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  • Aug 20, 2019
    PROMISES OF PROTECTING HER SAFE BY HUSBAND ARE NOW FADED LANDMARK JUDGMENTS ON SECTION 498A OF IPC Reported cases of crime against women increased 83% from 185,312 in 2007 to 338,954 in 2016. Cruelty by husband or his relatives” was the most reported crime against women, accounting for 33% of all crimes in 2016. So, Are the laws incompetent or are the execution of the law needs to be effective? Section 498A of IPC deals with the crime i.e. Cruelty to the woman by his husand or relatives. UNDERSTANDING SECTION 498A OF IPC Where religions and customs translated marriage as a bond based on love and sharing, local experiences indicated it as a license to ill-treat the wife. Section 498A has been engrafted in the India Penal Code(IPC), 1860 in the year 1983 when the national concise was disturbed by cases of bride beating, suicides, cruelty by husband and relatives on the wife. Section 498A through its explanations defines the term ‘cruelty’ as any wilful conduct which drives the woman to commit suicide or harm her life or health, or any kind of harassment whether mental or physical in order to meet the unlawful demand. Section 498A prescribes the punishment of three years along with fine, also here the burden of proof lies on the accused as result of the consequential amendment made in the Indian Evidence Act. This article will be dealing with the five landmark judicial trends respect to the Section 498A of IPC. LANDMARK CASES HELD Shobha Rani v. Madhukar Reddi - Cruelty was defined Noorjahan v. State - Objects behind the enactment of Section 498A of IPC Natubhai Somabhai Rohit v. State of Gujarat & Anr - FIR instituted against one and all family members irrespective of the roles, is liable to be quashed Mrs Christine Lazarus Menezes v. Mr Lazarus Peter Menezes - Misuse of Section 498A of IPC is cruelty and ground for divorce Social Action Forum for Manav Adhikar and another v. Union of India - SC Modifies The Earlier Directions Issued To Prevent Misuse Of 498A IPC, Says No To ‘Welfare Committees’ 1 - Shobha Rani v. Madhukar Reddi “The categories of cruelty are not closed." These words of ‘Lord Denning’ as referenced in the judgment, defines the core of the judgment in this very case. In a very short period of Four years after the introduction of Section 498A of IPC, there was an urgent need of an appropriate definition of cruelty and the same was pronounced in the landmark judgment of Shobha Rani v. Madhukar Reddi, 1987. The case focused on three basic questions related to Section 498A of IPC - ● What is Demand for dowry? ● Whether amounts to cruelty? ● Whether wife entitled to a decree for dissolution of marriage? FACTS OF THE CASE - 1 - The Petitioner Sobha Rani married Madhukar Reddy the Respondent on December 19 1982, but the relationship between them became bitter and hence the Petitioner approached the court for Divorce on the ground of cruelty by Husband and his parents. 2 - The appeal was dismissed by the trial court on the ground that there is no satisfactory reason which invites the term cruelty or harassment. 3 - Adjectiving the Petitioner Sobha as ‘hypersensitive’ the High Court rejected the appeal and additionally held that demand for money had to be viewed from a proper angle and there is nothing wrong if the respondent, a medical doctor asking her rich wife to spare some money. 4 - Petitioner approached the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court allowed the appeal by the special leave(Article 136 of the Constitution of India). JUDGMENT - ● Cruelty is the course of conduct of one which adversely affects the other. Cruelty can be defined as ‘Mental’ or ‘Physical’, ‘Intentional’ or ‘unintentional’. Physical cruelty can be easily determined based on facts and degree, but mental cruelty determination brings challenges. ● So it is a matter of inference to be drawn from - i) the nature of the conduct, ii) effect on the complaining spouse and if the nature of the conduct is found to have a harassing nature on the complaining spouse, then that will lead to cruelty. ● Cases like where the nature of the conduct is itself bad enough, unlawful or illegal then there is no need to inquire the effect of the conduct and cruelty will be established if the conduct itself is proved or admitted. ● Each case may be different. A set of facts stigmatized as cruelty in one case may not be so in another case. Cruelty alleged may largely depend upon - 1. type of life the parties are accustomed to, 2. their economic and social conditions, 3. their culture and human values to which they attach importance. ● Cruelty should be observed from the case and the conduct of the parties of the case and shall not be decided on any preset standard definition because new kind of cruelty may crop up depending upon the human behavior. "The Court has to deal, not with an ideal husband and an ideal wife (assuming any such exist) but with particular man and woman before it” - Chandrachud, J HELD - Decree for dissolution of marriage was granted by the Supreme Court. 2 - Noorjahan vs State Rep. By D.S.P The Supreme Court, in this case, torches the objects behind the introduction of Section 498A of IPC. It was also held by the court that cruelty has been defined under Explanations for the purpose of Section 498A. In words of Supreme Court - “ Consequences of cruelty which are likely to drive a woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health, whether mental or physical of the woman is required to be established in order to bring home the application of Section 498A IPC” FACTS OF THE CASE - 1- Appellant-1(A-1) and Syed Ali Fatima(deceased) married on 22/04/2001. A-2 is the brother of A-1. A-3 and A-4 are the sisters of A-1 and A-5 is the mother and A-6 is the father of A-1 2 - A-1 to A-6 were arrested. A-2 came forward to give confessional statement The accused persons pleaded innocence and, therefore, the trial was held in the court of Session and conviction was recorded and sentence was imposed. 3 - Accused approached the Supreme Court and hereby leave was granted. JUDGMENT - ● In the judgment, the Supreme Court referenced the Statement of Objects and Reasons while enacting the Criminal(amendment) Law Act 46 of 1983. ● Section 498A is implied to combat the menace of dowry death and cruelty as the cases which were concerned with the ill-treatment of the married woman by his husband or the relatives of the husband which lead to the woman to commit suicide or was murdered constituted only a small fraction of cases involving such cruelty. ● The object behind the proposal of amending the IPC, Criminal Procedure Act and Evidence Act was to deal suitably not only with dowry deaths but also with cases of cruelty by Husbands or relatives to the married woman. HELD - The prosecution failed to establish the allegations on the appellant and therefore the appellant was released on bail and appeal was granted. 3 - Natubhai Somabhai Rohit v. State of Gujarat & Anr Cruelty has been mentioned in the IPC to deal with the ill-treatment with the married woman but it is also possible and happens, that people use to exploit their rights and powers. The fact that you have been embedded with the power doesn’t mean that you are going to trouble the whole family or the innocent one. FACTS OF THE CASE - 1 - Application was filed before the Gujarat High Court for quashing of the FIR in which all ten members of the family were shown accused under sections 498A, 323, 504,506(2) and 114 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, read with section 3 and section 7 of the Dowry Prohibition Act without any idea of their roles in the alleged crime. 