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Kamala Mills Fire: Hookah bars may fizzle out after new BMC rules

After a devastating fire in Kamala Mills compound killed 14 and injured several others, hookah parlours may now get a new set of rules and regulations. The state government has been considering laying down stricter rules for establishments serving hookah to its customers. The fire is said to have been caused by one of the burning coals used in a hookah. The new set of rules will include licensing of such establishments and an age bar on patrons that they can serve.“Though the Supreme Court had struck down a ban on hookah parlours, we are looking at regulating them… the question is what kind of regulation is feasible. We are planning to amend the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003. This will regulate the sale and advertisements of tobacco products (including hookah) for the state with the consent of the Centre,” said a senior home department official, adding that they had recently held discussions in this regard.The BMC had imposed a ban on hookah parlours in 2011 in restaurants where smoking otherwise was permitted. This was challenged in the SC which struck it down in 2014.“We can, however, regulate these hookah parlours by laying down a set of rules on the minimum age of their patrons (after concerns that even those who were under-age had access to hookahs), the amount of nicotine used and the number of people to be accommodated in an establishment,” said another official from the department.A senior official said that as of now, these hookah parlours lacked separate licensing or regulatory mechanism. “There is a thin line as on today… Some sort of regulation for hookahs is necessary. You need permissions to start restaurants and even a shop act registration for a xerox centre but no special license for a hookah bar. There must be some system to give licenses and regulate them,” the official admitted, stating that these hookah bars, which were proliferating in Mumbai and also in areas like Pune, fell in a legal twilight zone.“These hookah bars invariably serve liquor,” he said, adding that minors also accessed these spaces leading to public health, and law-and-order concerns.Meanwhile, a senior state excise official said that 1 Above and Mojo Bistro were serving liquor outside the area for which they had been given a license. “They were serving alcohol outside the designated area for which they had a permit room license. The service area had been extended to the terrace where liquor was served. This is a violation,” the official claimed.A home department official said a private member bill seeking to ban hookah bars had also been moved in the state legislature during the recent winter session at Nagpur.State excise commissioner Dr Ashwini Joshi had cracked down on one-day liquor party permits in restaurants as these temporary club licenses, which are meant for functions, were used by rooftop restaurants and eateries to serve liquor across the year.

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New law has ensured development of areas in which mines are located: Centre

A new law, which has made it mandatory for spending of a part of revenue made from auctioning mines in developing the areas they are located in, has resulted in improved living conditions of people in these regions, government claimed today.Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told the Lok Sabha that district mineral foundations, which were created after the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act came into being, have received Rs 13,398 crore and Rs 2,260 crore have been spent so far in developing local areas.This money will be spent on the affected people and areas, Tomar said while replying to a question during the Question Hour.”The changes in the MMDR Act are benefiting people. Their living condition is changing,” he said.To supplementaries regarding the steps Centre has taken to curb illegal mining, he said the law against it has been made more stringent as it now entails five-year jail term and Rs 5 lakh fine instead of a two-year term and Rs 25,000 fine earlier.States have also been asked to set up special courts to try cases of illegal mining, Tomar said.To a question from NK Premachandran (RSP) about lack of action against illegal miners in Kerala, the minister said it was for the states to act against them.Tomar also acknowledged that there was a crisis in the availability of sand and his cabinet colleague Nitin Gadkari, who is in charge of highway constructions, has also spoken about it.A committee under the mining secretary has been formed to ensure easier availability of sand, he said.The government has made it mandatory to auction mines of major minerals, he said, adding it has suggested to the states to go for auctions of minor mines too.Nine states have earned Rs 1.69 lakh crore by auctioning 33 of 88 blocks of mines, he said.

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Home Ministry gives one-month deadline to NGOs to open account in any designated bank

The home ministry has directed all NGOs, business entities and individuals who receive funds from abroad to open accounts in any of the 32 designated banks, including one foreign, within a month for higher level of transparency. It also asked them to ensure that such funds are not utilised for activities detrimental to the national interestThe directive to the NGOs, companies and individuals to open foreign contribution accounts in banks, which are integrated with the central government’s Public Financial Management System (PFMS), came for providing a higher level of transparency and hassle-free reporting compliance, according to the ministry order, accessed by the PTI.The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010 provides for the regulation of acceptance of the foreign funds or foreign hospitality by certain individuals, associations, organisations and companies “to ensure that such contributions or hospitality is not being utilised for the activities detrimental to the national interest”, it said.Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred under the FCRA, 2010, the central government hereby directs all persons who are either registered or who have sought prior permission under the FCRA 2010 to open their bank accounts as mandated in one or more banks in the list of the 32 banks, the order said.This exercise shall be completed expeditiously within one month (by 21-01-2018) with intimation of the details of the bank accounts to the ministry under a prescribed form, it said. The central government has already decided that all banks where the FCRA registered persons and organisations have opened their foreign contribution accounts would be integrated with the PFMS for providing a higher level of “transparency and hassle-free” reporting compliance.While some banks have already integrated their systems with the PFMS for compliance of the central government’s order, many banks have still not completed the integration of their systems with the PFMS despite repeated letters, directions and meetings, the home ministry said.The 32 designated banks where individuals, NGOs and other entities can open their accounts are: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, ICICI Bank, The Cosmos Co-Operative Bank, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, South Indian Bank, IDBI Bank, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd, The Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd, HDFC Bank, UCO Bank, IndusInd Bank, City Union Bank and Syndicate Bank.Allahabad Bank, The Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Punjab National Bank, Allahabad UP Gramin Bank, DCB Bank, Manipur State Co-op Bank, Vijaya Bank, Bombay Mercantile Co-operative Bank, Yes Bank, Oriental Bank Of commerce, Dena Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, Andhra Bank and Axis Bank are the others.The PFMS, which functions under the Controller General of Accounts in the Ministry of Finance, provides a financial management platform for all plan schemes, a database of all recipient agencies, integration with core banking solution of banks handling plan funds, integration with state treasuries and efficient and effective tracking of fund flow to the lowest level of implementation for plan scheme of the government.It also provides information across all plan schemes/ implementation agencies in the country on fund utilisation leading to better monitoring, review and decision support system to enhance public accountability in the implementation of plan schemes.Introduction of the PFMS resulted in effectiveness and economy in public finance management through better cash management for government transparency in public expenditure and real-time information on resource availability and utilisation across schemes. It also resulted in improved programme administration and management, reduction of float in the system, direct payment to beneficiaries and greater transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.Early this year, the home ministry had asked around 9,000 NGOs and other entities to open their accounts in banks having core banking facilities and furnish details for real-time access to security agencies in case of any discrepancy.The Narendra Modi-led government tightened the rules for NGOs and took action against all such entities for violation of various provisions of the FCRA 2010 which include non- filing of annual returns as mandated in the law.Last week, Union minister of state for Home Kiren Rijiju told Parliament that the registrations of 18,868 NGOs were cancelled between 2011 and 2017 for violating laws. Following the action, foreign funding to Indian NGOs has also come down drastically—from Rs17,773 crore in 2015-16 to Rs6,499 crore in 2016-17.Rijiju had said the quantum of foreign funding received by NGOs in India in the last three years were: Rs15,299 crore in 2014-15, Rs17,773 crore in 2015-16 and Rs6,499 crore in 2016-17. Currently, around 10,000 FCRA-registered NGOs are operating in the country.

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Odisha: 31 fishermen held for unlawful fishing activity in Olive Ridley turtle nesting zone

Forest personnel have arrested 31 fishermen for carrying out unlawful fishing activity in the prohibited corridors of the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary in Kendrapara district.Four sea-worthy vessels used for fishing along the marine sanctuary were also seized by the patrolling unit of the forest department near unmanned Babuballi island yesterday, forest officials said.Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary is famous for the mass nesting of Olive Ridley sea turtles.Sea patrolling has been stepped up in the sanctuary to keep the Olive Ridley turtle concentration zones free from human interference.With this, 200 fishermen have been arrested and 62 fishing vessels seized since the last two months for sneaking into the prohibited sea territory, the official said.Prohibition on sea fishing is enforced throughout the year within the marine sanctuary limits.Sea patrolling is stepped up within the marine sanctuary water territory during November-May every year in view of the annual mass nesting season of the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles.The arrested fishermen were natives of some fishing villages in Kendrapara and Bhadrak and Balasore districts, a senior official said.The fishing vessels had trespassed into the prohibited sanctuary corridors contravening the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act, Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act and the mandatory rules of marine sanctuary.They were forwarded to jail under the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1982, he said.Fishermen have been sensitised on the restrictions imposed on human activities in the marine sanctuary, Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (Wildlife) Forest Division, Bimal Prasanna Acharya, said.Nearly 6.04 lakh Olive Ridley turtles had arrived at Nasi-2 nesting ground from March 16 to 23 this year to lay eggs on the sandy beach.

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63% plunge in foreign funding of NGOs: Govt

Foreign funding of NGOs has plunged by 63 per cent as the Centre has been coming down heavily against erring organisations and putting several international donors under the lens for working against the country’s interests.In the year 2016-17, Rs 6,499 crore poured in from abroad in different organisations, this was a sharp dip from Rs 17,773 crore in 2015-16.In 2014-15, Indian NGOs received Rs 15,299 crore from foreign donors.The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has cancelled registration of 4,842 NGOs banning their foreign funding for not filing their annual returns under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010.The latest data on foreign funding of NGOs was given to Parliament on Wednesday.Soon after the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014 intelligence agencies were told to identify advocacy groups that were receiving funds from abroad and were against the interests of the nation. Several NGOs put in the category of impacting the economic stability of the country were put on the list.Intelligence agencies also listed several donors as suspicious and blacklisted them. As a result in 2015 FCRA registration of more than 8,500 organisations was cancelled. This was a big jump from 2014 when only 59 NGOs faced action while only four lost their registration in 2013.Indian NGOs received over Rs 60,000 crore between 2009-10 and 2011-12.As part of stringent measures to monitor the activities of foreign funded bodies the Home Ministry in September asked over 1,200 organisations to give details of their bank accounts that receive funds from international donors.In July the Home Ministry issued notices to 5922 organisations including top educational institutes like Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and several other religious bodies for banning their foreign funding.”Once issues of money laundering, terror funding and derailing the country’s economic growth were raised there was a massive crackdown was planned which is continuing,” said a government official.Sources said many of the NGOs that faced the action were among the highest paid ones but did not file annual returns. Many of these were repeat offenders and failed to file their annual returns on foreign funding for four years between 2010-11 and 2014-15 despite constant reminders from the Home Ministry. All organisations are required to submit their annual return within nine months of the closure of the financial year.DIPPING NUMBERSIn 2016-17, Rs 6,499 crore poured in from abroad in different organisations, as opposed to Rs 17,773 crore in 2015-16. In 2014-15, Indian NGOs received Rs 15,299 crore.

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Owner stares at charges for child labour

With the discovery of the body of a 17-year-old boy at Bhanu Farsan in Saki Naka, authorities are trying to ascertain if the minor had been employed by the illegal unit’s owner Ramesh Bhanushali. It is also likely that the owner will be booked under laws governing child labour.According to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, people below 14 years of age cannot be engaged in any business or organization, while those between 14 and 18 cannot be permitted to work in hazardous occupations that involving inflammable substance or explosives.Violators can be punished with two years in jail and a maximum fine of Rs. 50,000. “In this case if the minor was employed with the factory unit, the owner exposed the minor to the inflammable substances used in the factory unit. This can lead to the addition of sections of the Child Labour Act. We are taking an expert opinion to press charges,” said a senior police officer.Twelve people, mostly labourers, were charred after a fire broke out at the Saki Naka shop on Monday. Initial reports said the fire was triggered by a short-circuit at the tiny structure.

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Fail to seal deal with sign, lose money: MahaRERA

In case a homebuyer fails to register their agreement with a developer within the stipulated time, the developer can cancel the booking. Not only this, the homebuyer will no longer remain an allottee in the developer’s project and will not be eligible for a refund. In a case that came before the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA), it held the view of the developer, wherein despite repeated requests, the homebuyer failed to register the agreement and hence the booking was cancelled. The homebuyer then approached the authority seeking a refund from the developer.The complainant, Sanjay Sawant, had booked an apartment in Landmark Real Estate Developers Limited’s Karjat project, Casa Unico, on June 10, 2016 and paid a partial booking amount. However, there was no registered agreement of sale between the complainant and the respondent. Sawant approached MahaRERA and asked that the developer be directed to refund the booking amount.During the hearing, the developer stated that as per the booking terms and conditions which Sawant had agreed to, Sawant had to sign and register the agreement of sale within 30 days from the day of booking. Despite repeated requests, the complainant failed to do so. His booking was therefore cancelled and the booking amount forfeited.Gautam Chaterjee, Chairperson, MahaRERA, held, “Based on the facts mentioned, the complainant is no longer an allottee and his booking has already been cancelled for breach of the agreed terms and conditions of booking.”Chaterjee in his order further stated that the complainant, Sawant, had failed to show if any provisions of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 or the rules or regulations made there under had been contravened, thus dismissed the complaint.

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Town Vending Committee to decide fate of hawkers

While the Bombay High Court ordered that hawkers can be allowed only in designated hawking zones, no such zones exist in the city as of now. It is the Town Vending Committee (TVC) that will survey and demarcate legal and illegal hawking zones in the city.Vendors across the city are demanding the implementation of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, which stipulated the formation of a TVC tasked with the job of ensuring that all existing street vendors, identified in the survey, are accommodated in the vending zones.The TVC’s formation has been delayed for three years now, as it awaited the state government’s approval. The civic body has brought on board eight hawkers associations in the proposed TVC to involve all the stakeholders.

