Reading Time: 12 mins The US is currently having tense relations with the UN bodies; the most recent among them is the UN Human Rights Council after it passed a resolution that condemned discriminatory and violent policing and ordered a report on systemic racism against people of African descent. The Council failed to hold the US accountable for its police’s blatant violation of human rights by not calling for an investigation on Floyd’s death and other similar cases. The US has already left the Council in 2018 after accusing it of its various deficiencies. The lack of strong democratic representation has led to a better representation of authoritarian governments, which have the worst human rights records, to change the narrative of the global human rights norms. Currently, the forum is used by countries like Pakistan as a political tool with no consideration of human rights. Reforms and cooperation, rather than walking out of forums, are necessary steps to address issues like human rights.
Reading Time: 5 mins Recently, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published its World Freedom Index 2020. It was widely discussed in India as India has dropped by two places to 142 out of 180 countries this year. India is already under a lot of criticism because of the thwarting of media voice and being unsafe for journalists. The poor ranking by RSF only strengthened the ongoing fears of journalism being unsafe in this country.
Reading Time: 5 mins On February 2020, a Lok Sabha MP stated that the government should immediately put all issues pertaining to reservations for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution so that they are not challenged in the court. This statement comes days after the Supreme Court ruled that the reservation in the matter of promotions of the public post was not a fundamental right and that a state cannot be compelled to offer quota if it chooses not to. The Ninth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, since its enactment, remains a contentious issue as its constitutionality is questioned.
Reading Time: 5 mins Section 144 CrPC was invoked by the police forces across the country to contain the nation-wide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. It is widely criticised for it conferring almost unbridled powers upon the executive officers. There are no limitations to the powers given to the executive officers and the concepts within this provision is too broad to make them accountable for their actions. Reforming this provision, in this regard, to gain public trust is necessary to ensure the balance between national security and democratic rights.
Reading Time: 5 mins The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 was passed by both houses of parliament and came into effect on 15 January 2016. This act was under public scrutiny because of the provision that provided for the consideration of the 16-18 year olds as adults in case of them indulging in heinous crimes.
Reading Time: 7 mins In recent years, India has charted a unique path to digitization, the impact of which is inclusive, empowering and transformative. It is amongst the top two countries globally, only after China on many dimensions of digital adoption. By 2022, India’s digital economy may cross $1 trillion. This was the focus of India Digital Summit 2019 that was held in New Delhi. Since its launch, it has transformed India significantly. However, it is facing numerous challenges in the current times and the government needs to take steps to make it successful for the inclusiveness and empowerment of all Indian citizens.
Reading Time: 6 mins Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple issue is about the conflict between women rights and tradition. According to age-old traditions and customs, women from ten to fifty years of age were not permitted into Sabarimala Temple. However, the situation has changed when the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court on September 28, 2018, declared that restricting entry of women of menstruating age was unconstitutional. Thus the SC allowed women, irrespective of their age, to enter Sabarimala temple.
Reading Time: 9 mins RTI (Amendment) Act, 2019 had received the President’s assent despite the protests due to certain controversial provisions in the amended Act. This Act seeks to empower the Centre to decide the tenure, salary, allowance and other terms of services of the Information Commissioners of the Central Information Commission and also of State Information Commissions. Giving such powers to the Centre undermines the fundamental purpose of this Act – the government’s accountability and transparency.
Reading Time: 4 mins
In Mid-August this year, the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 had received the Presidential assent and had come to effect. The prior legislation had been amended from time-to-time on par with the changes caused due to economic liberalisation, globalisation, and digitisation of the products and services. However, the new Act is far from fulfilling the desired objective of being socio-economic legislation which sought “to provide better protection of the interests of the consumers” as there is ambiguity within the amendments.