Ministry of External Affairs Current Affairs - 2019

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SCO Foreign Ministers’ meeting held in Kyrgyzstan

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers was held in Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek. It was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Key Highlights

  • Background: This was the second SCO Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting attended by India as a full member of SCO and was represented by Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The last CFM meeting was held in Beijing, China on April 2018.
  • About: The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers (CMF) is a two-day meeting which was recently held in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic.
  • Objective: The SCO CFM meeting in Bishkek reviewed the preparations for forthcoming SCO Summit which is scheduled to be held in Bishkek on 13-14 June 2019. It also exchanged views on topical issues of international and regional importance.

About SCO

  • Background: The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was founded in 2001 at Shanghai summit by presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. SCO succeeded the Shanghai Five mechanism which was established in 1996.
  • About: It is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation and also a Eurasian, political, economic and security alliance. It seeks towards military cooperation between its member states.
  • Function: The alliance is primarily centred on security-related concerns of its Central Asian members with main threats being separatism, terrorism and extremism. It also works towards counter-terrorism operations, intelligence-sharing in Central Asia.
  • Members (8): China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan were granted membership in 2017. Prior to that till 2005 both India and Pakistan were observer at SCO.
  • Observer States (4): Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus and Mongolia.
  • SCO Dialogue Partners: Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Armenia, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Month: Categories: International


Delhi HC: United Nation not State under Article 12

In a recent judgement the Delhi High court (HC) ruled that United Nations Organization (UNO) is not ‘State’ in terms of Article 12 of the Indian Constitution and thus it is not amenable to its jurisdiction under Article 226.

About The Case

  • Case: The Delhi HC judgment adjudicated the petition filed concerning immunity enjoyed by UNO under United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947.
  • Petitioner: The plea in case is filed by a former UNO employee who was found guilty of misconduct following the findings of Procurement Task Force. He was then convicted by a US Federal Court and sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment and 2 years of mandatory probation, was later released and deported to India in May 2014. The petition filed by him claims that due process was not followed in his case.
  • Course Followed:
    • In November 2018, the petitioner sought permission of Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to initiate a legal action against UNO under section 86 of Civil Procedure Code, 1908. This section 86 of CPC provides that a foreign State may be sued in any Court once the consent of Central government is obtained.
    • The MEA then stated that consent of Union Government was not required to initiate legal suit against UNO as it was not foreign State rather only an International Organization.
    • MEA although stated that UNO and its officials enjoyed immunity under United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947. It also added that as per Section 2 of Article II of the Schedule of Act, 1947, UNO enjoys immunity from every kind of legal process except insofar as in any particular case it has clearly waived its immunity. The same became subject matter of petition filed before the Delhi High Court.

Article 12 of Constitution of India

As per it the ‘States’ in relation to Part III (Fundamental Rights) of Constitution includes Government and Parliament of India (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha), Government and Legislature of each of State (Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad), all local (or other) authorities within territory of India or under control of Union of India.

Article 226 of Constitution of India

It empowers the high courts of India to issue orders, directions or writs, which includes writs in nature of habeas corpus, prohibition, mandamus, certiorari, and quo warranto (or any of them) to any concerned person or authority, including the government (in appropriate cases).

Month: Categories: Constitution & Law