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‘Triple talaq’ bill in Lok Sabha today

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New Delhi, Dec 26: Stage is set for yet another round of high-decibel debate and confrontation in the Lok Sabha on Thursday on the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill that seeks to put a ban on the practice of instant divorce among Muslims.

Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Wednesday said that the treasury bench would like to ensure the passage of the Bill in both Houses of Parliament.

“We are in favour of constructive debate. Opposing a draft law or staging a walkout is part of the democratic process, but I am confident the Bill will be passed as it seeks to ensure justice for Muslim women and is against ill practices,” Naqvi told reporters.

 

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel also exuded confidence that the draft law – also called Triple Talaq Bill – will get the nod of both the Houses.

“It is an important bill and is aimed at ensuring justice for Muslim women,” he said.

“The government does not want to do any politics with the Bill. The Ordinance brought this year has addressed some of the issues raised earlier,” Goel said.

The BJP has issued whip to its Lok Sabha members asking them to be present when Parliament’s winter session resumes business on Thursday, December 27 after weekend and Christmas break.

The Bill was listed for being taken up by the House of the People last week on December 20 but Congress floor leader MallikarjunKharge requested the Speaker SumitraMahajan to take up the Bill on December 27 saying his party will participate in the discussions.

“I give you a commitment that we will participate in the discussions on the Bill,” Kharge said.

After Kharge’s assurance, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said he respects Kharge and hoped discussions will take place peacefully on the Bill.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar also agreed that the Bill will be taken up on December 27.

N K Premachandran (RSP) said that he will move statutory resolution against the Bill.

While the government will have no issues to get the nod of the Lok Sabha, problems could arise yet again in the Rajya Sabha.

Last year too, the Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha but it was stalled in Rajya Sabha.

However, in September this year, the government had brought in an Ordinance making the Triple Talaq “illegal”.

The government had said there was a “compelling necessity” and an overpowering urgency to come with the executive order as the issue of Triple Talaq is strictly linked to gender justice.

The Supreme Court had found the practice “un-Islamic” and “arbitrary” and had disagreed that Triple Talaq was an integral part of religious practice.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday said that if necessary the Bill could be passed by a Joint Sitting of both the Houses of Parliament. However, he expressed hope that AIADMK could render its support to the Bill in the Upper House.

NCP leader MajeedMemon said while it would be easy to pass the Bill in Lok Sabha yet again; problems could be in Rajya Sabha as several opposition parties including the Congress want amendments to it.

KTS Tulsi, a senior lawyer and Rajya Sabha member, also said: “BJP should not forget there is a Rajya Sabha”.

The Bill, which was tabled last week, provides for a three-year jail term for those found guilty of following the practice. It would supersede an earlier Bill that the government had managed to get passed in Lok Sabha in December last year.

The fresh Bill was introduced on December 17. Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said despite Supreme Court ruling, the evil practice still persisted.

Facing resistance in Upper House of Parliament last year, the government has introduced some amendments, but the opposition parties still remained defiant apparently.

The Bill passed in Lok Sabha on December 27 last year had sought to make instant divorce a punishable, cognisable and a non-bailable offence.

The fresh Bill provides for a three-year jail term for those found guilty of following the practice.


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After Noori, Kashmir scientists planning to clone Hangul

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Apr 25: After successfully cloning Pashmina goat in 2012, the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry at SKUAST-K is now contemplating to make clone of Kashmir Stag (Hangul).

Realising that the Hangul was gradually getting extinct from the valley, the scientists at Department of Biotechnology SKUAST-K Shuhama came up with this idea.

“This project is in infancy as we require permission from Wild Life department, local government and Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA),” said Dr Riyaz Ahmad Shah, a veterinarian in the animal biotechnology center of SKUAST.

 

Shah said the execution of the project would require heavy funding and creation of the advanced infrastructure in the research centre.

“First of all a Deer park in needed where there these animals must have been already reared. Then advanced infrastructure is need as we currently have some basic machinery here. So overall this project can be only executed when the government is serious in accomplishing it,” he said.

He said the cloning could be achieved by using the body cells of some other inter-species including a goat or a sheep.

While the initial work including the framing of paper has been done, Shah said the tracing and catching this rare animal was becoming equally challenging for the concerned department.

“They usually die on being caught by the people. Still it could be managed but they are not being currently traced in abundance in the forests here,” he said.

 Shah believed that cloning of the deer can be an equally effective process like breeding procedure done to improve their population.

Official data reveals that population of Hangul has reduced to from 5,000 to 182 in last 118 years.

Department of Wildlife’s data shows the population of Kashmiri Hangul in 1900 was 5,000, spread over 65 miles from north to east of the Jhelum and lower Chenab valley.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is also all set to declare it a ‘critically endangered’ species to protect this beautiful animal from disappearing from earth.

In 2012, scientists at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) successfully cloned the first Pashmina goat. The healthy female goat was born using a foster mother and it took two years for standardisation of the technique.

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Assembly polls in JK: EC to convene meeting today

Agencies

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New Delhi, Apr 25: Election Commission of India (ECI) officials will meet on Friday to discuss assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

Officials of the Jammu and Kashmir government are also expected to attend the meeting to assess whether the state assembly elections can be conducted in June this year.

While announcing the seven-phase Lok Sabha election schedule on March 10, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had said that elections for the Jammu and Kashmir assembly would not be conducted along with the Lok Sabha elections. In June 2018, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had withdrawn support to the PDP, led by Mehbooba Mufti in the 87-member state assembly.

 

Since the fallout of the coalition government, the state has been under President’s rule.

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IT Dept searches premises of kin of ex-minister

Press Trust of India

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Srinagar, Apr 25: The Income Tax Department Thursday carried out searches at two premises of a kin of Imran Reza Ansari, a former minister in the PDP-BJP coalition, for alleged tax evasion, officials said here.

They said the income tax officials, assisted by the Jammu and Kashmir police and the CRPF, carried out the searches at a business complex in the upmarket Karan Nagar where locations of North Point Complex were searched by the tax personnel.

Later, a team was sent to search another premises of the family at Alamgiri Bazar in the downtown Srinagar.

 

The income tax officials maintained that Thursday’s raids were carried out on a business family and were in no way connected to Ansari, a politician who switched over to People’s Conference led by Sajad Lone.

Ansari’s sister is married to the family whose premises have been raided.

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