Live: 11th National E-Conference on Contemporary Legal Issues and Reflections Amidst the Pandemic, School of Law, CHRIST, Bangalore

Welcome to the 11th National E-Conference on Contemporary Legal Issues and Reflections Amidst the Pandemic organized by School of Law, Christ (Deemed to be University), Bangalore.

The COVID-19 global pandemic is distinct from its predecessors due to its enormity both in terms of scale and effect. It has had its impacts on the socio-economic spectrum, has led to constitutional debates, and has created areas of discussion in environment-related issues. The 11th National E-Conference on Contemporary Legal Issues and Reflections Amidst the Pandemic aims at addressing some of the most crucial and imperative concerns that the world is battling with, and at achieving plausible solutions to these issues that we face as a global community in current times.

“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose” – Zora Neale Hurston

The conference deals with themes related to justice administration, constitutional debates and discussions, environmental law and policy frameworks, and contemporary legal predicaments. The objective is to deliberate upon contemporary legal issues arising out of the pandemic, to facilitate academic discussions and presentations amongst the legal fraternity, and to devise plausible proposals by collating suggestions and recommendations.

Everyone, mark your calendars from 22nd January to 23rd January 2021 and join us on our roller coaster journey. The Organising Committee and the National Conference Committee invite you to stay updated with all the events.

BRIEF  ITINERARY OF THE EVENT:

Day 1: (22nd January): Inaugural Ceremony {9:30-10:30 A.M.}, Paper Presentations {11 A.M.-1:30 P.M.)

Day 2: (23rd January): Paper Presentations {10 A.M.-12:30 P.M.}, Panel Discussion cum Valedictory Ceremony {3:00 P.M.-5:00 P.M.}

Inaugural Ceremony 

9:35 A.M.: The inaugural ceremony commences. The Chief Guest is Hon’ble Justice KSP Radhakrishnan, a former judge of the Supreme Court of India. The Guest of Honor is Dr. S.Y. Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner of India.  The inaugural song is being played.

9:45 A.M.: Dr. Jayadevan S. Nair, Dean of School of Law, Christ (Deemed to be University), Bangalore is invited to deliver the welcome address and launch the abstract book for the conference. The dean lists out the achievements of the Chief Guest and the Guest of Honor.

9:50 A.M.: Dr. Fr. Joseph CC, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Christ (Deemed to be University), Bangalore is invited to deliver the presidential address. He acknowledges the guests and briefly touches upon the themes to be covered in the conference.

9:55 A.M.: The Guest of Honor Dr. S.Y. Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner of India is invited to deliver his address for the conference. He examines the democratic structure of India and COVID-19’s impact on the same. He makes a comparative analysis of India’s democratic structure with those of Hungary and Serbia. He states that the judiciary should act as a check to the unauthorized power usage by the government in such critical times.

10:08 A.M.: The Cheif Guest Hon’ble Justice KSP Radhakrishnan, a former judge of the Supreme Court of India is invited to address the gathering. He begins by touching upon the impact of the Pandemic on the migrant laborers in India. He speaks about the need to test the validity of laws by both legislature and judiciary in times of Pandemic for ensuring fairness in the society. He states the need to shift to online platforms for case-hearing and dispute resolution processes which will be both time-saving and cost-efficient.  He concludes by touching upon the career prospects after the completion of law school and the importance to focus on developing knowledge about one’s areas of interest.

10:31 A.M.: Ms. Ann Clara Tomy, convenor of the National Conference Committee of School of Law, Christ (Deemed to be University), Bangalore is invited to deliver the vote of thanks. The contributions of the guests and other dignitaries for the inaugural ceremony are acknowledged.

10:34 A.M.: The inaugural ceremony hereby ends. The participants are instructed to move to their respective session halls.

 

Day-1 Paper Presentations

 

 

Session Hall 1 {Presentations for Theme I: Challenges to Justice Administration vis-a-vis Human Rights}

11:05 A.M.: The paper presentation session commences. The moderators of the session are Dr. Aparna K and Dr. Shampa Dev. 

11:13 AM: Instructions are provided to the presenters and the participants.

11: 15 AM: The rounds begin with the first presentation by Dr. Pratyusha Das from Xavier Law School, St. Xavier’s University, Kolkata, on the topic Parole during COVID-19 19: A reflection on Prison Retrogression. She highlights CrPC especially section 167. The speaker provides the structure to the delay caused by investigation and the delay in filing of charge-sheet. She opines that strict implementation of Section 167 should be clear to the courts, and provision if an investigation cannot be completed then bail should be granted and trial should proceed immediately. 

11:33 A.M.: Moderator asks the presenter if the topic was much related to criminal justice rather than the pandemic. The presenter answered in affirmation.

11: 36 A.M.: The next presenter is Mr. Shantanu Pachahara, Assistant Professor, Manipal University Jaipur who begins his topic RECKONING TO INITIATE AND ADMINISTER ARBITRATION REMOTELY: A NEW NORMAL. The presenter begins with the introduction. The second part of the paper tells about the first response of Arbitral Institutes to the COVID-19 Pandemic, provided with examples of the actions taken by the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre(HKIAC). The main challenges as stated by the presenter are how to initiate arbitrations remotely. The solutions so provided are services of RFA (Remote Request for Arbitration). The presenter concludes with the problems caused to the International Arbitration stating the importance of arbitration and how arbitration needs to evolve.

11:46 A.M.:  Moderator-Dr Aparna K, ask whether we can stick to the current online session and if so what will be the challenges? The presenter provides his views that arbitration will stick to these technologies as they are more efficient and even the documentation can be done easily in electronic form. 

11:51 A.M.: The next presenter is S. Sai Srivastav who is dealing with the challenges faced by the judicial system during COVID-19. The presenter provides the benefits and challenges caused by the pandemic. The presenter highlights the negative impacts of attorney-client privilege being violated and the denial of an attorney. The presenter also tells about a reduction in the population of prison inmates providing the recent example of Tihar Jail. The presenter also highlights the impact of COVID in other Countries like the USA, Germany, Switzerland, Iran. 

12:04 P.M.: Moderator Dr. Shampa Dev asked about a solution to negative impacts. The presenter answers by taking into consideration the rights of the attorney. He shows that if the case is of utmost importance then physical hearings should be provided on an otherwise online platform.

12:07 P.M.: The next presentation is to be done by Mr. Ankesh and Mr. Jay Gajbhiye from National Law University Orissa. The presenters begin by stating the extremity of increase in Domestic Violence. The presenter also shows the reason for the increase in domestic violence during the pandemic, where one of the reasons is less participation of women in politics. The presenters state an important fact where the National Women’s Commission has provided a helpline number in such pandemic. The presenters have also shown the lack of governmental approach towards the pandemic situation.

12:19 P.M.: Dr. Aparna K, asks for suggestions for women who are living in rural areas and are unable to reach NWC. The presenter replies that groundwork is required. The presenter also highlights the NGOs which have reached out to rural areas.

12:24 P.M.: The next presentation is given by Mr. Karan Vohra and Mr. Mehul Shokeen on the topic “Balancing between Parole and Prison during Covid-19″.

12:26 P.M.: The presenter Karan Vohra begins with the Prison Act and its various chapters. Afterwards, he states various Parole laws, thereby showing two types of Parole-Regular Parole and Custody Parole. The presenters also provide the Supreme Court decision consisting of the bench including the Chief Justice SA Bode, which took Suo moto cognisance of the matter of the spread of Covid-19 in prisons of India. 

12:35 P.M.: Dr. Aparna K asks about the laws in India are colonial laws to an extent. Considering this situation, suggest any structural or changes in India. The presenter answers that there has been a lot of changes in the laws in India, and even in COVID we have seen changes in the law. In this time a stricter covid test is required for prison. Our government has allowed the release of prisoners on parole is not a good idea. The prisoner should be kept inside and in a safe condition, in order to curb the situation. 

