Constitutional and Quasi-judicial Bodies (Part-9)

Environmental Related Bodies

Central Pollution Control Board

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), a statutory organisation, was constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Further, it was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 to serve as a field formation and provide technical services to the ministry of environment and forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

The board consists of a full-time chairman, being a person having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of matters relating to environmental protection or a person having knowledge and experience in administering institutions dealing with the matters aforesaid, to be nominated by the central government; numbers, not exceeding five to be nominated by the central government to represent it; numbers not exceeding five to be nominated by the central government, from amongst the members of the state boards; number of non-officials, not exceeding three, to be nominated by the central government, to represent the interests of agriculture, fishery or industry or trade or any other interests; two persons to represent the companies or corporations owned, controlled or managed by the central government, to be nominated by it; and a full-time member-secretary, possessing qualifications, knowledge and experience of scientific, engineering or management aspects of pollution control, to be appointed by the central government.

The functions of the CPCB are to

    (i)   advise the central government on any matter concerning prevention and control of water and air pollution and improvement of the quality of air;

  (ii)   plan and cause to be executed a nation-wide programme for the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution;

(iii)   coordinate the activities of the state board and resolve disputes among them;

(iv)   provide technical assistance and guidance to the state boards, carry out and sponsor investigation and research relating to problems of water and air pollution, and for their prevention, control or abatement;

   (v)   plan and organise training of persons engaged in programme on the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution;

(vi)   organise through mass media, a comprehensive mass awareness programme on the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution;

(vii)   collect, compile and publish technical and statistical data relating to water and air pollution and the measures devised for their effective prevention, control or abatement;

(viii) prepare manuals, codes and guidelines relating to treatment and disposal of sewage and trade effluents as well as for stack gas cleaning devices, stacks and ducts;

(ix)   disseminate information in respect of matters relating to water and air pollution and their prevention and control;

   (x)   lay down, modify or annul, in consultation with the state governments concerned, the standards for stream or well, and lay down standards for the quality of air; and

(xi)   perform such other function as may be prescribed by the Government of India.

Evaluation of CPCB

The Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow in 2011 conducted a study on the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) with a focus on preparing a business plan of CPCB for the future and to assess organisational capabilities, strengths and weaknesses to achieve the plan.

According to the study the CPCB does not have sufficient teeth for pollution control and its infrastructure resources are not adequate to deliver the mandate. Although CPCB and respective state pollution control board (SPCB) are two independent institutions located at two different levels, they need to function jointly/cohesively and in a coordinated manner. The performance of CPCB in terms of its impact on pollution abatement and control depends largely on the efficiency and efficacy of SPCBs. The CPCB should, therefore, have a stake in the governance of state boards. For this purpose, there must be representation of CPCB in the governing boards of all SPCBs. This practice is being followed presently in Tripura.

There is no inbuilt performance review system of CPCB at regular interval by ministry of environment and forest (MoEF). The review should include both performance budgeting and perspective planning of CPCB.

Zonal offices of the CPCB are considered an extension arm of the CPCB for working closely with SPCBs. As an immediate measure, the present zonal offices should be strengthened by providing more human and infrastructure resources.

A committed and qualified strong workforce is required if the CPCB has to become a centre for excellence for pollution control. In order to attract desired people there must be enough provision for training and exposure visits of the scientific staff so that they are updated with new technological development taking place across the globe.

Availability of financial resources should be ensured if the CPCB has to perform its mandate efficiently. Presently, the CPCB is entirely dependent on government for funds. Accordingly, there must be quantum jump in financial support by government to CPCB.

It is also desirable that the CPCB should reduce its dependency for funds on MoEF and look forward to other avenues. The CPCB has to ensure that while utilising its scientific experts to provide consultancy for fund generation, its core mandate and functions should not be sacrificed in terms of quality and quantity.

Right from its inception, the CPCB has been given the responsibility for abatement and control of air and water pollution in the country by generating relevant data, providing scientific information, rendering technical inputs for formation of national policies, training and development of manpower and organising activities for promoting awareness at different levels of the government and public at large. Its role in compliance and enforcement has been mostly indirect through SPCBs.

In general, pollution control strategies are based on regulations as is evident from the enactment of a large number of regulatory laws over the years. Inadequate emphasis has been laid on strategies based on technologies or comprehensive information to stakeholders. The CPCB should play a more active role in developing new low-cost cleaner technologies as well as demonstrating latest technologies and provide relevant information related to causes of pollution and mechanisms to control pollution to the public and disclose the polluters publicly. Environment being a common property resource can be handled properly through collective efforts rather than enforcing the regulations. Here the CPCB has to play a proactive role in the future. The CPCB should work more closely with local communities and NGOs for creating awareness and knowledge about pollution abatement and control. There is a need for closer coordination with other ministries and organisations which are directly or indirectly related to pollution control.

Central Ground Water Board

The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), a statutory body, constituted under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, is the national apex agency entrusted with the responsibilities of providing scientific inputs for management, exploration, monitoring, assessment, augmentation and regulation of ground water resources of the country. The board was established in 1970 by renaming the Exploratory Tube wells Organisation.

The board is a multi-disciplinary scientific organisation consisting of hydrogeologists, geophysicists, chemists, hydrologists, hydrometeorologists and engineers and has its headquarters at Faridabad, Haryana. It is headed by the chairman and has four main wings, namely (i) Sustainable Management and Liaison (SML), (ii) Survey, Assessment and Monitoring (SAM), (iii) Exploratory Drilling and Materials Management (ED&MM) and (iv) Water Quality and Training and Technology Transfer (WQ&TT). Each wing is headed by a member.

Major activities being taken up by the board include macro/micro-level ground water management studies, exploratory drilling programme, monitoring of ground water levels and water quality through a network of ground water observation wells comprising both large diameter open wells and purpose-built bore/tube wells (piezometers), implementation of demonstrative schemes for artificial recharge and rainwater harvesting for recharge augmentation.

Periodic assessment of replenishable ground water resources of the country is carried out by the board jointly with the concerned state government agencies. Geophysical studies, remote sensing and GIS studies and ground water modeling studies are taken up to supplement these activities. The board also takes up special studies on various aspects of ground water sector such as ground water depletion, sea water ingress, ground water contamination, conjunctive use of surface and ground water, water balance etc. It also organises various capacity building activities for personnel of its own as well as central/state government organisations engaged in various activities in ground water sector as well as mass awareness campaigns on the imp ortance of water conservation and judicious ground water management.

The board regularly publishes scientific reports based on the data generated through various investigations for dissemination to the stakeholders.

Constitutional and Quasi-judicial Bodies (Part-8)

Animal Welfare Related Bodies

Animal Welfare Board of India

Animal Welfare Board of India, a statutory body, the first of its kind in the world, was established in 1962 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Acts, 1960, with its headquarters at Chennai.

The board consists of twenty eight members: a chairman; a vice-chairman; an inspector-general of forest; a commissioner, animal husbandry; a representative each of the union of home ministry and union human resource development ministry; four members of Lok Sabha; four members of Rajya Sabha; three humanitarians; and others.

The functions of the board are to

(i) keep the law in force in India for the prevention of cruelty to animals under constant study and to advise the government on the amendments to be undertaken in any such law from time to time;

(ii) advise the central government on the making of rules with a view to preventing unnecessary pain or suffering to animals generally, and more particularly when they are being transported from one place to another or when they are used as performing animals or when they are kept in captivity or confinement;

(iii) advise the government or any local authority or other person on improvements in the design of vehicles so as to lessen the burden on draught animals;

(iv) advise the government or any local authority or other person in the design of slaughter houses or the maintenance of slaughter houses or in connection with slaughter of animals so that unnecessary pain or suffering, whether physicrd or mental, is eliminated in the pre- slaughter stages as far as possible, and animals are killed, wherever necessary, in as humane a manner as possible;

(v) take all such steps to ensure that unwanted animals are destroyed by local authorities, whenever it is necessary to do so, either instantaneously or after being rendered insensible to pain or suffering;

(vi) encourage by the grant of financial assistance or otherwise, the formation or establishment of pinjarapoles, rescue homes, animals shelters, sanctuaries and the like, where animals and birds may find a shelter when they have become old and useless or when they need protection;

(vii) advise the government on matters relating to the medical care and attention which may be provided in animal hospitals, and to give financial and other assistance to animal hospitals whenever the board think it is necessary to do so;

(viii) impart education in relation to the humanetreatment of animals and to encourage the formation of public opinion against the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering to animals and for the promotion of animal welfare by means of lectures books, posters, cinematographic exhibitions and the like; and

(ix) advise the government on any matter connected with animal welfare or the Prevention of infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals.

Central Zoo Authority

In India, functioning of zoos is regulated by an autonomous statutory body called Central Zoo Authority constituted under the Wild Life (Protection) Act. The authority consists of a chairman, ten members and a member secretary. The main objective of the authority is to complement the national effort in conservation of wild life.

The authority’s role is more of a facilitator than a regulator. It, therefore, provides technical and financial assistance to such zoos which have the potential to attain the desired standard in animal management.

The functions of the authority are to—specify the minimum standards for housing, upkeep and veterinary care of the animals kept in a zoo; evaluate and assess the functioning of zoos with respect to the standards or the norms as may be prescribed; recognise or derecognise zoos; identify endangered species of wild animals for purposes of captive breeding and assigning responsibility in this regard to a zoo; co-ordinate the acquisition, exchange and loaning of animals for breeding purposes; ensure maintenance of stud books of endangered species of wild animals bred in captivity; identify priorities and themes with regard to display of captive animals in a zoo; co-ordinate training of zoo personnel in India and outside India; co-ordinate research in captive breeding and educational programmes for the purposes of zoos; provide technical and other assistance to zoos for their proper management and development on scientific; and perform such other functions as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the act with regard to zoos.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018

The President of India on April 22, 2018 approved the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018. The salient features of the ordinance are:

  • The ordinance amends Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, Indian Evidence Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
  • Minimum Punishment for Rape has been made ten years. It was seven years earlier. The maximum punishment remains the same, i.e., life imprisonment.
  • Minimum punishment of twenty years to a person committing rape on a woman under sixteen years of age.
  • Minimum punishment of twenty years rigorous imprisonment and maximum death penalty or life imprisonment for committing rape on a girl aged below twelve years of age.
  • Fine imposed shall be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses and rehabilitation of the victim.
  • A Police Officer committing rape anywhere shall be awarded rigorous imprisonment of minimum ten years.
  • The investigation in relation to in all rape cases may be completed within two months from the date on which the information was recorded by the officer in charge of the police station.
  •  No anticipatory bail can be granted to a person accused of rape of girls of age less than sixteen years.
  • Appeals in rape cases to be disposed within six months

Constitutional and Quasi-judicial Bodies (Part-7)

Medical Field Related Bodies

Medical Council of India

The Medical Council of India, a statutory body, was established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933 with the main function of establishing uniform standards of higher qualifications in medicine and recognition of medical qualifications in India and abroad. The council was later reconstituted under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 that replaced the earlier Act of 1933. This was further modified in 1964, 1993 and 2001.

The council is constituted of the following members:

(a) One member from each state other than a union territory to be nominated by the central government in consultation with the state government concerned.

(b) One member from each university to be elected from amongst the members of the medical faculty of the university by members of the senate of the university or in case the university has no senate, by members of the court.

(c) One member from each state in which a state medical register is maintained.

(d) Seven members to be elected from amongst themselves by persons enrolled on any of the state medical registers.

(e) Eight members to be nominated by the central government.

The objectives of the council are as follows.

(i) Maintenance of uniform standards of medical education, both undergraduate and postgraduate.

(ii) Recommendation for recognition/de-recognition of medical qualifications of medical institutions of India or foreign countries.

(iii) Permanent registration/provisional registration of doctors with recognised medical qualifications.

(iv) Reciprocity with foreign countries in the matter of mutual recognition of medical qualifications.

(v) Accreditation of medical colleges.

(vi) Registration of doctors with recognised medical qualifications.

(vii) Keeping a directory of all registered doctors (called the Indian Medical Register).

Restructuring MCI

The Working Group on Education in the Field of Medical Education constituted by the National Knowledge Commission in 2006 presented a detailed report regarding the autonomy and functioning of MCI as a regulatory authority.

According to the working group an increasingly globalising world demands a dynamic, responsive to change and well-informed, autonomous regulatory body to meet the emerging challenges for initiating, promoting, monitoring and enforcing standards of medical education at all levels across the country. This body should be charged with the responsibility of directing, accreditating, standardising, regulating and assessing medical/health oriented education and the manpower needs of all strata of the healthcare system. Such a body should have genuine autonomy provided with adequate authority and managed by highly qualified medical educationists with a record of integrity and proven credentials. It should function as a truly autonomous statutory body and not simply as a recommendatory body to the central government as is the present Medical Council of India. The working group recommended that the MCI should be independent of government control and provided teeth to discharge the responsibilities that it is charged with.

On the basis of the experience of the functioning of the MCI in the past the working group further recommended as follows.

  • The regulatory body for medical education should have a full time chairman, supported by well qualified staff and acknowledged leaders in medical education along with representatives from the social sciences, including educational pedagogy, scientists, experts in information technology, leaders of public opinion and the community.
  • Instead of creating a new structure, it may be desirable to revamp, strengthen, enlarge the scope and empower with well-defined accountability the existing Medical Council of India to discharge these responsibilities with suitable amendments in the act.
  • A three member search committee may be formed headed by the Vice President of India including a scientist/educationist and Lok Sabha speaker, to select the chairman, who will be a professional. The process of selection of the chairman of the body must be given significant importance. It should not be decided through election, or through nomination.
  • The chairman will be accountable to the overarching regulatory body for higher education.
  • Terms of appointment for the chairman may be 5 years and for the members 3 years, half of the members to be changed every 3 years. Members need to be appointed by the chairman and a selection committee.
  • Notwithstanding the current limitations faced by the council, it would be possible to initiate upgrading its functioning immediately.
  • Robust linkages with the ministry of health and family welfare and the health care delivery system must be ensured.

Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), a statutory body, is the national regulatory body for Indian pharmaceuticals and medical devices. It is the central drug authority for discharging functions assigned to the central government under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

In the CDSCO, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) regulates pharmaceutical and medical devices. The DCGI is advised by the drug technical advisory board (DTAB) and the drug consultative committee (DCC). It is divided into zonal offices which do pre-licensing and post-licensing inspections, post-market surveillance, and recalls when needed.

Under the Drug and Cosmetics Act, the regulation of manufacture, sale and distribution of drugs is primarily the concern of the state authorities while the central authorities are responsible for approval of new drugs, clinical trials in the country, laying down the standards for drugs, control over the quality of imported drugs, coordination of the activities of state drug control organisations and providing expert advice with a view of bring about the uniformity in the enforcement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

The functions of the CDSCO are as follows.

(i) Regulatory control over the import of drugs, approval of new drugs and clinical trials, meetings of drugs consultative committee and drugs technical advisory board, approval of certain licences as central licence approving authority is exercised by the CDSCO.

(ii) Zonal offices carry out joint inspections and coordinate with the state drugs controllers under their jurisdiction.

(iii) Quality control of drugs imported is exercised by the port offices.

(iv) Drugs testing laboratories test drug samples forwarded to them for test.

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), a statutory regulatory body, was established by the Government of India by the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 1995, under the provisions of section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. The headquarters of the authority is at New Delhi. Its tasks are price fixation/revision and other related matters such as updating the list of drugs under price control by inclusion and exclusion on the basis of the established criteria/guidelines.

The authority consists of a chairperson in the status of the secretary to the Government of India, members having expertise in the field of pharmaceuticals, economics and cost accountancy and member secretary in the status of joint secretary/ additional secretary to the Government of India.

The authority is empowered to take final decisions, which shall be subject to review by the central government as and when considered necessary. The authority also monitors the prices of decontrolled drugs and formulations and oversees the implementation of the provisions of the drugs (prices control) order. The other functions of the authority are to implement and enforce the provisions of the drugs (prices control) order in accordance with the powers delegated to it; to deal with all legal matters arising out of the decisions of the authority; to monitor the availability of drugs, identify shortages, if any, and to take remedial steps; to collect/ maintain data on production, exports and imports, market share of individual companies, profitability of companies etc, for bulk drugs and formulations; to undertake and/ or sponsor relevant studies in respect of pricing of drugs/ pharmaceuticals; to recruit/ appoint the officers and other staff members of the authority, as per rules and procedures laid down by the government; to render advice to the central government on changes/ revisions in the drug policy; and to render assistance to the central government in the parliamentary matters relating to the drug pricing.

Central Council of Indian Medicine

The Central Council of Indian Medicine is a statutory body constituted under the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 for framing and implementing various regulations including the curricula and syllabii in Indian systems of medicine, viz., Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani at under-graduate and post-graduate level.

The president of the central council is elected by the members of the central council from amongst themselves. There is a vice-president for each of the Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani systems of medicine who is elected from amongst themselves by members representing that system of medicine.

The functions of the central council are to prescribe minimum standards of education in Indian systems of medicine, viz., Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani; to advise central government in matters relating to recognition (inclusion/withdrawal) of medical qualification in/from second schedule to Indian Medicine Council Act, 1970; to maintain a central register on Indian medicine and revise the register from time to time; and to prescribe standards of professional conduct, etiquette and code of ethics to be observed by the practitioners.

