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.
SC on Krishna Water Dispute
On February 18, 2022, the government of Karnataka moved to the Supreme Court and sought to set up a bench to hear a plea related to the dispute over the allocation of water of the Krishna River.
- The Krishna River flows in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.
- SC bench comprising of Justice D Y Chandrachud from Maharashtra, and Justice A S Bopanna from Karnataka, had recused from the case on January 10, 2022, arising out of the decision of the water tribunal
- The judges recused themselves because they were upset with the tone of emails and letters against them for being part of this bench on water disputes.
What is the issue?
Karnataka had sought the vacation on an SC order of November 16, 2011, that restrained the Central government from publishing the final order of Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal II (KWDT) in the official gazette. This order was pronounced in 2010 and allocated the river water to Karnataka, Maharashtra, and erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. KWDT had further modified its final order and reported in November 2013 to allocate surplus water to Karnataka, Maharashtra, and erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, while preserving the allocation of 2,130 TMC. However, after the bifurcation of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, Telangana & Andhra Pradesh had moved to the Supreme Court and challenged the allocation share of the KWDT.
Karnataka argued that its dam and irrigation projects to provide water in its parched northern areas were stalled for all these years due to the 2011 order of not publishing KWDT decisions in the Official Gazette in line with Section 6(1) of the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956.
About Krishna Water Dispute
The Krishna Water dispute started with erstwhile Hyderabad and Mysore states. It later continued between successors Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. Following the dispute, Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) was set up in 1969, in line with the Inter-State River Water Dispute Act, 1956. The tribunal presented its report in 1973 and was published in 1976. Tribunal divided the 2060 TMC of Krishna water into three parts, at 75 percent dependability: 560 TMC for Maharashtra, 700 TMC for Karnataka, and 800 TMC for Andhra Pradesh.
Second KWDT was set up in 2004, as new grievances arose between the states. It presented its report in 2010. The tribunal made allocations of the Krishna water at 65 percent dependability and surplus flows as – 81 TMC for Maharashtra, 177 TMC for Karnataka, and 190 TMC for Andhra Pradesh. Now, with the creation of Telangana as a separate state, Andhra Pradesh is in favor of including Telangana as a separate party at KWDT and is asking to allocate Krishna waters among four states instead of three.
Texas: Legal Suit on Facebook facial recognition
On February 14, 2022, the attorney general office of Texas sued Meta’s (FB.O) Facebook after alleging that it has violated state privacy protections with facial-recognition technology.
- Facebook was alleged that its facial-recognition technology collected biometric data of millions of Texans without their consent.
- It accused Facebook of capturing biometric information from videos and photos that users uploaded without consent and disclosing it to others.
- The new lawsuit was filed in a state court in Marshall, Texas. It says that 20.5 million people in Texas have a Facebook account. Facebook repeatedly captured the biometric identity of people without their consent many times.
Shutting down of facial recognition system
In November 2021, Facebook had announced to shut down a facial recognition system and to delete information of more than a billion people. It cited concerns on using technology and uncertainty over rules regarding its use. The company had also agreed to pay USD 650 million in 2020 for settling an Illinois state lawsuit, dealing with similar concerns.
DeepFace facial recognition system
DeepFace is a deep learning facial recognition system. It has been created by a research group at Facebook. This system identifies human faces in digital images. It employs a nine-layer neural network with more than 120 million connection weights. It was trained on four million images updated by users on the Facebook platform. The DeepFace method reaches an accuracy of 97.35% ± 0.25% on the “Labelled Faces in the Wild (LFW) data set” as opposed to the accuracy of 97.53% by human beings. Thus, DeepFace is sometimes more successful than human beings. However, Facebook’s parent company Meta announced its plan to shut down the Facebook facial recognition system because of growing societal concerns. It also announced plans to delete the face scan data of more than one billion users by December 2021.
Will Facebook eliminate DeepFace?
Facebook will not eliminate DeepFace, which is a software powering the facial recognition system. Meta has also not ruled out incorporating facial recognition technology into its future products.
Karnataka HC: Ban on Online Gaming Unconstitutional
On February 14, 2022, Karnataka High Court struck down provisions of the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act, 2021, that had banned online games.
- The division bench was headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Krishna S. Dixit.
- According to the bench, ‘Karnataka Act number 28/2021 to the extent the provisions ultra vires the constitution, however not the entire Act.
- This judgment was interpreted for preventing appropriate legislation concerning subjects like betting and gambling in line with the provisions of the constitution.
- A writ of mandamus was issued to restrain the respondents from interfering with the online gaming business and allied activities of the petitioners.
Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill, 2021
- The law includes all forms of betting or wagering in connection with any game of chance, except horse racing. However, this law was opposed by online gaming companies, stating that this policy would affect the prospectus of Karnataka, which is emerging as an online gaming companies’ hub.
- The Act banned all formats of online games, including wagering, betting, and gambling of all nature in the state.
- Under it, online gaming was considered a non-bailable offense. It provides for a fine of Rs 1 lakh and imprisonment of up to three years.
- Apart from banning games of skills, the government categorized online games using electronic means, virtual currency, and electronic transfer of funds associated with any game as gambling.
Mobile Premier League (MPL)
MPL was one of the first companies to hold back its operations in Karnataka. Paytm First Games was also locked.
Challenge in the court
Online gaming companies moved to the court to question the new legislation. A similar law was challenged in Tamil Nadu.
What were the concerns?
According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), new legislation by the government will dent Karnataka’s image as a start-up hub. The state exchequer will witness a huge revenue deficit. With the new legislation, offshore gamblers will flourish.
Proroguing of West Bengal Assembly
The West Bengal Governor prorogued the assembly using his powers under Article 174 of the constitution.
What is Proroguing?
It is discontinuing the session of parliament or state legislative assembly. This does not involve dissolving the assembly.
The article provides powers to the governor to summon, prorogue and dissolve the legislative assembly. The governor can do so only based on conditions as mentioned in Article 163.
The Governor should act based on the advice of the chief minister and the council of ministers.
Supreme Court on the issue
The 2016 Arunachal Pradesh case was based on this issue. The dispute was between Deputy Speaker of Arunachal Pradesh and Nabam Rebia and Bamang Felix. The SC pronounced that power does not lie in the hands of the governor totally. It should be exercised with the aid of a council of ministers.
The governor is not an elected member. He is nominated by the president. The nominated personalities shall not override the representatives of the people. The governor shall not overrule the state legislature. This is because the constitution was created based on the principle of ministerial responsibility.
Discretionary powers of Governor
Article 163 (1): It limits the discretionary powers of the governor. The governor shall act only in cases where the constitution specifies that he shall act on his independent mind.
The governor shall use his discretionary power under Article 174 only if the Chief Minister of the State has lost support from the house.
The Parliament shall abolish the Legislative Council of a state by law. However, this happens only if the legislative assembly of the state passes a resolution.
The Governor shall address the state legislative assembly and the council. He shall send messages to the houses.
The Governor shall address the houses during their commencement.
Stay tuned for more Legal Current Affairs and other law related articles.