Contract of sale is simply an agreement between a buyer and a seller for the exchange of goods or property. Section 4(1)defines a contract of sale as- A contract of sale of goods is a contract whereby the seller transfers or agrees to transfer the property in the goods to the buyer for a price.
There are basically 5 essential conditions:
Transfer of ownership
Essential elements of a valid contract
There must be 2 parties for carrying out an agreement that is buyer and seller to effect a contract and they must be competent enough to make contract. ‘Buyer’ according to section 2(1) is a person who buys or agrees to buy goods. ‘Seller’ according to Section 13 is a person who sells or agrees to sell goods.In a contract of sale, the ownership of goods has to pass from one person to another. Hence the seller and the buyer must be different persons because one person cannot be both the buyer and the seller.
For example, Ram and sham were partners. After some years, the firm was dissolved. On the dissolution, some goods were divided among all the partners. Such a distribution of goods among the partners was not a sale.
There must be some goods to agree upon to conclude the agreement which needs to be transferred from seller to buyer to constitute a valid contract.Goods must be one which is defined as goods in Sec. 2(7) of the Sale of Goods Act. As per the definition given in Sec. 2(7) of the Act, goods means every kind of movable property.
For e.g., Ram agreed to sell to Sham, wheat crops which is grown in his field. Ram and Sham agreed that Sham may cut the crop and take it away upon the payment of the price. As the growing crop is included in the term “goods”, this is a valid contract of sale
There must be some price to conclude the agreement. According to Sec. 2(10) of the Sale of Goods Act, the term price means “the money consideration for a sale of goods“. The most important essential for the enforceability of the Contract of Sale of goods is the price. The price can be termed equivalent to the consideration. In the absence of such price or consideration, the transfer cannot be termed as a sale. The transfer by way of the sale must be in exchange for a price. The payment of the price can be made in two modes:
Paid fully in cash; or
Paid partly and rest promised to be paid partly in future.
The price can be determined through an instrument of agreement between the parties before the conveyance (transfer) of the property. or e.g., A delivered to B 10 cows valued at Rs.2,000 per cow. B delivered to A 20 bags of rice at Rs.750 per bag and paid the balance of Rs.5,000 in cash in exchange of the cows. This is a valid contract of sale.
TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP
In a contract of sale, ownership over goods has to be transferred to the buyer by the seller or there should be an agreement to transfer the ownership by the seller to the buyer. There are two types of property on the basis of its nature, i.e., general property and special property. The subject-matter of the contract of Sale of Goods deals with the special property. For the enforceability of such a contract, there must be a transfer of special property from the seller to the buyer.
For e.g., if A owns certain goods he has general property in the goods. If he pledges them with B, B has a special property in the goods.
ESSENTIALS OF VALID CONTRACT
All essential elements of a valid contract must be present in the contract of the sale, i.e.,
124th constitutional amendment offers reservation of 10% for economically weaker sections and it was brought in 2019. This amendment was done to amend the Constitution of India to extend 10% reservations in direct recruitment in common jobs and for admission in higher education institutions to economically weaker sections. It seeks to provide for the advancement of economically weaker sections of all the castes and communities including christians and muslims. It helps the poor among the upper castes. In simple words it’s about facilitating access to seats in common jobs, educational institutions and even legislatures to certain sections of the population. In our country it is governed by common policies backed by the Indian constitution.
This system is rooted in the age all old system of India because lower castes have faced historical injustice due to their caste identity. William hunter and jyoti rao phule in 1882 conceived the idea of caste based reservation system and then it was introduced in 1933 when British Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald presented the communal award which made Separate electorate for Muslim, Indians, christians, Anglo Indians and other community. After long negotiations ambedkar and Gandhi signed the poona pact decided that there would be a single Hindu electorate with certain reservations in it.
INCREASE IN DEMAND
However in recent decades there has been seen an increase in the demand for reservation because it is considered as remedy for the adverse effects of ill thought out development policies. A number of factors are responsible for this violent agitation associated with demands for reservation. These are acute agrarian distress, increasing unemployment and loss of jobs. There has also been demands made by the marathas in maharashtra, jats in Haryana, rajputs in rajastan, kapus in telagana, andhra pradesh and Patel patidars in gujarat.
There has also been increasing demand for reservation in the upper caste for the fear of losing privilege and inability to cope with change therefore upper caste is also beginning to feel disadvantaged especially in the context of common jobs as it won’t get similar advantage like backward classes. 124th amendment of the Constitution 2019 was brought to provide reservation to these economic weaker sections of the society for the direct recruitment for government jobs and admission to higher education institutions. This act amends article 15 and 16 of constitution.
