Current Affairs June 2013

EC can reject nomination if nominee leaves columns blank or gives false info: Apex Court

The Supreme Court has said in a judgement allowing a writ petition by Resurgence India that it is voter’s elementary right to know full particulars of a candidate who is representing him in Parliament/Assemblies , and non- disclosure of information by a contestant in his/her affidavit, leaving the relevant columns blank, will result in rejection of the nomination by the Election Commission.

At present, the EC has no authority to reject nominations if candidates either leave some columns blank or give false information. However, a case can be registered against them under the Indian Penal Code for providing false information.

How is complete filling of affidavit along with the nomination paper important?

As per the apex court, the affidavit along with nomination papers filed by the nominee effectuates the fundamental right of the citizens under Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution which provides for freedom of speech and expression. The Returning Officer (RO) can remind a candidate to fill the relevant information. In case the affidavit is left blank it becomes impossible for the Returning Officer to verify whether the candidate is qualified or disqualified. In the event of nominee not furnishing relevant information even after the reminder by the RO, the nomination paper is fit to be rejected. The candidate has an option to clearly mention ‘NIL’ or ‘Not Applicable’ or ‘Not known’ in the columns,” and should not leave them blank. Filing of affidavit with blanks will evoke Section 125 A (i) of the Representation of the People Act.

However, the court held that as the nomination itself is rejected by the Returning Officer as a punishment, he must not be penalized again for the same act by prosecuting him/her.

 

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India imposes ban on testing of cosmetics on animals

In a remarkable decision intended to prevent cruelty to animals, India has decided to ban the testing of cosmetics and its ingredients on animals. This has made India the first country in South Asia to impose such a ban.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Cosmetics Sectional Committee, chaired by the Drugs Controller General of India and is in line with the European Union’s stand. The step follows appeals from various quarters, including that from the National Advisory Council Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and campaigner for animal rights Maneka Gandhi and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), to prevent cruelty to animals.

What is the ban?

Any cosmetic product which performs animal testing will face action as per provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and the Animal Cruelty Act. Infringement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act by any person or corporate manager or owner is liable for punishment for a term which may extend from 3-10 years and shall also be liable to fine which could be Rs.500 to Rs.10,000, or with both.

The law also makes it mandatory to use modern non-animal alternative tests, replacing invasive tests on animals. It implies that any manufacturer interested in testing new cosmetic ingredients or finished products must first get the approval from India’s regulator Central Drug Standards Control Organization. A manufacturer will be given approval to test only after complying with the BIS non-animal standards.

Animal Testing Status:

Companies around the world are switching to effective, modern non-animal tests and more than 1,200 companies have already given up animal-testing methods. But many still are carrying out with the same old procedures of subjecting animals to painful tests.

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