Newsletter Sept 01,2018




The Law Commission of India on Friday issued a consultation paper on the subject of Uniform Civil Code, suggesting “codification of personal laws” and “making them gender neutral” as the first step. It disfavoured “knee-jerk reactions” relating to different existing practices by various religious groups.

In the paper, which has been put out for “wider debate and discussion” on the subject, the law panel said, “In the absence of any consensus on a Uniform Civil Code, the commission felt that the best way forward may be to preserve the diversity of personal laws, but at the same time ensure that personal laws do not contradict fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India.”

It further suggested that in order to achieve this goal, “it is desirable that all personal laws relating to matters of family must first be codified to the extent possible” and if inequalities creep into codified law, the same “should be remedied by amendment”.

The law panel, however, contended that the very act of codifying “separate” personal laws could be challenged as an exercise against Article 14 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to religion.

It also argued that there was a need to recognise the role of woman in a household and regardless of her financial contribution she should get an equal part of the property gained after marriage upon divorce.

The law panel also suggested that 18 years should be the minimum legal age for men and women alike to get married, saying the insistence on recognising different ages of marriage between consenting adults must be abolished.


 Pulled up by the Supreme Court and drawing sharp criticism for the arrest of five civil rights activists and lawyers earlier this week, the Maharashtra Police Friday released details of letters it claims to have seized from five activists arrested this June in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence in Maharashtra in January.

The letters, police claimed, mention plans to allegedly purchase grenade launchers and ammunition worth Rs 8 crore for the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Addressing a press conference , Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Parambir Singh said that the communications, which included “thousands” of letters, were found in hard disks seized from the home of activist Rona Wilson in Delhi. He also claimed that the police required custody of the activists to confront them with the letters.

Singh also said that the activists were involved in radicalising students of  JNU and TISS. He read out excerpts from letters purportedly exchanged between Gautam Navlakha, Sudha Bharadwaj, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling and  Maoist associates. He said one of the thousands of letters seized spoke of ending “Modi raj” with a “Rajiv Gandhi-type incident”.



 Congress chief Rahul Gandhi yesterday began his 12-day journey to holy Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar in China, taking the Nepal route to the pilgrimage.

The choice of route led to political sparring back home with the ruling BJP asking why Gandhi needed a Chinese perspective on everything and the Congress retorting with this query, “Does Congress president need Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s permission to undertake the pilgrimage to the abode of Lord Shiva?”

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said: “Why did Chinese ambassador want to see off an Indian citizen? What is this Chinese connection? You are Rahul Gandhi not Chinese Gandhi. Which politicians and officials Gandhi will meet during his visit to China — his favourite country?”

Congress in turn fielded its chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala to counter him, “Let the BJP leaders also take the toughest terrain to Kailash Mansarovar like Congress president is taking. Let them also go and pray for the country rather than keep playing their petty politics. If they do not have the courage to undertake an arduous pilgrimage, let them not stand in the way of a devotee and his Lord. They will be cursed if they try and create obstacles in the journey of a worshipper to his God.”



The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned to January 2019 hearing on petitions against Article 35A of the Constitution after both the Centre and the state of Jammu and Kashmir sought deferment citing law and order problem and preparations for local body elections in the state.

Added to the Constitution through a Presidential Order in 1954, Article 35A gives special rights and privileges to permanent residents of J&K and debars rest of Indians from acquiring immovable property, obtaining state government jobs and settling in the state. It denies property rights to women marrying men from other states.

Besides being violative of the right to equality and certain other rights, Article 35A has been challenged on the ground that the President could not have amended the Constitution by an executive Order without parliamentary approval and that it was to be a temporary provision.

Political parties in the state have been agitating against any possible move to scrap the controversial provision.

The deferment order came after Attorney General KK Venugopal told a three-judge Bench that the case should be adjourned in view of rural and urban local body polls and law and order situation in the state.



 Buoyed by a strong performance in the manufacturing and farm sectors, the Indian economy grew at 15-quarter high of 8.2 per cent in the April-June quarter of current fiscal, according to the government data released on Friday. With this, India established its position as the fastest growing major economy, clocking higher expansion rate than China’s 6.7 in the same quarter.

The previous high quarterly GDP growth was recorded in July-September period in 2014-15 at 8.4 per cent.

Reflecting on the GDP figures, Economic Affairs Secretary S C Garg said the robust GDP performance in the first quarter raises hope of exceeding estimates of 7.5 per cent for current fiscal. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the GDP growth “represents the potential of New India” in otherwise an environment of global turmoil.





President Donald Trump has threatened to pull the United States out of the World Trade Organisation if it does not “shape up”. His remarks, made in an interview with Bloomberg News, were the latest in a series of attacks on institutions of the global order that the US helped to build after World War II.

“If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO,” Trump told the news agency, describing the agreement to set the organisation up as “the single worst trade deal ever made”.

