Is India Welfare State or the Cruel State In the World? Highlights - By: Balbir Singh Sooch-Sikh Vichar Manch

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​Is India Welfare State or the Cruel State In the World?



A. Dodging the law: DGP versus DGP Is About Drugs, Not Indiscipline by Nirmal Sandhu.



B. Not Sure If Aadhaar Is Best Model to Accord Benefits, Supreme Court Says.



C. Cash Crunch: Bank Unions Threaten Agitation, Blame RBI, Government for Shortage.



D. For the past few weeks, banks in many states, especially those in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra and the poll-bound Karnataka have been facing severe cash shortages, with many ATMs showing ‘no cash’ signboards.



E. Drugs in Punjab: Dodging the law: DGP versus DGP Is About Drugs, Not Indiscipline by Nirmal Sandhu:.



1. When the Special Task Force report on drugs found its way in media and pressure piled up for action, Capt Amarinder Singh did act, but to sideline his once trusted officer who came out with a report, probably not to the CM’s liking. To buy time, he formed a two-member committee to study the STF report. This time the dilatory tactic won’t work since the High Court is seized of the matter.



2. Again when a DGP-level officer deputed by the court to investigate a drug case pointed a finger at the Punjab Police chief and another senior colleague, an indignant CM summoned top police officers and gave them a dressing down. Then he did what he often does when faced with a situation: announce yet another committee to suggest ways to handle the issue.



3. Now treating allegations of top police officers’ involvement in the drug business merely as acts of indiscipline and silencing them with threats of dismissal is not the best way to handle a possible crime or those involved. Charges of high-level involvement in drugs require an independent, possibly court-monitored, inquiry. A panel of bureaucrats is not fit for the job. DGP Suresh Arora rightly recused himself from the committee, being on the list of suspects, though the CM did not display similar sense of right and wrong.



4. Anyway, the latest CAG report has already pointed to 70 per cent acquittals in drug cases. This is nothing but scandalous, indicating mass-level frame-up or compromise. All this could not have happened without the knowledge or approval of the higher-ups. And yet this has not sufficiently agitated anyone in the government to take or seek follow-up action. Congressmen seem more interested in who gets what in the proposed Cabinet expansion. Editorial: The Tribune, Chandigarh



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F. “Not sure if Aadhaar is best model to accord benefits, Supreme Court says: PTI | Updated: Apr 19, 2018, 21:57 IST



HIGHLIGHTS



1. The Supreme Court on Thursday said it was not sure whether bringing people "face to face" with authorities through Aadhaar was the best model as the state should reach them to accord the benefits of the welfare schemes.



2. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, hearing a clutch of petitions challenging Aadhaar and its enabling 2016 law, was told by the counsel for the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) that the 12-digit national identifier brought the citizens face to face with the service providers for getting the benefits.



3. "We are not sure if that is the best model. The individual should not be a supplicant. The state should go to him and give him benefits," the bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, said.



4. The counsel for UIDAI told SC that Aadhaar brought the citizens face to face with the service providers.



5. "The individual should not be a supplicant. The state should go to him and give him benefits," the bench responded.







FULL TEXT:



NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday said it was not sure whether bringing people "face to face" with authorities through Aadhaar was the best model as the state should reach them to accord the benefits of the welfare schemes.



A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, hearing a clutch of petitions challenging Aadhaar and its enabling 2016 law, was told by the counsel for the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) that the 12-digit national identifier brought the citizens face to face with the service providers for getting the benefits.



"We are not sure if that is the best model. The individual should not be a supplicant. The state should go to him and give him benefits," the bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, said.



The bench observed that the UIDAI says Aadhaar is a means for identification, but the "only caveat to that is that there should be no exclusion".



Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for UIDAI and the Gujarat government, said the development was necessary to ensure that people are freed from poverty.



Liberating people from poverty is at one end of the spectrum and the right to privacy is on the other, the bench observed.



