Current Affairs 11th July 2021

01) NEWS: The bar on criticism that mules the advocate

Bar council of India, a statutory body, on June 26,2021 amendments to the Bar Council of India rules were announced which is about professional conduct and etiquette of advocates.

About the new rules
  • Under the new rules advocates liable for disciplinary proceedings for making derogatory statements about a court, judge, the Bar Council of India, or its members which results in suspension and disbarment.
  • The New rules clarify that healthy  and bona fide criticism, made in good faith, shall not be treated as a “misconduct”
Why new rules are introduced
  • Because the current framework was not able to prevent the sanctity of the courts and bar council of India.
  • It will save judiciary’s time from hearing cases related to contempt of court.
Problems with the new rules
  • It questions basic constitutional guarantees of free speech and the freedom of profession under article 19.
  • Compromise the exercise of fair criticism – essential to the accountability of public institution
  • Consequences of disciplinary actions on advocates.
  • It has not got the approval of Chief Justice of India yet- there is a possibility to review the rules.
  • Pending review by a committee comprising senior advocates, members of bar associations, and the Bar council of India.
02) News: Undead section

Sc has been informed for the second time in two years that section 66A of the IT act, which was struck down as unconstitutional 6 years ago, is still being invoked by the police and some trial courts.

What is Section 66A of IT Act
  • It criminalizes the sending of offensive messages through a computer or other communication devices meant to deceive or mislead the recipient about the origin of such messages, etc. shall be punishable with imprisonment up to three years and with fine.
  • It is struck down by Shreya singhal v. The Supreme Court case. Declared as unconstitutional on the grounds of violating the freedom of Speech guaranteed under the Article 19(1)(a) and Article 21 right to life of the constitution of India.
Arguments against section 66A
  • The terms ‘offensive’, ‘menancing’,  ‘annoyance’,etc, were vague and not defined at all.
  • Anything could be construed as offensive by anybody.
  • Enough scope for abuse the power using the provision.
  • The law often used to arrest persons who said against politicians.

After that govt. had appointed T K Viswanathan committee which proposed a legislation to meet the challenge of Hate speech.

03) News: IT rules: govt plea listed for July 16

Information Technology(Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code)Rules,2021

  • The new rules has been passed under 69A(2),79(2) and 89 sections of IT Act,2000.
  • New IT rules regulate digital content; cover OTT and social media platforms.
  • super session of IT(Intermediary Guidelines) Rules,2011
Overview of the act
  • Introduction of Code of Ethics: OTT and social Media platform have to follow this.
  • Three tier Redressal mechanism
    • Self regulation
    • Self regulatory body: headed by retd. Judge or eminent person
    • Monitoring of information and broadcast ministry
  • Appointment of Grievance officer who is authorized to register the complaint within 24 hours and dispose of it in 15 days.
  • Social media firms have to appoint a chief compliance officer and nodal contact person who is in touch with law enforcement agency 24/7.
  • Removal of unlawful content within 24 hours after a complaint is made. If the complaint is against dignity of users, particularly women or regarding nudity,sexual act,etc.
  • Monthly report- about no. of complaints received and the status
  • In case of non-compliance
    • Social media plaftform could face a ban
    • Liable of criminal action; risking of the status of ‘ intermediaries’
Concerns over the act
  • Rules are predatory in nature
  • Tracking the first originator would entail storing the information which will break the end-to-end encryption further the privacy of the user would be questioned.
  • Violation of freespeech;article19(1)
  • Challenges section 79 of the IT ACT, 2000 which implies any intermediary shall not be held legally or otherwise liable for any third party information, data, or communication link made available or hosted on its platform.
Way forward
  • Differentiated solution mechanism for issues like
    • Spread of fake news
    • Abuse against women
    • Deep faces and other contents threatens privacy
    • Child pornography
    • Threat to security
  • Effective implementation of new rules with accountability of every stake holder
    SC observations : Tehseen s poonawalla v/s Union of India case govtment to curb and stop dissemination of fearful messages and videos on various digital platforms.
  • Regarding traceability companies could formulate new technological solutions without weakening the security system.

With stringent law and its effective implementation India can be a model to the world regarding tackling of cyber space.

04 ) News: Vande Bharat Mission
  • The Indian nationals stranded overseas due to covid 19 pandemic are epected to to return under vande bharat mission
  • Indian Navy launched Operation ‘SAMUDRASETU’ to repatriate Indian nationals from overseas – INS Jalashwa and INS Magar being operated for this effort.

Other civilian Rescue Missions

  1. Evacuation from the Gulf War (1990-91)
    • From Kuwait.
    • Largest evacuation of civilians by air
  2. Operation RAAHAT
    • Indian army launched
    • During Yemen crisis both by sea and the air
  3. Operation Maitri
    • Indian Armed forces carried out the operation
    • Aftermath of Nepal earthquake 2015
  4. Operation Safe Homecoming
    • Libyan civil war
    • Air-sea operation by Navy and Air India
  5. Operation Sukhoon
    • Carried out by Indian Navy during the 2006 Lebanon War
05 ) News: Zika virusande Bharat Mission

Zika virus in Kerala

How does it spread?
  • Through infected mosquitoes form the AEDE GENUS, mainly AEDE AEGYPTI. The Aedes also spread dengue, chikungunya and Yellow fever.
  • Apart from mosquitoes, an infected person can also spread the virus. This virus can be transmitted through pregnant woman to the fetus, through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products and organ transplantation.
  • Virus first identified in Uganda
  • Fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise and head ache. Most infected persons do not develop any symptoms.
  • No medicine for the disease

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