FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 07 SEPTEMBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P9 SENSEX 38,242.81 +224.50 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with light to moderate rain/thundershowers. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 34 and 26 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Trace MM RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 94% TEMPERATURE P12 NIFTY 11,536.90 +59.95 ` vs $ 71.99 -24 PAISE INDIA REDUCED TO STRIVING FOR CONSOLATION WIN P13 GOLD 29,485.00 +270.00 P16 SILVER 37,100.00 +350.00 Min: 25.1°C (-1) SUN SETS 18:36 hrs MOON SETS 16:58 hrs THUMBNAILS Saurabh Chaudhary (in pic) won a gold in the junior 10m air pistol event in the senior competition of the ISSF World Championship. P15 J&K DGP removed: Jammu and Kashmir police chief S P Vaid was unceremoniously removed late Thursday and Dilbagh Singh, the Director General of Prisons, was directed to hold the charge additionally, an official order said. The order issued by the Principal Secretary (Home) said Vaid, a 1986-batch IPS officer, was transferred and posted as the Transport Commissioner. It is learnt that Vaid's removal was planned last week as the Centre was annoyed over the swapping of father of a terrorist and 3 militants with 14 close relatives of policemen kidnapped by militants in South Kashmir. SC order on Amrapali group: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed sale of assets owned by Amrapali group directors, their family members and related companies. The SC identified 16 estates belonging to the property developer to raise funds for stalled projects as the group has failed to hand over possession of flats to around 42,000 homebuyers who have moved the apex court. After 13 years, lawyer gets 1-week jail for w contempt of court: The Bombay High Court has sentenced a lawyer to simple imprisonment for a week in a 13-year-old case of contempt of court wherein he abused a trial court judge and threw a notebook towards him. The contempt petition seeking action against the lawyer, Ramchandra Kagne, 55, was filed before the Aurangabad bench of the high court by a trial court judge. Interpol issues Red Corner Notice against Nirav Modi's executive: Interpol has issued a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Mihir R Bhansali, an executive of absconding billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, in connection with the alleged $2 billion PNB money-laundering case, officials said on Thursday. The notice, which acts as an international arrest warrant, mentions that Bhansali (40) is required on P7 charges of "money laundering". Bharat bandh: Protesters stopped trains and blocked highways in Bihar and UP and shopkeepers downed shutters in some other northern states during a Bharat bandh on Thursday against the recent amendment to the SC/ST Act. The bandh was successful in parts of Bihar, Rajasthan, MP, UP and Punjab but the shutdown call by anti-reservation bodies had little impact P10 elsewhere in the country. BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 77.50 +0.23 SC decriminalises gay sex Nullifies law as it violates fundamental rights, aspects of Sec 377 dealing with unnatural sex with animals & children remain in force STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 6 SEPTEMBER Min. 60% Max: 29.8°C (-5) SUN RISES 06:03 hrs MOON RISES 04:10 hrs MALAYSIAN PM AGAINST CANING OF LESBIANS TRUMP RAGES OVER ARTICLE INDIA MUST PRESS FOR NAIK’S RETURN ‘Parts of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalised consensual unnatural sex, are irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary. History owes an apology to members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community for the delay in ensuring their rights, for denying them their rights and compelling them to live a life of fear.’ ~ Justice Indu Malhotra (who was on the Constitution Bench, headed by the Chief Justice of India, which delivered the judgment) I n a far-reaching, landmark judgment, the Supreme Court today ruled that gay sex among consenting adults is not a criminal offence, striking down as "unconstitutional" a part of Section 377 of the 158-year-old Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalises homosexuality. In a unanimous verdict, the five-judge Constitution Bench decriminalised Section 377 IPC with regard to consensual gay sex, asserting that it was "irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary" and that it violated fundamental rights to equality, life with dignity, personal liberty, non-discrimination, privacy and expression under Articles 14, 15, 19, and 21 of the Constitution. Delivering four separate but concurring judgements running into altogether 495 pages, the Constitution Bench ~ headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and also comprising of Justices A M Khanwilkar, R F Nariman, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra ~ overturned the apex court's 2013 verdict which had re-criminalised consensual gay sex. The Bench maintained that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people are entitled to the entire range of same legal and constitutional rights as other citizens of the country. The top court's historic judgment triggered widespread celebrations among sections of civil society, human rights and the LGBT community. Some of them welcomed it after nearly two decades The Supreme Court’s historic and landmark judgment legalising gay sex is a harbinger of a more inclusive India. ARUN KUMAR ACTIVISTS RSS SPOKESMAN LGBTQ COMMUNITY (Above) People hail the Supreme Court verdict which decriminalises consensual gay sex, outside the Supreme Court. (Right) Senior lawyer Anand Grover addresses the media at the Supreme Court premises in the Capital on RITIK JAIN Thursday. of legal battle