VOL III                                                      ISSUE NO. 45                                November 06, 2018          

In This Issue

India: Electric Charging Stations to become mandatory

The Government is in the process of mandating Electric Vehicle recharge stations in view of promoting environment friendly technology.

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India: DoT clarifies no phone disconnection over Aadhaar

The Department of Telecommunication has clarified that no disconnection of phone shall be made based on Aadhaar verification.

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India: CCI for Affordable Healthcare

The Competition Commission of India introduced a policy note of making markets work for affordable healthcare in order to ensure fair competitive practices in the pharmaceutical sector.

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India: Telangana gives zero tolerance to ‘Rummy’

The Newly enforced Telangana Gaming law classifies online rummy as a dangerous activity.

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 India: PIL to prevent antibiotics sale without prescription

Public Interest Litigation has been filed at the Bombay High Court to prevent restrictive drugs to be commercialized without prescription.

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India: Government to strengthen ‘women- safe’ laws

India may come up with new polices and rules towards making it a work-safe environment for the women staff.

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India: Electric Charging Stations to become mandatory

 

 

Source: www.india.gov.in

 

The achievements of the human efforts have contributed significantly in towards the improvement of the human life leading to transformation from the era of the wheel of the early man to the availability of technology laden automobiles with numerous features. Revolutionizing the personal travel to the next level the modern-day vehicles are laden with multiple facilities. In so much so that these mediam serve as an efficient means of transport, they cost dependence on fuels in the form of non pollution causing renewable sources of energies. In view of monitoring the levels environment degradation, the Government has accelerated its efforts towards encouragement of nature conducive options in the country.


Environment friendly travel

To endorse environment friendly travel, the Government on March 7, 2018 launched the National E-Mobility Programme (hereinafter referred to as the “Programme”) providing an impetus to the entire e-mobility ecosystem including vehicle manufacturers, charging infrastructure companies, fleet operators, service providers, etc. This is expected to increase the usage of electric vehicles in the country.


Electric Vehicle charging

The Government has been devising strategies to foster the adoption of electric vehicles (hereinafter referred to as “EVs”). With the said challenge, there comes an indispensable requirement of setting up of a unit to recharge the EV. Planning of EV charging infrastructure needs to take into account multiple issues such as number of charging stations needed and their locations, availability of sites for the charging stations, type of charging station needed at each location, rules and regulations relevant for the deployment, availability of electrical grid capacity, timing of the rollout, dealing with possible changes in the plan, etc.

 

 

Mandating EV infrastructure in building plans


With a view to promote transition and acceptance towards the pollution free technology in the form of EV, the Government is working to modify the existing legal framework to incorporate the EV charging stations in residential as well as commercial complexes including parking lots.[1]


The Building Bye-Laws Regulations (hereinafter referred to as “Regulations”) lay down all mandatory Master Plan/Zonal Plan guidelines in respect of a town/ city/ area regarding use, land use, coverage, set- back, open space, height, number of stories, number of dwelling units, parking standards etc. for various categories of buildings including modification therein made from time to time. Reframing of the said Regulations shall enable easily available recharging of the EVs in use.


The Government is considering to introduce amendments to Urban and Regional Development Plans Formulation and Implementation Guidelines, 2015 and Model Building By-Laws, 2016 to accommodate promotion of electric vehicles infrastructure planning and power distribution services norms. It also aims to increase electricity load for all buildings.


Confronted with the challenges such as lack of infrastructure, ambiguity over compliance policies, have proved a major deterrent to the usage of EVs in the country. With the increasing number of people opting for economical and cleaner EVs, there is a requirement of the formulation of an appropriate administrative and legal mechanism, ensuring their proper control and management.

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[1]https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/auto/auto-news/ev-charging-stations-may-become-must-in-buildings-parking-lots/articleshow/66353793.cms 

 

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India: DoT clarifies no phone disconnection over Aadhaar

 

 

Source: www.sci.gov.in

 

 

 

The technological superiority over the years has allowed transmission of messages over significant distances for the purpose of communication. This has allowed people to stay connected with one another even though they may be separated over vast geographical terrains. Telecommunication signals can be transmitted to different types of media such as telephone wires, or radio waves. Considering the vitality of the nature of services being provided it becomes an important responsibility of the administrating authorities to ensure efficient system of proper connecting channels.

 

Administering Communication

 

The Government through its telecom branch- Department of Telecommunication (hereinafter referred to as “DoT”) enforces polices and guidelines for the regulation of telecommunication in India which is monitored by the Telcom Regulatory of India (hereinafter referred to as “TRAI”) in accordance to the provisions of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 (hereinafter referred to as “TRAI Act”).

