tt on editorials civils360
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


October 11, 2017

SC ruling on age of consent today

  • The Supreme Court will on Wednesday pronounce its verdict on whether or not an exception to rape, sanctioned by the Indian Penal Code, that allows a man to have sexual intercourse with his wife aged above 15 is valid.
  • A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta will pronounce the verdict on the disparity between this exception to Section 375 (rape) of the IPC, which allows a husband to have sexual relationship with his 15-year-old wife, and the definition of ‘child’ in recent laws such as the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, which includes any person below the age of 18.
  • The court has repeatedly questioned the continued existence of this exception to rape when the other parliamentary laws have uniformly said that the age of consent of a girl is 18.It, however, had said that it did not want to go into the aspect of marital rape.
  • It had referred to the concept of age of puberty among Muslims for the purpose of marriage, and said these aspects had been deliberated upon by Parliament before arriving at a conclusion.

Social evil

  • However, the court had expressed its distress at how laws had not been able to stop the social evil of child marriage, especially in rural parts of the country.
  • The NGO has contended that the exception clause was “violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution to the extent that it permits intrusive sexual intercourse with a girl child aged between 15 and 18 years, only on the ground that she has been married.”

IMF lowers forecasts for India

  • Maurice Obstfeld, IMF Economic Counsellor and Director of Research, said the upward revisions in both cases “were 0.1 percentage point above our previous forecasts”. He was speaking at a press conference at the beginning of the World Bank – IMF annual meetings. Mr Jaitley is scheduled to attend the meetings from Thursday.
  • “Among emerging market and developing economies, higher domestic demand in China and continued recovery in key emerging market economies supported growth in the first half of 2017. In India, growth momentum slowed, reflecting the lingering impact of the authorities’ currency exchange initiative as well as uncertainty related to the mid-year introduction of the country-wide Goods and Services Tax,” the report said.

Growth performance

  • The IMF has meanwhile revised upwards, India’s growth performance for 2016 in its latest calculations, owing to strong government spending and “data revisions in India,” which is now 7.1% as opposed to 6.8% in April.
  • At an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), Mr Jaitley said: “Many attempts have been made by political groups to derail the GST, but I am glad that their own State governments are not listening to them because they know 80% of the money is going to come to them.”

Passive euthanasia already a law: govt.

  • Passive euthanasia, the act of withdrawing life support to a terminally-ill patient, is already the law of the land, the government told a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court.
  • The government said it was finalising a draft law on passive euthanasia called ‘The Management of Patients With Terminal Illness – Withdrawal of Medical Life Support Bill’, which was drawn up in line with the recommendations of the Law Commission of India that life support can be withdrawn for patients in persistent vegetative state (PVS) or suffering an irreversible medical condition.
  • The Centre, however, objected to legalising the concept of ‘Living Will’ — an advance written directive to physicians for end-of-life medical care.
  • The government pointed out that the living will was a concept which contradicts a person’s instinctive urge to survive.
  • Besides, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has, in an affidavit filed in January 2016 before the apex court, already refused to legalise ‘active euthanasia’ — an intentional act of putting to death a terminally-ill patient – on the grounds that this would lead to potential misuse and is practised in “very few countries worldwide”.
  • A five-judge Constitution Bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justices A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar, Ashok Bhushan and D.Y. Chandrachud was on Tuesday hearing a petition filed by NGO Common Cause for legalising euthanasia and the Living Will.
  • But Chief Justice Misra remarked that a living will may relieve grief-stricken relatives the moral burden of deciding whether life support should be withdrawn from a terminally-ill person. Doctors may also be spared of any accusation of foul play or negligence in cases where patients had penned down a living will.
  • The Chief Justice asked whether a person’s suffering should be unnecessarily prolonged. There should be a dignity in the process of dying just like how the law recognises the dignity of a person in death, he said.

GIFT City bourses to offer oil contracts

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has allowed exchanges established in GIFT City to introduce crude oil futures contracts, trading in which is set to commence later this month.
  • The inclusion of crude oil contracts at the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) was one of the main demands by market participants who had wanted to be able to trade in the global commodity in dollar terms, with the added advantage of lower trading costs and also longer trading hours on Indian shores.
  • Currently, BSE’s India INX and the NSE IFSC are the two operational bourses in the special financial zone in Gujarat. While India INX started trading in January, NSE IFSC went live in June. Further, exchanges in the IFSC offer trading facilities for 22 hours.
  • Currently, bourses based in GIFT City offer trading in derivatives based on indices, single stocks — both domestic and overseas — currency and bullion. All contracts are settled in dollars in IFSC.

‘Boost liquidity’

  • “There is a lot of demand for crude oil contracts globally and the launch of such contracts in GIFT City will boost the liquidity,” said V. Balasubramaniam, managing director and CEO, India INX.
  • India INX would offer two contracts — one with Brent crude as the underlying, and the other with WTI crude. The contract size has been fixed at 100 barrels each.
  • Further, DGCX (Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange) prices would be taken into account for ascertaining the settlement price of the contracts. DGCX is the biggest derivatives exchange in the Middle East.
  • Trading interest in crude oil can be gauged from the fact that it is the highest traded commodity on Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX), the country’s largest commodity bourse in terms of market share.