In court

Published: Tuesday 28 February 2006

lawsuit filed: About 100 companies involved in snow-crab fishing in Quebec and New Brunswick in Canada, have filed a us $ 135 million lawsuit against the federal government. Filed in the Court of Queen's Bench in New Brunswick, the lawsuit contests the snow-crab management plan of the department of fisheries and oceans. The suit also challenges the crab quotas reserved for aboriginal fisherfolk following the 1999 Marshall court decision on native fishing rights. In May 2003, the then fisheries minister Robert Thibault announced a 20 per cent reduction in the quantity of snow-crab catch in the southern gulf. He also said 15 per cent of the new quota would be given to lobster fisherfolk. It's been estimated the cuts would reduce the average crab fisherfolk's income by around us $17,500 or one-fifth of the average income. Reaction to the quota announcement was violent. In the New Brunswick fishing community of Shippagan, an angry mob destroyed a warehouse, a fish processing plant and the local fisheries department office. They also destroyed four fishing boats, three belonging to the department and the other owned by the Big Cove First Nation.

Plea rejected: On February 6, 2006, the Supreme Court (SC) of India struck down the cola companies' plea for a stay on the compliance of an earlier Rajasthan High Court (HC) order. The HC had ordered the cola companies to disclose on their labels information regarding the presence of pesticide residues in their products. Cola companies had filed an intervening application in the SC asking for a stay on compliance with the June 1, 2005 order of the HC. The order gave them time till January 19 to either comply or get a stay order. "The apex court refused a stay. Then the companies asked for a status quo to be maintained which was also refused by the honourable court," says Aishwarya Bhati, advocate, SC.

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