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Yasin Malik, Kashmir Separatist Convicted In J&K Terror Funding Case After Pleading Guilty

  • A Special NIA Court in Delhi, in NIA vs Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and ors has convicted Kashmiri Separatist Yasin Malik in J&K terror funding case, after his pleading guilty to the same on 10th May, the arguments on quantum of the sentence would be heard on 25th May. 
  • Others who were charged and have claimed to be tried are Hafiz Muhammad Sayed, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Hizbul Mujahideen Chief Salahuddin, Rashid Engineer, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, Farooq Ahmad Dar @Bitta Karate and others. 
  • According to the chargesheet that was filed, various terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, JKLF (Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front), Jaish-e-Mohd. with the support of Pakistan’s investigating Agency, ISI had perpetrated violence in the Kashmir Valley by attacking both civilians and the security forces. 
  • It was also alleged that the funds were collected domestically as well as abroad through various illegal channels for funding terrorist activities in Kashmir, and that the accused had engaged in a larger conspiracy for disrupting the Valley by pelting stones at security forces, burning of schools, damage to public property and waging war against the Government of India. 
  • Accordingly, the Ministry of Home Affairs had ordered the NIA to register a case, vide an order dated 30 May, 2017. The case was thus registered under sections 120B, 121, 121A, of IPC and sections 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 38, 39 and 40 of the UAPA. 
  • The Court, in the case, had observed that the statements of the witnesses and the documentary evidence on record had connected the accused persons with each other and to a common object of secession, their close ties to terrorist organisations under the guiding hands and funding of the Pakistani Establishment.
  • The TADA Court in Jammu will also hear the Air Force Officer’s killing case of 1995 and the Rubaiya Sayeed kidnapping, on Friday, May 20th. Yasin Malik will also appear in the same via video call. 

Recommendations Of The GST Council Not Binding On Centre And States, Both Parliament And State Legislatures Can Legislate: SC

  • In Union of India and anr vs M/s Mohit Minerals through Director the Apex Court has observed that the recommendations of the GST Council are not binding on the Centre and the States, but only has a persuasive value. It was also observed that both the Union as well as the State Legislatures have the power to legislate in the matters of Goods and Services Tax. 
  • The Court observed that the recommendations of the GST Council are the product of a collaborative dialogue between the Centre and the States. They are recommendatory in nature. To regard them as binding would disrupt fiscal federalism.
  • The Court further observed that Article 246A introduced by the amendment of 2016 vests the Parliament and the State legislature with the concurrent powers to make laws with respect to GST. If the GST Council was intended to be a decision making authority, whose recommendations transform to laws, such a qualification would have been included either in Article 246A or 279A, but this is not the case. 
  • It was also observed that the deletion of Article 279B and addition of Article 279(1) would indicate that the Parliament intended for the recommendations of the GST Council to have a mere persuasive value, particularly when interpreted alongwith the objective of the GST regime to foster cooperative federalism and harmony between the constituent units. 
  • The Court further observed that the Government, while exercising its powers under the CGST Act and the IGST Act is bound by the recommendations of the GST Council, but that does not mean that all the recommendations of the GST Council made by virtue of the powers under Article 279A(4) are binding on the legislature’s power to enact laws. 
  • In numerous cases like Manohar vs State of Maharashtra (2012) SCC and Naraindas Indurkhya vs State of MP (1974) SCC the Apex Court has reiterated that recommendations cannot create binding and enforceable rights, in contradiction to a direction or a mandate. 
  • The Court also talked about the concept of ‘Uncooperative Federalism’ whereby the States can use various forms of contestation within the Constitutional framework. It was observed that when the federal units are vested with unequal powers, the collaboration between them is not necessarily cooperative. Harmonised decision thrives not only on cooperation but also on contestation. Uncooperative Federalism is valuable since it is desirable to have some level of friction, some amount of State contestation and some deliberation-generating froth from our democratic system. 
     
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