The Bench of Justices D. Y. Chandrachud and M. R. Shah observed on Friday that Commissioner I S Chahal need not be present in person before the tribunal, as ordered by NGT.
The apex court added that since corporation and officials are engaged in controlling the pandemic, they should be given reasonable time to file compliance. The SC further asked the NGT not to initiate coercive action against the commissioner.
However, it refused to stay the NGT proceedings in the matter of discharge of untreated sewage in sea and water bodies. On July 16, during the hearing of the case, taking note of delays in implementation of the sewage disposal plan in Mumbai, the NGT had directed Mr Chahal to appear before the tribunal in person. It had also asked the BMC why coercive action should not be taken against the Corporation for non-compliance of the tribunal’s order.
Following this, the BMC moved the SC, seeking relief against the NGT order. On Friday, the apex court directed the BMC and the municipal commissioner to submit an affidavit, indicating steps to be taken by the corporation to comply with the tribunal orders within a fortnight on sewage treatment.
Reasonable time should be given to MCGM and the municipal commissioner to apprise the tribunal of the steps taken,” read the SC order.
The SC, however, raised concerns on sea pollution, calling it a “very serious issue” and directed the BMC to comply with the NGT orders on upgradation of sewage treatment facilities.
The NGT order to the BMC came after NGO Vanshakti had moved an execution application, seeking directions to implement the tribunal’s judgment.