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Private Bill making jobs fundamental right rejected in Rajya Sabha

The Rajya Sabha on Friday rejected a private members bill that sought to make the Right to Employment a fundamental right. The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (insertion of new article 16A) — moved for consideration by Bishambar Nishad — was rejected by the House with 18 members voting in favour of the Bill and 21 members voting against it.The voting for the Bill was necessitated as Nishad refused to withdraw his Bill despite assurances by Santosh Gangwar, Minister of State (Independent charge) that the government was taking a number of steps to generate employment in the country, including granting loans to small and medium enterprises.The Bill sought to make employment, a right for anyone who is above 18 years of age. It stipulated that if a person is unable to get employment, he/she should get unemployment benefits as a fundamental right.While arguing in favour of the bill, Nishad said that employment should be made a right because if the youth does not get employment, they join terror groups and get involved in various crimes.He also sought the assurance from members that any suggestions he gives in the direction of providing employment in the country should be acceptable to the government.However, Nishad expressed dissatisfaction with the assurances give by Gangwar.98 BILLS INTRODUCEDAs many as 98 private members’ bills were introduced in the Lok Sabha on Friday, including one to constitute a board for protection and control of stray cows

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Triple talaq: AIMPLB says will take steps through democratic means to ‘amend, improve or scrap’ new bill

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) today expressed serious reservations over the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill which was passed by the Lok Sabha and said it will take steps through democratic means to “amend, improve or scrap” it.The Shia Waqf Board, meanwhile, called for making the punishment to those indulging in ‘triple talaq’ more stringent.”We will take whatever steps required through democratic means to amend, improve or scrap it. There is no move to go to court as of now…The bill was brought in a haste,” AIMPLB spokesperson Maulana Khalil-ur-Rehman Sajjad Nomani told PTI.Also readTriple talaq bill passed in Lok Sabha; support Bill, but needs strengthing, says CongressHe said the board should have been taken into confidence on the issue.”Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad while tabling the bill also quoted the board and a lady MP of the ruling party tried to answer the queries raised by the Board in a letter to the prime minister proving that the government recognises the board. So the board should have been taken into confidence,” Nomani said.Also readDidn’t consult Muslim bodies before drafting triple talaq bill: PP ChaudharyHowever, AIMPLB member Zafaryab Jilani hinted that the board may approach the supreme court against the triple talaq bill once it is passed by the Parliament.”An option is always open to challenge the law passed (by the Parliament), which is against the Supreme Court’s judgement and the Indian Constitution, in the Supreme Court.”Convenor of our legal committee has also suggested that it can be challenged in the court. However, we will decide our future course of action once the Bill is passed and law is enacted,” Jilani told a news channel.AIMPLB wanted that the triple talaq bill should not be in conflict with either the Constitution, supreme court order or Muslim personal law board, he said.”We had demanded that Bill should have been prepared only after consultation of representatives of Muslim women organisations, All India Muslim Personal Board, but it doesn’t mean that we were against the Bill.”We just wanted that Bill should not be in conflict with either Constitution of India, Supreme Court Judgement or Muslim Personal Law Board,” he said.The president of the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB), Shaista Amber welcomed the tabling of the bill but insisted that it should be in the light of Quran.”We welcome the tabling of the bill and this has given lots of hope to the women as triple talaq is an evil which has been haunting them,” she said.Amber, however, added that any law enacted in this regard should be in the light of the Quran and Constitution to make it acceptable to the community.President of the Shia Waqf Board, Wasim Rizvi however said that he had sent a letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making the punishment to those indulging in the practice more stringent.”I have urged the Prime Minister through a letter that a jail term of 10 years to those indulging in triple talaq and lodging a criminal case against them,” Rizvi said.

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Uproar in Rajya Sabha over minister Ananth Kumar Hegde’s remarks to change the Constitution

A united Opposition today disrupted proceedings in the Rajya Sabha protesting against controversial comments reportedly made by Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde on changing the Constitution and secularism.Congress, SP and BSP members trooped into the Well of the House shouting slogans seeking removal of Hegde and forcing Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to adjourn the proceedings till 1200 hours.The trouble started during the laying of the official papers on the table of the House as opposition members shouted “shame, shame” when Hegde, who is Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, rose to lay the papers listed against his name.Also readCongress seeks PM Modi’s reply on Ananth Kumar Hegde’s remarksLeader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad sought a clarification from the Minister as he could leave the House soon after laying papers.True to this, Hegde sat in the House for a while listening to opposition protests against his controversial statement that the BJP would change the Constitution by excluding Secularism from the preamble. Soon thereafter, he left the House.Also readSecular remark: Ex-panchayat member announces Rs 1 crore bounty for Ananth Kumar Hegde Azad asked if a minister does not believe in the Constitution, does he has a right to remain as a minister.”Minister who has no faith in the Constitution has no right to be a minister. He has no right to be a Member of Parliament,” he said.Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC) said secularism is inscribed in the preamble of the Constitution and asked if a minister is allowed to denounce the same preamble in public.Naresh Agarwal (SP) said the Constitution is the Ramayana and Gita of democracy and any minister who abuses it and its founder Baba Saheb Ambedkar should be removed.At this, Naidu interjected to ask members not to bring Babasaheb Ambedkar into the controversy.But the opposition members remained unrelenting and trooped into the well raising slogans.Naidu asked members not to raise slogans and ordered that nothing they were saying would go on record.He then allowed Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment and Republican Party of India founder Ramdas Athawale to speak.Athawale praised the Prime Minister for honouring the memory of Ambedkar with a fitting memorial and said it was Congress which had insulted Ambedkar.”Don’t create a ruckus. You are going to be defeated in general elections in 2019 and 2024,” Athawale told the opposition.Subramanian Swamy (BJP) claimed Ambedkar did not include the word secularism in the Constitution.Naidu tried to restore order but all his efforts went in vain. “How much should I tolerate. This is not acceptable. This is not done,” he said as slogan shouting continued unabated.As opposition members continued their noisy protest and demanded a discussion on the issue, Naidu said no discussion can take place without a proper notice.He then adjourned the proceedings till 1200 hours.

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Secularism was in DNA of Indians much before it was enshrined in constitution: Venkaiah Naidu

Praising the Parsi community for its contribution towards the nation building and the country’s economy, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said secularism was in the DNA of every Indian much before it was enshrined in the Constitution.Naidu was addressing the members of the Parsi community at the concluding ceremony of the three-day Iranshah Utsav at Udvada in Valsad district of Gujarat, about 200 kms from here yesterday.”‘Sarva dharma sama bhava’ (equality of all religions) epitomises India’s secular ethos. India is a land of diverse cultures and religions. Secularism was in the DNA of every Indian much before it was enshrined in the Constitution,” he said. “The values of tolerance and respect for all religions have been part of the Indian ethos from time immemorial.Unless there is social cohesion, communal harmony and religious tolerance, the progress and development of the country will suffer,” Naidu added. The contribution of the Parsi community in the economy of the country is significant, which is why India’s economy ranks third in the world now, he claimed. He also lauded the community for making “invaluable contribution” towards the nation building and in diverse fields.Also readYoga does not have a religious connotation: Venkaiah Naidu”Freedom fighter Dadabhai Naoroji, industrialist JRD Tata, nuclear scientist Homi Bhabha, music conductor Zubin Mehta are a few among the several stalwarts, who contributed towards India’s growth and glory,” Naidu said. “Although Parsi community represents a minuscule portion of our total population, the contribution made by them in the overall economic development of the country has always remained in the forefront,” he added. According to Naidu, the government would endeavour to make Udvada a global destination for tourism.Udvada Utsav, which started in 2015 on the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, showcases the glorious history of Parsis over 1,300 years. Vada Dasturji Khurshed K Dastoor, high priest of Iranshah Atash Behram, Udvada and member of National Commission for Minorities, said, “Shreeji Pak Iranshah (Atashbehram) is the link between the past and present times of the Parsi community. It is the witness to the religious pride of our illustrious forefathers and proof of inspiration for younger generation.”

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In Christmas eve message, Amarinder Singh calls for an end to ‘culture of religious intolerance’

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has called for an end to the ‘growing culture of religious intolerance’ being witnessed in several parts of the country.The chief minister, in his Christmas eve greetings to the people of Punjab, especially Christians, said India’s secular fabric was its biggest strength and any attempt to disrupt communal harmony could not be condoned.Describing Christmas as a pious and joyous occasion not just for Christians but for people of all faiths, he said the safety and security of the community, and in fact of all communities, was the responsibility of every individual and organisation that believed in the sanctity of the constitution of India.”The ethos of unity in diversity, which is embedded in our constitutional framework, could not be allowed to be torn apart by vested elements, which were interested only in promoting their personal agenda,” he said.Singh said an India which could not let all communities, castes and religions thrive in an environment of peace and equality would end up getting annihilated as a world power.”Religious violence and intolerance will put the nation on the path to regression,” he warned, urging one and all to come together in a spirit of bonhomie and compassion to celebrate Christmas.

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State has to play neutral role to ensure all citizens get equal protection under law: Hamid Ansari

Former vice-president Hamid Ansari today called for ensuring basic principles of the Constitution so that every citizen can be assured equal protection under the law.Speaking at a discussion on, ‘Is Secularism Dead in India’, at Jadavpur University, Ansari said the state has to play a neutral position to make this possible. “There has to be a neutral standard which the state has to observe not in theory but in practice, equal protection has to be imbibed in the agents of state,” Ansari said. “Who can guarantee my neighbour eats the same food as I do, his faith is the same as my faith. If anything that impedes the reality of our plurality, that should not be allowed to remain there,” he said. Speaking about secularism, Ansari said it was a subject so relevant in this country.”And I dare say not only to citizens of this country but to the world which is indicative of concern in the wider international community,” he said. The fact that we are a plural society is not a matter of debate, Ansari said.From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Bengal to Gujarat, in every direction the plurality, complexity, diversity of society is self-evident, the former vice-president added. “There is diversity in every conceivable manner, diversity of language and diversity in food habits,” he said. Ansari, who was the vice-president of India from 2007-2017, jokingly described his tenure as ex-officio chairmanof Rajya Sabha “as the referee in a hockey match”.Also readDon’t politicise Urdu; it’s the language of everyone in India: Former VP Hamid AnsariHistorian and Trinamool Congress MP Sugata Bose during in his address said secularism as set of values enables society to ride over prejudice to creatively accommodate differences and respect multiple identities.Bose said the most urgent task now is to rescue religion from bigots and nationalism from chauvinists. “We must take stand against religious bigotry and majoritarianism that is stoking our land. Majority of our people are ‘dharmabhirus’ not ‘dharmandhos,” he said. Talking about Swami Vivekananda and Rishi Aurobinda’s preachings, Bose said, “We need to engage their teachings but not allow distortion of their views for narrow political gains.”

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2G scam verdict: Verdict raises questions on 122 cancelled licences

Even as a trial court failed to find a scam in the 2G spectrum allocation case on Thursday, the Supreme Court had five years ago cancelled 122 telecom licences and spectrum allocated to 11 companies on or after January 10, 2008 by former telecom minister A Raja.Declaring the allocation illegal, the top court had then taken over the investigation and the prosecution of the case, monitoring it for five-long years now.In 2011, a bench of Justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly held that spectrum was a natural resource and “are vested with the government as a matter of trust in the name of the people of India, and it is the solemn duty of the state to protect the national interest, and natural resources must always be used in the interests of the country and not private interests.”Trial court’s verdict throws the spotlight back on the top court’s decision to cancel the licenses. If there is no scam, then what happens to the licenses that were canceled on the assumption of a scam?Furthermore, the trial court has punctured holes in the CBI’s case calling it a “well choreographed chargesheet.” Special Judge OP Saini ruled that he had “absolutely no hesitation in holding that prosecution has miserably failed to prove any charge against any accused”.Special judge OP Saini’s acquitted all the accused in the case based on the inability of the prosecuting agencies to prove the charges, despite the fact that the top court had maintained on no less than three occasions, that it was keeping an eagle eye on the probe.”We are, prima facie, satisfied that the allegations contained in the writ petition and the affidavits filed before this Court, which are supported not only by the documents produced by them, but also the report of the Central Vigilance Commission, which was forwarded to the Director, CBI, on October 12, 2009 and the findings recorded by the CAG in the Performance Audit Report, need a thorough and impartial investigation,” the Supreme Court had recorded in its order.The top court had also backed Comptroller Audit General (CAG) Vinod Rai’s work as the “most important officer under the Constitution of India and his duty, being the guardian of the public purse, is to see that not a farthing of it is spent without the authority of Parliament”.

