Legal Current Affaires January-2023

Legal Current Affaires January-2023

Electronic Supreme Court Reports (e-SCR) project

The Chief Justice of India (CJI), DY Chandrachud, has announced the launch of the electronic Supreme Court Reports (e-SCR) project, which aims to provide free access to around 34,000 judgments of the apex court to lawyers, law students, and the general public. These judgments will be available on the Supreme Court’s website, mobile app, and on the National Judicial Data Grid’s judgment portal. The e-SCR project is part of the Indian judiciary’s efforts towards digitization and aims to bring positive change for all stakeholders in the justice system, including litigants, members of the Bar, and judicial academies.


Digital Repository of Judgments

To create the digital repository of judgments, the Judges’ Library and Editorial Section worked tirelessly to digitize and scan the Supreme Court Reports (SCR) from 1950 to 2017 and preserve them in digital form as PDFs. This process assisted the Registry in creating a digital repository of the reported judgments in soft form.


Search Engine and Its Features

The Supreme Court has developed a search engine with the help of the National Informatics Centre (NIC), which uses elastic search techniques in the database of e-SCR. The search facility in e-SCR provides several options, including free text search, search within search, case type and case year search, judge search, year and volume search, and bench strength search.


Neutral Citations to be Introduced

In addition to the e-SCR project, the CJI also announced that neutral citations will be introduced in the Supreme Court. Neutral citations are standardized legal citations that do not identify the publisher of a legal document, allowing for impartial and objective referencing. Delhi and Kerala High Courts already use neutral citations. A committee comprising three judges has been constituted to work on the process of introducing neutral citations in the Supreme Court.


Benefits for Stakeholders in Justice System

The e-SCR project and the introduction of neutral citations are expected to bring several benefits to stakeholders in the justice system. Lawyers, law students, and the general public will have easy access to the judgments of the apex court, which will help them in their research and understanding of legal matters. The digital repository of judgments will also make it easier for legal professionals to search for and access relevant judgments, saving time and effort.


Availability of Judgments Online

With the launch of the e-SCR project, all judgments of the Supreme Court will be made available online within 24 hours. These judgments will be accessible on the Supreme Court’s mobile app and on the National Judicial Data Grid’s judgment portal.


Deadline for Head-Noted Judgments of 2022

The CJI has set a deadline of February 15th for the head-noted judgments of 2022 to be made available online. Head-noted judgments are those that have been selected for publication in the official law report, the Supreme Court Reports. By making these judgments available online, the Supreme Court aims to provide greater transparency and accessibility to its work and decisions.


The launch of the e-SCR project and the introduction of neutral citations in the Supreme Court mark significant steps towards the digitalization of the Indian judiciary. These initiatives will provide easy access to the judgments of the apex court and facilitate research and understanding of legal matters. The digital repository of judgments will also make it easier for legal professionals to search and access relevant judgments, saving time and effort.

The deadline for head-noted judgments of 2022 to be made available online will provide greater transparency and accessibility to the Supreme Court’s work and decisions. Overall, these initiatives are expected to bring positive change for all stakeholders in the justice 


Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud (born 11 November 1959) is an Indian jurist, who is serving as the 50th and current Chief Justice of India since November 2022 and as a judge of the Supreme Court of India since May 2016. He has also previously served as the chief justice of the Allahabad High Court from 2013 to 2016 and as a judge of the Bombay High Court from 2000 to 2013. He is also a former executive chairperson (ex officio) of the National Legal Services Authority.

J&K Legal Aid Defence Counsel System

Recently, Acting Chief Justice of the Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court, Justice Tashi Rabstan, launched the Legal Aid Defence Counsel System (LADCS) in ten districts of the Union Territory.




Expansion of the System

The system, which aims to provide quality legal services in criminal matters to eligible poor persons, will be extended to the remaining ten districts in the coming months.


Strengthening Court-Based Legal Services

During the inaugural address, Justice Rabstan congratulated the selected Legal Aid Defense Counselors and encouraged them to work towards making the system a success. He emphasized the need to strengthen court-based legal services for marginalized sections of society and highlighted the various steps being taken to achieve this, including capacity building for lawyers and the upgrading of front offices.


Comparison to Other Legal Aid Delivery Systems

During the launch of the LADCS, M K Sharma, Member Secretary of the J&K Legal Services Authority (LSA), provided an overview of the scheme and explained how the LADCS is superior to other legal aid delivery systems. In India, the Assigned Counsel System is used to deliver legal aid, with cases being assigned to salaried panel lawyers by legal services institutions. The LADCS, on the other hand, will deal exclusively with legal aid work in criminal matters and will create institutional capacity to effectively provide legal aid to those in need within the criminal justice system.


The launch of the Legal Aid Defense Counsel System in Jammu and Kashmir is a significant step towards providing quality legal services to marginalized sections of society. The system, which will be implemented on a pilot basis in sessions courts, has the potential to be extended to other courts throughout the country if successful. The LADCS will operate exclusively in criminal matters and will provide institutional capacity to effectively provide legal aid to those in need within the criminal justice system.



Justice Rabstan belongs to Varsudopa of Skurbuchan village, Leh. He did his LLB from University of Jammu and enrolled as an advocate on March 6, 1990, in the Bar Council of Jammu and Kashmir. In 1997, he was appointed as Standing Counsel for the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh. He continued in the job until 2005. He also worked as panel counsel for the Union Public Service Commission, New Delhi, from April 2008 till December 31, 2011.

