Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 9 MARCH 2020 – The Core IAS

Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 9 MARCH 2020


1. Consider the following statements regarding Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973.
1. It empowers only the district magistrate to issue orders to prevent and address urgent cases of apprehended danger or nuisance.
2. No order passed under Section 144 can remain in force for more than 2 months from the date of the order, unless the state government considers it necessary.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2


2. Consider the following statements with respect to Aadhaar.
1. The UIDAI can decide whether an entity can use Aadhaar or not.
2. The Aadhaar enrolment process capture details like caste, religion, income, health etc.
3. Aadhaar number is mandatory for the filing of IT returns and allotment of PAN.
4. Aadhaar gives nationwide portability as it can be authenticated anywhere online.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1, 2 and 4 only
(b) 1, 3 and 4 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

3. Consider the following statements regarding The Right to Information (RTI).
1. The RTI (Amendment) Act, 2019 rules notified, the terms of service of the CIC, including her/his pay and perks, will be the same as that of the Cabinet Secretary.
2. Under RTI Act, 2005, a public authority is required to maintain records and every citizen has the right to get information from the public authority.
3. The RTI, 2005 exempted the force from providing any information except the matters concerning the human rights violations and corruption.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

4. Consider the following statement about flag code.
1. There is no restriction on the demonstration of the National Flag by general public, private organizations, educational institutions except some conditions.
2. The ratio of width of the flag to its length is two to three.
3. The design of the National Flag was adopted by the constituent assembly of India on 15 August, 1947
Select the correct answer from code given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

5. Consider the following statements regarding Chauri Chaura incident.
1. Mahatma Gandhi halted the Non-cooperation Movement on the national level on 12 February 1922.
2. This incident took place independently of Non-cooperation movement in the Gorakhpur district in the United Provinces on 5 February 1922.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2


Section 144
Section 144 CrPC, a law retained from the colonial era, empowers a district magistrate, a sub-divisional magistrate or any other executive magistrate specially empowered by the state government in this behalf to issue orders to prevent and address urgent cases of apprehended danger or nuisance.The magistrate has to pass a written order which may be directed –
 Against a particular individual, (or)
 To persons residing in a particular place or area, (or)
 To the public generally, when they frequent or visit a particular place or area
 In emergency cases, the magistrate can pass these orders without prior notice to the individual against whom the order is directed.
Powers of administration
The magistrate can direct any person to abstain from a certain act or to take a certain order with respect to certain property in his/her possession or management.
This usually includes restrictions on movement, carrying arms and from assembling unlawfully.
It is generally believed that assembly of three or more people is prohibited under Section 144. However, it can be used to restrict even a single individual.
This is done when the magistrate considers that it is likely to prevent, or tends to prevent, obstruction, annoyance or injury to any person.
It is also employed to prevent danger to human life, health or safety, or a disturbance of the public tranquility, or a riot. But, no order passed under Section 144 can remain in force for more than 2 months, unless the state government considers it necessary. Even then, the total period cannot extend to more than 6 months.
Section 144 so contentious
The immediate remedy against such an order is a revision application to the magistrate himself. An aggrieved individual can approach the High Court by filing a writ petition if his/her fundamental rights are at stake. However, fears exist that before the High Court intervenes, the rights could already have been infringed.
The judiciary’s stance
The Courts have earlier held that Section 144 was not an ordinary power flowing from administration. It is rather a power used in a judicial manner and which can stand further judicial scrutiny. However, the constitutionality of the law was upheld.

The restrictions imposed through Section 144 cannot be held to be violative of the right to freedom of speech and expression. This is because the provision would fall under the “reasonable restrictions” under Article 19(2) of the Constitution.
Section 144 and communications blockades
The Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017 are for suspending telecommunication services. They include services covering voice, mobile internet, SMS, landline, fixed broadband, etc. These Rules derive their powers from the Indian Telegraph Act of 1885, Section 5(2). It talks about interception of messages in the “interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India”. However, shutdowns in India are not always under the rules laid down, which come with safeguards and procedures. Section 144 of CrPC has often been used to clamp down on telecommunication services and order Internet blockades.


