Here are Legal Bites March 2023 monthly GK updates. The notable happenings of the months were related to Land Allotment for Lawyers, RBI, SEBI, Finance Bill, 2023 and so on.

Here are Legal Bites March 2023 monthly GK updates. The notable happenings of the months were related to Land Allotment for Lawyers, RBI, SEBI, Finance Bill, 2023 and so on. We have covered all the happenings in the gist so that it helps the readers to remember all legal and current updates about March 2023 most efficiently and easily.

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Key Highlights: Legal Bites March 2023

1. Laws against Drink and Drive | # Must know

2. Parliamentary Sovereignty v. Judicial Supremacy: World and India

3. Case Analysis: Ashutosh Samanta (D) By Lrs. & Ors. v. SM. Ranjan Bala Dasi & Ors., (2023) | Wills cannot be proved only on the basis of age

Legal Updates and Current Events Test Series 2023: Practice MCQs pertaining to recent legal and current issues covering national and international aspects along with a detailed explanation for all competitive exams.

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Legal Bites March 2023: Monthly Legal Updates

1) NGT bans building temporary bridges on Yamuna for mining in Haryana

On 1st March, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) barred Haryana from allowing the construction of temporary bridges by mining contractors across the Yamuna for sand mining. The directions came in a case where the Haryana Government’s policy, dated October 19, 2021, for allowing such bridges across the river is under challenge.

2) Supreme Court on Land Allotment for Lawyers’ Chambers

The Supreme Court on 2nd March 2023 witnessed a heated courtroom exchange between Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud and Supreme Court Bar Association president senior advocate Vikas Singh over allotment of land for lawyers’ chambers. Chief Justice Chandrachud said the judges were not sitting idle and were battling with a large caseload. The CJI said the matter would be listed on April 17, but not as the first item on the case list for that day.

3) Panel set up by the Supreme Court for probing Adani's fraud allegations

On 2nd March, India’s Supreme Court set up an independent panel to investigate a US research firm’s allegations of fraud against billionaire Gautam Adani’s business empire. Hindenburg Research had accused Adani Group firms of stock manipulation and financial fraud in a report in January, sending its shares into a sharp fall. The Supreme Court appointed a five-member panel to investigate the allegations. The committee will be headed by former judge Abhay M Sapre and has been asked to give its report in two months.

4) Delhi High Court rejected the “Jain Shikanji” trademark plea

On 2nd March, the trial court restrained a company run by one member of the ‘Jain family’ from using the trademark ‘Jain Shikanji’ for a masala-based lemon drink, while recognising the rights claimed by another member of the same family. The Delhi High Court Wednesday dismissed a plea against a trial court’s interim order which restrained a company run by one member of the ‘Jain family’ from using the trademark ‘Jain Shikanji’ for a form of a lemon-based drink laced with masala while recognising the rights claimed by another member of the same family over the trademark.

5) Sona Mandhira restrained from using ‘Sona’ trademark by Delhi High Court

In a new turn in the family’s legal battle, the Delhi High Court has recently granted an interim injunction asking Sona Mandhira Pvt. Ltd. to refrain from using Sona BLW Precision Forgings Ltd. (Sona BLW)’s registered trademark “SONA” in any manner or any other trademark/trade name/logo containing “SONA”. The legal battle between siblings Mandira and Sunjay, children of the late Surinder Kapur, has just begun and could potentially be lengthy.

6) Bajaj Finserv gets SEBI's approval to enter into a mutual fund business

On March 2nd, Bajaj Finserv secured the final approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to enter into the mutual fund (MF) business. The approval from SEBI will enable the company to complete its suite of financial solutions for retail customers.

7) SEBI imposes Rs 6 lakh penalty on MCX in data entry norms case

On March 2nd, the Share Exchange Board of India imposed a penalty of Rs 6 lakh on Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) for flouting norms in a case pertaining to data entries of Sikkim-based clients. The matter relates to incorrect input of State code and City code as Sikkim by seven trading members of MCX in the UCC (Unique Client Code) database. SEBI found that MCX imposed a penalty of Rs 10,000 per client on these trading members for wrong entries in June 2022.

8) MV Suchindra Kumar Appointed as Army’s New Vice Chief

On March 3rd, Lieutenant General MV Suchindra Kumar is announced as the new Vice Chief of Army staff. He took over as Jaipur-based Sapta Shakti Command. He holds extensive experience in force structuring, intelligence, operations, tech infusions and operational logistics in recent years. Prior to his newly appointed position, he served as the Deputy Chief of Army staff at the Army headquarters.

