August 26, 2017: Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi Chief Minister, was rapped by the Delhi High Court today for questioning a judge’s decision to expedite defamation case filed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Arun Jaitley accuses the AAP leaders of going against DDCA irregularities and disparaging Jaitley and his family on social media. Jaitley alleges that the AAP leaders have harmed his reputation and made defamatory statements.
The accused are Arvind Kejriwal, Kumar Vishwas, Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai. The five AAP leaders had accused Jaitley of corruption charges as President of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).
Arun Jaitley, represented by advocates Rajiv Nayar and Sandeep Sethi, filed a defamation suit against Kejriwal.
On 26th July, the joint registrar was directed by the court to expedite the civil defamation suit.
Arvind Kejriwal’s advocate Anoop George Chaudhary was asked by the Judges why Arvind Kejriwal would file such a plea.
The bench comprising of Justice C Hari Shankar and Justice Gita Mittal explained that the high court was answerable to the Supreme Court about the delay of the case.
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Making it clear that it does not want to generate "unemployment", the court said those who would lose their livelihood can't be compensated in terms of alternate jobs, financial or other support if the firecracker industry was shut down.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked why firecrackers were being singled out for rising pollution levels when automobiles caused much more pollution. It asked the Centre to apprise it with a comparative study of the two.
Linking the plea for a ban on the manufacture, sale and bursting of firecrackers across the country with Article 19 (1)(g) guaranteeing the right to occupation, trade or business, a bench headed by Justice S.A. Bobde flagged the issue of loss of jobs if there was a clampdown on the firecracker manufacturing industry.
Article 19 (1)(g) of the Constitution guarantees the right “to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business”.
Sitting along with Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Justice Bobde said the issue had not been examined on the touchstone of Article 19 (1)(g) of the Constitution.
Making it clear that it does not want to generate “unemployment”, the court said those who would lose their livelihood can’t be compensated in terms of alternate jobs, financial or other support if the firecracker industry was shut down.
Observing how there can be a ban on the firecracker industry whose operations were legal and licensed, Justice Bobde said the way out was not cancelling the license but there could be a change in the licensing conditions.
The top court’s observations came in the course of hearing a PIL by a toddler — Arjun Gopal — seeking ban on the manufacture, sale and bursting of firecrackers across the country.
Noting the work being done by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) to produce green firecrackers, the top court had in its last order asked NEERI and PESO to stick the timeline culminating in the bulk production of firecrackers based on the new formulations by May 10, 2019.
The top court had in October 2018 permitted the use of only green firecrackers with reduced emission and decibel levels during all religious festivals. (IANS)