Delhi-Haryana water sharing row, NGT order on Jantar Mantar protests among SC trials this week
From hearing the Delhi government’s dispute with Haryana over water sharing to the legality of the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order banning protests at the iconic Jantar Mantar, the Supreme Court is set for a busy week ahead.
On Monday, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra will take up the Delhi Jal Board’s complaint accusing Haryana of supplying 120 cusecs less water to the Capital of the 450 cusecs it is supposed to supply. This dispute over sharing of Yamuna’s water arises every year during the summer season. The board said Delhi’s population has increased phenomenally over the years, but there has not been a commensurate rise in the water supply.
Besides, a bench headed by justice Arun Misra is likely to be informed on Tuesday of the status of investigation into the 2G spectrum allocation cases. Both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have to place a sealed-cover report giving details of the probe in the Aircel-Maxis case. In the last hearing, the court had directed the two to complete their probe within six months. It had observed that the investigation has been going on for a long time and “people of this country cannot be kept in dark in the sensitive matter like this”.
Regarding Aadhaar hearing, Attorney General KK Venugopal will resume his arguments in defence of the unique identification biometric scheme. Last week, the UIDAI CEO had made a presentation before a constitution bench to allay apprehensions about exclusion, data breach and surveillance.
The apex court will also hear Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) plea to vacate the stay it had imposed on the amendments introduced in Delhi Master Plan 2021 to give relief to traders from the ongoing sealing drive in the Capital. The bench was annoyed because the DDA had failed to justify the changes it made to accommodate the traders who were continuing their business operations from residential premises in violation of the law. As a result of the stay, the court-appointed monitoring committee had resumed its sealing drive in Delhi.
Is the National Green Tribunal justified in banning protests at Jantar Mantar on the grounds that it violates environmental law? The top court will hear a petition against the NGT order, which the petitioner before SC has said is against the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. In its order last year, the green panel had said the Delhi government had “failed” to protect the right to a pollution-free environment of the citizens living in the area, which is located near Connaught Place.