DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 20 PAGES BY UNNY RELIEF TO INTER-FAITH COUPLES: ‘INVITING OBJECTIONS CANNOT VIOLATE BASIC RIGHTS' 30-day notice period not mandatory under Spl Marriage Act: Allahabad HC ‘Cruel to force this generation to follow 150-yr-old customs’ APURVA VISHWANATH NEW DELHI, JANUARY 13 Doval goes to Afghanistan, focus on terror SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, JANUARY 13 IN A trip that was kept under wraps before it got underway, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Wednesday visited Afghanistan for talks on strategic issues with the leadership in Kabul. The Afghan government saidtheconversationswereabout “synchronising efforts to combat terrorism and build peace”. This is the first visit by a senior Indian official after the Afghan political stakeholders and the Taliban startedtheir reconciliation process last year. India attended the US-brokered peace pact signing in Doha CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In a judgment removing hindrances to inter-faith marriages, and likely to have a bearing on the set of laws enacted by BJPruled states including Uttar Pradesh that prohibit religious conversion for marriage, the Allahabad High Court has ruled that couples seeking to solemnise their marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 can choose not to publish the mandatory 30-day notice of their intention to marry. Section 5 of the Special Marriage Act, the legislation that allowssolemnisationofmarriages irrespective of the religion of the couple, requires parties to give a 30-day public notice of their intention to marry. The public noticeisdisplayedattheofficeofthe marriageofficer,invitingpotential objections to the marriage. In his order Tuesday, Justice Vivek Chaudhary said: “The interpretation of Sections 6 and 7 read with Section 46 containing the procedure of publication of notice and inviting objections to the intended marriage in Act of 1954 thus has to be such that would uphold the fundamental rights and not violate the same. Incasethesameontheirsimplistic reading are held mandatory, as per the law declared today, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PAGE 14 NEW DELHI, JANUARY 13 COVAXIN DELIVERY STARTS Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin being airlited from Hyderabad on Wednesday. Source: @BharatBiotech REPORTS,PAGE6 Panchayat seats for sale, EC scraps 2 ‘auction elections’ PARTHA SARATHI BISWAS PUNE, JANUARY 13 INMANYpocketsofMaharashtra, whereelectionstogrampanchayats are scheduled to be held on THE RULING comes as a relief to inter-faith couples who are being increasingly targeted by vigilante groups. The court noted the impact that similar provisions in anti-conversion laws could have. ABHINAV RAJPUT MAHARASHTRA RURAL POLLS January 15, democracy is up for sale — to the highest bidder. Complaints and videos of auctions for panchayat seats prompted the Election Commission on Wednesday to cancel elections to two gram panchayats — in Umrane village E Notice violates ● privacy Citing bird flu, Delhi civic bodies ban sale of chicken THE WORLD TRUMP ON VERGE OF SECOND IMPEACHMENT PAK COURT SENTENCES HAFIZ SAEED’S AIDES TO OVER 15 YRS IN JAIL of Nashik and Kondamali of Nandurbar, where the auctions reportedlyfetchedRs2croreand Rs 42 lakh respectively. The Indian Express visited three gram panchayats in Khed taluka of Pune district — Moi, Kuruli and Kude Budruk — and `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 E X P L A I NE D BUSINESS AS USUAL JOURNALISM OF COURAGE found that all the panchayat members had been elected unopposed.Agrampanchayatusually has nine to 18 members, depending on the size and population of the villages. Also, in all three gram CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EVEN AS both the Centre and Delhigovernmenthavesaidthat it is safe to consume “properly cooked poultry products” and “Avian Influenza is not transmitted through cooked food”, all three municipal corporations of Delhi on Wednesday ordered a ban on the sale and storage of “poultry, processed or packaged chicken meat”. While the written orders did not specify if sale of eggs was also banned, senior officials in the North and South MCDs said eggs were also prohibited. In addition, the North Delhi MunicipalCorporationandSouth DelhiMunicipalCorporationalso ordered restaurants not to serve “poultry meat, poultry product and egg-based dishes”. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CABINET COMMITTEE ON SECURITY Make-in-Indiamega deal:83Tejasfighters clearedforAirForce Self-reliance gamechanger, LCA backbone of fleet: Rajnath KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, JANUARY 13 APPROVING THE largest indigenous defence procurement as part of measures to strengthen the armed forces amid a standoff with China on the Line of ActualControlandtensionswith Pakistan over its terror infrastructure, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) clearedWednesdayadealworth nearlyRs48,000crorefortheacquisition of 83 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft for the Indian Air Force. DesignedbytheAeronautical Development Agency under the Department of Defence Research and Development, the Tejas Mk-1A multirole light fighterswillbemanufacturedby state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It willbeanimprovementoverthe Mk-1 version. The IAF acquired 40 of the earlier variant in two deals — 20 were Initial Operational Clearance standard aircraft (16 fighters and four trainers) while the next 20 were Final Operational Clearance standard aircraft. The Tejas Mk-1A order, cleared last March by the Defence Acquisition Council, was approved by the CCS at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh,inTwitterposts,described CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 TEJAS LCA MK-1A ■ Will increase IAF squadron strength; improved version of older Mk-1 variant ■ Active Electronically Scanned Array radar; Beyond Visual Range airto-air missiles ■ Advanced Electronic Warfare suite; air-to-air refuelling capability ‘Being nice to everybody isn’t foreign policy… have to make strategic choices’ PAROMITA CHAKRABARTI NEW DELHI, JANUARY 13 WHEN IT comes to engaging with India, United States is an open door. “You (India) can push on that door and the answer will be yes, most probably. But what does India want? And in order for India to decide what itwants, it needs to have a strategic conception of its place in the world, Zakaria at the Express Adda its place in Asia, and it doesn’t right now,” said Fareed Zakaria, international affairs columnist, CNNnewshostandauthor,inresponseto a question onwhether 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.