[This article is authored by Antima Tiwari, Bharati Vidyapeeth's New Law College, Pune]

The coronavirus pandemic has made our lives difficult but at the same time made us realized the importance of technology and digitalization. Despite the profession, one belongs to, we all are forced to use and communicate through various video conferencing apps available in the tech world. The increase in the number and usage of video conferencing apps has immensely increased in the past few months. One of the most commonly used applications named "ZOOM" has been probably the most significant and prominent player in the market with approximately 2.22 million active users added monthly since April 2020.
With the number of businesses shutting down and suffering an increased amount of losses, there are some companies that have been coming up with new marketing strategies and products complementing the current situation. One of them being probably the most influential companies in the Indian market; Reliance Jio. They have recently come up with options expanding their foot in the current market by introducing Jio Mart; e-commerce website and another one being Jio-Meet which has been in news recently because of the similarity it shares in terms of design with that of Zoom app. 
The controversy has been revolving around the fact that Jio Meet is infringing the copyright on the features of Zoom software. The officials of the Zoom App have also expressed their disappointment related to the same and there have been decisions that they might be taking legal actions against Jio Meet. [1]

The two very essential questions which are being dealt with within this section of the article and which arises in respect of this whole copyright infringement controversy are:
The first question being, Can the Zoom authorities sue Jio for the infringement of its copyright, as that might come under the foreign work domain? Well, the answer to that is yes, it can sue Jio for infringing its rights!
Under section 17 [2] the issue of first ownership is dealt-with in regard to copyright infringements. Further, section 40 [3] of the Copyright Act, 1957 deals with the powers extending to copyright on foreign works. India has a bilateral agreement with United States based on the Copyright Act under 5 UST 2529, and under the Berne Convention, WIPO, and the Universal Copyright Convention.
Zoom belongs to a US-based company, therefore, they can sue in India for the infringement of their copyright by Reliance Jio which is an Indian company. They can sue them for civil remedies including damages and injunctions.
Therefore, we can interpret from the facts presented that Zoom is legally in a position to sue Jio. They can ask for a permanent injunction or damages. They can even stop the usage and downloading of the copies of Jio meets.  
The second question being, can the GUI of Zoom be copyrightable? The answer to this is also in affirmation. Under Section 2(c) [4] of the Copyright Act, 1957, the term “artistic work” is defined as, 
(i) a painting, a sculpture, a drawing (including a diagram, map, chart or plan), an engraving or a photograph, whether or not any such work possesses artistic quality; (ii) a 4[work of architecture]; and 1[work of architecture]; and (iii) any other work of artistic craftsmanship;
Under section 2 (ffc), “computer programme” means, [5]
a set of instructions expressed in words, codes, schemes or in any other form, including a machine-readable medium, capable of causing a computer to perform a particular task or achieve a particular result;
The section does acknowledge the copyrightability of the software, in terms of their codes and schemes. In Maraekat Infotech Ltd. vs. Naylesh V. Kothari [6], it was held that,
The Courts have, no doubt, in the matter of infringement of copyright in software considered not merely literal similarity, but also the similarity in programme structure and design features.
The emphasis was also laid on the copyrightability extended in the computer software to their design, organization, sequence, and structure. After having seen such interpretations by the court, it seems that the GUI can be copyrighted. 

It is a well-established fact that expressions, and not ideas are deemed to be protected under the Copyright Law.  In R.G Anand v. Delux Film [7], the issue of 'non-literal' copying of plays was addressed. The court, in this case, held that only the “manner, formation, arrangement, and expression of a particular idea” is protected under the copyright law. 
Applying the same in the present case, the mere existence of options like ‘Join Meeting’, ‘Add People’ won't be constituting copyright infringement as it only represents the functions of the video conferencing apps which might be common or have some similarity across different apps because of the common kind of work they present. The question of copyrightability arises when the size, manner, arrangement, or structure of the icons are presented in a similar or near to a similar manner. The designing of icons in any programme is unique to them, hence, it is qualified for copyright. In Times Internet Ltd v Jonathan S. and Another [8], the Delhi High Court held that the plaintiff is the first user of the logo and the same being written uniquely and distinctively with a unique arrangement of features, layout and colour scheme is said to come under Section 2 (c) of the Copyright Act [9].

With the reasoning presented above, it is established that the elements of Zoom are unique to their appearance, therefore, being eligible for copyright protection. In R.G Anand [10], the court specified that,
One of the surest and the safest test to determine whether or not there has been a violation of copyright is to seeing the reader, spectator or the viewer after having read or seen both the works are clearly of the opinion and gets an unmistakable impression that the subsequent work appears to be a copy of the original.” (emphasis supplied)
The court, further, emphasized on the fact that where the work is a “literal limitation” of the work already produced earlier with only minor changes will prima facie amount to infringement. If the same analysis is applied to the current case, one could clearly see the similarities between the Jio Meet and Zoom [11]. Moreover, the reactions of the people which were received at large also speak volumes about it which can be seen here.

The protection can also be provided under Section 22 [12], of the Design Act, 2000 which allows for damages and a penalty of rupees 50,000 only for the infringer. As discussed, one could see that it does seem that Jio Meet prima facie does infringe the copyright of Zoom App and legal action can be taken against them. Though, the recent “Made in India” initiative and the confusion of Zoom being a Chinese app concerning current Indo-China dispute might give Jio Meetings an upper edge in the Indian market. It is going to be an interesting position to witness the power of influence of both the apps in the market place. 

[1] Available here.
[2] The Copyright Act 1957, s 17.
[3] The Copyright Act 1957, s 40.
[4] The Copyright Act 1957, s 2(c).
[5] The Copyright Act 1957, s 2(ffc).
[6] Maraekat Infotech Ltd. vs. Naylesh V.Kothari; Available here.
[7] AIR 1978 SC 1613.
[8] Times Internet Ltd vs Jonathan S. And Others;  Available here.
[9] Supra 4.
[10] Supra 7.
[11] Available here.
[12]The Indian Design Act 2000, s 22.

