Q.1) The government recently decided to set up Special Courts in India. In this context discuss the salient features of special courts and how these courts will deal with tainted lawmakers? What are the challenges in the way of setting up these courts in India? (GS-2)
The legislature has introduced special courts on many occasions through various laws, usually with the intention to enable quick and efficient disposal of cases.
- A special court is a court with limited jurisdiction, that deals with a particular field of law rather than a particular territorial jurisdiction.
- The Centre decided to set up 17 special courts within a year time frame.
How Special Courts will deal with tainted lawmakers?
The issue of tainted lawmakers is important issue because these are law makers which are supposed to frame legislations, lay down policies and help in achieving the democratic principles. Special courts will deal with tainted lawmakers in following ways:
- The Centre’s decision will a body blow for politicians who despite facing criminal charges has state in Parliament because of delay in trying them.
- It will help in quick and efficient disposal of cases.
- To ensure effective trial and that have powers of district or sessions courts.
- It will help in put an end to the inordinate delay in the prosecution of politicians and criminal cases.
- It will exclusively deal with cases against MP and MLAs, and dispose them within a year.
- Laws enacted in the last three decades have considered special courts as quick remedy for questions of delays in trial.
- Cases related to corruption, terrorism, sexual offences against children and drug trafficking are dealt with by special courts.
Some of the challenges in setting special courts:
- Lack of infrastructure and facilities for special courts.
- High rates of pendency and absence of Special courts plagues in several states.
- The provision of special courts in laws does not match with the backlog and pendency of cases in specific
- category. For example, There is huge backlog under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act but there is no provision of exclusive courts.
- There is no criteria which justify provision of special courts in a particular law.
- Forums like quasi-judicial bodies, tribunals, and commissions were excluded.
- Setting special courts is not a long term solution.
- By setting special courts, regular courts will suffer.
- The objective of special courts has been unclear.
- It is not very revealing whether specific legislations which provides for special courts necessarily intend quick disposal of cases.
- The provision to set up special courts is a welcome step we need to make on long term and permanent solution to deal with pendency of cases and for better justice delivery system for a healthy democracy.
- Although this is a welcome step by the government of India but there are lots of other issues apart from tainted lawmakers like women’s safety. Special courts cannot take place on the regular dispensation. This is an issue for several years.
Q.2) India’s public distribution system (PDS) is in danger of being derailed in several States across the country due to some unwanted reforms. Discuss.(GS-3)
The Public Distribution System (PDS) evolved as a system for distribution of food grains at affordable prices and management of emergency situations.Public distribution system (PDS) is an Indian food security system.Established by the Government of India under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution and are managed jointly by state governments in India.It distributes subsidized food and non-food items to India’s poor. This scheme was launched in June 1947.
India’s public distribution system (PDS) is in danger of being derailed in several states. Some of the examples are discussed below.
- Jharkhand is a prime example of this problem.
- By mid-2016, the PDS in Jharkhand had greatly improved, partly due to a series of reforms inspired by Chhattisgarh’s experience and intensified under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
- The state government has made Aadhaar-based biometric authentication compulsory for PDS users.
- Large number of people like vulnerable groups such as widows and the elderly people found themselves excluded from the PDS.
- There is a huge corruption involved in the system.
- The mass-cancellation of Aadhaar-less ration cards, without verification and without even informing the victims, was both inhuman and illegal.
- Jharkhand is among the worst cases of destabilisation of the PDS, but similar moves are happening in other States.
- Most of them are under tremendous pressure from the Central government to impose Aadhaar-based biometric authentication or move towards DBT.
- In Rajasthan, the biometric authentication has caused enormous damage, evident even in the government’s own transactions data.
- Even Chhattisgarh, known for its model PDS, is under pressure to follow the diktats of the Central government and adopt Aadhaar-based technology.
Reasons for failure :
- The system is blamed for inefficiency and rural-urban biasness.
- It is frequently being criticized for corruption and black marketing.
- PDS dealers often give less than what they are entitled to, and pocket the rest.
- Food grains supplied by ration shops are either not enough to meet demand or are of inferior quality.
- Leakages in PDS: Leakages refer to food grains not reaching intended beneficiaries.
- Storage of food grains is another challenge.
- Poor quality of food grains: Poor quality of food may impact the willingness of people to buy food from fair price shops, and may have an adverse impact on their health.
- Growing instances of the consumers receiving inferior quality food grains in ration shops.
- Malpractices make safe and nutritious food inaccessible and unaffordable to poor people.
- The recent development of Aadhar UIDAI cards has taken up the challenge of solving the problem of identification and distribution of PDs services along with Direct Cash Transfers
- Regional allocation and coverage of FPS are unsatisfactory and the core objective of price stabilization of essential commodities has not met
- There is no set criteria as to which family is BPL and which is APL .This non ambiguity gives massive scope for corruption and fallouts in PDS systems because those who are actually meant to be benefitted are not able to taste the fruits of PDS.
Q.3) Write a short note on any two of the following?
a) National Solar Mission (GS-3)
b) Malimath Report(GS-2)
c) Green Bonds: (GS-3)
National Solar Mission:
- National Solar Mission, launched in 2010, aims to establish India as a global leader in solar energy by creating the policy conditions for its diffusion across the country as quickly as possible.
- The Mission has set the ambitious target of deploying 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022 and aims at reducing the cost of solar power generation in the country.
- The report of the committee for the “comprehensive” reform of the Criminal Justice System was chaired by Justice V.S. Malimath.
- The Committee gave recommendations with regard to the police, prosecution, the judiciary and criminal jurisprudence.
Some recommendations of the committee:
- It recommends that the court be empowered to summon and examine as a witness any person it considers appropriate and to issue directions to the investigating officers as may be necessary to assist it in its search for the truth.
- The committee also concluded that the current standard of proof — “beyond reasonable doubt” — put a “very unreasonable burden” on the prosecution.
- It has suggested that the standard of proof be set midway between the current standard in India and the much lower standard current in continental Europe, namely “preponderance of probabilities”, at “clear and convincing” proof.
- The Committee also suggested constituting a National Judicial Commission and amending Article 124 to make impeachment of judges less difficult.
- Green bond is a tax-exempt bond issued by federally qualified organizations or by municipalities for the development of brownfield sites.
- Brownfield sites are areas of land that are underutilized, have abandoned buildings or are underdeveloped, often containing low levels of industrial pollution. Green bonds are short for qualified green building and sustainable design project bonds.
- Bonds basically are debt instruments which help issuer to get capital while the investors receive fixed income in the form of interest.
- In case of Green Bonds, the issuer gets capital from the investors only if investment (capital) is being raised to fund green projects relating to renewable energy or emission reductions etc.