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Thursday, 2 August 2018

02 Aug ND: Adultery law treats women and men differently, against equality: Supreme Court


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY  
02 Aug 2018:18 Ziqada 1439: Vol:10, No:79
INDIA
Adultery law treats women and men differently, against equality: Supreme Court
New Delhi:The Supreme Court today said matrimonial sanctity is an issue but the penal provision on adultery is apparently violative of the right to equality under the Constitution as it treats married men and married women differently.A 5-judge Constitution bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra, which is hearing a petition challenging the constitutional validity of Section 497 of IPC, was also critical of a part of the provision stating that no offence of adultery is made out if a married woman enters into a sexual relationship with a married man with the consent of her husband.Section 497 of 158-year-old IPC says: “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery.” The bench termed this aspect of Section 497 “manifestly arbitrary” and said it treated married women as “chattel” on the ground that their relationship with other married persons depends on the “consent or connivance of her husband”.“Definitely the matrimonial sanctity aspect is there, but the way the provisions is enacted or made runs counter to Article 14 (Right to equality of the Constitution),” said the bench also comprising Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.The bench said it would see whether the provision can stand test of the right to equality on grounds like “discretion and manifest arbitrariness”.Lawyer Kaleeswaram Raj, who reprsented petitioner Joseph Shine, an Indian living in Italy, referred to various facets of Section 497 and said the provision does not apply to a consenting sexual relationship between two unmarried adults and it treats married men and women differently with regard to their prosecution for the offence of adultery.He said married men can be prosecuted for the offence of adultery, but this is not the case with married women and referred to various inconsistencies in the section.HT
SC calls adultery provision in IPC a 'peculiar law', says it fails test of arbitrariness
Both men and women have to be equally responsible: CJI during hearing on adultery law
Elderly Muslim lynched in AP, young Dalit in Rajasthan
Hyderabad/ Jaipur: 2 persons were beaten to death in separate incidents of mob lynching in AP and Rajasthan on Tuesday. The brutal lynching claimed life of an elderly Muslim in Kurnool district of AP while a young Dalit was beaten to death in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan.Reports say 52-year-old Farooq Shiekh Hussain, originally form Nashik, was beaten to death by villagers in Kurnool district for allegedly misbehaving with women.Hussain had come to attend a religious congregation at a mosque in Kurnool.On Tuesday he went to Kurnool’s Joharapuram village where he allegedly entered a house in a SC/ST colony where a woman who was alone screamed as she saw him.On hearing her scream,Hussain jumped the wall and entered another house where another woman also shouted. Soon villagers gathered, tied him to a tree and mercilessly assaulted him.Police reached the spot after some time and took injured Hussain to the police station where his condition got deteriorated and he began vomiting. Police shifted him to a local hospital where he died after a few minutes. In the second incident, Rampal,employee of a gas agency, allegedly entered a house in Jodhpur’s Lavera Kalan village around midnight on Tuesday.The woman was alone and she began crying at seeing man in her house.While Rampal’s father claimed that he went there on a complaint of gas leak but villagers doubted his intentions and attacked Rampal. Police reached the spot but he was beaten to death.CaravanNews
Incidents of mob lynching complete failure of law, says former CJI T S Thakur
New Delhi:Former CJI TS Thakur has called the incidents of mob lynching a complete failure of law. He also stressed on the importance of independence of the judiciary in a democratic polity. Justice (retd) Thakur said a judiciary that measures up to some political ideology and succumbs to pressures will not be able either protect the Constitution or the rule of law.He was speaking at the release of book, ‘Wheel of Justice’ by ex Union Minister M Veerappa Moily. Ex PM  Manmohan Singh was the chief guest at event, while Supreme Court Justice AK Sikri was the guest of honour. Justice Thakur said Moily in his book has also highlighted the importance of independence of judiciary.“Who protects the law? Who ensures that is there is rule of law in this country? It is the independent judiciary that looks after not only the Constitution, but also ensures that we remain governed by rule of law, not by any autocrat. And therefore, for the survival of judiciary, for the survival of democracy, it is necessary that it remains independent,”Justice (retd) Thakur said.He said, independence of judiciary and rule of law assumes significance “especially when we see day in and day out mobs lynching people. Its a complete failure of rule of law. If a mob can take law in its own hands and administer somebody justice, what kind of rule of law is it.”indianexpress
Naroda Gam massacre case: Discard Amit Shah’s statement defending Maya Kodnani, SIT tells court
