Category Archives: Law and Order

FORMATION OF A CONTRACT: SOME BASIC ESSENTIALS

By Kartik Sharma

PC: Rawpixel Ltd, Sodhi Law Group.

INTRODUCTION

The branch of law which binds two or more parties with a legal obligation to perform or not perform an act in place of consideration flowing from all the parties is ‘Law of Contract’.[1] In India, the Indian Contract Act, 1872 governs this branch of law.[2] It defines and explains different aspects of a contract, how an agreement becomes a legit contract, the consequences of a breach of contract, the performance of the consideration and remedies on the violation. Any transaction to be a legally binding contract needs to have three essential elements. Offer flowing from a party, its unqualified and absolute acceptance from the other party and intention to enter into a legally binding contract.[3] Section- 2, which is the interpretation clause of The Indian Contract Act, defines these aspects of a contract. [4] It explains what all things constitute a valid agreement which becomes a contract with the force of law. To better the understanding of the formation of a contract, in this article, the author will analyse a given fact scenario to understand the proper proposal and its acceptance.

FACTS

‘A’ visits a small shop to buy a notebook and a pen. ‘B’ is the shopkeeper. ‘A’ enquires about the price of the pen and the notebook. ‘B’ states that the notebook costs Rs. 50 and the pen costs rupees Rs. 15. ‘A’ agrees to buy the notebook for Rs. 45 and the pen for Rs. 10.

ISSUES

  1. Was ‘B’ by quoting the price of the notebook and the pen proposing an offer?
  2. If so, then, ‘A’ agreeing to purchase the items on a different price an acceptanc?

ANALYSIS

  1. Whether quoting the price of the notebook and pen constitutes a valid offer by ‘B’?

When one person signifies to another his willingness to do or to abstain from doing anything, to obtain the assent of that other to such act or abstinence, he is said to make a proposal or an offer”.[5] As from the facts, it is clear that ‘A’ just enquired the price of the notebook and pen to which ‘B’, the shopkeeper, just quoted the price which does not show his willingness to sell the said items and “when a person proposes an offer it should be sufficient enough to form a contract as soon as it is accepted”.[6] In other words, one must put the offer in such a way that whenever the offeree accepts the offer, a legit contract is formed. In the present case, even if ‘A’ would have agreed to purchase on the said price, it would not have resulted in a valid contract because B’s quotation was merely an answer to an inquiry made by ‘A’. ‘B’ did not quote the price with the view to obtain the assent of ‘A’ and, also, as in the case Harvey v. Facey [7] when the plaintiff (Harvey) telegraphed the defendant (Facey) that will he be selling him ‘Bumper Hall Pen’ and asked Facey to communicate the lowest price, the court held that it was a mere inquiry made by Harvey. This inquiry was just to know whether Facey was willing to sell and, if so, at what price. The price, i.e. £900, quoted by Facey, was not an offer to sell the ‘Bumper Hall Pen’ it was just an answer to the question asked to him by the plaintiff. The same thing happened in the case at hand. It was a statement and not an offer.

  1. ‘A’ agreed to buy items at different price. Whether it is a valid offer? If not, then, what is it?

In the preceding paragraph, we saw how the quotation by ‘B’ is not an offer. Therefore, there cannot be any acceptance by ‘A’ on it. However, ‘A’ did agree to purchase the items at different pricing. This quotation made by ‘A’ can be considered as an offer. As now he quoted the price intending to purchase and get the assent of ‘B’ to make it a valid contract between the two. Section 2(b) of the Indian Contract Act defines acceptance.[8] As per the definition, ‘B’s approval will be a valid acceptance. Such turn of events is in pari materia with facts of the case Harvey v. Facey.[9] When Harvey agreed to buy at a different price, it deemed an offer, if Facey had accepted it, it would have been a valid contract.

CONCLUSION

A valid offer must be addressed to one or more specific persons, be sufficiently definite, and indicate the offeror’s intention to be bound in case of acceptance.[10] From the instant case scenario and analysis of the issues, it is evident that the quotations given by ‘B’ did not constitute an offer; instead, it was a mere statement. Whereas, ‘A’ clearly made an offer, which will, with the absolute and unqualified acceptance by ‘B’, become an agreement”.[11] Hence, the contract is yet not formed in the given case scenario. To conclude, for a valid offer, the offeror must portray the proposal in such a way that if the offeree accepts it, there arises a contract. He should make it in a way to get a yes or no response. However, if the offeree does not accept and quotes different price or puts conditions, then it will not amount to a valid acceptance. It will either be a counter-offer or an unqualified acceptance which is not correct as per the sections in the Act.


