Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- World Heritage list
- Arth Ganga
- Uprising of 1857
- Law on Polygamy
- SC verdict on control over Services
- Key Takeways from SC Maharashtra verdict
- Facts for Prelims
1 . World Heritage List
Context: Santiniketan the home of Nobel laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore has been recommended for inclusion in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
What is World Heritage Sites?
- World Heritage Sites are cultural and/or natural sites considered to be of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’, which have been inscribed on the World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee.
- These places or buildings are thought to:
- have special importance for everyone
- represent unique, or the most significant or best, examples of the world’s cultural and/or natural heritage
- Outstanding Universal Value is considered to transcend national boundaries and to be of importance for future generations.
- World Heritage status is a high accolade that brings with it responsibilities and international scrutiny.
- World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific, or other forms of significance. The sites are judged to contain “cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.
- Importance of World Heritage site Tag- World Heritage sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored, uncontrolled, or unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence. Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones.
- World Heritage Committee– TheWorld Heritage Committee is a committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization that selects the sites to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger, defines the use of the World Heritage Fund and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties.
- World Heritage program- The World Heritage Sites list is maintained by the International World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 “state parties” that are elected by their General Assembly. The program catalogues, names, and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common culture and heritage of humanity. The programme began with the “Convention Concerning the Protection of the World’s Cultural and Natural Heritage, which was adopted the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.
- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture.
- UNESCO was founded in 1945 as the successor to the League of Nations’s International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.
- It pursues this objective through five major programme areas: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences, culture and communication/information.
- UNESCO sponsors projects that improve literacy, provide technical training and education, advance science, protect independent media and press freedom, preserve regional and cultural history, and promote cultural diversity.
- UNESCO is a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, a coalition of UN agencies and organisations aimed at fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage– The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to protect and preserve such sites through the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. This international treaty was drawn up in 1972.
- Governments of countries that have ratified the Convention (States Parties) identify and nominate suitable sites to the World Heritage Committee for inscription on the list maintained by UNESCO.
What are the criteria for selection?
- “To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius”
- “To exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design”
- “To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living, or which has disappeared”
- “To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history”
- “To be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change”
- “To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance
- “To contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance”
- To be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features”
- “To be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals”
- “To contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation”
- Santiniketan, the abode of peace of Rabindranath Tagore, has been recommended for inclusion in the Unesco World Heritage List by an international advisory body.
- Santiniketan is a popular tourist attraction of international repute. It is a famous cultural and heritage place of historical importance. Rabindranath lived here and penned many of his literary classics (namely Tagore songs, poems, novels etc.
- The Santiniketan campus is adorned by splendid sculptures, frescoes, murals, and paintings of Rabindranath, Nandalal Bose, Ramkinkar, Binodbehari Mukhopadhyay and others.
- Fairs and Festivals- Birbhum District, where the Santiniketan is located, is also famous for its fairs and festivals like Poush Mela (December), Joydev Mela (January), Basanta Utsav (Holi) in March and the famous mystic Baul Singers.
- Bengali New year and Rabindra Janmotsav, the birth day ceremony of Kobiguru Rabindra Nath are celebrated in the Bengali month of Boisakh with great cultural fervour.
- Briksharopan, The festival of Planting Saplings, and Halakarshan, The festival of Plowing the Fields, are celebrated on 22nd And 23rd day of Sravana (August). Varshamangal, The festival of Rains, is celebrated during August/September.
- Poush Mela is an annual fair and festival that takes place in Santiniketan. Commencing on the 7th day of the month of Poush, the fair officially lasts for three days, although vendors may stay up until the month-end. Poush Mela is characterised by its live performances of Bengali folk music, specially bauls. Traditional bauls, wandering minstrels singing Bengali songs. Tribal dances (Santali) is also the part of the fair.
2 . Arth Ganga
Context: A first of its kind analysis of the sludge found in Indian sewage treatment plants (STP), set up to treat polluted water from the Ganga, found that most of it had “high potential” for use as fertilizer, but required treatment before it could be used unrestricted in farms, or as a potential biofuel
What is Arth Ganga?
