Current Affairs – 17-01-2018

1. Government to revisit Malimath report on criminal justice system

The Committee on Reforms of the Criminal Justice System, or the Justice Malimath Committee, was constituted by the Home Ministry in 2000 by then Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, who also held the Home portfolio. It was headed by Justice V.S. Malimath, former Chief Justice of the Karnataka and Kerala High Courts.

Important recommendations

  • 1. A 2003 report of a Committee on reforms in the criminal justice system that recommended admissibility of confessions made before a police officer as evidence in a court of law
  • 2. The Committee also suggested constituting a National Judicial Commission and amending Article 124 to make impeachment of judges less difficult
  • 3. Aberrations in the conduct of judges can be checked or even corrected if the problem is noticed at the earliest and efforts made to correct them.
  • 4. In the high court, the chief justice is regarded as only the first among the equals. Except constituting benches and assigning work, he does not exercise any authority over his colleagues. This has considerably eroded discipline which is so necessary for any institution

2. Missing the grass for the trees in Western Ghats

  • • Timber plantations, expanding agriculture and the spread of invasive species have eaten into as much as two-thirds of natural grasslands in the Palani Hill range of Western Ghats, shows a recently published study.
  • • It seems to be a natural march of invasive species such as prolific-seed-producer, Acacia in grassland
  • • The grasslands are in trouble, much more than the forests. It is important to preserve whatever patches are remaining and push back invasive species.

3. Megalithic era sarcophagus unearthed at Viyur

  • • A rare sarcophagus (stone coffin), said to be 2,000-year old from the Iron Age–Megalithic era, was discovered from a rock-cut cave at Viyur village of Kollam, near Koyilandy, in Kozhikode district on Monday.
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