The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the bill’) which amends the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 was recently passed by the Rajya Sabha after being tabled in the Lok Sabha in March. The Bill did not receive too much opposition and was passed with overwhelming support from both the opposition and the ruling party. The Bill brings in certain key changes with regard to the power of district magistrates as well as in classification of offences.Continue reading
Movies whether good or bad always leave an impression on the viewer. The scene from the film “Highway” which portrayed the actress’s outburst about being sexually abused as a child by her uncle kept haunting me for days. I tried imagining the trauma and the misery of an innocent child subjected to Sexual Offence. Sexual abuse of any kind on any person is a monstrous act in itself; more so if a child is subjected to it; who often cannot even comprehend what is happening to him or her.Continue reading
The Unlawful Activities (Prevention Act), 1967 (hereinafter referred to as UAPA) is a law that aims at curbing unlawful activities that threaten the sovereignty of India. The Act has proved to be extremely controversial due to the fact that there is plenty of scope for misuse. Further, the rate of conviction has been observed to be extremely low. All of these have led to the Act being deemed ‘draconian’ and asked to be reformed.Continue reading
By Nevin Clinton
Sedition law has been one of the most controversial aspects of the legal system in India since time immemorial. The law which deals with punishments for rebellion against the established order has been prevalent from the time of the British colonial rule and has been an infamous tool in suppressing the voice of the people. Freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi and Lokmanya Tilak have been victims of the law which was exploited by the British.
Lord Macauley who framed the Indian Penal Code included provisions for punishment for sedition under Section 113 and after amendments post-independence, sedition is governed by Section 124A of the Code. The section states that if a person by speaking, writing, signs or visible representations brings hatred or contempt towards the government, he will be punished with imprisonment up to three years and/or fine.
The arguments in favour of sedition law
Sedition law is considered important by its advocates for the reason that it helps keep anti-national elements in check. Terrorists and secessionists who incite violence through words can be curbed through the law. Anarchy, overthrowing of the government, violent protests and the like are also sowed usually by words and hence, sedition law can help prevent the same. Also, sedition law is considered akin to contempt of court as the latter deals with disrespecting one organ of the government – judiciary while the former deals with the other organs – executive and legislature.
The arguments against sedition law
First and foremost, sedition law was introduced during British colonial rule and was used as a tool to punish Indians who dared to speak out. The law has a dark history associated with it and hence, in today’s world it seems misguided for it to continue to exist. Sedition law is also considered to be one of the biggest obstacles to the freedom of speech and expression. Further, the law is easy to exploit due to its not-so-specific wording leading to even constructive criticism sometimes being considered to be sedition. Also, there are various other provisions under the IPC and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 2019 which deal with and can govern terrorist and secessionist activities instead of sedition.
Recent occurrences and the growing calls for striking down sedition law
Recent occurrences involving sedition law have only led to more voices in favour of repealing it. Especially since 2014 when the BJP government came into power, there has been a rampant increase in the number of cases being filed under the controversial law. According to a study by Article 14, 96% of the sedition cases filed since 2010 have been after 2014. The arrest of activists and journalists hasn’t helped matters either. Further, the rate of conviction upon these arrests has been alarmingly low. Due to this huge spike in arrests and the low conviction rate, there have been a plethora of calls from various sections for the law to be completely repealed.
While the law has not been struck down or deemed unconstitutional so far, the Supreme Court has time and again taken a stance that is critical of sedition law. Very recently, on the 15th of July, 2021, the apex court while examining a plea questioning the constitutional validity of the sedition law called the law ‘colonial’. The petitioner had contended that Section 124A of the IPC contained vague terms such as ‘disaffection towards Government’ and that it was an unreasonable restriction on the freedom of expression under Article 19(1)(a). Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana upon hearing the plea stated that sedition was the law that suppressed the voices of freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi before asking the Centre whether it was necessary to still be in force. The plea is currently being examined by a three-judge bench.
Future of sedition law
The Supreme Court’s recent views look promising from the point of view of the sedition law being repealed in the future. However, whether or not the provision will finally see its end remains to be seen. The provision does continue to divide opinion and the debate will be unceasing. Freedom of speech has perpetually been a touchy subject and hence, what the future holds is anyone’s guess.
