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Ration shops in Seemapuri sealed after surprise checks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government on Thursday ordered the sealing of a ration shop in north-east Delhi’s Seemapuri area after it was found closed during a surprise inspection conducted by Delhi Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain.Hussain, on Thursday, visited five Fair Price Shops (FPS) in the area to check if they were complying with the guidelines and norms that have to be followed by FPS dealers when they deliver Specified Food Articles (SFAs) to ration card holders. The minister found several deficiencies in the functioning of the FPS.“During the inspection of Circle Offices at Rohtash Nagar, Seelampur and Babarpur, no Food & Supply Officer (FSO) and Food & Supply Inspector (FSI) were found in the Circle Offices. The Minister has directed Commissioner (FCS) to conduct an urgent inquiry into the matter. Several other irregularities were also noticed during the inspection,” the government said in its statement.An official said that ration shops were required to remain open from 9 am to 1 pm and 3 pm daily with a weekly off, in accordance with the existing orders of the government.“Out of five fair price shops (FPS) (ration shops), one was found closed during the minister’s inspection. Also, a number of ration cards were found returned undelivered in circle offices,” the statement stated.

Hardik-Congress club one of mutual deception, 50% reservation cap can’t be breached: Arun Jaitley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the club consisting of the Congress and Patidar leader Hardik Patel was one of ‘mutual deception’ as they were deceiving each other as well the voters.Speaking at a media briefing, the union minister said, ‘The Congress-Hardik club is one of mutual deception. The law of the land is very clear and that has been laid down by the Supreme Court. Last week, it was reaffirmed that the 50 per cent reservation cap cannot be breached. They (Hardik Patel and Congress) can continue to mutually deceive each other and the public by saying that they will devise a methodology of breaching the cap.”He added that in elections, only those promises should be made to each other and the public that could be implemented, otherwise “you deceive your own constituents.
ALSO READ ‘A fool made a request and another fool accepted it’: BJP says Congress gave ‘lollipop’ to HardikPatidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel today declared his support to the Congress for the Gujarat Assembly elections, saying that the opposition party has accepted the demand of giving reservation to his community in a “special category”.The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader said that reservation formula given by the Congress for his community will be over and above the 50 per cent quota for the SC, ST and OBCs.
ALSO READ Hardik Patel says Congress agreed to Patidar quota demand, asks party to put details in manifestoOn the 50 per cent reservation cap set by the Supreme Court, he said that it is just a “suggestion”.Hardik said if the Congress comes to power, it will conduct a proper survey for providing reservation. The party will bring a Bill in the state Assembly and give reservation, he said.”My fight in Gujarat is against the BJP and that is why we will directly or indirectly support Congress (in the elections) as it has accepted our demand for reservation,” he added.”Congress has promised to include our demand in its manifesto,” he said.”The percentage of reservation under a special category to be given to us will be decided after the survey conducted by the commission to be formed by the government.” “As per the formula, without touching the 49 per cent quota (now provided in the state) to the Schedule Tribes (ST), Schedule Castes (SC) and Other Backward Class (OBC), the Congress has decided to provide quota to the communities, who have not got the benefit of reservation so far under Article 31 (C) and Article 46 of the Constitution,” he told reporters here.Article 46 of the Constitution says the State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.Article 31 (C) has two parts. The first part protects a law giving effect to the policy of the state towards securing the principles specified in Articles 39 (b) and (c) from being challenged on the ground of infringement of the Fundamental Rights under Article 14, 19 and 31.The second part of Article 31 (C) originally sought to oust the jurisdiction of the courts to find out whether the law in question gave effect to the principles of Articles 39 (b) and 39 (c).When pointed out that the Supreme Court had “restrained” the Rajasthan government from taking any action on conferring the benefit of reservation resulting in crossing the total reservation beyond 50 per cent, Hardik said, “This (50 per cent cap) is just a suggestion of the Supreme Court.” “In our Constitution, there is no mention of 50 per cent cap on reservation. I am of the firm opinion that reservation can be given over 50 per cent,” he said.Hardik also said that there were no differences with the Congress over seat-sharing. “We had not demanded any seats, but we had asked the Congress to put up candidates of our community, who have a strong character,” he said.Asked what will he do about the PAAS members who have filed nomination papers to contest elections, Hardik said that they will no longer be members of the organisation.Hardik also accused the BJP of trying to buy PAAS members by offering Rs 50 lakh.The Congress, which has mounted a hectic campaign to dislodge the long-ruling BJP in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and saffron party chief Amit Shah, has been wooing the Patel stir spearhead for quite some time.Elections in Gujarat will be held on December 9 and 14.With inputs from PTI and ANI

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.

