THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 12 JULY 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P8 SENSEX 36,265.93 +26.31 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain/thundershowers likely to occur. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 33 and 26 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Trace RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 85% TEMPERATURE Max: 36.7°C (+1) SUN RISES 05:33 hrs MOON RISES 05:32 hrs NIFTY 10,948.30 +1.05 ` vs $ 68.77 +5 PAISE Decriminalisation of gay sex: Centre wants Supreme Court to decide THUMBNAILS Mary Kom poses with the delegates at the send-off ceremony of the Indian contingent for Special Olympics Unified Cup 2018, in the P15 Capital on Wednesday. SNS Peshawar poll rally blast kills 20: A senior secular leader of the Awami National Party and 19 others were killed when a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up in an election rally in Peshawar city, the 2nd terrorist attack on a P13 political rally ahead of 25 July elections. Internet telephony: BSNL unveiled the country's first internet telephony service that will allow users to dial any phone number in India through its mobile app, starting July 25. App 'Wings' will allow unlimited calls by paying annual fee of Rs 1,099 and by using internet P11 service or wi-fi of any telecom operator. The Centre on Wednesday left it to the Supreme Court's wisdom to decide the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the 158year-old Indian Penal Code (IPC) ~ which criminalises consensual gay sex. The Centre, however, urged the apex court not to deal with issues like gay marriages, adoption and ancillary civil rights of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer). A five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which is hearing a number of petitions seeking de-criminalisation of consensual gay sex between adults, reportedly told the Centre that it was not “considering all these issues”. “One cannot judge these issues in vacuum...We will not give any ruling on the corollary rights of LGBTQ community, relating to their marriage or other ancillary civil rights,” the Bench ~ also comprising of Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra ~ said. Justice Chandrachud also observed Minister says sorry for felicitating convicts PRESS TRUST OF INDIA RANCHI, 11 JULY aribagh on July 6. He had garlanded them and offered them sweets. Trader Alimuddin Ansari was beaten to death on June 29 last year by a mob in Ramgarh on the suspicion that he was carrying beef in his vehicle. Ansari's widow Mariam KhatoonhadlodgedanFIRwith Ramgarh town police station against 17 people including BJP functionary Nityanand Mahto. The investigating officer had filed a charge sheet against 12 of the 17 accused and the Ramgarh fast track court had convicted 11 of them and sentenced them to life terms. INDIA READY FOR FRESH BATTLE IN ENGLAND P14 GOLD 29,335.00 -50.00 P15 SILVER 39,400.00 -200.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 77.26 -1.60 Croatia beat England 2-1 to enter WC final 1 Stun England in extra time to set up title clash with France on Sunday NEW DELHI, 11 JULY Min: 29.6°C (+2) SUN SETS 19:22 hrs MOON SETS 18:38 hrs Facing intense criticism from the Opposition over felicitating eight Ramgarh lynching case convicts, Union minister Jayant Sinha today expressed regret. “If by garlanding them (Ramgarh lynching case convicts) an impression has gone out that I support such vigilantism then I express regret over it,” he told reporters here. “I have said many times that the matter is still subjudice. It won't be fair to talk on this. Law will take its own course.We have always worked towards punishing the guilty and sparing the innocent,” he said. The minister for state of civil aviation had stoked a controversy by felicitating the eight convicts after they came out of prison on bail and met him at his residence in Haz- P12 SNS Min. 62% CONSTITUTIONALISM TRIUMPHS GERMANY TAKES ITS OWN DECISIONS: MERKEL TO TRUMP EMINENTLY ABSURD AGENCIES MOSCOW, 11 JULY C that “We do not want a situation where two homosexuals enjoying a walk on Marine Drive (in Mumbai) should be disturbed by the police and charged under Section 377,” adding that the apex court has to deal with a particular kind of relationship between adults and the question whether it could be brought under the ambit of Article 21 (right to life and liberty) of the Constitution. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, submitted the government's stand that with regard to the constitutional validity of Section 377, to the extent it applies to "consensual acts of adults in private", the government would leave the question to the Bench's wisdom. He also urged the apex court not to widen the scope of the hearing to issues like gay marriages, adoption and inheritance. “If this Court is pleased to decide to examine any other question other than the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the IPC, or to construe any other right in favour of or in respect of LGBTQ, the Union of India would like to file its detailed affidavit in reply,” the ASG said. The Bench said it would test the constitutional validity of the colonial law in relation to the consensual sexual acts of two adults and if it decides to strike down the penal provision, then it would remove “ancillary disqualification” of LGBTQ community members who could join the services, contest elections or form associations. The Bench observed that a declaration making Sect 377 invalid would help “awakening in the society and help LGBTQ community