Crucial Bills And Amendments for IAS Prelims 2017: The Enemy Property Bill, Arbitration and Conciliation Bill

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Crucial Bills And Amendments for IAS Prelims 2017: The Enemy Property Bill, Arbitration and Conciliation Bill

Crucial Bills And Amendments for IAS Prelims 2017: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will conduct the civil services (CS) preliminary examination on June 18 this year. It is one of the most esteemed and toughest exams in the country. With a success rate of 0.1- 0.3 percent of the total percentage of candidates who apply, it is really difficult to nail the examination.

Crucial Bills And Amendments for IAS Prelims 2017: Merchant Shipping Bill, Benami Transactions, 2016

This article covers some of the most important Bills and Amendments which will help you for your upcoming IAS Prelims Preparation.

 

Crucial Bills And Amendments for IAS Prelims 2017: The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016
Arbitration and Conciliation Bill, 2015

Today we will discuss the next two bills. Below mentioned is the explanation of the the next two topics i.e The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, Arbitration and Conciliation Bill, 2015.

The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016

The Enemy Property Act, 1968 is an Act of the Parliament of India, which provides for the continuous vesting of enemy property in the Custodian. The Central Government through the Custodian of Enemy Property for India is in possession of enemy properties spread across many states in the country. In addition, there are also movable properties categorized as enemy properties.

The 2016 bill seeks to do the following:

  • The Bill amends the Enemy Property Act, 1968, to vest all rights, titles and interests over enemy property in the Custodian for the Enemy Property for India.
  • The Bill declares transfer of enemy property by the enemy, conducted under the Act, to be void. This applies retrospectively to transfers that have occurred before or after 1968.
  • The Bill prohibits civil courts and other authorities from entertaining disputes related to enemy property.

The Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 10 March 2017. The Bill, with amendments made in the Rajya Sabha, was passed by the Lok Sabha on 14 March 2017.

Key Issues

  • The Act allows transfer of enemy property from the enemy to other persons. The Bill declares all such transfers as void. This may be arbitrary and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.
  • The Bill prohibits civil courts from entertaining any disputes with regard to enemy property. It does not provide any alternative judicial remedy (eg. tribunals). Therefore, it limits judicial recourse or access to courts available to aggrieved persons.

The amendments include that once an enemy property is vested in the Custodian, it shall continue to be vested in him as enemy property irrespective of whether the enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm has ceased to be an enemy due to reasons such as death. The new Bill ensures that the law of succession does not apply to enemy property; that there cannot be transfer of any property vested in the Custodian by an enemy or enemy subject or enemy firm and that the Custodian shall preserve the enemy property till it is disposed of in accordance with the Act. The amendments are aimed at plugging the loopholes in the Act to ensure that the enemy properties that have been vested in the Custodian remain so and do not revert to the enemy subject or firm.

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Arbitration and Conciliation Bill

The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was introduced in Lok Sabha on December 3, 2015 by the Minister for Law and Justice, Mr. D.V. Sadananda Gowda.  The Bill amends the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

Objectives

The bill seeks to amend Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 to make of commercial disputes more user-friendly and cost effective which in turn will lead to expeditious disposal of cases.

The salient features of the amendments are as under:

(i) In order to ensure neutrality of arbitrators, it is proposed to amend Section 12 to the effect that when a person is approached in connection with possible appointment of arbitrator, he shall disclose in writing about existence of any relationship or interest of any kind, which is likely to give rise to justifiable doubts. Further, if a person is having specified relationship, he shall be ineligible to be appointed as an arbitrator.

(ii) Insertion of a new provision that the Arbitral Tribunal shall make its award within a period of 12 months. Parties may extend such period up to six months. Thereafter, it can only be extended by the Court, on sufficient cause. The Court while extending the period may also order reduction of fees of arbitrator(s) not exceeding five percent for each month of delay, if the court finds that the proceedings have been delayed for reasons attributable to the arbitral tribunal. If the award is made within a period of six months, arbitrator may get additional fees if the parties may agree.

(iii) It is proposed to insert a provision for fast track procedure for conducting arbitration. Parties to the dispute may agree that their dispute be resolved through fast track procedure. Award in such cases shall be given in six months period.

(iv) Amendment of Section 34 relating to grounds for challenge of an arbitral award, to restrict the term ‘Public Policy of India” (as a ground for challenging the award) by explaining that only where making of award was induced or affected by fraud or corruption, or it is in contravention with the fundamental policy of Indian Law or is in conflict with the most basic notions of morality or justice, the award shall be treated as against the Public Policy of India.

(v) A new provision to provide that application to challenge the award is to be disposed of by the Court within one year.

(vi) Amendment to Section 36 to the effect that mere filing of an application for challenging the award would not automatically stay execution of the award. Award can only be stayed where the Court passed any specific order on an application filed by the party.

(vii) A new sub-section in Section 11 to be added to the effect that an application for appointment of an Arbitrator shall be disposed of by the High Court or Supreme Court as expeditiously as possible and an endeavour should be made to dispose of the matter within 60 days.

(viii) A new Section 31A is to be added for providing comprehensive provisions for costs regime. It is applicable both to arbitrators as well as related litigation in Court. It will avoid frivolous and meritless litigation/arbitration.

(ix) Section 17 is to be amended for empowering the Arbitral tribunal to grant all kinds of interim measures which the Court is empowered to grant, under Section 9 and such order shall be ‘enforceable in the same manner as if it is an order of Court.

Apart from above, amendments in Sections 2(1)(e) , 2(1)(f)(iii), 7(4)(b), 8(1) and (2), 9, 11, 14(1), 23, 24, 25, 28(3), 31(7)(b), 34 (2A) 37, 48, 56 and in Section 57 are also proposed for making the arbitration process more effective.

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Here, we conclude our article on Crucial Bills And Amendments for IAS Prelims 2017. Stay tuned with us for the rest of the topic that we will discuss day by day. 

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