[This article is authored by Madhur Arora, JGLS, O.P. Jindal Global University, New Delhi]

Henry VIII clause is a provision that is generally added to parent legislations that delegate some power to the executive. They allow the said executive to amend or repeal one or more statutes by way of the enactment of delegated legislation. [1] Since the said clauses exist in the parent legislation that delegates such power in the form of “removal of doubt clauses” [2], there have been various contentions with regards to the existence of these clauses within the ambit of Indian Jurisprudence. Upon observation of the conflict that has ensued with regard to Henry the VII Clauses, it may be asserted that the Indian judiciary does indeed accept a narrow form of said clauses and does not disregard the validity of wide-ambit Henry the VIII Clauses completely.
In the case of Jalan Trading v. Mill Mazdoor Union [3], Section 37 of the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 was challenged as it was alleged to be a Henry VIII clause and subsequently a case of excessive delegation of powers. The power was delegated to the Central Government under the said section wherein the Central Government was empowered to make portions in order to remove difficulties or doubts as long as the provision was not inconsistent with the purpose of the act. The power was wide enough to allow the amendment of the parent act itself. Additionally, such power was final and was not open to judicial review. Justice Shah considered this an example of a wide-ambit or broad Henry VIII clause and ruled against its validity. Although the case of Jalan Trading has been considered the first case in laying down the foundation of the jurisprudence regarding wide Henry VIII clauses, subsequent decisions have gone into different directions. 
In the case of Gammon India v. Union of India [4] wherein the validity of section 34 of the Indian Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 was challenged, citing the same reasons as the Jalan Trading case. Again, there was a power that had been delegated to the Central Government to create provisions for the removal of doubts and difficulties. Being a constitutional bench, the bench in Gammon India could not overrule the verdict of the Five – Judge bench in Jalan Trading, however, a distinction was drawn upon the ambit of the clauses itself in both cases. Wherein in Jalan Trading, the Central Government had the power to amend the parent act as well as the subordinate legislation, no such power existed with the government under section 34 of the Indian Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970. Additionally, the finality of the actions of the government in the Jalan Trading case was considered to be the factor that caused the clause to be considered an instance of excessive delegation, which is what led to the declaration of its invalidity. This meant that a narrow scope Henry VIII clause was acceptable and valid in India. 
However, this decision, therefore, had an interpretative implication that caused the Jalan Trading verdict to mean that the mere existence of Henry VIII clauses is not invalid. The invalidity stems from additional factors such as the finality of the actions of the government. However, when the judgment by Justice Shah is read carefully, the use of the term “accentuates” leads us to the conclusion that it was indeed the mere existence of the clause that was problematic, and the finality was an additional factor rather than a deciding one. 
Power to remove the doubt or difficulty by altering the provisions of the Act would in substance amount to exercise of legislative authority and that cannot be delegated to executive authority. Sub-section (2) of s. 37 which purports to make the order of the Central Government in such cases finally accentuates the vice in sub. s. (1).
The ratio in Jalan Trading, therefore, was that any conferment of power to remove the doubt or difficulty by allowing the alteration of the provisions of the Act in itself is impermissible and that the presence of finality clause under Section 37, in that case, was only an accentuating matter instead of it being causation of the decision in the case.
The conflict that arises between the two interpretations of the Jalan Trading case is causative of the ambiguity on the status of Henry VIII clauses and their status in India. In the event that the first interpretation is taken into account, we would find that the existence of all Henry VII  clauses is invalid and that it may be struck down from any and all legislations by the ere virtue of its existence. However, the second interpretation is to be taken, we would find that any Henry VIII clause that would amount to excessive delegation would be invalid, however, any such clause that delegates with the permissible limits in Indian Jurisprudence is valid.
After the Gammon India case, another landmark case upon the issue of the legality of Henry VIII clause is identified as Bengal Iron Corporation v. Commercial Tax Officer. [5]  The challenge was to the validity of section 42 of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council Act, 2005 which stated that in the event there is a requirement for the executive to remove any doubts or difficulties in order to facilitate a smooth transition from the old act to the new act, they may do so by making rules that would have that effect. In making such rules, the executive may derogate from the provisions of the new act, which is also the parent act. However, in every other instance where removal of difficulty is required, the Executive can make rules not inconsistent with the provisions of the parent Act. This implies Section 42 is an example of both the broad and narrow Henry VIII clauses. 
The court upheld the validity of the said clause. They stated the following: 
However, in a subsequent decision in Gammon India Limited., it has been explained that the decision in Jalan Trading was influenced by the words occurring at the end of Section 37 of the Payment of Bonus Act to the effect that the direction of the Government issued thereunder was final. It is meant "for giving effect to the provisions of the Act", it was held. Sub-section (2) of Section 42 of the A.P. Act does no doubt not contain the aforesaid offending words, and cannot, therefore, be characterized as invalid
The Bengal Iron Corporation's decision also being a Two – Judge bench cannot overrule the Jalan Trading verdict, however, serves as a guiding light in deciding what interpretation should be considered as valid in this regard. The Court in the Bengal Iron Corporation Case read the Gammon India Case as if it sought to imply that it was the finality clause in the “Removal of Doubt or Difficulty clause“ that influenced the decision of the Court in the Jalan Trading case. 
An assumption that the interpretation of both subsequent cases is correct is not only supported by the virtue of them being subsequent interpretations, but also by the fact that it has been noted on Indian Jurisprudence that broadening the ambit of a previous position by a subsequent decision of the same court is acceptable until there is a subsequent development that happens. This additional factor too ratifies the understanding taken by the court in Gammon India and Bengal Iron Corporation.
It may be therefore ascertained that Henry VIII Clauses are valid in India. They may be divided into two types, broad and narrow. The jurisprudence is clear on narrowly worded Henry VIII clauses and allows for their existence. The ambiguity arises on questions of the existence of wide – ambit Henry VIII Clauses, however, their existence is not impermissible, rather, they may be considered invalid in the event they delegate power too excessively.

[1] “Delegating Legislative Power”, Australian Law Reforms Commission, available here, accessed on 10th May 2019.
[2] Henry VIII Clauses & The Rule of Law, RULE OF LAW, Institute of Australia, available here.
[3] Jalan Trading v. Mill Mazdoor Union, 1967 SCR (1) 15.
[4] Gammon India v. Union of India, (1974) 1 SCC 598.
[5] Bengal Iron Corporation v. Commercial Tax Officer 1993 SCR (3) 433.

[This article is authored by Mr. Ishan Fouzdar, Christ University]

Owing to the extraordinary situation, said Mr. Pokhriyal, CBSE was advised to revise the curriculum and reduce the course load. Being an obedient Government institution, CBSE "rationalised" the curriculum for classes 9th to 12th, giving rationalism a different definition altogether. Fundamental chapters such as Democracy and Diversity, Gender Religion, and Caste were completely deleted from 10th syllabus. The ideas laid down in the historic Objectives Resolution moved by Jawaharlal Nehru as the very first motion in the Constituent Assembly, upon which The Indian Constitution was built were taken apart from the curriculum of 11th and 12th with the complete deletion of Secularism, Nationalism, Federalism, Citizenship, Regional Aspirations, Foreign Relations, etc. 

