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JUDICIAL ACTIVISM AFFECTING ORIGINAL SCOPE OF DUTIES? An analysis based on Article 138 of the Constitution :

May 15, 2021

My Quote: We must consider a person whose money and land is blocked in litigation dies everyday. Article 138. Enlargement of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (1) The Supreme Court shall have such further jurisdiction and powers with respect to any of the matters in the Union List as Parliament may by law confer (2) The Supreme Court shall have such further jurisdiction, and powers with respect to any matter as the Government of India and the Government of any State may by special agreement confer, if Parliament by law provides for the exercise of such jurisdiction and powers by the Supreme Court Poetic Justice: English drama critic Thomas Rymer coined the phrase in The Tragedies of the Last Age Consider’d (1678) to describe how a work should inspire proper moral behavior in its audience by illustrating the triumph of good over evil. The demand for poetic justice is consistent in Classical authorities and shows up in Horace, Plutarch, and Quintillian, so Rymer’s phrasing is a reflection of a commonplace. Philip Sidney, in The Defence of Poesy (1595) argued that poetic justice was, in fact, the reason that fiction should be allowed in a civilized nation. But Indian Civilization believes in Karma which was much much prior to theory of poetic justice: And here they say that a person consists of desires, and as is his desire, so is his will; and as is his will, so is his deed; and whatever deed he does, that he will reap. : Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 7th century BCE Judicial Activism: During #pandemic #Covid19India Judiciary played active role. As such over last 15 years there is more judicial activism. When we change or expand horizon we need more efficiency, professionalism, workforce, intellect, reduction in procedure and process, and also with today’s time we need modern technology. We have in last decade seen Judiciary calling #AirChiefMarshal for questioning on #Rafaeldeal We saw courts ordering change in 1000 years custom and usage in case of #shabarimala At the same time #NJAC was struck down. There is Judicial activism seen by way of PILs and suo motu cognizance. However the fundament duty of Judiciary has seen serious backlog. May it be suit, appeal or execution. We cannot value the total amount stuck in financial  recovery cases,  and land cases pending in various courts across India. Common citizens discuss but do not debate because of scare of law. I am referring these sequences of events because recently Bombay High Court said if people die of lack of oxygen it’s violative of Article 21. What does it provide? Article 21 in The Constitution of India 1949 gives  Protection of life and personal liberty No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. Backlog of Cases violate of Constitutional Rights? there is report which requires serious considerations even by those who are executing duties under oath. https://prsindia.org/policy/vital-stats/pendency-cases-judiciary which says: In 2016,  compared to 2006, number of cases disposed of increased approximately from 57,000 to 76,000  in Supreme Court;  from 14.4 lakh cases to 16 lakh cases in High Courts and from […]

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WHY CENTRAL GOVERNMENT RELUCTANT TO IMPOSE PRESIDENT RULE IN WEST BENGAL?

