tuesDAY Efforts to clean up air gathers momentum 27 Air quality in the national capital on Monday was recorded in the ‘very poor’ category for the fourth consecutive day. october, 2020 New Law for Delhi, NCR on the cards epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard The government will soon bring in a new law to curb air pollution in Delhi-NCR, a top official from the Ministry of Environment said said on Monday. “The new law will be only for Delhi and NCR. It will come out soon. I can’t comment on what penalties it will entail. Air Act is for the nation and will be as it is,” Union Environment Secretary R P Gupta said. twitter.com/TheMornStandard RS polls Hardeep Puri renominated He will contest from UP; Neeraj Shekhar, ex-cop Brijlal also figure in BJP’s list A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS Page 8 Strategic leap India, US to ink 2 key deals today Jaishankar, Rajnath hold talks with Pompeo, Esper ahead of the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue Pushkar Banakar & M aya n k S i n g h @ New Delhi Setting the stage for the signing of two crucial defence and information-sharing deals in the third 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper held bilateral talks with their respective counterparts, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, here on Monday . “The two ministers (Singh and Esper) reviewed bilateral defence cooperation spanning military to military cooperation, secure communication systems and information sharing, defence trade and industrial issues and also discussed ways to take bilateral cooperation forward. The two ministers expressed satisfaction that agreement of BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for geo-spatial cooperation) will be signed during the visit,” read a Ministry of Defence statement released after the meeting. Mike Pompeo Mark Esper The top US officials are in India for the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue during which BECA and MISTA (Maritime Information Sharing Technical Arrangement) will be signed. While BECA gives India access to accurate US satellite data for navigation and precision military targets, MISTA will help in enhanced information and intelligence sharing between the two countries. The 2+2 Dialogue comes amid border tensions with China. The US has condemned China’s aggressive actions along the LAC and the South China Sea. The two US officials will likely be canvassing their antiChina stance when they visit Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia on their way back. Continued on P7 l New Delhi l J8.00 l PAGES 12 Join the fight: AAP to oppn Delhi’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai said pollution was not a problem of just AAP or the Delhi government, hoped opposition leaders will join the fight | P5 Oct 31 : Delhi’s air quality is predicted to remain ‘very poor’ till Friday Any seized meat is shown as beef: HC raps Uttar Pradesh for misusing law S a n a S h a k i l @ New Delhi The Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act is being “misused” to implicate innocent persons, the Allahabad High Court recently observed, putting the state’s law enforcement machinery under intense scrutiny . In a recent order, the single judge bench of Justice Siddharth observed, “Act is being misused against innocent persons. Whenever any meat is recovered, it is normally shown as cow meat (beef) without getting it exam- ined or analysed by the forensic laboratory .” In most cases under this law, meat is not sent for analysis and accused persons continue to be in jail for an offence they may not have committed, Justice Siddharth said. He added that offences under this law have a maximum sentence of seven years. The court was hearing a bail application of one Rahmuddin, accused of cow slaughter and sale of beef under Sections 3, 5 and 8 of the Act. The judge made the scathing remarks after learning that the accused had been in jail for over a month even when there was no allegation against him in the first information report. Rahmuddin’s lawyer also claimed that his client was not arrested from the spot of the alleged crime. The court granted bail to Rahmuddin on certain conditions such as not tampering with evidence. In its order on October 19, the court also made observations on the menace of abandoned cattle and stray cows in UP . Continued on P7 Lokur panel on hold after Centre vows air pollution law E x p r ess N e ws S e rv i c e @ New Delhi The Supreme Court on Monday kept in abeyance its order appointing former apex court judge Justice M B Lokur as the head a one-man commission on stubble burning after the Centre informed that it would create a permanent body on air pollution by enacting a law within three to four days. A bench led by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde agreed to put on hold the execution of its October 16 order after solicitor general Tushar Mehta informed the court about the Centre’s proposal to create a permanent body by enacting a law to tackle stubble burning in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. The pollution this year in the NCR is a matter of more concern, with experts saying it could lead to a spike in the Covid-19 infections. The bench was hearing a petition filed by a student, Aditya Dubey, complaining that despite assurances given by the three states last year to curb stubble burning, NASA images showed there were five times more farm fires than during the same period last year. During the hearing, Mehta told the bench, “The government has taken a holistic view and is considering bringing a Worried about the toxic air The SC order of Oct 16 had raised concern over the worsening air quality in Delhi-NCR and appointed one man panel of Justice (retd) M B Lokur to monitor the steps taken to prevent stubble burning, brushing aside objections of the Centre, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. legislation on the issue specifically to deal with the problem of air pollution in Delhi-NCR, which will put a permanent body in place with participants from all affected areas.” He did not elaborate on the framework of the proposed law, but admitted that stubble bur ning must be curbed on a war footing. The CJI called it a welcome step. “This is something that the government should have acted on. This is not a matter for PIL. The only issue is that people are choking because of the pollution,” the CJI said. Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the petitioner, opposed Mehta’s suggestion to put the commission on hold. But Mehta assured the bench that the law will be comprehensive and enforced immediately . Just before Dussehra break, the court had appointed Justice Lokur to monitor and prevent stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and UP . The court has slated further hearing on October 29.
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