“Vidhi seva samajik utthan samiti has successfully organized its 5th Webinar on 2nd August on the topic “MEN’S RIGHT MOVEMENT: A NEED OF COMPREHENSIVE SOCIAL ENGINEERING”. The aim of organizing this webinar was to seek answer of a major question that, Is India ready for the Gender Neutral Laws? The plethora of Indian laws, most are gender specific to women recognizes only man as the perpetrator and the woman as a victim. How far this is relevant is something which is debatable.

The session was started by Ms. SOUMI CHATTERJEE who is an ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF LAW at NOIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY. She spoke on the topic “Dowry related Laws and its mis-use”. She started with how the concept of dowry came into existence and with time the greed accelerated resulting into various criminal activities. As a result of that Dowry Prohibition Act was formed. She further advocated that the Act was formed for the good cause but unfortunately the legal provisions in the Act have became a tool for blackmailing and harassing the husbands and his relatives. She quoted, the Supreme Court has used the words ‘Legal Terrorism’ to describe the state in which the provisions are being misused in the case of Shushil kumar Sharma v. Union of India. In many cases , women try to rope in all the relatives of husband while she is filing a case against husband and also in-laws under the anti-dowry provisions. She explained (through various case laws) how the application of section 498A IPC by the police and court has become arbitrary, unconstitutional and void and therefore it violates article 14, 20 and 21 of the constitution. She added, the Criminal Mentality to misuse the anti-dowry laws spew up in society with the change in status of women. Lastly, she made the point that the existing laws are misused because of its pro-woman nature; they are deficient and inadequate and needs amendment.

The session was taken forward by the SIMRENJEET KAUR, RESEARCH SCHOLAR at PANJAB UNIVERSITY. She spoke on “Sexual Harassment of Men at workplaces”. Her main motive was to aware the participants about sexual harassment of men at Workplace. She pointed that Social thinking that men cannot be victim of sexual harassment has led men not coming forward and reporting. Constitution of India guarantees equality in Article 14 but it is disheartening to see that Indian legislation is silent on this issue. She added, the element that woman can sexually harass a man is still considered inconceivable in the society. She quoted that there is no exact data available on sexual harassment of men at workplaces in India because men do not come forward due to several reasons such as Embarrassment and humiliation about the incident, fear that the matter will be trivialized and disregarded , a sense of insecurity that they will not be believed, dread of becoming a subject of gossip and further humiliation, etc. She further added the sexual harassment of men invites Psychological suffering, physical suffering to men and at times professional loss as well if they come forward to speak. Lastly, she concluded with the idea that In India, Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, provides “right to equality” and henceforth there is an utmost need for amending POSH Act in order to make it a Gender Neutral Law.

The session was concluded by Advocate KUSHAL KUMAR, Partner, Erudite Legal. He spoke on “Feminist Media Vis-A-Vis Men’s Right. He started with the statement that to bring in social inclusion in the society, there is an urgent need of Social Engineering. Particular gender dominating the other is not to be accepted. Further, he added that with the modernization the concept of Feminism is being misunderstood. The unfulfilled desire of the women is leading them to file false dowry cases against the husband and relatives and false complains against men at workplace which is not the idea of making laws in favour of women. This is being done because the provisions are inclined towards women. The false cases are torturing and humiliating for the men who are innocent. Lastly, he suggested that there is an urgent need to amend the laws for making it Gender Neutral.

The event was moderated by Mohammad Taasir Ali who beautifully coordinated between the speakers and participants.

I, on the behalf of the entire organization extend my thanks to all the speakers for joining our virtual platform to disseminate their knowledge on the concerned topic.

Thank You!

By,

Priyanka Singh

Vidhi seva samajik Utthan Samiti, on 18th of July has successfully organized its fourth webinar on the Topic “INDIA’S INFORMALISATION OF LABOURERS WITH SPECIAL FOCUS ON MIGRANTS LABOURS” The systematic assault on informal workers is not a new phenomenon in India. Ever since ages the rights of the labourers are being exploited and the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a grave humanitarian crisis in India. Apart from the public health challenges, the nationwide lockdown has led to the mass exodus of workers from big cities to their faraway villages, risking lives. The harrowing pictures of their hardships still haunt our collective imagination and pose serious questions about how justice is delivered in a democracy. To answer such questions and to have a qualitative discussion three speakers were invited to share their valuable insights.