Dental Council of India

The Dental Council of India, a statutory body, was constituted on April 12, 1949 under the Dentists Act, 1948. The Council is financed mainly by grants from the Union ministry of health and family welfare. The other source of income of the council is the 1/4th share of fees realised every year by various state dental councils.

The council is constituted of one registered dentist; one member elected from amongst themselves by the members of the Medical Council of India; not more than four members elected from among themselves, by principals, deans, directors and vice-principals of dental colleges in the states; heads of dental wings of medical colleges in the states; one member from each university established by law in the States which grants as recognised dental qualification, to be elected by the members of the senate of the university; one member to represent; six members nominated by the central government; and the director general of health services, ex officio.

Objectives of the council are maintenance of uniform standards of dental education—both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels inspections/visitations of dental colleges for permission to start dental colleges, increase of seats, starting of new P.G. courses; to prescribe the standard curricula for the training of dentists, dental hygienists, dental mechanics and the conditions for such training; to prescribe the standards of examinations and other requirements to be satisfied to secure for qualifications recognition under the act.

To achieve the above objectives the needs are: uniformity of curriculum standards of technical and clinical requirements, standards of examinations; a uniform standard of entrance to various courses in dentistry; affiliation of every dental college to an university; supervision over all the dental institutions to ensure that they maintain the prescribed standards; and regulation of the profession of dentistry.

Pharmacy Council of India

The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) is a statutory body governed by the provisions of the Pharmacy Act, 1948, with the objective to regulate pharmacy education in the country for the purpose of registration as a pharmacist under the Pharmacy Act and to regulate the profession and practice of pharmacy.

The council is constituted of six members, among whom there shall be at least one teacher of each of the subjects, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacy, pharmacology and pharmacognosy elected by the University Grants Commission; six members, of whom at least four to be persons possessing a degree or diploma in, and practising pharmacy or pharmaceutical chemistry, nominated by the central government; one member elected from amongst themselves by the members of the Medical Council of India; the director general, health services, ex officio or if he is unable to attend any meeting, a person authorised by him in writing to do so; the drugs controller, India, ex officio; the director of the central drugs laboratory, ex officio; a representative of the University Grants Commission and a representative of the All India Council for Technical Education; one member to represent each state elected from amongst themselves by the members of each state council, who shall be a registered pharmacist; one member to represent each state nominated by the state government.

The functions of the council are as follows.

(i) To prescribe minimum standard of education required for qualifying as a pharmacist.

(ii) Framing of education regulations prescribing the conditions to be fulfilled by the institutions seeking approval of the PCI for imparting education in pharmacy.

(iii) To ensure uniform implementation of the educational standards through out the country.

(iv) Inspection of pharmacy institutions seeking approval under the pharmacy act to verify availability of the prescribed norms.

(v) To approve the course of study and examination for pharmacists i.e. approval of the academic training institutions providing pharmacy courses.

(vi) To withdraw approval, if the approved course of study or an approved examination does not continue to be in conformity with the educational standards prescribed by the PCI.

(vii) To approve qualifications granted outside the territories to which the pharmacy act extends i.e. the approval of foreign qualification.

(viii) To maintain central register of pharmacists.

Central Council of Homoeopathy

Central Council of Homoeopathy (CCH) is a statutory apex body under the Union ministry of health and family welfare, department of Indian systems of medicine and homoeopathy. The council was set up under the Central Council of Homoeopathy Act 1973.

CCH prescribes and recognises all homoeopathic medicine education in India; any university or medical institutions desiring to grant a medical qualification in homeopathy is required to apply to the council. It prescribes course curriculum, evolves standards of education and maintains central registers of homoeopathy physicians.

The president and the vice-president of the council are elected by the members of the council from amongst themselves.

The council aims to evolve uniform standards of education in homoeopathy and the registration of practitioners of homoeopathy. The registration of the practitioners on the central register of homoeopathy ensures that medicine is not practiced by those who are not qualified in this system, and those who practice, observe a code of ethics in the profession.

Indian Nursing Council

The Indian Nursing Council is an autonomous statutory body constituted under the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947 of Parliament in order to establish a uniform standard of training for nurses, midwives and health visitors. The president of the council is elected by the members of the council from among themselves.

The functions of the council are as follows.

(i) To establish and monitor a uniform standard of nursing education for nurses midwife, auxiliary nurse- midwives and health visitors by doing inspection of the institutions.

(ii) To establish and monitor a uniform standard of nursing education for nurses midwife, auxiliary nurse- midwives and health visitors by doing inspection of the institutions.

(iii) To recognise the qualifications under the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947 for the purpose of registration and employment in India and abroad.

(iv) To give approval for registration of Indian and foreign nurses possessing foreign qualification under the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947.

(v) To prescribe minimum standards of education and training in various nursing programmes and prescribe the syllabus and regulations for nursing programmes.

(vi) To withdraw the recognition of qualification in case the institution fails to maintain its standards.

(vii) To advise the state nursing councils, examining boards, state governments and central government in various important items regarding nursing education in the country.

(viii) To regulate the training policies and programmes in the field of nursing.

(ix) To recognise institutions/organi-sations/universities imparting master’s degree/bachelor’s degree/P.G. diploma/ diploma/certificate courses in the field of nursing.

(x) To recognise degree/diploma/ certificate awarded by foreign universities/ institutions on reciprocal basis.

(xi) To promote research in nursing.

(xii) To maintain Indian nurses register for registration of nursing personnel.

(xiii) To prescribe code of ethics and professional conduct.

(xiv) To improve the quality of nursing education.

Veterinary Council of India

The Veterinary Council of India is a statutory body established under the ministry of agriculture of the Government of India by the Indian Veterinary Council Act, 1984. The Council has 27 members (14 nominated, 11 elected and 2 ex-officio).

The functions of the council are as follows.

(i) To prepare and maintain the Indian veterinary practitioners’ register containing the names of all persons who possess the recognised veterinary qualifications and who are for the time being enrolled on a state veterinary register of the state to which Indian Veterinary Council Act extends.

(ii) To lay down minimum standards of veterinary education required for granting recognised veterinary qualifications by veterinary institutions.

(iii) To recommend recognition or withdrawal of recognition of veterinary qualifications granted by veterinary institutions in India.

(iv) To lay down the standards of professional conduct, etiquette and code of ethics to be observed by veterinary practitioners.

(v) To negotiate with institutions located in other countries imparting training in veterinary education for recognition of their qualifications on reciprocal basis.

(vi) To regulate veterinary practice in the country.

(vii) To advise the central and the state governments on all regulatory matters concerning veterinary practice and education.

(viii) To frame regulations.

Constitutional and Quasi-judicial Bodies (Part-6)

Agriculture Related Bodies

National Dairy Development Board

The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), a statutory body, was created in 1965 to fulfil the desire of the then Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri, to extend the success of the Kaira Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union (Amul) to other parts of India. It was founded by Dr. Verghese Kurien.

Initially registered as a society under the Societies Act 1860, the NDDB was later merged with the erstwhile Indian Dairy Corporation, a company formed and registered under the Companies Act 1956 by an Act of Parliament, the NDDB Act 1987, with effect from October, 1987. The new body corporate was declared an institution of national importance by the act.

The main office is located in Anand, Gujarat with regional offices throughout the country. NDDB’s subsidiaries includes Mother Dairy, Delhi.

The board of directors of the National Dairy Development Board consists of the chairman; one director from amongst the officials of the central government; two directors from amongst the chairmen of the state co-operative dairy federations; whole-time directors, not more than three in number, from amongst the executives of the highest grade of the National Dairy Development Board; and one director, being an expert, from outside the NDDB.

NDDB implements cooperative develop-ment and governance programmes across the country. It supports the development of dairy cooperatives by providing them financial assistance and technical expertise. The functions of the NDDB are to promote, plan and organise programmes for the purposes of development of dairy and other agriculture- based and allied industries on an intensive and nationwide basis and to render assistance in the implementation of such programmes. It is the responsibility of the board to adopt the cooperative strategy in a more effective manner on an intensive and nation-wide basis.

Food Corporation of India

The Food Corporation of India (FCI), a statutory body, was set up under the Food Corporation Act 1964, in order to fulfil objectives of the food policy; effective price support operations for safeguarding the interests of the farmers; distribution of foodgrains throughout the country for public distribution system; and maintaining satisfactory level of operational and buffer stocks of foodgrains to ensure national food security.

The board of directors of the corporation consists of a chairman; three directors to represent respectively the ministries of the central government dealing with food, finance, and co-operation; the managing director of the Central Warehousing Corporation ex-officio; a managing director; and six other directors.

The objectives of FDI are: to provide farmers remunerative prices; to make food grains available at reasonable prices, particularly to vulnerable section of the society; to maintain buffer stocks as measure of food security; and to intervene in market for price stabilisation.

The corporation is the main agency responsible for execution of food policies of the Government of India. The functions of FCI primarily relate to the purchase, storage, movement, distribution and sale of foodgrains on behalf of the Government of India. It is also engaged in the handling, storage and distribution of sugar in north eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir and the two union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands.

Restructuring of FCI

A high level committee (HLC) on re-structuring of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) was set up by the Government of India in August 2014 which submitted its report on January 19, 2015. The findings of the committee would help government in rationalising expenditure, including subsidies, which includes the cost in implementing National Food Security Act, 2013.

The terms of reference of the HLC, amongst others, included examination of the administrative, functional and financial structure of the FCI and feasibility of unbundling it to improve operational efficiency and financial management; suggest measures for overall improvement in management of foodgrains; and reorient its role in minimum support price (MSP) operations, distribution of foodgrains, and food security system of India.

Major findings of the committee are as follows.

(i)  Only 6 per cent of the farmers have benefitted from selling rice and wheat directly to the FCI.

(ii) A majority of the farmers were not even aware of the FCI’s existence and its procurement activities. Illustratively, only 25 per cent of paddy farmers and 35 per cent of wheat farmers were aware of it.

(iii) Leakages in PDS in 2011 were 46.7 per cent, and in some states as high as 90 per cent, confirming worst fears of economists and analysts. The key factors that could be causing losses are multiple handling, poor quality wagons, en route pilferages, and inadequate security at rail points.

(iv) Actual average stocks of foodgrains at 73 million metric tonne (MMT) during 2011-12 to 2013-14 were about 40 MMT above the stipulated buffer stock. The cost of these stocks would translate into Rs 1 lakh crore of carrying buffer, in addition to food inflation of 10 per cent, and nearly 1.9 per cent households reporting inadequate food availability.

In order to ensure reorientation of the PDS to effectively serve economically vulnerable consumers, stablise grain market, and procurement benefits reaching a large number of formers the HLC made following key recommendations.

  • The FCI should move out from states like Punjab, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh which have created infrastructure for procurement to other states like Assam, Bihar and UP where farmers suffer from distress sales.
  • The Government of India (GoI) should explore the possibility of switching to cash compensation without physically handling grains.
  • The GoI should gradually introduce cash transfers under targeted public distribution system, starting with large cities with one million-plus population.
  • The FCI should outsource its stocking operations to the private sector.
  • The GoI needs to revisit its procurement and MSP policy, which is mainly focussed on rice and wheat, despite 23 items including pulses and oilseeds under MSP.
  • The FCI should introduce a proactive liquidation policy to offload stocks in the market whenever in excess of stipulated buffer stocks.
  • To address the inadequacy of food, the GoI should consider involvement of urban local bodies and panchayati raj institutions to identify and target genuinely hungry people, rather than 80 crore people under NFSA.
  • The FCI could consider revising its lists of items under the MSP to stabilise food markets.

The HLC also examined the policy of low output and input prices followed by the government of India and illustratively explained in detail the malady in pursuing such logic. This policy of ensuring low output prices entails providing inputs at low rates through substantial subsidies. Further, irrigation is subsidised at state level, in varying degrees in terms of subsidised power, low canal irrigation charges and no charge on capital expenditure. The key problem with low input costs is that scarce resources get overused, especially when targeting the poor. Clear illustrations are sharply falling water table because of free electricity and deteriorating soil quality due to excess use of subsidised fertiliser in Punjab.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), a statutory body, was established under the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006 to handle food related issues. The FSSAI was created for laying down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

The authority consists of a chairman and twenty-two members of which one-third are to be women.

The authority performs the following functions.

  • Framing regulations to lay down the standards and guidelines in relation to articles of food and specifying appropriate system of enforcing various standards.
  • Laying down mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies engaged in certification of food safety management system for food businesses.
  • Laying down procedure and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and notification of the accredited laboratories.
  • Providing scientific advice and technical support to central government and state governments in the matters of framing the policy and rules in areas which have a direct or indirect bearing of food safety and nutrition.
  • Collecting and collating data regarding food consumption, incidence and prevalence of biological risk, contaminants in food, residues of various, contaminants in foods products, identification of emerging risks and introduction of rapid alert system.
  • Creating an information network across the country so that the public, consumers, panchayats, etc., receive rapid, reliable and objective information about food safety and issues of concern.
  • Providing training programmes for persons who are involved or intend to get involved in food businesses.
  • Contributing to the development of international technical standards for food, sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards.
  • Promoting general awareness about food safety and food standards.

Constitutional and Quasi-judicial Bodies (Part-5)

Urban Development Related Bodies

Delhi Development Authority

The Delhi Development Authority, a statutory body, was created in 1957 under the provisions of the Delhi Development Act 1957, to promote and secure the development of Delhi.

The authority is constituted of a chairman (the Lieutenant governor of NCT is ex-officio chairman), a vice-chairman appointed by the central government, a finance and accounts member, a engineer, two elected represen-tatives of Municipal Corporation of Delhi, three representatives of the legislative assembly of the NCT, and three other members nominated by the central government.

The goal of the authority is to promote and secure the development of Delhi according to plan and for that purpose the authority have the power to acquire, hold, manage and dispose of land and other property, to carry out building, engineering, mining and other operations, to execute works in connection with supply of water and electricity, disposal of sewage and other services and amenities and generally to do anything necessary or expedient for purposes of such development.

Delhi Urban Art Commission

Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) is a statutory body established under the Delhi Urban Art Commission Act, 1973 to advise the Government of India in the matter of preserving, developing and maintaining the aesthetic quality of urban and environmental design within Delhi and to provide advice and guidance to any local body in respect of any project of building operations or engineering operations or any development proposal which affects or is like to affect the skyline or the aesthetic quality of the surroundings or any public amenity provided in it.

The major activities of the commission range over many issues. The new metro lines and the Commonwealth Games projects, and extensions to existing institutions, were examined in the context of the underlying ecology and of historic neighbourhoods. The commission has been organising workshops from time to time on important issues concerning the capital city.

The commission which was reconstituted in June 2011 took significant steps to streamline the existing procedures and expedite the time taken for consideration of proposals. One such primary assignment undertaken by the commission was drawing a list of criteria which play a significant role relating to aesthetics of public buildings. Based on these criteria the proforma for reference of proposals to the commission was modified. Once an undertaking is given through the proforma by the project proponent/architect, minimal time is taken by the commission for consideration of the proposal. The streamlining of the procedure has helped in significant reduction in the consideration time in respect of proposals referred to the commission. Another important area where the commission has issued broad guidelines to acknowledge the contribution of architect, engineers, etc., to public buildings is insisting on provision of a plaque in all existing and proposed public buildings indicating the name of the architect, engineer, owner, etc

Indian Polity

 

Indian Polity (Hindi)

 

 

Constitutional and Quasi-judicial Bodies (Part-4)

Enterprise Related Bodies

Central Electricity Authority

The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) is a statutory body constituted under the erstwhile Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948, which was replaced by the Electricity Act, 2003. It is responsible for the technical coordination and supervision of programmes and is also entrusted with a number of statutory functions.

The CEA is headed by a chairman, who is also ex-officio secretary to the Government of India, and six full time members of the rank of ex-officio additional secretary to the Government of India, designated as member (thermal), member (hydro), member (economic and commercial), member (power systems), member (planning) and member (grid operation and distribution). CEA prepares a national electricity plan in accordance with the national electricity policy and notifies such plan once in five years. Any generating company intending to set up a hydro-generating station also requires the concurrence of the Central Electricity Authority.

Section 73 of the Electricity Act, 2003 empowers the authority to perform such functions and duties as the central government may prescribe or direct, and in particular to:

     (i) advise the central government on matters relating to the national electricity policy, formulate short-term and perspective plans for development of the electricity system and coordinate the activities of the planning agencies for the optimal utilisation of resources to subserve the interests of the national economy and to provide reliable and affordable electricity for all consumers;

   (ii) specify the technical standards for construction of electrical plants, electric lines and connectivity to the grid;

  (iii) specify the safety requirements for construction, operation and maintenance of electrical plants and electric lines;

  (iv) specify the grid standards for operation and maintenance of transmission lines;

    (v) specify the conditions for installation of meters for transmission and supply of electricity;

  (vi) promote and assist in the timely completion of schemes and projects for improving and augmenting the electricity system;

(vii) promote measures for advancing the skill of persons engaged in the electricity industry;

(viii) advise the central government on any matter on which its advice is sought or make recommendation to that government on any matter if, in the opinion of the authority, the recommendation would help in improving the generation, transmission, trading, distribution and utilisation of electricity;

  (ix) collect and record the data concerning the generation, transmission, trading, distribution and utilisation of electricity and carry out studies relating to cost, efficiency, competitiveness and such like matters;

    (x) make public from time to time information secured under this act, and provide for the publication of reports and investigations;

  (xi) promote research on matters affecting the generation, transmission, distribution and trading of electricity;

(xii) carry out, or cause to be carried out, any investigation for the purposes of generating or transmitting or distributing electricity.

