No waiting in mutual consent divorce- #goodnews



Rosy Sequeira, TNN | Sep 26, 2012,

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Tuesday waived the mandatory six-month waiting period for couples, who, during the pendency of their appeal against the family court order, decide to end their marriage through mutual consent. Appeals against family court orders are heard by the high court. The latter can now instantaneously grant divorce.

In 2008, the Bombay HC had ruled that the family court cannot waive the six-month period before granting divorce. Today’s judgment distinguished the earlier verdict and held that in an appeal, the high court could waive the six-month period.

“It will end the mutual misery rather than let it continue,” said Justice V M Kanade, who along with Justice P D Kode, gave their verdict on a man’s appeal against dismissal of his divorce plea by the family court.

During pendency of the appeal, the couple filed consent terms, praying for a decree of divorce by mutual consent. The only hitch was the mandatory waiting period of six months under Section 13 B of the Hindu Marriage Act.

Advocate Vikramaditya Deshmukh, who was asked to assist the court as amicus curiae, submitted that various high courts have taken a view that when an application is filed before an appellate court, seeking its permission to convert an appeal into a petition for divorce by mutual consent, it is not necessary to wait for further six months. He said the waiting period is applicable only for the family court.

Upholding Deshmukh’s submission, the judges in their order said, “We are of the view that it is not necessary for the appellate court to wait for further six months after an application is made seeking conversion of petition for divorce into divorce by mutual consent.”

Accepting the couple’s consent terms, the judges directed that their marriage is dissolved by mutual consent.

The couple married on July 1, 2006, and have two children aged ten and eight years. Since October 2006, they did not cohabit although they were living in the same house. On May 11, 2010, the wife left the matrimonial home. The husband moved the family court in January 2011, seeking divorce on grounds of cruelty. The court dismissed his petition in June 2012. He filed appeal in HC in July 2012. During its pendency, the couple filed consent terms, urging the court to dissolve their marriage by mutual consent. They signed consent terms on September 12, 2012.

Reddit Users Attempt to Shame #Sikh Woman, Get Righteously Schooled #gender


Reddit Users Attempt to Shame Sikh Woman, Get Righteously Schooled
Lindy West, http://jezebel.com
A Reddit user going by the handle “european_douchebag” posted a surreptitious photo of a Sikh woman with the caption “i’m not sure what to conclude from this.” The user’s apparent confusion stems from the fact that the woman—bound by her religion not to cut her hair or alter her body—has an abundance of dark, untrimmed facial hair. The mind of european_douchebag was SO INCREDIBLY BLOWN by the fact that women have hair on their bodies—and, yes, faces—and that some women are bold, self-assured, and pious enough not to cave to western beauty standards (and gender expectations), there was nothing for him to do but post her photo online and wait for the abuse to flood in.

But then something totally lovely and unexpected happened. The woman in the photo responded:

Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture. I actually didn’t know about this until one of my friends told on facebook. If the OP wanted a picture, they could have just asked and I could have smiled 🙂 However, I’m not embarrased or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positve] that this picture is getting because, it’s who I am. Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body – it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will. Just as a child doesn’t reject the gift of his/her parents, Sikhs do not reject the body that has been given to us. By crying ‘mine, mine’ and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a seperateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn’t important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are. 🙂 So, if anyone sees me at OSU, please come up and say hello. I appreciate all of the comments here, both positive and less positive because I’ve gotten a better understanding of myself and others from this. Also, the yoga pants are quite comfortable and the Better Together tshirt is actually from Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that focuses on storytelling and engagement between different faiths. 🙂 I hope this explains everything a bit more, and I apologize for causing such confusion and uttering anything that hurt anyone.

And then, THEN, something even more miraculous happened—the original poster apologized:

I know that this post ISN’T a funny post but I felt the need to apologize to the Sikhs, Balpreet, and anyone else I offended when I posted that picture. Put simply it was stupid. Making fun of people is funny to some but incredibly degrading to the people you’re making fun of. It was an incredibly rude, judgmental, and ignorant thing to post.

