Archive for February 2008

Legal precautions during transfer of motor vehicles

When the ownership of a vehicle registered within the state of Karnataka is to be transferred to another person, the transferor shall within 14 days of the transfer, report the transfer to the jurisdictional RTO, in such form and along with the required documents. The transferor shall simultaneously send a copy of the said report to the transferee.

For vehicles registered outside Karnataka, within 41 days of the transfer, the transferor shall forward the NOC from the state of registration to the jurisdictional RTO.

The transferee shall within 30 days of the transfer, report the transfer, to the jurisdictional RTO along with Certificate of registration, prescribed fee, and the report he received from the transferor. Thereafter, the registering authority may cause the transfer of ownership entered in the Certificate of registration.

If a person, in whose name a motor vehicle stands, dies, his successor may make an application for the purpose of transferring the ownership in his name, to the jurisdictional RTO and the RTO may transfer the   ownership in the name of that person.

Prevention of disfigurement of open spaces

The statement of objects and reasons to the Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1981 speaks about the disfigurement of public and private buildings and other open places by slogans written and posters pasted indiscriminately. These activities not only spoil the beauty of the buildings, but also obliges the owners of the spaces to incur avoidable expenditure to undo the mischief. Though there are provisions under the Police Act and municipal laws to check this, they are seemed to be not sufficient.

Section 3 of the Act provides for penalty for unauthorized disfigurements by advertisements. Accordingly, whoever, by himself or through any other person, affixes to, or erects, inscribes or exhibits on, any place open to pubic view any advertisement without the written permission of the local authority having jurisdiction of such area, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both. Any person who abets the above said offence shall also be punished with the same offence. If the person committing such offence is a company, then every person who, at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of and responsible to the Company, for the conduct of the business of the Company, as well as the Company shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence.

The Karnataka Prevention of Destruction and Loss of Property Act, 1981

During the last few years, agitational methods are being used by students, laborers, anti social elements etc., to meet their various objectives and this occasionally results in looting and damage to public and private property. To control such mob as well as individual behavior, and to provide deterrent punishment for such offences, the Karnataka Prevention Of Destruction And Loss Of Property Act, 1981 was passed.

Section 3 of the act provides punishment for committing mischief and causing loss or damage   to any property. A person who commits such mischief is liable to be punished with imprisonment for a term not less than 6 months, but which may extend to five years and with fine, which may extend to two thousand rupees.

The act also provides for imposition of collective fines over inhabitants of an area, who are concerned in abetting or instigating such mischief to property, or who harbors such offenders, or who fail to render assistance to apprehend such offenders. The state government may apportion such fine amongst the inhabitants according to the respective means of the inhabitants of such area.

Right to information

The Right to Information Act, 2005 is a very powerful piece of legislation available to the citizenry of this nation. The Preamble to the Act says that, the Act intends to secure access to information under the control of public authorities to citizens, to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, as our democratic set up requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information, which are vital to its functioning.

Subject to the provisions of this Act, all citizens shall have the right to information. Further, all public authorities are required to maintain its records duly catalogued and indexed which facilitates the right to information under the Act and also to publish the particulars of facilities, available to citizens for obtaining information, also the names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers.

A person who desires to obtain any information, shall make a request in writing or through electronic means in English, Hindi or in the official language of the area in which the application is made, accompanying such fee as may be prescribed, to the designated Public Information Officer of the concerned Public authority. The applicant need not give any reason for the request of information, as well as need not give any other extra personal details, more than what is necessary for contacting him. If, the information asked for, is held by another public authority, then the receiving public authority shall transfer the said application to the concerned public authority within 5 days of the receipt of the application. 

The information sought under the Right to Information Act, shall be provided expeditiously and in any case within 30 days from the receipt of the request. If the information sought for, concerns the life or liberty of an individual, the same shall be provided within 48 hours of the receipt of the request. If a decision is not passed by the information officer within the time period of 30 days, or if the persons seeking the information is not satisfied by the decision of the officer, then the aggrieved person has the right to appeal against such a decision within 30 days of the receipt of the decision. The appeal against the decision of the information officer shall be disposed within a period of 45 days. The aggrieved person has also got a right of second appeal if he is not satisfied by the decision in the appeal. Such a second appeal has to be field within 90 days from the order of the First appellate authority.

The act also imposes penalties on information officers, who refuse to receive request for information or refuses to give information within the specified time. The penalty shall be Rs 250/- per day, till application is received or information is furnished, subject to a maximum of Rs 25,000/-. Further, disciplinary actions can be taken against the concerned officials, under the service rules applicable to them.

