Citizens' Issues
Guidelines sought from SC for orderly functioning of parliament
In the wake of continued disruption of the monsoon session by the opposition, an NGO moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday to seek the framing of guidelines for parliament's smooth functioning.
 
The PIL filed by NGO Foundation for Restoration of National Values (FRNV) sought laying down of guidelines to ensure that parliament functioned without disruptions and impediments from its members, in the discharge of its legislative and representative responsibilities.
 
The PIL sought sought the guidelines so that public at large and public exchequer were not adversely affected on account of parliamentary proceedings being "unreasonably and unjustifiably obstructed, stalled and disrupted" by the opposition.
 
The non-governmental organisation (NGO) said it was concerned over the "deterioration in the standards of governance in India and the commensurate inability of the State to abide by the commitments and principles enshrined in our constitution".
 
"The fact that governance is indeed on the decline, is borne by the fact that numerous Committees and commissions appointed by the government of India have, over the years, pointed to systemic and other lapses that are still in need of urgent remedy," the PIL said.
 
The PIL filed by advocate Ravi Prakash Mehrotra said the Foundation was "deeply concerned that any further lack of action on part of the State to redress the lapses will gravely hinder its ability to adhere to its constitutional obligations".
 
"There is urgent and pressing need to improve the overall structures, systems, skills, styles, policies and procedures needed for good governance, with a robust, wholesome and socially responsible administration," the non-governmental organisation said.
 
It said this has to be done by simultaneously instilling in those responsible for public administration "a deeper understanding of their responsibility to further the welfare of the people of our country".

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COMMENTS

Ganga Bishnu Agarwala

1 year ago

Every Indian has right to seek help from any appex body.Is it fare to challange the integrity of the NGO ?

manoharlalsharma

1 year ago

Guidelines sought from SC for orderly functioning of parliament/ONLY HOPE OF A POOR INDIAN-CITIZENS nothing to get WITHOUT SC/HC we need this EVEN TO GET ISSUE of a CIRCULAR.

Meenal Mamdani

1 year ago

I agree with SRS that the judiciary should has no business interfering in the functioning of the parliament.

It is suspicious that this new NGO is so concerned about parliamentary function at this time.

Parliament has been dysfunctional several times in the past few years. Where was this NGO then? What are the credentials of the board members of this NGO? Are they a front for any political party?

SRS

1 year ago

The Supreme Court will take up this case at their peril. If they interfere in the operation of Parliament, the reverse is just as likely to happen too.

Parliaments guard their privileges zealously, even if those privileges turn them into tragic laughingstocks.

SRS

1 year ago

The Supreme Court will take up this case at their peril. If they interfere in the operation of Parliament, the reverse is just as likely to happen too.

Parliaments guard their privileges zealously, even if those privileges turn them into tragic laughingstocks.

Maggi ban lifted, fresh tests ordered
The Bombay High Court on Thursday lifted the ban on Nestle's flagship instant noodle brand Maggi and called for fresh tests within six weeks to again check if it complies with the country's food safety norms.
 
The relief came following a petition filed by Nestle India, challenging the withdrawal and recall order of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The food safety watchdog had passed its orders on June 5, following which Nestle had withdrawn Maggi from the market.
 
A similar order was also passed on Maggi's oats variant.
 
The food safety regulator said tests conducted on a batch of Maggi was found to contain more-than-permissible levels of lead and high quantities of mono-sodium glutamate.

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Monkey Business
Would you punish a person for having a happy monkey as a pet?
 
Igatpuri nestles on the top of Thal Ghat, on the way from Mumbai to Nashik. Picturesque place, it has a ‘forest’. Many gardens are larger. Yet, it is something; the view of the valley below is breathtaking! At the entrance of the forest is a poster showing a man-eater. No one has seen a live one in decades, or so the keeper says, but there is a caged monkey, friendly to a fault. So why is it in prison?
 
For evidence. The simian is proof that is needed in court to convict its owner. Not for maltreatment, but for possession. 
 
Now, you be the judge. Would you punish a person for having a happy monkey as a pet?
 
One can monkey around as much as one wants. But you can’t keep a monkey on your back. That is asking for trouble, giving meaning to the expression, ‘Get the monkey off your back’.
 
One can keep a dog, a cat, even a horse. A cow, a bullock, a buffalo, a goat or rear sheep.  But some animals are taboo. A monkey is one of them. This is where the Wildlife Protection Act kicks in.
 
There is a list of dos and don’ts. About those that can be around as pets and those that must roam free. Endangered species and dangerous ones are best not kept near, on pain of conviction. THE INDIAN WILDLIFE (PROTECTION) ACT ensures that.
 
Monkeys are not the only ones. The list is wide enough to incorporate just about any and every animal. And birds. And reptiles. And amphibians. And plants and trees and other flora. Also certain types of fish. The positive list is a hundred times shorter. No one would want to keep a rhinoceros in the bedroom or an elephant in the kitchen, much less a snake in the cupboard or an alligator in the swimming pool. But monkeys, parakeets, love birds, butterflies are… oh, soooo cute. Unfortunately, they, too, are a no-no. 
 
The earth is losing something like 3,000 species of flora and fauna every year. Nature’s balance is being upset. Each individual plant and animal has its own use and needs. A break in the chain is an irretrievable loss; it can lead to chaos and any one extinction can lead to a hundred others. This necessitates the need for legislation.
 
India is not the only country to be rigid about wildlife preservation. Gaming licences have been around for centuries. Besides earning revenue, controls allow the seasonal stock to multiply, providing food for all without wastage. At other times, animals were killed, not for sustenance, but for fashion statements. The prime examples were mink coats and rhino horn dagger-handles, snake skin purses and bear tooth talismans. Ivory was for a variety of display pieces as well as intricate carvings and statutes. All unnecessary, except as avoidable status symbols. And monkeys were performing companions.
 
Laws were made to stop the misuse. The laws, though, are sensible, to a great extent. One can kill in self-defence. Having said that, the onus of proof lies on the killer. Medicinal plants can be cultivated under supervision. Till recently, simians and rats were used for medical experiments. Snakes can be quarantined for extraction of venom which is then used for a variety of medical procedures. Certain tribal rights are also protected. What about zoos? While it is often perceived as cruel to confine animals, and especially birds, to restricted areas, open zoos do find favour. Notified parks are places where the animal is king. In India, we have Corbett, Bharatpur, Madumalai, Periyar; places where animals roam free, without fear. 
 
The flip side of the coin. What happens when, instead of too few, there are too many? Elephants in Africa, protected, increased in such large numbers that they invaded farmlands in search of food. Tinkering with natural balances had led to unseen problems. In England, too, royal parks were off limits for stag hunting. Until they became too many. They were then ‘culled’, not killed. Bureaucracy and semantics had come to the rescue!
 

 

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