Unconstitutional Maratha Quota Law, Supreme Court of India
Daily NEWS Summary | 05-05-2021; A constitutional bench of five Supreme Court judges on Wednesday unanimously declared a Maharashtra law granting reservation benefits to the Maratha community, ruling the state’s quota cap above 50% unconstitutional.
- The court, led by Judge Ashok Bhushan, found that there were no “exceptional circumstances” or “extraordinary circumstances” in Maharashtra which required the government of Maharashtra to break the 50% cap for the granting of quotas to the Maratha community.
- The Supreme Court overturned the findings of Judge NG The Gaikwad Commission, which had led to the enactment of the Maratha Quota Law, and overturned the decision of the Bombay High Court which had validated the 2018 law on the reserve of the State of Maharashtra for the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (ESCB).
- In June 2019, the High Court had reduced the amount of the reservation for marathas from 16% recommended by the Gaikwad Commission to 12% in education and 13% in employment.
- The Supreme Court concluded that even the small reserve percentages granted by the Superior Court were ultra vires.
- In fact, the Supreme Court ruled that a separate reservation for the Maratha community violates Articles 14 (right to equality) and 21 (due process).
- In particular, the Supreme Court refused to revise its 1992 Indira Sawhney judgment, which set the reserve limit at 50%. In 1992, a court of nine judges removed the “Lakshman rekha” for the 50% employment and education reserve, except in “extraordinary circumstances”.
- However, over the years, several states like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have crossed the rubicon and passed laws allowing reserves above 60%.
- Judge Bhushan said that appointments made under the Maratha quota after Bombay HC’s decision supporting state law would stand, but would not get any other benefits. Students already admitted under the Maratha Quota Act would continue.
SC asks central Delhi and government to learn from Maharashtra and BMC how to manage oxygen supply
Daily NEWS Summary | 05-05-2021; On May 5, the Supreme Court ordered the Center to prepare a “comprehensive plan” for the daily supply of 700 tonnes of vital oxygen to Delhi.
- The plan, which must be submitted to the court in tabular form by 10:30 a.m. By May 6, you must identify the sources of oxygen supply in Delhi and the transport arrangements and logistical arrangements, including oxygen distribution points.
- The court verbally urged Attorney General Tushar Mehta, representing the Center, to comply with the Supreme Court’s April 30 order and have Delhi receive 700 tons of oxygen by midnight on May 5. According to the Center, Delhi had received 351 MT of oxygen by noon.
- The court, however, suspended an order from the Delhi High Court that had brought contempt action against officials at the Center for the continued lack of oxygen supply to Delhi, which is battling a devastating second wave of Covid- 19.
- Further court asked the Center and Delhi government officials to seek help from the Maharashtra government and consult with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, in particular its commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal.
- They also asked the Center to take note of the successful management of oxygen supply and establishment of storage tanks in Maharashtra as the number of active cases reached 92,000 in Mumbai.
- Mehta agreed that there was nothing wrong with the Center consulting with the municipal body.
- Supreme court asked why the Center and the Delhi government had not devised a mechanism to tell people “in advance and in a transparent manner that there will be so much oxygen allocation today, so many distribution is the availability of the tankers and that’s when the oxygen train will arrive.
Third wave of pandemic inevitable, chief scientific adviser says
Daily NEWS Summary | 05-05-2021; K. VijayRaghavan, senior science adviser, while addressing the media at the health ministry briefing, said a third wave was inevitable in the country.
- The second wave was expected, he said, adding that a third wave was inevitable. “We need to be prepared and vaccine updates are needed,” he said.
- Further he said it was vital that people persist in appropriate Covid behavior, as variants of the virus do not alter their fundamental behavior.
- He added the vaccines were working right now.
- Meanwhile, Lav Agarwal, undersecretary of health, said Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Gujarat have seen a drop in daily recorded cases.
- However, an increase in the number of daily cases has been observed in states such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Haryana and Punjab, among others.
- The Undersecretary of Health pointed out that the increase in cases in cities such as Bengaluru, Ernakulam, Kannur and Kanpur, among others, is alarming.
Fear of Covid-19 at the G7 meeting after two members of the Jaishankar delegation tested positive
Daily NEWS Summary | 05-05-2021; The Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers meeting in London were affected by the Covid-19 fear on Wednesday when the Indian foreign minister and his entire team said they were isolating themselves after two delegation members tested positive.
- Britain is hosting the three-day meeting, the first G-7 event in two years, which has been widely touted as an opportunity to restart face-to-face diplomacy and an opportunity for the West to show a united front against threats from China and Russia.
- India attends the G7 as a guest and was scheduled to attend meetings on Tuesday night and throughout Wednesday.
- The meeting is a precursor to the main G7 summit that will take place in a rural English seaside resort in June, which will be attended by US President Joe Biden and other world leaders.
- A British official confirmed both positive tests and said that the entire Indian delegation was isolating itself.
- UK rules require a 10-day self-isolation period.
- The Indian delegation had yet to attend the main summit venue at Lancaster House, so the meetings scheduled for Wednesday went according to plan.
- Jaishankar was photographed meeting with UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on Tuesday, although Patel did not have to isolate himself as the meeting is governed by existing rules.
- They were both wearing masks in the photo.
- India is not a member of the G7 but was invited by Britain to this week’s summit, along with Australia, South Africa and South Korea.
Mamata sworn in as chief minister for the third time
Daily NEWS Summary | 05-05-2021; Trinamool Congress (TMC) President Mamata Banerjee was sworn in on May 5 as West Bengal chief minister.
- She received the oath of office from Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. She assumed the post of Chief Minister for the third time in a row.
- The TMC won 213 seats for the 294 members of the Assembly in the recent elections. The party’s share of the votes also reached a record 47.9%. TMC lawmakers unanimously elected Banerjee as their leader.
“I want to thank all the people of the state, ‘Maa, Maati Manus’ from West Bengal. There were many in the country and in the world who had their eyes on West Bengal, ”she said after taking the oath.
- Banerjee has said that her first priority will be containing the Covid-19 crisis. She also called for peace and an end to post-election violence.
Daily NEWS Summary | 05-05-2021; The number of reported coronavirus cases in India was 2,10,04,784 at the time of this bulletin, with a death toll of 2,29,180.
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit appointed DMK Chairman M.K. Stalin, as chief minister and invited him to form the state government on May 7.
- Earlier, Stalin called Purohit in the Raj Bhavan and claimed responsibility for the formation of the government. Stalin delivered the letter of election to him as head of the DMK legislative party.
The sixth batch of three Rafale fighter jets departed from France on May 5 and will arrive in India later in the evening.
- With these, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will have 20 Rafale in service. Last month, during a five-day visit to France, IAF air chief marshal RKS Bhadauria reported on the fifth batch of three aircraft from Mérignac air base.
- The fifth ferry marked the end of training for the third group of pilots and all maintenance personnel, ACM Bhadauria said at the time.