Current Affairs 30-10-2017

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answered Oct 30 by prashant1984 (23,320 points)

Law panel wants more autonomy for tribunals

Context-Recommendation made by Law commission chairman  led by former Supreme Court judge, Justice (retired) B.S. Chauhan.

Recommednations-1. Appointments to tribunals and their functioning should remain independent of the executive's influence.

2.A Committee led by the Chief Justice of India should be in charge of the appointments of Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Judicial Members of the various central tribunals, which form a pillar of the country's justice delivery system.

3. While making the appointments to the Tribunal, it must be ensured that independence in working is maintained.

4. The tribunals perform an important and specialised role in justice mechanism. They take a load off the already over-burdened courts.

5.They hear disputes related to the environment, armed forces, tax and administrative issues.

6. The Commission has suggested a common nodal agency, possibly under the Law Ministry, to both monitor the working of the tribunals and to ensure uniformity in the appointment, tenure and service conditions for the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and members.

7. Every order emanating from the tribunal or its appellate forum, wherever it exists, should attains finality.

8. The Commission recommended the restoration of the High Courts’ power of judicial review over the decisions of the tribunals.

Parties should be allowed to challenge a tribunal order before the Division Bench of the high court having territorial jurisdiction over the tribunal or its appellate forum.

9. In disputes in which the AFT has jurisdiction, parties must have a right to approach the high court under Article 226 for the reason that a remedy under Article 136 is not by way of statutory appeal.

 It, however, points out that the exact issue is pending for consideration before the Supreme Court.

10. Tribunals must have benches in different parts of the country so that people of every geographical area may have easy access to justice.

11. Though the disposal rate of the tribunals in comparison to the filing of cases per year had been remarkable — 94% — the pendency remains high

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answered Oct 30 by prashant1984 (23,320 points)

POCSO: Why cases of child sexual abuse mostly end in acquittal

Context- why cases of child sexual abuse mostly end in acquittal.

Introduction- 1.only 18.49 per cent of people accused of child sexual abuse under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act were found guilty by courts in the capital in the first half of 2016.

2. The Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) said the conviction rate “leaves an unsavoury image of the way the criminal justice system is being administered in Delhi, and creates alarm in the mind of the general public that child victims of rape and sexual offences are not getting justice”

- In 2014, the conviction rate in POCSO cases was 16.33 per cent, while 2015 saw a conviction rate of 19.65 per cent.

-Issues-1.Hostility of convicts- in most acquittals, it was found that the prosecutrix (the alleged victim) — considered the ‘sterling witness’ in court parlance — had turned hostile. Simply put, the testimony of the alleged victim was found to contradict the legal position of the prosecution.

A report by the National Law School Bangalore, which analysed 667 judgments between 2013 and 2015, shed light on this phenomenon. It stated that alleged victims turned hostile in 67.5% cases, and testified against the accused in only 26.7% cases.

2. Once a POCSO case is filed, the long-winded proceedings give the accused ample time to try and pressure the victims or their families to backtrack on their complaints. The situation is even more complicated when the accused is a family member.

the conviction rate drops even further in this case.

3. A majority of these victims are from the lower economic strata, so they are more vulnerable to pressure.

What could be solution to this problem-1. National Law School study, which included police and public prosecutors, suggested that children need to be separated from the family in cases where the alleged perpetrator is a family member.

2. children should be kept in a shelter home until the trial.

3.However decision of keeping childrens should be taken on a case-to-case basis, keeping in mind the principle of best interest.

Besides, considering the pathetic condition of children’s homes, children would prefer to return to their homes.

Other challenges-1. Perjury rules don’t apply to children, which makes them open to exploitation.

2. Under POCSO, consent does not matter. Some of the cases are romantic in nature, so the statement of the victim is bound to be in favour of the accused.

3. The POCSO Act was enacted in 2012 to protect children from sexual assault, harassment and pornography. The Act also mandated setting up of special courts, where such cases can be tried expeditiously. Every stage of the judicial process was intended to be child-friendly — this hasn’t exactly happened.

Way forward-1. There needs to be clear coordination between victims and prosecutors.

2. We have minimum facilities and are not equipped to speak to victims. There is no separate room for their visit.

3.If a prosecutor gets enough time to take the victims into confidence, the process can be shortened.

4. More facilities and resources are needed for the prosecution department.

5.Special courts for the cases and police investigation should be efficient.

6.Reduce the delay in forensic reports.

7. The rationalisation of work should be considered by the High Court, which should set a benchmark that judges deal.

8. There should be a committee to look for the most vulnerable — places from where most cases are coming. Accordingly, there should be awareness, education, and policing.