12:48 P.M.: The sixth presenter is Anu Mishra, Assistant Professor, from Kirit P Mehta School of Law, NMIMS University Mumbai. The presenter begins with the definition of DISENFRANCHISEMENT and its broader meaning. The presenter provides the background of the effects of pandemic and how the transgender committee has faced the most. The presenter also provides light on the parameters caused by the binary norms. She highlights the section 377 on how it has caused marginalisation to the transgender committee. 

12: 59 P.M.: Dr Aparna K, asks the presenter about police atrocities against the transgender committee and about the judgements provided by the presenter in her paper. 

01:02 P.M.: The last presentation for the day is to be given by Ms. Anmol Paniya on the topic COVID-19 AND PRISONS: THE QUESTION OF REFORM. The presenter provides the structure of her presentation. The presenter highlights the guidelines provided by the government, and questions whether they can be implemented on the prisoners or not. The presenter provides statistical data on the number of prisoners in prison before the COVID-19. The presenter also shows data of medical officers in prison. The presenter also highlights how not only the prisoner but the medical staff as well are affected by it. The Presenter concludes by stating the requirement of a balanced approach. This can be done by providing open prisons. 

1:16 P.M.: Dr. Shampa Dev, asks the presenter about other possible suggestion. 

1:19 P.M.: The session concludes with a vote of thanks.

 

 

 

 

Session Hall 2 {Presentations for Theme II: Impending Constitutional Debates and Discussions}

11 A.M.: The paper presentations start for Theme II. The moderators of the session are Dr. Kishan Morey and Dr. Avishek Chakraborty.

11:08 A.M.: All participants have entered. Moderators are being introduced. 

11:38 A.M.: The first presenter, Pallabi Paul, starts presenting her paper on “A Critical Analysis Of PM Cares Fund: Transparency And Accountability”. She starts talking about the plight of migrant workers. She explains the objectives of the fund and the composition of public trusts. She discusses the debate about whether PM Cares Fund comes under the RTI Act. She talks about the audit process under the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

11:48 A.M.: Dr. Avishek Chakraborty appreciated the topic, but stated that he expected more comparative analysis of the PMRNF and PM Cares Fund, as it was also mentioned in the abstract of the paper. He appreciated the pertinent section mentioned- Section 7(9). He commented upon the judicial interpretation of the denial request for disclosure. He expected more authoritative sources to be cited, instead of solely websites.

11:53 A.M.: The second presenters, Sneha Mohanty and Akanksha A. Reddy, start presenting their paper on “Contact Tracing Applications And Privacy: Current Challenges And Conundrums”. Akanksha starts explaining the new Google model. She moves on to the lacunaes in the law which is the main focus of the paper. She talks about China’s data security which is also low like India. EU is much better in this regard with GDPR. Sneha analyses various laws such as the IT Act, 2000, Right to Privacy in India, IT Rules, 2011 and apps like Aarogya Setu. She critically analyses judgements such as the Aadhar judgement. She gives various suggestions to plug cybersecurity threats like creating a globally comprehensive data security network as well as emergency guidelines for the data breach.

12:06 P.M.: Dr. Morey asks if there are any provisions in the Constitution for data security and if no, what amendment would they make. Sneha answers with reference to Article 21 and Shreya Singhal case. She doesn’t recommend an amendment. but instead requests a specific clarification from the Supreme Court and specific enactment of legislation on data protection.

12:13 P.M.: The third presenter, Tanya Sharma, a 4th-year student at School of Law, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Uttarakhand starts presenting her paper on “PM Cares Fund: Need for Transparency and Accountability. She starts by introducing the need of the PM Cares Fund in light of the pandemic. Objections, functions and responsibilities of the RTI Act in the midst of the controversy caused by PM to not disclose information about the fund to the public were discussed. She analyses the various RTI applications filed and the income tax exemptions. She explains the difference between PMRNF and PM Cares Fund and appreciated the intention behind the creation of the fund, but feels that CAG should audit it rather than some other auditors.

12:23 P.M.: Dr. Chakraborty appreciated the discussion of the PIL filed. He recommended that she should include the reason behind she feels decision by the Supreme Court is justified or not justified.

12:26 P.M.: The fourth presenter, Mr. Mani Pratap Singh, PhD scholar, Manipal University, Jaipur starts presenting his paper on “Centralised Control Of COVID-19 And Federalism”. He defines federalism and explains its characteristics.  He explains how the national lockdown was criticised by few as encroachment of State List. The presenter also cites Doctrine of Importance and the action taken by Centre under Article 249 of the Constitution which permits Central Government to legislate on matters relating to State List on matters of Mr. Singh appreciates the strength of the centre-state relationship in India compared to other federal countries.

12:38 P.M.: Dr. Morey asks how we can differentiate between de-facto and de-jure emergency. Mr. Singh answers that we don’t have a medical emergency as a specific kind of emergency and that “de-facto” in this paper refers to undeclared/implied emergency and de-jure is related to actual emergency being declared, which is more constitutional in nature.

12:48 P.M.: The fifth presentation is by Mr. Shaurya Shukla and Mr. Jumanah Kader on “Blockchain Technology As A Potential Roadmap For Contact Tracing Apps? – A Privacy Outlook.” Mr. Shaurya explains elements of blockchain technology like nodes, HASH, etc. He then starts explaining the Indian and international scenario vis-à-vis the scope of blockchain technology. He starts discussing the problems in blockchain technology e.g. if nodes are not of proper quality, the entire technology becomes incompetent, enormous data storage so not cost-efficient. He starts explaining the reasonable exceptions to data privacy and the significance of the Puttaswamy judgement.

1:00 P.M.: Dr. Morey appreciates the priority of life over privacy and asks him to justify more on the same as both are covered under Article 21. He answered by explaining how many lives have been lost during the pandemic and felt that the cost of data privacy investment is nothing compared to that. Dr. Chakraborty states that blockchain is not permitted by the Indian government. He asks what is the solution for the same. Shaurya answers by explaining the potential and scope for easy implementation of Blockchain.

1:06 P.M.: Dr. Chakraborty thanks all participants and starts summarising all the papers under the theme. The vote of thanks is delivered by Court Clerk. The paper presentation session for theme II has ended for the first day.

 

 

Session Hall 3 {Presentations for Theme III: Environmental Law and Policy Framework}

11:15 A.M.:  The moderators of the session are Dr. Mini and Dr. Aradhana Satish Nair. The session hall officer welcomes them and mentions their achievements and specializations.

11:18 A.M.: The presenters are being made aware of the rules and time frame available for presentations.

11:21 A.M.: The first presentation for this session is made by Ms. Medhiyaa Ramesh & Ms. Aparajita Dev whose paper is titled ‘Fight for Fauna’. They mention that they will be dealing with animal cruelty and analysis of relevant Indian legislation. Ms. Aparajita touches upon different forms of animal cruelty, relevant precedents, and organizations dealing with resolving the issue of animal cruelty. Ms. Medhiyaa Ramesh analyzes the legislation dealing with animal cruelty in India. They conclude the presentation by stating that animal cruelty cannot be eradicated overnight.

11:35 A.M.: The moderators collectively mention that the presentation lacked strong suggestions to resolve the issue at hand and also the lacunae in the laws weren’t addressed properly but the overall presentation was praiseworthy and there is scope for improvement.

11:38 A.M.: The next presentation is made by Ms. Jharna Sahijwani. She starts off by discussing the timeline of the COVID-19’s origin. She states that she’ll assess the liability of China in the outbreak of COVID-19 and whether or not China could have avoided the mass outbreak. She examines the surveillance and public health measures taken by China to prevent the outbreak. She has analyzed the rules of the International Court of Justice for dispute resolution and the Draft Article dealing with the No-Harm Principle wherein the states have to ensure that any negative developments within their borders shouldn’t harm the international arena.  She concludes that critical assessment is required regarding China’s position keeping in view the ICJ’s rules and international norms.

