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Aadhaar, Ayodhya and adultery — SC verdicts likely next week

Though Chief Justice Misra retires on October 2, it being the national holiday on account Mahatama Gandhi’s birth anniversary, the court will not be functioning. In all likelihood, most of the judgements are likely to be pronounced in the coming week.

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, Sep 21 : The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce next week a spate of judgement including on Aadhaar, Ayodhya and adultery that would have bearings on the right to privacy, politics and social morality.

The verdicts on the challenge to the constitutional validity of Aadhaar on the touchstone of it being violative of right to privacy and the “discriminatory” adultery law that punishes the man alone for being in extramarital relationship will be delivered by constitution bench.

In the case of Aadhaar, the court pronouncement whether it could have been brought as a money bill will have a bearing on the powers of the Speaker to allow a bill to be presented as a money bill that debars Rajya Sabha from deciding its fate.

The issue was raised by Congress lawmaker in Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh questioning the Lok Sabha Speaker’s decision to allow the tabling of Aadhaar Bill as a money bill.

The next five days starting with Monday (September 24) become significant as both the constitution bench and the three-judge bench are headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and he is left with six working days — from September 24 to September 28 and October 1 – his last working day as Chief Justice in regular court.

Though Chief Justice Misra retires on October 2, it being the national holiday on account Mahatama Gandhi’s birth anniversary, the court will not be functioning. In all likelihood, most of the judgements are likely to be pronounced in the coming week.

In the case of Ayodhya, the court will decide whether challenge to the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict on Ayodhya title suit be heard by a regular bench or a five-judges constitution bench.

The Muslim litigants have insisted that the matter be heard by a five-judge constitution bench as the High Court verdict dividing the disputed land in three parts giving one to deity of Ramlala Virajman, another to Hindu sect Nirmohi Akhara and a third to the Muslims have relied on a 1994 top court judgment.

The Muslim litigants contest the 1994 judgment which says mosque is not integral to Muslim practice of offering prayers.

Besides the likely pronouncement of judgments on Aadhaar, Ayodhya and adultery, the top court is likely to give verdict on challenge to the prohibition of menstruating women in the age group of 10 to 50 years to enter Ayyappa’s Sabrimala temple, and challenge to the practice of female genital mutilation among Dawoodi Bohra community.

Another important judgment will be on Centre’s petition questioning the 2006 judgement laying down criteria of quantifiable date demonstrating the inadequacy of SC/ST representation in higher echelon of administration coupled with administrative efficiency for grant of reservation in promotion.

It is politically sensitive for the government as it has questioned the conditions for permitting reservation in promotion.

The Centre has contended before the top court that being SC/ST is a “great stigma” that can’t be erased by having the benefit of reservation for two or more generations.

Another judgment that may have a bearing on cleansing the legislatures of politicians with criminal antecedents would be at what stage a person charged with criminal cases be ousted from the electoral fray.

Besides the verdict on the plea for top court monitored SIT probe into the recent arrest of five right activists, another important judgement will be challenge to Gujarat High Court order on the 2017 election of Congress leader Ahmed Patel as Rajya Sabha member.

Patel has challenged the High Court permitting trial on the election petition by defeated candidate Balwantsinh Rajput alleging corrupt practices in the election.

(Parmod Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])

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New Delhi: Indian Youth Congress takes out torch rally to protest against Farm Bills 2020

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Youth Congress Farm Protest

New Delhi: Upping its ante against the government over the controversial farm Bills, the Youth Congress on Thursday took out a ‘Mashaal Juloos’ (torch rally) saying the party will always stand by the 60 crore farmers against the “black laws” and it will support all the organisations fighting for the farmers’ rights.

Hundreds of Indian Youth Congress activists led by its chief Srinivas B.V. and national incharge Krishna Allavaru started the torch rally from Raisina Road to India Gate. However, the Delhi Police stopped the torch rally before India Gate. Speaking to media, Allavaru said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi before coming to power in 2014 had promised two crore jobs to youths every year and double the income of the farmers. But now the government has brought the black laws to snatch the lands of the farmers.”

Accusing the government of being anti-farmer, Srinivas said that Youth Congress will stand with 60 crore farmers of the country and will fight the government to force it to withdraw the “anti-farmer” laws.

