Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 12 November 2017
Question on whether FIR can be filed on sitting HC or SC judge or CJI
- Can the police or any investigating agency file a first information
report (FIR) against a sitting High Court or a Supreme Court judge and even
the Chief Justice of India?
- The question was repeatedly asked by Justice Arun Mishra in a
Constitution Bench hearing on November 10. Justice Mishra was repeatedly
heard telling advocate Prashant Bhushan that it is contempt to claim that
the FIR in the medical college bribery case directly involves the Chief
Justice of India.
- “It is contempt to say that the FIR names the CJI. Can there be an FIR
against a sitting judge of a superior court? That is not the procedure,”
Justice Mishra observed. So, what is the procedure? The answer is found in
the majority judgment delivered by a five-judge Constitution Bench of the
Supreme Court in the K. Veeraswami case.
- The majority held that no criminal case shall be registered under
Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code (an FIR) against a judge of the
High Court, Chief Justice of the High Court or a judge of the Supreme Court
unless the government first “consults” the Chief Justice of India.
- The justification given was that the CJI’s assent was imperative as he
was a “participatory functionary” in the appointment of judges.
- The Veeraswami case specifically dealt with the Prevention of Corruption
Act in judiciary, but the majority judgment had extended its ambit to “any
- “Due regard must be given by the government to the opinion expressed by
the Chief Justice. If the Chief Justice is of opinion that it is not a fit
case for proceeding under the Act, the case shall not be registered,” the
majority judgment held.
- The verdict held that if the the Chief Justice of India himself is the
person against whom the allegations of criminal misconduct are received, the
government shall consult any other judge or judges of the Supreme Court.
- If the CJI allows the FIR to be registered, the government shall, for
the second time, consult him on the question of granting sanction for
- The Veeraswami judgment holds that “it shall be necessary and
appropriate that the question of sanction be guided by and in accordance
with the advice of the Chief Justice of India”. The majority in the
Constitution Bench classifies a judge as a “public servant”.
- Consultation with the CJI while registering a criminal case against a
judge, whether of the High Court or the Supreme Court, has been made
mandatory to protect the independence of judiciary
- Similarly, the Supreme Court has also laid down guidelines for the
arrest of a judicial officer of the subordinate judiciary.
- The Delhi Judicial Service Association versus State of Gujarat judgment
of the Supreme Court was the product of the notorious treatment meted out to
the Nadiad Chief Judicial Magistrate by a few Gujarat police officials.
- It had the country’s legal and judicial bodies in an uproar, compelling
the Supreme Court to issue directions of the procedure to be followed while
arresting a judicial officer. Primarily, the court held that a judicial
officer “should be arrested for any offence under intimation to the District
Judge or the High Court”.
- The immediate arrest shall only be a “technical or formal arrest”, after
which it should be immediately communicated to the District and Sessions
Judge of the district concerned and the Chief Justice of the High Court.
- The arrested judicial officer shall not be taken to a police station
without the prior orders of the District Judge and no statements shall be
recorded from him or her except in the presence of a counsel. He or she will
not be handcuffed.
- Section 3 of the Judges (Protection) Act of 1985 protects judges and
former judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts from “any civil or
criminal proceedings” for any act, thing or word committed, done or spoken
by him in the course of their judicial duty or function. No court shall
entertain such complaints.
- Section 77 of the IPC exempts judges from criminal proceedings for
something said or done during judicial duties.
- The government can initiate criminal proceedings against a sitting or
former judge of a superior court under sub section (2) of Section 3 of
Judges (Protection) Act, 1985 if it can produce material evidence to show
that a judgment was passed after taking a bribe.
Registry circular of SC says Oral mentions only before CJI
- The circular issued by the Registry of the Supreme Court has, in effect,
put a stop to the practice of lawyers or litigants mentioning their cases
before Justice J. Chelameswar’s court. He is the number two judge in the
- The notification asks lawyers and litigants not to orally mention fresh
cases before any other Supreme Court judge except before the Bench presided
over by the Chief Justice of India.
- All oral mentionings were made before a two-judge Bench led by Justice
J. Chelameswar. ‘Mentioning’ of fresh and urgent cases is done by lawyers
and litigants for an early listing and, if possible, an out-of-turn hearing.
