August 12, 2017
The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 passed in both houses
The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Finance, Mr. Arun Jaitley, on July 24, 2017. It seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to insert provisions for handling cases related to stressed assets. Stressed assets are loans where the borrower has defaulted in repayment or where the loan has been restructured (such as by changing the repayment schedule). It will replace the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017.
Initiating insolvency proceedings: The central government may authorise the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to issue directions to banks for initiating proceedings in case of a default in loan repayment. These proceedings would be under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
Issuing directions on stressed assets: The RBI may, from time to time, issue directions to banks for resolution of stressed assets.
Committee to advise banks: The RBI may specify authorities or committees to advise banks on resolution of stressed assets. The members on such committees will be appointed or approved by the RBI.
Applicability to State Bank of India: The Bill inserts a provision to state that it will also be applicable to the State Bank of India, its subsidiaries, and Regional Rural Banks.
August 01, 2017
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced by the Minister of Human Resource Development, Mr. Prakash Javadekar in Lok Sabha on April 10, 2017. The Bill amends the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 by extending the deadline for teachers to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications for appointment.
Under the Act, if a state does not have adequate teacher training institutions or sufficient number of qualified teachers, the provision to possess minimum qualifications is relaxed for a period not exceeding five years i.e. till March 31, 2015.
The Bill further adds to this provision by stating that those teachers who do not possess the minimum qualifications as on March 31, 2015 will acquire the minimum qualifications within a period of four years i.e. by March 31, 2019.
July 24, 2017
The Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2016 passed in parliament.
The Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2016 seeks to consolidate the existing laws on civil matters of admiralty jurisdiction of courts, admiralty proceedings on maritime claims, and arrest of ships.
Admiralty laws deal with cases of accidents in navigable waters or involve contracts related to commerce on such waters. The Bill repeals laws such as the Admiralty Court Act, 1861, the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890.
Key features of the Bill include:
Admiralty jurisdiction: The jurisdiction with respect to maritime claims under the Bill will vest with the respective High Courts and will extend up to the territorial waters of their respective jurisdictions. The central government may extend the jurisdiction of these High Courts. Currently admiralty jurisdiction applies to the Bombay, Calcutta and Madras High Courts. The Bill further extend this to the High Courts of Karnataka, Gujarat, Orissa, Kerala, Hyderabad, and any other High Court notified by the central government.
Maritime claims: The High Courts may exercise jurisdiction on maritime claims arising out of conditions including: (i) disputes regarding ownership of a vessel, (ii) disputes between co-owners of a vessel regarding employment or earnings of the vessel, (iii) mortgage on a vessel, (iv) construction, repair, or conversion of the vessel, (v) disputes arising out of the sale of a vessel, (vi) environmental damage caused by the vessel, etc.
The Bill defines a vessel as any ship, boat, or sailing vessel which may or may not be mechanically propelled.
While determining maritime claims under the specified conditions, the courts may settle any outstanding accounts between parties with regard to the vessel. They may also direct that the vessel or a share of it be sold. With regard to a sale, courts may determine the title to the proceeds of such sale.
Priority of maritime claims: Among all claims in an admiralty proceeding, highest priority will be given to maritime claims, followed by mortgages on the vessel, and all other claims. Within maritime claims, the highest priority will be given to claims for wages due with regard to employment on the vessel. This would be followed by claims with regard to loss of life or personal injury in connection with the operation of the vessel. Such claims will continue to exist even with the change of ownership of the vessel.
Jurisdiction over a person: Courts may exercise admiralty jurisdiction against a person with regard to maritime claims. However, the courts will not entertain complaints against a person in certain cases. These include: (i) damage, or loss of life, or personal injury arising out of collision between vessels that was caused in India, or (ii) non-compliance with the collision regulations of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 by a person who does not reside or carry out business in India. Further, Courts will not entertain action against a person until any case against them with regard to the same incident in any court outside India has ended.
Arrest of vessel: The courts may order for the arrest of any vessel within their jurisdiction for providing security against a maritime claim which is the subject of a proceeding. They may do so under various reasons such as: (i) owner of the vessel is liable for the claim, (ii) the claim is based on mortgage of the vessel, and (iii) the claim relates to ownership of the vessel, etc.
Appeals: Any judgments made by a single Judge of the High Court can be appealed against to a Division Bench of the High Court. Further, the Supreme Court may, on application by any party, transfer an admiralty proceeding at any stage from one High Court to any other High Court. The latter High Court will proceed with the matter from the stage where it stood at the time of the transfer.
Assessors: The central government will appoint a list of assessors qualified and experienced in admiralty and maritime matters. The central government will also determine the duties of assessors, and their fee. Typically, assessors assist the judges in determining rates and claims in admiralty proceedings
APRIL 01, 2017
Govt. enforced provisions of Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2016 from April 1, 2017
MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT NOTIFICATION New Delhi, the 31st March, 2017
In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 ( 6 of 2017), the Central Government hereby appoints—
(i) the 1st day of April, 2017 as the date on which the provisions of the said Act, except sub-section (5) of section 3: and
(ii) the 1st day of July, 2017, as the date on which sub-section (5) of section 3 of the said Act, shall come into force.
MCA enforced certain provisions of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016
MINISTRY OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS NOTIFICATION New Delhi, the 30th March, 2017
In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (3) of section 1 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (31 of 2016), the Central Government hereby appoints the 1st April, 2017 as the date on which the provisions of the following sections of the said Code shall come into force:—
(1) section 59;
(2) section 209 to section 215 (both inclusive);
(3) sub-section (1) of section 216; and
(4) section 234 and section 235