The session was started by Mrs. Neha Mishra, Assistant professor of Law, Jindal Global School and she primarily talked about Social protection and Human Rights of labour force in India. She highlighted that Labour laws are the laws which deal with the relationship that governs the workplace, in an environment influenced by both the employer and the employee. Labour laws deal with the disputes between the employer and employee, regarding various matters during the course of the job and also after the specific term of the job is over. These Labour Laws had been enacted in India to codify the Fundamental of the workers regarding minimum wages and proper working conditions. Further, they provide a degree of certainity to the industries and bring them under a proper regulatory framework. Lastly, they help the State to fulfil its obligations enshrined in the Directive Principles of State Policy(s). So, they are expected to serve tripartite interests- of the employee, employers and the Government. She added the state always proposed the most inhuman and least empathetic labour policies, rejecting the provision of basic social safety nets to millions of workers. Over the years, this has created an ocean of workers living on basic minimum wage, deprived of freedom, dignity and security. Until the mass exodus of the migrant workers shook the world, our mainstream media, civil society and political parties were evasively silent on the existence of our informal sector workers as a political class. She emphasized on the point that all of the sufferings that workers have faced in sheer violation of their Human rights.

Session was further taken forward by the Advocate Pallavi Pratap, Supreme Court of India. She spoke on the topic Rights of the Women Labourers. She pointed, since the lockdown was announced hastily, thousands of migrant workers (Women workers included) were stranded on the streets without food, shelter and money. As a result, many of them died on the roads, under the trains, and the trees. She said this year the largest human exodus was witnessed after the partition of the country. It was explained by her that how women workers faced the worst during this pandemic. She point that how government failed in maintaining the data regarding migrant workers. She suggested that there is the need of proper management of Data and also policies in respect to workers in informal sector and also there is the wide need of special provisions for women workers.

Lastly, Mr. Prakash Badolia, Assistant Director at CAPT Bhopal and Principal of National Center for Prosecutors spoke on Sustainable and Inclusive Development: A Need of an Hour. He explained India has a large informal economy. The informal or unorganized sector constitutes approximately 96% of the total workforce in the country. These workers include agricultural labourers, street vendors, home-based workers, construction workers, daily wage labourers, etc. Most of them are migrant workers who left their home state in search of regular income and jobs. In terms of GDP, the informal economy accounts for roughly half of the country’s total GDP. Yet, they are primarily unorganised, and often work within an unequal power relationship characterized by sheer exploitation and oppression. The informal workers (including migrant workers) are far beyond the reach of our labour laws, regulations and social protection mechanisms. He further added that migrant workers are the small portion of unorganized sector and no proper data available in any of the states so as to cater their needs in the times of adverse situation. He added it is the high time to formulate sustainable and inclusive policies in relation to migrant labourers. There is also a need of amending old aged Disaster management Act in order to bring some ease to migrant workers.

The webinar was moderated by Mohammad Raashid Ali, President of Vidhi Seva Evam Samajik Utthan Samiti. On the behalf of the entire team I would like to extend my thanks to all the speakers for joining our Virtual platform.

By,

Priyanka Singh

LLM (National Law University, Odisha)

Vidhi Seva Evam Samajik Utthan Samiti has successfully organized its third webinar on the Topic “Right to Mental Health: A growing Human right jurisprudence”. The program was attended by more than 100 students. With the coronavirus pandemic still accelerating, impacting lives and livelihoods and causing fear and anxiety among people, it becomes really important to pay a greater attention to mental health because the situation in the country is somewhere or the other affecting our mental Health at extreme. The current condition and its effect on human lives makes it imperative to organize awareness program to highlight the importance of mental Health in all section of the society.

It is a very sensitive topic and hence, we invited the experts to speak. The event was started by Ms. Swetha Dutt, Co-Founder of PRAAN FOUNDATION which is a community of likeminded individuals who have come together to create a positive impact in the world of mental health through collaborative efforts. They aim to take a multidimensional approach to address mental health and emotional wellbeing issues, and positively influence the community on the importance of it. The focal point of her lecture centered on how people tend to ignore the problem because they are usually not aware of the symptoms. She made a point that in these challenging times, we must work towards providing a comprehensive, integrated and responsive mental health and social-care services in community-based settings in order to create awareness regarding importance of emotional and mental well-being. She gave the example that for any physical injury we seek help of the doctor, in the same way when there is emotional breakdown and it starts affecting mental health then, one shouldn’t hesitate in consulting the expert of concerned field.

