Today Current Affairs In Hindi
News of the Day Act violated Basic Structure of Constitution: pleas
- March 12, 2019
- Posted by: Shivam
- Category: NEWS Worth To Read
News of the Day Act violated Basic Structure of Constitution: pleas
The petitions in the Supreme Court, mainly the one filed by activist Tehseen Poonawala, said the Act violated the Basic Structure of the Constitution. They argued that the 50% ceiling limit on quota was “engrafted as a part of the Basic Structure of the Constitution’s equality code” by the Supreme Court.
One of the petitions, filed by Youth For Equality, represented by advocate Senthil Jagadeesan and settled by advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, contended that the Supreme Court, in a nine-judge Bench judgment in Indira Sawhney, had settled the law that economic backwardness could not be the sole basis for reservation.
The plea argued that the Act was “vulnerable” and negated a binding judgment of the top court.
The petitioners contended that the amendments excluded the OBCs and the SC/ST communities from the scope of the economic reservation. This, it said, “essentially implies that only those who are poor from the general categories would avail the benefits of the quotas”.
It said the high creamy layer limit of 8 lakh per annum ensured that the elite captured the reservation benefits.
Further, the petitioners said the Supreme Court had settled the law that the “State’s reservation policy cannot be imposed on unaided educational institutions, and as they are not receiving any aid from the State, they can have their own admissions provided they are fair, transparent, non-exploitative and based on merit”.
A petition said, “While the impugned amendment attempts to overcome the applicability of Articles 19(1)(g) and 29(2), it remains completely silent on Article 14, which right protects the citizens from manifestly arbitrary State action.”
It also contended that the term “economically weaker sections” remained undefined in the Act along with the “ambiguous” term of “State.
SC to consider sending 10% quota law challenge to Constitution Bench
The Supreme Court on Monday decided to consider the question whether the challenge to the 10% economic reservation law should be heard by a Constitution Bench.
A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi scheduled a hearing on the question of reference to the larger Bench on March 28.
The court refused to pass any interim order to stay or hamper the implementation of the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, which provides 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for those economically backward in the unreserved category.
The issue of reference to a Constitution Bench arose when senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan pointed out that 50% quota limit was part of the Basic Structure of the Constitution and the new amendment tinkered with it.
The Act amended Articles 15 and 16 by adding clauses, empowering the government to provide reservation on the basis of economic backwardness.
2006 judgment modified in September 2018
A Constitution Bench, back in September 2018, modified a 2006 judgment requiring the State to show quantifiable data to prove the “backwardness” of a Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe community in order to provide quota in promotion in public employment.
The court also had to consider the issue in the light of another judgment pronounced in the Jarnail Singh case in September last, which gave a huge fillip to the government’s efforts to provide “accelerated promotion with consequential seniority” for the Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) members in government services.
“The whole object of reservation is to see that backward classes of citizens move forward so that they may march hand in hand with other citizens of India on an equal basis,” the court held in the Jarnail Singh verdict.
The question of reference has come even as the Centre has sought more time to file its counter.
RBI board had said note ban a commendable step but will have short-term negative effect on GDP for current year
The Reserve Bank of India board, which included the present Governor Shaktikanta Das as a director, had warned of short-term negative impact of demonetisation on the country’s economic growth and observed that the unprecedented move will not have any material impact on tackling the black money menace.
The board, according to minutes of the meeting revealed by the central bank in an RTI reply, met just two-and-a-half hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an address to the nation, announced the demonetisation decision on November 8, 2016.
Curbing black money was one of the prime objectives of the shock move to junk old 500 and 1,000 Rs notes, which saw 86% of high value currency going out of circulation.
The minutes of the board meeting, which approved the government’s request for demonetisation, recorded the presence of then RBI Governor Urjit Patel and then Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das. Others present included then Financial Services Secretary Anjuli Chib Duggal and RBI Deputy Governors R. Gandhi and S.S. Mundra. Both Mr.Gandhi and Mr. Mundra are not part of the board now, while Mr. Das was appointed as the RBI Governor in December 2018.
“It is a commendable measure but will have short-term negative effect on GDP for the current year,” as per the minutes posted by RTI activist Venkatesh Nayak on the website of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.
“Most of the black money is held not in the form of cash but in the form of real sector assets such as gold or real estate and that this move would not have a material impact on those assets,” the board observed in its 561st meeting held in Delhi.
The Prime Minister had announced demonetisation of high-value currency notes with the aim to curb the black money, check counterfeit currency and stop terror finance among others.
While any incidence of counterfeiting is a concern, the minutes said, 400 crore as a percentage of the total quantum of currency in circulation in the country is not very significant.
Of the 15.41 lakh crore worth 500 and 1,000 Rs notes in circulation on November 8, 2016, notes worth 15.31 lakh crore came back during the 50-day window for depositing junk notes given to resident Indians, and till June 2017 for non-resident Indians.
Only 10,720 crore of the junked currency notes did not return to the banking system, rest 99.9% was deposited raising question mark over the government’s effort of curbing black money through the demonetisation.
The minutes pointed that “the growth rate of economy mentioned is the real rate while the growth in currency in circulation is nominal. Adjusted for inflation, the difference may not be so stark. Hence, this argument does not adequately support the recommendation (in favour of demonetisation).”
The government has always maintained that the decision did not have much impact on the GDP growth.
The board was assured that the government would take mitigating measures to contain the use of cash, it said.
In another reply, the RBI has said it has no data on the old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes used to pay for utility bills such as fuel at petrol pumps — payments that are anonymous and are believed to have formed a good part of the demonetised currency that returned to the banking system.
The government had allowed the exchange of the junked notes as well as they being used for payment of utility bills for 23 services.
Both old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes could be used at government hospitals, railway ticketing, public transport, airline ticketing at airports, milk booths, crematoria/burial grounds, petrol pumps, metro rail tickets, purchase of medicines on doctor prescription from the government and private pharmacies, LPG gas cylinders, railway catering, electricity and water bills, ASI monument entry tickets and highway toll.
On November 25, 2016, the exchange of old notes was stopped and the government allowed the use of only old 500 rupee notes at these utilities till December 15, 2016. The government, however, stopped the use of even this currency at petrol pumps and for the purchase of air tickets at airports abruptly with effect from December 2, 2016, after reports that they were becoming fronts for laundering of old currency notes.
Source – The Hindu