Ahmedabad:IN the trial of the Naroda Gam massacre case of 2002 post-Godhra riots, the Supreme Court appointed-SIT on Wednesday argued before a special court that the deposition of BJP chief Amit Shah “should be discarded” as it was done merely to “support” key accused former BJP minister Maya Kodnani.Special Public Prosecutor Gaurang Vyas, while reading out the statement recorded by Shah in the court in Sep.2017, said that “Amit Shah recorded the statement 15 years after the incident which is not relevant now. It was done only to support Maya Kodnani as both were MLAs back then.” Vyas argued that “Amit Shah’s presence at Sola Civil hospital is also doubtful as despite being an MLA (back in 2002) nobody, even the accused like Babu Bajrangi, Jaideep Patel ever mentioned his presence.”Sola civil hospital is the place where the bodies of karsewaks had been brought from Godhra. In her defence, Maya Kodnani has said that she was at this hospital with Amit Shah when riots broke out in Naroda Gam area on Feb.28,2002. She had got summons issued to Shah for his deposition. Shah appeared in court and recorded his statement that he saw Maya Kodnani.Shah had said that he saw Kodnani first at Vidhan Sabha at 8.30am. From Vidhan Sabha he left for Sola civil hospital where angry relatives of the Godhra train carnage had gathered to collect the bodies.In his statement, Shah had said: “Since slogans were being shouted against incident and there was chaos, a police team escorted me and Mayaben out of the hospital and took us to a police jeep since my vehicle was parked a little far. I can’t say exactly but it was around 11 am to 11.15am. I was dropped near Gota chowkdi where I got into my own vehicle.”Vyas argued that Shah’s presence at the hospital never came into the case records until two of Kodnani’s defence witnesses Natubhai Vaghela and Bharat Kantibhai Patel deposed last year. Meanwhile, lawyer Shamshad Pathan sought permission from the court for arguing on behalf of the victims. The court asked him to file an application.It will be heard on Friday.indianexpress
Govt may clear 2 names for SC, sit on Justice KM Joseph’s file
New Delhi:The Govt  is planning to clear the appointment of two high court chief justices, Indira Banerjee and Vineet Sharan, to the Supreme Court in the coming week, but not that of Justice KM Joseph , a top Govt  functionary said on Wednesday on condition of anonymity. The SC collegium recommended the two new names and sent its recommendation again on Joseph to the law ministry on July 16.A second Govt  functionary, while confirming the development, said the law ministry had moved the file of the two judges to the PMO for final clearance. While Justice Banerjee heads the Madras HC, Justice Sharan is CJ of the Orissa HC. Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad declined to comment.The collegium, a body of the SC’s top 5 judges headed by the CJI that appoints judges to the higher judiciary, first recommended justice Joseph’s elevation to the top court (he is currently chief justice of the Uttarakhand high court ) in Jan. In April, law minister Prasad wrote to CJI Dipak Misra asking for reconsideration of the decision (communicated in Jan) to appoint Justice Joseph. The law minister said Justice Joseph was at No. 42 in the all India seniority list of HC judges and there was already a judge from his parent HC (Kerala) in the SC. “It would also not be fair and justified to other more senior, suitable and deserving Chief Justices and senior judges of various high courts if Joseph’s name goes through,” Prasad said at that time.HT
Names of serving, ex servicemen in Army missing from Assam NRC draft
Enamul Haque, a soldier in Indian Army, has been a worried man ever since the NRC that seeks to prove citizenship and weed out illegal immigrants was released in Assam on Monday.Naik Haque is one the several serving and retired defence personnel from Assam whose names are among the 40 lakh people missing from the controversial document.All the members of Haque’s family figure in the complete draft of NRC and he now will have to file claims to ensure that his name is included in the final list. “Like everyone else I too had applied for inclusion in NRC list. I also got a notice from NRC centre 3 months ago for verification of documents. But since I couldn’t get leave,my family members went and verified them. But while their names are in the complete draft, I am surprised that mine is excluded,” Haque, posted in Uttarakhand’s Roorkee, said over the phone.Sana Ullah, a retired JCO in the Indian Army, is also worried.“During the verification of documents at the NRC centre in April, the officials had told us that all our papers are in order. But when the complete draft came out, my name, my wife’s name and those of my three children were missing,” Ullah said.The names of all the other family members of the 51-year-old, who retired after 30 years of service, and now works as an accountant in a Bengaluru firm, are included in the draft.Similarly, Samsul Haque had hoped he would lead a smooth life at Balikuri, his ancestral village in Barpeta district, after retiring in 2014 as a sergeant in the IAF.“But since retirement, I have been busy trying to prove I am an Indian. I got notices in 2016 that I have been listed as a D-voter (doubtful voter) in electoral rolls. I fought the case in foreigner’s tribunal, which ruled in my favour,”57-year-old said. "My name, my wife’s name and my two children are missing in the complete draft,"Haque, who served for 35 years, added. Retired IAF sergeant Sadullah Ahmed and his two sons are also missing from the complete draft.His wife, however, is included in the list.The names of 2 other ex-servicemen, Azmal Hoque and Mahiruddin Ahmed, both of whom were declared Indians by the foreigner’s tribunals after they were summoned to prove citizenship, are also missing from complete draft.HT