2 - According to the FIR the complainant was harassed by the family members and was subjected to cruelty. JUDGMENT - _The court emphasised on the judgment delivered in the case of Neelu Chopra and another vs. Bharti a s the complaint or FIR should show that which accused played what role in the offence otherwise the complaint will suffer from opacity. ● The tendency to rope all the family members in the FIR speaks for themselves and therefore it becomes a matter of importance to allege specific role for each of the members. ● “All should stay together” forms an indispensable aspect in a complaint, which ropes all family members. ● The court relied on what was held in G.V Rao v. L.H.V Prasad that a complaint relating to matrimonial dispute where all the members are roped into irrespective of role, becomes liable to be quashed. HELD - The FIR roping the whole family for the alleged offence, was quashed. 4 - Mrs Christine Lazarus Menezes v. Mr Lazarus Peter Menezes FACTS OF THE CASE - 1 - The appellant(Wife) had filed the Criminal Complaint against her husband(Respondent) to which he was arrested and was in jail for about 7 days , later the respondent approached Family Court for dissolution of Marriage on the ground of cruelty and the prayer was granted by the family court to the respondent. 2 - The Appellant appealed against the order of the Family Court which awarded a decree for dissolution of marriage on the grounds of cruelty, in the Bombay High Court. JUDGMENT - A False case under Section 498A contributes to mental cruelty to Husband by the Wife and may attract dissolution of marriage on the ground of Cruelty. HELD - Upheld the order of Family court, opined with the view that the husband has been subject to mental cruelty by the wife. 5 - Social Action Forum for Manav Adhikar and another v. Union of India " We have protected Pre-arrest or anticipatory bail provision in dowry harassment cases ," said the bench headed by the CJI and comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud. On September 14 2018, Supreme Court modified its latter judgment pronounced in the case of Rajesh Sharma & Ors. v. State of U.P. before focusing on the fresh judgment of Supreme Court let’s have a catchy look at the judgment of Rajesh Sharma & Ors. v. State of U.P - The main concern before the Supreme Court was to deal with the misuse of Section 498A of IPC, so a committee ‘Amicus’ was appointed to overlook the problem and aid the court with relevant solutions. Family welfare committees were established to examine the complaints attracting Section 498A of IPC and present the report and, pro report, no arrest can be made. FACTS OF THE CASE - Nyayadhar, a Non-Governmental Organisation(NGO) which is a group of women advocates of Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar District approached the Supreme Court through a Writ Petition seeking sharpness in Section 498A, claiming that the otherwise "helpful instrument" in the hands of victim women has become "valueless". The case was before a three-judge bench headed by CJI Deepak Mishra. JUDGMENT IN THE PRESENT CASE - ● The court restored the powers of the police to act in Dowry harassment complaints under Section 498A of IPC and said - “ We think it appropriate to direct the investigating officer to be careful in dealing with the complaints of dowry harassment.” ● Investigating Officer probing with the offences under Section 498A should be provided rigorous training with regard to the principles stated by the top court relating to the arrest made in such cases. ● There should be gender justice for women as Dowry has a chilling effect on marriage, and also right to life and personal liberty of man. HELD - Family Welfare committee is quashed and police officers are now made competent authority to deal with the complaints and based on the facts of the case and subject to law should decide the case. CONCLUSION In accordance to deal with ‘Misuse of power‘ diluting the power of authorities, will rather lead to pendency and since today’s society should be provided speedy justice accurate and direct procedure should be followed. Authorities chargeable for adjudicating disputes or serious crimes should be in direct power to deal with the case in accordance with the facts of the case considering the legal sphere and so the same has been held by the Supreme Court modifying its the previous judgment. AUTHOR- Mr. Prashant Tiwari (Penultimate Year Law Student)
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  • Jul 26, 2019
    Bullying/harassing using electronic devices or means is a form of Cyber bullying Or cyber harassment. It is also known as online bullying. It has become increasingly common, especially among people ranging from the age of eleven to nineteen (Teens). Cyber bullying happens when someone is bullied or harassed over the internet, specifically on social media. Internet trolling is a common form of bullying over the Internet in a tech savvy world like ours, in order to elicit a reaction, disruption, or for someone's own personal amusement. Cyber bullying involves repeated behavior with an intention to harm the victim. Cyber stalking is another form of online harassment in which the perpetrator uses electronic communications to stalk a victim. Cyber stalkers may send repeated messages intended to threaten or harass. It may encourage others to do the same, either explicitly or by impersonating their victim and asking others to contact them. Research suggests that there are also interactions online that results in peer pressure , which can have a negative, positive, or neutral impact on those involved.  Five different types of cyber bullying are jotted down below: Harassment: It involves the bully sending offensive and malicious messages to an individual or a group and is repeated multiple times. Cyber stalking is one form of harassment that involves continual threatening which can lead to physical harassment in the real world. Flaming: Flaming is similar to harassment, but it refers to an online fight exchanged via emails, instant messaging or chat rooms. It is a type of public bullying that often directs harsh languages, or images to a specific person. Exclusion: Exclusion is the act of intentionally singling out and leaving a person out from an online group such as chats and sites. The group then subsequently leaves malicious comments and harasses the one they singled out. Outing: Outing is when a bully shares personal and private information, pictures, or videos of someone else, publicly. A person is outed when his information is disseminated throughout the internet. Masquerading: Masquerading is a situation where a bully creates a fake identity to harass someone anonymously. In addition to this, the bully impersonates someone else too, to send malicious messages to the victim. A person who suffers through cyber bullying can be often seen habitual to one of these symptoms: Sadness and loneliness clutch the mind. Sleep and eating patterns drastically change. Lack of interest in day-to-day activities. Health complaints become more favorable. Teens who are bullied are more likely to struggle personally and at school/universities. Teens may: Skip or even drop out of school. Receive poor grades in the academics. Have deteriorated Self-esteem. Take help of alcohol and drugs to reduce the stress. Depression can develop and play with budding minds. Cyber bullying can be attempted in several ways. Some of the threats are: Sending mean/threatening texts or IMs to the victim. Prank calling someone. Hacking into someone’s gaming or social networking profile.. Being rude or mean to someone in an online game. Spreading secrets or rumors about people online.  