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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 29 February 2020

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:
1. Curative Petition.
2. Sedition cases in India.

GS Paper 3:
1. KVKs.
2. Delhi water doesn’t conform to ISO standards.
3. National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Facts for Prelims:
1. National School of Drama.
2. ICGS Varad.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

What is Curative Petition?

What to study?

For Prelims: Meaning, evolution and constitutional status.

For Mains: Significance.

Context: With curative petitions being a new addition to the field of law in India and that being used by the convicts of one of India’s landmark case, the Nirbhaya case, it is important to understand what it means and what can be the consequences of such a petition.
About Curative Petition:

The concept was first evolved by the Supreme Court of India in Rupa Ashok Hurra vs. Ashok Hurra and another case (2002) on the question whether an aggrieved person is entitled to any relief against the final judgement/order of the Supreme Court, even after the dismissal of a review petition. The court used the Latin maxim “actus curiae neminem gravabit”, which means that an act of the court shall prejudice no one. It’s objectives are twofolds- avoid miscarriage of justice and to prevent abuse of process.

Related Constitutional provisions:

The concept of the curative petition is supported by Article 137 of the Indian Constitution.

  • It provides that in the matter of laws and rules made under Article 145, the Supreme Court has the power to review any judgement pronounced (or order made) by it.
  • Such a petition needs to be filed within 30 days from the date of judgement or order.

 Procedure:

  1. A curative petition may be filed after a review plea against the final conviction is dismissed.
  2. It can be entertained if the petitioner establishes that there was a violation of the principles of natural justice, and that he was not heard by the court before passing an order.
  3. It must be rare rather than regular.
  4. A curative petition must be first circulated to a Bench of the three senior-most judges, and the judges who passed the concerned judgment, if available.
  5. Only when a majority of the judges conclude that the matter needs hearing should it be listed before the same Bench.
  6. The Bench at any stage of consideration of the curative petition can ask a senior counsel to assist it as amicus curiae (Friend of the court).
  7. A curative petition is usually decided by judges in the chamber unless a specific request for an open-court hearing is allowed.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

Sedition cases in India

What to study?

For Prelims: What is Sedition? Overview of sedition law, provisions related.

For Mains: Significance of the law, need for, concerns and criticisms.

Context: Latest data suggest that the sedition law remains as relevant as ever with sedition arrests increasing in recent years.

The data:

  1. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), though, has only been collecting separate data on sedition cases since 2014. In 2014, there were 47 cases of sedition but that number increased to 70 in 2018 (the latest year with available data).
  2. Compared to other offences, sedition remains a rare crime (it accounts for less than 0.01% of all IPC crimes).
  3. But within India, some parts are emerging as sedition hotspots. Assam and Jharkhand, for instance, with 37 sedition cases each, account for 32% of all sedition cases between 2014-2018.
  4. In 2018, there were 1,182 cases registered under UAPA. And almost all these cases (92%) were concentrated in five states (Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Jharkhand and Manipur).

State_wise

What is Sedition?

Sedition, which falls under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, is defined as any action that brings or attempts to bring hatred or contempt towards the government of India and has been illegal in India since 1870. 

Kedarnath Singh vs State of Bihar:

Section 124A has been challenged in various courts in specific cases. The validity of the provision itself was upheld by a Constitution Bench in 1962, in Kedarnath Singh vs State of Bihar.

  • That judgment went into the issue of whether the law on sedition is consistent with the fundamental right under Article 19 (1) (a) which guarantees each citizen’s freedom of speech and expression.
  • The Supreme Court laid down that every citizen has a right to say or write about the government, by way of criticism or comment, as long as it does not “incite people to violence” against the government established by law or with the intention of creating public disorder.

Why sedition law should be repealed?

Sedition leads to a sort of unauthorised self-censorship, for it produces a chilling effect on free speech. It suppresses what every citizen ought to do in a democracy — raise questions, debate, disagree and challenge the government’s decisions. Sedition systematically destroys the soul of Gandhi’s philosophy that is, right to dissent.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers

Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK)

What to study?

For Prelims: What are KVKs? Objectives and functions.

For Mains: Need for and significance.

Context: 11th National Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Conference was recently inaugurated.

