Constitution & Law Current Affairs - 2020

Summary of latest bill and acts passed or pending in 2019 in Parliament of India with their salient features and issues for Current Affairs 2019 preparation for various examinations such as UPSC, SSC, State Civil Services, CLAT, Judicial Services etc.

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SC Verdict: Karnataka MLA Disqualification case

The Supreme Court on November 13, 2019, pronounced its judgement on the legality of disqualification of 15 dissident MLAs by the then Karnataka Assembly Speaker under Anti-Defection law

Verdict

The Apex Court upheld the disqualification of the MLAs by the speaker. The Court clarified that the disqualification is till their re-election and not till the end of the term of the house as ruled by the speaker.

The speaker had ruled that the MLAs cannot contest in further elections including the by polls to be held in December, 2019 and till the end of the tenure of the 15th Karnataka Assembly

Article 190

It explains the vacation of seats by the members of Houses of legislature of state. The article gives the power for the MLA to resign addressing the speaker. However, the article also gives power to the speaker the power to reject the resignation

Anti-Defection Law

The tenth schedule of the Constitution lays down the process by which legislators can be disqualified on grounds of defection by the presiding officer of the legislature. A MLA is deemed to have been defected

  • if he voluntarily gives up his membership of the party
  • If he disobeys party leadership on a vote

Background – The Politics

In 2018, in the assembly elections of the 224 seats, BJP won 104, INC won 80 and JD won 37. The Janata Dal-Indian National Congress coalition formed the government after 2018 elections. In July 2019, after BJP swept the parliamentary elections (coalition hardly won only 2 seats), 17 MLAs of the coalition submitted resignations to the speaker. Following this the then Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy resigned losing trust vote and B S Yediyurappa was sworn in as the CM, as after resignation, BJP became the single largest party.

The MLAs were disqualified by the speaker to contest elections based on anti-defection law. In July a petition was filed by MLAs challenging their disqualification by the then speaker of the Karnataka Assembly.

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Facts Box: Drafts Security Code

The Union Government recently circulated the Draft Security Code that integrates existing labor laws and provides new initiatives to provide social security to workers of unorganized sector, insurance and helath benefits to gig workers. It includes drivers of private vehicle hiring services as well. The code also aims at corporatization of organizations like ESIC And EPFO.

Key Features of the Code

Insurance, life cover, PF for unorganized sector employees

  • According to the code, the Central Government shall formulate welfare schemes for the workers of unorganized sector from time to time on matters relating to life, disability, maternal benefits, health, old age protection.
  • While framing schemes the government will look out for key initiative relating to the workers’ housing, educational scheme for their children, funeral assistance, old age assistance, etc

Corporatization of ESIC and EPFO

The world body for the EPFO And ESIC related world bodies have been added in the scheme. This will bring an end to the autonomous body status of organizations that are responsible for pension, retirement and insurance. It aims to make the EPFO a more structured national body.

Gig Worker

The Gig workers will get insurance, health and maternal benefits under the security code.

Maternal Benefits

Every woman worker under the act will be entitled to payment of maternity benefit. The payment is to be at the rate of average daily wage for the period of her actual absence.

Merging existing labor laws

The Code on Social Security will merge the following laws

  • Employees Compensation Act, 1923
  • Employees Insurance Act, 1948
  • Maternal Benefit Act, 1961
  • Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952
  • Cine Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1981
  • Unorganized Workers’ Social Security act, 2008

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