Presidential Election, 2017 – Right to vote or not to vote – Clarification - reg.
- Certain doubts have arisen in the minds of some of the electors at the current Presidential Election, 2017 to the effect whether a member of a political party voting in defiance of the political party’s decision would attract the disqualification on the ground of defection under the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India or the political party taking such decision would be liable to any penalty for asking their members to vote in a particular manner or not to vote at all.
The contents of the Press Notes issued in this regard by the Election Commission are below
- The voting at election to the Office of President of India is not compulsory, like the voting at elections to the House of the People and State Legislatures where also there is no compulsion to vote.
- The ‘electoral right’ of a voter is defined in section 171A(b) of the Indian Penal code to ‘mean the right of a person to stand, or not to stand as, or to withdraw from being, a candidate or to vote or refrain from voting at election’.
- Thus, every elector at the Presidential election has the freedom of making a choice to vote for any of the candidates or not to vote at the election, as per his free will and choice.
- This will equally apply to the political parties and they are free to canvas or seek votes of electors for any candidate or requesting or appealing to them to refrain from voting.
- However, the political parties cannot issue any direction or whip to their members to vote in a particular manner or not to vote at the election leaving them with no choice, as that would tantamount to the offence of undue influence within the meaning of section 171C of the IPC.
Hon’ble Supreme Court verdicts/observations regarding the same
- In kuldipNayar v Union of India (AIR 2006 SC 3127), the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that voting at election to the office of President is different from voting by a member of Parliament or State Legislature inside the House.
- The Hon’ble Supreme Court has observed in Pashupati Nath Sukul v Nem Chandra Jain (Air 1984 SC 399) that elections to the Rajya Sabha by members of the State Legislative Assemblies are a non-legislative activity and not a proceeding within the State Legislature.
- The election to the Office of the president is also held by an electoral college which consists of elected members of both House of Parliament and elected members of the State Legislative Assemblies (Article 54 of the Constitution).
- The electors of this electoral college vote at the Presidential election as member or the said electoral college and the voting at such election is outside the House concerned and not a part of the proceeding of the House.
Therefore, the above quoted observations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Kuldip Nayar (Supra) and Pashupati Nath Sukul (Supra), will apply with equal force at the Presidential election as well. Accordingly, in the Commission’s opinion, the voting or not voting as per his/her own free will at the Presidential election will not come within the ambit of disqualification under the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India and the electors are at liberty to vote or not to vote at the Presidential election as per their own free will and choice.
Shri Achal Kumar Joti takes over as new Chief Election Commissioner of India
- Shri Achal Kumar Joti has assumed charge as the 21st Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India, succeeding Dr. Nasim Zaidi here today.
- The President of India based on a recommendation from the Government of India appoints the Election Commissioners.
- They have tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through impeachment by Parliament in a manner similar to that of a judge of the Supreme Court.
- On the other hand, other Election Commissioners can be removed by the President on recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner.
India declares itself free from Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1 and H5N8)
- India had reported outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian influenza at various epicenters in Delhi, Gwalior (MP), Rajpura (Punjab), Hissar (Haryana), Bellary (Karnataka), Allappuzha and Kottayam (Kerala), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Daman (Daman) and Khordha and Angul (Odisha during October, 2016 to February, 2017.
- All the outbreaks of Avian Influenza (HPAI) mentioned above were notified to OIE and the control and containment operations were carried out as per the Action Plan on Preparedness, Control and Containment of Avian Influenza.
- Surveillance was carried out throughout the country and around the areas of the outbreaks since completion of the operation (including culling, disinfection and clean-up) and surveillance in the states showed no evidence of presence of Avian Influenza Virus.
- In view of the above, India has declared itself free from Avian Influenza (H5N8 and H5N1) from 6th June, 2017 and notified the same to OIE.
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
- The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) is an intergovernmental organization coordinating, supporting and promoting animal disease control.
- The main objective of the OIE is to control epizootic diseases and thus to prevent their spread.
- It is recognized as a reference organisation by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in 2014 had a total of 181 member states.
- The OIE does not depend on the UN system; its autonomy is both institutional and financial and its activities are governed by its own constitutional texts.
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India invites comments from public on the Regulations notified under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (Code) is a modern economic legislation. Section 240 of the Code empowers the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) to make regulations subject to the conditions that the regulations: (a) carry out the provisions of the Code, (b) are consistent with the Code and the rules made thereunder; (c) are made by a notification published in the official gazette; and (d) are laid, as soon as possible, before each House of Parliament for 30 days.
Basic Info about Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI)
- The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) is the regulator for overseeing insolvency proceedings and entities like Insolvency Professional Agencies (IPA), Insolvency Professionals (IP) and Information Utilities (IU) in India.
- It was established on 1 October 2016 and given statutory powers through the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, which was passed by Lok Sabha on 5 May 2016.
- It covers Individuals, Companies, Limited Liability Partnerships and Partnership firms.
- The new code will speed up the resolution process for stressed assets in the country.
- It attempts to simplify the process of insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings.
- It handles the cases using two tribunals like NCLT(National company law tribunal) and Debt recovery tribunal.
Dr Mahesh Sharma participates in ‘Second Meeting of BRICS Culture Ministers’ in Tianjin, China
India held the BRICS Chairmanship in 2016 and hosted the 8th BRICS Summit on 15-16 October, 2016 in Goa under the theme ‘Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions’.
Working areas in BRICS
- India will work with China and other BRICS countries on Chair’s priority areas, viz Global economic partnership, global governance, people-to-people exchanges, macroeconomic coordination, Agenda 2030, International peace and stability, open world economy, IMF reform, media, sports, education, traditional medicines, and exchanges among students and scholars and culture.
“JIGYASA” - Student-Scientist connect programme launched
- Jigyasa, a student- scientist connect programme was officially launched in the national capital today.
- Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has joined hands with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) to implement this programme.
- The focus is on connecting school students and scientists so as to extend student’s classroom learning with that of a very well planned research laboratory based learning.
- The Jigyasa programme was inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a new India and “Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR)” of scientific community and institutions.
Garib Nawaz Skill Development Centres to be established in 100 districts of the country: Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
- Garib Nawaz Skill Development Centres will be established in 100 districts of the country which will effectively ensure employment oriented skill development of youth belonging to Minority communities.