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CHAPTER 1  

 

Department of Legal Affairs

(Vidhi Karya Vibhag)

 

FUNCTIONS AND ORGANISATION:

 

The Department of Legal Affairs renders advice to the various

Ministries/Departments of the Government of India on legal matters

carries out of the conveyancing work of the Central government, and

attends to the litigation work of the Central Government in the

Supreme Court, High Courts and some of the subordinate courts. It is

also concerned with entering into treaties and agreements with foreign

countries in matters of civil law, authorising officers to execute

contracts and assurances of property on behalf of the president under

article 299(1) of the Constitution of India and signing and verifying

of plaints and written statements in suits by or against the Union of

India. It is further concerned with the appointment of Law Officers,

namely, the Attorney General for India, the Solicitor-General for

India and the Additional Solicitor-General for India. Department

of Legal Affairs administers the Advocates Act, 1961, the Notaries

Act, 1952 and, the Legal Services Authorities Act., 1987. This

Department is also Incharge, and, administratively in charge of the

Foreign Exchange Regulation Appellate Board, Income-tax Appellate

Tribunal, Indian Legal Service and Law Commission of India.

 

2.The Department has a two-tier organizational set up, namely , the

Main Secretariat at New Delhi and the Branch Secretariats at Mumbai,

Calcutta, Chennai and Bangalore.

 

MAIN SECRETARIAT

 

3.The set up at the Main Secretariat includes the Law

Secretary, Additional Secretaries, Legal Adviser (Conveyancing),

Joint Secretary and Legal Advisers and other Legal Advisers at

various level. The work relating to tendering of legal advice and

conveyancing has been distributed amongst groups of officers.

Each group is normally headed by a Joint Secretary and Legal

Adviser who in turn is assisted by a number of Legal Advisers

at different levels.

 

4. The litigation work in the Supreme court on behalf of all

Ministries / Departments of the Government of India and some

administrations of the Union territories is handled by the Central

Agency Section presently headed by an Additional Secretary.

 

5. The litigation work in the Delhi High Court on behalf of the

various Ministries/Departments of the Government of India is processed

by the High Court Litigation Section headed by an Additional Legal

Adviser.

 

6. The litigation work in the subordinate courts in Delhi is handled

by the Lower Courts Litigation Section headed by an Assistant Legal

Adviser.

 

7. The Department has a special Cell dealing with implementation of

the recommendations of the Law Commission & also with the legal

profession and administration of the Advocates Act, 1961.

 

8. A Joint Secretary and Legal Adviser exclusively functions as a

Legal Adviser for Railway Board, Ministry of Commerce and Central

Bureau of Investigation. These Joint Secretaries also function from

the above offices. Another Joint Secretary level officer acts

exclusively as an Arbitrator under the scheme of Permanent

Machinery of Arbitration, and functions from the Office of the Bureau

of Public Enterprises. In addition Officers of different levels

such as Additional Legal Adviser, Deputy legal Adviser,

Assistant Legal Adviser are posted in the Ministry of Agriculture,

Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Urban Affairs and

Employment and DGS&D.

 

 

ADVICE WORK

 

(i) During the period from January, 1998 to 31st December, 1998, 10536 references were for Advice work on various aspects of law were received from various Ministries / Departments/ Offices of the Govt. of India. In addition, the officers of this Department also participated in various international meetings and conferences.

Apart from tendering legal advice, this Department has dealt with references and other communications received by the Ministers and other officers.

    1. 421 references relating to Conveyancing including a number of international agreements were also dealt with. In addition 15 references relating to House Building Advances were also dealt with.
    2. During the aforesaid period, 157 references relating to State Bills and Ordinances were received for examination from legal and constitutional angles.
    3. About 441 meetings of Groups of Ministers / Cabinet / Committee of Secretaries and others were attended by the Officers of this Department. 20 meetings of committee of Disputes covering 800 items were attended during the period. 48 Parliament Questions, 10 Private Members’ Bills and 10 International Agreements relating to avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes and bilateral investment, promotion and protection were also dealt with during the period and 133 legislative proposals and other very important matters were received for examination from legal and constitutional angles.
    4. During the period from 1.4.1999 to 21.12.1999, 32 new cases on different subjects were sent for the opinion of the Ld. Attorney General for India out of which 22 opinions were received and have been forwarded to the respective Ministries/Departments of the Government of India after the approval of Law Secretary and MLJ&CA. In addition to this, one case was sent to the Ld. Solicitor General for India and 4 cases were sent to the Ld. Additional Solicitor General for India. All the opinions were received and forwarded to the concerned Ministries / Departments after approval of the competent authorities.
    5. This Department has also taken up the work relating to the compilation of opinion of the Law Officers in the Computer. Opinions of the Law Officers upto the year 1991 are already fed in the computer and the opinions for the year 1992 and 1993 are under process. The competent authority vide order no. A-60011/30/99-Admn.I(LA) dated 26.4.1999 had entrusted the work of bringing out a compendium on the following acts and the subordinate legislations thereunder as recommended by the Commission on review of administrative laws.
    6.  

      1. The Advocates Act, 1961
      2. The Notaries Act, 1952
      3. The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987

      This work is likely to be completed very soon.

      ASSOCIATION WITH STATUTORY OR QUASI-JUDICIAL AUTHORITIES.

      10. As a Law Member of the Tribunal set up in the Department of Mines

      under Section 30 of the Mines and Minerals (Regulations and

      Development) Act, 1957, the nominated members / officers of

      this Department, disposed of 303 revision petitions.

       

      CENTRAL AGENCY SECTION

      11.(i) The Central Agency Section was set up in the year 1950. It is

      presently headed by an Additional Secretary who is assisted by a

      Government Advocate, one Additional Government Advocate, two Deputy

      Government Advocates and six Assistant Government Advocates with the

      usual complement of supporting Gazetted and non-Gazetted staff.

       

      (ii) The Section is responsible for the conduct of litigation work in

      the Supreme Court on behalf of all Ministries/Departments of the

      Central Government, some administrations of the Union territories

      and also on behalf of the participating State Governments.

      (iii) Government Advocates in the Central Agency Section are

      Advocates-on-record of the Supreme Court. They appear before the

      Supreme Court in all matters as per the Supreme Court Rules and

      whenever necessary, engage the Law Officers and Senior Counsels to

      lead them in the Court. They assist the Law Officers and other

      Advocates in the panel of Central Government Counsel.

      (iv) The Counsels are paid fees prescribed by the Central Government.

      The fee bills of Counsels are scrutinised and the fees payable is

      certified by the Government Advocates of the Central Agency Section.

      (v) During the period from 1.4.99 to 30.11.99, the Central Agency

      Section received 2,192 new cases from various Departments of the

      Government of India as well as the Union territories in which the

      Union of India or Union territories were either petitioners or

      respondents.

      (vi) The programme of computerization in the Central Agency Section

      was vigorously pursued during the period under report. As part

      thereof, the National Informatics Centre (NIC) installed a Local Area

      Network (LAN). NIC has installed a 100 MHZ multiuser Pentium machine

      with 3 LAN Terminal Servers through which 25 terminals 15 printers

      have been connected for providing terminal facility to the Government

      Advocates and various units in the Central Agency Section.

    7. These terminals will be used for updating the status of old

and new cases and keeping track of movement of files. A

386-system with 2 terminals is being used in the Record Room for

feeding of data in respect of the available files pertaining

to pending cases so as to make the CAS data-base up-to-date.

