Silicosis deaths: SC stays warrant against CPCB head

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Silicosis deaths: SC stays warrant against CPCB head
Silicosis deaths: SC stays warrant against CPCB head

The Supreme Court today stayed the operation of its bailable warrants issued against the Chairman of apex pollution control board CPCB after he had failed to appear and apprise it about the steps taken to prevent death of workers due to silicosis in Gujarat.

A vacation bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy agreed to stay the earlier order when Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for IAS officer Arun Kumar Mehta, Chairman of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), apologized on behalf of the panel head for his non- appearance before the apex court.

“We are allowing the prayer and he is directed to appear before the court on date fixed that is June 30,” the court said.

The court had on May 20 put the plea of the CPCB Chairperson for hearing today.

The apex court, however, had said that it cannot stay the order (issuing bailable warrant) passed by the regular bench.

Before summer vacation, a bench of justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman had issued bailable warrants against the CPCB Chairman after taking note of his non-appearance before it in the case.

“Despite service of notice on the Chairman of the 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 CPCB on the next date of hearing,” it had said while fixing the matter for hearing on June 30.

In February, the court had asked the CPCB to apprise it of steps taken to prevent the disease and to provide workers a dignified and safe working environment.

It had also sought CPCB’s response to a detailed report filed in the court on causes of the disease and the safeguards

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.

( Source – PTI )

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