(xiii) advise any state government, licensees or the generating companies on such matters which shall enable them to operate and maintain the electricity system under their ownership or control in an improved manner and where necessary, in co-ordination with any other government, licensee or the generating company owning or having the control of another electricity system;

(xiv) advise the appropriate government and the appropriate commission on all technical matters relating to generation, transmission and distribution of electricity; and

(xv) discharge such other functions as may be provided under the Electricity Act, 2003.

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) is a statutory regulatory body constituted under the provision of the erstwhile Electricity Regulatory Commissions Act, 1998 and continued under Electricity Act, 2003 to promote competition, efficiency and economy in bulk power markets, improve the quality of supply, promote investments and advise government on the removal of institutional barriers to bridge the demand supply gap and thus foster the interests of consumers.

Composition

The commission is constituted of a chairperson and three other members. The chairperson is to be the member, ex-officio.

Objectives

The aims of the commission are to

     (i) improve the operations and manage-ment of the regional transmission systems through Indian Electricity Grid Code (IEGC), Availability Based Tariff (ABT), etc.;

   (ii) formulate an efficient tariff setting mechanism, which ensures speedy and time bound disposal of tariff petitions, promote competition, economy and efficiency in the pricing of bulk power and transmission services and ensure least cost investments;

  (iii) facilitate open access in inter-state transmission;

  (iv) facilitate inter-state trading;

    (v) promote development of power market;

  (vi) improve access to information for all stakeholders;

(vii) facilitate technological and institutional changes required for the development of competitive markets in bulk power and transmission services; and

(viii) advise on the removal of barriers to entry and exit for capital and management, within the limits of environmental, safety and security concerns and the existing legislative requirements, as the first step to the creation of competitive markets.

      Functions

The Commission is entrusted with two kinds of functions—(a) mandatory functions, and (b) advisory functions.

Mandatory functions of the commission are—

     (i) to regulate the tariff of generating companies owned or controlled by the central government;.

   (ii) to regulate the tariff of generating companies other than those owned or controlled by the central government, if such generating companies enter into or otherwise have a composite scheme for generation and sale of electricity in more than one state;

  (iii) to regulate the inter-state transmission of electricity;

  (iv) to determine tariff for inter-state transmission of electricity;

    (v) to issue licences to persons to function as transmission licensee and electricity trader with respect to their inter-state operations;

  (vi) improve access to information for all stakeholders;

(vii) to adjudicate upon disputes involving generating companies or transmission licensee and to refer any dispute for arbitration;

(viii) to levy fees for the purposes of the act;

  (ix) to specify grid code having regard to grid standards;

    (x) to specify and enforce the standards with respect to quality, continuity and reliability of service by licensees;

  (xi) to fix the trading margin in the inter-State trading of electricity, if considered, necessary; and

(xii) to discharge such other functions as may be assigned under the act.

The advisory functions of the commission are

     (i) formulation of National Electricity Policy and Tariff Policy;

   (ii) promotion of competition, efficiency and economy in the activities of the electricity industry;

  (iii) promotion of investment in electricity industry; and

  (iv) any other matter referred to the commission by the central government.

Bureau of Energy Efficiency

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) was set up by the Government of India on March 1, 2002 as a statutory body as per Section 3 of the Energy Conservation Act, 2001. It is responsible for spearheading the improvement of energy efficiency of economy through regulatory and promotional instruments.

The mission of BEE is to develop policies and strategies with a thrust on self-regulation and market principles within the overall frame work of Energy Conservation Act 2001.

Objectives

The objectives of the BEE are to exert leadership and provide policy recommendation and direction to national energy conservation and efficiency efforts and programmes; to coordinate energy efficiency and conservation policies and programs and take it to the stakeholders; to establish systems and procedures to measure, monitor and verify energy efficiency results in individual sectors as well as at a macro level; to leverage multi-lateral, bilateral and private sector support in implementation of the Energy Conservation Act and efficient use of energy and its conservation programmes; to demonstrate delivery of energy efficiency services as mandated in the Energy Conservation Act through private-public partnerships; and to interpret, plan and manage energy conservation programmes as envisaged in the act.

Functions

The function of the BEE is to develop programmes which will increase the conservation and efficient use of energy in India. The government made it mandatory for all appliances in India to have ratings by the BEE starting from January 2010. BEE has initiated the following projects and programmes:

  1. Indian Industry Programme for Energy Conservation (IIPEC)
  2. Professional Certification of Energy Managers and Accreditation of Energy Auditors
  3. Development of Manual and Energy Performance Codes for Equipment
  4. Standardise and lebeling (S&L) Programme
  5. Demand side Management
  6. Energy Efficiency in Building and Establishments
  7. Energy Conservation on Building Codes
  8. Energy Conservation Awareness in Schools
  9. National Energy Conservation Awards.

Appellate Tribunal for Electricity

Appellate Tribunal for Electricity, a statutory quasi-judicial body, was set up in April 2004, by the Ministry of Power, Government of India, under the Electricity Act 2003. It has jurisdiction throughout India to hear appeals or original petitions against the orders of the adjudicating officer or the central regulatory commission or state regulatory commission or joint commission.

Composition

The appellate tribunal consists of a chairperson and three other members. Every bench constituted by the chairperson shall consist of at least one judicial member and one technical member.

Powers

The appellate tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice and, subject to the other provisions of this act, it shall have powers to regulate its own procedure.

The tribunal has the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, while trying a suit, in respect of the following matters, namely:

    (a)  summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;

    (b)  requiring the discovery and production of documents;

    (c)  receiving evidence on affidavits;

   (d)  subject to the provisions of sections 123 and 124 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, requisitioning any public record or document or copy of such record or document from any office;

    (e)  issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;

     (f)  reviewing its decisions;

    (g)  dismissing a representation of default or deciding it ex parte;

   (h)  setting aside any order of dismissal or any representation for default or any order passed by it ex parte;

     (i)  any other matter which may be prescribed by the central government.

All proceedings before the appellate tribunal are deemed to be judicial proceedings within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code.

Atomic Energy Regulatory Board

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), a statutory body, was constituted on November 15, 1983 by the President of India by exercising the powers conferred on him by the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 to carry out certain regulatory and safety functions under the act. The regulatory authority of AERB is derived from the rules and notifications promulgated under the Atomic Energy Act and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

Composition

The board consists of a full-time chairman, an ex-officio member, three part-time members and a secretary. It is supported in its functions by a number of committees. Members of all the AERB committees are recognised experts with long experience in the relevant fields and come from Department of Atomic Energy units, various governmental organisations, academic institutes and industry. A large number of retired experts are also members of the various AERB committees.

Objectives and Functions

The mission of the board is to ensure that the use of ionising radiation and nuclear energy in India does not cause undue risk to health and the environment.

The functions of the AERB are to:

     (i) develop safety policies in both radiation and industrial safety areas;

   (ii) develop safety codes, guides and standards for sitting, design, construction, commissioning, operation and decommissioning of different types of nuclear and radiation facilities;

  (iii) grant consents for sitting, construction, commissioning, operation and decom-missioning, after an appropriate safety review and assessment, for establishment of nuclear and radiation facilities;

  (iv) ensure compliance of the regulatory requirements prescribed by AERB during all stages of consenting through a system of review and assessment, regulatory inspection and enforcement;

    (v) prescribe the acceptance limits of radiation exposure to occupational workers and members of the public and approve acceptable limits of environmental releases of radioactive substances;

  (vi) review of the emergency preparedness plans for nuclear and radiation facilities;

(vii) safety reviews for transport of large radioactive sources, irradiated fuel and fissile material;

(viii) review training programmes, qualifications and licensing policies for personnel of nuclear and radiation facilities and prescribe the syllabi for training of personnel in safety aspects at all levels;

  (ix) take such steps as necessary to keep the public informed on major issues of radiological safety significance;

    (x) promote research and development efforts in the areas of safety; and

  (xi) maintain liaison with statutory bodies in the country as well as abroad regarding safety matters.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), a statutory body, was constituted under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006 in March, 2006 to protect the interests of consumers and entities engaged in specified activities relating to petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas and to promote competitive markets.

Aims

The vision of PNGRB is to create a vibrant energy market with rapid and orderly growth through facilitation of flow of investments into the basic infrastructure for efficient transportation and distribution of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas at minimum cost and high level of protection of consumer interests through fair trade practices and competition amongst the entities so as to ensure the enhanced competitiveness of Indian economy and customer satisfaction.

Functions

The functions of PNGRB are as follows.

     (i) to protect the interest of consumers by fostering fair trade and competition amongst the entities;

   (ii) to register entities to market notified petroleum and petroleum products and, subject to the contractual obligations of the central government, natural gas; establish and operate liquefied natural gas terminals; and establish storage facilities for petroleum, petroleum products or natural gas exceeding such capacity as may be specified by regulations;

  (iii) to authorise entities to lay, build, operate or expand a common carrier or contract carrier; and lay, build, operate or expand city or local natural gas distribution network;

  (iv) to declare pipelines as common carrier or contract carrier;

    (v) to regulate the access to common carrier or contract carrier so as to ensure fair trade and competition amongst entities and for that purpose specify pipeline access code; transportation rates for common carrier or contract carrier; and access to city or local natural gas distribution network so as to ensure fair trade and competition amongst entities as per pipeline access code;

  (vi) in respect of notified petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas it acts to ensure adequate availability; ensure display of information about the maximum retail prices fixed by the entity for consumers at retail outlets; monitor prices and take corrective measures to prevent restrictive trade practice by the entities; secure equitable distribution for petroleum and petroleum products; provide, by regulations, and enforce, retail service obligations for retail outlets and marketing service obligations for entities; and monitor transportation rates and take corrective action to prevent restrictive trade practice by the entities;

(vii) to levy fees and other charges as determined by regulations;

(viii) to maintain a data bank of information on activities relating to petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas;

  (ix) to lay down the technical standards and specifications including safety standards in activities relating to petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas, including the construction and operation of pipeline and infrastructure projects related to downstream petroleum and natural gas sector;

    (x) to perform such other functions as may be entrusted to it by the central government to carry out the provisions of this act;

  (xi) to determining marketing margin.

Powers

The PNGRB has jurisdiction to—(i) adjudicate upon and decide any dispute or matter arising amongst entities or between an entity and any other person on issues relating to refining, processing, storage, transportation, distribution, marketing and sale of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas; and (ii) receive any complaint from any person and conduct any inquiry and investigation connected with the activities relating to petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is the Indian governmental regulatory body for civil aviation under the Ministry of Civil Aviation. This directorate investigates aviation accidents and incidents. It is headquartered in New Delhi. Vision of the directorate is to endeavour to promote safe and efficient air transportation through regulation and proactive safety oversight system.

The directorate has the following functions—

(i) Registration of civil aircraft.

(ii) Formulation of standards of air-worthiness for civil aircraft registered in India and grant of certificates of airworthiness to such aircraft.

(iii) Licensing of pilots, aircraft main-tenance engineers and flight engineers, and conducting examinations and checks for that purpose;

(iv) Licensing of air traffic controllers.

(v) Certification of aerodromes and CNS/ATM facilities.

(vi) Maintaining a check on the proficiency of flight crew, and also of other operational personnel such as flight dispatchers and cabin crew.

(vii) Granting of air operator’s certificates to Indian carriers and regulation of air transport services operating to/from/within/over India by Indian and foreign operators, including clearance of scheduled and non-scheduled flights of such operators.

(viii) Conducting investigation into incidents and serious incidents involving aircraft upto 2250 kg AUW and taking accident prevention measures including formulation of implementation of safety aviation management programmes.

(ix) Carrying out amendments to the aircraft act, the aircraft rules and the civil aviation requirements for complying with the amendments to International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and initiating proposals for amendment to any other act or for passing a new act in order to give effect to an international convention or amendment to an existing convention.

(x) Coordination of ICAO matters with all agencies and sending replies to state letters, and taking all necessary action arising out of the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) of ICAO.

(xi) Supervision of the institutes/clubs/schools engaged in flying training including simulator training, AME training or any other training related with aviation, with a view to ensuring a high quality of training.

(xii) Granting approval to aircraft maintenance, repair and manufacturing organisations and their continued oversight.

(xiii) To act as a nodal agency for implementing certain ICAO provisions in India and for coordinating matters relating to facilitation at Indian airports including holding meetings of the National Facilitation Committee.

(xiv) Rendering advice to the government on matters relating to air transport including bilateral air services agreements, on ICAO matters and generally on all technical matters relating to civil aviation, and to act as an overall regulatory and developmental body for civil aviation in the country.

(xv) Coordination at national level for flexi-use of air space by civil and military air traffic agencies and interaction with ICAO for provision of more air routes for civil use through Indian air space.

(xvi) Keeping a check on aircraft noise and engine emissions in accordance with ICAO provisions and collaborating with the environmental authorities in this matter, if required.

(xvii) Promoting indigenous design and manufacture of aircraft and aircraft components by acting as a catalytic agent.

(xviii) Approving training programmes of operators for carriage of dangerous goods, issuing authorisations for carriage of dangerous goods, etc.

(xix) Safety oversight of all entities approved/ certified/ licensed under the Aircraft Rules, 1937.

Airport Economic Regulatory Authority

Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA), a statutory body, was established in May 2009 by the Government of India. The authority consists of a chairperson and two other members to be appointed by the central government. The chairperson and members are to be persons of ability and integrity having adequate knowledge of, and professional experience in, aviation, economics, law, commerce or consumer affairs.

Functions

The statutory functions of the AERA as enshrined in the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008 are:

(a) To determine the tariff for the aeronautical services taking into consideration

     (i)  the capital expenditure incurred and timely investment in improvement of airport facilities;

   (ii) the service provided, its quality and other relevant factors;

  (iii) the cost for improving efficiency;

  (iv) economic and viable operation of major airports;

    (v) revenue received from services other than the aeronautical services;

  (vi) the concession offered by the central government in any agreement or memorandum of understanding or otherwise; and

(vii) any other factor which may be relevant for the purposes of the act.

(b) To determine the amount of the development fees in respect of major airports.

(c) To determine the amount of the passengers service fee levied under rule 88 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937 made under the Aircraft Act, 1934.

(d) To monitor the set performance standards relating to quality, continuity and reliability of service as may be specified by the central government or any authority authorised by it in this behalf.

(e) To call for such information as may be necessary to determine the tariff.

(f) To perform such other functions relating to tariff, as may be entrusted to it by the central government or as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this act.

Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal

The Airport Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal (AERAAT), a statutory quasi-judicial body, was established under the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008 to adjudicate any dispute between two or more service providers, between a service provider and a group of consumers and to hear and dispose appeals against any direction/ decision/order of the AERA.

The appellate tribunal consists of a chairperson and not more than two members to be appointed by the central government. The chairperson or a member holding a post as such in any other tribunal, established under any law for the time being in force, in addition to his being the chairperson or a member of that tribunal, may be appointed us the chairperson or a member, as the case may be, of the appellate tribunal.

The appellate tribunal, after giving the parties to the dispute or the appeal an opportunity of being heard, may pass such orders as it may think fit. Any person who fails to comply with the appellate tribunal is punishable with fine and in the case of continued contravention with additional fines. The appeals against the orders of the tribunal lie before the Supreme Court. No civil court shall have the jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceedings in respect of any matter which the appellate tribunal is empowered by or under the act and no injunction shall be granted by any court or other authority in respect of any action taken in pursuance of any power conferred under the act.

Airport Authority of India

Airports Authority of India (AAI), a statutory body, was constituted by an act of Parliament and came into being on April 1, 1995 by merging the erstwhile National Airports Authority and International Airports Authority of India. It bears the responsibility of creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing civil aviation infrastructure both on the ground and air space in the country.

The board of the AAI is constituted of chairman, director general of civil aviation, additional secretary and financial advisor and four whole-time members.

Functions

The functions of AAI are as follows:

(i)  Design, development, operation and maintenance of international and domestic airports and civil enclaves.

(ii) Control and management of the Indian airspace extending beyond the territorial limits of the country, as accepted by ICAO.

(iii) Construction, modification and management of passenger terminals.

(iv) Development and management of cargo terminals at international and domestic airports.

(v) Provision of passenger facilities and information system at the passenger terminals at airports.

(vi) Expansion and strengthening of operation area, viz., runways, aprons, taxiway, etc.

(vii) Provision of visual aids.

(viii) Provision of communication and navigation aids.

As of 2012, the AAI managed 125 airports, which included 11 international airport, 8 customs airports, 81 domestic airports and 27 civil enclaves at defense airfields. AAI provides air navigation services over 2.8 million square nautical miles of air space.

Inland Waterways Authority of India

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), a statutory regulatory body, came into existence on October 27, 1986 under the IWAI Act, 1985 for development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation. It primarily undertakes projects for development and maintenance of infra-structure on national waterways through grants received from the Ministry of Shipping. It is a statutory body having headquarters at NOIDA (Uttar Pradesh).

Composition

The IWAI is constituted of a chairman, a vice-chairman and such number of persons, not exceeding five, to be appointed by the central government.

Functions

The functions of the IWAI regarding national waterways are related to survey; navigation, infrastructure and regulations; fairway development; pilotage; and coordination of inland waterway transport with other modes.

