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Madras High Court rejects plea to book those projecting women in bad taste

In her petition, the 60-year old lawyer submitted that the police have registered the case without knowing the true meaning of the words mixed with beep sound in the song. They also did not know the person who was instrumental in uploading it in Youtube or the source/country of uploading, she claimed.

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Names to be deleted ‘automatically’ from EC list after death

On the issue of far away polling stations, Zaidi said that the ECI is going to formulate a programme under which all polling booths will fall in the radius of two kilometres from voters’ residences.

PTI
Info

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<!– /#sidebar-second –>3rd anniversary of Nirbhaya’s death: Victim’s parents to launch nation-wide protest if convicts not given death sentence<!– /.block –>Kerala CM hails Supreme Court verdict upholding liquor policy<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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SC upholds Kerala government’s liquor policy; only 5-star hotels can serve liquor

On October 30, 2014, the Kerala High Court had upheld the state government’s decision to close down more than 700 bars, but had exempted heritage and four-star hotels.

dna Web Team

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Bihar engineers’ murder reminder of ‘jungle raj’ days: Giriraj Singh

The Chief Minister should concentrate on law and order front and curb “rising” cases of dacoity, murder, kidnapping and extortion, the Lok Sabha MP from Nawada said. Asked about stones being brought near the disputed site in Ayodhya, Singh said the Supreme Court has never banned such an activity. “We respect Supreme Court’s ruling in the case, but people must know that a Ram Temple would never be built in Pakistan,” he said. The Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises was in the city to review the progress of ongoing projects of his department.

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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Looking back at 2015: Content driven films flourished in Bengali film industry<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Madras HC quashes order directing PIO activist to leave India

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Activist had received the order from the district Collector asking to leave the country within seven days with all his family members.

The Madras High Court on Thursday set aside an order of Udhagamandalam District Collector directing a lawyer activist attached to a US-based NGO and his family members, who are Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) holding US passports, to leave the country within seven days. In an urgent sitting on the petition by Gregory Omar Malstead, residing in the country since 2000, Justice K Kalyanasundaram quashed the December 14, 2015 order of the Collector and directed him to pass an appropriate order in accordance with law after giving a personal hearing to the petitioner as expeditiously as possible. While the petitioner contended that during his 15 years of stay in the country he had not violated any law or indulged in any objectionable activity, the central government submitted that Malstead was ‘propagating’ his religion under the guise of taking up the cause of exploitation of women and children. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defending the District Collector’s order, senior central government Standing Counsel Rabu Manohar submitted that the petitioner had been propagating his religion under the guise of social activities in Udhagamandalam, a hill resort town. The Judge directed the petitioner to co-operate with the inquiry. He also made clear that any adverse order against the petitioner shall not be implemented for a period of two weeks. According to Malstead, he, his wife Rebecca Ann Malstead and two children are overseas citizens of India holding US Passports as per a January 9, 2015 order of the government recognising all Persons of Indian Origin as OCIs. He is a member of American Bar Association and Georgia State Bar Association.Initially, he was residing in Mumbai and was a consultant with International Justice Mission (IJM) when the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Branch, directed him to leave India immediately on the ground that his activities as a human rights activist amounted to alleged violation of visa rules.When he challenged it, the Mumbai High Court passed an order that he should be given personal hearing before passing any orders and the matter was put to rest thereafter. From March 2005, he was residing in Udagamandalam where he later become National Director of Freedom Firm, having registered office at Udagamandalam and a registered trust associated with the Freedom Firm, USA, a not-for-profit company involved in rescue of minors sold into the commercial sex trade, Malstead said.His children were studying in class 10 and 11 respectively in a school in the hill resort town. Whileso, he received the order from the district Collector asking to leave the country within seven days with all his family members.The petitioner claimed no opportunity was given to him before issuing the order and that he was completely unaware of the reasons for such a directive. He further contended his work for the social cause of exploited women was appreciated by authorities, including the District Judge and Chief Judicial Magistrate of Udagamandalam. On receipt of the order, he met the Collector on December 22 and sought more time to leave India citing his children’s studies. But the Collector refused to grant any more time.Malstead claimed the order was passed on the basis that he was a foreigner. However, he was holder of a PIO card which is now deemed to be an OCI card and as such he has the status of a citizen of India and consequently cannot be termed a foreigner .

Dadri lynching: Name of BJP leader’s son figures prominently in charge sheet, says police

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A murder case under section 302 of IPC was registered in connection with the lynching incident in which 51-year-old Akhlaq was dragged by a mob out of his house and beaten to death over rumours of beef storage in his house and consumption

Mohammad Akhlaq

The forensic lab report on the controversial meat whose consumption led to the Dadri lynching incident is yet to come and the name of the son of a local BJP leader “figures prominently” in the charge sheet filed on Wednesday, police said on Thursday.Greater Noida Superintendent of Police Sanjay Singh said the forensic report is yet to be received to ascertain whether the meat sample taken from the fridge of deceased Akhlaq s house at Bishada village was that of goat or cow. “The lab report hasn’t come. Whenever it comes, we will let you know,” he said. He said the name of Vishal Rana, son of BJP leader Sanjay Rana, “figures prominently” in the charge sheet while others named in the document “are involved in rioting.” The charge sheet in the case filed in a magistrate court here yesterday names 15 persons including Vishal.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A murder case under section 302 of IPC was registered in connection with the lynching incident in which 51-year-old Akhlaq was dragged by a mob out of his house and beaten to death over rumours of beef storage in his house and consumption. His son Danish was seriously wounded in the attack. The victim’s advocate Yusuf Saifi said today that January 4 has been fixed for committing the case to a sessions judge for trial and other proceedings.”All the 15 accused will be produced before the court on that day and then the case will proceed further for evidence and other proceedings,” said Saifi. The charge sheet has been filed in the court by police on the basis of statement recorded by deceased s daughter Shaista and other investigations, he said. According to Saifi, in the accused list, two had claimed to be juveniles. “In one case, the age-proof certificate produced showed his age of 16 while his actual age was 20.Another accused s age proof is being further verified,” he added. Police have arrested two accused and the rest would be arrested soon by police, said Saifi adding Danish’s statement has been recorded by police but there is no need at present to produce it before the court.Meanwhile, notice was yet to be given by the court in the case relating to another BJP leader Sangeet Som who has been accused of violating prohibitory orders in Bishada village. Senior Prosecution Officer officer Daya Shankar Ram Tripathi said “notice is yet to be sent from the court.”

Nip out Devadasi practice, Centre tells states in a stern advisory

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A Devadasi is girl “dedicated” to the worship and service of a deity or a temple for the rest of her life, after a dedication ceremony. The Supreme Court had slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on the Centre for failing to file timely affidavit on women being forced to become devadasis.

Almost a month after being slapped a fine by the country’s apex court, the Centre has directed the states to take stern measures to check the practice of Devadasi under the existing laws.A Devadasi is girl “dedicated” to the worship and service of a deity or a temple for the rest of her life, after a dedication ceremony. The Supreme Court had slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on the Centre for failing to file timely affidavit on women being forced to become devadasis.In a letter dated December 22, the home ministry said that all the states and Union territories are ‘expected to ensure the implementation of existing law strictly to prevent such practices under guise’ and stressed that all such instances and cases should be dealt with strictly and without exception as per extant law.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Devadasi system is one of the heinous practices against women degrading them to the lowest level. It has come to the notice through various PILs and Media news that ‘Devadasi system’ still exists in the certain parts of the country especially in ‘Beriya’ and ‘Nat’ communities in the name of religious practices,” the home ministry letter said.Ministry further noted that though Devadasi system was abolished long back by passing various enactments by different state government, reports reveal that the absolutely inhuman practice against the dignity of women still persists.State level legislations such as the Karnataka Devadasis ‘Prohibition of Dedication Act, 1982, Maharashtra Devadasis Abolition Act, 2006, have completely prohibited such practices. The practice of Devadasi System in any form is in total contravention of the provisions under section 370 and 370A of the IPC as amended through the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 and section 372 of IPC. Anyone found guilty under this section shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall be liable to fine. An NGO, SL Foundation had filed a PIL in Supreme Court last year in February seeking Court’s intervention to prevent a temple function that where alleged Devadasi dedication was scheduled to take place.”States and UTs should initiate special drive to identify all such victims and suitably rehabilitate them by providing proper counselling, medical treatment, guidance, support and motivation to lead a dignified life,” home ministry has told the state governments.

Uphaar tragedy: Delhi police seek transfer of case to another judge

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The Delhi Police accused the current judge hearing the case of hostility.

Sushil and Gopal Ansal
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Delhi police on Wednesday petitioned the high court for shifting a case of alleged destruction of evidence in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy being heard by a trial court to some other judge, accusing the one currently hearing it of “hostility” towards the complainant and the state.In its plea, the police has also alleged that the sessions court judge is “conducting the case in a manner alien to law and upon his own whims and fancies”.Hearing the matter, Justice Siddharth Mridul ordered issuance of notices to Ansal brothers, the owners of Uphaar theatre, and other accused in the case. The notices issued to real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal, Dharamveer Malhotra and Anoop Singh are returnable before January 5 next year.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The move came on a plea moved by the Delhi police seeking the transfer of the case, pending in the court of an additional sessions judge at Patiala House court in New Delhi, to some other competent court having jurisdiction.”The atmosphere in the court is unfortunately very hostile qua the complainants and the state. The sessions court is conducting the case in a manner alien to law and upon his own whims and fancies which is resulting in the loss of confidence in the trial process. The victims who have fought a long battle in court are feeling intimidated and undermined,” the Delhi police plea said.They further said that the case of the prosecution is one of conspiracy, yet the judge is insisting that the case is argued piecemeal, i.e, the accused-wise and has stated he would pass orders accused-wise which is not only contrary to “elementary principles of conspiracy but also a stand adopted to prevent the prosecution from presenting its case in entirety.”The trial court had on May 31 last year ordered framing of charges against the seven accused for abetment of offence, causing disappearance of evidence, criminal breach of trust by public servant and criminal conspiracy.Theatre owners Gopal Ansal and his brother Sushil Ansal, Anoop Singh, Prem Prakash Batra, Harswaroop Panwar, Dharamveer Malhotra as well as a court employee, Dinesh Chandra Sharma, are accused of tampering with evidence in the case, pending since 2006.On June 13, 1997, a fire had broken out at the theatre during the screening of Bollywood film ‘Border’, killing 59 people and injuring over 100. A court had on January 31, 2003, ordered an inquiry after some documents related to the Uphaar case had gone missing from the court’s record room. After an inquiry, the court employee was dismissed from service.

Bombay HC cancels DU professor Saibaba’s bail, issues contempt notice to writer Arundhati Roy

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Saibaba was arrested in May 2014 by Gadchiroli police of Maharashtra for alleged active links with Maoists.
File Photo
PTI
The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected the regular bail application filed by the Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, arrested for alleged links with the Naxals, and directed him to surrender within 48 hours.Taking a serious view of criticism of the judiciary by Booker prize-winner writer Arundhati Roy in her article about the professor, Justice Arun Choudhary also issued a criminal contempt notice to her which is returnable by January 25. Justice Chaudhary, while dismissing the bail application, declined the request to grant more time to Saibaba to surrender and directed the police to arrest him if he failed to turn up within two days.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The High Court cited a medical report which clearly stated that proper medical aid was extended to Saibaba by the doctors when he was lodged in the Nagpur prison. The lawyers of wheelchair-bound Saibaba had pleaded for extension of bail on the ground of his health.The judge also rejected the argument that the evidence against him was very weak, and stated noted that earlier a single bench had rejected the bail application on merit, and that he will not take a divergent view. Saibaba was arrested in May 2014 by Gadchiroli police of Maharashtra for alleged active links with Maoists.Pournima Upadhyay, an activist, had written a letter to the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court which was treated as PIL and thereafter temporary bail was granted to Saibaba for three months on health grounds by the Principal Bench of High Court in Mumbai.

Arunachal Pradesh political crisis: CM Nabam Tuki meets President Pranab Mukherjee

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Opposition BJP and rebel Congress MLAs got together on December 17 to “vote out” Tuki and to “elect” a rebel Congress MLA in his place but the Gauhati High Court intervened to keep in abeyance decisions taken at the “rebel session”.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Against the backdrop of a political crisis in his state due to a tussle between factions of the ruling Congress, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki met President Pranab Mukherjee in Hyderabad on Wednesday.”I called on him. I apprised him the situation. The matter is now sub-judice,” Tuki told PTI.Opposition BJP and rebel Congress MLAs got together on December 17 to “vote out” Tuki and to “elect” a rebel Congress MLA in his place but the Gauhati High Court intervened to keep in abeyance decisions taken at the “rebel session”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress has accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy to topple the Tuki government, but the saffron party has maintained that it has nothing to do with the dissidence in the ruling party in Arunachal Pradesh. The President is here for his customary southern sojourn which concludes on December 31.