SC criminalises sex with under-18 wife, says let parliament decide on marital rape: 10 facts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court on Wednesday criminalised sexual intercourse between a man and his minor wife.Here are 10 facts that will explain what does the verdict means:1: The top court today said that if a man has sex with his wife aged between 15 and 18 years, he can be prosecuted for rape, in case the wife complains about the incident within a year.2: The ruling cuts through the Article 375 of the Indian Penal Code that defines rape. According to it, “sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape”.3: But the top court held the view that the exception in the rape law was arbitrary and was violative of the Constitution.4: The apex court said the exception in the rape law was contrary to the philosophy of other statutes and violates the bodily integrity of a girl child.5: The ruling paves way for much simpler concept about consent and rules out any ambiguity between Indian Penal Code, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.6: It is because the IPC Article was contradictory to the child marriage act that puts 18 as the age of marriage for girls and 21 for men.7: The IPC exception was also against POCSO as the child protection law says sex with a child below 18 years is an “aggravated penetrative sexual assault”.8: Curiously though, the Supreme Court didn’t say anything on the issue of marital rape. The bench clarified that it has not dealt with the issue of marital rape as it was not raised before it by respective parties. “We do not want to go into the aspect of marital rape. That is for Parliament to see if they want to increase or decrease the age of consent,” the bench said.9: The judgment came after an NGO Independent Thought filed a petition against the exception in Article 375.10: The petitioners had sought a direction to declare exception 2 to Section 375 of IPC as “violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution to the extent that it permits intrusive sexual intercourse with a girl child aged between 15 and 18 years, only on the ground that she has been married.”

Builder buys 1 kg gold for Rs 31.35 lakh at Lalbaugcha Raja auction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chetan Joshi, a builder by profession, bought the most expensive article offered by a devotee to Lalbaugcha Raja this year. He bid the one kg gold biscuit for Rs 31.35 lakh. After its purchase, the total auction amount at Lalbaugcha Raja this year stood at Rs 97,96,500.”In 2016, the auction amount stood at Rs 1.5 crore, collected from over 225 articles of which the total weight of gold was 5 kg, and that of silver was 80 kg,” said Mahesh Jadhav, treasurer of the mandal.This year, there were 125 articles offered, which mandal officials said probably fell due to the rains. Only 82 were auctioned. Of these, the total gold weighed 5.5 kg, while silver weighed 75 kg. Besides the one kilogram gold brick, there were two gold idols of Lord Ganpati and Goddess Lakshmi collectively weighing over 1.1kg. The Ganpati weighing .587 kg was bid at Rs 15.60 lakh, while the Lakshmi idol weighing .517 kg was bid for Rs 15.60 lakh. There were also two gold chains around .250 kg. Offerings this year also saw notes banned from circulation post demonitisation. They stood at Rs 1.30 lakh. Articles not auctioned due to lack of time, mandal organisers say will be auctioned on Monday amongst themselves, said Jadhav.Sudhir Salvi, secretary of Lalbaugcha Raja Ganeshutsav Mandal said, “We will ask our chartered accountant what to do with these (banned) notes. The decision will be taken tomorrow.”Those present said the crowd that comes for auction was less compared to previous years. This is despite the fact that the auction was for one day, as compared to more than one day earlier. Members of the Samiti said it was due to demonitisation.However, that was in no way an indicator of the enthusiasm of devotees participating in the auction. “I have been coming every year for the last six years. I feel that whatever I am taking from here is prasad of the Lord,” said Jyoti Bhaktha, who purchased a 12 gram gold chain for Rs 50,000.While she purchased just one article, some others purchased multiple ones. Rahul Upadhyay was one who did. After purchasibg a gold chain, he purchased a silver-plated sword. “I have been coming here for the past 10 years.It is god’s blessings that I take home with me,” said Upadhyay.Those like Dimple Thakkar, who had come to buy a house, missed out on it. “Someone bid for the house higher than I did. Since I had come for first time, I took 10g modaks as prasad from him,’ said Dimple Thakkar. “I now want them to put up more gold modak’s for auction as my mother and brother also want them,” she added.Auction 2017Members of the samiti said that due to demonitisation, the crowd was less compared to the previous year, which saw 225 articles auctionedArticles not auctioned due to lack of time, mandal organisers say will be auctioned on Monday among themselves, said Jadhav

