29122017-TT-01.qxd 12/28/2017 10:22 PM Page 1 13 established in 1881 friday, december 29, 2017 himachal pradesh chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 137 no. 359 | 20 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Sale syl Monthly LPG price hike withdrawn Minister Mufti New Delhi: The government has withdrawn its decision to raise LPG prices by ~4 per cylinder every month as the move was seen contrary to its Ujjwala scheme of providing free cooking gas connections to the poor. The government had previously ordered public sector oil marketing companies to raise domestic cooking gas prices by ~4 per cylinder every month beginning June 2016 with a view to ending subsidies. INSIDE Opposition’s demand for deeper scrutiny rejected Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service Himachal ministers yet to get portfolios Shimla: While the process of making appointments to the Himachal CM’s office continues, there is no confirmation about the portfolios of the newly inducted ministers in the Jai Ram Thakur Cabinet. The wait for portfolio allocation continued for the second day on Thursday even as ministers’ supporters and constituents made a beeline for the secretariat to greet them. INSIDE Instant triple talaq Bill gets instant nod in LS Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti’s Council of Ministers saw two additions on Thursday — brother Tassaduq Mufti (above), who got the key tourism portfolio; and Javaid Mustafa Mir, who got relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction and floriculture portfolio. INSIDE New Delhi, December 28 After an acrimonious debate, the Lok Sabha today passed a Bill by voice vote to prevent and criminalise instant triple talaq in the Muslim community, amid demands from the Opposition to refer the Bill to a standing committee for deeper scrutiny — which was rejected by the government. “The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017”, if passed by both Houses, will set aside the practice of talaq-e-biddat — where pronouncement of the word “talaq” thrice in one sitting by a Muslim man to his wife resulted in instant and irrevocable divorce. As per the Bill, instant talaq, including in written or electronic form, will be void and not enforceable legally. The Bill states reasons for bringing in the law as “a boost to liberate Indian Muslim women from the age-old practice of capricious and whimsical method of divorce, by some Muslim men, leaving no room for reconciliation”. The Bill deals only with instant talaq. In the case of Shayara Bano vs Union of India in August, the Supreme Court had set aside talaq-e-biddat. Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad said this was for gender justice and equality for Muslim women. Terming it a “historic day”, he said the practice of instant triple talaq had continued despite the SC order terming it void. The Congress supported the Bill but had issues with its criminality part. MP from Silchar Sushmita Dev said, “If the husband goes to jail, who will give maintenance?” The collective Opposition questioned the need for a criminal provision prescribing imprisonment. Some among the Congress wanted the clause removed, but amendments moved to remove the criminal part were negated by a voice vote. Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar questioned the Muslim Personal Law Board, saying, “Who chose them to be the community’s representatives?” He added, “This slogan ‘Islam khatre mein hai’ was used before Independence to divide India and is now being used to divide society.” AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said the criminal provision was just to put more Muslim men in jail. More on page 9 Hegde’s apology in LS, uproar in Rajya Sabha New Delhi, December 28 Even as Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde tendered his apology in the Lok Sabha for his reported remarks on secularism, Constitution and Bhim Rao Ambedkar, ruckus over the issue continued in the Rajya Sabha with Rahul Gandhi-led Congress members staging a protest outside Parliament demanding the minister’s resignation. While tendering his apology, Hegde claimed his remarks were “distorted”. Initially, when he stood up to speak, he only offered a clarification on his remarks. But with a nudge from Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, he offered his apology. As soon as the House assembled, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge sought to raise the issue of Hegde’s controversial remarks on secularism and changing the Constitution, but the Speaker intervened, saying the minister would make a statement. UNITED HOUSE SLAMS ISLAMABAD ON JADHAV Both Houses on Thursday jointly endorsed Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s statement on the Kulbhushan Jadhav matter and condemned strongly Pakistan’s “obnoxious” behaviour. Apprising Parliament of the meeting between Jadhav and his wife and mother in Islamabad on December 25, Swaraj dismissed Pakistan’s claims of it being a humanitarian gesture. BACK PAGE Hegde first said he held the country, the Constitution and its architect BR Ambedkar in high esteem and there was no question of showing disrespect to them. Kharge again protested, demanding an apology. The Speaker then told Hegde that there was no question of anyone showing disrespect to Ambedkar but, at times, if someone says something, his or her statement may hurt continued on page 9
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).