Is Jio indulging in anti-competitive practices?

Recently, Bharti Airtel has filed an information under Section 19(1) of Competition Act, 2002. This information is pertaining to the allegation against Reliance Jio, for providing services at predatory prices, by abusing its dominant position in the market. Abuse of Dominant position is prohibited under section 4 of Competition Act, 2002.

On the other hand Reliance Jio has already filed an information, against Vodafone, Idea and Bharti Airtel, and few other telecom service providers, two months earlier. It has alleged that these Companies were violating section 3 and 4, by forming a Cartel and Abusing their respective Dominant Position. The rationale for filing such an information was, that these companies refused to provide Point of Interconnection (POI) to Reliance Jio, as many of its calls were failing.

Reliance Jio has been providing its services to its customers, for free. It has been alleged that same amounts to abuse of dominant position, as they are predatory and no other telecom service provider is providing its services for free. There is no doubt in the fact that, other Telecom companies are suffering comparative loss due to such pricing policy of the Reliance Jio.

Vodafone, Idea, Bharti Airtel, have significantly, changed and reduced prices, for the services provided by them. It can be said that so far, the profits of these companies have gone down, but the prices have become reasonable. Furter, Airtel has bought Telenor and Vodafone is about to merge with Idea, for competition against Reliance Jio.

The question which arises here are that“Does refusal to provide a POI amounts to anti-competitive practices?”, and “Does Reliance has a Dominant Position in Indian Telecommunication Market, and if yes, then has it abused it?” To answer these question, a market has to be determined in which these companies operate. After that, it is to be seen, whether there isAppreciable Adverse Effect on Competition (AAEC). Section 19 of the Competition Act, 2002 provides for various factors which are to be considered for determining the market both, ‘geographical ‘ and ‘product’, and for determining AAEC and dominant, under section 3 and 4 respectively.

As far as allegation of Reliance Jio are concerned, by not providing POI, trio may be limiting the provision of services. Reliance Jio has alleged that Cellular Operators Association of India(COAI), is acting as platform for anti-competitive carried outby trio (Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Idea). Recently, many of the Association have been found guilty of providing platform for cartel activities. If such allegation turns out to be true, then COAI may be held responsible for violation of Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002.

Now, coming to the issue of predatory pricing, which has been raised by the trio. It is very clear that Reliance Jio is providing its services, such as voice calling, 4G unlimited Internet Datato its customers for free. Firstly, it must be seen, whether it is having a “dominant position”in the market, to determine abuse of the same.

In India, many customers have switched to Reliance Jio, temporarily, and they have not become fully dependent on its service, as far as voice calling is concerned. On the other hand, where the Internet services are concerned, many people have availed its services, and in this market it has gained market power to an extent. Dominance of Reliance Jio, is not quite established in the voice calling market, many people do not have compatible handsets, and its network in distant areas is not available.

Answering to the main question that “Is Jio indulging in anti-competitive practices?”, they have market power to quite an extent in some major cities, but not all over India. Therefore, it may abuse its dominance to quite an extent in future, but till now they have not shown such a conduct.

As far as allegations of Reliance Jio are concerned, they have more chances of convincing, CCI, that trio might be engaging in such anti-competitive practices, and colluding against Reliance Jio. While, allegations of the trio, regarding predatory pricing has less chance of convicing CCI of such alleged conduct.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

dhruv-chandora

DHRUV CHANDORA

Dhruv Chandora is currently pursuing 4th year of BA LLB (Hons) course at Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab. A voracious reader and a keen learner, Dhruv is also a moot court enthusiast.

Alcohol laws in India

Alcohol is one of the intoxicating substances consumed by the people around the corner of the world. Alcohols laws are in India are not taken seriously and most of the people are not aware of it. There is no uniformity in it and varies from state to state. In it, the legal age for drinking and sale ad consumption of alcohol also includes. It is because the alcohol law is included in Seventh Schedule of the constitution of India and comes under the state list. Therefore, the state can modify the alcohol laws according to their own wish. In India, the sale and consumption of alcohol usually take place in bar, restaurants, pubs, clubs, discos, etc.

The state laws for consumption and sale of alcohol do not only mentions the age of drinking but where all places the liquor should be sold. In few states, even groceries and departmental stores also sell liquor as their state laws permit the same. As being the subject of the state list, the law varies from state to state. Therefore, the legal drinking age differs from state to state in India. There is a difference between consumption age and purchasing age. Consumption age is the age when any individual can legally consume the liquor while the purchasing age is the one when an individual can purchase liquor from the license holder.

