GS Paper II- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Nobody can escape the verdict from the highest court of the land: Lodha

What’s Happening-
Supreme Court, acting on the third Status report and also on the previous ones,
Not much has changed since the Supreme Court’s decision to validate the Justice Lodha committee’s report on reforms in cricket (BCCI).
In order to rid the system of a group of individuals who had held on to power for a long time in BCCI.

About Lodha Panel:

  • The Lodha committee was formed in Jan, 2015 by the Supreme Court after the Mudgal committee report on IPL.
  • In its earlier report in July 2015, the Lodha committee delivered its judgement by banning Meiyappan and Kundra for life and suspending the owners of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for 2 years.

Main recommendations by the Lodha committee:

  1. BCCI to come under RTI Act.
  2. legalisation of betting.
  3. It recommends players and BCCI officials should disclose their assets to the board in a measure to ensure they do not bet.
  4. panel proposes one state, one vote. Also no proxy voting of individuals.
  5. No BCCI office-bearer can have more than two consecutive terms.
  6. No BCCI office-bearer can be Minister or government servant, recommends Lodha panel.
  7. In no case President will hold post for more than 2 years.
  8. Panel recommends separate governing bodies for the IPL and BCCI.
  9. Lodha Committee recommends relegation of Railways, Services and Universities as Associate members.

News in Detail:
In the last five and a half months, the Supreme Court and the member committee of Justice R.M. Lodha, Ashok Bhan and R.M. Raveendran found that the majority of the BCCI members did not show any inclination in complying with the recommendations before the deadline of December 15, 2016.
The Lodha Committee filed three Status reports explaining the impediments faced by it in implementing its own recommendations as mandated by the Supreme Court.

Judgement implication:
Clearly, the Supreme Court wants the BCCI itself to be part and parcel of the implementation process with the Committee of Administrators playing the facilitator role.

Sources- The Indian Express, The Hindu. Page 1

GS Paper II- International Relations.

SC widens boundaries of judicial review of ordinance

What’s Happening-
In a blow to Ordinance Raj, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court widened the boundaries of judicial review.
SC can now examine whether the President or the Governor was spurred by an “oblique motive” to bypass the Legislature and promulgate an ordinance.
In case the apex court concludes that the President or the Governor was influenced by ulterior motives to promulgate the ordinance, such an act by the two constitutional authorities would amount to a fraud on their powers.

The seminal question:

  • The seven-judge Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur dealt with the constitutionality of seven successive re-promulgations of The Bihar Non-Government Sanskrit Schools (Taking Over of Management and Control) Ordinance of 1989.
  • The State government had approached the Supreme Court after the High Court of Patna declared that repeated re-promulgation of the ordinances was unconstitutional after relying on the D.C. Wadhwa judgment on the dos and don’ts of promulgation of ordinances by another Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in 1986.
  • Confirming the High Court’s view, Justice Chandrachud, supported by Chief Justice Thakur in a separate judgment, held that “re-promulgation of ordinances is a fraud on the Constitution and a subversion of democratic legislative processes.”

Conclusion:

  • The SC held that “re-promulgation of ordinances is a fraud on the Constitution and a subversion of democratic legislative processes”.
  • It also said that “The requirement of laying an ordinance before Parliament or the State Legislature is a mandatory constitutional obligation cast upon the government.

Background-
Article 123 Power of President to promulgate Ordinances during recess of Parliament
If at any time, except when both Houses of Parliament are in session, the President is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action, he may promulgate such Ordinances as the circumstances appear to him to require.

Sources-The Hindu, The Indian Express. Page 3