Mains Q & A 23 February 2023
Q1. The essential ideas that underlie our Constitution are stated in the Preamble to the Constitution. Elaborate. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS II Parliament related issues
A constitution’s preamble provides an overview of its main points. The people of India have resolved to construct a sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic republic. Everyone will have access to social, economic, and political justice as well as freedom of expression, religion, and belief, as well as equality of opportunity and status. This will promote camaraderie among them, guarantee that everyone is treated with respect, and preserve the integrity and unity of the country.
The preamble was written after the rest of the constitution by the Constituent Assembly.
It came about as a result of disagreements over the Objectives Resolution, which Jawaharlal Nehru had proposed on the fifth day of the first session of the Constituent Assembly.
The Preamble was made a core part of the Constitution in the 1973 Keshavananda Bharati Case.
In the original Preamble, the words “Secular,” “Socialistic,” and “and Integrity” were not mentioned. They were able to be included thanks to the 42nd Constitutional Amendment.
Message of Preamble:
The basic political, moral, and religious convictions and ideals upon which the Constitution is based are embodied in the Preamble.
It symbolises both the aspirations and hopes of the document’s forebears as well as the lofty goals of the Constituent Assembly.
The Supreme Court held in the Berubari Union 16 case (1960) that the Preamble provides insight into the authors’ intentions and shows the broad objectives that drive the Constitution’s numerous sections.
Also, when evaluating words used in any article that are vague or have more than one interpretation, one may refer to the Preamble’s stated purposes.
The Preamble contains the foundational elements of the constitution. It accomplishes a variety of essential goals, including
The enacting clause, which is what gives the Constitution power, is present in it.
It outlines the underlying structure of politics and administration that the country aspires to achieve.
It outlines the significant privileges and freedoms that the Indian people wished to grant to each and every individual.
It provides information on the Indian People, who drafted the Constitution.
Any ambiguity in a statute’s or the Constitution’s language can also be resolved by referring to the Preamble.
The preamble, which also serves as the introduction to India’s constitution, outlines the intellectual foundations.
It also specifies the objectives that the constitution hopes to realise and progress.
Preamble as the Projection of the “Desired Established State”
The solemn decision of the Indian people to build a “Sovereign socialist secular democratic republic” in their nation is stated in the Preamble.
Preamble as the Statutes and Laws’ Interpreter:
The Indian Constitution’s preamble, which captures the spirit of the document, comes first. Every piece of legislation is written in accordance with the spirit of the preamble, which puts the laws’ legitimacy and objectives to the test.
Persistent views on the Preamble:
According to Sir Alladi Krishnaswami Iyer, a member of the Constituent Assembly who played a key role in the constitution’s creation, the preamble “Expresses what we had thought or hoped so long.”
The Preamble is the “horoscope of our sovereign democratic country,” according to K M Munshi, a member of the Constituent Assembly’s Drafting Committee.
The Preamble is the most precious piece of the Constitution, according to Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava, another member of the Constituent Assembly who summed up its value. It is the mindset of the Constitution. It acts as the key to the Constitution. It is a valuable gem incorporated into the Constitution. That is a suitable standard to use for evaluating the Constitution’s worth.
India’s goal is described in the Preamble, which seeks to safeguard the values contained for the benefit of its population. It has a unique way of thinking and speaking. The constitution’s call for the establishment of a sovereign state to ensure the triumph of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity is symbolised by this. Yet, it neither grants authority to or limits the jurisdiction of Parliament, nor is it judicially enforceable. But it brilliantly captures the idea of independence in India.
Q2. Can gruesome crimes against women like gang rape and rape with several victims be effectively deterred by the death penalty? critically evaluate (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS II Judiciary related issues
The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results, or is likely to result, in, physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.”
The Maharashtra Assembly unanimously approved the Shakti Criminal Laws (Maharashtra Amendment) Act. After the passing of the Bill, it became the second state in India after Andhra Pradesh to sanction the death penalty for the horrible crimes of rape and gangrape.
Sex abuse against women:
30 percent of Indian women between the ages of 15 and 49 report experiencing physical abuse at some point since turning 15 according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4).
6% of women in the same age range who have been sexually assaulted at least once in their lifetime, according to the research.
A third of married women (31%) say their partners have abused them physically, sexually, or emotionally.
