Home >News >India >Panel to keep an eye on stubble burning
The bench held that all the authorities, including the Delhi and Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, working on this issue shall report to Justice Lokur. (PTI)
The bench held that all the authorities, including the Delhi and Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, working on this issue shall report to Justice Lokur. (PTI)

Panel to keep an eye on stubble burning

An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde passed the order while hearing a public interest litigation filed by two environmental activists seeking directions to ensure that the ban is implemented in the northern states.

The Supreme Court on Friday named retired Justice Madan B. Lokur as a one-man committee to monitor how Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi NCR are implementing the ban on burning stubble after harvest.

An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde passed the order while hearing a public interest litigation filed by two environmental activists seeking directions to ensure that the ban is implemented in the northern states.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, who represented the petitioners, said instances of stubble burning are up fivefold this year and suggested a retired apex court judge head a committee to monitor the preventive measures.

The bench, also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, heard Punjab and Haryana on the measures taken, including developing an app to identify a field where stubble was burnt. The bench said citizens of Delhi and NCR should breathe good, clean air.

“We are confident that each measure has been taken by the authorities with the intention of alleviating the problem of pollution. Nonetheless, it is necessary that there must be some monitoring of stubble burning with a view to its prevention before it assumes abnormal proportions," CJI Bobde said.

The top court also directed the chief secretaries of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to provide maximum aid to Justice Lokur to devise additional means and methods for preventing stubble burning in the states.

The bench held that all the authorities, including the Delhi and Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, working on this issue shall report to Justice Lokur.

The bench directed the chief secretaries to help the committee to conduct physical surveillance across Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, and the committee to submit a report fortnightly. The case will be next heard on 26 October.

However, the court clarified, “The different authorities created by the states/Centre shall also be free to carry on their own activities, without feeling muted by the appointment of the committee."

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