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Notices To Anti-CAA Protesters On Damage Recovery Virtually Revoked: Supreme Court – dot newz

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The earlier notices to CAA protesters stand virtually revoked, the Supreme Court said. (File)

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court today said earlier notices sent to the alleged protestors by district administrations of Uttar Pradesh for recovery of losses caused due to damage to public properties during the anti-CAA agitations in the state have been virtually revoked as the government has enacted a new law.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna posted the matter for further hearing on November 22 after the petitioner’s counsel said that they need to file a rejoinder affidavit to the reply filed by the UP government.

“You see a new Act has come into play in the State, so the earlier notices stand virtually revoked,” the bench observed.

The UP government has passed a new law earlier this year called The Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damages to Public and Private Property Bill, 2021 under which protestors found guilty of damaging government and private property will face imprisonment or a fine up to Rs 1 lakh.

On July 9, the State government had told the top court that under the new law, tribunals have been constituted and the requisite rules are framed.

The top court had asked the State government not to take action on earlier notices sent to the alleged protestors but had said that the government can take action as per the law and follow new rules.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by Parwaiz Arif Titu seeking quashing of notices sent to alleged protestors by the district administration for recovering losses caused by damage to public properties during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) agitations in Uttar Pradesh and asked the state to respond to it.

The plea has alleged that such notices have been sent in an “arbitrary manner” against a person, who had died six years ago at the age of 94 and also to several others including two people who are aged above 90.

On January 31 last year, the top court had issued notice to the state government and asked it to respond to the plea.

Titu had contended that these notices were based on an Allahabad High Court judgement delivered in 2010 which “is in violation of the guidelines” laid down by the top court in a 2009 verdict, and re-affirmed in a 2018 order.

He submitted that the state government has appointed an additional district magistrate to deal with the process of notices for recovering damages for loss of public property during protests against the CAA whereas the guidelines laid down by the court stipulated that retired judges should deal with the matter.

The plea has sought a stay on these notices claiming they have been sent to persons who have not been booked under any penal provisions and no details of FIR or any criminal offences have been made out against them.

“The contradiction is that while the Supreme Court in 2009 put the onus of assessment of damages and recovery from the accused on high courts of every state, whereas the Allahabad High Court had issued guidelines in 2010 judgement that let the state government undertake these processes to recover damages, which has serious implications,” said the plea, filed through advocate Nilofar Khan.

“The judicial oversight/judicial security is a sort of safety mechanism against arbitrary action. This means that there is every chance that the ruling party in the state could go after its political opponents or others opposed to it to settle scores,” it said.

It also sought direction from the Uttar Pradesh government to follow the procedure as per the 2009 and 2018 guidelines of the court while claiming damages to recover the losses caused to public property during such protests.

The plea sought setting up of an independent judicial inquiry to probe into the incidents which happened during the protests against the amended citizenship act and the National Register of Citizens in Uttar Pradesh, as has been done by the Karnataka High Court.

It claimed that the BJP-led Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is “moving ahead on the chief minister”s promise of avenging the loss to public property” by seizing assets of protestors to “take revenge for political reasons from one community who is in minority”.

The plea further alleged that around 925 people, who have been arrested so far in connection with the violent protests, may not get bail easily in Uttar Pradesh till they pay up for the losses as they have to be given “conditional bail” only after they deposit the amount.

“The government of Uttar Pradesh and its administration and police are no longer behaving like the arm of a democratic government as it cracked down on protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019/NRC. The police on the instructions of the Uttar Pradesh administration used disproportionate force and denied public accountability,” it alleged.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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High Altitude Areas In Uttarakhand Receive Season’s First Snowfall – dot newz

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The sky remained overcast in the plains with isolated light showers at several places (File)

Dehradun:

The Himalayan temple of Kedarnath and the high altitude areas of Chamoli district received the season’s first snowfall on Thursday while it drizzled in the lower areas intensifying the chill across the state.

Besides the Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district, the Musk Deer Park, Valley of Flowers and the Nanda Devi National Park in Chamoli district also received snowfall, officials in Dehradun said.

The sky remained overcast in the plains with isolated light showers at several places, including state capital Dehradun.

The temperature recorded in Dehradun on Thursday was 15.4 degrees Celsius, Tehri 10 degrees Celsius, Pantnagar 18.4 degrees Celsius, Mukteshwar 8.4 degrees Celsius and Almora 13.4 degrees Celsius, the MeT Department in Dehradun said.



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37 Years On, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims Still Await Adequate Compensation – dot newz

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“In 1984, Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at Centre”: Bhopal Gas Tragedy Minister

Bhopal:

Thirty-seven years after the Bhopal gas tragedy, termed as the world’s worst industrial disaster, the survivors and the family of the dead are still waiting to be compensated fairly with an organisation working for them claiming that each victim has so far received less than one-fifth of the allotted sum.

The leak of methyl isocyanate, a toxic gas, from the pesticide plant of Union Carbide on the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984, had killed over 3,000 people and left 1.02 lakh others affected at that time. However, the number of affected later rose to over 5.70 lakh.

Talking to PTI, Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vishvas Sarang said, “In 1984, the Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at the Centre. The two governments did not put forth the case of the victims in a right manner to enable them to get more compensation.”

Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti (BGPSSS) co-convener ND Jayaprakash said the Supreme Court assisted settlement on February 14-15, 1989 worth Rs 705 crore was based on the assumption that only around 3,000 persons died and 1,02,000 were affected.

“This compensation was a complete sham as each gas victim ended up being given less than one-fifth of the sum allotted even as per the terms of that unjust settlement,” he added.

When asked to explain, he said that the financial aid was USD 470 million in 1989. The dollars turned into more than Rs 3,000 crore in 2004, when the disbursements started.

“But the number of the victims swelled to 5.73 lakh and this amount was distributed among them. So, each victim got one-fifth of the compensation,” he added.

“The failure on the part of the Supreme Court to hear the long-pending curative petition against the unjust settlement of 1989, has had an adverse impact on the interests of the gas victims,” he said in a media statement.

The curative petition (civil), which was filed by the Union of India on December 3, 2010 to challenge the unjust settlement of 1989 and to seek additional sum of at least another Rs 7,724 crore as compensation was last listed before the Constitution Bench of the Court on January 29 last year, he said.

“However, the hearing was postponed to February 11 last year. Sadly, the matter was never listed on that date or ever since then,” he said.

Failure to dispose of the curative petition has also meant the indefinite postponement of the hearing of the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed on March 17, 2010 by eight members of Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS) and BGPSSS, he said.

In the SLP, the two NGOs have sought enhancement of settlement sum by a factor of five in terms of the magnitude of the disaster as assessed by the claim courts and in terms of the gravity of injuries suffered by the gas victims on the basis of their medical records, Jayaprakash said.

Failure to dispose of the pending curative petition and the SLP for over a decade has effectively denied the gas-victims several thousands of crores of additional compensation that they are legitimately entitled to, he added.

In the curative petition, the Centre has sought Rs 7,724 crore as additional funds from successor firms of US-based Union Carbide Corporation, now owned by Dow Chemicals, for giving compensation to victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy.

The Centre, in its plea, is seeking a direction to Union Carbide and other firms for Rs 7,722 crore additional amount over and above the earlier settlement amount of USD 470 million in 1989 for paying compensation to the gas tragedy victims.

On June 7, 2010, a local court had convicted seven executives of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) to two years of imprisonment in connection with the incident. The then UCC chairman, Warren Anderson, was the prime accused in the case but did not appear for the trial. On February 1, 1992, the Bhopal CJM court had declared him an absconder. He died in the US in 2014. 



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5 Contacts Of Bengaluru Omicron Patient Test Positive For Covid, Isolated – dot newz

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Bengaluru:

Five contacts of an Omicron patient have turned out to be Covid positive, Karnataka announced today, shortly after the Union health ministry said the first patients of the new Covid variant have been found in the state. The patients have been isolated and their samples have been sent for genome testing, Karnataka said amid concern over the highly infectious strain that has set off global alarm.

One of the two initial patients is a 46-year-old health worker from Bengaluru, who developed symptoms of fever and body ache on November 21.

He tested positive the following day and was admitted to hospital; his sample was sent for genome sequencing on the same day.  But three days later he was discharged.

After extensive contact tracing, the Karnataka government said he had 13 direct contacts and more than 250 secondary contacts.

The other confirmed Omicron patient is a 66-year-old South African national who came to India with a negative Covid report.

The man, who received both vaccine doses, tested positive on arrival and was asymptomatic, following which he was told to self-isolate.

A week later, with a negative Covid report from a private lab, he flew to Dubai. Samples from his 24 primary and 240 secondary contacts have returned negative test results.



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