Mr.Rebates

Mr. Rebates

Saturday, November 20, 2010

HC orders contempt case against man

Nov 1, 2010

The Delhi High Court has initiated contempt proceedings against the father of a Germany-based woman for backing out from a mutual consent divorce agreement in exchange of Rs 12 lakh. In March 2010, the woman had moved the Delhi High Court against her husband, charging him with domestic violence.
Her Delhi-based father filed a case of domestic violence and dowry demand against his bed-ridden daughter's husband.

Later, she agreed for a mutual-consent divorce for Rs 12 lakh.
Sunny and Sheila (names changed) married in 2002 in Delhi. During her stay in Germany, Sheila developed multiple sclerosis.

In 2008, she filed cases in Germany against her husband.
At present, the couple lives separately in Germany.

Prabhjit Jauhar, counsel for Sunny, in his petition said: "Sheila registered false complainants with the German court. Later German investigative authorities found that those complaints were false."
Jauhar told the court that Sheila was not summoned, as the German court noted she was suffering from an acute disease.

In March 2010, Sheila, through her father, informed the Delhi High Court's Mediation Conciliation Centre, that a divorce by mutual consent should be agreed upon for a sum of R12 lakh. She also gave her consent to quash the FIR against her husband.

However on November 1, Sheila's father said he was not willing to comply with the terms of agreement signed in March.

"It is a clear breach of undertaking given to the court and amounts to contempt," Jauhar submitted in court.
Justice GS Sistani said: "Respondent (father of the woman) has willfully violated the terms of settlement agreed upon. Issue notice to show cause, as to why contempt proceedings should be not initiated."
Sunny, in his petition, alleged that he has already deposited R12 lakh with the registry department of the High Court in March 2010.

The court has directed Sheila's father to be personally present in court on the next date of hearing.

Source HST

Woman to face trial for lodging false rape case: Delhi high court

Nov 16, 2010

The Delhi high court today refused to quash a false criminal case of rape lodged by a Delhi police woman employee against a man to ensure that she faces prosecution later for falsely implicating him.
"If a prosecutrix makes false statement of an offence punishable with minimum period of 7 years imprisonment, she must be made to face the consequence of registering a false FIR against an innocent person," said Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra, dismissing a petition by a Delhi-based property dealer Karan for quashing of the FIR against him.

Justice Dhingra dismissed the petition despite his plea that the woman has admitted to making false accusations against him early this year and they have reached an out-of-court settlement of the issue.
"I consider that an offence under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code being punishable with minimum sentence of seven years cannot be looked at so lightly," Justice Dhingra said.

"The prosecutrix cannot be allowed to turn around and say that she made a false statement and that now she has compromised the matter," he added, refusing to quash the FIR, and leaving it to the trial court to acquit the man and initiate prosecution against the woman instead on charges of perjury.
"The court cannot allow quashing of such FIR when neither the prosecutrix is being punished for making false statement nor the accused is brought to book for the offence of rape," he said.

Source DNA

Four in 10 say marriage is becoming obsolete

Nov 18, 2010

WASHINGTON – Is marriage becoming obsolete?
As families gather for Thanksgiving this year, nearly one in three American children is living with a parent who is divorced, separated or never-married. More people are accepting the view that wedding bells aren't needed to have a family.

A study by the Pew Research Center, in association with Time magazine, highlights rapidly changing notions of the American family. And the Census Bureau, too, is planning to incorporate broader definitions of family when measuring poverty, a shift caused partly by recent jumps in unmarried couples living together.
About 29 percent of children under 18 now live with a parent or parents who are unwed or no longer married, a fivefold increase from 1960, according to the Pew report being released Thursday. Broken down further, about 15 percent have parents who are divorced or separated and 14 percent who were never married. Within those two groups, a sizable chunk — 6 percent — have parents who are live-in couples who opted to raise kids together without getting married.

Indeed, about 39 percent of Americans said marriage was becoming obsolete. And that sentiment follows U.S. census data released in September that showed marriages hit an all-time low of 52 percent for adults 18 and over.

In 1978, just 28 percent believed marriage was becoming obsolete.

When asked what constitutes a family, the vast majority of Americans agree that a married couple, with or without children, fits that description. But four of five surveyed pointed also to an unmarried, opposite-sex couple with children or a single parent. Three of 5 people said a same-sex couple with children was a family.
"Marriage is still very important in this country, but it doesn't dominate family life like it used to," said Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University. "Now there are several ways to have a successful family life, and more people accept them."

The broadening views of family are expected to have an impact at Thanksgiving. About nine in 10 Americans say they will share a Thanksgiving meal next week with family, sitting at a table with 12 people on average. About one-fourth of respondents said there will be 20 or more family members.

"More Americans are living in these new families, so it seems safe to assume that there will be more of them around the Thanksgiving dinner table," said Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center.
The changing views of family are being driven largely by young adults 18-29, who are more likely than older generations to have an unmarried or divorced parent or have friends who do. Young adults also tend to have more liberal attitudes when it comes to spousal roles and living together before marriage, the survey found.

 But economic factors, too, are playing a role. The Census Bureau recently reported that opposite-sex unmarried couples living together jumped 13 percent this year to 7.5 million. It was a sharp one-year increase that analysts largely attributed to people unwilling to make long-term marriage commitments in the face of persistent unemployment

Beginning next year, the Census Bureau will publish new, supplemental poverty figures that move away from the traditional concept of family as a husband and wife with two children. It will broaden the definition to include unmarried couples, such as same-sex partners, as well as foster children who are not related by blood or adoption.

Officials say such a move will reduce the number of families and children who are considered poor based on the new supplemental measure, which will be used as a guide for federal and state agencies to set anti-poverty policies. That's because two unmarried partners who live together with children and work are currently not counted by census as a single "family" with higher pooled incomes, but are officially defined as two separate units — one being a single parent and child, the other a single person — who aren't sharing household resources.

"People are rethinking what family means," Cherlin said. "Given the growth, I think we need to accept cohabitation relationships as a basis for some of the fringe benefits offered to families, such as health insurance."

Still, the study indicates that marriage isn't going to disappear anytime soon. Despite a growing view that marriage may not be necessary, 67 percent of Americans were upbeat about the future of marriage and family. That's higher than their optimism for the nation's educational system (50 percent), economy (46 percent) or its morals and ethics (41 percent).

And about half of all currently unmarried adults, 46 percent, say they want to get married. Among those unmarried who are living with a partner, the share rises to 64 percent.
Other findings:

_About 34 percent of Americans called the growing variety of family living arrangements good for society, while 32 percent said it didn't make a difference and 29 percent said it was troubling.
_About 44 percent of people say they have lived with a partner without being married; for 30-to-49-year-olds, that share rose to 57 percent. In most cases, those couples said they considered cohabitation as a step toward marriage.

_About 62 percent say that the best marriage is one where the husband and wife both work and both take care of the household and children. That's up from 48 percent who held that view in 1977.
The Pew study was based on interviews with 2,691 adults by cell phone or landline from Oct. 1-21. The survey has a total margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, larger for subgroups. Pew also analyzed 2008 census data, and used surveys conducted by Time magazine to identify trends from earlier decades.

Source: Yahoo News

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Recession slams workers' pay (US)

Feminists will still have to complain women earn less, how else can they get attention, they are like little babies always crying and whining! They are not Feminazi's Fascists for nothing, they have a ploy, plotting there next move.

Men's wages are falling faster than women's, Economic Policy Institute says

SAN FRANCISCO - Wage growth among middle- and low-income U.S. workers has been shaky, at best, for a decade, but in the last three years it collapsed, with wages growing at less than half the rate they had in the period right before the recession, and some workers' pay decreasing, according to a new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.
Median weekly earnings for full-time workers 25 and older grew at a rate of 0.5% in the year ending in the second quarter, down from 1.3% in 2009, 3.4% in 2008 and 4.3% in 2007, according to the EPI report, which measured year-over-year changes in growth from second quarter to second quarter. The figures are not adjusted for inflation. EPI is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that focuses on low- and middle-income workers.

Men have lost more ground as U.S. wage growth has contracted than women, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
Reuters

Men have lost more ground as U.S. wage growth has contracted than women, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
But some workers actually lost ground, with men's paychecks, in particular, hit hard. Men's median wages fell 1.3% in the year ending in the second quarter, down from a growth rate of 5.3% in the comparable period ending in mid-2008, the first year of the recession. Women's wage growth dropped to 3.7% from 5.2% over the same period. The data looked at adults 25 and older.
The median weekly wage for a man 25 or older was $861 in the second quarter. For a woman in that age group, the median wage was $704, according to EPI.
Men who didn't have a high-school diploma saw median wages drop 3.6%, but men with a bachelor's degree didn't fare much better, with a decline of 3.1%. Men with high-school diplomas had wage growth of zero, as did men with advanced degrees.
Women without a high-school diploma lost ground too, with median pay falling 2.6%, while wages for women with just a high-school diploma dropped 1.5%.
But women college graduates drew pay hikes. Those with a B.A. saw median wages grow 4.3%, and those with advanced degrees got a 0.8% pay boost.
EPI did not adjust wage-growth rates for inflation in part because inflation has been volatile since the recession started, mainly due to steeply fluctuating energy prices. Energy prices rose more than 19% in 2008's second quarter, compared with prices a year earlier, then fell 26% in the same period in 2009, then rose almost 12% in 2010, EPI said.
When adjusted for inflation, various measures of wage growth land in the zero-to-negative-1.4% range in 2010, EPI said. See the full EPI report.
"That's what we will see going forward, as we continue with persistent high unemployment," said Heidi Shierholz, a labor economist at EPI. "We will continue to see real [inflation-adjusted] wages just hovering around zero or negative."

Disconnect between productivity and income

But median income has been falling for a while, EPI said.

Double-dip avoidance

A growing number of commentators expect the current U.S. slowdown to translate into a double-dip recession. But if, as many of them believe, the U.S. is repeating Japan's so-called lost decade, a more likely situation involves stubbornly slow growth.
Even as workers' productivity grew 11% from 2002 through 2007, income was losing ground. The inflation-adjusted median income for working-age households dropped to $58,718 in 2007, down from $60,804 in 2000, according to EPI. Unlike measures of weekly wages, income includes investment income and other sources.
Economic models tend to assume that rising productivity will lead to rising wages, Shierholz said. The assumption, she said, has been that "productivity -- that's the amount of goods and services the average worker produces in an hour -- as that goes up, wages will rise in lockstep, so workers reap the gains of their increased productivity," she said.
But that had changed as far back as the mid-1970s, Shierholz said. "We started to see this break. Productivity kept rising, [but] wages really flattened off," she said. "Essentially it's an inequality story. You can talk about productivity as being a measure of the growth of the riches of the country. If it's not going to the typical worker ... it's going to the top."

Fast-growing jobs are low paid

Another problem for future prospects for pay growth: Of the five fastest-growing occupations between 2006 and 2009, four of them paid less than the median wage, according to a separate EPI analysis.
Food preparers and servers, home health aides, warehouse stock clerks, medical assistants and registered nurses find themselves in the five fastest-growing occupations, according to EPI's analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of those, though, only registered nurses make more than $15.95 an hour, which was the median wage in May 2009. The median wage for a registered nurse is $30.65 an hour.
Food prep and serving jobs pay a median $8.28 per hour, home health aides collect $9.85 an hour, warehouse stock clerks earn $10.08 an hour, and medical assistants $13.77 per hour.
For food-prep and food-service workers, the median wage of $8.28 per hour translates into an annual salary of $16,560, based on working a typical year of 2,000 hours.

Source: MW

 

Paycheck-fairness bill fails in Senate (US)

Paycheck Fairness bill fails in Senate, read previous posting, Stop Feminists' Job Killing Legislation (US).
Looks like the Senate listened to the people and killed the bill. 

Bill to fight wage discrimination based on sex fails to garner votes

WASHINGTON -- A bill aimed at stamping out wage discrimination based on workers’ sex failed Wednesday because too few senators voted to move forward with the legislation.
The Paycheck Fairness Act needed 60 votes to move forward, and captured only 58. No Republicans voted in favor of moving forward with the bill, and one Democrat, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, voted against the motion.

Medicare changes are coming

If you're a Medicare beneficiary, you have from now until Dec. 31 to switch your health and drug coverage if you find a plan you like better. MarketWatch's Kristen Gerencher details some of the plan changes that go into effect in 2011.
The bill would have amended the Equal Pay Act by limiting employers’ basis for defending differential wages, when responding to charges of sex-based wage discrimination, to reasons such as differences in workers’ experience or training.
President Barack Obama supported the bill, and said Wednesday after the vote that his administration will “continue to fight” for equal pay.
“As we emerge from one of the worst recessions in history, this bill would ensure that American women and their families aren’t bringing home smaller paychecks because of discrimination,” Obama said. “It also helps businesses that pay equal wages as they struggle to compete against discriminatory competition. But a partisan minority of senators blocked this common sense law.”
The vote came in the first week lawmakers reconvened since the midterm elections. With support for the bill falling broadly along partisan lines, the bill now faces steep odds of moving forward. In January, Republicans take control of the House of Representatives.

Women earn less on average

The bill’s supporters said stronger laws are needed to erase the persistent earnings gap between men and women, while critics said the bill could hurt businesses and workers.
In 2009, women who were full-time workers earned median weekly wages or salary of $657, compared with $819 for men, according to the U.S. Labor Department. That is, women’s median weekly earnings were about 80% of men’s. However, it’s unclear how much of that gap is attributable to sexism. Read more: Men losing more ground than women in U.S. pay slide.
Portia Wu, vice president at National Partnership for Women & Families, an advocacy group, said the law should encourage people to do the right thing. “For truly bad actors we do think there has to be some strong deterrent,” Wu said.
Also, there is the everyday, practical concern of families paying their bills, she said. “The wage gap is really hurting families’ economic security and having equal pay means more money in people’s pockets to afford things,” she said.
Business advocates said the Paycheck Fairness Act would have hurt firms by increasing possible damages against them and limiting their ability to defend legitimate pay differences.
Lawrence Lorber, who represents employers as a partner with the law firm Proskauer, said the Paycheck Fairness Act could lead to more rigid pay practices.
“Some women may get pay increases, but what is going to happen is inevitably you will move toward a very rigid civil-service-like pay system, and there won’t be any opportunity for significant merit-based raises,” Lorber said. “What you will have to do is assure that when you give increases you don’t wind up with some sort of a pay differential, and you do that by not giving pay increases or by creating superficial promotions.”
Wage discrimination based on workers’ sex is already illegal. The Paycheck Fairness Act would have amplified current laws with steps such as:
  • Amending the Equal Pay Act to limit the defense that employers can use to respond to charges of wage discrimination based on sex. Reasons that employers could cite would be restricted to “bona fide” factors such as a difference between employees’ education, training or experience. Employers would also have to demonstrate that the factor is job related and consistent with business necessity.
  • Allowing the class for class-action suits in wage-discrimination cases under the Equal Pay Act to be created by an opt-out policy. Currently if employees bring an action under the Equal Pay Act they have to opt in.
  • Requiring the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to collect pay information data on the sex, race and national origin or employees to enforce federal laws that prohibit pay discrimination.
  • Providing for uncapped punitive and compensatory damages against employers.

 Source: MW

First striker's advantage- A live saving option

If we leave our inhibitions and only go by survivalinstincts- we will strike first(when we are under threat of a false case by the wife's side), but alas we are prisoners of our ownshackles(inhibitions, emotions, etc.).

Its not easy to strike first- my family did not strike first since wealso thought "How can a girl's family ruin the girl's marriage byfiling false cases on husband&family". That too when the girls own relative(who knew their mentality too well, and could see the falsecases coming) actually hinted us to strike first, but at that point we never thought it was actually a life saving hint.But after experiencing these things for the last 5 years personallyand through others cases, I really believe that striking first is one of the most fruitful actions, if the situation and capability of the victim warrants it.

I have seen this strategy winning hands down in 2cases which I know closely.Now what else do we want other than the clarity of mind!. When one issure that its a war looming over, one has to break the shackles ofemotions and fight single-mindedly- for the WIN. Of course there areother ways of peace, try them if they apply to your situation.

I just felt that its time for this strategy to become open(let all pre-498a try it), what better way to introduce it in yahoo group. But the tragedy is that even then very less number of people will trythis sure-shot strategy(because of fear, forgiveness, wait&watchpropensity, etc.). At the same time shrewd guys from the oppositecamp will take note. Its always a trade-off isn't it, like life.

I am of the belief that we should flood the courts with firststrikes, this should not remain a phone line secret anymore. This kind of extremism is now warranted since normal defence is not working(will yield only years of painful defence). Last but not the least:this is not a secret for legally aware persons, for them its thefirst option :) . So let there be fire-works, we need all pre-498aguys to think on this lines, fire at will.All helplines to take note too. If in pre-498a, let them strike first.