Pretending to be someone else to spread hurtful messages online. Bullying can lead to thoughts of suicide, sometimes persisting into adulthood. In one study, adults who were bullied as teens were three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts or inclinations. Teens who are bullied may retaliate through violent measures. A number of organizations are in coalition to provide awareness, protection and recourse for these escalating problems.With an aim to inform and provide measures to avoid as well as effectively terminate cyber bullying and cyber harassment.Anti-bullying charity ,Act Against Bullying launched the Cyber Kind campaign in August 2009 to promote positive internet usage.Not only this but YouTube introduced the first Anti-Bullying Channel for teens called as Beat-bullying in 2007, using the assistance of celebrities to tackle the problems of victims. NGO/organizations are striving to make internet safer. Moreover, the cyber crime is fighting hard each day to prevent the happenings.   
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  • Jul 20, 2019
    अंधश्रद्धा निर्मूलन कायदा आणि अंमलबजावणी श्रद्धा व अंधश्रद्धा यामध्ये जास्त फरक नसतो, एखादी गोष्ट आंधळेपणाने स्वीकारणे यास अंधश्रद्धा असे म्हणतात. अंधश्रद्धेमध्ये विविध प्रकार आहेत. यामध्ये काळी जादू, तंत्र-मंत्र, जादूटोणा, नरबळी ,नजर टोक, तसेच भूत- प्रेत, पिशाच्च या संबंधित अंधविश्वास, अफवा पसरवणे व कृती करणे तसेच या कृतींचाही इतर प्राणी जीवनावर विपरीत परिणाम होणे म्हणजेच अंधश्रद्धा फोफावणे. भारतात अंधश्रद्धेचे प्रमाण खूप आहे. अंधश्रद्धेमुऴे निरपराध जीवांचे बळी जातात. काही ढोंगी लोकांमुळे ,अशिक्षितांमुळे व जुन्या परंपरा आणि विचारसरणीमुऴे अंधश्रद्धेचे प्रमाण वाढत जाते. महाराष्ट्र अंधश्रद्धा निर्मूलन समिती ही अंधश्रद्धेच्या विरोधात प्रबोधनाच्या मार्गाने कार्य करणारी एक संघटना आहे. डॉ. नरेंद्र दाभोलकर यांनी आपल्या सहकार्‍यांच्या साहाय्याने सातारा येथे इ.स. १९८९ मध्ये या महाराष्ट्र अंधश्रद्धा निर्मूलन समितीची स्थापना केली. समाजातील अज्ञानाचा फायदा घेवून विघातक वृत्तीकडून होणारे शोषण थांबविण्यासाठी महाराष्ट्राने २०१३ साली कठोर कायदा केला आहे. याचे संंक्षिप्त नाव महाराष्ट्र नरबळी आणि इतर अमानुष, अनिष्ट व अघोरी प्रथा व जादूटोणा प्रतिबंध कायदा २०१३ असे आहे.अंधश्रद्धा निर्मूलन समितीचे संस्थापक नरेंद्र दाभोलकर, शाम मानव अशा सामाजिक कार्यकर्त्यांनी केलेल्या पाठपुराव्यामुळे शासनाला हा कायदा करावा लागला. महाराष्ट्र नरबळी व इतर अमानवी, अघोरी प्रथा, जादूटोणा निवारण व उच्चाटन कायदा २०१३’, जो सामान्यत: अंधश्रद्धा निर्मूलन कायदा म्हणून ओळखला जातो, तो महाराष्ट्र राज्यात २६ ऑगस्ट २०१३ पासून अमलात आला. सध्या तरी देशभरात महाराष्ट्र हे एकमेव राज्य असे आहे, की जिथे असा कायदा अस्तित्वात आहे. मात्र त्याच्या अंमलबजावणीची आज नेमकी स्थिती काय आहे, याचा आढावा घेण्याचा प्रयत्न केला असता चित्र निराशाजनक दिसते.  भूत उतरविण्याच्या बहाण्याने एखाद्या व्यक्तीला, दोराने किंवा साखळीने बांधून ठेवून मारहाण करणे, काठीने किंवा चाबकाने मारणे, पादत्राणे भिजवलेले पाणी प्यायला लावणे, मिरचीची धुरी देणे, छताला टांगणे, दोराने किंवा केसांनी बांधणे, त्या व्यक्तीचे केस उपटणे, व्यक्तीच्या शरीरावर किंवा अवयवांवर तापलेल्या वस्तूचे चटके देऊन इजा पोहोचविणे, उघड्यावर लैंगिक कृत्य करण्याची जबरदस्ती करणे, व्यक्तीवर अघोरी कृत्य करणे, तोंडात जबरदस्तीने मूत्र किंवा विष्ठा घालणे किंवा यांसारख्या कोणत्याही कृती करणे. एखाद्या व्यक्तीने तथाकथित चमत्कार करून दाखवणे आणि त्यापासून आर्थिक प्राप्ती करणे, तसेच अशा तथाकथित चमत्कारांचा प्रचार व प्रसार करून लोकांना फसवणे, ठकवणे अथवा त्यांच्यावर दहशत बसविणे. अतिमानुषी शक्तीची कृपा मिळविण्यासाठी, जिवाला धोका निर्माण होतो किंवा शरीराला जीवघेण्या जखमा होतात अशा अनिष्ट व अघोरी प्रथांचा अवलंब करणे; आणि अशा प्रथांचा अवलंब करण्यास इतरांना प्रवृत्त करणे, उत्तेजन देणे किंवा सक्ती करणे.  मौल्यवान वस्तू, गुप्त धन, जलस्रोत यांचा शोध घेण्याच्या बहाण्याने वा तत्सम कारणाने करणी वा भानामती या नावाने कोणतेही अमानुष कृत्य करणे आणि जारणमारण अथवा देवदेवस्की यांच्या नावाखाली नरबळी देणे, किंवा देण्याचा प्रयत्न करणे; किंवा अशी अमानुष कृत्ये करण्याचा सल्ला देणे, त्याकरिता प्रवृत्त करणे, अथवा प्रोत्साहन देणे.  आपल्या अंगात अतींद्रिय शक्ती असल्याचे भासवून अथवा अतिंद्रिय शक्ती संचारली असल्याचा आभास निर्माण करून इतरांच्या मनात भीती निर्माण करणे वा त्या व्यक्तीचे सांगणे न ऐकल्यास वाईट परिणाम होतील अशी इतरांना धमकी देणे.  एखादी विशिष्ट व्यक्ती करणी करते, काळी विद्या करते, भूत लावते, मंत्रतंत्राने जनावरांचे दूध आटवते, असे सांगून त्या व्यक्तीबाबत संशय निर्माण करणे, त्याचप्रमाणे एखादी व्यक्ती अपशकुनी आहे रोगराई पसरल्यास कारणीभूत आहे, इत्यादी सांगून वा भासवून संबंधित व्यक्तीचे जगणे मुश्किल करणे, त्रासदायक करणे वा कठीण करणे; कुठलीही व्यक्ती सैतान असल्याचे किंवा ती सैतानाचा अवतार असल्याचे जाहीर करणे. जारणमारण, करणी किंवा चेटूक अथवा यांसारखे प्रकार केले आहेत या सबबीखाली एखाद्या व्यक्तीला मारहाण करणे, तिची नग्नावस्थेत धिंड काढणे, किंवा तिच्या रोजच्या व्यवहारांवर बंदी घालणे. मंत्राच्या साहाय्याने भूत पिशाच्चांना आवाहन करून किंवा भूत पिशाच्चांना आवाहन करीन अशी धमकी देऊन एकूणच लोकांच्या मनात घबराट निर्माण करणे, मंत्रतंत्र अथवा तत्सम गोष्टी करून एखाद्या व्यक्तीस विषबाधेतून मुक्त करतो आहे असे भासवणे, शारीरिक इजा होण्यास भुताचा किंवा अमानवी शक्तीचा कोप असल्याचा समज करून देणे, लोकांना वैद्यकीय उपचार घेण्यापासून रोखून, त्याऐवजी त्यांना अघोरी कृत्ये वा उपाय करण्यास प्रवृत्त करणे, अथवा मंत्रतंत्र(चेटूक), जादूटोणा अथवा असेच तथाकथित उपाय करण्याचा आभास निर्माण करून लोकांना मृत्यूची भीती घालणे, वेदना देणे किंवा आर्थिक वा मानसिक हानी पोहोचविणे. कुत्रा, साप, विंचू आदि चावल्यास व्यक्तीला वैद्यकीय उपचार घेण्यापासून रोखून किंवा प्रतिबंध करून, त्याऐवजी मंत्रतंत्र, गंडेदोरे, यासारखे इतर उपचार करणे. बोटाने शस्त्रक्रिया करून दाखवतो असा दावा करणे किंवा गर्भवती स्त्रीच्या गर्भाचे लिंग बदल करून दाखवतो असा दावा करणे.  स्वतःत विशेष शक्ती असल्याचे अथवा कुणाचातरी अवतार असल्याचे वा स्वतःत पवित्र आत्मा असल्याचे भासवून किंवा त्याच्या नादी लागलेल्या व्यक्तीस पूर्वजन्मी तू माझी पत्नी, पती वा प्रेयसी, प्रियकर होतास असे सांगून, अशा व्यक्तीशी लैंगिक संबंध ठेवणे; मूल न होणार्‍या स्त्रीला अतींद्रिय शक्तीद्वारा मूल होण्याचे आश्वासन देऊन तिच्याशी लैंगिक संबंध ठेवणे. एखाद्या मंद बुद्धीच्या व्यक्तीमध्ये अतींद्रिय शक्ती आहे असे इतरांना भासवून त्या व्यक्तीचा धंदा व व्यवसाय यासाठी वापर करणे. वगैरे. एखादी स्त्री चक्कर येऊन पडत असेल तर बाबाजी जवळून तिचे कान टोचून आणणे (कानाच्या मधल्या भागी टोचणे). हे सर्व या कायद्याने गुन्हा आहे जादूटोणा करणे आणि अनिष्ट व अघोरी प्रथांचा अवलंब करणे या शब्दप्रयोगाची व्याख्या देऊन, भोंदूबाबा यांच्याकडून करण्यात येणारा जादूटोणा, अवलंबिल्या जाणार्‍या अनिष्ट व अघोरी प्रथा, तसेच, केली जाणारी अधिकृत व बेकायदेशीर वैद्यकीय औषधयोजना व उपचार यांच्या प्रचाराला व प्रसाराला प्रतिबंध करण्यात आला आहे. या अधिनियमाअन्वये या गोष्टी करणे हा अपराध ठरविण्यास आलेला आहे आणि या अधिनियमाची जरब बसविण्यासाठी असे अपराध दखलपात्र व अजामीनपात्र ठरविण्यास आले असून, त्यासाठी, अत्यंत कठोर शिक्षेची तरतूद करण्याचे प्रस्तावित करण्यात आले आहे. या अधिनियमाच्या व नियमांच्या तरतुदींचे उल्लंघन होत आहे किंवा कसे, याचा तपास करणे व त्याला प्रतिबंध करणे, तसेच या अधिनियमाच्या तरतुदींचे उल्लंघन करणार्‍या व्यक्तींवर परिणामकारकरीत्या खटले चालविले जाण्यासाठी साक्षीपुरावे गोळा करणे, याकरिता, एक दक्षता अधिकारी असण्याची तरतूद करण्यात आली आहे. ज्याने या कायद्याच्या तरतुदींखालील अपराध केला आहे अशा व्यक्तीच्या दोषसिद्धी संबंधातील तपशील प्रसिद्ध करण्यासंबंधीचे अधिकार न्यायालयाला प्रदान करू शकेल अशी साहाय्यकारी तरतूद करण्याचे प्रस्तावित केले आहे. नरेंद्र दाभोलकरांचे बलिदान व्यर्थ ठरू नये, असे वाटत असेल, तर या कायद्याच्या अधिक व्यापक व अर्थपूर्ण अंमलबजावणीसाठी जोमाने प्रयत्न करावेच लागतील.
