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Abortion cannot be denied merely because a woman is unmarried: SC

Ashish Sinha

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The Supreme Court on Thursday observed that a woman cannot be denied the opportunity to terminate her pregnancy merely on the grounds that she is unmarried. The apex court allowed a woman to terminate her 24-week-old pregnancy subjecting to AIIMS Delhi concluding that the foetus can be aborted without risking her life.

“The petitioner should not be denied the benefit merely on the ground that she is an unmarried woman”, the Court observed in the order.  

The petitioner, a 25-year-old woman had appealed to the court to terminate the pregnancy on grounds that her partner, with whom she was in a relationship had refused to marry her. She also stressed that the birth of the

child could cause her psychological agony as well as social stigma. 

The Delhi High Court in its order on July 16 refused to grant permission to terminate the pregnancy that was 23-weeks then, on grounds it violated the abortion law. 

The upper limit for the termination of pregnancy is 24 weeks for special categories, including survivors of rape and other vulnerable women such as the differently-abled and minors; the corresponding window for unmarried women in consensual relationships is 20 weeks.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant and PS Narasimha said allowing the woman to suffer an unwanted pregnancy will be contrary to the object and spirit of the legislation. “We are of the view that allowing the petitioner to suffer an unwanted pregnancy will go against the parliamentary intent and the benefits under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act cannot be denied to her only on the basis of her being unmarried. The distinction between a married and an unmarried woman has no nexus to the object sought to be achieved by the Parliament,” the apex court said in its order.

It noted that after the 2021 amendment in the Act, it uses the word “partner” instead of “husband” in the explanation to Section 3 saying that this shows the legislative intent to cover “unmarried woman” under the Act.

The apex court directed AIIMS Delhi Director to constitute a medical board in terms of provisions of Section 3(2)(d) MTP Act during the course of July 22.

It said, “In the event the medical board concludes that the foetus can be aborted without any danger to life of the petitioner, the AIIMS shall carry out the abortion in terms of the petition. The report shall be furnished to the court after completion of the procedure.”

The Supreme Court also issued notice to the Central government and has sought the assistance of Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati on the legislative interpretation of the Act.

It said courts cannot be unmindful of the legislative intent behind the amendment in the Act, which expressly contemplates unwanted pregnancy by failure of method or device used by woman or her partner to prevent pregnancy.

“The use of words ‘woman or her partner’ shows an intention to cover unmarried woman which is in consonance with Article 14 of the Constitution,” the bench opined.

The apex court in its order noted the contentions of woman that she is eldest among five siblings and her parents are agriculturists. It was submitted that in the absence of a source of livelihood, she will be unable to raise and nurture the child.

In her plea, the woman said she is unmarried and her partner “ditched” her at the last moment (about 18 weeks of pregnancy). Social stigma coupled with mental and financial constraints compelled her to approach the court to terminate the pregnancy at an advanced stage, her counsel contended.

The High Court on July 15 said that permitting abortion at this stage would virtually amount to killing the foetus and asked the woman to rather put up her child for adoption.

“We will not permit you to kill that child. (We are) very sorry. This virtually amounts to killing (the foetus),” I had observed.

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Tight security arrangements at borders in view of Independence Day

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Security

Security forces have tightened security at borders across the country because of Independence Day. Pakistan is continuously hatching nefarious conspiracies to spread panic in Jammu and Kashmir.

Under the virtual reality training system, every activity of the enemy is being monitored. Security forces are ready to deal with any kind of attack. Every enemy movement is tracked with the virtual reality training system. The system is named Sanjay. This name is taken from Mahabharata. Significantly, Sanjay had seen the war of Mahabharata without going to the battlefield. In the same way, all the activities can be monitored without going to the war zone with this device. This system is also being used to stop drone movements and keep an eye on infiltration.

Meanwhile, with the help of the Pakistan army, a large number of terrorists are still trying to infiltrate this side from Kashmir. The enemy infiltrates the border sometimes under the cover of darkness or mist or sometimes under the cover of reeds and then carries out nefarious attacks.

However, the country’s army currently has rifles like Israel-made Negev LMG, American Sigfire, and Finland-made Sako sniper rifles. Soldiers with these weapons are also taking training to hit the steak targets to face the challenges on the border.

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Congress Slams CM Bommai, calls out the commercial for not including Nehru

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BS Bommai

The Karnataka government’s newspaper advertisement in which Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s photo was left off of the list of freedom warriors has sparked yet another controversy. The chief minister of Karnataka, BS Bommai, insulted his father, SR Bommai, and his father’s first political mentor, MN Roy, both of whom were ardent Nehru supporters, according to Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh.

Jairam Ramesh remarked, “CM Karnataka is desperately trying to keep his job.”

The leader of the Congress, BM Sandeep, referred to Bommai as a “puppet CM” and claimed that Nehru was a major figure in India in the middle of the 20th century.

The commercial in question honours both Indian freedom heroes and those who were from Karnataka. It honours Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Chandrashekhar Azad, Savarkar, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Vallabhbhai Patel Bhagat Singh, in addition to Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji, and Vallabhbhai Patel Bhagat Singh.