 

Authentic connection

 

At the time of opting for the telecommunication services, the customers are put through a process of verification under the ‘Know Your Customer’ (hereinafter referred to as “KYC”) norms of the service provider. The documents evidencing that the authentication of a particular customer include PAN Card, Voter ID, Driving License, Passport, etc. These identity proofs help in clearly identifying a particular customer of the service provider.

Aadhaar not mandatory

 

Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number based on the biometric and demographic data of the individuals comprising of information such as a photograph, ten fingerprints and two iris scans, which are stored in a centralised database. Aadhaar is the social security number issued to every citizen of the country.

 

As per the judgement of the Supreme Court dated September 26, 2018, the provisions of Section 57 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as “Aadhaar Act”), which allowed private entities which used Aadhaar for verification purpose was struck off.

 

In furtherance to the aforesaid judgement, the DoT informed that the subscribers could submit other verification documents if they wished their service providers to replace their Aadhaar eKYC with the fresh KYC. However, the same would not lead to disconnection of the existing service subscription. DoT clarified that the onus of destruction of the eKYC data within 6 months laid with the Aadhaar regulator - the Unique Identification Authority of India (hereinafter referred to as “UIDAI”). Further, it has also been provided that the Supreme Court only prohibited issuance of new SIM cards through Aadhaar verification process.

 

It has been announced that in view to streamline the process of issuance of new connection, DoT and UIDAI are in the process of developing a mobile App which would ease the customer verification process while remaining compliant to the abovementioned Supreme Court judgement using One-time password.

 

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[1]Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) and Another Vs. Union of India and Others [SC Writ Petition (Civil) No. 494 of 2012]
[2]https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/telecom/telecom-news/no-threat-of-disconnection-for-sim-cards-issued-through-aadhaar-uidai/articleshow/66270274.cms 

 

  

 

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India: CCI for Affordable Healthcare

 

 

Source: www.cdsco.gov.in

 

 

The advancement in science has extended the life span of the individuals by means of life saving medications. The innovative skills in the field of pharmaceutical industry has promoted the increase in the quality of life as well. The governing set up in India encourages the scientists to strive for the development of better technology. Not only does it incentivise the budding researchers but also provides protection of their intellectual property rights.

 

Commercialization of Pharmaceuticals

 

Increasing awareness in the domain of healthcare and medicine has led to rise in the demand of pharmaceutical products. Like many other businesses in India, pharmaceutical production depends on public and private sectors. The Pharmaceutical Policy 2002 focusses on licensing for the manufacture of all drugs and pharmaceuticals, the investment thereunder, protection of rights of the manufacturers, etc. The Government regulates the commercialization of drugs under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 under the authority of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (hereinafter referred to as “CDSCO”).

 

Competition in the market

 

Drugs and pharmaceuticals manufacturing units in the public sector are being allowed to face competition including those from import of foreign products. In order to monitor competition in the Indian markets the Competition Act, 2002 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”) has been enforced which promotes fair competition in the market, protect the interests of the consumers and ensure freedom of trade is carried on by other participants in the market. The competition regulator of the country, Competition Commission of India (hereinafter referred to as the “CCI”), ensures proper monitoring of fair competitive trade practices.

 

Unfair transactions by Drug companies

 

Over the passage of years, it has been observed that there has been absence of fair competition in the Indian market in respect of the pharmaceutical sector. Significant restrictions as to the choice of the consumers has been evident not allowing markets to work effectively and healthy competition to drive the market outcomes.

CCI’s latest approach

 

In order to address the concerns of the consumers as well as the stakeholders in the pharmaceutical sector while ensuring fair market practices and competition, the CCI introduced a Policy Note on ‘Making Markets Work for Affordable Healthcare’ (hereinafter referred to as “Policy Note”).[1] Some of the features of the said Policy Note are listed below:

  • Role of intermediaries in drug price build-up - One major factor that contributes to high drug prices in India is the unreasonably high trade margins in the form of incentive and an indirect marketing tool by drug companies and self-regulation by trade associations. Efficient and wider public procurement as well as distribution of essential drugs and electronic trading of drugs can help mitigate the rise in prices.

  • Quality perception behind proliferation of branded generics - The branded generic drugs enjoy a price premium owing to perceived quality assurance that comes with the brand name. The regulatory apparatus must address the issue of quality perception by ensuring consistent application of statutory quality control measures and better regulatory compliance in order to eliminate generic competition.

  • Vertical arrangements in healthcare services – Restrictions offered during healthcare services prohibit a healthy competition in this domain. The in-house pharmacies of super specialty hospitals which restrict the purchase of pharma products should not prevent the consumers to buy standardised consumables from the open market.

