Groundwater use by Delhi Metro: NGT fines Jal Board

Groundwater use by Delhi Metro: NGT fines Jal Board
Groundwater use by Delhi Metro: NGT fines Jal Board

The National Green Tribunal has castigated Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and slapped a fine on it for not filing its response on a plea alleging that Delhi Metro was extracting groundwater to wash its trains, despite promising to do so in a few days a fortnight ago.

A bench headed by Justice U D Salvi slammed the counsel for DJB and slapped a fine of Rs 2000 on the department for making “loose statements” before it.

“DJB had made a statement on August 22, 2016 that the reply will be filed within two to three days. No reply has been filed till date…We deprecate this practice of making loose statements before the Tribunal. We, therefore, saddle the DJB with the cost of Rs 2,000,” the bench said.

The green panel directed DJB to deposit the amount with the NGT Legal Aid Service Committee within two weeks and submit the receipt of payment before it on September 8, the next date of hearing.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Delhi resident Kush Kalra who had alleged that DMRC was extracting groundwater instead of using wastewater to wash its trains, resulting in depletion of water table.

Advocate Kush Sharma, appearing for Kalra, had said that at a time when water crisis has hit 12,000 villages across Latur in Maharashtra, DMRC is busy shining its trains by “illegal” extraction of groundwater.

Referring to a RTI reply, the plea said that DMRC’s water requirement was met through borewells and DJB connection. It also said that in order to draw water from the borewell, 3 to 5 HP pumps were used.

“No bottled water is used, groundwater after treatment as per requirement is used for train washing…Borewells have been provided in the depots from where water is sourced.

“Around 400 to 500 litres of groundwater is used for washing of one metro train. The water, after washing of metro train, is sent to Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP). The treated water is then used for gardening and the excess sent to drains,” the RTI reply had revealed.

Further, another RTI response received from Delhi Jal Board said no permission had been granted to DMRC for digging the borewells.

In another response, a list of metro stations that had been granted such permissions was provided to DMRC, the plea had said while referring to the contradiction between the responses.

( Source – PTI )

SC asks Guj to reply on pleas to defreeze a/c of Teesta,others

SC asks Guj to reply on pleas to defreeze a/c of Teesta,others
SC asks Guj to reply on pleas to defreeze a/c of Teesta,others

The Supreme Court today sought the response of Gujarat Government on the pleas filed by social activist Teesta Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and two NGOs challenging the freezing of their accounts by the Crime Branch of Ahmedabad Police.

A bench of justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit issued notice to the state and Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said they would file their response within two weeks.

The court has now fixed the matter for hearing on September 21.

Teesta, her husband and the two NGOs — Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace — have approached the apex court challenging the October 7 verdict of the Gujarat High Court which had rejected their pleas for defreezing their personal bank accounts.

The action of the Ahmedabad Police had come soon after the Crime Branch had started probing a case in which Setalvad and others are accused of embezzling Rs 1.51 crore collected to convert Gulberg Society — where 69 people were killed during the post-Godhra riots — into a 2002 riots museum.

The high court had upheld the verdict of a lower court in this regard observing that the probe was at a serious point in the alleged case of Gulberg society fund embezzlement.

(Source : PTI)

Do gods sit in cabinet meetings and decide issues: Delhi HC

Do gods sit in cabinet meetings and decide issues: Delhi HC
Do gods sit in cabinet meetings and decide issues: Delhi HC

Do gods sit in the cabinet meeting and decide the issues or is the cabinet something beyond the heaven which can’t deal with a relevant issue, the Delhi High Court today said expressing annoyance at the Centre’s delay in sanctioning additional police for the national capital.

“Do some gods sit in the cabinet meeting and decide the issues or the cabinet is something beyond heaven which can’t even deal with a relevant issue,” a bench comprising Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said.

The bench’s observation came after Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain submitted that an interministerial cabinet note is being prepared on the issue of additional police force in the national capital.

“As a judge and as a person, I am very dejected with the way the matter is dealt (with) by the Centre and concerned authorities. You all are killing your people. These very people elected you. Everyday, incidents of crime are reported against women, child and senior citizen,” Justice Ahmed said.

The bench also pulled up the bureaucracy, saying what kind of officials were they that they can’t prepare a note in six weeks for the cabinet.

“What set of bureaucrats are there that they can’t prepare a proper cabinet note in six weeks while lawyers can prepare a petition in one night. Even judges write thousand pages judgement, then why can’t these officials prepare a three-page note..What kind of efficiency is this?” the bench asked.

The bench said it was absolutely disappointed with the way the issue was being dealt with despite the earlier orders of the court.

“Delhi Police has submitted they need additional forces to provide proper security to the people of Delhi and even the Ministry of Home Affairs has seconded their view. Then why the matter is stuck between interministerial discussions on a cabinet note?” it said.

The bench asked the central government to file an affidavit by the next date of hearing on whether it has funds to create additional force or not and secondly whether it intends to create the additional force or not.

The court also asked the central government to explain why the cabinet note has not been prepared till now and posted the matter for further hearing on December 21.
On the issue of installing CCTV cameras in the national

capital, Delhi government told the court that a decision has been taken to install the cameras in entire Delhi including 44 vulnerable police station areas.

It said that a status report will be filed in one week regarding installation of CCTV cameras in the national capital.

The court was also informed that a standard operating procedure has been adopted for operating one-stop centres to provide assistance to the victims of crimes against women and such centres have been functional in all district courts except Patiala House Court.

It was told that such one-stop centre will also be coming up at Woman and Child Development department of Delhi government, Delhi Commission of Woman, Delhi Police and Health and Family Welfare department of Delhi government.

On October 14, the court had told the Centre that while it follows austerity measures regarding increasing the number of personnel in Delhi Police, it should ensure that life and liberty issues “do not take a backseat”.

The court had also “impressed upon” the central government to give due credence to its observation regarding increase of policemen saying safety and security of people in Delhi, especially women and children, was the “crying need of the hour”.

The bench had expressed the hope that decisions would be taken by the government at the earliest, after it was told by the Union Home Ministry that since the increase in Delhi Police personnel and bifurcation of criminal investigation from law and order would entail an expenditure of Rs 483.56 crore per annum, Cabinet approval was necessary.

The Home Ministry also told the court that it would be preparing the note for approval by the Cabinet and the whole process was expected to take four weeks.

Earlier, the court had issued notice to the Centre and Delhi government on a plea filed by advocate Gaurav Bansal who has sought “laying down of directives to prevent sexual abuse of school-going children in the national capital”.

Bansal had filed the application in the PIL initiated by the court after the December 16 gangrape incident in which it has been giving directions on the issues of appointing more police personnel, additional forensic labs and setting up of a victim compensation fund.

( Source – PTI )

15-yr-old crushed by truck; Parents get Rs 11L

15-yr-old crushed by truck; Parents get Rs 11L
15-yr-old crushed by truck; Parents get Rs 11L

Parents of a 15-year-old boy, who died after being run over by a rashly driven truck, have been awarded a compensation of over Rs 11 lakh by a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) here.

The tribunal directed Shriram General Insurance Company Ltd, insurer of the offending truck, to pay Rs 11.07 lakh to the parents of the teenaged boy, who died in 2012.

MACT Presiding Officer Kiran Bansal held the driver guilty of rash and negligent driving while relying on the testimony of the boy’s father, who was an eyewitness to the accident, and also noted that the driver and owner of the offending truck did not step into the witness box to deny the allegations.

The tribunal also relied on documents on record, including the copy of FIR, victim’s post mortem report and mechanical inspection report of the truck.

While directing the insurance company to pay the amount to petitioners, the tribunal also entitled the firm to recover the same from the driver and owner of the truck as they were plying it without a valid permit.

According to the petition, on March 1, 2012, the victim was going to a market near Ghaziabad when a speeding truck ran over him.

The boy, a Delhi resident, was taken to GTB Hospital where he was declared as brought dead.

An FIR was registered against the driver under sections 279 (rash driving) and 304A (causing death by negligence) of the IPC.

The driver and owner of the truck had denied the charges through a written statement, but failed to appear in person, the tribunal noted.

The insurance company had also filed written statement and admitted the valid policy of the truck but alleged that the truck owner did not have a permit to ply the vehicle.

( Source – PTI )

Court sends bus driver to 1 yr jail, suspends license

Court sends bus driver to 1 yr jail, suspends license
Court sends bus driver to 1 yr jail, suspends license

A Delhi court has refused to set aside a year’s jail term to a bus driver convicted of killing a 50-year-old woman by negligent driving, while modifying his sentence from simple to rigorous imprisonment saying the trial court had already taken a lenient view towards him.

“As far as sentence is concerned, already the magisterial court has taken a lenient view. The sentence order is upheld but subject to modification that instead of simple jail term, appellant is sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a period of one year for offence punishable under section 304-A (causing death by negligence) of IPC,” Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Bansal said.

The court also upheld the fine of Rs one lakh imposed on him, of which 90 per cent of the amount would be given to the victim’s family as compensation and his disqualification from holding commercial driving license for one year.

