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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

16 Aug, 2020

25 Min Read

What was the 2005 amendment to Hindu Sucession Act,1956?

GS-II :

Decoding the SC verdict on right of daughters

What was the 2005 amendment to Hindu Sucession Act,1956?

  • The amendment was passed in 2005 to confer equal status to both sons and daughters of coparceners. Prior to the amendment, coparcenary rights were granted only to sons of a coparcener.

Who is a coparcener?

  • A coparcener is one who acquires rights to their father’s property upon birth and can claim a partition of the coparcenary at any time.

What was the confusion and what has been clarified now?

  • Whilst the amendment sought to grant equal rights to both sons and daughters, the wording used left scope for various lacunae, which lead to contradictory views being taken by the Supreme Court on this issue.
  • Until the judgment, equal status was only granted on those daughters whose father (coparcener) was alive when the amendment came into force on September 9, 2005.
  • The judgement has now clarified that the equal rights being given to daughters of coparceners would be granted at their birth, irrespective of the date of death of their father.
  • The SC clarified that the amendment would be applicable retrospectively, and not only to cases where the father is alive on the date of the amendment.

What are the conditions for applicability of the verdict?

  • This would be applicable subject to the condition that the coparcenary property should not have been partitioned by the father prior to December 20, 2004. As long as the property remained coparcenary property and was not partitioned as of this date, a daughter can now claim interest in the same.

What are different categories of persons in Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)?

  • One is the coparcener, to whom alone the verdict impacts. The second category is a member (wife), who is only entitled to maintenance and would not be granted any inheritance rights or right to seek partition in the coparcenary.

What can daughters do now?

  • Daughters will now be treated at par with sons of coparceners, and will be granted equal coparcenary rights in their father’s property upon birth itself.
  • Even their marital status would not affect the rights being conferred by them by way of the amendment – hence, they continue to be part of their father’s HUF post marriage and they can seek a share and can bequeath their HUF share under their Will to any beneficiary they choose.

What about impact of the verdict on family businesses and others?

  • To be clear, this judgement only applies to HUF property, and does not affect personal or self-acquired assets held individually.
  • In reality, most personal wealth, including ownership in valuable family businesses, are either held in personal names of the patriarch / promoters, or in private trusts or holding companies /limited liability partnerships (LLP).
  • The ‘older’ business families may continue to hold some ancestral wealth in HUFs, but the scale and materiality of such holdings is usually limited. Almost no business family is setting up new HUFs, and actually most existing HUFs are being dissolved.

Source: TH

Madras High Court on Criminalisation of Politics

GS-II :

Enact a law to bar criminals in elections, asks Madras HC

Context:

  • The Madras High Court has directed the Centre to explain in two weeks as to why it should not enact a law prohibiting people with criminal background from contesting in parliamentary, Assembly and local body elections.
  • The observations were made while dealing with the HCP(Habeas Corpus Petition) to quash a preventive detention order passed against Jana alias A. Janarthanan, who is facing as many as 19 criminal cases including charges of murder, attempt to murder, and dacoity in Puducherry.

News:

  • Justices N. Kirubakaran and V.M. Velumani issued the direction after taking note of media reports of “persons with criminal background becoming policy makers in many parts of the country.” They said such practice “has to be prevented and the system has to be cleansed.”
  • Passing an interim order on a habeas corpus petition (HCP), the judges said: “This is possible only if the top leaders of our political parties are firm in not admitting criminals in their parties. The leaders should have a vision for decriminalisation of politics.”
  • The Bench pointed out that an analysis of the 2019 Lok Sabha election winners by Association for Democratic Reforms, a non-governmental organisation, revealed that 43% (233 out of 539 Members of Parliament) had declared criminal cases pending against them.
  • Further, 29% (159 MPs) of the legislators were facing serious criminal cases.
  • “Therefore, the Central Government has to come out with a comprehensive legislation to prohibit persons with criminal background from contesting elections,” the Bench said.
  • Authoring the order, Justice Kirubakaran observed: “Indian democracy should not be tainted by criminals. It is seen that some of the criminal elements are also floating political parties on their own with the support of their religion or communities and the same is required to be prohibited.”
  • After impleading the Director General of Police as one of the respondents to the HCP suo motu, the judges directed him to submit in two weeks, the details of rowdy gangs active in Puducherry. The judges also wanted to know similar countrywide data from the Centre.