Samjhauta blasts: NIA not to challenge bail to Assemanand

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Two bomb blasts occurred in the Delhi-Lahore Samjhauta Express train near Panipat on February 18, 2007 in which 68 persons were killed.

The NIA has decided not to challenge the bail granted to Swami Aseemanand, the main accused in Samjhauta Express blasts case, in which 68 persons were killed. “The Punjab and Haryana High Court passed an order on August 28, 2014 granting bail to one of the accused Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand subject to certain conditions. “The written order dated May 1, 2015 of the Punjab and Haryana High Court was received by the NIA on May 5, 2015, which was examined by the NIA in consultation with their legal division,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said in Rajya Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In written reply to a question, Chaudhary said it was decided by the NIA not to file SLP in the Supreme Court against the order dated August 28, 2014 of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, since in their opinion, there were no legal grounds to challenge the order. “However, the accused, Naba Kumar Sarkar continues to be in jail since he is also an accused in the Ajmer blast case, in which he has not been granted bail. Further, he has not complied with the bail conditions prescribed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court and continues to be in judicial custody in the Samjhauta Express blasts case also,” he said.Two bomb blasts occurred in the Delhi-Lahore Samjhauta Express train near Panipat on February 18, 2007 in which 68 persons were killed and 12 others were injured. “The case was initially investigated by the Haryana Police and subsequently transferred to the NIA on July 26, 2010 for further investigation. The NIA, after thorough investigation, filed a charge sheet against a total number of eight accused persons,” he said.

Russian pilgrim sentenced to jail in Kashmir

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Luck, however, had other things in store for the mother of two as she was arrested by the police for entering into the valley without valid travel documents. Four months later, Zoia, a practising Hindu, has been sentenced to one year in jail by a trial court.

Faith transcended all boundaries for 40-year-old Russian Bonetekia Zoia when she embarked on a spiritual journey from Saint Petersburg to the abode of Lord Shiva at the Holy Amarnath cave in August this year.Luck, however, had other things in store for the mother of two as she was arrested by the police for entering into the valley without valid travel documents. Four months later, Zoia, a practising Hindu, has been sentenced to one year in jail by a trial court.As Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarks on a two-day Russia visit from Wednesday, the clamour is growing for pardoning or commuting the sentence of Zoia so that she could be reunited with her family at Saint Petersburg.Noted Supreme Court lawyer and chief patron of National Panthers Party Bhim Singh has written a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking his intervention for her release from prison.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”That India is a sovereign country and the tourists from Nepal may enter India. It appears that the Russian lady had no valid visa to visit India if it is so, it has to be ascertained how she was allowed to enter India without valid documents from Nepal. The immigration at the border is responsible for this goof-up and not the visiting tourist,” Singh said in his letter.Zoia was arrested by the police near Sonamarg on August 24 and charged under Section 14 of the Foreigners Act since she was not carrying the travel documents. “She has entered India through Nepal to perform yatra.While performing yatra, she was trapped by the police in the catchment area of the holy cave,” Umar Rashid Wani, the counsel for Zoia, told dna.The Russian could not be bailed out because nobody in Kashmir came forward to give surety for her. “I did not have surety to present on her behalf. If nobody stands as surety, how can a person get bail? It was not possible for me to get a passport because she actually had lost it somewhere in Nepal. Therefore, I had to confess on her behalf. Accordingly, the court convicted and sentenced her to one year jail which otherwise could have been five years,” said Wani.Wani has now decided to approach the Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra seeking a pardon for the Russian visitor.”I will appeal the governor, who has the power, to pardon or commute her sentence. If she is pardoned it will be a good gesture. There are good relations between India and Russia since the dawn of civilisation. Plus, she had come with a purpose to seek peace across the globe. She was driven by faith and not having any ill intention,” he said.

ULFA gen secy Anup Chetia granted bail in TADA cases

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The Additional sessions judge granted Chetia bail on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and two sureties from two individuals.
File Photo
PTI
ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia, extradited from Bangladesh last month, was granted bail on Tuesday by a local court on a personal bond of Rs one lakh. Chetia’s counsel Bijon Mahajan told journalists that the Assam government had given a “no objection” certificate in writing in the event of Chetia getting released on bail.The Additional sessions judge granted Chetia bail on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and two sureties from two individuals, Mahajan said. Chetia was arrested in connection with four cases. While he has been granted bail in two cases, one more will come up for hearing on Wednesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On December 17 the Designated Court here had allowed Chetia, now incarcerated in the Guwahati Central Jail, to go on bail in two TADA cases for facilitating his trial and participation in the ongoing peace process, he said.Chetia was handed over to India by Bangladesh where he was in jail since 1997 on charges of cross-border intrusion, carrying fake passports and illegally keeping foreign currencies.

DDCA row: AAP wants three weeks time to respond to Jaitley’s defamation suit

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“We have taken time, a very small time of just three weeks, to file the written statement, and the court has granted just two weeks time to Arun Jaitley to file the replication; that is a reply to our written statement,” he added.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday said that it has sought three weeks time from the Delhi High Court to respond to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley?s defamation suit with regard to accusations related to alleged corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) when the latter was its president.”Today, the suit filed by Arun Jaitley was listed for the first time in the court. All the defendants, including Kejriwal and other AAP leaders voluntarily appeared in the court, and we requested the court that the matter to be expedited,” senior lawyer HS Phoolka told the media.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “We have taken time, a very small time of just three weeks, to file the written statement, and the court has granted just two weeks time to Arun Jaitley to file the replication; that is a reply to our written statement,” he added.The court has fixed February 5 for the admission or denial of the admission of documents of both parties, Phoolka said.”This has been one of the fastest suits which have proceeded in the court, no suit has ever proceeded as fast as this” he added.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has filed a defamation suit in the Patiala House court against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders including Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha, Ashutosh and Deepak Bajpayee seeking damage (Rs 10 crore) for indulging in slander and baseless allegations against him.

Rajya Sabha passes SC/ST Bill unanimously through voice vote

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After seeing several days of adjournments, the Rajya Sabha on Monday unanimously passed Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment bill in a matter of minutes and that too through a voice vote and without any debate.

After seeing several days of adjournments, the Rajya Sabha on Monday unanimously passed Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment bill in a matter of minutes and that too through a voice vote and without any debate.The BJP was keen to get the bill through, especially to undo the damage done by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks given during Bihar polls that were dubbed as anti-Dalit quota by the opposition. The party also thinks that the passage of the bill would improve its image among Dalits that in turn could brighten its prospects during the UP state assembly elections due in 2017.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Of late BJP has been taking lot of brickbats for being intolerant and insensitive towards Dalits, especially after union minister V K Singh’s remarks given on the purported killing of two Dalit girls in Haryana recently.Deputy Chairman P J Kurien took up the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2015 that aims to prohibit the commission of offences against members of the SCs and STs and adds provisions for establishing special courts for the trial cases of such offences and the rehabilitation of victims, in the second half of day.The sudden change in the atmosphere of the upper house that until recently failed to transact any business because of frequent pandemonium, prompted the deputy chairman Kurien to observe, “There is perfect calm and tranquility. Everybody is cool. A cool breeze is blowing. I don’t know where this breeze is coming from.”The amended bill adds new categories of actions to be treated as offences committed by non SCs and STs and amends certain existing categories. Impeding certain activities related to voting especially vote or not vote for a particular candidate will also be considered an offence.The new offences include – Garlanding SCs and STs with footwear; Compelling to do manual scavenging or dispose carry animal or human carcasses; Abusing SCs/STs in public by caste name; Disrespecting any deceased SCs/STs person held in high esteem or attempting to promote feelings of ill-will against SCs/STs and threatening or imposing economic and social boycott.The offences in case of sexual exploiting of SC or ST woman would include – Using acts, words or gestures of a sexual nature against SC/ST woman; Touching an SC/ST woman intentionally in a sexual manner without her consent; Practice of dedicating an SC/ST woman as a devadasi to a temple.Other actions that will be considered as an offence are Preventing SCs/STs using common property resources, entering any places of public worship that is open to the public, and entering an education or health institution.In case of any violation of any provisions mentioned in this act the courts will presume that the accused non SC/ST person was aware of the caste or tribal identity of the victim, unless it is proved.The bill also adds provision specifying duties of public servants which includes, registering a FIR or complaint, public servant must read out the information given oral complaint by SC/ST person before taking the signature of the victim and giving copy of this information to the victim. It should be noted that parent Act has provision mentioning that public servant (non SC/ST) neglecting his duties related to SCs/STs will be punished with imprisonment for a term of 6 months to 1 year.The Bill adds provision specifying establishment of exclusive Special Court and Special Court at the district level to try offences mentioned under this Act. Exclusive Public Prosecutor and Public Prosecutor will be appointed for every Exclusive Special Court and Special Court.A new chapter added to the bill dealing with the rights of victims and witness mentions that it shall be the duty of the state to make arrangements for the protection of victims and their dependents and the witnesses. It also mentions that state should specify a scheme to ensure the implementation of rights of victims and witnesses.

Delhi HC junks PIL seeking freeze on BJP’s lotus symbol

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Lotus represents the manifestation of God, and is also a symbol of purity and tenderness, the plea said.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea seeking freezing of BJP’s election symbol “Lotus” on the ground that it “represents the manifestation of God” and its use during elections was “illegal”.”There is no public interest involved in it,” a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath said.”You (petitioner) came after 35 years,” the court said, adding that “this was done long back in 1980, since then what were you doing”.The court also took into consideration the submissions made by the counsel for central government, advocate Nagender Benipal, who said that similar petitions have been dismissed by the high court earlier, which was later upheld by the Supreme Court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The NGO, in its plea said, “Direct respondent no.1 and 2 (Ministry of Law and Justice and Election Commission of India) to remove Lotus from list of free and unrestricted symbol of poll panel as well as from the election symbol of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the interest of national Justice.”Lotus represents the manifestation of God, and is also a symbol of purity and tenderness, the plea added.

Studying Bombay HC verdict on Salman Khan hit-and-run case: CM Devendra Fadnavis

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Government is studying the verdict and the state will take a decion, Fadnavis told reporters on Monday, without indicating a time-frame by when the state will reach its conclusion on the matter.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said the state government is still studying the December 10 Bombay High Court verdict, that acquitted Bollywood superstar Salman Khan of all charges in the 2002 hit-and-run case, before deciding whether to challenge it or not.Government is studying the verdict and the state will take a decion, Fadnavis told reporters on Monday, without indicating a time-frame by when the state will reach its conclusion on the matter. The prosecution in the case is understood to have recommended that an appeal be filed in the Supreme court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On December 10, the Bombay High Court acquitted the 49-year-old star of all the charges in the 2002 hit-and-run case, holding that the prosecution had failed to prove he was driving the vehicle after having consumed alcohol.The judgement came on an appeal by Salman, seven months after he was pronounced guilty by the trial court of running over five people sleeping on a pavement outside a laundry in suburban Bandra with his Toyota Land Cruiser, killing one and injuring four others on October 28,2002.Sources in the prosecutor’s office had said its recommendation to challenge the HC’s acquittal order with the opinion that the case was fit for appeal was sent last week to the Maharashtra Home Department.

Lakhanbhaiya fake encounter: Bombay HC stays Govt’s decision to suspend conviction of 11 cops for 6 months

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Lakhanbhaiya was shot dead allegedly by the policemen in suburban Versova. The 11 policemen were released from jail on December 3.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
In a blow to the 11 policemen whose life sentence was suspended for a period of six months by Maharashtra government, the Bombay High Court on Monday granted an interim stay on the suspension order and directed them to surrender by January 4.The state government had last month passed an order by which it suspended for six months the life sentence imposed on 11 policemen convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the fake encounter of alleged Chhota Rajan gang member Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakhanbhaiya in November 2006.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lakhanbhaiya was shot dead allegedly by the policemen in suburban Versova. The 11 policemen were released from jail on December 3. Lakhanbhaiya’s brother Ramprasad Gupta, a practising advocate, approached the high court challenging the government’s decision and terming it as “illegal, null, void, bad in law, perverse, unreasonable, arbitrary, cryptic, vague and liable to be quashed and set aside.”A division bench of justices R V More and V L Achiliya on Monday heard the petitioner’s advocate Yug Choudhary, the policemen’s counsel Girish Godbole and prosecutor Usha Kejriwal at length.”The government cannot take such decision of suspension in a case where a public servant has been convicted on a charge punishable with death. Such a suspension amounts to release of a convict from prison,” Justice More said.”There are hundreds of prisoners who are suffering from serious medical ailments. The government should consider their cases also for such suspension of sentence orders,” Justice Achiliya said.The court, while admitting the petition, granted stay on the suspension order and directed the policemen to surrender by January 4. The petition has been posted for further hearing on March 7. A sessions court had earlier convicted 21 people in the case, including the 11 policemen, and awarded them life imprisonment, while acquitting only encounter specialist Pradip Sharma in July 2013.

Air pollution in capital is of an ’emergency nature’, says Delhi HC

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63 students failed in IITs in last session: Smriti Irani

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Out of the failed students 8 were from General category, 9 from OBC, 16 and 30 from Scheduled Caste (SC) and 16 from Scheduled Tribe (ST) category respectively.