- The circular is significant as it was an oral mention before Justice
Chelameswar’s Bench on November 9 that led to a series of events culminating
in an almost impromptu hearing by a five-judge Constitution Bench led by the
Chief Justice of India on November 10.
- On November 9, advocate Kamini Jaiswal had made an urgent oral mention
of a petition before this two-judge Bench. The petition wanted the
investigation into the medical college corruption case to be transferred
from the CBI to a SIT supervised by a retired CJI.
- The petition said the FIR alleged that a conspiracy was hatched to bribe
Supreme Court judges.
- The two-judge Bench immediately listed the case for hearing on the same
afternoon and ordered a Constitution Bench of the “first five judges in the
order of seniority” to be set up on November 13 to hear Ms. Jaiswal's
- The Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Misra virtually
pre-empted the scheduled hearing on November 13 by laying down the law that
no two-judge Bench can command the Chief Justice of India to constitute
Benches to hear cases in the Supreme Court.
- The Chief Justice of India is the master of the roster and will have
complete administrative prerogative over which judge should hear which case
in the apex court. The Constitution Bench, in effect, nullified the
two-judge Bench's order of November 9.
Venezuelan financial crisis widens
- Venezuela showed new signs of a financial unravelling, as the state
electricity company was declared in default.
- The announcement of the country’s first bond default came three days
before the government was to begin talks with investors to refinance and
restructure more than half its $120 billion in debt.
- The electricity company, Corpoelec, based in Caracas, was unable to make
a $28 million payment on a $650 million bond. The bond was originally issued
by Electricidad de Caracas before it was nationalised as a Corpoelec
subsidiary a decade ago.
- Venezuela and its state-owned enterprises — including the oil company
Petróleos de Venezuela, known as PDVSA — have missed roughly $350 million in
interest payments over the past month.
- President Nicolás Maduro announced that the government would refinance
and restructure $63 billion in bonds, and invited investors to meet with a
government committee led by his Vice President.
- It is uncertain how many investors will take part, since U.S. sanctions
restrict any negotiation or purchases of new bonds by U.S.-regulated
- The panel will discuss whether late and partial payments of $1.2 billion
due last week from PDVSA constituted a “credit event” that could prompt
bondholders to organise to seek payment.
- The creditors could pursue legal action to confiscate Venezuelan assets
abroad, for instance, some oil tankers or even refineries owned by the PDVSA
subsidiary Citgo.NY Times
TPP to continue without U.S
Ministers from 11 Asia-Pacific countries agreed to press ahead with a major
trade deal without the U.S., as the world’s largest economy seeks to go it alone
under President Donald Trump's ‘America First’ policy.
Mr. Trump pulled his country from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) at the
start of the year, dismaying allies and casting into doubt an agreement heralded
for tying lower tariffs to strong environmental and labour protections.
In a joint statement, the remaining countries — dubbed the TPP-11 — said they
had “agreed on the core elements” of a deal at the sidelines of the APEC summit
in the Vietnamese city of Danang, after days of stalled talks raised fears it
could collapse altogether.
The Ministers said further talks would be needed to reach a full consensus
before inking the deal, which now carries an even longer official name — the
Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Japan’s lead negotiator ToshimitsuMotegi said the remaining members would
still welcome the U.S. back into their pact. “This time all the 11 countries are
on board and this would send out a very strong positive message to the U.S. and
other Asia Pacific countries in the region,” he said.
Canada had held out to maintain environmental and labour protections linked to
freer markets in the deal. Those elements were thrown into jeopardy by America’s
sudden withdrawal from the deal earlier this year.
Beijing is not included in the TPP, a deal initially driven through by the
former U.S. administration as a counterweight to surging Chinese power in Asia.
China has since sought to fill the free trade gap left by the U.S., even if much
of its own market remains protected.
Bonnet macaques becoming threatened
- It’s tough times for south India's bonnet macaques — a monkey that we
think is irritatingly common could be losing ground to the larger and more
aggressive rhesus macaque of the north.
- Other factors contributing to their decline include rapid urbanisation
(as roadside trees are felled and vegetation lost) and their disappearance
from temples and tourist spots, says a study published in PLOS ONE.