/r/Funny wasn’t the proper place to post this. Maybe /r/racism or /r/douchebagsofreddit or /r/intolerance would have been more appropriate. Reddit shouldn’t be about putting people down, but a group of people sending cool, interesting, or funny things. Reddit’s been in the news alot lately about a lot of cool things we’ve done, like a freaking AMA by the president. I’m sorry for being the part of reddit that is intolerant and douchebaggy. This isn’t 4chan, or 9gag, or some other stupid website where people post things like I did. It’s fucking reddit. Where some pretty amazing stuff has happened.

I’ve read more about the Sikh faith and it was actually really interesting. It makes a whole lot of sense to work on having a legacy and not worrying about what you look like. I made that post for stupid internet points and I was ignorant.

So reddit I’m sorry for being an asshole and for giving you negative publicity.
Balpreet, I’m sorry for being a closed minded individual. You are a much better person than I am
Sikhs, I’m sorry for insulting your culture and way of life.
Balpreet’s faith in what she believes is astounding.

Holy shit, internet, I don’t even know you anymore! I never thought something would come out of the seeping necrotic abscess that is Reddit that would actually make my day better, but wow. MY HEART GREW THREE SIZES THIS DAY.

Your chance to influence UN Special Rapporteur’s report on access to medicines and the right to health –



Add your voice today!
We would like to encourage you to add your voices to the UN Special Rapporteur‘s report on access to medicines and the right to health. Your voices will significantly contribute to integrating women’s human rights and a feminist perspective to the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to health.

Background Information

Pursuant the Human Rights Council resolution 17/14, Anand Grover, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, is working on a study on existing challenges with regard to access to medicines in the context of the right to health, ways to overcome them and good practices, to be presented to the Council at its twenty-third session in June 2013.

Add Your Voice

In preparation for this study, the questionnaire has been prepared by the UN Special Rapporteur to seek the views of relevant stakeholders on this important subject. It is an important opportunity for women in the Asia Pacific to critically inform the Special Rapporteur on the situation of access to medicines and the right to health in the region. Your contribution in sharing issues, persistent structural challenges, promising practices and innovative strategies will be crucial in informing the report.

To add your voice, please complete the questionnaire (click here to download) and submit it electronically to srhealth@ohchr.org by Friday, 12 October 2012.

 

For more information,http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Health/Pages/AccessToMedicines.aspx

Consultation on access to medicines and the right to health

The Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Anand Grover invites all relevant stakeholders (States, UN agencies, national human rights institutions, civil society and community groups) to participate in the consultation on access to medicines and the right to health.

The objective of this consultation is to enable interested parties to submit information and comments to the Special Rapporteur, who was mandated by the Human Rights Council (resolution 17/14, para 11) to prepare a study on existing challenges with regard to access to medicines in the context of the right to health, ways to overcome them and good practices, to be presented to the Council at its twenty-third session in June 2013.

Your information will substantively inform the forthcoming study on access to medicines and the right to health.

Please make your submissions (in English, French or Spanish) by completing the relevant questionnaire below (in Word) and emailing it to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on srhealth@ohchr.org.

You can read the overview of the Special Rapporteur’s study on access to medicines here

Thank you for your submissions.

The closing date for all Government submissions is Friday, 14 September 2012.

Questionnaires for Governments: English – French – Spanish

The closing date for all submissions from pharmaceutical companies is Friday, 28 September 2012.

Questionnaires for pharmaceutical companies: English only.

The closing date for all submissions from international civil society organizations is Friday, 12 October 2012.

Questionnaires for international civil society organizations: English only.

 

U.S. Women Poised for a Radical Tune-Up; Here’s Why #gender


By Ellen Chesler

WeNews commentator

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tonight’s Roosevelt Institute panel at Women’s eNews looks at the challenges of low-wage female workers. That recalls a 1981 classic book by Zillah Eisenstein, who understood the condition of women as a dimension of larger patterns of oppression.

 

Ellen Chesler
Ellen Chesler

 

(WOMENSENEWS)–It’s too soon to declare “The End of Men and the Rise of Women,” as Hanna Rosin has done in her highly controversial new book by that title.