 

(viii) In accordance with suggestion of the NIC, the CAS also procured

leased data circuit line between the CAS, Supreme Court and NIC for

providing NICNET connection at the CAS. The system has been recently

made operational. The same will be used to send and receive E-Mail

letters to and from various Ministries and Departments of the

Government. This connection will also be used to access Court nic,

JUDIS and INTERNET. The NICNET facilities will be available to all

the Government Advocates and senior officials of the CAS.

 

(ix) The services of the one programmer from NIC have been procured on

the part time basis who is responsible for maintaining the software

and hardware as well as for monitoring required modifications in the

existing software or other necessary developments pertaining to

computerization of the CAS.

 

 

LITIGATION (HIGH COURT) SECTION

 

12. The litigation work in Delhi High Court and Central

Administrative Tribunal Principal Bench at New Delhi on behalf of all

Ministries/Departments of the Government of India except Railways and

Income tax Departments is handled by the Litigation ( High Court)

Section. The litigation work in the Delhi High Court and Central

Administrative Tribunal is looked after by an Addl. Legal Adviser

assisted by an Assistant Legal Adviser. Cases dealt with, generally

relate to Civil and Criminal Writ Petitions under Articles 226 and 227

of the Constitution of India, letters patent Appeals, Suits, Appeals,

Reviews, Civil Revisions, Civil Miscellaneous Applications, Division

Bench Appeals, Company Applications, Execution Applications and

Criminal Miscellaneous and Service matters.

 

 

The Litigation work is dealt with by two sections, Litigation (High Court)(A) Section and Litigation (High Court) (B) Section, supervised by two Superintendents (Legal), Section ‘A’ deals with writ petition, letters patent appeals, miscellaneous petitions, under article 227 of the Constitution of India, including matters of general nature. While Section ‘B’ deals with Original Suits including those arising under Arbitration Act, Appeals, Revision etc., and all cases in the Central Administrative Tribunal.

 

 

There is a panel of Central Government Standing Counsels and

Government Counsels who are nominated for contesting the cases. In

important matters Senior Counsels are also engaged at the request of

the Ministries/Departments concerned. In some matters of public

importance and also in complicated matters one of the Law Officers,

namely, Attorney-General for India, Solicitor-General for India or

Additional Solicitor-General for India is also engaged. On receipt of

requests from Ministry/Department, action is taken for engaging a

suitable Counsel to appear on their behalf in the cases. Close

liaison is maintained with various Departments/Counsels to safeguard

Government's interest in litigation in High Court of Delhi and in the

Central Administrative Tribunal. The Addl. Legal Adviser and other

officers keep close watch over the progress of cases at every stage.

 

Fee bills received from the Counsels are scrutinised having

regard to the terms and conditions of their appointments before

certifying for payment at the prescribed scales.

 

During the period from 1.1.99 to 30.11.99, Litigation (High

Court) Section has engaged Counsel in 3,948 cases to safeguard the

interest of the Government and to conduct litigation in Delhi High

Court and Central Administrative Tribunal. Section wise details of number

of cases are as follows:– 1.1.99 to 30.11.99 with a forecast of likely

developments of the remaining period of about four months in the financial

year.

 

Section ‘A’ Section ‘B’

 

Total Writ Petitions Suit cases upto

And LPAs upto 30.11.1999-2662 30.11.99 – 299

 

From 1.12.99 to 30.3.2000-1000 From 1.12.99 to

31.3.2000 - 90

 

CAT and CAT Writ

Upto 30.11.1999-897

 

From 1.12.99 to

31.3.2000 - 325

 

Total - 3662 Total - 1611

 

GRAND TOTAL – 5273

 

 

LITIGATION (LOWER COURT) SECTION

 

13. The main functions of the Litigation Lower Court section are as under:

 

  1. Engagement of Government Counsel and conduct of litigation work.

 

 

This section is engaging counsels from the panel of the counsels attached to the Lower Court for the conduct of the Central Government’s Litigation Work at Delhi and New Delhi, excluding the cases relating to the Railways and Income Tax Departments.

 

Liaison work between various Ministries / Departments of the Government of India and Counsels on panel engaged in Government cases on behalf of Union of India in the Lower Courts including District Consumer Forums and Rent Control.

 

Keeping day-to-day watch on all civil / criminal matters being conducted at subordinate courts in which the interest of the (Central Government ) Union of India are involved and to intimate progress in such manners to the concerned Ministry / Departments of the Govt. of India. In some important cases, progress reports have to be given to the concerned senior officer of Law Ministry and Counsel dealing with the matter in the Courts.

 

 

Providing all possible assistance to different Ministries / Departments of the Govt. of India as well as Central Government Standing Counsels in the day - to – day conduct of Litigation Work in the Lower Courts.

 

B. PAYMENT OF ADVOCATE FEES.

 

Scrutiny of Bills received from the Counsels with reference to term of engagement before they are submitted to the Branch Officer for certification.

 

Preparation of Contingent Bills in respect of Counsel Fee Bills, their submission to the Pay and Accounts Office for issue of cheques and corrections thereof.

 

Payment of amount to the Counsels after getting proper receipt.

 

C. ACCOUNTS WORK:

 

Handling of cash received from various Departments and payment to the counsel.

Issue of TR-5 on receipt of amount.

 

Deposit of cheques and surplus amount with the DENA Bank through Challans.

 

 

Maintenance of cash book.

 

Maintenance of Personal Ledger Accounts (case-wise).

 

Correspondence with various departments / counsel regarding deposit of required amount or refund the unspent amount as the case may be.

 

 

Issue of Cheques to the Departments for excess amounts received from them.

Monthly reconciliation of expenditure with the Pay and Accounts Office and issue of monthly expenditure statement during reconciled to the budget and Accounts Section.

Maintenance of Bill Register, Challan Register, Cheque Book, Stock Register, TR-5, Stock Register etc.

Parliament Questions

To deal audit objections and reply thereto.

To frame budget estimates and revised estimates for Litigation (Lower Court) Section.

To recover tax deduction at source from counsel whose income exceeds Rs. 20,000/- per year and also to issue Tax Deduction from Source (TDS) Certificate to the panel counsel in form no. 16-A.

To file income tax return of panel counsel under section 206 Income Tax Act, 1961.

    1. AUDIT OBJECTIONS:

 

 

Para 1 : Refund of excess amount to Department.

 

The Counsel renders the account after the case is finalised. It is seen that it takes time for disposal of the cases. Steps are being taken for the same. Some cash amount is required to keep in hand for payment to counsel as miscellaneous expenses when they ask for payment. Technically, it is difficult to maintain department wise account as expenses are received case-wise not department-wise and separate file numbers are maintained year-wise.

 

Para 2 : Non-remittance of excess cash into Bank

 

Steps are being taken with the counsel to render the accounts of miscellaneous expenses received cash-wise / BT number-wise.

 

Para 3 : Account not rendered by Government Counsels.

 

Accounts are being taken from counsel. The counsel submit their accounts after the case is finalised. It is seen that it takes time for disposal of the cases.

 

Para 4 : Pending cases and their developments.

 

Litigation (Lower Court) Section is intimating to the Department for progress of the cases as and when intimation received from the counsel.

 

For equal distribution of briefs, Incharge of (Lower Court Section) is maintaining register who is marking the cases to the Counsel.

 

During the period upto 30.11.1999,403 new cases were received and 177 cases were disposed of by the section. At present, there are a total of 8770 court cases pending for disposal which are being conducted in different sub-ordinate courts / Tribunals in Delhi and New Delhi.

