National Green Tribunal (NGT): The Bench comprising of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chairperson and Justice S.P. Wangdi, Justice K. Ramakrishnan; Judicial Members and Dr Nagin Nanda, Executive Member addressed an issue in regard to non-compliance of the Supreme Court Judgment in M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, (2004) 6 SCC 588, pertaining to:

“directing shifting/closing of industrial activities falling under category ‘F’ of the Master Plan of Delhi, 2001.”

Several petitions were filed in the High Court of Delhi which portrayed the issue of inaction of the authorities and alleging that unauthorized industrial activities which included handling of plastic and its illegal disposal by way of burning, etc. were continuing till date.

NGT had dealt with the matter by way of final order dated 12-12-2013 noting that environmental degradation and havoc was being caused by unscientific handling of plastic on the environment.

Further, it was noted that in spite of lapse of more than 14 years after the Supreme Court’s order and more than 4 and half years after the order of NGT Bench, when the matter was reviewed on 20-07-2018, Tribunal found that unregulated handling of plastic continued unabated.

NGT directed Chief Secretary, Delhi to co-ordinate with authorities concerned and ensure compliance of directions of Tribunal at ground level. Further, he was also directed to indicate persons accountable for their failure against whom appropriate penal action could be taken.

The matter was reviewed on 03-12-2018 and yet again it was noted the continued violation of Supreme Court’s order by unregulated handling of plastic and burning thereof. Tribunal directed the Delhi Government to deposit a sum of Rs 25 Crores towards the cost of damage to the environment and furnish performance guarantee in the like amount with the CPCB, if failure continued, Delhi Government will be liable to pay Rs 10 Crore per month as a coercive measure for compliance of the NGT’s Order.

CPCB’s report indicated that the Delhi Government has not deposited the amount.

Tribunal noted repeated inaction against polluters especially in the context of Delhi that has taken place. Therefore, the Bench stated that the last opportunity is being given to the Delhi Government to deposit amount and furnish the performance guarantee as earlier directed and comply with the Supreme Court’s order and tribunal’s previous and present order.

The hearing for the consideration of the case is listed to be on 05-08-2019. [Satish Kumar v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine NGT 135, decided on 18-07-2019]

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