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‘Daughter for a lifetime’: SC backs women’s share in parental property

NEW DELHI, Aug 11: The Supreme Court on Tuesday held that daughters will have coparcenary rights on father’s property even if he died before the Hindu Succession (amendment) Act 2005 came into force.

The bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra was answering a reference based on conflicting decisions given by past verdicts of the top court. Although the amendment was applicable to Hindu daughters as coparceners who died after coming of the act, there was no clarity on whether it will have retrospective effect.

In 2016, the Supreme Court decided that such right will not be retrospective in Prakash v Phulwati case whiles in 2018 another bench of the court in Danamma v Amar held it to be retrospective.

Answering the reference, the bench said, “Daughters cannot be deprived of their right to equality conferred by Section 6 of the Act.”

“Daughter is always a loving daughter for the rest of their life,” Justice Mishra said.

The bench said that daughters will have the right over parental property even if the coparecenor had died prior to the coming into force of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005.

The amendment came into effect on September 9, 2005. The courts considered this as cut-off date to decide please by daughters seeking equal rights as coparcerners as sons in their father’s estate.

The bench further directed that matters pending in trial courts on this issue be decided in six months.

Rajasthan truce sealed, Ashok Gehlot talks ‘peace, brotherhood’ in party

NEW DELHI, Aug 11: Peace and brotherhood will remain in party, underscored Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday, a day after Sachin Pilot sealed a truce deal with the party high command that also promised to look into the issues raised by him against the state CM.

“If any MLA is annoyed with me, then it is my responsibility to address that. I have kept doing this in the past and will do this now also,” Gehlot told reporters before leaving for Jaisalmer, where the MLAs were moved fearing poaching by the BJP.

The change in tune is in stark contrast to the belligerence shown by Gehlot while attacking his former Number 2 in the government in the not too distant past. Using particularly harsh language against the young Pilot, Gehlot called him “nikamma, nakkara”.

“I imbibed certain values from my family, no matter how much I oppose anyone, I’ve never used such language. Ashok Gehlot ji is elder to me and I respect him personally, but I have the right to raise work-related concerns,” Sachin Pilot told reporters today.

On Monday, Pilot met former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi to end the revolt in the state unit that threatened the survival of the Ashok Gehlot government. The patch up in the party came ahead of an assembly session in Rajasthan on August 14. Pilot was sacked as deputy chief minister and removed as Congress chief in Rajasthan last month after his differences with Gehlot came to a head.

“Peace and brotherhood will remain in our party. A three-member committee has been formed (by Congress) to resolve the grievances. The BJP tried its best to topple the government, but in the end, all our party MLAs are together, not even one has left us,” said Gehlot this morning.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi decided on Monday to form a three-member committee to look into grievances of its rebel leaders in Rajasthan.

The panel at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) level will have senior leaders as its members and it will “hear all the sides and also go into the details of the political turmoil” in the state.

The committee will also discuss the possible changes in the organisation and the government, a Congress leader said, adding that the names of the committee members and the timeframe will be announced soon.

Rajasthan Govt safe; Sachin Pilot calls for restraint after meeting Rahul, Priyanka

NEW DELHI, Aug 10: Hours after the Congress decided to form a high-level committee to look into the grievances of all its rebel leaders in Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot who had rebelled against chief minister Ashok Gehlot, called for restraint and humility.

“Several things were said, I heard a lot of things. I was surprised by a few things that were said. I think we should always maintain restraint and humility. There is no place for personal malice in politics. We had formed the government in Rajasthan after 5 years of hard work,” said Pilot late Monday night after a meeting with Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Ahmed Patel and KC Venugopal in Delhi.

Pilot, who had pitched camp in Manesar with 18 MLAs had earlier, been accused of hobnobbing with the BJP to bring down his own party’s government. On Monday, he insisted that there were issues that needed to be raised for the party’s interest.

“Since past some time some MLAs were in Delhi, there were some issues which we wanted to highlight. I did that. I’d been saying since beginning that all these things were based on principle. I always thought these things are essential to be raised in the party’s interest,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Pilot met former Congress president Rahul Gandhi to end the revolt in the state unit that threatened the survival of the Ashok Gehlot government, people familiar with the development said.

The patch up in the party came ahead of an assembly session in Rajasthan on August 14.

Pilot was sacked as deputy chief minister and removed as Congress chief in Rajasthan last month after his differences with Gehlot came to a head.

J&K BJP Sarpanch Shot Dead By Terrorists

SRINAGAR, Aug n6: A BJP leader, who was a sarpanch in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district, was shot dead by terrorists this morning, officials said.
Sajad Ahmad Khanday was shot dead near his home in Kulgam's Qazigund are, about 60 km from Srinagar. He was the BJP's district vice president for Kulgam.

The BJP sarpanch was immediately rushed to a hospital in nearby Anantnag district after the attack where "he was declared brought dead", said officials.

The attack comes less than 48 hours after another BJP sarpanch - Arif Ahmad - was shot at in the same area.

Last month, BJP's Sheikh Waseem Bari, his father and brother were killed by terrorists in the union territory's Bandipore district. He was the district chief for Bandipore.

"Terrorists fired on BJP worker Wasim Bari at Bandipora. During indiscriminate firing Wasim Bari, his father Bashir Ahmad and brother Umer Bashir got injured and shifted to hospital, but all three succumbed to their injuries," J&K Police had tweeted at the time.