 

 

 

JUDICIAL SECTION

 

14. (i) The Judicial Section is responsible for the organisation of

litigation of the Government of India and Union territories before the

Supreme Court, various High Courts, the Central Administrative

Tribunal and district and subordinate Courts. Its functions include

the processing of appointments of the Attorney-General for India, the

Solicitor-General and the Additional Solicitors-General of India

Central Government Counsels in the Supreme Court, High Courts, the

Central Administrative Tribunals and District and subordinate Courts

and consumer-forums in some of the States for conducting litigation

work on behalf of the Central Government, engagement of Law Officers

and other counsels on behalf of Ministries/Departments for the conduct

of cases before the Supreme Court, high Courts, Tribunals, Commissions

of Inquiry, Districts and Subordinate Courts, quasi-judicial

authorities, etc. Its functions also include formulation and

settlement of their terms and conditions for conducting cases. During

the period from April, 1999 to November, 1999, some 309 Government Counsels

were appointed / engaged in various Supreme Court, Central Administrative

Tribunals, District and Sub-ordinate Courts.

 

(ii) The Judicial Section is responsible for nomination of arbitrators

in disputes between the various Departments of the Government of India

and private parties as also in disputes involving the Union of India

and Public Sector undertakings or between such undertakings inter se.

During the period in question, 15 Arbitrators were appointed / nominated.

This section also appoints counsels to appear in arbitration disputes

between the CPWD, DGS&D, Ministry of Defence, etc. on the one

hand and private contractors on the other. In all 126 Arbitration cases

were distributed among the panel of the Arbitration Counsel between the period

from April, 1999 to November, 1999.

 

  1. The Department also handled Notices from the office of the Attorney

General for India, private parties, the Supreme Court, High Courts and

other courts as also the references, Memorials and other communications

received by the Minister and other officers of the Ministry.

 

 

(iv) The Section is further responsible for issuing statutory orders,

e.g. orders under article 299 of the Constitution, authorising

various officers to execute contracts for and on behalf of the

President of India as also under Rule 1 of order XXVII of Schedule I

of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, authorising to sign and verify

pleadings. In all, some five notifications were issued under Article 299

of the Constitution between April, 1999 to November, 1999.

 

(v) This section is also dealing with the work of the reciprocal arrangements with foreign countries for the service of summons in civil suits, the execution of decrees of civil suits, the enforcement of maintenance orders and the administration of the estates of foreigners dying in India inte state. An agreement on Juridical and Judicial co-operation and civil and commercial matters for the service on summon, judicial documents, commissions, execution of judgement and arbitral awards were signed with the Government of the United Arab Emirates on 25-10-1999.

 

 

NOTARY CELL :

 

15. Notary Cell is responsible for the administration of the Notaries Act, 1952 and the appointment of Notaries. This Cell conducts enquires into the allegations of professional or other misconduct on the part of Notaries. During the period from January to December, 1999, about 158 applicants / advocates were appointed as Notaries. One Thousand Five Hundred and Twenty Six Notaries appointed by the Central Government as on date are practicing in various parts of the country during 1999. The Central Government has cancelled the certificate of practice of one Notary after holding enquiry under the provisions of the Notaries Act,1952 and the Notaries Rules, 1956. The Notaries Cell also renews Certificate of Practice issued by the Central Government.

 

 

IMPLEMENTATION CELL

 

16. (i) The main functions of the Implementation Cell is to process

the reports of the Law Commission for implementation in consultation

with the Ministries/Departments concerned. The Cell is also concerned

with the administration of the Advocates Act, legal education and

legal profession.

 

 

(ii) The 15th Law Commission under the chairmanship of Shri Justice

B.P. Jeevan Reddy has submitted the 157th Report on the "Section 52: Transfer of Property Acts and its Amendments", 158th Report on "The Amendments of the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951", 159th Report on "Repeal and Amendments of Laws: Part-I", 160th Report on "Amendment to the All India Council for Technical Education Act 1987 (Act No.52 of 1987)", 161st Report on "Central Vigilance Commission and allied Bodies", 162nd Report on "Review of functioning of Central Administrative Tribunal, CEGAT and ITAT", 163rd Report on "The code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill,1997", 164th Report on "The Indian Divorce Act (iv of 1869)", 165th Report on "Free and Compulsory Education for Children", 166th Report on "The Corrupt Public Servants (Forfeiture of Property) Bill", 167th Report on "The Patents (Amendment) Bill, 1998", 168th Report on "The Higher Purchase Act, 1972", 169th Report on "Amendment of Army, Navy, Air Force Act", and 170th Report on "Reform of the Electoral Laws" and the same have been laid on the tables of both the Houses of the Parliament.

 

 

NATIONAL LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY

 

17.(i) Article 39A of the Constitution of India provides free legal aid to the poor and weaker sections of the society. To ensure equal legal justice for all, the Government of India is committed to giving legal aid to the poor in as much as equality before law is a constitutional promise. The Legal Service Authorities Act, 1987 as amended by the Act of 1994, which came into force on 9th November, 1995 aims at establishing a nationwide network for providing free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of the society on the basis of equal opportunity. National Legal Services Authority has been set up to formulate and monitor the implementation of the legal aid programmes in the country. In every state, a state legal services authority has been set up for implementing the legal aid programmes. At district and talluk levels also, legal services authorities / committees are to be established to ensure that the legal services are easily available even to the poorest amongst the poor throughout the country. The Supreme Court Legal Services Committee has been constituted under the Act for giving legal aid in the matters coming before the Supreme Court of India. In every High Court also, the High Court Legal Services Committees are to be established to provide free legal aid to the eligible persons in the legal matters coming before the High Courts.

 

 

(ii) National Legal Service Authority has its office at New Delhi, is headed by the Chief Justice of India, who is the ex-officio patron-in-chief. Hon'ble Mr. Justice S.P.Barucha, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court of India is the present Executive Chairman of the Authority. The Central Authority constituted under Section 3 of the Legal Services Authorities, 1987 is taking necessary steps to establish vibrant legal aid network in the country, and is formulating policies, principles and schemes to achieve the aims and objects of the Act. The Government has sanctioned a Grant-in-aid of Rs. 4 crores for specific schemes to various voluntary social services institutions. NALSA is also monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the legal aid programmes in the country and is taking appropriate measures for spreading legal literacy and legal awareness amongst the weaker sections of the society.

 

 

 

ADMISSIBILITY FOR LEGAL AID :

 

Under Section 12(h) of the Act, free legal services are admissible to every citizen whose income is less than Rs. 9,000/- per annum in cases before subordinate courts and High Courts and Rs. 12,000/- in cases before the Supreme Court. The State Governments can, however, fix higher income limits. For Supreme Court cases, annual income of Rs.18,000/- has been prescribed. Limitation as to income does not apply in cases of persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Women, Children and Handicapped. At the first annual meet of the Legal Services Authorities held under the aegis of the NALSA on 12th

September, 1998 in New Delhi, it was unanimously resolved that the income ceiling in every state should be enhanced to Rs. 25,000 p.a. for cases before the Supreme Court of India it should be raised to Rs. 50,000 p.a.

 

In the Second Annual Meet of the State Legal Services Authorities held under the aegis of NALSA at Hyderabad on 9.10.1999, it was resolved that steps should be taken for the amendment of Section 12 of the Legal Services Authorities Act to be included in the category of eligible persons, Ex-Servicemen, Ex-Members of Armed Forces and Ex-Members of Para Military Forces and the dependents of those who died on duty or in a war.

 

 

ACHIEVEMENTS :

 

As per the information available with NALSA as on 25.10.99 about 24.10 lakhs persons were benefited through Court Oriented Legal Aid Programmes. Of them, 3.88 lakhs persons belonged to the scheduled castes, about 2.24 lakhs to the scheduled tribes, more than 2.72 lakhs were women and about 9170 were children. During the financial year 1998-99 about 1.01 lakh persons received free legal aid.

