HC serves notice on State Govt. over Wildlife Board

The Madhya Pradesh HC has served a notice on the State govt over the constitution of the Wildlife Board after an animal rights activist filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition claiming that law has been violated by nominating persons with “special interest in wildlife” to the Board.

On Aug 3, the State govt, under Section 6 (1) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, reconstituted the Board by nominating 30 members, with CM Kamal Nath as its Chairman & Forest Minister (FM) Umang Singhar as Vice-Chairman(VC).

Under the Section ‘experts in the fields of environmentalism/protection’, the govt has nominated 4 out of 8 persons to the Board for their “special interest in wildlife.”

The Public Interest Litigation(PIL) plea, filed by Bhopal-based Ajay Dubey, claimed that while resorting to “nepotism, corruption & favouritism” to nominate such members, thereby violating the Act, the govt had “diluted” the word ‘eminent conservationist’, as mentioned in the Act.

According to Section 6 (e) of the Act, the State govts could nominate 10 persons to the Board from “amongst eminent conservationists, ecologists & environmentalists including at least 2 representatives of the Scheduled Tribes.”

Madhya Pradesh trader fined Rs 4.5 lakh from adulterating ghee

A Madhya Pradesh court has imposed a fine of Rs 4.5 lakh on a trader selling adulterated ghee.

Additional District Magistrate S K Mishra fined Manish Bansal in a case dating back to July 10, 2016, when the state Food department raided his dairy and seized over 100 kg of adulterated ghee, an official said.

A laboratory in Bhopal confirmed that adulteration, he added.

Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Tulsiram Silavat had last week told PTI that the state government had decided to impose the stringent National Security Act (NSA) on those adulterating milk and dairy products.

Statewide raids have been carried out since mid-July to nab dairy adulterators in which many people have been arrested, including one on July 19 this year, in Morena and Bhind districts of Chambal region.

In the raid, synthetic milk and dairy products being supplied to five states were seized and 62 people arrested.

Madhya Pradesh minor’s rape-murder: Accused sent to judicial custody for a day

A special court here on Tuesday sent a man accused of raping and killing an eight-year-old girl to judicial custody for a day.

Vishnu Bamora (35) was produced before Special Judge Suresh Singh by Kamla Nagar police, said Sudha Vijay Singh Bhadoriya, Special Public Prosecutor for the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Bamora was arrested from Mortakka village in Khandwa on Monday morning for raping and smothering the minor girl in Kamla Nagar area here in the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.

The girl went missing after she came out of her house on Saturday evening to make a purchase, and her body was found near a drain in the area Sunday morning.

The SPP on Monday told PTI that the court was informed that the police was ready to file a charge sheet in the case by Wednesday.

Bhadoriya said Bhopal District Bar Association vice president Reena Verma has told her that lawyers have decided not to appear for the accused.

SC asks MCI for solution over fate of 150 medical students in MP college

New Delhi:  After 150 medical students in Bhopal being left in the lurch after permission of a college for admission in the academic session 2017-18 was denied by the Medical Council of India (MCI), The Supreme Court has taken a serious note over the matter .

A vacation bench of justices U U Lalit and Deepak Gupta expressed concern of the situation and wondered as what should be the approach to deal with the matter where the students were allocated seat by the central counselling agency to a particular college, which had later ran into difficulties.

“It is not as if the admissions in question were not in fair and transparent manner. On the other hand, the state authorities sent or directed the students to this college. Can the students be now left in the lurch,” the bench asked.

During the hearing, advocate Arjun Garg, appearing for the Madhya Pradesh government, said not a single seat was available in any of the medical colleges in the state for the academic session 2017-18.
The bench asked Garg on whose instructions he has been making such a statement and warned that if at a later stage, the submission was found to be wrong, it would haul up the official concerned.
Garg said he has instructions from additional chief secretary for medical education in the state and named the official as R S Julani.

“The correctness of that statement will certainly be considered but at this stage it must be stated that the status report on record filed on behalf of the state of Madhya Pradesh on May 2, 2018 does not indicate the stand which is now projected on behalf of the state of Madhya Pradesh,” it said.
It said that the MCI should place its view in the matter and suggest a solution, if any.

