IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains
Focus)- 03rd August 2018
Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Indian Economy; Corruption
- The prosecution of accused persons (of almost 100 confirmed cases) under Benami Act stuck.
- Reason: Special courts meant for the purpose have not yet been set up across the country.
- Assets worth more than ₹5,000 crore have been attached by the Income-Tax Department under the law.
Important Value Additions
What is a ‘benami’ transaction?
- When a transaction is done in name of a person other than the one who finances, is called benami transaction.
- If person A pays the money for Property X, but the property is transferred in name of person B, person B is benamdar and Property X is called benami property. Person A is the real owner
About Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act
- It is an Act to prohibit benami transactions and the right to recover properly held benami.
- It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Act provides that the Central government, in consultation with the Chief Justice of the respective High Courts, will establish special courts.
- Special court is to conclude the trial within six months.
Similar scheme to curb black money: Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 to catch those with undisclosed foreign assets.
SC on Adultery law
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Social issue; Polity
- It was commonly accepted that it is the man who is the seducer and not the woman.
- SC has said that the time has changed and the archaic law which makes adultery an offence punishable only for men and not the consenting women needs to stand the test of right to equality.
Wife as commodity
- Section 497 in the Indian Penal Code, which defines adultery, says that a man could be punished up to five years in jail if he has sexual intercourse with another man’s wife. However, it is not an offence if the sexual intercourse is with the “consent or connivance” of the husband of the woman.
- The above IPC Section treats a married woman as “chattel” (a personal possession) of the conniving husband, which is “absurd”. When a woman is treated as chattel, her right to dignity is affected, SC said.
Do you know?
- The SC bench seeks to strike down the provisions as unconstitutional (decriminalise adultery) and looking to make its provisions gender neutral.
- Most countries have done away with adultery as a criminal offence, including Bhutan, Sri Lanka, China, South Korea.
123rd Constitutional Amendment Bill
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Indian Polity; Constitutional amendment
- 123rd Constitutional Amendment Bill seeks to grant constitutional status to National Commission for Backward Classes.
- A constitutional amendment under Article 368 needs to be passed by both Houses separately with a special majority.
- The bill if passed will insert Article 338 B in the Constitution, which provides for a Commission for the socially and educationally backward classes with a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and three other members, all of whom shall be appointed by the President of India.
- NCBC was established in 1993 by an act of Parliament. It is a statutory body.
- It considers inclusions in and exclusions from the lists of castes notified as backward for the purpose of job reservation.
- It falls under Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
Saving Dal Lake
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains – Environment and Biodiversity; Conservation of lakes
- J&K Governor seeks Navy’s assistance to save Dal Lake
- Assessments show that the size of the water body has come down by half
- Encroachments of water channels and clogging have diminished the circulation and inflows into the lake, leading to the extensive growth of hyacinth.
Important lakes in Jammu and Kashmir
- Dal lake
- Pangong Tso
- Wular lake
- Tso moriri
TOPIC: General studies 2 and 3
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population and betterment of these vulnerable sections
- Security issues and Cyber security
Data Protection: Right to Privacy and National Security
The draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018
- It has provisions to protect personal data as an essential facet of information privacy.
- The objective of the Bill is to balance the growth of the digital economy and use of data as a means of communication.
- The Bill applies to the personal data which have been processed within India, by persons or agencies governed by Indian Law.
- The Bill also brings within its ambit the processing of personal data by data fiduciaries or data processors located abroad in connection with business or profiling of data principals within the territory of India.
- The proposed law defines personal data as information relating to a natural person.
- Breach of personal data involves unauthorised or accidental processing of personal data that compromises the confidentiality, integrity or availability of personal data to a data principal.
- Data fiduciaries should retain personal data “only as long as may be reasonably necessary to satisfy the purpose for which it is processed”.
- The Bill allows processing of personal data for “prompt action” only if it is necessary for any function of Parliament; or any State Legislature to render service or benefit to citizens; or in response to any medical emergency to the data principal; or in cases of epidemic, outbreak of disease, disaster or breakdown of public order.
- The Bill includes the ‘right to be forgotten’, which is the right of a data principal to restrict or prevent continuing disclosure of personal data by a data fiduciary.
- The Bill calls for a copy of user data to be mandatorily localised in India, it will “boost” law enforcement efforts to access data necessary for investigation and prosecution of crimes.
Criticism on Data localization:
- The Indian law enforcement relies on an out-dated Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) process to obtain data stored by U.S. This scenario will not change even after technology companies relocate Indian data to India.
- Localisation can provide data only for crimes that have been committed in India, where both the perpetrator and victim are situated in India.
- Transnational terrorism, cybercrimes and money laundering that the committee rightly highlights will often involve individuals and accounts that are not Indian, and therefore will not be stored in India.
The data protection bill is an opportunity for India to be a partner under the CLOUD Act
What is CLOUD Act?
Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act, passed by the U.S. Congress seeks to de-monopolise control over data from U.S. authorities.
The law will for the first time allow tech companies to share data directly with certain foreign governments having an executive agreement with the U.S.
Such foreign country have to certify that the state has robust privacy protections, and respect for due process and the rule of law.
Why India need to partner with US?
- The Justice Srikrishna Committee in its report accompanying the draft Personal Data Protection Bill released on July 27 notes that eight of the top 10 most accessed websites in India are owned by U.S. entities.
- The CLOUD Act creates a potential mechanism through with countries such as India can request data not just for crimes committed within their borders but also for transnational crimes involving their state interests.
The Bill, while recognising principles of legality, necessity and proportionality for data processing in the interest of national security and investigation of crimes, fails to draw procedural rules necessary for actualising these principles. By improving on short comings of our Data Protection policy we can partner with US under CLOUD Act to have access to data stored with and processed by US fiduciaries and other global partners.
Connecting the dots:
With the increase in debates on right to privacy verses National Security, there is an urgent need of Data Protection Policy in line with global standards.
TOPIC: General studies 3
- Science and Technology – developments and their applications and effects in everyday life; developing new technology.
- Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.
Draft National Policy on e-commerce
Introduction: In India there is no single law or single regulator for multibillion dollar e-commerce business industry. Currently it is being regulated by various laws such as IT Act, 2000 and FEMA, etc.
Why we need National Policy on E-commerce?
- India’s e-tail business, estimated to be worth around $25 billion. Over the coming decade, it is expected to swell to $200 billion, fuelled by smartphones, cheaper data access and growing spends.
- First eight months of 2017-18, over 50,000 e-commerce grievances were made to the Consumer Affairs Ministry helpline.
- Traditional retailers seeking level playing field.
Provisions under Draft National Policy on E-commerce:
- The draft policy proposes the creation of a single national regulator to oversee the entire industry.
- It also provides for consumer protection norms to guard online shoppers from possible frauds.
- There is a sunset clause on discounts that can be offered by e-commerce firms and restrictions on sellers backed by marketplace operators.
- Foreign direct investment restrictions on players who can hold their own inventory are sought to be lifted, but there must be a majority Indian partner and all products have to be made in India.
- Licensing and price controls can depress the sector. Government deciding on who can offer how much discount and for how long, instead of letting consumers exercise informed choices, would be a regressive step for the economy.
- The local procurement diktats that are not easy to meet or monitor, may cause rise in e-tailer costs.
- Stipulating payments via Rupay cards will raise questions from both consumers and firms.
Note: Draft policy is in the nascent stage. Keep following further developments.
Connecting the dots:
- E-commerce should be regulated or should it be left to run on free market mechanism?
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
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Q.1) For which of the following conditions the term parallel economy is used?
- Online movement of money and transactions
- Economy of a neighboring country
- Black market economy
- Barter System economy
Q.2) Which of the following steps has been recently taken by the government with the aim to fight Black Money?
- Voluntary Disclosure scheme
- No acceptance of party fund in cash over Rs 2000
Select the code from following:
- 1,2 and 3
- 2, 3 and 4
- 1,3 and 4
- All of the above
Q.3) Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code is concerned with
- Offences Relating to Marriage
- Criminal Breach of Contracts of Service
- Benami Transactions
- Offences affecting the Human Body
Q.4) Which of the following Commissions fall under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment?
- National Commission for SCs
- Central Social Welfare Board
- Central Commissioner for Disabled Persons
- National Commission for Backward Class
Select the code from below:
- 1, 2 and 3
- 1, 3 and 4
- 1 and 3
- All of the above
Q.5) The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 was recently in news. It seeks to
- Grant constitutional status to the National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC)
- Grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)
- Grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)
- Grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Tribal Areas (NCTA
Q.6) Which one among the below given bodies is not a statutory body?
- National Commission for SCs/STs
- National Commission for Women
- National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
- National Commission for Backward Classes
Q.7) Consider the following statements about National Commission for Backward Classes Act:
- It extends to the whole of India including Jammu and Kashmir.
- Backward classes means such backward classes of citizens other than the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes as may be specified by the Central Government in the lists.
- The Commission shall examine requests for inclusion of any class of citizens as a backward class in the lists.
Which of the statements above is/are correct?
- 1, 2 and 3 only
- 2 and 3 only
- 3 only
- 2 only
Q.8) The name – “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir” or “Srinagar’s Jewel” – is associated with
- Dal lake
- Pangong Tso
- Wular lake
- Tso moriri
Managing perceptions: on amending the SC/ST Act
Wolf in priest’s clothing
Import of dual-use tech from US: Dual use, multiple benefits
For Assam To Rise
For a capitalism less stigmatised
Lessons from Tham Luang