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Nine Days After Charge-sheet, Rapist Gets 10 Years Jail

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rapistHoshiarpur (Punjab): In one of the fastest rulings in a trial court, a court in this Punjab town Thursday convicted and sentenced a rapist to 10 years jail — just nine days after the charge-sheet was filed.

Additional District and Sessions Judge J.S. Bhinder convicted Jai Prakash Diwedi, alias Pawan Dubey, of Uttar Pradesh, for the kidnapping and rape of a minor girl of a village in Garhshankar sub-division of Hoshiarpur district, and sentenced him to 10 years rigorous imprisonment.
The victim, aged 17 years and two months at the time of the crime, used to work in a factory in Ludhiana, 90 km from here, when she was kidnapped and threatened by the accused in May last year. She was taken to New Delhi, where the accused raped her for 15 days, threatening to kill her younger brother if she told anyone about the rape. The accused later abandoned her at a bus stop in Delhi.
The girl then managed to get to a local gurdwara where she met a young couple. They took her to the house of their landlord, Narvir Singh and Roshni, who helped her. Police investigations revealed that the victim was married to Manjit Singh of Delhi through a court marriage Sep 28 last year.
The charge-sheet was filed in the court by Punjab Police Jan 2 this year. After cross-examination and arguments, the court decided the matter and sentenced the accused to 10 years rigorous imprisonment on the ninth day of the trial.
The defence counsel had argued that the victim had gone with the accused on her own and had not been raped. They claimed that she had had consensual sex with the accused. However, based on the documents that showed her age to be under 18 years, the court ruled that she being a minor, her consent, which was obtained under fear, was legally not tenable.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs.90,000 on the convict. The court, however, acquitted Narvir Singh and Roshni, who had been arrested by police, in this matter saying that they had no role to play in her kidnapping and rape.
The victim had told police and the court that Narvir and Roshni had not only kept and looked after her but had also got her married off to Manjit Singh. “After the filing of the charge-sheet in the court, the matter was decided within 8-9 days. This is one of the fastest trials in the country,” said additional public prosecutor T.S. Grewal.
Hoshiarpur district police chief Sukhchain Singh Gill said: “The efforts of police and the judiciary have resulted in this case being decided in such a short time.”

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SOUTH ASIA

Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin

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Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.

Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.

Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.

Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

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Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told

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The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.

The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.

Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.

Islamabad and its nuclear-armed neighbour India “continue to engage in a quantitative build-up and a qualitative improvement” of their atomic stockpiles, added Tony deBrum, a Marshallese government minister.

DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.

The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.

But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.

It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.

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SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.

Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.

The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.

According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.

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