Use OTP to avert misuse of Aadhaar data: HC
The Delhi High Court directed the Centre to “keep in mind” the suggestions given by amicus curiae like having OTP authentication, instead of using biometrics to prevent misuse of Aadhaar information.
With the direction, the Bench disposed of a PIL initiated by the High Court on its own while hearing a criminal case wherein a mobile shop owner had misused Aadhaar details of unwary customers to issue fresh SIM cards for use in fraudulent activities. The shop owner, during Aadhaar verification of a SIM, used to make the customer give his thumb impression twice by saying it was not properly obtained the first time; the second round of authentication was then used for issuing a fresh connection to some third party.
Features of Aadhaar
An individual needs to enroll for Aadhaar only once and after de-duplication only one Aadhaar shall be generated.
Aadhaar gives nationwide portability as it can be authenticated anywhere on-line.
Random number
Aadhaar number is a random number devoid of any intelligence. The Aadhaar enrolment process does not capture details like caste, religion, income, health, geography, etc.
Scalable technology architecture
The UID architecture is open and scalable. Resident’s data is stored centrally and authentication can be done online from anywhere in the country.
Open source technologies
Open source architecture precludes dependence on specific computer hardware, specific storage, specific OS, specific database vendor, or any specific vendor technologies to scale.
The Supreme Court Verdict- SC recently upheld the constitutionality of the Aadhaar.
Highlights of the verdict- Aadhaar is “a document of empowerment”. The ruling has highlighted two main aspects of the unique identification project –
 Aadhaar as digital identity infrastructure
 Aadhaar’s application as public infrastructure for various purposes
Right to privacy – Not all matters pertaining to an individual were an inherent part of the right to privacy. Only those matters in which there was a reasonable expectation of privacy were protected by Article 21 of the Constitution. In this context, the Aadhaar scheme passed the triple test laid down in the Puttaswamy (Privacy) judgment to check if it invades privacy viz.
 Existence of a law – backed by the statute i.e. the Aadhaar Act.
 A legitimate state interest – to ensure that social benefit schemes reach the deserving community
 Test of proportionality – balances the professed benefits of Aadhaar and the potential threat it carries to the fundamental right to privacy
Money Bill – Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act mandates that individuals should produce Aadhaar to access social services, subsidy, benefits, etc. Moreover, it is clearly declared that expenditure incurred in this respect would be from the Consolidated Fund of India.
Since Section 7 is the main provision of the Act, the validity of the Aadhaar Act being passed as a Money Bill is upheld.
Surveillance state – During the enrolment process, “minimal biometric data in the form of iris and fingerprints is collected”. Also, UIDAI “does not collect purpose, location or details of the transaction”. Hence the manner of operation of Aadhaar, “do not tend to create a surveillance state”.
Security of biometric data – UIDAI has mandated only registered devices to conduct biometric-based authentication transactions. With these registered devices, the biometric data is encrypted within the device using a key. This creates a unidirectional relationship between the host application and the UIDAI. This also rules out any possibility of the use of stored biometric, or the replay of biometrics captured from another source. Further, as per the regulations, authentication agencies are not allowed to store the biometrics captured for Aadhaar authentication.
Telecoms – Aadhaar-based re-verification of mobile numbers has been held illegal and unconstitutional as it was not backed by any law.
PAN – Section 139AA of IT Act makes Aadhaar mandatory for filing IT returns and applying for PAN. Since it stood the triple test and did not violate the right to privacy, linking of PAN with Aadhaar will be mandatory. But there was no deadline mentioned by the court.
Linking of bank accounts – Linking of bank accounts and other financial instruments with Aadhaar were made mandatory by 2017 amendment to Prevention of Money Laundering Act Rules, 2005. It does not stand the proportionality test because just for preventing money laundering, there cannot be such a provision targeting every resident as a suspicious person, which is seen as disproportionate.
Aadhaar for children ¬- The consent of parents/guardians will be essential for the enrolment of children under the Aadhaar Act. On attaining the age of majority, such children shall have the option to exit.
Section 57, Aadhaar Act – It provides for use of Aadhaar number for establishing the identity of an individual for any purpose, by the state or any corporate or person.


CRPF refuses to share 2019 Pulwama attack inquiry report; Force says it is outside the Right to Information ambit- Para24 (1) of Chapter 6 of the Right to Information Act, 2005, which exempted the force from providing any information except the matters concerning the human rights violations and corruption.

The RTI (Amendment) Act, 2019
The RTI (Amendment) Bill received the assent of the President on the 1st August, 2019 and became an Act of Parliament. The Right to Information (Amendment) Act, 2019 is an amendment to the Right to Information Act, 2005. Recently, government notified the new RTI Rules under the Act.
The Act to allow the government to fix the terms and conditions of service of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners (ICs) of the both Centre and the states. Under the recently notified Rules,
a) The terms of service of the CIC, including her/his pay and perks, will be the same as that of the Cabinet Secretary, which is significantly lower than that of the CEC.
b) And those of the ICs are similar to that of a Secretary to the Government of India.
The CIC was earlier on a par with the CEC, who occupies position 9A in the table (along with the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, and Chairman, UPSC). After being downgraded to Cabinet Secretary Rank, would mean a downgradation in the ‘Table of Precedence’.
The CIC and the ICs now have a fixed tenure of just three years (earlier a fixed term of five years).

