Friday, 16 November 2012



Dr. Ashwani Kumar, Minister of Law and Justice, will inaugurate and deliver the key note address at a 2-day International Conference on “Equitable Access to Justice: Legal Aid and Legal Empowerment” here tomorrow. The Conference is being organized jointly by the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The Department of Justice is implementing a Project on “Access to Justice for Marginalized People” (A2J) in collaboration with the UNDP. The International Conference will mark the completion of the Project. As part of the Project, international best practices on legal empowerment and legal aid have been studied, including through field visits to South Africa, Malawi, Indonesia and Sierra Leone. The Conference will also witness discussions on best practices from these and other countries by international experts in order to draw lessons for implementing similar programmes in India in the next phase of the project beginning in 2013.

The A2J Project has witnessed the roll out of pilot programmes on legal awareness, capacity building of intermediaries including lawyers and paralegals, and has assisted vulnerable groups in accessing legal services throughout the 7 Project States of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The project has reached out to 20 lakh people through legal literacy programmes. 6,000 paralegals and 300 lawyers have been trained to reach out to the marginalized people to make them aware of their rights and entitlements, and assist them with legal aid.

India has constituted statutory authorities to provide free legal services to the poor and marginalized sections of the society. The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) together with State Legal Services Authorities (SLSA) are mandated to provide free legal services to the weaker sections of the society including legal advice, legal counseling, legal aid for filing and/or arguing matters in the courts, court fees etc. The A2J Project works closely with the National and State Legal Services Authorities and the judicial academies with a view to develop the capacity of service delivery institutions for serving the people better. The Conference will bring together members of NALSA and Executive Chairpersons and Member Secretaries of all State Legal Services Authorities across the country.

The Conference will be attended by 200 participants including 40 participants from 19 countries. They will include legal luminaries like judges of Superior courts, jurists of international repute, heads of national legal aid agencies etc. They will present and share their experiences in their countries and discuss the way forward for improving access to quality and speedy justice.

The Chief Justice of India, Justice Altamas Kabir who is also the Patron-in-Chief of NALSA will deliver his valedictory address at the conclusion of the conference on 18 November.

Source:- Ministry of Law & Justice 

With Regards
Prakash Verma
E Id:



Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) chaired the meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Parliament here today.

Speaking at the occasion, Smt. Tirath said that the increased number of sexual offences against children in the country necessitated an Act which would address this issue. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012, which came into force on 14 November 2012 with notification of its rules, has been able to address most of the issues. Addressing the members, she said that the existing laws such as the IPC were insufficient and deficient to deal with the specific requirements regarding children as they do not distinguish between an adult and a child victim. Moreover, these laws are not gender neutral and the definition of ‘rape’ is also restrictive. The new Act, she said, is gender neutral and covers all persons below the age of 18 years of age. Clear definition and description of offences have been provided. Also, stringent and harsh punishment for the offences has been prescribed in the Act.

The Minister stated that the Act will be effective when its implementation is effective, for which spreading awareness about the various features and provisions of the Act becomes extremely crucial. She also mentioned that the States have a very important role to play in the implementation of the Act. She therefore urged the members of the Consultative Committee to suggest ways and means by which the awareness campaign of the Act could be strengthened, and ways through which its implementation is made more effective.

The Ministry of WCD made a presentation on the salient features of the Act covering the definition of the terms, prescribed punishment for the offences, the rules for its implementation and the role of agencies such as NCPCR and SPCRs in the implementation process. The WCD Minister, Smt. Tirath mentioned that she has written to all the States for necessary action to be taken at their end. The Act was also discussed in the meeting of the State Ministers and Secretaries in September this year. She said that the M/o HRD is being approached to include age appropriate information on the issue in school curriculum. Also, training of police functionaries at all levels and those of the Judiciary and Central and State governments is crucial for effective implementation of the Act, she noted. The States are responsible for designation of Sessions Court in each district as Special Court under the Act, along with appointment of Special Public Prosecutor, establishment of special Juvenile police Units, Child Welfare Committees and District Child Protection Units. Formulation of schemes for payment of compensation to the child victims is also responsibility of the State governments.

The members, while lauding the Act, stated that various organizations within the civil society and the NGOs working in this field should be roped in to spread awareness about the Act. Also, it needs to be ensured that the provisions of the Act should not be misused to settle scores or to victimise people, the members mentioned. Proper and adequate training of the functionaries associated with the implementation of the Act should assume top priority.

