2 min read.Updated: 26 Oct 2020, 03:06 PM IST Edited By Meghna Sen
CJI SA Bobde said that the govt's proposal of bringing a law is a 'welcome step'
'It is something that the government should have acted on. This is not a matter for PIL. The only issue is people are choking because of pollution and it is something which must be curbed,' the CJI added
NEW DELHI :
The one-man committee of retired Supreme Court judge Justice Madan B Lokur to oversee steps to tackle stubble burning was suspended by the apex court on Monday as the Central Government said it would create a permanent body through legislation to deal with air pollution and the stubble burning problem in Delhi and NCR states.
On 16 October, the top court had appointed Madan B Lokur, as one-man committee for monitoring stubble burning, which is key source of the pollution every winter, in Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. The committee was to get assistance from chief secretaries of all states.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde passed the order while considering the government’s stand that it is coming out with a comprehensive legislation to deal with air pollution, including the aspect of stubble burning.
'A welcome step'
CJI Bobde said that the govt's proposal of bringing a law is a 'welcome step'. "This is a welcome step. It is something that the government should have acted on. This is not a matter for PIL. The only issue is people are choking because of pollution and it is something which must be curbed," CJI Bobde said.
"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, who was representing the government, 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 in the apex court within four days.
In its 16 October order, the SC had 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".
The pollution this year in the national capital is a matter of more concern, with experts saying it could lead to a spike in the Covid-19 infections. A report by National Centre for Disease Control earlier this month held that New Delhi may see up to 12,000 to 15,000 coronavirus cases daily in winter.
Days back, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said stubble burning is not a major factor for air pollution in Delhi-NCR.
"Only 4 per cent pollution is due to stubble burning. Ninety-six per cent of it is due to local factors like biomass burning, garbage dumping, unpaved roads, dust, construction and demolition activities, etc.," he told reporters at his residence in Delhi.
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