Apex court’s anti-gay verdict misjudgement, say celebs

supreme courtCelebrities like Madhur Bhandarkar, Kunal Kohli and Shruti Haasan have strongly disapproved of the Supreme Court’s verdict that holds same-gender consensual sex as an offence. The verdict, they feel, has pushed people to the dinosaur era.

The Supreme Court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice S.J. Mukhopadhayay, Wednesday setting aside the Delhi High Court verdict of 2009, said there was no constitutional room for change in the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Section 377 of the IPC holds that same-gender sexual relationship is against the order of the nature and is an offence. The apex court upheld the constitutional validity of the section.

The verdict has left many stars unhappy. Here’s what they had to say:

Madhur Bhandarkar: Just when we thought we are looking into the future, comes a judgment that treats us like we are in the stone age. The disappointment is justified.

Chetan Bhagat: What?! Consensual gay sex ruled illegal in 2014? Shows you how badly India needs new young leaders with a modern outlook.

Shruti Haasan: 11.12.13 a day that reminds us how blatant regressing and oppressing someone has become – plan b move bedroom to another planet and time.

Sudhir Mishra: The decision declaring gay consensual sex illegal betrays a primitive Victorian mind. It is certainly not Indian.

Kunal Kohli: On 11-12-13 Supreme Court goes back to the medieval ages with Section 377.

Anupam Kher: We obviously don’t believe in equal rights even in the times when we send Mangalayan to Mars.

Kalki Koechlin: Supreme Court’s job is to uphold the right and freedom of every individual, not to decide what is culturally acceptable or not. In this case they failed.

Shruti Seth: So while the world is trying to legalise gay marriage, here’s what we’re doing as a nation. Such a disgrace!

Riteish Deshmukh: Supreme Mis-judgement.

Nikhil Advani: Welcome to the medieval ages! It was only a matter of time.

Neha Dhupia: How can love be illegal?

Rahul Bose: So much for those believing the judiciary is ‘the last bastion of common sense’ in this country.

Vinay Pathak: Supreme Court – Straight or scared!

Milap Zaveri: Nothing supreme about the court’s decision. Shocked and disappointed at the anti-gay verdict.

Shirish Kunder: Personally, I’ve no problem with same-sex relationships, as long as it’s not compulsory.

Vir Das: Today is 11.12.13. Unless you work in our Supreme Court, in which case it’s the year 1826.

Sandhya Mridul: The courts are unfortunately only following the law of the land, which are as old as the dinosaurs. Blame the legislature more than Supreme Court!

Hansal Mehta: Does India not have a single gay judge? Or does being gay mean that you can only be unfairly judged?

Siddharth: India is a bigot nation. I pray that every person who tries to deny another person their rights gets IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome). Bigots beware.

Richa Chadda: The Supreme Court criminalises love, again. Sad day.

Nachiket Barve: The problems of this world are because of what happens ‘without consent’ rather than what happens between ‘consenting adults’! wake up!

Celina Jaitly: I cannot believe Supreme Court’s decision. I have been in shock since it came. Such a contradiction of democracy.

Tejpal sent to judicial custody for 12 days

ffTehelka founder and former editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal, who has been accused of sexually assaulting his female colleague, was on Wednesday sent to 12-day judicial custody by a court in Goa.

The court also ordered to lodge him in a separate cell in prison for two days and said it will decide later on security to him.

The defence lawyer had pleaded in court to lodge him in a separate cell in view of his security. Tejpal’s lawyer argued that he was provided security for the nature of his work. The court will decide on the matter on December 13.

A lady journalist, employed with Tehelka, had accused Tejpal of sexually assaulting her twice on November 7 and 8 in Goa. Tejpal has been booked under Section 354A (outraging the modesty of a woman) and 376 (2)(K) (custodial rape) of IPC.

The Goa Crime Branch also booked him under additional charges of wrongful restraint and wrongful confinement, covered by Sections 341 and 342 of the IPC.

Tejpal has also been booked under Section 376 (2) (f) of The Criminal Law ( Amendment) Act, applicable in circumstances where the rape has been committed by a person “being a relative, guardian, or teacher or in a position of trust” towards the victim.

Tejpal has been in custody of Goa Police and is being interrogated. The victim has already told police in her statement that Tejpal had lured her into the elevator on two occasions against her wish. The CCTV footage has been sourced from outside the lift.

(Source: IANS)

Homosexuality is an offence: SC

ddThe Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the decision of the Delhi high court, which had in 2009 decriminalised sexual relation between persons belonging to same sex.

The apex court upheld the constitutional validity of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code that makes anal sex a punishable offence.

LGBT activists, whose sexual relationships had been legalised by the Delhi HC, broke down inside the court room.

Parliament is authorised to remove Section 377, but as long as this provision is there, the court can not legalise this kind of sexual relationship, the SC bench observed.

“It is for the legislature to look into desirability of deleting section 377 of the IPC,” the apex court said.

A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya had reserved judgment on March 27 last year on a bunch of petitions, many arguing in support and some against the HC verdict, after hearing arguments on a day-to-day basis for over a month.

The judgment, coming after nearly a year and nine months of remaining reserved, is the last one to be pronounced by Justice Singhvi, who retires on Wednesday (11-12-13).

While pleading for decriminalisation of gay sex, the Centre had subsequently told the court that the anti-gay law in the country had resulted from British colonialism and the Indian society was much more tolerant towards homosexuality.

The Delhi high court had on July 2, in 2009 decriminalised gay sex as provided in Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and had ruled that sex between two consenting adults in private would not be an offence.

Section 377 (unnatural offences) of the IPC makes gay sex a criminal offence entailing punishment up to life term.

Those in favour of the Delhi HC verdict and those opposed to it are divided on religious considerations. While liberal organizations, including NGOs advocating LGBT rights, are supporting the HC decision, those opposed to it are mainly from religious groups belonging to Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities.

Those who challenged the Delhi HC verdict, which came on a petition filed by NGO ‘Naz Foundation’, included BJP leader B P Singhal, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Utkal Christian Council and Apostolic Churches Alliance.

The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Tamil Nadu Muslim Munn Kazhagam, astrologer Suresh Kumar Kaushal and yoga guru Ramdev have also opposed the verdict.

(Source: IANS)

Centre, states must respect human rights panels: Somnath

ccFormer Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee Tuesday urged central and state governments to show respect to recommendations of human rights commissions, saying the main purpose of forming such panels would be defeated if their recommendations were ignored.
“I feel, conceding to the governments the authority to ignore or defy the commission’s decisions or directions as mere recommendations will strike at the very objective of setting up at such commission,” he said at a programme organised by the West Bengal Human Rights Commission to mark Human Rights Day.
Chatterjee said directives of the national and state human rights panels should not be treated as mere recommendations and cited The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, which makes it mandatory for the governments concerned to enforce such decisions.
He urged the state and national human rights commissions to initiate judicial proceedings if their recommendations were not implemented. “To my mind, the sooner such attitude is changed, the better it is for the country and its citizens.”

(Source: IANS)

Former Reebok India MD summoned in defamation case

aaA Delhi court has summoned a former managing director of Reebok India Company in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Germany-based Adidas AG.

Considering “prima facie” that Subhinder Singh Prem, who headed Reebok India — a subsidiary of Adidas AG, had made defamatory remarks against Adidas AG, metropolitan magistrate Navita Kumari issued summons against him for March 27.

“Thus, from the testimony of CW-1 (complainant witness) and the material on record, prima facie a case under section 500 IPC (defamation) is disclosed against the accused (Prem) and accordingly he be summoned for the said offence,” the court said.

The court was hearing a plea filed by Adidas AG seeking prosecution of Prem.

It has alleged that Prem made various “malicious and defamatory” remarks against Adidas AG in the media to “wreak vengeance for the termination of services and with an intention to tarnish” the reputation of the company.

Adidas AG said that such statements are neither truthful nor in public interest.

Adidas AG – the parent company of Adidas Group – has about 170 subsidiaries worldwide, including RIC and Adidas India Marketing Pvt Ltd (AIMPL), said Adidas AG in its plea filed by its advocate Vijay Aggarwal.

Prem joined RIC in April 1995 and was appointed as MD in 2003 but his services were terminated in March 2012 due to his alleged involvement in fraudulent activities.

(Source: IANS)

Reduce train speed in forests to protect elephants: SC

eeThe Supreme Court Tuesday asked the railways to take steps for reducing speed of trains passing through reserve forests so as to save elephants who die after being hit by the fast-moving trains. A bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra also asked the railways to explore restricting the movement of trains including goods trains through the reserve forests at night.
The court also asked railways to mull the option of diverting the route between Siliguri and Alipurduar section. The court also directed the presence of a senior railway official on the next date of hearing on Jan 21, 2014 to respond to its queries.
Noting with regret that most of the states which were made party to the petition have not responded, the court directed the re-issuance of the notice to Assam, Odisha, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
Their response has been sought by Jan 21, 2014. The court noted that from 2007 to 2012, 77 elephants have died on account of being hit by the fast moving trains in the reserve forest. Its response came while taking note of West Bengal government’s submission that in the case of north Bengal, the only solution was reducing the speed of train, discontinue movements of goods trains at night between Siliguri and Alipurduar and divert fast moving and night trains through Siliguri-Falakata route.
Appearing for the petitioner Shakti Prasad Nayak, counsel Sanjeev Panigrahi told the court that the speed limit of the train passing through reserve forest should be reduced to 25 km per hour. The PIL petitioner has disputed the official figures contending that the killing of elephants on rail tracks was many times more than what was being officially admitted.
As many as 500 elephants have died due to such accidents in last five years, the court was told earlier. The PIL has sought the framing and enforcement of procedures and mechanisms to ensure the safety and security and protection of this endangered species.(Source: IANS)