Ragging is a crime: Laws to Protect the Freshers

Ragging is crime responsible for taking innocent life. It is important that the individual should be aware of the law to be able to stop the crime.

Read more

Screen Shot 2017-08-05 at 11.29.21 PM


Question: Is there a helpline number for approaching in case of being ragged?

Ans. In accordance with the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, UGC (University Grants Commission), Government of India has developed an anti-ragging web portal for curtailing ragging.

ANTI RAGGING HELPLINE


Question: Where can I make a complaint about the ragging taking place?

Ans. The government portal provides for the lodging the complaint about the ragging taking place. Please click the link to the government portal below to make any complaint.

http://www.antiragging.in/Site/Complains_details.aspx


Question: What constitutes Ragging?

Ans.  Ragging as defined on the portal is mentioned below.

Defining Ragging

Slogan of Ragging

Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 12.58.33 AM


Question: Who can be Complainant on the government portal? Can I secure my identity is not revealed?

Ans. Anybody can register a complaint against ragging, the person may not be a victim alone. In required circumstances, your identity can also be concealed.


Question: What if I am not satisfied by the Orders of the Anti-ragging committee of the college?

Ans. Chancellor, Vice Chancellor or Chairman of the case may be.


Question: What are regulations for curbing ragging in place from UGC?

Ans. The following regulations have been put in place by UGC for curbing ragging.

Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 12.45.58 AM


Question: Can I get the FIR registered against the offender for ragging?

Ans. Yes. The provisions are discussed in another article on ragging in the website.


Question: What are the action points for anti-ragging as per Supreme Court judgment delivered on May 8, 2009?
Ans.  The following are the measures suggested in the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court:

(1) Confidence building measures: Appointment of counselors, the late arrival of the seniors, joint sensitization, and orientation program.
(2) Anti-ragging Committee
(3) Anti-ragging squad
(4) Monitoring cell at the university level
(5) Accessibility of the Wardens all the time
(6) Central crisis hotline and database to be prepared
(7) Prompt reporting of ragging
(8) SHO/SP of the area concerned to be readily accessible and should ensure no ragging within the jurisdiction.


Questions: What are statistics of ragging available?

Bar Chart on Ragging

How many lives we are able to save by our initiatives against ragging matters a lot in curbing this offense. Please join hands to spread awareness about the legal remedies.

TEAM INDIAN LAW WATCH


REFERENCES1. News flicks.com for image and statstics.

2. UGC Portal on anti ragging

Standard Operating Procedures for Missing Children

Know Your Laws is an initiative of Indian Law Watch to empower individuals and professionals understand the law. This one is dedicated to issue of missing children.

Read more

know-your-laws


Questions: Who is a missing Child?

Answer:  Section 2 (14) (vii) of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection Act), 2015 says it includes a “Missing Child‟ as a child in need of care of protection. These are the Children who are separated from family, parents or guardian. These are the children who had left home or has been kidnapped, abandoned or trafficked.

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 8.30.24 PM


Question: Who can file a missing person complaint?

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 8.44.52 PM (1)


Question: Where to file the complaint regarding the missing children?

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 8.44.52 PM (2)


Question: What are the important judgments and committees relating to Missing Children?

Answer: 

1. Horilal vs. Commissioner of Police, Delhi [WP (Criminal) 610 of 1996]
2. Nithari Case (2007) plight of missing children
3. NHRC sets up a panel to study the plight of missing children
4. Ministry of Women and Child (2009) under Integrated Child Protection Scheme emphasized the need for an integrated portal.
5. Ministry of Home Affairs (2011) prepared a detailed advisory for tabulating missing children cases
6. Bachpan Bachao Andolan vs. Union of India (WP (Civil) 75 of 2012).


Question: What is the Composition of Justice Juvenile Board?

strong>Answer: The composition of the Juvenile Justice Board as per the Juvenile Justice Board Draft Rules is as follows:

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 12.03.30 PM

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 12.10.09 PM


Questions: What is a Child Welfare Committee?

Answer:  Special Police Unit for Women and Children, Delhi Police highlights the following details about the CWC:

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 12.27.01 PM

Unlawful Assembly: Section 144 IPC

Unlawful Assembly, common in pursuance of a common object, how it has been interpreted viz the facts of the case is what the article intends to examine for readers.

Read more

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 11.52.12 PM

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 8.39.20 AM

Issue in Najabhai

In this matter, the ground of appeal was whether the High Court was right in acquitting the accused under Section 302 read with 149 IPC is the question that falls for our consideration in this case.

A. Relevant Provisions of Law

Section 149. Unlawful assembly

An assembly of five or more persons is designated an “unlawful assembly” if the common object of the persons composing that assembly is—

(First) — To overawe by criminal force, or show of criminal force, 1[the Central or any State Government or Parliament or the Legis­lature of any State], or any public servant in the exercise of the lawful power of such public servant; or(Second) — To resist the execution of any law, or of any legal process; or

(Second) — To resist the execution of any law, or of any legal process; or(Third) — To commit any mischief or criminal trespass, or other

(Third) — To commit any mischief or criminal trespass, or other offence; or

(Fourth) — By means of criminal force, or show of criminal force, to any person, to take or obtain possession of any property, or to deprive any person of the enjoyment of a right of way, or of the use of water or other incorporeal right of which he is in possession or enjoyment, or to enforce any right or supposed right; or(Fifth) — By means of criminal force, or show of criminal force, to compel any person to do what he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do what he is legally entitled to do. Explanation.—An assembly which was not unlawful when it assem­bled, may subsequently become an unlawful assembly.

(Fifth) — By means of criminal force, or show of criminal force, to compel any person to do what he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do what he is legally entitled to do. Explanation.—An assembly which was not unlawful when it assem­bled, may subsequently become an unlawful assembly.