Trump, who has previously criticised the WTO’s dispute settlement system as being unfavourable to the US, said Washington had “rarely won a lawsuit” there although things began changing last year. “In the last year, we’re starting to win a lot,” he said.

“You know why? Because they know if we don’t, I’m out of there.” China, which is currently embroiled in a trade war with the US, joined the WTO in 2001 — a move which US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has described as a mistake.



Thousands of Pakistan’s hardline Islamists have called off their rally following the cancellation of a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest by a Dutch anti-Muslim lawmaker. The far-right Opposition politician Geert Wilders said he cancelled the contest following death threats. The decision prompted Khadim Hussain Rizvi, a firebrand Pakistani cleric, to end his march.



 The European Union (EU) said on Friday that it would propose a legal change that would end the ritual of switching between summer and winter time, leaving it up to governments across the bloc to agree on whether to permanently use summer time or winter time.

The proposal comes after a survey found that 84% of 4.6 million citizens across the EU’s 28 member states opposed changing the clocks ahead in the summer or back in the winter.

Critics of the clock change say it can cause long-term health problems, especially among young children and elderly people. Supporters say making the switch to give extra morning daylight in winter and evening light in summer can help reduce traffic accidents and save energy.

Any change would need approval from national governments and European Parliament to become law — a process that can take up to two years.





Suspected militants Friday released four family members of policemen whom they had abducted from various places in south Kashmir. A total of 10 people, whose relatives were working in the Jammu and Kashmir Police, were abducted Thursday night.

The abductions had come a day after four J&K policemen were killed by suspected militants and closely follows allegations of the Army setting on fire houses of militants — both in Shopian. The Army has denied the allegations. On the same day, J&K Police also arrested the father of Hizbul Mujahideen’s operations chief Riyaz Naikoo.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah had condemned the abductions.



The Shiv Sena on Friday asked what “penance” Prime Minister Narendra Modi would undertake for plunging the country into “financial anarchy” through the demonetisation.

It said the note ban amounted to “looting” the country and chastised the government for ignoring former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s criticism of the move, which he had called “organised loot and legalised plunder”.

The restive BJP ally wondered how the government could still boast about its development credentials amid the “horrible” devastation wrought by the demonetisation, comparing its attitude to Nero’s who “fiddled while Rome burnt”.

The barbs come just days after the RBI reported that 99.3 per cent of the withdrawn notes had returned to the banking system, implying the demonetisation had failed in its stated objective of weeding out black money.

“Since the demonetisation plunged the country into financial anarchy, what penance will Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertake to keep his promise to the country?” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said.

The allusion was to a speech Modi had delivered in Goa days after the demonetisation, offering to undergo punishment if the people were still unconvinced by the move after 50 days. “I have only asked for 50 days. Give me time till December 30. After that, if any fault is found in my intentions or my actions, I’m ready to stand at whatever street crossing you want me to and accept whatever punishment you hand me,” Modi had said.



Delayed action by the flight crew resulted in near crash of the chartered plane which was carrying Congress president Rahul Gandhi from Delhi to Hubli in April this year, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Friday.

On April 26, the Congress scion was scheduled to visit Hubli from New Delhi as part of the then-ongoing campaign for the Karnataka elections when his flight developed a technical snag. Alleging “intentional tampering”, the party had filed an FIR against the pilots and demanded a probe at the highest priority.

In a 30-page report released today, the two-member committee, which was set up by the DGCA to probe the incident, ruled out any prior technical snag in the Ligare Aviation-operated private Falcon 2000 jet, registered as VT-AVH.

Providing details about the incident, the DGCA said, “Crew initiated action only when the master cautions warning i.e after 15 seconds of autopilot disengage.” The aviation regulator explained that a warning appears in the form of a red light and audio warning in the cockpit for the pilot to take action and avoid any mishap. “Due to lack of institutional awareness, the crew actions to control of the aircraft manually were slightly delayed,” the report said.


Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have completed their merger to create the country’s largest telecom company with 408 million active subscribers and a market share of 32.2 per cent that will take on competition from Reliance Jio.

“We wish to inform you that pursuant to the filing of the NCLT orders with the relevant Registrar of Companies on August 31, 2018, the scheme has become effective on even date and the merger of VMSL (Vodafone Mobile Services Ltd) and VIL (Vodafone India Ltd) with the company has been completed,” Idea Cellular, in a regulatory filing, said on Friday.

A new board has been constituted for the merged entity – Vodafone Idea Ltd – with 12 directors (including six independent directors) and Kumar Mangalam Birla as the chairman.


The Supreme Court on Friday quashed an FIR against 18-year-old Malayalam actor Priya Prakash Varrier, director and producer of ‘Oru Adaar Love’ which alleged the ‘wink song’ in the film hurt religious sentiments of Muslims.