9) SBI raises $1 Bn under a 5-year syndicated social loan for ESG funding

On March 3rd, the country's largest lender, State Bank of India, raised $1 billion in its largest syndicated social loan for onward lending to ESG projects, affordable housing and self-help groups (SHGs). The deal was the largest Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) loan by a commercial bank in the Asia Pacific and the second-largest social loan globally.

10) India and Italy signed MOU on Defence Cooperation

On March 3rd, India and Italy announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation. Italy had decided to join the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI). This will enable India to identify concrete themes for enhancing our cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. The two countries also concluded a Declaration of Intent (DOI) on migration and mobility.

11) Supreme Court orders removal of encroachers from “Yamunanagar School”

On 3rd March, a Bench, led by Justice MR Shah, reversed a 2016 order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to legalise the unauthorised occupation of a school land on the payment of the market price by the encroachers, terming it “a very serious error”. Stating that there can’t be a school without a playground, the Supreme Court today ordered the removal of encroachment from the premises of a school in Yamunanagar district.

12) RBI launches mission Har Payment Digital to make every citizen a user of digital payment

On March 3rd, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched a mission "Har Payment Digital" with the aim of making every citizen in the country a user of digital payments as part of Digital Payments Awareness Week (DPAW) 2023. The theme of the awareness week is "Adopt digital payments and Teach others also".

13) India and Mexico signed a Memorandum of Understanding on research, technology and innovation collaborations

On March 4th, India and Mexico signed a Memorandum of Understanding on research, technology and innovation collaborations with a focus on several key technology areas like Aerospace, Electronics Instrumentation & Strategic Sectors; Civil, Infrastructure & Engineering; Ecology, Environment Earth & Ocean Sciences and Water; Mining, Minerals, Metals & Materials; Chemicals (including leather) and Petrochemicals; Energy (Conventional & Non-Conventional) and Energy Devices; Agri, Nutrition & Biotech and Healthcare.

14) Uttar Pradesh government exempted Electric Vehicles buyers in the state from tax, registration fees

On March 5th, the Uttar Pradesh Government decided to exempt road tax and registration fees on the purchase of Electric Vehicles (EVs) for three years from the 14th of October, 2022 in its bid to promote electric vehicles. As per the Uttar Pradesh Electric Vehicle Manufacturing and Mobility Policy 2022, a 100 per cent tax exemption will be given on electric vehicles (EV) sold and registered in Uttar Pradesh from October 14, 2022, to October 13, 2025. The government will provide benefits for EV buyers, which will be valid for five years if the purchased electric vehicle is manufactured in the State itself.

15) RBI fines Amazon Pay (India) Rs 3 Cr for not complying with PPI & KYC norms

On March 6th, the Reserve Bank of India imposed a penalty of Rs 3.06 crore on Amazon Pay (India) Pvt. Ltd for non-compliance with provisions of the Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) norms and Know Your Customer (KYC) norms. The penalty has been imposed in the exercise of powers vested in RBI under Section 30 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.

16) Shaliza Dhami is the first woman to be appointed to an IAF command post

On March 7th, In the first command appointment for a woman officer in the Indian Air Force, Group Captain Shaliza Dhami was selected to take over the command of a frontline combat unit in the Western sector. The officer is presently posted in the Operations branch of a frontline Command Headquarters. Group Captain Shaliza Dhami was commissioned in 2003 as a helicopter pilot and has over 2,800 hours of flying experience.

17) Indian Navy successfully tested Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile from INS Visakhapatnam

On March 7th, Indian Navy has successfully undertaken Medium Range Surface Air Missile (MRSAM) firing from INS Visakhapatnam, validating the capability to engage Anti-Ship Missiles. The MRSAM was jointly developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israeli Aerospace Industries at Bharat Dynamics Limited.

18) Indo-US developed NISAR Satellite Reached ISRO

On March 8th, as per the India and US collaboration, NISAR Satellite has been built jointly by NASA and ISRO and is set to take off by 2024. The satellite has been rendered to ISRO Space Agency which is intended to observe and measure land and ice masses on Earth, among various other activities. NASA asserted that this radar imaging satellite would use dual frequencies to assess complex issues such as melting glaciers, ecosystem disruptions, etc.

