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POCSO can’t be invoked for rape of adult with child-like brain: SC

Posted on 22 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Sunday 23rd July 2017

New Delhi, Jul 21 (PTI) The stringent POCSO Act to deal with sexual offences against minors cannot be invoked to prosecute a man for raping a mentally-challenged adult victim having an under-developed brain like a child, the Supreme Court today ruled.

The apex court said that according to Section 2 (d) of the POCSO Act, the term “age” cannot include “mental” age as the intent of the Parliament was to focus on children, i.e persons who are physically under the age of 18 years.

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012 deals with the sexual offences against those below 18 years of age.

“On a reading of the POCSO Act, it is clear to us that it is gender neutral. In such a situation, to include the perception of mental competence of a victim or mental retardation as a factor will really tantamount to causing violence to the legislation by incorporating a certain words to the definition.

“By saying ‘age’ would cover ‘mental age’ has the potential to create immense anomalous situations without there being any guidelines or statutory provisions. Needless to say, they are within the sphere of legislature. To elaborate, an addition of word ‘mental’ by taking recourse to interpretative process does not come within the purposive interpretation as far as the POCSO Act is concerned,” a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said.

In a concurring separate judgement, Justice R F Nariman said that the Parliament, when it made the 2012 POCSO Act was fully aware of the distinction between a woman who is a minor and an adult woman who is mentally ill and chose to protect only children whose physical age was below 18 years.

He said the interpretation of Section 2(1)(d) of the POCSO Act, 2012 cannot include “mental” age as such an interpretation would be beyond the “Lakshman Rekha”.

“Thus, it is clear that viewed with the lens of the legislator, we would be doing violence both to the intent and the language of Parliament if we were to read the word ‘mental’ into Section 2(1)(d) of the 2012 Act.

“Given the fact that it is a beneficial/penal legislation, we as judges can extend it only as far as Parliament intended and no further. I am in agreement, therefore, with the judgement of my brother, including the directions given by him,” Justice Nariman said.

The verdict came on a plea filed by a 60-year-old Delhi- based lady doctor whose 38-year-old daughter, suffering from cerebral palsy with a mental age of 6-8 years, was raped by the man in 2010.

The man accused of sexually assaulting the woman had died during the pendency of the case.

The victim’s mother had contended that biological age should not be the governing yardstick and her daughter should be considered as a child because she is intellectually challenged and mentally retarded.

The top court directed Delhi State Legal Services Authority to award compensation to the victim keeping in view the scheme framed by the Delhi government.

“As regards the quantum, I am of the convinced opinion that it is a fit case where the victim should be granted the maximum compensation as envisaged under the scheme. I clarify that it is so directed regard being had to the special features of the case,” Justice Misra said.

The court said stretching of the words ‘age’ and ‘year’ would be encroaching upon the legislative function.

“Needless to emphasise that courts sometimes expand or stretch the meaning of a phrase by taking recourse to purposive interpretation. A Judge can have a constructionist approach but there is a limitation to his sense of creativity.

“In the instant case, I am obliged to state that stretching of the words ‘age’ and ‘year’ would be encroaching upon the legislative function. There is no necessity,” the bench said.

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Doval’s visit key to ease Sikkim standoff: Chinese analyst

Posted on 22 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Sunday 23rd July 2017

Beijing, Jul 22 (PTI) Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval’s visit to Beijing for a meeting of NSAs from BRICS countries may be key to ease tensions between India and China over the military standoff in Dokalam, a Chinese analyst said.

Doval is scheduled to visit China for the meeting on July 27-28.

The meeting is hosted by his Chinese counterpart and State Councillor Yang Jiechi. It is part of a series of meetings of officials from BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – ahead of this year’s summit of the five-member bloc of emerging countries in Xiamen city in September.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the summit.

Ma Jiali, a research fellow at the China Reform Forum thinktank, said Doval’s visit may be key and would serve as an opportunity to ease India-China tensions.

His comments came in a piece in The Global Times, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party media group, which generally reflects the views of the ruling party, today. The tabloid has unleashed a barrage of anti-India rhetoric in recent weeks amid tensions between the two countries.

