23:59 State wants 10-year sentence for Nooriya Haveliwala:
n a fresh trouble for NRI beautician Nooriya Haveliwala, the Maharashtra government today moved the Bombay high court seeking enhancement of punishment awarded to her for drunken driving and culpable homicide.
Nooriya was sentenced to five years' imprisonment by the lower court for ramming her car into a taxi and a police vehicle, killing two persons including a traffic constable, in January 2010.
The state government, in today's plea before the court, has sought a ten-year sentence for her.
23:31 Miandad cancelled India visit on PCB boss' advice:
Pakistan's former captain Javed Miandad, who has cancelled his visit to India following a controversy, did so on the advice of PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf and other officials, sources said.
Miandad, now a senior official in the Pakistan Cricket Board, declined to comment on the issue except for saying that some pressing personal commitments had come up, but sources close to him said he called off his visit to India on the advice of Ashraf and some senior people in the government.
Miandad who played 124 tests and is now Director-General cricket in the board was due to leave tomorrow for New Delhi to watch the third and final one-day international against India on Sunday.
The news about the Indian government issuing a visa to Miandad created controversy in India where the BJP and the Shiv Sena questioned the decision, given his ties to India's most wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim.
23:19 Schoolgirl raped by rickshaw driver:
A minor girl was allegedly raped by an autorickshaw driver at Nathavaram mandal in the district, police said.
The accused has been identified as Nimma Somiraju,19, and a woman security guard of a girl's hostel allegedly helped him, in the incident that took place on December 19 last year.
The matter only came to light today after her family members lodged a complaint in this regard. The former woman security guard of the hostel, K Simhachalam, took three girls from there, including the student of class X, to Kotavuratla mandal in district in an autorickshaw, the police said.
22:03 Iran says it will restart nuclear talks:
Iran's top nuclear negotiator said on Friday that his country has agreed in principle to resume international talks on its nuclear program later this month, although the place and date for the negotiations have not been finalised.
Iran has been hit by punitive sanctions imposed by Western countries concerned that Tehran is pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.The last round of talks between Tehran and six world powers broke off in June in Moscow in a stalemate.
21:20 7 dead in N China orphanage fire:
Six children and one adult died Friday morning in a fire that engulfed an unregistered orphan shelter in Lankao county in central China's Henan Province, local government sources said.
Eight people, including a 20 year old and seven children, were inside the two-room private house when the fire broke out around 8:30 a.m., a spokesman with the county government said.
All eight were orphans or abandoned children. Four of them died at the scene, while another three lost their lives on the way to a local hospital, the spokesman said.One child is receiving treatment at the hospital.
The house is an unregistered private orphanage used by local woman Yuan Lihai, 48, to shelter orphans and abandoned children.
21:03 Ahmedabad court acquits 48 accused in 2002 rioting case:
A court today acquitted 48 accused in four cases of rioting and arson, related to post-Godhra riots of 2002. The cases had been tried together in the city civil and sessions court. Judge M K Dave, while acquitting the accused, held that prosecution failed to bring enough evidence, and the accused should get benefit of doubt.
All of them were out on bail. During the riots following the train burning incident at Godhra on February 27, 2002, a mob set on fire some units in Vatva industrial area of GIDC here. Nobody was injured in the fire, but property was damaged.
20:53 Rajasthan: Girl immolates self after attempted rape:
A 19-year-old girl committed self immolation after a youth tried to rape her in Alwar district of Rajasthan, the second such incident in the state this week. The victim poured kerosene and set herself afire in her house in Alwar's Laxmangarh town yesterday.
She was admitted to a local hospital and referred to Jaipur's SMS government hospital where she died today, police said. "Rajesh Jogi allegedly attempted to rape the girl four- five days back and she set herself ablaze yesterday," Circle Officer Ashok Kumar Meena said.
The girl in her statement alleged that Jogi had attempted to rape her. Police said the accused was involved in scuffle with the girl's brother before she committed suicide.
20:38 Odisha govt bans gutkha, panmasala:
The Odisha government in a notification today clamped a ban on the manufacture, sale and use of gutkha and panmasala containing tobacco or nicotine. "The manufacture, storage, sale and distribution of gutkha and panmasala containing tobacco or nicotine as ingredients by whatsoever name available in the market is hereby prohibited ... in the greater interest of public," the notification said.
The notification came three days after Health and Family Welfare Minister Damodar Rout announced about the move urging the people to cooperate with the government to make Odisha a "tobacco-free state."
19:55 Owaisi speech could be referred to ethics committee:
Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar today said the 'hate speech' by Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi could be referred to the Ethics Committee of the House.
"This is an issue concerning ethical conduct of a legislator. Members are expected to act with restraint, responsibility and dignity," the Speaker told reporters when the issue of Akbar's controversial speech in Adilabad district came up.
19:47 1,000 ships stuck in China's sea ice :
Nearly 1,000 ships have been left stranded in the water as a thick layer of sea ice has developed on Laizhou Bay in east China's Shandong Province due to extreme cold.