So I would recommend a counter offensive stretegy, if a first strike is suitable in case of any pre-498a case(using IPC 503, 389, , 341, etc as the case may be. Refer Indian Penal Code sections at : http://www.vakilno1.com/bareacts/IndianPenalCode/indianpenalcode.htm )

regards
Gokul

Source: BOK

Woman, lover on run after murder of her would-be fiance

Nov 17, 2010


The Paddhari police in Rajkot district are looking for a woman and her married paramour for allegedly murdering a youth with whom she was supposed to get engaged on November 17. 

Sarifa Abba, a Wankaner resident, and her lover Janak, allegedly stabbed to death Firoz Shiekh, a truck driver from Dhandhuka in Ahmedabad district, and later set the body ablaze near Paddhari on November 10. Sarifa, who was last seen with victim, later staged a kidnapping drama of her would-be fiancĂ©. However, her call record details gave away her involvement, police said. 

“We have initiated procedure to arrest Sarifa and Janak,” said police.
On November 11, the police found an unidentified charred body in the outskirts of Paddhari. On November 12, Salim Sheikh registered a complaint with police that his son Firoz had gone missing from Rajkot. While he could not identify the body as it was completely charred, the DNA report now available proved it was Firoz. 

During preliminary investigation, Sarifa maintained Firoz was kidnapped from Aji Dam in Rajkot on November 10. She told the police they had gone to Rajkot to shop. 

Firoz was expected to return to his aunt’s home in Rajkot on November 10. When he didn’t, the family tried to contact him on his cellphone, which was found to be switched off. 

Meanwhile, Sarifa maintained that two unidentified persons who had come in a car had abducted Firoz and that she was clueless about his whereabouts. 

But her call details reportedly revealed she was in constant touch with one Janak, a Rajkot resident. The police also found out it was Janak who had taken the couple to Aji Dam. Janak and Sarifa reportedly have been in love for five years. Fearing that engagement would mean the end of their relationship, they decided to kill Firoz. 

The police investigation revealed that Firoz was stabbed 12 times in a car somewhere on the highway. Later, the body was burnt outside Paddhari.

Source: IndianEx 

Woman hatched plot to kill in-laws for Rs 15 crore flat

Nov 17, 2010

MUMBAI: The lure of a flat in upscale Pedder Road proved irresistible to Rupal Gandhi, who plotted to kill her mother-and sister-in-law, investigators said after arresting the 44-year-old on Tuesday. While Rupal's 78-year-old mother-in-law was grievously hurt in the attack, carried out by the family's servant, her sister-in-law succumbed to her injuries.

Rupal wanted her mother-in-law's 2BHK flat, valued around Rs 15 crore, said a police officer. While the victims stayed on the first floor, Rupal and her husband Deepak (52), who have a 16-year-old son, lived on the third floor of the same building.

Rupal hatched the conspiracy and then blackmailed her domestic help, Ramchandra Gomane (23), forcing him to agree to carry out the murders. It was decided that he would kill the two women when Rupal went out partying with her husband on Sunday evening.

This was revealed when the Gamdevi police interrogated Gomane and discovered that Rupal had plotted the killing. The murder was discovered when Rupal and her husband Deepak returned from a family gathering.

Deepak found the outer safety door of his mother's flat on the first floor of Sunita Apartment in Sonmarg Housing Cooperative Society on Pedder Road locked, but the inner door was open. He rang the bell, but didn't get a response and used a duplicate key to enter. He found his 60-year-old unmarried sister, Ila Gandhi, and mother Champa, lying on the floor, their bodies covered with scratches and bruises.

Deepak called the police and rushed the two to Breach Candy Hospital, where Ila was pronounced dead. Champa was admitted to the ICU. Later, as Rupal helped her husband wrap up the hospital formalities, nobody suspected that she was behind the crime, an officer said.

DCP Anil Kumbhare said Gomane had worked with the Gandhis for the last seven years. Six months ago, he borrowed Rs 30,000 from Rupal for his wedding in Chiplun, Ratnagiri. He returned Rs 7,000 but failed to pay the remainder, said Kumbhare, adding that Gomane earned Rs 4,000 monthly. Last month, he went to Chiplun and did not return. Rupal called him and threatened to lodge a case against him with the police for not repaying the loan and told him to return immediately, Kumbhare added.

Gomane rejoined duty and promised that he would make the balance payment soon. On November 11, while her husband had gone to work, Rupal called Gomane and blackmailed him. She said she could waive his loan if he killed her mother- and sister-in-law. She promised to pay Rs 5,000 once the plot was executed, and gave him Rs 5,000 in advance, an officer added. She also instructed him not to use any weapon.

Around 3 pm on Sunday, Rupal and Deepak left for the party. At 4 pm, Gomane entered the flat after Ila opened the door. He kicked and punched her and later strangulated her. When her mother Champa came out of the bedroom, Gomane hit her and she fell to the floor, unconscious. Gomane thought Champa was also dead and left the place, an officer said.

Around 5pm, Gomane is learned to have made a call to Rupal's cellphone that the work was done. She returned from the party around 11.30 pm, when her husband discovered the body. Police have seized the instrument as evidence.

To avoid suspicion, Gomane did not leave the building. Police said Rupal even cooperated with them when she was asked to furnish details of her employees.

"We have arrested Gomane on charges of murder and attempt to murder and the court has remanded him in 10-day police custody," said senior inspector Sanjeev Diwadkar. On Tuesday night, Rupal was also arrested for murder and attempt to murder. Neither Gomane nor Rupal was booked for criminal conspiracy.
Source: TOI

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Millions of children go without basic care: HAQ report

The report ‘Status of Children in India 2008’ claims that a vast group of children living in difficult circumstances do not receive even a basic education.

Thirty-two million children in India under the age of six do not have access to basic education and healthcare, says a recent report released by HAQ: Centre for Child Rights.   

“The worst affected children in this age-group are those who belong to marginalised sections of society,” says Enakshi Ganguly, co-director of the child rights group.   

The report, ‘Status of Children in India 2008’, reveals that a vast group of children living in difficult circumstances such as children of long-term patients, women prisoners and sex workers, children with special needs, riot-, militancy- and disaster-affected children, refugee and displaced children, and children in orphanages and homes do not receive early childhood education.  

Only 13% of children from other backward classes (OBC), eligible to be covered by the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), are reported to be benefiting from it, the report adds. This figure is lower for scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) children -- 10% each.  

India has 164 million children in this age-group, of whom 60 million are in the three to six age-group. Only 34 million children in this age-group are covered by pre-schooling schemes, either the ICDS or private initiatives. Nearly 26 million children have not received any form of intervention.   

Children who are not covered are from both rural and urban areas; most belong to vulnerable and marginalised socio-economic groups.   

In rural areas, the report says, children are located in isolated and remote villages, scheduled caste/tribe habitations, settlements of seasonal migrant roadside workers, construction and quarry workers, or in fishing hamlets. In urban areas, they are the children of construction workers, temporary/seasonal workers, rural migrants, etc, living on pavements, in unauthorised settlements or, at best, in small slums.  

Ganguly explains: “Without a major policy shake-up and more efficient implementation of nutrition programmes, India is unlikely to reach the related millennium development goals by 2015.” Two of the eight goals set by the United Nations in 2000 relate to children -- achieving universal primary education and reducing child mortality. The deadline is 2015.  

“Instead of boning up on implementation and universal coverage of the ICDS, policymakers are currently engaged in a frivolous debate over serving biscuits to little children as midday meals, neglecting the nutrition aspect of hot cooked food,” Ganguly says.   

Source: InfoChange

Over 60 pct of child deaths in India avoidable - survey

Where does the Womens and Childrens Ministry spend its money, apparently not on India's future, what are the Feminists doing about this issue, NCW the National Commission for Women?  These agencies siphon there money, or spend it on ways to destroy society, eg. with Male Biased laws, example the Domestic Violence Act 2005, and 498a.

Nov 13, 2010

Reuters) - More children under the age of five die in India than in any other country in the world, and from five main causes that are avoidable, a study in India has found.

In a paper published in The Lancet on Saturday, the authors named the five causes as pneumonia, prematurity and low birthweight, diarrhoeal diseases, neonatal infections and birth asphyxia, and birth trauma.
"Each of the major causes ... can be prevented or treated with known, highly effective and widely practicable interventions such as improvements in prenatal care," wrote the researchers, led by the Registrar General of India.

