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Muslim Board opposes triple talaq bill, Centre questions its existence

While All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) opposed the triple talaq bill, government questioned the very existence of the board and also their credibility on Thursday. Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar questioned how the body became representative of the community. The minister also connoted them as jaahil (ignorant) men on the issue of Muslim Women (Protection Of Rights On Marriage) Bill which makes instant triple ban illegal and a punishable offence.Even before the bill was introduced, Zafaryab Jilani, an AIMPLB member, termed it as government’s attempt to make political gains. “The Central government’s approach is based on their political interests. They don’t have anything to do with Muslim women; they are only doing it for political gains,” Jilani said.During the discussion on the bill in Lok Sabha, Akbar questioned, “What is the credibility of All India Muslim Personal Law Board? Who chose them to be community representatives?” While backing the bill, he said that the law is not against talaq, but against instant talaq or talaq-e-biddat.The board has opposed the bill and had written a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to withdraw the bill. In the letter, AIMPLB stated that it is “against the welfare of Muslim women at large, and it shall harm the interest of Muslim Women and the family”.Akbar also cited Quran to emphasise that women’s rights are important. He said it is stated in Quran that there will be no atrocities on women in the name of God, and added “but even 1,400 years later, some jaahil men continue to do so.””I’m speaking as a Muslim. There is poison being spread that Islam is in danger. There is nothing that is in danger. Only a few Muslim men are feeling vulnerable. A true Muslim will never believe that Islam is in danger,” he said.Earlier in the day, the Bill which seeks to criminalise the practice of instant triple talaq was tabled in Lok Sabha by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.Prasad said the proposed law is for women’s rights and justice and not regarding any prayer, ritual or religion.Reacting to it, Jilani said the parliamentarian was “misleading the Parliament” citing that apart from prayer, and ritual, the divorce law is also protected by Article 25 of the Constitution.”Supreme Court has said in its judgment that divorce law too is an integral part of Muslim personal law, which is protected by Article 25. What he (Prasad) is saying is against the order of the Supreme Court,” Jilani said.

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SC rejects plea seeking nationwide liquor ban

The Supreme Court has found ‘no merit’ in a plea seeking a ban on liquor across the country claiming that it caused death, health problems, rise in crime graph and financial loss to the people.The top court rejected the plea and also imposed Rs 1 lakh as costs on the petitioner NGO Chaitanya Sravanthi, a Vishakhapatnam-based organisation . A bench of justices R F Nariman and Navin Sinha said that there was ‘no merit’ in the plea and it was dismissed with the costs to be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee within four weeks.Advocate Sravan Kumar, appearing for the petitioner, said that the court should also direct an audit of the manufacture, distribution, supply, sale and consumption of various types of liquor in the country.He said that the ill-effects of consumption alcoholic beverages were contrary to the Right to Life enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution, besides being contrary to the fundamental principles of governance under Article 37 and 47 of the Directive Principles of State Policy.Also readSunburn Music Festival: Bombay HC asks state govt to ensure ‘no alcohol’ for underage youth The plea also sought an action plan with regard to creation of awareness on the ill-effects of consumption of liquor and stringent action against the suppliers of alchoholic bevarages by strengthening the investigative mechanism, besides seizure and confiscation of stocks. “The availability and access to liquor have deleterious effects on both physical and psychological well-being of individual, besides having serious societal implications,” it said, adding that the free availability of liquor was correlated to crime, accidents and fatalities.It also sought a direction for a review of the regulation policy for the manufacture, supply and sale of liquor in various states for the purpose of bringing about uniformity. The plea also sought strict implementation of restrictions and regulations on sale of liquor to minor, setting up of liquor shops near schools and temples and conduct of awareness campaign regarding ill-affects of liquor at par with that for tobacco.

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Lok Sabha passes two bills to repeal 245 archaic laws

The Lok Sabha today passed two Bills to repeal 245 obsolete and archaic laws, including the 158-year-old Calcutta Pilots Act of 1859 and the 1911 Prevention of Seditious Meeting Act.Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the old and many irrelevant pre-independence laws were the “unfortunate part of the colonial legacy” and repealing them was a progressive move that reflects the “pro-reform” approach of the government.He was replying to a debate on the Repealing and Amending Bill and the Repealing and Amending (Second) Bill which would repeal these age-old laws.Some of the old acts that have been repealed are the Hackney Carriage Act 1879 which was legislated for the regulation and control of hackney-carriages, Dramatic Performance Act 1876 when theatre was being used a medium of protest against the British rule.Another such old act which was repealed by the Lok Sabha was ‘The Ganges Tolls Act, 1867’ which provided for collecting toll “not exceeding 12 annas” on certain boats and steamers plying on the Ganga to improve navigation of the river between Allahabad (UP) and Dinapore (Bihar).Prasad said 1029 old laws were first repealed by Parliament in 1950 and the last time such old laws were abolished during the Atal Behari Vajpayee government that repealed old laws in 2004.After the Modi government came to power a two-member panel was set up to look into the repealing of archaic laws and the panel also consulted the Centre and the state government before recommending the legislations to be repealed.Some 1824 acts were repealed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over the reins of the government, the law minister said.When Prasad spoke on abolishing the Prevention of Seditious Meeting Act, 1911, he was needled by BJD MP Tathagata Satpathy who alluded to the use of the sedition provision in the Indian Penal Code against opposition activists by the BJP governments in certain states.To this, the Law Minister said that all senior ministers in the BJP government including the prime minister had vehemently opposed Emergency in 1975 and his government was in favour of the freedom of the press.Patidar leader Hadrik Patel and JNU student union leader Kanhaiya Kumar too were booked for sedition.BJD MP Pinaki Misra lauded the government and said 1301 “obsolete” laws were repealed in last 65 years, but after the Modi government took over 1824 legislations were repealed but the pace has to be accelerated.BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi said abolishing of old laws was “swachchata abhiyan” by the House, drawing a parallel to the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, the flagship programme of the Modi dispensation.Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut demanded repealing of Article 370, while Narendra Sawaikar, BJP MP from Goa, said his state was the only one to practise the Uniform Civil Code

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Supreme Court to refer to constitutional bench pleas against allowing Jallikattu

The Supreme Court today said it would refer to a five-judge constitution bench a batch of pleas challenging Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra laws allowing bull-taming sport ‘Jallikattu’ and bullock cart races.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice R F Nariman, while reserving its order, said the larger bench would decide whether states have the “legislative competence” to make such laws on grounds, including that ‘Jallikattu’ and bullock cart racing fell under the cultural rights enshrined under Article 29(1) and can be protected constitutionally.Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have amended the central law, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and allowed Jallikattu and bullock cart racing respectively in their states. The state laws have been challenged in the apex court.Also readPost Jallikattu protest, Chennai police in crackdown modeThe apex court also said that it would hear separately the pleas challenging the Karnataka Ordinance allowing Kambala (buffalo races) in the state and issued notice on the petitions filed by parties including PETA and fixed them for hearing after six weeks.The bench said it wanted to “put an end to the controversy” in view of the fact that Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have been asserting that the laws were enacted to protect the cultural rights of a section of society.Also readPETA moves Supreme Court against amendments in law to allow JallikattuThe larger bench would decide whether state legislatures have legislative competence to make law on the subject, it said.The issue whether the state laws were in “consonance with the basic tenets” of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, a central legislation, would also be tested, it said.Also readViolence in pro-jallikattu protests;Commission tenure extendedThe top court referred to Article 25 (right to freedom of religion) and Article 29(1) (protection of cultural and educational rights) of the Constitution and said they may not enable states to make such laws.”The interpretation will have far-reaching consequences,” the bench said, adding that it would deliver a judgement and refer the matters to a larger bench.Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra respectively, argued in support of the state laws and said the law-making powers of state assemblies cannot be curtailed.”There cannot be fetters on the legislatures on making laws,” Rohatgi said, adding that bulls are taken care of as family members and moreover, Jallikattu has been part of cultural tradition for over 2,500 years. Rules have also been framed to ensure that bulls are not hurt during Jallikattu.Naphade sought an interim stay on a Bombay High Court order holding that the Maharashtra’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act will not come into force for the time being.”Can state law be stayed by the high court in this manner,” he asked.Every year, after Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, bullock cart racing in great numbers are organised in Maharashtra.Jallikattu, also known Eruthazhuvuthal, is a bull-taming sport played in Tamil Nadu as part of the Pongal harvest festival.The apex court, on November 6, had sought the response from the Tamil Nadu government on a plea of animal rights body PETA, challenging the state law that allowed bull-taming sport Jallikattu there. After issuing notice on the PETA’s plea, it had tagged it with other pending petitions on the issue.PETA has assailed the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Bill 2017 passed by the state assembly on grounds including that it circumvented apex court verdict holding the bull-taming sport as “illegal” in the state.PETA alleged that Jallikattu was a blood sport in which the bulls were subjected to various types of cruelty.Prior to this, the apex court had dismissed the plea of the Tamil Nadu government seeking a review of the 2014 judgement banning the use of bulls for jallikattu events in the state and bullock cart races across the country.The court in its 2014 judgement had said that bulls cannot be used as performing animals, either for Jallikattu events or bullock-cart races in the states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country and had banned their use across the country.

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Delhi HC seeks govt stand on PIL for changing Muslim inheritance law

The Delhi High Court today sought the Centre’s response on a PIL to amend the Muslim personal law on inheritance, alleging that Muslim women were discriminated on issues relating to sharing of property.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar asked the Ministry of Law and Justice to examine the issue of alleged discriminatory practice in the Muslim law on inheritance.It directed the government to submit its stand positively before the next date of hearing on April 9 next year.Central government standing counsel Monika Arora told the bench that the Law Commission was examining the issue.The court was hearing a plea by a social organisation — Sahara Kalyan Samiti– which has sought equal inheritance rights for Muslim women.The petition, filed by advocate Raghav Awasthi alleged that Muslim women in India have been discriminated as far their rights of inheritance were concerned in comparison to their male counterparts.It said the discrimination based on customary law as well the statutory law was violative of their fundamental right to equality enshrined under Articles 14, 19, 21 and other relevant provisions of the Constitution.The plea contended that Article 13 of the Constitution included personal laws including Muslim personal laws. “It is erroneous to assume that personal laws are excluded from the ambit of judicial examination,” it said.It claimed that a bare perusal of the law shows that a wife shall receive 1/8th of the property of her husband on his death if they have children. In case there are no children borne out of marriage, she is entitled to 1/4th of the property. A daughter shall receive half of the share of a son.In stark contrast, the men shall receive 1/4th of the property of his wife on her death if they have children. In case there are no children borne out of the marriage, he is entitled to half the property. A son shall receive double the share of the daughter, the plea alleged.”Thus, it is clearly perceivable that women under the present Islamic law in force are, by the mere factum of their being women in the nature of a wife or a daughter, are only entitled to half of the share of their male counterparts,” it said.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Bombay High Court dismisses woman’s leave plea for SRS

Observing that the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal can look into the issue raised of right to live with dignity, enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution, the Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by a woman police constable, Lalita Salve, seeking one month’s leave for undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS).A division bench of Justice SC Dharmadhikari and Justice Bharati Dangre said, “We have never seen the tribunal brushing aside the challenges made to the service rules. We have no doubt that the tribunal will cover the matter and give sympathetic hearing. If the petitioner is not satisfied, it can come to the high court, until then we cannot bypass the alternate remedy available.”Salve had challenged the communication of the higher authorities rejecting her plea for leave to undergo the surgery as it is not mandated in the rules governing the police force. The relief sought by Salve is based on a medical examination and thus wants to undergo the surgery to live a dignified life.
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Yogi Adityanath

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SC junks PMLA tough bail clause

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dealing a blow to the Centre and its fight against black money, the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday struck down a Section that imposed stringent provisions for bail under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.The judgment came on the heels of a batch of petitions.The bench comprised Justices Rohinton Nariman and Sanjay Kisan Kaul. The petitions challenged the validity of Section 45 under the PMLA that essentially said the accused was guilty until proven innocent and where jail was the rule, bail the exception.”It is obvious that the twin conditions set down in Section 45 are a much higher threshold bar,” it said.In fact, the presumption of innocence, which is attached to any person being prosecuted of an offence, is inverted by the conditions specified in Section 45, whereas for grant of ordinary bail the presumption of innocence attaches… Under Section 45, the Court must be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail,” the judgment read.In the 78-page judgment, which will bring relief to those seeking bail under PMLA in the aftermath of demonetisation, the bench observed: “Section 45 is a drastic provision which turns on its head the presumption of innocence which is fundamental to a person accused of any offence.”The bench observed that the provisions under the now defunct Section 45 must be applied by the state only in compelling cases where it is tackling serious offences like organised crime or terrorism. “Before the application of a section, which makes drastic inroads into the fundamental right of personal liberty guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution of India, we must be doubly sure that such provision furthers a compelling State interest for tackling serious crime.”The court said, “the indiscriminate application of the provisions of Section 45 will certainly violate Article 21 of the Constitution. Provisions akin to Section 45 have only been upheld on the ground that there is a compelling State interest in tackling crimes of an extremely heinous nature.”Appearing for the petitioners, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi argued that Section 45 of the said Act imposes two further conditions before grant of bail is manifestly arbitrary, discriminatory and violative of the petitioner’s fundamental rights under Article 14 (equality before law) read with Article 21(right to life) of the Constitution.However, Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, defended the provision, suggesting it was an effective tool against the menace of black money.The bench opined that simply reading down section 45 would not be enough, it needed to be struck down.The court then set aside the orders denying bail that relied on the twin conditions and directed the trial courts to revisit the case based on the merits of the file based on new conditions.The top court relied on the US constitution’s eighth amendment on bail jurisprudence to decide the matter at hand.Justice Nariman — who penned the judgment, was inspired by a sharply worded minority judgment of Justice Marshall, with whom Justice Brennan agreed, the minority held that the Bail Reform Act, which permitted pre-trial detention on the ground that the person arrested is likely to commit future crimes would violate substantive due process and the 8th amendment to the US Constitution.The petitions said…The present writ petitions and appeals raise the question of the constitutional validity of Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. Section 45(1) imposes two conditions for grant of bail where an offence punishable for a term of imprisonment of more than three years under Part A of the Schedule to Act is involved. The conditions are that the public prosecutor must be given an opportunity to oppose any application for release on bail and the court must be satisfied, where the public prosecutor opposes the application, that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of such offence, and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.

