Yuva Sai Sagar

Online news channel!

Tag: supreme

65% vehicles in Ahmedabad yet to get HSR plates

Though the Supreme Court in 2013 made High-Security Registration Plates (HSRP) mandatory for vehicles, only 25 lakh vehicles of the total 70 lakh vehicles in Ahmedabad city and rural have installed HSR plates, while the remaining 45 lakh vehicles are still to get them.On December 28, the state government issued a January 15 deadline for vehicle owners to replace their old number plates with HSRPs or be ready to pay penalty. Two-wheelers and three-wheelers will be fined Rs89, while four-wheelers and heavy vehicles will have to pay Rs150 if they are caught without HSR plates on them.GS Parmar, Regional Transport Officer, Ahmedabad, said, “HSR plates have been mandatory for vehicles since 2013. Every vehicle registered in RTO after 2013 have HSR plates installed. But the ones registered before 2013 are still to get them. Very few old vehicles come to install HSR plates. Now that a deadline has been issued, we are expecting the older vehicles to come to us to get them installed. Our staff is working on most Sundays specifically for HSRP work, but most of the time no one turns up.”According to an RTO source, till mid 2016, RTO had trouble installing HSRPs on old vehicles. During transfer of vehicles or new registrations, fresh data is entered in RTO’s system and it is linked to HSRP unit through which vehicle owners get the plate. However, it was not possible for old vehicles as the RTO didn’t have the system to update the data of old vehicles due to which the process was halted till mid 2016.”We faced difficulty tracking old vehicles because their data was registered manually. Now, even those data have been transferred to the system, and we can install HSRPs on them,” added Parmar.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

SC collegium gave age criteria a miss while clearing names

When it finalised the draft of the new Memorandum of Procedure (MoP), the document that guides appointments to higher judiciary, the Supreme Court collegium — headed by (then) Chief Justice of India JS Khehar — had decided that no lawyer below the age of 45 years and above the age of 55 years should be considered for appointment as Judge of a high court.Apart from then CJI Khehar, other members of the collegium who decided this included current CJI Dipak Misra and Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi and Madan Lokur. All, except Justice Khehar, who is now retired, are members of the larger SC collegium now.However, even as the new MoP is yet to be notified — it is pending with the government since March — the collegium has shown that it isn’t too keen to stick to its own resolution.Minutes of meeting of the three-member Supreme Court collegium show that the CJI-led panel is not immune to violating the age limit.Take for example the December 4 decision of the collegium while clearing names for Calcutta HC.The High Court collegium had recommended names of six advocates, including Sabyasachi Chaudhury and Sakya Sen, who weren’t 45 at the time their names were recommended.However, the SC collegium has recommended Sen’s name for elevation to the bench in “relaxation of the age criterion”. As for Chaudhary, he completed 45 years of age during the intervening period when his name was recommended by the HC collegium and cleared by the SC collegium.But, Madras HC lawyer AV Radhakrishnan, whose name had been recommended by the HC collegium, wasn’t so fortunate. “… He is more than 57 years of age. Even on the date of recommendation of the High Court Collegium he had crossed the maximum age limit of 55 years prescribed for Advocates recommended for elevation to the High Court Bench. Having regard to above, he is not found suitable for elevation to the High Court Bench,” the SC collegium decided on the same day when it ignored the age criteria in two other cases.Incidentally, it was on the Centre’s insistence that the SC collegium first agreed to include the age clause in the MoP. The Justice Ministry is of the view that such a cause will ensure uniformity and transparency in the appointment process and also rule out the possibility of members of the collegium adopting different yardsticks while recommending names.But it isn’t the age criterion that the SC collegium has refused to stick to while making appointments.It cleared the name of another lawyer of Calcutta HC – Ravi Krishan Kapur – who had failed to submit the undertaking from his lawyer-father as is mandated under existing rules. In doing so, the SC collegium also ignored the objection raised by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice on this subject, saying the undertaking was based on “mere administrative instructions and is not a mandatory requirement”.In yet another departure from rules, the SC collegium decided to clear a candidate – advocate Arindam Mukherjee – even though he had not submitted adequate number of reported/unreported judgments.”In our view, number of reported/unreported judgments is just one of the factors and not the only factor to determine suitability of a recommendee for purpose of elevation,” the collegium noted.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

‘Indian citizens excluded in draft NRC will get enough chance to prove credentials’

All Indian nationals, whose names were excluded in the first draft of the National Register of Citizens, will get adequate opportunities to prove their credentials, a top Union Home Ministry official said today.The NRC is a list of the state’s citizens and as Assam anxiously awaits the publication of its part draft tonight, the official said people belonging to any creed, ethnicity or language were being treated equally and justice would be done to everyone with equal opportunities.”No one should have any notion that anyone or any particular community could be discriminated against. Everyone is treated equally and all Indian nationals will get adequate opportunities to prove their credentials in case their names are excluded in the first list,” the official said, requesting anonymity.Also readAASU demands error free NRC, says ‘no Bangladeshi coming to Assam after 1971 will be allowed to stay’After the publication of the first draft, second and third drafts will be published by the authorities before releasing the final list, said the official, who is in regular touch with the Assam government officials, who is monitoring the situation closely.”There is no need for panic. Genuine Indian citizens will not be deprived of their rights,” the official said.Army troops are on standby while a massive number of 45,000 security personnel were being deployed across Assam ahead of the publication of the first draft of the NRC.The Counter Insurgency (CI) grid, involving the Army, police, paramilitary and intelligence agencies, has been regularly reviewing the situation and directing all possible action to ensure peace.There have been intelligence inputs about possible tension in some parts of the state where names of doubtful citizens could be excluded in the draft list, another official said.Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba spent two days in the state last week, reviewing preparations for the publication of the part draft of the NRC and security arrangements, as ensuring peace in the state is a top priority for the Centre and the state government.Also readIndian citizenship: SC says claims of left out persons to be included in subsequent NRC for AssamAssam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday also sought to dispel apprehensions and said “genuine” Indians missing from the citizenship register would get enough opportunities to incorporate their names.The exercise to update the NRC is being carried out in Assam following a decision in 2005 after a series of meetings between the central and state governments and the influential All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) in an attempt to document the bona fide Indian citizens living the state.Assam, which faced influx from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC, first prepared in 1951.The current exercise, started in 2005 under the then Congress regime, got a major push only after the BJP came to power in the state with illegal immigration from Bangladesh as a poll plank.The Supreme Court, which is monitoring the entire process, had ordered that the first draft of the NRC be published by December 31 after completing the scrutiny of over two crore claims along with that of around 38 lakh people whose documents were suspect.Of the 3.28 crore applications submitted, there was confusion over the inclusion of 29 lakh people who had submitted certificates issued by ‘gram panchayats’ as proof of identity, after a Gauhati High Court order in February had deemed ‘panchayat’ certificates invalid, the official said.Also readRelease draft NRC by Dec 31: SCThe Supreme Court set aside the high court order and upheld the validity of the certificates as identity proof if they were followed up with proper verification.The apex court also asked authorities to stick to the original deadline for the publication of the draft NRC and include names of those whose claims were verified.When the NRC was first prepared in Assam way back in 1951, the state had 80 lakh citizens then.The process of identification of illegal immigrants in Assam has been debated and become a contentious issue in the state’s politics.A six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by the AASU in 1979.It culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord on August 15, 1985 in the presence of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Muslim Board opposes triple talaq bill, Centre questions its existence

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

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened

Centre tables Triple Talaq Bill in Lok Sabha; support Bill, but needs strengthing, says Congress

The Congress said it supports the triple talaq bill introduced in the Lok Sabha but wants it to be strengthened to safeguard the rights of divorced Muslim women so they live a life of dignity with adequate subsistence allowance.Earlier, the bill to make instant triple talaq illegal and void and awarding a jail term of up to three years to the husband, was introduced in the Lok Sabha amid protests by several opposition parties.Introducing the bill, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said it was a “historic day”.But before he introduced the legislation, several opposition parties opposed its introduction saying it was arbitrary in nature and a faulty proposal.Members from RJD, AIMIM, BJD, Indian Union Muslim League and AIADMK, who had given notice to oppose its introduction spoke against the measure. But members from the Congress and the Left, who were also opposing it from their benches, were not allowed to speak as they had not given notice. SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav was also seen opposing the bill.The TMC, which had opposed the draft bill earlier, was silent.Activists of ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), offer sweets to each other as they celebrate the tabling of the Muslim women bill – ReutersWhile JPN Yadav of RJD questioned the proposed three-year jail term, AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi said Parliament lacks the legislative competence to pass the law as it violated fundamental rights.He said while the bill talks only about Muslim women being abandoned, the government should also worry about nearly 20 lakh women of various religions who are abandoned by their husbands, “including our bhabhi from Gujarat”.Muslim League’s E T Mohammed Bashir said the proposed law was violative of personal laws and was a politically motivated move.B Mahtab (BJD) said while he would not talk about the merits of the bill, its framing was “faulty and “flawed”. He said if the proposed law makes the practice of instant triple talaq illegal and void, how can a person be jailed for pronouncing ‘talaq-e-biddat’.A Anwar Raja of the AIADMK opposed the bill.Maulana Rabe Hasani Nadvi, President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), General Secretary Wali Rahmani, Khalid Saifullaha Rahmani Assistant General Secretary, Fazlurrahman, Secretary and senior member Zafaryab Jjilani, AIMIM President Assaduddin Owaisi during a meeting on issue of Triple Talaq in Lucknow on Sunday – PTISoon after the introduction of the bill was approved, Prasad wondered whether Parliament can remain silent if the fundamental rights of women were being trampled upon.He said the legislation was not aimed against any religion but was framed to provide a sense of justice, security and honour to women.He said the law was required as even after the Supreme Court had struck down the practice of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ in August, it was continuing. He claimed that as recently as today, a woman in Rampur was given instant triple talaq by her husband for getting up late.Parliament has to decide whether the victims of triple talaq have fundamental rights or not, he said after some opposition members claimed it violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.”It is a historic day. We are making history today,” Prasad said.The proposed law would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’ and give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children.The woman can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate who will take a final call on the issue.Under the law, instant triple talaq in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp — would be bad or illegal and void.According to the proposed law which would be applicable to the entire country except in Jammu and Kashmir, giving instant talaq would attract a jail term of upto three years and a fine. It would be a cognisable, non-bailable offence.LAW WILL BE AN INTRUSION INTO PERSONAL LIVES: KURSHIDAlthough the Congress backed the bill and asked for a few changes, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid, a former union law minister, struck a discordant note, insisting the proposed law will be an “intrusion” into the personal lives of individuals and bring divorce, a civil issue, into the realm of criminal law.Among other things, the ‘Muslim women Protection of Rights on Marriage’ Bill provides for a 3-year jail term to those found guilty of pronouncing instant triple talaq to their wives.Congress’s communications department incharge Randeep Surjewala said Parliament must ensure the protection of rights of Muslim women and children under all circumstances.He said the Congress was the first political party to welcome the Supreme Court verdict banning triple talaq, and had hailed it as a decisive step towards women empowerment and victory for the rights of muslim women.”The Congress has always believed that the issue of instant triple talaq ‘Talaq-e-biddat’ is about gender justice and gender equity. The Congress will support any and every law abolishing instant triple talaq.”The present bill needs to be strengthened to safeguard the rights of women to a life of dignity with adequate subsistence allowance. Parliament must ensure protection of rights of Muslim women and children under all circumstances,” he said.Khurshid, however, said,”It is an instrusion into the personal lives of individuals. Taking criminal law into the family, you have to be careful. To make divorce in any form a criminal matter is unacceptable anywhere in the world.” Khurshid, also a Supreme Court lawyer, said divorce or consequences of divorce, are areas of civil law and not criminal law, which comes in only when there is violence.”Criminal law is kept out of family as far as possible, which is a general policy everywhere. Why are we bringing criminal law into something which is a non-existing factor? Triple talaq is no institution or institutional fact of life, the Supreme Court has made it very clear,” he said.Surjewala said Section 5 of the bill merely states that Muslim women are entitled to subsistence allowance without defining subsistence allowance and explaining the method of calculating it.It also does not clarify whether the maintenance awarded to a Muslim woman under Sections 3 and 4 of ‘The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986’ will be deducted from the proposed subsistence allowance or will it be in addition to that. He said there was no clarity on whether a divorced Muslim woman be entitled to one of the two.”Why should onus of proving instant triple talaq be on women? Like in every other law, the onus of proving the pronouncement of instant triple talaq would be on the victim.”Why can’t this law then envisage a presumption in favour of the woman, putting the onus of proof on the husband to establish that instant triple talaq was not pronounced by him,” he said.Surjewala said the bill should ensure payment of maintenance and/or subsistence allowance to women and children if the husband is in jail for 3 years, as evisaged under the proposed law.All Muslim women’s groups have asked an obvious question as to who will pay the maintenance and subsistence allowance once the husband is in jail, he said.The Congress leader also asked whether such a woman and her children would have the right to proceed against the estate–movable and immovable property of the husband, as the proposed law does not provide for it.”Where no such property exists or the property is owned by more than one stakeholder or is under mortgage/charge, does it mean that women and children would then have no maintenance?” he asked.Terming the bill as “very important” and “significant”, Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev said her party will work with the government to bolster the rights of muslim women.She said the Congress party will stand by any progressive legislation that adds to empowerment of women. “But the bill needs to be watertight when it comes to the financial security and dignity of women,” she said.Dev also wondered whether under the proposed law the burden of proof that instant triple talaq has been granted be on women and whether they be able to prove the charge before a magistrate.This bill is silent on how to arrive at a maintenance allowance, she said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened

Triple Talaq Bill to be tabled in Parliament today

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, which seeks to criminalise the practice of triple talaq, is expected to be tabled in the Parliament by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday.The draft Bill says, “any pronouncement of talaq by a person upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal”.There is also a provision of imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years and fine for violators. The draft Bill also envisages entitling divorcee Muslim women for maintenance.Also readDidn’t consult Muslim bodies before drafting triple talaq bill: PP ChaudharyIt also has a provision for the divorcee Muslim women to have the custody of their minor children. The offences under the purview of this bill will be cognizable and non-bailable.The Bill shall extend to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir.Also readUttar Pradesh: Man gives Triple Talaq to wife for waking up late Meanwhile, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), which is against the tabling of the Bill, requested the Central Government to withdraw and withhold the triple talaq bill.”The AIMPLB urges the Central Government to not table the Bill in the Parliament,” said AIMPLB’s Sajjad Nomani after attending an emergency meeting organised by the Board in Lucknow.Also readGrowing cases of triple talaq questions Muslim Board opposition to BillThe AIMPLB spokesperson further accused the Centre of not following the laid procedure in drafting the Bill.”No procedure was followed in drafting this bill; neither was any stakeholder consulted,” said Nomani.AIMPLB even claimed that the Bill was against women and children, and if implemented, it would destroy many families.Earlier in August, in a historic judgment the Supreme Court had ruled that the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims is “void”, “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Lok Sabha passes Bill to protect unauthorised colonies

The Lok Sabha (LS) on Wednesday passed a Bill to protect slums and unauthorised colonies in the National Capital Region from punitive action, till a framework for orderly arrangements is in place. The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill gives immunity to slums and some unauthorised constructions till December 31, 2020.The immunity under the exisiting Bill ends on December 31.Urban development minister Hardeep Singh Puri said if the Bill is not passed, it will lead to “unprecedented chaos” in the national Capital.The legislation will give cover against punitive action on “as is where is basis” until December 2020, he said. Puri also attacked the Sheila Dikshit government for not coming out with a proper policy on the matter and said “it was the failure of governance of a very high order”.Singh said the legislation provides that no action will be taken by any local authority till December 31, 2017, with respect to encroachments or unauthorised developments as of January 1, 2006 on unauthorised colonies and village abadi areas that existed on March 31, 2002, and where constructions took place till February 8, 2007.The sealing exercise by the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee had created panic among slum-dwellers and traders in part of the city, with the legislation expected to allay their apprehensions to a large extent.Participating in the debate on the Bill, BJP MP Parvesh Varma attacked the AAP government in Delhi, accusing it of not coming out with a policy on unauthorised colonies or slums.Ramesh Bidhuri, BJP MP from south Delhi, referred to the hike in water tariffs and alleged that the Arvind Kejriwal government had deceived the people.He also blamed the Congress for its failure to come up with a policy on unauthorised construction issue.TMC MP Saugata Roy was to speak on the Bill but did not.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Lakshmi Villas to re-live its hotel glory

After being out-of-business for several months, the Lakshmi Villas is headed for a comeback in hotel industry. A public property for now, the Lakshmi Villas will once again be lost in private hands in the process.”It has been decided that the Lakshmi Villas will be auctioned for being developed in hotel, a good hotel,” said Urban Development, minister Shrichand Kriplani after a meeting at the department on Wednesday.The one time motor garage of erstwhile rulers of Jaipur, the building located in heart of Central Park had stood as a heritage hotel for decades till few months back, when the Jaipur Development Authority took its possession following orders of Supreme Court. A royal stable adjoining Lakshmi Villas that in due time developed as Kanak Bhawan was also taken possession of by JDA.The six bighas of land under the hotel and another 1.5 bighas of land of adjoining Kanak Bhawan were considered to be assimilated in the Central Park and were not to be used for commercial purpose again. However, on Wednesday at a meeting the Urban Development Department decided to hand it over in private hands for being pushed in hotel industry again.It has also been decided that the Kanak Bhawan will be used a JDA guest house. Even as the Central Park and common public is to lose its claim over these, the department upheld their environmental relevance.”We acknowledge that these properties are also important for the city in respect to environment and we will ensure that the environment will be conserved at these,” said the minister.The development Authority has acquired possession of these after a long legal battle that lasted for almost 44 years. It was finally earlier this year that Supreme Court cleared all objections on JDA possession of the land.It was in 1973 that 322 bighas of land was acquired at the Rambagh Complex by the Urban Improvement Trust (UIT). The Lakshmi Villas spread over six bighas and Kanak Bhawan on another 1.5 bighas were also part of the acquired pocket. These at the time were in possession of erstwhile maharaj Bhawani Singh who sold it off in 1986.A LOOK BACKThe one-time motor garage of erstwhile rulers of Jaipur, the building located in heart of Central Park had stood as a heritage hotel for decades till a few months back, when the Jaipur Development Authority took its possession following orders of Supreme Court. A royal stable adjoining Lakshmi Villas that in due time developed as Kanak Bhawan was also taken possession of by JDA. The six bighas of land under the hotel and another 1.5 bighas of land of adjoining Kanak Bhawan were considered to be assimilated in the Central Park and were not to be used for commercial purpose again.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Gujarat HC upholds GSFS Act, but fees can be revised

In a big jolt to all self-financed schools, the Gujarat High Court upheld the Gujarat Self Finance Schools (Fees Regulations) Act, 2017 (GSFS) and its rules on Wednesday.The First Division Bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Vipul Pancholi, while dismissing more than three dozen petitions of 2,500 private schools, concluded that the state government was competent to pass and implement such Acts and decide the administrative matters of schools affiliated with the central, international and the ISCE board. The Bench also said that the special status of minority schools was not violated by the Act.Though the court concluded that the Act was legal and constitutional, it also kept a window open for private schools’ associations to approach the competent authority for a review of the current fee structure.The associations can also ask for a hike against the services they provide to their students. However, the competent authority will have to take a decision witihin six weeks from the date of filing proposals. But, such proposals should not amount to exorbitant fees or profiteering.Court also rejected all schools’ request to stay the operative part of the judgment so that they can approach the Supreme Court and challenge the order. Those schools which have submitted their proposals and want to add any further information seeking review can submit the same within three weeks.Advocate General Kamal Trivedi while defending the state action had submitted that the RTE Act permits self-financed school to notify any fee, whereas the state Act under challenge seeks to put restrictions on these schools to charge any fees. RTE Act prohibits the capitation of fees.Appearing for parents Advocate Amit Panchal had submitted that the whole intention of the Act is to prevent commercialisation of education in all the schools, including the self-financed schools. He further submitted that the court should direct the state to implement the Act at the earliest.OPERATIVE PART OF THE JUDGMENTThe Act is not in violation of the equality of the Constitution The rules of the Act are not in the violation of the Article 30 of Constitution with regard to the minority institution Constitution of Fees Regulatory Committee and Fees Revision Committee under the Act are not unconstitutional as alleged by the petitioners Schools can put proposals within three weeks to the competent authority, which will take further action in accordance with the law.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Delhi to take cue from Singapore to strengthen PUC centres

The Delhi government is all set to take a cue from Singapore to strengthen its Pollution Under Control (PUC) testing norms for which it has come under the scanner, as the city witnessed toxic levels of pollution with vehicular emissions being one of the major factors. Officials from the transport department had recently toured the city to study the technology used in Singapore.The observations will be part of the PUC strengthening programme, said sources. The move has come after the Supreme Court asked the government to implement the recommendations given by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) in its audit reports of the PUC tests in Delhi-NCR earlier this year on upgrading technology for issuing fitness certificates to vehicles.The EPCA has recommended technological advancements in the checking equipment connecting the diagnosis to the PUC to cut down on vehicular emissions.The EPCA is an SC-appointed body appointed to curb air pollution in the city. It had found in its report that the PUC norms being followed were weak while the test units used outdated technology.According to a senior official, vehicle-testing for pollution in the Capital is done when it is in idle mode and does not show the actual levels of emissions because of which the rejection rate is too low.”Most developed cities, including Singapore have switched to load-mode testing (when the vehicle is in operation) which produces accurate readings. Besides, the PUC centres issuing fitness certificates are organised and follow uniform norms with an equally trained staff. In Delhi, vehicle-testing is done at the no-load condition. It is a setback to see visible smoke from poorly maintained vehicles, which must change now. A presentation for the same will be put forth for discussion soon,” he said.The department had carried out an inspection of these PUC centres this year between February and August, which revealed that of the 957 registered centres in the city, action against 353 was taken for various complaints.Of the 353 centres, 178 were issued discrepancy/deficiency notices, 134 were issued showcause notices, 27 centres were issued a warning, 14 were suspended while licenses of eight centres were cancelled.PUC CENTRES IN TROUBLETotal number of PUC centres in Delhi 957 Action taken against 353 Discrepancy/deficiency notices issued to 178 Showcause notices issued to 134 Warnings issued to 27 Licenses suspended of 14

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Uttar Pradesh: Man gives Triple Talaq to wife for waking up late

While triple talaq bill is scheduled to be tabled in the Parliament on Thursday, a woman in Uttar Pradesh today woke up to find her husband uttering the three dreaded words.Gul Afshan, a resident of Azimnagar in Rampur district, said that her husband Qasim thrashed her and divorced her by uttering talaq thrice because she woke up late in the morning. The wife alleged that later, Qasim escaped from the house after locking her up inside. The police had to break in. Narrating her six-month-old abusive marriage, she said that he used to beat her from the very beginning.The police said that they can’t do anything as the woman has not filed a complaint against her husband as of now. “The woman has not filed an FIR as yet. We will take action against him once the complaint is lodged,” said Sanjay Yadav, Azimanagar SHO. The incident comes to light just ahead of the introduction of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill.Also readMuslim Women Bill that criminilises triple talaq to be introduced in ParliamentThe bill, which seeks to criminalise the practice of triple talaq, will be tabled in the Lok Sabha by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday. While the Supreme Court and Centre have called for the scrapping of the triple talaq, terming it “illegal and unconstitutional”, some Muslim women are still facing the brunt of this age-old practice. Earlier, the Supreme Court declared the practice of instant divorce as void and unconstitutional and termed it as arbitrary and violative of the right to equality of Muslim women.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Malegaon blast: Relieved that MCOCA dropped, says Col Purohit’s wife after partial relief

After the special NIA court dropped MCOCA charges against 2008 Malegaon blast case accused Lt Col Prasad Purohit, his wife Aparna stated that decision has come as a huge relief for Purohit family. “Due to the MCOCA, he (Purohit) had to spent nine years in jail. Now we are happy that finally the MCOCA charges are dropped,” Aparna told DNA. Though the court has dropped MCOCA charges, he along with other accused will face trial under section 16 and 18 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and 120b, 302, 307 and 326 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Speaking to DNA on Wednesday after the charges framed against six accused including Purohit, Aparna said, “We will fight it out the way we have been fighting the case since day one. After the charges of MCOCA have been dropped, we consider it as a small step towards justice but still there is a long way to go.”Aparna who has been making rounds of various courts right from sessions court to the Supreme Court stated that she was never low on confidence even on the day one of Purohit’s arrest and now since the MCOCA charges have been dropped, that will boost her confidence even more. “I know my husband is innocent. We are a family of army personnel and therefore we were never short on confidence. We know hot to fight and that is what we have been doing for last nine years,” Aparna said. Also read2008 Malegaon case: MCOCA dropped against Sadhvi Pragya and Col Purohit, to be tried under UAPA and IPC sectionsWhen DNA asked her about the reaction of the family members including Purohit, she said, “For nine years, I was fighting alone where I had to look after my family while I was making rounds of courts. However, now since my husband is out of jail, entire family is relieved. We are now able to divide the work and with each other’s support we are now fighting the case with more efficiency.”

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Yet to receive proposal to fill up judges’ vacancies in SC: Govt tells Parliament

There are six vacancies of judges in the Supreme Court, while nine high courts are working without regular chief justices, but the government has not received any proposal from the apex court collegium to fill up the slots, the Rajya Sabha has been informed.Union Minister of State for Law PP Chaudhary, in a written reply, has informed the Upper House of Parliament that the “government has not received any proposal for filling up of the six vacancies of judges in the Supreme Court and for appointment of chief justices in the nine high courts, which are functioning with acting chief justices”. The approved strength of the Supreme Court is 31, including the Chief Justice of India (CJI).The high courts of Andhra Pradesh/Telangana, Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka and Manipur are working without regular chief justices. As per the procedure for the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and the 24 high courts, the apex court collegium recommends the names of candidates to the government which, in turn, either accepts the proposal or returns it for reconsideration. The collegium comprises the CJI and four seniormost judges of the apex court.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Fast courts off track?

