Supreme Court Tells National Green Tribunal To Check Car-Makers For Emissions Violations

The top court also asked the NGT to hear the Union Ministry of Road and Transport in the case.

New Delhi: 

The Supreme Court on Monday favoured widening of judicial scrutiny of a case pertaining to use of cheat device in diesel cars to flout emission norms in vehicles made by German automaker Volkswagen by bringing other auto majors under the scanner.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta said the National Green Tribunal may consider whether the scope of the emission related case, involving Volkswagen presently, could be expanded to other carmakers also.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Volkswagen, said that the company has been singled out for violation of norms which are “non-existent”.

He said that the automobile company complies with country’s existing norms on emission and has already deposited Rs 100 crore fine imposed by the NGT to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The bench refused to interfere with the orders of NGT imposing fine on the automaker but restrained the green panel from taking any punitive action against the directors of the company as it has complied with the orders and deposited Rs 100 crore with the CPCB.

It said that all rights and contentions of the parties would remain open and Volkswagen can raise its objections to the findings of the committee before the NGT.

The top court also asked the NGT to hear the Union Ministry of Road and Transport in the case.

During the brief hearing, the court observed that the green panel should not have passed the order asking the auto-major to deposit money with the CPCB in view of the fact that it was seized of the case.

Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd had moved the top court challenging the orders of the green tribunal directing the company to deposit Rs 100 crore with the CPCB while a committee decides on the allegations of emission norms violations.

On January 17, the NGT had slammed Volkswagen for not depositing Rs 100 crore, imposed on it for damaging the environment through use of “cheat device” in its diesel cars, and directed it to submit the amount within 24 hours failing which its directors would be sent to jail.

The green panel on November 16, 2018 had said that use of “cheat device” by Volkswagen in diesel cars in India leads to inference of environmental damage and directed it to deposit an interim amount of Rs 100 crore with the CPCB.

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Focus On Virat Kohli, Also Indian Openers, Ross Taylor Tells New Zealand

New Zealand middle-order batsman Ross Taylor agreed that India captain Virat Kohli was the best ODI batsman in the world. But he also emphasised on hosts New Zealand to focus on the Indian opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma rather can getting caught up with Virat Kohli. “He’s a (Kohli) sensational player, the best one-day player going around, quite easily,” Taylor was quoted as saying by “It’s easy to get caught up in him. (But) you’ve got two pretty good openers at the top, Sharma, and Dhawan before he gets in,” he added.

Taylor is New Zealand’s second highest run-getter in ODIs behind former captain Stephen Fleming and is the most experienced batsman in their present batting line-up. Taylor has been in prime form as he was New Zealand’s highest run-getter in 2018 and continued his good form in the recently concluded ODI series against Sri Lanka where he scored 353 runs.

Taylor, Martin Guptill, and captain Kane Williamson will be the key batsmen for New Zealand that takes on India in the five-match ODI series beginning on January 23.

For India, the trio of Dhawan, Sharma, and Kohli have scored the bulk of runs in the limited overs format since the 2015 World Cup. In the recently concluded ODI series against Australia, Sharma brought up his 22nd ODI century in Sydney making 133 runs but ended up being on the losing side.

Kohli made 104 runs in Adelaide leading India to victory.

India’s middle-order concern has been briefly addressed as veteran wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni hit form in the ODI series becoming the ‘Player of the Series’ amassing 193 runs that included three back-to-back half centuries (51, 55* and 87*).

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Donald Trump Tells Obama-Era Dreamers Amnesty Not Part Of His Offer

Donald Trump has been steadfast in his demand for a wall along the border with Mexico.


President Donald Trump said on Sunday his proposed immigration deal to end a 30-day partial government shutdown would not lead to amnesty for “Dreamers,” but appeared to signal support for amnesty as part of a broader immigration agreement.

In a morning Twitter storm, Trump also said he would not seek the removal of millions of illegal aliens living in the United States, while bashing House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats for turning down his offer on Saturday.

“No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer. It is a 3-year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else,” Trump said on Twitter.

“Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy!”

The Dreamers, which refers to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, are protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

DACA was put in place under former President Barack Obama. The Trump administration said in September 2017 it would rescind DACA but it remains in effect under court order.

