Allow cops to raid homes if citizens possess beef: Maharashtra to SC

In another bizzare move that could spark yet another controversy, the Maharashtra government has appealed to the Supreme Court for the revival of a provision that makes possession of beef (cow, bullocks and buffalo) at home from outside the state illegal.

A law, Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act was struck down by the Bombay High Court that allowed any police officer to stop and search any person suspected of possessing beef slaughtered outside Maharashtra. It also empowered the police to carry raids in the suspect’s houses.

The keyword being suspect, it would be important to note that this move from the state government comes right when the Supreme Court concluded that right to privacy is not a fundamental right but a part of right to personal liberty.

Joachim Colaco, trustee of the United Christian Community Centre told the Hindustan Times that they would certainly go by the rules, but this was certainly not the right way.

Last year the Bombay High Court struck down the law in a strongly worded 245 page judgement, the court believed that the law was an intrusion into a citizen’s home and preventing from possessing and eating the food of his choice.

News Source: Hindustan Times, Huffington Post

Image Source: Reuters

Dunkirk: Nolan strikes again

Cast: Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Harry Styles, Mark Rylance

Director: Christopher Nolan

‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’, ‘Interstellar’, ‘Inception’…it is absolutely a treat that Christopher Nolan manages to give it to its audience in terms of entertainment blended in quality. And as one watches, one wonders till what point of time this man can keep producing such movies.

But as a Nolan fan and a movie enthusiast in general, his work is not only about the creativity in terms of ideas he brings or the camera work or the direction itself. It is about the narrative he binds it in; and ‘Dunkirk’ is a sublime example of the same.

‘Dunkirk’ is an interwoven tale of three stories running parallel at the same time frame in France where 400,000 soldiers wait to be rescued in one of the biggest retreats in World War II. The story divided in three parts ‘The Mole’, ‘The Sea’ and ‘The Sky’ is told through some amazing amount of camera work and some heavy music by maestro Hans Zimmer.

The music itself is devastatingly stunning; filled with regret, tension, expectation and hope complemented with Nolan’s narrative creates magic in the screens.

One can criticize the lack of major characters, but war doesn’t have heroes, it has men who desperately try to survive each moment of the day.

The roles played by Tom Hardy, Harry Styles and Kenneth Branagh are small but are very aptly put.

Dunkirk is Nolan’s shortest movie in terms of length and for some the story may seem a bit incomplete, but for those who dig history and Nolan, ‘Dunkirk’ is a show of an amazing production team who have strived to get every detail right and have excelled in it.

Railway food not fit for human consumption: CAG

An annual audit report compiled by the Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG) has declared the food served in the railways and stations across India as “unsuitable for human consumption”.

After numerous complaints from passengers over the years, it is finally official that there are serious hygiene issues in regards to contaminated food, unauthorised brands of water bottles and packaged food items that are way beyond shelf life.

The audit has put the entire blame on the Railway Ministry for its frequent and unnecessary change in policies that has created a state of uncertainty in the management of catering services, reports TOI.

Screen grab of complaints.
Screen grab of complaints.

The team inspected 74 stations and 80 trains and concluded that the standards of cleanliness and hygiene were way below par at all catering units; the inspection reveals that unfiltered tap water was used to prepare beverages, waste bins were not covered and cleaned and food was being kept in places infested with cockroaches and flies.

The CAG also cracked down on the scam of overcharging passengers for food and beverages. It observed that the caterers did not provide menu cards and food was also served below prescribed quantity.

The report also thrashed the Integral Coach Factory located in Perumbar stating that the policy of progressive switch over from gas burners to electric power equipment in pantry cars to avoid the occurrence of fire accidents in trains was not followed while manufacturing the pantry cars.

News Source: TOI, News18

Image source: Indian Railways 

Dispute over using phone: army officer shot dead by Jawan

Major Shikhar Thapa posted with the 8 Rashtriya Rifles in Uri was shot dead by a jawan around midnight yesterday. According to the police, Major Thapa confronted Naik Kathiresan G for usage of cell-phone in the sensitive areas near Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

CNN News18’s Mufti Islah reports that the Major and the jawan exchanged heated arguments after Thapa berated Naik over the issue. Naik took to extreme measures after Thapa snatched away his phone and shot him multiple times with his service rifle. Thapa met his unfortunate end on the spot.

Major Shikhar Thapa belonged to & Armoured Regiment but was involved with the 8 Rashtriya Rifles which is the army’s elite counter-insurgency unit developed in Uri.

The army has ordered a court of enquiry over the issue and has for obvious reasons considered this as a case of fratricide.

This is the fourth incident of fratricide from the defense services in the past three years according to the data produced by the minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre.

The army and police were investigating the incident and are expected to issue an official statement by tomorrow.

Sources: Hindustan Times and NDTV

Privacy, not “Absolute”, observes SC

The nine judge bench of the Supreme Court of India on Wednesday observed that Right to Privacy is not absolute and cannot prevent the states from imposing reasonable restrictions on its citizens.

The case was heard by a nine-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) JS Khehar. The rest of the bench included Justices J Chelameswar, SA Bobde, RK Agarwal, Rohinton Fali Nariman, Abhay Manohar Sapre, DY Chandrachud, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and S Abdul Nazeer.

The bench yesterday examined the lack of right to privacy in the fundamental rights questioning the government’s apparent effort to make the unique identification number Aadhaar a must for subsidised service; it today noted that ‘right to privacy’ itself was an “amorphous” term, reports The Hindu.

In a packed courtroom today, Justice Chandrachud questioned the petitioners’ plea of right to privacy being non-negotiable “If people have put themselves in the public realm using technology, is that not a surrender of their right to privacy”.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan representing the petitioner submitted that at the current age and date a person should have their own right to “informational self-determination”. He further argued that a person should also have the legal right to be in control of how much data to put forward and not compelled to.

In reply, Justice Chandrachud observed that right to privacy cannot be linked to data protection and instead of focussing on privacy, steps need to be taken to give statutory recognition to data protection.

The court also said that like the freedom of the press is deduced from the constitution without there being a law about it, similarly, privacy can also be deduced from other fundamental rights as well.

These observations will have repercussions on the Adhaar issue because various petitioners in a batch of petitions to the court had earlier pointed out that collection of biometric data and the laws related to it under the Adhaar Bill is a direct violation of their privacy.

The matter now will go back to the original three judge bench to decide on the original issue.

Sources: Indian Express and NDTV

Hindu Lashkar militant arrested in Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir police on Monday morning arrested Sandeep Kumar Sharma,  an Uttar Pradesh man who has been allegedly been helping Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

This is a first of its kind incident where an Indian LeT operative outside of the Kashmir valley.

Sharma who also goes by the name of Adil is from troubled region of Muzaffarnagar, according to an interview given by the Inspector General of Police, Muneer Khan to CNN News18, Sharma had moved to Kashmir back in 2012 for work.

Sandeep allegedly planned at least five ATM loots worth lakhs of rupees this year after becoming an associate of notorious LeT militant Bashir Lashkari.

Police also believe that he was also a part of an attack on the police party at Achabal which resulted in the death of 7 cops.

Labelling Sharma as a militant Khan said that criminal elements have started joining the elements for their own personal goals.

Addressing a packed house in Srinagar the Jammu and Kashmir presented Sharma with his face covered in a black cloth and informed that, he was used extensively in militant operations since he had the advantage of not being from the state and his car having UP registered number plates.

The arrest comes in the times of growing unrest in the valley and also gives the situation a new dimension altogether.

Source: The HinduHindustan Times

 

India and War- IAF’s miserable story of hopelessness

In the age of rising patriotism and nationalism in India; the army has been the holiest cows of all. Any criticism to the Indian Army is considered as a misconduct of highest order by a certain section of the society.

THE ROAR

Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat on his recent interview to ANI boasted about how India was ready for two and a half wars referring to Pakistan, China and internal conflicts. If we were to look at it, India has the third largest army in the world, on the accounts of military expenditure India ranks five with a budget of 56 billion dollars. India is currently the largest buyer of arms according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). So statistically it checks out and Bipin Rawat is absolutely justified with his ‘Let it rip’ attitude. But, there is always a flip side to the coin.

THE REALITY

In the recent months, India has seen an outrageous amount of air crashes. In the first week of July itself the country saw, Kiren Rijiju narrowly escape a potential chopper crash, an MIG-23 crash in Rajasthan and one more incident of a chopper going out of the radar that later was found to have crashed with no survivors.

If the modern day warfare were to depend upon a country’s strength in air-warfare, India would probably score a big fat zero. Indian Air Forces current squadron strength is 32 as opposed to the sanctioned number of 42 squadrons. Amongst that 32 squadrons of combat aircraft, most are past their use-by date and have not been retired just because the IAF will run out of options.

THE FLYING COFFIN

With a treacherously alarming rate of air accidents, India has lost 11 major jets in the past year itself and nobody seems to care and talk about it. While the government remained busy pushing its ‘Make in India’ initiative with Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, which by the way CAG found 53 shortcomings in, the IAF continued to overwork its old faulty Russian through intensive training. Dubbed as the ‘Flying Coffin’ for their tendency of operational malfunction mid-air India lost numerous pilots and lost half of its MIG fleet through minor or major accidents.

THE BIG WALLET

India recently brought MIG-29’s worth Rs 10,000, an aircraft that has a serviceability of 15%, which means that the jet can reach to the place if called upon only 15 times out of hundred. No wonder that the CAG called the expenditure avoidable.

Indian government’s flawed purchases, out-dated technology, scams and not to mention utter disregard for human life comes out as shocking if not as disturbing considering the turbulent times.

Can Bipin Rawat defend India on ‘Two and a Half Fronts’? It’s very unlikely that he can defend us from one.

Sources: Scroll, Indian Express