On Friday, the Supreme Court quashed the plea filed by the Delhi Government on shutting down of 10 thermal Power Plants, in UP, Haryana and Punjab, putting up the pollution level much higher than usual in the Capital territory.
The two Judges bench, comprised of J. RS Reddy and J. Navin Sinha asked the Delhi Government counsel to extract the plea, which was followed accordingly, quashing its PIL (Public Interest Litigation).
The Delhi Government plea was inclusive of a directive to install Fuel Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) devices in 10 Thermal Power Plants in UP, Haryana and Punjab. This device would keep the pollution in the National Territory in Check.
The plea also sought an extension to the deadline for installation of FGD devices, ratifying an order passed by the CPCB ( Central Pollution Control Board), concerning the Thermal Power Plant. Senior Advocate, Colin Gonsalves, appearing as counsel to The Delhi Government narrated how these Thermal Power Plants contribute up to 80 % of sulphates and nitrates and that a systematic control over this should be an earnest concern. “ These are the killer gases”, he added.
Advocate Gonsalves also pointed out the IIT Kanpur Report on high levels of Pollution in Delhi. He further added that by 2019 the FGD should be installed as per the directions of the CPCB. The new deadline is the year, 2022 as suggested by J. Navin Sinha.
Gonsalves asserted that the deadline should be nearer, emphasizing the fact that pollution rates are increasing drastically.
“We are considering whether we entertain this or not. Your case is that the CPCB has made a statement before this court and they are deviating now. You can intervene in that matter and tell the Court,” it added.
When the Counsel asked for its record, the Court replied, “You are seeking mandamus to close down 10 power plants. Your pleadings are completely missing from that aspect. You are seeking mandamus for closure of these powers plants without mentioning in your pleadings. This is contrary to the rule of issuing Mandamus. So are you withdrawing now?”
Thereafter, the Delhi Government Counsel withdrew the PIL from the court.