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1. What’s the case in opposition to contempt?
1. What’s the case against contempt?
  • The Supreme Court Monday mentioned it could take into account bigger questions within the 2009 contempt case in opposition to lawyer Prashant Bhushan and journalist Tarun Tejpal as the problem has broad ramifications.
  • The high court docket would hear arguments concerning the course of that ought to be adopted in contempt circumstances involving judges. Bhushan has advised the court docket that making corruption fees in opposition to the judges wouldn’t quantity to contempt of court docket.

While the apex court docket has justified going forward with the contempt case, some arguments in opposition to the contempt regulation itself have been put out in the previous couple of days. Here are some:

  • The development: In most authorized methods globally, contempt of court docket is now not a felony offence however solely a civil offence punishable with fines. Britain formally abolished scandalising judges as a criminal offense in 2013.
  • An act: In 2018, 4 SC judges themselves got here out publicly in opposition to the then chief justice of India. That was not seen as contempt.
  • Conflict of curiosity? The contempt regulation is “all too weak to being seen as self-serving — enforced by judges, focusing on offensive remarks about themselves, says this Indian Express editorial.
  • Bypassing the Act? The consent of both the Attorney General (AG) or the Solicitor General is important below part 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act 1971, for initiating contempt proceedings in opposition to an individual. Senior advocate Indira Jaising writes right here: “In this case, a contempt petition was introduced with out the approval of the Attorney General, a requirement below the Act.”
  • Fair criticism? Though Article 129 of the Constitution empowers the court docket to behave in opposition to contempt, the constitutional values of free and truthful criticism go hand in hand too. A petition filed within the SC this month had mentioned that contempt regulation violates the appropriate to freedom of speech and expression assured below Article 19(1)(a) and creates a “chilling impact” on free speech.

Meanwhile, a few attorneys have sought the AG’s consent to provoke felony contempt proceedings in opposition to Bollywood actress Swara Bhaskar for her alleged “derogatory and scandalous” statements in opposition to the SC on its verdict within the Ayodhya temple case.

2. Cases in 6 ‘migrant’ states rising quicker than India charge
2. Cases in 6 ‘migrant’ states rising faster than India rate
  • While Maharashtra and the southern states proceed to log the best variety of contemporary Covid-19 circumstances and deaths within the nation, there was a big surge in infections in no less than six states of north and east India, dwelling to hundreds of thousands of employees employed in different elements of the nation.
  • In the previous 23 days (July 24-August 16), when circumstances in India doubled, infections in these six states put collectively rose 2.6 instances. The six — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bengal and Assam — have been additionally amongst states the place considerations had been raised over insufficient testing, resulting in an increase within the variety of exams in latest days.
  • The surge of the coronavirus within the six states can be gauged from their rising share in India’s whole circumstances. On July 24, the collective share of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bengal and Assam within the nation’s Covid circumstances was 15.6%. By August 16, it had risen to over 20%.

Monday’s depend

  • Cases: 53,230, Overall: 2,698,877
  • Deaths: 902, 900+ circumstances for sixth day operating
  • Recoveries: 1.97 million+
  • Active Cases: 674,650, an 8,000+ drop from Sunday (683,401).

  • Further, the positivity charge has stabilised at round 8% over the past fortnight whilst each day testing has elevated by nearly 10 instances as in comparison with July. The development consider new circumstances (each day new circumstances divided by the day before today’s circumstances) has additionally remained largely fixed at round 1 share level whereas the general lively circumstances and fatality charge have began declining.


  • Finally, lower than one out of 5 deaths in India is medically licensed to indicate explanation for dying. Deaths with medical certification of the trigger have been a mere 2.5% of estimated deaths in Jharkhand, 3.1% in Uttar Pradesh and 4.7% in Bihar. This emerges from an evaluation of information from two studies just lately launched by the census commissioner’s workplace.
  • This assumes better significance at a time when a debate is raging on whether or not Covid deaths are being precisely counted. The drawback in states corresponding to Bihar, UP and Jharkhand is two-fold — a low degree of deaths registrations and a low proportion of even registered deaths being licensed for trigger (see above graphic).