Jaypee promoters can’t sell personal assets: SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking cues from the Kingfisher case — where its promoter, liquor baron Vijay Mallya, hid the details of his transaction with a British firm called Diageo when he filed an affidavit in the court, sharing details of all his movable and immovable assets, the Supreme Court on Wednesday barred 13 promoters and directors of real estate giant Jaiprakash Associates Limited (JAL) from selling their properties.”Neither the independent directors nor the promoter directors shall alienate their personal properties or assets in any manner, and if they do so, they will not only be liable for criminal prosecution but also for contempt of the Court,” the bench led by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra ruled.”That apart, we also direct that the properties and assets of their immediate and dependent family members should also not be transferred in any manner, whatsoever,” it added.The court’s move is perhaps precautionary since, earlier this year, Mallya was held guilty of contempt for deliberately failing to disclose $40 million he received in February 2016 through sale proceedings from Diageo. “The money was received in violation of various orders and injunctions against him. Dr Mallya deliberately failed to disclose this amount and has transferred the money in a trust set up for his three children,” Shyam Divan, representing State Bank of India, had said.The bench further directed the JAL to deposit Rs 275 crore in two installments by December 31. This amount will be over and above the already existing order of Rs 2,000 crore JAL is expected to deposit with the SC registry — before the next day of hearing in January 2018.”We have nothing against you. You must give their (home buyers) money back, acche bacche ki tarah paise de do,” the bench that also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud told company’s promoter Manoj Gaur, who along with 12 others had furnished the details of their personal assets.The top court’s order came during the hearing of a plea filed by home buyers who haven’t received possession of their flats from the real estate company.In August, home buyers were left in the lurch after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Allahabad, admitted IDBI Bank’s plea to initiate insolvency proceedings against the debt-ridden company for defaulting on a loan to the tune of Rs 526 crore. According to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), which was passed by Parliament in 2016, if insolvency proceedings are initiated against a company, all court proceedings attached to it are stayed.Home buyer Chitra Sharma’s plea offers respite to almost 33,000 buyers who invested their money in 27 projects by the real estate firm. In her plea, Sharma alleged that the NCLT would affect home buyers, who are considered as unsecured creditors, would get nothing. The dues of financial institutions, who are secured creditors would be cleared first.Sharma’s plea challenged the validity of the law and sought a response from the Centre and others on the issue that it “shall not curtail the legal statutory and vested rights of the flat owners/buyers as consumers” defined under the Consumer Protection Act.Sharma suggested that if the insolvency proceedings against the company were unsuccessful, then liquidation proceedings could be initiated. The money raised would then go to secured creditors as opposed to home buyers, some of who have invested their life’s saving for their dream flats.In order to safeguard their interest, Sharma suggested that home buyers be declared as secured creditors, like financial institutions and banks.The petition alleged that Section 14 of the code, introduced by the Ministries of Finance and Corporate Affairs was “unjust, unfair and unreasonable” and violative of Article 14 (Right to Equality) and 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution.

Madras High Court dismiss PIL seeking ban on ‘Mahatma’ prefix on currency notes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Madras High Court on Monday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a direction to the central government to refrain from using the word ‘Mahatma’ as a prefix to Gandhi’s name in the currency notes with a cost of Rs 10,000 on the petitioner for wasting time.The first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar dismissed the petition moved as a PIL by S Muruganantham, a research scholar at Jadavpur University in Kolkata saying that such PIL’s only clogged the business of the court and consumed valuable time of the judiciary.The petitioner questioned the constitutional validity of prefixing the title ‘Mahatma’ before the name of MK Gandhi in Indian currency notes and contended that the act of the government was in complete violations of Article 14 and 18 of the constitution. He also said that when the Reserve Bank of India uses the prefix, it amounts to a violation of the principle of equality which is the basic structure of Constitution.

Pandits renew homeland demand, UT status for exiled community

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Building pressure on Modi government, representatives of Kashmiri Pandits on Friday met Dineshwar Sharma, the Centre’s special representative for Kashmir, and reiterated their demand for reinstatement in homeland with Union territory status. They demanded that Article 370 and Article 35A be revoked for finding a permanent solution to the vexed Kashmir issue.The four-member delegation of displaced Kashmiri Pandit community, under the aegis of Panun Kashmir, also asserted before Sharma that the sovereignty of the country is non-negotiable.”A serious dialogue process should be initiated by the government for the establishment of a separate homeland in Kashmir valley as explicitly demanded in the Margdarshan Resolution of 1991,” said Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, president of Panun Kashmir, who led the delegation.In a resolution passed by Panun Kashmir in December 1991, Kashmiri Pandits demanded that the Centre create a homeland comprising the regions of the valley to the East and North of river Jhelum. The homeland, according to Panun Kashmir, should have a union territory status where the Constitution of India is made applicable in letter and spirit to ensure right to life, liberty, freedom of expression and faith, equality and rule of law.”The Article 370 and Article 35A have become an unnecessary baggage of the past errors of the rulers of India; there is a national consensus to review these absurd laws that are in contravention of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Indian Constitution to the citizens of India,” said Chrungoo.Article 370 recognizes the special status to the state, while Article 35A empowers the J&K government to frame laws to bar all Indians — except original inhabitants — from purchasing immovable property, getting government jobs and availing of state-sponsored scholarship schemes.”They should be abrogated under the due process of law as soon as possible and the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir state) Order 14th May 1954, since was/is an intentional fraud, be also abrogated along with,” said Chrungoo.Official figures reveal that around 41,117 migrant families from Kashmir are registered in Jammu and 21,000 others in Delhi and other states. Of the total migrant families living in Jammu, 37,128 are Hindus, 2,246 Muslims and 1,758 Sikhs.Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s advisor Professor Amitabh Mattoo said the government is committed for ensuring honorable and safe return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley.”Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had the vision that migrants are part of Kashmiriyat and they should return with dignity, as Kashmiri Pandits are an inseparable part of the Kashmiri society, and the inclusive ethos, for which Kashmir has been known for ages, is incomplete without them,” Prof Mattoo further maintained.Meanwhile, on the fifth day of his Mission J&K, Sharma met cross sections of society in the winter capital on Friday. From Pandits to business leaders, Centre’s interlocutor interacted with several delegations in Jammu on Friday.Migrant familiesOfficial figures reveal around 41,117 migrant families from Kashmir are registered in Jammu and 21,000 others in Delhi and other states.Of the total migrant families living in Jammu, 37,128 are Hindus, 2,246 Muslims and 1,758 Sikhs, the figures reveal.

Will talk with Hurriyat in J&K: Dineshwar Sharma

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ending the suspense on the matter, Centre’s Special Representative Dineshwar Sharma said on Wednesday that he would try his best to talk to the separatist Hurriyat Conference. “I will try my best,” Sharma said, when asked whether he will walk the extra mile by speaking to the Hurriyat. He, however, did not elaborate the contours of the possible reachout.The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), an amalgam of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani, Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, has already ruled out talks with the Centre’s interlocutor, terming it an “exercise in futility”.Meanwhile, on the third day of his Mission Kashmir, Sharma drove to the residence of National Conference (NC) working president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah, to hold talks with him.”I met many people. The meeting was very good. I wish that peace returns to Kashmir soon,” he said.On Sunday, Omar’s father and NC president Farooq Abdullah had thrown a spanner in the works, saying he had no expectation from the process and renewed the party’s demand for autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir.”Dineshwar Sharma and I met at my residence in Srinagar this morning. We discussed the prevailing situation in the state, also steps that can be taken to make his visits to the state more meaningful,” Omar tweeted.Later, the former CM told the media that Sharma had sent a message, expressing a desire to come. “I hope he will act upon the suggestion I put forward about widening the talks process. Sitting in a guest house and waiting for people to come and meet him won’t work,” he said.Omar also defended his father over his remarks about the process. “He (Farooq) has not said anything wrong, given the fact that the Centre has poured water on our expectations. The Prime Minister issued a statement that talking about internal autonomy is akin to talking about azadi,” he saidSharma later held talks CPI(M) state secretary Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, People’s Democratic Front leader Hakim Mohammad Yaseen, and Democratic Party Nationalist president Ghulam Hassan Mir.”The problem needs a lasting solution, which is possible only through a serious, credible, and meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders. Unfortunately, serious efforts have not been made to address this sensitive issue, so far,” the leaders said.The trio further demanded that the PM should assure the people that Article 370 and Article 35-A will be safeguarded.”Cases of political leaders detained in various jails within and outside J&K should be reviewed for their release. Cases of detainees under the PSA should be reviewed at the earliest and steps taken for their release. Cases against the youth pertaining to the present unrest should be withdrawn. Undue harassment of the youth should be stopped forthwith,” they said.

Delhi govt vs Centre: Aid and advice of CM are not ‘words in vacuum’, says Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There cannot be day-to-day impediments by Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) in the elected government’s functioning as the responsibilities conferred on him are “not absolute”, the Supreme Court said today.In “tentative” observations, the top court, while hearing a clutch of appeals of the AAP government on who enjoys supremacy over Delhi’s governance, said the aid and advice of the Chief Minister and his council of ministers are not “words in vacuum” and “some meaning has to be attached to it”. During arguments, senior advocate P Chidambaram, representing Delhi government, said the LG was not like the ‘Viceroy of the British Crown’ but only a representative of the President till he enjoyed the confidence of the highest office of the land.A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra observed that differences of opinion between the LG and the government has to be with regard to policy matters and these differences “must be established through cogent reasons and not just for the sake of difference.” “Responsibilities of the LG are not absolute and if you want to say ‘no’ to a policy matter, then please send it to the President,” it said, adding “there cannot be day-to-day impediments in the functioning of the executive government.”The bench, which also comprised Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, said the difference of opinion was relatable to the aid and advice on the executive action and laws.The top court clarified that these were their tentative views for the time being which were subject to the arguments that could be advanced by the Centre, which is embroiled in the bitter tussle of power to govern the national capital. “Originally there should not be any difference between the LG and the government with respect to policy matters and constitutional solutions have to be found to resolve the differences if any. Aid and advice of council of ministers are not words in vacuum and some meaning needs to be attached to it,” the bench said.It said that “the ripples of the proviso in the Constitution cannot derail the waves of the statute.” Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, who resumed his arguments today, said the tenet of Article 239AA are violated if cabinet advice is not binding on the LG and added that the Delhi High Court has said that aid and advice of council of ministers was not binding on the LG. “The LG is under constitutional obligation to adhere to the principles of cooperative federalism which is an aspect of constitutional statesmanship,” Subramanium said.Justice Chandrachud said he agreed with the argument of constitutional statesmanship by the LG, as it is an element of soft constitutional law. Subramanium said if the aid and advice was not binding upon the LG, then it has no meaning at all and “if we look at the proviso in the law, then satisfaction of the LG is also a sense of executive satisfaction.” The senior lawyer, who concluded his nearly three days of arguments, said he was not claiming to be the monarch but wanted the democratic set-up to be protected and the motive of 239AA which related to Delhi was such that the National Capital Territory need not be without any protection.Chidambaram initiated his arguments saying any interpretation of the Constitution which will limit democracy should be rejected by the apex court. “What the High Court has done is upside down and made the LG as the administrative head. It has made the LG as the ‘Viceroy of British Crown’. He is only an agent of the President till the President deems him fit,” Chidambaram said. He said the LG has the extension of President’s power but cannot exercise all the powers of the President.Referring to the GNCTD Act, Chidambaram said when a Bill is reiterated by the Delhi Assembly, the LG has either to bow to the people’s wish or refer the matter to the President in case of difference of opinion. But he cannot withhold or return it again. The hearing remained inconclusive and would continue tomorrow. The apex court had yesterday observed that the position of Delhi was different from other states and the elected government was under an obligation to apprise the LG about policy decisions.The top court had said there was no need for “fundamental concurrence” of LG on every aspect and there should be “real good reason” in case of difference of opinion over the decision of the government. It had said a balance needed to be maintained between the powers of the LG and the Chief Minister and the council of ministers.