It has been five years since Nirbhaya gang rape stirred the nation, following which the victim’s mother demanded creation of fast-track courts and a law to hang juveniles in heinous crimes. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the state governments vide his letter dated April 23, 2015 to allocate funds for this activity, it is shocking that at present there is not a single fast-track court functional in the state.On the contrary the 83 functional fast-track courts in the year 2005 have been reduced to zero now.A total of 83 FTCs were approved in the year 2000, following the report of the 11th Finance Commission. Out of these, all were functional till 2011, the year when this experimental scheme was supposed to end. The central government in 2005, decided to continue its support for the next 6 years (till 2011).This is also the year when the central government stopped financial support to the FTCs, after that the states were supposed to continue FTCs with expenses met from their own funds. The 14th Finance Commission has also endorsed the proposal of establishing 1,800 FTCs for a period of five years for cases of heinous crimes; cases involving senior citizens, women, children, disabled and litigants affected with HIV AIDS and other terminal ailments and civil disputes involving land acquisition and property/rent disputes pending for more than five years at a cost of Rs 4,144 crore. The 14th finance commission has allocated 214 crore rupees to Rajasthan government for the establishment of fast track court.Pendency of casesAccording to government data till December 2016, more than 14 lakh cases are pending across all the courts in the state. As per an estimate close to 2/3rd of these cases are more than 3-years old and more than 2/3rd of these cases are pending in the district & sub-ordinate courts. ‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied’ is used whenever there is an undue delay in disposal of cases.Prime Minister’s appealThe Prime Minister vide his letter dated 23rd April 2015 urged the state governments to allocate funds for the activities mentioned in the 14th FC recommendations from their state budget from 2015-16 onwards. This issue was also discussed in the CM/CJ Conference on the 05th April 2015 and 24th April 2016, wherein it was resolved to strengthen the existing coordination and monitoring mechanism between the state government and the Judiciary for effective implementation of the recommendations of the 14th FC. The Minister of Law and Justice has further urged all the Chief Ministers of the States and the Chief Justices of the High Courts to implement the resolution of the Conference vide letters dated 03rd June 2015, 26th September 2016 and 2nd May 2017 respectively.Supreme Court’s takeIn its judgment in the Brij Mohan Lal case, the Supreme Court has endorsed the position of the Central Government and held that the continuation of FTCs is within the domain of the states with their own funds.Purpose of fast-track courtsFast track courts are meant to expeditiously clear the colossal scale of pendency in the district and subordinate courts under a time-bound programme. A laudable objective of the five-year experimental scheme is to take up sessions and other cases involving undertrials on top priority.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Muslim Women Bill that criminilises triple talaq to be introduced in Parliament

A bill seeking to criminalise the practice of instant triple talaq among Muslims is set to be introduced in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill is listed for introduction in the Lok Sabha by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on December 28, according to the list of business in the Lower House.The bill, prepared by an inter-ministerial group headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, makes instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp — “illegal and void” and provides for a jail term of three years for the husband.It was cleared by the Union Cabinet earlier this month.The bill was listed for introduction last week, but Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar later told reporters that it would be introduced this week.As per the provisions of the bill, the husband could also be fined and the quantum of fine would be decided by the magistrate hearing the case.The bill is being introduced as the practice still continued despite the Supreme Court striking down ‘talaq-e- biddat’.The proposed law would only be applicable to instant triple talaq and it would give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children.The woman can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate who will take a final call on the issue.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Gurjars, 4 other communities to get 1% reservation in NBC category

Thousands of unemployed youths can look forward to getting a government job now. Thanks to a timely and wise decision by Vasundhara Raje government of granting one per cent separate reservation to Gurjars and four other communities in Most Backward Class (MBC) category. Gurjar community may be skeptical about the move but it has paved way to fill up 72,000 posts in the government; the recruitment process for which was stuck because of reservation tangle.For last two years, 72,000 posts in 13 different categories and departments could not be filled because of OBC reservation act. Among them 55,000 posts were those for which notification had been issued. In fact, the government had to extend application deadline five times for level 2 of REET teachers’ recruitment 2016, whereas second grade teachers’ recruitment result was not declared for six months.The recruitment process was stalled only because of reservation issue but now everything is clear as Raje government has made a provision by which Gurjars and four other communities will enjoy one per cent separate reservation in MBC and continue to receive OBC reservation benefits as well.Though, the Gurjar community is still not convinced and threatening to launch stir once again.Notably, the SBC reservation got stuck in the court. The state government had to cancel it. After that, Raje government brought OBC bill to give 5 per cent reservation to Gurjars but before a notification could be issued the matter reached court.Since the overall reservation limit went up to 54%, Supreme Court quashed the bill reiterating its stand that reservation cannot go beyond the cap of 50%. The government discussed the matter with Gurjars and tried to convince them to agree to accept MBC but they refused.However, the government released notification of MBC. Now, the unemployed are eagerly waiting for opening up of the recruitment process.Social justice and empowerment minister, Arun Chaturvedi hailed the decision claiming that MBC will restart stalled recruitment process at speedy level.State president of Berojgar Ekikrat Mahasangh, Upen Yadav, however, demanded that the government should not lose time to restart recruitment process at the same time appointments in old recruitments should be given immediately to fulfill its promise.But, Gurjar leader, Himmat Singh alleged cheating. “The government has duped us. The one percent reservation was available even during the Gehlot government. Instead of keeping youths unemployed, the government could have given this benefit earlier. Our agitation is for 5 per cent reservation will continue. We will oppose the government in upcoming by polls and in assembly elections,” he said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Speak up Delhi: Autorickshaw finance mafia – a menace staring at govt’s face

Last week Delhi Government suspended licenses of two automobile dealers— Bagga Link Services Limited and JS Automobiles— after complaints filed by social workers and Presidents of Autorickshaw Unions for charging extra money from the customers. The government, in a show cause notice, asked the two dealers to reply with the reason for the extra charge else their licenses will be cancelled.An autorickshaw which should cost close to Rs 1,80,000 on road is sold for Rs 5,50,000 in the market. There are several extra charges on top which include logistic charges, annual maintenance charges etc. An extra handling charge was also added along with the GST since August, about which most of the drivers did not know.In petitions filed by Narendra Giri, President of the Pragatisheel Auto Union, and social workers from different NGOs, in the High Court, the discrepancies and the stronghold of auto finance mafia were highlighted which led to the temporary suspension of the two market leaders in autorickshaw dealing.“Supreme Court had passed 1,00,000 auto rickshaws in 2011, out which 55,000 were already on the road, 35,000 more were issued between 2011 and 2014. The last 10,000 got delayed and then were eyed by finance mafias. Those who bought had to pay hefty amounts as procuring ‘Letters of Intent’ to secure an auto unit became a difficult task. But most importantly, buyers had to pay additional charges with GST etc, thus in-total, the Autorickshaws have become very expensive,” said Giri.Even though the license was suspended for a short while, the Union members now look for stronger steps by the government. They are demanding cancellation of these dealer’s license and formation of a committee which looks into these permit procurements.EXPERT SPEAKThese dealers had been charging logistic charges of Rs10,000 which was not required, but nobody ever highlighted/questioned. Out NGO challenged this in the High Court. In 2010, I also filed a PIL against Auto finance mafia in High Court, which raised two main points of Permit trading i.e., auto rickshaw black marketing, and true ownership of Autorickshaws i.e. where drivers are driving autos granted on other’s names. The PIL was first dismissed in HC on technical grounds, then moved to Supreme Court which then sent to back to High Court, we are still awaiting a response on this Rakesh Aggarwal, Secretary, Nyaya Bhoomi, a registered NGO working for the welfare of societyIn complaint letters written to the Prime Minister’s and Lieutenant Governor’s office, we highlighted the extra costs that we have to pay for getting an autorickshaw. I requested them to take strong actions against these dealers who are charging optional AMC (auto maintenance charges) to everyone, handling charges etc since GST came. We have also raised a complaint against Rajesh Kumar Meena, MLO, Transport, who had a partnership with these dealers and earned money out of poor drivers’ pockets. I hope this suspension is not just the only step taken against these dealers and their licenses are cancelled tooYashpal Arora, General Secretary, Azad Hind Auto/Taxi Chalak UnionVOICES“I have been driving an autorickshaw since last seven years, I bought this second hand rickshaw for Rs 2 lakhs, whereas a new one should come much lower than this. It was easy then but, now, it has become very difficult to procure a new one”— Vipin Kumar, autorickshaw driver“A new autorickshaw costed me Rs 5 Lakhs, I had to sell my land in the village for this. But now the earning is not much as people generally do not pay by the meter and ask us to reduce the rates.”— Faizan Ahmed, autorickshaw driver“Recently a social worker told me that I can get a new rickshaw for Rs 1,80,000, but I paid three times of this price in August. How could nobody ever knew this? I hope they take away the licenses of the dealers who have been ripping poor drivers.”— Bikram Singh, autorickshaw driver “It was so difficult to get a permit for the autorickshaw and the ‘Letter of Intent’, as the mafia members already take so many permits on different names. The ones who need them the most always have to run around and pay more than needed.”— Sandeep Verma, autorickshaw driver “I had to sell my father’s land in Uttar Pradesh to buy myself an auto. Now they tell me that it was not required after running around for months first to sell the land and then to get the permit. Those people should be punished harsher than just seven days suspension”— Rakesh Kumar, autorickshaw driver

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

AASU demands error free NRC, says ‘no Bangladeshi coming to Assam after 1971 will be allowed to stay’

Demanding an error free National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state, the All Assam Student Union (AASU) on Sunday said that no Bangladeshis coming to Assam after 1971 will be allowed to stay in the state.AASU chief adviser Dr Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya talking to reporters here said no Bangladeshis either Hindu or Muslim coming to Assam after 1971 will be allowed to stay in the state.On the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Bhattacharya said, “We strongly oppose the special bill that the Central government is framing for the interest of settlement of Hindus from Bangladesh in the state. It will never be acceptable to the people of Assam.”Urging the government to deal with the ongoing NRC updation process sincerely, Bhattacharya said, “a section of people have been doing politics on it and trying to include the names of illegal foreigners in the NRC”.The first draft of the NRC, being updated in Assam on the directions of the Supreme Court, will be published on December 31 midnight.The AASU leader also added that the government should protect the land falling under the Tribal Belt Blocks.The AASU leader was accompanied by All Assam Tea Students Association (AATSA) leader Krisna Kamal Tanti, Gorkha Student’s Union general secretary Sanjib Chetry.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

2G Judge couldn’t have questioned my work: Spl prosecutor Anand Grover

Questions regarding why and how the prosecution lost the 2G scam case continued two days after a trial court acquitted all 21 accused, including some companies, of all charges of corruption.Hitting out against the judgement, senior advocate Anand Grover, who took over as the special public prosecutor, said no fault can be found with his conduct or preparation of the case. “It is wrong for any officer of the court to impeach the integrity of an individual. It is simply damaging to the integrity of the institution,” Grover said, while speaking to DNA on Saturday.”I am very bothered by the insinuations made in the judgement. I had no choice but to respond,” he added. Grover further said the judge breached the integrity of the institution by not telling the truth and using petty irrelevant arguments.In a setback to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), special judge OP Saini said the prosecution had failed miserably to prove their case, while acquitting those involved.In a strongly worded judgement, the special judge said the prosecution was unable to prove a shed of evidence to make their case.Reacting to the judgement, Grover said if there was no case, it would have been evident one and a half years ago, when the judge framed questions under section 313.In a criminal trial, once the chargesheet is filed, the charges are framed. After the prosecution has presented their evidence, the trial court judge then frames questions, for which he seeks answers from the defence.Special judge Saini had posed 1,800 questions against former telecom minister A Raja, one of the prime accused.”The charge sheet was vetted by the Supreme Court before it was presented in the trial court, based on which the judge framed charges against the accused,” Grover said.Moreover, he pointed out, that he came in at a stage when the prosecution had completed presenting their case. “I merely argued on the money laundering charges,” he said, referring to the fact that he succeeded justice UU Lalit, who was the SPP before him.The prosecution has hinted at appealing against the verdict in a higher court as Grover believes the trial court’s verdict “is riddled with errors”.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Madras High Court notice to Tamil Nadu government

