Roundup of the week (March13 – March 19) – Part 1

Having successfully run the daily show (daily newscards) for over a year, we now begin last week tonight (roundup of the week gone by). In this initiative every Saturday or Sunday night, we shall discuss, major events of the last week.

We already cover daily news in crisp bullet points without any opinion- left, right or centre- to let you have your own opinion on various issues. In this initiative, we shall discuss most imp. op-eds of the week. Only outlines and issues within major events will be discussed here. Links of CD news stories, external oped links, RSTV videos will be attached to give you holistic picture.

So let’s discuss major events of week gone by.

#1. Aadhar bill–  Major issues


 

Manner of passing of the bill – Money bill or not

Some basics- Article 110 deals with money bill. Essentially any bill that contains provisions related to only 6 provisions: taxes, money going into or out of Consolidated Fund of India or Contingency fund of India, Receipt into Public account of India (I haven’t listed all 6 in detail for brevity, you can get the sense from the summary) and finally 7th provision is any matter incidental to the above issues.

If bill deals with these issues plus any other issues, it will not be termed as money bill (read the word only in the definition of money bill) but financial bill under article 117.

Govt’s argument- Bill mainly deals with transfer of money (subsidies) out of CFI and other matters are incidental to it (7th provision), hence money bill. While opposition claims main purpose is giving statutory baking to Aadhar, withdrawal of money is incidental to it, hence not a money bill.

Read this Indian express oped to know why this is not a money bill .

Why govt introduced it as money bill– NDA does not have majority in RS and in money bills RS can only suggest recommendations within 14 days. Loksabha can reject them as they did in this bill. Also money bill can be introduced only in LS on recommendation of president. Speaker certifies it as money bill and speaker’s certification can not be challenged.

Read this link to understand why govt rejected all 5 amendments suggested by LS.

But wait, is the decision of speaker final? Well, constitution says so but in India supreme court can do anything. Even under 10th schedule, anti defection law, speaker’s decision was final but supreme court held it justiciable (What was the logic given by supreme court? Answer in comments>

Similarly supreme court changed the term procedure established by law to due process of law for all practical purposes, word consultation in judicial appointment to concurrence. How did supreme court do that? Read the whole story here

2nd issue is that of privacy – risk of mass surveillance plus govt’s stand in the court that Privacy is not a fundamental right. Basically as Aadhar will b linked to almost every service we avail, govt will have the vast data to profile the citizens, snoop on them. Also national security clause gives sweeping powers to govt.  Read these opeds to know how it has potential to violate privacy.

  1. Jean Dreaze on Aadhar’s potential for mass surveillance 
  2. don’t compromise on privacy
  3. Aadhar and right to privacy being a fundamental right

Attorney general in Supreme Court on right to privacy

8 judge bench of supreme court in  M P Sharma And Others vs Satish Chandra, District Magistrate Delhi (1954),  and 6  judge bench in Kharag Singh vs State of Uttar Pradesh (1962), held that the right to privacy was not a fundamental right. It has not been overruled in any subsequent judgment by a larger Bench, hence not a fundamental right.

3rd issue is whether Biometric will be effective in India <fingerprinting might not work in manual labour> and issue of making Aadhar mandatory while earlier it was sold as a voluntary number.

Read these 9 issues related to Aadhar bill

Whether or not, you read those external links, please follow these CD stories

  1. Aadhaar Cards: The Identity Revolution
  2. Right To Privacy In India – Is It a Fundamental Right?

#2. Pictorial warning on tobacco containing products


 

Summary– In late 2014, ministry of health proposed that 85% of a cigarette packet’s surface area on both the sides should carry health warnings, up from 40% on one side of the packet.

But now parliamentary committee recommended that

  • pictorial warnings be restricted to only 50% on both the sides of the cigarette packets
  • In the case of bidis, chewing tobacco and other tobacco products, warning be restricted 50% of the display area on only one side of the packet

Logic– Cylindrical packing of Bidi, no concept of 2 sides but what abut horizontal packing of tobacco containing paan Masala. But wait why ain’t tobaco containing paan masala banned in every state? They are food product and thus banned under safety guidelines, Read more here

Anyway the argument for not increasing pictorial warning is

  1. encourage illicit trade
  2. revenue earned through tobacco excise
  3. employment

Health costs of tobacco-

  1. revenue earned is just 17% of the health burden of tobacco.
  2. 1m tobacco-related deaths

I don’t need to say, what should be done with the recommendations. Full oped here


 

By Root

Caretaker @civilsdaily