Transgender, denied job as cabin crew in Air India, moves Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A transgender, who had undergone sex change three years ago, today moved the Supreme Court challenging Air India’s decision to deny her a job as a cabin crew.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud issued notice and sought responses from Air India and Civil Aviation Ministry in four weeks. She claimed that to pursue her dreams, she had worked for 13 months in Sutherland Global Services in the airline sector and even at Air India’s customer support, both domestic and international, at Chennai. Born in Tamil Nadu in 1989, she said she graduated in engineering in 2010. She underwent the gender surgery to turn into a woman in April 2014 and this information was published in the state government gazette.She said she had learnt about an advertisement on July 10 by Air India for the post of female cabin crew for its Northern Region office in Delhi on a fixed term engagement basis for an initial period of five years. She applied in the female category as she had undergone a successful sexual reassignment surgery in Bangkok. She said she got the call letter, appeared for GD and PAT tests and undertook four attempts, “but unfortunately she has not been short-listed for the post in question even though faring well in the tests conducted”.In her petition, she said she could not get shortlisted as she was a transgender and the vacancies in the cabin crew were earmarked only for women. She said that representations were made to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Civil Aviation but there was no redressal. She had sought direction to Air India and the Ministry for consideration of her candidature. “The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 prohibits discrimination. It is clear that no person shall discriminate against a transgender person in relation to employment or occupation…”, her plea said.Citing the top court verdict of 2014, she said the apex court has given certain directions for protection of the rights of the transgender persons by including a third category in documents like election card, passport, driving license and ration card, and for admission in educational institutions, hospitals, amongst others. “By recognising diverse gender identities, the Court has busted the dual gender structure of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ which is recognized by the society,” she said in her plea. “The right to chose one’s gender identity is an essential part to lead a life with dignity which again falls under the ambit of Article 21. Determining the right to personal freedom and self determination, the Court observed that the gender to which a person belongs is to be determined by the person concerned. “The Court has given the people of India the right to gender identity. Further, they cannot be discriminated against on the ground of gender as it is violative of Articles 14, 15, 16 and 21,” the plea said.

Article 35A ‘unconstitutional’, SC should quash this ‘temporary provision’: Subramanian Swamy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming it as “unconstitutional”, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday asserted that the Supreme Court should just quash Article 35A of Jammu and Kashmir, as it is a temporary provision and has been held this long as a method of “appeasement to votes” by the Congress party.Swamy told ANI that Article 35A is a part of Article 370, which can be removed by the President’s ratification, as it doesn?t have the same status as the other articles of the Indian Constitution.”In my opinion the Supreme Court should set it (Article 35A) aside, quash it. It is a temporary provision,” Swamy told ANI.”There is no need for Article 370, it has been too long kept by the Congress party as a method of appeasement to their votes,” he added.The apex court on Monday will hear a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A. The petitions were filed by an NGO on grounds that politically contentious Article 35A was illegally added to the Constitution of India as the Article was never proposed before the Parliament. Article 35A of the Indian Constitution is an article that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents, while article 370 gives special status to the state of J&K in the Indian Union.Article 35A was added to the Constitution by a Presidential Order in 1954 and accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of the Jammu and Kashmir. It also empowers the state’s legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on grounds of violating the Right to Equality of people from other states or any other right under the Indian Constitution.

Separatists warn of unrest if Art 35 A tinkered with

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Separatists are bracing up for a major showdown against the Mehbooba Mufti-led Jammu and Kashmir government over the State Subject Law under Article 35 A of the Indian Constitution.Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), an amalgam of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani, Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, who spearheaded last year’s unrest, has asked people to remain ready for another round of agitation if the State Subject Law is tinkered with.The threat comes at a time when the Supreme Court is set to resume hearings on Article 35 A. Under the article, Indian citizens other than the state subjects of Jammu and Kashmir, cannot acquire immovable property or gain voting rights in the state. Charu Wali Khanna, a resident of Jammu and Kashmir settled outside the state challenged the legality of the article in the Supreme Court on grounds that the law disenfranchises and takes away her succession rights.”People should be ready to launch a mass agitation if the Supreme Court verdict goes against the interests and aspiration of the people of the state. People should be ready to protest against any amendment or change in the State Subject laws,” said the three leaders of the JRL in a joint statement.JRL said the conspiracy has been hatched to change the demography of the Muslim majority state and if the law is revoked or amended, people from other states will purchase land in J&K and a Palestine-like situation will arise.

PM blasts Cong pitch for ‘azadi of Kashmir’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi tore into the Congress on Sunday, accusing the Opposition party of “shamelessly” taking a U-turn and lending its voice for “Kashmir’s azadi”. He said the party was speaking the language of separatists and Pakistan, and was insulting the brave soldiers who were sacrificing their lives for the motherland’s security and innocent citizens of Kashmir. The attack came a day after senior Congress leader P Chidambaram again pitched for autonomy for the restive Valley.The PM told BJP workers in Bengaluru that his government would not compromise with the country’s unity and integrity. “All of a sudden, those who were in power till yesterday have taken a U-turn. Shamelessly… they are lending their voice for Kashmir’s azadi,” Modi said.Modi did not take Chidambaram’s name, but said he was surprised that those responsible for the country’s internal security were making such statements.Home was one of the portfolios Chidambaram held during the UPA government.“They don’t have any shame in saying this. The Congress party will have to give an answer for this (Chidambaram’s) statement… Mothers, sisters and children of those who laid down their lives are seeking an answer from the Congress,” the PM said.Modi also linked the remark to last year’s surgical strikes against terror launchpads in PoK and said he could imagine why the opposition party had not been able to “digest” the counter-terror action by the Army. “This is land of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and we will not allow any compromise with the unity and integrity of the country.”The Congress leader had said in Rajkot in poll-bound Gujarat on Saturday that the demand in the Kashmir Valley is to respect the letter and spirit of Article 370 that means most Kashmiris want greater autonomy.“My interactions in J&K led me to the conclusion that when they ask for azadi, mostly, I am not saying all… the overwhelming majority, they want autonomy.” “Yes, I do,” Chidambaram said when he was asked if he still thinks that Jammu and Kashmir should be given greater autonomy.The PM said that after repeated defeats, some intellectual people in the Congress were expected to put the party back on the right path. “But now it looks like the Congress does not want to learn from its mistakes. People usually learn from their mistakes”. The PM also highlighted the Doklam issue to target the Congress and said: “Do you remember the lies Congress was spreading on Dokla? People of India trusted them so much but such is their conduct.”Chidambaram had in July 2016 also pitched for greater autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir, saying India should restore the “grand bargain” under which Kashmir had acceded by granting a large degree of autonomy to it. He had warned that otherwise the country will have to pay a “heavy price”.(With agency inputs)

If seeking autonomy is anti-national, we are proudly so

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir’s main Opposition party National Conference (NC) passed a resolution demanding restoration of autonomy to the restive state on Sunday.In its delegates’ session held after 15 years in Srinagar, the National Conference delved deep into contentious issues including Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir.”We continue to strive for the restoration of autonomy and Article 370 to its original, pristine form, while condemning those divisive voices who are opposed to the sovereign constitutional guarantees extended to the people of the state,” the resolution reads.The then National Conference government of Farooq Abdullah had passed the autonomy resolution in the Legislative Assembly on June 26, 2000, but it was rejected by the then NDA government. Under the autonomy resolution, Jammu and Kashmir enjoys complete autonomy on all issues except defence, foreign policy, currency, and communication, which remain with the Centre.”We are not seeking internal autonomy from Pakistan, Russia, Britain, or America. We are seeking autonomy under the Indian Constitution. And it is already in the Constitution… I was the chief minister when I said on the floor of Assembly that we have only acceded and not merged (with the union of India). We have maintained our identity. We have our own constitution and flag,” said Omar Abdullah, NC Working President and former J&K chief minister, while addressing the session.Going back to the genesis of accession, he said the Centre is entitled to have control over the currency, defence, and foreign affairs. “When we say restore the autonomy, you say we are anti-national. Sorry Jaitely ji, (Finance Minister Arun Jaitely) if talking in the ambit of the Constitution is anti-national, we will wear this badge with all glory and without any hesitation. Call us anti-national; we will accept it,” he said.Calling for restoring the sanctity of the institution of dialogue, the National Conference resolution said the recently announced initiative through a representative of the government of India should have clarity and seriousness of purpose.”A singular focus on military and an operational mechanism to deal with the Kashmir issue in the absence of a political initiative is a dangerous approach and continues to alienate the people. We urge both India and Pakistan to initiate a sustained, sustainable and comprehensive dialogue process to resolve all outstanding issues,” it said.In what could please the ruling NDA is that the NC resolution said, “It is for this purpose that our party wishes to see the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration rejuvenated to usher the entire subcontinent, especially Jammu and Kashmir, into an era of peace and stability.”NC’s autonomy demand comes days after the Centre appointed former IB Director Dineshwar Sharma as the interlocutor for issues in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sikkim CM claims opposition trying to merge Sikkim-Darjeeling

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Upping the ante against the opposition in the run-up to panchayat polls, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has alleged that the opposition parties were pursuing a “hidden” agenda for merger of Sikkim and Darjeeling hills.He also urged the indigenous people to foil the “nefarious designs of the political forces from outside”.”I can sense a hidden agenda of the opposition parties to pursue merger of Sikkim and Darjeeling hills which will be detrimental to the interests of the indigenous people,” he told an election meeting at Yangyang in his native South District on Saturday.Chamling, who heads the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) ever since its inception in early 1990s, dwelt on consequences of the opposition parties, including one from ‘outside’ a reference to the BJP – coming to power in Sikkim.He said the old laws which safeguard the interests of the locals may be scrapped in future by “them”.He told the gathering that it was imperative that the people of Sikkim must continue to repose faith in the SDF for development of the state and welfare of the people.Defending his party supremo’s apprehension about the merger of Sikkim and Darjeeling to resolve prevailing disquiet in the hill districts of West Bengal, SDF spokesperson KT Gyalsten told PTI that Chamling was right in airing his reservation about the merger which, he claimed, was not in the best interests of the Sikkimese.”The merger of Sikkim and Darjeeling hills will lead to scrapping of Article 371 (F) of the constitution that protects socio-economic, political and cultural interests of the indigenous people comprising Nepalese, Lepcha, Bhutia, the business community, among others,” he said.Sikkim retains a number of old laws despite merger with the Union of India more than 40 years ago that may be repealed once Article 371(F) is done away with in the event of merger of the Himalayan state and Darjeeling hills, Gyalsten, a former speaker of the legislative assembly and a lawyer, said.”Being a border state located close to China, it is imperative that the constitutional sanctity of Sikkim must be maintained,” the SDF spokesperson said, adding that the Centre and other stakeholders must try to find a lasting solution to problems of Darjeeling hills, but its merger with Sikkim cannot be one of the solutions.Stating that Sikkim has been an abode of people with tourism being the cornerstone of its economy, the SDF leader said the opposition parties should try to find out a permanent solution to keep NH-10 — the sole road connecting it with the rest of the country — open round the year, instead of harping on needless issues like merger of Sikkim and Darjeeling hills.

Congress should clear whether Chidambaram’s Kashmir autonomy statement is also party’s stand: Arun Jaitley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union finance minister Arun Jaitley reacted sharply to P Chidambaram’s remarks on autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir by saying that the Congress is deceiving the country, itself by encouraging separatism in the state.”It is hurting India’s national interest,” he told ANI. The finance minister also said the Congress needs to clarify whether this is the party’s stand or just the personal opinion of a senior party leader.Earlier, Union minister Smriti Irani on Saturday said she was ‘shocked and disgusted’ at former finance minister P Chidambaram’s remarks about ‘breaking union of India into pieces’.”Although I must admit that I am not surprised by Chidambaram’s statement, as it reflects the Congress’ mentality,” Irani said while speaking to news agency ANI.She also lashed out at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, saying that he supported students of Jawaharlal Nehru University, who allegedly said that they they would break India into tiny pieces. “What is the message Cong is trying to give, that at their doorstep of political gain they are willing to sacrifice nationhood?” Irani asked.Chidambaram landed in controversy after saying that Kashmir needed autonomy. “My interactions in Jammu and Kashmir led me to the conclusion that when they ask for ‘Azadi’, most people want autonomy”. Trying to sort of find a middle-line to solve the Kashmir problem, P Chidambaram said that government must consider areas to give autonomy to J&K. He said, ” It will remain a part of India but will have larger powers as promised under Article 370″.

P Chidambaram’s statement on Kashmir reflection of Congress mentality to divide India: Smriti Irani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Smriti Irani on Saturday said she was ‘shocked and disgusted’ at former finance minister P Chidambaram’s remarks about ‘breaking union of India into pieces’.Chidambaram said, “My interactions in Jammu and Kashmir led me to the conclusion that when they ask for ‘Azadi’, most people want autonomy”. Trying to sort of find a middle-line to solve the Kashmir problem, P Chidambaram said that government must consider areas to give autonomy to J&K. He said, ” It will remain a part of India but will have larger powers as promised under Article 370″.”Although I must admit that I am not surprised by Chidambaram’s statement, as it reflects the Congress’ mentality,” Irani said while speaking to news agency ANI.She also lashed out at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, saying that he supported students of Jawaharlal Nehru University, who allegedly said that they they would break India into tiny pieces. “What is the message Cong is trying to give, that at their doorstep of political gain they are willing to sacrifice nationhood?” Irani asked.The minister also added that the talks of ‘azadi’ was on a land that gave us Sardar Patel. “Patel gave his life to make sure India was under one constitution,” Irani said.

Time for Azadi from Congress: Piyush Goyal hits out at Chidambaram’s ‘autonomy for Kashmir’ comment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday took to Twitter to hit out at P Chidambaram. He was reacting to P Chidambaram’s press conference, where the former Union Minister said that most people in Kashmir don’t want independence, what they seek is autonomy. In no time, Chidambaram started trending on Twitter as he also defended Ahmed Patel regarding his alleged involvement with an ISIS sympathiser. Union Minister Piyush Goyal reacted sharply to Chidambaram’s Kashmir remarks saying, Earlier P Chidambaram said, “My interactions in Jammu and Kashmir led me to the conclusion that when they ask for ‘Azadi’, most people want autonomy”. Trying to sort of find a middle-line to solve the Kashmir problem, P Chidambaram said that government must consider areas to give autonomy to J&K. He said, ” It will remain a part of India but will have larger powers as promised under Article 370″. P Chidambaram was reacting to government appointing former IB Chief Dineshwar Sharma as interlocutor to initiate talks in Jammu and Kashmir. It remains to be seen if BJP takes an aggressive line about Chidambaram’s statement and how Congress reacts to it.

