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Government drafts a law to ban Triple Talaq; Here are five things to know

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The bill makes it illegal for a Muslim man to divorce a woman by uttering Talaq word three times. In case of such incidents, it also puts a punishment of three years of jail term.

The central government has drafted a bill to ban instant Triple Talaq. The age-old practice in the Muslim community had sparked a row after a number of women from the community came out demanding an action against the unfair practice.

The matter was in Supreme Court in August this year. The apex court did term it ‘unconstitutional’, however, it set the ball in Central government’s court by asking it to prepare a bill banning the same.

The draft was prepared by a committee headed by India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh. It also included Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad among others.

The bill makes it illegal for a Muslim man to divorce a woman by uttering Talaq word three times. In case of such incidents, it also puts a punishment of three years of jail term.

Here are the five things you must know about the bill:

1. The draft law classifies triple talaq as cognizable and non-bailable and has been circulated to states for consultations.

2. It seeks to ban and criminalise triple talaq – whether conveyed in written, spoken or electronic.

3. The draft law will make the offence punishable by three-years jail and a monetary fine.

4. A woman who has been given instant triple talaq will be able to move court, seeking ‘subsistence allowance’ for herself and dependent children, as well as custody of minor children.

5. It will not be applicable to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

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Central government not in favour of slashing excise duty on fuel prices

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As mentioned by a senior official on Monday, the finance ministry is not in favour of cutting excise duty on fuel prices even though petrol prices hit a 55-month high in the national capital today at Rs 74.50 per litre, while diesel rates reached Rs 65.75. The finance ministry instead wants states to cut sales tax or Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel, he added.

It must be mentioned that the government wants to reduce fiscal deficit to 3.3% of the GDP in the current fiscal from 3.5% of the last fiscal. “Excise duty cut would be a political call, but is not advisable if we have to stick to the fiscal deficit glide path outlined in Budget,” he said.

“Every rupee cut of excise on fuel will result in a loss of Rs 13,000 crore to the government,” the official said, adding that the oil ministry has not yet officially asked for a cut in fuel excise duty.

State-owned oil firms, which have been since June last year revising auto fuel prices daily, today raised petrol and diesel rates by 10 paise per litre each in Delhi, according to a price notification.

India has the highest retail prices of petrol and diesel among South Asian nations as taxes account for half of the pump rates.

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Madhya Pradesh, Puducherry and 3 Northeastern states to rollout intra-State e-way bill from April 25

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Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Meghalaya are the 3 northeastern states to join

The GST council on Monday announced the third phase of the e-way bill system for the intra-state transport of goods. From April 25 this system will be further applied in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, and Puducherry.

Till now the e-way bill system is applicable for intra-State transport in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.

The union government issued a release and said: “E-way bills are getting generated successfully and till 22nd April 2018, more than 1.84 crore e-way bills have been successfully generated which includes more than 22 lakh e-way bills for the intra-State movement of goods”.

“With the roll-out of e-way bill system in these States/union territory, it is expected that trade and industry will be further facilitated insofar as the transport of goods is concerned, thereby eventually paving the way for a nation-wide single e-waybill system,” the government further added.

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Home Ministry withdraws AFSPA from Meghalaya, eight police stations in Arunachal Pradesh

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NEW DELHI: The Union Home Ministry on Monday in its gazette notification has withdrawn the contentious Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA) from the state of Meghalaya as well as eight police stations in Arunachal Pradesh.

The ministry has issued a statement that AFSPA has been revoked from all parts of Meghalaya and has been reduced from 16 police stations to eight, with effect from March 31, 2018.

Till September 2017, 40 percent of Meghalaya was under AFSPA.

The Congress member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh Ninong Ering has been opposing the extension of the AFSPA in some parts of the state, saying it was “misused by the army”. Ering said that in the name of the Act, the army “harassed and tortured” villagers.

AFSPA is now applicable only to 8 police stations in Arunachal, down from 16 police stations in 2017. The Home Ministry has also enhanced the aid under the surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy for militants in the northeast from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 4 lakh. The policy will be applicable from April 1, 2018.

The government also relaxed the restricted area permit and protected area permit for foreigners visiting Manipur, Mizoram, and Nagaland. Restrictions, however, will remain for “countries of concern”, which include Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China.

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was enacted in 1958 to bring under control what the government of India considered ‘disturbed’ areas.

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