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President of India Pranab Mukherjee signed the anti-rape ordinance making it a law.

 
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President of India Pranab Mukherjee signed the anti-rape ordinance making it a law.

I have been writing since beginning that this anti rape civil society hindutva movement is going to be proved as an umbrella for ethnic cleanisng!After being halted for more than a year, land acquisition for the showpiece Rs 52,000-crore Posco steel plant in Odisha resumed today amid clashes between police and protesters.As President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday gave his assent to the anti-rape law ordinance so as to put a check on crime against women amid opposition from various women's groups. So, armed forces special power act, AFSPA continues and rape culture sustained.Free market economy and corporate governance is based on blind religious nationalism promoting rape culture. Despite women`s group opposition, UPA government banked on Sangh Pariwar support. Posco land acquisition is just the indication of the imminent impact of this pro repression ordinance on push for reforms drive!
Troubled Galaxy Destroyed Dreams, Chapter:847
Palash Biswas

Mobile: 919903717833

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President of India Pranab Mukherjee signed the anti-rape ordinance making it a law.

I have been writing since beginning that this anti rape civil society hindutva movement is going to be proved as an umbrella for ethnic cleanisng!After being halted for more than a year, land acquisition for the showpiece Rs 52,000-crore Posco steel plant in Odisha resumed today amid clashes between police and protesters.As President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday gave his assent to the anti-rape law ordinance so as to put a check on crime against women amid opposition from various women's groups. So, armed forces special power act, AFSPA continues and rape culture sustained.Free market economy and corporate governance is based on blind religious nationalism promoting rape culture. Despite women`s group opposition, UPA government banked on Sangh Pariwar support. Posco land acquisition is just the indication of the imminent impact of this pro repression ordinance on push for reforms drive!

Amid a probe being initiated into Wal-Mart's US lobbying with regard to its India entry, the global retail giant has continued to lobby with the American lawmakers on this issue, as also others, and spent a total amount of USD 6.13 million on the same during 2012.



Status of the Justice Verma Committee Recommendations
1) Gangrape (Justice Verma Panel Recommendation rejected)
Verma panel recommended minimum punishment of 20 years and maximum of Life term

Ordinance said punishment should be death sentence in extreme cases

2) Verma panel recommended to hold Senior Police officer/Army officer responsible for sexual offence commited by junior

Ordinance rejected this recommendation

3) Videography of recording statement evidence from victim

Justice Verma panel wanted it to be mandatory

Ordinance made it optional

4) AFSPA
Justice Verma panel recommended no sanction to prosecute forces for sexual offence

Ordinance rejected this recommendation

5) Verma panel sought to keep the definition for sexual offences as rape

Ordinance made the definition gender neutral by calling it sexual assault

6) Marital Rape

Verma panel recommended to take out the clause of rape by husband during separation in Sec 376 A

Ordinance retained the clause

7) Ordinance accepts Justice Verma panel recommendation for defining punishments for acid attacks, stalking, voyeurism, disrobing of women in public

The President has given his assent to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2013, a Home Ministry spokesperson said.

The ordinance is based on the recommendations of the Justice JS Verma Committee. The Union Cabinet on Saturday had cleared the ordinance at the specially-convened meeting which went beyond the Verma Committee's recommendation by providing for capital punishment in the cases where rape leads to death of the victim or leaves her in "persistent vegetative state".

In such cases, the minimum punishment will be 20 years in jail which can be extended to the natural life of the convict or death, sources said, adding discretion will be with the court.

After the Delhi gang-rape incident, there were vociferous demands for death penalty, but the Verma committee has not favoured it.

But the Committee had proposed to replace the word 'rape' with 'sexual assault', which will also help to expand the definition of all types of sexual crimes against women.

It also proposed enhanced punishment for other crimes against women like stalking, voyeurism, acid attacks, indecent gestures like words and inappropriate touch and brings into its ambit 'marital rape'.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on Wednesday assured Justice Verma, a former Chief Justice of India, that the government would be prompt in pursuing the recommendations of the committee he headed.

