Current Affairs 12th July 2021

01) NEWS: Mekedatu Project

News: the Karnataka govt. is likely to pressurize the centre for approval the costruction of Mekedatu Project on the Cauvery River.

  • The Ministry of water resources gave its approval for the project. The project now looking forward for the approval of Environment ministry (MoEFCC). It is crucial because 63% of Cauvery Wildlife sanctuary will be submerged.
What is the concern
  • Tamil Nadu has approached Supreme Court against the project.
Reasons for opposition
  • Tami Nadu is the lower riparian state in this case so Karnataka has no right to construct any reservoir on an interstate river without lower riparian state’s concern.
  • It is against Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT)  : no state can claim exClusive ownership or asset rights to deprive other states of the waters of inter-state rivers.
  • The project is about to facilitate the irrigation which is a clear cut violation of CWD award.
  • The CWDT and the C have found that existing storage facility available in the Cauvery basin were adequate. So there is no need for another reservoir.
Cauvery River
  • Originated in Brahmagiri hills (western ghats)
  • River basin covers: Karnataka, tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
  • Key tributaries: Hemavati, Kabani, Amaravati, Bhavani, noyil and Lakshmatirtha.
  • Mettur Dam and Hogenakkal Falls- falls along the way
02) News: What makes UAPA so tringent?
  • Origin: On June 17, 1966 the President had promulgated the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Ordinance “to provide for the more effective prevention of unlawful activities of individuals and associations”.
  • Scope: Act provided for declaring an association or a body of individuals “unlawful” if they indulge in any activity that included acts or words, spoken or written, or any sign or representation, that supported any claim to bring about “the secession of a part of the territory of India”, or its “secession”, or which questions or disclaims the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • Prior to the UAPA’s enactment, associations were being declared unlawful under the Criminal Law (amendment) Act,1952 – no mechanism to scrutinize the validity of ban so a tribunal has been established under UAPA which has to confirm within six months the notification declaring an outfit unlawful.
  • In its present form, the Act, after the amendments in 2004 and 2013, covers the declaration of associations as unlawful, punishment for terrorist acts and activities, acts threatening the country’s security including its economic security and provisions to prevent the use of funds for terrorist purposes, including money laundering.
  • In 2019, the Act was amended to empower the government to designate individuals as terrorists.
  • The law also makes it more difficult to obtain bail.
  • Stringency of the law: questions right to life and liberty of the accused.  the UAPA modifies CrPC to make it more stringent which provides provisions for longer remand  as well as judicial custody. More difficult to obtain bail under 43D(5).
  • Against individual rights: state get the authority of detain and arrest individuals which is a violation of article 21.
  • Increase in use: steep increase in the use of the law.
  • Potential for misuse: very low conviction rate shows the misuse of the act.

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