iconimg Saturday, September 05, 2015

Satya Prakash, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 22, 2014
As the BJP-led NDA prepares to form the next government under Narendra Modi, the Centre’s stand on many important cases, including Ram Setu and gay sex matters pending before the Supreme Court, is likely to change. Given the BJP’s strong views on these issues one would be surprised if the new government did not reverse the UPA government’s stand before the top court.

The saffron party has been vociferously opposing the UPA government’s Setusamudram Project on the ground that it would damage the Ram Setu, believed to have been built by Lord Ram thousands of years ago.

The UPA government had in February 2013 rejected the RK Pachauri Committee report that found the project unviable – both economically and ecologically and said it intended to pursue the project cutting through the Ram Setu.

Similarly, the Centre is expected to take a U-turn on criminalisation of gay sex after the UPA’s defeat at the hustings.

Last month, the SC agreed to an open court hearing of a curative petition - last legal recourse available to a litigant.

The SC had on December 11, 2013 reversed a landmark 2009 Delhi high court verdict decriminalising gay sex. Home and health ministries under UPA initially took divergent stands but later supported de-criminalisation of consensual gay sex in private.

Yet another contentious issue is UPA’s Aadhaar scheme. Pointing out several flaws in the scheme, BJP president Rajnath Singh had on April 11 said his party would review it after coming to power.  “Aadhaar is prone to misuse by those who have illegally settled in India,” he had said.

The scheme has been challenged in the SC for not being backed by any law and the SC has said it cannot be made mandatory.

Even on the issue of black money the Modi government is likely to reverse the UPA’s stand. Hours before demitting office, UPA government had on May 16 made a last ditch attempt to stall probe into black money cases by an SC-monitored SIT. It wanted a vacation bench of the court to urgently hear its review petition but the court refused to oblige.

Now it would be interesting to see what stand the NDA government takes.