The general functions of the IWAI are to advise the central government; carry out hydrographic surveys; assist state governments; develop consultancy services; research and development; classification of waterways; and standards and safety.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), a statutory body, was established with effect from February 20, 1997 by an act of Parliament, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997, to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services.

The act was amended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Act, 2000 to remove certain difficulties that had arisen in the implementation of the act. The desired objectives of bringing about functional clarity, strengthening the regulatory framework and the disputes settlement mechanism were attained by bringing about a clear distinction between the recommen-datory and regulatory functions of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) by making it mandatory for government to seek recommendations of TRAI in respect of specified matters and by the setting up of a separate dispute settlement mechanism, etc.

Objectives

TRAI’s mission is to create and nurture conditions for growth of telecommunications in the country in a manner and at a pace which will enable India to play a leading role in the global information society. One of the main objectives of TRAI is to provide a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.

Composition

The authority consists of a chairperson, and not less than two, but not exceeding six members, to be appointed by the central government. The chairperson must be a person who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court or who is or has been chief justice of a high court. A member shall be a person who has special knowledge of or any professional experience, in telecommunication, industry, finance, accountancy, law, management and consumer affairs.

Functions

The functions of the TRAI are to

     (i) recommend the need and timing for introduction of new service provider;

   (ii) recommend the terms and conditions of licence to a service provider;

  (iii) ensure technical compatibility and effective inter-connection between different service providers;

  (iv) regulate arrangement amongst service providers of sharing their revenue derived from providing telecommuni-cation services;

    (v) ensure compliance of terms and conditions of licence;

  (vi) recommend revocation of licence for non-compliance of terms and conditions of licence;

(vii) lay down and ensure the time period for providing local and long distance circuits of telecommunication between different service providers;

(viii) facilitate competition and promote efficiency in the operation of telecommuni-cation services so as to facilitate growth in such services;

  (ix) protect the interest of the consumers of telecommunication service;

    (x) monitor the quality of service and conduct the periodical survey of such provided by the service providers;

  (xi) inspect the equipment used in the network and recommend the type of equipment to be used by the service providers;

(xii) maintain a register of interconnect agreements and of all such other matters as may be provided in the regulations; and keep the register open for inspection to any member of public on payment of such fee and compliance of such other requirements as may be provided in the regulations;

(xiii) settle disputes between service providers;

(xiv) render advice to the central government in the matters relating to the development of telecommunication technology and any other matter reliable to telecommunication industry in general;

(xv) levy fees and other charges at such rates and in respect of such services as may be determined by regulations;

(xvi) ensure effective compliance of universal service obligations; and

(xvii)perform such other functions including such administrative and financial functions as may be entrusted to it by the central government.

Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal

The TRAI Act 1997 was amended by an ordinance, effective from 24 January 2000, establishing a Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the adjudicatory and disputes functions from TRAI. TDSAT, a statutory quasi-judicial body, was set up to adjudicate any dispute between a licensor and a licensee, between two or  more service providers, between a service provider and a group of consumers, and to hear and dispose of appeals against any direction, decision or order of TRAI. The aim is to protect the interests of service providers and consumers of the telecom sector and to promote and ensure orderly growth of the telecom sector.

The appellate tribunal consists of a chairperson and not more than two members to be appointed, by notification, by the central government.

The appellate tribunal is not bounded by the procedure laid down by the Code of Civil Procedure 1908, but is guided by the principles of natural justice and has the powers to regulate its own procedure. The tribunal, for the purposes of discharging its functions, has the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 while trying a suit including the power of dismissing an application for default or deciding it, ex parte; setting aside any order of dismissal of any application for default or any order passed by it, ex parte; and any other matter which may be prescribed.

Railway Claims Tribunal

The Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987 provides for the establishment of a Railway Claims Tribunal, a statutory quasi-judicial body, for inquiring into and determining claims against a railway administration for loss, destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery of animals or goods entrusted to it to be carried by railway or for the refund of fares or freight or for compensation for death or injury to passengers occurring as a result of railway accidents or untoward incidents and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The claims tribunal consists of a chairman, four vice-chairman and such number of judicial members and technical members as the central government may deem fit.

The tribunal for the purposes of discharging its functions acts as a civil court in respect of the following matters.

     (i) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;

   (ii) requiring the discovery and production of documents;

  (iii) receiving evidence on affidavits;

  (iv) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;

    (v) reviewing its decisions;

  (vi) dismissing an application for default or deciding it ex parte;

(vii) setting aside any order of dismissal of any application for default or any order passed by it ex parte; and

(viii) any other matter which may be prescribed.

Commission of Railway Safety

The Commission of Railway Safety is a high level statutory body charged with the duties connected with the safety of railway operation as required under the Railways Act 1989.

Composition

The commission is headed by a Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (CCRS), at Lucknow, who also acts as principal technical advisor to the central government in all matters pertaining to railway safety. Working under the administrative control of CCRS are nine commissioners of railway safety (CRS), each one exercising jurisdiction over one or more of the 16 zonal railways. In addition, Metro Railway/Kolkata, DMRc/Delhi, MRTP/Chennai and Konkan Railway also fall under their jurisdiction. There are five deputy commissioners of railway safety posted at the headquarters at Lucknow for assisting the CCRS as and when required. In addition, there are two field deputy commissioners, one each in Mumbai and Kolkata, to assist the Commissioners of Railway Safety in matters concerning the signalling and telecommuni-cation disciplines.

Functions

The commission deals with matters pertaining to safety of rail travel and train operation and is charged with certain statutory functions as laid down in the Railways Act, 1989, which are of an inspectorial, investigatory and advisory nature. The commission functions according to certain rules, viz., statutory investigation into accidents rules framed under the Railways Act and executive instructions issued from time to time. The most important duties of the commission is to ensure that any new railway line to be opened for passenger traffic should conform to the standards and specifications prescribed by the ministry of railways and the new line is safe in all respects for carrying of passenger traffic. This is also applicable to other works such as gauge conversion, doubling of lines and electrification of existing lines. The commission also conducts statutory inquiries into serious train accidents occurring on the Indian railways and makes recommendations for improving safety on the railways in India.

National Highways Authority of India

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), a statutory body, was constituted by the National Highways Authority of India Act, 1988. It is responsible for the development, maintenance and management of national highways entrusted to it and for matters connected or incidental thereto. The authority was operationalised from February, 1995 with the appointment of full time chairman and other members.

The vision of the NHAI is to meet the nation’s need for the provision and maintenance of national highways network to global standards and to meet users’ expectations in the most time-bound and cost- effective manner, within the strategic policy framework set by the Government of India and thus promote economic well being and quality of life of the people.

Composition

The authority is constituted of a chairman, not more than five full-time members and not more than four part-time members.

Functions

The NHAI is mandated to implement National Highways Development Project (NHDP) which is India’s largest ever highways project to build world class roads with uninterrupted traffic flow. The Government of India has launched major initiatives to upgrade and strengthen national highways through various phases of NHDP.

The functions of the NHAI are as follows—

     (i) survey, develop, maintain and manage highways vested in, or entrusted to, it;

   (ii) construct offices or workshops and establish and maintain hotels, motes, restaurants and rest-rooms at or near the highways vested in, or entrusted to, it;

  (iii) construct residential buildings and townships for its employees;

  (iv) regulate and control the plying of vehicles on the develop and provide consultancy and construction services in India and abroad and carry on research activities in relation to the development, maintenance and management of highways or any facilities thereat;

    (v) provide such facilities and amenities for the users of the highways vested in, or entrusted to, it as are, in the opinion the authority, necessary for the smooth flow of traffic on such highways;

  (vi) form one or more companies under the Companies Act,1956 to further the efficient discharge of the functions imposed on it;

(vii) engage, or entrust any of its functions to, any corporation or body corporate owned or controlled by the government;

(viii) advise the central government on matters relating to highways;

  (ix) assist, on such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon, any state government in the formulation and implementation of schemes for highway development;

    (x) collect fees on behalf of the central government for services or benefits rendered; and

(xi)  take all such steps as may be necessary or convenient for, or may be incidental to, the exercise of any power or the discharge of any function conferred or imposed on it.

Khadi and Village Industries Commission

The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body formed by the Government of India, under the Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956 enacted by Parliament.

Composition

The commission consists of the following members appointed by the central government, namely: six non-official members having specialised knowledge and not less than ten years of experience of khadi or village industries] and representing such six geographical zones of the country, as may be prescribed; four non-official members of whom one member has expert knowledge and experience in science and technology; one member has expert knowledge and experience in marketing; one member has expert knowledge and experience in rural development; and one member has expert knowledge and experience in technical education and training.

Objective

The commission has three main objectives which guide its functioning. These are the social objective—providing employment in rural areas; the economic objective—providing salable articles; and the wider objective—creating self-reliance amongst people and building up a strong rural community spirit.

The commission seeks to achieve these objectives by implementing and monitoring various schemes and programmes.

Functions

The KVIC is charged with the planning, promotion, organisation and implementation of programmes for the development of khadi and other village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.

Its functions also comprise building up of a reserve of raw materials and implements for supply to producers, creation of common service facilities for processing of raw materials as semi-finished goods and provisions of facilities for marketing of KVI products apart from organisation of training of artisans engaged in these industries and encourage-ment of co-operative efforts amongst them. To promote the sale and marketing of khadi and/or products of village industries or handicrafts, the KVIC may forge linkages with established marketing agencies wherever feasible and necessary.

The KVIC is also charged with the responsibility of encouraging and promoting research in the production techniques and equipment employed in the khadi and village industries sector and providing facilities for the study of the problems relating to it, including the use of non-conventional energy and electric power with a view to increasing productivity, eliminating drudgery and otherwise enhancing their competitive capacity and arranging for dissemination of salient results obtained from such research.

Further, the KVIC is entrusted with the task of providing financial assistance to institutions and individuals for development and operation of khadi and village industries and guiding them through supply of designs, prototypes and other technical information.

 

Indian Polity

 

 

Indian Polity (Hindi)

 

 

Constitutional and Quasi-judicial Bodies (Part-3)

Finance and Industry Related Bodies

Reserve Bank of India

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), a statutory regulatory body, was established on April 1, 1935 in accordance with the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. The central office of the Reserve Bank was initially established in Calcutta (now Kolkata) but was permanently moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1937. The central office is where the governor sits and where policies are formulated. Though originally it was privately owned, since nationalisation in 1949, it is fully owned by the Government of India.

Organisational Structure

The Reserve Bank’s affairs are governed by a central board of directors. The board is appointed by the Government of India in keeping with the Reserve Bank of India Act. The board is appointed/nominated for a period of four years. It is constituted of official directors and non-official directors. Official directors consist of the governor and not more than four deputy governors. Non-official directors are nominated by the government: ten persons from various fields and two government officials. Another four directors are taken, one each from four local boards. The functions of the board are general superintendence and direction of the bank’s affairs.

According to the preamble of the RBI Act, the basic functions of the RBI are to regulate the issue of bank notes and keeping of reserves with a view to securing monetary stability in India and generally to operate the currency and credit system of the country to its advantage.

The RBI does financial supervision under the guidance of the Board for Financial Supervision (BFS), constituted in November 1994 as a committee of the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India. The primary objective of BFS is to undertake consolidated supervision of the financial sector comprising commercial banks, financial institutions and non-banking finance companies. The Board is constituted by co-opting four directors from the central board as members for a term of two years and is chaired by the Governor. The deputy governors of the Reserve Bank are ex-officio members. One deputy governor, usually, the deputy governor-in-charge of banking regulation and supervision, is nominated as the vice-chairman of the board.

BFS through the audit sub-committee also aims at upgrading the quality of the statutory audit and internal audit functions in banks and financial institutions. The audit sub-committee includes deputy governor as the chairman and two directors of the central board as members. The BFS oversees the functioning of the Department of Banking Supervision (DBS), Department of Non-Banking Supervision (DNBS) and Financial Institutions Division (FID) and gives directions on the regulatory and supervisory issues. Some of the initiatives taken by BFS include restructuring of the system of bank inspections; introduction of off-site surveillance; strengthening of the role of statutory auditors; and strengthening of the internal defences of supervised institutions.

Functions

The RBI:

  • formulates, implements and monitors the monetary policy;
  • makes efforts for maintaining price stability and ensuring adequate flow of credit to productive sectors;
  • prescribes broad parameters of banking operations within which the country’s banking and financial system functions;
  • maintains public confidence in the system, protect depositors’ interest and provide cost-effective banking services to the public;
  • manages the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999;
  • facilitates external trade and payment and promotes orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India;
  • issues and exchanges or destroys currency and coins not fit for circulation;
  • give the public adequate quantity of supplies of currency notes and coins and of good quality;
  • performs a wide range of promotional functions to support national objectives;
  • performs merchant banking function for the central and the state governments besides also acting as their banker; and
  • maintains banking accounts of all scheduled banks.

Competition Commission of India

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, 2002 throughout India and to prevent activities that have an adverse effect on competition in India. It was established on October 14, 2003 as a statutory regulatory body. The Supreme Court, however, rejected the government’s choice for chairman of the CCI, saying only a judge could head the commission. Consequently, the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2007 was passed, and notified as an Act in October 2007. The Supreme Court held that two separate bodies—one for advisory and regulatory functions (CCI) and another for adjudicatory functions (Competition Appellate Tribunal or CAT)—should be created. This was duly incorporated in the Amendment of 2007. The CCI chairperson and members are selected by a committee. CAT would be a three-member quasi-judicial body headed by a sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice of a High Court, and would hear appeals against any direction issued by the CCI. The CCI became fully functional in May 2009 with a chairperson and six members.

According to the Supreme Court the main objective of the Competition Act 2002 is to promote economic efficiency using competition as one of the means of assisting the creation of market responsive to consumer preferences. The advantages of perfect competition are three-fold: allocative efficiency, which ensures the effective allocation of resources, productive efficiency, which ensures that costs of production are kept at a minimum and dynamic efficiency, which promotes innovative practices.

To achieve the above objectives of the statute the CCI endeavors to do the following:

  • Make the markets work for the benefit and welfare of consumers.
  • Ensure fair and healthy competition in economic activities in the country for faster and inclusive growth and development of economy.
  • Implement competition policies with an aim to effectuate the most efficient utilisation of economic resources.
  • Develop and nurture effective relations and interactions with sectoral regulators to ensure smooth alignment of sectoral regulatory laws in tandem with the competition law.
  • Effectively carry out competition advocacy and spread the information on benefits of competition among all stakeholders to establish and nurture competition culture in Indian economy.
  • The CCI has strong enforcement powers. It can impose a penalty of 10 per cent of the turnover of the cartel or three times the profits made by that cartel, whichever is higher. It can also be lenient to any accused who discloses useful information regarding the cartel.

Evaluation of Performance of CCI

On the basis of reports published in the print media CUTS International evaluated the functioning of the CCI during 2009-12. During these years, CCI has been coming down heavily on companies across all sectors. The mission of the CCI is to eliminate anti-competitive practices, such as cartels and abuse of dominance, as well as check anti-competitive mergers and takeovers to protect the interest of consumers and achieve economic efficiency. Apart from this, competition advocacy is another mandate on the CCI agenda. CCI has been actively probing sectors like real estate, entertainment, cement, petroleum, steel, travel industry, healthcare and education.

The CCI has been trying to act as a deterrent by instilling fear of hefty penalties amongst large companies that flout the competition provisions in order to create monopoly and dictate market prices that earn them huge rents. The CCI has also impacted the way regulatory agencies behave. For example, for years, customers had complained about pre-payment penalties to the RBI. However not much had been done to address the matter. When customers took the matter before the CCI, RBI fearing CCI’s entry as a competing regulatory agency pre-empted it by announcing its intention to end pre-payment penalties. Similar impact has been seen amongst other regulatory agencies.

Nonetheless, the CCI orders have often been criticised for lacking in economic reasoning particularly in cases related to NSE and DLF. The reasoning employed to define the relevant market, the preliminary step of any competition analysis has been a subject of much debate in these cases.

The penalties imposed by the CCI have been found to be excessive in the absence of proper guidelines for arriving at the appropriate amounts. Guidelines need to be formulated for computation of penalties to be imposed in cases, training is needed for CCI officials such that the orders reflect a logical approach. Furthermore, CCI staff also need better skills for sound economic reasoning.

It is hoped that the CCI will embrace these recommendations and benefits from the amendments while it continues to work actively to prevent anti-competitive practices, to promote and sustain competition in the market, to protect the interest of consumers and to ensure freedom of trade amongst participants in markets in India as envisaged under the Competition Act of India.

The CCI vs. Sectoral Regulators

The conflict between the CCI and the sectoral regulators arose from jurisdictional overlaps between the two. The legislative mandate of the sector regulator is to focus on the industry concerns within the terms of licences and policies issued by the government; frame regulations and consultation papers based on domain knowledge; and address economic issues like fixation of tariffs and issues relating to licences.

The objective of CCI is to play an overarching role as a market regulator across all sectors with the focus on anti-competitive behaviour of enterprises that may distort competition.

Sector rules and regulations are framed ex ante after consultation with industry and consumers, and reviewed from time to time for correction, whereas the market regulator, CCI, performs mostly ex post functions only to curb concentration in the market.

There is essential difference in their approaches as anti-competitive activities or any conduct that may harm competition usually involve collusion/cartelisation or strategies to concentrate in a particular market. Legislation with regard to sectors neither defines cartels or abuse of dominance nor provides the investigative mechanism to establish such economic irregularities. Therefore, the Competition Act, 2002 has overriding effect and envisages that it shall have jurisdiction in addition to and not in derogation of other laws.

