In the news
Centre informed a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court (SC) that it considered all forms of Muslim divorce unilateral, extrajudicial, unequal. Centre enact a new divorce law for Muslim men, if the SC struck down existing practices.
All three forms of triple talaq
- talaq hasan
- talaq ahasan
Personal Law vs Constitution
All personal laws are also laws governed by Article 13 of the Constitution, which makes it clear that no law can be valid if it violates Fundamental Rights. Violating Fundamental Rights of gender equality, gender justice, gender discrimination, human rights, and dignity under Articles 14, 15, 21 and 51A of the Constitution.
- Pakistan : Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961 made triple talaq an illegal act.
- Egypt : Through a 1929 law Egypt made the practice of divorce cumbersome.
- Turkey : Banned the practice in 1926 and adopted a more progressive code of marriage.
- Tunisia : Under 1956 law divorce is not valid out side a court of law.
Source : The Hindu
GS II : Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
The presidential nod to a parliamentary panel recommendation that the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) either dubs them or carries Hindi subtitles to regional Cinema.
- Regional movies without any language barrier either dubs them or carries Hindi subtitles.
- The NFDC facilitates line production services of shooting in India and animation services of overseas clients.
- Committee of Parliament on Official Language has also recommended that film-makers submit their script in Hindi to the NFDC and make it available to all concerned.
- As of now, the corporation’s sub-rules on submission of applications for feature films state that the applicants should submit six copies of their script in English and one in the language the movie is to be made.
- The recommendation only covers regional films produced by the NFDC.
National Film Development Corporation of India
- NFDC based in Mumbai is the central agency established in 1975, to encourage high quality Indian cinema.
- It is under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.
- It functions in areas of film financing, production and distribution.
- The goal of the NFDC is to plan, promote and organise an integrated and efficient development of the Indian Film Industry and foster excellence in cinema.
Source : The Hindu
The Election Commission is considering revision of its recount rules so that slips generated by the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) devices can be matched with the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) count. As Chief Election Commissioner had received thousands of representations suggesting that changes be made to the recount rules to allow tallying with VVPAT slips.
The rules change is under the consideration.
To stop Bribing
- Recommendation from EC, Centre to disqualify for five years candidates listed in charge sheets for bribing voters.
- The move comes after the EC found out bribing voters in a Tamil Nadu byelection.
- The Election Commission recommend to the Law Ministry seeking changes in the Representation of the People Act to ensure that candidates are disqualified once they are charge-sheeted.
- Bribing electors by distributing cash and gifts in innovative forms like tokens, prepaid phone recharge coupons, newspaper subscription, milk tokens, money transfer in no-frill accounts in banks and even mobile wallet payment to mobile numbers.
Power of EC now
At present, the EC can countermand an election for use of muscle power. It can use its constitutional powers under Article 324 to countermand a poll over use of money power, but it wants the power to be vested to it under law. The logic is that it does not want to use its constitutional powers too frequently.
Source : The Hindu
GS II : Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies
Need for index
Creation of a judicial performance index that could help High Courts and their chief justices keep track of the performance and processes at district courts and subordinate levels for reducing delay.
About the Index
- Proposed the introduction of a judicial performance index to reduce delays and the outsourcing of non-core functions of the police to private agencies or other government departments.
- Also NITI Ayog mooted changes in criminal justice and procedural laws, a repeal of all irrelevant legislation by March 2019 and reforms in land ownership laws — which account for 67% of litigants in civil suits.
- The index should be ‘the first step’ in judicial system reforms that Aayog its draft three-year action plan.
- The performance index for courts will entail fixing of non-mandatory time frames for different types of cases to benchmark when a case has been delayed.
- The index can also include certain progress on process steps already approved by High Courts and such an annual evaluation should give judges in High Courts a sense of where they are failing and what they need to fix.
Quality of policing
- To improve the quality of policing, create a task force to identify non-core functions that can be outsourced to private agents or government departments in order to reduce the workload of the police.
- United Nations norms of 222 per lakh population not yet reached.
- India’s police to population ratio should reach to 222 per lakh, over the next seven years from the current level of 137.
- Red-flagging the adverse implications of crimes against women beyond the obvious horror for affected individuals.
- Aayog has proposed to push for greater hiring of women in the police force, with a target of 30% of all new recruits.
Source : The Hindu
GS II ; Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government
India may be finding it tough to secure extraditions because there is a fear within the international community that the accused persons would be subject to torture in India.
SC on Torture
- A matter of both Article 21 (fundamental right to life and dignity) and of international reputation that the government must consider a comprehensive law to define and punish torture as an instrument of human degradation by state authorities.
- India, which had signed the UN Convention against torture way back in 1997, had still not ratified it.
- The Convention defines torture as a criminal offence.
- No steps had been taken to implement the Prevention of Torture Bill 2010 even six years
- 90% of the States had no objection for a special law on torture and the NHRC itself had strongly supported the need for such a law.
Why it needed ?
- Setback suffered by the CBI in its efforts to get Kim Davy a Danish citizen and prime accused in the Purulia arms drop case of 1995 extradited from Denmark.
- A Danish court had rejected the plea on the ground that he would risk torture or other inhuman treatment.
