Note: The following Current affairs has been selected from AIR, PIB, PRS, BBC, The Hindu, IDSA (Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses), Live mint, Indian Express, Quora.com, Hindustan Times, Telegraph, The Times , WTO, New Indian express , The Guardian and is highly recommended for UPSC Prelims and Mains Examination
News Analysis: 10-09-2018
General Studies-II : Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries Parliament and State Legislatures - structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
T.N. recommends release of all seven Rajiv case convicts
A meeting of the Tamil Nadu Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, on Sunday evening recommended to Governor Banwarilal Purohit that all seven life convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case be released under Article 161 of the Constitution.
The decision followed the Supreme Court’s observation last week that the Governor shall be at liberty to decide on the remission application of Perarivalan, one of the convicts, “as deemed fit.”
The convicts — Nalini, T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Sriharan alias Murugan (Nalini’s husband), A.G. Perarivalan alias Arivu, Robert Payas, S. Jayakumar alias Jayakumaran, and Ravichandran alias Ravi — have been in jail for over 27 years. Santhan, Murugan, Payas and Jayakumar are Sri Lankan Tamils.
Source: The Hindu
General Studies-II : Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary
Bail over jail
Why in news?
The chain of arrest, custody, and remand must be linked only by due process
The power of arrest is an extraordinary one, conferred on the police to be employed with discretion and deliberation, not as a tool of oppression and harassment at the hands of prosecuting authorities or the government of the day.
The Supreme Court has emphasised that arrests should never be a reflexive response to an allegation of an offence, or even its commission.
The law that empowers the police to arrest people without warrants (Section 41 of the CrPC) is reasonably stringent, demanding that some conditions be met, including that such arrests be carried out to prevent commission of further offences, tampering of evidence, and influencing of witnesses.
Unfortunately, a power that affects the liberty of citizens and which can ‘bring humiliation… and cast scars forever’, as the Supreme Court noted in Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar (2014), continues to be used in a cavalier way.
Recently, Tamil Nadu has attracted attention in this connection, particularly for the heavy-handed treatment of those opposing the Chennai-Salem eight-lane highway project.
The latest in a slew of unjustified round-ups and arrests was Swaraj India Party’s chief, Yogendra Yadav; ironically, he was on nothing more than a fact-finding mission to meet farmers affected by or opposed to the project.
Mr. Yadav was let off, but in most cases arrests without warrant follow a dishearteningly familiar course, with the accused sent to custody after the police oppose bail.
In this prosecutorial ecosystem, jail succeeds in trumping bail almost every time and magistrates, who are empowered to refuse remand and grant bail, continue to issue orders mechanically.
Tamil Nadu was witness to another high-profile example of this recently, when a student was arrested and remanded to 15 days judicial custody (before eventually being let off on bail) for political sloganeering on an aircraft; the complaint was filed by the BJP’s State president.
The dilemmas over maintaining the right balance between individual liberty and the interests of society invariably become more acute when the charges against the accused, well-established or otherwise, are serious.
The recent and shocking arrests of activists, over their alleged links to Maoists, have focussed attention on the severe restrictions on bail when booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The prosecution has 180 days to file a charge sheet, a period during which bail is routinely denied.
And after the charge sheet is filed, bail is extremely difficult to secure, dependent as it is on the accused establishing his or her innocence, a reversal of the usual burden of proof.
If the Supreme Court decides that justice will be secured only by its intervention in the case, it will probably be forced to invoke its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, another reminder of the need to break the customary chain of arrest, custody and remand.
Source: The Hindu
General Studies-III : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Disaster and disaster management.
Endangered ‘Pondicherry shark’ spotted near Kakinada
Field biologists from the East Godavari Riverine Estuarine Ecosystem (EGREE) Foundation have spotted ‘Pondicherry shark’, an endangered species protected under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, near the Kumbhabhishekam landing point in the city.
This is for the third time that it was spotted in the East Godavari River Estuarine Ecosystem region after 2007 and 2016.
Scientifically known as Carcharhinus hemiodon, it belongs to the Carcharhinidae family with a growth of 3.3 feet.
Zoologists have been trying to trace the species in the other parts of the country since 1979.
Known as ‘Pala Sora’ in the local parlance, the ‘Pondicherry Shark’ is on the verge of extinction even according to the conventional fishermen.
They, however, are unaware of its conservation status which is on a par with the tiger
Conservation of such species is only possible through community mobilisation and stewardship
Source: The Hindu
General Studies-II : Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
Why in news?
Developed countries, especially the U.S., need to commit funds to limit climate change
The conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bangkok last week, that was to draft a rulebook for the Paris Agreement ahead of a crucial international conference in Poland in December, ran into predictable difficulties over the issue of raising funds to help poorer nations.
Some developed countries led by the U.S. — which, under the Trump administration, has rejected the agreement — are unwilling to commit to sound rules on raising climate finance.
Under the pact concluded in Paris, rich countries pledged to raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to help developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and aid populations to cope with extreme events such as floods, droughts and storms.
Obstructing the transition to a carbon-neutral pathway and preserving the status quo is short-sighted, simply because the losses caused by weather events are proving severely detrimental to all economies.
By trying to stall climate justice to millions of poor people in vulnerable countries, the developed nations are refusing to accept their responsibility for historical emissions of GHGs.
Those emissions raised living standards for their citizens but contributed heavily to the accumulated carbon dioxide burden, now measured at about 410 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere, up from 280 ppm before the industrial revolution.
There is international pressure on China and India to cut GHG emissions. Both countries have committed themselves to a cleaner growth path.
India, which reported an annual CO2 equivalent emissions of 2.136 billion tonnes in 2010 to the UNFCCC two years ago, estimates that the GHG emissions intensity of its GDP has declined by 12% for the 2005-2010 period.
As members committed to the Paris Agreement, China and India have the responsibility of climate leadership in the developing world, and have to green their growth.
What developing countries need is a supportive framework in the form of a rulebook that binds the developed countries to their funding pledges, provides support for capacity building and transfer of green technologies on liberal terms.
If scientific estimates are correct, the damage already done to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is set to raise sea levels; a 2° Celsius rise will also destabilise the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Failed agriculture in populous countries will drive more mass migrations of people, creating conflict.
A deeper insight on all this will be available in October when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change releases its scientific report on the impact of a 1.5° C rise in global average temperature.
This is the time for the world’s leaders to demonstrate that they are ready to go beyond expediency and take the actions needed to avert long-term catastrophe.
Source: The Hindu
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