Legal Age in different states

In the state of Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, Karnataka, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Pondicherry the legal age of drinking is 18, following the state of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra (only beer), Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Orissa, Tamil Nadu has 21 years and in Punjab, Meghalaya, Haryana, Maharashtra (hard liquor), Chandigarh and Delhi, the minimum age specified is 25. There are few states, where the consumption of alcohol is illegal. They are Gujarat, Manipur, Nagaland and Lakshadweep.

Drunk- Driving Law                             

The drunken drinking law in India is governed by Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Section 185 of the Act states that if a person while driving a motor vehicle, has a Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) more than 30 mg in terms of 100 ml of blood, the said person shall be for the first time of the offence, be imprisoned for six months, or with fine which may be extend to two thousands, or both. If, the same person commits the offence for the second time within the period of 3 years for the commission of the first offence, the level of punishment increases. The punishment for the same will be imprisonment of two years or with a fine which may extend to three thousand rupees or both.

Public Drinking

Drinking in public places is prohibited as keeping in mind the society in which we live in. but people used to drink in public at a particular concern and secretly have liquor. But when, if caught, has to pay Rs 5000 and if, any nuisance is created by an individual in a drunk mode, then the fine increases to Rs 10,000 with a jail term of three months.

Dry Days

From the calendar year, there are some specific days when the sale of liquor is prohibited and if sold on that particular day, the license of the seller can be cancelled. Republic day (26 January), Independence Day (15 August) and Gandhi Jayanti (2 October) are considered to be the fixed days when the sale of liquor is prohibited throughout India as they are considered as the national holidays. Therefore, these days are considered as Dry day. There are few other days which are to be considered as dry day, according to the state laws for alcohol. These days also vary from state to state.

As mentioned above, the states where the sale of liquor is illegal, these kinds of states are known as Dry State.  In these state, the sale of liquor is totally banned. These states are called liquor-less state and there are separate laws which govern them

Gujarat:  Bombay Prohibition (Gujarat Amendment Bill), 2009 was passed by the governor of Gujarat.

Manipur: by the passing of Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991, the sale and consumption of liquor is totally banned.

Nagaland:  the sale and consumption of Alcohol was banned by passing Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act (NLTP), 1989

Bihar: the ban on sale and consumption is governed by Bihar Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2016

Prices

The price of the alcohol also varies from state to state. Being the cheapest in places like Delhi, Goa, Daman and Diu and expensive in the states like Maharashtra.

Constitutional perspective

Article 47 of the constitution of India states that “State shall Endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health” [1]The constitution allows the state to use the intoxicating substances and drugs for the medical purpose. It prohibits the consumption as these are injurious to health. We have seen that the legal age for consumption, possession and sale of the liquor varies from state to state, but the law not being so abiding and strict, many small children who have not crossed the majority age drinks secretly. The consumption of alcohol is not necessarily for the rich people, but the middle and poor class people also consume to a very higher extent.  This is because the laws are not so strict that people can fear of it and the availability of liquor is so frequent, that even children can purchase it easily.

Intervention of Supreme Court

In the month of December 2016, the apex court of India took an intuitive to control the crimes for drunk driving.  Supreme Court bans the sale of liquor on all national and state highways from 1st April 2017. The court further directed that no shop for the sale of liquor shall be visible from a national or state highway, shall not be situated within the distance of 500 meters from the edge of the highway, all the advertisement for the availability of liquor shall be prohibited.

Conclusion

We all know that alcohol is injuries to health but despite knowing this fact, we, which includes various age groups, tends to have it. The addition of the same leads to various health issues and sometimes, loss of health. So, there is various provision made by every state to take steps towards it. It is essential to cure this issue as nowadays, the youth are driven crazy by alcohol and makes their life addictive to it. This addictiveness leads to various problems. We need to understand that youth are the future of our country and we need to safeguard them by making strict laws for alcohol in India.

[1] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1551554/



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

sakshi-img

SAKSHI JAIN

Sakshi Jain is currently pursuing her BLS LLB from Government Law College, Mumbai. Although she’s keen to gain knowledge and explore things going around her, her priority always stays focused on law only. Although she yearns for a career in the corporate sector, she’s quite confident regarding her capability to endure in other fields also. A passionate law student and a natural reader, she wants to complete her master degree from Harvard, Oxford, or London University.