     

    All accredited diagnostic labs should meet the same quality standards in terms of infrastructure, equipment, skilled manpower etc. for getting accreditation. Portability of patient data in the form of patient data, treatment record, diagnostic reports should be allowed between hospitals.

  • Regulation and competition - A mechanism may be devised under the aegis of the CDSCO to harmonise the criteria/processes followed by the state licensing authorities to ensure uniformity in interpretation and implementation. Also, the new drugs must be approved in a time-bound along with publication of detailed guidelines monitoring the same.

The CCI and the Act aims to achieve fair competition for greater good. The policy note introduced by CCI focuses to ascertain that the competition in the pharmaceutical industry is not chocked owing to high prices and lack of proper regulations.

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[1]http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=184356 

 

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  India: Telangana gives zero tolerance to ‘Rummy’

 

 

www.telangana.gov.in

 

 

 

Engaging the individuals of varied age-groups in lucrative and fancy games have always been a source of entertainment requiring exercise of certain level of physical ability or mental faculties. With the advancement of technology and increasing proliferation of internet in the modern world, games have now expanded their play area to the virtual world crossing the limitations of the physical medium. While the element of stakes adds thrill and excitement to the otherwise routine game, it often gives rise to the ambiguity on the sensitivity to the nature of the act.

 

Gaming vs. Gambling

 

Playing for money does not always invoke an act of gambling which is entirely contingent on the occurrence of an uncertain event and devoid of any sort of skill or effort. Gaming, on the other hand, permits victory only to those who use intelligence, alertness, experience and skill.

 

The Game of Rummy

 

Rummy is a sequence building card game which requires formation of sets of same rank or consecutive cards of the same suit. Once the cards are dealt, the players may pick a card from the remaining folded deck and either choose the same or discard it retaining the number of cards originally allotted. The player successfully completing all the sets shall be the winner.

 

Speaking Legally

 

The Constitution of India has vested the respective States with the power of monitoring the regulation of gaming and gambling activities taking place within its territorial limits.

 

 

 

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Gambling is per se prohibited in India except for the States of Sikkim (including online gambling) and Goa. Gaming is permissible per se in the country except for States such as Assam, Telangana, Odisha, etc. Online games and gambling activities are regulated likewise in the absence of any specific Central legislation in the said regard.

 

The Supreme Court of India has held that a game of skill is one in which success depends principally upon the certain knowledge, training, attention, adroitness of the player even though it comprises of some degree of chance. Rummy has been considered to be a game of skill. [1]

 

Position in Telangana

 

The Government of the State of Telangana has been very keen towards ensuring prohibition of gambling as a whole, both online and offline. The Telangana Gaming (Amendment) Act, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as the “Telangana Amendment Act”) implements the policy of zero tolerance against gambling which has serious impact on the financial status and well-being of the common public. It covers within its ambit any act of risking money on an uncertain event, including on a game of skill.[2]

 

Under the provisions of the said Telangana Gaming Act, Rummy has been identified not be a game of skill. The President of India has given his assent to the Telangana Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Dacoits, Drug-Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders and Land-Grabbers (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as the “Bill”) which makes punishable the acts wagering or betting on games of skill like rummy.[3]

 

The newly enforced Act would penalize the playing rummy on physical as well as virtual media which contravenes the abovementioned judgment of the Apex Court and legislations of multiple states. This would impact the market of the entrepreneurs of the gaming sector.

 

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[1]Dr. R. K. Lakshmanan vs. State of Tamil Nadu [AIR 1153, 1996 SCC (2) 226]
[2]http://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/reports/Report276.pdf
[3]https://glaws.in/2018/10/08/president-approves-new-telangana-law-include-online-rummy-within-ambit-dangerous-activities/ 

 

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India: PIL to prevent antibiotics sale without prescription

 

 

Source: www.bombayhighcourt.nic.in

 

 

Technological innovations and fruits of human labour have contributed immensely towards the advancement in healthcare and medicine. Numerous medicines have been developed to treat the incurable diseases. With the advent of modern and efficient pharmaceuticals, human life has revolutionized as they not only extend the span of life but also improve its quality while getting rid of the problems faced by the body. Indian market With the awareness and better access to medical facilities, the

 

Indian market

 

has seen an elevation in the demand of pharmaceutical products. With the diversity of products ranging from locally manufactured medications to those imported, the pharmaceutical industry has grown by leaps and bounds. India has now become one of the largest consumers of antibiotics in the world.

