VISAKHAPATNAM 21 december 2013 SATURDAY `3.00 pages 20 LATE city edition CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BANGALORE ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELGAUM ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIMOGA ■ TIRUCHY ■ r a da r 18 Kg Gold Biscuits Seized Hyderabad: Custom officials on Friday busted a gold smuggling racket by arresting three passengers and seized 18 kg gold biscuits worth `5.4 crore and foreign currency worth `2.70 lakh from their possession. P2 Maha Govt’s ‘Adarsh’ Move Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Friday rejected the Adarsh Commission report that held four former Congress chief ministers guilty of overlooking violation of rules. Study on Brijesh Tribunal New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday assured an all party delegation from Andhra Pradesh that he would order a detailed study on the objections of Andhra Pradesh to the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal report. Case against Salman Khan Hyderabad: The Falaknuma police on Friday registered cases against actor Salman Khan and producer of reality show Big Boss for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of the minorities. Indian Peacekeepers Killed United Nations: Two Indian peacekeepers were killed when attackers stormed a UN base in South Sudan where civilians had taken refuge, as violence continued unabated in the world’s newest country. P11 20 pages, including 4 of City Express Markets Indices 21,079.72 6,274.25 24 ct (1 gm): 2,970 22 ct (1 gm): 2,776 Sensex: Nifty: Gold Silver Bar (1 kg): 43,250 Retail (1 gm): 46.30 Exchange 62.24 84.87 US$: Euro: Source: BSE, NSE, RBI websites express poll of the day Should Sangeeta Richard’s husband and children have been allowed to leave India? Yes 21% no 79% Today’s question: Should American diplomats in India also pay $4,500 as monthly wages to their Indian housemaids? SMS TO 54646 www.newindianexpress.com Review Order on Gay Sex, Govt Appeals to Apex Court Express News Service New Delhi: The Centre on Friday moved the Supreme Court to seek a review of its verdict which revived Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code making gay sex an offence punishable with life term. The government contended that recriminalisation of sexual intercourse between consenting adults of the same sex has again put the LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders) community at risk of persecution and harassment. “All those people have suddenly become vulnerable to abuse and discrimination and require immediate relief,” the review petition said. The Centre’s petition finalised by Attorney General G E Vahanvati sought that oral arguments be heard in an open court before disposing of its review petition. Review petitions are generally decided in chamber hearing. In the petition filed through advocate Devdutt Kamath, the Centre has cited 76 grounds to contend that the judgment delivered by Justice G S Singhvi since retired) and Justice S J Mukhopadhaya is ‘’contrary to well-established principles of law laid down by this court enunciating the width and ambit of Fundamental Rights under Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution.” The government also cited the example of other countries where gay sex has been legalised in recent years. The review petition challenged the principle set by the court that has asked Parliament to amend the law if necessary. “While law-making is the sole responsibility of Parliament, it is the task of this Court to judge the constitutional validity of laws,” the petition argued. The petition went on to say that the December 11 verdict of the apex court setting Prima Facie Evidence against Ganguly: AG Express News Service New Delhi: Attorney General GE Vahanvati has backed the move to sack retired Supreme Court judge AK Ganguly, accused of sexually harassing a law intern, as chairperson of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission. Sources said the AG, in his legal opinion sent to the Government, stated that there is a prima facie case against Justice Ganguly and sufficient evidence on record to take necessary steps for his removal from the chairmanship of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission. As per the Human Rights Act, to dismiss Justice Ganguly, the President will have to make a reference to the Supreme Court, which will then order an inquiry. The Law Ministry had on Thursday sought the opinion of the AG over the presidential reference. “We are examining the legal opinion,” a government official said. However, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Home Ministry had said the former judge’s matter is a fit case for presidential reference. To avoid delay, sources said, the aside the Delhi High Court’s 2009 judgment which decriminalised gay sex “suffers from glaring legal errors and seeks to invoke certain legal principles which were inapplicable in the facts of the present