Madras high court on Friday issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu government and the Chennai Corporation after admitting the plea filed by S Amrutha, who claims to be the biological daughter of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and sought permission to exhume her mother’s body .Hearing the petition on Friday, Justice S Vidyanathan also impleaded Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepak and Deepa as party respondents to the petition. The judge wanted the authorities to file their replies by January 5.The judge also asked Amrutha as to why she did not claim Sobhan Babu as her father in the petition. He also wanted to know whether Apollo Hospitals, where late Jayalalithaa was hospitalised, has kept any of her blood samples in its possession.When Amrutha’s counsel moved the high court on Thursday, Advocate General Vijay Narayan opposed her petition strongly saying that without any authority, her claim was not maintainable and was a publicity stunt.Pointing out that several people were claiming that they were legal heirs of Jayalalithaa, the judge had said that to put a quietus to the issue, a DNA test may be ordered. If the claim comes out to be false, the petitioner has to face the consequences, the judge added.Earlier in November, the Supreme Court had refused to hear a similar petition filed by her. In her petition, Amrutha had said that she knew Jayalalithaa as her aunt and it was only in March, three months after Jayalalithaa’s demise that it was revealed to her that she was, in fact, Jayalalithaa’s daughter.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Vasundhara Raje govt approves 1% reservation for Gurjars, 4 other communities in Rajasthan

Five castes including Gurjars will get one per cent reservation within the 50 per cent legal limit in Rajasthan, a senior minister said here today.The state government took the decision on Thursday to provide reservation to the Gujjar/Gurjar, Banjara/Baldia/ Labana, Gadia-Lohar/Gadalia, Raika/Rebari and Gadaria communities.”The decision was taken to give one per cent reservation to Gurjars and other castes under the most backward category,” said state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore.A notification will be issued after the governor’s approval, he said.The present overall reservation percentage in the state stands at 49 per cent.The five castes were included in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) list in 1994. After the state cabinet’s decision they can now seek benefits in educational institutions and job opportunities.The Rajasthan Assembly in October this year passed a bill to raise OBC reservation from 21 to 26 per cent to provide five per cent quota to Gurjars and other castes.However, the high court stayed the bill as it would have increased the reservation to 54 per cent.Later, the Supreme Court also directed the state government not to exceed the 50 per cent reservation limit.The government has taken the step in the wake of widespread agitation by the Gurjar community, demanding reservation under the backward class category.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Post 2G and Adarsh reliefs to Congress, Arvind Kejriwal is not a happy man

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is not a happy man. On Thursday, he expressed displeasure at the CBI court’s 2G verdict, saying it was one of the biggest scams that rocked the country. Then on Friday, after the Bombay High Court gave relief to Ashok Chavan, Kejriwal tweeted that the BJP had given a clean chit to the Congress in the scam.Kejriwal came to prominence as the leader of an anti-corruption movement in India.Earlier on Friday, The Bombay High Court on Friday set aside the sanction granted to the CBI by Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to prosecute senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh housing society scam.Also read2G scam judgment: A Raja writes to Karunanidhi; says he places verdict at DMK chief’s feetA division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Sadhana Jadhav ruled that though the CBI had claimed to be in possession of fresh evidence against Chavan at the time of seeking the sanction, it “failed to present any fresh evidence.”Chavan even accused the BJP of vendetta politics.A day earlier, a CBI court acquitted A Raja and Kanomozhi, who were part of the UPA government, in the 2G scam case, citing lack of evidence. While the Congress and the DMK hailed the judgment, the ruling BJP and other parties have pushed for a higher court to examine the case.The corruption had become a major political plank for opposition parties, except for AIADMK and DMK, in the 2016 assembly election with both the major Dravidian parties caught in the corruption charges. After defeating DMK in the state assembly in 2011 and Lok Sabha polls in 2014 using the 2G scam, late AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa found herself targeted by opposition parties on corruption charges after her conviction and subsequent acquittal in the disproportionate assets case in 2014-15. After Jayalalithaa’s death last year, the Supreme Court in February this year upheld the conviction in the assets case and jailed her close aide VK Sasikala and two others.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Adarsh scam: Big relief for Ashok Chavan, Bombay HC sets aside governor’s sanction to prosecute him

In a big relief to former chief minister Ashok Chavan, Bombay high court on Friday set aside governor’s sanction for prosecuting him in the Adarsh case. Ashok Chavan had filed a petition challenging Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao’s assent to prosecute him. Advocate hiten venegaonkar appearing for CBI said that the agency would appeal against the HC order in the Supreme Court.The state had opposed his petition arguing that if it is allowed it would mean a straight acquittal for him. It would then render the entire probe “futile”. Also readAdarsh scam: Maha defends Chavan’s prosecution(This is a breaking news. More details to follow)

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Bill on triple talaq likely to be tabled in Lok Sabha today

A bill which seeks to criminalise instant triple talaq is likely to be introduced in the Lok Sabha on Friday. The bill has been listed for introduction in the Lok Sabha amid protest by Congress against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘conspiracy with Pakistan’ remarks. Congress protested in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, over PM Modi’s insinuations against Manmohan Singh of colluding with Pakistan, and staged a walkout after they were not given permission to speak.Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had, on December 15, said that the Cabinet approved a proposal to introduce the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, to make instant triple talaq void and illegal.’Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill’, prepared by an inter-ministerial group makes giving instant triple talaq “illegal and void”. It also provides for a jail term of three years for the husband in such cases, according to reports. It also makes a provision for alimony for the woman on whom instant triple talaq has been pronounced and grants her the custody of her children, say reports.Also readMuslim bodies not consulted on triple talaq bill: Govt tells Parliament The Supreme Court, in August, by a majority of 3:2, had ruled that the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims is “void”, “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.Once the law is made to make triple talaq an offence, the victims will have the option of approaching the police and the legal system for the redressal of their grievances and for action to be taken against the husband.Also readNCW chief welcomes cabinet’s approval of triple talaq bill(With inputs from ANI)

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

2G scam fallout: Exit of foreign players from Indian telecom market

The controversy over 2G spectrum allotment and subsequent cancellation of licences by the Supreme Court in 2012 impacted fate of many foreign telecom players operating in India which included Norway’s Telenor, Russia’s Sistema, UAE’s Etisalat and Bahrain Telecom.Etisalat had tied up with Swan Telecom to form a joint venture in India and Bahrain tied up with STel. Both the foreign telecom companies decided to exit Indian market months after SC cancelled their licences in 2012.While Telenor and Sistema decided to participate in the auction process as directed by SC but chose to be niche players and not bid for spectrum pan India. Telenor had formed a JV with Unitech Wireless and Sistema tied up with Shyam Teleservices.Other new players which got licenses in 2008 were Videocon and Loop Telecom. Loop Telecom also shut down their services later, while Videocon also exited the market in 2016 by selling off its spectrum to Bharti Airtel.Telenor, after operating as a small telecom player for many years, decided to hang up on India early this year with a sale to Bharti Airtel. Telenor wrote off about Rs 10,000 crore on its books.Sistema also recently this year merged its wireless operations with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications. Sistema invested over $4 billion in India, according to estimates.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

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

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

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

CBI, ED to appeal against verdict

Shocked over the special court’s judgement to acquit all the accused, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) stated that they had been filing monthly status reports before the Supreme Court and the investigation was appreciated at every step. However, sources said they fail to understated why the judgement went against them. The agency decided to appeal against the court order.Also Enforcement Directorate decided to appeal against the order. ED said the Special Court appears to have failed to appreciate the money laundering offence that probed by it should have held ground and not linked to CBI’s corruption case.”Besides the observation and findings of the Supreme Court in this case appear to have not been considered by the Special Court,” the ED added.Sources in the CBI said, “Our key contention was not taken into account by the special court. We are going through it for as it is lengthy judgement. The key points which struck us immediately was that there written and documentary evidence and it was not given due to importance.”Sources further pointed out that the court has relied on oral evidence of the accused and also failed to see the bribe trail wherein Rs 200 crore ‘pay-off’ happened wherein a company take loan on 14 percent and given at 5 percent. “We had documentary evidence running into lakh of pages, the court relies on accused statements,” the source said.CBI in a statement said, “The judgement relating to 2G scam case today has been prima facie examined and it appears that the evidence adduced to substantiate the charges by the prosecution has not been appreciated in its proper perspective by the Learned Court. CBI will be taking necessary legal remedies in the matter. In due course, CBI will be filing an appeal.”In the meantime, ED pointed out that the Special Court prima-facie appears to have failed to appreciate the offence of money laundering as defined under Section 3 is, based on the term proceeds of crime.ED also said the special court has appreciated the material evidence qua offence of money laundering at the time of framing of charges against the accused persons but the same material appears to have not been considered while deciding the prosecution complaint under PMLA and the accused persons have been acquitted from the offence of money laundering only on the basis of no commission of offence and not the occurrence of criminal activity.”We have decided to move in appeal against the judgement of the Special Court on a number of grounds based on the facts as well as legal provisions,” the ED said in a statement.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Bill on two-fold salary hike of Supreme Court, High Court judges tabled in Lok Sabha

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha that allows for a two-fold hike in the salaries of judges in the Supreme Court and in all the High Courts across the country. If passed, the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2017 could increase the monthly salary of the Chief Justice of India from the present Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2.8 lakh.The bill, which will have a retrospective effect from January 2016 will benefit the 21 judges currently in the Supreme Court and over 682 judges in over 24 High Courts. The hike will also benefit over 2,500 retired judges.Currently, SC judges and High Court chief justices draw Rs 90,000 per month. If the Bill comes into legislation, they will earn Rs 2.5 lakh per month. HC judges, who now earn Rs 80,000 will earn Rs 2,25,000 per month.When Prasad introduced the bill in the House, Mahbubnagar MP Jithender Reddy took exception to the legislation and opposed it. “I oppose the introduction of the Bill. We have been fighting for the bifurcation of Telangana High Court,” Reddy said.Speaker M Thambidurai, however, said that for Reddy to oppose, he will need to file a note first.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

2G case verdict: Political slugfest breaks out after all accused acquitted by special court

A Special CBI court today acquitted former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and all other accused in the 2G scam case that had rocked the Manmohan Singh-led UPA-II government, holding that the prosecution “miserably failed” to prove any of the corruption and money laundering charges.The stunning verdict came as an anti-climax in a case that had been repeatedly highlighted by the BJP during the 2014 general election campaign as the hallmark of corruption in the then UPA regime. The BJP turned the arbitrary award of radio frequency to telecom providers into a major political issue and put the UPA-II government on the mat.”I have absolutely no hesitation in holding that prosecution has miserably failed to prove any of the charges against any of the accused,” Special CBI Judge O P Saini said in his verdicts in three separate cases related to the 2G scam in a packed courtroom at the Patiala House premises.Also read2G verdict good news for Congress, but UPA has enough scams to worry aboutDealing a body blow to the CAG’s and CBI’s estimation of huge loss in grant of 2G licences, judge Saini in his 1,552- page verdict in the main CBI case held that some people “artfully” arranged few selected facts and created a scam “when there was none”. In all, there were 17 accused, including Raja and Kanimozhi, both leaders of Congress ally DMK, in this case that also included three corporate entities.The three judgements, which together ran into 2,183 pages, included the one that stemmed out of the Enforcement Directorate (ED)’s money laundering case.Also readCBI, ED to challenge special court’s verdict on 2G scamThe ED and the CBI said they will challenge before the Delhi High Court the verdicts, which also unleashed a political slugfest between the BJP and the Opposition. There were 19 accused in the ED chargesheet some of whom figured in the CBI chargesheet filed in its main and offshoot case.Buoyed by the verdicts, the Congress and the DMK said “truth” has finally prevailed and that justice has been delivered while the ruling party asked the Congress not to treat them as a “badge of honour”.Also readFull text of special CBI court’s judgment in 2G spectrum allocation case The Congress demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and other BJP leaders apologise to the nation for their alleged “propaganda and lies” on the issue.Manmohan Singh said the court judgement needs to be respected as it has “pronounced that the massive propaganda” unleashed against his government was without any foundation.”Will all those people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley and other BJP leaders, who for years made false propaganda and lies their stepping stone to come to power, apologise to the country?” asked Congress communications incharge Randeep Surjewala. “Today is the day for fixing accountability and responsibility.”In a counterattack, Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the Congress should not treat the 2G verdict as a “badge of honour.” The party’s “zero loss theory” was proved wrong when the apex court squashed spectrum allocation in 2012, he added.A number of supporters of DMK leaders Raja and Kanimozhi, who were anxiously waiting outside the jam-packed court room, broke into loud cheers as soon as the verdict was pronounced.”There is no evidence against me and justice has been delivered,” Kanimozhi, daughter of DMK supremo M Karunanidhi, told reporters. A beaming Raja said, “You see everybody is happy.”In a statement in the evening, Raja said the court acquittal showed that the presumptive loss in allocation of 2G spectrum was “cooked-up”. He also debunked the presumptive loss theories in the allocation.Raja, who was the Telecom minister in the Congress-led UPA government when 122 spectrum licences were issued to 8 companies in 2008 on first-come-first-serve basis, said his actions were for the benefit of masses.Raja remained in jail for over 15 months while Kanimozhi was in prison for six months before they were granted bail.Other accused persons were also in jail for varying terms.The trial in the three cases relating to the 2G scam began after the then Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai in his report alleged 122 2G licences were given to telecom operators at throwaway prices when the UPA was in power and pegged at Rs 1.76 lakh crore the loss to the national exchequer.The CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of licences for the 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court court on February 2, 2012.Former telecom minister Kapil Sibal demanded an apology from Rai, saying his stand on loss from the 2G spectrum allocation stands vindicated. Sibal had contradicted the CAG report, maintaining there was “zero loss” to the Government as a result of giving 2G licences to new players in 2008.The verdict also echoed in the Lok Sabha where senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily demanded that Rai quit all posts. Rai heads the Supreme Court-appointed four-member panel of administrators to run the affairs of the BCCI and is also the Chairman of the Banks Board Bureau.Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, the other accused who were given a chit in the main CBI case included former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra and three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) — Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair, Asif Balwa, Rajiv Aggarwal of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, film producer Karim Morani, Sharad Kumar, Director of Kalaignar TV were also acquitted in the money laundering case.Three companies–Swan Telecom, Unitech Wireless(Tamil Nadu) limited and Reliance Telecom limited–listed as accused in the main case were also acquitted.The acquittal of all the accused brought to end the trial that lasted nearly seven years in one of the most controvesial corruption cases that involved politicians, bureaucrats and a host of businessmen and corporate executives accused of conspiracy in the allocation of spectrum or radio waves used to offer mobile servies.Raja and Kanimozhi were also let off in another case lodged by the ED under the money laundering law arising out of the 2G scam.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

