Legislation UpdatesNotifications

The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 as introduced in Lok Sabha has been referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee of both the Houses, under the Chairperson of Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi (New Delhi) M.P. for examination and Report.

It has been decided to seek views and suggestions on the Bill from individuals and associations/bodies concerned.

Those desirous of submitting their views/suggestions to the Committee may send two copies of their written Memoranda/suggestions either in English or Hindi on the subject to the Director, Lok Sabha Secretariat, Room No. 152, Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi-110001 or email at jpc-datalaw@sansad.nic.in and at mrs.mlekhi@sansad.nic.in within three weeks from the date of publication.

The Memoranda submitted to the Committee would form part of the records of the Committee and would be treated as Confidential and would enjoy the privilege of the Committee.

Those who wish to appear before the Committee, besides submitting Memoranda, are also requested to specifically indicate so. However, the Chairperson’s decision in this regard shall be final.

Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs

[Press Release dt. 03-02-2020]

[Source: PIB]

Hot Off The PressNews

As reported by PTI, Ranjan Gogoi, CJ has written to the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi in respect to:

  • Increase in the number of Supreme Court Judges, i.e. Increase in the strength
  • Retirement Age of the High Court Judges to be 65 Years

These suggestions have been placed in regard to clearing of the backlog cases. Further stating that there is a pendency of 58,669 cases in the Supreme Court and the number was increasing due to the filing of more fresh cases.

“I request you to kindly consider, on top priority, to augment the judge-strength in the SC appropriately so that it can function more efficiently and effectively as it will go a long way to attain ultimate goal of rendering timely justice to the litigant public.” 

Another suggestion was to increase the retirement age of the Judges from 62 to 65 years in the High Court’s, as:

“One of the prime reasons why we are not able to contain the ever-growing pendency is shortage of HC judges. At present, 399 posts, or 37 per cent of sanctioned judge-strength, are vacant. The existing vacancies need to be filled immediately. However, despite best efforts put in by all stakeholders, it has not been possible to appoint judges to bring the working judge-strength anywhere close to the sanctioned judge-strength”.

“This, in turn, would help in improving the vacancy position and consequently reducing pendency of cases. This would also be in consonance with the (repeated) recommendations made by parliamentary standing committees.”

[Source: PTI]

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

The 35th GST Council Meeting was held on 21-06-2019 under the chairmanship of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. This was the first meeting of the Council after the swearing in of the new Government. The meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur besides Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey and other senior officials of the Ministry of Finance. The GST Council recommended the following changes related to law and procedure:

  1. In order to give ample opportunity to taxpayers as well as the system to adapt, the new return system to be introduced in a phased manner, as described below:
  2. Between July, 2019 to September, 2019, the new return system (FORM GST ANX-1 & FORM GST ANX-2 only) to be available for trial for taxpayers. Taxpayers to continue to file FORM GSTR-1 & FORM GSTR-3B as at present;
  3. From October, 2019 onwards, FORM GST ANX-1 to be made compulsory. Large taxpayers (having an aggregate turnover of more than Rs. 5 crores in previous year) to file FORM GST ANX-1 on a monthly basis whereas small taxpayers to file first FORM GST ANX-1 for the quarter October, 2019 to December, 2019 in January, 2020;
  4. For October and November, 2019, large taxpayers to continue to file FORM GSTR-3B on a monthly basis and will file first FORM GST RET-01 for December, 2019 in January, 2020. It may be noted that invoices etc. can be uploaded in FORM GST ANX-1 on a continuous basis both by large and small taxpayers from October, 2019 onwards. FORM GST ANX-2 may be viewed simultaneously during this period but no action shall be allowed on such FORM GST ANX-2;
  5. From October, 2019, small taxpayers to stop filing FORM GSTR-3B and to start filing FORM GST PMT-08. They will file their first FORM GST-RET-01 for the quarter of October, 2019 to December 2019 in January, 2020;
  6. From January, 2020 onwards, FORM GSTR-3B to be completely phased out.

On account of difficulties being faced by taxpayers in furnishing the annual returns in FORM GSTR-9FORM GSTR-9A and reconciliation statement in FORM GSTR-9C, the due date for furnishing these returns/reconciliation statements to be extended till 31-08-2019

To provide sufficient time to the trade and industry to furnish the declaration in FORM GST ITC-04, relating to job work, the due date for furnishing the said form for the period July, 2017 to June, 2019 to be extended till 31.08.2019

Certain amendments to be carried out in the GST laws to implement the decisions of the GST Council taken in an earlier meeting

Rule 138E of the CGST rules, pertaining to blocking of e-way bills on non-filing of returns for two consecutive tax periods, to be brought into effect from 21-08-2019, instead of the earlier notified date of 21-06-2019

The last date for filing of intimation, in FORM GST CMP-02, for availing the option of payment of tax under notification No. 2/2019-Central Tax (Rate) dated 07.03.2019, to be extended from 30-04-2019 to 31-07-2019.

[Press Release dt. 21-06-2019]

Ministry of Finance

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of S.A. Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao, JJ., pronounced an order in which it was suggested by Amicus Curiae Kapil Sibal and further accepted by the Court that “a computer-based technological solution which might include artificial intelligence should be advised”  for the purpose of inspections in medical colleges.

The Court noted that various disputes have been observed in regard to the same issue of inspections of various private medical colleges by the Medical Council India (MCI). Contesting parties virtually contest every fact that is recorded in the inspection.

Amicus Curiae, Kapil Sibal suggested for a computer network based technological solution for the above-stated problem and for that he requested for the appointment of Mr Nandan Nilekani who is an expert for this problem. Further, Gaurav Sharma, counsel for the respondent also supported the stated suggestion.

Therefore, the Court agreeing to the same requested Mr Nandan Nilekani to give a concrete suggestion at the earliest. Further, the Court stated that respondent’s counsel and amicus curiae shall prepare a written note highlighting the issues that need to be taken up by Mr Nilekani to provide solutions to the problem stated above. Also, he has the liberty to take technical assistance from various IT companies.

The matter is listed after 6 weeks for further hearing. [Al Azhar Medical College and Super Speciality Hospital v. Union of India, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 1633, dated 19-09-2018]