ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Designing an Effective Data Protection Regulator

The revised Personal Data Protection Bill, expected to be tabled in the current monsoon session of Parliament, is a significant move towards India’s first dedicated personal data protection legislation. One of the proposals is a data protection authority, a cross-sectoral regulator that will significantly influence the Indian regulatory landscape. Against the backdrop of these developments, the author seeks to draw out the appropriate regulatory design keeping in mind essential questions of India’s existing regulatory capacity, framework, and jurisprudence.

A Lock, a Key, a Legislation: Making a Case against Outing

Outing refers to the non-consensual act of revealing an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, or coercing them into revealing the same. Recently, a Japanese prefecture named Mie introduced a law to deal with the issue of outing. In a country like India, the need for a holistic legislative action to tackle this issue becomes clear when viewed against the backdrop of the deep-rooted biases that non-cishets face. This article argues for the introduction of a legislation to make outing a civil offence in India. To support this argument, we analyse the implications of outing on an individual’s fundamental rights such as their right to privacy and freedom of choice. The article traces various Supreme Court judgments in order to analyse this issue from a legal lens. Further, the authors shall discuss the concept of sexual fluidity and its link with the potentially harmful effects of the act of outing. To strengthen the demand for a legislative action, we provide data regarding the discrimination that victims of outing can face.

EWS Beds in Delhi

In 2007, the Delhi High Court ordered all private hospitals in Delhi having the free treatment condition for economically weaker section patients in their lease deed to provide free treatment to 10% poor inpatients and 25% poor outpatients. This article analyses the monthly reports of “percentage bed occupancy” of the ews beds in 34 private hospitals from 2012–13 to 2015–16. The bed occupancy of 41% hospitals was below 10% and only two hospitals featured more than 30%. A number of loopholes need to be plugged by the custodian of the public properties, which is the state in this case, to ensure that the public partners who are the poor patients are welcomed and provided non-discriminatory health services without any fee.

Political Interests and Private Healthcare Lobby Collude to Stifle Patients’ Rights in Karnataka

The amendments in the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Bill, 2017 contained key provisions related to patient rights, cost regulation, and grievance redressal. The bill also provided substantial opportunity for private medical establishments to be part of the regulatory process, thereby defeating the very purpose of regulation. PMEs misrepresented the bill as “draconian” and rejected the amendments. PME’s resistance to the bill is part of the larger resistance of the medical fraternity in general to any regulation. This has led to a crisis in both the public and private health sectors. While the KPME Bill is an important first step in ensuring accountability of the private health sector, the Karnataka government needs to also increase budgetary allocation for the public health system and reverse its pro-private healthcare policies.

First Amendment to Constitution of India

India's Constitution has been amended over a hundred times since its inception in 1950. The landmark amendments are discussed with special emphasis on the first amendment, which altered the way the freedom of speech and expression was originally understood by the framers of the Constitution.

The Time of the Dalit Conversion

More than a reference to the mass conversion of dalits to Buddhism in 1956 and to other religions in subsequent years, "dalit conversion", in this article, also denotes their conversion to full citizenship that followed with the abolition of untouchability, institution of universal adult franchise, extension of legal and political rights to all sections of the population, with special safeguards for disadvantaged groups. It could also denote a conversion to the "modern" - signified by a certain sensibility, particular kinds of dress and comportment and particular rules of social and political engagement. The time of the dalit conversion is also then the time of Indian democracy â?? a time of definition, anticipation and struggle, as seen in the call to educate, organise and agitate.

National Policy for Street Vendors

Street vendors across several Indian cities have generally been regarded as nuisance value, their presence seen as inimical to urban development. However, the range of goods and services they provide renders them useful to other sections of the urban poor and thus they form an important segment of the informal economy. A draft national policy on street vendors argues that needs of this section are vital for urban planning purposes. Regulation of vendors and hawking zones and granting vendors a voice in civic administration need to become definitive elements of urban development policy.

Local Government:Conflict of Interests and Issues of Legitimisation

Following the passing of the 73rd and 74th amendments, many states enacted legislation bestowing significant decision-making powers to the gram sabhas. In Maharashtra however, two parallel bodies with different legitimising sources continue to function, the gram sabha and the traditional village panchayats or collectives, which are generally dominated by upper and richer caste men. This has often led to some piquant situations.

Calcutta Diary

The two amendments proposed to the Representation of the Peoples Act requiring open voting by members of state assemblies while electing members of the Rajya Sabha and dispensing with the residential provision for election to the Rajya Sabha are an invocation of, and tribute to, national corruption.

Independence of Regulators under the Electricity Bill

A critical look at the electricity bill presented to parliament from the standpoint of the independence of the regulatory commissions under the bill's provisions.

Civil Liberties : New TADA by Ordinance?

The news that the centre is planning to promulgate an ordinance for dealing with terrorist crimes must be viewed with trepidation. An ordinance is after all a last resort, when there are circumstances requiring urgent legislative action which cannot wait for the due process of law-making. Surely, notwithstanding the emerging new perception of terrorism, there is little justification for forgoing the process of parliamentary debate and decision-making?

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