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Maharashtra RERA trashes home buyer’s complaint over ‘forum shopping’, says can’t ‘ride two horses’

A home buyer cannot do a forum shopping in regards to his complaint, he has to choose between MahaRERA or the the consumer forum.The MahaRERA held this view while dismissing a complaint of a home buyer who had filed a complaint at MahaRERA and also at consumer disputes redressal commission.The complainant a home buyer Deepak Tejwani, had filed a complaint with Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority, contending therein that he had booked a flat no. 506 in C-2, Siddhi project of the developer situated at Shahad, Kalyan.It is the grievance of the complainant that the developer Anil Chabria has not executed the agreement for sale of the said flat and register it. The respondent has also failed to inform him about the status of the construction.The developer then brought to the notice of MahaRERA, that the home buyer had filed CC no. 870 of 2017 before the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Maharashtra State, Mumbai on 14.06.2017 in respect of same flat against the developer and one of the prayers of the said complaint is also regarding the execution and registration of the agreement for sale.”The complainant wants to ride on two horses at a time which is not permissible in view of Section 71 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016. The complainant is at liberty to proceed with only one case, either the case before the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission or MahaRERA.”When the complainant has been asked to choose one, he submits that if MahaRERA grants his relief in this complaint then he shall withdraw the complaint filed before the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. I find that the complainant cannot do a forum shopping, hence, this complaint is dismissed,” read the order passed by MahaRERA member BD Kapadnis.

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When MahaRERA can’t do much about a project

The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority will not entertain complaints against a project if it has received part occupation certificate, even if the document has been issued by mistake, the housing regulator has said. This is so because such buildings need not register and MahaRERA’s jurisdiction is limited to only ongoing projects.Prasad Patkar filed a complaint to contend that he booked Flat No. 104 on the 1st floor in Tower-B of “Runwal Elegante” at Lokhanwala Complex, Oshiwara, Andheri (West). This project consists of A, B and C towers and is a single project. The developer has registered only Tower-A with MahaRERA as ongoing project. For the other two towers, the developer said that they have received part occupancy certificate for the structures. Patkar complained that even Tower B and C are not complete.The developer had sent letters asking the complainant to pay the balance amount of consideration and the complainant in turn asked the developer to furnish the approvals and permissions. The complainant said the builder wrote to him saying he would be charged interest for failing to clear the payment on time.On September 20, 2017, the developer informed Patkar that they have terminated his agreement for his failure to pay the remaining installments. He was also informed that the initial payments would forfeited.These matter was heard by a full bench to consider the issue of their maintainability. The advocate for the complainant admitted that the flat booked by the complainant is in Tower-B and the part occupancy certificate in respect of Tower-B has been issued. He also said that the said OCs had been issued wrongly. The developer’s lawyer contended that since the OCs have been issued in respect of B and C towers, they are not registered with MahaRERA.The full bench of the authority held, “From the facts and circumstances disclosed in the complaints themselves, it becomes clear that the flats of the complainants are in Tower-B for which occupancy certificate has been issued by the competent authority. Whether it is issued properly or improperly by the said authority is not the issue which can be gone into by MahaRERA especially when the Complainant has approached the proper forum in this regard.”Dismissing the complaint, MahaRERA said, “As per Section 3 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act,2O16, the ongoing projects which have received the completion certificate do not require registration. In the light of these provisions when the part occupancy certificate in respect of B and C Towers has been received by the developer, they have rightly not registered those two towers and registered only Tower A which is incomplete. MahaRera gets jurisdiction to entertain only those complaints which relate to a registered project. So far as the locus standi of the Complainants is concerned, their flats are situated in Tower B which is not registered with MahaRERA, therefore, MahaRERA does not get jurisdiction to entertain his complaints. They are not maintainable.”
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Yogi Adityanath

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Is Delhi ready for the DNA test?

In 1983, a 15-year-old schoolgirl, Lynda Mann, was abducted from Narborough in England’s Leicestershire. She was found raped and murdered. Three years later, while investigators were still struggling for clues, another young woman met the same fate near Lynda’s resting place. Fear and sensation gripped the area.In 1986, the police arrested Richard Buckland, a 17-year-old local with learning difficulties, and claimed that he had confessed — but only to the second murder. Investigators applied an untested technique — genetic fingerprinting through DNA analysis — but there was no match in either murder. The test was repeated. Ultimately, Buckland was proven innocent. He claimed he had been pressured by the police to confess.Over the next few months, 5,500 local men were tested. It turned out that one Colin Pitchfork, a 27-year-old baker and father of two, had persuaded a friend to test in his place. But when Pitchfork bragged about fooling the investigators, he was overheard and reported. His genetic profile matched the semen samples from both girls, and in 1987, he became the first murderer convicted based on DNA fingerprinting evidence.Over the last three decades, more than 50 million people are estimated to have had their DNA tested during criminal investigations. The tests have helped nail millions of criminals and overturn the miscarriage of justice by saving innocent suspects like Buckland.Cut to 2017. The Delhi police is still struggling with cases that could have been easily cracked with a DNA database. Half the cases, including those of murder, rape and kidnapping, remain unsolved in the city. In October this year, an 82-year-old woman, her three daughters and a security guard were found murdered with their throats slit in their house in East Delhi’s Shahdara.The police ruled out robbery as a motive and said a property dispute could be the reason behind the murders. The police questioned over 100 people and rounded up possible suspects, but there are no clues yet. Investigators say they have collected fingerprints and other forensic evidence and samples, most likely of the killers, but they have no DNA database to match them with.Legislation pushAbout 60,000 DNA tests are done in criminal investigations every year, in the UK, as compared to 7,500 in India. This, despite the fact that India’s population is 13 times more than that of the UK. China has planned to build a USD 1 billion super-sized DNA sequencing platform in the Jiangsu Province aimed at storing genetic information of millions of its ethnic Chinese population.A debate for DNA’s use as evidence in criminal investigations — through databanks both at national and regional levels — has grown in recent times in the Indian legal system. The first step in the direction of a DNA Profiling Bill was initiated in 2007 with the ‘Draft DNA Profiling Bill’ by the Central government for DNA fingerprinting and diagnostics. Since then, there has been a version of the Bill in 2012, 2015, and 2016.The Central government is pushing a bill called the DNA Based Technology (Use and Regulation) Bill, 2017, which safeguards against data misuse. Once the Bill becomes a law, India will be among the last large countries to have adopted DNA profiling that is also used for disaster victim identification, identification of missing persons and human remains, and for medical research purposes.The Bill provides for the setting up of a statutory DNA Profiling Board to spell out procedures and standards to establish DNA laboratories. The Bill has provisions for consent, defined instances for deletion of profiles, limitation on purpose of the use of data in the DNA databank, defined instances for the destruction of biological samples, and the ability for an individual to request a re-test of bodily substances if contamination is suspected.Supreme Court (SC) lawyer Ashok Bhan said that there is an urgent need to incorporate some provisions in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, to deal with forensic issues. “Investigators have to face trouble in collecting evidence. However, DNA profiling is seen as a challenge to an individual’s right to privacy and right against self-incrimination. This is the reason courts are sometimes reluctant in accepting DNA-based evidence.”India’s Law Commission, which submitted the Bill to the government in July, has also noted that privacy concerns and the ethics involved in this scientific collection of data are very serious. Campaigners against the Bill say it should have had a right to notification of storage and access to information on the databank, the right to appeal and challenge storage of samples, and the right to access and review personal information stored.Sidharth Luthra, Senior Supreme Court lawyer and former Additional Solicitor General of India said that there needs to be a legislative protection to regulate the obtaining and maintaining of DNA samples because there are concerns of privacy, concerns of security and investigation… and all this needs to be balanced.—Gajanan NirphaleLimited successThough no DNA databank exists as of now, the police has had profiling done in many cases, resulting in critical and conclusive evidence. In May, the SC upheld death sentences against four men who fatally gang-raped a woman, who came to be known as Nirbhaya, on board a bus in South Delhi in 2012. DNA tests had helped the police nail the accused of their crime that had sparked widespread protests and drew international attention to violence against women.”While upholding the conviction, five years after the horrific crime, the Supreme Court said in its judgment that the DNA reports cogently linked each of the accused with the victim and the crime scene. The court further noted that DNA profiling proves the presence of the accused in the bus and their involvement in the crime,” a senior police officer said.The court also flagged the significance of DNA in the case as bite marks, though a crucial piece of evidence, lack the specificity and durability as human teeth may change over time. The DNA analysis, fingerprints lifted from the bus, and the analysis of the bite marks on the body of the girl had also been appreciated by the lower court.Last year, five men were sentenced to life in prison for raping a Danish tourist in the heart of New Delhi’s tourist district in 2014. “Even in this case, we got DNA tests done to find conclusive evidence that was accepted in the court,” the officer said. There is no doubt that a DNA database will speed up criminal investigations, he said, adding, “It will certainly help bring down the number of pending investigations in cases, especially murders and rapes.”In Priyadarshini Mattoo case, the Delhi High Court relied mainly on DNA and other circumstantial evidence to hold the accused as guilty. The 25-year-old law student was found raped and murdered at her house in Delhi in 1996.In 2006, the court found Santosh Kumar Singh guilty on both counts and sentenced him to death. In 2010, the SC commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment.In 2014, after a six-year legal battle that involved emotional arguments and a DNA test, veteran Congress politician ND Tiwari finally accepted a man, who dragged him to court, as his son. In 2012, Tiwari was forced to give samples of his DNA for a paternity test after warnings by the Delhi HC. He even moved the SC against the test but failed to stop it.Delhi police PRO Madhur Verma said, “Our DNA fingerprinting is only a tool of evidence for the trial of accused in courts. While in foreign nations, detection is also being done with the help of DNA sampling. If such a technology comes to Delhi, it would revolutionise the way crimes are probed. Like western countries, India must use DNA profiling.”How it worksDNA or deoxyribonucleic acid is the same in every cell throughout an individual’s body, whether it is a skin cell, sperm cell, or blood cell. With the exception of identical twins, no two individuals have the same DNA blueprint. In DNA analysis for a criminal investigation, using highly sophisticated scientific equipment, first a DNA molecule from the suspect is disassembled, and selected segments are isolated and measured. Then the suspect’s DNA profile is compared with one derived from a sample of physical evidence to see whether the two match.If a conclusive non-match occurs, the suspect may be eliminated from consideration. If a match occurs, a statistical analysis is performed to determine the probability that the sample of physical evidence came from another person with the same DNA profile as the suspect’s. Juries use this statistical result in determining whether a suspect is guilty or innocent. DNA profiling removes chances of human error, frauds and technical glitches.DNA evidence is sufficiently conclusive to solve crimes as only monozygotic twins (derived from a single ovum, and so identical) share the same DNA profile, said Dr Durgadas Kasbekar, INSA (Indian National Science Academy) Senior Scientist, Center for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD). “Different tissues, teeth, bones, blood (one drop is enough), spit, semen-detected on cloth using specific staining procedures and skin cells sloughed off with sweat yield the same DNA profile if they are from the same individual.””India needs a more aggressive DNA ‘collect, test and compare’ approach for faster convictions and disposal of cases by courts,” said Tim Schellberg, president of Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs, a government business market development firm. He has advised over 50 foreign and state governments on DNA database legislations, laws and policies.If India has to send a strong message to perpetrators of crimes and instill the fear of the law in them, it has to ensure that evidence collection is strengthened, said Ravi Kant, SC lawyer and president of human rights organisation Shakti Vahini. “Crime scenes have to be forensically examined, crucial evidence collected, scientifically examined and analysed. DNA profiling offers one of the most reliable forensic evidence which can be very helpful in solving of cases,” he said.Capital Concern50% cases of murder, rape and kidnapping remain unsolvedOne of the many casesIn October, an 82-year-old woman, her three daughters and a security guard were found murdered with throats slit in their East Delhi home. Over 100 people questioned, but there are no clues yet. Investigators say they have collected fingerprints and other forensic evidence and samples — most likely of the killers — but they have no DNA database to match them with.DNA’s success in DelhiIn May, SC upheld death sentences against four who fatally gang-raped a woman, who came to be known as Nirbhaya, on board a bus in South Delhi in 2012. DNA tests had helped police nail the accused for their crime that had sparked widespread protests and drew international attention to violence against women. DNA reports cogently linked each accused with the victim and the crime scene.Last year, five were sentenced to life in prison for raping a Danish tourist in CP in 2014. Police got DNA tests done to find conclusive evidence that was accepted in the court.In the Priyadarshini Mattoo case, Delhi HC relied mainly on DNA and other circumstantial evidence to hold the accused as guilty. The 25-year-old law student was found raped and murdered at her house in Delhi in 1996. In 2006, the court found Santosh Kumar Singh guilty on both counts and sentenced him to death. In 2010, SC commuted the sentence to life imprisonment.In 2014, after a six-year legal battle that involved a DNA test, Congress politician ND Tiwari finally accepted a man, who dragged him to court, as his son. In 2012, Tiwari was forced to give samples of his DNA for a paternity test after warnings by Delhi HC. He even moved SC against the test but failed to stop it.Global Scene30 years since the first conviction based on DNA fingerprinting evidence.50 million people have had their DNA tested during criminal investigations.60,000 DNA tests are done in criminal investigations every year in the UK as compared to 7,500 in IndiaThe DNA Based Technology (Use & Regulation) Bill, 2017It provides for a statutory DNA Profiling Board to spell out procedures and standards to establish laboratories.DNA profiling is also used for disaster victim identification, identification of missing persons and human remains, besides medical research purposes.ProsThe Bill has provisions for consent, defined instances for deletion of profiles, limitation on purpose of the use of data in the DNA databank, defined instances for destruction of biological samples, and the ability for an individual to request a re-test of bodily substances if contamination is suspected.ConsCampaigners against the Bill say it should have had a right to notification of storage and access to information on the databank, the right to appeal and challenge storage of samples, and the right to access and review personal information stored.QuotesDNA fingerprinting tech is still costly in India. This is why we use it only in cases where it is required the most. If it comes to Delhi, it will revolutionise investigations. Like western countries, India must use DNA profiling.—Madhur Verma, Delhi police PRODNA evidence is sufficiently conclusive to solve crimes as only monozygotic twins (from a single ovum) share the same DNA profile.—Durgadas Kasbekar, DNA scientistDNA profiling is seen as a challenge to right to privacy. This is the reason courts are sometimes reluctant.—Ashok Bhan, SC lawyerWe need to regulate the obtaining and maintaining of DNA samples because there are concerns of privacy.—Sidharth Luthra, Former ASGIndia has to ensure that evidence collection is boosted. DNA profiling offers one of the most reliable evidences which can be very helpful in solving of cases.—Ravi Kant, SC lawyer
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Yogi Adityanath

