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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS ANALYSIS

18th November 2021

. No.Topic NamePrelims/Mains
1.    Ex. Judge of Punjab High Court to Monitor UP ProbePrelims & Mains
2.    Supreme Court gives relief to lawyers and scribes in UAPA Case filed by Tripura GovernmentPrelims & Mains
3.    ED Chief gets 1 year extension of servicePrelims & Mains
4.    The promise of the New QUADPrelims & Mains
5.    Deliberations are being held over extension of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to AfghanistanPrelims & Mains

 

  1. Judge of Punjab High Court to Monitor UP Probe: 

GS II

Topic – Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

  • Why Police Reforms are necessary:
  • Between 1stApril and 30th November, 2015, 25,357 cases were registered under police category which included 111 deaths in police custody, 330 cases of custodial torture and 24,916 in others.
  • This data again lays emphasis on the need to make police accountableand carry out police reforms.
  • Police Reforms (Meaning):
  • Police reforms aim to transform the values, culture, policies and practices of police organizations.
  • It envisages police to perform their duties with respect for democratic values, human rights and the rule of law.
  • It also aims to improve how the police interact with other parts of the security sector,such as the courts and departments of corrections, or executive, parliamentary or independent authorities with management or oversight responsibilities.
  • Police come under the state list of schedule 7 of the Indian constitution
  • Committees/Commissions on Police Reforms:
  • Issues Concerning Police Forces:
  • Colonial Legacy: The Police Act of 1861 was legislated by the British right after the revolt of 1857 to bring in efficient administration of police in the country and to prevent any future revolts.
  • This meant that the police were to always comply with those in power.
  • Accountability to the Political Executives vs Operational Freedom:The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC-2007) has noted that political control has been abused in the past by the political executive to unduly influence police personnel, and have them serve personal or political interests
  • Psychological Pressure: While improvements in pay scale and promotions are necessary aspects of police reforms, little has been spoken about reforms needed at the psychological level.
  • In the Indian police force, the lower ranks of police personnel are often verbally abused by their superiors or they work in inhuman conditions.
  • This non-harmonious work environment ultimately affects their relationship with the public.
  • Public Perception: The Second ARC has noted that police-public relations is in an unsatisfactory State because people view the police as corrupt, inefficient, politically partisan and unresponsive.
  • Further, citizens in general fear going to a police station or dealing with the lower ranks of the police force.
  • Overburdened Force: While the sanctioned police strength was 181 police per lakh persons in 2016, the actual strength was 137 police.
  • This is way too low when compared with the United Nations’ recommended standard of 222 police per lakh persons.
  • Further, a high percentage of vacancies within the police forces exacerbates an existing problem of overburdened police personnel.
  • Constabulary Related Issues: The constabulary constitutes 86% of the State police forces and has wide-ranging responsibilities.
  • Infrastructural Issues: Modern policing requires strong communication support, state-of the-art or modern weapons, and a high degree of mobility.
  • However, CAG audit reports of year 2015-16, have found shortages in weaponry with state police forces.
  • For example, Rajasthan and West Bengal had shortages of 75% and 71% respectively in required weaponry with the state police.
  • Also, the Bureau of Police Research and Development has also noted a 30.5% deficiency in stock of required vehicles with the state forces.
  • Suggestions:
  • Modernisation of Police Forces: The Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF) scheme was initiated in 1969-70 and has undergone several revisions over the years.
  • However, there is a need to fully utilize the finances sanctioned by the government.
  • MPF scheme envisages:
  • Procurement of modern weapons
  • Mobility of police forces
  • Logistics support, upgradation of police wireless, etc
  • A National satellite network
  • Need For Political Will: The Supreme Court in the landmark Prakash Singh case (2006) gave seven directives where considerable work in police reforms is still needed.
  • However, due to the lack of political will these directives were not implemented in letter and spirit in many states.
  • Revamping Criminal Justice System: Along with Police reforms, there is a need to reform the criminal justice system too. In this context, the recommendations of the Menon and Malimath Committees can be implemented.
  • Some of the key recommendations are as follows:
  • Creation of a fund to compensate victims who turn hostile from the pressure of culprits.
  • Setting up separate authority at the national level to deal with crimes threatening the country’s security.
  • A complete revamp of the entire criminal procedure system.
  • Source – https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/up-custodial-death-family-seeks-answers/article37449519.ece
  1. Supreme Court gives relief to lawyers and scribes in UAPA Case filed by Tripura Government:

GS II

Topic – Internal Security related issues:

  • Why in News:
  • SC has given relief to the102 persons including lawyers and scribes in Tripura against whom FIRs were filed by Tripura Government under the UAPA Act, 1967 alleging them of inciting communal violence through their social media posts.
  • About the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967:
  • The Act gives central government full powers, which, if the Agency deems an activity illegal, may, through the Official Gazette, declare it so.
  • It has the death penalty and life imprisonment as the highest penalties
  • Key points:
  • Under UAPA, both Indians and foreigners can be charged.
  • It will apply to people in other countries even if crimes are committed in another country, outside of India.
  • Under the UAPA, the investigating agency may file a case sheet within 180 days of the arrest and the period may be extended further after reporting to the court.
  • According to the 2019 amendments:
  • The law gives the Director-General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) the power to authorize the seizure or attachment of property if a case is being investigated by the agency.
  • The law empowers NIA officials, Inspector-level or higher, to investigate terrorism cases other than those perpetrated by the DSP or ACP or a senior government official.
  • It also included the provision of nominations for terrorism.
  • Delhi High Court defines UAPA contours:
  • In June 2021, the Delhi High Court issued a ruling in which it clearly defined the provisions of Section 15 to remove the “ambiguity” associated with this particular provision of the UAPA, 1967.
  • The Delhi High Court had set out some important provisions in setting out Section 15, 17. & 18 of the Act.
  • Sections 15, 17 and 18 of UAPA:
  • 15 charges a ‘terrorist act’.
  • 17 puts down the penalty for raising money by committing terrorism.
  • 18 charges ‘conspiracy’ and so on. committing an act of terrorism or any act of preparation to commit an act of terrorism
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • Definition of illegal activity.
  • Power of the Institution under the law.
  • Does judicial review work in such cases?
  • Changes introduced by amendments in 2004 and 2019.
  • Can foreigners be prosecuted under this law?
  • Source – https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tripura-violence-sc-protects-2-lawyers-scribe-booked-under-uapa-from-coercive-action/article37538375.ece
  1. ED Chief gets 1 year extension of service:

GS II

Topic – Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

  • Why in News:
  • It was decided recently through an ordinance passed by the Central Government that the chiefs of CBI and ED can now be appointed for 5 years.
  • Until recently, there has been a long-term issue of pending vacancies in probe agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
  • Like judiciary even probe agencies suffered from the dearth of manpower and infrastructure.
  • They are overburdened.
  • For example, one trial court handles 1,000 cases.
  • Some of these cases, investigated by agencies such as the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), have been pending for over a decade.
  • Data on pending cases against legislators:
  • 51 MPs and 71 MLAs were accused of offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.
  • Out of the 121 cases pending trial against MPs and MLAs before the CBI courts across the country, 58 were punishable with life imprisonment.
  • In 45 cases, even the charges have not been framed, though the offences were alleged to have been committed several years ago
  • A total of 37 CBI cases against legislators were continuing in the stage of investigation for years on end now.
  • Challenges and causes for frequent delays:
  • The High Courts intervened and granted stay of the trial.
  • ED cases were held up because they spanned to tax havens abroad, which refused to cooperate with investigations.
  • Insufficient special courts to exclusively try cases against MPs/MLAs.
  • Shortage of prosecutors and latches in prosecution.
  • Delayed investigation.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • Powers and functions of ED
  • Powers and functions of CBI
  • Source – The Hindu
  1. Promise of the New QUAD:

GS II

Topic – International relations:

  • Why in the News:
  • The first meeting of US, Indian, Israeli and UAE foreign ministers was recently held.
  • At the end of the summit, the four countries agreed to establish a new international economic forum to utilize the “unique power, knowledge and experience” provided by each country.
  • About the group:
  • The group is known as ‘New Quad’ or ‘Middle-Eastern Quad’.
  • Objectives and focus areas of the new Quad:
  • The group aims to serve as an “international economic forum” that will work to advance economic and political relations between the four countries.
  • Significance:
  • Experts believe the new group is crucial for greater international cooperation in keeping the Middle East region stable.
  • Comparison with Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD):
  • QSD, commonly referred to as the ‘Quad’ strategic dialogue is held between the United States, India, Japan and Australia.
  • The dialogue was initiated in 2007 in response to an increase in Chinese violence in the South China Sea and was accompanied by the largest joint military exercise of the modern day, the Malabar Exercise.
  • While Australia moved out of the discussion as its economic ties with China grow over a decade, the group reunited in 2017.
  • What will the new Quad Group focus on:
  • Some of the areas that these countries highlighted during their talks included improving trade relations, regional maritime cooperation, joint public health communications around the world, and joint infrastructure projects focusing on transportation and technology.
  • Benefits of the new Quad:
  • Apart from trade, there are opportunities for India, the UAE and Israel to work together in many areas – from semiconductor construction and space technology development.
  • With the new alliance, India can use this platform to take advantage of various opportunities such as Big data, AI, Quantum computing, exporting its products to their market etc.
  • The group will help focus on non-military issues such as trade, power, and the environment as well as the promotion of public goods.
  • The platform will help India to pursue multi-stakeholder relations in the region.
  • With major powers such as France, Russia, and China drawn into the region, the coalition will help India build its position in changing the geopolitics of the region.
  • The need and importance of the group:
  • Four countries with “different sets of skills, knowledge, and experience” can be used to create a new network of partnerships.
  • Countries have also noticed that there is a growing interest in each other. Especially in the field of energy, climate, trade, and regional security.
  • Therefore, the new Quad format will help these countries to develop these areas continuously.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • About the Quad Grouping.
  • When was it first proposed?
  • Important countries and islands in the Indian Ocean region.
  • An overview of the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Important seas and difficulties in the region.
  • Source – https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/tech-vision-for-us-uae-israel-and-india-7628233/
  1. Deliberations are being held over extension of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan:

GS II

Topic – International Relations:

  • Why in News:
  • Recently, Pakistan held discussions with Taliban over Afghanistan joining the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) infrastructure project.
  • China has also proposed construction of the Peshawar-Kabul motorway as an extension of CPEC in Afghanistan.
  • China-Pakistan Economic Corridor:
  • The CPEC is a bilateral project between Pakistan and China.
  • It is intended to promote connectivity across Pakistan with a network of highways, railways, and pipelines accompanied by energy, industrial, and other infrastructure development projects.
  • It aims to link the Western part of China (Xinjiang province) to the Gwadar Port in Balochistan, Pakistan via Khunjerab Pass in the Northern Parts of Pakistan
  • It will pave the way for China to access the Middle East and Africa from Gwadar Port, enabling China to access the Indian Ocean.
  • CPEC is a part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
  • The BRI, launched in 2013, aims to link Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf region, Africa and Europe with a network of land and sea routes.
  • India has been severely critical of the CPEC, as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, which is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • About CPEC
  • Bordering countries of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and China

 

 

 

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