CRITERIA FOR RESERVATION
There has been certain criteria to be eligible for reservation in EWS category it can be benefited to those who are in general category and whose family’s gross annual income is below 8 lakh rupees including income from all sources.
Persons whose family owns this following assets can not be included in EWS category
5 acres of agricultural land and above
Residential flat of 1000 ft² and above
residential plot of 100 yd² in above notified multiplicities
the Residential plot of 200 yd² and above in areas other notified municipalities.
The property held by family in different locations will be clubbed while applying for the EWS details.
CHALLENGES TO CONSTITUTIONAL STATUS
There has been reservation cap of 50% in the Indra Sawhney case in 1992 where Supreme Court said that reservations beyond 50% violate article 14 (right to equality) and 1/2 of the jobs and seats in education institution must be for the general category. This step will also violate the Supreme Court ruling of Kesavananda Bharti case which states that any amendment which offends the basic structure of constitution would be ultra wires.
Reservation is fair as far as it provides appropriate positive discrimination for the benefit of backward sections of society. It also leads to associated problems such as passing the benefits to only privileged who have already been benefited by reservation. The communities exploded from reservation often harbour animosity and prejudice against the castes included in the reservation category.
On 2nd October, India and South Africa sent a joint notice to the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights on the World Trade Organisation requesting a waiver of intellectual property rights for Copyrights, Industrial Designs, Patents, and Protection of Undisclosed Information concerning treating, preventing and containing COVID-19. The waiver has been requested for the duration it takes for the majority of the world’s population to develop immunity.
Some key points from the proposal:
• There are several reports about intellectual property rights hindering or potentially hindering timely provisioning of affordable medical products to the patients.3 It is also reported that some WTO Members have carried out urgent legal amendments to their national patent laws to expedite the process of issuing compulsory/government use licenses. Beyond patents, other intellectual property rights may also pose a barrier, with limited options to overcome those barriers. In addition, many countries especially developing countries may face institutional and legal difficulties when using flexibilities available in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). A particular concern for countries with insufficient or no manufacturing capacity are the requirements of Article 31bis and consequently the cumbersome and lengthy process for the import and export of pharmaceutical products.
• In these exceptional circumstances, we request that the Council for TRIPS recommends, as early as possible, to the General Council a waiver from the implementation, application and enforcement of Sections 1, 4, 5, and 7 of Part II of the TRIPS Agreement in relation to prevention, containment or treatment of COVID-19.
• The waiver should continue until widespread vaccination is in place globally, and the majority of the world’s population has developed immunity hence we propose an initial duration of [x] years from the date of the adoption of the waiver.
While initially proposed by India and South Africa, the proposal garnered support from many developing countries, various international NGOs, multiple UN agencies, and the Director-General of WHO.
But it faced opposition from the US, the UK, Canada, and the European Union (EU), among other richer countries. Unsurprisingly, most pharmaceutical firms have been opposing the move too. While some outrightly rejected the move, others sought further clarification on how IP rules posed challenges to procuring or manufacturing COVID-related diagnostics, equipment, vaccine, or therapeutics. There were also concerns raised over how the request of waiver of Industrial Design and Copyrights relates to addressing COVID-19.
Opposers of the waiver have been repeatedly arguing that the IP rights system has been crucial in the development of medicinal products including vaccines in record time. They have been reiterating that the existing flexibilities in the TRIPS agreement, WHOs vaccine pillar COVAX and ACT-A (Access to COVID-19 Accelerator) will be sufficient in providing global access to the vaccine.
How would the waiver help?
The waiver proposals cover all medical tools required to combat COVIS-19 and are not limited to just medicines as provided for by the existing flexibilities in TRIPS. An efficient COVID response requires a wide range of medical products. Many of these products and their parts are covered by multiple IPRs like copyrights, industrial design, patents. Each of these is a hindrance to mass production.
Trade secret laws have resulted in various companies not sharing details about the safety and efficacy of their products in the public domain. Nature magazine recently reported that a worrying number of people around the world are refusing the vaccine because they are worried about rushed approvals and general distrust of pharmaceutical companies. This would mean they remain exposed to COVID and thereby prolonging the pandemic. Waivers in this domain would allow for some of this data to be used in the public interest.
Is IPR a barrier for COVID – 19 medical tools?
Even though argued to the contrary by parties opposing the waiver proposal, there have been various instances where this is true. For instance, South Africa faced accessing key chemical reagents for COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Patent holders threatened, producers of 3D Ventilator valves in Northern Italy with patent infringement.
