Pinky Anand, Senior Advocate and former Additional Solicitor General, has once again come to the rescue of the unborn child. The Supreme Court of India issued notice to the Central Government on Tuesday regarding a public interest litigation filed by Advocates Shobha Gupta and Sanskriti Shankuntala Gupta under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution. Pinky Anand, while arguing the matter before the Chief Justice’s court, brought to the notice of the court the glaring defects in the implementation of the PCPNDT Act (The Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques: Prohibition of Sex Selection Act) . This act was enacted by the Govt. of India in 1994 to protect the unborn child by comprehensibly prohibiting pre- and post-natal sex determination by any doctor or genetic clinic.
Even though the Act came into force in 1996, it was not implemented properly. Therefore, a writ petition (CEHAT and Others v. Union of India & Ors., 2000) was filed before the Supreme Court of India seeking directions to the central and state governments to appoint the appropriate authorities for implementation of the provisions of the Act.
The Supreme Court decided the writ petition in 2003 and directed the central and state governments to implement the Act with full vigor and zeal. Despite the directions of the Supreme Court, the act was still not adequately implemented, which led to the filing of another writ petition (Voluntary Health Association of Punjab vs. Union of India & Ors, 2006). Subsequently, in this writ petition, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) also joined as the party praying for dilution of certain provisions of the act. The Supreme Court in 2016, after taking all facts into consideration, rejected the contention of IMA and issued directions to the Centre, States, and Union Territories to effectively implement the act. It also directed the various courts in this country, through the Registrars of various High Courts, to take steps to dispose of all pending cases filed under the PCPNDT Act within a period of six months. Despite this order of the Supreme Court, cases filed under the PCPNDT Act are still pending for years in various courts in the country.
In order to thwart the implementation of this piece of social legislation, the apex body of obstetricians and gynaecologists of the country, known as the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court ( FOGSI vs Union of India, 2017), challenging the constitutional validity of the core provisions of the act with the view to diluting the potency of the act.
The Federation hired a battery of legal luminaries, including Soli Sorabjee, to put forth their view. However, Pinky Anand, as Additional Solicitor General appearing on behalf of the Union of India, vehemently opposed the petitioner society’s submission and won the day by obtaining an order stating that dilution of the act’s provisions would not only defeat the act’s purpose of preventing female foeticide, but would relegate the right to life of the girl child to a mere formality.
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NMCG, Sahakar Bharati hold mega farmers’ workshop
To promote natural farming amongst the farmers in the Ganga basin, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and Sahakar Bharati organised ‘Vishaal Kisan Sammelan’ workshop in Bayanpur village in Haryana as part of the targeted campaign under Namami Gange programme and Arth Ganga.
The workshop was organised on Tuesday where more than 200 farmers took part along with representatives from Sahakar Bharati, State and District Level officials and NMCG officials also took part in the event. The workshop was presided over by Director General, NMCG G. Asok Kumar. Addressing the gathering, DG, NMCG, G. Asok Kumar gave an overview of the emerging water scarcity, especially groundwater, in the country and emphasized natural farming, espoused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the first meeting of Arth Ganga in
Kanpur in 2019.
“In order to ensure food security in India, a Green Revolution was witnessed in the 1960s in which farmers were the most important contributors and the country is indebted to the farmers, especially from Haryana and Punjab, for ensuring we are all well-fed,” Kumar said, adding, “However, despite opposition, the use of tube wells and bore wells also increased around that time and groundwater extraction was preferred over canal irrigation due to various reasons.”
Kumar further said that the extraction of groundwater and extensive use of technology and pesticides resulted in water scarcity and contamination and most importantly, we lost touch with nature.
“The friendly bacteria have vanished, so have the earthworms and soil quality is deteriorating due to the use of pesticides giving way to various diseases,” he said.
Kumar said that natural farming is one of the most important components of Arth Gang and, therefore, NMCG has joined hands with Sahakar Bharati to interact and promote ‘Natural Farming’ amongst the farmers in the Ganga Basin and hold training programmes on how to get ‘More Net-income Per Drop’ through this.
Talking about some novel initiatives undertaken by National Water Mission during his tenure as the Managing Director, Kumar said that a meeting with 1500 farmers was organised in Kurukshetra as part of the ‘Sahi Fasal’ initiative that aimed to nudge farmers to shift to maize cultivation from paddy for better profit and less water usage.
Another initiative was ‘Catch the Rain: Where it Falls, when it Falls’ launched by Modi on the occasion of World Water Day on March 22 in 2021 emphasizing the harvesting of rainwater at the very place where it falls.
In last 3 years, child marriages on rise in Haryana
One of India’s highly industrialised state, Haryana sees a steady rise in victims of child marriages in the last three years, according to official figures. Even as the government takes a step in declaring child marriages “void abinitio” through the new law, the state ranked 15th in child marriages in the country according to Census 2011. Census 2011 reported around 2.5 lakh children were married off before reaching 18 years in the state, which constituted approximately 2 per cent of all married children.
In this context, it is important to highlight the status of child marriage in Haryana, according to the report of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2021. During the last 3 years, victims of child marriages in the state rose from 20 in 2019 to 33 in 2021.
