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Wednesday, 26 September 2018

26 Sept ND:SC upholds Aadhaar but strikes down certain sections; not mandatory for bank accounts, mobile, school admissions; mandatory for PAN, IT returns, welfare schemes, subsidies


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY 
26 Sept. 2018: 15 Muhram 1440: Vol: 11, No:12
INDIA
SC upholds Aadhaar but strikes down certain sections; not mandatory for bank accounts, mobile, school admissions; mandatory for PAN, IT returns, welfare schemes, subsidies
New Delhi: Stating that Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, was constitutionally valid, the Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down some of its provisions by a 4:1 majority. The SC said a person’s rights could not be denied on the ground of lack of the unique ID. While the majority judgment, written by Justice AK Sikri in concurrence with CJI Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar, upheld seeding of PAN with Aadhaar, it set aside linking Aadhaar to bank accounts and mobile phone numbers.In his concurring decision, Justice Bhushan said the Central government had given sufficient reasons to uphold Section 7 of Aadhaar Act, which deals with grant of subsidies and welfare benefits. However, in a dissenting judgment, Justice Chandrachud said the Aadhaar Act was liable to be struck down as being violative of Article 110. “Rajya Sabha should not have been bypassed,” he said, referring to the govt passing the Aadhaar bill as a Money Bill in the Lok Sabha, where it has an absolute majority. He also asked telecom operators to delete all data they had collected from users.Ruling that Aadhaar was not compulsory for school admissions, the SC said no child could be denied benefits of any scheme for not having Aadhaar number. “CBSE, NEET, UGC cannot make Aadhaar mandatory, also it is not compulsory for school admissions,” Justice AK Sikri, who is part of the five-judge bench that heard a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act, said.Stating that Aadhaar empowers the marginalised sections of society and gave them an identity, the SC asked the Central government to introduce a robust data protection law as soon as possible. Justice A K Sikri, who is part of the five-judge bench ruling on the validity of the Aadhaar Act and who wrote the majority judgment, also struck down Section 57 of Aadhaar Act, which permits private entities to avail of Aadhaar data. He also said Aadhaar authentication data cannot be stored for more than six months.“Minimal demographic and biometric data of citizens are collected by UIDAI for Aadhaar enrolment. Aadhaar number given to a person is unique and can’t go to any other person. Aadhaar identification is unparalleled,” Justice Sikri said. Justice DY Chandrachud said allowing private players to use Aadhaar would lead to profiling, which could be used in ascertaining political views etc of citizens. indian express
Now, you don’t need Aadhaar for these services. Here’s the full list
SC upholds Aadhaar but strikes down certain sections
‘Impossible to live in India if Aadhaar mandatory’, says sole dissenting SC judge DY Chandrachud
NDA tried to convert Aadhaar into a monster, SC judgment a lesson for Law min: Chidambaram
New Delhi :Congress welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, which allowed private entities to access Aadhaar data, saying it would put an end to the abuse of power by the Narendra Modi-led BJP government. The party said the decision would throw a spanner in the government’s works as BJP was pushing its agenda of mass surveillance through intimidation of private companies that were insisting on Aadhaar details.Calling Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act the government’s “surveillance tool”, Congress said, “By striking it down, the SC has firmly put an end to the mass surveillance exercise being carried out under the guise of Aadhar by the Central government and the grotesque distortion of an idea conceived by the UPA.”In a statement, released by Congress leaders Kapil Sibal, Ashok Gehlot and Randeep Singh Surjewala, the party said it was the first time that a Constitutional Bench had unanimously agreed that the decisions of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha could be subject to judicial review. “This is the very first time that a Constitutional Bench has held so. This marks the beginning of a new era of accountability for the Speaker, who so far was beyond reproach,” Congress said.The brainchild of the UPA government, the Aadhaar Bill was passed by the Narendra Modi government in 2016 in the Lok Sabha as a Money Bill. However, ex Union Minister Jairam Ramesh challenged the manner in which the Aaadhar Act was passed and the case was clubbed with the petitions.indianexpress