Source:- Ministry of Women and Child Development 

With Regards
Prakash Verma
E Id:

Rate of Exchange of Conversion of Foreign Currency

Rate of Exchange of Conversion of Foreign Currency into Indian Currency or
Vice Versa Relating to Imported and Export Goods Notified;
To Come into Effect from 17th November, 2012

In exercise of the powers conferred by section 14 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962), and in super session of the notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue) No.97/2012-CUSTOMS (N.T.), dated the 1st November, 2012 vide number S.O.2669 (E), dated the 1st November, 2012, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such super session, the Central Board of Excise and Customs hereby determines that the rate of exchange of conversion of each of the foreign currency specified in column (2) of each of Schedule I and  Schedule II given below  into Indian currency or vice versa shall, with effect from 17th November, 2012 be the rate mentioned against it in the corresponding entry in column (3) thereof, for the purpose of the said section, relating to imported and export goods.

Foreign Currency
Rate of exchange of one unit of foreign currency equivalent to Indian rupees


(For Imported Goods)
  (For Export Goods)
Australian Dollar
Bahrain Dinar
Canadian Dollar               
Danish Kroner
Hong Kong Dollar
Kenya Shilling
Kuwait Dinar
New Zealand Dollar
Norwegian Kroner
Pound Sterling
Singapore Dollar
South African Rand
Saudi Arabian Riyal
Swedish Kroner
Swiss Franc
UAE Dirham
US Dollar

Foreign Currency
Rate of exchange of 100 units of foreign currency equivalent to Indian rupees


(For Imported Goods)
  (For Export Goods)
Japanese Yen

Source:- Ministry of Finance 

With Regards
Prakash Verma
E Id.

Friday, 9 November 2012



The Vice President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that the sub-title “Liberal Muslim” used together, qualify each other. Besides being definitional or descriptive, they seem to attribute values and are tending to be used as a sort of social, official or quasi-official description with an implied if not explicit disparagement of the anti-thesis: liberal – illiberal; traditional – modern; conservative – radical; scientific – superstitious; Muslim - other than Muslim, and so on. He was addressing after releasing a book entitled “Azadi’s Daughter -The Journey of a Liberal Muslim Woman” authored by senior journalist Ms. Seema Mustafa at a function here today. The book is both a fascinating account of an intrepid liberal Muslim woman’s personal journey and a political commentary on a secular way of life.           

Shri Ansari said that the book portrays vividly the situational backdrop and the personal endeavour of the author. It shows that modernity is a process to be imbibed, not a product to be acquired. Rising levels of education and awareness, particularly amongst women, would further it in all sections of society.

Following is the text of Vice President’s Speech:

“I am happy to be here today to participate in this function. I congratulate Seema Mustafa sahiba for having penned an interesting and candid perspective on one aspect of our contemporary history. It is engaging and forthright. On a personal note, I found the book of great interest since, as a younger person, I had occasions to meet Begum Anis Kidwai, Dr. Jamal Kidwai and some other members of the family. Nor can I or many others of my generation forget Anis apa’s residence at 16 Windsor Place; it was a virtual Open House.

The narrative of the book covers a number of overlapping and intersecting themes – autobiography, gender, modernity, social values, and political judgements. Each is valid in its own right; together they tend to induce what logicians call ‘category mistake’.

A case in point is in the sub-title “Liberal Muslim”. The terms, used together, qualify each other. Besides being definitional or descriptive, they seem to attribute values and are tending to be used as a sort of social, official or quasi-official description with an implied if not explicit disparagement of the anti-thesis: liberal – illiberal; traditional – modern; conservative – radical; scientific – superstitious; Muslim - other than Muslim, and so on.

Interspersed through the book are the author’s professional and personal experiences of the Indian polity’s communal landscape, the anguish and suffering brought about by it, the disappointment of the Muslims with government’s belated correctives, and their awakened eagerness to seek modern education and private sector employment along with the demand for justice, equity, and a share in decision-making    

Azadi’s Daughter portrays vividly the situational backdrop and the personal endeavour of the author. It shows that modernity is a process to be imbibed, not a product to be acquired. Rising levels of education and awareness, particularly amongst women, would further it in all sections of society.”

Source:- Vice President's Secretariat 

With Regards
Prakash Verma
E Id:



A meeting of the Executive Committee on Direct Cash Transfers was held today by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister along with the Cabinet Secretary. The  meeting was attended by the Secretaries and representatives of the Departments of  Financial Services, UIDAI (Aadhaar), IT, Planning Commission,  Expenditure, Posts, Rural Development, Social Justice & Empowerment, Tribal Affairs, Minority Affairs, Higher Education, School Education, Health & Family Welfare, Women & Child Development, Labour & Employment, Petroleum & Natural Gas, Fertilizers, and Food & Public Distribution.