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani
File Photo
PTI
Sixty-three students failed to secure the prescribed minimum grade in six Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) during 2014-15 session, Lok Sabha was informed on Monday. Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani provided this information in response to a written question in Lok Sabha about whether students have been expelled from various IITs on the ground of poor performance.”The IITs have a rigorous academic system that prescribes minimum grades to be obtained by the students for continuation in the IIT system. During the year 2014-15, a total of 63 students in undergraduate courses have failed to secure the prescribed minimum grade in 6 IITs,” Irani said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Out of the failed students 8 were from General category, 9 from OBC, 16 and 30 from Scheduled Caste (SC) and 16 from Scheduled Tribe (ST) category respectively.”The IIT Council has discussed the matter and implemented a system called Peer group Assisted Learning (PAL) to handhold students who are socially and educationally backward,” she added.In an unprecedented action by any IIT, the institute at Roorkee had in July this year expelled 73 students whose performance was not up to the mark after their first-year of the BTech programme. A group of 64 students had moved Uttarkhand High Court against the decision, but the court had upheld the institute’s decision.However, the institute reinstated the students in August this year as a “one-time measure” and said they will be on an academic probation throughout the year and have been re-admitted on strict conditions.The students were taken back on the condition that they will also have to repeat the year and will be bound to clear again all the courses of both autumn and spring semesters of the first year, besides maintaining a minimum attendance of 75 per cent in every subject.

Nirbhaya case | Juveniles given certificate to rape: Victim’s mother on SC verdict

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Nirbhaya’s mother also insisted that she would not be demoralised by this decision but would continue her fight to make change in the Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill.

PTI
Disappointed with Supreme Court’s decision to reject the petition filed by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang-rape case, Nirbhaya’s parents on Monday said that the women of this country will never get justice.”I knew that the petition would be dismissed as the Supreme Court had dismissed my petition in 2014 also. By releasing the juvenile convict, all the courts have given encouragement to this heinous crime and have given certificate to all the juveniles that there is no provision in the law which can punish them and therefore they can commit any crime such as rape etc,” Nirbhaya’s mother said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The courts are actually concerned about the convicts and not the victims. The women of this country have always been betrayed and this has happened once again also. Nobody is concerned about women safety and there would never be any change in the Indian laws and women will never get justice,” she added.She also insisted that she would not be demoralised by this decision but would continue her fight to make change in the Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill.Rejecting the DCW’s petition, the apex court earlier said that under existing law detention cannot go beyond three years.The parents of the victim protested in the national capital yesterday. Hundreds of sympathisers joined them at Rajpath near India Gate to show solidarity. The victim’s mother had said that she wanted justice for her daughter and said steps should have been taken long before to not set him free.Six persons, including the juvenile, had assaulted and raped Nirbhaya in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012.The victim succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital. Four of the accused were awarded death penalty by the trial court which was later confirmed by the Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court. Another accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail in 2013.

‘No law’ to stop Delhi rapist release

India’s Supreme Court dismisses an appeal against the release of the youngest convict in the notorious 2012 Delhi gang rape case.

How many Nirbhayas needed for laws to change: Victim’s parents

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The victim’s mother Asha Devi said her fight against the system would continue.

PTI
With the Supreme Court rejecting the plea against release of the juvenile convict, the parents of the December 16 gangrape victim today said the courts have failed them and asked how many Nirbhayas would it take for the laws to change.The victim’s mother Asha Devi said her fight against the system would continue.”We were not very hopeful that the Supreme Court will give a favourable verdict but I want to ask how many Nirbhayas are needed for the laws to change in the country,” the victim’s father Badri Singh Pandey told reporters.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The court is not bothered about the concerns of the public….This fight is not just about Nirbhaya but for every girl who is unsafe in a country which has such laws,” he added.The victim’s mother said she would fight till the law is changed.”I will not be defeated, the SC decision can’t stop me, I have to fight a long battle, I will fight till the bill is passed and law is changed.”The court is saying that the law does not permit further punishment for the juvenile but why is the case against other convicts still pending. Why have they not been hanged yet?,” she said.The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea of DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal against the release of the juvenile offender, saying “there has to be a clear legislative sanction” in this.

Nirbhaya case: Everyone has failed us, says victim’s dad as juvenile walks free

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Even as the 20-year-old convict in the 2012 gangrape and murder of a physiotherapy student was released from a juvenile home on Sunday, protestors, led by parents of the deceased victim, took to the streets of Delhi demanding a stay on his release. The parents, who headed a demonstration at India Gate late evening were detained by the police and taken to the Parliament Street police station along with dozens of supports. The detention took place after almost an hour of sloganeering by more than 150-200 protestors, some of whom demanded a renewed death sentence for the juvenile.

Nirbhaya’s parents Badrinath Singh and Asha Devi

PTI
Even as the 20-year-old convict in the 2012 gangrape and murder of a physiotherapy student was released from a juvenile home on Sunday, protestors, led by parents of the deceased victim, took to the streets of Delhi demanding a stay on his release. The parents, who headed a demonstration at India Gate late evening were detained by the police and taken to the Parliament Street police station along with dozens of supports. The detention took place after almost an hour of sloganeering by more than 150-200 protestors, some of whom demanded a renewed death sentence for the juvenile.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The day was marred with utter confusion as both Delhi police as well as Aam Aadmi Party government remained tight-lipped over the status of the juvenile who was supposed to be released on Sunday at 10 am. On Saturday night in a last-ditch attempt to stall his release, Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal filed a special leave petition (SLP) with the Supreme Court, challenging the High Court order that refused to restrain the convict’s release. The SLP was referred by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur to the vacation bench. The grounds which has been taken in the appeal against the High Court order says that no mental assessment of the state of mind of the juvenile offender has been taken into account for his release. The apex court in a late night hearing refused to stop the convict’s release, but agreed to hear the plea on Monday. Sources told dna that the Juvenile Justice Board processed the convicted 20-year-old as per the mandate under the law and the state’s women and child department as well as the CMO had been kept in the loop. While no government or police official was willing to be quoted on whether or not the juvenile was released, sources told dna that the juvenile had been released to an NGO based in Delhi and was no longer under the protection of the Delhi police. “JJ board officials and members of the NGO have taken him in. We cannot disclose where he is as of now,” said a senior police officer. The officer however added that there were chances that the juvenile would be taken to a village near to his native of Budaun in Uttar Pradesh. As per the norms his criminal record has to be expunged and his new identity will not be revealed. The development clearly did not go down well with the parents of Jyoti Singh, who told dna that all they wanted from the authorities to either delay the release of convicted juvenile or to reveal his identify as he poses a threat to the society. Badri Nath, father of Jyoti, told dna, “I have met everyone, from the Prime Minister to senior police officers to even the clerks working in that remand home. No one helped. The DCW also waited for the last moment to act.” Both Badri Nath and his wife Asha Devi were in the evening detained by police and released late in the night. Scores of ABVP activists and Congress workers were also detained when their sloganeering turned into a near confrontation with the local police. “Everyone has disappointed us,” said Badri Nath moments before his detention.

White fly attack: Swaraj Abhiyan to fight case legally for Punjab farmers

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Yadav said that in the past few months he had visited 10 states in India which were drought affected and which were struck with famine like conditions.

Yogendra Yadav

Swaraj Abhiyan has decided to fight the case of Punjab farmers whose crops were destroyed in white fly attack in courts, and claimed the government cannot shirk its responsibility in the supply of “spurious” pesticides to the cotton growers.Stating this here this evening, Swaraj Abhiyan leader and national convenor of Jai Kisan Andolan Yogendra Yadav and Patiala MP Dharamvira Gandhi said noted Supreme Court lawyer and Abhiyan’s national leader Prashant Bhushan will meet the affected farmers and hold a legal camp at Bathinda on December 27 in this regard. Jai Kisan Andolan is a Swaraj Abhiyan-led farmers movement. “Bhushan will fight this case like innumerable other such cases free of cost,” Yadav said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yadav said that in the past few months he had visited 10 states in India which were drought affected and which were struck with famine like conditions. “Swaraj Abhiyan after a detailed survey of these states had submitted memorandums to chief ministers of these states demanding immediate steps for the distressed. However, in the wake of inaction by these states, Parshant Bhushan ji knocked on the doors of Supreme Court on behalf of these drought affected farmers… “Now he will fight a case on behalf of the cotton farmers of Punjab and demand damages for massive loss to cotton crops in the state,” Yadav told reporters here.Both the leaders held the alleged anti-farmer policies and widespread corruption in the government machinery responsible for the white fly induced destruction of cotton crop in the state this year. “This is not a natural disaster. This is not a matter in which the government can extend some small relief measures to the farmers. This is a matter where the government is criminally culpable. Therefore, we have decided to take the matter of farmers crop loss to the court, not demand relief and compensation, but the damages which the government owes.”For this purpose, we have called a public hearing of the affected farmers in Bathinda on December 27, which Prashant Bhushan will attend. Here farmers will be invited and requested to join this petition and to file their cases to be taken to the court demanding damages,” Yadav said. Yadav, who was expelled from AAP, along with Bhushan, alleged, “This is a case involving criminal culpability of those in power. Therefore, we also demand that Agriculture Minister Tota Singh must resign because his continuing in power will seriously affect the nature of investigation in this case.” “This was not a natural disaster but a result of fake and spurious pesticides sold by the connivance of unscrupulous government officials, politicians and corporates,” Yadav said.A few days ago, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) held state-wide protests against the SAD-BJP regime, demanding resignation of Agriculture Minister Singh in connection with the pesticide scam. A top official of Punjab Agriculture Department had been arrested around two months ago for his alleged role in the supply of “spurious” pesticides to cotton growing farmers, whose crops was damaged in pest attack.The state government had also ordered a probe into the sale of “spurious” pesticides by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising three Inspector Generals of Police under the direct supervision of Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Crime.

Delhi gang rapist freed amid protests

The youngest convict in the notorious 2012 Delhi gang rape case is released, his lawyer says, amid protests from the victim’s parents.

Nirbhaya case: DCW chief Maliwal writes to Juvenile Justice Board asking them not release convict

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Maliwal has written to the Juvenile Justice Board asking them not to release the convict.

DCW chief Swati Maliwal

DCW chief Swati Maliwal hoped that the juvenile offender in the December 16 gangrape case will not walk free today as scheduled as her plea against his release will be heard by the Supreme Court tomorrow.In a dramatic post-midnight move, the Delhi Commission for Women had approached the Supreme Court to stay release of the juvenile convict, who is now 20 years old and was known to be the most brutal of the attackers.”How many more Nirbhayas will we create before we change the system. Nirbhayas rapist should not be released under any circumstances today,” Maliwal tweeted. “SC accepted r petition. Matter listed on Monday as Item No 3. Case subjudice now. Nirbhaya rapist should not be released until case heard,” she said in another tweet.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maliwal has written to the Juvenile Justice Board asking them not to release the convict.A vacation bench comprising Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit in their order pronounced at 2 AM, posted the matter for hearing on Monday.Related Read: Nirbhaya case: Everyone in India is against release of the convict, says DCW Chief Swati MaliwalThe Special Leave Petition filed by DCW against the order of the Delhi High Court, which refused to restrain the release of the convict, was referred by the Chief Justice of India TS Thakur before the vacation bench.After the order by the court, DCW chairperson and the lawyers of the women’s panel hoped that since the matter has become sub judice, the government and Delhi Police will not release the juvenile offender on Sunday as scheduled.On Saturday, the juvenile was moved out of Delhi even as distraught parents of the victim strongly kept on opposing his release. The parents were briefly detained by the police after they held a protest against the convict’s release.Sources said that the convict was taken to an undisclosed location from a correction home in North Delhi amid concerns that there was threat to his life. They said the juvenile has been kept under observation of an NGO under protection of Delhi Police.When contacted, the father of the victim said that they had gathered for a peaceful demonstration near the correction home in Majnu Ka Tila against the release of the juvenile convict but the police detained them.The convict is likely to walk free from the undisclosed location today, in adherence to the existing legal provision, the sources added. Delhi government has said it had submitted a rehabilitation plan for the juvenile convict.

Nirbhaya case: Everyone in India is against release of the convict, says DCW Chief Swati Maliwal

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Everybody has their hands tied, until the Juvenile Justice Act is amended.

