New Delhi: The courts have an interesting day ahead of them. The Supreme Court will hear the environment case regarding green cess for trucks entering Delhi and call drop penalty issue, both of which have been brought in public interest.
The Centre-state tussle over powers of the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) of Delhi and the Delhi government will continue to be heard at the Delhi high court.
Air pollution case
The Supreme Court air pollution case will be heard on Thursday. This case, filed before the apex court in 1985, has been responsible for several recent curbs including the green cess on trucks entering Delhi and ban on sale of luxury cars.
The case was also the likely reason for the government to decide to shift to the toughest emission standards of BS-VI from the current BS-IV by 2020, skipping an intermediate level.
A day before the government announced this move, the court enquired about the same. The court continued the ban on luxury vehicles until further orders.
Call drop compensation case
The Supreme Court on Thursday will hear telcos on the call drop issue. On Wednesday, telcos asked the court to defer the hearing for a day. Earlier, the court had asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to reconsider its call drop penalty.
Telecom service providers moved the apex court after the Delhi high court upheld the penalty imposed on them for call drops. Telcos are opposing the telecom consumer regulations notified in October that said for every call drop, the service providers would pay Re1 for up to three call drops each day. The government and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or Trai have failed to arrive at a consensus on the call drops issue, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi told the court. The government will defend the call drop penalty in the court, said Rohatgi.
Jayalalithaa disproportionate assets case
The Supreme Court on Tuesday will continue to hear arguments in Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa’s defence in the appeal filed by the Karnataka government against her acquittal in a disproportionate assets case. Last year, the Karnataka government approached the apex court, saying that the high court ignored clinching evidence.
Jayalalithaa was convicted by a special court in Bengaluru for amassing assets disproportionate to her income when she was the Tamil Nadu chief minister during 1991-1996.
Centre-state dispute on jurisdiction over Delhi police, appointment
The Delhi high court will also hear the case on the dispute between the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government and the Centre, through the Delhi L-G, regarding the power over the police in the state and other service matters. The Delhi government moved the high court last year against a home ministry notification which restricted the state’s powers over the police. Read more
The tussle arose because of a 21 May 2015 notification from the Union home ministry, which said that the L-G could take decisions regarding matters of public order, police and service independently, without consulting the state government. This notification replaced the one from 1998, which prescribed a consultative process for such decisions.
Minimum import price on steel products
The high court will hear a plea by lobby group Steel Wires Association of India against the government’s minimum import price or MIP on 173 steel products aimed at providing relief to local steel producers hurt by cheap imports. On 17 March, the court had sought responses within two weeks from the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), the ministry of commerce and the ministry of finance in the matter. Read more
The association in its plea has questioned the jurisdiction of DGFT which issued a notification on 5 February imposing MIP on 173 steel products ranging between $341 and $752 per tonne.