The idea to oversee deals ex ante before they are executed is to pre-empt combinations that could potentially have an adverse impact on competition in the relevant market. The analysis of competition concerns in any market invariably requires an assessment of market power to see if the market dynamics would allow the parties to concentrate and deny market access to new entrants. Competition authorities intervene only for prevention of market failures, restriction or removal of anti-competitive practices, and promotion of public interest.

While the market dynamics keep changing with additional players and varied spectrum of services, the sector regulators cannot gauge the impact of harm or benefit of consolidation in the market until the terms of a deal are assessed with the market structure at that time. On the other hand, mergers and acquisitions control by CCI is based on size of business test (as opposed to market share). On triggering of the thresholds specified under the Competition Act, CCI will look at the terms of the deal and impact on market from prevailing circumstances.

Expressing his view on the perceived conflict between CCI and sectoral regulators, CCI chairman Ashok Chawla says “…. broadly, the market regulator is a generalist while the sector regulator is a specialist. It is a misconception that when there are sector regulators, there isn’t the need for another (market) regulator…” While both competition authorities and sector regulators share the common goal of protecting public interest and play complementary roles in fostering competitive markets and safeguarding consumer welfare, they employ different approaches and have different perspectives on competition matters.

Competition Appellate Tribunal

The Competition Appellate Tribunal, a quasi-judicial body, is a statutory organisation established under the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002 to hear and dispose of appeals against any direction issued or decision made or order passed by the Competition Commission of India. The appellate tribunal also adjudicates on claim for compensation that may arise from the findings of the Competition Commission of India.

The central government set up the appellate tribunal on May 15, 2009 having its headquarters at New Delhi. Besides, the chairperson, the appellate tribunal consists of not more than two Members to be appointed by the central government. The chairperson of the appellate tribunal must be a person, who is, or has been a judge of the Supreme Court or the chief justice of a high court. A member of the appellate tribunal needs to be a person of ability, integrity and standing having special knowledge of, and professional experience of not less than twenty-five years in, competition matters, including competition law and policy, international trade, economics, business, commerce, law, finance, accountancy, management, industry, public affairs, administration or in any other matter which in the opinion of the central government, may be useful to the appellate tribunal.

The chairperson or a member of the appellate tribunal holds office for a term of five years and is eligible for re-appointment. However, no chairperson or other member of the appellate tribunal can hold office after he has attained the age of sixty-eight years or sixty-five years respectively.

The appellate tribunal is not be bound by the procedure laid down in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but it is guided by the principles of natural justice and, subject to the other provisions of the act and of any rules made by the central government. The appellate tribunal has for the purposes of discharging its functions under the act, the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure. Every order made by the appellate tribunal needs to be enforced by it in the same manner as if it were a decree made by a court in a suit pending therein. If any person contravenes, without any reasonable ground, any order of the appellate tribunal, he shall be liable for a penalty of not exceeding rupees one crore or imprisonment for a term up to three years or with both as the chief metropolitan magistrate, Delhi may deem fit.

Financial Stability and Development Council

On the recommendations of Raghuram Rajan Committee in 1998 the Financial Stability and Development Council, a regulatory body was created in December 2010 by the Government of India to institutionalise and strengthen the mechanism for maintaining financial stability, financial sector development and inter-regulatory coordination. The global economic meltdown has put pressure on governments and institutions across globe to regulate the economic assets. This council is seen as an India’s initiative to be better conditioned to prevent such incidents in future.

Composition of the Council

The chairperson is the union finance minister members are Governor Reserve Bank of India (RBl); finance secretary and/or secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA); Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS);  Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance; Chairman, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI); Chairman, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA); Chairman, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).

The joint secretary (Capital Markets), DEA, is the secretary of the council.

The FSDC is entrusted with the tasks of existing regulators, i.e., RBI, IRDA, SEBI, PFRDA. The council is responsible for financial stability; financial sector development; inter-regulatory coordination; financial literacy; financial inclusion; macro prudential supervision of the economy including the functioning of large financial conglomerates; and coordinating India’s international interface with financial sector bodies like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Financial Stability Board (FSB)and any such body as may be decided by the finance minister from time to time.

Forward Markets Commission

Forward Markets Commission (FMC) headquartered at Mumbai, is a regulatory authority for commodity futures market in India. It is a statutory body set up under Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act 1952. The commission functions under the administrative control of the Union Ministry of Finance.

Composition

The FMC consists of not less than two but not exceeding four members appointed by the central government, out of whom one is nominated by the central government to be the chairman of the commission.

Functions

The functions of the FMC are as follows.

(a) To advise the central government in respect of the recognition or the withdrawal of recognition from any association or in respect of any other matter arising out of the administration of the Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act 1952.

(b) To keep forward markets under observation and to take such action in relation to them, as it may consider necessary, in exercise of the powers assigned to it by or under the act.

(c) To collect and whenever the commission thinks it necessary, to publish information regarding the trading conditions in respect of goods to which any of the provisions of the act is made applicable, including information regarding supply, demand and prices, and to submit to the central government, periodical reports on the working of forward markets relating to such goods.

(d) To make recommendations generally with a view to improving the organisation and working of forward markets.

(e) To undertake the inspection of the accounts and other documents of any recognised association or registered association or any member of such association whenever it considers it necessary.

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority

In 1999, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) was constituted as an autonomous body to regulate and develop the insurance industry. The IRDA was incorporated as a statutory body in April, 2000 under the IRDA Act 1999. The key objectives of the IRDA include promotion of competition so as to enhance customer satisfaction through increased consumer choice and lower premiums, while ensuring the financial security of the insurance market.

Composition

The IRDA is a ten member team (all appointed by the Government of India) consisting of (a) a Chairman; (b) five whole-time members; and (c) four part-time members.

Functions

The IRDA Act 1999 lays down the duties, powers and functions of IRDA. The authority has the duty to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the insurance business and re-insurance business.

The mission of the authority is to protect the interest of and secure fair treatment to policyholders; to bring about speedy and orderly growth of the insurance industry (including annuity and superannuation payments), for the benefit of the common man, and to provide long term funds for accelerating growth of the economy; to set, promote, monitor and enforce high standards of integrity, financial soundness, fair dealing and competence of those it regulates; to ensure speedy settlement of genuine claims, to prevent insurance frauds and other malpractices and put in place effective grievance redressal machinery; to promote fairness, transparency and orderly conduct in financial markets dealing with insurance and build a reliable management information system to enforce high standards of financial soundness amongst market players; to take action where such standards are inadequate or ineffectively enforced; and to bring about optimum amount of self-regulation in day-to-day working of the industry consistent with the requirements of prudential regulation.

Impact of IRDA

The IRDA has a great impact on the overall regulation of Indian insurance sector. In order to keep the proper protection of the policy holder’s interests, IRDA has a close observation over the different activities of insurance sector. The core objective or purpose of the IRDA is to protect the interests of policyholders and it is trying its level best in this context.

There is great transformation in the insurance market due to the impact of IRDA, be it with respect to marketing, insurance products, competition and customer awareness. Earlier there was no competition in the insurance sector but due to privatisation of insurance sector and inviting private players in the sector initiated by the IRDA, it has given rise to competition in the insurance sector.

In order to increase the awareness of insurance in the society, IRDA is trying to take different steps in making the activities of insurance sector transparent. The IRDA has made the government responsible and accountable in bringing uniformity in the insurance sector due to the constant increase in the number of insurers, increasing competition, number of diversified products and diversified activities of the insurers.

The IRDA has an impact over the economic development of the country because money invested by investors or individuals in various types of insurance products is made available to the government of a country in order to implement the various developmental activities in the country.

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) was established by the Government of India on August 23, 2003 to promote old age income security by establishing, developing and regulating pension funds, to protect the interests of subscribers to schemes of pension funds and for matters connected. The Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority 2011 which was passed by Parliament in 2013 would give it a statutory status.

The authority consists of a chairperson and not more than five members, of whom at least three shall be whole-time members, to be appointed by the central government.

The PFRDA is empowered to regulate the New Pension System (NPS), as amended by the central government from time to time. The PFRDA prescribes guidelines on the number of players, prudential norms, investment criteria and capital requirement of pension fund managers. It has also been empowered to curb fraudulent and unfair practices in pension funds and protect the interests of the subscribers to the schemes of pension funds. All appeals against the orders and decisions of PFRDA lie with the Securities and Appellate Tribunal.

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

Under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, the National Commission was constituted in the year 1988 as a quasi-judicial statutory body. It is headed by a sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court of India as president and has ten members.

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is a benevolent social legislation that lays down the rights of the consumers and provides their for promotion and protection of the rights of the consumers. The first and the only act of its kind in India, it has enabled ordinary consumers to secure less expensive and often speedy redressal of their grievances. By spelling out the rights and remedies of the consumers in a market so far dominated by organised manufacturers and traders of goods and providers of various types of services, the Act makes the dictum, caveat emptor (‘buyer beware’) a thing of the past.

To provide inexpensive, speedy and summary redressal of consumer disputes, quasi-judicial bodies have been set up in each district and state and at the national level, called the District Forums, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions and the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission respectively. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) at the apex has its office at New Delhi.

Consumer fora proceedings are summary in nature. The endeavor is made to grant relief to the aggrieved consumer as quickly as in the quickest possible, keeping in mind the provisions of the act which lay down time schedule for disposal of cases. If a consumer is not satisfied by the decision of a district forum, he can appeal to the state commission. Against the order of the state commission a consumer can come to the National Commission.

The National Commission has also been conferred with the powers of administrative control over all the state commissions by calling for periodical returns regarding the institution, disposal and pendency of cases. The National Commission is empowered to issue instructions regarding (1) adoption of uniform procedure in the hearing of the matters; (2) prior service of copies of documents produced by one party to the opposite parties; (3) speedy grant of copies of documents; and (4) generally over-seeing the functioning of the state commissions and the district forums to ensure that the objects and purposes of the act are best served, without interfering with their quasi-judicial freedom.

Income Tax Appellate Tribunal

Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), a quasi-judicial statutory body, was constituted on January 25, 1941. It is dedicated to the ideals of ‘Sulabh Nyay and Satwar Nyay’—which means easy and quick justice. The criteria it has adopted for the working of the tribunal are—inexpensiveness; accessibility; freedom from technicalities; expedition; and an expertise in their particular subject.

The tribunal is constituted of a president, senior vice-president/vice-presidents, member-judicial and accountant, registrar, deputy registrar, and assistant registrar.

The president of the tribunal is the head of the department and he also exercises administrative control over all the benches of the tribunal. Each zone is headed by a vice-president. The headquarters of the ITAT is at Mumbai.

The tribunal is vested with all the powers which are vested in the income tax authorities under Section 131 of the Income Tax Act 1961. The tribunal has same powers as are vested in a court under the Code of Civil Procedure, when trying a suit in respect of the following matters—

      (a)   discovery and inspection;

      (b)   enforcing the attendance of any person, including any officer of a banking company and examining him on oath;

      (c)   compelling the production of books of account and other documents; and

      (d)   issuing commissions.

It is not a court but is a tribunal exercising the judicial powers of the state. The tribunal’s powers in dealing with the appeals are of the widest amplitude and have in some cases been held similar to and identical with the powers of an appellate court under the Civil Procedure Code. Any proceedings before the tribunal are also deemed to be judicial proceedings.

Intellectual Property Appellate Board

The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), a quasi-judicial body, was constituted by the central government in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on September 15, 2003 to hear appeals against the decisions of the registrar under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. IPAB has its headquarters at Chennai and sittings at Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad. In April 2007, the provisions of the Patent Amendment Act, 2002 and the Patents Amendment Act, 2005, relating to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board was brought into force. Thus, all the appeals pending before the various high courts stand transferred to the IPAB. Likewise, fresh rectification applications under the Patents Act, 1970 need to be filed before the IPAB.

The appellate board is constituted of the following personnel—

(a) Chairman who must be a judge of a high court or has held the office of vice-chairman of IPAB for at least two years.

(b) Vice-chairman who must have held the office of a judicial member or a technical member or has been a member of the Indian legal service and has held a post in Grade I of that service or any higher post for at least five years.

(c) Judicial member who must have been a member of the Indian legal service and must have held the post in Grade 1 of that service for at least three years; or has, for at least ten years, held a civil judicial office.

(d) Technical member who must have exercised functions of a tribunal for at least ten years and has held a post not lower than the post of a joint registrar for at least five years; or has been an advocate of a proven specialised experience in trade mark law for at least ten years.

The chairman, vice-chairman and every other member is appointed by the President of India and no appointment of a person as the chairman is made without consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

The IPAB has appellate jurisdiction against the decision of the controller or central government of India in matters pertaining to any decisions related to inventor names; any directions given to co-owners of the patent; any decisions related to patent of addition; any orders relating to divisional application; any orders relating to dating of application; refusal of application for failure to comply with any provisions of the act; any decisions relating to anticipation; any decisions and cases of potential infringement; in respect to an correction of clerical errors; any decisions related to compulsory license of a patent; any decisions related to revocation of patent for non-working; any decisions relating to substitution of applicants; any decision in respect to any amendment/revocation of patent; any decisions related to amendment of application and specification; any decisions related to restoration of lapsed patents; any decisions related to surrender of patents; in respect to revocation of patents to satisfy public interest; and in respect to any registration of patent assignments.

Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal

The Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), a quasi-judicial statutory body was constituted on the October 11, 1982.

The tribunal was created to provide an independent forum to hear the appeals against orders and decisions passed by the commissioners of customs and excise under the Customs Act, 1962, Central Excise Act, 1944, and Finance Act 94 relating to service tax. The tribunal is also empowered to hear appeals against orders passed by the designated authority with regard to anti- dumping duties under the Customs Tariff Act, 1975.

The tribunal is constituted of 21 members including a president and two vice-presidents.

The work of the tribunal has been distributed among various benches, comprising special benches located at Delhi and regional benches, one each located at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai. Special Benches deal with matters relating, among other things, to disputes about the rate of duty of custom or of excise (referred to for convinces, as classification disputes) or to the value, of goods for purposes of assessment of duty of customs or of excise (referred to as valuation disputes). Special benches consist of not less than two members, at least one being a judicial member and one a technical member. Regional benches deal with matters other than those falling within the jurisdiction of the special benches. These consist of two members—one a judicial member and one a technical member. There is also a provision for single member benches which are competent to dispose of cases within the specified monetary limits falling within the jurisdiction of regional benches.

Except in the matters relating to classification and valuation of goods, the tribunal is the final appellate authority though a reference to the high court can be made on a question of law. In classification and valuation matters, the appeal against the order of the tribunal lies only to the Supreme Court. The CESTAT strives to dispose off the appeals as early as possible and deliver the judgments within well defined time frame. To have a transparency in the system, computerisation of CESTAT is underway.

Banking Ombudsman

Under Section 25A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, the RBI constitutes Banking Ombudsman, for redressal of grievances against deficiency in banking services, concerning loans and advances and other specified matters and also to empower him to act as an arbitrator for specified disputes, the Reserve Bank has directed that all commercial banks, regional rural banks and scheduled primary co-operative banks would comply with the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 1995 and the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2002.

The Reserve Bank on the recommendation of a selection committee of four persons constituted by its governor appoints one or more persons to be known as Banking Ombudsman. The select committee consists of all the three deputy governors of the Reserve Bank; and the additional secretary (financial sector), Department of Economic Affairs as a special invitee.

The Banking Ombudsman needs be a person of repute and having experience in the legal, banking, financial services, public administration or management sectors and if such person is a civil servant he should be in the rank of joint secretary or above in the Government of India and in case of such person being from the banking sector, he should have had the experience of working as a whole time director in a public sector or equivalent position.

The powers and duties of the Banking Ombudsman are as follows—

(a)   to receive complaints relating to provision of banking services;

(b)   to consider such complaints and facilitate their satisfaction or settlement by agreement, through conciliation and mediation between the bank and the aggrieved parties or by passing an award in accordance with the scheme;

(c)   to resolve by way of arbitration such disputes between banks or between a bank and its constituents as may be agreed upon by the contesting parties in accordance with the provisions of the scheme and the Arbitration and Conciliation Act,1996.

(d)   exercise general powers of superintendence and control over his office and shall be responsible for the conduct of business thereat;

(e)   to incur expenditure on behalf of the office. In order to exercise such power, the Banking Ombudsman will draw up an annual budget for his office in consultation with Reserve Bank and shall exercise the powers of expenditure within the approved budget. The Reserve Bank will indicate the share of expenditure to be borne by the concerned banks; and

(f)    send to the governor, Reserve Bank, by 31st May every year, a report containing a general review of the activities of his office during the preceding financial year and shall furnish such other information as the Reserve Bank may direct.

Income Tax Ombudsman

On the recommendations of a committee consisting of the secretary, Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance, the Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes and the member (personnel), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the central government appoints one or more persons as Income Tax Ombudsman.

The ombudsman shall be independent of the jurisdiction of the income tax department. The ombudsman is appointed for a tenure of 2 years extendable by one year or till the incumbent attains the age of 63 years, whichever is earlier based on performance appraisal. He cannot be reappointed.