The NCRB data, however reported that only 86 cases of child marriages were registered under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006. This means there has been gross under-reporting of child marriage cases, also as Haryana reports a poor sex-ratio, there have been cases of minor girls being trafficked into the state for child marriage. It is worth highlighting a recent case in Kaithal in May this year, where a 14-year old girl from Bihar was trafficked and sold as a child bride in the state.
In view of the prevailing scenario, the state government is required to ensure appropriate action come with with a foolproof plan to link child marriage with Juvenile Justice (care and protection) Act and POCSO Act for penalising the perpetrators of crime.
Two youths missing after drowning reported in Kangra
Two persons in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra went missing on Wednesday after an incident of drowning was reported at Dehra near Shamshan Ghat sub division Dehra, the District Emergency Operation Centre (DEOC) informed.
The missing persons were identified as Rahul from VPO Chanouta Dehra and Sahil Kuthiyal from Rajgarh Dehra, both hailing from the Kangra district According to the Himachal Pradesh State Emergency Bulletin, the incident occurred around 6.20 pm. The DEOC has also informed the District administration following which the police team reached the spot for a search and rescue operation.
Further details are awaited.
The India Meteorological Department had predicted intense rainfall in the state for few days on October 3.
“Intense rainfall spell likely to commence over Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh from 05th October for subsequent 2-3 days and heavy rainfall spell over most parts of east and northeast India during next 3-4 days,” the IMD tweeted.
Earlier in the day on Wednesday, three persons identified as Ramsawroop, Ishwarchand, and Geeta Ram from the village Tikkari in Sangrah tehsil of Sirmour died after their pickup vehicle fell into a ditch at Tikkari road.
No need to rely on min wages notification: SC on accident claim
The Supreme Court has remarked that the notification of the Minimum Wages Act can be a guiding factor only in the case where there is no clue available to evaluate the monthly income of the deceased.
“Where positive evidence has been led, no reliance on the notification could be placed, particularly when it was nobody’s case that the deceased was a labourer as presumed by the High Court,” the top court said. A bench of justices Surya Kant and MM Sundresh said while setting aside an order of Punjab and Haryana High Court and restored the decision of Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT), Karnal*.
The top court said that the reason asserted by the High Court to reduce the monthly income of the deceased is totally “cryptic” and has no rationale.
The Punjab and Haryana HC relied upon the Notification issued by the State of Haryana, which fixed the minimum wage at the relevant time and assessed the income of the deceased at Rs 7,000 per month, and thus on this premise, it (the High Court) reduced the compensation amount.
“In the summary proceedings where the approach of the Tribunal’s determination must be in conformity with the object of the welfare, it was rightly held that the monthly income of the deceased could not be less than Rs 25,000,” the court said.
Haryana govt to help people get jobs abroad
The State youth will get employment aboard, Haryana Overseas Placement Cell to execute this work and the Haryana Overseas Placement Cell will work under Foreign Cooperation Department. During the Dubai visit the Chief Minister has held details with various placement companies.
As per the need of these placement companies, the youth will be trained and sent abroad for employment. This work will be carried forward by the Haryana Overseas Placement Cell and this cell will work under the Foreign Cooperation Department. Regarding the same, the state government will make all necessary arrangements and the youth going for job opportunities will not be allowed to face any problem for getting a passport. Presently, passports are being made for college and university students. Presently, around 5.50 lakh employment opportunities have been generated in the state because of foreign and national investments.
Divulging the aforesaid information, Manohar Lal, the Chief Minister said that the new companies are constantly buying land in Haryana for investment. Haryana has become a favourable investment destination for investors.
With the advent of companies, employment opportunities are most likely to increase. Further he said that new projects are being started continuously around Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP). The government will buy land for new projects through e-bhoomi and Land Pooling Policy. Presently thousands of acres of land have been purchased through the e-Bhoomi portal. Apart from this, now the Land Pooling Policy will also be introduced. In which the owner of the land will also get some percentage of the profit earned by the investor. Besides, the projects like Global City would be planned in the future as well.
He also shared the information about the Global City that is being developed over approx. 1080 acres in Gurugram would be completed at the earliest and it is likely to generate more jobs for the youth. It is pertinent to mention that the plots in Global City will be sold in mixed land use format. As per the demand of the industry, allotment of the plots will be done.
AIG held for taking bribe of Rs 1 crore
An assistant inspector general of police (AIG) Ashish Kapoor has been arrested in a major action by the Punjab vigilance bureau. An extortion case has been registered against him. In this case, apart from Ashish Kapoor, FIR has also been registered against DSP Pawan Kumar and ASI Harjinder Singh.
AIG Ashish Kapoor was the investigating officer of the irrigation scam. He is accused of taking money from the corrupt officials of the Irrigation Department and putting their’ names on the list of ‘innocent people’. The complaint of this matter reached Vigilance. Along with this, all assets of Ashish had from bank accounts are to be investigated.
The Vigilance team measured Ashish’s new Kothi in Mohali for about five hours. Along with this, the team had asked him for the cost of building the Kothi. The Vigilance team was investigating many points. The team had attached Kapoor’s bank statements. After the completion of primitive investigations, Ashish Kapoor has been arrested.
A woman had also given a complaint against Ashish Kapoor. Her investigation is also going on. Ashish Kapoor is counted among the sharp officers of the Punjab Police. He has also served in Chandigarh. Not only this, he is also a good player in tennis. He has won many awards for Punjab in Police World Games. Apart from this, he is one of the frontline officers of the Punjab Police.
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