Expanded neonatal and obstetric care, proper management of diarrhoea and pneumonia, and adding new vaccines to immunisation programmes could substantially reduce child deaths in the country, they added.
Some 2.35 million children under the age of five died in India in 2005, making up more than 20 percent of all deaths in children within that age group worldwide.

Three-fifths, or 62 percent, of the deaths were caused by those five reasons, the researchers said.
Most deaths in India occur at home and without medical attention. In this survey, field workers investigated causes for the deaths of 24,841 children through interviews with their families using a standard questionnaire.
Two of 130 physicians then independently assigned a cause to each death.

The survey found the number of girls who died between one to 59 months was 36 percent higher than boys, and the difference was even more stark in certain places in India.

"Girls in central India had a five-times higher mortality rate from pneumonia than did boys in south India, and had a four-times higher mortality rate from diarrhoeal disease than boys in the west," they wrote.
They believe the higher number of deaths in girls is due to Indian society's preference for boys which results in more boys using healthcare facilities than girls.

"Fewer girls than boys are vaccinated in health facilities. However, outreach programmes that visit households immunise a greater proportion of girls than do facility-based vaccination programmes," the researchers wrote.
To address this problem, they recommended that vaccines against pneumonia and childhood diarrhoea be added to immunisation programmes that deliver vaccines directly to peoples' homes.


Source. Reuters

India’s children stunted, says Unicef

India has the largest number of stunted children and one of the highest numbers of underweight children below the age of 5 in the world, according to a latest Unicef report. The country also has one-third of the world’s ‘wasted children’
India has the highest number of stunted children below the age of 5 in the world, according to a latest Unicef report that says 80% of the developing world’s stunted children live in 24 countries. The high number in India is due to the large population; the country ranks 12th on the list of countries led by Afghanistan with a high prevalence of stunted children.  
Approximately 200 million children under the age of 5 suffer from stunted growth in the developing world. The report ‘Tracking Progress on Child and Maternal Nutrition’ found that stunting is primarily caused by childhood under-nutrition, which contributes to more than a third of all deaths among children under the age of 5. 
India also has one of the highest numbers of underweight children below the age of 5, and one-third of ‘wasted children’ -- children who face a greater chance of death -- in the world. Out of a total of 19 million newborns per year in the developing world that are born with low birth weight, India has 7.4 million low birth weight babies per year -- the highest in the world. 
“Under-nutrition steals a child’s strength and makes illnesses that the body might otherwise fight off far more dangerous,” Unicef chief Ann M Veneman said. “More than one-third of children who die of pneumonia, diarrhoea and other illnesses could have survived had they not been undernourished.” 
In 17 countries, underweight prevalence among children under 5 years is greater than 30%. The rates were highest in Bangladesh, India, Timor-Leste and Yemen, with more than 40% of children being underweight. 
The study also found that 13% of children under 5 years in the developing world were wasted, and 5% severely wasted (an estimated 26 million children). Ten countries account for 60% of children in the developing world who suffer from wasting. A number of African and Asian countries have wasting rates that exceed 15%, including India (20%) Bangladesh (17%), and the Sudan (16%). 
The country with the highest prevalence of wasting in the world is Timor-Leste, where 25% of children under 5 are wasted. Timor-Leste is followed by India. 
“At such elevated levels, wasting is considered a public health emergency requiring immediate intervention in the form of emergency feeding programmes,” the report says. The 1,000 days from conception until a child’s second birthday are the most critical for a child’s development, the study suggests. 
Unicef said that together with its partners, which include governments and international aid agencies, it was making progress in improving nutrition for children in the 150 countries it was working in. Still, just 63 out of 117 countries look like they will meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving rates of underweight children between 1990 and 2015. 
Progress has been particularly poor in Africa. Asia is performing a little better, although India is making slow progress. South America is making significant strides. 
On the positive side, the report finds that while 90% of children who are stunted live in Asia and Africa, progress has been made on both continents. In Asia, the prevalence of stunting dropped from about 44% in 1990 to an estimated 30% in 2008, while in Africa it fell from around 38% in 1990 to an estimated 34% in 2008. 
Unicef says promoting breastfeeding as the exclusive source of nutrition for the first six months and continuing breastfeeding until at least 2 years is essential. Providing access to food supplements is also an important part of the solution. 
Many aid programmes are focusing on iodised salt to aid brain development and vitamin A supplements that help bone growth and the body’s ability to fight infection. Such steps, the report suggests, could reduce deaths by a fifth. 
Kitty Arie, a senior policy adviser at the Save the Children charity, points out that poor nutrition has long-term consequences, including lower school performance. “This is an urgent issue that can and must be tackled.” 
How Peru tackled the problem
  • Poor nutrition has traditionally been a problem in Peru.
  • In 1999, the government, in partnership with Unicef and the US International Development Agency, set up the Good Start in Life programme.
  • The project used health staff to provide antenatal support to mothers, promote breastfeeding and offer food supplements in five mainly rural regions.
  • By 2004, more than 75,000 children under 3 were benefiting, and rates of stunted growth fell from 54% to 37%.
  • A national programme is now being rolled out.
Source: PTI, November 12, 2009
          

Homeless woman charged in LA train track death

This is a totally sicking story!

Nov 15, 2010


LOS ANGELES – Authorities say a homeless woman has been charged with murder after an 84-year-old woman was pushed from a train platform onto tracks in Los Angeles.

The district attorney's office said Tuesday that 44-year-old Jackkqueline Pogue is being held on $1 million bail. She was not immediately arraigned.

The victim, Betty Sugiyama, died from the fall and was not hit by a train.

She and her 86-year-old sister Mary Sugiyama were walking on the platform Sunday when the attack occurred.
Mary Sugiyama tells The Associated Press the assailant remained calm and expressionless and didn't try to run away.

Source: Yahoo News

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Poor human development continues to mar India’s growth story

Corruption has everything to do with poor human development, how many more years must Indians suffer like this? It has been 65 years since Independence, its high time the buck stops here!


India’s economy is in the top 10 in terms of growth potential, but when it comes to quality of life, especially in health and education, the country ranks 119 among 169 nations, according to the latest Human Development Index released by the UN Development Programme

India ranks among the top 10 global countries on income gain, but widening disparity between the rich and poor and gender inequality have been identified as major challenges, in a United Nations report recently released.

The Human Development Report 2010 said India gained 15 positions on the global Human Development Index (HDI) because of high income growth since 1970. However, on overall HDI, Nepal, being the second fastest HDI gainer globally, did much better.

The Real Wealth of Nations report incorporates a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) and Gender Inequality Index (GII) along with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in a methodology devised by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq to measure HDI in this year’s report, which is in its 20th year.

“Economic growth has been impressive, but inequality is on the rise,” said Patrice Coeur-Bizot, UN representative in India. The report shows that there was a 30% loss in India’s HDI value when adjusted for inequality.

There are 42 countries listed as very high in human development. The 10 top achievers are Norway, Australia, New Zealand, the US, Ireland, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Canada, Sweden and Germany.
At the bottom of the human development list are the Central African Republic, Mali, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Burundi, Niger, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zimbabwe.

India ranks 119th among 169 countries, well below comparable emerging economies and even behind poorer neighbours such as Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Other emerging economies like Russia (69th), Brazil (73rd) and China (89th) score well above India. In value terms, India moved to 0.519 from 0.512 last year. But its rank remains unchanged under a revised method of calculating the index.

The Multidimensional Poverty Index -- which identifies serious simultaneous deprivations in health, education and income at the household level, in 104 countries -- shows that around 55% of Indians are poor. The country ranks 122 among 138 countries. Of the total poor, a majority of who live in rural India, 47% are tribals. Further, eight Indian states are home to 421 million multidimensionally poor people, more than the figure of 410 million in 26 poorest African countries. The states include Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, often referred to as the BIMARU states.

The report’s new inequality-adjusted HDI, measuring inequality across 139 countries, shows South Asia with an average 33% loss due to inequality in health, education and income -- the second largest for a development region after sub-Saharan Africa. India loses 30% overall on the inequality-adjusted HDI, including 41% in education and 31% in health.

On the Gender Inequality Index, which was launched this year, India is ranked 122nd out of 138 countries, based on 2008 data. The report says 27% of adult women in India have a secondary or higher level of education, compared with 50% of men. For every 100,000 live births, 450 women in India die from pregnancy-related causes, while the adolescent fertility rate is 68 births per 1,000 live births. Female participation in the labour market in India is 36%, compared with 85% for men.

The Multidimensional Poverty Index spotlights countries that made the greatest progress in recent decades as measured by HDI, with China, Nepal, Indonesia, Lao PDR and South Korea making it to the “Top 10 Movers” list.

