Sedition law against India’s conscience; high time SC considers its 'abrogation': Moily

News Network
May 5, 2022

New Delhi, May 5: Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily on Thursday said the sedition law is against the conscience of the Indian nation and it is high time the Supreme Court considers "abrogating" it from the pages of criminal law.

His assertion came on a day the Supreme Court said it would hear arguments on May 10 on the legal question whether the pleas challenging the colonial era penal law on sedition be referred to a larger bench and granted time to the Centre to file its response.

The law of sedition has again reignited a public debate, including before the Supreme Court, and the public is very much focused on the subject, Moily noted.

The Britishers fully invoked this section to silence the freedom fighters such as Mahatma Gandhi and Balgangadhar Tilak, the former Union minister and a senior lawyer said.

"It has now become routine for lawmakers both in the state and at the Centre to silence the dissenters who are opposed to the view of the established governments....ultimately the law is misused to kill the democratic ethos in the country," he said.

"Real patriots are put behind bars under the provisions of Section 124 A (sedition) and democratic expression has been assaulted by the governments in power," Moily said.

While Mahatma Gandhi called Section 124A "the prince among the political sections of the IPC designed to suppress the liberty of the citizen", Jawaharlal Nehru said that the provision was "obnoxious" and "highly objectionable", and "the sooner we get rid of it the better", Moily pointed out.

"Both of them voiced conscious consensus of the freedom fighters and patriots. The nation should have scrapped the law as it inherited the colonial legacy of suppressing independent opinion. Hence the sedition law is against the conscience of the Indian nation," he said.

Moily said the second Administrative Reforms Commission in its fifth report on public order considered many provisions on federal crimes, including sedition, and recommended re-examining the offences which have inter-state or national ramification and include them in a new law.

"It is high time that the Supreme Court of India consider abrogating the law of sedition from the pages of criminal law of the country as the said law goes against the patriotic ethos of the country and intends to remove the conscience of ethos of India and also the Constitution and freedom fighters of the country," Moily said.

A special bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Surya kant and Hima Kohli was also told by Attorney General K K Venugopal, who was assisting in his personal capacity, that the misuse of the provision like it happened against a Maharashtra MP for reciting 'Hanuman Chalisa' has to be stopped by laying down guidelines.

However, there was no need to refer the five-judge bench verdict of the top court in the Kedar Nath case in 1962 to a bench of five or seven judges, the top most law officer said.

The apex court had upheld the constitutional validity of the sedition law in the Kedar Nath Singh case. 

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News Network
June 26,2022

europeprotest.jpg

Strikes in Europe's transport sector have disrupted air flights and train schedules as transportation companies struggle to cope with rising demand at the start of the peak summer travel season after the COVID restrictions were lifted.

A strike by staff members at Irish airline Ryanair and Brussels Airlines over pay and working conditions forced the cancellation of a number of flights on Saturday.

The workers' strike also disrupted flight schedules in Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and Belgium.

Since Friday, low-budget airline Ryanair has been forced to cancel 127 flights, an airport spokeswoman told AFP on Saturday.

The walkout forced the cancellation of two flights between Lisbon and Brussels.

The airports at Bordeaux and Marseille said nine and 12 flights respectively would be cancelled on Sunday.

Ryanair flights were also cancelled in France. Damien Mourgues of the SNPNC union said 36 out of 80 flights had been cancelled because of a walk-out by air stewards.

In Belgium, the walkout meant that only 41 percent of Ryanair flights left Charleroi airport near Brussels on Saturday.

The situation in Belgium was further complicated by a three-day strike by Brussels Airlines staff ending on Saturday. The strike has forced the carrier, which is owned by German giant Lufthansa, to cancel about 300 out of 500 flights since

Adding to Europe's traveling problems, Austria Airlines said on Saturday it had had to cancel 52 out of 360 scheduled flights.

USO transport union in Spain said 75 flights from six different cities had been cancelled, noting that the striking staff had been replaced by workers brought in from Morocco, which it cited as a violation on Thursday.

Unions have called for EasyJet cabin crew based in Spain to strike for nine days in July as part of a dispute over pay.

The Swiss airline has already had to cancel thousands of flights this summer because of staff shortages at airports.

Staff shortage

The aviation sector is still struggling to recover from the COVID pandemic which led to staff-cuts as international travel was put on hold.

However, a rise in the number of COVID infections reported by Austria Airlines staff on Saturday led to the cancellation of its flights.

"Our crew members are sick, cases of infection are rising," an Austria Airlines spokeswoman told AFP.

Faced with staff shortages, Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport was also forced to announce earlier this month that it would be limiting traveler numbers this summer and cancelling flights.

The shortages have already caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled, while huge queues have angered travelers.

In the UK, the railway system once again came to a halt on Saturday. 

Over the week, tens of thousands of workers have walked in Britain's biggest rail strike in 30 years, with millions of passengers facing days of chaos as both the unions and government have stuck to their guns in a row over pay.

The British transport union, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), threatened to continue the industrial action until managers address the workers' grievances, and meet their salary demands.

Despite the ongoing negotiations between representatives from the management and staff, media predicted the strikes to continue.

They attributed further industrial action to the rapidly rising inflation rates exacerbated by sluggish economic growth, saying this combo will likely lead to more workers' strikes across the European continent in the summer ahead.

Unions have said the rail strikes could mark the start of a "summer of discontent" with teachers, medics, waste disposal workers and even barristers heading for industrial action as inflation pushes 10%.

Inflation has soared across Europe on the back of a major rise in energy costs and Britain is not alone in facing strikes. 

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News Network
June 17,2022

Bengaluru, June 17: With 72 more students receiving 625 out of 625 marks after re-evaluation and re-totalling, the number of students securing full marks in the SSLC examinations has increased to 217.

Last month, when the SSLC results were announced, 145 students sprang a surprise by scoring 625 out of 625. This number has increased by 72 after the Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board (KSEEB) released the revaluation results.

The Board has decided to initiate disciplinary action against teachers who evaluated the answer scripts.

KSEEB director Gopalakrishna H N said: “We are gathering information on the teachers who evaluated these answer scripts and the same will be forwarded to the deputy directors of respective districts for further action.”

According to the Board’s norms, such teachers will be penalised and also blacklisted from the list of eligible evaluators. “The action will depend on the reply they give to the notice they will be issued,” said another official of the Board.

Meanwhile, the Board is initiating measures to refund the revaluation fee to students. “If the difference in marks is six and above we will refund the revaluation fees. But in case the marks difference is below six, then the revised marks will be added to the marks card, but no refund will be initiated,” the KSEEB director explained.

The huge number of students notching up perfect top scores became a subject of discussion on various platforms. This is the first time since the inception of KSEEB that 217 students have scored full marks in all the subjects to emerge as toppers. 

The number of students achieving the perfect score was never more than 10 all these years. In 2020, six students scored a cent per cent. Also, the number of students securing second place has been jumped from 11 in 2020 to 309 this year with a total score of 624. A total of 472 students share the third place with 623 marks.

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News Network
June 23,2022

Hassan, June 23: An earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale shook parts of Hassan district and neighbouring regions in south Indian state of Karnataka in the wee hours of Thursday, a disaster management official said.

The earthquake was also felt in many villages near Somwarpet in Kodagu district. People ran out of their houses following the tremor.

According to Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority Commissioner, Manoj Rajan, the epicentre was Maluganahalli village under Nagaranahalli village panchayat in Holenarasipura Taluk of Hassan district.

He said as per the seismic intensity map of the said earthquake from the epicentre, the intensity observed is moderate and the tremor may be felt up to a maximum radial distance of 40-50 kms from the epicentre.

“This type of earthquake does not create any harm to the local community, although there might be slight shaking observed locally. As the epicentre falls in Seismic Zone-II, the chances of occurrence of earthquakes is very less and the possibility of damage is low.

"As the region is void of any structural discontinuities as per the tectonic map, the community need not panic as the intensity observed is moderate and not destructive,” the commissioner explained.

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