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DNA EXCLUSIVE | Flashpoint Meghalaya: RSS vs missionaries

Poll-bound Meghalaya is fast emerging as the new flashpoint of conflict between the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Christian missionaries. While Sangh-backed body Legal Rights Observatory (LRO) is accusing Christian missionaries with crimes of various hues, the latter have written to several Parliamentarians to raise the ‘hounding by RSS and LRO’ in Parliament as they are under ‘intense pressure from Hindutva forces’.DNA received a mail from North East India Christian Forum wherein the organisation expressed fear of reprisals from LRO after the Prime Minister’ Shillong visit to ‘start BJP campaign’ as it would embolden the RSS-affiliate body.Meanwhile, the Christian Forum wrote: “In a carefully prepared plan, RSS has founded legal activism group called Legal Rights Observatory under command of former RSS Pracharak Vinay Joshi from Mumbai… At present LRO has focused Meghalaya Christians.”Earlier this year, LRO had alleged religious discrimination after Kulam Nongrum — a priest of the local ‘Niam Khasi’ faith — was not allowed to be cremated at the traditional crematory.The organisation had accused missionaries to have ‘used’ children from two schools to foment protest. Responding to the complaint NCPCR had ordered for an enquiry.Emboldened by the LRO campaign, a petition had been filed in the Meghalaya High Court over denial of crematorium to people of indigenous faith, in which case the HC fined several people for “disrespecting” the Constitution on December 7 saying that it never put any restrictions on any person’s faith.”Violent protests were orchestrated forcing the cremation venue to be changed. The violent undemocratic behaviour of Catholics in Meghalaya has now gone beyond tolerance. Indian Catholic leadership is showing inherent animosity, cultured arrogance and nurtured hatred towards indigenous faiths of India,” Vinay Joshi told DNA.

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Divide in SC Collegium over making its decisions public

The rift and the cracks within the Supreme Court Collegium appear to have widened with the emergence of two letters penned by Justices Kurian Joseph and Madan Lokur expressing their reservations on the issue of publication of the body’s resolutions.In a bid to make processes transparent, the top court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on October 6 passed a resolution wherein the decisions taken by them would be uploaded online “to ensure transparency and yet maintain confidentiality in the Collegium system”.The historic move has come shortly after the Collegium came under fire after Karnataka High Court judge Justice Jayant Patel resigned over his transfer to Allahabad High Court.The collegium — comprising top five senior most judges of the top court — have often been criticised for its closed door decisions. In fact, Standing by his point, Justice Chelameswar refused to participate in the Collegium meetings unless the minutes of the meeting were recorded.It has now emerged that Justices Joseph and Lokur — who are the fourth and fifth senior most judges — had expressed their reservation before the resolution was passed on grounds that the rights of persons mentioned in the resolutions outweighed against the goal of transparency.In an October 7 letter, Justice Joseph wrote: “…you have in breach of the trust reposed in you, in violation of the mandate of the resolutions and in total defiance of the request of your sister and brother judges, chosen to upload the text of the resolutions which contained information which might violate human rights of some persons, if not other rights, who are still to continue as judicial officers…””If three out of five of the Collegium request you to have further discussions on the issue, are you not bound by such request?…All of us are seriously interested in transparency. But should we also not respect the rights of others affected by our attempt to be transparent? Have we not in the history of the collegium, where you are a member, made such revisits?” Justice Lokur’s letter read.If one goes by what Justice Lokur has suggested in his letter, the collegium system does not seem to be following the advise of the majority and unilateral decisions are being taken by a select few.Though it is not known if Justice Ranjan Gogoi, the third senior most judge — and possibly CJI Misra’s successor, has sent out a communiqué, from Justice Lokur’s letter it appears that he too, was not completely sold on the transparency idea and had advised “further discussion.”The resolution, which was uploaded on the SC’s official website under a dedicated tab, bears the signature of all five judges. However, every decision uploaded thereafter has been signed by the top three judges only.Justice Chelameswar, who was part of the Constitution Bench that struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, has been a champion for transparency in the collegium system and was the sole dissenter. In the judgment, he wrote a strongly worded observation criticizing the collegium system for its opacity.FOR TRANSPARENCYThe Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on October 6 passed a resolution wherein the decisions taken by them would be uploaded online “to ensure transparency and yet maintain confidentiality”.

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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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Karnataka High Court strikes down 85% pictorial warning rule for tobacco products

The Karnataka High Court on Friday struck down the 2014 amendment rules that mandated pictorial health warnings to cover 85 per cent of tobacco product packaging space, holding that they violated Constitutional norms.However, the court made it clear that the 40 per cent pictorial health warning rule, which existed prior to the amendment rules, would remain in force.A division bench comprising Justices B S Patil and B V Nagarathna passed the order on a batch of petitions filed by various tobacco manufacturing companies and others from across the country, challenging the 85 per cent pictorial warning rule notified by the Union Health Ministry.The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014 (COTPA) came into effect from April 1 last year.In May last year, the Supreme Court had transferred all petitions against the 85 per cent rule filed in various high courts to the Karnataka High Court and asked it to hear and dispose of them.Passing its orders, the high court bench held that the Union Health Ministry does not have any jurisdictional power to make such rules.The court said even if the health ministry enjoyed power to make such rules, they violated constitutional norms as it was an “unreasonable restriction” on the right to do business.From the perspective of tobacco growers, such a rule violated the Right To Equality under Article 14 of the Constitution because there was no connection between the images and the warnings, the bench observed.The petitioners, the Tobacco Institute of India and others, had challenged enforcement of the COTPA which required printing of pictorial health warnings covering 85 per cent of tobacco product packages.The petitioners argued the rules were impractical and would boost smuggling of imported cigarettes.The tobacco industry had said there was no evidence to show smoking causes the diseases depicted in the “extremely gruesome and unreasonable” pictures.The bench observed that the rules cannot be made to scare people but to issue notifications.The industry also said the global average size for graphic health warnings (GHWs) was only about 30 per cent of the principal display area.Moreover, the top three cigarette consuming countries– the US, China and Japan which together account for 51 per cent of global cigarette consumption–have only text based warnings and not adopted GHWs.

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India promises to work with newly-elected Left alliance in Nepal

India today congratulated the newly-elected alliance in Nepal and said it looks forward to working with the democratically-elected government to advance close and multifaceted partnership.Welcoming the conduct of parliamentary polls and first ever provincial elections in the Himalayan nation, External affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India has age-old, unique, time tested ties of friendship with Nepal.”We look forward to working with the next democratically elected government in Nepal to advance our close and multifaceted partnership across all sectors and to support Nepal in its pursuit of peace, stability, economic prosperity and all round development,” he said.Also readNepal polls: Left gets 116 out of 165 seats, to form next govtThe clear victory to the Left alliance- CPN-UML led by former premier K P Oli and the CPN-Maoist led by former premier Prachanda- is not seen as a positive development for India.Oli has publicly criticised New Delhi for interfering in Nepal’s internal matters and accused it of toppling his government last year. CPN-Maoist chairman Prachanda today lashed out at the Nepali Congress leaders for dubbing the Left alliance as “authoritarian” and said that his coalition will lead the nation in line with the Constitution.The CPN-Maoist led by former premier Prachanda and CPN- UML led by former premier K P Oli had forged electoral alliance for both the provincial and parliamentary elections.The Left alliance bagged 116 seats out of a total 165 under the first-past-the-post system in parliamentary polls.”I don’t want to say anything to those friends who spread rumour and wrong publicity,” Prachanda said, adding that the allegations against the Left coalition will be proved wrong in the near future.”We will not move against the sentiment of federal democratic republic constitution and we will lead the nation in line with the Constitution,” he added.During the recently concluded elections, there were charges levelled by the Nepali Congress leaders that the Maoists would impose autocratic system through Constitutional amendment if they get two-third majority in the elections.”It was wrongly publicised that the country will head towards uncertainty after the victory of Left alliance,” Prachanda told journalists in Chitawan district.Prachanda has been elected as a member of the House of Representatives from Chitawan district constituency No. 3.He said that the Left alliance is the pro-people group.The Left alliance was formed with key agenda of bringing political stability, economic development and prosperity in the country and the huge mandate it garnered in the election implies that the people endorsed the agenda, he added.He assured Nepalese people that the Left alliance would work as per the aspirations of people and thus fulfill the commitments it made during the election campaign.The CPN-UML won 80 seats, which is close to 50 per cent of the total 165 seats under the direct voting system. The CPN-Maoist and the Nepali Congress have won 36 and 23 seats respectively.The Left alliance would form a government at the centre.CPN-UML chairman Oli is likely to lead the new government. In the provincial assembly, out of a total 330 seats, the CPN-UML secured highest number of 168 seats followed by the Maoist Centre with 73 seats.Voting in two-phased parliamentary and provincial assembly elections were held on November 26 and December 7.

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Will leave Modi govt with no choice but to pass Women’s Reservation Bill: Rahul Gandhi

Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi said today that the party would leave the Centre with no choice but to ensure the passage of a Bill which provides for 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state assemblies, and hinted at major changes within the party organisation in favour of them.Addressing the All India Mahila Congress-organised “I am Courage” event, he said that the Congress would build pressure on the ruling party for an early passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill or the Constitution (108th Amendment) Bill in Parliament.Gandhi, who will formally take over as the Congress president later this week, said as the party “don’t have a woman president anymore, we have to compensate for that”.He said that the party had exerted pressure on the government for bringing pro-people changes in the Goods and Services Tax, which he had earlier described as ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’.”The same way we will give a clear message to the government that it will have to bring women reservation. The Congress party will not give any choice to it. We will fulfil the role of the opposition party in doing so,” he said.This was Gandhi’s first address at a public function after being elected the Congress president.He said he has done so since he accorded importance to women, who will have to play an important role in spreading the Congress ideology across the country.Gandhi said on one hand is the ideology of the BJP and the RSS, where women have no role and cannot enter their functions, while on the other side is the Congress ideology.Hinting at a larger role for women in the Congress party, he said, “I have come here to give one clear message that the biggest change in the party will be for women.” Gandhi’s comments for a bigger role for women in the party came amid speculation that his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra may also play some active political role in the party under his leadership.”We have to work on transforming the Congress party and a fundamental part of that transformation, in my mind, is going to be the role of women in the Congress party at every single level. There is a central difference between the people we fight, between the BJP and us,” he said while narrating how women were around Mahatma Gandhi and never seen at RSS events.The Congress president-elect said there should be a road map for the coming times and will have to systematically and actively prepare women at every level in the party to contest elections and ensure they have their representation.”We have to mention Congress President Sonia Gandhi Ji who has pushed your agenda, sometimes silently but mostly openly and she has helped push a number of women forward.Unfortunately we don’t have a woman president anymore. So we have to compensate for that and see woman chief ministers in states. We will work on that together,” he said.Gandhi also lauded the Congress general secretary and secretaries in Gujarat, who launched a vigorous campaign in the state and connected very well with the workers and the people of the state, and said their act needs to be replicated in other states too.”I have seen the way the merger of the Congress state unit and people of Gujarat, I want such work to be replicated in every state – respect public and hear them out and together systematically contest elections,” he said.He also also lauded the role of Sheila Dikshit as the Delhi chief minister for many years for which the party respects her, but who had to suffer a “nasty and untruthful” campaign against her.Among others who were present at the function include Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, former union ministers Anand Sharma and and Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev.Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and former union minister Mohsina Kidwai inaugurated the “I am Courage” workshop today.

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12 special courts to try cases against politicians: Govt to Supreme Court

The Centre Tuesday told the Supreme Court that it will set up 12 special courts to speed up trials in pending cases involving MPs and MLAs in the country.These special courts would adjudicate 1571 criminal cases pending against lawmakers. The scheme for establishing these special courts is ready, the court was told. Decisions regarding requirement of additional courts will be taken in due course.According to the affidavit, more time was required to compile the nationwide data on pendency of cases against MLAs and MPs.According to data compiled by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), affidavits filed by politicians at the time of submitting nomination papers for 2014 general election and Assembly polls showed that 1,581 cases were pending against politicians. Ten cases were later dropped due to death of the politicians named in the cases.It may be recalled that the Supreme Court had asked the Centre and the Election Commission for their response to a PIL seeking to restrain convicted politicians from holding any posts in political parties.The PIL sought directions to the Centre and the Election Commission to frame guidelines to decriminalise the electoral system and ensure inner-party democracy as proposed by the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC).The petition also named several politicians who have been convicted or have charges framed against them but continue to hold posts in political parties and “wielding political power.” It points out that now even a person who has been convicted for heinous crimes like murder, rape, smuggling, money laundering, loot, sedition, or dacoity can form a political party and become its president.

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PM Modi congratulates Rahul Gandhi for becoming Congress President, wishes him a fruitful tenure

On Monday, PM Modi put aside political bitterness and rivalry to congratulate Rahul Gandhi on his elevation as Congress President. He wrote on Twitter: “I congratulate Rahul Ji on his election as Congress President. My best wishes for a fruitful tenure. @OfficeOfRG.”Rahul Gandhi has been elected unopposed as Congress president, party’s central election authority head Mullappally Ramachandran announced here today. Rahul Gandhi will collect the certificate formally declaring his ascension to the post on December 16, he told reporters here.Also readGujarat elections 2017: Rahul Gandhi visits Dakor temple, continues attack on NaMoThe 47-year-old scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family was the lone candidate in the fray.Also readGujarat elections 2017 | Final leg: PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat todayRahul Gandhi succeeds his mother Sonia Gandhi, who remained in the post for 19 years.The CEA received a total of 89 nomination papers proposing Rahul Gandhi’s name for the top post. All the nomination papers were found to be valid, Ramachandran said.Also readGujarat elections 2017 | I am still your own Narendrabhai: PM Modi”Since the withdrawal of date/time is over and as there is only one candidate (Rahul), as per Article XVII (d) of the Constitution of Indian National Congress, I hereby declare Shri Rahul Gandhi elected as president of the Indian National Congress,” Ramachandran said.Rahul Gandhi became the vice-president of the party in January 2013.

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Act against terror in haste, V-P M Venkaiah Naidu tells UN

Asserting that commitment to human rights is a part of Indian culture, and that India has respected the rights of others since time immemorial, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu asked the world community, especially the UN, to take firm action against countries who indulge in terror and rights violation as a “state policy”.Asserting that Indian government, be it the present one or the earlier ones, believed in peaceful coexistence, he said some countries with terrorism as state policy are aiding, abetting and funding terror.”I hope that UN security council will complete consultations at the earliest and come to a conclusion to take firm action against terror, else peaceful coexistence will become difficult,” Naidu said.”We all believe in Sarve Jana Sukhna Bhavantu, that is, all people should live together peacefully, and we believe in the principle of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam, that the entire universe is one family. Even the so-called discussion on civil rights and minority rights are not guaranteed simply because of Constitution, but because they are in our DNA,” said Naidu.Naidu was speaking at a function held by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to commemorate the World Human Rights Day at Vigyan Bhawan on Sunday.Naidu said secularism, which was included in the Constitution at a later date, is ingrained in our DNA from the beginning.Conceding that there are definitely some incidents (of human rights violation), Naidu said they need to be condemned, isolated and dealt strictly by the government and meted out punishment to act as a deterrent.Terming caste and communalism as major challenges to Indian democracy that have potential to disrupt peaceful coexistence in the muti-cultural and multi-religious Indian society, Naidu said these challenges are sometimes exploited for personal, political and sectarian gains which needs to tackled.Naidu also took a dig on human rights organisations who come out to protect terrorists who kill others and then come and seek their human rights.

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SC dismisses plea seeking one nation, one syllabus for children aged 6-14

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea seeking ‘one nation and one syllabus’ for children aged 6-14 years throughout the country.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said that a common syllabus is not possible and dismissed the petition. Senior advocate Sajan Poovayya, appearing for primary school teacher Neeta Upadhaya, wife of BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhaya, said that introduction of common education system will advance the objective behind the Right to Education (RTE) Act.To this the bench said that court can’t do this and common syllabus can’t be introduced. The petitioner had sought a direction to the Centre in spirit of the Article 21A of the Constitution and to establish “One Nation-One Education Board” system. The plea had saidthat introduction of the new system would substitute the existing multi-board system like Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) board and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).Also readGovt to track children with Aadhaar to bring down number of out of school childrenIt also sought a direction for introduction of a common textbook having chapters on the Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties, Directive Principles and the Great Golden Goals as set out in Preamble of the Constitution and make its study compulsory for all the children aged 6-14 years throughout the country. Upadhaya had said that Article 21A of the Constitution makes education a fundamental right of children but the executive has not introduced common education system in spirit of the provisions.The plea said that injury is caused to the children because prevailing education system does not provide equal opportunity to all the children in spirit of the Article 16 and Preamble of the Constitution, as syllabus and curriculum are very different.

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SC to examine 157-yr-old law on adultery punishing only men

The Supreme Court today agreed to examine the constitutional validity of a colonial era law on adultery which punishes only the man even though the woman, with whom he has had consensual sex, may be an equal partner.The top court also said if the husband gives consent for sexual intercourse between his wife and another man, then it nullifies the offence of adultery and turns the woman into a commodity, which goes against the principle of gender justice and the constitutional mandate of right to equality.Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code states that “whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery”.Also readApp to adultery finds 1.9L takersThe offence of adultery entails punishment of up to five years or with fine or with both. However, in such cases, the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud termed the provision a “prima facie archaic” and said this “tantamounts to subordination of a woman where the Constitution confers equal status”.Also readReader Edit: Adultery in the Armed Forces”A time has come when the society must realise that a woman is equal to a man in every field. This provision, prima facie, appears to be quite archaic. When the society progresses and the rights are conferred, the new generation of thoughts spring, and that is why, we are inclined to issue notice,” the bench said.It said it would examine the constitutional validity of the 157-year-old provision and issued notice to the Centre, seeking its response in four weeks.The court said it needs to examine why a married woman, who may have been an equal partner to the offence of adultery with a married man who is not her husband, should not be punished along with the man.Secondly, the bench said it will examine if the husband of a woman gives his consent or connives for sexual intercourse with another married man, then does it not turn her into a commodity.”Prima facie, on a perusal of Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, we find that it grants relief to the wife by treating her as a victim. It is also worthy to note that when an offence is committed by both of them, one is liable for criminal offence but the other is absolved,” it said.The top court said the provision seems to be based on a “societal presumption” and ordinarily, the criminal law proceeds on gender neutrality but in this case, “as we perceive, the said concept is absent”.”That apart, it is to be seen when there is conferment of any affirmative right on women, can it go to the extent of treating them as the victim, in all circumstances, to the peril of the husband,” the bench said.It said when the provision is perceived from the language employed in the section, then the “fulcrum of the offence is destroyed once the consent or the connivance of the husband is established”.”Viewed from the said scenario, the provision really creates a dent on the individual, independent identity of a woman when the emphasis is laid on the connivance or the consent of the husband”, it said.During the hearing, Justice Chandrachud observed that at present, the law assumes a “patronising attitude” towards the woman and treats her as a victim which amounts to violation of a fundamental right and gender discrimination.Advocates Kaleeswaram Raj and Suvidutt M S, appearing for petitioner Joseph Shine, an Indian citizen but residing in Italy, said section 497 was “prima facie unconstitutional on the ground that it discriminates against men and violates Article 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of”.He said “when the sexual intercourse takes place with the consent of both the parties, there is no good reason for excluding one party from the liability”.The lawyer said the provision also indirectly discriminates against women by holding an erroneous presumption that they are the property of men.”This is further evidenced by the fact that if adultery is engaged with the consent of the husband of the woman, then such act seizes to be an offence punishable under the code,” he told the bench.He said the said provisions have been treated to be constitutionally valid in three verdicts of the apex court in 1954, 1985 and in 1988.Raj said that petitioner has also challenged the Section 198(2) of CrPC, which deals with prosecution for offences against marriages.

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Mani Shankar Aiyar is a BJP mole in Congress: Twitter reacts to to his ‘neech’ comment against PM Modi

It appears Mani Shankar Aiyar can’t spend three days without getting into trouble. After a faux paus which was gleefully jumped on by PM Modi and other BJP members where Aiyar’s elaborate analogy to explain why Congress wasn’t like Mughal rule fell flat, Aiyar was at it again when he called the PM ‘neech’.Speaking later about the incident, Mani Shankar Aiyar apologised and said that when he said ‘neech’ he meant ‘low level’. He told ANI: “Why was PM taking a jibe at Congress and Rahul Gandhi at inauguration of a Centre on Baba Saheb Ambedkar? Everyday PM is using foul language against our leaders. I am a freelance Congressi, I hold no post in the party, so I can reply to PM in his language.”He added: “I meant low level when I said ‘neech’, I think in English when I speak in Hindi as Hindi is not my mother tongue. So, if it has some other meaning then I apologize.”Also readMani Shankar Aiyar ‘neech’ comment: PM calls it deplorable, Rahul demands apologyHis comment dew a sharp reaction from the PM who dubbed it as an “insult” to Gujarat and a reflection of “Mughal mentality”.Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too disapproved of Aiyar’s remarks and said both he and the party expected the senior leader to apologise.Also readMani Shankar Aiyar slips, refers to Mughal rule for Rahul Gandhi’s nomination”He (Modi) is ‘neech kism ka aadmi’ (a vile man) who has no ‘sabhyata’ (civility),” Aiyar, who has often courted controversy with his off-the-cuff remarks said, attacking Modi after the latter accused the Congress of seeking votes in B R Ambedkar’s but trying to erase his contribution to building India.The prime minister, while inaugurating the Ambedkar International Centre had earlier today hit out at the Congress, saying parties seeking votes in the name of the architect of the Indian Constitution’s name tried to erase his contribution to nation building.”Such was his (Ambedkar’s) incredible strength that when years after his demise efforts were made by such people to crush his philosophy, when efforts were made to erase his contribution towards nation building, his ideals could not be wiped out from people’s memory,” he said.He said he would not be wrong in saying that “more people are still influenced by his (Ambedkar’s) ideas than the family for which such efforts (to erase his contribution) were made”.Aiyar asked Modi “What is the need for doing dirty politics on such an occasion?”.Modi, who was in Surat, latched on to Aiyar’s comments, saying it was an insult to Gujarat.”Mani Shankar Aiyar today said I belong to ‘neech’ caste, I am ‘neech’ (vile), this is an insult to Gujarat,” he told an election rally.”This is Mughal mentality which hates people who even wear good clothes,” he said but asked BJP workers and supporters not to respond to Aiyar’s remarks.The Congress too strongly disapproved of Aiyar’s remarks, with party vice president Rahul Gandhi saying he and the party expected the leader to tender an apology.”BJP and PM routinely use filthy language to attack the Congress party. The Congress has a different culture and heritage. I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mr Mani Shankar Aiyer to address the PM. Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said,” Gandhi said on Twitter.Here’s how Twitter reacted: With inputs from PTI
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Ambedkar memorial work to begin at Indu Mills in a month, CM Fadnavis announces

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said that the actual work of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar memorial at Indu Mills will start within a month.Fadnavis made the announcement at Chaityabhoomi in Central Mumbai after paying tribute to Dr BR Ambedkar.People from across Maharashtra and various parts of the country come to Chityabhoomi at Shivaji Park on December 6, to marks the death anniversary of Ambedkar.The 12 acres of Indu Mill land was transferred to the state government in March this year.Also readTribute to the Father of Indian Constitution: All you need to know about Babasaheb Ambedkar Meanwhile, the construction cost of 350-foot-long Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial is likely to be above Rs 750 crore as the single bidder that has shown interest in constructing it has quoted almost 25 % more than the estimation of Rs 622 crore anticipated by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).The MMRDA had floated bids for construction of Ambedkar Memorail in April 2017 at an estimated cost of Rs 550 crore; however, after receiving only a single bidder, the bids were re-floated at Rs 622 crore in the first week of November. The reason for escalation in cost was the proposed use of special steel for the Memorial considering it is near Arabian Sea and the steel has to be anti-corrosion.Also readBabasaheb Ambedkar’s bust unveiled at Canada’s York UniversityMeanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid homage to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on death anniversary.The Prime Minister tweeted: “I bow to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on his Mahaparinirvan Diwas.””Felt extremely blessed when I prayed at Chaitya Bhoomi in Mumbai. Sharing some pictures from that visit,” he said in another tweet.Related Photos
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Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s followers pay tribute at Chaityabhoomi
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Transgender bookseller at Dadar makes a statement

Disha Pinky Shaikh, a 33-year-old transgender from Ahmednagar, is in Shivaji Park to run a stall to sell books during the Mahaparinirvan congregation to observe Dr Ambedkar’s death anniversary. The rains did play spoilsport on Tuesday; however, she hopes that Wednesday will be better. Disha is the first transgender to run a book stall during the event.Along with the books on Ambedkar, Disha’s stall also sells books on gender issues. She says that the huge gathering of people at Shivaji Park should be exposed to gender issues along with books on Ambedkar’s teachings.Every year on December 6 lakhs of followers of Ambedkar gather at the Chaityabhoomi to commemorate his death anniversary. As memorabilia, they buy books on Ambedkar, Buddhism, and related issues from the stalls set up there.Disha believes that it is because of drafting of the Constitution, in which Ambedkar played a vital role, that she is able to have some rights of her own. “I am drawn to Ambedkar and his writing on Buddhism. I don’t belong to the Buddhist faith; however, I like reading about the faith. I am the first transgender to have a book stall here and am hopeful that this will inspire others in my community,” said Disha.
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Uniform Civil Code not possible, says Law Commission Chairman