Among South Asian countries, Nepal is second among the top movers on non-income HDI, while India is among the top 10 movers in GDP growth. In India, 55% of the population already suffers multiple deprivations, while another 16% is vulnerable to it. The report says Delhi’s rate of multidimensional poverty is close to that of Iraq and Vietnam, while that of Bihar is similar to that of Sierra Leone and Guinea. About a third of other Indian households are multidimensionally poor, with an MPI just below that of Honduras.
While India stands at 10 in the top 10 movers in HDI in terms of improvements in income, it does not figure in the top 10 movers list on health and education. N R Bhanumurthy, professor at the think-tank National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, said India’s poor HDI rank reflected a skewed development focus.
“Our policies have been concentrating more on economic growth, neglecting the social sectors. That is why the Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2007-12) tried to bring in the concept of inclusive growth. The policies are now in place; however they have not been implemented whole-heartedly. That is why our ranking is so poor,” he said.

The world’s biggest job programme, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, got special mention for improving income in rural India. But the report said the extent of the gains from economic liberalisation for society as a whole needed careful investigation. The limited reach of public healthcare among the poor, and teacher absenteeism in public schools were cited as major constraints.

The HDI report holds that current consumption and production patterns worldwide are not environmentally sustainable in the long term. By mid-century, the adverse effects of climate change on grain yields will push prices up -- more than doubling the price of wheat -- with massive repercussions.

South Asia continues to be poor on overall HDI indicators, with half the world’s poor in this region. The region is characterised by relatively weak female empowerment with an inequality loss of 35% compared to 16% in developed countries.

Source: The Economic Times, November 8, 2010

Corrupt Indians siphoned away $125 bn in 8 years

More than $125 billion worth of funds meant for the uplift of poor Indians was illegally siphoned out of the country by corrupt politicians and corporates, between 2000 and 2008, hindering inclusive growth, says a Washington think-tank 

Even as India’s economic growth continues, the poor continue to stay poor with rampant corruption resulting in the siphoning away of over $125 billion in illicit capital, between 2000 and 2008, says a Washington think-tank. “Both corrupt political and corporate officers managed to siphon off funds intended to aid the people of India,” it said.

Noting that “much of the funds flowing out are generated at home within India and then sent illegally abroad,” an upcoming report from Global Financial Integrity (GFI) says: “So the growth of corruption and India’s underground economy contributes significantly to illicit financial flows from the country.”

“Recent efforts in India to challenge this corrupt affront on humanity have been met with violence,” junior GFI economist Karly Curcio says in a blog on the report on illicit financial flows from India, and explaining links between these illicit flows, poverty, corruption, and crime.

“As India develops economically and builds better infrastructure, one would think that all Indian citizens would see an increased standard of living, and that the income inequality levels would fall,” says the blog following a news report about recent crimes in India against whistleblowers.

Noting that “in India… as the economy grows so do illicit flows,” Curcio writes: “This correlation exhibits the increased incentives to conduct illicit flows, because more money is flowing within the system to steal away…”

“As corruption continues to plague both the country and its ability to develop free and fair institutions to monitor and charge corrupt officials, most of India’s economic growth will never make it to the people of India,” Curcio warns.

India’s legislative efforts to protect whistleblowers and those who work to fight corruption are a step in the right direction. However, more must be done, Curcio says, calling for global efforts to make it harder to move illicit funds around the world.

Eleven people have been killed or found dead in mysterious circumstances in India this year after exposing corruption in schools and public utilities, illegal mining and unauthorised water and electricity hookups, according to activist groups. Hundreds of others have been attacked, threatened or harassed for similar reasons. 

In July, about 500 whistleblowers marched in New Delhi to protest the deaths and demand effective anti-corruption and whistleblower-protection legislation in a country where graft is more the norm than the exception.

The demand for such a law began six years ago after a national outcry over the killing of a 30-year-old engineer who had exposed a corruption scandal in highway construction.

Last month, the Indian government finally introduced landmark draft legislation -- titled the Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill -- that proposes a system for dealing with corruption allegations and a three-year jail term for officials who disclose the identity of whistleblowers. It has invited activists to comment on the draft legislation by the end of September.

Despite recent rapid economic growth, expansion of the middle class and spread of education and the mass media, India ranked 84th out of 180 countries last year in the annual corruption perception survey conducted by the global watchdog Transparency International. Of the various Indian departments analysed, the police force emerged as the biggest offender.

Analysts say public intolerance of corruption has grown in recent years, spurring the push for stronger laws to combat it. Since 2005, anti-corruption crusaders have used a law mandating the right to information to access official files and expose malfeasance -- but this has invited violent reprisals.

Source: Infochange

Corrupt India; ranks 87 out of 178 countries

Nov 2, 2010

India falls to the 87th rank in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index for 2010, thanks to the alleged irregularities during the recently held Commonwealth Games. 

Against the backdrop of alleged irregularities in the recently held Commonwealth Games (CWG), India’s perceived corruption levels have gone up, with a corresponding worsening of its world ranking. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2010, India this year ranks 87 among 178 countries, down three spots from 84 in 2009.

Countries with the highest scores on the index are viewed as having the least corruption; countries with the lowest scores, the most.

Worse, there has also been a decline in India’s integrity score to 3.3 in 2010, from 3.4 in 2008 and 2009, and 3.5 in 2007. These figures are on a scale of zero to 10 with the former being perceived as highly corrupt and 10 indicating low levels of corruption.

“It is an indication that the country continues to be perceived as more corrupt than in the past. This perception seems to have increased primarily due to alleged corrupt practices as evident during the recently held Commonwealth Games in Delhi,” the CPI report for 2010 states.

“The surveys and assessments used to compile the index include questions relating to bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and questions that probe the strength and effectiveness of public sector anti-corruption efforts,” says a release accompanying the 2010 CPI.

“It is unfortunate that India has gone down in the corruption index, even in terms of the integrity score,” said P S Bawa, chairman of Transparency International India. “The solution to this problem is in the hands of the legislature and the government.”

The Commonwealth Games, held in the country early-October, was marred by charges of corruption, with the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) forming a ‘special cell’ comprising senior officials to look into complaints of corruption in CWG projects. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has also set up a committee, headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General V K Shunglu, to inquire into the conduct of the games.
Transparency International -- a global non-governmental organisation that monitors political and corporate corruption across the world -- has been publishing an annual CPI since 1995.

The CPI ranks countries/territories based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be, and is a composite index drawn from a combination of polls.

Apart from the public sector, the CPI focuses on corruption involving public officials, civil servants and politicians.

The 2010 CPI draws on 13 source surveys from ten independent institutions including the World Bank, Freedom House Foundation and the Global Competitiveness Report, among others. These sources, which provide a ranking of countries and measure some aspects of corruption, range between January 2009 and September 2010.

According to the 2010 CPI, Somalia is considered the world’s most corrupt country with a score of 1.1, followed by Myanmar and Afghanistan; Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore are perceived to be the least corrupt with scores of 9.3.

China is in 78th position, indicating it is less corrupt than India. Pakistan is shown as just a notch worse off than India. The US ranks fairly high at 22nd and is perceived to have relatively low levels of corruption. In Asia, Bhutan is perceived to be the least corrupt country.

Rounding out the ten highest scores: Finland and Sweden, 9.2; Canada, 8.9; Netherlands, 8.8; Australia and Switzerland, 8.7; Norway, 8.6. Japan was 17th on the list with a score of 7.8; the United Kingdom 20th (7.6); and the United States 22nd (7.1).

At the bottom of the 178 countries, Somalia scored 1.1, just below Afghanistan and Myanmar (1.4) and Iraq (1.5). Among emerging economic powerhouses, Brazil was 69th on the list with a score of 3.7; China 78th (3.5); and India 87th (3.3).

Overall, Transparency International says of the survey: “These results indicate a serious corruption problem. With governments committing huge sums to tackle the world’s most pressing problems, from the instability of financial markets to climate change and poverty, corruption remains an obstacle to achieving much-needed progress.”
 
Source : Infochange

India Telecom Minister Resigns Amid Corruption Allegation

Corruption and India go hand in hand, while many countries are doing there best to reduce corruption at all levels, not so in India. Corruption and economic development go hand in hand, the less corruption a nation has the higher the quality of life for her citizens.
In this day and age of E-com good news as well as bad news travels fast, news such as thing doesn't bring confidence to investors in the Indian economy.


