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No preference to BCs with income up to Rs3 lakh, says High Court

Chandigarh :
Exactly two years after the Haryana Government issued a notification, sub-classifying Backward Classes (BCs) for granting preference to those with annual income up to Rs 3 lakh, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday set aside the same before ordering fresh counselling for MBBS courses.

The ruling came after the Bench of Justice Mahesh Grover and Justice Mahabir Singh Sindhu was told that the impugned notification dated August 7, 2016, contemplated that children belonging to Backward Classes having gross annual income of up to Rs 3 lakh would get the benefit of reservation in services and admission in educational institutions first. The left-out quota would go to category of Backward Classes annually earning more than Rs 3 lakh, but up to Rs 6 lakh.

Taking up petitions by Nisha and other MBBS aspirants, the Bench asserted that social advancement of a caste or a group would have to be identified on empirical data. It could not be assumed straightway that those with income above Rs 3 lakh would have unshackled social backwardness. Such an exclusion from within the identified BCs could not stand the test of constitutional requirement.

The Bench asserted: “The end result is that the state has given a benefit with one hand only to take it away with the other. There is absolutely no established correlation between the socially backward and the economic deprived. We are of the opinion that the impugned notification has to be held bad in law and deserves to be set aside.”
The Bench asserted the state faltered in prescribing the criteria as it was not substantiated by any verifiable data to establish social backwardness of classes that stood to benefit. By virtue of an earlier notification, the state had quoted certain sections of the society as backward on the basis of their caste and occupation. It limited the benefit to creamy layer earning up to Rs 6 lakh. “This ostensibly was done on the basis of Government of India’s classification of economic criteria,” said the Bench.
The Bench added it would be difficult to say that one with an income of Rs 3 lakh was more favourably placed than the one with less than Rs 3 lakh income in terms of social status or vocation. Once it was accepted that certain categories, though identified as backward, would be treated as creamy layer with income exceeding Rs 6 lakh, further sub-classification without inputs could be termed as arbitrary, ensuring reverse discrimination which closed doors of equitable distribution.

Is this decision right?

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Eye on elections, govt allows illegal buildings’ regularisation

Chandigarh :
In yet another sop to residents of municipal areas across the state ahead of next year’s parliamentary and Assembly elections, Manohar Lal Khattar government has allowed regularisation of illegal residential and commercial buildings.

However, the regularisation of illegal constructions will come at a price. The residents concerned will have to shell out scrutiny fee of Rs 10 per square metre, besides compounding fee and development charges.

There is a rider that “regularisation of unauthorised construction shall be permitted only for 10 years and within this period, the applicant has to construct or rectify his building as per building bylaws”.

“The applicant will have to give an undertaking to rectify non-compoundable construction in accordance with parameters specified in the Haryana Building Code within 10 years,” read a notification issued by Anand Mohan Sharan, Principal Secretary, Urban Local Bodies.
“In case he does not meet building plan norms, the municipality has the right to take all action to bring building as per law and no immunity shall be claimed from the any court,” stated the notification.

The notification made it clear that “no charge is to be levied on unauthorised construction beyond compoundable limit as it is to be rectified or demolished by the applicant in 10 years”.

Officials said broadly three types of buildings would come in the unauthorised category which could be regularised. First, buildings constructed as per norms of the Haryana Building Code for which permission from the municipality had not been taken were included.

Secondly, buildings for which permission from municipality was taken but construction not done as per approved building plans (beyond compoundable limits) found mention. Lastly were buildings for which permission from municipality was not taken and construction done beyond compoundable limits.

Should the government give such a discount?

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CPCB closure notice to 7 more industrial units; Will the decision of the Pollution Control Board improve?

CPCB has served a show-cause notice to a handloom industry for violating emission norms.

Panipat :
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has served closure notice to seven more industrial units, including two big automobile showrooms, and also served a show-cause notice to a handloom industry for violating emission norms.

The CPCB teams raided 126 industrial units in May and June and started sending closure order to the units which failed the analysis reports.

The CPCB has directed the UHBVN to disconnect power connections to these units. The units will not be allowed to resume operations until permission is obtained from the CPCB.
According to information available, a team of the CPCB carried out an inspection at Aadit motors (Ford showroom), Sector 8 near toll plaza on May 15 and observed that effluent treatment plant (ETP) was non-operational and untreated effluents were discharged on the land leading to a nearby drain.

The CPCB team inspected Lally Automobiles on May 28 and observed that the ETP was found non-operational during the inspection and the unit was discharging untreated effluents into an adjacent plot by a flexible pipeline.