Supreme Court ruling on Article 19 ambit

The Supreme Court of India recently made a significant ruling in a case involving the fundamental right to freedom of speech. In a 4-1 majority decision, the Constitution Bench of the court stated that an individual can seek enforcement of this right not only against the government, but also against other citizens. This ruling expands the grounds for seeking protection of these rights.



Article 19 and the Right to Free Speech

Article 19 of the Constitution of India guarantees the right to freedom of speech and expression, and is typically invoked against the state. Some fundamental rights, such as those prohibiting untouchability, trafficking, and bonded labor, are explicitly against both the state and other individuals. The recent Supreme Court ruling extends the right to free speech to include protection against private citizens.


Enforcing Rights against Private Entities

This interpretation brings an obligation on the state to ensure that private entities also abide by Constitutional norms. It opens up a range of possibilities in Constitutional law, potentially allowing for the enforcement of privacy rights against a private doctor or the right to free speech against a private social media entity.


Reference to Previous Court Rulings

The Court referenced the 2017 verdict in Puttaswamy, in which a nine-judge bench unanimously upheld privacy as a fundamental right. The government had argued that privacy is a right enforceable against other citizens and, therefore, cannot be elevated to the status of a fundamental right against the state.


International Perspectives on Fundamental Rights

The Court also looked to foreign jurisdictions, contrasting the American approach with the European Courts. The US Supreme Court’s ruling in New York Times vs. Sullivan, which found that defamation law as applied by the state against The New York Times was inconsistent with the Constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and expression, was cited as an example of a shift in US law from a “purely vertical approach” to a “horizontal approach.”

A vertical application of rights means they can only be enforced against the state, while a horizontal approach means they are enforceable against other citizens. For example, a horizontal application of the right to life would enable a citizen to bring a case against a private entity for causing pollution, which would be a violation of the right to a clean environment.



“A fundamental right under Article 19/21 can be enforced even against persons other than the State or its instrumentalities”, the majority judgment held.

Justice V. Ramasubramanian, writing the majority judgement on behalf of himself, and Justices S. Abdul NazeerB.R. Gavai, and A.S. Bopanna, highlighted how after A.K. Gopalan v. State of Madras, AIR 1950 SC 27 ‘lost its hold’, the top court has over time expanded the width of Article 21 in several areas such as health, environment, transportation, education, and rights of prisoners. A.K. Gopalan was a famous case in which a majority of five judges, while hearing the plea of a popular Indian communist leader who had been arrested under a preventive detention law, placed a narrow and restrictive meaning on Article 21. Justice Ramasubramanian wrote, “The original thinking that these rights can be enforced only against the state, changed over a period of time. The transformation was from ‘state’ to ‘authorities’ to ‘instrumentalities of state’ to ‘agency of the government’ to ‘impregnation with governmental character’ to ‘enjoyment of monopoly status conferred by state’ to ‘deep and pervasive control’ to the ‘nature of the duties/functions performed’.”

Justice Nagarathna dissents

Notably, Justice B.V. Nagarathna took a different stand with respect to the horizontal application of Articles 19 and 21. While her colleagues on the bench held that the rights guaranteed by the said articles of the Constitution could be enforced even against persons other than the state or its instrumentalities, Justice Nagarathna highlighted the practical difficulty of permitting such constitutionally consecrated rights to operate against private individuals and entities.

-        “Kaushal Kishor v. State of UP | WP (Crl) No. 113/2016”


Supreme Court on IT relief of Sikkimese women

The Supreme Court of India has recently ruled that the exclusion of Sikkimese women who marry non-Sikkimese men after April 1, 2008 from exemptions under the Income Tax Act is unconstitutional and amounts to gender discrimination. The court, in its judgment, held that this discrimination is based on gender, which is violative of Articles 14, 15, and 21 of the Constitution. This decision comes as a victory for women’s rights and gender equality.




Discrimination for Sikkimese Women

According to the judgment, the court observed that there is no disqualification for a Sikkim man who marries a non-Sikkimese after April 1, 2008. This means that a Sikkimese man who marries a non-Sikkimese woman after April 1, 2008 is still eligible for exemptions under the Income Tax Act, while a Sikkimese woman who marries a non-Sikkimese man after the same date is not.


In a separate opinion, Justice B.V. Nagarathna agreed that “there cannot be a discrimination vis-à-vis Sikkimese women marrying a non-Sikkimese individual, whether an Indian citizen or a foreigner, that too, on or after April 1, 2008”. The judges noted that a woman is not a chattel and has an identity of her own, and the mere factum of being married ought not to take away that identity.


Merger with India

Justice Nagarathna reminded that pursuant to the merger of Sikkim with India, the state has become a part of India and “all Sikkim Subjects and all Sikkimese domiciled in the territory of Sikkim have become Indian citizens”. This means that all Sikkimese citizens, including women, should have equal rights and protections under the Constitution of India.


Gender Equality

The court also emphasized the importance of gender equality, noting that women heirs have to be treated equally with their male counterparts. Justice Shah observed that “gender equality is recognized by the world community in general in the human rights regime”.


