November 29

Anti – Superstition Bill?

The Karnataka Cabinet has passed the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017. This Bill has been much debated and much delayed and still needs to be cleared by the State Legislature before it can effectively do away with practices involving black magic and various acts which causes harm to humans and animals alike. It it a very interesting piece of legislation which aims to ban practices like ritualistic sacrifices, segregation of menstruating women etc.

November 27

Madhya Pradesh approves death penalty conditionally.

The Cabinet under Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh has approved of the resolution which proposed death penalty in the case where the victim is 12 years old or below as well for gang rape convicts. The Bill to the same effect is due to be introduced in the Winter session of the assembly as per the Finance Minister of Madhya Pradesh Jayant Malaiya.
However, there are hurdles to be cleared before such a proposal becomes the law. If it gets passed by the assembly, it would still have to be sent to the Centre and ultimately to the President of India for approval.

October 31

SC questions Aadhar linking with mobile phone

The mandate of the Central Government of India for mobile phone users to link their Aadhar card with their mobile phone has brought a flurry of legal cases along with it. Very recently the Chief Minister of the State of West Bengal Ms. Mamata Banderjee has open decried the “Aadhar push” and remarked that there would be no complying with the rules from her side. The State of West Bengal has filed a plea before the The Supreme Court of India against the Aadhar linking mandate. The Court has reprimanded such open defiance and observed “In a federal structure, how can a state file a plea challenging parliament’s mandate. We know it is a matter that needs consideration but you satisfy us how a state can challenge it.” The Court has asked the CM to file the petition in an individual capacity.

At the same time it is to be noted that the Court, while hearing a different plea, has also asked the Centre to reply within four weeks as to why the linking of Aadhar to mobile phone is necessary. The Aadhar is considered to be a breach of the Right to Privacy by many while the Centre says that the Right to Privacy comes with reasonable restrictions and the Aadhar is sought to be one such.

October 28

Husband’s consent not needed for abortion : SC of India

A three judge bench of the Supreme Court of India comprising of Chief Justice Deepak Mishra, Justice A.M. Kanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud dismissed an appeal against the judgment of the Hon’ble Punjab & Haryana High Court that had held that only the consent of the mother is required for medical termination of pregnancy or abortion. Her husband has no right to force her into a pregnancy that is undesirable by the woman. The Court held that an adult woman has the “unimpeachable right” to either choose to continue with the pregnancy or terminate it if she so desires. A woman must be mentally prepared to conceive and give birth to the child. This judgment is very welcome in the present scenario and experts believe that it will go a long way to uphold women empowerment.