to live life to the fullest”. It said this penal provision has a “chilling effect” not only on public services but also private employment. roatia entered the World Cup final in a dramatic fashion for the first time after an extra-time goal from Mario Mandzukic gave them a 2-1 victory over the perceived favourites England in their semi-final tie at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday. SIvan Perisic headed the ball into the area, the England defence hesitated and Mandzukic hammered his shot past keeper Jordan Pickford with 11 minutes of extra time left to secure for them a place in Sunday's final against France. England began on an exhilirating note when Kieran Trippier curled in a free kick after five minutes to put them ahead and they looked sharper throughout the first half. Croatia however took control after half-time. Croatia and England were level at 1-1 after 90 minutes as Croatia's Ivan Perisic scored in the 68th minute to cancel out Kieran Trippier's early goal by a stunning free kick.Trippier curled the ball into the net after five minutes to get England off to a flying start but Croatia bounced back when Perisic got in front of his marker to steer into the goal post a high cross from Sime Vrsaljko in the 68th Croatia's goalkeeper Danijel Subasic (L) reacts after taking the opening goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium AFP in Moscow on Wednesday . minute. In the run-up to the match, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has said he will urge his players to enjoy their semi-final match against England,champions of the 1966 World Cup, and to remember that anything is possible. Seeking to shift the pressure to The Three Lions, Dalic told a press conference BJP MLA charged with Unnao rape PRESS TRUST OF INDIA LUCKNOW, 11 JULY BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar was today charged by the CBI with raping a minor girl at his residence at Makhi village in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh on June 4 last year, officials said. The CBI was handed over the case by the state government nearly 10 months after the crime after a self-immolation bid by the victim in front of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's residence and the subsequent death of her father in jail from injuries allegedly inflicted by the brother of the MLA in April this year. In its charge sheet filed in a special CBI court here today, the agency charged Sengar and his associate Sashi Singh with rape (section 3 and 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act), criminal conspiracy (IPC Section 120B), kidnapping (IPC sec- tions 363 and 366), criminal intimidation (IPC section 506), the officials said. The charges entail maximum punishment of imprisonment for life. They said during the three-monthlong probe, the investigators found that the allegations levelled by the minor girl were tenable, prompting the agency to file the charge sheet against Sengar, a four-time MLA who enjoys immense clout in the area. The CBI has alleged that the 17-year-old girl was raped by Sengar at this residence at Makhi village of Unnao district, nearly 70 km from the state capital, at around 8 PM on June 4, 2017. The girl was again kidnapped and raped by a separate group of accused between June 11 and June 20, 2017. The officials said the state police did not probe allegations against Sengar for the rape that allegedly took place on June 4, 2017, but had filed an FIR related to gang rape that took place nearly a week later in captivity. The police registered an FIR only on April 12, 2018, the day it was to be handed over to the CBI. Both the cases are being probed by the CBI now. The agency's probe depended heavily on the “consistent” statements of the victim who stuck to her charges even before a magistrate where her statement was recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC, they said. The sources said the agency found in the probe that the version given by the MLA allegedly did not match with the corroborative evidence. They said claims of his location on the day of incident did not match with the records of his mobile phone and other corroborative evidence and failed to provide a legally tenable alibi for himself for the day when the incident allegedly took place. The sources said it was a difficult case to crack as the crime took place at the residence of the accused nearly a year ago which was followed by another gang rape, making it difficult to gather forensic evidence from medical examination and crime scene. Lack of any police probe in the incident allegedly involving the ruling party MLA made the case even more difficult as normally the CBI uses evidence initially collected by local police and subjects them to its own scrutiny, they said. on Tuesday that the balkan side has no reason to feel nervous as they contemplate only the second World Cup semi-final in their comparatively short history. Dalic stressed that the presence of Croatia in the semi-finals is deserved and he placed the current generation of players on a par with the Croatian squad that won the bronze medal in the 1998 World Cup in France. Dalic had warm words for all his players, but said that he was especially happy to see Croatia get so far in the tournament in what is likely the last World Cup appearance for 32-year-old captain Luka Modric, praising the Real Madrid midfielder for his quality and leadership. ‘Scrapping adultery law will harm Indian ethos’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 11 JULY The Centre on Wednesday submitted before the Supreme Court that the sanctity