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In News:

The Supreme Court has ruled that the protection of anticipatory bail shall not have time limit as denial of bail is against the fundamental right to personal liberty under Article 21.

In brief:

What is Anticipatory Bail?

  • Section 438 (anticipatory bail) of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with direction for grant of bail to a person apprehending arrest.
  • It states that when any person has reason to believe that he may be arrested on an accusation of having committed a non- bailable offence, he may apply to the High Court or the Court of Session for a direction that in the event of such arrest, he shall be released on bail.
  • As opposed to ordinary bail, which is granted to a person who is under arrest, in anticipatory bail, a person is directed to be released on bail even before arrest made.

What SC said?

  • The SC in its recent Judgement said that the life or duration of an anticipatory bail order does not normally end at the time and stage when the accused is summoned by the court OR when charges are framed, but can continue till the end of the trial.
  • Whether the protection granted to a person under Section 438 should be limited to a fixed period till the accused surrenders in court.
  • Whether the life of anticipatory bail should end when accused is summoned by the court.
  • The court held that protection against arrest should inure in favour of the accused. Restricting the protection would prove unfavourable for the accused.
  • The court held that a plea for anticipatory bail can be filed even before the registration of FIR as long as there is reasonable basis for apprehension of arrest and clarity of facts.

Conditions while granting Anticipatory Bail:

  • While granting anticipatory bail, the Sessions Court or High Court can impose the conditions laid down in sub-section (2).
  • When the High Court or the Court of Session makes a direction under sub- section (1), it may include such conditions in such directions in the light of the facts of the particular case, as it may think fit, including :
    1. A condition that the person shall make himself available for interrogation by a police officer as and when required.
    2. A condition that the person shall not, directly or indirectly, make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or to any police officer.
    3. A condition that the person shall not leave India without the previous permission of the Court.
    4. Such other condition as may be imposed under sub-section (3) of section 437, as if the bail were granted under that section.

Rationale behind Anticipatory Bail:

  • Anticipatory bail became part of the new CrPC in 1973 (when the latter replaced the older Code of 1898), after the 41st Law Commission Report of 1969 recommended the inclusion of the provision.
  • The report said, The necessity for granting anticipatory bail arises mainly because sometimes influential persons try to implicate their rivals in false cases for the purpose of disgracing them or for other purposes by getting them detained in jail for some days.
  • Apart from false cases, where there are reasonable grounds for holding that a person accused of an offence is not likely to abscond, or otherwise misuse his liberty while on bail, there seems no justification to require him first to submit to custody, remain in prison for some days and then apply for bail.
  • In the 1980 Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia vs State of Punjab case, a five-judge Supreme Court bench led by then Chief Justice Y V Chandrachud ruled that S. 438 (1) is to be interpreted in the light of Article 21 of the Constitution (protection of life and personal liberty).
  • It also observed, “It may perhaps be right to describe the power (of anticipatory bail) as of an extraordinary character. But this does not justify the conclusion that the power must be exercised in exceptional cases only, because it is of an extra-ordinary character.

Raising Gestation Period For Abortion To 24 Weeks

In news:

The Union Cabinet recently approved extending the upper limit for permitting abortions from the present 20 weeks to 24 weeks

In brief:

  • The Cabinet approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.
  • The Bill will be introduced in the ensuing session of Parliament.
  • This will ensure safe termination of pregnancies and also give women reproductive rights over their bodies.
  • The extension to 24 weeks will also help victims of rape, girls with disabilities as well as minors, who may not realise they are pregnant until later.

Will Trump’s Peace Plan Help Resolve Israel-Palestine Crisis?

In Brief:

  • The West Asia peace plan unveiled by U.S. President Donald Trump recently seeks to give the Israelis what they have long wanted an expansive state with Jerusalem as its “undivided capital” and tight security control over a future Palestinian state.
  • With his plan, Mr. Trump is actually pushing to revive the stalled two-state talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but on his own terms.
  • The Trump plan seeks to address most of the contentious issues in the conflict such as the border of Israel, the status of Palestinian refugees, Jewish settlements on the West Bank, Israel’s security concerns and the status of the city of Jerusalem.
  • However, the solutions Mr. Trump has proposed to almost all of these issues favour the Israeli positions.
  • The Trump plan seeks to address most of the contentious issues in the conflict such as the border of Israel, status of Palestinian refugees, Jewish settlements on the West Bank, Israel’s security concerns and the status of the city of Jerusalem. However, the solutions Mr. Trump has proposed to almost all of
    these issues favour the Israeli positions.
  • For example, Israel would be allowed to annex the Jewish settlements on the West Bank as well as the Jordan Valley. The Palestinian refugees, who were forced out from their homes during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that followed the declaration of the state of Israel in the historic Palestine, would not be allowed to return. They could move to the future Palestinian state, be integrated into the host countries or settled in other regional countries.
  • Jerusalem, perhaps the most contentious issue, would be “the undivided capital” of Israel, with Palestine gaining its capital in the east of the city. In return, Israel would freeze further settlement activities on the West Bank for four years the time for negotiations.
  • During this period, the Palestinian Authority should dismiss its current complaints at the International Criminal Court against Israel and refrain itself from taking further actions. It should also crack down on “terrorist” groups such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. Mr. Trump has also proposed $50 billion in investment over 10 years should Palestine accept the proposals.
  • In the final settlement, Palestine would get control over more land than what it currently controls. The plan also proposes to enlarge Gaza and connect the strip with the West Bank through a tunnel. The Arab towns in the southeast of Israel, which are close to Gaza, could become part of a future Palestinian state.
  • The Palestine position is that an independent, sovereign Palestinian state should be formed based on the 1967 border (meaning the whole of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) with East Jerusalem as its capital (including the Old City that houses Haram esh-Sharif, also known as Temple Mount, a holy site for both Muslims and Jews).
  • Issues like the right of return of the Palestinian refugees are to be settled in final negotiations. But Mr. Trump has effectively rejected the Palestinian claims and asked them to make more compromises. He seeks to give Jerusalem and about 30% of the West Bank to the Israelis and has denied the right of return of the Palestinian refugees all for truncated sovereignty for the Palestinians in a state that would practically be surrounded by Israel.
  • And for this, the Palestinians should take action against militant groups, stop supporting Palestinian families of those jailed or killed by Israel and refrain itself from questioning the occupation in international fora.
  • The Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas runs the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank, while Hamas is running Gaza. While there’s a bitter feud between these two, both sides, as well as the Islamic Jihad, have come together in rejecting the Trump plan.
  • It would be difficult for any Palestinian leader to sell Mr. Trump’s proposals to a people who are living under occupation for decades. The Palestinians say the Trump administration, which recognised the disputed Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and supported the settlements on the West Bank, cannot be an impartial mediator for peace. The Trump plan seems to be underscoring this argument.

Meps Defer Vote On CAA Motion To March

In News:

A joint motion, combining five different resolutions tabled by Members of the European Parliament against India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, was debated at the Plenary session in Brussels, with an expected vote on the motion was postponed until March

In brief:

  • Two Indian-origin MEPs, Dinesh Dhamija and Neena Gill, were among a host of members who spoke up in India’s favour to point out elements of “disinformation” around the CAA and the NRC within the parliamentary motion.
  • Six political groups of members of the European Parliament had moved a joint resolution against India’s citizenship law, calling it discriminatory.
  • The European Parliament motion was critical of any protection being denied to Muslims, and that although India shared a border with Bhutan, Burma, Nepal and Sri Lanka, the CAA does not bring Sri Lankan Tamils under its purview, who form the largest refugee group in India and who have been residents in the country for over 30 years.
  • Amnesty International India has pointed out that the CAA does not bring under its purview other persecuted minorities, including Muslim populations such as the Rohingya in Burma, Ahmadis in Pakistan, Hazaras in Afghanistan and Bihari Muslims in Bangladesh.

Homeopathy , Ayurveda To Prevent Coronovirus

In News:

  • Ministry of AYUSH, Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) discussed the ways and means of prevention of Corona virus infection through Homoeopathy in 64th meeting of its Scientific Advisory Board on 28th January 2020.
  • The Group of Expertsinter-alia has recommended that homoeopathy medicine Arsenicum album30 could betaken as prophylactic medicine against Coronavirus infections, which has also beenadvised for prevention of ILI.
  • It has recommended one doze of Arsenicum album 30, daily in empty stomach for threedays. The dose should be repeated after one month by following the same schedule incase Coronavirus infections prevail in the community.