11:51 A.M.: Dr. Mini discussed briefly the need for evidence for proving the liability of China. Dr. Aradhana mentions that the criminal liability part of the paper should have been given a bit more focus. The overall paper was deemed as well-written by the moderators.

11:53 A.M.: Dr. Trupthi Jadhav is the next presenter who states that she will deal with the inter-continental genome editing regulations. She deals extensively with the genome editing regulations of the USA, Russia, India, Japan, France, and Australia. She concludes that genome editing should be controlled in a way that conforms with the common liberties.

12:03 P.M.: Dr. Mini asks the presenter’s stand on genome editing. The presenter answered that ethical standards must be upheld while making rules and regulations.

12:05 P.M.: The next presenter is Mr. Ojaswi Bhagat who is to deal with the topic of genetic engineering and bioterrorism. He starts off by stating that biotechnology is developing at a very fast pace and there is an inherent risk of bioterrorism. He examines the history of biotechnology and lists out the advantages and disadvantages of synthetic biotechnology. He examines the ethical concerns of biotechnology and the idea behind bioterrorism. He has focused on Hague Convention, Geneva Protocol, The Biological Weapons Convention, and UNSC Resolutions for his paper. He suggests that an absolute liability list should be made and constantly updated and enforcement mechanisms should be strengthened for preventing the misuse of biotechnology. He concludes that biotechnology is important in contemporary times and governance of the same is essential.

12:18 P.M.: Dr. Mini appreciates the presenter’s presentation and research skills. Dr. Aradhana corrects the presenter’s arrangement of heading in the paper but states that the presenter’s presentation was exemplary.

12:21 P.M.: The next presenter is Ms. Akanksha Garg who is dealing with Bio-Medical Waster Management in India during COVID-19. She begins by giving the background of Bio-Medial Waste Management and Regulation in India and the latest data for the generation of bio-medical waste in India during COVID-19. She mentions the present concerns related to bio-medical waste disposal and usage and the training of relevant personnel to deal with the same. She lists the salient features of Bio-Medical Waste Rules 2016 and compares it with the 1998 rules. She concludes that prompt actions and proper personnel training are required for regulating bio-medical waste effectively.

12:40 P.M.: Dr. Mini acknowledges the importance of the topic. Dr. Aradhana mentions that the paper is well researched.

12:42 P.M.: Next presentation is made by Ms. Neha Bothra who is dealing with Bio-Medical Waste Management in the hospitals of Bhilwara. She mentions the Bhilwara model of dealing with COVID-19 and the management of bio-medical waste. She lists out the responses to the questionnaire which she had prepared for her paper. She suggests that more personnel should be recruited in hospitals and there should be a Quality Assurance Team for the regulation of the quality of the bio-wastes.

12:55 P.M.: Dr. Mini compliments the empirical research done by the presenter. Dr. Aradhana asks whether the presenter had attempted to make a comparative study between the Bhilwara model and other states. The presenter answers in negation.

12:58 P.M.: The moderators thank the court officers, acknowledge each other, congratulate the participants. The paper presentation session for Theme III ends for the first day.

 

 

Session Hall 4 {Presentations for Theme IV: Contemporary Legal Predicaments and Developments}

11 A.M.: The paper presentations for Theme IV begin. The moderators of the session are Dr. Sangeetha Sriraam and Dr. Achyutananda Mishra. 

11.06 A.M.: Dr. Sangeetha Sriraam welcomes the participants and sheds some light on the theme for the current session. She highlights the importance of legal change and its implications in the present world. 

11:13 A.M.: Instructions are being given to the participants. The scoring criteria have been made clear to the participants.

11:16 A.M.: The first presentation for the day has begun. The presenter, Ms. Vishwa Mukhtyar a 4th Year BBA LLB Student, starts her presentation on her paper titled “Regulation of the Gig Economy in the realm of The Code on Social Security 2020”. She explains what a gig-economy is and categorizes the gig-worker, in light of the social security code 2020, and discusses the Uber Case that took place in the United Kingdom. The presenter simultaneously highlights the respective Tests and Issues related to the Gig Economy and the Gig Worker. Also discusses the Indian Legislations in regard to the same. More cases in relation to the topic are being discussed, and the presenter simultaneously highlights the respective Tests and Issues related to the Gig Economy and the Gig Worker.

11:37 A.M.: The question and answer session is done.

11.41 A.M.: The second presenter, Ms. Ruchi Chaudhary, has been called to present on the topic “COVID-19, Leases, and Rent: The Legal Viability of Frustration by Force Majeure”. She aims to discuss how force majeure does not have any applicability in a rent/lease deed. She discusses section 108 in the Transfer of Property Act and gives some information about the case of Raja Dhruv Dev Chand v. Raja Harmohinder Singh and other landmark cases with regard to the same.

12:05 P.M.: The question and answer session starts. Dr. Sangeetha shines some light on the presenter’s topic. She states that doctrines such as the doctrine of frustration, estoppel, force majeure, etc., do not have a lot of relevance in this case, where a country such as India has been hit by such a destructive pandemic. 

12:10 P.M.: Ms. Sanjana Sahay, a law student from Bennett University starts a presentation on “Fake News, Media, and Law”. She explains what is fake news and how it is a threat to our democracy. She analyzes the various legal statutes, legislations, and statutory bodies that help regulate fake media. 

12:20 P.M.: Dr. Sangeetha tells the presenter that the topic entered into was very diverse and hence it cannot be explained in detail within one single paper. The other moderator asks the presenter for other solutions that can help address the situation. The presenter answers that making the Fake News Prohibition Bill into an Act could be a permanent solution.

12:25 P.M.: Ms. Sujatha V. Durgekar and Dr. N. Dasharath, began their paper presentation on the topic “Exploitation of Labour During COVID Through Ordinance Route by Enhancing Working Hours”. Ms. Sujatha discusses the ordinance making power which falls under Article 213 of the Constitution. She also explains the amendment and states that it brings in various changes such as allowing women to work in the night from 7 pm to 6 am which was not permitted earlier. She goes on to talk about the various labor law ordinances in 2020 during the pandemic.

12:40 P.M.: Moderator questions the presenter as to whether or not she has gone into the nature of exploitation to which the presenter answers that apple labors were exploited by increasing working hours and not even paid them extra wages for the same. The presenter is also asked alternative approaches/solutions for the same to which she answers that smaller industries should be brought into the ambit of the code without which there is no job security and the fundamental rights of the workers have been violated.

12.45 P.M.: Next presentation starts. The paper titled “An Outlook on the Constitutionality of Labour Rights During the Pandemic” has begun which is being presented by Ms Srinidhi Boora and Mr Gourish Goyal. The presenters briefly analyze the position of the labour during the pandemic. They further explain the legalities of the labour laws and highlight a couple of cases that were filed as PILs. They state that labour laws are implemented to protect the rights of workers, however, these laws were diluted during the pandemic.

1.00 P.M.: Moderators suggest that the author should have gone more in-depth, and say that authors must choose apt titles for the paper written. Moderators state that accusations must not be made against the State unless the author is 100 per cent sure of the same.

1:05 P.M.: Ms. Anjali Saran begins the next presentation on her paper titled “Labour Laws in Contemporary India”. She starts out with the history of labour laws and shows some pictures, in reality, to prove that such laws are not being applied and implemented properly. She goes on to explain contemporary issues faced by labours in India. She explains the various statutes in India which regulate the labour laws. 

1:12 P.M.: The Moderator asks how LPG 1991 is connected to labour rights to which she answers that 7 major laws were implemented out of 44 labour laws. Hence she says that the Indian Govt. was more attracted in achieving foreign investments rather than protecting the welfare of the workers after the LPG Era.

1.15 PM: The next paper presentation is by Ms. Asha J on her paper titled “New Labour Laws- Tilting Balance in Between Workers and Employers to Face the Pandemic”.  She talks about various issues with regard to labour laws. She explained the OHS Code, Industrial Relation Code, etc. Also highlighted the major criticisms with regard to the same.  She concludes the presentation by saying that India should balance the interests of the labourers as well as the employers while making the new labour code.