Congress to move Supreme Court for upholding passage of Aadhaar Act as money bill
Aadhaar verdict: SC judgment historic; scheme helps govt save Rs 90k cr annually, says Jaitley
New Delhi:Terming the Supreme Court verdict upholding the constitutional validity of Aadhaar as a “historic judgement”, the Centre on Wednesday hit out at the critics of Unique Identification Number (UID) saying those finding fault in the concept must realise that “one cannot defy technology”. “Everyone who has been criticizing Aadhaar should understand that they cannot defy technology. The mainstream should accept changes, one can understand the fringe being against,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters in the national capital.indianexpress
Ayodhya case: Mosque is integral to Islam? SC likely to decide whether larger bench should reexamine issue
New Delhi :The Supreme Court on Thursday is likely to decide if the Ismail Faruqui judgment in which it was said that mosque is not an integral part of Islam should be re-examined by a larger Bench.A three-judge Bench of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer had taken up the long-pending Ayodhya land title appeals against the Allahabad High Court judgment of 2010, which had ordered a three-way partition of the disputed land.In 1994, a five-judge Constitution Bench, hearing the M Ismail Faruqui vs Union of India case, had held that a mosque was not a “essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam” and hence “its acquisition (by the state) is not prohibited by the provisions in the Constitution of India”. This issue has now come up during the hearing of the Ayodhya title suit.  This issue has now come up during the hearing of the Ayodhya title suit.The order is expected to come before 2 pm tomorrow.indianexpress
Manmohan Singh: Babri Masjid demolition was traumatic, brought disrepute
Faulting the "famous but controversial" judgement by late Supreme Court Justice JS Verma on 'Hindutva is a way of life' , former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said the judiciary as an institution should never lose sight of its primary duty to protect the secular spirit of the Constitution.The political sanity that Verma’s judgement destroyed was later restored in the country's political discourse through the Bommai judgment in which a nine-judge bench of Supreme Court found an opportunity to reaffirm that secularism was a basic structure of the Constitution.Speaking at the second AB Bardhan memorial lecture, organised in the memory of the late CPI leader, on “Defence of Secularism and Constitution”, Singh termed the demolition of the Babri Masjid as a traumatic event that brought “disrepute to our secular commitments”, and said that the entire political leadership too came in for criticism for failing to protect a place of worship. In particular, concerned citizens were deeply disappointed at the judiciary’s stance in the events leading up to the demolition.“The quarrels among the political leaders and political parties over the terms of co-existence between the majority and the minorities had become intractable. it was only natural that increasingly the higher judiciary found itself called upon to settle matters of constitutional provisions regarding our secular republic. The politicians’ quarrel over the Babri Masjid ended up in the SC and the judges had to try to redefine and reinforce the secular spirit of the Constitution,” pointed out Singh.nationalheraldindia
‘Hindutva a way of life’ Judgement should be overruled: Manmohan
SC/ST reservation in promotion: SC refuses to refer verdict to 7-judge bench
The Supreme Court on Wednesday said its 2006 verdict putting benefits of quotas in job promotions for SC/ST employees need not be referred to seven-judge bench.The apex court also turned down the Centre's plea that overall population of SC/ST be considered for granting quota for them.The unanimous judgement was pronounced by a five-judge Constitution bench.The bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said states need not collect quantifiable data on backwardness of SC/ST for giving quota in job promotion to SC/ST employees.The top court did not comment on two other conditions given in the 2006 verdict which dealt with adequacy of representation of SC/ST in promotion and not to disturb administrative efficiency.The court's verdict came on petitions seeking that a seven-judge bench reconsiders the court's 2006 judgement which had put conditions for granting quota benefits in job promotions for SC/ST employees.nationalheraldindia
Supreme Court judgment on Adultery law tomorrow