[1] J. Beatson, Anson’s law of contract, 1 (28th ed., 2002).

[2] The Indian Contract Act, 1872.

[3] Nilima Bhadbhade, Pollock & Mulla, the Indian contract and special relief act, Vol. 1 37 (14th ed., 2012).

[4] The Indian Contract Act, 1872.

[5] The Indian Contract Act, 1872, §2(a).

[6] Coffee Board Bangalore v. Janab Dada Haji Ibrahim Halari, AIR 1966 Mys 118.

[7] Harvey v. Facey [1893] AC 552.

[8] Indian Contract Act, 1872, §2(b).

[9] Harvey v. Facey, [1893] AC 552.

[10] Larry A. DiMatteo, Lucien Dhooge , et al, Formation: Offer & Acceptance Rules, International Sales Law: A Critical Analysis of CISG Jurisprudence, 51-75, https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511511332 (Last visited on August 20, 2018).

[11] The Indian Contract Act, 1872, §7.

mexico alcohol poisoning claims 10 more lives

As mentioned in The Indian Express, dated 9 Jun due to the Corona-virus pandemic, sale of adulterated alcohol has increased exponentially and has claimed hundreds of lives in Mexico.

The government of state of Guerrero issued a statement saying “the latest 18 deaths occurred in and around the mountain township of Tlapa de Comonfort, after inhabitants drank a tequila-type drink from little-known brands. called “Rancho Escondido.” Another 16 people were hospitalized for poisoning symptoms; four remain in serious condition. This area is known for its poverty-ridden farming villages.

The Guerrero Health Department said the liquor was labeled as “distilled agave,” the cactus-like plant from which both tequila and mescal are made. Because tequila production is strictly limited to certain regions, drinks made outside those areas are sometimes labelled “agave liquor.”

The department said at least three brands were implicated in the poisonings: “Rancho Escondido,” “Jalón” and “100 Años. The victims were admitted to hospitals in such serious condition that they rapidly died. Authorities seized 505 bottles of the liquor from four stores in the area.

Due to the pandemic, the sale of legitimate alcohol had been banned across several towns in the country, resulting in people turning to cheaply-made alcohol. Many having also had lost their job and were unable to afford name brands anymore.

According to the authorities as many as 40 people have died in two states alone , during the month of May after drinking Methanol, which is a poisonous cousin of the ethanol alcohol , which is used in normal liquors. It can’t be smelled or tasted in drinks, and causes organ and brain damage, and its symptoms include chest pain, nausea, hyperventilation, blindness and even coma.

This is one of the more serious examples of how a disaster brings out the worst in some people, where they are willing to endanger the lives of those who are desperate, just to profit off of them.

Finance Bill 2020

The Finance Bill 2020 has been passed by the Lok Sabha on 23 March 2020 and also duly returned by the Rajya Sabha. There were significant changes made to the original Finance Bill 2020 which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 1 February 2020.

The Lok Sabha passed the Finance Bill by voice vote with 40 amendments amidst the coronavirus pandemic. On March 27, President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to amend the Finance Bill 2020 and now it became the Finance Act 2020.

In the Union Budget 2020-2021, the government proposed to spend INR 30,42,230 crore in the next Fiscal Year which is 12.7% higher than the revised estimate of the year 2019-2020. After the Financial Bill 2020 has passed in the Lok Sabha, these proposals have been given effect.

What is a Finance Bill?

As per Article 110 of the Indian Constitution, Finance Bill is a Money Bill having a Memorandum containing explanations of the provisions included in it. The Finance Bill can only be introduced in Lok Sabha. However, Rajya Sabha can recommend amendments to be made in the Bill and it is up to Lok Sabha to accept or reject the recommendations. The bill must be passed by the Parliament within 75 days of its introduction.

Importance of Finance Bill

All the elements included in the Finance Act associated with a particular Financial Year are of course important. Even so, there are particular elements that take precedence over the others. The most important element is the rules laid down in the Act with respect to Income Tax Rates. Every year, the Act lays down in detail all the associated provisions related to Income Tax in the country. Since this applies to a large number of taxpayers, it is considered one of the most important elements.

