Archive for the ‘General’ Category.

Human Rights

The Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 was amended in the year 2006 with an objective for better protection of human rights and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Human rights are rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by Courts in India. These are more basic than the fundamental rights and are available even to foreigners in India.
The Act provides for the constitution of a National Human Rights Commission at the centre. The National Commission shall consist of a chairperson and 4 members. A secretary general will act as the CEO of the National Commission. The head quarter of the National Commission is at Delhi.
At the state level, the act also provides for the constitution of a State Human Rights Commission. The same consists of a
chairperson and 2 members. A secretary shall act as the CEO of state commission. In Karnataka the state commission is at Bangalore.
The act also provides for the setting up of human rights courts by the state governments for providing speedy trial of offences relating to violation of human rights. These human rights courts are provided with special public prosecutors for the purpose of conducting cases in the human rights matters.

The functions of the Human Rights Commission are as follows:
a. Inquire, suo motu or on a petition presented to it by a victim or any person on his behalf ( or on a direction or order  of any Court) into complaint of
i. Violation of human rights or abetment thereof; or
ii. Negligence in the prevention of such violation by  a public  servant;
b.Intervene in any proceedings involving any allegations of violation of human rights pending before a court with the approval of  such court.
c.Visit, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, any jail or other institution,  under the control of the state Government, where persons are detained or lodged for purposes of treatments, reformation or protection,  or the study of the living conditions of the inmates thereof and make recommendations thereon to the government.
d. Review the safeguards provided by or under the constitution or any law for the time being in force for the protection of human rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation.
e. Review the factors, including acts of terrorism, that inhibit the enjoyment of human right and recommend appropriate remedial  measures;
f.  Study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and make recommendation for their effective   implementations;
g. Undertake and promote research in the field of human rights.
h. Spread human rights literacy among various sections of society and promote awareness of the safeguard available for the  protection of these rights through publications, the media, seminars and other available means.
i.  Encourage the efforts of non-governmental  organizations and institutions working in the field of human rights;
j. Such other functions as it may consider necessary for the promotion human rights.
The Commission shall, while inquiring into a complaint, have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit under the Code of civil  procedure, 1908
The Commission may, for the purpose of conducting any investigation pertaining to the inquiry, utilize the services of any officer or investigation agency of the Central Government or any State Government with the concurrence of the Central Government or the State Government as the case may be.

If at any stage of the inquiry, the Commission-
a)  consider it necessary to inquire, into the conduct of any person or,
b)  is of the opinion that reputation of any person is likely to be prejudicially affected by the inquiry, It shall give to that person a reasonable opportunity of being heard in the inquiry and to produce evidence in his defense.

Appointment of Receivers

Courts are empowered for appointment of receivers for the management and protection of any property. The Court can remove a person from the possession or custody of any property and can commit the said property to the custody, management and possession of the receiver, appointed by the Court. Normally the court appoints the receiver for the management of the property, when it appears to the court that the property may be mismanaged or lowered in its worth in the custody of the present possessor. The receiver may be appointed before or after decree is passed in a case pending before the court.

The following are the powers of a receiver appointed by the Court:
a) To bring and defend suits
b) To realize, manage, protect, preserve and improve   property.
c) To collect rents and profits and to apply and dispose rents and profits of the property and to execute documents as     the owner himself has.
d) Other powers, the Court deems fit.

The receiver is entitled for remuneration as fixed by the court for the services rendered by him.
The following are the duties of the receiver:
a) To furnish security if the court thinks fit, duly to account for what he shall receive in respect of the said property.
b) To submit the accounts.
c) To pay the amount due from him.
d) To be responsible for any loss caused to the property by his willful default or gross negligence.    

Void Agreements

An agreement which is not enforceable by law is said to be a void agreement. An agreement which can be enforceable by law is said to be a contract. The Indian Contract Act, 1872, enlists the following cases as void agreements.

1) All agreements are void if considerations and objects are unlawful. The consideration or objects are unlawful, if it is forbidden by law, is fraudulent, involves injury to the person or property of another, is immoral, is against public policy or has tendency to defeat the provisions of any law.
2) An agreement without consideration is void unless it is in writing and registered and is made between closely related parties on account of natural love and affection.
3) Agreement in restraint of marriage, other than that of a minor, is void.
4) Every agreement by which any one is restrained from exercising a lawful profession, trade or business of any kind, is to that extend void.
5) Agreement by which any party is barred from enforcing his rights through legal proceedings is void.
6) When there is no certainty in the agreement, the same is void
7) Agreements by way of wager are void.
8) Contingent agreements on impossible events are void.
9) Where both the parties to an agreement are under a mistake as to a matter of fact essential to an agreement, the agreement is  void.

Law of Limitation

There is a prescribed time period within which a person, who has been denied of any rights or who wants any particular relief from a court or an authority shall apply to the concerned authority. Law does not come to the assistance of a person who sleeps over his rights. With these objectives, The Limitation Act, 1963 was enacted.

 There is a bar of limitation for suits, appeals and applications which are made after a prescribed period and if made after the prescribed period, then they will be dismissed. If the prescribed period for a suit, appeal or application expires on a day when the court is closed, the same may be instituted on the day the court re-opens.

 A court has the power to admit an appeal or an application made after the prescribed period, if the party satisfies the court that he had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal or application within the specified period. If a person has a legal disability, like insanity or minority, he can file a suit or apply to execute a decree, within the period of limitation after the legal disability ceases.

 While computing the period of limitation, the time period spent in obtaining the certified copy of the order of the lower court, which is being challenged, can be excluded.

 In calculating the period of limitation for which a notice has been given or which the previous sanction of the government or any authority is required, the period of such notice or the time required for such consent shall be excluded.

 In computing the period of limitation of any suit the time during which the defendant has been absent from India shall be excluded. If a person who has the right to institute a suit or make an application dies before the right accrues, then the period of limitation will be computed from the time when there is a legal representative of the deceased.

 In the case of any suit or application which is based upon the fraud of the respondent or is based on the consequences of a mistake the period of limitation shall begin from the point the applicant has discovered the fraud or mistake. Where after the institution of the suit, a new plaintiff or defendant is substituted or added, the suit shall as regards him be deemed to have been instituted when he was so made a party.

 In the case of a suit for compensation for an act, which does not give rise to a cause of action unless some specific injury actually results there from, the period of limitation shall be computed from the time when the injury results.


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 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;