By Bhanita Das, Flywork.io Team, Flywork.io.
“Is this what growing into an adult woman is—having to predict and accordingly arrange for the avoidance of sexual harassment?”
― CandiceCarty-Williams, Queenie
Sexual harassment involves offensive, humiliative, or intimidating behavior which can be in a written, oral, physical, or even in digital form. In this 21st century, where both men and women work together in an organization, it has been found that women have to face some kinds of unusual behavior inside the workplace from their colleagues. This would be considered a violation of women’s right to equality, life, and liberty. Women have to face an insecure and hostile environment that discourages women’s participation and work, and it demotivates them. This has become a common problem in the world irrespective of any profession.
India, being a democratic country, all citizens have the inherent right to live with dignity provided under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. With the increasing amount of industrialization, many employers started employing women. However, the absence of a law on sexual harassment at workplaces and the increasing cases of such cases lead the legislature to formulate legislation based on sexual harassment resulting in the birth of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013. In Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan[(1997) 6 SCC 241], it was observed for the first time that India needs legislation for sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment may include:
- Asking for sex or sexual favors.
- Questioning about your sex life.
- Trying to touch or grab without consent.
- Making comments which have sexual meaning.
- Leering and staring at or suggestive body movements towards
- Showing pornography.
- Sexually colored remarks.
- Making inappropriate sexual gestures.
The Supreme Court incorporated basic principles of human rights enshrined in the Constitution of India under Article 14, 15, 19(1)(g) and 21, and provisions of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), in the guidelines to prevent and discourage sexual harassment at workplaces. The guidelines which had been laid down by the Supreme Court were to be treated as law declared under Article 141 for the Constitution.
What shall one do if one is sexually harassed?
- A woman who is a victim of sexual harassment can file a written complaint to ICC ( Internal Complaints Committee) within three months from the date of the incident. Up to three months of delay of filing the complaint is acceptable by the committee and if there is any physical or mental incapability in the aggrieved, then legal heirs or any such other person as provided in Rule 6 of The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Rules, 2013 ("the Rules") may make a complaint.
- When a complaint is received, the committee, before initiating an inquiry, may try to settle the matter between her and the respondent through conciliation, and when a settlement has arrived, no further inquiry is conducted. If the conciliation fails or any term of the settlement arrived at has not been complied with by the respondent, the committee shall proceed further with the inquiry.
- After completion of the inquiry within 10 days, the report of its finding shall be provided to the employer/District officer and the concerned parties. In case of any false filling or false evidence, the committee may recommend taking action as per the provision of the rule as prescribed in Rule 10.
- Within 90 days of the recommendation before the court or tribunal, an appeal can be filed against the recommendations of the committee.
It is also the duty of the Employer and the District Officer under Section 19 and 20 of the Act to do acts such as creating awareness on sexual harassment in the workplace, sensitizing the employees, assisting the complaint committee in conducting an inquiry, timely submission of reports to the committee, etc.
Non-compliance to these may result in a fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees and can also lead to cancellation of license, renewable or withdrawal or cancellation of the registration as the case may be. It is also to be noted that during a job interview employers should not be asking about status, age, disabilities, race, caste, country of origin, sexual preference. Such behavior would also fall under Sexual harassment.
In India, sexual harassment at the workplace is highly prevalent and there is a need for gender sensitization and letting an employee know the basic rules of workplace behavior. It is unlawful to harass a person because of a person’s sex. Both the party can be either a woman or a man,, and the victim and harasser can be of the same sex. It has become a global problem in both developed and undeveloped countries in the world and should be looked upon seriously by both,employer and employees.
One of the common problem which people are facing these days are cheque bouncing. So first things first . cheque bouncing is covered u/s 138 of Negotiable instruments Act ,1881. Which formulades the remedy and procedures regarding the same.
Cases covered u/s 138 are of the nature of criminal cases ..
Let us understand the procedure of how cases u/s 138 are instituted and settled ..
1) Applicability of section 138.
