The Supreme Court declined a plea on Friday, challenging the imposition of the National Security Act (NSA) in few states and the national capital amid anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protests. A bench of Justices, Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee said that it cannot pass a blanket order with regard to the imposition of NSA. The lawyer ML Sharma was asked to withdraw the plea.
Crux of the Matter
NSA enables the police to detain persons without trial for a period of 12 months.
JusticeArun Mishra was quoted as saying: “These are law and order issues. How can we interfere?”
Sharma’s plea said NSA has been imposed to curb and pressure people protesting against the CAA, National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC).
It asked Sharma to file a fresh petition or an interim application in pending pleas on the CAA giving specific details of violations of NSA.
The court said it cannot pass a general direction but it can definitely do something in individual cases of misuse of the NSA by authorities if brought to their attention.
The National Security Act is an act of the Indian Parliament promulgated on 23 September 1980 whose purpose is “to provide for preventive detention in certain cases and for matters connected therewith”. The act extends to the whole of India. It Contains 18 sections. This act empowers the Central Government and State Governments to detain a person to prevent him/her from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of India, the relations of India with foreign countries, the maintenance of public order, or the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community it is necessary so to do. The act also gives power to the governments to detain a foreigner in a view to regulate his presence or expel from the country. The act was passed in 1980 during the Indira Gandhi Government. As per a 1993 report, 72.3 % of 3783 people under the law were later released due to lack of evidence. More Info
BorisJohnson’sBrexitdeal has become law after it received royalassent from the Queen, having cleared all its stages in parliament. Tory MPs cheered the deputy speaker Nigel Evans as he confirmed in the House of Commons on Thursday earlier this week, that there was now a European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act.
Crux of the Matter
The House of Commons which is the lower, electedchamber once the source of endless Brexit drama, quietly approved the bill on January 9.
The House of Lords, the unelectedupperchamber, approved the legislation this week with amendments.
With Parliament agreed, the legislation received royal assent on Thursday, allowing the Queen to give formal approval to a British exit.
The UK and the EU would now enter an 11-month transition period, during which the UK will continue to follow most EU rules but will not have any decision-making power in the body.
Currently, the EU is the UK’s largest trading partner: 45 % of all UK exports go to the EU and more than 50 % of the UK’s imports are from the EU.
Brexit is the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU). Following a June 2016 referendum, in which 51.9% voted to leave, the UK government formally announced the country’s withdrawal in March 2017, starting a process that is currently due to conclude with the UK withdrawing no later than 31 January 2020. Withdrawal is advocated by Eurosceptics and opposed by pro-Europeanists, both of whom span the political spectrum. The UK joined the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973, with continued membership endorsed in a 1975 referendum. In the 1970s and 1980s, withdrawal from the EC was advocated mainly by the political left, e.g. in the Labour Party’s 1983 election manifesto. The 1992 Maastricht Treaty founded the EU but was not put to a referendum. The eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party led a rebellion over ratification of the treaty and, with the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and the cross-party People’s Pledge campaign, pressured Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron to hold a referendum on continued EU membership which was held in June 2016. Cameron, who had campaigned to remain, resigned after the result and was succeeded by Theresa May. More Info
2019 has witnessed some reforms centered around the Muslims of India. If Triple Talaq and Education & Haj Schemes lifted the spirits of the Muslim Community, Abrogation of Article 370, Ram Janmabhoomi – Babri Masjid Land Dispute, and Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 may have balanced out the sentiments of the community. Let us dive deeper into how different policies, acts, and decisions shaped the outlook.
Crux of the Matter
Triple Talaq Criminalised Family Affairs of the Muslim Community of India are governed by Muslim Personal Law. Triple Talaq or Talaq-e-biddat is a practice pronounced in the Sharia Law. Muslim marriages permit divorce if either spouse announces ‘Talaq’ thrice. There have been contentious issues revolving around the time that ought to be given between each announcement, the right of Muslim women to pronounce Triple Talaq, and the responsibility of the financial security of the family. Historically, Ulamas – Muslim scholars – have held opposing views about it. Some modern-day Muslim scholars have said that despite being hollow on legal grounds, this law is binding. We must note that Triple Talaq is banned in Islamic countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, etc.
Supreme Court, in 2017, rendered the practice of Triple Talaq unconstitutional. 2 members, who opposed the ban on Triple Talaq, of the 5-judge bench had, however, recommended that the decision be passed as a law in the Parliament. On 26 July 2019, Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill was passed. It stated that “instant Triple Talaq” announced in whatever form – written, spoken or via Email or SMS, will be considered illegal and stand void. The husband, who announced it, could be imprisoned up to three years.
This law, on the grounds of constitutionality and human rights, was hailed by Muslim women of India. Muslim Scholars and Incumbents also welcomed the government’s decision. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi objected to the imprisonment clause of the Bill and said that the Bill did not meet its primary objective of safeguarding women’s security, chiefly financial. The government stood their ground and said that the victimization of women would be reduced.
In a state where 67% of the population is Muslim, a chill ran across the community with the abrogation of Article 370. Some Muslims were apprehensive that scrapping of the Act would invite a lot of outsiders to settle in the state and were of the opinion that their privilege was lost in an unconstitutional manner. Whereas, some Muslims praised the decision of the government and asserted that the discrimination against them will no longer exist and their children will have access to better education and economy.
On a different note, the Indian government received criticism for the way in which the whole operation was carried out. Internet shutdown and curb on mobile and telephone services were major contentions for the government.
