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Total Prohibition with stringent new Bihar Excise and Prohibition Act, 2016 likely to continue in the state: CM Nitish Kumar

Nitish Kumar said that he is against innocent being harassed, arrested and punished under the stringent prohibition law

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Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and PM Narendra Modi

Patna, Nov 14, 2016: On the first day of his ‘Lok Samvad’ programme, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday made it clear that total prohibition with the stringent new Bihar Excise & Prohibition Act, 2016, will continue in the state, an official said.

Principal Excise Secretary Amir Subhani told media here that Nitish Kumar interacted with 37 persons on Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 during the programme.

Nitish Kumar also said that he is against innocent being harassed, arrested and punished under the stringent prohibition law. Click To Tweet

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“Interaction was positive with several people coming up with suggestions,” he said.

Subhani said hundreds of people have also sent their feedback on prohibition by e-mails, SMSes and letters to the state government.

According to officials present at the programme, Nitish Kumar said the government will not compromise on the stringent provisions meant to punish violators of total prohibition as “consuming liquor and its manufacturing are not fundamental rights”.

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Officials said Nitish Kumar told people that he strongly believes in having discussion and debate on any issue with them.

He reiterated that over 16,000 people, mostly those engaged in manufacturing illicit liquor, have been arrested and sent to jail for violating the prohibition that came into effect in April 2016.

NItish Kumar also said that he is against innocent being harassed, arrested and punished under the stringent prohibition law.

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Excise Minister Abdul Jalil Mastan said there will be no relief to violators of prohibition. “Some people have demanded more stringent provisions and increase of imprisonment term against violators of prohibition,” he said after interacting with the people.

However, some people have suggested that Nitish Kumar-led government should amend the act. “They have suggested to change the provisions like all adult members of the family would be arrested if liquor is found stored in any household and collective fine will be imposed on the village.”

The Patna High Court, on September 30, quashed the April 5 notification of the state government banning consumption and sale of alcohol in the state, saying it was ultra vires to the constitution.

Later, the state government moved the apex court which put the HC order on nold on October 7. The matter is likely to be heard on December 12. (IANS)

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Rahul Gandhi Points at PM Modi to Vacate the Seat over Gas price Hike

Rahul Gandhi's twitter attack on PM Modi: Vacant your seat over the gas price hike.

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Rahul Gandhi's verbal attack on PM Modi
Rahul Gandhi's verbal attack on PM Modi wikimedia commons

NEW DELHI: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday attacked the Narendra Modi-led central government after the prices of cooking gas was again hiked, asking him to “vacate the ‘Sinhasan’ (post of the Prime Minister)”.

“Mehangi gas, mehanga rashan. Band karo khokala bhashan. Dam bandho kam do. Warna khali karo sinhasan (Expensive gas, expensive ration. Stop making hollow promises. Fix the rates and give employment or else vacate the post),” Rahul Gandhi tweeted attaching a news report of the hike.

Gandhi was referring to the price hike announced by the state-run oil firms on Wednesday.

The prices of the LPG cylinder’s went up by Rs 4.50, while the non-subsidised rates were hiked by a steeper Rs 93 per cylinder.(IANS)

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What Gives Husbands The Licence to Rape? Decoding Marital Rape in the Indian Legal Scenario

Can there be two different definitions of rape? Can there be a differentiation between the rape of a married woman and the rape of an unmarried woman?

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Marital rape
While most of the developed world has penalized marital rape, surprisingly it is yet to be categorized as an offence in India. Pixabay
  • Cases of sexual violence, including rape, fall within the larger realm of domestic violence
  • Marital rape is yet to be categorized as a criminal offence in India
  • According to the central government, criminalizing marital rape “may destabilize the institution of marriage”

New Delhi, September 2, 2017 : Baby works as a domestic help; she says she cannot recall her age when her parents married her off to a man who was much older to her; a man she barely knew. She didn’t anticipate her husband would demand to have intercourse on their wedding night. She was still young and not ready, but that didn’t stop him. Baby was raped by her husband on her wedding night. But marital rape means nothing to her.

Sunita irons clothes for a living. She says has been married for more years than she can remember. The duo has four kids together, but that doesn’t stop her husband from raising a hand or two on her, every once in a while. Every night, her husband would get drunk, hit her and forcefully demand to have sex, paying no heed to her resistance. Sunita has three daughters, and a son, and the husband still wants to have progenies. “I told my mother that this man has raped me multiple times. She protested, arguing that he is ‘your husband’ after all,” she said.

But did she never decide to approach the authorities?

To this, Sunita promptly replied, “I once had a sore eye after he (the husband) hit me with his shoe when I refused to have sex. I went to the local hospital and then the police. I narrated the entire scene; they were very considerate, offered me water and then asked me to go home and ‘adjust’.”

Sunita is unaware of a term called ‘marital rape’.

This is the reality of a huge part of the society in real India.

Like Baby and Sunita, women who suffer such indignities are often asked to “adjust” with perpetrators of violence because of a deep –embedded fear of what the society would say. This notion of an ‘ideal woman’ impedes women to object to illicit treatment meted out by their ‘better halves’.

The debate around the issue has become ripe once again with the Central Government stating that what “may appear to be marital rape” to a wife “may not appear so to others”. In an affidavit to the Delhi High Court, the central government took a stand against criminalizing marital rape saying that it “may destabilize the institution of marriage” and also become easy tool for harass the husbands and the in-laws.

Rape v/s Marital Rape

Rape is defined in Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, but with an irregularity: “Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.”

While rape is addressed as perforation without a woman’s accord in its main clause, the only remedy to forced intercourse provided to ‘married’ woman is specified under Section 498-A of the IPC and the civil provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestiic Violence Act.