- Arth Ganga is a sustainable viable economic model conceptualized under “Namami-Gange” program to integrate people in the basin with Ganga Rejuvenation. A number of initiatives have been taken by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under this Arth-Ganga concept, in co-ordination with many Ministries/ Departments of Central and state governments and even NGOs. There are six key verticals of intervention in the model, namely:
- Promotion of Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF), which includes promotion of Natural Farming in Ganga Basin.
- Monetization and reuse of treated wastewater and sludge. It refers to reuse of treated wastewater by ULBs for generation of revenue and conversion of sludge into usable products such as manure, pavers and bricks for revenue generation as well as safe disposal of sludge.
- Development of Livelihood generation opportunities through activities like ‘Ghat Main Haat’ for sale of local products of Ganga cities/towns along riverbanks; self-sustaining of Ghats and capacity building trainings of Ganga Praharis etc. Jalaj units for income generation activities for Ganga Praharis have been set up in many locations.
- Encouragement of Public Participation through organizing regular events such as Ganga Aartis, cleanliness drives, Ganga Guide Trainings, Yoga on Ghat, Ghat Pe Haat etc. in coordination with District Ganga Committees.
- Promotion of Cultural heritage and tourism by development of small local tourism and cultural circuits; introduction of boat tourism through community jetties; promotion of yoga and wellness, medical tourism, adventure tourism, eco-tourism, enhancement of cultural connection with the river through aartis & Ganga trails;
- Institution Building through setting up of decentralized monitoring and governance units like District Ganga Committees (DGCs); enhancement of the capacities of DGCs and other local administration institutions for better water governance and sustenance of the projects, post asset handover.
Conversion of Sludge into fertilizer- Under Artha Ganga
- An emerging initiative of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, a flagship programme of the government to establish treatment facilities and prevent pollution of the river, is to derive livelihood opportunities from the river rejuvenation programme.
- One of the measures, under this ‘Arth Ganga’ (economic value from Ganga), is to “monetise” and reuse treated wastewater and sludge. This means converting sludge — a thick residue filtered out of STP that while rich in organic chemicals is also a repository of heavy metals, industrial effluents and bacterial contaminants — into usable products such as manure and bricks. The contaminant in sludge means that they need to be treated and dried before they can be safely disposed.
- Classification of Treated Sludge- Treated sludge can be classified as class A or class B — as per the standards of the United States Environment Protection Agency — with class A being safe to be disposed of in the open and useful as organic fertilizer.
- Class B means that the sludge can be used in “restricted” agricultural applications, the edible parts of the crop not be exposed to the sludge-mixed soil, and animals and people not come into extensive contact. India doesn’t yet have standards classifying sludge as class A or B.
- Composition of Sludge– A study by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Roorkee found that most of the sludge analysed after drying fell into the class B category. Nitrogen and phosphorous levels — the basic soil nutrients — were higher than those recommended by India’s fertilizer standards (FCO, 2009). However, potassium levels of some sludges were less than recommended. The total organic carbon was more than 16%, again higher than FCO recommendations, but the degree of pathogens as well as heavy metal contamination was above the recommended fertilizer standards. The calorific value of sludge ranged from 1,000-3,500 kcal/kg. This is lower than the average calorific value of Indian coal.
- How to improve the quality of the Sludge?
- To improve the quality of sludge, the report recommends the sludge needs to be stored for at least three months to kill pathogens, and blended with cattle manure and husk or local soil to reduce the heavy metal. This, however, would still put it in class B, and converting it into grade A sludge would require far more extensive treatment.
3 . Uprising of 1857
Context: On May 10, 1857, Meerut showed India the way when sepoys revolted against British rule and began marching to Delhi which was the power centre, the capital of Mughal India.
About Uprising of 1857
- The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was a major uprising in India in 1857–58 against the rule of the British East India Company, which functioned as a sovereign power on behalf of the British Crown.
- The rebellion began on 10 May 1857 in the form of a mutiny of sepoys of the Company’s army in the garrison town of Meerut, 40 mi (64 km) northeast of Delhi. It then erupted into other mutinies and civilian rebellions chiefly in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, though incidents of revolt also occurred farther north and east.
- The rebellion posed a military threat to British power in that region and was contained only with the rebels defeat in Gwalior on 20 June 1858.
- Factors responsible for the Uprising of the revolt- The Indian rebellion was fed by resentments born of diverse perceptions, including invasive British-style social reforms, harsh land taxes, summary treatment of some rich landowners and princes as well as scepticism about the improvements brought about by British rule.