Parliament consciously kept voidable marriage age for girls: Govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Parliament, in its wisdom, had taken a conscious decision to keep the age limit of voidable marriage between 15 and 18 years in case of girls, the government told the Supreme Court today.It said the legislature kept in mind the socio-economic conditions of the country and was aware of the international conventions, while deciding to keep the voidable clause in case of child marriages.A bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta questioned the Centre about the logic behind keeping different age limits of voidable marriage for girls under different laws.”In Indian Penal Code its different, in Prohibition of Child Marriage Act its different, in Hindu Marriage Act its different. What is the logic keeping different age limits for the marriage of girls,” the bench said.It also questioned the government for giving a varying window of age in different laws to women married at an age below 18 years, to walk out of the marriage.During the hearing, the apex court also expressed concern over the prevalence of child marriages in the country despite a specific law prohibiting it, saying “these are not marriage but mirages.””These cases will not be reported even if we hold the exception to IPC as void. Hardly any women will come to court.If both man and woman are of the age of 19 years, then the marriage is voidable at the instance of the man. The question still is where can we go? We have to look every aspect,” the bench observed.Senior advocate Rana Mukherjee, appearing for Centre, said child marriage was abhorrent to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), but it still happened.”These marriages do happen in the society. Legitimacy of the child born from such marriage has to be given. Parliament was aware of voidable marriages happening in the society and therefore it had taken a conscious decision and kept the age limit of 15 to 18 years for marriage of girl,” he said.The court was hearing pleas questioning the validity of a provision permitting a man to have physical relationship with his wife, even if she was aged between 15 and 18 years.Section 375 of the IPC, which defines the offence of rape, has an exception clause that says intercourse or sexual act by a man with his wife, not below 15 years, is not rape.Centre’s arguments remained inconclusive and will continue tomorrow.Advocate Jayna Kothari, appearing for NGO Child Rights Trust, said the exception to section 375 of IPC is defeating the very purpose of PCMA and was also in violation of international conventions of which India is a signatory.She said the right to privacy, as recognised by the Supreme Court in its recent decision, secured for every individual a private space free of intrusion and autonomy over most intimate, personal decisions.”This is a concomitant ingredient of dignity which is so essential to development of human personality. Exempting sexual violence against minor girls from criminal prosecution within marriage, not only violates such right by depriving of their autonomy but also violates their fundamental right to life and bodily integrity,” she said.Kothari, assisted by advocate Disha Chaudhari, said the PCMA cannot be effectively implemented as the exception with regard to minor women legitimises violence against minor girls within marriage and hinders the provisions of the PCMA.”Where on one hand it gives minor girls the option to nullify an early marriage, on the other it denies them any legal recourse for sexual abuse suffered within such voidable marriage,” she said, adding that several high courts have repeatedly recognised that the PCMA overrides personal law.Earlier, the bench had expressed dismay over the prevalence of the practice of child marriage despite the existence of the PCMA and termed as unfortunate that this was being done mostly at the behest of girl child’s parents.The Centre, in its affidavits, had admitted that child marriage were still happening in the country due to uneven economic and educational development. “It has been therefore decided to retain the age of 15 years under exception 2 of section 375 of IPC, so as to give protection to husband and wife against criminalising the sexual activity between them,” it had said.It had said that lawmakers had taken a pragmatic view regarding the issue of ‘marital rape’ as marriage being a social institution was the bedrock of any society and hence, needs to be protected.The NGO sought direction to declare exception 2 to Section 375 of the IPC as “violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution to the extent that it permits intrusive sexual intercourse with a girl child aged between 15 and 18 years, only on the ground that she has been married.” It also referred to the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012, and said these were contrary to the IPC provision. P

SC dismayed over prevalance of child marriage despite law against it

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court expressed dismay over the prevalence of the practice of child marriage despite the existence of the Child Marriage Prohibition Act and termed as unfortunate that this was being done mostly at the behest of girl child’s parents.The court was hearing a plea questioning the validity of a provision permitting a man to have physical relationship with his wife, even if she was aged between 15 and 18 years.During the hearing, the top court said striking down of such provision in section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) would amount to creating an offence.Section 375 of the IPC, which defines the offence of rape, has an exception clause that says intercourse or sexual act by a man with his wife, not below 15 years, is not rape.”It is a hard reality and is unfortunate that most of the child marriages happening in the country are done by parents of the girl child. However, to this, there are odd exceptions when a minor boy and girl fall in love and marry on their own,” a bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.It also sought to know whether it can create an offence by striking down the exception 2 of section 375 of IPC which the Parliament has refused to do.Advocate Gaurav Agarwal, appearing for NGO Independent Thought, said by amendment to CrPC in 2013, the age of consent for sexual intercourse by a girl, which was earlier 16 years has now been increased to 18 years.He said that exception 2 to section 375 of the IPC still retains the age of consent as 15 years, due to which there is a huge gap of three years in the age of consent for a married girl child and an unmarried girl.Agarwal, assisted by advocate Vikram Shrivatava, said that exception 2 to section 375 of the IPC was discriminatory and violate Article 14 of the Constitution.Taking note of the arguments, the bench said, “We have to accept this hard reality. These kind of marriages are still happening in the country and if we are going to strike down this exception, then what would happen to the child born from such marriages. We have to keep all aspects in mind.” Agarwal said the court can strike down the exception like it did recently in the practice of triple talaq among Muslims for being arbitrary and discriminatory.He contended that this classification has no rationale nexus with the object sought to be achieved as the reasoning behind increasing the age of consent to 18 years in 2013, was that a girl below that age is incapable of realising the consequences of her consent.”If this is the object for increasing the age of consent to 18 years of age, then marriage of girl between the age of 15-17 years does not make the girl mature enough (mentally or physically) for the purpose of consent. Thus, it is discriminatory,” Agarwal said.He cited the fourth National Family Health Survey of 2015-16, and said there were 26.8 per cent of brides in the country who were married below the age of 18 years of age.In the third Survey of 2005-06, the figure was even larger and 46 per cent of women (23 million brides) were married before the age of 18 in the country, he added.The Centre, in its affidavits, had admitted that child marriage were still happening in the country due to uneven economic and educational development.”It has been therefore decided to retain the age of 15 years under exception 2 of section 375 of IPC, so as to give protection to husband and wife against criminalising the sexual activity between them,” it had said.It had said that lawmakers had taken a pragmatic view regarding the issue of ‘marital rape’ as marriage being a social institution was the bedrock of any society and hence, needs to be protected.”Exception 2 of section 375 of IPC envisages that if the marriage is solemnized at the age of 15 years due to traditions, it should not be a reason to book the husband in the case of offence under the IPC,” it had said.The Centre also gave details of number of prosecutions that have been instituted over the last three years.The apex court had on August 9 said the raging issue whether to make forced marital intercourse and sexual acts, part of offence of rape in penal law, has been extensively debated and it cannot be considered as a criminal act.Earlier, the apex court had in 2015, made National Commission for Women (NCW) party to explain how the offence of rape in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) afforded an exception to a man to have physical relationship with his minor wife and still not qualify it as crime.The NGO in its petition sought direction to declare exception 2 to Section 375 of the IPC as “violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution to the extent that it permits intrusive sexual intercourse with a girl child aged between 15 and 18 years, only on the ground that she has been married.”It has also referred to the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012, and said these provisions were contrary to the IPC provision.The POCSO provision provides that physical relationship with a minor constitutes the offence of rape and it does not exclude such relationship between a man and his minor wife.

