GS 2


  1. SC lays down guidelines for matrimonial cases

The issue in news

The Supreme Court has held that deserted wives and children are entitled to alimony/maintenance from their husbands from the date they apply for it in a court of law.

Main points

  • The judgement laid down uniform and comprehensive guidelines for family courts, magistrates and lower courts to follow while hearing applications filed by women seeking maintenance from their estranged husbands.
  • The plea of the husband that he does not possess any source of income by the very fact does not spare him of his moral duty to maintain his wife, if he is able-bodied and has educational qualifications.
  • Both the applicant wife and the respondent husband have to disclose their assets and liabilities in a maintenance case.
  • Factors such as “spiralling inflation rates and high costs of living” should be considered while calculating the alimony.
  • Any violation would lead to punishment, such as civil detention and even attachment of the property of the latter.


Need for the guidelines

  • Women deserted by husbands are often left in difficult situations or are reduced to destitution for lack of means to sustain themselves and their children.
  • One of the judges reasoned that if maintenance was not paid from the date of application, the party seeking maintenance would be deprived of sustenance, owing to the time taken for disposal of the application, which often runs into several years.
  • That the maintenance must be granted from the date when the application was made is based on the rationale that the primary object of maintenance laws is to protect a deserted wife and dependent children from destitution.


  1. Setting up courts to try lawmakers

The issue in news

A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court said that the court has only public interest and faith in the judiciary in mind while pushing for the setting up of special courts to expeditiously try sitting and former MPs and MLAs accused of various crimes.


  • There are a staggering 4,442 cases currently pending against sitting and former MPs and MLAs mostly under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
  • Nearly 413 of the above cases pertain to offences punishable with life imprisonment, out of which 174 cases are against sitting MPs and MLAs.
  • In this backdrop, the Supreme Court, in an order had directed fast-tracking of appeals filed in High Courts by such sitting and former MPs and MLAs facing criminal charges (in most cases where they have obtained a stay from the HCs) within two months.
  • The SC had also ordered political parties to publish the entire criminal history of their candidates for the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections along with the reasons that provoked them to field suspected criminals over decent people.
  • Also, in 2017, the Supreme Court had issued an order authorising the Centre to set up 12 special courts to exclusively try criminal politicians.



  • A committee of the Madras High Court had raised reservations over the setting up of special courts to exclusively try legislators for various offences.
  • The committee said that special courts cannot be offender-centric.
  • It reasoned, “An MP/MLA, who commits an offence under POCSO Act (or other Special Acts like Prevention of Corruption Act, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act) can only be tried by a Special Court created under the POCSO Act (PC Act, NDPS Act) and there cannot be another Special Court exclusively for trial of an MP/MLA, who commits POCSO offence.”


  1. Govt. forms panel to review TRP norms

The issue in news

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has constituted a committee to review “Guidelines on Television Rating Agencies in India”.


  • The committee has been constituted in the backdrop of the Mumbai police investigations which revealed that a few news channels had tampered with the ratings.
  • Another reason for having constituted the committee is to have a fresh look keeping in view of the recent recommendations of TRAI, technological advancements and for further strengthening of the procedures for a credible and transparent rating system.



  • The four-member committee will review the guidelines on television rating agencies notified by the Ministry in 2014.
  • The committee is headed by Shashi Shekhar Vempati, CEO of Prasar Bharati.


Terms of Reference for the Committee:

  • Study past recommendations made by various forums on the subject of television rating systems in India and matters incidental thereto;
  • Study recent recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority on the subject;
  • Suggest steps for enhancing competition in the sector;
  • Review of the presently notified guidelines to see if the intended purpose(s) of issuing the guidelines have stood the test of time and has met the needs of various stakeholders involved. The lacunae, if any, shall be specially addressed by the Committee;
  • To make recommendations on way forward for a robust, transparent and accountable rating system in India.


  1. Kerala, withdraws general consent to CBI

The issue in news

A meeting of the Cabinet decided to withdraw the general consent accorded to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to operate in Kerala.

Main points

  • It would curb the agency’s operational independence in the State.
  • Now, the CBI can probe local cases or chargesheet suspects only with the permission of the State administration.



  • The government had already issued a challenge to the Centre by legally challenging the decision of the CBI to investigate LIFE Mission officials on the charge of violating the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.
  • It had also denied the CBI permission to chargesheet officials of the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation on the charge of corruption in the procurement of raw nuts during the United Democratic Front government.
  • The controversial decision is likely to further strain the government’s fraught relationship with the Centre.


What is General Consent?