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  • Jul 05, 2019
    *"जिन्हें नाज़ है हिंद पर वह लोग कहां है"*आर्टिकल 15 बद्दल अधिक जाणून घेण्यासाठी नक्की वाचा....काल आर्टिकल-१५ हा चित्रपट पाहिला आणि अंगातील रक्त गोठले, हातातील पॉपकॉर्न हातातच राहिला मनामध्ये विचारांचे काहूर माजले, मन अस्वस्थ झाले.मनामध्ये विविध प्रश्नाचे थैमान सुरू झाले आजही आपण दोन हजार वर्षापूर्वी निर्माण झालेल्या विषमतावादी मनुस्मृतीचे पालन अगदी काटेकोर व प्रामाणिकपणे करतो. परंतु माणसाला माणूस म्हणून जगण्यासाठी सर्व समान हक्क मिळवून देणाऱ्या संविधानाची निर्मिती होऊन 70 वर्षे उलटूनही आपण त्याची अंमलबजावणी करण्यास असमर्थ ठरत आहोत का? असा प्रश्न मनामध्ये निर्माण होतो एकीकडे भारत महासत्ता होण्याची स्वप्न रंगवत असतानाच एका बाजूला माणसाला माणूस म्हणून करावा लागणारा जीवघेणा संघर्ष पाहून मन हेलावून जाते *दलित हरिजन झाले ते बहुजन ही झाले परंतु जन-गण-मन मधील 'जन' अजूनही होऊ शकले नाहीत* भारतातील भीषण जातीव्यवस्था, धर्मव्यवस्था संपवण्यासाठी आपण सपशेल अपयशी ठरत आहोत का? संविधानातील कलम 15 नुसार धर्म, वंश, जात, लिंग किंवा जन्मस्थान या वरून व्यक्ती-व्यक्ती मध्ये भेद-भाव करता कामा नये इस्पितळे, चित्रपटगृहे,विहीरी,तलाव,हॉटेल,नद्या, रस्ते इत्यादी सार्वजनिक ठिकाणी भेदभाव करता कामा नये, तरीही उत्तर प्रदेशातील बदायू गावांमध्ये २०१४ साली दोन अल्पवयीन मुलीवर झालेला बलात्कार. त्याचबरोबर राजरोसपणे खेड्या-पाड्या वर होणारे दलितांवरील हल्ले हे पाहून अंगातील रक्त तापते, हताशपणे डोळ्यामध्ये पाणी उभे राहते आपल्या घरातील सोप्यावर दिमाखात बसून *'नवीन भारताचे नवीन स्वप्ने'* रंगवत असणाऱ्यांची किव येते! दलित जणूकाही परग्रहावरून आलेले एलियन आहेत अशा पद्धतीने त्यांच्याकडे पाहिले जाते किंवा *'ती माणसे'* पाहून त्यांच्या सावलीचा विटाळ आपल्याला होतो फुले-शाहू-आंबेडकर -भगतसिंग यांनी ज्या भारताचे स्वप्न पाहिले तो हाच भारत आहे का ? असा प्रश्न मनात निर्माण होतो . जर दलितांच्या सावलीचा विटाळ आपल्याला होत असेल तर आपण महासत्ता होणार का? भारतीय संविधानाची प्रभावीपणे अंमलबजावणी झाली तरच बहुजन हरिजन कोणीही न राहता सर्वजण जन-गण-मन मधील जन होऊन राहतील हे घडून येण्यासाठी संविधान ची अंमलबजावणी यशस्वीपणे झाली पाहिजे यासाठी नक्कीच सर्वांना प्रयत्न करावे लागणार आहेत.*"चिरागों की तरह जलना होगा खुद को दोस्तों यू मुठिया बांध लेने से इंकलाब नहीं आएगा"*देशांमध्ये शांतता व सुव्यवस्था निर्माण होण्यासाठी संविधानाची अंमलबजावणी होणे गरजेचे आहे अन्यथा क्रांती अटळ आहे...                                                                                                                          - सागर मंगनाळे 
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  • Jun 19, 2019
    The way we do business is changing everyday and every minute. Globalization alongside technological advancements is promoting business growth, different economies of sovereign states and the individual purchasing power. A lot of jobs that required manual labour and human expertise are now being automated. While artificial intelligence (AI) has been there for some years in the modern times, Siri remains to be the most popular form of AI known to people. Siri has very conveniently replaced the job of a secretary. Similarly, AI is being used in the medical industry too. However, it has its own downside. Firstly, patients would trust human expertise and experience rather than to be operated by a machine. Secondly, the unemployment rate in many countries is on the rise and AI is only adding to that. However, AI does improve ease of doing business which we will understand in depth at a later stage in the article. As automation and digitalization is the new way of doing business in almost all industries, how would AI impact the legal industry? Can lawyers benefit from AI in litigation? Can litigation that has always required expertise, logic, knowledge and the oratory skills of lawyers and the fine sense of judgement of judges take place by machines? In simple terms, yes and no. Surely there is a lot of work that takes place in preparing for a hearing in court. What litigants do at court, is hardly 5% of their actual work. Most of the work takes place back in the office or chambers. The first task that artificial intelligence can do is due diligence. Just like how there are apps like grammarly that checks for grammatical errors in a write-up, similarly artificial intelligence can be used to review and conduct due diligence for different contracts. Secondly, artificial intelligence can be used to draft contracts. There are a lot of instances where the main content of a contract remains the same and only the date, amount and name of the parties has to be changed. In such cases, artificial intelligence can be very useful tool to save time and effort. AI can also help in case law research. Only by typing the brief facts of case, AI shall be able to find all the relevant case laws that suit the facts of the case, the judgement given and which court gave that judgement. In terms of giving judgements, AI can use past judgements for a given type of case and use it as precedence to give judgement and will also be able to analyse the evidences submitted. This will also aid in reducing the backlog of cases that we have in India. However, since facts of the case are not always similar to other cases and there is a possibility of a wrong judgement given by AI in a rare case which had very unusual circumstances like the Arushi murder case for example, and cannot be compared to other cases where the circumstances and facts were very simple and straightforward. Moreover, as our society is changing, so are the judgements. Section 377 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 that discriminated against the LGBTQ community was quashed in a judgement last year. This is leading to developments in law and rights of people which the AI may not be able to catch with full efficiency. Even though AI has its own limitations, it minimizes risks of human error, can be cost-efficient in the long run, increases productivity by reducing time to do a particular tasks and increases efficiency. AI can be used as a wonderful assistant for lawyers to make their jobs easier and improve their efficiency and productivity. AI can hugely contribute and benefit not just courtroom lawyers but also in-house counsels. Indeed, the future is now and the benefits of AI in a legal department are many. AI has arrived in terms of assisting lawyers to do things faster, better, and cheaper. The existing technology may be limited for now, but the possibilities are intriguing and the availability, quality, and price will all soon come together in products that are just too useful for lawyers to resist. 
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  • Jun 17, 2019
    Hindu Women’s Inheritance Rights Women and their rights have always been problematic issues almost everywhere in the world. The main cause of the same is the fact that there exists an obvious divide between the genders. This we can say chronologically that it started during the primitive times. During those times what was important was muscle power, for one needed it for besting the prey for sustenance. Obviously, women did not have brute physical power as compared to that of a man. This led to women participating in other equally important activities such as cooking and maintaining the household. The critical point to note here is that although there was an obvious difference that existed, it did not pave way to creation of any complex between the genders. Both the sexes recognised their roles in the society and went about performing their activities peacefully. It was in the ancient period that there was any position attached to the roles of the genders. This is what contributed to the downfall of the women, for not only was their identity and position compromised in the society, it even went to the extent of affecting their rights. This is the major reason as to why such movements exist, that seek to put the women in the position that they are supposed to be in. In the Indian context and regarding Hindus, the Britishers had legislated on certain matters with the ultimate objective of achieving equality between the genders. The British came up with the Widow Remarriage Act, 1856. This act had a twofold use – one to seemingly promote equality between the genders and two, to boost the economy with the money of the rich widows. This act was not helpful because only a few widows remarried, whose contribution to the economy was also negligible. Moreover, it granted the widow only partial rights over her deceased husband’s property. There was also the fact that she got the right to the property only in cases where the couple had no sons. Then, in 1868, came the Proclamation of the Queen that sought for reforms in the legal sphere in India. This caused the Britishers to take an active role in enacting legislations, which also extended to the sphere of personal law. Then in 1925, came the secular act for succession – Indian Succession Act. This act had special provisions for every sect (dependant on religion) of the population. This act was actually quite ahead of its time, for it did not discriminate between the genders. But it did not have much to with Hindus at all which rendered the equality that it so established useless for Hindus. In 1928 came the Hindu Law of Inheritance that sought to bring changes to the pattern of inheritance as per Hinduism. This act had certain provisions by virtue of which the son’s daughter, daughter’s daughter and the sister of the deceased could inherit the property of the deceased by making them class I heirs. This position was established in the Madras and Bombay High Courts, but not in the rest of the country. This act was amended in 1929. The amendment bill sought to position the female heirs between the paternal grandfather and the uncles. This bill was deeply opposed because the changes that the act brought about were of a huge magnitude. At this stage it is worth mentioning that although the next act came in 1937 , the women were already expressing their wishes that they wanted laws that supported their inheritance, which lead to the 1937 Women’s Right to Property Act, being welcomed well. It conferred rights on three widows to inherit property – widow of the deceased, widow of the pre-deceased son and the widow of the pre-deceased son’s son along with the other existing heirs. But the widows were only given a limited interest in the property. Upon the death of these afore-mentioned widows, the property would go back to the reversioners (the people to whom the property would have gone to, if not for the act). Also, this act was applicable only when the deceased died intestate, which was not the case most of the time. The widow was allowed to alienate the property when she was alive with the consent of the reversioners. This alienation was also for special purposes only such as benefit of estate, indispensable duty and fulfilment of legal duty. The famous case of Renka and Anr. And Bhola Nath Vs. Nannhu Mal and Ors. in 1915, established that the alienation cannot be for wasteful purposes. The share of the widow of the deceased was equivalent to that of her son, which meant that the son should not be alive for this act to be applicable to any of the afore-mentioned widows as well. While the act had good intentions, it clearly did not do much to improve the condition of widows or women. Post-Independence in 1947, there was a flurry of activity regarding codification of Hindu Laws, especially after the enactment of the Constitution in 1950. This involved the creation of the Hindu Marriage Act in 1955 and in 1956, the Hindu Succession Act, Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act as well as the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act by the Parliament, more so because the matters of family law were all consolidated to be matters of importance of both the Centre as well as the States. This meant that the same found its place in the Concurrent List . The Hindu Succession Act is the act that deals with inheritance rights, as the name suggests. This act concerns itself with the property that is susceptible to intestate division, while the testamentary succession is taken care of by the Indian Succession Act, 1925. It is noteworthy to mention that Hinduism allows for exclusion of people through wills and so does the Indian Succession Act. The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 initially was not particularly helpful to improve the situation of women. One of the reasons how this could be substantiated is the fact that daughters could not be coparceners. A coparcenary is considered to be constituted by the male members of a family for four generations, that is, a man, his sons, his grandsons, and his great grandsons constitute a coparcenary. Initially, these generations were considered because it was believed that these were the four generations who were capable of performing the religious ceremonies for the deceased. The wives of these men (who constituted the coparcenary) were never coparceners – even now. Only if the wife becomes a widow, that too because of the Women’s Right to Property Act, 1937 is she allowed to inherit the property. 