Daily Current Affairs : 29th July 2023

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Mob lynching
  2. Indian Institutes of Management (Amendment) Bill  
  3. Legal dispute in Kashi
  4. Facts for Prelims

1 . Mob Lynching

Context: The Supreme Court asked the Centre and at least six States to respond to a plea about lynchings and mob violence refusing to stop.

Background of the case

  • The plea was filed in the supreme court about the gruesome incidents of mob fury and vigilantism continue to happen despite a five-year-old apex court judgment, which had made the government machinery squarely accountable for protecting the lives of victims, including minority community members.

What is Mob Lynching?

  • Mob lynching is a term used to describe the acts of targeted violence by a large group of people. The violence is tantamount to offences against human body or property-both public as well as private. The mob believes that they are punishing the victim for doing something wrong (not necessarily illegal) and they take the law in their own hands to punish the purported accused without following any rules of law.

Causes for Mob Lynching:

  • Intolerance: People are intolerant in accepting the acts of law and go on to punish the alleged person assuming the act to be immoral.
  • Biases: Biases based on various identities like caste, class, religion, etc: mob lynching is a hate crime that is rising due to the biases or prejudices among various castes, classes of people, and religions.
  • Rise of Cow Vigilante: It is one of the crucial reasons that agitate the growing rise in mob lynching activities.
  • Lack of Speedy Justice: Inefficient working of justice rendering authorities is the primary reason why people take law into their own hands and have no fear of the consequences.
  • The Inefficiency of Police Administration : Police officers play an important role in protecting the life of the people and maintaining harmony among the people but due to their ineffective investigation procedure, this hate crime is rising day by day.

Types of Mob-lynching:

Mob-Lynching based on the causes can be classified into six types. They are:

  • Communal based
  • Witchcraft
  • Honour killing
  • Bovine-related mob lynching
  • Suspicion of Child lifting
  • Theft cases

Steps Taken to deal with Lynching

  • Preventive Measures:
    • In July 2017, the Supreme Court in the case of Tahseen s. Poonawala v. UOI had laid down several preventive, remedial and punitive measures to deal with lynching and mob violence. The Supreme Court in this case aptly referred to mob lynching as a ‘horrendous act of mobocracy.
    • The judgment had directed States to form Special Task Forces to collect intelligence on likely incidents of hate speeches, mob violence and lynchings in districts. The judgment had made it clearly the duty of the Central and State governments to take steps to curb and stop the dissemination of explosive messages, videos, etc, which have a “tendency to incite mob violence and lynching of any kind”.
    • The 2018 judgment had directed that the police were duty bound to register FIRs, arrest the accused, carry out effective investigation and file charge sheets in complaints of mob violence and lynchings.
  • Designated Fast Track Courts:
    • States were directed to set up designated fast track courts in every district to exclusively deal with cases involving mob lynchings.
  • Special Task Force:
    • The court had also mooted the setting up of a special task force with the objective of procuring intelligence reports about the people involved in spreading hate speeches, provocative statements and fake news which could lead to mob lynchings.
  • Victim Compensation Schemes:
    • Directions were also issued to set up Victim compensation schemes for relief and rehabilitation of victims. A year later in July 2019 the Supreme Court issued notices to the Centre and several states asking them to submit the steps taken by them towards implementing the measures and file compliance reports. As of now only three states Manipur, West Bengal and Rajasthan have enacted laws against mob lynching. The Jharkhand Assembly has passed Prevention of Mob Violence and Mob Lynching Bill, 2021 recently.

The Supreme Court’s Guidelines:

  • The state governments shall designate a senior police officer in each district for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.
  • The state governments shall immediately identify districts, sub-divisions and villages where instances of lynching and mob violence have been reported in the recent past.
  • The nodal officers shall bring to the notice of the Director General of Police (DGP) any inter-district co-ordination issues for devising a strategy to tackle lynching and mob violence-related issues.
  • It shall be the duty of every police officer to cause a mob to disperse, which, in his opinion, has a tendency to cause violence in the disguise of vigilantism or otherwise.
  • The Central and the state governments should broadcast on radio and television and other media platforms including the official websites that lynching and mob violence of any kind shall invite serious consequence under the law.
  • Curb and stop the dissemination of irresponsible and explosive messages, videos and other material on various social media platforms which have a tendency to incite mob violence. Register FIR under relevant provisions of law against persons who disseminate such messages.
  • State governments shall prepare a lynching/mob violence victim compensation scheme.
  • Ensure that there is no further harassment of the family members of the victims.
  • If a police officer or an officer of the district administration fails to do his/her duty, the same will be considered as an act of deliberate negligence for which an appropriate action must be taken against him/her.