West Bengal: Hours after Ishrat Jahan files police complaint, children returned by father

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In what appears to be a case of horrible miscommunication, two children of Ishrat Jahan, one of the petitioners in the triple talaq case, were enjoying the day with their father when she filed a missing persons complaint with the police in Howrah.Ishrat Jahan had earlier on Thursday approached the police to file a complaint that two of her children had gone missing earlier in the day.As per ANI reports, Ishrat approached the Golabari Police Station in Howrah to register complaint. “Both my children have gone missing. I saw them last at 11:15 am. My brother and his wife are behind it,” she alleged in the complaint.The children were returned by their father later in the evening. Police said that they had called Jahan’s husband and baffled by all the news of missing children on media, he returned the kids to Golabari Police Station.Ishrat had challenged the Constitutional validity of triple talaq to end a marriage. The mother of four young children was divorced by her Dubai-based husband over the telephone. She then moved the Supreme Court against the practice of triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat) under the Muslim Personal Law.In her petition, Ishrat Jahan sought a declaration from the apex court that Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 was unconstitutional, as it violated fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14 (equality), 15 (non-discrimination), 21 (life) and 25 (religion) of the Constitution.”My husband and his relatives are constantly attempting to drive me out of my matrimonial home,” Ishrat had said.With Agency Inputs

Right to privacy: LGBT community cheers after SC adds a touch of rainbow in judgment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The right to privacy cannot be denied to members of the LGBT community merely because they have unconventional sexual orientation and form a miniscule fraction of the over 1.32 billion Indian population, the Supreme Court observed today.The 9-judge bench, which held that the right to privacy is a fundamental right, made this observation while assailing the earlier apex court verdict in the appeal by an NGO on behalf of the LGBT community in which it said they formed a miniscule fraction of the country’s population and the right to privacy cannot be a ground to set aside a penal law.Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices R K Agrawal, S A Nazeer and D Y Chandrachud, who were part of the nine-judge constitution bench, said that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is deeply offensive to the dignity of an individual.
ALSO READ Right to Privacy: Individual has right to refuse medical treatment, terminate pregnancy, says SC”A miniscule fraction of the country’s population constitutes lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgenders (LGBT) is not a sustainable basis to deny the right to privacy. The purpose of elevating certain rights to the stature of guaranteed fundamental rights is to insulate their exercise from the disdain of majorities, whether legislative or popular,” the bench said.The apex court said that discrete and insular minorities face grave dangers of discrimination for the simple reason that their views, beliefs or way of life does not accord with the ‘mainstream’.”Discrimination against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation is deeply offensive to the dignity and self-worth of the individual. Equality demands that the sexual orientation of each individual in society must be protected on an even platform.”The right to privacy and the protection of sexual orientation lie at the core of the fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution,” it said.It, however, clarified that since the challenge to Section 377 (Section which criminalizes gay sex) is pending consideration before another bench of the Supreme Court, it would leave the constitutional validity to be decided in an “appropriate proceeding”.Justice S K Kaul, in a separate judgement, also concurred with the view of the four judges and said the majoritarian concept does not apply to Constitutional rights.”…The Courts are often called up on 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,” he said.