- The Indian Penal Code did not specifically and comprehensively address the various aspects of custodial torture
Source : The Hindu
GS II : Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
The Centre has begun discussions to set up a national level nodal body for all transport-related matters across modes including aviation, railways, surface transport and waterways. Proposed ‘Logistics and Integrated Transport Board’ will initially work on improving inter-ministerial co-ordination to facilitate an efficient multi-modal transport system in India
- A single unified transport ministry by merging the ministries of Aviation, Railways, Surface Transport and Shipping to ensure greater ease of doing business and boost India’s internal and external trade.
- It is in line with the slogan of minimum government and maximum governance.
- The country’s larger development goals including economic growth, expansion of employment, geographic expansion of opportunities, environmental sustainability, and energy security.
- The Centre is also reportedly planning to build 35 multi-modal logistics parks by investing more than ₹50,000 crore.
The report, submitted to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in January 2014, had pointed out that nearly all of the 100 largest economies, all of the OECD countries, and all of India’s emerging market peers the BRICS countries, have a Ministry of Transport or similar integrated equivalent rather than the collection of mode-specific ministries found in India.
Source : The Hindu
GS II : Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
A woman can claim 25% of the former husband’s net salary as alimony, the Supreme Court setting a benchmark for maintenance paid to women by former husbands after divorce.
About the SC direction
- Its order came on the man’s plea challenging a Calcutta high court order directing him to pay her Rs 23,000 per month.
- The amount of maintenance or permanent alimony must be sufficient to ensure that a woman lived with dignity after separating from her husband.
- Court’s ruling follows its inclination to protect claims of women in matrimonial disputes affecting their financial status.
Source : Live Mint
GS II : Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary
India develops National Action Plan to combat Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat to global public health. Signed a ‘Delhi Declaration’ for collectively strategizing to contain AMR.
Details of the decision
- The finalization of India’s comprehensive and multi-sectoral National Action Plan at the function.
- The Ministers signed a Delhi Declaration’ for collectively strategizing to contain AMR.
- It pledges to adopt a holistic and collaborative approach towards prevention and containment of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in India.
- It calls on all stakeholders including UN, WHO, FAO and other UN agencies, civil society organizations etc., to support the development and implementation of the national and state action plans on AMR.
- Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of a microorganism like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites to stop an antimicrobial such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials from working against it.
- As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others.
- Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”.
- As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others.
Antimicrobial resistance a global concern
- New resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally, threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases, resulting in prolonged illness, disability, and death.
- Without effective antimicrobials for prevention and treatment of infections, medical procedures such as organ transplantation, cancer chemotherapy, diabetes management and major surgery (for example, caesarean sections or hip replacements) become very high risk.
- Antimicrobial resistance increases the cost of health care with lengthier stays in hospitals and more intensive care required.
- Antimicrobial resistance is putting the gains of the Millennium Development Goals at risk and endangers achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Source : Pib, WHO
GS II : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
- The decision of the Government would enable the Election Commission of India to deploy VVPAT Units in all pooling booths in the General Elections, 2019.
- It will act as an additional layer of transparency for the satisfaction of voters, allaying any apprehension in the minds of the voters as to the fidelity and integrity of the EVMs.
- This would also result in compliance of the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its Order dated 8thOctober, 2013.
- Purchase of 16,15,000 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) Units at a tentative unit cost of Rs.19,650, and at a total estimated cost of Rs. 3173.47 crore (excluding taxes and freight as applicable) during the years 2017-18 and 2018-19.
- Directing the Price Negotiation Committee to negotiate with M/s Bharat Electronics Ltd and M/s Electronics Corporation of India Ltd.
Details added on 17 April 2017
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given
(I) Ex-post facto approval for introduction of
- Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-third Amendment) Bill 2017
- National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, 2017 in the Parliament; and
(II) Approval for retention of posts/incumbents and office premises held by the existing National Commission for Backward Classes by the proposed new National Commission for Backward Classes.
Details of Amendment
- Constitution of a Commission under Article 338B for socially and educationally backward classes by name of National Commission for Backward Classes.
- Insertion of Clause (26C) under Article 366 with modified definition viz. “socially and educationally backward classes” means such backward classes as are so deemed under Article 342A for the purpose, this Constitution.
- Repeal of the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 along with Savings Clause for namely the National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, 2017
- Dissolution of the National Commission for Backward Classes with effect from such date as the Central Government may appoint in this behalf and the National Commission for Backward Classes constituted under sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the said Act shall stand dissolved.
- Appropriation of the sanctioned 52 posts, along with incumbents wherever filled of the existing National Commission for Backward Classes in the proposed National Commission for Backward Classes to be constituted under Article 338B.
- Retention of the office premises of the existing National Commission for Backward Classes at Trikut-1, Bhikaiji Cama Place, New Delhi-110066, by the National Commission for Backward Classes to be constituted under Article 338B.
Why amending the constitution?
- The above decisions will lead to overall welfare of socially and educationally backward classes.
- The proposed Act of repeal is necessary in view of setting up of the National Commission for Backward Classes by insertion of Article 338B of the Constitution.
- The decision will also enable effecting continuity in the functioning of the National Commission for Backward Classes under Article 338B.
Source : Pib
GS II : Constitution of India