The Act is not applicable to intelligence and security organizations of the Central Government and information furnished by such organizations to the Central Government are also not coming within the scope of this Act.

Registration of societies and associations

The Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960 and Rules, 1961 deals with the procedure for the registration of societies and associations in Karnataka.

To register a society or association, there should be a minimum number of seven members, all of whom shall be above the age of eighteen years. The society or the Association shall prepare a Memorandum of Association and also the Rules and Regulations and submit before the Registrar of Societies to register themselves as a society. The name of at least seven members shall be subscribed to the Memorandum of Association.

The Memorandum of Association shall state the name of the society, the objects of the society, the names and addresses and occupations of the members of the governing body, the place at which the registered office of the society is to be situated etc.

The Rules and Regulations shall contain provisions relating to admission of members, general meetings, voting of members etc. The memorandum as well as the Rules and Regulations shall be signed by each subscriber of the Memorandum of Association, in the presence of at least one witness.

The Registrar of Societies may refuse to register the name of a society if, it is identical with or too nearly resembles, the name by which a society in existence has been previously registered. By any reason if the registrar refuses to register a society, an appeal lies against such order to the Karnataka Appellate Tribunal within 60 days of the said order.

Registration of births and deaths

The Registration of Births and Deaths Act 1969 and the Karnataka Registration of Births and deaths rules 1999,deals with the formalities pertaining to the Registration of Births and Deaths in Karnataka. As per the Act the concerned persons are bound to inform the Registrar regarding Births and Deaths.

Births and Deaths in a house: The head of the house, in a hospital: The Medical officer in-charge, In a Jail: Jailor in-charge, in hostels, Lodges etc: the person in-charge, in a public place: the headman of the village is responsible for reporting the Births and Deaths. The —- who gives the information under this act shall write in the register maintain in this behalf, his name, description and his place of residence.

Any births or deaths, which are registered after the expiry of the period within 30 days of its occurrence, shall be registered on payment of a late fee. Any births or deaths, which have not been registered within one year of its occurrence, shall be registered only by an order of an Jurisdiction Magistrate.

When the birth of a child has been registered without a name, the parent or guardian of such a child within the prescribed period give information regarding the name of a child, to the Registrar either orally or in written and there upon the registrar shall enter such name in the register and initial and date the entry.

An entry of a birth and death in any register is found to be erroneous, the registrar his power to correct the said error.

Karnataka State Commission for Women

Karnataka State Commission for Women was set up by an Act of 1995 with an objective for achieving all round development of the women. The commission consists of a chairperson and members who are nominated by the Government and few ex-officio members. The chairperson and other members hold office for a period not exceeding 3 years. The functions of the Commission includes:

(a) Investigate and examine all matters relating to the safeguards provided for women under the Constitution and other laws;
(b) Present to the Government, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards;
(c) Make in such reports recommendations for the effective implementation of those safeguards for improving the conditions of women by the State;
(d) Review, from time to time, the existing provisions of the Constitution and other Laws affecting the women and recommend amendments thereto so as to suggest remedial legislative measures to meet any lacuna or inadequacies or shortcomings in such legislations;
(e) Take up the cases of violation of the provisions of the Constitution and of other laws relating to women with the appropriate authorities;
(f) Look into complaints and take suo-moto notice of matters relating to:-
(i) Deprivation of women’s rights;
(ii) Non-implementation of laws enacted to provide protection to women and also to achieve the objective of equality and development;
(iii) Non-compliance of policy decisions, guidelines or instructions aimed at mitigating hardships and ensuring welfare and providing relief to  women and take up the issues arising out of such matters with appropriate authorities. 

The other functions of the Commission are:
(a) Call for special studies or investigation into specific problems or  situations arising out of discrimination and atrocities against women and identify the constraints so as to recommend strategies for their removal;
(b) Undertake promotional and educational research so as to suggest ways of ensuring due representation of women in all spheres and identify factors responsible for impending their advancement, such as, lack of access to housing and basic services, inadequate support services and technologies for reducing drudgery and occupational health hazards and for increasing their productivity;
(c) Inspect or cause to be inspected a jail, remand home, women’s institution or other place of custody where women are kept as prisoners or otherwise and take up with the concerned authorities for remedial action, wherever found necessary;
(d) Fund litigation involving issues affecting a large body of women;
(e) Participate and advice on the planning process of socio-economic development of women;
(f) Evaluate the progress of the development of women under the State,
(g) Make periodical report to the Government on any matter pertaining to women and in particular various difficulties under which women toil;
(h) Involve with voluntary organizations in the State, more particularly women’s organizations besides governmental departments and its agencies in the discharging of its functions;

Requirements of a Legally Valid Abortion

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 was enacted by the Parliament of India to provide for the termination of certain pregnancies by Registered Medical Practitioners and for matters connected there with.

