Legal Current Affairs

If you’re preparing for CLAT, Current Affairs play a significant role in securing a good score. So, you need to be updated with the daily current affairs and current happenings across the globe. Here is a list of some legal current affairs that took place this week.

What is Greater Tipraland?

Greater Tipraland is a region in Tripura. Several tribals are demanding to make the region a separate state.

What is the issue?

There are 19 notified Scheduled Tribes in Tripura. Among these, 5.92 lakh are Tripuris, 1.88 lakh are Reangs. These three tribal groups are the major tribals in the state. Some of the minor tribal groups have joined hands and formed TIPRA Motha (Tirpaha Indigenous Regional Alliance) and IPFT (Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura) political parties. These parties are now arguing that they want a separate state for their “survival and existence”.

Constitutional Validity in the issue

They claim that they are making the demand under Article 2 and Article 3 of the constitution. Article 2 of the constitution says that “The Parliament shall permit the establishment of new states and union territories and also permit the entry of new states and UTs into the Indian Union”. Article 3 says that “Parliament shall increase or diminish the area of a state”.

Why did the issue come into the picture?

Tripura was ruled by the Manikya dynasty since the late 13th century till it signed the Instrument of Accession with the Government of India in 1949. Instrument of Accession is the document signed by the Indian states to enter into the Union of India after independence. In due course, some of the indigenous tribes in the region have become a minority in the state. This happened mainly because of the displacement of the Bengalis from East Pakistan during the 1971 war. In 1881, the tribal population in the state was 63.77%. It reduced to 31.8% in 2011.

US Senate passes bill to avert Government Shutdown.

The US Congress recently passed a stopgap bill to avert a government shutdown. The bill extended the funding through mid – February. The bill is usually passed so that the US Government does not run out of money.

Why was the bill passed?

The bill was passed to overcome brinkmanship over vaccine mandates. Brinkmanship is the practice of pursuing dangerous policy limits of safety before stopping. In simple words, the US government was about to run out of money due to its extensive COVID-19 vaccine measures. Therefore, came in demand for additional money. And thus, the stopgap bill was passed. Stopgap means a temporary measure or short-term fix.

What is Government Shutdown in the USA?

  • The Government Shutdown occurs in the United States when the US Parliament fails to enact funding legislation. The funding maybe for the next fiscal year or temporary. The current bill passed is for temporary funding.
  • Earlier, such a shutdown occurred during President Obama period (for 16 days), President Bill Clinton period (21 days), and President Donald Trump period (35 days).
  • The shutdown disrupts government programmes and services. This includes the closure of institutions and national parks. Also, the major loss occurs due to loss of labor. It also causes significant economic growth.

Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules 2011 amended – Update (December 2021)

The Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey recently replied to a question in Lok Sabha that the Government of India has amended the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011. This was done to protect the interests of the consumers in the country.

What are the amendments made?

  • The unit sale price of the commodity should compulsorily be displayed on the package. This allows the consumers to make an informed decision irrespective of the quantity and size of the commodity packed in the package. Also, this will remove the inaccuracy in a declaration of quantity in pre-packed commodities.
  • The number of pieces that represent the quantity in the package should be mentioned in the package. This will remove the confusion in items sold by number. Earlier such declarations were made as ‘N’ or ‘U’.
  • The provisions of Maximum Retail Price (MRP) should be simplified. The illustration and mandatory declaration of MRP in Indian currency, including taxes, has been removed.

Metrology means the science of measurement and its application.

Dam Safety Bill

The Dam Safety Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha. The bill aims to inspect, survey, maintain and operate dams in the country because most of the dams are more than 100 years old.

Key Features

  • The bill constitutes two national bodies. They are the National Committee on Dam Safety and the National Dam Safety Authority.
  • The National Committee on Dam Safety will evolve policies and recommend regulations related to dam safety.
  • The National Dam Safety Authority implements the policies framed by the National Committee. Also, it will provide technical assistance to the State Dam Safety Organisations.
  • The bill will also constitute two state bodies. They are the State Committee on Dam Safety and the State Dam Safety Authority. The functions of these committees and authorities are restricted at the state level and are similar to that of the national committees and authorities.

