BREAKING NEWS: Supreme Court Unanimously Dismisses Another Case

Delhi high court’s decision to hear a petition challenging the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 has come as a shot in the arm for beleaguered landlords who have been getting paltry rents for the prime properties they let out. The landlord-tenant dispute has once again come into focus with an association of women landlords from the capital recently moving court. If the HC now bats for landlords while adjudicating the latest petition, one can expect swift disposal of disputes before the rent control tribunals where such cases are decided. The only way a tenant can now hope to cling on to a house is by proving in court that his landlord does not actually need the property, a very difficult thing to do. Speaking to TOI, advocate Atul Mathur, who takes up property-related disputes, said tenants were becoming increasingly indefensible now that the odds are clearly stacked in favour of landlords. Although it is too early to say anything definitively, since fresh cases are still at the arguments stage, but there is actually no defence left for a tenant living in a commercial property.

I have myself advised three landlord clients to move court because their chances of winning have, after the SC rulings, brightened,” Mathur confided. Lawyers said that for the first time a tenant can be asked by a landlord to vacate his premises. Earlier, non-payment of rent or discreet subletting were the only two technical defaults committed by a tenant that allowed a landlord to take back his property. Eviction can now be sought on need. And courts hearing such cases will witness how landlords play around with the word need, since the scope for it has been widened. More importantly, bonafide need can now be claimed not just for the owner of the property but also for his or her dependent family, elaborated another lawyer. As petitioners before the Delhi high court, the landladies Shobha Aggarwal, Suman Jain and Seema Khandelwal argue, the DRC Act is ”an archaic legislation that needs to be struck down as unconstitutional”. Provided the high court agrees with these women, numerous landlords in Delhi can now become hopeful about getting much higher rents for the properties that they let out.

Another form of insufficiency found in UK case law, is where an invention is found not to be enabled across its entire scope. Recent years have seen a growing number of plausibility objections from the EPO against biotech and pharmaceutical invention. There is a growing feeling in some parts of the patent community that the EPO has raised the bar for plausibility too high (see here), particularly given the lack of direct basis for the concept in the EPC. Since the hearing for Warner-Lambert v Actavis in February (IPKat post here), there has been growing speculation as to how far the UK Supreme Court would adopt the EPO approach, or seek to limit the requirement for plausibility. ] EWCA Civ 1006), Lord Justice Floyd upheld the High Court decision that claims 1 and 3 of the patent were insufficient. The Supreme Court held by majority (Lord Sumption, Lord Reed and Lord Briggs) that the disclosure in the specification supports the claims so far as they extend to inflammatory pain but not to any kind of neuropathic pain.

The Supreme Court thus dismissed Warner-Lambert’s appeal that the the claim to the use of pregablin for the treatment of central neuropathic pain was sufficiently disclosed. The Supreme Court went even further, and upheld Actavis and Mylan’s appeal that the treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain was also insufficiently disclosed. The court reasoned that the mouse models used to provide the data in the specification were only relevant to inflammatory pain. The Supreme Court may have established a higher bar to sufficiency of disclosure for pharmaceutical inventions and firmly placed plausibility as a key aspect of sufficiency. The IPKat will consider the consequences of this in future posts once the team has had time to digest the Supreme Court’s reasoning in full. In the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Floyd rejected arguments submitted by Warner-Lambert that the term “pain” would be understood by a skilled person as having anything other than its ordinary, broad meaning. The Judge also held that the term “neuropathic pain” in claim 3 would be understood broadly as including both central and peripheral neuropathic pain. A skilled person, the Judge ruled, would not understand the specification as excluding central neuropathic pain from the definition.

Warner-Lambert argued that the construction of the claim by the Court of Appeal ignored expert evidence that should not have been disregarded. However, the UK Supreme Court unanimously agreed with the lower court that Claim 1 extends to all pain and Claim 3 to all neuropathic pain, whether peripheral or central. In the Court of Appeal Lord Justice Floyd agreed with the High Court that Warner-Lambert’s post-trial amendment, limiting claim 3 to peripheral neuropathic pain, was an abuse of process. Lord Justice Floyd reasoned that Warner-Lambert had failed to provide any good reasons for not raising the amendment at trial. The Supreme Court agreed with the lower courts. The action for infringement was brought on the basis of claim 1 and 3. Both of these claims were found invalid for insufficiency by the Court of Appeal. Lord Justice Floyd nevertheless considered the issue of infringement in obiter, particularly the proper interpretation of Swiss-form claims. Lord Justice Floyd particularly provided a clear test by which infringement of Swiss-type claims by a generic could be assessed.