Gilead Sciences had obtained a patent for remdesivir when it was considered efficient for treating COVID -19, which made it impossible for many countries to access it from alternative suppliers. (Please note remdesivir has now been delisted by WHO.)
Even with vaccines, precedents suggest that IPR will prove to be a hindrance. Pfizer’s aggressive patenting with 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines resulted in a South Korean company having to stop its development of the same. These patents deter competition, keep prices high and affect people’s access to vaccines, especially in developing and least-developed countries. The richer ones have managed to enter into advance multilateral agreements with pharmaceutical firms to procure sufficient vaccines for themselves.
Did IPR enable a breakthrough in COVID-19 medicines and vaccines?
The pharma industry and others have repeatedly stated the above. But India and Pakistan have replied to the same stating that public funding, philanthropy, and a common cause to eliminate the pandemic have been the propelling forces behind the breakthrough. It is common practice for pharmaceutical corporations to commercialise scientific breakthroughs achieved in public institutions and funded by the taxpayer.
Will Voluntary and Compulsory Licensing help?
The pharmaceutical industry collectively has decided not to contribute to WHO’s Technology Access Pool, an initiative that encourages the voluntary contribution of IP, technical know-how, and data to meet the global demand for COVID-related medical tools and products. Even though firms like AstraZeneca have entered into licensing deals with some countries to manufacture their vaccine, these deals are masked in secrecy. AstraZeneca’s deal with Brazilian public research body Fundação Oswaldo Cruz gives it the option of declaring the pandemic over by July 2021, which means it can charge a higher price for the vaccine from thereon.
The compulsory licensing flexibility is a territorial, case to case, product to a product-based system which is quite cumbersome and ridden with administrative and procedural delays.
Can the global initiatives such as ACT-A and its vaccine pillar – COVAX deliver vaccines effectively?
While the financial contributions by many opposing parties are significant and worthy of mention, it does not change the fact that these initiatives are handicapped by the limited capacity of existing manufactures. Also, pledging finances to advance supply by existing players is not the same as increasing supply by allowing new suppliers into the playing field.
Where does the waiver proposal stand now?
Despite eight discussions since its initial appearance in October 2020, WTO member states have failed to arrive at a consensus. But it is still not off the table as it has been agreed to discuss it twice in April before the WTO Council meeting in June.
During the initial days of the pandemic, governments across the globe worked together to tackle it. As the days went by it’s back to business as usual. In this, one must not forget that access in developing countries should not be defined by the existing manufacturing capacities and financial contributions of richer nations when alternative options are not even perused. The world across governments have a moral obligation is to safeguard the public’s health and provide access to requisite medical tools.
The most widely used and official description of sustainable development has been provided by the Brundtland Report, 1987 also known as “Our Common Future”. It is as follows: Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Yet in the end, sustainable development is not a fixed state of harmony, but rather a process of change in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development, and institutional change are made consistent with future as well as present needs.
Sustainable development defines how societies can be managed to ensure their long-term existence. This stems from a realization in the second half of the 19th century by Western societies their economic and industrial polies was taking a toll on environmental and social balance. For e.g. issues like the Bhopal Gas Tragedy (1984), Chernobyl (1986), American banking Crisis (1907), Oil shocks (1973, 1979), to name a few.
A brief history of SDGs:
1. In 1992, at the Earth Summit in Brazil, Members States adopted Agenda 21, a plan to build a global partnership for sustainable development. 2. In New York, 2000, Member States adopted the Millennium Declaration. This elaborated the eight-point Millennium Development Goals to reduce extreme poverty by 2015. 3. At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Brazil, in June 2012, Member States decided to set up UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and a process to develop a set of SDGs that builds upon on the MDGs. 4. In 2013 the General Assembly set up a 30-member team to draft a proposal for developing SDGs. 5. In September 2015, at the UN Sustainable Development Summit, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with 17 SDGs was adopted.
What are the 17 SDGs?
• Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere • Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture • Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages • Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls • Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all • Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all • Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all • Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation • Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries • Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts* • Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Where do we stand today, India and world?
In 2020, UN launched the Decade of Action to meet its Agenda 2030. As per the SDG Report 2020, the world is not on track on achieving these goals by the set target. This was so even before Covid 19 struck, perhaps the worst health, social and economic crisis of our times. In fact, while progress was already cruising way below the speed limit, the pandemic has it rusting away in a garage.
As per 2020 report, the pandemic has negatively affected SDGs 1, 2,3,8,10 and brought temporary relief to SDGs 12, 13, 14 and 15.