Trump did not make clear what he was referring to regarding the 11 million people mentioned in his tweet. About 12 million people are living in the United States illegally, according to U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimates.

About one-quarter of the U.S. government shut down on Dec. 22 over Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to fund a wall along the border with Mexico, which Democrats have refused to consider. Some 800,000 federal workers have been ordered to stay home or work without pay during the shutdown.

On Sunday, a day after Trump’s DACA proposal, there appeared to be signs of movement, even as Democrats insisted the government should reopen before proceeding with talks over border security.

“What the president proposed yesterday – increasing border security, looking at TPS, looking at the Dreamers – I’ll use that as a starting point. But you’ve got to start by reopening the government,” U.S. Senator Mark Warner said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) refers to another class of immigrants – nationals from designated countries affected by armed conflict, natural disaster, or other strife.

Warner, a Virginia Democrat, said reopening the government ahead of border security negotiations was important for preventing future shutdowns.

“If the president can arbitrarily shut down the government now, he will do it time and again,” Warner said.

Warner also said Congress should approve pay for federal workers affected by the shutdown before they miss another paycheck this week.

“Let’s at least pay them on Thursday, so they don’t have to go through more angst,” Warner said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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51 Women Below 50 Have Entered Sabarimala, Kerala Tells Supreme Court

Kanaka Durga and Bindu Ammini have been facing threats since entering the Sabarimala temple on January 2.

New Delhi: 

Over 50 women of menstruating age have entered the Sabarimala temple, the Kerala government told the Supreme Court today. The top court was hearing the petitions of two women in their 40s who had entered the celibate god’s shrine earlier this month.

Senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, appearing for the state government, said 51 women devotees under the age of 50 have entered the temple since the top court’s September order allowing girls/women between the ages of 10 and 50 into Lord Ayyappa’s shrine.

Over 7,500 women in the age group of 10 to 50 years had registered online to enter Sabarimala using their Aadhaar details. Of them, over 50 women have already entered the temple without any issues, he added.

A list of these 51 women was submitted in the court in reply to petitions filed by Kanaka Durga, 39, and 40-year-old Bindu Ammini, who had entered the Sabarimala shrine on January 2.

The women had walked into the shrine before dawn. In a video accessed by NDTV, the women could be seen hurrying into the shrine, dressed in all-black and escorted by the police.

Their entry, however, led to the closing of the temple for an hour and a half for “cleansing”. The purification ceremony was followed by threats to the women, and protests across Kerala by right-wing groups as well as some members of the BJP and the Congress.

Kanaka Durga was also attacked allegedly by her mother-in-law on Tuesday, prompting the two women to approach the Supreme Court seeking protection.

The court today directed the Kerala Police to provide round-the-clock security to these two women.

When the court was informed that the government was already providing adequate security to these women and others who have entered the Sabarimala temple, the three judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said there was no harm if the government continued to do so even after the court’s order.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for the women petitioners, sought directions to authorities not to shut the temple for cleansing after the entry of any woman of reproductive age.

Ms Jaising also requested the court to allow clubbing of all the petitions on the Sabarimala temple issue. The bench, however, rejected her plea.

There are around 48 petitions seeking a review of the judgment.

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Hit Sixers, Don’t Play On Backfoot, Rahul Gandhi Tells Rajasthan Farmers


The signal from the recent assembly elections in Rajasthan has been very clear — its farmers and rural votes gave the Congress the winning edge. This is the section the Congress would focus on in the run-up to this year’s national elections, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi indicated today. For his first rally in Rajasthan after the assembly election victory, Mr Gandhi set the tone for the campaign for the coming elections, promising loan waivers across the country if the party is voted to power. 

Admitting that farm loan waivers don’t solve the problem, Mr Gandhi said, “This is just a step in the right direction… We need a new strategy for farmers in this country. We need another green revolution”.

Addressing farmers who had come from all across Rajasthan to Jaipur’s Vidhyadhar Nagar, Mr Gandhi thanked them for voting the party to power. 