SC verdict on triple talaq gives respite to Muslim women Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Congress Party on Wednesday welcomed Supreme Court?s verdict on Triple Talaq and said the judgement has given respite to the Muslim women. Speaking to ANI, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that some people were misusing the Islamic practice to get divorce. ?I welcome the verdict of Supreme Court. It is wrong and unIslamic to pronounce talaq thrice over phone or write it down in message and get divorce. People were misusing this practice. This verdict has given respite to the Muslim women. There is a provision in Islam on Triple Talaq but it was being misused,? he said. Another Congress leader Brijesh Kalappa also hailed the decision said such decision which gives equal right to women is always welcome. ?This is a very good decision. Everbody with progressive idea will welcome this move. We welcome such decision which provides equal right to women,? he told ANI. Earlier on Tuesday, 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) Jagdish Singh Khehar, deciding on the verdict, was seemingly split on the legality of the practice. CJI Khehar, while pronouncing the judgement, said, “Talaq-e-biddat is not violative of Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution”, but did say that there was a need for Parliament to on enact a law on the issue at the earliest. The decision came soon after the apex court resumed the hearing on the matter on Tuesday morning.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Minister pays surprise visit to Food and Civil Supplies HQ

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In order to check its functioning Delhi Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Imran Hussain, paid a surprise visit to headquarters of Food and Civil Supplies Department at Vikas Bhawan, IP Estate, on Thursday.During the visit, the minister took a round of the various branches of the department located at the Headquarters. The Minister had an interaction with Commissioner, Food & Civil Supplies (FCS) and Special Commissioner (FCS) besides other senior officials of the Department to enquire about their roles and responsibilities.Hussain emphasised about the need for proper record management for efficient performance of Food & Civil Supplies Department.In recent weeks, Hussain has conducted surprise visits in various areas like Gandhi Nagar, Burari, Mangolpuri and Dwarka to check the functioning of Fair Price Shops for distribution of Specified Food Articles. The Minister has even directed Commissioner, F&CS to forward Action Taken Report duly indicating details of action taken against the erring FPS owners as per law, including suspension or sealing of FPS, if any. Department has also been asked to apprise the Minister about disciplinary action initiated against Department officials found responsible for failure to check malfunctioning of the FPS inspected by the Minister.

Press doesn’t have exclusive right to criticise anyone: Delhi Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Press does not have any exclusive right or special privilege to comment, criticise or make imputations or allegations which are sufficient to ruin a citizen’s reputation, a Delhi court has said.Further, journalists do not have greater freedom than others, it has said while reminding that the responsibility of the scribes was higher as they have power to disseminate information.The court’s order came as it restrained the managing editor of a magazine from publishing any libellous articles against a man who has alleged that he was defamed.It also directed the magazine editor and another person to pay Rs 30,000 and Rs 20,000 respectively to the man as “symbolic damages”.”Further, journalists are in no better position than any other person. The press does not enjoy any exclusive rights under our Constitution, apart from those enjoyed by a citizen as a concomitant of the freedom of speech and rights against unlawful deprivation of life and liberty guaranteed under Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution,” Additional District Judge Raj Kapoor said.The court said the press enjoys no special privileges to comment, criticise or even to investigate the facts of any case and rights of press persons are not higher than that of the common man.”In fact the responsibilities of a journalist are higher. The common man has limited means and reach in which he acts.”A journalist on the other hand has a wider reach and power to disseminate information and therefore such power has the potential to cause irreparable damage to a matter under enquiry in a court of law or in a given case has greater propensity to scandalise … the dignity, majesty or reputation of an individual or an institution,” it said.The man, a share broker and member of a housing society, had alleged that an article was published in the magazine in December 2007 to tarnish his image by using defamatory words.He said when he issued a legal notice to the defendants, instead of apologising, they again defamed him by writing defamatory words against him to government agencies.However, the founder and managing editor of the magazine claimed before the court that there was no defamatory article naming the man and that the magazine was not distributed among the business or connected circle of the man.The second defendant, the then president and a resident of the same housing society, alleged that the man was indulging in unlawful activities in the society and he had filed a civil suit for removal of unauthorized encroachment there.The court, however, said the two defendants had connived and published the articles in the magazine which were defamatory in nature and harmed the reputation of the man.

Bag containing gun, live cartridges found at Rewari station

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An unclaimed bag containing a double barrel gun, 21 live cartridges and other articles triggered panic at the Rewari Railway Station in Haryana, police said today. The bag was lying under an over-bridge, they said. “We found a 12 bore double barrel gun, 21 live cartridges, some clothes, a tiffin and a shaving box inside the bag, which was lying under an over-bridge of platform numbers 6-7 of Rewari station yesterday,” a Government Railway Police (GRP) official said. He said a case has been registered and the police were investigating the matter. “As of yet, we do not have any clue as to who could have left the bag there. It is possible that someone may have kept it there and later forgotten about it. However, nothing can be said for sure at the moment,” the official added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Assembly panel seeks LG office records in probe agnst Jung

