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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

Monthly DNA

25 Aug, 2022

26 Min Read

Zonal Council of India

GS-II : Governance Center - State Relations

Zonal Council

The 23rd Central Zonal Council Meeting, which was held in Bhopal and presided over by the Union Home Minister, just ended.

At the conference, the Uttarakhand government encouraged the Central government to build an airport at Chaukhatia, which is close to Paradise.

About Zonal Council

History:

When discussing the States Reorganisation Commission's report in 1956, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, proposed the concept of creating Zonal Councils.

Goals of the formation of Zonal Councils:

  • national integration being promoted;
  • halting the development of regionalism, linguism, acute state consciousness, and other particularistic tendencies;
  • enabling cooperation and idea and knowledge sharing between the Center and the States;
  • creating an environment of cooperation among the States to enable the effective and quick completion of development initiatives.

ZONAL COUNCILS

  • The states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, the National Capital Territory of Delhi, and the Union Territory of Chandigarh make up the Northern Zonal Council.
  • The states of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh make up the Central Zonal Council.
  • The Eastern Zonal Council, which is made up of the States of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, and Sikkim;
  • The Western Zonal Council, which unites the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli with the States of Goa, Gujarat, and Maharashtra;
  • The States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and the Union Territory of Puducherry make up the Southern Zonal Council.

North Eastern Council

  • The Zonal Councils do not cover the North Eastern States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Nagaland, and the North Eastern Council, established by the North Eastern Council Act of 1972, handles their unique issues.
  • According to the 2002-notified North Eastern Council (Amendment) Act, the State of Sikkim is now a member of the North Eastern Council.

Zonal Council Organizational Structure:

  • Each of these Councils is presided over by the Union Home Minister.
  • Vice Chairman - By rotation, the Chief Ministers of the States that are part of each zone serve as the vice chairman of the zonal council for that zone, with each serving terms of one year.
  • Members comprise the zone's chief minister, two additional ministers chosen by each state's governor, and two representatives from union territories.
  • Advisors: Chief Secretaries, another officer/Development Commissioner selected by each of the States included in the Zone, and one person nominated by the Planning Commission for each of the Zonal Councils.

The Councils' Purposes:

  • any topic in the sphere of economic and social planning that is of mutual interest;
  • any issue involving linguistic minorities, border issues, or interstate transportation;
  • any issue relating to or resulting from the States Reform Act's reorganisation of the States.

Also, Read - V.D. Savarkar

Source: The Indian Express

Post-retirement Allowances to Supreme Court Judges

GS-II : Governance Judiciary

Post-retirement Allowances to Supreme Court Judges

Image source - Fresh Headline

The government recently changed the rules and boosted the post-retirement benefits for justices of the Supreme Court (SC).

Major Points

  • Present: The Center added post-retirement allowances to the Supreme Court judges' service regulations.
  • The Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act of 1958 authorised the amendment of the regulations. The modifications take effect right away.
  • Background: one day later, on August 26, CJI N V Ramana will step down from his position.

New Rules

  • It permits retired SC judges, including the CJI, to continue using a driver and a secretary equivalent to the level of a branch office for a year following retirement.
  • For a year following their retirement, both retired judges and retired CJIs are entitled to round-the-clock personal security guards and cover for their homes.
  • Additionally, a retired Chief Justice of India (CJI) will receive a Type-VII apartment in Delhi for free for six months after leaving office, as well as protocol courtesy for SC judges at airports.
  • It is customary to extend courtesies in airport ceremonial lounges to a retiring Chief Justice or judge.

About Supreme Court Judge

  • The President appoints the justices of the Supreme Court. The President appoints the Chief Justice of India (CJI) after consulting with the Supreme Court and high court justices that he considers necessary.
  • After consulting with the Chief Justice of India and any other Supreme Court and high court judges he considers essential, the President appoints the other judges. When a judge other than the Chief Justice is appointed, consultation with the Chief Justice is required
  • Choosing a Chief Justice From 1950 until 1973, it was customary to name the senior-most Supreme Court judge as India's chief justice. When A N Ray was appointed India's Chief Justice in 1973 by displacing three senior justices, this accepted practice was broken. M U Beg was once more named chief justice of India in 1977 by displacing the highest ranking judge at the time.
  • In the Second Judges Case (1993), the Supreme Court decided that the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court should be the only one to be chosen to the position of Chief Justice of India, restricting the government's latitude.