DCW chief Swati Maliwal

dna Research & Archives
The Supreme Court has decided to hear the plea of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) against the release of the juvenile in the December 16 gang rape case on Monday, ruling out that there will be no stay on his release.DCW chief Swati Maliwal reached the Supreme Court, Saturday night, after DCW decided to file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the apex court to stall the release of the convict.”I strongly feel that the Supreme Court has seen merit and that is why the Supreme Court was open at 2 o’ clock in the night. This petition of Delhi Commission of Women against release of the juvenile and rapist in Nirbhaya’s case has been accepted, and it has been listed as item number three on Monday. I am hopeful because the kind of matter we have, the Supreme Court will take cognizance and will rule in our favour,” said Maliwal.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I think the case is subjudiced now, so I don’t think this man can now walk free on Sunday. We will be bringing this particular issue that this case is now subjudiced to the notice of all the authorities concerned, including the Juvenile Justice Board. There will be a proper discussion and debate in the Supreme Court and then take a decision on this account,” she added.She urged President Pranab Mukherjee, Chief Justice of India TS Thakur and the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) to intervene in the matter.”I also met Vice-President Hamid Ansari ji and I realized that everybody is finding their hands absolutely tight and until I go into a SLP in the Supreme Court, nothing will happen,” she said.Maliwal further said that each and every person is against the release of the convict, however, everyone is feeling tied down by the Juvenile Justice Act.”The Act is there for the protection of children and it is an important piece of legislation. But it needs to be amended a little, for which we are trying,” she added.The convict, who is now 20 years old and was known to be the most brutal of the attackers, has been taken to an undisclosed location from a correction home in North Delhi amid concerns that there was a threat to his life.Earlier, the parents of the gang rape victim, along students and activists were detained by the police as they staged a protest against the release of the juvenile convict. The police action was condemned by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.In December 2012, the teenager was part of the six member gang that lured a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist and her male friend onto a bus, where the girl was gruesomely raped and her companion brutally beaten. The girl subsequently succumbed to her injuries 13 days later in Singapore.The incident caused nationwide outrage and led to widespread outpouring of anger against the rapists, including the teenager.

Nirbhaya case: SC declines DCW appeal for urgent hearing to stop juvenile from walking free

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The Special Leave Petition filed by DCW against the order of the Delhi High Court, which refused to restrain the release of the convict, was referred by the Chief Justice of India TS Thakur before the vacation bench.

Supreme Court

The juvenile offender of the horrific December 16 gangrape case is all set to walk free on Sunday as the Supreme Court refused the dramatic post-midnight move of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) to stay his release by giving an urgent hearing.A vacation bench comprising Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit in their order pronounced at 2 am, posted the matter for hearing on Monday.However, DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal and the lawyers of the women’s panel hoped that since the matter has become sub judice, the government and Delhi Police will not release the juvenile offender. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: Nirbhaya’s parents and 40 students released after short detention by Delhi Police”The matter has been posted for hearing on Monday as item number 3. The matter has now become sub judice. I hope that government and the Delhi Police will wait for one day and not release him,” Maliwal told reporters outside the residence of Justice Goel.The Special Leave Petition filed by DCW against the order of the Delhi High Court, which refused to restrain the release of the convict, was referred by the Chief Justice of India TS Thakur before the vacation bench.Lawyers associated with the case, including senior advocate Guru Krishna Kumar and Devdutt Kamath, had rushed to Justice Goel’s residence at around 1.30 am after Maliwal was told by the Registrar that the matter has been assigned to the vacation bench.”CJI had refferred matter to Vacation Bench. Registrar General taken our case to Judge. On our way dere. Appeal for case to be heard tonight,” Maliwal had tweeted earlier. The grounds which has been taken in the appeal against the High Court order says that no mental assessment of the state of mind of the juvenile offender has been taken into account for his release.Advocate Kamath said that there are intelligence reports that even during his stay in the provision home, the convict was unremorseful of his action and he has been further radicalised. So at this stage, it cannot be said that he is not a threat to the society.The SLP has also stated that though the High Court was of the view that there was a need for mental assessment of the convict, there was no direction that before his release the authorities should go for a health and mental assessment of the offender.Further, it is submitted in the petition that there is also likely to be threat to his own life as reports are appearing that there is anger and tension between two groups in his own village. “Therefore it is also in his own interest and for the protection of his life that he should not be dumped and left unprotected,” it said.In the petition, Kamath said there are other legal points raised to challenge the High Court order. Guru Krishna Kumar is to appear for DCW in the case. The High Court had yesterday refused to restrain the convict’s release citing that there is no legal provision for the action.Maliwal reached the Chief Justice of India’s residence around midnight and later arrived at the Registrar’s office in the apex court premises. A day before his scheduled release, the juvenile convict was moved out of Delhi today even as distraught parents of the victim were detained today after they held a protest against allowing him to walk free.The convict, who is now 20 years old and was known to be the most brutal of the attackers, has been taken to an undisclosed location from a correction home in North Delhi amid concerns that there was a threat to his life.Sources said the juvenile has been kept under observation of an NGO under the protection of Delhi Police. The parents of the gangrape victim, along with 40 Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU) students, were detained by the police as they staged a protest against the release of the juvenile convict. The police action was condemned by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.”I am shocked to learn that Nirbhaya’s parents have been detained. They shud immediately be released. Police action against Nirbhaya’s parents is unacceptable. I have asked Chief Secretary to talk to Police Commissioner and get them released,” Kejriwal tweeted.

National Herald Case: Here’s what the magistrate said

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It was a historic day at Patiala House District Court complex, as members of India’s first political family stood accused before a Metropolitan Magistrate. The fourth and fifth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty walked into the court room amid media hype, hoopla and tight security.

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul arrive at the court amid high security
Manit
dna
It was a historic day at Patiala House District Court complex, as members of India’s first political family stood accused before a Metropolitan Magistrate. The fourth and fifth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty walked into the court room amid media hype, hoopla and tight security.After a relatively short hearing, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in a pink saree, and her son party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, attired in white kurta-pyjama with black jacket, were granted unconditional bail by the Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen in the National Herald case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The court also granted bail to other Congress leaders and accused Motilal Vohra, Oscar Fernandes and Suman Dubey. The sixth accused in this case Sam Pitroda was granted exemption since he was out of the city on a medical emergency.The court had summoned them based on a complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanium Swamy alleging financial irregularities.”Neither the offence is of that high magnitude nor the punishment of extreme magnitude….The accused have roots in the society and least possibility of tampering of evidence as they are documentary …They are reputed persons having deep political grassroots and there is no apprehension that they will flee,” the magistrate noted while granting them bail on furnishing personal bond of Rs 50,000 and one surety each. He posted the case for further hearing at 2 pm on February 20, next year.In a show of solidarity with Gandhis, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a host of Congress leaders, including Mallikarjun Kharge, Ambika Soni, Sheila Dikshit, Ashwini Kumar, Meira Kumar, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ajay Maken, and A K Antony among others arrived at court room number 4, shortly before the hearing was to commence at 3 pm. A smiling Sonia closely followed by Rahul emerged out of the court after 15 minutes of proceedings.Among the first who arrived in the court room were Ahmed Patel, Sonia’s political adviser and her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. A battery of Congress lawyers including Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi appeared on behalf of Gandhis.The accused Sonia, Rahul, 87 year-old Vohra and others were kept standing on the left side of the judge’s podium throughout the proceeding. Former PM Singh, Soni and Dikshit took the first row whereas Priyanka sat in the second row in the cramped court room.The summons was issued last year by the court and on December 8 the Delhi high court had rejected the plea of the accused challenging the summons.As the proceedings began counsel for the accused, Sibal placed the bail application and bonds while seeking bail. Swamy opposed the bail saying the offence are cognizable and the accused including Sonia and Rahul are “highly influential” people. Swamy requested their passports to be seized since they could flee the country. He also advised travel restrictions be imposed on them which the court rejected.During the proceedings, the aged Vohra was allowed to sit. Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, the other lawyer representing the Gandhis, rose and argued that all the accused deserve bail in the case. Sibal questioned the summons, saying that “some documents should have been annexed with the summons, but they were not given to us.”The Patiala House District court located in the heart of national capital was under heavy security clampdown. The court premises were sanitised by the elite Special Protection Group (SPG).As the countdown for the hearing began, the first to arrive was BJP leader and complainant Swamy along with his wife Roxana who is also an advocate. While Congress leader Sibal and his advocate wife Promila were seen stepping out of their car just outside the main building, other Congress leaders including the Gandhi’s walked from Gate no. 2 to the entrance of the main building.Judge Lovleen entered the court at 2.50pm soon after accused arrived and the court proceedings began lasting till 3.05pm. The courtroom, perhaps the smallest in the entire court complex, was filled to the brim with politicians and the five lawyers representing them.The perimeter of the court premises were cleared of all traffic and the foot path was cordoned off. The security checks were so stringent that even the court clerks underwent a thorough frisking by personnel from the SPG.Since media presence inside the courtroom was limited to a few including dna, those media persons not allowed a chance to attend the hearing, impatiently waited outside the court premises as they valiantly fought to get a glimpse or a byte from the seasoned politicians. The constant tussle between the security apparatus and media personnel intensified as and when the politicians arrived. The security clampdown was such that only 10 cars carrying VIPs, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and complainant Subramanium Swamy, were allowed to enter the court premises. However, people or rather politicians had started coming to this small court room much earlier. The 13 media persons allowed inside the court were asked to stand near the entrance.At the Patiala House courts, a gate had been reserved for the VIP cars to drive in, however, both leaders made a political point by stopping their vehicles outside the court complex. They then walked into the court with smiles on their faces.In response to the court hearings, Congress party members staged a show of strength through the day with hundreds of leaders and workers crowding the party office since morning. In other cities, Congress workers protested against the Modi government.Congress sources said they were considering approaching the Supreme Court for the limited purpose pertaining to the remarks made by Delhi High Court. The High Court had earlier made scathing observations on the “questionable conduct” of Gandhis regarding how they took control of the publication. The judge Sunil Gaur was also of the view that “the gravity of the allegations levelled against petitioners (Sonia, Rahul and others) has a fraudulent flavour involving a national political party and so, serious imputations smacking of criminality levelled against petitioners need to be properly looked into.”On June 26, last year, the trial court issued summons to the Congress leaders on Swamy’s allegations of “cheating” in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL) by Young India Ltd. (YIL) – a firm in which Sonia and Rahul Gandhi each own a 38 percent stake. Complainant Swamy had claimed that the Gandhis, as majority shareholders of YIL, benefited from the acquisition of AJL. He also alleged that AJL had received an interest-free loan of Rs 90.25 crore from the Congress and that the party transferred the debt to YIL for Rs 50 lakh. At the time, AJL, which had Vohra was its Chairman, claimed that it could not repay the loan and agreed to transfer the company and its assets to YIL.For Sonia Gandhi, A K Antony stood as surety.
For Rahul, his sister Priyanka stood as surety
For Motilal Vohra-B K Hariprasad as surety
For Oscar Fernandes—Ghulam Nabui Azad
For Suman Dubey–Ajay Maken
Sam Pitroda is yet to obtain bail from court.
Here’s how the event unfoldedTill 1pm-Since morning heavy security personnel BSF, RPF and Delhi Police personnel were deployed converting the Patiala House Complex into like a fortress. The hearing was scheduled for 3pm.
1.10pm—the court room was opened for National Herald case hearing after the SGP personnel sanitised the court room completely and took over their position for full-proof security of Gandhis.
1.15pm- Only thirteen media persons, including DNA reporter were allowed the court building. The security personnel frisked the media persons and asked them not to carry even waterbottle inside.
2.20pm–Complainant Subramanium Swamy along with wife advocate Roxena Swamy reached the court.
2-25pm– Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Kapil Sibal, R S Cheema and Heeran Rawal to appear for Congress leaders reached the court.
2.27pm–Sonia’s political adviser Ahmed Patel was the first one to reach the court to show loyality to the party’s President and Vice-President.
2.35 pm–Priyanka Gandhi Vadra arrived court to stand as surety for bother Rahul.Senior Congress leader Motilal Vohra along with his counsel reached the court. Other leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, A K Antony, Ambica Sony, Sheila Dikshit and other leaders reached.
2.38 pm—Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and took the seat in the front row.
2.40 pm-Leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha reached.
2.48 pm- Sonia with son Rahul walked into the court room.
2.50—3.05pm– Sibal placed bail application and continued his argument seeking bail.Swamy opposed the bail which was rejected by the court and granted bail to the accused persons.

National Herald Case: Congress exploits Gandhis’ court appearances to the hilt

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Just a year ago, Congress was licking wounds after a massive defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, with the credibility of its top leadership being questioned assiduously, even within party forums. But on Saturday, in a massive show of strength, the party exploited their leaders’ appearance before a city court in the National Herald case to the hilt, to convey political message and revive spirits of its cadres. Despite sending a last-minute missive to party leaders to keep the affair low key, lest they invite wrath of judiciary, the party put up a resurgent and united face standing behind its leaders.