The Prime Minister had recently constituted a National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers under his chairmanship and an Executive Committee on Direct Cash Transfers to give a thrust to roll out a cash transfer programme across the country, leveraging the Aadhaar platform.

The purpose of the meeting today was to move forward and operationalise Direct Cash Transfers for which many steps need to be taken. The necessary steps include (i) identification of areas where Direct Cash Transfers can be introduced, (ii) establishing mechanisms for preparing rollout plans for these areas, (iii) ensuring rapid rollout of Aadhaar to achieve better coverage (at least 80%), (iv) ensuring universal access to banking and financial inclusion and (v) setting up mechanisms to enable cash transfers to actually take place. To facilitate all this, there is a need to constitute other committees including a Technology Committee, a Financial Inclusion Committee and Implementation Committees within each Ministry so as to ensure coordination and quick implementation.

The agenda for the meeting was to:
I.         Explain to all committee members the rationale and purpose of Direct Cash Transfers and the institutional architecture that has been put in place for the rollout.
II.                   Finalise the constitution and composition of the Implementation Committees.
III.        Identify areas for introducing Direct Cash Transfers and make arrangements for finalising roadmaps for rollout in each area, keeping in view the roadmap already prepared for Direct Cash Transfers of LPG Subsidy.

Based on the extensive discussions that took place and the issues raised by the participants, the following decisions were taken in the meeting:

I.                     All departments engaged in transferring benefits to individual beneficiaries will quickly move to an electronic Direct Cash Transfer system, based on an Aadhaar Payment Bridge/ Platform.
II.         They will identify the schemes to move to this system and also prepare a roadmap with timelines so that the rollout is smooth and fast. The roadmap for each scheme will broadly have the following timelines:
      51 districts     -           from 1 January 2013
 b.      18 states        -           from 1 April 2013
 c.       16 states       -           from 1 April 2014 or earlier.                                  
III.          The list of schemes, roadmaps, and timelines will be sent to the Planning Commission and PMO by 20 November 2012
IV.               UIDAI will set up a dedicated cell of technical experts in UIDAI to facilitate Aaadhaar enabled Direct Cash Transfers and help individual Ministries.
V.            Department of Financial Services will go for universal Financial Inclusion through individual Bank Accounts for all in line with the roadmap.
VI.                UIDAI will rollout Aadhaar speedily in line with the roadmap.
VII.         Departments will work towards digitising their databases quickly, particularly at the state level with the help of state governments, DeITy and NIC to ensure convergence.

The Prime Minister will be holding the first meeting of the National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers on 26 November 2012 where the roadmap and timelines will be presented.

Source:- Prime Minister's Office 

With Regards
Prakash Verma
E Id:

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Latest Judicial Cases - Supreme Court and Delhi High Court



Transfer of Property Act, 1882 - Sections 106, 108; West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 - Sections 13, 13(1), 13(6); Rajasthan Premises (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 1950 - Section 13(1); Uttar Pradesh Cantonment Rent Control Act, 1952 - Section 14; East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949 - Section 13(2); Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1965 - Section 11(4) (Supreme Court)
An appeal was filed against the judgment passed by the High Court of Calcutta whereby Civil First Appeal filed by the Respondent-tenant was allowed, the judgment and decree passed by the trial Court set aside and the suit for eviction filed by the Plaintiff-Appellant against the Defendant-Respondent was dismissed. Whether the alterations which the Respondent-tenant was found by the Courts below to have made equivalent to erection of a "permanent structure" within the meaning of Clause (p) of Section 108 of the Act. Held, the structure was not a temporary structure and the alteration made by the tenant fell within the mischief of Section 108(p) of the Transfer of Property Act and, therefore, constituted a ground for his eviction in terms of Section 13(1) (b) of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956. It was thus immaterial whether the structure had resulted in creating additional usable space for the tenant who carried out such alteration and additions. If addition of usable space was ever intended to be an essential requirement under Section 108(p) of the Act, the Parliament could have easily provided so. Nothing of this sort was done in Section 13(1) (b) of the State Act, which clearly showed that addition of space was not the test for determining whether the structure was permanent or temporary. Cases referred to were: Brijendra Nath Bhargava and Anr. v. Harsh Wardhan and Ors, Om Prakash v. Amar Singh and Ors., Waryam Singh v. Baldev Singh.

