SC Warns to Initiate Contempt Proceedings Against IIT Bombay for Backing Out of Smog Tower Project

first_imgNews UpdatesSC Warns to Initiate Contempt Proceedings Against IIT Bombay for Backing Out of Smog Tower Project Nilashish Chaudhary29 July 2020 7:35 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed great displeasure upon learning that the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay) had backed out from completing the Smog Tower project which would help Delhi fight its pollution crisis. In December 2019, a Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra directed the Centre and Delhi Government to ensure that a smog tower,…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed great displeasure upon learning that the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay) had backed out from completing the Smog Tower project which would help Delhi fight its pollution crisis. In December 2019, a Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra directed the Centre and Delhi Government to ensure that a smog tower, essentially large air purifiers, was set up in the Connaught Place area of New Delhi to tackle the annual problem faced by the national capital in winters. This was to be done within 3 months, as a pilot project. The concept and technology involved was discussed with a professor of IIT Bombay, who was part of a High-Power Committee looking into various technologies and options to tackle air pollution. Thereafter, the Judges gave IIT Bombay the responsibility to take up the project. While hearing a clutch of matters on issues involving environment protection, the Bench comprising of Justices Mishra, Vineet Saran and MR Shah was informed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that a finalized plan regarding these smog towers would be placed before the Court in 2 weeks’ time. As the hearing proceeded, it was further informed that IIT Bombay had backed out from going ahead with the project, and the Government was now in talks with IIT Delhi and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI). Upon being asked why it would take 2 weeks for a concrete plan to be devised, the Solicitor General stated that “it is a new technology. We are in talks with IIT Delhi and NEERI after IIT Bombay could not do the project.” He added that a letter to this effect had been received from IIT Bombay. Taking strong exception to this, Justice Mishra stated that the Court would take strict action and expressed an inclination to initiate contempt proceedings against the institute. “This is nonsense what IIT is saying. How can IIT get out? We will take strict action against them! How can IIT back out like this? Call the IIT fellow. This is utter nonsense what IIT is doing. This is contempt”, remarked an annoyed Justice Mishra. He sought for representatives of IIT Bombay to be called before them immediately to question them about the letter. “They said they would do the job. How can they back out after 6 months? We will punish them. Tell them we will issue contempt”, continued Justice Mishra. SG Mehta expressed his inability to reach out to anyone from IIT Bombay immediately, and requested the Bench to allow an official to come before Court tomorrow. Mehta also requested time to seek instructions in the matter. Additionally, responding to the Court’s inclination to draw contempt proceedings against IIT, the SG pointed out that the institute was not a party to the case. “Why are you saving IIT? Why are you saving the secretary? They made a representation before us. They gave us assurance that they were doing the work. Now they back out. Is this not contempt?”, replied Justice Mishra. The Bench went on to state that the Solicitor himself should have responded to the letter sent by IIT. “You may not be serious about this issue, but we are”, added Justice Mishra. Assuring the Bench that the Government was serious about the issue, Mehta urged the matter to be taken up tomorrow. Based on this request, the Bench will now take up this matter again tomorrow, July 30, when IIT Bombay must appear before Court and explain why they backed out from doing the project. Noting that “these are delay tactics and violation of court orders”, Justice Mishra recorded in his Order that “we have to proceed against IIT and other authorities. We are not at all happy with the state of affairs.” The Centre, in December, had assured the Court that smog guns and other similar measures would be in place, especially in areas of the national capital where pollution levels are highest. The IIT Bombay Professor, however, had opined that it would not be feasible to set up smog towers before August 2020. Next Storylast_img read more

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Kerala High Court Seeks Response On Plea For Inclusion Of Advocates, Judges In COVID Vaccine Priority Group

first_imgNews UpdatesKerala High Court Seeks Response On Plea For Inclusion Of Advocates, Judges In COVID Vaccine Priority Group Lydia Suzanne Thomas14 May 2021 1:40 AMShare This – xThe Kerala High Court has directed the State Government to respond on a petition seeking that advocates and judicial officers be included in the priority category for vaccination.The matter was mentioned before a Division Bench of Justices Raja Vijayaraghavan and MR Anitha today by Advocate Saiby Jose Kidangoor.Advocate Saiby pointed out that the State of Chhatisgarh had declared lawyers as part of the priority category for vaccination and that the Kerala Government had included media as frontline workers.”The matter is urgent”, Advocate Saiby submittedJustice Raja Vijayaraghavan replied, “There are no vaccines here, what is the point in saying judicial officers and Advocates should be vaccinated. I also want to be vaccinated but what can be done?”Advocate Saiby persisted saying, “Even media is treated as frontline workers….(inaudible) lordship may grant permission””Your Lordship knows, irrespective of the situation, we are supposed to work round the clock.”The lawyer added that the Supreme court’s communication had shown a rise in cases among members of the judiciary and lawyers. Additionally, he pointed out that the situation in Kerala was also alarming.”Like healthworkers we are also supposed to work round-the-clock, irrespective of the situation. That is why I am seeking the preference. Otherwise we are willing to stand in the queue. That is the problem, even in lockdown we are supposed to work,” Advocate Saiby averred. He informed the Court that he had mailed the State Chief Secretary and the Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi, with his request.”If notice goes, we can know if there is a positive step,” he concluded his submission.The Court directed that the matter be posted on Monday, after the State obtained instructions.In the petition, filed by Advocate Benny Antony Parel through Advocates Saiby Jose Kidangoor, K Anand, Sibha S, Parvathy Vijayan, Mohammed Salih P M and T M Muhamed Hafees, the petitioner avers that lawyers are duty bound to meet people, hear their grievances in person, peruse the documents related to the case before placing the same before the respective courts. “Therefore, like the health workers and police, the lawyers also deserved to be treated as Front line workers by the government in the case of Covid Vaccination and treatment for Covid related diseases”, the petitioner argues.The plea therefore seeks these directions -That judicial officers and lawyers be included in the front line category (priority group) for Covid vaccination and other Covid-related treatment on priority basis.That the definition of frontline workers is expanded so that vaccinations are afforded to judicial officers and lawyers on priority basis.In the interim, it is prayed that the Court direct the Centre and State pass appropriate orders on the petitioner’s email representation pending the writ petition’s disposal.TagsVaccine Priority Group COVID Vaccine Priority High Court of Kerala Kerala High Court Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan Justice MR Anitha Next Storylast_img read more

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