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Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Sachin Pilot accuses Raj govt of creating suicidal situation for farmers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Demanding complete loan waiver for farmers, the Congress on Monday organised a huge farmers’ rally in Suratgarh of Sriganganagar district. The rally was largely attended by farmers of the canal irrigated district. Addressing the rally, PCC chief Sachin Pilot accused the government of neglecting the interests of the farmers and creating a situation that they were compelled to commit suicide. Pilot said under the BJP regime, farmers were not getting water, seed and fertiliser at right time. Pilot alleged that farmers are not being given minimum support price for crops.“The Raje government is insensitive towards the needs of the farmers and their needs are not being met. Rather than addressing issues the government has once again deceived the farmers by forming a committee to look into loan waiver,” said PilotHe added, “The government had not ensured proper maintenance of canals that has caused water seepage and soil damage. The farmers are compelled to agitate repeatedly, but the government has not addressed their problems.”Regulation of water had caused resentment among farmers of Sriganganagar and Bikaner and they had been agitating for more water supply. At present, the Rabi sowing season has set in and and farmers are not getting adequate water despite sufficient water level in the Pong Dam. A committee for water regulation, which also includes local legislator had taken the decision to regulate water supply. The committee is scheduled to meet again on December 11 and the decision could be reconsidered.The ongoing farmers’ agitation and the Congress rally had been a cause of worry for the ruling BJP.

3rd party to need allottees’ consent

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If a developer wishes to transfer or assign his rights of a project to a third party, he will need two-third consent of the allottees before doing so. He will also have to inform MahaRERA on the same. The authority came out with a ruling on the same this month, giving more power to home buyers and preventing developers from running away or shirking responsibility. The new developer too will have to fulfill all promises made by the previous one.The new rule reads, “In accordance with Section 15 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, the promoter shall not transfer or assign his majority rights and liabilities in respect of a real estate project to a third party without obtaining prior written consent from two-third allottees, and without the prior written approval of the Authority.”On receipt of such application, MahaRERA shall then pass an order within a month either granting approval or not. The rule is relaxed in cases where the company is changing from a partnership to a private limited company.

Won’t entertain pre-RERA plaint

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If a homebuyer has taken possession of a flat before May 2017, when the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) came into force, then the buyer cannot seek compensation from the developer for delayed possession. The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) dismissed a complaint on the same grounds, wherein the home buyer was promised a home in 2013 but was given possession only in March 2015.The complainant, Mahadeo Nalawade, filed a complaint under Section 18 of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 for getting interest and compensation on the investment made by him for purchasing a flat in developer APL Yashomangal’s Alfa Greenfields Project in Pune. The complainant contended that he purchased the flat from the developer who had agreed to deliver its possession by December 2013. The developer failed to deliver the possession as agreed, therefore Nalawade claimed interest/compensation on his investment.The developer denied Nalawade’s allegation that he failed to give the possession of his flat. According to the developer, Nalawde has been possessing the flat from November 2015 and the fit out possession was given in March 2015 itself.Nalawade admitted these facts. However, his submission was that he wants interest/compensation for the delayed period from April 2014 to March 2015 when he received the fit out possession.While dismissing the complaint, BD Kapadnis, member, MahaRERA said in his order, “In this case, the fit out possession has been given in March 2015 and the complainant has been residing in the flat from November 2015.Therefore, the cause of action to claim compensation for the delayed possession did not survive on May 1, 2017 when the Act came into force. Since the possession is given, Section 18 of RERA will have no role to play. In this situation, I find that the complaint is not maintainable under Section 18 of the Act and it will have to be dismissed.”

Buyers protest outside BJP office

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hundreds of buyers who had invested in different residential projects of the Amrapali Group, Supertech, Jaypee, and many others in Noida and Greater Noida staged a protest outside the BJP office at Ashoka Road in New Delhi on Saturday.Shouting slogans the buyers demanded answers from the government as to how and when they would get their houses. Police detained the protesters for three hours.The flat buyers claimed that during elections a number of BJP candidates had promised homebuyers of Gautam Buddha Nagar that they would give them all possible assistance in securing possession. However, they alleged that nothing has been done about it yet.”We have met with state and central ministers several times and returned with verbal assurances that have not been manifested in deeds till date. I have lost all hopes of getting my dream house,” said Kamal Kaushal, a buyer.Currently, there are around 95 projects in Noida and around 190 projects in Greater Noida which are stuck due to the financial crunch.Shweta Bharti, General Secretary of Noida Extension Flat Owners’ Welfare Association (NEFOWA) said that the primary demand of the buyers was the change in the definition of ongoing projects in the Uttar Pradesh Real Estate Regulation and Development (RERA) rules.”The Central RERA says that a project is to be considered ‘ongoing’ until the possession of flats in it starts. However, the state RERA differs, saying that if a builder has applied for a completion or an occupancy certificate, the project will not be considered ‘ongoing’. Noida and Greater Noida authorities have even issued certificates to some projects without proper inspection,”she said.BUYERS’ DEMANDSIf construction work of any builder is delayed or stopped, the local government body should step in to complete it.
When complaints are lodged against builders, action should be taken by the authorities. Further, if the authorities slacken on this mandate, the government should take action on the officiating authorities.

Regulators caught napping again, as illegal GM soya cultivation starts in India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reacting to a new major development in the GM crop controversy, after illegal GM soya cultivation was discovered in Gujarat, the Coalition for a GM-Free India said that this requires an urgent action against the regulators as well as seed suppliers. Farmers ensnared into such illegal cultivation of unapproved seeds should not be criminalised, said the Coalition.This illegal fait accompli delivered by such unauthorised cultivation marks the cultivation of the first GM food crop on Indian soils. “The regulatory system in the country is clearly in tatters. Incident after incident shows that with the current regulatory regime in the country, citizens’ interests cannot be protected. If the regulators had acted decisively in the past with severe deterrence, against illegal Bt cotton and later, HT cotton cultivation and other illegal imports of GM foods, this situation could have been prevented to a large extent. The government has to think of a serious overhaul of the entire setup and significant improvements in the inter-agency coordination required for ensuring that no illegal GM cultivation or sales take place in the country”, mentioned the Coalition in a statement issued today.Bhartiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), a national farmers’ organisation recently lodged a complaint with the Gujarat state government and the central regulator Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) about the illegal cultivation of GM soya in Aravalli district, in villages near Modasa town. The Gujarat government is reported to have swung into action immediately to seize the stocks and get them tested, which subsequently were confirmed to be genetically modified, herbicide tolerant soya. It is unclear however what the source of the seed is, and what is the extent of its illegal cultivation.The presence of this GM soya cultivation not only threatens to become an irreversible threat to our environment and health, but also threatens the niche advantage that Indian non-GM soya was enjoying in the global markets, of fetching higher prices for Indian soya, given the large demand for non-GM soya in the world markets. This market is now threatened seriously.This discovery of illegal GM soya cultivation comes at a time when India is about to host an Organic World Congress, the biggest congregation of the organic farming movement of the world, in Greater Noida on 9th, 10th and 11th of November 2017.Ironically, India’s first GM crop cultivation – Bt cotton – was discovered in 2001 growing on thousands of hectares in Gujarat, spread surreptitiously and illegally by the biotech industry. Around the same time of the year in 2001, the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) was caught off-guard when news about large scale illegal cultivation of Bt cotton emerged, even as field trials that were to decide whether India will go for such GM crops or not were still underway. GEAC had ordered the destruction of all the illegally-produced GM material after confirming the presence of transgenic material, and asked for the purchase of such material from farmers if needed by the state government for destruction by burning. However, in March 2002, it ended up approving Bt cotton for commercial cultivation in India, and to this day, no liability was fixed for the illegal spread which presented a fait accompli to the regulators.“It is a well-established strategy deployed worldwide of the biotech industry to first contaminate/spread seeds illegally, and then get regulatory approvals after such illegal cultivations. This has been seen time and again in other countries, and in India too, both with Bt cotton and with herbicide tolerant cotton which is now on lakhs of hectares, unapproved. The regulatory system is caught napping and unprepared again and again. They also have no commitment to their mandate and have not taken any action under the EPA 1989 Rules or the liability clauses of EPA 1986 (Sec 15) which prescribes imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both, and in case the failure or contravention continues, with additional fine which may extend to five thousand rupees for every day during which such failure or contravention continues after the conviction for the first such contravention. We have never seen any liability fixed against contraventions of 1989 biosafety rules. It is time we fixed liability on the regulators too for the law to become effective”, said the Coalition. Further, there is prima facie contravention of Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) Order 2003 which also regulates import and prohibition of import of plants and plant products into India.The Coalition notes that illegal herbicide usage is an issue that marks illegal herbicide tolerant GM crop cultivation, and asked for an immediate action on weed-killer sales on unauthorised crops like cotton, mustard and soyabean. It pointed out that that this also showcases the failure of pesticide regulators in the country, and called for a ban on the use of glyphosate, also given its many other known negative fall-outs on health and environment.GM HT soya cultivation in other countries is well documented to cause numerous problems – agri-chemical usage increase, soil health effects, impact on beneficial organisms like bees and monarch butterflies, health impacts from glyphosate used on the HT crop, increase in resistant ‘super weeds’, farmers caught in the trap of proprietary/patented treadmill technologies and decrease in yields. In India, the additional socio-economic issue of huge employment loss for poor agricultural household by the deployment of herbicide tolerant seed technology is also an important matter of concern. Numerous official committees have repeatedly recommended against the introduction of such HT crops in the country, keeping all of this in mind.“We urge the Government of India to enforce strictly the existing regulatory mechanisms and also tighten the regulation with regard to imports of GMOs and products thereof into the country. Several news reports indicated in the recent past that the GM foods entering our food chain in the country are illegal as per the FSSAI – however, they continue to be in the market with no action being taken. Consumers around the country are worried about the health implications from GM foods and it is time that the government curbed illegal GM entry into India in all forms and modes urgently”, said the Coalition.“We need Orders to be issued immediately that all state governments, after urgent ground level verification, write back to the Centre on whether any illegal GM soya cultivation is suspected in their respective states. The GEAC itself should deploy investigation teams into the field to verify the existence of illegal GM cultivation anywhere in the country and take immediate stringent action against the same. There should be a ban on weed killer glyphosate to check its illegal use as well as the spread of illegal HT crop cultivation”, demanded the Coalition.The campaign alliance threatened that it will launch a nationwide campaign if the regulatory body and the government do not swing into action immediately.

