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.
Ⅰ. National e-Vidhan Application
Nagaland became India’s first State Assembly to implement the National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA) programme to become paperless.
About National e-Vidhan Application
- NeVA is a type of work-flow system that was deployed on NIC Cloud, MeghRaj, which helps to conduct the proceedings of the House smoothly by the Chair of the House and also to conduct Legislative Business of the House in a manner which is paperless.
- NeVA is a member-centric and device neutral application that was created to equip the members to smartly handle various House Business by putting entire information regarding the contact details of members, list of business, rules of procedure, bulletins, notices, starred or unstarred questions, and answers, bills, committee reports, papers laid, etc. in their handheld devices such as tablets and equip all Departments and Legislatures to handle it efficiently.
- Through the use of NeVA the process of sending out a request or notice for the data collection is completely eliminated.
- Each Member of the House has a secure page where they can submit questions and other notices.
- mNeVA is a user-friendly mobile version of NeVA that is accessible on both Android and iOS. mNeVA has made information about how legislatures conduct business available to the public which can be accessed any time and from any location.
- For the implementation of NeVA, the expense is funded by the Central government and the state government on a sharing basis of 90:10.
Aim of NeVA
NeVA aims to bring the country’s legislatures together, in one platform thus creating a massive depository of data without having the complexity faced due to having multiple applications.
About Paperless Assembly
e-Assembly or Paperless Assembly is a concept that involves electronic means to ease Assembly work. The entire law-making process, sharing of information, tracking of documents and decisions is automated under e-Assembly.
Ⅱ. Karnataka HC Verdict on Hijab Ban
On 15th March a three-judge Bench of Karnataka High Court (HC) gave a verdict on the petitions related to banning Hijab (headscarf) in Karnataka’s educational institutions.
Observations of the High Court
- The high court upheld the order of Karnataka government prescribing the wearing of uniforms in schools & pre-university colleges as per provisions of Karnataka Education Act, 1983. Thus, the court rejected all petitions filed by nine Muslim girl students of the Udupi district.
- High court ruled that wearing hijab by Muslim women is not a part of essential religious practices in Islam.
- Thus, the right to wear a hijab is not protected under the right to freedom of religion guaranteed by Article 25 of the Constitution of India.
- The High court also declared that prescribing uniforms for students neither violates the right to freedom of speech and expression (Article 19(1) (a)) nor the right to privacy (Article 21) guaranteed by the Constitution.
- Thus, a ban on wearing hijab in educational institutions is a reasonable restriction, which is permitted by the constitution and students cannot object to the ban.
Plea in Supreme Court
After the Karnataka High court judgment, a Muslim student from Karnataka approached the Supreme Court against the order. In her plea, the student mentioned that the right to wear a hijab is protected by the right to conscience under Article 25 of the Constitution.
Ⅲ. Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill
The Centre decided to table the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha during the Second part of the Budget Session of Parliament.
The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill will be moved by Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda. The purpose of the bill is to include certain communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) of Tripura by amending the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950. The second part of the budget session of the Parliament resumed from March 14th and will go on till April 8th.
Previous bills for Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh
- Earlier, similar bills were tabled for states like Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh.
- In February, a bill was introduced to omit the Bhogta community from the list of Scheduled Castes (SCs) in Jharkhand and for inclusion of certain communities in the lists of Scheduled Tribes (STs) in the state.
- In August 2021, Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021, was passed by the Parliament to make certain changes to the list of STs in Arunachal Pradesh. It removed the Abor tribe from the list of identified STs in Arunachal Pradesh. Also, the names of certain STs were changed. For example, Khampti was changed to Tai Khampti.
The Constitution of India empowers the President to specify Scheduled Tribes (STs) in various states and union territories. Parliament is permitted to modify this list of notified Scheduled Tribes (STs).
Ⅳ. Telangana: Integrated Hospital Facility Management
On 13th March, the health department of the Telangana State government issued a government order (GO) approving the Integrated Hospital Facility Management Services (IHFMS).
The main objective of IHFMS is to improve patient care services in Telangana’s government hospitals. On January 29th, the Director of medical education (DME) and the Telangana Vaidya Vidhana Parishad (TVVP) commissioner submitted the proposal to implement the IHFMS. The proposal was approved through the GO 31 of the Telangana state government.
IHFMS also extends to institutions, nursing colleges, and nursing schools in Telangana. Thus, the policy of providing one person for 7,000 sq. ft. of built-up area and one person per 27,000 sq. ft. for open area, which is presently applicable to the medical colleges, will also apply to nursing colleges and nursing schools in Telangana.
Reservation for SC community
- In contracts related to the provision of IHFMS in the government hospitals, 16% reservation is provided to agencies owned by persons belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) community.
- This reservation applies to hospitals having sanctioned bed strength of up to 500 beds.
- Contracts for 20 of the 122 Category A hospitals (bed strength of less than 100) will be reserved for the agencies belonging to persons from the SC community.
- Contracts for 8 of the 53 Category B hospitals (bed strength between 100 and 500) will be reserved for the agencies belonging to persons from the SC community.