Foundations Deleted
Let's first analyze the deletion in the Civics portion of the 9th and 10th. The chapters deleted from the Civics portion of the 9th and 10th raise some serious issues. These chapters dealt with the idea of diversity and conflict. India breeds a diversity second to none in the global scene and if at all a comparative study had to be made, USSR (which eventually broke down) came the closest to the diverse society of India. When India was at the brim of its inception there were sinister views of India crumbling down following the exit of the British from the elite classes of the world. John Strachey's view summarises the predominant idea of India as the world understood it then; according to Strachey, 'India' was merely a label, 'a name which we give to a great region including a multitude of different countries' adding to that Strachey also said to his audience at Cambridge, ‘This is the first and most essential thing to learn about India- that there is not and never was an India'(Guha, 2017).  Ramchandra Guha calls India an ‘Unnatural Nation’ because the diversity which was supposed to take India down became the binding thread of the nation. Hence, the idea of Indian diversity and the role that it has played in the blooming of the nation is not a simple five-page read, it’s a rather complex and beautiful study that requires a strong foundation to begin with. The chapters deleted from the 9th and 10th curriculum laid down this foundation for further understanding the idea of Indian diversity and with them gone, a systematic approach to make India ‘Uniform’ seems to be underway. The difference between the terms ‘uniformity’ and ‘unity’ is scarcely understood and if I were to put it in the shortest possible way- unity shakes hands with diversity while uniformity handcuffs it. This basic understanding of the overused phrase “Unity in Diversity” was scribbled in these chapters and removing them is removing virtually a part of India from the textbooks. 

Religion, Gender, and Caste: A to-be Mythical Trinity 
Notwithstanding the beautiful diversity India has, there are conflicts that arise and are bound to arise in a diverse and democratic society. The chapter Religion Gender and Caste sketched out the three main axes of conflicts in India and how politics played out between them. This chapter is timeless and demonstrated to students that India is not an ideal egalitarian utopian country, it has its flaws and chinks. To solve a problem, the first step is to recognize it, the second step is to acknowledge it and the third step is to understand its roots. The problems of caste, gender, and religion have already made through the first two steps, this chapter laid the foundation for the third step- Understanding the roots. Henceforth, the removal of this chapter is, if not destruction of democracy, a sure dismantling of it, because democracy works on the ideals of accommodation and dialogue and dialogue is only possible when you understand what you are talking about. With these chapters gone, the very idea of conflict would be alien to students.

Democracy Diminished
Popular struggles and Challenges to Democracy showed two flip sides of the idea of governance which swept across the 20th century- Democracy. Popular struggles underlined the importance of democracy vis-à-vis its basic tenets. The chapter then went on to sight the struggles for democratic governments around the world giving prominent examples of Nepal and Bolivia. Challenges to democracy on the other hand went on to highlight the flaws that democracy has and the various challenges it faces. Together these two chapters gave students a well-balanced understanding of democracy and democratic governments. It’s difficult to predict what understanding of democracy would a student have without these chapters or if at all he/she will have any understanding. Democracy taught only as an ideology is incomplete and incompatible. Only after real-life events and examples have been cited can there be justice to the broad understanding of this idea and only then would students grasp the entirety of the picture. 

Assault on the Idea of India
One fails to understand what a kid who bravely chose Humanities in 11th grade would have to face after he goes through his 2 years without understanding the basics tenets on which India was built and which India still upholds. A keen observation of the deletion vis-à-vis curriculum of 11th and 12th would reveal the great assault on the very idea of India and the ideas which are synonymous to the nation. The junior classes gave an overview to the students regarding broad ideas such as democracy, democratic rights, etc. and the senior classes(11th and 12th) paid attention to specific individual concepts. Hence making the entire structure of political science sound and well built. However, the huge layoffs in the subject by CBSE has obliterated the entire structure and seems to be based on the principle of ‘why let a sabotaged building stand at all.” The deletion of chapters such as Secularism, Nationalism, Federalism, and Citizenship is by no means rationalising, it is a complete rip-off of the soul of the Indian Constitution. 

Federal, Quasi-Federal Who cares?
Federalism is a complex idea because of its dynamicity and the changing thought process of political ideologies. It is also important to mention that western ideas such as federalism, secularism, etc. wear different hats in the west and different hats in India. It was the ingenuity of the Forefathers and Foremothers of our Constitution to tweak the western ideas in order to adopt them in India which also stands as a rebut to the critics who term the Constitution as a work of duplication and manipulation. Indian Federal Structure is poles apart from America’s Federal Structure and is difficult to understand in that context. The chapter on Federalism dealt with the federal structure of India in detail, enabling students to understand what hat federalism wore in India. It dealt with center-state relations and also the role governor plays which is very important to understand the recent political crises in Maharashtra and Karnataka. The chapter also dealt with Article 356, the Emergency provisions, and the special case of Jammu and Kashmir. The chapter demonstrated the central bias in our federal structure (because of which it is sometimes called quasi-federal) and even goes on to state 257(1) and TT Krishnamachari on it. With all of that removed, how does one expect a student to understand the idea of federalism in India or even pronounce if India is federal or quasi-federal? Without the assistance of this chapter, it would be virtually impossible for students to grasp the dynamic idea of federalism and how it applies to countries to save India. Finally, the sui generis nature of Indian Federalism as DD Basu calls it (Basu, 2020) or Cooperative Federalism as Granville Austin calls it (Austin, 2019), is impossible to understand without digging deep into the idea. With the directions given by CBSE to touch upon the deleted concepts in order to establish connectivity with other chapters is an utter failure on the part of our policymakers; Federalism cannot be touched upon and understood on a whim, let alone connect with other chapters. Hence, the students have been deprived of an entire idea and not just a chapter!

Citizenship, Nationalism, and Secularism: The inter-twined disappearance
Citizenship, Nationalism, and Secularism form a paramount part of the Indian Constitution. The reason I group these three chapters together is that these ideas have developed overlapping spectrums since the ’90s with the rise of Hindu Nationalism. With growing alienation towards the minority communities, the emergence of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, and the coalition of Nationalism and Religion, these three chapters are by far the most important chapters for understanding India’s messed up political scenario. These chapters went into an in-depth understanding of the three ideas and how they had unfolded in India. Similarly, like federalism, Indian secularism is way off the European model of secularism and the difference is dealt with in the chapter. Nationalism is a concept that has been propagated without a proper understanding of it. Bluntly proclaiming nationalism as good or bad is doing complete injustice to the ideology and the chapter dealt with grey areas of nationalism that remain predominantly unexplored by the so-called Nationalists today. Citizenship is a huge area of study which the chapter encapsulated comprehensively, with the ideas of citizenship out there and what India adopted. The CAA has enjoined citizenship with religion as a result of the radical Hindu-nationalism. This enjoinment of the three concepts viz secularism, citizenship, and nationalism is a huge territory to explore and without the understanding of these three ideas individually it is simply not feasible to understand the enjoined idea. These chapters laid the foundation to understand Contemporary issues like that of CAA. How can someone who hasn't had the foundation right, begin to understand these complex issues? Let alone solve them.

