New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea for investigation into purchase at inflated price of caskets for soldiers martyred during the Kargil war and other items since the issues had been decided by trial courts.
An apex court bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice V. Gopala Gowda declined the plea as counsel S Balasubramanian appearing for the Centre told the court that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arraigned one Victor Baiza in the aluminium casket purchase case, but he was discharged by the court of metropolitan magistrate.
Similarly, Balasubramanian said, the CBI investigated the charges of wrongdoing in the purchase of Krasonpol ammunition, found nothing and filed a closure report that too was accepted by a trial court.
Balasubramanian said that allegations of wrongdoing in the purchase of snow suits were based on mere apprehensions as no contract was entered into and consequently no money was paid.
KG Dhananjay Chauhan moved the apex court for investigation into the alleged wrongdoings in the purchases done during the Kargil war in 1999 and sought putting in place a transparent procedure for the purchase of defence material.
The plea for investigation into the alleged scams had become infructuous in the wake of lower courts’ decisions, the apex court said.
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)