Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Vibhu Bhakru, J. though conscious of the fact that the petitioners would face hardship, held that the petitioners who hold the degree of Medical Degree (Clinical) in General Internal Medicine from the University of Buckingham were not qualified to register and practice as specialists in India.

The batch of writ petitions was filed by doctors whose registration for the said degree under Section 26(1) of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 as additional qualification was entered in the Indian Medical Register. However, subsequently, the registration was cancelled by the Medical Council of India on the ground that the said degree was not recognised.

The High Court observed: “It is clear from the plain language of Section 26(1) of the IMC Act that only ‘a recognised medical qualification’ can be entered in the Indian Medical Register against the name of the medical practitioner. Clearly, a qualification which is not a recognised medical qualification cannot be entered in the Indian Medical Register.” In such circumstances, it was held that the decision of the MCI could not be faulted with.

Furthermore, petitioners’ contention that MCI was not estopped from revoking the registration already granted from denying the registration of an additional qualification was found unmerited. it was held that there is no estoppel against a statute and an error committed by MCI could not be allowed to be perpetrated.

Observing that the petitioners ought to have been aware that the said degree did not entitle a medical practitioner to practice as a specialist in that field in the UK and therefore, would not entitle them to practice as such in India, the High Court dismissed the writ petitions.[Ojasvi Sharma v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine Del 9372, decided on 23-07-2019]

Cabinet DecisionsLegislation Updates

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the introduction of Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Bill, 2019, for creating more accountability and offering more protection against exploitation of Indian citizens, mostly women by their NRI spouses.

Details:

The Bill provides for amendment of the legal framework to act as a deterrent to the erring NRI spouses and creating more accountability and offer protection against exploitation of Indian Citizens married to NRIs.

Once the Bill is passed, marriages performed by NRIs would be registered in India or Indian Missions & Posts abroad, and necessary changes would be carried out in the:

  1. Passports Act, 1967; and
  2. Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 by insertion of Section 86A.

Major Impact:

Serving Judicial summons for Court proceedings in India is a major problem, which would be taken care of by this Bill by amending the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Thus, the Bill would offer great protection to Indian citizens married to NRIs and serve as a deterrent to NRIs against harassment of their spouses. This Bill would benefit Indian women married to NRIs worldwide.

[Source: PIB]

Cabinet

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Vibhu Bhakru, J., dismissed a writ petition filed by a doctor against the decision of Delhi Medical Council denying him a renewal of registration.

The petitioner practiced medicine for the last 30 years in India and outside. From 2004 to 2011, he was practicing in State of Georgia, USA. Thereafter, he moved to India and had been practicing in Delhi. He was registered with Delhi Medical Council. In May 2017, a news article appeared in The Indian Express alleging that the petitioner had been charged and indicted on various counts of sexual misconduct in State of Georgia. Delhi Medical Council declined to renew his registration for concealing the fact of his having been guilty in a court of law. Before the Superior Court of Fulton County, he pleaded guilty for sexual battery and unwarranted medical examination on women patients. He struck a plea bargain and his 12-month sentence was suspended on special conditions which inter alia included that he would not practice medicine in any form within the USA or in any other country. Taking note of the same, renewal of registration was denied and disciplinary proceedings were also commenced by Medical Council of India. Aggrieved by the same same, the petitioner filed the instant petition.

The High Court noted that the declaration made by the petitioner before Delhi Medical Council was false in as much as he concealed the fact of being subject to an inquiry in the State of Georgia. Reference was made to Regulations 7.4 and 7.5 of Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette, and Ethics) Regulations, 2002. In the facts of the case, the Court was convinced that the petitioner was guilty of acts of sexual misconduct and was convicted for an offence involving moral turpitude. Medical Council of India had erased his name from the Medical Register which was found justified. Therefore, the Court found no reason to interfere with the impugned order. Hence, the petition was dismissed. [N.K. Gupta v. Medical Council of India,2018 SCC OnLine Del 10132, dated 23-07-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Uttaranchal High Court: The Division Bench of V.K. Bist and Alok Singh, JJ. has ordered in a Public Interest Litigation to shift all stray dogs with the State to shelter houses within six months.

The question before the Court was whether the life of a citizen is important than the stray dogs and whether the State authorities are duty bound/responsible for protecting/saving the life of the public of the State from the dog biting of stray dogs. Petitioner submitted that during last five years, more than eleven thousand cases of dog biting have come into light in which several persons have died also.

