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AnantLaw's partner, Rahul Goel shared his views on Space laws and learnings at the India Space Congress 2022

Rahul Goel at India Space Congress

India Space Congress was held on 26-28 October 2022. It was supported by India Space Research Organisation (ISRO), New Space India Limited (NSIL), Niti Aayog, The Aeronautical Society of India, Department of Space (InSPACe).


Transcript from Rahul Goel's keynote address

Business, investors, stakeholders today require Certainty and Stability, especially relating to laws, policies and regulatory regime. Uncertainty is “counter-productive” and does not encourage development of a good eco-system in upcoming sectors like Space. We are looking at opening up of the space sector for private players in India. Therefore a greater need to have a clear policy and laws governing this space. We have been talking about the proposed bill and structure of the same. We also saw Space Activities Bill, 2017. However, in my view there is much to learn from the past.

We have witnessed several constitutional challenges to various legislations, policies and rules purely on the basis of the structure proposed in those legislations. My discussion is focused on the issues that would require detailed examination, deliberations among all stakeholders including parliamentarians. It is important not to repeat same mistakes which were committed while framing certain other legislations and their implementation was delayed due to constitutional challenges before the Courts in India.

Any legislation governing a sector shall always require separation of powers between a regulator and licensor – also clear and unambiguous mechanism of dealing with disputes, challenges etc. The disputes may emerge between various players, competitors, licensor and regulator.

It gives a clear direction and line to be followed. Allows for better adjudication of disputes. We have already seen increasing number of challenges and disputes relating to content on social media and OTT space. Not having a clear policy/ legislation – may eventually lead to a chaotic situation. Lot can be learned from decisions of constitutional courts - which led to creation of TDSAT in the year 2000 and Competition Appellate Tribunal in 2007.

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