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is almost impossible to implement and personal laws cannot be scrapped as it will violate the constitution, Law Commission Chairman Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan said on Tuesday.“Personal laws can never be done away with as they have constitutional protection,” Justice Chauhan said according to a News18 report.“UCC is not possible. We will try to recommend religion-wise amendments in family laws. It would be the piecemeal way to suggest what are the changes required in Hindu law, Muslim law, Christian law, Parsi law, etc. We will target the problems of each religion and deal with them accordingly. We cannot take the whole UCC, as we cannot go outside the constitution,”Justice Chauhan said.Also readLaw Commission to go slow on report on uniform civil code; await SC verdict on triple talaqJustice Chauhan also said that all traditions and customs of the various sections are protected by the constitution so UCC is not possible to be implemented. Since personal laws are part of the constitution under Article 25, it cannot be scrapped. Justice Chauhan also said that the constitution already guarantees many exemptions to various sections of the society so UCC is “not a solution and there cannot be a composite act”.Also readTriple Talaq, Uniform Civil Code, and the way aheadEarlier, the Narendra Modi-govt had asked the Law Commission to examine the implementation of the ‘one law, one nation’ issue. The BJP has been pushing for the Uniform Civil Code and it has been a long standing electoral promise by them. The Uniform Civil Code has been one of the contentious issue ever since the triple talaq issue became a highly publicised debate.The UCC means implementation of one law on issues like marriage, divorce/separation and inheritance, which will be uniformly be applicable for all Indians irrespective of religion, caste, and community. The UCC is to ensure that the citizens are all governed by a single law. India being a diverse country consisting of various communities that have different personal laws based on many beliefs, the idea of UCC was to ensure implementation of one law irrespective of any section of the society.
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Time has come for country to be led by ‘khandaani person like Rahul Gandhi’: Navjot Singh Sidhu

Last week, Maharashtra Congress Secretary Shehzad Poonawalla claimed that the election was rigged and said it was merely a 'selection' process.
On Gandhi's faith controversy, the Punjab's Local Bodies Minister said, 'God is within each of us as we are a secular community. It is the spirit of the Constitution that there should be no discrimination on the basis of caste, colour and creed.' ”
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–><!–end of breadcrumbx–>Time has come for country to be led by ‘khandaani person like Rahul Gandhi’: Navjot Singh Sidhu Rahul Gandhi
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Saturday 2 December 2017 19:05 ISTMust readBJP the original pro-Hindutva party, why go for ‘clone’, Arun Jaitley taunts Rahul GandhiTender notice issued for police township<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday came out in support of Rahul Gandhi days after a leader questioned the party’s presidential election process.Speaking to media, Sidhu said, ‘I have always been saying that Rahul Gandhi has a ‘khandaani’ (vast political) background. I believe that Rahul Gandhi has matured a lot and the time has come that the country is led by a ‘khandaani’ person like Rahul Gandhi.’Last week, Maharashtra Congress Secretary Shehzad Poonawalla claimed that the election was rigged and said it was merely a ‘selection’ process.On Gandhi’s faith controversy, the Punjab’s Local Bodies Minister said, ‘God is within each of us as we are a secular community. It is the spirit of the Constitution that there should be no discrimination on the basis of caste, colour and creed.’
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After drubbing in UP civic polls, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati invoke tampered EVM allegations

A day after humiliating defeat in Uttar Pradesh civic polls, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday blamed the ‘rigged’ EVMs for the verdict.Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati alleged the BJP tampered with the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the Uttar Pradesh civic body polls.“The BJP has tampered with the EVMs in the assembly elections of 2017, as they did back in 2014. Even in these civil body elections, they tampered the electoral process, otherwise our mayors would have won. Overall they were unable to make us lose, as the BSP came second in position,” Mayawati said in Lucknow. She was visiting the UP capital to pay a tribute to Buddhist monk Pragyaji.Mayawati further said it was not just the Dalits, but other communities like the Backward Classses and the Muslims also supported them in the polls.“We are taking with us people from all communities because BSP believes in ‘Sarvjan hitae, Sarvjan Sukhaye’ (everybody’s interest and everybody’s happiness). When we won in Uttar Pradesh, we ran our government on this slogan. What is good for us is that along with Dalits, the upper class, and the Backward Classes and the minority sections,” she added.She further challenged the BJP to remove the EVMs and start using ballot papers.“I challenge the BJP today. If they are honest and believe in the Constitution, then they should remove the EVMs and start using ballot papers. If they claim that the nation is with them, they should keep aside the EVMs and put up ballot papers. If they hold elections with ballot papers, they will not win,” she said.The BJP secured a massive victory in the civic polls in Uttar Pradesh on Friday.The BSP won the mayoral posts in Aligarh and Meerut. Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party failed to win a single mayoral seat.Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav also joined the rigged EVM chorus and said that the places where ballot boxes were used, SP got more votes.“BJP says a total of 16 elections have been held in UP, out of which 14 were won by BJP, 2 by BSP and Congress-SP disappeared. We say that BJP’s wining percentage is 46% wherever polls were conducted via EVMs and 15% when it was done via ballot papers,” Akhilesh Yadav said in Kolkata.
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AAP govt vs Centre: We would lay down principles on status of Delhi, says SC

The Supreme Court, hearing pleas on whether the Lieutenant Governor or the Delhi government enjoyed supremacy in administration, today said it would only lay down the principles on the status of the national capital under the Constitution.A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it would not deal with the issues arising out of individual notifications issued by the Delhi government on matters like the ‘mohalla clinics’ and regularisation of guest teachers. “We must lay down guidelines as to what the Constitution has provided to them (the Lieutenant Governor and the Delhi government),” the bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, said.The observation was made when Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh, arguing on behalf of the Centre, referred to various notifications of the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government to buttress his submission that these were issued in violation of the prescribed norms. “We are not going to deal with as to whether a particular notification was ultra-vires or illegal. We are not going to decide the individual challenges to those notifications. We will decide as to what is the status of Delhi and what kind of state is this,” the apex court observed.Also readAAP govt vs Centre: Delhi can’t have exclusive executive powers, Supreme Court toldIt said the issues of individual notification may be referred to a bench of two or three judges after the constitution bench lays down the principles or guidelines on the dispute. At the outset, the ASG referred to several decisions taken by the AAP government on issues like ‘mohalla clinics’, regularisation of guest teachers and posting of Bihar officials in its Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB). “Even if Delhi government has vertical and exclusive executive powers, it cannot take such decisions,” he said, adding “the ACB is a police station which works under the LG. When it is working under the LG, then under which exclusive executive power you can bring officers from Bihar”.A bill to regularise guest teachers was brought without it being dealt with by the law department and this was the “constitutional statesmanship” shown by the Delhi government, Singh said in a sarcastic tone. He then referred to a decision of the Kejriwal government to declare a bungalow allocated to its minister, as the office of the ruling Aam Admi Party. “Of course, they are entitled to a party office. The land was earmarked for this purpose at Saket. Still they, on their own, decided to give the minister’s residence to the party,” he said. The ASG, while concluding his submissions, said DANICS (the NCT of Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli Civil Service) is a group civil service of the Centre but still Delhi government took the decisions.Also readAAP govt vs Centre: Constitution provides restriction on Delhi’s legislative power, says Supreme CourtThe bench dispelled the apprehensions of the Centre that it would deal with specific notifications of Delhi government. Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for a company, dealt with the decision of Delhi government to register an FIR against then Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and others over alleged irregularities in raising of gas prices. Can a state government register an FIR against sitting Union Cabinet ministers and private company in matters pertaining to policy decision of fixing the gas price, Singhvi asked and said in a federal set-up, such actions would “lead to chaos”.Another senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for an official, said the Commission of Enquiry Act and the General Clauses Act provided that the appropriate government for ordering an enquiry would be the Centre. The court would now resume hearing on December 5 when counsel for the Delhi government would advance rejoinder submissions. Earlier, the Centre had refuted the AAP government’s charge that the LG sits over its proposals and files and had asserted that 96 per cent of its decisions were approved by the LG within 2-3 days.The top court is hearing a clutch of appeals filed by the AAP government challenging Delhi High Court’s verdict holding LG as the administrative head of the national capital. The Centre had also said the Delhi government cannot have “exclusive” executive powers as it would be against national interests. It had referred to the 1989 Balakrishnan committee report that had dealt with reasons for not granting the status of state to Delhi.It had referred to the Constitution, the 1991 Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act and the Transaction of Business of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules to drive home the point that the President, the union government and the LG had supremacy over the city dispensation in administering the national capital.On the other hand, the Delhi government had accused the LG of making a “mockery of democracy”, saying he was either taking decisions of an elected government or substituting them without having any power.
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13-year-old rape victim moves Bombay High Court to terminate 26-week-old foetus

A 13-year-old victim of rape on Thursday approached the Bombay High Court seeking permission to terminate her 26-week pregnancy.The girl’s father has sought the permission for abortion on the ground that she is physically not capable to bear and deliver a baby and that she be saved from the mental and physical anguish that may be caused to her if she continues with the pregnancy.On the plea of the girl’s father, a bench of justices Shantanu Kemkar and G S Kulkarni directed the civic-run KEM Hospital’s medical board of expert doctors to examine her present health condition to determine whether a medical termination of pregnancy will be safe at this stage.Abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy is not allowed in the country under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act.According to the plea, the girl was repeatedly raped by her cousin, who used to live in the house of her parents.Also readHC seeks cops reply on minor rape victim’s plea agst JJB orderThe pregnancy came to light on November 7 after the girl complained of pains in the abdomen and was subsequently taken to a doctor by her parents.Subsequently, an FIR was registered by the police on November 17.A compulsory medical test of the victim revealed that she was 24-weeks pregnant at that time.The plea argued that considering the young age of the victim, she must not be forced to continue with the pregnancy that was the result of rape.”Forcing the girl to continue with an unwanted pregnancy will deprive her of her right to safeguard the privacy of procreation, motherhood and child-bearing, as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution,” the petitioner said.The plea also cited research claiming that the “risk of maternal mortality could be five times higher for mothers aged 10 to 14 than for those aged above 20 years”.
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I am Lashkar-e-Taiba’s biggest supporter, was always in favor of action in Kashmir: Pervez Musharraf

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan’s former dictator Pervez Musharraf, who faces treason charges, told a news channel that he is the biggest supporter of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its founder Hafiz Saeed.Hafiz Saeed, who was released from house arrest in Lahore, is the founder of LeT and also the chief of Jammat-ud-Dawa (JuD).Speaking to Pakistan’s ARY News, Musharraf said, “I am the biggest supporter of LeT and I know they like me and JuD also likes me.” ALSO READ With promised comeback to Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf forms ‘grand alliance’He also said that he likes Hafiz Saeed, and have met him.In May 2008, the United States Department of the Treasury designated Saeed as Terrorist and the Jamat- ud-Dawah (JuD) was declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the United States in June 2014.Musharraf also said that he was in favour of action in Kashmir. “I was always in favour of action in Kashmir and of supporting Indian Army in Kashmir. They are the biggest force (LeT), India got them declared as terrorist by partnering with the US,” he said. Musharraf also said that they (LeT) is involved in Kashmir and in Kashmir, it is between us (Pakistan) and India. ALSO READ Remembering 26/11: Hafiz Saeed’s release shows Pakistan not serious about bringing perpetrators to justiceSince he left Pakistan in March 2016, Musharraf is staying in Dubai. He faces several charges, including treason for abrogating the Constitution and declaring the emergency in 2007.

Arvind Kejriwal vs Centre: Delhi can’t have exclusive executive powers, Supreme Court told

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government cannot have “exclusive” executive powers as it would be against national interests, the Centre today told the Supreme Court.Referring to the report of a committee and several apex court judgements, the Centre submitted before a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that a union territory (UT) cannot be raised to the level of a state under the Constitution and it has to be administered by the President of India.”Designation does not change status. A union territory (Delhi) remains a union territory and it is not equivalent to a state. The Lieutenant Governor is not equivalent to Governors of states,” Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, arguing for the Centre, told the bench which also included Justices comprised Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan.The top court is hearing a clutch of appeals filed by the AAP government challenging Delhi High Court’s verdict holding LG as the administrative head of the national capital.Singh said every UT was to be governed by the President and the power of the President does not diminish with regard to Delhi.”No exclusive executive power is with the Delhi government and granting exclusive power would not be in the national interest,” the law officer said while referring to the report of a panel that had dealt with the powers which can be conferred to the local government of the national capital.The bench then referred to the constitutional provision and said that neither the Lieutenant Governor, nor the council of minister can take decisions on their own.Citing various judgements to buttress his submissions, Singh said unlike states, the LG was not bound by the aid and advice of council of ministers and the ultimate authority lied with the President.”The arguments from the other side (AAP government) has been that though I am a UT, but raise my level to the status of a state. This cannot be done,” he said.The advancing of arguments remained inconclusive and would resume tomorrow.Earlier, the central government had said the Constitution did not provide “vertical division” of powers between the Centre and Delhi which enjoys a special status among all UTs.It had referred to the Constitution, the 1991 Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act and the Transaction of Business of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules to drive home the point that the President, the union government and the LG had supremacy over the city dispensation in administering the national capital.The Centre had maintained that the national capital belonged to all Indians and not just to those residing in Delhi, while also arguing that Article 239AA of Constitution, which deals with power and status of Delhi, was a “complete code” in itself.Parliament has made it clear that Delhi was a union territory and there was no doubt about it and the city government was empowered to take care of daily utilities of the national capital but the real administrative powers were vested with the Centre and the President, it had said.On the other hand, the Delhi government had accused the LG of making a “mockery of democracy”, saying he was either taking decisions of an elected government or substituting them without having any power.

