Category Archives: legality

Salvia Divinorum should not be used as party drug

What is Salvia Divinorum: Salvia is a plant which has minimum 100 species. But Salvia divinorum is the most popular species of salvia. It’s the part of very large family which name isLabiates. Most of the people plant this salvia for psychoactive effects. It also enhances the beauty of house. The botanical meaning of this plant is “Sage of the Diviners”.  Besides it has been used for hundred years in religious occasion in India. Salvia divinorum is a confused plant which has received enhancing concentration for its recreational use, particularly among young people in the United States. Salvia is propagated from southern Mexico, where it was used by people of the Mazatec a culture. Thesubstance is demolishedorally with different ways.

Several methods of taking: There are different methods are available for taking this Salvia Divinorum. People can enjoy salvia with Mazatec method which means taking leaves directly, quid method, by smoking or with tea. These ways are very popular when someone wants to take salvia.Mazatec method means that the fresh leaves are taken directly. Plenty of fresh leaves are needed for this Mazatec method. In this method first of all the leaves are crunched and then people swallow. It works for long time but it is not tasted well. Most of the users are compatible to this method. Besides, people are habituated to taking salvia with tea. It tastes better than directly. Moreover people take it by chewing the leaves which method is also familiar. This method is called quid method. Quid method is applied with dry leaves or fresh leaves though maximum users use fresh leaves in this method. A cylinder or sphere shaped ball are generated for covering the leaves. Then users crunch the leaves for half an hour. It doesn’t work for long time. But now the large number of users takes it by smoking. This modern method is very appealing to the users.

Uses:Some new users think that salvia is a party drug but actually it doesn’t work as like as alcohol and Cannabis.  It can’t bring the real party mood to the people. It is mainly used for religious purpose. Besides, vastly usage of salvia is in mediation. For bringing real concentration it can be a good option. When people feel mental depression in their mind they can taste it with sitters or real close friend in a quiet place. Otherwise, the bad effect can be showed. Calm and quiet place should be selected for this herb or plants.

Legality: Salvia got the legality in most of the countries though some country totally banned on salvia selling as like as Belgium, Germany, Spain and Denmark.

Legal Remedy on Illegal Disconnection of Phone

Mobile or Telephone disconnection is so common thing that very few people take pain on  disconnection and think about the legality of the disconnection. The legal remedy rarely strikes in the mind of the people and matter is reported and resolved by the customer care department of the telecom Companies. But in most of the cases the disconnection is illegal, without following the due process of law. The disregards to the established procedure can cost dear to the Companies and they can be penalized for the same, if the customer is aware about legality of disconnection and resorts to legal remedy. The grounds of disconnection and legal position are explained hereunder;

Grounds of disconnection:

Non-payment of Bill: In most of the cases the phone is disconnected on the ground of non payment of the monthly bill.

Proof of residence: This is also a ground which is used by the companies for disconnection.

Credit Limit:  Some Companies fixed the credit limit of their customer and disconnect the connection on exceeding such credit limit.

Legality of such grounds:

The Telecom Companies are given license under telegraph Act, and regulated by the Department of Telecom and Telecom Regulatory Authority. As per the telegraph Act the phone can’t be disconnected without giving a prior notice to the customer. Any disconnection without giving notice is in utter violation of law and hence illegal.

The phone can’t be disconnected prior to due date of the payment of bill and even after the due date of payment without giving a proper notice to the customer. Some times this situation arises when the cheque given by the customer is either misplaced or credited in the account of other customer or the customer received inflated bill and refused to pay the same.

The Companies are required to verify the address of the customer before activation of the connection. But normally the companies activate the phone first and verify the address later on. Some time this creates confusion and wondering situation when the customer is asked to submit his documents for address proof and his phone is temporary disconnected. Companies contend that they received a negative report from verification agencies. In Most of the cases filed before the consumer courts it was held that such practice is in contravention of the rule of law and held the companies liable for deficiency of services. In the light of various consumer courts’ judgments the rule is settled that once the companies activate the phone connection they can’t disconnected the same without giving a proper notice to the customer.

Some Companies fixed credit limit of the customer and the phone is automatically disconnected the moment it exceed credit limit. Disconnection on this ground is also illegal unless the proper notice was given to the customer.

Other Problems:

Apart from disconnection the customer may also face some other problems i.e. Inflated bills, change in the tariff plan without his consent, additional services which were not subscribed by the customer, poor connectivity, withdrawal of outgoing facilities/ internet facilities etc. and non activation of such facilities after request for the same, bills after disconnection of phone or non disconnection after application for the same. All these also amount to the deficiency of the service and the customer can avail the following legal remedies.

Is it legal to purchase and sell ephedrine in Europe?

Due to the FDA ban on ephedrine in the USA, the legal aspects are not well_known and many people raise questions about buying ephedrine in the USA, in Canada and more and more in Europe where the legal context is globally different, as there are European laws and local country laws as well.

We will answer most of these questions here.

Legality of ephedrine in the USA

Ephedrine as a substance: it is legal to buy ephedrine as bronchodilator for asthma, given maximal quantities of 3.6 grams per sale and 7.5 grams per month if delivered per mail, 9 grams if bought locally. Legal obligation to check name and address of the buyer. Ephedra as a plant (Ephedra sinica or Ma Huang) is not controlled in the USA, both plants and seeds are perfectly legal in all US states for purchase and sale.

Legal status of ephedrine in Canada

Next to the ban of ephedrine by the FDA, Health Canada has requested recall of products containing ephedrine above the following dosage: 8 mg ephedrine per single dose or 32mg ephedrine per day. These limits still apply today. EC stacks are not allowed, nor references toweight loss on labels. Ephedra based products which are marketed for traditional medicine are still authorized if they don’t contain caffeine and if the above-mentioned dosages of ephedrine are respected.

Legality of ephedrine in Europe

  • France: banned in 2003, based on the decision made by the FDA (official explanation)
  • Belgium: banned in 2005, next to the FDA ban
  • Germany: only in pharmacies
  • Sweden: free
  • UK: in pharmacies and freely sold online for weight loss by UK based companies
  • Netherlands and Finland: prescription only
  • Spain: we didn’t receive references to the legal text, some members reported that they buy online without any problem.

