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Don’t discharge woman naval officers seeking Permanent Commissions: Supreme Court

The apex court asked the Centre to complete the modalities in the view of this judgement within three months.

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Supreme Court

New Delhi, Aug 4 : The Supreme Court Tuesday restrained the Navy from discharging four women officers under the Short Service Commission (SSC) without considering their requests for Permanent Commissions. The officers were due to complete their SSC tenure this week.

A bench of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice K.M. Joseph said: “Prima facie, the Union of India, having failed to comply with the directions contained in the judgment of this court dated March 17, 2020 which mandated consideration for the grant of Permanent Commissions within three months, it would be unfair to discharge the Short Service Commissioned officers in the meantime, pending consideration.”

Counsel representing the women officers submitted that the Centre was required to implement the decision of the top court granting Permanent Commissions within a period of three months, but this exercise has not been initiated (beyond inviting applications) and completed.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the Centre, stated that an application for extension of time has been filed before the top court in view of the intervening pandemic and the lockdown which was occasioned, as a consequence.

Responding to this contention, counsel for women officers submitted that as a result of the Delhi High Court verdict, even those cases where interim orders have been granted by the Armed Forces Tribunal are now being listed for vacating them.

After the hearing on the matter, the bench said: “We accordingly issue an ad-interim order and direction that the petitioner(s) shall not be discontinued from service pending consideration of their requests for the grant of Permanent Commission. The judgment of the Delhi High Court dated July 23, 2020 and of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) dated July 13, 2020 shall remain stayed.”

Issuing notice to the Centre, the court listed the matter for further hearing on August 20.

The officers had initially moved the AFT seeking interim relief of restraining the Navy from releasing them from services till their claim for grant of Permanent Commissions was considered on merit. After getting no relief from the tribunal, they moved the Delhi High Court, and then finally filed a special leave petition in the apex court. A total of six Navy officers – four women and two men – moved the court.

On March 17, the apex court had said yes to Permanent Commissions for women officers in the Navy, citing any effort to deprive serving women officers of the opportunity to work as equals with men in the service is plainly discriminatory.

A bench, headed by Justice Chandrachud and comprising Justice Ajay Rastogi, said: “A hundred and one excuses are no answer to the constitutional entitlement to dignity, which attaches to every individual irrespective of gender, to fair and equal conditions of work and to a level playing field.”

The apex court asked the Centre to complete the modalities in the view of this judgement within three months.

Entertainment

Anurag Kashyap responds to sexual harassment allegations by actor Payal Ghosh, says all accusations are baseless

Bollywood actor Payal Ghosh who recently made her Bollywood debut with Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi has accused filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of trying to sexually assault her.

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Anurag Kashyap

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap has responded to the #MeToo allegations levelled against him by Bollywood actor Payal Ghosh, saying all the charges are baseless.

In a series of tweets in Hindi, the filmmaker wrote, “Wow, it took so long in the attempt to silence me. It’s ok. In the attempt to silence me, you dragged several other women despite being a woman yourself. Have some limit, Madam. Will just want to say that whatever the accusations are, they are all unsubstantiated”.

Furthermore, he continued, “In the process of accusing me you tried to drag my artists and the Bachchan family but failed. Madam, I have been married twice, if that’s my crime then I accept it, and have loved a lot, I accept that too. Whether it was my first wife or the second, or any other lover, or the many actresses I have worked with, or that team of girls and women who has always been working with me, or the many women who I met in private or in public”.

“I do not engage in such behaviour or tolerate it. Whatever happens, we shall see. One can see in your video how much of it is truth and how much of it isn’t. Blessings and love to you. Apologies for answering your English with my hindi,” Anurag Kashyap added.

Concludingly he wrote, “There are going to be many attacks. This is just the beginning. I have been getting many calls as to not say anything about the matter. I am just waiting for them”.

Bollywood actor Payal Ghosh who recently made her Bollywood debut with Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi has accused filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of trying to sexually assault her.

On Saturday, Ghosh from her official Twitter handle tweeted, “@anuragkashyap72 has forced himself on me and extremely badly. @PMOIndia @narendramodi Ji, kindly take action and let the country see the demon behind this creative guy. I am aware that it can harm me and my security is at risk. Pls, help!”

NCW chief Rekha Sharma said that she was made aware of the shocking allegations last evening and had tweeted to Ghosh to write to her in detail about the incident. “We will investigate and even write to the police and stand with her till the investigation is done and the case goes to court,” she said.

Payal Ghosh is a Bollywood and TV actress. She made her film debut in 2017 with Rishi Kapoor-Paresh Rawal starrer ‘Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi’. However, the 2008 telefilm ‘Sharpe’s Peril’ marked her debut in the entertainment industry. She also worked in south films such as ‘Prayanam’, ‘Varshadhaare’, ‘Oosaravelli’, and ‘Mr Rascal’.

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India

RS passes two agri Bills amid pandemonium

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The Rajya Sabha on Sunday passed two agriculture-related Bills amid a pandemonium due to protests by opposition members.

The Upper House gave the nod to The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, as opposition MPs continued to shout slogans during their passage. Some lawmakers even staged a walkout in protest.

Earlier, replying to the debate on the Bills, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar assured the House that the Minimum Support Price regime will not be scrapped. Some of the amendments moved by the opposition lawmakers were not pressed for voting while those pressed for voting were negated.

The opposition also demanded that the Bills be sent to the Select committee of the Upper House but it was not accepted by the government.

Earlier, the House witnessed unruly scenes when TMC MP Derek O’Brien went near the Chair and tried to snatch a mike while citing from the rule book. When his objections were overruled, an aggressive Derek O’Brien tore the rule book by calling the Bills “Kala Kanoon” or black laws, leading to adjournment of the House for a brief period.

The Trinamool leader was also heard saying: “You cannot do this” to the Chair. At one point in time, the aides of the Deputy Chair, who was conducting the House proceedings, had to come forward to shield him.

Despite repeated requests, many opposition members reached the Well of the House to register their protests.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad demanded that discussion on the Bills be continued on Monday. “To decide this, we should go by the consensus among the members, not by the numbers of the ruling party,” Azad said.

The opposition as well as BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal termed the Bills an “anti-farmers” move by the Centre, with some staging a walkout.

Thousands of farmers in Punjab, Haryana and several other states have been protesting since the government introduced these Bills in the Lok Sabha on September 14, the opening day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament.

The Bills seek to replace the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 promulgated on June 5.

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 seeks to provide a new ecosystem in which farmers and traders, as per the government, will enjoy freedom of choice relating to sale and purchase of their produce and facilitates remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels to promote efficient, transparent and barrier-free inter- and intra-state trade and commerce.

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, aims to provide a national framework on farming agreements that protects and empowers farmers to engage with agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers.

–IANS

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India

Rajya Sabha passes controversial Agri Bills amidst protests

A final end date is yet to be fixed, though sources indicated that it could end on Wednesday.

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Farmers Protests Kurukshetra

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha on Sunday witnessed chaos as the ruling party passed the contentious Agriculture Bills amidst prolonged protests by the Opposition.

The protesting MPs occupied the well and shouted slogans, resulting in the Upper House being adjourned for a brief duration.

The monsoon session of the Parliament, which was scheduled to end on October 1, is likely to be cut short owing to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. A final end date is yet to be fixed, though sources indicated that it could end on Wednesday.

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