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November 10th, 2013

ALB20131111

Abhyaas Law Bulletin


For the quintessential CLAT aspirant
The Scoop Of The Month

A third of Western Ghats declared ecologically sensitive area

The Editors Column Dear Student, Welcome to the November edition of the Abhyaas law Bulletin. Government of India reconstituted the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the Telangana issue to make sure that there is no one from either of the regions on the GoM. The Union Environment Ministry declared a third of the western ghats as ecologically sensitive areas. The election commission has approved the NOTA (None of the above) as directed by the Supreme Court and will introduce the NOTA button in the upcoming assembly elections for the five states. The Supreme Court has said that there be a fixed tenure for bureaucrats and directed the center and the states tof form a civil services board. The Supreme Court in another judgment said that the co-operative societies are out of the ambit of the RTI act. The severe cyclonic storm Phailin hit the coasts of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. The State Governments were better prepared this time around and loss of human life was minimal. Gujarat CM Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the state of Sardar Vallabhhai Patel that is named The Statue of Unity. Happy Reading !

The Environment Ministry has decided to turn approximately 60,000 square kilometres of the Western Ghats across six States into an Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA), banning mining, quarrying, thermal power plants and polluting industries over the entire range. All other projects would be allowed only with the prior consent of gram sabhas (village councils) in the zone. The decision has been taken by the Environment and Forests Minister Jayanthi Natarajan as a follow-up on the two reports on the Ghats, one headed by ecologist Madhav Gadgil and the other by Planning Commission member K. Kasturirangan. The decision, once formally notified, would make the identified region of the Western Ghats complex the largest protected forests in India ranging over 1,500 km linear distance from the Tapti river in the north to Kanyakumari in the south. Going with the recommendations of the high-level panel that was headed by Mr. Kasturirangan, the Ministry has decided to declare the ESA over 37% of the Western Ghats under the Environment Protection Act, 1986. The Ministry has drafted the notification and it will be put out soon for comments. Ms. Natarajan has approved the use of three criteria that the panel had recommended biodiversity richness , (Contd)

(Rakesh Dubbudu) Index: Page 2: National Page 3: National & International Page 4: Spotlight

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November 10th, 2013 National: fragmentation of forests and human population density to demarcate these forest patches that would turn into a no-go zone for mining, thermal power plants and other dirty industries. The type of industries banned would be those included in the red list issued by the government under the Environment Protection Act. These are usually considered to be the most polluting of the lot. Going against the recommendation of the Environment Secretary, the Minister retained the criteria to leave areas with high-density of population out of this regulated zones ambit. The panel had recommended that the hill tracts with high population densities be kept out of the ESA ambit. The report had said, Close to 60 per cent of the Western Ghats region is under cultural landscape human dominated land use of settlements, agriculture and plantations. It had advised against using the legal force that the ESA would provide to alter the economic practices in these areas, instead suggesting economic and other tools to incentivise more ecologically sustainable activities. Within the ESA prior consent from the gram sabhas and strict adherence to the Forest Rights Act would be made mandatory for any of the projects that are not on the negative list. This too would be done after studying cumulative impacts of the projects in the region. Townships and buildings over 20,000 square metres in the region too would not be allowed once the draft notification is published. But those already in the pipeline in different States would be allowed to go ahead. Applications for such townships would not be entertained in future. The Ministry has decided to not go with the recommendations of the high-level panel in the case of windmills. Construction of windmills would be permitted in the ecologically sensitive area though environment regulations to review their impact may be brought in through other legal routes available to the government. Hydro-electric projects would be permitted in the ESA but with a new set of strict regulations that the Kasturirangan-led panel has recommended, including those on maintaining ecological flows in the rivers.The decisions on two specific hydro-electric projects that had been talked of by both the committees, the 163-MW Athirappilly in Kerala and 400-MW Gundya in Karnataka are not likely to be included in the ESA notification Severe Cyclonic Storm Phailin Affected India Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Phailin affected Indian states of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal as well as Thailand, Myanmar and Nepal on 12 October 2013. On 10 October 2013, Phailin was equivalent to a category 1 hurricane on the SaffirSimpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS). On 11 October 2013, it became equal to the category 5 hurricane on the SSHWS. Cyclonic Storm Phailin made its landfall near Gopalpur in Odisha coast and subsequently weakened. It was last noted on 14 October 2013.

