The Law Tree

Edition 64

We transition into the new year 2021, optimistic about resuming “normal” life as it were before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world. Besides, the anti Covid vaccine and Sankranti, WhatsApp was in the news, only this time for wrong reason. Go ahead and enjoy this edition of Law Tree in the brand new year!


Whatsapp Privacy Policy: Click (bait) “Agree”

In 2020, WhatsApp, the instant messaging service boasted of 2.7 billion users. In 2021, it had estimated about 2.87 billion users. Until recently, WhatsApp service was the primary means of electronic communication in multiple countries. An updated Privacy policy released by WhatsApp opened a pandoras box on data privacy and protection.

What's Brewing

Love Jihad: U.P Ordinance on the oxymoron

On 24th November 2020, the Uttar Pradesh government cleared the UP Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance 2020. Known in Hindi as Uttar Pradesh “Vidhi Virudh Dharma Samparivartan Pratishedh Adhyadhesh”. Infamously known as “Love Jihad” law, the phrase itself is not mentioned anywhere in the Ordinance. The Ordinance has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. A look at the controversial Act..

Circulars & Notifications

Learn about this month’s circulars and notifications brought out by the MCA, FEMA, SEBI & RBI.
The Verdict

Notional income of a homemaker

On 5th January 2021, a three Judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled that calculation of notional income of homemakers must be based on their work, labour and sacrifices. This decision was pronounced while determining insurance compensation to be paid to a deceased couple under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The judgement that reiterates gender equality, gender justice and the contribution of the homemaker to the family and indirectly the economy. 

Go Figure

Forgery and Fraud in India:
It's Related Statistics

Fraud and forgery statistics reiterate that such crimes will continue as long as mankind exists.

India & South Africa's Waiver Proposal to the WTO:
A Battle between Rich & Poor Countries

Recently, India and South Africa, who both are World Trade Organization (WTO) members, have submitted a joint proposal to WTO regarding waiver from certain provisions of the Trade-Related Aspect of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement for the prevention, containment, and treatment of COVID-19. This move has been called by the respective nations in order to waive the intellectual property rights on Covid related countermeasures so that such Intellectual Property rights (IP Rights) do not create barriers to the timely access to affordable medical products including vaccines and medicines or to scaling-up of research, development, manufacturing, and supply of medical products essential to combat COVID-19.


Bankrupt; insolvent; indebted beyond the means of payment


Option to pay before maturity on call. A security (eg bond) issue, all or part of which may be redeemed by the issuing corporation under definite conditions before maturity. The term also applies to preferred shares which may be redeemed by the issuing corporation.

Date of Cleavage

The date of filing voluntary petition of bankruptcy and hence the cut-off date as to discharge ability of debts in bankruptcy. only those debts, with some exceptions, which exist at this time are dischargeable in bankruptcy.

ABC test

Unemployment compensation law exclusion tests providing that employer is not covered if individuals he employs are free from his control, the services are performed outside employer’s places of business, and employees are customarily engaged in independently established trades or professions are known as the “ABC tests”.


Foreign Contribution & Hospitality:
Under Check

The FCRA (amendment) Act 2020 tightens the noose around Organizations especially NGOs from misusing or illegally using foreign funds.  


Important legal and other news having a bearing on society depicted in a fun quirky way!

Suspension extension: Relief or Punishment?

IBC suspension extended till March 2021 says FM

Legal precedence!?

TN bar council seeks lawyers and judges to be on the Covid 19 vaccine priority list 

Your regular dose of a movie, TV show and a book all based on law to keep you entertained and thinking at the same time!

You Don't Know Jack: The life and deaths of Jack Kevorkian (2010)

A television biopic, the movie is based on the book Between the Dying and the Dead by Neal Nicol and Harry Wylie. Starring Al PacinoSusan Sarandon, and others, the movie dealt with a very sensitive and taboo subject of medically assisted deaths for the terminally ill.

Al Pacino played the titular of pathologist Dr. Jack Kevorkian (“Dr. Death” as dubbed by the media),   role to perfection. A euthanasia proponent, Dr. Kevrokian championed the cause of assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. He believed that people suffering from diseases that gave no quality of life – Quadriplegics, Alzhiemers, ALS could be rid of their suffering by being medically administered drugs that led to their death. From 1990 when Dr. Kevorkian aided the death of his first patient until 1998 when he recorded a video of his last patient, Dr. Kevorkian treated a total of 130 patients. His video recording led him to be indicted and imprisoned between 10-25 years. However, he was released in 2007 after being warned of not to undertake such action again.            

While the world continues to remain divided over the issue of assisted deaths even today, this movie was one of the rare ones to have dealt with such a ground breaking issue. Al Pacino is nearly unrecognizable as the cold and reckless doctor. He won several awards including the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild. He was ably supported by Susan Sarandon and others. A medical, legal and humanitarian issue rolled into one. Dr. Death or God? Watch the movie.  


An Invisible Client
by Victor Methos (2016)

A high flying wealthy personal injury lawyer Noah Bryce lives his dream affluent life making out of court settlements for wealthy clients. He only takes up cases with the affluent. The only exception he makes is for his ex- wife’s cousin whose son is on death bed after consuming cough syrup manufactured by a pharmaceutical giant. Slowly, as Noah gets into the thick of the case, he traces back the link to the pharma company itself which will go all out to protect its reputation. Noah is determined to expose the larger truth at all cost. Though not a novel plot, the author’s writing ensures it is a page turner.

TV Series

Fairy Legal (2011-2012)

A legal comedy drama series, fairy legal centres around the young and ambitious lawyer Kate Reed who takes over her father’s law firm after his death. Not only does she have to deal with his clients, but should also bond with his father’s young wife Lauren who is about the same age as Kate. Together Kate and Lauren deal with a range of legal cases – from identity theft, extortion to suicide and consumer cases while developing their own relationship.

We all get the exact same 365 days. The only difference is what we do with them – Hillary DePiano

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