An Unfillable Unfathomable Void
Notwithstanding the extraneous situation we are in, the cut down especially in the political science curriculum of classes 9th to 12th is an ignorant and abhorrent move by the CBSE. Rationalisation of the syllabus was surely done but predominantly in science and maths portions where scarcely any chapters were completely deleted. In these subjects, few units from chapters were deleted while the rest of the chapter survived. This brought down the syllabus but at the same time conserving the core concept of the chapter. For example, in Coordinate Geometry, from the chapter of Straight lines Shifting of origin and one other subunit was removed but not the entire chapter; this conserved the core idea of straight lines and also reduced the syllabus. 
The directions given by CBSE to school heads for teachers to explain the core ideas of the deleted chapters so as to establish a connection with other chapters is merely a formality and also an impossibility. You cannot, after deleting an entire chapter expect the teacher to teach the core idea of that chapter without explaining the different dimensions of the idea, the factors which led to that idea, and the application of that idea in different contexts. Explanation of an idea is not simply stating what the idea is and surely not in political science. Hence, on one hand, you tell the teacher that the chapters aren’t in the curriculum so finish up the course in the given time (which has enormously been reduced due to online classes), and on the other, you also tell her to explain the core concepts of the deleted chapters without teaching that chapters in the same time frame. The fathom of ignorance on the part of CBSE to not pay heed to the fact that concepts such as Secularism and Federalism cannot simply be explained without thorough understanding is enormous. One cannot simply tell a political science student of 11th grade that Federalism is but the distribution of powers between the organs of government and move on with it, this definition does not even start to scratch the surface of this idea. 
Hence, CBSE vis-à-vis reducing the burden of the curriculum, while coming up with a solution of rationalisation and applying it to Science and Mathematics turned its back when it came to Political Science. This move prima facie seems to systematically deprive students of their critical understanding in the political arena and creates a huge void of understanding in the curriculum. 

[1] India After Gandhi by Ramchandra Guha
[2] Introduction to Indian Constitution by Durga Das Basu
[3] The Indian Constitution by Granville Austin

[This article is authored by Shivani Lalan, Pondicherry University]

For anthropology, the roots of law lie in the shared responses to behavior that arise from culture. Law as seen in its “modern” form may well be an institutionalized response to those behaviors, whether positively or negatively reinforced. The American Anthropological Association defines the discipline in the following manner - "Anthropology seeks to uncover principles of behavior that apply to all human communities. To an anthropologist, diversity itself - seen in body shapes and sizes, customs, clothing, speech, religion, and worldview - provides a frame of reference for understanding any single aspect of life in any given community." Anthropology simply refers to the composite, comprehensive, and holistic study of humanity, keeping in mind all the variations and diversity therein and highlighting the same when required. 

Legal Anthropology
The discipline, while agreeing on the purview of law, does not quite share its exact definition. Anthropologist E.A Hoebel has the following explanation - “A social norm is legal if its neglect or infraction is regularly met, in threat or in fact, by the application of physical force by an individual or group possessing the socially recognized privilege of so acting”.  
This draws up the definition of a law, or what is legally enforceable by tracing the very root of such enforcement, which is found in the nucleus of culture or society - a social norm. The presence of a social norm indicates that there are behaviors that are accepted, and consequently rewarded, and those that are unacceptable and will promptly be met with punishment in some shape or form. Social norms engender and represent the very core of what a society believes is right or wrong. These conceptions may vary drastically across societies, thus creating the space for two or more such groups to be biased against each other’s systems of enforcing or upholding these norms. 

This was the beginning of legal anthropology - an evaluation of different legal systems found in varying cultures, and placement of the same on an evolutionary hierarchy. Anthropologists studying legal and political systems of cultures would proceed to then rank them in order of their place on the grand scale of evolution. This scale began from “primitive” stages of law and politics in tribes and ended in the Western conception of institutionalized justice and formal polity. Obviously, these anthropologists belonged to the latter end of their self-made spectrum. For them, the state of the law in any other culture must always be aimed towards or progressing to the standards set by the West. In anthropology, this expectation of cultures to match up to others, and the degradation of the same when they didn’t is termed as “ethnocentrism”. The Evolutionary school of thought in Anthropology was consistently ethnocentric in their views towards all aspects of culture, and the law was no exception to this outlook. In tribes where conflict resolution between two or more parties occurred through the counsel of a tribal chief, headman, or even a council of elders, the law was said to be less evolved than other forms. On the same scale, peasant societies that have designated upholders of law - even if they existed in the quasi-judicial or quasi-legal space - were said to be higher up. Further up the ladder were cultures that were non-Western, and yet had formal means of dispensing justice, in the presence of a formal authority that was non-partial and objective. The very top of this ladder was comfortably occupied by Eurocentric notions of formalized legal systems - the presence of a court, of a jury, systemized procedures, and elaborate codes that were formalized through a particular body of work (for instance, The Constitution). 

Contemporary Approach
Such an outlook is rightly outdated and outmoded in the modern study of legal anthropology. The evolutionary framework of social thought was debunked by subsequent schools, who advocated for the objective and non-comparative studies of cultures. Today, anthropologists focus on the intersections between cultures within a nation-state or a seemingly unified legal framework. This is to say that the focus lies on the disharmony between the cultural frames of formal law, and other cultures that exist outside it. Legal anthropology today tries to investigate what lies in between the intersections of culture and law, or what falls through the gaps of the grids made by the two. At the center of this effort is the need to examine the causality of conflicts between diverse cultures and cultural practices, and the legal systems that are implemented as per the state. 
This dissonance is the cause of many frictions not just in the practice of law, but also in many stages of policymaking and execution. Simply put, if a legal system is unaware of what the cultures it governs consist of, the said system is not going to be efficient at dispensing justice across topics like religion, property, marriage, family, language, and so on. This is where social norms come into play - knowing the norms that already exist in cultures of a state, the state machinery will be able to construct legal systems that do not bulldoze or even vilify those norms. The need for this consideration is simply that cultural norms hold a primal place in the shared attitudes of a people. Transgressing these laws, even if it is for the purpose of erecting a formal legal mechanism, does not guarantee that the mechanism and its constituents will be honored by the people. 

