STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH Vs. CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
LAWS(SC)-2020-8-37
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on August 28,2020

STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH Appellant
VERSUS
Centre For Environment Protection Research And Development Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

M. C. MEHTA VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]
N D JAYAL VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]



Cited Judgements :-

S. RUKMINI MADEGOWDA VS. STATE ELECTION COMMISSION [LAWS(SC)-2022-9-64] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

INDIRA BANERJEE, J. - (1.)These appeals filed by the State of Madhya Pradesh, are against an order dated 21st April, 2015 passed by the National Green Tribunal, Central Zonal Bench, Bhopal, allowing Original Application No. 1/2013 (CZ) filed by the Respondents and directing that motor vehicles not complying with the requirement of displaying a valid "Pollution Under Control" (PUC) Certificate would suffer the consequence of suspension and/or revocation of the Registration Certificate of the vehicle, and would also not be provided with fuel by any dealer or petrol pump, as well as an order dated 3rd August, 2015 rejecting the application filed by the appellant for review of the said order dated 21st April, 2015, being the Miscellaneous Application No.394 of 2015, but granting the appellant a further period of sixty days for compliance of the order under review on condition of the appellant making a deposit of Rs.25 crores with the Registrar of the Tribunal within a week from the order dated 3rd August, 2015, by way of security for compliance with the order, failing which the security deposit would be utilized for environmental needs under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.
(2.)(1). On or about 21st July, 2003, the Respondents filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) being Writ Petition No.1341 of 2003 before the Indore Bench of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, seeking directions on the appellant and other concerned authorities impleaded as respondents, to take immediate steps to stop the plying of motor vehicles which did not conform to pollution control norms, on the roads of Indore, and other consequential orders.
(2) By an order dated 3rd January, 2013 the High Court transferred the aforesaid writ petition to the Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal, Delhi and the same was re-numbered as Original Application No.73 of 2012.

(3) Sometime in March 2013, the Principal Bench, National Green Tribunal, Delhi transferred O.A. No.73 of 2012 to the Central Zonal Bench of the National Green Tribunal at Bhopal and the same was re-numbered as O.A. No.1/2013. The Original Application No.01/2013 was taken up for hearing on 21st April, 2015.

On the same day, that is, 21st April, 2015. National Green Tribunal, Central Zonal Bench, Bhopal, hereinafter referred to as the learned Tribunal, passed an order noting that the mandatory requirement of Rule 115 read with Rule 116 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 for motor vehicles to display a valid PUC Certificate was not being implemented. The learned Tribunal did not find the reasons given by the Appellant State for its inability to effectively enforce Rule 115 read with Rule 116 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules satisfactory, including the reason that most of the pollution checking centres were not in working order and more centres authorized to issue PUC Certificates were required to be set up.

(4) The learned Tribunal held that it was the responsibility of the State and its Transport Department to ensure compliance of the Rules and directed that the vehicles not complying with pollution norms and not possessing a valid PUC Certificate would have to suffer the consequence of suspension and/or revocation of the Registration Certificate of the vehicle. The learned Tribunal also held that a vehicle not displaying a valid PUC Certificate could not be provided with fuel by any dealer or petrol pump. The appellant State Government was directed to take necessary steps in this regard by issuing necessary orders, instructions and/or directions within 31st July, 2015 and to give wide publicity to such orders, instructions, and/or directions. The matter was directed to be listed on 3rd August 2015 for reporting compliance.

(3.)As stated above, an application filed by the Appellant being M.A. No. 394/2015, for review of the said order dated 21.4.2015 has also been rejected by the order dated 3.8.2015, also under appeal before this Court. The appellant had, by the aforesaid order dated 3.8.2015, been granted further 60 days for compliance with the order under review, on condition of deposit, within a week from the date of the said order, an amount of Rs.25 crores by way of security for compliance with the said order, failing which the security deposit would be utilised for environmental needs under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.
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