Chandigarh, November 10, 2016: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday hailed the Supreme Court decision on a 2004 Presidential reference on the sharing of the Sutlej-Yamuna rivers waters.
The Supreme Court on Thursday held as ‘unconstitutional’ Punjab’s 2004 law intended to deny Haryana its share in the Sutlej-Yamuna waters.
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The Chief Minister said the Supreme Court decision on the vital issue, which comes after 12 years, was a result of persistent efforts made by the present BJP government in Haryana.
He said the decision would enable the state to get its legitimate share of the surplus Ravi-Beas waters, that is 3.5 million acre feet.
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Holding that the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act, 2004, was not in conformity with the constitutional provisions, a Constitution Bench of Justice Anil R. Dave, Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Amitava Roy answered in the negative all the four questions referred to the top court in a Presidential reference.
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)