Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 20 FEB 2020

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1. Consider the following statements with respect to Rat Hole Mining.
1. National Green Tribunal had banned ecologically unsafe and hazardous rat-hole coal mining in Meghalaya.
2. This technique was primarily used to extract granite.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

2. Consider the following statements in reference to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
1. It is a statutory organization established under Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003.
2. The superintendence of CBI exclusively lies with the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).
3. States cannot disallow entry to the CBI to investigate the cases referred by the Constitutional courts.
4. While the office of the Chief Justice of India is under the RTI’s ambit, the CBI is exempt.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1, 2 and 4 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

3. Consider the following statements regarding National Green Tribunal (NGT).
1. The Tribunal is bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure as well as the Principles of Natural Justice.
2. The Chairman of the tribunal is required to be a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India.
3. The tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.
4. NGT is created under the NGT, 2010 to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1, 2 and 4 only
(b) 3 and 4 only
(c) 2, 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

4. Consider the following statements regarding Olive Ridleys Turtles.
1. They are found only in warmer waters, including the southern Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
2. Olive Ridley turtle is classified as endangered (EN) in IUCN status.
3. Gahirmatha Scantuary in Odisha is known as world’s largest rookery of olive ridley species.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3 only
(d) 1 and 3 only

5. Consider the following statements with respect to Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019.
1. It amended the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
2. The Act additionally empowers the government to designate individuals as terrorists on the same grounds.
3. The UAPA Bill empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

 

1.Answer-a
Explanation
Rat hole mining is unique to the state of Meghalaya due to the thinness of the coal layer and is a cost-effective option to large scale mining due to a lot of overburden (mud and debris waste) being extracted.
The National Green Tribunal had banned ecologically unsafe and hazardous rat-hole coal mining in Meghalaya from April 14 while allowing the transportation of already extracted coal up to a certain period. But mine owners continued extracting coal illegally until a mishap in one of these mines killed at least 17 people on December 13, 2018.
Meghalaya’s Directorate of Mineral Resources would be conducting an orientation and sensitisation programme for all coal mine owners in East Jaintia Hills district toward granting of prospecting licence, preparation of a geological report and feasibility study.
Granting of mining lease under scientific coal mining plan according to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, and the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960.
This is in pursuance to the Supreme Court order to facilitate systematic, safe, scientific and planned utilisation of mineral resources and to streamline mineral-based development of the State.

 

2. Answer-c
Explanation
CBI derives power to investigate from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
The superintendence of CBI related to investigation of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 lies with the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and in other matters with the Department of Personnel & Training (DOPT) in the Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Grievances of the Government of India.
The CBI, which functions under the provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946, can probe offences in a state with prior approval of the state


government concerned. Further, Constitutional courts can also entrust any case or class of case for investigation in exercise of inherent jurisdiction even without the consent of the respective state government. Further, in the cases which are referred by the Constitutional courts, the entry of CBI cannot be denied by that state as these do not require the consent of the state.
Withdrawal of consent, if any, by a state government can be effected prospectively and not retrospectively.
Supreme Court has recently ruled that the office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) is a public authority under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. While the office of the CJI is now under the• RTI’s ambit, the CBI is exempt

 

3.Answer-c
Explanation
The NGT has been established on 18.10.2010 under the NGT, 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.
The Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 or the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice. However, the Tribunal is vested with the powers of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure for discharging its functions.
The Tribunal’s dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts. The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same. Decisions of the Tribunal are binding.
The Tribunal has a presence in five zones- North, Central, East, South and West. The Principal Bench is situated in the North Zone, headquartered in Delhi. The Central zone bench is situated in Bhopal, East zone in Kolkata, South zone in Chennai and West zone in Pune.
The Tribunal is headed by the Chairperson who sits in the Principal Bench and has at least ten but not more than twenty judicial members and at least ten but not more than twenty expert members.
Any person seeking relief and compensation for environmental damage involving subjects in the legislations mentioned in Schedule I of the NGT, 2010 may approach the Tribunal. The statutes in Schedule-I are:
1. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;
2. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977;
3. The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980;
4. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981;
5. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986;
6. The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991;
7. The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
The Tribunal has jurisdiction over all civil cases involving a substantial question relating to environment and the question. Additionally, any person aggrieved by an order/direction of any of the Appellate Authorities under the legislations mentioned above can also challenge them before the NGT.
The Tribunal comprises of the Chairperson, the Judicial Members and Expert Members. They shall hold office for term of five years and are not eligible for reappointment. The Chairperson of the NGT is a retired Judge of the Supreme Court, Head Quartered in Delhi.
Other Judicial members are retired Judges of High Courts. Each bench of the NGT will comprise of at least one Judicial Member and one Expert Member.
Expert members should have a professional qualification and a minimum of 15 years experience in the field of environment/forest conservation and related subjects.

 

4.Answer-d
Explanation-
 Nasi II Island is part of Gahirmatha Scantuary in Odisha’s Kendrapara district is known as world’s largest rookery of olive ridley species.
 Olive ridleys started arriving off the coast of Gahirmatha for its nesting.
 Olive Ridley is the smallest of the sea turtles and omnivorous in diet.
 They are found only in warmer waters, including the southern Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
 They are known for their behavior of synchronized nesting in mass numbers, termed arribadas. They nests twice/thrice in a year. Its nesting season ranges worldwide from June to December, with the peak period in September and October.
 They are listed as Vulnerable in IUCN Red List and in Appendix I of CITES.

 

5. Answer-d
Explanation
The Bill amends the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The Act provides special procedures to deal with terrorist activities, among other things. Under the Act, the central government may designate an organisation as a terrorist organisation if it: (i) commits or participates in acts of terrorism, (ii) prepares for terrorism, (iii) promotes terrorism, or (iv) is otherwise involved in terrorism. The Bill additionally empowers the government to designate individuals as terrorists on the same grounds.
Approval for seizure of property by NIA: Under the Act, an investigating officer is required to obtain the prior approval of the Director General of Police to seize properties that may be connected with terrorism.
Investigation by NIA: Under the Act, investigation of cases may be conducted by officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police or above. The Bill additionally empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases.