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Vyapam Scam: SC notice for MP Governor removal

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs on a Public Interest Litigation asking for the dismissal of Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav for his involvement in the Vyapam Scam case.

A bench consisting of Chief Justice HL Dattu, Justices Shiva Kirti Singh and Amitava Roy sanctioned the proposal of senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the solicitor, that the notification should be given. The appeal was registered by activist Sanjay Shukla.

The apex court had previously also decided to hear another plea pursuing the dismissal of Yadav as the Governor, for his supposed envelopment in the scam. A petition was filed against him by a group of lawyers who had sought the removal of Yadav, and asked for recordings of his testimonial in the case.

The case is presently being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The multi-layer scam encompasses the rigging of employment examinations and entrance tests for specialised medical institutes; and the hiring of constables, teachers and forest guards, which were conducted from 2004 to 2012. The CBI is also investigating numerous mysterious killings of whistleblowers fighting against the scandal.

The scam has several deaths to its name, and life threats are being given to whistleblowers trying to assist the CBI in accelerating the investigation.  “When the central agency took up the Vyapam scam investigation, we were hopeful that the probe would pick up the pace but they have simply copy-pasted the FIRs registered by the special task force (STF) earlier,” said Bhopal-based whistleblower Ajay Dubey, in an interview with a newspaper.

Till September, the CBI had recorded 83 First Information Reports (FIR) and initiated twelve primary investigations into the Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal (Vyapam) also known as the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam.

The recent notification given by the apex court has come as a sign of substantial growth in the case and a hope of superior and nonbiased judgment in the case of activists fighting for justice.

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Supreme Court Signals Out Automobiles Cause Much More Pollution Than Burning Firecrackers

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.

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air pollution
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. Pixabay

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”.

crackers
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.
Pixabay

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.

crackers
The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked why firecrackers were being singled out for rising pollution levels when automobiles caused much more pollution. Pixabay

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.

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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)