Lavish Expenditure on Marriage? Bill Introduced to Banish the Same

A bill titled The Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 2016 has been introduced by Congress MP RanjeetRanjan, which might be introduced as a private members’ bill in the next session of lower parliament. According to Ranjeet the sole purpose of bill is to ensure simpler solemnization and forbid thriftless expenditure incurred. She said, “These days, marriages are more about showing off your wealth and as a result, poor families are under tremendous social pressure to spend more. This is needed to be checked as it is not good for society at large”. Also, bill seeks to check ‘show of wealth’ and put jargon on those who spend extravagantly.

The Bill states that “if any family intends to spend more than Rupees. 5 Lakh towards expenditure on marriage, such family shall declare the amount proposed to be spent in advance to the appropriate government and contribute 10 per cent of such amount in a welfare fund which shall be established by the appropriate government to assist the poor and Below Poverty Line families for the marriage of their daughters”. Further, it imposes a limit on the number of guests to be invited and dishes to be served in weddings. According to The Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 2016 all marriages shall be registered within 60 days of solemnization.

Although, the historical trend indicates that being a private members’ bill it is unlikely that the bill, introduced by Congress MP RanjeetRanjan, will even come up for discussion. However, if events take place otherwise and it comes up for the discussion in the Lower House of the parliament it would be interesting to see how the bill imposes a cap on guests and spending.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

unnamed-1

MAHAK PALIWAL

Mahak Paliwal is a student studying in Symbiosis Law School. Though, not a professional writer she has written few blogs and articles. Passionate about writing, this passion was a natural fit. With encouragement from family and friends, Mahak started writing some 3-4 years back. In her free time, she appraises reading various articles or blogs.

Delhi High Court playing with “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage”

Is “irretrievable breakdown” of marriage is ground for dissolution of marriage by divorce, under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955? The answer to this question clearly is that no such express provision has been incorporated by the Parliament in Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (HMA). Then why did the Delhi High Court by its Judgement dated 21st October 2016, in the case of Sandhya Kumari v. Manish Kumar [(2016) 234 DLT 381 (DB)], agree to grant divorce on the ground of “irretrievable breakdown” of marriage?

Precisely a month before the above-mentioned judgement, the Delhi High Court in the judgment dated 21st September 2016, in case of Mini Appa Kanda Swami v. M. Indra [(2016) 234 DLT 243 (DB)], came up with decision that the High Court lacks the jurisdiction to grant divorce on the doctrine of “irretrievable breakdown”.

Why did the Delhi High Court reverse its stance on granting divorce on the basis of the “Doctrine of Irretrievable Breakdown”? Is it following the principles of stare decisis? Many more question arises after the Sandhya Kumari v. Manish Kumar case.

The rationale given by Delhi High Court, in the said judgment[1], was that, by virtue of Madhvi RameshDudani v. Ramesh K. Dudani [2006 (2) Mh.L.J. 307], Shrikumar V. Unnithan v. Manju K. Nair, [2007 (4) KHC 807],  V. Bhagat v. D. Bhagat [(1994) 1 SCC 337], andNavinKohli v. NeeluKohli [(2006) 4 SCC 558], “the concept of cruelty has been blended by the courts with irretrievable breakdown of marriage.”Hence, directly or indirectly, Delhi High court has read doctrine of irretrievable breakdown under ‘cruelty’, which is a ground for granting divorce.

Now coming to Madhvi RameshDudanicase, divorce was granted on the ground of cruelty, and it was only an observation of the Bombay High Court that marriage has been irretrievably broken. There was no observation regarding the blending of the same.

Moving on to another case of  V. Bhagat v. D. Bhagat, theApex Court has said that, HMA does not permit dissolution of marriage on doctrine of “irretrievable breakdown”, and cautioned to keep that in mind while ascertaining the type of cruelty contemplated by Section 13(1)(i-a).

The Apex court gave a clarification that “Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is not a ground by itself … The unusual step as the one taken by us herein can be resorted to only to clear up an insoluble mess, when the court finds it in the interest of both the parties.”Therefore, this case did not suggest any blending of cruelty with irretrievable breakdown of marriage.On the other hand, it granted divorce on that ground of mental cruelty.

Now here the word”court” can be widely interpreted to include “HighCourt” or any other court, but moving along the line with Anil Kumar Jain v. Maya Jain [(2009) 10 SCC 415], where the Apex court has held that only the Supreme Court can invoke“its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India in order to do complete justice to the parties when faced with a situation where the marriage ties had completely broken and there was no possibility whatsoever of the spouses coming together again.”

It further indicated that, the High Courts, which do not possess the powers vested in the Supreme Court under Article 142 of the Constitution cannot grant divorce despite the fact that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

Another decision which was mentioned in Sandhya Kumari case, was NavinKohli v. NeeluKohli case. In which the Apex Court discussed major cases where, either the divorce was granted under Section 13B of HMA, stating “irretrievable breakdown” of marriage; or, under Article 142, when divorce was prayed under Section 13.  Mostly, the alleged grounds for divorcee were adultery, desertion, or cruelty. Navin Kohli casewas alsosolved by granting divorce on ground of cruelty and not by invoking the doctrine of “irretrievable breakdown”.

Coming back to the Sandhya Kumaricase, in which the breakdown theory (Doctrine of “irretrievable breakdown”) and fault theory (mental cruelty) regarding divorce has been blended by the Delhi High Court, while foundation of thetwo, lies on two different kinds of bed rocks.

This judgement[2] has violated the precedent laid down by Apex Court in the case of Vishnu Dutt Sharma v. Manju Sharma [(2009) 6 SCC 379], by indirectly reading “irretrievable breakdown” of marriage as ground for divorce. In Vishnu Dutt Sharma Case it washeld that Supreme Court cannot add “irretrievable breakdown” of marriage as ground for divorce under section 13, as that would amount to amending the act, which is thefunction of legislature.

Delhi High Court in Sandhya Kumari Casehas either, acted arbitrarily or, opened a new road  of hope for people who would like to seek divorce easily, by reading “irretrievable breakdown” in cruelty. This decision can be appraised for judicial activism, as much as, it can becriticized, for not following the principle of Stare Decisis.

[1] Sandhya Kumari v. Manish Kumar [(2016) 234 DLT 381 (DB)]

[2] Sandhya Kumari v. Manish Kumar [(2016) 234 DLT 381 (DB)]\



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

dhruv-chandora

DHRUV CHANDORA

Dhruv Chandora is currently pursuing 4th year of BA LLB (Hons) course at Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab. A voracious reader and a keen learner, Dhruv is also a moot court enthusiast.

From Manpower to Artificial Intelligence

The artificial intelligence is in the mouth of every corporate sector and becoming an integral part of our society. Many of them find artificial intelligence quite alarming and recent topic to be taken into consideration. Philosophers have noted that the evolution of artificial intelligence has suppressed the man labour and leads towards the extension of human power at the hands of robots. Many companies feel that there are various things which a man cannot perform, but robots can. Therefore, they have more potential to work more hard in terms of a human. So, many companies and technical departments have recently adapted this formula of replacing manpower from that of robots. They think that it will increase their production capacity of the company which in turn increased the turnover of the same.

In simple terms, artificial intelligence can be understood as the technology which requires technological process of behaving, reacting and performing the similar characteristics as of human beings. As per John McCarthy, who coined the term in 1956 defines Artificial intelligence as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.” [1]. Bellman defines it as “the automation of activities that we associate with human thinking, activities such as decision-making, problem-solving, learning. [2]But emerging of artificial intelligence (robots) will reduce the value of man power which in turn creates unemployment in the society. 

Artificial intelligence and law

Artificial intelligence and law, both walk on the same road, parallel towards each other. They both are complementary to each other. A deep thought needs to be given to analyze this process. Firstly, the law evolved and followed a tradition of its rising method. Secondly, there are various data that needs to be stored in one place so that it could be easily accessible to the one who is in need. Thirdly, the quick accessibility will save the time of both, the court and the parties. Nowadays, in this digitalized society, lawyers are also in need of technology to preserve their legal documents. As artificial intelligence put up its set to the legal domain, the research of various case laws and troublesome cases are found easily. It removes the burden of the court master to keep all the checks of paper within the courtroom.

But artificial intelligence has its pros and cons both. Indi is getting digitalized, so the legal system is. But purely dependent upon the technology will never suffice the strength of manpower. A robot can do various works in the capacity of a human being but there is a huge difference between a robot and a human being. The just have the energy to work but not the emotions to be understood. We live in a society and have to adapt things which are pro-society and not anti-society. Therefore, replacing of humans from computers and robots is yet to be adopted in teal life for our legal system.