Just a year ago, Congress was licking wounds after a massive defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, with the credibility of its top leadership being questioned assiduously, even within party forums. But on Saturday, in a massive show of strength, the party exploited their leaders’ appearance before a city court in the National Herald case to the hilt, to convey political message and revive spirits of its cadres. Despite sending a last-minute missive to party leaders to keep the affair low key, lest they invite wrath of judiciary, the party put up a resurgent and united face standing behind its leaders.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a flip flop of strategy, finally on Friday night, on legal advice, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her son vice-president Rahul Gandhi and others decided to file the bail bonds. Earlier , the AICC had also sent a missive to PCC chiefs of Delhi, UP, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan, not to encourage party workers to come to Delhi. It was decided to make it a low-key affair and not organise any kind of march to the court as planned earlier. But despite the missive, party took all the limelight, alleging “political vendetta” resorted by the government, to target its leaders.The decision to keep it a low key affair was also taken on the legal advice that the judiciary is not well disposed towards the Congress and hence better not to do anything that is seen as a confrontation with the judiciary. Soon after returning from Tamil Nadu, on December 9, Rahul Gandhi had decided to — to brazen it out and like Arvind Kejriwal not take bail or even sign a personal bond and instead prefer going to jail. But, they were told by lawyers that even if the Supreme Court is to be moved, they will have to ultimately sign the bail bonds. They pointed out that Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal had refused to take bail and had to go to jail and they do not want that to happen with the Gandhis.Soon after out of court, fourth generation of Nehru-Gandhi family who faced law, a beaming Rahul told media that neither he, nor his party will bend. “Modiji jhute ilzaam lagvate hain. Vah sochte hain ki vipaksh isse jhuk jayega. Main desh ke logon se kahna chahta hun ki main aur Congress party nahin jhukenge,” (Modiji levels false allegations. They think that opposition will bend. I want to tell the people of the nation that I or Congress party will never bend), said Rahul addressing the media and assembled cheering crowd of Congress workers at the AICC headquarters, after appearing before the court.Just before him, Sonia Gandhi, for whom the bail was furnished by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said she was quite aware of the assaults by the opponents for generations “but they could never remove us from our path.” Asserting that “none of us will ever be frightened,” she said: “Our fight against them will continue, our struggle for Congress principles, policies and protection of the interests of poor will continue.” Rahul also declared: “Hum garibon aur kamjor logon ke liye ladte rahenge, aur ek inch peechhe nahi hatenge. (We shall continue to fight for poor and weaker sections of people and not back out even an inch.” He also conveyed his respect for the law.Both Sonia and Rahul were just withdrawing after the brief address when the assembled party workers called for Rahul. He returned to tell them: “Modiji Congress mukt Bharat ki baat karte hain — Bharat Congress mukt kabhi nahi hoga (Modi talks of Congress-free India. India will never be without Congress).” His office also put all his remarks on his Twitter handle.Sonia said the government is misusing its agencies, “but none of us will be frightened as our struggle will continue.” She started with mention of the National Herald case, stressing that she appeared before the court like any citizen abiding by the law. “Laws of the nation apply to all equally without fear or discrimination and I have no doubt that the truth will ultimately come out,” she said.Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had also gone to the court as a solidarity with Gandhis, talked of the party’s determined fight for its values, its ideas and ideals and asserted that “nobody can detract the Congress Party from that path.” Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken signed the bail bond of Congress treasurer Motilal Vora, Ghulam Nabi Azad for Oscar Fernandes and Mallikarjun Kharge for Suman Dubey. The only accused in the case unable to appear in the court was Sam Pitroda as he was undergoing treatment in the United States. Congress MLA V S Rathore of Young India appeared on his behalf.Just two hours before Congress leaders appeared before the city court the party dubbed BJP leader Dr Subramanian Swamy as Prime Minister Modi’s “stooge” and “mask” rewarded with a VVIP security and government bungalow in the capital for dragging her and Congress to court in the National Herald case.”The Congress Party and the whole country had suspected from the beginning that the BJP and specially the PM are behind Dr Swamy slapping a bogus case. It was established now the way he was given the Z category security and a government bungalow as perks,” Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters.All top Congress leaders as also Priyanka Gandhi met at Azad’s residence for a strategic session and later reached the court. They included former PM Manmohan Singh, Ahmed Patel, Azad, Ambika Soni, A K Antony and many senior Congress leaders who are not party in the case and yet went to the court in solidarity. The only Congress leaders summoned along with Gandhis are treasurer Motilal Vora and general secretary Oscar Fernandes.Despite denial of any show of strength in support of the Congress leadership, a huge crowd descended at the Akbar Road, many of them coming from Gandhis’ Amethi and Rai Bareli constituencies. Azad and party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said everybody is free to express solidarity with the leadership and it was the display of an emotional burst despite repeated appeals not to crowd in Delhi.There were protest demonstrations at many places across the country, including Varanasi, Bangalore, Nagpur and Jaipur. Rajasthan PCC chief Sachin Pilot led the Congress workers in Jaipur. Azad and his Lok Sabha counterpart Mallikarjun Kharge said the Congress has full faith in the judiciary to get justice as it has full faith right from the Supreme Court to the lowest court. Azad said Modi used to talk of “Congress-Mukt Bharat” (Congress-free India) but he now wants to finish the entire Opposition. Not only Sonia and Rahul but most of the leaders, barring Dr Manmohan Singh, chose to alight from their cars outside the Patiala Court compound and walk. They included a smiling Priyanka. Sonia was also all smile and waiving as she walked into the court.Meanwhile, the ruling BJP said corruption was synonymous with the Congress party, whether in power or otherwise. “When we say Congress-mukt bharat, we mean corruption-mukt bharat. Unfortunately, Congress and corruption are made for each other,” said parliamentary affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

National Herald Case: Gandhis walk out, Subramanian Swamy drives away

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The Congress leaders leave after being granted bail

Agencies
Facing corruption charges, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul appeared before the trial court here on Saturday, and were granted bail on furnishing personal bond of Rs.50,000 and one surety each. Earlier, the Gandhis walked up to the court room, accompanied by Priyanka Vadra, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and other senior leaders as party workers outside the court shouted slogans in their support. The Gandhis are accused of illegally acquiring the assets of the parent company of the National Herald, a newspaper once run by their family. The summons were issued by the court on December 8 after the Delhi High Court the previous day refused to quash the summons issued to them earlier to appear as accused.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The hearing lasted only for a few minutes and the court scheduled the next hearing for February 2. The magistrate made it clear that no exemption from personal appearance will be granted to any accused for the next date of hearing. The judge, who held the proceedings in a closed room, asked Subramanian Swamy, petitioner in the case, to bring all relied upon documents in support of his complaint on the next date of hearing. In his reaction, Swamy said all their claims that they would not seek bail proved false. “They said they will not take bail. What happened now,” he told reporters. “I will win this case in 2016. Sonia, Rahul and others will be sent to prison,” he added. While AK Antony gave surety to Sonia, Priyanka stood surety for her brother. Swamy said he did not oppose bail for Sonia and Rahul and dismissed Congress allegations that it was a case of personal vendetta. “No one has told me anything to either slow down or pursue the National Herald case. I do not want any support from BJP or from anyone. I didn’t get support from my party during 2G scam also. I don’t need it,” he said. Taking satisfaction that he ultimately made top Congress leaders to walk to the law, he said: “My goal is not only to eliminate corruption but instill courage in ordinary citizen and fear in the high and mighty.” “When Sonia and Rahul came they were made to stand in a corner where the accused are supposed to be, they were not allowed to sit,” he further said. Later, in an interview to a TV channel, Swamy also hit out at suggestions that he has been accorded Z-category security and government bungalow as reward for pursuing the case. “Congress persons may be purchasable. I am a sanyasi. I don’t need houses” he shot back. Relieved with the bail granted, Sonia and Rahul later addressed media and said the government is misusing its agencies. “But none of us will be frightened as our struggle will continue,” Sonia said. Rahul said he will not let Prime Minister Narendra Modi achieve his dream of a ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’. “He thinks that the opposition will bow down. I want to tell the people of this country that myself and the Congress party will never bow down,” he said. The ruling BJP replied that corruption was synonymous with the Congress, whether in power or otherwise. “When we say Congress-mukt bharat, we mean corruption-mukt bharat. Unfortunately Congress and corruption are made for each other,” said parliamentary affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

DCW reaches out to SC as a last-ditch attempt to stop juvenile convict’s release

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The development comes on a day the victim’s parents were detained and later released after they held a protest against allowing the juvenile convict to walk free.

DCW Chief Swati Maliwal
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Delhi Commission for Women will file a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court on Saturday night against the scheduled release of the December 16 gang-rape juvenile convict, who has already been moved out of Delhi. The convict is scheduled to be released on Sunday.DCW Chief Swati Maliwal took to Twitter to share the information:The development comes on a day the victim’s parents were detained and later released after they held a protest against allowing the juvenile convict to walk free. The convict, who is now 20 years old, has been taken to an undisclosed location from a correction home in North Delhi amid concerns that there was threat to his life.

National Herald Case: Here’s why Congress won day one

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It is very evident that the party will look to approach this matter with a two pronged approach

PTI
The hype was being built from the morning. Journalists waiting with their mikes and cameras, expectantly looking for a piece of trivia or breaking news in front of the Patiala Court, dishing out minute details of #SoniaRahulHazirHo. The Congress too had its fair share of preparation. Congress workers went through the motions as they displayed their solidarity across the length and breadth of the country. In the capital, the party had its battery of legal luminaries ready to bail out Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. With them in tow, was former PM Manmohan Singh to provide moral support. The process of granting of bail was done in just a matter of ten minutes, reminiscent of the time in May when Salman Khan got bail. But it is just the beginning of a possibly long legal tangle and judging by the reaction of the Congress party after suffering the initial shock of its party leaders under scanner, it is now prepared to slog this case out under the spotlight. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is very evident that the party will look to approach this matter with a two-pronged approach. On one hand, it will exhaust every legal option possible to save its two top leaders. On the other hand, Congress party will aggressively pursue the line where it accuses the Modi government of being vindictive. With the case unlikely to get over any time soon, it gives Congress enough fodder to keep the pot boiling against the Modi government for a significant period of time. The effects are manifold. Firstly, now it has a legitimate excuse to put a spanner in the government’s day-to-day functioning in Parliament by crying hoarse about political vendetta. It is a play Congress has learnt from the BJP’s book. Politics of obstructionism works in this country and the party will like to practice it fully to halt Modi’s developmental agenda. Secondly, at a time when the Congress is still trying to get out of the abysmal low of 2014 elections, the entire party is suddenly speaking in one voice to save the first family. The Gandhis are the glue which essentially keeps an ideologically directionless party like Congress together. Hence the leaders are more than eager to save the Gandhis and suddenly all the warts in the party setup is glossed over. It is not a full-proof strategy but certainly a workable one for a party looking to regroup after an electoral backlash. As for BJP, its challenge is to build a counter-narrative to call Congress’ bluff in front of the electorate. Today, the Patiala Court gave unconditional bail to the Gandhis. It also rejected Swami’s demand of putting restrictions on their foreign travels. According to PTI, “The accused are reputed persons having deep political grassroots and there is no apprehension that they will flee,” the Magistrate said.BJP so far has been eager to push the National Herald case as a matter between the Congress and Swamy. But with Congress repeatedly trying to invoke a Modi connection, can BJP shrug of the perception that there is some greater power pulling the string from behind. BJP will hope that the muck will stick to the Gandhis and it will like to believe that the fact that first family of Congress had to make a court appearance is sort of a political victory. But if nothing tangible comes out, Congress will play the victim card to the hilt. This is more of a political slugfest than the complicated legal and financial analysis of whether there was cheating and misappropriation of funds by Gandhis in acquiring ownership of National Herald. Congress by playing with a straight bat on a sticky wicket has been the smarter side so far. Can BJP take the cue and change the game? All bets are open till February 20.

National Herald case: Sonia, Rahul turn legal setback into a political victory in just 3 minutes

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National Herald case: Whole country is happy I brought Sonia, Rahul to court, says Subramanian Swamy

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National Herald case: Congress leaders attack BJP, workers protest throughout country

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It’s a political vendetta led by, I am saying with a sense of responsibility, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Swamy is only a small cog in this entire wheel of conspiracy,” Surjewala alleged.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad

Trading guns at each other over the National Herald issue, Congress today alleged that the Modi government was indulging in political vendetta while BJP claimed that it is a legal matter and the opposition party has been trying to give a wrong impression to the people.Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi are scheduled to appear before a magistrate today in connection with the National Herald case.Raising questions about the government’s action, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said if it was not indulging in “political vendetta” then why Subramanian Swamy, who was the complaintant in the case, has been given ‘Z’ category security and only on Friday, a “Cabinet minister’s house” in Delhi’s Lutyen’s Zone.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: LIVE National Herald case: Sonia, Rahul Gandhi to appear in court; Congress meets at Azad’s houseHe also raised questions about statements made by senior BJP ministers on the issue to support his contention that the government was indulging in “political vendetta” and also referred to the removal of the previous Enforcement Directorate Chief.”It’s a political vendetta led by, I am saying with a sense of responsibility, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Swamy is only a small cog in this entire wheel of conspiracy,” Surjewala alleged.He, however, emphasised that his party and the leadership have complete faith in the judiciary, its processes and will fight the legal battle in court.”We will fight the legal battle in accordance with the law and we will fight the political battle with the Modi government both inside Parliament and also by being the voice of 125 crore people of this country,” Surjewala said.He said that since his party leadership has faith and respect the court processes, workers also have been advised not to gather outside the court in Delhi. BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao, meanwhile, said that initially the Congress party’s attempt was to build pressure and give an opinion to the people that this was some kind of administrative action or political vendetta by rivals.But the court order has “nailed all these absurd allegations. They have even tried to use or mortgage their political and parliamentary strength to get some kind of relief in the court of public opinion by building up political pressure. But the reality is, this is a legal case,” Rao said.

