The Hindu Newspaper Analysis for UPSC
- The Supreme Court on Monday referred to a Constitution Bench the question of how to provide accused in death penalty cases a “meaningful, real and effective” hearing of their mitigating circumstances before a trial judge.
- A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit said the presentation of mitigating factors by an accused to avoid the “extreme penalty of death” was a “valuable right”.
- As a salutary norm, the Supreme Court has laid down that the death penalty can be imposed only in the “rarest of rare” cases.
- Prior to the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act (Cr PC) of 1955, the death penalty was the rule and life imprisonment an exception in India.
- After the amendment of 1955 courts were at liberty to grant either death or life imprisonment.
- As per Section 354 (3) of the CrPC, 1973 the courts are required to state reasons in writing for awarding the maximum penalty.
- The situation has been reversed and a life sentence is the rule and death penalty an exception in capital offences.
- Capital punishment once delivered by the court of sessions (“sentencing court”) is required under law (CrPC) to be confirmed by the jurisdictional High Court (“confirming court”).
- No death sentence imposed by a trial court can be executed unless the punishment is confirmed by the High Court too.
- A two-judge Bench of the Supreme Court of India is presently hearing arguments on the correctness of a Karnataka High Court judgment that upheld the ban on the use of the hijab by students in Karnataka.
- Over the last few days, counsel for the petitioners has addressed a bundle of different issues, ranging from the rights of students to freedom of expression, conscience, and religion to the disparate impact that the ban has had on the right to education of Muslim women.
- court-crafted doctrine of essential practice – This requires judges to engage not merely in legal analysis but also in theological study — something an education in the law scarcely equips one to perform.
- First, it held that the use of a hijab is not essential to the practice of Islam.
- Second, it ruled that there exists no substantive right to freedom of expression or privacy inside a classroom and, therefore, these rights were simply not at stake here.
- First, it has allowed the Court to narrow the extent of safeguards available to religious customs by directly impinging on the autonomy of groups to decide for themselves what they deem valuable, violating, in the process, their right to ethical independence.
- Second, it has also negated legislation that might otherwise enhance the cause of social justice by holding that such laws cannot under any circumstances encroach on matters integral to the practice of a religion.
- A humanitarian act can also be part of smart diplomacy, and India ought to make a distinction between the government and the people
- Pakistan is facing a severe crisis that is unprecedented. A third of its territory is under water, the death toll has crossed 1,400, and over 33 million people are suffering from the disruption caused by the flood.
- According to the World Health Organization, 6.4 million people need support, while 16 million children are in distress with 3.4 million of them needing ‘life-saving’ support, according to UNICEF.
- Pakistan often finds it difficult to formulate a policy on relations with India based on enlightened self-interest.
- It should be self-evident that a humanitarian act per se does not require any justification. Unfortunately, when it comes to Pakistan, India finds it difficult at times to do what is obviously right.
Ministry writes to Finance Ministry noting contracts have built-in mechanism to capture windfall gains; says additional tax may result in firms paying more than the gain itself
- Windfall taxes are designed to tax the profits a company derives from an external, sometimes unprecedented event— for instance, the energy price-rise as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
- These are profits that cannot be attributed to something the firm actively did, like an investment strategy or an expansion of business.
- A windfall is defined as an “unearned, unanticipated gain in income through no additional effort or expense”.
Mains Practice Question:
Q) Whether growing population is the cause of poverty or poverty is the mains cause of population increase in India ?(150 words)
बढ़ती जनसंख्या गरीबी का कारण है या गरीबी भारत में जनसंख्या वृद्धि का मुख्य कारण है ?(150 शब्द)
- TR Malthus, in an Essay on the “Principles of Population” establishes the kind of cause-effect relationship between both Population and Poverty and said that both are quite interlinked.
- The UN Human Rights Council has defined poverty as “a human condition characterized by the sustained or chronic deprivation of the resources, capabilities, choices, security and power necessary for the enjoyment of an adequate standard of living and other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights”.
- Poverty and population growth has a two way linkage.
- At one end, high population growth rate is one of the major reasons for poverty in India. As a high population below the poverty line add to high levels of illiteracy, poor health care facilities and poor access to financial resources. Hence high population growth affects the per capita income and makes per capita income even lower.
- On the other hand, for the poor, one more child means two more hands to work and earn for the livelihood of the family, and this particular reason makes poverty a strong cause for a growing population. Further, lack of money and proper awareness or education about contraceptive methods is among major causes of population increase in India due to poverty. It leads to poor lifestyle and high mortality, particularly among children, which keeps the fertility rates high, due to uncertainty, further increasing the population upwards.
- Overall, it is a vicious cycle and it can’t be determined what leads to what and thus, the focus shall be on the regulation and control of both of these phenomenons.
- The existence of poverty and rapid population growth has been seen in many LDCs. These concepts have largely been accepted as being interrelated however these relationships have proved to be highly complex therefore addressing these problems have been difficult globally.
- Efforts to combat the ‘vicious circle’ of poverty, rising population growth and environmental degradation are said to require multidisciplinary policies in all sectors.