NK Singh will head Finance Commission

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The central government appointed former expenditure and revenue secretary NK Singh as head of the 15th Finance Commission and former secretary of department of economic affairs Shaktikanta Das as India’s G20 Sherpa till December 2018 on Monday. Normally, the deputy chairperson of erstwhile Planning Commission represents the country at the G20 Summit. Das has also been appointed as a member of the Finance Commission to work with Singh.In a notification issued on Monday, the government said Singh, as head of the Finance Commission, will decide on the devolution of tax revenue between the Centre and the state governments. Other members will include Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Anoop Singh, Non-Executive Chairman at Bandhan Bank Ashok Lahiri and Niti Aayog Member Ramesh Chand. Arvind Mehta will be the Secretary to the commission. The Commission is set up every five years and reviews finances, deficit and debt levels of the Centre and the states.The panel also suggests devolution of taxes between the states and the Centre.The government has already set aside an amount of Rs 10 crore in the current financial year for the constitution of the Finance Commission. The 14th Finance Commission was set up on January 2, 2013. Its recommendations covered the period from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2020. “Normally, it takes two years for the Finance Commission to give its recommendations,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after the Union Cabinet approved setting of the Commission on November 22. He said the 15th Finance Commission recommendation will be applicable by 2020.NK Singh was also a member of the Planning Commission as well as Secretary to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He was also elected to the Rajya Sabha as the member of JD(U) in 2008, but he quit the party and joined the BJP in the run up to 2014 Lok Sabha elections when JD(U) decided to contest separately.Earlier, he headed a committee to suggest a future fiscal roadmap by reviewing the fiscal discipline rules. He had recommended enacting a new Debt and Fiscal Responsibility Act after repealing the existing Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, and creating a fiscal council.As per Article 280(1) of the Constitution, the government is obligated to form the Finance Commission after every five years, or at an earlier time as the President deems necessary. The Commission is required to make recommendations on distribution of the net proceeds of taxes between the Centre and the states. The recommendations by the newly formed 15th Finance Commission are supposed to be in place before April 1, 2020.The 15th Finance Commission will also have to factor in the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which was rolled out earlier this year on July 1, on the resources of the central as well state governments when it furnishes its recommendations for allocating tax resources.

Spl Bench to hear Aadhaar pleas

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court said on Monday that it might consider setting up a Constitution Bench to decide on all matters pertaining to the challenge to the Constitutional validity of Aadhaar in January.The top court’s observation came on the heels of a joint mentioning made by Attorney General KK Venugopal and Senior Advocate Shyam Divan before a bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.Refraining from giving a fixed date, the bench said the matters are likely to come up once it concludes hearing the dispute between Delhi-Lieutenant General (LG).On October 30, the bench — which also comprised Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said it would hear the matter in November — almost five years after the first plea challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar was filed.However, with the deadline for linking your Aadhaar to your bank account looming ahead — last date is December 31, Divan had sought for a hearing in November. Several petitions in this matter have been pending since the top court referred the matter to a larger bench almost two years ago.On October 25, the Centre proposed it was open to extending the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phones from December 31, 2017, to March 31, 2018, but only exclusively to those who are “willing to enroll for Aadhaar”.Today, the Ministry of Electronics and Technology (MEITy) released a white paper on the Data Protection framework under the chairmanship of former Justice BN Srikrishna.Currently, a five-judge Constitution Bench is hearing hearing an appeal filed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) challenging the Delhi High Court order which said that the LG was essentially the boss of the national capital. Once, this matter is over, the same bench is slated to hear an appeal filed by a Parsi woman who was denied the right to participate in the rituals upon her fathers death around 15 years ago because she married outside her faith.Relief likelyThe Centre has told Supreme Court that it is willing to extend deadline for Aadhaar linking to services till March 31.The deadline is supposed to end on December 31.Aadhaar is a 12 digit unique-identity number issued to all Indian resid-ents based on biometric and demographic data.

Willing to extend deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with services, Centre tells SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central government on Monday told the Supreme Court that it was willing to extend the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to various services till March 31, 2018. Currently, the deadline to link various government schemes and banking services to Aadhaar is December 31. A bench headed by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra also indicated that it may form a Constitution Bench next week to consider stay on mandatory linking. The Constitution Bench will decide whether any interim orders on Aadhaar issue is to be passed.The court said that it would beging hearing the pleas challenging Aadhaar after the Constitution Bench concludes hearing the Delhi-Centre case.Representing the Centre, Attorney General KK Venugopal asked the top court to list the matter in February next year as Justice Srikrishna commission has issued white paper on data protection and there is a likely to be suggestions from it, which may take some time.
ALSO READ Linking of Aadhaar with personal details dangerous for individuals and society: Mamata BanerjeeSenior Advocate Shyam Diwan, appearing for petitioner seeking interim order, told the bench that he had no objection for listing of matter in February but the court should hear his application.Last month, the Centre had told the apex court that it had extended the deadline extended till March 31 next year for those who do not have the 12-digit biometric identification number.

PM Narendra Modi, FM Arun Jaitley wish citizens on Constitution Day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As Indians marks the Constitution Day on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to “salute the great women and men who gave India a Constitution we are proud of.”The Prime Minister was joined by members of his Cabinet as well as the Opposition leaders who wished the citizens on the occasion marking the day on which the Constitution of India was agreed to by the Constituent Assembly in 1949.November 26 was was earlier commemorated as the National Law Day, but the government in 2015 decided to celebrate it as Constitution Day.
ALSO READ Judiciary, executive and legislature need to be careful to not cross into each other’s spaces: President Kovind Wishing the citizens on the occasion, PM Modi tweeted a short video, accompanied by the caption, “On Constitution Day, we salute the great women and men who gave India a Constitution we are proud of.”Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also greeted the nation on the day and tweeted, “#ConstitutionDay greetings to everyone. On this day in 1949 Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly. Let us cherish the core principles of our constitution, remember its framers & rededicate ourselves to the ideals of our constitution on this historic day.”His Cabinet Colleague and Minister of Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani tweeted, “Greetings to everyone on National Constitution Day. We remember Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar & every individual who framed our Constitution. Their contribution towards empowering our democracy is invaluable.”Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also wished the countrymen on the occasion. “Let us all gratefully commemorate today, adoption of Constitution of India, Holy Book of every citizen of country. It is a living document which provides fundamental rights to citizens and a balanced separation of powers between executive, judiciary and legislature,” he tweeted. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu and Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore were among those who wished the nation on the Constitution Day. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah tweeted, “On this day in 1949, the Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of India. Today, I renew my pledge to uphold the Constitution.”Congress leaders Manish Tewari cautioned against losing “Tolerance to bold,daring,outrageous & even provocative creativity.””On Constitution Day what has happened to the Preambular Value-“Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith & Worship”. Any nation that looses Tolerance to bold,daring,outrageous & even provocative creativity ultimately fossilises intellectually & Socially . We are almost there,” he said on Twitter.

Gujarat elections 2017: RSS body moves EC against Archdiocese of Gandhinagar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RSS-affiliated Legal Rights Observatory (LRO) has moved the Election Commission (EC) against Archdiocese of Gandhinagar, Archbishop Thomas Macwan, for releasing a signed communique which urged to “save secularism” and Indian from the “nationalist forces”, which were on the “verge of taking over the country”.Though no party has been named, yet the allusions to BJP and RSS are more than obvious. LRO has lodged a formal complaint with the EC, alleging a paid news angle behind the communique released on November 21. In the letter, which was accessed by DNA, the rightwing legal body has called for an inquiry and demanded action against the priest.”With this complaint, I urge you to immediately take action against Bishop and thwart his attempts to divide Gujarat voters on the bases of caste, creed and religion. As the statement is highly biased against ruling party, paid news angle should be investigated and due action be taken against those guilty,” said LRO convenor and former RSS pracharak Vinay Joshi.While the communique referred to atrocities on the poor, OBC and minorities and claimed that Constitutional rights were being violated in the current regime, the LRO letter accused the priest of trying “his best to generate fear among voters”, apart from trying “to divide voters on the basis of caste and creed” and “spreading the rumors to create clashes between various social groups and also making baseless allegations against Nationalists Forces”.Calling the remarks “highly provocative and objectionable” which “directly aimed at demonising certain organisations…obliquely appealing electorate to vote against ruling BJP”, LRO wants Macwan prosecuted under the Representation of the People Act-1951.In the communique, the priest had also asked Christians to pray for divine intervention, and as Gujarat elections “could make a difference”, it also urged the people to select and vote for candidates who would uphold the Constitution and safeguard people against discrimination. Earlier, the same LRO had lodged another such complaint with the EC during Goa elections against Goa Catholic Bishop’s magazine under RP Act 1951.”While studying the matter of indulgence of Catholic Church and other Christian bodies in electioneering in India violating RP Act 1951, I have come across several instances and I shall be bringing them in front of the Election Commission,” said Joshi.IN GOD WE TRUSTIn the communique, the priest had also asked Christians to pray for divine intervention, and as Gujarat elections “could make a difference”, it also urged the people to select and vote for candidates who would uphold the Constitution and safeguard people against discrimination.

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.

Centre plans to bring legislation in Winter Session of Parliament to end Triple Talaq

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Centre has decided to bring a legislation during the Winter Session of the Parliament to end the practice of triple talaq. Sources said that a Ministerial Committee has been constituted to frame a law in this regard. This decision comes in the wake of the judgement given by the Supreme Court of India in the matter of Shayara Bano Vs. Union of India and others connected matters. In majority judgment, the court had set aside the practice of Talaq-e-biddat among Muslim husbands.The judgment upholds equal rights and equal protection of every person enshrined under Article 14 of the Constitution, irrespective of majority or minority status. To give life to the order of the Supreme Court, Centre has decided to take the matter forward.Sources in the government say that the call for reforms in the personal law had come from the Muslim community itself. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) had contended that on matters of religious practice, such as Talaq-e-biddat, it is for the legislature to make law. Sources say that the endeavour is to bring suitable legislation to end the practice. Centre has noticed that there have been reports of number of divorces by way of Talaq-e-biddat happening even after the above said judgement by the Supreme Court.Centre felt that this is happening because of two reasons. Either the information on the decision of Supreme Court has not become a common fact or lack of deterrence was not changing the mind set on Talaq-e-biddat. In spite of reaching out to the members of the community to stop this archaic practice, there seems to have been no decline in the practice of Talaq-e-biddat, Centre noticed.In a recent incident of Talaq-e-biddat, it was noticed that a person in a leading educational institution divorced his wife through WhatsApp and short message service. Subsequently the wife approached the police. Centre says that there may be many such unreported instances of instantaneous triple talaq happening elsewhere in the country too.Government feels that as the law stands today, the victims of Talaq-e-biddat have no option but to approach the police for the redressal of their grievance as Muslim clergy is unwilling to assist them. Even police are helpless as no action can be taken against the husband in the absence of punitive provisions in the law.Hence the government is planning a legislation which will act as a deterrent against husbands from divorcing their wives and empower Muslim women who find themselves helpless against the use of the practice of ‘Talaq-e-biddat’.

Karnataka stands with Deepika Padukone, Khattar should take action against those threatening her: Siddaramaiah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today asked his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar to take “stringent action” against those threatening actress Deepika Padukone who is being targeted by fringe groups for her lead role in “Padmavati”.Coming out in support of the actress, the state government said security would be provided to the actress whenever she is in Bengaluru and her family, who hail from Karnataka, in the wake of threats issued to her by several outfits which allege the period film distorted history and hurt sentiments of their community.Deepika is the daughter of badminton icon Prakash Padukone, who lives in Bengaluru.Other crew members, including director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Deepika’s co-star Ranveer Singh, are also facing threats by fringe outfits who claim the film wrongly portrayed the legendary 13th century queen of Chittor Padmavati who is revered by them.”Padmavati” stars Deepika Padukone in the titular role.Shahid Kapoor essays the role of Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh plays Alauddin Khilji.Siddaramaiah’s reaction came following a reported threat by the Haryana BJP media cell in charge, Suraj Pal Amu announcing a bounty of Rs 10 crore on the actress.The reported threat came after a fringe group Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha (ABKM) announced a reward of Rs one crore for those “burning Padukone alive.” Retweeting Karnataka energy minister D K Shivakumar’s tweet, Siddaramaiah commented, “I condemn the culture of intolerance & hate perpetuated by @BJP4India. Karnataka stands with @deepikapadukone.””She is a globally renowned artist from our state. I call upon the CM of Haryana @mlkhattar to take strict action against those holding out threats against her,” he said.Shivakumar tweeted, “It is condemnable that a BJP office bearer is placing a bounty of Rs 10 crore on @deepikapadukone, who is from our state & the daughter of one of India’s most respected sportsman.””Is this BJP’s culture & the way they show respect towards women? Immediate action should be taken.” He said he will write to the chief minister to offer protection to Padukone.He demanded that the BJP apologise and make sure that intimidation doesn’t happen. The minister appealed to all Indians, especially women and artistes, to speak for upholding freedom granted by the Constitution.Karnataka Home minister Ramalinga Reddy told PTI the state will provide security to the actress and her family in the wake of the threats.”Whenever Deepika is here in Karnataka, we will ensure that she gets adequate security. We will also provide security cover to her family staying here,” Reddy said.The makers of ‘Padmavati’ have denied the charge that it distorts history and deferred its release from the slated December 1.They have said the film was a cinematic masterpiece capturing “Rajput valour, dignity and tradition in all its glory.”

