CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 27 SEPTEMBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 20 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P7 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Rain/thundershower likely in some areas. Max-min temp likely to be around 35-27 degree celsius, resp RAINFALL: 2.6 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY P3 Min: 25.9°C (0) SUN SETS 17:29 hrs MOON SETS 07:10 hrs TEMPERATURE Third quarter of moon on 5 October THUMBNAILS Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rescue workers at the site of a building collapse,in the capital on Wednesday. SNS India and G-4: India and the G4 nations voiced 4 concern over the lack of substantive progress in the long-pending Security Council reform, saying it is time to finally initiate text-based negotiations to safeguard the legitimacy and credibility of the powerful UN organ. The G4 nations, India, Brazil, Germany and Japan, have been calling for the reform of the UNSC. MCI ordinance: An ordinance was issued on Wednesday to allow a committee of eminent professionals run the scam-tainted Medical Council of India till a bill which seeks to replace the body with a new commission is passed by Parliament. A bill to replace MCI with National Medical Commission is pending in Parliament. n a landmark, balanced judgment, the Supreme Court today upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar but sharply narrowed the scope of this controversial biometric identity project, ruling that it is not mandatory for bank accounts, mobile connections or school admissions. The apex court, however, held that Aadhaar will remain mandatory for filing of Income Tax (IT) returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN). Seeking to balance serious concerns about individual privacy with the need to ensure proper targeting of government's subsidies, services and benefits to a large number of underprivileged and vulnerable people, a five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in a majority 4-1 verdict, cleared the use of Aadhaar for welfare schemes after a protracted legal battle against the Centre's ambitious project involving the world's largest biometric ID database comprising fingerprints and iris scans of over a billion people. Aadhaar is a unique12digit identification number issued to individuals by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) after availing their biometric data. Significantly, the top court struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar (Target- I Astra air-to-air missile: A pre-induction trial of t a India's indigenously developed beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) Astra was successfully conducted on Wednesday over the Bay of Bengal near Chandipur. The missile was fired from a fighter aircraft of the IAF in the afternoon and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle 'Banshi'. ed Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 as "unconstitutional" that permitted private entities like telecom companies or other corporates to avail of the Aadhaar data. Asserting that the Aadhaar authentication data cannot be stored for more than six months, the apex court also declared metabase relating to transaction to be "impermissible". Justice D Y Chandrachud gave a remarkable, dissenting judgment in which he ruled that the Aadhaar Act 2016 should not have been passed as a Money Bill, saying it amounts to a "fraud on the Constitution". He held the Aadhaar Act to be "unconstitutional". But the majority verdict by Chief Justice Misra, Justice A K Sikri, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice A M Khanwilkar upheld the passage of the Aadhaar Bill as a Money Bill by the Lok Sabha. Observing that the Aadhaar scheme was envisaged to ensure that the government's welfare benefits reach the marginalised sections of society effectively, the Bench's majority verdict said the scheme takes into account the dignity of people not only from personal but from the community point of view and serves the larger public interest. "Aadhaar means unique and it is better to be unique than being best," it said. “Aadhaar gives dignity to the marginalised. Dignity to the marginalised “The scheme takes into account the dignity of people not only from personal but from the community point of view and serves the larger public interest. Aadhaar means unique and it is better to be unique than being best’’ - Supreme Court Bench’s majority verdict APPLICABLE PAN Income Tax returns For availing welfare schemes and subsidies by the govt NOT APPLICABLE School admissions Mobile connections & new SIM cards Opening bank accounts For appearing in CBSE, NET, UGC exams Private companies outweighs privacy,” Justice Sikri reportedly said while reading out the operative part of the majority judgment in the packed courtroom of Chief Justice Misra. Justice Sikri wrote the judgment on behalf of himself, Chief Justice Misra, and Justice Khanwilkar. “One can't The judgment is historic. The SC has barred usage of 12-digit unique identification number by private entities in absence of a legislative backing. SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 26 SEPTEMBER A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, in two different but concurring judgements, said “we hold that the cause brought before this court by the protagonists in larger public interest, deserves acceptance so as to uphold the constitutional rights of public and the litigants in particular”. “Above all, sunlight is the best disinfectant,” Justice Chandrachud, writing a separate concurring verdict, said, throw the baby out with the bath water,” he ruled. The Bench held that it will not be mandatory to link Aadhaar to bank accounts and that the telecom service providers cannot seek its linking for mobile connections. The top court ruled that it will also not be mandatory for school admissions as well as for the examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE), National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), and the University Grants Commission (UGC). The Bench also quashed Section 33(2) of the Aadhaar Act in the present form that allowed collection of the Aadhaar data of an individual on grounds of national security, saying an officer