1.30 PM: The next paper is titled “Is National Security Eclipsing Dissent in India? ” co-authored by Sarah Wilson and Ashwin Satheesh. Ms. Sarah begins by talking about the anti-terrorism laws in India. Mr. Ashwin takes over by explaining what ‘dissent’ means. He states that India is not a stranger to misuse of anti-terrorism laws such as misuse of MISA, POTA, etc. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, The Amendments to the UAPA,  The Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002, and the Abrogation of Article 370 at the cost of freedom of speech were some of the topics that are explained in great detail by the presenters. The presentation concludes with the statement of the issues in these laws under the name of National Security.

1:40 P.M.: The question and answer session starts. Moderator states that the scope of the paper was very broad where the authors tried to connect anti-terror laws to abrogation of Article 370. Moderator states that it’s not justified to do the same. Moderator states there should be depth and clarity in arguments when there are sensitive issues at hand such as the issue of Kashmir. 

1.45 PM: The final presentation for the day begins. Paper presentation on paper titled “An Analysis of Farms Act, 2020: A Step towards Agrarian Crisis in India” which is co-authored by Darshitha P & Sandeepani A Neglur has begun. Mr. Sandeepani started off the presentation by explaining the agricultural set up in India and how it is the backbone of Indian economy. He further explains various reforms that have been in place for the farmers, ever since Independence. Ms. Darshitha takes over. The presentation is continued wherein the presenter summarizes the 3 farm acts namely, the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Felicitation) Act, 2020, the Farmer’s (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. 

2.00 PM: Presentation is concluded by connecting socialism to farm laws. The moderator gives a few suggestions such as including the recent trends with regard to the farm laws. 

2.05 PM: The session is concluded and the vote of thanks has been given. Faculty member, Dr. Gopi Ranganath from CHRIST (DEEMED TO BE UNIVERSITY) delivers and exchanges pleasantries with the moderators. 

 

                                                                                                  Day 2- Paper Presentation

Session Hall 1 {Presentations for Theme I: Challenges to Justice Administration vis-a-vis Human Rights}:

9:57 AM – Moderators have arrived in the room, Dr.Sivananda Kumar and Dr. Nandini C.P. The Moderators are warmly welcomed by the court clerk and instructions for today’s session were briefed.

10:09 AM  – The first presenter is Awekta Verma, Faculty of Law from University of Delhi on the topic Covid 19 Pandemic and Indian Legal Framework. She focused on 4 major acts i.e, Epidemic Disease Act 1897, Disaster Management Act 2005, Indian Penal Code 1860 and Criminal Procedure Code 1973. The presenter focused on the Issues India faced during the pandemic with special emphasis on Migration of Labourers, Education of children, usage of technology, neglected health care, poor governance  and the sheer ignorance of citizens. 

10:21 AM – Awekta Verma made very effective suggestions on the legislative framework on how to deal with the pandemic and look forward to any future precautions.

10:25 AM – Dr. Nandini C P asked the presenter in the Question Answer session about the Epidemic Disaster Act 1897 and if that is the only referential legislative framework. The presenter, Awekta Verma mentioned about the Bio Disaster Plans and Disaster Management Act to which Dr. Nandini CP added on by mentioning the Public Health Prevention and Control Bill and the need for it to be passed due to the post pandemic effect.

10:34 AM – The second presentation for the day has begun by Damini Sharma and Vijayant Goel on the topic Impact of Covid 19 on the Criminal Procedure Code.

10:40 AM – The presenters focused on the fact that there is no provision for a criminal trial on a virtual platform and the need for it. The challenges to a virtual trial were discussed in detail and the challenges mentioned were ; question of accessibility, bonded hearing and detention, impact on plea bargaining, demeanour of witnesses and false evidence and under trial prisoners and prisoners right. 

10:51 AM – Dr. Nandini C P asked the presenters about their reference of the case, Naresh vs State of Maharashtra and she further added on with Praful Kumar Desai vs State. She questions them if they were emphasising on amending the act or adding a new provision to it? The presenters suggested insertion of a new chapter as an exception to the pandemic which was further questioned on by Dr. Nandini C P and she added on with the Criminal Rule of Practice. She suggested that the rules can be used as reference not the Criminal Procedure Code. 

11:00 AM – The third presentation for the day has begun by Anshika Gubrele, a 3rd year BA LLB student from Bharatiya Vidyala New Law College, Pune. The presenter is giving  an overview of her paper which deals with the crisis women faced due to covid 19 and the issues women faced in the pandemic. She also discusses children and the educational crisis. She gave special emphasis to the infringement of Article 21 and Domestic Violence Act 2005 an also discusses measures taken by the government such as NCW launching whats app helplines. 

11:15 AM – The question answer session revolved around the statistical data of women and violence they faced and also the ratio analysis of both were added and suggested by Dr. Nandini C P. Dr. Sivananda Kumar suggested the inclusion of Indian Statistics and cases per state for more clear interpretation . 

11:24 AM – The next presentation is by Dr. M.S. Sharmila on the topic “E- Commerce and automated dispute resolution – a study on consumer justice”. The presenter starts off with the benefits of e-commerce being increased sales, decreased costs, increasing consumer awareness, access to new markets, better customer service and efficient communication. The presenter also suggests on ODR as a mechanism for the progress of e-commerce in India and the need for emerging legal technologies for delivery of justice. Some examples she mentioned are; Blind binding by ebay, drafting collaboration by Micropact, automated negotiation by Modria Smart settle are a few to name.

11:39 AM – The question answer session has started and Dr.Sivananda Kumar suggested the presenter to refer to the Consumer Protection Act 2019 which gives special provision for ADR for a speedy trial. 

11:41 AM –  The next presentation for the day is by Palak Gupta and Aditya Narayan Sinha, 2nd year law students from Symbiosis Law School, Nagpur. The presenter Palak Gupta discusses the detailed history and emergence of arbitration. She further added on with a detailed description of ADR mechanism and their types. Aditya Narayan, the presenter of the same team discusses the significance of ODR with reference to ebay as an example. He also speaks about the impact of online dispute resolution on commercial disputes  

11:53 AM – The presenters feel the need for spreading awareness about ADR and ODR as it will not replace litigation but will help in the speedy resolution of disputes.

11:54 AM – Dr. Nandini C P questions the authors as to how the ODR is functioning considering the example of cyber settlement mentioned by the presenters. Dr. Nandini C P also asks about foreign arbitration awards and its enforceability.

12:02 PM –   The next presentation is by Ashwina Yadav, a 2nd year BA LLB student from University of Rajasthan on her paper titled “Domestic Violence in the Pandemic”. She takes her primary reference as Prevention of Domestic Violence Act 2005.  She discusses the patriarchal system in India and women being helpless during the pandemic. She discusses the societal mindset and preconceived notions about men and alcoholism. Women being subjected to sexual abuse by the husband, in laws and society is common and dominant in the Indian Society. 

12:09 PM – Dr. Nandini C P questioned the presenter about the Acts used in the presentation which were IPC and CrPC. She furthermore questioned the remedies provided for Domestic Violence. Dr.Sivananda Kumar questions about Section 125 of CrpC with reference to the Domestic Violence Act. He furthermore takes reference of Justice Indu Malhotra on Domestic Violence.

12:18 PM – The presentations for the day have concluded and the vote of thanks is being delivered.  

Session Hall 2 {Presentations for Theme II: Impending Constitutional Debates and Discussions}:

9:56 AM Moderators namely Dr.Sheems S Dhar and Dr. Sunita Jain has joined the session. 

10:06 AM– The session has started and the moderators are welcomed by the court clerk explaining the excellence of the moderators. Instructions are being given to the participants. 

10:13AM – The first presenters, Kshitij Gautam and Sarika have started their presentation on the topic “ Precariousness on federalism during COVID 19”.She is explaining about the circumstances of constitutional situations.  Introduction to covid 19 and presidential powers to solve the problems occurred during the pandemic. 

