Daily Prelims Notes 29 July 2021
- July 29, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
29 July 2021
Table Of Contents
- The Ken Betwa project needs to be redesigned
- Earth Overshoot Day’ has shifted back to July 29 says WWF
- GST Council
- Telangana Dalit Bandhu scheme
- Covishield Efficacy
- Options and futures
- Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill
- The academic bank of credit (ABC)
- International Tiger Day
- Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)
- No immunity for acts of vandalism: SC
Context: Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh signed a memorandum of agreement to implement the Ken Betwa Link Project (KBLP). The Prime Minister was a co-signatory to the Ken Betwa Project in Madhya Pradesh. The two states signed a tripartite agreement with the Centre on World Water Day(22nd March) to finally implement this ambitious project.
National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers:
- The National River Linking Project (NRLP) formally known as the National Perspective Plan, envisages the transfer of water from water ‘surplus’ basins where there is flooding, to water ‘deficit’ basins where there is drought/scarcity, through inter-basin water transfer projects.
- The program for interlinking of major rivers comprises 30 links to share available waters equitably between different basins and states. The National Perspective Plan for Inter-Linking of rivers has two components:
- Himalayan Component: 14 Links
- Peninsular Component: 16 links
- The project is being managed by India’s National Water Development Agency (NWDA), under its Ministry of Water Resources.
What is the Ken Betwa Link Project?
- The Ken-Betwa Link Project is the first project under the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers.
- It is identified under the Peninsular Component of the National River Linking Project.
- Under this project, water from the Ken river will be transferred to the Betwa river. Both these rivers are tributaries of river Yamuna.
- The Ken-Betwa Link Project has two phases.
- Under Phase-I, one of the components — Daudhan dam complex and its appurtenances like Low Level Tunnel, High Level Tunnel, Ken-Betwa link canal and Power houses — will be completed.
- In the Phase-II, three components — Lower Orr dam, Bina complex project and Kotha barrage — will be constructed.
Which region will get the benefits of the KBLP?
- The Ken-Betwa Link Project lies in Bundelkhand, a drought-prone region, which spreads across 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
- It will provide annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh ha, drinking water supply to about 62 lakh people and also generate 103 MW of hydropower.
- The project will be of immense benefit to the water-starved region of Bundelkhand, especially in the districts of Panna, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Sagar, Damoh, Datia, Vidisha, Shivpuri and Raisen of Madhya Pradesh and Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi and Lalitpur of Uttar Pradesh.
Will the project affect the Panna tiger reserve?
- Out of the 6,017 ha of forest area coming under submergence of Daudhan dam of Ken Betwa Link Project, 4,206 ha of area lies within the core tiger habitat of Panna Tiger Reserve.
Are there previous examples of river-linking in India?
- In the past, several river linking projects have been taken up. For instance, under the Periyar Project, transfer of water from Periyar basin to Vaigai basin was envisaged.
- The linking of Godavari and Krishna was completed in 2015.
- Similarly, other projects such as Parambikulam Aliyar, Kurnool Cudappah Canal, Telugu Ganga Project, and Ravi-Beas-Sutlej were undertaken.
Which are the clearances required for a river-linking project?
- Generally, 4-5 types of clearances are required for the interlinking of river projects. These are:
- Techno-economic (given by the Central Water Commission)
- Forest Clearance and Environmental clearance (Ministry of Environment & Forests)
- Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) Plan of Tribal Population (Ministry of Tribal Affairs)
- Wildlife clearance (Central Empowered Committee).
Ken and Betwa Rivers
- Ken and Betwa rivers originate in MP and are the tributaries of Yamuna.
- Ken meets with Yamuna in Banda district of UP and with Betwa in Hamirpur district of UP.
- Rajghat, Paricha and Matatila dams are over Betwa river.
- Ken River passes through Panna tiger reserve.
In news- The Earth Overshoot day fell on July 29, this year. It is the same date that the world reached overshoot in 2019. In 2020 it was observed on August 22.
About Earth Overshoot Day:
- It marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.
- Previously it was known as Ecological Debt Day.
- For the rest of the year, society operates in ecological overshoot by drawing down local resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
- The first Earth Overshoot Day was December 19, 1987.
- It is hosted and calculated by Global Footprint Network, an international research organization.