He also said that now the farmers will not be hoodwinked by the false promises of the Modi government and will fight for their rights on the streets of the country.

“The government talked about providing jobs and the upliftment of farmers, but with the anti-farmer black laws, the government is on the verge of making India farmer-free,” he said.

He also said that IYC will support all those organisation which will fight for the farmers’ rights.

On Wednesday also the IYC had taken out tractor rally from Panipat to New Delhi. The tractor rally, however, was stopped by the Haryana Police in Panipat’s Samalkha and hundreds of Youth Congress activits were detained.

The Congress has also planned nationwide agitations and programmes against the controversial farm Bills passed in Rajya Sabha on Sunday. The Congress has announced to collect two crore signatures of farmers from across the country by November 14 that it will submit to President Ram Nath Kovind asking him to not give his assent to the Bills.

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Congress draws up detailed plan for protests against farm Bills

Addressing a press conference, he said: I want to make two points in the context of what happened in the Rajya Sabha… I want to ask if there was any quorum or not… 5 to 7 people asked for division in front of me, but nobody paid heed.

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Kisan Tractor Rally

New Delhi: The Congress, which is protesting against the farm Bills passed by the Parliament, has chalked out a detailed programme of agitation, which will begin on September 26 with an online “Speak up for Farmers” campaign.

The party has also set up a “Save Farmer and Labour” committee.

On September 28, the party will organise a march from the Rajghat to the Raj Bhavan, and on October 2, the party will burn the effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in each assembly segment. A signature campaign will be held from October 2 to October 31, while a state-level farmers’ convention will be organised on October 10.

“BJP’s anti-farmer Bills ensure the profitability of a few in exchange of the prosperity of our farmers. These Bills are a direct attack on the backbone of our nation,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference, he said: “I want to make two points in the context of what happened in the Rajya Sabha… I want to ask if there was any quorum or not… 5 to 7 people asked for division in front of me, but nobody paid heed.”

The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha amid an uproar by opposition members that led to eight of them being suspended from the House.

“There is no mention of MSP, no criteria for pricing… despite that you are tricking the nation by saying that we have not removed MSP,” Singhvi said.

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‘Govt Insecure of Voices of Dissent’: Cong Fumes After Salman Khurshid, Udit Raj Named in Delhi Riots Chargesheet

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Salman Khurshid

New Delhi: The Congress hit out at the Modi government Thursday after Delhi police named its leaders Salman Khurshid and Udit Raj in a charge sheet filed in the February riot cases, saying it will “neither cow down nor bow down before authoritarianism”. “The FIR against Salman Khurshid, Udit Raj and others reflects the mortal fear and cowardice of the Modi government. These are men and women of proven track record and of stellar service to the nation. Not surprising that a narcissist government gets insecure of voices of dissent,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted.

The Delhi police charge sheet has said Khurshid and Raj were among politicians who gave provocative speeches during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Police have referred to former Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan and a protected witness and said they told them about the speeches in their disclosure statements. The charge sheet said the protected witness stated in the statement, recorded under CrPC Section 161 (examination by police), that several big names such as Raj, Khurshid, CPM leader Brinda Karat had come to the Khureji protest site and gave “provocative speech”.

“Whether in the Parliament or the restless streets of India, the Modi government subjugates, suppresses and suffocates dialogue and discussion. PM Modi detests such democratic principles. Let it be remembered – we’ll neither cow down nor bow down before authoritarianism,” Surjewala added in a second tweet. Other Congress leaders too voiced their disapproval at their colleagues finding a mention in the charge sheet. Ahmed Patel said it is “shameful” that the BJP government is “falsely harassing” senior politicians like Khurshid, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechuri and others.

Yechury, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, economist Jayati Ghosh and Delhi University professor Apoorvanand were named in a supplementary charge sheet filed recently in the riot cases for “provoking and mobilizing” anti-CAA protesters. “These leaders have an impeccable record of fostering communal harmony, the Delhi police’s charges are not only wrong but also laughable,” Patel said in a tweet.

Jairam Ramesh tweeted, “A former Foreign Minister and Law Minister, Salman Khurshid is amongst the nicest, gentlest, learned, nationalistic, secular Indians I have known, and he figures in a chargesheet! It is a SHAME on the Delhi Police and its true and two masters.” Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control, leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

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