SC commits judicial horror; Rise of reservation; POCSO turns 10

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Opinion Watch

SC commits judicial horror

Tamil nationalism is now dictating terms at the highest levels in India, and even the Supreme Court is not unaffected. The Supreme Court order to release the remaining six convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case should shock and pain all.

The Hindu has shown on several occasions that it’s a mouthpiece of the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu, which had spearheaded campaigns for the release of the convicts solely due to political considerations. The Hindu in its Editorial has rationalized the Supreme Court order and defended it, claiming that it marks conclusion of the due process of the law. The Chennai-based daily, falling for the timidity of arguments, further takes recourse to the arguments the stay in jail reformed the convicts, which was argued also by the Tamil Nadu government in the apex court. The daily makes laughable claim that some remorse should be a prior requirement for remission of sentences. The Hindu Editorial shames rationality, journalism, while confirming again that it’s a mouthpiece of the DMK.

The Indian Express in its Editorial nails the lapse of the Supreme Court, calling for insulation of due process from political consideration. The daily stated that Tamil nationalism seems to have carried the day for the convicts. “It is baffling that the courts have allowed individual liberties to be determined by local political sentiments,” noted the Noida-based daily.  

Rise of reservation

The Pioneer in its Editorial has taken note of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin’s stance on 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker section (EWS) forcing Congress to review its stand, as it had welcomed the Supreme Court upholding the affirmative action for the poor among the general categories.

The Pioneer, known for its research-based Editorials, cited data to state that in 2019 and 2020, the first two years of the EWS quota, only 132 got jobs in the Central government under the revised norm. Indeed, the jobs at the Central government levels and also in the states are now being offered through contracts, which are exempt from the reservation norms. Yet, there is a growing clamour for reservation, with states hiking it to 77 per cent and more as is the case with Jharkhand.      

POCSO turns 10

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has completed 10 years. This has brought gender neutrality in offences, special courts, while increasing age of consent from 16 to 18.

The Times of India in its Editorial has brought out a few challenges on the 10th anniversary of POCSO – half the cases involving 16-18 age group — related to the consent issue, rising number of pending cases, three acquittals for every conviction. While scope of misuse of the provisions of the law will always exist, this law is not immune from the frailties of the law enforcement agencies, especially their compromised competence in investigating the cases.     

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