Regulators caught napping again, as illegal GM soyaa cultivation starts in India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reacting to a new major development in the GM crop controversy, after illegal GM soya cultivation was discovered in Gujarat, the Coalition for a GM-Free India said that this requires an urgent action against the regulators as well as seed suppliers. Farmers ensnared into such illegal cultivation of unapproved seeds should not be criminalised, said the Coalition.This illegal fait accompli delivered by such unauthorised cultivation marks the cultivation of the first GM food crop on Indian soils. “The regulatory system in the country is clearly in tatters. Incident after incident shows that with the current regulatory regime in the country, citizens’ interests cannot be protected. If the regulators had acted decisively in the past with severe deterrence, against illegal Bt cotton and later, HT cotton cultivation and other illegal imports of GM foods, this situation could have been prevented to a large extent. The government has to think of a serious overhaul of the entire setup and significant improvements in the inter-agency coordination required for ensuring that no illegal GM cultivation or sales take place in the country”, mentioned the Coalition in a statement issued today.Bhartiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), a national farmers’ organisation recently lodged a complaint with the Gujarat state government and the central regulator Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) about the illegal cultivation of GM soya in Aravalli district, in villages near Modasa town. The Gujarat government is reported to have swung into action immediately to seize the stocks and get them tested, which subsequently were confirmed to be genetically modified, herbicide tolerant soya. It is unclear however what the source of the seed is, and what is the extent of its illegal cultivation.The presence of this GM soya cultivation not only threatens to become an irreversible threat to our environment and health, but also threatens the niche advantage that Indian non-GM soya was enjoying in the global markets, of fetching higher prices for Indian soya, given the large demand for non-GM soya in the world markets. This market is now threatened seriously.This discovery of illegal GM soya cultivation comes at a time when India is about to host an Organic World Congress, the biggest congregation of the organic farming movement of the world, in Greater Noida on 9th, 10th and 11th of November 2017.Ironically, India’s first GM crop cultivation – Bt cotton – was discovered in 2001 growing on thousands of hectares in Gujarat, spread surreptitiously and illegally by the biotech industry. Around the same time of the year in 2001, the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) was caught off-guard when news about large scale illegal cultivation of Bt cotton emerged, even as field trials that were to decide whether India will go for such GM crops or not were still underway. GEAC had ordered the destruction of all the illegally-produced GM material after confirming the presence of transgenic material, and asked for the purchase of such material from farmers if needed by the state government for destruction by burning. However, in March 2002, it ended up approving Bt cotton for commercial cultivation in India, and to this day, no liability was fixed for the illegal spread which presented a fait accompli to the regulators.“It is a well-established strategy deployed worldwide of the biotech industry to first contaminate/spread seeds illegally, and then get regulatory approvals after such illegal cultivations. This has been seen time and again in other countries, and in India too, both with Bt cotton and with herbicide tolerant cotton which is now on lakhs of hectares, unapproved. The regulatory system is caught napping and unprepared again and again. They also have no commitment to their mandate and have not taken any action under the EPA 1989 Rules or the liability clauses of EPA 1986 (Sec 15) which prescribes imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both, and in case the failure or contravention continues, with additional fine which may extend to five thousand rupees for every day during which such failure or contravention continues after the conviction for the first such contravention. We have never seen any liability fixed against contraventions of 1989 biosafety rules. It is time we fixed liability on the regulators too for the law to become effective”, said the Coalition. Further, there is prima facie contravention of Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) Order 2003 which also regulates import and prohibition of import of plants and plant products into India.The Coalition notes that illegal herbicide usage is an issue that marks illegal herbicide tolerant GM crop cultivation, and asked for an immediate action on weed-killer sales on unauthorised crops like cotton, mustard and soyabean. It pointed out that that this also showcases the failure of pesticide regulators in the country, and called for a ban on the use of glyphosate, also given its many other known negative fall-outs on health and environment.GM HT soya cultivation in other countries is well documented to cause numerous problems – agri-chemical usage increase, soil health effects, impact on beneficial organisms like bees and monarch butterflies, health impacts from glyphosate used on the HT crop, increase in resistant ‘super weeds’, farmers caught in the trap of proprietary/patented treadmill technologies and decrease in yields. In India, the additional socio-economic issue of huge employment loss for poor agricultural household by the deployment of herbicide tolerant seed technology is also an important matter of concern. Numerous official committees have repeatedly recommended against the introduction of such HT crops in the country, keeping all of this in mind.“We urge the Government of India to enforce strictly the existing regulatory mechanisms and also tighten the regulation with regard to imports of GMOs and products thereof into the country. Several news reports indicated in the recent past that the GM foods entering our food chain in the country are illegal as per the FSSAI – however, they continue to be in the market with no action being taken. Consumers around the country are worried about the health implications from GM foods and it is time that the government curbed illegal GM entry into India in all forms and modes urgently”, said the Coalition.“We need Orders to be issued immediately that all state governments, after urgent ground level verification, write back to the Centre on whether any illegal GM soya cultivation is suspected in their respective states. The GEAC itself should deploy investigation teams into the field to verify the existence of illegal GM cultivation anywhere in the country and take immediate stringent action against the same. There should be a ban on weed killer glyphosate to check its illegal use as well as the spread of illegal HT crop cultivation”, demanded the Coalition.The campaign alliance threatened that it will launch a nationwide campaign if the regulatory body and the government do not swing into action immediately.

Civic body tested several measures but they led to little change

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over the last two decades, the BMC has not issued fresh licenses to hawkers which has led to an increase in the number of illegal hawkers. However, the civic body has taken a number of measures including developing a hawkers’ plaza.One such hawkers’ plaza was developed in 2001 in Dadar, where the menace is often reported. The plaza, then built at a cost of Rs 29 crore, can accommodate 1,448 vendors. However, hawkers refused to shift to the plaza claiming that the BMC was charging an exorbitant rate. Today, half of the building remains unoccupied while one of the floors is being used as an office by the BMC.In January this year, the BMC planned a shopping plaza in Linking Road to make it hawker-free. According to a civic official, there are 97 licensed stalls along the road and the proposed shopping plaza has a provision for 200 stalls.The BMC had also identified around 90 roads for hawkers following the Supreme Court’s order in 2009. “These roads are designated for hawkers who have licenses and are spread across all 24 wards evenly,” said an official from the BMC’s Removal and Encroachment (RE) department.In addition, the civic body had planned to declare some roads free of traffic movement to pave the way for hawkers to do business however this was opposed by residents’ associations.The civic body then carried out a survey of hawkers in the city in 2014, which was initiated after the Supreme Court passed an order in 2013 asking for the implementation of the National Hawkers’ Policy, 2009, and the Street Vendors’ (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014. The BMC had also distributed 1.20 lakh forms for registration of hawkers. “We had only distributed application forms but that was not the final registration. The civic body would also eliminate bogus applications,” added the official from RE.HAWKERS’ PLAZAA plaza developed for hawkers in Dadar in 2001 remains unoccupied. In January this year, BMC planned a plaza for Linking Road with a capacity of 200 stalls.

Hawkers can only operate from designated hawking zones: Bombay HC on illegal hawking in city

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court on Wednesday ruled that hawkers would not be allowed anywhere in the city except for designated hawking zones.”Hawkers are restricted from operating outside railway stations, on foot over bridges, road over bridges, outside education institutes, and hospitals,” the HC said.The court also ruled that hawkers outside religious places can sell wares that are only used for worship.The hawker association, alonh with Mumbai Congress chief sanjay Nirupam had three days earlier addressed a rally of around 150 hawkers, following which several members of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, who were trying to evict them, were assaulted.Several people were arrested and a case was registered against Nirupam for holding a rally without prior police permission. However, the Mumbai Congress chief accused the state government of shielding MNS chief Raj Thackeray, asking why a similar case was not registered against Raj when he led a rally on the hawker issue without permission, MNS threatened to “knock out” illegal hawkers from rail and road premises.Earlier, Nirupam and the hawkers’ association had approached the High Court against ‘illegal eviction drivers’. According to a Times of India report, the team said the Street Vendors’ (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act and HC orders protect hawkers carrying out business as on the date the law was enacted on May 1, 2014. “They argued that three years after the law was enforced, the state was yet to take steps to frame rules and form town vending committees comprising hawkers’ representatives. The committee, besides regulating hawking, has to conduct surveys of hawkers every five years. BMC said as per its survey there are around 99,000 registered hawkers but the petitioners insisted that as of May 2014 there were over 2.5 lakh,” the report added.

Volt jolt: Discom to charge fuel surcharge

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Electricity consumers are set to get a shock from power distribution companies which are going to charge fuel surcharge in the next bill.Jaipur DISCOM is adding extra cost of coal and transportation in the next bill. After estimation of higher cost in the fourth quarter of financial year 2016-17, the consumers will be charged 16 paisa extra per unit for power consumption between January and March this year.The power distribution companies had not charged any money for fuel surcharge in the second and third quarter but in the fourth quarter it seeks to recover the money under this head.As per official estimate, Jaipur DISCOM alone would get Rs 80 crore while cumulative additional recovery by all the DISCOMS would be around Rs 200 crore.Rajasthan Electricity Regulation Commission (RERC) fixes power tariffs after calculating cost of power purchase and other expenditures of the DISCOMS. Apart from fixed cost, it also takes into account some costs as variable before finalsing the tariff to be charged from the consumers. The variable cost includes coal and diesel and transportation charges, which fluctuate. Hence, the RERC has directed to collect this cost from the consumers.

Foreign funds: Delhi High Court grants Centre six-months time to look into accounts of parties

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Monday granted six-months time to the Centre to look into accounts of political parties, including the Congress and the BJP, for traces of foreign funds.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar gave the “last opportunity” to the Ministry of Home Affairs for compliance of its 2014 judgement, in which the high court had found both parties flouting the norms of the FCRA by accepting donations from Indian subsidiaries of UK-based Vedanta Resources.Section 4 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) prohibits a political party or legislature from accepting foreign contributors.On March 28, 2014, the high court had ordered the Election Commission and the Ministry of Home Affairs to look into the accounts of political parties and take action within six months.However, MHA represented by central government’s standing counsel Monika Arora, sought extension of time till March 31, 2018 to comply with the court’s directions.The Centre in its application said the records are voluminous in nature and are of few decades old, hence, to collect, collate and then analyse them requires more time.

200 schools await decision on fees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the 120 days that the Fee Regulatory Committee (FRC) was given to make their decision on the proposals on fee structure submitted by schools known closes to an end on Sunday (September 24), a major chunk of nearly 200 schools in the city are staring at uncertainty.A total of 252 schools from Ahmedabad had approached the FRC, which was formed under the Gujarat Self-Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act, 2017, on May 4 with proposals justifying their respective fee. Self-financed schools across the state were asked to submit their proposal within 25 days and the FRC was directed to reach a decision on each of the proposal within 90 days of receiving them. However, till date, only 50 schools have received a definitive response from the FRC.Also, the Gujarat High Court’s order on more than 60 petitions filed by schools and other associations challenging the cap on school fees, is awaited. It may be noted that these petitioners are opposed to the fee regulation.It is believed that the FRC may not want to announce their decision when the High Court order is still pending.The upper limit of fees that private schools can charge has been fixed at Rs 15,000 for primary, Rs 25,000 for secondary and Rs 27,000 for higher secondary level through the Act.A gazette notification published on August 24 stated that the Gujarat government through a notification under the Gujarat Self-Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act 2017 stipulated that the fee regulatory committee according to the new amendment will have 120 days to fix fees for schools. The government had earlier fixed a 90-day time frame to fix fees. The government had clearly stated that the fee regulatory committee will declare the new fee structure within 120 days from the date of proposal submission (it was 90 days under the earlier rule).Ajay Bhatt from the state Education Department said, “A total of 252 schools in the city had approached the FRC. While it 50 schools have received a decision, over 200 schools are expected to get a definitive answer soon.”A senior official with the department, requesting anonymity, said, “It is most likely that the FRC will not give its verdict till the High Court passes its order. While the schools that did not approach the HC do not have to wait for the order, certain observations by the court may have an implication for them. Hence, the FRC will want to wait.”FRC CRITERIA TO ALLOW HIKELocation of the school
Investment cost incurred on setup
Infrastructure, quality of education, facilities
Admin expenditure, maintenance of services and utilities
Excess fund generated from NRIs as part of charity
Student strength
Classes and courses of study offered
Qualification of teaching and non-teaching staff
Salary components and yearly increments of staff
Reasonable revenue surplus for development purposes, education and expansion

Union government gets tough with states on RERA implementation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major boost to home buyers, union urban development and housing ministry has asked states to plug the loopholes in Real Estate Regulation ACT (RERA). A parliament committee has pointed out dilution of the RERA by the states in order to provide benefit to builders.The parliamentary committee was asked to study implementation of rules for Real Estate Regulation ACT (RERA). In its report submitted in the Lok Sabha, the parliamentary panel has said that the most states have tweaked rules, which are beneficial to the builders but detrimental to the consumers.The act was enacted to protect consumers but the onus to implement it was on the states. However, the parliamentary committee found that going against the spirit of the law several states including Rajasthan made changes suitable for builders. It said that because of this consumers are not getting the benefits they are entitles under RERA.But, the union government has made it clear to the states that for effective implementation of the law while keeping in mind consumers’ interest, they will either have to change the rules not in accordance with the central act or frame new laws. Following the central ministry’s directives, the states will have to close the gap deliberately left open for benefit of builders.Rajasthan where the RERA came into effect on May 1, this year is, among the states that circumvented the new act by leaving ambiguity in the rules. The state government while framing the rules defined them in arbitrary way.As per the central act, ongoing projects have to be registered under RERA. It considers ongoing projects that have not taken completion certificate till the date act came into force. However, in Rajasthan has added several provisions, which are not in tune with the act.To put an end to this the parliamentary committee has made several recommendations. It said that as per article 254 (2) of the constitution, the central government has right to enact acts like RERA. Such law would override acts and rules implemented by the states. Among the gross violation of RERA by the states, the report mentioned definition of ongoing projects and penalty on the builders for poor quality of construction. It has recommended that the central government must ask states to either change their rules or make fresh rules. Also, the committee should be informed about the action taken on its recommendation.What did Rajasthan do:-Projects in which common facilities handed over to residents’ association or authorised agency have been included in ongoing projects.Those projects which have sold 60% plots or housing units or gave their possession.The projects whose completion certificate have been issued by chartered engineer.Even the projects who have applied for completion certificate to the competent authority have been consideredongoing projects.If 50% development fee has been deposited.If the competent authority has begun regularization of the projects.

