Amendments to existing lawsLegislation Updates

Parliament received the assent of the President on 09-08-2019 for Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2019.

Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 2019 is an Act to amend the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971.

  • Amendment of Section 2:

In Section 2, clause (fa) and clause (fb) shall be renumbered as clause (fb) and (fc) respectively, and before clause (fb) as so renumbered, the following clause shall be inserted, namely:—

‘(fa) “residential accommodation occupation” in relation to any public premises means occupation by any person on grant of licence to him to occupy such premises on the basis of an order of allotment for a fixed tenure or for a period he holds office, in accordance with the rules and instructions issued in this regard, made under the authority of the Central Government, a State Government, a Union territory Administration or statutory authority, as the case may be;’.

  • Insertion of new Section 3B: Eviction from residential accommodation

“3B. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 4 or Section 5, if the estate officer has information that any person, who was granted residential accommodation occupation, is in unauthorised occupation of the said residential accommodation, he shall—

(a) forthwith issue a notice in writing calling upon such person to show cause within a period of three working days why an order of eviction should not be made;

(b) cause the notice to be served by having it affixed on the outer door or some other conspicuous part of the said residential accommodation, and in such other manner as may be prescribed, whereupon the notice shall be deemed to have been served upon such person.

(2) The estate officer shall, after considering the cause, if any, shown by the person on whom the notice is served under sub-section (1) and after making such inquiry as it deems expedient in the circumstances of the case, for reasons to be recorded in writing, make an order of eviction of such person.

(3) If the person iN unauthorised occupation refuses or fails to comply with the order of eviction referred to in sub-section (2), the estate officer may evict such person from the residential accommodation and take possession thereof and may, for that purpose, use such force as may be necessary.”

  • Amendment of Section 7:

After sub-section (3), the following sub-section shall be inserted, namely:—

“(3A) If the person in unauthorised occupation of residential accommodation challenges the eviction order passed by the estate officer under sub-section (2) of Section 3B in any court, he shall pay damages for every month for the residential accommodation held by him.

*Please refer the notification here: NOTIFICATION


Ministry of Law and Justice

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

On 09-08-2019, President gave its assent for the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019 will further amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

Following are the major amendments taken place under the Act:

Features & Highlights of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019:

  • Amendment of Section 2: Insertion of clause (ca) in sub-section 1 of Section 2:

(ca)  “arbitral institution’’ means an arbitral institution designated by the Supreme Court or a High Court under this Act;’

Insertion of clause (i) & (j) after clause (h):

  • “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act

(j) “regulations” means the regulations made by the Council under this Act.

  • Amendment of Section 11: Insertion of sub-section (3A) which is as follows:

“(3A) The Supreme Court and the High Court shall have the power to designate, arbitral institutions, from time to time, which have been graded by the Council under Section 43-I, for the purposes of this Act:

Provided that in respect of those High Court jurisdictions, where no graded arbitral institution are available, then, the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court may maintain a panel of arbitrators for discharging the functions and duties of arbitral institution and any reference to the arbitrator shall be deemed to be an arbitral institution for the purposes of this section and the arbitrator appointed by a party shall be entitled to such fee at the rate as specified in the Fourth Schedule:

Provided further that the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court may, from time to time, review the panel of arbitrators.”;

Substitution made in Sub-section (4) of Section 11

Old New (Amended)
(4) If the appointment procedure in sub-section (3) applies and—

(a) a party fails to appoint an arbitrator within thirty days from the receipt of a request to do so from the other party; or

(b) the two appointed arbitrators fail to agree on the third arbitrator within thirty days from the date of their appointment,

the appointment shall be made, upon request of a party, by [the Supreme Court or, as the case may be, the High Court or any person or institution designated by such court].