higher than the rank of a joint secretary should be given such a power to give approval in this regard. In his sharp, minority verdict, Justice Chandrachud reportedly said it was now impossible to live in India without Aadhaar which was viola- We welcome the verdict. It is a victory of the people of this country and we are very happy. Days of the BJP government are over. tive of Article 14 of the Constitution and that if it got seeded with every database, there was a possibility of infringement of the right to privacy. Justice Chandrachud said that bypassing the Rajya Sabha to pass the Aadhaar legislation amounted to "subterfuge" and that the Aadhaar law is liable to be quashed as violative of Article 110 of the Constitution. Article 110 has specific grounds for a Money Bill and the Aadhaar law went beyond this, he asserted. Justice Sikri said a robust data protection regime has to be brought in place as early as possible, noting that the attack on Aadhaar by the petitioners was based on perceived violation of rights protected by the Constitution, which they felt led to a "surveillance state". The top court asked the central government to bring a data protection law on the basis of Justice B N Srikrishna Committee's report. Justice Ashok Bhushan gave his separate but concurring verdict, agreeing broadly with the majority judgment. The three separate judgments ran into altogether 1448 pages. The Bench gave the verdict on a batch of 31 petitions, including one by former High Court judge K S Puttaswamy, after concluding on 10 May a marathon hearing that went on for 38 days spanning four-and-half months. The Aadhaar case hearing was said to be the "second longest" one after the historic Kesavananda Bharati case of 1973. The verdict was welcomed by the Narendra Modi government and the ruling BJP as well as the Opposition led by the Congress, with both sides claiming victory while projecting their respective takeaways from it. The activists did not seem to be enthused, but they noted the "curbs" imposed by the top court on the Aadhaar project's "overreach". They also sought to highlight Justice Chandrachud's judgment to iterate their concerns. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad hailed the Constitution Bench's verdict as "historic", saying it “empowered technology-based good governance and democracy”. The Congress also welcomed the verdict. “Glad that the UPA's policy has been vindicated. The NDA tried to convert Aadhaar into a monster that will rule every aspect of a person's life," said ex-Union minister P Chidambaram. Thank you Supreme Court for supporting the Congress vision and protecting India. For Congress, Aadhaar was an instrument of empowerment. ARUN JAITLEY MAMATA BANERJEE RAHUL GANDHI Union Finance Minister West Bengal Chief Minister Congress President SC allows live streaming of court hearings The Supreme Court Wednesday took a major leap in imparting transparency in the functioning of the judiciary by allowing live-streaming of court proceedings of cases of constitutional and national importance, saying this openness was like “sunlight” which is the “best disinfectant”. It said as a pilot project, only a specified category of cases which are of constitutional or national importance and are being argued before a constitution bench, should be live streamed. The top court said that sensitive cases such as those dealing with matrimonial disputes or sexual assault should not be live streamed. P12 Constitution Bench rules Aadhaar not needed for bank accounts, mobile connections and school admissions Min. 59% Max: 34.4°C (+2) SUN RISES 05:27 hrs MOON RISES 19.11 hrs P3 HOLDING INDIANS EQUALS DEFEATING THEM, SAYS SKIPPER OF AFGHANISTAN SC upholds Aadhaar, with riders STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 SEPTEMBER Max.92% SUSHMA-QURESHI MEETING CALLED OFF DALAI BACK IN DHARAMSHALA BRITAIN STILL DOGGED BY BREXIT adding that live streaming “as an extension of the principle of open courts will ensure that the interface between a court hearing with virtual reality will result in the dissemination of information in the widest possible sense, imparting transparency and accountability to the judicial process”. Justice Khanwilkar, who penned the verdict for the CJI and himself, said “In recognizing that court proceedings ought to be live streamed, this court is mindful of and has strived to balance the various interests regarding administration of justice, including open justice, dignity and privacy of the participants to the proceedings and the majesty and decorum of the Courts”. Highlighting the contours of the live-streaming mechanism, he said, “To begin with, only a specified category of cases or cases of constitutional and national importance being argued for final hearing before the Constitution Bench be live streamed as a pilot project”. The bench said that for livestreaming, the permission of the concerned court will have to be sought in writing, in advance, in conformity with the prescribed procedure. The bench, however, said that “the concerned court would retain its power to revoke the permission at any stage of the proceedings suo motu (on its own) or on an application filed by any party to the proceeding, if the situation so warrants”. Verdict: Rivals claim victory NEW DELHI, 26 SEPTEMBER The ruling BJP and the principal Opposition Congress welcomed the Supreme Court Constitution Bench's judgment upholding the constitutional validity of Aadhaar today, with both parties claiming victory on the contentious issue. The BJP described the top court's judgment as a "big victory" for the “pro-poor” Narendra Modi government. The Congress, however, said the apex court's verdict striking down several provisions of the Aadhaar Act 2016 dealt a blow to the Modi government. The apex court's verdict restricted the government's push to make Aadhaar mandatory for various SNS services. Congress to move SC , seek relook on plea NEW DELHI, 26 SEPTEMBER The Congress welcomed the Supreme Court verdict striking down certain provisions of the Aadhaar scheme, terming it a “slap” on the BJP's face, and said it will approach the apex court to reconsider the plea against passage of the legislation as a Money Bill. The opposition party said by scrapping the “draconian” Section 57 and the national