May 5, 2021

Let us see various provisions of the Indian Constitution. Article 352 in The Constitution of India Proclamation of Emergency (1) If the President is satisfied that a grave emergency exists whereby the security of India or of any part of the territory thereof is threatened, whether by war or external aggression or armed rebellion, he may, by Proclamation, made a declaration to that effect in respect of the whole of India or of such part of the territory thereof as may be specified in the Proclamation Explanation A Proclamation of Emergency declaring that the security of India or any part of the territory thereof is threatened by war or by external aggression or by armed rebellion may be made before the actual occurrence of war or of any such aggression or rebellion, if the President is satisfied that there is imminent danger thereof  Note: This power was exercised in the year 1977 Article 355 casts duty on the state to provide safety and security. Duty of the Union to protect States against external aggression and internal disturbance It shall be the duty of the Union to protect every State against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that the government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. 44th Amendment: The Forty-fourth Constitutional Amendment substituted “armed rebellion” for “internal disturbance” in Article 352. “Internal disturbance” is, therefore, no longer a ground for taking action under that Article. Further, it cannot, by itself, be a ground for imposing President’s rule under Article 356(1), if it is not intertwined with a situation where the government of a State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. What is Internal Disorder: ( Source Sarkaria Commission Report) 6.3.04 It is difficult to define precisely the concept of ‘internal disturbance’. Similar provisions, however, occur in the Constitutions of other countries. Article 16 of the Federal Constitution of Switzerland uses the expression “internal disorder”. The Constitutions of the United States of America and Australia use the expression ‘domestic violence’. The framers of the Indian Constitution have, in place of this term, used the expression ‘internal disturbance’. Obviously, they have done so as they intended to cover not only domestic violence, but something more. The scope of the term ‘internal disturbance’ is wider than ‘domestic violence’. It conveys the sense of ‘domestic chaos’, which takes the colour of a security threat from its associate expression, ‘external aggression’. Such a chaos could be due to various causes. Large-scale public disorder which throws out of gear the even tempo of administration and endangers the security of the State, is ordinarily, one such cause. Such an internal disturbance is normally man-made. But it can be Nature-made, also. Natural calamities of unprecedented magnitude, such as flood, cyclone, earth-quake, epidemic, etc. may paralyse the government of the State and put its security in jeopardy. Instances: Gujarat.—(9-2-1974) The anti-price-rise agitation in Gujarat turned into a mass movement with demands for removal of the Ministry and dissolution of the Assembly. Army had to be called in at some places to deal with violence. […]

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CAN THERE BE ORAL COPY RIGHT ASSIGNMENT? CAN COPY RIGHTS BE CLAIMED WITHOUT AGREEMENT?

December 3, 2020

Sections 18 and 19 of Copy Right Act 1957 is important for discussion. Let’s see provision of two relevant Sections. 18. Assignment of copyright.— (1) The owner of the copyright in an existing work or the prospective owner of the copyright in a future work may assign to any person the copyright either wholly or partially and either generally or subject to limitations and either for the whole of the copyright or any part thereof: Provided that in the case of the assignment of copyright in any future work, the assignment shall take effect only when the work comes into existence. (2) Where the assignee of a copyright becomes entitled to any right comprised in the copyright, the assignee as respects the rights so assigned, and the assignor as respects the rights not assigned, shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as the owner of copyright and the provisions of this Act shall have effect accordingly. (3) In this section, the expression “assignee” as respects the assignment of the copyright in any future work includes the legal representatives of the assignee, if the assignee dies before the work comes into existence. 19. Mode of assignment.—[ (1) ] No assignment of the copyright in any work shall be valid unless it is in writing signed by the assignor or by his duly authorised agent  [(2) The assignment of copyright in any work shall identify such work, and shall specify the rights assigned and the duration and territorial extent of such assignment. (3) The assignment of copyright in any work shall also specify the amount of royalty payable, if any, to the author or his legal heirs during the currency of the assignment and the assignment shall be subject to revision, extension or termination on terms mutually agreed upon by the parties. (4) Where the assignee does not exercise the right assigned to him under any of the other sub-sections of this section within period of one year from the date of assignment, the assignment in respect of such rights shall be deemed to have lapsed after the expiry of the said period unless otherwise specified in the assignment. (5) If the period of assignment is not stated, it shall be deemed to be five years from the date of assignment. (6) If the territorial extent of assignment of the rights is not specified, it shall be presumed to extend within India. (7) Nothing in sub-section (2) or sub-section (3) or sub-section (4) or sub-section (5) or sub-section (6) shall be applicable to assignments made before the coming into force of the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 1994.]] There is landmark judgment on this issue passed by Karnataka High Court. Judicial Views: In K.A. Venugopala Setty vs Dr. Suryakantha U. Kamath, Karnataka High Court  it framed question on oral agreement for Assignment and held that, “from the aforesaid provisions contained in S. 19 of the Act, it is clear that assignment of the copyright must be in writing and signed by the assignor or his duly authorised agent. In addition to this, the assignment must in clear terms state the rights proposed to be assigned and the size of the work. […]

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CAN HOSPITAL DETAIN PATIENT FOR NON PAYMENT OF BILLS?