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A special inquiry committee of the Delhi Assembly has sought “original” records from the LG office in connection with an ongoing probe into alleged irregularities by former Lt Governor Najeeb Jung’s office in restoring licence of a ration shop in Burari area. The panel has also decided to summon the officer who had assisted the former Lt Governor in the matter. The request comes following the meeting of the nine-member committee on Monday. Sources said the food and civil supplies department has apprised the panel that the decision to cancel the ration shop licence at north Delhi’s Burari was taken after the department received complaints from the police that the shop owner concerned sold poor quality ration. On Jun 9 last year, the Delhi Assembly had adopted a motion moved by AAP legislator Saurabh Bharadwaj to form a nine-member panel after Burari MLA Sanjeev Jha raised the issue in the House. He said it was a fit case to be considered under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The matter relates to an order passed by the LG on April 13, in which Jung as an appellate authority, revoked the food and supplies department’s order cancelling the licence of the fair price shop in Burari. The LG office had then clarified that the order was passed as it was a case of appeal under clause 6(8) of the Delhi Specified Articles (Regulation of Distribution) Order 1981. “On an appeal filed by the aggrieved widow shop owner, (the) Lt Governor as an appellate authority, after hearing all sides, including the department of food supplies and consumer affairs, has passed a considered and detailed order, based on facts placed before him in his court, setting aside the cancellation of the licence of the fair price shop and restoring the licence to the widow,” statement from the LG office had then said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Frame guidelines for releasing ads to dailies: HC to TN govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court today directed the Tamil Nadu government to frame guidelines within three months for releasing advertisements to newspapers on the basis of circulation and other criteria without any discrimination. Justice M Duraiswamy passed the order on petitions filed by Tamil daily ‘Dinamalar’ and Kal Publications Private Limited, which publishes ‘Dinakaran’ and ‘Tamil Murasu’ dailies. The petitioners had moved the court contending that the government was discriminating against them by not giving advertisements. They had sought a direction to the state government to continue giving advertisements to their newspapers and re-fix the rate. They also wanted framing of guidelines for releasing advertisement to newspapers on the basis of their circulation without any discrimination. Representing ‘Dinamalar’, its Editor R Krishnamurthy submitted though the daily was a leading one with a circulation of nine lakh copies, the state government had excluded it while releasing advertisements to various other dailies “indiscriminately”. Rejecting the contention, the state government said so far as ‘Dinamalar’ was concerned, advertisements amounting to Rs 3.51 crore were released to it during June-November, 2016. In the case of ‘Dinakaran’ and ‘Tamil Murasu’, the judge observed they did not get even a single advertisement after 2011. When the authorities were not in a position to explain the reasons for not releasing any advertisement, it clearly amounted to discrimination, he said. The judge said there has to be some proper policy to be followed by the government while issuing advertisements. “The result of lack of proper policy would be that some newspapers, which report activities of the state government in a favourable manner, would enjoy state patronage and other newspapers, which are reporting the news in an impartial and unbiased manner, may not enjoy such state patronage,” he said. This would amount to hostile discrimination against a particular newspaper, the judge added. He further said the discriminatory allotment of government advertisements to different newspapers of the same category by the state government will impair the freedom of press and, therefore, be violative of Articles 14 and 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. The judge directed the government to continue giving advertisements to ‘Dinakaran’ and ‘Tamil Murasu’ and also re-fix the rates of advertisements based on the Audit Bureau of Circulations certificate with immediate effect.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Muslim body moves HC against law to admit kids of all faiths

