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Uttarakhand and raises concerns about the risks involved in engineering projects in fragile.........

Uttarakhand and raises concerns about the risks involved in engineering projects in fragile ecosystems. It highlights the need for proper assessment and monitoring of infrastructure development in such areas.

  • 41 construction workers have been trapped inside a tunnel for two weeks as part of a road widening project in Uttarakhand.

  • The Silkyara Bend Tunnel is part of the Char Dham Pariyojana project, aimed at improving connectivity to religious pilgrimage sites.

  • The initial assessment did not indicate that the rescue operation would be challenging and prolonged.

  • The project aimed to cut travel time by an hour on National Highway 134.

  • The rescue operation has been criticized for being slapdash and has caused extreme psychological stress for the trapped workers and their families.

  • In hindsight, it is suggested that the project should not have started in the first place.

  • Environmentalists, scientists, and local residents have raised concerns about the Char Dham Pariyojana project.

  • The project involves widening 900 km of roads through the Himalayan mountains.

  • The project was approved by the Supreme Court in the interest of national security.

  • The government avoided a comprehensive environment impact assessment by breaking the project into smaller ventures.

  • The lack of proper assessment has led to the risks involved in engineering projects in fragile ecosystems not being accounted for.

  • Infrastructure development in fragile terrain requires greater scrutiny, expertise, and project-monitoring skills.

  • The Silkyara tunnel disaster should be used as a benchmark for evaluating future projects.

The Supreme Court of India and the need for structural changes in the court. It explores the concept of Constitution Benches and the proposal to divide the Supreme Court into separate divisions. It also highlights the issue of pending cases and the need for regional benches to make justice more accessible.

The Supreme Court of India has three jurisdictions: original, appellate, and advisory.

  • The Court sits in benches of varying sizes, as determined by the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

  • Constitution Benches typically comprise five, seven, or nine judges and deliberate on specific issues related to constitutional law.

  • Article 145(3) of the Constitution provides for the setting up of a Constitution Bench.

  • Typically, cases before the Supreme Court are heard by Division Benches or full Benches.

  • The Supreme Court has entertained frivolous public interest litigations in the past.

  • Currently, there are 79,813 cases pending before the 34 judges of the Supreme Court.

  • CJI D.Y. Chandrachud intends to create Constitution Benches of varied strengths as a permanent feature of the Court.

  • The Tenth Law Commission of India proposed in 1984 to split the Supreme Court into two divisions: the Constitutional Division and the Legal Division.

  • The Eleventh Law Commission reiterated this proposal in 1988, stating that it would make justice more widely available and decrease fees for litigants.

  • Appeals in the Supreme Court mostly come from High Courts closer to the apex court, such as the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Allahabad High Court, and Delhi High Court.

  • The Supreme Court had previously stated in 1986 that it was "desirable" to establish a National Court of Appeal to handle special leave petitions and only entertain constitutional and public law-related questions.

  • The 229th Law Commission Report in 2009 recommended the establishment of four regional benches in Delhi, Chennai or Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai to hear non-constitutional issues.

  • The report suggested that the Supreme Court could deal with constitutional issues and cases of national importance on a day-to-day basis by dividing the backlog of non-constitutional cases among regional benches.

  • The Supreme Court in India was founded on January 28, 1950, under Article 124 of the Constitution.

  • The number of judges in the Supreme Court has increased over the years due to the rising workload and accumulation of cases.

  • The Supreme Court primarily serves as an appeals court and issues around 8-10 decisions each year through Constitution Benches.

  • The Supreme Court hears matters between the Centre and the States, as well as between two or more States, and provides legal and factual advice to the President.

  • There is a suggestion to split the work of the Supreme Court into a Final Court of Appeal and a permanent Constitution Bench to ensure greater judicial stability and consistency.

  • A Constitution Bench is analyzing the issue of protecting a citizen's basic right to access the Supreme Court.

  • The Chief Justice of India is guiding the process of addressing this structural gap in the Supreme Court.

  • One possible solution being considered is designating several of the court's appeal benches as regional benches.

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