El Moumni (Associate), and Jeevni Sharma (Paralegal).

Established in 2003, Kaya is publicly traded and operates widely in India. It holds the distinction of being the largest international network of skincare clinics in the Middle East, spanning nine cities across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman.

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Aquilaw Partner and Himadri Specialty Chemical Chairman Acquire Ei Samay, Times of India’s Bengali Daily

Sanjay Basu, a partner at Aquilaw, along with Anurag Choudhary, Chairman and Managing Director of Himadri Specialty Chemical, have acquired Ei Samay, the flagship Bengali daily of the Times of India group.

The acquisition amount remains undisclosed.

Basu expressed his enthusiasm about venturing into the media industry through Ei Samay, highlighting the vision to blend tradition with innovation and strive for excellence in the newspaper landscape.

Aquilaw played a pivotal role in advising Basu’s company, Tidings Media & Communications, throughout the acquisition process from Bennett Coleman and Company and Times Internet via a business transfer agreement. Leading the legal team was Partner Suhana Islam Murshedd, supported by Principal Associate Subhashree Pani, and associates Milind Anand and Namasvi Karia. The due diligence process involved associates Anwesha S Mukherjee, Milind Anand, and Namasvi Karia.

Asked about balancing his legal career with his new media role, Basu expressed confidence in managing both responsibilities effectively, citing a robust management and editorial team at Ei Samay.

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Khaitan & Co Advises HDFC Bank on ₹977.90 Crores Financing to NTT Global Data Centers

Khaitan & Co led HDFC Bank has approved a financial assistance of ₹977.90 crores (including sub-limits) for NTT Global Data Centers Del2 Private Limited

The transaction team consisted of Dr Siddharth Srivastava (Partner), Raunak Singh Rahangdale (Principal Associate) and Aparna Tripathi (Senior Associate).

This funding will enable NTT Global Data Centers to acquire assets from NTT Global Data Centers & Cloud Infrastructure India Private Limited (GDCCI) and meet future capital expenditures for developing a 22.4 MW data center asset and related infrastructure in Greater Noida.

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Shubham Malhotra Starts Legalis Rainmaker

Shubham Malhotra launches law firm management entity Legalis Rainmaker

Legalis Rainmaker provides services to law firms related to legal business development, law firm management and legal technology. It is one of the leading business development consultancy for the global legal industry, they are dedicated to helping law firms enhance their visibility, attract new clients, and grow their practice. Its comprehensive services include branding, business development, SEO, lead generation campaign, PR services, social media management, HR management, website design, graphic designing and legal technology.

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Pioneer Legal and LKS led on Jashvik Capital Acquisition of Futura Surgicare for USD 30 million

Pioneer Legal and Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan Attorneys provided counsel for Jashvik Capital’s acquisition of Futura Surgicare, a transaction valued at INR 2.5 billion (USD 29.9 million)

Pioneer Legal, led by Partner Pritha Jha and senior associate Mamta Jain, assisted Jashvik in structuring the deal, conducting due diligence, and finalizing agreements. Their team included associates Vijay Kumar Chawla, Andre Jaggi, Smrithi Balasubramaniam, and Yash Bhale.

Meanwhile, Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan, headed by Partners Gaurav Dayal and Sushrut Biswal, represented Futura Surgicare in the transaction.

Futura Surgicare, known for its Dolphin brand of wound closure products, operates a manufacturing facility in Bengaluru.

Jashvik Capital, a private equity firm regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India as a category two alternative investment fund, facilitated this acquisition.

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Britain’s New Government Aims to Regulate Most Powerful AI Models

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Britain’s Approach to AI Regulation Under New Labour Government

The newly elected Labour government in Britain is exploring how to effectively regulate artificial intelligence models, with plans to establish appropriate legislation to place requirements on those developing the most powerful AI models. However, no specific laws have been proposed yet.

In a speech to open the new session of parliament, King Charles outlined Prime Minister Keir Starmer’s legislative agenda, which includes over 35 new bills covering various topics from housing to cybersecurity.

The government aims to create legislation targeting the development of powerful AI models. The previous Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, had positioned Britain as a leader in AI safety, hosting a summit at Bletchley Park with global leaders and company executives to discuss the issue. Sunak also oversaw the launch of the world’s first AI Safety Institute, which focused on the capabilities of advanced AI models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Nathan Benaich, founding partner of AI-focused investment group Air Street Capital, expressed relief that the government is not rushing to regulate frontier AI models. Under Sunak, the government avoided targeted AI regulation, instead splitting responsibility for AI oversight among various regulators.

