While fake news was bothering the government for quite some time, leaders failed to come up with a concrete plant to counter it. There have been many recent incidents that have forced the government to take a strong step towards curbing fake news from circulation.

Union Government has decided to set up FACT-Check Module to identify incidences of fake news on social media and digital platforms and take corrective action. It will be set up under Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the government’s public relations arm.

The step was taken after a piece of fake news that Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated CJI Ranjan Gogoi over Ayodhya verdict was circulated by a section of Bangladeshi Media. The government was quick to claim that this report was “malicious” and “fake’. Moreover, the incident triggered it to finally create a formal fact-checking module under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Find, Assess, Create and Target: FACT

It is aimed at protecting and insulating the government and its agencies against fake news on social media and digital platforms. It will largely focus on online and digital content for now and will be later expanded to the electronic media later.

It will be initially manned by information service officers, who are also mandated to create appropriate content to re-balance narrative and promote the government’s official position. They will also target content to ensure that government versions are visible and accessible to the public.

It will work on the four principles of "find, assess, create and target (FACT)", which involves round-the-clock monitoring of online news sources and publicly available social media posts. It will also identify themes or stories that promote false and misleading information relating to the government and its agencies. It will also assess the scale of engagement with the risk identified and establish whether it is appropriate to respond to the content.

The problem of Fake News in India

The problem of fake news grew with the growth of the Internet.  The Internet is an easy and quick medium to propagate a piece of news. Manipulation of algorithms of social media and search engines—to reach large audiences and mislead news consumers is a global trend now. Fake video clips, news stories with morphed media logos, bots, and paid commentators for favorable online reputation (troll farm) have become very common. Governments are using the threat of fake news to clamp down on free speech. In India WhatsApp and Facebook are most vulnerable to fake news.

 Popular Examples of Fake News from India which caused significant social damage:

  • Muzzafarnagar riots of 2013: fake video fuelled communal passions
  • UNESCO has declared ‘Jana Gana Mana’ best national anthem in the world
  • Dawood properties worth Rs 15000 Cr seized in Dubai
  • President Kovind makes Twitter debut; gains 3 million followers in one hour
  • Nostradamus had predicted the rise of supreme leader Narendus
  • Dying Woman Molested, Video shows
  • Fatwa in Saudi Arabia; Men can eat wives when hungry
  • GPS tracking Nano-Chip in 2000 Rupee notes (Nov 2016)
  • Salt Shortage rumors (Nov 2016)
  • Child kidnapping rumors lead to lynching by a mob in Jharkhand
  • Minister using a Russian photo to show LED-electrification of streets
  • Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) annual report used a picture of Spain-Morocco border to show Indian border floodlighting
  • Missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed has joined the ISIS


Fact Check Websites in India*

  • Vishvas News is a multilingual fact-checking website
  • Fact Crescendo is a multilingual fact-checking website, they also have a presence in Sri Lanka.
  • altnews is a fact-checking website.
  • Boom is a fact-checking digital journalism website.
  • SMHoaxSlayer is a broad spectrum fact-checking website with verifying social media hoaxes and scams circulating in India.
  • Factly is one of the well-known Data Journalism/Public Information portals in India. Each news story on FACTLY is backed by factual evidence/data from official sources that are either available in the public domain or that is collated/gathered/collected using tools such as the Right to Information (RTI).
  • Facthunt is a social journalism platform to debunk misinformation across the various domain. Users can sign up on the website/app and request for a fact check. A Pool of journalists then verifies the claim and publish an article.

*Source: Wikipedia



Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's invitation to become the chief guest at India's Republic Day celebrations 2020. Modi has reached Brazil to attend the 11th BRICS Summit. Modi met with Bolsonaro on the sidelines of this summit.

BRICS is a group of five emerging economies in the world which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. This BRICS summit was focused on creating mechanisms for counter-terrorism cooperation and strengthens India's relations with the world's five major economies. The two leaders held meaningful talks to strengthen bilateral relations.

PM Modi said that he looks forward to discussing business-related opportunities with Brazil. He also welcomed potential investment from Brazil during Bolsonaro’s visit. Modi said that he looked forward to discussing matters relating to trade. He also outlined areas for potential investment from Brazil, including in areas of agricultural equipment, animal husbandry, post-harvest technologies, and biofuels. The President of Brazil expressed his readiness and told Prime Minister Modi that a large business delegation would accompany him to India. Both the leaders also discussed cooperation in various areas including space and defense sectors. PM Modi also welcomed the President's decision to make visa-free travel arrangements for Indian citizens. 

Over this issue, some argued that New Delhi was inviting a “far-Right bigot” for the celebrations. Critics of the central government’s decision also have a robust set of evidence to back their claims.

In 1999, Bolsonaro had called for the assassination of former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Again, in 2003, he had told a fellow female legislator that he won’t rape her because she “doesn’t deserve it”. His offensive comments have been steadfast. In 2011, Bolsonaro said he would rather have his son die in an accident than come out as a homosexual. And as recently as 2017, the president had remarked that “a policeman who doesn’t kill isn’t a policeman”.

Such statements have also created the impression that Bolsonaro is part of the global nationalist-populist wave. But to look at him from such a lens is only a reductive exercise.



Jair Messias Bolsonaro is a 38th president of Brazil. He joined the politics in 1988 as a city councilor in Rio De Janerio. He took over the office as the President of Brazil on January 1, 2019.

Bolsonaro joined the military in 1973 and slowly rose up the ranks. Almost a decade after joining the military, he rose to fame in 1986 after writing an article in the country’s prestigious magazine Veja. In the piece, he berated about low military salaries. Bolsonaro was subsequently imprisoned for 15 days but this jail term helped kick-start his political career. By 1989, he was elected to the city council of Rio and became a congressman (legislator) by 1991. His rhetoric, often laced with bigotry and homophobia, earned him the reputation of a radical conservative. In as recently as 2017, when he contested the elections for the post of speaker in Brazil’s lower house, Bolsonaro managed to get only four votes. Finally, he was elected Brazil’s president in January 2019.



INX Media Case: SC issued notice to ED in P Chidambaram’s bail matter
Supreme Court bench of Justice R. Banumathi, Justice A.S. Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy issued a notice to Enforcement Directorate. The notice was issued against the petition filed by former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram challenging the November 15 judgment of the Delhi High Court that had denied him bail in the INX media case. Defense counsel submitted that Chidambaram is in custody for the past 91 days. Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI on August 21 in the corruption case which was registered on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister.
Date - Wed, 20 Nov 2019 02:16 PM

Seniority cannot be claimed from a date when the incumbent is yet to be borne in the cadre: SC
The Supreme Court bench of Justice R. Banumathi, Justice A.S. Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy while considering appeals against Manipur High Court judgment has observed that, under Service Jurisprudence, seniority cannot be claimed from a date when the incumbent is yet to be borne in the cadre. The case arose out of an inter-se seniority dispute in the Manipur Police Service Grade-II Officers Cadre. Appellants, in this case, had contended that when the action was initiated for filling up the 2005 vacancies, the administrative delay in finalization of the recruitment leading to the delayed appointment should not deprive the individual of his due seniority. The bench held that the term "Recruitment Year" does not and cannot mean the year in which, the recruitment process is initiated or the year in which vacancy arises. Hence, seniority cannot be claimed from a date when the incumbent is yet to be borne in the cadre.| K. MEGHACHANDRA SINGH & ORS. vs. NIGAM SIRO & ORS.| 19/11/2019
Date - Wed, 20 Nov 2019 02:16 PM

Allahabad HC initiates contempt proceeding against brick kiln without Environment Clearance Certificate
Allahabad High Court pulled up Uttar Pradesh administration for failing to stop the operation of illegal brick kilns without Environmental Clearance. The bench of Justice Mahesh Chandra Tripathi asked the administration to show cause as to why contempt proceedings must not be instituted against it. Brick kilns involve soil excavation and baking of bricks. It is considered as a major source of air pollution since it creates a lot of dust and emits smoke. Therefore, in order to set up a brick kiln, it is mandatory to obtain an "Environment Clearance Certificate".
Date - Wed, 20 Nov 2019 02:16 PM

Offence of rape cannot be settled between victim and accused: Delhi HC
Delhi High Court bench of Justice Brijesh Sethi has rejected an application seeking quashing of a rape case, filed under section 376 of IPC, on the ground of a settlement being reached between the victim and the accused. The High Court refused to exercise the inherent power under section 482 of CrPC. Justice Brijesh Sethi said that rape not only causes serious injury to a woman's body, but also to her honor and dignity. Even if such an offense is settled by the offender and victim, this offense is not private in nature, and having a serious impact on the society, cannot be quashed.
Date - Wed, 20 Nov 2019 02:16 PM