Source: TH

SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity prevents recurrent severe COVID-19 disease

GS-III :

SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity prevents recurrent severe COVID-19 disease

Context

  • Natural exposure or infection with the novel coronavirus may “prevent recurrent episodes of severe COVID-19”, a paper published in Cell says.
  • This is because, once infected with SARS-CoV-2, the immune system elicits “robust, broad and highly functional memory T cell responses”.

Study:

  • The study found SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells even in family members who have been exposed to the virus but have tested negative on antibody blood tests.
  • SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were also seen in convalescent individuals with a history of asymptomatic infection and mild COVID-19 disease.

Robust responses

  • All categories of people — recovered from moderate or severe COVID-19 disease, or in the convalescent phase after mild or severe disease or exposed family members or healthy people — exhibited “robust memory T cell responses months after infection, even in the absence of detectable circulating antibodies specific for SARS-CoV-2”, they write.
  • They were able to detect similar memory T cell responses directed against the internal and surface proteins (membrane and/or spike) of the virus in some people in whom SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies could not be detected.
  • This indicates a “previously unanticipated degree of population-level immunity against COVID-19”, they note.
  • This implies that seroprevalence as an indicator may underestimate the extent of immunity in the population, they note.
  • The phenotype of the memory T cells during the acute phase of infection was different from the convalescent phase SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells, which were “polyfunctional and displayed a stem-like memory”.

No reinfection

  • Studies undertaken in rhesus macaques had found that once infected, the animals were fully protected from reinfection. Till date, no documented case of reinfection has been found in people anywhere in the world, whether they had recovered from mild or severe COVID-19 disease or even been asymptomatically infected.

Clear segregation

  • They found a “clear segregation” between memory T cells from patients who have recovered from moderate or severe disease, and convalescent individuals and healthy blood donors.
  • The SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells also acquired an early differentiated memory phenotype in the convalescent phase, which gives the T cells stem-like properties characterised by extensive proliferation and polyfunctionality.

Limitations of the Study

  • The study has some limitations, though. Since it is a small study with limited clinical follow-up, it is not known if robust memory T cell responses, when circulating antibodies can be detected, can indeed lead to protection against severe COVID-19 disease.
  • However, both 2002 SARS and MERS have been able to induce potent memory T cell responses that persist even when antibody responses wane.

Adaptive immunity

  • Even as antibodies wane with time, robust T cell memory formed after SARS-CoV-2 infection suggests that “potent adaptive immunity is maintained to provide protection against severe re-infection”.
  • The pre-existing cross-reactive memory T cells are from previous exposures to common cold coronaviruses, and the biological relevance remains unclear.

Source: TH

Jaya Jaitly Committee

GS-II :

Jaya Jaitly Committee

  • A task force has been constituted by the Government of India to evaluate issues related to Infant Mortality Rate, Maternal Mortality Rate, Total Fertility Rate, Sex Ratio at Birth, Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and any other issue that pertains to health as well as nutrition.
  • It will also review the correlation of age of marriage and motherhood along with health, medical well being and nutritional status of mother and child, during pregnancy & birth.
  • The task force has been set up by the Women and Child Development Ministry and will be headed by Jaya Jaitly.
  • PM, in his 74th Independence day speech has called to increase the age of marriage of girls to 20 years to control the problem of maternal and child malnutrition.

Source: TH

Kalpana Chawla Award

GS-I :

Kalpana Chawla Award

  • Three women from Aadhanur in Perambalur district, who rescued two youth from drowning in the Kottakarai dam, by throwing their sarees to them, were awarded the Kalpana Chawla award for courage and daring enterprise by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami during the 74th Independence Day celebrations at Fort St. George on Saturday.

Source: TH

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