Every writer has fundamental right to speak, says Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court has refused to ban the controversial book- Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu (Vysyas are social smugglers) penned by prominent Dalit writer and intellectual Kancha Ilaiah, saying every author has a fundamental right to voice ideas freely.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud junked a PIL filed by a lawyer seeking direction to the government to ban the book.The apex court said that any request to ban a book has to be strictly scrutinised because “every author or writer has a fundamental right to speak out ideas freely and express thoughts adequately”, and that curtailment of an individual writer or author’s right to freedom of speech and expression should never be viewed lightly.”We do not intend to state the facts in detail. Suffice it to say that when an author writes a book, it is his or her right of expression. We do not think that it would be appropriate under Article 32 of the Constitution of India that this Court should ban the book/books.”Keeping in view the sanctity of the said right and also bearing in mind that the same has been put on the highest pedestal by this court, we decline the ambitious prayer made by the petitioner,” the bench said.The order came on a plea filed by lawyer K V Veeranjaneyulu, who is also a member of Arya Vysya Officials Professionals Association, alleging that the writer had made “baseless” allegations against certain castes in his book and tried to divide the society on caste lines.He said a criminal case had also been registered against him in Andhra Pradesh for hurting sentiments of people belonging to certain castes and urged the court to ban the book.​

Rohingya crisis: Centre’s stand on refugees out of sync, Fali Nariman tells SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday observed that the Centre should not act on its emotions; rather it should go by law and must be ruled by concern for human values and mutual respect. “I, for one, believe, from my past experience of 40 years, that when a petition like this comes to us under Article 32 of the Constitution, the court should be very slow in abdicating its jurisdiction,” Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said leading a bench that also comprised Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud. The apex court’s observations were made during an appeal for a stay on the proposed deportation of the beleaguered Rohingya community in India. Several petitions seeking a stay, as well as a few seeking the expulsion of the refugee community are being heard in the top court. Replying to a batch of petitions that sought a stay on the proposed deportation of Rohingya community from India, the Centre had submitted that the refugees had no locus to approach Indian courts seeking rights. It further added that the decision to deport the 40,000 strong-community was the Executive’s decision and hence outside the purview of the judiciary. Earlier, the Centre had termed Rohingya refugees as “illegal immigrants” who were allegedly here as part of a “sinister” design created by Pakistan’s ISI and other terror groups such as the ISIS. In an August 8, 2017 communiqué to all the states, the Centre had advised all States to keep tabs on the influx of “illegal immigrants” and initiate the process for deportation immediately. The Centre said the states must aid in identifying the Rohingyas. It also said “some” Rohingyas were terrorists and that “illegal immigrants” were more liable to be lured by anti-national forces. The decision to deport the Rohingyas was made based on certain parameters like diplomatic concerns, geographical demographics of certain states and whether the county could sustain such an influx. When the arguments failed to impress the bench, the Centre backed down and said that it would try to convince the top court that refugees did not have locus to approach the judiciary and that why the issue was justiciable on October 13, when the matter will be heard next. Representing the refugees in India, eminent jurist Fali Nariman picked apart the Centre’s stand on this issue and revealed it’s dichotomy in handling refugees. The government’s stand on the issues of refugees has “gone out of sync,” Nariman said. While arguing for the cause, in a lighter vein, Nariman jested that he was the original refugee from British Burma, and not the Burma as we now know. “Our Constitution is not based on Group Rights like the French Constitution, it is based on Individual Rights. Union of India has always tried to advance Refugee rights. It is making such an argument for the first time,” Nariman submitted countering the Centre’s stand. In the rejoinder, those who sought a stay on the expulsion submitted various stands taken by the Indian government on the issue of refugees on international platforms. “The Government of India has constantly made efforts to substantiate, enhance the rights of refugees. The August 8 communication is totally contradictory to Article 14. It sticks out like a sore thumb in our nation’s policy towards protecting refugees.”Nariman then referred to a December 29, 2011 directive issued by the Centre which laid out the standard operating procedure (SOP) and internal guidelines for Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO). In the December directive, the Centre said that if necessary steps must be taken to provide the foreign national with a long-term visa. This had to be done irrespective of religion, gender, etc. Nariman then objected to the blanket claim for expulsion of all Rohingyas on account of probably a few allegedly having “terror links.”Responding to the rejoinder, the Centre today countered and said that though it was “fully conscious, aware and responsible about its obligations emanating from various international instruments”, but certain views expressed by Indian representatives and the contentions, based on “declarations/resolutions/international instruments” were devoid of merits.“As a sovereign State, India will always honour such obligations which are binding obligations. Having said that,it is reiterated that India is not a signatory to United Nation Convention of 1951 and the Protocol of 1967 issued thereunder.“The said Convention/Protocol is, therefore, not binding upon India and no other Declaration/Resolution/Convention/ international treaty or instrument of any kind is in force which prohibits India, as a sovereign nation, to exercise its right of deporting illegal immigrants in accordance with laws of India and thereby protecting the fundamental rights of its own citizens more particularly in the interest of national security,” the Centre said.

Delhi High Court orders govt for info after newborn dies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the death of a newborn girl child due to unavailability of beds at three major hospitals in the city, the Delhi High Court issued an order to the Health Department and Delhi government to make available the information regarding bed occupancy and other medical facilities online.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari also took note of a report highlighting difficulties faced by patients on the facilities available in the hospitals.”Perhaps if this information was readily available to the family of the newborn, the life of the child may have been saved.”Given the availability of websites and internet connectivity, it would appear justified if all information in this regard especially the position of bed occupancy at a particular point of time is made available to the public at large especially, patients and their attendants, to obviate distress to them and also to ensure availability of the best medical assistance at the earliest,” the bench said.Activists lauded the bench’s decision stating that the newborn’s born was a violation of basic rights under the Constitution”This is a clear violation of the Article 21 — Right to Life. If this is the case in Delhi, then imagine what people are facing outside. Infant mortality is anyway an issue in India,” said Advocate and social activist Ashok Aggarwal.

Manmohan Singh led Cong panel visits Kashmir, suggests govt to start dialogue with separatists

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Congress panel headed by former prime minister Manmohan Singh today asked the centre and Jammu and Kashmir government to keep the dialogue route with separatists open.The party delegation is on a two-day visit to Kashmir to attend a series of meetings on the current situation in the valley. The AICC’s ‘Policy and Planning’ group was formed in April in the wake of widespread violence in the state during the Srinagar Lok Sabha bypolls. The other members of the group include Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Union home minister P Chidambaram and party general secretary Ambika Soni. Immediately after their arrival, the group held an executive committee meeting of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee at Hari Niwas here, a party spokesman said.He said the group was scheduled to meet various delegations from Kashmir, including opposition parties.Apart from the political parties, the group will interact with several other delegations like civil society organisations, Shia associations, delegation of 2014 flood victims, saffron growers, house boat associations, trade and tourism delegations as well as a delegation of journalists, the spokesman said. However, meeting separatist leaders is not part of the group’s agenda, he said. Speaking to reporters on sidelines of the meeting, Azad said the central as well as the state government should keep the dialogue route with separatists open.”The central as well as the state government have to decide which stakeholders to talk to. Everyone knows who the stakeholders are, but they are afraid to take the names. And when they are afraid to even identify them as stakeholders, how will there be a resolution? “They (central and state governments) should talk to them (separatists) and try to resolve the issue,” the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections by raising the emotions of people but has remained silent since taking over the reins of the country. “Modi’s election win was 90 per cent because of Kashmir.In our rule, one soldier was beheaded by Pakistani troops (along the Line of Control), but such instances have happened a number of times now in their (BJP) rule, and still the prime minister is silent,” he said. The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir said the Congress government had made south Kashmir militancy-free, but the region had been on boil since the PDP-BJP coalition came to power in the state. “We had made south Kashmir militancy-free during my tenure (as chief minister) in 2007. But, where is south Kashmir today? It is boiling. No one is coming to Kashmir, no tourist. The number of ceasefire violations in these three years is more than the total in 10 years of UPA,” he claimed.”So many soldiers have been killed, common people injured …and the way small kids including girls have lost their eyes, it did not happen during our time, he said in an apparent reference to a series of stone pelting incidents in the valley. Asked about the party s stand on Article 35A of the constitution, the senior Congress leader said the party knew its stand, but the group was here to listen to people. Article 35A renders special status to the northern state.”Firstly, we have come to listen to all. So, we have not come here only for 35-A. This committee was formed much before the issue of 35-A erupted. The panel was formed keeping in view the overall situation of Jammu and Kashmir which has deteriorated under the BJP rule,” he said. The Congress will hold a meeting with MLAs and MLCs, besides interacting with a delegation of minority community and fruit growers, tomorrow. The party had completed the first leg of its tour in Jammu on September 10 and 11.

Supreme Court suggests more open jails to reform prisoners

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court has urged the Centre and all states to consider establishing open jails as a measure to give prisoners a chance to reform themselves. The court, in its judgement delivered on Friday, passed a slew of directions aimed at reforming prisons.A bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta was hearing a 2013 plea on the unsatisfactory conditions in 1,382 jails across the country.The bench directed all high courts — 24 in all — to register a suo motu case to identify the kin of those who died unnaturally in prisons in instances after 2012 and award suitable compensation.In its more than 40-page judgment, the bench stressed on the importance of appointing counsellors and other support staff for prisoners, especially first-time offenders.The court also gave examples of the open prison in Shimla, and a semi-open jail in Delhi, to underline the success of the experiment. Open prisons are jails with minimum supervision and physical control over inmates is also lax. Prisoners interred at open jails are allowed to take up regular employments outside the premises; they can walk out and return at appointed hours.”It is time for the state to go beyond projections through circulars and advisories and actually come to grips with the reality as it exists in a very large number of prisons. What is practised in our prisons is the theory of retribution and deterrence and the ground situation emphasises this, while our criminal justice system believes in reformation and rehabilitation and that is why handcuffing and solitary confinement are prohibited,” the bench said.The apex court was also distressed to learn that custodial deaths of children in juvenile homes haven’t been probed. “It seems that apart from being ‘voiceless’, such children are also dispensable,” the court observed.”There must be a genuine desire to ensure that the guarantee to a life of dignity is provided to the extent possible even in prisons, otherwise Article 21 of the Constitution will remain a dead letter. It must be appreciated by the State that the common person does not violate the law for no reason at all. It is circumstances that lead to a situation where there is a violation of law.”Apart from directing all the states to study the availability of medical assistance accorded to prisoners, the apex court has sought remedial steps wherever necessary.

Kolkata: In case of father’s demise, married daughter is eligible for a job on compassionate grounds, rules HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Calcutta High Court today ruled that a married daughter is eligible for a job on compassionate ground in case of demise of her father in harness.A three-judge bench headed by acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre declared unconstitutional a provision of West Bengal government’s Labour and Panchayat departments that debarred married daughters from being given jobs on compassionate ground.The bench, which also comprised justices Dipankar Datta and T Chakraborty, directed that the state government would mention only ‘daughter’ instead of ‘unmarried daughter’ in its future notifications for jobs on such grounds.The bench rejected appeals by the state government that claimed that married daughters were not considered to be dependents of their parents.A woman named Arpita Sarkar and two others had challenged notifications by the labour and panchayat departments before the high court in 2014.Justice B Somadder had passed an order that year stating that the provision for excluding married daughters from being given jobs on compassionate ground was violative of Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution.This order was challenged by the state government before a division bench comprising the then Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Joymalyo Bagchi which formed the three- judge bench for hearing the appeal.After extensive hearing, the three-judge bench passed its order today.