 

(4) If the appointment procedure in sub-section (3) applies and—

(a) a party fails to appoint an arbitrator within thirty days from the receipt of a request to do so from the other party; or

(b) the two appointed arbitrators fail to agree on the third arbitrator within thirty days from the date of their appointment,

“the appointment shall be made, on an application of the party, by the arbitral institution designated by the Supreme Court, in case of international commercial arbitration, or by the High Court, in case of arbitrations other than international commercial arbitration, as the case may be”

 Substitution made in Sub-section (5) of Section 11

Old New (Amended)
(5) Failing any agreement referred to in sub-section (2), in an arbitration with a sole arbitrator, if the parties fail to agree on the arbitrator within thirty days from receipt of a request by one party from the other party to so agree the appointment shall be made, upon request of a party, by 11[the Supreme Court or, as the case may be, the High Court or any person or institution designated by such court]. (5) Failing any agreement referred to in sub-section (2), in an arbitration with a sole arbitrator, if the parties fail to agree on the arbitrator within thirty days from receipt of a request by one party from the other party to so “the appointment shall be made on an application of the party in accordance with the provisions contained in sub-section (4)”;

 Substitution in sub-section (6) of Section 11

Old New (As amended)
(6) Where, under an appointment procedure agreed upon by the parties,—

(a) a party fails to act as required under that procedure; or

(b) the parties, or the two appointed arbitrators, fail to reach an agreement expected of them under that procedure; or

(c) a person, including an institution, fails to perform any function entrusted to him or it under that procedure,

a party may request [the Supreme Court or, as the case may be, the High Court or any person or institution designated by such court] to take the necessary measure, unless the agreement on the appointment procedure provides other means for securing the appointment.

 

(6) Where, under an appointment procedure agreed upon by the parties,—

(a) a party fails to act as required under that procedure; or

(b) the parties, or the two appointed arbitrators, fail to reach an agreement expected of them under that procedure; or

(c) a person, including an institution, fails to perform any function entrusted to him or it under that procedure,

“the appointment shall be made, on an application of the party, by the arbitral institution designated by the Supreme Court, in case of international commercial arbitration, or by the High Court, in case of arbitrations other than international commercial arbitration, as the case may be”

 Omission of sub-sections (6A) and 7 under Section 11

Old New (As amended)
(8) The Supreme Court or, as the case may be, the High Court or the person or institution designated by such court, before appointing an arbitrator, shall seek a disclosure in writing from the prospective arbitrator in terms of sub-section (1) of Section 12, and have due regard to—

(a) any qualifications required for the arbitrator by the agreement of the parties; and

(b) the contents of the disclosure and other considerations as are likely to secure the appointment of an independent and impartial arbitrator.]

 

(8) “The arbitral institution referred to in sub-sections (4), (5) and (6)” , before appointing an arbitrator, shall seek a disclosure in writing from the prospective arbitrator in terms of sub-section (1) of Section 12, and have due regard to—

(a) any qualifications required for the arbitrator by the agreement of the parties; and

(b) the contents of the disclosure and other considerations as are likely to secure the appointment of an independent and impartial arbitrator.]

 

 Substitution in sub-section (9) of Section 11

Old New (As amended)
(9) In the case of appointment of sole or third arbitrator in an international commercial arbitration, [the Supreme Court or the person or institution designated by that court] may appoint an arbitrator of a nationality other than the nationalities of the parties where the parties belong to different nationalities. (9) In the case of appointment of sole or third arbitrator in an international commercial arbitration, [“the arbitral institution designated by the Supreme Court] may appoint an arbitrator of a nationality other than the nationalities of the parties where the parties belong to different nationalities

 Sub-section (10) of Section 11 has been omitted.

Sub-sections (11) to (14) have been substituted as follows:

“(11) Where more than one request has been made under sub-section (4) or sub-section (5) or sub-section (6) to different arbitral institutions, the arbitral institution to which the request has been first made under the relevant sub-section shall be competent to appoint.

(12) Where the matter referred to in sub-sections (4), (5), (6) and (8) arise in an international commercial arbitration or any other arbitration, the reference to the arbitral institution in those sub-sections shall be construed as a reference to the arbitral institution designated under sub-section (3A).

(13) An application made under this section for appointment of an arbitrator or arbitrators shall be disposed of by the arbitral institution within a period of thirty days from the date of service of notice on the opposite party.

(14) The arbitral institution shall determine the fees of the arbitral tribunal and the manner of its payment to the arbitral tribunal subject to the rates specified in the Fourth Schedule.