“The problem of farmers is the same everywhere,” he said. “In the assembly elections, we promised loan waivers in 10 days, we did it in two. The message for Narendra Modi is that you have to waive loans or we will not let you sleep at night. If we come to power in 2019, we will waive loans.”

Exporting farm produce, technology and setting up food processing units were some of the suggestions he had for improving the farming sector. “The country’s farmers are on the backfoot… we want them to step out and hit sixers,” he said.

But it was Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot who got down to brass tacks.

“We won’t increase electricity tariff for farmers in Rajasthan for the next five years… 1 lakh agricultural connections will be given until June this year,” Mr Gehlot said to loud cheers. 

“Farmers with 10 hectares of land, who set up food processing units, will not need to go in for land use change and the Rajasthan government will give 1000 crores to start procurement under Minimum Support Price if central funds don’t come on time,” Mr Gehlot announced.

The Congress, which lost all 25 Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 election and barely managed to reach the 100 majority mark in the 200-member state assembly, is looking for a major comeback in the Lok Sabha polls. But it is yet to make all farmers happy.

Prabhati Lal Saini, a farmer from Jhujhunu with an Rs 11 lakh loan who came for the rally, said he was a little disappointed, as only the defaulting farmers are benefiting from the loan waiver scheme.   

“I borrow money to repay at least my interest if not the principal amount, so I am not benefitting from the loan waiver scheme. Those who are defaulters, only they are getting benefits,” he said, suggesting that loans upto Rs 2 lakh should be waived for all farmers.

Another farmer, Bheru Lal from Pratapgarh in south Rajasthan, echoed his sentiments. “We don’t get a good price for our produce in the local markets. So after we harvest our crops, we migrate to neighbouring states and work as daily wagers to sustain ourselves,” he said.

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WikiLeaks Tells Journalists 140 Things Not To Say About Julian Assange

Julian Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since June 2012.


WikiLeaks on Sunday advised journalists not to report 140 different “false and defamatory” statements about its founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since June 2012.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the advice to media organisations, but WikiLeaks singled out Britain’s Guardian newspaper for publishing what it said was a false report about Assange. The Guardian did not immediately respond late on Sunday to a Reuters request for comment.

The Australian set up WikiLeaks as a channel for publishing confidential information from anonymous sources. He is a hero to some for exposing what supporters cast as government abuse of power and for championing free speech, but to others he is a rebel who has undermined the security of the United States.

WikiLeaks angered Washington by publishing hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables that laid bare often highly critical U.S. appraisals of world leaders from Russian President Vladimir Putin to members of the Saudi royal family.

“There is a pervasive climate of inaccurate claims about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, including purposeful fabrications planted in large and otherwise ‘reputable’ media outlets,” Wikileaks said an email sent to media organisations and marked “Confidential legal communication. Not for publication.”

“Consequently journalists and publishers have a clear responsibility to carefully fact-check from primary sources and to consult the following list to ensure they are not spreading, and have not spread, defamatory falsehoods about WikiLeaks or Julian Assange.”

WikiLeaks did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The 5,000-word email included 140 statements that WikiLeaks said were false and defamatory, such as the assertion that Assange had ever been an “agent or officer of any intelligence service”.

WikiLeaks also said it was false and defamatory to suggest that Assange, 47, had ever been employed by the Russian government or that he is, or has ever been, close to the Russian state, the Kremlin or Putin.

Other items listed as false and defamatory included more personal claims including that Assange bleaches his hair, that he is a hacker, that he has ever neglected an animal or that he has poor personal hygiene.

Assange made international headlines in early 2010 when WikiLeaks published a classified U.S. military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters that killed a dozen people in Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff.

Later that year, the group released over 90,000 secret documents detailing the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan, followed by almost 400,000 internal U.S. military reports detailing operations in Iraq.

More than 250,000 classified cables from U.S. embassies followed, then almost 3 million dating back to 1973.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Xi Jinping, Chinese President, Tells Chinese Army, China Armed Forces, China Army To Be Battle-Ready

Xi Jinping earlier said that China reserved right to use force for “reunification” with Taiwan (Reuters)


China’s armed forces must strengthen their sense of urgency and do everything they can to prepare for battle, President Xi Jinping told a meeting of top brass on Friday.