Instead, it’s just the right time, in my view, to dust off the covers of a 1981 book that rocked the feminist establishment more than 30 years ago, Zillah Eisenstein’s “The Radical Future of Liberal Feminism.”

Eisenstein applauded the efforts of liberal feminists to achieve equal protection and greater opportunity for women through political and legal reform that would benefit large numbers of individuals.

But she warned of the potential limitations of that strategy and predicted a paradoxical situation of uneven gains, much like what we see today. Eisenstein understood the condition of women as a dimension of larger patterns of oppression. She called for a more inclusive feminist vision, where bonds of gender would transcend other differences and disagreements.

This is hugely important today, when wage stagnation for most workers in this country combines with the dogged persistence of sex segregation in many sectors to contribute to an alarming growth in inequality and to hit women especially hard.

Since 1977, the number of hours worked by dual or single wage-earning adults has increased by an average of 12 hours a week, and yet median family income for the majority of Americans has seen negligible growth or has even declined.

True enough, men suffered palpable losses in the recent recession, but most of them still continue to have greater opportunities in highly compensated and now reviving trades like construction. Layoffs and wage erosion, on the other hand, are still attacking “pink collar” and many public sector jobs, such as teaching and health care, where women dominate.

Women are also more likely to be employed in non-standard jobs, part time, freelance or self employed – all still without health care and pension benefits. Working women have a bigger slice of an increasingly smaller pie.

Compounded by Discrimination

This gender disadvantage is compounded by racial discrimination in a country with a growing minority population.

Just over a quarter of white women, but a third of African American women, and fully half of Latinas who work full time still earn wages at or below the poverty level. Even women who start out on a stronger footing tend to lag behind over time as a result of stereotypes that persist in trivializing women’s work, in the face of so much evidence to the contrary.

This “glass ceiling” is a dilemma often discussed in connection with women in corporate and professional positions, but it is also a real barrier for middle and working class women, whose earnings level off at age 35.

That’s when many women get stuck with the burden of balancing work and family. It’s tough going in a country that–alone among advanced nations in the world–still provides little meaningful public funding or tax incentives for child care and deploys only scattered and inadequate resources for after-school and summer school programs. With a few states such as California serving as prominent exceptions, the U.S. public sector mandates no paid leave or flexible work arrangements.

Far from resting on our laurels, American women need to revive the feminist movement and focus its agenda on the urgent needs of the middle and working classes.

Happily, we are poised to do that as never before.

Extraordinary Advances

Over the past half century, American women have made extraordinary advances in education and employment. Assumptions about our abilities and ambitions are transformed, along with views of marriage and family obligation. Fifty years ago at the dawn of second wave feminism, women made up a third of the labor force but were typically employed episodically, and once married, still identified primarily as homemakers with long stretches of time off for childrearing.

Today women are nearly half the labor force and more than half of all college graduates and those with advanced degrees. In nearly 65 percent of American families, mothers are either the single working parent or responsible for anywhere from a quarter to more than half of total family income, with little choice but to work through the life cycle.

The headlines are flashy. The proportion of women in management and professional occupations today is 51 percent of the total. Women are now a third of all lawyers and 32 percent of doctors, up from negligible numbers in the 1960s. Small businesses owned by women are growing at twice the rate of those owned by men.

Profound shifts in the economy – away from agriculture, heavy industry and manufacturing and toward information and services – have eroded the traditional advantages men enjoyed and opened opportunity to women. A powerful second wave of liberal women’s rights advocates drove necessary changes in cultural norms. And perhaps most important they revolutionized law and public policy.

Holding Advances

Starting with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, women have been direct beneficiaries of laws and policies mandating remedial inclusion (better known as affirmative action) in education, employment, government and military contracting, and in lending. Our gains derive from aggressive enforcement by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education, by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, by state and local agencies and, of course, by federal and state courts. Despite a tidal wave of conservative backlash in recent years and some nasty, high profile defeats, critical advances for women have held.

With these many achievements to build on, it’s time to address the challenges that still remain for most American women and their families.

