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Insights Daily Current Events, 26 May 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 26 May 2015

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ACB can act against Delhi police

The Delhi High Court recently ruled that the Delhi government’s Anti-corruption Branch (ACB) has the jurisdiction to arrest police personnel. The ruling comes in the middle of a high-stakes jurisdiction battle between the Delhi and the Union government.

Background:

  • In July 2014 notification, the Union Government had said that the Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi government could file cases against only its officials and not against those of the Union government.
  • Following this, the Delhi Assembly, in March, passed a unanimous resolution against the July 2014 notification, alleging that it diluted the powers of the said anti-graft body.

Context:

The court’s recent ruling was part of a judgment denying bail to a head constable arrested by the ACB on a bribery charge. The Constable had contested his arrest, pointing to a notification passed by the Home Ministry last July saying the Branch’s jurisdiction extended only to employees of the Delhi government. It was contested that entries 1 and 2 on the State List of the Constitution — Public Order and Police — stood excluded from the legislative competence of the Delhi government under the Constitution.

Observations made by the Court:

  • The court has said that the Centre’s notification barring the ACB from acting against Union government employees was suspect as it could not exercise executive power over matters falling under the legislative competence of the Delhi government.
  • The Court observed that the State government was empowered to make laws in respect of matters on the Concurrent List and as such, with regard to entries 1 and 2 (Criminal Law and Code of Criminal Procedure), the Lieutenant-Governor could not act in his discretion and was bound to act upon the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.
  • The Court also said that the Members of the Legislative Assembly are directly elected by the citizens from territorial constituencies in the NCT of Delhi, and the Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly. The mandate of the people, with whom the sovereign power resides, must be respected by the Lieutenant Governor.

What experts say?

Senior lawyers say that the powers of the State government to investigate corruption stemmed not from the State List but from the Concurrent List (matters under both the State and the Union governments). Entries 1 and 2 on the Concurrent List covered criminal law, including all matters included in the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure at the commencement of this Constitution. Offences of corruption, now covered under the Prevention of Corruption Act, were originally part of the IPC and could, therefore, be investigated by the State government.

The high court’s order came amid a bitter tussle between the AAP government and the Lt Governor over posting and transfers of senior officials as well as some other contentious issues.

Sources: The Hindu.

 

 

“Dheepan” wins Palme d’Or at Cannes

French director Jacques Audiard’s “Dheepan”, a drama about a family of Sri Lankan refugees in Paris, was the surprise winner of Palme d’Or at the 68th Cannes Film Festival.

Other awardees:

  • French actor Vincent Lindon was named the best actor for his role of a common man in “The Measure of a Man”.
  • Emmanuelle Bercot was named the best actress for “Mon roi”.
  • Laszlo Nemes’ Holocaust drama “Son of Saul” received the Grand Prix award, the competition’s runner-up prize.
  • Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien won the best director award for “The Assassin”, a martial-arts drama set in ninth-century China.
  • The jury prize went to Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos for “The Lobster”
  • Mexican writer-director Michel Franco received the screenplay award for “Chronic”.
  • The Camera d’Or for best first film was awarded to Cesar Augusto Acevedo’s well reviewed “Land and Shade”, about a Colombian family dwelling in a flame-engulfed farmland.
  • French film director Agnes Varda was presented with the honorary Palme d’Or at the festival’s closing ceremony. She is also the first female filmmaker to ever receive the award.

2015 Cannes Film Festival- Quick facts:

  • It was the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival.
  • It is annually held in Cannes, France.
  • It previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, from around the world.
  • Founded in 1946, it is considered as the most prestigious film festival in the world and is one of the most publicised.
  • The invitation-only festival is held annually at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès.
  • The Palme d’Or (also known as Golden Palm) is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

 

Jaitapur project will roll through, come what may

Maharashtra Chief Minister recently said that the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Park will roll through, come what may, sending a strong signal to the Shiv Sena that opposes the project.

Jaitapur project- some facts:

  • It is a proposed 9900 MW power project of Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) at Madban village of Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra. If built, it would be the largest nuclear power generating station in the world by net electrical power rating.
  • Reactor type: European Pressurized Reactor/Evolutionary Power Reactor.
  • Reactor supplier: Areva, French state-controlled nuclear engineering firm.
  • In December 2010 an agreement was signed for the construction of first set of two third-generation European Pressurized Reactors and the supply of nuclear fuel for 25 years in the presence of French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
  • Since Jaitapur being seismically sensitive area, the danger of an earthquake has been foremost on the minds of people. According to the Earthquake hazard zoning of India, Jaitapur comes under Zone III. This zone is called the moderate Risk Zone. Hence, citizens of the area are questioning about safety.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

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