2005 saw the Supreme Court asserting that daughters are of same status as sons, and hence are eligible to be coparceners. All the advantages as well as the disadvantages that come with being a coparcener are what the daughters inherit as well. This amendment meant that grandsons and granddaughters were treated equally, as well as great grandsons and great granddaughters being treated equally. But such a change was visible in 1986, 1989, 1990 and 1994 by Andhra Pradesh , Tamil Nadu , Karnataka and Maharashtrarespectively. In a landmark judgement, the Delhi Court allowed for women to become Karta in 2015 , prior to which the thought itself was considered to be prohibited. Sec 14 of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 declared that the property held by women were all of absolute nature, that is, she was the owner of the property and she could do whatever she chose to do with the property as she chose. Here, property refers to both movable as well as immovable property and the property was irrespective of from who she got the property from. Whereas, the previous position was that she would have limited ownership of the property, which meant that she could use the property during her lifetime and she was not given the power of disposal of the property as well. There are two conditions that ought to be fulfilled for the application of Sec 14 – one, the ownership of the property in question must vest in her and two, when the act did come to force, the widow ought to have had possession of the property. The Hindu Succession Act has also differentiated between the property of the deceased, that is, the inheritance pattern changes when a male dies as well when a female dies. This difference is unique to Hindu law alone. Sec 15 is about the devolution of the property of a woman who dies intestate. It specifies the order by which the heirs inherit the property, that is – first, husband and children; second, heirs of the husband; third, mother and father of the deceased; fourth, heirs of the father and finally fifth, heirs of the mother. This is obviously dissimilar to how the property of an intestate male is split. The constitutionality of the same was challenged in the case of Sonabhai Yeshwant Jadhav Vs. BalaGovinda Yadav , but the court upheld the same. The problem here is to with the thought process of the legislators, who deemed that, for a woman, her marital status is particularly important as compared to that of a man, which should not be the case . This has been observed by the Law Commission Report as well . The fairness of this provision was questioned in the case of Omprakash Vs. RadhaChandran , to no avail. There is a clear violation of Article 14 here, in terms of how the sections are drafted, and the implications are also disastrous. While the Parliament has shown the Hindu Succession Act as being progressive, by allowing daughters to be coparceners in Sec 6, it has also shown the same to be regressive as well, for it enforces the concept of women being second to men in Sec 15 . To cure the act of its regressive mentality, the Law Commission Report has proposed changes, which are highly relevant in the current context as well. The Parliament must enforce these changes to enforce equality as well as empower women. By Aparna Venkataraman Reference from - law corner  
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  • Jun 15, 2019
    Article 21 of the Constitution of India states that "No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law" which directly shows that a person can enjoy full liberty and pursue his life as the way he/ she wants to. If somebody, by any reason tries to violate it (Privacy of an individual) will be prosecuted. On August 24, 2017 A bench of 9 judges of Supreme Court of India including CJI J.S. Khehar has delivered the judgment that Right to privacy is a fundamental right of every citizen of India. Now, the question arises here is that if Right to privacy under Article 21 is a fundamental right then how the authority i.e. the government agencies and the other security agencies can interfere in someone's private and personal liberty? Isn't it violating the fundamental right for which the offenders need to be penalized? The point come to an individual's mind is that if a person free to do anything which is not forbidden by law then why the breach of the privacy of an individual's is done? Then simultaneously if we look at the problem faced by the security agencies make us feel that the breach done by the agency to monitor the activity of that individual was legal and needs no penalization. Privacy includes every private, personal, consensual or non-consensual matter of an individual. If that privacy is disclosed the personal life, status and reputation of an individual may get affected in the society. Privacy also includes the biometric data of the citizens, the details of their bank account, the medical data prescriptions and sometimes the social networking sites too. If the privacy is disclosed the individual may go in the state of depression, or his personal life may get destroyed. In this matter, Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) and Anr. V. Union of India and ors [write petition (civil) 494, 2012 S.C.] passed a landmark judgment that a person's privacy Right is protected as a fundamental right as under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India not only protects but respect every citizen. India is the second largest democracy which has too many different sections. Section here is the category of people belonging to different sex, class, caste, religion and region etc. But nowadays the government has allowed the security agencies to interfere in person’s social media accounts, as much as in personal life under Article 21, the Supreme Court of India has legalized the relation between same sex. The Supreme Court of India on 6 September 2018, delivered the legalization of same sex intercourse and has quashed Section 377 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. The question again arises that Is legislation trying to dominate the order of the honourable court. Not at all the government interfering in personal life of a person is trying to monitor the activities which may be unusual. The Government has ordered some of the agencies like NIA, RAW and IT department to monitor the activities which  may be suspicious except those consensual. This monitoring includes Telephone tapping, hacking of the email Ids, reading text messages and the interfering in social media accounts etc. It is always observed that if something is achieved without hard work and risk it does not retain to us for long time. So the government is trying to work hard in the development & is trying to work hard in the development of IT department and wants to retain the peace in country. The recent news of breach of privacy of Cambridge University by facebook was criticized and that was not fair with it (that breach of privacy). Do we have focused on the interfering on the individuals account or data, but security agencies have. The reason for such interference is national security. The government and security agencies are always monitoring the activities of citizens. It will reduce terrorist activities, it will help in monitoring a person’s bank account and source of money, riots can be revoked, criminals can be caught easily, and penalization will be easy too. Everything in this universe has pros and cons, so as this right to privacy. Before 90’s there was no requirement of privacy laws, IT laws etc, but with development in information technology citizens have started using technology not according to this needs but according to their greed’s. In India there is a requirement of data protection laws because nowadays the telecom companies, illegal hackers and unsocial citizens (for illegal means) are mishandling the data. On the other hand, government itself is trying to access the data of all the citizens. If we take the example of few months back accused citizens, were believed to have link with ISIS. He was arrested by the monitoring system by interfering in his privacy which shows that if the monitoring of data is done in good faith it will be a boon otherwise it is known as Breach of privacy. In this era the interference in the privacy of citizens has become requirement. The government has introduced new sections 43A and 72A in IT act, which talk about civil penalties and criminal prosecution respectively if someone try to interfere or restraint the personal liberty of an individual. Nowadays the IT department is trying to defeat end-to-end encryption which will really be a breach of privacy; it means that the government is trying to take control in their hand by monitoring the group chats and personal chats of a citizen. Every individual wants a free space in society which is free from societal boundations. In case of Smt. Maneka Gandhi Vs Union of India, 1978. Seven judge bench by Supreme Court, this made a clear way for space free from societal norms and similarly in case of Naz Foundation case, 2009, that If someone wants to maintain his/her privacy as homosexual or transgender then they can.  Article 14, 19 and 21, make every individual an essential element of the society. Right to privacy gives right to every individual to maintain their privacy or they want to expose it or not. These all are the matter of privacy and based on totally discretion of the individual. To share or disclosure of the privacy in public. According to present scenario, the government should make new laws which penalize the offensive, illegal or unwanted chats or the IT department should develop a software which may catch the talk of anti-national or forbidden words when take place. Suggestion can be many but implementation are few. Right to privacy can also be interpreted and understood as ‘Right to be let alone’ a statement by warren and brandies. Agencies dealing with the problem must focus on status and dignity of the individual before disclosing it in public or no need to disclose until something offensive got in between. Data protection is as equal as protection of citizens. Let’s understand it by an example suppose an individual has murdered someone and is also suffering from TB disease, the disclosure of his offence and act must be done, but not about his disease in public. Like that the data stored in university, banks, hospitals, and MNC’s and on social networking sites. The citizens as well as the government both are equally liable in protection of data and maintaining the privacy of each other.   By Vikas Pratap Singh BA LLB, 2 Semester TIPS, Dwarka.