 

 

Upto 25.10.99 about 42,470 Lok Adalats have been organized wherein about 90.74 lakhs cases have been settled. In about 4.88 lakhs Motor Vehicles Accident Claims cases, compensation amounting to over Rs. 2054.56 crores have been awarded. During the year 1998-99, about 8700 Lok Adalats were held in about 11.25 cases were settled.

 

 

INITIATIVES TAKEN BY NALSA

 

Scheme for accreditation of NGOs and Social Action Groups has been floated under which NALSA may provide financial support to NGOs for launching massive legal literacy and legal awareness campaign. All the State Legal Services Authorities have been called upon to identify NGOs in all districts and give them accreditation for initiating a nation-wide legal literacy and legal awareness campaign. Steps have also been taken to provide special legal aid facilities to women prisoners in jail. Directives have been issued to all the state legal services authorities to ensure that the valuable right of the under trial prisoners to have effective and meaningful interviews with their counsel is not impinged upon.

 

A nation wide publicity campaign was launched on 9th November, 1999 to create mass awareness with publication containing message from Hon’ble Patron-in-Chief and Hon’ble Executive Chairman, NALSA and provisions relating to availability of free legal services under the legal services authorities act and the legal services authorities to be contacted for availing of free legal services etc., in about 74 newspapers in vernacular regional languages throughout the country. A nation wide programme on "Legal Services Day" has been telecast on the Doordarshan on 9.11.1999.

 

Pursuant to the directives of NALSA, almost all the State Legal Services Authorities have implemented, ‘legal aid council’ scheme in the Courts of Magistrates in the country for providing effective and meaningful legal assistance to the persons in custody in terms of the provisions of Section 12(g)of the Act.

 

 

Permanent and continuous Lok Adalats are in the process of being established in all the districts in the country for providing an additional forum to the litigants for conciliatory settlement of their disputes as also to reduce the pendency of the regular courts which are already over-burdened. Besides this, Lok Adalats on old pattern are also being regularly held.

 

 

Pursuant to the decision taken in the First Annual Meet, permanent and continuous Lok Adalats are also being set up for government departments and statutory bodies in Delhi it had become possible with the intervention of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in a PIL case filed against Delhi Vidyut Board. Lok Adalats had been set up in Municipal Corporation of Delhi, New Delhi Municipal Corporation, Delhi Development Authority, Delhi Vidyut Board and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited and General Insurance Corporation etc. which will take cognizance of pending cases of these departments as well as Courts which may be at a pre-litigative stages through negotiated settlements.

 

 

Counselling and conciliation centres at district level can serve dual purpose for State Legal Services Authorities i.e. (a) the centres can assist permanent as well as occasional Lok Adalats by motivating the parties to arrive at negotiated settlements; and (b) the centres can also assist legal services authorities in finding out as to whether a person asking for legal aid, has or not a prima-facie case in his favour. In the Second Annual Meet of the State Legal Services Authority held under the aegis of NALSA at Hyderabad on 9.10.99, it was resolved that these centres should be established in all the districts in the state.

 

 

National Legal Services Authorities is very keen on strategic and preventive legal aid which includes setting up of legal aid clinics in law colleges and universities; holding of legal aid camps and organizing Lok Adalats to make justice easily available to all. Training of para-legals is also high on the agenda of NALSA as para-legals are in a better position to interact and guide the persons belonging to the weaker sections of the society.

 

 

NALSA is also actively engaged in taking necessary steps by way of social justice litigation with regard to consumer protection, environment protection or any other matter of special concern to the weaker sections of the society. The effort is to adopt diverse methodologies to ensure that the tendency to accept injustice and suffer in silence amongst the weaker sections of the society brought to end.

 

The Lok Adalats have proved an effective mechanism for alternate resolution of disputes through persuasive and conciliatory efforts. With the enforcement of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 and extension of the provisions of Chapter 3 of the Act to all the States and Union Territories, Lok Adalats have been provided a statutory base and are now vested with the powers of a civil court. Award passed by the Lok Adalats now has the force of the decree of the civil court and has been made final and binding on all the parties with no right of appeal. The proceedings before the Lok Adalat are deemed to be judicial proceedings within the meaning of Sections 193, 219 and 228 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1973 have also been extended to Lok Adalats.

 

"NYAYA DEEP" – Official Newsletter of National Legal Services Authority is being printed regularly since July, 1998. It is a quarterly newsletter. Nyayadeep is another step towards ensuring proper interaction and communication between legal services authorities and its functionaries throughout the country to exchange their views with a view to bringing about uniformities, cohesion and constructive approach in their various programmes aimed at providing legal aid and advice.

 

Hon’ble Mr. Justice S.P. Bharucha, Judge, Supreme Court of India an executive Chairman, NALSA, addressed a communication to the Hon’ble Chief Justice of the High Courts in their capacity as Patrons-in-Chief of the State Legal Services Authorities to introduce orientation courses for all Judicial Officers in the District Judiciary to apprise them of the Legal Services Schemes and Programmes as well as the legal aid network so that they can convey the message of the availability of the legal aid to the masses because the Hon’ble Judge feels that a properly sensitized District Judiciary can bring a revolution not only in legal services programmes but in the administration of justice in the country and transform the constitutional dreams of equality before law into a reality.

 

 

An annual action plan for the year 1999-2000 is annexed (Annexure – I ).

 

A statement showing the annual grants-in-aid as on 10th December, 1999 is also annexed ( Annexure – II ).

 

 

 

BRANCH SECRETARIAT, MUMBAI :

 

18 (i)The Branch Secretariat at Mumbai is headed by a Joint Secretary

and Legal Adviser who is assisted by one Senior Central Government

Advocate, One Additional Legal Adviser, four Central Government

Advocates, two Deputy Legal Advisers, two Assistant Legal Advisers and

other supporting officials.

 

(ii) Functioning of the Branch Secretariat is carried out by three

Sections, viz. Advice, Litigation and Administration. The Advice

Section of this Branch Secretariat mainly deals with advising the

various departments of Government of India on all legal matters within its jurisdiction. It is also concerned with conveyancing work of the Central Government Offices which come under its purview.

 

(iii) The Litigation wing is responsible for the conduct of

litigation work in Mumbai High Court for various departments of

Government of India through their Panel Counsel except certain type of

cases of Railways. Panel Counsel consists of Special Senior Grade I,

Senior Grade II & Junior Counsel, who appear before the High Court and

plead on behalf of the Government of India. There exists a separate

panel for income-tax matters. These Counsels are briefed by the

Branch Secretariat keeping in view the value & importance of case. In

important matters, Law Officers and Special Counsel of the Panel are

engaged. There is one Additional Solicitor-General for Mumbai High

Court, who also helps in carrying out work more effectively.

 

(iv) With a view to exercise effective control over litigation work in

High Courts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Nagpur, Goa and

Aurangabad Branches of the Mumbai High Court and for ensuring better

coordination between Central Government Departments on the one hand,

and the Standing Counsel in these courts on the other, the Joint

Secretary and Legal Adviser supervises the litigation work pertaining

to Central Government Offices in these courts by personal visits to

these places, holding discussions with the concerned Departments,

Officers and Counsels.

 

(v) The Mumbai Branch Secretariat also exercises general supervision

over litigation work in subordinate courts in Mumbai and efforts were also made to expand the panel of Counsels in lower courts. The Branch Secretairat also looks after service cases relating to Central Government employees before the Central Administrative Tribunal, (CAT), Mumbai, through the Panel Counsel.