as a victory of marginalised and vulnerable people and sexual minority while maintaining that a long battle for real equality and non-discrimination awaits them at societal, governmental and legal levels in coming days. The Bench described sexual orientation as a matter of an individual's personal life and dignity, liberty, and expression, stating that it was “biological" or “natural” and that any discrimination on this ground will be violative of that person's fundamental rights. Referring to the apex court's 2013 verdict ~ which had set aside the Delhi High Court's historic 2009 judgment decriminalising gay sex between consenting adults ~ the Bench said it had upheld the constitutionality of Section 377 IPC on a ground that "the LGBT community comprised only a minuscule fraction of the total population and that the mere fact that the said Section was being misused is not a reflection of the vires of the Section". "Such a view is constitutionally impermissible," stated CJI Misra, who wrote the judgment for himself and Justice Khanwilkar. "Constitutional morality cannot be mar- tyred at the altar of social morality and it is only constitutional morality that can be allowed to permeate into the Rule of Law. The veil of social morality cannot be used to violate fundamental rights of even a single individual, for the foundation of constitutional morality rests upon the recognition of diversity that pervades the society," CJI Misra ruled. The CJI also said : "Sec- tion 377 IPC subjects the LGBT community to societal pariah and dereliction and is, therefore, manifestly arbitrary, for it has become an odious weapon for the harassment of the LGBT community by subjecting them to discrimination and unequal treatment." In her judgment, Justice Malhotra said, "It is declared that insofar as Section 377 criminalises consensual sexual acts of Homosexuality is not a crime, but the RSS does not support same-sex marriage as it is “not natural”. adults (i.e. persons above the age of 18 years who are competent to consent) in private, is violative of Articles 14,15, 19, and 21 of the Constitution." Justice Malhotra reportedly said that history owed an apology to the members of the LGBT community and their families for the delay in providing redressal for the ignominy and ostracism that they have suffered through the centuries. In his separate judgment, Justice Chandrachud also said that due to Section 377 IPC, the LGBT people were forced to live in hiding and as secondclass citizens even as others enjoyed the right of sexual orientation. The Bench said the courts must protect the dignity of an individual as right to live with dignity is recognised as a fundamental right. It said the State cannot persecute people and decide the boundaries between what is permissible or not, holding that Section 377 IPC was based on “deep-rooted stereotypes of the society” that was violative of fundamental rights to equality and life with dignity. Justice Chandrachud ruled that "Members of the LGBT community are entitled, as all other citizens, to the full range of constitutional rights including the liberties protected by the Constitution" and that the LGBT people are "entitled to the benefit of an equal citizenship, without discrimination, and to the equal protection of law". TURN TO PAGE 5 Activists’ house arrest extended till 12 Sept KCR dissolves Telangana Assembly STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 6 SEPTEMBER The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred to 12 September the hearing on the plea challenging arrest of five activists in connection with the Bhima Koregaon investigation even as it ordered that their house arrest continue till then. The apex court pulled up the Maharashtra government over the state police “casting aspersions on the court”. “Keep your police officer in line. He is talking to the press, insinuating the Supreme Court is wrong. We don't want your police officer to tell us we are wrong. You are ruining people's reputations, casting aspersions on the court,” Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud told the Maharashtra government. "I saw Assistant Police Com- missioner, Pune, insinuating that SC should not have intervened at this stage. He has no business telling that," Justice Chandrachud told ASG Tushar Mehta, who on behalf of Maharashtra Police, apologised to the top court. He, however, said, "Rushing to Supreme Court in such matters will create a bad precedent". A bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud asked petitioners Romila Thapar and others to satisfy it whether a third-party can intervene in a criminal case while extending the house arrest of the five activists,. On 28 August, the Maharashtra police conducted raids and arrested Telugu poet Varavara Rao from Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira from Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bharadwaj from Faridabad and civil liberties activist Gautam Navlakha from Delhi for allegedly having close links with Maoists and their role in Elgar Parishad, an event held on 31 December last year. The raids were carried out as part of a probe into Elgar Parishad, or conclave, which had later triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village in Pune district of Maharashtra. According to an FIR, provocative speeches were made at the event, and these triggered the violence in Bhima Koregaon. During its last hearing on 29 August, the Supreme Court had halted Pune police's bid for the activists' immediate custody. Instead, the court had ordered that the activists be kept under house arrest. HYDERABAD, 6 SEPTEMBER Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao dissolved the Telangana Assembly on Thursday, six months ahead of schedule. His Cabinet passed a one-line unanimous resolution recommending dissolution of