Laws against Lynching

  • The Union Home Ministry informed Parliament in 2019 that there was “no separate” definition for lynching under the IPC, adding that such incidents could be dealt with under Sections 300 and 302 of the IPC which pertain to murder.
  • In 2017, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) collected data on mob lynching, hate crimes and cow vigilantism, but the figures were not published and the work was discontinued as these crimes are not defined and the data were found to be unreliable.
  • In 2019, the Ministry informed the Lok Sabha that it had received the Bills passed by the legislatures of Manipur and Rajasthan that had been reserved by the Governor for consideration of the President. The President has to go with the advice given by the Council of Ministers represented by the Home Ministry.
  • In 2018, the Supreme Court asked Parliament to make lynching a separate offence. The Home Minister had informed Parliament that the government had decided to overhaul the IPC framed in 1860 and the CrPC and mob-lynching would also be examined by the committee.

Anti Lynching bill passed by states

  • On December 22, the Jharkhand Assembly passed the Prevention of Mob Violence and Mob Lynching Bill, 2021, providing for punishment ranging from three years to life imprisonment. The Bill awaits the Governor’s assent.
  • On August 5, 2019, the Rajasthan Assembly passed the Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019, providing for life imprisonment and a fine ranging from ₹1 lakh to ₹5 lakh to those convicted in cases of mob lynching leading to the victim’s death.
  • On August 30, 2019, the West Bengal Assembly passed the West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019, that proposes a jail term from three years to life imprisonment for those involved in assaulting and injuring a person and also defines terms such as “lynching” and “mob”. The government also proposed to set up the West Bengal Lynching Compensation Scheme.
  • In 2018, the Manipur Assembly passed the Manipur Protection from Mob Violence Bill, recommending life imprisonment for those involved in mob violence if it led to death.

2 . Indian Institutes of Management (Amendment) Bill

Context: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan introduced the Indian Institutes of Management (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha which proposes to make the President the Visitor to all IIMs.

What are the key provisions of the Bill?

  • According to the Indian Institutes of Management (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the President of India shall be a Visitor of every institute.
  • The Visitor may appoint one or more persons to review the work and progress of any institute, to hold inquiries into affairs thereof, and to report in such manner as the Visitor may direct.
  • The board may also recommend to the Visitor an inquiry as deemed proper against the institute which has not been functioning in accordance with provisions and objectives of the Act
  • The Bill empowers the Centre to constitute an interim Board in case of suspension or dissolution of the Board of Governors.
  • Under the IIM Act, which came into force in January 2018 and granted the premier B-schools greater autonomy, the board of governors of each institute has 19 members who include just one representative each from the central and state governments.
  • The board nominates its remaining 17 members from among eminent personalities, faculty, and alumni. The board also appoints the search panels for the appointment of new directors and chairpersons and later makes the appointments if it agrees with the search panels’ recommendations. However, according to the amendment bill, the search-cum-selection panel for the Director’s appointment will have a Visitor’s nominee.
  • Before the IIM Act was passed, the then human resource development (HRD) Ministry used to appoint the IIMs’ directors, chairpersons, and board members.

What are the concern about the bill?

  • Experts said the amendments will have an impact on the autonomy of the IIMs and they will be governed the way Central universities are governed. The Bill also proposes to change the National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai as the Indian Institute of Management, Mumbai.

3 . Legal dispute in Khasi

Context: The Supreme Court stayed an ongoing survey of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had begun earlier in the day.

Background of the case

  • A Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud put on hold until July 26 the order of a Varanasi district court that had directed ASI to carry out a “scientific” survey of the mosque premises. The top court also asked the mosque committee to move the Allahabad High Court against the district court’s order before the expiration of the interim stay order.
  • The decades-old litigation around the 17th century mosque built by Aurangzeb allegedly after destroying the original Kashi Vishwanath Temple, has gained momentum over the last year or so after five Hindu women sought the right to worship Maa Shrinagar Gauri on the outer wall of the mosque complex.
  • The matter has since moved from a magistrate’s court to a district court, to the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court, and back to the district court.

What was the Varanasi court’s order?

  • On July 21, the Varanasi court asked for a “scientific investigation/ survey/ excavation” of the mosque premises by the ASI. District and Sessions Judge asked the ASI to conduct a “ground penetrating radar survey just below the three domes of the building in question and conduct excavation, if required”.

How did the court take up this matter?

  • The July 21 order of the Varanasi district court came in the civil suit filed by the Hindu women seeking the right to worship Maa Shringar Gauri.
  • The court clarified that the survey would exclude the wuzu khana, or ablution area, which was sealed last year on the orders of the Supreme Court after Hindu litigants claimed that they had identified a Shivling there. However, the Muslim defendants in the litigation contended that the object that had been found was a fountain.

