SC appoints one-man committee to counter stubble burning issue

In a significant move to control the air pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR), the Supreme Court (SC) of India appoints a one-man panel headed by a former SC judge, Justice Madan B Lokur. As per the apex court’s directions, a wide range of powers to direct the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh rest with Lokur enabling him to take various additional measures to control stubble burning.

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Stubble Burning IssueThe SC bench headed by Chief Justice A Bobde and comprising of Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, directed the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) and the chief secretaries of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to assist the Lokur panel in physically surveilling the areas where stubble burning is being done.

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The decision for constituting a one-man panel was taken as a suggestion from a senior advocate Vikas Singh. Singh was representing a petitioner, Aditya Dubey, who raised the concerns regarding the air pollution issue and demanded that a former justice from the apex court who is well aware of the issue should see over the fight against pollution. “We, accordingly, accept the suggestion and appoint Justice Madan Lokur, a former Judge of this Court to act as the one-man Monitoring Committee to monitor the measures taken by the States to prevent stubble burning”, stated the SC bench.

Further, the Chief Justice-led bench directed the committee to submit a fortnightly report to the Supreme Court initially or as when found necessary. The apex court also directed the EPCA to provide complete assistance to the one-man committee as and when required.

Also Read: Delhi wakes up to poor air, AQI reaches 298

The SC added, “The object of appointing a Committee is more to facilitate and coordinate the activities of different authorities so that the problem is resolved. The different authorities created by the States/ Centre, shall also be free to carry on their own activities, without feeling muted by the appointment of the Committee”.

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