The court should assess whether the alleged infringer knew or could foresee that at least some of the prescriptions written generically for the claimed drug for the claimed indication would in fact be fulfilled with the generic. The absence of the claimed indication from the label (“skinny label”), the judge suggested, could not “conceivably be sufficient to negative the intention”. Instead, the test will be negatived where the manufacturer has “taken all reasonable steps within his power to prevent the consequences occurring”. The Supreme Court also dismissed by majority Warner-Lambert’s appeal on this point. Particularly, Lord Sumption, together with Lord Reed, Lord Hodge and Lord Briggs, found that if claims 1 and 3 had been valid, they would not have been infringed, but differed in their reasons. Lord Hodge and Lord Briggs preferred the view of Mr Justice Arnold at first instance that the test is whether the alleged infringer subjectively intended to target the patent-protected market. Stay-tuned to IPKat for further analysis of the Supreme Court decision. In the meantime, the IPKat is keen to hear readers’ comments, and is looking forward to the IBIL event on the implications of the decision next Tuesday evening (sign up here).

A Pakistani court has overturned the death sentence of a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy, a case that has polarised the nation. Asia Bibi was convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a row with her neighbours. She always maintained her innocence, but has spent most of the past eight years in solitary confinement. The landmark ruling has already set off violent protests by hardliners who support strong blasphemy laws. Demonstrations against the verdict are being held in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Multan. Clashes with police have been reported. The Red Zone in the capital Islamabad, where the Supreme Court is located, has been sealed off by police, and paramilitary forces have been deployed to keep protesters away from the court. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, who read out the ruling, said Asia Bibi could walk free from jail in Sheikupura, near Lahore, immediately if not wanted in connection with any other case.

She was not in court to hear the ruling, but reacted to the verdict from prison with apparent disbelief. AFP news agency quoted her as saying by phone. What was Asia Bibi accused of? They were harvesting fruit when a row broke out about a bucket of water. The women said that because she had used a cup, they could no longer touch it, as her faith had made it unclean. Prosecutors alleged that in the row which followed, the women said Asia Bibi should convert to Islam and that she made three offensive comments about the Prophet Muhammad in response. She was later beaten up at her home, during which her accusers say she confessed to blasphemy. She was arrested after a police investigation. The court delivered its verdict quickly, no doubt aware of the sensitivity of the case and the danger of a violent reaction to it. Asia Bibi’s lawyer, closely flanked by a policeman, told me he was “happy” with the verdict, but also afraid for his and his client’s safety. Even after she is freed, the legacy of her case will continue.

Shortly after her conviction a prominent politician, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, was murdered for speaking out in her support and calling for the blasphemy laws to be reformed. The killer – Mumtaz Qadri – was executed, but has become a cult hero with a large shrine dedicated to him on the outskirts of Islamabad. His supporters also created a political party – campaigning to preserve the blasphemy laws – which gathered around two million votes in this year’s general election. It’s the same party which many fear could be responsible for violent unrest in the coming days. What is blasphemy in Pakistan? What are Pakistan’s blasphemy laws? What did the Supreme Court say? The judges said the prosecution had “categorically failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt”. The case was based on flimsy evidence, they said, and proper procedures had not been followed. The alleged confession was delivered in front of a crowd “threatening to kill her”. The ruling heavily referenced the Koran and Islamic history. It ended with a quote from the Hadith, the collected sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, which calls for non-Muslims to be treated kindly. Why is this case so divisive?

Islam is Pakistan’s national religion and underpins its legal system. Public support for the strict blasphemy laws is strong. Hardline politicians have often backed severe punishments, partly as a way of shoring up their support base. But critics say the laws have often been used to get revenge after personal disputes, and that convictions are based on thin evidence. The vast majority of those convicted are Muslims or members of the Ahmadi community, but since the 1990s, scores of Christians have been convicted. They make up just 1.6% of the population. The Christian community has been targeted by numerous attacks in recent years, leaving many feeling vulnerable to a climate of intolerance. Many of the attacks are motivated by blasphemy cases, but others have come in reaction to the US-led war in Afghanistan. No-one has ever been executed under the laws, but some people accused of the offence have been lynched or murdered. Asia Bibi, who was born in 1971 and has four children, was the first woman to be sentenced to death under the laws. Internationally, her conviction has been widely condemned as a breach of human rights.

Are you wondering when you can collect prejudgment interest on your personal injury award? If so, you are strongly encouraged to talk to your personal injury lawyer about questions and concerns you have regarding your recompense. In the meantime, continue reading to learn a few real life trial examples that might help you better understand your settlement. In 2012, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled on four associated cases involving the Tort Prejudgment Interest Statutes (TPIS). The court openly stated in Kosarko v. Padula that the Tort Prejudgment Interest Statutes rescind the common law “Roper rule,” which limited prejudgment interest to cases where the damages are “complete” and “ascertainable” as of a certain time. Kosarko clarifies the fact that it was no longer of any significance whether the injuries were ongoing or whether damages could have been calculated at the time the offer was made. Instead, the Tort Prejudgment Interest Statutes dictates two points to be met in order for a trial judge to award prejudgment interest.