Make safety norms mandatory: L-G

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Wednesday came down hard on the Delhi government to ensure safety for children in schools after the recent murder of a seven-year-old student in Gurugram’s Ryan International School, and a sexual assault of a minor i another school.The L-G asked Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to make safety guidelines mandatory for schools in the Capital and stated that these guidelines must be binding for the granting of recognition of schools under the Delhi School Education Act and Rules. Sisodia, who is also the Delhi education minister, was told to “urgently formulate and enforce guidelines to ensure safety and security of children in schools”.Verification of the antecedents of security guards, support staff and employees, employment of adequate number of security guards preferably from ex-servicemen, authorised private security agencies registered under the Private Security Agencies Regulation Act, security audit of schools, installation of CCTV cameras at suitable points, proper illumination of dark spots and training modules, among others must be a part of the mandatory safety guidelines, said Baijal.”The security of our children cannot be compromised and has to be an essential condition to allow the running of schools in Delhi,” said Baijal.Baijal had earlier asked Delhi Police to initiate action to brief and sensitise field level police officials to visit schools and advise them to implement security measures in the interest of students. Besides, he LG he had asked Delhi Police to suggest safety guidelines that can be implemented by schools.The LG also suggested that the security measures listed by the Police along with measures suggested by other stakeholders including Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) be considered for inclusion.

Court orders framing of charges against ex-CBI man

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court has ordered the framing of charges against a former CBI Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) accused of falsely implicating an Indian Revenue Service officer in a disproportionate assets (DA) case.Metropolitan Magistrate Ritu Singh held that the charges were attracted against Ramnish, now posted as a DIG and VK Pandey, another accused in the case.”Upon consideration of pre-summoning complainant evidence, documents on record and judicial pronouncements relied upon by this Court, it is of the opinion that offences under Sections 323/427/448 of the Indian Penal Code with section 34 is attracted against the accused persons namely VK Pandey and Ramnish,” the judge said in her order.The court directed both the accused to be present in the court on the next date of hearing on September 16.The case, one of the oldest cases pending in court, pertains to a complaint filed by IRS officer Ashok Kumar Agarwal, who had alleged that he was falsely implicated by the accused, in connivance with other CBI officers.The complaint said that on October 19, 2000, a team of CBI officers led by Ramnish, Pandey and other officers illegally entered Agarwal’s residence in Paschim Vihar by physically assaulting his gate keeper and breaking the sliding door of the drawing room of the ground floor.Agarwal further alleged that the accused persons had forcibly and violently dragged him from his bedroom at about 5.30 am without allowing him to wear proper clothes. He also stated that he was manhandled and pushed down the stairs which caused injury to his right arm and body. He was then arrested while his wife and children were locked in another room and not informed about his arrest.The court, while ordering the framing of charges, said that the sanction to deal with the accused persons has already been dealt with by the Delhi High Court wherein it had stated that the petitioners (accused herein) are not entitled to probation under section 140 of the Delhi Police Act and they are not entitled to protection.Agarwal had also alleged that he was carrying out an investigation against accused charged under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA). As a result, they had conspired with the CBI officers to register a false case against him.He had moved the High Court, demanding quashing of the FIR lodged against him. The court ruled in his favour and ordered registration of two FIRs against the CBI officers, for fabricating documents.

Babus, netas likely used Solapur clinic to abort

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Investigations in the Solapur female foeticide case have now revealed that government servants and candidates wanting to contest the local body elections may have used the services of the arrested doctor couple at Akluj to abort their unborn children. Government servants can avail of dependent benefits for only up to two children. For those who want to contest polls or have been elected to institutions like gram panchayats, panchayat samitis, zilla parishads and municipal bodies, the nominations and elections of those with over two children are liable to be set aside.Last week, the Solapur police had arrested Tejas Gandhi, 43, and his wife Priti, 41, who ran the Siya Maternity and Surgical Home in Akluj for allegedly conducting sex determination and gender-selective abortions. The Gandhis are suspected to have conducted at least 36 abortions since May 2016. The facility did not have valid registrations to conduct medical termination of pregnancies (MTP).”It has been established that female foeticides were happening… But all cases are not those of female foeticide,” Mangesh Chavan, deputy superintendent of police (Akluj), told DNA. He added that those who wanted to contest the local body polls and government servants had also come to the couple to abort their third child.”(This includes) those who want to contest the gram panchayat polls and government servants like primary teachers,” said Chavan, adding they estimated this number to be around 10 to 12. He noted that government servants would lose benefits for over two children while those running for office in local bodies would be disqualified. Of the 36 cases, five seemed to be those of female foeticide. “While other professionals charged around Rs 20,000 to 25,000, the couple charged lower amounts ranging from Rs 7,000 to Rs 13,000 as per the condition of the patients,” said Chavan.The police are scrutinising CCTV footage from the maternity home to identify parents who had come there for abortions and sex determination. They are also likely to arrest a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and his wife for allegedly aborting a female foetus. The couple can be seen entering the maternity home, meeting doctors and paying money.So far, the police has managed to trace 12 couples who aborted their children and are trying to locate more. “We are trying to trace other families but the addresses are incorrect. It has been revealed that the doctor himself administered anesthesia to patients,” said Arun Sawant, Police Inspector, Akluj Police Station. Chavan said they suspected that more medical practitioners in the area could be involved in such illegalities. The Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 (PCPNDT) aims at preventing misuse of pre-natal sex determination techniques for gender determination and female foeticide.

Aadhaar must for sonography soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To curb cross-border gender determination and female foeticide, it may become mandatory for people from outside Maharashtra undergoing sonographies in its border districts to produce their Aadhaar cards. Conversely, it may be necessary for people from Maharashtra who go to these states to do so too.The state government has zeroed in on nine talukas in Maharashtra with the lowest sex ratio at birth in 2016, and will study the reasons and target its interventions there. This includes Akkalkuwa in Nandurbar (495), Tala in Raigad (736), Mandangad in Ratnagiri (750), Phulambri in Aurangabad (757), Shirur Kasar (Beed) (758), Dharmabad in Nanded (792), Seloo in Wardha (761), Mahagaon in Yavatmal (786) and Mulshi in Pune (769).The sex ratio at birth in Mumbai city and the suburbs stands at 946 and 932 girls respectively born per 1,000 boys, while the state’s ratio is 904.The move was discussed on Tuesday in a meeting of the state committee which supervises the implementation of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 (PCPNDT).”We are evolving protocols with neighbouring states and will hold a meeting in two months,” said a senior state government official.The proposed system will help isolate sonography centres which see an unusually high number of cross-border cases and pinpoint PCPNDT violations. Maharashtra has around 7,600 sonography centres.A senior official noted that they may have to make it compulsory for all patients in designated areas to produce identity proofs. For those unable to produce their UIDAI cards, other proofs of residence such as voter’s cards will do.Activists and health department officials admit that couples from Maharashtra, especially from border districts, often go to other states to determine the gender of their foetus and abort the female ones.In March, Sangli police arrested homeopath B.A Khidrapure after 19 foetuses were found dumped at Mhaisal village.Activists say cities such as Bijapur, Chikodi, Indi, Gulbarga, Belgaum (Karnataka), Surat (Gujarat), Jabalpur, Burhanpur (Madhya Pradesh), Hyderabad, Adilabad and Nizamabad (Telangana) are hubs for such activity, and couples from these places also come to Maharashtra for the same.Maharashtra shares border with Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

PIL challenges ‘no outside food’ rule at cineplexes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A city-based film director has approached the Bombay High Court against the prohibition on carrying outside food in movie theatres and multiplexes. Jainendra Baxi, who has filed the public interest litigation (PIL), claimed that there was “no legal or statutory provision that prohibits one from carrying personal food articles or water inside movie theatres”. In fact, the petition said, the Maharashtra Cinemas (Regulation) Rules prohibit hawking and selling food inside the theatres and auditoriums. “This rule is openly flouted by the cinema halls which have several stalls selling food and beverages,” it added. The restrictions on bringing outside food to the theatres particularly affected the senior citizens and those who could not eat, for medical reasons, “the junk food that the food stalls in the theatres sell”, the petition said. The moviegoers must be allowed to carry eatables inside the auditoriums and disallowing this violated their “constitutional right to life”, it added, while seeking a direction to the state government to clarify its position in this regard. The PIL is expected to come up for hearing next month.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

66A gone, stronger law on cards

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recommended the strengthening of sections 153A and 505 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) instead of modifying section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.The Supreme Court had in March 2015 struck down section 66A of the IT Act that made posting “offensive” comments online a crime punishable by jail. But the jubilation among defenders of free speech might soon be over with the MHA’s move, experts say.Section 153A of the IPC prohibits hate speech and punishes any form of action or communication that leads to disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will among people. The maximum punishment is three years in jail.Section 505, on the other hand, punishes statements that amount to public mischief. Both sections have the ramifications similar to section 66A, but unlike it, are non-bailable offences.In a meeting, held earlier this week, of an expert committee under TK Vishwanathan, the MHA suggested that instead of modifying the controversial section 66A of the IT Act, amendments to sections 153A and 505 of the IPC will prove to be more effective.It is also learnt that the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) supported the idea mooted by the MHA.The MHA’s recommendations hint at the possibility of heightened censorship, which was not what the panel was set out to achieve, experts say.The Cyber Regulation Advisory Committee (CRAC) was formed by the MHA to study the Supreme Court’s judgment that called section 66A “unconstitutional” and “draconian”.In reply to a Parliament question in August, 2015, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the expert committee was formed to recommend a road map with measures and amendments to the present laws for consideration of the government. He also said that the committee will look at ways of restoring section 66A of the IT Act with “suitable modifications and safeguards to make it fully compatible with constitutional provisions”.On the other hand, the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry, also part of the committee, was opposed to the idea of not restoring section 66A. The ministry has, it is learnt, recommended that 66A must be amended.Since the IT Act was originally formed to promote the IT industry, it should be amended to allow for preventive measures, it said.The WCD Ministry’s areas of concerns are the cyber security of women and children. As part of its prescriptions of a comprehensive overhaul, it has mooted the idea of a green channel for raising cyber crime cases on a real-time basis, where the abusive content can be taken down immediately.

Allow nursing home to operate, Bombay High Court to Mulund high-rise

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court recently rejected a petition filed by a housing society in Mulund, challenging the permission granted by the BMC, for a nursing home to operate on the second floor of a high-rise building. The dismissal of the petition holds significance as many buildings in Mumbai are similarly placed.A division Bench dismissed a petition filed by Manisha Heights Cooperative Housing Society, challenging an order passed by the corporation in 2016. The building, which is ground-plus-19 floors, has reserved the first two floors for commercial use. The third and fourth floor are reserved for parking, while rest of the floors are for residential purpose.The society claimed that the nursing home cannot operate in a residential building, relying on provisions of Maharashtra Ownership Flat Act and regulation 51, under the 1991 Development Control Rules, permission allowing a nursing home can only be in an independent building. The developer and civic body opposed the petition. They argued that permissions were granted in accordance with law. The commercial part of the high rise where the nursing home is situated has a separate access and developer has taken all efforts to ensure no inconvenience is caused to any resident of the building.The Bench after going through the Regulation and Provisions of the Act, said “Courts are required to read the provisions harmoniously. If we read the regulation 51 of DCR, words used indicate that nursing home can be permitted in an independent part of the building. User of nursing home can be permitted only requirement will be that such a premises must have an independent access, from within or outside of the building.”Further it said “Since in the present petition it is seen that the nursing home is in an independent part of the building having independent access. Moreover, two floors above the second floor are reserved for parking purpose, in that view of the matter nursing home is in an independent area.” Thus the petition stands dismissed.

