The Supreme Court on Friday has put a hold on proceedings against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in two defamation cases, initiated by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Surender Sharma.
The apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra while suspending the proceedings issued notice to the Centre on Kejriwal’s petition that there should be no criminal action in defamation proceedings.
The Aam Aadmi Party leader in his petition had challenged constitutional validity of Section 499 and 500 of IPC calling defamation an offense punishable for up to two-years in jail.
The petition, filed through advocate Chirag Shroff, stated that penal provision for defamation is unconstitutional as it puts restrictions on freedom of speech. He also said that the provision is being misused.
In February 2014, Union minister and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari had sued Arvind Kejriwal for linking him to corruption.
Kejriwal had said that the former BJP President, is among “the most corrupt politicians of India.’
Supreme court had ruled that the practice of triple talaq as illegal in August 2017.
On December 15, the Union Cabinet passed a bill which would make it a criminal offence
.The bill recommends a sentence of imprisonment for three years in case of a violation.
The bill also makes provisions for “subsistence allowance” for the women divorced through triple talaq.
On December 15, the Union Cabinet of India cleared a draft legislation, which would make the controversial practice of triple talaq a criminal offence in India, a violation of which may result in imprisonment for a period of three years for the husband. The recently approved bill, deemed as the ‘Muslim Women’s Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill’, was framed by a group of ministers including the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and the Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, and was headed by the Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
What is triple talaq
The practice of triple talaq, or talaq-e-biddat, is a Islamic ritual through which a man might divorce his wife by uttering the word ‘talaq’, that is, the Arabic word for ‘divorce’, three times. The controversial practice, which dates back to Islamic scriptures of the 8th century AD, was a common one among the Muslim population in India, often enacted through letters, emails, text messages, Skype and Whatsapp.
Triple Talaq Ban
On August 22, 2017, the Supreme Court of India had banned the archaic practice of triple talaq, after a long and hard legal battle fought by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), also known as the Indian Muslim Women’s Movement. “Triple talaq is against the basic tenets of the Holy Quran and consequently, it violates Shariat … What is held to be bad in the Holy Quran cannot be good in Shariat and, in that sense, what is bad in theology is bad in law as well,” they had declared, making India the 23rd nation to ban the practice of unilateral divorce, after Pakistan, United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Many non-governmental Islamic organizations, along with certain clerics had opposed the verdict, on the grounds that it was an infringement of their right to religion, which is ensured by Article 25 of the Indian Constitution. The Supreme Court, however, had decided to uphold Article 14 of the Constitution, which grants every citizen equality before the law. The verdict had met with mixed reactions among the people of India, attracting applause as well as apprehension all over the country.
However, in spite of the Supreme Court verdict, there have been reports of instant divorces performed through the process of oral declaration, as many continued to ignore the various advisories issued by the government. The new bill approved by the government also makes provisions for Muslim Women to demand “subsistence allowance” for herself and her minor children from her husband, in case she feels victimised by the now illegal practice of triple talaq.
The abusive audio clip of Kumar Vishwas surfaces hinting at split in Aam Aadmi Party
Aam Aadmi Party which claimed to bring clean politics is no longer working on principles, its an ongoing dogfight between unsatisfied political aspirants
Just few days back, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party was slapped with Rs. 30 crores Income Tax notice. The party which claimed to revive clean politics was itself found dirty. The Income Tax notice cited that the Aam Aadmi Party had not disclosed income worth Rs 13.16 crore. According to the IT Department, the money received as donations in its bank account was not recorded in the books of accounts. Today an audio clip of Kumar Vishwas surfaced hinting at rift within the party.
Last year, Chanda Bandh Satyagraha (www.nolistnodonation.com) led by Dr. Munish Raizada was initiated against Aam Aadmi Party’s backtracking on financial transparency which gathered a huge amount of support from section of Aam Aadmi Party who were not ready to compromise on principles. But anyone who raised questions against Arvind Kejriwal’s dubious stance on donation transparency were sidelined from the party.
