The Supreme Court Monday kept in abeyance its October 16 order appointing a one-man panel of retired apex court judge Justice Madan B Lokur to check the menace of air pollution.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde passed the order while considering the Centre’s stand that it is coming out with comprehensive legislation on “Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas.” . “The only issue is people are choking because of pollution and it is something which must be curbed,” said the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that the Centre has taken a “holistic view” of the matter and the draft of the proposed law on curbing pollution would be submitted before the apex court within four days.
In its October 16 order, the SC appointed Justice (retired) Madan B Lokur to monitor the steps taken by neighbouring states to prevent stubble burning, which is a major cause of pollution in the Delhi-national capital region (NCR). It also ordered deployment of National Cadet Corps, National Service Scheme and Bharat Scouts and Guides for assisting in the monitoring of stubble burning in the agricultural fields of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi-NCR, saying all it wants is that “people of Delhi-NCR can breathe fresh air without any pollution”.
While appointing Lokur to head the committee, the bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, and with Justices A S Bopanna and V Rama Subramaian, clarified that its orders and the setting up of the committee “are not intended to dilute the powers, functions and the authority of any authorities such as EPCA (Environmental Pollution Control Authority), already created”.
The order came on a petition filed by two students, Aditya Dubey and Aman Banka, who had sought directions from the court to put an end to stubble burning. The court went ahead with Lokur’s appointment even as the Centre expressed “some reservations” on this.
(With inputs from PTI)
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