WIll find out Meghalaya coal ban solution in 8 months: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP today slammed the Congress-led government’s ‘failure’ to come up with a plan for restoring coal mining in Meghalaya in three years and vowed to find a comprehensive solution within eight months, if elected to power in 2018 assembly election. “If voted to power, we are making a commitment to work with all the stakeholders including environmentalists and come to a comprehensive solution in consultation with the Centre,” BJP national spokesman Nalin Kohli told reporters here. The comprehensive solution would be found within a span of six to eight months, Kohli said. His statement came as a reaction to the state government’s proposal to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to allow the Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation (MMDC) to take up mining activities in the state as per provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act. An affidavit on this proposal was filed on August 10, by the state government before the NGT, which had imposed a blanket ban on unscientific coal mining in April 2014. The state government’s proposal to allow the MMDC to take up mining activities was opposed by the mining community during a meeting chaired by the chief minister Mukul Sangma on April 4 this year. Kohli said that instead of looking at the issue from a scientific point of view and submitting a mining plan which the NGT has been asking, the state government is saying it would like the MMDC to start mining when elections are just six months away. Pointing out the land tenure system in Meghalaya where mining land belongs to the people, he asked how a government agency like MMDC can start mining without participation of the community and stakeholders. He alleged that the Congress government is trying to fool the people before the election.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Allow live-in couples, widows to avail surrogacy: Parliamentary Panel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Live-in couples and widows should be allowed to avail surrogacy service in addition to legally married Indian couples, a parliamentary panel said today and pitched for providing “adequate and reasonable” monetary compensation to surrogate mothers.The panel also spoke out against altruistic surrogacy, where a surrogate mother agrees to gestate a child for intended parents without being compensated monetarily in any way.Expecting a woman to be altruistic enough to become a surrogate and endure all hardships of the surrogacy procedure in the pregnancy period and post-partum period is “tantamount to a form of exploitation”, it said.It observed that altruistic surrogacy only by close relatives will always be because of “compulsion and coercion” and not because of altruism.The committee also found “no point” in restricting NRIs, Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs), Overseas Citizen of India OCIs) card holders from availing surrogacy services in India and recommended while foreign nationals should be kept out of the ambit of surrogacy bill, PIOs, OCIs and NRIs should be permitted to avail surrogacy services in the country.The Union Cabinet had given its nod to the introduction of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 in Parliament, seeking a bar on unmarried couples, single parents, live-in partners and homosexuals from opting for surrogacy.”Foreigners as well as NRIs and PIOs who hold OCI cards have been barred from opting for surrogacy,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had told reporters after the approval of the bill by the Union Cabinet last year.The Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health noted that the bill limits the option of surrogacy to legally married Indian couples.”Given our sentiments and sensibility, the social status of a woman in our society is judged by her reproductive life and there is a lot of pressure on her for child bearing,” it noted.”The Department of Health Research by imposing prohibition on widows and divorced women seems to have closed its eyes to the ground reality,” it said.The committee observed that the decision to keep live-in partners out of the purview of the bill is indicative of the fact that the bill is not in consonance with the “present day modern social milieu that we live in and is too narrow in its understanding”.”The committee recommends that the department should broad-base the eligibility criteria in this regard and widen the ambit of persons who can avail surrogacy services by including live-in couples, divorced women or widows,” it said.It observed that there is no doubt that there is a potential for exploitation and the surrogacy model that exists today can exploit surrogate women.”But this potential for exploitation is linked to the lack of regulatory oversight and lack of legal protection to the surrogate and can be minimised through adequate legislative norm, setting and robust regulatory oversight,” it said.The committee headed by Ram Gopal Yadav noted altruistic surrogacy is another extreme and entails high expectations from a woman willing to become a surrogate without any compensation or reward.”Pregnancy is not a one minute job but a labour of nine months with far reaching implications regarding her health, her time and her family.”In the altruistic arrangement, the commissioning couple gets a child; and doctors, lawyers and hospitals get paid.However, the surrogate mothers are expected to practice altruism without a single penny,” it said.Noting that the bill limits the circle of choosing a surrogate mother from within close relatives, the committee said that it believes that altruistic surrogacy only by close relatives will always be because of compulsion and coercion and not because of altruism.It noted that altruistic surrogacy across the world means compensated surrogacy and a range of monetary payments to surrogate mothers are permitted as reasonable compensation.”The committee recommends that the word ‘altruistic’ in clause 2 (b) of the bill be replaced with the word ‘compensated’ and appropriate modifications be incorporated in the said clause and other relevant clauses of the bill with a view to harmonising the bill with the compensated surrogacy model,” it said.The committee recommended that surrogate mother should be adequately and reasonably compensated and the quantum of compensation should be fixed keeping in mind the surrogacy procedures and other necessary expenses related to the surrogacy process.It said that the compensation should be commensurate with the lost wages for the duration of pregnancy, medical screening and psychological counselling of surrogate, child care support or psychological counselling for surrogate mother’s own child, dietary supplements and medication, maternity clothing among others.”The committee also recommends that in case the surrogate mother dies in the course of surrogate pregnancy or while giving birth to the surrogate child, additional compensation should be given to the kin of the surrogate mother,” it said.Noting that economic opportunities available to surrogates through surrogacy services should not be dismissed in a “paternalistic” manner, it said that permitting women to provide reproductive labour for free to another person but preventing them from being paid for their reproductive labour is “grossly unfair and arbitrary”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Strictly instruct states to notify RERA in letter and spirit:

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A parliamentary panel has asked the Ministry of housing and urban affairs to “strictly instruct” the states which have diluted the rules under the real estate law to either amend it or re-notify them in line with the “letter and spirit” of the Act. The Committee on Subordinate Legislation, headed by BJP MP Dilipkumar Mansukhlal Gandhi, said that rules notified by some of the states were not in consonance with the spirit of the Act. It also observed that rules were skewed in favour of builders, hurting the consumer interests particularly in areas like definition of ongoing projects, penalties for non- compliance and dealing with structural defects. The panel noted that the Ministry had taken up the matter with the states during consultation meetings and also written to them to adhere to the letter and spirit of the Act. “The Committee are distressed to note that the Ministry have not clearly spelt out the ways and means in this regard. “The Committee, while recognising that each state have their respective development laws, sanctioning procedures, and other land related unique issues, recommend that the Ministry should strictly instruct the states to either amend their rules or re-notify them in line with the letter and spirit of the Act,” the Committee said in its report, tabled in the Lok Sabha today. The Committee also expressed its “dismay” over the delay in framing of the rules by many states. The state governments were required to notify the rules by October 31, 2016. It said, as per the information submitted by the Ministry, only 12 states/UTs had notified the rules, while 16 were in the process of notifying them. Four states–Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland–had some constitutional issues over land ownership, while three states–Manipur, West Bengal and Goa– have not provided any information on the notification of the rules under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

People may have to take permission for boring to fetch water

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar government is contemplating putting a mechanism under which people will have to take prior permission for boring/sinking to fetch ground water in urban areas to conserve the ground water table. “Though there is no problem of ground water table in Bihar except in hilly areas, but we’ll regulate the water in order to conserve it in urban areas…People will have to take permission to sink to fetch ground water,” Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh told reporters here. Singh, however, made it clear that there was neither any immediate plan nor any decision taken to implement it, but it is actively considering to implement a policy to manage water as mandated under the Bihar Groundwater Regulation and Management Act 2006. Talking about the deaths caused by lightning incidents in the state, Singh said that the government was working on a plan to introduce an “mobile phone App” which would alert people in advance about lightning strike in a particular area. “I have seen the App being in practice in Andhra Pradesh. It is working quite well. It alerts people 30 minutes in advance about the place where lightining will strike,” Singh said. People would have to download the “App” and once it is downloaded, they would get an SMS alert on their handsets, he added. It will take another 3-4 months to introduce the “App” for the people in the state, he said adding that the App had become a necessity in the backdrop of large number of deaths being caused by lightining strike. The App will prove to be much cheaper too for the state government as it has to shell out Rs 4 lakh each to the next of the kin killed in the lightning strike, Singh said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

RS adjourned after heated exchanges between govt, opposition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rajya Sabha today witnessed heated exchanges between the government and the opposition over whether to take up legislative business or debating the Chandigarh stalking case and printing of differently-sized new currency notes, leading to its adjournment for the day. The House, which had earlier seen a discussion on the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement, witnessed two adjournments as the opposition and the treasury benches stuck to their respective stands before the Chair called it a day. While the government wanted to push the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill for consideration and passage, the Congress-led opposition members wanted to discuss the contentious issue of Chandigarh stalking case and discrepancies in the printing of new currency notes. Consensus eluded on running of the House even after the leaders of the two sides met in the presence of Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to break the deadlock. Those who attended the meeting after the second adjournment included Union Ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Ravi Shankar Prasad, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Jairam Ramesh and Kumari Selja. Naqvi later said in the House that the Congress party had agreed to take up legislative business first and later discuss the issues raised by them and claimed that the Congress party was “now retracting from its commitment”. He said the government understood the opposition’s intention that they would first discuss the issues they are raising and then walk out of the House so that the bill is not passed. Prasad repeatedly stressed that the Banking Regulation Bill was “very important and pro-poor” and would empower the RBI to ask banks to initiate proceedings against bad loans. However, the opposition members did not relent and stuck to their stand on discussing the issues first and then taking up the legislative business. Pressing for a discussion on their issues including the Chandigarh stalking incident, the opposition members led by those from the Congress trooped into the well, raising anti- government slogans. They also raised slogans against the BJP on the matter related to stalking of a girl in Chandigarh by the son of a Haryana BJP leader. Congress deputy leader Anand Sharma said Chandigarh being a Union Territory was directly administered by the Home Minister who should come to the House and give a statement on the issue. Terming the banking bill as important one, Sharma said that “Please do not pass it in the din.” D Raja of CPI also said no bill should be passed in the din. Kurien then said if the House was always witnessing a pandemonium, “what can the Chair do”. Pressing for a discussion on the issues raised by the opposition, Sharma said tomorrow the new chairman of the House will join and there would be no time for a discussion on the bill. Selja said the government was protecting the accused in the stalking case and trying to push matter under the carpet. Even after intervention by Kurien, both sides remained defiant on their respective stands, leading to the premature adjournment of the House for the day. Earlier initiating the discussion, senior congress leader Kapil Sibal gave a notice to suspend legislative business in and take up the matter related to discrepency in the sizes of the new currency notes being printed. “We are confronted with a very serious issue…we have discovered differently-sized notes in the public domain. We would like to know what is going on? Who is printing these notes,” Sibal said. His notice was however rejected by the Deputy Speaker.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govindas assured Rs 10 lakh insurance after HC decision

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dahi Handi pathaks on Monday welcomed the Bombay High Court decision not to impose restrictions on the height of human pyramids during the Dahi Handi festival, and the state government’s stand that it would abide by the statutory provisions laid down under the Child and Adolescent (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, which prevents children below the age of 14 from being employed, including in Dahi Handi.”We are satisfied with the decision from the High Court,” said Arun Patil, coach of Sarvajanik Govinda Pathak in Mazgaon.”Safety measures will be our top priority while forming the human pyramids. We will be reminding organisers to arrange for cushioned mats and other safety measures while the pathaks form the pyramids. Even if we wanted the Govindas minimum age limit to be 12, we are satisfied and happily accept the 14-year age limit for minor Govindas,” said Patil.From this year, all Govindas will receive an insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh as compared to the Rs 2.5 lakh they received till last year.Geeta Zagade, secretary of Dahihandi Utsav Samanvay Samiti (DUSS), said, “The opposing parties have been giving out many case studies where the Govindas were injured and hospitalised. To reduce the burden on Govindas in the case of emergency, and for them to get a benefit from the insurance cover, we have increased the insurance amount from this year. This will help them get financial help if needed.”Till last year, injured Govindas received Rs 25,000, and in cases of serious injuries or deaths, Rs 2.5 lakh was granted as financial aid. This year, Govindas who receive minor injuries will be getting Rs 50,000.”The insurance process has already started. From this year, the Govindas will receive Rs 10 lakh insurance cover. We are happy with the judgement passed and will ensure all the rules are followed,” said Sandip Dhawale, coach of Jogeshwari-based Jai Jawan Govinda Pathak.

Last session of 13th Guj Assembly begins tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The last session of the 13th Legislative Assembly of poll-bound Gujarat will begin tomorrow. As the Assembly Complex in Gandhinagar is currently undergoing renovation, the two-day monsoon session would be held at Mahatma Mandir, a convention centre, in the capital city, officials said today. The Assembly polls for all the 182 seats are expected to be held at the end of this year. On the first day, the House is expected to be adjourned after condoling the deaths in the recent flood in different parts of the state, mainly in Banaskantha and Patan districts. According to officials, four bills will be tabled in the House. These Bills include the Gujarat Co-operative Societies (Amendment) Bill, Gujarat Single Window Clearance Bill, Gujarat Agricultural Land Ceiling (Amendment) Bill and a bill to amend the Gujarat Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act of 1976.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Dahi Handi fest: 14 yrs age restriction, but no height limit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court today accepted Maharashtra government’s statement that it would not allow children below the age of 14 years to participate in the ‘Dahi Handi’ festival. A division bench of Justices B R Gavai and M S Karnik, however, refused to impose restrictions on the height of human pyramid formations during the festival. “It is not for the high court to impose restrictions on the age of the participants and height of the pyramids as this falls exclusively in the domain of the state legislature,” Justice Gavai said. “We accept the statement made by the state government that it would ensure children below 14 years of age would not participate in the Dahi Handi festival,” the judge said. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state government, told the court that as per the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, children below 14 years of age will not be allowed to participate in the festival since the government had in August last year declared ‘Dahi Handi’ as an adventure sport. The court was today hearing two petitions filed by city residents, raising concerns over the participation of minors in the festival and lack of safety measures, due to which several untoward incidents occur. In 2014, the high court had passed an order saying children below the age of 18 years cannot participate in the festival, and had also imposed a height restriction of 20 ft for the pyramids. The state government had then appealed in the Supreme Court, which on August 1 this year referred the matter back to the high court directing it to hear the petitions afresh.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Developers may get two more months to register under RERA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat Real Estate Regulatory Authority is likely to extend by two months the deadline for registration of ongoing real estate projects under Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA). The earlier deadline for registration was July 31.Neela Munshi, officer on special duty in urban development department of state government, wrote a letter to the RERA secretary on Monday, requesting extension of the deadline by two months for the benefit of ongoing projects. According to sources, the deadline will be extended accordingly very soon.Interim chairman of RERA authority and former chief secretary in state Manjula Subramaniam said that they had received 400 applications from developers and 94 from agents by Monday morning. She said, “We have requested the state government to inform us about their stand. Implementation of RERA in state was already delayed. The recent heavy downpour and flood in state too could have affected developers.”“We have been scrutinising the applications. If more documents are needed, we shall inform the applicants within seven days,” she added.Sources, however, said that by Monday evening, the number of applications by developers had reached 450 and that by real estate agents stood at 100.CREDAI calls for review of RERANational president of CREDAI Jaxay Shah said, “The requirement of RERA that no project be offered for sale without registration would cripple the real estate industry which is already facing downward business cycle. Ongoing projects about to be completed may actually get delayed on account of RERA.”He added, “Authorities responsible for giving approvals to real estate projects must be within the ambit of RERA.”

