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The Hindu Editorial

21-October-2023

1. Frosty ties: On the worsening India-Canada ties

Topic: GS2 – International relations

Context:

  • India has reduced the number of Canadian diplomats in India from 62 to 21.
  • This move follows tensions that arose from Canadian allegations of India’s involvement in the killing of Canadian national and Khalistani activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
  • Despite previous hopes of repairing ties through quiet diplomacy, Canada has persisted in demanding Indian cooperation in its investigations against unnamed Indian officials.
  • In response to tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats, India suspended visas for all Canadians and demanded a downsizing of Canadian diplomatic strength.

Potential implications of worsening India – Canada ties:

  • Reduced trade and investment:India and Canada have a strong economic relationship, with bilateral trade in goods and services totaling over $11 billion in 2021. However, a worsening of ties could lead to a reduction in trade and investment flows between the two countries. This could have a negative impact on businesses and jobs in both countries.
  • Increased tensions in the region:India and Canada are both members of the Indo-Pacific region, which is becoming increasingly strategic. A worsening of ties between the two countries could lead to increased tensions in the region, which could have implications for regional security.
  • Damage to bilateral cooperation on important issues: India and Canada cooperate on a number of important issues, such as counterterrorism, climate change, and global health. A worsening of ties could make it more difficult to cooperate on these issues, which could have negative consequences for both countries.
  • Impact on the Indian diaspora in Canada:There is a large Indian diaspora in Canada, which makes significant contributions to the Canadian economy and society. A worsening of ties between the two countries could have a negative impact on the Indian diaspora in Canada.

Way forward:

  • Diplomatic Dialogue: Both countries should engage in open and constructive diplomatic dialogue to address the underlying issues causing tension. A willingness to communicate and find common ground is essential.
  • Mediation: Consider involving neutral third-party mediators or international organizations to facilitate discussions and promote conflict resolution.
  • Evidence Sharing: In cases of allegations or investigations, sharing verifiable evidence and cooperating transparently can help build trust and resolve contentious issues.
  • Bilateral Agreements: Explore the possibility of bilateral agreements that can provide a framework for resolving diplomatic disputes and conflicts.
  • Economic Cooperation: Rebuild and strengthen economic ties, trade relations, and investment cooperation. Both countries can benefit from enhanced economic partnerships.

Question: Discuss the potential implications of worsening India-Canada ties and suggest measures that both countries can take to improve their relationship. 

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/frosty-ties-the-hindu-editorial-on-the-worsening-india-canada-ties/article67442967.ece

 

2. Not just a case about improving investigation

Topic: GS2 – Indian polity.

Concerns Over Investigation Quality:

  • The Supreme Court of India recently emphasized the need for a consistent and dependable code of investigation to prevent the guilty from escaping justice on technicalities.
  • The Court pointed out issues related to the quality of investigation and cited recommendations from the Justice Malimath Committee and the Law Commission of India.
  • However, certain aspects of the Court’s observations were disputed.

Interpretation of Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act:

  • The Court questioned the interpretation of Section 27, which governs the admissibility of facts discovered based on information from a person accused of an offense in police custody.
  • The Court argued that the person is not in police custody until formally arrested, which raised concerns about the admissibility of evidence.
  • Legal precedents, including cases like Man Singh and Chhoteylal vs State of U.P., suggest that custody can include surveillance or any form of police control over a suspect’s movements.

Separation of Investigation from Law and Order:

  • The Justice Malimath Committee recommended the separation of the investigation wing from the law and order wing within the police.
  • While this separation may not entirely resolve issues related to investigation quality, it was suggested that the efforts made by states in implementing this recommendation should be reviewed before entirely blaming the police.

Responses of State Governments:

  • State governments have taken measures to separate investigative and law and order functions in response to the directives, with 17 states implementing such separation.
  • Compliance with the directives varies, with nine states considered ‘good and satisfactory,’ while 20 states fall under the ‘average and poor’ category.
  • Despite some provisions in rules and regulations, a shortage of officers and inadequate manpower hinders the full separation of the two wings and improvements in investigation quality.

Supreme Court’s Role and Consistency:

  • The Supreme Court is urged to take a more proactive role in ensuring that states comply with its directives on investigations and other issues.
  • Consistency in the Court’s rulings is essential, and any deviation from earlier judgments should be supported by cogent reasons.
  • A stronger commitment to police reform and investigation improvement is necessary to enhance the quality of investigations and legal proceedings.

Question: Discuss the implications of the Supreme Court’s observation on the need for a consistent and dependable code of investigation, and suggest measures that can be taken to improve the quality of police investigation in India

Multiple-choice question:

Which of the following statements regarding the Malimath Committee is correct? 

Select the correct option from the following:

  1. The Malimath Committee primarily focused on agricultural reforms in India.
  2. The Malimath Committee was constituted to address issues related to urban development and city planning.
  3. The Malimath Committee provided recommendations for reforms in the Indian criminal justice system.
  4. The Malimath Committee was established to study climate change and its impact on Indian agriculture.

Answer:  Option C – The Malimath Committee provided recommendations for reforms in the Indian criminal justice system.

Explanation:

  • The Malimath Committee, officially known as the Committee on Reforms of the Criminal Justice System, was formed to study and make recommendations for reforms in the criminal justice system of India, including issues related to police, judiciary, and legal procedures.

Source:  https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/not-just-a-case-about-improving-investigation/article67443540.ece

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