Monday October 23, 2017
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St. Stephen’s administration queried on sexual harassment case

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New Delhi: The administration and internal probe committee of Delhi University’s coveted St. Stephen’s College were questioned on Saturday over a sexual harassment case filed by a research student, police said.

Image Source: dubeat.com

The officer said a police team approached the college administration on Saturday morning and inquired about the matter as the victim had already filed a complaint with the college’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) in February.

The development came a day after an FIR was lodged in the case.

A police officer privy to the investigation told IANS that the case against the bursar of the college, Satish Kumar, was being handled very carefully keeping the college’s reputation in mind.

“We have got information from the ICC members. We also contacted the college principal Valson Thampu and the bursar to get their versions,” the officer said.

In the FIR, the complainant said that Kumar “sexually assaulted” her in October 2013 inside a laboratory. As per the complaint, Kumar also followed the victim to a metro station close to the college when she fled after freeing herself from him.

The victim also alleged that she was first harassed in May 2013 in the same laboratory. She said that it continued despite her refusals. In her complaint, she also said that Kumar stopped guiding her in her research and kept a watch on her social media accounts.

On the victim’s allegation, police registered a case on different charges including stalking and sexual harassment.

The officer added they would record the victim’s statement before the magistrate Saturday afternoon.

“As the matter is very serious and can hamper the college’s reputation, we cannot share details of our investigation,” the official said.

The complainant had also accused Thampu of siding with the accused.

St. Stephen’s said in a statement on Friday that it was uncompromisingly committed to the safety and dignity of women on the campus and that no effort will be spared to ensure that justice is done.

“…the complaint was duly and promptly forwarded by the principal to the ICC and an inquiry, following proper procedure, is underway. The said inquiry is nearing completion,” it said. (IANS)

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After Gorakhpur Tragedy, in UP 49 Children die in a Farrukhabad hospital due to lack of oxygen

The death of 49 children at the newborn unit of Farrukhabad’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital happened over the past 30 days due to lack of oxygen supply

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Lack of oxygen supply causes death of 49 children in Farrukhabad hospital
Lack of oxygen supply causes death of 49 children in Farrukhabad hospital. Pixabay
  • The death of 49 children at the newborn unit of Farrukhabad’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital happened over the past 30 days due to lack of oxygen supply
  • the Uttar Pradesh government has denied that the reason for deaths was lack of oxygen supply but said that it happened due to various other causes
  • A team led by Director General Health is visiting the hospital soon to inquire in detail

Farrukhabad , Uttar Pradesh, September 4, 2017: A case similar to BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur happened in a Farrukhabad hospital that is Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where as per the initial report of the City Magistrate Jaytendra Kumar Jain stated that the 49 children died in farrukhabad Hospital due to lack of oxygen supply.

The deaths at the newborn unit of Farrukhabad’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital happened over the past 30 days.

Jaytendra Kumar Jain, City Magistrate of Farrukhabad, on Sunday night asked the Station House Officer (SHO) of City Police station Farrukhabad to take required action against the hospital and its doctors.

But, the Uttar Pradesh government has denied that the reason for deaths was lack of oxygen supply but said that it happened due to various other causes. They gave a similar statement in Gorakhpur Tragedy initially.

Also Read: Gorakhpur Tragedy: UP Police arrests Pediatrician Dr. Kafeel Ahmad on grounds of Medical Negligence

The police at city Police station registered a FIR immediately. After which the UP government today removed Ravindra Kumar, District Magistrate, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the district and Chief Medical Superintendent of the hospital. “The FIR has been registered under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 176 (omission to give notice or information to public servant by person legally bound to give it) of the IPC.”

The city magistrate, Jaytendra Kumar Jain, on the basis of the preliminary findings, has stated “perinatal asphyxia” (it is the medical condition resulting due to the deprivation of oxygen to a newborn infant) as the reason for death in 30 cases. The parents complained that their children were not given adequate oxygen and medicines during treatment.

But, the state government refused to accept the initial findings of the City Magistrate and said that the Director General Medical leading a technical team of doctors is being sent to Farrukhabad to inquire about the cause of deaths.

According to Indian Express reports, Prashant Trivedi, Principal Secretary, Medical and Health, Uttar Pradesh Government said “Oxygen is in proper supply at the hospital. There is no basis to blame lack of oxygen supply (for the deaths) at the hospital. A team led by Director General Health is visiting the hospital soon to inquire in detail.”

He also informed that in the hospital total 468 births took place out of which 19 were still born. He added that though 66 were admitted to the hospital, 6 had died.