the House. Rao drove down to the Raj Bhavan and gave the resolution to Governor ESL Narasimhan, who immediately requested him to continue as head of the caretaker government. Rao said he expects the elections to the held along with the four state Assembly elections in December. "I figure the elections would be held in the last week of November and the results would be declared in the first week of December", he said. Significantly, he released a list of 105 candidates for the 19-member Assembly. Only two MLAs were replaced.TheTRS would not be contesting in the seven seats being represented by the Majlis Ittehadul Musilmeen, which he later called a friendly party. Candidates for five more constituencies were kept pending. The first election meeting would be held on Friday at Husnabad in Karimnagar district after which Rao would address meetings in 100 constituencies in the next 50 days. At a Press conference at the TRS head office, Telangana Bhavan, he disclosed that he discussed the issue with the Chief Election Commissioner and the two Election Commissioners. "Our chief secretary too met them and informed them that the administrative machinery is ready for early elections." He attacked the Congress as 'enemy number one' of Telangana since Jawaharlal Nehru. These days the Congress is making mindless and baseless allegations against the government, he said. He largely spared the BJP any criticism. Recalling how the Congress president had hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the debate on the no-confidence motion and his subsequent wink, Rao said," Rahul Gandhi is the biggest buffoon in this country." India, US sign defence pact; ask Pak to stop exporting terror ASHOK TUTEJA NEW DELHI, 6 SEPTEMBER India and the United States on Thursday signed the landmark Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) that will allow New Delhi to buy sensitive American military equipment, and asked Pakistan to ensure that the territory under its control was not used to launch terror attacks on other countries. The two nations also decided to set up hotlines between their foreign ministers and defence ministers to enable them to remain in touch regularly. The two countries will for the first time hold a tri-services joint exercise in the eastern coast of India in 2019 to further increase personal exchanges between their militaries and defence organisations.These farreaching announcements were made by the two countries in a joint statement issued at the end of the first of its kind ‘2+2’ dialogue at which External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hosted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis. At a joint press interaction, the four leaders read out their respective statements expressing satisfaction over the dialogue and listing out the outcomes of their day-long discussions.They avoided taking any questions from the media apparently in view of differences between the two sides over India’s oil purchases from Iran and its defence relationship with Russia. The External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (2R), Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (R), US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (2L)and US Secretary of Defence James Mattis at a press conference SUBRATA DUTTA after the India-US 2 + 2 Dialogue, in New Delhi on Thursday Indian side is understood to have explained how important Iran was for India for meeting its oil and energy needs and its proposed deal with Russia for purchasing S-400 Triumph missile defence systems that could attract sanctions against Indian entities under the Counter- ing America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). Washington, however, maintained that oil-related sanctions against Iran would come into force on 4 November and hoped oil purchases would go to zero for every country by then.Waivers would be considered where necessary. On the S-400 deal, the two sides are likely to continue their discussions. Washington has been nudging New Delhi to step back from defence purchases. Great significance is being attached to the COMCASA agreement that will enable India to access advanced US defence systems and optimally utilise its existing US-origin platforms. The two countries also announced their readiness to begin negotiations on an industrial Security Annex (ISA) that would support closer defence industry. Welcoming the expansion of bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation, the two countries announced their intent to increase information-sharing efforts on known or suspect terrorists. Denouncing any use of terrorist proxies in the region, they called upon Pakistan to bring to justice expeditiously the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai, Pathankot, Uri and other terror attacks.The two sides also reviewed cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and agreed to work together toward a free, open and inclusive region, based on recognition of ASEAN centrality and on respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, rule of law, good gover- nance, free and fair trade and freedom of navigation and overflight. In an apparent dig at China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), India and the US emphasised the need to work collectively with other partners to support transparent, responsible and sustainable debt financing practices in infrastructure development. The US welcomed India’s accession to three major non-proliferation regimes and iterated its full support for India’s membership of the NSG. The two sides said they looked forward to full implementation of the civil nuclear energy partnership and collaboration between the NPCIL and the Westinghouse electric company for setting up six nuclear power plants in India.
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