Bills and Acts in Current Affairs 2017

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SC: People from any religious background are free to adopt child

The Supreme Court ruled that people are free to adopt children irrespective of their religious background. The move paved the way for adoption of child by persons hailing from Muslim community even though it is not allowed under their personal law. 

The bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam stated that the

  • Law entitles adoption by people belonging to any religion and any person, who does not submit himself to personal law, can adopt a child.
  • Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act is a small step towards the concept of Uniform Civil Code mentioned in Article 44 of the Constitution of India.
  • Act does not mandate any compulsive action by any prospective parent leaving such person with the liberty of accessing the provisions of the Act, if he so desires.
  • Act is an enabling legislation that gives a prospective parent the option of adopting an eligible child by following due procedure.

The SC judgment came on petition filed by activist Ms. Shabnam Hashmi who had approached the apex court after being refused permission to adopt.

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Delhi: President rule imposed after AAP’s resignation

On the advice of Union cabinet, the President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee imposed President’s rule in Delhi and accepted the resignation of Chief Minister Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, along with his council of ministers.

  • Though, assembly has not been dissolved and the house has been kept under suspended animation.
  • In reference to the provision of Article 239 and Article 239AA of the Constitution, the National Capital Territory of Delhi will be administered by President through Lt. Governor.
  • With President’s rule imposed in Delhi, Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung has become the direct administrator of the NationalCapitalTerritory.

President’s Rule (Article 356 of the Constitution of India)

Purpose: To deal with the failure of the Constitutional machinery of an Indian state.

  • In practice president’s rule has been imposed under different circumstances viz. State Legislature is unable to elect a leader as Chief Minister, Breakdown of a coalition, Elections postponed for unavoidable reasons, etc.
  • The President on the advice of the governor or on his own attains the right to dissolve the state government and its council of ministers, thereby impose president rule. The parliament must approve the president rule to come into effect. After the implementation of president rule, the governor heads the state and takes all the power.
  • When President’s rule is imposed, the assembly is either dissolved or kept in suspended.

As per Article 356(1) in the Constitution of India 1949

 

(1) If the President, on receipt of report from the Governor of the State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with he provisions of this Constitution, the President may by Proclamation –

(a) Assume to himself all or any of the functions of the Government of the State and all or any of the powers vested in or exercisable by the Governor or any body or authority in the State other than the Legislature of the State;

(b) Declare that the powers of the Legislature of the State shall be exercisable by or under the authority of Parliament;

(c) Make such incidental and consequential provisions as appear to the president to be necessary or desirable for giving effect to the objects of the Proclamation, including provisions for suspending in whole or in part the operation of any provisions of this constitution relating to any body or authority in the State Provided that nothing in this clause shall authorize the President to assume to himself any of the powers vested in or exercisable by a High Court, or to suspend in whole or in part the operation of any provision of this Constitution relating to High Courts.

 

About Article 239 and Article 239AA

Article 239 (Administration of Union territories)

  • Every UnionTerritory shall be administered by the President acting through an administrator to be appointed by him with such designation as he may specify.
  • Notwithstanding anything contained in Part VI, the President may appoint the Governor of a State as the administrator of an adjoining Union territory, and where a Governor is so appointed, he shall exercise his functions as such administrator independently of his Council of Ministers.

Article 239AA (Special provisions with respect to Delhi) – deal with the Legislative and executive jurisdiction of Delhi. Entries 1, 2 and 18 of the State List under the Seventh Schedule are not applicable to Delhi. Entry 1 deals with public order, entry 2 with police and entry 18 with land.

Note: Here, in Delhi, the President’s rule imposed due to the resignation of Aam Aadmi Party led Government and no party or coalition came forward with required majority to form Government. (The resignation of the AAP government came after it failed to introduce the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill for the consideration of the Legislative Assembly).

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