Trivedi also said, “145 children were referred to this hospital from other places, out of which 24 died at the hospital while others recovered.”

Also Read: What if Another Gorakhpur Tragedy Happens? 15-Year-Old Khushi Chandra Launches Initiative ‘Oxygen Gorakhpur’ to Combat Oxygen-Related Emergencies

Avanish Awasthi, Principal Secretary, Information Department, said, “Out of these 49 deaths, 19 were stillborn and the remaining 30 children died of different causes.” But he accepted that one of the causes of death of 30 children was “Perinata Asphyxia” indeed.

Awasthi said that the exact cause of the deaths would be known when the Director General Health who would lead the technical team of doctors would inquire into the incident.

It has not even been 30 days when over 60 children died in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical and College Hospital due to the alleged lack of oxygen supply.


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Why Does 45th Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra Need ‘Z’-Category Security of Armed NSG Commandos?

Jjustice Depak Misra, who had been recommended as a successor by Justice J.S Khehar in July, becomes the 45th Chief Justice of India and was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind.

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Chief Justice of India.
The swearing in ceremony of Justice Dipak Misra as the 45th Chief Justice of India. Twitter
  • Justice Dipak Misra was sworn in as the 45th Chief Justice of India
  • His tenure will span for the next 14 months until his retirement in October 2018
  • Justice Misra is the only CJI to have armed protection of black commandos

New Delhi, August 29, 2017: The Chief Justice of India (CJI) J.S Khehar demitted office on August 27. The next in line was Justice Dipak Misra, who was sworn in on August 28 as the 45th Chief Justice of India at a ceremony held at the Darbar Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath taking ceremony of Misra, who had been recommended as a successor by Justice J.S Khehar in July this year.

In his career spanning 40 years, Justice Dipak Misra ventured into most realms of the law- civil, criminal, constitutional, revenue services and matters concerning sales tax, proving his grit to take over the new position. But that is not the only intriguing aspect of his career.

Justice Deepak Misra is the first ever Chief Justice of India to have a ‘Z’-category security cover.

The 45th CJI was provided with an upgraded security cover in 2015 after he had received a death-threat letter from terrorist organizations.

Why Would A Supreme Court Judge Need Security Cover?

On July 30, 2015, Justice-Misra headed the three-judge bench in a hearing when Yakub Memon, convicted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, pleaded for a 14 days’ stay on his death penalty just hours before he was to be hanged. The pleas were starkly dismissed in an incomparable 2:30 am hearing and the judgment went on to become a landmark in the Indian legal history.

However, shortly after the hearing, an anonymous letter enclosed in an envelope threatening Misra of dreadful consequences was delivered at his official residence following which he was provided with a ‘Z’ security cover which remains till date.

ALSO READ: Threat letter to judge who rejected Memon’s mercy plea

A protectee under ‘Z’ category gets security cover from armed commandos of the National Security Guards (NSG) along with an escort vehicle and a pilot vehicle, each having three armed personnel, for the protection of his official vehicle.

Today, Justice Misra is the only top judge to ever use a bullet-proof ambassador car supplemented with a police escort.

Chief Justice of India
CJI Dipak Misra, seen here with Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, President Ram Nath Kovind and PM Narendra Modi. Twitter

However, death threats never stalled the 63-year old Justice Dipak Misra from taking monumental judgments and he has been at the forefront of some of the landmark judgments in the recent history. We take a look at the highlights from his career,

1. In May 2017, Justice Misra doctored the long-awaited landmark ruling and confirmed death penalty of the four convicts in the monstrous 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape that shook the entire world.

2. Justice Dipak Misra also headed the bench that mandated to play the National Anthem in cinema houses before the start of every movie for which he received a lot of flak. He also ordered for the viewers to stand up in “committed patriotism and nationalism” every time the National Anthem and/or the National Flag are featured in the theatres.

3. One of the most noteworthy decisions by Justice Misra include directing all State and Union Territories to upload all FIRs registered on their websites within 24 hours of registration at the police station. The move has made the entire process transparent, allowing the accused to download complaints and seek redressal of their grievances.

4. Justice Misra was also one of the seven judges of the special bench set up by the Supreme Court for a contempt of court hearing against Justice C.A Karman who had levied corruption charged on 20 judges of the High Court. The bench defended the constitutionality of the 150-year old law on criminal defamation and sentenced Karnan to six months in jail.

5. In 2015, a Justice Misra-led bench stayed the Maharashtra government’s ban on dance bars that had mushroomed in Mumbai and other parts of the state during the 90s. However, it maintained that the government must take steps to protect and uphold the dignity of women who performed at these bars.