November 24, 2020

Hospitals often keep hostage a patient or detain dead body for non-payment of its bills. During covid19 pandemic one Mumbai Hospital bill of Rs.17 lakh was viral on social media. In Madhya Pradesh 60years patient was tied to bed by hospital authorities  for non-payment of bill of small amount of Rs.10000/- approx.. Whether this is justified? What does  our law say? Constitution of India under Article 21 guarantees its citizens right to personal liberty and prohibits any discrimination. It says, “Protection of life and personal liberty: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” So if bill is unpaid one cannot detain body nor can traumatize a person who is patient in such inhuman way. In Consumer Education & Research  vs Union Of India & Others 1995 AIR 922 ,Supreme Court held that, “right to health, medical aid to protect the health and vigour to a worker while in service or post retirement is a fundamental right under Article 21, read with Articles 39(e), 41, 43, 48A and all related Articles and fundamental human rights to make the life of the workman meaningful and purposeful with dignity of person.” Right to Health: Its not fundamental right but Directive Principles of State Policy part IV Article 39 to 43 deals with this aspect. Article 39 (e ) says about  health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength; and (f) provides that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment. While Article 47 directs  State to act  raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavor to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health. This includes Panchayats, Municipalities to endeavor under Article 243G. In Bandhua Mukti Morcha vs Union of India 1984 AIR 802, 1984 SCR (2) 67 Supreme Court held that, Right to Health  is  the fundamental  right of every one in this country,  assured under  the  interpretation  given  to Article 21  by this  Court in Francis Mullen’s Case, to live with human  dignity, free  from exploitation.  This right to live with  human dignity enshrined in Article 21 derives its life breath  from the  Directive Principles  of State Policy and particularly  clauses (e)  and (f) of  Article  39    and Articles 41  and 42  and at  the least,  therefore, it must include protection  of the  health and strength of workers, men and  women, and  of the  tender age  of children against abuse, opportunities  and facilities for children to develop in a  healthy  manner  and  in conditions  of    freedom  and dignity, educational  facilities, just and humane conditions of  work   and maternity  relief. High […]

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CAN HUF CO-PARCENER GIFT HIS UNDIVIDED INTEREST IN THE PROPERTY TO ANOTHER CO-PARCENER?

November 14, 2020

Let us first understand the Hindu Law to discuss and answer this question. 30. Testamentary succession. —[***] Any Hindu may dispose of by will or other testamentary disposition any property, which is capable of being so[disposed of by him or by her], in accordance with the provisions of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 (39 of 1925), or any other law for the time being in force and applicable to Hindus. Explanation.— The interest of a male Hindu in a Mitakshara coparcenary property or the interest of a member of a tarwad, tavazhi, illom, kutumba or kavaru in the property of the tarwad, tavazhi, illom, kutumba or kavaru shall notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, be deemed to be property capable of being disposed of by him or by her within the meaning of this[section.] Hindus have two schools of thought Dayabhaga and Mitakshara. Dayabhaga is practiced in West Bengal while Mitakshara is followed in rest of India. Coparcener: The evolution of law: The term coparcener under the Mitakshara system of jurisprudence has a distinct meaning. Its essential characteristic is that the coparcener possesses a right to the family property by birth, the existence of a mere right to partition of family property, cannot be regarded as the touch-stone of coparcenership. Only a male born or adopted into the family can under the ordinary Hindu law, be a coparcener. the right of the widow of a coparcener under the Act is derived under the statute and not by any fiction so as to enable her to take under the general law. So far as alienation of coparcenary property are concerned, it appears that such alienation were permissible in eighteenth century. Indeed, in Suraj Bunsi Koer v. Sheo Proshad Singh and Ors., ILR 6 IA 88 the Privy Council observed as follows:- ” it has been settled law in the presidency of Madras that one coparcener may dispose of ancestral undivided estate, even by contract and conveyance, to the extent of his own share; and a fortiori that such share may be seized and sold in execution for his separate debt.” Thus, the Privy Council also noticed that in Madras alienations by gift were recognized. Such alienations were held by their Lordships to be inconsistent with the strict theory of joint and undivided Hindu family. It is, however, a settled law that a coparcener may alienate his undivided interest in the coparcenary property for a valuable consideration even without the consent of other coparceners. As has been observed by the Privy Council in Suraj Bunsi Koer’s case (supra), such recognition of alienations of coparcenary property for valuable considerations has been one of gradual growth rounded upon the equity which the purchaser for value has to be allowed to stand in his vendor’s shoes and to work out his rights by means of a partition. Although at the time of the judgment of the Privy Council in Suraj Bunsi Koer’s case, the Madras Courts recognised alienations by gift, as time passed the courts of law declared alienations by gift of undivided interest […]