It observed that driving at high speed in a crowded area was an act which “has potential to cause serious injuries as well as death of other road users. Any person who drives at high speed in a crowded area must be presumed to have the knowledge of its consequences.”

The court, while relying on the testimony of a constable who was an eye-witness as he was on duty when the accident occured, noted that he had signalled the driver to stop the bus but he did not listen to him.

“This also shows that appellant was rash and negligent,” it said,adding the testimony of the constable was trustworthy.

“I do not find any discrepancy in evidence of PW-1 (the constable). He was a natural witness being on duty. His evidence inspires confidence. His evidence is entitled to same weight and consideration as is given to any other truthful witness,” the judge said.

The court rejected the convict’s contention that there was no independent witness to support the prosecution case, saying “it is not number of witnesses which is important rather what it important is the quality of the evidence. PW-1 is a reliable witness and there was no need for prosecution to examine other police officials who were on duty.”

According to prosecution, on January 5, 2007, at a red light near Madhuban Chowk in West Delhi, the driver, who was driving a Blueline bus crushed Jeet Kaur, a pedestrian, and killed her on the spot.

The FIR was registered on the statement of constable Omvir who was on duty at the spot and who claimed to have seen the accident.

The driver had denied the allegations and claimed he was falsely implicated.

( Source – PTI )

Have preventive attitude to check dengue: HC

Have preventive attitude to check dengue: HC
Have preventive attitude to check dengue: HC

Delhi High Court has asked the civic agencies in the national capital to have a “preventive” attitude, and not curative, in order to contain spread of vector-borne diseases like dengue and malaria.

“Attitude should be preventive and not curative,” a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva said, adding that proper cleaning of drains could prevent spread of such diseases.

The court also questioned what the civic agencies and other local authorities were doing as it had to intervene to ensure that people of the national capital get CCTV cameras for safety, proper policing, clean drains and garbage-free streets. “What are the authorities doing? We are working to provide CCTVs, police, cleaning of drains and garbage, for the people who are up in arms,” it said.

It directed the Public Works Department (PWD) of Delhi government to file a status report indicating the manner and times at which the drains are cleaned and listed the matter for further hearing on October 28. The court’s observations came during the hearing of a PIL pertaining to cleaning up of various colonies in different districts of the capital. The bench was also referring to another matter it was dealing with regarding the installation of CCTV cameras in the city as well as induction of additional personnel in the Delhi Police. It also wondered “why does it not strike” the municipal corporations to provide proper gear to their employees engaged in cleaning of the ‘dhalaos’ (garbage dumps). It also suggested devising another method of cleaning the dumps, instead of people manually collecting the garbage and putting it in trucks.

( Source – PTI )

‘Except for law and order & land, LG a figurehead’

'Except for law and order & land, LG a figurehead'
‘Except for law and order & land, LG a figurehead’

The Lieutenant Governor (LG) is merely a “figurehead” except for matters related to public order, police and land, the AAP government has told Delhi High Court.

The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath by senior advocate Dayan Krishnan during the hearing of a bunch of petitions on the powers of the LG, Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) as well as the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) set up by the Delhi government to probe into the alleged CNG fitness scam.

“Except for the three exceptions (public order, police and land), LG is only a figurehead,” Krishnan said, while referring to the Constitution.

He also said that under the Constitution, aid and advice by council of ministers means the LG or Governor “was bound” by their decision except where he has discretionary powers.

While one of the petitions has been filed by the Delhi government challenging the Centre’s notifications on the powers of the ACB and LG, others, including one by the Union government, have been filed against setting up of the CoI.

The city government has also challenged a September 17 memorandum issued by LG Najeeb Jung directing all officers not to follow the AAP government’s orders which were declared “null and void” by the Union government.

The memorandum has also stated that officers would face strict action for non-compliance with the LG’s order.

The court on Wednesday had decided to club all the matters together and carry out regular hearing on the issues raised in them.

It had also directed the Centre and the Delhi government, in the interim, to not precipitate matters by taking “coercive steps” against each other and their officials in connection with the issues raised in the petitions.

The court had directed the Centre not to take any coercive measures in regard to the September 17 memorandum and had restrained the city government from taking any coercive steps in connection with the CoI proceedings in the CNG fitness scam.

HC asks Maha to issue circular on weight of book bags

HC asks Maha to issue circular on weight of book bags
HC asks Maha to issue circular on weight of book bags

Voicing concern over heavy bags carried by school children, the Bombay High Court today asked Maharashtra Government to issue a circular within a month fixing a date for implementing recommendations of an expert committee that looked into the issue.