As many reviewers of Rosin’s “End of Men” have pointed out, the gender wage gap has narrowed, with big gains in some fields, but American women overall still earn only about 77 cents on the male dollar.

A recent World Economic Forum analysis places the United States only 19th out of 134 countries surveyed on a range of indicators of women’s progress, outranked predictably by all of Western Europe, Canada and Australia, but also by small emerging democracies such as Latvia and Lithuania.

The time is ripe for movement building. American feminists have a great deal to be proud of, but it’s way too soon to declare victory. The time to redouble our efforts on behalf of working women is right now.

Author and women’s rights activist Ellen Chesler is currently a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, which will host a panel tonight on challenges for working women posed by continuing occupational segregation and other obstacles to getting ahead. For details, please go to www.RooseveltInstitute.org.

 

Don’t give terror tag to innocent minority people: Supreme Court #goodnews


 

26 September 2012 , By J. Venkatesan , The Hindu
Police must ensure that no innocent person has the feeling of sufferance only because “my name is Khan, but I am not a terrorist,” a Bench of Justices H.L. Dattu and C.K. Prasad said on Wednesday. File photo

Police must ensure that no innocent person has the feeling of sufferance only because “my name is Khan, but I am not a terrorist,” a Bench of Justices H.L. Dattu and C.K. Prasad said on Wednesday. File photo
Ensure that no innocent has the feeling of sufferance only because ‘my name is Khan, but I am not a terrorist,’ Bench tells Police

No innocent person should be branded a terrorist and put behind bars simply because he belongs to a minority community, the Supreme Court has told the Gujarat Police.

Police must ensure that no innocent person has the feeling of sufferance only because “my name is Khan, but I am not a terrorist,” a Bench of Justices H.L. Dattu and C.K. Prasad said on Wednesday.

It ordered the acquittal of 11 persons, arrested under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act and other laws, and convicted for allegedly planning to create communal violence during the Jagannath Puri Yatra in Ahmedabad in 1994.

“We emphasise and deem it necessary to repeat that the gravity of the evil to the community from terrorism can never furnish an adequate reason for invading personal liberty, except in accordance with the procedure established by the Constitution and the law,” the Bench said.

Being an anti-terrorist law, the TADA’s provisions could not be liberally construed, the Bench said. “The District Superintendent of Police and the Inspector-General and all others entrusted with operating the law must not do anything which allows its misuse and abuse and [must] ensure that no innocent person has the feeling of sufferance only because ‘My name is Khan, but I am not a terrorist’.”

Writing the judgment, Justice Prasad said: “We appreciate the anxiety of the police officers entrusted with preventing terrorism and the difficulty faced by them. Terrorism is a crime far serious in nature, graver in impact and highly dangerous in consequence. It can put the nation in shock, create fear and panic and disrupt communal peace and harmony. This task becomes more difficult when it is done by organised groups with outside support.”

‘Means more important’

But in the country of the Mahatma, the “means are more important than the end. Invoking the TADA without following the safeguards, resulting in acquittal, gives an opportunity to many and also to the enemies of the country to propagate that it has been misused and abused.”In this case, Ashraf Khan and 10 others, who were convicted under the TADA, the Arms Act and the IPC were aggrieved that no prior approval of the SP, as mandated under the provisions, was obtained before their arrest and recording of statements.

Appeal allowed

Allowing their appeals against a Gujarat TADA court order, the Bench said: “From a plain reading of the provision, it is evident that no information about the commission of an offence shall be recorded by the police without the prior approval of the District Superintendent of Police. An Act which is harsh, containing stringent provisions and prescribing a procedure substantially departing from the prevalent ordinary procedural law, cannot be construed liberally. For ensuring rule of law its strict adherence has to be ensured.”

The Bench said: “In view of our finding that their conviction is vitiated on account of non-compliance with the mandatory requirement of prior approval under Section 20-A(1) of the TADA, the confessions recorded cannot be looked into to establish the guilt under the aforesaid Acts. Hence, the conviction of the accused under Sections 7 and 25(1A) of the Arms Act and 4, 5 and 6 of the Explosive Substances Act cannot also be allowed to stand.”