MPs unite to defeat Bill to amend Section 377

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Criticising the attitude of MPs, a Bangalore-based NGO Sangama, working for the sexual and gender minorities, said that no responsible Parliament should ignore the harassment and persecution of sexual minorities on account of outdated and archaic Section 377.

While the Juvenile Justice Bill continues to languish in Rajya Sabha over a year now, Lok Sabha on Friday shot down an effort by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor to legalise gay sex through a private member’s Bill at the introduction stage itself. The MPs prevented any discussion aimed at dropping Section 377 from the Indian Penal Code (IPC) of 1860 that criminalises homosexuality. The ruling BJP members pressed for division to flung out the Bill and scored victory as its introduction was disallowed by a majority of 71 as against 24 voting for it. Tharoor tweeted: “Surprising to see such intolerance.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Criticising the attitude of MPs, a Bangalore-based NGO Sangama, working for the sexual and gender minorities, said that no responsible Parliament should ignore the harassment and persecution of sexual minorities on account of outdated and archaic Section 377.Shashi Tharoor also said he was only fulfilling the Supreme Court’s wish in a ruling in December 2013, leaving it up to Parliament to remove the obnoxious Section from the statute. In a Twitter post, the former Union minister said: “Intro of Pvt. Member’s Bill 2 decriminalize consensual sex btwn consenting adults defeated in LS 71-24. Surprising to see such intolerance.” He said: “Notice of intent to oppose introduction of Bill came so late, there was no time 2 rally support.”In yet another tweet, he said: “We weren’t at passage. It was just “leave to introduce the bill” that was rejected by the intolerant. They couldn’t even debate!” He is, however, not dejected by defeat of his attempt as he tweeted further: “Will try again in future. We shall overcome!” Tharoor, however, found no resistance to two other private member’s Bills he introduced on Friday, one to amend the IPC to substitute a new section for Section 124A on sedition and another Asylum to protect refugees and asylum seekers and to determine their cases. In a landmark judgment in 2009, the Delhi High Court had stuck down Section 377 of the IPC as “unconstitutional” and decriminalised consensual sex among adult homosexual men. The Supreme Court, however, overturned the verdict on 12.12.2013 to re-legalise Section 377 while putting the ball in the government’s court, arguing that it was free to annul the law through legislation.Section 377 deals with “unnatural offences” and says “whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with [imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.Rajesh Umadevi, director of Sangama said the retention of Section 377 was aimed at to harass and persecute sexual minorities, including transgender and various identities. “The insidious danger of Section 377 lies in the fact that it permeates different social settings including the medical establishment, family and the state. It also expressed the deep societal repugnance towards sexual minorities and provided the flag leaf of legitimacy for the harassment of sexual minorities,” he said.

Nirbhaya rape accused to walk free tomorrow

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The victims’ parents, who were present in the court, were crushed and heartbroken upon hearing the order. Visibly moved with tears in eyes, Asha Devi, the mother vowed to carry on the fight for justice.

Nirbhaya’s mother Asha expresses her disappointment after the Delhi High Court refusal to stay release of the juvenile convict on Friday.

PTI
The juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya gangrape case will walk free on Sunday. The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to extend his stay in the observation home saying the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000 has stipulated the maximum period of three years. “Having regard to the fact that the maximum stay that can be directed in the Special Home under Section 15(1) of the Act is three years and that the respondent No.1 (convict) would be completing the period of three years by December 20, 2015, there cannot be any direction to continue his stay in the Special Home beyond December 20, 2015. Hence, we decline to issue any direction as prayed by the petitioner,” a bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The victims’ parents, who were present in the court, were crushed and heartbroken upon hearing the order. Visibly moved with tears in eyes, Asha Devi, the mother vowed to carry on the fight for justice. BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy, the petitioner in the case, was seen consoling the parents in the courtroom, assuring them that he has not given up. “This fight is not just for your daughter alone, it is now for the nation,” Swamy said. Two days ago, the victims’ parents had staged a demonstration at Jantar Mantar here protesting against the release of the juvenile. At that time, the mother had said she would continue her fighting till the very last moment. In its order, the high court also directed the Juvenile Justice Board to take a final decision on his rehabilitation and the management committee of the Delhi government would keep a watch on him for two years as per the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Rules. The convict, who is now 21, is to release on December 20 after his three years stay in the observation home as part of the sentence for the offence of rape. The bench directed Juvenile Justice Board (JJB-II) shall interact with the juvenile his parents/guardians as well as the officials concerned of the department of women and child development, Delhi government regarding the “post-release rehabilitation and social mainstreaming” of the juvenile and pass appropriate orders in accordance with the provisions of the JJB Act and Rules. It referred to the Rules 55 which makes it mandatory for the Management Committee to consider and review periodically post-release or post restoration follow up. Rule 65 also provides for a detailed procedure of restoration of the juvenile back to the family and the follow-up action by the Juvenile Justice Board. The bench also recorded the Rule which restrains the JJ Board from sending the juvenile to his family in case he is reluctant to go home. According to the Rule, a quarterly follow-up report to the JJB by the concerned Child Welfare Officer or Probation Officer or the non-governmental organization for a period of two years. The bench, however, never closed the petition saying the issue raised by the petitioner is “of public importance” which needs deeper consideration. The court has to ascertain the factum of reformation of the juveniles in conflict with law before they are released from the Special Home on expiry of the period of stay ordered by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB). The court sought response from the Centre and Delhi government to file response on the issue within eight weeks, while posting the matter for March 28, 2016. The court’s order came on Swamy’s plea against the release of the “unreformed” juvenile convict. He cited the Intelligence Bureau (IB) report about him having been radicalised after being shifted with a juvenile apprehended in connection with the Delhi High Court blast case. The Centre had told the court that juvenile’s stay in an observation home should be extended till all aspects including mental health and post-release rehabilitation plans are considered by the authorities. The juvenile, who was under 18 when arrested for brutal rape and murder of a para-medical student on December 16, 2012, was tried under the Juvenile Justice Act. He was ordered to be kept in a remand home for three years.Swamy in his plea asked the court to pass order that “such unreformed juvenile not be released until it is demonstrably assured that he has reformed, ceased to be radicalised and is not a menace to the society”. Meanwhile, a trial court had awarded death penalty to four rapists which was upheld by the high court. Out of the six convicts, prime accused Ram Singh was found dead in Tihar Jail and the juvenile was sent to reform home.The appeals for four convicts are pending before the Supreme Court.

Vyapam scam: Madhya Pradesh HC grants bail to former minister Laxmikant Sharma

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Sharma, a former Technical Education Minister, who has been lodged in Bhopal jail since June 2014, is likely to walk free tomorrow after the prison authorities complete the legal formalities for his release.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday granted bail to former state minister Laxmikant Sharma, an accused in the 2012 scam of police constable recruitment examination, conducted by Vyapam (MP Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal).Sharma, a former Technical Education Minister, who has been lodged in Bhopal jail since June 2014, is likely to walk free tomorrow after the prison authorities complete the legal formalities for his release.A division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice K K Trivedi granted bail to Sharma after his counsel told the court that other accused in the police constable recruitment test conducted by Vyapam in 2012 had got bail.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Counsel Anil Khare, Bhaskar Pandey and Praveen Verma said that their client was not the kingpin of the case. Sharma has only been accused of mediating in the case, they argued. CBI, the prosecution agency in Vypam scam, opposed the former minister’s bail stating that if he was released, he would influence the ongoing probe in the massive racket. The bench, after hearing the defence and the prosecution, directed that Sharma should be released on bail after he furnishes a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh.Earlier, the high court had granted bail to Sharma in some other scam relating to recruitment tests which were conducted by Vyapam.

Section 377: Shashi Tharoor sees ‘intolerance’ in BJP over rejection of Bill

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The introduction of the private members’ Bill, which sought amendment to the IPC by seeking to “substitute a new section for Section 377”, was objected to by BJP member Nishikant Dubey, who said he was opposing it not because of any religion, vedas or ‘puranas’ but because of the Supreme Court judgement.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Friday saw “intolerance” among a section of the ruling BJP after his move to introduce a Bill for decriminalising homosexuality was rejected in Lok Sabha.The introduction of the private members’ Bill, which sought amendment to the IPC by seeking to “substitute a new section for Section 377”, was objected to by BJP member Nishikant Dubey, who said he was opposing it not because of any religion, vedas or ‘puranas’ but because of the Supreme Court judgement. Reacting to the development, Tharoor said, “It strikes me as extremely intolerant because at this stage, it’s a very routine procedure.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I begged to introduce the Bill. It is extremely unfortunate for a Bill to be rejected, even for introduction and it shows, I am sorry to say, the degree of intolerance that exists in sections of our ruling party.” The Congress leader and former Union Minister said he “will move the Bill again when the session is convened next to ensure individual privacy is possible”. The bulk of the votes opposing “even the introduction of the Bill” came from BJP, claimed Tharoor, although he also noted that there were “some members” of the ruling party who “seemed to have” voted to allow him to introduce it.The opposition MP said he proposed to amend Section 377 of IPC in order to de-criminalise homosexuality in the wake of the Supreme Court judgement in this connection. The apex court had in 2013 overruled a 2009 decision by Delhi High Court striking down the section and said that it was for the Parliament to decide whether to amend or delete it and not the judiciary. Saying that “it is not the government’s responsibility to decide how people behave in their private life”, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said, “I have not proposed the deletion; I have just proposed amendment and the purpose of the same is to ensure consensual sex between consenting adults will be legally possible. That is, we will keep the government out of our bedroom.”There is a need now to look “very, very critically” at how the public sees this issue, he further averred while seeking a public debate on the issue. “That there are so many people in the ruling party present on the government benches who are expressing their intolerance and homophobia in this manner is very revelatory,” he charged. “After all, what we are talking about is human freedom, human privacy, human dignity,” he added.Tharoor expressed confidence that if the public starts “waking up” to the reality of what is being discussed and what is at stake, he will have at least succeeded in “raising” consciousness about the issue.”In that spirit, today’s defeat will still be a victory for the cause of justice and freedom in our country,” he said.Two other Bills moved by Tharoor, for amending Section 124A of IPC, that covers sedition, and the National Asylum and Refugee Bill, which favours the extension of rights to foreign nationals, were allowed to be introduced in the House.

Jats exclusion from backward list: Delhi HC seeks state govt’s reply

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The bench also directed the petitioner to file an amended list of parties and include major Jats group as parties in the matter.

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought a response from the city government on a plea seeking quashing of a notification including Jat community in the state list of backward class. A bench of Justice Rajiv Shahi Endlaw asked Delhi government to file its reply on the plea and posted the matter for further hearing on February 17. The bench also directed the petitioner to file an amended list of parties and include major Jats group as parties in the matter.During the brief hearing, counsel for petitioner informed the court that several groups of the community have made representation to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) either for inclusion or exclusion of Jats from the list of backward class.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said that 70 groups of the community have made representation before NCBC for inclusion of Jats in the list of backward classes while 66 groups made representation for opposing the inclusion in the list.The plea, filed through advocate Chetan Dutt and advocate Raj Kumar, said that since NCBC has in its advice on February 26, 2014 to the government opined that Jats are not entitled to be included in the list of backward classes, Delhi government has till now not excluded the community from the list.It said that NCBC report has said that “ethnically Jats are at a higher level, they are of Indo Aryan desecent; their educational level is high and the social status they command is far higher than the ordinary shudras.”The plea said that Delhi government has come out with a notification dated July 31, 2000 in which jat community was included in the list of backward classes but despite NCBC finding and advice, the community has not been excluded.