 

(vi) Joint Secretary and Legal Adviser was appointed as the Sole Arbitrator for settling disputes between Government Departments, Public Sector Undertakings and Private Parties and he has given several awards in such disputes.

 

(vii)The Memo of fee received from the standing Panel Counsel engaged

to appear on behalf of the Central Government in the Mumbai High Court

are scrutinised and proper fees are certified by the Central Government

Advocates concerned and sanctioned by the Joint Secretary and Legal Adviser and paid through cheques out of the funds allotted to this Branch Secretariat. The fee

Bills of Standing Counsels of other High Courts and Subordinate courts

within the jurisdiction of this Branch Sectt. are also examined and

certified by the Joint Secretary and Legal Adviser for payment by the

Departments concerned.

 

(viii) During the current year, the work relating to computerisation

of the Branch Secretariat has been done with a separate computer room

being set up and six computer terminals installed in it. One computer terminal each in the room of Joint Secretary and Legal Adviser and Senior Central Government Advocate has been installed. The computer is presently being used for accounts as well as litigation work.

 

 

(ix) Joint Secretary and Legal Adviser has also been appointed the Presiding Officer of Textiles, Excise Appellate Tribunal, in addition to his normal duties as Joint Secretary and Legal Adviser.

 

STAFF

 

Joint Secretary and Legal Adviser

 

One Senior Central Government Advocate

 

One Additional Legal Adviser

 

Four Central Government Advocates ( two vacant )

 

Two Deputy Legal Advisers

 

Two Assistant Legal Advisers

 

Supporting Officials

 

 

 

 

BRANCH SECRETARIAT, CALCUTTA

 

19(i) The Branch Secretariat at Calcutta is headed by Joint Secretary

and Legal Adviser. It has 6 wings viz. Advice, Administration, Cash

& Accounts, Hindi, Counsel Fee Bill and Litigation Section. The

Litigation section of this Branch Sectt.looks after the Calcutta High

Court Litigation cases both in the original and appellate side and its

circuit bench at Port Blair.

 

(ii) The Branch Sectt. is looking after entire Government litigation cases in all the High Courts of Eastern Region with a view to control over litigation works in the High Court. The branch secretariat also looks after service matters relating to Central Government employees before the Central Administrative Tribunal, Calcutta Bench as well as other similar litigation work in other Benches

of the Central Administrative Tribunal situated in this region through its Advice Section.

The Branch Secretariat furnishes legal advice and also conducts

litigation cases of all the Central Government departments including

Minisry of Finance and its departments e.g. Income Tax Department,

Customs and Central Excise, Revenue Intelligence, Ministry of

Railways, Ministry of Defence and all other departments located in the

eastern region of the country i.e. West Bengal, Assam, Nagaland,

Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Bihar, Orissa including Union

Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Administration.

 

(iii) The Advice side is under the charge of the Joint Secretary and

Legal Adviser and now assisted by one Deputy Legal Adviser and one Assistant Legal Adviser. The total number of cases disposed of by the Advice Wing during 1999-2000 upto November, 1999 have been 2441 and it is expected that the cases to be handled during the 1999-2000 will be around 3251.

 

 

(iv) Conveyancing Work i.e. finalisation of documents and agreements

entered into between different departments of the Central Government and Private Parties or Semi-Government institutions concerning Eastern Region are approved and vetted by this Branch Secretariat.

 

(v) The Litigation work include conducting of cases on behalf of the

Central Government in the Original side and Appellate side through a

panel of counsels. Pleadings filed in various courts as well as

Central Administrative Tribunals are also vetted by this Branch

Secretariat. Senior Central Govt. Advocate, Central Govt. Advocate

and Junior Central Government Advocate look after the litigation side

of the Calcutta High Court and sometimes they are also required to

appear before the Court in miscellaneous matters and petitions for

special leave to appeal. Depending upon the exigencies of work,

sometimes the Advocates are also required to appear in regular appeals

and writ petitions. The total number of cases handled by the

litigation division have been 2280 till November, 1999 and the number of cases expected to be handled during 1999-2000 will be around 3420.

Similarly around 845 CAT Cases are expected to be handled during

1999-2000.

 

(vi) Professional Fee Bills of Counsels for Litigation in the Courts

engaged by the Ministry of Law and Justice for Central Government

Litigations in the Calcutta High Court are paid by this Branch

Secretariat. Such payments during the financial year is expected to be

around Rs. 38,00,000.

 

(vii) The Branch Secretariat also certifies professional bills of the

Counsels forwarded by the different departments and ministries of the

Central Government which are finally paid by such departments.

 

(viii) A computer system has been installed in the Branch Secretariat,

Calcutta in 1996 by NIC and the same is being fully used by the staff

of this office. The service of the one programmer from NIC have been procured on a part-time basis who is responsible for maintaining the software and the hardware as well as for monitoring required modifications in the existing software or other necessary developments pertaining to computerization of this Branch Secretariat. A software has been developed for processing the counsel fee bills to watch the progress of payment of Bills to different panel counsels.

 

 

 

BRANCH SECRETARIAT, CHENNAI

 

20.(i)The Branch Secretariat at Chennai is headed by a Deputy Legal

Adviser.

 

(ii) ADVICE: The Branch Secretariat renders legal advice to all Central

Government offices located in the States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and

the Union Territory of Pondicherry . During the period from 1.4.1999

to 30.11.1999, about 1709 references for advice and disposed of.

 

(iii) LITIGATION: The Branch Secretariat looks after the entire

litigation work of the Central Government (except relating to Railways

and Income-tax) in the High Court of Kerala and the High Court of

Madras, in the city Civil Courts and the Presidency Court of Small

Causes, in the Ernakulam and the Chennai Benches of the Central

Administrative Tribunal and in some other Tribunals. The Branch

Secretariat has also been entrusted with the work of Central

Government Litigation in the District Consumer Disputes Redressal

Forum and the State Consumer Redressal Commission, both at Chennai.

 

(iv) The Branch Secretariat keeps the Ministries/Departments of the

Central Government informed about the important developments of their

cases as well as the results of the litigation, with suitable advice

for further action, if required, pleading, affidavits, etc., to be

filed in the Courts/Tribunals/Consumer Fora/Arbitration matters in

Tamil Nadu and Kerala are scrutinised and vetted at the draft stage.

Documents furnished by the litigant departments are examined before

filing or producing them in the Couts. The officers from this Branch

Secretariat also brief the Counsel at every stage of the cases in the

Courts. Functions also include engagement of the Counsel and

collection of material from the Central Government departments

involved in the cases, for being passed on to the Counsel, after

necessary scrutiny of the documents from the legal angle.

 

(v) COUNSEL FEE BILLS : The Branch Secretariat itself pays the fee

directly from its centralised funds to the Senior Counsels and the

Central Government Standing Counsels in the Madras High Court cases.

Fee Bills preferred by an Additional Central Government Standing

Counsel for appearance before the Central Administrative Tribunal,

Chennai and Subordinate Courts at Chennai are scrutinised and

certified and sent to the Departments concerned after certification

of payment.

 

(vi) MISCELLANEOUS : During the period under report, various references / litigation correspondence were received and dealt.

 

The Government appointed an Additional Solicitor General of India for Madras High Court since 1997 and the post is presently vacant consequent upon the resignation of Shri N.R. Chandran, former Additional Solicitor General w.e.f. 10.6.1999.