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Muslim minority institution today moved the Delhi High Court against a provision in the juvenile law which makes it mandatory to admit children of all religions. The high court sought responses from the Centre and the Delhi government on the institution’s plea challenging the provisions of the 2015 Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, contending that these were violative of freedom to practice, propagate and manage one’s religious affairs guaranteed under the Constitution. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notices to the Women and Child Development Ministry and the same department of the Delhi government for October 13 on the plea by ‘Bachchon Ka Ghar’, which claims to be a religious minority institution. The institution, dependent on voluntary donations by affluent sections of the Muslim community, said it provided boarding and education to orphan children on religious, moral and technical grounds and it would not be conducive for it or the child of any other faith to be admitted here. “Moreover, there would always lurk a danger of petitioner institution facing outrages from the public regarding forcible religious conversions etc,” said the plea, which sought to declare certain provisions and rules of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 as violative of articles and ultra vires the Constitution. Advocate Tushar Rao, who appeared for the institution founded in 1891, submitted before the court that the children were brought up in traditional Muslim practices including attending ‘namaz’ in a mosque, teaching of religious text, feeding non-vegetarian food, which the children from other faiths may not be comfortable with. “Children Welfare Committee (CWC) set up under the JJ Act has been proposing to send children of other religious denomination to be admitted to the institution which would be contrary to and violative of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 25 and 26 read with article 14 of the Constitution. “It is therefore submitted that the provisions of the said Act and Rules, Regulations and the procedures under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 are violative and ultra vires the Constitution and ought to be struck down,” the petition filed through advocates Mayank Sharma and Vikas Pakhiddey said. It also sought the court’s direction to Department of Women and Child Development to renew or issue a license to the society under the relevant provisions. The plea said that section 41 of the JJ Act mandated that all child care institutions — children homes or observation homes — involved in taking care and protection of minors be registered under the Act, 2015. This section provides the CWC the right, authority and power to send or transfer any child in need of care and protection to the petitioner institution thereby creating an anomalous situation, it said. “Moreover, the society does not fall within the meaning of ‘children home’, ‘observation home’, ‘shelter home’, ‘place of safety’, special adoption agency’ or even a ‘fit facility’ as per the definitions contained in the Act,” it said. It claimed that there was no need for it to be registered under the JJ Act, nor was it applicable in any manner and the insistence of CWC upon the institution to get registered under the Act was without any power, authority or jurisdiction. The plea said the petitioner was providing boarding, lodging, education regarding religious, moral, technical and others to more than 170 to 180 orphan children through its two institutions, one each for boys and girls.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Will have regulatory regime on data protection: Govt to SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A “regulatory regime” for data protection is in the offing, the government today told the Supreme Court, asserting that an individual’s freedom of choice needs to be protected. “We are coming out with a regulatory regime on data protection. Freedom of choice needs to be protected and there cannot be any doubt over it,” Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta told a five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra. The bench, which is hearing the WhatsApp privacy policy matter, was informed that the government was also committed to protect the freedom of choice of citizens. The bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri, Amitava Roy, A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar, had asked the government to clarify its stand on the issue. The apex court also noted Mehta’s submission that “the Government of India is placed or stands dedicated to see that individual’s freedom of choice is not scuttled”. During the hearing, senior advocate Harish Salve, who was appearing for petitioners Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi, placed before the bench the questions of law which were required to be dealt with in the matter. Referring to WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, he said that someone could snoop into the messages, videos and photos which a user shares or circulates on the instant messaging platform. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for WhatsApp, countered the submissions saying they were protecting privacy of users as they have an end-to-end encryption technology which cannot be looked into by a third person. Senior counsel K K Venugopal, representing Facebook, told the bench that they have filed application in which they have raised preliminiary issues on the maintainability of the plea. He also argued that when the government has already said it would come out with a regulatory regime, “what is the purpose of deciding this now”. The bench, which fixed the matter for hearing during the summer vacation on May 15, said the maintainability issue would be dealt with at the time of hearing arguments. However, Salve questioned the end-to-end encryption method and said “I am objecting to someone looking into my messages”. At the fag end of the hearing, he said, “privacy has multiple dimensions. Here, I am saying that I am entrusting something to you. Confidentiality has to be protected.” During the hearing, the bench allowed the application of a body, Internet Freedom Foundation, which has sought to be impleaded as a party in the matter. The counsel representing the foundation said “the State has the duty to regulate this. All the other countries have data protection Act”. The bench, however, observed that if somebody would say that his or her freedom has been curtailed, it would be the duty of the court to protect it. During the hearing, Salve read out the questions of law submitted by him, which included “whether Article 21 read with Articles 14, 19 and 25 of the Constitution, confers upon all persons the right to privacy in respect of communications which are private in nature, irrespective of the medium of communication”. “Whether Article 19, read with Article 14, 19 and 25 confer upon all persons the right to privacy in respect of all personal communications as well as personal data – financial and otherwise,” he also asked. Salve said if the answer to these two questions were in the affirmative, the court would have to deliberate on whether any unauthorised access to such communications or personal matters or particulars by any agency without the legal authority is violative of Article 21 read with Article 14, 19 and 25. While Article 14 relates to equality before the law, Article 19 pertains to freedom of speech and expression. Similarly, Article 21 and 25 relates to right to life and freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion respectively. The other questions given by Salve are “Whether the right to privacy, in Article 21 read with Articles 14, 19 and 25 extends not merely to the state and its agencies, but also to private agencies who in the course of their business, have access to such information made available to them on condition of secrecy and confidentiality.” “Whether service providers, particularly monopolies and quasi monopolies, who operate services incidental and ancillary to telecommunications and in the course of which they carry messages of private persons, or have access to particulars of private persons, are under a constitutional duty to protect and preserve the privacy of private persons”. He also said if the answer to these two questions were in the affirmative, the court has to deal with the issue “whether the state is under an obligation, to protect the constitutional rights of persons, to frame appropriate rules and regulations to ensure that those agencies who operate telecommunications and allied services function in a manner that sufficiently protects and safeguards the constitutional rights to privacy of private persons”. The apex court is hearing the appeal assailing the high court verdict on the ground that no relief was granted for data shared by users after September 25, 2016 which amounted to infringement of fundamental rights under Article 19 and 21. The apex court had on January 16 sought the responses from the Centre and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on the plea that privacy of over 157 million Indians has been infringed by social networking sites – WhatsApp and Facebook – for alleged commercial use of personal communication.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Muslim personal law outside realm of judiciary: AIMPLB to SC on triple talaq issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) told the Supreme Court that pleas challenging the practices of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims were not maintainable as the issues fell outside the realm of judiciary.The Board said the validity of Mohammedan Law, founded essentially on the Holy Quran and sources based on it, cannot be tested on the particular provisions of the Constitution. It said there was a need for “judicial restraint” before going into constitutional interpretation of these unless such an exercise becomes unavoidable. It said the issues, raised through a batch of petitions, fell within the legislative domain, and since divorce was an issue of private nature, it cannot be enforced by bringing it under the ambit of fundamental rights.The AIMPLB claimed the petitions were “misconceived” and the challenge was based on incorrect understanding of the Muslim Personal law, contending the Constitution grants freedom to every religious section to manage its own affairs in matters of religion.”At the outset, it is submitted that the present petitions are not maintainable as the petitioners seek to enforce fundamental rights against private parties. It is submitted that the protection guaranteed by Articles 14, 15 and 21 is intended to be available against the Legislature and the Executive and not against private individuals.”It is submitted that in the present case, the petitioners are seeking judicial orders which are completely outside the purview of Article 32. Private rights cannot be enforced against individual citizens under Article 32(1),” AIMPLB said in its written submissions filed in the apex court. While opposing the pleas on issues, including alleged gender discrimination faced by Muslim women in divorce cases, the board said the points raised in the petitions are matters of legislative policy and fall outside the sphere of the judiciary.”The preamble of the Constitution clearly enshrines values of liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship. Further, Article 25 of the Constitution, guarantees freedom of conscience and freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion.”Article 25 guarantees individual freedom of conscience subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of the third part of the Constitution. Article 26 of the Constitution grants freedom to every religious denomination or any section thereof to manage its own affairs in matters of religion,” it said.The Board told the court that personal laws do not derive their validity on the ground that they have been passed or made by a legislature or other competent authority and the foundational sources of personal law are their respective scriptural texts.”The Mohammedan Law is founded essentially on the Holy Quran and sources based on the Holy Quran and thus it cannot fall within the purview of the expression ‘laws in force’, as mentioned in Article 13 of the Constitution of India, and hence its validity cannot be tested on a challenge based on Part III of the Constitution,” it said.AIMPLB said that the courts should apply the principle of judicial restraint and not deal with the issue of constitutional interpretation unless such an exercise is unavoidable. “It is humbly submitted that this court ought not to venture into the area of changing personal laws by following the trend in several other countries. It is pertinent to note that any change or reform that comes with the backing of legislature takes due care of diverse cultural background, sensitivity and sensibility of the stakeholder community and thus in spirit adheres to both the principles ie. the principle of democracy and principle of separation of powers.”It is important to note that changes in other countries, with a distinct socio-cultural and even legal background must not be applied in Indian context without appreciating the distinct nature of the Indian society as doing so shall not only destroy the democratic legislative process underlined in the Constitution of India but it shall also be great injustice to the followers of Islam in our nation,” the AIMPLB said. It had earlier said that personal laws of a community cannot be “re-written” in the name of social reforms and contended that the contentious issue relating to Muslim practices of polygamy, triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat) and nikah halala are not matters of “legislative policy” and hence cannot be interfered with.The apex court had earlier said it would decide issues pertaining to “legal” aspects of the practices of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims and would not deal with the question whether divorce under Muslim law needs to be supervised by courts as it falls under the legislative domain.The apex court had taken suo motu cognizance of the question whether Muslim women faced gender discrimination in the event of divorce or due to other marriages of their husbands.