However, women's groups have planned a protest at Jantar Mantar on Monday against the ordinance.

They feel it lacks teeth to fight sexual crimes against women and had urged the president not to sign it.

Notably, being brought against the backdrop of the gang-rape and brutal assault of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi in December that shook the country, the ordinance entails changes in the criminal law by amending Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Evidence Act.

Meanwhile,after being halted for more than a year, land acquisition for the showpiece Rs 52,000-crore Posco steel plant in Odisha resumed today amid clashes between police and protesters.

The acquisition process for the South Korean steel major's mega project amid tight security in Jagatsinghpur district was marked by claims and counter-claims on the violence following allegations of police crackdown on project opponents and injuries to some villagers due to lathicharge.

"Land acquisition process began in Gobindpur village in the proposed project site near Paradip. It will continue till all betel vineyards of the cultivators willing to hand over their land is completed," District Collector S K Mallick said.

Betel-vines and land of only those who had already given their consent are being acquired, Additional District Magistrate Surjit Das said.

Anti-Posco protesters indulged in stone throwing for sometime damaging at least five vehicles of the police and administration, sources said, adding police sealed all the entry points to Gobindapur.

They also sealed the Gobindapur-Dhinkia road. Protesters from nearby areas like Ersama, Kujang and Jagatsinghpur were gathering in order to chalk out their strategy.

Leaders of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), agitating against the project since 2005, alleged that police launched a crack down on villagers trying to resist entry of acquisition team into Gobindpur injuring about six people in lathicharge. Das, however, refuted the charge saying no force was used.

Das said the work progressed peacefully and claimed no one was hurt in the incident.

Around 400 police personnel were deployed in the area where anti-Posco activists had been sitting on dharana at Balitikira of Gobindapur for the last 20 days.

As the police personnel cordoned the area, demolition of betel-vines and tree felling was undertaken at Mathsahi locality of Gobindapur. Officials of Odisha's Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (IDCO) and Posco-India were present in the area during the work.

The operation was initially resisted by several anti-Posco agitators who tried to block the acquisition team and police from entering into the village. The protesters were chased away after a brief scuffle, sources said.

PPSS leader Abhay Sahu alleged that some villagers were also detained by the police.

The fresh operation is aimed at acquiring an additional 700 acres of land required for Posco's mega project, the ADM said, adding the administration had earlier taken into possession 2,000 acres.

Land acquisition work had been halted more than a year ago following violence during construction of a coastal road near proposed project site in December, 2011 and formation of human chains by women and children in the area.

Six teams were engaged in the exercise and altogether 22 betel-vines were demolished and about 45 trees cut, the ADM said, adding payment was made immediately.

Accusing the administration of forcibly acquiring land and demolishing betel-vines, CPI leader and MP Bibhu Prasad Tarai, his supporters and other anti-Posco activists staged a dharna at nearby Patna Chhak.

Demanding withdrawal of police force from the area, Tarai said since the villagers are protesting in a peaceful manner there is no need to deploy force.

Meanwhile, CPI workers also staged a demonstration in Bhubaneswar in protest against police deployment in proposed Posco area near Paradip. They demanded immediate withdrawal of police force.

On the other hand,amid a probe being initiated into Wal-Mart's US lobbying with regard to its India entry, the global retail giant has continued to lobby with the American lawmakers on this issue, as also others, and spent a total amount of $6.13 million on the same during 2012.

As per the latest Congressional records of lobbying disclosure reports, the US-based Wal-Mart Stores spent a total amount of $1.48 million (about Rs 8 crore) on lobbying for various issues, including on "discussions related to FDI in India", during the last quarter ended December 31, 2012.

This has taken the total lobbying bill of the company for entire 2012 to $6.13 million (about Rs 33 crore), the lobbying disclosure records available with the US Senate show.

Wal-Mart has been lobbying with the US lawmakers on dozens of issues every quarter, whose disclosures it is mandatorily required to make under the American regulations.