9.Many POCSO cases are from JJ clusters and resettlement colonies, so there is a need for multi-pronged strategies. 

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answered Oct 30 by prashant1984 (23,320 points)

Challenge before Maharashtra govt: Sustaining Jalyukta Shivar ‘success’

Context-1. The Maharashtra government’s flagship Jalyukta Shivar project for drought mitigation is no longer restricted to villages.

2. The government has decided to implement the project in smaller cities to tide over the problem of water scarcity across Maharashtra.

About Jalyukta shivar – 1.The Maharashtra government in India has launched a water conservation scheme named 'Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan' to make Maharashtra a drought-free state by 2019.

2.The programme aims to make 5000 villages free of water scarcity every year.

3.The key aim of Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan is to establish belief in a farmer that “every drop of rainwater is owned by me and it should percolate in my land”.

4. Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan aims to bring water empowerment to 25,000 drought-affected villages in Maharashtra within next five years. With the passing time, the scheme has been going strong with villages building infrastructure and making the programme one of the largest Government initiatives in terms of public participation.

Performance of the project- 1.Jalyukta Shivar has brought 21 lakh hectares of land under assured irrigation and created 15.74 TMC water storage capacity.

2. Of the total 25,000 villages, which were reeling under drought, 11,494 have become water reliant.

3.Governemnt is determined to make the remaining 13,506 villages drought free by 2019.

4. Out of the total 355 talukas in Maharashtra, Govt. received proposal for Jalyukta Shivar projects from 300 talukas. 

Challenges Before scheme-1. the biggest challenge before the state government is to sustain almost 2 lakh projects that have been completed in 11,494 villages. While the second phase in under way in 5,000 villages.

2.The process to audit the works to bring more scientific methods are being pushed.

3.Next  more challenging step is to ensure villages that becomes water-reliant work to unsure underground water tables are increased through recharge projects.

 The caution comes in the wake of villages overlooking the maintenance aspect after becoming water reliant.

- Various water conservation campaigns and training programmes for grassroot workers have been launched to inculcate the concept of treating water as an economic commodity.

Steps taken by Government-1.  To avoid any misuse of the funds or mismanagement in the project, government audit has become compulsory.

2.Government ensured routine monitoring. The entire work cost and deadline for every project is compulsorily displayed at the site.

3.Government is seeking suitable plan for those villages who are water self sufficient but looking for water conservation plans.

Problem associated-1. But problem lies in substandard work. Therefore, greater attention should be paid to the quality of work.

2. Other projects undertaken to increase the irrigation potential and tackle water crisis  are digging farm ponds and de-silting of dams.

3. Of the total target of 1,11,111 farm ponds, work has completed on 43,640. The total funds required is Rs 222.26 crore.

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answered Oct 30 by prashant1984 (23,320 points)

India to host UN wildlife summit in 2020

- India to be the host of the next CMS Conference of the Parties CMSCOP13.

 CMSCOP12 plenary was oragnised in Manila.

-CMS COP is a global wildlife conference.

CMS COP 12-1.The slogan for the Conference is “Their Future is Our Future – Sustainable Development for Wildlife & People”, links to the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by the world’s governments in 2015 to end poverty and hunger, improve health and education, combat climate change and protect oceans and forests. 

2. The CMS COP will place particular emphasis on the fact that migratory animals provide vital services that satisfy people’s everyday needs – as a source of food and medicine, as pollinators and seed dispersers, and as a means of pest control. 

3.Migratory species can also fire our imagination with their majestic presence and beauty and inspire us with their intrepid journeys across deserts and oceans. 

4.COP12 presents an opportunity to place the cause of nature conservation centre stage in the wider debate about the future of the planet and the fate of its residents – human and animal.

About CMS- Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals- 1.It is an environmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme,

2.CMS provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats.

3.CMS brings together the States through which migratory animals pass, the Range States, and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range.

4.As the only global convention specializing in the conservation of migratory species, their habitats and migration routes,

5.CMS complements and co-operates with a number of other international organizations, NGOs and partners in the media as well as in the corporate sector.

6.Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I of the Convention.

7.CMS Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them. Besides establishing obligations for each State joining the Convention, CMS promotes concerted action among the Range States of many of these species.

8.Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention. For this reason, the Convention encourages the Range States to conclude global or regional agreements.

9.CMS acts as a framework Convention. The agreements may range from legally binding treaties (called Agreements) to less formal instruments, such as Memoranda of Understanding, and can be adapted to the requirements of particular regions. The development of models tailored according to the conservation needs throughout the migratory range is a unique capacity to CMS.

                

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