The Supreme Court on Monday gave the go-ahead for felling of 4,313 trees on the 76-km Taj Trapezium Zone stretch in Uttar Pradesh for the Dedicated Freight Corridor project by the railways, funded by the World Bank.

A bench of Justices D.K. Jain and Madan B. Lokur allowed the plea of the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCI) after deliberations over the Forest Department’s definition of trees, as the bench had earlier sought clarification on whether saplings and trunks measuring four to five inches in diameter can be called trees.

Expressing disappointment over high levels of pollution in the Yamuna, the Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments for little being done in the past 18 years for cleansing the river despite over `4,400 crores being spent for the purpose.

“All the agencies have spent crores of rupees. What is the purpose? What work has been done ultimately?” said a bench of justices Swatanter Kumar and M.B. Lokur.

A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices A.K. Patnaik and Swatenter Kumar made it clear that the matter of tourism-related activites in core areas of tiger habitats would continue to be heard further and also said any party aggrieved by the guidelines would have the liberty to challenge the same before the appropriate authority.

The bench’s direction came after additional solicitor-general Indira Jaising informed the court that the notification was formally issued on October 15 for 41 tiger reserves across India.

Expressing concern over the alleged use of humans as guinea pigs by pharmaceutical companies, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to submit details of clinical trials of drugs conducted across the country as well as their side effects and deaths, if any.

A bench of Justices R.M. Lodha and A.R. Dave, asking the Union government to furnish details, also issued notice to all state governments asking if they were kept in the loop on clinical trials conducted in their states.

The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) informed the Supreme Court on Friday that mining operations in 63 iron ore leases falling in category B in Karnataka may be allowed to be resumed after fulfilment of certain conditions.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appointed amicus curiae in the case, told the forest bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam that the iron ore mines falling into category B can be allowed to resume quarrying activists after completion of the reclamation and rehabilitation (R&R) work and paying appropriate compensation for the massive ecological loss caused by them due to largescale illegal mining.

The Delhi government on Monday dismissed as “irrational and unconstitutional” the report prepared by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) criticising the 5.8 km BRT corridor between Ambed-kar Nagar and Moolchand.

In its reply filed before the Delhi high court on Monday, the transport department said that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor has proven beneficial for a majority of the population dependent on public transport rather than a fraction of the people who travel by personal vehicles.

The Delhi high court on Thursday directed the city government’s transport department to retain, till its final order, the arrangement that allowed plying of all vehicles in the lane reserved for buses on the BRT corridor between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand Hospital in south Delhi.

The division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw asked the government to allow all vehicles to ply on the lane reserved for buses on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor till it passes an order on a PIL that sought opening of the corridor to all vehicles for smooth traffic movement.