The Finance Act is responsible for laying down the tax slabs that applies to taxpayers. The Act includes various details related to – Income through salary, agricultural income, tax slabs for senior citizens, tax slabs for very senior citizens, income Tax Surcharges, taxes chargeable to companies and advance tax.

These are a few important elements included and elaborated upon in detail in the Finance Act for a particular year.

Direct taxes

The Finance Act for a particular financial year also includes the amendments that have been made with respect to Direct Taxes. The Amendments made under various sections are noted down in this section of the Finance Act and each amendment of every section is noted down separately. Also included in the Finance Act are the details of the insertion of new sections, if any.

List of important amendments in the Finance Bill 2020

1- Additional excise duty on Petrol and Diesel by up to Rs 18 per litre and Rs 12 per litre respectively as and when required.

2- The original Finance Bill proposed to reduce the time spent in India by the Indian citizens or people of Indian origins to qualify as Indian tax resident from earlier 182 days to 120 days in 2019. Now, the Finance Act states that the 120-day rule will not apply to those citizens having Indian-sourced income less than INR 15 lakh in the relevant Fiscal Year. 

3- The Tax Deducted at Source or TDS rate on payment of dividend to non-residents and foreign companies have been set at 20% after the amendment. 

4- In the original Finance Bill, the dividend received by the shareholders was taxable. However, after the amendment, the dividends received by the shareholders will not be taxed if DDT has been paid as per the original law with effect to April 1. 

5- After the amendment, 1% of TDS has been imposed on e-commerce transactions. 

6- Finance Act, 2020 has extended reduced tax withholding rate of 2% to royalty in the nature of consideration for sale, distribution or exhibition of cinematographic films.

Artificial Intelligence in Legal Process Outsourcing

Will AI be the next big disruption in the Legal Scenario amidst COVID 19 crisis?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a simulation of human intelligence programmed in computers to mimic human thinking and actions. Whereas, Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) is process in which legal firms, publishing or corporate houses hire an onshore or offshore legal firm or a legal service provider company for their in-house legal works which are voluminous, reiterating, taxing and routine.

AI is the new buzzword which is slowly permeating the Indian Legal System. It is expected to have a significant impact by solving the major problem of “access to justice” in the system by mitigating the problem of inability to secure legal representation by vast majority of individuals and businesses. It will reduce costs and time involved in high-volume low-value work resulting in cheaper services.

Traditional law firm model is no longer aligned with customer expectation, hence, demand for law firm services are flat while that of legal services is still increasing. Lately, the legal industry has started to recognize the fact that technology shall be preferred over labour arbitrage. Legal expertise clubbed with process management and technology is essential for effective delivery of legal services. AI will enable firms providing LPO services to make best of everything by incorporating latest technology. It can be used in reviewing and standardizing documents, due diligence, transactional practices, cross-border contract drafting, judgement prediction, risk assessment etc. It will help in improving quality, efficiency, accuracy and cost of work by streamlining its workforce, saving money spent on providing salaries to such workforce and spending it on AI tools. It will save time spent on mundane, routine work so that lawyer’s role is limited to core functions that are beyond the scope of AI.

Legal Professionals believe that AI will replace their jobs resulting in large scale unemployment, however, it will only alter the way services are delivered by them, redefine tasks and functions as well as business models defining them. It is to be noted that it will only compress the case disposition time helping them improve client access and quality of legal solutions provided in optimum time. As rightly said by Michio Kaku, a noted theoretical physicist and futurist,

“The job market of the future will consist of those jobs that robots cannot perform.”

Michio Kaku, American theoritical physicist, futurist and popularizer of science.

Despite numerous advantages, AI is uncommon in the Indian Legal Industry as compared to other sectors and countries because it requires a comprehensive legal database which is in the nasent stages in the Indian Judicial Scenario. Another drawback is the integration of continuously developing information and digitalization of infotmation (i.e. feeding them into the system ) which is a time intensive process. Not only this, AI models have also failed to explain the outcomes predicted by it.

Every new technological idea has its pros and cons along with a section of people retaliating its implementation. What needs to be considered is whether a few disadvantages, some of which are difficult but not impossible to overcome in the current Indian Legal System, are sufficient to compromise with the greater benefits that AI has to offer in mitigating the key problem of “access to justice” in the Indian Legal Scenario.

The Big R Or The Invisible C?

