In Court

Published: Saturday 31 December 2005

stay on eviction: The Gujarat High Court (HC) stayed the eviction of about 38,855 tribals across 11 districts of the state. This came after the HC admitted a public interest petition filed by the Adivasi Mahasabha , which is a network of 43 voluntary organisations working on tribal issues, claiming the tribals were being thrown out of forest land even before the state government had settled their land claims. These claims relate to 82,485 hectares of forest land in more than 1,200 villages of the state. The petition says that the tribals have been cultivating and living on this land for generations, much before the Forest Conservation Act of 1980, came into being. The petition has requested the tribal claim for land be entertained by the court and scrutinised for their authenticity.

dump site clean-up: A consent decree has been filed for a third time in the US District Court, Pennsylvania recently. The 20 companies who disposed of their waste at a Superfund site at Breslube-Penn have entered into an agreement with the federal government to pay more than US $400,000 toward cleanup costs expected to top US $23 million. The government is asking the defendants to pay for the clean-up of the site and cover all future costs. The amount to be paid would be based on the proportion of waste they discarded there. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) designated Breslube-Penn, Inc as a Superfund site due to its high levels of environmental toxins, which pose danger to the natural world. EPA inspections had shown a number of hazardous substances at the site, including arsenic, chromium, mercury and lead. So far, the EPA has spent about US $6 million on the cleanup, and future projected costs are around US $17.3 million, according to the complaint. Each defendant has been asked to make payment within 30 days of the entry of the consent decree.

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