Mental Wellness, Not a taboo anymore

Mental Wellness, Not a taboo anymore

“What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when you bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen.”

Henry David Thoreau

Mental health is a growing concern around the world. Legal professionals are among the most affected by numerous psychological problems like depression, etc.  legal professionals are suffering from a psychological problem. The reason for problems may be work-related or personal life problems. Both the divisions are integrated amongst themselves.  It is normal to face extreme emotions of being upset, irritated, anxious, angry, and face an existential crisis, suffer from depression. This is not a taboo. Some simple steps if inculcated in day to day life, may make life a happy place and release some stress.   

Why is there a need to talk about the mental health of lawyers?

Lawyers and legal professionals are often reluctant to speak about this and seek help. This needs acceptance in society. They do not speak up being afraid of the eyes they will have to face a consequence, how it will affect them in getting clients, the impression it will create. Time and again, numerous surveys have come to the same conclusion, legal professionals suffer from a psychological problem, but very seldom speak about it or seek help. At times talking help, with the near and dear ones, with the counselor, it can lead to some real fruitful results.

It is important to pick up the indirect signs of the degrading mental health of an individual. In India, if a person is advised, “to get some help,” it is often considered as an adverse remark and attracts furious behavior. Such statements in to help the individual, and not defame the person.

Some of the few day-to-day things which will help understand ourselves and then our mental health are jotted down below.

  1. Value your self

Being busy with the daily chores, the thing we forget the most is treating our self with respect and happiness. When we focus on finding the criminal, seeking justice, getting new regulations and proving our point to the world at large, we often tend to overlook our own emotions, stress and give it the least of priority.

It is important to take time for ourselves, and we identify what a person likes or dislikes. Taking up new hobbies, learning new languages, solving some puzzles can help realize some stress and occupy the mind with other thoughts. Increased level of stress and anxiety can cause mental and physical health concerns.

  1. Good to eat and good to drink

  • It is important to start the day with a good-for-you-drink. Many people prefer coffee to start with or green tea. This helps starts the day with freshness and helps release stress and build a positive outlook for the day.
  • The use of alcohol and other drugs should be kept minimalistic. The reason being if a person is suffering from anything psychological, then they seem to be more inclined towards such substances as they provide for with temporary relief. And gradually, the dependence which is developed gets difficult to deal with.
  • Eating healthy and nutritious meals is an important facet. Healthy and tasty food lightens the mood and helps spread smile. It is important to take full course meals. Breakfast is the most important one. Drinking plenty of water helps neutralize the body. Whenever we feel sad, angry, or any extreme reaction, the immediate response is to have some water as it helps to calm down.
  • If we often tend to look for good food to lighten up our mood, like biryani and pizza, which is a solution only temporary in nature. This can cause serious effects on the weight of the individual, which needs to be guarded.
  1. Set up a gateway at least once in every month

Traveling rebuilds our soul and mind. It helps us think afresh. Lawyers always having a tight schedule makes it difficult even to smile. In that scenario, at least once a month, there should be a small trip, maybe a road trip to the nearest hill station, or a day of wine-testing. This is the most recommended thing because this gives us a break from all the cases, acts, statutes, and deadlines.

  1. Experiment: Profession and passion

Being a lawyer is our profession, in following which we often forget our passion, which makes us feel dead from inside. Reason being, we forget to do what we love to do. Be it playing guitar, writing some stand-up, attending open mics, trekking, reading books, visiting museums. Passion lets us relive, and we must, must not forget doing it.

Give some colors: Getting some colors in life though painting and coloring the already made paintings helps feel light and smile through the problems. In a monotonous life, colors revive us to smile naturally.

  1. Animal love

When we have someone to accompany us, play with, have a walk with, and finally cuddle with, things automatically seem easier. And this can be best done by having a pet and showing some animal love. A company and someone to care for gives us a reason to wake up with a smile and releases stress.

  1. 30-minute walk to nature

It is very important to be physically healthy to both stay mentally healthy and practice healthy. A walk daily or any form of physical activities like dance, swimming, helps feel rejuvenated. When we exercise, our body releases endorphins – natural opiates that improve our mood and make us feel good. Exercise can also help cognitive functioning – how well we think.[1]

  1. Don’t be too harsh on yourself

Life is a struggle, and you need to push yourself to reach your target. No longer does the proverb “slow and steady wins the race” comes into play. But it is important to understand when you cannot take anymore and need space. This space could be in the form of a weekend gateway or a work-from-home or in the worst-case scenarios, postponement of few deadlines. Take the amount of stress you are capable of dealing with.

Pen down: It is important to pen down what is being felt inside. When we have no one to listen, maybe a diary could be a best friend, as It would listen but will not talk back. It takes all and relieves us. Yes, it is not a solution to solve the problem. But it is a solution to learn to share the problem.