Is it legal to buy from a country where ephedrine is authorized, to ship to a country where it’s not?

No. The legal rules apply, not depending of the country of origin.

Back to USA and Canada

Due to the close relationships these countries have, also in the pharmaceutical industry, there is a need of convergence regarding drugs regulations. Canada had to stand a point after the ban of ephedrine by the FDA. If you want to have a better idea of the real motivations of the US ban, you should have a look at the Canadian official texts about ephedrine: there is no reference to potential health risks but only concerted actions to fight against drug trafficking. For instance, here is an extract of the Canadian official position on ephedrine: « Synthetic drug producers require a continuous supply of precursor chemicals. Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine (PSE) are in the greatest demand as they are the primary precursors for methamphetamine. Until recently, the flow of large quantities of PSE from Canadian supply sources to methamphetamine ‘super labs’ in the United States heightened law enforcement concerns regarding the cross-border trafficking of PSE. »

Some people will probably worry about the fact that Canada did not authorize EC stacks (ephedrine + caffeine), which has not to do with drugs trafficking but with a real worry for the health of the population. Let’s close this point rapidly: yes, EC stacks present a cardiovascular risk at insane dosage, but no, they present no risk at the prescribed dosage.

Our frequent readers know that the FDA ban of ephedrine had other motives than adverse effects. The scientific basis of the decision was so poor that even pro-ban enthusiasts were embarrassed (including the pharmaceutical industry and the officials). Have a look at our post about the recent bills in the USA which will restrict even more the sale of ephedrine as cold and allergy medicine: the real target is to fight against the rise of meth labs in the country. Bad luck for the 12 million people who were taken ephedrine for weight loss without any health issue. When you think that in the same time, the American food industry is directly involved in the epidemic rise of obesity of adults and children as well, you could truly question the relation between legality and safety… Anyway, to come back to the FDA ban, the reasons of drug control won (ephedrine being a precursor of methamphetamine), but the medical evidence remains: ephedrine alone, or ephedrine plus caffeine (EC stack) present no risk at the prescribed dosage: for instance in this 2008 case-crossover study focusing on cardiovascular risks of ephedrine + caffeine, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology : « Prescription of an ephedrine / caffeine product was not associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes. This was found across a wide range of patient subgroups, different cardiovascular outcomes, different assumptions about exposure, and different utilization patterns. »

Many other medical studies lead to the same conclusion: the FDA ban, meant for drug control, has prevented millions of people to benefit from the amazing effects of ephedrine for weight loss (fat burn through higher metabolism/thermogenesis, energy level, appetite suppression, lean muscle mass retention), and all this without any patent, just offered by Nature.

But law is law and applies to all. If the legality of ephedrine in your country allows you to buy ephedrine or EC stacks online, lucky you, don’t forget to check our review of most sites having real ephedrine for sale and not fake products without ephedrine alkaloids.

Is it legal to purchase and sell ephedrine in Europe?

Mar 31, 2012 • By Mike Budd • 234 Views

Due to the FDA ban on ephedrine in the USA, the legal aspects are not well_known and many people raise questions about buying ephedrine in the USA, in Canada and more and more in Europe where the legal context is globally different, as there are European laws and local country laws as well.

We will answer most of these questions here.

Legality of ephedrine in the USA

Watch: Ted Is Getting A Legal Question and Answers It
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Ephedrine as a substance: it is legal to buy ephedrine as bronchodilator for asthma, given maximal quantities of 3.6 grams per sale and 7.5 grams per month if delivered per mail, 9 grams if bought locally. Legal obligation to check name and address of the buyer. Ephedra as a plant (Ephedra sinica or Ma Huang) is not controlled in the USA, both plants and seeds are perfectly legal in all US states for purchase and sale.

Legal status of ephedrine in Canada

Next to the ban of ephedrine by the FDA, Health Canada has requested recall of products containing ephedrine above the following dosage: 8 mg ephedrine per single dose or 32mg ephedrine per day. These limits still apply today. EC stacks are not allowed, nor references toweight loss on labels. Ephedra based products which are marketed for traditional medicine are still authorized if they don’t contain caffeine and if the above-mentioned dosages of ephedrine are respected.

Legality of ephedrine in Europe

  • France: banned in 2003, based on the decision made by the FDA (official explanation)
  • Belgium: banned in 2005, next to the FDA ban
  • Germany: only in pharmacies
  • Sweden: free
  • UK: in pharmacies and freely sold online for weight loss by UK based companies
  • Netherlands and Finland: prescription only
  • Spain: we didn’t receive references to the legal text, some members reported that they buy online without any problem.

Is it legal to buy from a country where ephedrine is authorized, to ship to a country where it’s not?

No. The legal rules apply, not depending of the country of origin.

Back to USA and Canada

Due to the close relationships these countries have, also in the pharmaceutical industry, there is a need of convergence regarding drugs regulations. Canada had to stand a point after the ban of ephedrine by the FDA. If you want to have a better idea of the real motivations of the US ban, you should have a look at the Canadian official texts about ephedrine: there is no reference to potential health risks but only concerted actions to fight against drug trafficking. For instance, here is an extract of the Canadian official position on ephedrine: « Synthetic drug producers require a continuous supply of precursor chemicals. Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine (PSE) are in the greatest demand as they are the primary precursors for methamphetamine. Until recently, the flow of large quantities of PSE from Canadian supply sources to methamphetamine ‘super labs’ in the United States heightened law enforcement concerns regarding the cross-border trafficking of PSE. »

Some people will probably worry about the fact that Canada did not authorize EC stacks (ephedrine + caffeine), which has not to do with drugs trafficking but with a real worry for the health of the population. Let’s close this point rapidly: yes, EC stacks present a cardiovascular risk at insane dosage, but no, they present no risk at the prescribed dosage.