Should India have a National Registry of Sex Offenders? Maneka Gandhi asks

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On Friday, Delhi High Court refused to stay the release of the juvenile convict in Nirbhaya rape case.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Juvenile convict in the December 16 gang-rape case is all set to be released from jail on coming Sunday. He has completed a jail term of 3 years, and amidst all protests, the Delhi High Court refused to stay the release of the juvenile. “We cannot prohibit juvenile’s release as per the statutory and existing provision of law,” said the court. The court also asked Juvenile Board to interact with convict, his guardians and officials of Delhi government regarding his post release rehabilitation.Nirbhaya’s parents and several activists are disappointed in the Court’s ruling. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Despite all our efforts for three years, our government and our courts have released a criminal. The assurance we were given that we would get justice, that has not been delivered. We are very disappointed. We haven’t seen him, not met him, but despite all our efforts, the criminal will walk free,” Asha Devi, mother of the victim, said. Following the judgement, Maneka Gandhi on Friday posed a question on Twitter for people to share their opinions on the ‘National Registry of Sex Offenders’. This will allow citizens to access a list of sexual offenders. Earlier in December too, Maneka had pitched the idea to Law Ministry to initiate mandatory registration of sex offenders by local police to keep them under surveillance and called for the enactment of a law for the same. “In cases where the accused are convicted for committing heinous crimes, the orders of the court may also include mandatory requirement of registration of the accused in local police station so that police can monitor their activities and keep track of their movements,” Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said in a letter to the Law Minister.She suggested that the offenders of heinous crimes should be mandated to provide their personal details to the local law enforcement agency on regular basis. Such an initiative by courts will ensure effective management and supervision of sex offenders and also reduce future offences leading to a sense of security among women and children, she said. On the other hand, there is a group of people who believe that this register may violate the right of convicts. Since there names will be available in a public domain, potential employers may decide not to hire them. The convict, who may have changed his behaviour after coming out of the jail, may have to face discrimination because of his past. According to National Crimes Records Bureau, sexual crimes such as rape have increased from 24,923 in 2012 to 36,735 in 2014 and in case of children, it has increased from 8,541 to 13,766 during the same period. Cases of assault on women with intent to outrage her identity have more than doubled from 40,613 in 2010 to 82,235 in 2014.Similarly, 11,335 cases were reported in 2014 of assault on girl children with an intent to outrage their modesty and 444 cases were registered under the category of insulting the modesty of girl children during the same period.

Juvenile convict to be released: Delhi Commission for Women to write to President to stay release

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Allegedly the most brutal of all the six rapists, the juvenile convict, now 20, is likely to walk free on Sunday after his three-year sentence at a correction home gets over.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The Delhi Commission for Women on Friday said the High Court’s refusal to stay the release of the juvenile convict in the December 16 gangrape case was a “dark day” in the history of the country and it would appeal against his release. DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal said she would appeal to the Chief Justice of India, Delhi High Court and write to the President against the release of the juvenile.Allegedly the most brutal of all the six rapists, the juvenile convict, now 20, is likely to walk free on Sunday after his three-year sentence at a correction home gets over. Maliwal stressed that an analysis needs to be carried out to assess the mental health of the juvenile convict.”Some kind of a analysis needs to be done as to what kind of a reformation this man has gone through. We are hounded by emails, messages and calls from women who are feeling scared with the very fact that this man will come out in open, he could be travelling in a taxi or a bus. India needs to know what reformation he has gone through,” Maliwal said.The convict along with five others had gangraped and murdered the 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus, an incident that shook the nation and led to protests in the country as well as abroad. He was sentenced to three years in a reform home, a punishment which drew criticism from several quarters saying it was not adequate and disproportionate in view of the heinous crime he had committed and there were demands of he being tried in an adult court.Following the incident, government had proposed amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act, so that teenagers involved in heinous crimes can be tried as adults.

Shashi Tharoor’s private bill to decriminalise homosexuality defeated in Lok Sabha

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The Congress leader tweeted: “Intro of Pvt.Member’s Bill2decriminalize consensual sex btwn consenting adults defeated in LS 71-24. Surprising to see such intolerance.Notice of intent to oppose introducn of Bill came so late there was no time 2rally support. Will try again in future. We shall overcome!”

File Photo

Shashi Tharoor’s Private Bill to decriminalise homosexuality and do away with Section 377 was turned down in Lok Sabha. The Congress leader tweeted: “Intro of Pvt.Member’s Bill2decriminalize consensual sex btwn consenting adults defeated in LS 71-24. Surprising to see such intolerance.Notice of intent to oppose introducn of Bill came so late there was no time 2rally support. Will try again in future. We shall overcome!” Earlier, transgender rights activist Laxmi Tripathi told ANI, “Section 377 must be discussed in the Parliament. It should not be considered on morality value, but as a human and constitutional right. Section 377 should be dismissed.” Hundreds of gay rights activists on Sunday danced to drum beats and held colourful balloons as they marched in the ‘Queer Pride Parade’ in Delhi, celebrating the diversity of gender and sexuality. Speaking at the Times Lit Fest , Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the apex court should not have reversed the Delhi High Court order de-criminalising consensual sex among homosexuals. “When you have millions of people involved in this (homosexuality) you can’t nudge them off,” Jaitley said. In December 2013, the Supreme Court had overturned the Delhi High Court’s July 2009 judgement, which had declared Section 377 as unconstitutional. The apex court had stated that amending or revoking Section 377 should be a matter left to the Parliament and not the judiciary. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalises homosexual acts, stating it is ‘against the order of nature’.

National Herald case: Security beefed up at court premises ahead of Sonia, Rahul Gandhi’s appearance

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The sources said security personnel have discussed at length the arrangements to be made for tomorrow as both Sonia and Rahul are SPG protectees.
File Photo
PTI
Security was beefed up on Friday at the Patiala House District Court premises in New Delhi ahead of the scheduled appearance of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and others tomorrow in connection with the National Herald case.According to court sources, senior officials of the Special Protection Group (SPG), Delhi Police and Intelligence Bureau reviewed the security arrangements at the court premises where 16 more CCTV cameras were installed today.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The sources said security personnel have discussed at length the arrangements to be made for tomorrow as both Sonia and Rahul are SPG protectees. The security officials have also had a meeting with the District Judge of the Patiala House courts.The police have made elaborate security arrangements considering the fact that the court is a public place where a number of lawyers, litigants come daily. The sources said that shops inside the premises will remain closed tomorrow and the area near gate number two of the court, where the courtroom in which the hearing is scheduled is located, will be cordoned off with deployment of a multi-layered security cover.

Nirbhaya case: Delhi HC to decide on juvenile; victim’s mother hopes court decision will favour society

“I have been reiterating that the juvenile shouldn’t be released, he is not committed a fault, he has committed a crime,” she added.

With the High Court expected to give its verdict on Friday over the release of the juvenile convict in the December 16 gang-rape case, parents of the victim expressed hope that the court would take a decision in favour of the society.”If someone like him gets released, it clearly shows the helplessness of the government and the law of our country. We hope that the high court takes the decision in favour of the society because even the High Court knows the suffering of my daughter,” Nirbahaya’s mother told ANI.”I have been reiterating that the juvenile shouldn’t be released, he is not committed a fault, he has committed a crime,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, father of the victim also hoped that High Court would not release the juvenile.”What we feel is that he should not be released, it won’t be good if he gets released. But whatever the decision of High Court be it would be for the betterment of society,” he said.”The HC also knows that that juveniles like him are involved in rapes of minor girls,” he added.The Delhi High Court had reserved its order on the release of the juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya gang rape case after BJP leader Subramanian Swamy plead that the juvenile convict should not be released till it is demonstrably assured that he has reformed himself and was not a menace to the society.Earlier, the mother of Nirbhaya, the gang-rape victim, took her name in public and said people who committed heinous crimes like rape should hang their heads in shame and not the victims or their families.The 23-year-old paramedical student was sexually assaulted on the night of December 16 three years ago and died 13 days later in Singapore.

Petition dismissed: Marathi film Court voted out of Oscar race

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UP government misled Supreme Court: High Court CJ

On Wednesday, the apex court had taken the unprecedented decision of unilaterally finalizing the name of Justice Yadav for the post after several of its severe nudges to the Akhilesh Yadav government to make the appointment failed.

The Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court Justice DY Chandrachud has put the proverbial spanner in the works in the appointment of Justice (retd.) Virendra Singh Yadav as the new UP Lokayukta.On Wednesday, the apex court had taken the unprecedented decision of unilaterally finalizing the name of Justice Yadav for the post after several of its severe nudges to the Akhilesh Yadav government to make the appointment failed.On Thursday, the High Court CJ shot off a letter to UP Governor Ram Naik and to the Chief Justice of India saying that the Supreme Court had been misled about the names being considered for this post. The CJ is part of the three-member selection panel for the Lokayukta’s appointment, besides leader of the Opposition and the UP CM.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The allegation puts the state government’s counsel Kapil Sibal in the dock as he was the one who after consulting the state government gave the five names to the bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi. The bench named retired judge Virendra Singh as the new Lokayukta.Though a copy of the letter was not available, Governor House sources said Justice Yadav’s name had already been struck off the list of probables on Tuesday evening when a five-hour marathon meeting of the three-member selection committee failed to name a unanimous choice.The panel had met again on Wednesday morning, an hour before the apex court was to hear the related case. The Supreme Court had fixed Wednesday as the deadline for the UP government to name the new Lokayukta.Sources said that on Wednesday morning, the selection committee named Justice Mittal, a serving judge of the Allahabad High Court, as the unanimous choice for this post.How and why Justice Virendra Singh Yadav’s name was included in the list of probables at the last moment before the apex court remains a mystery. Sources said that the High Court CJ had vetoed Justice Yadav’s name as he was known to be close to the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) leadership.The CJ’s letter, virtually voicing his opinion against the judge the apex court has named, casts doubts about whether the UP Governor would administer the oath of office to Justice Yadav. Chances of this happening seem rather bleak under the changed circumstances.

Ailing ’93 blasts convict dies in Nashik, family blames hospital, jail

Shariff Parkar was held guilty for his role of landing explosives which was used in the serial blasts across the city

In this recent photo, Sharif Parkar is seen along with his family members at JJ hospital. Parkar was shifted to Nashik Road prison on December 8 and to the civic hospital there on Thursday
Salman Ansari
dna
The efforts put in by the children of 1993 serial blasts convict Shariff Parkar to ensure that their ailing father’s life would be extended by a few more months, bore no fruit. Parkar died in Nashik civil hospital on Thursday. They allege that apathy of JJ hospital in Mumbai and jail authorities resulted in the death of the 83-year-old man, who was serving his sentence in Nashik Road prison in poor health. As per the Supreme Court direction, Parkar was asked to surrender before the sessions court in May 2013 and continue to serve the remaining part of his life sentence. Accordingly, he was lodged in Nashik prison. However, in November this year, Parker suffered a paralytic stroke and was shifted to JJ hospital for treatment. The man was also suffering from dementia. After treating him for 10 days, hospital authorities told his family to take him back to jail. However, the family approached Bombay High Court and filed a petition to direct the hospital not to discharge him. A stay order was slapped on his discharge and he remained in the hospital. On December 7, the authorities issued a medical certificate which said that the patient was on the path of recovery. Finally, on December 8, he was sent back to the jail. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parker’s son Faizal said, “We were pleading the hospital not to discharge my father, but they didn’t pay any heed. They convinced the court through their false medical reports that he just needed physiotherapy.” Parkar was held guilty for his role of landing explosives which was used in the 1993 blasts.

People who start their careers from lower courts, become complete lawyers: CJI TS Thakur

CJI TS Thakur was present at the inauguration of coffee table book ‘Tis Hazari Nama’ on Thursday.
File Photo

Chief Justice of India T S Thakur on Thursday inaugurated a coffee table book ‘Tis hazari Nama’, prepared by various advocates on the 125th anniversary of the Delhi Bar Association (DBA). The book contains the history of Tis Hazari District Courts, one of the oldest courts in Asia, including details of how it was formed.”People who start their careers in law from lower courts are the ones who become complete lawyers in the end,” Justice TS Thakur said. Apart from Justice Thakur, Supreme Court judge Justice A K Sikri, Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Justice G Rohini, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and various other judges of the high court and district courts were present at the programme here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking at the function, Justice Rohini remarked that there should be cordial relation between the bar and the bench and a proper balance and understanding is required between the two. She added that in Delhi, the relation between the bar and the bench has always remained cordial barring few incidents.Advocate Sanjeev Nasiar, President of DBA, raised the issue of lawyers’ strike which had recently drawn the attention of the apex court and said 90 per cent of the strikes were done only on two issues– bifurcation of courts and pecuniary jurisdiction of trial courts. He suggested that courts in Delhi should be centralised and there should be no bifurcation and it will also reduce pollution in the national capital.Justice Sikri also raised the issue of lawyers’ strike and sought a promise from the lawyers that there should not be any strike by them in 2016, whereas the issues should be sorted out by way of discussion. The programme marked the attendance of thousands of lawyers.

MPs ‘condemn’ Guj High Court judge’s anti-quota remark, warn of impeachment

The meeting was attended among others by Union Ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Thawar Chand Gehlot.

Members of a Parliamentary panel on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, cutting across party lines, on Thursday assailed the alleged “anti-reservation” remarks of a Gujarat High Court Judge and warned of impeachment proceedings against him. The members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on SC/ST at a meeting in Parliament House “condemned” the remarks by Justice J P Pardiwala and resolved to stage a protest in front of B R Ambedkar’s statue on December 23.The meeting was attended among others by Union Ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Thawar Chand Gehlot. “At the meeting the remarks of the judge were condemned and it was decided that MPs will protest on December 23 in front of the statue of B R Ambedkar. The judge has abused the Constitution and we will move impeachment proceedings against him in Rajya Sabha,” BJP MP Udit Raj told PTI. He said the process of moving an impeachment motion against the judge has begun with several MPs already having signed the petition. Signatures of 50 members are required for moving such a motion. Weeks after the Supreme Court scrapped the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, BJP member Udit Raj had targeted the judge in the Lok Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pardiwala, while declining to drop the charge of sedition against Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel, had recently said,”If I am asked by anyone to name two things which have destroyed this country or rather has not allowed the country to progress in the right direction, then the same is reservation and corruption.” “It is very shameful for any citizen of this country to ask for reservation after years of independence. When our Constitution was framed, it was understood that reservation would remain for a period of 10 years, but unfortunately it has continued even after 65 years of independence,” he had reportedly said in his order.