New Delhi :The Supreme Court on Thursday will deliver its judgement on the petition challenging the constitutional validity of Section 497 (Adultery) of the IPC. A 3-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had referred the matter to a Constitution bench on the plea claiming that it is discriminatory towards men. The bench had reserved its judgment in August.Hearing the mater, the apex court questioned the government’s stand defending the adultery law that punishes a man for having a sexual relationship with a married woman without the consent of her husband. The petitioners want Section 497 of the IPC, which punishes only a man for the offence of adultery, to be made gender-neutral.Adultery is a criminal offence in India and the violation of the same can invite penal consequences of imprisonment for a term which may extend up to five years, or fine, or both.indianexpress
SC asks Gujarat high court to decide afresh Ahmed Patel’s plea on his Rajya Sabha election
New Delhi :The Supreme Court Wednesday asked the Gujarat High Court to decide afresh the plea of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel challenging the maintainability of a petition filed by a BJP leader against his election to the Rajya Sabha.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said Patel’s plea against the petition of BJP leader Balwantsinh Rajput required “de novo” (fresh) adjudication.Patel was elected to the Rajya Sabha last year after defeating Rajput, who had quit Congress to join the BJP.The win for the Congress leader had come after the Election Commission had cancelled the votes of rebel Congress MLAs, Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel. This had brought down the requirement for an outright victory for a candidate to 44 from 45.PTI
French President Macron appears to distance himself from Rafale deal
With questions on the controversial Rafale deal refusing to die away, the pressure is telling on decision-makers both in the Indian and French governments. The pressure has risen particularly after former French President Francois Hollande’s statement that it was the Indian Government that chose Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence Limited over state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited as offset partner for the ₹58,000 crore deal, and that neither the French Government nor Dassault Aviation had any choice in the matter.Now incumbent French President Emmanuel Macron has appeared to distance himself from the decision-making over the Rafale deal, pointing out to media that he was not in charge at the time the deal was struck between the French and Indian govts.In a video tweeted by ANI, Macron says, “It is very clear it was govt to govt discussion. I just want to refer to what PM Modi very clearly said a few days ago. I don't have any other comment. I was not in-charge at that time and I know that we have very clear rules and this is a government to government discussion. This contract is a part of a broader framework which is military and defence between India and France. This one is very important to me because this is a strategic coalition and not just an industrial relation, so that’s my point. I just want to refer to what PM Modi said on this situation.”nationalheraldindia
Muslim youth lynched for fishing near temple in Rajasthan
Jaipur:Despite the Supreme Court expressing serious concern over and issuing strong directives to check mob lynching, the incidence of this nature has continued unabated. The latest victim of mob lynching is 22-year-old Azhar Khan – he was beaten to death by a mob for fishing near a temple in Rajasthan’s Chittorgarh district. BJP-ruled Rajasthan has earned notoriety for lynching in the name of faith in the last few years.Just two days back, the Supreme Court had directed all state governments to implement its 17th July directives to check mob lynching.The youth who worked as a conductor in a private bus and was youngest among four siblings had gone to fishing along with some friends near a temple on the banks of Ruparel river in Chittorgarh’s Kheri village. Some guards from a nearby farmhouse raised an alarm leading to the gathering of villagers in large number. While Shahnawaz Khan (23), Naushad Khan (47) and Anwar Khan (41) were able to flee, Azhar was caught by the villagers. He was brutally beaten by the mob. The incident took place on 17th September. The injured youth was taken to Udaipur hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on 22nd September.His uncle Riyaz Khan registered an FIR on the same day. “Parsoli station house officer Praveen Singh Tuesday said that they had detained some men for questioning, but gave no more details”, says Hindustan Times.“No arrests have been made yet, and the police said the cause of assault was yet to be ascertained,” says The Indian Express.In the last 4 years, dozens of people have been lynched by mob in the name of faith – over suspicion of cow slaughter, cow smuggling and beef consumption. Most of the incidents have occurred in the BJP-ruled states including Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam. caravandaily