Our frequent readers know that the FDA ban of ephedrine had other motives than adverse effects. The scientific basis of the decision was so poor that even pro-ban enthusiasts were embarrassed (including the pharmaceutical industry and the officials). Have a look at our post about the recent bills in the USA which will restrict even more the sale of ephedrine as cold and allergy medicine: the real target is to fight against the rise of meth labs in the country. Bad luck for the 12 million people who were taken ephedrine for weight loss without any health issue. When you think that in the same time, the American food industry is directly involved in the epidemic rise of obesity of adults and children as well, you could truly question the relation between legality and safety… Anyway, to come back to the FDA ban, the reasons of drug control won (ephedrine being a precursor of methamphetamine), but the medical evidence remains: ephedrine alone, or ephedrine plus caffeine (EC stack) present no risk at the prescribed dosage: for instance in this 2008 case-crossover study focusing on cardiovascular risks of ephedrine + caffeine, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology : « Prescription of an ephedrine / caffeine product was not associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes. This was found across a wide range of patient subgroups, different cardiovascular outcomes, different assumptions about exposure, and different utilization patterns. »

Many other medical studies lead to the same conclusion: the FDA ban, meant for drug control, has prevented millions of people to benefit from the amazing effects of ephedrine for weight loss (fat burn through higher metabolism/thermogenesis, energy level, appetite suppression, lean muscle mass retention), and all this without any patent, just offered by Nature.

But law is law and applies to all. If the legality of ephedrine in your country allows you to buy ephedrine or EC stacks online, lucky you, don’t forget to check our review of most sites having real ephedrine for sale and not fake products without ephedrine alkaloids.

Is Nitrous Oxide Illegal or Legal?

In the United States, the possession of nitrous oxide is not illegal especially when it is used for medication given by a professional doctor or dentist. It is considered illegal (in other states) if it is used for personal consumption. It is prohibited by the law to inhale N2O to get high.

Most localities in the US consider the consumption and possession of N2O legal. The gas also known as “nitrous” is used to boost speed and power of vehicles (although the engine combustion sometimes causes violations of the traffic laws). In this case, the government is requiring a certified system component to avoid arresting drivers with automobiles set with N2O.

Legality

Federal law

The federal law of the United States recognizes possession of nitrous oxide, legal. The legality of the gas is governed by the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA regulates the sales and distribution of N2O and not the possession.

The Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act states that the prosecution is only possible for “misbranding” clauses. It only prohibits the sales and distribution of N2O for the purpose of inhaling the gas. The intention of the buyer for recreational purposes should be proven by the court.

State Law

Every State have different regulations in the possession, sales and distribution of N2O. The law does not ban the possession and distribution completely. It only bans the market of the gas to the minors; another is by setting up a limit for the amount to be sold. It basically restricts the sales and distribution of N2O used as a recreational drug. Stores are required to get a special license for this operation.

Mainly, nitrous oxide is only legitimate when it is intended for human consumption under the care of a licensed physician. Some States determine the gas as illegal if it is inhaled for intoxication purposes. While other states deliberate the purpose of inhaling the gas is a crime.

Another legitimate use of nitrous oxide is for vehicle racing. It the so called “nitrous oxide system” of automobiles. However, there are reports that some drivers are caught by police with vehicles equipped with N2O on the grounds that they might utilize the gas as a cheap “drug.” The automobile upgraded with N2O is mixed with sulfur dioxide making it impossible to inhale. Some vehicle racing competitions ban N2O. The drivers of the racing cars set with N2O will be subjected to disqualification or suspension if proven guilty.

Legal Advice

If you will be charged of illegal possession or illegal sale and distribution of nitrous oxide under the state of federal law, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer. The lawyer will explain the laws and regulations that govern the drug to the person guilty of the crime. The legal officer will let you understand the case and the rules in your place and will explain the possible defenses that will let you win the case or at least lessen the punishment.

Legality Of Bad Job References And How to Overcome Them

Job seekers searching for a new job will have no choice but to go through a reference and background check. Today, employers choose to not only speak with your former employers, but also verify your credit, and conduct a criminal background check depending on the position for which you apply.

When it comes to checking your job references, employers will want to speak with two groups within your previous employer’s organization. First is Human Resources where they can find out about your employment dates, job title, salary, and your attendance.  Second are people who have first hand knowledge of your actual job performance, your ability to communicate, meet deadlines and your interpersonal and leadership skills. Typically, the best people to address these types of qualities are those who have worked with you directly – supervisors, peers and subordinates. But, what are these individuals legally allowed to say?

Legal Reference vs. Slander

According to the Webster Dictionary, slander is also known as “oral defamation,” or telling one or more persons an untruth that will harm someone’s reputation. When one person slanders another, there may be legal consequences. However, a  employer saying “he would not re-hire that person, or declare the said person is ineligible for re-hire” is not an attempt to harm someone’s reputation, it’s legal for an employer to provide such a negative reference of a current or past employee as long as the information is factually accurate

Because many companies are concerned about being dragged into a lawsuit, many employers choose to implement job reference-checking policies, which state that callers must be referred to human resources and that only limited information, such as dates of employment and job titles, will be verified.

How to Get the Job References You Want

The entire concept behind building job references is to provide a list of individuals that can attest to your character and job performance. So, your first step should be to create a list of past supervisors, peers and subordinates who can provide a job reference for you.

When you provide contact information, make sure to include each person’s proper name, job title, organization, and a phone number where they can be reached. E-mail address is another huge plus since many employers find it easier to communicate and get a higher response than by phone. E-mail request for references also provides the perspective employer a more detailed record.

How to Deal With Bad Job References

Most employers want to seek out information from past supervisors. So if your reference list includes your mom and some buddies, and maybe a fellow co-worker, understand that most employment verification forms request the supervisors name, title and a contact number to be reached.  After all, everyone knows that the average job seeker is going to provide the names and numbers of those willing to endorse them. So, if you have skeletons in your closet, deal with them before your begin compiling job references.

According to an article by Alison Green, chief of staff for a medium-size nonprofit, you have three options:

  • Call your bad reference giving ex-boss and negotiate what he or she will say.
  • If you’re concerned your ex-boss is spreading misinformation, go straight to human resources and explain the situation.
  • Advise prospective employers in advance that the reference won’t be flatering, then be prepared to spend half the interview explaining why that is.