Though counsel for the State submitted that the work in this regard is to be done by the respective municipal bodies but considering the importance of the matter, the Court directed the Chief Secretary of the State to issue necessary directions to all concerned for taking appropriate steps in this regard. It was also made clear that the direction issued by the Chief Secretary of the State will be binding on all the authorities and non-compliance of the same would be treated as contempt of Court.

First of all, the authority concerned will have to determine the number of stray dogs in every town, city, and village. Necessary arrangements will have to be made for the construction of shelter house in every place. Court also suggested that the State Government may consider for making a law regarding the killing of dangerous stray dogs. The municipal and local authorities will also have to verify from each and every house whether their dogs are registered with the municipal board and if they found that the dogs are not registered they would ensure the registration as per law. [Girish Chandra Kholia v. State Of Uttarakhand,2018 SCC OnLine Utt 556, order dated 14-06-2018]

Business NewsNews

With an objective to familiarise the eligible and desirous individuals and entities with the process of registration as a valuer with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board (IBBI) , the IBBI today released the process required. The process of registration as registered valuer with the IBBI is as under:

A. For Individuals

Step 1: Satisfy yourself that you meet the eligibility requirements prescribed in Rule 3 and qualification and experience prescribed in Rule 4 of the Rules.

Step 2: Thereafter, seek enrolment as a valuer member of a RVO recognized by the IBBI.

Step 3: As a member of a RVO, complete the educational course recognised by the IBBI.

Step 4: Register and pass the computer based Valuation Examination of the relevant Asset Class conducted by the IBBI. Details of the Valuation Examination are available at IBBI website (www.ibbi.gov.in).

Step 5Within three years of passing the valuation examination, submit Form A appended to the Rules, duly filled in along with a payment of Rs. 5900 (Fee of Rs.5000 + 18% GST) in favour of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India and supporting documents, to your RVO. Quote GST number, if required by you. The Form A is to be submitted, documents to be uploaded and payment is to be made online. Please visit the IBBI web site www.ibbi.gov.in for this purpose.

Step 6: Thereafter, RVO shall verify Form A and other requirements and then submit the Form A along with its recommendation for registration as a valuer to the IBBI. The Form is to be submitted by the RVO online.

Step 7: On receipt of Form A along with recommendation of the RVO, the fee and other documents, the IBBI shall process the application for registration in accordance with the Rules.

B. For Entities (Partnership Firms, LLP and Companies)

Step 1: Satisfy yourself that you meet the eligibility requirements prescribed in rule 3 and qualification and experience prescribed in Rule 4 of the Rules.

Step 2: Submit Form B appended to the Rules, duly filled in along with a payment of Rs.11,800 (Fee of Rs.10,000 + 18% GST) in favour of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India and supporting documents, to your RVO. Quote GST number, if required by you. The Form B is to be submitted, documents to be uploaded and payment is to be made online. Please visit the IBBI web site www.ibbi.gov.in for this purpose.

Step 3: Thereafter, RVO shall verify Form B and other requirements and then submit the Form B along with its recommendation for registration as a valuer to the IBBI. The Form is to be submitted by the RVO online.

Step 4: On receipt of Form B along with recommendation of the RVO, the fee and other documents, the IBBI shall process the application for registration in accordance with the Rules.

BACKGROUND

Earlier, the Central Government had notified the commencement of Section 247 (relating to valuers) of the Companies Act, 2013 with effect from 18th October, 2017 and also notified the Companies (Registered Valuers and Valuation) Rules, 2017 (hereafter, “Rules”) on the same day. Vide notification dated 23rd October, 2017, the Central Government issued the Companies (Removal of Difficulties) Second Order, 2017 to provide that valuations required under the Companies Act, 2013 shall be undertaken by a person who, having the necessary qualifications and experience, and being a valuer member of a recognised valuer organisation (RVO), is registered as a valuer with the Authority. Vide another notification on the same date, the Central Government delegated its powers and functions under Section 247 of the Companies Act, 2013 to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) and specified the IBBI as the Authority under the Rules.

Subject to meeting other requirements, an individual is eligible to be a registered valuer, if he (i) is a fit and proper person, (ii) has the necessary qualification and experience, (iii) is a valuer member of a RVO, (iv) has completed a recognised educational course as member of a RVO, and (v) has passed the valuation examination conducted by the IBBI, and (vi) is recommended by the RVO for registration as a valuer. A partnership entity or a company is also eligible for registration subject to meeting the requirements.

