- Governor’s Power to Pardon: SC
- Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution
- Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2021:
- Red Tide
- Deep Ocean Mission
1.Governor’s Power to Pardon: SC
#GS2: Parliament Executive
- The Supreme Court (SC) recently ruled that the Governor’s power to pardon supersedes Section 433A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
- Previously, in January 2021, in a mercy petition, the Supreme Court stated that the Governor cannot reject the state’s recommendation, but there is no time limit to make a decision.
Pardoning Power Overrides 433A:
- The Supreme Court ruled that the Governor of a state can pardon prisoners even before they have served a minimum of 14 years in prison.
- The Governor’s power to pardon overrides a provision in CrPC Section 433A that states that a prisoner’s sentence can only be commuted after 14 years in prison.
- Section 433A states that if a person is sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of an offense for which death is one of the punishments provided by law, or if a death sentence is commuted under section 433 into a life sentence, such person shall not be released from prison unless he has served at least fourteen years of imprisonment.
- Section 433-A cannot and does not in any way affect the constitutional power conferred on the President/Governor to grant pardon under Articles 72 or 161 of the Constitution.
Power Exercised by State Government:
- The court pointed out that the Governor’s sovereign power to pardon a prisoner under Article 161 is actually exercised by the State government, not the Governor alone.
- The Head of State is bound by the advice of the appropriate government.
Order of Commutation:
- Commutation and release can thus be carried out in accordance with a governmental decision, and the order can be issued even without the Governor’s approval. However, under the Rules of Business and as a matter of constitutional courtesy, it may seek the Governor’s approval if such release is authorised by Article 161 of the Constitution.
- The state government may establish a policy of remissions under either Section 432 of the CrPC or Article 161 of the Constitution.
- If a prisoner has been imprisoned for more than 14 years, the state government, as an appropriate government, has the authority to issue an order of premature release.
- Section 432 of the Code of Criminal Procedure authorises the government to remit sentencing fines.
In India, the President has the power to pardon.
- According to Article 72 of the Constitution, the President has the authority to grant pardons, reprieves, respites, or remissions of punishment, as well as to suspend, remit, or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence where the sentence is death.
- The President cannot use his pardon power independently of the government.
- In several cases, the Supreme Court has ruled that when deciding on mercy petitions, the President must follow the advice of the Council of Ministers. Maru Ram vs. Union of India in 1980 and Dhananjoy Chatterjee vs. State of West Bengal in 1994 are two examples.
- Although the President is bound by the Cabinet’s advice, Article 74(1) grants him the authority to return it for reconsideration once. If the Council of Ministers rejects any change, the President is forced to accept it.
Governor’s Pardoning Power:
- The Governor of a State shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the State extends.
Difference Between Pardoning Powers of President and Governor:
- The President’s pardoning power under Article 72 is broader than the Governor’s pardoning power under Article 161, which differs in two ways:
- Court Martial:
- The President’s power to grant pardon extends to cases where the punishment or sentence is handed down by a Court Martial, but Article 161 does not give the Governor such authority.
- Death sentence:
- The President has the authority to grant a pardon in all cases where the sentence is death, but the Governor’s pardoning power does not extend to death sentence cases.
2.Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution
#GS2: Indian Constitution Diversity of India
- The Union Minister of Education recently informed the Lok Sabha of the various steps taken by the government to promote the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule.
- It lists the official languages of India’s republic. Articles 343–351 of Part XVII of the Indian Constitution deal with the official languages.
- The Constitutional provisions pertaining to the Eighth Schedule are as follows:
- Article 344: Article 344(1) calls for the President to appoint a Commission after five years from the date the Constitution was ratified.
- Article 351: It calls for the spread of the Hindi language in order for it to serve as a medium of expression for all aspects of India’s composite culture.
- It should be noted, however, that there are no set criteria for any language to be considered for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule.
- Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Bodo, Santhali, Maithili, and Dogri are among the 22 languages listed in the Constitution’s Eighth Schedule.
- Initially, 14 of these languages were included in the Constitution.
- The 21st Amendment Act of 1967 included Sindhi as a language.
- The 71st Amendment Act of 1992 included Konkani, Manipuri, and Nepali.
- The 92nd Amendment Act of 2003, which went into effect in 2004, added the languages of Bodo, Dogri, Maithili, and Santhali.
- In India, six languages have been designated as ‘Classical’: Tamil (declared in 2004), Sanskrit (2005), Kannada (2008), Telugu (2008), Malayalam (2013), and Odia (2013). (2014).
