Supreme Court clears scheme for Sexual Assaults, Acid Attack Victims :-
The Supreme Court on Wednesday approved a scheme which provided for a uniform compensation for Women victims of sexual assault and acid attacks and asked the Centre and states to implement it in letter and spirit.
Features of the scheme prepared by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) :-
- Survivors of gang rape would get a minimum compensation of Rs 5 lakh and a maximum of Rs 10 lakh.
- The victims of rape and unnatural sexual assault would get a minimum of Rs four lakh and the maximum of Rs seven lakh as compensation.
- In case of the victims of acid attacks, if there was disfigurement of face, she would get a minimum compensation of Rs seven lakh, while the upper limit would be Rs eight lakh.
- In case of injury exceeding 50 per cent, the victim would be entitled to a minimum compensation of Rs five lakh and the maximum of Rs eight lakh.
- It has also provision for compensation in cases of acid attacks where injury is less than 50 per cent and 20 per cent. It provides for Rs 7 lakh maximum compensation for the victims of burning cases.
- Any victim or her family member is entitled to approach the state or district legal services authority with a copy of the FIR and medical report to claim compensation amount.
- It said that in case of pregnancy caused by rape, victims would get compensation between Rs 3 lakh to Rs 4 lakh.
- Similarly, miscarriage or loss of fertility due to sexual assaults, would entitle the victims to a compensation of Rs two lakh to Rs 3 lakh.
- In case of death of a victim of gang-rape, her family would be entitled compensation for both sexual assault and murder
What is not covered in this Scheme ?
The scheme did not have provisions for monetary aid to child victims of sexual assault but a Bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur directed that suitable modifications should be made to extend the benefits of the scheme to the child victims of sexual abuse, irrespective of their gender.
About NALSA :-
- National Legal Services Authority of India (NALSA)was formed on 5 December 1995 under the authority of the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987.
- Its purpose is to provide free legal services to eligible candidates and to organize Lok Adalatsfor speedy resolution of cases.
- The Chief Justice of Indiais patron-in-chief of NALSA while second seniormost judge of Supreme Court of India is the Executive-Chairman.
- The prime objective of NALSA is speedy disposal of cases and reducing the burden of judiciary.
Parliament Approved Fugitive Economic offenders Bill 2018 :-
- The Parliament on Wednesday approved a legislation to help the government bring back fugitives involved in white-collar crimes to stand trial in India.
- The fugitive economic offenders bill, 2018 will become law after the President’s assent and will empower the government to seize both local and overseas assets of alleged offenders, such as Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
According to Ministry of External Affairs :-
- The ministry of external affairs informed Parliament on Wednesday that 28 Indians involved in financial irregularities had fled the country in the period between 2015 and 30 June 2018.
- The list was compiled by the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate (ED), and includes names like Mallya, Nirav Modi and his brother Neeshal Modi, Lalit Modi and Choksi.
Features of the bill :-
- It seeks to target fugitives for offences exceeding ₹100 crore.
- The bill will extend not only to loan defaulters and fraudsters, but also to individuals who violate laws governing taxes, black money, benami properties and financial corruption.
- According to the provisions of the bill, all individuals attempting to evade the Indian legal process from the date of the enactment of the law will be covered. The confiscation of property will not be limited to those acquired through the proceeds or profits of the crime.
- The bill also provides for confiscation of benami properties.
- ED will be the apex agency to implement the law.
- The government has also inserted a clause to protect itself and officers from any legal action. Those classified as fugitives will also not be able to pursue civil cases in India unless they come back to India and face prosecution.
Detection system to be Setup on B’Desh & Pakistan Borders :-
- The Ministry of Home Affairs is planning to beef up the security infrastructure on the porous border with Pakistan and Bangladesh by installing Comprehensive Integrated Border Management Systems (CIBMS) at four more spots in Gujarat, Punjab, Tripura and south Bengal.
- The decision to expand the CIBMS network follows near completion of two pilot projects, each spread slightly over five kilometres along International Border to check infiltration in the Jammu sector with the help of technological solutions.
- Through censors and radars, the CIBMS would detect and verify objects near the border before forwarding the information to a command centre for relaying it further to Quick Response Teams (QRTs) of the Border Security Force (BSF) for action.
- The BSF is manning borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, some portion with the assistance of Army and others on its own.
What is CIBMS ?
The Comprehensive Integrated Border Management Systems (CIBMS) is touted as a more robust and integrated system that is capable of addressing the gaps in the present system of border security by seamlessly integrating human resources, weapons, and high-tech surveillance equipment.
It has three main components :-
- New high-tech surveillance devices such as sensors, detectors, cameras, ground-based radar systems, micro-aerostats, lasers as well as existing equipment for round-the-clock surveillance of the international border
- An efficient and dedicated communication network including fibre optic cables and satellite communication for transmitting data gathered by these diverse high-tech surveillance and detection devices
- A command and control centre to which the data will be transmitted in order to apprise the senior commanders about the happenings on the ground and thus providing a composite picture of the international border. A composite picture would help senior commanders analyse and classify the threat and mobilise resources accordingly to assist the field commander in his response.
What is the purpose of Introducing CIBMS on borders ?
The purpose of the CIBMS is to eventually replace manual surveillance/patrolling of the international borders by electronic surveillance and organising the BSF personnel into quick reaction teams to enhance their detection and interception capabilities.
India US set to sign pact for Secure Military Communications :-
- India and the US are likely to sign the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), a bilateral pact between the two countries for secure military communications, during the inaugural ‘2+2’ meeting in New Delhi in the first week of September.
- The government had made up its mind to sign the agreement which had been pending for nearly 15 years now.
- The inaugural ‘2+2’ meeting is scheduled to be held in New Delhi on September 6. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be attending the meeting, along with their American counterparts, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James Mattis.
What is COMCASA ?
- COMCASA is meant to provide a legal framework for transfer of communication security equipment from the US to India that would facilitate “interoperability” between their forces — and potentially with other militaries that use US-origin systems for secured data links.
- The general agreement signed by the US is called the Communication and Information on Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) but the name was changed to COMCASA to reflect its India-specific nature.
- American officials contend that COMCASA will facilitate the use of high-end secured communication equipment to be installed on military platforms being sold to India, and fully exploit their potential.
- COMCASA is part of a set of three military agreements that the US considers “foundational” for a functional military relationship.
♦ In August 2016, India had signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), which allows the military of each country to replenish from the other’s bases.
♦ Negotiations on the third agreement, Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA), have not yet begun.
Concerns raised by India :-
- The government considered concerns about intrusive American access to encrypted Indian military communication systems and sharing of that data with other countries.
- There is also a fear among defence services that a lot of Russian-origin and indigenous Indian military platforms may not be compatible with COMCASA.
America’s Arguments :-
- India’s armed forces are currently dependent on less secure, commercially available communication systems on high-end American platforms like C-130Js and the P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft.
- These platforms are, therefore, unable to share data in real time with other friendly militaries using American platforms, besides creating problems of interoperability during training exercises and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.