SC refuses urgent hearing of plea challenging odd-even scheme
New Delhi : The Supreme Court today refused urgent hearing of a petition challenging the AAP government’s notification on odd-even scheme to curb pollution in the city and the subsequent Delhi High Court decision which upheld it.
Terming the petition as a “publicity stunt”, a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said, “There is no urgency in the matter. Let it come up in due course.”
“The government is taking some step to control the pollution. People are dying due to pollution and you are challenging it for publicity,” the bench, also comprising justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi, said.
The CJI also said that even judges are doing car pooling and such type of petitions are meant to frustrate the effort, it said, adding that it may impose “heavy cost”.
“You see, we are doing car pooling, but you are not helping,” the court said.
The court, however, said that it will ask authorities like DMRC to augment public transport system to ensure that the public does not face difficulty.
The observations came when the petition, field by B Badrinath, was mentioned for urgent hearing before the bench.
The High Court had on January 11 refused to interfere with the AAP government’s scheme, observing that restrictions under the scheme were only till January 15.
It had said that 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 levels in the national capital, including ban on registration of diesel-run sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and high-end private cars with engine capacity of 2000 CC and above in Delhi and National Capital Region till March 31, 2016.
It had also directed 100 per cent hike of the Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) being levied on light and heavy commercial vehicles entering Delhi, saying that its directions were aimed at “mitigating hardship” of residents of Delhi “that has earned to it the dubious reputation of being the most polluted city in the world.”