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Ban on diesel vehicles in Delhi to continue: SCA view of traffic in New Delhi. The Supreme Court on Saturday refused to give more time to taxi operators in the National Capital Region (NCR) to switch from diesel to the cleaner compressed natural gas (CNG). —PTI/File photo

Ban on diesel vehicles in Delhi to continue: SC

30 Apr 2016 | 4:06 PM

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Saturday said ban on registration of diesel vehicles above 2000 cc in the National Capital Region (NCR) would continue until the case’s next hearing on May 9. However, the court exempted Delhi Police and Delhi Jal Board from the ban for transportation of undertrial prisoners, arms and ammunition and supply of water.

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New Delhi, April 30

The Supreme Court on Saturday said ban on registration of diesel vehicles above 2000 cc in the National Capital Region (NCR) would continue until the case’s next hearing on May 9.

The court refused to give more time to taxi operators in the National Capital Region (NCR) to switch from diesel to the cleaner compressed natural gas (CNG).

The deadline for the change, which has been extended twice, is Saturday.

A number of cab operators and their associations urged the court for an extension of the deadline, but a bench comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur, Justice AK Sikri and Justice R Banumati refused the request.

However, the court exempted Delhi Police and Delhi Jal Board from the ban for transportation of undertrial prisoners, arms and ammunition and supply of water. The Bench told the Delhi Police to pay 30 per cent of the real value of the vehicle to be purchased by it as Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) or green cess as a pre-condition for their registration with the transport department.

Taxis with all-India permits will also be exempt from the ban.

Senior advocate Shyam Diwan, appearing for some taxi owners made a strong plea for modification of the order with regard to conversion of diesel-run taxis into CNG and said there is no technology at all for it.

"We will not be able to earn our livelihood. Moreover, we have to pay the bank also," Diwan said.

Meanwhile, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for some Municipal bodies of Delhi, sought an order from the apex court that the diesel vehicles to be used by them for solid waste management, be allowed to be registered with the transport authority.

The bench, however, asked the municipal bodies to approach the National Green Tribunal with the plea.

The petitions before the bench also include the pleas of automobile giants like Mercedes, Toyota, Mahindra and General Motors seeking modification of the order by which registration of their high-end diesel vehicles, with an engine capacity of 2000 CC and above, had been barred in Delhi and NCR.

The Supreme Court had declined the Central Government's request to defer Saturday's scheduled full-fledged hearing on pollution issues, including the plea of automobile giants.

The apex court had on March 31 asked the stake holders to sit together and come out with "propositions" so that some solutions could be arrived at by holding a full-fledged hearing on Saturdays, a non-working day for the apex court, to save "judicial time".

While extending the deadline in the last hearing for converting diesel-run taxis into CNG and continuing with the status-quo on registration of high-end diesel vehicles, the bench had asked the big car makers not to treat the PIL as an "adversarial litigation" and "treat it in public interest".

The apex court had initially asked the diesel cab operators in the NCR to switch over to CNG by March 1. That deadline was later extended to March 31 and then to April 30.

"We are not going to extend any further the deadline," the Bench said on Saturday.

The matter related to steps to be taken to curb alarming increase in air pollution in the national capital. — Agencies

Gangster-politician Rocky shot dead near Parwanoo

Gangster-politician Rocky shot dead near Parwanoo

30 Apr 2016 | 2:10 PM

FAZILKA: Gangster-turned-politician Jaswinder Singh Rocky was shot dead by unidentified assailants near Parwanoo around 10.00 am this morning. The assailants fled soon after the firing. One gunman also sustained grievous injuries.

Auction fails as no bidder turns up for Kingfisher brands

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30 Apr 2016 | 2:16 PM

MUMBAI: Auction of brands and trademarks of Kingfisher Airlines turned out to be a damp squib on Saturday as lenders failed to attract a single bidder for sale of these pledged assets at a reserve price of Rs 366.70 crore in their efforts to recover unpaid loans from liquor baron Vijay Mallya.

Three injured in West Bengal poll violence

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30 Apr 2016 | 4:22 PM

KOLKATA: Amid sporadic incidents of violence that left seven people injured, over 57 per cent of the electorate cast their votes till 1 pm on Saturday in the fifth and penultimate phase of the assembly polls in West Bengal.

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30 Apr 2016 | 3:06 PM

NEW DELHI: The first phase of the single entrance test NEET for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses across the country will be held as scheduled on Sunday as the Supreme Court refused declined an urgent hearing of a plea seeking modification of its earlier order on Saturday.