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  • Jun 05, 2019
    Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Indian Legal System   What is Artificial Intelligence? Artificial Intelligence [AI] is a computer system able to perform tasks that ordinarily require human intelligence. Many of these artificial intelligence systems are powered by machine learning, some of them are powered by deep learning and some of them are powered by very boring things like rules. This comes with learning which involves garnering the rules and information for using the data. Due to data based service industries it has become very popular and necessity. How is Artificial Intelligence affecting our daily life? Artificial intelligence is a technology that is impacting our lives in a positive manner and which is also taking part in our daily issues like a reminder for meetings, suggesting articles & news of our interest. In the near future, its impact is likely to spread on entire database industries.Artificial Intelligence has the potential to immensely modify the manner that human interact, notsolelywith the digital world but also with one another, through their work and through other socioeconomic institutions, for better or for worse.If we are to ensure that the impact of artificial intelligence will be positive, it will be essential that all stakeholders participate in the debates surrounding Artificial Intelligence. Why Artificial Intelligence is important for Indian legal framework? In recent times we have seen artificial intelligence being implemented at a small but highly effective scale in various Industries, from robotic concierges in hotels to automated entertainment or in Cell phones. Artificial intelligence has changed the shape of multiple industries.The Indian legal sector has seen very little innovation in terms of technology and lawyers these days still comfortable and relying on the methods and solutions that were designed years ago. Artificial intelligence can play a big part in changing the way lawyers operate and the law is looked at in India.One of the biggest disruptions that can be caused by Artificial Intelligence in law is that in the field of legal research. The Indian legal system is vast and constantly changing and with the use of Artificial Intelligence, lawyers can get unparalleled insight into the legal domain within seconds. Currently to get legal research done a significant number of man-hours are required and this significantly reduces the profit-making ability of a law firm, however, with Artificial Intelligence the entire legal fraternity can be balanced. An artificially intelligent platform for research can get research done in seconds and be it a law firm with 400 lawyers or single practising lawyer, artificial intelligence can balance the expenditure required for in legal research making the quality of research uniform. It can provide lawyers with highly efficient and advanced tools helping lawyers become better in advising clients or litigating.A slew of Indian legal tech startups i.e. SpotDraft, CaseMine, NearLaw, Pensieve, Practice League etc are building Natural Language Processing [NLP] based applications and introducing next-generation legal research platforms that help law firms go beyond simple, keyword-based research, thereby making it less time-consuming. Many legal startups are fast rising in Artificial Intelligence research capabilities, some of who have their own AI research labs. What would be the face of future Law firms? Over a previous couple of years, the legal industry not only India however globally has seen a high growth within the level of competition. Now it has become imperative for law companies to realize competitive blessings by understanding the advancements in technology and client requirements. Those who would flip a blind eye to those changes would, sadly, be obsolete within the next few years.Future Law Firms would be completely different from what we tend to see these days. Let’s shed some light on a few characteristics of what the advanced law firms would be like: 1. Innovations in servicing clients:The way clients are serviced and treated would drastically change in the future. Law Firms would approach their clients with some innovative ideas and more authentic and economic legal solutions. Nowadays, in India Law Firms billed their services based on the time is taken for it to produce the services or in alternative words, the billable hour method, however, this billing method would go obsolete in the future. To service their clients better, law firms would look at innovating their pricing strategies and implement say a Performance-Based Pricing Strategy [PBPS]: As the name suggests, this pricing model would be extremely client friendly as client shall only pay once they achieve targets and same would strengthen the professional relations between the clients and Law Firms.2. Focus from Revenue to Higher profits:Nowadays Law Firms have focused on increasing revenue and if we look closely the competition between law firms have constantly been increasing and the demand for legal services has been stagnant making growth in revenue extremely difficult. Therefore, in future law firms would not focus on revenue, but on higher profits and margins.3. Making Technology the foundation for growth:In the last few years, we have noticed a significant introduction of new AI-based solutions aimed at making the legal sector more efficient and client friendly. From E-Discovery solutions to automation in contract drafting, trademark search, various legal tech startups have come up to improve the lives of a lawyer or firm. Artificially Intelligence based legal solutions help law firms become more efficient and possibly reduce costs and gain higher profits. The future law firm would not only adopt these technologies but will also work in synergies with various companies to build AI-based solutions that could further improve the legal sector.4. High focus on brand value:In future law firm would focus heavily on their brand presence. A piece of sloppy or negligent advice from just a few people can easily damage a firm's reputation therefore in order to develop the brand value law firm need to rely on AI-based legal solutions and platform and tech-savvy lawyers. On the other end law firms also need to organize more and more conferences and make their appearance on cross border seminar and workshops. Artificial Intelligence is not the replacement of a lawyer? Nowadays there is a burning question among the lawyers that whether Introduction of Artificial Intelligence in legal sector would replace the lawyer and legal analyst or the AI-based solutions and platform would increase the efficiency and productivity of Firms and Lawyers.The legal sector has seen the introduction of many new solutions where technology has improved the efficiency of lawyers, contract analysis, trademark search software, legal research software and much more. However, none of the AI-based software or program target to take a lawyer’s job and all the IA based software and programmes are increasing the authenticity, accuracy of research and analysis and the same are more result oriented now.The legal profession is highly driven by analysis, decision making, and representation which cannot be automated. AI-based software and programmes can reduce a lawyer’s time and effort considerably and can help the lawyers and firms give a more authentic and result oriented suggestion to their clients.The legal industry is still developing in India and looking forward to more IA based and automated assisting tools and software. However, these IA-based and automated assisting tools and software are not going to replace the lawyer’s job where analysis, decision making and stratification is required but would actually make them more efficient & competent while automating various clerical tasks. Areas where Artificial Intelligence are helping the legal industry It is believed that artificial intelligence has great scope for Indian Legal Sector and a combination of artificial intelligence and law will witness immense growth in the near future. Currently, there are many fields or arena in which artificial intelligence in law is proving to be useful these are as follows:Due Diligence -To review a contract, conduct legal research or performing electronic discovery functions to do due diligence, AI legal software are proving to be helpful and time effective.Prediction Technology- Artificial intelligence legal software also predicts the probable outcome of the cases being adjudicated before the Court of Law.Legal Analytics- Artificial Intelligence provides for the data points from past case laws, and also provides judgements and precedent law to be used by lawyers in their present cases.Automation of Documentation- By just submitting the required documents which you wish to incorporate in your legal document get your documents ready within minutes.Intellectual Property- Tools of artificial intelligence helps in providing the insights into the IP portfolios i.e. search and registration of a trademark, Patent, Copyrights etc.Electronic Billing- Artificial intelligence legal software also helps the lawyer and Firms in preparing the invoices as per the work done by them. It makes for accurate billing for the work done by a lawyer. Thus, helps both lawyers and clients. Artificial Intelligence’s Contribution To Human Productivity: Boon Or Bane? There is a wrong assumption among the lawyers and Law Firms that Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning is a threat to their existence, or put simply, that Artificial Intelligence is going to replace Lawyers. The evidence, from other industries and verticals such as e-commerce, healthcare and accounting is that Artificial Intelligence will only enable lawyers and law firms to do more with less, to become way more productive than their predecessors.I hope that the use of Artificial Intelligence would start from what is traditionally known as the “Bar” and then shall extend itself to the “Bench” wherein even Judges could utilize the power of NLP Summarisation to gather the sum of the contentions of both parties Judges could quickly deduce which part contains merit as per the Acts/Statutes and the latest case laws on the subject of law pertaining to the dispute.Based on the above discussion I don’t find a single reason for which Artificial Intelligence is going to take over the jobs of professionals. In fact, IA based program will make the professionals more productive, efficient, better, more accurate and output focused.