Army Jawan Who Served For 30 Yrs Left Out Of Assam Citizen List Draft
Jaitley defends Assam NRC, says rising Muslim population 'threat to sovereignty'
 Union minister Arun Jaitley has defended a controversial citizens' list to detect illegal immigrants from mainly Muslim Bangladesh, saying the growth in the Hindu population of a border state had been overtaken by that of Muslims."In the 50 years between 1961 and 2011,majority community in Assam has grown 2.4 times; the minority has grown 3.9 times," Jaitley, one of Modi's senior-most cabinet colleagues, said in a blog post."This has caused a major demographic impact." "Nobody could have put it better," Jaitley said. He added that Assam's neighbouring state of West Bengal, whose CM has taken the lead in opposing the citizenship exercise, was "not far behind" in the changing demographics fuelled by immigration.Reuters 
Arunachal: Students’ body announces drive to oust ‘non-Arunachalees’
Itanagar: 3 days after the complete draft of NRC was published in Assam, the apex students’ body in Arunachal today asked “undocumented migrants” to leave the state within 15 days.Apprehending that people from neighbouring Assam may “sneak into their territory” in the wake of NRC publication, All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU), in a statement, said it would launch ‘Operation Clean Drive’ to evict “non-Arunachalees” and assist district authorities to keep vigil at the entry points of the state.Large number of illegal migrants, who did not find a mention in Assam’s draft NRC, might try to enter the state to evade deportation, AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai said.“A committee has been constituted with AAPSU member Tatung Taga as its chairman to spearhead ‘Operation Clean Drive’ across the state. It will assist the district authorities to conduct spot verification of people at all entry points along the inter-state boundary,” he stated.
Opposition to approach poll panel demanding 2019 polls be held on ballots
New Delhi :In an attempt to strengthen Opposition unity against ruling BJP, 17 political parties, including Trinamool Congress, are planning to approach Election Commission, demanding that 2019 Lok Sabha polls be conducted on ballot papers.17 opposition parties would meet next week to discuss the plan.“This is a matter on which all opposition parties agreed. We are planning to meet next week. We plan to go to Election Commission and demand that the EC conduct the coming Lok Sabha election on ballot papers,” TMC leader Derek O’Brien told reporters.The initiative to solicit the support of all opposition parties on the matter was taken by TMC chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, when she visited Parliament to meet all opposition leaders to invite them for her planned rally in Kolkata on Jan.19. PTI
Advisory Board Examining Detention Orders in J&K 'Systematically Subjugated'
New Delhi:Raising serious questions about the functioning and autonomy of the advisory board empowered to examine the correctness of detention orders, data supplied by J&K home department and the state high court have revealed that a majority of the board’s recommendations were quashed by the high court.Stating that “the comparative data [are] compelling enough to demand a thorough review of the working of the advisory board,” noted RTI activists Venkatesh Nayak, coordinator of the Access to Information programme and Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, chairperson of J&K RTI Movement, said the role of the board had not come under intense public scrutiny except on occasions when human rights organisations commented on the manner of use of the J&K Public Safety Act.The activists said two young students of the department of law, University of Kashmir had used the Act to probe the functioning of the advisory board established under the J&KPSA, and their findings had revealed that between April 2016 and mid-Dec. 2017, the state Govt  had referred 1,004 detention orders to the advisory board, out of which it had recommended confirmation in 998 cases (99.40%).thewire
Talib Hussain, Who Led Agitation Demanding Justice In Kathua rape Case, Arrested On Rape Charges
Talib Hussain, a prominent Gujjar activist has been arrested for allegedly raping a woman in J&K's Samba district, the police said on Wednesday. Talib Hussain was arrested following a complaint lodged on Tuesday by a woman who is his relative, a police official said.In her complaint, the woman alleged that she was raped by Hussain a month-and-a half ago in Chadwa forest, he said.Hussain, armed with a knife, intercepted the woman when she had gone to the forest for grazing cattle and also thrashed her, the complaint said. The official said an probe had been launched in the case.Hussain shot into prominence after being at the forefront of a campaign to seek justice for an 8-year-old girl who was abducted, raped and murdered in Kathua district in January this year.In June, Hussain's estranged wife registered a case against him for allegedly torturing her and demanding dowry, a charge, the activist said, "aimed at maligning him for raising his voice to seek justice for the Kathua rape and murder victim.PTI
Gurgaon: 3 held for forcefully chopping off Muslim youth’s beard