Amidst the raging Corona pandemic, another widespread form of a virus known as racism has resurfaced and come to light and is making waves amidst the global community currently under lockdown. George Floyd, a black 46-year-old man died after a white police officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes leading to his untimely death. This incident took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota leading to mass protests throughout the US and soon leading to global protests with around 50 countries like UK, Australia, Germany, Austria etc joining in the protests.

The protests are taking place whilst the corona pandemic is raging throughout the globe. People have been flouting social distancing norms with no regard for their personal safety. People have been protesting throughout the globe through mass gatherings. So the big question that needs to be answered is what do the people fight? An invisible enemy that takes lives or the grave discrimination that profiles humans based on skin colour?

Darren Sammy, a West Indies cricketer pointed out that he had been racially profiled as “Kalu” in India which he had mistaken as a compliment during his stay as an IPL cricketer. The tendency amongst humans to judge their superiority based on their skin colour is foolhardy. Kids grow up emulating those around them and observing blatant racist jibes and practices which mould them into toxic human beings from their tender years. Often black children are bullied in schools and mistreated leading to them suffer from depression, low self-esteem and some eventually succumbing to the emotional abuse through suicide.

On the other hand, over 70 lakh people have been globally infected with Covid-19 as on 8th June 2020 with over 4 lakh deaths. Thus one may question as to why people would have mass protests with thousands huddled together, flouting the social distancing norms and risk personal safety and pose a public hazard.  The answer may lie in the repetitive instances of insensitive discrimination based on race and skin colour. People are frustrated with already having to deal with a deadly virus and then tolerating gruesome racist treatment from people who are no less than the human incarnation of viruses. The wrath of the people could be visible in Bristol where they pulled down the statue of a controversial slave trader named Edward Colston who worked for a company that had transported 80,000 men, women and children to America.

We need to work towards eradicating Corona from our planet yet such sad incidents like the George Floyd murder impedes our progress in doing so. The wrath and intolerance of people towards such incidents are totally justifiable yet the mass protests, devoid of social distancing may have laid seeds for an even bigger monster and may end up costing the global community more lives than just one. We need a community devoid of prejudice towards our fellow beings. We are one and black lives do matter. However, we have to be wise in fighting and combatting both these grave impediments to a flourishing global community.

While the fight against Covid-19 may have an eventual end with a vaccine but the fight against racism will continue for ages to come. The seeds of racial profiling and discrimination have been embedded in our global culture through our ancestors and put into practice by our society. A deeper psychological evaluation may lead one to discover that the constant need to feel superior from other races may evolve from deep-seated insecurity of one’s own culture and race. The big R or the invisible C? We can’t choose one over the other. We have to fight both of them wisely.














BILL AND ACT: UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCE

By Kartik Sharma

PC: Labour Law Guide, YouTube.

INTRODUCTION

Any statute which is/ was in force until now went through two stages. Initially, it is a Bill stage, and then it becomes an Act. For laypeople, a Bill is a stage where proposed legislation is open for discussion and is not enforceable by any authority. In contrast, an Act is a codified and binding law. Any law and order authority or any exclusive authority created thereunder can enforce this Act. 

At the Bill stage, the Parliament discusses, debates and vote upon the clauses of the proposed legislation. If the Parliament deems fit to pass and passes, such legislation, the President may approve it. Once approved and notified in the gazette, this Bill, becomes a fully codified Act or a statute (the second stage). After becoming a fully enforced Act, there cannot be any changes except through due procedure established by the Constitution.[1]

As we can see in the preceding paragraph, a Bill is proposed legislation which goes on to become an Act (an enacted legislation). Hence, there is not much difference between the two. Where one has the force of law, the other does not. That is why this article would deal more on the type of Bills and the procedure to make them an Act.

TYPES OF BILL

As per the Constitution of India, there are mainly four types of Bills. Ordinary Bill,[2] Money Bill,[3] Financial Bill[4] and Constitution amendment Bill.[5]

1. ORDINARY BILL

Any minister can introduce an ordinary bill (Government Bill), or any private member (Member of the Parliament) authorised to do so (Private Member Bill). Either house of the Parliament can introduce this Bill. Once the Parliament Scrutinises the Bill, it requires the majority of the members present and voting in the House.

Once the introductory House has passed the Bill and sent for consideration in the second House, the second House can either give it or can suggest amendments. If the second House goes for the latter thing, the introductory House has to pass the proposed legislation with such suggested changes after proper scrutiny. Finally, the Bill remains for the assent of the President before becoming a Proper Act.

2. MONEY BILL

As per Article 110(1) of the Indian Constitution, “a bill is a money bill if its provisions deal with abolition, imposition, regulation, alteration or remission of any matters of Consolidated Fund, Tax, provides imposition of fines etc.”.[6] Only the lower House of the Parliament (Lok Sabha), on the recommendation of the President, can introduce such bills. The Speaker of that House has the authority to declare any bill as Money Bill or an Ordinary Bill. Once announced, no one could challenge such decision of the Speaker.

The procedure to pass such Bill is same as that of any Ordinary Bill.

3. FINANCIAL BILL

Financial Bills are those bills which deal with matters not listed in Money Bill. Just like Money Bill, only Lok Sabha, on President’s recommendation, can introduce Financial Bill. Article 117(3) talks about another Financial Bill.[7] Either House of the Parliament can introduce Financial Bill under this article without the recommendation of the President.[8] Both the houses have the power to reject or amend the Bill.[9] Other than this, the procedure to pass such bills is similar to that of Ordinary Bill.

4. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BILL

Bills that seek to amend the Constitution of India are Constitution Amendment Bill.[10] Either House of the Parliament can introduce this Bill but not in any State Legislature. President’s recommendation is not required to present these bills. Also, any Member of the Parliament (MP) can present such Bill in the Parliament.

There are three such Bills,

  1. Those who need a simple majority to pass,
  2. The ones which need special majority,
  3. The ones which need special majority and ratification from half the number of State Legislatures.[11]

Once the Parliament passes the Bill, President’s assent makes such Bill a Constitution Amendment Act. This step of the President makes the proposed alteration in the Constitution. To note, the President cannot withhold the Bill, which requires Special Majority and ratification from 50% State Legislatures. He/ She has to give his consent to it.

CONCLUSION

To conclude, the difference between an Act and a Bill is just legal bindingness. One has the force of law where others do not. We can also observe that there is various type of Bills which are introduced in the Parliament. Each has its unique way to become an Act. Where only Lower House can add some, it has to have President’s recommendation whereas others do not require such a suggestion. Some also need an extraordinary majority to move ahead and become a legally binding Act.


[1] The Constitution of India, 1949, Art 368.

[2] Id, Art 107.

[3] Id, Art 110.

[4] Id, Art 117.

[5] Id, Art 368.

[6] Supra note 4.

[7] The Constitution of India, 1949, Art 117(3).

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Id, Art 368.

[11] Ibid.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND PRAGMATISM: TORTURE

By Kartik Sharma

PC: The Centre for Victims of Torture at http://rejecttorture.cvt.org/neverlegal/.

INTRODUCTION

No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.[1]

While, by a long shot, the vast majority of the countries have confirmed all the significant human rights traditions, however encroachment of Human rights remains normal. Torture is one of them. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1984,[2] defines torture as “an act involving agony or suffering; physical or mental, perpetrated upon the victim for a specific reason”.[3] This act is in with the association of an open (for example, State) authority.[4] Further, this enduring must be extreme, purposeful, and baseless in the condition.[5] It has evolved and has become more prevalent juxtaposed with civilisation.

Moreover, as the world evolved, torture strategies turned out to be increasingly specialised, progressively clinical. Torture hardware has turned into a product to be purchased and sold. Governments traded tips on effective torture procedures, and all this despite knowing that torture has turned out to be illicit as indicated by the said universal law.[6] “With this, a debate whether torture can ever be morally and practically justified, arises?” Is it practically and morally justifiable for an individual or a state to extort to torture to extract information or confession which could save a case? Could we have exceptions to anti-torture laws like a necessity in ticking time scenarios?

DISCUSSION

Justification

Torture is brimming with complexities and logical inconsistencies. The legislature, the torturer, even the general population, may legitimise its utilisation in specific conditions, while conventional society denounces it as primitive, underhanded, and bygone. The government may goad this support with stock reactions, for example, national security.

The proclaimed reason for utilising torture is to constrain the enemy, the outsider, to talk and uncover secrets. This disclosure should hinder the slaughtering of the insiders. These lines of thinking are so smooth and shortsighted that it is promptly and uncritically acknowledged. Showing the issues this way gives support and legitimacy to torture.[7]

‘Be that as it may, creating conventions criminalising torture is certain something, and its enforceability is another. Here, as so regularly, where we make laws to control what individuals can and cannot do, we are looked with issues which are characteristics of human instinct. It is an unpreventable actuality of the human condition that we feel pain. We dread pain. This sense of pain and suffering is a reality which we can all use for our benefit. Intensely painful things have considerably more harming results. Therefore, the curse of agony on others is a weapon, particularly in the hands of the deceitful. This fear constrains individuals and their individuality, and torture is a method for imparting fear.’[8]

Though every human being has a right to be free from torture, and we have laws for it as well, but if one looks it with a pragmatic approach one cannot separate the world from torture. In all the countries, the intelligence agency extorts to torturous acts to extract information from captured terrorist, and this is omnipresent. Every movie, drama or documentary depicts the same situations. This ubiquitousness clearly shows that there arise situations where pragmatically one cannot avoid to extort to torture.

There are circumstances in which it is not passable, however ethically required, to torture. For instance, in 1998, an Israeli delegation appeared before the UN Committee against Torture.[9] Allegedly, Israel violated the UN Convention against Torture. In their defence, they put forth the famous ‘ticking bomb’ scenario.[10] They state that,

“On the off chance that we did not put weight on Palestinians for the following strike, nobody will ever know where and when the following suicide bomb is going to strike, and now and again we are in uncommon circumstances where we have to get indispensable data from a psychological militant or a potential fear-based oppressor to keep a further demonstration of dread.”[11]

In another example, in 1982, a man named Michael Levin placed a bomb on Manhattan Island.[12] The location of the bomb was unknown. In this situation, the authorities had no other alternative to get the location of the bomb then resorting to torture.

Counter Justification

All these excuses legitimising torture does not mean that one has the right to torture every enemy of the state. “Torture is always wrong.[13] While it is conceivable that torture may yield dependable insight, we cannot resort to it with any certainty of gaining verified information. Additionally, we ought not to accept that torture is compelling to this end because those with a particular enthusiasm for supporting torment guarantee that it works.[14] Neither would we be sure that torture was the only method to acquire essential data. There is absolutely no solid proof that points towards the far-reaching utility of torture for this reason. Moreover, authorities who guarantee torture has worked along these lines never provided cases in which torture has brought about false admissions or manufactured insight. However, there is sufficient proof to demonstrate that casualties of torment will say anything to end torture.[15]

While it is conceivable that torture may result in some valid insights, it is also unmistakably bound to result in false admissions. It is so because an extorted person looked with the awfulness of torture, is probably going to state anything that will make the torture stop. Torture is exceedingly successful for verifying false data. Despite this, the justification for torture has been made based on its assumed utility for procuring precise intelligence data.[16]

CONCLUSION

Torture is primitive, and a state ought not to be savage. To treat somebody savagely dissolves the authenticity of the state. It on an elementary level disregards humanity. Wing-Commander of Indian Air Force Abhinandan Varthaman was also mentally tortured despite being an unarmed soldier of an enemy state. All over the globe, similar cases occur round the clock. It is not right. With all possible outcomes, one cannot disregard the fact that torturing someone is not the best and reliable way to extract information. Just to save oneself from brutality the tortured person can say anything without regarding the viability of the info.

Further, extorting to torture fades away the true meaning of interrogation which is to get reliable and viable info; and, not to make other people talk. Likewise, no state should justify acts of torture, and for ticking clock scenarios, countries around the globe should make efforts to come up with a plausible solution. They can work on making policies for resorting to different consensual biological tests and hypnosis to gain information at the last minute; paying all regards to the legality of such tests.


[1] Universal declaration of Human Rights, 1948, Article- 5.

[2]United Nations Convention Against Torture, 1984, Article- 1.1.

[3] Ibid.

[4]Darren J. O’Byrne, Human Rights: An Introduction 164 (2004).

[5]Ibid.

[6]Ibid.

[7]Ibid.

[8] David Hope, Torture, 53(4) International and Comparative Law quarterly 808 (2004).

[9] Blakeley Ruth, Why Torture, 33(3) Review of International Studies 377 (2007).

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Yuval Ginbar, Why not torture terrorist? 359(2008).

[13] Ben Juratowitch, Torture is Always Wrong, 22(2) Public Affairs Quarterly 81 (2008).

