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Every Cow and its Progeny to be given a Unique Identification Number (UIN): Supreme Court

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(Representative image) Cows on Maheshwar Ghats, Wikimedia

New Delhi, April 24, 2017: The Supreme Court was informed on Monday that every cow and its progeny will be given a Unique Identification Number (UIN) and will be kept at shelter homes run by state governments in every district after they cease to give milk.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told the bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud that each cow and its progeny across India would get a UIN so that their tracking could be done.

The UIN would record their details like age, breed, sex, lactation, height, body colour, horn type, tail switch and special marks, he said.

“The Union Agriculture Ministry has devised a tamper-proof identification of cattle using polyurethane tags with UIN.

“There will be a uniform law for the preservation and protection of cow in India as it will help in reducing grey areas and ensuring implementation in a better way,” the Solicitor General said seeking dismissal of the petition by the Akhil Bharat Krishi Goseva Sangh, since the court’s directions had been complied with.

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Kumar told the court that the polyurethane tags method had been recommended by a committee headed by a Joint Secretary-rank officer of the Home Ministry.

“…recommendations of the committee have been finalised and approved by the competent authority,” the government told the court.

The petitioner organisation had moved the top court seeking putting in place of a comprehensive plan for curbing the smuggling of animals, including unproductive cows, to Bangladesh, which has large beef processing units for export of beef.

The committee suggested that instead of dealing with the problem of smuggling at the Indo-Bangladesh border, it would be better to address it at the source itself.

It has recommended that states set up Kanji Houses/ Pinjrapoles with a minimum capacity of 500 cattle each in every district to ensure that rescued/ abandoned animals are adequately cared. Every Kanji house, the committee has recommended, may have a full time veterinary doctor and staff for its effective running and maintenance.

To check the smuggling of livestock across country’s border with Bangladesh, there should be strict enforcement of Export Import Policy (EXIM) by the Customs Department, state police, regional transport department and the Border Security Force (BSF), the panel suggested.

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It further recommended that enforcement agencies working on the Indo-Bangladesh border lay more emphasis on intelligence and information and for this, they could seek active support and co-operation from the public on the movement of animals.

The committee has also recommended that the penalty of Rs 50 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, be revised based on inflation correction since 1960 when the Act came into force. In the course of deliberation of the committee, it was felt that all the offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, should be made cognizable.

The Committee has noted that due to “economic inter-dependency” of large segment of population on both sides of the border, they develop propensity for smuggling, with illegal cattle trade forming a major part.

It has identified North 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, Malda, Nadia and Dakshin Dinajpur districts in West Bengal and Dhubri in Assam as the most cattle trade-prone areas.

It also identified high demand in Bangladesh and margin of profit as reasons for smuggling.

The committee has recommended prohibition on livestock market close to the international border.

The panel has suggested formation of a state-level data bank, which may be uploaded on website and linked with national online database.

It has also recommended appointing Registrar of Cattle in each state. (IANS)

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Love Jihad Case : Kerala’s State Women Commission Directs SP to submit report on Hadiya’s Condition

24 year old Akhila had converted to Islam and taken the name Hadiya to marry Shafin Jahan.  However, their marriage was declared null and void by the High Court of Kerala

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Office of Kerala Women Comission
Office of Kerala Women Comission. Official Website KWC

Kerala, October 28, 2017 : A day after a video of Hadiya pleading to be ‘saved’ from her father’s brutalities was released, Kerala’s State Women Commission has directed Kottayam Superintendent of Police to inquire and submit a report on Hadiya’s present conditions.

In the video release at a press conference in Kochi by social activist Rahul Eashwar, Hadiya can be heard saying, “You have to get me out. I am sure I will be killed tomorrow or the day after.” Hadiya claims that her father is physically assaulting her and pleads to be saved in the video before her voice trails away.

The direction came following reports that Hadiya is being sedated and physically abused at her parents’ house.

The State Women Commission has told the SP that an officer not less than the rank of a DSP should conduct the inquiry and submit a report on the condition of the 24-year old woman in love jihad case.

24 year old Akhila had converted to Islam and taken the name Hadiya to marry Shafin Jahan.  Their marriage was declared null and void by the High Court of Kerala after Hadiya’s father Ashokan has approached the court, claiming that his daughter had been forcefully converted and her alleged husband was involved in plans to take her out of the country for questionable reasons.

Consequently, Hadiya’s husband Shafin Jahan had approached the Supreme Court and challenged the order by the High Court of Kerala, which is still hearing the case.

– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala

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Gorkhaland: SC allows withdrawl of Central Forces from Darjeeling

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The Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India. Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 27: The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the Centre to withdraw seven companies of central paramilitary forces from trouble-torn Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of West Bengal where the agitation for Gorkhaland, a separate state for Gorkhas took a violent turn.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud directed the Centre to withdraw the seven companies of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF) for being used for election duties in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.

The bench also sought a response from the West Bengal government on the Centre’s appeal against the High Court’s order putting on hold its decision to withdraw 10 of the 15 companies of the central paramilitary forces deployed in the hill district.

The apex court also stayed the pending proceedings before the High Court and said that it will deal with the case in a holistic manner and posted the appeal of the Centre for further hearing on November 27.

In an interim order, the High Court had stayed the withdrawal of CAPF from the Darjeeling hills till October 27 after the state government approached it against the Centre’s decision.(IANS)

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Supreme Court Bans Pet Coke and Furnace Oil to bring down Air Pollution in NCR

India tops the list of biggest consumers of pet coke globally, which emits 11 per cent more greenhouse gases than coal. Consequently, India also records the highest number of deaths with pollution as its main cause

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Supreme Court
Industries employing pet coke and furnace oil emit large amounts of sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide that can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause respiratory problems. Pixabay

New Delhi, October 25, 2017 : Environmental issues have been on the Supreme Court’s radar lately. After the crackers-ban on Diwali, the Supreme Court on Tuesday banned the use of two cheap but extremely polluting industrial fuels in and around New Delhi in an attempt to clean the air in the national capital region (NCR).

The Supreme Court banned the use of petroleum coke which is a dirtier alternative to coal, and furnace oil and has directed three states namely Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to notify the ban on immediate basis. The decision came after the Court was informed about the soaring pollution levels in NCR following Diwali due to toxic gas emissions by industries that rely heavily on petroleum coke (commonly called pet coke) and furnace oil.

However, this was not the first time that the two pollutants were banned.

Previously, the hazardous fuels had been banned in Delhi in 1996. However, despite court restrictions, their use continued in the NCR in brick kilns, cement factories, ceramics manufacturers and paper mills.

The new order comes after a government-appointed body, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) found high sulphur levels and recommended banning the two fuels to the court in April.

ALSO READ Was the Ban on Sale of Firecrackers in Delhi Successful? Data on Pollution Levels in Delhi Say Otherwise

On Tuesday, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice MB Lokur ordered for the ban to come into effect naturally from November 1 in case the government failed to notify the prohibit.

Why Did The Supreme Court Ban Pet Coke and Furnace Oil?

India tops the list of biggest consumers of pet coke globally, which emits 11 per cent more greenhouse gases than coal. Consequently, India also records the highest number of deaths with pollution as its main cause with 2.5 million Indians facing earth deaths in 2015, as per data by The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health

For an easier comparison, petrol and diesel comprise of 50 PPM (parts per million) of the extremely dangerous sulphur.

On the other hand, pet coke has 69,000-74,000 PPM and furnace oil has 15,000- 23,000 ppm sulphur in its composition.

Industries employing these two fuels emit large amounts of sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide that can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause respiratory problems like asthma, and bronchitis.

Burning of pet coke also releases sulphur dioxide which is a known cause of several lung diseases and acid rain.

How Will The Ban Affect Industries?

The ban on pet coke and furnace oil is believed to imply heavy losses to the industries using these fuels; the worst hit will be numerous small and medium sized industries that employ thousands of workers.

“Furnace oil is used in estimated
50-60% industries. As an alternate,
we can use CNG but it will cost us
nearly 2-3 times more”
– Dinesh Mittal,
                                     President of Sahibabad Industrial Area, Site-IV, (as told to Hindustan Times)

Pet coke is known to deliver more per-unit energy in comparison to coal, and is also readily and cheaply available which is why small-sized industries depend heavily on them. The low costs make it an attractive offer for the buyers. Banning the fuels may further restrict their ability to expand operations and hire more staff.

The Central Pollution Control Board had submitted a draft on stipulated norms in June which only received attention and was uploaded on the ministry website in October.  The furious Supreme Court also pulled up on the Centre for being insensitive and for “sitting and doing nothing” about the growing pollution levels in the NCR.

The Supreme Court has now ordered for the governments of  Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to notify the ban and complete the exercise by December 31.