Congress accuses Centre of not celebrating Indira centenary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the Congress organised nationwide programmes to mark the 100th birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi, hailing her as one who fought for secularism and the poor, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram flagged the angst of the party with the government “not celebrating” the event.Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Tributes to former PM Mrs Indira Gandhi on her birth anniversary”, while BJP veteran LK Advani and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel paid floral tributes to her in Parliament in the presence of Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.BJP MP Varun Gandhi hailed his grandmother as “a mother to this nation”. “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. To a lady that was a mother to this nation. Miss you Dadi…I know you always watch over us,” Varun said in a tweet that also had a picture in which the former Prime Minister is seen holding him, then a small child, in her lap.Rahul, who is set to take over as Congress president within a fortnight, termed her ‘dadi’ his ‘mentor and guide’, who gave him strength.Participating in a discussion on Indira at the Tata Literature Live festival in Mumbai, Chidambaram said, “It is a shame that the country is not celebrating the centenary of its only female Prime Minister. The government of India did not celebrate her centenary. I do not know which state government celebrated her centenary.”He further said, “The Congress party is doing it in its own way but the country is not celebrating Indira Gandhi’s centenary much like Russia that seems to have forgotten the centenary of the Russian revolution.”Former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh felt that the BJP is friendlier to Indira Gandhi than her father Jawaharlal Nehru, as she was steeped in the Upanishads and Vedas.At 1 Safdarjung Road, where Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her bodyguards on October 31, 1984, Congress president Sonia Gandhi recalled her mother-in-law as one who “fought for secularism, against all those forces seeking to divide the Indian people on lines of religion and caste”.”For her, as the Prime Minister, there was one religion, a sacred creed passionately held — that all Indians were equal children of the motherland,” she said at the function.Noting that Indira Gandhi could not tolerate any form of bullying, coercion and unfairness, the Congress president said she faced all endemic problems — from combating poverty and inequality to the critical ones of war and terrorism — with courage for the 16 years that she governed the nation.”She gloried in the rich diversity of India, its profound democratic and secular values,” she said, highlighting Indira’s commitment towards the poor.Former President Pranab Mukherjee recalled her role in inserting the two words “socialist” and “secular” in the Constitution through the 42nd amendment to make it explicit even when many at that time considered it unnecessary, arguing the entire text of the Constitution was already oriented towards socialism and secularism.He said that this decision emanated out of her belief that insertion of these two words in the preamble would define the characteristics of Indian State adequately.A photo exhibition with rare photographs of Indira Gandhi was organised at the venue, where former Prime Minister Singh unveiled a special catalogue on her.

Five-judge Constitution Bench to revisit 11-year-old verdict on SC/ST quota

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to consider whether its 11-year-old judgement dealing with the issue of application of the ‘creamy layer’ for reservation to SC and ST categories in promotion in government jobs needs to be revisited.The top court said that a five-judge Constitution bench will examine the limited issue as to whether the 2006 verdict delivered in M Nagaraj and other versus Union of India was required to be re-looked at or not.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan clarified that it was not going into the correctness of the verdict.The M Nagaraj verdict had said that the creamy layer concept cannot be applied to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for promotions in government jobs like two earlier verdicts of 1992 Indra Sawhney and others versus Union of India (popularly called Mandal Commission verdict) and 2005 EV Chinnaiah versus state of Andhra Pradesh, which dealt with creamy layer in Other Backward Classes category.The apex court was hearing a batch of petition which arose from a Bombay High Court order quashing two state government resolutions terming them as ultra vires to Article 16 (4A) of the Constitution of India.Several other states have also approached the apex court on the issue.The Maharashtra government, through its resolution in 2004, had granted reservation to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and De-Notified Tribes, Nomadic Tribes, Special Backward Category and Other Backward Classes in job promotion.The issue cropped up as a bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and R Banumathi had referred a matter to the Constitution bench which also related to creamy lawyer for reservation of SC/ST in government jobs.The two-judge bench had said that clarity was required on the applications in creamy layer in situation of competing claims within the same races, communities, groups or parts thereof of SC/ST communities notified by the President under Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution.The bench had sought clarification on Article 16(4), 16 (4A) and 16(4B) of the Constitution of India, which deals with the power of state government to make provisions for reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion, was not adequately represented in the services under the state.The Nagaraj verdict had reiterated that the ceiling-limit of 50 percent, the concept of the creamy layer and the compelling reasons, namely, backwardness, inadequacy of representation and overall administrative efficiency were all constitutional requirements without which the structure of equality of opportunity in Article 16 would collapse.It had further said that the state was not bound to make reservation for SC/ST in matter of promotions.”However, if they wish to exercise their discretion and make such provision, the State has to collect quantifiable data showing backwardness of the class and inadequacy of representation of that class in public employment in addition to compliance of Article 335,” the five-judge constitution bench had said in its 2006 judgement.It had also clarified that even if the state has compelling reasons, as specified, the state would have to see that its reservation provisions does not lead to excessiveness so as to breach the ceiling-limit of 50 percent or obliterate the creamy layer or extend the reservation indefinitely.

Rajiv assassination case: Tamil Nadu govt rejects Nalini’s plea seeking premature release

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Tamil Nadu government today informed the Madras High Court that it cannot entertain a plea of Nalini Sriharan, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, seeking premature release as a similar case was pending before the apex court.Deputy secretary of the state home department filed a counter affidavit to Nalini’s petition. In response to a habeas corpus petition pending before a Division Bench headed by Justice Rajiv Shakdher in the Madras High Court filed by Nalini, the government in its counter said, “She is a party respondent in a plea pending before the Supreme Court in connection with remission of sentences of all seven convicts in the case, moved by the central government.”The plea has been referred to the Constitution Bench of the court which is yet to be decided. In view of the same, the high court cannot interfere in the issue,” the counter affidavit said.The department through its counter affidavit also submitted that the request made by Nalini through the state government’s scheme for premature release of life convicts who have already completed 20 years of imprisonment, had already been rejected by the advisory committee constituted for the purpose on more than two occasions.Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber at nearby Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991, and seven persons—Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Nalini, Robert Payas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran—were convicted in the case. Payas and Jayakumar were sentenced to death for their role in the assassination, but their sentence was later commuted to life by the Supreme Court in 1999.Nalini was first awarded death sentence, which was confirmed by the Supreme Court and subsequently the Tamil Nadu government under Article 161 of the constitution commuted her sentence to life on April 24, 2000.

Constitution bench to revisit 11-year-old verdict on creamy layer in SC/ST quota

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today agreed to consider whether its 11-year-old judgement dealing with the issue of application of the ‘creamy layer’ for reservation to SC and ST categories in promotion in government jobs needs to be revisited.The top court said that a five-judge Constitution bench will examine the limited issue as to whether the 2006 verdict delivered in M Nagaraj and other versus Union of India was required to be re-looked at or not. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan clarified that it was not going into the correctness of the verdict. The M Nagaraj verdict had said that the creamy layer concept cannot be applied to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for promotions in government jobs like two earlier verdicts of 1992 Indra Sawhney and others versus Union of India (popularly called Mandal Commission verdict) and 2005 E V Chinnaiah versus State of Andhra Pradesh, which dealt with creamy layer in Other Backward Classes category.The apex court was hearing a batch of petition which arose from a Bombay High Court order quashing two state government resolutions terming them as ultra vires to Article 16(4A) of the Constitution of India.Several other states have also approached the apex court on the issue. The Maharashtra government, through its resolution in 2004, had granted reservation to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and De-Notified Tribes, Nomadic Tribes, Special Backward Category and Other Backward Classes in job promotion.The issue cropped up as a bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and R Banumathi had referred a matter to the Constitution bench which also related to creamy lawyer for reservation of SC/ST in government jobs.The two-judge bench had said that clarity was required on the applications in creamy layer in situation of competing claims within the same races, communities, groups or parts thereof of SC/ST communities notified by the President under Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution.The bench had sought clarification on Article 16(4), 16 (4A) and 16(4B) of the Constitution of India, which deals with the power of state government to make provisions for reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion, was not adequately represented in the services under the state. The Nagaraj verdict had reiterated that the ceiling-limit of 50 per cent, the concept of the creamy layer and the compelling reasons, namely, backwardness, inadequacy of representation and overall administrative efficiency were all constitutional requirements without which the structure of equality of opportunity in Article 16 would collapse.It had further said that the state was not bound to make reservation for SC/ST in matter of promotions.”However, if they wish to exercise their discretion and make such provision, the State has to collect quantifiable data showing backwardness of the class and inadequacy of representation of that class in public employment in addition to compliance of Article 335,” the five-judge constitution bench had said in its 2006 judgement. It had also clarified that even if the state has compelling reasons, as specified, the state would have to see that its reservation provisions does not lead to excessiveness so as to breach the ceiling-limit of 50 per cent or obliterate the creamy layer or extend the reservation indefinitely.

Point is to defeat BJP not reservation: Hardik Patel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hardening his stand against the ruling BJP, Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel on Friday in a press conference clarified that it was all about defeating BJP.”Muddo BJP ne haravano che, Anamat no nathi (the point is to defeat the BJP and not reservation),” said Patel. He was in Thakkarbappanagar area of the city where a massive crowd mostly of Patels gathered, to welcome their hero, as part of a Samvad (discussion) programme.Hardik also claimed that there was nothing in the Constitution that prevented people from getting a reservation. I have studied it for 7 days have not found anything that says over 50 percent reservation can’t be given,” claimed Hardik.Talks of split in the community over Hardik’s support for Congress seemed to be forgotten as the crowd shouted ‘Hardik, Hardik’.He clarified that he was not going to join any party. “Every party needs to have the intention first and foremost,” said Hardik. When asked if he felt that the Congress had the intention (to give reservation), he said, “If they did not have the intention, they would not have discussed at length the possibilities that can be explored.”“They met me at 12 in the night, we discussed the matter for three hours. If they did not have the intention they would not have talked at length, ” said Hardik.He said an announcement will be made in two days when one more meeting was scheduled. ” Whatever will be agreed upon will be on the basis of consultation with the community,” he claimed.The alleged opposition he faced in Nikol earlier he said was organised by the BJP. As several organisations oppose Hardik’s call to support Congress, he clarified that the only two organisation that mattered to the Patidar community was the Khodal Dham and Umiya Dham, the religious and social body of the two sets of Paatidars.He said the farmers were suffering under the BJP and they need to be United. He said in the next five days he will go around meeting people and understanding their problem. He also clarified that the OBCs we’re not against the Paatidars.

Prashant Bhushan storms out of SC, tweets accusing CJI of ‘conflict of interest’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an action-packed day at the Supreme Court, senior advocate Prashant Bhushan stormed out of court.Bhushan expressed his displeasure at the refusal of the Bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra to hear him. The 5-judge bench of CJI Misra was hearing a petition filed by Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Judicial Reforms (CJAR).Bhushan was quoted saying by BarandBench.com: “You have heard persons who are not even parties to the case for an hour. If Your Lordships want to pass an order without hearing me, then do it.”He reportedly stormed out with marshalls escorting him.A bemused Bhushan tweeted after the proceedings: “Extraordinary proceedings in SC today in the case seeking SIT Investigation in medical college bribery case involving the CJI! CJI presided over a hand picked bench to override yesterday’s order referring this case to top 5 judges. This despite having a direct conflict of interest.The court proceedings were extraordinary in that the CJI was asking all kinds of lawyers who were not parties to say things against the order of Court 2, w/o hearing petitioner. He tried to justify his role in the medical college case & speak against ‘impropriety’ of Court 2.”On Thursday, Justice Chelameswar had ordered setting up a 5-judge bench excluding the CJI to probe allegations of bribery to allegedly influence outcome of cases.Another petition on the same issue came up for hearing and were set to be heard on Monday.However, at 3 PM today, CJI Misra constituted a seven-judge bench to review the decision of Justice Chelameswar’s order for a probe yesterday. But, two judges recused themselves, making it a five-man panel.Around 4PM, the 5-member bench panel headed by CJI Misra took the decision to annul the order passed by Justice Chelameswar ordering a probe into allegations of judicial corruption.A five-judge bench declares CJI to be the master of the roster. Any judicial order passed by any other judge to set up a bench will be “ineffective and not binding,” rules the Constitution Bench.Order passed a day ago by Justice J Chelameswar’s bench indirectly annulled.The bench by the CJI didn’t include Justice Chelameswar who is the second senior-most judge in the Supreme Court.The CJI, meanwhile, deemed that he was the only one who could set up benches to look into cases, and no other judge, no matter how senior, could order a formation of a constitutional bench.With inputs from agencies

Situation will become uncontrollable if Article 370 gets repealed: Farooq Abdullah

Updated: Nov 9, 2017, 09:25 AM IST, ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir would become uncontrollable if Article 370 gets repealed.The former chief minister further said that Article 370, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, can never be revoked.Article 370 of the Constitution gives autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.Earlier in October, state Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said that Article 370 has caused harm to Jammu and Kashmir and called for abrogation of the provision.The Supreme Court is also hearing a plea demanding revocation of Article 35A, which allows the state legislature to define “permanent residents”.

