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Supreme Court rejects pleas seeking review of 2018 Aadhaar verdict

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has dismissed a batch of pleas seeking review of its 2018 verdict which had upheld the Centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid but struck down some of its provisions, including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar, by a majority of 4:1, rejected the review pleas against the apex court’s September 26, 2018 verdict.

Justice D Y Chandrachud, one of the five-judges of the bench, dissented with the majority order and said that review petitions be kept pending until a larger bench decides the question related to certification of a bill as a money bill.

Justice Chandrachud, in his famous dissenting verdict in 2018 in the case, had held that Aadhaar Act should not have been passed as money bill as it amounts to a fraud on the Constitution and is liable to be struck down.

It was argued earlier in the apex court by the petitioners challenging the provisions of the Aadhaar Act that the Aadhaar Bill was certified as a money bill which enabled the government to get it cleared without getting the assent of a majority in the Rajya Sabha.

The present review petitions have been filed against the final judgment and order dated September 26, 2018. We have perused the review petitions as well as the grounds in support thereof. In our opinion, no case for review of judgment and order dated September 26, 2018 is made out, the majority order of January 11 said.

We hasten to add that change in the law or subsequent decision/judgment of a coordinate or larger bench by itself cannot be regarded as a ground for review. The review petitions are accordingly dismissed, the bench, also comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, S Abdul Nazeer and B R Gavai, said while also rejecting the prayer for open court hearing on the review petitions.

In his separate order, Justice Chandrachud said, I regret my inability to agree with the decision of the majority in dismissing the present batch of review petitions.

He noted that there were two critical questions among others — whether the decision of the Lok Sabha Speaker under Article 110(3) of the Constitution to certify a bill as a money bill’ under Article 110(1) is final and binding, or can be subject to judicial review and if the decision is subject to judicial review, whether the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 had been correctly certified as a money bill’.

Referring to another verdict delivered by a Constitution bench in September 2019, he said the majority opinion in 2018 Aadhaar judgement on whether the Aadhaar Act was a money bill’ under Article 110 has been doubted by a coordinate bench and the issues including what constitutes a money bill’, the extent of judicial review over a certification by the Speaker of Lok Sabha has been referred to a larger bench which has not been constituted.

Dismissing the present batch of review petitions at this stage – a course of action adopted by the majority – would place a seal of finality on the issues in the present case, without the court having the benefit of the larger bench’s consideration of the very issues which arise before us.

The correctness of Puttaswamy (Aadhaar-5J.) on issues pertaining to, and arising from, the certification of a Bill as a money bill’ by the Speaker of the House of People has been doubted by a co-ordinate constitution bench in Rojer Mathew, Justice Chandrachud said.

With the doubt expressed by another constitution bench on the correctness of the very decision which is the subject matter of these review petitions, it is a constitutional error to hold at this stage that no ground exists to review the judgment. The larger bench’s determination would have an undeniable impact on the validity of the reasons expressed in Puttaswamy (Aadhaar-5J.), on the constitutional issues pertaining to and arising out of the certification by the Speaker of the House of People, he said.

The failure to recontextualize the decision of the larger bench with regard to the Aadhaar Act being a Money Bill’ under Article 110(1) will render it a mere academic exercise, he said.

Justice Chandrachud noted that these review petitions had been filed before the judgment was delivered on November 13, 2019 in Rojer Mathew case.

If these review petitions are to be dismissed and the larger bench reference in Rojer Mathew were to disagree with the analysis of the majority opinion in Puttaswamy (Aadhaar-5J.), it would have serious consequences – not just for judicial discipline, but also for the ends of justice, he said, adding that these review petitions should be kept pending until the larger bench decides the questions referred to it.

In all humility, I conclude that the constitutional principles of consistency and the rule of law would require that a decision on the review petitions should await the reference to the larger bench, he said.

In the November 2019 verdict, the apex court had struck down in entirety the rules formulated by the Centre on appointment and service conditions for members of various tribunals, and referred to a larger bench the issue of examining the validity of the passage of the Finance Act 2017 as money bill which was vigorously opposed in Parliament by opposition parties.

Source: Press Trust of India

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Vi showcases 5G

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NEW DELHI: Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), leading telecom operator, today demonstrated a range of 5G-based technology solutions as part of its ongoing 5G trials on government allocated 5G spectrum in Pune, Maharashtra and Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

According to Ravinder Takkar, MD & CEO, Vodafone Idea Limited, “With our 5G trials underway, Vi is preparing to take India on the next journey of fifth generation wireless mobile communication technology. Our 5G trials showcase a whole new world of possibilities across various domains that promise a new era of technology advancement in India. I am confident that 5G will bring a better tomorrow that will deliver significant benefits to consumers, businesses and society, driving digital economy growth in India.”

With the purpose for a better tomorrow, Vi has been conducting 5G trials and developed a wide range of use cases relevant for Enterprises and Consumers in India. Vi has partnered with industry leaders like L&T Smart World & Communication, Athonet, Indian start-ups like Vizzbee & Tweek Labs, and technology leaders – Ericsson and Nokia for trialling use cases in the two locations.

Committed to helping its customers thrive and have a better tomorrow, Vi is leveraging the power of 5G technology across segments such as industry 4.0, smart cities, smart healthcare, smart workplace, smart education, smart agriculture, gaming, amongst others. Vi’s trials have proven that high data speed, low latency and reliability of 5G technology, can bring about massive developments by enhancing business performance, revolutionizing customer experience, changing consumer lifestyle and positively impacting people dwelling in remote corners of India.