26/11 Mumbai attacks: Accused used fake stamps to attest false identity, says Pakistan witness

During External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit earlier this month, Pakistan assured India of “steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion” of the Mumbai attack trial, something that India has been pressing for long.

Indian national Fahim Ansari, earlier accused of being an LeT member and co-conspirator in the 2008 Mumbai attack case, used fake Pakistani official seals to attest his false identity under which he travelled to Pakistan, a government witness told the anti-terrorism court. “Fake stamps of my department for attestation of the fake computerised national identity card (CNIC) of Hammad Hassan were used,” Sadiq, an employee of the Parliament House, testified in the ATC Islamabad which held the hearing at the Adiala Jail Rawalpindi yesterday, according to a court official. “Subsequently on the same identity, a passport was issued (which was used by Fahim Ansari to travel to Pakistan under the name of Hassan before the attack),” the official said. Sadiq told the court that he would present the public record in this regard during the next hearing. The court adjourned the hearing till December 21.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit earlier this month, Pakistan assured India of “steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion” of the Mumbai attack trial, something that India has been pressing for long. A Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) official was also to testify in yesterday’s hearing but could not reach the court due to a delay in his flight from Karachi.According to the FIA, the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) of Karachi airport shows that Ansari, who has been acquitted by Indian courts, had travelled to Pakistan under the name of Hammad Hassan before the Mumbai attacks. Ansari allegedly made a map of targets in Mumbai.In August 2012, India’s Supreme Court upheld the acquittal of Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, the two Indians accused of being co-conspirators in the Mumbai attack. The trial court and the Bombay High Court, too, gave a clean chit to the duo. Ansari allegedly obtained a Pakistani passport on November 1, 2007 by using forged documents. The passport was seized from him after his arrest in Uttar Pradesh in another case on February 10, 2008.The trial against LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Sadiq, Shahid Jamil, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum has been underway since 2009 for their alleged role in the Mumbai attack.Lakhvi, 55, secured bail in December last year and was subsequently released from the Adiala Jail on April 10 after the Lahore High Court set aside the government’s order to detain him under a public security act.

JD(U) MP KC Tyagi seeks action against Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali

The Uttarakhand government, he said, had found an Ayurvedic ‘son-bearing’ medicine sold by Baba Ramdev’s pharma company fake but no action was taken.

JD(U) MLA KC Tyagi

A demand for action against yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali pharma company for selling products like noodles and pasta without the food regulator’s approval was made in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, KC Tyagi (JD-U) also raised questions over why no appeal was filed in the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court order lifting restrictions on sale of popular noodles Maggi.Describing the two as the new “Dabangs”, he said no action has been taken despite FSSAI finding faults with their products. He alleged that Patanjali noodles and pasta are being sold without the approval of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttarakhand government, he said, had found an Ayurvedic ‘son-bearing’ medicine sold by Baba Ramdev’s pharma company fake but no action was taken.”He (Baba Ramdev) poses as if he is very close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He openly claims that he has helped with ‘tan, man and dhan’ (physically, mentally and monetarily) in formation of the BJP government,” Tyagi alleged.Similarly, the verdict of Bombay High Court in the Maggi case was accepted. “Why was no appeal made to the Supreme Court,” the JD(U) leader said and remarked “daal mein kuchh kala hai” (there is something fishy).

Bombay High Court gives Railways a month’s time to ensure women toilets on platforms

A division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice S B Shukhre, after going through a survey carried out by an NGO, Akshara, highlighting the lack of facilities at railway stations for women, said, “There can be overcrowding on trains and platforms. But for lack of basic amenities, Railways alone needs to be blamed.”

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Railways to ensure that women toilets on all railway stations be equipped with proper lighting, sanitation facilities and safety measures. The court has granted the Railways a month’s time to implement the same.A division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice S B Shukhre, after going through a survey carried out by an NGO, Akshara, highlighting the lack of facilities at railway stations for women, said, “There can be overcrowding on trains and platforms. But for lack of basic amenities, Railways alone needs to be blamed.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Advocate Rajeev Chavan, appearing for NGO Help Mumbai Foundation, said CCTV cameras are a must inside women compartments to ensure commuters’ safety.Asking the Railways to consider the same, Justice Patil said, “If government can consider running bullet trains with CCTV facilities, why can’t it implement the same in suburban trains.” It directed the divisional commissioner of Western and Central Railway to inform the problems faced by them in installing cameras during next hearing.The court also directed the Western/Central railways to provide proper signage, seating benches near woman compartments and to experiment seating spaces inside trains to reduce overcrowding at the footboard. It also suggested the railway to have non-slippery footboard pole to help passengers on crowded trains.

Amitabh Thakur will have to move govt first against his suspension: Allahabad HC

After the disposal of the appeal, in the event the petitioner was still aggrieved, then he would have an opportunity to avail the remedy before Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in accordance with law, the court observed.
File Photo
PTI
The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday said suspended IPS officer Amitabh Thakur will have first to approach the central government through the competent authority by filing an appropriate appeal against his suspension order. It said that in the event such an appeal was filed with in 15 days from today, the central government shall dispose of the it within three weeks.After the disposal of the appeal, in the event the petitioner was still aggrieved, then he would have an opportunity to avail the remedy before Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in accordance with law, the court observed.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A division bench of Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Attau Rahman Masoodi passed the judgement while disposing of a writ petition filed by Thakur challenging his suspension order dated July 13 this year.The petitioner alleged that the continued suspension order on account of inaction of the respondent – state and the malafide alleged deserve to be interfered with and the court should invoke its writ jurisdiction for quashing the same. A preliminary objection was raised on behalf of the respondents with regard to the maintainability of the writ petition while referring to rulings of the apex court and opposed the petition. In response, the petitioner had drawn the attention of the court to the order passed by the CAT dated November 30.”The suspension order has to be viewed in the light of the allegations raised on the issue of jurisdiction, violation of rules and malafides, if any, and the Central Administrative Tribunal is not precluded from entertaining any such petition as has been observed in the order dated November 30,” the court observed.Thakur was suspended after he had accused Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, on July 10 of threatening him on phone. He alleged that Yadav was angry because his wife Nutan had filed a corruption case against a minister in the state government. However, the state government said that Thakur was suspended on charges of indiscipline and corruption.

Hardik Patel files bail plea in High Court in Surat sedition case

His bail application in the High Court came days after the Surat district and sessions court had rejected his bail plea on December 10.
File Photo
PTI
Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel, who is behind bars in two separate sedition cases, on Wednesday moved the Gujarat High Court seeking bail in the first sedition case filed against him in Surat. Surat police had filled a sedition case against the 22-year-old firebrand leader for allegedly inciting a fellow activist to kill policemen instead of committing suicide.His bail application in the High Court came days after the Surat district and sessions court had rejected his bail plea on December 10. In the bail application submitted before the Surat court, Hardik claimed that he has been booked under false charges by police, as mere spoken words does not amount to sedition.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The plea claimed that state government has deliberately slapped false charges on him to keep him away from the recently held local body polls across the state. However, the bail plea was rejected by the principal district judge of Surat Geeta Gopi. Now, Hardik has approached the High Court with same contentions.Surat police arrested Hardik in October on the charges of sedition for allegedly inciting a fellow activist Vipul Desai ‘to kill four-five policemen instead of committing suicide’. Later, Ahmedabad crime branch also invoked sedition charge against Hardik and five of his aides through a separate FIR filed on October 21 for allegedly inciting Patel youths to resort to violence in order to destabilise the state government.Recently, an Ambedabad sessions court here also rejected his bail plea in connection with second sedition case. It will come up for hearing in due course.

Follow texts, temple rituals for appointing priests don’t violate equality: Supreme Court

In 1971, the DMK govt led by CM Karunanidhi amended the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious Endowments Act to abolish the concept of hereditary appointments which was challenged in the Supreme Court.

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Supreme Court on Wednesday said that restriction in ‘Agama Sastras’ didn’t violate the right to equality as defined by Article 14 of the Indian constitution. According to a report in The Hindu, a bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that the appointment of archakas in temples following ‘Agama Sastra’ – rituals of individual temples concerned – will continue. In 1971, the DMK govt led by CM Karunanidhi amended the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious Endowments Act to abolish the concept of hereditary appointments which was challenged in the Supreme Court. In its judgement, the Constitution bench of the apex court held that the appointments of Archakas was a ‘secular function’ and abolished ‘next-in-line succession’ appointments, but allowed appointments from a given ‘denomination, sect or group’, that had to be followed. This move was criticised because it led to priest appointments being restricted to the community of Brahmins for several decades. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>What’s Article 14 of the Indian Constitution? Equality before law The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth​

Punish juvenile like an adult in Nirbhaya case, says Hema Malini

Expressing her disappointment over the decision to release the juvenile convict in the brutal Nirbhaya gang-rape case, actor-politician Hema Malini on Wednesday demanded that the former should be tried as an adult as his mind is devilish.

Expressing her disappointment over the decision to release the juvenile convict in the brutal Nirbhaya gang-rape case, actor-politician Hema Malini on Wednesday demanded that the former should be tried as an adult as his mind is devilish.”I have told it earlier also that the juvenile was more involved in the crime than the other convicts, who harmed the girl. He has got a very devilish mind, he is crime minded,” Malini told the media outside the Parliament.”You can treat him as much you want, but he is not going to get treated. He is an adult and he should also be punished like an adult,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking in the Lok Sabha earlier on the Nirbhaya gang-rape case, the BJP MP from Mathura said that the juvenile should be treated as an adult and punished as his mind is devilish.According to the reports, the Delhi Government’s department of Women and Child Development (WCD) is planning to give the juvenile a one-time financial grant of Rs. 10,000 and a sewing machine to enable him to open a tailoring shop.The release of the juvenile has been a matter of debate for sometime now with the government not too keen to set him free.The parents of the victim have expressed grief over the decision of the government.The Centre had earlier asked the Delhi High Court to extend the observation home stay of the convict.The victim was brutally assaulted by six persons, including the juvenile in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012. She had later succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital.

Three years after December 16 gangrape, activists say women’s safety has not improved in Delhi

“What has changed in Delhi? Do we have lesser rapes now? Has the security system been strengthened?” activists asked.

Women activists say “nothing much has changed” when it comes to safety of women in the national capital since the tragic December 16 gangrape case three years ago which shook the nation and led to a massive public outcry, forcing Parliament to enact a new anti-rape law.”What has changed in Delhi? Do we have lesser rapes now? Has the security system been strengthened? Have the convicts of brutal gangrape been hanged? Definitely, the Nirbhaya gangrape triggered a huge outcry, but where are the results,” said Ranjana Kumari, activist and Director, Centre for Social Research.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The nation is yet to see the ‘hanging’ of the convicts and to believe the fact that the ones contributing to violence against women will be severely punished and the situation ‘changed VS not changed’ will continue till strong examples are set that the accused will not be spared,” she added.Another activist Kavita Krishnan said, “The juvenile accused is likely to walk free, that speaks volumes about the ‘change’ in the past three years. Neither there is political will nor conviction of the accused”.”Law has been made, funds have been allocated, fast track court was to hear the case, but where is the implementation and where are the results that reflect a change in the society,” she added.Six persons, including a juvenile, had brutally assaulted and raped a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012. The victim had succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012, plunging the country into grief.Mukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay were awarded death penalty by a trial court in the gangrape and murder case which was later confirmed by Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court. Accused Ram Singh had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail on March 11, 2013, and proceedings against him were abated following his death.The Centre had yesterday asked Delhi High Court to extend the observation home stay of the juvenile convict who is scheduled to be released on Sunday, saying several mandatory aspects were missing from the post-release rehabilitation plan which needed to be considered before setting him free. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also issued conditional summons to the Delhi chief secretary, police commissioner and the Union home secretary on Tuesday following their “failure” to produce reports on the release of the juvenile convict.”Things have moved on paper, policy decisions are also being made. It is not that initiatives have not been taken but this passing of buck between the Centre and the state government is providing an edge to police as there is no accountability,” said Annie Raja, General Secretary, National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW).Various events including candlelight vigils and art exhibitions will be organised in the national capital tomorrow as a token of remembrance for Nirbhaya.In memory of their beloved daughter and to reaffirm their lifelong commitment to improving women’s safety, the parents of the victim, in collaboration with women’s and citizens groups, will also mark the day as ‘Nirbhaya Chetna Divas’ at Jantar Mantar.

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