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Supreme Court revives hearing on Andhra Pradesh bifurcation

  1. Context: Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into AP and Telangana
  2. Supreme Court: What better “index” to ascertain whether a State is to be divided or not other than public demand
  3. The observation came from a Bench of SC while reviving a bunch of petitions filed by leading Telugu politicians across parties, challenging the bifurcation of the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh in 2014
  4. They had wanted the apex court to declare the bifurcation as an illegal and unconstitutional act
  5. However, SC had, then, refused to stay the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act of 2014, leading to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and the formation of new State Telangana
  6. Arguments of petitioners against bifurcation: There should be a “federal index” for State formation. The Centre cannot be allowed to ride roughshod over the federal structure of democracy and divide States into bits
  7. Proper consultations were not held between the Centre and erstwhile State authorities
  8. Telangana lost 140 of its villages due to the bifurcation, and this was not the first time the people had experienced the sufferings of bifurcation and new State formations. The first time was when Andhra was separated from Madras
  9. The Centre had introduced the Bill when it was rejected by the Andhra Pradesh State Legislature
  10. The bifurcation is a violation of the Basic Structure of the Indian Constitution

Note4students:

There was a question on bifurcation of states in Mains 2016, on linguistic basis though. Keep track of the issue and the arguments as it develops.

SC refuses plea on alleged dilution of whistleblower law

  1. Supreme Court: Refused to examine a petition alleging dilution in the Whistleblower Protection Act
  2. It sought interim measures to protect whisteblowers who expose corruption in public administration and governance
  3. It said that Parliament is already seized with the law and the judiciary would be encroaching on the legislature’s turf by entertaining allegations now
  4. Change of tone: The tone of the court hearing was in complete contrast to the earlier hearing in January 2016, when the apex court had pressed the Centre to put in place a fool-proof interim mechanism to receive complaints and protect the lives of whistleblowers till the law was enacted

Note4students:

The issues around this act are important from mains PoV.

[op-ed snap] The ordinance overreach

The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance:

  1. The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance was first promulgated on January 7, 2016, with the ostensible objective of plugging loopholes in the principal act
  2. To ensure that the enemy properties worth thousands of crore do not revert to the legal heirs
  3. A concomitant effort has been made to frustrate the judgment of the SC in the case of Raja Amir Mohammad Khan of Mahmudabad who won a long and arduous legal battle for his properties

Ordinance under Article 123 of the Constitution:

  1. The Ordinance states that the Constitution shall cease to operate at the expiry of six weeks from the reassembly of the Parliament
  2. It may also cease to operate before the expiry of the period of six weeks if a resolution disapproving it is passed by Parliament
  3. The aspect that requires thoughtful consideration is an attempt by the government to nullify the judgment, decree or order of any Court by inserting Section 8A (1) in the ordinance
  4. Section 8A (1) empowers the custodian to dispose of “enemy properties” whether by sale or otherwise notwithstanding any judgment, decree or order of any court, tribunal or authority

Note4Students:

The op-ed is a must read for details on the Enemy Property Act. Note down b2b points for a good long answer.

Back2Basics:

Enemy Property:

  1. The Custodian of Enemy Property for India is an Indian government department that is empowered to appropriate property in India owned by Pakistani nationals
  2. After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the Enemy Property Act was promulgated in 1968
  3. The act authorised the Central Government of India to appoint a custodian for enemy property for India and one or more deputy/assistant custodians as assistances
  4. The Enemy Property Act, 1968 provided that the Central Government through the Custodian of Enemy Property for India is in possession of enemy properties spread across many states in the country
  5. Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016 proposed to amend the Enemy Property Act, 1968
  6. The 2016 bill seeks to do the following:
  7. The Bill amends the Enemy Property Act, 1968, to vest all rights, titles and interests over enemy property in the Custodian for the Enemy Property for India
  8. The Bill declares transfer of enemy property by the enemy, conducted under the Act, to be void. This applies retrospectively to transfers that have occurred before or after 1968
  9. The Bill prohibits civil courts and other authorities from entertaining disputes related to enemy property
  10. The SC, in Union of India and Anr. v. Raja Mohd. Amir Mohd. Khan had held that, “the Respondent who was born in India and his Indian citizenship not being in question cannot by any stretch of imagination be held to be an enemy or enemy subject”

