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Editorials/Opinions Analyses for UPSC – 9 July 2021

Contents

  1. Should only elected legislators be eligible for CM post?
  2. Tracking fugitives everywhere

Should only elected legislators be eligible for CM post?

Context:

The sudden exit of Tirath Singh Rawat as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand because he was not elected as a legislator within six months, has led to thickening speculation about the fate of West Bengal’s CM Mamata Banerjee who is another unelected Chief Minister.

Relevance:

GS-II: Polity and Governance (Constitutional Provisions, Union and State Executive)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Understanding the position of the Chief Minister
  2. What was the problem in getting elected within 6 months for the Uttarakhand CM?
  3. Constitution assumes CM as a legislator

Understanding the position of the Chief Minister

  • The position of the Chief Minister at the state level is analogous to the position of the Prime Minister at the Centre and the governor is the nominal executive authority (de jure executive) and the Chief Minister is the real executive authority (de facto executive).
  • Article 163 of the Constitution says that there shall be a Council of Ministers in the states with the Chief Minister at the head to aid and advise the Governor in exercise his functions, except those which are required to be done by the Governor on his/her discretion.
  • The council of Ministers formulates the policy of the Government and implements it practically.

Regarding Appointment of the Chief Minister

  • Article 164 only says that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the governor. However, the Constitution does not contain any specific procedure for the selection and appointment of the Chief Minister and Article 164 does NOT imply that the governor is free to appoint anyone as the Chief Minister.
  • A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the Legislature of the State, at the expiration of that period ceases to be a Minister. (Article 164)
  • A person who is not a member of the state legislature can be appointed as Chief Minister for six months, within which time, he should be elected to the state legislature, failing which he ceases to be the Chief Minister.

What was the problem in getting elected within 6 months for the Uttarakhand CM?

The Representation of the People Act, 1951, mandates that a byelection for any vacancy should be held within six months of that vacancy arising, provided the remainder of the term is not less than one year or the EC and the Centre do not certify that holding the bypoll in that time frame is difficult.

Constitution assumes CM as a legislator

  • We have a parliamentary democracy, which essentially means that whoever has the confidence of the majority of the members of the Lok Sabha, in the case of the Centre, will be the Prime Minister.
  • Article 164 (2): The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the State.
  • It also requires that all Ministers should be a Member of Parliament (MP) or get elected within six months. Anybody who is a Minister and is not an MP for six months automatically stands to be disqualified from the administration.
  • Article 164 (4): A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the Legislature of the State shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister.
  • Hence, the Constitution visualises the Chief Minister as being elected by the members of the House of their own free will and it assumes that the Chief Minister is a member. However, there is a party high command, especially in the case of national parties, which decides who will become the Chief Minister.

-Source: The Hindu


Tracking fugitives everywhere

Context:

Indian law on extradition is spread across the Indian Penal Code as well as various laws pertaining to narcotic drugs, Information Technology, hijacking, and so on.

Relevance:

GS-III: Internal Security Challenges (Various Agencies and other interventions regarding Internal Security and their mandate), GS-II: Polity and Governance (Government Policies and Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Legal frameworks in India on Tracking Fugitives
  2. Measures taken by the government in this regard

Legal frameworks in India on Tracking Fugitives

  • India’s legal framework with respect to extradition of fugitives is very robust. Various laws like Extradition Act, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, Prevention of Corruption Act, Prevention of Money Laundering act etc. have detailed extradition provisions related to fugitives.
  • India also signed bilateral Extradition treaties with 43 countries for extradition of fugitives
  • There exists a system of tracking criminals worldwide –through Interpol Notices and the sharing of immigration databases of different countries. There is a separate Interpol wing of CBI to receive red corner notices from Interpol regarding the information about fugitive criminals
  • Generally central investigative agencies like CBI, ED or NIA pursue the fugitives vigorously using their expertise and above legal frameworks. However, state police departments have a tendency to close investigations once the accused have absconded.  Because (unlike international tracking) there is no coordinated system or database for tracking criminals or wanted persons domestically
  • In the absence of such a system, it is relatively easy for criminals from one police station/jurisdiction to melt into the population in any other area, almost undetected

Measures taken by the government in this regard

Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS)

  • Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) is a project initiated in June 2009 which aims at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing at the Police Station level. This will be done through adoption of principles of e-Governance, and creation of a nationwide networked infrastructure for evolution of IT-enabled state-of-the-art tracking system around “investigation of crime and detection of criminals”. CCTNS is a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the National e-Governance Plan of Govt. of India.
  • The Full implementation of the Project with all the new components would lead to a Central citizen portal having linkages with State level citizen portals that will provide a number of citizen friendly services like Police Verification for various purposes including passport verification, reporting a crime including cyber-crime and online tracking of the case progress etc.

National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)

  • NATGRID initially started in 2009 is an online database for collating scattered pieces of information and putting them together on one platform.
  • It links at least 10 Central government Intelligence and investigation agencies, such as the Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing and others have access to the data on a secured platform.
  • NATGRID is exempted from the Right to Information Act, 2005 under sub-section (2) of Section 24.
  • The NATGRID enables multiple security and intelligence agencies to access a database related to immigration entry and exit, banking and telephone details, among others, from a common platform.
  • The 10 user agencies will be linked independently with certain databases which will be procured from 21 providing organisations including telecom, tax records, bank, immigration etc. to generate intelligence inputs.

-Source: The Hindu

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