case”. “Criminalisation of same sex activity impedes access to health services,” it added and feared that LGBT community would be at the losing end. BJP Leaders Hit the Streets for Seemandhra’s Rights Express News Service Hyderabad/Visakhapatnam: In the wake of the BJP’s decision to raise Seemandhra concerns in Parliament, State party leaders on Friday plunged headlong into action demanding justice to the region. Seemandhra’s BJP leaders, who had been keeping away from the Samikyandhra agitation till the other day due to pressure from their Delhi bosses, organised protests, particularly in Coastal Andhra, against the UPA government for allegedly turning a blind eye to the region’s concerns. The BJP activists blamed the Congress for ignoring Seemandhra while bifurcating now, tjac wants to submit affidavits The Telangana Joint Action Committee has decided to collect affidavits from all Telangana MLAs to submit the same to either the Assembly Speaker or the President in an attempt to counter the Seemandhra MLAs who are making a similar move. the State and burnt effigies of Union Minister Jairam Ramesh for his reported remarks against the Polavaram project. BJP national executive member Kambhampati Haribabu, who led the demonstration in Visakhapatnam, said the party leaders had studied the AP Reorganisation Bill and found that the Congress-led UPA government had not taken into account the concerns of Seemandhra. “The Bill is unlikely to pass judicial scrutiny. We will impress upon our Central leadership to take up these concerns and ensure that the interests of the people are protected when the Bill is introduced in Parliament,” he said. In Rajahmundry and Kakinada, the BJP leaders objected to the ‘distorted’ reference to Polavaram in the T bill. “It was initially mooted as a multipurpose project but was mentioned in the bill as an irrigation project which reduces the possibility of utilising its waters in Krishna basin,” BJP members B Sattu and R Sridevi said. AK Ganguly government is also considering invoking another section of the Act, which says that if there is an infirmity of mind or body, the President can remove the head of a Human Rights Commission. Justice Ganguly has denied the allegations against him and has refused to resign. The procedure of referring the matter to a senior law officer ensures that the case presented in the Presidential Reference is watertight to withstand the scrutiny of the apex court. Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal also had on Monday said the government might take action against Justice Ganguly if he does not resign from his post. “There is a procedure where the government can step in on proven misbehaviour,” said Sibal. debate continues, says jaitley BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Friday suggested that the party’s stand on the Supreme Court judgement on Section 377 of IPC which upheld criminality of homosexual relations is still open, saying the debate over the issue is not yet over. P9 US Turns Down India’s Demand to Drop Case In muted response, Khurshid hints at “discreet diplomacy” to provide relief to Devyani Khobragade; American envoy meets MEA officials by Devirupa Mitra New Delhi: After a day of high-pitched words, India’s relatively muted response to US State Department’s categorical dismissal of the possibility of charges being dropped against Devyani Khobragade was an indication that diplomatic space was being created for a ‘face-saver’ to provide technical relief to the senior diplomat who has been accused of visa fraud. “We are not in any way walking back from those... charges,” State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said during a daily briefing on Thursday. “Very clearly... (US has) said in diplomatic notes to every country that has diplomats here that there are obligations they have for their staffs when they bring them to the US,” she added. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid refused to comment on Harf’s statement saying he could not “respond to different voices”. “I believe my duty and entitlement is to be in conversation with my counterpart Secretary (of State John) Kerry,” he said. Indicating the continuation of talks to find a solution, Khurshid added that “some parts of the diplomacy have to be done in public view and some parts of diplomacy have to be done with some degree of discreetness till such times as the diplomatic conversations are concluded”. Khurshid further said that India and US have a “valuable relation... in which enormous investments have been made, not only by government but by the private sector... We are conscious of this, I am sure they are equally conscious of this”. Earlier in the day, US ambas- Minor Dies as Boyfriend Force-feeds Abortion Pills Express News Service Vijayawada: In a tragic incident, a minor girl died of some health complications after consuming pills to abort her pregnancy here on Friday. Following this, relatives of the girl