Saturday, February 24, 2018

Plastic Aadhaar cards not valid, UIDAI says people should not print them

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has asked citizens to stay away from vendors or outlets that make plastic Aadhaar card or PVC smart cards as it is unusable. This is due to the unauthorised printing of QR codes on the card at these shops which makes the card dysfunctional.

The UIDAI in a statement has also warned that using plastic or PVC smart cards can lead to sharing Aadhaar details without consent through deceitful means.

"So-called Aadhaar Smart card is totally unnecessary and a waste as during such printing its QR code often becomes dysfunctional. The Aadhaar card or the downloaded Aadhaar card printed on ordinary paper or mAadhaar is perfectly valid for all kind of uses,” said Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO, UIDAI.

“If a person has a paper Aadhaar card, there is absolutely no need to get his/her Aadhaar card laminated or obtain a plastic Aadhaar card or so called smart Aadhaar card by paying money. There is no concept such as smart or plastic Aadhaar card”, he added.

UIDAI emphasized that Aadhaar letter or its cutaway partition or a downloaded version of Aadhaar on normal paper or mAadhaar are absolutely valid and people should not fall prey to these " unscrupulous elements" who print plastic or PVC smart cards and charge anywhere between Rs 50 to Rs 300 for the service.

In case a person loses his Aadhaar card, he/she can download his Aadhaar card free of cost from UIDAI website. The print out of the downloaded Aadhaar card, even in black and white form, is as valid as the original Aadhaar letter sent by UIDAI.

CEO further advised not to share their Aadhaar number or personal details to any unauthorised agencies for getting it laminated, or printed on plastic card.

UIDAI has also informed unauthorised agencies not to collect Aadhaar information from general public for printing of Aadhaar card as collecting such information or unauthorised printing of Aadhaar card or aiding such persons in any manner amounts will be seen as a criminal offence and the person can be put behind the bars for it.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Hospital Asked To Pay Rs 30 Lakh To Child, Parents For Negligence

Delhi state consumer commission had directed the Max Hospital in Delhi's Pitampura area to pay Rs 30 lakh to a 10-year-old boy and his parents for negligence at the time of delivery leading to permanent abnormality in the child's left arm.
The Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission bench imposed the hefty amount on the private hospital saying this may serve the purpose of bringing about a "qualitative change" in the attitude of hospitals of providing "service to the human beings as human beings".
The commission awarded a compensation of Rs 20 lakh to Sonepat-based Ritesh Kumar Garg, Aarti Garg and their son Kush Garg for the suffering, mental pain and agony caused to them.

Besides this, it also directed the hospital to pay Rs five lakh to the mother as incidental expenses incurred from the time she was admitted for delivery till the child's check-up at a hospital in Mumbai and another Rs five lakh to them as litigation cost.
"This may serve the purpose of bringing about a qualitative change in the attitude of the hospitals of providing service to the human beings as human beings.
"Human touch is necessary; that is their code of conduct; that is their duty and that is what is required to be implemented," a bench of member (judicial) O P Gupta and member Anil Srivastava said.
It said proper and due care was not exercised while conducting the woman's delivery leading to shoulder dystocia (when baby's head passes through the birth canal and their shoulders become stuck during labour) resulting in permanent disability.
"The negligence on the part of the hospital is writ large of the face and is established...," the commission held.
The parents had approached the commission alleging medical negligence on the part of the hospital at the time of delivery, damaging the neuro motor functioning of the child's left arm.
The child was born at the hospital on June 5, 2007, and the doctors had claimed that everything was fine but soon after the birth, abnormality was discovered in the child's left arm allegedly due to crude and violent pulling of baby.
The parents consulted various other hospitals but the damage could not be rectified and the child showed no improvement, the complaint said.
The hospital, however, claimed that the allegations of negligence and deficiency of service were false and baseless.
It also maintained that the doctors had taken the utmost care and due precaution in handling the delivery of the baby and no malfunctioning in the child's left arm was discovered at the time of delivery.

