Daily Current Affairs for 24th August 2022

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‘Crimes against women on downtrend’

GS Paper 1: Indian Society
Important For:

Mains exam: Crimes against women

Why in News?
Crimes against women and children in Tamil Nadu were on a declining trend, thanks to the awareness being created by official machinery and voluntary organisations, said Chairperson of Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women.
What was the earlier trend?
• Speaking to reporters Chairperson of Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women said that the Commission was getting a greater number of petitions or complaints from women victims and on child marriage.
• Women, in search of remedy and justice, were speaking about the injustice being meted out to them by their family members, husbands or in-laws by taking up the issues with appropriate authorities and even with the Commission.

So, what steps have been the gamechanger?

• Awareness campaigns at School level: awareness programmes being conducted at schools for preventing child marriages had yielded positive result.
• One-Stop Centre: Efforts being taken by Tirunelveli district administration in curbing crimes against women and assuaging the victims’ trauma by establishing a ‘One-Stop Centre’ where they were being given psychiatric counselling, legal assistance, medical treatment and even shelter, if they had been isolated by their families.
o The ‘One-Stop Centre’, which had helped 1,000 women in the past one year, should be replicated in all other districts, she stressed.
• Introduction of Thai Care: Introducing ‘Thai Care’ online intervention for curbing maternal deaths by monitoring pregnant women right from the first check-up to delivery by ensuring proper diet and medication based on regular check-ups. This system had also ensured the health of the new-borns.

What could be done more?

• Internal inquiry committees should be created in all government and private offices where 10 or more women were working.
• The women working in textile and jewellery showrooms should be allowed to sit at least for 30 minutes every morning and evening.
• Awareness must be spread among the women facing harassment, physical and sexual abuse to contact the officials through 181 and prevent child abuse by informing 1098.

SC may hear plea against remission in Bilkis case
GS Paper 2: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary
Important For:
Prelims exam: Provisions for remission
Mains exam: Remission and its impact
Why in News?
The Supreme Court has agreed to consider listing a plea challenging the grant of remission by the Gujarat government to 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case.

What was the Bilkis Bano case?

During the post-Godhra communal riots in Gujarat, in 2002, five months pregnant Bilkis Bano was brutally gang-raped during her attempt to flee along with her relatives.
• The mob that attacked her killed her three-year-old daughter and 14 other members of her family.
• The mob left her naked and unconscious as they thought that she was dead, however, Bilkis Bano survived to fight against the cruelty she faced.

The Bilkis Bano trial

• Post survival Bilkis Bano tried to get the local police to file her complaint, but they refused and when an FIR was finally filed, it allegedly omitted crucial details.
• After getting refused by the local police she then approached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and moved to the Supreme Court.
• All the accused were arrested when the SC intervened and a CBI probe was ordered to inquire into the case.
• The trial was then moved to Mumbai and the trial court took four years and found 13 of the 20 accused guilty.
• The court ordered 11 accused life sentences for their heinous crimes, 7 others were acquitted for lack of evidence and the cop who refused to file FIR was imprisoned for 3 years.
• In 2017, the Bombay High Court upheld the conviction and life imprisonment of all 11 and quashed the acquittal of seven others.

What now has brought the case into light?

