Civil Society Can’t Be Ignored In A Democratic Society : Patna HC Urges State To Reconsider Policy Of Not Engaging NGOs For COVID-19 Relief [Read Order]

first_imgNews UpdatesCivil Society Can’t Be Ignored In A Democratic Society : Patna HC Urges State To Reconsider Policy Of Not Engaging NGOs For COVID-19 Relief [Read Order] LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK20 May 2020 3:36 AMShare This – xIn a notable development, the Patna High Court urged the State Government to reconsider its policy of not engaging with members of civil society in handling the COVID-19 crisis.A division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S Kumar observed “in a democratic society, the Civil Society cannot be ignored, more so in the times of disaster”.The bench was hearing a PIL filed by…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginIn a notable development, the Patna High Court urged the State Government to reconsider its policy of not engaging with members of civil society in handling the COVID-19 crisis.A division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S Kumar observed “in a democratic society, the Civil Society cannot be ignored, more so in the times of disaster”.The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Ms. Parul Prasad (AOR) assisted by her research associate Akshat Agrawal (final year, Jindal Global Law School), challenging the refusal of District Magistrates to allow civil society organizations and NGO’s to help and supplement relief mechanisms for the needy people. On May 19,  the court while hearing this petition along with another one filed by one Rajiv Ranjan (Advocate) (regarding the status of quarantine centers), directed the state government to reconsider this issue at the highest level.The bench observed : “Well, we are of the considered view that perhaps it would be in the public interest, as also that of the State, that the Government revisits its earlier policy of not engaging with the members of the civil society, on an individual or organized basis, in dealing with the issue of at least manning the crowds at the Railway Station/Destination or at the quarantine Centre established by the State at different places in Bihar. May be fully manning the quarantine centers. We see no harm in that, particularly when the Civil Society wants to do it on voluntary basis, without claiming any credit for rendering such service. We have already expressed our opinion that in a democratic society, the Civil Society cannot be ignored, more so in times of disaster. We may only observe that under Section 35, Chapter V of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 it is mandatory for the Government to constitute the authorities, be it at the National level, the State level or the District level and the participatory role of the NGO’s stands accepted and acknowledged by the Legislature in the same statute.” The court further went on to cite the SC precedent in the Swaraj Abhiyan (I) v. Union of India case stating that; “The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Swaraj Abhiyan Versus the Union of India and others reported in (2016) 7 SCC 498 while dealing with the issue of drought in the State of Bihar had issued certain directions, one of which we reproduce as under:- “97. Keeping all the factors in mind we issue the following directions: …………… 97.8. Humanitarian factors such as migrations from affected areas, suicides, extreme distress, the plight of women, and children are some of the factors that ought to be kept in mind by the State Governments in matters pertaining to drought and the Government of India in updating and revising the Manual. Availability of adequate food grains and water is certainly of utmost importance but they are not the only factors required to be taken note of.” The Court said that the above directions issued by the SC in the context of disaster caused by drought, would apply, with equal force, in fact, more so, in the current attending circumstances of pandemic COVID- 19. The bench stressed that 1/10th of the population of India lives in Bihar and with almost eight lacs people coming home from different parts of the country, the problem of human management itself, let alone anything else, needs to be addressed immediately for it cannot brook any delay, else it would adversely affect lives of each one residing in Bihar. “The matter needs to be examined with a sense of urgency and seriousness. We are of the considered view that perhaps, the issue of engagement of civil society, more so when it is so desired by the NITI Ayog, needs to be reconsidered at the highest level”, the Court observed.  The Court directed Principal Secretary, Disaster Management Department, Government of Bihar file his personal affidavit on all the issues highlighted before the next date. The matter has been posted to May 22.In the connected matter filed by Advoacte Rajiv Ranjan, the bench directed the Principal Secretary to indicate the mechanism and procedure evolved right from the point of identification of persons intending to return to Bihar upto the point of their housing at the Centres.”Undoubtedly the task is horrendous and the issue is of prime importance. If approximately more than four lakhs persons have already entered the State and are housed at these Patna High Court quarantine centres, with an equal number expected to reach Bihar in the immediate future, the Administration must under all circumstances take measures in ensuring not only their safety and security, but also those who are already residing in the State”, the bench observed while stressing the need of increasing the number of tests to be conducted.Last month, the Madras High Court had allowed political parties, NGOs and individuals to participate in COVID-19 relief work with strict riders.Click here to download OrderRead Order Next Storylast_img read more