For every 100,000 people in India, there are roughly 6.3 documented rape cases. In contrast, Sikkim and Delhi had rates of 30.3 and 22.5, respectively, while Tamil Nadu had a rate of less than one.
Arguments in favour of the death penalty:
The punishment is not arbitrary because it is the result of a lawful procedure. To prove that it is arbitrary, one must inescapably demonstrate that the process is flawed.
Only four people have been executed in the last 13 years, which is where it is used in the “rarest of the rare” cases.
Ajmal Kasab and Yakub Memon’s executions serve as a stark reminder of India’s dedication to life protection.
Arbitrariness, irreversibility, and human rights are criticised, but these are not sound justifications.
Its constitutionality is upheld, even in liberal nations like the US. It doesn’t depict a prehistoric civilisation.
In contrast to Scandinavia, the area around India is not quiet. It does not belong to the European Union, an association of countries.
India’s boundaries present challenges. Many forces working from beyond the border are aiming to destroy the fundamental structure of our country.
It can only be argued that life is sacred and is being saved if those who take it away are punished appropriately.
Execution of death sentences:
According to a 2015 analysis by the Centre of Death Penalty at the National Law University Delhi (NLUD), which looked at data from 15 years, less than 5% of death sentences handed down by trial courts were upheld by the time the cases passed the tests in high courts and the Supreme Court.
A different NLU Delhi study states that 162 death sentences were issued countrywide in 2018. Only 23 had their confirmation by the high courts.
Only one of the twelve cases that the Supreme Court considered in 2018—the murder and gangrape of Nirbhaya—received confirmation.
The Judge JS Verma committee, which was created in the wake of the Nirbhaya tragedy, also examined the efficacy of the death penalty for rape. Judge Verma did not recommend the death penalty in her findings because there was insufficient evidence connecting it to rape or gang rape prevention.
The death sentence is not a panacea:
It unfairly singles out the underprivileged and marginalised, or those with little access to power.
There were around five executions for every one lakh murders, which seems a little arbitrary. According to the judges’ personal convictions.
India’s murder rate has been continuously declining since 1991, and it is currently at its lowest level since 1963.
Punishment shouldn’t be modelled after crime.
According to the most recent Death Penalty India Research from the National Law University of Delhi, situations where the death penalty is used make the underlying flaws in our criminal justice system and criminal procedure especially clear.
The bulk of civilised countries did away with it. The death sentence has not proven to be effective at deterring terrorism, murder, or even theft.
Between 200 and 2015, the Supreme Court imposed 60 death sentences, admitting subsequently that it had erred in 15 of them. It was so forthright in admitting that the worst punishment had been imposed arbitrarily.
The police are not well-known in our nation for their efficiency or integrity.
Delays in the criminal justice system have a disproportionately negative impact on people who live under the tyranny of life’s uncertainty.
What must be done:
The Law Commission has recommended that all crimes in India be excluded from the death penalty, with the exception of those involving terrorist acts and the crime of waging war against the nation. This recommendation is contained in the Law Commission’s 262nd report.
A number of factors led to the death penalty’s abolition, including the fact that it had been abolished in 140 other nations, that it was applied arbitrary and wrongly, and that it had no obvious deterrent effect on criminal behaviour.
Dealing with the enduringly low reporting and conviction rates brought on by the deeply ingrained patriarchal attitudes of the police, attorneys, and other court officials.
bridging the gap between GBV legislation and the sectors they are related to, such as the legal rights to property, land, inheritance, employment, and income that enable a woman to leave an abusive relationship, and placing a special emphasis on the political and economic participation of women.
the legal sector, the social welfare sector, and the health sector (medical and psychiatric help) through systematic involvement (legal aid)
In order to break the cycle of GBV, “men and boys” need not only be active in the reform process, but they should also be conscious of the expectations associated with being a man and their vulnerability to violence, particularly as young boys.
By supporting and protecting women’s freedom of choice and control over issues connected to their sexuality, such as family planning options, accessibility to comprehensive sexuality education, and sexual and reproductive health, we can respect sexual and reproductive rights and health.
reclaiming the spaces to increase women’s visibility, diversify their engagement in non-traditional areas, and participate in politics and the economy.
Using cutting-edge concepts and modern technologies in urban design to ensure safer and more gender-neutral surroundings that prevent GBV.
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