News: July 20, 2020

Sub: Politics
Topic: Judiciary
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 1/6

Cases And Committees In Focus

Committees

  • Justice Verma Committee, 2013
    • On amendments to the Criminal Law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault against women.  
    • Recommended insertion of Section 53A in the Indian Evidence Act wherein previous good character should become irrelevant in criminal proceedings.
  • V.S. Malimath Committee, 2003: reforms in the criminal justice system 
    • The panel recommended a modification to Article 20 (3) of the Constitution that protects the accused from being compelled to be a witness against himself/herself. The Committee suggested that the court be given freedom to question the accused to elicit information and draw an adverse inference against the accused in case the latter refuses to answer
    • The panel recommends replacing "proof beyond reasonable doubt" with "if the court is convinced that it is true" as basis to convict accused in criminal cases
    • Recommended setting up of a National Security Commission and State Security Commissions
  • M.R. Shamshad committee - Delhi riots
  • Kris Gopalakrishnan committee - The committee was formed by ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) , to formulate a framework for Non-personal data (NPD)

Cases

  • Constitution
    • Kihoto Hollohan versus Zachillu, 1992: Judicial review for member disqualification is only available after final decision by the Speaker/Chairman. Till then he acts as a tribunal.
  • Information Technology
    • Anuradha Bhasin vs Union of India, 2020  - Internet ban in Jammu and Kashmir under the pretext of Section 144
  • Police Reforms
    • Prakash Singh v. Union of India (2006) - Supreme Court pushing for legislation for governing police forces. Grievance redressal was a key component
    • Joginder Kumar v. State of UP, and D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal - Guidelines for right to life and right to know. To ensure that an accused person is made aware of all critical information regarding her arrest and also convey this to friends and family immediately in the event of being taken in custody.
  • Sexual assault 
    • Shri Bodhisattwa Gautam v. Shubra Chakraborty - suggest that a large number of women still fail to report rapes to the police 
    • Mahmood Farooqui v. NCT of Delhi (2017) - On consent in relationship
  • Torture
    • Raghbir Singh v. State of Haryana (1980), Francis Coralie Mullin v. Union Territory of Delhi (1981)
    • Sheela Barse v. State of Maharashtra (1987) : Court condemned cruelty and torture as violative of Article 21
    • DK Basu v. State of West Bengal: Prisoners and detainees are not deprived of their Fundamental Rights under Article 21 barring restrictions permitted by law
    • Nilabati Behera v. State of Orissa: Supreme Court made sure that the state could no longer escape liability in public law and had to be compelled to pay compensation

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • Madhya Pradesh Council of Ministers exceeding prescribed limit
    • Controversy over Justice Krishna Dixit's “misogynistic” remarks
    • "Committee for the Reform of Criminal Laws" created by Ministry of Home Affairs. Its consultation exercise would start on July 4 and go on for the next three months.
    • Non-personal data committee invites public comments on framework
    • Kihoto Hollohan versus Zachillu, 1992 case in judicial review powers of high court

Sub: Geography
Topic: Environment Ecosystem Biodiversity
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 2/6

Species in focus

Animal Species 

  • Asiatic lion
    • IUCN status: Endangered
    • Found in Saurashtra region
    • There number have risen to 674
  • Common Leopard / Panthera pardus 
    • IUCN status: Near Threatened
    • Found in India near shivaliks, Egypt
  • Gangetic river dolphin
    • IUCN status: Endangered
    • Listed in Schedule I of India’s Wildlife (Protection), Act, 1972
    • India's national Aquatic Animal
    • It is primarily found in the Ganges and Brahmaputra, in fresh waters. The dolphin uses echolocation as they are effectively blind.
  • Gee's golden langur
    • IUCN status: Endangered
    • Found only in Assam and Bhutan
  • Golden birdwing butterfly
    • IUCN status: Least Concern
    • endemic to himalayan region, China, South Asia
    • Became largest butterfly in India in 2020, breaking 88 year old record
  • Indian Gaur / Indian Bison
    • IUCN status: Vulnerable
    • Native to South and Southeast Asia,
    • Found in evergreen forests or semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests
  • Indian Pangolin
    • IUCN status: Endangered
    • Of the eight extant species of pangolin, the Indian Pangolin Manis crassicaudata and Chinese Pangolin M. pentadactyla are found in India.
  • Indian rhinoceros /  Greater one-horned rhinos
    • IUCN status: Vulnerable, CITES appendix I
    • Found only in South Asia and South East Asia
      • Of the 2000 rhinos living, 1800 are in two places; Kaziranga National Park in Assam, India and Chitwan National Park, Nepal
    • Indian Rhino Mission 2020: Started in 2005 by Assam government, International Rhino Foundation, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Bodoland Territorial Council to attain the rhino population of at least 3000 in seven protected areas of Assam by the year 2020
  • Pashmina goat / Changthangi
    • Found in Tibet, Burma, Ladakh
    • Reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa in the Changthang region of Greater Ladakh
  • Tibetan antelope / Chiru Goat
    • IUCN status: Near Threatened 
    • They are hunted for their fur - shahtoosh

