The Supreme Court on Monday asked the government to respond to a petition which questioned the lack of implementation of the various provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act of 2013. The 2013 statutory law had replaced the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in the historic Vishaka case judgment.
The Supreme Court verdict authored in 1997 by the then Chief Justice of India was inspired by international conventions and the spirit of gender equality enshrined in the Constitution. It had declared that gender equality includes protection from sexual harassment and right to work with dignity, which is a universally recognised basic human right.
NGO Initiatives for Inclusion Foundation and its trustees Pallavi Pareek and Esha Shekhar have brought to light the sheer lack of initiative on the part of government authorities to monitor the implementation and enforce the law. The petition pointed out that the government at the State level has not even bothered to appoint district officers or local committees under the 2013 Act. There are no appointments of nodal officers or internal complaints committees in certain offices.
National Human Rights Commission is concerned over high prevalence of child marriage in six States like Odisha, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal and it has directed the State governments to make concerted efforts to curb this social menace.
The National Family Health Survey-4 had found that 26.8% of women aged 20 to 24 years were married before the age of 18. Out of the six States under review at the Bhubaneswar conference of Human Rights Commission and the states, Bihar and West Bengal had the highest incidence of child marriages.
According to a report, 40% of all child marriages in the world are performed in India. Despite legislations like Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 was in force, only 293 and 326 cases were reported under the Act in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Law Commission of India is planning to hold consultations with religious scholars, political groups and others to gauge whether the time is right for the Uniform Civil Code (UCC). If the Commission comes to the conclusion that the time is not right or that it is not in the interest of national integration, then it will recommend only a review of personal laws of all religions.
Law Commission had issued a Questionnaire on Uniform Civil Code to elicit opinion on various aspects of family laws on October. The move had led to strong protests from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board which carried out a signature campaign against any interference with the Shariat and sent it to the Law Commission.
The commission will also commence oral consolations with religious scholars, political parties and other sections concerned on all aspects of personals laws including marriage, divorce, custody, succession and inheritance. This would include a recheck of family laws including codified and non-codified laws of all religions as also tribal or customary laws.
The Unique Identification Authority of India has begun investigations into a report that claimed access to its database of identity details of more than a billion citizens was being sold for just Rs 500 on social media. A report says that people are able to buy login credentials to the Aadhaar database, allowing it to access information such as the names, telephone numbers and addresses of millions of people.
The case appeared to be an instance of misuse of the grievance redress search facility. UIDAI added that it maintained a complete log and traceability of the facility and any misuse can be traced and appropriate action is taken. The authority said it had provided the search facility for grievance redress to designated personnel and state government officials.
The authority said that a mere display of demographic information cannot be misused without biometrics. The news report had said around 100,000 village-level entrepreneurs might have gained access to the UIDAI data in order to provide Aadhaar services for a fee after their services were discontinued. All village-level entrepreneurs facilitating enrolment through the centres needed to authenticate themselves and the data was stored in UIDAI data centres.
The government will infuse Rs 80,000 crore of capital in the public sector banks by March-end 2018. The finance ministry on Thursday sought Parliament’s nod for extra expenditure towards recapitalisation of Public Sector Banks.
The finance minister said that the move will bring capital into a number of state-owned banks, strengthen their capital adequacy levels and support credit growth in the economy. Finance Minister said there will be a series of reforms that will be announced alongside capital infusion to ensure that banks are able to function properly.Parliament’s approval has been sought for meeting additional expenditure towards recapitalisation of Public Sector Banks through issuing government securities.
The government announced plans to inject Rs 2.11 lakh crore of equity in PSU banks comprising of Rs 1.35 lakh crore through recapitalisation bonds, Rs 18,000 crore from budgetary resources and Rs 58,000 crore to be raised by the banks from the market.