3. Hate-speech row turns concentrate on Facebook’s content material oversight
3. Hate-speech row turns focus on Facebook’s content oversight
The political storm following the Wall Street Journal report {that a} Facebook public coverage government opposed the removing of communal content material by a BJP MLA continued, with the Delhi Assembly’s peace and concord committee — arrange after the Delhi riots — saying it would summon Facebook officers over “intentional inaction to include hateful content material in India”.

  • A grievance: The row as soon as once more sheds mild on the questionable content material coverage at Facebook, which has been dealing with warmth over its lackadaisical strategy in the direction of hate-speech and faux information in lots of nations. In the US, the matter has gained heightened scrutiny in view of the November presidential election.
  • An answer? In response to the rising criticism, Facebook just lately arrange a Content Oversight Board that it mentioned would be the “Supreme Court” on selections pertaining to removing of content material from its platform. To make it unbiased, Facebook mentioned the corporate can not take away members of the board. Among the 20 members on the board is Sudhir Krishnaswamy, the India vice-chancellor of the National Law School of India University and the co-founder of the Center for Law and Policy Research.
  • But… Facebook hasn’t empowered this “Supreme Court” to make all selections concerning content material, no less than not initially. It will solely rule on appeals in opposition to selections to take away content material. The firm mentioned the restricted ambit is “as a result of manner our present content material moderation system works, and consistent with Facebook’s dedication to free expression”.
  • Which is to say, the prevailing content material moderation staff will determine on leaving some content material up. As the WSJ story particulars, this isn’t fail-safe: Facebook India’s public coverage government, Ankhi Das, opposed the removing of content material that violated the corporate’s hate-speech coverage.

Meanwhile, Das has filed a grievance with the Delhi Police saying she is dealing with “violent threats in opposition to my life and physique via on-line posting/publishing of content material”.

4. The spectrum query
4. The spectrum question
Even because the authorized battle over dues owed to the central authorities by telecom corporations continues, a bigger query on coverage has confronted the Supreme Court: Is spectrum an asset and may telecom corporations promote it to boost capital?

Here’s what it is advisable know:

  • A spectrum is a band of radio frequencies that wi-fi indicators journey over. It is an asset owned by the federal government. Every from time to time the federal government auctions these spectra (3G public sale, 4G public sale and the like) in order that telecom corporations can use these frequencies for business use. Without a spectrum there isn’t any telecom service, and thereby no telecom firm.
  • It is massive cash. For occasion, the central authorities expects to fetch no less than Rs 5.22 lakh crore by auctioning 8,300 models of 4G and 5G airwaves this 12 months. The final such public sale held in 2016 earned the federal government Rs 65,789 crore, which was beneath expectations.
  • But telecom corporations will not be essentially shopping for these spectra, as an alternative, they’re paying for the appropriate to make use of them. The possession stays with the federal government.
  • This has raised many questions as a result of ongoing monetary disaster telecom operators are dealing with whilst they’re slapped with hefty AGR dues by the division of telecommunications. AGR, or adjusted gross income, is a fee-sharing mechanism between the federal government and telecom corporations on spectrum utilization. More on AGR right here
  • Last week, SBI in a petition mentioned spectrum is an “important and integral” asset of telecom corporations. “Spectrum is the safety on the premise of which banks grant loans to telecom corporations.” Hence, it argued, on default of loans, the safety (spectrum) might be bought or auctioned below the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) in order that collectors recuperate cash.
  • This is squarely opposed by the Centre which says an asset of the state will not be a part of the IBC proceedings. Lenders say, with out spectrum, there isn’t a lot worth in the remainder of the belongings owned by the borrower.
6. Why did Kerala govt take management of a church?
6. Why did Kerala govt take control of a church?
File photograph

