TOD : 16/11/2018
1).SC pulls up States for not recruiting judges
- The Supreme Court pulled up various State governments and the administrative side of the High Courts for delay in filling vacancies in subordinate judicial services.
- A Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, had taken suo motu cognisance of more than 5,000 vacancies in subordinate judicial posts even as pendency touched crores.
- It found the source of the problem lay in poor infrastructure, from courtrooms to residences for judges, and a sheer lackadaisical approach to conducting the appointment process on time.
- The Supreme Court had earlier warned of centralising appointments to the subordinate judiciary.
- The court found there were more than 1,000 vacancies in Uttar Pradesh alone.
- It discovered that a lack of infrastructure and staff plagued the West Bengal judicial services.
- The court took note of an undertaking given by the Uttar Pradesh government that it would provide adequate housing arrangements for judicial officers.
- The Bench found that the recruitment process was under way for only 100 vacancies in Delhi, which has over 200 vacancies.
- The move taking suo motu cognisance of the chronically ailing condition of the lower judiciary was only recently highlighted by Chief Justice Gogoi as one which required immediate attention. More than three crore cases are pending in the lower courts.
- In a five-page order earlier, the Supreme Court had recorded that there were a total of 22,036 posts in the district and subordinate judiciary, ranging from district judges to junior civil judges, across the States.
- It said 5,133 out of the 22,036 posts were vacant.
2).Centre not keen on changing West Bengal name to Bangla
- The Centre is not keen on changing the name of West Bengal to ‘Bangla’ as it was “not in national interest.
- the West Bengal government’s proposal to change the State’s name to ‘Bangla’ had been sent to Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for consultation, as the proposed name resembles that of Bangladesh.
- The name change could attract illegal immigrants and encourage them to cross the border due to the similarity in names.
- The government’s stand on illegal migrants from across the border is known to everyone.
- West Bengal shares 2,217 km border with Bangladesh.
- The change of name of a State requires ratification by Parliament.
- On July 26, the West Bengal Assembly had passed a resolution to change the name of the State as ‘Bangla’ in three languages — Bengali, English and Hindi. This resolution was moved after the Home Ministry objected to the 2016 proposal by the State to change the name to ‘Bengal’ in English, ‘Bangla’ in Bengali and ‘Bangal’ in Hindi, saying names in different languages was not possible.
· The GSLV-GSAT launch enhances India’s capacity to meet its communication needs
- ISRO plans to use this for the Chandrayaan-II moon mission in the early months of 2019.
- the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MarkIII (GSLV MkIII) launched GSAT29, an advanced communications satellite, into a geosynchronous transfer orbit where the satellite’s closest approach to earth would be 190 km and the farthest 35,975 km.
- The launcher bearing the 3,423 kg satellite took off from a launchpad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
- With a liftoff mass of 640 tonnes, the GSLV MkIII is the heaviest launch vehicle made in India, and GSAT29 is the heaviest satellite to take off from Indian soil. The launcher can carry payloads up to 4 tonnes to the geosynchronous transfer orbit and up to 10 tonnes to a low-earth orbit.
- The multi-band, multi-beam satellite can cater to the communication needs of people in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.
- The first successful experimental flight of the GSLV MkIII was in 2014 when it carried a dummy crew module as a payload.
4).Neither is the broad separation of powers of the three organs of the state maintained nor is the law clear
- In many recent judgments, the Supreme Court has become hyper-activist in making laws. But can judges legislate?
- This question has already been answered in the past by the court.
- In Ram Jawaya v. The State of Punjab (1955), the court observed: “Our Constitution does not contemplate assumption, by one organ or part of the state, of functions that essentially belong to another.”
- This implies that there should be a broad separation of powers in the Constitution of the three organs of the state, and that one organ should not encroach into the domain of another. If this happens, the delicate balance in the Constitution will be upset and there will be chaos.
- Making laws is the function of the legislature. As observed in Union of India v. Deoki Nandan Aggarwal (1991), “The power to legislate has not been conferred on the courts.” In Suresh Seth v. Commissioner, Indore Municipal Corporation (2005), the courtobserved: “Under our Constitutional scheme, Parliament and Legislative Assemblies exercise sovereign power to enact laws.”
- Is judicial discipline being observed? Let us examine some recent decisions of the court.
- First, in Arun Gopal v. Union of India (2017), the Supreme Court fixed timings for bursting Diwali fireworks and prohibited the use of non-green fireworks, although there are no laws to that effect.
- Second, in M.C. Mehta v. Union of India (2018), the court annulled the statutory Rule 115(21) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, when it directed that no BS-4 vehicle should be sold after March 30, 2020, and that only BS-6 vehicles can be sold after that date.
- Third, in Subhash Kashinath Mahajan v. State of Maharashtra (2018), the court amended the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, by annulling Section 18 which said that no anticipatory bail will be granted to persons accused under the Act; by requiring a preliminary enquiry; and by prohibiting arrest under the Act except with permission in writing by the appropriate authority.
- Fourth, in Rajesh Sharma v. The State of Uttar Pradesh (2017), the court felt that Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code was being misused.
- So it amended that Section by requiring complaints under that provision to be sent to a Family Welfare Committee constituted by the District Legal Services Authority, although there is no such requirement in Section 498A.
- Finally, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered that no 15-year-old petrol-driven or 10-year-old diesel-driven vehicle will ply in Delhi, and the Supreme Court has directed impounding such vehicles, though neither the NGT nor the Supreme Court are legislative bodies.
- If judges are free to make laws of their choices, not only would that go against the principle of separation of powers, it could also lead to uncertainty in the law and chaos as every judge will start drafting his own laws according to his whims and fancies.
5).At Singapore summit, he calls for enhancing multilateral cooperation, economic and cultural ties
- India was committed to a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as he called for enhancing multilateral cooperation and economic and cultural ties among member-nations at the 13th East Asia Summit in Singapore.
- India has been participating in the EAS since its very inception in 2005.
- At the East Asia Summit in Singapore, I shared my thoughts on enhancing multilateral cooperation, economic and cultural ties among member nations.
- Also reiterated India’s commitment to a peaceful and prosperous Pacific region.
- The EAS consists of 10 ASEAN nations (Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei and Laos), Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the U.S.
- It was formed to further the objectives of regional peace, security and prosperity.
- The RCEP, involving 10 ASEAN members as well as China, Japan, Australia, India, New Zealand and South Korea, would cover about half the world’s population and a third of its GDP. Mr. Modi also interacted with leaders of other countries, including his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, before the summit retreat.
6).Ramaphosa likely to be R-Day guest
- South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa is likely to be the chief guest of the 2019 Republic Day ceremonies.
- Ramaphosa had hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the BRICS summit in Johannesburg.
- He is also expected to take part in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, to be held in Varanasi from January 21 to 23.
- The information came days after the U.S. confirmed that President Donald Trump will not be the chief guest because of his pressing schedule.
7).India, China agree to expand military ties
- India and China are set to expand their military ties, in tune with the spirit of the Wuhan informal summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April,2018.
- During talks between visiting Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and his Chinese counterpart Shao Yuanming, both sides agreed to add another layer of exchanges between the military personnel of the two countries.
- For the first time, cadets from Indian and Chinese military academies, as well mid-level officers, will meet each other regularly.