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Top 5 Current Affairs: 14 December 2018

The Supreme Court on December 14, 2018 dismissed a group of petitions that demanded an independent probe into the controversial Rafale fighter jet deal, stating that it was satisfied with the procurement process. The court stated that the perception of individuals cannot be a ground for the Court to interfere.

Dec 14, 2018 17:27 IST
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Ashok Gehlot to be sworn-in as Rajasthan Chief Minister; Sachin Pilot as Deputy CM

Ashok Gehlot is likely to be sworn-in as Rajasthan Chief Minister for the third time. While, Sachin Pilot will take oath as the Deputy CM of Rajasthan. The decision was announced on December 14, 2018 after Congress President Rahul Gandhi met both Gehlot and Sachin Pilot in Delhi on December 13, 2018.

Two-time chief minister Ashok Gehlot and Rajasthan Congress Chief Sachin Pilot were competing against each other in the race for the post of Rajasthan Chief Minister. The choice of Rajasthan Chief Minister is crucial as in the Rajasthan Elections 2018, Congress’ tally stopped at 99, one short of a majority. That made it critical for the party to make a guarded choice, keeping 2019 General Elections in mind.

Supreme Court dismisses all petitions alleging irregularities in Rafale Deal

The Supreme Court on December 14, 2018 dismissed a group of petitions that demanded an independent probe into the controversial Rafale fighter jet deal, stating that it was satisfied with the procurement process. The court stated that the perception of individuals cannot be a ground for the Court to interfere.

The judgement was delivered by a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice KM Joseph. "We studied the materials carefully, interacted with Defence officials, we are satisfied with the decision-making process," Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, while dismissing the petitions.

Maintain transparency in appointments of CIC, Information Commissioners: SC to Centre, states

The Supreme Court on December 13, 2018 asked the Centre and states to maintain transparency in appointments of Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners (IC). It asked the government to disclose the process for appointment of Commissioners, including the names of candidates who applied and who were short-listed.

A bench of Justices AK Sikri, S Abdul Nazeer and R Subhash Reddy asked the Centre to put the details of search committees for CIC and ICs on the website. The bench also directed the states to fill up vacancies in the State Information Commissions (SICs) to reduce the pendency of cases.

Kamal Nath to take oath as Madhya Pradesh CM

One of the oldest leaders of the Grand Old Party, Kamal Nath will soon take oath as the new Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, a state where he along with Jyotiraditya Scindia worked hard to unseat incumbent BJP, which was in position for 3 consecutive terms.

The decision brings to close the tussle for the top post in at least one of the three Hindi heartland states that Congress won from BJP on December 11. The 2019 national election has a huge bearing on the decision. The Congress wants its experienced hands to play a big role in the heartland states but without upsetting the younger leaders or risking any rebellion.

Ground Water Extraction: Government notifies revised guidelines; to levy fee on water extraction from June 2019

The Central Ground Water Authority of the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation on December 12, 2018 notified revised guidelines for ground water extraction. The revised guidelines, which will be effective from June 1, 2019, aim to ensure a more robust ground water regulatory mechanism in the country.

One of the important features of the revised guidelines is the introduction of the concept of Water Conservation Fee (WCF), the fee charged on extraction of ground water. The WCF payable varies with the category of the area, type of industry and the quantum of ground water extraction.

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