Consent of 51% enough for redevelopment: Devendra Fadnavis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday announced that redevelopment of old, dilapidated and private buildings can now be done with consent of 51 per cent of the members.The Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act 1970 provides for redevelopment of such buildings only with consent by 100 per cent members.The CM was responding to a debate on an adjournment motion moved by the Opposition on issues of municipal corporations and local bodies in the state. Fadnavis said that when such buildings go for redevelopment, builders with vested interests try to take consent of a handful of residents and spoil the process. This change in providing for redevelopment with consent by 51 per cent members can pave way for redevelopment of buildings registered under this Act. It would pave way for thousands of cessed and old buildings in Mumbai.An official from the housing department informed that this number of tenants has been brought down in accordance with the Real Estate (Regulation and Development)Act (RERA) norms. There are thousands of old and dilapidated buildings which would benefit from this decision.”We are changing the norms barring the developer in re-entering in the slum redevelopment project and making it mandatory for the developer replacing the original one to complete registration in three months. On failure of registration, the project will be taken over by the SRA to avoid delay in rehabilitation of slum dwellers,” Fadnavis said.WHAT RERA SAYSRERA Act demands consent and registrations by 51 per cent of the tenants while safeguarding their interest on various fronts. Taking a cue, the government has changed the consent provision.

FERA case: Abhishek Verma guilty of non-complaince of summons

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma has been held guilty by a Delhi court for non- compliance of summons issued to him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a FERA violation matter in 1999. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Jyoti Kler will pronounce the order on the quantum of sentence on August 9. The maximum jail term for the offence is three years. During arguments, ED counsel N K Matta submitted that due to his defiance of the summons, the probe was stalled. According to the ED, it had the filed a complaint on December 14, 1999 before the court saying Verma was required for investigation. He was summoned to appear before it, but he had deliberately avoided appearance and hence committed an offence under the now-repealed Foreign Exchange Regulation Act. The complaint filed by ED was for violation of seven summons between July and November 1999 issued by it to Verma to appear before the investigation officer of the agency. The charges in this case were framed against Verma in January 2005 when he had denied the allegations and claimed trial.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

No plans to take over delayed residential projects: govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government has no plans to take over delayed residential projects of private builders and complete them for home buyers, the Lok Sabha was informed today. “There is no such proposal under consideration of the government to take over the delayed residential projects and complete the same for home buyers,” Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh said during Question Hour. He was replying to a question on behalf of Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar whether the government proposes to take over hundreds of residential projects of builders which have been delayed. Singh said his ministry does not maintain details of projects launched by private builders in urban areas and delay their execution. “However, in order to bring transparency in operations in the real estate sector and to ensure timely completion of ongoing and new projects, the ministry has piloted the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Former CBI DSP taken out of court after disrupting proceedings twice

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A former CBI Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), accused of falsely implicating an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer in a disproportionate assets case, had to be taken out of the court last month, after he interjected twice during the proceedings.”Koi sarkari naukar ki nahi sunta (no one listens to a public servant),”Ramnish, now posted as a DIG, shouted in the court, while maintaining that allegations levelled against him were not sustainable. Metropolitan Magistrate Ritu Singh then directed him to maintain the decorum of the court and gave him the option to convey his objections through his counsel.But then the accused interjected again and had to be taken out of the court. “I deem it fit for the conduct of uninterrupted proceedings of court to direct the accused, Ramnish, to remove himself from the courtroom,”the judge said, in the order dated June 3.The accused, however, tendered an apology for his behaviour, following which the judge asked him to be careful in future.The case, one of the oldest pending in the court, pertains to a complaint filed by IRS officer Ashok Kumar Agarwal, who had alleged that he was falsely implicated by the accused, in connivance with other CBI officers.Agarwal had also alleged that a Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) accused, against whom he was carrying out an investigation, had conspired with the CBI officers to register a false case against him.He had moved the High Court, demanding quashing of the FIR lodged against him. The court ruled in his favour and ordered registration of two FIRs against the CBI officers, for fabricating documents.

Delhi HC asks Centre: Explain inaction on foreign funding to BJP, Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High court on Thursday asked the Centre on its inaction against Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for accepting foreign funding in violation of law despite the directions of a court in 2014.Justice A K Chawla observed that the delay in implementing the court order was “unjustified” and gave six weeks time to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to file a compliance report in this regard.The judgment, which was passed in 2014, had found both the national parties violating the norms of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCR) by accepting donations from Indian subsidiaries of UK-based Vedanta Resources.The compliance report was sought while hearing a contempt plea filed by NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) alleging non-action of the government against the political parties.Appearing for MHA, its counsel informed the court that the records were 40 years old, voluminous and it would take time to go through them. He also said that notice has been issued to both the parties to file documentsEarlier, on March 28, 2014, the High court had ordered the Election Commission and the MHA to look into the accounts of both Congress and BJP for foreign funds and take action within six months.Appearing for ADR, its counsel Pranav Sachdeva, informed the court that even after three years of the order no action has been taken so far.In its plea, ADR had contended that since there has been wilful disobedience on the part of the government in compliance with the impugned order, they are liable to contempt of court and proceedings should be initiated accordingly.The court had held that UK-based Vedanta Resources is a foreign company within the meaning of the Companies Act, 1956, and, therefore, the firm and its subsidiaries — Sterlite Industries and Sesa Goa — were foreign source as contemplated under the Act.It had also directed the Centre to look into the donations made to political parties by not only Sterlite and Sesa, but other similarly situated companies or corporations.

FERA case: ED seeks dismissal of Dhinakaran plea, HC reserves

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Enforcement Directorate has sought dismissal of the plea filed by AIADMK (Amma) leader TTV Dhinakaran in the Madras High Court for staying the order of framing of charges by a lower court in a case filed by the ED alleging Foreign Exchange Regulation Act violations. On July 7, the high court had granted interim stay on all further proceedings in an Economic Offences Court against Dhinakaran in the FERA violation case. Justice M S Ramesh had said, “On the face of the records, reasonable opportunities have not been extended to the petitioner during the course of hearing. Notice to respondent (Enforcement Directorate) returnable by July 17. Private notice permitted.” Additional Solicitor General G. Rajagopalan, who argued on the counter affidavit filed by the ED yesterday, said Dhinakaran’s plea for setting aside the order of framing of charges by the trial court was not all maintainable. The case against Dhinakaran is pending from 1996 and ample opportunities had been given to him on the basis of natural justice, the ASG said and sought for vacating the interim stay. After hearing the arguments, Justice Ramesh reserved orders. Dhinakaran had filed a petition for staying the order on framing of charges by the Economic Offences Court (I) at Egmore on April 19 in the case filed by the ED alleging Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) violations. In its counter, the ED said the petition was filed only to drag the proceedings pending before the economic offences court. The ASG submitted that the stage of framing charges in the case, pending from 1996, was reached only April 19 this year, that too after 21 years after so many adjournments by the petitioner. He said the ED had filed a memo before the lower court for conducting the trial on a day-to-day basis hence it was not fair on the part of the petitioner to say that he was not afforded opportunity of hearing before framing of charges. He said the counsel for the petitioner was present for every hearing and it “can be presumed that ample opportunity was given on the basis of natural justice”. In the counter affidavit, the ED also said that before framing of charges, the trial court had examined all the documents furnished and applied its “judicial mind and followed the principles of natural justice”. It sought dismissal of the petition filed by Dhinakaran for granting stay on the order of framing charges by the trial court. Dhinakaran had said the additional chief metropolitan magistrate did not hear his counsel before framing the charges and pleaded that the order be set aside. The ED case was that as the sole director of M/s Dipper Investments Limited Company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, Dhinakaran had transferred over USD 10 million without RBI permission. The ED said the company maintained an account with a UK- based bank and alleged that in 1994 issued 21 cheques having a total value of USD 1,04,93,313 which were deposited in the account of M/s Dipper Investments. It alleged the money was transferred through a person who was not an authorised dealer in foreign exchange and without general or special permission of the RBI. A total of six charges were framed against Dhinakaran for alleged violation of various sections of the FERA, which has been repealed. Though registered in 1996, the ED could not proceed ahead with the case due to several rounds of litigation. Dhinakaran was also discharged from the case, but on February 1 this year, Justice G Chockalingam allowed a revision petition filed by the ED and set aside Dhinakaran s discharge. It paved the way for resumption of the case and led to framing of charges on April 19. A court frames charges against an accused after it finds sufficient prima facie evidence against him to put him on formal trial in the case.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

1,000 NGOs blacklisted for misusing foreign grant: Govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 1,000 NGOs have been barred from receiving foreign aid after they were found “mis-utilising” such funds, Union minister Kiren Rijiju informed the Lok Sabha today. He said more than 2,000 non-government organisations have been asked to validate their existing bank accounts designated for receiving funds from abroad. All the voluntary organisations need to be registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) (FCRA) Act to be eligible to receive financial aid from abroad. According to the Act, all banks shall report any transaction in respect of receipt of utilisation of any foreign contribution by a person to the central government within 48 hours. “Over 1,000 NGOs found to be mis-utilising foreign funds and violating various provisions of FCRA, 2010 and rules made there under, have been barred from operating their foreign contribution accounts,” the Minister of State for Home Affairs said in a written reply. The home ministry has already asked the NGOs receiving foreign funds to file annual returns, showing expenses and receipts of any such grant.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

MHA serves FCRA notices to nearly 6,000 NGOs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly 6,000 organisations, including top educational institutes like Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM), and several other religious bodies could lose their licence to receive foreign donations as they have not filed their annual returns for five consecutive years.Oxfam, an international rights group working in many countries, is also on the list.With the organisations, registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) 2010, failing to file their annual returns on foreign funding for four years between 2010-11 and 2014-15 despite repeated reminders, MHA has given them show cause notice asking to explain why their FCRA registration should not be cancelled.The notice says if associations do not file their replies within 15 days their registration will be cancelled without further notice in accordance with the provisions of FCRA.Among the defaulters who haven’t filed their returns are several Christian, Islamic and Hindu organisations.Delhi College of Engineering, Indian Council of Medical Research, Indira Gandhi Open University (IGNOU) and University of Mumbai are also among the many educational institutes that have not filed their returns and have been sent notices.As per the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA, 2010) and Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011 (FCRR, 2011), made there under, the associations are required to submit their Annual Return for every financial year beginning on April 1, within nine months of the closure of the financial year.All associations were given an opportunity by way of a Public Notice uploaded on the FCRA website on May 12, 2017 requiring them to file their missing Annual Returns for 2010-11 to 2014-15 within a period of one month starting from May 15, 2017 to June 14, 2017 without payment of penalty.”This was followed by regular email alerts to the associations from May 19, 2017 to June 14, 2017 and SMS alerts on May 31, 2017 followed by regular daily SMS alerts from May 5, 2017 to June 14, 2017. The said Public Notice was also on MHA and PIB websites,” the notice dated July 8 stated.”However, in spite of sufficient and adequate notice, it has been observed that 5,922 associations have not uploaded their annual returns for three or more than three years within the stipulated time given in the notice,” it added.A year after coming to power the Narendra Modi government cancelled registrations of over 10,000 organisations under FCRA in 2015. The government came under attack for cracking down on NGOs.UNDER SCANNERMHA has given the various bodies show cause notice asking to explain why their FCRA registration should not be cancelledAs per certian Acts associations are required to submit their Annual Return for every financial year beginning on April 1, within nine months of the closure of the financial year

6,000 NGOs could lose licence to receive foreign donations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly 6,000 NGOs could lose their licence to receive foreign donations with the home ministry serving them show cause notices for not filing annual income and expenditure records for five consecutive years, an official said today. The show cause notices were issued on July 8 and the NGOs have time till July 23 to give their reply. In May this year, 18,523 NGOs were given a one-time opportunity by the home ministry to give details of their income and expenses by June 14. These NGOs, registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, or FCRA, that allows them to receive foreign donations, were told to submit their annual returns for five years — 2010-11 to 2014-15. The home ministry said in a circular that as a one time measure, all NGOs were given an opportunity for one month to file their missing annual returns by June 14 without paying any penalty. Email and SMS alerts were also sent to them regularly for one month beginning mid-May. “However, in spite of sufficient and adequate notice, it has been observed that 5,922 associations have not uploaded their annual returns for three or more than three years within the stipulated time given in the notice,” the circular said. All these NGOs were given show cause notices on July 8 on why their FCRA registration may not be cancelled under the FCRA. The associations have been requested to furnish their replies, if any, by July 23, failing which it will be presumed that they have nothing to say and action as proposed will be taken by the home ministry as per FCRA, it said. According to the FCRA, the renewal of registration for receiving foreign funds cannot be granted unless the annual returns are uploaded on the FCRA website by the organisation. Over 20,000 NGOs are registered under the FCRA. In November 2016, the government had directed more than 11,000 NGOs to file applications for renewal of registration by February 28, 2017. Of the above, 3,500 NGOs filed applications for renewal till February 2017. Registration of more than 7,000 NGOs were deemed expired due to non-filing of renewal applications.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

