The Supreme Court has issued bailable warrants against the chairman of the apex pollution monitoring body after he failed to appear and apprise it about the steps taken to prevent death of workers due to silicosis in Gujarat.
“Despite service of notice on the Chairman of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), there is neither any personal appearance nor any appearance through the counsel requesting exemption from personal appearance.
“In that view of the matter, issue bailable warrants for securing the presence of the Chairman of the Central Pollution Control Board on the next date of hearing,” a bench comprising justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman said.
The matter is now fixed for next hearing on June 30.
On May 4, the apex court had directed Gujarat government to provide within a month compensation of Rs 3 lakh each to the kin of the 238 deceased and also deposit an amount of Rs 2 lakh each in their names as fixed deposits.
“The distribution will be made by the District Collectors of Jhabua and Alirajpur Districts of Madhya Pradesh. In order to facilitate the District Collectors to make the payment as above, the Chief Secretary of the State of Gujarat shall transfer Rs 3 lakh each in respect of the 238 deceased in favour of the District Collectors of Jhabua and Alirajpur,” the bench had said.
On February 19, the apex court had directed CPCB to file an affidavit within four weeks on the action taken on the suggestions on spreading of silicosis disease due to pollution from quartz industries located in Godhra.
The court’s direction came while hearing a plea by an NGO seeking compensation and rehabilitation of tribals workers belonging to Madhya Pradesh who had developed silicosis while working in crushing factories in Gujarat.
In 2010, the National Human Rights Commission had ordered Gujarat government to pay compensation of up to Rs 3 lakh to 238 silicosis affected workers after noting that “Gujarat did not act in the manner in which it was expected to discharge their constitutional obligation of protecting the lives of workers, who died due to Silicosis.
( PTI )