What did the High Court order?

  • On May 16, 2023, the Allahabad High Court ordered a “scientific survey”, including carbon dating, of the “Shivling” that was claimed to have been found during an earlier videographic survey last year.
  • The petitioners, Laxmi Devi and three others, had approached the HC after the Varanasi district judge rejected their plea for a scientific survey and carbon dating of the “Shivling” on October 14, 2022.

How did the Supreme Court enter the picture?

  • The Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee, which manages the Gyanvapi mosque, moved the top court arguing that the proceedings were an attempt to change the religious character of the mosque.
  • The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, bars the conversion of the religious character of a place of worship from how it existed on August 15, 1947. The only exception to this law was the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex, which was standing at the time.
  • On May 20, 2022, the Supreme Court, underlining the “complexity of the issues involved in the civil suit”, transferred the case to the district judge. The SC subsequently said it would intervene only after the district judge had decided on the preliminary aspects of the case.
  • In November 2022, the SC extended its interim direction securing the area of the Gyanvapi complex where the “Shivling” was claimed to have been found, without impeding or restricting the rights of Muslims to access and offer namaz there until further orders.

What are the issues involved in this case?

  • The case revolves around a suit filed by the five Hindu women seeking the right to worship Maa Shringar Gauri
  • The Hindu side has contended that the mosque was built on the site of a temple. The Muslim side has argued that the mosque was built on Wakf premises, and the Places of Worship Act bars the changing of the character of the mosque.
  • A new issue arose unexpectedly with the discovery of the so-called “Shivling” in May 2022. However, the main question of law is whether The Places of Worship Act, 1991, bars the litigants on the Hindu side from approaching the court for their right to worship a deity situated within the mosque complex.
  • The Act has been challenged on the ground that it bars judicial review, which is a basic feature of the Constitution, imposes an “arbitrary irrational retrospective cutoff date”, and abridges the right to religion of Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs.

4 . Facts for prelims

Battle of Bhima Koregaon

  • The Battle of Koregaon was fought on 1 January 1818 between the British East India Company and the Peshwa faction of the Maratha Confederacy, at Koregaon Bhima.
  • A strong force led by Peshwa Baji Rao II whilst on their way to attack the company-held Pune, were unexpectedly met by an 800-strong Company force that was on its way to reinforce the British troops in Pune.
  • The Peshwa dispatched around 2,000 soldiers to attack the force which sought entrenchment in Koregaon.
  • Led by Captain Francis Staunton, the Company troops defended their position for nearly 12 hours, before the Peshwa’s troops ultimately withdrew, fearing the imminent arrival of a larger British force.
  • The battle was part of the Third Anglo Maratha war, a series of battles that culminated in the defeat of the Peshwa rule and subsequent rule of the British East India Company in nearly all of Western, Central and Southern India. There is a “victory pillar” in Koregaon commemorating the battle.

Hard Landing and Soft landing of aeroplanes

  • A Hard Landing referred to as a heavy landing, is a landing in which the manufacturer’s touchdown limitation, expressed either as a rate of descent or as a loading value, has been exceeded. A hard landing has the potential to result in Loss of Control and/or aircraft damage and will necessitate a manufacturer defined hard landing inspection.
  • A soft landing is any type of aircraft, rocket or spacecraft landing that does not result in significant damage to or destruction of the vehicle or its payload, as opposed to a hard landing. The average vertical speed in a soft landing should be about 2 meters per second or less.

Sahyadri mountain range

  • The Western Ghats, also known as the Sahyadri mountain range, is a mountain range that covers an area of 160,000 km2 in a stretch of 1,600 km (990 mi) parallel to the western coast of the Indian peninsula, traversing the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  •  It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the 36 biodiversity hotspots in the world.
  • It contains a very large proportion of the country’s flora and fauna, many of which are endemic to this region. The Western Ghats are older than the Himalayas.
  • They influence Indian monsoon weather patterns by intercepting the rain-laden monsoon winds that sweep in from the south-west during late summer.
  • The range runs north to south along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau and separates the plateau from a narrow coastal plain called the Western Coastal Plains along the Arabian Sea.
  • A total of 39 areas in the Western Ghats, including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests, were designated as world heritage sites in 2012 – twenty in Kerala, ten in Karnataka, six in Tamil Nadu and four in Maharashtra.
  • The range starts near south of the Tapti river and runs approximately 1,600 km (990 mi) through the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu ending at Marunthuvazh Malai, Kanyakumari, near the southern tip the India.

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