10:20 AM – She focuses on the 2020 monsoon session consisting of financial bills and ordinances on farm laws and how parliament question hour was banned. She is talking about the states and how they overcome the virus involving kerala to be the first state to outperform it. Apart from India, other countries like Germany and Canada destroy the virus within a short period of time with respect to federalism. Conclusion on regional autonomy and federal powers is being given by Sarika.

10:28 AM – Question and answers session have started and moderators are asking about the reason for weakening of federal powers amidst the pandemic. The presenter answered that the central government invoked the disaster management act and stated that they can use whatever measures to prevent pandemic, instead they should have given autonomy to the states to do the same.

10:33AM – The second presenter Kavya from SDM Law college started her presentation on the topic “ privacy v contact tracing apps: A needle in haystack?” She is focusing on privacy during the pandemic involving the crisis of health and right to privacy and surveillance is affecting privacy. She is explaining how privacy is being denied while taking consideration of the health issues and citing a case law “KS PUTTASWAMY V UNION OF INDIA”. She is mentioning contact tracing apps in a global perspective and concluding her presentation on improving privacy policies and how to change the GPS revision system.

10:41 AM –  The moderator asks the presenter “what are the solutions you propose to balance right to privacy v right to health?” to which she answered that during the process of undertaking matters, the implementation must be different. an application that is designed by the State to ensure protection should ensure that the fundamental rights of the people must be ensured and considering there are not many privacy legislations in India, we should have an alternative approach that does not encroach on the rights of the people. 

10:47 AM – Third presenters Adrija Bhattacharya and Megha Maiti begins their presentation on the topic “ Centralised control of covid and indian federalism, A harmonious journey” . The presenter has started by explaining governmental control in a global view where she mentions federalism in the USA , over centralisation in the UK and control in Russia and France. Federalism in India is being explained and mentioning about the formation of union rather than federation as per article 1 and the historical perspective on federal constitution

10:54 AM –  She explains the epidemic disease act 1897 and disaster management act 2005 for fighting against covid and the necessary provisions undertaken by Indian government to solve this problem. She concludes on the importance of health as a subject matter of indian constitution and relevant emergency provisions in case of this pandemic

10:57 AM – The question on space on health emergencies and how it is done is being asked by the moderators, and for that she is answering about schedule 7 and types of emergencies where health is a part of it. 

10:59 AM – Fourth presenter Monika Punia on the topic “clinical trials and pandemic crisis in india” is presenting now. She briefly analyzes the covid-19 pandemic and talks about the shifts in the pandemic. 

11:05 AM – Moving on she came to the crox of the matter of her paper, i.e., clinical trials. Different methods of clinical trials were explained in detail. Different phases of clinical trials have also been mentioned. Intricacies of the clinical trial in each of those 5 phases are being analysed in detail by the presenter while at the same time she explains the efficacy of the drug at each stage. She tells us that while testing drugs, the safety of the drug including side effects is also measured and observed by the doctors. Presenter goes on to conclude by talking about the two vaccines that are being given in our country. She also says none of us know the long term effects of any of these vaccines, hence, the question remains, the proper clinical trials that were not conducted which are essentially playing with the lives of the people.  

11:20 AM – Moderator asks the presenter where exactly is the issue considering the person undergoing the trial gives informed consent. The presenter states that most participants in such trials are illiterates and not economically well-off. So they are not aware of the actual happenings. 

11:24 AM – Fifth presenter is Dr. Shampa Dev from School of Law, Christ university on the topic, “Why a Privacy argument will not stand in the face of a pandemic: An Inquiry Into the Law Relating to the Concept of Privacy, State Surveillance and Safeguarding Public Health vis-à-vis the Aarogya Setu App”

11:29AM – She explains the carpenter case  that consists of collecting location data involving the infringement of privacy . The legality requirement of privacy data is being explained and public health concern is a necessary need for people and proportionality of arogya sethu app should be limited and should be mentioned in the protocol. Also mentions the case K.S Puttaswamy case.

11:32 AM – Question on breach of privacy and also on security on arogya setu app is being asked by the moderators. She answered that the protocol on data violations and encryptions ultimately leads to the decline of privacy information including location data. It had adequate measures for all these violations .

11:37AM –   Vote of thanks is being given and the session is concluded.

 

Session Hall 3 {Presentations for Theme III: Environmental Law and Policy Framework}:

10:19 AM: Moderators, Dr. Athira Roy and Dr. Rohit Roy were introduced and instruction has been given to the participants. 

10:26 AM: The first presenter, Parvathi S Shaji, started her presentation on the topic ‘COVID-19 Pandemic Outbreak And The Shattered System Of Bio-medical Waste Management : A Call For A Risk Analysis In India’. The presenters discussed the legal work for the safe disposal of biomedical wastes. She also discussed various practices those can adopt in safe disposal of biomedical wastes.

10:35 AM: The moderators asked her questions about the accountability of the hospital management in disposing covid-19 biomedical waste disposal and she answered all the questions put forward by the moderators.

10:47 AM: The second presenter, Dipti Gabriel from School of Law, Christ University, started her presentation on ‘Pollute And Pay Principle – EIA Draft Notification 2020’. The paper focuses on the draft notification passed by the Government of India in 2020. She explained the legal perspective of the EIA Draft 2020 by stating various precedents like Vikrant Tongad v. Union of India and Common Cause v. Union of India.

10:56 AM: Question Answer session has started and Dr. Athira Roy asks about the public participation regarding the EIA Draft 2020. The presenter answered how public participation can be increased from the grassroot level by giving awareness and petitions regarding the same.

11:07 AM: The third presenter, Zorah Susan Abraham, started her presentation on the topic ‘Adopting A Green Fiscal Policy For A Developing Country Like India’. She is emphasizing the importance of Green Fiscal Policy especially during the time of Covid-19. 

11:16 AM: Dr. Athira Roy gave her views on the presentation given by the presenter. The question answer session has begun right after that. Dr. Rohit Roy provides his comments and suggestions on the green fiscal policy and market tools which needed to be considered.

11:23 AM: Next presenter, is Manjula RS who wrote on the topic ‘Learnings On Environmental Sustainability From CoronaVirus Pandemic: The Need For A Conscious And Regulated Lock-down For Regeneration Of Environment ‘ along with Dr. Sini John started their presentation. The aim of the paper is to find out the sustainability of the environment and the need for lockdown during that time. The presenter is explaining the positive and negative outcomes of Covid-19 Lockdown on the environment. Positive outcomes of the lockdown include increasing air quality, reduction in air and water pollution while the negative outcomes include biomedical waste generation and unchecked spraying of disinfectants.

11:38 AM: The question answer presentation of the presentation has begun and the presenter is answering questions put forward to her. She is suggesting conscious lockdown annually for the environmental rejuvenation. 

11:46 AM: The final presenters of this session Maria Binny Palamattom & Neha Susan Thomas are presententing their work ‘A Legal Study On Bio-medical Waste And Its Management In India ’. The paper focuses on the increase in biomedical wastes during this pandemic time and the health hazards they are causing in the society. Maria Binny Palamattom explains about the legislative approach in terms of biomedical waste which includes The Bio Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2016, The Environment( Protection) Act, 1986, and so on.

12:00 PM: The question answer session has begun and Dr. Athira Roy gives her remarks on the presentation. Dr. Athria Roy asked them to explain the situation of Biomedical wastes in the country and they are answering questions while giving out their suggestions in tackling this issue.

12:09 PM: The moderators thank the court officers, acknowledge each other, congratulate the participants. The paper presentation session for Theme III is concluded.

 

Session Hall 4 {Presentations for Theme IV: Contemporary Legal Predicaments and Developments}:

10:06 AM: Moderators are being introduced, Dr. Anita A. Patil and Dr. Aradhana Satish Nair. Instructions are being given to the participants. Scoring criteria is being explained. Dr. Patil sheds some light on the topic. She comments on the plight of the migrant workers and appreciates the vast variety of laws being discussed like labour laws, etc.  

