105

Supreme Court Declines Urgent Hearing On A Fresh Plea Of The Kerala Government on Sabarimala

New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India declined urgent hearing on a fresh plea of the Kerala government challenging the high court decision to set up a panel to oversee pilgrimage at Sabarimala. It is witnessing protests after women of all age groups were allowed entry into the temple.

The Kerala High Court, on November 28, ordered setting up of a three member committee, comprising retired judges P R Raman, S Sirijagan and senior IPS officer A Hemachandran, and gave them the power to oversee law and order and other problems faced by pilgrims.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul refused to accord urgent hearing on the plea of the state government and said that it would come up for hearing in due regular course. “Order of constituting a team of observers, particularly when there is already a Special Commissioner (who is a District Judge), a Devaswom ombudsman exercising powers, inter alia, over Sabarimala Temple, and a High Power Committee is unsustainable in law and such constitution of Team of Observers is arbitrary, illegal and violative of the basic constitutional structure of separation of powers,” the state government said in its plea.

104

Union Ministry Puts Forward A Proposal To Use MGNREGA To Achieve India’s Third Climate Target

New Delhi: Union ministry of rural development has put forward a proposal to use the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) to achieve India’s third climate target under the 2016 Paris climate change agreement. The proposal was submitted on the sidelines of COP 24 in Katowice, Poland. MGNREGA is the world’s largest wage-based social protection programme.

According to a preliminary assessment by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), drought-proofing activities under MGNREGA can at least achieve removal or sequestration of about 197 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent by 2030, or 8% of India’s target. But if the work is focused on climate change, MGNREGA has a far higher potential, IISc scientists said.

India is on track to achieving two of its three key climate targets — 40% electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 and to reduce the emissions intensity of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 33% to 35% from the 2005 levels. But India has been lagging on the third target — to create carbon sinks of about 2.5 to 3 billion tons.

92

BJP And Jethmalani Files Petition In The Court For Amicable Solution For His Expulsion

New Delhi: Former Union minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and Noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) approached a Delhi court with a joint application to end a pending suit relating to his expulsion from the BJP. Jethmalani had filed the suit against the BJP for expelling him in 2013. He had also sought Rs 50 lakh in damages.

The BJP and 95-year-old Jethmalani said in the joint plea that a decree be passed in terms of amicable settlement between them as BJP president Amit Shah has expressed “regret” over the senior lawyer’s expulsion from the party. The application is likely to come up for hearing on Friday before Additional District Judge Sumit Dass.

91

NGT Fines Karnataka Government And The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Rs 50 Crore

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal fined Karnataka Rs 50 crore and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike taking the issue with the state’s “negligence” in protecting the lakes of Bengaluru. The city’s lakes have hit newspaper headlines over the past few years, first with Bellandur lake, which had caught fire and then with other lakes as well, all of which froth and foam when there is rain.

The NGT has also asked the government to deposit Rs 500 crore in an escrow account for the execution of an action plan on the rejuvenation of lakes. It has ordered the setting up of a committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde, which has been tasked with overseeing the implementation of its order. The committee will also include noted scientist TV Ramachandra, who is a faculty at the Indian Institute of Sciences.

90

PIL To Permit Entry Of Women Into The Sanctum Sanctorum Of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Dargah

New Delhi: While Sabarimala issue is not yet over but a plea has been moved in the Delhi high court by one female law students seeking directions to the Centre and other authorities to permit entry of women into the sanctum sanctorum of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Dargah in New Delhi.

The public interest litigation, which is likely to come up for hearing next week, has claimed that there is a notice put up outside the ‘dargah’ -- a shrine built over the grave of a religious figure -- clearly stating in English and Hindi that women are not allowed inside.

The law students, in their petition, have contended they made several representations to the authorities, including the Delhi Police, but no response was received and therefore, they moved the high court.