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Indian Express

25-October-2023

1. Telangana's law under scanner: How preventive detention works

Topic: GS2-Governance

Context: As Telangana gears up for Assembly polls, its stringent preventive detention law is under the spotlight because, in at least three separate instances, the Supreme Court has red-flagged the Telangana government’s use of the law.

What is preventive detention?

Preventive detention means the detention of a person by the state without trial and conviction by a court, but merely on suspicion. The detention could be up to a year unless extended.

How is it different from A pre-trial detention?

Pre-trial detention is very different from preventive detention. While the former is an undertrial accused of a crime, a detainee can be taken into custody as a preventive measure, even if he has not committed a crime.

Practices in other countries in comparison to India :

  • Preventive detention is a wartime measure in countries such as the UK and the USA. In India, the Constitution itself makes space for preventive detention.

Part III – Fundamental Rights:

  • Part III of the Indian Constitution gives the state the power to suspend these rights for preventive detention.
  • Despite its emphasis on individual liberty, Part III, which forms the basic structure of the Constitution that cannot be amended, also contains provisions for preventive detention under Article 22.

Under what laws can the state order preventive detention?

Central legislation:

As many as 25 states also have preventive detention legislation, like

  • The Telangana law, which is called The Telangana Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Dacoits, Drug-Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders, Land-Grabbers, Spurious Seed Offenders, Insecticide Offenders, Fertiliser Offenders, Food Adulteration Offenders, Fake Document Offenders, Scheduled Commodities Offenders, Forest Offenders, Gaming Offenders, Sexual Offenders, Explosive Substances Offenders, Arms Offenders, Cyber Crime Offenders and White Collar or Financial Offenders Act, (PD Act), 1986.
  • The Tamil Nadu Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Forest Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Trafficking Offenders and Slum Grabbers Act, 1982; the Gujarat Prevention of Antisocial Activities Act, 1985; the Bihar Control of Crimes Act, 1981, etc.

What are the powers of the state?

Article 22 prescribes protection against arrest and detention.

  • Article 22(4)(7) deals with how preventive detention is operationalised.
  • First, the district magistrate (on behalf of the state) would issue an order to detain a person when it is necessary to maintain “public order.” The state can delegate this power to the police as well.
  • If the detention ordered is for more than three months, under Article 22(4), such detention needs the approval of the Advisory Board. States set up these Boards and generally consist of retired judges and bureaucrats.
  • The grounds for detention must be communicated in one instalment, and the state cannot then add fresh, new, or additional grounds to strengthen its original detention order.
  • The grounds must be read in a language that the detainee understands.
  • A detainee is generally not allowed legal representation before the board. If the board confirms the detention, the detainee can move to Court challenging the detention order.
  • Article 22(5) of the Indian Constitution mandates that the state is required “as soon as may be” to communicate to the detainee the grounds of detention and ‘shall provide him/her the earliest opportunity of making a representation against the order.’

Exception in law:

  • Article 22 (3) (b) states that none of those safeguards apply to any person who is arrested /detained under any law providing for preventive detention.’
  • However, even this safeguard is diluted to a certain extent by Article 22(6), which says that nothing in Clause 5 shall require the state to disclose facts that the state considers to be “against the public interest to disclose.”

How do courts assess the detention orders?

For preventive detention, there are very narrow grounds for judicial review because the Constitution emphasises the state’s “subjective satisfaction” when ordering a detention.

The touchstone on which the order is examined is this subjective opinion of the state rather than the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. When the Court cannot substitute the subjective satisfaction of the state with its own satisfaction, it essentially means that it cannot check the trueness of the grounds of detention.

The scope of judicial review is also very narrow, as courts often strike down detention orders on technical grounds, such as delay in the advisory board’s decision, communication of grounds in a timely fashion and in a language that the detainee understands, etc.

2. Dengue cases touches nearly 5000- the highest in at least 5 years

Topic –

Context:

The cases of Dengue in Delhi shot up to 2,141, the highest in September, as per the data revealed by the Indian Express.

 Dengue:

  • As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dengue is a viral infection caused by the dengue virus, transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes.
  • It is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes Mosquito.
  • About Half the world’s population is now at risk of Dengue, with an estimated 100-400 million infections occurring yearly, as per the WHO data. 

Spike in the number of Cases:

  • The spike in the number of cases was generally observed in October and November and declined in December.
  • There were over 9000 cases reported in 2021, out of which 6000 reported in November alone.
  • As per the MCD data, the number of cases related to Dengue is nearly 5,000 (4,965) cases, which is more than double compared to cases related to the previous year, and these are highest in the last five years.
  • Even in that, the cases are comparatively highest in September with 2,141 cases, and one death has been reported until now. 

