1 . Does individual’s fundamental right to privacy subsists after death – asks SC
- The Supreme Court has thrown open the floor for debate on whether or not an individual’s fundamental right to privacy subsists after death.
- The question rose in a challenge raised against a Madras High Court order to produce the Aadhaar data records of the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for verification of her fingerprints.
- The Supreme Court stayed the High Court order on a petition filed by leaders of the All India Anna Dravida Munntra Kazhagam.
VIEW OF PETITIONER
- The party leaders argue that the fundamental right to privacy continues to remain alive even after the death of an individual.
- The petition said the “intrusion” by the High Court into Jayalalithaa’s privacy would not have happened had she been alive. The court would have been forced to get her consent.
- Her death does not make any difference as the right to privacy is available to every citizen during his or her life time and even after the death of that person.
A NEW ISSUE
- The case raises the issue whether or not courts and authorities can order to see an individual’s personal data without consent after his or her death.
- The examination has to be done against the backdrop of the landmark verdict of nine judges of the Supreme Court which upheld privacy as a fundamental right on August 24.
- The various judges on the Bench, in their separate opinions, deal with the individual’s fundamental right to privacy during the lifetime of the person, that is from birth to death.
- However the judgment is silent on whether privacy continues after death .Or does the definition of “life” in the judgment extend to after-life.
2 . “One nation , one education board” not applicable – SC
- A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra , has dismissed a petition seeking “one nation, one education board.”
- However, in 2011, a three-judge Bench led by Justice J.M. Panchal, in an appeal filed by the Tamil Nadu government, had held that a common syllabus, especially for children aged between six and 14, would achieve the “code of common culture.”
- “Separate education facilities are inherently unequal and violate the doctrine of equality,” said SC in 2011.
3 . ICAN receives Nobel Peace Prize
- The leader of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the group that won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, on Sunday urged nuclear nations to adopt a UN treaty banning atomic weapons in order to prevent “the end of us”.
- ICAN is a coalition of 468 grassroots non-governmental groups that campaigned for a UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted by 122 nations in July.
- The treaty is not signed by — and would not apply to — any of the states that already have nuclear arms.
4 . World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Buenos Aires meeting commenced
- The World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Buenos Aires meeting commenced amid concerns on support for anti-globalisation, protectionism and bilateralism.
- A vast majority of the 164 WTO member nations — led by India, China and South Africa — are demanding that the final declaration of the WTO’s highest decision-making body reaffirms commitment to multilateralism and rules-based trading system as well as negotiations with development agenda at the centre.
- However, due to the divergent views of the WTO members on several issues, including the outstanding ones in the ongoing Doha Round negotiations, there is little expectation that the outcome of the December 10-13 Ministerial Conference would be substantial.
The Doha Round had begun in Doha in 2001 with the ‘development agenda’ — to improve trading prospects of developing nations — at the heart of the talks. However, countries, mostly from the developed world, want what they call the ‘21st century trade issues’ — such as e-commerce, investment facilitation, matters relating to small firms and gender equality — to be discussed for rule-making to enhance the relevance of the WTO.
STAND OF INDIA AND OTHER DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
India, and several countries mainly from the developing world, are against introduction of such ‘new issues’ into the Doha Round, saying it is important to first resolve outstanding issues such as the ones relating to food security and protection of poor farmers before taking up new topics.
India, China and South Africa have the support of around 120 WTO member nations on the issue of continuation of the ‘development’ mandate of the Doha Round without any dilution.
5 . FRDI Bill 2017
- The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill 2017 was tabled in Parliament in August .
OBJECTIVE OF THE BILL
- The FRDI Bill is part of a larger, more comprehensive approach by the Centre towards systematic resolution of all financial firms — banks, insurance companies and other financial intermediaries.
- The Bill comes together with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to spell out the procedure for the winding up or revival of an ailing company.
- The need for a specific regulation rose following the 2008 financial crisis, which witnessed a large number of high-profile bankruptcies.
- With the Centre also actively encouraging people to engage more with the banking sector — both through schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana and moves like demonetisation — it becomes critical to protect savers and those joining the formal economy in case a bank or insurance firm starts failing.
MAJOR PROVISIONS OF THE BILL
- The Bill provides for the setting up of a Resolution Corporation — to replace the existing Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation — which will be tasked with monitoring financial firms, anticipating their risk of failure, taking corrective action and resolving them in case of failure.
- The corporation is also tasked with providing deposit insurance up to a certain limit yet to be specified, in the event of a bank failure.
- The Corporation will also be tasked with classifying financial firms on their risk of failure — low, moderate, material, imminent, or critical. It will take over the management of a company once it is deemed critical.
CONCERNS REGARDING THE BILL
- Among other tools, the FRDI Bill also empowers the Corporation to bail-in the company.
- While a bail-out is the use of public funds to inject capital into an ailing company, a bail-in involves the use of depositors’ funds to achieve those ends.
- This can be done either by cancelling the bank’s liabilities, or converting them into other forms, such as equity.
- This has caused a lot of concern among depositors who are worried they may lose their hard-earned money deposited with banks.
- However, the fact is that the risk is no more or no less than it ever was.
- The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation provides deposit insurance of up to Rs. 1 lakh. The rest is forfeited in the event of a bank failure.
- The FRDI Bill has not specified the insured amount yet, but it is unlikely to be lower than that amount, as the limit was set way back in 1993.