New Delhi:3 people have been arrested today after allegedly abusing, assaulting and forcefully shaving off a Muslim man’s beard, the police was quoted as saying by PTI. The accused have been identified and arrested, the police further said. Jaffruddin is a resident of Mewat and was visiting a friend in Gurgaon when the incident occurred.According to ANI, DCP of Gurugram (Crime) Sumit Kuhar confirmed that the accused have been arrested and rejected the idea of the involvement of an organisation behind the incident. Kuhar said, “3 people including the barber have been arrested and will be produced before the court today. This is an isolated incident and no organisation is involved in it.”On July 31, Jaffruddin, a resident of Mewat, was at Khandsa Mandi in Gurgaon when two people hurled racial abuses at him. Gurgaon Police PRO Subhash Bokan told PTI:“Jaffruddin initially ignored the religious insults but he finally retorted. Following which, the accused persons assaulted Jaffruddin. Then they took him to a saloon and chopped his beard off.”The accused — Gaurav, Eklash from UP  and Nitin from Harayana — even threatened him with dire consequences if he approached the police. Unperturbed by threat Jaffruddin registered a case against the perpetrators with Gurgaon’s Sector 37 police in next day.indianexpress
Kolkata: Muslim docs face eviction over their religion:TOI
Kolkata: They can treat us when we are ill but they may not be good enough to be our neighbours. This is the message that 4 Medical College and Hospital alumni, now doing their house-staffship at various hospitals in the state, have got from their neighbours at a Kolkata housing society.Aftab Alam, Mojtaba Hassan, Nasir Shaikh and Sawkat Shaikh are now counting their days at their Kudghat flat and have fallen back on a volunteers’ group,called Sanghati Abhijan, to resist eviction. “A few of our members will talk to the neighbours and the local councillor to find a solution,” Dwaipayan Banerjee, speaking on behalf of Sanghati Abhijan, said.4 MCH alumni rented Kudghat flat two months ago. “Our landlord did not have any problem with us but, right from the start, some of our neighbours created a hostile situation.Things worsened on Monday when a friend came to visit us. He was heckled by some of our neighbours, who asked him to show an ‘identity proof’. One of them — a middle-aged ‘gentleman’ — has asked us to find accommodation elsewhere as we are Muslims,” Alam,resident of Bankra in Howrah, said on Wednesday. “Many landlords rejected us because of our religious identity. We got this flat after several weeks of househunting and our current landlord did not have any problem with our religion,” he added. Hassan added that it was one particular neighbour, who created the ruckus on Monday when their friend arrived, who was consistently against their staying in the building. “he told our landlord that he had a problem with us because of our religion,” Hassan said, adding:“He then banded a few others together.”
Switch off loudspeakers in mosques during Kanwar Yatra: Sadhvi Prachi to Yogi
Known for controversial remarks, exVHP leader Sadhvi Prachi was at it again. On Tuesday, she advised Muslim women to marry Hindus and, later, referring to CM Yogi Adityanath as her brother, requested him to ensure that loudspeakers at mosques were switched off during the Kanwar Yatra processions in the state.UP  Govt had recently initiated the process of withdrawing cases related to Muzaffarnagar riots, which included hate speech cases against Prachi. “My elder brother Yogi ji should ensure that till the time Kaanwar processions are going on… there should be ban on use of loudspeakers in the mosques,” Prachi said.indianexpress
Why There is Sudden 'Spurt' in Communal Tensions Involving Minorities in Uttarakhand?NEWS 18
Dehradun: Raju Rehman (48) has been running a jewelry shop since 2 decades in mofussil Ghansali town of Tehri district, 110 kms from here. For years he has lived in peace with the local Hindu community. This bonhomie was broken earlier this week when a Muslim boy was reportedly caught with a teenage girl in a hotel. Incident soon snowballed into major controversy.18-year-old accused Azad Alvi, a barber by profession, was thrashed and later booked under POCSO Act. Girl was also sent to the shelter home.“I fail to understand why there is a sudden spurt in similar nature of the incidents involving minorities. For years there was no problem but now I am concerned,” Rehman says. But the right wing organisations like Bajrang Dal feel the clashes are linked to ‘criminal acts’ of the outsiders.In fact, the Ghansali incident is not the isolated one. In April this year, shops of minorities were vandalised in Agastyamuni town in Rudraprayag district after a Facebook post claimed that a boy raped a girl. In July 2017, Satpuli town in Pauri Garhwal district witnessed communal clashes after a teenage boy was charged with insulting Hindu shrine in his Facebook profile.Moreover, last year also saw 2 communities fighting in Raiwala, a town situated along Dehradun – Haridwar highway, over an alleged “illegal” relation between a couple. There had been nearly a dozen odd similar incidents in the Garhwal region in last 1 year.Dehradun-based political commentator SMA Kazmi says that the communal tensions are part of a broader political game. He claims such incidents over frivolous reasons skyrocketed after March 2017–year when BJP Govt was voted to power in Uttarakhand. “It is all about sending a message. Most of the Muslim men doing small businesses in Uttarakhand come from UP and if such incidents repeat then they might return to the parent state,” he says.