What is the Course of the revolt?
- The rebellion first began as a mutiny in Barrackpore (near Calcutta). Mangal Pandey murdered his officer in January 1857 and a mutiny broke out there. In the following month, at Meerut, of the 90 sepoys who were to receive their cartridges only five obeyed orders. On 10 May three sepoy regiments revolted, killed their officers, and released those who had been imprisoned. The next day they reached Delhi, murdered Europeans, and seized that city. The rebels proclaimed Bahadur Shah II as emperor.
- By June the revolt had spread to Rohilkhand, where the whole countryside was in rebellion. Khan Bahadur Khan proclaimed himself the viceroy of the Emperor of India. Nearly all of Bundelkhand and the entire Doab region were up in arms against the British.
- At Jhansi, Europeans were massacred and Laxmi Bai, aged 22, was enthroned. In Kanpur Nana Sahib led the rebels. About 125 English women and their children along with English officers were killed and their bodies were thrown into a well. Termed as the Kanpur massacre, this incident angered the British and General Henry Havelock, who was sent to deal with the situation, defeated Nana Sahib the day after the massacre. Neill, who was left there, took terrible vengeance and those whom he regarded as guilty were executed. Towards the close of November Tantia Topi seized Kanpur but it was soon recovered by Campbell.
- The Lucknow residency, defended by Henry Lawrence, fell into the hands of rebels. Havelock Marched towards Lucknow after defeating Nana Sahib, but he had to retire. By the close of July John Nicholson sent by John Lawrence to capture Delhi succeeded in capturing Delhi. The Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II now became a prisoner and his two sons and grandson were shot dead after their surrender.
- Resistance in Awadh was prolonged because of the involvement of talukdars as well as peasants in the revolt. Many of these taluqdars were loyal to the Nawab of Awadh, and they joined Begum Hazrat Mahal (the wife of the NawabWajid Ali Shah) in Lucknow to fight the British. Since a vast majority of the sepoys were from peasant families in the villages of Oudh, the grievances of the peasants had affected them.
- Oudh was the nursery of the Bengal Army for a long time. The sepoys from Oudh complained of low levels of pay and the difficulty of getting leave. They all rallied behind Begum Hazrat Mahal. Led by Raja Jailal Singh, they fought against the British forces and seized control of Lucknow and she declared her son, Birjis Qadra, as the ruler (Wali) of Oudh. Neill who wrecked terrible vengeance in Kanpur was shot dead in the street fighting at Lucknow. Lucknow could be finally captured only in March 1858.
- Hugh Rose besieged Jhansi and defeated Tantia Topi early in April. Yet Lakshmi Bai audaciously captured Gwalior forcing pro-British Scindia to flee. Rose with his army directly confronted Lakshmi Bai. In this battle Lakshmi Bai died fighting admirably. Rose described Lakshmi Bai as the “best and bravest military leader of the rebels”.
- Gwalior was recaptured soon. In July 1858 Canning announced the suppression of the “Mutiny” and restoration of peace. Tantia Tope was captured and executed in April 1859.Bahadur Shah II, captured in September 1857, was tried and declared guilty. He was exiled to Rangoon (Myanmar), where he died in November 1862 at the age of 87. With his death the Mughal dynasty came to an end.
Effects of the Great Rebellion
Queen’s Proclamation 1858
- A Royal Durbar was held at Allahabad on November 1, 1858. The proclamation issued by Queen Victoria was read at the Durbar by Lord Canning, who was the last Governor General and the first Viceroy of India.
- Hereafter India would be governed by and in the name of the British Monarch through a Secretary of State. The Secretary of State was to be assisted by a Council of India consisting of fifteen members. As a result, the Court of Directors and the Board of Control of the East India Company were abolished and the Crown and Parliament became constitutionally responsible for the governance of India. The separate army of the East India Company was abolished and merged with that of Crown.
- Proclamation endorsed the treaties made by the Company with Indian princes, promised to respect their rights, dignity and honour, and disavowed any ambition to extend the existing British possessions in India.
- The new council of 1861 was to have Indian nomination, since the Parliament thought the Legislative Council of 1853 consisted of only Europeans who had never bothered to consult Indian opinion and that led to the crisis.