Winter Session of the Parliament commenced on Monday
The Winter Session of the Parliament commenced November 18 and will continue till December 13. The session is likely to consider as many as 27 bills. This session marks the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha. Some important Bills that are likely to be discussed are The Pesticides Management Bill, 2019, The Insolvency & Bankruptcy (Second) Amendment Bill, 2019, The International Financial Services Centres Authority Bill, 2019, The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2019, The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, The Arms Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019, The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019, The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019, and many more.
Date - Wed, 20 Nov 2019 02:16 PM

NGT imposed Rs. 10 crore as environment compensation on State of Uttar Pradesh
The National Green Tribunal bench led by Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel has ordered the State of Uttar Pradesh to pay Rs. 10 crore as Environment Compensation, for causing damage to the environment by permitting the discharge of untreated sewage, containing toxic Chromium, into Ganga River. Tribunal also ordered the UP State Pollution Control Board and Up Jal Nigam to pay a compensation of Rs. 1 crore each for not stopping the pollution caused by the tanneries in Kanpur.
Date - Wed, 20 Nov 2019 02:16 PM

All India Muslim Personal Law Board decided to reject Ayodhya Verdict
"Mosques are essential for the religious practice of Muslims. Building the same Mosque at some other site in situations like this is also not permissible as per Islamic Law. ………We feel that the restitution by granting 5 acres of land where fundamental values have been damaged to the extent of causing national shame, will not in any manner heal the wounds caused. " All India Muslim Personal Law Board issued a statement on 17/11/2019. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board has decided to reject the 5 acres land proposed to be allotted to it for building a mosque in Ayodhya. The board said that it hopes that the government will ensure the protection of all of its religious structures that had been encroached upon and will do justice to them. On November 9, a five judge’s bench of the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision had held that the disputed land in Ayodhya belongs to the Hindu deity Ram Lalla. Invoking powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, the court also held that an alternate plot of 5 acres must be allotted to the Sunni Waqf Board for construction of the mosque.
Date - Wed, 20 Nov 2019 02:16 PM


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Sec 2 (1), in this part unless the context otherwise requires:


  1. ‘arbitration’- means any arbitration whether or not administered by a permanent arbitral institution.

Explanation-  the definition is not comprehensive, it does not assign ant particular meaning to the term arbitration, therefore, its commonly understood meaning shall apply. The terms as defined in this clause connote that although arbitration is supposed to be entrusted to individuals appointed by the parties themselves this Act would recognize arbitration entrusted to permanent arbitral institutions also.

 However, individuals of the party’s choice can still be appointed as arbitrators because it is not obligatory to entrust it to an institution.


  1. ‘arbitration agreement’- means an agreement referred to in section 7.

Explanation- according to sec 7, arbitration agreement means an agreement by the parties to submit to arbitration all or certain disputes which have arisen or which may arise between them in respect of a defined legal relationship, whether contractual or not.

An arbitration agreement may be in the form of an arbitration clause in a contract or in the form of a separate agreement or may arise where parties by reference import the arbitration clause contained in an earlier document into a subsequent contact so as to incorporate it.


  1. ‘arbitral award’-  includes an interim award.

Explanation-  sec 2(1)(c) merely clarifies that an arbitral award would include an interim award. It does not define the term. It must be read with sec 31. of the Act which deals with the form and contents of an arbitral award.


  1. ‘arbitral tribunal’-  means a sole arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators.

Explanation-  the expression arbitral tribunal means a sole arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators. In view of the provisions of sec 10 reference can be made to a sole arbitrator or an uneven number of arbitrators termed as an arbitral tribunal.

  1. ‘court’- means the principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction in a district and includes the High Court in exercise of its original jurisdiction, having jurisdiction to decide the questions forming the subject matter of the arbitration if the same had been the subject matter of a suit, but does not include ant Civil Court of a grade inferior to such principal Civil Court, or any Court of Small Causes.


  1. ‘international commercial agreement’-  means an arbitration relating to disputes arising out of legal relationships, whether contractual or mot, considered as commercial under the law in force in India and where at least one of the parties is-

  • an individual who is national of, or habitually resident in, any country other than India or

  • a body corporate which is incorporated in any country other than India or

  • the Government of a foreign country.