Murders of rationalists:Bombay HC  says CBI, SIT giving similar status reports in each hearing
Bombay High Court today criticised CBI and the SIT probing the murders of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare. Refusing to accept the status report filed by the two agencies, the High Court criticised them for submitting similar reports every time as status reports, reported ANI. “CBI and the CID have been maintaining that they are coordinating with the Karnataka Police probing the killings of writer MM Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh,” the court said. “They have also been claiming that they are keeping a watch on certain ‘sansthas’ or organisations. Then how did the Karnataka authorities manage to make an arrest from Maharashtra?”It added: “Is there a lack of coordination, or are the authorities before us restricting their probe to merely pursuing mobile phone records?”The court was hearing petitions filed by the victims’ families that sought its monitoring of the investigations. scroll.in
Sohrabuddin, Tulsiram ‘fake’ encounter cases: CBI opposes discharge plea of Gujarat IPS officer Aggarwal
Mumbai: CBI opposed the discharge application of Gujarat IPS officer Vipul Aggarwal before Bombay High Court in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati alleged fake encounter cases.Justice AM Badar is hearing a revision application filed by Aggarwal, challenging the trial court’s order of Nov.7, 2017, in which his discharge application was rejected. Last week, Senior Counsel Shirish Gupte, appearing for Aggarwal, urged the court to consider the depositions of witnesses who have recorded their statements on oath before the trial court. Gupte told the court: “This evidence on oath is going to be used by the trial court.”According to the CBI chargesheet, on the instruction of ex Gujarat DIG DG Vanzara, Aggarwal summoned ATS officer Ashish Pandya, who was on leave, to kill Prajapati in a fake encounter.indianexpress
Unfortunate that JNU is overlooking plagiarism: HC
New Delhi: Delhi High Court has said it was “unfortunate” that JNU was “overlooking” issues of plagiarism, especially by one its faculty members.A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar said, “You [JNU] should yourself react to plagiarism. It is unfortunate that a reputed academic institution is overlooking plagiarism by one of its faculty.”The court’s oral observation came while issuing notices to the Centre, UGC and JNU on an application moved by a lawyer seeking an independent report regarding alleged plagiarism by an assistant professor of the varsity’s Centre for Turkish School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies.The Bench has sought responses by Sept.4, the next date of hearing. The application was filed in the main petition moved by advocate Mobashshir Sarwar and M. Arshad Parvez, a Turkish language student from Jamia Millia Islamia.thehindu
SC/ST Law ‘Dilution’ Violence in April: Bheem Army to protest in Delhi on Aug 19, wants cases withdrawn
Lucknow: Members of Bheem Army have decided to protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on August 19, to press for the withdrawal of cases against fellow outfit members lodged in jail in connection with April 2 violence in west UP districts.On April 2, Bheem Army workers had protested demanding changes in the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The protest will be held under the banner of ‘Bahujan Sankalp Maha Sabha’,party workers said.“Over 1,000 members of Bheem Army were arrested across the country during the protest on April 2. Our members in different states have sent invitations to the houses of those who were arrested and those who lost their lives in during the April 2 incident, asking them to reach Delhi on August 19. We will be felicitating them. We have also planned to felicitate those who were arrested in the same protest and are presently out on bail,” said Bheem Army president Vinay Ratan.indianexpress
2nd time in 2 months, RBI increases interest rate, cautions on fiscal front
Monetary Policy Committee or MPC of RBI raised its key policy rate — the repo rate — by 25 basis points for the second time in two months to contain inflation in a year leading up to general elections.Indicating that RBI is taking a long-term view on inflation “while supporting growth” and retaining its “neutral stance”, the central bank, in its third bi-monthly monetary policy of the current fiscal, raised the repo or the rate at which it lends to other banks, by 0.25 %  to 6.5 %  which is expected to lead to higher interest rates on housing, auto and other personal loans.The rate hike in June was the first time the benchmark lending rate was raised in over 4 years. This is now the first time since Oct.2013 that central bank has raised the repo rate at 2 consecutive policy meetings. P Chidambaram said, “back-to-back increase is because RBI does not believe the Govt ’s projections on inflation and fiscal deficit. RBI wishes to contain inflation as well as discourage the Govt  from exceeding the borrowing target in an election year.”indianexpress
WORLD
Israel bans entry of fuel and gas into besieged Gaza Strip
Israel has blocked the supply of fuel and gas to the besieged Gaza Strip, saying it was in retaliation over Palestinians setting fire to Israeli land, local media reported.Minister of Defence Avigdor Lieberman ordered the halt in fuel shipments via the partially sealed off Karem Abu Salem commercial border crossing. The decision, which came into effect on Thursday, will continue until further notice.Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker, reporting from Gaza, said at least 19 fires were reported by Israel on Wednesday.The move was to place "pressure on the leadership here to stop the incendiary kites and balloons," Dekker said, referring to Hamas - the group that governs the Gaza Strip. On July 9, Israel shut down the sole commercial crossing to the besieged Palestinian territory, cutting the supply of essential commodities to the nearly two million residents.The move only allowed for the transfer of humanitarian needs such as cooking gas as well as wheat and flour into Gaza, an official responsible for coordinating the movement of cargo through the border confirmed to Al Jazeera last month.The closure also affected Gaza's exports, further straining an already crippled economy brought to its knees by 12-year blockade.aljazeera
