11 December, 2013
- Supreme Court overrules Delhi High Court judgement that
made homosexuality legal; Says, it is a punishable offence with possible life
- Parliamentary Affairs Minister rejects speculations of early general
elections; Says, no-confidence motion will not succeed,
as government has the numbers.
- Lok Sabha adjourned for the day and Rajya Sabha till 2 pm
on various issues.
- Former Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal sent to judicial
custody for 12 more days in the sexual assault case.
- Exports rise 5.86 per cent to 24.61 billion US dollars in
- Sensex drops over 150 points in afternoon trade; Rupee
depreciates 28 paise to 61 rupees 32 paise against the dollar.
- Final ODI of 3-match series between India and South Africa to be played in
The Supreme Court
today upheld the constitutional validity of the penal provision making gay sex
an offence punishable with upto life imprisonment. A bench of justices GS
Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhaya set aside the Delhi High Court's verdict which had
in 2009 decriminalised gay sex among consenting adults in private. The bench
allowed the appeals filed by various social and religious organisations
challenging the high court verdict on the ground that gay sex is against the
cultural and religious values of the country. The court ruled that there is no
constitutional infirmity in section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, IPC which
makes gay sex an offence punishable with upto life imprisonment. With the apex
court verdict, the operation of the penal provision against gay sex has come
into force. The bench said Parliament is authorised to delete section 377 of
IPC but till the time this penal provision is there, the court cannot legalise
this kind of sexual relationship. After pronouncement of the judgement, gay
rights activists said they will seek review of the apex court's verdict. The
court passed the order on a batch of petitions of anti-gay right activists and
social and religious organisations against the high court's verdict
decriminalising gay sex. Reacting to the Supreme Court's judgement, Law and Justice Minister
Kapil Sibal has said the government respects the verdict. He said, the
government will now exercise its prerogative whether the law should be amended.
Court's prerogative, under the constitution, is to test the constitutionality
of a law. They are exercising their prerogative. We have the prerogative to
make a law. We shall exercise our prerogative."
Parliamentary Affairs Minister
Kamal Nath has said that the government has the majority and rejected
speculations of an early general election. Talking to reporters outside
Parliament, he said the Lok Sabha Speaker has received only one notice for
moving a no-confidence motion by four TDP MPs.
"There is a no
confidence motion been filed by four members of a political party and this will
be taken up by the Speaker, as per rules. The government has majority, so the
question of any no confidence motion succeeding does not arise."
On the other hand, YSR Congress
leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy said, they have also sought a no-confidence motion.
Stating his commitment to a united Andhra Pradesh, Reddy alleged the TDP was a
divided house on the Telangana issue. CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia, however,
said no purpose will be served by bringing a no-confidence motion towards the
fag end of the government’s term. On Anna Hazare’s new fast for instituting the
Lokpal, Acharia hoped the Bill will be passed in this session. BJP leader
Shahnawaz Hussain also reiterated the party’s support for the Lokpal and
Telangana statehood bills.
"Telangana State should be formed as soon as
possible. The people of the country want the Lokpal bill to be passed at the
earliest. We demand the Lokpal bill to be passed as soon as possible."
Minister of State in the PMO, V.
Narayansamy said that the government has taken all possible steps for
discussion and passage of the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha. He added that the
house is not in order as the Opposition has disrupted the proceedings.
"The house is not
functioning. Opposition parties are not allowing the house to function.
Therefore, as soon as the house comes to order, definitely government will take
it on a priority. Take the Lokpal Bill on a priority for discussion and voting.
Therefore, from the government side, we have done every thing. We are ready to
the bill as soon as possible."
Both the Houses of Parliament were
adjourned, the Lok Sabha for the day and the Rajya Sabha till 2 PM today, on
different issues. Earlier, the two Houses witnessed an hour-long adjournment in
the pre-lunch session. In the Lok Sabha, members from Tamil Nadu were demanding
that India should take back Katchhathivu Island
which it had ceded to Sri
Lanka long back. The agitated members
continued with their slogans in the well of the House ignoring the
appeal for calm by the Chair. Meira Kumar said she was compelled to
adjourn the House as uproar continued. She informed the House that she
notices for a no-confidence motion against the government from several
In the Rajya Sabha, as soon as the House met at noon after the first
members belonging to BSP again rushed to the well in support of their
for inclusion of people belonging to seventeen backward classes in the
Scheduled Caste category. They were also supported by members belonging
Samajwadi Party, who also trooped in the well. TDP members were seen in
well in support of their demand for United Andhra Pradesh. Meanwhile,
BJP leader M. Venkiah Naidu demanded a discussion on JPC report on 2G
allocation. As noisy scenes continued, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien
House till 2PM.
Minister P. Chidambaram today laid before the Lok Sabha the second batch of
Supplementary Demands for Grants in respect of the General Budget amounting to
nearly eighteen thousand six hundred crore rupees. This includes net cash
expenditure of over thirteen thousand crore rupees. He said this will not
significantly widen the deficit projected in the budget estimates for the
current financial year.
The Congress has said
that a number of senior leaders of Delhi
are of the opinion that the party should extend unconditional support to Aam
Aadmi Party, AAP to form a government in the national capital. Party General
Secretary Shakeel Ahmed said that he will seek the opinion of MLAs and after
that it will apprise the party high command about it. AAP Convener Arvind
Kejriwal, however, said that his party will neither take nor extend support to
either BJP or Congress to form the government. He said, AAP is ready for fresh
elections in the city. The Delhi BJP has asked its newly elected MLAs to be
ready for fresh elections. BJP's chief ministerial nominee Harsh Vardhan said
that his party does not have enough numbers to form a stable government and is
ready to fight the election once again. Meanwhile, Mizoram Congress Legislature
Party will meet in Aizawl today to formally elect Pu Lalthanhawla as its
leader. Lalthanhawla, all set for a fifth term as Chief Minister, won from both
Serchhip and Hrangturzo seats. He was elected to the Assembly for a record
ninth time. Congress won a two-third majority in the November 25 Assembly
elections winning 33 of 39 seats. Repoll for the one polling station in the
remaining Lawngtlai East seat is being held today and counting will take place
tomorrow. In Chhattisgarh, Dr. Raman Singh will be sworn in as the Chief
Minister tomorrow. In Madhya Pradesh, BJP legislature party will meet in Bhopal on Friday to
formally elect Shivraj Singh Chouhan as its leader. He will take oath as Chief
Minister on Saturday. In Rajasthan, BJP
legislature party leader Vasundhara Raje will be sworn in as Chief Minister on
Rape accused former
Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal was given a 12-day judicial custody today by the
metropolitan court in Panaji, Goa. He was
produced before the court today on expiry of his extended police custody of 4
days. The defense lawyer did not seek further police custody. Tejpal's lawyer
pleaded for a separate cell if given a judicial custody and mentioned security
concerns as he has antagonized some people while being an investigative
journalist. The court has asked for the opinion of the Inspector General
Prison. Tejpal will be kept in a separate cell until the court hears from the
IG prisons on the matter on Friday. Tejpal is in the custody on charges of rape
of a female junior colleague during a media event in Goa.
India's exports grew by
5.86 per cent in November to 24.6 billion dollars, while imports dipped to the
lowest level in more than two and a half years, helping narrow the trade
deficit. Imports in November this year fell by 16.37 per cent to 33.83 billion
dollars, which is the lowest since March 2011. Trade deficit during the month
under the review stood at 9.22 billion dollars as against 17.2 billion dollars
in the same month last year. Gold and silver imports in November 2013 dipped to
1.05 billion dollars from 5.4 billion dollars in the same period last year.
During April-November period this fiscal, the imports aggregated at 25.5
Finance Minister P
Chidambaram has criticised the States for not acting against profiteers and
hoarders to check inflation. Addressing the Delhi Economics Conclave in New Delhi today,
Chidambaram asked them to deal strictly with hoarding and profiteering. Stating
that current inflation is primarily driven by rising prices of vegetables and
fruits, he said increasing supplies of food items can help contain it.
has little impact on food prices. How do we contain inflation, especially
inflation in the food articles? The answer is to increase supplies and
radically transform the manner in which commodities and food articles are
stored, transported, distributed and sold in various markets, especially urban
market. There is also a need to deal wisely with harvesting and marketing and
deal strictly with hoarding and profiteering."
Speaking on the
occasion, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said the economy and the rupee are
stablising. The RBI Governor cautioned political parties against delaying
important legislations pending before Parliament. He said if Parliament passes
the bills, economy will boost.
Hundreds of bank
employees have gathered at Parliament
Street protesting against banking sector reforms.
The employees under the banner of All India Bank Employees Association are
demanding immediate halt to privatization of public sector banks, outsourcing of
regular banking jobs and reduction of government stake in public sector banks.
They are also opposing the government's decision to grant banking licenses to
corporate houses and demanding recovery of bad loans to improve the financial
health of the banking sector.
The Sensex at the
Bombay Stock Exchange lost some more ground in afternoon trade, to stand 159
points, or 0.8 percent in negative territory, at 21,096 a short while ago.
Earlier in the morning, the Sensex had declined 90 points, or 0.4 percent, to
21,165, as foreign funds and retail investors booked profits, amid weakness in
the global bourses.
The rupee dropped by
28 paise to 61 rupees 32 paise against the dollar in late morning trade today.
This follows fresh demand for the US currency from banks and
importers. The domestic currency resumed lower at 61 rupees 23 paise per
dollar, as against yesterday's closing level of 61 rupees 04 paise.
India's first supersonic
jet fighter, the MiG-21 FL being decommissioned today, will flypast to history
after 50 years of service. The aircraft had played a crucial role in the 1971
war with Pakistan.
Phasing out the oldest FL model is the first step to the Air Force's plan to
retire the ageing MiG-21 fleet. Air Chief NAK Browne will attend the final
ceremonial flypast in which four Mig-21 FL fighters will do a final flypast at
the Kalaikunda base in West Bengal.
In Bangladesh, the Appellate
Division of the Supreme Court has extended the stay till further orders on the
execution of death row convict, Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah, in a war
crimes case. The apex court is right now examining the maintainability of the
review petition Mollah's laywers had filed last night, along with the stay
petition. The petitioners said that the execution was being carried out without
following due procedure. Meanwhile, violence and arson rages across the country
as the Jamaat-e-Islami is enforcing a day-long nation-wide general strike
protesting against the impending execution.
The third and final
one day international cricket match between India and hosts South Africa will
be played at the Super Sport Park in Centurion today. The match will be played
at 5 PM Indian Time. South Africa have already clinched the 3-match series. All
India Radio will broadcast a running commentary on the match. It can be heard
on the FM Gold channel from 4.30 PM onwards.