I am writing this to remind you that it is okay. Stress yourself how much you are able to take. Healthy lawyer and healthy practice will lead to a healthy society. Share, smile, and celebrate life.

 

 

[1] https://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/slideshows/11-simple-proven-ways-to-optimize-your-mental-health?slide=2

Section 154 of Income Tax Act

Section 154

Section 154 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 deals with the rectification of mistake. In some situations, there may be a mistake in any order passed by the Assessing Officer. This mistake, which is apparent on the record, can be rectified. In this article, the provisions related to the rectification of mistake will be discussed and explained thoroughly.

What kind of orders can be rectified under Section 154?

An Income-tax authority may:

  1. Amend any order passed by it under the provisions of the Income-Tax Act, 1961
  2. Amend any intimation or deemed intimation under the provision of the Income-Tax Act 1961, dealing with an assessment.

Application of the Provision

This provision has limited application. It provides for rectification of any mistake apparent from the record, by any Income-Tax authority. The authorities are bound to rectify the mistake brought to their notice by the assessee, and the CIT(A) is also bound to rectify the mistake brought to his notice by the Assessing Officer. The Income-tax Act, 1961 confers similar power of rectification upon the tribunal, which is likewise bound to rectify the mistake brought to its notice by the assessee or by the Assessing Officer.

By an apparent mistake, one means that the mistake must be apparent from the record. An arithmetical mistake is a mistake of such time. A glaring and obvious mistake of law may be corrected as an apparent mistake too. For example, not granting depreciation allowance, or granting extra allowance which is expressly prohibited, or levy of tax under a statutory provision which is subsequently held inoperative, or omission to charge tax or interest, or action under a rule which is outside the scope of law are all mistakes apparent from the record.

What Authorities can rectify orders?

The only authority which may rectify an order is the authority which passed the order, and not any higher or lower authority. For example, if an Assessing Officer has revised an assessment to give effect to the order of the CIT(A) which had become final, and then, the Supreme Court says that the appellate order was incorrect, the Assessing Officer may not rectify the reassessment because that would amount to going against the finality of the appellate order. It is purely subjective and up to the discretion of the Officer.

Procedure for Amendments

The authority concerned with rectification can make an amendment if the following two conditions are satisfied. Firstly, the amendment should pertain to rectification of mistake and should be made of its own motion. Secondly, the amendment can only be made to rectify such mistake after it has been brought to the notice of the authority by the assessee, and where the authority concerned is the Commissioner (Appeals).

Further, the amendment will not be made unless the authority has notified the assessee about the same, and followed the principle of audi alteram partem, i.e. hear the other side. The assessee has to be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before the amendment is made, especially if it is reducing a refund, or increasing the assessee’s liability.

The time limit for Rectification

No order of rectification can be passed after the expiry of four years from the end of the financial year in which order sought to be rectified was passed. The period of 4 years is from the date of the order sought to be rectified and not 4 years from the original order. Hence, if an order is revised or set aside, then 4 years will be counted from the date of such fresh order and not from the date of the original order.

In case an application for rectification is made by the taxpayer, the authority shall amend the order or refuse to allow the claim within 6 months from the end of the month in which the authority receives the application.

Conclusion

Like any other provisions in other Acts, Section 154 allows the authorities to correct mistakes, and amend orders which it had passed previously under a mistaken belief or fact. It is an important provision because it provides the authority with the chance to protect the interests of the assessee.

How Lawyers Can Handle Free-Advice Seekers

The legal profession has always had a social position which is ambiguous. Top lawyers have usually been socially prominent and get respected all the way—the sections of the profession so favored varying with the general structure of the law in the particular community. In this era of globalization, technology is playing a key role in the delivery of legal services, the nature of competition, and the demands and expectations of clients. Every job comes with difficulties of its own, and there can never be a prescribed way to deal with versatile problems. For instance- lawyers, in their profession, have to deal with free advice-seekers daily, and this has gone to such an extent that it is starting to hamper the practice. You see, when you seek legal advice from a lawyer, it comes perfectly within the horizon of the profession but when you figure out and get the details, and hand over the work to someone else based on the framework set up by the other person, that’s where the whole effort of the lawyer who took out time and had put efforts go in vain. It is not just ethically wrong, but also it has a direct effect on the business as well. If a legal expert is supposed to help out the client to fight the legal battle, it is a moral duty of the client to pay for the services provided.

Of course, people are providing the services free of cost, but that is an entirely different scenario where it is done for the poor and needy where the terms and conditions of the services provided states that it is free of cost. But, in general, just like you pay the electrician for fixing the house bulb, a plumber for fixing water leak or an architect for designing your house, similarly a lawyer needs to be paid for the legal solution provided.