Chittorgarh: Man out to fish lynched by farm guards, say police

India to cut imports of Iranian oil to zero in Nov
India isn’t planning to buy any Iranian oil in November, raising the prospect that Tehran will lose another major customer as US sanctions hit and spurring speculation over whether China will follow suit.India is joining other Asian buyers such as South Korea and Japan that have already halted imports from the Persian Gulf state before American restrictions take effect in early November. It’s unclear if China, the world’s biggest oil importer as well as Iran’s top customer, will persist with purchases.Indian Oil Corp. and Bharat Petroleum Corp., the country’s two largest state-owned refiners, haven’t asked for any Iranian cargoes for loading in November, according to officials at the companies. Nayara Energy also doesn’t plan any purchases, said an industry executive. Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. hasn’t made any nominations for that month, but may do so later, a company official said.The companies are the four largest buyers of Iranian oil in India, accounting for almost all of the country’s imports from the Islamic republic. Final decisions on purchases aren’t due until early October, so the refiners could still change their minds. The officials and industry executive asked not to be identified because of internal policies.“Iranian exports may drop below 1 million barrels a day in November, with Indian refiners potentially loading nothing and China cutting back as well,” Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. in London, said in a note to clients.The rapid drop in Iranian exports has helped to push Brent crude, the global benchmark, to a four-year high above $80 a barrel. Further output losses could drive prices even higher as refiners urgently seek replacement barrels elsewhere. Around the world, only Saudi Arabia and, to a lesser extent, UAE and Russia, have the capacity to pump more.HT
40 Kashmir Cops Quit In 4 Days Amid Hizbul's "Resign Or Die" Threat
SRINAGAR: Days after the centre rejected resignation videos of Special Police Officers (SPO) as "false propaganda" by terrorists, the Jammu and Kashmir government today admitted the quitting spree in south Kashmir, but played it down by saying that the number is negligible."The state has over 30,000 SPOs. If you compare the number of people who have resigned, it's negligible," said BVR Subramanium, Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir. The resignation videos of policemen surfaced following the kidnapping and killing of three cops in Jammu and Kashmir, just days after Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists had put out a "resign or die" threat. Sources say more than 40 SPOs and policemen have resigned since Friday.3 policemen, all SPOs, were dragged out of their homes in Shopian in south Kashmir before daybreak and killed by terrorists. Their bodies with multiple bullet wounds were found later in an orchard near their village.Resignation videos and reports that terrorists were raiding homes and forcing policemen to resign followed.Home ministry rubbished the videos, with some officials claiming these were from people who were not SPOs anymore. "Reports have appeared in a section of media that some SPOs in #JammuAndKashmir have resigned. J&K Police have confirmed that these reports are untrue and motivated. These reports are based on false propaganda by mischievous elements," said the ministry.To prevent cops from uploading such videos on social media, as had been directed by the Hizbul in its threat video, the government has blocked internet services in south Kashmir. The worst-hit are Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam districts.ndtv
India, Pakistan must start talks to find solution to Kashmir problem, says NC
Srinagar :Terming the calling off meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan as “extremely unfortunate”, the National Conference’s (NC) Central Working Committee (CWC) on Tuesday that India and Pakistan must restart a “sustained and uninterrupted dialogue process” to find a solution to all “disputes including the Kashmir problem”.NC head Dr Farooq Abdullah, for second consecutive day, chaired a two-day-long meeting of the party’s CWC in Srinagar. Ex CM and party vice-president Omar Abdullah was also present. A statement issued by party in the evening said that at the end of the two-day meeting, CWC of party unanimously passed five resolutions. The party statement said that NC stands for the “unity, integrity and the special” status of J&K and shall continue to strive to defend its secular character.indianexpress
WhatsApp working with Reliance Jio to curb fake news menace