 

Professor Banwarilal Sharma, the mathematician and a Gandhian activist passes away #RIP


 

Prof. Banwarilal Sharma

PIC- COURTESY http://aflatoon4.tripod.com/

TNN | Sep 26, 2012, 10.20PM IST

 ALLAHABAD: Eminent Gandhian activist and mathematician Prof Banwarilal Sharma passed away in Chandigarh on Wednesday after a brief illness. Prof Sharma was the convenor of Azadi Bachao Andolan, former HOD, Mathematics Department at Allahabad University, and the chairperson of the International Council of Mathematicians in developing countries from 1986 to 1992.

Prof Sharma was deeply involved with the movement against nuclear energy, and with peoples’ movements in several parts of the country-including Hazaribagh, Uttarakhand, and Rewa, where Azadi Bachao Andolan worked to return the control of resources and the environment to the local people. He was also active in the movement against Posco steel plant in Orissa, and the movement resisting the spread of soft drink multinationals in the country.

Prof Sharma was instrumental in the establishment of National Alliance for Peoples Movements and founded the Swaraj Vidyapeeth in Allahabad, which promoted a new and independent pedagogy. The Vidyapeeth also served as a focus for the Jagrit Samaj.

Prof Sharma trained at the University of Paris, where he obtained his DSc degree under Prof Henri Cartan. He returned to teach at Allahabad University where he made important contributions to differential topology. Remarkably, at the same time as he did this important research, he was involved with the anti-emergency movement and was jailed for 19 months.

At the time of his death, Prof Sharma he was in Chandigarh for a political programme, having just completed a series of events in other parts of the country.

CONDOLENCE MEETING PUNE

 

Condolence Meeting for Prof. Banwarilal Sharma

Date:    Sunday, September 30, 2012
Time:   6.00 pm
Venue: Lokayat Hall, 3rd Floor, opp. Syndicate Bank, Law College Road, Near Nal stop, Pune.

 

Resist Silent Emergency!-‘People’s Hearing on FABRICATED CASES’-Sept28-29


Dear Friends,

Sub: Invitation to a ‘PEOPLE’S HEARING ON FABRICATED CASES’

Venue: Constitution Club, New Delhi

Dates: September 28 – 29, 2012, Friday, Saturday.

The nightmare of the infamous Emergency of Mrs. Indira Gandhi was supposed to be over in 1977 when it was lifted after two years due to large scale public protest. Political parties, institutions and individuals who defended Emergency were discredited. The sigh of relief evoked a hope for a functioning democracy in India.

But today, we are entering into a similar phase of authoritarian governance without any formal declaration of Emergency. This Silent Emergency has regulated, controlled and restricted all space for democratic public protests against ruling governments. Custodial deaths and encounter killings have become a routine phenomenon. Rape, murder, loot, torture and arrests in Manipur, Nagaland and other north eastern states as well as Kashmir have even crossed the excesses of the Emergency period. Many discriminatory laws have been enacted to silence the Media without a censorship. Several discriminatory laws were enacted to enhance and strengthen the power of the State over civil society and crush dissent.

Laws to facilitate the corporate control and loot over the resources of people are being enacted. This has also become a major reason for the human rights violations against adivasis, dalits, minorities, farmers, fisher people, workers, activists and human rights movements. The human rights defenders who take up burning issues of the people are being targeted. False cases are being fabricated against activists, people’s movements, media, theatre activists, minorities, self-determination movements, dalits and adivasis in a major way. Thus thousands of innocent people are languishing in Indian jails without any trial.

In this context of the Silent Emergency in our country we would like to invite you to attend the ‘PEOPLE’S HEARING ON FABRICATED CASES’ which has the following objectives:

1. To defend fundamental rights, human rights and the Indian Constitution to preserve our democracy

2. To popularize some of the most brazen cases of fabrication of false charges against political dissidents and members of the Muslim, dalit and adivasi communities

3. To facilitate further legal action for freedom of these innocent people

4. To generate pressure on the mainstream media to play a more socially responsible role

5. To generate pressure on the institutions of Indian State for the release of undertrials.

The Programme:

The organizers expect the participation of around 50 victims, their family members or friends whose testimonies will be heard by a jury comprising of judges, lawyers, journalists, human rights activists and artists. After listening to all the presentations the Jury will report their observations and conclusions with clear recommendations for various institutions of the Indian State.

