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Set up committee on solid-waste management: Supreme Court to Delhi L-G

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, Aug 17: Terming the solid waste problem in Delhi “serious”, the Supreme Court on Friday asked Lt Governor Anil Baijal to consider the setting up of a committee also comprising experts on solid-waste management.

“The fact of the matter is that it’s a very serious problem. It’s not only affecting Delhi, but also other cities. Let the L-G constitute an expert committee,” a bench of Madan B. Lokur, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Deepak Gupta said.

It said that the Lt Governor should not “rush into the decision of constituting the committee” but take a thoughtful decision.

“Let’s leave it to him (Lt Governor) — he is the chief administrator. He said he was responsible,” said the bench.

The committee should also consist of members of civil society and Resident Welfare Associations and should deal with cleaning up of huge mounds of garbage at the landfill sites at Ghazipur, Okhla and Bhalswa as well, the court said.

“In our opinion, prima facie, the problem of solid-waste management needs the assistance of people. The L-G said that the solid-waste management is his responsibility… constitute a committee that will go in depth into all aspects of solid-waste management, including cleaning of dumping sites,” the court ordered.

Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for the Lt Governor, told the bench that she would discuss the matter with him and revert back on the issue.

The apex court fixed August 27 for the next hearing.

On July 12, the court had expressed displeasure over the failure of Lt Governor — whom it termed “Superman” — to take effective steps to tackle the garbage problem, after his office admitted that waste management comes within its jurisdiction.

The bench had said that the situation in Delhi was “absolutely bizarre”, and referred to three landfills as “mountains of garbage”.

It had said that there was a 65-metre high mound at Ghazipur which was “only eight metres less than the historic Qutub Minar”.

On July 16, the Lt Governor had told the court that he was regularly monitoring the situation and immediately after assuming office in 2016, he had visited three landfills.

Efforts were on to tackle the problem at the three sites in a comprehensive, safe and scientific manner, the Lt Governor had said.

The top court is hearing a matter related to the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Rules.

It had earlier directed the Central government to submit a chart, indicating whether states and union territories have constituted state-level advisory boards in accordance with the provisions of said Rules of 2016.

IANS

India

Supreme Court sets aside NGT order allowing re-opening of Tuticorin plant

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, Feb 18: The Supreme Court on Monday set aside the National Green Tribunal’s order which had allowed the reopening of Vedanta group owned Sterlite copper plant in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin.

While setting aside the order on maintainability, a bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Vineet Saran asked Vedanta and Tamil Nadu government to approach the High Court and since the plant has been locked up for quite some time, they could urge the High Court Chief Justice for an expeditious hearing and interim relief.

On May 28 last year, the plant was shut down permanently when the state government had ordered the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to seal and “permanently” close the plant in aftermath of protests over pollution concerns.

The protests had turned violent, in which 13 people lost their lives in police firing on May 22-23 in Tuticorin.

The apex court judgement came on the TNPCB’s plea against the December 15, 2018, NGT order directing it to give its consent.

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Aircel-Maxis case: Interim protection of P Chidambaram, Karti extended till March 8

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P Chidambaram

New Delhi, Feb 18: The Patiala House Court on Monday extended the interim protection of former Union Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram till March 8 in the Aircel-Maxis case.

The ED is probing the Aircel-Maxis deal under the PMLA after taking cognisance of a 2011 Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) complaint in the case.

On November 26, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had informed the Court that it has been granted permission by the central government to prosecute Chidambaram in connection with the case.

Chidambaram has denied all charges leveled by the central probe agency.

The agencies are investigating how Karti Chidambaram allegedly managed to get a clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in the Aircel-Maxis deal when his father P Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister in 2006.

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Army major, 3 soldiers in killed Pulwama encounter

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Pulwama Encounter

Srinagar, Feb 18: A major and three soldiers have lost their lives in an encounter in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Indian Army personnel of 55 Rashtriya Rifles, have been identified as Major VS Dhoundiyal, Havaldar Sheo Ram, Sepoy Ajay Kumar, and Sepoy Hari Singh.

Besides Indian Army personnel, a civilian named Mushtaq Ahmad was killed in the gunfight.

A top Jaish-e-Mohammed commander linked to Pulwama Attack believed to be trapped in the ongoing encounter with security forces, news agency ANI reported citing sources.

The gunfight erupted on Sunday late night after security forces, including the Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Special Operations Group (SOG) of the state police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), surrounded the village following the information that Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants were hiding in the area.

The same outfit that carried out the February 14 attack claiming lives of nearly 40 CRPF troopers.

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