Prime Minister Starmer has promised to introduce new AI laws but is taking a cautious approach. Benaich emphasized the UK’s sector-based approach to AI regulation as a competitive advantage compared to the EU, advising caution in any changes to this regime.

However, some AI experts argue that the rapid adoption of AI tools necessitates new legislation. Gaia Marcus, director of the Ada Lovelace Institute, urged the government to bring forward a bill promptly, noting that AI systems are already integrated into daily life, public services, and the economy, presenting both benefits and risks.

The debate over AI regulation continues as the government seeks to balance innovation with safety and public interest.

With inputs from Agency

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Supreme Court at Full Strength Again as Justices N Kotiswar Singh and R Mahadevan Take Oath

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Justices N Kotiswar Singh and R Mahadevan Sworn in, Supreme Court at Full Strength

Justice N Kotiswar Singh from the Manipur High Court and Justice R Mahadevan from the Madras High Court took oath as judges of the Supreme Court on Thursday, administered by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud. Their appointments bring the apex court to its full sanctioned strength of 34 judges.

The Supreme Court Collegium recommended the appointments of Justices Singh and Mahadevan on July 11, and the Union government cleared them on July 16.

Justice N Kotiswar Singh

Justice Singh, originally from Manipur, had been serving as Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court since February 2023. He is the first Supreme Court judge from Manipur.

Born on March 1, 1963, in Imphal, Manipur, Justice Singh is the son of late Justice N Ibotombi Singh of the Gauhati High Court, who was also the first Advocate General of Manipur, and N Gomati Devi. He briefly practiced before the Supreme Court of India before shifting to the Gauhati High Court, where he was designated a Senior Advocate in 2008.

In 2011, Justice Singh was sworn in as an additional judge of the Gauhati High Court and became a permanent judge in 2012. Upon the creation of the Manipur High Court in 2013, he was appointed as a judge there and later transferred to the Gauhati High Court in 2018 before being elevated as Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

Justice R Mahadevan

Justice Mahadevan had been serving as Acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court since May 2024. He completed his law degree at Madras Law College and enrolled as a lawyer in 1989.

He practiced on the civil, criminal, and writ sides, specializing in indirect taxes, customs, and Central Excise matters for 25 years. Justice Mahadevan served as Additional Government Pleader (Taxes) for the Government of Tamil Nadu and as Additional Central Government Standing Counsel and Senior Panel Counsel for the Government of India at the Madras High Court, handling more than 9,000 cases.

He was elevated as a judge of the Madras High Court in 2013.

The two judges fill the vacancies created by the retirement of Justices Aniruddha Bose and AS Bopanna earlier this year.

With inputs from Agency

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Reasons Behind BJP’s Defeat in Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Polls

Following a significant decline in its vote share across Uttar Pradesh, the state BJP has submitted a detailed report to the party’s top leadership outlining the reasons for its defeat in the recent Lok Sabha elections

Here are the key insights from the report:

1. Decline in Vote Share
The BJP witnessed an 8% decrease in its vote share across all regions of Uttar Pradesh compared to previous elections.

2. Internal Discord
Reports of internal discord among party leaders have surfaced, indicating dissatisfaction among workers due to issues such as administrative high-handedness.

3. Allegations of Mismanagement
Issues like frequent paper leaks and the hiring of contractual workers for government jobs allegedly contributed to negative perceptions and discontent among voters.

4. Campaign Shortcomings
The party’s campaign strategy was critiqued for peaking too early and facing fatigue among workers in later phases of the election.

5. Shifts in Electoral Support
There was a noticeable shift in electoral support, with diminished backing from communities like Kurmis, Mauryas, and a reduction in Dalit votes.

6. Opposition’s Narrative
The opposition effectively capitalized on issues like reservation policies and local concerns, resonating more effectively with voters.

Future Strategy
The BJP’s central leadership has emphasized the need for unity among state leaders, prompt resolution of internal differences, and a focused approach towards upcoming by-elections in Uttar Pradesh.

The state unit continues to strategize under the guidance of senior leaders to regain lost ground and strengthen party morale ahead of future electoral challenges.

With inputs from Agency

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