Current Affair – May 31, 2021

Judgement to give ‘Protection to accused denied anticipatory bail’

  • Supreme Court judgment said an accused denied anticipatory bail can, in exceptional circumstances, still be given protection from immediate arrest if his sudden incarceration by the State will plunge his personal affairs and family into crisis.
  • It underscored the “reality that no law or rule can possibly account for the complexities of life, and the infinite range of circumstances that may arise in the future”

What does the judgement say?

  • An accused, besides being an accused, may also be the primary caregiver or sole breadwinner of the family. His arrest may leave his loved ones in a state of starvation and neglect.
  • In such “exceptional” cases, courts had the power to allow an accused, while dismissing his anticipatory bail plea, to retain his personal liberty for “some time” — the shortest duration reasonably required — in order to make arrangements for his family before surrendering in the trial court.
  • Judges pay equal attention to the humane side of criminal law while hearing pleas for anticipatory bail. The grant or rejection of bail in such cases had a direct bearing on the fundamental right to life and liberty of an individual.
  • Even when not inclined to grant anticipatory bail to an accused, there may be circumstances where the High Court is of the opinion that it is necessary to protect the person apprehending arrest for some time, due to exceptional circumstances, until they surrender before the trial court.
  • However, courts should not use this discretion to grant “judicial largesse” to accused persons.

Article 21

  • The concept of anticipatory bail germinated from Article 21 of the Constitution.
  • At times, courts may need to look beyond the strict confines of the written text to secure complete justice. The High Courts and the Supreme Court had the powers to do so.
  • Therefore, such an order [to grant protection from arrest despite denying anticipatory bail] must necessarily be narrowly tailored to protect the interests of the applicant [accused] while taking into consideration the concerns of the investigating authority. Such an order must be a reasoned one.”
Source: The Hindu

Towards Zero tolerance to poaching

  • The Assam government has approved a proposal to in crease the firepower of the guards of Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve and provide commando training to them.
  • The government has also sought the notification of all animal corridors, accelerated construction of elevated road corridors through the park, and exploration of helicopter services to and from the one horned rhino habitat.
  • The number of Ghatak (Indian made Kalashnikov series) rifles would be increased for the 1,300 sq. km. Tiger Reserve’s guards and members of the Assam Forest Protect Force (AFPF).
  • All AFPF personnel and frontline staff using modern weapons would be trained at the Assam Police Commando Training Centre near Guwahati on a regular basis.

About Kaziranga National Park

  • Kaziranga National park’s 430 square km area is sprinkled with elephant-grass meadows, swampy lagoons, and dense forests.
  • It is home to more than 2200 Indian one-horned rhinoceros, approximately 2/3rd of their total world population.
  • Formed in 1908 on the recommendation of Mary Curzon, the park is located in the edge of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots – Golaghat and Nagaon district.
  • In the year 1985, the park was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
  • Kaziranga was declared as Tiger Reserve in 2006.
  • It is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for the conservation of avifaunal species. Birds like lesser white-fronted goose, ferruginous duck, Baer’s pochard duck and lesser adjutant, greater adjutant, black-necked stork, and Asian Openbill stork specially migrate from the Central Asia during the winter season.

It has vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests undoubtedly. It’s the presence of Brahmaputra river makes the park look beautiful.


  • Due to the difference in altitude between the eastern and western areas of the park, here one can see mainly four types of vegetation’ like alluvial inundated grasslands, alluvial savanna woodlands, tropical moist mixed deciduous forests, and tropical semi-evergreen forests.
  • Kumbhi, Indian gooseberry, the cotton tree, and elephant Apple are amongst the famous trees that can be seen in the park.
  • A good variety of aquatic flora can be seen in lakes, ponds, and along the river shores.


  • The forest region of Kaziranga Park is home to world’s largest population of Indian Rhinoceros.
  • Other animals that can be seen are Hoolock Gibbon, Tiger, Leopard, Indian Elephant, Sloth Bear, Wild water buffalo, swamp deer, etc.
  • With increase in tiger population every year, the government authorities declared Kaziranga as a Tiger Reserve in the year 2006.
  • Also here one can find good number of migratory bird species from Central Asia.