TN cow trade body moves SC against Centre’s cattle sale order

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A Tamil Nadu-based cow trade organization going by the name of Maattu Vyapaarigal Matrum Tholilalargal Sangam moved the Supreme Court on Monday against the Centre?s new cattle trade rules. The organization has filed a petition in the apex court challenging the new cattle trade rules. On May 25, the Centre, through an order, imposed a ban on the sale of cattle, including cows for slaughter and restricted cattle trade solely to farm owners. Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan had ordered that the ministry has notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 to ensure that the sale of cattle is not meant for slaughter purposes. Regulating animal trade is a state business, but animal welfare is a central subject, thereby providing the window for the ministry to notify the rule. In lieu of this, there was widespread opposition of the order, with many states openly denying accepting the notification.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Realty doyens talk gains from GST, RERA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Realty players hinted that there are short term pains but long term gains following the introduction of Goods & Services Tax (GST) and the implementation of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act. However, they held a unanimous opinion that with GST and RERA, opportunities will increase manifold, as there will be integration of taxes and transparency will be achieved in the sector, too.Niranjan Hiranandani, Co-founder, Managing Director, Hiranandani Group, said, “As far as GST on real estate is concerned, there are challenges because the land prices are so high that a set off hasn’t yet been given. There are speculations that there will be an inflation in terms of cost of 3.5 or 5.5 per cent, depending on the type of construction and land cost. These challenges that will be dealt by the industry, and as the overall growth improves, I am sure, there will definitely be a rationalisation of these taxes.”Ashutosh Limaye, National Director, JLL, said there will be an effective 12 per cent GST, which is high. “‘Today, most states have service tax and VAT, which is 9 per cent. Therefore, there will be an effective 3 per cent increase. The government is expecting to pass on savings that they will make on material purchases and work contracts to compensate the increase with lower cost of materials and contracts.” However, he said, developers who have signed contracts earlier, will not enjoy the benefits of GST.Neel Raheja, Group President, K Raheja Group, said, India is one of the few countries to implement GST. “‘There will be 12 per cent GST on buildings under construction, but none on furnished ones. For offices and industrial set-ups, there won’t be any construction cost, hence increasing the incremental cost. But there will be 18 per cent GST on land leased by the government.”However, Manoj Paliwal, CFO, Omkar Realtors, said, “Even after accounting the benefits of GST on construction cost, 12 per cent is too high a rate for Mumbai.”As far as the enactment of RERA is concerned, Hiranandani said, most of the states are yet to put regulators in place.Limaye noted that there are hundreds of developers who do not have a proper business model and don’t intend to be long-term players either. “Such developers have no future now, they will have to comply with RERA or else exit the industry. This will benefit real estate,” he said.

Posting Andaman tribes’ videos on social media now punishable

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Action will be taken against those who have uploaded videos and pictures of the protected Jarawa and other tribal communities of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on social media, the government today said. The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) said it has taken suo moto cognisance of these instances and has decided to take up the matter with various ministries including the Union home ministry and ministry of external affairs among others. The NCST, in a statement, said it will seek “removal of these objectionable video films from YouTube and initiate action on those who uploaded these video clips on social media platforms”. It said the Andamanese, Jarawas, Onges, Sentinelese, Nicobarese and Shom Pens have been identified as “aboriginal tribes” and they are protected under the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation. The regulation, it said, contains the provisions of protection of these communities from outside interference. Also, penalty provisions for promoting tourism through advertisements relating to aboriginal tribes has also been made in 2012. “Whoever enters these areas in contravention of the notification under section 7 (which prohibits entry into reserve areas) for taking photographs or making videos shall be punishable with imprisonment up to three years,” it said, adding, various sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act) can also be slapped against the offenders. The total population of tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is about 28,077. Out of these, five tribal communities have populations of below 500, it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Utility of private vehicles as school vans questioned

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked whether in a city like Mumbai, where roads are narrow, private vehicles like auto rickshaws and mini vans should be allowed to ply as school vans.A division bench of Chief Justice Manjulla Chellur and Justice NM Jamdar posed the question after the counsel for petitioner PTA United forum, an NGO which has sought proper implementation of rules, said that as per a central government notification, a school bus has to be a vehicle which carries 13 plus students, while the state is granting permits to private vehicles without entering into an agreement with schools.The bench said, “In the Malabar Hill area, when two buses stop on the road, traffic behind comes to a halt. Similarly, in other parts of Mumbai, schools may be located on narrow roads, and thus it may not be feasible for school buses to reach, but private vehicles could reach.”The PIL seeks proper enforcement of the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles (Regulation of School Buses) Rules 2011, by Light Motor vehicles, BEST and MSRTC buses used for ferrying school children. The plea will be heard after four weeks.

Punjab cabinet bars carriage operators from forming unions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to end cartelisation, the Punjab cabinet today approved rules which bar goods carriage operators from forming cartels or unions in the state. The Punjab Goods Carriages (Regulation and Prevention of Cartelisation Rules), 2017, were given the nod at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh here, an official spokesperson said. The proposed new rules will be placed in public domain for 30 days for any comments or objections, said the spokesperson, adding that the move was aimed at destroying the “mafia of good transporters who had cartelised the business over the past several years, obstructing the free and fair movement of goods transport, thereby also impacting industrial development of the state”. To protect the interests of the transporters, it was also decided that the government should fix the minimum and maximum fares and freights for goods carriers, the spokesperson said. Once these rules come into effect, no operator or permit holder of goods carriages shall be allowed to form a cartel denying freedom of choice to the consignors and consignees to engage the services of such operators or permit holders, the spokesperson said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

President clears bill banning hookah bars in Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Running hookah bars in Gujarat will now draw a maximum jail term of three years with President Pranab Mukherjee giving his assent to a bill which proposes a complete ban on such joint in the state. Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja informed this in a statement. “The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution)(Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2017 had been passed by the Gujarat Assembly in February and sent to Governor O P Kohli,” he said. “After giving his approval, the governor had sent the Bill to the president, who gave his assent recently. From now onwards, the state government will take strict action as per the new Act against those, who found to be running such hookah joints in the state,” the minister said. He said the amendment to the COTP Act of 2003 was necessary in order to put a total ban on hookah bars in the state to save the young generation from falling prey to this new addiction, which is “more dangerous” than cigarettes. “Since hookah was not covered under the COTP Act of 2003, we brought this Bill to make necessary amendments in the Act to cover all kinds of activities associated with hookah bars. Our aim is to protect our youth from this dangerous addiction, which causes various kinds of cancer,” Jadeja said. As per the new Act, running a hookah bar in Gujarat will be considered a cognisable offence, which would attract a maximum fine of Rs 50,000 and a jail term up to three years, but not less than one year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Home ministry warns over 1,900 NGOs of penal action

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union home ministry has warned over 1,900 NGOs of penal action for their failure to validate their foreign contribution designated bank accounts. All eligible non-government organisations (NGOs) should receive donations from abroad in a single designated bank account, according to rules. Voluntary organisations have to be registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act or FCRA to receive financial aid from abroad. On June 7, the ministry asked 2,025 NGOs to validate their accounts within the fortnight. “It is, however, seen that a large number of associations have still not validated their foreign contribution designated bank accounts,” the home ministry said this week in its notice to defaulting NGOs. Asking NGOs to validate their bank accounts immediately, the notice added, “Please note that non-compliance may lead to penal action as per the FCRA rules.” A total of 1,927 NGOs have not yet verified their bank accounts, according to the ministry. In another order, all NGOs receiving foreign grants have been asked to give audited statements of their accounts, including income and expenditure statements with the government. Such NGOs are mandated to give the details for every financial year beginning April 1 within nine months of closure of the financial year. Over 20,000 voluntary organisations are registered with the government for getting foreign aid. The home ministry is mulling the future course of action against more than 10,000 NGOs who have failed to give annual statements of their accounts. A total of 18,523 NGOs were in May this year given a one- time opportunity to provide details of their income and expenses for five years — 2010-11 to 2014-15 — by June 14. However, only 8,267 NGOs filed returns for all the five years. The remaining 10,256 NGOs have still not filed all the returns and may lose their registration, official sources have said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Assembly panel seeks LG office records in probe agnst Jung

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

Goa to seek changes in Centre’s cattle notification

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP-led Goa government will be urging the Centre to make some changes in the notification banning sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets in view of the “apprehensions” it has left in the minds of local people. Goa Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai today said he had taken up the issue with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who had agreed to write to the Centre about the state’s views on the matter. He said the notification had created apprehensions in the minds of Goans that the government wanted to turn all into vegetarians. “I have discussed the issue with the Chief Minister and he said he will write to the Centre,” Sardesai, leader of the Goa Forward Party, a partner in the ruling coalition in the coastal state, said. “The state government is going to raise certain objections and suggest some corrections to the notification on the Prevention of Cruelty Towards Animal Act. A significant section of the people in Goa eat beef and there are doubts in their minds that need to be cleared,” he said. A Central minister had also spoken to Parrikar and asked him to write about the objections to the notification, Sardesai said. The Centre recently banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter. The Environment Ministry notified the stringent Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Sardesai said, “Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has already made a statement that the government is ready to tweak the rules to remove apprehensions in the minds of the people. We, as Goa Forward party, are giving a note to the CM.” The minister said Goa does not actually come under the ambit of these rules since it practically has no animal market. “We do not have a yard where animals are sold. But since there are inter-state ramifications, there is an effect on Goa,” he said. The cattle for slaughter is brought to Goa mostly from neighbouring Karnataka. Sardesai said it (notification) would impoverish the farmers and affect the hospitality industry, which is the backbone of Goa. “Since the government is going to write to the Centre on our stand with regard to the rule, I assure every section of the Goan society that they need not worry,” he added. On the suggestions to be made to the Centre for modification of the rule, he said the Goa government might give some specific points. “The notification talks of milk and draft animal. When draft animals become old, you have to kill them. They have spoken about all sorts of animals, including chicken and goats, which means people will have to turn vegetarian,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cattle slaughter ban: Goa govt to write to Centre raising certain objections

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Goa government has decided to write to the Centre raising certain objections to the recent notification banning the sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter, as it has created “apprehensions” in the minds of local people, a state minister said today.Talking to reporters, state Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai said, “I have discussed the issue with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and he said he will write to the Centre.” “The state government is going raise certain objections and suggest some corrections to the notification on the Prevention of Cruelty Towards Animal Act,” he said.The notification has created apprehensions in the minds of Goans, who fear that the government wants to turn everyone into vegetarian, he said adding, “A significant section of people in Goa eats beef and there is a doubt in the minds of people that needs to be cleared.” According to Sardesai, the union minister concerned has also spoken to Parrikar and asked him to write about the objections to the notification.The Centre recently banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter. The environment ministry notified the stringent Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.Sardesai said, “Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has already made a statement that the government is ready to tweak the rules to remove apprehension in the minds of the people.We, as Goa Forward party, are giving a note to the CM.” The minister clarified that Goa does not come under the ambit of these rules. “We don’t have a yard where animal is sold. But since there are inter state ramifications, there is an effect is on Goa,” he said.Presently, the cattle for slaughter is brought to Goa from neighbouring Karnataka.Sardesai said that his personal stand was that it (notification) would cause penury among the farmers and affect the hospitality industry, “which is the backbone of our economy”.”Now since the government is going to write to the Centre on our stand with regards to the rule, I assure every section of the Goan society that they need not worry,” he added.Talking about the suggestions to be written to the Centre over the notification, he said the government might give specifically give some points.”The notification talks of milk and draft animal. When draft animal becomes old, you have to kill it. They have spoken about all sorts of animals, including chicken and goats, which means people will have to turn vegetarian,” he said.

Will address issues on cattle trade ban honestly: Vardhan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All issues related to the Centre’s recent notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter will be addressed “seriously and honestly”, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan today said. On a day when the Supreme Court sought response from the Centre on pleas challenging the controversial notification, the environment minister said that the government will reach out to persons, who have a “heartburn” over this issue. “The Supreme Court has given us time till July 11, but we will file our response before it,” Vardhan said. The ban on sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter has hit the export and trade of meat and leather. “We have already said that whosoever has any concern related to this issue, we (Centre) will seriously and honestly address those,” the minister told reporters on the sidelines of a function at the Delhi zoo. “We will reach out to any person in India who have a heartburn on this issue,” he said. A vacation bench of the apex court comprising Justices R K Agrawal and S K Kaul issued notice to the Centre and asked it to file response within two weeks on two separate petitions challenging the notification. It has fixed the matter for hearing on July 11. Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that the intention behind bringing the notification was to have a regulatory regime on cattle trade across the country. The Centre had on May 26 banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter through an Environment Ministry notification — Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 — under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. One of the petitioners, Hyderabad-based Mohammed Abdul Faheem Qureshi, had in his plea, filed on June 7, contended that the notification was “against the freedom of religious practice to sacrifice animals” and imposing a ban on slaughter of animals for food violates the right to food, privacy and personal liberty guaranteed to a citizen under the Constitution.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Notice to Centre on order banning cattle trade for slaughter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today sought response from the Centre on pleas challenging its controversial notification banning the sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter. A vacation bench comprising Justices R K Agrawal and S K Kaul issued notice to the Centre and asked it to file response within two weeks on two separate petitions challenging the notification. The apex court fixed the matter for hearing on July 11. Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that intention behind bringing the notification was to have a regulatory regime on cattle trade across the country. He also told the apex court that the Madras High Court has recently granted interim stay on the notification. One of the petitioners, who has approached the apex court challenging the notification, has claimed in his plea that the provisions in the notification were unconstitutional as they violated the fundamental rights including freedom of conscience and religion and right to livelihood. The Centre had on May 26 banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter through an Environment Ministry notification — ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017’ under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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