The Gujarat government under its remission policy has allowed the release of the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case.
Remission: Remission is shortening of a sentence without changing its character. It is not a right but based on executive discretion, as observed by the SC in the State of Haryana vs. Mahender Singh.
• The Prison Act of 1894 defines remission as the system of “rules for the time being in force regulating the award of marks to, and the consequent shortening of sentences of, prisoners in jail”.
• It is an outcome of the State’s efforts to reform criminal justice and protect human rights.
Laws governing remission
• As per law, there are three kinds of remissions — constitutional, statutory and those earned in accordance with jail manuals.
• While Article 72 of the Constitution empowers the President to grant remission, Article 161 vests similar power with the Governor.
• Provisions under Sections 432 and 433 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) lay down rules for the State governments to suspend or remit sentences.
o Prison is a subject under the State List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, and the management and administration of jails fall under State governments.
o Section 432 empowers the ‘appropriate government’ to suspend or remit the sentence of a prisoner.
o Section 433A of the Code of Criminal Procedure states that a prisoner, found guilty of an offense punishable with death and whose death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment under Section 433 shall not be released before 14 years.
o Section 435 states that in certain cases, the States have to act in consultation with the Central government. These include cases investigated by the Delhi Special Police Establishment, or by any agency that has investigated an offence under a Central Act other than the CrPC.
Court’s views on remission
• Before deciding on the remission plea, the appropriate authority “may” also seek the opinion of the presiding judge of the court where the sentence was passed.
• In D. Krishna Kumar vs State of Telangana, the HC ruled that whenever an application is made for the suspension or remission of a sentence, the “appropriate government may require the presiding judge of the court before or by which the conviction was had or confirmed, to state his opinion as to whether the application should be granted or refused, together with his reasons for such opinion.”

Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile
GS Paper 3: Indigenisation of technology
Important For:

Prelims exam: VL-SRSAM

Mains exam: Remission and its impact
Why in News?

The indigenously-developed ship-borne weapon system, Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM), was successfully flight tested by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Navy off the Chandipur coast in Odisha.

What is VL-SRSAM System?

• The VL-SRSAM system has been designed to strike high-speed airborne targets at the range of 40 to 50 km and at an altitude of around 15 km.
• DRDO officials have said its design is based on the Astra missile, which is a Beyond Visual Range Air to Air missile.

Key features

• Two key features of the VL-SRSAM are:
o Cruciform wings
o Thrust vectoring.
• The cruciform wings are four small wings arranged like a cross on four sides and give the projective a stable aerodynamic posture.
• The thrust vectoring is an ability to change the direction of the thrust from its engine control the angular velocity and the attitude of the missile, an official said.
Other Information
• VL-SRSAM is a canisterised system, which means it is stored and operated from specially designed compartments.
• In the canister, the inside environment is controlled thus making its transport and storage easier and improving the shelf life of weapons.

Centre tweaks Overseas Investment Rules
GS Paper 3: Indian Economy
Important For:

Prelims exam: Rules for Overseas investment

Why in News
The Finance Ministry released the Foreign Exchange Management (Overseas Investment) Rules, 2022 subsuming extant regulations for Overseas Investments and Acquisition and Transfer of Immovable Property Outside India Regulations, 2015.
New Rules
With an eye on wilful defaulters, the new rules stipulate that any Indian resident:
• who has an account appearing as a non-performing asset; or
• is classified as a wilful defaulter by any bank; or
• is under investigation by a financial service regulator or by investigative agencies in India
will have to seek an no objection certificate before making any overseas financial commitment.

What are the tweaks in overseas investment norms?

• Any resident in India acquiring equity capital in a foreign entity or overseas direct investment (ODI), will have to submit an Annual Performance Report (APR) for each foreign entity, every year by December 31.
• No such reporting shall be required where a person resident in India is holding less than 10% of the equity capital without control in the foreign entity.
• There is no other financial commitment other than equity capital or a foreign entity is under liquidation.
Ceiling on investment
• Any resident individual can make ODI by way of investment in equity capital or overseas portfolio investment (OPI) subject to the overall ceiling under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) of the Reserve Bank.
• Currently, the LRS permits $2,50,000 outward investment by an individual in a year.
• These norms make it easier for domestic corporates to invest abroad.

What are the prohibitions?

• Any Indian resident, who has been classified as a wilful defaulter or is under investigation by the CBI, the ED or the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO), will have to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC).
• NOC can be obtained from his or her bank, regulatory body or investigative agency before making any overseas “financial commitment” or disinvestment of overseas assets.
• The rules also provide that if lenders, the concerned regulatory body or investigative agency fail to furnish the NOC within 60 days of receiving an application, it may be presumed that they have no objection to the proposed transaction.
• Additionally, the new rules also prohibit Indian residents from making investments into foreign entities that are engaged in real estate activity, gambling in any form, and dealing with financial products linked to the Indian rupee without the specific approval of the RBI.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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