Turkey tells US to reverse its 'wrong decision' over sanctions
Turkey has condemned a decision by US to impose sanctions on two of its senior ministers in response to the detention of an American pastor who is being tried by Ankara on espionage and terror-related charges.Turkish foreign ministry called on US to reverse its "wrong decision" on Thursday after Washington announced sanctions on Abdulhamit Gul, minister of justice, and Suleyman Soylu, the minister of interior. The White House blocked assets and properties belonging to Gul and Soylu after accusing them of playing leading roles in the arrest and detention of Andrew Brunson.Ankara claims Brunson has ties to US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, who it says was behind a 2016 failed coup attempt, and the banned Kurdistan PKK.Turkey's foreign ministry said in a statement:"The decision, which disrespectfully intervenes in our judicial system, will seriously damage the constructive efforts made in order to resolve problems between the two countries."It added that the US' "aggressive attitude serves no purpose," and vowed that it would respond in equal measure. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, wrote on Twitter:"US attempts to impose sanctions on our two ministers will not go unanswered."Gul was later quoted by Daily Sabah as saying he didn't own any property or money outside Turkey, therefore attempts by the US Treasury to "block" assets under US jurisdiction would have no effect on him.Soylu also shrugged off Washington's move, saying the only business he had with the US was the extradition of Gulen.Brunson, who led a Protestant church in the Aegean city of Izmir, is at the centre of one of the most bitter diplomatic spats between the NATO allies in years that risks escalating further.aljazeera
Tillerson stopped Saudi and UAE from 'attacking' Qatar
Saudi Arabia and UAE planned to launch a military operation against Qatar at the beginning of a diplomatic crisis that erupted in June last year but were stopped by former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in an act that may have played a key role in his dismissal.According to the investigative news website The Intercept, the plan involved Saudi ground troops crossing the land border into Qatar, and with military support from UAE, advancing 100km inland and seizing the Qatari capital.Based on information it said it received from a current member of the US intelligence community and two former Department of State officials, The Intercept said coup, which was largely devised by Saudi and UAE's crown princes, "was likely some weeks away from being implemented".It said the attack against Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, would have involved Saudi forces circumventing the Al Udeid Air Base, which is home of US Air Force Central Command and some 10,000 American troops, and seizing Doha.Al Udeid serves as one of US' most important overseas military bases and carries out operations throughout the Middle East.However, after Tillerson was notified of the plan by Qatari intelligence officials, he reportedly urged Saudi Arabia's King Salman not to carry out the attack and also encouraged Defense Secretary James Mattis to explain the dangers of such an invasion to his counterparts in kingdom, it said. Pressure from Tillerson caused Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, to back down, who was concerned that the invasion would damage Saudi's long-term relationship with US. However, Tillerson's intervention reportedly enraged Mohammed bin Zayed, with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and de facto ruler of UAE, subsequently lobbying the White House for Tillerson's removal.The Intercept said none of the current or former officials interviewed by The Intercept had direct insight into why Trump decided to fire Tillerson, but one source said that the timing - a week before Saudi crown prince arrived in Washington for a much-publicised visit - was significant. Tillerson, a former executive for the energy company Exxon, had repeatedly criticised the blockading countries for the crisis before his dismissal, and in October last year, accused them of heightening tensions.aljazeera
Qatar denies preventing its citizens from performing annual Hajj
Qatar has denied accusations it is preventing its citizens from performing the Hajj, or yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, the peninsular nation's official QNA news agency said.Authorities at the ministry of religious affairs refuted on Wednesday claims that Doha was preventing Qatari nationals from going to Mecca for the yearly ritual.The ministry lamented the use of Hajj - the completion of which constitutes one of Islam's 5 requirements - for political ends and said it was in contact with Saudi authorities to eliminate all obstacles for Qatari nationals and residents willing to partake in this year's event, set to begin on August 19. Governor of Makkah province in Saudi for his part said that Qatari pilgrims have yet to arrive.aljazeera
'You've lost Islam': Ethiopian PM recounts snub to Abu Dhabi crown prince