It’s a bad judgement, should be appealed in a higher court: Subramanain Swamy on 2G scam verdict

Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday lashed out at the CBI court’s judgment that acquitted DMK leaders A Raja and Kanimozhi for lack of evidence.Swamy, one of BJP’s most vocal leaders, said the judgment was a bad one and should be appealed in a higher court. “It is an aberration as the law officers were not serious on fighting against corruption. So I hope the PM takes lesson from this. We must now fight corruption on war footing,”Swamy, however, said that the case could be put back on track. “Provided we have honest law officers and lawyers who aren’t chamchas of ministers, there should be no problem,” he said.Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the Congress is treating 2G verdict as a “badge of honour”, but there is a need to recollect and check the facts that led to an investigation in the case.The party’s “zero loss theory” was proved to be wrong when the apex court squashed spectrum allocation in 2012, the minister said after a special court on Thursday acquitted all accused in the 2G spectrum scam allocation case.Though the trial court verdict says nobody was guilty of corruption, investigating agencies will study the case history and look into it, the minister asserted.The Congress on Thursday hit out at former Comptroller Auditor General of India Vinod Rai after a CBI court acquitted DMK leaders A Raja, who was telecom minister in UPA-1, and Kanimozhi for lack of evidence.Rai had calculated that the 2G spectrum allocation in 2008, under UPA 1, led to notional loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the national exchequer.”There was no case from the beginning. In fact, it was scam of lies, there was no scam on our part. We did it in accordance with policy prescription that we had at that point in time,” Congress leader Kapil Sibal said.Responding to query on the Supreme Court judgment of February 2012 which cancelled 122 telecom licences that were allocated spectrum in 2008, Sibal said that the apex court passed the judgment in its attempt to do the best it could do in the interest of the nation, and it was a wrong decision.”That (SC cancelling telecom licences) was also a wrong decision. The fact that the Supreme Court rendered a decision doesn’t mean that is necessarily right. “In fact, the kind of environment created by the media, the opposition, by Vinod Rai… The telecom sector is in dire state today and this is entirely because of Vinod Rai and opposition (at that time),” Sibal said

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

2G scam verdict: Former CAG Vinod Rai owes Congress apology, nation explaination, says Kapil Sibal

The Congress on Thursday hit out at former Comptroller Auditor General of India Vinod Rai after a CBI court acquitted DMK leaders A Raja, who was telecom minister in UPA-1, and Kanimuzhi for lack of evidence.Rai had calculated that the 2G spectrum allocation in 2008, under UPA 1, led to notional loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the national exchequer. “There was no case from the beginning. In fact, it was scam of lies, there was no scam on our part. We did it in accordance with policy prescription that we had at that point in time,” Congress leader Kapil Sibal said. Responding to query on the Supreme Court judgment of February 2012 which cancelled 122 telecom licences that were allocated spectrum in 2008, Sibal said that the apex court passed the judgment in its attempt to do the best it could do in the interest of the nation, and it was a wrong decision. “That (SC cancelling telecom licences) was also a wrong decision. The fact that the Supreme Court rendered a decision doesn’t mean that is necessarily right. “In fact, the kind of environment created by the media, the opposition, by Vinod Rai… The telecom sector is in dire state today and this is entirely because of Vinod Rai and opposition (at that time),” Sibal saidAlso readDMK leader MK Stalin hails ‘historic verdict’ in 2G spectrum allocation caseEarlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the Congress is treating 2G verdict as a “badge of honour”, but there is a need to recollect and check the facts that led to an investigation in the case.The party’s “zero loss theory” was proved to be wrong when the apex court squashed spectrum allocation in 2012, the minister said after a special court on Thursday acquitted all accused in the 2G spectrum scam allocation case.Also readFull text of special CBI court’s judgment in 2G spectrum allocation case Though the trial court verdict says nobody was guilty of corruption, investigating agencies will study the case history and look into it, the minister asserted.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Congress taking 2G verdict as a badge of honour, zero loss theory already proven wrong: Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the Congress is treating 2G verdict as a “badge of honour”, but there is a need to recollect and check the facts that led to an investigation in the case. The party’s “zero loss theory” was proved to be wrong when the apex court squashed spectrum allocation in 2012, the minister said after a special court on Thursday acquitted all accused in the 2G spectrum scam allocation case.Though the trial court verdict says nobody was guilty of corruption, investigating agencies will study the case history and look into it, the minister asserted.Also read2G propaganda against UPA without any foundation: Manmohan Singh”The Congress is treating 2G verdict as a badge of honour, but its zero loss theory was proven wrong when the Supreme Court quashed spectrum allocation in February 2012,” Jaitley told reporters.”The fact that policy has caused loss was proven by subsequent auction. The policy was arbitrary to promote corruption which caused loss to the exchequer. Auctioning gave higher prices, look at the amount collected in auctions. The special court has said nobody is liable for this loss. The chargesheet was filed under the direction of the apex court, Jaitley added further. Former telecom minister A Raja and DMK leader Kanimozhi were on Thursday acquitted by a special court in the 2G spectrum scam case. All other accused and three companies were also acquitted in the case.Also read2G spectrum verdict: All you must know about the case(With PTI inputs)

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Divide in SC Collegium over making its decisions public

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

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Justice Karnan walks out of Presidency Jail after six months of imprisonment

Former Calcutta High Court judge, Justice CS Karnan was released from Presidency Correctional Home of Kolkata on Wednesday after serving his six months’ sentence for contempt of court.After his release on Wednesday morning, Karnan headed for his residence at Rajarhat, at the eastern fringes of the city. Justice Karnan was the first sitting judge to be jailed.Raj Kanojia, the IPS officer who was heading a team of police officers to hunt Justice Karnan down when he was on the run after Supreme Court sentenced him for six months is now the principal secretary, department of Correctional Administration, West Bengal. He told DNA that it was an interesting case. “It was an interesting case tracking down a sitting judge. We had to be careful with him at the same time we had to comply with the court order. We had to do a lot of planning and briefing. The team comprised senior officers only. Our prime objective was to pull it off without embarrassing the court or police,” he said. He also said that after he took over as the principal secretary, he used to occasionally enquire about Justice Karnan’s stay as an inmate out of his academic interest and found out that his stay at the Presidence Correctional Home was largely uneventful. “There was nothing untoward in the last six months but I was told that he had lost weight. I never heard of him complaining about the food and the stay,” Kanojia told DNA.Sources close to the judge said that Justice Karnan would not give up on his fight for the backward class and would continue to raise his voice against atrocities faced by Dalits. Justice Karnan had been hitting the headlines for several years now. He was the first judge of a High Court to write to the National Commission for SCs and STs in 2011, alleging harassment by other judges.In 2014, he had reportedly barged into a court at the Madras High Court where a hearing was in progress and hit out at the judiciary for being biased. It was then the Supreme Court had ordered his transfer to the Calcutta High Court.In 2017, he wrote a letter to the Prime Minister in which he alleged that at least 20 sitting and retired judges had indulged in corrupt practices. In March 2017, a bailable warrant was issued against him which he had termed as an ‘attempt to ruin his life as a Dalit judge. The Supreme Court also requested him for a certificate of mental fitness. He refused to cooperate with the doctors who had come to his residence for his mental check-up which led the apex court to sentence him for six months on May 9. After that he kept on evading arrest by moving from one state to another for 42 days, before he was finally arrested on June 20 from Coimbatore and brought to Presidency Correctional Home.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Muslim bodies not consulted on triple talaq bill: Govt tells Parliament

Muslim organisations were not consulted before the government framed a draft bill to criminalise the practice of instant triple talaq, the Lok Sabha was informed today.Law Minister Ravi Shankar said the government believed that the proposed bill would help ensure gender justice, gender equality and dignity of women.The government has maintained that since the practice of instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’ continues despite the Supreme Court striking it down, there is a need to bring a law. To a written question on whether the government consulted Muslim organisatons before framing the draft law, Minster of State for Law P P Chaudhary replied in the negative.In a separate written reply, Prasad said, “The government is of the view that the issue arises from the humanitarian concept of gender justice, gender equality and dignity of women and not arising from faith and religion.” He said that since the Supreme Court struck down the practice of instant triple talaq, nearly 66 cases of husbands divorcing their spouses through this method were reported. On December 15, the union cabinet cleared the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill, which seeks to make the practice of instant triple talaq “illegal and void” and provides for a jail term for the husband.Also readCabinet approves bill making instant triple talaq criminal actThe husband could also be fined and the quantum of fine would be decided by the magistrate hearing the case. The proposed law would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’ and it would give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children. The woman can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate who will take a final call on the issue. Under the draft law, instant triple talaq in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp — would be bad or illegal and void.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Tarun Tejpal rape case: Bombay HC dismisses former Tehelka editor’s petition challenging trial

The Bombay High Court branch in Goa on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal that challenged the rape trial against him.Public prosecutor Francisco Tavora told news agency ANI that the plea had been rejected.Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had given the Bombay High Court to decide whether Tejpal should be exonerated of sexual assault charges.Following the High Court’s decision, Tejpal will now stand on trialOn September 7 this year, Tejpal was charged for rape under various Sections including Sections 341, 342, 343, 354 A, 354 B and 376 subsection 2 of the Indian Penal Code.Also readTarun Tejpal, former Tehelka editor, charged with rape by Goa court; next hearing on November 21Tejpal is accused of raping a junior woman colleague during an event organised by the magazine in Goa on November 7, 2013.A day later, Tejpal allegedly assaulted the same colleague in the hotel lift again.Ten days later, the journalist wrote an email to managing editor Shoma Chaudhary on November 18, 2013.On November 22, the Goa Police filed a formal FIR in the case. Three days later, on November 25, the victim resigned from the magazine stating that she was deeply traumatised and that nobody from the magazine stood by her.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Full-time DG in eight weeks: Gujarat high court tells state

The Gujarat high court has ordered the state government to appoint a Director General of Police (DGP) by following the regular procedure within eight weeks of time. The order comes after a public interest litigation sought directions to the state government to appoint a regular DGP instead of running the police department with an in-charge DGP. The state had cited assembly elections as a reason for the step. Former IPS officer Rahul Sharma had moved the petition challenging the state government’s decision to continue to appoint in-charge DGP. While passing the order, first division bench of chief justice R Subhash Reddy and Vipul Pancholi on Monday has concluded, “As per the Supreme Court order in Prakash Singh Vs Union of India, and even the Bombay Police Act and the Gujarat Act, the state government is bound to appoint DGP on regular basis. So, there is no reason for the state government for not filling the post with regular DGP. Though the state government has claimed that as the elections are going on it can take any steps, but it is the state government’s obligation to appoint regular appointment. The state government should initiate the process of the selection of the regular DGP and appoint within eight weeks of this order.”The petitioner’s advocate IH Syed had submitted that since 2016 there has been no regular DGP and the state police department is run by the in-charge officer, which is affecting its operations. And though there are rules for appointing regular DGPs, the state is not discharging its duty by doing so.Petitioner’s contention was that in-charge DGP can be influenced by the ruling party, as his/her tenure in office is at the mercy of the ruling party.GOVT’S EXCUSEThe state showed its helplessness in the name of the election notification It claimed that the entire force was busy with the elections It said it couldn’t take any decision of transfer or appointment without the EC’s permission

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Centre defends Special Court move to try politicians