Collegium System

  • The "three judges case" gave birth to the collegium system, which has been in use since 1998. In High Courts and Supreme Courts, it is utilized for judicial appointments and transfers.
  • The Collegium is not mentioned in either the original Indian Constitution or any subsequent revisions.
  • The SC collegium, which consists of the four senior-most judges of the court, is led by the CJI (Chief Justice of India).
  • An HC collegium is headed by its Chief Justice and four of the court's other senior-most members.
  • Only when the CJI and the SC collegium have given their approval do names suggested for appointment by an HC collegium reach the government.
  • Only the collegium system is used to nominate judges of the higher judiciary, and the government only becomes involved once the collegium has chosen names.

Working of collegium system and NJAC

  • The collegium suggests judges or attorneys to the Central Government. The Central Government also submits some of its suggested names to the Collegium in a similar manner.
  • The material is sent back to the government for final clearance after Collegium takes the names or ideas provided by the Central Government into consideration.
  • The government must approve the names if the Collegium sends them again with the same name. But there is no set amount of time to respond. This is the cause of the lengthy process involved in appointing judges.
  • The National Judicial Commission Act (NJAC) was established through the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2014 to replace the collegium system for appointing judges.
  • The Supreme Court, however, supported the collegium system and declared the NJAC to be unconstitutional on the grounds that it violated the "Principles of Basic Structure" since the Political Executive was involved in the judicial nomination. Specifically, "Independence of the Judiciary."

Qualifications Required for the Appointment of Judges

  • The following requirements must be met for someone to be appointed as a Supreme Court judge:
  • He must be an Indian citizen.
  • He should have held one of the following positions: judge of a High Court (or High Courts in succession) for five years; advocate of a High Court (or High Courts in succession) for 10 years; or eminent jurist in the president's opinion.
  • There is no minimum age requirement in the Constitution for Supreme Court appointments.

Oaths or Affirmations

  • Before beginning their duties, Supreme Court judges are required to take an oath or affirmation in front of the President or another person he has designated for this purpose.
  • A Supreme Court judge swears in his oath to uphold India's sovereignty and integrity, to carry out his duties as a judge honestly and faithfully, to the best of his knowledge and discretion, and without regard to personal gain, favour, or ill will.
  • He also swears to uphold the laws of India and the Constitution.

Tenure of Judges

  • The duration of a Supreme Court justice is not predetermined by the Constitution. In this regard, it does, however, make the following three provisions:
  • He serves in that capacity until he turns 65 years old. His age will be decided by the appropriate body and according to the procedures laid out by Parliament.
  • He can submit a letter of resignation to the President.
  • On the suggestion of the Parliament, the President may remove him from his position.

Removal of Judges

  • A presidential order is necessary to remove a Supreme Court justice from office. Only after receiving a Parliamentary address for such removal during the same session may the President issue the removal order.
  • A special majority of each House of Parliament must support the address (ie, a majority of the total membership of that House and a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting). There are two reasons for removal: demonstrated misconduct or incapacity.
  • The method for removing a Supreme Court justice through the impeachment process is governed by the Judges Enquiry Act (1968).
  • To date, no Supreme Court justice has been impeached. Justices Dipak Misra (2017–18) and V. Ramaswami (1991–1993) both had their impeachment motions rejected by the Parliament.

Also, Read - Zonal Council

Source: The Indian Express

Benami Law  

GS-II : Various acts Acts and regulations

Benami Law

The Supreme Court recently overturned a part of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 that imposed a maximum three-year prison sentence, a fine, or both, as a penalty for engaging in Benami transactions.

About the recent judgment

In regards to the 1988 act:

  • Benami transactions and the power to recover property that is believed to be Benami were rendered illegal by the 1988 Act.
  • The highest court declared Section 3(2) of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988, illegal on the grounds that it was obviously arbitrary.
  • The civil penalties that are planned under the Act won't be impacted by it.
  • Benami transactions are prohibited under Section 3 of the law, and the sub-section (2) that is being challenged states that anyone who engages in a Benami transaction is subject to a sentence of up to three years in prison, a fine, or both.
  • Section 3(3) of the 2016 amendment increased the three-year sentence to seven years in prison and increased the fine to up to 25% of the fair market value of the property. This part of the law is still in effect today.

Absence of retrospective application

  • Due to its punitive nature, Section 5 of the 2016 Act's forfeiture provision could only be implemented going forward, not in the past.
  • Because Section 3(2) of the 2016 Act violates Article 20(1) of the Constitution, it is likewise invalid.

Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988

  • Certain kinds of financial transactions are restricted by an Act of the Indian Parliament.
  • A "Benami" transaction is one in which property is transferred to one person in exchange for money paid by another person, according to the statute.
  • Such transactions, which were common in the Indian economy and typically involved the purchase of real estate, were believed to be a factor in the country's black money issue.
  • The act forbids all Benami transactions and grants the government the authority to seize assets held in Benami without having to make any sort of payment in return.

Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016

  • The Act aims to address all such transactions in which one party engages in them, while another party receives consideration and benefits as a result.
  • According to Section 2(9) of the Act, a Benami transaction is one in which one person holds the property while another pays for it; the property is held in a fictitious name; the owner of the property is unaware of or denies knowing about its ownership or the source of the financing for the transaction cannot be identified.
  • The act establishes certain exceptions to Section 2 Benami transactions. They are:
  • Karta for the advantage of himself or his family; or
  • A person acting in a fiduciary capacity for another, such as a trustee, executor, partner, business director, depository participant, or agent; or a person acting on behalf of their spouse, child, brother, sister, or other lineal ancestor or descendant

Application

Any property (asset), whether mobile or immovable, tangible or intangible, physical or incorporeal, can be the subject of a Benami transaction.

What do the Authorities created by the Act do?

In accordance with the Act, the Central Government shall appoint the initiating officer, approving authority, administrator, and adjudicating authority.

Sanctions imposed by this Act

According to the Act, anyone found guilty of engaging in a Benami transaction is subject to harsh imprisonment for a term that must not be less than one year but may reach seven years, as well as a fine that may amount to up to 25% of the property's fair market value.

Implications

  • The Act represents a significant improvement in the system for getting rid of black money.
  • The government is putting up a number of steps to stop the flow of black money in the economy in an effort to combat it. And among them, this action occupies the first position.
  • Concerned authorities cannot begin, continue, or end criminal prosecutions or confiscation processes for transactions that took place before the 2016 Act went into effect.

Demonetization, income tax legislation changes, and the 2015 implementation of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act all work together to create a formidable barrier that corners corruption and makes it impossible for the corrupt to flee.

Also, Read - Post-retirement Allowances to Supreme Court Judges

Source: The Hindu

V.D. Savarkar

GS-I : Modern History Personalities

V.D. Savarkar

In Mysore, the Savarkar Rath Yatra was launched by the former Chief Minister.

About V.D . Savarkar

  • He was born on May 28, 1883, into a Hindu Marathi family in Nashik, Maharashtra, and went by the name Swatantryaveer Savarkar, or "Veer," because of his bravery.
  • He was a social reformer, politician, lawyer, writer, and founder of the Hindutva movement.

Contribution to the Freedom Movement:

  • He promoted Swadeshi and opposed imported commodities. On Dussehra in 1905, he set fire to every piece of foreign merchandise.
  • In 1909, he was detained on suspicion of planning an armed uprising against the Morley-Minto reform.
  • He was detained in 1910 as a result of his affiliation with the revolutionary organization India House.
  • He established a youth organization, says Mitra Mela. This organization, also known as the Mitra Mela (Group of Friends), was established to spread revolutionary and national beliefs.

Untouchability:

He spearheaded one of India's most effective social reform initiatives to end the practice. He also constructed the Patit Pavan Mandir in Ratnagiri district to welcome all Hindus, including Dalits, inside.

Writings:

  • While serving a prison sentence, he wrote "The Indian War of Independence, 1857."
  • Moreover, he authored Hindutva
  • Who Is a Hindu? Introducing the notion of Hindutva ("Hinduness"), which aimed to characterize Indian culture as an expression of Hindu principles; this idea later developed into a central component of Hindu nationalist ideology.
  • His opinions towards the 1942 Quit India Movement were negative.
  • He was charged with participating in the plot to kill Mahatma Gandhi, but the court ultimately found him not guilty.

Similar Organizations

  • Together with his brother Ganesh Damodar Savarkar, he founded the covert Abhinav Bharat Society (also known as the Young India Society) in 1904.
  • V.D. Savarkar established student organizations including the Free India Society and was affiliated with India House.

Hindu Mahasabha: (1933)

  • He served as the president of the Hindu Mahasabha, a Hindu nationalist group and political party. He was a nationalist and one of the group's most significant leaders.
  • Additionally, he held the position of Hindu Mahasabha President for seven years. He supported establishing a Hindu Rashtra (Hindu nation).

Death:

  • Savarkar began his hunger strike on February 1, 1966, after declaring his intention to attain Samadhi in 1964. He died on February 26, 1966.

Also, Read - Acculturation

Source: PIB

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