Consumer Issues
Keep out journalistic activities from privacy law: Panel

Justice Shah Panel has suggested that publication of personal data for artistic and journalistic purposes need not be considered as infringement of privacy under the proposed legislation.

 
New Delhi: Journalistic activities should be kept out of the purview of the proposed right to privacy law, a government appointed expert panel has suggested, reports PTI.
 
The group headed by retired Justice AP Shah, in its report, suggested that publication of personal data for artistic and journalistic purposes need not be considered as infringement of privacy under the proposed legislation.
 
Besides, the group suggested that government could exempt application of privacy law in case of national security, public order, disclosures in public interest, prevention, detention and prosecution in criminal offences.
 
Referring to sting operation or act of whistle blowing, the report said a "public interest test" would be needed to determine whether personal information should have been disclosed along with all other material gathered.
 
Some restrictions, it said, would be necessary as information about public figures, elites and ordinary persons enters the public domain during the course of sting operation or act of whistle blowing.
 
The group under Shah, a former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, was set up by the Planning Commission in September 2011 to identify the privacy issues and prepare a report to facilitate authoring of the Privacy bill.
 

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Quantum of land losers' consent may go up in Land Acquisition Bill

Sources said Sonia Gandhi is not in favour of the GoM's proposal that consent of two-third of 'land losers' and instead supports earlier proposal which asks for 80% land losers' consent 

 
New Delhi: The Land Bill finalised by the Group of Ministers (GoM) is expected to undergo some more changes, particularly on the percentage of land losers' consent required for acquiring land, apparently at the insistence of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, reports PTI.
 
The draft bill will go to the Union Cabinet where these changes could be made, sources said.
 
The Cabinet would decide whether consent of 67% or 80% of owners is needed for acquiring land for private projects, they said.
 
Sources said Sonia Gandhi was not in favour of the GoM's proposal that consent of two-third of "land losers" (from whom land would be purchased) would be needed for acquiring land for public-private-partnership and private projects.
 
She supports the earlier proposal which says that 80% land losers' consent be needed before land could be acquired, they said and added that the issue will now be decided by the Union Cabinet.
 
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar-led GoM had to overcome sharp differences on this issue before clearing the long-delayed controversial Bill in its third meeting on 16th October.
 
The government had constituted the GoM about a month ago after some ministers voiced strong reservations against certain provisions of the Bill at the Cabinet meeting.
 
The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 was introduced in Parliament in September last year and was referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee which submitted its recommendations in May.
 
The Bill has been hanging fire even though the National Advisory Council headed by Gandhi has been pushing for the law and has framed its broad contours.
 

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Kingfisher offers three instalments of dues to staff before Diwali

While the Vijay Mallya-owned Kingfisher Airlines is offering up to three instalments of salary dues before Diwali, the striking employees insisted on a written assurance alleging that the management had earlier backtracked

 
Mumbai/New Delhi: A fresh bid was made on Monday by Kingfisher Airlines to resolve the 23-day-old impasse with its striking employees by offering up to three instalments of their salary dues before Diwali but the protesters insisted on a written assurance alleging that the management had earlier backtracked, reports PTI.
 
The offer was made to the employees’ representatives, who have been demanding payment of pending salary dues of at least four out of seven months before they resume work, held a meeting with management representatives at the Kingfisher House in Mumbai.
 
"There has been no written communication from the management in this regard. We don't know about any such offer," a pilot, who was part of the meeting, told PTI when asked whether the management had offered to clear two-three instalments of salary dues before Diwali in November.
 
"We cannot trust their words. They have gone back on their verbal promises earlier. We need a clear-cut written assurance," he said.
 
Airline sources, however, said such an offer was made to the employees during the discussions today.
 
The agitating staffs has already planned to hold demonstrations and other protest actions, especially during the upcoming Formula One motor race in which UB Group chief and Kingfisher promoter Vijay Mallya is involved.
 
The meeting came in the backdrop of the airline losing its license to fly with aviation regulator DGCA suspending it last Friday, capping three weeks of lockout in the beleaguered carrier.
 
Ahead of the talks, a company spokesperson had said, "it is our endeavour to restart operations at the earliest and we assure you we are working towards achieving this." 
 
"We have in any case always maintained that once the issues with the employees are resolved, we will first present our resumption plan to DGCA for review, before resuming operations," he had said.
 

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