“We also direct the MCI to place before us the details as to vacant seats available in colleges in state of Madhya Pradesh and adjoining states for the academic session 2017-2018. The MCI shall file appropriate affidavit within two weeks giving complete details of vacancy situation as indicated above,” the bench said.
The top court was hearing a matter related to RKDF Medical College Hospital and Research Centre which was initially accorded approval by the MCI and the Centre to take admissions for MBBS course for academic session 2014-15.

Our concern limited to protection of Mahakaleshwar’s ‘lingam’: Supreme Court

It is not for a court to decide how worship is to be performed in a temple, the Supreme Court said today stressing that its concern was only about the protection of the ‘lingam’ at the ancient Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit observed that it would not go into the issue of what religious rituals should be followed and how worship should be performed there. It was for the temple management and the concerned stakeholders to discuss and decide.

“We are only concerned about the ‘lingam’,” the bench observed and reserved it order on the issue of protection of the deteriorating condition of the ‘Jyotirlingam’, a phallus symbolising Shiva.

The apex court has been dealing with the issue of protecting the ‘lingam’. It had earlier taken strong exception over some display boards set up at the temple which had attributed new worshipping norms as directions of the top court.

It had said the court had never given any direction to implement the new norms of worship, which were actually submitted by Mahakaleshwar Mandir Management Committee in consultation with an expert committee set up by the court.

It had directed the temple management committee to immediately remove these display boards and even asked the media to report the issue with caution.

As per the new norms, the devotees was permitted a fixed amount of water measuring 500 ml in an appropriate small pot per person for ‘Jalabhishek’ (worshipping by offering water).

The water for ‘Jalabhishek’ should be taken from the Reverse Osmosis (RO) machine installed during the religious congregation of Simhastha in 2016, for which a connection was to be provided near the sanctum sanctorum.

On August 25 last year, the apex court had constituted an expert committee to survey and analyse the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlingam and prepare a report stating the rate at which the deterioration in its size was taking place and the measures to prevent it.

The committee was also directed to study other structures and the temple and submit recommendations on steps for overall improvement of entire premises and its preservation.

‘Install online air monitoring systems, RO in Singrauli’

'Install online air monitoring systems, RO in Singrauli'
‘Install online air monitoring systems, RO in Singrauli’

The National Green Tribunal has directed the Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh governments to to install online air quality monitoring systems in Singrauli and Sonebhadra districts after a plea alleged pollution in these areas due to industrial and mining activities.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also ordered installation of reverse osmosis (RO) water purification plants so that the residents get potable water.

Land for installation of RO plant would be provided by the state government or the village panchayat and the entire cost for installation and maintenance would be borne by the industries, the bench said.

“We direct the Member Secretary of state pollution control boards, District Magistrates and the concerned officer of the industry or the thermal plant to ensure that every village in Singrauli region including coal mining area, is provided with an RO plant to ensure that residents of the village get potable water.

“All the industries shall be liable to bear the cost in discharge of their corporate social responsibility as well as on the fact that the existing pollution is attributable to them in one way or the other,” the bench said.

All the stone crushers which are operating in these regions without permission from the competent authority should be shut down without further notice, the NGT said.

“The stone crushers which are permitted to operate would also be responsible for installation of RO system at the place where there are number of stone crushers running and they would be guided by the same directions as above,” it said.

The tribunal formed two supervisory committees in both the states comprising secretary of the Environment department of the respective states, Member Secretaries of state pollution control boards, District Magistrates and others which would submit a monthly report.

The order came as the NGT disposed of a plea filed by advocate Advocate Ashwani Dubey opposing power projects in Singrauli and Sonebhadra districts on the ground that they were causing air and water pollution.

The lawyer had also opposed grant of sanction for any new project or expansion of the existing units till an action plan for improving environment is implemented.

The petition had also sought that existing power plants and other industries in the area be directed to install modern devices and equipment for controlling or minimising pollution they are allegedly causing.

Earlier, a core committee set up by the NGT to inspect areas in Singrauli and Sonebhadra districts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, where coal mines and thermal plants are operating, had submitted its interim report on the environment and the health of the people.

In a detailed report, the committee had submitted that heavy industrial activities in the region were a major source of pollution in the area and the ground water in the villages near Singrauli was contaminated with high fluoride and mercury concentration.