Organisers: Solidarity Youth MovementKerala, Indian Social Action Forum – INSAF, PUCL, AISA, SIO, Right to Food Campaign, KSMTF (Kerala Swathantra Matsya Tizhilali Federation), PPSS (Anti Posco Movement), ICR, Focus on the Global South, Justice for Maudany Forum, Visual Search, Moving Republic, SAHELI, Pedestrian Pictures, National Campaign Against Fabrication of False Cases, http://www.fabricated.in, Jamia Teachers Solidarity Assiciation, Jamia Student Solidarity Forum, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, National Adivasi Alliance, Kabani – The Other Direction, Human Rights Alert, Dalit Human Rights Movement (DHRM) – Kerala, Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity, Action for Social Equality, INSOCO – Indian Solidarity Committee for freedom democracy & human rights, Center for Harmony and Peace – Varanasi, PUDR, Socialist Front, Student of Resistance.
People’s Hearing on Fabricated Cases

Sept 28-29 Constitution Club, New Delhi

Programme Schedule

28-09-2012, Friday

Inaugural Session: 10am – 11.30am

11.30am – 1.30pm
Issue
Speaker

1
Koodankulam Anti Nuclear
P K Sundaram

2
Anti POSCO Struggle
Abhay Sahoo

3
Jaitapur Anti Nuclear
Vaishali Patil

4
Farmers Group, Madhya Pradesh
Dr. Sunilam

LUNCH BREAK

2.30pm – 6pm
Issue/Case
Speaker

5
Journalist Mhd Ahmed Kazmi
Shauzab Kazmi

6
Soni Sori
Himanshu Kumar

7
Gujarat Fabricated Cases
Zakiya Soman

8
Faseeh Mahmood
Sabih Mahmood, Manisha Sethi

9
Journalist Shahina KK
Shahina KK

10
Seema Azad, UP
Seema Azad

11
Jharkhand
Dayamani Barla

12
Odisha
Prafulla Samantara

13
Chattisgharh
Ajay T.G

14
DHRM, Kerala
Suresh

15
Email Surveillance Victims, Kerala
T. Mohammed Vellom
29-09-2012, Saturday

10am – 1.00pm
Issues
Speaker

16
Kashmir & North East
Anjum Zamrud Habib, Babloo Loitongbam, Kaka D Iralu, Neena Ningombam

17
Abdul Nasar Maudany
Dr. Sebastin Pol, Omar Mukhtar
LUNCH BREAK

2.00pm – 3.30pm
Issues
Speaker

1
Prisoners Issue
SAR Geelani

2
Repressive Laws
Preeti Chauhan, PUDR

3
Increasing repressive state under neoliberalism
Colin Gonsalves
3.30pm – 6.00pm

Concluding Session: Comments from the Jury

Jury:
Justice Rajindar Sachar
Dr. Binayak Sen
Saba Naqvi
Ajit Shahi
Dr. Ram Puniyani
K Satchidanandan

Will stop Kudankulam if it’s found unsafe: Supreme Court #goodnews


PTI

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it can stop commissioning of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant if it finds that the mandatory safety requirements have not been followed. File photo
AP
Sept 27, New Delhi, PTI
The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it can stop commissioning of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant if it finds that the mandatory safety requirements have not been followed. File photo

The Supreme Court on Thursday made it clear that it can stop commissioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant if it finds that the mandatory safety requirements for it have not been in place.

A bench of justices K.S. Radhakrishanan and Deepak Misra said the safety of plant and the people living in its vicinity is its prime concern and issued notices to the Centre and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board on a plea challenging the environmental clearance given to the controversial project.

“We will not hesitate to stop the plant if we find that the mandatory safety requirements have not been taken care of at the site,” said the bench while posting the case for further hearing on October 4, 2012.

