Published: 02nd December 2021
Supreme Court slams Delhi govt for reopening schools amidst severe pollution, while allowing WFH for adults
While hearing a plea by a 17-year-old Delhi student, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said that the court will appoint an authority to oversee the government's air pollution controlling measures
The Supreme Court, on December 2, slammed the Delhi government for reopening schools in the backdrop of severe air pollution in the national capital. The top court said that the Delhi government had offered work-for-home for adults, but children are being made to attend schools.The Bench — which included the CJI himself along with Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant — questioned senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi government, "You have implemented work from home for adults. So, parents work from home and children have to go to school. What's this?"
The Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said that the court will appoint an authority to oversee the government's air pollution controlling measures. The special bench was hearing a plea by a 17-year-old Delhi student in connection with severe air pollution in the capital.
CJI Ramana said that the Delhi government made several claims that they are willing to even impose lockdown and other measures to curb pollution, but all schools are open and children who are as little as three to four year-olds are going to school — when the air quality index is extremely poor.
In reference to the Delhi government's awareness campaign 'Red light on, gaadi off', Justice Kant said that poor young boys are standing in the middle of the road with banners and questioned the government as to who's taking care of their health. Justice Kant said, "For publicity? A young boy standing in the middle of the road with a banner in hand."
Meanwhile, CJI Ramana said, "We are concerned with the implementation of our orders...we do not want affidavits." Singhvi pointed at the dust emanating from the ongoing construction activity at the Central Vista project. The bench emphasised that it wants action to control dust pollution.