The whole concept of good job references is to present yourself in the best light possible. If you can’t offer up a long list of people who are willing to endorse you and all else has failed, you may wish to research some online job reference providers who may be able to help you.

Media and Governance: The legality of Sting Operations in India

INTRODUCTION:

The Media has been rightly referred to as the fourth estate by Edmund Burke and Thomas Carlyle. The role of the Media today, as the ‘fourth power’ which exercises a check on and counterbalances the three organs of authority cannot be undermined. In order to ensure that there are no hindrances in the path of the Mass Media, so that it may function effectively, the freedom of press has been provided as an inherent right under Article 19 (1)(a) of the Indian Constitution. This has been upheld by several judgments as well, such as in the case ofRomesh Thapar v. State of Madras (1950 AIR 124), wherein it was stated by the apex court that freedom of speech and expression includes freedom of propagation of ideas and that freedom is ensured by the freedom of circulation. Further, the freedom of press was again upheld in the landmark judgment of Bennett Coleman & Co. & Ors v. Union of India & Ors(1973 SCR (2) 757), as forming an important part of the freedom of speech and expression.

The reason as to why the Media has been granted such freedom is primarily because the citizen’s ‘right to know’ is an important element of the fundamental freedom of speech and expression. Thus, in order to ensure that there is free dissemination of information, it is necessary that we have free and fearless Mass Media in our country. In fact in the recent past, the importance of the Media has increased manifold because of which reliance is now being placed on the media to act as a watchdog in place of the opposition owing to general distrust and collapsing standards in public life.

This has increased particularly due to the emergence of audio and visual media which has a greater impact on the public than print media. The satellite revolution of the 1990s led to a significant increase in the number of television channels and other media. It may be seen that fierce competition between several media groups has in fact led to sensationalisation of information to attract public attention, for increase in TRP s. One of the many results of that is what is commonly known today as a ‘sting operation’.

What is a Sting Operation?

There is no precise definition of a sting operation. It is essentially a deceptive operation designed to catch a person in the act of committing a crime. It generally involves a law enforcement officer or any other cooperative member of the public who acts as an accomplice or victim of the suspect, so as to gather direct evidence incriminating the suspect. It is commonly found in countries like the United States and is not permitted in various other countries such as Sweden, the Netherlands, etc. In India, it is mostly seen in the form of sting operations being carried on by the Mass Media.

In order to understand the concept of sting operations better, it would now be imperative to discuss a few cases dealing with the same.

Sting Operations in the Past

(a) The Tehelka case

One of the biggest sting operations carried out in the country was that of Operation West End in 2001 which is popularly known as the Tehelka scam. This was a sting operation to expose corruption in the defense ministry, where reporters posing as arms salesmen approached the then Defence Minister, Mr. George Fernandes and Bharatiya Janata Party President, Mr. Bangaru Lakshman. The two were caught in the operation and it ultimately led to their resignation from their respective posts. Further, evidence was allegedly found against Mr. L.K. Advani as regards the Indo-Israeli deal to provide border fencing and communication systems but the same was apparently not disclosed. However, the Tehelka operation came under a lot of criticism particularly due to conflicting statements being made by the Tehelkachief and the journalist who carried out the operation, Mathew Samuel with respect to Mr. Advani’s involvement in the entire issue. Certain pertinent questions were raised such as –

  1. Why did two journalists who were part of the same investigation, report differently about the matter?
  2. The Tehelka chief reportedly stated that the two persons being taped first made disclosures before Mr. Samuel and thereafter replicated the same before him. What was the need to replicate such information? Was the former a mere camera rehearsal?
  3. What was the reason behind releasing only select portions of nearly 100 hours of tape? Was there actually some sort of hidden political agenda sought to be achieved by way of the tapes?
  4. The tapes exposed some of the top brass of the then government and the two major ‘victims’ of this operation have been speculated as having been caught as they were some of the biggest rivals of Mr. Advani at the time.

So, whether or not the operation was in fact the doing of a responsible media or a mere sham, we will never know.

(b) Cash-for-queries scam-

Another controversial issue which came up during a sting operation was the Cash-for-queries scandal in 2005. Also known as Operation Duryodhana, it came to the forefront when it was alleged that the UPA Government which was in power at the time bribed eleven Parliamentarians in return for asking questions. The operation led to the expulsion of the tainted members of the Parliament. It was also alleged that the journalists, Aniruddha Bahal and Suhasini Raj who had carried out the operation were driven by motives of profit. It was also ironical as to how the Police prosecuted the journalists despite the fact that Parliamentary committees found the members guilty of misconduct. Thereafter, the journalists appealed to the Delhi High Court which upheld the legality of the operation.

(c) MPLAD scam-

Another such scandal was the Members of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) scam which was titled as Operation Chakravyuh. It occurred almost immediately after the Cash-for-queries scandal and exposed corruption in the allotment of work for the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme. The scandal involved then Goa Chief Minister and Lok Sabha member, Churcil Alemao, BJP MP, Fagan Singh Kulaste and Samajwadi Party MP, Toofani Saroj, who was later proved to be honest. This scam however did not receive much media coverage owing to the Cash-for-queries scam.

Sting Operations and the Judiciary-

Certain important judicial responses in this aspect may further be studied so as to understand the concept better.

In Court On Its Own Motion v. State, (146(2008) DLT429), certain guidelines were given by the Delhi  High Court as regards sting operations after there was false reporting of a school teacher, Uma Khurana’s involvement in a prostitution racket. These include the following-

  1. The Court argued against the entrapment of a person even if it was to further the ‘public interest.’ The right to privacy of a person is to be respected unless there is a larger interest involved.
  2. A channel proposing to telecast a sting operation had to obtain a certificate from the person who recorded or produced it saying that it was genuine to the best of his or her knowledge.
  3. The channel has to obtain permission from a committee appointed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to telecast the sting operation.
  4. While the transcript of the recordings could be edited, the films and tapes cannot be edited. Both edited and unedited tapes have to be produced before the Committee.
  5. The chief editor of the channel is responsible for self regulation and he has to ensure that all statutory requirements have been adhered to.
  6. Reports or current events cannot deliberately be presented as true and any unverified or inaccurate facts must be avoided, so as to prevent trial by media so that the public does not get misled.
  7. Deliberately overplaying certain parts while underplaying others is also not to be allowed.
  8. Reports should not be such as to create alarm or panic or amount to incitement to commit any crime.
  9. Media to observe general standards of decency, having regard of the sentiments of viewers, particularly that of children.

