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Delhi News Highlights: SC says ‘bureaucracy has gone into inertia’, asks states to comply with panel’s orders

As a blame game erupted over the data on farm fires, the Chief Justice slammed the officials: "Debates on TV are causing more pollution than any other sources. Everyone has their own agenda there. We are trying to work out a solution here."

By: Express Web Desk
New Delhi | Updated: November 18, 2021 08:05 IST
Commuters drive through smog in Delhi NCR (Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday came down heavily on the Centre and state/city governments of the national capital region (NCR) while hearing their submission on the air pollution crisis. Taking note of the Centre’s submissions, the Supreme Court directed Delhi and NCR states to comply with these decisions which were taken at Tuesday’s meeting to curb air pollution.

As a blame game erupted over the data on farm fires, the Chief Justice slammed the officials: “Debates on TV are causing more pollution than any other sources. Everyone has their own agenda there. We are trying to work out a solution here.” “What I’m observing is, as a judge, bureaucracy has developed sort of inertia. They don’t want to take a decision, they want only how to stop a vehicle etc this court has to do! Everything we have to do. This is an attitude developed by Executive,” the CJI said.

In its affidavit filed before the court, the central government said it is not in favour of work-from-home for its employee. In its affidavit filed before the apex court, the Centre said that it has instead advised its employees in Delhi to resort to carpooling to reduce the number of vehicles used by them for commuting. The Centre also said that the number of vehicles used by Central government is a minuscule fraction of the total vehicles in the national capital and stopping their plying would not make much impact towards improving the air quality of Delhi.

Meanwhile, amid the worsening air quality in Delhi-NCR, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) Tuesday directed closing of all education institutions till further notice, a halt on all construction activities till November 21 as well as work from home for 50 per cent staff in government offices. Trucks, other than those carrying essential supplies, will not be allowed entry into Delhi till November 21 and this restriction may be extended depending on the conditions

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Not in favour of Work From Home, prefers carpooling, Centre tells Supreme Court; Amid rising air pollution, NCR schools, colleges shut, construction at a halt till November 21; offices advised WFH for 50% staff; Read highlights

22:43 (IST)17 Nov 2021
Scrap dealer found dead with stab marks in Delhi's Mangolpuri

A scrap dealer was found dead with stab injuries at a railway underbridge in Delhi's Mangolpuri area on Wednesday, police said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer) Parvinder Singh said the victim was taken from the railway underbridge at Mangolpuri by a passerby to Sanjay Gandhi Hospital where he was declared brought dead in the morning.

The deceased, who is said to be around 40, has been identified as Krishan Murari, a resident of Mangolpuri, police said, adding that he used to work as a scrap dealer. (PTI)

22:42 (IST)17 Nov 2021
Civic body in Delhi deploys drone to spray larvicide to combat dengue

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, a drone was on Wednesday used by vector-control team of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation to spray larvicide to check the spread of dengue in the city, cases of which have seen a record spike here.

East Delhi Mayor Shyam Sunder Aggarwal claimed that the EDMC was the "first civic body" in the national capital to deploy a drone for control of vector-borne disease.

Larvicide was sprayed on the banks of river Yamuna using a drone, which can carry a container with a capacity of 10-12 litre, he said.

"We have hired an agency for it as a pilot project, and if the response is good, we will deploy more drones fir vector-control. One drone can cover about 3 km range," the mayor said.

The move essentially is to supplement the efforts of the municipal team, especially to reach to inaccessible areas, like a swampy land or middke of a lake, where staff cannot go to do spraying, officials said. (PTI)

22:26 (IST)17 Nov 2021
17 AAP members suspended from BJP-led EDMC House for 15 days, says mayor

East Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor Shyam Sunder Aggarwal on Wednesday said that he has suspended 17 members of the opposition AAP from the BJP-led EDMC House for 15 days for alleged misconduct during proceedings.

There was no immediate reaction from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

On September 27, Aggarwal had suspended 20 AAP members of the East Delhi civic body for 15 days for allegedly creating ruckus and indulging in misconduct during the proceedings of the House, a move that had drawn sharp reaction from the opposition party.

On Wednesday, Aggarwal said, "The opposition members wanted a discussion on dengue and the pollution situation. The ruling party members wanted to discuss the pollution issue first."

"I asked them to begin with the pollution issue and then move to the dengue matter. But they (AAP members) insisted that the dengue situation in national capital be discussed first and then created ruckus in the House," he claimed. (PTI)

21:11 (IST)17 Nov 2021
Ex-Delhi speaker and Cong veteran Yoganand Shastri joins NCP

Veteran Congress leader and former Delhi assembly speaker Yoganand Shastri joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Wednesday, and was made its city unit president.

Shastri came into the NCP fold in the presence of party chief Sharad Pawar.

"It was not that easy to work there (in the Congress). The biggest problem is that the party high command is promoting people who are not able to connect with the society. The example of Punjab is there and the situation in other states is also before everyone," Shastri said after joining the NCP.

He lauded Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, saying they were working hard but people around them were not honest and committed. (PTI)

21:09 (IST)17 Nov 2021
Delhi BJP leader slams Kangana's remarks against Mahatma Gandhi, says even PM is inspired by him

Delhi BJP spokesperson Nighat Abbass on Wednesday slammed actor Kangana Ranaut over her series of controversial statements against Mahatma Gandhi, saying even Prime Minister Narendra Modi is inspired by the Father of the Nation and such remarks "defame the country at the international level".

Ranaut on Tuesday claimed that Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh got no support from Mahatma Gandhi and went on to mock his mantra of Ahimsa by saying that offering another cheek gets you 'bheek' not freedom.

"I want to know what Kangana Ranaut wants to become by saying absurd things about him. By saying such absurd things she is regularly raising questions on the freedom struggle and is hurting the people of the country. I believe she is not just hurting people of the country but defaming India at international level," said Abbass in a video posted on Twitter. (PTI)

21:08 (IST)17 Nov 2021
Gangster held after brief encounter in outer Delhi

A 32-year-old gangster was arrested in connection with a 2019 case of the MCOC Act registered against him after a brief exchange of fire in outer Delhi on Wednesday, police said.

Accused Parveen Tyagi alias Gaurav Tyagi, a resident of Delhi's Holambi Kalan, was carrying a reward of Rs 1 lakh for his arrest, they said.

In cross firing, Tyagi also sustained injuries in his right leg and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, police said.

Tyagi is a sharp shooter and active member of the Tillu Tajpuria-Parvesh Khera gang. He is presently heading the Khera gang as all the other primary members of the gang are presently behind bars.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Rajiv Ranjan Singh said technical and manual sources were deployed to catch hold of the accused. Raids were earlier conducted at all suspected hideouts in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan but he managed to escape multiple times. (PTI)

20:14 (IST)17 Nov 2021
Transport Dept bans entry of trucks in Delhi, except those carrying essential items

Delhi government's Transport Department on Wednesday banned entry of trucks, barring those carrying essential items, with immediate effect in the national capital till November 21 or any further orders, Amid alarming levels of air pollution.

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) on Tuesday issued directions to stop entry of trucks in Delhi, except those carrying essential commodities, till November 21, subject to further review of extension of this date.

"In pursuance of this direction, it is hereby ordered that entry of trucks in Delhi shall be barred with immediate effect till 21/11/2021 or till further orders," said an order the Transport Department.

The ban will not apply to trucks carrying essential commodities like raw vegetables, fruits, grains, milk, eggs, ice that are to be used as food items, and tankers carrying petroleum products, stated the order. (PTI)

19:27 (IST)17 Nov 2021
Man snatches phones from two within 10 minutes, held

A bike-borne man allegedly snatched two mobiles from two people -- the separate incidents taking place in 10 minutes of each other -- at Connaught Place in the heart of the national capital.

Police said they arrested the accused, identified as the 21-year-old Arpan Christ, on Wednesday. He was previously involved in 20 criminal cases and declared a "Bad Character" by the Sunlight Colony police station, they added.

Both the snatching incidents took place on Tuesday and the accused was identified based on a CCTV footage and arrested later using technical surveillance, police said.

A CCTV footage of one of these incidents showed him snatching away the mobile phone of a 35-year-old woman while she was standing on the roadside in the Outer Circle of Connaught Place, they said.

In another incident, a few metres away from the first spot, he allegedly snatched the mobile phone from a man while he was using the device but no footage of the incident could be recovered, police said. (PTI)

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19:26 (IST)17 Nov 2021
HC seeks Centre's stand on pleas by 2006 Mumbai blast case convict for info on police officials

The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought response from the Centre on pleas by 2006 Mumbai train blast case convict challenging the rejection of his request under the Right to Information Act for information about the IPS officers involved in the investigation. 

Justice Rekha Palli issued notice to the Central Public Information Officer of Ministry of Home Affairs and Department of Personnel & Training on two petitions by Ehtesham Qutubuddin Siddique who alleged corruption and violation of his human rights at the hands of the officials. (PTI)

19:24 (IST)17 Nov 2021
HC denies bail to man for helping undertrial gangster escape

The Delhi High Court has denied bail to a man, arrested for allegedly helping an undertrial gangster to escape from a hospital here, on the ground that the conspiracy of helping the prisoner escape from the lawful judicial custody is of huge magnitude which could have serious effects on public safety and graver consequences on the society.

The high court said that an operation of this complexity, that is, to aid an undertrial of notorious credentials to escape lawful custody, has wide ramifications that may shake the confidence of the public in the police administration as well as the criminal justice system.

Justice Subramonium Prasad said granting bail to the accused, at this juncture, has the potential to encourage "copycat criminal behaviour" and dismissed the plea of accused Bhupender Singh alias Bhuttan. (PTI)

17:54 (IST)17 Nov 2021
Delhi restaurateurs laud new excise policy, say it can help recover losses incurred due to Covid

Restaurateurs in Delhi have welcomed the new excise regime which came into effect on Wednesday, saying when implemented fully, it will help recover losses incurred by the sector due to the Covid-induced lockdowns.

With the new regime in place, the L-17 licensees, which include independent restaurants or gastro-bars, may serve any Indian or foreign liquor anywhere like the balcony, terrace, or lower area of the restaurant with the condition that the alcohol serving area be screened off from public view.

They can also play live music and have professional performances, bands, DJ, karaoke, singing and dancing at the premises. (PTI)

17:00 (IST)17 Nov 2021
‘TV debates causing more pollution’, remarks SC as it orders Delhi-NCR to follow air quality panel directions

While hearing a plea relating to air pollution in Delhi and adjoining areas, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said that debates on TV news channels are creating more pollution as “everyone has their own agenda”.

“Debates on TV are creating more pollution than anybody. They don’t understand what is happening and what is the issue. Statements are taken out of context. Everyone has their own agenda. We can’t help and we can’t control. We are focussing on working out the solution,” a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said. Read more

16:59 (IST)17 Nov 2021
Delhi pollution: Government to hire 1,000 private CNG buses to increase strength of public transport system

The Delhi government will hire 1,000 private CNG buses to augment the public transport system as an emergency measure aimed at curbing vehicular pollution, said Environment Minister Gopal Rai.

Rai was speaking after a meeting with officials of different government departments Wednesday to discuss the implementation of the directions issued by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) late on Tuesday to deal with rising air pollution levels. Read more

15:21 (IST)17 Nov 2021
Courts bound to comply with orders on hybrid hearings: HC

The Delhi High Court Wednesday said the courts are bound to follow the directions passed by its full court which permitted trial courts to hold hybrid or video conferencing hearings at the request of parties.

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh issued notice and sought response of the Delhi government and high court on an application claiming that the district courts are not permitting hybrid hearings despite the directions of the full court.

“High court has already issued directions. They are bound to comply with it,” the bench said.

The high court was hearing two petitions by lawyers Anil Kumar Hajelay and Manashwy Jha seeking various prayers including conducting hybrid hearings in district courts on physical hearing days because of the COVID-19 threat. (PTI)

14:57 (IST)17 Nov 2021
Delhi: Police complaint against standup comedian Vir Das for ‘maligning India’s image’

A police complaint has been lodged against standup comedian and actor Vir Das by a Delhi BJP member for allegedly using derogatory statements against women and India in a performance. Das recently uploaded a video titled ‘I come from two Indias’ on social media, which was part of his performance at John F Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Read more

14:26 (IST)17 Nov 2021
Delhi: Freedom fighter Birsa Munda’s grandson inaugurates tribal festival Aadi Mahotsav

While a layer of smog shrouded the Delhi skies, Dilli Haat in INA decked up with lights and canopies to celebrate the fifth edition of the Aadi Mahotsav that brings together over 1,000 artisans and artists from across India. The numerous stalls were adorned with products that represent tribal culture and craft hours before the inauguration of the festival on Tuesday by Sukhram Munda, grandson of tribal freedom fighter Birsa Munda.

Also present were Union minister for tribal affairs Arjun Munda, boxing star and MP MC Mary Kom and Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) chairman Ramsinh Rathwa among others. “Aadi Mahotsav, organised by TRIFED and the ministry of tribal affairs not only provides an opportunity to expand tribal commerce but also ensures that tribal craft, cuisine and other traditions are maintained. We need to support these artisans and ensure a better future,” said Arjun Munda.

13:22 (IST)17 Nov 2021
BJP spokesperson slams Kangana Ranaut’s ‘bheek’ remark, says even PM Modi inspired by Gandhi

A day after actor Kangana Ranaut mocked Mahatma Gandhi in a series of Instagram posts, BJP Delhi spokesperson Nighat Abbass said even Prime Minister Narendra Modi is inspired by his teachings and such statements against him amount to defaming India at international level.

“Mahatama Gandhi has been given the Father of Nation status by the people of country. Whose ideals have kept the Bharatiyata alive in the country, Whose thinking has inspired our Prime Minister Narendra Bhai Modi also,” she said in a video which she also shared in her Twitter timeline.

12:48 (IST)17 Nov 2021
Delhi pollution: Next hearing is on November 23

Next hearing is on November 23

NV Ramana has not passed an order today. But has said that committee orders should be complied with.

12:34 (IST)17 Nov 2021
Air pollution: Construction workers move SC seeking ex-gratia for daily wagers

A construction workers' body has moved the Supreme Court seeking ex-gratia relief schemes for daily workers who will suffer loss of income due to sudden complete ban on the sector's activities imposed by NCR states to curb pollution caused by dust. 

Blanket ban on construction activities, without identifying and excluding the ones which do not contribute towards air pollution is "irrational, arbitrary and whimsical", said the petition filed by National Campaign Committee for Central Legislation on Construction Labour. 

It alleged that despite having a dedicated corpus of Rs 2,700 crore, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi has failed to frame any ex-gratia relief scheme for the building workers for the periods when they have to give up their work due to "sudden absolute blanket bans". (PTI)

12:26 (IST)17 Nov 2021
Bureaucracy has developed sort of inertia: CJI

"What I’m observing is, as a judge, bureaucracy has developed sort of inertia. They don’t want to take a decision, they want only how to stop a vehicle etc this court has to do! Everything we have to do. This is an attitude developed by Executive," the CJI said. 

Milestone for gay rights: SC Collegium picks Saurabh Kirpal for Delhi High Court

The collegium’s recommendation comes nearly three years after it first considered Saurabh Kirpal’s candidature in 2018.

After deferring a decision on the candidature of senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal at least four times since 2018, the Supreme Court Collegium has finally recommended his name as judge of the Delhi High Court.

The decision was taken at a meeting held on November 11, a collegium statement said. Kirpal is gay and, if selected, his elevation will mark a key turning point in gay rights. Kirpal was counsel for two petitioners in the landmark case in which the apex court decriminalised homosexuality.

‘Upgrade’ SIT probing Lakhimpur Kheri violence, Supreme Court tells UP govt

The SupremeCourt on Monday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to “upgrade” its Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up to probe the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, in which eight persons including four farmers were killed on October 3. The court also said that it was in the process of finalising a former judge to monitor the SIT’s probe on a day-to-day basis.

“You have to upgrade the task force. The officers have to be of some higher grade,” Chief Justice of India N V Ramana told senior advocate Harish Salve, who appeared for the UP government.

Part of Delhi’s history, 2 police stations set to be lit up for ‘visual appeal’

The Delhi Police have set up facade lighting at two police stations in New Delhi district to highlight the heritage buildings for the public. Constructed during the British era, the two stations will now be decked in orange, pink, red and blue colours.

Senior officers said this was done to make the buildings “visually appealing” and create awareness about their history. The two buildings, Parliament Street and Tughlak Road police stations, are currently preserved by the ASI.


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First published on: 15-11-2021 at 10:15 IST
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