Explanation.—For the removal of doubts, it is hereby clarified that this sub-section shall not apply to international commercial arbitration and in arbitrations (other than international commercial arbitration) where parties have agreed for determination of fees as per the rules of an arbitral institution.”

  • Amendment in Section 17: The following highlighted part will be omitted.

Interim Measures ordered by Arbitral Tribunal:

(1) A party may, during the arbitral proceedings or at any time after the making of the arbitral award but before it is enforced in accordance with Section 36, apply to the arbitral tribunal—

  • Amendment of Section 23:

Sub-section (4) shall be inserted after sub-section (3):

(4) The statement of claim and defence under this section shall be completed within a period of six months from the date the arbitrator or all the arbitrators, as the case may be, received notice, in writing, of their appointment.”

  • Amendment of Section 29A:

Substitution of sub-section (1):

“(1) The award in matters other than international commercial arbitration shall be made by the arbitral tribunal within a period of twelve months from the date of completion of pleadings under sub-section (4) of Section 23:

Provided that the award in the matter of international commercial arbitration may be made as expeditiously as possible and endeavour may be made to dispose of the matter within a period of twelve months from the date of completion of pleadings under sub-section (4) of Section 23.”

Insertion of provisos after the existing proviso in sub-section (4):

“Provided further that where an application under sub-section (5) is pending, the mandate of the arbitrator shall continue till the disposal of the said application:

Provided also that the arbitrator shall be given an opportunity of being heard before the fees is reduced.”

  • Amendment of Section 34
  • Amendment of Section 37
  • Insertion of new sections: Sections 42A & 42B after Section 42:

Confidentiality of Information 

“42A. Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, the arbitrator, the arbitral institution and the parties to the arbitration agreement shall maintain confidentiality of all arbitral proceedings except award where its disclosure is necessary for the purpose of implementation and enforcement of the award.

 Protection of action taken in good faith

42B. No suit or other legal proceedings shall lie against the arbitrator for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or the rules or regulations made thereunder.”

  • Insertion of new part: PART 1A – Arbitration Council of India
  • Insertion of the new schedule: 8th Schedule after Schedule 7thQualifications and Experience of Arbitrator.

*Please refer to the amended act here: The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019


Ministry of Law and Justice

Amendments to existing lawsLegislation Updates

President gave its assent to the Code on Wages Bill, 2019 on 08-08-2019.

The Code on Wages, 2019

It is an act to amend and consolidate the laws relating to wages and bonus and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto and it extends to the whole of India.

It will be the first Code to become an Act out of the four Codes: Code on Wages; Industrial Relations; Social Security and Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions which Ministry of Labour and Employment has formulated.

Salient features of the Code are as following:

• The Code on Wage universalizes the provisions of minimum wages and timely payment of wages to all employees irrespective of the sector and wage ceiling. At present, the provisions of both Minimum Wages Act and Payment of Wages Act apply on workers below a particular wage ceiling working in Scheduled Employments only. This would ensure “Right to Sustenance” for every worker and intends to increase the legislative protection of minimum wage from existing about 40% to 100% workforce. This would ensure that every worker gets a minimum wage which will also be accompanied by an increase in the purchasing power of the worker thereby giving fillip to growth in the economy. Introduction of statutory Floor Wage to be computed based on minimum living conditions will extend qualitative living conditions across the country to about 50 crore workers. It is envisaged that the states to notify payment of wages to the workers through digital mode.

• There are 12 definitions of wages in the different Labour Laws leading to litigation besides difficulty in its implementation. The definition has been simplified and is expected to reduce litigation and will entail at a lesser cost of compliance for an employer. An establishment will also be benefited as the number of registers, returns, forms, etc., not only can be electronically filed and maintained, but it is envisaged that through rules, not more than one template will be prescribed.

• At present, many of the states have multiple minimum wages. Through Code on Wages, the methodology to fix the minimum wages has been simplified and rationalised by doing away with the type of employment as one of the criteria for fixation of the minimum wage. The minimum wage fixation would primarily be based on geography and skills. It will substantially reduce the number of minimum wages in the country from the existing more than 2000 rates of minimum wages.