The program was taken forward by the Ms. Spandana Kommuri, Senior Counselor of PRAAN FOUNDATION. She made students involved while delivering her lecture. As a counselor she tried to understand the behavior of students by putting them into various hypothetical situations. She said nobody knew about this situation and now when we all have to be at home, we are no longer in constant touch with our support system and it is ultimately affecting our minds. She mentioned three indicators of stress and anxiety which are physical (aches and pain, fatigue, change in appetite), behaviour (isolation, aggression, short temper, impulsiveness),emotional (constant worry, frequent lapse of memory, constant negative thoughts). She said we shouldn’t ignore such indicators and must try to get help. She mentioned “YOU CAN’T CONTROL WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU BUT, YOU CAN CONTROL YOUR REACTION TO IT”. She added, in the case of physical injury, at the very first instance we go for first aid, in the same manner it is very apposite to have an emotional first aid kit which would help in emotional breakdown. It could be used as writing thoughts, eating healthy, deep sleep, being grateful, etc. lastly she entertained all the questions of the participants and also provided a helpline number(9595-280-280) to approach in case any help needed in future.

The session was concluded by Ms. Nimrit Kaur, Assistant Professor of Law, Graphic Era Hill University, Dehradun. It was so good to have her on our virtual platform. She started her session with all the positive energy within her. She has got great understanding in the area of mental health as she has been constantly involved in research on this issue. She explained various theories related to Mental Health. She spoke on how we can manage to have a healthy and positive mind. She was positive on the point that yoga and meditation could be an antidote to mental illness. She mentioned as self-isolation escalates and people find themselves working from home and unable to physically catch up with their friends and family, we’re likely to see more people feel lonely and disconnected. We spend most of our times on laptops and phones which are an unnatural way divert our minds. She said instead of that we should adopt yoga and meditation in our life to make our mind function better. Exercise has always been a great strategy for people struggling with these feelings as it boosts both mood and health. But as gyms and exercise classes of all kinds are now closed, even jogging is strongly discouraged – people are looking for alternatives, and this is where meditation and yoga can help. She added yoga improves range of mental health conditions including anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and major depression. At the end of her lecture she conducted 15 minutes meditation session which brought a different experience to the participants.

I, on the behalf of the entire team extend my thanks to all the speakers for joining the virtual platform of “Vidhi Seva Evam Samajik Utthan Samiti”.

Thank You.

By,

Priyanka Singh

LLM(National Law University, Odisha)

Vidhi Seva Evam Samajik Utthan Samiti” has successfully conducted its second Webinar on the topic “INTERPLAY BETWEEN COVID-19 AND ENVIRONMENT”. There were about 100 Participants who participated in the Webinar. Looking into the current situation it was imperative to organize this webinar to highlight the importance of Environment for Human existence. Since time immemorial it is evident that humans have been taking environment for granted to satisfy personal greed which is illegitimate. The Webinar aims at highlighting how negative approach towards Environment has made us land in the current situation.

The event started with the valuable insights by our Chief Guest “Dr. Anil Prakash Joshi” who is a renowned environmentalist and his outstanding contribution in the field of environment has made him Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awardee. We were honoured to have him on our virtual platform. He emphasized on how the society as well as the government neglected the prominence of environment for the sake of development. He said “manushya ne bhojan ki hade paar ki hai isliye prakrati humse rusht hai”. He highlighted that Covid-19 has given us all a wakeup call to mend our relationships with the mother Earth. He pointed that younger generation should take responsibility in their hands for sustainable development of environment. He discussed the idea of “Gross Environment Product” which can be considered as the most significant idea to track the development in relation to Environment. He added the way GDP centers the development rate of the country, in the same manner GEP can be considered as a parameter to keep check on the development of Environment and it should be implemented on the National Level. He ended on the note by appreciating our efforts for organizing such events which is the need of the current situation

The event was taken forward by the Ms. Nabeela Siddiqui who is working as a Teaching Assistant at Dharamshtra National Law University, Jabalpur. She has got great understanding in the field of Environmental laws. Her lecture focused on the “Draft Environmental Impact Assessment” notification issued by the environment ministry in March, 2020 highlighting the major loopholes of the notification and suggesting measures that can be taken in order to protect the environment in totality. She said at the outset, finalizing this draft amidst pandemic is bizarre because it restricts meaningful dialogue among the stakeholders on a complex, cardinal and comprehensive piece of legislation. She added various facets of the new draft notification utterly disregard environmental jurisprudence, pushing regressive environmental policy, aimed at relaxing the procedure to give fast-track clearance to industries. She explained the concept by mentioning various important sections. She mentioned deadline for the public consultation process has been reduced which would greatly impact participation from all stakeholders. The time period for the conducting of public hearing has been reduced from forty-five days to forty days. Public has to submit their responses to any application seeking EC within twenty days from the earlier thirty days. This would negatively affect public discourse as there would not be enough time to prepare suggestions and views especially while adhering with the norms of social distancing. She raised questions on the idea of hypocrisy in the society by giving examples of Dihing Patkai (Assam) where clearance for coal mining is initiated which will affect the elephant reserve and the gas leak in a Vizag factory that lacked environmental nod. She concluded by leaving a major question that laws are being diluted but at the Stake of what?

