NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has sought a response from all state governments on a contempt petition over non-compliance of its September 2017 direction to the executive in all the states to frame appropriate guidelines or recruitment rules for the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) within a deadline of six months.
Citing issues of environmental degradation and air pollution, the plea filed by Lucknow-based advocateAmitabh Srivastava, through advocate Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi, contended that “With this couldn’t-care-less attitude, the environment and public trust are the immediate casualties. It is unlikely that with such an attitude, any substantive effort can be made to tackle the issues of environment degradation and issues of pollution.”
A bench comprising Justices Vineet Saran and S. Ravindra Bhat said: “Issue notice. Liberty is granted to serve the learned Standing Counsel for the respective states.”
The plea contended that state governments have intentionally and wilfully flouted the time-bound directions of the top court, while wholly disregarding the importance of the environment and the laws emanating from the Constitution to safeguard and protect it.
“If an order passed by a competent court is clear and unambiguous and not capable of more than one interpretation, disobedience or breach of such order would amount to contempt of court. There can be no laxity in such a situation because otherwise the court orders would become the subject of mockery,” said the plea.
The petitioner argued that the states have deliberately committed contempt of court, and cited that he had sent the judgment through registered post on September 17, 2020, urging implementation of the order in a time-bound manner, but it went in vain.
“In case the response to the present contempt petition is filed on or before January 29, 2021, the personal presence of the alleged contemnors shall stand dispensed with. Rejoinder, if any, be filed on or before February 5. The matter be listed on February 8 for final disposal”, said the top court in its order.