New Delhi: "The government is taking some steps to control pollution. People are dying due to pollution and you are challenging it for publicity," The Supreme Court said today and refused to urgently hear a petition challenging the Delhi government's odd-even scheme.
Terming the petition as a "publicity stunt", a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur, who is himself carpooling to court with brother judges, said,"There is no urgency in the matter" and ruled the matter will come up in due course.
While noting that even judges were commuting to courts using carpools, the bench, also comprising justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi, said such petitions are meant to frustrate efforts to bring down pollution and warned it may impose "heavy cost" on the petitioner.
"You see, we are doing carpooling, but you are not helping," the court said.
The Supreme Court, however, said it will ask authorities like Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to augment public transport system to ensure people do not face difficulty.
The observations came when the petition by B Badrinath challenging the odd-even scheme, which has been upheld by the High Court, was mentioned for urgent hearing before the bench.
The High Court had on January 11 refused to interfere with the AAP government's decision to implement the road rationing scheme, noting the restrictions under it will be in force only till January 15.
It had said though the implementation of the scheme may have caused hardship to a section of society, "power of judicial review cannot be extended to determine correctness of such policy decision".
In December last year, the apex court had passed a slew of directions to curb pollution in the national capital, including a ban on registration of diesel-run sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and high-end private cars with engine apacity of 2000 CC and above in Delhi and the National Capital Region till March 31, 2016.
It had also directed 100 per cent hike in the Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) being levied on light and heavy commercial vehicles entering Delhi, saying its directions were aimed at "mitigating hardship" of residents of Delhi "that has earned it the dubious reputation of being the most polluted city in the world."