Mayor’s Message: March 27

first_imgMayor Jay Gillian Dear Friends, The beach and Boardwalk are Ocean City’s top attractions. They are natural locations for social gathering — and that will only get worse as the weather gets warmer. They also draw many people into Ocean City — from the towns just across the bridge all the way out into the surrounding states.Two of the most urgent mandates to slow the exponential spread of COVID-19 are to eliminate social gathering and to limit movement from place to place.To leave the beaches and Boardwalk open would ignore both those mandates. I understand that nobody is happy about not having access to these outdoor areas. But these are not normal times. We all have to make sacrifices to make sure this pandemic does not spread through our community, our region and our nation. My greatest hope is that one day we look back on this as a temporary inconvenience. By now, we all know the ultimate price that can be paid for not taking this pandemic seriously.I don’t want to look back and wish we could have done more.  Warm regards,  Mayor Jay A. Gillianlast_img read more

Federal and state energy regulators to meet in Vermont July 14

first_imgThe National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR www.napsr.org(link is external) ), a non-profit organization that serves to promote natural gas and propane safety, will hold its Eastern Regional Meeting in Essex Junction on July 14, 2010.  State and federal regulators will be joined by Vermont energy executives to discuss a variety of emerging issues, according to Hans Mertens, Director of Engineering Services at the Vermont Department of Public Service and current NAPSR Chairman.The keynote address will be delivered by Vermont Public Service Board Commissioner David Coen, who serves as President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC www.naruc.org(link is external) ). NARUC represents the State public service commissioners that regulate essential utility services, such as electricity, telecommunications, gas, water, and transportation. Coen will focus on NARUC and the industry, with an emphasis on the state-federal partnership.Coen said, “With Congress and the Administration debating profound changes to our utility landscape, our role as State regulators will be critical to ensuring consumer protection and reliable service. We as a nation are facing changing times, and regulators must remain focused on the public interest.”Coen’s service to the utility industry and to Vermont was recognized with a special presentation made on behalf of Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch. Coen is an active NARUC member, as demonstrated through his participation on the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee and his service as a Vice Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Committee, Chairman of the National Regulatory Research Institute’s Board of Directors, and a member of NARUC’s Electricity, Gas, and Finance and Technology committees. President Coen also serves on the Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues – Waste Disposal and the Task Force on Climate Policy. Coen has served as a PSB commissioner since 1995.Also speaking on the 14th is the Chair of the Connecticut Public Utility Commission, Kevin Del Gobbo. He will present an analysis of the February 2010 Kleen Energy Generation Plant explosion.  This incident has had a profound impact on the industry. Six people were killed and more than 30 were injured as a result of a natural gas explosion that severely damaged a nearly completed $1 billion facility.Source: Vermont DPS. 7.12.2010last_img read more

Skelos Corruption Trial: D’Amato, Walker Offer Key Testimony

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Ex-U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato (R-NY) and Chief Deputy Nassau County Executive Rob Walker gave bombshell testimony Friday during the corruption trial against New York State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and Skelos’ son, Adam.Walker testified at Manhattan federal court that Senator Skelos pressed Walker’s boss, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, for the county to pay AbTech Industries—which hired Adam Skelos at Sen. Skelos’ urging—while the senator, Walker and Mangano attended a New York City police officer’s funeral. And D’Amato said lobbyists at his company, Park Strategies, were “forcefully” opposed to working with Adam, who D’Amato warned may need to be a registered lobbyist to perform some of the activities that he did for his clients.“The appearance of impropriety was such that we could not work together,” testified D’Amato, who said he gave Adam advice after D’Amato’s staff became concerned that Adam was employed—and not showing up—at Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers (PRI), which hired Park Strategies to lobby Skelos in Albany.Roslyn-based PRI and Arizona-based AbTech are two of the three companies that the former state Senate Majority Leader allegedly coerced $300,000 in bribes from in the form of no-show jobs that his son was unqualified for in exchange for illegally manipulating legislation. Both men deny the accusations.Walker also testified that he’s under federal investigation for steering contracts to campaign donors. He was given immunity for his testimony at Skelos’ trial but not in the other case. That probe is being conducted by federal investigators on Long Island, not by the Manhattan-based prosecutors who charged Skelos, Walker explained.After Skelos’s son first contacted Walker about AbTech, the two had a meeting about it in 2012. Later, Mangano followed up with Walker to ask the status of a Request for Proposals that the county eventually issued for storm-water-outfall pipe filters such as those AbTech manufactured—even though the county’s recovery from Sandy was the top priority at the time.“I knew it was important to the county executive he had been contacted by the senator,” Walker testified. “If [the senator] is not happy with the actions of the county…it could potentially be a problem.”Once AbTech eventually secured the contract, concerns arose that the company was not getting paid. Walker said he regularly fields requests from outside contractors complaining about the cash-strapped county’s being late paying its bills. While attending an NYPD funeral in January, Sen. Skelos asked Mangano about AbTech’s payments, Walker testified.“He was asking if they were getting paid anytime soon,” Walker recalled overhearing Skelos talking to Mangano. Then Walker himself called the county Department of Public Works to relay the question, and passed along word to Skelos and Mangano that AbTech “would be getting paid very soon.”Judge Kimba Wood gave the jury off Monday, when defense attorneys and prosecutors are expected to conference on jury instructions since the case is nearing the closing arguments. The case is scheduled to resume Tuesday.last_img read more