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

The Chinese Invasion

The Covid-19 virus, the Ladakh standoff and the Indian Prime Minister’s stress on self-reliance have led to multiple calls for the boycotting of Chinese products and the Asian country in its entirety. With the government announcing a 20 lakh crore package and Sonam Wangchuk detailing the various reasons to boycott Chinese products, the call for self-reliance has only gotten stronger.

The Make in India campaign has so far been unsuccessful in fulfilling the vision that the BJP led Indian government had set out to accomplish. However, it was a step in the right direction as the much-needed impetus for the Indian economy. Yet a total boycott of a country and it’s products is not feasible for a country like India and will take time. The superior quality Chinese products at affordable pricing are what led to the invasion of Chinese products in almost all countries including India. The “Atmanirbhar Campaign” will act as a catalyst to the dwindling “Make in India Campaign” that has underperformed.

However, a total like to like replacement of the Chinese hardware and software will take a lot of time. The current Indian hardware and software fail to match up to the Chinese standards. Yet the Indian industries will fail to develop and mould itself quickly unless there is a surge in demand and a dire need to do so. Thus the exclusion of Chinese products is a necessity for the Indian industries to develop which in turn will lead to a creation of jobs that will serve the economy and aid in much faster growth.

Indian citizens have been quick to attack Chinese products and softwares from its creation of the, “Remove China Apps” app that removes Chinese applications installed in your phone. TikTok, a Chinese app that has 467 million Indian users has contributed substantially to the revenue generated by the Chinese application. Initially, Indian netizens had first attacked the Chinese application over a feud between a TikToker and a Youtuber which led to the app being downgraded to a 1.3 rating from its initial 4.9 ratings. However, Google was quick to remove all the recent one-star ratings from the application. With Google pulling down the recent 1-star ratings, Indians have started uninstalling TikTok along with other Chinese applications like UC Browser, CamScanner etc over the Ladakh feud and with Sonam Wangchuk leading the campaign to remove Chinese apps within a week and Chinese hardware in a year. India imports goods worth more than 50 billion dollars from China in contrast to a miserly 2.5 billion dollars in exports to China.

If India proceeds with putting a halt to the Chinese invasion in its market, India would suffer from a paucity with regard to capital goods, machinery, electricals, chemicals to go along with intermediate and consumer goods. India’s heavy reliance on China makes it difficult to put an end to imports cold turkey. India should focus on a gradual decline in imports while developing a sustainable infrastructure for the production of goods in their own country. A sound infrastructure and production in India will give a major boost that India is in desperate need of. India can then finally be independent and their over-reliance on FDI can diminish.

LEGALITIES OF LOCKDOWN: an abstract law analysis.

By Kartik Sharma

Picture Credit: Starlineart, India Lockdown due to Coronavirus Pandemic Infection Outburst.https://en.clipdealer.com/vector/media/A:143289831.

Amidst pandemic, India joined the league of nations which declared country-wide lockdown. Following the ‘Janta’ curfew, which was a one-day voluntary curfew, India saw more than 70 days of lockdown. It involved shutting off all the economic activities except essential services. This step by the government pop crucial questions about its legality. From where did the Government derive this power and whether these restrictions are reasonable restriction under Article 19(5)?[1]

The Government derived this power from the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (DMA) and the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 (EDA).[2] Although none of them defines ‘curfew’ and ‘lockdown’, EDA grants powers to the Government to restrict movement to prevent the spread of disease.[3] It also grants the Government with the power to take necessary steps for the same.

Also, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) declared COVID-19 a ‘notified disaster’ under DMA.[4] This move gave power to the Union to create a three-tier Disaster Management Authority (National, State, & District) to discuss, plan and issue guidelines on issues arising from the disaster.[5] This declaration also opened the gates for the States to use ‘State Disaster Response Fund’, as described in DMA.[6] Hence, deriving such powers, the Union Government was able to formulate necessary guidelines and restrict movement across the country. At this juncture, another question arises. What if the state(s) did not agree with the Centre to impose lockdown? Or they revolted on the Centre’s decision?

