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Monthly DNA

14 Jan, 2021

38 Min Read

Judicial Activism and Marriage Laws

GS-II : Governance Judiciary

Judicial Activism and Marriage Laws

  • The Allahabad High Court has ruled that the provision of publication of notice of intended marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, is not mandatory.

  • The court, in a significant judgment delivered on January 12, said making such publication mandatory “would invade the fundamental rights of liberty and privacy, including within its sphere the freedom to choose for marriage without interference from state and non-state actors, of the persons concerned”.
  • A Bench of Justice Vivek Chaudhary mandated that while giving notice under Section 5 of the Act, it shall be optional for the parties to the intended marriage to make a request in writing to the marriage officer to publish or not to publish a notice under Section 6 and follow the procedure of objections as prescribed under the Act.
  • In case the parties do not make such a request, the officer “shall not publish any such notice or entertain objections to the intended marriage and proceed with the solemnisation of the marriage”.

  • The Bench directed the Senior Registrar of the court to send a copy of the order to the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh to forthwith communicate the same to all the marriage officers in the State and other authorities concerned as soon as possible.
  • The requirement of publication of notice under Section 6 and inviting or entertaining objections under Section 7 can only be read as the directory in nature, to be given effect only on request of parties to the intended marriage and not otherwise, the court observed in the 47 page judgment.
  • The interpretation of Sections 6 and 7 read with Section 46 containing the procedure of publication of notice and inviting objections to the intended marriage in the Act of 1954 has to be such that would uphold the fundamental rights and not violate them, the court said.
  • The court was disposing off a habeas corpus writ filed by a Muslim woman who married a Hindu man after converting as per Hindu rituals.

Source: TH

Geopolitics: India, China and USA

GS-II : International Relations U.S.A

Geopolitics: India, China and USA

  • With days to go before its end, the Trump administration has declassified a sensitive document on the U.S. strategic framework for the Indo-Pacific’ from 2018. The 10-page document outlines objectives and strategies with regard to China, North Korea, India and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Maintaining “U.S. strategic primacy” in the region and promoting a “liberal economic order” while stopping China from establishing “illiberal spheres of influence” is the U.S.’s first national security challenge, as per the document.
  • The other two challenges are ensuring that North Korea does not threaten the U.S. and advancing U.S. economic leadership globally.
  • With regard to India, one of the ‘desired end states of the U.S.’s strategy is for the U.S. to be India’s preferred partner on security issues and for the two countries to “cooperate to preserve maritime security and counter Chinese influence” in South Asia, Southeast Asia and other regions of “mutual concern”.
  • Several sentences in the document — including in sections on India — have been redacted.

Border dispute

  • The U.S. aims to help India become a net security provider in the region, and solidify a lasting strategic partnership with India “underpinned by a strong Indian military able to effectively collaborate with” the U.S and its regional partners.
  • These objectives it plans to achieve via enhanced defence cooperation and interoperability; working with India “toward domestic economic reform” and greater leadership roles for India in the East Asia Summit and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus.
  • Consequently, the U.S.’s to-do list has on it offers of support to India via military, diplomatic and intelligence channels “to help address continental challenges such as the border dispute with China and access to water, including the Brahmaputra and other rivers facing diversion by China.”
  • Last year, India and China were engaged in their deadliest border dispute in decades along the Line of Actual Control, in which 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed.
  • Just last week U.S. Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster said that the U.S. cooperated with India to counter China’s “aggressive” actions along the LAC, but did not g this cooperation.

Act-East policy

  • The U.S. also seeks to bolster common principles, including the peaceful resolution of disputes and transparent infrastructure-debt practices (a reference to alternatives to financing by China’s Belt Road Initiative, which has led to untenable debt positions in borrowing countries), as per the strategy.
  • The U.S. aims to support India’s “Act East” policy and “its aspiration to be a leading global power, highlighting its compatibility with the U.S., Japanese and Australian vision” of the Indo-Pacific.
  • “A strong India, in cooperation with like-minded countries, would act as a counterbalance to China,” is one of the underlying assumptions of the strategy, which expects Chinese military, economic and diplomatic influence will continue to increase in the short term.
  • “China aims to dissolve U.S. alliances and partnerships across the region. China will exploit vacuums and opportunities created by these diminished bonds,” the document says.
  • On Russia, it says the country will “remain a marginal player” in the region relative to the U.S., China and India.
  • On North Korea, a stated U.S. objective is to, “Convince the Kim regime that the only path to its survival is to relinquish its nuclear weapons.”
  • The official reason for the early declassification of the document, 20 years ahead of time, was “ to communicate to the American people and to our allies and partners, the enduring commitment of the U.S. to keeping the Indo-Pacific region free and open long into the future,” said National Security Advisor Robert C O’ Brien in a covering note.

Source: TH

FATF, Pakistan and India

GS-III : Internal security FATF

FATF, Pakistan and India

  • In his speech to the UN Security Council (UNSC) marking 20 years since the resolutions that announced a global commitment to the war against terror after the U.S. 9/11 attacks, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar made a pitch for greater coordination between counter terrorism agencies worldwide.
  • He highlighted the necessity to streamline the process of the UN’s top body in designating terrorists while strengthening coordination in the agencies that check their financial resources.
  • First, the world must acknowledge that terrorist organisations use not only extortion and money laundering, drugs and wildlife trafficking to raise funds, but, in the present and future, will use loopholes in digital security and the “anonymity” provided by blockchain technology to access finances.
  • Second, in a clear reference to Pakistan, he spoke of the need to link actions between the UN and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and for countries that “wilfully provide financial assistance and safe havens” as well as “5-star” treatment to criminals and terrorists, to be held to account by them. His words are significant given that a FATF committee, the Asia Pacific Joint Group (APJG), is meeting this week to finalise recommendations for the FATF on whether to continue Pakistan’s ‘greylisting status’, downgrade it to a blacklist, or let it off, decisions that India is watching closely.
  • Finally, he pointed to countries that allow their “political and religious” affinities to decide on issues of designation of terrorists, blocking and unblocking requests at the UNSC for such reasons rather than technically evaluate the evidence against these individuals.
  • While the broad message here was for China, which has often blocked India’s efforts to designate individuals at the UNSC, this also includes Turkey and Malaysia which have helped Pakistan avoid stringent measures at the FATF thus far.
  • While Mr Jaishankar’s words were meant for the global struggle with terrorism since 2001, their import is for India’s particular problems with Pakistan and cross-border terrorism in the present for the impending decision at the FATF plenary next month.
  • Pakistan’s recent actions, including the sudden arrests and quick convictions of most wanted figures Zaki Ur Rehman Lakhvi and Hafiz Saeed, and the warrant for JeM chief Masood Azhar, all in cases of terror financing, indicate that Islamabad is aware of the importance of these decisions for its economic future; for the moment, the government is appearing to fall in line with the FATF’s 27-point action plan.
  • By drawing the connection between the actions of the UNSC and the FATF together, Mr. Jaishankar is indicating that India is not only watching what Pakistan does but also how the international community “walks the talk” on “zero tolerance to terrorism”.

To read complete information about FATF: click here

To read Article on FATF, Terrorism and Pakistan: click here

Source: TH

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