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PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGES UNDER CONSTITUTION AND PRESS

September 23, 2020

Constituent Assembly: The freedom of press, as one of the members of the Constituent Assembly said, is one of the items around which the greatest and the bitterest of constitutional struggles have been waged in all countries where liberal constitutions prevail. The said freedom is attained at considerable sacrifice and suffering and ultimately it has come to be incorporated in the various written constitutions. James Madison when he offered the Bill of Rights to the Congress in 1789 is reported as having said: ‘The right of freedom of speech is secured, the liberty of the press is expressly declared to be beyond the reach of this Government’. ‘(See 1 Annals of Congress (1789-96) p. 141). Halsbury’s Law of England “Any act or Omission which obstructs any member or officer of the House in the discharge of their duties, or which has a tendency to produce such a result would constitute contempt of legislature” Earl Jowitt, (Lord Chancellor of Great Britain since 1945-51) defines the privilege in the following words, “An exceptional right of advantage, an exemption from some duty, burden or attendance to which certain persons are entitled, from a supposition of the law that the stations they fill or the offices they are engaged in, are such as require all their care, and that therefore, without this indulgence, it would be impracticable to execute such offices so advantageously as the public good requires”. In his book ‘Law Custom and Constitution’ Anson points out that, “The rules of which they (the privileges) consists are not readily ascertainable, for they obtain legal definition when they are cast in statutory form, or when a conflict between the House and the Courts have resulted in some questions of privilege being settled by judicial decisions”. Unlike England where privileges are uncodified in India its codified in the Constitution in Article 105 and 194. However what constitutes breach is uncodified. “A freedom of such amplitude might involve risks of abuse. But the framers of the Constitution may well have reflected, with Madison who was “the leading spirit in the preparation of the First Amendment of the Federal Constitution,” that “it is better to leave a few of its noxious branches to their luxuriant growth, than, by pruning them away, to injure the vigour of those yielding the proper fruits.”: [Quoted in Near v. Minnesotta] Blackstone in his Commentaries, “the liberty of the press consists in laying no previous restraint upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every free man has an undoubted right to say what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press.” Fundamental Rights vested under Constitution of India Amongst others inter-alia the Fundamental Rights relating to Freedom of Speech and Liberty are enshrined in Articles 19 to 22. Right to Freedom (Articles 19 – 22) Freedom is one of the most important ideals cherished by any democratic society. The Indian Constitution guarantees freedom to citizens. The freedom right includes many rights such as: Freedom of speech Freedom of expression Freedom of assembly without arms Freedom of association […]

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The Future of International Courts and Tribunals in The Hague :