The duties of the ombudsman are as follows—

(a)    to exercise general powers of superintendence and control over his office and be responsible for the conduct of business in his office;

(b)    to maintain confidentiality of any information or document coming into his knowledge or possession in the course of discharging his duties and not disclose such information or document to any person except with the consent of the person furnishing such information or document; provided that nothing in this clause shall prevent the ombudsman from disclosing information or documents furnished by a party in a complaint to the other party or parties, to the extent considered by him to be reasonably required to comply with the principles of natural justice and fair play in the proceedings;

(c)    to protect individual taxpayer’s rights and reduce taxpayers’ burden;

(d)    to identify issues that increase the compliance burden or create problems for taxpayers, and to bring those issues to the attention of the CBDT and the Ministry of Finance;

(e)    to send a monthly report to the chairman CBDT and secretary, department of revenue in the ministry of finance recommending appropriate action;

(f)     to furnish a report every year containing a general review of activities of the office of the ombudsman during the preceding financial year to the secretary, department of revenue, ministry of finance and the chairman, CBDT along with such other information as may be considered necessary by him. In the annual report, the ombudsman, on the basis of grievances handled by him; and

(g)    to compile a list of ‘awards’ passed by it between April and March of each financial year in respect of every income tax authority complained against, by name, and report it to the controlling chief commissioners of the officers concerned and the Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes before the end of April so that this information can be reflected in the annual confidential reports of the officers concerned.

Income Tax Settlement Commission

Income Tax Settlement Commission (ITSC), a quasi-judicial body, was set up in 1976 by the central government on the recommendations of the Direct Taxes Enquiry Committee (1971) chaired by Justice K.N. Wanchoo, retired Chief Justice of India. The Wanchoo Committee had conceived of the Settlement Commission as a mechanism to allow a one-time tax evader or an unintending defaulter to make clean breast of his affairs.

The commission was set up under section 245B of Income Tax Act 1961. It is a quasi-judicial body, consisting of a chairman and members as the central government thinks fit.

It is a premier Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) body in India. Its mandate is to resolve tax disputes in respect of Indian income tax and wealth tax laws between the two disputing parties, income tax department on one side and litigating tax payer on the other.

The settlement mechanism allows taxpayers to disclose additional income before it over and above what has been already disclosed before the income tax department. The applicant has to pay full amount of tax and interest on the additional income disclosed before the commission, before filing the application. The commission then decides upon the admissibility of the application and in case of admitted applications, carries out the process of settlement in a time bound manner by giving opportunity to both parties.

The commission has wide powers of granting immunity from penalty and prosecution, which are major sources of litigation. The orders passed by the commission are final and conclusive. It is required to pass the settlement order within 18 months of filing of the application.

As of 2012, four benches of the commission were are functioning. The Delhi bench is known as the principal bench. The other benches are functioning at Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai and these are known as the additional benches.

Securities and Exchange Board of India

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), a statutory quasi-judiciary body, was established on April 12, 1992 under the SEBI Act, 1992 as a regulator for the securities market in India. Its headquarters is at Mumbai and it has northern, eastern, southern and western regional offices in New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Ahmedabad, respectively.

Composition

SEBI is constituted of (a) the chairman who is nominated by Government of India; (b) two members, officers from union finance ministry; (c) one member from The Reserve Bank of India; and (d) five members nominated by Government of India out of whom at least three shall be whole-time members.

Functions and Powers SEBI has three functions rolled into one body: quasi-legislative, quasi-judicial and quasi-executive. It drafts regulations in its legislative capacity, it conducts investigation and enforcement action in its executive function and it passes rulings and orders in its judicial capacity.

SEBI takes care of the issuers of securities; the investors; and the market intermediaries.

The general superintendence, direction and management of the affairs of the board vests in a board of members, which may exercise all powers and do all acts and things which may be exercised or done by the board. The chairman also has powers of general superintendence and direction of the affairs of the board and may also exercise all powers and do all acts and things which may be exercised or done by that board.

SEBI is vested with the following powers:

     (i)  to approve by-laws of stock exchanges;

   (ii)  to require the stock exchange to amend their by-laws;

  (iii)  to inspect the books of accounts and call for periodical returns from recognised stock exchanges;

  (iv)  to inspect the books of accounts of a financial intermediaries;

    (v)  to compel certain companies to list their shares in one or more stock exchanges;

  (vi)  to levy fees and other charges on the intermediaries for performing its functions;

(vii)  to grant licence to any person for the purpose of dealing in certain areas;

(viii)  to delegate powers exercisable by it;

  (ix)  to prosecute and judge directly the violation of certain provisions of the companies Act; and

    (x)  to impose monetary penalties.

Reforms Introduced by SEBI

SEBI has taken several steps for the smooth-cum-speedy development of both primary and secondary markets from time to time for the development of all areas. Application of computerisation has given a boost to surveillance. The basic surveillance is carried out by the stock exchanges, while the SEBI monitors the process. Introduction of price caps, price bands, circuit filters, margins and stock watch are some ways of keeping a strict vigil on the market.

Improvements have been made in the clearance and settlement system. A major step in this direction is the establishment of depositories- NSDL and CDSL—and a clearing corporation—NSCCL.

For reviving primary markets, the SEBI further streamlined and simplified the issue procedure, imparted greater flexibility to the issue process and strengthened the criteria for accessing the securities market. In recent times SEBI has taken a drastic decision for reduction of IPOs‘ period from 21 days to12 days. The SEBI introduced the option of making an issue through book-building and recently it introduced ASBA scheme (in IPOs) for investment by investors through bankers.

The development of mutual funds was given a major impetus, with the revision of mutual funds regulations which now provide greater operational flexibility to the fund managers and increase their accountability and supervision. It has introduced KYC norms and not charging on any entry-load on investments made by investors on NFOs or on any existing schemes. SEBI is trying its level best for availability of ULIPs at very normal and cheaper rates.

Far reaching changes have been made in the SEBI regulations for substantial acquisition of shares and takeovers. The regulations for Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were liberalised to provide greater flexibility and for widening the scope of their investments in the Indian securities market.

The SEBI reduced the categories of merchant bankers from four to one. Moreover, it has prohibited merchant bankers from undertaking activities such as leasing, bills and discounting. To empower investors make informed decisions and facilitate fair dealing, the SEBI introduced online filing and dissemination of time sensitive price information. The SEBI revolutionalised the settlement system by introducing T+2 rolling settlement system scrips across exchanges. It has issued guidelines for demutualisation and corporatisation of stock exchanges.

To create an effective regulatory regime in which all stakeholders have confidence, the SEBI has posted the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) orders on the SEBI website, initiated consultative process for framing regulations, and shortened the inquiry process. The SEBI is trying to bring down various forms of risk (structural, systematic and operational) that are there in the securities market.

The SEBI has introduced a number of measures to protect the interests of investors. To create awareness among issuers and intermediaries of the need to redress investor grievances‘ quickly, the SEBI issues fortnightly press releases, publishing the names of the companies against whom maximum number of complaints have been received. To ensure that no malpractice takes place in the allotment of shares, a representative of the SEBI supervises the allotment process. In order to protect the interest of investors, SEBI took several measures with a two-pronged approach to discipline and take action against erring entities and at the same time to educate the investors about the risks associated with investing in unregulated schemes.

The SEBI has introduced an automated complaints handling system to with investor complaints. It has taken some steps for educating investors from 2000-01 onwards, it distributed the booklet titled A Quick Reference Guide for Investors to investors. It has published a book regarding ‘Investor Grievances-Rights and Remedies’.

The SEBI set up a new institution in 2003 called the ‘Ombudsman’ for the capital market. It has encouraged forming of investors associations.

Limitations of SEBI

Despite statutory powers on par with a civil court, SEBI could not made much headway regarding enforcement. The regulator needs to engender greater confidence among investors and display greater consistency regarding enforcement of regulations. The SEBI, as a regulator, proved to be ineffective in the series of scams that took place in the last decade. The SEBI has been accused of shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted. For instance, the SEBI had occasions to review the affairs of CRB capital markets but took a lenient view and as a result, investors lost crores of rupees.

The SEBI has gone more than half away to help out potential defaulters to avoid a major payments crisis. Whenever the real racketeers get up to new tricks, surveillance takes a long time to catch up. SEBI banned badla system in India in 1993, but it banned badla without providing an alternative mechanism. It is perceived to be more corporate-friendly than investor-friendly. It not only failed to penalise fraudulent companies, but remained a spectator when same companies re-entered the market with new issues. It does not have the requisite number of competent staff to regulate and develop the capital market.

Constitutional and Quasi-judicial Bodies (Part-2)

Education Related Bodies

National Council for Teacher Education

The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), an advisory body since 1973, got statutory status on the August 17, 1995 in pursuance of the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993.

The main objective of the NCTE is to achieve planned and coordinated development of the teacher education system throughout the country, and the regulation and proper maintenance of norms and standards in the teacher education system.

The council consists of a chairperson to be appointed by the central government; a vice-chairperson to be appointed by the central government; a member-secretary to be appointed by the central government; the secretary to the Government of India in the department dealing with education ex-officio; the chairman, University Grants Commission or a member of UGC nominated by him, ex-officio; the director, National Council of Educational Research and Training, ex-officio; the director, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, ex-officio; the adviser (Education), Planning Commission, ex-officio; the Chairman, Central Board of Secondary Education, ex-officio; the financial adviser to the Government of India in the department dealing with education, ex-officio; the member-secretary, All-India Council for Technical Education, ex-officio; the chairpersons of all regional committees, ex-officio; thirteen persons possessing experience and knowledge in the field of education or teaching to be appointed by the central government; nine members to be appointed by the central government to represent the States and Union Territory administrations; three members of Parliament of whom one shall be nominated by the Chairman of the Council of States and two by the Speaker of the House of the People; and three members to be appointed by the central government from amongst teachers of primary and secondary education and teachers of recognised institutions.

Functions

The functions of the council are to—

(i) undertake surveys and studies relating to various aspects of teacher education and publish the result thereof;

(ii) make recommendations to the central and state governments, universities, University Grants Commission and recognised institutions in the matter of preparation of suitable plans and programmes in the field of teacher education;

(iii) coordinate and monitor teacher education and its development in the country;

(iv) lay down guidelines in respect of minimum qualifications for a person to be employed as a teacher in schools or in recognised institutions;

(v) lay down norms for any specified category of courses or trainings in teacher education, including the minimum eligibility criteria for admission thereof, and the method of selection of candidates, duration of the course, course contents and mode of curriculum;

(vi) lay down guidelines for compliance by recognised institutions, for starting new courses or training, and for providing physical and instructional facilities, staffing pattern and staff qualification;

(vii) lay down standards in respect of examinations leading to teacher education qualifications, criteria for admission to such examinations and schemes of courses or training;

(viii) lay down guidelines regarding tuition fees and other fees chargeable by recognised institutions;

(ix) promote and conduct innovation and research in various areas of teacher education and disseminate the results thereof;

(x) examine and review periodically the implementation of the norms, guidelines and standards laid down by the council, and to suitably advise the recognised institution;

(xi) evolve suitable performance appraisal system, norms and mechanism for enforcing accountability on recognised institutions;

(xii) formulate schemes for various levels of teacher education and identify recognised institutions and set up new institutions for teacher development programmes;

(xiii) take all necessary steps to prevent commercialisation of teacher education; and

(xiv) perform such other functions as may be entrusted to it by the central government.

All India Council of Technical Education

All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) was constituted in 1945 and became a statutory body under the AICTE Act, 1987. The council was formed with a view to ensure the proper planning and coordinated development of the technical education system throughout the country, the promotion of qualitative improvement of such education in relation to planned quantitative growth and the regulation and proper maintenance of norms and standards in the technical education system for such matters.

The statutory bodies of AICTE as prescribed by the act are: Council, Executive Committee, Regional Committees and All India Board of Studies. The council is a 51- member body and has a chairman, vice- chairman and member secretary who have full time tenure appointments; besides, there are representatives of various departments of the Government of India, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The council’s headquarters is located at New Delhi.

Functions

Major functions of the council are as follows.

(i) Undertake survey in the various fields of technical education, collect data on all related matters and make forecast of the needed growth and development in technical education.

(ii) Coordinate the development of the technical education in the country at all levels.

(iii) Allocate and disburse out of the Fund of the council such grants, on such terms and conditions as it may think fit to technical institutions, and universities imparting technical education in co-ordination with the commission.

(iv) Promote innovations, research and development in established and new technologies, generation, adoption and adaptation of new technologies to meet development requirements and for over all improvement of educational processes.

(v) Formulate schemes for promoting technical education for women, handicapped and weaker sections of the society.

(vi) Promote an effective link between technical education system and other relevant systems including research and development organisations, industry and the community.

(vii) Evolve suitable performance appraisal systems for technical institutions and universities imparting technical education, incorporating norms and mechanisms for enforcing accountability.

(viii) Formulate schemes for the initial and in service training of teachers and identify institutions or centers and set up new centers for offering staff development programmes including continuing education of teachers.

(ix) Lay down norms and standards for courses, curricula, physical and instructional facilities, staff pattern, staff qualifications, quality instructions, assessment and examinations.

(x) Fix norms and guidelines for charging tuition and other fees.

(xi) Grant approval for starting new technical institutions and for introduction of new courses or programmes in consultation with the agencies concerned.

(xii) Advise the central government in respect of grant of charter to any professional body or institution in the field of technical education conferring powers, rights and privileges on it for the promotion of such profession in its field including conduct of examinations and awarding of membership certificates.

(xiii) Lay down norms for granting autonomy to technical institutions.

(xiv) Take all necessary steps to prevent commercialisation of technical education.

(xv) Provide guidelines for admission of students to technical institutions and universities imparting technical education.

(xvi) Inspect or cause to inspect any technical institutions.

(xvii) Withhold or discontinue grants in respect of courses, programmes to such technical institutions which fail to comply with the directions given by the council within the stipulated period of time and take such other steps as may be necessary for ensuring compliance of the directions of council.

(xviii) Take steps to strengthen the existing organisations, and to set up new organisations to ensure effective discharge of the council’s responsibilities and to create positions of professional, technical and supporting staff based on requirements.

(xix) Declare technical institutions at various levels and types offering courses in technical education fit to receive grants.

(xx) Advise the commission for declaring any institutions imparting technical as a deemed university.

(xxi) Set up a National Board of Accreditation to periodically conduct evaluation of technical education institutions or programmes on the basis of guidelines, norms and standards specified by it and to make recommendations to it, or to the council, or to the commission or to other bodies, regarding recognition or de-recognition of the institution or the programme.

(xxii) Perform such other functions as may be prescribed.

University Grants Commission

In 1952, the union government decided that all cases pertaining to the allocation of grants-in-aid from public funds to the central universities and other universities and institutions of higher learning might be referred to the University Grants Commission. Consequently, the University Grants Commission (UGC) was formally inaugurated on December 28, 1953. The UGC, however, was formally established only in November 1956 under the UGC Act, 1956 as a statutory body of the Government of India for the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of university education in India.

The head office of the UGC is located in New Delhi. In order to ensure effective region-wise coverage throughout the country, the UGC has decentralised its operations by setting up six regional centres at Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bhopal, Guwahati and Bangalore.

Composition

The UGC consists of a chairman, a vice-chairman, and ten other members, to be appointed by the central government. The chairman is chosen from among persons who are not officers of the central government or of any state government. Of the other ten members (a) two are chosen from among the officers of the central government, to represent that government; (b) not less than four have to be chosen from among persons who are, at the time when they are so chosen, teachers of universities; and (c) the remainder have to be chosen from among persons (i) Who have knowledge of, or experience in, agriculture, commerce, forestry or industry; (ii) who are members of the engineering, legal, medical or any other learned profession; or (iii) who are vice-chancellors of universities or who, not being teachers of universities, are in the opinion of the central government, educationists of repute or have obtained high academic distinctions; however, not less than one-half of the number chosen under this clause shall be from among persons who are not officers of the central government or of any state government.

Functions

The UGC has the unique distinction of being the only grant-giving agency in the country which has been vested with two responsibilities: that of providing funds and that of coordination, determination and maintenance of standards in institutions of higher education.

The functions of the commission are as follows.

    (i) promoting and coordinating university education;

   (ii) determining and maintaining standards of teaching, examination and research in universities;

(iii) framing regulations on minimum standards of education;

  (iv) monitoring developments in the field of collegiate and university education; disbursing grants to the universities and colleges;

   (v) serving as a vital link between the union and state governments and institutions of higher learning; and

  (vi) advising the central and state governments on the measures necessary for improvement of university education.

Performance Evaluation of the UGC

A panel headed by the ex-chairman of the UGC, Hari Gautam, presented its report regarding the performance of the UGC to the ministry of human resource development (HRD) of the union in April 2015. The highlights of the reports are—

The UGC should be scrapped and replaced with a national higher education authority. Any reshaping or restructuring of the UGC will be a futile exercise.

The UGC has failed to fulfil its mandate; it has also not been able to deal with emerging diverse complexities.

There have been allegations of favouritism. The UGC has side-stepped its function of being a sentinel of excellence in education and embraced the relatively easier function of funding education.

The chairman of the UGC should be held accountable and his performance should be assessed once after three years and then at the end of his tenure of five years by a committee constituted by the HRD ministry.

The UGC has seen a steady erosion of its powers and standing among university alumni.

 Yoga and transcendental meditation should be included in syllabus in universities, among other things.

The 10-year professor norm for a vice-chancellor should be done away with.