Constitutional validity

  • According to Entry 17 of the State List, the states are eligible to make laws on irrigation, water supply, canals, embankments, drainage, water power, and water storage.
  • According to Entry 56 of the Union List, the Parliament is allowed to make laws on the regulation of river valleys and inter-state rivers.
  • Article 252 allows the Parliament to make laws on subjects in the State list if two or more states pass a resolution requiring a law. In this issue, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh have passed a resolution asking for a law on dam safety.

Functions of the bodies in the bill

The functions of the National Dam Safety Authority and National Committee on Dam Safety are as follows;

  • To resolve issues between State Dam Safety Organisations.
  • To assess the potential impact of dam failure.
  • To supervise dam rehabilitation programs.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020

The bill aims to provide for the regulation of ART (Assisted Reproduction Technology). ART is used to treat infertility. In ART, the eggs are removed from a woman’s body, mixed with sperm to form embryos. The bill was recently passed in Lok Sabha.

Bill defines ART

The bill defines ART as follows:

  • ART includes all techniques that are used to get pregnant. The techniques shall include handling oocytes (immature eggs) or sperms outside the human body.
  • It shall also include transferring the embryo into the woman’s body.
  • The ART services shall include the following:
  • Donation of sperm or oocytes
  • In – Vitro Fertilisation: This means fertilizing an egg and a sperm in the lab.
  • Gestational Surrogacy: the child is carried by a non – biological mother or surrogate mother

Regulates ART clinics and banks

  • The bill says that every ART bank or clinic should be registered under the National Registry of Banks and Clinics of India. The bill will establish the National Registry. The registry will act as a central database holding details of the clinics and banks providing ART services.
  • The clinics and banks shall become eligible to get registered only if they attain certain standards. These standards are related to physical infrastructure, specialized manpower, diagnostic facilities, etc.
  • The registration is valid for five years.

Conditions are included in the bill.

  • Only a registered bank or clinic shall collect and store the semen.
  • The semen can be received only from males between the age of 21 years and 55 years. The oocytes shall be received only from females between the age of 23 years and 35 years.
  • The oocyte woman should be an ever-married woman. Also, she should have at least one alive child of her own, and the child should be at least three years old.
  • The bank should not supply the gamete of a single donor to more than one couple (seeking service).

 National and State Boards

The bill constitutes National and State Boards for surrogacy. The powers and functions of the boards are as follows:

  • To advise the Central Government on ART-related policies.
  • To review and monitor the implementation of the act.
  • To formulate a code of conduct and standards for ART clinics and banks.
  • To oversee various bodies that are constituted under the act.

Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act

The Uttarakhand Government recently withdrew the Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act. The act was withdrawn due to the protests from priests and other stakeholders of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the major shrines.

What is the Char Dham Act?

  • The Char Dham Shrine Management Act was legislated by the Uttarakhand State Assembly in 2019.
  • The act constituted a board called Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Board. The board brought the Char Dham of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, and 49 other temples under its purview.
  • The Chief Minister was the Chairman of the board, and the Minister of Religious Affairs was the vice-chairman. Two MLAs of Yamunotri and Gangotri were members of the board, and a senior IAS officer was the Chief Executive Officer.
  • The board was responsible for the management of temples. It had powers to frame policies, sanction expenditure, budget formulation. Also, the board had powers to give directions for the safe custody of temple jewellery and properties.

How were the shrines managed before the Char Dham act?

Before the act, the temples were managed under the Shri Badrinath – Shri Kedarnath Act, 1939. Under the act, Shri Badrinath – Shri Kedarnath Mandir Samiti was constituted. The Samiti was chaired by a person appointed by the Government. The committee was responsible for making decisions related to funds, donations, and development works in and around the temples.

Why was the Char Dham Act proposed?

Most of the provisions of the Shri Badrinath – Shri Kedarnath Act, 1939, were not relevant to the present context. Thus, the Char Dham Bill was proposed. It aimed to rejuvenate the temples.

Why did priests and other stakeholders protest against the Char Dham Act?

According to the protestants, the Government wants to take control over the financial and policy decisions of the temple. In Gangotri and Yamunotri, the temples were earlier under the control of local trusts. The Government had no say and no share in the donations made by the devotees.

Stay tuned for more updates on legal current affairs and tips on CLAT preparation.