To handle the situation, one can go for one of the following options:

Consultation Fees

A lawyer can seek consultation fee before dealing with the case so that such problems can be minimized. Every lawyer put this in their profession, and it does not affect your pocket much as it represents like you are very specific for your work, and also it helps you to save from free advice seeker.

General legal Awareness

There needs to be a general awareness amongst people that like any other profession, law also a kind of social business where the people professing it needs their hard-earned money for their services, and people have got to get out of the stigma that they are paying lawyer for nothing, and how a simple advice can be of monetary value. When a piece of advice in general, it is not of any monetary value, but when it is legal advice by a legal expert, it has a monetary value which is only fair.

Keep it, General

Answering a few questions about the law will generally take a few minutes of your time. It’s a great way to show that you know what you’re talking about. What most lawyer can do they open all their knowledge in front of anyone especially in front of a person who just there for seeking a piece of free advice so keep it very general like you have to present yourself like yes, you know the law, and for further query, it demands some hard cash.

Prefer meeting in person

Ask the client to gather the case related important information in advance and see you in person than to have a telephonic conversation. It helps in avoiding skepticism and is convenient for both the lawyer as well as the client. Even facetime or video conferencing will do.

Conclusion

In the end, I want to conclude by saying that it is a matter of perspective and personal choice. And as an attorney, this should not be a problem either, lawyers are known for their intellect and their way out of any situation. Free advice seekers can be a problem for one or not for the other person. Hence, it has to be handled individually and according to one’s own demand. There is no prescribed rule or guidelines for talking such situations. It can be best judged by the person in question and can be taken care of accordingly.

Moreover, Lawyering is a very noble and reputed service as we all are aware of this fact, so what everyone may think about you, it does not bother you much as It’s your life, and it’s your precious time! So, guard it, because your personal time is very precious. Here not each and everyone will be going to value what you are going to bring them, and that’s truly fine. You don’t need everyone to value you or to use your services accordingly. Just remember, only the people who get you will deserve you.

How Clients Hire Their Lawyers?

how to hire a lawyer

Not every matter which has a certain relation with the legal field requires the use of a lawyer. But, in many situations involving a legal dispute, challenge, or deal, it is required. Everybody may not wish to take the risks of going it alone without consulting any expert of that particular area, who can help you out from your legal issues. In fact, while if we have a good legal representation, it can help us to get out of a number of the problematic situation. Each and every person’s legal situation is different from many aspects, as there are actual requirement or necessity when we really should hire a lawyer. Failing to work with an advocate in most of the instances may lead to some kind of losses to the clients like broken agreements, lost claims, or even prison time. That is why it was suggested that for any kind of legal remedy, an individual should have to hire a lawyer.

Why we need a Lawyer-

The present article is all about the discussion of what type of qualities a client may see before hiring a legal person as their representative. Before going further here are some list of reasons why an individual needs to hire an advocate compulsorily for any kind of legal dispute.

  1. Firstly, the law is considered as very complicated although the govt. Has implemented many laws regarding every subject, for every wrong done, so understanding our issue in a better way we need to hire a lawyer.
  2. Secondly, sometimes having a legal representative may save your money and time as if we have no idea regarding a legal matter, what can we actually do except wasting our time and money over the unnecessary thing, that is why not having an advocate may cost you more.
  3. An advocate is a master in the process of negotiation and settlement. Along with that, Pleading guilty or admitting fault in the court of justice isn’t the only choice, even if there is some evidence pointing directly at you. In this context, the advantage of hiring a lawyer is, they can discuss all your options in detail and can help you to avoid heavy penalties even before a trial begins.

Hiring a lawyer-

So above discussed are some reasons why an individual shall need a lawyer for their cases. Now we return to our actual topic how a clients hire a lawyer, what kind of quality or attributes they actually wanted in person who is going to represent his or her in the court of law. There are certain things which a client shall take into consideration before hiring an attorney, for example, he must be aware of the fact with whom he or she is going deal with because one mistake may create difficulty for them at various stage. Also, a client nowadays has done research on factors like fee and costs, the agreement of payment, what type of services they provide, these types things matters a lot for a client before hiring an attorney. Also, a client must be aware of the actual deal which both the parties has consented, and that consent shall be in the form of Consensus ad idem which means the consent forms for the same thing in the same sense.

Most of the legal fraternities were in the opinion that, the way consumers shop for goods, and their services have changed radically over the last few years, it also has some overwhelming effect on legal services parts in the country. The things that clients want from the attorney to whom they are going to hire is basically —sharing of the document, transparency in pricing, digital mode of payment is also one of the growth factors for the clients—although these things are yet to incorporate in various field of legal sector these are considered as the important factor in the legal services area. Though many people find lawyers through an online search (based on the survey which is conducted by some news channel or magazines  ), and most clients still find lawyers through a reference from their friends and family, so it’s mandatory to maintain the reputation in the service as much as you can. Lastly, along with these, all the factors one most important factor in a number of case that a lawyer dealt with, also increase attorney chances to attract more client outside their chambers.