Zheng Dong, chief meteorologist at the Yantai Marine Environment Monitoring Centre, said the ice expanded to 291 square km this week and is continuing to grow.
Zheng said the ice this year is the worst the area has experienced in three years.
19:43 No difference between India and Bharat: Digvijaya :
Congress today slammed RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat over his controversial comments that rape is mainly prevalent in urban India and does not happen in rural areas, asking the saffron outfit to get in sync with reality.
"He (Bhagwat) is very confused. I think they all (RSS) have the same problem. I think it is better that they all contemplate and come out with more clarity in thought and action. That kind of dialogue is not relevant in real life," party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary said at the AICC briefing.
Responding sharply to Bhagwat's comments, AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh said, "This reflects RSS's mentality because there is no difference between India and Bharat."
19:41 Visa to Miandad doesn't change Dawood's status: India:
The government today made it clear that the issuance of visa to former Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad, a relative of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, did not reflect any change in the status of the Mumbai serial bomb blasts case mastermind as far as India is concerned.
Miandad's son Junaid is married to Mahrukh, the daughter of Dawood, who is wanted in India in connection with the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case.
"There has not been any change as far as Dawood Ibrahim is concerned. His position remains exactly the same," a top government source said.
18:42 2 months after Sandy many residents still without electricity:
More than two months after Superstorm Sandy swept through the Northeast, leaving behind a trail of unprecedented devastation, some New York City residents are reportedly still struggling to get back on their feet, with many of them suffering through the winter cold without heat. Read
18:40 J-K acid attack victim likely to lose her eye:
The 30-year-old school teacher, who suffered severe burns on her face in an acid attack in Jammu and Kashmir, was today flown to Delhi and admitted to a private hospital where doctors said she will require multiple reconstructive surgical procedures.
The school teacher, who was attacked with acid in Parraypora locality of Hyderpora in Srinagar on Wednesday, was being treated at the Sri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital till this morning.
The woman was flown to the capital this afternoon and was rushed to Indraprastha Apollo Hospital for further treatment, doctors said. After conducting initial diagnosis and mandatory procedures on her, doctors said her condition was stable though her left eye has "sustained significant damage".
: Sonali Mukherjee - acid attack victim who became a TV millionaire
18:37 India, Pakistan teams arrive in Delhi for 3rd ODI:
The Indian and Pakistani cricket teams arrived here this evening amid tight security cover for the inconsequential third and final ODI to be held at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground on Sunday.
The two teams arrived here by a chartered flight from Kolkata and were taken straight to the team hotel by two separate buses under tight security arrangements. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, however, was conspicuous by his absence as he was not in the bus along with his team-mates. Both the teams are slated to practice at the Feroze Shah Kotla tomorrow.
And of course, Javed Miandad will not be attending.
18:24 HC won't hear pleas to hold functions at Shivaji Park any more:
Stating that it would not entertain any more applications seeking permission to hold functions or rallies at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai, the Bombay High Court today directed Maharashtra government to issue a fresh notification listing the functions that can be held at the park for 30 days in a year.
Under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, the state government has the power to allow non-sports activities on a play ground only for a period of 30 days in a year. Presently, the state government allows only four functions at the park in a year, namely, Republic Day, Independence Day, Maharashtra Day and Ambedkar Jayanti.
Once bitten, twice shy it seems after the ruckus in the aftermath of a memorial for Bal Thackeray.
18:21 Italian marines surrender passports before Kollam trial court:
The two Italian marines, facing murder charges in Kerala, on Friday surrendered their passports before a trial court here within hours of returning to India after observing their Christmas holidays at home. Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone drove to Kollam after arriving in Kochi to comply with the court direction that they should surrender their passports as soon as they returned to India.
18:10 Double Lives:
Kids and in-laws and mata-ki-chowkis by day, spouse-swappers by night. The secret lives of some married couples. Read
18:06 No spl session of Parliament for tightening rape laws: Govt:
The government today ruled out convening a special session of Parliament to discuss stricter punishment for sexual offences saying the issue would be taken up after receipt of the Justice Verma Committee report.
"Until we get Justice Verma Committee report (we cannot hold a session). After that (the report comes) the Budget session starts," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters here.
The Budget session usually starts around third week of February. When asked whether the government will give priority to tightening rape laws, Nath said, "of course".
The committee headed by former Chief Justice of India J S Verma was set up on December 23, 2012, with a mandate to review the present statute so as to provide for speedier justice and enhanced punishment in cases of aggravated sexual assault. The committee has to submit its report in 30 days.
17:50 Gang rape: Cong core group to meet today to decide way ahead:
Our sources in Delhi tell us that a Congress core group comprising PM Dr Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, political secretary Ahmed Patel, defence minister AK Antony, finance minister P Chidambaram and home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is meeting this evening to deliberate and decide the way ahead on security measures for women in the aftermath the gang rape case.
Shinde has already spoken earlier today saying the government would discuss whether the juvenile age should be lowered to 16 from the existing 18. It may be recollected that the sixth accused is a juvenile and is believed to have been the one who was the most brutal. While a chargesheet was filed against the five accused yesterday, a chargesheet is yet to be filed for the juvenile in the Juvenile Court.
