Saturday, February 23, 2019

People's Union for Civil Liberties vs. Union Of India - Right To Reject Case

In the case of PUCL v. Union of India, the Supreme Court of India recognized the principle of right to reject for the first time.
The People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) had argued in the apex court that voters should have a right to vote negative.

The writ petition, subject to Article 32 of the Constitution of India, has been filed by the petitioners in which the Rules 41(2) & (3) and 49(O) challenging the constitutional validity of the conduct of election rules, 1961  to the extent that these provisions violate the confidentiality of voting.

The petitioners argued that it was a violation of the right to secret ballot protected by Article 19 (1) (A) and 21 of the Constitution. 

Before NOTA, still their was a concept available to the voters not to choose among the listed candidates But in that condition his vote is considered to be incompleted.


The Court struck down the constitutionality of Rules 41(2)&(3) and 49(0) of the Conduct of Election Rules,1961 as violates of the Freedom of Expression guaranted under article 19(1)(a) of the indian Constitution. 

Supreme Court said that negative voting is necessary and vibrant part of Democracy. The court directed the ECI(election commission of India) to introduce a button providing for NOTA (none of the above) in the EVMs and also in the ballot papers.

In this case, the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court is not only important because it presented the option of the NOTA on EVM but also because it dignified the right to vote. By declaring that the right to vote is essentially the right of free expression, they brought this right into the purview of fundamental rights. Apart from this, the court also declared that the right to vote includes the right not to vote. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Court Cannot Imposed Sentence Lesser Than The Minimum Sentence Prescribed By The Law: SC

The Supreme Court has observed that the minimum sentence prescribed by the law can not be punished less. The bench of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta ordered this during a case hearing under the SC ST Act. 

The lower court sentenced the accused to six months imprisonment and imposed a penalty of 500 rupees in the case.The verdict was challenged by the accused in the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The High Court considered the accused guilty in the case. During the hearing, the accused argued that the sentence should be reduced, the HC set aside the sentence of six months rigorous imprisonment, and modified it to period already undergone and increased the fine to Rs.3000.

This decision was challenged by the state government in the Supreme Court. In fact, the High Court accepted the plea to reduce the minimum punishment. Under Section 3 (1) of the SC ST Act, there is a provision of minimum 6 months imprisonment but which may extend to five years & with fine.
In the Supreme Court, it was argued by the state government that the court does not have the right to reduce punishment in the law. Even in the constitution, the Supreme Court has got boundless authority in Article 142 but under this, the minimum sentence can not be reduced.


The Supreme Court agreed with the state government's plea and said that the court can not less the minimum punishment. In such a case, the order of the High Court is canceled. Even Article 142 can not be used to reduce the minimum sentence.

Read Judgment - click here

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Registration Of FIR Is Mandatory - SC Guidelines On Lalita Kumari Case

The question whether it is obligatory for the police to register FIR on information given by an informant has been answered in the affirmative by the five-member Bench in Lalita Kumari v. Govt. of U.P. It has been categorically ruled that the provisions of Section 154(1) CrPC is mandatory and the officer concerned is duty bound to register the case on the basis of information disclosing commission of cognizable offence. In other words, it is a mandatory provision.

The SC issued the following Guidelines regarding the registration of FIR.

▪️ If the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no initial or preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation - Registration of First Information Report (FIR) is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

▪️ If the facts or information obtained does not disclose a cognizable offence, but indicates the requirement for an inquiry, an initial inquiry can only be conducted to ascertain whether the cognizable offence is disclosed or not. 

▪️ If the investigation discloses the commission of a cognizable offense, then the FIR should be lodged. In cases where the initial investigation of the closure of the complaint ends, a copy of the submission of such closure should be given to the informant first and not later than one week. The reasons for closing the complaint and not moving forward should be briefly explained.

▪️ The police officer can not escape his duty of registering the offence when the cognizable offence is exposed. Action should be taken against officials who do not  register FIR if they receive information which Disclose a cognizable offence.

▪️ The scope of initial inquiry is not to verify the truth or otherwise of the information Received but only to ascertain whether the information reveals a cognizable offence. 

▪️ Depending on what type and in which case the initial inquiry is to be done will depend on facts and circumstances of each case. Category of cases where initial or preliminary inquiry can be conducted are as follows:
(a) Marital dispute / family dispute
(b) Commercial Offense
(c) Matters of medical negligence
(d) Cases of corruption
(e) cases where there is unusual delay in initiating criminal prosecution.

▪️ In the case of ensuring and protecting the rights of the accused and the complainant, the initial inquiry should be timed and in any cases it should not be more than 7 days. The fact of such delay and its reasons (causes) should be reflected in the General Diary Entry. 