• Many changes have been introduced in the inspection regimes including web-based randomised computerised inspection scheme, jurisdiction-free inspections, calling of information electronically for inspection, the composition of fines, etc. All these changes will be conducive for the enforcement of labour laws with transparency and accountability.

 • There were instances that due to the smaller limitation period, the claims of the workers could not be raised. To protect the interest of the workers, the limitation period has been raised to 3 years and made a uniform for filing claims for minimum wages, bonus, equal remuneration, etc., as against existing varying period between 6 months to 2 years.

• It can be said that a historical step for ensuring statutory protection for minimum wage and timely payment of wage to 50 crore worker in the country has been taken through the Code on Wages besides promoting ease of living and ease of doing business.

*Please refer to the Code here: The Code on Wages, 2019


Ministry of Law and Justice

Amendments to existing lawsLegislation Updates

Parliament received President’s assent for the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 on 09-08-2019.

Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 had been passed by both the Houses of Parliament and was waiting for the President’s assent.

Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 will amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

Some of the important areas of the amendment as was notified earlier are:

Road Safety

In the area of road safety, the Bill proposes to increase penalties to act as a deterrent against traffic violations.  Stricter provisions are being proposed in respect of offences like juvenile driving, drunken driving, driving without licence, dangerous driving, over-speeding, overloading, etc. Stricter provisions for helmets have been introduced along with provisions for electronic detection of violations.  Penalty regarding motor vehicles is to be increased by 10 % every year.

Proposed Amendments in Various Penalties under Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill – 2019

Section Old Provision / Penalty New Proposed Provision / Minimum Penalties
177 General Rs 100 Rs 500
New 177A Rules of road regulation violation Rs 100 Rs 500
178 Travel without ticket RS 200 Rs 500
179 Disobedience of orders of authorities Rs 500 Rs 2000
180 Unautorized use of vehicles without licence Rs 1000 Rs 5000
181 Driving without licence Rs 500 Rs 5000
182 Driving despite disqualification Rs 500 Rs 10,000
182 B Oversize vehicles New Rs 5000
183 Over speeding Rs 400 Rs 1000 for LMVRs 2000 for Medium passenger vehicle
184 Dangerous driving penalty Rs 1000 Upto Rs 5000
185 Drunken driving Rs 2000 Rs 10,000
189 Speeding / Racing Rs 500 Rs 5,000
192 A Vehicle without permit upto Rs 5000 Upto Rs 10,000
193 Aggregators (violations of licencing conditions) New Rs 25,000 to Rs 1,00,000
194 Overloading Rs 2000 andRs 1000 per extra tonne Rs 20,000 andRs 2000 per extra tonne
194 A Overloading of passengers Rs 1000 per extra passenger
194 B Seat belt Rs 100 Rs 1000
194 C Overloading of two wheelers Rs 100 Rs 2000, Disqualification for 3 months for licence
194 D Helmets Rs 100 Rs 1000 Disqualification for 3 months for licence
194 E Not providing way for emergency vehicles New Rs 10,000
196 Driving Without Insurance RS 1000 Rs 2000
199 Offences by Juveniles New Guardian/owner shall be deemed to be guilty. Rs 25,000 with 3 yrs imprisonment. For Juvenile to be tried under JJ Act. Registration of Motor Vehicle to be cancelled
206 Power of Officers to impound documents Suspension of driving licenses u/s 183, 184, 185, 189, 190, 194C, 194D, 194E
210 B Offences committed by enforcing authorities Twice the penalty under the relevant section

Vehicle Fitness

Bill mandates automated fitness testing for vehicles. The testing agencies issuing automobile approvals have been brought under the ambit of the Act and standards will be set for motor vehicle testing institutes. The Bill also provides for a compulsory recall of defective vehicles and power to examine irregularities of vehicle companies.

Recall of Vehicles

The Bill allows the central government to order for recall of motor vehicles if a defect in the vehicle may cause damage to the environment, or the driver, or other road users. The manufacturer of the recalled vehicle will be required to: (i) reimburse the buyers for the full cost of the vehicle, or (ii) replace the defective vehicle with another vehicle with similar or better specifications.