 

 

BRANCH SECRETARIAT, BANGALORE

 

21.(i) Branch Secretariat at Bangalore which was set up at 1983

renders legal advice to various Central Government Departments and

offices located in the States of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. During

the current year, i.e., 1999-2000, as on 30.11.1999 about 6758

references were received for advice. The advice work includes vetting

of contracts, scrutiny and vetting of the pleadings and counter

affidavits to be filed in the Court/CAT examining the feasibility of

filing an appeal,review etc. interpretation of laws, guidance to departments on legal sustainability of their actions and holding discussion with the Administrative Departments whenever necessary.

 

(ii) The Branch Secretariat supervises the entire litigation work of

the Central Government Departments and offices in the High Courts of

Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, subordinate Courts of Bangalore city and

twin city of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and Central Administrative

Tribunals of both the States. This Secretariat also looks after the

work of Government litigation in the District Consumer Dispute

Redressal Forum and the State Consumer Redressal Commission of both

the States. The functions of the Branch Secretariat in this regard

includes distribution of work among the Government Counsels

processing and payment of the fees to the Counsels in the Karnataka

High Court, certification for the payment of the fee bills of the

Government Counsels in the CAT/subordinate Courts in Karnataka and all

Courts in Andhra Pradesh and maintaining liaison between the

Government Departments situated outside Bangalore and the Courts.

 

 

LAW COMMISSION OF INDIA

 

22.(i) The 15th Law Commission was reconstituted with effect from

1.9.1997 for a period of 3 years ending 31st August, 2000. Besides

the Member Secretary Dr. S.C. Jain who is of the rank of Secretary

to the Govt. of India in the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company

Affairs, the commission comprises of the following :

 

Hon'ble Mr. Justice B.P.Jeevan Reddy (Retd) - Chairman

 

Hon'ble Mrs. Justice Leila Seth (Retd.) - Member

 

Dr. N. M. Ghatate - Member

 

Dr. N.R. Madhava Menon - Part Time Member

 

 

(ii) The terms of reference of the 15th Law Commission are as under :-

 

1. Review / Repeal of Obsolete Laws :

 

(a) to identify the laws which are no longer needed or relevant and

can be immediately repealed.

 

(b) to identify laws which are in harmony with the existing climate of

economic liberalisation which need no change.

 

(c) to identify laws which require changes or amendments and to make

suggestion for their amendment.

 

(d) to consider in a wider prospective the suggestions for revision /

amendment given by Exper Group in various Ministries / Departments

with a view to coordinating and harmonising them.

 

(e) to consider references made to it by Ministries / Departments in

respect of legislation having bearing on the working of more than one

Ministry / Department.

 

(f) to suggest suitable measures for quick redressal of citizens

grievances, in the field of law.

 

II. Law and Poverty :

 

(a) to examine the laws which affect the poor and carry out post audit

for socio-economic legislation.

 

(b) to take all such measures as may be necessary to harness law and

the legal process in the service of the poor.

 

III. To keep under review the system of Judicial Administration to

ensure that it is responsive to the reasonable demands of the times

and in particular to secure :-

 

(a) elimination of delays, speedy clearance of arrears and reduction

of costs so as secure quick and economical disposal of cases without

affecting the cardinal principle that decisions should be just and

fair.

 

(b) simplification of procedure to reduce and eliminate technicalities

and devices for delay so that it operates not as an end in itself but

as a means of achieving justice.

 

(c) improvement of standards of all concerned with the administration

of justice.

 

IV. To examine the existing laws in the light of Directive Priciples

of State Policy and to suggest ways of improvement and reform and also

suggest such legislation as might be necessary to implement the

Directive Principles and to attain the objective set out in the

Preamble to the Constitution.

 

V. To revise the Central Acts of general importance so as to simplify

them and to remove anomalies, ambiguities and inequities.

 

VI. To recommend to the Government measures for bringing the stature

book uptodate by repealing obsolete laws and enactments or parts

thereof which have outlived their utility.

 

VII. To consider and to convey to the Govt. its views on any other

subject relating to law and judicial administration that may be

referred to it.

 

(iii) The Commission took up various subjects indicated in its terms

of reference suo moto and also specific references made by the Government of India. A questionnaire regarding the property rights of women governed by Hindu Law was addressed to several individuals and organizations to elicit their views. A seminar was also held in Pune in collaboration with ILS Law College Pune and Vaikunthrao Dempo Centre for Indo-Portugese Studies, which proved very useful. A working paper review of the Advocates Act, 1961 was issued to ascertain view on the subject from the Bar Councils/ Bar Associations and other concerns. The question of entering of foreign lawyers is one of the important aspects touched in the working paper. On account of heavy demand from the public, the law commission has made available its 170th Report on Electoral Reforms on the Internet. It intends to follow this procedure in respect of other reports also in due course. The 15th Law Commission forwarded following Reports since the last annual report of the Ministry.

 

 

  1. 166th Report on the Corrupt Public Servants (Forfeiture of Property) Bill (4.2.1999)
  2. 167th Report on the Patents (Amendment) Bill, 1998 (26.2.99)
  3. 168th Report on the Higher Purchase Act, 1972 (18.3.99)
  4. 169th Report on Amendment of Army, Navy and Air Force Acts, (3.5.99)
  5. 170th Report on Reforms of the Electoral Laws (9.6.99)

 

 

 

INCOME-TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL

 

23. I. ORIGIN

 

Section 252 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 provides that the Central Government shall constitute an Appellate Tribunal consisting of as many Judicial Members and Accountant Members as it thought fit, to exercise its powers and discharge the functions conferred on the Appellate Tribunal by the said Act. The ITAT was established on 25th January, 1941 in pursuance of a similar provision contained in the Indian Income Tax Act, 1922.

 

 

II. CONSTITUTION

 

The Income Tax Act, 1961 further provides that Judicial Member of the Tribunal shall be a person who has for at least 10 years held a judicial office in the territory of India or has been a Member of the Indian Legal Service and has held a post in Grade II of that service or any equivalent or higher post for at least three years or who has been an Advocate for at least 10 years. An Accountant Member shall be a person who has for at least 10 years been in practice of Accountancy as Chartered Accountant under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 or as a Registered Accountant under any law formerly enforced or partly as registered accountant and partly as a Chartered Accountant, or who has been a Member of the Indian Income Tax Service, Group ‘A’ and has held the post of (Additional) Commissioner of Income Tax, or any equivalent or higher post for at least three years.

 

The present sanctioned strength of Members of Tribunal is 106 for 53 Benches spread over 24 cities. The Tribunal is headed by the President assisted by one Senior Vice President and seven Vice – Presidents.

 

 

III. POWERS AND FUNCTIONS

 

The Income - Tax Appellate Tribunal, constituted under the

Income-tax Act, 1961 deals with second appeals in all matters relating

to Direct Taxes and appeals against the revision orders of Administrative Commissioners as well as orders of acquisition of properties under Chapter XXA of the Income-tax Act.

 

The powers and functions of the Appellate Tribunal are exercised and discharged by the Benches instituted by the President of the Tribunal from amongst the Members thereof. A Bench consists of one Judicial Member and one Accountant Member. The President or any other Member of the Tribunal authorized in this behalf by the Central Government may, sitting singly, dispose of any case which has been allotted to the Bench of which he is a Member and which pertains to an assessee whose total income as computed by the Assessing Officer in the case does not exceed 5 Lac rupees and the President may, for the disposal of any particular case, constitute a special Bench consisting of three or more Members, one of whom shall necessarily be a Judicial Member and one Accountant Member subject to the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

 

 

IV. PROCEDURE AND RULES

 

The Appellate Tribunal has the power to regular its own procedure and the procedure of its Benches in all matters arising out of the exercise of its powers or in the discharge of its functions including the places at which Benches shall hold their sittings.

