A lawyer for the Adani group has caused sleepless nights in the conglomerate’s legal division. The company claimed that its real estate lawyer in Chennai threatened to release privileged information about its 648 MW solar plant in Tamil Nadu if his fee wasn’t hiked nearly three times. The high court has sealed the advocate’s lips for the time being, but listed out all the allegations that he levelled against the company, including fraudulent transactions. Now, state and central authorities have been forced to consider probing the charges. Meanwhile, the company has decided to review most of its consultant lawyers in the country.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s endorsement of Aadhar and announcement of a legislation to give it statutory status has led to raised eyebrows. Remember, the National Identification Authority of India Bill was rejected by a parliamentary standing committee on finance headed by BJP’s Yashwant Sinha a few years ago. The government wants to take the executive route and pass the Aadhar Bill as a Money Bill to ensure it gets passed this time, superseding the judiciary or the Rajya Sabha. Interestingly, last year a parliamentary committee on finance led by Congress’s Veerappa Moily pushed hard for a statutory status for Aadhar.
Neither the Attorney-General nor the Solicitor-General could spare time to argue on behalf of the powerful telecom regulator TRAI in the Delhi High Court, where cellular operators had challenged TRAI’s order to improve their operation, invest in infrastructure and pay for call drops. TRAI also found to its dismay that several other top lawyers had been retained by the operators’ association. While TRAI estimated that operators would have to shell out Rs 800 crore a year by way of penalty—peanuts compared to their Rs. 1.8 lakh crore total revenue—they are unwilling to give up without a legal fight. With the high court dismissing their plea, last heard, they are planning on an appeal to the Supreme Court.
A disgruntled employee set his office in Baltimore on fire when he learned his company was switching to instant coffee for its employees to save money. No criminal charges were filed, though he has lost his job.