August 23, 2020

International courts are formed by treaties between nations or under the authority of an international organization such as the United Nations and include ad hoc tribunals and permanent institutions but exclude any courts arising purely under national authority. What is International Court of Justice (ICJ ) ? The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN).  It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and it commenced its functions April 1946. For India this year is very important as it was preparing to Draft its Constitution and formed Constituent Assembly  in December,1946. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Out of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (United States of America). Early examples of international courts include the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals established in the aftermath of World War II.  Two such courts are presently located at The Hague in the Netherlands are “the International Court of Justice (ICJ)” , and “the International Criminal Court (ICC)”. Further international courts exist elsewhere, usually with their jurisdiction restricted to a particular country or issue, such as the one dealing with the genocide in Rwanda. In addition to international tribunals created to address crimes committed during genocides and civil war, ad hoc courts combining international and domestic strategies have also been established on a situational basis. Examples of these “hybrid tribunals” are found in Sierra Leone, Lebanon, East Timor, and Cambodia. Role of ICJ: The Court’s role is to settle legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies as per provisions of its law. Composition of ICJ: The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. It is assisted by a Registry, its administrative organ. Its official languages are English and French. List of international courts Name Scope Years active Subject matter African Court of Justice Africa 2009–present Interpretation of AU treaties African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights Africa 2006–present Human rights Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization Global 1995–present Trade disputes within the WTO Benelux Court of Justice Benelux 1975–present Trade disputes within Benelux Caribbean Court of Justice Caribbean 2005–present General disputes COMESA Court of Justice Africa 1998–present Trade disputes within COMESA Common Court of Justice and Arbitration of the OHADA Africa 1998–present Interpretation of OHADA treaties and uniform laws Court of Justice of the Andean Community South America 1983–present Trade disputes within CAN Court of the Eurasian Economic Union Former USSR 2015–present Economic disputes and interpretation of treaties within the EAEU East African Courts of Justice Africa 2001–present Interpretation of EAC treaties Eastern Carrabian Supreme Court Caribbean 1967–present General disputes Economic Court of the Commonwealth of Independent States Former USSR 1994–present Economic disputes and interpretation of treaties within the CIS ECOWAS Community Court of Justice Africa 1996–present Interpretation of ECOWAS treaties European […]

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Deed of Family Arrangement & Law

June 7, 2020

Best way to family dispute settlement is to record the terms by way of Deed of Family Arrangement or Family Settlement. What is Family Settlement? What does law say? Whether it requires registration? It attracts Stamp Duty? Now we will take up first Question What is Family Settlement? In the matter of Sahu Madho Das And Others vs Pandit Mukand Ram And Another 1955 AIR 481= 1955 SCR (2) 22 Meaning of Family Arrangement was expressed and interpreted the Courts lean in favour of family arrangements that bring about harmony in a family and do justice to its various members and avoid, in anticipation, future disputes which might ruin them all, that we have no hesitation in taking the next step (fraud apart) and upholding an arrangement under which one set of members abandons all claim to all title and interest in all the properties in dispute and acknowledges that the sole and absolute title to all the properties resides in only one of their number (provided he or she had claimed the whole and made such an assertion of title) and are content to take such properties as are assigned to their shares as gifts pure and simple from him or her, or as a conveyance for consideration when consideration is present. In Ram Charan Das vs Girija Nandini Devi 1966 AIR(SC) 323 it was held that, Courts give effect to a Family Settlement upon the broad and general ground that its object is to settle existing or future disputes regarding property amongst members of a family. The word family in the context is not to be understood in a narrow sense of being a group of persons who are recognised in law as having a right of succession or having a claim to a share in the property in dispute In Tek Bahadur Bhujil  vs Debi Singh Bhujil 1966 AIR(SC) 292   Family Arrangement as such can be arrived at orally. Its terms may be recorded in writing as a memorandum of what had been agreed upon between the parties. The memorandum need not be prepared for the purpose of being used as a document on which future title of the parties be founded. It is usually prepared as a record of what had been agreed upon so that there be no hazy notions about it in future. It is only when the parties reduce the Family Arrangement in writing with the purpose of using that writing as proof of what they had arranged and, where the arrangement is brought about by the document as such, that the document would require registration as it is then that it would be a document of title declaring for future what rights in what properties the parties possess  Does it require Registration? Ramgopal vs Tulshi Ram And Anr. AIR 1928 All 641 Following Principles were laid down: (1) A family arrangement can be made orally. (2) If made orally, there being no document, no question of registration arises.  (3) If though it could have been made orally, it was in fact reduced to the form of a “document”, registration (when the value […]

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