 

 

The Appellate Tribunal has accordingly framed its own Rules called the Income Tax (Appellate Tribunal) Rules, 1963. The said Rules are best suited for the expeditious disposal of all matters pending before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. The Tribunal functions not only as the final fact finding authority in matters concerning income tax but also in all matters of taxation such as wealth tax, gift tax and expenditure tax etc. In view of the amendment in Section 256(1) of the Finance(No.2) Act, 1998 w.e.f. 1.10.1998, the provision of filing Reference Application is not deleted and the parties can go in Appeal directly to the High Court against the orders passed by the Tribunal on or after 1.10.1998 on a pure question of law instead of reference previously. Thus as the law now stands the appeal lies directly to the High Courts. The Appellate Tribunal is manned by efficient personnel discharging their functions to the best of their ability and holding the scales of justice evenly between the tax payer and the Revenue without fear or favour. Each judicial member possessed all the qualifications which are prescribed to become qualified to be chosen as High Court Judge. Now that there is direct appeal provided from Tribunal’s Orders mainly Judges having tax background are required and it is the need of the hour. Therefore, it is to be clearly borne in mind before making selection to the post of Judicial Members.

 

 

Generally appeals are heard by a bench consisting of one

Accountant Member and one Judicial Member. However, in appropriate

cases, at the discretion of the President, a bench may consist of more

than two Members.

 

 

The matters which the Appellate Tribunal disposes of are of vital importance involving revenue to the tune of millions of rupees. The Tribunal is entrusted with the responsible task of deciding intricate questions of law and fact. The presence of both the Judicial and Accountant Member is a guarantee that questions of fact which arise for their consideration are properly enquired into and that the accountancy point, as also the legal angle have been weighed properly. The Tribunal allows the representatives of both the parties to appeal before it and invariably hears them before passing any order. The Members hear the parties peruse the evidence on record, meet their own notes, refer to the authorities cited at the bar, confer among themselves and then pass final orders. The procedure is, by itself, the guarantee that question of facts are properly and judicially decided and inference drawn by the Tribunals are beyond reproach.

 

 

V. PENDENCY OF APPEALS

 

At the beginning of the 1999, the pendency of the appeals before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal was 3,03,509 and as on 1st October, 1999 the number of appeals pending in the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal is 2,70,594.

 

 

VI. DEVELOPMENT

 

The Government has sanctioned 15 Additional Benches at the following places viz. Bombay(5), Delhi(2), Bangalore (2), Chandigarh, Agra, Panaji, Jodhpur, Rajkot, Vishakhapatnam, out of which Rajkot and Jodhpur Benches were made functional and Agra Bench is scheduled to be inaugurated shortly. Benches at Panaji, Vishakhapatnam and Bangalore are at advanced stage of completion and would be readied for opening within 2 months. In the circumstances, most of the newly created benches would be made functional within the shortest possible time, Benches at Delhi and Mumbai could not be set up due to acute shortage of government accommodation. Private accommodation for Mumbai benches is advertised and suitable accommodation would be finalised shortly.

 

The present sanctioned strength of the Tribunal Members is 106. At present, 73 members are in position. The Government has advertised 31 posts of Members both Judicial and Accountant and work on short listing is being done in the Ministry.

 

 

VII. BENEVOLENT FUND :

 

A Benevolent Fund, the corpus of which has been built out of voluntary contributions by the officers and staff, also exist in the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. The President, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal is the patron. Officers and staff contribute voluntarily to this fund and disbursements are made to officials in need of medical and other emergent situations on the recommendations of the committee formed under the Rules.

 

VIII. REVISED FEE STRUCTURE IN TRIBUNAL :

 

The Tribunal is charging fees in respect of Income Tax Appeals as per Amendment in the Finance Act, 1998 w.e.f. 1.10.1998.

 

IX. IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT :

 

During the period under review, steps for implementation of the Official Language Act, 1963 have been pursued vigorously. The progressive use of Hindi in day-to-day functioning has been further accelerated. Documents drawn up in Hindi can be presented in the Benches located in the Hindi Speaking states. At the Benches located in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, the U.T. of Chandigarh and N.C.T. of Delhi, proceedings before the Tribunal may be in Hindi which would permit of orders also being passed in Hindi. However, where an Order is passed in Hindi, it is to be accompanied by an authorized English translation. For achieving this and necessary statutory provisions exist in the Income Tax(Appellate Tribunal) Rules, 1963.

 

To promote the use of Hindi in administrative work, an incentive scheme for preparing notes and drafts in comprehensive Hindi has been introduced at all the Benches of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. Attractive prizes have also been provided for the purpose.

 

Official Language Implementation Committees have been constituted at all the Benches of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal to monitor the progress of achievement of targets for correspondence in Hindi, Hindi training and purchase of Devanagri Typewriters and Hindi Books at these Benches. Quarterly meetings of Official Language Implementation Committees are at all Benches of the ITAT.

 

ITAT, Mumbai has also won appreciation for doing maximum work in Hindi during the year under Report.

 

 

FOREIGN EXCHANGE REGULATION APPELLATE BOARD

 

24(i)Foreign Exchange Regulation Appellate Board was establishede

under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947. It

has been continued under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973

which repealed the 1947 Act. Under the Act, the Board is to comprise

a Chairman and not more than four Members. The sanctioned strength of

the Board is a Chairman, One Full Time Member and 3 Part Time Members.

However, during the period, the Board was comprised of the Chairman

and two Part Time Members as the post of Full Time Member remained

vacant.

 

The Board has all India jurisdiction with its seat at New Delhi. It

goes in circuit to hear Appeals at places other than Delhi.

 

 

The Board hears Appeals against the adjudication orders under which

monitary penalties are imposed by the adjudicating authorities of the

Enforcement Directorate for contravention of the provisions of the

Act. The Board has also the power to suo moto call for the records of

the adjudication proceedings for examining the legality, propriety or

correctness of the Order made by adjudicating authorities and pass

appropriate order thereon.

 

During the period from 1.4.1998 to 1.12.1998 , 148 Appeals were filed.

Total no. of Appeals disposed of from 1.1.98 to 15.12.1998 is 72.

The total disposal of interim application during the period i.e.,

1.1.98 to till date is 295.

 

 

GRANTS IN AID TO PRIVATE ORGANISATIONS FOR LEGAL RESEARCH.

 

25. With a view to promoting studies and research in matters of law,

the Department of Legal Affairs sanctions grants-in-aid to certain

institutions engaged in research in the field of law.

 

 

1. The Indian Law Institute.

 

RESEARCH PROJECTS :

 

The Indian Law Institute undertook the following Research Projects:

 

i) Changes needed in the Indian Contract Act, the Sale of Goods Act, the Prevention of Food and Adulteration Act, the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement) Act, from the point of view of consumer, sponsored by Ministry of Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs. The Institute has since submitted the Report on Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement)Act.

ii) Integration of Environment Laws sponsored by Ministry of Environment and Forests. The Institute has since submitted a Report titled, ‘Legal Regulation of Wastes and Hazardous Substances’.

iii) The Institute has received a Research Project titled, ‘Regulatory Framework for Consumers Redress in Health Care in India’ from the World Bank with a grant of Rs. 5.16 Lacs.