In India, Niti Aayog, the government’s premier think tank has been given the task of mapping the SDGs to relevant schemes and ministries. It is also responsible for releasing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index , the second edition of which was released in Dec , 2019. The second edition of the index covered 16 SDGs as opposed to the initial index which covered only 13. Also, the composite score has increased to 60 from 57 in 2018. India has made progress in areas of water, sanitation, power and industry but suffers in areas of nutrition, education, gender matters.
As per the Sustainable Development Report 2020 released by sdgindex.org India ranks 117 in the world with a score of 61.9.
While the progress towards goals seem lamentable, let’s not remember the difference adopting sustainability has brought about in the way societies, communities and nations function and importantly think. Election campaigns across the globe see parties adopting policies aligned with sustainable development. And forging ahead is the only path ahead , sustainability is not essentially a quantifiable target but rather an ideal , a thought that should inhibit our minds , dictate our action much like human rights.
Cybercrime is a worldwide issue. With the advancement of technology, cyber-crime and female victimization are on the rise, posing a serious threat to a person’s overall security. Despite the fact that India is one of the few countries to pass the Information Technology Act of 2000 to fight cybercrime, women’s problems are still unaddressed in this legislation. This Act does not completely address the grave threat to women’s safety in general.
Cybercrime is a term that refers to any criminal activity that is carried out primarily through the use of a device. It is a crime committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal purpose who use modern telecommunication networks such as the Internet to deliberately damage the victim’s reputation or inflict physical or mental harm to the victim directly or indirectly. Women, especially young girls who are inexperienced in the cyber world and who have been newly exposed to the internet and do not understand the internet’s vices, are particularly vulnerable to falling prey to cyber criminals and bullies.
TYPES OF CYBER CRIMES
Cyber-crimes may be committed against persons, property and government. The common types of cyber-crimes are discussed below.
Harassment via e-mail
It is not a novel idea. It’s a lot like bullying people by letters. It may involve extortion, threats, intimidation, and even email cheating. While e-harassment is similar to letter harassment, it frequently causes problems when it is sent from a false ID.
It is one of the most often discussed and practiced online crimes in today’s world. According to the Oxford dictionary, stalking is described as “pursuing stealthily.” Cyber stalking is described as following a person’s movements around the Internet by posting threatening messages on the victim’s bulletin boards, accessing the victim’s chat rooms, and continuously bombarding the victim with emails, messages, and other communications.
The most dangerous threat to female internet users is cyber pornography. This would include pornographic websites or magazines created through the use of computers to publish and print the content, as well as the Internet (to download and distribute pornographic pictures, images, and writings, among other things).
The internet has served as a conduit for the facilitation of crimes such as pornography, especially cyber pornography. On the Internet today, almost half of all web pages contain pornographic material. When cyber criminals use pictures of women and fix them with naked, this becomes dangerous to a woman’s dignity. Photographs or videos, and only that woman appears in the picture or video.
Another popular offence against women on the internet is cyber tort, which includes libel and defamation. This happens when slander is carried out using machines and/or the Internet. Someone, for example, posts defamatory information about someone on a website or sends defamatory e-mails to all of that person’s friends or relatives.
Hacking someone’s id on Facebook, Google, or any other social networking or mailing website is the most common method. It can also be achieved by creating a false profile of an individual on any website that contains all of that person’s personal information and appears to be real to others.
Unauthorized editing of the original image is known as morphing. Morphing is the process of creating a false identity for a consumer. It had been
Female pictures are downloaded by fake users and then re-posted/uploaded on various websites after being edited by creating fake profiles.
Email spoofing is when an e-origin mail’s is misrepresented. It is a forgery of an email. It demonstrates that its root is distinct from the real origin.
LANDMARK CASES IN THIS REGARD
The Ritu Kohli Case was India’s first case of cyber stalking. Mrs Ritu Kohli filed a police report against a person who was using her identity to chat on the Internet for four days in a row, mostly in the Delhi channel. Mrs. Kohli also said that the individual was chatting on the Internet, using her name and address, and using obscene language. The same person was also giving her phone number to other chatters with the intention of encouraging them to call Ritu Kohli at odd hours.
As a result, Mrs. Kohli received nearly 40 calls in three days, the majority of which were during after-hours. The said call caused havoc in the complainant’s personal life, so IP addresses were traced and police investigated the situation, eventually arresting the suspect. He was arrested and charged under section 509 of the Indian Penal Code, following which he was released on bail. This is the first time that a cyber-stalking case has been identified.
The DPS MMSscandal is a well-known example of cyber pornography, in which an MMS clip of a schoolgirl in a compromising position was created and disseminated through several internet networks.