Recently, the Indian government initiated a probe into the lobbying activities by Wal-Mart in the US for gaining access to Indian market, after disclosures about these activities caused a furore and a political debate in India.

The company has, however, maintained that these disclosures have nothing to do with political or governmental contacts with India government officials and they only show that Wal-Mart's business interest in India was discussed with the US government officials along with many more other topics.

Wal-Mart has been waiting for years to open its supermarkets in India and it has been lobbying with the US lawmakers since at least 2008 to facilitate its entry into the highly lucrative Indian market.

Its total bill on these activities has now crossed $34 million (about Rs 180 crore) since 2008, which has been incurred on account of lobbying for more than 50 issues every quarter, including the issues related to "enhanced market access for investment in India".

However, the amount spent by Wal-Mart in last quarter was lower than $1.65 million incurred in the previous three- month period ended September 30, 2012, when also one of its lobbying issues was "discussions related to FDI in India".

Its annual lobbying bill also fell to $6.13 million in 2012, from $7.84 million in 2011. Prior to that, it had spent $6.16 million in 2010, $7.39 million in 2009 and $6.59 million in 2008.

Wal-Mart has lobbied for its various business interests with the US Senate, the US House of Representatives, the US Trade Representative (USTR) and the US department of state, among other organisations and departments.

The companies are allowed to lobby for their cases in various departments and agencies in the US, but they are required to file their lobbying disclosure reports every quarter with the US Senate.

As per Wal-Mart's lobbying disclosure reports, the company has continuously lobbied for its India entry since 2008, except for a few quarters in 2009.

Indian government recently opened up its multi-brand retail sector for foreign companies after years of political opposition and a Parliament motion against this decision was defeated last week in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

The US-based supermarket chain operator Wal-Mart Stores, which has an annual turnover of $444 billion and a world- wide headcount of 2.2 million, has been waiting for a long time to enter India.

The Indian retail market is estimated to be worth about USD 500 billion currently and is pegged to cross $one trillion mark by 2020, given the rising personal income and growing consumer spending trends.

India is one of the most favourable destinations for international retailers and an accelerated retail growth of 15-20 per cent is expected over the next five years.


The BJP Sunday said that the promulgation of ordinance for stricter punishment for sexual crimes against women was a belated move by the government to address concerns of people on the issue and should have been brought earlier.

Party leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the BJP supports moves towards strict laws to deter crimes against women but the government should have acted earlier.

"It should have been done earlier. The party had demanded a special session (of parliament) on the issue," Naqvi told IANS.

He said there have been strong demands for stricter laws following the brutal gang-rape of a young woman in Delhi last month.

Naqvi said the party will spell out its stance in detail in the budget session of parliament when the government is expected to push for passage of criminal law amendment bill.

The bill is being considered by the standing committee on home ministry. The panel is expected to give its recommendations before the start of budget session later this month.

President Pranab Mukherjee Sunday gave his approval to an ordinance that awards stricter punishment for sexual crimes against women, including death sentence in rare instances.

The criminal law (amendment) ordinance was approved by the cabinet Friday.

68,000 rape cases in 2009-11 but only 16,000 convicted

Nearly 68,000 rape cases were registered across the country during 2009-11 but only 16,000 rapists were sentenced to prison, presenting a dismal picture of conviction of sexual offenders.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 24,206 rape cases were registered in India in 2011 but only 5,724 people were convicted for the crime.

Similarly, in 2010, 22,172 rape cases were registered while the number of convicted persons for the crime was 5,632.

A total of 21,397 rape cases were registered in 2009 but only 5,316 persons could be convicted.

The highest number of rape cases -- 9,539 -- were registered in Madhya Pradesh between 2009-11 but only 2,986 persons were convicted during the period.



Altogether 7,010 rape cases were registered in West Bengal during 2009-11 but only 381 people could be convicted for the crime.

In Uttar Pradesh, 5,364 cases of rape were registered during the three year period and 3,816 persons were convicted for the crime.

A total of 5,052 rape cases were registered in Assam during 2009-11 but only 517 persons could be convicted during the said period.