▪️ Since the General Diary / Station Diary is a record of all information received in the police station, we direct that all information related to cognizable offence, whether that result for registration of FIR or leading to an inquiry, must be mandatorily and carefully reflected in the above diary and the decision to conduct a initial inquiry must also be reflected, as mentioned over.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Insider Trading And Its Law In India

Insider Trading refers to the practice of buying or selling stock on the basis of information which is not accessible to the public. In other words, Insider trading means a trading by insider of the company. Insider is a person, who have access to non-public information relating to securities of the company.
For e.g - A govt. employee take action upon his knowledge about a new regulation to be passed which will benefit a butter exporting firm and buys its shares before the regulation becomes general or public knowledge.
Insider is having a knowledge of unpublished price, sensitive information or any other security information. Insider trading is not a violation of law in itself but when insider uses non-public information for trading with company then it becomes violation of law because insider of company breaches the trust or confidence of company so it makes insider trading violation of law.
             Prohibition of insider trading had been introduced by the Stock and Exchange Board of India ( SEBI ) Act, 1992. Before the SEBI act, there were no provision relating to the insider tradings while company act, 1956 was implemented. The SEBI act,1992 was prohibited the insider trading. SEBI made regulation called SEBI ( prohibition of insider trading ) Regulation,1992. The law made insider trading as a offence those person who involve in the insider trading were punished under the regulation.
          In 2013, the New Company Act came into force which Incorporated the provision relating to insider trading. The section-195 of company act, 2013 deals with insider trading in the company and its applicable on the public or private and listed or unlisted company. This provision also defines insider trading in wider sense. In 2015, SEBI regulation defined trading means and includes buying, selling, dealing or agreeing to subscribe in any security of company.
Insider trading is prohibit by two central made act one is SEBI act and other is Companies act, 2013. If a person is found guilty of insider trading then person could be imprisonment for up to 10 years or fine upto 25 crore Rs or thrice the amounts of profit.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

What is Public Interest Litigation(PIL)? How to file a PIL

Public interest litigation (PIL) means the legal action commenced in the court of law for the enforcement of "public interest"- such as pollution, Terrorism, constructional hazards etc.

In ordinary cases, it is seen that the victim(aggrieved party), who is affected has to file his case in court. But there is no such condition in filing a PIL. Any person can file a public interest litigation. 

Who can file it

Any Indian citizen can file a PIL. The only condition when filing PIL is that it should be filed with an important public interest, not for personal gain. If the court feels that the public interest litigation filed publicly, then he will take responsibility and appoint a lawyer to handle the matter.

Against whom a PIL can be filed?

A public interest litigation can only be filed against a state / central government, Municipal authorities, and not against a private party.

For example - if there is a factory in Mumbai, which is causing pollution, then the people living nearby, or any other person, can file a public interest litigation against:
▪️Government of Mumbai
▪️State pollution control board, and
▪️Against factors

Where are PIL filed?

▪️ High Court
▪️ Supreme Court.

Court fees

A Court fee of RS 50, per responder (i.e., for each number of the opposite party, the court fees of RS 50) should be affixed it with the petition. 

Procedure of filling PIL

Before filing a PIL, the petitioner should make a thorough investigation of the matter. If the PIL is related to many persons then the petitioner should discuss or consult with all the people. Once a person is decided to file a public interest petition, he should collect all related information and documents to strengthen his case.

If a PIL is filed in a High Court, then two copies of the petition should be filed. Also, an advance copy of the petition should be served to every defendant, i.e. the opposite side, and this proof of service should be affixed in the petition.

If a public interest litigation is filed in the Supreme Court, then the set of (4) + (1) (i.e. 5) sets of petition has to be filed in the court. Respondent is served with the copy only when notice is issued.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court has issued a set of PIL guidelines, according to which the following cases will not be allowed as PIL:

(1) Landlord(zamindar) -tenant case.
(2) Regarding service matters and pension and gratuity.
(3) Complaints against
▪️ Central govt. departments
▪️ State govt. departments
▪️ Local bodies
Excluding  those related to item Nos. (1) to (10) (Mention in the list of guidelines) 

(4) entrance to medical and other educational institutions.
(5) Petitions for early hearing of cases undecided in HC and Subordinate Courts

Friday, February 1, 2019

Income Tax Slabs Change, Exemption Limit Raised To Rs.5 Lakhs Per Annum

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced to increase tax rebate on income up to Rs 5 lakh per annum. Earlier, income tax exemption was applicable to the income limit of Rs2.5 lakhs for individuals aged below 60 years and such income was taxed by 5 percent.

He said that if the individual taxpayers invest up to Rs 1.5 lakh in the provident fund, the total exemption limit would be 6.5 lakh rupees per year(annum).

Around 30 millions middle-class taxpayers will get tax exemption due to this measure, "said - Finance Minister" 

Other Important Announcements

▪️  Finance minister also announced that the gratuity limit for the salaried class would be increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 30 lakh. 
▪️  Standard tax deduction raised from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 for salaried persons. 
▪️  On the rental income, the TDS limit was increased from 1.8 lakh to 2.4 lakh rupees.