New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Monday informed the Supreme Court that the Centre has taken a holistic view of the issue of air pollution in Delhi NCR, which also includes pollution due to stubble burning, and it intends to bring out a legislation in next three to four days to tackle this issue.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde told Mehta, representing the Centre, it welcomes the Centre’s decision to establish a body to address the menace of air pollution. “Everybody is choking in the city, it must be curbed”, said the Chief Justice citing the menace of air pollution in the national capital.
Mehta replied the Centre will come out with the legislation in three to four days and the government is keen to establish a permanent body of experts to address air pollution.
“We can come out with the legislation in three to four days”, submitted Mehta, insisting that the top court should keep its earlier order, which directed formation of a panel headed by retired judge Justice Madan B. Lokur to monitor steps taken to curb the stubble burning issue in the neighbouring states of Delhi, in abeyance.
The top court reiterated that it welcomes this step by the Centre, in which it will create a permanent body by enacting a legislation to deal with the annual air pollution problem, which includes pollution from stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
The bench asked the counsels opposing this submission by Mehta saying that why must the court interfere if the Centre intends to bring out a comprehensive legislation to tackle air pollution.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing the petitioner who filed PIL to address stubble burning, contended before the bench, “I don’t understand the interest of Union of India in getting the order suspended.”
Mehta reiterated that the legislation will be brought within 3-4 days.
After a detailed hearing in the matter, the top court agreed to keeps in abeyance it’s order of appointing Justice Lokur as one-man commission to monitor steps to prevent stubble burning. The top court is likely to hear the matter again on Thursday this week.