Another important issue at the Delhi High Court as regards such operation was the Cash-for-queries scam as has been seen earlier. The Delhi High Court in September 2010 upheld the legality of the sting operation conducted by journalists Aniruddha Bahal and Suhasini Raj in 2005 to expose corruption in the Union Parliament. The Delhi Police had previously charged the journalists under the Prevention of Corruption Act for seeking to bribe the MP s. The prime issue which arose in this case was whether any citizen of this country can carry out such an operation and offer bribe to a public officer to expose corrupt practices. The single Delhi High Court judge opined that such a right flowed from the fundamental duty to cherish the noble ideals which inspired the freedom struggle as under Article 51A(b), and creating a corruption-free and independent India is one such ideal. It was also stated that this fundamental duty is linked with every other duty enshrined in Article 51A and more importantly, it is necessary to protect the sovereignty, integrity and unity of the country. Thus, what needs to be seen is that the judge equated the rights of these journalists to that of ordinary citizens, thereby entitling the protection of law to every citizen in such case. As regards offering bribes by the journalists is concerned, the learned judge was of the opinion that in the instant case, the intention of the journalists must be seen, which was clearly to expose corruption amongst the top brass of the government. Further, the journalists deposed truthfully before the Parliamentary committees investigating the matter and the same must be considered.

The journalists have now filed a caveat in the Supreme Court, in case the Delhi Police decides to file an appeal.

A recent case dealing with sting operations is the judgment given by the Supreme Court inRaja Ram Pal v The Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabha & Others, ((2007)3SCC184) concerning the Cash-for-queries scandal and the MPLAD scandal. In this case, certain members of Parliament had challenged their expulsion by way of writ petitions before the apex court. The expelled members contended that the journalists who had carried out the ‘sting operation’ had admitted to have received monetary and other benefits from the same. It was thus argued on behalf of the tainted MPs that these journalists were driven by motives of self and profit. However, the court held that irrespective of the fact as to whether or not there was any motive to extract money from such operations, the expulsion of the members is not invalid due to the conduct which they had exhibited.

However, it is not just the executive or the legislature which has come under the Media’s eye. The Supreme Court in its judgment in Vijay Shekhar v. Union of India, ((2004) 4 SCC 666) discussed about corruption in the judiciary and upheld that warrants obtained against certain eminent persons (including former President, Dr. Abdul Kalam and former Chief Justice of India, Mr. Y.K. Sabharwal) in pursuance of a sting operation to expose corruption in the subordinate courts of Gujarat were illegal. It was argued that these warrants had been fraudulently obtained. In fact, the then Chief Justice of India, Mr. K.G. Balakrishnan asked the journalist who had conducted the operation to tender an unconditional apology. A question would thus arise herein as to whether the judiciary was in fact trying to protect its own members while delivering such a judgment. Further, taking into consideration the principle of independence of the judiciary, was the Chief Justice entitled to hear a case in which he was probably interested himself?

Another case was the Judeo case which dealt with a sting operation which showed former environment minister Dilip Singh Judeo receiving a bribe from an Australian firm for mining rights in Chhatisgarh. This case came before the Supreme Court after Justice Markenday Katju of the Delhi High Court opined that such sting operations are essential to bring issues such as corruption to light. It was argued on behalf of the journalists that the media act as ‘whistleblowers’ in public life and thus cannot be prosecuted. However, the CBI on the other hand contended that even journalists involved in such sting operations may be prosecuted where there is active inducement to commit a crime by such persons or where there are other vested interests involved and not just public interest. The premier investigating agency of the country argued that law enforcement is solely within the ambit of the powers of the government. Others can merely assist the government, but they cannot take the law into their own hands. The CBI was of the opinion that any person carrying out such operations may be prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The journalists in the instant case, they said, should have informed law enforcement agencies either prior to or immediately after carrying out the operation. Thus, it was reiterated that though the media acts as a guardian of the fundamental rights of citizens, it must do so responsibly.

Evidentiary issues-

It may hence be seen that the Media has to surpass various hurdles while carrying out such operations and the right to privacy of persons and the extent to which the media may assume the role of the police is not the only issue involved here. One of the major issues we face today is whether or not evidence gathered by way of sting operations is admissible. Some would argue that such evidence has been acquired by way of inducement or in a sense, even by way of fraud and is hence inadmissible. While there are others who believe that when there exists compelling evidence against an accused or suspect, the same must be admissible irrespective of the method by which it was obtained. This was also upheld inPushpadevi M. Jatia v. M.L. Wadhawan, (AIR 1987 S.C. 1748.)

However, the question still remains as to whether evidence may be admitted against a person who was lured into committing an offence. In Sri. Bhardwaj Media Pvt. Ltd. v. State,(W.P. (Crl.) Nos. 1125 and 1126/2007), it was upheld that there would definitely be an increase in corruption where people who help unravel acts of corruption in an institution are prosecuted. Thus, the ‘factum of entrapment’ may be ignored keeping in mind the larger public interest.

Evidence received by way of sting operations may also be treated as being extra judicial confessions and thereby admissible in certain cases. Extra judicial confessions may sometimes even not require any corroboration. (Piara Singh v. State of Punjab, (1977) 4 S.C.C. at p. 459) However, the contrary view was held in Makhan Singh v. State of Punjab, (A.I.R. 1988 S.C. 1705), where confession to a witness for the purpose of seeking his help to save the accused was not accepted as evidence.