Article 35A: Govt in Delhi won’t go against sentiments of Kashmiris, says Rajnath Singh; Omar Abdullah lauds statement

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his four day Kashmir visit is trying to reach out to all stakeholders in the state, who can bring back peace. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Rajnath Singh said that, “After meeting the delegations and holding meetings here, I understand that the situation in Kashmir has greatly improved.I don’t want to claim that everything is completely fine but things are improving, this I can say with firm belief”. He also affirmed that solution to Kashmir issue can be found on the bassi of five C’s — compassion, communication, coexistence, confidence building and consistency.And to press home the point, Rajnath cleared air on legal challenge of Article 35A, which prohibits people from outside the hilly state. He said, “There is no reason for doubt or speculation on this issue. Unnecessarily an issue is being made out.Central government has not initiated any process on this issue, we have not gone to the court. I want to assure that — I am not talking about only Article 35A, whatever our government does, we will not do anything against the sentiments of the people here. We will continue to respect that. “I think there are no issues left.It is very unfortunate,” Reacting to Rajnath Singh’s comments, National Conference leader and former J&K CM Omar Abdullah said,
ALSO READ Pakistan should stop infiltrating terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir: HM Rajnath SinghAsked about the allegations that NIA was being used to pressurise separatists, Singh said it is an independent investigating agency and the law will takes its own course. “We have nothing to do with it. They must have evidence based on which they are acting,” he added. Asked if any of the 55 delegations raised the issue of revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state, Singh said no one raised this issue. On the use of pellet guns for crowd control, the home minister said this equipment was being used very sparingly now.”Last year we looked into the alternatives to pellet guns and introduced PAVA (grenades). Though it was not very effective, the pellet guns have been used less compared to earlier,” he said. Singh appealed to all countrymen to visit Kashmir for tourism and trade saying there was no danger in visiting the Valley. “I want to appeal to all people from India and around the world who are into tourism to visit Kashmir.People of Kashmir are ready to welcome you, they want to make it heaven again and take it back from the hands of terrorists. There is no danger here,” he said. He said the Centre will launch a special promotional drive to promote tourism in Kashmir.Rajnath Singh also gave a stern message to Pakistan and said that they have not reciprocated to goodwill gestures shown by PM Modi and AB Vajpayee. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh urged Pakistan to stop sending terrorists from across the border. With PTI inputs

Rohingya refugees in India: Supreme Court to hear petition challenging deportation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today will continue hearing on a petition challenging government’s decision to deport illegal Rohingya Muslim immigrants back to Myanmar. Earlier, the apex court on September 4, sought to know the stand of the government on the issue. The matter came up before a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud which asked Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to take instruction from the Centre and its response to the petition which has challenged the decision on various grounds including that it violated international human right conventions.The plea, filed by two Rohingya immigrants, Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir, who are registered refugees under the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), claimed they had taken refuge in India after escaping from Myanmar due to widespread discrimination, violence, and bloodshed against the community there. “Proposed deportation is contrary to the constitutional protections of Article 14 (Right to Equality), Article 21 (Right to Life and Personal Liberty) and Article 51(c) of the Constitution of India, which provides equal rights and liberty to every person. “This act would also be in contradiction with the principle of ‘Non-Refoulement’, which has been widely recognised as a the principle of Customary International Law,” the plea said while seeking a direction to the government not to deport them and other members of Rohingya community.
ALSO READ Rohingya refugees: Why is Myanmar’s humanitarian crisis a terror concern for IndiaIt has also sought a direction that Rohingyas be provided “basic amenities to ensure that they can live in human conditions as required by international law”. It also said that India has ratified and is a signatory to various conventions that recognise the Principle of “Non-Refoulement’, which prohibits deportation of refugees to a country where they may face threat to their lives.While hearing the matter on September 4, the bench posted the matter for September 11, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the two Rohingya immigrants, wanted an assurance that during the pendency of the petition, the Centre will not take any step including the deportation of the immigrants. The ASG made it clear that he was not making any statement. The bench asked the petitioner to hand over the copy of the petition and relevant documents pertaining to the matter to the law officer.Violent attacks allegedly by Myanmarese army men have led to an exodus of Rohingya tribals from the western Rakhine state in that country to India and Bangladesh. Many of them, who had fled to India after the earlier spate of violence, have settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.The principle of non-refoulement – or not sending back refugees to a place where they face danger – is considered part of the Customary International Law and is binding on all states whether they have signed the Refugee Convention or not. The the petition further said that India has traditionally been a hospitable host of refugees and displaced people, both from South Asia and across the world.The government had raised “serious concern” over reports of renewed violence and attacks in Myanmar and extended its “strong” support to the Myanmarese government at this “challenging moment”. On August 18, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued a notice to the Centre over its plan to deport the Rohingya immigrants, who are residing in various parts of India.

Rajnath Singh reviews security situation in J&K, meets various stake-holders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir at a high-level meeting.Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and senior officials from civil administration, police, CRPF and intelligence agencies attended the meeting.Singh was briefed about the prevailing situation in the Valley, an official said.The home minister complimented the security forces for their successes against militants in the state over the past few months, and urged them to maintain their guard, he said.The Union minister, who is on a four-day visit to the state, is scheduled to address a press conference here tomorrow before flying to the Rajouri district in Jammu for the second leg of his visit. A delegation of the opposition National Conference, led by former chief minister Omar Abdullah, today conveyed to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh the party’s concern over the Centre’s ambiguity in defending Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 35A of the Constitution.The delegation called on Singh, who is on a four-day visit to the state, here this afternoon.”While highlighting the political, historical and constitutional context of the state’s special status, Omar registered the party’s concern and disappointment over the central government’s ambiguity in defending the state’s special status in the Supreme Court with respect to Article 35A,” a spokesman of the National Conference said after the meeting.Omar also highlighted the “worsened and constantly deteriorating situation” in the valley.The delegation also sought a sustained and open-ended political engagement with stakeholders in Kashmir irrespective of their ideology, and urged New Delhi and Islamabad to make sincere and sustained efforts towards resumption of a comprehensive dialogue on all outstanding issues including that of Kashmir, the spokesman said.He said the party delegation also reiterated its struggle for the restoration of autonomy and asked the central government to initiate a process of reversing “erosions” made to the state’s autonomy that had been violated by extending various hitherto inapplicable central laws to the state, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) being the most recent example.”The party also decried the singular focus on operational and military mechanisms in dealing with an inherently political issue and asked the central government to reach out to the alienated and isolated youth of the valley,” he added.Meanwhile, party representatives in the delegation from Leh and Kargil, Phuntsog Wangdan Shunu and Aga Syed Abbas Rizvi respectively, highlighted pressing issues in Leh and Kargil.”The representatives raised challenges faced on the connectivity, communication and infrastructure front and sought that the central Government resolves these issues that are a cause of great misery and inconvenience to the people,” the spokesman said.Shunu said the exorbitant airfare to Leh round the year, especially during the months when the road-link is closed, is a source of great misery to the people.He asked the central government to take all possible measures to ensure a reasonable airfare policy for such hilly areas.He also highlighted poor and in certain places defunct quality of BSNL network connectivity, and said the corporation was solely focussed on reaping benefits of infrastructural monopoly in far-flung areas of Leh while failing to provide even basic connectivity.They also sought measures be taken for utilisation of allocated funds for the Zojila tunnel and connectivity to the national grid.Rizvi also reiterated the long-pending demand of a functional civil airport in Kargil and interim, adequate winter air-connectivity arrangement for Kargil that would enable the district to explore it maximum economic and tourism potential.A PDP delegation, led by party vice president Sartaj Madni, also called on Singh and conveyed the party’s views on the issues facing the state.Delegations of state units of the BJP, Congress, People’s Conference and the CPI(M) also called on the home minister.

RSS idealogue seeks deportation of Rohingyas in Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>KN Govindacharya, a former BJP leader and RSS ideologue filed a petition in the Supreme Court on Friday seeking the deportation of Rohingyas saying that letting them stay could lead to another partition.Govindacharya’s petition — the second petition in the apex court — seeking the expulsion of the beleaguered community, said that there is a “population explosion” in India, which is taking a heavy toll on the already-strained resources of the country. “It is evident that in such circumstances if more people are permitted within the Union of India, it would create chaos and anarchy, which would be violative of Article 21 of the Constitution for Indian citizens,” the petition read.Furthermore, Govindacharya submitted that the Al-Qaeda is trying to use the Rohingya Community for terror and jihad and if the Rohingya Muslims are allowed to stay, it would lead to another partition.The petition also suggested that since Prime Minister Narendra Modi was discussing the issue during his recent visit to Myanmar, it has now become an executive decision and should not be dealt by the judiciary since any decision taken would impact “foreign relations”.

Kashmiri separatists call off protests after SC defers hearing on pleas against Article 35A

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kashmiri separatists withdrew its five-day protest programme against a move to get Article 35A of the Constitution repealed, after the Supreme Court on Friday deferred hearing on a petition challenging the validity of the provision.”The protest programme, including the proposed strike on August 29, is postponed for the time being as the hearing,” separatist leaders, including chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and JKLF chief Yasin Malik said in a statement here. A new protest schedule would be issued whenever needed, they added.The Supreme Court agreed to hear after Diwali pleas challenging Article 35 A, relating to special rights and privileges of permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir. A bench headed by Justice J S Khehar accepted the plea of the Jammu and Kashmir government that the pleas challenging Article 35A be heard after Diwali. The case was listed for hearing on August 29 and the separatists had called for a strike across the state that day. The separatists had earlier issued a protest schedule against the legal challenge to the provision

Supreme Court observes Right to Privacy may affect beef ban in Maharashtra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A day after the Right to Privacy was upheld as “a fundamental right?, the Supreme Court on Friday observed that the landmark decision may affect the beef ban in the state of Maharashtra. This statement was made in the top court while hearing the appeal filed by the Maharashtra Government against the Bombay High Court’s decision to strike down the ban on possession of beef by citizens in the state. A bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri, observed that the Right to Privacy might affect the beef ban in the state, but could not say till what extent. Earlier in January, the Bombay High Court upheld the beef ban imposed by the state government after the enactment of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, which bans slaughter of bulls and bullocks. However, the court said that the possession of the meat cannot be considered as a crime, while striking down the relevant sections of the act. Meanwhile on Thursday, the Supreme Court overruled the M.P. Sharma (1962) and Kharak Singh (1954) judgement and held that the Right to Privacy is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, in an unanimous decision (of the nine-judge bench). The verdict was given as soon as the nine-judge Constitution bench of the apex court resumed the hearing on the case on Thursday morning. On July 26, the Centre told the apex court that there is a fundamental right to privacy, which is a ‘wholly qualified right’ too.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Right to Privacy is fundamental, but not absolute; judgment interpreted to respond to changing times: SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday declared right to privacy a fundamental right, a far-reaching verdict that could impact a range of life choices of Indians, including food habits and sexual orientation.In a session that lasted barely five minutes, Chief Justice J S Khehar read out the unanimous operative part of the verdict of the nine-judge bench: “the right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and as a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution.”But the huge ramifications of the verdict, which one judge said “governs the lives of 125 crore citizens of this country”, were woven into the 547-page judgement.
ALSO READ Right to Privacy: India’s constitutional culture is based on the protection of human rights, says SCThe judgement “must be interpreted to respond to the changing needs of society at different points in time,” said Justice Rohinton Nariman.The top court also ruled that like other fundamental rights, the right to privacy was not absolute and any encroachment will have to withstand the touchstone of permissible restrictions.
ALSO READ Right to privacy: Amit Shah slams Congress for showing ‘false show of jubilation and vindication’ over SC verdict The case stemmed from a bunch of petitions challenging the Aadhaar scheme, which contended that the data obtained to issue the identity card was an infringement of privacy.The court did not directly address the Aadhaar issue, which will continue to be dealt with by a separate bench that has been hearing arguments since 2015.
ALSO READ Right to privacy: LGBT community cheers after SC adds a touch of rainbow in judgmentThe bench overruled the contrary apex court verdicts delivered in 1950 and 1962 in the M P Sharma and the Kharak Singh cases holding that right to privacy was not part of the Constitution.The top court rejected the NDA government’s vehement contention that there was no general or fundamental right to privacy under the Constitution.The lead judgement, penned by Justice D Y Chandrachud for himself, the CJI, Justices R K Agrawal and S A Nazeer, however, asked the government to examine and put in place a “robust regime” for data protection in the modern era.The other members of the bench were Justices J Chelameswar, S A Bobde, Abhay Manohar Sapre and Sanjay Kishan Kaul.The top court gave a ray of hope to the government whose Aadhaar scheme is under intense scrutiny over privacy infringements, said, “We commend to the Union Government the need to examine and put into place a robust regime for data protection.The judgement said that privacy included at its core the preservation of personal intimacies, the sanctity of family life, marriage, procreation, the home and sexual orientation.”Privacy also connotes a right to be left alone. Privacy safeguards individual autonomy and recognises the ability of the individual to control vital aspects of his or her life,” the judgement said.It said personal choices governing a way of life are intrinsic to privacy.”Privacy protects heterogenity and recognises the plurality and diversity of our culture. While the legitimate expectation of privacy may vary from the intimate zone to the private zone and from the private to the public arenas, it is important to underscore that privacy is not lost or surrendered merely because the individual is in a public place,” it said.The judgement was welcomed by leading legal experts, including Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is himself a lawyer. Noted jurist Soli Sorabjee said “no fundamental right is absolute. It is always subject to reasonable restrictions”.Senior advocate Indira Jaising said “privacy is fundamental. It certainly has an impact on the day-to-day life. This verdict prevents any kind of snooping.”Kapil Sibal, who had appeared for non-BJP ruled states in this case, observed that like individual freedom, “individual house, marriages, sexual orientation, right to space, right to move freely, right to eat what an individual likes, right to be left alone are protected both within the home and at public places to the extent necessary.”Both sides of the political divide hailed the verdict and claimed victory.The government side said it has buttressed what it had said in Parliament while moving the Aadhaar Bill, referring to “reasonable restrictions” on fundamental rights.On the other hand, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said the verdict strikes at “unbridled encroachment and surveillance by the state and its agencies” on individual privacy.Terming privacy as a “constitutionally protected right”, the bench said it emerged primarily from “the guarantee of life and personal liberty in Article 21 of the Constitution.Justice Chandrachud dispelled the notion that the judiciary was amending the Constitution, saying it was merely recognising the existence of the constitutional right.Justice Kaul observed where there are wide, varied, social and cultural norms, “privacy is one of the most important rights to be protected both against State and non- State actors.”

