By Faizan Mustafa
In a consultation paper released recently, the Law Commission of India has boldly said that a uniform civil code (UCC) is neither feasible nor necessary at this stage.
The response must come as a shock to those in support of a “one nation, one law” tagline. The divide between the socialists and liberals is clearly visible. ‘Legal pluralism’ and ‘radical libertarianism’ are well-recognised scholarly traditions. There is a consensus that the state is not the only source of law. History has many instances of pluralistic legal systems where multiple sources of law existed.
Therefore, the Law Commission has rightly recognised the plurality of diverse personal laws and proposed internal reforms in personal laws to make them compatible with the constitutional provisions of equality and non-discrimination.
One hopes that religious communities in general and Muslims in particular will now as a first step initiate meaningful dialogue on internal reforms in personal laws.
The Supreme Court has been advocating the enactment of a UCC, perhaps without fully appreciating the ground realities. For instance, Justice Vikramajit Sen in ABC v. State (2015) observed: “Our Directive Principles envision the existence of a uniform civil code, but this remains an unaddressed constitutional expectation.” Here, the court was not dealing with some religious or personal law but with a statutory provision of the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890. Thus the reference to a UCC was unwarranted. In Sarla Mudgal (2015), the Supreme Court made observations that those who stayed back after Partition knew that India believes in one nation and therefore no community can claim separate religious laws. Loyalty to the nation and uniformity in laws are not related to each other.
Even in the Constituent Assembly, there was division on the issue of putting a UCC in the fundamental rights chapter. The sub-committee on this was so sharply divided that the matter was eventually settled by vote. It finally held that the provision was outside the scope of fundamental rights and thus non-justiciable. We need to appreciate the distinction between justiciable and non-justiciable rights. B.R. Ambedkar explicitly said in the Assembly, “No government can use its provisions in a way that would force the Muslims to revolt. If a government acts thus [imposing a common civil code], such a government would be insane in my opinion.”
We need to appreciate that in Article 44, the framers of the Constitution have used the term ‘uniform’ and not ‘common’ because ‘common’ means one and same in all circumstances whatsoever and ‘uniform’ means ‘same in similar conditions’. It is an erroneous perception that we have different personal laws because of religious diversity. As a matter of fact, the law differs from region to region. It seems the framers of the Constitution did not intend total uniformity in the sense of one law for the whole country because ‘personal laws’ were included in the Concurrent List, with power to legislate being given to Parliament and State Assemblies. Preservation of legal diversity seems to be the reason of inclusion of Personal Law in the Concurrent list. The Law Commission has given due weightage to this diversity.
What is the debate on uniform civil code all about?
It is a myth that we have uniform criminal laws. States have made amendments to the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. For example, Punjab recently introduced Section 295AA to the IPC — life term in all sacrilege cases.
Another myth is that Hindus are governed by one homogenous law after the enactment of the Hindu Code Bill. It is also true of Muslims and Christians. The Constitution itself protects the local customs of Nagaland. It is repeatedly mentioned that Goa already has a uniform code. But Hindus there are still governed by the Portuguese Family and Succession Laws. The reformed Hindu Law of 1955-56 is still not applicable to them. In the case of Muslims, the Shariat Act 1937 has not been extended to Goa. Thus they are governed by Portuguese and Shastric Hindu law, and not by Muslim personal law. The Special Marriage Act (a progressive civil code) has not been extended to Goa. Even in Jammu and Kashmir, local Hindu law statutes do differ with the Central enactments. The Shariat Act is also not applicable and Muslims continue to be governed by customary law which is at variance with the Muslim personal law in the rest of the country.
It is distressing that no one talks about the non-implementation of other Directive Principles which are far more important than the enactment of a uniform code. What about the right to work, living wages, distribution of community resources to sub-serve the common good, avoidance of concentration of wealth in few hands and the protection of monuments?
Amendments to a community’s personal law with a view to bringing about changes for its betterment is one thing; but to tinker with the enactment with the sole purpose of introducing ‘uniformity’ is quite another. Just laws are far more important than uniform law. Piecemeal reforms should be the way forward.
