100 Days of Modi Sarkar – Day 81

Day 81 of Modi Sarkar
Day 81 of Modi Sarkar

Day 81 of Modi Sarkar

It was only yesterday that India had professed its complete cooperation for Sri Lanka with regard to rehabilitating the country after the end of the 30-year old bloody war with LTTE that claimed thousands of lives and also led to the assassination of former prime minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi.

Lanka releases Indian fishermen on I-Day

One of the major problem areas between both the countries has been the frequent arrest of Indian fishermen for allegedly straying into Sri Lankan waters. However, on the eve of India’s Independence Day, its southern neighbour as a mark of goodwill gesture is releasing the fishermen from Tamil Nadu captured by their navy. However, Commander Kosala Warnakulasooriya, spokesman for the Sri Lankan navy, has stated that only the 94 apprehended fishermen will be released and the 62 fishing vessels that had been seized along with them will remain in the navy’s custody.

The fishermen are expected to be repatriated in the next few days. Incidentally, 16 fishermen from Sri Lanka have presently been freed from Karnataka and as stated by Warnakulasooriya, authorities in Sri Lanka are hopeful that they will be sent home during the same time. They also hope that 25 other fishermen from Sri Lanka, who are presently in jails in Kakinda and Tamil Nadu. will be freed as well. Indian authorities have also kept 23 fishing vessels belonging to these fishermen.

Sri Lanka has said that in spite of repeated attempts to dissuade fishermen from Tamil Nadu poaching has been a major issue. However, in recent times both countries have engaged in a fair amount of mutual repatriation of fishermen. The commander has revealed that in the past Sri Lanka has sent home 812 Indian fishermen with 156 fishing vessels and India has sent back 353 fishermen with 56 equipments.

This gesture of kindness on the eve of such a special day for the country has not gone unnoticed by the national administration. YK Sinha, Indian high commissioner to Sri Lanka, has thanked Mahinda Rajapaksa, president of Sri Lanka, for letting the fishermen go. One feels that such generous steps will only strengthen the bonds between both the countries in the long run.

Judges’ appointments Bill constitutionally weak: Experts

Indian government had brought forth the National Judicial Appointments Bill with a bright hope that it would replace the collegium system that has been in existence for a couple of decades. However, senior members of the legal fraternity have stated that the said law could be challenged. The Rajya Sabha cleared this Bill, which was accompanied by the 121st Constitutional Amendment Bill – which has been cleared as well – and they have now to get the assent of half the state Assemblies which might take not less than six months.

Lawyers of the Supreme Court have stated that the Bill is a defective and has too  many weak spots. If it is subjected to a judicial review, experts say, it could be taken apart limb by limb. They have alleged that the present government seems to be in a rush to introduce politics in the domain of law. It has also been alleged that the national administration saw it fit not to consult the judiciary before moving ahead with the Bill. One feels that if this course would have been followed then a possible clash between the government and judiciary could have been avoided in the foreseeable future.

In fact, RM Lodha, the Chief Justice of India, has already expressed his anger at the Bill stating that it is an attempt to bring disrepute to the judiciary. Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) so that the said Bills could be negated altogether. PP Rao, a senior advocate with the apex court of India, has stated that the main purpose of the JAC Bill is to make sure that the executive has a firmer grip over the judiciary in general, considering the fact that the Bill would be applicable for judges practising at the Supreme Court and the high courts.

Rao has, meanwhile, accepted that the collegium system is not without its problems but has also stated firmly that the JAC Bill is not the right solution. He said the policy of having two well-known figures in the said commission is questionable, perhaps given the fact that not much clarity has been provided as to who would be manning these two positions. Justice VN Khare – an erstwhile chief justice of India who had participated in the consultations regarding the Bill – has stated that there was no need to seek any form of suggestion from the members of the judiciary.

He has defended the Bill stating it had reached a consensus only after a long round of discussions, which started back in 2013. The UPA had started the same and it was followed on and completed by the NDA. Khare has also pointed out that some of the finest lawyers in India had been consulted and almost all the parties had agreed to the Bill.

Environmental rules eased to build roads, rails in border areas

The Indian government has eased various environmental norms in the border areas with the sole purpose of improving infrastructure. It has built a number of rail lines and roads in these areas in order to make sure that the miscreants from across the borders are deterred before they attempt to enter Indian territories and cause trouble of any sort. While conveying his message to soldiers on the eve of Independence Day, Union defence minister Arun Jaitley said that India, by virtue of being a self respecting country, cannot be dependent on imports as far as its weapons were concerned.

He also stated that this was the reason that steps like FDI in defence had been taken. Jaitley has also stated that the government is fully aware as to how much it needs to be vigilant in border areas so that any and every misadventure  could be prevented. For this reason, the army needs to be always up and ready,  to go in case of any emergency.

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Narendra Modi