In the case of SMC Pneumatics (India) Pvt Ltd. v. Jogesh Kwatra-Jogesh Kwatra, India’s first instance of cyber defamation was registered. Pneumatics (India) Pvt Ltd. is a private limited company based in India. The company’s employee (defendant) began sending insulting, defamatory, and obscene e-mails about its Managing Director, which was reported as cyber defamation.
The anonymous and regular e-mails were sent to several of their business partners in order to tarnish the company’s reputation and goodwill. Plaintiff’s firm with the assistance of a private computer analyst, the complainant was able to locate the defendant and filed a case in the Delhi High Court.
The recent Air Force Balbharati School case (Delhi) falls under this category, in which a student was mocked by all of his classmates because he had a pockmarked face. He planned to retaliate against his tormentors by scanning images of his classmates and teachers, morphing them with nude photographs, and posting them on a website he created using a free web hosting service. When the father of one of the class girls featured on the website learned of this, he filed a police report.
SOME SUGGESTIONS AND STEPS TO TACKLE CYBER CRIMES
In addition to relying on the legal system to combat cybercrime, women must be mindful of self-victimization due to cybercrime, because the time has come to condemn the embrace of silence. Furthermore, cyber laws do not apply universally, since they differ from country to country. Every internet user nowadays, particularly women, wants to browse the web privately and safely. We should take some action to address this problem. The following are several steps and recommendations for how women can protect themselves from being abused in cyberspace and make their online attitudes and interactions safer:
Passwords should be modified on a regular basis.
Avoid disclosing your home address.
Keep your social relationships secure.
Campaign to raise awareness about cybercrime
Seminars and conferences to help people better understand cybercrime
Be wary of unsolicited phone calls and texts.
Recognize the social network’s privacy settings.
Anti-virus software must be kept up to date at all times.
Data security on the go
Keep the firewall activated.
It concludes that gaining exposure to combat cybercrime against women in general is difficult, and the only way to do so is to understand cybercrime. Criminals consider cybercrime to be much simpler than conventional crimes because there is less risk of being caught and less fines. First, the government must improve the justice system to reduce cybercrime.
Second, society’s perception or mind-set toward women must be altered, as women must no longer be seen as a commodity. People must realise that violence against women is merely a manifestation of gender disparity and power imbalances between men and women.
Third, women must recognise that the time has come to break their silence or hesitancy and speak out against cybercrime and for their rights.
Fourth, it necessitates ongoing study and exposure to cybercrime. It should be thoroughly researched and subsidised by the government.
Fifth, police officers must be trained in order to combat and respond to cybercrime. Workshops and seminars on cyber space education must be arranged for this reason. Women should take part in such events as well. However, in the end, people must change their attitudes toward women and cultivate a sense of community, since cleanliness begins at home.
India, the biggest democracy in the world where people choose their own representatives to rule and have full rights to vote, Don’t you expect the person who is going to rule the whole country or state to be well educated? Well, most of us vote to choose our best representative who can serve our interests and is responsible towards his work.
Thus he should have a good moral character, should be empathetic and be mindful of the interests of people of his constituency but in today’s politics the trust of the electorate is repeatedly violated, morality has become a myth and politicians have become over concerned with capturing power. This further degrades the political culture and there has been loss of responsible character among the representatives.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR CONTESTING ELECTIONS
However in India for contesting elections there have been some necessary conditions which don’t include education qualifications.
A person should be resident citizen of the country
The person should be of at least 25 years of age
The person should be registered as a voter in any constituency
He should not be convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment of 2 years or more
He /she should not hold any office of profit
In these conditions no education qualification has been listed here because it is believed that most relevant qualification for MP or MLA is the ability to understand the people’s concerns and represent the interests. If they are more educated but failed to present interests of the voters adequately they will be voted out of power whereas if candidate is not highly educated but keeps the interest office electorate supreme then there’s not a better representative than him or her.
WHY IT SHOULD BE THERE?
Education is important in the present world as it would enhance the policy making or decision making quality in India as better and specialized politicians will be able to understand the needs and aspirations of the people
Less educated politicians will not be able to cope up with global changes and will not be able to understand diplomatic situations with other countries of the world as well as world leaders
it would attract some of the most brilliant minds from the country for contesting elections because they will perceive election battleground to be familiar and welcoming when they will see politicians with qualifications similar to theirs
Education qualifications would also raise the general level of education in the country as more people would become inspired to get literate and educated if the political leaders will start to do so
Currently most of the politicians are non specialized they work for the general welfare of the people. The task of specialized activities is left to the civil servants that is bureaucracy
WHY IT SHOULDN’T BE?