The essential ingredients and the width and amplitude of Section 149, as well as its applicability to the facts of the case, have to be examined as under:

149. Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence commit­ted in prosecution of common object.—If an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly, or such as the members of that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object, every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence.
B. High Court Judgment referred on Lawful Assembly

calcutta-high-court

Calcutta High Court

A Full Bench of the Calcutta High Court analysed Section 149 IPC in the year 1873 in Queen v. Sabid Ali  ((1873) 20 W.R. 5 Cr. | (1873) 11 Beng. L.R. 347 (FB)). Phear, J., speaking for the majority, held as under: “

It seems to me clearly not the case that every offence which may be committed by one member of an unlawful assembly while the assembly is existing, i.e., while the members are engaged in the prosecution of a common object, is attributed by Section 149 to every other member. The Section describes the offence which is to be so attributed, under two alternative forms, viz., it must be either –

1st. – An offense committed by a member of the unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly.

2nd. – An offense such as the members of that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object.

  • Now, inasmuch as the continuance of the unlawful assembly is by the definition of Section 141 made conterminous with the prosecution of the common object, it seems tolerably clear that the Legislature must have employed the words “prosecution of the common object” with some difference of meaning in these two passages respectively.
  • Also, the mere fact that the Legislature thought fit to express the second alternative appears to show very distinctly that it did not intend the words “in prosecution” which are found in the first to be equivalent “during the prosecution”; for if they were then the second alternative would have clearly been unnecessary.
  • And a comparison with this passage of the language which is used in Section 460, where the Legislature makes all the persons concerned in committing a burglary punishable with transportation for life, if any one of their number act the time of committing of burglary causes death, &c., strongly bears out this view.

I am of opinion that an offence, in order to fall within the first of the above alternatives, i.e., in order to be committed in the prosecution of the common object must be immediately connected with that common object by virtue of the nature of the object: for instance, if a body of armed men go out to fight, their common

Also, the mere fact that the Legislature thought fit to express the second alternative appears to show very distinctly that it did not intend the words “in prosecution” which are found in the first to be equivalent “during the prosecution”; for if they were then the second alternative would have clearly been unnecessary. And a comparison with this passage of the language which is used in Section 460, where the Legislature makes all the persons concerned in committing a burglary punishable with transportation for life, if any one of their number act the time of committing of burglary causes death, &c., strongly bears out this view.

I am of opinion that an offence, in order to fall within the first of the above alternatives, i.e., in order to be committed in the prosecution of the common object must be immediately connected with that common object by virtue of the nature of the object: for instance, if a body of armed men go out to fight, their common object is to cause bodily injury to their opponents, and in that case death resulting from injury caused would be homicide committed in prosecution of the common object.

And an offence will fall within the second alternative if the members of the assembly, for any reason, knew beforehand that it was likely to be committed in the prosecution of the common object, though not knit thereto by nature of the object itself. It seems thus, on a little consideration, to be apparent that the two alternatives of Section 149 do not cover all possible cases of an offence being committed by one member of an unlawful assembly during the time when the common object of the assembly is being prosecuted. It follows that in every trial of prisoners on a charge framed under the provisions of Section 149 of Penal Code, even when it is proved that the specified offence was committed by one of the members of the assembly during, so to speak, the pendency of that assembly it yet remains an issue of fact to be determined on the evidence whether that offence was committed in prosecution of the common object, as I have endeavoured to explain the meaning of those words in the first part of the Section; and, if not, whether it was an offence such as the members of the assembly knew to be likely to be committed in the prosecution of the object.”

The High Court held that the conviction under Section 149 was unsustainable in the said case. In a concurring opinion, Jackson J. held as follows:

“It appears to me that the construction of this Section (149), that is, a construction which shall be at once reasonable grammatical, involves two difficulties, or at least two points which call for attentive consideration:-

1st – “The common object,”

2nd – or “such as the members of that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object.”

It has been proposed to interpret the “common object” in a precise sense so as to indicate the exact extent of violence to which the rioters intended to go, viz., to take possession of the land by force extending, if need be, to wounding and the like. This I think is not the sense in which the words were intended to be understood. They are not, it seems to me, used in the same sense as “the common intention” in Section 34, which means the intention of all whatever it may have been. The words here seem to have a manifest reference to the defining Section 141, and to point to one of the five objects, which is common to five or more persons assembled together, make their assembly unlawful. For this reason, I think that any attempt to mitigate the rigour of the Section by limiting the construction of the words “common object” must fail, and that any offence done by a member of an unlawful assembly in prosecution of the particular one or more of the five objects mentioned in Section 141, which is or are brought home to the unlawful assembly to which the prisoner belonged, is an offence within the meaning of the first part of the Section.”

Pontifex, J. agreed with the majority and interpreted the word “knew” in Section 149 in the following terms:

“To bring the offence of murder as defined by the Code within Section 149, I think it must either necessarily flow from the prosecution of the common object; or it must so probably flow from the prosecution of the common object that each member might antecedently expect it to happen. The offence of murder as strictly defined by the Code requires a previous intention or knowledge in the perpetrator, and to “know” that murder is likely to be committed, is to know that some member of the assembly has such previous intention or knowledge. The word “knew” used in the second branch of the Section is I think advisedly used, and cannot be made to bear the sense of “might have known.” 

C. Supreme Court Judgments referred on Unlawful Assembly

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 10.15.19 AM

This Court in Mizaji and Another v. State of U.P (1959 (1) SCR 940 at p. 946-949). observing that various High Courts of India had interpreted Section 149 held that every case has to be decided on its own facts. This court proceeded to deal with Section 149 in detail as under:

“The first part of the section means that the offence committed in prosecution of the common object must be one which is committed with a view to accomplish the common object. It is not necessary that there should be a pre-concert in the sense of a meeting of the members of the unlawful assembly as to the common object; it is enough if it is adopted by all the members and is shared by all of them. In order that the case may fall under the first part, the offence committed must be connected immediately with the common object of the unlawful assembly of which the accused were members. Even if the offence committed is not in direct prosecution of the common object of the assembly, it may yet fall under Section 149 if it can be held that the offence was such as the members knew was likely to be committed. The expression ‘know’ does not mean a mere possibility, such as might or might not happen. For instance, it is a matter of common knowledge that when in a village a body of heavily armed men set out to take a woman by force, someone is likely to be killed and all the members of the unlawful assembly must be aware of that likelihood and would be guilty under the second part of Section 149. Similarly, if a body of persons go armed to take forcible possession of the land, it would be equally right to say that they have the knowledge that murder is likely to committed if the circumstances as to the weapons carried and other conduct of the members of the unlawful assembly clearly point to such knowledge on the part of them all. There is a great deal to be said for the opinion of Couch, C.J., in Sabid Ali case [ (1873) 20 WR 5 Cr] that when an offence is committed in prosecution of the common object, it would generally be an offence which the members of the unlawful assembly knew was likely to be committed in prosecution of the common object. That, however, does not make the converse proposition true; there may be cases which would come within the second part, but not within the first. The distinction between the two parts of Section 149, Indian Penal Code cannot be ignored or obliterated. In every case it would be an issue to be determined whether the offence committed falls within the first part of Section 149 as explained above or it was an offence such as the members of the assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of the common object and falls within the second part.”

