Caste-based discrimination and resultant socioeconomic disadvantage is therefore more fundamental a problem than simple economic disadvantage, and it’s the former that reservation has been constitutionally mandated to address. Economic disadvantage is usually a consequence of a vulnerability, and thus it is that vulnerability which needs to be tackled for effective poverty alleviation, which is exactly what the drafters of the Indian Constitution had understood to be the purpose of reservation.
The Lok Sabha on Monday, January 7, 2018, passed The Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 that seeks to seeks to amend the Divorce Act, 1869 (4 of 1869), the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939 (8 of 1939), the Special Marriage Act, 1954 (43 of 1954), the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (25 of 1955) and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 (78 of 1956) so as to omit the provisions contained therein that the discriminatory to the leprosy affected persons.
The fundamental right to self-identified gender under Articles 14, 15, 19 and 21 of the Constitution stands violated blatantly. With only four MPs addressing the debate, the Bill passed by the Lok Sabha is a washout. The Rajya Sabha must now resist, especially since it has already passed ‘The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014’ in April 2015.
While it creates a distinction between personal data, and sensitive personal data,the exemptions under Data Protection Bill include matters of security of state, for prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of contraventions of law, processing for purposes of legal proceeding, research, archiving, or statistical purposes, personal or domestic purposes, journalistic purposes, or manual processing by small entities.
The Petitioner contended that the EC’s circular is contrary to the mandate of Article 80 (4) of the Constitution of India and the case of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and another v. Union of India. They further argue that the EC’s circular is unconstitutional as the Rules relied upon to make the voting provisions do not even remotely conceive of NOTA.
From its premature Cabinet clearance without any enforceable data protection framework in place, to its muddled approach to consent, in-built technologies of coercion leading to profiling and possible criminalisation of vulnerable groups, invasive information collection methods and mythicisation of the “infallibility” of the DNA technology — the Bill is a confused disarray of State arrogance fused with misplaced reliance on technology that’s still too nebulous for effective and wide-scale use
The Sub-Committee on Accreditation of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions underscored that the current selection process under the Act is not sufficiently broad and transparent since it does not mandatorily require the advertisement of vacancies and establishment of clear and uniform criteria upon which all parties assess the merit of applicants. The SCA also noted that the NHRC was not free from political interference.
The Bill intends to lay out that preliminary enquiry shall not be required for registration of a FIR against any person; or the Investigating Officer shall not require approval for the arrest of any accused person. For a Dalit, securing proper non-delayed investigation and successful prosecution is almost improbable which might result from intimidation of the victim and witnesses. The requirement of prior sanction would thus worsen the problem of delay in prosecution and hostility of witnesses.
With 143 names recommended by the High Court Collegium pending with the Supreme Court Collegium, it seems the latter too must be blamed for staggering vacancies in the high courts of India.
While requesting the Court to stay the Order, KK Venugopal, Attorney General of India submitted that, ‘The insensivity of the Court towards social justice cause and judicial dilution of a stringent protective social justice legislation by resorting to judicial excess in total disregard to the legislative intent has been committed in passing of the directions.’
The latest draft of the RTI Amendment Bill 2018 reflects a discriminatory approach towards a statutory body such as the Information Commission. There appears to be an uncanny intention on behalf of the Centre to acquire overarching powers to decide the salaries and tenures of the Information Commissioners. The proposed Bill has also been critiqued for being violative of various Constitutional provisions, especially that of Article 14.