- The hospitals to be reserved for SCs in each category (A and B) will be selected by a transparent process of drawing lots. The minimum turnover requirement for reserved hospitals will be relaxed by 50% for agencies owned by SCs.
The implementation and monitoring of the reservation policy and identification of reserved hospitals will be overseen by a committee consisting of the Director of medical education (DME), the Telangana Vaidya Vidhana Parishad (TVVP) commissioner, and the Managing Director (MD) of Telangana State Medical Services & Infrastructure Development Corporation (TSMSIDC).
Ⅴ. New Census Rules
In a gazette notification issued on 11th March, the Union government amended Census Rules, 1990.
About the new census rules
- An amendment has been made to clause C of Rule-2 of Census Rules, 1990, that deals with definitions.
- The terms “electronic form” and “self-enumeration” have been included in the schedule of questions to be asked during the census. Through this amendment, the Census rules allow online self-enumeration in the upcoming Census and National Population Register (NPR).
- The announcement regarding the online self-enumeration was first made in 2020 and it has been notified now through an amendment.
Definitions of Electric Form and Self-Enumeration
- According to the new rules “electronic form‟ has the same meaning as in clause (r) of section 2(1) of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.
- The “self-enumeration” is defined as filling, completion, and submission of the census schedule by respondents themselves.
Other changes in the census rules
- Changes have been made regarding how the Census statistics should be published. In Rule 5, the word “media” has been replaced with “electronic or any other media”.
- Rule 8 mentions the various modes to ensure wide publicity for the census exercise. Earlier, this list of modes only included radio, audio-visuals, and posters. Now, “print media, electronic media, and social media”, are also added to the list.
The Census exercise was earlier scheduled to begin in March 2020 with the house-listing phase and National Population Register (NPR) enumeration, followed by population census. But it has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Recently, the Union government on the request of states, extended the deadline for jurisdictional changes for all states from December 31, 2021, to June 30, 2022.
Ⅵ. Dubai Virtual Assets Regulation Law
Dubai has introduced crypto asset regulation, joining the ranks of Singapore, the United States, the United Kingdom, El Salvador, and other countries that have enacted cryptocurrency laws. The Virtual Asset Regulation Law has been passed by Dubai to regulate this new-age industry, which has been rapidly expanding.
- An independent regulator has also been formed to regulate the cryptocurrency sector.
- The Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), a regulatory body, will oversee the development of the virtual asset business environment in terms of licensing, regulation, and governance.
- The Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law aims to establish Dubai and the United Arab Emirates as regional and global virtual asset industry destinations.
What needs to be done under the new law?
The new law will require residents of Dubai to register with VARA before engaging in crypto-related activity. Businesses that deal with virtual assets would also need to register. Cryptocurrency exchanges, businesses that facilitate cryptocurrency transfers, etc. are examples of these businesses.
With the exception of the government-owned DIFC financial-free zone, the new rule will apply throughout Dubai. The DIFC’s regulator, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), is developing its own virtual asset regulations.
About Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority
Excluding the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), VARA will be responsible for regulating and licensing the sector across the free zone territories and the mainland. The authority will be in charge of establishing and organizing the procedures and rules that will govern VA activities, such as clearing, management, and settlement services, as well as specifying and classifying the types of virtual assets. In collaboration with the UAE Central Bank and the Securities and Commodities Authority, VARA will also be offering a full range of services.
About Virtual Assets
Any digitized token of value that can be traded, transferred, or used for payment might be considered a virtual asset. The digital representation of fiat currency is not included under virtual assets. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies are the most popular digital assets.
Ⅶ. ‘Sealed Cover’ Jurisprudence
‘Sealed cover’ jurisprudence of courts involves accepting information from government agencies in sealed envelopes that can be accessed only by the judges.
About the ‘Sealed cover’ jurisprudence
- This is used by both the Supreme Court and the lower courts. There is no specific law defining the ‘Sealed cover’ jurisprudence. However, the Supreme Court derives the power to use ‘Sealed cover’ jurisprudence from Rule 7 of Order XIII of SC Rules and Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
- Under Rule 7 of Order XIII, it is mentioned that if the Chief Justice of India (CJI) or the Supreme court directs certain information to be kept under sealed cover, no party would be allowed access to it, unless allowed by CJI himself. Information can be kept secret if its publication is not in the public interest.
- Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, official unpublished documents related to affairs of the State are protected and public officials cannot be forced to disclose them. ‘Sealed cover’ jurisprudence can also be used when the publication of information impedes an ongoing investigation or if it breaches an individual’s privacy.
Usage of ‘Sealed cover’ jurisprudence
- In 2018, the Supreme Court had asked the Union Government to submit details related to the Rafale fighter jet deal’s decision-making and pricing in a sealed cover.
- The Supreme Court asked the coordinator of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to submit periodic reports in a sealed cover.
- Other examples include the 2014 BCCI reforms case, Bhima Koregaon case, coal scam case, the Ramjanmabhoomi case, the case related to the death of judge BH Loya, etc.
Recently, Kerala High Court upheld a ban on the Malayalam news channel MediaOne based on an assessment of documents presented by the Ministry of Home Affairs in a sealed cover.
Stay tuned for more legal current affairs and other law related articles.