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List of Contents
The Case of Caste-Based Violence against Women
Source: Click Here
Syllabus: GS 2 – mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections
The Supreme Court convicted the accused of rape under Section 376 of IPC (Indian Penal Code) in the recent Patan Jamal Vali v. State of Andhra Pradesh case. However, the conviction under the Prevention of Atrocities Act (PoA) was set aside. It shows insensitivity towards the recognition of caste-based violence against women in India.
- In Patan Jamal Vali v. State of Andhra Pradesh case, the trial court and the High Court had sentenced the accused to life imprisonment. He was found guilty of rape under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under Section 3(2)(v) of the PoA Act.
- Both of them viewed a connection between the caste, gender, and disability of the woman as she was a 22-year-old blind Dalit woman.
- However, the Supreme Court diverted from this view. It found the accused guilty of rape under section 376 but not under Section 3(2)(v) of the PoA Act.
|About SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 or PoA Act:|
Analyzing the judgment:
- It recognised the intersectional discrimination faced by women on the grounds of sex, caste, and disability. This recognition would help the judges to take into account the multiple marginalities that the victim faced.
- Intersectional discrimination arises when the identity of a woman intersects with her caste, religion, disability, and sexual orientation. Due to this, she may face violence and discrimination on two or more grounds.
- The court also laid down directions to train judges, the police, and prosecutors to be sensitized in such cases.
- It set aside the conviction under the PoA Act like many other previous judgments of the Supreme Court.
- In Asharfi v. State of Uttar Pradesh (2017), the court held that the evidence and materials on record did not show that the appellant had committed rape on the ground that the victim was a member of an SC community.
- In Khuman Singh v. State of Madhya Pradesh (2019), the court affirmed the fact that the victim was a member of an SC community. However, there was no evidence to show that the offense was committed only on that ground and hence the conviction was set aside.
- The court in the current case stated that there was no evidence to establish whether it was caste, gender, or disability that led to the commission of the offence. Hence, it acquitted the accused under the PoA Act.
Why was Conviction under the PoA Act desired?
- First, the repeated setting aside of convictions under the PoA Act strengthens the allegations that the law is misused by marginalised sections.
- Second, the high acquittal rate motivates the dominant communities for continuing atrocities on the SC/ST community. As seen in the recent Hathras rape case, 2020.
Concludingly, we can say that the judgment was a missed opportunity for the court to use intersectionality to uphold the conviction under the PoA Act. Further, it should have at least referred the matter to a larger bench in order to attain clarity over the critical elements that determine conviction under PoA Act.
Traceability Provisions Under the new IT Rules will encroach into User’s Privacy
Source: Click Here
Syllabus: GS 3 – role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges
The significant social media intermediaries (including whatsapp) are unhappy with the traceability provision under the new IT rules. This would end the encryption feature on messaging platforms and would undermine users’ privacy. This calls for reconsidering the concerning provisions of new rules.
- The Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 came into force on 26th May 2021.
- The social messaging platform (whatsapp) has moved to the Delhi High court against the new rules, especially the traceability provision.
What is Traceability Provision?
- It requires significant social media intermediaries to identify the first originator of the information on its platform if required by judicial order.
- A significant social media intermediary is one with more than 50 lakh registered users.
Why does the Government want to invoke traceability provision?
- It will use the provision as a tool of last resort for special situations.
- This includes prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution, or punishment of an offense related to the sovereignty and integrity of India, child sexual abuse material, etc.
- As per the government, such usage would be in line with the Puttaswamy judgment.
- The judgment demands that any restriction to the right of privacy must be necessary, proportionate, and should have safeguards against abuse.
Concerns associated with Traceability provision:
- First, the compliance will require Whatsapp to break its end-to-end encryption service that allows messages to be read-only by the sender and the receiver. Breaking this would simply violate a user’s privacy.
- Second, the companies are unable to understand the additional requirement of traceability provision. The government can already seek access to encrypted data under Section 69(3) of the IT Act. Further, Rules 17 and 13 of the 2009 Surveillance Rules require intermediaries to assist with decryption:
- when they have the technical ability to do so and
- when a law enforcement agency has no other alternative.
- Third, the new rules don’t have any independent or judicial oversight. This would allow the government to seek any user’s identity on vague grounds. This could compromise the anonymity of whistle-blowers and journalistic sources.
The Government needs to revisit its position on traceability commitments of intermediaries. It should revise the IT Act, 2000 in line with the international standards and pass the long-pending Data Protection Bill.
Indian Model presents a viable solution to Israel-Palestine Conflict
Source: Click Here
Syllabus: GS 2 – India and its neighbourhood- relations
The Israel-Palestine conflict has been going on for almost a century now. The recent escalation took place on 11th May and took the lives of many people on both sides. Experts believe that both countries should adopt a peaceful solution by drawing inspiration from the Indian Model of coexistence.
