Regulations
RS passes private member's bill on transgenders: A first in 45 years

The transgender community, meanwhile, said it was happy to receive a "positive response" from all political parties

 

For the first time in 45 years, the Rajya Sabha on Friday unanimously passed a private member's bill to accord equal rights on transgenders.
 
"It is a unanimous decision of the house... This is a rare thing," Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien announced after the bill was passed by voice vote.
 
The central government, however, said it will bring an improved bill as DMK member Tiruchi Shiva's bill has some practical difficulties.
 
The government sources told IANS that they will bring a bill soon.
 
The transgender community, meanwhile, said it was happy to receive a "positive response" from all political parties. 
 
The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014, moved by Shiva, calls for equal rights and reservation to transgenders and envisages creation of a national commission and state level commissions for transgender communities.
 
"We all have human rights, whatever our gender identity. The bill I have presented is for an act which will create an equal society as it recognises and protects transgender persons, in all spheres of life," Shiva said while moving the bill.
 
Talking to IANS later, the DMK member said: "Transgenders are as efficient as any one else. One transgender person asked me I pay my taxes, why don't I have the rights?"
 
"Imagine they have gender written as female in their I-cards, but they cannot enter women's compartment in trains," he said.
 
The bill will now have to be taken up in the Lok Sabha, where a member from the lower house will have to pilot the bill.
 
If the bill is passed, it will be sent for presidential assent and become an act thereafter.
 
"The procedure for a private member's bill is same as any other bill. It will now go to the Lok Sabha, and if it is passed there, it will go to the president. If president signs it, it will become an act," constitutional expert and former Lok Sabha secretary general Subhash C. Kashyap told IANS.
 
A senior minister told IANS: "Wide consultation is needed with different departments and ministries. There are many issues, for example if reservation is provided, how will it effect other reservations..." 
 
In the Rajya Sabha, as Shiva pushed for putting the bill to vote, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said the government was in consultation with several departments to formulate a law for the transgenders and urged him to withdraw the bill.
 
"Emotionally, I agree with Shiva's bill, but there are some technical problems... There is some impracticality in the bill," he said. Shiva, however, remained adamant to put the bill to vote. 
 
After an intervention by Leader of the House Arun Jaitley, who advocated for unanimously passing the bill, it was adopted through voice vote.
 
The transgender community welcomed it.
 
"The bill received support from all political parties and this shows how they have become sensitive towards our issues and difficulties. I am sure it will smoothly pass in the Lok Sabha as well," Reshma, a transgender from Patna, told IANS by phone.
 
Mumbai-based Gauri Sawant, a transgender, felt if the bill is passed in parliament smoothly, it will reinforce their identity in the country and also help them to get rid of the stigma.
 
Members of parliament other than ministers are called private members and bills presented by them are known as private members' bills. 
 
Figures show since independence only 14 private members' bills have been converted into legislative acts. 
 
The last private member's bill passed by parliament was the Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Bill, 1968, which became an act on August 9, 1970.

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58 kg gold looted in biggest heist in Maharashtra

The highway robbery took place around 2.30 a.m. when a van laden with 60 kg of gold belonging to Zee Gold Company was being transported in a high-security van from Mumbai to a gold processing plant in Shirpur in Dhule district on the Madhya Pradesh border

 

In what police termed as the biggest heist of its kind in the state, a staggering 58 kg of gold worth around Rs.17 crore was looted at gunpoint from a security vehicle on the Nashik-Dhule highway early on Friday morning.
 
The highway robbery took place around 2.30 a.m. when a van laden with 60 kg of gold belonging to Zee Gold Company was being transported in a high-security van from Mumbai to a gold processing plant in Shirpur in Dhule district on the Madhya Pradesh border.
 
"The van had left the Andheri office of Zee Group around 11.15 p.m. on Thursday night and was proceeding towards Nashik. Around 2.30 a.m., at an isolated spot, the van was waylaid by a Mahindra Logan sedan with a yellow beacon light," assistant police inspector Suhas M. Raut, who is part of the investigating team, told IANS.
 
Thinking them to be a police team, the security van stopped. It was then that at least three-four people from the car pointed guns at the driver and security personnel of the van carrying the gold and threatened them.
 
"The culprits quickly tied up the van personnel, who did not even have an opportunity to use their weapons... later, during investigations, we found that the security personnel had kept their weapons in the locked position," Raut said.
 
The culprits managed to unload 58 kg from the security van into their vehicle, leaving behind two kg, before fleeing from the scene.
 
Top officials, including District Superintendent of Police Sanjay Mohite and others, rushed to the scene to supervise the investigation.
 
Police have formed four teams which have been sent out in different directions, including one which arrived in Mumbai on Friday afternoon.
 
The investigators hope to gain some leads from the footage taken from the video cameras installed inside the van, and road blocks have been set up at all the exit points to neighbouring districts, and bordering states of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat to trace the robbers.
 

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DGCA cautions against compromising aviation safety

Expressing satisfaction over the upgrading of India's aviation safety rating to Category 1 by the US regulator FAA, Sathiyavathy said the challenge now is to sustain the top rating

 

Cautioning against laxity in aviation safety, particularly in the backdrop of incidents elsewhere, India's aviation regulator on Friday said its inspections have thrown up instances where safety was compromised.
 
"There are a few incidents that are taking place mainly because we have been compromising on some of the safety aspects," Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) M. Sathiyavathy said here.
 
He was speaking at the launch of India Aviation 2016 to be held from March 16-20, 2016, at Begumpet airport of Hyderabad.
 
"After the Mangalore accident, we did not have any major incidents but that does not mean that we should be complacent," she added.
 
An Air India flight from Dubai with 160 passengers and six crew aboard crashed while landing at Mangalore airport in May 2010, leaving 158 people dead.
 
Expressing satisfaction over the upgrading of India's aviation safety rating to Category 1 by the US regulator FAA, Sathiyavathy said the challenge now is to sustain the top rating.
 
The DGCA has been carrying out comprehensive audits of the sector and would continue to do so in future, she added.

 

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