Accordingly, a pregnancy may be terminated by a Registered Medical Practitioner, if the length of pregnancy doesn’t exceed more than 12 weeks and he is of the opinion that the continuation of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of great injury to physical or mental health or that there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.

If the pregnancy exceeds 12 weeks, but doesn’t exceed 20 weeks, the opinion in good faith as above, of two Registered Medical Practitioners is required for the termination of pregnancy. Where any pregnancy is alleged to have been caused by rape, the anguish caused by such pregnancy shall be presumed to constitute a grave injury to the mental health of the pregnant women. Similarly where any pregnancy occurs as a result of failure of any device or method by any married women or her husband for the purpose of limiting their children, the anguish caused by such unwanted pregnancy is presumed to constitute a grave injury to mental health of the pregnant women.

No pregnancy of women who has not attained the age of 18 years or having attained the age of 18 years who is a mentally ill person shall be terminated except with the consent in writing of her guardian.

The Competition Act 2003

The Jurisdiction, powers and authority of the Commission may be exercised by Benches which shall be constituted by the Chairperson .The Bench shall consists of not less than two members.

On receipt of a complaint or a reference from the Central Government, or a Statutory authority or on its own knowledge or information, the Commission is of the opinion that there exists a prima facia case, shall direct the Director General to cause an investigation to be made into the matter.

The Commission can levy penalty for contravention of its orders, failure to comply with its directions, making of false statements or omission to furnish material information, etc. Further the Commission can levy upon an enterprise a penalty of not more than 10% of its average turnover for the last three financial years. It can also order division of dominant enterprises. It will also have power to order demerger in the case of mergers and amalgamations that adversely affect competition.

The act provides for a fund called the Competition fund. The grants given by the Central Government, fees received under the Act and costs realized by the Commission and application fees charged will be credited into this Fund.

Citizenship

Part two of the constitution of India deals with citizenship. As per article 5, at the commencement of the constitution every person who has his domicile in the territory of India and who was born in the territory of India or either of whose parents are born in the territory India or who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than five years immediately preceding such commencement shall be a citizen of India.

A person who has pirated to the territory of India from the territory now included in Pakistan shall be deemed to a citizen of India at the commencement of this constitution if: -

a) He or either of his parents or any of his grandparents was born in India as defined in the Government of India Act 1935

b) Incase such parents has so migrated before the nineteenth day of july, 1948, he has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India since the date of his migration, or

c) Incase where such persons has so migrated on or after the nineteen day of July 1948, he has been registered as a citizen of India by an officer appointed in that behalf by the Government of Dominion of India on an application made by him therefore to such officer before the commencement of this constitution in the form and manner prescribed by that Government.

Notwithstanding anything in article 5 and 6, a person who has after the first day of March 1947, migrated from the territory of India to the territory now included in Pakistan shall not be deemed to a citizen of India. Provided that nothing in this article shall apply to a person who, after having so migrated to the now included in Pakistan, has returned to India under a permit for resettlement or permanent return issue by or under the authority of any law or every such person shall for the purposes of clause (b) of article 6 be deemed to have migrated to the territory of India after the nineteen day of July 1948.

Notwithstanding anything in article 5, any person who or either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents was born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 and who is ordinarily residing in the country outside India, as so defined shall be deemed to be a citizen of India if he has been registered as a citizen of India by the diplomatic or consular representative of India in the country where he is for the time being residing, on an application made by him therefore to such diplomatic or consular representative, whether before or after the commencement of this Constitution, in the form and manner prescribed by the Government of the Dominion of India or the Government of India.

No person shall be a citizen of India by virtue of article 5,or be deemed to be a citizen of India by virtue of article 6 or article 8,if he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of any foreign state.

Every person who is or is deemed to be a citizen of India under any of the forgoing provision of this part shall, subject to the provisions of any Law that may be made by the Parliament, continue to be such citizen.

Nothing in the forgoing provision of this part shall derogate from the power of the Parliament to make any provisions with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all other matter relating to citizenship.