More assertive effort needed to make privacy right a reality CUTS @ 8/24/2017 7:36:17 PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A judgement stating privacy as a fundamental right may not lead to it being treated as a fundamental right. A more assertive effort is needed from all stakeholders to make this a reality, said Pradeep S. Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International on Thursday. Welcoming the Supreme Court Constitution bench?s decision on declaring Privacy as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, Mehta said, ?It will surely empower citizens against encroachment of their privacy?. ?It is also a wake-up call for the Central government, which had taken a contrarian view in the Court, he added. The nine member Constitution bench today concluded unanimously that, “The right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and as a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution”. ?As the country is riding the digital transformation wave and the government?s ?Digital India? mission is creating an enabling environment to migrate its eGovernance, administration and financial services to online platforms, citizens are expected to reveal all information mandatorily without any provision to counter these mechanisms. Hence, this judgement is critical and revolutionary?, said Mehta. Privacy as a fundamental right gathered steam when Aadhar, a legally voluntary instrument, was made mandatory by executive orders for many schemes, including filing of income tax returns. Last few months saw several state and non-state actors at loggerheads on this issue. However, today’s verdict does not comment on whether the government’s demand for Aadhaar to be linked to all financial transactions amounts to an infringement of privacy. That decision will be taken by a separate and smaller bench of the Supreme Court of India.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

More assertive effort needed to make privacy right a reality CUTS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A judgement stating privacy as a fundamental right may not lead to it being treated as a fundamental right. A more assertive effort is needed from all stakeholders to make this a reality, said Pradeep S. Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International on Thursday. Welcoming the Supreme Court Constitution bench?s decision on declaring Privacy as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, Mehta said, ?It will surely empower citizens against encroachment of their privacy?. ?It is also a wake-up call for the Central government, which had taken a contrarian view in the Court, he added. The nine member Constitution bench today concluded unanimously that, “The right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and as a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution”. ?As the country is riding the digital transformation wave and the government?s ?Digital India? mission is creating an enabling environment to migrate its eGovernance, administration and financial services to online platforms, citizens are expected to reveal all information mandatorily without any provision to counter these mechanisms. Hence, this judgement is critical and revolutionary?, said Mehta. Privacy as a fundamental right gathered steam when Aadhar, a legally voluntary instrument, was made mandatory by executive orders for many schemes, including filing of income tax returns. Last few months saw several state and non-state actors at loggerheads on this issue. However, today’s verdict does not comment on whether the government’s demand for Aadhaar to be linked to all financial transactions amounts to an infringement of privacy. That decision will be taken by a separate and smaller bench of the Supreme Court of India.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Contractor stabbed to death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A contractor was stabbed to death by an unidentified assailant who dumped the body along a roadside in the city. The incident occurred late last night and locals spotted the body and informed police. Shaym Singh Chauhan, 52, was a horticulture contractor. He hailed from Alwar district and was stabbed to death. The body bearing injury marks was taken to a hospital and was handed over today to family members after postmortem, SHO, Jawahar circle police station, Rajesh Kumar Soni said. “Efforts are on to identify the accused,” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC privacy ruling should protect misuse of private date:CPI(M)

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CPI(M) today welcomed the Supreme Court’s landmark verdict declaring right to privacy as a Fundamental right and expressed hope it would protect the misuse of private data in a world “dominated by corporates”. “The Politburo welcomes the Supreme Court verdict…this landmark judgment should pave the way to protect, in this world of technology advance dominated by corporates, misuse of private data and infringing upon the privacy of individuals,” the Left party said in a statement. A nine-judge bench of the apex court today unanimously declared that right to privacy was a Fundamental right under the Constitution. The Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar ruled that “right to privacy is an intrinsic part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty under Article 21 and entire Part III of the Constitution”. The ruling on the highly contentious issue was to deal with a batch of petitions challenging the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing the benefits of various social welfare schemes.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC discusses Section 377 during Right to Privacy hearing, details below

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> During the hearing on the Right to Privacy matter, after which a landmark judgement was passed, the nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court also discussed the issue of LGBTQ, under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The discussion is further published in the 80th paragraph of the order passed. According to the order, in the challenge laid to Section 377 of the IPC before the Delhi High Court, one of the grounds was that the said provision amounted to an infringement of the Right to Dignity and Privacy. The Delhi High Court, inter alia, observed that the right to live with dignity and the right of privacy both are recognised as dimensions of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The view of the High Court, however, did not find favour with the Supreme Court and it was observed that only a miniscule fraction of the country?s population constitutes lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgenders and thus, there cannot be any basis for declaring the Section ultra virus of provisions of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution. The matter did not rest at this, as the issue of privacy and dignity discussed by the High Court, was also observed upon. The sexual orientation, even within the four walls of the house, thus became an aspect of debate. In their judgement, the Supreme Court was also in agreement with the view of Dr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, who in paragraphs 123 and 124 of his judgement, stated that the right of privacy cannot be denied, even if there is a miniscule fraction of the population, which is affected. The Court also observed that the majoritarian concept does not apply to Constitutional rights and the Courts are often called upon to take what may be categorised as a non-majoritarian view, in the check and balance of power envisaged under the Constitution of India. One?s sexual orientation is undoubtedly an attribute of privacy, says the order. In 2013, the apex court upheld Section 377 of the IPC, which discriminates against a section of individuals in society on the basis of their sexual orientation, and placed the onus of repealing it on the Parliament. A writ petition, challenging Section 377 on the ground that it violates the privacy of citizens, is still pending. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court, today, has upheld the Right to Privacy as “a fundamental right.” The Supreme Court overruled the M.P. Sharma (1962) and Kharak Singh (1954) judgement and held that the Right to Privacy is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, in an unanimous decision (of the nine-judge bench). The verdict was given as soon as the nine-judge Constitution bench of the apex court resumed the hearing on the case on Thursday morning. Following this, a five-judge constitutional bench will decide whether the Aadhar violates the Right to Privacy or not. The Supreme Court, earlier on August 2, had reserved its judgement over the issue of whether right to privacy is fundamental or not. On July 26, the Centre told the apex court that there is a fundamental right to privacy, which is a ‘wholly qualified right’ too. The Centre made this submission before the nine-judge Constitution bench. Attorney General, K.K. Venugopal told the apex court that “privacy, as a fundamental right, could have been mentioned in Article 21, but has been omitted. Right to life transcends right to privacy”. In special circumstances, the government can interfere in a matter that comes under a wholly qualified right. An absolute right cannot be reduced or amended. Earlier on July 20, all the petitioners had completed their argument in the apex court. The petitioners contested that the twelve-digit biometric unique identification card raises privacy threat. On June 10, the top court had ruled that from July 1 onward, every person eligible to obtain Aadhar card must quote their Aadhaar number or their Aadhaar Enrolment ID number for filing of Income Tax Returns as well as for applications for Permanent Account Number (PAN). The Income Tax Department has stepped up its efforts to encourage people to link their PAN with Aadhar.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

K.T.S. Tulsi, Prashant Bhushan welcome Supreme Court’s verdict on Right to Privacy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Senior Supreme Court advocate K.T.S Tulsi on Thursday welcomed the verdict on Right to Privacy and said it was significant to the fundamental rights of a citizen. ?It is a significant judgement because it upholds the right of a citizen of being the master of his own body and mind, and no one can compel him to part with his biometric information for the purpose of opening a bank account or for obtaining a telephone connection,? Tulsi said. Since the government has defended the Aadhar Act on the grounds that it is required for social welfare schemes, Tulsi indicated that it should not be mandatory for everyone. ?Aadhar is not necessary for me if I don?t need to get any services or benefits from the government, so this is asserting of India as a democracy, India as a free country, and Indians as free citizens of a free nation,? Tulsi concluded. Meanwhile, another lawyer Prashant Bhushan has said that the Supreme Court’s decision was “historic”. Bhushan informed that privacy is now a fundamental right that comes under article 21 of the Indian Constitution. ?Any law which is made to restrict this fundamental right will have to be examined on the touchstone of Article 21, which means that the court will have to see whether that law imposes unreasonable restrictions on your fundamental right to privacy or not,? Bhushan said. ?This is a blow to the government because their argument was that privacy is not a fundamental right,? he added. Since a fundamental right is subject to restrictions by law, when he was asked whether Aadhaar Act imposes reasonable restriction on privacy or not, Bhushan said that a smaller bench will have to examine that. ?Suppose in future, the government asks for your biometric details or Aadhar number for your travel bookings, then such law in my opinion will be termed unreasonable restriction on your fundamental right to privacy, and will be struck down. However, as of now, the Aadhar card is only required for social welfare schemes and income tax return under Income tax act. A smaller Bench will look into it,? he said. Earlier in the day, the nine-judge Constitution bench of the apex court overruled the M.P. Sharma (1962) and Kharak Singh (1954) judgement and gave the verdict that privacy was a fundamental right of a citizen. A five-judge constitutional bench is to decide whether the Aadhaar violates the Right to Privacy or not. On July 26, the Centre had told the apex court that there is a fundamental right to privacy, which is a ‘wholly qualified right’ too, and in special circumstances, the government can interfere in a matter that comes under a wholly qualified right. An absolute right cannot be reduced or amended.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Legal experts welcome SC verdict on privacy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The landmark verdict of the Supreme Court declaring Right to Privacy as a fundamental right was today welcomed by jurists and senior advocates who termed it as “progressive” and it was “a basic right”. They, however, said the verdict’s impact on Aadhaar scheme can be assessed once the full judgement and reasons given by the court are examined. Lauding the unanimous verdict of the nine-judge bench, senior advocate Soli Sorabjee said it showed the “good approach” of the Supreme Court which does not hesitate in over-ruling its previous judgements. The former Attorney General said “it is a very progressive judgement and protects the fundamental rights of the people. Privacy is a basic right which is inherent in every individual.” “The unanimity of the bench in giving this decision shows a very good approach of the Supreme Court. Any judgement which enlarges the fundamental rights of the people should be welcome,” he added. Expressing hope that the citizens of India would now be protected from any kind of snooping, senior advocate Indira Jaising said, “It is a day to celebrate.” “Privacy is fundamental. It certainly has an impact on the day-to-day life. This verdict prevents any kind of snooping,” she said. On being asked about its impact on Aadhaar, Sorabjee said the reasoning of the apex court needs to be examined and one cannot say that Aadhaar will now be banned. “You cannot make a blanket and categorical statement that Aaadhaar will be banned or is unconstitutional. No fundamental right is absolute. It is always subject to reasonable restrictions,” Sorabjee said. Jaising too said what impact it will have on Aadhaar was a separate issue but privacy cannot be compromised after this verdict. Welcoming the decision, BJP spokesperson and senior advocate Aman Sinha, termed it a “good verdict” but with reasonable restrictions. “We welcome this judgement. This is a good verdict. The Supreme Court has declared the Right to Privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution. But like other Fundamental Rights, this is also subject to reasonable restrictions. We are awaiting the full judgement,” Sinha said. In a decision that will affect the lives of all Indians, the Supreme Court today unanimously declared that the right to privacy was a Fundamental right under the Constitution. A nine-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar ruled that “right to privacy is an intrinsic part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty under Article 21 and entire Part III of the Constitution”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rahul dubs SC verdict on Right to Privacy as ‘sound rejection of BJP’s ideology of suppression’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday likened the Supreme Court ruling on the Right to Privacy to a ?sound rejection of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ideology of suppression through surveillance?. Taking on the social media, Rahul said Right to Privacy is an intrinsic part of individual’s liberty, freedom and dignity. ?Welcome SC verdict upholding #RightToPrivacy as intrinsic part of individual’s liberty,freedom&dignity.Victory for every Indian,? he said in his tweet. He further said that the Supreme Court?s decision marks a major blow to the ?fascist forces.? The Supreme Court, earlier in the day, overruled the M.P. Sharma (1962) and Kharak Singh (1954) judgement and held that the Right to Privacy is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, in an unanimous decision (of the nine-judge bench). The verdict was given as soon as the nine-judge Constitution bench of the apex court resumed the hearing on the case on Thursday morning. Following this, a five-judge constitutional bench will decide whether the Aadhar violates the Right to Privacy or not. The Supreme Court, earlier on August 2, had reserved its judgement over the issue of whether right to privacy is fundamental or not. On July 26, the Centre told the apex court that there is a fundamental right to privacy, which is a ‘wholly qualified right’ too. The Centre made this submission before the nine-judge Constitution bench. Attorney General, K.K. Venugopal told the apex court that “privacy, as a fundamental right, could have been mentioned in Article 21, but has been omitted. Right to life transcends right to privacy”. In special circumstances, the government can interfere in a matter that comes under a wholly qualified right. An absolute right cannot be reduced or amended. Earlier on July 20, all the petitioners had completed their argument in the apex court. The petitioners contested that the twelve-digit biometric unique identification card raises privacy threat. On June 10, the top court had ruled that from July 1 onward, every person eligible to obtain Aadhar card must quote their Aadhaar number or their Aadhaar Enrolment ID number for filing of Income Tax Returns as well as for applications for Permanent Account Number (PAN). The Income Tax Department has stepped up its efforts to encourage people to link their PAN with Aadhar.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Petitioner Rajeev Chandrasekhar is all praises for SC ruling on Right to Privacy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Welcoming the landmark ruling of the Supreme Court on the Right to Privacy, MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, one of the petitioners in the issue, on Thursday said that with digitisation of the economy, it is important to have a right against misuse of information. ?It becomes much more relevant as more and more digitisation is taking place. The consumers of India do not have adequate protection against the misuse of the data or the information, with the intrusion of technology into their lives,? Chandrasekhar told ANI. Chandrasekhar said he is glad that the apex court has upheld the Right to Privacy as “a fundamental right”, even when few bureaucrats and the system insisted that the state had an absolute right and a private companies had no obligation using the data of consumers. ?We argued that the privacy is a fundamental right, it is not an absolute right, it can be subject to some restrictions. But there cannot be any doubt that India, under the Constitution, which enjoys the right to free speech, subject to restriction, must enjoy the right to privacy under some restrictions,? he said. Chandrasekhar insisted that the ruling effectively creates obligation and responsibility of all those companies or government organisations that deal with Indian citizens, their information and their access to their lives. ?They have to do this in a manner that is responsible and does not infringe on the privacy of a citizen,? he added. In a landmark judgement, India?s top court today upheld the Right to Privacy as “a fundamental right.” The Supreme Court overruled the M.P. Sharma (1962) and Kharak Singh (1954) judgement and held that the Right to Privacy is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, in a unanimous decision (of the nine-judge bench). The verdict was given as soon as the nine-judge Constitution bench of the apex court resumed the hearing on the case on Thursday morning. Following this, a five-judge constitutional bench will decide whether the Aadhar violates the Right to Privacy or not. The Supreme Court, earlier on August 2, had reserved its judgement over the issue of whether right to privacy is fundamental or not. On July 26, the Centre told the apex court that there is a fundamental right to privacy, which is a ‘wholly qualified right’ too. The Centre made this submission before the nine-judge Constitution bench. Attorney General, K.K. Venugopal told the apex court that “privacy, as a fundamental right, could have been mentioned in Article 21, but has been omitted. Right to life transcends right to privacy”. In special circumstances, the government can interfere in a matter that comes under a wholly qualified right. An absolute right cannot be reduced or amended. Earlier on July 20, all the petitioners had completed their argument in the apex court. The petitioners contested that the twelve-digit biometric unique identification card raises privacy threat. On June 10, the top court had ruled that from July 1 onward, every person eligible to obtain Aadhar card must quote their Aadhaar number or their Aadhaar Enrolment ID number for filing of Income Tax Returns as well as for applications for Permanent Account Number (PAN). The Income Tax Department has stepped up its efforts to encourage people to link their PAN with Aadhar.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CPM welcomes SC verdict on ‘Right to Privacy’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Communist Part of India (Marxist) (CPM) has welcomed the Supreme Court verdict of upholding the Right to Privacy as “a fundamental right.” Supporting the verdict, the CPM said, in a press statement, released on Thursday, ?This landmark judgement should pave the way to protect, in this world of technology advance dominated by corporates, misuse of private data and infringing upon the privacy of individuals.? The statement further mentioned that a separate five-member bench will decide on the issue of mandatory ?Aadhar? that the government is pushing through. Earlier in the day, in another landmark judgement, the Supreme Court overruled the M.P. Sharma (1962) and Kharak Singh (1954) judgement and held that the Right to Privacy is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, in an unanimous decision (of the nine-judge bench). The verdict was given as soon as the nine-judge Constitution bench of the apex court resumed the hearing on the case on Thursday morning. Following this, a five-judge constitutional bench will decide whether the Aadhar violates the Right to Privacy or not. The Supreme Court, earlier on August 2, had reserved its judgement over the issue of whether right to privacy is fundamental or not. On July 26, the Centre told the apex court that there is a fundamental right to privacy, which is a ‘wholly qualified right’ too. The Centre made this submission before the nine-judge Constitution bench. Attorney General, K.K. Venugopal told the apex court that “privacy, as a fundamental right, could have been mentioned in Article 21, but has been omitted. Right to life transcends right to privacy”. In special circumstances, the government can interfere in a matter that comes under a wholly qualified right. An absolute right cannot be reduced or amended. Earlier on July 20, all the petitioners had completed their argument in the apex court. The petitioners contested that the twelve-digit biometric unique identification card raises privacy threat. On June 10, the top court had ruled that from July 1 onward, every person eligible to obtain Aadhar card must quote their Aadhaar number or their Aadhaar Enrolment ID number for filing of Income Tax Returns as well as for applications for Permanent Account Number (PAN). The Income Tax Department has stepped up its efforts to encourage people to link their PAN with Aadhar.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Right to privacy verdict: Here is the full text of Supreme Court’s landmark judgment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a landmark decision that will affect the lives of all Indians, the Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously declared that right to privacy was a Fundamental right under the Constitution.A nine-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar ruled that “right to privacy is an intrinsic part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty under Article 21 and entire Part III of the Constitution”.The ruling on the highly contentious issue was to deal with a batch of petitions challenging the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing the benefits of various social welfare schemes.ALL WP(C) No.494 of 2012 Right to Privacy by Rucha Sharma on Scribd