Plant Species

  • Globbaandersonii / "Dancing ladies"
    • IUCN status: Critically endangered
    • Usually grows in a dense colony as a lithophyte (plant growing on a bare rock or stone) on rocky slopes in the outskirts of evergreen forests

[In News: Latest]

  • July, 20
    • A Himalayan butterfly named golden birdwing is now India’s largest butterfly
    • Assam floods
  • Aug, 20
    • Gang smuggling pangolin scales arrested
    • Leopard poaching by a study by TRAFFIC is highest in Uttarakhand, Maharashtra

Sub: Politics
Topic: Governance Policies and Welfare schemes
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 3/6

Northern States Policies And Schemes In Focus

Chhattisgarh

  • Godhan Nyay Yojana: To protect crops from open grazing, prevent straying of animals on roads, procuring cow dung for composting and eco friendly activities

Delhi

  • Electric Vehicle Policy:
    • To boost the city’s economy, reduce pollution levels and generate employment in the transport sector. It also includes incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles.
    • To seek rapid adoption of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) so that they contribute to 25% of all new vehicle registrations by 2024
    • A State EV Fund’, to be created which will be funded through the air ambience fund, levy of additional taxes, cess on inefficient or polluting vehicles
    • Shall remain valid for a period of three years i.e. till 2023

Haryana

  • Parivar Pehchan Patra - PPP is an e-governance initiative that will enable the citizens to get the benefit of various Centre and State government schemes at their door-step in a fair and transparent manner. a separate Citizen Resources Information Department (CRID) has been established to give further momentum to the PPP programme.

Jammu and Kashmir

  • Jammu and Kashmir Grant Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules
    • Individuals who have resided in J&K for 15 years or have studied for seven years or appeared in examinations for class 10th or 12th can be eligible for the grant of a domicile certificate.
    • The eligibility also extends to West Pakistan refugees registered as migrants under the erstwhile state’s Relief and Rehabilitation Commission.
    • Tehsildar  (Executive Magistrate) can issue domicile certificate in most cases, and Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner can issue certificattes for migrants. 

Madhya Pradesh

  • Satna-Bansagar Multi-Village Rural Water Supply Scheme: To bring treated water from the Bansagar Dam on the Son river to 1,019 villages in six blocks of the districts

Maharashtra

  • Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0 - To draw investment to state
  • BMC-Mpower 1on1 - 24x7 helpline to address mental health concerns of citizens in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic
  • Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Research Training and Human Development Institute (SARTHI) - Non-Profit government company for research, policy advocacy, and training for socio-economic and education development of Maratha and Kunbi community

Punjab

  • Digital Punjab - To create a single interface for all grievances with government

Rajasthan

  • Indira Rasoi Yojana - for providing nutritious food to the poor and needy twice a day at concessional rates

[In News: Latest]

  • July, 20
    • Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday announced a financial aid of ₹8 crore to SARTHI
  • Aug, 20
    • Haryana to link welfare schemes through ‘Parivar Pehchan Patra’
    • Delhi government launches Electric Vehicle Policy

Sub: Politics
Topic: Judiciary Crime
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 4/6

Torture

Bodies

UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT)

  • UNCAT prohibits torture, and requires parties to take effective measures to prevent it in any territory under their jurisdiction
  • India is a signatory since 1997, but is one of the eight countries that has still not ratified it

Acts and Bills

Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010

Seeks to provide for punishment for torture committed by government officials

  • The Bill defines torture as “grievous hurt”, or danger to life, limb and health.
    • Torture is not defined in the Indian Penal Code, but the definitions of ‘hurt’ and ‘grievous hurt’ are clearly laid down
    • The offences of causing hurt or grievous hurt to extort confession are punishable under sections 330 and 331 of the Indian Penal Code
  • Complaints against torture have to be made within six months. The sanction of the appropriate government is required before a court can entertain a complaint.
  • Punishment
    • Grounds: for extorting confession, purposefully punishing, or inflicting torture on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever
    • Punishment for torture includes imprisonment up to 10 years and fine.  
    • draft Prevention of Torture Bill, 2017: In case torture leads to death, the punishment includes death or life imprisonment in addition to fine.