“The first part of the section means that the offence committed in prosecution of the common object must be one which is committed with a view to accomplish the common object. It is not necessary that there should be a pre-concert in the sense of a meeting of the members of the unlawful assembly as to the common object; it is enough if it is adopted by all the members and is shared by all of them. In order that the case may fall under the first part, the offence committed must be connected immediately with the common object of the unlawful assembly of which the accused were members. Even if the offence committed is not in direct prosecution of the common object of the assembly, it may yet fall under Section 149 if it can be held that the offence was such as the members knew was likely to be committed. The expression ‘know’ does not mean a mere possibility, such as might or might not happen. For instance, it is a matter of common knowledge that when in a village a body of heavily armed men set out to take a woman by force, someone is likely to be killed and all the members of the unlawful assembly must be aware of that likelihood and would be guilty under the second part of Section 149. Similarly, if a body of persons go armed to take forcible possession of the land, it would be equally right to say that they have the knowledge that murder is likely too committed if the circumstances as to the weapons carried and

Mizaji’s case was referred to and relied upon in a long line of decisions of this court.  e.g., Avtar Singh v. the State of Haryana (2012) 9 SCC 432 at  (27 and 28.), Roy Fernandes v. the State of Goa (2012) 3 SCC 221 at ( 31 and 32.), Lokeman Shah v. State of W.B. (2001) 5 SCC 235 at  20 and 21.

Applying the well-settled principles laid down by this court we proceed to examine whether the Accused can be convicted of an offense under section 302 with the aid of Section 149 IPC. As per Section 141 IPC, an assembly of five or more persons is designated an unlawful assembly if the common object of the persons composing that assembly is to commit an offense mentioned therein. Guidance is supplied by this Court regarding the requirement of examining the circumstances in which the incident occurred, the weapons used and the conduct of the accused during the course of the incident.

In Lalaji v State of Uttar Pradesh [(1989) 1 SCC 437 at  8] this court held that: “The common object of the assembly must be one of the five objects mentioned in Section 141 IPC. The common object of the unlawful assembly can be gathered from the nature of the assembly, arms used by them and the behavior of the assembly at or before the scene of occurrence. It is an inference to be deduced from the facts and circumstances of each case.”

Verdict in 2017  Najabhai Case

“It is no more res Integra that a finding of the commission of the offense under Section 326 (Voluntarily Causing Grievous Hurt by Dangerous Weapons or means) read with Section 149 can be recorded against members of an unlawful assembly even if it is established that the offense under Section 302 was committed by one member of such assembly. (Shambhu Nath Singh and Ors v. State of BiharAIR 1960 SC 725 | 1960 Cri LJ 144 at  6 and 7) The High Court found that the conviction of the accused under section 302 read with 149 IPC cannot be upheld as there was neither an unlawful assembly nor a common object to cause death. The High Court miserably failed to consider the facts and circumstances of the case before coming to such conclusion. Section 149 IPC does not become inapplicable in all situations where there is a cross-case by the accused. The High Court ought to have taken note of the acquittal of the Appellant and others in the said cross case on 24.06.2003. The judgment of the High Court was delivered on 29.07.2009 by which date there was no cross case pending against the Appellants. Recording a finding of acquittal without reappreciation of evidence by the Appellate Court would result in a flagrant miscarriage of justice and that is exactly what happened in this case.”

The Lady Justice

The Lady Justice, the symbol akin to the Legal System, its significance is deliberated in this article with an overview on justice, nyaya and Mother and Child symbol of Supreme Court of India.

Read more
Statue of Lady Justice at Dublin Castle in Dublin, Ireland
Statue of Lady Justice at Dublin Castle in Dublin, Ireland

The Lady Justice

[She carries the scale, a sword or scroll and she is often blindfolded]

The blindfolded “Lady Justice” holding the beam balance is familiar to everyone’s mind when whenever we start talking about the noble profession of law but most of us are unaware about this famous Lady Justice beyond the image. She symbolizes this profession so universally that it is important for every lawyer, judge and even support system entering the profession to understand its significance. Justice is so akin to the legal system and the noble profession so even we as lawyer stands for stands with the duty to assist legal system in the dispensation of the same. Martin Luther King Junior said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. Dispensation of justice, saving life and teaching are some of the streams which attach nobility to the profession and to the professionals wherever they exist. Maybe reading this article awakens each one of us deeper in our role.

Themis is an ancient Greek Titaness. She is the personified as Lady of divine order, fairness, law, natural law, and custom. Her symbols are the Scales of Justice, tools used to remain balanced and pragmatic. The personification of abstract concepts is characteristic of the Greeks. The ability of the goddess Themis to foresee the future enabled her to become one of the Oracles of Delphi, which in turn led to her establishment as the goddess of divine justice. In western tradition, Lady Justice sometimes wears a blindfold and carries a sword and scales. She symbolizes the fair and equal administration of the law, without corruption, avarice, prejudice, or favour.

In a traditionally male-dominated ancient world, she was a predominant and coveted authority of prophecy, advice, and law. She is credited as being the first counselor and the first Oracle at Delphi, even before Apollo. In her time, she was the final decision maker on the laws of man and nature. Her popularity influenced and was mixed into other myths and gods. Around 22 A.D. she first appeared on Roman coins as the Roman goddess Justitia, ‘Justice’. She had become a blend of Greek and Roman stories. She also borrowed select traits and accessories of other goddesses such as Dike and Fortuna amongst others. Additionally, every period and people have added their changes to Lady Justice even as gods and goddess had declined with the rise of Christianity.