Ethiopian PM  Abiy Ahmed has said that he shunned an offer by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed to build an Islamic centre in the east African country by telling him that he had "lost" his religion.Ahmed recalled the conversation with bin Zayed, who is considered the de facto ruler of UAE, in a speech to members of the American-Ethiopian Muslim community in the US state of Virginia on Friday.    "We will help you with many things. We will teach you,” bin Zayed allegedly said in a private conversation with Ahmed, who said he replied: “We don’t need to learn the religion from you. You’ve lost the religion. What we need is to learn Arabic quickly, so we could better understand the religion and teach it to you, and return you to it.”When bin Zayed asked him why, Ahmed said that Islam is about peace, unlike what is happening in the Middle East.“You have lost the religion,” Ahmed said he told the crown prince.“The Islam that does not look like true Islam has begun spreading amongst you, and you have forgotten peace and how to forgive."Ahmed met bin Zayed last Tuesday during a visit to Abu Dhabi with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, following the agreement of a peace deal between the former antagonists.middleeasteye
Israel 'caught off guard' by Trump's offer to meet Iran's Rouhani
President Donald Trump's offer to hold talks with Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani has taken Israel's intelligence community by surprise, Israel's debkafile news website said.Israel's diplomatic and intelligence services were "struck dumb for two days," after Trump announced on Monday his readiness to meet Rouhani with no set preconditions.The report notes that Israeli officials reacted on Tuesday with an anonymous source offering a terse comment on recent developments."Senior US officials conveyed to Israel that there is no change in the tough policy against Iran."US and Iranian emissaries have been holding exploratory talks since early June through Oman's good offices without Israel's knowledge.According to the website, this raises a number of questions, not least of which is whether the Trump administration has truly kept Israel informed of its change in policy.In effect, the mere announcement of Trump's openness to holding talks with Rouhani suggests a pivot in Trump's approach to Tehran, the report said.aljazeera
Netanyahu offers new law in response to Druze anger at ‘Jewish nation state’ bill
Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu has offered representatives of the state’s Druze population a proposal to pass new legislation strengthening the status of the community.The initiative comes in response to Druze criticism of the recently-passed “Jewish nation state” bill.According to Haaretz, representatives of the Druze community said that Netanyahu’s proposal is “a window of opportunity to set a historical precedent for the advancement of the Druze community and its status in the State of Israel”.The report added that “representatives, headed by Sheikh Muwafak Tarif, will continue talks with Netanyahu’s team, which has been appointed to make an agreement on both sides.”Haaretz stated that “the plan outlines a Basic Law and a regular law that will recognise the contribution of minorities who defend the country by ‘enshrining eligibility for the benefits of minority members of all religions and communities who serve in the security forces, for the purpose of closing gaps and promoting social equality’.”MEMO         
Denmark's ban on Islamic full-face veil in public spaces takes effect from today
 Denmark's ban on the Islamic full-face veil in public spaces came into force on Wednesday, with anyone wearing a garment that hides the face in public risking a fine.Human rights campaigners have slammed the ban as a violation of women's rights, while supporters argue it enables better integration of Muslim immigrants into Danish society. Wearing a burqa, which covers the entire face, or the niqab, which shows only the eyes, in public will lead to a fine of 1,000 kroner ($156, 134 euros). The ban also targets other items that hide the face such as balaclavas and false beards.Repeated violations will be fined up to 10,000 kroner. Protests against the ban were planned in the capital Copenhagen and the second-biggest city Aarhus late Wednesday, with several hundred people expected to attend -- some of them wearing the full-face veil.A 30-year-old Muslim woman interviewed in daily Berlingske, identified only as Sarah, said on Wednesday that she had "lost faith in the system".Born and raised in Denmark by parents who emigrated from Turkey, she has worn the niqab since she was 18."I've realised that democracy doesn't work. Politicians boast of freedoms and rights when they are making fun of Muslims and when they are drawing caricatures of the prophet. But when it comes to me, they take away my right to choose how I want to dress," she said."I have come to the realisation that Muslims don't have the same rights as others. So much of politics is hypocritical."newindianexpress
Islamic marriage falls within purview of English matrimonial law:UK HC
London:UK High Court today ruled that an Islamic faith marriage does fall within the purview of English matrimonial law as it granted a woman a decree to nullify her bond with her estranged husband.Nasreen Akhter, a solicitor, wanted to divorce her businessman Mohammed Shabaz husband Khan, who had blocked her application on the basis that they are not legally married under English law but only under Sharia law.Justice Williams ruled that the marriage falls within the scope of UK's 1973 Matrimonial Causes Act. He, however, noted that the marriage was "entered into in disregard of certain requirements as to the formation of marriage" and is therefore "void", which means Akhter is entitled to a "decree of nullity"."I conclude that this marriage falls within the scope of Section 11 and was a marriage entered into in disregard of certain requirements as to the formation of marriage. It is, therefore, a void marriage and the wife is entitled to a decree of nullity," Justice Williams notes in his judgment.Barrister Paula Rhone-Adrien, who led Khan's legal team, had told the court during the trial earlier in the year that the case could have implications for people of a number of faiths."If the High Court decides that the parties were married, then that means potentially all Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs could seek for their religious ceremonies to be recognised as legally binding," she had said.The judge analysed the dispute presented at the Family Division of the High Court in London and announced his decision in a written ruling this week. Pakistani-origin couple, Nasreen and Khan - both 46, had got married in an Islamic wedding ceremony under Sharia law in a restaurant in Southall, west London, in 1998. The nikaah ceremony had been conducted by an imam before hundreds of guests.PTI
