GS Paper II- Polity, Constitution.

Justice Dipak Misra Set To Become 45th Chief Justice Of India.

Background

  • The Centre on August 8, 2017 cleared the file for appointment of Justice Dipak Misra as the 45th Chief Justice of India with effect from August 28, 2017.
  • Justice Misra, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court after the current CJI, Justice J.S. Khehar, who is retiring on August 27, 2017, will have a tenure of about 14 months till October 2, 2018.
  • Justice Misra was elevated to the Supreme Court on October 10, 2011. He enrolled as an advocate on February 14, 1977 and appointed an Additional Judge of the Orissa High Court in 1996. After a stint in the Madhya Pradesh High Court, he became a Permanent Judge in December 1997 before assuming charge as the Chief Justice of Patna High Court in 2009 and, later on, served as Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court.

Some Highlights Of Justice Misra’s Career-

  • As the current Executive Chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), Justice Misra embarked on a programme to turn State Legal Services Authorities’ offices into hubs providing facilities that enable litigants under legal aid to access court documents, case status and connect to their advocates online and through dedicated phone numbers. The facility called ‘Legal Assistance Establishments’ or Nyaya Sanyog will cater to poor litigants and the families of under trials languishing in jails to get quick access to justice.
  • Conveying the thought behind the welfare initiative, Justice Misra once said, “No undertrial or prisoner shall remain without legal aid. Every case has a human face”.
  • Justice Misra wrote history when he led the three-judge Bench which heard Yakub Memon, the sole condemned man in the Bombay blasts case, who came knocking on the Supreme Court’s door for reprieve in the wee hours of the day he was hanged to death.
  • Justice Misra is presently hearing a slew of important cases with far-reaching consequences. These include the BCCI case for transparency in Indian cricket administration and the SEBI-Sahara spat, in which the court is playing the taskmaster to get Sahara repay the crores its owes its investors. Justice Misra is also heading the Bench hearing the right of women of a certain age to equally access the famed Sabarimala temple in Kerala. A Special Bench led by Justice Misra is scheduled to hear the long-pending and complicated Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute on August 11, 2017.
  • He had upheld constitutionality of criminal defamation. He was also part of the Bench of the Supreme Court’s seven seniormost judges who convicted then Calcutta High Court judge Justice C.S. Karnan, of contempt of court and sentenced him to six months’ imprisonment.

Sources- The Hindu.

 

GS Paper III- Environment, Technology.

DU College Becomes First To Get Air Quality Monitoring Station.

Background

  • Delhi University’s PGDAV (Evening) College is set to get a fully automatic Air Quality Monitoring Station, in collaboration with the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).  
  • The college said it was the first educational institute to have such a monitoring station.
  • The station will cost about Rs 2 crore and is likely to start functioning by the second week of September, 2017.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • According to details, DPCC has procured ultra-advanced, fully automatic ambient air quality monitoring instruments from Ecotech Australia.
  • The stations will provide real-time air quality data. College principal R K Gupta said the college had approached the DPCC with a request to set up a station and added that the construction work had started and was going on at a great pace.
  • The station will monitor the air quality of Nehru Nagar, Maharani Bagh, Ashram, Srinivaspuri, Lajpat Nagar, etc. Since the area is also known for high traffic density and congestion, especially during peak hours, the station will certainly be helpful in assessing the air quality.
  • An LED-display board will be installed at the front fence of the college so that onlookers may notice the concentration of air pollutants. In future, the station will be a point of attraction for students, scientists, research scholars and interested citizens.

Sources- The Indian Express.

GS Paper IV- Ethics.

Dahi Handi Festival: Children Under 14 Years Of Age Not Allowed To Participate, Says Bombay HC.

Background

  • The Bombay High Court on 7th August, 2017 accepted Maharashtra government’s statement that it would not allow children below the age of 14 years to participate in the ‘Dahi Handi’ festival.
  • A division bench of Justices BR Gavai and MS Karnik, however, refused to impose restrictions on the height of human pyramid formations during the festival.

Key Points Of The Development-

  • Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state government, told the court that as per the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, children below 14 years of age will not be allowed to participate in the festival since the government had in August 2016 declared ‘Dahi Handi’ as an adventure sport.
  • The court was on Monday, 7th August, 2017 hearing two petitions filed by city residents, raising concerns over the participation of minors in the festival and lack of safety measures, due to which several untoward incidents occur.
  • Dahi Handi, a festival marking the birth of Lord Krishna, will is celebrated in the month of August. The festivities involve forming a human pyramid and breaking an earthen pitcher filled with buttermilk which is tied to a rope at a height.
  • In 2014, the high court had passed an order saying children below the age of 18 years cannot participate in the festival, and had also imposed a height restriction of 20 feet for the pyramids.
  • The state government had then appealed in the Supreme Court, which on 1 August, 2017 referred the matter back to the Bombay High Court directing it to hear the petitions afresh.
  • The court referred to an affidavit filed by the state government in the apex court giving an assurance that all precautionary and remedial measures would be taken to prevent accidents and to provide immediate medical attention in case any accident.
  • The state government has taken a decision that the organisers of Dahi Handi festival would provide helmets, safety belts and cushion layer and also ensure that medical aid and ambulance are available at the spot.
  • A local monitoring body comprising officials from the local police station, ward office and elected representatives shall also be present at the venue. Adequate police force will also be deployed.
  • To an argument made by the petitioners that Lord Krishna used to form only a 10-foot high pyramid, Justice Gavai said, “We do not even know if Lord Krishna existed.”

Sources- Firstpost.