In India, there is no specific law or regulation that mention about the artificial intelligence. As India is developing with other countries, is adopting the new technique of artificial intelligence in the technical department.  Scientists are discovering to use this technology in a fuller amount.  Artificial Intelligence Association of India (AIAI) found in the year 2009. It is a nonprofit scientific society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of mechanisms underlying the thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines.  [3]

Another robotic centre is situated by the name of, “centre for artificial intelligence and robotics (CAIR). CAIR is a laboratory of Defense Research & Development Organization, situated in Bangalore and Karnataka. CAIR was established in the year 1986 for the development of artificial intelligence in our country. The main focus was one the areas of artificial intelligence and developing the same.

CAIR has also developed the Network Traffic Analysis Software (NETRA) having the capability to analyze the internet traffic through the source of specified filters. Nowadays, this software has been used by various agencies at state level, RAW, IB, etc and is piloted by Ministry of Home Affairs The Centre for Internet and Society. India is not lagging behind in terms of adopting new technologies of artificial intelligence. Therefore, the scientists must focus on the need of the country and the society in which we live in, and implanted the same, accordingly.

Conclusion

From Google search engine to Siri, everything thing is turning towards the path of artificially intelligent, Artificial integrity is the machine made intelligence which will react or behave, according to our need. This kind of intelligence is taking place whole over the world, suppressing the man power and his ability to work. Manpower is drained by the robots and computer-based system in various technical and non-technical departments. For India, it is taking place and eventually in sometimes, it will.  By adapting this kind of technologies, statistics must be aware of boon and bane, before utilizing it.

[1] https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/artificial_intelligence.htm

[2] Bellman, R. E., An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence: Can Computers Think?, Boyd and Fraser Publishing Company, San Francisco, USA, 1978, quoted by Stuart J Russell and Peter Norvig, in Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, p.5

[3] aiai.org.in



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

sakshi-img

SAKSHI JAIN

Sakshi Jain is currently pursuing her BLS LLB from Government Law College, Mumbai. Although she’s keen to gain knowledge and explore things going around her, her priority always stays focused on law only. Although she yearns for a career in the corporate sector, she’s quite confident regarding her capability to endure in other fields also. A passionate law student and a natural reader, she wants to complete her master degree from Harvard, Oxford, or London University.

Idiocracy of Tamil Nadu Politics

The demise of Jayalalithaa, the second-longest serving female chief minister in India, who was a popular film actress, a charismatic mass orator, a seasoned politician have not only shaken Chennai but also the power of Centre in New Delhi. It has opened a debate in the media, particularly in social networking sites leading to a drift in All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) .

As of now, O Paneerselvam has the support of only five of the party’s 134 legislators whereas currently, Sasikala claims to enjoy support of 129 of her party’s 134 legislators. Ms Sasikala, who was former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa’s close confidante, is not a legislator and will have to become one within six months if she is made chief minister. The Governor, as per the India today sources said, he has to make sure that the person he invites to form government can win an election within that time and also provide a stable government to the state.However, Strategy of O. Paneerselvam is gradually taking shape and Governor Vidhyasagar Rao is inclined to wait for Supreme Courts verdict in a corruption case against AIADMK chief VK Sasikala, before he invites her to form a government. The verdict is expected this week. If found guilty of having, along with Ms Jayalalithaa, amassed wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income, it could bar her from the chief minister’s office or any other public office thereto.

She has had no firsthand political experience in managing the party and the government together. If Sasikala is able to beguile this diplomacy. It would be interesting to see if she has vision and time to bridge these gaps. With her lack of political experience, no one knows how she will take on the proven political mettle of MK Stalin, the DMK leader and M Karunanidhi’s son.On other hand, If the BJP plays its cards right in the post-Jayalalithaa era and backs the right horses, Tamil Nadu politics might be altered for good.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

unnamed-1

MAHAK PALIWAL

Mahak Paliwal is a student studying in Symbiosis Law School. Though, not a professional writer she has written few blogs and articles. Passionate about writing, this passion was a natural fit. With encouragement from family and friends, Mahak started writing some 3-4 years back. In her free time, she appraises reading various articles or blogs.