The session was concluded by Ms. Soumi Chatterjee, Assistant Professor of Law at Noida International University. Her lecture centered on how this pandemic is interconnected with the environment. She explained how virus originated in animal population. She pointed as to human interference has invited such a situation in the country. She added that there are several provisions for protection of environment but implementation of the same is a major issue. She gave example of north east areas which is losing tree covers over the last 18 years. Coal mining setting of industries and factories are primarily blamed for loss of forest cover in Meghalaya. She said the greed of money is promoting these activities by giving easy environmental clearance. In her lecture she talked about various issues such a loss of habitats, depleting air Quality, etc. She quoted various data throughout her lecture for easy understanding. She concluded by saying that instead of shifting the burden we need to understand our responsibility that we owe towards environment.

I, on the behalf of the entire organization sincerely thank all the Speakers for joining virtual platform of “Vidhi Seva Evam Samajik Utthan Samiti”.

By:

Priyanka Singh
LLM (National Law University, Odisha)

It gives me immense pleasure to report that “VIDHI SEVA EVAM SAMAJIK UTTHAN SAMITI” has successfully organized its very first webinar on the topic “Working of E-Court-A Way Forward” on 7th of June, 2020. There were around 100 participants who participated.

The E-Courts project was conceptualized in the year, 2005 on the basis of the National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of information and communication technology (ICT) in the Indian Judiciary and the plan was submitted by e-Committee (Supreme Court of India), with a vision to transform the Indian Judiciary by enabling ICT in Courts. The current situation in India has given us the chance to take the challenge as an opportunity to make digital system in justice delivery mechanism more robust in nature.

Looking into the broad aspect of the topic we invited three guests who hold expertise in their particular domain. The session was started by the Hon’ble Justice Rajesh Tandon, Former Judge of Uttrakhand High Court. He spoke on the “viability of E- Courts in Indian context and will the adoption of E-Courts will Strengthen the Indian Judiciary?” He was of the mixed opinion that adopting E-Courts have both pros and cons. He mentioned that the traditional lawyers and judges are not well acquainted with the technology and henceforth, the training of lawyers is an utmost need for proper E-Court management. He added that technology is more friendly and attractive for young lawyers. He further added that virtual court hearings is a sort of a formula which is a substitute of open court hearing but it can never replace the physical courts hearing.

The session was followed by Advocate Lalit Belwal, Former president of Bar Association of Uttrakhand High Court. He Enlighted the participants on the topic that should “Working of E- Courts should be a Rule or an Exception?”. He made few relevant points as to when we are thinking of an idea of E-Courts , one must keep in mind the accessibility of technology in court process. For that he quoted the data that “Internet density in India is around 52% but only 25% have access to smart phones”. He added that current infrastructure is hampering the idea of access to justice. He further added virtually hearing matrimonial cases, POSCO related cases, will not serve the justice in an appropriate manner. He pointed that public as a stake holder keeps check and balance and is the critical observer but, while the cases being heard in E-Courts will exclude their engagement and by this question of lack of confidence in fairness of justice delivery system will arise. The issue of poor Connectivity of internet was also raised by him.

The session was concluded by Anita Yadav, Assistant professor of Law, Campus Law Center , Delhi. She spoke on the topic “E- education in Rural Areas”. She raised question on how e-education will solve the purpose when major chunk of the students do not have access to internet. She stated that non- accessibility of internet is bringing students into depression. She mentioned about the major digital divide in rural and urban areas. She reflected the data that only 15% population at rural areas has access to internet. She mentioned few suggestions as well that includes capacity building program for teachers, necessity to introspect the nature on online platforms, need to adopt inclusive approach, etc.

The webinar was altogether an informative approach in highlighting the angle of “Working of E-Courts”. At the end I would conclude by quoting a statement by Justice DY Chandrachud “What I perceive for the future is a healthy mix between the use of technology of E-Courts hearing in the areas where we believe technology is well- suited but, we must necessary have open courts hearing also, which is the spine of our system.

THANK YOU!

BY,

PRIYANKA SINGH

LLM- NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, ODISHA