The first point is that a plaintiff must make a qualified written offer of settlement within one year of making a personal injury claim, and the amount offered must not surpass 1 1/3 times the amount awarded at trial. The second point is that the defendant must not have made a qualified settlement offer within nine months of the making of the claim, and the amount was at least or equal to 2/3 the amount awarded at trial. In the Inman v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance case, the court held the TPIS applies to underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, and that underinsured motorist policy limits have no influence upon the award of prejudgment or post-judgment interest. In Alsheik, the court allowed a settlement letter to be sent following the dismissal of the lawsuit, but prior to refilling a complaint. Accordingly, a settlement offer can be made at any point prior to the filing of a claim. The court articulated that permitting this type of offer was in accordance with the objective of the TPIS legislation, which is to encourage a settlement without legal recourse. Perhaps these kinds of cases can signal a minor change in the court’s analysis and application of the Tort Prejudgment Interest Statutes. Important Note: Please keep in mind that these above-mentioned cases do not portend the possible case results for your unique claim. It is important to speak with a licensed attorney who can give you accurate and personalized guidance regarding your eligilbity for personal injury compensation.

India ushered into a new bankruptcy regime in 2017 with the enactment of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 (“Code”). The Code is currently going through initial stages of teething issues, which every law has to endure especially during the early phases. This article discusses important judgments delivered by the Supreme Court, which settled certain major issues cropped up while implementing the Code. In one of its first major ruling under the Code, the apex court in Innoventive Industries Limited Vs. ] analyzed repugnancy between the Code, which is a Central law, and Maharashtra Relief Undertakings Special Provisions Act 1958, a State legislation. The question of repugnancy arises only if both the State law and Central law relates to the subjects falling under the concurrent list of the Constitution of India. Care should be taken to reconcile both the statutes so as to avoid repugnancy. In the event of direct conflict between State and Central legislature, the Central legislation will prevail over the State legislation. Even if there may be no direct conflict, a State law may be inoperative because the Central law is intended to be a complete, exhaustive or exclusive code.

], and Presidential assent is received for State legislation; in which case State legislation prevails over Central legislation or an existing law within that State. Here again, the State law must give way to any subsequent Central law, which adds to, amends, varies or repeals the law made by the legislature of the State, by virtue of the operation of Article 254(2) proviso. ] considered whether National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (“NCLAT”), the appellate body under the Code, could allow withdrawal of insolvency application after admission on the basis of the consent terms agreed between the parties. Rule 8 of Insolvency and Bankruptcy (Application to Adjudicating Authority Rules 2016) Rules allows the parties to withdraw the application prior to admission of the application by National Company Law Tribunal (“NCLT”), the adjudicating authority under the Code. However, there is no provision for withdrawal of application after admission. The petitioner in this case approached NCLAT invoking its inerrant jurisdiction under Rule 11 of National Company Law Appellate Tribunal Rules 2016 (“NCLT Rules”) for withdrawal of the application on the basis of the consent term agreed between the parties.

Rule 11 allows NCLAT to make orders for meeting the ends of justice. However, NCLAT refused to invoke its inherent power for this purpose. The petitioner challenged the order of the NCLAT before Supreme Court. The Supreme Court upheld the view of the NCLAT and held that NCLAT cannot invoke its inerrant power to allow the parties to withdraw the application after admission. The Code prescribes a time bound process for handling insolvency applications. The sanctity of some of these time limits has been tested before the Supreme Court in Surendra Trading Company Vs. ]. The question before the Court was whether time limit of 7 days prescribed under the Code for rectifying or removing defects in the application filed by an operational creditor for initiating corporate insolvency resolution is mandatory or not. Section 9 of the Code deals with initiation of corporate insolvency resolution process by operational creditor. The section grants 14 days period to NCLT to accept or reject an application after the receipt of the application.

However, before rejecting an application on the ground of any defects, NCLT has to give a notice to the applicant to rectify the defects and seven days period is given to the applicant to remove the defects. Whether the period of 7 days given to the applicant for rectifying the defects is mandatory or directory. The NCLAT held that period of fourteen days prescribed for NCLT to pass such an order is directory in nature, whereas period of seven days given to the applicant for rectifying the defects is mandatory in nature. NCLAT was of the view that the time period of 14 days given to NCLT for accepting or rejecting an application is procedural in nature and cannot be treated to be a mandate of law. The Supreme Court held that it couldn’t find any valid rationale in the conclusion of NCLAT that seven days time period is mandatory. The Honorable Court cautioned that while considering the application for extension of time, a balance approach need to be taken to avoid misuse of the provision.