- Bonnet macaques are endemic commensals: they are found only in
peninsular India and live in close proximity with humans, adapting to
habitats ranging from riverside temples to roadside fig trees. However, a
study in 2011 suggested that rhesus macaques were invading the bonnet’s
habitats in south India.
- To assess the current status of bonnet macaques, a team of scientists
from institutes including Tamil Nadu’s Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and
Natural History (SACON) surveyed roadsides (1,140 km in total) in peninsular
India which were considered the southernmost boundary for rhesus macaques
and compiled distributional data from earlier studies in the area.
- They found that rhesus macaques have spread as far south as Karnataka’s
Raichur district — adding 24,565 sq km to their former range — in an area
where bonnet macaques used to reside.
- The team collated information on bonnet macaque presence from surveys
between 1989 and 2015 along 651 km of Mysore's roadsides and found that over
the last 25 years a staggering 65% of the population has disappeared.
- The scientists predict that many of these populations will go locally
extinct in 10 years. High-resolution satellite and Google Earth imagery
between 2000 and 2006 and from 2015 onwards showed a decrease in tree cover
on and around these roads; the loss of contiguous canopies now prevents the
monkeys from colonising new areas.
- Bonnet macaques were present only in low numbers across 16
forest-dominated protected areas that the team surveyed in south India. They
also found that bonnet macaques have disappeared from more than 48% of
temples and tourist spots across Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Araku is the home of beekeepers
- Come November, the sleepy hamlet of Araku, nestled in the Eastern Ghats,
turns a spectacular shade of yellow. It’s in this season that niger flowers
bloom in the valley.
- Beekeepers come to Araku from various parts of Andhra Pradesh during
winter. The blue beehive boxes are placed in rows in the yellow niger
- Each box has about one lakh worker bees, 100 drones and one queen bee.
The boxes are uncovered only when the beekeeper wants to examine them or
take out the frames. A small hole at the bottom of the box is meant for the
bees to enter and exit.
- During the peak season, honey is harvested in 10 days and sold directly
to tourists who throng the valley. Bottles go to retail outlets in cities
- Honeybees, which lives in highly organised communities, are of great
importance to farmers for pollination and maintaining the ecological
- The recent increase in beekeeping in the Eastern Ghats has enhanced crop
yields, farmers say. Many motivated youngsters have come out to explore this
field to earn a living. Many of them are graduates who get trained in
beekeeping and come to Araku to start their own enterprises.
::BUSINESS AND ECONOMY::
Bond yields high’ due to low FII inflows
- Continuing concerns regarding a potential fiscal slippage at the Union
Government level and a moderation in FII inflows into debt will pose an
upward pressure on bond yields in the second half of the current financial
year, according to a report.
- Rating agency ICRA, however, said that with the systemic liquidity
surplus expected to moderate in the second half of the current fiscal, open
market operations (OMOs) through sales of Government securities (G-sec) are
likely to be pared by the RBI, which would prevent the 10-year G-sec yields
from rising above the 7.0-7.1% range.
- Nevertheless, concerns regarding a slippage relative to the government’s
fiscal deficit target of 3.2% of GDP for the current fiscal continue to
linger, on account of lower-than-budgeted revenues. This stems from
uncertainty around indirect taxes post-GST, revenues from telecom and
disinvestment flows, as well as the lower surplus transferred by the RBI.
- The RBI conducted OMO sales of Rs. 600 billion in the second quarter of
the current fiscal, which contributed towards a decline in the liquidity
surplus and also pushed up bond yields. In October 2017, the RBI announced
further OMOs of Rs. 200 billion. The incremental bank credit offtake in the
remainder of this fiscal is likely to be higher than incremental growth in
- After netting off the CRR as well as the SLR requirements, ICRA
estimated that “additional credit offtake would exceed deposits by a sharp
margin.” resulting in a moderation in the systemic liquidity surplus during
second half. In line with this, further OMO sales by the RBI is expected to
be limited, which may help counter the uptrend in bond yields.
- The 10-year benchmark G-Sec yield rose sharply to 6.88% as on October 31
from the low of 6.41% as on July 24, driven by factors such as increasing
likelihood of a rate increase by the U.S. Fed in December, a slowing GDP
growth rate in India — that has led to speculation regarding a fiscal
stimulus package — and a potential slippage relative to the Centre’s fiscal
deficit target for FY18.