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Is NDA in chaos on personal law?

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New Delhi, 18 May: The centre seems running on two tracks by questioning the constitutional validity of triple talaq. As the recent views of union government are an irony of what it said earlier.

In 2001, the then NDA government had claimed that personal law could be a legitimate basis for discrimination, counsel for All India Muslim Personal Board Kapil Sibal told the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

While debating, Sibal said that personal law practice like triple talaq could not be termed either right or wrong as it is a matter of faith and hence fell outside the purview of the test of constitutional morality. But attorney general Mukul Rohatgi said since the board claims it to be part of personal law, it must meet gender justice, equality and women’s dignity as mandated in the Constitution.

Sibal asserted that after the apex court in the Shah Bano case ruled that a divorced Muslim woman was entitled to maintenance under Section 125 of CrPC beyond the ‘iddat’ period if she had not remarried and was unable to maintain herself, Parliament had enacted the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 to step around the ruling in 1985.

This law was challenged by Danial Latifi and the SC judgment in this case in 2001 recorded the then NDA government’s submissions through its solicitor general, who had defended the validity of the Act saying, “Personal law is a legitimate basis for discrimination, if at all, and, therefore, does not offend Article 14 of the Constitution.”

Sibal said that “The governments have changed and the law officers have changed. And, there is a change of stand now. Then they had argued what AIMPLB argues today that perceived discrimination in personal law practices could not be termed to be violative of Article 14. But the NDA government now argues that triple talaq, a personal law practice, must be struck down because it is discriminatory.”

Sibal did not mention that matters of a community’s faith, depending on the exigencies of a situation, had always been a matter of convenience for any government, be it NDA or UPA.

He also gave another example of September 2007 when the UPA government had filed an affidavit in the SC in the case relating to dredging of Rama Sethu in Palk Strait, which was challenged by petitioners, including Subramanian Swamy, arguing that the Sethu is a place of worship and matter of faith for Hindus.

 Wefornews Bureau

India

JNU students take out rally to demand VC’s removal

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jnu protest
JNU Student protesting against Vice Chancellor

New Delhi, Feb 20: At least 1,000 students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) embarked on a march towards the Human Resource Development Ministry on Tuesday, demanding the removal of their Vice Chancellor.

The students began their march from Mandi House with slogans, banners, and placards denouncing Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar for his “autocratic” ways in bringing an attendance rule into force which the students alleged was never passed in the Academic Council meeting.

More than 150 Delhi Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were deployed along with a water cannon truck at the Shastri Bhavan which houses several ministries.

IANS

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Soon, Parliament House to have a creche

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Parliament
Parliament Of India

New Delhi, Feb 20: The Parliament House will soon open a creche facility on its premises so as to have an inclusive work environment for its women employees.

A 1,500 square-feet creche in the House will be guarded by professionals, ensuring all-round development of children and will also have a separate feeding room for mothers, a statement by the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry said on Tuesday.

The work is in progress and a senior official has also been deputed to oversee the work under the direct supervision of Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

The statement said this development will bring an impact by pushing other private establishments, Central and state-owned organisations to set up same facilities.

IANS

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Spell out stand on MPs’ salaries, allowances: SC to Central Government

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, Feb 20: The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave a “last opportunity” to the Central government to spell out its stand on constituting a permanent mechanism for determining sitting parliamentarians’ salaries and allowances.

Giving a seven days time to the Centre, a bench of Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul stated the affidavit filed by the union government on September 1, 2017, had not made its position clear,  news IANS quoted.

“Government of India policy is dynamic. However, you can’t modify it every day,” Justice Chelameswar said to senior advocate Ajit Sinha, who appeared for the Centre and told the bench that the issue was under the consideration of the government.

“You have not stated your position. Your affidavit in September 2017 was not clear about a permanent mechanism. When are you going to do it,” Justice Kaul asked, as Sinha sought a week, for the last time, for the Centre to firm up its stand.

“What is the government’s view on it? You want it or don’t want it? Your counter-affidavit (response) does not disclose anything,” Justice Kaul observed.

Apparently not happy about the delaying by the Centre on the issue, the apex said: “You may not have a last word, but you may have a last opportunity” to state your position.

Appearing for the NGO Lok Prahari, its General Secretary S.N. Shukla said that it has been 11 years since all parties in a meeting convened by the Lok Sabha Speaker had unanimously decided to have a mechanism for fixing the salaries and allowances of the members of Parliament but nothing has moved so far.

The court is hearing a plea by Lok Prahari demanding a permanent mechanism for fixing salaries and allowances of MPs. It has contended that lawmakers can’t decide on their own.

The Plea has also sought direction that former MPs can’t be given pension and other benefits after they have ceased to be the representatives of the people.

Further proceedings will take place on March 5.

WeForNews 

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