The Lady Justice is a metaphorical personification of the moral force in judicial systems. Her attributes are a blindfold, a balance, and a sword. Lady Justice is also known as Iustitia or Justitia after Latin: Iustitia, the Roman goddess of Justice, who is equivalent to the Greek goddess Themis and Dike.

The Scales of Justice represents the balance of the individual against the needs of society and a fair balance between interests of one individual and those of another. The personification of justice balancing the scales dates back to the Egyptian Goddess of Justice, Maat, who stood for truth and fairness. The scales represent that Lady Justice carefully weighs the claims of each side.

The Sword represents the enforcement measures of Lady Justice. It means Themis stands ready to obligate faithfulness to her decision of reason and justice by both parties. 

The Blindfold today probably her most famous symbol – it first appeared in the fifteenth century. The blindfold represents decisions of objectivity and/or impartial decision or decision not influenced by wealth, politics, popularity or infamy etc.  Blind Justice is the theory that law should be viewed objectively with the determination of innocence or guilt made without bias or prejudice.

Overview of the Lady Justice in Sculpture across Globe

1. Lady Justice with sword and scales, blindfold in Berne Switzerland.

2. Supreme Court of Brazil

3. The Palace of Justice, Rome Italy.

4. The Sculpture of Lady Justice, Frankfurt Germany.

5. Supreme Court of Canada, Ottawa Ontario

6. The Central Criminal Court or Old Bailey London,

7. Themis Japan

8. The power of law at Olomouc, Czech Republic

9. Shelby County Courthouse, Memphis, Tennessee, United States

10. Justitia, Tehran Court House, Iran

11. Supreme Court of Queensland Australia

12. New Jersey

13. Justitia in Superior Court Building, Budapest, Hungry.

Justice

The beginning of the first written record of word “justice” can be traced from 12th Century. The origin, however, can be traced from English, French and Latin word. Justice comes from the Middle English word justice, which in turn is coming from the Old English word “justise” and the same is traceable to Latin word “Justitia” which is a word created from “justus”. The first written record of the modern English word justice was found in the mid-12th century as a title for a judicial officer.

Nyaya

In India, the common parlance can be drawn from the word “Nyaya” however it is important for us to stand notice that not only it dates back 2nd century BC in India but was impregnated in our Indian philosophy since ancient times. Nyaya is a Sanskrit word meaning “Rule” or “Method”. The major contribution of the Nyaya system is its working out an as inference ( anumana”).

Symbol of the Mother and Child in Supreme Court of India

supreme-court

A black bronze sculpture of 210-centimeter height was installed on the lawn of the Supreme Court (February 20, 1980). It portrays Mother India in the form of the figure of a lady, sheltering the young Republic of India represented by the symbol of a child, who is upholding the laws of land symbolically shown in the form of an open book. On the book, a balance is shown, which represents dispensation of equal justice to all. The sculpture was made by the illustrious artist Chintamoni Kar. 

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 8.25.38 AM

Notice for the12th Qualifying Examination for Indian Nationals Holding Foreign Law Degrees

Legal System Update:
NOTICE FOR THE 12TH QUALIFYING EXAMINATION FOR INDIAN NATIONALS HOLDING FOREIGN LAW DEGREES

Read more

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 9.23.52 AM

Date of Notification: 25/05/2017

The 12th qualifying examination for Indian nationals/citizens holding foreign law degrees is scheduled to be held from 26th June 2017 to 1st July 2017 at the premises of the Bar Council of India at 21, Rouse Avenue Institutional Area, New Delhi

It shall comprise 6 papers of 100 marks, containing subjective questions spread over three parts viz. A, B, and C

Part A will have six questions in which there will be an option to answer any five questions out of the six questions. Each question shall carry 5 marks for the correct answer. Thus Part A shall be of (5X5 marks); 25 marks in all.

Part B shall carry four questions, with an option to answer any three questions. Each question shall carry 15 marks for the correct answer. Thus Part B shall be of (15X3 marks); 45 marks in all.

Part C shall have two questions out of which any one question is required to be answered. Each question shall carry 30 marks for the correct answer. Thus Part C shall be of (1X30 marks).

The examination shall be held from 11.00 AM to 2.00 PM daily between 26/6/2017 to 01/07/2017.

The syllabus and schedule of papers is as follows:

DATES EXAM
26/6/ 2017 Constitution of India
27/6/ 2017 Contract Law & Negotiable Instruments Act
28/6/ 2017 Company Law
29/6/ 2017 Civil Procedure Code and Limitation Act
30/6/2017 Criminal Procedure Code
01/7/2017 Indian Legal Profession and Code of Ethics

Please Note: The hall/admit cards for the candidates giving the qualifying exam will be issued in due course with further relevant information.


Information Curtsey: Bar Council of India

Please Note: For any further information and confirmation of this notification only with the Bar Council of India Website. The information in this regard on Bar Council of India website will be treated as final. 

FAQs on Delhi Vulnerable Witness Protection Scheme 2015

Delhi Government is offering protection to witness who are vulnerable and what does the scheme has to offer is explained for our readers here.

Read more

know-your-laws


Qs. What is a witness?

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 7.45.34 AM


Qs: What is the scope of the Delhi Witness Protection Scheme, 2015?

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 7.50.42 AM

Witness Protection

VULNERABLE WITNESS NEED NOT WORRY AT ALL NOW


Qs. Who can move Witness Protection Application under the scheme of witness protection?

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 7.57.49 AM


Qs. What is concealment of the witness under the Scheme?

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 7.57.49 AM (2)

Qs. What is Witness Protection Cell?

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.07.58 AM


Qs. What are the categories of witnesses per threat?

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.08.01 AM


Qs. What is the meaning of important terms?

(a) In Camera Proceedings

(b) Live Link

(c) Protection Measures

(d) Serious Offences

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.08.36 AM (2)


Qs. What is a Threat Analysis Report?

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.08.36 AM (1)


Qs. What is the procedure for making an application under the Witness Protection Scheme?

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.08.36 AM


Qs. What kind of protection is offered?

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.09.22 AM


Qs. How is Witness Protection scheme reviewed or monitored?

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.09.24 AM


Qs. What is the protection of an identity of a witness?

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.10.50 AM


Qs. How does witness come to know about the protection scheme?

