SC issues bailable warrants against CPCB Chairman

Central_Pollution_Control_BoardThe 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 )

NGT bailable warrants against sr U’khand officials

NGT bailable warrants against sr U'khand officials
NGT bailable warrants against sr U’khand officials

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued bailable warrants against Environment Secretary of Uttarakhand government and other senior officials, including district magistrate of Nainital, for their failure to comply with its directions passed earlier.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar slammed the Uttarakhand government observing that it needs to show “greater seriousness and carry out orders of the tribunal with sincerity and effectiveness”.

The tribunal had on December 10 last year passed a slew of directions, including constitution of a committee to submit a comprehensive action plan on the issue of pollution of river Kosi in Nainital due to discharge of sewage, waste water and domestic effluents.

While issuing bailable warrants, the bench noted that the committee was directed to file a report within three months but neither any report was filed nor anybody appeared before it on behalf of the panel or Uttarakhand government.

“Execution of the orders of the tribunal is essence of environmental justice and the person, particularly authorities who do not carry out the directions not only are liable for disobedience but are also responsible for causing pollution and degradation of environment and ecology of the area,” the bench said.

“As there is no compliance of the orders passed by the tribunal, consequently, we issue bailable warrants against Secretary of Environment, State of Uttarakhand, CEO of Pay Jal Nigam and Pay Jal Sansthan, District Magistrate (Nainital) and Member Secretary of Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board in the sum of Rs 10,000 each to the satisfaction of the arresting officer….,” it said and posted the matter for July 4.

The green panel said the issue relates to a serious matter of dealing with sewage that was generated in various towns and one of the fundamental source of pollution of river Ganga was discharge of untreated sewage into it.

“If this is the attitude which the state of Uttarakhand proposes to deal with the matters of such serious source of environment, much need to be said as well as appropriate actions are required to be taken against the concerned authorities, since the records are necessary to be produced,” it said.

The bench also said these officials would also “show cause as to why costs for adjournments of the cases be not imposed personally upon the above officers and recovered from their salaries.

( Source – PTI )

Bailable warrants against 12 medical superintendents

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued bailable warrants against medical superintendents of 12 hospitals in Delhi for failing to appear before it on a plea seeking implementation of rainwater harvesting systems. These hospitals had “incorrectly claimed” that they had installed rainwater harvesting systems. The NGT bench issued bailable warrants “in the sum of Rs 10,000” against the medical superintendents and directors of the hospitals. These are Shanti Mukund Hospital, Metro Hospital and Cancer Institute, Sundar Lal Jain Charitable Hospital, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Rockland Hospital, MGS Super Specialty Hospital, Bensups Hospital, City Hospital, Deepak Memorial Hospital and Kukreja Hospital and Heart Centre. In its order, the NGT said, “These hospitals incorrectly claimed that they had installed rainwater harvesting systems and that the systems were functioning effectively.” On inspection, these claims were found to be untrue, resulting in “issuance of showcause notices to which they have not responded”. The NGT also issued showcause notice to the hospitals asking them why they should not be directed to pay compensation for polluting groundwater and not complying with the laws. The NGT has ordered that the inspection report regarding all government hospitals be filed by the next date of hearing. The same team, along with a member of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board or the UP State Pollution Control Board, will also inspect hotels, malls or buildings in Delhi-NCR. The tribunal was hearing a plea by Vikrant Kumar Tongad, which had sought directions to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to “install proper rainwater harvesting system” at all its existing as well as proposed and under-construction stations, tracks and depots. Tongad had submitted that if rainwater harvesting system is properly installed at all stations, tracks and depots of DMRC, about 6.37 crore litre of water can be saved.