Legal Rights for Woman

10 Legal Rights every woman must know

Knowing the times that we are in, we give you, yet again, an overview of some important legal rights for women that every one must be aware of.

Free legal aid

Exercise your right to free legal aid. Often, women go to the police station unaccompanied by a lawyer to get their statement recorded, and they stand the risk of being misquoted or their statement being tampered with. The police may also treat the entire episode lightly and not lodge an FIR. So, it is necessary to have a lawyer with you while you lodge the FIR. “According to a Delhi High Court ruling, whenever a rape is reported, the SHO has to bring this to the notice of the Delhi Legal Services Authority. The legal body then arranges for a lawyer for the victim,” says Saumya Bhaumik, women rights lawyer.

Right to privacy while recording statement

Under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a woman who has been raped can record her statement before the district magistrate when the case is under trial, and no one else needs to be present. Alternatively, she can record the statement with only one police officer and woman constable in a convenient place that is not crowded and does not provide any possibility of the statement being overheard by a fourth person. The cops have to, by law, upkeep the woman’s right to privacy. It’s important for the person to feel comfortable and not be under any kind of stress while narrating the incident.

Time doesn’t matter

The police cannot refuse to register an FIR even if a considerable period of time has elapsed since the incident of rape or molestation took place. If the police tells you that they can’t lodge your FIR since you didn’t report it earlier, do not concede. “Rape is a horrifying incident for any woman, so it’s natural for her to go into shock and not want to report it immediately. She may also fear for her safety and the reputation and dignity of her family. For this reason, the Supreme Court has ruled that the police must register an FIR even if there has been a gap between the report and the occurrence of the incident,” says Tariq Abeed, advocate, Supreme Court.

Email to the rescue

According to the guidelines issued by the Delhi Police, a woman has the privilege of lodging a complaint via email or registered post. If, for some reason, a woman can’t go to the police station, she can send a written complaint through an email or registered post addressed to a senior police officer of the level of Deputy Commissioner or Commissioner of Police. The officer then directs the SHO of the police station, of the area where the incident occurred, to conduct proper verification of the complainant and lodge an FIR. The police can then come over to the residence of the victim to take her statement.

Cops can’t say no

Arape victim can register her police complaint from any police station under the Zero FIR ruling by Supreme Court. “Sometimes, the police station under which the incident occurs refuses to register the victim’s complaint in order to keep clear of responsibility, and tries sending the victim to another police station. In such cases, she has the right to lodge an FIR at any police station in the city under the Zero FIR ruling. The senior officer will then direct the SHO of the concerned police station to lodge the FIR,” says Abeed. This is a Supreme Court ruling that not many women are aware of, so don’t let the SHO of a police station send you away saying it “doesn’t come under his area”.

No arrests after sunset

According to a Supreme Court ruling, a woman cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise. There are many cases of women being harassed by the police at wee hours, but all this can be avoided if you exercise the right of being present in the police station only during daytime. “Even if there is a woman constable accompanying the officers, the police can’t arrest a woman at night. In case the woman has committed a serious crime, the police has to get it in writing from the magistrate explaining why the arrest is necessary during the night,” says Bhaumik.

You can’t be called to the police station

Women cannot be called to the police station for interrogation under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code. This law provides Indian women the right of not being physically present at the police station for interrogation. “The police can interrogate a woman at her residence in the presence of a woman constable and family members or friends,” says Abeed. So, the next time you’re called to the police station for queries or interrogation when you have faced any kind of harassment, quote this guideline of the Supreme Court to exercise your right and remind the cops about it.

Protect your identity

Under no circumstances can the identity of a rape victim be revealed. Neither the police nor media can make known the name of the victim in public. Section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code makes the disclosure of a victim’s identity a punishable offense. Printing or publishing the name or any matter which may make known the identity of a woman against whom an offense has been committed is punishable. This is done to prevent social victimisation or ostracism of the victim of a sexual offense. Even while a judgment is in progress at the high court or a lower court, the name of the victim is not indicated, she is only described as ‘victim’ in the judgment.