Ministry of Corporate Affairs

Business NewsNews

In order to encourage farmers to register more crop varieties, the Union Ministry for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has announced cash incentives to farmers. An office of PPV and FRA would be opened to cater to the needs of the farmers in the State. The more crop varieties registered under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV and FRA), the more cash incentives for farmers. About Rs 10 lakh will be given to the community for propagating the awareness on farmers rights in a particular area, while a cash incentive of Rs 1.5 lakh will be given to individual farmers for clocking higher registrations of varieties which they have developed in their fields.

[Source: The Hindu BusinessLine]

Business NewsNews

The government is considering a nationwide single GST registration process for the aviation, banking and insurance sectors. A single registration will potentially solve a majority of the compliance problems that services companies have been complaining about. They now have to register themselves and file GST returns in every state or union territory (UT) they operate in. But the change will require the approval of the GST Council, the top decision-making body under the new tax system, where states are expected to oppose it fearing revenue loss as they have done when the proposal had come up before.

While goods-producing industries were used to making multiple state-wise returns for value-added tax under the previous regime, this is a new requirement for services companies, which complain it as a cumbersome process involving lot of paperwork and manpower. For instance, since most airlines have pan-India operations and sales offices, they have to make about 30 registrations. In each territory, they have to file two returns every month: GSTR1 on outward supply or sale and GSTR 3B, which is a summary of all transactions and credits. With two more being added — GSTR 2 on inward supply or purchase and GSTR 3on reconciliation or credits to be claimed from the government — the number of returns that an airline has to file is set to increase to 120 a month, or 1,440 a year.

There are other fears as well. Inter-company transactions in some sectors could attract transfer pricing issues. In such cases, the company will have to pay tax. There could be problems also over tax assessment due to reassignment of work within the tax authorities. The government has assigned GST assessing officers from a combined pool of officials who previously dealt with sales tax, excise or VAT. Some of them, especially those working in state governments, may not be familiar with the way services industries operate. Earlier, state officials dealt primarily with manufacturing companies, collecting VAT. The central government collected excise tax as well as services tax from industries like aviation and financial services. Service providers, which were previously assessed only at the central level, are also assessed by state officials under GST. A common registration system, with a centralized filing of returns, will significantly cut compliance costs and complexities, a key issue that almost all of corporate India has raised about the tax structure that combines several indirect taxes into one.

[Source: The Economic Times]

Hot Off The PressNews

Sub-section (1) of Section 41 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 requires that all Child Care Institutions (CCIs) whether run by State Government or by voluntary or non-governmental organisations shall be registered under the Act. This further provides that the institutions having valid registrations under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 shall be deemed to be registered under the Act. The primary responsibility of registrations as well as effective functioning of the CCIs vests with the State Governments/UT Administrations concerned. However, a mapping and review exercise was undertaken through Childline India Foundation (CIF) and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to understand the registration and  status of Institutions vis-à-vis the norms and standards prescribed under the JJ Act (2000/2015) across the country.

CIF has submitted the final data for 9589 number of homes mapped and reviewed across the country. Accordingly, ministry has requested to all the State Govt./UTs vide letter dated 10th March, 4th May and 1st December, 2017 respectively, to ensure registration and appropriate action for rehabilitation of children in need of care and protection. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India vide its Order dated 5th May, 2017 on Writ Petition (C) No. 102 of 2007 has also directed that all unregistered CCIs be registered by 31st December, 2017. Accordingly, as stated, the State Governments/UTs have been requested to ensure registration of all CCIs either run by State Government or by voluntary or non-governmental organizations. As per the information provided by the State/UT Governments, as on date, the number of Child Care Institutions (CCIs) registered under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000/2015 in the country alongwith the number of children residing in these institutions and which are being supported under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), is given below:

Category Children Home Beneficiaries Specialized Adoption Agencies (SAAs) Beneficiaries Open Shelter Beneficiaries
 

Total

1177 61423 354 3362 295 8023

 Ministry of Women and Child Development

 

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of P.B. Suresh Kumar, J. dealt with writs filed with regard to the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection), Act, 1994. The Act’s objective is to prohibit pre-natal diagnostic techniques for determination of sex of foetus leading to female foeticide. The Supreme Court in Voluntary Health Association of Punjab v. Union of India , (2013) 4 SCC 1  issued certain guidelines for the effective implementation of the provisions of the Act.