security exception in the Aadhaar Act, the Supreme Court firmly put an end to a “mass surveillance exercise” being carried out under the guise of Aadhaar by the central government and the “grotesque distortion” of an idea conceived by the previous UPA dispensation. Congress leader Kapil Sibal also expressed satisfaction over exclusion of private companies from Aadhaar project and said the idea to involve private companies was not just “undemocratic” but was against the spirit of democracy. A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Wednesday held that while Aadhaar scheme was constitutionally valid and would remain mandatory for filing of IT returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN), it would not be mandatory to link Aadhaar to bank accounts and the telecom service providers cannot seek its linking for mobile connections. PTI No need to collect quantifiable data for SC/ST promotions: SC STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 SEPTEMBER Paving the way for quota in promotions in government jobs, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said there is no need to review the 2006 Nagaraj judgment or referring it to a seven-judge constitution bench. A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that states need not collect quantifiable data on backwardness for giving quota in job promotions to SC/ST employees. The apex court verdict clearly indicates that “Centre or state governments can provide reservation if they want". The judgment was reserved on 30 August. The apex court by its 2006 judgment, also known as Nagaraj case, had said: "...state will have to show in each case the existence of compelling reasons, namely backwardness, inadequacy of representation and overall administrative efficiency, before making provision for reservation in promotion." The 19 October 2006 judgment, pronounced by a fivejudge Constitution Bench comprising then Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal and Justices K G Balakrishnan, S H Kapadia, C K Thakker and P K Balasubramanyan, had said that the concept of creamy layer within the SC/STs is not the issue. The bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohinton Fali Nariman, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Indu Malhotra had earlier said: "There may be individuals (within SC/ST) who might have overcome the stigma, but the community continues to face the stigma." New telecom policy eyes $100 b investment, 4 m jobs PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 26 SEPTEMBER The government expects to attract USD 100 billion in investments and generate four million jobs in the telecom sector as it on Wednesday approved a new policy for the industry. The policy also envisages 50 Mbps of broadband connectivity to every citizen in five years. “Cabinet has approved National Digital Communications Policy today,” Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said Wednesday. He said things have very rapidly evolved in the telecom sector and hence new policy has been made to address emerging technology areas like 5G, Internet of Things and machine to machine communication. The minister said the government wants to focus on socio-economic growth of the country with the help of the telecom sector instead of seeing it as source of revenue generation. The NDCP proposes to adopt “Optimal Pricing of Spectrum” to ensure sustainable and affordable access to digital communications. High spectrum price and related charges have been the main concern of the telecom services segment, which is reeling under a debt of around Rs 7.8 lakh crore. Some of the objectives of the NDCP 2018 include providing broadband access to all, creating 40 lakh new jobs, and increasing India's ranking in the global ICT Index to 50th spot. “We also expect GDP contribution of telecom sector, which has been around 6 per cent, to grow to 8 per cent... and expect USD 100 billion investment to come in,” he said. The global average of telecom sector contribution to GDP is 4.5 per cent. The sector at present contributes around 6.5 per cent to India's GDP The government expects . to decide on most of the promises made under NDCP 2018 in a year, Sinha said. “We will decide on most of the things in a year,” Sinha said in response to a query on by when the government will be ready with a roadmap. The last national telecom policy was issued in 2012. “We have also changed the name of Telecom Commission to Digital Communication Commission. We will work inclusion of other ministry representatives into it,” Sinha said. The minister said the policy has been formulated CMYK after it was felt that a “consumer-centric and applicationdriven policy” be brought in. The vision, Sinha said, is to have robust communication infrastructure and broadband for all. The policy promises to promote domestic telecom products and equipment manufacturing with preference to indigenous manufacturers and encourage participation of technology start-ups in the sector. Industry body COAI said the implementation of NDCP 2018 will have a positive, longterm impact on the sector. It also hoped that the DoT will closely monitor the timely implementation of this policy so that the industry can recuperate from the deepening financial stress. AC, fridge dearer Sugar package NEW DELHI, 26 SEPTEMBER NEW DELHI, 26 SEPTEMBER The government on Wednesday raised import duties on 19 items, including jet fuel and air conditioners, as it looks to check the widening current account deficit resulting from high crude oil prices and the rupee dipping to a historic low. The import duty on ACs, household refrigerators and washing machines (less than 10 kg) doubled to 20 per cent. The basic customs duty on compressors, speakers and footwears raised to 10 per cent, 15 per PTI cent and 25 per cent. The Union government on Wednesday announced a Rs 5,500 crore package for the sugar industry, including a two-fold jump in production aid to cane growers and transport subsidy to mills for exports. The measures have ranged from higher price for ethanol extracted from sugarcane to financial aid to sugar mills to create ethanol capacity and are aimed at helping the cashstarved mills clear Rs 13,000 crore they owe to farmers PTI before 2019 polls.
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