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GS 2

Nod for three changes to triple talaq Bill

News:

  1. Recently, the Union Cabinet approved crucial amendments to the triple talaq Bill.

Important facts:

2. These amendments were proposed to the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill.

3. The Bill makes instant triple talaq illegal and imposes a jail term of up to three years.

4. Key changes proposed in the Bill:

  • Provisions for bail to an accused before the start of trial.
  • Provision has been added to allow the magistrate to grant bail after hearing the wife.
  • But the law will remain “non-bailable”.
  • The magistrate would ensure bail only after the husband agrees to pay compensation to the wife as provided in the Bill.
  • Provision of registering FIRs became more stringent.
  • The FIR will become cognizable if and only if when FIR is filed by victim wife or the blood relations by marriage.
  • The amendment makes the offence of instant tribal talaq “compoundable”.
  • Under compoundable offence, both parties have the liberty of withdrawing the case.
  • Now, a magistrate can use his powers to settle the dispute between a husband and his wife.

 

Perils of historical amnesia

Article:

  1. Sandeep Bhardwaj, research associate with Centre for Policy Research, highlighted the controversies involved with Article 35A of the Constitution and India’s efforts to bring Kashmir into its fold.

Important facts:

2. The critiques  of Article 35A argued that :

  • The Article affords Jammu and Kashmir undue power especially by preventing non-state residents to own land in the state.
  • The critiques said that media portrayed the debate as a question of “special status” of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Critiques argued that the fundamental purpose of introducing article 35A was totally different. Instead of giving the state a “special status”, it was designed to take autonomy away from it.

3. Article 35A:

  • It was introduced in 1954 as part of a Presidential Order.
  • The order was celebrated in India as a great step towards bringing Jammu and Kashmir closer into the Union of India.
  • The Hindu right-wing leaders had hailed it as a “Commendable step”.
  • The controversial Instrument of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh in 1947 brought the State into the Union of India and gave New Delhi control over Kashmir’s defence, foreign policy and communications.
  • On all other matters, the State government retained powers.
  • India’s tenuous grasp over Jammu and Kashmir was further complicated by New Delhi’s international commitment to hold a plebiscite in the State to decide its eventual fate.
  • The New Delhi’s power over Jammu and Kashmir was defined more clearly after coming into effect of the Indian Constitution.
  • India’s fundamental rights and directive principles were not applicable in Jammu and Kashmir at all.

4. The Delhi Agreement

  • In 1952, Jawaharlal Nehru invites Abdullah to discuss how India and Jammu and Kashmir could be more closely integrated.
  • As a result, the 1952 Delhi Agreement came into existence.
  • The Delhi agreement did not finalise financial integration and required the fundamental rights and citizenship to be granted to the State’s residents via the State Legislature.
  • Before the Delhi Agreement could be implemented, the situation was altered radically because of three factors :

5. Any plans for an immediate Plebiscite were abandoned in 1954, which strengthened New Delhi’s hand.

6. In 1953, Nehru faced a nationwide campaign from the Hindu right-wing demanding greater integration of Kashmir.

7. In 1953, Abdullah was arrested and replaced by Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed, who was far more amenable to integration with India.

  • In 1954, New Delhi negotiated a new agreement with Bakshi, which was passed by the Kashmir Constituent Assembly. This still left the state with enormous autonomy.
  • All “residuary powers” rested with the State legislature. The state government could detain people who did not enjoy the right to appeal to the Supreme Court.
  • Today’s debate over the Article should be seen as part of this larger decades-long process of the State’s integration into India.

 

Responding to widespread concern

News:

  1. Recently, the SC/ST amendment Bill overcomes the March 20 judgment of the Supreme Court by amending the 1989 Act to introduce Section 18A.

Important facts:

2. Recently, the Supreme Court gave verdict on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill 2018.

3. The 2018 Bill overrides the apex court judgment, which restricted the powers of the police under the Code of Criminal Procedure to arrest a suspect.

4. The court in its judgment held that:

  • The court read down a specific bar in the Atrocities Act of 1989 against anticipatory bail.
  • Accused persons were not allowed to seek anticipatory bail to thwart arrest.
  • The arrest of the accused persons should be approved by the Senior Superintendent of Police concerned.

5. The judgment reasoned that following arguments for the same:

  • Many false cases are charged on innocent persons under the 1989 Act and fundamental rights of such persons to be protected.
  • For this, the court verdict that a Deputy Superintendent of Policy should conduct a “preliminary inquiry” into every complaint of atrocity.

6. The provision of the Bill highlights that:

  • The provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure provide that information relating to commission of an offence should be recorded if the probe officer has “reason to suspect the commission of an offence”.
  • The investigating officer can arrest a person and there is no requirement of conducting a preliminary inquiry before recording information.
  • Section 41 of the CrPC implies that once the investigating officer has reasons to suspect that an offence has been committed, he can arrest an accused.
  • The Bill brings back the bar on accused seeking anticipatory bail.
  • The provisions of Section 438(anticipatory bail) of the Code shall not apply to a case under this Act, notwithstanding any judgment/order of any court.