A new terror group - The Resistance Front- had claimed responsibility for the attack. The police said it is a front of the Jaish, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen.

The terror attack was condemned by politicians across party lines. BJP chief JP Nadda said Mr Wasim's death was a huge loss for the party. "This is a huge loss for the party. My deepest condolences are with the family. The entire Party stands with the bereaved family. I assure that their sacrifice will not go in vain," he had tweeted.

Golden chapter, says Modi after laying foundation stone for Ram temple

AYODHYA, Aug 5: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday offered prayers and laid the foundation stone for a grand temple at the site believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya. The groundbreaking ceremony marks the formal launch of the temple’s construction promised by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party nearly three decades earlier.

LK Advani, 92, and Murli Manohar Joshi, 86, the two BJP stalwarts who had led the campaign to build the temple in its early days, are said to have watched the live telecast of the event because of the coronavirus pandemic. Home Minister Amit Shah, from his bed in a Gurugram hospital where the 55-year-old top BJP leader was admitted last week due to the virus.

“A grand temple will now be built for our Ram Lalla who had been staying in a tent for decades. Today, Ram janmbhoomi breaks free of the cycle of breaking and getting built again - that had been going on for centuries,” Modi said at the event who expressed gratitude to all the people who had made huge sacrifices for the temple moment.

“India is creating a golden chapter in Ayodhya. The wait of centuries ends today,” Modi said in his televised address at the event.

Modi used silver bricks during the rituals. But for the foundation stone, bricks donated by devouts from across the world in 1989 would be used. “There are 275,000 such bricks out of which 100 bricks with ‘Jai Shri Ram’ engraving have been taken,” the priest said as the vedic rituals, which have continued for three days, were coming to an end.

Dressed in the traditional kurta and dhoti, Modi offered prayers at the Hanuman Garhi temple soon after landing in the riverside town of Ayodhya from Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow. Anil Mishra, member of Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirth Kshetra Trust, said this puja was performed to “seek Lord Hanuman’s permission to start construction work of Ram Mandir”.

Modi next headed straight to the temple for the ceremony. Security has been tight for the event, particularly in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the need to adhere to social distancing.

Only 175 guests have been invited. Among them are Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of the ruling BJP’s ideological fountainhead Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

But the temple trust has ordered 100,000 packets of laddus for distribution to people and dignitaries.

Modi is the first prime minister to visit the Ram Janambhoomi and offer prayers at the sanctum sanctorum where the deity has been worshipped since 1949, escalating the row over the small plot of land on which a mosque had been built in the 16th century. Hindus believe the Babri Masjid, was built over a temple dedicated to Lord Ram, whose birthplace is also considered to be at the site.

The temple construction has been made possible because of a Supreme Court verdict nine months ago that ended a legal battle lasting decades and awarded the site to Hindus. The Muslim community has been given a 5-acre plot at another location to build a new mosque to make up for the 500-year-old Babri Masjid demolished by a mob in 1992.

In Ayodhya, another priest tests Covid-19 positive

AYODHYA, Aug 3: One more priest has tested positive for Covid-19 just two days before the grand ceremony for laying the foundation stone for the proposed Ram Temple is to be held. Confirming this, the 82-year-old head priest, Satyendra Das told Hindustan Times that he was a bit worried.

“Of course it is worrying,” he said, speaking to HT on the phone. “Prem Kumar Tiwari is part of the team that conducts the daily rituals here at the site.” Just last week, another priest called Pradeep Das from the team had also tested positive and all those who were in contact with him were quarantined. Three fire officials who were posted at the temple site had also tested positive for the disease.

“We all stay in the same area in the mandir. I also have some other conditions and I’m not a young man,” he said.

According to the trust officials, there were large numbers of temple priests and other workers who were tested for Covid-19, including the head priest himself.

However, senior district officials played down the importance of today’s developments. “We have tested a large number of people and we are taking all precautions. I don’t think this event has any risks at all,” he said.

“We had all the major festivals- we’ve had Ram Navami celebrations in April, we’ve celebrated Eid, so why should we not be able to celebrate this,” said Prakash Sharma, who works with the trust.

However, Covid-19 fears have already caused others to drop out. Despite having been invited, Waqf Board Chairman Zafar Ahamad Farooqui’s spokesperson said that he wasn’t feeling well since he returned from Ayodhya the previous day.

“Yes, the chairman has got an invite. However, he returned from Ayodhya yesterday where the land papers were handed over and since then he hasn’t been feeling well. It’s not Covid-19 possibly as he had surgery, but he won’t be travelling,” said Athar Hussain.

Death toll in Punjab hooch tragedy rises to 86

CHANDIGARH, Aug 1: The death toll in the Punjab spurious liquor tragedy rose to 86 on Saturday even as Chief Minister Amarinder Singh suspended seven excise officials and six policemen, officials said.

The government also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for each of the families of the deceased, they said.

Tarn Taran alone accounted for 63 deaths, followed by 12 in Amritsar and 11 in Gurdaspur’s Batala. Till Friday night, the state had reported 39 deaths in the tragedy unfolding since Wednesday night.

According to an official statement, the CM ordered the suspension of seven excise officials, along with six policemen.

Among the suspended officials are two deputy superintendents of police and four station house officers.

Strict action will be taken against any public servant or others found complicit in the case, said the chief minister, describing the police and excise department failure to check the manufacturing and sale of spurious liquor as shameful.

Nobody will be allowed to get away with feeding poison to our people, he added.


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