The doctor can’t decide

Acase of rape can’t be dismissed even if the doctor says rape had not taken place. A victim of rape needs to be medically examined as per Section 164 A of the Criminal Procedure Code, and only the report can act as proof. “A woman has the right to have a copy of the medical report from the doctor. Rape is crime and not a medical condition. It is a legal term and not a diagnosis to be made by the medical officer treating the victim. The only statement that can be made by the medical officer is that there is evidence of recent sexual activity. Whether the rape has occurred or not is a legal conclusion and the doctor can’t decide on this,” explains Bhaumik.

Employers must protect

It is the duty of every employer to create a Sexual Harassment Complaints Committee within the organisation for redressal of such complaints. According to a guideline issued by the Supreme Court, it is mandatory for all firms, public and private, to set up these committees to resolve matters of sexual harassment. It is also necessary that the committee be headed by a woman and comprise 50% women as members. Also, one of the members should be from a women’s welfare group.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

SC orders Lucknow medical college to pay Rs 10 lakh each to 150 students who were illegally admitted

The Supreme Court directed a medical college in Lucknow to grant compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the 150 students it had admitted in the MBBS course without formal permission from the government,.
The court also told the college to refund the students’ fees and pay a fine of Rs 25 lakh to the Supreme Court registry and barred it from admitting students for the 2018-’19 academic year.
The college, run by the GRCG Memorial Trust, was one of the 32 institutions that the Medical Council of India had barred from admitting medical students till 2019 because of substandard facilities and not fulfilling other criteria.
The college had moved the Allahabad High Court against the medical council’s order. In September, the High Court had allowed the college to admit the 150 students despite the medical council concluding that it had indulged in “unethical and callous” practices.
A Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud rebuked the High Court and said this was a case of “judicial indiscipline and impropriety”.
“It is most unfortunate, which may cause [an] institutional problem,” the bench said. The lawyers appearing for the medical council said that the High Court failed to consider that the college had poor infrastructure, clinical material, and faculty.
The top court also reprimanded the GCRG Medical Trust and said that it had jeopardized students’ careers by illegally admitting them. The college must compensate them for “playing with their careers” and “polluting young minds”, the court said.

India's farmed chickens dosed with world's strongest antibiotics, study finds

Chickens raised in India for food have been dosed with some of the strongest antibiotics known to medicine, in practices that could have repercussions throughout the world.
Hundreds of tonnes of an “antibiotic of last resort” – only used in the most extreme cases of sickness - are shipped to India each year to be used, without medical supervision, on animals that may not require the drugs but are being dosed with them nevertheless to promote the growth of healthy animals.
Routine use of some of the strongest antibiotics, which doctors have said should be preserved for the most extreme cases lest resistance to them should increase and prevent their use for the diseases for which they are intended, is now a common practice in farming in the developing world. The consequences will be felt throughout the world because resistance to strong antibiotics is spread among organisms.
Germs with qualities that can make them dangerous to humans will, if untreated or poorly treated, mutate into more powerful pathogens that are resistant to treatment. Poor or inadequate public heath treatments assists this process, potentially spreading pathogens around the world.
A study by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has found that hundreds of tonnes of colistin, described as an antibiotic of last resort, have been shipped to India for the routine treatment of animals, chiefly chickens, on farms.
The finding is concerning because the use of such powerful drugs can lead to an increasing resistance among farm animals around the world. Colistin is regarded as one of the last lines of defence against serious diseases, including pneumonia, which cannot be treated by other medicines. Without these drugs, diseases that were commonly treatable in the last century will become deadly once again.
There is nothing to prevent Indian farmers, which include some of the world’s biggest food producers, from exporting their chickens and other related products overseas. There are currently no regulations that would prevent such export to the UK on hygiene terms, except for those agreed under the EU. Any regulations to be negotiated after Brexit might not take account of these regulations.