In conclusion, the Supreme Court’s ruling on the exclusion of Sikkimese women from exemptions under the Income Tax Act is a significant step towards achieving gender equality and protecting the rights of women in India. The court’s decision reaffirms the principle that a woman’s identity should not be determined by her marital status and that all citizens, regardless of their gender, should have equal rights and protections under the law.



The Supreme Court held that Section 10(26AAA) Income Tax Act is totally discriminatory and thus unconstitutional.            A woman is not a chattel and has an identity of her own, and the mere factum of being married ought not to take away that identity, the bench of Justices M R Shah and B V Nagarathna observed.

Section 10 (26AAA) IT Act                                                                                                                                                                              

Section 10 of the Income Tax Act lists incomes not included in total income. Section 10 (26AAA) reads as follows: In computing the total income of a previous year of any person, any income falling within any of the following clauses shall not be included—in case of an individual, being a Sikkimese, any income which accrues or arises to him-

(a) from any source in the State of Sikkim; or

(b) by way of dividend or interest on securities:

 Provided that nothing contained in this clause shall apply to a Sikkimese woman who, on or after the 1st day of April, 2008, marries an individual who is not a Sikkimese.


-        Association of Old Settlers of Sikkim and Ors. versus Union of India and Anr (13 January 2023 SC)


What is Doctrine of Basic Structure of the Constitution?

Recently, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar sparked a debate on the separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary. He criticized the Supreme Court for using the doctrine of basic structure to strike down the constitutional amendment that introduced the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act. In his maiden speech in the Rajya Sabha, Dhankhar had referred to the striking down of the NJAC Act as a “severe compromise” of parliamentary sovereignty and disregard of the “mandate of the people”. This article will examine the basic structure doctrine and its impact on the powers of the legislature.



What is the Basic Structure Doctrine?

The Doctrine of Basic Structure is a form of judicial review that is used to test the legality of any legislation by the courts. It was evolved by the Supreme Court in the 1973 landmark ruling in Kesavananda Bharati v State of Kerala. In a 7-6 verdict, a 13-judge Constitution Bench ruled that the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution is inviolable and cannot be amended by Parliament. If a law is found to “damage or destroy” the “basic features of the Constitution”, the Court declares it unconstitutional. The test is applied to constitutional amendments to ensure that the amendment does not dilute the fundamentals of the Constitution itself.

The test is widely regarded as a check on majoritarian impulses of the Parliament since it places substantive limits on the power to amend the Constitution. The Court had to examine the scope of the Parliament’s power to amend the Constitution and the legality of land reforms. The 13-judge bench gave 11 separate judgments and the doctrine was culled out as the majority opinion in the case. The Court ruled that while Parliament has vast powers to amend the Constitution, it cannot amend certain “basic features”. On land reforms, the Court upheld the amendment that removed the fundamental right to property and ruled that in spirit, the amendment would not violate the “basic structure” of the Constitution.


Origins of the Basic Structure Doctrine

The origins of the basic structure doctrine are found in the post-war German Constitution law which, after the Nazi regime, was amended to protect some basic laws. Jurist Nanbhoy Palkhivala who appeared against the government relied on the writings of Professor Dietrich Conrad in support of the basic structure doctrine.


What are the Basic Features of the Indian Constitution?

In the Kesavananda ruling, the Supreme Court cited several aspects of the Constitution that could be identified as “basic features” of the document but added that it was not an exhaustive list. For example, judicial review, rule of law, federalism, and democratic republic structure are identified as basic features. In the 2015 ruling where the Supreme Court struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act and the related Constitutional Amendment, “judicial independence” was identified as a basic feature of the Constitution.



The vice president of India is the deputy to the head of state of the Republic of India, i.e. the president of India. The office of vice president is the second-highest constitutional office after the president and ranks second in the order of precedence and first in the line of succession to the presidency. The vice president is also the ex officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Article 66 of the Constitution of India states the manner of election of the vice president. The vice president is elected indirectly by members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament and not the members of state legislative assembly by the system of proportional representation using single transferable votes and the voting is conducted by Election Commission of India via secret ballot. The vice president also acts as the chancellor of the Panjab University and Delhi University.

Jagdeep Dhankhar of the Bharatiya Janata Party is the current vice president. He became vice president after defeating Indian National Congress candidate Margaret Alva in the 2022 Indian vice presidential election.


Uttarakhand Women Reservation Bill

Uttarakhand Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Gurmit Singh has approved a bill providing 30% horizontal reservation for domiciled women citizens of the state in public services and posts.

The bill, known as the Uttarakhand Public Services (Horizontal Reservation for Women) Bill 2022, was passed by the Uttarakhand assembly during the winter session on November 30. This move is a significant step forward in ensuring gender equality and social justice in the state’s government jobs.




Reservation for Women

The bill provides for 20% horizontal reservation for direct recruitment in public services and posts in the vacancies to be recruited until July 24, 2006. After that, 30% horizontal reservation will be given in favor of the women candidates permanently domiciled in Uttarakhand. The bill cites the need for reservation for women as a way to ensure “social justice, equality of opportunity, improvement in living standards.”


Need for the Bill

The bill was introduced following developments in the Uttarakhand high court, where the women reservation was challenged. On August 24, the high court had stayed the 2006 state government order regarding providing 30% reservation in state services to women having domicile of the state until further orders. The petitioners had argued that the state government had no power to provide domicile-based reservation as the Constitution of India allows reservation on the basis of domicile only by an act of parliament.