Imran Khan opts for very simple oath-taking ceremony, no show of extravagance and not to invite foreign leaders
Imran Khan has decided against inviting foreign leaders and celebrities to his oath taking ceremony as Pakistan’s PM  as he wants to keep the event very simple, according to a media report. Khan’s is expected to take oath on August 11.His party had initially planned to invite several foreign leaders and personalities, including PM  Narendra Modi, Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan and Indian cricketers like Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavasker and Navjot Singh Sidhu to the event.However, in an apparent change of heart on Thursday,  Khan opted against a fancy ceremony, Dawn paper reported.“PTI chairman has directed to stage the oath taking event with austerity,” the daily quoted PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry as saying.“He will take his oath in a simple ceremony at Aiwan-e-Sadr [President House],” he said. “It has been decided that no foreign personalities will be invited to the ceremony — it will be a completely national event. There will be no show of extravagance at the event,”  Chaudhry said.After his party’s victory in the elections, Khan has pledged to take austerity measures to save taxpayers money.He had announced that he would not move into PM ’s House and a final decision on the fate of the building would be decided by the party.PTI
Imran Khan a man of character, accept his invite for swearing-in ceremony, says Navjot Singh Sidhu
New Delhi: Former cricketer and Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said that he would travel to Pakistan to attend the swearing-in of Imran Khan as PM  after an invitation was extended by PTI. Out of all the personalities invited to the August 11 ceremony from India, Sidhu is probably the first to confirm his acceptation. Besides Sidhu, Khan has also invited Bollywood actor Aamir Khan and former cricketers Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar.indianexpress
Trump’s message to Imran : US cuts aid to Pakistan from $700 million to $150 million
Washington: US Congress has passed the National Defense Authorisation Act-2019 (NDAA-19) which capped its security-related aid to Pakistan to USD 150 million, significantly below the historic level of more than USD one billion to USD 750 million per year. This year’s defense legislation, however, removes certain conditions – like action against Haqqani network or LeT — as was the case in the past few years for disbursement of US aid to Pakistan.The Senate passed the conference report on NDAA-19 by 87 to 10 votes yesterday afternoon. The House of Representatives had passed the conference report last week. It now heads to the White House for President Donald Trump’s assent. “Legislation reduces the total amount of funds provided for reimbursement to Pakistan to USD 150 million. This is a significant reduction from the USD 700 million that was authorised through Coalition Support Fund (CSF) last year,” Anish Goel, who was part of Barack Obama’s White House National Security Council, said. PTI
Taliban says defeats IS fighters in north Afghanistan
Mazar-I Sharif:Over 150 fighters of Islamic State in Afghanistan  surrendered to security forces in the northwestern province of Jawzjan after they were defeated and driven out by the Taliban, Taliban and Govt  officials said on Wednesday.The defeat represents a major setback for the group, which first appeared in eastern Afghanistan around 4 years ago and which had gained a foothold in southern Jawzjan, where it fought for control of smuggling routes into neighbouring Turkmenistan.“The evil phenomenon of Daesh has completely been eliminated and people have been freed from its tortures in Jawzjan province of Afghanistan,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.Taliban launched an offensive several weeks ago in Jawzjan against the group, which they oppose as much as they do the Western-backed Govt  in Kabul and which has established an unmatched reputation for brutality.Last month, General John Nicholson,top US commander in Afghanistan, welcomed the fact that the Taliban were fighting IS, which he said had to be destroyed.US forces have launched air strikes against Islamic State fighters in Jawzjan in recent months, but the Taliban has rejected any suggestion of cooperation and accused US of trying to obstruct them.Mujahid said more than 130 captured by the Taliban with the rest surrendering to Govt  forces rather than the Taliban.Mawlawi Habiburrahman, commander of Islamic State forces in the north, and another commander called Mufti Nematullah were among those who surrendered, Afghan Govt  officials said. Bands of IS fighters have been increasingly active in northern Afghanistan in recent years, fighting the Taliban for control of resources and sparking alarm in neighbouring nations. Reuters
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Media Dept. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind,
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:23 PM)

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