Oxford professor charged with raping two women

The prominent Swiss academic Tariq Ramadan, a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at the University of Oxford, has been charged with rape and ordered to remain in custody in France.
Ramadan, 55, is being held on charges of rape and rape of a vulnerable person after two women accused him of violently assaulting them in hotel rooms in Lyon and Paris in 2009 and 2012 after conferences.
A regular face on French television, he is the most prominent figure to be held in France after the women, emboldened by the #MeToo campaign to stamp out sexual assault and harassment, went to the police.
The professor – who made his name as an author and commentator on modern Islam, as well as advising successive British governments on Islam and society – has denied the separate accusations by the two women.
After two days of questioning Ramadan, who is married with four children, was brought before three magistrates who have been assigned to the case, suggesting that he is facing an extensive investigation, judicial sources told AFP. In the full investigation opened this week, French magistrates must establish whether he should stand trial.
The first police complaint against Ramadan was made by Henda Ayari, 41, a feminist activist who previously practised a conservative strain of Islam and now heads the women’s organisation Les Lib√©ratrices
She filed a complaint with prosecutors in Rouen in October 2017 alleging rape, sexual violence, harassment and intimidation by Ramadan. She said she was assaulted by him in a Paris hotel room after a conference in 2012. 
“He choked me so hard that I thought I was going to die,” she told Le Parisien newspaper. “He slapped me because I resisted. He raped me. I felt I was in extreme danger.” She said she had gone to talk to him at his hotel after the conference as a kind of “big brother figure”.
Ayari had described the rape in a chapter of her 2016 book, I Chose to be Free, giving her assailant a made-up name and saying that an intellectual had attacked her in a hotel room. She fought back but was insulted, slapped and treated violently, she wrote.
After the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault and harassment scandal broke in the autumn of 2017 Ayari said she had decided to go public and name Ramadan. She made a formal complaint on October 20.
A few days later an anonymous disabled woman, a Muslim convert, accused the academic of raping and violently assaulting her in a hotel room in the south-eastern city of Lyon in 2009.
The French edition of Vanity Fair magazine, whose staff met the 45-year-old woman, said her lawsuit against Ramadan described “blows to the face and body, forced sodomy, rape with an object and various humiliations, including being dragged by the hair to the bathtub and urinated on”.
The woman said Ramadan had asked to meet her in the bar of the Hilton hotel in Lyon, where he was taking part in a conference in 2009. She had previously been in contact with him online for some months, seeking advice. 
In online messages and chats, Ramadan had told the woman he was living separately from his wife, the French newspaper Le Monde reported. 
In the hotel bar Ramadan had complained that people had recognised him and were staring at him, suggesting they instead go to his room. He took the stairs while the woman, who walks with a crutch after a car accident, took the lift. The woman said she was attacked very soon after entering the room, sustaining blows to the face, arms, breasts and stomach before being repeatedly raped.
During three hours of testimony in Paris on Thursday, the woman — referred to in the media by the pseudonym “Christelle” — recounted her allegations to the judge in Ramadan’s presence. She said that Ramadan had a small scar on his groin that could only be seen through close contact, a source said.
Rejecting her testimony outright, Ramadan refused to sign the official summary of the account, sources close to the case said. “Both sides maintained their positions,” a legal source said.
Eric Morain, Christelle’s lawyer, said the charges were “an important step” after what he called “a painstaking three-month investigation, 48 hours of police questioning and a confrontation with my client”.
Police have interviewed dozens of people close to both Ramadan and the two women, and examined email and social media exchanges between them.
Ramadan, a senior research fellow of St Antony’s College, took leave of absence from Oxford University last November “by mutual agreement” after the two women filed complaints. 
He continues to head the Islamic Institute for Ethical Training in France.
Ayari was placed under police protection in November after receiving death threats.