- It calculates the number of days of that year that Earth’s biocapacity suffices to provide for humanity’s Ecological Footprint.
Global Footprint Network:
- It is an independent think tank originally based in the United States, Belgium and Switzerland.
- It was founded in 2003 as a charitable not-for-profit organization in each of those three countries.
- The organization is headquartered in Oakland, California.
- It develops and promotes tools for advancing sustainability, including the ecological footprint and biocapacity.
- Its goal is to create a future where all humans can live well, within the means of one planet Earth.
- The Network brings together over 70 partner organizations.
Context: In its 44th meeting on June 12, the GST Council had reduced GST on goods being used in Covid-19 management until September 30.
- Goods & Services Tax Council is a constitutional body for making recommendations to the Union and State Government on issues related to Goods and Service Tax.
- As per Article 279A (1) of the amended Constitution, the GST Council has to be constituted by the President within 60 days of the commencement of Article 279A.
- As per Article 279A of the amended Constitution, the GST Council which will be a joint forum of the Centre and the States, shall consist of the following members: –
- Union Finance Minister, Chairperson;
- Union Minister of State in charge of Revenue or Finance, Member;
- The Minister in charge of Finance or Taxation or any other Minister nominated by each State Government, Members.
- As per Article 279A (4), the Council will make recommendations to the Union and the States on important issues related to GST, like the goods and services that may be subjected or exempted from GST, model GST Laws, principles that govern Place of Supply, threshold limits, GST rates including the floor rates with bands, special rates for raising additional resources during natural calamities/disasters, special provisions for certain States, etc.
- Compensation cess was introduced as relief for States for the loss of revenues arising from the implementation of GST.
- States, in lieu of giving up their powers to collect taxes on goods and services after local levies were subsumed under the GST, were guaranteed a 14 per cent tax revenue growth in the first five yearsafter GST implementation by the Central government.
- States’ tax revenue as of FY16 is considered as the base year for the calculation of this 14 per cent growth.
- Any shortfall against it is supposed to be compensated by the Centre using the funds specifically collected as compensation cess.
- Compensation cess is levied on five products considered to be ‘sin’ or luxury goods like SUV, pan masala, cigrattes.
- The collected compensation cess flows into the Consolidated Fund of India, and then transferred to the Public Account of India, where a GST compensation cess account has been created.
- States are compensated bi-monthly from the accumulated funds in this account.
Subject: Government Schemes
Context: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) recently said his government is ready to spend Rs 80,000 crore to Rs 1 lakh crore for Dalit Bandhu, touted as the country’s biggest direct benefit transfer scheme, to empower Dalits across the state.
What is the Telangana Dalit Bandhu scheme?
- Dalit Bandhu scheme or programme, is a movement that the state government will pursue with the Centre for nationwide implementation.
- Dalit Bandhu is the latest flagship programme of the Telangana government. It is envisioned as a welfare scheme for empowering Dalit families and enable entrepreneurship among them through a direct benefit transfer of Rs 10 lakh per family. This is, once implemented on the ground, going to be the biggest cash transfer scheme in the country.
- A Dalit empowerment programme on these lines was first announced in the state budget earlier this year.
- It was decided that 11,900 Dalit families, 100 each from 119 Assembly constituencies in the state, would be selected for cash assistance of Rs 10 lakh each without any bank guarantee to start their businesses. An initial outlay of Rs 1,200 crore was sanctioned.
- The funds allocated for the scheme would be over and above the funds earmarked for the SC Sub Plan
- The benefits of the scheme is intended to the poorest of the poor will be top priority,
- It will be implement it on a pilot basis in the Huzurabad Assembly constituency. Based on the experiences of implementation in Huzurabad, the scheme will be rolled out across the state in a phased manner.
- The financial assistance given by the government through Dalit Bandhu is free. This is not a loan. There is no chance of any middlemen in this. Eligible beneficiaries will get the assistance in their bank accounts
- The government plans to create a corpus called the Dalit Security Fund permanently to support the beneficiary in the event of any adversities. This fund will be managed by the district collector concerned, along with a committee of beneficiaries. A minimum amount will be deposited by the beneficiary towards this fund. The beneficiary would be issued an identity card with an electronic chip, which will help the government monitor the progress of the scheme.’