- The Doctrine of Lapse and the policy of annexation to be given up. A general amnesty (pardon) to be granted to the rebels except those who were directly involved in killing the British subjects.
- The educational and public works programmes (roads, railways, telegraphs, and irrigation) were stimulated by the realization of their value for the movement of troops in times of emergency.
- Hopes of a revival of the past diminished and the traditional structure of Indian society began to break down. A Westernized English-educated middle class soon emerged with a heightened sense of nationalism.
4 . Laws on Polygamy
Context: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that the state government will move to ban the practice of polygamy through “legislative action”, and that an “expert committee” would be formed to examine the issue.
Practice of polygamy
- Polygamy is the practice of having more than one married spouse — wife or husband. The issue is governed both by personal laws and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
- Traditionally, polygamy — mainly the situation of a man having more than one wife — was practised widely in India. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 outlawed the practice.
- IPC Section 494 (“Marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife”) penalises bigamy or polygamy.
- The section reads: “Whoever, having a husband or wife living, marries in any case in which such marriage is void by reason of its taking place during the life of such husband or wife, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.”
- This provision does not apply to a marriage which has been declared void by a court — for example, a child marriage that has been declared void.
- The law also does not apply if a spouse has been “continually absent” for the “space of seven years”. This means a spouse who has deserted the marriage or when his or her whereabouts are not known for seven years, will not bind the other spouse from remarrying.
Polygamy Under Hindu law
- Anti Bigamy law– After Independence, anti-bigamy laws were adopted by provincial legislatures including Bombay and Madras. The Special Marriage Act, 1954, was a radical legislation that proposed the requirement of monogamy — subsection (a) of Section 4 of the SMA (“Conditions relating to solemnization of special marriages”) requires that “at the time of marriage…neither party has a spouse living”.
- Ban Parliament passed the Hindu Marriage Act in 1955, outlawing the concept of having more than one spouse at a time. Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs are also included under the Hindu Marriage Code. The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936, had already outlawed bigamy.
- Section 5 (“Conditions for a Hindu marriage”) of the Hindu Marriage Act lays down that “a marriage may be solemnized between any two Hindus, if…[among other conditions] neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage”.
- Under Section 17 of the HMA bigamy is an offence, “and the provisions of sections 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, shall apply accordingly”.
- However, despite bigamy being an offence, the child born from the bigamous marriage would acquire the same rights as a child from the first marriage under the law.
- A crucial exception to the bigamy law for Hindus is Goa, which follows its own code for personal laws. So, a Hindu man in the state has the right to bigamy under specific circumstances mentioned in the Codes of Usages and Customs of Gentile Hindus of Goa.
- These circumstances include a case where the wife fails to conceive by the age of 25 or if she fails to deliver a male child by the age of 30.
Polygamy Under Muslim law
- Marriage in Islam is governed by the Shariat Act, 1937. Personal law allows a Muslim man to have four wives. To benefit from the Muslim personal law, many men from other religions would convert to Islam to have a second wife.
- In a landmark ruling in 1995, the Supreme Court in Sarla Mudgal v Union of India held that religious conversion for the sole purpose of committing bigamy is unconstitutional. This position was subsequently reiterated in the 2000 judgment in Lily Thomas v Union of India.
- Any move to outlaw polygamy for Muslims would have to be a special legislation which overrides personal law protections like in the case of triple talaq.
Prevalence of polygamy
- The National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-20) showed the prevalence of polygamy was 2.1% among Christians, 1.9% among Muslims, 1.3% among Hindus, and 1.6% among other religious groups. The data showed that the highest prevalence of polygynous marriages was in the Northeastern states with tribal populations. A list of 40 districts with the highest polygyny rates was dominated by those with high tribal populations.
Topics for 12th
- SC verdict on control over Services – https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-law/supreme-court-verdict-on-control-over-services-what-tilted-scales-in-delhis-favour-8604762/
- Key Takeways from SC Maharashtra vedict – https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-law/key-takeaways-of-scs-maharashtra-verdict-8604771/
- Facts for Prelims – Monkey pox
5 . SC Verdict on Control over Services
Context: Drawing the curtains on an eight-year-long legal battle between the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government and the Centre, the Supreme Court ruled that the Delhi government has legislative and executive powers over administrative services in the national capital.