China is keen to beef up its armed forces amid territorial disputes in the South China Sea and escalating tension with the United States over issues ranging from trade to the status of Taiwan.

The official Xinhua news agency said Xi told a meeting of the top military authority that China faced increasing risks and challenges, and the armed forces must work to secure its security and development needs.

Xi, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, said the armed forces must devise strategies for the new era and take on responsibilities for preparing and waging war.

“The world is facing a period of major changes never seen in a century, and China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development,” he was quoted as saying.

He said the armed forces needed to be able to respond quickly to emergencies, needed to upgrade their joint operations capabilities and nurture new types of combat forces.

Xi’s comments followed his remarks on Wednesday that China still reserved the right to use force to achieve “reunification” with Taiwan and prevent the island’s independence.

Xi’s Taiwan speech came just days after U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act into law, reaffirming the U.S. commitment to the island’s security.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Mehul Choksi Tells Mumbai Court, Blames Enforcement Directorate

Mehul Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda last year.

New Delhi: 

Fugitive jeweller Mehul Choksi has told a court in Mumbai that he cannot travel to India, where he is wanted by investigating agencies for loan fraud, as he cannot bear a 41-hour journey from Antigua because of his poor health.

In a written reply to the court, Mehul Choksi, 59, has accused the Enforcement Directorate of misleading the court by not revealing his health condition and the fact that he has been in touch with banks and wants to settle his dues. He said he was willing to join the investigation through video-conferencing.

The Enforcement Directorate has asked the court to declare Mehul Choksi a fugitive economic offender and seize his properties.

Mehul Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda last year and he took the oath of allegiance to that country on January 15. Just days later, on January 29, the CBI filed a case and started investigating him and his nephew Nirav Modi.

Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi are accused of a Rs 13,000 crore fraud involving fake guarantees in the name of state-run Punjab National Bank to secure loans abroad. They both skipped the country in January. Choksi left the country for medical treatment in the US.

Earlier this month, global police body Interpol issued a red corner notice against Choksi on the CBI’s request.

Last month, his lawyer said he could return to India in three months if his “condition gets better”.

India is making efforts to bring back Choksi from Antigua under the provision of a law of the island nation, which provides for extradition of a fugitive to a designated Commonwealth country.

India and Antigua do not have a bilateral extradition pact.

(With inputs from ANI)

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Alia Bhatt’s Mother Soni Razdan Tells Us How To Make Perfect Christmas Trifle (See Pics) 

‘Tis the season to indulge and it seems like our favourite B-Town celebrities are busy making most of everything that the festive season has to offer. Alia Bhatt’s mother actress Soni Razdan decided to ring in the celebrations with a traditional Christmas trifle. Razdan, who was last seen on screen with daughter Alia Bhatt in this year’s blockbuster ‘Raazi’, took to Instagram and gave us a peek into how she prepared the iconic Christmas treat at her home. 

A Christmas trifle is a chilled, spongy festive pudding made with pile of custard, cream, fruits and jelly. Traditionally, people also use some form of liquor to keep the dessert moist and flavourful. The incredibly easy dessert has been part of Christmas celebrations since time immemorial. It is one of the most widely prepared desserts on Christmas, along with plum cake, sticky toffee puddings and candy cane.

(Also Read: Christmas 2018: 5 Christmas Recipes You’ll Love To Prepare For Your Christmas Party)


In her latest Instagram story, Soni Razdan is giving a step-by step guide into making a sumptuous and hassle-free Christmas trifle.  You would first be required to “pour strawberry liquor over the sponge cake”. Next, fill the layer with “berries and sprinkle with sugar”. Once you have done that, carefully “pour hot custard over the berries”.  The next steps are expected to follow soon and we are immensely excited to know how this turns out. 

(Also Read: Christmas 2018: How To Make A Christmas Plum Cake)


Earlier this week, Soni Razdan was also making sticky toffee pudding and took to Instagram to give us a glimpse; we wonder if she would be giving us a step-by-step tutorial of that as well. A while back, noted celebrity Chef Harsh Dixit also gave us a cute throwback of Alia Bhatt baking a delectable pineapple cake. Seems like the mother-daughter duo is really fond of all things sweet, decadent and yummy! 

