Letter Petition In Supreme Court Seeks Mandatory Registration Of Firs Against Persons Involved In Open Waste Burning

SYNOPSIS

One of the major causes of air pollution is burning of waste in the open air. Many of us do not know that such a thing exists. Burning waste un open air is more harmful than one knows. It is something that still happens even after several warnings. This article has put forward the main issue that had happened recently. 

INTRODUCTION

A letter petition (PIL) had been filed in the Supreme Court seeking mandatory registration of FIRs against persons involved in open waste burning or seeking mandatory registration of FIRs against persons involved in open waste burning or such other activities contributing to Air Pollution in the country. 

The representation has been made by the People's Charioteer Organization, through its General Secretary Ankur Azad, alleging that everyday billions of Indians ritually burn garbage, thus intensifying air pollution levels.

It is alleged that even the Municipal authorities burn off the garbage and waste collected at innumerable landfills and dumping grounds across the country, thus releasing mountainous amounts of poisonous and toxic smoke.

FURTHER DETAILS AND COMMENTS

"This is the smoke, which, coupled with the industrial, power plant and other emissions, along with pollutants from construction and other projects accounts for more than 10,00,000 deaths every year from Air Pollution," the Petitioner represented by Advocates Rajesh Inamdar and Shashwat Anand wrote. 

In view of such "morbid effects", the Petitioner has sought a direction upon the Ministry of Home Affairs and all the State Governments, to mandate lodging of FIRs against persons guilty of open waste burning or any such activities contributing to Air Pollution, under Section 15 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, and other relevant provisions of IPC.

Section 15 of the Environment Act prescribes imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both, in case of contravention of the Act.

SOMETHING MORE YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT

Similarly, provisions of Public Nuisance (Section 268, IPC), Negligent Act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life (Section 269, IPC), Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life (Section 270, IPC), Making atmosphere noxious to health (Section 278, IPC), Act endangering life or personal safety of others (Section 336, IPC), Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant (Section 188, IPC), Continuance of nuisance after injunction to discontinue (Section 291, IPC), may be invoked against persons found to be involved in polluting the environment.

The Petitioner has pointed out that the root problem, seemingly, is that people are not aware of their rights and neither are they aware of the fatal dangers of Air Pollution. "There is hardly any awareness on the ground level, and most people in India view Air Pollution as a part of their lives, rather than something which will kill them sooner or later," the Petitioner-organization wrote.

It has therefore sought the following reliefs, in addition to institution of criminal proceedings:

•  Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change be directed to immediately plan and execute a nation-wide programme for the prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution;

•  Ministry of Information and Broadcasting be directed to create mass public awareness by disseminating information in respect of matters related to environmental pollution at fixed timings every-day, through all forms of Media;

•  National Crime Records Bureau be directed to publish data related to 

•  'Crimes Against Environment' or 'Environmental Crimes' under a separate head, delineating offences relating to air, water and land pollution, in its annual reports. 

CONCLUSION

It is concluded that this action should have been done way earlier. This could have lead to lesser environmental problems.

 

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Ishita Desai Online
on 15 December 2020
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