Source: The Hindu

Remains of children found in Canada

The remains of 215 children, some as young as 3 years old, have been found buried on the site of what was once Canada’s largest indigenous residential school — one of the institutions that held children taken from families across the nation.


  • From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 1,50,000 First Nations children were required to attend state funded Christian schools as part of a programme to assimilate them into Canadian society. They were forced to convert to Christianity and not allowed to speak their native languages. Many were beaten and verbally abused, and up to 6,000 are said to have died.
Tensions between Manila and Beijing have escalated over the months long presence of hundreds of Chinese boats in the Philip- pines’ exclusive economic zone. The Philippines says it believes the vessels were manned by militia, while Beijing has said they were fishing boats sheltering from bad weather.

The Canadian government apologised in Parliament in 2008 and admitted that physical and sexual abuse in the schools was rampant.Many students recall being

beaten for speaking their native languages; they also lost touch with their parents and customs. Indigenous leaders have cited that legacy of abuse and isolation as the root cause of epidemic rates of alcoholism and drug addiction

Tensions between Manila and Beijing have escalated over the months long presence of hundreds of Chinese boats in the Philip- pines’ exclusive economic zone. The Philippines says it believes the vessels were manned by militia, while Beijing has said they were fishing boats sheltering from bad weather.

Source: The Hindu

Dispute over South China Sea

  • The Philippines has protested China’s continuing “illegal presence and activities” near an island in the South China Sea held by the South east Asian nation.
  • It demanded China to withdraw the vessels present in vicinity of Thitu island
  • “The Pagasa Islands is an integral part of the Philippines over which it has sovereignty and jurisdiction —Philippines.
  •  Thitu, known as Pagasa in the Philippines, is 451 km from the mainland and is the biggest of the eight reefs, shoals and islands it occupies in archipelago China has built a minicity with runways, hangars and surface to air missiles in the Subi Reef about 25 km from Thitu.
  • An international tribunal in 2016 had invalidated China’s expansive claim in the South China Sea, where about $3 trillion worth of shipborne trade passes annually. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philip-pines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have competing claims to various islands.
Source: The Hindu

PM CARES for Children

  • The Union government announced a special “PMCARES for Children” scheme for all those orphaned due to COVID19.

·  It will include a corpus of ₹10 lakh for each child till he or she reaches the age of 18.

  • The Women and Child Development Ministry has said that there are a total 577 CO VID19 orphans identified across the country.


  • Children who have lost both parents or the lone surviving parent or their legal guardian or adoptive parent due to COVID19 will be supported under the scheme.
  • When a child turns 18, he or she will draw a monthly stipend from the corpus of ₹10 lakh in order to meet expenses for personal needs and higher education. On reaching the age of 23, the child will get the entire ₹10 lakh.
  • The government will also assist such children with school education. They will be given admission in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar.
  • If the child is admitted in a private school, the fees will be paid from the PM CARES Fund as per norms under the Right To Education Act, 2009. PM CARES will also meet the expenses on uniform, textbooks and notebooks.

Residential schools

  • Children in the age group of 11-18 will have the option to study in a residential school under the Central government such as Sainik School and Navodaya Vidyalaya. These children will also be supported in their higher education through either scholarship equivalent to the tuition fees or educational loans where the interest will be paid by the PM CARES Fund.
  • All children will be enrolled as a beneficiary under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme with a health insurance cover of ₹5 lakh, where the premium amount will be paid by PM CARES till a child turns 18.

Help for kin

  • The government has also announced measures to help the families who have lost the sole earning member due to COVID19.
  • The pension scheme of the Employees State Insurance Corporation is being extend ed. The scheme is applicable from March 24, 2020 to March 24, 2022.
  • Insurance benefits under the Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI) under the Employees Provident Fund Organisation will be available.
Source: The Hindu

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