The Election Commission of India has launched National Contact Centre with a toll free number- 1800111950. The move would enable any citizen from any part of the country to call on the toll-free number and get their query or complaint addressed at any time of the day in Hindi or English.The callers would be able to enquire on subjects such as elections, voting dates, electoral roll and online registration. They would also be able to register their complaints by simply dialling the toll free number.The executives at the Contact centre would also be making outbound calls to educate the electors and spread voter awareness. The National Contact Centre is operated on a National Grievance Redressal System Software. The Redressal software is a single window platform to manage complaints and feedback received through calls, emails, sms and website access in an integrated and time-bound manner. Callers may connect with the executives to lodge a complaint and enquire about its status of receipt and disposal as well as to give suggestions and feedback at every step of the way.The EC through the establishment of the Contact Centre aims to bring about electoral reforms that empower the citizens and officials to monitor and report any irregularity or violation of the ECI’s instructions during, before or post elections. Soon each state and Union Territory would also be setting up dedicated State Contact Centres (SCC) and District Contact Centres (DCC) in order to ensure smooth flow of information across the contact centres for proper redressal of issues and queries of the citizens.National Contact Centre would also have IT protocols to ensure that any call landing at NCC is properly redirected to the respective State Contact Centre.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated Supreme Court’s Integrated Case Management Information System (ICMIS). This digital filing system will mark Supreme Court’s first towards becoming a paperless, digital court. ICMIS is hailed as the biggest and most ambitious leap in judicial system. Subsequently, all High Courts, District Courts, Sub-Division Courts will be integrated with the new system. Later on, all the jails in the country will be Integrated by ICMIS software. ICMIS will help litigants access data and obtain information about the filing, delays etc. It would pave way for the integration of all courts in the country. The appellants hereafter is not required to file the records as the records will be picked up electronically from trial courts and high courts.The digital filing system will also help in ushering transparency as nothing can be manipulated with this paperless system. Also, the litigants will be able to know the progress of the case on real time basis.
Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) is expected to usher in an urban real estate revolution in India. Flat property prices over the past two years have made the real estate sector a no-go zone for investors. But RERA, along with demonetisation and goods and service tax (GST), will make sure that the market is largely driven by end users.While RERA benefits the builders by bringing in more transparency and accountability, which will stand them in good stead by ensuring the flow of institutional funds, the real winner will be the end-user–the home buyers. The immediate impact would be likely on consolidation, how capital is raised and deployed, and increasing compliance costs for developer. It will also impact transparency, demand uplift and consolidation. However rules put forward by states have diluted many provisions, keeping most of ongoing projects outside the ambit of the law that would come into effect from May 1.States such as Odisha and Bihar have notified rules that are completely in sync with the one notified by the Union housing and poverty alleviation ministry. In contrast, Haryana's draft rules, notified last week, have completely left out disclosures by builders on the sanctioned plan, layout and specifications at the time of booking with all subsequent changes till date.This omission will give legal colour to all unilateral changes done by builders and will give them an escape route to avoid paying compensation to home buyers. In Maharashtra, a provision has been included to allow builders to take out or divest from a project after occupancy certificate has been issued.This means, the builder can pull out its entire investment before completion of common areas, facilities and amenities.In UP, the norms related to compounding of offences have been diluted as no specific amount has been mentioned. There is provision for 'up to' (a certain amount), which means it may even be zero. This will encourage corruption as quantum of money to be paid will be at the discretion of the authority. The urban development ministry has allowed relaxation even in Delhi, where rules specify that promoters need to provide details of only those court cases which have been disposed of during the last five years. This is despite the housing ministry clearly stating that builders need to provide details of all pending cases.