14 September, 2019
0 Min Read
|GS-II||A milestone in greater transparency, accountability.|
|SC asks government if it plans to link social media, Aadhaar|
|Why sedition law has lost meaning|
|Government has failed to bring in Unifirm Civil code ,says SC|
|Government plea against SC\ST Act verdict goes to 3- judge Bench|
GS-II: A milestone in greater transparency, accountability
The Jan Soochna Portal launched by the government of Rajasthan is a remarkable achievement in furtherance of RTI, especially Section 4 of the RTI Act that deals with proactive disclosure of information.
Importance of Accountability and Transparency:
Jan Soochna Portal:
Maintenance issues to ensure that there is no let-up in the availability of information.
System in place:
It would be wonderful if all other State governments follow the Rajasthan government’s initiative, which aims to make people, including the marginalised sections, a part of the governance process.
GS-II: SC asks government if it plans to link social media, Aadhaar.
The SC on Friday decided to hear a plea by Facebook to call forth petitions pending in various HC concerning the linking of social media accounts users with their Aadhaar numbers.
Aadhaar social media linking:
The Supreme Court on August 20, 2019 stressed on the need to find a balance between the right to online privacy and the right of the state to trace originators of messages that are fake, defamatory or aim to spread panic.The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Ghose expressed concern over the dangers of the dark web. The bench’s observations came in response to the submissions made by Attorney General KK Venugopal appearing on behalf of the Tamil Nadu Government about the need to link user profiles on social media platforms with the Aadhaar database.
How did Aadhaar-social media linking case originate?
The original PILs seeking Aadhaar-social media interlinking were filed by private citizens Antony Clement Rubin and Janani Krishnamurthy for authentication of identity. Both the petitioners sought Aadhaar linking to social media profiles due to rising instances of cyberbullying, spreading of defamatory and humiliating messages and other intolerable activities on social media. The cases were registered in the Madras High Court.
Why is Facebook resisting Aadhaar-social media linking?
Why is Facebook seeking transfer of cases demanding Aadhaar-social media linking to the Supreme Court?
Facebook sought transfer of four petitions, two in Madras High Court and one each in the Bombay and the Madhya Pradesh High Courts on Aadhaar-social media linking to the Supreme Court stating that all the pending cases raise the same issue and that it was difficult for it to defend itself before high courts across the country.
What happens if certain courts rule in favour of Aadhaar-social media linking and others don’t?
The conflicting decisions by the four courts could lead to a situation where the social media platforms, which operate uniformly across India, will be ordered to link Aadhaar with user profiles in certain Indian states and not others.
What happens if user profiles on social media platforms are linked with their Aadhaar number?
The linking of user profiles on social media with Aadhaar would make every message and post by the user traceable. Though the move will serve as a deterrent to social media instigators and perpetrators of defamatory and fake posts, it would also violate the privacy of the users, keeping a record of each message along with the registered mobile number or email account. This would mean the end of private communications.
The Madras High Court reiterated its stand that Aadhaar cannot be used to authenticate social media accounts. It has dismissed the plea made by the PIL petitioners, but given that the Supreme Court is hearing Facebook’s transfer petition, the Madras HC has adjourned the hearing on WhatsApp traceability case until September 19. The Supreme Court said that there is a need to find a balance between the right to online privacy and the right of the state to trace the origins of hateful messages and fake news. The government needs to move away from relying on Aadhaar and linking as a one-stop solution for issues ranging from terrorism (SIM linking), money laundering (bank account linking), electoral fraud (voter ID linking) and now cybercrime (social media account linking).
GS-II: Why sedition law has lost meaning?
Justice Deepak Gupta, a sitting judge of the Supreme Court, noted how the provision in the IPC provides for punishment for seditious speech is misused often than not. He wondered whether the time is ripe to have a relook at the law.
Freedom of speech
Scope of Fundamental Rights expanded
The jurisprudence of fundamental rights was expanded through several decisions in R C Cooper v. Union of India (1969), Indira Gandhi v. Raj Narain (1975), Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India (1978), I.R. Coelho v. State of Tamil Nadu (2007) and, in Puttaswamy v. Union of India (2017).
Each of these decisions establishes that fundamental rights in the Constitution are not to be read as isolated silos but are to be read as if the content of each fundamental right animates the other.
Kedarnath judgement – limitations and expanding jurisprudence
GS-II: Government has failed to bring in Unifirm Civil code ,says SC.
The Supreme Court said the nation has still not endeavoured tosecure for its citizen a uniform Civil Code.
What is uniform civil code?
Uniform civil Code is a proposal to have a generic set of governing laws for every citizen without taking into consideration the religion.
What the constitution says?
Article 44 of the Constitution says that there should be a Uniform Civil Code. According to this article, “The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”. Since the Directive Principles are only guidelines, it is not mandatory to use them.
India needs a Uniform Civil Code for the following reasons:
A secular republic needs a common law for all citizens rather than differentiated rules based on religious practices.
Another reason why a uniform civil code is needed is gender justice. The rights of women are usually limited under religious law, be it Hindu or Muslim. The practice of triple talaq is a classic example.
Many practices governed by religious tradition are at odds with the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Indian Constitution.
Courts have also often said in their judgements that the government should move towards a uniform civil code including the judgement in the Shah Bano case.
Goa Civil Code
Goa is the only Indian state to have a UCC in the form of common family law. The Portuguese Civil Code that remains in force even today was introduced in the 19th century in Goa and wasn’t replaced after its liberation.
Arguments in favour of the Uniform Civil Code:
GS-II: Government plea against SC\ST Act verdict goes to 3- judge Bench.
The Supreme court on Friday regered a review petition filed by the government against March 20, 2018 judgement of the court to 3-judge bench.
What’s the issue?
Guidelines of the petitions:
SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act
The government decided to retain original provisions because of the following reasons:
The amendments to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 2018 is a move in the right direction. However, no matter how strong a piece of legislation is, all will depend on how well it is implemented.If the implementing agency does not do its bit then the legislative effort would not be successful in the long run. The administrative set up, which includes police machinery, investigating agencies and judiciary, has to work together to effectively implement such a law.
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