19) Army installed the tallest Iconic National Flag in the hilly Doda district, J&K

On 9th March, Army installed the tallest 'Iconic National Flag' in the hilly Doda district, Jammu and Kashmir. The tricolour which has been installed on a 100 feet-high pole, the highest Tricolour in the Doda district, was unfurled by GOC Delta Force, Maj Gen Ajay Kumar along with Commander 9 sector RR Brig.

20) 5th ASEAN-India Business Summit

On 9th March, 5th ASEAN-India Business Summit 2023 was held themed "Strengthening and Moving Forward ASEAN-India Economic Relations for a Strategic Business Partnership". It is being held as part of the ASEAN-India Year of Friendship to commemorate the more than three-decade-long engagement between India and the 10-member bloc in Kuala Lumpur.

21) Uttarakhand became India’s first state to start an insurance scheme for sericulturists

On March 10th, Uttarakhand launched the country’s first “Resham Keet Bima” programme to safeguard its Seri culturists. 200 Seri culturists from five blocks in four districts—Dehradun, Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar, and Nainital—received insurance in the first phase of the pilot project, which started in Uttarakhand. This insurance protects them from the effects of climate change, water scarcity, and other dangers.

22) Birsa Munda in Guinness Book as the world’s largest hockey stadium

On March 11th, The Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium was officially recognized as the largest fully seated hockey stadium in the world. The stadium can seat 20,011 with an uninterrupted viewing experience and boasts world-class facilities for players and viewers.

23) Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the world's longest railway platform in Indian state of Karnataka

On March 12th, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the world's longest railway platform of 1.5 kilometres at Sri Siddhaarooda railway station in Hubballi in the Indian state of Karnataka. The second-longest platform is in Gorakhpur City in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh measuring 1,366.33 metres. Meanwhile, the third-longest platform is at Kollam Junction in Kerala measuring 1,180.5 meters.

24) Oscars 2023: Indian film RRR creates history, 'Naatu Naatu' wins Best Original Song

On March 13th, the 95th Academy Awards ceremony was held where India's 'Naatu Naatu song' from SS Rajamouli's film RRR made history by becoming the first Indian film to win an Oscar for best original song. Another Indian entry in the Academy Awards, 'The Elephant Whisperers' also won an Oscar in the Best Documentary Short Film category.

25) Climate Entrepreneur Shreya Ghodawat appointed as the India Ambassador of She Changes Climate

On March 13th, Shreya Ghodawat has newly been appointed as the India Ambassador of She Changes Climate – a global campaign driving awareness of the crucial role of women in accelerating just climate action. The global non-profit organisation launched a special initiative for International Women's Day titled 'Embrace Equity' that aims to amplify the voices of women around the impacts of climate change.

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26) National Youth Conclave 2023

From the 13th to 14th March, India’s biggest youth summit- ‘National Youth Conclave’ is being organized by the Smart Cities Mission, MoHUA, Department of Youth Affairs and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA). The event is organized under the aegis of India’s G20 presidency in 2023, and aligns with the Urban20 and Youth20 engagement groups.

27) Reliance’s buyout of METRO Cash & Carry India gets CCI's clearance

On March 14th, the Competition Commission of India approved Reliance Retail Ventures’ (RRVL’s) acquisition of METRO Cash & Carry India for a cash consideration of Rs 2,850 crore. RRVL is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, while METRO Cash & Carry India is engaged in wholesale operations in India. Through this acquisition, RRVL gets access to a wide network of METRO India stores across key cities, a large base of registered mom-and-pop stores (kiranas), other institutional customers, and a supplier network.

28) NCLT approves GAIL’s Rs 2,079 Cr resolution plan for JBF Petrochemicals

On March 14th, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the GAIL’s Rs 2,079 crore resolution plan for JBF Petrochemicals, which owed Rs 7,918 crore to a consortium led by IDBI Bank. The other secured lenders of the company are Union Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Exim Bank and Indian Overseas Bank, among others. With this deal, GAIL became the second PSU after Indian Oil Corporation, which recently decided to take over another bankrupt private sector company Mercator through the IBC route.

29) Atal Innovation Mission launched ATL Sarthi

On March 14th, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) – NITI Aayog launched ATL Sarthi, a comprehensive self-monitoring framework to strengthen the ever-growing ecosystem of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL). Atal Innovation Mission is establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India to foster curiosity, creativity, and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design thinking mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.

