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RBI pays government Rs 66,000 crore

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Mumbai, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that it will transfer its surplus profit of Rs.65,896 crore to the central government.

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The central board of directors of the Reserve Bank of India, at its meeting held today (Thursday), approved the transfer of surplus amounting to Rs.658.96 billion for the year ended June 30, 2015 to the Government of India,” the RBI said in a statement, following a meeting of its central board chaired by governor Raghuram Rajan.
India’s central bank, whose accounting year goes from July to June had, last year, transferred Rs.52,679 crore of its surplus profit to the government.
Besides the government nominee directors on the central board – secretary department of financial services Hasmukh Adhia and the additional secretary in the department of economic affairs, Ajay Tyagi, the board meeting was also attended by chief economic adviser (CEA) Arvind Subramanian.
At its bi-monthly monetary policy review last week, the RBI kept its repo rate, at which it lends short-term to commercial banks, unchanged at 7.25 percent.
A day before the policy review, the government clarified it was not trying to curtail the central bank’s powers on a proposed monetary policy committee of the RBI.
“We are in discussion with RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on the form and manner of the monetary policy committee,” Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi told reporters here.
Noting out that the draft Indian Financial Code (IFC) is still under the government’s consideration, he said it was incorrect to conclude on the basis of the draft bill that the government was trying to curtail the RBI’s autonomy.
The draft IFC, circulated last month as a discussion paper, proposes to remove the RBI governor’s veto right in the monetary policy committee.
Besides taking away the RBI governor’s authority to veto interest rate decisions, the draft also proposed that the monetary policy committee would have four representatives of the government and only three from the central bank, including the RBI “chairperson”.
American research firm Moody’s Analytics, in a report last month, warned against the NDA government’s moves to tamper with the autonomy of the RBI in deciding on interest rates, as being potentially damaging for the economy.

(IANS)

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Adultery Law Gets Scrapped: Another Progressive Step In India

Misra is stepping down as chief justice next week when he turns 65, the mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court judges. 

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A gardener works on the lawns of the Supreme Court in New Delhi, India, Aug. 22, 2017. India's Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has presided over a string of verdicts in recent weeks that grant more rights to women, gay couples and religious minorities as he prepares to retire from the bench next month. VOA

The chief justice of  Supreme Court of India has presided over a string of recent rulings that grant more rights to women, gay couples and religious minorities, challenging deeply conservative Indian society before he retires next month.

In the latest decision Thursday, Chief Justice Dipak Misra and the rest of the five-member court struck down a 158-year-old law that treated adultery in certain cases as a criminal offense punishable by up to five years in prison.

The court called the law, which did not allow wives to prosecute adulterous husbands, unconstitutional and noted that a “husband is not the master of woman.” Adultery can still be grounds for divorce in India, the verdict said, but a criminal penalty violated women’s protection to equal rights under the law.

Accolades for ruling

The verdict was hailed by activists and left-of-center members of India’s Parliament.

“Excellent decision,” tweeted Sushmita Dev, a lawmaker and president of the opposition Congress party’s women’s wing. She said “a law that does not give women the right to sue her adulterer husband … is unequal treatment and militates against her status as an individual.”

India
Participants displays a rainbow flag and cheer as gay rights activists and their supporters march during a gay pride parade in New Delhi, India. VOA

Amnesty International India said the decision was “a progressive judgment” and the old law was a “remnant of a time when a woman was considered to be the property of her husband.”

The scrapped law allowed men to file charges against other men who had affairs with their wives. Women having affairs could not be prosecuted, but they also couldn’t file a complaint against cheating husbands.

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Gay couples, religious minorities

Earlier this month, the Misra-led court also struck down a colonial-era law that made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The 1861 law, a relic of Victorian England that hung on long after the end of British colonialism, was “a breach of the rights of privacy and dignity,” the court ruled. It added that “history owes an apology to the members of this community and their families, for the delay in providing redressal for the ignominy and ostracism that they have suffered through the centuries.”

On Thursday, the court also decided not to reconsider a 1994 decision that would have delayed proceedings in a case over the ownership of the site of a mosque that Hindu hard-liners demolished in 1992.

India
Indian Muslim women talk while walking through a market in Ahmadabad, India. VOA

Fast pace for India

The court’s recent pace of decisions speaks to another feature of Misra’s tenure: expediting cases in a country where they routinely take decades to resolve.

There are 33 million court cases pending in India, government figures show.

Misra is stepping down as chief justice next week when he turns 65, the mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court judges.

Also Read: What Would Be The Outcome of The Judgement on Homosexuality with BJP at The Centre?

He joined India’s highest court in 2011. His 13-month tenure as chief justice has won him accolades from advocates of disadvantaged groups but drawn unprecedented criticism from other members of the bench.

In January, the four most senior justices held a news conference against Misra, who as chief justice controls the court’s roster and decides who will take which cases, listing a litany of problems that they said afflicted the court and risked undermining India’s democracy. Misra met with the dissenting judges, who continued on the bench. (VOA)

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