Do more to develop renewable energy

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionDid you know that New York state has a moratorium on fracking? Most of us haven’t had to think about it because we believed that we had been protected from fracking’s harms. But there are other activities related to fracking that are still allowed. We import fracked gas in pipelines through our state from Pennsylvania. This means that people living in Pennsylvania are hurt by fracking so that people in New York and beyond can have the advantages of natural gas products. There are dangerously noisy and polluting compressor stations in some New York state communities. When this infrastructure is not in our neighborhood, we can ignore it.If we continue to allow these ancillary activities, it puts us behind in working towards a future run on renewables. The industry and our government say that natural gas is a clean-burning fuel.They say it’s a cheap fuel. Drilling and other activities are only cheap because subsidies exist; health and safety impacts aren’t figured into the price we pay when the natural gas is delivered to our homes.Some of the people most affected are children, the elderly, the chronically ill, and poor and minority communities. We pay for it one way or another.Google the Solutions Project to see what a 100 percent renewable energy mix would look like for New York and the 260,000 jobs that going renewable would create. Even Forbes magazine finds that solar energy employs more people in the United States than oil and gas combined. You can’t beat that.Florence CarnahanSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusTroopers: Schenectady pair possessed heroin, crack cocaine in Orange County Thruway stopSchenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positionslast_img read more

Indonesia records highest one-day increase of COVID-19 cases amid easing policy

first_imgIt was the country’s highest increase in a day after recording 993 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.Read also: ‘Transitional PSBB’: A deciding chapter for Jakarta’s new normalThe spike came as the government and several regional administrations began to loosen restrictions in a bid to begin an economic recovery under the so-called “new normal”.Jakarta imposed its first 14-day PSBB period on April 10 by closing schools, offices and places of worship. The capital began its transition phase on Monday and will gradually reopen public places such as offices, restaurants, houses of worship, parks and zoos.The Jakarta administration has also allowed public transportation to operate as usual and loosened restrictions on private vehicles.Governor Anies Baswedan previously said the city administration decided to start its transition as many parts of the capital had turned from red zones to green or yellow zones, indicating a declining number of COVID-19 cases.Topics : Indonesia recorded its highest COVID-19 increase in a single day with 1,043 new confirmed cases on Tuesday, a day after the government started easing large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in several provinces.According to Health Ministry data, the country has recorded 33,076 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 1,923 fatalities and 11,414 recoveries as of Tuesday.Jakarta, which previously saw a declining trend, recorded the highest spike with 232 new cases, followed by 220 new cases in East Java, 180 in South Sulawesi and 91 in South Kalimantan.last_img read more

