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Supreme Court banned all diesel cabs in NCR-Delhi from May 1

on 30 April 2016 The Supreme Court of India decided to extend the deadline for keep out diesel cabs in National Capital Region (NCR). 
Earlier deadline was 1 April 2016, but it was extended for a month.
•    Extension was given so that private cab companies could switch to CNG vehicles by 1 May 2016.
•    Supreme Court allowed Delhi Police and Delhi Jal Board to buy and register the new diesel-run vehicles of 2000 cc engine capacity and above for transportation of under trial prisoners, arms and ammunition and supply of water.
•    SC Had stopped sale of diesel SUVs and luxury cars with more than 2000 cc engine capacity in 2015.
•    Later SC asked Delhi Police to pay 30 percent of the real value of the vehicle to be purchased by it as Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) or green cess as a pre-condition for their registration with the transport department.
•    SC, exempted Delhi Jal Board (DJB) from paying ECC on the ground that around 250 water tankers would be supplying water to the citizens of the city.
•    The court allowed the plea of police and allowed to register on payment of ECC.

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Union Government banned import of dogs for commercial breeding

On 27 April 2016 Indian govt. issued a notification banning the import of dogs for commercial breeding. 
•    Animal rights organizations had raised concerns over foreign breed dogs suffering due to unsuitable climatic conditions
•    Humane Society International (HSI) and People for Animals along with other groups had urged the government to ban the import on dogs for breeding as it was resulting in the overpopulation of street dogs in the country.
•    Large number of dogs that are not suitable for the country’s tropical climate such as St Bernards, Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes and others are being imported by breeders in India.
•    Many imported breed dogs are being abandoned by the owners 
•    Animal rights groups also urged the government to review pet shop and breeder regulations as recommended by the Law Commission of India.
•    In 2015, the commission published a report on Need to Regulate Pet Shops and Dog Breeding and Aquarium Fish Breeding  

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Parliament passes Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016

Parliament has passed Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016 so as to include certain communities in the list of Scheduled Castes (SC) from four states. 
•    The bill was introduced in the Parliament by Union Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot.
•    These are the various states and casts to be added :
•    Chhattisgarh: Sais, Sahis, Sarathi, Soot-Sarathi, Thanwar communities. 
•    Haryana: Aheria, Aheri, Hari, Heri, Thori, Turi and Rai Sikh communities.
•    Kerala: Peruvannan community in the list and specification of Malayan community area has been modified. 
•    West Bengal: area restriction of Chain community removed.
•    Odisha: Exclusion of Bariki and Kummari communities.
•    Article 341 empowers Parliament to include or exclude castes from the list of Scheduled Castes in the notification. 
•    The Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) are official designations given to various groups of historically disadvantaged indigenous people in India. 
•    The terms are recognized in the Constitution of India and the various groups are designated in one or other of the categories. 
•    During the period of British rule in the Indian subcontinent, they were known as the Depressed Classes.

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Parliament passes Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015

On 28 April 2016 The Rajya Sabha passed the Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015. 
•    Lok Sabha passed the bill on 10 December 2015.
•    It was introduced by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman.
•    Now, it is going to be sent to the President for his assent.
•    The Union Government conformed to the Supreme Court order in the Bihar Distillery versus Union of India case. 
•    The Supreme Court of India in its judgment on January 20, 1997, demarcated the regulation of production of alcohol between centre and states (Bihar Distillery and another vs. Union of India and others). 
•    The 1951 Act provides for development and regulation of certain industries including metallurgical, telecommunications, transportation, fermentation (which includes production of alcohol) among others.
•    The court ruled that centre should regulate the production of alcohol for industrial use and states should regulate the production of alcohol for potable purpose (domestic consumption).  The Bill conforms to the Supreme Court’s decision.

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Lok Sabha passed the Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2016

The Lok Sabha on 25 April 2016 passed the Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The bill – already passed by the Rajya Sabha on 16 March 2016– seeks to amend the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925 with effect from 8 October 2003.
It proposes removal of an exception made for Sahajdharis in 1944 that allowed them to vote in elections for the Board and committees instituted under the Act.
The 1925 Act provided that every Sikh who is above 21 years of age and is registered as a voter will be entitled to vote in the elections to the SGPC and management committees. However, no person who trims or shaves his beard or hair will be entitled to vote in these elections.  

In 1944, the Act created an exception for Sehjdhari Sikhs who trim or shave their beard or hair, and allows them to vote.  The Bill removes this exception, disentitling Sehjdhari Sikhs from voting if they carry out these activities.
• It proposed to remove the exception given to Sehajdhari Sikhs in 1944 to vote in the elections for selecting members of the board and the committees constituted under the Act.
• This amendment will debar Sahjdhari Sikhs voting rights. As Sehajdhari Sikhs are continuously exercising their voting rights in the Shiromani GurdwaraParbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections since 1949.
• However, the notification was quashed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on 20 December 2011, leaving it to the appropriate and competent legislature to decide as to whether or not to amend the Act to that effect.
Earlier, the Union Cabinet on 10 March 2016 approved the proposal of Home Ministry to amend the Sikh Gurudwaras Act, 1925, with effect from 8 October 2003.
As per the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, only Sikhs who follow all the fundamental tenets of being a Sikh can contest the election. But as per a 1944 rule, the electorate included Sahajdhari Sikhs as voters as well — a tradition decried by the Sikh community.
A Sehajdhari is a person who has chosen the path of Sikhism, but is not baptized. He believes in all tenets of Sikhism and teachings of the Sikh Gurus, but may or may not adorn the five symbols of the Sikh faith.
Under the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, Sehjdhari Sikhs are those persons who: (i) perform ceremonies according to Sikh rites, (ii) do not consume tobacco or halal meat, (iii) have not been expelled from the religion for committing a religious transgression, and (iv) can recite the Mul Mantra (a Sikh prayer).

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