Cabinet Approval

On October 12, the state cabinet authorized Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami to bring an ordinance on the issue of women’s reservation in the state government jobs. This move came after the high court ruling and was aimed at ensuring that the 30% reservation for women in state services would be implemented.



The approval of the bill has been welcomed by various organizations and individuals working towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. The bill is seen as a positive step towards ensuring gender equality and providing equal opportunities to women in the state. The reservation will give women more opportunities to participate in the workforce and contribute to the state’s economy.


In conclusion, the bill providing 30% horizontal reservation for domiciled women citizens of the state in public services and posts has been approved by Uttarakhand Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Gurmit Singh. The bill, which was passed by the Uttarakhand assembly during the winter session on November 30, is a significant step forward in ensuring gender equality and social justice in the state’s government jobs. The reservation will give women more opportunities to participate in the workforce and contribute to the state’s economy, which will ultimately improve the living standards of the citizens of Uttarakhand.



Lieutenant General Gurmit Singh (born 1 February 1956) was a Deputy Chief Staff of the Indian Army from 2014 to 2016. Currently, he is the 8th Governor of Uttarakhand since 2021. Singh retired on 31 January 2016 after nearly four decades in the army, where he was deputy chief of Army Staff, and adjutant general and corps commander of strategic XV Corps that overlooks the Line of Control in Kashmir. He has also worked in border issues and counter-terrorism.


Bihar Government to Conduct Caste-Based Survey

The government of Bihar, led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, is set to begin the first phase of a caste-based survey in the state on January 7, 2023. The survey, which is set to conclude on May 31, 2023, will be conducted in two phases.




Phase 1: Household Count

The first phase of the survey will involve counting and recording the number of all households in the state. This phase is set to run from January 7 to January 21, 2023 and will be carried out by 5.24 lakh surveyors. These surveyors, who are mostly teachers, agriculture coordinators, and government workers, will visit each of the 2.58 crore households in urban and rural areas across all 38 districts of the state. The survey is expected to cover an estimated population of 12.70 crore in Bihar.


Phase 2: Caste and Socio-Economic Information Collection

The second phase of the survey will take place from April 1 to April 30, 2023 and will involve surveyors visiting each household to gather information about the caste of family members, their socio-economic profile, and their exposure to government welfare schemes. There will be 26 columns in the survey form for this phase, and all of the collected data will be uploaded to a portal.


Purpose of the Survey

According to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the purpose of the survey is to create a detailed record of castes and communities in the state in order to aid in their development. The survey is expected to be particularly beneficial to the ruling parties of Bihar, the Janata Dal (United) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, as they have the support of many socially and economically disadvantaged caste groups. The survey report will allow for more effective implementation of welfare schemes for these groups.


Data Collection Methods

Data for the survey will be collected digitally through a mobile application as part of an eight-level survey process from the panchayat to the district level. The app will include questions about the place of residence, caste, number of people in the family, their profession, and their annual income. Information will also be collected about family members who are living outside the state.


Support for the Survey

The decision to conduct a caste-based survey in Bihar was approved by the state cabinet on June 2, 2022 and was later passed unanimously by the Bihar legislative assembly. Leaders of all political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demand a caste-based census for the entire country. When the demand was denied, the Bihar government decided to conduct their own survey and will be sending the report to the central government.

UGC Draft norms to allow foreign university campuses in India

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released draft regulations for foreign universities or higher education institutions to establish their campuses in India.

The UGC (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Draft Regulations 2023 state that foreign universities wishing to set up in India should be ranked within the top 500 of global rankings in their subject area. Institutions that have not participated in world rankings may also be considered for establishing a campus in India if they are highly reputed in their home countries.




Establishment Criteria

The draft regulations mandate that foreign universities establishing a campus in India must comply with the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999. They may set up a campus through the Companies Act, the Limited Liability Partnership Act 2008, or through a joint venture with an existing Indian entity, or by starting a branch office. Once the necessary criteria have been fulfilled, the UGC will grant approval for 10 years, which must be renewed in the 9th year.


Admission Criteria and Fee Structure

The UGC has granted authority to foreign universities or higher education institutions to determine their own admission criteria for both Indian and international students on their campus in India. They have also been given the freedom to decide on their fee structure, which must be transparent and reasonable, and hosted on their website.

Based on the evaluation process, foreign higher education institutions may offer full or partial need-based scholarships to students from their endowment funds, alumni donations, tuition revenues, or any other resources, according to Prof. Kumar.


Course Offerings and Staffing

Foreign universities with campuses in India will not be permitted to offer courses through online or ODL (open and distance learning) modes. They will also not be allowed to offer any programs of study that compromise national interests or standards of higher education in India. Violation of or failure to adhere to regulations may result in penalties, suspension, or withdrawal of approval.

Qualifications awarded to students who study at the Indian campus of a foreign university will be recognized and treated as equivalent to the corresponding qualifications awarded by the foreign university at its main campus in its country of origin. Foreign universities or higher education institutions have been granted autonomy to recruit staff from India and abroad in accordance with their recruitment norms. Foreign faculty appointed to teach at the Indian campus should stay for a reasonable period of time, such as one or two semesters.