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.09.30 AM

Form for making Witness Protection Scheme

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.51.53 AM

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.51.56 AM

Legal News Update from Ministries 2017

Legal updates from various Ministries of India.

Read more

A. CABINET DECISIONS

1A. Cabinet approves Protocol amending the  Convention between India and Portugal for the avoidance of double taxation (April 19, 2017) The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister of India has approved the signing of the Protocol for amending the Convention between India and Portugal for the avoidance of double taxation. The Protocol will also ensure prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.  It further said that once the protocol enters into force, both India and Portugal would be able to exchange tax-related information, which will help tax authorities of both countries to curb tax evasion.  This Convention was in force since April 30, 2000. The Convention was applying to following categories mentioned below. This Convention shall apply to taxes on income imposed on behalf of a Contracting State or of its political or administrative sub-divisions or local authorities, irrespective of the manner in which they are levied.

modi cabinet 2014

This Convention was in force since April 30, 2000. The Convention was applying to following categories mentioned below. This Convention shall apply to taxes on income imposed on behalf of a Contracting State or of its political or administrative sub-divisions or local authorities, irrespective of the manner in which they are levied.

(a) This Convention shall apply to taxes on income imposed on behalf of a Contracting State or of its political or administrative subdivisions or local authorities, irrespective of the manner in which they are levied.

(b) There shall be regarded as taxes on income all taxes imposed on total income or on elements of income, including taxes on gains from the alienation of movable or immovable property and taxes on the amounts of wages or salaries paid by enterprises.

(c) The existing taxes to which this Convention shall apply are in particular:

In the case of Portuguese Republic:

S.NO CATEGORIES
(i ) Personal income-tax
(ii ) Corporate Income-tax ;
(iii ) Local surtax on corporate income-tax;

In the case of Republic of India, income tax including any surcharge thereon.

The Convention shall apply also to any identical or substantially similar taxes which are imposed after the date of signature of the Convention in addition to, or in place of, the existing taxes.

1B. An Agreement on Social Security (SSA) between India and Portugal was already signed on 4th March 2013 in New Delhi. On February 7,  2017, Portugal on completion of the relevant constitutional and legal formalities conveyed to the Indian side that it is ready to bring the SSA into force. Accordingly, the SSA between India and Portugal would come into force on 8th May 2017.

The SSA with Portugal will provide the following benefits to Indian nationals working in Portugal:

  • For short term contract, up to 5 years, no social security contribution would need to be paid under the Portuguese law by the detached workers provided they continue to make social security payments in India. The above benefits shall be available even when the Indian company sends its employees to the Republic of Portugal from a third country.
  • Indian workers shall be entitled to the export of the social security benefit if they relocate to India after the completion of their service in Portugal. Self-employed Indians in Portugal would also be entitled to the export of social security benefit on their relocation to India.
  • The period of contribution in one contracting state will be added to the period of contribution in the second contracting state for determining the eligibility for social security benefits.

1C. India and Tunisi

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 10.43.20 AM (1)


B. MINISTRY OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 7.00.18 PMThe Ministry has provided for the incorporation of a company in one day with following features outlined.

REDUCTION IN PROCEDURES: Five Procedures for Starting a Business are now integrated and can be done simultaneously in One step. Using the newly launched integrated e-Form SPICe, stakeholders now apply for Company Name, Company Incorporation, DIN of the directors, PAN and TAN for the newly incorporated company, and avail all FIVE services simultaneously. The requirement of a company seal has also been removed vide Company (Amendment) Act, 2015.

REDUCTION IN COST/FEES: The fee for incorporation (of the integrated e-Form SPICe /INC-32) has been reduced from INR 2000 to INR 500. The cost incurred by a company for company seal is also eliminated, as the requirement for a company seal has been removed vide amendment to the Companies Act, 2013.

REDUCTION IN TIME: The time taken for processing company incorporation applications has been reduced drastically from between 5 to 15 working days in June 2014, to an average of 0.6 working days in March 2017. Similarly, the processing time for name availability applications has been brought down significantly from between 5 to 6 working days in June 2014, to an average of 0.4 days in March 2017. In addition, more than 90% applications are being approved within 1 working day.


C. MINISTRY OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS, FOOD & PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION

jagologo (1)Service Charge levied by Resturants: Clarification issued by Ministry. Payment of service charge with the hotel bills is not uncommon. Many complaints were raised related to it and hence the Ministry has issued following press release on the issue

13. MOCA


D. MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES, RIVER DEVELOPMENT, AND GANGA REJUVENATION

1.  Draft of National Water Framework Bill, 2016

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 8.01.15 AM

2. Model Bill for the Conservation, Protection, Regulation and Management of Groundwater, 2016: Comments and suggestions are invited by the Ministry.

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 7.57.14 AM


E. MINISTRY OF WOMEN AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT

1. Standard Operating Procedure for Missing Children: as provided on the Ministry of Women and Child Development Website is given below.

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 10.08.58 AMThe Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Bachpan Bachao Andolan vs. Union of India (WP (Civil) 75 of 2012) on 10th May 2013 had directed formulation of a Standard Operating Procedure for cases of Missing Children. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 under section 2 (14) (vii) includes a „Missing Child‟ as a „child in need of care of protection‟ and in Rule 92 of the “Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016”, a procedure of inquiry regarding a missing child has been laid down.


F. DEPARTMENT OF EMPOWERMENT OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

The Department has issued notification dated March 10, 2017, for objections and suggestions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2017

visual-ID-EN


G. MINISTRY OF TOURISM

Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 3.31.33 PM


H. MINISTRY OF TEXTILE

Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 3.40.45 PM


I. MINISTRY OF ROAD TRANSPORT AND HIGHWAYS

Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 7.52.26 AM


References 

Website of the Ministries

Lex Resonance: New Round Up 2017

Important news capsule from Facebook page of @indianlawwatch.