of marriage would be undermined if the penal law on adultery under Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code , which only punishes a married man for having extra-marital sexual relations with another married woman, is scrapped. The Centre told this to the apex court reportedly in an affidavit filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, seeking dismissal of a plea challenging the validity of Section 497 on the ground that it does not make men and women equally liable for the "crime" of adultery. Maintaining that Section 497“supports, safeguards and protects the institution of marriage”, the affidavit stated, “It is submitted that strik- Govt submitted in the Supreme Court that the sanctity of marriage will be weakened if the penal law on adultery, which bans extra-marital affairs, is scrapped ing down Section 497 of IPC and Section 198(2) of the CrPC will prove to be detrimental to the intrinsic Indian ethos which gives paramount importance to the institution and sanctity of marriage," adding that "The provisions of law, under challenge in the present writ, have been specifically created by the legislature in its wisdom, to protect and safeguard the sanctity of marriage, keeping in mind the unique structure and culture of the Indian society.” Either restore Taj or demolish it, says SC as it slams govt for apathy SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 11 JULY Restore the pristine beauty of the historic Taj Mahal or “you can demolish it if you like.” An angry Supreme Court made these observations today as it came down heavily on the Centre, the Uttar Pradesh government and various authorities for their “lethargy” and “apathy” in taking steps to protect the iconic monument, dubbing the issue of its preservation as a “hopeless cause”. “You (government) can shut down the Taj. You can demolish it if you like and you can also do away with it if you have already decided,” an anguished bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said. “Uttar Pradesh (government) is not bothered. No action plan or vision document has come yet. Either you demolish it (Taj) or you restore it,” the bench said. The apex court has been monitoring development in the area to protect the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal at Agra. Its construction was completed in 1643 but work continued on other phases of the project for another 10 years. The ivory white marble mausoleum is a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site. During the hearing, the bench also drew a parallel between the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower of Paris and said the mausoleum was perhaps more beautiful, but India continued to lose tourists and foreign exchange due to the situation prevailing there. “There is the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Perhaps it is nothing compared to Taj Mahal. 80 million people come there (Paris). This is eight times more than what we have. You can destroy the Taj, we don't want to do it,” the court said. Referring to the Eiffel Tower, the bench said that in India, there were concerns about security, but in other countries, they have made towers like “TV towers” from where tourists can get a view of the entire city. “We are obsessed with security. At every place (in foreign cities), you have towers to have a bird's eye view of the city. But in India, you have security problems. There are no such towers to look at the city,” the bench said. When one of the lawyers said that the vision document was being prepared, the bench shot back, “Will the vision document come after the Taj is demolished? Taj Mahal has to be protected or the Government of India has to decide if it has to be demolished”. On being asked by the court about the number of tourists visiting India last year, Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni, appearing for the Centre, said the figure was about 10 million in 2017. “There is sheer lethargy and apathy. People (abroad) are making money, but no one is bothered (here),” the court said. When Nadkarni said that Union Tourism Ministry could give more details about the tourists visiting India, the bench observed, “Do you realise the loss to the country due to this sheer lethargy? Foreign exchange, infrastructure, everything is lost due to this. There is a loss to tourism. One monument can do it, but there is apathy”. The top court also observed that despite there being a report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, which dealt with the effects of pollution on Taj, the authorities have not bothered to take appropriate steps in this regard. It said that the committee had stated in its report that Taj Mahal is a national pride and heritage and multipronged approach was required to preserve and restore it. During the hearing, the bench was also informed that soon, online booking system would start at Taj Mahal where the tourist would be able to book high-end tickets. One of the advocates also told the bench that soon there would be time restriction and time slot for the tourists visiting Taj. Nadkarni told the court that the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur was conducting an assessment of air pollution level in and around the mausoleum and Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) and they would give their report within four months. TTZ is an area of about 10,400 sq kms spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur district of Rajasthan. Nadkarni also said that a decision in this regard was taken in December last year.
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