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  • Jun 01, 2019
    Witnesses play a crucial part in international criminal proceedings. Unlike the Nüremberg trials which relied primarily on documentary evidence, modern day international criminal trials rely on witnesses to provide the majority of the information. A testimony not only enables the judges to render a fair judgement, it also helps the people of the region and the international community to learn the truth about the crimes committed and to deter persons from committing these crimes again. By testifying, witnesses make a necessary and valuable contribution to the restoration of justice and reconciliation in the region. In addition to that, testifying at the Tribunal also provides an opportunity for victims to describe what happened to them.   When it comes to testifying, one must differentiate between two segments: the “investigation stage” and the “trial stage”. During the former, investigators will speak to numerous witnesses in an attempt to establish what happened. However, not all individuals interviewed during the preparation of a case will be called to testify in the courtroom. The prosecution and the defence will determine the most appropriate witnesses to appear before the judges.   There are several types of witnesses who can testify before the Court.  Fact witnesses have knowledge and testify about what happened. They can be crimes-based witnesses when they have suffered harm and testify as witnesses about what happened to them. Some of these witnesses can also hold the status ofparticipating victims before the Court; they are called dual-status witnesses.  Insider witnesses have a direct connection with the accused. Expert witnesses testify about matters within the field of their expertise, for example, ballistic or forensic experts. Overview witnesses help establish facts about the context in which a conflict occurred, and can include, for example, professors or NGO representatives. These witnesses can be called, or asked to give testimony, by the Office of the Prosecutor, the Defence, the Legal Representative of Victims, or the Judges themselves. Oral testimony The witness is physically present in court and will tell the court what he or she saw or heard, or what he or she knows of the accused or other events upon which he or she is being questioned. In exceptional circumstances, if for example a witness cannot travel, he or she may give evidence away from the seat of the Tribunal by way of live video-conference link. DepositionIn exceptional circumstances, a witness may be asked by the court to give evidence by way of deposition. A deposition can either be taken in The Hague or elsewhere by a representative of the court in the presence of the prosecution and the defence. The party who has not requested the deposition shall have the right to cross-examine the person whose deposition is being taken. The proceedings will be recorded, at least on audio tape. Evidence in the form of a written declarationThe court may, in certain circumstances, admit evidence in the form of a written declaration. An official authorised to witness such a declaration shall be present. The court may nevertheless decide whether the witness is required to appear in court for further questioning. The side that brought the witness (either the prosecution or the defence) begins by asking the witness questions. This is referred to as “direct examination”. When the prosecution or defence is finished with the direct examination, the other side is allowed to question the witness. This is called the “cross-examination”. Afterwards, the side that brought the witness to the stand may ask him or her some more questions related to issues raised in the cross-examination. This is known as “re-direct examination”. According to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, the judges may also ask questions at any time during the witness testimony.   The Court has a number of protective measures that can be granted to witnesses, victims who appear before the Court and other persons at risk on account of testimony given by a witness. The Court's protection system is based on best practices which are aimed at concealing the witness's interaction with the Court from their community and from the public in general.   Protective measures where witnesses reside aim to limit the witness's exposure to threats or provide an appropriate response to an identified threat. Measures must be proportional to the risk. When there are multiple suitable and available options for protective measures, the Court will choose those that are the least intrusive on the witness's well-being. These measures could include local protection measures, an assisted move or various security arrangements aimed at addressing the identified threat. Witness relocation is only used as a last resort, due to the immense burden this puts on the witnesses and their families.   One particular form of support for witnesses who come to the ICC to testify in Court is the process of "Courtroom familiarization", during which, the Registry staff members show them the Courtroom in advance, before the hearing starts, to allow them to sit in the witness stand for the first time and become familiar with the Courtroom. The staff members explain where the Defence, the Prosecution, Legal Representatives of Victims (where applicable) and Judges will sit during the hearing. They also test out the computer screens and microphones together with the witness, and answer any practical questions the witness might have. They do not discuss with them any element of their testimonies. The Registry will also see if any particular measures would be needed to ensure that the witness can testify in a secure manner and also takes into consideration their privacy, dignity and well-being.
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  • May 31, 2019
    IntroductionAs we all know that this is the era where most of the things are done usually over the internet starting from online dealing to the online transaction. Since the web is considered as worldwide stage, anyone can access the resources of the internet from anywhere. The internet technology is being used by few people for criminal activities like unauthorized access to other’s network, scams etc. These criminal activities or the offense/crime related to the internet is termed as cyber-crime. In order to stop or to punish the cyber criminals the term “Cyber Law” was introduced. We can define cyber law as it is the part of the legal systems that deals with the internet, cyberspace, and with the legal issues. It covers a broad area, encompassing many subtopics as well as freedom of expressions, access to and utilization of the internet, and online security or online privacy. Generically, it is alluded as the law of the web. In Simple way we can say that cyber-crime is unlawful acts wherein the computer is either a tool or a target or both. An example of cyber-crime where computer is a target could be hacking or virus attack and an example of cyber-crime where compute is a tool could be credit card frauds or cyber terrorism.   Analysis Cyber-crime in India is more common than we think it is. There is cyber-crime everywhere and every 10 minute one cyber-crime is taking place in India. Cyber Crimeis not defined in Information Technology Act 2000 nor in the I.T. Amendment Act 2008 nor in any other legislation in India. In fact, it cannot be. Offence or crime has been dealt with elaborately listing various acts and the punishments for each under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and quite a few other legislations too. Hence, to define cyber-crime, we can say it is just a combination of crime and computer. To put it in simple terms ‘any offence or crime in which a computer is used is a cyber-crime’. Interestingly even a petty offence like stealing or pick-pocket can be brought within the broader purview of cyber-crime if the basic data or aid to such an offence is a computer or an information stored in a computer used (or misused) by the fraudster. The I.T. Act defines a computer, computer network, data, information and all other necessary ingredients that form part of a cyber-crime, about which we will now be discussing in detail. In a cyber-crime, computer or the data itself the target or the object of offence or a tool in committing some other offence, providing the necessary inputs for that offence. All such acts of crime will come under the broader definition of cyber-crime. Cyber-crimes can involve criminal activities that are traditional in nature, such as theft, fraud, forgery, defamation and mischief, all of which are subject to the Indian Penal Code. The abuse of computers has also given birth to a gamut of new age crimes that are addressed by the Information Technology Act, 2000. Cyber Law in India is primarily governed by Information Technology Act, 2000 but is important to be linked with the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Apart from the Information Technology Act and Indian Penal Code, there are certain laws and regulations, which deal with the cyber-crime. Even certain civil laws are relevant in certain misuse in cyber space. However, generally the fraud is there in cyber-crime, therefore it concerns with the criminal law, otherwise even Law of Tort is also relevant and can provide the remedy to unauthorized use of the computer and internet. Apart from The Information Technology Act 2000 and Indian Penal Code 1860, there are various other laws relating to cyber-crime in India. They are as following. Common Law (governed by general principles of law) The Bankers’ Book Evidence Act, 1891 The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 The Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 and 2009 Various laws relating to IPRs. The more we are moving to the digital age where everything can be done online, the more number of hackers are going to emerge and thus more number of cyber-criminals. Now from buying movie tickets to transferring money to someone, everything is digital and we can do all of that with our fingertips from anywhere in the world. But, as we get closer to a complete digital and cashless economy, we are providing opportunities for more cyber-crime. United Kingdom is an almost cashless economy and it is a known fact that it has been a hub for cyber-crime. If everything is connect to the internet or if ever machine is a computer, it is vulnerable to be hacked. That means if we have a washing machine that is connected to the Wi-Fi, it can be hacked. Same applies to Bluetooth devices in cars and as well as the air conditioners. This means that if tomorrow we come up with a smart city where we are purely running on computer and internet, we are making ourselves vulnerable to cyber-crime.  Section 43 has of the Information Technology Act is the first major and significant legislative step in India to combat the issue of data theft Section 43 deals with penalties and compensation for damage to computer, computer system etc. The IT industry has for long been clamouring for a legislation in India to address the crime of data theft, just like physical theft or larceny of goods and commodities. This Section addresses the civil offence of theft of data. If any person without permission of the owner or any other person who is in charge of a computer, accesses or downloads, copies or extracts any data or introduces any computer contaminant like virus or damages or disrupts any computer or denies access to a computer to an authorised user or tampers etc, he shall be liable to pay damages to the person so affected. Earlier in the ITA -2000 the maximum damages under this head was Rs.1 crore, which (the ceiling) was since removed in the ITAA 2008. The essence of this Section is civil liability. Criminality in the offence of data theft is being separately dealt with later under Sections 65 and 66. Writing a virus program or spreading a virus mail, a bot, a Trojan or any other malware in a computer network or causing a Denial of Service Attack in a server will all come under this Section and attract civil liability by way of compensation. Under this Section, words like Computer Virus, Compute Contaminant, Computer database and Source Code are all described and defined. Another challenge that we face as per cyber law experts is dismal under-reporting of cybercrime cases. While the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) stated that India recorded 9,622,11,592 and 12,317 cases of cybercrime in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively, experts stated that this data accounted for merely 1% of the cybercrimes that actually took place in the country. Talking about criminal liability, let’s start with section 65 of the Information Technology Act which deals with tampering source documents. Concealing, destroying, altering any computer source code when the same is required to be kept or maintained