SC strikes down provisions of Karnataka quota law on promotion

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In order to provide reservation in promotions, the states must first determine whether the criteria of ‘inadequacy of representation’, ‘backwardness’ and ‘overall efficiency’ are fulfilled, the Supreme Court has said. The apex court set aside provisions of the ‘Karnataka Determination of Seniority of the Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (to the posts in the civil services of the State) Act’, 2002, which did away with ‘catch up’ rule and provided consequential seniority to persons belonging to Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes in promotion. As per an earlier judgement of apex court, ‘Catch up’ rule means that if a senior candidate of general category is promoted after SC/ST candidates, he would regain his seniority in promotion over the juniors promoted ahead of him under the reserved vacancies. Relying on a constitution bench judgement, the court said the provisions of the Act are ultra vires to Articles 14 (right to equality) and 16 (equality of opportunity in goverment service) of the Constitution. A bench of Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit, while setting aside the High Court order upholding the Act, said under the 85th amendment to the Constitution, liberty has been given to states to give reservation in promotion with consequential seniority under Article 16(4A), if warranted under the criterias of ‘backwardness, ‘inadequacy of representation’ and ‘overall efficiency’. “It is clear that exercise for determining inadequacy of representation , backwardness and overall efficiency , is a must for exercise of power under Article 16(4A). “Mere fact that there is no proportionate representation in promotional posts for SCs and STs is not by itself enough to grant consequential seniority to promotees who are otherwise junior and thereby denying seniority to those who are given promotion later on account of reservation policy,” it said while allowing the appeals of government employees. The High Court had upheld the validity of the Act, which provided for grant of consequential seniority to the public servants belonging to SC and ST categories and promoted under the reservation policy. (More)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Antique pieces stolen

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Articles having antique value were stolen by unidentified persons from a palace belonging to former royal family of Chhotaudepur, about 100 km from here, police said today. Jay Pratapsinh, scion of the family, had filed a police complaint in this regard, said police sub-inspector J B Chauhan. The value of the stolen articles was yet to be ascertained, Chauhan told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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