staged a protest in front of the One Town Police Station seeking justice. According to CI Sahera Begum, Boya Nandini (17) of Sitara Centre area of Vidyadharapuram in the city, fell in love with an auto-rickshaw driver, Irusu Durga Rao, who lives in the vicinity of her house. Durga Rao wanted the minor girl to go in for abortion when she fell pregnant. On Friday, he made her consume some pills in a bid to terminate her pregnancy. Boya Nandini However, the girl fell unconscious and started bleeding profusely after taking the pills. As her condition deteriorated, her father, B Appala Swamy and mother B Mani, with the help of their relatives, tried to shift her to the Government Hospital for treatment but she unfortunately died on the way. CONTINUED: P2 Demolish Islamic Varsity near Tirupati, Say Seers Express News Service Tirupati: The construction of an Islamic University at Tondavada, 10 km from the temple town, is snowballing into a major controversy with Hindu religious leaders upping the ante and demanding its demolition. Speaking at a well-attended public meeting, Hindu Garjana, at the TUDA grounds here Friday, several seers and pontiffs of various mutts slammed the State government for giving its nod to the university. The women’s university, which has 325 students, was originally supposed to be a G+1 building. However, six floors have been constructed. The Hindu reli- gious leaders demanded that it be shifted from its present location and alleged that it was a “deliberate attempt at destabilising social harmony” in Tirupa- ti. A security cordon was thrown around the TUDA grounds where the meeting, attended by thousands, was organised by the Tirumala Tirupati Pavitrata Parirakshana Samiti and also at the Islamic University. Tension prevailed in the town prior to the meeting with the authorities refusing to give it permission till the last minute and the Samiti threatening to besiege the university. Addressing the gathering, Visakha Sarada Peetam Pontiff Swaroopanandendra Saraswathi said, “The www.newindianexpress.com blind government officials, who permitted construction of the Islamic University unmindful of the risk involved, are now imposing curbs on us.” Citing the recent arrest of terrorists in Puttur and their aborted plan to target Srivari Brahmotsavams, he wondered how could the government let an Islamic University come up near Tirupati. Demanding that the government cancel permission given to the University, he said they will continue the stir till it was demolished. more: P4 spotlight back on strip search powers With senior diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s strip-search triggering a major row, the invasive post-arrest procedure is again in the limelight over a year after the US Supreme Court gave officials the power to strip search people arrested for any offence, however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the presence of TDP activists protest at the US contraband is not suspected. Consulate in Hyderabad | neeraj December 19 [ We are trying to lock a time for a call (with john kerry) this evening or may be tomorrow. He is in Philippines and there is a huge time difference maid’s husband threatened: kin New York: The family of Sangeeta Richard, the former maid of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, has — salman khurshid, alleged that they were frightMinister of External Affairs ened on several occasions as demands were made on them December 20 to bring the domestic worker No plans (for Kerry) back to India. A report in to (call Khurshid)... the New York Times quoted I think there was some a person close to Richard’s misreporting out there family as saying that on one today that he maybe, was occasion Richard’s husband planning to Philip was confronted by a — Marie Harf, man with a gun who demandUS State Dept Spokesperson ed that his wife return home. [ sador Nancy Powell was huddled with Indian officials at the MEA headquarters to negotiate possible solutions to the rare impasse in Indo-US ties. Protests against the ill-treatment of Khobragade continued in various cities with a small crowd claiming to be from the Republican Party of India (RPI) vandalising fast food chain outlets of Dominos Pizza and Pizza Hut in Mumbai. Khobragade for now has been shifted to India’s permanent mission to United Nations where she can get full diplomatic immunity. However, to be a fully functional diplomat accredited to the UN, she requires a new visa and identity card which has to be applied at the State Department’s office of foreign missions. The application is yet to be made. The granting of the new visa would be taken as the first positive signal from the US which will give both countries time to consider the next step, official sources said. Once the visa is granted, Khobragade will not be subject to judicial process and arrests even if US decides to go ahead with the case. edit: P8, more: P9
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