Supreme Court passes landmark judgement, upholds Right to Privacy as ‘fundamental’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In another landmark judgement, the Supreme Court has upheld the Right to Privacy as “a fundamental right.” The Supreme Court overruled the M.P. Sharma (1962) and Kharak Singh (1954) judgement and held that the Right to Privacy is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, in an unanimous decision (of the nine-judge bench). The verdict was given as soon as the nine-judge Constitution bench of the apex court resumed the hearing on the case on Thursday morning. Following this, a five-judge constitutional bench will decide whether the Aadhar violates the Right to Privacy or not. The Supreme Court, earlier on August 2, had reserved its judgement over the issue of whether right to privacy is fundamental or not. On July 26, the Centre told the apex court that there is a fundamental right to privacy, which is a ‘wholly qualified right’ too. The Centre made this submission before the nine-judge Constitution bench. Attorney General, K.K. Venugopal told the apex court that “privacy, as a fundamental right, could have been mentioned in Article 21, but has been omitted. Right to life transcends right to privacy”. In special circumstances, the government can interfere in a matter that comes under a wholly qualified right. An absolute right cannot be reduced or amended. Earlier on July 20, all the petitioners had completed their argument in the apex court. The petitioners contested that the twelve-digit biometric unique identification card raises privacy threat. On June 10, the top court had ruled that from July 1 onward, every person eligible to obtain Aadhar card must quote their Aadhaar number or their Aadhaar Enrolment ID number for filing of Income Tax Returns as well as for applications for Permanent Account Number (PAN). The Income Tax Department has stepped up its efforts to encourage people to link their PAN with Aadhar.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC dismisses Justice Karnan’s petition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by Calcutta High Court judge Justice CS Karnan. The petition had challenged the constitutionality of the Contempt of Courts Act.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Harishankar dismissed the plea stating that it ‘lacks merit’.“The challenge to the constitutionality of the Contempt of Courts Act in the present case does not lie in as much as the Supreme Court has not exercised power under the Contempt of Courts Act but invoked its inherent jurisdiction under Article 129 of the Constitution,” the HC said.Justice Karnan, his counsel Mathew Nedumpara had said that his prayers have not been heard anywhere and the principles of natural justice have not been followed.

Judgement not a setback: AIMPLB

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), which opposed the ban on triple talaq in the apex court, described the verdict as its victory, saying that it “accorded protection to the Muslim Personal Law.” Soon after the judgment, its lawyer, Kapil Sibal, also said the verdict was welcome and not a setback.A statement issued by the AIMPLB, an apex body of Muslim clergy, said it will meet in Bhopal on September 10 to analyse and take a broader view of the judgment and also to set the future course of action. The AIMPLB was happy that the court has said that personal laws cannot be tested by courts on the grounds of violation of fundamental rights.”The majority (comprising Justices Kehar and Abdul Nazeer with Justice Kurian Joseph agreeing) has accorded personal laws the status of a fundamental right being protected under the right to practice religion as per Article 25. This is a huge victory for us as the judgment vindicates our stand and ensures the fundamental right of citizens of this country to freely profess and practice their religious faith/beliefs,” the statement said.According to the Board, the judgment has ensured non-interference by courts in matters of practices rooted in religious texts and belief systems of different communities. It said that as far as instant talaq, or the practice of talaq-e-biddat goes, the Board had already submitted to the court that the practice is not the best way of divorce.”We had already informed the court about our stand for issuing instructions to the maulvis/qazis to incorporate conditions in the Nikahnama to provide marrying parties with the option to exclude the option of pronouncing three times talaq in one sitting, in case of divorce taking place,” the statement said.

Man held with gold worth Rs 72 lakh at IGI airport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A man has been arrested by the customs officials at international airport here for allegedly trying to smuggle into the country gold valuing about Rs 72 lakh. The accused was intercepted after his arrival from Dubai on Sunday. “His baggage search resulted in recovery of gold weighing 2.46 kg in the form of seven pieces, found concealed in a wallet and cigarette box kept in a stroller trolley bag, having market value of Rs 71.88 lakh,” a press release issued today by the customs said. The passenger, aged 40 years, has been arrested and the gold seized, it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Man arrested for smuggling rare Indian Star Tortoises

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and the Forest Protection Squad in Tamil Nadu have confirmed the arrest of a person for keeping 2515 rare Indian Star tortoises for smuggling purposes. The tortoises were recovered from the residence of a person living in Avadi which is on the outskirts of Chennai. After the operation, it was found out that a group of people procured these animals from different parts of the country and smuggled them to countries like Sri Lanka. The arrested smuggler has admitted to smuggling more than 10,000 such turtles through the southern coast of Rameswaram. At the time of the seizure, the tortoises were found to be transported in cramped up spaces over long distances. They were sent back to Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai for further rehabilitation. The total value of the animals seized was approximately Rs. 25 lakhs. The Indian Star Tortoise is protected by Article IV of the Wildlife Protection Act and smuggling of this species is linked to illicit pet trade.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CPM has always opposed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) on Tuesday said that the party has always opposed the arbitrary instant nature of triple talaq, adding the majority judgement of striking it down has been welcomed by the party. ?The the arbitrary instant nature of triple talaq, therefore, we welcome the majority judgment of striking down the arbitrary and instant triple talaq. But there has been a division in the five-member bench. The judgments are not yet available. We would like to study the judgments and then give our reasoned opinion,? CPM leader Sitaram Yechury told ANI. The Supreme Court earlier today struck down the practice of Triple Talaq as ‘unconstitutional’ by a 3:2 majority. The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) J.S. Khehar, deciding on the verdict, was seemingly split on the legality of the practice. Justice Nariman, Justice Lalit and Justice Kurien opposed the view of Justice Nazir and Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar and dubbed the practice of Triple Talaq as unconstitutional and unislamic. The Supreme Court further asked the Union Government to formulate a new legislation within six months. The apex court reportedly referred to the abolition of triple talaq in the Islamic countries and asked “why can’t independent India get rid of it.” The decision came soon after the apex court resumed the hearing on the matter on Tuesday morning. CJI Khehar, while pronouncing the judgement, however, upheld the practice and said, “Talaq-e-biddat is not violative of articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution.” The CJI, further using his power under Article 142, directed the Union of India to form a proper legislature regarding ‘talaq-e-iddat.’ CJI Khehar said that all parties must decide keeping politics aside. The constitution bench had reserved its verdict on May 18 after a six-day marathon hearing.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Fatwa department chairman welcomes ban on triple talaq

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In the wake of the Muslim practice of Triple Talaq being declared ?unconstitutional? by the Supreme Court, Chairman of the Fatwa Department Arshad Farooqi, while welcoming the same, said the entire community was hoping for the same. ?We welcome the Supreme Court?s decision. This is what the whole community was waiting for. With a new legislation to be drafted, the misuse of talaq and subsequent mistreatment of women will be curbed,? he said. The apex Court on Tuesday struck down the Triple Talaq practice as ‘unconstitutional’ by a 3:2 majority, and directed the Union Government to formulate a new legislation within six months. The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) J.S. Khehar, deciding on the verdict, was seemingly split on the legality of the practice. Justice Nariman, Justice Lalit and Justice Kurien opposed the view of Justice Nazir and Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar and dubbed the practice of Triple Talaq as unconstitutional and unislamic. The apex court reportedly referred to the abolition of triple talaq in the Islamic countries and asked “why can’t independent India get rid of it.” The decision came soon after the apex court resumed the hearing on the matter on Tuesday morning. CJI Khehar, while pronouncing the judgement, however, upheld the practice and said, “Talaq-e-biddat is not violative of articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution.” The CJI, further using his power under Article 142, directed the Union of India to form a proper legislature regarding ‘talaq-e-iddat.’ CJI Khehar said that all parties must decide keeping politics aside. The constitution bench had reserved its verdict on May 18 after a six-day marathon hearing.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM Modi hails triple talaq verdict as ‘powerful measure for women empowerment’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday took to Twitter to laud the Supreme Court?s verdict on triple talaq as ?historic?, adding that the judgement will further fuel the women empowerment drive. ?Judgment of the Hon’ble SC on Triple Talaq is historic. It grants equality to Muslim women and is a powerful measure for women empowerment,? he tweeted. Prime Minister Modi has voiced his opinion on the age-old practice time and again. Recently, while delivering his address to the nation on the 71st Independence Day from the ramparts of the Red Fort, Prime Minister Modi expressed his admiration towards the courage of women who have been suffering due to Triple Talaq. Prior to that, in his radio program, ?Mann Ki Baat?, aired on All India Radio, Prime Minister Modi extended full support to the women of the community. The Supreme Court earlier today struck down the Triple Talaq practice as ‘unconstitutional’ by a 3:2 majority. The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) J.S. Khehar, deciding on the verdict, was seemingly split on the legality of the practice. Justice Nariman, Justice Lalit and Justice Kurien opposed the view of Justice Nazir and Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar and dubbed the practice of Triple Talaq as unconstitutional and unislamic. The Supreme Court further directed the Union Government to formulate a new legislation within six months, in unison with all political parties. The apex court reportedly referred to the abolition of triple talaq in the Islamic countries and asked “why can’t independent India get rid of it.” The decision came soon after the apex court resumed the hearing on the matter on Tuesday morning. CJI Khehar, while pronouncing the judgement, however, upheld the practice and said, “Talaq-e-biddat is not violative of articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution.” The CJI, further using his power under Article 142, directed the Union of India to form a proper legislature regarding ‘talaq-e-iddat.’ The constitution bench had reserved its verdict on May 18 after a six-day marathon hearing.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Triple talaq banned: Muslim cleric Barkati praises ‘unique’ decision

