Dear Express Explained reader,
We published this week Deeptiman Tiwary’s two-part, hardworking report on the casebooks of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Directorate of Enforcement (ED), which showed a surge of the numbers of actions taken by these central agencies against opposition leaders under the NDA-II government compared with the 10 years of the UPA. (The full lists, if you want to check them out, are here and here.)
Deeptiman also wrote two explainers accompanying the investigation, on the uneasy — and not so glorious — history of the CBI that has been repeatedly pulled up by Supreme Court judges, and on the ways in which the ED became the sword arm of the government, especially under the agency’s current Director and his predecessor.
On issues of law, justice and the courts, Apurva Vishwanath wrote two important explainers with far-reaching consequences this week — on the approach of the courts to the question of a hearing on the sentencing of a death penalty convict, and on the rationale and concerns over the live streaming of court proceedings, which the Supreme Court has decided to start from September 27. Do read.
In his weekly explainer on science, environment, and climate change, Amitabh Sinha wrote about the ongoing “triple dip” La Niña, and its impact on rainfall patterns around the world, many of which we are witnessing currently. Separately, Amitabh wrote about the technique of determining the date of materials from many centuries ago, known as carbon dating. A court in Varanasi has admitted an application seeking carbon dating of an artefact found in the Gyanvapi Masjid, which the Hindu side claims is an ancient Shivling that predated the mosque built by the orders of Emperor Aurangzeb in the 17th century.
I would also like to flag to you this week the extraordinary constitutional crisis in Nepal, where the highest functionaries and organs of the state, including the President, Prime Minister, Parliament, and Supreme Court led by the country’s Chief Justice, are all at each other’s throats, with no clarity on where the endgame of this situation lies. Do read Yubaraj Ghimire’s detailed explanation of the context and consequences of the crisis.
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