Following are some little list again which clients may also consider before hiring an attorney for themselves-

  1. Qualification– Qualification is the first essential criteria which clients may look upon (but not in detail), as from there they presumed at what level this attorney may be effective for themselves.
  2. Expertise – after qualification, the next step for a client is to see in what area that lawyer is commonly practicing whether their practice area or the lawyers’ because it is necessary to see that specialization of the attorney in some particular field does fall under their ambit of the client’s issues or not.
  3. Ethics and honesty– It also plays a very vital role to play, as all the clients do want to work with someone relatable who would not screw them. And a client testimonial is one of the great ways to show this in addition to the winning record.
  4. Lastly, Trust, as without trust between the partners, there exists nothing so apart from all the factors this thing must exist as this is considered as one of the prominent parts between attorney and client relation.

Conclusion-

As there are many types of situations that may arise in each and everyone’s life when there is an urgent requirement for legal help. In our country, finding and hiring a lawyer who you think is perfect to represent you or advice you is considered as an art in itself.  A Lawyer is a person who plays a very significant role in providing you justice. That is why it is very important for every client to choose and hire the right advocate for themselves. So, the above discussed are some potential qualities which a client must see before hiring a lawyer.

Legal Management Solutions

What are Legal Management Solutions?

Management of practice or law firms is a vigorous job. Organization of clients and managing research can prove to be a tedious job. Legal Management Solutions are basically the types of remedies available which help in the management of one’s practice, efficiently as well as effectively.

Techniques for Better Legal Management

There are several solutions to the tedious job of practice management:

1) Practice Management System

In order to satisfy one’s needs, a lawyer/firm has to depend upon various software. However, there are several software available in the market which provides the customer with all such features in a single software. For example – Legodesk.

Mostly Practice Management Systems work as Case Management Systems. They help the lawyer/firm by tracking the status of cases, creating a database, eliminating conflict of interest and statutes of limitations. They centralize the information about the firm and present it in a unique manner. The Practice Management Software can help in checking the progress on a case and help with the management. This ensures better workflow in the organization.

2) Legal Research Software

Managing one’s practice requires a lot of research. A lawyer needs to base the analysis on the law: judicial opinions, statutes and constitutions, and administrative law. Searching for laws and cases with the help of books is a hectic task and consumes a lot of time of the firm. Some Practice Management systems help in easing legal research. They provide a database of all the statutes, judicial decisions, court documents, and secondary materials. These databases help lawyers to understand the status of a certain law so that they can act in the best interest of their client effectively.

3) Time and Billing Software

A Time and Billing Software generally provides for the feature of tracking bills which can help in overseeing client matters, time-sheets, costs, receivables, and reports, etc. It helps in recording billable time on hourly, transactional, or contingent basis. There are certain systems available which have the ability to generate multiple bills in one click. In addition to this creation of timely bills and payments of services helps in improving the cash flow of the firm.

Thus, this provides for the better legal management of the firm and serves as one of the techniques to help the firm grow.

4) Document Management Solution

A legal document management software helps the firm with handling this daily work. They help in digitalizing the firm’s databases. It specifically helps by easily organizing, storing, and sharing all documents, including confidential files using a secure and simple to use the platform, centralizing the information. The documents can be stored on the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere using a smartphone or tablet, allowing you to have them with you whenever you need.

This makes it easy to access and work with the documents in the day-to-day practice of law. In other words, practice becomes more effective and efficient.

5) Customer Relationship Management Software

Legal Management is not only considered with the activities inside the firm but also other activities such as relations with the potential and present clients. Monitoring activities with clients is vital for every law firm. A CRM software helps the firm to store and find contact information of its clients easily. It provides the firm with a centralized database for contact information. Scheduling of appointments and meetings also becomes quite easy for the firm by centralizing its contacts. Even the clients can then store and save electronically their case file. In fact, the clients can upload important documents to their file for the viewing of their lawyer. Thus, the communication process between the client and lawyer much easier.

6) Finance & Accounting Software

The process of legal management also includes managing the finances of the firm. Finance and Accounting Software help a firm in the management of finances. Better cash flow can be maintained by managing finances. A Finance & Accounting Software makes this simple by providing financial tools and features such as, tracking and managing a book of accounts, profit & loss, monitor overall financial performance, etc. A Lawyer or firm can create invoice accounts against a case or add payment and expenses for the ongoing cases against the invoice. Auditing at the end of the financial year becomes easy with the advent of such systems.

Conclusion

Law practice has evolved with time. Standardized management is the key to an efficient practice. There are several solutions and remedies available in the market which provide standardized management to a lawyer or law firm. Belief in the relationship between technology and law helps the practitioners to explore the new opportunities in the legal domain. And thus, such techniques or solutions are of the essence to practitioners.

