Article 156 Current Affairs - 2020

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Quota for Economically Weaker Sections questioned in Supreme Court

A not for profit organisation Youth for Equality has questioned the constitutional validity of the 103rd constitutional amendment act which provides for 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections.

Why the 103rd constitutional amendment act is questioned in Supreme Court?

Youth for Equality has questioned the constitutional validity of the 103rd constitutional act based on the following reasons:

  • The amendment which inserts Articles 15(6) and 16(6) in the Constitution would alter the basic structure of the Constitution and annul various binding judgments of the Supreme Court.
  • The amendments fail to consider that Articles 14 and 16 form the basic feature of equality. The amendment act violates restraints that were imposed on the reservation policy, i.e. the 50% ceiling limit and the exclusion of economic status as a sole criterion.
  • The 103rd constitutional amendment act shows complete disregard for the Supreme Court’s nine-judge bench judgment in Indira Sawhney (Mandal) case which held that the sole economic criteria could not be a basis for reservation and that the 50% ceiling limit ought not to be crossed.
  • The petition also cites the judgment in the case of M Nagraj vs Union of India which had upheld the constitutional validity of Art 16(4A), 16(4B), subject to certain conditions like undertaking proper exercises by the State to show that there was inadequacy in the representation.
  • The expression economically weaker section remained undefined by the amendment and was left to be notified by the state.
  • It is unclear whether the central government and state governments can both define the expression separately, but they both may define it differently. This level of untrammelled vagueness makes the insertion arbitrary and unworkable.

The bill was introduced in the parliament at haste just months ahead of the 2019 general election. Even this put the intention of the government in question.

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Anandiben Patel takes additional charge as Chattisgarh Governor

President Ram Nath Kovind has given Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel additional charge of Chhattisgarh. She will discharge additional duties until the regular arrangements for the office of governor of Chhattisgarh are made. She was given additional charge following death of Chhattisgarh Governor Balramji Dass Tandon (in office from 25 July 2014 to 14 August 2018 till his death after suffering heart attack).

Balramji Dass Tandon

He was born on 1 November 1927 in Amritsar, Punjab. He was one of the founding members of BJP’s parent organisation Jan Sangh. He had fought his first election in 1953 and was elected municipal councillor in Amritsar. He won his first Assembly seat from Amritsar in 1957 and went on to represent that Vidhan Sabha constituency five times (1960,1962,1967,1969 and 1977) and later from Rajpura in 1997. He was imprisoned in 1975 during National Emergency for 19 months. He also had served as deputy chief minister of Punjab in the Justice (retd) Gurnam Singh Akali Dal-Jan Sangh Government. He was appointed as sixth Governor of Chhattisgarh in July 2014.

Constitutional provisions of Governor

Article 153: It says that there shall be Governor for each state. 7th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1956 facilitated appointment of the same person as governor for two or more states.

Article 156: It says that Governor is appointed by President and hold office during pleasure of President.

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