Current Affairs

If you’re doing CLAT Preparation, 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.

New rules for allowing abortion till 24 weeks

The government has incorporated new rules under the “Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021, which was passed in March 2021.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Rules, 2021

  • Under the new rules, the gestational limit for termination of pregnancy has been increased from 20 to 24 weeks for exceptional categories of women in India.
  • Women for whom the limit has been increased comprise of minors, survivors of sexual assault, rape or incest; those having physical disabilities, and those whose marital status changes during pregnancy, that is, in case of widowhood or divorce.
  • It also includes cases of foetal malformation where there is risk of physical or mental abnormalities, mentally ill women, and women in disasters or emergency situations declared by the government.

Background

In the past, the opinion of one doctor was required to carry abortion of up to twelve weeks of conception. Opinion of two doctors was required for doing the abortion between twelve and twenty weeks.

State-level medical board

  • Under the new rules, state-level medical boards will be set up that will decide if pregnancy can be terminated after 24 weeks in cases of foetal malformation.
  • Boards will examine the woman & her reports and then either accept or reject the proposal for medical termination of pregnancy. This process will be completed within three days of receiving the request.
  • Board will also ensure that the abortion procedure is carried with all precautions along with counseling when advised by them. The procedure will be done within five days of receiving the request for it.

Should the rules be for all women?

Experts are of the view that considering the advancements in scientific and medical technology, an extended 24 weeks gestation period should be open for all women and not just specific categories of women. They also note that the creation of state medical boards might create impediments for women’s access to abortion services.

MHA begins tripartite talks with Gorkhas and WB

The Union Home Ministry started tripartite talks with “Gorkha representatives” from Darjeeling Hills, Terrai & Dooars region, as well as the Government of West Bengal on October 12, 2021.

Highlights

  • Tripartite talks were started in a bid to resolve the long-standing demand for statehood in the North Bengal region.
  • Talks were chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah and the Gorkha delegation led by Darjeeling MP Raju Bisht.
  • During the meeting, officials discussed several issues related to Gorkhas and the region.

Background

On this issue, the last meeting was held in October 2021 when a delegation of Gorkha leaders came to meet the then MoS Home, G Kishan Reddy, to discuss the statehood issue.

Demand raised by delegation

The delegation from Gorkhaland raised their demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland as well as a grant of Scheduled Tribe status to 11 Gorkha sub-communities. Issue of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) was raised, the delegation noted that they would not discuss GTA as Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) that was signed between Union of India, Government of West Bengal, and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in 2011, was not welcomed by the West Bengal.

What is the Gorkhaland Issue?

Gorkhaland comprises Nepali-speaking people from Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, and other hilly districts of West Bengal. People of these areas have cultural, ethical, and language differences with the Bengali community of West Bengal. The demand for Darjeeling as a separate administrative region was first initiated in the year 1907. However, the term “Gorkhaland” was coined during the 1980s by Subhash Ghising. Subhash Ghising was the founder of Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF).

Gorkhaland Movement

It is a movement that mainly focuses on the Darjeeling Hills of West Bengal and demands the creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland.

Supreme Court on National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) position

The Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment, noted that “National Green Tribunal does have suo moto powers and it can hear environmental issues on its own ”.

Key Points

  • This order came even though the Union government said NGT does not have powers to hear environmental cases on its own.
  • Court also noted that holding any other interpretation will go against the public good and render the environmental watchdog ineffective and toothless.
  • This decision is significant for the well-being of the nation and its people.
  • It will bring about a flexible mechanism for addressing all the issues related to environmental damage and resultant climate change in a bid to leave behind a better environmental legacy for future children and generations thereafter.

National Green Tribunal (NGT)

National Green Tribunal (NGT) was established on October 18, 2010, under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010. It was established for effective and expeditious disposal of cases related to conservation of forests, environmental protection and conservation of other natural resources besides enforcement of any legal right related to the environment. This Tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down under “Code of Civil Procedure, 1908”. It is guided by principles of natural justice.

National Green Tribunal Act, 2010

It is an Act of the Parliament that led to the creation of a special tribunal for handling the expeditious disposal of cases related to environmental issues. It was inspired by the constitutional provision of Article 21.

The function of the Tribunal

The Tribunal has a dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters. Thus, it provides speedy environmental justice and helps in reducing the burden of higher courts. It is mandated to make and endeavor for disposal of applications or appeals within 6 months.

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

References:

  1. https://www.gktoday.in/current-affairs/new-rules-for-allowing-abortion-till-24-weeks/
  2. https://www.gktoday.in/current-affairs/supreme-court-on-national-green-tribunals-ngt-position/ 
  3. https://www.gktoday.in/current-affairs/mha-begins-tripartite-talks-with-gorkhas-and-wb/ 
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