20 youths to spread awareness about the Constitution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>November 26 is our Constitution Day! Two youths, who are taking the mantle of fair elections, are going to preach and spread awareness about the Constitution and democracy. Starting November 26, participants in the programmes are going to live as per the Constitution guidelines for a month, for which they have designed some tasks.City-based Harshita Ghorawat, of Sauhard, is going to head a team of 20 youngsters in pairs in the urban area. She will also head five pairs of girls in the rural area. “We have done a similar programme last year with a team of 12 people. The idea is to make them aware of thier duties. People are boasting about the rights, but how many people are aware of duty for the country?,” said Harshita.”For a social responsibility, there is one taskInline image 1 in which the participants are going to take hawker to a restaurant,” added Harshita.The programme is called ‘Jagrik’ which is going to take place in many places across the country. In Ahmedabad, two different organisations are going to organise a different activity to engage youth on the lines of the Constitution. Urja Ghar, of another group, is going to engage the muslim youth of school above the age group of 15 years for the programme.”Basically, the idea is to engage the youth on the lines of Constitution. There are different games and task have been lined up which are based on duties and rights. We believe ownership comes when you act in the real world when you co-create, when you see the consequences of your actions. Ownership cannot be given in classrooms. It has to be taken in the streets. Through public initiative, we want young people to experience how the rights and duties in our constitution are being lived, and report back their experiences to the rest of the world,” said Waqar Qazi of Urja Ghar.”In preparing a young people’s report card of how the constitution is implemented on the streets, we hope that not only the participating youth but all those, including judiciary, legislative, executive and media, who hear about their experiences, will be transformed forever into alert citizens or Jagriks as we call them”, added Qazi.The public initiative will kick off on 26th November, celebrating Constitution Day and will culminate on Republic Day, 26th January.

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.

Himachal Assembly Polls 2017: We lost two tallest leaders for nation, don’t need BJP’s certificate, says Anand Sharma

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP has attacked the Himachal government on corruption. What is the Congress’ strategy?There have been no charges of corruption against the government. There are no FIRs, no inquiries. There are some old cases of disproportionate assets against CM Virbhadra Singh, which are sub-judice. There are allegations against the BJP, too. They have fielded the highest number of corrupt politicians in the state — 23 with criminal charges and 9 with serious criminal charges.
The Prime Minister said in his speech at Kangra on Thursday that the Congress’s support for Kashmir’s “azaadi” is an insult to the Army… The Congress definitely does not need a certificate from PM Modi on our love for the country. The party has paid the supreme sacrifice and we have lost two of our tallest leaders in service of our nation. Modi has no counter for the betrayal of people for not delivering on his promises, especially jobs. He promised 7 crore jobs. His government killedover 4 crore. The twin blows of demonetisation and GST have taken away over 33% jobs from the MSME sector. He needs to address that instead.
The BJP says that it was the Congress which thought of the GST… It is true that the original author of GST was the Congress. Then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee drafted it and sent it to a standing committee. It was finalised by P Chidambaram. For seven years, we could not pass the GST because of a strong opposition from the BJP. Especially from Modi who said that GST was against the “spirit of the Constitution”. But when he came to power, he saw virtue in it. The government met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and later, formally asked for our support. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met me, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Chidambaram. We agreed to extend support on three conditions. The first was that the highest tax slab should not exceed 28%, the second was to support small enterprises which do not have infrastructural back-up, and the third was to not exclude revenue goods like petroleum products, fuel, electricity etc. The BJP took our support and did exactly the opposite: there are now five tax slabs and the GST is one of the highest in the world, there is no help for the MSME sector and they excluded petroleum products, fuel electricity etc, which make for 45% of the revenue, from GST.
The BJP has attacked your manifesto, saying that these are false promises… Unlike the BJP, we do not make false promises. Himachal Pradesh has a population of 75 lakh, and in the last five years, we created 65,000 jobs. In Gujarat, where the population is 6.5 crore, the BJP has managed to create10,000 jobs. We built four medical colleges, while they have had to shut down their government schools. The BJP is now talking about appointing a new Lokayukta, when the big question is why have they not appointed the Lokpal even after the Bill was passed and the Supreme Court has passed orders. Their vision document has no vision. It is all lies.

Mehbooba Mufti needs to go back to school and learn the law: Subramanian Swamy hits out at J&K CM’s Article 370 statement

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Sunday lashed out at Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti over her demand for Article 370 to the people of the state, stating that the latter needs to go back to school and learn some law.Swamy’s statement comes a day after Mehbooba Mufti said that Article 370 of the Constitution, which guarantees special status to the state, is the nation’s commitment to the people of J-K and should be honoured.Speaking to ANI, Swamy said, “I urge that Article 370 is totally made irrelevant. It is responsible for more than 5,000 Kashmiri pandits getting driven out of the state and not being allowed to return . So why does Mehbooba Mufti want 370? Is it for the protection of Muslims and not Hindus. Mufti needs to go back to school and learn law.””As far as Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly is concerned, the Centre has finished their work and given a Kashmir constitution in which the first line is- ‘Kashmir is an integral part of India’. Where is Article 370 in this? There is no mention of 370 in the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution. Also in the Indian Constitution it is only mentioned as a temporary provision so where is the guarantee of the people,” he said.Mehbooba Mufti also said that dialogue is the only way forward to resolve the Kashmir issue and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has a huge mandate, can create history by changing the narrative on Jammu and Kashmir.The Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief on Saturday had taken to to Twitter to say ‘Article 370 is the nation’s commitment to the people of J-K and therefore should be honoured.”

We lost two tallest leaders for nation, don’t need BJP’s certificate: Anand Sharma

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP has attacked the Himachal government on corruption. What is the Congress’ strategy?There have been no charges of corruption against the government. There are no FIRs, no inquiries. There are some old cases of disproportionate assets against CM Virbhadra Singh, which are sub-judice. There are allegations against the BJP, too. They have fielded the highest number of corrupt politicians in the state — 23 with criminal charges and 9 with serious criminal charges.The Prime Minister said in his speech at Kangra on Thursday that the Congress’s support for Kashmir’s “azaadi” is an insult to the Army…The Congress definitely does not need a certificate from PM Modi on our love for the country. The party has paid the supreme sacrifice and we have lost two of our tallest leaders in service of our nation. Modi has no counter for the betrayal of people for not delivering on his promises, especially jobs. He promised 7 crore jobs. His government killed over 4 crore. The twin blows of demonetisation and GST have taken away over 33 per cent jobs from the MSME sector. He needs to address that instead.The BJP says that it was the Congress which thought of the GST…It is true that the original author of GST was the Congress. Then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee drafted it and sent it to a standing committee. It was finalised by P Chidambaram. For seven years, we could not pass the GST because of a strong opposition from the BJP. Especially from Modi who said that GST was against the “spirit of the Constitution”. But when he came to power, he saw virtue in it. The government met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and later, formally asked for our support. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met me, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Chidambaram. We agreed to extend support on three conditions. The first was that the highest tax slab should not exceed 28 per cent, the second was to support small enterprises which do not have infrastructural back-up, and the third was to not exclude revenue goods like petroleum products, fuel, electricity etc. The BJP took our support and did exactly the opposite: there are now five tax slabs and the GST is one of the highest in the world, there is no help for the MSME sector and they excluded petroleum products, fuel electricity etc, which make for 45 per cent of the revenue, from GST.The BJP has attacked your manifesto, saying that these are false promises…Unlike the BJP, we do not make false promises. Himachal Pradesh has a population of 75 lakh, and in the last five years, we created 65,000 jobs. In Gujarat, where the population is 6.5 crore, the BJP has managed to create 10,000 jobs. We built four medical colleges, while they have had to shut down their government schools. The BJP is now talking about appointing a new Lokayukta, when the big question is why have they not appointed the Lokpal even after the Bill was passed and the Supreme Court has passed orders. Their vision document has no vision, it’s all lies.

For the blind, their kids show the way at polling booths in Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the election mood is gathering pace in the state, its citizens are busy deciding who to vote for. The Indian Constitution grants every citizen, above the age of 18, the right to vote. The right is universally granted to all Indians as per article 326 of the Indian Constitution, with few exceptions.The visually-impaired people in the city are also very excited to take part in the electoral process. In 2012, the state election commission has also made Braille ballot papers. It helps to keep monitor the representatives of respective parties on their own, that also prior to casting their vote. However, one thing that these specially-abled people still need is a hand to take them to the booth.Tarak Luhar, retired principal, Adult Centre for the Blind said, “It is an opportunity for us. We feel equal with others when the election comes. Initially, there were some problems. I used to take my daughter, but she was a minor them. Now, she is a grown up and can help me cast my vote. There is certainly document formality we have to follow at the polling booth.””For me, trust is the main issue. I can’t trust any random person or even some friend for voting. I took my daughter every time. She tells me what’s there in the ballot, ” added Luhar.Another voter Rajendra Gamit, who takes his son for polling, said, “It’s a confidential issue. I can’t trust anybody but my son. My son will do what I will ask for. In the last election, I used the Braille feature and pressed the number on EVM machine. Then, my son had assured me that I have voted for the correct candidate which we had discussed before coming to the booth.”This year, the election commission has made it mandatory for the Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) usage, which will be dropped in a box within few seconds of casting the vote. To be sure that I have voted for the right person, I will take my son or daughter. Both of them are minors.”Another voter Babu Gamit, who has no idea who he has voted for till date, said, “Earlier when I was studying in Surat, they used to take us to the polling booth in a car. Someone used to vote on our behalf. I didn’t know who my vote went to. During the last election, I went with one of my friends. However, I’m not sure if he voted for the person I had asked him to.”Sarla Trivedi, a female voter, is always accompanied by her father-in-law. “I love to exercise my rights. But, with some physical challenges, I have to fight obstacles. I need someone to rely upon,” said Trivedi.MATTER OF TRUSTMany visually-impaired people across Gujarat go to the polling booths with their family members . Some are accompanied to the booths by their children. Some are even accompanied by their friends or immediate kin.

SC to hear plea challenging validity of Aadhaar tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act on Friday.The matter was mentioned before a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar and the counsel representing the petitioner sought an urgent hearing, saying similar pleas were already listed for hearing before the apex court on Friday.Karnataka-based Mathew Thomas has moved the top court challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act claiming that it infringes upon the Right to Privacy and the biometric mechanism was not working properly.On October 30, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had said that a Constitution bench would be constituted and Aadhaar-related matters would come up for hearing before it in the last week of November.Several petitions challenging the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for availing various services and benefits of government welfare schemes have been filed in the apex court.Recently, a nine-judge constitution bench of the apex court had held that Right to Privacy was a Fundamental Right under the Constitution. Several petitioners challenging the validity of Aadhaar had claimed it violated privacy rights.The Centre had on October 25 told the Supreme Court that the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to receive the benefits of government schemes has been extended till March 31, 2018 for those who do not have the 12-digit unique biometric identification number and were willing to enroll for it.Some petitioners in the top court have termed the linking of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) number with bank accounts and mobile numbers as “illegal and unconstitutional”.They also objected to the CBSE’s alleged move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for students appearing for examinations, a contention denied by the Centre.One of the counsel representing the petitioners had earlier said that final hearing in the main Aadhaar matter, which is pending before the apex court, was necessary as the government “cannot compel” citizens to link their Aadhaar with either bank accounts or cell phone numbers. ​

Over 4,000 cases still pending in each subordinate court: SC weighs in on overworked lower courts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a grim reflection of the burden of cases on the judiciary, the Supreme Court today said a subordinate court in the country was grappling with an average of around 4,000 pending cases.The top court, while favouring creation of special courts to exclusively deal with criminal cases involving politicians and their speedy disposal, said the average number of cases being dealt with by a subordinate court was far more than what should have been there.”The average number of cases each court has in the country is about 4,000 in trial courts. 4,000 is far more than what should be there,” a bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha said.”Even if the Supreme Court says that complete the trial (in cases involving politicians) within one year, unless the judge is only hearing these cases, it would be difficult,” it said.Representing the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Atmaram Nadkarni asked the bench whether these special courts, which would exclusively deal with criminal cases involving politicians, could be combined with special CBI courts which already exist across the country.”No, do not combine it with anything else,” the bench said, adding “it is in the interest of nation”.”Insofar as setting up of special courts are concerned, setting up of special courts and infrastructure would be dependent on the availability of finances with the states,” the bench noted in its order.It said the problem could be resolved by having a central scheme for setting up of such special courts on the lines of fast-track courts which were established by the Centre for a period of five years and extended further, a scheme that has now been discontinued.The apex court said a scheme in this regard should be laid before it on December 13, the next date of hearing, indicating the amount of funds that could be earmarked for setting up of special courts.After this, the issues of appointment of judicial officers, public prosecutors, court staff and requirement of manpower and infrastructure would be dealt with, if required, by interacting with representatives of the respective states, it said.The Centre told the court that it would place the details as sought by it within six weeks.The top court was hearing petitions seeking to declare the provisions of the Representation of the People (RP) Act, which bar convicted politician from contesting elections for six years after serving jail term, as ultra vires to the Constitution.

