GOVT TO SELL ENEMY PROPERTIES :-
In a bid to enrich its coffers by about Rs.1 lakh crore, the government has started the process of monetisation of more than 9,400 enemy properties by issuing guidelines and directing the office of the custodian to submit a list of all such movable and immovable assets within three months.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has also constituted a valuation committee at the district level and an inter-ministerial disposal committee, so that the process could be completed in a time-bound manner.
The move comes after the amendment of the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Act 2017 and the Enemy Property (Amendment) Rules, 2018, which ensured that the heirs of those who migrated to Pakistan and China during partition and afterwards will have no claim over the properties left behind in India.
The enemy properties were those left behind by the people who took citizenship of Pakistan and China. There are 9,280 properties left behind by Pakistani nationals and 126 properties left behind by Chinese nationals.
SC TO EXAMINE CONSTITUTIONAL VALIDITY OF POLYGAMY & NIKAH HALALA :-
Seven months after it declared instant triple talaq unconstitutional, the Supreme Court on Monday decided to look into the constitutional validity of the prevalent practices of polygamy, ‘nikah halala’, ‘nikah mutah’ and ‘nikah misyar’ in the Muslim community.
A Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, issued notices to the Centre and the Law Ministry on a bunch of petitions that have challenged the practices claiming they degrade women to a position inferior to that of men.
Constitution Bench :-
The Bench, also comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud, agreed to set up a five-judge Constitution Bench that will decide whether certain sections of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act go against the Constitution.
Petition Claims :-
Status reduced :- The petition said the Muslim Personal Law allows a man to marry up to four wives, which it said “treats women as men’s chattel, and reduces their status to an object of desire to be possessed by men.”
Offensive to equality :- Contending that the practice “offends the core ideal of equality of status,” the petition filed by Hyderabad-based social activist Moullim Mohsin Bin Hussain Bin Abdad Al Kathiri sought to quash polygamy.
Another plea was made by a Delhi woman against the Muslim Personal Law. It has contended that the prevalent Muslim Personal Law rendered Section 494 of IPC (which prescribes punishment for marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife) as inapplicable. Her plea also claimed that the Muslim wife does not have avenue to complain against her husband for the offence of bigamy.
What is Nikah Halala & Nikah Mutah & Nikah Misyar ?
‘Nikah halala’ is a Muslim law that requires a woman to marry another man and consummate the marriage and then get divorce from him in order to remarry her first husband.
“‘Nikah mutah’ and ‘nikah misyar’, literally means ‘pleasure marriage’ and is a verbal and temporary marriage contract that is practised among Muslims. In this the duration of marriage and the ‘mahr’ (gift which the bridegroom must make to the bride) is specified and agreed upon in advance,” the petition said.
Preconditions for ‘nikah mutah’ are:
The bride must not be married, she must be Muslim, she should be chaste and not addicted to fornication. She may not be a virgin, if her father is absent and cannot give consent. At the end of contract, marriage ends and women undergo iddah, a period of abstinence from marriage (intercourse),” the plea stated.
INDIA-CHINA PLAN FTA BREAKTHROUGH :-
Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu and his Chinese counterpart, Zhong Shan, who co-chaired the 11th meeting of the India-China Joint Group on Economic Relations, Trade, Science and Technology with Mr. Prabhu, said a free trade agreement (FTA) between India and China would be negotiated in due course, which would be a breakthrough in ties following Xi-Modi summit meeting in China.
On economic ties :-
- In 2017, the bilateral trade reached $84.4 billion, registering a growth of 20.3% from the year before and a record high.
- In particular, China’s import from India soared by 40%, helping ease the bilateral trade imbalance.
- China remained India’s largest trading partner.
- India had become one of the most important overseas investment destinations for Chinese companies.
Joint Economic Group Meeting :-
Mr. Zhong said that at the 11th session JEG meeting, he and Mr. Prabhu had in-depth discussions and the two sides had reached a series of important consensus :-
- First, the two sides would jointly promote the synergy between China’s Belt and Road initiative and India’s development strategies, including the “15-year Development Agenda”, “Make in India” and “Digital India” to deepen mutually-beneficial cooperation and share development experience.
- Second, the two sides would promote India’s exports to China so as to address the trade imbalance between the two countries.
- Third, the two sides agreed to set up a special working group to draw a road map for developing two-way trade … The two sides supported the multilateral trading system and safeguard the interests of developing members. Both sides would demonstrate flexibility to reach at an early date a modern, comprehensive and mutually beneficial RCEP agreement of high standards.
The two sides are also considering positively launching in due course negotiations on a regional trade arrangement or free trade agreement between China and India.