The court earlier had refused to stay loading of the fuel in the plant but had agreed to examine the risk associated with the project.

The court was hearing an appeal by social activist G. Sundarrajan against the Madras High Court’s decision refusing to impose any restraint against the plant.

The petitioner contended that after last year’s nuclear disaster in Fukushima in Japan, the Atomic Energy Regulation Board (AERB) had recommended 17 safety measures for the plant which have not been put in place.

It said till now only six safety measures have been adopted and the government will take two years to implement the rest of the recommendations.

“Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant will be more destructive than the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984”


 

COIMBATORE: A disaster at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant will be more destructive than the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984, saidSatinath Sarangi, one of the leaders of the movement seeking justice for victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy. He was speaking to TOI after interacting with students at the Park Group of Institutions on Wednesday.

Sarangi claimed that power plants in India including those in Tarapur in Maharashtra and Rawatbhata in Rajasthan were among the worst in the world with respect to safety measures. Researchers from other countries visit these plants to study how not to run them, he said. He added that in the case of the proposed Kudankulam power plant, the nuclear establishment was still to reveal safety measures.

Various government agencies have been suppressing problems they have created in areas surrounding the nuclear power plants, he said. Radiation leaks are common in the plants but the government has not yet conducted a study on the health issues caused by power plants. Getting even basic information on the number of people affected by radiation in areas near nuclear power plants is close to impossible, he added. Hospitals do not give information and even conducting surveys in villages in the vicinity are not allowed. Therefore, the hazardous effects that the power plants can cause are not yet known, he said.

Sarangi also spoke about the plight of the victims of Bhopal tragedy. He said the government has completely neglected the needs of thousands of people who were affected by the gas leak from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal three decades ago.

Thousands of kilo grams of chemical waste have been buried in and around the areas, contaminating underground water sources and creating serious health problems. Birth defects, cancers and diseases affecting the liver and kidneys are common in Bhopal, Sarangi said. To avoid similar situations the Kudankulam plant must be stopped, he said.

Actor Rahul Bose also interacted with the students and spoke about youth movements that target corruption and other pressing issues.

‘Action on anti-Kudankulamprotesters unjustified’


Chennai, September 26, 2012, DHNS:The recent police action on anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) protesters  represented a “very serious acts of illegality” and has created “fear psychosis among the people in the area”, said  a three-member fact finding team led by former Bombay High Court judge Justice B G Kolse Patil.

“I have never met with such atrocities of the police and the people are terrified,” Justice Patil said on Wednesday, speaking via Skype from Pune after one of the panel members released the Committee’s Report in Chennai on Wednesday evening.

The police had opened fired at protesters on September 9-10 near the sea and tear-gassed them in a nasty showdown.

“Even if tear gas is to be used, no warning was given as gleaned from the statements of the people we met in five villages in the vicinity of Kudankulam. Police have violated all laws and it appears that the government has suspended all constitutional rights of the people of Kudankulam area,” Patil said.

The other two members Kalpana Sharma, senior Mumbai-based Journalist and Tamil writer R N Joe D’ Cruz — said they had visited Idinthakarai, a tsunami colony nearby, Vairavikanaru, Kudankulam and a Juvenile Home at Palayamkottai on September 20-21.

Referring to the testimonies given by the people about the “violence let loose by the police against women, children and the elderly”, they said the “actions of the police also included acts of looting, damage to public and private property, open intimidation and use of abusive language and sexual gestures against women.”

At Idinthakarai, the centre of the anti-KNPP struggle for over a year now, the villagers complained about the “desecration” of the Lourdes Matha Church that involved allegedly breaking an idol of Mother Mary. The report said that  most houses were locked “as people are afraid to return to their homes.” “Villagers in Kudankulam are even more terrified as they live closest to the nuclear plant,” added the report.

In all these villages, irrespective of the arrested persons’ age including four juveniles and several senior citizens, “one common factor was each of those arrested were charged under identical IPC sections that included 124A (sedition) and 121(A) (waging war against the State),” the report said.

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