The Supreme Court will revisit its 2013 decision that gay sex in India is a crime. The court today referred the subject to a larger bench.
In 2013, the court had cancelled a high court order that had decriminalized homosexuality by overturning a colonial-era law.
The court today said the decision needs to be reconsidered because of constitutional issues. "We think it appropriate to send this issue to a larger bench," the court said.
"Sex between two consenting adults can be crime and it needs to be debated," said the top court.
China today defended Pakistan saying the world community should acknowledge its all-weather ally's "outstanding contribution" to counter terrorism, a day after US President Donald Trump lashed out at Islamabad for providing safe havens to terrorists.
Mr Trump had on Monday accused Pakistan of "lies and deceit" and of fooling US leaders while sheltering terrorists.
"The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools," Mr Trump had tweeted yesterday.
"They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!", he said in a scathing criticism of Pakistan.
Today China, on expected lines, praised Pakistan's counter terrorism record.
"Pakistan has made enormous efforts and sacrifice fo the fight against terrorism and has made very outstanding contribution to the global cause of counter terrorism. The international community should acknowledge that," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said here when asked about Trump's criticism of Pakistan.
He said China is glad to see Pakistan engaging in international cooperation, including counter terrorism, on the basis of mutual respect so as to contribute to regional peace and stability.
"China and Pakistan are all weather partners. We stand ready to promote and deepen our all-round cooperation so as to bring benefits to the two sides," Mr Geng said.
China is currently investing heavily in Pakistan as part of the USD 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) over which India has raised objections as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
During the first ever trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan here last week, Beijing had announced plans to extend the CPEC to Afghanistan which shares close ties with India.
Afghanistan also accuses Pakistan of sheltering Taliban militants, leading to a long running spat between the two countries. China is seeking to mediate between the two neighbours through the trilateral mechanism.
Analysts here say US is mounting pressure on Pakistan as it has firmed up an alliance with Beijing by allowing heavy Chinese investments in the strategic CPEC corridor providing China access to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Asked whether Mr Trump's criticism would affect China's efforts to bring peace between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Geng said "We believe as neighbours China, Pakistan and Afghanistan are closely linked not only geographically but also in terms of common interests. It is natural for us to enhance communication and exchanges".
He said during the December 26 trilateral meet, the three countries "reached a lot of consensus" on cooperation. This included the three nations enhancing cooperation on counter terrorism and fighting against terrorism in all forms and manifestations. "The parties will enhance cooperation in this regard," Mr Geng said.
In his strongest attack against Pakistan yet, Mr Trump in his first tweet of the year on New Year's Day also appeared to suggest he could cut off foreign aid to Pakistan.
His remarks came days after the New York Times reported that the US is considering withholding USD 225 million in aid to Pakistan, reflecting its dissatisfaction with Islamabad's reluctance in the war against terrorism.
The Dec 19 document, which refers to "Financial Action Task Force (FATF) issues", names only Saeed's two purported charities and "actions to be taken" against them.
US President Donald Trump ripped into Pakistan on Monday, declaring on Twitter that American governments had over the last 15 years "foolishly" given 33 billion dollars in aid to Islamabad that gave "safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan".
A day after the Lok Sabha passed the contentious bill on instant triple talaq, the development was hailed by several Muslim women involved in judicial war against the practice, with a rider that the government should have also banned polygamy.
Palestine recalled its ambassador to Pakistan who had shared the stage with 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed after an angry India today told Palestinian authorities that its ambassador's association with the global terrorist was "unacceptable".
In the middle of a bitter tussle for power with Lieutenant Governor that had reached the Supreme Court, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday received unusual support from several opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha. Leaders of four parties called for an end to the turf war in Delhi, with the Samajwadi Party accusing the centre's nominee of treating the Chief Minister like a peon.
"The Delhi government has no powers. The Lieutenant Governor treats Delhi's Chief Minister like a chaparasi (peon). This is an insult to the Chief Minister," Samajwadi Party's Naresh Agarwal told the Rajya Sabha, seeking more powers for the Aam Aadmi Party government in the national capital.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party has repeatedly accused Lieutenant Governors - first Najeeb Jung and then his successor Anil Baijal -- of overstepping their limits and blocking the Delhi government's moves on the orders of the BJP-led Central Government. A petition filed by Chief Minister Kejriwal is also pending before the Supreme Court's Constitution Bench.
Arvind Kejriwal has blamed the Lt Governor for trying to block initiatives taken by the elected government on several occasions. Just this week, Mr Kejriwal had accused Lt Governor Anil Baijal for vetoing his plan to start home delivery of public services such as birth certificates and ration cards to residents.
The Samajwadi Party leader had come to the AAP government's defence in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, when during a debate on regularizing unauthorized constructions in Delhi, Union Minister Vijay Goel blamed the elected government for failing to act against illegal constructions and asked the government to dismiss the elected government.