European countries have expressed interest in establishing their universities’ campuses in India, according to Prof. Kumar. The draft regulations will also be sent to foreign ambassadors in New Delhi and abroad for their suggestions and comments.



The University Grants Commission (UGC) came into existence on 28th December, 1953 and became a statutory Organization of the Government of India by an Act of Parliament in 1956, for the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of teaching, examination and research in university education.


Decennial Census in India Postponed Until September

The decennial census, a comprehensive survey conducted by the government of India every 10 years, has been postponed until September 30th, at least. This exercise is used to gather information on the size, distribution, and various characteristics of the country’s population, including socio-economic and demographic data.





Postponement and Future Plans

  • The housing listing phase of the census and the National Population Register (NPR) update were originally scheduled to take place from April 1 to September 30, 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these plans were postponed. In a letter to all states, the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner informed that the date for freezing administrative boundaries has been extended until June 30th.
  • Per norms, the census can only be conducted three months after the freezing of boundary limits of administrative units such as districts, sub-districts, tehsils, talukas, and police stations. The boundaries of these units for the upcoming census will now be frozen as of July 1, 2023. This process involves covering all jurisdictional changes that have occurred between the last two censuses.
  • The state governments have been asked to finalize any changes to administrative boundaries by June 30, 2023, and send copies of notifications on jurisdictional changes to the relevant Directorate of Census Operations in the state or Union Territory, with an endorsement to the census authorities in Delhi.


The general elections, which are expected to take place in March-April 2024, and the completion of both phases of the census, which will take at least 11 months even if conducted at an accelerated pace from October, make it unlikely that the census will be conducted in 2023 or early 2024. It is possible that the census could be conducted before the 2024 general elections if rules are modified to allow for a shorter process.


Who Conducts the Census?

The Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, is responsible for carrying out the decennial census. The first synchronous census in India took place in 1881 and has been conducted uninterrupted every ten years since.


Importance of the Census

The census in India is important because it provides information on the size, distribution, and characteristics of the country’s population, including socio-economic and demographic data. This information is used to inform policy and government programs aimed at improving the community. The last census in India was conducted in 2011.


History of the Census in India

The census in India has a long history dating back to the time of the Rig-Veda, which mentions some form of population count being kept around 800-600 BC. In the 3rd century BC, the Arthashastra by Kautilya prescribed the collection of population statistics as a state policy for taxation purposes. During the reign of Mughal king Akbar, the Ain-e-Akbari administrative report included extensive data on population, wealth, industry, and other characteristics.

The first synchronous census in India was conducted in 1881, and censuses have been conducted uninterruptedly every 10 years since then. The last census was held in 2011.


Major Ports Adjudicatory Board Rules, 2023

 The Government of India legislated the Major Port Authorities Act in 2021. Section 54 of the act brings in the need for the constitution of an Adjudicatory Board to regulate the major ports in the country. Section 58 of the act gives the function of the board. The Government of India recently issued a notice regarding the rules of the board.




Major Ports Adjudicatory Board Rules

  • The board will set the port tariffs
  • It will take over the roles and responsibilities of the tariff authorities currently operating in respective ports
  • It will function under the same authority as granted to a civil court
  • The board has full power to adjudicate the rights of the ports, their obligations, partnership concessions, dedicated berths
  • Board also has powers to issue orders based on the complaints registered by the users of the ports. The users include private participants as well
  • It can investigate the operations of the ports at any time at will


Members of the board

A selection committee is to choose the members of the board. The committee is formed by the Chief Justice of India, the Personnel and Training department, shipping ministry secretaries.


Major Ports of India

There are more than 200 ports in India. However, not all the ports are categorized as major ports. The Indian Ports Act, of 1908 defines the Major Ports as the port declared by the Union Government. The Central Government declares a port as a major port based on the facilities in the port. Today there are 13 major ports in India.







Eastern Coast

Tamil Nadu


Artificial Port

Second busiest port

Western Coast



Sited in the Vembanad lake
Exports of spices and salts

Eastern Coast

Tamil Nadu


India’s First corporatized port

Eastern Coast

West Bengal


India’s only major Riverine port

Situated on Hugli river
Known as Diamond Harbour

Western Coast



Known as Tidal Port
Acknowledged as Trade Free Zone
Largest port by volume of cargo handled.

Western Coast



Deals with the iron ore exports

Western Coast



Situated on the estuary of the river Zuari

Western Coast


Mumbai Port Trust

Largest Natural Port and harbour In India

The busiest port in India

Western Coast


Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) also known as Nhava Sheva, Navi Mumbai

 Largest Artificial Port

It is the Largest Container Port in India.

Eastern Coast



Natural Harbor
deals with the export of iron and aluminium

Eastern Coast

Tamil Nadu


A major port in south India
deals with the fertilizers and petrochemical products

Eastern Coast

Andhra Pradesh


Deepest port of India
deals with the export of iron ore to Japan. Amenities for building and fixing of ships are available

Bay of Bengal

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Port Blair

The port connected to the mainland of India through ship and flight. This port is situated in between two international shipping lines namely Saudi Arabia & US Singapore.



India’s Stand on Implementation of 13A in Sri Lanka


In 1987, India and Sri Lanka signed an agreement to implement the 13th amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution. According to the agreement, the Sri Lankan Government will provide powers to the Tamil community in the country. Recently, External Affairs Minister Jai Shankar declared that India ponders the implementation of 13A “CRITICAL”. According to India, 13A is essential for the Sri Lankan Government to reconcile with the Tamil community in the country.