The Malayalam folk song, on which the song has been picturised with Varrier, has been in the public domain since 1978 and the song video cannot be termed as blasphemous, said a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, allowing their plea to quash the FIR lodged against them in Telangana. No FIR or any complaint under Section 200 of CrPC will be entertained against the petitioners for picturisation of the song, the Bench said.

Referring to a Constitution Bench judgment and a verdict delivered in a similar case lodged against cricketer MS Dhoni, the Bench said no offence under Section 295A of the IPC was made out against the actor others in the case. Admonishing the petitioner, the court said: “Somebody is singing a song and you have no other business except to file a case.”


India women’s hockey team couldn’t add to the medal tally of 13 golds at the 18th Asian Games on Day 13 (Friday) but did contribute with a silver medal. That carried India’s medal tally to 65 medals – 13 gold, 23 silver and 29 bronze which currently places India at eighth in the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang.

India women’s hockey team were in the final of an Asian Games match for the first time in 20 years but were outmuscled and outmatched by a Japan side which is ranked below the Rani Rampal-led side.

In Sailing, Varsha Gautham and Sweta Shervegar bagged the silver medal in 49er FX women’s event, while Harshita Tomar claimed bronze in the Open Laser 4.7. Varun Thakkar Ashok and Chengappa Ganapathy Kelapanda then added another bronze in the 49er men’s event.

In boxing, Vikas Krishan had to unfortunately make do with a bronze medal in the 75kg boxing category. He was declared medically unfit to fight his semifinal bout due to a cut on his left eyelid sustained in the previous round. Also in the ring, Amit Panghal progressed to the final of the 49kg category following a 3-2 split decision in his favour during the semi-final.

In squash, Joshna Chinappa won over eight-time world and five-time Asian Games champion Nicol David of Malaysia to ensure win for India in women’s team semifinals. They will take on Hong Kong in the final.


Moeen Ali spun England right back into contention on a fluctuating second day of the fourth Test as India slumped to 273 all out in their first innings on Friday.

At 142/2 India were well-placed to build a healthy first innings lead having bowled England out for 246 but Sam Curran took the vital wicket of Virat Kohli before off-spinner Ali ripped through the middle-order with a stunning spell. He ended up with figures of 5/63.

India still eked out a precious 27-run lead, though, thanks to No. 3 Cheteshwar Pujara who scored his first Test century in England, ending on a magnificent 132 not out. A composed Pujara came to the crease in the eighth over of India’s innings and batted superbly, sharing a 92-run partnership with Kohli before putting on 78 for the last two wickets with tailenders Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah.

The hosts survived a tricky four-over spell before stumps to reach 6/0 in their second innings.


Roger Federer set up a US Open third round clash against Nick Kyrgios who found himself at the centre of an impartiality row after an umpire climbed down from his chair to tell him: “I want to help you”.

Federer, 37, made it 18 wins in 18 second round appearances in New York by seeing off error-plagued Frenchman Benoit Paire 7-5 6-4 6-4. Also going through were Novak Djokovic as well as Marin Cilic, the champion in New York in 2014.

Kyrgios, 23, reached the third round by seeing off France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert 4-6 7-6 (8/6) 6-3 6-0. However, the match created a huge storm after respected umpire Mohamed Lahyani lost patience with the under-performing 30th seed and climbed down from his chair to tell the Australian, trailing by a set and 0-3, to try harder. “I want to help you,” Lahyani could be heard saying. “This isn’t you. I know that. You are great for tennis.” A furious Herbert said that Lahyani had over-stepped the mark. “The umpire doesn’t have to talk to him at all. The only thing he can tell him is pay attention, because if you continue like this, I’m going to give you a warning,” said the 27-year-old.


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GBP 0.76 /US$, Euro 0.85 /US$, Jap.Yen 110.93 /US$, Aus$ 1.38 /US$, Sing 1.36 /US$, Bang Taka 83.03 /US$, Can$ 1.30 /US$, Mal Ring 4.11 /US$,

Pak Re 123.26 /US$, Phil Peso 53.49 /US$, Russian Rouble 67.81 /US$, NZ$ 1.50 /US$, Thai Baht 32.70 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 28.14 /US$

Bitcoin – USD 6,958

Dollar Index 95.08 Brent Crude 77.42 BDI 1614

Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,201 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 2970 / 2882, Silver (Rs. Per KG) 40,300



There is no education in the second kick of a mule. – American Proverb


A Guy gets out of lift on 7th floor instead of 9th floor.

He says: “I was so busy checking messages on my whatsapp…without realising, I went into the neighbour’s house and sat on their sofa.

The lady of the house was glued to the TV… watching serials…She gave me tea without looking at me.

When I started drinking Tea, I looked up and saw the lady’s husband entering the house….looking into his mobile.

He saw me and said, ‘sorry’ and went out of the house” !!!

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