The respondent District Medical Officer, on the recommendations of the Inspection and Monitoring Committee inspected the premises of the petitioners, owning genetic clinics and diagnostic centers, and on finding that the provisions of the Act were being violated, seized the machinery being used by them,  subsequently suspending their registration under the said Act. The petitioners questioned the findings and recommendations of the Committee without giving the petitioners an opportunity to be heard. It was also contended that seizure of equipments was without jurisdiction and that their registrations could not be suspended without issuing a notice.

Relying on the provisions of the Act and on the guidelines issued under the aforementioned case, the Court concluded that the Act granted authority to inspect and give recommendations to the appropriate authority. Even seizure of machinery was provided for in the Act if it is found that its provisions have been flouted. However, registration cannot be suspended without issuing a notice and if no notice is issued in the interest of public, then the authority has to record their reason for not issuing notice. Therefore, the petitions were allowed in part. [Dr. Jessy Joseph v. State of Kerala,  2017 SCC OnLine Ker 8960, decided on 20.07.2017]

Hot Off The PressNews

In order to smoothen the process of registration of Retirement Advisers, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has transformed the process of submitting application from physical mode to online mode.
The applicants can now submit their application online and upload scanned images of all the required documents. This will reduce the application processing time. PFRDA is registering Retirement Advisers for widening the coverage of NPS by facilitating on boarding of the subscribers and also providing advisory services to them for allocating assets under NPS and choosing Pension Fund Managers.
“Retirement Adviser” can be any individual, registered partnership firm, body corporate, or any registered trust or society, which desires to engage in the activity of providing advice on National Pension System or other pension schemes regulated by PFRDA to prospects / existing subscribers or other persons or group of persons and is registered as such under the PFRDA (Retirement Advisers) Regulations.
NISM and FPSB India are providing necessary certification in order to become eligible for registration as Retirement Adviser. However, Investment Advisers registered with SEBI are exempted from the requirement of such certifications and they can directly submit their application to PFRDA for registration.
Ministry of Finance
Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In the matter where the moot question before the Court was that whether the Sub-Registrar (Registration) has authority to cancel the registration of any document including an Extinguishment Deed after it is registered? Similarly, whether the Inspector General (Registration) can cancel the registration of Extinguishment Deed in exercise of powers under Section 69 of the Registration Act, 1908, the Court said that in absence of any express provision regarding cancellation of registration, it is not open to assume that the Sub-Registrar (Registration) would be competent to cancel the registration of the documents in question. Similarly, the power of the Inspector General is limited to do superintendence of registration offices and make rules in that behalf. Even the Inspector General has no power to cancel the registration of any document which has already been registered.

In the present matter that was placed before the 3-Judge Bench of Ranjan Gogoi, P.C. Pant and A.M. Khanwilkar, JJ owing to the difference of opinion between Dipak Misra and V. Gopala Gowda, JJ while deciding the question as to authority of the sub-registrar to register the Extinguishment deed, the Court explained that the fact whether the document was properly presented for registration cannot be reopened by the Registrar after its registration. The power to cancel the registration is a substantive matter. Section 35 of the Act does not confer a quasi-judicial power on the Registering Authority. The Registering Officer is expected to reassure that the document to be registered is accompanied by supporting documents. He is not expected to evaluate the title or irregularity in the document as such. The examination to be done by him is incidental, to ascertain that there is no violation of provisions of the Act of 1908. He cannot decide as to whether a document presented for registration is executed by person having title, as mentioned in the instrument. The validity of such registered document can, indeed, be put in issue before a Court of competent jurisdiction.

Another question that was placed before bench was whether in absence of any specific Rule in the State of Madhya Pradesh with regard to the registration of an Extinguishment Deed, the general principle laid down in the case of Thota Ganga Laxmi v. Government of Andhra Pradesh, (2010)15 SCC 207 would be applicable where it was held that a unilateral cancellation deed cannot be registered with reference to Rule 2(k)(i) of the Rules framed by the State of Andhra Pradesh under Section 69 of the Act of 1908. The Court held that the said judgment was dealing with the express provision as applicable in the State of Andhra Pradesh and the dictum in that decision cannot have universal application to all the States and hence, in absence of such an express provision, in other State legislations, the Registering Officer would be governed by the provisions in the Act of 1908. [Satya Pal Anand v. State of M.P., 2016 SCC OnLine SC 1202, decided on 26.10.2016]