Friday, February 12, 2016

Burberry faces U.S. lawsuit accusing it of deceptive price tags

British luxury fashion brand Burberry is to face a class action lawsuit in the United States, claiming it used misleading price tags at its outlets stores to fool shoppers into believing they were getting big bargains.

The company, which specifically manufactures some of the products for its outlet stores, is accused of intentionally presenting false price information on products that have never been sold in its retail stores to mislead customers.

Outlet stores typically sell excess or old stock at a discount, although some retailers also manufacture goods specifically for them.

The lawsuit in the latest in a long line of cases accusing luxury retailers of marking up goods sold in outlet stores with made-up manufacturer prices.

Last year, U.S. retailer Michael Kors had agreed to pay $4.88 million and change its sales practices to settle a similar class action lawsuit after it was accused of creating an "illusion" of deep discounts.

(Reporting by Li-mei Hoang)

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Friday, February 5, 2016

P&H HC - Foreign Citizens covered under MWPSC Act

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that foreign citizens living in India are also entitled to benefits conferred under Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act. Justice H.S. Siddhu made this observation in Hamina Kang vs. District Magistrate.

Challenging an order issued under the Act, the petitioner had contended that an application can be filed only by a “Senior Citizen” which term as per its definition in Section 2(h), means a person who is a citizen of India and is of the age of sixty years or above.

Rejecting such a contention the Court observed that there is no requirement for the parent to be a citizen of India.

 A senior citizen is a person who is a citizen of India and is of the age of sixty years or more. 

Since the requirement of being a citizen of India is only a part of the definition of a senior citizen, a father or mother, whatever his or her nationality would be a `parent’. Thus, a person who is a parent would be entitled to the benefits of the Act which are conferred on parents, irrespective of his or her age or nationality, the Court said. 

The Court also observed that the Rules made under the Act can be invoked by a `Parent’, even though he may not be a `Senior Citizen’ as defined in the Act.

The court further observed that the applicants are not natives of U.S and were Indian Citizens by birth. “They have had their education from India, getting the Engineering and MBBS degree respectively from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh and Government Medical College Amritsar. Respondent No. 2 served the Indian Army for ten years from 1959 to 1969 and went to USA after getting discharge from the Army. It is thereafter that they acquired U.S. Citizenship. Having retired from their jobs, they now want to settle in India. They are presently registered as `Overseas Citizens of India’. They cannot be denied the benefit of the 2007 Act”, the Court.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ordinance promulgated to amend the Enemy Property Act, 1968

The Enemy Property (Amendment and
Validation) Ordinance, 2016 was promulgated on January 7, 2016.

 The Ordinance amends the Enemy Property Act, 1968 and the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants)
Act, 1971.
After the India-Pakistan wars of 1965 and 1971, the central government took over the properties (called ‘enemy properties’) of those who migrated from India and became citizens of Pakistan (i.e., ‘enemy’). These properties were vested in the office of the ‘custodian of enemy property’, instituted under the central government.
 The 1968 Act regulates rights over these enemy properties, and the powers of their custodian.
In July 2010, an Ordinance was introduced to amend the Act (subsequently lapsed).

 This Ordinance clarified that the office of the custodian will retain its power over enemy properties, even after the enemy dies, or if the legal heir is an Indian citizen, or the enemy changes his nationality, etc.
The 2016 Ordinance also provides for the same.

In addition, it amends the Act to broaden the definition of enemies. For instance, the Act provided that a citizen of India cannot be considered an enemy. Under the 2016
Ordinance, legal heirs of enemies (even if they are Indian citizens) will be considered enemies.

This will mean they will not be able to inherit enemy properties, or enjoy any benefits arising from them.

The 2016 Ordinance also modifies powers of the custodian of enemy property. For example, it adds the power to fix and collect rent, and evict unauthorised occupants from such properties.

For the purpose of allowing regulation of
unauthorised occupants in case of enemy
properties, the Ordinance also makes some
amendments to the 1971 Act.

The 2016 Ordinance has retrospective effect
from the date of commencement of the 1968 Act. This is to ensure that transfers of enemy property that had taken place before its promulgation are deemed ineffective if they violate its provision. All such properties will continue to vest with the custodian.
For a comparison of the two Ordinances, please see here

Monday, February 1, 2016

Draft Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2015 released - PRSIndia

Ministry of Social Justice and
Empowerment released the draft Rights of
Transgender Persons Bill, 2015 in January

 The draft Bill seeks to ensure overall
development and welfare of transgender persons.
A transgender person is defined as a person whose gender does not match with the gender assigned to them at birth, irrespective of whether they have undergone sex reassignment surgery or hormone therapy, etc.

Key provisions of the draft Bill include:
 Certificate of identity: A certificate
indicating that a person is a transgender
person will be issued by a state level
authority, on the recommendation of a
district screening committee (comprising
District Magistrate, psychologist,
psychiatrist, representatives of the
transgender community, etc.). The
certificate may be used to indicate gender on official documents, like ration card and
Aadhaar card. Transgender persons will
have the option to identify as ‘man’,
‘woman’ or ‘transgender’ in all such cases.
 Rights of transgenders and duties of
government: The central and state
governments must take steps to ensure that
transgender persons enjoy right to equality,
Land protection from discrimination. The
government must also ensure that
transgender persons have accommodation,
protection from torture, etc.
 Health: The central and state governments must take steps to provide health facilities to transgender persons including separate HIV  surveillance centres, free of cost sex
reassignment surgeries, etc.
 Education: Educational institutions funded or recognised by the government will have to admit transgender students without discrimination, provide accommodation and necessary support.
 Employment: Public or private
establishments (including companies,
unions, factories, etc.) will be prohibited
from discriminating against transgender
persons in matters related to employment
including recruitment and promotion.
Further, transgender persons may be
declared a Backward Class so that they can
be entitled to reservation under the ‘Other
Backward Class’ category.
A private member Bill related to rights of
transgender persons was passed by Rajya Sabha in April 2015, and is currently pending in Parliament.