Why Human Rights are Important ?

Importance of Human rights

Introduction

Human rights are basic rights or principles which a person has just simply because he/she is human regardless of their origin, country, religion, language, or any other status or also how they chose to live from birth until death. These values are defined and protected by law. Human rights are relevant to all of us, not only those who face repression or mistreatment. Only because of these rights you can express your opinions, can have education, can have a private and family life, and you can not be mistreated or wrongly punished by higher authority.

TYPES OF HUMAN RIGHTS A/C TO UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Right)

When the UDHR (UNITED NATION UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS) was released, it had two purposes:

one to provide a guideline for the future and two to force the world to acknowledge the same during World War II, (because after world war we have lost so many lives unnecessarily and the governments in some countries do not provide the basic requirement of the people)

Initially, the Human rights of many individuals had been infringed on a very large scale. So that governments can be held accountable for their actions if they are violating what stands under Human Rights. There’s power in naming injustice and pointing to a precedent, which makes the UDHR and other human right documents so important. UDHR states that there are some basic laws that must be practiced or some rights must be given to people to ensure human dignity, individuality, equality, and also to protect them.

  1. To have marriage and family
  2. The right to claim your own belongings
  3. Freedom of thought
  4. Freedom of expression
  5. The right to public assembly
  6. The right to democracy
  7. To have a social security
  8. Worker’s right

These rights ensure that everyone is able to live their lives and express their thoughts and ideas without any external constraints irrespective of their social or financial standing.

IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Human rights make sure that people have their basic needs

There are some fundamental needs required by everyone, such as access to medicine, food and water, clothes, and shelter. When these are included in a person’s basic human rights, everyone has minimal requirements for living. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people in the world who don’t have these necessities, but by including these matters under human rights allows activists and others to work towards getting fundamental requirements for everyone.

 Human rights protect vulnerable groups from abuse

For the first time, Human Rights were created largely because of the Holocaust and the horrors of WWII. During that time in history, the most vulnerable in society were targeted, including those with disabilities. Organizations concerned with human rights focus and protected members of society most vulnerable to abuse from those who misuse their powers, instead of ignoring them.

Human rights encourage freedom of speech and expression

Human rights allow people to stand up against inequality and corruption. Being able to speak freely without fear of denial is only due to human rights. It includes ideas and forms of expression that not everybody will agree with, but no one should ever feel like they are going to be in danger from their society or government because of what they think or say. It protects people who want to express or argue with certain ideas in their society.

 Human rights give people the freedom to practice their religion

Human rights also ensure that the importance of religious sentiments in every person’s life religion. That is why spiritual beliefs and let them practice in peace is one of the important humans’ rights. The freedom to not hold to religion is also a human right.

Although religious violence and oppression can also be seen all over the world and throughout the history in the name of religion, those are the only imposition of their own beliefs and invasion of one’s rights and thus can only be treated as a crime.

 Human rights allow people to love whoever they choose

It is one of the most important rights, as only because of this, people can choose how their love life looks. The consequences of not protecting this right are clear when you look at countries where LGBT people are oppressed and abused, or where women are forced into marriages they don’t want.

 Human rights provide equal work opportunities

The civil society in which human rights are provided equally without considering caste, creed, gender, etc., work opportunities are found in great measures. Right to work is considered important among all. Without acknowledging them or providing something related to this, that the work environment can be biased or downright oppressive, each individual may find themselves enduring abuse or not much or sufficient opportunities. That is why, under this, these rights provide guidelines for how workers should be treated and encourages without any biases.

 Human rights provide access to education to everyone

Education is considered as the key success to every person. Education is as much important as eating food; this part is so important for so many reasons and is crucial for societies where poverty exists on a normal basis. Seeing education as a right means, everyone can get access, not just the elite, which is the responsibility of the government.

 Human rights protect the environment

In recent years people have come to know the importance of nature and the services it offers. There is a better understanding of natural resources due to climate change and the effects it has on people. As we live in the world, we need the land, so it makes sense that what happens to the environment impacts humanity. Thus right to clean air, clean soil, and clean water are all as important as the other rights.

Conclusion

If we draw our attention on every right, there are so many rights which may not be justiciable in a court of law but is necessary for every individual to spend their quality life without hurdles. So, it is recommended that along with the fundamental rights mentioning on constitution government may also be securing some Human Rights also as it plays a very significant role in each and every individual of the country.

