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Top Court Warns IIT Bombay: "This Is Total Nonsense,Will Punish"
"I can't tolerate this nonsense. We will punish IIT Bombay and other authorities for delaying court orders"
Top Court Warns IIT Bombay: "This Is Total Nonsense, Will Punish"
New Delhi: On Wednesday afternoon in a dramatic hearing, the Supreme Court warned IIT Bombay if contempt proceeding it is carried through its intention to withdraw from the government project to install the "smog tower" to control air pollution in the national capital.
In harshly worded rebuke the Top Court said that it would "punish" the institution for the backing out of the project six months after the site visit by IIT Bombay and the Tata Projects Ltd officials and the draft MoU MoU was drawn up by the CPCB (central pollution control board) in January.
"I can't tolerate this nonsense. We will punish IIT Bombay and other authorities for delaying court orders. How can they back out after six months? How can they back out from a government project? I will draw up contempt case against them," Justice Arun Mishra said.
Then Justice Mishra tore to helpless Solicitor General, first demanding that he confer with and also provide a reply from, IIT Bombay, firstly within 30 minutes and then in 15 minutes, before finally back-pedaling and allowing the matter to be listed tomorrow.
"Call IIT Bombay and we will hear within half an hour," the court said, to which Mr. Mehta replied: "How will IIT Bombay come now? I don't know anyone there".
A relentless Justice Mishra then said: "This is total nonsense. We will give you 15 minutes".
"I cannot in 15 minutes. Give me 24 hours. Nothing will change in 24 hours. Your lordship, please put yourself in my position," the Solicitor General pleaded.
"Then we will issue contempt. Why did not you reply to the letter by IIT Bombay? Why are you saving IIT Bombay? No, no, no, you cannot do this. IIT Bombay is already in contempt and now they are backing out from assurances also," a furious Justice Mishra said.
The court eventually declaring itself "not at all happy with the states of affairs "as per Solicitor General's request, let the matter be listed tomorrow".
Earlier the Solicitor General had informed the court that despite letters being written IIT Bombay backed out of the project and the government was in talks with IIT Delhi and NEERI.
On July 14 IIT Bombay had written an email in which the institution said that it would not be able to accept conditions laid down in the Mou.
The email came a day before the meeting was convened by the ministry to discuss with IIT Bombay and CPCB officials, the issues connected with the project.
Last year in December the supreme court gave the center and the Delhi government three months to set up a smog tower at Delhi's Connaught Place. At that time the center filed an affidavit saying it would take at least six months to set a tower up under a pilot project.
According to news agency PTI, funds amounting to Rs 18.52 crore have been sanctioned for the project.
(With Inputs from PTI)