Education is the fundamental right of every citizen and it is the duty of the state to provide education to everyone and if someone is being illiterate, it is the failure of state not of the person.
Education qualifications have not been prescribed in the Constitution. Constitution makers did not envision any educational qualification for any posts except for a few.
It also believed that more than education, character and commitment for politicians are important as a strong and valuable character will be effectively able to represent the interest of the people
As most of the people in India are still illiterate prescribing minimum education qualification will deprive majority of the common people from contesting elections.
Prescribing minimum disqualifications would deprive a large number of females from contesting elections as it is a females take drop out of schools and colleges to take care of their household owes and family.
THE WAY FORWARD
Minimum educational qualifications for politicians may be required but it must address existing concerns that come in the way of democratic rights. It is not doubtful that setting new education qualifications are necessary for politicians so that the best of the mind should govern our country yet it cannot be enforced upon the country with a blink of an eye. The minimum qualification that should be prescribed shall be left to the wisdom of common people and the politicians. A well informed individual having a powerful will and stronger moral character represents the interest of the people most effectively. Though education qualifications are required for politicians yet they are not necessary.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill, 2021, was recently approved by the Rajya Sabha. The bill aims to make changes to the 1971 Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. The bill modifies a variety of laws that were previously ambiguous, derogatory, or based on obsolete medical standards. The bill has sparked conversations about human rights, including women’s rights to their wombs. The bill was introduced in response to several PILs filed in the Supreme Court and various High Courts, as well as the demands of various NGOs and civil societies working for women’s and human rights.
CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF EXISTING BILL
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971 was an earlier piece of abortion legislation. Prior to this, ending a pregnancy was considered a criminal act that was punishable under Indian law. The act of ending a pregnancy voluntarily was treated as a criminal offence. In 1971, a law was passed that allowed abortion in certain cases, such as rape, danger to the mother’s life, and so on. The act was passed with the goal of reducing the death rate caused by unsafe and illegal abortions while also controlling unintended pregnancies and protecting maternal health.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971 was chastised for its antiquated medical principles and lack of regard for women’s rights. The act took away a woman’s right to her womb and denied her consent or willingness to have an abortion. The current act’s 20-week cap was inadequate in dealing with cases involving foetal problems or anomalies. In the case of a 20-week deadline, the abortion process was very harassing and stressful, which helped in the rise of illicit pregnancies. Women would rather get an illegal abortion than go through the painful treatments after 20 weeks.
The 20-week cap was focused on 1970s medical science principles that have since been replaced by new medical science concepts. Scientific advancements such as abortion pills and aspirations have made the procedure safer and more extendable. Only in the 21st week of pregnancy is an impairment scan possible. After 20 weeks, the complicated and exhausting procedure has led to women opting for unlawful abortions and a higher incidence of unsafe abortions.
CHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF THE 2020 BILL
The bill extends the time limit for abortion to 24 weeks, up from the previous 20 weeks, for vulnerable women such as rape survivors, differentially abled women, minors, and incest victims. However, there is no specified age limit for gestational age in cases of pregnancies of significant foetal abnormality declared and approved by the medical board. The bill also aims to give women up to a certain degree of power over their wombs. Just one provider will be required for terminations occurring during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, while two doctors’ opinions will be required for terminations occurring between the 20th and the 24th week of pregnancy. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (prsindia.org)
The bill also seeks to protect the privacy of women who are having abortions by stating that names and other personal information will not be disclosed to others unless they are legally approved. Even the bill makes contraceptive failure a cause for abortion, and it extends to both the woman and her partner. On a medical, social, and humanitarian level, the bill ensures that women have secure and legal access to pregnancy. It advances the well-being and development of women’s health and their right to use their wombs. It establishes the circumstances in which a pregnancy may be terminated.
The main issue and source of contention within the scope of such a law on abortion is differing viewpoints on the topic. Many people claim that it is a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have a pregnancy and whether or not to terminate it, although it is the state’s responsibility to protect the unborn foetus’ life.
ENCOUNTERS AND ISSUES IN THE NEW BILL
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill, 2021, however, is not the magic line in the same; it also has some fundamental shortcomings that could be a significant impediment to achieving its target. The act’s main flaws or flaws may be a major explanation for its ineffectiveness. The bill specifies that a doctor appointed under the act has the power to determine whether or not to terminate a pregnancy after 24 weeks. This introduces a new channel or procedure to navigate, making those approvals more difficult and out of reach for many women. There is no time limit for the medical board to make a decision, resulting in delays and inadequate implementation and execution.