Honor 10 Lite With Dual Rear Camera Setup, AI Scene Detection Tech Launched
Honor 10 Lite was launched in India today at an event in New Delhi. The new Honor phone that was launched in China back in November will be available for purchase in the Indian market through Flipkart and the official HiHonor India store. Honor has provided a 24-megapixel selfie camera that supports artificial intelligence (AI) scene detection technology. The Honor 10 Lite also comes with a HiSilicon Kirin 710 SoC and runs Android 9 Pie out-of-the-box. There is also a “dewdrop” display notch for the selfie camera. The Honor 10 Lite notably comes as a successor to the Honor 9 Lite ? 9,950 that debuted in the country last year.
Honor 10 Lite price in India, launch offers
The Honor 10 Lite price in India has been set at Rs. 13,999 for the 4GB RAM variant, while its 6GB RAM comes at Rs. 17,999. Both models come in Midnight Black, Sapphire Blue, and Sky Blue colour options. Particularly, the Sky Blue colour option comes with a gradient finish. The Honor 10 Lite will be available for purchase through Flipkart and HiHonor India store. The sale will begin starting 12 am (Midnight) IST on January 20.
Honor 10 Lite launch offers include a Jio cashback worth Rs. 2,200 and a Rs. 2,800 Cleartrip voucher.
To recall, the Honor 10 Lite arrived in China back in November with a starting price of CNY 1,399 (roughly Rs. 14,700) for the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant, CNY 1,699 (roughly Rs. 17,800) for the 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage model, and CNY 1,899 (roughly Rs. 19,900) for 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage variant.
The Honor 10 Lite comes as a successor to the Honor 9 Lite that was launched in India back in January last year. Honor claims that it has sold more than 1.5 million Honor 9 Lite units so far. The smartphone also debuted among the most popular smartphones of 2018 on Flipkart.
Honor 10 Lite specifications, features
Huawei brand Honor has provided a list of preloaded features on the Honor 10 Lite. There are offerings such as AI Shopping and Calorie Detection that both use the camera sensors of the smartphone to deliver a smarter experience. Further, the smartphone has an AI Enhanced calls functionality to reduce noise during voice calls.
The Honor 10 Lite also includes a Paytm Pay feature to enable one-click payments for Paytm users. There is an AI Smart Face Unlock feature to unlock the screen by recognising user’s facial features. The fingerprint sensor on the Honor 10 Lite can be used to unlock the screen as well as to take photos, videos, answer calls, stop alarms, and show notification panel. Furthermore, the smartphone comes with pre-installed Ride Mode and Party Mode.
The dual-SIM (Nano) Honor 10 Lite runs EMUI 9.0 on top of Android 9.0 Pie out-of-the-box and features a 6.21-inch full-HD+ (1080×2340 pixels) display with a dewdrop notch, 415ppi of pixel density, and a screen-to-body ratio of 91 percent. There is also a TUV-certified eye care mode that is designed to reduce the blue light effect from the display panel.
Under the hood, the Honor 10 Lite has a HiSilicon Kirin 710 SoC, coupled with 4GB and 6GB LPDDR4X RAM options. The smartphone also comes with a GPU Turbo 2.0 technology that is touted to enable 60fps frame rate alongside reducing lagging and frame drops to enhance the gaming experience.
The Honor 10 Lite has a dual camera setup at the back, including a 13-megapixel primary sensor along with an f/1.8 aperture and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor. For selfies, there is a 24-megapixel camera at the front along with an f/2.0 aperture. The smartphone comes preloaded with an AI scene recognition technology that is claimed to recognise eight different scenes, including sky, beach, plant, flower, stage, night, room, and snow. Further, there are AI-based facial recognition and light fusion technologies.
For storing content, the Honor 10 Lite has 64GB of onboard storage in India that is expandable via microSD card (up to 512GB). The smartphone has dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, 3.5mm audio jack, GPS/ AGPS, and GLONASS. Sensors on board include an ambient light sensor, compass, gravity sensor, gyroscope, and a proximity sensor. Besides, the smartphone packs a 3,400mAh battery and measures 154.8×73.64×7.95mm.
