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18th February – Prelims Booster

Tiger reserve tag unlikely for Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, though home to more than half the number of tigers present in Kerala, may not be notified as a tiger reserve as the proposal lacks public support.

About Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary –

  • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is an animal sanctuary in Wayanad, Kerala.
  • It is bounded by protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka and by Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu.
  • Established in 1973, the sanctuary is now an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It has an extent of 344.44 km2.
  • It is part of the Deccan Plateau and the vegetation is predominantly of the south Indian moist deciduous teak forests.
  • The sanctuary has pastures of the west-coast semi-evergreen trees. The wildlife sanctuary comes under Project Elephant.
  • Scheduled tribes here include Paniyas, Kurumas, Adiyans, Kurichiyas, Ooralis and Kattunaikkans.
  • Recently, a rare spider Chrysilla vollupewas rediscovered here after 150 years, which was believed to be extinct.

All India Conference of Central Administrative Tribunal 2020

The annual All India Conference of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) was held in New Delhi recently.

About Central Administrative Tribunal –

  • It has jurisdiction to deal with service matters pertaining to the Central Government employees or of any Union Territory, or local or other government under the control of the Government of India, or of a corporation owned or controlled by the Central Government.
  • The CAT was set-up on 1 November 1985. It has 17 regular benches, 15 of which operate at the principal seats of High Courts and the remaining two at Jaipur and Lucknow.
  • These Benches also hold circuit sittings at other seats of High Courts. The tribunal consists of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Members.
  • The Members are drawn, both from judicial as well as administrative streams so as to give the Tribunal the benefit of expertise both in legal and administrative spheres.
  • The appeals against the orders of an Administrative Tribunal shall lie before the Division Bench of the concerned High Court.

SAMPRITI-IX

A joint military training exercise SAMPRITI-IX is being conducted at Umroi, Meghalaya between India and Bangladesh.

Details –

  • It is the ninth edition of such exercise which is hosted alternately by both countries.
  • The exercise is hosted alternately by both countries.
  • The eighth edition of the exercise was conducted at Tangail, Bangladesh.

Simply put : How to treat a child witness

The Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has pulled up the district police for violations, including repeated questioning of the children.

International conventions –

  • India has been a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child since 1992, which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1989.
  • In 2009, the ‘United Nations: Justice in Matters involving Child Victims and Witnesses in Crime: Model Law’ provided a more specific set of guidelines in the context of child witnesses.

Indian Laws —

  • Under Section 118 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, there is no minimum age for a witness. Children as young as three years old have deposed before trial courts in cases of sexual abuse.
  • The primary legislation in the country pertaining to children is The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. The Act does not provide guidelines specifically relating to questioning or interviewing of children as witnesses.
  • Juvenile Justice Act – The Act prescribes that a Special Juvenile Police Unit is to be constituted by the state government in each district and city, headed by a police officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, and including two social workers, at least one of whom must be a woman, and both of whom should be experienced in the field of child welfare.
  • POCSO Act – Apart from the Juvenile Justice Act, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 has specific guidelines regarding interviewing children as witnesses. The Act states that interviews should be conducted in a safe, neutral, child-friendly environment, including allowing for them to be done at homes. It says a child should not be made to recount the incident in question multiple times. The Act also allows for a support person, who could be trained in counselling, to be present with the child to reduce stress and trauma.

Court guidelines –

  • The Delhi High Court has come up with guidelines for recording of evidence of vulnerable witnesses in criminal matters. A vulnerable witness is defined as anyone who has not completed 18 years of age.
  • Focusing primarily on child witnesses giving testimonies that are recorded in court, the Delhi High Court guidelines underline the importance of the criminal justice system needing to respond proactively, sensitively, and in an age-appropriate manner when dealing with children.
  • In 2016, the Delhi High Court said that while children can be pliable, their testimony can be considered after careful scrutiny.

Daily MCQs

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