Legal Current Affairs

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.

What is “Collective Conscience” invoked by Indian Courts in Death Penalty cases?

Project 39A was conducted by a team of National Law University, Delhi. According to the project, the Indian Courts invoke “Collective Conscience” of the society in most of the death penalty cases.

Project details

The study chose three states and Union Territories namely Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Maharashtra. These states were chosen as they ranked high in awarding capital punishments


The study has found out that around between 2000 and 2015, 72% of cases of Delhi trial courts that awarded death penalty has invoked “Collective Conscience”. In Madhya Pradesh, this was invoked in 42% of death penalty cases and in Maharashtra it was invoked in 51% of death penalty cases.

In all these cases, the courts opined that the crime was heinous to shake the “collective conscience” of the society. Thus, the harshest punishment is being sentenced.

Recommendations of Law Commission

The Law Commission in 2015, headed by Justice A P Shah proposed to abolish capital punishments. However, the commission had made the proposal only to non-terrorism cases. According to the commission, India is one among few countries that still carry out executions. The other countries that practice executions include Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, China. By the end of 2014, 98 countries had abolished death penalty.

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray to enter Legislature: The Constitutional Features

Mr Uddav Thackeray is the current Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Article 164

The Article 164 of the Constitution provides every provision for a Chief Minister of a state. According to the article, any person who has the support of majority of the elected members of the legislative assembly shall be appointed as the CM by the governor of the state. In this case, if the person is not the member of the legislative assembly, or if he has lost the general election, he can still be appointed as the CM provided he has the support of majority of the members. However, he has to win an election within 6 months.

The Current Scenario

Mr Thackeray is to enter the state Legislature through Legislative Council. He is not a Member of the Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly. However, he was sworn in as the CM of Maharashtra on November 28, 2019 as he earned the support of majority of elected members of the State Legislature. Now he has time till May 27, 2020 to win any of the elections of state legislature.

Legislative Council

The Election Commission on the request made by the Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari is to conduct Maharashtra Legislative Council Election.

Article 169

The Article 169 provides the features of a legislative council. One-third of the members of LC are elected through local body election such as Gram Panchayat, district councils, municipalities, etc. One-third are elected by members of State Legislature. One sixth are nominated by the Governor. One twelfth are elected by persons that are engaged in teaching professions such as universities, colleges, high schools for at least three years.