 

 

 

RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS:

 

During the period under Report, the following Research Publications are in various stages of processing / publication :

 

  1. 50 Years of the Supreme Court of India
  2. Labour Adjudication
  3. Legal Regulation of Hazardous Wastes and Processes
  4. Second edition of the Research Methodology
  5. Release on Bail
  6. Treaties on Consumer Protection Laws – III

 

 

 

LECTURES / DISCUSSIONS / WORKSHOPS / SYMPOSIUM :

 

The Institute organized workshop on the Companies (Amendment) Act, 1999 on 24th April, 1999.

 

The Institute collaborated with the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, National Human Rights Commission and Indian Medical Association in the Organisation of an international symposium on torture – "A challenge to the Health, Legal and Other Professions" held on September 23-25, 1999.

 

 

 

POST GRADUATE DIPLOMA COURSES & OTHER ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES :

 

During the period under Report, the Institute conducted PG Diploma Courses in

 

    1. Administrative Laws
    2. Corporate Law & Management
    3. Labour Laws; and
    4. Tax Laws.

 

 

 

Besides, from February, 1999, the Institute started a new PG Diploma in Environmental Law. During the current academic session of 1999-2000, the Institute started new PG Diploma courses in Intellectual Property Rights Laws and International Trade Law.

 

The Institute also conducted a 10 week certificate course on Intellectual Property Rights Laws from 15-03-1999 to 28-05-1999.

 

 

 

 

VISITS BY FOREIGN SCHOLARS / DELEGATIONS:

 

During the period under review, Mr. Wouter Vandenhole, Faculty of Law, Kuleuven Institute of Human Rights, Belgium visited the Institute as a scholar on 25-05-1999.

 

Also, Ms. Cheista Rautenback, Senior Lecturer, Law Faculty, Potchefstrom University, South Africa visited the Institute as a Scholar on 4.5.1999.

 

 

PROPOSED FUTURE PROGRAMMES :

 

  1. CERTIFICATE COURSES / TRAINING PROGRAMMES :
    1. Refresher Course(s) for judicial officers;
    2. Professional Efficiency Course for young lawyers;
    3. Third Refresher course for University Law Teachers on Sponsorship of UGC.
    4. Law courses for officials of the Government and PSUs.

 

 

 

 

II. PUBLICATIONS

 

The Institute will be working on various Publications and also on a revision of old research publications.

 

 

III. RESEARCH PROJECTS

 

The Institute is in correspondence with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for a research study on ‘Regulatory Framework for Accountability of Health Care, Providers and Services’ and on ‘Health Legislation and Medical Ethics’.

 

 

IV. WORKSHOPS / SEMINARS / DISCUSSIONS :

 

The following workshops / seminars / discussions are on the anvil during the remaining part of the current financial year.

 

    1. Workshop on IPR in collaboration with WIPO and GOI.
    2. Workshop on Sexual Harassment and the Law.
    3. Legal Literacy Programme in collaboration with Sunanda Bhandara Foundation.
    4. Panel discussion on Rape and Capital Punishment.
    5. Sulakhna Devi Memorial Lecture.
    6. Rights of the persons with disabilities in collaboration with NHPC.
    7. Right to adopt legal and social issues, in collaboration with National Commission for Women and Ministry of Social Welfare.

 

 

 

2. THE INSTITUTE OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY STUDIES :

 

I. PARLIAMENTARY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMME AND DIPLOMA COURSES :

 

The 31st session of the Parliamentary Fellowship Programme which commenced in December, 1998 concluded in May, 1999 alongwith two Diploma Courses conducted by the Institute. Successful candidates of the Fellowship Programme and the Diploma Courses were awarded fellowships and certificates.

 

The Institute had taken up preparations for the 32nd Session of the Parliament Fellowship Programmes and Diploma Courses by giving wide publicity by sending the literature on the programme and letters addressed to Foreign Missions based in Delhi besides to Parliament, State Legislatures, Bar Councils, Bar Associations, Universities and Ministries etc.

 

II. SEMINARS

 

The Uttar Pradesh Branch of the Institute organized a Seminar on ‘Importance of Stable Government in the country and the Indian Constitution’ on November 2-4, 1999 at Nainital.

 

 

III. PUBLICATIONS AND PERIODICALS :

 

During the period under Report, Volume 31 Number 1 to 4 January – December, 1997 was published and sent to the Indian and Foreign Subscribers, Members of the Institute and Central Libraries, etc.

 

 

    1. LIBRARY

 

 

During the period under Report, the Institute’s Library continued to give reference and research assistance to visiting scholars, course participants and members of the Institute.

 

 

Forecast of the Activities of the Institute for the period from

1st January to 31st March, 2000;

 

The Institute would be conducting the 32nd session of the Parliamentary Fellowship Programme and the Diploma Courses in :

 

    1. Constitutional Law; and
    2. Parliamentary Institutions and Procedure

 

 

 

The Institute would pursue the pending proposals for organisation of the Seminars and orientation seminar for Legislators.

 

 

The Institute would also be arranging the annual G.V. Mavalankar Memorial Lecture.

 

 

The Institute would be compiling the manuscript of the special issue of the English Journal on ‘Problems of Indian Democracy; Leadership and Institution’. The same would thereafter, be edited and prepared for the publications.

 

 

The Institution would also be processing the manuscript of the Hindi Journal for the year 1999.

 

 

The Institute would be publishing pending manuscripts on ‘Financial Accountability to Parliament’ in Hindi and the role of Private Members.

 

 

 

3. THE INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

 

The ICADR organized the following workshops during the relevant period :

 

    1. Workshops at Chennai on 1-2 May, 1999 held in collaboration with Law Officers of Public Sector Undertakings. This was the 19th workshop organized by the ICADR.
    2. The 20th workshop at Hyderabad on 6th – 7th August, 1999, it was organized exclusively for the officers of the ONGC on their request. It was inaugurated by the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court.

 

 

 

The ICADR approached the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research University (NALSAR), Hyderabad, University established under NALSAR Act, No. 34 of 1998 for affiliation for conducting Post Graduate Diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution. The University has agreed to have the said Diploma in co-operation with both the Institutions.

 

The ICADR entered into a co-operation agreement with the Arbitration and Meditation Centre of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, an inter-governmental organisation with its headquarters located in Geneva, Switzerland. The main features of the agreement relate to :

 

    1. Exchange of information regarding furnishing of publications, information about ADR Procedures etc.
    2. Assistance in the conduct of proceedings including provision of technical facilities and support such as hearing rooms, administrative services, interpretation, etc., selection and appointment of technical experts, selection and appointment of qualified mediators or arbitrators etc.
    3. Training activities.

 

 

 

The Centre has also entered into similar co-operation agreement with the Thai Arbitration Institute established under the Arbitration Office of the Ministry of Justice of Government of Thailand, Bangkok. The Centre has also made contact with the Centre for Dispute Resolution (CEDR), London, and the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association, Japan, to enter into co-operation agreements on similar lines.

 

 

FORECAST OF LIKELY DEVELOPMENTS DURING THE REMAINING PERIOD OF THE

CURRENT FINANCIAL YEAR i.e. 1st JANUARY TO 31st MARCH, 2000

 

A broad indication of the likely developments activities of the ICADR

from Ist January to 31st March, 2000 is given below :

 

 

    1. The ICADR will start from, 11th January, 2000 a part-time Diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution at its regional centre at Hyderabad in collaboration with the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research University (NALSAR), Hyderabad.
    2. The ICADR will also start from the Academic Year 2000-01, a part-time Certificate Course in ADR at its Headquarters at New Delhi. The Course is expected to be approved by the All India Council for Technical Education, Government of India shortly.
    3. The ICADR will publish a monthly newspaper, spreading the message of ADR in the country.
    4. A few seminars / workshops in ADR are being planned during the period January – March, 2000.

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