In 2015, the tribunal had constituted a core committee for monitoring of potential hazards of industrial development in Singrauli area and five sub committees for quantification of industrial pollution and impact assessment of water, air, soil and health in and around Singrauli.

It had also directed that expenditure in conducting the inspection, survey and studies would be met by the respective state governments for the region and they may be permitted to recover it from industrial units, thermal power and coal mines.

( Source – PTI )

Mahakaleshwar temple: SC to hear matter on merits

Mahakaleshwar temple: SC to hear matter on merits
Mahakaleshwar temple: SC to hear matter on merits

The Supreme Court today said it would hear on merit a plea raising the issue of protection of ‘lingam’ at ancient Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple in the Ujjain city of Madhya Pradesh.

A bench comprising Justices Justices Arun Mishra and M M Shantanagoudar said the matter would be heard in March and allowed the ‘mahant’ (chief priest) of temple to intervene in the case.

The apex court had earlier taken strong exception over the display boards at the temple which had attributed the new worshipping norms as directions of the top court.

It had said the apex court had never given any direction to implement the new norms of worshipping, which were actually submitted by Mahakaleshwar Mandir Management Committee in consultation with an expert committee set up by the court.

It had directed the temple management committee to immediately remove these display boards and even asked the media to report the issue with caution.

The bench had said the petition has been entertained by the court only to preserve the ‘lingam’.

As per the new norms, the devotees was permitted a fixed amount of water measuring 500ml in an appropriate small pot per person for Jalabhishek (worshipping by offering water).

The resolutions had said that the water for Jalabhishek shall be taken from the Reverse Osmosis (RO) machine installed during Simhastha (religious congregation) in 2016, for which a connection shall be provided near the sanctum sanctorum.

The new resolution said during the famous Bhasma Aarti, half of the ‘lingam’ was covered with cloth. From now on, it would be fully covered with dry cotton cloth during the prayers.

On August 25, the apex court had constituted an expert committee to survey and analyse the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlingam and prepare a report stating the rate at which the deterioration in its size was taking place and the measures to prevent it.

The committee was also directed to study other structures and the temple, and submit recommendations on the steps for overall improvement of entire premises and its preservation.

( Source – PTI )

Naveen Jindal, others granted bail in coal scam case

Naveen Jindal, others granted bail in coal scam case
Naveen Jindal, others granted bail in coal scam case

Industrialist Naveen Jindal and others were today granted bail by a special court in a case related to the allocation of a coal block in Madhya Pradesh.

Special Judge Bharat Parashar granted the relief to them on a personal bond of Rs one lakh each and one surety of like amount.

The court has now posted the matter for further hearing on October 31.

Besides Jindal, others who got the relief include Jindal Steel and Power Ltd’s (JSPL) former Director Sushil Maroo, former Deputy MD Anand Goyal and CEO Vikrant Gujral.

The accused were summoned for alleged offences of cheating and criminal conspiracy in the allocation of Urtan North coal block in Madhya Pradesh.

In its charge sheet, the CBI has alleged that JSPL misrepresented the equipment purchase orders and misled the Coal Ministry.

Jindal is also facing trial in a case pertaining to the allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.

( Source – PTI )

Another HC bench recuses from hearing MP minister’s plea

Another HC bench recuses from hearing MP minister's plea
Another HC bench recuses from hearing MP minister’s plea

Another bench of the Delhi High Court today recused from hearing Madhya Pradesh minister Narottam Mishra’s plea against an Election Commission (EC) order disqualifying him on charges of paid news.

The matter was listed before a bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Navin Chawla, one of whom recused from hearing the BJP leader’s petition. No reasons were given.

Yesterday, another bench of the high court had recused from hearing the matter.

The Supreme Court on July 28 had kept in abeyance the poll panel’s June 23 order disqualifying Mishra and had requested the Delhi High Court to expeditiously hear his appeal preferably within two weeks.

The high court had on July 16 dismissed Mishra’s plea for an interim stay of its single judge July 14 order, upholding the EC’s decision disqualifying him on the charges of paid news.

Mishra had sought an interim stay as a last ditch attempt to vote in the July 17 presidential election.

The single judge bench had on July 14 said that according to the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, the disqualification of a candidate has to be from the date of the order.

