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Ban on websites with jokes on Sikhs likely as SC hears plea

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court will look into a plea for a ban on websites with jokes on the Sikhs, as a lawyer-petitioner told the apex court on Friday that the community was projected as people of low intellect, stupid and foolish through such jokes.

As petitioner Harvinder Chowdhary urged for directions to ban websites spreading jokes on Sikhs, an apex court bench of Justice T S Thakur and Justice Kurian Joseph asked her why she wanted such a ban as “this (Sikh) community is known for a great sense of humour and they also enjoy such jokes”.

“This is only an amusement. Why you want it to be stopped,” Justice Thakur said while seeking to understand the rationale behind the ban plea.

“All jokes relating to the Sikh community should be stopped. My children are humiliated and feel embarrassed and they don’t want to suffix Singh with their name,” she argued.

Chowdhary said whenever she travelled in public transport, including Delhi metro, she came across instances where even on trivial issues people were ridiculed while citing jokes relating of the Sikh community.

Referring to a recent comment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during electioneering in Bihar that Bihar residents were the most intelligent people, the petitioner said it reflected as if other communities were not intelligent.

As Justice Thakur responded that the prime minister would say the same thing about Sikhs if he went to Chandigarh, Chowdhary said the prime minister would not say so because the BJP was in a rift with its ally, Shiromani Akali Dal.

Urging the court to direct the government to clamp down on the more than 5,000 websites like www.jokes duniya.com/category/sardar-jokes.htm, the petitioner said, “They are criticising one community and it should stop.”

Naming a number of websites carrying Sikh-centric jokes, Chowdhary sought directions to the Telecom Ministry to install filters to weed out jokes relating to the community.

She said these websites created public nuisance under Section 268 of Indian Penal Code and it was a crime under the cyber laws.

The court directed for further hearing of the matter on November 16 as she wanted to file some more documents in support of her plea.

(IANS)

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Another Deadline Missed, No Draft Scheme on the Cauvery Dispute Till Now

On the expiry of the six-week deadline, the Centre sought extension of time till the completion of the electoral process in Karnata for submission of the Scheme.

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The court said that even if the Centre has not framed the scheme, Karnataka, under the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award, was obliged to make monthly releases to Tamil Nadu.
Supreme Court of India. Wikimedia commons

The Centre yet again failed to submit a draft Scheme on the Cauvery river water dispute before the Supreme Court on the ground that the Prime Minister and other ministers were campaigning in Karnataka, which Tamil Nadu flayed as “brazen partisanship”.

Seeking 10 more days to finalize the scheme, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud: “A draft scheme has been placed before the Cabinet. Because of Karnataka elections, the Prime Minister and all other Ministers are in Karnataka. Before that the Prime Minister was abroad (in China).”

It also sought response from the Centre on the steps taken by it since the pronouncing of the judgement for putting in place a scheme for implementing its order on the sharing of Cauvery water among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
Parliament of India, wikimedia commons

The Centre’s submission was countered strongly by senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, who said: “Sorry to say, the Central government is politicizing the issue. They are worried about their electoral fate in Karnataka. Election in Karnataka is on May 12 and somehow they don’t want to do it till then. We have enough of it. It is brazen partisanship of the Union of India. It is the end of co-operative federalism.”

The apex court in its February 16 judgement had directed the Centre to frame a Scheme within six months in accordance with the recommendation by the Cauvery River Water Tribunal for constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Regulatory Authority (CRA), which Karnataka opposes strongly.

On the expiry of the six-week deadline, the Centre sought extension of time till the completion of the electoral process in Karnata for submission of the Scheme. Tamil Nadu filed a contempt petition against the Centre for failure to act within the deadline.

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During Thursday’s hearing, the court directed the Karnataka government to respond on how much of the four TMC of water it can release by month end. It also sought response from the Centre on the steps taken by it since the pronouncing of the judgement for putting in place a scheme for implementing its order on the sharing of Cauvery water among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

In the course of the hearing, the court asked Karnataka to release 4 TMC of water by Monday.

The court said that even if the Centre has not framed the scheme, Karnataka, under the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award, was obliged to make monthly releases to Tamil Nadu.

The court directed the next hearing of the matter on Tuesday. (IANS)