Sunday, 8 March 2015

Daily News Mail - News of 06/03/2015

Internet releases BBC documentary film,'India's Daughter'
  • After committing to ensure a blanket ban on all platforms for the documentary India’s Daughter , the Centre was left struggling on February 5, 2015 as copies of the film continued to circulate on the Internet.
  • Twenty-four hours after Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed Parliament that the government had secured a court injunction banning the broadcast of the film, a YouTube link to the documentary got over one lakh views before it was removed.
  • Intermediaries such as YouTube are liable to act only if the government notifies them about specific URLs showing illegal content. The blocking action is limited to those specified links. Meanwhile, responding to a legal notice from Tihar Jail authorities, the BBC said the documentary was filmed to gain an insight into the mindset of the criminal.
Unconstitutional exercise of power
  • The 44th Constitutional Amendment, which removed the status accorded to the right to property as a fundamental right without eliciting any public opinion.Today, we stand on the cusp of something similar. The Central government, having introduced an ordinance to ease the process of land acquisition by curtailing many of the safeguards introduced by a new law that was brought into force only last year, now seeks to have the ordinance confirmed in Parliament.
  • The proposed amendment bill to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act of 2013 (LARR Act), which replaced the colonial-era Land Acquisition Act of 1894, aims to do the following. One, it removes a previous bar on acquisitions by the state for the purposes of establishing private hospitals and educational institutions. Two, it removes a requirement established under the LARR Act that necessitated the prior consent of at least 80% of affected families when acquiring land for private companies. And three, it removes a necessity for a detailed social impact assessment (SIA) mandated by the LARR Act for land acquired for a special category of purposes, such as projects vital to national security and the defence of India, “industrial corridors,” and “infrastructure” projects.
  • In its original form, the Constitution not only guaranteed to all citizens a freedom to acquire, hold, and dispose of property, but also provided that no person shall be deprived of his or her property except by authority of law. And where property was acquired for a public purpose, the taker was also required to compensate the landowner. Immediately after the Constitution came into force, however, the state found its social reform programme thwarted by an inability to reimburse zamindars for lands expropriated from them. Consequently, a plethora of constitutional amendments were introduced, and a number of pieces of legislation aimed at land reforms were placed beyond the scope of judicial review. Ultimately, in 1978, the Janata Party, which had come into power following the Indira Gandhi-enforced Emergency, removed the guarantee of the right to property as a fundamental right. Article 19(1)(f), which gave citizens the freedom to acquire, hold, and dispose of property, and Article 31, which limited the state’s ability to expropriate property, were both obliterated; the right to property was now reduced to the non-fundamental status of a legal right. 

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