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Yakub Memon case: Here’s what the common Indian has to say about SC verdict

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By Aishwarya Nag Choudhury

WHAT DIVIDED THE TWO JUDGES

The bench comprising of Justice AR Dave and Justice Joseph Kurien dealing with Yakub Abdul Razak Memon’s case had contradictory views pertaining to the question of life and death and the validity of judicial proceedings.

Picture credit: indianexpress.com
Picture credit: indianexpress.com

While Justice Joseph questioned the SC’s order of July 21 rejecting Memon’s curative petition, Justice Dave felt that Memon had exhausted all his legal remedies and his present petition against the warrant claiming that the SC rejected his curative exercise is futile. Further, Justice Dave was of the opinion that Yakub’s legal counsel, senior advocates TR Andhyarujina and Raju Ramachandran were “passing the buck” to the CJI. Addressing them, he further said “I hope you know who you are trying to save.”

Justice Joseph was of the opinion that Dave should have been part of the curative bench as he was one of the three judges who rejected Memon’s plea. However, the judges for Memon’s case in 2013, Justice PS Sathavisan and Justice BS Chauhan had unanimously upheld the verdict of death penalty in the TADA court on July 2007. Justice Joseph said that since Memon’s petition was against the dismissal of review, he should be able to hear it.

The two judges could not come to a unanimous decision and the matter was passed on for further hearing to the CJI. The bench also asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi of the Maharashtra Government to clarify the rules regarding curative petitions.

Picture credit: sify.com
Picture credit: sify.com

THE SC JUDGEMENT

A new and larger SC bench, modelled on the recommendations of the CJI met today and dismissed Memon’s mercy plea. The bench did not find any problems with the issuance of the death penalty by TADA.
Memon’s execution is scheduled for Thursday, July 30 for his role in the Mumbai Blasts case. “After the rejection of mercy petition by the President, Memon had not challenged that in the court of law,” the SC bench said.

Earlier, Maharashtra governor Vidyasagar Rao on Wednesday rejected Yakub Memon’s mercy petition. However, Yakub filed a fresh mercy petition with the President on Wednesday. That is his last hope now.

Picture credit: enterpriseisrael.org
Picture credit: enterpriseisrael.org

WHAT ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ HAVE TO SAY

With the final verdict of the Court, we at NewsGram asked some teachers, students and young professionals about their opinion on the question of the death penalty and Memon. Here’s what they had to say:

Professor of Terrorism and National Security, at JNU (Delhi) Dr. Anupama Roy says that constitutionally Memon’s case falls under the “rarest of rare cases”. She says she honestly feels that the time of fourteen years is not enough to reform the defendant because of “the intensity of his crime”. “That leaves us with two options: life imprisonment or prison time. As in the Western countries, we should also abolish death sentences, and stick to life imprisonment” she said.

Shreya Rashid, pursuing MA in Philosophy in JNU was of the same opinion. She called the verdict a “denial of justice”. “To subject a self- surrendering person to death, questions the credibility of our legal system. Crime as his should be negatively rewarded with imprisonment, but a death verdict is not justified,” she explained.

Shreyanko Basu, a Teach for India fellow is of the opinion that the SC verdict is justified. According to him, “terrorism cannot be stalled until befitting punishment is given. The number of lives lost in the bomb blast can never be replaced. Then why should he (Memon) be spared?”

Professor of Political Science at JNU Dr. TG Suresh said that jail time is as good as a death penalty. “Isolation is worse than death in many ways. Yakub should be made to serve more time in jail”. ”Our Judicial system is anyway a torture” the professor jokingly added.

“In my opinion, Yakub Memon should not be granted mercy. He is asking for mercy on technical grounds but there is no doubt that he was involved in the terror attacks” says Advocate of Accenture Services, Priyanka Ganguly.

“I sleep better at night knowing that they’re hung than the risk of them having escaped. Especially after India being the victim of so many terror attacks, it is just better to eradicate people like Yakub Memon” she added.

It is debatable if the death sentence is for the better or worse. Death sentences are more cost effective for the exchequer, for in the end, we are paying for their meals and maintenance. However, death sentence takes away any scope of reform and is by and large human rights violation is also true.

So what’s your opinion? Is the SC verdict fair?

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Triple Talaq Ban in India: Union Cabinet Passes Bill Making the Practice a Criminal Offence

The BMMA celebrates its victory over the much-debated practice of instant divorce

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Muslim women are often victims of triple talaq, in spite of the ban
Muslim women are often victims of triple talaq, in spite of the ban, VOA News
  • 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.

The Supreme Court of India bans the practice of triple talaq
The practice of triple talaq still continues, in spite of the ban, VOA News

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.

The Supreme Court of India bans the practice of triple talaq
Women can now demand subsistence allowance for themselves and minor children, VOA News

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.

 

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Love Jihad Case : Kerala’s State Women Commission Directs SP to submit report on Hadiya’s Condition

24 year old Akhila had converted to Islam and taken the name Hadiya to marry Shafin Jahan.  However, their marriage was declared null and void by the High Court of Kerala

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Office of Kerala Women Comission
Office of Kerala Women Comission. Official Website KWC

Kerala, October 28, 2017 : A day after a video of Hadiya pleading to be ‘saved’ from her father’s brutalities was released, Kerala’s State Women Commission has directed Kottayam Superintendent of Police to inquire and submit a report on Hadiya’s present conditions.

In the video release at a press conference in Kochi by social activist Rahul Eashwar, Hadiya can be heard saying, “You have to get me out. I am sure I will be killed tomorrow or the day after.” Hadiya claims that her father is physically assaulting her and pleads to be saved in the video before her voice trails away.

The direction came following reports that Hadiya is being sedated and physically abused at her parents’ house.

The State Women Commission has told the SP that an officer not less than the rank of a DSP should conduct the inquiry and submit a report on the condition of the 24-year old woman in love jihad case.

24 year old Akhila had converted to Islam and taken the name Hadiya to marry Shafin Jahan.  Their marriage was declared null and void by the High Court of Kerala after Hadiya’s father Ashokan has approached the court, claiming that his daughter had been forcefully converted and her alleged husband was involved in plans to take her out of the country for questionable reasons.

Consequently, Hadiya’s husband Shafin Jahan had approached the Supreme Court and challenged the order by the High Court of Kerala, which is still hearing the case.

– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala

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Gorkhaland: SC allows withdrawl of Central Forces from Darjeeling

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The Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India. Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 27: The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the Centre to withdraw seven companies of central paramilitary forces from trouble-torn Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of West Bengal where the agitation for Gorkhaland, a separate state for Gorkhas took a violent turn.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud directed the Centre to withdraw the seven companies of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF) for being used for election duties in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.

The bench also sought a response from the West Bengal government on the Centre’s appeal against the High Court’s order putting on hold its decision to withdraw 10 of the 15 companies of the central paramilitary forces deployed in the hill district.

The apex court also stayed the pending proceedings before the High Court and said that it will deal with the case in a holistic manner and posted the appeal of the Centre for further hearing on November 27.

In an interim order, the High Court had stayed the withdrawal of CAPF from the Darjeeling hills till October 27 after the state government approached it against the Centre’s decision.(IANS)