Right to Information Act 2005 mandates timely response to citizen requests for government information.
It is an initiative taken by Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
It provides a– RTI Portal Gateway to the citizens for quick search of information on the details of first Appellate Authorities,PIOs etc. amongst others, besides access to RTI related information / disclosures published on the web by various Public Authorities under the government of India as well as the State Governments
Objectives of the Right to Information Act
The basic object of the Right to Information Act is to empower the citizens, promote transparency and accountability in the working of the Government, contain corruption, and make our democracy work for the people in real sense. It goes without saying that an informed citizen is better equipped to keep necessary vigil on the instruments of governance and make the government more accountable to the governed. The Act is a big step towards making the citizens informed about the activities of the Government.
Significance of RTI Act
Introduced in 2005, the RTI Act is regarded as one of the most successful laws of independent India.
Corruption and the arbitrary use of power is a widespread phenomenon in the country.
Given this, the RTI has been a constant challenge to the misuse of power, arbitrariness, privilege, and corrupt governance.
It has been a breakthrough in creating mechanisms for public vigilance that are fundamental to democratic citizenship.
It has resulted in a fundamental shift, empowering ordinary citizens and giving them access to power and decision-making.
The key issues where RTI has been instrumental in ensuring accountability include the Rafale fighter aircraft deal, non-performing assets, appointment of the Central Vigilance Commissioner, etc.
According to estimates, nearly 60 lakh applications are being filed every year, by citizens as well as the media.
It is also to be noted that more than 80 RTI users have been murdered because their determination in using the RTI had been a challenge to unaccountable power.
Educational institutions and non-profits that get “substantial funds” from the government fall under the purview of the Right to Information Act, 2005, said the Supreme Court recently.
Under the Act, a public authority is required to maintain records and every citizen has the right to get information from the public authority, added the SC.


The National Flag shall be a tricolour panel made up of three rectangular panels or subpanels of equal width. The colour of the top panel shall be India saffron (kesari) and that of the bottom panel India green. The middle panel shall be white, bearing at its centre the design of Ashoka Chakra in navy blue colour with 24 equally spaced spokes. The Ashoka Chakra shall preferably be screen printed or otherwise printed or stencilled or suitably embroidered and shall be completely visible on both sides of the Flag in the centre of the white panel.
The National Flag shall be rectangular in shape. The ratio of the length to the height (width) of the Flag shall be 3:2.
The design of the National Flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on July 22, 1947
The Flag Code of India, 2002 effective from January 26, 2002 superseded the ‘Flag Code India’ as it existed then. As per the provisions of the Flag Code of India, 2002, there is no restriction on the display of the National Flag by members of general public, private organizations, educational institutions, etc., except to the extent provided in the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 and any other law enacted on the subject.
There are some rules and regulations upon how to fly the flag, based on the 26 January 2002 legislation. These include the following:
The Do’s:
The National Flag may be hoisted in educational institutions (schools, colleges, sports camps, scout camps, etc.) to inspire respect for the Flag. An oath of allegiance has been included in the flag hoisting in schools.
A member of public, a private organization or an educational institution may hoist/display the National Flag on all days and occasions, ceremonial or otherwise consistent with the dignity and honour of the National Flag.
Section 2 of the new code accepts the right of all private citizens to fly the flag on their premises.
The Don’ts:
The flag cannot be used for communal gains, drapery, or clothes. As far as possible, it should be flown from sunrise to sunset, irrespective of the weather.
The flag cannot be intentionally allowed to touch the ground or the floor or trail in water. It cannot be draped over the hood, top, and sides or back of vehicles, trains, boats or aircraft.
No other flag or bunting can be placed higher than the flag. Also, no object, including flowers or garlands or emblems can be placed on or above the flag. The tricolor cannot be used as a festoon, rosette or bunting.
Evolution of the Tricolour-


