SC refuses to stay ‘love jihad’ laws in UP, Uttarakhand - The Daily Guardian
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SC refuses to stay ‘love jihad’ laws in UP, Uttarakhand

Ashish Sinha



The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government, the Uttarakhand government and the Central government on the petitions challenging validity of the ‘love jihad’ laws, introduced to punish those influencing conversion for marriage by impersonation. However, the top court refused to stay laws enacted by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to punish marriages based on religious conversion. 

The SC was hearing petition filed by advocate Vishal Thakre and Teesta Setalvad’s NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace, challenging the constitutional validity of the recently passed Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020 and the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018.

Advocate and petitioner Vishal Thakre in his plea said that due to the Ordinance, injustice has been done to the persons /citizens who had done nothing wrong but still have to face the consequences.

It is also pertinent to mention herein that the Ordinance passed by the state government/s of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand is against the provisions Special Marriage Act, 1954 and it will create fear in the society who is/are not part of “love jihad”; they can be falsely implicated in the Ordinance, the plea said

This Ordinance can become a potent tool in the hands of bad elements to use it to falsely implicate anyone and there are probabilities of falsely implicate persons who are not involved in any such acts and it will be a grave injustice if this Ordinance is passed, the plea added.

The plea further said that it will be a weapon in the hands of some people to whom they can falsely implicate in the false case. The Centre has the right to make laws for the states as per Article 254 of the Constitution of India, if there is inconsistency between laws made by Parliament and laws made by the legislatures of state, in that case the law enacted/passed by the Centre will prevail, the plea said

The state governments have to rethink their decision to pass its decision of the above-mentioned ordinance, the plea added. If this Ordinance is implemented, it will be against the public police and this Ordinance will harm public at large and will create a chaotic situation in society, the plea said.

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The US and Japan have been deepening their engagement with Taiwan to help guard it against a growing threat from China. The move has out Beijing in tight spot.

J. Michael Cole, writing in The National Interest said that the regime in Beijing, which continues its effort to isolate Taiwan internationally, is now in the difficult position of having to express its discontent over coronavirus response while avoiding overreaction that could create the rationale for even closer relations between Taiwan and other countries. Taiwan has had a fairly positive past month in terms of its engagement with, and support by, regional partners.

Beijing’s setbacks began back in April, with the joint statement between US President Joe Biden and his Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, which “underscore[d] the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues.”

Such direct reference to Taiwan by a Japanese prime minister had not been heard for more than half a century, reported The National Interest. This was followed the next month by a similar statement, this one by President Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, which again “emphasise[d] the importance of preserving peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”.

The unprecedented reference to Taiwan by a South Korean leader also signalled those countries within the region were becoming increasingly alarmed with China’s destabilising behaviour—particularly the high number of intrusions by aircraft from the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and Navy into Taiwan’s southern Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), wrote Cole.

Four days before the Biden-Suga joint statement, a total of twenty-five PLA aircraft–14 J-16 multi-role fighters, four J-10 multi-role fighters, four H-6K bombers, 2 Y-8 anti-submarine planes, and one KJ-500 airborne early warning and control plane–entered Taiwan’s ADIZ, a new high since the PLA began intensifying its military activity in the region in 2020, reported The National Interest.

But now, China is in a tight spot as Taiwan is receiving more attention from allies. One strategic mistake Beijing may have committed earlier this year was its refusal to reduce its military activity around the Taiwan Strait during the transition period in Washington, wrote Cole.

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WHO chief asks China to cooperate with probe into Covid-19 origins



Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Ghebreyesus has called on China to cooperate with the ongoing investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 amid renewed call to further probe the virus.

Dr Tedros made these remarks after taking part in the Group of Seven (G7) summit by video conference on Saturday, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

The WHO Director-General hoped there would be better cooperation and transparency when the next phase of the probe into the virus’s origin is underway. “As you know we will need cooperation from the Chinese side,” he said. “We need transparency to understand or know or find the origin of this virus…after the report was released there were difficulties in the data sharing, especially in the raw data.”

He further said that the preparations for the probe’s next steps were underway and that the issue of the origin of the virus was discussed by G7 leaders on Saturday, WSJ reported.

Earlier this week, the US and the UK had extended support to a “timely, transparent and evidence-based independent process” for the next phase of the WHO-convened study of Covid-19 origins. “We will also support a timely, transparent and evidence-based independent process for the next phase of the WHO-convened COVID-19 origins study, including in China, and for investigating outbreaks of unknown origin in the future,” a joint statement said after US President Joe Biden met British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday.

This comes amid growing calls for a timely, transparent, and evidence-based independent process for the next phase of the WHO-convened origin study.

Recently, the calls to investigate further the origins of the virus have intensified. President Biden has also ordered a fresh US intelligence inquiry into the origins of the pandemic.

The origin of novel coronavirus that caused havoc around the world has remained a mystery even after 1.5 years the first case of infection was reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Now, scientists and world leaders are calling for further investigations to figure out whether the virus originated naturally or leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

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In a veiled criticism of the Dragon, Group of Seven (G&) leaders called on China to respect human rights in its Xinjiang region, allow Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy, and refrain from any unilateral action that could destabilise the East and South China Seas, Reuters reported quoted a draft version of the G7 summit communique.

“We will promote our values, including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and those rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration,” the G7 said in a communique that was almost finalised.

Before the G7 criticism emerged, China cautioned G7 leaders that the days when “small” groups of countries decided the fate of the world were long gone.

The G7 also said they underscored “the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues”.

“We remain seriously concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas and strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions.”

“We also call for a timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO-convened Phase 2 Covid-19 origins study including, as recommended by the experts’ report, in China,” the communique, which is almost finalised, said.

“The days when global decisions were dictated by a small group of countries are long gone,” a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in London said.

“We always believe that countries, big or small, strong or weak, poor or rich, are equals, and that world affairs should be handled through consultation by all countries.”

Beijing has repeatedly hit back against what it perceives as attempts by Western powers to contain China, and says many major powers are still gripped by an outdated imperial mindset after years of humiliating China.

UN experts and rights groups estimate over a million people, mainly Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in a vast system of camps in Xinjiang.

China denies all accusations of forced labour or abuse. It initially denied the camps existed, but has since said they are vocational centres and are designed to combat extremism. In late 2019, China said all people in the camps had “graduated”.

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Won’t comment before studying matter: Ram Janmbhoomi Trust on corruption charges



Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust General Secretary Champat Rai on Sunday said he will not make any comment without studying the matter. This came hours after SP leader Tej Narayan Pandey made corruption allegations against the trust.

“They keep making allegations on us. It has been like this for the last 100 years. They blamed us also for the death of Mahatma Gandhi. I will not say anything in the matter without a study,” Rai said. Rai was speaking after participating on the first day of a two-day meeting between trustees and engineers, chaired by Ram Temple construction committee chairman Nripendra Misra. The next meeting is scheduled to be held at 10:30 am on Monday in the Circuit House here.

Earlier in the day, Pandey accused the Trust of committing corruption in a land deal and sought a CBI probe into the matter.

“The Trust purchased a piece of land, which had been bought in Rs 2 crores just 10 minutes before, in Rs 18.5 crores on March 18,” he alleged. He also said that Trust member Anil Mishra and Mayor of Ayodhya Rishikesh Upadhyay are witnesses in both the sale agreements.

Taking to Twitter, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh, attaching several documents, said: “Ravi Mohan Tiwari and Sultan Ansari bought land worth Rs 2 crores at 7:10 pm. At 7:15 pm, Champat Rai of Ram Janmabhoomi Trust bought this land from them for Rs 18.5 crore.”

SP leader Tej Narayan Pandey accused Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust of committing corruption in a land deal and sought a CBI probe into the matter. Holding a press conference on Sunday, Pandey said that “The piece of land was earlier purchased for Rs 2 crore by Ravi Mohan Tiwari and Sultan Ansari. 10 minutes later, the Trust bought the land for Rs 18.5 crore on 18 March.”

The SP leader also claimed that Rs 17 crore was sent to the bank account of Ravi Mohan Tiwari and Sultan Ansari through RTGS mode of payment and demanded a probe into the RTGS money transfer.

With ANI inputs

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Track legend Milkha Singh’s wife Nirmal Kaur passed away at the age of 85 after battling with Covid-19 on Sunday. She had tested Covid positive in May. “We are deeply saddened to inform you that Nirmal Milkha Singh passed away after a valiant battle against Covid-19 at 4 pm today,” read a family statement. Nirmal was a former Director of Sports for Women in the Punjab Government and was also a former captain of the Indian women’s national volleyball team.

Punjab Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi condoled the demise of Nirmal Milkha Singh. In a condolence message, the Sports Minister said, “I am deeply saddened to learn about the death of Nirmal Milkha Singh, which is extremely shocking and unfortunate.”

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Abhijit Bhatt



The political atmosphere in Gujarat began heating up on 11 June when it was announced that a meeting of the leaders of Leuva and Kadwa Patidar would be held at Khodaldham in Kagwad, the centre of faith of Leuva Patidars. They criticised the government’s performance in Covid-19 pandemic and praised the work done by the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi and other states during the meeting that was held on 12 June.

Amid these developments, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is coming on a one-day visit to Gujarat on the morning of 14 June. He also tweeted in Gujarati, on Sunday, that he is coming to Gujarat tomorrow. His visit is likely to bring many twists and turns in Gujarat politics.It seems the AAP has become active in Gujarat.

While the Congress has selected some leaders including the state president, BJP in-charge Bhupendra Yadav is scheduled to be on a three-day visit to Gujarat and meet MLAs on 15 June.

A day before the tour, Arvind Kejriwal tweeted in Gujarati, “Gujarat will change now. I am coming to Gujarat tomorrow. I will meet all the brothers and sisters of Gujarat”.

According to sources, Kejriwal will arrive at Ahmedabad airport at 10.30 am and will go directly to Shahibaug Circuit House. He will meet party workers. A press conference will be held at Vallabh Sadan at 11.30 am. Former journalist Isudan Gadhvi and 10 others are likely to join the AAP. The party will inaugurate its new state office at Navrangpura in the afternoon. Kejriwal’s visit is a sign of AAP’s readiness for the Gujarat Legislative Assembly. More people will get connected to make the AAP organisation stronger. He will also visit Surat. In addition to AAP corporators, he will hold meetings with local leaders and workers and also guide the upcoming Assembly elections.

On the other hand, Yadav’s visit to Gujarat is signalling a major political upheaval in the coming days. According to sources, he had a meeting with the experienced leaders and asked them about the performance of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, working style of Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, and state leadership of BJP state president C. R. Patil. Yadav had asked about the current situation in Gujarat and what can happen next. He may have asked about the AAP for the first time. Kejriwal’s visit can impact the local body elections.

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