The hearing before the Supreme Court on Friday in the case concerning air pollution in Delhi witnessed a brief but interesting exchange between the counsel appearing for State of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Chief Justice of India NV Ramana
When Senior Counsel for Uttar Pradesh said. “Closure of industries may affect sugar cane industries. UP is on down wind, (polluted) air is mostly coming from Pakistan,”
Immediately CJI NV Ramana, responded by asking ” So do you want to ban industries in Pakistan:”
Senior Counsel Ranjit Kumar appearing for UP, told the Bench hearing the case that polluted air in north indian plains is currently coming from Pakistan since UP is in the downward direction of the wind.
He made this submission to highlight that closure of industries in UP might not alleviate the pollution problem but could impact sugar cane industries in the State.
“Closure of industries may affect sugar cane industries. UP is on down wind, air is mostly coming from Pakistan,” he said.
In the Aditya Dubey v. Union of India case Supreme Court was hearing a petition by a 17-year-old Delhi student Aditya Dubey concerning rising levels of air pollution in the national capital.
The Union government and the States of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Union Territory of Delhi are parties to the case. During the previous hearings, the Court had ordered a construction ban in the capital.
During the hearing today, the top court lamented that it has been portrayed as villains by some sections of the media for prompting the closure of schools on account of the air pollution in Delhi.
The Bench which also comprised Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant observed during today’s hearing,
“One thing what we observed is, whether intentional or unintentional, some sections of media portrays us that we are the villains who want to close down the schools. On your own you (Delhi government) opened the schools.. But see today’s newspapers.”
The Union government had earlier informed the Court that a 5-member Enforcement Task Force and 17 flying squads have been constituted to ensure implementation of various measures mandated by the Court and the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (commission) to curb air pollution.
The Court ultimately directed the Union and the Delhi government to implement its orders of December 2. The matter will be taken up next on Friday, December 10.