Such a circular should also fix the responsibility of monitoring the implementation of the recommendations on officers to be appointed by individual schools for the purpose, said a bench of justices V M Kanade and Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi while hearing a petition.

The HC suggested that the Government Circular — to be sent to all schools — should consider giving lockers to students whereever possible. This would be of course optional for the students, the Judges said.

The circular should state in clear terms the weight limit to be carried by the students, the Bench opined.

Government Pleader Anjali Helekar said there are 1.06 lakh schools in the State and hence it would take some time to inform them about the circular. The HC then suggested that the State inform them through e-mail.

The Judges were hearing a PIL filed by social activist Swati Patil on rising weight of school bags and its adverse impact on the health of children.

Soon after the petition was filed, Government had appointed a committee which submitted several recommendations.

As per the panel’s report, students are lugging school bags 20-30 per cent heavier than what children of their age should carry. Because of this, around 60 per cent students below the age of 10 suffer from orthopaedic as well as stress- induced ailments.

The committee recommended that one book should be used for three months for each subject and the textbook weight can be reduced by using less weight paper and no hardcover.

Further, it suggested use of e-classroom, audio-visual technology and other modern means for teaching.


( Source- PTI )

Car-free Gurgaon: NGT questions Haryana govt’s initiative

Car-free Gurgaon: NGT questions Haryana govt's initiative
Car-free Gurgaon: NGT questions Haryana govt’s initiative

A day after Gurgaon observed a ‘car-free day’ to free the roads from traffic congestion, the National Green Tribunal today asked Haryana government to inform it about its actual impact on the pollution level in the city to ascertain .

Gurgaon had yesterday observed a ‘car-free day’ to encourage people to use public modes of transportation, with the police making elaborate arrangements to make the initiative a success.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, took note of media reports saying levels of PM 2.5 emitted by vehicles were lower in the congested Cyber City due to the drive and directed the state government and its pollution board to file an affidavit in this regard.

Fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) is an air pollutant that is a concern for people’s health when levels in air are high.

“The media report mentions that pollution levels have gone down due to the drive. Is it a fact or a gimmick? We want you to indicate whether its factually correct. We just want to know the fact. Either way you are trapped. Indicate the actual time period and standard adopted for the test.

“We want to know whether regulation on cars can help or not. We want to know about this. Tell us on affidavit. Come on Tuesday,” the bench said while hearing a petition against the deteriorating air quality in the capital.

According to the report, there were 10,000 fewer cars on the city’s roads leading to lesser congestion and lowering of pollution by alomost 21 per cent.

Inspired by the idea, now Delhi government has also planned to observe ‘car-free day’ on the road stretch between Red Fort and India Gate on October 22.

The green panel is deliberating on a mechanism to devise an alternative route for commercial vehicles passing through the city to decongest the roads and reduce vehicular emissions.


( Source – PTI )

Kejriwal exempted from appearance in Amethi court

Kejriwal exempted from appearance in Amethi court
Kejriwal exempted from appearance in Amethi court

In a relief to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Supreme Court on Tuesday granted him exemption from personal appearance before a magisterial court at Amethi in Uttar Pradesh in a case of alleged inflammatory speech made by him in the run-up to 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

“The attendance of the petitioner is dispensed away with till further order,” a bench comprising justices J Chelameswar and A M Sapre said. The bench also issued a notice to Uttar Pradesh government on Kejriwal’s appeal against the Allahabad High Court order asking him to first appear before the trial court and then seek a personal exemption on subsequent dates of hearing.

A trial court at Amethi had recently issued a bailable warrant against Kejriwal after refusing to grant him personal exemption from appearance in the case. Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the Aam Aadmi Party convenor, said Kejriwal should have been granted exemption from personal appearance as in such cases, an accused can be allowed to be represented through his lawyer. Referring to various provisions of CrPC, he said the magistrate can dispense away with the presence of the accused.

The case was filed against the politician under Section 125 of Representation of People’s Act for allegedly making an inflammatory speech during Lok Sabha polls on May 2, 2014. The section deals with the offence of promoting enmity between classes in connection with election on grounds of religion, race, caste, community or language and entails imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or fine, or both. In his petition before the apex court, Kejriwal said that the alleged speech came under the purview of right to expression and hence, no offence was made out.

He also sought a direction to quash the order of the court of a judicial magistrate of Amethi, which dismissed his petition for exemption of his personal attendance. The case was lodged against the Kejriwal at Musafirkhana police station of Amethi in May last year during the parliamentary election in connection with his speech at Aurangabad village.

Later, a bailable warrant was issued against Kejriwal on July 20 this year, directing him to be present before the judicial magistrate. He then approached the HC which turned down his plea.


( Source- PTI )