MUMBAI:Facebook's WhatsApp is working closely with Reliance Jio to spread awareness of false messages, weeks after the telecom operator opened up the messaging service to millions of customers using its cheap internet-enabled phone.Jio this month gave its more than 25 million JioPhone customers, many of them first-time internet users, access to WhatsApp at a time when the messaging service is battling false and incendiary texts and videos circulating on its platform. Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani launched the JioPhone last year at a refundable deposit of ₹1,500. The device is internet enabled but didn't initially allow the use of WhatsApp or have several popular smartphone features.Reuters
WORLD
Palestinians decry, Israel commends Trump's UN address
Palestinian Authority (PA) has criticized an address delivered by U.S. President Donald Trump at Tuesday’s opening session of the UN General Assembly.“What Trump said at the UN on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict deepens differences and sets back the chances for peace,” PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said. “Jerusalem will be the capital of a Palestinian state established on the pre-1967 borders, regardless of who accepts it or rejects it,” Abu Rudeineh said. PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat also blasted Trump’s speech, saying it had “closed the doors on peace”.“President Trump and his administration have closed the doors to peace; they cannot play a role in the peace process by moving their embassy to Jerusalem,” Erekat said in a statement.“Because of the U.S. administration’s one-sided, pro-Israel decisions, peace between Palestinians and Israel has been derailed,” he added.According to Erekat, the Trump administration “continues to reward those who violate international law and commit war crimes”.He also lashed out at Trump for the latter’s rejection of The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).“His rejection of ICC is a rejection of international law,” Erekat said.Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, described Trump’s speech as a “superficial defense of unilateralism, isolationism and plain bullying”.Israeli officials, for their part, lauded Trump’s speech before the UN General Assembly.Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said it had “been a while” since there was a world leader who understood the Middle East as well as Trump.Anadolu Agency
Palestinian refugee students strike against US cuts to UN agency
Thousands of Palestinian schoolchildren from refugee camps across the occupied West Bank went on strike, protesting US cuts to the United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees.More than 130,000 schoolchildren and refugee residents in the West Bank participated in the protests, according to Imad al-Din Ishtewi, the coordinator for "Sana'oud," the national committee for the return of refugees."Our people categorically reject the unjust American decisions," he told local news agency Maan. "We have begun to mobilise momentum through popular [protest] in order to uphold our inalienable rights of return and the right to self-determination." In August, the US government announced it would no longer fund the United Nations Relief Works and Agency (UNRWA), sparking a funding crisis.UNRWA provides benefits and services – such as schooling, healthcare, social services, and food aid – to five million Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.Most of the refugees are descendants of the 700,000 Palestinians who were forcibly displaced from their homes in the run-up to the establishment of Israel in 1948.aljazeera
UNRWA cuts 40% of employees’ salaries
UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has cut 40 per cent of the salaries of its employees, the Safa news agency reported yesterday.Reporting the head of the organisation’s Employees’ Union Amir Al-Mishal, Safa said that the Union reached an understanding with the UNRWA’s administration last month that it reverses plan to cut the salaries “but we were surprised with the cuts for the second month”.Al-Mishal stressed that “there is a [covert] police team which spies on the activities organised in solidarity with the employees who are threatened with dismissal.”The head of Union said: “This is a dangerous escalation by UNRWA’s leadership.” He pledged there would be escalation in the protests against the organisation’s policies.middleeastmonitor
Hundreds of Jewish settlers storm Al-Aqsa