Law Commission Paper and Government proposals-

The Law Commission recently released a paper as regards sting operations in India and discussed the possibility of enacting a statute with respect to the same. The only statute in existence is probably the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 which clearly provides that “no programme can be transmitted/re-transmitted on any cable service which contains anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half truths.” The Commission also highlighted the views of the Committee on Petitions of the Rajya Sabha which had earlier stated that a sting operation must be aired only where there is conclusive proof as regards the guilt of the accused. However, where public interest is shown, the version of the accused or suspect must also be aired simultaneously. The Committee on Petitions had also stated that punitive action must be taken against any party who makes available any false or fabricated information by way of such operation. It was opined that public interest must be balanced with the right to privacy of the individual and the latter must not be encroached upon. The Committee on Ethics too in the case of Operation Chakravyuh stated the same.

It must be noted that a regulatory authority known as the Broadcasting Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) has been proposed to be established by the Union Government under the Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, 2007. A Content Code, revised in 2008 regulating content of news was however opposed by the media. Thereafter, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has proposed setting up of a National Broadcasting Authority under statute. However, the same would not regulate content of news. The Ministry has also decided to come up with certain informal guidelines to check objectionable publications. Recently, the News Broadcasting Association and the News Broadcasting Standard Authority have been established which promote self regulation and have come up with a definite code of ethics.

Keeping in mind the fact that the judicial pronouncements so far have not explicitly dealt with the law relating to sting operations, the Law Commission has come up with a questionnaire in order to elicit public opinion as regards the issue at hand. The questionnaire puts forth important questions as regards immunity afforded to journalists who conduct such operations, the applicability of laws such as the Prevention of Corruption Act in such cases, the need of legislation, etc.

Problems faced-

However, this is not sufficient. One of the major problems that we face today is that there is no definite legislation or regulation specifically dealing with sting operations. The case law available is also very unclear on the subject. Another problem is as regards ascertaining the intention of the journalist conducting the operation, which was seen in the recent controversy surrounding the Radia tapes. There may be times when the operation is being carried out merely to advocate certain political propaganda.

Further, whether or not journalists are completely immune from prosecution under other laws is a debatable issue. It has often been asked as to whether such journalists may be held for making defamatory statements which may even ruin the reputation of an innocent person if such operations are not conducted cautiously as was seen in the case of Uma Khurana, the Delhi school teacher falsely caught on tape for trafficking of minor school girls.

Generally, only select portions which will attract more TRP s are broadcasted and the true story is not revealed.  Stiff competition in the market leading to sting operations being used as a major public attraction, causes decrease in actual news. In the entire process of tussle between rivaling media houses, public awareness on issues of greater importance gets affected. Thus there is a negative impact on the right to know of the people of the country, a freedom which must ideally be protected by the Media.

Conclusion- What is the solution to this problem?

So are there any possible solutions for these issues? Legislation would probably be the best answer to this problem. Sadly, the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act is the only legislative authority in place which discusses sting operations to a certain extent and upholds the validity of the same for the purposes of the Act. Thus, a definite statute or regulation must be enacted, setting out standards which must be followed by the media, without affecting the freedom of press to a great extent. Courts must formulate clear principles as to admissibility of evidence in such cases, keeping in mind the facts and circumstances. The Police force and other authorities must not be allowed to unnecessarily harass and prosecute media persons. A chance to be heard must be given to all and for that purpose, the version of the suspect must also be allowed to be broadcast simultaneously, so that the public gets a true picture of the entire situation. Further, care must be taken to minimise encroachment on the right to privacy of an individual even where public interest is involved. Defamatory material dealing with the private life of a person must as far as possible be regulated.

A code of conduct and self-regulation must be followed by every news agency and other media. Efforts must be made to ensure individual compliances at all levels and such a code must also be periodically reviewed. Punitive measures must be laid down in case any false or fraudulent sting operation is carried out, so that journalists may work cautiously and this would also create a sense of deterrence. The Journalist carrying out the operation must be made to sign an undertaking stating that the information being broadcast is true to the best of his knowledge. A statutory body may also be created to which the media shall give information as regards such operations either before or immediately after the completion of the operation. The concerned media house must also be required to obtain a license from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in this regard.

However, it is not just important that such solutions be proposed. It must be ensured that these measures are in fact carried out. The right to know of the public must be protected both by the media as well as the government. It must be seen that public awareness is created as regards such issues and each person is given a fair opportunity to state his case. Ultimately what must be highlighted is not growing TRPs or illegally obtained profits. In fact, in stead of playing the blame game, the government and its organs, the Media being the fourth must be both responsive as well as responsible where such issues are involved.

Swords – Legality In The United States And Canada

Thanks to the internet, there has been an explosion in the popularity of swords and other bladed weapons. Many people, however, are still unsure about the legality of such weapons. Quite often, other people seem to claim that non-functional replicas are okay and that sharpened blades are not.

I decided to do some research, and wasn‘t exactly surprised by what I discovered. It’s important to note that I am not a lawyer, so you should take this information with a grain of salt. However, what I found is that swords and other bladed weapons are, in fact, predominantly legal.

United States

Watch: Sheriffs in the United States Are Urging People to Carry Guns
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The United States’ weapons laws, for the most part, are quite lenient. There does not appear to be a ban on swords — sharpened or not — on a federal level. For more specific information on local laws, a visit to Knife Laws Online is highly suggested.

It should be noted that Washington D.C. appears to be the lone exception to the rule, though swords are not specifically targeted; to the contrary, all weapons appear to be banned. If you live in Washington D.C. and would like to own a sword, I believe you are out of luck.

The transportation of swords may be an entirely different issue altogether, as they could be — and likely are — considered concealed weapons. You should seek the advice of a legal expert if you are looking to transport your sword(s).

