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India’s arguably generous maternity law benefits m...

In India, working mothers-to-be are far better-of than most of their peers in the developed world, however, the country’s maternity laws are archaic. A year or two ago, the country passed the Maternity (Amendment) Bill aimed at working women and their right to paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks which is the world’s third-highest. There is a no-win situation nonetheless — the law is meant for companies with a headcount of at least ten employees which is just a minuscule proportion of the working women of India.This limitation in maternity benefits is an upshot of the desire of the elite of India to merely mimic policies that are both purposed and executed in the West, without any sort of fine-tuning suiting Indian conditions. The maternity bill is an exemplary bill – phantom legislation that passes laws that don't have and in all probability will not be as effective as required. Progress or that one is doing something is an illusion, and is given, but the reality is something else. There is an ideological dimension to the law which is a part and parcel of what the Indian elite believes is good, just, and prestigious in communities transcending boundaries.Symbol of progressCanada and Norway are the only two countries, with GDPs per capita of 27 and 47 times higher than India’s, respectively, provide protracted maternity leaves in comparison with India. The moot point, however, isn’t the perception of generosity, but how the law is applied.It was estimated that the vast majority of Indian women shun work. While on the one hand the unorganized sector is comprised of over 80% of women working for companies with an employee headcount of less than ten. On the other hand, the organized sector comprises of 16% women workers, who do informal work, where the maternity law is not applicable.A more realistic assumption would be that a meagre 20% of the females work in the organized sector, then the law is potentially applicable to simply 1.3% of the workforce, or not even 1% of all females.Considering these off-the-cuff calculations, the unanswered question is why would India deplete its invaluable resources on ratifying a law that is applicable to a minuscule section of its growing population.Call 7604047601 for consultation with a registered expert maternity lawyer on Vidhikarya.

Posted By

Avik Chakravorty

2 days ago

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Mentally tortured husbands can appeal for granting...

In one particular case, the division bench permitted an appeal for granting a divorce decree in favor of the appealing husband for being tortured by the wife. The appellate judge may question the legality, validity and the propriety of the trial court’s judgment in which it had canceled the suit of the appellant or plaintiff for granting divorce decree of behavior torture and abandonment.Submissions by the AppellantThe appellant-husband may submit that the wife who is the respondent was disrespectful towards his parents and told his mother that meals were to be prepared according to what's on her menu. Another declaration of the appellant could be that the wife of the Respondent had reverted to her parental home within days of marriage and upon repeated requests of her in-laws reverted to her in-laws and that’s when she began cajoling the appellant to live apart.The appellant may state that even after having accepted all her demands, both her attitude and behavior remained unchanged. Matters worsen if the complaint filed by her turns out to be fake; a case in point would be a demand of dowry which, if not met would be the cause of her reverting to her parental home for good never to return to her appellant husband’s house ever again. Hence, in view of the prevailing circumstances, the plaintiff/appellant is likely to seek an of divorce decree on the plea of mental torture and abandonment. The wife of the respondent may deny all allegations and as a matter of fact, plead that she was tortured, the streedhan properties were retained by her in-laws and that the appellant accosted her with threats of divorcing her and remarrying. Besides, she may unequivocally mention her willingness to joining the appellant’s company.ObservationBy perusing the pleadings and depositions, it may turn out that the appellant’s allegations were according to what the depositions of the respondent, his parents, and other relatives were in a fake criminal case for an offense under Sections 498-A and 323 of Penal Code, 1860.An acquittal under Sections 498-A/34 and 323 IPC of the indicted person by the trial judge in regards to the levied charges. Furthermore, it was later noted that the respondent-wife did mention that she was a victim of crass and obscene behavior by both the appellant and the members of his family As and when the respondent-wife is examined, one question, in particular, is asked to the respondent and that is whether the respondent is eager and willing to live together with the appellant. If the answer is a resounding No then clearly the respondent’s allegations were falseand besides, if she was unwilling to live together with the appellant then her very own pleadings are suspect. UpheldIt was upheld that if the wife made any scandalous, vulgar and defamatory statements implicating the appellant’s family members it may cause mental torture to the husband. Besides, it was stated that if the wife fails to provide evidence supporting her unfounded, indecent and defamatory allegations then it would all be the causes of mental torture to the husband.Therefore, if the respondent-wife is unable to prove her scandalous and indecent allegations against the husband’s family and in addition if there is any demand for dowry then it would be a false claim causing mental agony to the husband. Therefore, the appeal for granting the divorce decree favoring the appellant for the dissolution of the marriage among the parties would be permitted.Call 7604047601 for consultation with registered expert divorce lawyers on Vidhikarya.

Posted By

Avik Chakravorty

3 days ago

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  • What is Tort?
  • What is Tort Law?
  • What are the Important Aspects Torts?
  • What are the General Defences to Torts?
  • What are the Types of Torts?

What is Tort?


The origin of the word tort is the latin word ‘tortum’ which means ‘to twist’. Tort does not have a standard universal definition but the generic idea is that tort is a civil wrong for which the remedy is a common law action for unliquidated damages and which is not exclusively the breach of a contract or the breach of a trust or other merely equitable obligation. Not all civil wrongs are torts.

What is Tort Law?


Tort law in India is a relatively new common law development supplemented by codifying statutes including statutes governing damages. While India generally follows the UK approach, there are certain differences which may indicate judicial activism, hence creating controversy. Tort is breach of some duty independent of contract which has caused damage to the plaintiff giving rise to civil cause of action and for which remedy is available. If there is no remedy it cannot be called a tort because the essence of tort is to give remedy to the person who has suffered injury.

Important aspects of Law of Torts:


For an act to constitute a tort, it must satisfy certain conditions, there must be some act or omission on the part of the defendant, which in turn should have resulted in legal damage (injuria), i.e., violation of a legal right vested in the plaintiff.

The relevant factor for commission of tort is the presence of a ‘legal damage’ which need not be causing actual tangible damage, whereas, an act which is causing some substantial damage but not a legal damage would not constitute tort. For example, in cases of trespass, the person trespassing may not damage the property he entered but would still constitute a legal injury, whereas, in case a competitor due to whatever legal reasons may cause massive losses to another person but would still not have committed a Tortious act.

Torts don’t necessarily stem from Statutes only and can stem from common law principles. Torts in India stem like the other common law jurisdictions stems from both statute and common law.

General Defences to Torts:


There are certain defences which are of a generic nature and can be availed in most of the tort cases. They are the following-

  • Volenti non fit injuria – this refers to voluntary assumption of risk. When someone suffers harm with their own consent then it acts as a complete defence for the defendant. However, mere knowledge of the risk(scienti non fit injuria) does not imply consent, for example, if a driver is forced by his employer to drive a vicious horse and he drives that under protest, then he will be entitled to claim such compensation in case an injury is caused to him(Bowater v. Rawley Regis Corporation). Doctrine does not imply to rescue cases though.
  • Plaintiff the wrongdoer – No action arises from an immoral cause. If the harm suffered by the plaintiff is fundamentally linked with the wrong act of himself then the defendant may use it as a defence. For example, if the plaintiff drives an overloaded truck despite strict instructions not to, and eventually suffers harm due to the bridge breaking, then the defendant has a defence available. However, plaintiff is not disabled from recovering in tort unless some unlawful act or conduct on his own part is connected with the harm suffered by him as part of the same transaction.
  • Inevitable Accident – An unforeseeable & unavoidable accident in spite of reasonable care taken on defendant’s part acts as a defence. Inevitable refers to a situation wherein it was not avoidable by the precautions which a reasonable man would have implemented.
  • Act of God – It is similar to the idea of “Inevitable Accident”, but the forces here are forces of God/Nature, i.e., floods, storms, etc. It acts as a defence to the idea of “Strict Liability”.(summary of ‘strict liability’ is below)
  • Private Defence – Law permits use of reasonable force to protect one’s person or property. However there should be presence of an ‘imminent threat’.
  • Mistake – Mistake, whether of fact or law, is generally not a defence for torts. However, in torts requiring malice as an element, the liability does not arise when the defendant acts under an honest and mistaken belief.
  • Necessity – An act causing damage if done under necessity to prevent greater evil is not actionable even though harm was caused intentionally. For example, throwing goods overboard a ship to lighten it for saving the ship and persons on board the ship.
  • Statutory Authority – When an act is done under the authority of an Act, it is a complete defence and the injured party has no remedy except for claiming such compensation as may have been provided by the statute.

Types of Tort Law


There are three primary categories of tort law- intentional torts, negligent torts and strict liability torts. In India the concept of absolute liability also exists which shall be spoken of later.

  • Intentional torts are those torts which are committed with the intention of undergoing an activity which would end up in causing injuria (violation of legal right) of someone for example trespassing or battery(harmful or offensive contact with another person).
  • Negligent torts are those torts that are born out of negligence on part of person and not because of the intention to cause a legal harm to someone, for example, if someone breaks a cup in anger part of which end up hurting someone else. Then there are strict liability torts, sometimes seen as product liability torts, these are torts when there is an imposition of liability on a party even in the absence of finding of a fault like a tortious intent or negligence, for example the production head of a company being strictly liable even for a fault committed by a labourer working under him.
  • The concept of strict liability was discussed in the case of Rylands v. Fletcher. In this case, the defendant had constructed a water reservoir which his hired engineers ended up building on top of an abandoned coal mine, Rylands (the defendant) was unaware of this fact. Eventually the reservoir broke down and ended up harming Fletcher’s coal mines for which a lawsuit was subsequently filed. Rylands was held “strictly liable” and it was observed that a person who for his own purposes keeps on his land anything with the potential of causing mischief will be prima facie answerable for the damage which happens as a natural consequence of its escape.

In India, there is a unique concept known as the principle of “Absolute liability”. In the case of ‘M.C. Mehta v. Union of India’ there was leakage of oleum gas which caused harm to the people exposed to the gas leak. It was in Court’s mind that an year ago Bhopal Gas Tragedy had happened hence Court gave a judgement befitting of a crime of a nature which has the potential to cause such great tragedy. The ratio followed here was similar to the concept of Strict Liability with the addition of ‘Absolute Liability’ not being subjected to any of the exceptions or defences of the rule of Strict Liability.

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