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Nirbhaya Case: Delhi court reserves order on convicts’ plea

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New Delhi: A Delhi Court on Friday reserved order on the application seeking stay on the execution of the death sentence awarded to the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana reserved its order on the two applications moved by the counsel of the convicts – A.P. Singh and Vrinda Grover.

During the course of hearing, Singh said that a mercy plea has been filed on behalf of one of the convicts – Vinay Kumar.

It is further submitted that on behalf of Pawan, a review petition has also been filed, and a criminal appeal is pending before Delhi High Court. He said that it is further submitted that Akshay’s curative petition was dismissed by the apex court on Thursday.

It is argued that if the warrants are not stayed the remedies will become infructuous. They have placed reliance on Delhi Prison Rules, Singh contended.

Vrinda Grover, appearing for convict Mukesh, moved another application seeking stay on the sentence.

It was contended on behalf of Mukesh that he has been sincerely pursuing legal remedies without delay.

Since all the convicts were held guilty by the same court in same offence, isolation of fate cannot take place. She placed reliance on rule number 868 of Prison Rules.

She has also placed reliance on the top court judgment. She argued that in case if mercy plea of similarly placed convict is considered favourably by President of India this would affect the course of justice for Mukesh. She also placed reliance on Yakub case.

It is further contended that Mukesh cannot be executed earnestly as he is sincerely pursuing legal remedies, she said.

The prosecution, however, opposed the application moved by the convict submitting that Mukesh has no legal remedies and he should be executed. It is further argued that the applications moved by Vinay and Akshay are not maintainable as per the rule of Delhi Prison Rules.

He further contended that execution of Vinay can be postponed. He also stated that granting any relief to the convicts would be travesty of justice and hence their applications should be dismissed.

Victim’s counsel argued that the convicts herein are adopting delay tactics to thwart the speed of justice.

It is argued that convicts were sentenced in 2013, confirmed by the High Court in 2014 and Supreme Court in 2017. Vinay, Mukesh and Pawan’s review petitions have also been dismissed. Even curative pleas of Vinay, Mukesh and Akshay have been dismissed.

Even after attaining the finality, verdict of the court has not been executed. It is submitted that convicts are resorting to all kinds of tactics to delay the proceedings. It is further pointed out that as per rule 840 of the DPR, jurisdiction lies with the government and not this court, prosecution counsel said.

Additional Sessions Judge kept the matter for hearing post lunch.

The application filed through advocate A.P. Singh sought court’s direction to the Tihar Jail authorities to stay the execution of the convicts until the determination of the mercy petitions and the other legal remedies.

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Choose wisely – go organic this Holi

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With Holi -the festival of colours coming up — everyone is busy buying colours, ‘pichkaris’, and balloons but with increasing environment pollution and severe allergic reactions to synthetic colours, there is a growing awareness among people to opt for organic variants.

“In an approximately Rs 4,500-crore unorganised Holi colour market, the share of the organic variety is miniscule, but growing,” said Madhumita Puri, Founder and Executive Director of Avacayam Naturals, a Delhi-based manufacturer of organic colours.

The adverse effects of synthetic colours was observed in a study titled ‘The Holi Dermatoses’, published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology.
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It found a spate in skin diseases following the spring festival in India.

In the study conducted on 42 patients in Kolkata, 11 patients suffered due to activities related to preparation of colors and 12 reported aggravation of pre-existing dermatoses.

Nearly 60 per cent patients reported itching, while others reported to have suffered from a burning sensation, scaling, redness and watering of the eyes, as per the study.

Treading on a eco-friendly and skin-friendly path, Avacayam Naturals employed differently-abled persons to make organic colours by using waste and used flowers and leaves.

This solves three purposes at one go – generates employment for the disabled, manufactures harmless eco-friendly colours, and there is optimal usage of waste flowers.

Speaking to IANS, Puri said: “For making the colours, we collect used flowers — roses, marigolds, and others — and leaves from temples, weddings, and hotels.”

Avacayam Naturals, one of the programs that Puri started under her “Trash to Cash” scheme, makes four colours: Pink from roses, yellow from yellow marigolds, orange from orange marigolds, and green from leaves.

On being asked if the colours are harmless, she said: “Rather than damaging the environment, they are beneficial as each packet of colour is made from waste flowers which otherwise would dirty the place.”

How are the colours made?
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“After the flowers are collected, the workers sort them in different baskets according to their colour. Then, the petals and seed pods are separated and cut. These are then spread out to dry in a well ventilated space for all the moisture to evaporate.

“After that, they are ground and processed — without adding any chemicals — to be made into colours for people to enjoy,” Puri said, adding that the process of collection, drying, and grinding continues throughout the year but it is only before festivals that they process them into the final product.

“In a year, we manufacture around 20 tonne of pure organic colour, some of which is sold to Walmart India. One kilo of colour is sold between Rs 600 and Rs 1,000.”

When asked about the expiry date of these colours, Puri said: “The product is a dry one and completely natural. We have been testing them since five years now and have not found any deterioration in the quality, fungal infestations, or weevils. So there is no ‘expiry date’ to them.”

Another such manufacturer is Jaipur-based Red Earth which makes colours “exclusively from edible materials and scent them with pure, traditional attars”.

Speaking to IANS, Himanshu Verma, Director-Owner of Red Earth, said: “Every 2-3 years, we change our colour palette… this year we have four colours — Sunahra Dhamaal, Shvet Abeer, Neem Sanrachna, and Gulabi Nagariya — that are inspired by local materials.”

“The colours are curated on the basis of availability of local materials. We use items like camphor, neem, mehendi, multani-mitti, geru powder, arrowroot, flour, and others,” Verma said, adding that 50-60 per cent materials used are edible so that even if someone ingests them by mistake, they will not be as harmful.

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