- The Classical Languages are all listed in the Constitution’s Eighth Schedule.
- The guidelines for Classical languages are provided by the Ministry of Culture, and they are as follows:
- High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history spanning 1500-2000 years;
- A corpus of ancient literature/texts that has been passed down through generations of speakers as a valuable legacy.
- The literary tradition is unique and has not been borrowed from another language community.
- Because classical language and literature are distinct from modern, there may be a schism between classical language and its later forms or offshoots.
- When a language is designated as a Classical language, the Human Resource and Development Ministry provides certain benefits to those who speak it.
- Two major annual international awards for distinguished scholars of classical Indian languages.
- A Center of Excellence for Classical Language Studies is being established.
- The University Grants Commission is asked to establish, at least in the Central Universities, a certain number of Professional Chairs for the declared Classical Languages.
3.Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2021:
#GS 2:Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
- The Bill was recently passed by voice vote in the Lok Sabha. The Bill supersedes an Ordinance of the same name that was passed in April 2021.
- As part of its effort to rationalise the tribunals, the Bill seeks to provide for uniform terms and conditions for the various members of the Tribunal and to abolish certain tribunals.
- The proposed changes are based on the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Madras Bar Association case.
- It proposes dissolving certain existing appellate bodies and transferring their functions to other existing judicial bodies.
- It seeks to give the Central Government the authority to establish rules for the qualifications, appointment, term of office, salaries and allowances, resignation, removal, and other terms and conditions of service of Tribunal members.
- It states that the Central Government will appoint the Chairperson and Members of the Tribunals based on the recommendations of a Search-cum-Selection Committee.
- It also specifies the composition of the Committee, which will be led by the Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court Judge nominated by him.
- There will be a separate search committee for state tribunals.
- The Union government must ‘preferentially’ decide on the search-cum selection committee’s recommendations within three months of the date of the recommendation.
- Tenure: The Chairperson of a Tribunal shall serve for a term of four years or until he reaches the age of 70, whichever comes first. Other Tribunal Members serve for a term of four years or until they reach the age of 67, whichever comes first.
Abolition of Appellate Tribunals:
- The five tribunals sought to be abolished by the Bill are the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal, Airports Appellate Tribunal, Authority for Advanced Rulings, Intellectual Property Appellate Board, and Plant Varieties Protection Appellate Tribunal, and their functions are to be transferred to existing judicial bodies.
What was the Court’s decision, and what are the main issues with the Bill?
- In the case of Madras Bar Association v. Union of India, the Supreme Court overturned provisions requiring a minimum age of 50 years for appointment as chairperson or members, as well as a four-year term.
- It held that such conditions are violative of the principles of separation of powers, independence of judiciary, rule of law and Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
- The Bill has sought to undo the judgment of the Apex Court wrt to the following provisions:
- The minimum age requirement of 50 years remains in the Bill.
- The Chairperson and members of the tribunal will continue to serve for four years.
- The Search-cum-Selection Committee’s recommendation of two names for each post, with the decision to be made by the government within three months.
What are tribunals?
- A tribunal is a quasi-judicial institution created to address issues such as resolving administrative or tax-related disputes. It is responsible for a variety of tasks such as adjudicating disputes, determining rights between disputing parties, making an administrative decision, reviewing an existing administrative decision, and so on.
? They were not included in the original draught of the Constitution.
? These provisions were included in the 42nd Amendment Act in response to the Swaran Singh Committee’s recommendations.
? Part XIV-A of the Constitution was added by the Amendment, which deals with “Tribunals” and contains two articles:
1. Administrative Tribunals are addressed in Article 323A. These are quasi-judicial institutions that settle disputes concerning the recruitment and service conditions of people in the public sector.
2. Article 323B addresses tribunals for other subjects such as taxation, industrial and labour relations, foreign exchange, import and export, land reforms, food, urban property ceilings, elections to Parliament and state legislatures, and rent and tenancy rights.
#GS3:Chemical Pollution,Environmental Pollution & Degradation
- For several years, Florida has been dealing with red tide outbreaks caused by the algae Karenia brevis.
- This year’s bloom may have been exacerbated by the earlier release of contaminated water into Tampa Bay.
- Tampa Bay is a Gulf of Mexico arm that indentifies the west coast of Florida, United States.
- Harmful Algal Blooms, or HABs, occur when algae colonies grow out of control, causing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds.
- While many people refer to these blooms as “red tides,” scientists prefer to refer to them as “harmful algal blooms.”