NEW DELHI -(Dow Jones)- Indian Communications and Information Technology Minister Andimuthu Raja resigned late Sunday, the third government official to resign amid corruption allegations in less than two weeks. 

Kapil Sibal, minister of human resource development, was named to take up his duties, the Indian government said late Monday. 

Raja has faced scrutiny by India's political opposition over allegations that he favored some telecommunications firms over others in their application for radio airwaves, or spectrum. Specifically, the opposition has accused Raja of allegedly allocating spectrum to nine telecommunications companies in an irregular manner and at discounted prices in 2008. The allegation is that these practices cost the country as much as $40 billion.
The office of India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Raja's resignation was accepted. 

Raja wasn't available to comment. Speaking to reporters in Delhi after submitting his resignation Sunday, Raja denied wrongdoing, adding he resigned "in order to avoid an embarrassing situation to the government and...Parliament." He added, "I'll prove that I did everything in accordance with the law."

Raja's resignation comes shortly after former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and former Congress Parliamentary party Secretary Suresh Kalmadi stepped down over separate corruption allegations. Both have denied wrongdoing. 

This comes at a time when Parliament is struggling to focus on its legislative agenda. The opposition, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, has brought parliamentary proceedings to a halt over the spectrum issue since Parliament's winter session started Nov. 9. Raja said he agreed to step down on the advice of M. Karunanidhi, leader of Raja's Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam party, a coalition partner of the ruling Congress party. 

One of the most serious accusations against Raja is that he allegedly retroactively changed the deadline for applying for spectrum to Sept. 25, 2007, from Oct. 1, 2007, in order to favor firms that applied earlier while leaving others out. 

Opposition party members also accuse Raja of massively undervaluing what is known as the 2G spectrum--frequencies used to transmit phone calls and text messages to mobile phones. They allege he sold each license for a fixed price of about $366 million, a small sum compared with one slot of nationwide bandwidth for third-generation, or 3G, services, that went for about 10 times that amount at a government auction this year. The 3G spectrum powers internet wireless signals on phones. 

Raja says his move to allocate spectrum to nine new industry players helped to drive down prices and sparked massive growth. India now has more than 670 million cellphone subscribers and continues to add new users.
The resignation has sparked investors' fears that some of what they see as much-needed regulations could once again be delayed with a new person taking charge. 

Among immediate issues pending are the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's proposed moves on pricing. The regulator suggested that operators should be charged a one-time fee for exceeding a certain amount of bandwidth for their 2G services. It proposed that its fee should be linked to the value of 3G bandwidth. But analysts say such a move is unpopular with the country's telecom operators as the fee will likely add to their costs.

(Malaysia) Model Islamic Family Law

Muslim family laws that govern the relationships between men and women based on a framework of the superior husband and the subordinate wife are unsustainable in the twenty-first century. The medieval legal reasoning that defined the roles of the husband as ‘providing’ and the wife as ‘submissive’ has little bearing on today’s realities, especially in view of the changing status and roles of women and men.

The Qur’an provides a wealth of guiding principles to develop a new body of law on family relationships based on justice and equality. This knowledge has led SIS to commit its resources to the comprehensive reform of the Islamic family laws in Malaysia.

Reform is possible—and eminently desirable—on several grounds. First, the Qur’an directly upholds principles of Islam that support relationships based on equality between men and women, and between husbands and wives. Furthermore, these laws are based on divine and immutable. The codified law is not the sacred Syariah itself, but the product of human engagement with the revealed text. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi himself has supported the idea of reform, saying that ‘the renewal of Islamic thought must be an on-going process --- ensuring the universality of the message, its pluralism and diversity, and not be ossified and fossilised by blind imitation of traditional thought and opinion’.

Secondly, existing Islamic family laws in Malaysia contravene provisions of the Federal Constitution, such as Article 8(2), which specifically forbids discrimination on the basis of gender. As they stand, the individual family laws in each State also violate key aspects of our domestic policies, and contain provisions that have proven inequitable compared to civil laws governing the same matters for non-Muslims.

Malaysia must also institute legal reform if it is to fulfil its commitments to international human rights standards. Our country is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In addition, Malaysia is morally—if not legally—bound to observe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is generally recognised as international customary law, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Non-Aligned Movement’s Putrajaya Declaration, which Malaysia strongly promoted in its role as host and chair of the meeting at which it was adopted.

Finally, our Islamic family laws must reflect the realities of modern life. As the Prime Minister said: ‘Ensuring the rights of women will require reform and renewal in Islamic thought… The problems that contemporary Muslim societies are confronted with today are not the problems of the sixth century, and the solutions we need today do not lie with the notion of a Syariah purportedly final and complete fourteen hundred years ago - particularly in the case of women.’ Our laws must, therefore, address the complexities and realities of modern life while accounting for the universal and eternal principles of justice and equality in Islam.

In 2005, SIS began its work on a model Muslim Family Law based on the principles of justice and equality. The model law would serve as a lobbying tool to promote law reform and provide material for SIS public education and training programmes on women’s rights in Islam.

Throughout 2005, key members and supporters of SIS worked on a draft of the model law and arguments for reform. This work was inspired by successful law reform movements in the Maghreb countries (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia). In the Maghreb process, Collectif 95 Maghreb-Egalité, a network of activists and organisations, produced a 'Guide to Equality in the Family in the Maghreb' that outlined arguments supporting reform from four different levels: doctrinal arguments, sociological arguments, universal human rights arguments, and domestic law arguments. This Guide supported their law reform efforts, including the successful reform of the Moroccan Moudawana in 2004. The Maghreb 'Guide to Equality in the Family' was translated into English and Persian by Women's Learning Partnership.

In October 2005, SIS held a national consultative meeting with the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) and several individual lawyers. As a result of this work, SIS produced a 194-page document entitled the 'Guide to Equality in the Family: A Just and Equitable Family Law for Malaysia'. The Guide comprehensively addresses the necessity for reform and provides arguments to support the key concepts in the draft model legislation, such as the equal right to marriage and divorce and substantive equality in financial provisions. The Guide also contains the draft model Muslim family law bill itself.

The value of the Guide lies in the fact that SIS grounds its arguments using a holistic framework that includes the religious perspective, national laws and policies, international human rights principles, and the realities of Muslim women's lives today. An additional section provides accounts of best practices in the Muslim world in each key area of family law.

The draft was presented to international scholars and activists in March 2006 at a workshop entitled 'Trends in Family Law Reform in the Muslim World'. Today, the Guide continues to be a work in progress.

SIS has since built on the March 2006 workshop and its collaboration with organisations in countries around the world to initiate Musawah, a Global Movement for Equality and Justice in the Muslim Family, which was launched in February 2009 at a Global Meeting in Kuala Lumpur. More information on Musawah can be found on the Musawah website

