Current News National Polity & Governance

Default Bail

The National Investigation Agency(NIA) has approached the Supreme Court against a Bombay High Court order granting statutory bail to advocate and activist Sudha Bharadwaj.

About Default Bail

  • Also known as statutory bail, this is a right to bail that accrues when the police fail to complete investigation within a specified period in respect of a person in judicial custody.
  • This is enshrined in Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure(CrPC) where it is not possible for the police to complete an investigation in 24 hours, the police produce the suspect in court and seek orders for either police or judicial custody.
  • This section concerns the total period up to which a person may be remanded in custody prior to filing of charge sheet.
  • For most offenses, the police have 60 days to complete the investigation and file a final report before the court.
  • However, where the offense attracts death sentence or life imprisonment, or a jail term of not less than 10 years, the period available is 90 days.
  • At the end of this period, if the investigation is not complete, the court shall release the person “if he is prepared to and does furnish bail”.

Principles Related To Default Bail

  • Right to seek 'default' bail is a fundamental right and an indefeasible part of right to personal liberty under the Constitution.
  • The stipulated period within which the charge sheet has to be filed begins from the day the accused is remanded for the first time.
  • It includes days undergone in both police and judicial custody, but not days spent in house-arrest.
  • A requirement for the grant of statutory bail is that the right should be claimed by the person in custody.
  • If the charge sheet is not filed within the stipulated period, but there is no application for bail under Section 167(2), there is no automatic bail.

Other Types of Bail

  • Regular Bail: It is a direction given by the Court (any Court within the country) to release a person who is already under arrest and kept in police custody. For such Bail, a person can file an application under Section 437 and 439 of the CrPC.
  • Anticipatory Bail: A direction issued to release a person on Bail even before the person is arrested. In this situation, there is apprehension of arrest and the person is not arrested before the Bail is granted.
  • Interim Bail: Bail granted for a temporary and short period by the Court till the application seeking Anticipatory Bail or Regular Bail is pending before a Court.

Current News National Polity & Governance

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Recently, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed by Lok Sabha.

About the Amendment

  • It seeks to replace the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021.
  • The Bill amends the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 to correct a drafting error in 2014 amendment.
  • Drafting Error: In 2014, the Act was amended and the clause number of the definition for such illicit activities was changed.However, the section on penalty for financing these illicit activities was not amended and continued to refer to the earlier clause number.The Bill amends the section on penalty to change the reference to the new clause number.This amendment will be deemed to have been in effect from May 1, 2014 (i.e., when the 2014 amendments came into effect).

Current News National Indian Art, Culture & Heritage

Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity

The Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention on Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has inscribed ‘Durga Puja in Kolkata’ on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity during its 16th session being held at Paris, France, from 13th to 18th December 2021.

  • The Committee commended Durga Puja for its initiatives to involve marginalized groups, and individuals as well as women in their participation in safeguarding the element.
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage: Intangible cultural heritage means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated with them that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as a part of their cultural heritage.
  • Its relevance is not in the cultural manifestation itself, but in the wealth of knowledge, know-how and skills that are transmitted from one generation to the next.
  • Significance: This is a recognition of the confluence of our rich heritage, culture, rituals and practices and a celebration of the feminine divinity and the spirit of womanhood.
  • India’s ICH Elements: With the inscription of Durga Puja in Kolkata, India now has 14 intangible cultural heritage elements on the prestigious UNESCO Representative List of ICH of Humanity.
  • Recent Additions: The ICH elements that saw inscriptions in recent years are Kumbh Mela (inscribed 2017), Yoga (inscribed 2016) among others.
  • India is a signatory of the 2003 UNESCO Convention which aims for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage along with traditions and living expression.

Current News International Reports,Survey And Index

Asia Power Index 2021

Recently, Sydney-based Lowy Institute released the Asia Power Index 2021. It is being published annually since 2018.

About the Index: The index measures resources and influence to rank the relative power of states in the Indo-Pacific.

It ranks 26 countries and territories.

Criteria: The index evaluates international power in Asia through 128 indicators across the following eight thematic measures:

  • Resources: Economic capability (17.5%), Military capability (17.5%), Resilience (10%), and Future resources (10%).
  • Influence: Economic relationships (15%), Defense networks (10%), Diplomatic influence (10%), and Cultural influence (10%).

Key Highlights

  • As per the index, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven down the power of Asian giants like China and India in the Indo-Pacific region and has weakened their capacity to shape the external environment.
  • The US managed to expand its power through better diplomacy and retained its position as the most influential nation in the region.
  • India is the fourth most powerful country in the region after the US, Japan and China.
  • India saw a loss of ranking in critical parameters like diplomatic influence and economic relationships in the last one year.
  • India also lagged in economic diplomacy, dropping one place and finishing eighth behind Thailand.
  • Japan and India - the two nations with the most potential to contribute to a regional multipolar order - lost more ground in 2021 than China.