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley supported the Supreme Court’s recent direction to the Centre to set up special courts to deal with criminal cases involving legislators and politicians, as Opposition MPs raised concerns on “singling out” elected representatives.Jaitley said “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion” and urged political parties to rise and set an example. As elected representatives, can lawmakers say that their trial should be delayed? he asked.”You are class apart… you are lawmakers. You should set the example,” he said, responding to Opposition parties led by the Congress and the Samajwadi Party on the issue.CM Ramesh from TDP also came out in support of fast-track courts. SP leader Naresh Agrawal was the first to express his concerns, stating that Article 14 of the Constitution provides for equality before the law, and that elected representatives are at par with other citizens.”While there are no special courts for criminals, setting up one for elected representatives would create misleading perception about politicians,” he said.He also questioned the government’s affidavit supporting setting up of fast-track courts.Congress leader Anand Sharma also joined in but clarified that there is no question of delaying prosecution of anyone. It would tantamount to profiling and excessive vilification of lawmakers if a perception is created that fast-track courts are needed for elected representatives alone, he said.The government, he said, should ensure that enough funds are allocated to set up enough courts for fast-track trial of all.”But singling out only elected representatives will create a public perception that would otherwise have an inherent potential of being abused by the government of the day,” he said.Majeed Memon from NCP said if a certain section is treated separately, it may be bordering on infringement of Article 14 of the Constitution that assures equality to all.Lawyer KTS Tulsi, a nominated member, asked who would do justice to undertrials languishing in jail for 10-15 years.Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC) asked if the government would also set up special courts to prosecute those who have defrauded the country of Rs 8.5 lakh crore.Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said he would give a ruling on the point of order at an appropriate time.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Parsi community mulls Supreme Court order on mixed marriage

A recent interim order by the Supreme Court (SC) which allowed a Parsi woman married to a non-Parsi to enter the Tower of Silence in Valsad has got Parsi community talking about the issue.In a letter to the newspaper Jam-e-Jamshed, some members of the community have written that Goolrookh Gupta, who is allowed to enter the Tower of Silence, on the event of her parents’ death, should submit an affidavit that she has not converted.As per Parsi community’s unwritten rules, women married outside the community are allowed to enter the Tower of Silence across India only if they submit an affidavit stating that they will continue to practise their faith.Dinshaw Mehta, former chairman of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) wrote a letetr demanding her to submit an affidavit to prove that she has not converted.”The BPP is an apex body here and they should discuss the issue. Community rights cannot be given to her,” said Nadir Mody calling Goolrookh as Neha.”Since 1982 they allow Parsis married to non-Parsis to enter the fire temples if they give an affidavit that they practice the faith,” said Viraf Kapadia

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Imran Khan confuses Jayalalithaa with Sasikala, later deletes tweet

In what seems as an embarrassing goof-up, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan on Tuesday mixed the name of late Indian actress turned politician J.Jayalalithaa with her close aide Sasikala, who is currently serving jail term. Imran, in his tweet, had wrongly stated that Indian politician Sasikala died recently, whereas she is still alive.”Shashikala, a famous South Indian actress turned politician in India’s Tamil Nadu died recently & below her house were discovered gold reserves, jewels & illegal stash of money! A msg to all corrupt Idrs: the hoarded bns stolen from our impoverished masses will be left behind,” Imran said in now deleted tweet. However, after this gaffe was caught by a Gulf News journalist Sadiq S Bhat, Imran promptly deleted his tweet.”Dear @ImranKhanPTI you got it completely wrong. Sasikala is in jail. Her friend Jayalalitha, ex-CM of Tamil Nadu, died late last year and those pictures are obviously fake. One expects better from a senior politician like you,” Bhat tweeted along with screenshot of Imran’s tweet.Also readImran Khan not out, close aide disqualified from parliament in foreign funding case by Pakistan SCThe pictures, which Imran had posted, were reportedly fake and had been taken from bank robberies in two different places in India. The Supreme Court of India found Sasikala and her co-accused ‘ Ilavarasi (her sister-in-law) and V. N. Sudhakaran (her nephew) guilty of conspiring, laundering and amassing illicit wealth worth about Rs. 66.44 crore in the 1990s in a criminal conspiracy with Jayalalithaa. The three have been sentenced to a four-year jail term by the apex court.Sasikala is currently serving her jail term. She was a close aide of J. Jayalalithaa, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who headed AIADMK from 1989 until her death in 2016. After Jayalalithaa’s death, the party’s general council unanimously appointed her as the interim secretary general of AIADMK. Sasikala was removed from the AIADMK after the factions led by Chief Minister Palanisamy and now Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, joined hands.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

No relief for Lt Col Prasad Purohit

The Bombay High Court on Monday, dismissed a petition filed by 2008 Malegaon Bomb blast accused Lt Colonel Prasad Purohit and Sameer Kulkarni, challenging the sanction granted by the appropriate authority to prosecute them under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The Act deals with charges relating to terror acts. A division bench of Justices Naresh Patil and N W Sambre dismissed the plea, following which the special court is likely to frame charges under the Act against the accused on December 21. Purohit’s counsel, argued that the sanction to prosecute was given in 2009 but the appropriate authority under the Act was formed only in 2010.It was also argued thereby that prosecution is illegal and arbitrary, and the trial court should be restrained from framing charges under the act.National Investigation Agency (NIA) advocate Sandesh Patil opposed the plea arguing that the same ground was raised during Purohit’s bail application, which was rejected and the court had also in detail dealt with the point of sanction. This order was affirmed by the Supreme Court, which granted bail to Purohit. It was also said that both the courts had said that the ground can be raised at the time of trial.The Bench, after going through the arguments, held that it is up to the Trial court to decide on the same. If the accused have already raised the issue there, then only in appeal can the High Court look into the issue. Accordingly, it dismissed the petitions.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Gujarat Elections 2017: 100% match in random vote count on EVMs and VVPAT slips, confirms EC official

There was a “100 per cent match” in the random vote count on EVMs and paper trail slips carried out by the Election Commission in 182 Gujarat polling stations today, a senior official said.The EC had said it would conduct random vote counts on EVMs and VVPAT slips in one polling station in each of the 182 Assembly constituencies. “There was a 100 per cent match in the results of the EVM and the slips produced by the paper trail machines,” the official of the election machinery said. The polling stations were decided through a draw of lots in which the candidates or their agents were also present. The EC had decided to match the tally in select polling stations amid allegations that the EVMs were compromised to help the BJP.In Gujarat, Chief Electoral Officer B B Swain also said that the vote count through the EVMs matched with the VVPAT in all the constituencies where the paper trail slips were counted. Officials did not find any mismatch in the EVM vote count and VVPAT slip count as the counting concluded today evening, Swain said. “This was basically a confidence-building exercise. We did this at one polling booth each in all the 182 seats after the counting ended today. At all these booths, vote count of a randomly selected EVM matched with the slips of the connected VVPAT. There was no mismatch at any of the booths,” he said.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Congress’ bitter-sweet defeat is story of missed opportunity Besides, as announced earlier, VVPAT slips were taken into consideration during today’s counting at 10 booths across seven constituencies as the presiding officers of these booths had failed to wipe out the votes from the EVMS during the mock poll ahead of the voting on December 9 and 14. In addition, four such new cases had emerged during today’s counting at Vagra, Dwarka, Ankleshwar and Bhavnagar- Rural seats, Swain said.Also read5 reasons why BJP managed to win Gujarat for consecutive 6th time”There was a mismatch of some votes on one booth each of these four seats. This occurred because the Returning Officer must have made the same mistake but it could not be detected earlier. So we took into account VVPAT slips for these booths during the counting and resolved the issue,” he said.On December 15, the Supreme Court had refused to entertain a plea of the Gujarat Congress seeking counting of at least 20 per cent of the paper trail slips manually along with votes cast in the EVMs in each constituency of the state.It had said that the court cannot interfere unless the Election Commission of India’s decision to restrict the EVM- VVPAT paper trail to one booth per constituency is proved “arbitrary”, “illegal” or “malafide”.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Picture perfect: the effectiveness of pictorial health warnings on tobacco products

The Karnataka high court on Friday struck down the 2014 amendment rules that mandated pictorial health warnings to cover 85% of tobacco product packaging space on all tobacco products sold in India. It is worth mentioning that the pictorial warnings on both sides of packages of tobacco products came into effect in April 2016 following the direction of the Rajasthan High Court and subsequently the Supreme Court too made it mandatory. After the decision of Karnataka High Court, health activists and doctors in Rajasthan have expressed their worries about the adverse effects of diluting the pictorial warning.“The second edition of Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-2) says that in Rajasthan 50.4% of cigarette smokers,47.4% of bidi smokers and 60.5% of smokeless tobacco users thought of quitting smokeless tobacco use because of warning label on the packets. These figures show that the bigger pictorial warning on pack is critical to protect our youth from the dangers of tobacco and the government’s earlier decision of 85% pictorial warnings on all tobacco packages should be defended,” said Jayesh Joshi, Secretary of Vaagdhara, an NGO working for tobacco control in Rajasthan. Highlighting the severity of tobacco triggered cancer, Dr Naresh Somani, senior consultant, Medical Oncology Department at Bhagwan Mahavir Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Jaipur said that in Rajasthan 30% of total cancers patients suffer from the cancer caused by tobacco use. “It is estimated that 30,000 new cancer patients every year reach to the hospital due to tobacco generated cancer. Cancers of oral cavity and lungs in males account for over 50% of all cancer deaths in India,” he added.Raj takes the first step:Bigger pictorial warnings were first mandated by a notification issued in October 2014. Followed by the removal of the then Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan and the then Health Secretary Keshav Desiraju, the notification was then taken up suo motu by the Lok Sabha Committee on Subordinate Legislation, which asked the government to put the implementation on hold. While the implementation was then stayed, Rajasthan HC in July 2015 asked the government to implement it.Bigger the picture, bigger the impact:As per GATS-2, there has been a change in perception. 92% of adults surveyed under GATS-2 believed smoking caused serious illness, and 96% said use of smokeless tobacco causes serious illness. It was also found in survey that in Rajasthan 50.4% of cigarette smokers,47.4% of bidi smokers and .60.5% of smokeless tobacco users were planning or thinking of quitting tobacco use.Pictorial warning impact across IndiaIn India, more and more people of those still consuming tobacco are thinking of quitting on seeing pictorial warnings. AS PER GATS-262% feetcigarette smokers…54% feetbeedi users…46% feetsmokeless tobacco… …users are thinking of quitting because of pictorial warnings, compared with 38%, 29% & 34%, respectively during GATS-1

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Leaders at NDA meet seek all India judicial service

Some leaders of the BJP-led NDA have pitched for an all India judicial service on the lines of the civil services and sought a discussion on the matter in Parliament.The issue, which involves the demand for reservation in the judiciary for Dalits and backward classes, was raised in the meeting of top NDA leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, on Friday, the first day of the Winter Session, highly-placed sources said.A senior BJP leader told PTI that the matter was raised in the meeting by some members, who sought a discussion on the issue in Parliament.They said there should be all India judicial service like the Indian Administrative Service or the Indian Police Service, he said on the condition of anonymity.The sources, however, declined to name the leaders who raised the issue at the meeting.A large section of politicians, especially those drawn from disadvantaged classes, has been vocal over the issue, citing minuscule presence of these communities, especially Dalits and STs, in the higher judiciary.The matter was in the limelight recently after President Ram Nath Kovind expressed his concern at a public event over “unacceptably low” presence of women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes in the higher judiciary.Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha had demanded recently that gates of higher judiciary be opened for women and disadvantaged classes, claiming that most high court and Supreme Court judges have come from 250-300 families.”Not only for Dalits and backward castes, the door is closed even for people from general castes. Members of over 250-300 families have been becoming judges in high courts and the Supreme Court since Independence. Doors are closed for all others. They must be opened,” he had said at a public meeting to mark the death anniversary of B R Ambedkar.Dalit members of Parliament have long been raising the issue and saying that an all India judicial service will pave the way for reservation for the traditionally deprived sections of society in higher judiciary.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Muzaffarnagar riots: Non-bailable warrants against ex-Union Minister, BJP MP and MLA

A former Union minister, BJP MP and MLA are among 15 accused who have been issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) by a Court in connection with 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots in which about 62 people, including 42 Muslims were killed.The BJP MP Sanjeev Baliyan, who was former Union Minister for State for Agriculture and Food Processing and later moved to MoS for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation is among the accused who have been issued NBWs by a Muzffarnagar Court.Prominent among others included BJP MP from Bijnore Kunwar Bhartendu Singh, BJP MLA from Budhana Umesh Malik, Sadhvi Prachi etc. Taking a serious view of their non-appearance in person, the Court has issued NBWs against them. The court has fixed January 19 as the next date for hearing the case.Also readNo ban on movie ‘Muzaffarnagar the Burning Love’ in UP: SC told In his defense, the former Union Minister Sanjeev Baliyan stated that he could not attend personally before the court as Lok Sabha session was on. “I have no intention to disrespect the court. I could not attend the hearing due to Lok Sabha session. My counsel will reply to the Court,” said Baliyan in a statement.Baliyan alleged that cases against him were politically-motivated. “I was not even present in the village and did not give any speech despite that Akhilesh government slapped fake cases against me other BJP leaders,” he charged.Also readHope floats for 18-year-old Muzaffarnagar riots survivorIn another case related to Muzaffarnagar riots, 11 accused including BJP Cabinet Minister for Sugarcane in Yogi Adityanath government Suresh Rana, BJP MLA from Sardhana Sangeet Som and Sadhvi Prachi are facing charges under different sections of the IPC.Described as the worst communal riots in recent times in the country, violent clashes took place between Hindus and Muslims over an alleged eve-teasing incident. The riots flared up following provocative and hate speeches by BJP MLAs and leaders on August 31, 2013, and September 7.Also readSangeet Som seeks ban on Jimmy Shergill-starrer ‘Shorgul’ based on Muzaffarnagar riotsHundreds of Muslims fled Mangla Nagaud and adjoining villages and have not returned home till date fearing a backlash. About 62 people, including 42 Muslims, were killed in the riots that broke out in the village.The Supreme Court had prima facie blamed the then Akhilesh government for its failure to curb riots which rendered hundreds of people homeless. When the communal riots broke out in Muzaffaranagar, then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his ministers were enjoying Saifai Mahotasav in their village in Etawah district.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