Malaysia Law

Malaysia Legal system

Legal System/History
 
Legal system based on English common law, with both Islamic law and �adat constituting significant sources of law, particularly in matters of personal status.
Parts of present-day Malaysia under Portuguese and Dutch control, and starting from Penang in late 18th century, region eventually came under British rule, formalised by Anglo-Dutch Treaty 1824.
First legislation regulating Islamic marriage in Straits Settlements was Mohammedan Marriage Ordinance 1880, mainly procedural in content. Continued to be applied in Penang and Malacca until State Acts passed in 1959. In Federated Malay States, first legislation passed was Registration of Muhammedan Marriages and Divorces Orders in Perak and Selangor in 1885.
Legislative assembly established in 1955; independence achieved in 1957. From 1948, States granted jurisdiction over application and legislation of shari�ah and from 1952 to 1978, new laws promulgated in 11 Muslim-majority States of Malaysia and Sabah; generally entitled Administration of Islamic/Muslim Law Enactments and cover official determination of Islamic law, explanation of substantive law, and jurisdiction of syariah courts. New laws relating to personal law enacted in most States between 1983 and 1987.
Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 1993 relating to application of hadd penalties passed by State legislature but not brought into force.
School(s) of Fiqh
Shafi�i majority and Hanafi minorities; also significant Buddhist, Hindu and Christian minorities and high proportion of followers of indigenous religions, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak (both States are Muslim-minority).
Constitutional Status of Islam(ic Law)
Constitution adopted 31st August 1957; amended several times.
Art. 3(1) declares Islam official state religion and guarantees religious freedom. Arts. 3(3) & (5) Rulers of States declared heads of religion of Islam by State Constitutions; in absence of Muslim rulers (States of Malacca, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak) or in Federal Territories (Kuala Lumpur and Labuan) Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Head of State) is declared head of religion of Islam.
Ninth Schedule outlines legislative lists. Civil law (and family law as subset of civil law) come under federal legislature�s jurisdiction; however, persons of Malay race are defined as Muslims under Constitution and States empowered to make personal laws governing Muslims and laws relating to religious offences, and establish and regulate syariah courts for application of Islamic law. Family law relating to non-Muslims is in federal jurisdiction. Each State has Majlis (Council of Religion and Malay Custom) issuing fatawa generally in keeping with Shafi�i tenets except where such may conflict with public interest. Councils, with approval of State authorities, may follow minority Shafi�i views or interpretations from other three major Sunni madhahib.
Court System*
3 levels of syariah courts: Syariah Subordinate Courts, Syariah High Court and Syariah Appeal Court. Jurisdictions of different levels of courts defined in State legislation.
In September 2000, the government announced that it would establish a separate family court
Relevant Legislation
Islamic Family Law Enactments:
Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Malacca 1983
Selangor, Kedah, Perak, Federal Territories 1984
Penang, Pahang, Trengganu, 1985
[major amendments to IFL Federal Territories Act in 1994 included: allowing registration of polygamous marriage valid according to shari�a but not contracted with prior judicial permission, with courts empowered to consider character of husband as well as the considerations provided in original 1985 legislation, and deleted requirement that a proposed polygamous marriage must not lower standard of living of existing wife/wives and dependants in any way; also added that courts are to adjudicate on shar�i validity of extra-judicial talaq, although penalties for such are retained in the legislation]
Administration of Islamic Law Enactments:
Kelantan 1982
Kedah 1983
Selangor 1989
Federal Territories 1993
Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 1993
Notable Features*
Marriage Age: minimum marriage age of 18 for males and 16 for females, with provision for judicial permission for underage marriage
Marriage Guardianship: valid marriage requires both parties� consent as well as consent of wali or syariah judge if no wali is available; compulsion of wards or unreasonable objection to their valid marriage punishable by fine and/or imprisonment
Marriage Registration: required; both parties must apply to Registrar for permission to marry at least 7 days before wedding; marriage not to be solemnised except in kariah masjid of woman�s normal residence or special permission to marry elsewhere; Registrar records value of contents and value of items of dower given and promised at solemnisation; provision for appointment of Registrars in public offices and kariah masjid; non-registration punishable by fine and/or imprisonment although it does not determine validity of marriage
Polygamy: allowed with judicial permission; contingent upon application and court hearing with existing wife or wives; court requires proof of necessity (e.g., sterility physical infirmity, wilful avoidance of restitution order, etc.), proof of financial capacity; guarantee of equitable treatment of co-wives; proof that proposed marriage will not lower standard of life of existing wife or wives and dependants; contravention of application and permission requirements punishable by requiring immediate payment of outstanding dower to existing wife or wives and by fine and/or imprisonment
Obedience/Maintenance: wife�s right to maintenance subject to classical definitions of obedience; wife�s disobedience can result in restitution order or punishment of fine; wife may obtain maintenance order from court (levels and time periods are not specified)
Talaq: extra-judicial repudiation punishable by fine and/or imprisonment, and courts adjudicate on validity of talaq on basis of classical Islamic law although original legislation is silent on the matter; husband wishing to pronounce talaq required to apply for judicial permission, outlining his reasons as well as amounts of payments of nafkah edah (�idda period maintenance), mutaah (consolatory gift) and maskahwin (dower) he intends to make and provisions for division of harta sepencarian (matrimonial property); if court hearing determines consent of other party and irretrievability of breakdown, court advises husband�s pronouncement of single talaq and registers divorce; if other party disagrees or court is not convinced of irretrievable breakdown, court begins conciliation efforts of no longer than six months; if conciliation committee fails to effect conciliation, issues certificate of its failure and any and recommendations regarding custody, maintenance, division of property, etc.
Judicial Divorce: wife may apply for dissolution on following grounds: husband�s disappearance for over one year; failure to maintain for three months; sentencing to three years or more in prison; failure to perform marital obligations for one year; continued impotence, if wife was unaware of it upon marriage; mental illness lasting two years or leprosy, vitalgo or communicable venereal disease; wife�s repudiation of marriage concluded by father or grandfather before she attained 16, if she is below 18 years and marriage was unconsummated; cruel treatment; husband�s refusal to consummate for four months; invalidity of her consent (obtained under duress, mistaken, etc.); and any other grounds for dissolution or nullification recognised in hukm shar�
Post-Divorce Maintenance/Financial Arrangements: wife divorced without just cause may apply for maintenance during �idda and mut�a, levels of which are to be set by court; court also divides assets acquired by joint effort during marriage, and may also order division of assets acquired by sole efforts, with consideration of contribution made by other party in terms of housework and caring for family, though other party will in all cases receive smaller portion; divorced wife entitled to reside in marital home during �idda or until expiry of custody or remarriage, if former husband cannot provide other suitable accommodation
Child Custody and Guardianship: divorced mother entitled to custody of boys until 7 years and girls 9 years, subject to classical conditions; court may extend custody to 9 and 11 years respectively upon hadinah�s application; after expiry of hadinah�s custody, father becomes custodian, with proviso that ward having reached age of discernment may choose with which parent to live, unless court directs otherwise
Succession: governed by classical law as modified by Malay custom
Notable Cases

Law/Case Reporting System
Case reporting of Federal Court and High Court decisions in Malayan Law Journal. Law reporting is through Federal and State Official Gazettes. Some Syariah Court judgements included in Syariah Law Journal of International Islamic University of Malaysia.
International Conventions (with Relevant Reservations)
CEDAW � accession 1995, with reservation to Art. 11 (reservations to Arts. 2(f), 5(a), 7(b), 9 & 16 withdrawn in 1998)
CRC � accession 1995 with reservation to Arts. 1, 2, 7, 13, 14, 15, 22, 28, 37, 40(3) & (4), 44 and 45, declaring that "said provisions shall be applicable only if they are in conformity with the Constitution, national laws and national policies of the Government of Malaysia." 

Legal History: 