Read more

Lex Resonance

A. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW UPDATE

indian-constitution

1. Power to Punish Contempt: The power to punish for contempt vested in a Court of Record under Article 215 does not, however, extend to punishing for the contempt of a superior court. Such a power has never been recognised as an attribute of a court of record nor has the same been specifically conferred upon the High Courts under Article 215. If Supreme Court does not, despite the availability of the power vested in it, invoke the same to punish for its contempt, there is no question of a Court subordinate to the Supreme Court doing so.

screen-shot-2017-01-16-at-8-40-29-am


B. CIVIL LAW UPDATE

1. No need to change the name in Passport for women on Marriage and Divorce:

indian-passport-renewal-or-re-issue-documents-list

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that there was no need for a woman to change her name on the passport after marriage or divorce and that she could get the travel document by giving the names of either of her parents. There has been an important change in passport rules.  It will be up to her to have either the name of her father or mother on the passport.

2. Supreme Court declined urgent hearing in a request for a SIT Probe in Saharanpur Case (May 26, 2017): 

03

The Supreme Court on Friday refused an urgent hearing on a plea seeking a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the recent incidents of caste violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district. A vacation bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Navin Sinha said there was no urgency and the petition may be heard after the court’s summer break.


C. CRIMINAL LAW UPDATE

1. Nirbhyay Case: 

download

The Supreme Court upheld the death sentences of four convicts of the brutal gang-rape and murder of 23-year-old physiotherapy student. Terming the crime as brutal, barbaric and diabolic, the court said the incident shook the conscience of humanity and they deserved the extreme punishment. A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, while upholding the death sentence awarded to the four convicts—Pawan Kumar Gupta, Vinay Sharma, Mukesh and Akshay Kumar Singh—observed that the DNA profile developed from the blood stains obtained from the iron rods was consistent with the DNA of the victim.

2. article-2146026-13252D5E000005DC-541_224x423Three men to be sentenced for an attempt to murder charge against the Judges of Delhi Higher Judiciary: The three men were found guilty by a Delhi Court of attempting to murder three judges by hurling bricks at them in an alleged incident of road rage in 2012. The court observed that the judges while testifying, had remained unchallenged. Testimony of material witnesses of the prosecution shows that the accused became angry after seeing the sticker of ‘judge. On May 17, 2012, around 5 pm, three judges, Inderjeet Singh, Manoj Nagpal and Ajay Garg, were traveling in an official car. Two men on a bike hit it and fell, and when the driver of the car tried to talk, they got into a scuffle with him and abused him. The two men were identified as Anil Raj and Rohit, who were accused of passing threats and asking two more men to join them. The four men, it was further alleged, picked up bricks from a nearby pile and started hurling at the car, breaking its windshield. The three judges supported the testimony of the driver. While one of the judges, Garg, was hurt on his head and bled in the melee, Singh was “dragged” out of the car.  While one accused is on the run, Anil, Rohit, and Prashant were convicted on charges of attempt to murder. Anil and Rohit were also charged with offenses such as assault and causing hurt to a public servant. The court is yet to decide on the quantum of their punishment.


D. FAMILY & PROPERTY LAW UPDATE

Paper cutout family with divorce related messages

1.  Commercial Surrogacy: Commercial surrogacy has been legal in India since 2002. In 2008, the Supreme Court of India in the Manji’s case (Japanese Baby) has held that commercial surrogacy is permitted in India with a direction to the Legislature to pass an appropriate Law governing Surrogacy in India. At present, the Surrogacy Contract between the parties and the Assisted Reproductive Technique (ART) Clinics guidelines are the guiding force. The Law Commission of India has specifically reviewed the Surrogacy Law keeping in mind that in India that India is an International Surrogacy destination.

International Surrogacy involves bilateral issues, where the laws of both the nations have to be at par/uniformity else the concerns and interests of parties involved will remain unresolved and thus, give due regard to the concerns and in order to prevent the commercialization of the Human Reproductive system, exploitation of women and the commodification of Children, the law commission has submitted its report with the relevant suggestion.

The Law Commission of India has submitted the 228th Report on “NEED FOR LEGISLATION TO REGULATE ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY CLINICS AS WELL AS RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF PARTIES TO A SURROGACY. The following observations had been made by the Law Commission: –

(a)  Surrogacy arrangement will continue to be governed by contract amongst parties, which will contain all the terms requiring consent of surrogate mother to bear child, agreement of her husband and other family members for the same, medical procedures of artificial insemination, reimbursement of all reasonable expenses for carrying child to full term, willingness to hand over the child born to the commissioning parent(s), etc. But such an arrangement should not be for commercial purposes.

(b) A surrogacy arrangement should provide for financial support for a surrogate child in the event of the death of the commissioning couple or individual before delivery of the child, or divorce between the intended parents and subsequent willingness of none to take delivery of the child.

(c)  A surrogacy contract should necessarily take care of life insurance cover for a surrogate mother.

(d) One of the intended parents should be a donor as well because the bond of love and affection with a child primarily emanates from the biological relationship. Also, the chances of various kinds of child abuse, which have been noticed in cases of adoptions, will be reduced. In case the intended parent is single, he or she should be a donor to be able to have a surrogate child. Otherwise, adoption is the way to have a child which is resorted to if biological (natural) parents and adoptive parents are different.

(e) The legislation itself should recognise a surrogate child to be the legitimate child of the commissioning parent(s) without there being any need for adoption or even declaration of guardian.

(f) The birth certificate of the surrogate child should contain the name(s) of the commissioning parent(s) only.

(g) The right to privacy of donor as well as a surrogate mother should be protected.

(h) Sex-selective surrogacy should be prohibited.

(i) Cases of abortions should be governed by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 only.

The Law Commission has strongly recommended against Commercial Surrogacy. However, this is a great step forward to the present situation.  Israel the first country in the world to implement a form of state-controlled surrogacy in which each and every contract must be approved directly by the state.

Present Law Related to Surrogacy surrogacy-law

There is a proposed legislation that aims at proper regulation and supervision of ART clinics and banks in the country. Some of the important developments include:

The government has proposed that surrogacy for foreigners in India shall not be allowed but surrogacy shall only be permissible to overseas citizens of India (OCIs), people of Indian origin (PIOs), non-resident Indians (NRIs) and any foreigner married to an Indian citizen. The eligible couple will have to produce a duly notarized agreement with the prospective Indian surrogate mother. Further, they have to produce an undertaking that they would take care of the child/children born through surrogacy.

For foreigners married to an Indian because there are other conditions to do so. The Bill makes it mandatory for the couple to be married with the marriage sustaining for at least two years. They will further need to submit a certificate, attested by the appropriate government authority of that country, conveying that the woman is unable to conceive.

