U.K. nod for extradition of Nirav Modi
The U.K.’s Home Department has approved the extradition of diamond merchant Nirav Modi to India in connection with the ₹13,758 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.
This comes two months after the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London ruled that a prima facie case was made out against him.
The accused now has the legal recourse of approaching the U.K. High Court within 14 days to seek permission for moving an appeal against the Secretary of State’s decision.
Unless there is an appeal, a requested person must be extradited within 28 days of the Secretary of State’s decision to order extradition (subject to any appeal).
Fugitive economic offender:
A special court, in December 2019, declared diamond businessman Nirav Modi a fugitive economic offender, on a plea of the Enforcement Directorate.
Definition- Fugitive Economic Offender:
A person can be named an offender under the law if there is an arrest warrant against him or her for involvement in economic offences involving at least Rs. 100 crore or more and has fled from India to escape legal action.
The investigating agencies have to file an application in a Special Court under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act containing details of the properties to be confiscated, and any information about the person’s whereabouts.
The Special Court will issue a notice for the person to appear at a specified place and date at least six weeks from the issue of notice.
Proceedings will be terminated if the person appears. If not the person would be declared as a Fugitive Economic Offender based on the evidence filed by the investigating agencies.
The person who is declared as a Fugitive Economic Offender can challenge the proclamation in the High Court within 30 days of such declaration according to the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.
Goa’s Civil Code
Chief Justice of India S A Bobde recently appreciated the uniform civil code (UCC) in Goa, the only state to have one.
The CJI urged intellectuals to seriously study the Goa UCC.
About Goa’s UCC:
Goa’s Portuguese Civil Code, 1867 is basically an alien code given by the Portuguese.
Goa’s Civil Code has four parts, dealing with civil capacity, acquisition of rights, right to property, and the breach of rights and remedies.
It begins in the name of God and Dom Luis, King of Portugal and Algarves.
The Code has survived by virtue of Section 5(1) of the Goa, Daman and Diu Administration Act, 1962 that permitted its continuance.
What the constitution says?
Article 44 of the Constitution says that there should be a Uniform Civil Code. According to this article, “The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”. Since the Directive Principles are only guidelines, it is not mandatory to use them.
International Day for Monuments and Sites
Every year, the United Nations marks April 18 as the International Day for Monuments and Sites.
In many countries the day is also celebrated as World Heritage Day.
The theme for this year is “Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures”.
Globally, the day is promoted by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).
What is a World Heritage site?
These sites are officially recognised by the UN and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, also known as UNESCO. UNESCO believes that the sites classified as World Heritage are important for humanity, and they hold cultural and physical significance.
The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 UNESCO member states which are elected by the General Assembly.
Each World Heritage Site remains part of the legal territory of the state wherein the site is located and UNESCO considers it in the interest of the international community to preserve each site.
To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an already classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and historically identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance.
Heritage sites in India:
India is home to 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, out of the 1121 such spots identified around the world.
Of these, 30 are ‘cultural’ and 7 are ‘Natural’. One is classified as ‘Mixed’, the Khangchendzonga National Park.
In 2019, ‘Jaipur City’ became the 38th addition to the India list under Culture.
So far, only China, Italy, Spain, Germany, and France have more locations on the list than India.
National climate vulnerability assessment
National climate vulnerability assessment released. The report is titled ‘Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Adaptation Planning in India Using a Common Framework’.
It identifies the most vulnerable states and districts in India with respect to current climate risk and key drivers of vulnerability.
Key findings of the report:
It has identified Jharkhand, Mizoram, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal as states highly vulnerable to climate change.
These states, mostly in the eastern part of the country, require prioritization of adaptation interventions.
Need for vulnerability assessment:
Mapping the parts of India that are vulnerable to extreme changes will help initiating climate actions at the ground level.
The assessment will help Policymakers in initiating appropriate climate actions. It will also benefit climate-vulnerable communities across India through development of better-designed climate change adaptation projects.
The assessments can further be used for India’s reporting on the Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. And finally, these assessments will support India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change.