The bill has put women’s categorisation in the hands of the executive; it would be irrational to reject the parliament and place it in the hands of the executive. The bill is silent on transgender issues and stipulates that abortion must be protected and performed by a licensed medical practitioner, despite the fact that India already has a 75% shortage of qualified physicians. In such a scenario, enacting such provisions would be a hollow pledge because we lack infrastructure in both the rural and urban sectors. Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill, 2020: What Are the Pros & Cons of Changes to Our Abortion Law? (thequint.com)
Many countries around the world have abortion legislation; in fact, abortion is legal in nearly 97 countries around the world. In terms of social, religious, and human rights progress, the regulation differs from state to state. WHO released comprehensive technical and policy recommendations in 2003 to assist governments all over the world? The gestation age has been determined up to 12 weeks in many countries. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill of 2021 is a progressive piece of legislation passed by the legislature to control abortion and facilitate safe and legal abortion. The act’s proper implementation will undoubtedly reduce the number of women’s deaths and increase the number of cases of safe and legal abortion.
What would you know about the cost of one tweet, Ramesh Babu? One tweet has shaken government of the country. One tweet has compelled the External Affairs Ministry to issue a statement. One tweet gave a national headline to all our media channels. One tweet has broken up our sleeping bollywood celebrities…literally!!! All the bollywood celebrities who were completely silent on the farmer issue, suddenly, their eyes opened up. This tweet is the one posted by Rihanna, a world famous singer who raised her voice and after that another tweet attaching the toolkit was released by Greta Thunberg which again became controversial.
COMPREHENDING THE TOOLKIT
A toolkit is a document created as an explainer on an issue or a handy tool in sustaining a movement or campaign in times of social media influencers. It provides a road-map of how to take forward the campaign or agitation explaining what needs to be done when and how. It’s a document key to digital era protests and is equivalent to pamphlets and fliers that are used by the protesters on the streets.
In the present case, the toolkit became an accidental disclosure when Greta Thunberg on February 5 shared a Google document, a toolkit. She deleted the tweet later, but it became a headline. It tried to explain the farmers’ protest against the Modi government on the Delhi borders over the farm laws passed by parliament in 2020. The toolkit shared by her guides people on how to stand in solidarity with the ongoing farmers’ protest in India.
However, the original toolkit called for a digital strike on or before 26 January 2021 (republic day) and highlighted the hashtags such as #AskIndiaWhy #FarmersProtests #TheWorldIsWatching. this action is similar to Amnesty’s ‘witch hunt’ when Amnesty International was alleged for laundering. Consequently, India blocked all its bank accounts in Amnesty resulting in delhi riots and constantly focusing on Kashmir accountability.
IS TWITTER REALLY TRENDING?
After a tweet by Rihanna to talk about these farm protests, Everything got changed up. This issue was already the International one and soon other celebrities started putting their views on twitter. some people supported Rihanna and some were asking from her does she hav any idea about farm law but for one thing which no one can blame her is everyone has right to raise one’s voice.
On the other hand IS THE REACTION OF GOVERNMENT who is putting barricades and treating farmers like terrorists, digging highways and installing spikes to prevent farmers from protesting. The government even tried to cut the electricity supply, preventing their movement, arresting several journalists like Mandeep Punia, cutting internet facilities for two days and even tried to stop food and water supply at their sites. Bihar government has given warning that people indulging in these protests will not be given consideration for government jobs. There arises a question, Is right to protest a fundamental right which the government is trying to suppress?
REPUBLIC DAY TRACTOR RALLY
The answer can vary from subject to subject but the factual thing is that right to protest is a fundamental right subject to various restrictions like promoting violence. On 26 January 2021, after formal Republic Day celebrations ended at Rajpath, the farmers carried out a tractor march against the three contentious Farm Laws 2020. Farmers carried out the march clashing the red fort and around 120 people got arrested due to this violence. this move of farmers distracts them from their actual demands of raising their voice against the farm laws. As a result, the ministry of External Affairs (MEA) drummed up support from the celebrities associated with the Sports and Bollywood industry with the hashtags “#IndiaTogether” and “#IndiaAgainstPropaganda”.
TWITTER VS. KOO
Recently Government has requested twitter to ban 15-20 famous accounts including Kisan Ekta Morcha. Accepting the request, twitter blocked the accounts but due to public demands, it has to unblock their accounts again. Indian app called KOO is also trending which serves the same purpose as twitter. Koo has given alternative which can be used by all Indians to reduce the spread of hatred.