The 11 speeches of MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi where he spews hate. Watch
17:31 The hardship of being Muslim under Modi:
To think of Narendra Modi, the four-term chief minister of Gujarat, as a potential prime minister and the man who might revive the flagging fortunes of the B.J.P., India's main opposition party, is to ignore the reality of Gujarat.
Most infamously, Modi has been accused of deliberately allowing the sectarian mob violence that killed more than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, in 2002, soon after he became chief minister. This may have been an extreme episode, but it is consistent with Modi's divisive and exclusionary approach to governance and his efforts to marginalize Muslims. Read
Hartosh Singh Bal's column on the International Herald Tribune.
17:21 Trehan defends decision to shift gangrape victim to Singapore:
Renowned cardiovascular surgeon Dr Naresh Trehan, who had checked the 23-year-old gangrape victim before she was taken to Singapore, today strongly defended the decision to shift her saying it was done only to stablise her condition and not for any immediate intestinal transplant.
Trehan, the Managing Director of Medanta Medicity that helped setting up an Intensive Care Unit aboard the air ambulance in which the victim was flown, said he had never seen such "brutality inflicted" on a person in his career and he still could not accept the "gravity of the crime".
Majority part of the intestine of the victim was removed during her treatment at Safdarjung Hospital and when she was airlifted to Singapore, it was speculated that she was sent there for an intestinal transplant.
"Doctors at Safdarjung treated her the best possible way they could do. She had lost her intestine and everyone was praying that one day she will be ready as a candidate for an intestinal transplant. Transplant is a long journey," he said, adding that at that juncture she was not in any condition for a transplant.
Trehan, who said the girl has to be admired for her spirit, was speaking at a press conference to give details about the country's first intestinal transplant at his hospital conducted in November-end.
Everyone, including the Government, was "shaken" over this case and all one could think then was what can be done for this girl, he said. "Doctors were doing the best they can do. Then they thought of the centres for long-term transplant. If someone asks was the girl alive when she was transported, the answer is yes," he said.
Docs question shifting gang rape victim to Singapore
17:08 Alwar: Self-immolation molestation victim dies :
Just in: The 19-year-old girl from Alwar, a victim of repeated molestation and harassment by a jilted lover, has passed away as a result of her severe burn injuries. The girl attempted suicide in Alwar yesterday and had been battling for life after trying to immolate herself at home. Cops have arrested the accused who lives in the neighbourhood after recording the girl's statement.
17:01 Now women employees scared to work late:
The brutal sexual assault on a young woman last month in New Delhi has hurt the morale of working women in India, with many leaving work early and some even quitting their jobs, according to a new study.
Nearly 82% of the 2,500 women surveyed in several Indian cities said that -- since the attack that left the 23-year-old woman dead -- they started leaving the office earlier, as they are reluctant to come home late after sunset, according to a survey carried out by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, an industry body.
16:53 The brother of the Delhi gang-rape victim has said that it was unfortunate that the name of one accused was left out in the chargesheet filed on the grounds that he was a minor, saying his crime cannot be taken as any lesser merely on the basis of his age.
16:52 Shinde says he has asked states to increase motorcycle patrolling. "The time has come to be strict, and at least three states want juvenile age to be lowered to 16," says Shinde.
16:50 Govt considering juvenile age as 16: Shinde :
Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde addresses the media on security. He says women's representation in police must increase, which means -- two women sub-inspectors, 10 women constables in every police station in Delhi is on the cards. "There is also a discussion underway on lowering juvenile age to 16. Police must take responsibility in protecting women. Conviction in crimes against women very low, police must be more strict," says Shinde.
16:45 Sagarika Ghose: Q Why did Duryodhana humiliate Draupadi in public? A: Because he was deeply westernised and urbanised.
Ramesh Srivats: Sita crossed the Laxman-Rekha to give alms to a mendicant, no? That also these guys have problem with?
16:36 Youth attempts rape, attacks girl with blade for raising alarm:
A 16-year-old girl was attacked here with a blade in Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh) allegedly by an unidentified youth, when she tried to resist his sexual advances, leaving her critically injured, police said today.
The incident took place yesterday when the Class XI student was returning from school. The accused allegedly stopped the girl on her way back home at an isolated place between the two villages and attempted to molest her. He attacked her with the blade when she raised an alarm and fled the spot. The girl has been admitted to a government hospital with severe injuries, he said.
16:10 Rape victim's brother wants juvenile to be treated as adult :
The brother of the Delhi gang-rape victim today regretted that the name of one accused was left out in the chargesheet filed on the grounds that he was a minor, saying his crime cannot be taken as any lesser merely on the basis of his age.
"The person who has been left out is just four months from being a major and is well aware of what is right and wrong and he needs to be treated as a major," the victim's brother told reporters here at his native Medawar Kala village in Ballia, UP.
He demanded that Delhi police do the needful and include his name in the chargesheet or else the family would be forced to explore legal recourse. He also asked the media to exercise restraint while reporting on the issue.
Delhi Police yesterday filed its charge sheet in a Delhi court against five men arrested in the case, slapping on them murder, rape, kidnapping and other charges. The case of the sixth accused, a juvenile, will be filed before the Juvenile Justice Board.
16:00 Pak cricketer Javed Miandad cancels India tour:
The Indian government has defended its decision to issue a visa to former Pakistan cricketer Javed Miandad, saying he is not on India's "negative list". "He is a well-known cricketer. His visa application papers were in order and valid and that is why the government has decided to give him visa," Minister of State for Home R P N Singh said in Delhi yesterday.
Asked if Miandad is not on India's "negative list", Singh said, "No, nothing like that. He was given visa when his visa papers were found valid." The government's decision has been criticized by the BJP and Shiv Sena, which cited Miandad's family ties with fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
Miandad's son Junaid is married to Mahrukh, the daughter of Dawood, who is wanted in India in connection with the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case.
15:57 Pak cricketer Javed Miandad cancels India tour:
Just in: Pakistan cricketer Javed Miandad has cancelled his tour of India. Miandad has been granted an Indian visa that will allow him to watch the final one-dayer of the ongoing limited-over cricket series between the two countries in New Delhi on January 6.
15:50 Sonia travelled in IAF aircraft 49 times in last 7 years:
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi travelled in Indian Air Force aircraft and helicopters 49 times in the last seven years which included 23 trips with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi also travelled in IAF aircraft and helicopters eight times in the last three years, according to a reply received under the Right to Information Act.
Both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are not eligible to travel by IAF aircraft and helicopters so they have to travel in the company of eligible persons which includes the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the Defence Minister for official purposes.
For unofficial purposes, only the Prime Minister is eligible. Other Cabinet ministers can also travel by these aircraft after taking permission of the Prime Minister.
15:34 What's the antidote to pure poison?:
Rival religious extremists survive by feeding off each other. In India, Hindutva and Islamist leaders and activists have often mobilised men and materials through inflammatory hate speeches.
But by any yardstick, the recent rabble-rousing speech of Akbaruddin Owaisi, leader of the Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, plumbs new depths. In substance, his speech was a clear attempt to promote enmity between Hindus and Muslims, and disrupt the fragile peace in tension-filled Hyderabad to the political benefit of himself and his party.Read
the opinion piece on the Hindu.
15:28 Pakistani girl Malala released from hospital:
Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani girl shot in the head for campaigning for girls' education, has been released from the hospital in Birmingham, England, the hospital said Friday.Malala was shot by gunmen last fall. She had blogged fearlessly about girls' education and accused the Taliban of thriving on ignorance.
14:57 Name and shame: Rape convicts on the web in Haryana:
The Haryana police has begun the process of putting the names of convicted rapists on an official website as also on various social networking sites, including Facebook.
The names of those convicted in cases related to crime against women, including rape, molestation and dowry deaths, will be put up on the official website of the Haryana Police Crime Record Bureau (SCRB).
The process would be completed by January 10. Haryana police has started a process to put names, addresses and crime details of at least 2,500 convicted rapists in the past about a decade on the website, a senior police official said here today.
Be very afraid of govts naming-shaming rapists database
14:51 Minor spastic girl gangraped in Meerut:
A 11-year-old spastic girl was allegedly gangraped by three men in Meerut. According to the Superintendent of Police, R P Pandey, the victim was playing with her friends when the three accused allegedly persuaded her to accompany them to the nearby forest area where she was raped. Meerut police has arrested two of the culprits on the basis of inputs provided by the victim's family while the search for the third is on.
14:41 Give Us The Rope:
Sidhharth Bhatia's column on Outlook: India is in protest mode, for tough laws and tough rulers. What if we get what we want? Read
14:36 Woman constable suspended for hurling shoe at senior:
We doff our hat to this lady...
A woman constable, who allegedly hurled a shoe at a senior police officer, who had allegedly sent her lewd messages on her cellphone, has been suspended, officials said.
The woman constable in Aurangabad threw the shoe at Assistant Commissioner of Police Naresh Meghrajani last night while alleging that he had sent her lewd messages on her cellphone.
She had earlier filed a complaint that three police officials had sent her vulgar smses, including ACP Meghrajani and another ACP Sandeep Bhajibhakare. Later, police had conducted a probe into the allegations and had registered a case against Bhajibhakare and also transferred him to Ratnagiri.
14:31 Amending rape laws during budget session: Govt:
Just in: The government rules out a special session to address and amend rape laws. TV reports quoting government sources say that rape laws will be discussed during the budget session of Parliament which is likely to held mid February.
14:15 BJP: No need for a debate on Bhagwat's comments:
The BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad, on the defensive after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's India vs Bharat comments says there no need for a debate.
Congress, quick to attack the RSS, says the party is regressive, considering it does not allow women to be members.
14:02 Indian rape debate: Why death penalty is no solution:
Amid the many reasonable and constructive calls on the authorities to address the need for more stringent laws against sex offenders, there is unfortunately a growing chorus of voices calling for the six alleged perpetrators to be executed, or even for mandatory death sentence in cases of sexual violence. Read more
That's Ananth Guruswamy's column for CNN.com. He is the director of Amnesty International in India.
13:55 Stalking, stripping women aren't sex crimes: MHA:
The Union government may have been forced to make the right noises in the wake of outrage over a 23-year-old girl's gang rape in Delhi, but its stance on stalking and forcible stripping doesn't match its new-found zeal for women's safety.
For the home ministry, stalking and stripping aren't grave enough to be deemed sex crimes. Even though the acts can leave the victim a miserable mental wreck, the government has justified their exclusion from the Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2012 on the grounds that these offences are difficult to prove in a court of law. Read more
13:43 SC appoints 3-member team to probe encounter deaths:
The Supreme Court agrees to appoint a commission to inquire into encounter killings in Manipur. The commission will comprise former apex court judge Santosh Hegde, former CEC J M Lyngdoh and a police officer to inquire into the five encounter killings. Details awaited.
13:39 Zero tolerance for any kind of crime needed: RPN Singh:
Asserting that zero tolerance level is needed to reduce any crime in the country, Minister of State for Home Affairs RPN Singh today said that the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System will create a nation-wide environment for real-time sharing of crime and criminal information.
Speaking at the launch of pilot programme of CCTNS in Delhi, Singh said: "The project was initiated in June 2009 and the scale of the exercise undertaken during the last three years to make this a success story has been truly tremendous. The credit for this pilot launch goes to the State police forces and the relentless support and guidance provided by MHA and NCRB officials."
13:37 RSS chief does not know either India or 'Bharat: Brinda Karat:
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat on Friday lashed out at Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat for his remark that rapes are rare in ''Bharat'' (rural India) but occur frequently in ''India'', saying this reflects the mentality, which refuses to accept the reality of caste oppression or class driven exploitation of women.
"I have read that statement and it seems to me that Bhagwatji does not know either India or Bharat. And, if he had even cared to just look at the government statistics, he would know that the largest number of rapes actually occur in rural India, on Adivasi and Dalit women, on agriculture women workers, on rural women workers where there is neither any justice nor any access to justice," said Karat.
"And a statement like Mr. Bhagwat has made only gives strength to the criminals. I think this reflects the mentality, which refuses to accept the reality of caste oppression or class driven exploitation of women," she added
13:32 Hate speech: Police notice to Owaisi to appear for questioning:
The Andhra Pradesh police today issued notices to Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi to appear before it for questioning, a day after registering FIRs against him for allegedly making "hate speech" against a particular community.
As part of further probe into the two cases, the MIM legislator was directed to appear before Investigation Officers of Nirmal (Rural) police in Adilabad district on January 7 and before the Nizambad II Town police on January 8.
The FIRs were registered suo moto at Adilabad and Nizamabad districts after the legislator had allegedly used inflammatory and derogatory language against a particular community during his public speeches last month.
The notices issued under section 41(A) of CrPC were pasted outside the residence of Akbaruddin in Banjara Hills here, as he is reportedly in London for treatment and asked him to appear before police as part of further probe into the cases.
The MLA from Chandrayangutta here has been booked under IPC Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, language etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs). He has also been booked under IPC Section 121 (waging or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India).
13:23 Can't direct suspension of MPs, MLAs facing criminal cases: SC:
The Supreme Court today declined to hear a plea for disqualification of MPs and MLAs charge sheeted for crime against women but agreed to go into issues of fast track trial of rape cases and implementation of laws for safety of women.
The apex court, which was hearing two PILs filed after the December 16 gangrape incident, said it can only give notice to the government on limited issues as some of the prayers made in the petitions were beyond its jurisdiction.
"The issue of disqualification of MPs and MLAs is not in our jurisdiction," a bench comprising justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra said.
"What is our power on MPs and MLAs. Obviously, such a sweeping relief can't be sought," the bench said referring to the prayer made for a direction for suspension of MPs and MLAs who have been charge-sheeted for crime against women.
12:55 RSS: Rapist Suraksha Sangh:
More ire over The RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat's rapes happen in India, not Bharat comment.
In a breathtakingly revealing statement, Bhagwat has told us that rapes happen in India, not in Bharat. What he means is that rape only occurs in urban areas where the influence of Paschatya Sanskriti (western culture) leads women astray into being raped by men unable to help or control themselves in the face of the assault of women, out and about, by day and night, defying Mohan Bhageat's Sangh-mandated Lakshman Rekha. Read
12:49 Thane police to call up people to update them on plaints:
In a new initiative to instill confidence among people, Thane police have decided to call up complainants and update them about the status of their complaints. In this regard, a 'mega camp' will be held tomorrow at police stations within limits of Thane Commissionerate to look into individual complaints. Till now, the complainants had to call up the police stations to find out status of their complaints. But hence forth the police will give them a call to update them, Thane Police Commissioner Kris Pal Raghuvanshi today said.
12:40 Will HC quash FIR in constable Tomar's death? :
Just in: The Delhi High Court has admitted a plea seeking the quashing of a probe into the death of constable Subhash Tomar during the anti-rape protests in Delhi last week. The plea says two of the eight accused were at a metro station when the incident occured.
A plea has also been filed in the Delhi High Court for a CBI probe into the death of Tomar owing to injuries allegedly sustained by him during the anti-rape stir here. The petition sought a probe alleging contradictions in the statements of various officials including Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, eye witnesses and the medical expert on the reasons of Tomar's death.
12:13 SC: Can't pass directive for sex offender MPs, MLAs:
The Supreme Court seeks the response of the government for a fast-track trial of rape cases and the implementation of existing laws for the safety of women. The SC says it can't pass a directive for the suspension of MPs and MLAs charge sheeted for crime against women.
The Supreme Court is hearing matters related to the setting up of
fast-track courts for a speedy trial in the rape cases and effective
implementation of existing laws for safety of women even as the apex
court itself and various state administrations showed urgency in rape
and women's issues.
12:09 Indonesian city bans women from straddling motorbikes :
A city in an Indonesian province that follows Sharia law has banned women from straddling on motorbikes behind male drivers.
Suaidi Yahya, mayor of Lhokseumawe, Aceh, said that the move aims to save people's 'morals and behaviour'.
Leaflets were sent out to government offices and residents to inform them about the regulation, the BBC reports.
Under the new regulation, the mayor said that women passengers are only allowed to sit "side-saddle" because straddling the bike seat violates Islamic values. He added that passengers who sat side-saddle rarely fell off.
11:56 Girl jumps out of auto to foil molestation bid:
A teenaged girl jumped out of a moving autorickshaw to save herself from the clutches of three men, who allegedly tried to molest and kidnap her in Mumbra township of neighbouring Thane district, police said today. The 17-year-old girl boarded an autorickshaw on a shared basis along with two men in Mumbra yesterday morning.
However, when she realised that the autorickshaw driver was taking the vehicle on a different route, she raised an alarm, police sub-inspector Chihvad Shetty said. But, the men sitting besides her allegedly tried to molest her in the moving vehicle and assaulted her.
However, the girl managed to jump out from the moving vehicle to save herself and later went to Mumbra police station and filed a complaint against three unidentified persons, including the autorickshaw driver, Shetty said. Police have registered an offence under sections 366 (abduction), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 323 of the IPC and have launched a search for the accused.
Also see our 11:25 am post: Pregnant woman leaps from train to avoid rape
11:48 The colonial hangover of Indias rape law:
By now, most people following the story of the tragic death of the young woman in Delhi, gangraped on a bus and left to die, will be aware of India's abysmal recent track record in bringing perpetrators in such cases to justice. Read
11:44 Fog disrupts flight operations at IGI:
Operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport were affected today after fog disrupted the schedule of around 30 flights.
Around 16 flights were delayed while one was cancelled and three international flight were diverted to other airports this morning, either due to operational reason or due to bad weather, airport sources said.
: Delhi's coldest winter in 5 years, temp dips to 2.7 degree
11:42 Ranchi man stops attack on woman, beaten to death:
A 38-year-old medical representative was beaten to death by allegedly drunk hoodlums after he prevented them from assaulting a 29-year-old mother of three in Ranchi on January 1.
The victim, Srikant Bhardwaj, made two desperate calls to the Bariatu police station and four calls to the officer-in-charge's mobile phone as his alleged killers cornered him in Swami Sahajanand Colony some time after 5 pm.
Policemen, who had allegedly lost their way, arrived at least half-an-hour after Bhardwaj and his three friends had been brutally beaten. Bhardwaj died of excessive bleeding from wounds to the head later that evening.
11:30 RSS has 'great respect for women':
Defending Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat''s controversial remark that rapes hardly take place in ''Bharat'', but they occur frequently in ''India'', RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav today said, "we have great respect for women."
"The statement of RSS chief should be taken in proper perspective. He (Bhagwat) has already demanded strict punishment for rapists and even called for death penalty if required," Madhav said.
"All that he said is that in Indian tradition we have great respect for women and we should learn to uphold this tradition. If one goes away from this tradition it will result in rise of crime against women,'' he added.
Addressing a citizens' meet on Tuesday during his four-day visit to Silchar, Bhagwat criticized ''western'' lifestyle of people in urban areas and said, without empirical evidence to back such a claim, that rape is prevalent mainly in cities where Indians are deeply influenced by western values and not by rural India.
As this tweet says: Befriended Stranger: Phoolan devi and Bhawari devi were raped in your Bharat by a mob of Bhartiya Mr.Bhagat.
11:25 Pregnant woman leaps from train to avoid rape:
A pregnant woman was found unconscious on the rail tracks in Bihar yesterday, prompting police to investigate accounts that suggested she jumped off a train after a soldier tried to rape her in the toilet of an AC coach. Read more
11:17 Boy unable to walk after nightlong ragging at architecture school:
A first-year architecture student was allegedly ragged so severely by his seniors at a well-known professional college in the capital that he has been under treatment for four months and still cannot walk without support.
The victim, Naveen Kujur, 22, a student of B Arch at the School of Planning and Architecture(SPA), said in his complaint that he was made to do sit-ups and push-ups by his seniors at the college hostel the entire night on September 2. The seniors did not relent even though Naveen pleaded with them to stop, he alleged. Read more
11:13 Vulgarity a trend in Punjabi songs since 80s :
Honey Singh and Jazzy B are not the only singers drawing flak for vulgar, misogynist songs, but there are several other Punjabi singers, who have been doing the same without any subtlety for some time.
In fact, Amar Chamkila started the trend of using double entendres in the 1980s even as he had sung a number of popular religious and folk songs. He even defied militant threats warning him against singing vulgar songs till he was killed along another singer Amarjot in March 1988. Read more
11:10 And of course, furor on Twitter over the RSS chief's remarks.
Columnist, writer Tavleen Singh: The RSS chief says rapes occur in India not Bharat. Which Bharat does he live in? And, has he ever met a Dalit woman?
Harneet Singh: Rapes occur in India, not Bharat says RSS chief Mr Bhagwat. He's right. Balatkars occur in Bharat. Right Mr. Bhagwat?
Naomi Datta: The simple people of bharat are often entangled in the vicious web of vice spun by the crooked chowmein. But otherwise all good
Samar Halarnkar: Sick. This didn't happen in Bharat, obviously: 17-year-old dies after brutal gang rape in UP village.
Sneha Menon "Rapes occur in India, not Bharat: Mohan Bhagwat The same man that said men who rear cows won't rape!
11:00 RSS: Rapes happen in India, not rural Bharat:
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat today kicked up a controversy with his remark that rapes happened in cities and not in the rural areas. "Such crimes hardly take place in Bharat, but they frequently occur in India," Bhagwat said seeming to indicate that "westernization" in Indian cities was the reason behind increasing cases of rapes.
The remark follows a similar comment by a MP BJP leader who stated that women who did not stay within their limits, paid the price for it just like Sita was abducted by Ravana after she crossed the 'Lakshman rekha'.
"Ek hi shabd hai - Maryada. Maryada ka ulanghan hota hai, toh Sita-haran ho jata hai. Laxman-rekha har vyakti ki khichi gayi hai. Us Laxman-rekha ko koi bhi par karega, toh Rawan samne baitha hai, woh Sita-haran karke le jayega. (One has to abide by certain moral limits. If you cross this limit you will be punished, just like Sita was abducted by Ravana)," Kailash Vijayvargiya had said. IBN Live
10:45 New crime tracking system to be unveiled today:
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde will launch pilot programme of Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems in New Delhi on Friday.
CCTNS is a mission mode project under the national e-governance plan of Government of India.
CCTNS aims at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing through adopting of principle of e-Governance.
The project also includes the creation of a nationwide networking infrastructure for evolution of IT-enabled-state-of-the-art tracking system around 'Investigation of crime and detection of criminals'.
09:58 Sensex down 43 points in early trade:
The BSE benchmark Sensex on Friday fell by over 43 points to 19,721.49 in early trade, snapping its three-session winning streak, as funds and retail investors booked profits amid a mixed trend in the Asian region.
The 30-share barometer, which gained 342 points in the last three sessions, moved down by 43.29 points, or 0.22 per cent, to 19,721.49, with stocks of realty, metals and banking sectors leading the fall.
Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty, dipped below the 6,000-mark by losing 14.45 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 5,995.05.
Brokers said besides profit-booking by speculators, a mixed trend at the Asian markets following overnight losses at on the US markets, influenced the sentiments.
09:27 Yeddyurappa to plot Karnataka govt's fall today:
The Karnataka Janata Party of B S Yeddyurappa is holding its executive committee meeting in Bengaluru today to finalise 'an action plan' to bring down the first BJP government in the south.
Yeddyurappa, who quit BJP last month after being upset over his neglect by the party leadership, has been working overtime to ensure that more than 20 MLAs and a few ministers, loyal to him, resign enmasse.
He claimed that his successor and friend-turned foe D V Sadananda Gowda and the incumbent Shettar, again his choice for the chief ministership, pushed Karnataka to 11th place in development in the last one-and-half years, which he said was in the second spot under his leadership.
09:25 SC to hear PILs on rape cases, women safety today:
The Supreme Court will on Friday hear matters related to setting up of fast track courts for speedy trial in rape cases and effective implementation of existing laws for safety of women.
"We understand the importance of the matter. We will hear it on Friday," a bench comprising justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra said.
The petition filed by retired lady IAS officer Promilla Shanker was listed before the bench following Wednesday's order of another bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, which had agreed to give the matter an urgent hearing.
The bench headed by Justice Radhakrishnan decided to hear the matter from Friday as it had received a report from the apex court registry that an identical matter relating to the safety of women was already pending.
The judges were of the view that they would like to know the details of the other pending matter.
Senior advocate Pramod Swarup and advocate Pareena Swarup said there may be some overlapping issues in the two petitions but the PIL by the former bureaucrat raised other issues including the need for speedy trial for the offences against women.
The apex court will also hear another PIL related to the issue which was filed by an advocate and social activist Omika Dubey in which directions have been sought for appointment of additional judges to adjudicate the matters of crime against women and for providing compulsory compensation to victims of rape.
The PIL filed through advocate Ravi Prakash Gupta also sought an order to restrain print and electronic media from publishing and telecasting obscene pictures of women.
09:19 Christmas over, Italian marines back in Kochi for trial:
After celebrating Christmas with their families, the two Italian Marines, facing murder charges in Kerala, arrived in Kochi by a special charter plane on Friday morning, officials said.
Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who were allowed to go home for two weeks by the high court, came by a special flight for Kochi at 7.50 AM, airport sources said.
They will soon leave for Kollam court to surrender their passports.
The marines were arrested on February 19 last year for shooting to death two Indian fishermen -- Ajesh Binki (25) and Jelestine (45) from onboard merchant vessel 'Enrica Lexie' off Alapuzha coast, 'mistaking' them for Somali pirates.
Stringent conditions had been laid down by the court, which had asked them to return by January 10.
The Kollam sessions court had asked them to be present for the trial on January 15.
09:11 Govt sees no fault in granting Javed Miandad visa:
NDTV reports: The government of India has defended the decision to grant visa to former Pakistan cricketer Javed Miandad. The Pakistan Cricket Board official is scheduled to arrive in India on January 5 and will watch the final match of the ongoing cricket series between India and Pakistan in New Delhi on January 6.
The decision to grant him visa is being criticised by leaders from the BJP and the Shiv Sena who cite his ties with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. Miandad's son Junaid is married to Mahrukh, the daughter of Dawood Ibrahim, who is wanted in India in connection with the 1993 Mumbai case.
"He is a well-known cricketer. His visa application papers were in order and valid and that is why the government has decided to give him visa," Minister of State for Home, RPN Singh, had told reporters on Thursday
09:05 Govt brainstorming session on women's safety today:
The Centre is likely to chalk out a strategy to deal with crime against women and atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Tribes at a high-level meeting in New Delhi on Friday.
The conference of Chief Secretaries and Director Generals of Police of all states and Union Territories has been convened in the wake of the gruesome gangrape of a girl in Delhi and subsequent public protests across the country.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Kumari Selja, Minister for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath besides top senior officials of the central government will take part in the day-long meeting.
Issues relating to safety and security of women and challenges and strategies to eliminate violence against them, atrocities against SCs and STs besides an analysis of recent statistics of various crimes against women will be discussed threadbare during the meeting, officials said.
02:37 Brotherhood official urges Egypt's Jews to return:
A leading Muslim Brotherhood member and adviser to Islamist President Mohammed Mursi created a stir in Egypt when he called on Egyptian Jews in Israel to return home because Egypt is now a democracy and because the Jewish state won't survive.
Essam el-Erian's remarks in a TV appearance put the Brotherhood, which holds power in Egypt, on the spot as opponents and some allies jumped on the comments to denounce the group.
Mursi's office this week disassociated the president from the comments, saying they were el-Erian's personal opinion. The criticism ran an unusual gamut of Egyptians' attitudes toward Jews, Israel and the Brotherhood itself.
02:07 Actor Depardieu in tax fight, gets Russian citizenship: AP
reports: The Kremlin has cast Gerard Depardieu in one of the most surprising roles of his life '" as a new Russian citizen. An announcement today that President Vladimir Putin has approved Depardieu's application for citizenship is almost a real-life analogue to the French actor's 1990 comedy Green Card
, in which his character enters into a sham marriage in order to work in the US.
But in this version, taxes appear to be at the heart of the matter. Depardieu has waged a battle against a proposed super tax on millionaires in his native country.
French President Francois Hollande plans to raise the tax on earned income above $1.3 million to 75 per cent from the current 41 per cent, while Russia has a flat 13-per cent tax rate.
01:26 Bera, Tulsi sworn in as US lawmakers:
Indian American physician from California, Ami Bera, and the young Iraq war veteran from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard, created history today after being sworn in as new members of the US House of Representatives.
Bera is only the third Indian American -- after Dalip Singh Saundh in 1950 and Bobby Jindal in 2005 -- to have ever been elected to the House of Representatives. Tulsi Gabbard is the first Hindu ever to win the Congressional election.
The 113th Congress has 43 African American members (all but one in the House of Representatives), a record high number of 100 female, seven LGBT members, and one member of Kennedy family returning to elective federal office after a brief pause from public service from the family.
Both Bera and Tulsi are from the Democratic Party. Bera took the oath in presence of his family members, including his wife, his daughter, brothers, and his father.
A number of eminent Hindu Americans from across the US attended Tulsi's swearing in.
00:36 Italian marines suspected of murder return to India: AFP
reports: Two Italian marines suspected of murdering two Indian fishermen they mistook for pirates set off back for India today after a court-granted Christmas leave at home with their families.
The marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who are awaiting trial in India and are also under investigation in Italy, were questioned by prosecutors in Rome for five hours before boarding a special military flight from Ciampino airport bound for Kerala.
Prosecutors had voiced fears that the men would not return from their leave in Italy.