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SC to hear plea against Jallikattu order

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear a batch of petitions filed by Aniwal Welfare Board and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals against a government notification lifting ban on jallikattu back in Tamil Nadu.

The petitions were filed by Aniwal Welfare Board and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India demanding that the Centre’s recent notification allowing Jallikattu and bullock cart races be “struck down”.

PETA India claimed that a battery of urgent petitions led by the government advisory body Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and two sitting AWBI members as petitioners, and supported by animal protection groups PETA, Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), Compassion Unlimited plus Action (CUPA), were mentioned before the Chief Justice’s bench of the Supreme Court.
PETA India further claimed that along with these, individual petitioners Sowmya Reddy, Radha Rajan and Gauri Maulekhi have also filed their petitions.

“All petitions call for the Environment Ministry notification of January 7, 2016 permitting the use of bulls in events such as jallikattu in Tamil Nadu and bullock cart races elsewhere in the country to be struck down. Urgent listing of these petitions was sought and has been allowed for Tuesday,” the statement said.

PETA India said that the Environment Ministry’s notification allowing jallikattu and bull races came despite a Supreme Court judgement which held that the Ministry cannot allow these races and cannot modify the notification dated July 11, 2011 (which banned forcing bulls to perform) without consulting the AWBI.

“Terrifying and injuring bulls is abuse, not sport, and this combined with the injuries and deaths of people common at jallikattu events puts a bloody stain on India’s reputation in the eyes of the world.

“Laws and SC verdicts need to mean something and we look to the Supreme Court to confirm once again jallikattu and bull races must not be allowed,” said PETA India Chief Functionary Poorva Joshipura.

In December 2015, the AWBI advised the Ministry not to go against the Supreme Court judgement.

PETA said that the court had also ruled that cruelty is inherent in these events, as bulls are not anatomically suited for such activities and making them participate is subjecting them to unnecessary pain and suffering, so such events were outlawed.

“The court also stated that when culture and tradition are at variance with the law enacted by Parliament, the law would take precedence. The January 7, 2016 notification flies in the face of this Supreme Court ruling,” PETA said.

In just four years, from 2010 to 2014, approximately 1,100 injuries to humans were reported by the media as a result of cruel and dangerous jallikattu-type events and 17 people died, including a child.

PETA India has documented in AWBI authorised inspections that during jallikattu, terrified bulls are often deliberately disoriented by being given substances like alcohol, having their tails twisted and bitten, being stabbed and jabbed by sickles, spears, knives or sticks and being punched, jumped on and dragged to the ground.

Three bulls even died during jallikattu events in 2014. During races, bulls are often hit with nail-studded sticks and pushed beyond the point of exhaustion. In bullfights, which often occur in Goa, a round ends when one of the bulls manages to flee (or is killed), PETA India said.

Business

Congress seeks cash transfers, reduced GST in Budget

The party said the government should increase government capital expenditure and encourage public sector banks to lend without fear of investigative agencies probing every loan.

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P Chidambaram

Ahead of the Budget Session, the Congress on Thursday demanded that the government initiate cash transfers and reduce taxes.

Addressing a joint press conference, Congress leaders P. Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh and Mallikarjun Kharge said, “As regards the economy, what needs to be done to stem the decline and accelerate the recovery have been identified by a number of economists, including those who have supported the Modi government in the past.”

“The government must impart a large fiscal stimulus to the economy, even if it is belated. Such a stimulus alone will put money in the hands of the people,” they said.

The Congress leaders asked the Centre to make direct cash transfers to 20-30 per cent of the families who are at the bottom of the economy for a period of at least six months.

The Congress also asked the government to formulate and implement a rescue plan for MSMEs to revive closed units, recover lost jobs and create new jobs for those who have moderate education and skills, and also reduce tax rates, especially GST and other indirect tax rates on petrol and diesel.

The party said the government should increase government capital expenditure and encourage public sector banks to lend without fear of investigative agencies probing every loan.

The Congress prescription for the economy included abandoning protectionist policies, re-engage with the world, enter into bilateral trade agreements with as many countries as possible, and remove the bias against imports. Formulate sector-specific revival packages for Telecommunication, Power, Mining, Construction, Aviation and Tourism & Hospitality.

“Review and rescind amendments to tax laws that have been widely viewed as tax terrorism. Initiate a comprehensive and time-bound review of the regulations made by RBI, SEBI, TRAI, CERC and other regulatory agencies that have been widely regarded as over-regulation,” Chidambaram said.

However the Congress leaders said they had no expectations from this government.

“Our effort today is to highlight the wrong policies, the incompetent economic management and the missed opportunities, and the reality is that the economy is in a recession, the recovery will be slow and painful, and the rate of GDP growth in 2021-22 (in constant prices) will be modest — no more than 5 per cent.”

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India

Nation In Grip Of Corporates: Rahul Gandhi

Gandhi said the farmers of the country have still not got a clear picture on the farm laws and the agitation could flare up again.

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Rahul Gandhi Farmers

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 28 : Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi on Thursday alleged that “one or two corporates” are controlling the country and added that this is not good for democracy.

Gandhi said the farmers of the country have still not got a clear picture on the farm laws and the agitation could flare up again.

He was speaking at a public function in Wayanad.

The former Congress chief said that the Congress and UDF would sweep the upcoming Assembly polls in the Kerala and added that several new faces will be contesting the election.

Gandhi who is in the state for the past couple of days, had interacted with girl students on Wednesday and had even asked a schoolgirl to translate his speech. He had called upon the girls students to be independent and equal to boys and asked them to be active in all walks of life.

Gandhi was also involved in a series of discussions with senior state Congress leaders and its ally the Indian Union Muslim League regarding the sharing of seats. He is keen that a large number of women and youth contest the next election on Congress tickets.

With the Congress and the UDF on the backfoot following the recent Kerala local body elections, where the ruling LDF had swept the polls, the Congress is active with altering of strategies including bringing in former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy as the chairman of the election supervisory committee as well as Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor as member of the election manifesto committee.

The state Congress is expecting Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi as their star campaigners in the 2021 Assembly election, likely to take place in mid-April and the Congress is in a do-or-die battle to wrest power from the LDF.

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India

Sixteen Opposition parties to boycott President’s address

President Ram Nath Kovind would address the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament on January 29.

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Ram Nath Kovind

A total of 16 Opposition parties have decided to boycott the president’s address to the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament in solidarity with the farmers protesting the new farm laws, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Thursday.

The 16 Opposition parties also demand a probe into the Centre’s role in violence on Republic Day in Delhi, said the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha while speaking to the media with Congress’ chief whip in Lok Sabha, K Suresh, by his side.

The Congress on Wednesday had held Union home minister Amit Shah responsible for the violence that shook the national capital on Republic Day and said he should be sacked immediately.

The Congress had also accused the Modi government of being part of a concerted conspiracy to malign the farmers’ agitation by allowing some miscreants to enter the Red Fort complex and hoist a religious flag, in their bid to ensure that the farmers bury their demand for the repeal of the three new agri laws.

President Ram Nath Kovind would address the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament on January 29.

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