Sony A6400 Mirrorless Camera With ‘World’s Fastest’ AI-Powered Autofocus Launched
Sony’s successor to its mid-range A5100 mirrorless camera has some interesting upgrades. The 24-megapixel A6400 comes with features such as 4K 30fps video shooting and AI-powered 425-point contrast and phase-detect autofocus, which Sony claims to be the ‘world’s fastest’ at .02 second AF speed. It also has real-time eye AF and subject tracking, along with a tilt and flip touchscreen, which can be especially useful for video bloggers. The Sony A6400 will go on sale in the US in February 2019 at $900 (around Rs. 63,900) for the body, or $1,350 (around Rs. 95,900) with the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.
The Sony A6400 boasts a new 24.2-megapixel Exmor Advanced Photo System type-C (APS-C) sensor powered by Sony’s new Bionz X image processor. It can shoot stills at an impressive 11fps when using the mechanical shutter or up to 8fps when shooting in the silent mode. Continuous autofocus and auto-exposure tracking work when shooting in the high-speed continuous mode, and you can capture up to 116 JPEG images or 46 in uncompressed RAW format before the camera’s buffer fills up.
Its highlight feature however is the camera’s ‘real-time eye AF’ that uses AI to continuously detect the subject’s eyes. This works with multiple subjects as well as animals, keeping everyone in the frame in focus. You also have the option to manually select the eyes you want to track if you’re shooting in a crowd. Real-time subject tracking also detects depth, colour, pattern, and other spatial info to accurately follow your subject around the frame.
The Sony A6400 can shoot at ISO 32,000 or an expanded ISO of 102,400 for extremely low light conditions.
There’s also support for 4K 30fps video shooting, which utilises the camera’s full sensor for the best results. In 1080p you can shoot at up to 120fps. It supports HDR video recording as well with HLG support. The touchscreen tilt and swivel display can turn all the way around in case you’re interested in taking a selfie or want to record a video blog.
Sony also reportedly announced that it’s bringing the AI-powered eye and subject tracking and animal eye AF tracking features to its higher-end models, namely the A9, A7R and A7 III.
Mi TV 4X Pro 55, Mi TV 4A Pro 43 to Go on Sale in India
Xiaomi’s Mi TV 4X Pro 55-inch and Mi TV 4A Pro 43-inch models will go on sale in India for the first time today via Flipkart, Mi.com, and Mi Home stores. The Xiaomi smart televisions were launched in India last week, alongside the Mi Soundbar. Both Mi TV models run the company’s PatchWall UI as well as Google’s Android TV, with dedicated buttons on the remote to switch between the two. The Mi TV 4X Pro 55 and Mi TV 4A Pro 43 models also share thin bezels, built-in Chromecast support, voice command remote controls, and 20W stereo speakers as common features. Xiaomi is also touting over 700,000+ hours of content from 14 partners.
Mi TV 4X Pro 55, Mi TV 4A Pro 43 price in India
As we mentioned, the two new Xiaomi Mi TV models will go on sale in India via Flipkart, Mi.com, and Mi Home stores today, starting from 12pm IST. While the Mi TV 4X Pro 55-inch model price in India is Rs. 39,999, the Mi TV 4A Pro 43-inch will be available at Rs. 22,999.
Mi TV 4X Pro 55 specifications
The Mi TV 4X Pro 55 sports a 55-inch (2160×3840 pixels) 4K UHD display with 10-bit colour depth and HDR10 support. It is powered by the 64-bit Amlogic quad-core processor with Mali-450 GPU. The 55-inch TV packs 2GB RAM and offers 8GB of internal storage capacity. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz/5GHz), Bluetooth v4.2, three HDMI ports, two USB ports, one S/PDIF port, and one Ethernet port as well. As mentioned, it comes with 20W stereo speakers with DTS-HD surround sound support.
Mi LED TV 4A Pro 43 specifications
The 43-inch Mi TV 4A Pro TV sports a full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) 8-bit colour depth display, and packs only 1GB RAM. It comes with 3.5mm audio jack support as well. All the other specifications are identical to that of the 55-inch variant.