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10 June 2024 : The Hindu Editorial Analysis

1. The Bareilly case and a flawed criminal justice system

Topic: GS2 – Indian Polity GS2 – Governance
  • The article discusses a controversial rape case in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, where the woman accuser was convicted of perjury after the accused was acquitted.
  • It delves into systemic flaws in the investigation, judicial process, and undertrial detention, highlighting the need for reforms.

Background of the Case:

  • The case involves a woman who filed a rape complaint against a man in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, sparking widespread debate.
  • Media coverage portrayed the woman as a false accuser, perpetuating harmful stereotypes.
  • However, a closer examination reveals systemic flaws in law enforcement and societal complexities.

Lack of Proper Investigation:

  • The woman, named Pooja, initially went missing, leading her mother to file a complaint suspecting kidnapping.
  • Pooja later alleged rape in Delhi but refused further medical examination crucial for prosecution.
  • Contradictions emerged in her statements during trial proceedings, casting doubt on her claims.

Weak Prosecution and Investigation:

  • Despite glaring loopholes in evidence, including lack of medical proof and contradictory statements, Ramesh, the accused, was acquitted.
  • The investigation overlooked critical aspects such as verifying the alleged crime scene and examining potential witnesses.

Failures in Judicial Process:

  • The magistrate committed the case for trial despite evident flaws in the investigation.
  • The public prosecutor’s endorsement of a weak charge sheet reflects a lax approach to duty.

Undertrial Detention Issues:

  • Prolonged undertrial detention, as seen in this case, lacks accountability and perpetuates impunity within the criminal justice system.
  • Despite concerns raised during trial proceedings, there were no repercussions for responsible parties.

Coercion and Social Factors:

  • Pooja’s varying statements suggest coercion, attributed to her mother and a police officer.
  • Her husband claimed to have influenced her statements to avoid further legal hassle.
  • Despite being young and potentially coerced, Pooja received harsh sentencing, highlighting social complexities.

Challenges with Fast-Track Courts:

  • Fast-track courts, intended for swift justice, often face challenges due to existing infrastructure limitations and caseloads.
  • Ramesh’s trial spanned over four years, showcasing inefficiencies despite the case’s relative simplicity.

Bail System Concerns:

  • Ramesh’s inability to secure bail due to economic constraints and court decisions highlights flaws in the bail system.
  • Despite Supreme Court directives, undertrial detention remains a significant issue, exacerbated by poverty and indifference.

Need for Systemic Reforms:

  • The case underscores the necessity for reforms in police investigation protocols, prosecutorial autonomy, and judicial supervision.
  • Rather than weakening laws protecting women, reforms should focus on enhancing accountability and fairness within the criminal justice system.


  • The case highlights broader issues within India’s criminal justice system, emphasising the urgency for systemic reforms to ensure fairness and accountability.
Practice Question:  Discuss the systemic shortcomings highlighted by the controversial rape case in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, emphasizing the need for reforms in police investigation protocols, prosecutorial autonomy, and judicial supervision within India’s criminal justice system. (150 Words /10 marks)

(Source – The Hindu, International Edition – Page No. – 8)

2. Settling trade disputes through ‘litigotiation’

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy – Effects of liberalisation on the economy
  • The article discusses the recent resolution of a longstanding trade dispute between India and the U.S. at the World Trade Organization (WTO), focusing on import restrictions on poultry products.
  • This settlement follows diplomatic efforts and highlights the significance of bilateral negotiations in resolving trade conflicts.

Background of the Dispute:

  • India and the U.S. recently settled a longstanding trade dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding import restrictions on poultry products.
  • This dispute, initiated by the U.S. more than a decade ago, challenged India’s measures against avian influenza in poultry imports.

Complexity of the Dispute:

  • The dispute marked one of the earliest instances of a developing WTO member’s sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures being brought before a WTO panel.
  • The U.S. argued that India’s measures deviated from internationally recognized standards and lacked scientific justification.

Legal Proceedings and Rulings:

  • Both the WTO panel and Appellate Body ruled in favor of the U.S., giving India a year to modify its measures.
  • India’s alleged failure to comply led to a retaliation claim by the U.S. and a counter-dispute by India.

Resolution and Settlement:

  • Recent diplomatic efforts led to the settlement of this dispute, along with six others, within a year.
  • India agreed to reduce tariffs on select U.S. products, including cranberries, blueberries, frozen turkey, and premium frozen duck meat.

Significance of the Settlement:

  • While not economically significant compared to other disputes, its resolution represents a diplomatic breakthrough.
  • It demonstrates the effectiveness of diplomatic channels in resolving sensitive trade matters, despite domestic complexities.

Broader Implications:

  • The settlement package includes disputes on various subjects, showcasing the diversity and complexity of issues addressed.
  • It highlights the importance of bilateral negotiations amid the absence of a functional WTO Appellate Body.

Importance of Bilateral Diplomacy:

  • The outcome indicates that major trading partners can resolve differences through focused bilateral negotiations, even in the absence of multilateral mechanisms.
  • This approach fosters a more stable international trade environment by addressing simmering trade disputes effectively.


  • The resolution of the poultry dispute between India and the U.S. at the WTO underscores the value of diplomatic solutions in international trade conflicts. It sets a precedent for resolving complex disputes through bilateral negotiations and emphasises the importance of diplomatic channels in maintaining a stable trade environment.
PYQ: What are the key areas of reform if the WTO has to survive in the present context of ‘Trade War’, especially keeping in mind the interest of India? (250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2018)
Practice Question:  Discuss the significance of the recent resolution of the trade dispute between India and the U.S. at the World Trade Organization, focusing on import restrictions on poultry products, and its implications for bilateral trade relations. (150 Words /10 marks)

(Source – The Hindu, International Edition – Page No. – 9)


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