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Abolition of Devadasi system: SC fines on govt for not replying

New Delhi. The Supreme Court has slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on the Centre for failing to file on time an affidavit on women being forced to become ‘devadasis’ and the possibility of abolition of the age-old tradition. A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit said that since the government has not filed its response despite the last opportunity given by the court on September 11, it needed to pay a cost of Rs 25,000.
SC However, it asked the authorities concerned to file an affidavit within four weeks. In September, the Centre had agreed to file a composite affidavit with regard to the system of women being allegedly forced to become devadasis.
A ‘devadasi’ is a woman dedicated to worship and service of a deity or a temple all her life. The court had then said that no further time will be granted in the matter. It has now fixed the matter for hearing on January 8. The court had sought Centre’s response on PIL filed last year by NGO S L Foundation, which sought direction to central and Karnataka governments to take urgent steps for restraining the ‘devadasis’ dedication that was going to be held on the midnight of February 13, 2014 at Uttangi Mala Durga Temple in the state’s Devanagar district as it was against the provision of the Constitution. The Supreme Court was told that the activity was also against the Karnataka Devadasis Prohibition of Dedication Act, 1982, and conflicts with the rights of juveniles.
The court had also then directed Karnataka’s Chief Secretary to take all preventive measures in respect of a programme, wherein Dalit girl children were to be dedicated as ‘devadasis’.
The bench had also sought Karnataka government’s reply and asked it to file a response on the PIL seeking framing of guidelines to stop the tradition of ‘devadasis’, saying it is a national shame.
The NGO has alleged that the process of ‘devadasi’ dedication was still prevalent in different parts of the country despite the law against it and pleaded for the apex court’s intervention in the matter. The NGO has sought direction to the central government to frame a law and guidelines to prohibit the practice of this system in any part of the country.

Gujarat is to set solar and stellar observatories

Ahmedabad. Gujarat is all set to get its first-ever solar as well stellar observatories, with government-recognised Indian Planetary Society (IPS) selecting Kutch district for embarking on this project at a cumulative cost of Rs 12 crore.
The Solar Observatory would be utilised to study the Sun as well as the Solar System, while the Stellar Observatory will collect crucial information by studying various galaxies, planets and stars, said IPS CEO Akshay Malhotra, who is at present in Kutch for a detailed study of possible locations in that area.
“This is for the first time when IPS is embarking on a project to set up its first solar as well as stellar observatories. We have decided to set up these observatories in Kutch, as the sky is very clear here, which is very essential for accurate results,” he said. “There are such observatories in different parts of India being run by the government, while we are an independent NGO recognised by the government. This is for the first time when Gujarat will get such observatories, as there are none at present here,” said Malhotra. Apart from having a clear sky, which is necessary for night observation of galaxies, the Tropic of Cancer passes from here, which gives ample sunlight necessary for solar observation, he said.
“The Tropic of Cancer passes from near Bhuj, which makes this place ideal for solar observation. As of now, we have zeroed-in on two locations, one is Lakhpat and another is Loriya village near Khavda, which is around 80 kms from Bhuj” he said. According to him, high-efficiency telescopes, along with other high-end equipments, would be installed at these observatories under PPP (public-private-partnership project) model.
“Budget for the Solar Observatory is around Rs 2 crore, while we may require at least Rs 10 crore for the Stellar Observatory. We will go for PPP model to execute this project, which will take a couple of years to complete. We will raise funds through donations as well as through government fundings,” Malhotra said. Scientists from India as well as across the world are associated with IPS, having its head office at Mumbai.

Supreme Court today stayed the Centre’s notification lifting ban on Jallikattu

jallikattuNew Delhi. The Supreme Court today stayed the Centre’s notification lifting ban on controversial bull taming sport Jallikattu during the festival of Pongal in Tamil Nadu. “As an interim measure, we direct that there shall be stay of notification dated January 7, 2016 issued by Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF),” a bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and N V Ramana said. The bench also issued notice to the MoEF and Tamil Nadu on petitions filed by various bodies including Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) seeking striking down of the Centre’s notification and sought their replies within four weeks.
Earlier during the day, a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur referred the petitions to the present bench as one of the judges Justice Banumathi, who hails from Tamil Nadu, rescued from hearing the batch of petitions. The Centre’s notification lifting ban on Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu was challenged in the Supreme Court yesterday by AWBI, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and a Bangalore-based NGO. The four-year-old ban on holding of Jallikattu was lifted on January 8 by the Modi government in poll-bound Tamil Nadu with certain restrictions. The decision to allow Jallikattu along with bullock cart races in other parts of the country, had come through a government notification despite strong objections by animal rights groups. Jallikattu also known Eruthazhuvuthal is a bull taming sport played in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations on Mattu Pongal day.

NGO of Teesta’s lawyer quizzed on foreign funds – Times of India


Times of India

NGO of Teesta's lawyer quizzed on foreign funds
Times of India
NEW DELHI: The Union home ministry has sent a questionnaire to human rights lawyer and former additional solicitor general Indira Jaising's NGO, Lawyers Collective, seeking details of its bank accounts including the designated FCRA account, amount of …
Notice to Jaising's NGO Over Aid Received When she was ASGThe New Indian Express
Notice to Indira Jaising's NGO for FCRA 'violation'Daily News & Analysis
Notice to lawyer Indira Jaising's NGO for FCRA 'violation'indiatvnews.com
Deccan Herald
all 22 news articles »

NGO of Teesta’s lawyer quizzed on foreign funds – Times of India


Times of India

NGO of Teesta's lawyer quizzed on foreign funds
Times of India
NEW DELHI: The Union home ministry has sent a questionnaire to human rights lawyer and former additional solicitor general Indira Jaising's NGO, Lawyers Collective, seeking details of its bank accounts including the designated FCRA account, amount of …
Notice to Jaising's NGO Over Aid Received When she was ASGThe New Indian Express
Notice to Indira Jaising's NGO for FCRA 'violation'Daily News & Analysis
Notice to lawyer Indira Jaising's NGO for FCRA 'violation'indiatvnews.com
Deccan Herald
all 22 news articles »

Rickshaw driver held for raping NGO worker – Pune Mirror

Rickshaw driver held for raping NGO workerPune MirrorAccording to the police, the 40- year-old woman works with an NGO. She has been in a live-in relationship with a man from Mumbai since the last seven years. On Sunday night, she wanted to lodge a complaint against him and boarded an auto-rickshaw and …
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