In response to the recommendations made by the Hari Gautam Committee, the HRD ministry has said that the UGC cannot be unilaterally scrapped since it has been created by an act of Parliament. R. Sethuraman, Vice-chancellor, SASTRA University, Thanjavur said a statutory body like UGC is a necessary policy vehicle for university education and cannot be just a grant disbursal authority.

However, a former member of UGC felt that the commission had not failed in its mandate but over a period, due to bureaucratisation, it had been unable to deliver its services. Creating an alternative structure will not solve the problem. C. Pichandy, vice-president of Association of University Teachers said that if the UGC has failed its mandate, its scope and powers can be widened.

Indian Polity

 

 

 

 

Constitutional and Quasi-judicial Bodies (Part-1)

Different Constitutional and Quasi-judicial Bodies (Part-1)

Welfare Related Bodies

Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation

The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), statutory body, was established by Government of India under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 in accordance with the constitutional provisions under ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’ which provides that the State shall within the limits of its economic capacity make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old-age, sickness and disablement and undeserved want.

As a statutory body of the Government of India under the ministry of labour and Employment, the EPFO administers a compulsory contributory provident fund scheme, pension scheme and an insurance scheme. It is one of the largest social security organisations in the world in terms of the number of covered beneficiaries and the volume of financial transactions undertaken.

Administratively, the organisation is organised into zones which are headed by an additional central provident fund commissioner for each of the political states in the country. The states have either one or more than one regional offices. Most of the districts in the country have small district offices where an enforcement officer is stationed to inspect the local establishments and attend to grievances.

The goal of the organisation is to extend the reach and the quality of publicly managed old-age income security programmes through consistent and ever-improving standards of compliance and benefit delivery in a manner that wins the approval and confidence of Indians in our methods, fairness, honesty and integrity, thereby contributing to the economic and social well-being of Indians.

Employees’ Provident Funds Appellate Tribunal

The Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 provides for the creation of Employees’ Provident Funds Appellate Tribunals, a statutory quasi-judical body, by the central government.

The tribunal consists of one person only appointed by the central government. He has to be or should have been or is qualified to be; a judge of a high court; or a district judge.

A tribunal may, after giving the parties to the appeal, an opportunity of being heard, pass such orders as it thinks fit, confirming, modifying or annulling the order appealed against or may refer the case back to the authority which passed such order with such directions as the tribunal may think fit, for a fresh adjudication or order, as the case may be, after taking additional evidence, if necessary.

Central Wakf Council

The Central Wakf Council was established as a statutory body in December, 1964 by the Government of India under the provision of Wakf Act, 1954 for the purpose of advising it on matters pertaining to the working of the State Wakf Boards and proper administration of the wakfs in the country.

The council consists of chairperson, who is the union minister in charge of wakfs, and such other members not exceeding 20 in numbers appointed by Government of India as stipulated in the act. The secretary is the chief executive of the council. The council office at present works in New Delhi. The council derives its income from the contribution received by it from the various State Wakf Boards at the rate of one per cent of the net income of the wakfs. All administrative and other expenses of the council are met out of this income.

Wakf is a permanent dedication of movable or immovable properties for religious, pious or charitable purposes as recognised by Muslim law, given by philanthropists.

 

Indian Polity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill,2018

In March 2018, the union cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the proposal of the Ministry of Finance to introduce the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 in Parliament.

The aim of the bill is to deter economic offenders who leave the country to avoid the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

The fleeing of such offenders from India hampers investigation in criminal cases, undermines the rule of law in India and worsens the financial health of banks as most such cases of economic offences involve non-repayment of bank loans. The idea is to overcome shortcomings in existing laws and provide a fresh legal framework that would make it possible to confiscate the property of those who flee the country or refuse to come back to evade prosecution.

The law covers offences which have a value of Rs 100 crore or more.

A ‘fugitive economic offender’, according to the proposed law, is “any individual against whom a warrant for arrest in relation to a scheduled offence has been issued by any court in India, who (i) leaves or has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution; or (ii) refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.”

For a person to be declared a fugitive economic offender, a director, appointed by the central government, will have to file an application to a special court (set up under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002) to that effect. As per the proposed law, the application must state the reason/s for the belief that an individual is a fugitive economic offender; give any information available as to the whereabouts of the fugitive economic offender; list the properties or the value of such properties believed to be the proceeds of crime, including any such property outside India for which confiscation is sought; list the properties owned by the person in India (which includes benami) for which confiscation is sought; give a list of persons who may have an interest in any of the properties listed under the previous two sub-clauses.

A notice will then be issued by the court to the person named a ‘fugitive economic offender’. The person is required to present himself/herself, within six weeks from the date of the notice, at “a specified place at a specified time”. If the offender fails to do so, he/she will be declared a ‘fugitive economic offender’; in that event, their properties as listed in the application by the director can be confiscated.

If, in the course of the proceedings before the declaration of the person as fugitive economic offender, however, the person concerned returns to India and submits to the appropriate jurisdictional court, proceedings under the proposed Act would cease by law. There are provisions of necessary constitutional safeguards in terms of providing a hearing to the person through counsel, allowing him/her time to file a reply, serving notice of summons to him/her, whether in India or abroad and appeal to the High Court.

The director will have the power to attach any property the accused holds.

An administrator will be appointed by the special court to oversee the confiscated property; the administrator will also be responsible for disposing the property. The property will be used to satisfy the claims of the creditors.

The property will remain attached for 180 days. There is a provision for appeal against an order of confiscation.

The proposed law does not allow those declared as offenders from either filing or defending a civil claim in court.

(Economic offences have been defined under various laws: the Indian Penal Code, the Prevention of Corruption Act, the SEBI Act, the Customs Act, the Companies Act, Limited Liability Partnership Act, and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.)

Comments

In recent times there have been glaring instances of the very rich defaulters/fraudsters enjoying themselves in foreign lands after having managed to dupe Indian banks and innocent clients besides the judiciary. In this context, especially when the ordinary citizen feels a growing resentment against a system that apparently allows the rich to ‘escape’ the consequences of their actions with impunity, the proposed law seems welcome; it tries to overcome some of the shortcomings of existing laws on confiscating offenders’ assets. At present, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act allows the Enforcement Directorate to provisionally attach property acquired from the proceeds of crime, but the ED gets full right only after conviction. The process usually takes a long time.

The bill is expected to impel fugitive economic offenders to return to India to face trial for scheduled offences. The bill would enable the banks and other financial institutions to achieve higher recovery from financial defaults committed by such fugitive economic offenders. However, doubts have been raised over the efficacy of the law: will the threat of confiscation of property be enough to prevent the offenders from fleeing or to make them return? How easy will it be easy to dispose of the confiscated property and at prices that would meet the dues of creditors? Furthermore, as the proposed law is not limited to confiscation of the proceeds of crime and goes beyond to include any asset that the offender has – including benami property – there may be issues of actual ownership, and litigation would arise.

There is also a question as to whether the confiscated property will be bought by anybody so that the amount can be realised.

Questions of legal rights may also be raised in the matter of confiscation of property. Of course, the UN Convention against Corruption that India ratified in 2011 allows domestic laws for confiscation of property of offenders without criminal conviction, and the government cites this convention for delinking the forfeiture provision from criminal conviction. In the Budget 2017-18 it was announced that the government was considering legislative changes or even a new law to confiscate the assets of such absconders till they submit to the jurisdiction of the appropriate legal forum.

Analysts have also pointed out that the blanket ban on pursuing or defending any civil claim under the law goes against the basic tenets of justice and fair play, and violates principles of the Indian Constitution.

 


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गोपनीयता अथवा निजता का अधिकार: भारतीय परिप्रेक्ष्य

निजता का अधिकार

निजता का अधिकार: भारतीय परिप्रेक्ष्य

  • भारत के संविधान में निजता का अधिकार स्पष्ट नहीं है, इसलिए यह न्यायिक व्याख्या का विषय है। मौलिक अधिकार की न्यायिक व्याख्याएं इसे मौलिक अधिकार के दायरे में लाती हैं।

   दर्शन

  • 1890 में, शमूएल वारेन और लुई ब्रैंडीइस ने निजता की धारणा विकसित की; उन्होंने ‘भावनात्मक क्षति ‘ के रूप में इसकी पहचान की और इसे कानूनी क्षति माना.निजता पर हमले से वयक्ति मानसिक प्रताड़ना एवं दुःख से गुजरता है

    भारत में निजता  के अधिकार का विकास

  • हिंदुओं के प्राचीन पाठ में गोपनीयता की अवधारणा का पता लगाया जा सकता है यदि हम हितोपदेश को पढ़े तो उसमे लिखा है कि पूजा, यौन क्रिया और परिवार के मामलों की तरह कुछ चीजें प्रकटीकरण से परे होनी चाहिए. यह अवधारणा भारतीय संस्कृति के लिए पूरी तरह से अजनबी नहीं है, लेकिन कुछ विधिवेत्ताओ ने इसके भारत में विकास के बारे में संदेह किया है
  • आधुनिक भारत में पहली बार सवैधानिक सभा में निजता के विषय पर चर्चा हुई थी जब के एस करीमद्दीन ने अमेरिकी संविधान की तर्ज पर एक संशोधन रखा , पर  बी आर अम्बेडकर ने इसे केवल सीमित समर्थन दिया और  संविधान में निजता के अधिकार का समावेश नहीं हो पाया
  • एम.पी.शर्मा बनाम सतीश चंद्र मुक़दमे में तलाशी और जब्ती की शक्ति के मुद्दे पर उच्चतम न्यायालय ने कहा कि वे निजता के अधिकार को मूल अधिकारों के अंतर्गत नहीं ला सकते क्योंकि भारतीय सविधान में इसके बारे में कुछ नहीं कहा गया और संविधान निर्माताओं की निजता के अधिकार के बारे में ज्यादा दिलचस्पी नहीं थी
  • एम.पी. शर्मा वाद के बाद खारक सिंह मामले में उच्चतम न्यायालय के सामने ये मामला आया कि क्या उत्तर प्रदेश के नियमन 236 के तहत परिभाषित पीछा करना जासूसी करना मौलिक अधिकार का उल्लंघन है और  निजता मौलिक अधिकार के दायरे में आता है
  • न्यायालय ने निजता के अधिकार को मौलिक अधिकार मानने से इनकार किया और उन्होंने निष्कर्ष निकाला कि “निजता का अधिकार हमारे संविधान के तहत एक गारंटीकृत अधिकार नहीं है और इसलिए किसी व्यक्ति के गमनागमन के बारे में पता लगाने का प्रयास निजता पर तो आकर्मण है परन्तु मौलिक अधिकारों का उल्लंघन नहीं.
  • मेनका गांधी बनाम संघ वाद में, सर्वोच्च न्यायालय ने व्यापक अर्थों में अनुच्छेद 21 की व्याख्या की.न्यायालय ने कहा कि व्यक्तिगत सुरक्षा और व्यक्तिगत स्वतंत्रता ये दोनों अधिकार
  • अनुच्छेद 21 में ‘प्राकृतिक कानून’ में अन्तर्निहित हैं
  • मेनका गांधी मामले ने “राइट टू लाइफ़” अर्थात जीने के अधिकार की व्यापक व्याख्या शुरू की, जिसने वास्तव में निजता के अधिकार को राइट टू लाइफ़ के दायरे में शामिल करने में मदद की।
  • उन्नी कृष्णन बनाम आंध्र प्रदेश राज्य ने जीवन के अधिकार के बारह अर्थों को क्रमांकित किया और निजता     का अधिकार उनमें से एक था.
  • राजगोपाल उर्फ ​​आर आर गोपाल बनाम तमिलनाडु राज्य पहला मामला था, जिसने विस्तार से निजता के अधिकार के विकास और व्यापकता की व्याख्या की. इस प्रश्न का उत्तर प्राप्त करने के लिए, उच्चतम न्यायालय ने निजता, उसके विकास और विषय क्षेत्र के सम्पूर्ण न्यायशास्त्र पर सविस्तार विचार किया
  • पीपुल्स यूनियन फॉर सिविल लिबर्टीज (पीयूसीएल) बनाम यूनियन ऑफ इंडिया वाद फोन टैपिंग से संबंधित है और इसमें चर्चा की गई है कि क्या टेलीफोन टैपिंग अनुच्छेद 21 के तहत गोपनीयता अथवा निजता के अधिकार का उल्लंघन है
  • कर्नाटक राज्य बनाम कृष्णप्पा वाद में सर्वोच्च न्यायालय ने बाल बलात्कार को गोपनीयता/निजता  के अधिकार से जोड़ा डॉ। मुख्य न्यायाधीश ए.एस. आनंद ने कहा कि “एक अमानवीय कृत्य होने के अलावा यौन हिंसा एक महिला की गोपनीयता और पवित्रता के अधिकार का अवैध अतिक्रमण है . यह उसके  सम्मान पर एक गंभीर चोट है और उसके  आत्म सम्मान और गरिमा को समाप्त करता है-यह शिकार को अपमानित करता है और जहां पीड़ित एक असहाय निर्दोष बच्चा है, यह जीवन भर के लिए एक दर्दनाक अनुभव छोड़ देता है “
  • कर्नाटक राज्य बनाम एस नागराजु और सुधांशु शेखर साहू बनाम  उड़ीसा राज्य वाद में  सर्वोच्च न्यायालय ने फिर से उपरोक्त बात स्वीकार की . सर्वोच्च न्यायालय ने सजा की मात्रा को बढ़ाने के लिए गोपनीयता के अधिकार की अवधारणा का इस्तेमाल किया
  • फिर से मध्य प्रदेश राज्य बनाम बाबूलाल वाद में उच्चतम न्यायालय ने माना कि यौन उत्पीड़न एक अमानवीय कृत्य के अतिरिक्त महिला की गोपनीयता और पवित्रता के अधिकार पर एक अवैध हमला भी है
  • नागरिक और राजनीतिक अधिकारों पर अंतर्राष्ट्रीय वाचा का अनुच्छेद 17 गोपनीयता/निजता के अधिकार के बारे में बताता है, “किसी की निजता, परिवार या संचार के साथ मनमाना या गैरकानूनी हस्तक्षेप नहीं किया जाएगा, न ही उसके सम्मान और प्रतिष्ठा पर अवैध अतिक्रमण “
  • मानव अधिकार 1 948 के सार्वभौम घोषणा के अनुच्छेद 12 में लिखा है , ” किसी की निजता, परिवार या संचार के साथ मनमाना या गैरकानूनी हस्तक्षेप नहीं किया जाएगा, न ही उसके सम्मान और प्रतिष्ठा पर अवैध अतिक्रमण. हर किसी को इस तरह के हस्तक्षेप या अतिक्रमण  के खिलाफ कानून का संरक्षण है “।
  • चूंकि भारत ने सिविल और राजनीतिक अधिकारों पर अंतर्राष्ट्रीय वाचा तथा 1 948 में मानव अधिकारों की सार्वभौम घोषणा पर हस्ताक्षरकर्ता किये हैं अतः भारत को इन अधिकारों को लागू करने का दायित्व है
  • सक्षम कानून के अभाव में, आईसीसीपीआर International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights को भारत में अन्य कानूनों की तरह वैधानिक शक्ति प्राप्त हो सकती है परन्तु यूडीएचआर Universal Declaration of Human Rights एक घोषणा मात्र है एवम इसे कोई कानूनी शक्ति प्राप्त नहीं है
  • लेकिन कोर्ट ने आईसीसीपीआर और यूडीएचआर के प्रावधानों को अपने तर्क को मजबूत बनाने के लिए इस्तेमाल किया है और सरकार को अपने नागरिकों की ओर व अंतरराष्ट्रीय उपकरणों की ओर अपनी जिम्मेदारी महसूस करने के लिए प्रयोग किया है
  • पीपुल्स यूनियन ऑफ सिविल लिबर्टीज बनाम यूनियन ऑफ इंडिया के मामले में, उच्चतम न्यायालय ने आईसीसीपीआर के अनुच्छेद 17 और यूडीएचआर के अनुच्छेद 12 का हवाला दिया इन दो अंतर्राष्ट्रीय उपकरणों के माध्यम से, अदालत ने अपने  तर्क  को मजबूत किया और सरकार को अपने नागरिकों के प्रति दायित्व के बारे में सतर्क किया

♦ प्रदीप गौतम

Indian Polity

Public Administration

Election Funding in India

Election Funding

Election Funding in India

India has a population of more than a billion, with vast development needs. As one of the world’s biggest democracies, the responsibility of political parties and the need for reliable and honest leaders is indispensable. The elected political leaders in India play a big role in framing economic and welfare policies, besides maintaining an atmosphere in which democratic values are respected.

Political parties run expensive election campaigns to come to power. In India, financing of elections is not transparent. The financing of elections is done by the corporates and businessmen who need to protect their interests. The nexus between politicians, political parties and businessmen has blemished the image of the Indian polity.

History

Initially, political parties in India financed themselves through private donations and membership dues. Corporate contributions to political parties were legal, subject to certain restrictions and had to be declared in the company’s accounts. In 1951, the Representation of People Act introduced limits on the amount that could be spent on election campaigns. Since the 1950s and well into the 1970s, India had a high taxation regime and highly regulatory and protectionist policy framework. In these circumstances, black money was generated which financed the elections. The reports of the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption (1964) and the Wanchoo Direct Taxes Enquiry Committee (1971) both highlight the problem of black money entering the system.