Vi has been allocated 26 GHz and 3.5 GHz spectrum in the mmWave band by the DoT, for 5G network trials and use cases. Vi has achieved peak speeds in excess of 1.5 Gbps on 3.5 GHz, more than 4.2 Gbps on 26 GHz and up to 9.8 Gbps on backhaul spectrum of E-bands.

The 5G trial network set up by Vi in Pune, deploys Ericsson Radios and Ericsson Dual Mode Core based on cloud native technology comprising of 5G SA, 5G NSA & LTE packet core functions. All use cases demonstrated in Pune have been developed over Ericsson’s 5G technology solutions.

In Gandhinagar, Vi is using Nokia’s AirScale radio portfolio and Microwave E-band solution for the trial that support enterprises, both large and small and medium businesses with reliable connectivity. Vi use cases in Gandhinagar were demonstrated via a live telecast at the special media preview held in Pune.

 

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LTI, IBM inaugurate innovation and experience center in Bengaluru

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NEW DELHI: Larsen & Toubro Infotech, a global technology consulting and digital solutions company has opened an Innovation & Experience Centre at LTI Whitefield campus in Bengaluru (India) focusing on IBM technologies. The Center will assist enterprises in modernizing their operations and accelerating digital transformation journeys.

This Innovation and Experience Center will showcase LTI solutions that have been co-created using IBM technologies such as IBM Cloud and Cloud Paks. The Centre will also serve as a forum for customers to engage with LTI and IBM technical resources for in-depth technology briefings, solution demos, software, tool access and solution workshops.

Sudhir Chaturvedi, President-Sales and Executive Board Member, LTI, said: “The rapid technological advances make it necessary for customers to experience solutions before adopting them. Our new center in Bengaluru fulfils this need for the joint customers of IBM and LTI. This center will offer combined benefits of LTI’s rich domain proficiency and IBM’s deep technical expertise, and thereby assist clients in their transformation journey.”

Through this center, IBM and LTI will collaborate and invest in creating joint solutions and develop industry viewpoints around digital transformation, hybrid cloud, data & AI, and security services. In addition, both LTI and IBM teams, will work with customers to address their requirements around driving digital transformation and managing multiple clouds.

Evaristus Mainsah, GM, Hybrid Cloud and Edge Ecosystem, IBM, said, “This center is an outcome of our growing alliance with LTI to help clients predict, automate, secure, and modernize their business operations. We are confident our clients will benefit from the ease of access to industry-specific assets and customized joint solutions with IBM’s open hybrid cloud approach that will help to accelerate their transformation journeys.”

Distinct features of the center include an IBM Playground for associates to explore and experiment with prototypes, History Zone that highlights LTI-IBM alliance journey, joint customer success stories, Innovation Zone for brainstorming on innovative ideas and planning future offerings, and Discussion Zone with feedback mechanism to ensure continuous improvement.

LTI has strong capabilities in IBM’s Digital Business Automation portfolio. LTI’s Automation consultants are helping clients in driving productivity improvements with industry specific pre-built IBM frameworks. Earlier this year, LTI and IBM had announced expansion of their global alliance.

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Cygnet Infotech’s Cygnature adds a new feature; helps procure an electronic stamp online

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NEW DELHI: Cygnature by Cygnet Infotech, the global Technology Products & Services company, has added an important feature called ‘e-stamp’ to its e-signing solution. Cygnature is an award-winning signing solution that securely authenticates signers, offers them a range of signature types for signing and protects the integrity of the documents.

With the e-stamp feature, businesses will be able to procure e-stamps through Cygnature platform and significantly ease the process of stamping documents.

COVID-19 has been a catalyst in pushing industries to move towards a paperless economy by offering a faster way of executing documents. Cygnet Infotech’s Cygnature supports organizations when it comes to digitally transforming their businesses. Cygnet Infotech’s Cygnature has added a useful feature ‘E-Stamp’ in its latest release providing multiple benefits. E-stamp can be generated within minutes using this feature. It can help you save time as physical stamp paper procurement is a time-consuming process. Users can prepay the stamp duty amount and then issue stamp papers against that balance.

With Cygnature, the solution can help digitize the process of paying the stamp duty and procuring e-stamp challan online rather than going to a stamp paper vendor to procure traditional stamp paper:

1. Initiate a workflow by uploading an agreement on Cygnature

2. Add E-stamp, select state and stamp duty amount to be paid for the relevant document category

3. Provide details of first and second party

4. On confirmation of details, the e-stamp challan will be generated and gets added instantly to the uploaded agreement

5. Both the parties can then continue to sign the document using Cygnature by adding placeholders to e-sign the document

6. The stamp duty amount will be deducted from the prepaid amount you deposit in your Cygnature account

7. The physical copies of the stamp paper will be couriered at the end of the month to the consumer’s address

Cygnature will not provide advice on the amount of stamp duty to be paid. This will have to be decided by the user.

Niraj Hutheesing, Founder & Managing Director at Cygnet Infotech said, “Cygnet Infotech’s product, Cygnature has been developed with an aim to promote seamless digital signing of documents. With the introduction of Cygnature’s E-stamp feature, we seek to further support businesses in speeding up the process of authorization of documents. Paying stamp duty is mandatory for many transactions across the country, and to simplify the process, e-stamp will help tackle counterfeiting and will further make the payment of stamp duty easier and glitch free.”

In this latest release, Cygnature’s E-stamp feature will be available for 5 states – Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

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