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Section 377: Government leaves decision to wisdom of Supreme Court

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, July 11: The Supreme Court on Wednesday continued hearing a bunch of petitions challenging re-criminalisation of consensual gay sex between two adults, rejecting the Centre’s plea for a postponement of the proceedings.

Putting the ball in the Apex Court’s arena to decide the matter of the constitutionality of Section377, the central government today said it will not contest the petitions challenging the law which criminalises same-sex relations.

ASG Tushar Mehta told the five-judge constitution bench of SC that the Centre will leave the matter of the constitutionality of Section 377 to be decided by the Court.

Meanwhile, Meneka Guruswamy, a lawyer for one of the petitioners told the court ‘homosexuality doesn’t affect a person’s career and growth. People have cleared civil service examinations, IIT examinations and other top level competitive exams”.

“Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people deserve to be protected by court, constitution and country.Section 377 denies the LGBT community the equal opportunity of participation’, she submitted to the Apex Court.

The bench, however, said it would only examine the “correctness” of its verdict of 2013, which cancelled a Delhi High Court judgment that said the law criminalizing gay sex was “unconstitutional”.

Senior advocate Arvind Datar for petitioners: “The SC judgement on privacy said sexual orientation essential attribute of privacy. That eclipses Section 377 IPC and makes it liable to be struck down.”

Appearing for a petitioner, Arvind Dattar said if a person has a different sexual orientation, it can’t be treated as a crime. This can’t be treated as against the order of nature.

The Centre on Monday had requested the court to adjourn the hearing for four weeks during which it would file its reply to the petitions. The bench, however, refused to defer the hearing and listed it for Tuesday for hearing the petitions challenging section 377 of the IPC, which criminalises unnatural sex between two consenting adults.

A newly re-constituted constitution bench will be headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprise Justices R.F. Nariman, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra. “No, no… it will not be adjourned,” the Bench said when Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, sought its deferment.

Section 377 deals with “unnatural offences,” and holds “whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

India

Lok Sabha to discuss “No Confidence Motion” on July 20

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Parliament

New Delhi, July 18: The Lok Sabha is scheduled to discuss “No Confidence Motion” moved by the opposition against the Narendra Modi government on Friday (July 20).

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday accepted a no-confidence motion.

“We have decided that we will send all 34 TMC Lok Sabha MPs on a whip to be present for discussion and voting of No Confidence Motion in the Parliament, on Friday, said TMC leader Derek O’ Brien.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party issued a three-line whip over #NoConfidenceMotion, also asks its allies in NDA to issue the whip.

Mahajan said she had received notices from at least six MPs seeking no trust vote against the Narendra Modi government and was duty-bound to put it to the consideration of the House.

She told the house that Kesineni Srinavas of the Telugu Desam Party was the first to give his no-confidence notice and asked members if it can be moved.

The speaker asked Srinavas to introduce the motion which was supported by over 50 members, including from the Congress and other opposition MPs.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government was ready to face the no trust motion and asked Mahajan that it may be tabled.

“Everything will be clear after the discussion. I want to make it clear in the House that the people of the country have full confidence on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.”

Meanwhile, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge asked the Speaker why the other members who had handed over their notices were not allowed to read them.

In response to this, she said rules allowed her to table the notice that was submitted first.

Mahajan further stated she read out the names of these members.

The Names include Mallikarjun Kharge, K.C. Venugopal (Congress), Tariq Anwar (Nationalist Congress Party), N.K. Premachandran (Revolutionary Socialist Party) and Thota Narsimham (TDP).

WeForNews 

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Terrorist violence sees new high in Jammu and Kashmir in last 3 years: MHA

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New Delhi, July 18: A total of 256 incidents of terrorist violence — a steep hike from 2017 and 2016 — have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir in just six months of 2018, Home Ministry data presented in Parliament on Wednesday revealed.

Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir told the Rajya Sabha that 100 terrorists, 43 security personnel and 16 civilians have been killed in the 256 incidents in the strife-torn state between January 1 and July 8.

The data mentioned that 342 and 322 incidents of terrorist violence were reported in 2017 and 2016 respectively.

It said a total of 213 terrorists, 80 security personnel and 40 civilians were killed in 2017 while 150 terrorists, 82 security personnel and 15 civilians were killed in 2016 as a result of terrorist violence.

“As per reports, two youths from other states of the country have been found involved in stone pelting in Jammu and Kashmir and in this regards two separate FIRs have been registered in 2018,” Ahir said while responding to a question.

IANS

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Bill against human trafficking introduced in Lok Sabha

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Parliament

New Delhi, July 18: A Bill seeking to prevent trafficking, especially of women and children, provide rehabilitation to the victims and prosecute offenders was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018, was introduced by Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi.

Besides taking up prevention, rescue and rehabilitation, it covers aggravated forms of trafficking such as forced labour, begging and marriage.

The Bill provides for confidentiality of victims, witnesses and complainants and time-bound trials and repatriation of the victims.

It proposes to create institutional mechanisms at district, state and central levels. It calls for punishment ranging from 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine not less than Rs one lakh.

Officials said that human trafficking is the third largest organised crime in the world.

IANS

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