30) First international conference on Shared Buddhist Heritage to begin in New Delhi

On March 14th, The first international conference on Shared Buddhist Heritage commenced in New Delhi. It is being organized with a focus on India’s civilizational connection with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) nations 2023. The two-day conference aims at re-establishing trans-cultural links and seeking out commonalities between Buddhist art of Central Asia, art styles, archaeological sites and antiquity in various museum collections of the SCO countries.

31) Indian Coast Guard Region (North East) organized 4th Table top exercise in Kolkata

From March 14th to 16th, Indian Coast Guard Region (North East) is conducting the fourth edition of the Tabletop exercise under the aegis of Colombo Security Conclave in Kolkata. Apart from the Indian Coast Guard, representatives of member nations of Colombo Security Conclave - Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Mauritius – along with observer countries - Bangladesh and Seychelles -are participating in the exercise. Discussions are being held on topics pertaining to challenges in the maritime domain, such as tackling threats from anti-national elements, marine pollution response, search & rescue and damage control at sea.

32) India & World Bank signed loan agreement for the construction of Green National Highway Corridors Project in 4 States

On March 16th, India and the World Bank signed a loan agreement for the construction of the Green National Highway Corridors Project in four States. These States are Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. The agreement has been signed for the construction of 781 kilometres in these States, with loan assistance of 500 million dollars.

33) RBI imposes a fine of Rs 5,00,000 on HDFC over the transfer of deposits

On March 17th, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 5 lakh on mortgage financier HDFC Ltd for failing to transfer matured deposits of certain depositors to designated bank accounts of such depositors during the period 2019-20. The housing finance company was penalized because it was found to be non-compliant with certain provisions of the Housing Finance Companies (NHB) Directions, 2010 issued by the National Housing Bank (NHB).

34) RBI’s Shaktikanta Das conferred ‘Governor of the Year Award 2023’

On March 17th,In the Central Banking Awards that were held recently, Shaktikanta Das has been honoured with the “Governor of the Year” 2023 Award. He is currently serving in the Reserve Bank of India as the 25th-term governor at present. Previously, he was a member of the 15th Finance Commission and also India’s Sherpa at the G20 Summit.

35) Annual Bilateral Maritime Exercise Konkan 2023

From 20th to 22nd March, Konkan 2023, the annual bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy, was held on the Konkan coast in the Arabian Sea. INS Trishul, a guided missile frigate, and HMS Lancaster, a Type 23 guided missile frigate, participated in this edition and undertook multiple maritime drills to enhance interoperability and imbibe best practices. The exercises covered all domains of maritime operations, air, surface and sub-surface, helicopter operations, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare drills, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), ship, manoeuvres and exchange of personnel.

36) Tanzania announced an outbreak of the deadly Marburg virus disease

On March 21st, Tanzania announced its first outbreak of the deadly Marburg virus disease (MVD), in the country’s northwest Kagera region. MVD was discovered in 1967 in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany and Belgrade, Serbia. It is from the same “virus family” as Ebola and causes severe hemorrhagic fever, while fatality rates have varied from 24% to 88%. There have been several outbreaks since its discovery, with the worst being in Angola in 2004-2005, where there were 252 cases and 227 deaths.

37) Cabinet approves Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Raw Jute for 2023 -24 season

On March 22nd, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Raw Jute for the 2023-24 season. The approval is based on recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). The MSP of Raw Jute (TD-3 equivalent to earlier TD-5 grade) has been fixed at Rs.5050/- per quintal for the 2023-24 season. This would ensure a return of 63.20 per cent over the all-India weighted average cost of production.

38) India, U.S. to launch a semiconductor sub-committee

On March 22nd, India and the United States signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will pave the way for creating a semiconductor sub-committee under the Commercial Dialogue between the U.S. Department of Commerce and India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Ministry of Commerce. One of the major outcomes of the Commercial Dialogue was the memorandum of understanding on establishing a semiconductor supply chain and innovation partnership.

39) Uganda passed a law making it a crime to identify as LGBTQ

On March 22nd, Uganda’s parliament passed a law making it a crime to identify as LGBTQ. More than 30 African countries, including Uganda, already ban same-sex relations. In addition to same-sex intercourse, the law bans promoting and abetting homosexuality as well as conspiracy to engage in homosexuality.

40) Rajasthan is the first Indian State to pass RTH Bill

On March 23rd, Rajasthan became the first state in India to pass a Right to Health in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. Every resident will be able to avail of accessible Out Patient Department (OPD) and In-Patient Department (IPD) services at all hospitals or public healthcare facilities.

