India, largely a country of immigrants

If North America is predominantly made up of new immigrants, India is largely a country of old immigrants, which explains its tremendous diversity. It follows that tolerance and equal respect for all communities and sects are an absolute imperative if we wish to keep India united. If it was believed at one time that Dravidians were the original inhabitants of India, that view has since been considerably modified. Now the generally accepted belief is that the pre-Dravidian aborigines, that is, the ancestors of the present tribals or Adivasis (Scheduled Tribes), were the original inhabitants. This is the thesis put forward in a judgment delivered on January 5, 2011 by a Supreme Court of India Bench comprising Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra . This historical disquisition came in Criminal Appeal No. 11 of 2011, arising out of Special Leave Petition No. 10367 of 2010 in Kailas & Others versus State of Maharashtra TR. Taluka P.S. Read more

Courtesy: The Hindu

Samata verdict is weapon of the weak

When the Supreme Court of India delivered the Samata judgment in 1997 protecting the land of tribal people under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, it was met with dismay and anger from industrial interests. At the time, I did not realize how strong these interests would react to this decision. But in the 13 years since the Samata judgment, I have seen how the state and industry have conspired to see that it is not implemented. A careful look will show it is not an anti-mining judgment but talked of primary stakes for tribal people and responsibility of the state and industry. Read more

Courtesy: The Times of India

Supreme Court ruling on Orissa mining case could set precedent

New Delhi: Weeks after it halted Vedanta Alumina Ltd’s mining project in Orissa, the Supreme Court will soon weigh in on the issue in what many see as a possible precedent-setting decision.

Acting on the court’s own directions, Vedanta’s associate company, Sterlite Industries India Ltd, has filed a fresh application. Meanwhile, a review petition has also been filed by Oriya tribal activist Siddarth Nayak, a party to the previous proceedings, seeking a review of the court’s order. Read more

Courtesy: live mint

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