With changing era, there is need for change in judicial system: RM Lodha

In the two-day National Conference and Annual General Meeting organized by the Association of Retired Judges of Supreme Court and High Court’s, discussions on change for judicial system improvement were held, on Saturday.Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court RM Lodha said that according to the changing era, there is a need to make changes in the judicial system with the highest development and digitization of technology. He said that there is a need to change the ancient method in the judicial system. Judiciary and judicial officers should prioritize the use of various dimensions of the internet, in addition to developing the online system at every level in the judicial administration. He discussed the judicial system of America, London, Australia, China, etc. We also need the People less proceedings with paperless in the judiciary. For this, it has become necessary to adopt modern techniques of electronic, internet and digitization in more form.Retired Judge of Supreme Court AK Mathur presided over the function. President of Association, Justice Maghraj Kalla welcomed all the guests and highlighted the activities. Justice Vinod Shankar Dave, the Guardian of the Association also highlighted the formation and purpose of the Association expressing its views. The senior judges of Rajasthan High Court and President of Rajasthan Judicial Academy Gopalakrishna Vyas also expressed their views.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

European court judgment could guide arguments on Aadhaar

Even as a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India examines the vexed issue of the Constitutionality of the unique biometric identification scheme, lawyers for the petitioners, who have challenged the Aadhaar, are likely to cite a December 2016 judgment of the European Court to buttress their point.For in that landmark judgment, the European Court ruled that the government’s intent to curb crime couldn’t be a valid basis for surveillance of all citizens and such a thing was violation of the citizens’ fundamental rights and the right to privacy.Through the judgment, the court had struck down a law that required all citizens to preserve computer and telecom data for one year.”Due regard to the Principle of Proportionality also derives from the Court’s settled case-law to the effect that the protection of the fundamental right to respect for private life at EU level requires that derogations from and limitations on the protection of personal data should apply only in so far as is strictly necessary,” it said.Incidentally, the doctrine of proportionality was declared a law in the landmark judgment of November, 2000 by the Supreme Court bench of Justices M Jagannadha Rao and UC Banerjee in the Om Kumar and others versus Union of India case.The European Court has also held, “Further, while the effectiveness of the fight against serious crime, in particular organised crime and terrorism, may depend to a great extent on the use of modern investigation techniques, such an objective of general interest, however fundamental it may be, cannot in itself justify that national legislation providing for the general and indiscriminate retention of all traffic and location data should be considered to be necessary for the purposes of that fight,” it added.Sometime back, a nine-Judge Constitution bench the Supreme Court of India ruled that Right to Privacy is a right guaranteed under the Constitution.Last month, the apex court bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman and Sanjay Kishan Kaul had also declared as unconstitutional the two stringent conditions for grant of bail under Section 45(1) of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.Five years ago, former Karnataka High Court Judge KS Puttaswamy filed the first appeal challenging the legality of Aadhaar. Since then, many others have joined the legal fight and, now, there are almost 38 petitioners represented by a battery of lawyers fighting for the right to privacy.Though the top court has restricted the use of Aadhaar, the Centre has all but made Aadhaar mandatory through various acts, notifications and circulars. This mandatory linking of the Aadhaar card has also been challenged among many other aspects.The Centre’s main aim to introduce Aadhaar was to cut down on corruption in the system and target delivery of benefits and services directly to the beneficiaries. It hoped by cutting down the middle-man, almost 100 per cent of the benefits would reach those who most required it.However, since its introduction, the Aadhaar has taken on a life of gigantic proportions and has been morphed into a tool that would make all non-aadhaar cardholders die a virtual civil death. Reports of data breach, misuse of private information, glitches in the system and more that are coming out in the public has not softened the government’s stand and has fuelled the debate surrounding the breach in fundamental right to privacy.According to the European court’s judgment, the rules are ultra vires of the Act and even if they are incorporated into the Act, such general surveillance for ostensibly detecting crime was violative of privacy right and therefore unconstitutional.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Why are VVPATS used in first place? Hardik Patel questions SC rejecting plea for cross-check

On Saturday, PAS leader Hardik Patel took umbrage to VVPATs being used stating he didn’t understand the Supreme Court’s stand on the issue.He was quoted saying by ANI: “Why are VVPATs used in the first place? It is used for smooth counting of votes wherever there is a fault. I did not understand Supreme Court’s stand on the issue.”He went on to say: “I think Exit Polls results will turn out to be false. If EVMs do not malfunction then BJP will lose the election. I have 100% doubts on EVMs.”Earlier, Congress said it would file a “fresh comprehensive petition” on the Gujarat election after the Supreme Court refused to entertain its plea seeking counting of at least 20 per cent of the paper trail slips manually along with votes cast in EVMs in each constituency.”We are very shortly going to represent and then file a fresh comprehensive petition,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.Also readGujarat elections 2017: BJP confident of victory, but won’t celebrate till results out”…The Congress will remain at the forefront of creating awareness about what is the basic structure of our Constitution, namely free and fair elections… Free and fair elections have been held to be part of our democracy,” he said.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud permitted petitioner Mohammad Arif Rajput, a Gujarat Congress leader, to withdraw his plea but granted liberty to file a comprehensive petition later seeking election reforms.Also readGujarat elections 2017: Hardik Patel held a roadshow at Vadodara”There was a very sympathetic and very elaborate hearing by the Supreme Court. Ultimately, the apex court gave us full liberty to withdraw the petition and equally in the order, reflected full liberty to file a fresh petition,” he said.Singhvi said the party would first represent to the Election Commission, seeking a comparison of the electronic result and the paper trail result.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | Ravan’s arrogance had ruined Lanka: Hardik Patel”A comprehensive fresh petition, raising all issues relating to EVMs and VVPAT (voter verifiable paper audit trail) will be filed soon,” he said.Earlier in the day, senior advocate Singhvi, appearing for Rajput, said the counting of the slips of the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines along with the votes cast in the electronic voting machines (EVM) count in at least 20 per cent of the booths of each constituency would reassure the people about the fairness of the polls.”This court can’t interfere unless the Election Commission’s decision for a random check of the EVM-VVPAT paper trail in one booth per constituency is proved arbitrary, illegal or malafide. We cannot discredit the Election Commission’s decision without cogent material,” it saidWith inputs from PTI and ANI

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

NCW chief welcomes cabinet’s approval of triple talaq bill

National Commission of Women’s (NCW) acting president Rekha Sharma on Saturday welcomed the Cabinet’s approval of a Bill to make instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat a criminal offence.“We fought because we were getting complaints regarding this. We welcome this move by the Cabinet. I also would like to add that any welfare scheme or policy should not be based on religion. The law should be common for everyone. This move is for the betterment of our society. I want triple talaq to be abolished all together,” she told ANI.The bill termed as the ‘Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017’ seeks to criminalise the practice of instant divorce in Islam.Cleared earlier yesterday, it will now be introduced in the winter session of Parliament.The Supreme Court, in August, had passed the order terming the practice of instant triple talaq (divorce) as “unconstitutional.”Despite the order, there have been sporadic incidents of husbands calling off their marriages through phones or messages or by uttering the word ‘talaq’ thrice.Now since the law has been framed to make triple talaq an offence, the victims will have the option of approaching the police and legal system for the redressal of their grievances and for the action to be taken against the husband.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Aarushi murder case: Hemraj Banjade’s wife moves Supreme Court

A petition challenging Rajesh and Nupur Talwar’s acquittal by the Allahabad High Court was filed in the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday. The petition was filed by Khumkala Banjade, wife of the Talwars’ domestic help, Hemraj, who was murdered along with Aarushi Talwar.Banjade filed the petition months after the Allahabad HC acquitted Rajesh and Nupur Talwar for murdering their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj for the lack of evidence.In her petition, Banjade told the apex court that the dentist couple were wrongly acquitted of murdering their teenaged daughter and her husband Hemraj.Speaking to DNA, senior advocate KTS Tulsi said it was the state’s duty to find out who killed Aarushi and Hemraj. “If the Talwar’s did not commit the crime, who did?” he said. Hemraj’s body was allegedly dragged to the terrace where it was later found by the Uttar Pradesh police hinting at a crime, it is up to the state to find out who did it, he added.”The Hon’ble high court has failed to appreciate that there is nothing to show that an outsider(s) came inside the house in the night after 9:30 pm. That there is no material on record which suggest that somebody was loitering near the flats under suspicious circumstances on the night of the incident. The same has been corroborated by the security guard PW9 who was on duty on the night of 15.05.2008 -16.05.2008. The trial court rightly held that the time span was so less that there is no chance of anyone entering the house, the petition read.In October, the Allahabad HC had held that the trial court judge, who had sentenced Rajesh and Nupur Talwar for the murder of Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj, had acted like a “film director” and had “prejudged things” and had “tried to thrust coherence amongst facts inalienably scattered here and there but not giving any coherence to the idea as to what in fact happened” while acquitting the couple in the sensational case, is also a damning indictment of the trial court.The Talwars – who were convicted of killing their daughter and their help, walked out of prison shortly after the judgment was pronounced almost nine years after the double murder gripped the nation.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Every day a Nirbhaya is gang-raped and killed here: Asha Devi

Tomorrow marks five years of the brutal Delhi gang-rape incident, an incident that triggered nation-wide protests and led to the formation of new laws on crimes against women in the country.But little has changed for Nirbhaya’s parents. Depressed and down, Asha Devi says that every time a girl is raped in the Capital she feels that it is her daughter.”Every day a Nirbhaya is gang-raped and killed in the city. Whenever, I hear about any such incident, I feel that it is happening with my daughter.” Both mother and father want that a speedy justice delivery system in place.But they doubt that will happen”Are these laws capable enough to stop Nirbhaya-like incidents from happening?”, questions Nirbhaya’s father Badrinath Singh. The man has been visiting the doors of the courts for last five years yet he is still waiting for the criminals of this gruesome act to be sent to the gallows.”Even now in our daughter’s case we are visiting courts and still after the final judgments, the criminals have not yet been punished,” Singh told DNA. The matter is still with the Supreme Court.This week Delhi Police opposed, in the Supreme Court, a plea filed by one of the four death-row convicts in the December 16, 2012 gang-rape and murder case for review of its verdict upholding capital punishment awarded to him. The apex court had on May 5 upheld the death penalty to the four convicts – Mukesh (29), Pawan (22), Vinay Sharma (23) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31), saying the “brutal, barbaric and diabolic nature” of the crime could create a “tsunami of shock to destroy a civilised society”.Singh further pointed out that even after lapse of five years the situation has not improved but deteriorated. “Today, two-year-old girls are being gang raped and murdered. Who is responsible for that? The system or the victims family,” he questioned adding that it was the system that needed to protect the girls but it had failed to do so.He reasoned saying, “When the system to punish the rapists is so weak and corrupt how can you accept justice in this society.”Singh further stated that every day two to three families are facing the same trauma and pain when their daughters, just like Nirbhaya, are being gang-raped and murder.”See the case of Shimla gang rape, the police arrested the wrong people. Is this a system? Even CBI has not been able to identify the accused,” said Singh adding that there are several such incidents across the country.”There is complete lack of will on the part of government to come up with a system where such criminals are punished in an year,” he said.WHAT HAPPENEDA 23-year-old paramedic student was gangraped on the intervening night of December 16, 2012 inside a moving bus in South Delhi by a gang of six persons and severely assaulted before being thrown out of the bus. She succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.STATISTICSRAPE(376 IPC)2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2016 2017 (up to Nov 30)706 1636 2166 2199 2155 1992 1968

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Supreme Court won’t interfere in Gujarat counting

