Morning News 13th Dec 2017


1 . India, Australia strategic bilateral discussion
  • Continuing with the strategic bilateral discussion, Australia and India on Tuesday discussed the need to maintain the Asia-Pacific region as a “free” and “open” zone under the “2+2” dialogue model which includes the foreign and defence secretaries of both sides.
  • The discussion was the first meeting of this level since the two sides participated in the quadrilateral discussion for a new strategic partnership targeting the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Both sides agreed that a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region serves the long-term interests of all countries in the region and of the world at large.
  • The dialogue indicated that the focus remains on freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, where China has been reclaiming land for infrastructure, boosting its maritime influence.


2 .  SC reserves order on plea to review death penalty
  • In an open court hearing of the review petition by a three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Tuesday, advocate M.L. Sharma for Mukesh (one of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape case), argued that his client was subjected to torture and forced to incriminate himself in the case.
  • The court reserved the review petition of Mukesh for judgment.
  • On May 5, the same Bench had confirmed the death penalty of the four convicts found guilty for the rape and murder of the 23-year-old paramedic student in Delhi.


When a court reserves the judgment, it means the matter has been kept in abeyance for a while. This is done after all the parties have completed their arguments and all the written submissions have been filed in the court. Generally the court reserves judgments in cases of extreme public importance, cases which will have greater impact on the polity of India, cases in which the courts are laying down some new law etc.

Need for reservation
The judges reserve a judgment so they can write a judgment. A judgment is not a single page order of few lines, the judgment contains the summary of arguments of both the parties, the law of the land, previous judgments on the issue, conclusion and the reasons for arriving on that conclusion. Judges need time to refresh in their memory, the arguments of each party, do research by reading previous judgments and judgments on similar issues in other countries and finally think about the reasons for arriving on a particular conclusion. This entire excersise is very laborious and time consuming.

Normal timeframe in which a judgment should ideally be delivered
There is no fixed timeframe for the judges to write judgments but six months is considered to be a reasonable time for passing a judgment. If a judge keeps a judgment reserved for more than six months, any of the party can mention to the Chief Justice about this.


3 . Financial stability and inclusion go together – Bimal Jalan
  • Programmes of financial inclusion are part of the larger financial system, the stability of which is essential to the success of the inclusive initiatives, a former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor has said .
  • Noting that financial inclusion has to go hand in hand with financial stability, Bimal Jalan emphasised the importance of the latter from the time of his stewardship of RBI in the 1990s during the Asian financial crisis when India faced a precarious balance of payments situation and the rupee was depreciating rapidly.
  • It is essential that we provide financial inclusion without upsetting financial stability and we are in a position to do so. We have high reserves and our debt-to-GDP ratio is very good.
  • Jalan noted that financial inclusion had increased in India with the help of information technology.
  • All the different mechanisms of financial inclusion that have emerged over the years like cooperative banks, among others, need to be brought together under a single framework.
  • We need to think of an appropriate mechanism to regulate small institutions, how do we preserve them and create a mechanism of supervision.
  • Multiplicity of channels is better. We have to consider how to bring in state governments to regulate these institutions.
  •  RBI can think of how to build up the regulatory institutions.
  • There is a need to balance financial stability along with consumer protection and inclusion.