273rd Report of the Law Commission, 2017

Report on implementation of UNCAT and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment

  • recommended amendments to the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 to ensure that in case a person sustains injuries in police custody, it will be presumed that these have been inflicted by the police.  The burden of proof shall lie on the police authorities to explain such injuries. 
  • recommendedratifying UNCAT
  • recommended that an effective mechanism be put in place to protect victims of torture, complainants, and witnesses 
  • recommended amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to allow for payment of compensation in case of torture
  • Sovereign immunity:  Sovereign immunity is the principle that the government is not responsible for the actions of its agents (such as police forces).  The Commission states that agents of the government cannot engage in torture.  The Commission reiterated that citizens are entitled to constitutional rights such as the right to life and personal liberty. 

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • torture of a father-son duo in Sattankulam town in Tamil Nadu

Sub: History
Topic: Modern India
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 5/6

Congress

Congress Sessions

  • Lahore session, 1929
    • Congress under Jawaharlal Nehru as president, adopted 'Purna Swaraj' (complete independence) as its goal. Congress Working Committee was authorised to launch a programme of civil disobedience including non-payment of taxes and all members of legislatures were asked to resign their seats.
    • The Round Table Conference was to be boycotted
    • January 26, 1930 was fixed as the first Independence (Swarajya) Day, to be celebrated everywhere.

[In News]

  • Sachin Pilot ousting

Sub: Economics
Topic: Social Economics
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 6/6

Market Transperancy

Consumers

Consumer Protection Act, 2019

Consumer Protection Act, 2019 replaces the old 1986 Consumer Protection Act

  • The 2019 Act has widened the definition of 'consumer'. The definition now includes any person who buys any goods, whether through offline or online transactions
  • The 1986 Act provided for a three tier consumer dispute redressal machinery at the National (NCDRC), State (State Commissions) and District levels District Fora)
    • Under 2019 Act, District forums can now entertain consumer complaints where the value of goods or services paid does not exceed 1 crore, and State Commission can entertain disputes where such value exceeds 1 crore but doe not exceed 10 crore, and National Commission can exercise jurisdiction where such value exceeds 10 crore
    • State Commission District Commission can now review their own orders
  • The 2019 Act provides flexibility to the consumer to file complaints with the jurisdictional consumer forum located at the place of residence or work of the consumer. 
  • Central Consumer Protection Council / Central Council: The 2019 Act establishes a Consumer Protection Council for rendering advice on promotion and protection of consumer rights under the Act
  • Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA): The 2019 Act proposes the establishment of a regulatory authority known as the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), with wide powers of enforcement.
    • The CCPA will have an investigation wing, headed by a Director-General, which may conduct inquiry or investigation into consumer law violations.
    • CCPA has been granted wide powers to take suo-moto actions, recall products, order reimbursement of the price of goods/services, cancel licenses and file class action suits, if a consumer complaint affects more than 1 (one) individual.
  • The 2019 Act has introduced the concept of 'product liability' and brings within its scope, the product manufacturer, product service provider, and product seller, for any claim for compensation. The term 'product seller' is defined to include a person who is involved in placing the product for a commercial purpose and as such would include e-commerce platforms as well.
    • Manufacturers will be liable in product liability action even where he proves that he was not negligent in making warranty of a product. 
    • Product seller will not be liable where the product has been misused, altered or modified.
  • The 2019 Act introduces a specific broad definition of Unfair Trade Practices, which also includes sharing of personal information given by the consumer in confidence
  • CCPA may impose a penalty of up to 10 lakh and / or 2 years of imprisonment to a manufacturer or an endorser, for a false or misleading advertisement; and can prohibit endorsing that product for upto 1 year
  • Mediation: The Act provides for mediation as an Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism, making the process of dispute adjudication simpler and quicker. Mediation Cells to be attached to Consumer Commissions, and mediation should be held in consumer mediation cell. No appeal can be made against settlement through mediation.

[In News]

  • July, 20
    •  Consumer Protection Act, 2019 came into force
  • Aug, 20
    • All kinds of B2C online services, irrespective of their size and reach, all mobile app-based services and all businesses running on social media platforms, will come within the Consumer Protection Act’s purview.

Comments

Please upgrade your subscription for this section