Do only Muslims live in Jammu and Kashmir? No Hindus? No Buddhists? Why is it viewed like that? It has been abrogated for veryone and not only for Muslims.
– Amit Shah on abrogation of Article 370
Ayodhya Land Dispute The long-standing Ayodhya Land Verdict that divided Hindus and Muslims of India came in the year 2019 with the Supreme Court stating that the land would be given to Hindus for Ram temple construction and Muslims will get a 5-acre land at a different place to build a mosque.
AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi opposed the SC ordered and said, “There has been discrimination against Muslims and no one can deny it. We are fighting for our legal rights.”. Many Muslims were affirmative about upholding SC’s decision as it was based on evidence and rationale.
Citizenship Amendment Act Interpretation of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 and the speculation of the National Register of Citizens by some has shaped apprehension that the process is a concentrated effort to drive out Muslims of the country. The Act now provides citizenship to illegal immigrants from certain religiously persecuted minorities.
Ruling party BJP has time and again asserted that the law will not affect the citizens of India. Home Minster Amit Shah said, “In this Bill, there is no proposal to touch the citizenship of any Muslim,”.
Government Policies In the year 2019 BJP 2.0 has launched and revamped various policies for the upliftment of Muslims. In the Education sector, the government notified merit-cum-means, pre-matric, post-matric, and various other scholarships for minority communities that also include Muslims. The government also started trained more than 750 teachers from Madras so that they can also impart formal education. “Besides traditional teachings in Madrasa, Urdu, Arabic and other languages, Madrasa teachers are also being provided training for mainstream formal education like Hindi, Maths, English, Science, Computer, regional languages etc. These teachers are being provided training from reputed institutions of the country such as IIT, Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Jamia Hamdard, Anjuman-e-Islam, Amity University and other reputed educational institutes,” said Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
Government also took interest in digitizing the entire Haj process so as to give the travelers a transparent process. India launched E-MASIHA, an acronym for E Medical Assistance System for Indian Pilgrims Abroad. It was a database of Indian pilgrims’ health conditions. A record-breaking 2 lakh Muslims had visited Haj in 2019.
Waqf properties across India were also brought under digitization by the Indian government. Government has a target of geo-tagging as many as 6 lakh Waqf properties to ensure better utilization of them.
Triple talaq, also known as talaq-e-biddat, instant divorce and talaq-e-mughallazah (irrevocable divorce), was a form of Islamic divorce which has been used by Muslims in India, especially adherents of Hanafi Sunni Islamic schools of jurisprudence. It allowed any Muslim man to legally divorce his wife by uttering the word talaq (the Arabic word for “divorce”) three times in oral, written or, more recently, electronic form. More Info
The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims. It is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence. More Info
A waqf, also known as hubous or mortmain property, is an inalienable charitable endowment under Islamic law, which typically involves donating a building, plot of land or other assets for Muslim religious or charitable purposes with no intention of reclaiming the assets. The donated assets may be held by a charitable trust. The person making such dedication is known as waqif, a donor. More Info
Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that the government will implement ‘one nation, one ration’ from 1st June 2020. Beneficiaries of the scheme will be able to avail their food grain quota anywhere across the country using one same Ration Card.
Crux of the Matter
The aim of bringing this scheme into action is to reduce the complexities in serving the food grains to beneficiaries entitled under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
“Indian standards are harmonised with international standards, wherever possible. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has granted about 998 licenses to overseas firms spread across about 51 countries for various products as per Indian standards,” said Ram Vilas Paswan.
Government has already implemented this scheme in 12 states – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Haryana, Rajasthan, Tripura, Goa, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh.
So far 75 Crore people have registered. Ration card application will be verified through Aadhaar authentication on the electronic point of sales device.
Public Distribution System– Indian food security system was established by the Government of India under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution to distribute food and non-food items to India’s poor at subsidized rates. This scheme was first started in February 1944, during the Second World War, and was launched in the current form in June 1947. Major commodities distributed include staple food grains, such as wheat, rice, sugar and essential fuels like kerosene, through a network of fair price shops (also known as ration shops) established in several states across the country. Food Corporation of India, a Government-owned corporation, procures and maintains the public distribution system (PDS). More Info
The Supreme court on 9 January dismissed a plea that sought CAA be declared unconstitutional and it said it won’t pass any ex-parte order before hearing the Centre on staying the operation of CAA and NPR
Crux of the Matter
A three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna has given the government four weeks to file its reply.
The apex court has asked all high courts not to pass any order on CAA.
The court was hearing more than 140 petitions challenging CAA filed by various entities, including law students, Muslim groups, lawyers, individual politicians and political parties.
The court will be separately hearing the cases pertaining to Assam and Tripura challenging the validity of the Act that was notified on 10 January.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal had requested the court to postpone the exercise of NPR for two months which was denied by the Attorney General K.K. Venugopal.
Indian Union Muslim League has moved a separate application seeking a direction to the government to clarify whether the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and NPR are linked and whether NRC would be implemented across India.
Article 131 of the Constitution of India grants original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court on all cases involving the enforcement of fundamental rights of citizens. Its original jurisdiction extends to all cases between the Government of India and the States of India or between Government of India and states on one side and one or more states on other side or cases between different states. Original jurisdiction is related to cases which are directly brought to the Supreme Court. Cases which require the interpretation of the constitution or cases relating to the denial of fundamental rights are heard In the supreme court. It is empowered to issue directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari to enforce them. More Info