6. Justice Misra is also known for his strict stand against frivolous litigations. He previously rejected one such appeal that had objected to the use of the term ‘Dhobi Ghat’ in a film’s title and had warned the petitioner.

7. He was also part of the bench that rejected the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to allow for reservations in promotions and asserted that this can only be allowed if there is sufficient supportive data and evidence to justify the decision.

8. Holding chair as the executive chairperson of the National Legal Services Authority, Justice Misra introduced the facility of Legal Assistance Establishment or Nyay Sanyog in states to simplify activities to provide free and faster legal aid to the deprived people.

9. Justice Misra also headed the three-judge bench that instructed the Centre in April 2017 to conduct NEET examination in Urdu from academic year 2018-2019 onwards. NEET examinations are held for students who wish to pursue a graduate medical course or a post-graduate medical course in private or government colleges.

Justice Dipak Misra’s tenure as the 45th Chief Justice of India will span for the next 14 months until he retires in October 2018 and is expected to see judgments in some high-magnitude issues like the validity of the Aadhaar card, the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir and the Ayodhya land dispute.


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.
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Reasons Why Marital Rape Should Be Recognised as a Criminal Offence

Debate on marital rape continues as it fails to get regarded as a punishable offense

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Marital Rape
Recognition of marital rape as a crime. Pixabay
  • The grievous danger caused by marital rape is unable to gain recognition
  • Women should be granted rights to handle situations of marital rape
  • Illiteracy, poverty and religious beliefs are not an excuse for committing marital rape

July 25, 2017: Most of the countries have regarded marital rape as a criminal offense but India has still not taken this action and due to this, the debate about marital rape continues.

The future for women and their rights in India seems bleak as the grievous danger caused by marital rape is unable to gain recognition.

But what exactly is marital rape? It occurs when a man imposes sexual right on his wife by use of force, without taking her consent, or threat of force. In a country where domestic violence is a punishable offense, why isn’t domestic sexual abuse a crime? Just as domestic violence destroys and hurts the body, marital rape destroys and harms the soul. Rape is rape no matter who commits it. It could be your boyfriend, your uncle, your husband or a stranger. Any force experienced to indulge in sexual activity should be made a punishable act regardless of the relationship with the rapist.

Also Read: Women should not Silently Face Atrocities and must Speak up about Issues like Marital Rape, says Actress Katrina Kaif

Maneka Gandhi, The Union Minister for Women and Child Development, says that “marital rape”  is inapplicable in a country like India since illiteracy, social customs, religious beliefs, poverty is widespread here.
This implies that it is acceptable for a man to force his wife into sexual activity because he is poor or illiterate.

Many of us often see our domestic help with a black eye, and when asked, she would say, husbands, are allowed to hit their wives as it’s the norm. The same norm permits husbands to rape their wives, without protection, whenever they come home drunk.

An Indian Marriage is more like a sexual contract as it provides the husband a right over his wife’s body and gives him ownership rights over the wife. This implies that a married woman has no right over her own body. Refusing to recognize marital rape as a criminal offense is equivalent to spreading the belief that it is acceptable for women to be raped as long as the rapist is her husband. If we want to develop our country and spread literacy, we need to grant women the control of their lives where it is her right to say no to her husband for sexual intercourse or pregnancy without being penalized or punished for it and commence help for abused women. It is necessary for the myth of “wifely duty” to end because sexual activity must take place with mutual consent and pleasure.

Marital Rape
Marriage is no excuse for rape. Wikimedia

A few years back, newspapers carried a tale of a woman aged 26 who came back with severe injuries from her Bangkok honeymoon as her husband had violent sex with her. In order to achieve equality between men and women, it is essential to grant rights to women over their bodies, recognition of forced sexual activity in her marriage, and raising their voices against it. The government must provide help for abused women.

A Statistical report of the study conducted by The International Centre for Women (ICRW) in eight States: Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh covered 3,158 number of women and 9,205 number of men aged between 18-49. The sample represented various castes, income groups and religions. The NFHS report revealed that the majority of rape that women reported was within the marriage and only 2.3 per cent of rape reported by women to the interviewers of NFHS was by other men.

Not criminalizing marital rape is either to degrade the real bonds and affections that keep marriages held together in spite of differences and disagreements or to believe that marital rape and sexual abuse in marriages is a common affair. A positive step in this direction will give women a sense of security and a redressal mechanism in situations of marital rape.

-prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025