by law is an offence punishable with three years’ imprisonment or two lakh rupees or with both. In the case of Bhim Sen Garg vs State of Rajasthan and others, 2006, Cri LJ, 3463, Raj 2411it was held that fabrication of an electronic record or committing forgery by way of interpolations in CD produced as evidence in a court attracts punishment. Section 66 of the Information Technology Act deals with computer related offences such as data theft with criminal intention. Section 67 of the Information Technology Act deals with publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form. Section 67A deals with sexually explicit act and section 67B deals with child pornography. Section 67 has historical importance since the landmark judgement in what is considered to be the first ever conviction under Information Technology Act, 2000 in India. This section was obtained in the famous case of State of Tamil Nadu vs Suhas Katti, 2004. The strength of the Section and the reliability of electronic evidences were proved by the prosecution and conviction was brought about in this case, involving sending obscene message in the name of a married women amounting to cyber stalking, email spoofing and the criminal activity stated in this Section. Challenges with respect to cyber-crimes in IndiaSection 67A also makes me think about transnational jurisdiction. Since section 67A deals with publishing of sexually explicit act, it is an offence in India to upload pornographic material on the internet or share it with someone but, pornography is legal in the state of California in United States. There are few important cases which provides the real picture of Indian cybercrime Scenario. Sharat Babu Digumarti case:It was held that Information Technology Act is a special provision, so it must have special effect only. It was held that when in a cybercrime matter, an accused was acquitted in Section 67 and 67A of the act, the provision of Section 292 of Indian Penal Code cannot be used to institute new proceedings.  Kalindi Charan Leka case:In the state of Odisha, this case is of stalking and defamation of a girl. Her pictures were morphed by a boy she rejected the marriage proposal of. These pictures were then used to create profiles in her name and also pamphlets were printed and pasted across her hostel and her college. Resulted in conviction.  In the case of State of Uttarakhand vs Raju Thapa:In this case a teacher was accused of enticing a girl into sexual favours on the pretext that she would fail her exams if she wouldn’t give in. She was raped several times by the teacher and a video was recorded of the act as well. Later on this video was circulated through a mobile repair shop in the area. He was initially convicted for rape and publishing and transmitting obscene content but later preferred an appeal in the Uttarakhand High Court. Due to delay in filing FIR and no clear identification of the person in the video, the court went on to say that the accused did in fact deserve the benefit of doubt and was acquitted. It was said that it is not possible to force a girl, rape her and record the whole thing at the same time. Appeal in SC is pending.  The above mentioned cases clearly indicates the lot of challenges of Electronic Evidence. There is a debate about what is a primary or secondary electronic evidence. Let us assume a chat which is happening between two persons with no records on any server. Whose version will be primary if the original phone is produced in court? Even in cases secondary evidence exists, there is a practice today that advocates give the Section 65B certificate as affidavit in their own name. It clearly violates the provisions of Sections 65B. There is no regime on Section 65B mandatory certification. ConclusionThe main challenge with laws against cyber-crimes is that the technology is changing faster than the laws. Cyber law is unable to keep up pace with the technological changes.the nature of the cyber-crime is technical, therefore it require the technical process to execute the criminal law in proper sense. The technical process is lacking in Indian legal system, therefore though the substantive criminal law is sufficient, but due to lacking in procedural aspect its unable to execute it in India. The basic problem in the cyber-crime is that, there is specific manner by which the internet can be misuse; it is on the criminals, that they always misuse it in different manner, therefore it is not possible to the legal system to meet with the need. Apart from this, the nature of cyber-crimeis transnational, therefore it requires international co-operation. Also, looking at the challenges regarding cyber-crimes in India, largely the problem with cybercrime against individuals in India is underreporting. Most of the provisions are bailable if only IT Act is used. This often leads to mandatory granting of bail to an accused. The provisions of IT Act needs to be revised to think about non-bailable offences and awareness about convergence laws and IT Act needs to be spread to frame charge sheets.
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  • May 31, 2019
    IntroductionWhen it comes to human rights, the issue of cultural relativism is widely discussed. Majority of the human rights literature encompasses the western and non-western argument on what best illustrates what human rights should be. As a result of these debates, comes the discussion of cultural relativism. Cultural relativism, at first glance, seems like quite a reasonable argument towards safeguarding different cultural groups. However when we begin to analyse the cultural relativism theory, we come to know that it is not quite as reasonable or even as practical as it seems to be.  Cultural relativism seems to not only ignore human rights violations, but actually seems to approve them. Furthermore, it hardly disapproves any cultural or religious practices. Cultural relativism ignores the necessity to oppose violations and other human rights, and also ignores the freedom of choice to do so.[1]   AnalysisCultural relativism is the principle by which a human being’s beliefs should be perceived in accordance with his or her own culture. This concept of cultural relativism came about during discussions about the origin of human rights. There are quite a few ideas and claims that have led to the concept of cultural relativism, one of them being Kant’s argument that human beings are incapable of gaining unmediated knowledge of the world, and that the human mind interferes with all our experiences of the world, thus structuring our perceptions universally. However Herder disagreed with Kant’s argument saying that human experiences were mediated by cultural structures as well. As a result of this debate between Kant and Herder, came the belief of ethnocentrism.[2] Contemporary society is often referred to as a multicultural world, with people from various cultures increasingly becoming accustomed to interacting with people from other cultures. As a result of this, the ability to learn to respect and tolerate different cultural practices and beliefs has developed. In today’s society, people have shown an increased reluctance to criticise other cultures for various reasons. One of these reasons could be the fear of history repeating itself. An example of this is the European invasion of different parts of the world, including Africa, Asia and America, in the name of spreading Christianity and education. The aftermath of this resulted in slavery, apartheid and many other violations. The reluctance to criticise other cultures in this case arises from the fear of making the same violations as in the past. Another reason why there is the reluctance to criticise other cultures is that people feel the need to be tolerant of other cultures. Truth be told, tolerance is indeed essential for the sake of living in this multicultural world of ours peacefully. However, one should not feel obligated to tolerate particular cultural beliefs, especially if it involves some form of human rights violation.   It is true that people from different cultures have different ideas of what is right and what is wrong. Warburton describes moral relativism as “values held by a particular society at a particular time. However, moral relativism, just like cultural relativism can also be perceived in different ways by different cultures. In other words, relativists see that moral values are valid only within some cultural boundaries. Some examples illustrated by anthropologists as morally acceptable in some cultures and condemned by others are polygamy, genocide and sexism. Consequently, the moral difference in these cultures brings about the issue of ethics. Ethical relativism also promotes the belief that morality is, and cannot be universal. Moral relativism is therefore justified by relativist through various examples. For instance, practices regarding clothing and decency. This can be justified by one culture in that it is their moral obligation and duty to have women dress in a decent manner so as not to compromise their ethics. Some cultures would therefore agree with these practises under the moral principle that it is the duty of society to protect the women of their society.   Theories of different scholarsWe live in a world where cultural relativism is constantly questioned and debated. As earlier stated, relativism came about as a result of arguments on ethical issues. In support of cultural relativism, Benedict explains that “cultures are coexisting and equally valid patterns of life, which mankind has created for itself from the raw materials of existence. “According to Benedict, all cultures are equally valid as they embrace different views on morality and ethics.[3]However, Kluckhohn disagreed with Benedict’s doctrine on cultural relativism saying that this excluded any kind of moral criticism, his argument being that if one accepted Benedict’s theory, then they could not, complain about any kind of evil against humanity including slavery, communism, terrorism and many other forms of evil. The perception of cultural relativism is that people’s rights depend on their nationality, culture, and religion. Therefore, according to relativist, the rights of people in Nigeria are different from those in China or anywhere in the world.   Further AnalysisCultural relativism also promotes minoritism, as different cultures embrace the classification of people in their societies. For example, the caste system of Hinduism which rejects equal treatment of different caste members in Hindu society. As stated earlier, these individuals are denied various rights such as education, healthcare and jobs. Cultural relativism, in turn, denies the victims of these situations any access to universal standards. Furthermore, since cultural relativism supports groups of cultures, it is logical to say that individual rights in these cultures are disregarded. This means that individuals have no say in anything as society speaks for them and decides what is right or wrong for the individual. Moreover, Universalists believe that cultural relativism has caused more harm than good towards cultures. An example of this is the war in between Israel and Palestine. The Israeli culture claims that they are fighting to get their holy land, Jerusalem, back. However, this war has killed thousands of Muslims in the name of doing what is culturally “right” in accordance with the relativist theory. In the past, anthropologists were not afraid to show their discontentment about various unjust practises such as Apartheid against South Africans and the acts of genocide performed by the Nazi. Today, however, they have not spoken against similar practises that endanger human life such as female circumcision and even genocide in Rwanda and Sudan. How, then is it possible for one to rely on a theory that contradicts itself in this manner? If we therefore reflect on these relativist theories, cultural relativism just seems very unrealistic and impractical. ConclusionAll in all, although we learn about the virtue of tolerance from the cultural relativism theory, it is safe to say that the reason why we believe it is so important to be tolerant of other cultures is because we are also want to experience our own freedom, thus we do not want other cultures to criticize our own. Nobody wants to have their freedom restricted, and therefore if we want to enjoy the freedom to enjoy our beliefs we would not dare to limit the freedom of the beliefs of cultures we do not agree with.   [1]Jack Donelly; Defining “Cultural Relativism” [2]Cultural Relativism and Universal Human Rights by Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban https://anthropology.si.edu/outreach/anthnote/Winter98/anthnote.html [3]The John Hopkins University Press; Cultural Relativism and Universal Human Rightshttp://fs2.american.edu/dfagel/www/class%20readings/donnelly/cultual%20relativism.pdf  
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