What was the issue before the Court?
- In 2015, a Union Home Ministry notification said that the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi shall exercise control over “services”. The Delhi government challenged this before the Delhi High Court, which in 2017 upheld the notification. On appeal, a two-judge Bench of the Supreme Court referred the issue to a larger constitution Bench.
- In 2018, a five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by then CJI Dipak Misra, in a unanimous verdict laid down the law that governs the relationship between Delhi and the Centre. The ruling was in favour of the Delhi government.
- While the Constitution bench decided the larger questions, the specific issues were to be decided by a two-judge Bench. In 2019, two judges, (who were also part of the larger 5-judge Bench in 2018), Justices Ashok Bhushan and AK Sikri, delivered a split verdict on the specific issue of “services.” The split verdict then went to a three-judge Bench and eventually a five-judge Constitution Bench, which has now delivered its verdict.
What was the bone of contention?
- The Bone of contention is the scope of legislative and executive powers of the centre and NCTD with respect to the term Services. It means the court had to decide if it was the Delhi government or the Union government that had legislative and executive control over the capital’s bureaucracy.
- The court had to interpret clause (3)(a) of Article 239AA (Special provisions with respect to Delhi) of the Constitution. It reads: “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the legislative assembly shall have power to make laws for the whole or any part of the National Capital Territory with respect to any of the matters enumerated in the State list or in the Concurrent list in so far as any such matter is applicable to union territories except matters with respect to….”
What was the Centre’s argument?
- The Centre’s argument was that in the 2018 ruling, the court did not analyse two crucial phrases in Article 239AA(3)(a). First was “ in sofar as any such matter is applicable to union territories” and the second was “subject to the provisions of this Constitution.”
- The Centre argued that since no Union Territory has power over services, Delhi too could not exercise such power. Essentially, Delhi could only legislate on issues that other Union Territories are explicitly allowed to legislate upon.
- “The legislative power of Delhi will extend to an entry only when that entry is clearly and unequivocally applicable to union territories as a class. Consequently, the list II (state list) has to be read contextually and certain entries can be excluded from the domain of GNCTD,” the Centre argued.
What did the court decide?
- First, the court concluded that Delhi under the constitutional scheme is a Sui Generis (or unique) model and is not similar to any other Union Territory. It said Delhi presents a special constitutional status under article 239AA.
- The unanimous ruling by a five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, said the decision would further “the basic structure of federalism”.
- It quoted from the 2018 judgement, where Justice Chandrachud had said that “having regard to the history in background, it would be fundamentally inappropriate to assign to the NCT status similar to other union territories.”
- Then the court went on to analyse how the phrase had been interpreted in the previous rounds of litigation.
- Justices Chandrachud and Bhushan wrote separate but concurring opinions, in which they expressly vested the power to regulate services with the Delhi government.
- In his separate opinion, Justice Bhushan had said that the phrase “in so far as any such matter is applicable to union territory” is “inconsequential” since various entries in the state list and concurrent list mention the word state, but not “union territory”.
- Further, Justice Bhushan also said that when the Constitution was enacted, there was no concept of Union Territories. “Therefore the phrase in question was used to facilitate the automatic conferment of powers to make laws for Delhi on all matters, including those in the state and concurrent list except when an entry indicates that its applicability is expressly barred for a union territory.
- However, in the 2019 split verdict, Justice Bhushan took a contrary position. He said that since the three majority judges had not taken a specific view on the issue of services, it cannot be said that Delhi has control over the issue. In the present verdict, the court disagreed with Justice Bhushan’s 2019 view and said that it can be inferred that the majority view was also similar to that of Justice Chandrachud and Bhushan.
- On the second phrase, “subject to the provisions of this Constitution,” the court said that it is not unique to Article 239AA and cannot be a limitation on Delhi government.
What is the extent of Delhi’s powers now?
- Article 239AA specifically excludes land, police and public order from the purview of the legislative powers of the Delhi government. The court acknowledged that these three issues can also have some overlap with “services”.
- The Court said that the legislative and executive power of Delhi over Entry 41 (services) shall not extend over to services related to public order, police and land. However, legislative and executive power over such services such as Indian administrative services, or joint card of services, which are relevant for the implementation of policies and vision of NCT of Delhi in terms of day to day administration of the region, shall live with Delhi.