Subject: Science and Technology
Context: Covishield, the made-in-India variant of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s AZD-1222 formulation, is the predominant vaccine being used in India’s mass immunisation programme against SARS-CoV-2, the Covid-19 virus.
- Interim results of VIN-WIN cohort study’), published in a special issue of the peer-reviewed Medical Journal Armed Forces India.
- The VIN-WIN study mentions results of other Covishield vaccine effectiveness studies as well
- This is the largest study from India evaluating Covid vaccine effectiveness so far
Study and findings
- Healthcare workers and frontline workers of the armed forces were among the first to get their jabs after India started vaccinating on January 16 this year.
- Till 30 May, 95.4% and 82.2% were partially and fully vaccinated (respectively),” says the study.
- The study used anonymised data from the existing Armed Forces Health Surveillance system which had been enhanced for monitoring Covid-19
- According to the study have showed a 93 per cent reduction in breakthrough infections after vaccination with Covishield.
Context: The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021, passed by Lok Sabha on Wednesday has proposed ‘pre-packs’ as an insolvency resolution mechanism for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
What are ‘pre-packs’?
- A pre-pack is an agreement for the resolution of the debt of a distressed company through an agreement between secured creditors and investors instead of a public bidding process.
- A pre-pack envisages the resolution of the debt of a distressed company through a direct agreement between secured creditors and the existing owners or outside investors, instead of a public bidding process.
- The pre-pack mechanism is effective in arriving at a quick resolution for distressed companies, and that the regime should be rolled out to all corporations over time as legal issues are settled through case law.
- This system is a mechanism for insolvency resolution in the United Kingdom and Europe over the past decade. Under the pre-pack system, financial creditors will agree to terms with the promoters or a potential investor, and seek approval of the resolution plan from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
- The approval of at least 66 per cent of financial creditors that are unrelated to the corporate debtor would be required before a resolution plan is submitted to the NCLT. The NCLTs will be required to either accept or reject an application for a pre-pack insolvency proceeding before considering a petition for a CIRP.
Need for Pre-Packs:
- Slow progress in the resolution of distressed companies has been one of the key issues raised by creditors regarding the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) under the IBC.
- CIRP is the process of resolving the corporate insolvency of a corporate debtor in accordance with the provisions of the Code.
- Under the IBC, stakeholders are required to complete the CIRP within 330 days of the initiation of insolvency proceedings.
Key Features of Pre-Packs:
- Pre-Pack usually requires services of an insolvency practitioner to assist the stakeholders in the conduct of the process.
- The extent of authority of the practitioner varies across jurisdictions.
- Pre-pack envisages a consensual process – prior understanding among or approval by stakeholders about the course of action to address stress of a Corporate Debtor (CD), before invoking the formal part of the process.
- No requirement of Court Approval: It does not always require approval of a court. Wherever it requires approval, the courts often get guided by commercial wisdom of the parties.
- Outcome of the pre-pack process, where approved by the court, is binding on all stakeholders.
How are pre-packs Insolvency Resolution Process (PIRP) better than Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP)?
- One of the key criticisms of the CIRP has been the time it takes for resolution. At the end of March 2021, 79 per cent of the ongoing insolvency resolution proceedings had crossed the 270-day threshold. A major reason for the delays is the prolonged litigation by erstwhile promoters and potential bidders.
- The pre-pack in contrast, is limited to a maximum of 120 days with only 90 days available to stakeholders to bring a resolution plan for approval before the NCLT.
- Another key difference between pre-packs and CIRP is that the existing management retains control in the case of pre-packs;
- In the case of CIRP, a resolution professional takes control of the debtor as a representative of financial creditors. Experts note that this ensures minimal disruption of operations relative to a CIRP.
Context: Derivative traders on the National Stock Exchange were taken by surprise on Wednesday, when Nifty futures for August expiry crashed 5 per cent or over 531 points to a low of 15,256 from its opening level of 15,787
Options and futures are similar trading products that provide investors with the chance to make money and hedge current investments.
- An option gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy (or sell) an asset at a specific price at any time during the life of the contract.
- They tend to be fairly complex, options contracts tend to be risky. Both call and put options generally come with the same degree of risk. When an investor buys a stock option, the only financial liability is the cost of the premium at the time the contract is purchased.