Road Safety Board

Bill provides for a National Road Safety Board, to be created by the central government through a notification. The Board will advise the central and state governments on all aspects of road safety and traffic management including standards of motor vehicles,  registration and licensing of vehicles,  standards for road safety, and promotion of new vehicle technology.

Protection of Good Samaritan

To help road accident victims, Good Samaritan guidelines have been incorporated in the Bill.  The Bill defines a Good Samaritan as a person who renders emergency medical or non-medical assistance to a victim at the scene of an accident, and provides rules to prevent harassment of such a person.

Cashless Treatment during Golden Hour

The Bill provides for a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during golden hour.

Third-Party Insurance

The Bill has included the driver’s attendant in 3rd Party insurance. re will be no cap on liability of insurers. There will be a 10-time increase in insurance compensation, from Rs 50, 000 to Rs 5 lakh. Claim process has been simplified. Insurance firms have to pay claims within a month if the victim’s family agree to accept Rs 5 lakh compensation. The Bill also increases the minimum compensation for hit and run cases from Rs 25,000 to two lakh rupees in case of death, and from Rs 12,500 to Rs 50,000 in case of grievous injury.

Motor Vehicle Accident Fund

Bill requires the central government to constitute a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, to provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India. It will be utilised for:  treatment of persons injured in road accidents as per the golden hour scheme,  compensation to representatives of a person who died in a hit and run accident,  compensation to a person grievously hurt in a hit and run accident, and  compensation to any other persons as prescribed by the central government.

Improving Services using e-Governance

Improving the delivery of services to the stakeholders using e-Governance is one of the major focuses of this Bill. This includes:

  • Provision for online driving licenses
  • Process of Vehicle Registration
  • Drivers Training

Reforms in the Transportation System

Development of an integrated Transport System will be possible from the National Transportation Policy. This will also enhance the powers of the State Governments, provide better last-mile connectivity, rural transport, etc.

Taxi aggregators

Bill defines aggregators as digital intermediaries or market places which can be used by passengers to connect with a driver for transportation purposes (taxi services). The Bill provides guidelines for Aggregators. At present, there are no rules in many states for regulating aggregators, taxis, etc.

Reforms in Driving Licences

The vehicle owners may register their vehicle anywhere in the state and process of registration will be done by dealers. Differently abled persons will get facilities for registration of vehicles.

Reforms in the Transportation System

Development of an Integrated Transport System will be possible from the National Transportation Policy. This will also enhance the powers of the State Governments, provide better last mile connectivity, rural transport, etc. The Bill provides guidelines for Aggregators.

*Please follow the link to read the Act: Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019


Ministry of Law and Justice

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: A 2-Judge Bench comprising of Hemant Gupta, CJ., and Vijay Kumar Shukla, J., addressed four writ petitions having similar issues. These petitions challenged notification issued by the State Government prohibiting the manufacturing, storage, transportation, sale and use of the plastic carry bags in the entire State.

Petitioner sought relief to hold that the amendment to Section 3 of Madhya Pradesh Jaiv Anaashya Apashistha (Niyantran) Adhiniyam, 2004 is beyond the legislative competence of State Government in light of Rule 4 (c) & (d) of the Plastic Wastes Management Rules, 2016.

Petitioner contended that State amendment is repugnant to the Central Rules. According to the central rules, only a certain type of plastic was allowed whereas the State law prohibited the complete use, sale, manufacture of plastic. Whereas respondent contended that in accordance with Article 213 of Constitution of India, State is competent to enact State Act under Entry 6 of List II of Seventh Schedule but as the amendment sought to be made will affect freedom of trade and commerce granted under Article 304 (b), previous sanction of president had been taken.

The High Court observed that State Act is a step ahead of the Central Rules by prohibiting the complete use, sale, or manufacture of plastic whereas Central Rules aim to minimize the use, sale and manufacture of plastic thus State Act is not irreconcilable with the Central Act. Therefore, both the acts can be read harmoniously. High Court further approved the reasoning given by NGT in Goodwill Plastic Industries v. Union Territory of Chandigarh, 2013 SCC OnLine NGT 2000.  Therefore, the Court found no merit and dismissed the petition. [Popular Plastic v. State of M.P., WP No. 8182 of 2017, Order dated 06-09-2018]