Article 370: All you need to know

article 370

Historical Background of Article 370

It is important to be aware of Constitutional provisions surrounding Jammu and Kashmir concerning current affairs. The main provision in the Constitution of India dealing with the same is Article 370. Drafted earlier by Sheikh Abdullah and eventually by Gopalaswami Ayyangar, this article is placed in Part XXI of the said Constitution under the heading of Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions. Till date, it had found a permanent place in the Constitution as the erstwhile Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir had not abrogated Article 370 before its dissolution. It exempts whole and absolute constitutional applicability over the state. This is done by limiting the Central Legislative power over the state. The entire creation of this provision was an outcome of the region’s accession to the Indian Union.

Read alongside Article 35A, and the Constitution provides that the people and residents of Jammu and Kashmir shall be subject to their own particular laws mainly with respect to ownership of property, citizenship and fundamental rights as well.

Furthermore, it takes away the absolute nature in which separation of powers is made between Center and State. The Seventh Schedule in the Constitution provides the three lists. Accordingly, ninety-four of the ninety-seven items in the Union List was applied to the state, and of the Concurrent List, twenty-six of the forty-seven items were applied. Legislation power on election matters too was granted to the State. Preventive detention was not applicable either.

Article 370 further prevents the Union Government from having the power to reorganize the borders of the state.

Relevance to current events

There had been three main Presidential Orders (1950,1952 and 1954) passed to preserve the internal autonomy of the State. This did not coincide with the current Union Government’s objectives, and it was on 5th August 2019, that the President of India- Ram Nath Kovind revoked the 1954 order through a constitutional order. It was then introduced as a resolution before the upper house of the Parliament (Rajya Sabha) with the objective to reorganize the current State of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories- one being the Jammu and Kashmir region, on the western side and Ladakh, on the eastern side.

Such presidential orders are made in consonance with Article 370 (1)(d), which empower such orders after consultation with the Government of the State. Revocation of Article 370 would cause Article 35A to cease to exist. This order was termed as Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019.

What this means for Jammu & Kashmir

It is to be noted that this action of proposing such a resolution by the Home Minister does not amount to the scrapping of Article 370. There was no bill passed for an amendment in the Constitution. It is the new order that will supersede the previous ones.

The above action will cause the State Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir to be ineffective. Furthermore, this now allows Article 1 and Article 2 of the Indian Constitution to be applicable to the state. This will allow the Union to reorganize the state, thus converting the erstwhile state into two Union Territories which should have legislatures of their own. Also, the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir will now be called the Lieutenant Governor.

Article 370 allowed for dual citizenship that is one for the state and one for the country. Now, only single citizenship is available. Furthermore, the other provisions of the Constitution would apply, such as the applicability of the Right to Information, reservation for minorities, the applicability of Article 360 (financial emergency), etc. Children would benefit as they would be provided the Right to Education. There will also be an abrogation of the clause relating to permanent residents, i.e., Kashmiri women, who marry non-Kashmiri men, and their children are denied their right to inheritance. They may now claim inheritance in ancestral property. The police cadre is also expected to be redefined.

Actions which are taken for the furtherance

The opposition leaders of the region have not received the proposal well. Rather they have mentioned it as “blackest day in Indian democracy.” Foreseeing any insurgent activities or potential for breach of peace and tranquility due to the proposal, the Executive Magistrate in Srinagar had arrested former Chief Ministers of Jammu & Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, and Mehbooba Mufti.  Section 144, which prohibits an assembly of more than four people in an area, was also warranted by the Executive Magistrate in Srinagar and to be in effect from the midnight of 5th August. There is also reportedly a restriction to internet access and other communication, and this shall remain in force until further orders.

Court Case Management System

Introduction

Meeting the justice system ends is an extremely difficult task, but it is important because the government should improve the justice system by automating the process. The number of cases each day in a courtroom is hard to imagine. Case management of the courts is not yet governed by any codified laws. In the case of Salem Advocates Bar Association v Union of India[1], the Supreme Court sought directions in this matter, and thus, a report was published by Justice M. Jagannadha Rao was published.[2] The paper constantly focuses on the importance and need to adopt a uniform case management system.

Courts are empowered with the duty of adjudicating matters by applying the relevant laws and pronounce a judgment. Making the system of courts simpler can help expedite the judicial proceeding. There are various aspects of court procedure and numerous formalities to abide by. So, a system managing the technical aspects can result in justice being granted on time.

Main Functions and drawbacks

The main work of the court can be summed up as receiving documents, preparing for administration, content preparation, elaboration of content and decision making, sending the documents back and archiving. There occur problems like case file missing, stolen case files, important papers of the case missing, evidence not found, evidence not in a proper manner. And there is a simple solution to these technicalities. This system will also help in guarantying the privacy of the cases, which helps to maintain the necessary confidentiality and thus helps prevent the malpractice in the court system.

The number of papers which is used in a court, if stopped, could save millions of trees each year. The data being in papers is even vulnerable to act of god like fire or any fraudulent act like theft. To avoid such circumstances, and the case being dropped off for such reason, courts should start following case management in a proper way. Such a drastic change will also ease up the data backup process and helps in duplicating the matter in a simpler manner. Ghana is one of the first countries to adopt electronic court case management system.

