Supreme Court warns IIT Bombay of contempt action for backing out of project after six months
Supreme Court warns IIT Bombay of contempt action for backing out of project after six months
PTI (File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday warned Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay of contempt proceedings after learning that it has backed out of a court-ordered project to install smog tower to control air pollution in the national capital.

During the hearing Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the government and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), told the top court that IIT Bombay has backed out from the project and that the government is now in talks with IIT Delhi and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).

Justice Arun Mishra took strong objection of IIT Bombay opting out of the experimental project and asked Mehta, "Is this a child's game? We will not tolerate this non-sense. Talk to the IIT persons now." "How can they back out from a government project? We will draw contempt against them (IIT Bombay). What is this nonsense? They cannot withdraw from the project like this. How can they back out from the Central government after this court passed orders? We will punish IIT Bombay. How can they back out after six months?" added Justice Mishra.

The Bench also said it has to proceed against IIT Bombay and other authorities for delaying the order of the court.

Posting the matter for hearing on Thursday, "We are not at all happy with the state of affairs. As per Solicitor General's request, let the matter be listed tomorrow".

Smog towers are structures designed as large-scale air purifiers to reduce pollution particles in surrounding areas.

Last week, the court had given the Centre seven days to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the premium institution to install the tower.

The Bench in December last year had granted three months to the Centre and the Delhi government to set up a smog tower in Delhi to deal with air pollution.

Before passing the order the judges had discussed the issue with an IIT Bombay Professor, who is part of the high-level committee examining various technologies.

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