Supreme Court on Thursday, has deferred the hearing of public interest litigation over the ongoing stubble burning in the neighboring states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, till November 6. The decision came after Centre assured CJI S A Bobde that it has already formulated an ordinance to curb air pollution in the Delhi and NCR regions.
The bench noted, “We would like to look at the ordinance before passing any order. Even the petitioners would like to see.”
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta when informed the bench about the centre’s ordinance, the court stated, “Nobody should fall sick because of this pollution and if anybody falls sick, we will make you responsible.”
On October 16, the apex court had appointed a single-member committee led by Retired Justice B Lokur to take the necessary steps to look into the stubble burning issue. But after centre informed about the new ordinance, the court stayed its operation.
In order to oppose the stay, a Class XII student and a law student moved a petition through advocate Vikas Singh. The petitioners have stated that the law would be of no use and the air quality would further deteriorate in a week as he stressed on the urgent need to stop stubble burning. However, the court responded saying, “this is not an adversarial litigation”.
“Some experts have informed us informally that it is not only stubble burning that creates pollution. We would like you to stop using your beautiful cars, which you won’t. We should all go about on bikes — not motorbikes but bicycles,” said CJI Bobde.
The centre government has introduced a new ordinance in context to the constituting a commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and adjoining areas. As per the ordinance, any violation is going to invite five years of imprisonment and up to 1 crore penalty.
The ordinance will be applicable in Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and National Capital Region.