UPA must answer who received kickbacks in Agusta deal: Parrikar

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30 Apr 2016 | 3:43 PM

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Pull down Adarsh: HC

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30 Apr 2016 | 2:08 AM

MUMBAI:The Bombay High Court today ordered the demolition of the controversial Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society building at Colaba in Central Mumbai on the grounds that it violated the provisions of the Coastal Regulation Zone Act.

SC upholds Sadique’s election as MLA

SC upholds Sadique’s election as MLA

30 Apr 2016 | 2:08 AM

NEW DELHI:The Supreme Court today upheld the election of Mohammad Sadique as the Congress MLA from Bhadaur Assembly constituency in Punjab, reserved for the Scheduled Caste, in the January 2012 poll.

Yet another flip-flop: EPF interest rate now 8.8 pc

30 Apr 2016 | 2:08 AM

New Delhi: In the third change in two months, the government on Friday raised the interest rate on Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contributions to 8.8 per cent for 2015-16 against 8.7 per cent approved by the Finance Ministry last week.

Haryana decides to do away with nominations to HCS

30 Apr 2016 | 2:08 AM

Chandigarh: Nominations to the Haryana Civil Services (HCS) are set to be a thing of the past with the state Cabinet on Friday approving major amendments to the Haryana Civil Services (Executive Branch) Rules, 2008.

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30 Apr 2016 | 2:08 AM

NEW DELHI:In a first, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has made public data on the total number of taxpayers in the country, income disclosed in returns by various categories of taxpayers and the number of permanent account number (PAN) holders in the country for a chosen period of time.


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India pitches for closer ties with New Zealand

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30 Apr 2016 | 4:13 PM

AUCKLAND: With India's 'Look East' policy evolving into 'Act East', President Pranab Mukherjee has pitched for closer ties with New Zealand and said the region has gained even "greater salience" in New Delhi's strategic thinking and economic engagement.

CITY FOCUS

City gets a power shocker

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30 Apr 2016 | 1:49 AM

CHANDIGARH:City residents will have to pay more for the electricity, as the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) has approved the hike in rates of electricity for 2016.

NoThe solid waste plant in Bathinda. A Tribune photograph

Solid waste projects hit Akali roadblock

30 Apr 2016 | 1:24 AM

PATIALA: Akali leaders’ opposition has stalled four of the five solid waste management projects in Punjab, with the latest casualty being the plant that was expected to come up at Jamsher village in Jalandhar district.

No

Now, pay fine for wasting water

30 Apr 2016 | 1:24 AM

CHANDIGARH: Punjab’s Local Bodies Department has restricted the use of water across the state. The restrictions come with penalties for the violators.

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Pingalwara shows the way

30 Apr 2016 | 2:09 AM

AMRITSAR: Keeping in view the water scarcity in several parts of the country, the All-India Pingalwara Society has not only initiated water conservation in all its branches but is also spreading awareness among the masses at the state level.

IIT-Roorkee, CII offer their expertise

30 Apr 2016 | 12:52 AM

SHIMLA: As the Urban Development Department is ready to create the special purpose vehicle Dharamsala Smart City Corporation, the Netherlands Embassy, IIT-Roorkee and the CII have offered to provide the expertise in various areas to develop the city.

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Athletes choking on Delhi air

30 Apr 2016 | 1:56 AM

New Delhi: The Indian athletes complaining about poor food supplements, lack of training facilities and the abysmal living conditions in national camps is commonplace. At the Federation Cup Championship, which is also an Olympics qualifier event, the track and field athletes are voicing an unusual concern — the pollution levels in Delhi. The presence of Particulate Matter (PM) at high levels around the Jawahar Lal Nehru (JLN) Stadium, coupled with the poorly-maintained warm-up tracks, has resulted in the athletes complaining of cough, dyspnoea and nausea.

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Raina’s Gujarat Lions maul Dhoni’s Supergaints

30 Apr 2016 | 1:56 AM

Pune: Steve Smith's brilliant century went in vain as Gujarat Lions rode on a blazing opening stand between Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum to beat Rising Pune Supergiants by three wickets in a thrilling last-ball finish here today.

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Babar breaks record, Sudha makes it to Rio

30 Apr 2016 | 1:56 AM

New Delhi: Returning to the track after 18 months, Sudha Singh qualified for the Rio Olympics with a silver-medal finish in the women’s 3000m steeplechase on the second day of the Federation Cup Senior National Athletics Championships here today.

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