  1. ‘legal representative’- means a person who in law represents the estate of a deceased person and includes any person who intermeddles with the estate of the deceased and where a party acts in a representative character, the person on whom the estate devolves on the death of the party so acting.

Explanation-  the definition of the term ‘legal representative’ can be divided into three parts. According to the definition the following persons are to be regarded as legal representatives;

  • a person who in law represents the estate of the deceased, for example, an executor of a will or administrator of the estate of the deceased or an heir under the personal law; or in the Court of Wards who administers the estate of the ward;

  • a person who intermeddles with the estate of the deceased, that is, a person who retains possession of the properties belonging to the estate of the deceased with the intention of representing it.

  • in the case of claims of a representative character a person on whom the estate devolves on the death of a party to the arbitration.

         The following persons have been held not to be legal representatives:

  •  an assignee from a deceased zamindar to whom the holding reverts on the death of the tenant.

  • A person who claims adversely to the estate of the deceased.

  • A new trustee appointed or elected on the death of the deceased trustee.


  1. ‘party’- means a party to an arbitration agreement.

Explanation-  the meaning of the expression ‘party’ is not restricted to a party who signed the agreement to the extent as provided in secs. 40, 41 and 35 since the context requires otherwise. Therefore, to the extent, as provided in secs. 40 and 41 the term party will include the legal representatives of the party upon the death of the party or a receiver or official assignee in the case of insolvency of the party, further, in sec 35 persons claiming under the parties are equated with parties for the purposes of the binding character of an arbitral award.


  1. Sec 2(7) defines ‘domestic award’- as an arbitral award made under Part-I shall be considered as a domestic awards

Explanation- in order to constitute a domestic award it is essential that-

  • The arbitral award should be made in arbitration proceedings conducted in India. It is immaterial whether the arbitration is an international commercial arbitration or non-international commercial arbitration.

  • Such proceeding must be in accordance with Part –I of the Act.

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Cross-Examination of Approver by the Accused

Category; trial procedure 

The term approver is neither defined nor used under Criminal Procedure Code but is usually applied to a person, supposed to be directly or indirectly concerned in or privy to an offense to whom a pardon is granted under section 306 of CrPC with a view to securing his testimony against other persons guilty of the offense. The examination of the approver under section 306(4) of the code is mainly concerned with the examination of the complainant and witness by the Magistrate while processing the complaint under section 200 of the CrPC before setting up the process. The question of ‘Examination of the witness’ arises only after charges are framed under section 228 of CrPC. As there is no express provision u/s 306(4) CrPC which permits the accused to cross-examine an approver before committing the case to the Court of Session the Magistrate is not empowered to appreciate the evidence in session triable case. Further, the term “Examination’ under section 306(4)(a) cannot be interpreted to mean ‘Examination’ as contemplated under section 138 of Evidence Act, so as to give an accused the right to cross-examine the approver, at the pre committal stage. In Suresh Chandra Bahri v. State of Bihar (2000) the Supreme Court Bench has regarded section 306(4) as mandatory provision and observed that the object and purpose in enacting this mandatory provision is obviously intended to provide a safeguard to the accused in as much as the approver has to make a statement disclosing his evidence at the preliminary stage before the committal order is made and the accused not only becomes aware of the evidence against him but he is also afforded an opportunity to meet with the evidence of an approver before the committing Court itself at the very threshold. 

In no stretch of circumstances the cross-examination which is contemplated under section 306(4) of the Code can be equated with the ‘examination of witness’ under section 138 of Evidence Act. where u/s 305 CrPC when an approver is being examined by a Magistrate, he is merely recording his statement after grant of pardon and as such he merely acts as a post office by recording a statement u/s 306 CrPC and thereafter forwards it to the court of session which is the court competent to try the case and therefore the term ‘examination’ used in section 306(4) cannot be equated with the term ‘examination of witness’ meant u/s 138 of Evidence Act. 



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The Complexity and Controversy of Article 31, 31A, 31B, and 31C

The ‘Right to Property’ is one of the most controversial and complicated subjects under Constitutional Law. Originally Right to Property was a fundamental right enshrined under Article 19(1)(f) and Article 31. Both of these articles were repealed by the 44th Amendment Act of the Indian Constitution.