"The poor rate of conviction is primarily due to prosecution's inability to gather enough evidence against the accused following inadequate police investigation," a Home Ministry official said.

The NCRB data shows there were 1,22,292 cases of molestation during 2009-11 but only 27,408 people could be convicted for the offence during the said period.

A total of 19,618 cases of molestation were registered in Madhya Pradesh during the three year period but only 6,091 persons were convicted for the crime.

Maharashtra registered 10,651 cases of molestation between 2009-11 but only 595 people could be convicted for the crime.

There were 9,030 cases of molestation in Uttar Pradesh during the three year period. However, the number of convicted persons for the offence during the said period was relatively higher than other states at 7,958.

Kerala registered 9,232 cases of molestation during 2009-11 but convicted only 718 people during the said period.

Sonia assured of flat in Dwarka, job: Brother of gang-rape victim

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has assured of initiating steps to allot a flat at Dwarka and a job for one of the family members, the brother of the Delhi gang-rape victim has said.

He said on the request of his mother, Sonia assured to initiate steps to get a flat allotted at Dwarka and job to him when she visited the family along with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi yesterday.

The Congress president told them that charges had been framed against the accused in court and justice would be done soon, he said.

The brother said Sonia spent almost an hour with the family and for the maximum time, she was with the girl's mother, who got emotional and broke down several times.
The family discussed about punishment to the sixth accused, who had been declared juvenile, and to frame a law to reduce the age of being juvenile.

He said Sonia intently listened to them and assured that she would see at her own level what could be done within the framework of the law.

She assured the family, saying they should not worry about anything and she considered them as her family. She said she was personally watching every activity related to the case, he said.

The brother said the Congress president expressed grief at not being able to save the girl despite all efforts.

He said it was the fourth time Sonia had visited the family. Earlier, she went twice to the hospital and also met them at the airport when the body was flown back from Singapore, he said.

He said during her stay, she enquired about the family moving from a Uttar Pradesh village to Delhi in 1983 and regarding various aspects of the life of the girl since her childhood up to her physiotherapy course.

Sonia also went to the room of the girl and had a look at her books.

He said the family was impressed with Sonia's affection and straightforwardness.

Another hike in rail fares on the cards?

Posted by: Sreekumar Published: Sunday, February 3, 2013, 19:17 [IST]

Amazing Prices-Grab the Best smartphones at the Amazing Prices Chandigarh, Feb 3: Last month when train fares were hiked by nearly 20 per cent across the board, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal stated that passengers will not be inconvenienced again this year but today he refused to rule out a further hike in the upcoming budget. Despite specific queries, Bansal refused to clear the doubts which have arisen following speculation in this regard. "I do no’t know. I have no’t said anything so far," he told newspersons here. In his capacity as the local MP, Bansal inaugurated an exhibition that is being organised by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission. On the occasion, journalists wanted to know if there is even a little truth in reports about another hike in rail fares. "Some things are being attributed to me," Bansal replied. He asked everyone to "wait for the railway budget." The railway minister stressed that he is "not indicating anything" and hence the media should not "draw any inferences." Since those travelling by trains have already been paying a higher fare for the past two weeks, Bansal's statement that "Whatever I will have to say from my side, I will present my views in the budget" is not likely to inspire much confidence among the passengers. About the possibility of his ministry helping the khadi industry, he pointed out that "some things are already there in coaches like blankets etc." Bansal hastened to add that the Railway Board will discuss "what more can be done." On Jan 9, he had announced the last hike and claimed that mounting losses in passenger segment necessitated it. According to Bansal, the additional revenue accruing from the hike will be used to make rail travel safer. Cleanliness in all trains will also be maintained, he assured. Opposition parties were critical of the steep increase in fares. "A hike is justified if services are bettered," said BJP leader Prakash Javadekar. He called for better amenities to be provided in trains and accidents to be avoided at all cost.