What is 13A?

13A is the 13th amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution. It will give more power to the Tamil people in the country. Tamilians are the minority in the country of Sri Lanka. The Tamil community in the country is demanding a separate state. In 1987, with the Indian Union Government’s efforts, the Sri Lankan Government agreed to increase the powers of Tamilians in the country through 13A. However, 13A was not implemented.


Why 13A?

The root cause of the issue dates back to British rule. During the British period, the Tamilians were powerful in the country. Tamilians constituted only 11% of the Sri Lankan population and the Sinhalese constituted 11.2%. After the British left the island in 1948, the pattern started changing. More Sinhalese were coming to power. Upcoming Sinhalese started disenfranchising the Tamilians. This led to the formation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, that is, LTTE in 1976. Fights between LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government reached their peak in 1983. This is when India started interfering. And in 2009, the war ended with the Sri Lankan Army killing the LTTE leader. Though the war ended, the condition of Tamilians in the country has meagerly improved. They are still facing discrimination. This is why India is making statements yet again.



Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia. It lies in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the Bay of Bengal, separated from the Indian peninsula by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait.

                                                                                            Purse Seine Fishing

Purse Seine is a wide and long wall of the net. The technique of purse seine fishing is used on the western and eastern coasts of India. In 2022, at the request of the Central Government, Supreme Court banned purse seine fishing. Because the net used is a big disadvantage to the endangered species in the sea. Recently, the apex court lifted the ban. This is a big relief to coastal states like Tamil Nadu. They were insisting on removing the ban as it affected the lives of fishermen.




About Purse Seine Fishing

It is considered the most efficient and also the most aggressive fishing method. When implemented at the right spot, the method gives a huge catch to the fishermen. It is most aggressive because it takes in everything in its way. The fishing boat drags the net. The fish can enter the net but cannot move out. They get stuck.


Concerns of the states

The fishermen in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu do not use sophisticated vessels for fishing. Ordinary motor-powered boats are used. The method of purse seine fishing benefits them at large because they can drag their catch to the coast. They leave the fish in the water inside the net. And drag them to the coast. So, they need not carry storage or preservation equipment to bring their catch. The cost invested is very less. Ban on the method affected the livelihood of several fishermen.


Benefits of Purse Seine Fishing

The net used in this type of fishing has no sea contact with the sea bed. Therefore, it is easy to target dense schools of fish such as Mackerel and Tuna.


Why did SC ban purse seine fishing?

The net captures everything around it. This includes sea turtles and other vulnerable species. Therefore, there is a fear that the endangered species may go extinct with purse seine fishing.


While dealing with the instant matter, the Court opined that interests of all the parties need to be protected.

Hence, the Court allowed purse seine fishing beyond the territorial waters of Tamil Nadu within EEZ with the following conditions:

1.      Only fishing vessels registered with the State Government of Tamil Nadu and under Section 11 of Marine Products Export Development Authority Act, 1972 will be permitted.

2.      Fisheries Department will permit only those boats which have an approved Vessel Tracking System (‘VTS’) installed, which needs to be kept running while the vessels operate.

3.      These vessels will be allowed to operate only twice a week on Monday and Thursday, while the other restrictions of non-fishing period still apply.

4.      Permitted vessels shall leave the coastline at or after 8 a.m. and return to the designated place on the same day by 6 p.m.

5.       It is mandatory for all the sailors to keep their biometric card/photo ID.

6.       It is mandatory to provide VTS code to the Fisheries Department, Marine Police, Coast Guard and the Indian Navy.

7.      State Fisheries Department shall give a colour code to these purse seine fishing boats.

8.      Registration numbers of vessels have to be prominently displayed on the boat. Each vessel’s tracking data for all the trips has to be submitted to the concerned Assistant Commissioner or other designated officer on the same day to ensure that the vessels have fished only outside the territorial waters of Tamil Nadu.

9.      Boats will be allowed to land/dock at the designated Centre earmarked by the Fisheries Department.

10.  The State fisheries department has to display the permissions granted to individuals/companies along with the respective registration number of each of the vessels for the purpose of purse seine fishing on its website.

While passing interim orders, the Court also noted the Tamil Nadu State Counsel’s reference to State of Kerala v. Joseph Antony, (1994) 1 SCC 301 and Kerala Swathanthra Malaya Thozhilali Federation v. Kerala Trawlnet Boat Operators’ Assn., (1994) 5 SCC 28, wherein the Court has made adverse comments against Purse Seine Fishing. It clarified that the present restricted interim order is made after considering subsequent development since 1994 and the Central Government’s stand. The Court also kept the aforementioned judgments open for deeper consideration after receiving additional inputs based on the report of the Committee to be set up by the Central Government.


Fisherman Care, Registered Association v. Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Government of India, (2023 SC ) decided on 24-01-2023


Competition (Amendment) Bill


The Competition Act aims to promote healthy competition in India. The main intention of the act is to avoid monopoly. Take Facebook for instance. Some economists are of the opinion that Facebook exhibits a monopoly. Meaning, it wants to rule the world of digital messaging. To achieve this, Facebook bought almost every competitor that entered its way. FB achieved this through mergers or acquisitions. FB acquired Instagram and WhatsApp, major competitors.