Canada

Canada’s federal weapons laws are very similar to the United States’, at least as they relate to swords and other bladed weapons. There are no federal laws that specifically detail the allowed length of knives and swords, and it appears that no provinces have banned knives and swords of a certain length. You can find specific information on Canadian federal weapons laws in Section III of Bill C68, though a list of banned weapons can be found below:

* “nunchaku” and any similar instrument or device, being hard non-flexible sticks, clubs, pipes or rods linked by a length or lengths of rope, cord, wire or chain;
* “shuriken”, being a hard non-flexible plate having three or more radiating points with one or more sharp edges in the shape of a polygon, trefoil, cross, star, diamond or other geometric shape;
* “manrikigusari” or “kusari”, and any similar instrument or device, being hexagonal or other geometrically shaped hard weights or hand grips linked by a length or lengths of rope, cord, wire or chain;
* any finger ring that has one or more blades or sharp objects that are capable of being projected from the surface of the ring.
* “crossbow”, with a stock of 400 mm or less
* “Constant Companion”, being a belt containing a blade capable of being withdrawn from the belt, with the buckle of the belt forming a handle for the blade
* any knife commonly known as a “push-dagger” that is designed in such a fashion that the handle is placed perpendicular to the main cutting edge of the blade; and any other similar device but not including the aboriginal “ulu” knife.
* “Spiked Wristband”, being a wristband to which a spike or blade is affixed; and any other similar device
* “Yaqua Blowgun”, being a tube or pipe designed for the purpose of shooting arrows or darts by the breath; and any other similar device
* “Kiyoga Baton” or “Steel Cobra” and any similar device consisting of a manually-triggered telescoping spring-loaded steel whip terminated in a heavy calibre striking tip;
* “Morning Star” and any similar device consisting of a ball of metal or other heavy material, studded with spikes and connected to a handle by a length of chain, rope or other flexible material.
* “Brass Knuckles” and any similar device consisting of a band of metal with finger holes designed to fit over the root knuckles of the hand.
* Any device designed to be used for the purpose of injuring, immobilising or otherwise incapacitating any person by the discharge therefrom of
o (a) tear gas, Mace or other gas, or
o (b) any liquid, spray, powder or other substance that is capable of injuring, immobilising or otherwise incapacitating

K2 Legality

Even though K2 products do not contain any controlled substances, many states have already adopted legislation making the same laws that apply to marijuana or other controlled substances also apply to K2 products. Those states that have adopted legislation making K2 illegal are Kansas, the first state to ban K2, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, Michigan, and Illinois (K2 will remain legal in that state until the end of 2010.) So, this means that in the other 42 states, K2 is still legal.

Many people question why K2 legality should even be an issue. After all, as has already been mentioned, there are no controlled substances in K2 like there are in marijuana and other drugs that are considered illegal. Except for those K2 products which do have synthetic chemicals added to them, the herbs and botanicals found in them are natural.

The herbs are the same as those cultivated for use in a home or restaurant kitchen, or that grow wild. The same holds for the botanicals-which is just a “dressed-up” word for plant parts. The plants that are chosen to be combined with the herbs grow naturally indifferent parts of the country or the world.

It is known that some herbs and plants have medicinal properties, and some do contain natural substances that may have an effect on some people. For example, an herb with the very descriptive common name of “Horny Goat Weed” comes from China. Its real name is Epimedium. The Chinese have long believed this plant has aphrodisiac properties. One type of K2 product, Solid Sex, has this plant in it, along with herbs and other plants.

Another thing that may have some people wondering about the K2 legality issue is the intended use for K2 products. K2 manufacturers make K2 products for use as incense. The products are intended to be used in incense and potpourri burners or otherwise heated in a safe manner until the aroma and essences of the herbs and botanicals can be detected.

Now, it is true that heating K2 incense products will also release any synthetic chemicals that were added to the natural herbs and botanicals. And, some people maybe affected by these chemicals. However, they may also feel the effects of any natural essences that can be found in certain plants, such as Horny Goat Weed.

Perhaps the best way to approach K2 legality issues is by doing so the same way that any issues would be considered. If K2 has been made illegal in your state, but you still wish to use it then you will have to think about whether the risk of being caught inpossession of K2 incense will be worth it.

If you live in one of the states that have made K2 smoke illegal, you probably know you canorder it online from the privacy of your own home. If you buy k2 and only use when you are in the privacy of your home or at someone’s home to which you have been invited, and do not go out in public if you are feeling any effects until they have completely worn off, you should not have any problems.

In those states where it is still legal to purchase, possess, sell, distribute, and use k2 incense, then you know that not only can you purchase it online, you can also buy it incertain retail outlets. That’s because it’s an incense product, just like the incense you buy at other places. You should still, however, only use K2 incense at the right time (when you have taken care of all obligations and responsibilities) and in the right way (as incense only.) Again, if it does affect you, you should not drive or operate heavy machinery, and you should remain where you are until all effects have worn off.

The Legality, Sales and Use of Liquid Aromas Or Poppers in Australia

The aim of this article is to provide Australian users of Poppers the real truth about, legality, use, safety and of course, where to buy the best Poppers in Australia.

Poppers or Amyl got their start in the San-Francisco Gay Community back in the late 70s early 80s and were used as a sex aid. With the spread of HIV, Amyl was blamed as the cause of the disease and was pushed underground to the point where everyone used it but no one spoke about it. They were sold openly over the counter at your local spa or bath house until the crack down of its sale by the US Government, making it illegal to manufacture any product with the active ingredient of Amyl Nitrate or Alkyl Nitrate, but it was not illegal to import and distribute these products, go figure? This lead to a huge boom in International manufacturers such as Canada and England until the good old US Government cracked down again making the importation of Nitrate products illegal. So the manufacturers decided to change the chemical composition from Nitrate to Nitrite, very similar but certainly not the same, making it once again legal to sell, manufacture and distribute these products. You may call it crafty but never the less still legal and certainly within the bounds of the law.