The BJP leader had contended before the high court that the EC’s order disqualifying him pertained to an election of 2008 and that his subsequent tenure from 2013 would remain unaffected.

The matter had reached the Delhi High Court after the apex court on July 12 transferred the matter to it to be decided expeditiously before the July 17 presidential poll.

The EC’s order had held him guilty of filing wrong accounts of election expense relating to articles and advertorials in the media during the 2008 assembly polls.

The poll panel’s order had come on a complaint by Congress leader Rajendra Bharti, who had contested the polls against Mishra in the 2008 assembly elections.

Mishra had contested the EC’s decision on the grounds of delay in proceedings and that no evidence showed he had authorised paid news articles.

While disqualifying Mishra from contesting elections for three years, the poll panel had used some strong words against paid news, calling it a “cancerous menace” that is assuming “alarming proportions” in the electoral landscape.

Mishra, who won from Datia assembly constituency, was the minister for water resources and public relations and the chief spokesperson of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.

The poll panel order had said that all the 42 news items that had appeared in five Hindi dailies were “extremely biased in favour of” Mishra.

It had said that its findings had also strengthened the conclusion that he had “knowingly participated or took advantage of the expenditure on such advertisements” that had appeared as news in the publication.

( Source – PTI )

SC stays EC’s order disqualifying MP minister

SC stays EC's order disqualifying MP minister
SC stays EC’s order disqualifying MP minister

The Supreme Court today kept in abeyance the June 23 order of the Election Commission (EC) disqualifying Madhya Pradesh minister Narottam Mishra for three years on charges of paid news.

Mishra’s last ditch attempt to vote in the July 17 presidential election was dashed by the Delhi High Court on July 16 as it had refused to grant him any interim relief.

The apex court said that the matter involves substantial questions of law regarding interpretation of the provisions of the Representation of the People Act and requested the Delhi High Court to hear Mishra’s pending appeal expeditiously, preferably within two weeks.

However, the division bench of the high court had said that there was no urgency for hearing Mishra’s appeal against its single judge decision upholding his disqualification and it would be heard by a regular bench later.

The apex court today said, “We are of the opinion that the matter involves substantial questions of law regarding the interpretation of various provisions of the Representation of People Act (sections 10A, 77, 78, 123 etc),”

“In the circumstances, we are of the opinion that the ends of justice would be met in the instant case by requesting the High Court of Delhi to hear the above-mentioned LPA expeditiously preferably within a period of two weeks from today.”

The bench said, “We also deem it appropriate, in the circumstances, to keep the operation of the order of the Election Commission dated June 23, 2017, referred to supra, in abeyance”.

The apex court, while disposing of Mishra’s plea, made it clear that it has not expressed any opinion regarding any question or any matter on merits.

The high court had on July 16 dismissed Mishra’s plea for an interim stay of its single judge July 14 order, upholding the EC’s decision disqualifying him on the charges of paid news.

The single judge bench had on July 14 said that as per the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, the disqualification of a candidate has to be from the date of the order.

The BJP leader had contended before the high court that the EC’s order disqualifying him pertained to an election of 2008 and that his subsequent tenure from 2013 would remain unaffected.

The matter had reached the Delhi High Court after the apex court on July 12 transferred the matter to it to be decided expeditiously before the July 17 presidential polls.

The EC’s order had held him guilty of filing wrong accounts of election expense relating to articles and advertorials in the media during the 2008 assembly polls.

The poll panel’s order had come on a complaint by Congress leader Rajendra Bharti, who had contested the polls against Mishra in the 2008 assembly elections.

Mishra had contested the EC’s decision on the grounds of delay in proceedings and that no evidence showed he had authorised paid news articles.

While disqualifying Mishra from contesting elections for three years, the poll panel had used some strong words against paid news, calling it a “cancerous menace” that is assuming “alarming proportions” in the electoral landscape.

Mishra, who won from Datia assembly constituency, was the minister for water resources and public relations and the chief spokesperson of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.

The poll panel order had said that all the 42 news items that had appeared in five Hindi dailies were “extremely biased in favour of” Mishra.

It had said that its findings had also strengthened the conclusion that he had “knowingly participated or took advantage of the expenditure on such advertisements” that had appeared as news in the publication.

( Source – PTI )