ALLAHABAD HC REJECTS CONSTABLE’S PETITION TO KEEP A BEARD
The Allahabad high court on August 12 dismissed a petition by an officer of the Uttar Pradesh police claiming that he had a fundamental right to maintain a beard. The petitioner, Mohammed Farman, filed two pleas: the first challenging an October, 2020 circular issued by the Director General of Police, UP which laid down guidelines for wearing a proper uniform and maintaining a proper appearance for members of the force. The second petition challenged a suspension order issued against Farman by the Deputy Inspector General of the Ayodhya police on November 5, 2020. Farman’s legal counsel, advocate Amit Bose argued that the October, 2020 circular violated the petitioner’s rights under Article 25 of the constitution. This Article pertains to the freedom of conscience, the freedom to profess, practise and propagate religion to all citizens.

TRIPLE TALAQ BAN HAS MADE LIFE DIFFICULT FOR WOMEN
The law banning instant triple talaq has made life even more difficult for women. Since the passage of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Act, close to 50 cases of triple talaq have been filed in Hyderabad. A triple talaq victim, who is the mother of three children, is contesting four cases of domestic violence, maintenance, dowry and harassment. “There are many cases pending. We are only roaming around courts. Triple talaq is sending our men to jail and it is making situation difficult for us,” she told India Today. Another woman also asserted that the law against triple talaq was making things more difficult for victims. “We receive minimum two cases for counselling; in a month we receive 50-60 such complaints. It shows the gravity of the situation. I request all to resolve their personal issues sincerely and not go for triple talaq,” said Khalida Parveen, an activist in Hyderabad.

UP WITHDREW 77 MUZAFFARNAGAR RIOTS CASES, SC TOLD
The Uttar Pradesh government has withdrawn 77 cases related to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots without giving any reason and these “may be examined by the High Court by exercising revisional jurisdiction”, recommended a report filed in Supreme Court on August 24. The recommendation was part of the report on data relating to pending cases against legislators submitted by Senior Advocate Vijay Hansaria, who was appointed to assist the court as amicus curiae in the matter. The report said the Standing Counsel for Uttar Pradesh informed that 510 cases relating to the riots were registered in five districts of Meerut zone against 6,869 accused. Chargesheet was filed in 175 of these cases and in 165 cases, final reports were submitted and 170 cases were expunged. “Thereafter, 77 cases were withdrawn by the state government under Section 321 of CrPC,” the report said, adding that the government orders “do not give any reasons for withdrawal” of the cases under the provision.

387 MOPLAH MARTYRS TO BE REMOVED FROM MARTYRS’ DICTIONARY
Malabar Rebellion leaders Variamkunnath Kunhamed Haji, Ali Musaliar and 387 other “Moplah martyrs” will be removed from the Dictionary of Martyrs of India’s Freedom Struggle, the Hindu reported on August 22. A three-member panel, which reviewed the entries in the fifth volume of the dictionary, brought out by the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR), is understood to have recommended the deletion as it felt that the 1921 rebellion was never part of the independence struggle but a fundamentalist movement focused on religious conversion. However, Speaker M.B. Rajesh described Haji as a warrior who refused to tender an apology to the British and chose martyrdom over deportation to Makkah. Om Jee Upadhyay, Director (Research and Administration), ICHR, said the list of freedom fighters would be modified as recommended by the panel and the dictionary would be out by October end.

GOVERNMENT WEBSITE REMOVES SECTION ON CULTURE
A section on a government website covering Indian culture and heritage was removed a day after social media complaints on August 23 led the site to delete the description of the Mughal Empire, the Hindu reported on August 24. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) reportedly deleted a para describing the Mughal Empire as one of the greatest empires ever on its KnowIndia.gov.in site. This was after the Culture Ministry was tagged by Twitter users complaining about the same. In response, the Culture Ministry said it was working with the agencies in charge to “accurately portray the events”. On Tuesday (August 24), the website no longer had the “culture and heritage” section that till Monday (August 23) evening took users to pages on history, monuments, people and lifestyle, performing arts and other activities related to the Culture Ministry. The page on medieval history, which in turn had the page on Mughal Empire that was altered on Monday, was part of this larger section, the report added.

DALIT AUTHORS REMOVED FROM DU ENGLISH SYLLABUS
Delhi University has come under criticism from some quarters after the Oversight Committee (OC) removed renowned author Mahasweta Devi’s short story and two Dalit authors from the English syllabus. In the Academic Council (AC) meeting held on August 25, 15 AC members submitted a dissent note against the OC and its functioning. They alleged there had been “maximum vandalism” in LOCF (Learning Outcomes based Curriculum Framework) English syllabus for Semester V. They said the OC first decided to remove two Dalit authors – Bama and Sukhartharini – and replaced them with “upper caste writer Ramabai”. “The Committee as an afterthought suddenly asked the English department to delete the celebrated short story of Mahasweta Devi, ‘Draupadi’ – a story about a tribal woman – without giving any academic logic.

‘DELHI POLICE RELIED ON BJP LEADER TWEET FOR FIR’: UMAR KHALID
Activist Umar Khalid on August 23 argued before a Delhi court that the police relied on a trimmed video clip tweeted by a Bharatiya Janata Party leader and aired by news channels for its First Information Report (FIR) against him. The court was hearing Khalid’s bail application in connection with an FIR lodged under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the Delhi riots conspiracy case. “Clearly the Delhi police had nothing except Republic TV and News18,” Senior Advocate Trideep Pais, appearing for Khalid, said. Pais said that he wrote to News18 and Republic TV seeking the raw footage of the speech they had aired on the channels. In response, News18 said that it did not have the raw footage and was taken from a tweet of a Bharatiya Janata Party leader. Republic TV said that the source of the video was BJP’s Information Technology Cell head Amit Malviya, Pais told the court. “It is [a case of] copying the tweet from a politician and placing it as your own news item,” Pais argued.

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