Evening digest: SC bans commercial vehicles not bound for Delhi, trouble for diesel cars

GN Bureau | January 5, 2016



The supreme court is considering expanding the ban to diesel cars with engine capacity of less than 2,000cc. Before arriving at that decision, the court will first seek industry input on the matter. An indication of this was given today by the SC while hearing a plea of host of auto industry giants on diesel cars. "Are your vehicles emitting oxygen?" asked chief justice TS Thakur when the car manufacturers including Toyota and Mercedes sought a ban on their larger diesel cars in Delhi to be revoked. Automakers like Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd have asked the court to reconsider its temporary ban, introduced last month as part of an effort to check Delhi's toxic smog. The top court had ruled that cars with engines of more than 2,000cc in capacity cannot be sold in the capital until March 31. Manufacturers like Mercedes countered in court that their larger cars and SUVs are not as damaging for the environment as believed, that internationally, diesel cars are becoming the norm, and that large cars like Boleros and Sumos are used by the common man and in rural areas.

The judges disagreed and asked the manufacturers to furnish documentary evidence to prove their claim. The court also banned the entry of all commercial vehicles not bound for Delhi. Directing the MCD, the court banned the entry of commercial vehicles from six major entry points. With today's order, the court has effectively banned the entry of trucks from NH2, NH10, NH58 as well as state highway 57. The entry of commercial vehicles bound for Delhi will be allowed on the payment of pollution cess. The court told the Delhi Metro to increase the frequency of trains during the odd-even plan. The court also suggested a premium metro service be started so cars owners don't mind leaving their cars at home.

Nawaz Sharif calls PM Modi about Pathankot attack

Prime minister Narendra Modi has received a phone call from his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, assuring him of his support in the investigation to uncover Pathankot terror assault. Meanwhile, after 80 hours, the operations have been completed at the Pathankot Air Force Base which was attacked over the weekend by terrorists believed to be from Pakistan. The attack came about a week after a surprise visit by Narendra Modi to Pakistan. India has indicated that it may delay talks in Islamabad between the foreign secretaries of the two countries that were to be held on January 15. Seven military personnel were martyred and another 20 injured at the sprawling compound which is located just 25 km from the Pakistan border. Six terrorists have been killed.

Man arrested for derogatory Facebook comment against Pathankot martyr
Kerala police on Tuesday arrested twenty-four-year-old Anwar for posting derogatory comment on Facebook against slain Lt Col Niranjan. Anwar was arrested by Malappuram district police from his house in Kodurand booked on sedition charges (section 124A of the Indian Penal Code). Anwar's comment said "one trouble less, now! His wife will be given financial aid and a job, common man gets nothing! What a stinking democracy!" Lt. Col Nirajan, who was leading NSG's elite bomb disposal squad, wad killed in Pathankot air force base terror attack.

Maharashtra's school boy scores 1,000 runs in an innings and sets record
Mumbai school cricketer Pranav Dhanawade, son of a Kalyan auto-rickshaw driver, entered the history books scoring a 1000 runs in an innings during the H.T. Bhandari Cup inter-school cricket tournament organised by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA). The youngster was batting on 921 at lunch on Tuesday with his team's score on 1337. He started his innings with a broken bat and switched to a new one mid-way. He crossed the four-figure mark in the second session of play. For the record, former West Indian captain Brian Lara has the highest first-class score of 501 not out scored in 1994, playing a County match for Warwickshire against Durham. Pranav's 1000 runs came off 317 balls.He eventually finished on 1009 not out after his team declared at 1465/2 on Day 2. His innings lasted 323 balls along with 129 fours and 59 sixes.

45 Indians in Forbes list of achievers under the age of 30
Forty five Indians and Indian- origin people have made it to Forbes' annual list of achievers in the US under the age of 30 who are "changing the rules of the game or creating entirely new playbooks" across varied fields. The Forbes fifth annual '30 Under 30' list features 600 women and men, who are America's "most important young entrepreneurs, creative leaders and brightest stars" and are "changing the world" across 20 varied sectors such as consumer technology, education, media, manufacturing and industry, law and policy, social entrepreneurs, science and art and science. "In the past, youth was a handicap to professional success. Getting older meant more resources, more knowledge, more money. No more. Those who grew up in the tech age have way bigger ambitions - perfectly suited to the dynamic, entrepreneurial and impatient digital world they grew up in. If you want to change the world, being under 30 is now an advantage," Forbes said.

I-T raids at Apollo Hospitals
Income-Tax officials are conducting investigation at the Apollo Hospitals' facilities at multiple locations across the country. A senior I-T official confirmed that the searches started at various locations, including the residence of Apollo Hospitals' Executive Vice-Chairperson, Preetha Reddy. Apollo Hospitals is headed and run by the four daughters of Reddy. As of September last year, Apollo ran 64 hospitals in the country with a bed count of over 8,900 beds.

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