The Delhi High Court Monday stayed the operation of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) order imposing environment damage charges of Rs 1 lakh each on industrial units in West Delhi’s Mayapuri, which are allegedly causing pollution, directly or indirectly, by engaging in scrapping activity.
“No coercive steps be taken by authorities to recover the environment damage charges of Rs 1 lakh each on the units till next date of hearing, April 26,” Justice Vibhu Bakhru said.
In proceedings before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) Monday, the bench headed by its chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel refused to hear a petition against its order to shut down illegal scrap industries in Mayapuri that are causing pollution.
The NGT bench said it has only directed authorities to implement its 2015 order: “We are not going to hear it. We have already passed a detailed order. We have said nothing new, but only asked authorities to comply with the order passed on May 14, 2015, to close illegally and unauthorisedly operating scrap industries in Mayapuri.”
The NGT was hearing a plea by some traders against its April 11 order directing authorities to close illegal scrap units.
The HC’s order came on a plea by 10 Mayapuri scrap dealers, who have approached the court against the DPCC’s April 2 order imposing the environment damage charges.
Senior advocate Kirti Uppal, appearing for the dealers, sought quashing of the DPCC order, in which they were asked to deposit the fine by April 16.
Uppal, accompanied by advocate Balbir Singh Jakhar, also the AAP candidate for the West Delhi Lok Sabha seat, submitted before the court that they have not been heard before imposition of the fine and now authorities have given a 48-hour deadline to vacate the premises and put a stop to any polluting activity to comply with directions of the NGT and the DPCC.
Giving interim relief, the court also asked the counsel for DPCC not to take coercive steps against the traders. The HC also sought responses of the DPCC and MCD on the traders’ plea.
DPCC counsel Sanjeev Ralli, however, told the court, “I want to place everything on record, by which we have arrived at our decision… Meanwhile, we will not take coercive action.”
DPCC had issued notices to 765 units that were not following norms, but only a handful could be sealed on April 13.