The Way Forward 
It is increasingly common for policymakers to consult anthropologists before rolling out new provisions. This is done to ensure the efficiency of the provision, such that its target population is able to fully utilize it for their benefit. Such instances have been seen across the world and across both public and private sectors. Law too has seen its share of having anthropologists working with lawyers to better understand situations of parties in conflict, whatever level it may be at. One of the most famous examples of such a collaboration in the case of Llewellyn (lawyer) and Hoebel (anthropologist). Together, they created some of the most important case studies in fieldwork in the domain of legal anthropology (although it was not addressed as such at the time). Their work together spanned across many cultures, the most famous of them being the study of the “law-ways of the Cheyennes” (Hoebel, 1941). The creation of their body of work gave rise to an interest in such types of collaborations, often also leading to more and more research on varying legal systems within subcultures in a state, and their interaction with the larger formal framework of the law. 
It is not characteristic of law to be partial or to present a picture in parts. Research in the field must be built along the same lines. For this purpose, a partnership between anthropology and law is beneficial not only to both the professionals in terms of their own accomplishments or publications but also to both disciplines in general, since the quest to build a holistic yet centered body of work. 

[1] Chris Fuller, Legal Anthropology,: Legal Pluralism and Legal Thought on JSTOR Anthropology 
[2] Today (1994), Available here
[3] Mark Goodale, Anthropology, and Law: A Critical Introduction (2017).
[4] The legal anthropological approach, Press-files.anu.edu.au, Available here
[5] William Twining, Law and Anthropology: A Case Study in Inter-Disciplinary Collaboration, 7 Law & Society Review (1973).

[This article is co-authored by Prakarsh K & Shruti Mishra, National Law Institute University, Bhopal]

Innovation has always been the focal point of human development. It is safe to say that an innovative mind has been more or less reserved for humankind. However, is there a way that we have found to share this gift of nature with an inanimate entity? And if so then what does that entail? 
Artificial Intelligence (Hereinafter referred to as ‘AI’) is the closest to a fabricated consciousness that has been created. Innovation by learning is one of the prime points of research in the field of AI. When we look at innovation from a legal perspective, the first thing that comes into consideration is the rights to protect it, specifically intellectual property rights (Hereinafter as ‘IPR’).
IPR includes various rights and protections given to individuals such as rights to recreate, sell, distribute, exclusive use, etc. It essentially protects the ‘intellect’ that flows from any individual. However, when these were brought into force it was with the consideration that it may only be applicable to a ‘person’. At that point in time, one could not fathom the possibility of what the future holds when it comes to inventiveness. AI has been hailed as the closest link between software and the human mind. It has a myriad of applications and quality, one of them being the ability to learn and evolve according to the environment it is provided. This has a humanizing effect as it can based on its learning go beyond what was coded into it to create something new. The creation can be unique, novel and will have its practical applications; considering these it may very well qualify to be registered as intellectual property.  
AI systems can be registered under their individual creators, however, what about the creation that comes from an AI? Who will it be registered under and who will have the rights to it is the moot point. 

The Humanizing Factor
One of the requirements for requesting a patent is for it to be done by a ‘person’ according to the Patents Act, 1970. [1] A ‘person’ may not necessarily be a biological term (Except for the U.S. where a patent can only be requested by a natural person.), [2] it can mean any entity having the status of a legal person which may include companies, firms, etc. [3] This establishes that it is not necessary to be made of blood and bone to be considered as eligible to hold the license and rights to an IPR.
Legal personality being granted to AI has already started being considered in various countries. [4] This consideration did not initially stem from the possibility of granting AI the rights for creations, instead, it was first discussed due to the criminal activities that AI might indulge itself into. To pin the liability on the doer or the enabler or creator was the question. While that was being discussed on the criminal front the civil branch started out in a positive direction discussing the possibility of giving AI rights. It was at this point that the possibilities in IPR were shed light on. 
It is pertinent to note here that it is not being suggested that AI be given the same status as a human being or anything similar, that would involve issues of moral and ethical character which is a totally different area. It is more of a corporate version of legal personhoods such as one granted to firms or organizations giving them limited rights and imposing liabilities.
It may also be a possibility that a new category may be created for AI as being a non-living entity but having a certain level of autonomy. Without the considerations of human sentiment but of human or even higher intellect. These may be included in a Statue bringing it under existing legislation or may be subject to an entirely new policy, either way, that is in the distant future. 

No Strings Attached: AI Autonomy  
It is no surprise that currently there exist no provisions whatsoever to grant AI intellectual property rights. 
“Without human intervention and training, AI algorithms will churn out the rubbish.”
Currently, the law does not see AI as an independent entity, it sees it as an intermediary between a human and the desired result. An aiding mechanism that makes data processing and such activities faster and easier. However, this is no more completely true and definitely will not be in the near future. 
Instances of autonomous AI innovations and actions are increasing with each passing day. There are instances wherein a commercially available AI system can integrate AI and machine learning dimensions to almost any software programme and process large amounts of data without any organized input. [5] All this without any actual human intervention. The initial product was a human creation, however, what about the software code it evolves on its own into something new. Further in the field of medicine and biotechnology scientists have been using AI to expedite the process of arriving at medicines and vaccines. Currently, this requires structured input of data however with the level of development this requirement has been decreasing. [6] AI is able to study biological data and arrive at inputs without any intervention.
AI is also used by reporting agencies to create pieces of work that they publish by simply allowing the AI to scourge through available material which is the exact same thing any other employee would have done prior to availing AI services. [7] 

Worthy Enough? IPR & AI
There have been cases across the globe wherein it was discussed that there is the requirement of human uniqueness when registering for IPR. [8] However, over the years these vague terms were overruled by judgments that watered down the requirements to be limited to the mere fact that it is not copied. In India, even derivative work may be considered as intellectual property as long as there can be a distinction that is drawn. [9] Derivative work is something AI has been used for time and again mainly used by news reporting agencies. [10] This presents a rather significant possibility of AI creating works that meet the minimum standard of the requirement for getting it registered. 
How would it work? Because even if it were allowed that IPRs may be registered under an AI or that the AI will have the first claim to the creation that would be a dead end. Even if AI is allowed to hold rights, it is still too far in the future to consider AI regulating its creations into the commercial world. Hence, AI systems meeting a certain level of standard requirements should be allowed to get the creation registered under them, just like companies or other organizations. However, the licenses to regulate, duplicate, distribute etc. should lie either with the original creator, or the current owner of the system. Basically, whoever’s made it possible for the AI to create what it did. 
It will definitely require time and detailed research and analysis as a combined effort of technicians and IPR specialists to actually come up with a comprehensive way to effectuate the aforementioned. 

