New Delhi: The Centre has issued a new law, creating air pollution an offence with a jail term, which can go as long as 5 years and a fine up to Rs 1 crore. The rule was given on Wednesday night after the permission of the President.
Prior, this week Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, during the hearing of a PIL looking for the prohibition on stubble burning, had educated the Supreme Court that the Centre will sanction a law to battle the danger of air pollution in Delhi-NCR, and encouraged the court to maintain its order of a one-man board of former apex court judge Justice Madan B. Lokur in abeyance to observe steps to contain stubble burning. Later in the day, the top court is scheduled to hear this PIL.
As per the ordinance, a Commission for Air Quality Management will be set up for the National Capital Region (NCR) and connecting zones in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The ordinance stated: “Any non-compliance of this Ordinance creating air pollution, rules made thereunder or any other order or direction issued by the Commission shall be an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to five years or with fine which may extend up to one crore rupees or with both.”
The executive of the Commission will be chosen by a panel led by minister for the environment and forest and it will furthermore include ministers for transport and commerce, science and technology just as Cabinet secretary, as members.
The 18-member Commission will be led by a full-time administrator who has been a secretary to the government of India or Chief Secretary of a state. Out of the 18 individuals, 10 will be bureaucrats while others are specialists and activists.
The Commission will investigate issues of stubble burning, vehicular pollution, dust pollution and every single other factor, which contribute towards the deteriorating the quality of air in Delhi-NCR.
One of the significant parts of the commission is that Centre has proposed to supplant the Supreme Court-appointed EPCA and all different bodies with it, which will make this Commission a selective authority in air quality management for Delhi-NCR, and it submit yearly reports to Parliament.
The commission will be a central body for all reasons.
Orders of the Commission can be questioned only before National Green Tribunal and in no civil court.