SC likely to hear Ayodhya appeals
A Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, decided to commence hearing the Ayodhya title dispute appeals tentatively from July 25 on a day-to-day basis in case a conclusion is reached, on the basis of a mediation committee report, that the talks with Hindu and Muslim parties to heal minds and hearts is making no headway.
On 6 December 1992, a large crowd of Hindu Kar Sevaks (activists) demolished the 16th-century Babri Mosque in the city of Ayodhya, in Uttar Pradesh. The demolition occurred after a political rally at the site turned violent.
In Hindu mythology, the city of Ayodhya is the birthplace of the Rama. In the 16th century a Mughal general, Mir Baqi, had built a mosque, known as the Babri Masjid, at a site considered by some Hindus to be Ram Janmabhoomi, the actual birthplace of Rama. In the 1980s, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) began a campaign for the construction of a temple dedicated to Rama at the site, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as its political voice. Several rallies and marches were held as a part of this movement, including the Ram Rath Yatra led by L. K. Advani.
On 6 December 1992 the VHP and the BJP organised a rally at the site involving 150,000 volunteers, known as kar sevaks. The rally turned violent, and the crowd overwhelmed security forces and tore down the mosque. A subsequent inquiry into the incident found 68 people responsible for the demolition, including several leaders of the BJP and the VHP. The demolition also resulted in several months of intercommunal rioting between India’s Hindu and Muslim communities, causing the death of at least 2,000 people.
Hindon sanctuary: NGT seeks report on encroachments
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Ghaziabad authorities to furnish a report on the status of encroachments near Hindon Bird Sanctuary.
About the National Green Tribunal (NGT):
NGT has been established under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
Ambit: The tribunal deals with matters relating to the enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property.
Selection: Members are chosen by a selection committee (headed by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court of India) that reviews their applications and conducts interviews. The Judicial members are chosen from applicants who are serving or retired judges of High Courts.
Urgently look into sale, regulation, consumption of ecigarettes: HC
The Delhi High Court directed the Delhi government to urgently look into the matter of regulating the sale and consumption of e-cigarettes.
It is an “e-burning issue” as damage was being caused to children who have started consuming these products.
About e- cigarettes:
What are e-cigarettes?
An electronic cigarette (or e-cig) is a battery-powered vaporizer that mimics tobacco smoking. It works by heating up a nicotine liquid, called “juice.”
Nicotine juice (or e-juice) comes in various flavors and nicotine levels. e-liquid is composed of five ingredients: vegetable glycerin (a material used in all types of food and personal care products, like toothpaste) and propylene glycol (a solvent most commonly used in fog machines.) propylene glycol is the ingredient that produces thicker clouds of vapor.
Proponents of e-cigs argue that the practice is healthier than traditional cigarettes because users are only inhaling water vapor and nicotine.
Why its hard to regulate them?
As e-cigarettes contain nicotine and not tobacco, they do not fall within the ambit of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA), which mandates stringent health warnings on the packaging and advertisements of tobacco products.
Need for regulation: The current unregulated sale of e-cigarettes is dangerous for a country like India where the number of smokers is on the decline (WHO Global Report, 2015) as it increases the possibility of e-cigarettes becoming a gateway for smoking by inducing nicotine addiction and perpetuating smoking by making it more attractive, thereby encouraging persons to become users of tobacco as well as e-cigarettes.
Commission for safai karamcharis asks govt. to file report on sewer deaths
The National Commission for Safai Karamcharis which functions under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has directed the Chief Secretary of Delhi to file a report on sewer death cases continuing unabated in the Capital despite the government’s “claims of mechanisation”.
About National Commission for Safai Karamcharis:
The NCSK was established in the year 1993 as per the provisions of the NCSK Act 1993 initially for the period upto 1997.
Later the validity of the Act was initially extended upto 2002 and thereafter upto 2004. The NCSK Act ceased to have effect from 2004.
After that the tenure of the NCSK has been extended as a non-statutory body from time to time. The tenure of the present Commission is upto 31.3.2019.
Role of NCSK:
Recommend to the Government regarding specific programmes for welfare of Safai Karamcharis, study and evaluate the existing welfare programmes for SafaiKaramcharis, investigate cases of specific grievances etc.
Also as per the provisions of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, the NCSK has been assigned the work to monitor the implementation of the Act, tender advice for its effective implementation to the Centre and State Governments and enquire into complaints regarding contravention/non-implementation of the provisions of the Act.
Inter-State River Water Hub in Kerala
The Kerala government has decided to establish a permanent hub in Palakkad for handling inter-State river water disputes.
Some of the Inter-State Water Disputes and States Involved:
Causes of Inter-State Water Dispute:
Pothamala menhirs stand guard on ancient necropolis
The sighting of new menhirs, perhaps the largest ever recorded in Kerala, on the Pothamala hills in the Udumbanchola taluk on the Kerala, Tamil Nadu border, has thrown light on the possible existence of a major prehistoric necropolis there.
Pothamala hills housed hundreds of cobbled stone structures, pointing to the existence of a structured graveyard of a prehistoric civilisation.
The largest menhir found was 20 feet tall and 6 feet wide, with a thickness of 5 feet.
The menhirs were planted in a specific geometrical pattern on a cluster of hills.
The exquisite natural settings of the hills and dales at Pothamala made the yet to be explored megalithic site different from similar sites spotted in other parts of the State. Most of these structures were oriented in the east-west direction.
The megalithic stone sentinels at Pothamala might hold the key to the hitherto unexplored facets of a civilisation that dated back around 3,000 years.
70 sites spotted earlier:
Seventy megalithic sites have already been identified in different parts of Idukki by researchers and historians, including 40 megalithic sites in the Udumbanchola taluk itself. But no serious attempts have been made to understand their distribution pattern.
Nagaland to frame RIIN norms after consultation
The Nagaland government has said that guidelines for implementing a localized version of the National Register of Citizens — being updated in Assam — will be framed in consultation with civil society groups and traditional tribal bodies.
Nagaland government has decided to set up a Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) with the aim of preventing fake indigenous inhabitants’ certificates.
What will the unique identity look like?
All indigenous inhabitants of the state would be issued a barcoded and numbered Indigenous Inhabitant Certificate.