The government has also said that the child born to a foreigner married to an Indian citizen by sperm or egg donation, or surrogacy in India, then the child will not be an Indian citizen, despite being born in India, and will be entitled to Overseas Citizenship of India under Section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

The ART Bill also has stern rules for surrogates. It says that any woman agreeing to act as a surrogate shall be duty-bound not to engage in any act, including unprotected sex that may harm the foetus during pregnancy and the child after birth, until the time the child is handed over to the designated commissioning couple.


E. BANKING & FINANCE LAW UPDATE

finance

1. Privacy Issue on Mobile Payments: There’s been a surge in transactions through the mobile payment channel. But are mobile payments secure? A study by the Centre for Software and IT Management (CSITM) at IIM Bangalore (IIM-B) raises significant questions on the risks associated with mobile phone-based payment systems.

The study evaluated the apps on the following six key security principles for electronic banking transactions: the potential for confidentiality breaches; the management of the transactions for subsequent repudiation; the strength of the authentication process; the data and transaction integrity procedures; the extent of access and availability of services; and the procedures for maintaining privacy of customer information.

CONCERNS

The study found serious privacy concerns with all the services. For instance, while in many apps like Freecharge, the wallets are not directly linked to third-party vendors (such as Uber or BigBasket), apps such as Paytm allow for automatic linkage with the vendors and they can deduct amounts without the explicit consent of the user. Potential for confidentiality breaches was a problem observed in all the mobile payment methods, except USSD. A recurring security concern was that many of the apps do not automatically log the users out, and anyone having access to the phone can make financial transactions through these apps. This risk is highest if the user loses or misplaces her/his mobile phone, and higher still if the phone is unlocked or unprotected. However, apps such as iMobile, BHIM have auto-logout/session time-out features.


2. Whistleblower’s Identity: Barclays has reprimanded Chief Executive Jes Staley and will cut his bonus for attempting to uncover a whistleblower’s identity, the British bank said on Monday, dealing a blow to a man who has been in the role little over 15 months.  Barclays grants whistleblowers anonymity to prevent any retribution for their actions — in keeping with normal UK practice.  The board, which said it accepted Staley’s explanation that he was trying to protect a colleague from what he believed to be an unfair attack, will back his reappointment at the annual shareholder meeting on May 10.  Barclays’ board first heard of Staley’s attempt to identify the author of the letter in early 2017, after the issue was raised by an employee, Barclays said.


3. Insurance cover for Mental Illness: The Mental Healthcare Bill 2016, which got Lok Sabha’s nod last week, will become law once it receives Presidential assent. The Bill makes it mandatory for insurers to provide insurance to the mentally ill. Health insurers are gearing up to bring mental illness, such as depression and anxiety, under insurance cover. The progressive provision, however, may result in more expensive insurance products. While estimate shows that 5-6 percent of the population suffers from some mental health concern, a recent survey conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) puts the figure at a much higher 13.7 percent of the adult population, of which, at least 150 million need immediate medical intervention. This vast number is likely to put pressure on the health insurance providers.


3. FDI Policy in Multi Brand:  The government today said there is no proposal under its consideration to review the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy in the multi-brand retail sector. The current foreign direct investment policy permits overseas players to hold 51 percent stake in an Indian retail company. So far, only one foreign player, Tesco, has received approval for opening stores under the multi-brand retail policy.


4. Income Tax Declaration for loan and credit card bills: All cash payments of over Rs 2 lakh for paying loans and credit card bills during the 50-day period post demonetization will have to be disclosed in the new one-page Income Tax return form. The tax department a few days back notified new Income Tax Return (ITR) forms for filing of returns for the Assessment Year 2017-18 (the financial year 2016-17). Besides providing for declaring income, exemption claimed and tax paid, the forms have a new column providing for declaration for any deposit of over Rs 2 lakh in bank accounts made during 9 November and 30 December 2016 after the old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes were demonetized. This column is also to be used for declaring cash payments in excess of Rs 2 lakh for repayment of any loan or settlement of credit card bills during this 50-day period. “The column is an attempt to match the cash deposits made post demonetisation with the annual income,” he said. While all credit cards are linked to permanent account number (PAN) of the holder, almost all loans by scheduled banks are also provided on furnishing of PAN.


5.  Lenders to Reliance Communications (RCom) has placed telecom company under a strategic debt restructuring exercise (SDR).

reliance_communications

An SDR is a debt-recovery programme under which lenders convert debt to equity and sell the business to new owners. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) rules require that banks get control of at least 51% shares in the company through debt conversion and sell the business within 18 months of initiation of SDR. However, RCom’s lenders have agreed to wait until seven months before they convert debt to equity. RCom has debts of over Rs 45,700 crore on its books and it intends to reduce this by Rs 25,000 crore through a merger of its mobile services unit with Aircel and a sale of its interest in the telecom tower business to Canada’s Brookfield. The company’s current market capitalisation is Rs 5,139 crore. This will be the largest-ever debt reduction by a company in the history of India.


F. INTERNATIONAL LAW UPDATE

globe

1. WTO Negotiations on E-commerce: India has joined forces with Cuba to resist pressure from other members of the World Trade Organization to start negotiations on e-commerce rules. Australia, the EU, Norway, and China have stepped up their campaign to include e-commerce in the agenda for the year-end Ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires, and New Delhi is reaching out to countries that share its opposition to the move. At a recent meeting of the WTO’s goods council, India and Cuba took the stand that it was premature to discuss multilateral rule-making in e-commerce, given the digital divide among members. Several other members such as Australia, Switzerland, Norway, Brazil and Argentina, however, said that an agreement on e-commerce was necessary for the WTO to demonstrate its continued relevance.

Enormous pressure

“There is a pressure from both developed and developing countries to bring e-commerce formally on the agenda of the WTO negotiations,” the official said. “India opposes it because once discussions begin, members could try to include a lot of aspects into it, including market access. It, therefore, has to work together with like-minded countries like Cuba.” Cuba particularly took issue with suggestions to negotiate liberalization and market access in e-commerce and emphasized that there was no basis for doing so, he added. Electronic commerce was made a part of the WTO in 1998 but in a limited way. Members had agreed to give a temporary moratorium on import duties on digital transmissions. This moratorium is extended every two years. It was also decided to hold discussions on various aspects of e-commerce, but there was no understanding on negotiating rules.

