- Debates on TV are creating more pollution than anybody, CJI NV Ramana said.
- Kejriwal govt has shut schools, banned entry of vehicles carrying non-essential goods.
- The BJP has accused Kejriwal govt of doing politics over pollution in Delhi.
Hearing a plea in connection with Delhi's worsening air pollution, the Supreme Court on Wednesday came down heavily on the Centre. Hearing the case, Justice Surya Kant today said those sitting in 5 stars in Delhi keep blaming farmers for rising air pollution in the national capital.
"What it's seeing is the plight of farmers. People sitting in Delhi in 5, 7-star hotels criticise how they contribute 4, 30, or 40 per cent to pollution. Have you seen their (farmers) earning per landholding? CJI says we ignore the fact that firecrackers are burning despite the ban?" the Supreme Court said today.
The top court also responded to the submission of senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi government, that stubble burning was one of the contributors of the air pollution which needs to be addressed and referred to the Centre's figures on the issue.
Debates on TV news channels are causing more pollution than anybody with statements made in the court being taken out of context, the Supreme Court said today.
A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana said everyone has their own agenda and statements are taken out of context in these debates.
"You want to use some issue, make us observe and then make it controversial, and then only blame games will remain..," observed the bench also comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant.
"Debates on TV are creating more pollution than anybody. They don't understand what is happening and what is the issue. Statements are taken out of context. Everyone has their own agenda. We can't help and we can't control. We are focussing on working out the solution," it said.
"I watched some irresponsible and nasty utterances on TV media against me that I misled the court on the question of stubble burning by showing that its contribution is only 4 to 7 per cent. Let me clarify," the court said.
At the beginning of the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana, that the Centre did not mislead the court on the exact contribution of stubble burning, 4 per cent in winters and 7 per cent in summers, and data in the report was on an annual average basis. Mehta said some nasty statements were made in TV studios in connection with figures related to the stubble burning.
The bench, also comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant, however, made it clear that it has not been misled.
The bench said: "We were not misled at all. You said 10 per cent but it was pointed out in the affidavit that it was 30 to 40 per cent (in the annexure)..."
The Chief Justice said, "These kinds of criticisms keep happening. Our conscience is clear and we work for public interest..." He further added that "Debates on TV are creating more pollution than everyone else...We must focus on working out a resolution."
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Delhi government, argued on Centre's figures on crop stubble burning by farmers, in connection with air pollution in the national capital.
Singhvi added that the Centre's figures on stubble burning contribution to the air pollution, says that it varies from 0 to 58 per cent. He added, "Possibly Mr. Mehta has taken a four- or six-month average (to arrive at the annual figures)."
The Chief Justice said the top court is focussing on steps to bring down the air pollution, and told Singhvi not to raise the stubble burning issue again and again, and rather focus on steps the Delhi government proposes to curb air pollution.
Singhvi said: "We are not blaming anyone... both are Centre's figures."
The bench reiterated that it is not inclined to penalise the farmers and the state governments should persuade them to stop stubble burning.
The bench pointed out that nobody understands the plight of the farmers.
The top court is hearing a case filed by a 17-year-old Delhi student relating to air pollution in Delhi and adjoining areas due to stubble burning.