What will be the benefit of electronic court case management system?

  1. Reduced use of Paper
  2. Proper and easy storage of Data and cases
  3. Proper Back-up of data and cases
  4. Time-saving in finding and computing the data
  5. Helps to eradicate technical issues
  6. Faster and efficient process
  7. Easy access to data through various systems with the help of secure login
  8. Security of data
  9. Reducing risks of crimes like trespass, fraud, data breach
  10. Knowledge of Court process
  11. Customized as per the demand of the users
  12. Easier to track the cases and number of cases
  13. In automating the process, the old cases will be tracked and can be taken up for faster disposal

With the help of appropriate rules, if the case management system is introduced, then it will be very effective and efficient which shall speed up the process of disposal of cases in a proper manner which in turn will help get more time to adjudicate upon complex cases. Talking of another aspect, when now everything in the nation has become electronic, then why is there a delay in applying the same to the judicial system of the country. For Example, there will be a lot of saving of time if written submissions are provided online even before oral arguments. This gives additional time to the judge to be prepared for the case. This system can also be used to serve notices, summons, check if the affidavits, joinders, rejoinders are filed. This system can be used at any stage of the case.

Therefore, getting a unified system worldwide for each and every court will speed up the process and the challenges faced can be solved easily. The court case management system should be now adopted and personalized as per the Indian Courtroom scenario, and then tasks can be made easy. Technology combatted with justice can add to the success of the judicial system. Thus, Electronic court case management system can be made functional. The case management system can be devised as per the courts or the judges, but there needs to be some uniformity as to rules of court and a fair system, this gives an added leverage to the Judicial system.

 

 

[1] Writ petition (civil) 496 of 2002

[2] http://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/adr_conf/Mayo%20Rao%20case%20mngt%203.pdf

The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017

constitutional amendment bill

123 Constitutional amendment bill

123 Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Mr. Thaawarchand Gehlot on April 5, 2017. The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on April 10, 2017, and was referred to a Select Committee on April 11, 2017.

Summary of the Bill

What the Bill seeks to do is to establish the National Commission for Backward Classes under the Constitution. A new Article 338B will be inserted in the Constitution after the Amendment. It will read as follows, ‘There shall be a commission for the socially and educationally backward classes to be known as the National Commission for Backward Classes.’ The current NCBC was created under an Act of Parliament in 1993 which will now be repealed, and a new NCBC will be created under Article 338B alongside Article 338 and 338A will create a National Commission for SCs and STs respectively.

At present, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes also has the power to look into complaints regarding backward classes and also promote their welfare by employing certain measures. Through the Amendment, this power of the NCSC will be taken away and given to the newly constituted NCBC.

The NCBC, on the other hand, will be given the power to examine complaints regarding inclusion or exclusion of groups within the list of backward classes, and further, give the Central Government advice on how to improve their situation and make their lives better. It will comprise of five members appointed by the Parliament. Their tenure and conditions of service will be left to the prerogative of the President who will decide the same through Rules.

Functions of the Commission – The functions of the NCBC will include: (i) investigating and monitoring how safeguards provided to the backward classes under the Constitution and other laws are being implemented, (ii) inquiring into specific complaints regarding violation of rights, and (iii) advising and making recommendations on socio-economic development of such classes.

Governments at both the Central and State Level will be required to consult the Commission if they are formulating any policies relating to backward classes and similarly, the Commission will be required to present yearly reports to the President on the situation of the backward classes.

Lastly, the Commission has been bestowed with the powers of a civil court under the Bill. These powers include: (i) summoning people and examining them on oath, (ii) requiring the production of any document or public record, and (iii) receiving evidence.

Recommendations of the Select Committee

The Select Committee accepted the Bill in its present form without recommending any major changes. One recommendation, although, was in the composition of the Commission. The Committee had said that the Commission should comprise of seven members instead of five. These seven members should include a woman member and a member from the backward community mandatorily. This would ensure adequate representation on the table. But, this recommendation was not adopted.

Criticism of the Bill

It has been stated time and again that the Amendment is unusual because it brings the Backward Classes in league with the SCs/STs as victims of discrimination, exclusion, and violence. Critics feel that that makes the Amendment illogical. Therefore, it also lacks historical justification and makes one question the entirety of India’s social welfare system.

Another criticism stems from the fact that Article 340 will become dead after this Amendment. Article 340 deals with the need to identify the socially and educationally backward classes, and make recommendations for their improvement. The Bill does not repeal this Article and constitutes another Commission consisting of similar provisions.