The stakes in India

The e-commerce sector is extremely sensitive in India as the move to allow foreign investment into the e-retail sector has, so far, been strongly resisted by the owners of small stores who argue that it will disrupt their livelihoods. Allowing multilateral rule-making in the area could lead to political destabilization. The African countries and the least developed countries (LDCs) have not opposed discussions on e-commerce, but they insist that the focus is on the development dimension. Uganda, on behalf of the LDC Group, said that most of the proposals on the table fall outside the scope of the work program on e-commerce and that development should be the focus of e-commerce talks. South Africa, speaking on behalf of the African Group, similarly said it would like the Goods Council to take up issues that place the needs of developing countries and LDCs at its core.


2. Israel has appointed the first-ever female judge to serve in the country’s sharia court system.

israel-woman-judge

The unanimous appointment of Hana Khatib, hailed by some Arab lawmakers as “historic,” was carried out by the Committee to Elect sharia judges, known as qadis, which is headed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. Sharia courts in Israel deal with personal status issues for the Muslim community, such as marriage, divorce, conversion, inheritance and prevention of domestic violence. They have existed in what is now Israel since early Ottoman times and through the British Mandate and were recognized by the State of Israel upon its founding in 1948.


3. Filipino lawyer Jude Sabio filed a complaint against Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte accusing him of extrajudicial killings during his nationwide anti-drugs crackdown.

rodrigo-duterte_F688F305FEF44CDD81AFD75A733335ED

The complaint was filed before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and asks the court to prosecute Duterte over his involvement in the Davao Death Squad. In an accompanying statement, Sabio accused the Duterte of “repeatedly, unchangingly and continuously” committing extrajudicial executions from his term as Mayor of Davao City through to his current presidency. Sabio is asking the ICC to charge Duterte and 11 senior government officials with crimes against humanity and to issue an arrest warrant for them. Over 8,000 people have been killed since Duterte took office last year over drug-related offenses.


4. Roman Seleznev, the son of a member of the Russian Parliament, was sentenced for hacking into more than 500 US businesses, stealing then selling millions of credit card numbers. Seleznev was sentenced to 27 years, the longest-ever sentence for such a crime, and ordered to pay nearly $170 million in restitution. US District Judge Richard Jones took no leniency on Seleznev, despite Seleznev’s pleas for mercy.

271767851  


5.The Alabama Supreme Court upheld the September 2016 Court of the Judiciary decision to suspend Chief Justice Roy Moore for violation of the Cannons of Judicial Ethics by issuing orders contradicting the US Supreme Court’s recognition of same-sex marriage.

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 9.15.11 PM


6. A federal judge in Houston has overturned the county’s bail system for people charged with low-level crimes after finding that it disproportionately affected indigent residents and violated the Constitution.

30BAIL-master768

The judge, Lee H. Rosenthal of Federal District Court, ordered Harris County to stop keeping people who have been arrested on misdemeanor charges in jail because they cannot pay bail


7.H1 B Visa:

1-aV9VrlcyFIbKFXGVA_T46w 

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order for tightening the rules of the H-1B visa program to stop “visa abuses.” The executive order also called upon the Departments of Labour, Justice, Homeland Security, and State to take action “against fraud and abuse of our visa programs. H1 B Visa is a non-immigrant visa in the USA under the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 101 (a) 17 (H). A bill has now been re-introduced in the House of Representatives that seeks an exemption for foreign-born persons with an American Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering or mathematics from the limits on the number of employment-based green cards and H-1B visas awarded annually.


G. TRANSPORT & INFRASTRUCTURE LAW UPDATE

1. Proposed Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill doubles penalty:

cars-india_story_647_040617022230_041017041023

Lok Sabha has approved a bill for radical reforms in transport sector that will usher in multi-fold hike in fine for traffic violations, compensation of Rs. 5 lakh for grave injuries, and check bogus licences and vehicle theft. The bill, which seeks to amend nearly 30-year-old Motor Vehicle Act 1988, also calls for 100

a) The bill calls for 100 percent e-governance and will cap maximum liability for third party insurance at Rs. 10 lakh in case of death in a motor accident. The bill proposes a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh. This is not the upper limit. After getting this amount (the affected family) can withdraw the case or appeal. This (Rs 5 lakh) is being done to ensure that there are fewer court cases and immediate compensation is given. The minister also said that it would not be possible to increase the compensation in case of death to Rs.20 lakh as it would entail substantial hike in insurance premium. In the case of death in hit-and-run accidents, the bill provides for an eight-fold increase in compensation to Rs. 2 lakh.

b) The bill seeks to make services like issuance of licenses totally transparent and online and provides for punitive action against officials in case of delay in issuance of the document to eligible applicants. Under the new system, everyone will have to go to the licence issuing authority under a uniform procedure and if the licence is not issued in three days, the RTO will have to face action. A learner’s licence can be availed online sitting at home.

c) The government, he said, has already 786 black spots across the country, which are accident prone.

d) There is a provision in the bill under which if holes are found on roads, DPR designer and contractor would be held accountable.

e) The minister said that the proposal is on strengthening the network of trauma centres has also been received.

f) Euro VI emission norms, Gadkari added, would be made mandatory from April 1, 2020.

g)The bill provides for linking of driving licence and vehicle registration with Adhaar—based platform and heavy penalties for traffic violations.

h) The bill also provides for Aadhaar-based verification for grant of online services including learner’s licence. This would ensure integration of online services and also stop the creation of duplicate licences.

i) Stricter penalties have been proposed for high-risk offenses such as drunken driving, dangerous driving, overloading, non-adherence to safety norms by drivers (such as the use of seat belt, helmets).

j) The bill aims to provide for a national database of vehicles and driving licences that would help in safety and security and avoid malpractices.

k) It also provides specific timelines for processing of insurance claims. A ten-fold increase has been made in the amount of compensation awarded under a simplified process of claims disbursal wherein the family of an accident victim would get compensation of Rs. 5 lakh as a settlement within four months of the accident. Presently it takes at least four to five years for an award.