Audi Alteram Partem: Liability
We cannot possibly talk only about the rights to be granted without hearing the other side of it i.e. liabilities. 
AI is programmed with the intention of reducing human intervention as much as possible. This leaves scope for the AI to wander into an unwanted direction. When AI has the ability to create new works it also has the ability to recreate existing works, either intentionally or unintentionally. There is scarce jurisprudence on instances where AI has infringed another individual’s IPR. This brings us to what we had discussed at the beginning regarding AI liability.
The fundamental question here would be the intention of whoever was the most proximate human link to the alleged AI action. Was the person who coded the system meant to code it in a way so as to recreate original works. Or was the person using the AI being aware of its functionality, knowingly fed it data that resulted in the alleged product. 
It would also be worthy to note that what the individual who effectuated the process does with the final product, as it would then show his intentions. If the individual distributes it, sells it, knowingly does so in a dubious way, it would be clear who to pin the liability on. 
If it is not one of the above-mentioned scenarios, it would be better to instruct the user under the guidance of an officially appointed technician to make sure that the AI is modified in a way so as to not recreate the alleged product. 

The ‘Why’ Factor
There have been petitions filed for granting AIs the property rights, discussions, and debates and research on this very topic. But why? 
The main aims of IP rights are promoting innovation and security to creators. However, in specific situations, we may have to look past that and think of the possible conflicts once autonomous creations by machines become a mainstream phenomenon. 
One of the possible points of conflict may be when various minimal-to-no human intervention AI systems promising novelty creations are commercially available. Consumers buying such products will expect the least amount of input from their side and a novel creation. If they do get the desired result, then what would stop the creator of the AI claiming a right to that invention because he is the one who created the AI in the first place. Sure, contracts can be made but how efficient would be signing contracts for every system and honestly when was the last time you actually read the terms and conditions for anything. 
There is already a point of conflict regarding such future regulations wherein ‘open’ movements for science and data are pressing on any and all creations made by AI to be freely available for the development of other AI systems and data. [11] If this is made possible then there would again be no incentive to obtain AI systems that create novelty items as the moment it is created, it becomes public. 
Such problems may be evident now or when we are faced with the situation in front of us. The only way to make sure it does not lead to chaos and hasty decisions is to start regulating it right from the beginning and get a head-start. 

Conclusion: Only the Tip of the Iceberg 
Artificial Intelligence and its capabilities are a gift that mankind has given itself. There are two sides to everything, and AI is no exception. The use of AI should be promoted however while keeping a tab on the developments. Nothing in today’s society can be allowed to stay unregulated. Policymakers have to balance the scales between preserving innovation and curbing misuse. 
AI is still in the process of reaching the stage where it will require compulsory IPR regulation. There are projects under development that will determine the future of AI technology, what we know now is still only the tip of the iceberg. However, one may never be too sure about the possibility of sudden advancement. Hence, the policies must remain in the loop with technology. The earlier we start regulating the larger will be the scope for evolving the policies along with the progression of technology. This will also leave minuscule room for situations that we are completely unprepared for. 
Artificial Intelligence is tricky, as it is an inanimate object with the only quality of humans that we cannot trust as an outsider, their thinking.  

[1] The Patents Act, 1970, Acts of Parliament, No. 39, 1970 (India).
[2] Aarsha, Whether Company registered under the Companies Act have corporate personality, Legal Service India, Available here
[3] Bacha F. Guzdar v. Commissioner Of Income-Tax, (1954), AIR 740, (India). 
[4] Politico, Europe Divided over Robot Personhood, POLITICO, (June 25,2020, 23:55), Available here
[6] Ahuja AS. The impact of artificial intelligence in medicine on the future role of the physician. PeerJ. 2019;7:e7702. Published 2019 Oct 4. DOI:10.7717/peerj.7702.
[7] Sandra Durcevic, Intelligent Reporting - How Big Data and AI Are Changing the Way We Create and Analyze Reports, DATAFLOQ.
[8] Bleistein v. Donaldson Lithographing Co. 188 U.S. 239, 23 S. Ct. 298 (1903). 
[9] Eastern Book Company & Ors vs D.B. Modak & Anr, (2007), Appeal (civil)  6472 of 2004, (India). 
[10] Enrique Dans, Meet Bertie, Heliograf And Cyborg, The New Journalists On The Block, Forbes, Available here
[11] WIPO, Artificial intelligence and intellectual property: an interview with Francis Gurry, Available here

[This article is co-authored by Tejas Satish Hinder and Prakarsh, National Law Institute University, Bhopal]

The debate about secularism in India today is arguably symptomatic of the increasing communalization of Indian society and politics. The resurgence of majority and minority fundamentalism, the reassertion of parochialism, the sudden outburst of the anti-reservation movement, and, above all, the call to liberate Lord Rama in Ayodhya, have all contributed towards the creation of the current state of “civil war” in the Indian society.
Between 1982 and 1985, the army was called out as many as 353 times to maintain law and order in different parts of the country. [1] Between 1980 and 1989, India witnessed close to 4,500 communal incidents, in which over 7,000 people lost their lives, [2] almost four times as many deaths in this type as in the 1970s. 
India’s intellectuals argue that secularism is essentially a western value, out of place in the Indian cultural context, They seek, instead, alternatives in the Indian past, turning to the “real India” of pre-colonial times and to its ‘history and mythology”, in the hope that “our past, in its essence, could be adopted for the future.” [3] They attribute the decline of secularism in India not to the social and political process at work under British rule, within the national movement and under the independent Indian state, but to the un-Indianness of the concept of secularism itself. [4]