Hence, appeal was allowed and the order passed by the High Court was set aside and that of the trial Court was restored.

2.      Subulaxmi Vs. M.D., Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation and Anr. - Nov 1 2012

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 - Sections 166, 171 (Supreme Court)
Appellant as claimant filed an application under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 before the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal claiming Rs. 6, 50,000/- as compensation for the injuries sustained by her in a motor vehicle accident. High Court rejected the appeal filed by Respondent No. 1 and allowed the cross-objection in part. Being dissatisfied, the claimant had preferred the present appeal for enhancement of the amount of compensation. Whether, the High Court was justified in awarding compensation on a singular head relating to permanent disability and loss of future earnings. Held, if the victim of an accident suffered permanent or temporary disability, then efforts should always be made to award sufficient compensation not only for the physical injury and treatment, but also for the pain, suffering and trauma caused due to accident, loss of earnings and victim's inability to lead a normal life and enjoy amenities, which she would have enjoyed but for the disability caused due to the accident. Thus, the view expressed by the High Court on this score was not sustainable. As far as the pain and suffering and loss of amenities were concerned, the grant of sum of Rs. 1, 00,000/ was appropriate. In case of medical expenses, extra nourishment, transport charges and loss of earning during treatment, the amount awarded by the High Court was allowed to remain as such. Thus, the amount on the aforesaid scores would come to Rs. 45,000/-. Regarding future replacement of artificial limbs and other medical expenses were concerned, the enhancement to Rs. 1, 25,000/- was appropriate. The High Court had declined to award interest on the enhanced sum. Section 171 of the Act dealt with award of interest which stated that, where any Claims Tribunal allowed a claim for compensation made under this Act, such Tribunal might direct that in addition to the amount of compensation simple interest should also be paid at such rate and from such date not earlier than the date of making the claim as it may specify in this behalf. Thus, the High Court had made a mistake in not granting interest on the increased sum and the interest awarded by the tribunal was just and proper therefore should carry interest at the rate 9% per annum. Cases referred to were: Abati Bezbaruah v. Dy. Director General, Geological Survey of India and Anr., Sarla Verma v. D.T.C.

Hence, appeal was allowed.

3.      Thakker Shipping P. Ltd. Vs. Commissioner of Customs (General) - Oct 30 2012

Customs Act, 1962 - Sections 108, 129, 129A, 129A(1), 129A(2), 129A(3), 129A(4), 129A(5), 129A(6), 129A(7), 129A(1B), 129(B), 129D, 129D(1), 129D(2), 129D(3), 129D(4); Central Excise Act, 1944 - Sections 35, 35B, 35C, 35EE, 35G, 35H, 35H(1); Limitation Act, 1963 - Sections 5, 29(2); Special Court (Trial of Offences Relating to Transactions in Securities) Act, 1992 - Section 4(2); Custom House Agent Licencing Regulations, 2004 - Regulation 23 (Supreme Court)
A ship was found to contain assorted electrical and electronic goods of foreign origin. The clearance of the goods was handled by M/s Thakker Shipping P. Ltd. Appellant, referred to as the Custom House Agent. The Commissioner made an application under Section 129D (4) of the Act before the Tribunal. As the said application could not be made within the prescribed period and was delayed by 10 days, an application for condonation of delay was filed with a prayer for condonation. The Tribunal rejected the application for condonation of delay and consequently dismissed the appeal. Hence, the present appeal. Whether it was competent for the Tribunal to invoke Section 129A(5) of the Act where an application under Section 129D(4) had not been made by the Commissioner within the prescribed time and condone the delay in making such application if it was satisfied that there was adequate cause for not presenting it within that period. Held, in Fairgrowth Investments Ltd., the question raised before this Court was whether the Special Court constituted under the Special Court (Trial of Offences Relating to Transactions in Securities) Act, 1992 had power to condone the delay in filing a petition under Section 4(2) of the Act. Dealing with the said question, the Court considered various provisions of the Limitation Act, including Sections 5 and 29(2), and ultimately it was held that the provisions of the Limitation Act had no application in relation to a petition under Section 4(2) of the 1992 Act and the prescribed period was not capable of being extended by the Court. Considering the judgments passed by the Court, it was held that it was competent for the Tribunal to invoke Section 129A (5) where an application under Section 129D (4) had not been made within the prescribed time and condone the delay in making such application if it was satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not presenting it within that period. Cases referred to were: CCEx. Mumbai v. Azo Dye Chem, Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise v. Hongo India Pvt. Limited and Anr., General Mills Company Limited v. State of Rajasthan and Ors.