- Options are based on the value of an underlying security such as a stock. As noted above, an options contract gives an investor the opportunity, but not the obligation, to buy or sell the asset at a specific price while the contract is still in effect. Investors don’t have to buy or sell the asset if they decide not to do so.
- They are preferred by
- A futures contract gives the buyer the obligation to purchase a specific asset, and the seller to sell and deliver that asset at a specific future date unless the holder’s position is closed prior to expiration.
- Options may be risky, but futures are riskier for the individual investor. Futures contracts involve maximum liability to both the buyer and the seller
- A futures contract requires a buyer to purchase shares—and a seller to sell them—on a specific future date, unless the holder’s position is closed before the expiration date.
- Futures contracts tend to be for large amounts of money. The obligation to sell or buy at a given price makes futures riskier by their nature.
- They are preferred by speculators.
Context: The Union Cabinet, on Wednesday, approved the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill.
- Deposit insurance is a protection cover for deposit holders in a bank when the bank fails and does not have money to pay its depositors.
- This insurance is provided by Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RBI.
- DICGC insures all bank deposits, such as savings, fixed, current and recurring deposit for up to the limit of Rs 5 lakh per bank.
- DICGC covers depositors of all commercial banks and foreign banks operating in India, state, central and urban co-operative banks, local area banks and regional rural banks provided the bank has bought the cover from DICGC.
- The DICGC does not include the following types of deposits:
- Deposits of foreign governments.
- Deposits of central/state governments.
- Inter-bank deposits.
- Deposits of the state land development banks with the state co-operative bank.
- Any amount due on account of any deposit received outside India.
- Any amount specifically exempted by the DICGC with previous approval of RBI.
Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill.
- This will enable depositors access their deposits up to the sum prescribed under deposit insurance – ₹5 lakh – even if the bank is placed under moratorium.
- Depositors under the new mechanism, which means they can withdraw up to ₹5 lakh against ₹1 lakh once the Bill is passed in Parliament.
- As of now, depositors have to wait for liquidation or passage of resolution to get the benefit of deposit insurance. It normally it takes 8-10 years after complete liquidation to get money under insurance. Now even if there is a moratorium, within 90 days, the process will definitely be completed and, accordingly, give relief to depositors.
- Within the first 45 days of the bank being put under moratorium, the DICGC would collect all information relating to deposit accounts. In the next 45 days, it will review the information and repay depositors within a maximum of 90 days
- The government raised the deposit insurance to ₹5 lakh from ₹1 lakh. The government has also permitted raising the deposit insurance premium by 20 per cent immediately, and maximum by 50 per cent. The premium is paid by banks to the DICGC.
- It has been determined that 98.3 per cent in terms of the number of deposit accounts, and 50.9 per cent in terms of deposit value, of insurance will be covered. Globally, these numbers are 80 and 20-30 per cent, respectively
- The amendments to the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act (DICGC) aims to streamline the provisions, so that if a bank is temporarily unable to fulfil its obligations, the depositors can get easy and time-bound access to their deposits to the extent of the deposit insurance cover.
- The proposed law is prospective, and not retrospective, but it will cover banks already under moratorium and those that could come under moratorium.
- Banks currently pay a minimum of 10 paise on every Rs 100 worth deposits to the DICGC as premium for the insurance cover, which is now being raised to a minimum of 12 paise.
What is a moratorium?
- The RBI, the regulatory body overseeing the country’s financial system, has the power to ask the government to have a moratorium placed on a bank’s operations for a specified period of time. Under such a moratorium, depositors will not be able to withdraw funds at will.
- RBI steps in if it judges that a bank’s net worth is fast eroding and it may reach a state where it may not be able to repay its depositors. When a bank’s assets (mainly the value of loans given to borrowers) decline below the level of liabilities (deposits), it is in danger of failing to meet its obligations to depositors.
Run on Banks
- A moratorium primarily helps prevent what is known as a ‘run’ on a bank, by clamping down on rapid outflow of funds by wary depositors, who seek to take their money out in fear of the bank’s imminent collapse. Temporarily, it does affect depositors.
- A moratorium gives both the regulator and the acquirer time to first take stock of the actual financial situation at the troubled bank. It allows for a realistic estimation of assets and liabilities, and for the regulator to facilitate capital infusion, should it find that necessary.
Can safety of funds be assured by RBI?