10:15 AM: The first presenter, Saikishan B Rathore, a 3rd year student from GNLU, starts presenting his paper on “Right To Protest: Moving From Restriction To Prohibition?” He comments that the right to protest is slowly being diluted. He explains the rise of anti-government protests like outrage against the Citizenship Amendment Act and its proportional suppression of dissent. He gives an overview of the legal framework, and criticises the “reasonable test” on restriction. He makes an interesting observation: more than being restricted due to public order, the government is restricting on the basis of what they think is moral. He analyses the Shaheen Bagh protest. He explains how the Supreme Court judgement Amit Sahni v. Commissioner of Police & Ors. was illogical and vague. He concludes with the steps to protect this right. Farmers protests wouldn’t have happened if we had a pre-legislative consultation policy.

10:26 AM: Dr. Nair appreciated the presentation, but asked him to include these suggestions in the paper also. Dr. Patel asked for a concrete solution to regulate the right to protest. She explained a similar form of strike: picketing, and asked whether this comes under the ambit of Article 19 of the Constitution. He explained how there are no publicly designated places to protest. He explains why we need more than arbitrary police to regulate protests. Right to strike is not a fundamental right under Article 19, even for workers. Peaceful protest without arms is only allowed, which involves raising of voice against government policies. He elaborated on his suggestions in the article and explained the history of the ministry in pre-consultation policies. USA has a mandate to adopt pre-legislative consultation policies, so he suggested we can adopt that to prevent protests. 

10:33 AM: Punya Datar & Shipra Agrawal, 3rd year students from SLS Pune, are the next presenters. Their paper is titled “The Fine Line Between Sedition And Right To Dissent: Analysis Of The Balance Between Right To Dissent And National Security “. Punya starts by explaining the history of the right to dissent from colonial rule. Right to dissent is an implied right under Article 19 of the Constitution. The participants conducted a survey on the right to dissent. When people were asked whether there should be a right to dissent, people confused it with sedition under the Indian Penal Code. Only 8% stated that there should be a right to dissent in all circumstances like contempt of court, etc.

10:40 AM: Shipra then explained their secondary analysis and analysed the timeline of sedition cases that have been filed from Jogendra Chandra Bose to Tablighi Jamaat. In 2014, NCB introduced a separate report on sedition. She explains how there has been a rising trend of categorising protests as sedition instead of dissent, eg. protest by labourers.

10:43 AM: Dr. Nair appreciated their empirical study during pandemic and wanted to know the type of people who were surveyed. Punya answered that they distributed questionnaires through google forms to local people who were unaware of law, law students as well as experts in the field. She suggested that the suggestions in the presentations were not put as part of the conclusion, but as a separate heading.

10:48 AM: Dr. Patil appreciated the statistics also, but felt that the sample size was too small, i.e. 62 people. She also felt that there was no use surveying people who are already aware of it, as the survey can also teach people about their rights. She suggested that since this was a time-consuming process, they could have taken interviews from experts so their opinions can become concrete suggestions. She wanted them to rework on this so their paper will be perfect for publication.

10:52 AM: Subhadeepa Sen & Rahul Purkayastha, 2nd year students from School of Law, Christ University are the next presenters. They wrote their paper on the topic “A Contemporary Perspective On The Role Of Right To Dissent And Press Freedom”. Subhadeepa starts off the presentation with a quote by Amartya Sen. Britishers didn’t want to give press freedom because of the fear of nationalism. History of the press dates back to the 17th century in India. With Ramesh Thapar v. State of Madras, demands for right to freedom of expression in the media grew.

10:55 AM: Prevention of Sedition Act, 1906 curbed freedom of press during British rule. Rahul starts explaining the right to dissent from an Indian constitutional perspective and differentiates the right from how it is defined in the USA. He also explains how dissent and defiance is not the same. He explains how the Indian Constitution does not have a separate constitutional right for the right to press freedom unlike the USA. He cited the Sakal Newspaper Ltd. case and Jay Shah v. Wire News Portal case. He suggested that there should be less regulation on the press, but at the same time, fake news should be avoided.

11:05 AM: Dr. Nair appreciated the research. Dr. Patil appreciated the judicial interpretation. She asked that apart from the Press Council Act, how can suggestions be implemented. Rahul answered that a committee has been formed for the same by the government. He referred to what happened in Finland. Alt News was a network which spewed anti-immigration rhetoric. The court held that there is freedom of speech, but hate speech and fake news should not be excused. So, he feels that there should be an impartial panel consisting of senior experts. She appreciated the concrete suggestion.

11:11 AM: The next presenter is Mr. Abhijit Rohi, who wrote his paper on the topic, “Creating A Success Story: The (Proposed) Data Protection Authority of India”. He explains how he analysed the role, function and authority of the DPA Act. He also analysed the Whatsapp data privacy issue, which came into discussion recently, after the submission of his paper. 

11:16 AM: He analyses the degree of accountability of the data protection officials. He talks about various assessments. There should be an environment created to comply with these requirements under the law. He has challenged the validity of exemptions as it sacrifices privacy of the people. He analyses the nature of enforcement authorities and their powers. Law, Information Management and Technology are the 3 main domains we should focus on for data protection legislation. Dr. Nair felt that the paper was very well-researched. 

11:25 AM: Dr. Patil appreciated the comparative study of the technical aspects of the paper and the discussion of the recent issue on Facebook-Whatsapp privacy policy. She asks if the suggestions could be implemented in light of this issue. Mr. Rohi highlighted the 6 rights under the DPA Act. He also analysed the severity of the Whatsapp privacy concerns. He talked about how the Competition Commission of India has been involved in many controversies and elaborated on the application of his suggestions. Dr. Patil was very impressed by his answer.

11:28 AM: The fifth presenter is Milind Bhaskar Gawai, who wrote his paper on the topic “Mergers Of Political Parties and Anti-Defection Law In India: An Interpretational Conundrum”. He made an interesting observation: one area which was unaffected by pandemic was the defection of parties, eg. the Madhya Pradesh incident, when Congress member joined the BJP party. He gave an overview of defection before the 52nd Constitutional Amendment. Many state governments in the 1970s collapsed due to defection. He also analysed the provisions of the 10th Schedule in the Constitution, and placed special focus on the 2nd and 4th paragraph of the schedule.

11:35 AM: He analysed the scope of assent of mergers between the parties. He analysed various judicial interpretations of requirements of the merger. He gave examples of Telangana, Rajasthan, Goa for the same. He analysed the interpretations by citing landmark cases like W.P. Singh v. Speaker, Manipur Legislative Assembly and Rajendra Rana v. Swami Prasad Maurya.  

11:45 AM: Dr. Nair appreciated the analysis of the 10th schedule, but wanted more analysis of the suggestions in the paper. Dr. Patil also wanted more concrete suggestions to enhance the paper.

11:46 AM: Bhawna Sharma & Venkat Reddy, students from Amity University, Noida were the next presenters who spoke about the topic “Critical Analysis On Uttar Pradesh Ordinance 2020 On Love Jihad And Its Future Impact On Society”. Bhawna highlighted the religious nature of marriage in India, with rituals etc. She explained the perspective of the government in deciding the need for ordinance for love jihad. NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma felt that there was no proper data on love jihad cases.

11:50 AM: The purpose of the ordinance was to prevent unlawful conversion for marriage. Section 4, 6, 7, 8 of the ordinance were analysed. The drawbacks to this law are the violation of fundamental rights like right to life and liberty and right to choose one’s partner, burden of proof is on the accused person which can lead to misuse of law by the complainant. Eg. a 21 year-old boy booked falsely under this Act. 

11:55 AM: She comparatively analysed how BJP-led states like Karnataka, Assam, Madhya Pradesh etc. also have followed suit with anti-conversion laws with a table. The basis of comparison was notice, burden of proof, who can investigate, maintenance and inheritance, punishments with fine. 