Hence, the appeal failed and it was dismissed.

4.      Veena Kalra Vs. Union of India & Anr. - Oct 31 2012

Companies Act, 1956 - Sections 10FD, 10E(2A), 642; Company Law Board (Qualifications, Experience and Other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 1993 (Delhi High Court)
A writ petition was filed in public interest seeking a direction to the Respondents to make necessary and suitable amendments / modifications implementing the Guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in Union of India vs. R. Gandhi, President, Madras Bar with respect to selection and appointment to the post of Member (Technical) in Company Law Board (CLB). A writ of quo warranto for quashing the appointment of Respondent No.5 as Member (Technical) of the CLB in pursuance to the Office as being contrary to the Guidelines was also sought. Whether, the selection and appointment of the respondent No.5 as Member (Technical) of the CLB in contravention of the Guidelines laid down in the judgment was liable to be quashed. Held, present petition was a petition filed in public interest seeking a writ of quo warranto i.e. of recalling the appointment of the respondent No.5 to the post of Member (Technical) of CLB. The Supreme Court in Dr. Duryodhan Sahu vs. Jitendra Kumar Mishra and in B. Srinivasa Reddy vs. Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board Employees Association had held Public Interest Litigations to be not maintainable in service matters. However, in N. Kannadasan Vs. Ajoy Khose the Supreme Court had made out an exception and held that an appointment to a public office may be challenged in public interest even where the Petitioner did not claim any right of appointment in himself; however the same could be done by showing violation of public office by a person not qualified to occupy the same or having been appointed without following the procedure prescribed in law. A writ of quo warranto did not lie if the alleged violation was not of a statutory provision. Writ of quo warranto in the present case was sought by contending the Respondent No.5 to be not qualified. However, once the Respondent No.5 was qualified in terms of the Rules framed for the said purpose, no writ of quo warranto could be issued and particularly when there was no challenge even to the said Rules. The question, as to whether what had been held by the Supreme Court in relation to the qualifications of the Members of NCLT and NCLAT, applied to the Members of CLB, could be decided only by challenging the Rules providing for the qualification of the Members of the CLB.

Hence, the present petition was dismissed.

5.      Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. Vs. "Maryada", The Weekly News Magazine & Ors. - Oct 31 2012

Civil Procedure Code - Order 39 Rules 1, 2 (Delhi High Court)
The Plaintiff was a Government of India Undertaking engaged in exploration and production of Natural gas and oil in the country. Defendant No.2 published a magazine from Uran in District Raigad of Maharashtra. Defendant No. 3 claimed to be a social worker, whereas Defendant No. 4 printed the magazine 'Maryada'. Defendant No. 3 wrote certain articles in various issues of Maryada, alleging corruption in the project of ONGC at Uran. The case of the Plaintiff was that the Defendants had defamed it by publishing such uncorroborated defamatory allegations, as a result of which its reputation was seriously damaged. Whether a corporation could sue for damages on account of defamation and if so, what was the scope of its right in this regard? Whether the articles / letters written published by the Defendants could be said to be defamatory to the Plaintiff Company. Held, none of the allegations contained in the articles published and the letters sent by the Defendants could be said to be defamatory to the Plaintiff as a Corporation, though it could hardly be disputed that they were defamatory to the officers, named therein, in case they were untrue. No one on reading all those articles and letters would consider ONGC, as a Company to be indulging in corruption. The defamation of the officers of a corporation, did not, per se, amount to defamation of the corporation itself. Dishonesty by a Corporation was altogether different from dishonesty by its officers. If a person said that a Company was indulging in corrupt or dishonest practices with the Government Agencies, its business associates, its shareholders or its employees that would be defamatory to the Company. But, if it was said that its officers/directors were indulging in such practices, qua the Company itself, that would not be a defamation of the Company. Since the articles published and the letters written by the Defendants could not be said to be defamatory to the plaintiff-company, it had no legal right to seek damages from the Defendants. The officers of ONGC named in the articles and letters had not even joined as Co-Plaintiffs. The suit, therefore, was liable to be dismissed on this ground alone. Cases referred to were: Indian Express Newspapers (Bom.) Pvt. Ltd. V. Jagmohan, Metroplitan Saloom Ombinus Co. Ltd. v. Hawkins.

Hence, suit was dismissed.

Source:- Think Legal

With Regards
Prakash Verma
E. ID: