Friday, December 18, 2015

Brazil SC scraps a commission set up against President Rousseff

Dec 18
In a major setback for Brazil’s opposition, Supreme Court has scrapped a commission set up to deal with impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff.
The court has also given more powers to the government-controlled Senate to block the impeachment process. The ruling means that proceedings initiated earlier this month will have to start from scratch. Ms Rousseff said she was innocent and the impeachment attempt would fail.

Government to reduce gender discrimination and to protect the women of the country: Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi
The Union Minster of Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has said that the new government has taken several concrete and substantial steps to reduce gender discrimination and to protect the women of the country. The Minister outlined the measures being taken by the Government in an oral reply to a starred question in the Lok Sabha during the Question Hour today. In her reply, Smt. Maneka Gandhi disclosed that in one such far-reaching initiative, the Union Territories have already provided 33% reservation to women in the police force to address the issue of crimes against women. Similarly, seven states have also given 33% reservation in police force while the remaining states have promised to do the same, she added.
In another landmark effort, One Stop Centres for Women affected by violence are being set up in each state of the country. Ten such centres have already become functional and receive up to 200 women in a week, the Minister explained. These women are given police, legal, medical and psychological assistance. Daily monitoring of these centres is being done by the Ministry and a proposal will soon be put up for setting up of 660 centres across the country, one in each district, she said.
Smt Maneka Gandhi said that to inculcate the concept of gender equality, the scheme of Gender Champions is being implemented from the school level itself. The WCD Minister disclosed that the scheme of Special Mahila Police Volunteers at village level will come into force from next month onwards. These women volunteers will keep an eye on incidents like molesting, eve teasing or parents denying education to children etc and help protect the women. The Women Helpline is making good progress and will be universalized throughout the country, she added.
Replying to a supplementary, Smt Maneka Gandhi said that in a recent development, an agreement has been reached with all concerned to have a panic button in mobile handsets, both old and new, which will enable women to seek help in distress.
Village Facilitation &Convergence Service is a new initiative which has started working in 15 districts in which women will be facilitated in different ways with respect to schemes meant for them. The WCD Minister said that these Village Facilitation Centres will be expanded to all the 100 districts of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao programme. The BBBP scheme , which was launched this year, is already showing very good results, the Minister explained.
To empower women, National Commission for Women has been asked to train the newly elected two lakhs sarpanches in how to administer villages, handle funds, take measures to protect women etc. Smt Maneka Gandhi assured that although India ranks 108th in the Global Gender Gap Index released this year,the rating will sure improve substantially in the coming surveys in view of the efforts being made by the government.
In her written reply to the same question, Smt. Gandhi said that the Government of India has already enacted a number of legislations to address gender based discrimination. These include the Criminal Amendment Act, 2013, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005; Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961;Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986; the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act,2006 (PCMA), Equal Remuneration Act, 1976, Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 and 73rd – 74th Amendment of the Constitution mandating 33% reservation for women in the local governance. The Criminal Law (Amendment), Act 2013 has been enacted making punishment more stringent for offences like rape.

Political crisis in Arunachal Pradesh rocks both Houses

The political crisis in Arunchal Pradesh rocked both Houses of Parliament today.
In the Lok Sabha, Congress staged a walkout during zero hour on the issue. As soon as the House met for proceedings, the Congress MPs raised the issue and trooped into the well and shouted slogan against the alleged role of Governor. Despite Speaker’s appeal, Congress members continued their protest and shouted slogans despite Speaker Sumitra Mahajan saying many times that the opposition should follow procedures and give notice as per the established norms.
Congress’ Sonia Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge also trooped into the well of the House later. Opposition Congress members also said that the Speaker is not showing any ‘mercy’ for the Opposition and in protest they staged a walkout from the House.
In the Rajya Sabha as well, Congress, amid pandemonium, forced repeated adjournments on the Arunachal Pradesh issue. Members belonging to AIADMK, TMC and Left parties supported the Congress’ demand for the recall of the Governor. The House witnessed three adjournments in the pre-lunch session.
As soon as the House took up zero hour mentions, Congress members trooped into the well in support of their demand. They raised slogans against the Centre and the Governor. As noisy scenes continued, Prof. Kurien adjourned the House for 20 minutes till Noon. The situation was no different when the House met and it was adjourned till 2.30 pm.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Mohammed Hamid Ansari has admitted substantive motions moved by opposition parties to discuss the political developments in Arunachal Pradesh. Announcing this during zero hour, Deputy Chairman Prof. P J Kurien said, only time has to be fixed for discussion on the motions.
Meanwhile, Chairman Hamid Ansari has called an all-party meeting this afternoon to break the logjam. The House is facing disruptions on several issues blocking the passage of key legislations including GST Bill. Only three business days are left in the Winter Session and government is pushing hard to pass some Bills.
Reports say, the Chairman has called for similar powers as the Lok Sabha Speaker to take tough action against unruly MPs. It is understood that he may also call for changes in rules in this regard.
Mr Ansari’s decision came after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday.In Arunachal Pradesh, Governor JP Rajkhowa has expressed surprise Gauhati High Court Stay Order. A Single Judge Bench of Gauhati High Court had issued a stay order on the preponing the date of Assembly session from 14th January 2016 to 16th December 2015 by the Governor. The High Court also keep in abeyance the Assembly proceedings, including removal of speaker Shri Nabam Rebia by a resolution of 33 MLAs and asking for maintaining status quo ante. Earlier, the Speaker had filed the petition challenging the notification issued by the Governor on advancing the state Assembly Session. The next hearing on the case will be held February 1 next year.Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu today requested the Congress to allow the Rajya Sabha to function. Mr Naidu sought to know the reason why the opposition is disrupting the proceedings of the House when the government is more than willing to debate and discuss every issue under the relevant rules. The Minister said, key legislations are pending for the passage in the Rajya Sabha after they have been cleared by the Lok Sabha.
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister said there is a broad consensus on the Goods and Services Tax bill but even there is no discussion on it in the Rajya Sabha due to Congress’ protest.

AAP Protests in Mumbai against Central Government’s misuse of CBI
AAP Mumbai & AAP Thane teams gathered at Azad Maidan to protest against the blatant misuse of the CBI by the Modi Government to raid the offices of the Delhi Chief Minister.
It is clear now that Mr Arun Jatiley misled the parliament when he said that the CM office was not being raided. It has been seen today that the CM office has indeed been raided, all files examined and many files taken away by the CBI. This is a complete murder of democracy and the Aam Aadmi Party feels it is imperative for all persons who value their freedom to protest against this unannounced emergency.
The protest was led by Preeti Sharma Menon, National Spokesperson and the Maharashtra Sah Prabhari Ashutosh Sengar. There are protests being organized across the city by AAP to raise awareness on the conduct of the central government.

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