Poyet: Money can’t buy derby joy

first_imgGus Poyet says that even the richest man in the world could not buy the derby joy he and his Sunderland side experienced on Sunday. The Black Cats claimed a fourth successive victory over arch-rivals Newcastle and their third on the trot at St James’ Park at the weekend to leave Wearside wreathed in smiles and the men who secured it experiencing “unique” emotions. Poyet revealed even a post-match warm-down and an enforced prolonged stay on Tyneside could not spoil the party. He said: “I know how much it means. We scored and we went ballistic and it was difficult to control the bench – imagine how much it means for them (the fans), who have been supporting this club all their lives? “It was special. It’s so special that it doesn’t matter how long you have to stay at the ground, because we were held for a while. Normally you would have every single player complaining, ‘Let’s go’. “Nobody complained, everybody was all right, everything changed. Even if you say to them to go and do a warm-down and they need to go back to the pitch, it was no problem this time. “It’s unique, it’s the best part of football. It’s not about money. I’m sure that the biggest multi-millionaire in the world would pay whatever money it takes to be part of that moment. “And you know what? He can’t because you need to be a football player or be involved in football to be there and feel it. It’s not about money, it’s about being good enough.” Poyet, who was installed as the club’s new head coach in October last year, boasts a 100 per cent record in his three derbies to date having quickly gleaned just how important those games are to two clubs and their respective fans. The win was just Sunderland’s third in the Barclays Premier League in 17 attempts this season and while Poyet will now turn his attention to the Boxing Day clash with struggling Hull and the business of putting together back-to-back victories, he knows just what their latest success means to the supporters. He said: “I’ll tell you what, when you come here you know you need to win one or two games, especially these ones, and the times you win them, there is no better. “I don’t think they care too much about the rest, the fans, they just care about this one, and it’s great to be on this side of it. There is no better feeling. “Now we are already somehow thinking ‘can we go one better when we play at the Stadium of Light?’ Every single game now between us and Newcastle is going to be bigger because of that record.” Sunday’s victory was all the more impressive as it came after Anthony Reveillere, the club’s only fit specialist left-back, limped out of the warm-up with a calf injury, although one which has proved to be not as serious as was first feared. Poyet said: “It’s an injury, but it’s a muscle tear. We were really worried because of the translation of what he felt, we were thinking it was something really bad. “But in the end, it’s just a tear and the normal time would be between three and four weeks. It’s not lucky that he’s injured, but we feared the worst, so it’s not that bad.” Hugely-experienced skipper John O’Shea was asked to step out of central defence to plug the gap, and he performed his role with aplomb to win fresh praise from Poyet. The Uruguayan said: “Experience, understanding, composure – it’s great to have him. That’s why he’s the skipper. You don’t pick them just by luck, you know what you need and it was easy.” Press Associationlast_img read more

MSU Science Festival will explore the earth’s waters on Thursday

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisAlpena, Mich. — A “blue” festival and night at the museum will takeover the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary on Thursday.Michigan State University’s Science Festival is coming to the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center as part of the Sanctuary Cinema Series. This is the fifth year the sanctuary and MSU have teamed up to bring information and entertainment.Folks can watch different short films from the National Marine Sanctuary System’s “Earth is Blue” film series. Each of the 14 short film is based on a different site in the marine sanctuaries. They showcase the importance of water for different ecosystems.“What’s really neat about those films is that as you watch this incredible cinematography, you can’t help but feel that responsibility to take great care of our blue planet,” said Katie Wolf, director of the Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. “Most of the earth is made up of water, and so we have this responsibility to make sure that we take care of that water.”Catch the collection of ‘Earth is Blue” films this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. The museum will also be open for folks to explore and enjoy. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.thunderbayfriends.org.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Earth is Blue, Environment, friends of thunder bay national marine sanctuary, GREAT LAKES MARITIME HERITAGE CENTER, Michigan State University, Museum, National Marine Sanctuary System, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Sanctuary Cinema Series, waterContinue ReadingPrevious Photo of the Day for Tuesday, April 16Next Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joins the fight for women’s reproductive rightslast_img read more

