GS 2


  1. Section 29 of POCSO Act applicable only after trial begins: HC

The issue in news

The Delhi High Court ruling on Section 29 of the POCSO Act.

High Court Ruling:

  • The Delhi High Court has ruled that the presumption of guilt embedded in Section 29 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act gets triggered and applies only once the trial begins, i.e after charges are framed against the accused.


Section 29 of POCSO Act:

  • Section 29 of the POCSO Act says that when a person is prosecuted for committing an offence of sexual assault against a minor, the special court trying the case shall presume that the accused is guilty.
  • POSCO incorporated this provision wherein there is a reverse burden on the accused to prove his innocence keeping in view the low conviction rate of sexual offences against children.



  • The ruling came in response to the question of whether the presumption of guilt applies only at the stage of trial or does it also apply when a bail plea is being considered.
  • It was clarified that if a bail plea is being considered before charges have been framed, Section 29 has no application, as trial commences when charges are framed against an accused and not before that.


  1. SC against involuntary narco tests

The issue in news

A Supreme Court judgment of 2010 has held that involuntary administration of narco or lie detector tests is an intrusion into a person’s mental privacy.

Main points

  • “An individual’s decision to make a statement is the product of a private choice and there should be no scope for any other individual to interfere with such autonomy,” Supreme Court had held.
  • It said that involuntary administration of narco tests amounted to a restraint on personal liberty while asserting that such tests come into conflict with the ‘right against self-incrimination’.
  • The court has said that the consequences of such tests on individuals from weaker sections of society who are unaware of their fundamental rights and unable to afford legal advice can be devastating.
  • It has opined that it may involve future abuse, harassment and surveillance, even leakage of the video material to the press for a trial by media.
  • Such tests are an insult to human dignity and liberty and could have long-lasting effects.



  1. Xi pitches for closer ties with Bangladesh, seeks BRI push

The issue in news

Chinese President’s remarks on China-Bangladesh relationship on the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the bilateral diplomatic relations with the country.

Main points

  • The Chinese President has said that he stands ready with Bangladesh leaders to better align the two countries’ strategies and jointly promote the construction of the multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • The BRI seeks to build rail, maritime and road links from Asia to Europe and Africa in a revival of ancient Silk Road trading routes.


China-Bangladesh Relationship:

  • China has offered zero-tariff treatment to 97% of Bangladesh’s exports by expanding the list of duty-free products.
  • With over $26 billion Chinese investments and $38 billion funding commitments, Bangladesh is one of the largest recipients of China’s massive infrastructure project.
  • The initiative has attracted allegations of debt-diplomacy after Sri Lanka handed over its Hambantota Port to a state-run Chinese firm in 2017 for a 99 years’ lease in a debt swap amounting to $1.2 billion.
  • Also, several projects have been deferred by Malaysia under the BRI, citing cost revaluation.
  • China had sent a medical team to Bangladesh to share its experience of handling the coronavirus.
  • Bangladesh is among a dozen countries where the clinical trials of Chinese vaccine are underway.


India’s concerns:

  • The BRI is aimed at firming up China’s global influence.
  • The project has been a major bone of contention between India and China as one portion of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – a part of BRI, passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
  • China has initiated over $60 billion as part of the CPEC.
  • Besides Pakistan, China has stepped up its huge infrastructure investments in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, raising concerns of its growing influence in India’s immediate neighbourhood.


  1. Referendum in New Caledonia

The issue in news

In a referendum held recently New Caledonia voted against independence from France

This referendum was known as the Noumea Accord and is a part of a decolonisation plan agreed in 1998,

Main points

  • The territory of New Caledonia was discovered by the British navigator James Cook in 1174 and was annexed by France in 1853.
  • With regards to population distribution The indigenous Kanaks represent around 39% of the population, while European settlers (known as Caldoches) make up about 27%. the remainder are from other Pacific islands, which are of mixed heritage, called Caledonians.
  • world’s 10% nickel reserve are found in new Caledonia.
  • New Caledonia is a territory sui generis e. territory of its own kind.

Conflict Over Independence:

  • There have been various conflicts over the issue of autonomy and independence from France. indigenous Kanaks favour independence and Europeans are againts  
  • The Noumea Accord, concluded in 1998, provided for a practically sovereign status.


  • India has no official position for this referendum, however the results the results of this referendum are particularly important for India in context of India-France relations and Indo-China conflicts (since china is interested in nickel reserves of this territory)


GS 3


  1. ‘SC orders violated in Chardham project’

The issue in news

The chairman of a Supreme Court-appointed expert committee has alleged violations of the court orders in the execution of the Chardham road project.


  • The controversy was over the proposed width of the two-lane highways envisaged.
  • The SC ruled that a width of 5.5 metres be enforced as it was in conformity with a 2018 recommendation of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) for mountain roads.
  • The MoRTH is also the key coordinator of the Chardham project.
  • Prior to this, the government had sanctioned a road width of 10-12 metre.
  • The Chairman of the High Powered Committee (HPC) has said the MoRTH has allowed the 700 km road project to continue with the old 10-metre width which is a clear contravention of the Supreme Court orders which said that the road width must apply to the entire stretch.


Chardham Project:

  • It is a 900 km, 12,000 crore enterprise to connect the Char Dham pilgrimage centres in Uttarakhand, namely Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.

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