CJI calls for softer options instead of killing wild animals

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday suggested softer option to deal with wild animals, with the exception of man-eaters, who are in conflict with human beings or damage agriculture crops and fruit trees.

Asking for the solutions other than killing, Chief Justice Sharad A Bobde, heading a three-judge bench, said killing wild-animals in conflict with humans is no solution. It issued notice to Bihar, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and other states on a public interest plea by Biju Janata Dal Lok Sabha member Anubhav Mohanty, seeking to curb the practice of encouraging and rewarding people who kill wild animals allegedly in conflict with humans.

Pointing to the softer options, Bobde, sitting with Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, called for use of explosives which scare away the wild-animals but don’t kill them and there are rubber bullets.

“We want you to examine the issue, because land of the animals inside the forest is being taken away by human beings. There is a pressure on the forests. We are aware of the phenomenon,” CJI Bobde said. He told senior counsel Siddharth Luthra to examine the softer option to deal with the problem of wild-animals intruding the human habitat without causing them any injury.

Plea in HC against fresh hiring of DMC chairman

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Thursday sought response of the Centre, AAP government and Lieutenant Governor's office on a plea seeking that no one be appointed to the post of Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) chairman which fell vacant recently.

The application has contended that since the constitutional validity of the DMC Act is under challenge in the high court, no one be appointed to head the commission till the matter is decided.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice to the Centre, Delhi government and LG's office and sought their stand on the application by August 31 when the main petition is also listed for hearing.

The court also directed the three to file their replies to the main petition before the next date of hearing.

The application has been filed by Vikram Gahlot, a social worker, who in his main petition has challenged the constitutional validity of the Act under which the commission has been set up.

Advocate Dhananjai Jain, appearing for Gahlot, told the court that as the constitutional validity of the Act is under challenge, no one ought to be appointed to head the commission.

The constitutional validity of the DMC Act was challenged in the wake of certain controversial social media posts made by the commission's former chairman -- Zafarul Islam Khan.

Khan's tenure ended recently, the court was informed.

Gahlot, in his petition, has contended that the Delhi Legislative Assembly did not have the powers to enact the DMC Act and therefore, the statute be declared ultra vires of the Constitution and struck down.

He has also contended that since the Act was not valid, the appointments made under it, including that of the chairman, would also be invalid.

Arranging writers for visually impaired is DU’s responsibility: Delhi HC

New Delhi: The Delhi HC on Thursday made it clear that it is the responsibility of Delhi University to make available writers for visually impaired students or else the process of online Open Book Examinations (OBE) for final year undergraduate courses would be a "mockery" for them.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad directed Delhi University (DU) to clarify the position on arrangement of scribes at CSE Centres and elsewhere for students in visually impaired (VH) category by the next date of hearing on August 5, to enable them to participate in the online OBE.

While the varsity maintained that scribes will be made available to visually impaired students by the CSE Centres, the CEO of CSE Academy clarified that it was not their duty to arrange for scribes and they do not have such writers at the centres.

"There is complete mismatch of statements made by the two sides. There is complete contradiction. Why are you (DU) giving wrong hope to students that everything is available at CSE centres. Why are you misrepresenting them," said the bench, which was conducting the proceedings through video conferencing.

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