Monday July 16, 2018
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Nirbhaya denied justice

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New Delhi: The third anniversary of the unnerving Nirbhaya rape case has brought back memories of that fateful night. Dismayed by the court’s release of the only juvenile convict in the case, enraged and concerned Indians have yet again taken to the streets in protest.

On Sunday, the juvenile concerned walked out of his reformation home after completing three full years.

Following his release, efforts were made from many quarters to overturn the decision, but to no avail.

On Monday, the Delhi commission for women (DCW) made a last-ditch effort by petitioning the Supreme Court to intervene. Their plea, however, was dismissed by the apex court observing that the law couldn’t be interpreted otherwise.

“We cannot interpret the law [Juvenile Justice Act] to curtail his [juvenile convict] freedom without legislative sanction. We share your concern, but we cannot go beyond the statute,” remarked Justice U U Lalit.

The senior advocate representing DCW, Guru Krishnakumar, cited provisions in the Juvenile Justice Act and the Delhi Juvenile Justice Rules to argue for an independent committee to determine the mental status of the juvenile.

Justice Goel replying to this asked, “Are you for the rehabilitation of the child or for the detention of the child?

The court also did not entertain the government’s support for the plea by dismissing it as arguments not substantiated by the law, asking it “go first and make the law.’’

Following the court’s judgement, massive demonstrations were staged at Jantar Mantar, demanding the lawmakers to make immediate legislative changes.

Earlier, the distraught mother, Asha Singh, lamented the failure of the justice system of India, saying that “Crime has won. We have lost. Our efforts for three years have failed.”

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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)

 

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