Read more at: http://news.oneindia.in/2013/02/03/bansal-does-not-rule-out-another-hike-in-rail-fares-1142104.html

Sexual harassment ordinance remains silent on AFSPA, marital rape

INDIA, Updated Feb 02, 2013 at 09:34am IST
New Delhi: Just days after the Justice Verma Committee made its recommendations to amend laws relating to sexual assault, the Cabinet has passed an ordinance. The punishment for rape could range from 20 years to even death in extreme cases, but the ordinance remains silent on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and marital rape.
"The UPA government has responded to the sensitivities of the people," Law Minister Ashwini Kumar said. The Cabinet met at a short notice to approve the ordinance just to prove this point.
It has faced criticism on inability to feel the pulse of the people in the street protests and also Justice JS Verma. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi were keen on a damage control.Video
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The ordinance accepts most of the suggestions of Justice Verma Committee report. According to the ordinance, the punishment for rape can go up to 20 years in jail. A death sentence can also be given in extreme cases, which includes permanent body damage to a woman.
The word 'rape' will now be called 'sexual assault'. Sexual crime means unfavourable portrayal of women, stalking, women trafficking and acid attacks.
But the ordinance remains silent on marital rape. It also remains silent on another recommendation of the Justice Verma Committee, that is, changes in AFSPA. The Cabinet has also not accepted that politicians who face charges of sexual abuse should be debarred. The Cabinet is waiting for a consensus on this.
The government now hopes to make more changes once the ordinance is referred to Parliament for approval.
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/sexual-harassment-ordinance-remains-silent-on-afspa-marital-rape/370292-3.html

CPM rejects sexual harassment ordinance, activists say it's not tough

POLITICS NEWS, Updated Feb 02, 2013 at 03:39pm IST
New Delhi: A day after the Cabinet approved an ordinance for tougher anti-rape laws, activists say it is not tough enough. While the government claims it has accepted most of recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee on punishing sex offenders, it has not included proposals like changing rules for the armed forces under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. The ordinance has also left out recognition of marital rape as a crime.
"We've accepted almost all the recommendations. The Central Government is committed to giving stringent punishment to the culprits. We've included acid attacks and stalking in the definition of sexual crimes against women. We feel that this will send out a strong message," Union Minister Krishna Tirath said.
CPM leader Brinda Karat said the government has ignored the main recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee. "We do not approve of this ordinance. The ordinance has ignored the main recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee. The ordinance is an attempt to divert attention from the main questions being raised in the Justice Verma Committee report," Karat said. Women groups have also called the ordinance a dilution of the Verma panel recommendations.Video
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Meanwhile, former IPS officer and activist Kiran Bedi welcomed the passing of this ordinance calling it the beginning of a long journey. "I think the people demand a holistic response, it is a very part law response. Very well, it's a beginning made, but it's still a long way to go, as the Justice Verma recommendations are a holistic correction," Bedi said.
Just days after the Justice Verma Committee made its recommendations to amend laws relating to sexual assault, the Cabinet has passed an ordinance. The punishment for rape could range from 20 years to even death in extreme cases. "The UPA government has responded to the sensitivities of the people," Law Minister Ashwini Kumar said. The Cabinet met at a short notice to approve the ordinance just to prove this point.
It has faced criticism on inability to feel the pulse of the people in the street protests and also Justice JS Verma. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi were keen on a damage control.
The ordinance accepts most of the suggestions of Justice Verma Committee report. According to the ordinance, the punishment for rape can go up to 20 years in jail. A death sentence can also be given in extreme cases, which includes permanent body damage to a woman. The word 'rape' will now be called 'sexual assault'. Sexual crime means unfavourable portrayal of women, stalking, women trafficking and acid attacks.
But the ordinance remains silent on marital rape. It also remains silent on another recommendation of the Justice Verma Committee, that is, changes in AFSPA. The Cabinet has also not accepted that politicians who face charges of sexual abuse should be debarred. The Cabinet is waiting for a consensus on this. The government now hopes to make more changes once the ordinance is referred to Parliament for approval.
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/cpm-rejects-sexual-harassment-ordinance-activists-say-its-not-tough/370361-37-64.html



 

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