Union Budget likely to be tabled on February 1

  1. What: As part of a major overhaul of the budget process, the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) recommended advancing the holding of the Budget Session from Jan 31
  2. It will be followed by the presentation of the Union Budget on Feb 1
  3. Both the address of the President and tabling of the Economic Survey are likely to take place on Jan 31
  4. The first phase of the Budget Session will run till Feb 9
  5. The CCPA, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, made these recommendations to President Mukherjee
  6. Benefits: Early presentation of the Budget would mean that the entire exercise is over by March 31
  7. Also, expenditure as well as tax proposals will come into effect right from the beginning of the new fiscal, thereby ensuring better implementation
  8. Background: As per the earlier practice, the budgetary exercise was completed only by mid-May
  9. And with the monsoon arriving in June, most of the schemes and spendings by states did not take off until Oct, leaving just half-a-year for their implementation
  10. In Sept last year, ending a nearly a century-long practice, the Cabinet had decided to scrap a separate budget for the railways and merge it with the General Budget
  11. Earlier, the Budget approval process usually happened in two parts extending to the second or third week of May, hampering early implementation of schemes and spending programmes

Note4students:

A very useful article. Besides informing you of the budgetary changes and problems with earlier schedule, it also gives you a chance to revise the Cabinet Committees and Budget chapters from Laxmikanth. If you don’t have the book, click here.

SC widens boundaries of judicial review of ordinance

  1. What: In a blow to Ordinance Raj, a Constitution Bench of the SC widened the boundaries of judicial review
  2. Judgment: Now, it can examine whether the President or the Governor was spurred by an “oblique motive” to bypass the Legislature and promulgate an ordinance
  3. If the SC concludes that the President or the Governor was influenced by ulterior motives to promulgate the ordinance, such an act by the two constitutional authorities would amount to a fraud on their powers
  4. Justice Chandrachud observed that the SC would scrutinise whether the satisfaction of the President or the Governor to promulgate an ordinance was based on relevant material or whether it amounted to a “fraud on power or was actuated by an oblique motive”
  5. The seminal question that came up in reference before the seven-judge Constitution Bench led by CJI Thakur dealt with the constitutionality of seven successive re-promulgations of The Bihar Non-Government Sanskrit Schools (Taking Over of Management and Control) Ordinance of 1989
  6. The State govt had approached the SC after the HC of Patna declared that repeated re-promulgation of the ordinances was unconstitutional
  7. It relied on the D.C. Wadhwa judgment on the dos and don’ts of promulgation of ordinances by another Constitution Bench of the SC in 1986
  8. The SC held that “re-promulgation of ordinances is a fraud on the Constitution and a subversion of democratic legislative processes”
  9. It also said that “The requirement of laying an ordinance before Parliament or the State Legislature is a mandatory constitutional obligation cast upon the government”

Note4students:

This is a very important judgment from mains point of view. Add these to your ordinance notes.

Pranab against ordinance route to amend Enemy Property Act

  1. What: The ordinance to amend the 50-year-old Enemy Property Act was promulgated for the fifth time late on Thursday
  2. President Pranab Mukherjee expressed reservations on why the govt has been unable to clear the Amendment Bill in Parliament
  3. The ordinance was proclaimed, for the first time, on January 7 this year
  4. The Amendment Bill aims to make changes to the Enemy Property Act to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China after wars
  5. “Enemy property” refers to any property belonging to, held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm
  6. The govt has vested these properties in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India, under the Act in 1968, an office instituted under the Central govt

Note4students:

Revise the sections on ordinances from Laxmikanth.

Back2basics:

1. The Bill amends the Enemy Property Act, 1968, to vest all rights, titles and interests over enemy property in the Custodian.

2. The Bill declares transfer of enemy property by the enemy, conducted under the Act, to be void. This applies retrospectively to transfers that have occurred before or after 1968.

3. The Bill prohibits civil courts and other authorities from entertaining disputes related to enemy property.

President Mukherjee anguished over parliamentary paralysis

  1. President Pranab Mukherjee said the House is not a place for dharna and disruption which amounts to “gagging of majority” by the minority
  2. He told parliamentarians they are meant to discuss and transact business and not disrupt
  3. The sharp attack on parliamentary disruption comes in the midst of paralysis of Parliament for over a fortnight over the issue of demonetisation

Note4students:

Disruption of parliament is practiced by all parties, depending on who is in opposition. It indicates a trend where there is less discussion of issues. All Bills will now be passed in just a few days. This means the opposition is failing to perform its basic function of providing feedback to the govt and holding it accountable.



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







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