11:59 AM: She concluded with her suggestions like shifting the onus of proof as innocent people are also harassed. There should be an amendment regarding punishment for false allegations. Dr. Nair suggested to include the types of jihad as an introduction. She felt there was lack of research and the appropriate footnotes are missing. Dr. Patil felt that the topic was interesting, but felt that the research was lacking. She suggested that originality in the paper is lacking because we can get the same information in the news also. 

12:03 PM: Dr. Patil asked how the ordinance is related to property law and inheritance. Bhawna answered with the situation with Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Dr. Patil felt that the paper needs to be reworked with incorporation of specific arguments for or against the ordinance.

12:06 PM: A paper on the topic “Drawing a Line Between Freedom of Speech and Hate Speech in India” is being presented by Mr. Suvidutt M.S. & Dr. Aditya Tomer. Mr. Suvidutt explains how laws for hate speech are very indirectly mentioned in India. He analyses Section 133 (3) of the People’s Representation Act and various sections of the Indian Penal Code detailing various incitement offences, like inciting hate with malicious intent. 

12:14 PM: Section 166 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 was also struck down in the Shreya Singhal case. Any political parties who engage in hate speech rarely get convicted and even get more votes from the people. Hate speech has not been defined by parliamentarians, but it should be (suggestion by Mr. Suvidutt). Dr. Nair recommended that the criticism of the laws made by the presenter should lead to concrete suggestions. Dr. Patil also agreed with the same.

12:17 PM: The penultimate presentation of the day was given by Kirti Malik & Indrasish Majumder, who spoke on the topic: “Right To Dissent in Light of The Platonic and Mill’s Conception of Law: An Inter- Jurisprudential Analysis”. Indrasish starts by highlighting the philosophical relevance of dissent. Plato felt that excess liberty is like slavery.  He also analysed the draconian UAPA Act. He noted that even with Plato’s strict standards as to what constituted reasonable expression, he would have criticised the UAPA Act. 

12:26 PM: Kirti explained the contemporary relevance of J.S. Mill’s “Tyranny of the Majority” theory in today’s definition of liberty. The biggest threat to tyranny is the public, from a democracy to a mobocracy. Pravasi Bhalai Sangathan v. Union of India was cited to analyse hate speech. Despite their differences of opinions on dissent, Plato and Mill were true proponents of freedom because they used guiding principles and reason to put forward their points.

12:30 PM: Dr. Nair noted that the research was good, but suggestions need to be more defined. Indrashish felt that these philosophers’ theories are relevant today. Kirti observed that opinions are polarised in today’s society. Similarly, the same is with Plato and Mill. Reason is the solution to maintain the balance. 

12:34 PM: Ms. Aditi Singh Kavia and Mr. Karan Singh Chouhan were the last presenters for the day on the topic “Patent Rights & Pandemics: A Case of Public Interest vis-a-vis Monopoly Rights.” Ms. Aditi aims to address the role of public interest under the current patent regime. She analyses the philosophical underpinnings of patent rights: whether monopoly rights are solely for commercial exploitation. She analyses the provisions of TRIPS agreement regarding patent rights like Articles 7, 8 (1), 27, 31 etc. TRIPS indirectly explains compulsory licenses under Article 31.  She analyses the use of compulsory license in the DOHA declaration and the Indian Patent Regime. Compulsory license has only been used once in the landmark case of Bayer Corporation v. NALCO Pharma Ltd. She highlights the importance of compulsory license which has been followed by Israel, Chile, Germany, Canada. Voluntary licensing is not very useful as it requires a lot of negotiation. Public-private partnership and patent fooling funds are other viable solutions.

12:49 PM: Dr. Nair appreciated the research and structure. Dr. Patil appreciated the jurisprudence, international conventions and suggestions included. She asked for the impact of patent rights in light of the vaccines being created by Oxford, Pfizer etc. Ms. Aditi answered that voluntary licenses are delaying the affordability of vaccines.

12:52 PM: Vote of thanks has been delivered and the session has concluded for Theme 4. Post lunch break, the panel discussion will begin. The break will be for scoring and tabulation. 

 

                                                                                   Panel Discussion cum Valedictory Ceremony

 

3:04 PM– The panel discussion starts on the theme “A Discourse on Critical Constitutional Challenges” Guests are introduced. Panelists are- Sr. Adv. Salman Khurshid, Former Minister of External Affairs, Sr. Adv. Aishwarya Bhati, Additional Solicitor General of India and Adv. Traiq Khan, Principal Associate, Advani and Co., Delhi.

3:06 PM: Welcome address by student convenor, National Conference Committee, Ms. Ann Clara Tomy. Pleasantries and achievements are told. 

3:10 PM: Moderator for the day is Mr. Achyutananda Mishra. Convenor, Ms. Tomy welcomes the moderator for the panel discussion. Also welcomes the Director, Dean, HOD and Faculty Coordinator  of School of Law, along with the participants and audiences.

3:12 PM: The moderator is called to deliver his speech. Sir briefly talks about the concept note and why the conference was titled so. He states that the current COVID-19 Pandemic has challenged the very justice administration system, so for this reason, the conference had related themes to the Pandemic. 

3:15 PM: The moderator also states that the effect and impact of the pandemic has caused extensive debates across the legal fraternity. The pandemic, he says, has witnessed dilution of labour laws, farmer’s protests, suppression of the people, etc. and it is extremely imperative for this reason that we have the present panel discussion for the day. He briefly highlights few of the issues that are going to be discussed during the course of the panel discussion. 

3:20 PM: Moderator concludes his speech and explains his eagerness to listen to the views and opinions of the esteemed panelists for the day. Moderator welcomes Sr. Adv. Salman Khurshid for his discussion.  Mr. Khurshid starts off with talking about dissent in a democracy. He says dissent and freedom of speech have been looked at in several recent judgements. He says dissents have to be distinguished from disagreements. Dissent, freedom of speech and expression are all part of the overarching right to dignity of a person, he says, and dissent is a remarkable amplification of Article 21, ever since the Maneka Gandhi Case.

3.25 PM: Sir discusses the 4G Judgement, where the SC found a midway to concerns of security along with the right to use the internet as a freedom of expression. The SC, he says, assumed that rights are not absolute in nature. They have some reasonable restrictions which article 19 provides for. He claims that a distinction is made between the American and Indian Jurisprudence, and says that the former provides for absolute rights whereas the latter puts reasonable restrictions on the fundamental rights. In American jurisprudence, the absolute rights are as qualified for as the reasonable restrictions in India. He briefly mentions the Minerva Case with relation to fundamental rights.

3:30 PM: Sir then goes on to Justice Chandrachud decision in ADM Jabalpur Case which was overruled by his own son. He puts a proposition, one that Prof. Dworkin made it before he passed away, wherein he speaks about rights and says. If we can get hold of a person Accused of a terrorist attack and can torture that person to get more information about future attacks, is that justified? To which Dworkin says it is wrong, because even if the information is truthful and correct, it cannot be an adequate reason to take away the rights of a person and torture him.

3:35 PM: He concludes by saying that recent events in the country have shown that freedom of speech has been maligned with concepts of sedition, which is similar to the ongoing American scenario, where President Trump was accused of inciting an insurrection. He says that as a society, we need to reflect on these issues and reassess the importance of rights and  decide if it’s legitimately strong or if it will collapse in the name of national security which cannot be challenged. He states that there comes another dimension, i.e., “dissent on national security”.

3:40 PM: The moderator gives his views on the opinions of Mr. Khurshid. He then invites the next panelist, Sr. Adv. Aishwarya Bhati to talk about contempt of court. Ms. Bhati takes over. She begins with explaining how the pandemic is not a constitutional issue but is a medical issue, which has gripped the entire world. She urges everyone to see that a medical world pandemic should not be treated as merely a constitutional issue. She states that contempt of court is a right/offence/civil wrong, which stems from the constitution. She says there are two broad buckets to it, i.e., civil and criminal contempt.