SC orders fixed tenure for bureaucrats


To insulate the bureaucracy from political interference and to put an end to frequent transfers of civil servants by political bosses, the Supreme Court on 31st October directed the Centre and the States to set up a Civil Services Board (CSB) for the management of transfers, postings, inquiries, process of promotion, reward, punishment and disciplinary matters. A Bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Pinaki Chandra Ghose, giving a series of directions while disposing of a public interest writ petition filed by former Union Cabinet Secretary T.S.R. Subramanian; former CECs T.S. Krishnamurthy and N. Gopalaswami; former Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Abid Hussain; former CBI Director Joginder Singh; former Manipur Governor Ved Prakash Marwah and 77 others also said bureaucrats should not act on verbal orders given by politicians and suggested a fixed tenure for them. Writing the judgment, Justice Radhakrishnan said the CSB, consisting of high ranking service officers, who are experts in their respective fields, with the Cabinet Secretary at the Centre and Chief Secretary at the State level, could be a better alternative (till the Parliament enacts a law), to guide and advise the State government on all service matters, especially on transfers, postings and disciplinary action, etc., though their views also could be overruled, by the political executive, but by recording reasons, which would ensure good governance, transparency and accountability in governmental functions.

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November 10th, 2013 International The Bench asked Parliament to enact a Civil Services Act under Article 309 of the Constitution setting up a CSB, which can guide and advise the political executive transfer and postings, disciplinary action, etc. The Bench directed the Centre, State governments and the Union Territories to constitute such Boards within three months, if not already constituted, till the Parliament brings in a proper Legislation in setting up CSB. The Bench said We notice, at present the civil servants are not having stability of tenure, particularly in the State governments where transfers and postings are made frequently, at the whims and fancies of the executive head for political and other considerations and not in public interest. The necessity of minimum tenure has been endorsed and implemented by the Union Government. In fact, we notice, almost 13 States have accepted the necessity of a minimum tenure for civil servants. Fixed minimum tenure would not only enable the civil servants to achieve their professional targets, but also help them to function as effective instruments of public policy. Deprecating repeated transfers, the Bench said minimum assured tenure ensures efficient service delivery and also increased efficiency.The Bench directed the Centre, States and Union Territories to issue appropriate directions to secure providing of minimum tenure of service to various civil servants, within three months. Fine cant be more than twice the amount in bounced cheque: SC Courts cannot impose a fine of more than twice the amount in bounced cheques, the Supreme Court has held, stressing that the limit is inviolable and should be respected. First and foremost is the fact that the power to levy fine is circumscribed under the statute to twice the cheque amount. Even in a case where the court may be taking a lenient view in favour of the accused by not sending him to prison, it cannot impose a fine more than twice the cheque amount. That statutory limit is inviolable and must be respected, a bench of justices T.S. Thakur and Vikramajit Sen said. It set aside the Calcutta High Court order which had directed a person to pay Rs. 1,49,500 as against the cheque amount of Rs. 69,500. Nobel Prize Winners 2013 The Nobel Prize In Physics Francois Englert and Peter W. Higgs for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles.

The Nobel Prize In Chemistry Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel for the development of multi scale models for complex chemical systems.
The Nobel Prize In Physiology or Medicine James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Sdhof for their groundbreaking work on how the cell organises its transport system. The Nobel Prize In Literature Alice Munro who is the contemporary short story.

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The Nobel Peace Prize Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons. The Prize in Economic Sciences Eugene F. Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert J. Shiller for their empirical analysis of asset prices. Saudi Arabia Turned Down UN Security Council Seat Saudi Arabia on 18 October 2013 turned down a coveted seat on the United Nations Security Council because of the failure of the international community to end the war in Syria and act on other Middle East issues. It cited the Security Councils failure to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, take steps to end Syrias civil war and stop nuclear proliferation in the region. It accused that the body had instead perpetuated conflicts and grievances. A founding member of the United Nations, Saudi Arabia was one of five countries elected by the UNs General Assembly on 17 October 2013 to serve a two-year term on the 15member Security Council.

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November 10th, 2013

This month in pictures:

Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal is appointed as the Chief Justice of Madras High Court.

Arup Raha is the new Chief of the Indian Air Force.

Ranjan Mathai is appointed as Indias High Commissioner to United Kingdom.

Ethiopia Parliament Elected Mulatu Teshome as New President.

Eleanor Catton, New Zealand author wins the Man Booker Prize 2013.

CV Wigneswaran is sworn in as the Chief Minister of Northern Province, Sri Lanka.

Spotlight: GNLU, Gandhinagar


Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) is a statutory university established by the Government of Gujarat under the Gujarat National University Act, 2003. This University is based in the city of Gandhinagar, which is the capital of Gujarat and is located 30 kilometers north to the metropolitan city of Ahmedabad. The University started its official functioning in the year 2004. This University was formed in the year 2003 on the five year integrated LL.B structure preferred by the Bar Council of India. This University offers its students a course of five years, and upon graduation provides the degrees, B.A, LL.B (Hons.), B.Com, LL.B (Hons.), B.B.A, LL.B (Hons.), and B.Sc., LL.B (Hons.). GNLU also offers LL.M course which is devised with a view to producing competent teachers and researchers. The total intake for the UG Course is 180 and the admission is through national level CLAT. The University has its curriculum based on the National Law School model and follows a two semester per year pattern. The University also encourages and includes additional project work, report writing, research and analysis in its syllabus. Moot courts and other legal events are held regularly in the university, as a part of the curriculum as well as an extracurricular activity.

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