The UIDAI referred to social ills like manual scavenging and prostitution and said that despite laws, these evils were rampant in the society and the apex court should strike a balance while dealing with the competing fundamental rights of citizens.



Referring to apex court judgements, the senior lawyer said it has been held that to save the freedom of speech and expression, the right to reputation of a citizen under Article 21 cannot be crucified.



The apex court, besides being the protector of fundamental rights, is also a "balancing wheel" to ensure that competing fundamentals co-exist.



Dwivedi then referred to a verdict by which a HIV+ve rape victim was denied the permission to abort the foetus after a doctors' panel gave the report that it could be fatal for the woman.



"The court balanced the rights in the case where fundamental right to life was involved," he said, adding that in the present matter, the issue merely pertained to identification.



"What is being done under section 7 of the Aadhaar Act covers human rights of a lot of people of our country. This court should act as a sentinel to ensure that right to privacy is balanced with all the other rights under Article 21 that Aadhaar covers," Dwivedi said.



The counsel for Dwivedi would resume his submissions on April 24. 2018



Earlier, the bench had said that if biometric authentication is attached to every transaction entered into by a person, it would "form a wealth of information" necessitating the need for data protection”. TOI



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G. Cash crunch: Bank unions threaten agitation, blame RBI, govt for shortage:



1. The All-India Banks Employees Association has said that bank employees are facing the wrath and anger of the public due to the cash crunch issue: Last Published: Thu, Apr 19 2018. 04 24 PM IST PTI



2. For the past few weeks, banks in many states, especially those in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra and the poll-bound Karnataka have been facing severe cash shortages, with many ATMs showing ‘no cash’ signboards.



3. For the past few weeks, banks in many states, especially those in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra and the poll-bound Karnataka have been facing severe cash shortages, with many ATMs showing ‘no cash’ signboards.



4. Vadodara: The All-India Banks Employees Association (AIBEA) has threatened to launch an agitation on the cash crunch issue, its general secretary C.H. Venkatachalam said on Thursday. “Mere statements will not help. Concrete, immediate action is needed to improve the supply of currency notes,” Venkatachalam told PTI.



5. For the past few weeks, banks in many states, especially those in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra and the poll-bound Karnataka have been facing severe cash shortages, with many ATMs showing ‘no cash’ signboards.



6. Because of this, bank employees are facing the wrath and anger of the public, said Venkatachalam. “Customers are shouting at and abusing bank staff for no fault of theirs,” he added.



7. While the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has claimed that there is enough printing and supply of cash in the system, government tried to blame it on the unusual spike in cash demand due to the ongoing farm procurement.



8. Blaming the government and the RBI for inadequate supply of currency notes, he said in fact the problem started with the decision to print Rs 2,000 notes after the note-ban announcement in November 2016.



9. “If the Rs 1,000-notes were withdrawn to prevent black money and cash hoarding, it is only obvious now that both have become easier with the Rs 2,000 notes,” he said.



10. Blaming the central bank for the poor cash management that has lead to the present shortage, he wondered if the RBI governor is to be believed where has all the money gone.



11. “The RBI governor has made a statement that adequate amount of currency notes are printed. But then where have these notes gone? Are they not to investigate? Are they not to ensure that banks have enough cash to meet the requirements of customers?” he asked.



12. He also alleged that even 16 months since the demonetisation, many ATMs are still not re-calibrated for the newly designed banknotes.



13. “This is adding to the problem,” he said, and noted that the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill, pending for Parliamentary approval, has also added to the problem.



14. The FRDI Bill seeks to bail out a failing bank with the depositors’ money if the proposed resolution corporation deems it to do so and can refer a bank for liquidation. He said there is fear among the public about the proposed bail-in clause in the Bill.



15. Therefore, he demanded that government immediately withdraw the Bill. The present cash shortage has created more doubts and fears among the public whether all is well with banks. “It is the duty of the RBI and government to dispel these fears,” he said. First Published: Thu, Apr 19 2018. 04 24 PM IST

Posted on Apr 22, 18 | 5:13 am