 

Monitoring legally

 

The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (hereinafter referred to as “Act”) was enforced for regulating the administration and commercialization of drugs and medical devices. The Act Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (hereinafter referred to as “CDSCO”) monitors and controls the distribution of medical products. All pharmaceutical products prevalent in the Indian markets are required to obtain approval from the CDSCO.

 

Controlling the sale

 

Over the counter drugs are medicines that may be sold directly to a consumer without a prescription from a healthcare professional, however prescription drugs, which may be sold only to consumers possessing a valid prescription.

 

In order to control the sale over the counter drugs, a public interest litigation has been filed at the High Court of Bombay following the investigations which brought into light, the fact that many drugs with restricted use were freely available through over the counter medium. [1]

 

A public interest litigation is a litigation filed by an individual or group of people in the Supreme Court of India and High Courts of India in furtherance to fulfilment of the objective of greater public interest. For the purpose of admission of such request it is not necessary that only a victim may file such an application. It helps advance the cause of human rights and equality, or raise issues of broad public concern.

 

Considering the reckless and careless use of sale over the counter of medications even with respect to those with limited and prescriptive use, the aforesaid petition has been filed. It aims to prohibit the easy availability of drugs with greater impact and post consumption consequences/ side effects in the absence of a prescription from a recognized medical officer, thereby preventing their misuse on account of less knowledge of the consumers or those advising the consumers.

 

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[1]https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/healthcare/biotech/
pharmaceuticals/pil-filed-in-bombay-hc-high-court-seeking-curbs-on-antibiotics-
sale-without-prescription/articleshow/66325219.cms
 

 

 

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India: Government to strengthen ‘women- safe’ laws

 

 

Source: www.sci.gov.in

 

 

One of the important gifts of modernization is equal recognition of the calibre of women. Restricted to the household works and raising of children, the women were confined to the four walls of the house in the earlier times. However, the evolution in the society has enabled the identification of the talent of the women and their right to earning a livelihood. Nowadays, men and women work together and earn themselves a respectable living in the society. Although, co-working is now a socially accepted phenomenon, women at workplace are often subjected to harassment and misbehaviour by their employers and co-workers.

 

Sexual Harassment

 

Sexual Harassment activities have been identified as unwelcome behaviour by any person either individually or in association with other persons or by any person in authority whether directly or by implication such as eve-teasing, physical contact and advances, sharing offensive data or any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.

 

Present Day Scenario

 

There have been numerous episodes disclosing ill-treatment against the female staff by their colleagues. Not restricted to limited segment of the society, even the most glamourous professions come within this darker side. Owing to many reasons including exploitation as well as harassment by enquiring authorities and questioning eyes of the society, such instances are continuing and majorly, not reported.

 

In the recent times, a change is being witnessed where the problem of sexual harassment in work place is increasingly coming into light with more and more women are bringing such cases to the knowledge of the people and bringing the awareness in the society, and in many cases to the records of police also, whereas earlier they were hiding these issues.

 

 

 

 

 

Prevalent legislature

 

A number of efforts are being made with a view to ensure the provision of safe working environment for the women.

 

The Supreme Court of India vide its judgement in the leading case of Vishakha and others V. State of Rajasthan [1] laid the guidelines for ensuring a safe work environment by casting a duty on employer to prevent or deter the commission of acts of sexual harassment and to provide the procedures for the resolution, settlement or prosecution for the same while holding that Gender Equality as a part of the Fundamental Rights enshrined under Articles 14 (Right to Equality), 19 (Right to Freedom) & 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution of India.

 

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 was enforced which provides for constitution of Internal Complaints Committee to monitor and regulate the complaints of sexual harassment, settlement through conciliation,is the duty of the employer as per Section 19 to provide a safe working environment, inform about penal consequences for committing sexual harassment, organization of workshops and awareness programmes sensitizing the employees, providing adequate redressal forum, etc.

Need for more…

 

Even though efforts have been made to tackle the issue of sexual harassment at workplace, the repeated cases have risen the concerns of the Government. In order to reinforce the legal mechanism in the said regards, the Group of Ministers are in process of strengthening the existing framework of rules and regulations as well as for institution set ups to create an efficient and effective system to control the problem of sexual harassment.[2] The Government is working to devise new strategies and policies for protecting the rights of the women based on the recommendations by the legislature.

 

In furtherance of the same, the Government has launched an electronic complaint box to allow women to submit their complaints of sexual harassment committed against them, irrespective of their work status.

 

India is making consistent efforts to make it a women friendly working environment.

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[1](AIR 1997 SC 3011)
[2]https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/government-sets-
up-gom-to-look-into-sexual-harassment-at-work-place/articleshow/66347515.cms
 

 

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