Surveillance in the Post-Puttaswamy Era - Right to Privacy

In 1997, the Supreme Court of India (Supreme Court) pronounced its judgment in the case of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) v. Union of India (SC, 1997) (PUCL Case), which laid the groundwork for the right to privacy in the context of telephonic surveillance (i.e. wiretaps) and constitutional freedoms.

This article analyses the Supreme Court’s stance on the right to privacy in the PUCL Case, which was upheld in the 2017 landmark judgment by the nine-judge bench in KS Puttaswamy v. Union of India (SC, 2017) (Puttaswamy Case) that declared privacy a fundamental right. The applicability of the right to privacy has recently received further validation in the context of wiretaps in the October 2019 judgment in Vinit Kumar v. Central Bureau of Investigations and Ors (Bom HC, 2019) (Vinit Kumar Case), wherein the Bombay High Court outlined the ambit of the State’s power to surveil its subjects particularly on matters that do not fall within the category of ‘public emergency’ or ‘in the interest of public safety’.
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Surrogacy Bill and ART Bill in India

India is currently facing a declining fertility rate and a changing social structure, with late marriages and single parenthood becoming more common. In light of this, does the proposed ART Bill and Surrogacy Bill restrict or enhance the reproductive choices available to Indian citizens?

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), as commonly understood, comprises procedures such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), intra-uterine insemination (IUI), oocyte and sperm donation, cryopreservation and includes surrogacy as well. Social stigma of being childless and lengthy adoption processes have increased the demand for ART in India. It is thus not surprising that the ART industry is expected to grow by a compounded annual growth rate of 10%.

No legislation currently regulates ART in India. In 2002, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) laid out guidelines for surrogacy. Further, in 2005, the ICMR issued the ‘National Guidelines for Accreditation, Supervision and Regulation of ART Clinics in India(ICMR Guidelines), which inter alia, prescribed the conditions that ART clinics need to comply with. Both the above initiatives did not have any legislative backing. Thereafter, the Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill (ART Bill) was first proposed in 2008, with the final version being brought out in 2017. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 (Surrogacy Bill) was passed by the Lok Sabha in December, 2018, and is currently pending Rajya Sabha approval. 
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IRDAI clarification Written Mandate under the IRDAI (Insurance Brokers) Regulations, 2018

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) notified the IRDAI (Insurance Brokers) Regulations, 2018 (Brokers Regulations) on January 12, 2018, repealing the erstwhile brokers regulations of 2013. This continues what is now considered an eventful financial year for the insurance regulatory space in India.

The Brokers Regulations improved upon the existing framework for the governance and regulation of insurance brokers- who act as significant intermediaries in the insurance sector. IRDAI, under these new Regulations, prescribed that all insurance brokers are required to comply with the code of conduct (Code of Conduct) set out in Schedule I – Form H of the Regulations.
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Sec 377 LGBT Employment in India

The Supreme Court of India has held Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) to be unconstitutional, in so far as it penalises any consensual sexual relationship between two adults, be it homosexuals, heterosexuals or lesbians (Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India and Ors. (2018) (Johar Judgment). By way of this landmark judgment, the Supreme Court has overruled its earlier decision in Suresh Kumar Koushal v. Naz Foundation (2013), whereby, the validity of Section 377 of the IPC had been upheld.
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