Chinese and Indian soldiers have been locked in a face- off in Dokalam area in the southernmost part of Tibet in an area also claimed by Indian ally Bhutan for over a month after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area.

Both Doval and Yang are also the Special Representatives for India-China boundary talks. The two sides have held 19 rounds of boundary talks to resolve their differences.

Chinese officials say Doval and Yang may have informal talks to resolve the standoff in Dokalam in the Sikkim sector.

“China would lodge solemn representation with the Indian side during Doval’s visit, hoping it could take measures to ease the tension. India may make some requests as a bargaining chip for its pulling out troops,” Ma, who specialises in India-China studies, said.

He, however, cautioned that if the two sides failed to reach an agreement on the issue, the China-India ties would be severely damaged.

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Will decide on early hearing in Babri Masjid dispute case: SC

Posted on 21 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 22nd July 2017

New Delhi, Jul 21 (PTI) The Supreme Court today said it will take a decision to list for early hearing a batch of petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Ram Temple-Babri Masjid land dispute case.

“We will take a decision on it,” a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said when BJP leader Subramanian Swamy mentioned the matter for urgent listing and hearing.

Swamy said that the main appeals against the Allahabad High Court order are pending for the last seven years in the apex court and they required urgent hearing.

He also said that a separate petition had earlier been filed by him seeking enforcement of his right to worship without much hassle at the site.

He also said that he has been allowed by the apex court to intervene in the matter and is seeking expeditious disposal of the cases.

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court had in 2010 ruled a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres area at the disputed site in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.

The three-judge bench, by a 2:1 majority, had said the land be partitioned equally among three parties, the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and ‘Ram Lalla’.

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Modi’s policies burning Kashmir: Rahul Gandhi

Posted on 21 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 22nd July 2017

New Delhi, Jul 21 (PTI) Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Friday charged that the Narendra Modi government’s policies are “burning” Jammu and Kashmir and flayed any attempt for third party intervention to resolve the issue, saying “Kashmir is India”

Kashmir has been facing unrest ever since Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces last year

“I have been saying this for a long time that Modi’s and the NDA’s policies are burning Jammu and Kashmir,” he told reporters outside Parliament

“It is being said there should be discussion on Kashmir with China and Pakistan but my opinion is that Kashmir is India and India is Kashmir and this is our internal matter..

our internal business and no one should interfere in it,” he said

Reacting to China’s offer of playing a “constructive role” in resolving the Kashmir issue, India had earlier said its stand of resolving all matters bilaterally with Pakistan, including Jammu and Kashmir, has not changed.

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HARDIK SHUBHKAMNAYE – AIHRA H.Q.

Posted on 20 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 21st July 2017

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HC asks police to file status report in Sunanda Pushkar case

Posted on 20 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 21st July 2017

New Delhi, Jul 20 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today asked the city police to file a status report with regard to the ongoing probe into the death of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanada Pushkar.

A bench of Justices G S Sistani and Chander Shekhar directed police to place within three days their report during hearing of Subramanian Swamy’s plea for a court-monitored probe by the CBI-led SIT into the matter.

The direction was issued by the bench after Delhi Police standing counsel Rahul Mehra informed the court that the status report of the investigating agency has been given to him in the court room so he wants to go through it before placing it on record.

Mehra further informed the court that SIT has been constituted in the matter.

He further said that the BJP leader’s petition has raised serious allegations against the police probing the matter, so the agency be given time to place their stand.

Considering the request made by Delhi Police counsel, the court fixed the matter for August 1 while directing them to supply an advance copy of the status report to Swamy, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the CBI.

Swamy has alleged that “inordinate delay” has been caused in the investigation “which is a blot on the justice system”.

Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a five-star hotel in south Delhi here on the night of January 17, 2014.

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28 killed as bus falls into gorge

Posted on 20 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 21st July 2017

Shimla, July 20 (PTI) Twenty-eight passengers were killed and eight other injured when a bus plunged into a 500-feet deep gorge at Khaneri in Rampur on the Hindustan-Tibet National Highway, about 140 km from here, today.

The private bus was carrying 36 passengers from Reckong Peo in Kinnaur to Nauni in Solan when the accident took place.

