Companies & Sectors
HC quashes Tamil Nadu govt order on GAIL pipeline project

GAIL had challenged the Tamil Nadu government notification asking it to stop placing pipelines in agricultural lands and implement the project by laying them along National Highways

The Madras High Court on Monday quashed the order issued by Tamil Nadu government restraining implementation of Kochi-Mangalore gas pipeline project passing through agricultural lands in seven districts of the state.


State-run Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) had challenged the Tamil Nadu government notification asking it to stop placing pipelines in agricultural lands and implement the project by laying them along National Highways.


The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, also allowed the petition filed by GAIL seeking a direction to quash the order. The court had in September reserved orders on the plea.


The project involves laying of pipelines across the districts in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.


GAIL had first moved the court seeking a direction to Collectors and Superintendents of Police of seven districts in Tamil Nadu to provide protection to the company and enabling it to carry out the works.


However, the court observed that such direction cannot be issued as it did not want to create a situation as it happened in Nandigram and Singur villages of West Bengal and instead suggested conducting public hearings.


After public hearings were held, the Government had issued a notification on April 2 stating that pipelines could be laid along National Highways without affecting agricultural lands and urged the company to remove all pipelines laid in agricultural lands, which was challenged by GAIL.


A single judge then passed an interim stay directing the company not to remove the pipelines already laid and Government moved the court to vacate it.


The Government submitted that the project could be implemented by laying the pipelines along National Highways without affecting agricultural lands.


Some 300 km of the pipeline project passes through Coimbatore, Tirupur, Salem, Erode, Namakkal, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts of Tamil Nadu.


Tarun Tejpal moves HC for anticipatory bail in sexual assault case

Tarun Tejpal, in his petition, has also sought transit bail to approach the appropriate court in Goa

Tarun Tejpal, the editor of Tehelka on Monday moved the Delhi High Court seeking anticipatory bail in a sexual assault case lodged against him in Goa.


Justice GS Sistani, before whom the petition was mentioned by senior advocates KTS Tulsi and Geeta Luthra, will hear the matter on Tuesday.


Tejpal, in his petition, filed through advocate Sandeep Kapur, has also sought transit bail to approach the appropriate court in Goa.


The alleged incident happened in a lift in a five-star hotel in Goa earlier this month.


The Goa police had on November 22 lodged an FIR against Tejpal under sections 376 (rape), 376 (2)(k) (rape by a person of a woman in his custody taking advantage of his official position) and 354 (outraging modesty) of IPC in connection with the incident.


Conviction under section 376 of IPC entails a maximum of life term in jail.


The issue came into the limelight when an email by the woman journalist of his magazine alleging sexual assault was made public and Tejpal announced on 19th November that he was 'recusing' from his job for six months.


Yesterday, a three-member Goa police team, which had arrived in Delhi on 23rd November, quizzed Tehelka managing editor Shoma Chaudhury and three employees who had been contacted by the alleged victim to corroborate her version.


The police also seized from the Tehelka office a hard disc, transcripts of emails exchanged among Tejpal, Choudhury and the girl and other documents.


Supreme Court dismisses plea for repoll in case majority exercises NOTA option

The Supreme Court said even if majority of voters go for the ‘none of the above option’ or NOTA, it cannot direct the Election Commission to hold fresh polls as this is job of the legislature

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to direct the Election Commission (EC) to hold fresh polls in case the majority of the electorate exercises ‘none of the above option’ (NOTA) option. The NOTA option was recently introduced on the directions of the apex court to allow voters to reject all the candidates.


A Bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said it is for the legislature to amend the law as it is too early to pass such a direction.


It observed that NOTA has been introduced recently and it has to be seen how the people respond to it.


The court refused to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Jaggan Nath, seeking its direction to the EC not to declare the results when the majority of electorate goes for the NOTA option in the electronic voting machine.


The court had on 27th September given the path-breaking verdict, holding that the voters have a right to reject all candidates contesting polls in a constituency by pressing NOTA, a button for negative vote.


It had said this would compel political parties to field “sound” candidates who are known for their integrity.


NOTA has been introduced by the Commission for the current Assembly elections.


The apex court had said that there was a “dire need” of negative voting which will bring “systemic change” in the election process as “the political parties will be forced to accept the will of the people” and field clean candidates when a large number of people express their disapproval with the candidates being put up by them.


The verdict, which was likely to encourage people to go to polling booths to express disapproval against contestants, had said, “By providing NOTA button in the EVMs, it will accelerate the effective political participation in the present state of democratic system and the voters in fact will be empowered.”



Ramesh Iyer

4 years ago

In India there are enough unscrupulous voters who easily and willingly get lured by pre-poll 'generosity' by political parties or candidates, NOTA will never be a significant influence on polls. Moreover, we have a first-past-the-post principle of winning elections, nor voter %ages deciding polls. NOTA would have made sense only if it enabled the EC to conduct repoll if NOTA grossed maximum votes among all options on the EVM.

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