One of the foundations on which the whole construct of gender justice is based is the right to be protected from sexual abuse and attack. Despite the fact that the nation’s constitutional obligations to women have been translated into numerous planning processes, legislations, initiatives, and services over the last six decades, a situational study of women’s social and economic status does not represent adequate improvement in any of the main human development indicators. Apathy in the system, inadequate community-based security systems, and an avalanche of crime against women are just a few of the major roadblocks to female empowerment.
Women have endured for centuries as a result of unwelcome sexual attention and offensive workplace conduct based on their gender. Rape and sexual abuse are the more obvious and well-known examples of gender-based violence against women, whereas Sexual Harassment can be more coercive and threatening. From being a “mere” social problem,
Sexual Harassment at Work has developed into a social malaise, as illustrated by regular coverage in the media. As a cause and effect, its many crippling effects become apparent on the entire weave of the social fabric in bold impressions both as a cause and a consequence It not only offends their dignity and right to work in a secure atmosphere, but it also violates their civil rights and basic human rights.
VISHAKA GUIDELINES: A NEW ERA FOR WORKPLACE SAFETY
There was no legislative definition of sexual harassment in India until 1997, despite the presence of several prominent judgments earlier that pinned down and brought to light the issue. Prior to 1997, any woman who was subjected to sexual assault at work had to file a complaint under either section 3543 or section 5094 of the Indian Penal Code. In each of these sections, the police officers on duty at the time of the incident were to interpret women’s modesty and outraging the modesty.
Furthermore, before Vishaka, neither civil nor criminal laws in India required workers or the individual in charge of the workplace to protect female employees from sexual harassment. The Court acknowledged Sexual Abuse at Work as a chronic problem for the first time in Indian judicial history. In Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan 5, the Hon’ble Supreme Court took the initiative to describe it in a formal legal manner. The Apex Court’s affirmative action was commendable, as it tried to fill the vacuum left by the lack of a suitable description of the subject. The description was nearly identical to that of CEDAW.
The Supreme Court’s goal in developing these guidelines was to ensure a reasonable, safe, and comfortable working atmosphere on the one side, and to fully eliminate circumstances or possibilities in which the protector might misuse his confidence and turn predator on the other. The court also stated that these guidelines would not infringe on any of the rights guaranteed by the 1993 Protection of Human Rights Act. This type of judicial interference was quite positive. The guidelines have a long-term effect on government departments and agencies. Gradually, the system began to embrace and enforce the aforementioned guidelines. Employers or those in charge of work areas, both public and private, were advised to take reasonable action to avoid sexual assault.
An analysis of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Work place (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013
After 14 years after the Vishaka decision and multiple draught bills on the subject, the President signed the ‘Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013′ on April 22, 2013. It was published in the Indian Gazette on April 23, 2013. The Act not only represents India’s commitments under CEDAW, but it also represents the Apex Court’s initiative toward substantive legislation and safer working conditions for women. This reflects the daily toil, unwavering efforts, and workouts put in by a variety of organizations and civic-minded individuals.
This is a positive step towards recognition of women’s basic rights as human rights as included in the Vienna Accord 1994 and the Beijing Women’s Conference 1995.
POSH mandates the establishment of corporate Internal Complaints Committees (ICCs) to manage sexual harassment complaints. It also requires Local Committees to prosecute cases in the unorganized sector or where the claim is against the employer. Since there are less strict procedures and lower evidentiary burdens involved, ICC inquiries are intended to be a more convenient procedure than criminal courts. Furthermore, since ICCs are produced within the same toxic working environment and may include individuals who are familiar with the parties in question, there is a conflict of interest in the investigation’s impartiality.
It’s also unlikely that they’ll suggest any systemic improvements. As a result, if a sexual harasser realises that their employer is unlikely to take their complaints seriously, they are more likely to engage in hostile behaviour. It also means that the victim is less likely to speak out because of the possibility of retaliation.
POSH, on the other hand, treats sexual harassment as a separate violation of labour rights, rather than allowing for its intersectionality with other forms of misogyny. There are no special laws or aggravated penalties in place to protect victims of caste-based or economically manipulated sexual abuse in the workplace.
The Local Committee structure is fully inaccessible to women working in the informal sector, who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation. They are allowed to file a criminal case by law (POSH, Section 11(1)). Domestic staff do not even have the right to sue the individual respondent in civil court.
Therefore, there is a need for a robust anti-discrimination statute that includes government and administrative accountability to ensure equal conditions at work and equal access to public spaces. It is also important to investigate whether the constitutional protections alluded to in points (g) of Articles 15, 16 and 19(1) can be modified in order to specifically preclude discrimination in the private sector in particular with respect to housing and employment.