  • In the wee hours of Monday, the Kerala authorities took management of the Marthoman Cathedral Church at Mulanthuruthy in Ernakulam, with the police forcibly eradicating clergymen and followers of the Jacobite faction who had locked the church from inside, resisting the implementation of a Supreme Court judgment. Many have been arrested throughout the course of. The Jacobites argue the SC rule deprives 1.2 million devotees below it a spot of worship.
  • The centuries-old church has been on the centre of a dispute between two factions of the Malankara Church: the Orthodox and Jacobite. In 2017, the Supreme Court dominated decisively in favour of the Orthodox faction, giving it management of 1,000-odd church buildings below the Malankara Church. The Orthodox faction has gotten management of among the church buildings following the ruling, however the Marthoman Cathedral Church is among the many a number of church buildings which have but to be transferred following resistance by the Jacobite motion. Last 12 months, Kerala had taken management of St Mary’s Church, Piravom, (in pic) below comparable circumstances.
  • The Orthodox faction thus moved the Kerala High Court in opposition to the state authorities for not implementing the SC order. The state blamed the pandemic for appearing sluggish, however the concern of political ramification performed a component. On August 12, the court docket ordered the Ernakulam district collector to take over and lock the church. On Monday, the authorities lastly moved in, regardless of protest by the Jacobite faction.
7. Indian classical legend Pandit Jasraj dies
7. Indian classical legend Pandit Jasraj dies
  • Renowned vocalist Pandit Jasraj handed away on Monday as a result of a cardiac arrest, at his dwelling in New Jersey, USA. He was aged 90. Born in Haryana’s Pili Mandori village, the doyen of Indian classical music belonged to the Mewati gharana. He was launched to vocal music by his father, and was later educated as a tabla accompanist below elder brother Pandit Pratap Narayan. Jasraj started coaching as a vocalist on the age of 14, and his riyaz as soon as used to final 14 hours a day.
  • He will likely be remembered because the pioneer who lent the romance of the thumri to the khayal, giving it extra flexibility and making it extra audience-friendly (learn rejecting the elitism of Indian classical music) however retaining its classical components. Add to this, he might confidently scale three-and-a-half octaves and stir the soul together with his bhakti-infused lyrics. He additionally created a novel jugalbandi, Jasrangi, during which a female and male sing a unique raag on the identical time, balancing the variations in scale.
  • Jasraj leaves behind a storied legacy spanning nearly eight a long time. He was the recipient of varied prestigious awards and honours together with Padma Shri (1975), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1987), Padma Bhushan (1990) and Padma Vibhushan (2000).
  • Also: Filmmaker Nishikant Kamat (50) died in Hyderabad on Monday battling liver cirrhosis. Having earned awards and accolades together with his Marathi movies corresponding to Dombivali Fast and Lai Bhaari, Kamat went on to direct Hindi movies corresponding to Drishyam, Madaari, Mumbai Meri Jaan and Force.
8. Eastern coast, central India brace for floods
8. Eastern coast, central India brace for floods
  • In Andhra Pradesh, the Godavari river has flown above the danger-level mark for the primary time since 2013 at Dowleswaram in East Godavari district. The state irrigation division has issued the third degree of warning on the Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage within the area after water discharge crossed 17.75 lakh cusecs. The Krishna River is in spate on the Prakasam Barrage (in pic) in Vijayawada. 161 villages in East Godavari district and 30 villages in West Godavari district have been inundated. Floods had reduce off almost 80 villages from the remainder of the state by Sunday.
  • In Odisha, authorities are on the sting after a low-pressure is anticipated to construct up in north Bay of Bengal by August 19 (Wednesday). The state has been receiving heavy rainfall since August 13, elevating flood-like conditions in a number of districts, together with Malkangiri. The Meteorological Department’s Bhubaneswar workplace has forecast heavy rainfall on Tuesday in Malkangiri and Koraput.
