. SC threatens to snap BCCI funding for domestic cricket
Supreme Court has threatened to pass an order within 24 hours to stop all BCCI payments to State cricket associations for hosting domestic matches, including Ranji Trophy.
The apex court indicated its intention to direct the reimbursement of Rs. 400 crore disbursed by the BCCI to State cricket associations on September 30 in a Special General Meeting (SGM)
A Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur gave an ultimatum to the BCCI to give an undertaking by October 7 to “unconditionally” comply with the reforms of the Justice Lodha Committee upheld by the Supreme Court.
The BCCI, represented by senior advocate KapilSibal, responded “it was not possible” for the Board to persuade all the member State associations to fall in line within the next few hours.
. ISRO gears up for crew rescue test
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up to conduct a critical ‘crew bailout test’ to see how fast and effectively the crew module of an intended space mission could punch out from the spacecraft in the event of an emergency.
The test, known as Pad Abort, will be held at the launch pad of SHAR in a month or two, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)
The test of the technology to eject the crew module to safety forms part of a gamut of critical technologies being developed by the space agency as it awaits the nod from the government for the ambitious ‘human in space’ programme.
. Apex court displeased with LG-Delhi govt meeting, says keep interest of Delhi in mind
Supreme Court made stinging remarks about the fruitless nature of the meeting hosted by the Lieutenant-Governor over “tea and snacks” while dengue and chikungunya infections continue to hold sway over the Capital, claiming more and more victims.
The court directed the authorities to reach measures to prevent and treat chikungunya and dengue and arrive at a time-frame within which necessary steps would be taken.
The court also directed them to identify the authority who would be nodal for the implementation of these health measures.
The court directed the authorities to remove the “huge amount of garbage” lying in and around the city, saying this was an open invitation for spread of diseases
. The salience of the Singur verdict
Supreme Court of India has ordered for the return of the land acquired by West Bengal Government for the Tata Nano car factory in Singur. It has cited procedural irregularities as a reason for the same.
Underthe1894statute there were broadly two forms of recognized expropriation (ways in which government can acquire land):
- acquisition for public purpose for governmental use
- forced transfer of land from private individuals to corporations for the latter’s commercial use. In the case of acquisitions intended to benefit companies, a special procedure was prescribed in Part VII of the Land Acquisition Act, incorporated additional safeguards. But most of the Government s bypassed these provisions based on the rulings of Supreme Court. It held that even a token contribution by the Government towards the cost of acquisition is sufficient to override the provisions of part VII.
Later the land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement act has come in to existence. But many of the states are trying to dilute its provisions to suit their requirements. So, marginalized are bearing the brunt and losing the ownership of the property. The present judgement is a step in the right direction.
As per Indian constitution (right to property)
In its original form, the Constitution, through Article 19(1) (f), guaranteed to all citizens a freedom, subject to reasonable restrictions in public interest, to acquire, hold and dispose of property.
- In, Article 31, it also vested in the state an explicit power to expropriate property for a public purpose by paying compensation to the landowner, provided such acquisition was backed by suitable legislation.
. A wake-up call for the Indian government
Recently, India’s treatment of foreign investors has come to light, with the initiation of several investment treaty claims against it.
The most recent controversy involves the government cancelling the spectrum licence that was promised to Devas Multimedia Ltd, a company with foreign investors situated in, among other jurisdictions, Germany and Mauritius.
This dispute was initially a commercial arbitration against Antrix, the Indian Space Research Organization’s commercial wing, which culminated in an award in Devas’s favour. Subsequently, this dispute was heightened into an investment treaty claim against the Indian government, for unfairly treating Devas’s Mauritian investors, under the India-Mauritius bilateral investment protection agreement (BIPA).
- In this regard, an award was passed against India, requiring it to pay a total of $672 million to Devas. Under the same circumstances, proceedings by Devas’s German investors have been initiated under the India-Germany BIT.
The focus of the Antrix-Devas controversy was the cancellation of the S-band spectrum licence by the cabinet committee on security, India’s highest authority for making any decision concerning the country’s security interests.
- From information available in public domain, the committee’s decision in this regard led to the cancellation of the agreement between Devas and Antrix.
Overreach by state
A state cannot make decisions affecting a foreign investor’s investment without adhering to essential principles of due process, such as involving the investor in decisions that concerns its investment. Presumably, this was the basis underlying the tribunal’s interpretation of the FET clause in the India-Mauritius BIPA.
Applying this principle to the Devas arbitrations, it becomes retrospectively clear that the licence was cancelled without Devas being provided due process rights. This is significant because, without obtaining the licence, Devas would be unable to carry out any of its proposed investment activities in India.