Democratic lawmakers seek 3 immediate criminal justice reforms

first_imgDES MOINES — A group of Democrats in the Iowa legislature is urging the governor and Republican leaders to immediately pass three criminal justice reforms, starting by banning law enforcement from using choke holds.Representative Ras Smith of Waterloo said the state attorney general and county attorneys should be given clear authority to investigate cases of police misconduct.“No one law will end racism or end inequities that we face,” Smith said during a news conference. “This won’t happen overnight, but today we can begin to respond to the crisis, to bring justice for George Floyd and work for the day where no Iowan has to live in fear of becoming another hashtag.”The third action the group seeks is a ban on hiring police officers with a history of serious misconduct.“This is where we turn our outrage into organizing,” Smith said. “This is where we turn our organizing into ordinances that make sure that our state, our union are more fair than they’ve ever been.”The group of lawmakers invited Yena Balekyani, a young woman who’s been protesting in Des Moines, to speak at their news conference on the state capitol steps.“I am holding you guys accountable,” she said. “I will be here and if this does not pass, I will be in the streets. We will be out here every single night until black lives matter.”Democratic lawmakers say it’s clear they now “have the ear” of Republican Governor Kim Reynolds, who said earlier this week she’s working on legislation to address racial profiling, but Representative Smith and others say it’s time for action now, not six months from now.“And we’ll continue to ask for her support and push her to make sure that she helps us to make sure that every Iowan is treated equitably,” Smith told reporters.The governor, during a news conference inside the capitol half an hour later, these and other racial justice proposals are worth developing into legislation.“But you can’t fix it overnight,” Reynolds said, “and we are making progress.”Reynolds said she’s committed to having ongoing conversations about constructive policy changes, including the three outlined today.“It doesn’t mean no. It doesn’t mean it can’t continue to move forward, but it also doesn’t mean that if we can’t done in a week that we’re done,” Reynolds said. “We’re going to continue to have those conversations. We’re going to continue to work on it and we’re going to address the concerns that we’re hearing from Iowans.”Black Lives Matter protesters in Des Moines are planning a march to the state Capitol tonight.last_img read more

Messi hits Champions League century in emphatic Barca win over Chelsea

first_imgWith Manchester United dumped out by Sevilla and Tottenham outmanouevred by Juventus, Chelsea’s exit means for all the talk of a Premier League resurgence, Liverpool and Manchester City are its only two representatives in the quarter-finals.Spain have three, after Real saw off the challenge of Paris Saint-Germain.– Fastest Messi goal –Andres Iniesta shook off a hamstring strain to start while Dembele was a surprise inclusion, preferred to Paulinho and rewarded for his excellent display against Malaga.Conte, meanwhile, plumped for Olivier Giroud up front ahead of both Alvaro Morata, who was on the bench, and Eden Hazard, who was granted his wish to play deeper in attacking midfield.Within three minutes, however, Chelse’s plan to frustrate was spoiled. Messi started the move and finished it, with Dembele, Luis Suarez and a deflection off Marcos Alonso, helping him find the space to fire through the legs of Thibaut Courtois for the fastest goal of his career.Chelsea responded well, with Willian and Victor Moses both posing a threat down the right, only for Barcelona to strike again in the 20th minute.Cesc Fabregas failed to secure possession in midfield and Messi was away, skipping past a desperate lunge from Andreas Christensen, before taking the whole stadium by surprise by squaring to the back post.The excellent Dembele took one touch and slammed the ball into the top corner.Alonso and N’Golo Kante both went close before half-time, the latter arguably robbing Fabregas of an easier finish with the Spaniard’s right foot. Alonso then clipped the edge of the post with a bending free-kick just before half-time.After an hour, however, any hopes Chelsea had of a comeback were extinguished. Suarez raced through midfield but looked to have hit a wall on the edge of Chelsea’s box.Messi took over, tearing past the rooted Moses and banging the ball, again through the legs of Courtois, into the net.Antonio Rudiger headed against the bar late on but Chelsea could not even find the scantest of consolations. Messi’s work was done.Share on: WhatsApp Chelsea, in touch after the 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, were therefore unfortunate enough to encounter the striker fresh, free and at his frighteningly brilliant best.At the finish, Chelsea coach Antonio Conte left the field with his arm around the forward, perhaps with nothing to add but congratulations.Conte’s team had chances, particularly in the first half, but the sense was once Barcelona were in front they were content to sit back and counter. Barcelona, Spain | AFP | Barcelona hailed Lionel Messi as ‘The King’ and he handed Chelsea the royal punishment by scoring twice to reach 100 Champions League goals and end their quarter-final hopes.After unfurling a banner showing the words ‘God Save The King’ before kick-off, Barca’s fans were celebrating after just 129 seconds at the Camp Nou as Messi found the net before Chelsea had even made a pass.He then teed up Ousmane Dembele to double Barca’s lead in the second leg of the last-16 clash before registering a century of Champions League goals on his 123rd appearance to complete a 3-0 victory, 4-1 on aggregate.Messi becomes only the second player to reach the milestone in Europe’s premier tournament, following Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 117 goals in 152 games.By the end, the Argentinian’s scintillating breakaway in the build-up to Dembele’s first Barcelona goal had become little more than a footnote to what was another Messi masterclass.It caps a remarkable five days for the 30-year-old, who sat out Saturday’s La Liga win over Malaga to attend to the birth of his third child.last_img read more