The leaked audio clip of Kumar Vishwas suggests that individual ambitions are derailing the Aam Aadmi Party, risking the public’s confidence. What issues dominate the AAP? The party members no longer seem to have any aspiration for developmental politics, they are rather engaged in dogfight for power and position. Unmet with expectations, many of the founding members of party like Yogendra Yadav are no more with the AAP today. It certainly affects prospects for party expansion. People supported AAP because it offered hope of a wider democratic platform, giving ordinary Indians a political voice. But it now seems that Aam Aadmi Party is just a bunch of opportunists trying to grab political space for their own development through corruption and dubious political donations.
Since its inception, Aam Aadmi Party has been indulged in all those things it promised to stood against of. AAP has failed to deliver what it promised. The list of scams by Aam Aadmi Party is endless. From Thali scam where total food bill of 80 guests amounted to Rs 11, 04,357 costing Rs 12,000 to Rs 16,000 per plate to 400 crore Delhi water tanker scam, AAP has crushed the expectations of people who were hoping for an honest political party. Arvind Kejriwal’s government spent a large chunk of taxpayer’s money for party advertisement. The advertisements were found to be in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines.Transport Minister of Delhi Gopal Rai from Aam Aadmi Party is involved in scam worth crores of rupees in Auto Rickshaw Permit scam. Sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra alleged that he witnessed Satyendar Jain giving Rs 2 crore in cash to the party chief Arvind Kejriwal. The list can go on, but the serious question here is the credibility of Aam Aadmi Party. The audio clip of Kumar Vishwas hints at rift within the party, this explains well why Delhi is suffering under bad governance, the key members of party are indulged in back bitching and score setting.
– by SHAURYA RITWIK, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik
A leader of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced that he would pay a reward roughly equivalent to $1.5 million to anyone who would behead an Indian actress and a film director.
Surajpal Singh Amu, a member of the BJP in northern Haryana state, is apparently upset about an upcoming movie, Padmavati, starring actress Deepika Padukone as the 14th-century Hindu queen Padmini.
The movie is directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Amu alleged that the movie is misleading, not based on truth and offends Hindu sentiments in the country.
“We will reward the ones beheading them, with 10 crore rupees, and also take care of their family’s needs,” Amu said in an interview with India’s Asia’s Premier News (ANI) earlier this week.
Threats against movie
Amu also vowed not to allow the release of the movie and warned movie theaters to avoid playing the movie or risk being torched.
The movie was set to be released during the first week of December.
Rights activists have reacted strongly to the threats and urged the government to take action.
“This is pretty outrageous that you announce publicly and no action takes place at a time when people are being arrested for most trivial reasons in this country,” Gotum Naulakha, an Indian-based civil liberties activist, told VOA.
An official complaint has been registered against Amu, but many are criticizing the stance of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party — which controls the central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi — on the matter.
“I’ve not heard any official stance from the central government or the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,” Vinod Sharma, an Indian-based analyst, told VOA.
Anil Jain, a local BJP spokesperson, told ANI that the law applies to everyone in the state of Haryana and no one can threaten others. The central government has yet to react, however.
Bollywood actress Padukone stood her ground and said the movie would be released despite the threats.
“Where have we reached as a nation? We have regressed. The only people we are answerable to is the censor board, and I know and I believe that nothing can stop the release of this film,” Padukone told Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) last week.
Padmavati was controversial right from the start. Opponents of the movie stormed the filming of one scene and destroyed the film sets. They were upset that the director of the movie was distorting facts by alleging romance between the Hindu queen and the Muslim invader Alauddin Khilji.
Film director Bhansali, however, denies the allegations and maintains the story is based on a Sufi and medieval-era poem written about the Hindu queen. In the poem, the Hindu queen chooses death before the Muslim conqueror could capture her.
Some experts say the poem is centuries old and there is a possibility the Hindu queen might be purely a fictional character found only in folklore.
“There’s a lot of debate in India whether Padmavati was actually a living being many, many years ago or whether she was just an imagined person in a poem,” analyst Sharma said.
Rights activists maintain that if government fails to draw clear lines around the threat made by the politician, and discourage a growing sense of impunity for some, incidents like this will only increase and threaten the freedom of expression in the world’s biggest democracy.
“By letting loose and giving [a] sense of impunity to the goons of the ruling party or people who’re connected or close to the ruling party, we’re paving the ground for much bigger and [worse] things to happen in the near future,” Naulakha told VOA.
The movie is awaiting approval from India’s Central Board of Film Certification.