The competition act prevents such mergers and acquisitions. The act was legislated in 2002. In 2022, the Government of India proposed certain changes and additions to the act. The amendment is still pending and the GoI recently added some more changes along with those it intended to introduce in 2022.




What additions were made in 2023?

  • Bill to be discussed during Budget Session of 2023
  • Regulatory frameworks to be fine-tuned. To be brought in line with the digital world and the changes that occurred in the past two decades
  • The scope of the settlement and commitment scheme is to be expanded


What changes were introduced in 2022?

  • Deals with values more than Rs 2000 crores should be notified to CCI
  • Merger approval should be done within 150 working days. This was 210 working days before
  • CCI should have at least one judicial officer as its member



Competition (Amendment) Bill 2022

The Competition (Amendment) Bill 2022 was recently passed by the Lok Sabha with the aim of promoting fair competition in the market and preventing anti-competitive practices. The bill was originally introduced in the lower house on August 5, 2022, and was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, which was headed by Jayant Sinha. The panel made several recommendations that have been incorporated into the amended law passed by the lower house.





Periodic Revision of Threshold and “Effects” of Anti-Competitive Conduct

The Parliamentary panel recommended periodic revision of the basic deal value threshold, retention of the existing overall time limit, and mandating the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to establish the “effects” of anti-competitive conduct of dominant undertakings. The CCI is now authorised to penalise entities found engaging in anti-competitive behaviour based on their global turnover.

Previously, penalties for anti-competitive behaviour were based on the percentage of the entity’s “relevant” turnover, which typically means their annual domestic turnover.


Impact of the New Provision on Global Turnover

The provision to penalise entities based on their global turnover could have a significant impact on tech companies, as it could lead to unfair and punitive outcomes and discrimination between enterprises. In the European Union, the penalty for anti-competitive activity is limited to 10% of the overall annual turnover of the company.


Definition of “Turnover” in Competition Law Landscape

The definition of “turnover” is a controversial subject in the competition law landscape. In 2017, the Supreme Court fixed the principle of “relevant turnover” for determining penalties in competition law contraventions. The principle of “relevant turnover” was upheld in a case concerning the alleged contravention of the Competition Act, 2002 in the public procurement of Aluminium Phosphide tablets by the FCI.


Time Limit for Approval of Mergers and Acquisitions

The Competition (Amendment) Bill 2022 reduces the time limit for the approval of mergers and acquisitions to 150 days. This move is expected to reduce uncertainty and provide clarity to businesses engaged in mergers and acquisitions.


MEITY Grievance Appellate Committees

The IT Rules of 2021 say that Social Media Companies such as Facebook should compulsorily appoint Grievance officers. These officers should be from India. They will oversee the complaints made by social media users.

Now the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is forming a committee to which these officers will report to. The committee will take “content moderation” decisions.




What is content moderation?

It is the process of reviewing content created by the users. During content moderation, inappropriate content is removed. This includes harmful, abusive, harassing, and offensive content.


Powers of the committee

  • The committee will oversee the grievance redressal mechanism
  • It will check on the complaints filed by the users
  • A special grievance officer will be appointed to overlook the entire process
  • If the user is not satisfied with the actions taken by this grievance officer, he can file complaints to the Grievance Appellate Committee


Role of the officer

The officer reporting to the committee should take action within a stipulated time period. 72 hours of time frame for complaints related to copyright issues, and other issues that pose threat to the integrity of India. Earlier, the time period was 15 days. Now it has been changed to 72 hours with the formation of the committee.


 First Made in India Helmet to meet Europe ECE 22.06 standard\

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe set the ECE standards for helmets. The standard is being used in several countries. For the last 20 years, the ECE 22.05 standard was used. ECE 22.06 was introduced in 2020.

ECE 22.06 includes a low-speed crash test, impact resistance test, and lots more. The new Ignyte IGN – 7 helmets of Steelbird has become the first helmet in India to meet the ECE 22.06 standard.




About IGN – 7

  • The helmet has a NACA airflow system. The NACA vent system was developed by the US. NACA means National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. The NACA sucks the air from the outside and keeps the user ventilated
  • It is tested for different speeds 6, 7, and 8 miles per second


ECE 22.06

  • Low-speed impact testing was the major addition in ECE 22.06. Usually, helmets protect the riders during high-speed impact. However, several studies conducted from different parts of the world say that low-speed impacts cause severe brain damage as compared to high-speed impacts.
  • The ECE 22.06 standard also includes tests for a spin-on-impact test
  • ECE 22.06 also includes tests on retention mechanism and shell sizes


In India, IS:4151 was the first helmet standard. It was released by ISI in 1993.



The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE or UNECE) is one of the five regional commissions under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. It was established in order to promote economic cooperation and integration among its member states.

The commission is composed of 56 member states, most of which are based in Europe, as well as a few outside of Europe. Its transcontinental Eurasian or non-European member states include:

 ArmeniaAzerbaijanCanadaCyprusGeorgiaIsraelKazakhstanKyrgyzstan, the Russian FederationTajikistanTurkeyTurkmenistan, the United States of America and Uzbekistan.


