GS 2: Polity & IR : 17/11/18
CBI power curtails
- A.P,West Bengal withdraw ‘general consent’ to CBI Agency will need States’ nod for probe
- The CBI and all agencies under the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946, will now have to approach the State government for permission on a case-by-case basis.
- The State Home Ministry said the general consent was routinely given for periods ranging from six months to a year for several years now. The last such consent was given on August 3, 2018.
- However, the State decided to withdraw this consent through a notification issued on November 8, 2018.
Beginning to see cracks in judicial institution: HC judge
- Fissures caused by divisions on the basis of caste, creed, and regions.
Maternity leave: govt. for incentive scheme
- In a bid to encourage employers, especially in the private sector, to implement the extended 26-week maternity leave law, the Labour Ministry plans to refund them for seven weeks’ worth of wages for women workers with a wage ceiling up to Rs.15,000 a month.
- The Ministry is in the process of getting budgetary approvals for the Rs.400 crore incentive scheme, according to an official statement.
- In March 2017, the Centre amended the Maternity Benefit Act to increase paid maternity leave from 12 to 26 weeks for all women employees in establishments employing 10 or more people.
- However, the statement noted that while implementation of the provision was good in the public sector, it was poor for those with private sector or contract jobs.
- There is also a wide perception that private entities are not encouraging women employees because if they are employed, they may have to provide maternity benefit to them, particularly 26 weeks of paid holiday.
- The Ministry of Labour and Employment is, therefore, working on an incentive scheme whereby the government would bear the cost of maternity leave wages for seven weeks, subject to certain conditions.
Lower courts, performing critical functions, must not be bogged down by vacancies
- The burgeoning docket burden that weighs down the judiciary is not because of its lumbering judicial processes alone, as it is often made out.
- The chronic shortage of judges and severe understaffing of the courts they preside over are significant reasons.
- More than a decade after the Supreme Court laid down guidelines in 2007 for making appointments in the lower judiciary within a set time frame, a similar issue is back before the highest court.
- The immediate context is the existence of more than 5,000 vacancies in the subordinate courts.
- A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has pulled up State governments and the administration of various High Courts for the delay in filling these vacancies.
- Answers provided in the Rajya Sabha reveal that as on March 31, 2018, nearly a quarter of the total number of posts in the subordinate courts remained vacant.
- The court has put the actual figure at 5,133 out 22,036 sanctioned posts. The State-wise figures are quite alarming, with Uttar Pradesh having a vacancy percentage of 42.18 and Bihar 37.23. Among the smaller States, Meghalaya has a vacancy level of 59.79%.
- The reasons are not difficult to guess: utter tardiness in the process of calling for applications, holding recruitment examinations and declaring the results, and, more significantly, finding the funds to pay and accommodate the newly appointed judges and magistrates.
- Besides, Public Service Commissions should recruit the staff to assist these judges, while State governments build courts or identify space for them.
- According to the Constitution, district judges are appointed by the Governor in consultation with the High Court. Other subordinate judicial officers are appointed as per rules framed by the Governor in consultation with the High Court and the State Public Service Commission.
India’s Act East policy can meet OBOR: Chinese envoy
- India’s Act East policy and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (One Belt One Road or OBOR) are a “natural” area of cooperation between the two countries.