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My Notes - 16May2016 16-05-2016

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Criminal defamation - A blow against free speech


Criminal defamation has originated in UK under different circumstances that lost the relevance in today s world. It was included in the IPC under section 499 and 500. Recently SC in Subramanya swamy case, SC upheld the constitutionality of the criminal defamation. According to it, reputation of an Individual is part of the Art 21 and freedom of speech can not take away these rights.

But, Art 21 is a protection given against the state by the constitution and not against the private individual.

The second argument put forward by the state is constitutional fraternity. It held that criminal defamation law protected the feeling of fraternity or solidarity between the members of a society.

But, fraternity coexists with equality and Liberty. It signifies a common humanity and an end to exploitation of one human by the other. So, fraternity is to complement the civil rights.


Added to this,

1)     Truth is not a defence against the criminal defamation.

2)     Section 499 does not allow for the honest mistake as a defence.


Dumbing down of Indian politics

The objective of the state and governance is to bring in collective prosperity and sense of justice among the people. This holds the nation together. So, the normative features of Justice, equality and tolerance shall be the guiding features of our body politic.


Money bill

Context – the Government has introduced Aadhar bill,appointment of  monetary policy committee , amendments of FCRA act as money bills. Article 110(3) states that speaker is the final authority to determine a bill as a money bill or ordinary bill.


Art 122 in case of parliament, 212 in the case of State legislature prohibits the interference of the courts in the proceedings of the legislature and examining their validity.


But, in the case of kihoto Hollohan case ( 0n Anti defection law) SC held that the protections under articles 122 and 212 was only to protect the validity of proceedings only from the irregularity of the procedure. In RajaRampal case ( On cash four question scam) SC held that, the proceedings that involve substantive illegality or unconstitutionality and not mere irregularity   can not be protected under Art 122 and 212 of the constitution.


So, speakers powers on certifying money bill also need to be examined by the court.



Interceptor missile

Advanced air defence missile – Indian ballistic missile shield was tested on wheeler Island. It is able to encounter the incoming missile at the end do atmospheric altitude.


India has to repay $6.5 by it owes to Iran for oil imports. Finding for a  Suitable bank still appears as a major challenge.

Prime Minister Modi is visiting Iran in this month and the following agreements re expected to be finalised

  1. Trilateral trade agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran
  2. MOU for the development of chabahar port.
  3. Indian exploration on Farzad B gas oil fields.


Foreign firms can now fund parties

As per the existing provisions a foreign company is an entity which has a foreign share holders greater than 50%. It needs to seek the approval under the FCRA to implement its corporate social responsibility as per section 135 of the companies act.

But the present amendment says that the donations made by the Indian companies with foreign share holders will not come under the FCRA act. It includes the donations to the political parties too.


Tax – revision of the DTAA with Mauritius

According to this, capital gains tax  levied on the share holders who are residents of the Mauritius and  invest in Indian companies and gain profit out of this. In this from 2017-19, 50% of the tax rate is levied and later it will be raised to 100%. Any company if it s expenditure is not 27 lakhs will be recognised as a shell company and the concession will not apply.


Finance minister held that India no longer needs tax incentives to attract the investments and eventually markets have to operate on the inherent strengths of the Indian Economy.


Indian Express

Targeting RTI in the house

Context – Few of the MPs made an allegation on the floor of the house that RTI is being misused to harass the officers and is creating a negative impact on the efficiency

 Of the Government.


But, a study by the RAAG(RTI assessment and advocacy group) and National campaign for people s RTI) says that most of the information requested under RTI can be made available through a pro active disclosure. Added to this, frivolous complaints constituted less than 1% of the total RTI applications.

If the statutory requirement of the pro active disclosure of information is made, work load on officers gets greatly reduced.


question of the day

Money bill need clear guidelines to protect the constitutional role given to Rajya Sabha. Various judgements of the Supreme Court already created a  necessary space to act on this. Analyse


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