New Delhi, Dec 3 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today expressed its disappointment at the reporting carried out by certain segments of the press, depicting the Court as villain for its role in the closure of schools on account of the air pollution in Delhi.
“One thing what we observed is, whether intentional or unintentional, some sections of
media portray us that we are the villains who want to close down the schools. On your own you (Delhi government) opened the schools. But see today’s newspapers.” Observed the court.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justice DY Chandrachud and
Justice Surya Kant was hearing a petition filed by Aditya Dubey a 17-year-old student from
Delhi who had approached the apex court aggrieved by the deteriorating air quality in Delhi and NCR.
On Thursday, Rajesh Kumar, Director, Commission for Air quality had filed an affidavit
stating that Constitution of Enforcement Task Force and empowering the Enforcement Task
Force to exercise powers of taking punitive and preventive measures against non-
compliant/defaulting persons/ entities.
Increase in the number of flying squads to 40 within 24 hours, which have been
operational since December 2 conducting surprise checks.
Industrial Operations in NCR not running on PNG or cleaner gases would be allowed
to function 8 hours a day on weekdays and have been barred from functioning on
Saturday and Sunday.
Out of 11 thermal power plants within the radius of 300 Kilometer of Delhi, only 5
have been permitted to be operational till at least December 15.
All Schools and Colleges in NCR shall remained closed till further orders, allowing
only virtual classes, except for purpose of conducting examinations and lab practical
Entry of Trucks in Delhi shall not be permitted except for CNG, Electric Trucks and
Trucks carrying essential commodities.
On the issue of reporting by certain sections of Media Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu
Singhvi, appearing on the behalf of the Delhi government, said, that the coverage by The Indian Express stated, “That is my complaint too. You must put the blame where it is. Today, one newspaper has conveyed in particular that the hearing was an aggressive combat and Court started to take up the administrative duty.”
“You can condemn all of this but where do we go? Where have we said we will take up
administrative role?…………. We cannot interfere with freedom of speech and expression
and you are from a political party and can hold a press conference, but we cannot do so.”
Replied CJI Ramana.
“On judicial infrastructure issue, we suggested if we can have a national body so that
something constructive can be done…but what we say in court is twisted and it was stated
that High Courts have to go with begging bowls.. when did we say that?” added Justice
At this point Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to the amusement of the bench and the arguing advocates stated: “Mark Twain had said if you don’t read newspapers, you are uninformed, and if you read them, then you are ill-informed.”
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh appearing on the behalf of the petitioner questioned the
government on not bring solar power plants and charging points for e-vehicles in Delhi.
Senior Advocate Ranjit Kumar appearing for the State of Uttar Pradesh expressed his
concern for industries such as milk and Sugar.
The Court kept the matter open and listed it for further hearing on December 10./ILNS/KR/SNG/