- The recent 11th May 2021 encounter between Hamas and Israel started a proxy war between the two sides. They fought for 11 days until a ceasefire was declared on 21st May 2021.
- The encounter is neither the first nor likely to be the last of its kind. The conflict has been going on and off for almost a century now.
- Both the parties claim their control on religious grounds. The holy land of Jerusalem is home to the three religions of Abrahamic monotheism, viz., Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Brief History of Israel-Palestine Issue:
|1917||British expressed official support for a Jewish “national home” in Palestine under the Balfour Declaration.|
|1947||The UN gave a partition plan for independent Jewish and Arab states in Palestine. This was accepted by Jews but not by Arabs.|
|1948||The Jewish declaration of Israel’s independence induced surrounding Arab states to attack. |
At the end of the war, Israel controlled around 50 percent more territory than originally envisioned in the UN partition plan. The country did Nakba (a Holocast) on the Palestinian people and expelled about 80% of Arabs from its territory.
Jordan controlled the West Bank and Jerusalem’s holy sites, and Egypt controlled the Gaza Strip.
|1964||The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was formed as the national representative of the Palestinian people.|
|1967||A six-day war took place between Israel and Arab states. After the war, Israeli forces seized the Golan Heights from Syria, the West Bank & East Jerusalem from Jordan, and Sinai Peninsula & Gaza strip from Egypt.|
|1973||The Yom Kippur War took place between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria. The victory of Israel made it certain that the country is here to stay for a long time.|
Looking at the vicious cycle of violence, many experts have suggested the adoption of the Indian Model of coexistence by both parties.
What is the Indian Model of Coexistence?
- It is based on the principle of democracy and secularism.
- It accommodates religious, ethnic, linguistic, and other diversities through nonviolent discourse.
Why should the Indian Model be adopted?
- First, it would bring lasting peace to the region. Because the model would be formulated on the principle of the mutual bargain. This would keep in mind the interests of Jews as well as Palestinians.
- Second, the model has been successful in keeping India strong and united despite having huge diversity. The diversity and region of the Israel-Palestine is much smaller and hence, there is a higher probability of accommodating sectional interests.
- Third, both Hamas and Israel are here to stay for a long time. Further use of violence has not yielded desired results in the past.
- Fourth, the other alternative i.e the European model of annihilation of natives has not delivered fruitful outcomes in the past. The latest being the unsuccessful attempt by Nazis to dominate the jews in Germany.
- Fifth, considering the current positions, the probability of creating two states as per 1967 boundaries is almost impossible.
- Palestinians are sparsely spread over the land in scores of non-contiguous pockets. That makes a cohesive state unviable.
- Further Israel would be required to free a significant amount of occupied territory in order to realise the 1967 border. This is unlikely to happen in the future.
In a nutshell, the Indian model will help in creating a modern democratic state with equal rights and opportunities for everyone.
How govts can support Covid Orphans?
Source: Indian Express
Gs2: Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of the population by the Centre and States
Synopsis: Short, medium- and long-term solutions are needed for the care and protection of covid orphans.
Vulnerability of Children due to the impact of Pandemic
Children’s safety, health, holistic development, and even their very futures are at risk. For instance,
- Many children are in danger of being trafficked or forced into child labor.
- Teenage girls are at risk of being pushed into child marriage.
- Many suffer exclusion, marginalisation, abuse, and even violence owing to Poverty.
- Large numbers of children are being cut off from formal education.
- Many children are orphaned due to loss of their parents.
How govt can support covid orphans?
Short term solutions
- First, orphaned children should be allowed to be in kinship care with extended family rather than putting them in institutional stay for longer periods.
- In this regard, the Child Welfare Committee should consider the wishes of the child, and the ability of the family members to care for them.
- Second, fake messages about adopting “Covid orphans” should be firmly dealt by law enforcement agencies. Foster care and adoption of children who have lost parents to Covid-19 should take place only through the legal process.
- Third, Meal supplementation through anganwadis and schools, growth monitoring of young children. Also, counseling of pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should continue.
- One, need to plan for a possible third wave of Covid-19 and its Impact on Children.
- Children with mild-to-moderate cases of Covid-19 infection should be allowed to stay at home, with careful monitoring of their condition.
- For children who need hospitalisation, a parent or guardian must be permitted to be with them.
- Child protection staff must be positioned at hospitals to help with children who are in the care of child services.
- Two, Children will need support to process their grief and recover from the loss of lives. For this, Grief and trauma counsellors will need to be identified and trained in districts.
- One, government policy support for ‘Covid orphan ‘. Free education, access to free healthcare, monthly allowance, a mentorship Programme and fixed monetary support when they become adults should be considered.
- Two, the post-pandemic curriculum should encourage children to share and reflect on their learning on emotional strength, maturity, and resilience that they witnessed during the Pandemic.
- Three, investments in infrastructure for children’s development. The construction and renovation of anganwadis, schools, rural libraries, primary health centres and subcenters should be prioritised