During the ‘Non-cooperation Movement,’ a group of protestors marched into the Chauri Chaura market on February 2, 1922, in order to protest against high and unusual meat prices. But their protest was interrupted by local police officers, and they arrested the leaders. They also used force on the protestors thereby injuring many in the process. This instigated the protestors, and they returned on February 5. On that fateful day, a group of 2,000 to 2,500 protesters marched towards Chauri Chaura market, where they chose to picket a liquor shop as part of their protest. As expected, the police once again turned up and arrested one of their leaders. This enraged the protestors and a part of them marched towards the Chauri Chaura police station, where their leaders were locked up.
The Chauri Chaura incident, which took place on February 5, 1922, in the Gorakhpur district of British India, is considered as one of the most prominent incidents of pre-independent India. During the non-cooperation movement, a group of protestors clashed with police and as a result of this, policemen opened fired on the protestors. Provoked by this shooting incident, the demonstrators burnt down a police station, killing all its occupants.
Resulting in the death of 22 or 23 policemen and three civilians, the incident also turned many against Mahatma Gandhi as he called off the ‘Non-cooperation Movement’ after the incident. Though a part of India’s freedom struggle, the incident is considered by many as tragic.
The Incident
In fact, some were extremely disappointed with the inhuman act and among them was Mahatma Gandhi, who straight away denounced the incident calling it cowardice. To the disbelief of many, Gandhi ji cancelled the Non-Cooperation Movement as a result of the Chauri Chaura Incident.
An immediate aftermath of the incident was the British enforcing the ‘martial law,’ which transferred the power directly to the military in Chauri Chaura and surrounding areas. While many were reportedly locked away and tortured, 228 were brought to trial. While six among those who were brought to trial died in the custody, 172 were penalized with death sentences by hanging. The verdict gave rise to an outpour of rage as many ridiculed the court’s decision.
Hundreds of thousands joined in the protest, with Indian Communist leader M.N. Roy calling the verdict a ‘legalized murder.’ He even called for a general strike, which forced the court to review the verdict. The High Court in Allahabad reviewed the verdict on April 20, 1923, which resulted in a drastic change in the verdict. According to the new verdict, 19 were given death sentences, while 110 of them were sentenced to prison for life and the rest to long terms of imprisonment. The ones who were imprisoned would later be released at the time of independence.
Probably the most important action post the Chauri Chaura Incident was calling-off the ‘Non-Cooperation Movement.’ Gandhi thought of the Chauri Chaura incident as an act of barbarism and took upon himself the responsibility of the bloodshed. Since the incident had occurred after Gandhi’s call for ‘Non-cooperation Movement,’ the Mahatma was convinced that he was responsible for the lives lost. He also felt the guilt of not adequately emphasizing the importance of non-violence before encouraging his countrymen to revolt against the British as part of the ‘Non-cooperation Movement.’ He also felt that he hadn’t trained his fellow countrymen to adhere to the policies of ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence) no matter what. As a penance, he went on a five-day fast, which attracted strong views from many. Apart from deciding that the Indians were not yet ready for a big movement, Gandhi also called off the ‘Non-cooperation Movement.’
The decision to call-off the ‘Non-cooperation Movement’ was opposed by many prominent leaders, who did not find much logic in Mahatma’s decision. Many of his staunch supporters, including C. Rajagopalachari publicly said that they were baffled by the decision. The Indian National Congress called off the ‘Non-cooperation Movement’ on February 12, 1922.
The British, however, arrested Gandhi and sentenced him to six years of imprisonment. In February 1924, Gandhi was released from the prison on grounds of his deteriorating health.
The decision to call off the ‘Non-cooperation Movement’ directly affected the ‘Khilafat Movement.’ Members of both the Congress and Khilafat spoke against the decision, calling it an act of betrayal. It angered many prominent leaders, including Motilal Nehru and Maulana Abdul Bari. Bari went on to say that he was doubtful of Gandhi’s future as the national leader had not yet achieved anything significant through non-violent protests.
In 1923, British authorities dedicated a memorial to the dead policemen. Post independence, a verse written by poet Jagdamba Prasad and the words ‘Jai Hind’ were inscribed on the memorial.
In 1971, the people of Chauri Chaura decided to honor the ones who were executed by the British government. Hence, they came up with an association named ‘Chauri Chaura Shaheed Smarak Samiti’ and two years later they built a triangular minaret near a lake at Chauri Chaura. Thanks to the contribution of many, the memorial was constructed at a cost of 13,500 rupees.
The government of India later constructed a memorial of its own with the names of those executed etched on it. It also set up a museum and library related to Indian independence near the memorial.
The Indian Railways has named one of its trains ‘Chauri Chaura Express,’ which currently operates from Kanpur to Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.

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