Table of Contents
- A reminder about unfettered constitutional posts
Facts for Prelims
- Ad-Hoc Judges
- DABBA TRADING
A reminder about unfettered constitutional posts
India’s democracy requires a system of checks and balances.India’s constitutional authorities are the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), the Election Commission of India (ECI), and various National Commissions.These institutions are provided with complete independence to enable them to function without fear or favour in the larger interests of the nation.
Importance of independence
- Independence is an essential attribute to withstand pressure from the executive.
- The Constitution-makers had kept in mind those institutions whose independence is of paramount importance to the country.
- The Constitution provides for the manner in which individuals heading these institutions are to be appointed.
Appointment of constitutional authorities
- The appointment of the Prime Minister, the Attorney-General for India, the Chairman and members of the Finance Commission, the Chairman and members of the Public Service Commission, and a Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities are appointed by the President.
- The CEC and ECs are appointed by the President subject to any law made in that behalf by Parliament.
- The judges of Supreme Court and the High Court, the CAG, and the Governor are appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
- The Chairman and members of the National Commissions for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Backward Classes are appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
Supreme Court concerns
- The Court expressed its “serious concern” over the active role being played by Governors in State politics, observing that Governors becoming part of political processes is disconcerting.
- The Court divested the executive of its sole discretion in appointing the CEC and ECs by forming a committee to suggest suitable names to man these constitutional posts.
Need for independent institutions
- India’s Constituent Assembly recognised the need for such independent institutions to regulate sectors of national importance without any executive interference.
- It is necessary that such constitutional bodies are provided with complete independence to enable them to function without fear or favour and in the larger interests of the nation.
Independent institutions and the President’s role
- The President acts on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, with the Prime Minister as the head in all matters which vests in the executive.
- The question arises whether such an interpretation would be in line with the thinking which prevailed during the relevant Constituent Assembly debates.
Appointment of the CAG
- The Constituent Assembly discussed that the position of the Auditor-General must be made strong so that he cannot be influenced by anyone.
- The Constituent Assembly moved an amendment to the Article providing for the CAG that included the words ‘by warrant under his hand and seal’.
Appointment of the Governor
- The Constituent Assembly moved an amendment to the Article providing for the Governor that the choice of the President should be unrestricted and unfettered.
- The President should be free from the influence of the Legislature.
Conditions for appointments
- The Constitution provides for certain conditions to be fulfilled by those who may be considered for appointments by the President.
Independence and checks and balances
- An independent judiciary, the CAG, and the ECI act as a check on the executive.
- These institutions are necessary for upholding the Constitution and ensuring democracy.
- It is essential that these institutions remain independent of the executive to carry out their functions effectively.
- The judiciary and the Supreme Court play a crucial role in ensuring their independence.
The independence of constitutional authorities is vital for upholding the Constitution and ensuring democracy. India’s democracy provides for various constitutional authorities, and it is essential that they are independent and function in the larger interests of the nation.
The Supreme Court collegium has suggested appointing a retired district judge as a Madhya Pradesh HC judge due to a delay in the selection process. This is uncommon and was done to meet legitimate expectations.
About Ad Hoc Judges:
- Article 224A of the Constitution allows for appointment of retired judges as ad hoc judges.
- The Chief Justice of a High Court can request a person to act as a judge of the High Court with prior consent of the President.
- The appointed judge should have held office of judge of that court or any other High Court.
- Ad hoc judges are entitled to allowances as determined by the President and enjoy same powers and privileges as other judges.
Conditions for Appointment:
- The Chief Justice of a High Court may recommend ad hoc judges if the number of vacancies is more than 20% of the sanctioned strength.
- Cases in a particular class are pending for over five years.
- More than 10% of pending cases are over five years old.
- Rate of disposal of cases is lower than institution of cases either in a particular subject matter or in the court.
Advantages and Disadvantages:
- Ad hoc judges can help reduce the backlog of cases in High Courts.
- They bring their experience and knowledge to the court.
- However, they may not be familiar with the latest developments in law and lack institutional knowledge.
- Ad hoc judges may not be a permanent solution to the problem of vacancies in the judiciary.
The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has warned retail investors against using products that offer guaranteed returns in the stock market and are involved in ‘dabba trading’, which is illegal. The NSE also stated that the entities involved are not authorized members of the exchange.
What is ‘Dabba Trading’ and How Does it Work?
- Dabba trading is informal trading outside the purview of stock exchanges, where investors bet on stock price movements without taking physical ownership of a stock.
- It is essentially gambling based on stock prices and involves trading through unrecognised software terminals or informal records.
- Investors place bets on a stock at a certain price point and make a profit if the price rises, but they lose money if the price falls.
- Dabba trading is problematic as it helps traders evade taxation and operate outside the formal banking system.
Why is Dabba Trading a Problematic Activity?
- Dabba trading operates outside the purview of regulatory mechanisms, which means there is no investor protection or dispute resolution mechanisms.
- The use of cash in dabba trading makes it difficult to track transactions and can encourage the growth of ‘black money.’
- Brokers in dabba trading may harass investors for payments or refuse to pay them their profits.
- Dabba trading poses a risk of money laundering and other criminal activities.
What are the Risks of Dabba Trading?
- Investors in dabba trading may lose money if brokers default on payments or become insolvent.
- The lack of proper records and investor protection mechanisms makes dabba trading a risky activity for investors.
- Dabba trading may encourage the growth of black money and perpetuate a parallel economy.
- Traders in dabba trading may face harassment from brokers’ recovery agents for default payments or refused payments upon profit.
A group of MTech students discovered something unusual along the coast of Visakhapatnam that was glowing. They found out that it was caused by a natural occurrence called bioluminescence.
What is Bioluminescence?
- Bioluminescence occurs when some marine planktons called dinoflagellates produce light due to a unique natural phenomenon.
- This phenomenon is widespread among deep sea animals in general.
- Many marine creatures exhibit bioluminescence to either evade predators, attract prey, or during mating.
What are Planktons?
- Plankton are a group of marine and freshwater organisms that drift along ocean currents because they are too small or weak to swim against them.
- There are two types of plankton: phytoplankton, which are tiny plants, and zooplankton, which are tiny animals.
- They range in size from 2 micrometers to more than 20 centimeters.
Where is Bioluminescence Found?
- The phenomenon of bioluminescence is most likely the result of an algal bloom of the dinoflagellate species of noctiluca and ceratium.
- This phenomenon is widespread in lagoons and sometimes breakwaters and is particularly visible during warm weather conditions.
- This unique phenomenon has been visible in some other beaches in India including Havelock Island in the Andamans, Thiruvanmiyur beach in Chennai, Mattu beach in Karnataka and Bangaram Island in Lakshadweep.
When is Bioluminescence Visible?
- The dinoflagellates follow a circadian cycle (24-hour cycle) and as a result, this phenomenon occurs during the night which is visible in low light conditions.
- The glowing phenomenon is visible due to the luciferase enzyme reacting with the luciferin compound in the presence of oxygen to produce a cold light.
- Bioluminescence is visible when the water is disturbed or agitated, which makes the dinoflagellates emit light on the ocean surface at night.