There is no concept of a ‘national song’, observes Supreme Court

  1. The court rejected a plea to direct the Central government to frame a national policy under Article 51A (fundamental duties) of the Constitution to promote and propagate the National Anthem, the National Flag and a ‘national song’
  2. SC: Article 51A only mentions the National Flag and the National Anthem
  3. The Article does not refer to a national song
  4. The court also rejected a prayer to make the rendering of the National Anthem compulsory in offices, courts, legislative houses and Parliament
  5. However, the court “kept alive” the plea that schools should play or sing the National Anthem on working days
  6. Barring the singing of the National Anthem on schools on every working day, other prayers stand rejected


One more topic in the issue of national symbols. Keep track. Can be prelims question.

Supreme Court makes legal services affordable

  1. The Supreme Court has introduced a self-supporting scheme for providing legal services to the middle and relatively lower income groups
  2. The Middle Income Group Scheme is meant to provide legal services to litigants in the Supreme Court whose gross income does not exceed ₹60,000 per month or ₹7.5 lakh per annum
  3. Features: They can avail themselves of the services for a nominal amount
  4. As per the Supreme Court guidelines, cases can be filed before it only through Advocates On Record
  5. A sum of ₹500 shall be payable to the Supreme Court Middle Income Group (MIG) Legal Aid Society as service charges
  6. The applicant shall have to deposit the fee indicated by the secretary, which will be in accordance with the schedule attached to the scheme
  7. It is the secretary who will register the case under the MIG Legal Aid Scheme and forward the papers to the Advocate On Record, Arguing Counsel or Senior Counsel on the panel for opinion
  8. The view expressed by the Advocate On Record will be final insofar as the eligibility of the applicant for obtaining the benefit of the scheme is concerned
  9. The Society: The members of the governing body, to whom the management of the Society is entrusted as required under Section 2 of the Societies Registration Act, include the Chief Justice of India as patron-in-chief, the Attorney General as ex-officio vice-president, the Solicitor General as honorary secretary and other senior advocates as its members
  10. Contingent fund: As per the scheme, a contingent fund will be created to meet the miscellaneous expenditure in connection with the case
  11. Funds: By collecting a deposit of ₹750 from the applicant at the stage of admission, in addition to the charges required to be deposited with the Society, out of the contingent fund
  12. If the case is not found fit for an appeal to the Supreme Court, the entire amount — after deducting the minimum service charges of ₹750 — will be refunded to the applicant through cheque
  13. If the advocate, who is appointed under the Scheme, is found negligent in the conduct of the case entrusted to him, then he will be required to return the brief together with the fee which he may have received from the applicant
  14. Further, the Society will not be responsible for the negligent conduct of the case
  15. But the entire responsibility will be that of the advocate vis-a-vis the client and the advocate’s name will be struck off from the panel


Very important for prelims and mains too. Just remember the key features of the scheme which have been highlighted and not too many details.

[op-ed snap] Judicial Review- for and against

  1. Court declared judicial review (JR), a constituent power and integral component of the unalterable basic structure of the Constitution
  2. JR has been invoked in public interest to question major decisions of the government-policy, for instance in 2G spectrum and coal mine allocations cases
  3. Domain for JR extended to executive and legislature matters, example, AFSPA issue where court declared that use of excessive armed forces was not permissible
  4. Voices against JR: “Judicial supremacy”, “judicial excessivism” or “judicial despotism” seen as antithetical to democracy and contrary to its first principles
  5. Representative democracy is as much a part of the basic structure of the Constitution as JR
  6. JR, constitutionally sanctioned, cannot be exercised to negate or subordinate other fundamental features of its basic structure
  7. Reasons for large ambit of JR: Decline of Parliament as the highest forum of democracy, perceived insensitivity on the part of bureaucracy,
  8. General distrust of executive power and loss of faith in moral and ideological integrity of the political class

:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.

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