The Supreme Court rejected on Friday a Congress petition that had sought directions to the Election Commission to match 25 per cent of all EVM ballots with voter slips printed by Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines used in the Gujarat Assembly elections. Counting of votes will be taken up in the state on Monday.A bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra found no merit in the plea by Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal who represented the Congress.The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, observed that it could not interfere with the poll panel’s exercise of power. Electoral process in a democracy is of utmost importance and could not be interfered with to simply allay apprehensions of a party, the bench noted.Singhvi said that plea was not against EVMs per se. “…but now that you have VVPAT with all machines, we want the sampling of voting on EVMs with the VVPAt trail be done in at least 10-15% cases if not 25%.”The top court’s move comes a day after the Congress accused the poll panel of being the “puppet” of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). A day before the final phase of polling in Gujarat, the Election Commission cracked the whip on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and certain television channels on Wednesday. They had aired his interviews even after the end of campaigning.The BJP and the Congress traded charges against each other for trying to influence the voters in the mandatory no-campaign period.Within hours of the filing of three complaints by the BJP, the EC served a showcase notice to Rahul and ordered FIR against certain Gujarati television channels.The EC asked Rahul to explain by December 18 why he violated the poll code of no campaign within 48 hours of the conclusion of the final day of polling.The EC also instructed the Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to stop the display of such matter in districts going to the polls on December 14.Following the EC’s step, the Congress reacted sharply and called it partisan. The party demanded from the EC that an FIR be filed against BJP leaders. At the EC’s doorstep, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala described it as an attempt to strangle the press.”In 2014 Mr Modi had given a television interview just a day before the polling, and on the day of polling, he had even displayed the BJP symbol, but EC did not act then. On December 8, a day before the first phase, the BJP finance minister released the manifesto but EC did not issue a show cause,” he said.In his first interview, Rahul said the “BJP is not scared of him but of the voice of Gujarat.””In the last three months, I have just raised the voice of Gujarat. They are not scared of me. They are scared of the voice of Gujarat. This election is not about Rahul Gandhi or Narendra Modi. This is about the voice of Gujarat,” Rahul told TV channels.He also accused the BJP of distorting his image by putting huge money.”There was no (image) makeover. BJP workers used money to distort the reality of Rahul Gandhi… a lot of money was put into this,” said Rahul.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

SC extends deadline for Aadhaar linking for all services

The deadline to link one’s Aadhaar for all services including bank accounts and mobile phones has been extended till March 31, 2018, the Supreme Court ordered on Friday.Existing Aadhaar cardholders will have to furnish their details to open new bank accounts. Those who are yet to receive their unique identification number will have time until March to complete the process. Non-Aadhaar cardholders can open new accounts provided they furnish proof of application for an Aadhar card.”Those who already have Aadhaar cannot go on open a new bank account without Aadhaar. If they have Aadhaar, they will have to furnish it to the bank,” a bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra clarified on Friday.”You see, there is no question of producing Aadhaar enrollment application for those who already possess Aadhaar cards,” Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, who authored the interim order for the five-judge constitution Bench, said.On Thursday, a five-judge constitution bench that included Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan heard several arguments against the Centre’s direction for mandatory linking of one’s Aadhaar to almost 139 welfare schemes.The top court will now hear every challenge to the constitutionality of the Aadhar in January.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Cabinet approves bill making instant triple talaq criminal act

The Union Cabinet on Friday approved the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, outlawing instant triple talaq by making it a cognisable and non-bailable offence, which will now attract a jail term of three years.The Bill was prepared by an inter-ministerial committee comprising of chairperson home minister Rajnath Singh, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, finance minister Arun Jaitley, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and minister of state in the law ministry PP Chaudhary.The Supreme Court had in August, declared the practice of instant triple talaq as unconstitutional. In a five member-bench, while three judges termed the practice illegal and unconstitutional, two judges wanted to ban the practice for a period of six months till the time the government came up with a new legislation.AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi said that the government should explain how the law proposes to enforce imprisonment and provide maintenance at the same time. In a letter of protest, Owaisi said, “It is regrettable that a constitutional value as important as gender justice is being used to merely further cynical political goals.”

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

May oppose triple talaq bill if it violates SC verdict: Congress

The Congress may oppose a proposed legislation criminalising instant triple talaq if it is in violation of a Supreme Court judgement on the matter, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said today.He said the party would support the bill if it was within the Supreme Court’s verdict. “If, however, the Act or the Bill seeks to violate and transgress the limits of that Supreme Court judgement, we may well have to do a rethink and let us see that,” he said. He said the party was yet to see the content of the proposed legislation, which is yet to be made available in Parliament. “Any bill which seeks to criminalise human action, which is what this bill is supposed to be doing, must be within the four corners of the five judgements written in that case,” he told reporters.Also readCentre should have consulted Muslims on triple talaq law, says AIMPLBA draft law which seeks to make the practice of instant triple talaq “illegal and void” and provides for a jail term for the husband was cleared by the union cabinet today. The nod paves the way for its introduction in Parliament during the winter session which began today. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad confirmed that the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill has been approved but refused to share details as Parliament is in session.According to the draft law prepared by an inter- ministerial group headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, giving instant triple talaq will be “illegal and void” and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband. The husband could also be fined and the quantum of fine would be decided by the magistrate hearing the case. The bill is being introduced as the practice still continued despite the Supreme Court striking down ‘talaq-e- biddat’ (instant triple talaq).

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Indian citizenship: SC says claims of left out persons to be included in subsequent NRC for Assam

The Supreme Court today said that claims of those citizens, whose names do not figure in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam to be published by December 31, would be scrutinised and included in the subsequent list, if found genuine.The top court made it clear that publication of draft NRC was not the “end of the process” and claims and objections of aggrieved parties could be filed and would be verified in accordance with law.”We reiterate the aforesaid observation meaning thereby that the claims/cases of the left out applicants whose names are not included in the draft NRC to be published on or before December 31, 2017 will be scrutinised and thereafter, if found eligible, would be included in the subsequent draft NRC,” a bench comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman said.The bench gave the liberty to Assam to give wide publicity or coverage to its direction so as to ally all fears and apprehensions that may exist.The apex court had on November 30 said that on the expiry of midnight of December 31, the draft NRC pertaining to 2.38 crore claims, would be published. The NRC is being prepared to identify illegal migrants in Assam.The court had observed this while rejecting the Centre’s plea seeking extension of time for publication of the draft NRC.The NRC of 1951 is being updated for Assam in accordance with the tripartite agreement between the state and central governments and the All Assam Students Union (AASU), which was arrived at in 2005 to implement the 1985 Assam Accord.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Supreme Court dismisses Teesta Setalvad’s plea for de-freezing of bank accounts

The Supreme Court today dismissed the pleas of activist Teesta Setalvad, her husband and her two NGOs challenging the Gujarat High Court order rejecting their pleas for de-freezing of their personal bank accounts.A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the pleas are dismissed.Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and their two NGOs — Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace — had challenged the October 7, 2015 verdict of the high court in the alleged misappropriation of funds received by their NGOs for Gujarat riot victims of 2002.The apex court had reserved its verdict on July 5 this year.Earlier the top court had questioned the source of money in the bank accounts of Setalvad and others which were frozen by the Ahmedabad Police in 2015 after the allegations of misappropriation had surfaced.One of the residents of Gulberg society, Firoz Khan Pathan, had filed a complaint against Setalvad and others alleging that money was raised to make a museum at Gulberg Society in the memory of 69 people killed in the 2002 Gujarat riots, but it had not been utilised for the purpose.The freezing of the accounts by Ahmedabad Police had come soon after its crime branch had started probing a case in which Setalvad and others were accused of embezzling Rs 1.51 crore collected to convert Gulbarg Society into a museum.The high court had upheld the verdict of a lower court in this regard observing that the probe was at a serious point in the alleged case of Gulbarg society fund embezzlement.In the embezzlement case lodged by the Gujarat Police, the couple had challenged the cancellation of bail in the apex court, while in the alleged FCRA violation case, CBI has challenged the anticipatory bail granted to them by the Bombay High Court. Both matters are pending before the apex court.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Delhi HC orders probe into trust which built famous Hanuman statue in Karol Bagh

The Delhi High Court on Thursday ordered a probe into the trust which built the famous Hanuman statue in the busy Karol Bagh area of the city, saying the 108-feet structure could not have built overnight without the “active connivance” of the local authorities.Had the authorities done their duty, something like this would not have happened, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar observed while ordering a probe into the trust that built the idol and was maintaining it.”Nothing would have happened, if we (civic agencies and the government) would have been doing our job,” the bench said, adding that “this structure could not have been built overnight without connivance of the public authorities”.It said the land belongs to the city and not the individual sitting in the government office, so it has to be returned to the public.Annoyed over the illegalities surrounding the Hanuman statue, the bench directed the Delhi Police to find out the details and the money deposited in the bank accounts of the trust running the temple.It sought to know from the Municipal Corporation about the property tax paid by the trustee of the temple, which is allegedly on the right of way of vehicular traffic.It asked the Delhi Development Authority to provide the details of officials responsible for the construction of the huge structure on the public land.The bench directed the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to also provide the full particulars of the persons responsible for erection of the idol.The court ordered an enquiry after a committee appointed by it in May this year to look into illegal constructions all over Delhi, had pointed to encroachments of up to 1170 square yards on DDA land which forms part of the Southern Ridge.”This is clearly in the teeth of the orders of the Supreme Court regarding protection of the Ridge Area and is completely impermissible,” the committee had said.It had also said that apart from the Hanuman statue, there was unauthorised construction of multiple small and big buildings of up to four floors including a residential complex there.The bench had then directed the authorities to take action against the unauthorised construction on public land and ensure that all encroachments on the Southern Ridge are removed immediately and the Ridge is secured in terms of the orders of the Supreme Court.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

After SC intervention, Parsi woman married outside community granted right to enter fire temple

Upon urging by the Supreme Court, Valsad Parsi community has decided to give entrance permission to a Parsi woman, who was barred from entering fire temples and Towers of Silence after marrying outside the community. This came after SC urged the Parsi community to take a more ‘progressive’ stance in this contentious issue. The woman, Goolrukh Gupta, had approached the Apex Court challenging an Ahmedabad High Court order.The five-judge Constitution bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra was hearing the case. According to reports, In 2012, the Gujarat High Court said that under the Special Marriage Act, she had ceased to be a Parsi and that her religion automatically changed to that of her husband. She, however, continued to practice as a Parsi and has challenged the High Court verdict on the grounds that the Special Marriage Act does not require either husband or wife to renounce their religion. Also readWoman doesn’t lose her religion of birth after inter-faith marriage: SCThe Supreme Court last week said the law does not sanction the concept of a woman’s religion getting merged with her husband’s faith after an inter- religion marriage. The bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, asked senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, representing the ‘Valsad Parsi Trust’, to take instruction and apprise it on December 14 as to whether it can allow Goolrokh M Gupta, a Parsi woman who had married a Hindu, to attend the last rites of her parents.Gupta has challenged the customary law, upheld by the Gujarat High Court in 2010, that a Parsi woman marrying a Hindu loses her religious rights in the Parsi community and hence, loses the right to visit the ‘Tower of Silence’ in the event of her father’s death to perform the last rites.”There is no law which says that a woman loses religious identity after marrying a man from another faith… Moreover, the Special Marriage Act is there and allows that two persons can marry and maintain their respective religious identities,” the bench said.Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for the woman, referred to the Common Law doctrine of merger of religion which says that the religion of a woman gets automatically merged with the faith of the husband after marriage.”Can we adopt the Common Law doctrine of merger of religion in India when it has not been followed in the country of its origin,” Jaising said, adding that the constitutional validity of the Common Law principle would also be required to be tested.”A man marries outside the community and is permitted to retain his religious identity and a woman is not allowed to marry outside and retain her religious identity. How can a woman be debarred…,” the bench said.Jaising said even if it was presumed that the doctrine of merger had the customary sanction, the customs will have to pass the test of constitutionality and no custom can be allowed to infringe the fundamental rights of a person.”My submission is that there is no such custom, and even if there is, it will be hit by the provisions of the Constitution”, she said.The bench said it was only the woman who can decide about her religious identity by exercising her right to choice. It said the presumption that a woman changes her religion according to the faith of her husband does not exist if the marriage has been solemnised under the Special Marriage Act.On October 9, the apex court had referred to to a five- judge constitution bench the legal question whether a Parsi woman loses her religious identity after marrying a man of different religion. The bench was hearing a plea filed by Gupta challenging the High Court judgement holding that a Parsi woman is deemed to have converted to Hinduism after she marries a Hindu man.The woman, in her appeal filed in 2012, said she had married a Hindu under the Special Marriage Act and should be allowed to retain her place in Parsi community. She had assailed the high court finding that a woman universally loses her paternal identity just because of her marriage with a man practising the Hindu religion. She had also sought the right to visit the ‘Tower of Silence’ in the event of her father’s death to perform last rites.The Tower is used for funerary purposes by the adherents of the Zoroastrian faith, in which the traditional practice for disposal of the dead involves the exposure of the corpse to the sun and vultures.The High Court had also held that she would be deemed to have acquired the religious status of her husband unless a declaration is made by a court for continuation of her Parsi status.The woman had approached the high court contending that even after her marriage with a Hindu man, she has continued to follow Zoroastrian religion and thus had the right to enjoy all privileges under the Parsi religion, including right to offer prayers at Agiari, a Parsi temple having the ‘holy fire’ and the ‘Tower of Silence’.She contended that her rights as a Parsi Zoroastrian cannot be denied on the ground that she has married a non- Parsi man. She had also argued that a male Parsi Zoroastrian continued to enjoy all rights available to a born Parsi, even if he is married to a non-Parsi Zoroastrian woman.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

© 2019 Yuva Sai Sagar. Theme by Anders Norén.