What are KVKs- “farm science center”:

A Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) is an agricultural extension center in India. Usually associated with a local agricultural university, these centers serve as the ultimate link between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and farmers, and aim to apply agricultural research in a practical, localized setting. All KVKs fall under the jurisdiction of one of the 11 Agricultural Technology Application Research Institutes (ATARIs) throughout India.

ICRA_KVK

Activities:

KVKs provide several farm support activities like providing technology dissemination to farmers, training, awareness etc.

To achieve these, KVKs undertake:

  1. Farm advisory service.
  2. Training programme for different categories of people.
  3. Training programme for the extension functionaries.
  4. Front line demonstration.
  5. On farm testing.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation and pollution related issues.

Delhi water doesn’t conform to ISO standards

What to study?

For Prelims: What are ISO standards, key findings of the report.

For Mains: Significance of the report, concerns and measures to address them.

Context: The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has submitted its report to the Supreme Court of India on drinking water standards in Delhi.

Key findings:

  • None of the drinking water samples randomly collected from across Delhi conforms to the ISO standards of purity in one or more requirements.
  • All the drinking water samples drawn from Delhi were non-conforming in one or more requirements as per IS 10500:2012 [specification for drinking water].
  • One of the main reasons for contamination in Delhi was leaking pipes.

Background:

On January 13, the court ordered the pollution control board and the BIS to conduct a random check of water quality in Delhi and submit a report in a month.

What next?

The court has asked the BIS to suggest measures to improve water purity and asked it for reports on the samples taken from the other cities.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Important security agencies.

National Investigation Agency (NIA):

What to study?

For Prelims: NIA- objectives, composition and functions.

For Mains: Amendments- criticisms, concerns and way ahead.

Context: The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Centre and the AAP government on a PIL seeking National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe under the unlawful activities law UAPA into the violence in northeast Delhi over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

Background:

A petition filed has urged the court to direct the Centre to order the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to find out the “anti-national forces” behind the agitations and to probe the role of People’s Front of India (PFI) which is allegedly “funding, motivating and supporting the protests”.

About NIA:

It acts as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency. It is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states. Established under the National Investigation Agency Act 2008. Governing Body: Ministry of Hime Affairs.

Jurisdiction:

  1. A State Government may request the Central Government to hand over the investigation of a case to the NIA, provided the case has been registered for the offences as contained in the schedule to the NIA Act.
  2. Central Government can also order NIA to take over investigation of any scheduled offense anywhere in the India.

Composition:

Officers of the NIA are drawn from the Indian Police Service and Indian Revenue Service.

Special NIA Courts:

Various Special Courts have been notified by the Central Government of India for trial of the cases registered at various police stations of NIA under Section 11 and 22 of the NIA Act 2008. Any question as to the jurisdiction of these courts is decided by the Central Government. These are presided over by a judge appointed by the Central Government on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of the High Court with jurisdiction in that region. Supreme Court of India has also been empowered to transfer the cases from one special court to any other special court within or outside the state if the same is in the interest of justice in light of the prevailing circumstances in any particular state. The NIA Special Courts are empowered with all powers of the court of sessions under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for trial of any offense. An appeal from any judgement, sentence or order, not being an interlocutory order, of a Special Court lies to the High Court both on facts and on law. State Governments have also been empowered to appoint one or more such special courts in their states.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


 

National School of Drama:

Set up by the Sangeet Natak Akademi as one of its constituent units in 1959.

In 1975, it became an independent entity and was registered as an autonomous organization under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, fully financed by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. 

Bharat Rang Mahotsav, or the ‘National Theatre Festival’, established in 1999, is the annual theatre festival of National School of Drama (NSD), held in New Delhi, today it is acknowledged as the largest theatre festival of Asia, dedicated solely to theatre.

 

ICGS Varad:

Context: The Indian Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Vessel, ICGS Varad has been commissioned into service.

Key facts:

  • ICGS Varadis the fifth in the series of seven offshore patrol vessels, being constructed by Larsen and Toubro as a part of their 2015 contract with the Union Ministry of Defence.
  • The vessel is the first major defence ship to clear all the sea trials in one single sea sortie, creating a record of sorts in the Indian shipbuilding industry.
  • The ICGS Varadwill be deployed at Paradip in Odisha, under the operational control of the North-Eastern Region’s Coast Guard.
  • ICGS Varad will be deployed for the surveillance of India’s Exclusive Economic Zone.