The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Central Government to take necessary steps towards controlling pollution while hearing a plea on the deterioration of air quality due to stubble burning.
A bench of the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli has also sought suggestions of the petitioner with regard to the status report submitted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Further to this, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi has been directed to file affidavit with regard to steps taken by the Delhi Government in this behalf and serve a copy thereof to the Union of India and States of U.P., Punjab & Haryana.
Earlier, The Top Court in its order had, directed the petitioners to examine the ordinance submitted by the Union with regard to controlling pollution caused by stubble burning.
Today the bench has further directed, "the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi is directed to file affidavit with regard to steps taken by the Delhi Government in this behalf."
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh appearing for the petitioner has been asked to go through the status report submitted by the Ministry and incorporate the same.
The bench has kept the matter for hearing after Diwali.
Earlier it was informed by the Learned Senior Council Mr. Vikas Singh that despite several measures already in place, there is a continuous increase in the amount of air pollution in the NCT of Delhi. It was also suggested to appoint a former Judge of the Top Court to monitor the situation in the neighbouring States of Punjab, Haryana, UP including the NCR of Delhi.
Justice Madan B. Lokur, retired Supreme Court Judge, was accordingly appointed as a one man monitoring committee to look into the steps taken by the States to prevent stubble burning.
The Court vide order dated 16.10.2020, directed that the Chief Secretaries of the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCR of Delhi shall assist Justice Madan Lokur and enable physical surveillance of fields where stubble is likely to be burnt and further devise additional means for preventing the burning of stubble.
“We find that it would be fitting, if services of National Cadet Corps, NSS and Bharat Scouts and Guides, wherever available, are deployed for assisting in the monitoring of stubble burning in the agricultural fields in these States”, the bench added.
Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority was also directed to provide assistance and provide information as and when sought by the Committee.
The bench clarified that institution of the said Committee is in addition to the mechanism already in place and the object of it is to facilitate and coordinate the activities of different authorities so the problem is resolved at the earliest.
By order dated 26.10.2020, it was informed by the Learned Solicitor General that the Union had proposed a legislation to tackle the problem highlighted in the PIL and that it will be placed before the Court within three to four days.
Case Title: Aditya Dubey v. Union of India, WP(C) 1135 of 2020
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