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GS Paper II- functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments.

NGT notice to Centre, Delhi govt over plastic ban

What’s Happening-
The National Green Tribunal has issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Delhi government, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and Delhi Cantonment Board
Plea:
That challenged the ban on manufacture, sale, storage, usage, import and transport of plastic bags in the city.

Judgement Details:

  • The court also asked the Delhi government not to take coercive steps against the petitioner, the All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association, for eight weeks.

Notification challenged:

  • The association had challenged the notification saying that the city government had exceeded its jurisdiction in issuing the notification.
  • The plea said “declare impugned notification of October 23, 2012, null and void being ultra vires to the parent Act, i.e. the Environment Protection Act and Rules framed thereunder. The notification also violates the fundamental rights of the petitioner.

NGT benches??
NGT is proposed to be set up at five places of sittings.
New Delhi is the Principal Place of Sitting of the Tribunal
Bhopal,
Pune,
Kolkata and
Chennai
Principal bench + 4 place of sitting of the Tribunal.

What is NGT??

  • National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 (NGT) is an Act of the Parliament of India which enables creation of a special tribunal
  • to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues
  • It draws inspiration from the India’s constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.
  • The Tribunal’s dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts
  • Origin During the Rio de Janeiro summit of United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in June 1992.

Sources-The Hindu, The Indian Express. Page 11

GS Paper II- Functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments.

SC backs Madras HC order quashing T.N. appointment

What’s Happening-

  • The Supreme Court Asking what will be the fate of a State where a Public Service Commission of Class 10-pass persons interview Class 1 officer-candidates.
  • Refused to stay a Madras High Court decision to quash the appointment of 11 members, including a “prematurely retired” district judge, of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC).

Context:

  1. The apex court specifically ordered that the retired district judge in question will be ineligible for fresh selection.
  2. It even asked why the Tamil Nadu government chose to appoint him to the 14-member TNPSC when the judiciary had retired him at 58 without offering him extension of service till the age of 60.
  3. Chief Justice Khehar noted that only “deadwood” are not given the two-year extension.

The Bench Noted the following:

  1. The Bench noted how the entire appointment process of the 11 members was completed in a “single shot, in one day.”
  2. Chief Justice Khehar observed that the manner in which the State used its prerogative to make the appointments was “nothing but arbitrary, with no due deliberation.”
  3. Chief Justice Khehar said just because the Constitution leaves it to the State’s wisdom to appoint its administrative officers and devises no procedure.
  4. whatsoever, it does not mean that such appointments can be made arbitrarily and without consideration.
  5. Just because the Constitution does not prescribe anything does not mean you [State government] do nothing.
  6. Nobody is prescribing the levels of calibre and integrity for you… but you have to be satisfied that the person is suitable,” Chief Justice Khehar said.
  7. Pitching in, Justice Rao addressed Mr. Rohatgi: “Just imagine, these PSC members will be on interview committees.
  8. They should be sufficiently educated to interview Class 1 officer-candidates.
  9. They cannot be just Class 10 pass. We are just saying they should be sufficiently educated, that is all.”

Sources-The Hindu, The Indian Express. Page 13

GS Paper II-mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

A rights bill gone wrong {op-ed}

The Transgender Persons Bill 2016 is the product of an insincere attempt at law making

Context:

  • In India laws are often drafted without in-depth research, as a result of which they are misinformed and remain paper tigers.
  • Another is that a culture of tokenism prevails regarding pressing social issues, seen recently in The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016.

Radical changes in the draft:

  • In April 2014, the Supreme Court delivered the landmark judgment of NALSA v. Union of India, which affirmed the fundamental rights of transgender persons.
  • The court gave a series of directives to the government to institute welfare measures for transgender persons, including affirmative action.
  • It also directed that the Expert Committee Report prepared by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) be implemented.
  • In December 2014, Tiruchi Siva, a DMK Rajya Sabha MP, introduced the Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014 as a Private Member’s Bill.
  • On April 24, 2015, in a rare instance, the Rajya Sabha unanimously passed the Bill. However, it never made it to the Lok Sabha.
  • Instead, the government decided to get its own Bill — The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2015.
  • The 2016 Bill has now been referred to a Standing Committee.
  • What led to such radical changes in the new draft?
  • The 2016 Bill in many ways falls short in its substantive content:
  • Clause 2(i) of the Bill, which defines the term ‘transgender person’, has been inexplicably borrowed from a provision of the Australian Sex Discrimination Amendment Act 2013, which defines the term ‘intersex’.
  • Even though the Expert Committee Report clearly explained the difference between transgender and intersex identities.
  • The 2014 and 2015 Bills had more accurate definitions of the term transgender.
  • In fact, the 2015 Bill was the most progressive in this regard as it granted a transgender person the right to identify as either ‘man’, ‘woman’, or ‘transgender’.
  • Another problem is the absence of a provision on reservation, running contrary to the NALSA judgment and the 2014 and 2015 Bills which directed reservations for transgender persons.
  • Finally, none of the Bills have addressed the issue of Section 377, which is frequently used to harass transgender persons, specifically transgender women.

Sources-The Hindu, The Indian Express. Page 15