A magisterial inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident. However, preliminary investigations said a tyre burst led to the accident.

Bodies of all 28 victims have been recovered and 11 of them have been identified, Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, Rohan Chand Thakur said.

The deceased included 18 men, 9 women and a child.Four of the seriously injured persons have been referred to IGMC Shimla and four other were undergoing treatment at Civil Hospital Khaneri.

The DC said an immediate relief of Rs 10,000 has been given to the next of kin of the deceased.

Additional district Magistrate Suneel Sharma is at the spot supervising relief and rescue operations.

A CISF team is on the spot while a NDRF team from Sunni is on way to Rampur.

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Nine-judge SC bench begins hearing on right to privacy

Posted on 19 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Thursday 20th July 2017

New Delhi, Jul 19 (PTI) A nine-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court today began hearing arguments to determine whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right under the Constitution.

Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium initiated the hearing before the bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar saying that the rights to life and liberty are pre-existing natural rights.

The nine-judge bench also comprises Justices J Chelameswar, S A Bobde, R K Agrawal, Rohinton Fali Nariman, Abhay Manohar Sapre, D Y Chandrachud, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and S Abdul Nazeer.

The bench is dealing with the limited issue of right to privacy and matters challenging the Aadhaar scheme would be referred back to a smaller bench.

There are some preambular values which are to be read with fundamental rights, Subramanium said.

The preamble has multiplicity of expressions which include some from American Constitution and some from continental countries, he added.

“Liberty is the fundamental value of our Constitution.

Life and liberty are natural existing rights which our Constitution has. Now can liberty be at all experienced without privacy. Can liberty be exercised without privacy at least with regard to all the Fundamental Rights of the Constitution,” he said.

The hearing is in progress.

The apex court had yesterday set up the Constitution bench after the matter was referred to a larger bench by a five-judge bench.

The five-judge Constitution bench headed by the CJI, which was to deal with pleas challenging the validity of the Aadhaar scheme and the right to privacy attached to it, was faced with the two past verdicts, delivered in 1950 and 1962 by larger benches, holding that the right to privacy was not a fundamental right.

The apex court had said the nine-judge bench would deal with the limited issue of right to privacy and the correctness of the two judgements.

A three-judge bench had in 2015 referred to a larger bench a batch of pleas, including the one filed by Justice (retd) K S Puttaswamy, challenging the validity of the Aadhaar scheme and the aspect of right to privacy attached to it.

The apex court had agreed to set up a bench on July 12 to deal with Aadhaar-related matters after the attorney general and senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for petitioners, had jointly mentioned the matter.

The petitioners had claimed that collection and sharing of biometric information, as required under the scheme, was a breach of the “fundamental” right to privacy.

Allowing the Centre’s plea, the court had framed various questions, including whether right to privacy was a fundamental right, to be decided by a Constitution bench.

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Pak summons Indian envoy over ceasefire violations along LoC

Posted on 19 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Thursday 20th July 2017

Islamabad, Jul 19 (PTI) Pakistan today summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh after two civilians were killed and six others injured in alleged ceasefire violations along the Line of Control by Indian troops.

Foreign ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria said Indian security forces resorted to firing in Baroh and Tandar sectors yesterday.

Director General (SA and SAARC) Mohammad Faisal summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner and “condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations” by Indian security forces.

“The deliberate targeting of civilians is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws,” Faisal said.

He urged India to respect the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement and investigate the incidents of ceasefire violations along the LoC.

The Pakistani foreign ministry previously summoned the Indian envoy for two consecutive days on July 8 and 9 this month, over the same issue, claiming that more civilians were killed in firing by Indian troops.

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Smriti Irani get I&B Ministry,NS Tomar given urban development

Posted on 18 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Wednesday 19th July 2017

New Delhi, Jul 18 (PTI) Textiles Minister Smriti Irani was today given the additional charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry after M Venkaiah Naidu resigned from the Cabinet to contest the vice-presidential poll.

The portfolio of urban development, which too was with Naidu, was given to Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, the PMO said.

The BJP had yesterday decided to field Naidu as NDA’s candidate for the post of vice president.

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