The reason behind rising cases:

  • One of the reasons for the rising cases is rainfall, which is highest in the last 60 years, as stated by a senior MCD official.
  • The people do not take adequate steps to eliminate the Larvae breeding grounds for mosquitos at their homes. Most larvae breeding ground was found in desert coolers, containers, and construction sites.

Measures to control:

  • Generating awareness among people to avoid storing water in coolers and containers.
  • Ensuring proper sanitation and prevention of mosquito breeding on a war footing.
  • Ensuring proper facilities at dispensaries and hospitals.
  • Using Mosquito repellents, even indoors.

3. US bond yield hits 16-year high: Why is it rising and what does it mean?

Topic: GS3, Economy

Context:

The yield on US 10-year government bonds, the global standard for asset prices, increased to 5.02 percent on October 23, its highest level since 2007.

What is a bond yield?

  • It is a return on an investment in a bond.
  • It is inversely proportional to the bond price, which means as the price of the bond goes up, the yield comes down.

What does a bond yield indicate?

  • Trends in economic growth: Bond yields indicate prevailing economic trends; when yields are low, it may be an indication of weak economic growth. Conversely, a high yield may indicate overheating in the economy, suggesting high inflation.
  • Investor sentiment: When investor’s confidence is low in the economy, they may flock to investment in bonds as they are a more secure option. This pushes the bond yield since the bond prices go up due to high demand. Opposite of this happens when investor’s confidence is high in the economy.
  • Government debt: Change in yield can affect the borrowing of governments. A high bond yield means the government has to pay more to the investors.

Why are Yields high?

The US 10-year bond yield has shot up to 400 basis points since 2020. The following factors are responsible for the high yields:

  • Rising crude oil prices, particularly due to the Ukraine conflict and concerns related to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
  • Inflation risks;
  • US Fed’s hawkish stance on inflation targets, especially after robust economic indicators.
  • Higher government borrowings.

How does it impact bond investors?

  • The rise in yield indicates that the investors are expecting a rise in interest rates and hence selling the bonds they are holding since a rise in interest rates would result in a decline in the bond price of existing bonds and, thereby, capital loss on sale before maturity.
  • The rise in bond yields also affects debt investors. When yields rise, and bond prices decline, net asset values of debt funds that include a sizeable chunk of government securities in their portfolios will also decline because of the decline in bond prices.

How does it impact other economies?

  • Historically, it has been observed that the rise and fall in US bond yields has a proportional effect on the yield of other economies as well, including India.
  • The rise in bond yield means a rise in the cost of funds in the financial system.
  • It will increase the cost of government borrowing.
  • It will put upward pressure on general interest rates in the banking system.
  • Rising yields can also risk a flight of capital from bank fixed deposits to sovereign-guaranteed bonds.

4. India to outpace Japan as second-largest economy in Asia by 2030

Topic: GS 3 – Economy

Context:

  • According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to rise to USD 7.3 trillion by 2030 surpassing Japan to become the 2nd largest economy in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • It is also forecasted that India’s GDP will surpass Germany by 2030.
  • Currently, Indian GDP has become larger than the GDP of the UK and France.
  • As of now, India is the 3rd largest economy in the Asia-Pacific region and the 5th largest in the world.
  • India will continue to be one of the world’s fastest growing economies attracting multinationals in a wide range of fields like manufacturing industries such as electronics, autos, and chemicals while in service industries such as insurance, banking, health care and information technology.

Reason for India’s Fast growth:

  • Increased foreign direct investment (FDI): India has received increased FDIs in the past decade setting a strong momentum for India’s economic growth
  • Trade Facilitation Policies: Several policies by government facilitate trade by providing various subsidies and other logistics support for easy trade.
  • Growth in Export: With the rise in manufacturing sector in India, a surge in export has been seen from industrial units including MSMEs.
  • Large Domestic Market: India’s domestic market is quite big having huge demand providing impetus to different economic sectors including primary, secondary and tertiary to increase production and services to sustain this domestic demand.
  • Technological Advancement: The latest available technology is wisely used to increase production and services.
  • Infrastructural projects for logistic support: Projects like Sagarmala, Dedicated Freight Corridors, Golden Quadrilateral, etc helps to reduce logistics cost and promote economic growth.
  • Demographic Dividend: Availability of cheap and skilled labour is a huge advantage for India. It also attracts FDI.

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