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Restore Taj Mahal or demolish it: Supreme Court tells government

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Taj Mahal

New Delhi, July 11: The Supreme Court on Wednesday came down heavily on the Centre and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for not being able to protect the iconic Taj Mahal, asking to “shut it down” or “demolish or restore” the Mughal structure.

The apex court was unhappy as the Uttar Pradesh government failed to come out with a vision document to protect the Taj Mahal.

A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak was upset with the authorities for not taking any step to preserve the Taj Mahal and said its “sheer lethargy” on the part of the authorities.

“There is absolutely no willingness to protect the Taj Mahal. Pristine beauty of Taj Mahal has to be protected. You can shut down the Taj Mahal it demolish it. Restore it if you want or demolish it if it has to be demolished,” said the bench.

The court said the Taj Mahal is more beautiful than the Eiffel Tower and could have solved the country’s foreign exchange problem.

“There is the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Perhaps it is nothing compared to Taj Mahal. Our Taj Mahal is more beautiful. 80 million go to watch Eiffel Tower which looks like a TV Tower. This is eight times more than what we have. If you had looked after it, your foreign exchange problem would have been solved.

“Do you realise the loss caused to the country due to your apathy?,” observed the bench.

The Uttar Pradesh government had earlier told the bench that it would place before the court a draft of vision document on protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal that was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Saying it would hear the case next on July 31 on a day-to-day basis, the bench told the Central government to furnish full details of the steps taken and action it intends to take for protecting the Taj Mahal along with time-frame and responsibility and accountability of the departments concerned.

During the hearing, the bench said that there was a report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, which dealt with the effects of pollution on Taj Mahal, but the authorities have not bothered to take appropriate steps on the issue.

The Central government submitted that the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur was conducting an assessment of air pollution level in and around the Taj Mahal and Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) and the report would be given within four months.

The court also sought personal appearance of the chairman of Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) — a 10,400 sq km area spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur in Rajasthan — to explain violation of its orders prohibiting expansion of industrial units in the zone.

The Uttar Pradesh government had said it was also trying to take care of the environment around the structure so that the historic monument could be there for another 400 years and not just for a generation.

The court has been hearing a plea filed by environmentalist M.C. Mehta seeking protection of the Taj from the ill-effects of polluting gases and deforestation in and around the area.

IANS

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Tejashwi Yadav thanks people of C’garh, Rajasthan, MP for voting ‘against tyranny’

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Tejashwi Yadav
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Madhya Pradesh Live :Congress Seeks Governor’s Appointment to Stake Claim to Form Govt

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Kamalnath-Scindia

Bhopal, Dec 11 : The Congress party has sought  an appointment late tonight with the Governor to stake their claims to form the government in Madhya Pradesh. The party has sought appointment by sending an email and a fax too.

Governor House issued a statement , ” An appointment will be given only after the situation is made clear by the Election Commission.”

The Congress led by Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia is fighting it out with the BJP to grab number one position in the state. The Congress, in fact, has already established contact with smaller parties to secure alliance in a bid to form govt.According to sources, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party have agreed to support the Congress to form a government in Madhya Pradesh.

Congress party will go to the Governor House as soon as they win 116 seats in the state. The party has won 69 seats and is leading on 44 seats

Congress party is leading with 114 seats, BJP has 108 seats while BSP has 2 and still waiting for the final result.

“Congratulations to the Congress for their victories. Congratulations to KCR Garu for the thumping win in Telangana and to the Mizo National Front (MNF) for their impressive victory in Mizoram, Pm Modi said.

“We accept the people’s mandate with humility. I thank the people of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh & Rajasthan for giving us the opportunity to serve these states. BJP Governments in these states worked tirelessly for the welfare of the people, PM Modi said.

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Bhima-Koregaon case: SC to examine charge-sheet against 5 accused in January

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New Delhi, Dec 11 : The Supreme Court will examine in January the charge-sheet filed by Maharashtra Police against five alleged urban Naxals accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case and for having links with the outlawed CPI (Maoist).

The Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi directed the hearing in January as senior counsel Indira Jaising appearing for the accused said that she needed time to go through the bulky charge-sheet running into more than 5,000 pages.

The Maharashtra Police had last week filed a charge-sheet running into 17 volumes against the five accused – Surendra Pundlik Gadling, Sudhir Pralhad Dhawale, Rona Jacob Wilson, Dr. Soma Sen and Mahesh Sitaram.

Along with the charge-sheet in Marathi running into more than 5,000 pages, the Maharashtra Police has also filed copies of the charge-sheet translated into English.

As senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi informed the court that the copies of the charge-sheet along with their translations have been filed, senior counsel Jaising said that she needed time to go through them.

The apex court in the last hearing on December 3 had directed the Maharashtra Police to place before it the charge-sheet filed against the accused along with the translated copy and a gist of the allegations made therein.

The court had directed that the particulars of another case filed against Gadling along with the complaint/FIR, as may be the case, be also filed.

The matter relates to the alleged singing of “objectionable songs” and instigating comments, speeches and sloganeering at the Elgar Conference by Dhawale and others at the Bhima-Koregaon Shouryadin Prerna Abhiyan organised by the Kabir Kala Manch on December 31, 2017.

Accusing the five activists of their links with the CPI (Maoist), the Maharashtra government has alleged that they mislead backward people and ingrained radical Maoist thoughts in their minds.

As part of their propoganda, the members of the Kabir Kala Manch — Sudhir, Dhavale and others — are known for their instigating speeches at various places in Maharashtra which would “create enmity and violence in the society”, says the Maharashtra police.

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