The Hindu Newspaper Analysis for UPSC
The Hindu Newspaper Analysis 25 March 2023
- ‘world’s highest railway bridge’, built at a height of 359 metres over the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district, which witnessed the maiden run of a track-mounted trolley on Sunday.
- The ₹1,486-crore Chenab railway bridge is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link project, which will connect the Kashmir Valley with the rest of the country.
- Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (RP Act) specifies the various offences, conviction for which entail the disqualification of a member of the legislature. Clause (3) of this section says that a person convicted of any offence other than those mentioned in the other two clauses, and sentenced to not less than two years shall be disqualified from the date of conviction. However, clause (4) has exempted sitting members from instant disqualification for three months to enable them to appeal against the conviction.
- This clause was struck down as ultra vires the Constitution by a two judge Bench of the Supreme Court on the ground that Parliament has no power to enact such an exemption for sitting members of the legislature (Lily Thomas vs Union of India, 2013).
- The effect of this judgment is that there is an instant disqualification of a sitting legislator as soon as he is convicted.
- However, the Court made it clear that in the event of the appellate Court staying the conviction and sentence, the disqualification will be lifted and the membership will be restored to him.
- Article 103 shows that the President of India is that authority who decides that a sitting member has become subject to disqualification in all cases which come under Article 102(1). Sub Clause (e) of this Article relates to all cases of disqualification under the RP Act 1951 which include disqualification on conviction and sentence under Section 8(3) of the Act.
- The law on criminal defamation needs an urgent review. Many countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States have scrapped it. India’s neighbour Sri Lanka too has done away with it. It is indeed a surrealistic situation where senior political leaders get jailed for making humorous or off the cuff remarks in election speeches.
- What is Defamation?
It is an injury to the reputation of a person resulting from a statement that is false.
- Anyone who feels he or she has been wrongly accused of something by someone in public, through words or gestures, spoken, written, or by inference can file a defamation suit in a court of law claiming that the accusation levelled deals a blow to his/her reputation.
Defamation essentially must fulfil the following requirements:
- The statement must be published (both oral and written forms publication)
- The statement must lower the estimation of the person (damaging to the reputation of the person against whom charges have been made)
Respective sections of IPC:
- IPC Section 499 lays down the definition of defamation and Section 500 lays down the punishment for criminal defamation (two years’ imprisonment for a person found guilty of defamation).
Types of defamation:
- There are two types of defamation in India: Civil and Criminal.
- Civil defamation: Under this, a person who is defamed can move either High Court or subordinate courts and seek damages in the form of monetary compensation. There is no punishment in the form of a jail sentence.
- Criminal Defamation: Under this, the person against whom a defamation case is filed might be sentenced to two years’ imprisonment or fined or both.
- The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), which keeps a count of Internet stoppages State-wise, has recorded eight such shutdowns in Punjab. Map 1 shows the instances of Internet shutdowns, State-wise, recorded between 2012 and March 2023, according to the SFLC’s data.
- Put together, the southern States recorded only six such shutdowns in this period.
- There was no instance of an Internet shutdown in Kerala. Elsewhere, except Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Sikkim, all the other States recorded at least one such instance, with Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh recording the highest number.
- It is important to note that the Central government does not collate data on Internet shutdowns imposed by the State governments. In fact, collection of centralised data was “strongly recommended” by the Standing Committee on Communications and Information Technology, which presented its findings on “suspension of telecom/Internet services and its impact” in 2021.
- As held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Anuradha Bhasin v. UOI (2020), the shutdowns do not violate Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.
- It acts as a reasonable restriction and it should only be enacted if there is a genuine threat to public safety or national security.
- Certain balancing tests should be carried out and only if extremely necessary, the government should proceed with this extremely restrictive step.
- The primary focus of the AUKUS arrangement between Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. is submarine technology development, and within that there is no room for a fourth country, diplomatic sources said on any potential collaboration between the alliance and India.
- In May, Australia will host the Quad leaders’ summit involving India, Australia, Japan and the U.S., where the recent implementation roadmap is expected to come up during discussions.
- On the possible conversation between the AUKUS and the Quad, diplomatic sources said the former has no implications for the latter.
- AUKUS is not a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for the Indo-Pacific. Rather, it is focused on technology and is very specific about developing strategically important capabilities to maintain stability, a diplomatic source said. On the other hand, the Quad is a broader collaboration at the political level.
- The government has notified an increase in wage rates under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for the financial year 2023-24, with Haryana having the highest daily wage at ₹357 and Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh the lowest at ₹221.
- The wage rates, notified by Ministry of Rural Development under sub-section (1) of Section 6 of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005
- LVM3, the heaviest payload rocket of the Indian Space Research Organisation carrying 36 OneWeb satellites on board, took off at 9.20 a.m. on Sunday from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here.
- This is the second mission for Network Access Associates Ltd., U.K. (OneWeb Group Company) under a commercial agreement with NewSpace India Ltd. (NSIL) to launch 72 satellites into low-earth orbits (LEOs). The first set of 36 satellites was launched in the LVM3-M2/OneWeb India-1 mission on October 23, 2022.
- In the current mission, the 43.5-metre-tall vehicle weighing 643 tonnes was expected to place 36 OneWeb Gen-1 satellites totalling about 5,805 kg into a 450-km circular orbit with an inclination of 87.4 degrees.
- This is the sixth flight of LVM3. The rocket had five consecutive successful missions, including Chandrayaan-2.
- NSIL is a Central Public Sector Enterprise of the Government of India.
- It was established in 2019 under the administrative control of the Department of Space.
- NSIL is the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) with the primary responsibility of enabling Indian industries to take up high technology space related activities.
- Headquarters: Bengaluru