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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

Monthly DNA

28 Mar, 2023

11 Min Read

Adultery

GS-I : Indian Society Social issues

Adultery

• The Supreme Court was questioned by the Union of India over how the ruling against Adultery applied to the military forces.

Background

While declaring that the decriminalisation of adultery does not apply to the Armed Forces, the Supreme Court has determined that armed forces can punish their commanders for adulterous activities.

Is Adultery Crime in India?

The SC invalidated Section 497 of the (Adultery IPC), which made adultery a Crime in India, in September 2018 after determining that it was unconstitutional and violated women's equality rights by treating them less favourably than their spouses. This decision is known as the Joseph Shine Decision.

Supreme Court Judgment

• The SC made it clear that in its 2018 decision, it had "no occasion whatsoever to evaluate the effect" of the Army, Navy, and Air Force Acts and was solely interested in determining the legality of the adultery-related provisions of Section 497 of the IPC and Section 198(2) of the CrPC.
• The Army Act, Navy Act, and Air Force Act, respectively, were specific pieces of legislation that oversaw the three branches of the armed forces: Army, Navy, and Air Force.
• These unique regulations restrict the personnel's right to freedom of speech and association, which is problematic because they work in unusual circumstances that demand strong discipline.
• Article 33 of the Constitution protects these three laws, but it also grants the government the authority to alter the personnel's fundamental rights.

History

• Section 497 of the Indian Criminal Code (IPC), which makes adultery a crime, was challenged in a Supreme Court appeal filed in 2017 by Joseph Shine, an NRI.
• Section 497 of the IPC was declared unconstitutional in September 2018 by a five-judge constitution bench, which also ruled that it violated the equality rights of women by treating them as less than their husbands.

About Adultery

• An adulterous act is when a married individual engages in sexual activity with someone who is not their current spouse or partner.
• According to Section 497 of the IPC, anyone who engages in sexual activity with another man's wife without that man's knowledge or agreement, and who does so in a way that does not constitute rape, commits the crime of adultery and is subject to punishment.
• Since the law assumes that only a man may persuade a woman into performing a sexual act, and since the husband has suffered as a result of his wife's relationship with another man while acting against his will, the law does not punish his wife.
• Women were regarded by the law as the husbands' property, and adulterous women were not subject to any penalties.
• In India right now, adultery is not a crime, but under the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 and the Special Marriage Act of 1954, it is a reason for divorce.
• Moreover, adultery is a "misconduct" offence under the applicable Service Conduct Standards for government employees, including those in the armed forces.
• Any disciplinary action imposed by the employer must, however, have a direct or indirect connection to the employee's responsibilities and cannot be capricious or violate the employee's right to private.

The Court Decriminalised Adultery for What Reason?

• Discrimination: Due to the fact that it only penalises men while sparing women, the law itself is predicated on discrimination.
• Against the equality right: Due to the unreasonable distinction it makes between men and women, the law breaches article 14 of the constitution.
• Women considered as possessions: Married women are their husbands' "property," according to the law, because their interactions with other married individuals depend on his "licence or connivance," which also implies they are permitted to conduct an extramarital affair with his "consent."
• According to the law, a husband has the right to control his legally wedded wife's sexual orientation.
• The law gives the husband the right to exert control over his wife's sexuality in order to make this exclusive claim on her body.

Challenges

• It will promote extramarital relationships, which will exacerbate family tensions.
• That can result in an increase in divorce cases.
• In the event of a divorce between a wife and a husband, it may have a bad effect on the children.
• Several analysts believe that because it encourages westernisation, it will ruin the traditional Indian marital institution and culture.

Way Ahead

• Although it is no longer a crime to commit adultery in India, it is nonetheless viewed as a moral and social wrong and a reason to dissolve a marriage

Source: The Hindu

ESG REGULATIONS

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Environmental Governance

ESG Regulations in India

  • In India, the development of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) legislation and regulations is still in its infancy.
  • Regulations and businesses have adopted environmental impact, a dedication to social causes, solid corporate governance, and the preservation of shareholder rights as part of their business models over the past ten years.