- It depends on whether the struggling bank or the regulator is able to find acquirers or investors to save the day. In the case of Yes Bank and Lakshmi Vilas Bank, the RBI was able to bring in investors who infused adequate funds.
- In the case of Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank, the moratorium — despite being gradually relaxed for depositors — is still in force, over a year after it was imposed, and there is still no sign of a buyer.
Subject: Government Schemes
Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil at least 10 schemes on Thursday to make a year of the new National Education Policy.
- The academic bank of credit (ABC) in higher education, a competency-based assessment for students in Classes 3, 5 and 8, and undergraduate engineering programmes in regional languages.
- The University Grants Commission has notified its regulations on ABC.
- The credit bank will be a virtual entity which will keep records of academic credits secured by a student
- This, consequently, will help students to not only move between institutes while pursuing one degree but also leave a programme before completing it and re-joining it after time off.
- Academic Bank of Credit referred to as ABC is a virtual store-house which will keep records of academic credits secured by a student. It is drafted on the lines of the National Academic Depository.
- It will function as a commercial bank where students will be the customers and ABC will offer several services to these students. Students will have to open an Academic Bank Account and every account holder would be provided with a unique id and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
- . The academic accounts of students will have credits awarded by higher education Institutes to students for the courses they are pursuing. However, ABC will not accept any credit course document directly from the students, and its institutes which will make the deposits in students’ accounts.
- A website dedicated to Artificial Intelligence, National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR) and National Education Technology Forum (NETF).
- Union Budget 2021-22 has laid a major emphasis on strengthening country’s digital infrastructure for education by announcing setting up of a National Digital Educational Architecture (NDEAR) within the context of a Digital First Mind-set where the Digital Architecture will not only support teaching and learning activities but also educational planning, governance administrative activities of the Centre and the States/ Union Territories.
- NDEAR will be single platform that will showcase digital solutions for problems faced in the education sector, NETF is proposed to be an auto nous body that will provide evidence-based
- Advice to Central and State Government agencies on technology-based interventions for education.
- It will provide diverse education eco-system architecture for development of digital infrastructure, a federated but interoperable system that will ensure autonomy of all stakeholders, especially States and UTs.
- NDEAR is being envisioned to be a digital infrastructure for Education. NDEAR will be beneficial for both Centre and States in planning, administering and governing school education as well as to teachers, students and schools for having a seamless digital learning experience.
- The institutional structure, governance framework, technology, and data of NDEAR will benefit the entire student and teacher community.
Context: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has greeted wildlife lovers, especially those who are passionate about tiger conservation on International Tiger Day.
- 29th July is referred to as the Global Tiger Day also every year. The day is observed to mark the declining population of tigers across the globe.
- International Tiger Day was established in 2010 at Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia to raise awareness about the decline of wild tiger numbers, leaving them in the brink of extinction and to encourage the work of Tiger conservation. In the Summit, a declaration was made that Governments of tiger populated countries had vowed to double the tiger population by 2020.
- India is home to over 70% of the tiger population globally, we reiterate our commitment to ensuring safe habitats for our tigers and nurturing tiger-friendly eco-systems.
- India is home to 51 tiger reserves spread across 18 states. The last tiger census of 2018 showed a rise in the tiger population. India achieved the target of doubling of tiger population 4 years ahead of schedule of the St. Petersburg Declaration on tiger Conservation.
- India’s strategy of tiger conservation attaches topmost importance to involving local communities.
St Petersburg Declaration
- In November 2010, the first “Tiger Summit” in St Petersburg, Russia, endorsed a Global Tiger Recovery Programme. The programme aimed at reversing the rapid decline of tigers, and doubling their numbers by 2022.
- India was one of the 13 tiger range countries that participated in the gathering. The 13 tiger range countries are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.
- The leaders committed to drawing up action plans to –
- Strengthen the tiger reserves
- Crack down on poachers
- Provide financial assistance to maintain a thriving tiger population
All India Tiger Estimation
- The All India Tiger Estimation done quadrennially is steered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority with technical backstopping from the Wildlife Institute of India and implemented by State Forest Departments and partners.
- The latest results of 2018 had shown that India now has an estimated 2967 tigers out of which 2461 individual tigers have been photo captured, a whopping 83 % of the tiger population, highlighting the comprehensive nature of the survey.