One is right to assume that the Backward Classes deserve state support as they also face discrimination of some kind. But there is no justification for supposing that their condition is as bad as those of SCs or STs. In that light, provisions that bring them in tandem with the SCs and STs unintentionally reduce the intensity of discrimination that caste and tribal groups have faced since times immemorial.

Conclusion

The logic of the 123rd Amendment to the Indian Constitution is far from misplaced. It is extremely unusual and seems like it will degenerate into perversion sooner rather than later. By fragmenting these ‘weaker’ sections such as SCs, STs, BCs, and other minorities into different groups with different redressal mechanisms undermines the entire fabric on which the social justice system of India is based. But, the solution to the same is not that one is supposed to smuggle a certain group identity into another group identity and intend to merge the two. When the two identities are starkly different with varying historical, social, and economic backgrounds, it is impossible to fuse them together. Doing so, which the 123rd Amendment is clearly doing, will only give birth to a monster which is sure to do more mischief than good.

Drink and Drive : Know the implications

drink and drive punishment

Following the trend worldwide, drunk and drive is an offense in India also. The prime facie objective of making this punishable offense is to ensure road safety and decrease the number of fatal accidents occurring due to this as the traffic in India is highly uncontrolled, and everyone is in a hustle to reach the destination.

Alcohol is a state list subject as per the Seventh Schedule VII of Indian Constitution. In states like Bihar, Gujarat, Nagaland consumption of alcohol is completely prohibited. Thus, the laws vary from state to state. Drink and Drive have been responsible for at least 70% of all fatal road accidents in Delhi.[1]

PERMISSIBLE LIMIT FOR DRINK AND DRIVE

While testing a person for drunk and drive case, a device called breathe analyzer is used. The permissible limit in up to 30 mg per 100 ml of blood (0.03% of B.A.C, i.e., Blood Alcohol Content). Any person exceeding the permissible limit will be charged with impaired driving as per Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. The limit is quite less, for example, even after having a pint of beer, a minimum 90 minutes is required to be able to drive and not get caught by the breath analyzer.[2]

The BAC varies from person to person and is not only dependent upon the amount of alcohol consumed but on factors like body weight, Absorption by blood, etc.

Breath test: This is a test which is carried out for the purpose of obtaining a suggestion of the presence of alcohol in blood if any. This is done by a device which is approved by the Central government.

The breath test can be ordered by any police officer who is present in uniform or by an officer of the Motor Vehicles Department who is authorized on behalf of the government to take such test. The breath test is not conclusive proof after that blood test has to be done to determine by the Doctors conclusively.

WHEN IS A PERSON TESTED?

If any authorized person mentioned above has a reasonable apprehension of any person driving or attempting to drive any motor vehicle in a public place under the influence of alcohol or drug, can be asked to give a breath test.

Any person denies, fails, omits to take the breath test and provide a specimen when requested by an authorized person, is automatically presumed to be unfit for driving and to be under the influence of alcohol or drug. If the officer is suspicious that the refusal is due to being under the influence of alcohol, then the person can be arrested without a warrant and can be taken to the nearest police station or hospital for the blood test.

PUNISHMENT FOR DRINK AND DRIVE

Since being under the influence of alcohol, the brain-body coordination is disturbed; thus, the person must not attempt to drive any motor vehicle. As per Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act, for a first-time offense of Drink and Drive is punishable with imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or with fine up to Rs. 2000 or both. The Subsequent amendment to the act suggests the change to Rs. 10000[3] (the same has not yet been approved).  If any subsequent offense of drunken driving is caught within 3 years of the first offense, then the punishment is enhanced to imprisonment for a period of two years or fine up to Rs. 20000 or both. The purpose of such punishment enhancement is due to an increasing number of cases and to nab the regular offenders.

If the alcohol content is more then 150 mg per 100 ml, which is considered to be heavily drunk, the punishment will be imprisonment for a period of two years and/or Rs. 5000.

Any person arrested under Section 185 of the MV Act, has to be examined medically within 2 hours of the arrest by a registered practitioner. It is important to understand that if under the influence of alcohol, any person is hurt by the offender, then shall be charged with attempt to commit culpable homicide.[4]

In a recent action taken by Hyderabad in 2016, where it is required by the bar authorities to make sure a pool of cabs to take home drunken people. This trend was followed by Kolkata after a fatal accident of an actress.[5] Safety should be the prime facie concern, and thus everyone is advised not to drive any vehicle under the influence of any alcohol or any drug. Its time for the government of every state to take stern action and reduce the number of casualties because of this reason.

[1] https://www.livemint.com/Politics/8yw65SOlOS730HVZmNUceJ/How-to-drink-and-drive-and-not-get-away-with-it.html

[2]http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/45406440.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

[3] Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016

[4] Charged under Section 308, Indian Penal Code, 1860

[5] https://www.thebetterindia.com/100812/india-drunk-driving-efforts-initiatives-world-lessons/