Religious and cultural events are part of Article 21 of Constitution: Petitioners to NGT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cultural, religious rights part of Constitution: Petitioners New Delhi, Oct 31 (PTI) Holding of religious and cultural events like the cultural extravaganza organised last year by spiritual guru Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living cannot be banned or stopped as these form part of the ‘Right To Live With Dignity’ guaranteed by the Constitution, the National Green Tribunal was told Tuesday.The argument that such events were guaranteed under Article 21 of Constitution on protection of life and personal liberty was advanced by some petitioners in support of the AoL event who were impleded by the NGT in the case last year.The petitioners, quoting several articles of the Constitution, contended it was their right to organise and participate in events like Kumbh, Chhath or the ‘World Culture Festival’ of the AOL, subject to reasonable restriction and environmental concerns.”It is most respectfully submitted that power and authority to interpret provisions of the Constitution only rests with Supreme Court or various High Courts. It is submitted that National Green Tribunal Act 2010 does not empower this tribunal with the writ jurisdiction power of the High Courts and thus NGT is not competent to interpret the Constitution read along with any other law in operation,” the plea claimed.The plea moved by Prajanya Chowdhry, Anil Kapoor and Anand Mathur has challenged the NGT’s jurisdiction to decide the issue of damage to the floodplains of Yamuna caused by the holding of three-day cultural festival in March last year.Advocate Anirudh Sharma, who appeared for them, said the Constitution allowed individuals to hold and participate in events like World Culture Festival and any restriction would deny them such rights.The plea was filed through advocates Piyush Singh and Nitesh Ranjan. The matter is listed for hearing on November 2.The AOL had in the last hearing raised doubts over the satellite images used by the experts committee headed by Shashi Shekhar, Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, to estimate the damage.”The committee while submitting its report on July 28 last year has relied on a single Google satellite image of September 15, 2015. There were multiple Google images available between 2000-2015, but the committee has chosen only one image out of all the pictures which was during peak monsoons.”At that point of the year, there were heavy rains at that site and selection of that image to ascertain the damage is questionable,” the AOL counsel had claimed. The three-day World Culture Festival was held in March last year.It had said that the experts committee appointed by the NGT had admitted in the report, dated November 28, 2016, that it did not know the condition of the site before the event.Earlier, the expert committee had told the NGT that a whopping Rs 42.02 crore would be required to restore Yamuna floodplains which was ravaged due to the AoL cultural extravaganza.

Tension subsides in Valley after SC defers Art 35 A hearing

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Though short-lived, Kashmir heaved a sigh of relief, as the Supreme Court deferred the hearing on Article 35 A case by three months.For the last 24 hours, the Valley was literally on the precipice as Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) of separatists had called on the people to remain ready for another round of unrest if the State Subject Law would be amended.From traders to government employees and students to entrepreneurs, all of Kashmir was eagerly awaiting the SC verdict. Some people were even planning to stock essentials to meet any exigency.”This is a part of the Constitution of India. The Centre should defend Article 35 A by filing an affidavit to end the suspense and controversy. Unless they do it, the sword will continue to hang. When they take a categorical and indicative stand on it, the panic will definitely decrease,” said Ali Mohammad Sagar, General Secretary of the main opposition National Conference.Under Article 35 A, Indian citizens other than the state subjects of Jammu and Kashmir, cannot acquire immovable property or have the voting rights in the restive state. Charu Wali Khanna, a resident of Jammu and Kashmir settled outside the state has challenged the legality of the Article 35 A in the Supreme Court on the grounds that the law disenfranchises and takes away her succession rights.”This matter requires to be referred to a larger bench. It cannot be decided by a three-judge bench. It has to be referred to either a five or a seven-judge bench. This is the main issue,” said Sunil Sethi, state spokesman, BJP.Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association (HCBA) said courts cannot decide the fate of Article 35 A. “It is a political issue and it cannot be decided by a court of law. The Union of India has adopted a technical strategy before the Supreme Court,” said GN Shaheen, General Secretary, HCBA, Srinagar.Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), an apex body of business and trade, warned that anything can happen if Article 35 A is tinkered with.”People can go to any extent. Anything can happen; people will take to streets. The government of India knows fully well and they are playing politics. We believe Article 35 A is a bridge between the government of India and the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” said Mohommad Yaseen Khan, Chairman, KEA.

5-judge Supreme Court bench will hear Aadhaar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court said on Monday that it will set up a five-judge Constitution bench to hear all Aadhaar-related cases in the last week of November, five years after the first plea challenging the constitutional validity of the 12-digit unique identification number scheme was filed.The decision was taken by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra after Attorney General KK Venugopal sought a hearing in March. Several petitions, including those against the government’s decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for social benefits and other schemes, have been pending since the top court referred the matter to a larger bench almost two years ago.Gopal Subramanium and Shyam Divan, representing petitioners challenging Aadhaar, sought an interim stay on the linking of the identification number to bank accounts and mobile phones. Venugopal opposed the plea and submitted that the Central government was ready to argue its case.The government’s top law officer said that several falsehoods on Aadhaar were being spread. Two benches are hearing at least three Aadhaar cases.Recently, a nine-judge Constitution bench had held that the Right to Privacy was a Fundamental Right under the Constitution. Several petitioners challenging the validity of Aadhaar had raised the issue that the scheme was violative of privacy rights.On Wednesday, the Central government proposed extending the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts, PAN cards and mobile phones from December 31, 2017, to March 31, 2018, but only to those who are “willing to enroll for the identification number.Meanwhile, the bench issued a notice on advocate Raghav Tankha’s plea seeking a direction to the Department of Telecom (DoT) and to mobile service providers to cease misinforming public that Aadhaar is the sole means for identity and address proof for mobile phone users.Aadhaar was started seven years ago to streamline payment of benefits and cut down on massive wastage and fraud. About 95.10 per cent of India’s population has registered for it. Critics say Aadhaar links enough data to create a comprehensive profile of citizens, and the data — containing fingerprints, iris scans, and demographic information — can be misused.

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.

Article 35A explained: What gives Jammu and Kashmir residents a ‘special’ status?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Much has been debated about Article 35 A of the Indian Constitution as Supreme Court is all set to resume hearings on the petition filed against the article.What is Article 35 A?It is nothing but an agreement that gives power to Jammu and Kashmir Legislature to decide who are the ‘permanent residents’ of the State and provide them special rights and privileges. The Article 35 A of the constitution is an agreement that allows no one except Jammu and Kashmir residents to settle permanently in the state, acquisition of property, avail government jobs, scholarships and aid.The Non-Permanent Resident Certificate holders are barred to vote in the local elections of the state.Who all are considered ‘permanent residents’ under Article 35 A?According to the original definition by Dogra ruler of princely state of J&K, Maharaja Hari Singh, it states that the permanent residents were considered under these conditions-1. The ones who were born or settled in the state before 1911.2. The ones who acquired property of 10 years prior to 1911 and also their descendentsThe emigrants, the ones who moved to Pakistan, and also their descendants for two generations are considered as the state subjects. However, this condition was later altered as Article 35 was ratified in the Constitution.Know its historyAfter taking advice from the Jawaharlal Nehru cabinet, former president Rajendra Prasad sent an order which later led to the incorporation of Article 35 A into the Constitution in 1954.This led to the 1952 Delhi Agreement between Nehru and the then Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Sheikh Abdullah which extended the Indian citizenship to state subjects of J&K. The Presidential Order was then issued under Article 370 (1) (d) of the Constitution. So Article 35A was incorporated in the Constitution as a testimony of the special consideration of the Indian government and accorded to the ‘permanent residents’ of Jammu and Kashmir.Why is it an issue?One Charu Wali Khanna, a resident of Jammu and Kashmir who settled outside the state, has filed a petition to Supreme Court challenging Article 35A of the Constitution and Section 6 of the Constitution which deals with the ‘permanent residents’ of the state.The plea has challenged the provisions of the Constitution which deny property rights to a woman who marries a person outside the state. Her son will also lose property rights.“Section 6 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution restricts the basic right of women to marry a man of their choice by not giving the heirs any right to property if the woman marries a man not holding the Permanent Resident Certificate,” the petition said.“Her children are denied a permanent resident certificate thereby considering them illegitimate — not given any right to such a woman’s property even if she is a permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir.”

P Chidambaram digs in, Congress ‘disowns’ his remarks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader P Chidambaram’s remarks on Kashmir have left the main Opposition party in a very precarious situation. It officially distanced itself from the comments, but has in the process upset its Jammu and Kashmir unit whose partner National Conference on Sunday resolved for Kashmir’s greater autonomy.Chidambaram however, claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not read his comments properly and was “imagining a ghost and attacking it”. “It is obvious the PM has not read the whole answer to the question put to me on Jammu and Kashmir. Those who criticise must read the whole answer and tell me which word in the answer was wrong,” Chidambaram said.The Congress on its part said the “opinion of an individual is not necessarily the opinion of the party”. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and “will always remain so unquestionably”.”The opinion of an individual is not necessarily the opinion of the Indian National Congress. In our democracy, individuals are entitled to their opinion,” Surjewala said.”The Congress has always believed that dialogue is the way forward for restoration of normalcy in the state, but it can only be within the framework of our Constitution,” Surjewala added.He said the party had constituted a policy-planning group under the chairmanship of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to carry forward the peace initiative in the state.The group would be visiting Jammu and Kashmir, particularly the Kargil and Ladakh regions, between November 10 and 12. “Once the group concludes its deliberations, it will submit a report and share feedback and experience with Congress president Sonia Gandhi,” he said.However, the Congress spokesperson hit out at the Centre as well as the Jammu and Kashmir government, asking the ruling parties “to introspect” on the handling of the situation in the state.Surjewala also asked the BJP government to list the steps it has taken to restore normalcy and peace in the state and its roadmap to ensure development there.

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 Modi lashes out at P Chidambaram’s Kashmir remark, says Congress insulting jawans

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched a scathing attack after P Chidambaram’s Kashmir remark and said the Congress party was insulting jawans.Modi made the remarks while addressing a gathering at Dashamah Soundarya Lahari Parayanotsava Mahasarmapane, even the Congress party sought to distance itself from the party leader’s remark.On Saturday, Chidambaram pitched for greater autonomy for the restive Jammu and Kashmir, however, Congress said that the ‘opinion of an individual is not necessarily the opinion of the party’.”Why are Congress leaders lending their voice to those who want Azadi in Kashmir? This is an insult to our brave soldiers,” said Narendra Modi.The Prime Minister also said that yesterday’s statement of a Congress leader on Kashmir clearly shows how the party feels on surgical strikes and bravery of our Army.He also said that Congress will have to answer every moment about the Kashmir remark. Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also slammed Chidambaram, saying Congress’ position over the issue goes directly contrary to India’s national interest.”The position that the Congress party has taken goes directly contrary to India’s national interest. It was the flawed policy of the Congress party right since 1947 which is responsible for the Kashmir problem. Historically Kashmir problem is a Congress party legacy. Instead of learning from its past mistake the Congress wants to precipitate a crisis further for this country,” Jaitley told ANI.However, Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters, “Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always remain so unquestionably.”The opinion of an individual is not necessarily the opinion of the Indian National Congress. In our democracy, individuals are entitled to their opinion,” Surjewala said when asked about Chidambaram’s remarks.The Congress spokesperson hit out at the governments at the Centre and in Jammu and Kashmir over their handling of the situation in the state and asked the ruling parties “to introspect” on the issue.He recalled “how terrorist Masood Azhar was released and taken to Kandahar” in Afghanistan after an Indian Airlines flight was hijacked during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.Whereas 10 years of the Congress-led UPA government proved to be a watershed in restoring normalcy, promoting economic activity, tourism and infrastructural development, engaging with the people within the framework of the Constitution and fighting terrorism and militancy decisively, he said.Surjewala also asked the BJP government to list the steps it has taken to restore normalcy and peace in the state and its roadmap to ensure development there.(With PTI Inputs)

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