3:45 PM: She says, if there are no monitoring systems to check the validity of judgements, then there is no rule of law, hence there is no talk about civil contempt. But the issue, she says, is on the criminal contempt which is essentially scandalising or interfering with the procedures of the court. This was challenged in 1971, where the SC held it is not unconstitutional and is actually in support of rule of law. She runs us through what amounts to contempt of the court and what does not amount to contempt. 

3:50 PM: She states that we should not only focus on the broad discourse, but also examine in what cases the power of contempt has been exercised and has not been exercised. She talks about the Spycatcher judgement. She moves on to explain why the Judiciary requires this power. She says it is their responsibility to solve disputes between two warring parties, and it is the faith of the common man in the justice delivery system that makes it so imperative. She gives personal anecdotes about how if you shake the confidence of the common man by interfering with the justice system, they will never go back to courts, and hence, we need some sort of a check on it to ensure that the majesty of the justice delivery mechanism has not been lowered. 

3:55 PM: She concludes by posing a question- “whether we as citizens are capable of doing away with the criminal contempt of court”. The moderator thanks Ms. Bhati and sheds some light on the topic. He then welcomes Adv. Tariq Khan to talk about freedom of speech and social media. Mr. Khan takes the platform. He begins with how the social media platforms have been used recently. He says that freedom of speech and expression is treated differently in different circumstances because we do not know where to draw the line. He says that instead of connecting people, social media plays the opposite role. 

4:00 PM: Mr. Khan goes on to explain different types of cyber offences, which he says, 70 percent of which were against women. According to him, it is imperative we discuss and ensure this is stopped. He talks about the various legislations with regards to the social media platforms such as the IT Act. Then, he highlights the role of intermediaries in all of these issues and how they do not know where to draw the line or recognise what is credible or not, and hence the intermediaries claim, it is the role of the people to decide whether or not that particular news or post is credible or not. 

4:05 PM: Mr. Khan recounts a personal anecdote of how the social media platforms also take a long time in responding to a user’s concern. He states that the challenges of 2008, when the IT Act was amended, are not the same as the challenges faced by 2021. He concludes by saying that we need to change this and ensure that we have to strike a balance between the freedom of speech and expression on social media and the way these platforms are minting money off of people. Moderator thanks the final panelist and extends his opinions on the same.

4:10 PM:  The question and answers session has begun. The student convenor of the committee, Mr. Rajveer Gurdatta,  begins asking the questions of the audience. The first question is to Mr. Khurshid with regard to blockchain technology to which sir states that he is not an expert in this field but explains his views on the same. The next question is directed to Ms. Bhat Mam about the Andhra Pradesh contempt cases to which she says that when we talk about 3 pillars, it is important that all 3 pillars respect and not undermine each other. She says it is not a pretty scene when there is no system of checks and balances. If the 3 pillars transgress on each other, the impact will be colossal and for a long time.

4:15 PM: The question and answer session has ended. The moderator, Mr. Mishra delivers the vote of thanks. Short interval before the valedictory ceremony commences.

 

4:28 PM: The valedictory function commences. The Chief Guest for the Programme, Hon’ble Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Former Chief Justice, Supreme Court of India, is welcomed. The Guest of Honour, Hon’ble Justice Anu Sivaraman, Judge, High Court of Kerala is also welcomed. 

4:30 PM: Lighting of the lamp is being done and an auspicious song is sung by the members of the Cultural Committee, School of Law, CHRIST. 

4:31 PM: HOD, Sapna S, is called to deliver the welcome address. The Chief Guest and Guest of Honour are welcomed. Their achievements and laurels are being praised. The Registrar, Director, Dean, Faculty Coordinators, and Colleagues of School of Law are welcomed, along with welcoming the audiences and participants. 

4:36 PM: The Registrar Mr. Anil Pinto is called to deliver the Presidential Address. He welcomes everyone. Mr. Pinto says that the legal profession is the only field in the country where you get to meet the most highest change-makers. He says that this is indeed a very unique thing. A crisis is the time we should reflect and rethink, he says, and continues with stating the commonalities that the Judiciary and the historical watershed moments have in common. 

4:40 PM: He highlights the last pandemic about a century ago, i.e., the Spanish Flu. He reiterates that a crisis is the time we reflect. He then moves on to the shift in legal education from the physical mode to the online platform, and he says that the online medium has in fact been successful. And he urges that we should not forget the successful online achievements when the physical classes resume. 

4:45 PM: He talks about how during the pandemic, we went back to old activities such as gardening, spending time with our loved ones wherein we reflected what is life, family and friendships. Keeping in mind the same, he believes that in a similar fashion, we need to learn how to introspect within the judiciary, administration of justice and the legal studies. He concludes by congratulating School of Law for hosting a successful conference.

4:50 PM: The Guest of Honour is requested to address the gathering. Her ladyship takes over. She begins with recounting old personal tales. She thanks the organisers of the conference for the opportunity. She then moves on to explain the important role of young lawyers in the legal fraternity. Her Ladyship goes on to share her thoughts on being a judge during the pandemic. She calls this pandemic ‘unprecedented’ because of the impact it has had on the society at large.

4:55 PM: She says, what was most noticeable when the pandemic broke was the adaptability of the citizens of India. She says, the High Court of Kerala never stopped functioning despite the lockdown. She states that the High Court of Kerala took preventive measures even before the lockdown began, to ensure no one came to court unless absolutely necessary. Post the lockdown, she contemplates that the shift to the online mode was very successful. She recounts that there used to be periodic reviews when the shift happened with regards to the various issues. She concludes with telling us that no pandemic can bring us down, so long as we have the will to tackle it. She congratulates the School of Law for hosting the Conference as well as the students who were a part of it.

5:05 PM: The Chief Guest is called to address the gathering. His Lordship begins with yet another personal anecdote about his time at the Kerala High Court. He moves on to the pandemic and how it has gripped all of our lives along with saying it gave a terrible blow to the justice dispensing mechanism.

5:10 PM: He goes on to explain how the Courts face difficulties in hearing cases such as not being able to call witnesses, examine them,etc. He urges that we all need to work hard in order to face this pandemic. He concludes by saying that the Indian courts will definitely go back to the old ways, even if it takes time, especially criminal courts, considering how it is hard to decide cases without crucial matters such as witnesses, evidence, forensic reports, etc, which cannot be adjudicated upon online. 

5:15 PM: His Lordship urges young law students to join the judicial services as there are a large number of cases piling up and we need all the judges we can get on board to dispose of these large numbers of cases.

5:20 PM: The Chief Guest’s address has concluded.

5:25 PM: The prize distribution begins. The winners are provided with certificates, internship opportunities, cash prizes and a paper publication. Dean, School of Law, is called to announce the winners from each theme. The thematic winners are as follows:

Theme 1: Mr. Shantanu Pachahara Assistant Professor Manipal University Jaipur 

Paper titled – RECKONING TO INITIATE AND ADMINISTER ARBITRATION REMOTELY: A NEW NORMAL

Theme 2 – Adrija Bhattacharya and Megha Maiti, Students of KIIT School of Law, Bhubaneshwar.

Paper titled – CENTRALIZED CONTROL OF COVID AND INDIAN FEDERALISM: A HARMONIOUS JOURNEY

Theme 3 – Dipti Gabriel, Student of School of Law, Christ (Deemed to be University) Bangalore

Paper titled – Pollute and Pay Principle – EIA Draft Notification 2020

Theme 4 – Abhijit Rohi, Research Scholar, NLSIU Bangalore.

Paper titled – Creating a Success Story: The (Proposed) Data Protection Authority of India

5:27 PM– The Committee Report for the year 2020-21 is being announced by core committee member, Sahil Ujjawane. 

5:32 PM-  The Committee Report has ended. Mr. Rajveer Gurdatta, Convenor, National Conference Committee, extends the vote of thanks for the 11th National E-Conference. 

5:35 PM– Vote of thanks has ended. The OC Head of the PR and Media Team has been called to play the after-movie. 

5:40 PM– The after-movie has ended. The valedictory session has concluded. 

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