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HC says no to restraining odd/even vehicle formula

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to restrain the city government from enforcing its decision to allow even and odd number cars to ply in Delhi on alternative dates, saying the decision is on a “trial basis”.

A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath refused to pass any order on two PILs against Delhi government’s a decision and posted the matters for December 23.

“It’s premature. Why are you filing these petitions? Delhi government is discussing this with groups of people. They will implement it from January 1, 2016, on a trial basis. There is no policy/notification now. There is a proposal. You can’t use these PILs just to pressurise the government,” said the bench while adjourning the case.

Appearing for the Delhi government, advocate Rahul Mehra opposed the pleas, saying the government was discussing the issue with groups of people and the pleas should be dismissed.

One PIL was filed by advocate Shweta Kapoor and the other by Sarvesh Singh.

One of the PILs said the government announced its plan to restrict the number of cars on roads without first conducting a public debate and a study of the pros and cons of a system based on whether the registration number of a motor vehicle ends in an even or odd digit.

It said the decision was taken without considering the disturbing effect it would have on the public at large.

To bring down the increasing air pollution level in the national capital, the Delhi government has decided that from January 1 private vehicles would be allowed to run on the streets on alternate dates depending on whether their licence plates end in odd or even numbers.

The plea said the government had not taken into consideration that there was a principle of ‘public will’ under the democratic system of governance and the same could be taken away by issuing such directions and restrictions.

It also raised the question of women’s safety, saying the government had not been able to provide a safe public transport to women and that the decision was “unreasonable and arbitrary”.

“The women who have always felt unsafe in this city feel safe driving their own vehicles back from their workplace after sundown or even late at night or engaging their own drivers where they have the paying capacity, but now they will have to face the horrors on alternate days,” said the plea.

It said the government had also ignored the differently-abled who used modified private vehicles and under no circumstance they would be able to commute by public transport. The plea also said that curtailing the movement of citizens on the basis of the registration number of their vehicles would also leave several citizens stranded on every alternate day.

“Curtailing the constitutional rights of the citizens by following unreasonable and arbitrary measures is only going to add to the chaos and shall not actually uproot the actual causes of pollution from the city which include pollution dust, entry of trucks inside the city of Delhi and traditional ways of waste disposal in the city,” it added.(IANS)

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Publishers Body Welcomes HC Order Lifting Non-NCERT Book Ban

"The ruling, in addition to providing convenience to children and parents, will also enable them to choose books depending on their preference,"

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Good education can reduce the impact of childhood abuse. Pixabay
Good education can reduce the impact of childhood abuse. Pixabay

The Association of Publishers in India (API) on Tuesday welcomed the Delhi High Court order which stipulated that sale of non-NCERT books must not be disallowed in CBSE-affiliated schools, calling the practice “discriminatory”.

“The court decision exemplifies the point that an ideal education system is the one that recognizes the role of multiple stakeholders and is learner-centric. The decision has been welcomed by not just students and parents but also by schools, private publishers, authors and others as it symbolizes ‘freedom of choice’ in education,” the representative body of publishers of academic texts said in a statement.

ALSO READ: The glorious tales of Chaar Sahibzaade to be included in NCERT syllabi

“The ruling, in addition to providing convenience to children and parents, will also enable them to choose books depending on their preference,” it said.

NCERT
Arguing that the sale of books, stationery and other items sold by the school be treated as “essential requirements”, the court last week in a decision refused to put a ban on these activities. Pixabay

 

In doing so, the court overturned the April 2017 injunction issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which asked affiliating schools not to indulge in “commercial” activities.

ALSO READ: App allowing free download of all NCERT books to be launched soon

The court said the availability of uniforms, non-NCERT reference books or even food items for sale only to the students of the school does not fall in the category of and cannot at all be considered as commercialization.

Earlier in its circular, the board had asked the schools to “desist from the unhealthy practice of coercing parents to buy textbooks, notebooks, stationery, uniforms, shoes, school bags etc from within the premise or from selected vendors only” and directed them to operate as doing “community service” as per the board by-laws.

Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha, in December last year, told Parliament that CBSE has not directed students or schools to buy or prescribe NCERT books only. (IANS)