The implications 
Secularism is implicit in the entire constitutional framework. What does secularism in the Indian Constitution mean? The question admits of no easy answer and cannot be restricted to textual interpretation alone. It is a constitutional value that seeks to manage India’s diverse and plural society, in an atmosphere of cohesiveness of national purpose.
The guarantee of equality in Article 14; the promise of non-discrimination in Articles 15 and 16; protection from religious taxes and religious instruction in state-funded institutions set in Articles 27 and 28; the permission of educational institutions of choice to linguistic and religious minorities in Articles 29 and 30; the promise of equal ballots devoid of sectional preferences in Article 325 - all make for a constitutional architecture which is devoid of any religious preference whatsoever. God is significantly absent throughout the Constitution. “One nation under God” is not the allegiance which the Constitution seeks of its citizens. Believer, atheist, and agnostic alike, the Constitution do not differentiate.
There are however provisions that seek to enforce equality within the Hindu religion in Articles 17 and 25(2)(b). Deference to Hindu sentiments on cow slaughter is also provided for in Article 48, as is the pious hope for a uniform civil code in Article 44. Taken as a whole package, the constitutional vision of secularism is one of principled equidistance from all religious matters, while at the same time regulating its practice in a manner consistent with the demands of modern society. Crucially, in Article 25(2)(a), we can find constitutional permission for the state to regulate or restrict “any economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice”.
Thus, it is fallacious to argue that the original Constitution as adopted, enacted, and given to ourselves on November 26, 1949, was not a secular document. The inclusion in the Preamble of the words “socialist” and “secular” by the 42nd Amendment on January 3, 1977, only headlined what was already present in the original text of the Constitution. We must also remember that the Preamble itself was drafted only after the Constitution was approved by the Constituent Assembly. The Preamble thus became a one-page mission statement of the republic’s intent. [5]

Judicial Stance on the issue 
In S.R. Bommai v. UOI [6], It was held that “Religious tolerance and equal treatment of all religious groups and protection of their life and property and the places of their worship are an essential part of secularism enshrined in our constitution. while the citizen of this country are free to profess, practice and prorogate such religion, faith or belief as they choose, so for as the state is concerned i.e. from the point of view of the state, the religion, faith or belief of a person is immaterial to it, all are equal and all are entitled to be treated equally.” Further the Court while emphasizing the significance of Secularism declared it as the basic structure of the Constitution.
The concept of secularism was not expressly incorporated in the constitution at the stage of its making. However, its operation was visible in the fundamental rights and directive principles. The concept of secularism, though not expressly stated in the constitution, was, nevertheless deeply embedded in the constitutional philosophy. The concepts of secularism are not static; it is elastic in connotation. In this area, flexibility is most desirable as there cannot be any fixed views in this concept for all time to come. The courts decide from time to time the contours of the concepts of secularism and enforce it in practice. In M Ismail Faruqui v. Union of India, [7] It was held that “It is clear from the constitutional scheme that it guarantees equality in the matters of religion to all individuals and groups irrespective of their faith emphasizing that there is no religion of the state itself. The preamble of the constitution read in particular with articles 25 to 28 emphasis this aspect and indicates that it is in this manner this concept of secularism embodied in the constitutional scheme as a creed adopted by the Indian people has to be understood while examining the constitutional validity of any legislation on the touchstone of Constitution.”
The concept of Secularism is one facet of the Right to Equality Woven as the Central golden thread in the fabric depicting the pattern of the scheme in our Constitution. Any steps inconsistent with these mandates are Unconstitutional. The Court further held that any state Government which pursues unsecular policies or unsecular course of action acts contrary to the Constitutional mandate and renders itself amenable to action under Article 356.
In Aruna Roy v. Union of India, [8] The court held that “The Concept of secularism is not endangered if the basic tenets of all religions all over the world are studied and learned. Value-based education will help the nation to fight against fanaticism, ill-will, violence, dishonesty, and corruption. These values can be inculcated if the basic tenets of all religions are learned.” The Hon’ble Supreme court has held in Lata Singh v. State of U.P.[9] “that caste barriers in societal interactions are anti-secular. Inter caste marriage shall be promoted, protected, and conserved by the state to promote greater secular values. This is also a part of the secularization process. The concept of secularism is not merely a positive attitude of religious tolerance. It is also a positive concept of equal treatment of all religions.”
Although the Constitution does not define what is meant by the word "religion," the Supreme Court of India has expressed divergent views on the meaning of religion.  In cases such as Hindu Religious Endowments v. Sri Lakshimdra Thirtha Swamiar, [10] the Supreme Court took an inclusive approach to religion:
On the other hand, some Supreme Court cases have taken a narrower view of religion. For instance in S.P. Mittal v. Union of India[11] the Supreme Court took a restricted view of religion and held that Sir Aurobindo's teachings were a philosophy, not a religion, despite his followers' belief that it was a religion. In other cases, the Court has given effect to the egalitarian vision of the Constitution. For instance, in the Temple Entry case, Sri Venkataramana Devaru v. State of Mysore[12] the Court found that the state legislation allowing all Hindus, including low caste Hindus, the right to enter temples did not violate the rights of religious institutions under Article 26(b) of the Constitution.
In addition to the general inclusive approach to religion, the Supreme Court has stated that religious practices or performances of acts that are essential to the pursuance of religious beliefs are as much a part of religion as faith or belief in particular doctrines. [13] The question of what practices can be considered to be an essential part of the religion is ascertained by examining the doctrines of that religion. [14] 

But if Indian Secularism has indeed been such a failure, why, one might ask, has India continued to pay lip-service to it? The answer, it is possible to argue, lies in the imperatives of nationalism, first in the need to unite India behind the nationalist leadership, and later, in the need to invent a legal and political framework in which “national unity” might be realized. These imperatives pushed even those who had little real commitment to genuine secularism to proclaim publicly their adherence to secular values. There thus has always been a hiatus, therefore, between the true meaning of secularism and the variant of secularism as espoused in India. [15]
If secularization, therefore, is to be understood as a process in which ties of religion, casteist, and ethnic particularisms are gradually transcended, in which politics are defined on rationalist and ideological lines, and in which religion, caste, and ethnicity are confined to the sphere of ‘private” life, then its reverse has occurred in India. Communal politicians have successfully used the economics of inequality, uneven development, and under-development to reinforce their stranglehold over society. [16]

[1] India Today, 15 May 1985, 5
[2] India Today, 15 January 1990, 34. Mushirul Hasan “In search of Intergration and Identity”, 2469.
[3] Veena Das, Difference and Division as Designs for Life, in Carla M. Borden (ed.) Contemporary India: Essays on the Uses of Tradition, pp. 46 (Delhi, 1986)
[4] Rajni Kothari, Will the State Wither Away?, The Illustrated Weekly of India, 8 July 1984
[5] Sanjay Hegde, Secular in spirit and in letter, The Hindu, Available here
[6] S.R. Bommai v. Union of India, AIR 1994 SC 1918
[7] M Ismail Faruqui v. Union of India, AIR 1995 SC 605
[8] Aruna Roy v. Union of India, Writ Petition (Civil) 98 of 2002
[9] Lata Singh v. State of U.P., Writ Petition (Crl.) 208 of 2004
[10] The Commissioner, Hindu Religious Endowments v. Sri Lakshimdra Thirtha Swamiar 1954 AIR 282
[11] S.P. Mittal v. Union of India 1983, SCR (1) 729
[12] Sri Venkataramana Devaru v. State of Mysore, AIR 1958 SC 895
[13] Ratilal Panachand Gandhi, AIR 1954 SC 388, 392; Venkatamana Devaru v. State of Mysore, AIR 1958 SCR 895, 909
[14] The Commissioner, Hindu Religious Endowments v. Sri Lakshimdra Thirtha Swamiar, 1954 AIR 282
[15] Prakash Chandra Upadhyaya, The Politics of Indian Secularism, Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 815-853 (Oct., 1992)
[16] Javeed Alam, The Political Implications of Economic Contradictions in Punjab, Social Scientist 161, 15 (10 October 1986)