The team inspected Gupta International on the Pasina Khurd road at Sewah on May 28 and found that the unit was dumping waste material on the adjacent plot, which might cause the degradation of the groundwater of the area. The CPCB served a show-cause notice to the unit and directed to lift all the hazardous wastes dumped on the adjacent land and to dispose it in a scientific manner with proper records.

The CPCB team inspected Nile Overseas at Pardhana village on June 7 and found the unit non-operational; Metro Agri industries on May 31 and found the unit non-operational; Satish Steel Industries in Samalkha on May 21, but the unit was found closed during inspection.

Besides, the CPCB team raided Jagriti Drapers on May 28 and found that the ETP was non-operational. The team also inspected Kanodia Global Private Limited on the Pasina Khurd road and found the unit operational. The team collected samples of the inlet and outlet of the ETP and the outlet samples were exceeding the prescribed limit.
Bhupender Singh Chahal, Regional Officer, Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB), said, “Twelve closure notices have been received here and three units in Panipat have been closed in compliance with the orders of the CPCB.”

Will the decision of the Pollution Control Board improve?

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Panchkula court frames charges against Dera chief in castration case; Is Ram Rahim guilty?

Panchkula :

A special CBI court framed charges against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and his two associates — Dr MP Singh, alias Mahender Insan, and Dr Pankaj Garg — in a castration case.

The CBI had accused the three of castrating hundreds of dera followers. On December 23, 2014, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered a CBI probe into charges of forced castration inside the dera after hearing a petition by former follower Hans Raj Chauhan in 2012.

The petitioner had alleged that around 400 male followers, including those from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, were castrated at the dera chief’s behest.  The chargesheet claimed that mass castrations took place at the dera’s old printing press building in Sirsa and two charity hospitals — Shah Satnamji Speciality Hospital in Sirsa and Shah Satnamji General Hospital at Ram Rahim’s ancestral Gurusar Modia village in Rajasthan.

The CBI submitted that the dera chief made his victims sign a general power of attorney authorising his protégés to purchase/gift land in the followers’ name. Later, the property was gifted to the dera. There are six victims and 58 witnesses in the case.

The court framed charges under Sections 326 (grievous hurt by dangerous weapons), 417 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC against the dera chief, who was charged as the prime accused in the chargesheet.

Besides, charges under Sections 326 (grievous hurt by dangerous weapons) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC were framed against Dr Singh and Dr Garg. While both doctors were present in the courtroom, the dera chief was present via video-conferencing. The court has fixed August 17 as the next date of hearing.


   July 2012: Ex-dera follower moves HC seeking probe into forced castration 

   Dec 23, 2014: The High Court directs CBI to probe the matter

   Jan 7, 2015: CBI books Ram Rahim, Dr Pankaj Garg and Dr MP Singh

   Feb 1, 2018: CBI files chargesheet, lists dera chief as prime accused

   Aug 3: Panchkula court frames charges against dera chief, two doctors

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Over 4 years later, IIT extension campus project hangs fire; Is the government stopping this project?

Local authorities yet to hand over land to Delhi institute: Centre

Jhajjar :
The project to establish extension campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, in Badhsa village, Jhajjar, has been hanging fire for four and a half years as the authorities concerned have not handed over 50 acres to the IIT.

This came to the fore in a recent official communiqué sent by Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satya Pal Singh to Rohtak Member of Parliament (MP) Deepender Singh Hooda, who sought information about the status of the project.

“The 50-acre land in Jhajjar has not been handed over to the IIT by the local authorities. Major activities planned on the Jhajjar campus include a bio-incubator facility in partnership with AIIMS, Delhi,” said Singh in the communiqué.

Then Union Minister for Human Resource Development MM Pallam Raju and then Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had laid foundation stone of the project on December 21, 2013. They laid the foundation stone for a similar project at Rajiv Gandhi Educational City in Sonepat the same day.

Sources said the Sonepat project was inaugurated on April 3 this year. The Rohtak MP blamed the BJP government for the delay of the project in Jhajjar. He asked the state government to ensure transfer of land to the IIT at the earliest so that work could be started on it.

He said the project had been initiated to promote research and technical education in the region and provide international skills and bright future to the youth. The government had been hindering the project by not handing over land to the IIT, he added.

“Bhupinder Singh Hooda government approved transfer of land to the IIT on November 9, 2013. Mutation and demarcation of land has not been done despite repeated reminders. This has exposed the insensitivity of the BJP government towards the project,” said Deepender.

Badli SDM Tirlok Chand said he did not have any information on the issue. A Revenue Department official said on the condition of anonymity that demarcation had been done and the process to hand over land to the IIT was underway.

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