- One of the most well-known HABs in the United States occurs almost every summer along Florida’s Gulf Coast.
- Karenia brevis, a type of dinoflagellate, causes this type of bloom.
- Blue-green algae, on the other hand, are the most common cause of blooms in freshwater lakes and reservoirs (also known as cyanobacteria).
- Blue-green algae blooms are linked to agricultural and urban runoff. Cyanobacteria growth is aided by nutrient pollution.
Causes of Algal Blooms:
- Nutrients promote and support algae and cyanobacteria growth. Waterway eutrophication (nutrient enrichment) is regarded as a major factor.
- Blooms are more likely to occur in the summer or fall, but they can occur at any time of year.
- The presence of suspended particles and organic matter in the water column causes turbidity.
- When turbidity is low, more light can penetrate through the water column. This creates optimal conditions for algal growth.
Implications of Algal Bloom:
- Produce extremely dangerous toxins capable of sickening or killing humans and animals.
- Fish contaminated with algae and consumed by other organisms, including humans, can be harmful.
- Algal blooms can also have an impact on aquaculture, which is the farming of marine life.
- Humans have also reported respiratory distress as a result of the red tide.
- Algal blooms deprive aquatic organisms of sunlight and oxygen, affecting a wide range of species that live beneath the water’s surface.
- In the water, create dead zones.
- Hypoxia, or a low level of oxygen in the water, is more commonly referred to as a “dead zone.”
- Increase the cost of drinking water treatment. Industries that rely on clean water will suffer as a result.
Mitigating Risks from HAB:
Multiple treatment of effluent:
- Simple treatment options are ineffective; typically, multiple treatment steps are required to remove algae toxins.
- Before discharging effluent into rivers and lakes, tertiary sewage treatment methods are used to remove phosphate and nitrate.
Nitrogen testing & modelling:
- N-Testing is a technique to find the optimum amount of fertilizer required for crop plants. It will reduce the amount of nitrogen lost to the surrounding area.
Encouraging organic farming:
- Reducing fertiliser overuse in agriculture and encouraging organic farming can reduce the bulk flow of runoff and be effective in reducing severe algal blooms.
- Nitrogen emissions from vehicles and power plants are being reduced.
- Reducing the use of phosphates as detergent builders.
Measures to cope with Algal Bloom in India:
- Algal Bloom Information Service (ABIS): ABIS provides timely information on harmful algal blooms, which are harmful to coastal fisheries, water quality, and occasionally cause respiratory problems in the coastal population.
- The ISRO’s Oceansat-2 satellite, which was launched in 2009, can cover larger areas and provide global ocean colour.
5.Deep Ocean Mission:
#GS3 :Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
- The government announced in the Rajya Sabha that the Deep Ocean Mission (DOM) will be implemented over a five-year period with a total budget of Rs. 4077 Cr. And the mission’s components will all begin in 2021.
- The mission’s primary objectives will be deep-sea mining, ocean climate change advisory services, underwater vehicles, and underwater robotics technologies.
- The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will serve as the nodal Ministry in charge of carrying out this multi-institutional mission.
|What are PMN?
? Polymetallic nodules (also known as manganese nodules) are potato-shaped, largely porous nodules that are abundant on the sea floor of the world’s oceans.
? They are composed of nickel, copper, cobalt, lead, molybdenum, cadmium, vanadium, and titanium, in addition to manganese and iron. Nickel, cobalt, and copper are considered to be economically and strategically important.
Key Components of the mission:
- A manned submersible with a suite of scientific sensors and tools will be developed to transport three people to a depth of 6,000 metres in the ocean. For mining polymetallic nodules at these depths in the central Indian Ocean, an Integrated Mining System will be developed.
- Advisory Services for Ocean Climate Change Development
- Development of a component for searching deep sea flora and fauna, including microbes, and researching ways to use them sustainably.
- It will also include a component to investigate and identify potential sources of hydrothermal minerals, which are sources of precious metals formed from the earth’s crust along the Indian Ocean’s mid-oceanic ridges.
- It has a component for studying and preparing detailed engineering design for offshore Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) powered desalination plants.
- The mission will aid efforts to investigate India’s vast Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf.
- The plan will allow India to develop capabilities for resource extraction in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB).
- The UN International Sea Bed Authority has granted India 75,000 square kilometres in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) for the exploration of polymetallic nodules.
- Metal deposits such as iron, manganese, nickel, and cobalt can be found in CIOB reserves.
- It is estimated that 10% of the recovery of that large reserve will be enough to meet India’s energy needs for the next 100 years.