Article 19 (1) (f) of the Indian Constitution states that every person has the right to hold and dispose of their personal property as they see fit and as long as it’s within the concurrent laws. Article 31 of the Indian Constitution states that no person can be deprived of his property without the consent of a proper authority. These rights were not absolute and provided with some restrictions or exceptions for example, the property can be acquisition-ed for the general welfare of the public, or protection of the interests of the scheduled tribes.

The controversies which were revolving around the “Right to Property” introduced several amendments such as 1st, 4th, 7th, 25th, 39th, 40th, and 42nd.  These amendments either modified the existing articles or added some new articles or modified the. Articles 31A(added by 1st amendment and amended by 4th, 17th, and 44th amendments), 31B (added by 1st amendment) and 31C(added by 25th amendment and amended by 42nd and 44th amendments) were results of the same process.

44th Amendment Act of the Indian Constitution was challenged in the RC Cooper vs Union of India case popularly known as the Nationalization case. The union government under Mrs. Indira Gandhi acquisition the private banks in order to achieve farmer’s growth and provide easy loans. The banks called it an inadequate acquisition as the compensation was for their properties, they were not compensated for their reputation. The Supreme Court observed that ‘The compensation provided to the banks under Article 31 of the constitution can’t be illusory or arbitrary’. The non-tangible assets of the banks should also be compensated for. In the Keshavananda Bharti case of 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that the amount cannot be arbitrary.

Article 31A, 31B, 31C, and The 9th Schedule

Article 31A

Parliament added Article 31a to the Indian Constitution by the 1st Constitutional Amendment of 1951. The Article gave a right to the government that it can acquire the property of the people and by doing so, the fundamental rights mentioned in Article 14 and 19 of the Indian Constitution shall not be violated.

This amendment allowed the government to enhance the growth of the nation in the following manner:

1. Introduced for the purpose of the abolition of the Zamindari system as the government took the land from the Zamindars and used it for public welfare by either redistribution or agriculture.

2. The government took control of different private companies in order to use them for enhanced growth. However, this could be done for a fixed amount of time after which, the control had to be returned.

3. The government redistributed the mining rights from my lords.

4. The government took control of the production and distribution of various other resources like oil.

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Article 31B

Article 31B was also introduced in the constitution by the 1st Constitutional Amendment of 1951. It was introduced with respect to giving validation to certain acts and regulations. The article provides that the provisions mentioned in Article 31a are immune from the Indian judiciary and cannot be nulled on the basis that they might violate the fundamental rights mentioned in Articles 14, 19 and 31 of the Indian Constitution. Supreme Court in Waman Rao Case ruled that the acts and laws mentioned in the IX schedule till date, shall not be changed or challenged, but any attempt to amend or add more acts to that schedule will suffer close inspection and examination by the judiciary system.


Schedule IX

Ninth Schedule was added to the constitution by the first constitutional amendment in 1951. The reason for adding the ninth schedule to the Constitution was that at that point of time various State Govt. and Union Govt. wanted to implement policy of zamindari abolition and other land reforms. The Supreme Court in Kameshwar Singh case had ruled that the right to property cannot be taken away. Therefore, Ninth Schedule was added which made provision that any law put in Ninth Schedule will be outside the purview of Courts and Courts cannot question the validity of those laws which are put under the Ninth Schedule. In the I.R. Coelho case, Supreme Court finally held that Judicial Review is the basic feature of the Constitution and the Supreme Court can test the validity of law if it violates the basic feature of the Constitution even if it is put under Ninth Schedule.


Article 31C

Article 31C was included in the Constitution by the 25th Amendment of the Constitution in 1971. With these articles, the government tried to give primacy to some Directive Principles of State Policy over the Fundamental Rights. Article 31C intends to fulfill two objectives:

  • Any law made in order to give effect to Article 39b and Article 39c of the Indian Constitution will avoid the scrutiny of courts even if it violates Article 14 and Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.
  • Courts will not have the jurisdiction to decide whether the law enabled really gives effect to the principles mentioned in Article 39cand 39b of the Indian Constitution.



In the first look, it may seem that the provisions discussed above are arbitrary and parliament has tried all means to keep the ball in its court in the name of growth and welfare of general. It may be true to some extent but the judiciary tried its best to keep up the ‘Spirit of Constitution’ and safeguarded the rights of people. Through several judgments by evolving the concept of Basic Structure the Supreme Court has time to time have protected the Fundamental Rights guaranteed to people under the Constitution of India.



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