Jerusalem;Hundreds of Jewish settlers on Wednesday forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, according to a Palestinian official.“Over 380 settlers and police officers stormed the mosque compound, where they performed Talmudic rituals,” mosque director Omar Kiswani told Anadolu Agency.“Divided into large groups, settlers forced their way into the compound through the Al-Mugharbah Gate and left through the Al-Silsila gate,” he said.According to Kiswani, dozens of Israeli police officers were deployed in Jerusalem’s Old City and at the gates of the Al-Aqsa compound.“Police restricted the entry of Palestinian Muslim worshipers into the mosque by confiscating their ID cards at the compound gates,” he said.Since last Friday, over 2,000 Israeli settlers and policemen have entered the compound to mark the weeklong Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which will end on Sunday.Anadolu
Iran's Rouhani slams US 'economic terrorism' in clash with Trump
US President Donald Trump and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani clashed sharply at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, with the former urging the international community to isolate Tehran from global trade, and the latter calling US sanctions "economic terrorism".Weeks of speculation about a possible breakthrough meeting devolved into a war of words over Trump's decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal and to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran.Trump fired the first volley, repeating his administration's contention that Iran is the world's "leading sponsor of terrorism". "Iran's neighbours have paid a heavy toll for the regime's agenda of aggression and expansion," Trump said, accusing Iranian leaders of having "embezzled billions of dollars" from the country's treasury to wage proxy wars."The dictatorship used the funds to build nuclear-capable missiles, increase internal repression, finance terrorism, and fund havoc and slaughter in Syria and Yemen," he said."We ask all nations to isolate Iran's regime as long as its aggression continues." Trump promised Iran would face more economic difficulties when the second round of sanctions targeting the energy sector snap back on November 5.Rouhani later hit back at Trump saying his decision to impose more sanctions is a form of "economic terrorism", accusing the US administration of trying to topple his government."It is ironic that the US government does not even conceal its plan for overthrowing the same government it invites to talks," Rouhani said.aljazeera
Syrian regime continues low-intensity attacks on Idlib
Idlib;Assad regime and its allies have continued their low-intensity attacks on Idlib’s de-escalation zone despite a ceasefire agreement, local sources told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.Regime forces and Iranian-backed terrorist groups have continued to shell villages in rural areas of Latakia, southern Idlib, western Aleppo, and northern and western Hama. Local sources told Anadolu Agency that regime forces had targeted the villages of Lataminah and Abu Ubeid in Hama; Al-Rashideen and Kafr Hamra in Aleppo; Temania and Tal Marak in Idlib; and Kurdish Mountain in Latakia. The low-intensity attacks have reportedly killed a civilian and wounded six others. Anadolu
Egypt executed 32 people since military coup
Egyptian authorities have executed 32 people since the army overthrew the first democratically elected President Morsi in July 2013.According to New Khaleej, Egyptian authorities have executed 32 people in nine cases since the coup d’├ętat while 64 people are awaiting the death penalty in 13 other cases.There is no precise count of the number of death sentences pending appeals in Egypt, however human rights organisations say they amount to hundreds.Since 2013, Egyptian courts have sentenced hundreds to death, with most of the sentences appealed,while few were carried out.MEMO
Emirati official: UAE will support UN proposal for talks on Yemen
An Emirati official has said UAE will support UN proposals for new peace talks on Yemen.UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted on Tuesday: "very productive discussions on Yemen today in NY with Special Envoy Martin Griffiths. Reaffirmed our strong support for UN-led political process after Geneva setback. Will fully support UN proposals for new talks soon". The comments come just two weeks after UN-sponsored peace talks collapsed before they could officially start and as a Saudi-UAE led alliance advances on densely populated areas of the Houthi-held Hodeidah city.aljazeera
FLASH VIEWS & NEWS
Aadhaar Act As Money Bill Is Fraud on Constitution: Justice Chandrachud:THE CITIZEN
'Better to Be Unique Than the Best' – Highlights From the Majority Judgment on Aadhaar
Here's Why Supreme Court Feels Welfare Exclusion Can't Be Used to Scrap Aadhaar
 SC says private companies can’t insist on Aadhaar
RSS and Muslims: A Change of Heart?Aijaz Zaka Syed
RSS chief’s speeches reflect an attempt to reconcile Hindutva with the Constitution:Christophe Jaffrelot

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:54 PM)

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