In 1968, corporate donations to political parties was banned to prevent large business groups from exercising undue influence on politics. This ban was not accompanied by any form of state funding or any other form of funding. The cost of election campaigning being what it is in India, a vast country needing all kind of vehicles to transport the candidates in reaching

the voters as well as the variety of other election paraphernalia, politicians and political parties increasingly started relying on black money for election campaigns. The Supreme Court in the Kanwar Lal Gupta and Amar Nath Chawla (1974) case held that a political party’s expenses towards a candidate, would be included in his or her total election expenditure. However, the Parliament amended the Representation of People Act in 1975 to nullify the Supreme Court’s judgement. The amendment clearly stated that party and supporter expenditures not authorised by the candidate did not court toward the calculation of a candidate’s election expenses.

In 1979, political parties were granted exemption on wealth and income taxes, provided they filed annual returns including audited accounts, listed donations of Rs 10,000 and above. They were also exempted from revealing the identity of donors.

In 1985, the Companies Act was amended which once again allowed corporate donations to political parties. This donation could not be more than five per cent (later raised to 7.5 per cent) of the total net profits of the company and was to be audited by the company’s board of directors.

In 1990, the Dinesh Goswami Committee on electoral reforms was set up. The committee in its report recommended some state funding for basic campaign expenses along with banning corporate donations completely. These recommendations were shelved; they did not provide for an adequate substitute in the form of public funding.

The Supreme Court in the Common Cause (1996) judgement ordered political parties to file income tax returns. The Supreme Court interpreted explanation 1 of Section 77 of the Representation of People Act, to mean that the election expenditures of a political party would not be included in that of a candidate for the purpose of determining compliance with the expenditure ceiling, only so long as the party had submitted audited accounts of its income and expenditures.

An important development in campaign financing occurred in 1998. The government provided a partial state subsidy in the form of allocation of free

time for seven national and 34 state parties on the state-owned television and radio networks.

The Indrajit Gupta Committee (1998) recommended partial state funding, mainly in kind. The committee also recommended that parties that failed to maintain and submit audited accounts and income tax returns should be denied state funding.

In 2003, the declaration of criminal records on candidates was made mandatory and, most importantly, the Election and other related Election Laws Amendment Act was passed which made personal and corporate donations fully tax free and mandated political parties to disclose their donations above Rs 20,000 (that is, increased the amount that could be anonymously donated from Rs 10,000).

Reforms Proposed in Budget 2017

In a move aimed at promoting transparency in political funding, the finance minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech of 2017 announced capping of cash donation from a single source to political parties at Rs 2,000. The move was in response to the Election Commission asking the government to bring down this limit of anonymous donation.

The minister also said that the Companies Act will be amended to remove the ceiling on corporate funding to political parties and also to allow companies to keep the name of the beneficiary political party confidential. (Till now, corporate entities could contribute only 7.5 per cent of average net profit in the past three financial years, and the names of beneficiary political parties had to be disclosed in companies’ profit and loss statements.)The amount of donation will, however, have to be mentioned in the company’s accounts. Further, the donations will be allowed only after a resolution is passed by the board of directors of a company. In developed countries, anonymous corporate donations are common practice.The expenditure incurred, directly or indirectly, by a company in publication, a souvenir, journal, or a pamphlet on behalf of a political party would be taken as a monetary contribution to the party.

Flouting the Companies Act provisions attracts a fine of not less than five times the amount contributed and every officer in default is liable to up to six months’ imprisonment and a fine of five times of the amount contributed.

Through the Finance Bill, the government also announced a proposed amendment of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 to enable the issuance of time-limited electoral bonds. A donor could purchase bonds from authorised banks against cheque and digital payments only andgive it to a registered political party of his/her choice.These bonds will be redeemable only in the designated account of the registered political party. Donor identity is thus kept anonymous. Revealing donor identity could lead to ‘adverse consequences’, as the finance minister indicated in his speech.

An amendment to Section 13A of the Income Tax Act has been proposed in the Finance Act, 2017, which exempts political parties from keeping records for donations made through electoral bonds. This particular section in the IT Act states that political parties have to maintain records such as the name and address of the persons who have made contributions above Rs 10,000. Now, this clause is being amended to exempt electoral bonds from falling under that category.

Critical Comments To an extent the reforms in making electoral funding more transparent are welcome.

[Read complete article in the book, Spectrum’s Indian Polity]

Indian Polity

 

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS GRAPHS & DIAGRAMS( HINDI)

 

The Right to Privacy Judgement

The Right to Privacy Judgement

A nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court on August 24, 2017 held that right to privacy is a fundamental right. It is intrinsic to the right to life and liberty and comes under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The bench was deciding in the K. Puttaswamy v. Union of India.

The nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprised Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, Justices J. Chelameswar, S.A. Bobde, R.K. Agrawal, Rohinton F. Nariman, Abhay Manohar Sapre, D.Y. Chandarchud and Sanjay Kishnan Kaul. The bench overruled earlier judgments in the M.P. Sharma and Kharak Singh cases delivered in 1954 and 1961, respectively, that privacy is not protected under the Constitution.

Arguments by Petitioners

The case was filed on July 21, 2015 by former Karnataka High Court judge, Justice K.S. Puthaswamy, along with others who were the petitioners in this case. They contended before the Supreme Court that the biometric data and iris scan that was being collected for issuing Aadhaar Cards violated the citizen’s fundamental right to privacy as their personal data was not being protected and was vulnerable to exposure and misuse.

The petitioners had argued that right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India would include the right to privacy though it is not expressly stated in the Constitution. It was also argued that privacy is a broader concept and data-sharing is only one aspect of privacy. Privacy is about the freedom of thought, conscience and individual autonomy and none of the fundamental rights can be exercised without assuming a certain sense of privacy.

Arguments by the Central Government

The Attorney-General of India, K.K. Venugopal, argued on behalf of the central government in the Supreme Court. He brought to the notice of the court that an eight-judge bench in the M.P. Sharma case (1954) and a six-judge bench in the Kharak Singh Case (1961) had categorically ruled that the right to privacy was not a fundamental right.

Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee on Data Protection

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on July 31, 2017 constituted a committee of experts under the chairmanship of Justice B.N. Srikrishna, former judge, Supreme Court of India and comprising of members from government, academia and industry. The committee will study and identify key data protection issues and recommend methods for addressing them. The committee will also suggest a draft Data Protection Bill.

The Attorney-General claimed that privacy is too vague to qualify as a fundamental right. He stated that there is no right to privacy and privacy is only a sociological notion, and a legal concept. He asked the judges to state that only some aspects of privacy are fundamental, not all and it is a limited fundamental right that can be taken away in legitimate State interest. He stated that in developing countries, something as amorphous as privacy could not be a fundamental right, that other fundamental rights such as food, clothing, shelter, etc., override the right to privacy.

The Attorney-General maintained that right to privacy is not a fundamental right to be claimed either under Article 21 (right to life), Article 14 (right to equality) or Article 19 (freedom of speech and expression).

Judges’ Opinion

The judgement consisted of six opinions. The lead opinion was authored by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud on behalf of himself, Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer. The five separate opinions were from Justice J. Chelameswar, S.A. Bobde, Rohinton F. Nariman, Abhay M. Sapre and Sanjay Kishan Kaul.

(i)       Opinion of CJI J.S. Khehar, Justice R.K. Agrawal, D.Y. Chandrachud and S.A. Nazeer They observed that human dignity is so fundamental that it permeates the core of rights under the Fundamental Rights chapter of the Constitution. The right to privacy recognises the autonomy of the individual as privacy is intrinsic to freedom and liberty. Privacy is the ultimate expression of the sanctity of the individual.

On the government’s argument that privacy is already a statutory right and there is no need to declare it a fundamental right, they stated that fundamental rights have a unique purpose—to put such rights beyond the pale of a majoritarian legislature. Privacy protects heterogeneity and pluralism and the diversity of our cultures. Privacy matters not just for the elites, but the poor need it too.

  • Justice J. Chelameswar The mere absence of privacy in the text of the Constitution does not mean anything; the silence of the Constitution cannot be used to deny rights, as that will be an affront to the wisdom of the framers of the Constitution. The text of the Constitution is only the primary source of understanding it; its silences are also equally important.
  • Justice S.A. Bobde The right to privacy is both a common law right and a fundamental right. Privacy is the necessary condition precedent to the enjoyment of freedom under Part III of the Constitution. He too, like the other judges, held that State recognition of the right to privacy is not necessary.
  • Justice Rohington F. Nariman Justice Nariman refused to accept the central government’s argument that welfare schemes are more important for the masses than the right to privacy. He stated that even tax laws need to protect privacy and authorities cannot divulge personal details. Mere statutory recognition of privacy is not sufficient and recognition of privacy as a fundamental right is necessary as citizens enjoy fundamental rights despite the government they may elect.
  • Justice Abhay M. Sapre Justice Sapre held that the unity and integrity of the nation cannot survive unless the dignity of every individual citizen is guaranteed through privacy. The three concepts of liberty, equality and fraternity are to be read together. Each and every right could not be written into the Constitution and courts may read additional rights.
  • Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul Justice Kaul boldy acknowledged the new threats from the intrusive State in an age of digital footprints. The right

Right to Privacy in USA

The US Constitution contains no express provisions regarding right to privacy. The US Federal Supreme Court through various judgments and inference from amendments to the US Constitution (first, third, fourth, fifth, ninth and fourteenth amendment) made right to privacy a constitutional right.

The UD Federal Supreme Court, in two decisions in the 1920s, read the fourteenth amendments liberty clause to prohibit states from interfering with private decisions of educators and parents to shape the education of children.

In 1969 (Stanley Georgia), the Federal Supreme Court unanimously concluded that the right to privacy protected an individual’s right to possess and view pornography in his own home. In 2003, in Lawrence v. Texas, the Federal Supreme Court overruling an earlier decision, found that Texas violated the liberty clause of two gay men when it enforced against them state law prohibiting homosexual sodomy.

to privacy was very much part of the original intent of the framers of the Constitution and privacy is a key to freedom of thought and the right to think.

Implications

The right to privacy involves personal autonomy, the right to decide how personal information is used and the right to be able to choose. Policy or law cannot be so structured as to completely erode right to privacy. The right to privacy would be subject to those restrictions specified in Article 19(2) of the Constitution.

The judgement would have implications on a number of issues.

  • What is going to be the future of Aadhaar? The judges make two important observations. One is the suggestion that programmes to provide benefits and prevent the diversion of resources could be legitimate grounds for collection and storage of data. Secondly, they clarify that any such data has to be utilised for legitimate purposes of the State and ought not to be utilised unauthorisedly for extraneous purposes. This is bound to shape future arguments in the Aadhaar case.
  • There is a welcome change in the views of the Supreme Court regarding Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The judgments by Justice Chandrachud and Justice Kaul were emphatic in recognising sexual orientation to be an integral element of privacy. At present, the Supreme Court is hearing a curative petition on the constitutional/unconstitutional status of section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.
  • At present, India has no statute regarding privacy or data protection. All six opinions expressed concern over data protection in today’s day and age. The court, however, did not give specific directions in this regard. Instead, it expressed the hope that the government would undertake this exercise after a careful balancing of privacy concerns and legitimate State interests.
  • The pending facebook-Whatsapp case is likely to be affected. In this case, the basic issues are the privacy and data sharing policies of Whatsapp, and the effectiveness of the consent given by consumers while signing for such services. This matter could be resolved through a legislation by the Parliament or guidelines from the court.
  • Justice Chelameswar and Justice Chandrachud held that the right to food of one’s choice is part of the right to privacy. It is clear that the judgement is to have a bearing on matters like consumption of beef and alcohol, both of which have been tendentious issues for years.

♦ Avinash Purohit

Indian Polity

Right to Recall in India

Right to Recall

 

Right to Recall is a process by which the electorate has the power to remove the elected officials before the expiry of their term. Usually recall process is initiated to remove an elected representative when a minimum number of members registered in the electoral roll sign a petition to recall.

A person is elected to the legislature or Parliament on the basis of the promises he makes to the electorate. A person convinces the electorate on what he intends to do for his constituency. If he fights on a party’s ticket, he also appeals to the electorate on the basis of his party’s manifesto. When a person after being elected, is unable to fulfill his promises or come up to the expectations of his voters, should not the voters have the right to recall such an elected representative?

Lok Sabha MP Varun Gandhi recently proposed an amendment in the Representation of the People Act 1951 through his Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2016. As per the proposal, the process of recalling may be initiated by any voter of the constituency concerned by filing a petition before the Speaker, signed by at least one-fourth of the total number of electors in that constituency.

The Speaker, after confirming its authenticity, is expected to move the application to the Election Commission for its verification and authentication of the voters’ signatures on it. The EC is to verify the signatures on it and organise the voting in 10 places in the respective constituency of the MP or MLA, according to the proposal. If three-fourths of the votes polled by the member in his election are in favour of the recall process, the member will be recalled, the bill proposes. The Speaker will notify the result to the general public within 24 hours of the result being declared. Once the seat gets duly vacated the EC can organise a by-poll in that constituency.

“Logic and justice necessitate that if the people have the power to elect their representatives, they should also have the power to remove these representatives when they engage in misdeeds or fail to fulfil the duties,” says Varun Gandhi.

In Favour of Right to Recall

In recent times the role of the elected representative has increased multi-fold. Today he/she is responsible for all-round development of his or her constituency, communicate the problems of the constituency to the government, and listen to grievances of the people.

 

Indian Polity

 

Right To Privacy: The Indian Perspective

Right To Privacy

 

The Indian Perspective

  • Right to Privacy is not clear in the Constitution of India, so it is a subject of judicial interpretation. The judicial interpretations of fundamental right bring it within the purview of the fundamental right.

Philosophy

  • In the 1890s, Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis developed the notion of privacy; they identified the ‘injury to the feelings’ and recognized it as a legal injury and through invasions upon his privacy, subjected him to mental pain and distress.

 

  Evolution of Right To Privacy In India

  • The concept of privacy can be traced out in the ancient text of Hindus. If one look at the Hitopadesh it says that certain matter like: worship, sex and family matters) should be cosseted from disclosure. This concept is not entirely alien to Indian Culture, but some jurists doubt about the evolution in India,
  • In modern India first time the subject of right to privacy was discussed in debates of constituent assembly were K.S. Karimuddin moved an amendment on the lines of the US Constitution, where B.R. Ambedkar gave it only reserved support, it did not secure the incorporation of the right to privacy in the constitution.
  • In M.P. Sharma vs Satish Chandra Case Supreme Court on the issue of power of search and seizure’ held that they cannot bring privacy as the fundament right because it is something unfamiliar to Indian Constitution and constitution maker does not bother about the right to privacy .
  • After M.P. Sharma Case in Kharak Singh Case Supreme Court on the matter of whether surveillance, defined under Regulation 236 of the U.P. Police Regulations is amount to infringement of fundamental right and whether right to privacy comes under the purview of fundamental right;
  • Court denied the right to privacy as fundamental right and they concluded that “the right of privacy is not a guaranteed right under our Constitution and therefore the attempt to ascertain the movements of an individual which is merely a manner in which privacy is invaded is not an infringement of a fundamental right guaranteed by Part III”
  • In Maneka Gandhi v Union of India, Supreme Court interpreted the Article 21 in broad sense. They said that both the rights of personal security and personal liberty recognized by ‘natural law’ embodied in Article 21.
  • Maneka Gandhi Case started the wide interpretation of Right to Life, which actually helped the Right to Privacy to fall into to the scope of Right to Life.
  • Unni Krishnan v State of A.P. numbered the twelve meaning of right to life; and right to privacy was one of them.
  • Rajagopal alias R. R. Gopal v State of Tamil Nadu was the first case which explained the evolution and scope of right to privacy in detail. In order to attain this question, Supreme Court went through the entire jurisprudence of right to privacy, its evolution and scope.
  • People s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) v Union of India  is related to phone tapping and it discussed that whether telephone tapping is an infringement of right to privacy under Article 21.
  • In State of Karnataka v Krishnapp , Supreme Court linked the child rape to the right to privacy. Dr. A.S. Anand, CJI., stated that “Sexual violence apart from being a dehumanizing act is an unlawful intrusion of the right to privacy and sanctity of a female. It is a serious blow to her supreme honor and offends her self esteem and dignity-it degrades and humiliates the victim and where the victim is a helpless innocent child, it leaves behind a traumatic experience.”
  • In State of Karnataka v S. Nagaraju and in Sudhansu Sekhar Sahoo v State of Orissa , Supreme Court accepted the same thing. Supreme Court used the concept of right to privacy to enhance the degree of punishment.
  • Again in State Of Madhya Pradesh Vs. Babulal ,Supreme Court again considered that Sexual violence apart from being a dehumanizing act is also an unlawful invasion of the right to privacy and sanctity of a female .
  • Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states about the right to privacy, it say “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honor and reputation”.
  • Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, states “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks”.
  • Since India is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, India has the obligation to enforce these rights.
  • In the lack of enabling legislation, the ICCPR can have the legal force as the other laws in India. And the UDHR is a sheer pronouncement, and it does not have the legal force.
  • But the courts have used provisions of ICCPR and UDHR to make its argument stronger, and also in order to make realized the government about his responsibility toward it citizen and towards international instruments.
  • In the case of People’s Union for Civil Liberties v Union of India, Supreme Court cited the Article 17 of ICCPR and Article 12 of UDHR. Through these two international instruments, the court strengthened his contention and also to alert the government about his obligation towards its citizen.

♦ Pradeep Gautam

Indian Polity