A)That the cheque has been presented to the bank within a period of six months from the date on which it is drawn or within the period of its validity, whichever is earlier..
B)That the payee or the holder in due course of the cheque, as the case may be, makes a demand for the payment of the said amount of money by giving a notice in writing, to the drawer of the cheque, [within thirty days] of the receipt of information by him from the bank regarding the return of the cheque as unpaid;
C)That the drawer of such cheque fails to make the payment of the said amount of money to the payee or, as the case may be, to the holder in due course of the cheque, within fifteen days of the receipt of the said notice.
2) serving the legal notice to the defaulter
3) within the limitation period filing of the case
4) verification of the complaint
5) summons to the Accused
7) examination -in- cheif and cross examination
8) judgement .
Advocate Yamini Narang
Article 2. Karnataka State Board of Waqfs: Land Scandal
Under Section 3 (r) of the Waqf Act, 1955, (herein referred to as the ‘Act,’) ““waqf” means the permanent dedication by any person, of any movable or immovable property for any purpose recognised by the Muslim law as pious, religious or charitable…”
Under Section 32 (1) of the Act, “Subject to any rules that may be made under this Act, the general superintendence of all auqaf in a State shall vest in the Board established or the State; and it shall be the duty of the Board so to exercise its powers under this Act as to ensure that the auqaf under its superintendence are properly maintained, controlled and administered and the income thereof is duly applied to the objects and for the purposes for which such auqaf were created or intended…”
Under Section 51 (1A) of the Act, “Any sale, gift, exchange, mortgage or transfer of waqf property shall be void ab initio…” provided also that “…the purpose for which the land is being acquired shall be undisputedly for a public purpose…”
Under Section 104A of the Act, “(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law for the time being in force or any waqf deed, no person shall sell, gift, exchange, mortgage or transfer any movable or immovable property which is a waqf property to any other person.
(2) Any sale, gift, exchange, mortgage or transfer of property referred to in sub-section (1) shall be void ab initio.”
The Muslim Law directs the Waqf property to be utilised in a pious, religious, or a charitable purpose.
B. Land Scandal
The Karnataka State Board of Waqfs (herein referred to as the ‘Waqf Board’) is registered under the Act which maintains, controls, and administers auqafs, and manages the income generated by the same. It also appoints a Mutawalli for supervising the Board. The same Waqf Board owned 33,741 properties which was spread over 54,000 acres of land whereby, over 22,000 to 27,000 acres of land worth two lakh crore rupees was laundered to private individuals mostly between 2001 and 2012 by the members of the Waqf Board, middlemen, and politicians who never had the right to sell such land in the first place. In 2012, on the basis of the registrar’s assessment of the land, 50% of the laundered property was sold to land mafia during the period of elections.
The properties so fraudulently and illegally sold were supposed to be utilised for charitable purposes such as building mosques, dargahs, graveyards, bridges, caravanserais, Khanqahs, et cetera; and/or repairing Imambaras, burning lamps in mosques, paying money to fakirs, giving grant to colleges, et cetera. But the same were being used for personal purposes making such sales invalid and contrary to the provisions of the Act.
C. Report of the land scandal
The 7,000-plus-paged Report regarding the same case provided to the then Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr. D. V. Sadananda Gowda, concluded that eighty-five percent of such misappropriation of the Waqf land had taken place in Bengaluru; and other major cities being Mysore, Bidar, and Gulbagra whereby, it revealed that amongst the people who worked in the Waqf Board during that time of the scandal, Congress leaders (manily the Muslim ones) were involved in such crime resulting the land scandal as one of the biggest in the country.
Some names were mentioned in the said Report as follows. Dharam Singh, Tanveer Sait, Qamarul Islam, Jaffer Sherif, N.A. Hariss, Roshan Baig, and Rahman Khan.
D. Tabling of the Report in the Karnataka Assembly
In 2012, Anwar Manipaddy’s Report was tabled in the February-March Belgaum session. The alleged information given in the Report was approved by the Cabinet. Hon’ble Supreme Court then made a conclusion: once a Waqf land is always a Waqf land. It means that once any property is dedicated to the Waqf board, the same cannot be revoked. The Hon’ble Court also suspended the Institution for a year, and acquired the Waqf property so that no interference in the investigation is made.