  • The CBI is governed by the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act that makes consent of a state government mandatory for conducting an investigation in that state.
  • The general consent is routinely given by State governments for periods ranging from six months to a year to the CBI and all agencies under the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946.
  • The consent is necessary as the jurisdiction of these agencies is confined to Delhi and Union Territories under this Act.
  • There are two kinds of consent: case-specific and general. Given that the CBI has jurisdiction only over central government departments and employees, it can investigate a case involving state government employees or a violent crime in a given state only after that state government gives its consent.
  • “General consent” is normally given to help the CBI seamlessly conduct its investigation into cases of corruption against central government employees in the concerned state. Almost all states have given such consent. Otherwise, the CBI would require consent in every case.
  • Other states such as West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra have also withdrawn consent to the CBI to operate freely in their respective jurisdictions.


Additional info.

  • Withdrawal of consent will only bar the CBI from registering a case within the jurisdiction of such states.
  • The CBI would still have the power to investigate old cases registered when general consent existed.
  • Also, cases registered anywhere else in the country, but involving people stationed in a state that has withdrawn general consent, would allow CBI’s jurisdiction to extend to these states.
  • There is ambiguity on whether the agency can carry out a search in either of the two states in connection with an old case without the consent of the state government.
  • However, there are legal remedies to that as well. The CBI can always get a search warrant from a local court in the state and conduct searches.
  • In case the search requires a surprise element, there is CrPC Section 166, which allows a police officer of one jurisdiction to ask an officer of another to carry out searches on his behalf.
  • And if the first officer feels that the searches by the latter may lead to loss of evidence, the section allows the first officer to conduct searches himself after giving a notice to the latter.


GS 3


  1. U.S. formally exits Paris pact on curbing climate change

The issue in news

The United States formally exited the Paris Agreement. Paris Agreement

Paris Agreement is a global pact forged in 2016 to avert the threat of catastrophic climate change.

  • It is a multilateral agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); signed to reduce, mitigate greenhouse-gas-emissions.
  • It aims to keep the increase in average temperatures worldwide well below 2 degrees Celsius, ideally no more than 1.5 °C, compared to pre-industrial levels.
  • The Paris accord requires countries to set their own voluntary targets for reducing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.



  • The U.S. is the world’s second-biggest emitter after China of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide and its contribution to cutting emissions is seen as important, but it is not alone in the effort.
  • In 2017, the United States announced its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.


Key Facts about Paris Agreement


  • It is a multilateral agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); signed to reduce, mitigate greenhouse-gas-emissions.

When was the Paris Agreement signed?

An agreement was signed on 22 April 2016.

How many countries signed the Paris Agreement?

  • Currently, 195 UNFCCC members have signed it. However, US President Donald Trump has announced his intention to withdraw from the agreement by November 2020.

The goal of the Paris Agreement

  1. To curtail the rise of global temperature this century below 2-degree Celsius, above pre-industrial levels; and also pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees celsius.
  2. Develop mechanisms to help and support countries that are very vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. An example would be countries like the Maldives facing threat due to sea-level rise.
  3. Confirms the obligation that developed countries have towards developing countries, by providing them financial and technological support.

The agreement talks about 20/20/20 targets, i.e.

  1. Carbon Dioxide emissions reductions by 20%,
  2. Work on increasing the renewable energy market share by 20%
  3. Target to increase energy efficiency by 20%

What is Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)?

  1. It means the contributions that need to be done by each country to achieve the overall global goal.
  2. The contributions need to be reported every 5 years to UNFCCC.
  3. The contributions are not legally binding.
  4. The goal is to make sure that all countries have access to technical expertise and financial capability to meet the climate challenges.

Difference between the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement

  • In the Paris agreement, there is no difference between developing and developed countries. In the Kyoto Protocol, there was a differentiation between developed and developing countries by clubbing them as Annex 1 countries and non-Annex 1 countries.

International transfer of Mitigation outcomes

  • As per the Paris agreement, Parties have the right to include the reduction of emissions in any other country as their NDC, as per the system of carbon trading and accounting.

Financial Support pledged during the Paris 2015 Agreement

  1. Developed countries have committed $ 100 Billion a year.
  2. Finance would be balanced between mitigation and adaptation.
  3. G7 countries announced the US $ 420 Million for Climate Risk Insurance and the launching of the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative.
  4. $ 3 Billion commitment for Green Climate Fund.

What is Article 6 of the Paris Agreement?

  1. Help Governments establish and implement Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)
  2. Help establish a global price of carbon
  3. The use of establishing a global price in Carbon is that if countries exceed their NDC, those countries will have to bear the cost of global warming.

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