Article 256 stipulates that “the Union can give directions to the State as may appear necessary to enforce a law enacted by the Parliament”.[7] So, having constitutional validity for directing state governments, the Union used EDA and DMA to lead the States on the implementation of guidelines and other policies. Although the Union decided lockdown in consultation with the States, these directions are not merely advisory, and the Centre can enforce them. The Centre could invoke National Emergency[8] or State Emergency[9] enshrined in the Constitution. Invoking emergencies will allow the Centre to take punitive measures against the States which are disobeying Centre’s directions.[10]

Now to discuss Freedom of Movement enshrined in Article 19(d),[11] I will say these are reasonable restrictions. Article 19(5) exonerates imposition of restrictions if it is in the interest of the general public,[12] which is the case. The imposition of lockdown was to prevent the uncontrollable spread of Coronavirus in the country. This imposition helped prevent a sudden spike of cases in India to a great extent. Therefore, the actions of the Government are neither illegal nor do they violate any Fundamental Rights. The restrictions imposed by the Government are reasonable.


[1] The Indian Constitution, 1949, art 19(5).

[2] Prashasti Awasthi, Centre Invokes ‘Epidemic Diseases Act’ and ‘Disaster Management Act’ to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus, The Hindu BusinessLine March 12, 2020, https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/centre-invokes-epidemic-act-and-disaster-management-act-to-prevent-spread-of-coronavirus/article31049161.ece#.

[3] Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, §2, 2A.

[4] Disaster Management Act, 2005, §6.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Id, §48.

[7] Supra note 2, art 256.

[8] Supra note 2, art 352.

[9] Supra note 2, art 356.

[10] Supra note 2, art 353, 357.

[11] Supra note 2, art 19(d).

[12] Supra note 2, art 19(5).

Disrespect, not Dress, does it – The increasing rape cases are a serious concern for mankind

By- Ekta Sain

Looking at the current state it looks like after some time we will be living in a country where we won’t be giving birth to a human, we will give birth to a human who is worse than an animal. This nation is becoming unsafe not for only girls but also for boys. Not only streets, roads or workplace but our homes are becoming dangerous for us.

Every year there are many cases of molestation and rape came across. Some are registered, some not. Why are these happening in our country? Why are these molesters or rapists moving freely?

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According to the Indian Constitution, the definition of Rape is “when a man forcibly does any sexual activity with women then it is considered as rape.” They never recognized that a man can also be raped.

According to a study conducted by NDTL on an average of 8 women get molested every day in India. But the research of the Centre for Civil Society says that the victims of assault are 57.3% males and 42.7% females. In such cases, family members of female victims avoid disclosure and maintain the confidentiality of the victim and sometimes they complain about the crime. But when it comes to males being a victim for sexual molestation, they don’t get reported for it. It is a myth in our society that boys cannot cry in front of everyone they have to be mentally strong. This myth stops boys from confessing their molestation.

Men believe this myth and feel lots of guilt and shame because they got physically aroused during the abuse. It is important to understand that males can respond to sexual stimulation with an erection or even an orgasm – even in sexual situations that are traumatic or painful. That’s just how male bodies and brains work. Those who sexually use and abuse boys know this. They often attempt to maintain secrecy and to keep the abuse going, by telling the child that his sexual response shows he was a willing participant and complicit in the abuse. “You wanted it. You liked it,” they say.

But that doesn’t make it true. Boys are not seeking to be sexually abused or exploited. They can, however, be manipulated into experiences they do not like, or even understand, at the time

There are many situations where a boy, after being gradually manipulated with attention, affection and gifts, feels like he wants such attention and sexual experiences. In an otherwise lonely life (for example, one lacking in parental attention or affection – even for a brief period), the attention and pleasure of sexual contact from someone the boy admires can feel good.

But in reality, it’s still about a boy who was vulnerable to manipulation. It’s still about a boy who was betrayed by someone who selfishly exploited the boy’s needs for attention and affection to use him sexually

There was a study conducted by a research scholar of Babu Banarsi Das University Lucknow in which she described myths related to rape cases. According to her,  “rape myths exist for a number of historical and cultural reasons including gender role expectations, acceptance of violence and misinformation about sexual assault and they are the one reason why victims are shamed into remaining silent.”

According to this research, the reason why rapes are happening is women are dressing provocatively and that turns out as a problem for her. This is believed by 45% of individuals. Many of them blame the girls who drink. According to them if a girl drinks then she deserves to be raped. Another reason for rape is a girl in the relationship and some blamed the girls who stay outside late at night.

Till when we only ask our girls to hide their beauty and innocence can’t we ask boys to control and behave themselves? If these cases were not taken seriously in our country then it is natural that after some time we won’t find a road where girls will walk freely, it will be hard to find a home where they could live freely.