LATE CITY PUNE, THURSDAY DECEMBER 12, 2013 20+6 (NEWSLINE) PAGES Rs. 3.00 TheIndianEXPRESS JOURNALISM OF COURAGE DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD I CHANDIGARH I DELHI I KOLKATA I LUCKNOW I MUMBAI I NAGPUR I PUNE I VADODARA QUICK TAKES MiG-21 FL fighter, hero of ’71 war, takes its last flight KALAIKUNDA (WB): The MiG-21 FL fighter jet, which had heralded the “supersonic era” in IAF and had changed the course of the 1971 Indo-Pak war due to its accuracy, flew into the annals of history on Wednesday. P5 Kejriwal to meet Anna PUNE: AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal will meet a fasting Anna Hazare at Ralegan Siddhi on Thursday. The villagers have decided to give a hero's welcome to Kejriwal. He will reach Pune at 10 am. P4 Business as Usual By UNNY IndianExpress.com twitter.com/IndianExpress facebook.com/IndianExpress ❚ SC sets aside 2009 Delhi HC verdict holding Section 377 violative of right to equality ❚ Calls gays ‘minuscule’ section, says let Parliament decide on change or repeal of law Gay rights, SC wrongs UTKARSH ANAND NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 11 I N what turns the clock back on the rights of homosexuals in the country, the Supreme Court Wednesday set aside the historic 2009 Delhi High Court judgment that decriminalised gay sex by holding that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, by criminalising consensual sexual acts of adults in private, violated the principles of equality and non-discrimination in the Constitution. Under Section 377, voluntary“carnalintercourseagainst the order of nature with any man, woman or animal,” is punishable with imprisonment from 10 years to life. Withdrawing the legal protection to what it called a “minuscule fraction of the country’s population” comprising lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT), the Supreme Court ruled that Section 377 will continue making gay sex — “irrespective of age and consent” — an offence. The court held that Section 377 did “not suffer from any constitutional infirmity” and that it was for Parliament “to consider the desirability and propriety of deleting Section 377 from the statute book or amend it, as per the suggestion made by the Attorney General. The AG had in March 2012 told the court that SC counter: ■ Just because it can be misused doesn’t make it illegal ■ Why hasn’t Parliament done away with it when the Govt didn’t challenge the HC verdict? ■ Leave it to Parliament to decide CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Govt in the dock over ‘AP’, ‘FAM’ in middlemen’s ‘budget sheet’ MANU PUBBY & RAVISH TIWARI NEW DELHI, DEC 11 ■ Sec 377 regulates sexual conduct irrespective of gender, orientation a proviso would have to be added in Section 377 to exclude sexual activity between consenting adults in private.” A bench of Justice G S Singhvi and Justice S J Mukhopadhaya set aside what it called the “legally unsustainable” Delhi High Court verdict that Section 377 violated the principles of equality and non-discrimination contained in Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the constitution. Article 14 guarantees ensures equality before the law, Article 15 prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and Article 21 guarantees protection of life and personal liberty. There was hushed silence in the packed courtroom as Justice Singhvi began reading the concluding part of the 98page judgment — almost 21 months after the bench reserved it. The silence was soon re IndianExpress.com/Apps Activists from Voices Against 377 after the judgment, in New Delhi Wednesday. RAVI KANOJIA ‘Will our children now be seen as criminals?’ PREMANKUR BISWAS & ANURADHA MASCARENHAS KOLKATA, PUNE, DECEMBER 11 IN 2011, filmmaker Chitra Palekar was among 19 parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who came together and filed a petition in the Supreme Court to lend their support to the 2009 Delhi High Court verdict decriminalising homosexuality. On Wednesday, when the Supreme Court set aside that verdict, the Palekars struggled to come to terms with the new reality. “My daughter Shalmalee, who is a professor of post-colonial literature at University of Western Australia, wrote to me saying that the fight will continue,” said Chitra. “She said the Supreme Court has dealt a huge blow to progression of human rights in the country. It is an opportunity lost and I am both sad and furious.” Amol Palekar said the verdict was disturbing and not just for personal reasons. “The Supreme Court’s verdict is deeply saddening and a regressive step in human relationships. It’s clearly about majority and minority, a game of numbers and how ‘their’ choices are different from ‘ours’. It is not just about being parents to a homosexual child but something that threatens the core of human existence. I sincerely hope that we not just learn to accept differences and offer pity but see it with empathy,” he said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SPECIAL COVERAGE PAGE 8 & 12 THE UPA government has come under fresh pressure in connection with the alleged kickbackspaidintheVVIPchopperdealafterItalian prosecutorsproducedincourta“budget”drawn upbytwomiddlemenwhichpurportedlylistsinitialsofIndianpoliticiansanddesignationsofbureaucratsandIAFofficerswhoallegedlyhadtobe “handled”tofixthedeal. The document is a note Swiss businessman Guido Haschke claimed he wrote during a meeting with The ‘note’ by Guido British middle- Haschke man Christian Michelin2008. Under the IN heading “POL ” ACKS KICKB ER DEAL — Haschke has CHOPP explained in court this referred to Indian politicians — there is a reference to “AP” against which “3 million euro” has been listed. The other is “FAM” — explained by Italian investigatorsinotherdocumentsas“Family”— against which “15/16 million euro” has been listed. It is not clear if Haschke has explained in courtwhat“AP”and“FAM”referto. Bribesworth51millioneuroswereallegedly paidbytheAnglo-ItaliancompanytobagtheRs 3,546 crore contract. Three days after The IndianExpressfirstreportedsuchadocumenthad been produced in court in Italy, the opposition BJPWednesdaydemandedthegovernmentrevealwhatorwho“AP”and“FAM”standfor. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.