Conclusively, such suspension of the institution by the Supreme Court is a valid judgement.
The biological father cannot be charged for kidnapping his own child.
In the instant matter, the court was hearing a petition filed by Mumbai’s businessman, Sajid Shah for challenging his extradition request from the Netherlands to India. His estranged wife Nazneen has filed a complaint against him for abducting their 2-year-old daughter from Amsterdam. After kidnapping the daughter he brought her back to India in September 2016. She has accused Sajid Shah of “violently kidnapping their daughter” from her house and also launched an online campaign for the child’s return. Subsequently, an Interpol notice was issued for Sajid’s arrest. Following the Interpol notice, the Netherlands government approached the Indian authorities.
Nazneen and Sajid married in 2011 and got separated in 2016. After the couple separated, a Dutch court awarded Nazneen their daughter’s custody in 2016. Meanwhile, Sajid filed a divorce and custody petition before Bandra family court. Sajid claimed he was trying to protect his daughter from his “abusive wife”.
The MEA, in it’s May 5, 2017, letter, rejected the extradition request. The center in its affidavit submitted “Since the taking away of a child by her biological father does not amount to kidnapping, it is not an extraditable offence.” MEA has rejected the extradition request while stating that Sajid shall not be arrested and no corrective steps will be taken against him and his daughter.
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Be it your employer sitting on your rightful dues, your client refusing to pay you the rightful amount or a builder refraining from returning the amount he has charged you in excess, you might come across any of the unfortunate aforementioned situations. How does one deal with such a case?
Lending money to a friend or a family might horribly go wrong if they refuse to return such amount. We, the common people, unlike the banks which have a well established recovery mechanism in DRT’s, do not have any particular recovery machinery to boast of. However, there are multiple provisions and recourses available to battle out such cases and get back your money.
SENDING OUT A WELL DRAFTED LEGAL NOTICE
Before you initiate any legal action, you are supposed to serve a notice to the opposition, representing all the grievances to them and indicating your intent to initiate further legal actions.
It is a final chance given to the opposition for a resolution of the problems. There is always a chance that the legal notice might bring the defendant on heels and the case might get settled even before going into trial, through discussions and negotiations. It is very important to draft an elaborate and strongly worded legal notice, which covers everything from facts to your demand from the opponent.
In case, the opponents refuse to refund the money/ settle the matter after the receipt of the legal notice, following are the legal recourses that can be taken:
- File a summary suit under Order 37 of the Civil Procedure Code, in order to recover your money. Compared to normal suits, summary suits are disposed of faster. Once the suit is instituted and the summons are issued, the defendant has 10 days to make an appearance, failing which the court assumes the plaintiff 's allegations to be true and, accordingly, awards the plaintiff. If the defendant makes an appearance and asks for leave to defend, the court accepts his defence only if it is convinced that it is substantial to the case in question.
Where the matter concerns penalties or any other uncertain amount or any amount that is not a debt, one cannot file a summary suit.
- If there is a debt occurring out of a cheque bounce, then one can file a complaint under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. As per this provision, a legal notice is to be sent to the defaulter within 30 days of receiving the cheque return memo. If the cheque issuer fails to make the rightful payment within 30 days of receiving the notice, the payee has the right to file a criminal complaint under this Section. However, the complaint should be registered in a magistrate's court within a month of the expiry of the notice period, otherwise your suit will be time-barred. If found guilty, the defaulter can be punished with a prison term of two years and/or a fine, which can be as high as twice the cheque amount.
One also has the option to file a criminal complaint against the defaulter, with the local police under section 420 (cheating), section 403 (criminal misappropriation) and section 406 (criminal breach of trust), and initiate criminal proceedings against the defaulter by registering the FIR.
If the other party is willing to settle the matter, then one of the fastest and most economical ways of recovering money is to opt for an out-of-court settlement, such as arbitration or conciliation. If the matter is referred to an arbitrator, the latter hears both the parties and passes an award binding on both.
If the matter is referred to a conciliator, then he assists the parties in reaching a mutually agreed settlement of the dispute.