New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to ensure there is no smog in Delhi and the National Capital Region even as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said a Commission set up to deal with it has just started functioning.
"There are already many commissions, many brains working but ensure that there is no smog in the city," observed Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde heading a 3-judge Bench.
He also objected to the punishment prescribed in an Ordinance issued on October 25 constituting the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region (NCR) and adjoining areas. "Grade offences. Every offence cannot have (punishment) of five years jail or Rs 1 crore fine," he said.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for a petitioner, told the Court that the Commission was meant to deal with the health problems caused by the severe air pollution but it has no member at all from the Health Ministry. He said the condition in Delhi was akin to "public health emergency" that requires drastic measures to tackle the air pollution.
The CJI told him that the case will be taken up after Diwali. Friday was the last day of the court before it proceeds on a week's Diwali holiday. The CJI said he had put responsibility on the Centre since it is the body "with money and resources."
"We have certain limitations and we are not abdicating our responsibility. Let solicitor general take the steps," the CJI added. Vikas Singh said by the time court reopens after Diwali break, the situation will only deteriorate.