Mandatory Minimum Sentences

The concept of mandatory minimum sentences is common in American and Canadian legal systems. Recently, the Canadian Apex court announced that it is to stop pronouncing mandatory minimum sentences. Mandatory minimum sentences are judgments that do not leave discretion to the court. Meaning the punishment cannot be reduced in the future.



What are Mandatory Minimum Sentences?

In simple terms, the judgments in which the level of punishment cannot be reduced in the future are called mandatory minimum sentences. Say, a Supreme Court judge pronounced five years of punishment to a convict. Usually, the convict may appeal to the court for a reduction in punishment after a year or after six months of imprisonment. The court checks if his conduct has changed and based on his realization, it agrees to reduce his punishment. This is called a mandatory minimum sentence.


Mandatory Minimum Sentence in India

The Chief Justice of India recently challenged a petition related to mandatory minimum sentences. The petition requested the Supreme Court to reduce the punishment of the convicts arrested in a gang rape (of a minor girl of 12 years of age).


2016 ruling of SC of India

In 2016, Mohd Hasim vs State of UP case of Supreme Court defined mandatory minimum as a sentence that does not leave any discretion to the court.


Indian Laws related to MMS

MMS applies to all the offenses booked under the POCSO Act, that is, Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act except sexual harassment.


Google Policy Change In line with CCI direction

Our smartphones come with pre–installed apps like Gmaps, Gmail, Google search engines, etc. We cannot uninstall these apps even if we do use them. Apart from Google apps some smartphones also come with third-party apps (supported by Google). Google uses its dominance and influences smartphone makers to pre–install apps. This creates a nuisance to the users and discourages competition in the market. To avoid this, the Competition Commission of India imposed a fine of 161 million USD on Google owner Alphabet for using its dominance to exploit Indian markets. The Supreme Court recently upheld CCI’s direction. Following this, Google changed its policy.





What policy changes were brought in?

  • Users can now choose to change their default search engines on their smartphones
  • User choice billing is used for subscriptions and app purchases. This billing is to be available for all apps from February 2023
  • Android compatibility changes were introduced.
  • Smartphone makers (OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturers) shall pre-install the apps at their will



The Competition Commission of India has been continuously imposing penalties on Google. Anti – Trust orders were issued for Google’s misuse of its dominance in the market. Following the CCI order, Alphabet (Google’s owner) approached National Company Law Appellate Tribunal. NCLAT also upheld CCI orders. Later Alphabet approached the Supreme court. And the apex court also turned down Google’s filings.



Alphabet, Google's parent company, is a tech giant with a $1.7 trillion market cap. While Google is the flagship subsidiary, Alphabet has grown through a series of key acquisitions across the domains of hardware and software.


Google LLC is an American multinational technology company focusing on artificial intelligence, online advertisingsearch engine technologycloud computingcomputer softwarequantum computinge-commerce, and consumer electronics. It has been referred to as "the most powerful company in the world" and as one of the world's most valuable brands due to its market dominance, data collection, and technological advantages in the field of artificial intelligence. Google's parent company Alphabet Inc. is one of the five Big Tech companies, alongside AmazonApple Inc.Meta Platforms, and Microsoft.


Google was founded on September 4, 1998, by computer scientists Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were PhD students at Stanford University in California. Together they own about 14% of its publicly listed shares and control 56% of its stockholder voting power through super-voting stock. The company went public via an initial public offering (IPO) in 2004. In 2015, Google was reorganized as a wholly owned subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. Google is Alphabet's largest subsidiary and is a holding company for Alphabet's internet properties and interests. Sundar Pichai was appointed CEO of Google on October 24, 2015, replacing Larry Page, who became the CEO of Alphabet. On December 3, 2019, Pichai also became the CEO of Alphabet.


                                                                           Annual Death Penalty Report, 2022

The National Law University was established under the NLUA Act of 2007. Project 39A is a group associated with the university and it recently released a report called the Annual Death Penalty Report, 2022. According to the report, the number of death penalty prisoners in India increased to 539 in 2022. It was 490 in 2021.


Key Findings of the report

  • 3% of death rows were judged by trial courts. SC pronounced 11 death penalty judgments and High Courts in the country pronounced 68 death sentences
  • Appellate courts pronounced the least number of death sentences
  • Of all the crimes, sexual violence received the maximum death penalty. Almost one–third of the capital punishments were for sexual violence
  • In Gujarat, 51 people were sentenced to death by the Sessions court
  • UP Sessions Court: 32
  • Jharkhand sessions court: 17
  • No death sentences were pronounced in the courts of J&K, Delhi, Telangana, and Manipur
  • Two out of every 165 death sentences were pronounced on women
  • India has 539 death-sentenced prisoners as of 2022. This is a 40% increase as compared to the numbers in 2015
  • UP had the highest death sentences followed by Gujarat and Jharkhand.



National Law Universities (NLU) are public law schools in India, founded pursuant to the second-generation reforms for legal education sought to be implemented by the Bar Council of IndiaThe first NLU was the National Law School of India University aka NLS/NLU Bangalore which admitted its first batch in 1988. Since then, most of the states in India have NLUs. Currently there are 26 NLUs across the country out of which 1 is an off-center campus of NLU Gandhinagar which is named as (GNLU SILVASSA Campus). Since the inception of NLUs, these law schools have continuously been ranked as India's most prestigious and premier law schools by various agencies and are also referred as IITs of Legal Education.