LG Polymers has absolute liability for loss of life: National Green Tribunal

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) said on Wednesday LG Polymers has absolute liability for the loss of life in the recent gas leak incident at its Visakhapatnam plant, and directed the Rs50 crore penalty imposed on it to be used as compensation to the victims and for environment resto­ra­tion.

The NGT took suo motu cognisance of the case a day later and imposed a fine of Rs50 crore on the South Korean company.

In an order on Wednesday, an NGT bench headed by its Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel noted, “We find the company has strict and absolute liability for the environmental damage and consequential loss to life and public health in this case.”

The final calculation of compensation will be assessed by a committee comprising representatives of the Ministry of Environment, the Central Pollution Control Board and the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, the tribunal said.

“The Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF & CC), may ensure the constitution of the committee within two weeks from today. The committee may give its report within two months thereafter. The MoEF & CC will be the nodal agency for the purpose,” the order stated. The NGT said the firm cannot recommence operation without requisite statutory clearances.

CAA: Students’ unions want Assam insulated

New Delhi: The SC on Wednesday sought response from the Centre to the plea of two Assam students’ uni­o­ns to include their state under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regu­la­tions (BEFR), 1873, for enforcing the inner-line permit (ILP) system to insulate it from the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) enacted last December.

They filed the petition challenging the order by the President on Dec 11, 2019 to extend ILP to Manipur in addition to 3 other northeastern states of Aruna­chal, Nagaland and Mizoram, which were once the districts of the undivided Assam state but excluding Assam.

A bench of CJI Sharad Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, however, refused to grant ex-parte stay on the operation of the Presidential order without hearing the Centre and listed the matter for further hearing after 2 weeks.

To visit the ILP-regime states, out­siders, including people from other states, need permission. There is protection for locals with regards to land, jobs, other facilities. Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the students unions, sought an interim stay on the Presidential order, but the bench said it cannot grant any interim-stay on the order without hearing Centre on the issue. —Our Bureau

NCDRC online hearing from June 15

On account of COVID-19 pandemic, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) will hear cases through video conferencing from Ju­ne 15 till further orders. A notice was issued by the Commission on Tuesday. “Those who are interested in hearing of their pending matters through video conferencing may convey their request to the Registry of the National Commission,” it is told. Such advocates/parties shall submit the digitised records of respective cases in the Commission.

Also, from June 3, fresh matters are to be filed with digitised files along with the physical files to facilitate virtual hearings. Digitised record may be submitted through e-mail at ncdrc@nic.in.

Party colours: SC junks AP govt plea

New Delhi: In a jolt to the Jagan Mohan Reddy govt, the SC on Wednesday dismissed its appeal against the Andhra Pradesh HC order asking it to remove the blue, green and white colours from 'Gram Panchayat' buildings as their colours resemble with party flag of ruling YSRCP. Observing “Public confidence in the judici­ary will be eroded if its orders are not obeyed,” the SC said there was “no ambiguity” in the HC’s judgment holding that “any colour which is similar to the flag of any political party should not be used for painting the Gram Panchayat buildings.” -Agencies

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