7. The government moved the SC for reconsideration of is judgment because it led to widespread violence across the country.

 

U.S. hits Russia with new sanctions

News:

  1. The U.S.  will soon impose new sanctions against Russia .

Important facts:

2. The new sanctions would be in response to the attempted assassination of a former Russian spy living in England and his daughter.

3. Terms of sanctions:

  • Any attempt by a U.S. company to obtain an export licence to sell anything with a potential national security purpose (gas turbine engines, electronics, integrated circuits and testing and calibration equipment) will be automatically denied.
  • Exporters can attempt to prove that the goods will be used for legitimate purpose.
  • Earlier, the Obama administration banned exports to Russia that could have military purposes.
  • The sanctions were imposed under the provisions of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.
  • The act mandates that once the government has determined that a country has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or even made “substantial preparations” to do so, sanctions must be imposed.

 

 GS 3

A welcome retreat

News:

  1. Centre is pulling out FRDI Bill

Important facts:

2. The Bill named “the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha last year.

3. Reasons for withdrawing  the Bill:

  • The Bill was in controversy for “Bail-in Clause” provision.
  • Under bail-in clause provision, banks are essentially dependent on depositor for funds from which they provide credit to borrowers.

4. The withdrawal should be used as an opportunity by policymakers to reappraise the existing framework for resolving bankruptcy scenarios among financial entities.

5. Way ahead:

  • Need to review progress made by the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in addressing the crucial issue of debt resolution in the banking sector.
  • Need to look at ways to strengthen the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation.
  • DICGC, which set up in the early 1960’s guarantees repayment of bank deposit up to Rs 1 lakh in case a bank is liquidated, has not reviewed the amount under guarantee since 1993.
  • Measures that helps prevent further erosion of public faith in the beleaguered banking system would be very welcome step in this direction.

 

UAE top source of inward remittances in 2016-17:RBI

News:

  1. The Reserve Bank of India’s survey of inward remittances for 2016-17 released recently.

Important facts:

2. Remittances represent household income from foreign economies arising mainly from the temporary or permanent movement of workers to source economies.

3. The survey highlighted the following facts:

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as the top source of inward remittances.
  • UAE’s share in total remittances was 26.9%, followed by the United States (22.9%), Saudi Arabia (11.6%), Qatar (6.5%) and Kuwait (5.5%).
  • 82% of the total remittances received by India originated from eight countries- UAE, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, the United Kingdom and Malaysia.
  • Among destinations, Kerala has the highest share with 19%, followed by Maharashtra (16.7%), Karnataka (15%), Tamil Nadu (8%) and Delhi (5.9%).
  • Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu together received 58.7% of total remittances.
  • Remittances received by Indian residents were used for family maintenance

4. Consumption (59.2%),

5. Deposits in banks (20%)

6. Investments in landed property and shares (8.3%).

  • Reponses were received from 42 major authorized dealers (ADs), accounting for 98.3% of total remittances in 2016-17.
  • The rupee drawing arrangement (RDA) is the most popular channel of remittances which accounts for 75.2% of remittances, followed by SWIFT (19.5%), direct transfers (3.4%) and cheques and drafts (1.9%).
  • The share of private banks in total remittances stood at 74.1%, while the public sector share was 17.3% and the remaining with foreign banks.
  • Size-wise analysis shows that 70.3% of all reported transactions were of more than $500 and only 2.7% were of less than $200.

 

SC alters Lodha’s BCCI proposals

News:

  1. Recently, the Supreme Court has finalised the new Constitution for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Important facts:

2. The apex court rejected the ‘one State-one vote’ recommendation of the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee.

3. Justice Lodha Committee recommended that cricket could prosper only if the BCCI was represented by every State and UT.

4. Rejecting the Lodha Committee recommendations, the court held that:

  • The Court restored full BCCI membership to three associations in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  • It includes Maharashtra, Mumbai and Vidarba cricket associations in the State of Maharashtra and the Baroda and Saurashtra cricket associations in the State of Gujarat.
  • The court agreed that the National Cricket Club and the Cricket Club of India did not deserve to be full members in BCCI.
  • The court gave Services (Sports Control Board, the Railways and the Association of Universities full membership in the BCCI.
  • In case of varsities, the court described them as “a nucleus for encouraging the game of cricket among players of the college-going generation”.
  • The court held that cricket administrators should undergo a “cooling off period” before contesting elections to BCCI or State associations. In this sense it supported Lodha Committee.
  • Cooling-off must be accepted as a means to prevent a few individuals from regarding the administration of cricket as a personal turf.
  • Justice Lodha had suggested that the cooling-off period should kick in for a cricket administrator after his every tenure of three years in office.
  • The court said an administrator needs to “Cool-off” only after two consecutive terms of six years in office, whether in BCCI or a State association or a combination of both.
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