About ESG Regulations

  • The term "Environmental, Social, and Governance" (ESG) refers to a set of standards used to evaluate how well a company does in protecting the environment, managing its stakeholder relationships, and managing issues including the company's leadership, internal controls, and shareholder rights. Socially and ecologically conscientious investors evaluate possible investments using these criteria.
  • The term "environmental, social, and corporate governance" (ESG) refers to a strategic framework for activities that include the company's carbon footprint, commitment to sustainability, workplace culture, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and overall ethos regarding corporate risks and practises.
  • It's an organisational concept that has gained importance, especially for socially conscious investors who seek for businesses with high ESG ratings
  • ESG-compliant businesses may have lower operating expenses, improved risk management, and improved investor and consumer perception.
  • In assessing a company's long-term viability and profitability, investors are aware of the significance of ESG aspects.
  • Neglecting ESG factors may result in reputational harm, regulatory attention, and higher operating expenses for businesses.
  • When choosing which businesses to support or work for, many customers and workers also take ESG considerations into account.

Pillars of ESG

  • The ESG's three main pillars are as follows:
  • Environmental Commitment: This refers to a company's overall commitment to sustainability and its impact on the environment, including its waste production, energy consumption, carbon emissions, and footprint.
  • A company's internal workplace culture, employee retention, diversity, working conditions, and employee health and safety are all covered under its social commitment. Businesses with contented workers perform better and are regarded as better investments.
  • Corporate governance refers to a firm's dedication to good governance, which includes compliance, internal corporate culture, compensation ratios, company ethos, and leadership transparency and accountability. Investors are drawn to businesses that are committed to workplace justice and equality and that can adapt to changing laws and regulations.

Difference of ESG and CSR

  • India has a strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy that is outlined in the Companies Act 2013, which requires businesses to spend at least 2% of their net earnings over the previous three years on CSR activities.
  • ESG regulations have varying impacts and processes. The U.K. Modern Slavery Act, for instance, mandates that businesses disclose the steps they have taken to identify the dangers of child labour in their supply chain.
  • With the passage of the 2014 and 2021 changes to the 2013 Companies Act, this obligation was formalised into law and calls for:
  • Businesses with a minimum net worth of 500 crore ($60 million), a minimum annual revenue of 1,000 crore ($120 million), or a minimum net profit of 5 crore ($6,05,800) in any given fiscal year.

Advantage of ESG

  • Long-Term Sustainability: Companies are encouraged to search for more sustainable investment options by adhering to the ESG framework, which gives them a long-term competitive edge.
  • Improved Public Image: ESG-compliant businesses can easily access resources at lower prices, including financial, natural, and human skills.
  • Improving Employee Productivity: By integrating ESG into the business environment, employees are encouraged to live lives that are "purpose-driven" and to do their best work.
  • Cost/Risk Reduction: Compliance with ESG standards, such as resolving shareholder complaints, human rights, and gender diversity of the companies, will lead to less fines and enforcement actions.

Relevance

  • India has a number of laws and organisations that address issues with the environment, society, and governance.
  • According to recent initiatives, India should follow rules that prioritise monitoring, quantification, and disclosure, which are similar to ESG standards in other areas of the world.
  • If India is to fully benefit from the growing decoupling from China, compliance with ESG norms from other areas of the world is essential.
  • Following ESG guidelines may be more important in global supply chains and the world market as a whole.
ESG Fund
  • An example of a mutual fund is an ESG fund. Its investments are frequently used interchangeably with environmentally friendly or socially conscious investments.
  • Conscience is thus the primary distinction between ESG funds and ordinary funds.
  • The ESG fund concentrates on businesses with a track record of ethical behaviour, protecting the environment, and being employee-friendly.

Securities and Exchange Board of India is in charge of overseeing the fund (SEBI).

Source: The Hindu

Operation Trishul

GS-III : Economic Issues Economy Offence

Operation Trishul

  • 33 persons involved in various criminal activities who were hiding abroad have been extradited by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as part of Operation Trishul.

About

  • Operation Trishul makes use of the Interpol's Star Global Focal Point Network and its channels to track down financial offenders who distribute stolen property.
  • In order to track down fugitives who are hiding overseas, the CBI serves as India's nodal agency and works with Interpol.
  • In addition to destroying support networks, Operation Trishul attempts to gather criminal intelligence on co-accused around the world as well as on shell businesses, fraudulent business dealings, and money mules.
  • The CBI was successful in locating and extraditing 27 fugitives last year.

Who are the Fugitive Criminals?

  • The term "Fugitive Economic Offender" refers to any person for whom a court in India has issued an arrest warrant in connection with a scheduled offence and who either leaves or has left India in order to avoid being prosecuted for a crime or refuses to return to India in order to be prosecuted for a crime.

The 2018 Fugitive Economic Offenders Act aims to collect the assets of economic offenders who have either fled the country to avoid prosecution or who have refused to return to face charges.

Source: Indian Express

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