[This article is authored by Aishwarya Agarwal, Bharati Vidyapeeth's New Law College, Pune]

Development of a country is measured through its GDP, infrastructure, and position in the global market but are these the only parameters to ascertain the growth of the country? No, one of the most important features is the quality of population i.e. the literacy rate, mortality rate, etc. To ascertain the progress of a country it is necessary to focus on the child and youth population of the country i.e. to provide them with basic necessities as well as a peaceful and protected environment to grow. India is home to a large population of which more than 30% comprises children between the age of 0-18 years. [1] Ministry of women and child development with UNICEF conducted a survey in 2007 which showed that out of total respondents 52.94% were boy child as compared to 47.06% who were girl child reporting cases of sexual abuse. [2] To protect children from such inhumane acts the government of India had taken several steps. 
Before the year 2012 protection of child against sexual offences were provided under IPC, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 but neither could address the issues of sexual abuse of male child efficiently. The ministry of women and child development addressed the issue by enacting Protection Of Child from Sexual Offence Act 2012 (POCSO) to provide protection to children from sexual offences and establish special courts for trials in such matters. The act was made gender-neutral in order to address the matters of sexual offences against male and female children below the age of 18 years. Until now the act addressed the issues in order to safeguard the rights of children but with time and increasing offences against children the need for even more strict measures arose and the new POCSO amendment act 2019 paved a way to resolve the matter. The amendments prescribed by the Act are as follows. 

Child Pornography
POCSO 2012 did not define child pornography. The term has been defined in the new amendment which provides a large scope for protection against such an offence and a much clear meaning of the same. The POCSO Amendment Act of 2019 defines child pornography as follows:
“Child pornography means any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child which include a photograph, video, digital or computer-generated image indistinguishable from an actual child, and image created, adapted, or modified, but appear to depict a child” [3]

Death Penalty
For the first time ‘death penalty’ has been introduced under POCSO by ‘The protection of children from sexual offences amendment act 2019’ for the crimes of aggravated sexual penetrative assault under section 6(1) of the act. Until now the act consisted of the punishments of fine, rigorous imprisonment and imprisonment for life or less.

Gender Neutral
One of the recent developments in the criminal law brought in by THE CRIMINAL LAW AMENDMENT ACT 2018 is that the person convicted of rape of a minor girl below the age of 12 years would be punished with the death penalty. The amendment was much appreciated and was considered to be a progressive step towards the protection of minor girls against such a heinous and inhumane crime, but it gave rise to concerns regarding the discrimination against male survivors of sexual assault for not getting equal justice. POCSO Amendment Act 2019 introduced the death penalty as a punishment for the convicts of aggravated sexual assault against both boys and girls, keeping the act gender-neutral and providing equal justice to the victims of the same offence.

Drugs and Chemicals
A whole new dimension has been provided in the act. With the changing world, new methods of exploitation have been invented and this has exposed the victims and the targeted groups to much more vulnerability. The ministry after the intensive research and deliberation have introduced clause (v) in section 9 of the principal act which says “whoever persuades, induces, entices or coerces a child to get administered or administers or direct anyone to administer, help in getting administered any drug or hormone or any chemical substance, to a child with the intent that such child attains early sexual maturity” [4] and the punishment accordingly.

Offence POCSO Act, 2012 POCSO
Amendment Act, 2019
Penetrative Sexual Assault
(Section 4)
(i) Imprisonment of not less than ‘seven years.’
(ii) It may extend to life imprisonment
(iii) And fine
(i) Imprisonment of not less than ‘ten years.’
(ii) It may extend to life imprisonment
(iii) And fine
Note: Clause 4(2) has been inserted specifying separate punishment for the offence held against children below the age of 16 years
Aggravated Sexual Assault
(Section 6)
(i) Rigorous imprisonment not less than ‘ten years.’
(ii) It may extend to life imprisonment
(iii) And fine
(i) Rigorous imprisonment not less than ‘twenty years.’
(ii) It may extend to life imprisonment
(iii) And fine, or
(iv) Death
Using a child for pornographic purposes
(Section 14)
(i) Imprisonment which may extend to ‘five years’ and fine.
(ii) In case of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment which may extend to ‘seven years’ and fine.
(i) Imprisonment of not less than ‘five years’ and fine.
(ii) In case of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment which shall not be less than ‘seven years’ and fine.

Court Orders
The recent Unnao, Kathua rape case and increasing child sexual abuse cases drew attention towards the much-needed reforms and measures to be taken in order to protect the vulnerable children from the sexual predators. The honorable Supreme Court of India took cognizance of the same and under a Suo Moto Writ Petition (Crl) No. 1/2019 passed an order on 25/7/19. The order consisted of directions as follows: [5]
  • In the districts where cases under POCSO exceeds 100, a special court should be set up which deals with only POCSO cases.
  • Such courts will be funded by the central government
  • The appointment of the panel should not only be on the basis of qualification but also the sensitivity towards victims of child sexual abuse. The public prosecutor has to match the same standards.
With this, the court directed the states to report the no. of cases, no. of courts, and other relevant information under POSCO in all the states individually and the progress on the given directions. After the assessment of conditions of states individually, regarding the no. of cases under POCSO, the honorable supreme court on 16/12/19 passed an order in which each state was directed to set up special POCSO courts according to the guidelines specified previously and separate criteria were laid down for the state of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal where the pendency of cases under POCSO was the highest. [6]

Although efforts have been made to protect and help the victims getting justice against sexual offences, it is still a long path down the road to eradicating this heinous crime from society. It is not a crime against an individual but a crime against society and this demands contribution from each and every person on their own level to help eliminate the mentality which gives rise to such offences.

[1]  2020. Population Composition. [ebook] Available here 
[2] 2020. Study on Child Abuse: India 2007. [ebook] Available here
[3] The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, 2019. 2 d (a).
[4] The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. 9.
[5] SUO MOTO WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL), (2019) SCC (India), Available here
[6] SUO MOTO WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL), (2019) SCC (India), Available here