Context: In a booster shot for the start-up ecosystem in the country, the Union Cabinet, on Wednesday, approved amendments to the Limited Liability Partnership Act 2008.
Limited liability partnerships (LLPs)
- Limited liability partnerships (LLPs) allow for a partnership structure where each partner’s liabilities are limited to the amount they put into the business.
- Having business partners means spreading the risk, leveraging individual skills and expertise, and establishing a division of labour.
- Limited liability means that if the partnership fails, then creditors cannot go after a partner’s personal assets or income.
The Limited Liability Partnership Act Amendment bill
- This Amendment Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) on an equal footing vis-a-vis large corporates, which enjoy the ease of doing business due to the government’s recent efforts to decriminalise several provisions of the Companies Act.
- Existing law As many as 12 offences in the exiting LLP law are proposed to be decriminalised through the latest set of amendments.
- Once the proposed changes to LLP Act 2008 are effected, the number of compoundable offences under the legislation will come down from 21 to seven, the total number of penal provisions will get reduced to 22 from 24, and there will be only three non-compoundable offences
- Most of the sections that had criminality in its approach are getting decriminalised under Companies Act.
- For LLPs, a similar treatment has to be given as LLPs are becoming more popular among start-ups, and many of them have to face situations of criminality because of those sections in the LLP Act
- This is the first time the government is proposing amendments to the LLP Act since its enactment in 2008 and the legislation becoming effective in 2009
- The changes are being proposed based on the recommendations of the MCA-appointed Company Law Committee, which went into the functioning of the LLP Act 2008.
- As part of the proposed amendments to the LLP Act 2008, the government is also introducing a new definition of Small LLPs.
- It will facilitate ease of doing business, the Bill has decriminalised various offences and expanded the scope of the definition of ‘small companies’ to encourage various small and medium businesses to set up LLPs. This will help small and medium entrepreneurs get organised and also have the benefit of limited liability.
- The proposed definition for small LLPs included conditions such as that the contribution of partners does not exceed Rs 25 lakh and an annual turnover not exceeding Rs40 lakh.
Context: The Supreme Court held that lawmakers cannot indulge in criminal acts on the Parliament or Assembly floors and then take cover behind the right to free speech.
- The SC dismissed the Kerala government’s plea seeking the court’s nod to withdraw cases against CPI(M) leaders for vandalism in the State Assembly in 2015.
- It made it clear that destruction of public property in the House cannot be equated with freedom of expression and immunity to legislators can’t be extended as immunity against criminal law.
- The bench asserted that the privileges and immunity accorded to MLAs and MPs do not mean they will enjoy immunity from criminal acts within the House and the trial court was correct in rejecting the application for withdrawal of FIR.
- These privileges bear a functional relationship to the discharge of the functions of a legislator.
- It added that privileges are not a mark of status, which allow legislators to stand on a different pedestal, and privileges are also not a gateway to claim exemption from the law.
- It said that the boundaries of lawful behaviour apply to all, including MLAs who hold responsible elected office in the Legislative Assembly. Adding that no member of an elected legislature can claim either a privilege or an immunity to stand above the sanctions of the criminal law, which applies equally to all citizens.
- The court explained that the purpose of bestowing privileges and immunities to elected members of the legislature was to enable them to perform their “essential functions” without hindrance, fear or favour.
- Parliamentary privilege refers to rights and immunities enjoyed by Parliament as an institution and MPs in their individual capacity, without which they cannot discharge their functions as entrusted upon them by the Constitution.
- According to the Constitution, the powers, privileges and immunities of Parliament and MP’s are to be defined by Parliament(Art 105) & Art 194 – State legislature. No law has so far been enacted in this respect.
- In the absence of any such law, it continues to be governed by British Parliamentary conventions.
- Abreach of privilege is a violation of any of the privileges of MPs/Parliament. Among other things, any action ‘casting reflections’ on MPs, parliament or its committees; could be considered breach of privilege.
- A notice is moved in the form of a motion by any member of either House against those being held guilty of breach of privilege
- The Speaker/Chairperson can decide on the privilege motion himself or herself or refer it to the privileges committee of Parliament.
- If the Speaker/Chair gives consent under Rule 222, the member concerned is given an opportunity to make a short statement.