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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Former CAG Vinod Rai stresses on Collegium System for CAG Selection

Former CAG Vinod Rai has stressed that there is a need for selection of CAG under a collegium system on the lines of the selection process employed for Election Commissioners, Information Commissioners and Vigilance Commissioners. This will ensure transparency in the selection process, according to him. He also stated that the powers of the CAG are substantial and sufficient for performance of vinod-raiduties.

The current system for selecting the CAG is opaque. It is an entirely internal process, where some names reach the Prime Minister, who chooses one amongst them and recommends it to the President, who makes the appointment. There is no prescribed process for selection or fixed job description or necessary criteria to determine eligibility.

The SC is currently hearing a PIL challenging the appointment of Shashi Kant Sharma as the CAG, and asking the Court to frame guidelines for selection of the CAG. The Centre has, however, refused to change the selection process, stating that it was the domain of the executive and not the judiciary.

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SC Declares Tax Tribunal Unconstitutional

A five judge bench of the SC declared the National Tax Tribunal Act of 2005 as unconstitutional. The impugned legislation envisages creation of tribunals to deal with tax related cases only.

The law was declared unconstitutional on the grounds that it took away powers of the higher judiciary to determine questions of substantial law and reposed them in the Tribunals. The legislation surpassed the authority of the HC in an effort to clear the backlog of cases. An appeal from the National Tax Tribunal could be made to the SC but not the HC.

This judgment could have many grave repercussions, as now the constitutionality of other Tribunals like the Company Law Tribunal can also be called into question.

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