Here’s wishing the Bhatt family a Merry Christmas! 

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Pollution Board Tells Delhi Residents To Minimise Outdoor Exposure

नई दिल्ली :

दिल्ली की वायु गुणवत्ता ‘गंभीर’ श्रेणी में जाने के बाद केंद्रीय प्रदूषण नियंत्रण बोर्ड ने लोगों को सलाह दी है कि वे अगले तीन से पांच दिन तक घर से बाहर निकलने से बचे और निजी गाड़ियों के इस्तेमाल से परहेज करें. अधिकारियों ने बताया कि दिल्ली में रविवार को साल में दूसरी बार प्रदूषण का स्तर सबसे ज्यादा रहा. मौसम संबंधी स्थितियों की वजह से आगामी कुछ दिनों तक दिल्ली की वायु गुणवत्ता ‘गंभीर’ श्रेणी में बनी रह सकती है. केंद्रीय प्रदूषण नियंत्रण बोर्ड (सीपीसीबी) के आंकड़े बताते हैं कि समग्र वायु गुणवत्ता सूचकांक (एक्यूआई) 446 रहा जो ‘गंभीर’ श्रेणी में आता है. केंद्र के वायु गुणवत्ता एवं मौसम पूर्वानुमान प्रणाली (सफर) के आंकड़ों में यह 471 रहा. पीएम 2.5 के ‘गंभीर एवं आपात’ श्रेणी में पहुंचने के मद्देनजर शनिवार को सीपीसीबी नीत कार्यबल ने बैठक की.

गंगा का पानी 39 में से केवल एक स्थान पर साफ, सीपीसीबी के अध्ययन में हुआ खुलासा

पीएम 2.5 का स्तर अधिक होने पर घर से निकले पर कैंसर जैसी बीमारियों का खतरा हो सकता है और स्ट्रोक का खतरा बढ़ सकता है. उच्चतम न्यायालय द्वारा नियुक्त पर्यावरण प्रदूषण नियंत्रण प्राधिकरण ने बैठक में कई सिफारिशें की हैं जिनमें एजेंसियों को हिदायत दी गई है कि वे पहले से तय किए गए उपायों को लागू करने के लिए जमीनी स्तर पर कार्रवाई में तेजी लाएं, खासतौर पर, गाड़ियों के उत्सर्जन और बायोमास जलाने पर लगाम लगाएं. अन्य सिफारिशों में, संबंधित एजेंसियां से कहा है कि उन जगहों पर निगरानी बढ़ाएं जहां औद्योगिक कचरा डाला जाता है या जलाया जाता है. निगरानी खासतौर पर उन इलाकों में बढ़ाई जाए जहां प्रदूषण का स्तर ज्यादा रहता है.

पकी ईंट से मकान बनाने पर रोक लगाने की तैयारी, केंद्र सरकार ने उठाया यह कदम


इसके साथ ही पानी का छिड़काव किया जाए और यातायात पुलिस सुगम यातायात सुनिश्चित करे. सीपीसीबी ने कहा कि कार्यबल ने लोगों से निजी गाड़ियों का इस्तेमाल नहीं करने का अनुरोध किया है, विशेष रूप से, डीजल से चलने वाले वाहनों का उपयोग करने से बचने को कहा. इसके अलावा, लोगों से अपील की है कि वे अगले तीन से पांच दिन के दौरान कम से कम घर से निकलें, खासतौर पर वो लोग जिन्हें सांस की बीमारी है. भारतीय मौसम विभाग ने कहा कि हल्की हवा चलने और कम तापमान का काल अभी अगले तीन-चार दिन जारी रहेगा. इस वजह से प्रदूषकों का छितराव नहीं होगा और अगले दो-तीन दिन तक वायु गुणवत्ता ‘गंभीर’ श्रेणी में बनी रह सकती है.

प्रदूषण पर लगाम लगाने में नाकाम रही दिल्ली सरकार, NGT ने लगाया 25 करोड़ का जुर्माना

(इस खबर को एनडीटीवी टीम ने संपादित नहीं किया है. यह सिंडीकेट फीड से सीधे प्रकाशित की गई है।)

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