On January 1, Chief Justice of India T S Thakur and Justice A K Sikri exchanged more than just New Year greetings. The two also finalised their travel itinerary for the next 15 days when the odd-even scheme would be in effect in the capital.
The two decided to lead by example and carpool, despite being exempt from the policy as they hold constitutional posts. Justice Thakur has an odd-numbered car, while Justice Sikri’s vehicle is even. The two live close to each other.
On Monday — the first working day in the top court after winter break — Justice Sikri picked up the CJI on his way to court.
Incidentally on Tuesday, when Justice Thakur’s car will be out on the road, the CJI-led bench will hear cases related to rising pollution in the capital.
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The CJI and Justice Sikri — who are currently on the same bench — are so far the highest constitutional functionaries to have actively supported the Delhi government’s odd-even policy.
On December 6, soon after taking over as CJI, Justice Thakur had said he would support the policy if it is implemented. At that time, the proposal was at an initial stage and it was not known that Supreme Court judges would be exempt.
“I think this is the least we (judges) can do if it can actually help the environment,” he had told mediapersons. Supreme Court judges, Justice Thakur had said, should be open to the idea of carpooling. “It can be a symbol of concern for the environment that we have as judges. This may leave an impact on other people that if judges can do it, so can we,” he had said.
“All is not well with Delhi. We cannot say today whether any particular idea will work or not, but we should definitely be open to new ideas if they are aimed at controlling pollution. We can try them and see how they produce results,” he had said.
Recently, Justice Thakur had asked the Central Pollution Control Board to undertake an exercise in the apex court to examine air samples inside the courtrooms and also in its precincts and subsequently prescribe remedial measures.