  • Flash floods: The Central Water Commission has mentioned there’s a reasonable danger of flash floods within the subsequent 24 hours in central India, together with north Chhattisgarh, east Madhya Pradesh, west Madhya Pradesh and adjoining areas of Rajasthan and South Gujarat sub-division.
9. Google ‘threatens’ to cost Aussies free of charge search
9. Google ‘threatens’ to charge Aussies for free search
  • Payback: Hitting again on the Australian authorities’s order final month that asks each Facebook and Google to pay media shops for information content material below a royalty-style system, Google on Monday wrote an open letter to Australians, warning them that the brand new proposed regulation, News Media Bargaining Code (NMBC), might find yourself “hurting the free companies” they use.
  • Dark image: Saying that it “might now not assure” — below the brand new regulation which remains to be in draft type — that the search outcomes on Google and YouTube wouldn’t be biased in favour of the information media organisations, Google additionally dished out one other warning for Australians, saying it might now not assure security of their search knowledge below the NMBC. The search engine firm added that whereas the regulation required it to share with information media organisations “how they will achieve entry” to customers’ knowledge, there was “no manner of understanding if any knowledge handed over can be protected, or the way it may be utilized by information media companies”.
  • All bunkum? The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has nonetheless, termed Google’s open letter a “misinformation” marketing campaign. The head of the ACCC, Rod Sims, tossed the ball again in Google’s court docket, saying that not solely will Google “not be required to cost Australians for the usage of its free companies corresponding to Google Search and YouTube, until it chooses to take action”, however that the corporate may even “not be required to share any further consumer knowledge with Australian information companies until it chooses to take action”.
  • Last phrase? The letter, signed off by Google Australia’s MD Mel Silva, which mentioned that the corporate is already paying “hundreds of thousands of {dollars}” to information media organisations whereas providing “to pay extra to license content material”, comes only a week earlier than public consultations on the NMBC shut — with Google making it clear that it’s “going to do every part we probably can to get this proposal modified”
10. Should MP’s rebels be MLAs and ministers?
10. Should MP’s rebels be MLAs and ministers?
  • What: The Supreme Court on Monday sought solutions from the Madhya Pradesh meeting speaker’s workplace as to why he has not taken a call on the petitions looking for disqualification of 22 MLAs loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia, whose defection to BJP toppled the Congress authorities and introduced BJP to energy.
  • Why: The court docket is listening to a petition arguing that the speaker has saved disqualification petitions in opposition to the 22 MLAs pending for over 4 months regardless of the SC (within the Manipur defection case) setting a three-month deadline for the speaker to determine on such petitions.
  • And: The petition has additionally questioned whether or not these insurgent MLAs, even earlier than a call is taken on the disqualification petitions, may very well be made ministers as a reward for defection? It has requested the SC to restrain 12 of the 22 insurgent MLAs, who are actually ministers within the state authorities, from functioning as ministers.
  • Plus: The SC had earlier entertained one other petition that had questioned the energy of MP ministry. It mentioned if the 22 MLAs have resigned, then the energy of the House reduces and making use of the 15% rule, the variety of ministers mustn’t exceed 31. There are 34 ministers within the state now.
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Border Security Force (BSF). Bureau of Civil Aviation Security chief Rakesh Asthana was appointed as director common of the BSF on Monday. The 1984 batch IPS officer of Gujarat cadre, who earlier served as CBI particular director, will proceed to carry further cost as DG, Narcotics Control Bureau. The authorities additionally authorized the appointment of VSK Kaumudi, chief of Bureau of Police Research and Development, as particular secretary (inside safety) within the dwelling ministry.

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Written by: Rakesh Rai, Judhajit Basu, Sumil Sudhakaran, Tejeesh N.S. Behl
Research: Rajesh Sharma

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