The Aam Aadmi Party does not have a seat in the Rajya Sabha yet. That is set to change when elections are held for three Rajya Sabha seats from Delhi next month.
Mr Agarwal, whose concerns were later echoed by speakers from the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress and two of her bitter rivals, CPI and the CPM, countered attacks on the elected government.
But it is Delhi's three municipal corporations, where the BJP is in power, that are mandated to check unauthorized constructions, Mr Agarwal said, rebutting Union Minister Goel, also a BJP leader from Delhi. "In any case, you can level allegations against the Delhi government when it has some power," he asserted.
With several lawmakers seeking an end to the turf war in Delhi, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurian later asked Union Urban Development Minister Hardee Singh Puri to do something about it.
The former diplomat accepted the suggestion, promising to try to broker peace between the Chief Minister and Lieutenant Governor but conceded that it was not going to be easy.
"In four decades of public life, I have faced many challenges. I tried to negotiate with terrorists. This is going to be a difficult one, but I accept your challenge and I will try and negotiate," the minister told the House.
MUMBAI: Fourteen people including 11 women, most of them in their 20s and early 30s, were killed and several injured in a massive fire that started from a restaurant in Mumbai's Kamala Mills compound late on Thursday night, and spread rapidly to nearby restaurants and offices as well. Fire fighters took more than three hours to douse the flames that leapt up in central Mumbai's nightlife hub. The doctors have said that the victims died of suffocation. Five Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials have been suspended and a case has been registered against the owners of the restaurant "1 Above" where the fire broke out. Two of them have been detained.
MOSCOW: As a presidential campaign with predictable results kicks off in Russia, opposition leader Alexei Navalny announced his dark-horse bid despite the government's warnings that he will be disqualified before the ballots are printed for the March election.
In a small forest and dacha community on the outskirts of Moscow, exactly 742 supporters raised small red voting cards in support of the whistleblower turned opposition leader, who over the past half-decade has become the most dogged foe of President Vladimir Putin. Navalny needed at least 500 people to formally nominate him.
"Vladimir Putin, you should not be president anymore," he said during the meeting of an "initiative group" to register his bid. "You are a bad president. You have no positive platform. We are sending you a message in these elections and are ready to win."
It was a rare, focused political spectacle in Russia that marked a contrast to the ebb and flow of protest over the past five years, one with a clear political agenda: to register the country's most prominent opposition politician for the presidential election despite a seeming open-and-shut government case to keep him out.
Navalny, who was convicted of fraud in a 2014 verdict that he called politicized, is not allowed to run for president under Russian electoral law, which bars anyone with a criminal conviction from seeking elected office. He says nothing in the constitution prevents his bid, which is true, and argues that he should be allowed to run.
It is not clear that the argument will hold any water with Russia's electoral commission.
But Navalny supporters at the Sunday gathering shrugged off the doubts and reveled in the moment.
"The only thing I can compare it to is like a political rally in the West with the confetti coming down," said Danill Bankin, a 20-year-old political studies student who attended the meeting in Serebryany Bor, a wealthy community blanketed with snow on Christmas Eve. "A lot of people say Russians are apathetic, but I think the youths are really becoming active again."
There were signs that this is anything but a normal presidential bid. The official address of the registration was: Fourth Street Serebryany Bor, Beach No. 3. It was so cold that the printers froze before they could spit out all the documents needed to be furnished to the election commission.
"Everything was perfect, totally in accordance with the law. Even the election workers (who attended the event to ensure everything was above board) had no gripes," said Alexander, a 30-year-old Moscow resident who later joined a protest of about 1,000 Muscovites in Lermontov Square. He did not provide his last name, saying he did not trust journalists and was worried about repercussions at work.
He said he was drawn toward opposition politics because of official corruption. "You look at them on TV and you know immediately they're lying. Their mouths say one thing, but their eyes say something completely different," he said.
The head of Russia's Central Elections Commission, Ella Pamfilova, has said repeatedly that Navalny would not be allowed to run for president because of his previous conviction. Yet procedure must be followed, and the issue of disqualification would come later. On Sunday, workers at the election commission said they would wait for Navalny to deliver his nomination papers.
"We all know that Putin is going to be president," Boris Stoyanov, a 45-year-old history teacher, said at Sunday's rally in downtown Moscow. "But our candidate matters to me, and I'll stand out here until I'm sure that I can vote for him in March."
At least 32 people were killed and several others injured when a bus fell into the Banas river from an 100-foot high bridge in Rajasthan's Sawai Madhopur district today. The bus was ferrying passengers from Lal Soth to Sawai Madhopur, about 65 km away. It was being driven by a 16-year-old conductor who was speeding and lost control over the vehicle which fell off the bridge near Dubi. The driver, police say, was sleeping at the time. Both of them died in the accident.