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Following the Supreme Court?s decision to strike down the practice of Triple Talaq as unconstitutional, Muslim cleric Moulana Ahmed Barkati called the judgement an ?unparalleled and unique? decision ?in light of the Indian Muslims? misuse of triple talaq?. He also reassured that the decision is neither a disappointment to the Muslim men and women, nor interference on the Shariat. Barkati denounced the instant nature of divorce as having no relation to the religion of Islam and educated Muslims, further explaining that the Prophet of Islam has pronounced triple talaq to be ?the most wrong thing which should only be used after a conscious thought by both parties.? ?There are only pros, and no cons to this decision, because the Muslims have made a mockery out of divorce and out of Islam as well- getting drunk and announcing divorce is not the right way. Divorce is a decision that should be taken after a conscious thought, and after a discussion between both husband and wife. In my visits to the Muslim countries of Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh, I have never seen this way of divorce,? he told ANI. The Muslim cleric who dubbed it a wrong practice, said he speaks from his 30-35 years of experience as a Shahi Amaam (Royal priest) and a scholar of Islam. Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court struck down the practice of Triple Talaq as ‘unconstitutional’ by a 3:2 majority. The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) J.S. Khehar, deciding on the verdict, was seemingly split on the legality of the practice. Justice Nariman, Justice Lalit and Justice Kurien opposed the view of Justice Nazir and Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar and dubbed the practice of Triple Talaq as unconstitutional and unislamic. The Supreme Court further asked the Union Government to formulate a new legislation within six months. The apex court reportedly referred to the abolition of triple talaq in the Islamic countries and asked “why can’t independent India get rid of it.” The decision came soon after the apex court resumed the hearing on the matter on Tuesday morning. CJI Khehar, while pronouncing the judgement, however, upheld the practice and said, “Talaq-e-biddat is not violative of articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution.” The CJI, further using his power under Article 142, directed the Union of India to form a proper legislature regarding ‘talaq-e-iddat.’ CJI Khehar said that all parties must decide keeping politics aside. The constitution bench had reserved its verdict on May 18 after a six-day marathon hearing.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Triple Talaq, Uniform Civil Code, and the way ahead

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The much anticipated news on Tuesday morning was the Supreme Court ruling on instant Triple Talaq, and hopes that the esteemed bench would uphold the rights of women, rather than a practise that has been challenged by many scholars within the community, and activists within and outside the community. The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held that the process of instant Triple Talaq violates Article 14 of the Indian Constitution that promises the citizen equality before the eyes of law, as well as Article 15 that prohibits discrimination. ALSO READ Triple Talaq verdict: Here is the full text of Supreme Court’s landmark judgmentAt the core of the instant Triple Talaq case is the idea that a man dissatisfied with his wife, can instantly cast her aside by uttering “talaq” thrice in rapid succession. The divorced wife has no right to any appeal – the divorce is final by all accounts, and the woman is left out in the cold. While conservative elements in the seminaries and the All India Muslim Personal Law Board have been championing the upholding of this right; aggrieved women, their families, lawyers, and liberals within the Muslim community, and outside have been pushing to get the practise banned. Triple Talaq, as it is popularly known, is banned in many Muslim nations. Turkey was the earliest to ban it, when it adopted a secular law in 1926. Egypt refused to recognise it as a divorce in 1929. Pakistan banned it in 1961, when it promulgated the Muslim Family Law Ordinance; Bangladesh, then East Pakistan, too banned it in 1961. The practise of Triple Talaq is part of the Sunni Muslim tradition, Shias do not follow it; hence, it is not a practise in Iran. Five Muslim women in the country, and two rights groups challenged Muslim patriarchy all the way to the Supreme Court, to arrive at this landmark verdict. That perpetuating a system that trampled on the dignity of the individual (woman) and left her bereft of rights, is not just fundamentally wrong, it is also now, fundamentally illegal. ALSO READ Triple Talaq verdict: Meet the women behind the triple talaq fightHopefully this landmark judgement, that upholds the right of the woman to equal status as a citizen of India, and who is guaranteed equal protection and dignity by the system, paves way for a civil code that is more equal, and equitable. The Uniform Civil Code that is being discussed by civil society, and the government, is the next step. A Uniform Civil Code is part of the promises made by the Indian State to its citizens; Article 44 of the Constitution (1949) states that “The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India”.But, while we look at a Uniform Civil Code and equality to all parties, it is important for us to legislate from the point of view of individual rights, rather than get embroiled in the entire quicksand of religion, culture, and custom. And, while it is easier for us to side step religious strictures, because they are usually clearly laid out and spelt out, in our bid to create a more equal law, it is far more difficult to overcome social mores and social customs. What is interesting about the judgement today, is that it is not about religion, it is about the rights of the individual to be accorded equality and dignity. And, it this upholding of equality under the eyes of the law; and the prohibition of discrimination that the newly minted Uniform Civil Code must uphold. ALSO READ Triple Talaq: ‘Historic day for Muslim women’, says petitioner Shayara Bano on SC verdictIn a modern era, the state needs to be cognisant of the fact that adult individuals come to different personal arrangements. Marriage between a man and a woman is just one of them. People live together – and this is not just the South Mumbai, South Delhi elite – but ordinary people. There are enough and more stories of people who travel in from the villages to the towns – have a wife and children there, and a wife here. Society accepts both, the law is still awkward about these. Then, there are people in same sex relationships; there are polyamorous relationships; there are parts of India where polyandry is still practised; as is polygamy – and the core question that the state needs to debate is not “what form of association is acceptable to us” but, “how do we uphold the rights of our citizens”. How do you make sure that family rights that include next of kin, inheritance, are not threatened by a patriarchal view of what constitutes a ‘relationship’? The Modi government with a majority in both Houses, can create the single most accepting Uniform Civil Code – a code that does not make value judgements, nor decry people for their choices in life. It will be a code that is accepting of the people of India and their choices, and see how to work best to accommodate this diversity. And, the approach might actually be simpler if they looked at a formal relationship as a contract, as per the wishes and desires of mutually consenting adults; and the civil code itself looks at how do you ensure fairness and equality when the relationship breaks down. This may unite all the conservative elements in all religious and socio-cultural groupings to protest immoral legislation. But, the opportunity for this government to create an inclusive Uniform Civil Code across genders, groups, sexual orientations, and associations is huge. And, it would be good if they took this opportunity and created the legislation that we deserve. Not the legislation that is compromised by the patriarchal past.

Congress welcomes Triple Talaq verdict, denies violation of Muslim law

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Soon after the Supreme Court struck down the age-old practice of ?Triple Talaq? among the Muslim community, the Congress on Tuesday, while welcoming the same, dismissed any violation of the Muslim Personal Law. ?This is a very tricky case. However, we must laud the judiciary for this decision. The Supreme Court has shown amazing restraint from their part, without giving way for judicial overage. There is scope for larger parliamentary debate, intervention and improvement. The welcome approach of the Supreme Court has avoided violating the Muslim personal law too,? Congress leader Rahul Eswar told ANI. Re-iterating this, Congress leader Manish Tewari, while citing the earlier abolition of the practice of untouchability, said the reform lies within the domain of the community or the Parliament. ?When the abolition of untouchability was announced, some people could have argued that it is a practice that is meaningful to the Hindu faith. Through this verdict, it is clear that although the Constitution guarantees its citizens the freedom to practice any faith or religion of their choice, certain practices are reprehensible,? he said. Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court struck down the Triple Talaq practice as ‘unconstitutional’ by a 3:2 majority. The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) J.S. Khehar, deciding on the verdict, was seemingly split on the legality of the practice. The Supreme Court further asked the Union Government to formulate a new legislation within six months. The apex court reportedly referred to the abolition of triple talaq in the Islamic countries and asked “why can’t independent India get rid of it.” The decision came soon after the apex court resumed the hearing on the matter on Tuesday morning. CJI Khehar, while pronouncing the judgement, however, upheld the practice and said, “Talaq-e-biddat is not violative of articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution.” The CJI, further using his power under Article 142, directed the Union of India to form a proper legislature regarding ‘talaq-e-iddat.’ CJI Khehar said that all parties must decide keeping politics aside. The constitution bench had reserved its verdict on May 18 after a six-day marathon hearing.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Triple talaq verdict: This is what five Supreme Court judges said in their verdicts on ‘talaq-e-bidat’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court has termed triple talaq practice unconstitutional by a 3-2 majority verdict. Triple talaq is widely known as Instantaneous talaq — or talaq-e-bidat. The SC ruled that triple talaq was violative of Article 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution. While CJI JS Khehar and Justice Abdul Nazeer backed triple talaq, Justice Nariman and Justice Lalit ruled to set aside triple talaq terming it unconstitutional. Justice Joseph set it aside on the ground that it is against the teachings of Quran. CJI wanted Parliament to bring about a law to deal with triple talaq.According to reports, following reasoning was offered by the judges while giving the verdict on triple talaq.Chief Justice JS Khehar: Matters of personal law cannot be touched by a constitutional court law or constitutionality cannot be tested. CJI said Talaq-e-biddat is an integral part of Sunni community practiced since 1000 years.Justice Nariman: Triple talaq is a part of 1934 act should always be tested on constitutionality and said it’s unconstitutional.Justice Kurien said triple talaq is not an essential part of Islam and enjoys no protection of Article 25, set it aside. Justice Kurian added that triple talaq was against the tenets of Holy Quran and hence violates Shariat law.“Extremely difficult to agree with CJI that Triple Talaq is integral to the practise of Islam,” Justice Kurian said. The verdict has been delivered by a panel of five judges from different major faiths – Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and Zoroastrianism. The bench had reserved its verdict on May 18 after hearing it for six days starting May 11 during the summer recess.

Encounter breaks out in Handwara

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An encounter broke out today between militants and security forces in Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, the police said. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation at Hongnikote in Handwara, 85 kms from here, following information about presence of militants there, a police official said. He said during searches, the militants opened fire on security forces who retaliated, triggering a gunbattle. The official said two-three militants were believed to be holed up in the area. No casualties have been reported so far, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Former DIG Roopa claims of ‘a barricaded corridor’ in jail premises that Sasikala uses as ‘private space’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Ex-deputy inspector general of police (DIG) (Prisons) D. Roopa has claimed that a corridor of about 120 ft to 150 ft length is barricaded on both ends of the Parappana Agrahara central prison, heavily, and is used as private space by jailed All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary V.K. Sasikala. ?A corridor of about 120 ft to 150 ft length is barricaded on both ends heavily and is used as private space by Sasikala. In this corridor, there are five cells completely at her disposal. In these cells, her personal belongings such as clothing, bedding, vessels for cooking, water-dispenser, an electric induction stove with a table are kept,? the letter, which Roopa has submitted to the IGP, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Bangalore, said. Roopa said that giving special treatment to any prisoner, unauthorisedly, without the court orders is not only a Contempt of Court, but also violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. She also claimed that there is a separate, comfortable meeting room where she meets her visitors and the proofs can be collected by examining the recordings of CCTV cameras number 6 and 7. ?There is a separate, comfortable meeting room where she meets her visitors. In this room there is a revolving chair, table, four other chairs and curtains in a way that what happens inside the room cannot be seen outside. The proof that Sasikala meets her visitors in this room can be corroborated by examining the recordings of CCTV cameras number 6 and 7,? letter said. ?She has been provided a luxurious bed and a cot along with a brand new LED TV. This has not been brought to the notice of Hon?ble Court and no permission by Court taken even if it is for health reasons,? the letter further read. She further said that it is an offence under section-13(1)(C) of Prevention Of Corruption Act, because the jail cells/corridor and other resources such as LED TV/material for preparation of separate food etc are properties belonging to the state and entrusted to the DG and the IG Prisons for custody. He has dishonestly/fraudulently allowed it to be unauthorisedly used/misappropriated by another person. Therefore, Offence under section 13(1) (C) and punishable under 13(2) of Prevention Of Corruption Act 1988 is made out. Yesterday, a video footage was submitted to the ACB allegedly by Roopa showing Sasikala and her relative Ilavarasi, convicted by the Supreme Court in the disproportionate assets case, walking into the main entry area of the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison in civilian attire. Roopa submitted the footage yesterday as part of her statement to the ACB of the Karnataka Police. Following the summons by the ACB, Roopa had submitted 74 enclosures as evidence to substantiate her charges. She received summons on July 31, the day Director General (Prisons) G. Sathyanarayan Rao retired. Earlier last month, Roopa grabbed headlines when she, in a report, said that Sasikala availed VIP treatment in the prison by bribing jail officials. Roopa, in a report to the Director General (Prisons), had said there are speculations that Sasikala paid bribe to prison officials to get special facilities for herself with rumours also of the DG being a beneficiary himself. The report by the DIG (Prisons) had asserted that a bribe worth Rs. 2 crore was given to the prison officials by AIADMK chief VK Sasikala for, including the DG (Prisons), in order to avail special facilities in the Parappana Agrahara central prison. The DG (Prisons) categorically denied all the charges, where Roopa, maintained her stand, saying that she has no issue with an inquiry taking place into it. A notice was then sent to Roopa accusing her of “damaging the integrity and reputation of Sathyanarayan Rao,” which according to law comes under defamation. The notice also said that Rao will also be approaching the concerned Income Tax Department to find out the source from where the “alleged Rs. 2 crore were mobilised.” The notice further said that Roopa also alleged that Sasikala had set up a private kitchen, where special food could be made for her, but as she failed to take snaps of the place, it only shows that the place was “non-existent” although she (Roopa) claims that the evidence was erased. The notice said that Roopa had tried to defame the “whole system” of this country, including the President of the nation. Subsequently, Roopa was transferred to the Traffic and Safety wing.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Minor girl raped in Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A eight-year-old girl was allegedly raped by an unidentified man in east Delhi’s Ganesh Nagar, the police said today. The girl was playing outside her home yesterday evening when the accused took her with him on the pretext of giving her a chocolate, the police said. He took her to an isolated place where he allegedly raped her after threatening her of dire consequences, they added. The accused later managed to escape from the spot after leaving the victim behind. The girl returned to her house and informed her parents about the incident, who then approached the police.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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