The legal system is based on English common law, with both Islamic law and �adat constituting significant sources of law, particularly in matters of personal status.
Parts of present-day Malaysia were under Portuguese and Dutch control, and starting from Penang in the late 18th century, the region eventually came under British rule, formalised by the Anglo-Dutch Treaty 1824. Malaysia and Singapore were the eventual successor states to the Straits Settlements (Penang, Singapore, Malacca), Federated Malay States (Selangor, Perak, Pahang, Negri Sembilan) and Unfederated Malay States (Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Trengganu, and Johor). Sabah and Sarawak, formerly constituents of British Borneo, later joined Malaysia.
Under British rule, the first legislation regulating Islamic marriage in the Straits Settlements was the Mohammedan Marriage Ordinance 1880, mainly procedural in content. The Ordinance was amended in 1908 to make registration of marriage and divorce compulsory, non-compliance being punishable by fine or imprisonment. A 1923 amendment directed the application of Islamic law to intestate succession of Muslims insofar as local custom would permit, and without disinheriting non-Muslim kin. The Ordinance continued to be applied in Penang and Malacca until State Acts were passed in 1959. The first codification of Malay customary law (a mixture of �adat and Islamic law) came in 1915 with enactment of Laws of the Malay Courts 1915 in Sarawak.
The region was occupied by Japanese forces from 1942 to 1945, with control reverting to the British after WWII. A legislative assembly was established in 1955 and independence achieved in 1957. From 1948, the States were granted jurisdiction over application and legislation of shari�ah and from 1952 to 1978, new laws were promulgated in the eleven Muslim-majority States of Malaysia and Sabah, generally entitled Administration of Islamic/Muslim Law Enactments and covering the official determination of Islamic law, explanation of substantive law, and jurisdiction of syariah courts. New laws relating to personal law were enacted in most States between 1983 and 1987.
Efforts by Kelantan State to pass a Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 1993 relating to the application of hadd penalties resulted in a stand-off between the Federal and State governments. It was passed by the State legislature but never brought into force. It was a matter of much controversy as criminal matters are within Federal and not State legislatures� jurisdiction.
Schools of Fiqh: The majority of Muslims are Shafi�i, with Hanafi minorities. There are also significant Buddhist, Hindu and Christian minorities and a high proportion of followers of indigenous religions, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak (both States are Muslim-minority).
Constitutional Status of Islam(ic Law): The Constitution was adopted on 31st August 1957 and has been amended several times. Article 3(1) declares Islam the official state religion as well as guarantees religious freedom. Articles 3(3) and (5) provide that the Ruler of each State is the head of the religion of Islam by the Constitution of that State. In the absence of a Muslim ruler (in the States of Malacca, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak) or in the Federal Territories (Kuala Lumpur and Labuan) Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Head of State) is declared the head of the religion of Islam.
The Ninth Schedule of the Constitution outlines the legislative lists. Malaysia is a federation of 13 States with both State and Federal level executive and legislative powers; civil law (and family law as a subset of civil law) come under the federal legislature�s jurisdiction, but persons of the Malay race are defined as Muslims under the Constitution and the States are empowered to make personal laws governing Muslims and laws relating to religious offences, and to establish and regulate syariah courts for the application of Islamic law. Personal status law relating to non-Muslims is within the Federal legislature�s jurisdiction (governed by the Malaysian Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 that repealed all previous statutes on marriage and divorce governing non-Muslims). Clarification of points of Islamic law comes under the jurisdiction of each State�s Majlis (Council of Religion and Malay Custom). The Majlis� generally issue fatawa that are in keeping with Shafi�i tenets except where such may conflict with public interest. In such instances, the Councils (with the approval of State authorities) may follow minority Shafi�i views or interpretations from other three major Sunni madhahib.
Court System: There are three levels of syariah courts in a system parallel to and independent of the civil courts: Syariah Subordinate Courts, Syariah High Court and Syariah Appeal Court.
Syariah Subordinate Courts have jurisdiction as indicated by state legislation over criminal suits liable to punishment up to 2,000 ringgit and/or imprisonment up to two years and civil suits in which the value of the subject in dispute is up to 100,000 ringgit or not estimable in cash.
The Syariah High Court has appellate jurisdiction over Subordinate Court decisions in civil suits of 500 ringgit or more and criminal suits. The Syariah High Court has original jurisdiction as indicated by state legislation in criminal suits and civil jurisdiction over betrothal and marriage, divorce, nullification or separation, marital property claims, maintenance of dependants, legitimacy, guardianship and custody, testate and intestate succession, gifts inter vivos and awqaf, in cases where all the parties are Muslims.
The Syariah Appeal Court has appellate jurisdiction over decisions arising out of the Syariah High Court�s original jurisdiction; all appeals are heard by the Chief Syarie Judge and two other members and decisions are by majority opinion.
In September 2000, the government announced that it would establish a separate family court.
Notable Features: The minimum marriage age is 18 for males and 16 for females, with provision for judicial permission for underage marriages. A valid marriage requires both parties� consent as well as the consent of the wali or syariah judge if no wali is available; compulsion of wards or unreasonable objection to their valid marriage is punishable by fine and/or imprisonment.
Marriage registration is obligatory; both parties must apply to the Registrar for permission to marry at least seven days before the wedding. Marriage is not to be solemnised except in the kariah masjid of the woman�s normal residence or by special permission to marry elsewhere. The Registrar is required to record the value and contents of items of dower given and promised at the solemnisation of marriage. There is provision for the appointment of Registrars in public offices as well as in kariah masjid. Non-registration is punishable by fine and/or imprisonment although it does not determine the validity of marriage.
Polygamy is allowed with judicial permission, contingent upon application to the court and a hearing with existing wife or wives. The court requires proof of necessity (e.g., first wife�s sterility, physical infirmity, wilful avoidance of restitution order, etc.); proof of financial capacity; guarantee of equitable treatment of co-wives; and proof that the proposed marriage will not lower the standard of life of the existing wife or wives and other dependants. Contravention of the application procedure and permission requirements is punishable by requiring immediate payment of any outstanding dower to the existing wife or wives and by fine and/or imprisonment.
The wife�s right to maintenance is subject to classical definitions of obedience. The wife may obtain a maintenance order from the court in cases where her husband fails to provide maintenance; the levels and period for which the wife might sue for arrears are not specified. The wife�s disobedience can result in restitution order or punishment of fine.
Extra-judicial repudiation is punishable by fine and/or imprisonment. A husband wishing to pronounce talaq is required to apply for judicial permission, outlining his reasons as well as the amounts of payments of nafkah edah (�idda period maintenance), mutaah (consolatory gift) and maskahwin (dower) he intends to make and provisions for the division of harta sepencarian (matrimonial property). If a court hearing determines the consent of the other party and the irretrievability of the breakdown, the court advises the husband�s pronouncement of a single talaq and registers the divorce. If the other party disagrees or the court is not convinced of irretrievable breakdown, the court begins conciliation efforts. The conciliation committee has up to six months to effect a conciliation; if the committee fails to do so, it issues a certificate of its failure, including any recommendations regarding custody, maintenance, division of property, etc. (The Act only provides penalties for extra-judicial repudiations and does not refer to their validity; courts tend to adjudicate on the validity of a talaq pronounced outside of court on the basis of classical law.)
The wife may apply for judicial dissolution on the following grounds: the husband�s disappearance for over one year; failure to maintain for three months; sentencing to three years or more in prison; failure to perform marital obligations for one year; continued impotence, if the wife was unaware of it upon marriage; mental illness lasting two years or leprosy, vitalgo or communicable venereal disease; the wife�s repudiation of a marriage concluded by her father or grandfather before she attained 16, if she is below 18 years and the marriage was not consummated; cruel treatment; husband�s refusal to consummate for four months; invalidity of her consent (obtained under duress, mistaken, etc.); and any other grounds for dissolution or nullification recognised in hukm shar�. A wife divorced without just cause may apply for maintenance during her �idda and mut�a, levels of which are to be set by the court.
The court also divides assets acquired by joint effort during marriage, and may also order the division of assets acquired by sole efforts, with consideration of the contribution made by the other party in terms of housework and caring for the family, though the other party will in all cases receive the smaller portion. The divorced wife is also entitled to reside in the marital home during the �idda or until the expiry of her custody or her remarriage, if the former husband cannot provide other suitable accommodation.
The divorced mother is entitled to custody over boys until 7 years and girls until 9 years, subject to classical conditions. The court may extend custody to 9 and 11 years respectively upon the hadina�s application. After the expiry of the hadinah�s custody, the father becomes custodian, with the proviso that wards having reached the age of discernment may choose with which parent to live, unless the court directs otherwise.
Succession is governed by classical law as modified by Malay custom. This is particularly important in rural areas and with reference to the inheritance of land, as all Malay �adat have specific rules on inheritance of land and such rules are often inconsistent with Islamic law. For example, inheritance in Malaccan �adat is matrilineal.

Notable Cases: 

Law/Case Reporting System: Case reporting of Federal Court and High Court decisions is through the Malayan Law Journal. Law reporting is through the Federal and State Official Gazettes. Some Syariah Court judgements are included in some issues of the Syariah Law Journal of the International Islamic University of Malaysia.

International Conventions (with Relevant Reservations): Malaysia acceded to the CEDAW in 1995 with a number of reservations relating to discriminatory aspects of customary and personal status laws and discrimination to appointments in public office (particularly relating to the offices of mufti or qadi). These reservations were withdrawn in 1998. The reservation to Article 11 on elimination of discrimination against women in employment still stands, stating that "Malaysia interprets the provisions of this article as a reference to the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of equality between men and women only".
Malaysia acceded to the CRC in 1995 with a general reservation to Articles 1, 2, 7, 13, 14, 15, 22, 28, 37, 40(3) & (4), 44 and 45, declaring that "said provisions shall be applicable only if they are in conformity with the Constitution, national laws and national policies of the Government of Malaysia." (The articles mentioned relate to majority, measures to eliminate discrimination against children, birth registration and nationality rights, children�s freedom of expression, religion, and association, adoption, right to education, children�s rights and liberties in criminal law, the system of reporting to the CRC and co-operation with UNICEF.) 

Background and Sources: Hooker, Islamic Law in South-East Asia, Singapore, 1984; Ibrahim, Family Law in Malaysia and Singapore, Singapore, 1984; Kamali, "Islamic Law in Malaysia: Issues and Developments," Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, vol. 4 (1998): 158-179; Mahmood,

�Malaysia� in Statutes of Personal Law in Islamic Countries, 2nd ed. New Delhi, 1995; Redden, 

�Malaysia� in Modern Legal Systems Cyclopedia, vol. 9, New York, 1990; Selangor, Administration of Islamic Law Enactment 1989 and Islamic Family Law Enactment 1984 (as at 15th September 1991), comp. by Legal Research Board, Kuala Lumpur, 1992; Siraj, Women and the Law: Significant Developments in Malaysia," Law and Society Review, vol. 28, no. 3 (1994): 561-581.