Following the horrific 2012 Nirbhaya rape case that brought the entire world to a standstill, the Indian media has given paramount coverage to instances of rape across the country. But even after 5 years of the gut-wrenching incident, there seems no end to this crime.

ALSO READ The Hardships of Sexuality: Marital rape, violence and humiliation

Cases of sexual violence, including rape, fall within the larger realm of domestic violence. However, rape by husbands within holy matrimony continues to remain an obscure subject in India and the exact number of cases is hard to gauge.

According to a 2015 report by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) tracing the proximity of offenders to the victims of sexual violence, it was revealed that in 95 per cent of all rapes, the offenders were familiar to the survivors. These, presumably include acquaintances, friends, relatives and colleagues.

And what about rape committed by husbands?

These cases continue to be an under-reported crime in India. This can be attributed to two major reasons,

  • Because of the stigma associated with it
  • Because of the presence of a defunct justice system

Furthermore, more often than not, these cases go missing because of several additional (and unnecessary) barriers stemming from a combination of familial and/or social power structures, shame and dependency.

Marital Rape In India

While most of the developed world has penalized marital rape, surprisingly it is yet to be categorized as an offence in India.

A United Nations’ report titled ‘Why do some men use violence against women and how can we prevent it?’ published in 2013 disclosed that nearly a quarter of 10,000 men  in Asia-Pacific region, including India, admitted to have indulged in the rape of a female partner. The report traced their rationale to a deep-embedded belief that they are entitled to sex despite the consent of their partners.

The study also revealed that the majority of these instances were not reported and the perpetrators faced no legal consequences.

In 2014, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in association with International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) brought out a report titled ‘Masculinity, Intimate Partner Violence and Son Preference in India’. Among other things, the report analyzed the average Indian male’s understanding and interpretation of the idea of ‘masculinity’ and how that molds their interactions with women.

Not surprisingly, the study revealed that a typical man in the Indian society associated the attributes ‘tough’, and ‘controlling’ with masculinity.

Segments of the present day Indian society continue to look at men as tough forces, who can (must) freely exercise their privilege to establish rule in personal relationships and above all, continue to control women.

Additionally, the study also revealed that 60 per cent of the Indian men disclosed the use of physical violence to establish authority.

In India, stiff patriarchal norms continue to tilt the gender balance firmly in the favor of men, as a result of which, women are forced to internalize male dominance in their lives.

Marital Rape in India : A Legal Perspective

Section 375 essentially distinguishes between two categories of women

  • Married women
  • Unmarried women

Much to the Indian society’s disappointment, the Indian legal system denies protection from rape to the married woman. This creates discrimination as the women belonging to one section are denied justice merely by virtue of being married.

But can there be two different definitions of rape? Can there be a differentiation between the rape of a married woman and the rape of an unmarried woman? Is it justified to discriminate a woman just because she is married to the man who has raped her?

The Debate Around Marital Rape In India

Despite the piquant situation, the issue raised furor when Minister of State for Home, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary told the Parliament that the question of criminalizing marital rape in India has no relevance “as marriage is treated as sacred here.”

Does marriage being a sacrament provide one with the legal right to rape a woman?

South Asia director at Human Rights Watch Meenakshi Ganguly had retaliated saying that it is particularly concerning when a government that claims to secure the safety of women inside and outside national territory shamelessly turn to justify a crime in the name of culture and tradition.

Group director of social and economic development at the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) Priya Nanda asserted in an interview with a leading portal that “the reason men don’t want to criminalize marital rape is because they don’t want to give a woman the power to say no.”

In 2013, a three-member commission headed by Justice J.S. Verma suggested remedial measures to combat sexual violence in India, following the 2012 Nirbhaya rape case. One of its recommendations was the criminalization of marital rape.

ALSO READ Reasons Why Marital Rape Should Be Recognised as a Criminal Offence

The recommendation was ignored by the government as a large amount of people questioned its efficiency saying if made a crime,

  • It might be misused by people
  • It will be difficult to prove
  • It might break up marriages

But, how fair is it to not have a law against marital rape, only because of the reason that it is ‘difficult to prove’?

In a broader understanding, it needs to be understood that the criminalization of marital rape must not be viewed as a step against men or the institution of matrimony, but as an attempt to demolish the patriarchal system that continues to clutch the Indian society.


 

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UP Chief Yogi Adityanath Hails Centre’s Action for Raising Creamy Layer Bar for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs)

The government is going to set up a commission to implement sub-categorization within the central government reservation bracket for Other Backward Classes

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creamy layer
Yogi Adityanath, Wikimedia
  • Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath hailed the actions of the government for raising the creamy layer bar for the Other Backward Classes
  • The central government raised the creamy layer bar from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh p.a for OBCs
  • The decision is based on the recommendation of the National Commission for Backward Classes

Lucknow, Aug 24, 2017: Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath hailed the actions of the government for raising the creamy layer bar for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) for an equal distribution of reservation benefits.

“We are thankful to the Prime Minister and the Central Government for further categorizing the OBC and other castes as some of them weren’t able to avail the policies of reservations earlier,” he told ANI.

The central government on Wednesday raised the creamy layer bar from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh p.a for OBCs for central government jobs and also declared setting up of a commission to work out sub-categorization.

ALSO READ: Decoding Reservation in India: Is it a Constitutional Flaw or Unnecessary Favor? 

The Commission will work on the following:  identifying the castes, sub-castes, and communities in the central list of the OBCs and dividing them into their corresponding sub-categories. The Commission will present the report within 12 weeks from the date of authorization of the chairman.

According to ANI, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the decision is based on the recommendation of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

The ‘creamy layer’ is a ceiling which prohibits members of the OBC from availing reservations in employment. Currently, 27 per cent reservation in government jobs and seats in educational institutes if the income of the OBC family is up to Rs. 6 lakh.


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.