This intensified the tense argument between the BJP and the Congress on Har Ghar Tiranga. The Congress questioned the RSS’s decision to wait till Friday to change its social media profile pictures to the national flag, and BJP leader Tejasvi Surya promised to set up history lessons for anyone who questions the RSS’s role.

The Congress claimed that the 75th anniversary of Independence had been reduced to “glorifying the sarvagyaani” and questioned why no special event had been arranged in Parliament to commemorate the occasion. In response, the BJP questioned why the Congress had not published a photo of its leaders raising the flag.

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President Droupadi Murmu to deliver maiden address to nation

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Droupadi Murmu

President Droupadi Murmu is about to give her first address to the nation. Murmu will address the nation on Sunday on the eve of Independence Day.

Meanwhile, Rashtrapati Bhavan said that the President’s address will be telecast on all national networks of All India Radio and all channels of Doordarshan from 7 pm onwards.

Moreover, the statement reads, “President Murmu’s address will also be telecast in regional languages on Doordarshan’s regional networks. All India Radio will also broadcast the regional language versions of the President’s address to the nation through its language service centers across India. All India Radio will telecast it in the regional language at 9.30 pm on their respective regional networks.”

However, on 15 August, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address will also be live-streamed by PIB (Press Information Bureau) on its various social media channels.

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Author Salman Rushdie taken off ventilator; accused Matar pleaded ‘not guilty’

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Salman Rushdie

Renowned author Salman Rushdie was taken off a ventilator on Friday and will be able to talk. Rushdie was attacked by a man with a knife on Friday at an event in New York, USA.

According to the Washington Post, Rushdie’s agent Andrew Wyllie said Rushdie was taken off a ventilator and could be able to talk.

Earlier, Hadi Matar who stabbed the author Rushdie pleaded not guilty to attempted murder in the second degree. On Saturday, Matar was remanded without bail at Chautauqua County Jail.

According to the New York State Police, “On August 12, 2022, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested Hadi Matar 24 of Fairview, NJ for Attempted Murder 2nd degree (B Felony) and Assault 2nd degree. Matar was processed at SP Jamestown and transported to Chautaugua Country Jail. Matar was arraigned in centralized arraignment on August 13, 2022, and was remanded without bail at Chautaugua Country Jail.”

Earlier, New York State Police identified the suspect as Hadi Matar. Matar hail from Fairview, New Jersey, and is 24 years old.

“Earlier today, approx at 10:47 am, the speaker Rushdie, 75, and Henry Reese, 73 has just arrived at the stage of the institution and shortly thereafter the suspect jumped out of the stage and attacked at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen,” Major Eugene J. Staniszewski said.

Meanwhile, the White House on Saturday also called the attack on Salman Rushdie “reprehensible”. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris wished the renowned author a speedy recovery.

Moreover, UK PM Boris Johnson said, “Appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie has been stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend. Right now my thoughts are with his loved ones. We are all hoping he is okay.”

Salman Rushdie was born in 1974 in Mumbai and is 75 years old. He has a long history of controversies. After writing The Satanic Verses, he received death threats from Islamic extremists for several years.

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India observes Partion Horrors Remembrance Day, recollects the agony

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India Pakistan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to those who lost their lives in the communal riots that occurred during the country’s partition as India observed Partition Horrors Remembrance Day. He also praised the resilience and tenacity displayed by individuals who were affected by the partition.

The PM tweeted, “Today, on #PartitionHorrorsRemembranceDay, I pay homage to all those who lost their lives during Partition , and applaud the resilience as well as grit of all those who suffered during that tragic period of our history.”

In his Independence Day speech from the previous year, Prime Minister Modi proclaimed that August 14 would be remembered as “Partition Horrors Remembrance Day.”

Himanta Biswa Sarma, the chief minister of Assam, also spoke of the agony that occurred during the partition because Pakistan’s creation led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. Sarma referred to the partition as one of the “darkest events in Indian history” and claimed that it had delivered a severe blow to “Akhand Bharat,” or undivided India.

Taking to the microblogging site, he wrote, “One of the darkest moments in Indian history, Partition wreaked havoc upon millions of countrymen & dealt mighty blow to Akhand Bharat. On #PartitionHorrorsRemembranceDay, I recall the sufferings of people resulting from evil machinations of British Raj & newly-formed Pakistan.”

Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, also paid tribute to those who died as a result of the partition and sent his sorrow to their families.

“Lakhs of innocent civilians lost their lives and crores of citizens suffered inhuman suffering during the sad Partition of India due to the destructive religious mindset,” he tweeted.

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PM Modi leads homage to Jhunjhunwala

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Narendra Modi & Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala received homage from all corners of the nation, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The billionaire investor passed away at age 62 in Mumbai.

PM Modi said, “Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was indomitable. Full of life, witty and insightful, he leaves behind an indelible contribution to the financial world.”

Taking to Twitter, the PM said, “He was also very passionate about India’s progress. His passing away is saddening. My condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti. (sic).”

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi was one of many leaders who tweeted condolences to the veteran MP. “Saddened to hear about Shri Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s demise, just days after he established his low-cost airline, Akasa Airline.”

She wrote, “He was not just bullish about the stock market but also about the nation. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.”

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