Consequently, Antrix’s act of terminating the agreement, if attributed to India, could also amount to expropriatory conduct. Accordingly, Devas would have a valid claim for compensation due to India’s inappropriate intervention with the company’s investment.
The Devas treaty award form part of a series of developments that unveil a systemic problem with the Indian legal and administrative system:
- Inefficient processes for the enforcement of a validly obtained arbitral award,
- arbitrary imposition of retrospective tax liability on foreign companies,
- the non-transparent actions of frustrating an investment,
If the current Indian political agenda is to incentivize foreign investment, it should be simultaneously ensured that the Indian legal framework is capable of regulating foreign investment, alongside assisting foreign investors by efficiently realizing rights due to them under various legal instruments.
. India, Sri Lanka eye economic pact
India and Sri Lanka are expected to close enhanced bilateral economic partnership by the end of this year. It is expected to boost the trade between Sri Lanka and five southern states.
Sri Lanka suggested the creation of a larger special zone of economic co-operation around the Bay of Bengal to India, which takes on board Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia in addition to BIMSTEC countries.
- Sri Lanka is negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Singapore, while India already has comprehensive economic partnership pact with the latter, so there is scope for a trilateral arrangement to boost the three economies
- No need to worry over China-Lanka ties: Sri Lankan PM said that his country is negotiating an FTA with China under its ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative as it is necessary to make the Chinese investments in the country realise their full potential. He categorically denied any military angle to it
What is BIMSTEC?
BIMSTEC stands for Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi sectoral Technical and Economic cooperation.
Members are Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
ART & CULTURE
. Good grooming glows
Article is an interview with thumri legend VidushiGirija Devi. In her name the Girijia Devi Puruskar has been constituted
What is the origin of thumri?
As far as I know thumri originated out of bhajans composed by saint poets like Surdas, Meerabai; with themes centred on Lord Krishna. The lyrics of thumri remained in Brijbhasha, Avadhi and Bhojpuri, etc. Gradually, during the reign of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, raga-based thumris with kavitts, dohas or Urdu shaers developed in Lucknow to enrich kathak dance. Talas like Teental, Jhaptal, etc got incorporated in its fibre. In Banares, thumri acquired heavy classical-oriented form thanks to BhaiyaGanpatrao who came from Gwalior, the seat of dhrupad and khayal.
How would you define the form of Banaras thumri?
Our’s is Senia Banaras gharana that draws heavily from dhrupad and khayal. What is aalap in dhrupad, is bandishbharna in our style of khayal singing. The vilambit segment is devoid of khatka, murki (light embellishments). Such reposeful raga elaboration with meend evokes peace. The same rules are applied in thumri but the bol-banav-s are much shorter in thumri as compared to khayal’svistar; and new innovations must emerge at every point in thumri. This needs musical temperament with desired thehraav (stability) with considerable amount of expressions at every step – a paradox that makes thumri lighter yet complex.
What is your view regarding the ‘light classical’ tag on thumri?
Usually thumri is not sung in major ragas or major talas. Ragas like Khamaj, Kafi, Tilang, TilakKamod, Desh, Jinjhoti, etc and talas like Jat, Dipchandi, Addha are generally meant for thumri. The pace remains around the medium tempo. Since the tala-cycle gives shorter space, the bols too are kept shorter than khayal’s much longer aavartan (cycle). Khayal breaks free of its composition after establishing its mood and moves towards the intangible depths of the raga, while thumri stays grounded on the lyrics and etches varied moods of each word of the composition. This earthy quality of thumri is closer to life despite its deep philosophy. Then there is laggi – a very special feature of thumri idiom. All these factors worked behind this ‘light classical’ tag and I am not in favour of changing the age-old tradition.
What is laggi?
The word means ‘to get attached’. Tabla accompanists play this by incorporating rela, tukra etc; as is played in the final segment of kathak dance. Earlier thumri singer used to dance as well and laggi was played either as an interlude or as the finale to allow them to show their dancing skills. According to the forefathers of PanditBirjuMaharaj, laggi came into existence much later.
How is Banaras tappa different from others?
Tappa is an idiom to showcase sheer virtuosity that cannot be sung for long. There are two styles: Gwalior and Banaras. The khatka application in tappa-taans of Gwalior and Banaras has little difference. To master these khatka there is no shortcut. After understanding the designs of the loops, one has to do it a thousand times.
What about dadra, kajri, chaiti, etc?
Agreed, they are much lighter than thumris; yet they demand a fair deal of competent handling of lyrics, sur and tala to leave a lasting impact.