41) Supreme Court bars NCLT from making any changes to an approved Resolution Plan post approval by the Committee of Creditors

The Apex Court ruled that once a resolution plan stands approved by the Committee of Creditors (CoC), it may be approved or disapproved by the Adjudicating Authority (NCLT). However, no alterations or modifications are permissible to it by the NCLT.

42) Transfer of a stock exchange membership card by a non-whole time director to a Co. wouldn’t entitle ‘fee continuity benefit’ to such Co.

The Apex Court held that the transfer of a stock exchange membership card by a non-whole-time director to a company would not entitle the company to claim ‘fee continuity benefit’ under clause (4) of Schedule III of the SEBI (Stock Brokers and Sub-Brokers) Regulations, 1992.

43) Reliance Jio second-strongest telecom brand in the world- Brand Finance Report

On March 28th, According to the list released by UK-based Brand Finance on the world’s 150 most valuable telecom brands for 2023, a leading brand valuation company, Reliance Jio climbed up to number two rank up from fifth place last year in a list of the top 10 strongest telecom brands in the world. Based on the scores, Reliance Jio is behind only Swisscom and ahead of Etisalat, MTC, and Singtel. Last year, it was fifth in the pecking order, behind Etisalat (in the top slot) Swisscom, PLDT, and MTN.

44) Lionel Messi won FIFA Best Men’s Player award, Alexia Putellas gets Best Women’s Player

On March 28th, Lionel Messi was named FIFA Player of the Year after winning his maiden World Cup title with Argentina in December in Qatar. He scored two goals in the World Cup final, which Argentina won on penalties against France. The best women’s player was Spain’s Alexia Putellas for a second straight year. Putellas won her award from Alex Morgan of the United States and Beth Mead, who led England to the European Championship title in 2022.

45) SEBI puts off freezing MF folios without nomination to September end

On March 28th, SEBI postponed the decision to freeze mutual fund folios without nomination to September 30, 2023, instead of March-end. SEBI prescribed the requirement for nomination and opting out of it for all the existing individual unit holders holding mutual fund units either solely or jointly by March 31, 2023, failing which the folios shall be frozen for debits.

46) Changed introduced in the Finance Bill 2023 (as approved by Lok Sabha)

On March 27th, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha passed the Finance Bill, 2023. The Bill has been passed with more than 60 changes in the Finance Bill introduced on February 01, 2023. New amendments have been made and some proposed amendments have been modified.

47) Prosecution’s inability to determine the identity of the deceased body is not a basis for acquittal

According to the Gujarat High Court, it is not sufficient to cause for an acquittal when the prosecution is unable to identify the deceased based on a DNA report. The same was stated by the Gujarat High Court on 30th March, in the case: State of Gujarat vs. Sureshbhai Honjibhai Gamit.

48) Supreme Court has ordered the Centre to provide information regarding the cheetah task force members’ qualifications

On March 30th, in response to the death of the female cheetah “Sasha,” the Supreme Court ordered the Center to document the qualifications and experience of the members of the cheetah task force and to identify which members have experience managing cheetahs. This was during proceedings of Centre for Environment Law WWF-I v. Union of India.

49) High Court of Guwahati stated that “A police officer’s confession in the absence of a magistrate cannot serve as the basis for a conviction”

On March 30th, while acquitting a woman who had been found guilty of killing her husband, the Guwahati High Court ruled that a confession given to police officers outside of the presence of a magistrate could not serve as the foundation for a conviction under Section 302 IPC because it was not admissible as evidence. This was stated in the proceedings of the case: Bijuli Bala Rabha v. State of Assam & Anr.

50) Supreme Court stated that- “a court cannot prescribe qualification or declare a course to be equal”

On March 30th, while noting that courts would not impose qualification requirements or proclaim a course to be equivalent, the Supreme Court ruled that until and unless a rule specifically states otherwise, courts will not add to or replace the opinions of expert bodies. SC stated this in Unnikrishnan Cv & Ors. v. UOI.

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Updated On 11 Nov 2023 6:43 PM GMT
Mayank Shekhar

Mayank Shekhar

Mayank is an alumnus of the prestigious Faculty of Law, Delhi University. Under his leadership, Legal Bites has been researching and developing resources through blogging, educational resources, competitions, and seminars.

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