The Central government on Monday assured the Supreme Court of India that they are going to create a permanent body through legislation to battle air pollution in Delhi and surrounding states. After the assurance from the Centre, the Supreme Court suspended the appointment of the committee for monitoring stubble burning. A bench of three-judge headed by CJI SA Bobde kept its order from October 16 “in abeyance”.
Retired judge of topmost court Madan B Lokur was appointed as the head of the committee formed for stubble burning issue. The center’s request to reconsider the appointment of the committee had been turned down by the bench. Tushar Mehta, Solicitor-general told the court that law for stubble burning will be introduced through the mode of an ordinance in three to four days. He quoted, “The Centre has taken a holistic view of the matter, and now a comprehensive law is being planned with a permanent body with the participation of neighboring states.”
The Supreme court noted that there can be a conflict of perception between our committee and what the Union government is contemplating. CJI welcomed the center’s decision to create the law for stubble burning.
On October 16, the Supreme Court had ordered that all state authorities and the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority will report to Justice Lokur-led committee. The order also stated that groups such as Bharat Scouts, National Cadet Corps, and Guides and National Service Scheme could be deployed to carry out physical surveillance of fields where the possibilities of stubble burning seem to be high.
The bench also noted that the state of Punjab & Haryana had taken adequate steps to control stubble burning. But the court also said that more preventive steps were needed to control stubble burning. Punjab and Haryana had submitted the affidavit in the court where they informed that they had developed a mobile application that will help identify and notify the field where stubble burning took place.