6 . Key takeaways from Supreme Court’s Maharashtra verdict
Context: Passing a unanimous judgement on the various issues related to the split in Shiv Sena in June 2022, the Supreme Court made strong observations about the role of the then Governor of Maharashtra and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. The court, however, refrained from interfering with the proceedings related to disqualifying 16 MLAs, including Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
What are key takeaways from the verdict?
Power of the Speaker to decide disqualification
- The Supreme Court said that the issue of disqualification ought to be decided as per established procedures in law and the Speaker is the appropriate authority for this under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, which lays down the anti-defection law.
- The Bench said in the present case, there were “no extraordinary circumstances” warranting the court adjudicating in the matter.
- It also clarified that an MLA has the right to participate in proceedings of the House regardless of pendency of any petitions for disqualification.
Speaker must decide which faction constitute political party
- The court said that as the Tenth Schedule’s third paragraph has been removed, the ‘split’ in the party will no longer be a defence available to MLAs facing the proceedings. It was removed by the Constitution (91st Amendment) Act, 2003, which came into effect on January 1, 2004. The Court asked the Speaker to first determine which of the factions constitute the political party and take the call without being influenced by the ECI order in that regard.
‘Governor didn’t act in accordance with law’
- The court said that then Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari was not justified in calling for a floor test on June 30, 2022, as he did not have objective material to show that the incumbent government had lost the confidence of the House.
- It said that the power of the Governor to act without the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers is of an extraordinary nature, and must be exercised with circumspection within the limits of law. It also said that the Governor is not empowered to enter the political arena and play a role in inter or intra party disputes..
‘Can’t reinstate Uddhav govt as he resigned’
- The Thackeray group had sought to restore the situation prior to June 29, 2022, seeking a ruling that Uddhav Thackeray’s government be reinstated. However, the court said Thackeray did not face the floor test on June 30 and resigned.
- The SC held that despite the Governor not having reasons to reach the conclusion that Thackeray had lost the confidence of the House, it could not quash a resignation submitted voluntarily. The court said had Thackeray refrained from resigning, it could have considered a remedy to reinstate his government.
‘Appointment of whip from Shinde group illegal’
- The court said that the speaker’s decision recognising Gogawale as the whip to be illegal, as he had not verified if it was the decision of the political party.
Legislature party, political party distinct
- While the Shinde-led faction argued that the legislature party and the political party are inextricably intertwined, the court said the two could not be conflated.
- The court said that as per provisions of the Representation of the People Act, an association of individuals calling itself a political party has to be registered with the EC.
- The court said that Parliament had recognised the independent existence of a legislature party to the limited extent of providing a defence to actions of legislators of the political party.
- It held that “it is the political party and not the legislature party which appoints the Whip and the Leader of the party in the House”.
‘Speaker and EC can adjudicate issues concurrently’
- The court said it could not accept the Thackeray group’s contention that the EC was barred from deciding on the party symbol dispute until the Speaker decided the disqualification pleas before him.
- The court said this would amount to “indefinitely staying proceedings before the ECI”, as the Speaker’s decision would attain finality only after the appeals against his decision were disposed of.
Referral of Nabam Rebia case to larger bench
- The five-judge Bench referred certain issues related to its 2016 judgment in the Nabam Rebia case to a larger Bench. One of the issues is whether a notice for removal of a Speaker would restrict the powers of the Speaker to issue disqualification notices to MLAs.
7 . Facts for Prelims
Mokey pox virus
- Monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It can cause a painful rash, enlarged lymph nodes and fever.
- The disease monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, an enveloped double-stranded DNA virus of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the Poxviridae family, which includes variola, cowpox, vaccinia and other viruses.
- Transmission– It can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact. Animal to human transmission of mpox occurs from infected animals to humans from bites or scratches, or eating animals
- People can contract mpox from contaminated objects such as clothing or linens, through sharps injuries in health care, or in community setting such as tattoo parlours.
- Treatment and Vaccination – The goal of treating monkey pox is to take care of the rash, manage pain and prevent complications. Early and supportive care is important to help manage symptoms and avoid further problems. Vaccines developed for smallpox also provide protection against monkey pox. Getting a Monkey pox vaccine can help prevent infection