Now, every country is different when it comes to sale and distribution of these products. I am not speaking for any other country in the world except for Australia where the laws regarding Amyl are as clear as the US laws. It is illegal for any company operating within Australia to manufacture, sell and distribute Amyl Nitrate, that’s a fact. Regarding the manufacture of Amyl Nitrite or Alkyl Nitrite products here on our shores I am certain you need a specific licence issued by the Government to do so. It is not Illegal to import and distribute Amyl Nitrite products here in Australia and they certainly are not illegal to purchase either.
So I guess you are asking yourself, then why are they distributed as Video Head Cleaner and Leather Cleaner then? Well, the answer is very simple, depending on the country of importation will depend on what is written on the packaging. Some countries do not require the chemical ingredients to be displayed on its packaging while other countries do and sometimes the chemical ingredients of these products are so very similar to the make up of Video Head Cleaner and Leather Cleaner that the country of origin requires some type of product classification.
Now, I hear you say, then if it is legal to buy then why do sleazy sex shops have it under the counter? Again, that comes back to our Governing body, the TGA or Therapeutic Goods Association and their lack of knowledge of these products. I can name at least 15 Adult Shops in Sydney alone that have had their stock confiscated for testing by the TGA, just to make sure that it is Amyl Nitrite and not Amyl Nitrate that is in those little bottles. With so many brands on the market and new ones constantly appearing, they, the TGA, feel the need to test every bottle in your shop just to make sure. So at the end of the day shop owners decide not to display these products limiting the persecution and the hassle by the TGA. In some ways pulling a bottle from behind the counter looks a bit dodgy, but you can now certainly sympathise with the shop owners. It’s just like a bottle shop owner having all of his Russian Vodka confiscated and tested for alcohol content to prove that it is actually 70 proof Vodka.

So what does Amyl do then? Liquid aromas, Poppers, Amyl Nitrite are commonly used as inhalants or room odourisers. These are often iso-butyl nitrite compounds that are breathed through the nose, sometimes with the aid of an aromatherapy inhaler which cause increased sensation during sexual and day to day activities. Poppers are commonly sold in brands such as rush poppers, Taiwan blue, pig sweat, English, Amsterdam and more. Locker room and Rush have been best selling aromas for the last 40 years and have been featured in many San Francisco based magazines and newspapers that are favored by gay men. Poppers are commonly used by gay men to create and enhanced and pain free sexual experience. The effects created by Poppers are fairly universal for all users depending on the brand of Amyl. Brands manufactured in the USA like Rush, Rave and Quicksilver will give the user an intense head rush followed by a minute or two of euphoria, while brands manufactured in Canada and the UK like ZBest and Colt Fuel, Man Scent and jacked will give the user a total body experience followed by a more intense feeling of euphoria for at least 5 to 10 minutes. All Poppers lower the blood pressure and relax the muscles both externally and internally making anal sex a lot more pleasurable.

Regardless of the minor side effects and risks many men and women still use poppers to this day. These kind of aromas are available in small glass or plastic bottles and are generally 15ml or 30ml in size. They can be kept fresh by storing in a cool, dry place like a bedside table but contrary to popular belief they should not be stored in the fridge or freezer.

When buying poppers online consumers need to be sure that they are the original aromas and not a knock off of a famous brand. I have found a number of sellers in Australia but only trust a certain few when it comes to my Aroma needs. If you are looking for a very reputable supplier on line then try PopperExpress Their products are one hundred percent genuine and they have a huge selection at extremely reasonable prices. Don’t get ripped off by going to get your poppers at a sleazy sex shop or cruise club and pay double the price for something that may not even be the real deal. Do yourself a favor and try and plan a little in advance. Again try PopperExpress.com.au I strongly recommend them.

It is never recommended to abuse poppers and they should always be used in accordance with the labeling on the product. If you do use them as inhalants you should know the risks and are encouraged to always be safe with any sexual or potentially dangerous activity! Please always follow the safety warnings and always play safe.

E Cigarette Toronto Models – Exploring the Options & their Local Legality

Toronto is a vibrant city that is line with the world when it comes to culture, trends, tech and talent. No wonder when thee cigarette Toronto industry started booming, it become apparently known that it will blossom. And now, there are many models and types to choose from. Most importantly, the local laws are now more clear about where it is allowed and where not. So, let’s take a peek into the Toronto and GTAs local ecigarette trends and where they are headed in the near future.

Growth of Personal Vaporizer Toronto Industry

There are various models and types of e-cigarettes available in the market. Small terms are used to describe these cigarettes for instance Mini-E-cig, Cig-A-Like or Slim models. These types of e-cigarettes are lightweight, affordable and easy access for the e-cig smokers. Customers are available with variety of choices and they can choose flavour as per their liking. With the availability of immense amount of different models, Canadian people have variety of e cigs to choose from.

Short Description of E- cigarettes- Choose which Best Suits Your Need

  • One-Piece – This type is not very reliable and if the client is looking for a temporary nicotine fix then he should look for brand’s product before investing. It is usually not allowed to use tobacco substances in most of the public spaces. However, private premises is a different story.
  • Two-Piece – This type of e cigs is rechargeable and it uses cartomizers. These cartomizers are sometimes re-fillable. However, it depends on the type of e-cigarette cartomizers you are using. These types of e cigarettes are consisting of two pieces – a battery and a cartridge. You can easily screw it on and off when you need to replace it with new one. Its style and simplicity make it popular among the people. Batteries of two-piece e-cigarette come in automatic or manual. If you are available with manual you are required to push a button with each draw whereas, in an automatic your draw will activate the battery on its own.
  • Three-Piece – These types of cigarettes are comparatively less convenient and reliable. It is consist of three components which are – an atomizer, a battery, and a poly cotton filled plastic cartridge. This type is out dated because of its unreliability and less remotely satisfaction. It’s Cartridges either gets melt or leaks and produce little or no vapor. And the only benefit of this e-cig model is that you can replace the parts which went bad.
  • Mid-Sized – Mid-Sized e-cigarettes are more popular among smokers, because it is able to function for 6+ hours, and still able to produce clouds of vapor. User can experience great nicotine satisfaction. These e-cigarettes are relatively larger in length and width, and hence, perform accordingly. In this type of e-cigarettes, e-liquid tanks known as clearomizer tanks are used. These clearomizer tanks are used for e- liquids which goes into your clearomizer tank, then is attached to the battery. Mid-sized e-cigs are considered to be the most cost effective way to vape.

Smokers have immense choice these days as there are various models and types of e- cigarette are available in the market. E cigarettes do not harm passive smokers, thus, e cigarette allows the first hand smokers to smoke in public places. These cigarettes do not produce any tar or smoke. Its various models have their own attributes and features so price varies accordingly. Two-piece e cigarette are considered to be the most reliable and convenient to use. Users must get acquainted with all the facts related to these cigarettes before they make choice to buy any of it.