I am not a sophisticated speaker, don’t have good English for expressing words: CJI Ramana
New Delhi: Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Saturday said he is not a sophisticated speaker and learnt English in Class 8. The comment was in response to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s clarification that he was not even remotely suggesting that only farmers are responsible for air pollution in the Delhi-NCR region.
“Unfortunately I am not a sophisticated speaker. This is my drawback as I learnt English in Class 8. I don’t have good English for expressing words. I studied law in the English language,” the chief justice told Mehta, who was appearing for the Centre.
“The language in which our response as lawyers is taken might send the wrong message which was not the intention,” Mehta had said.
He said he too had learnt his English in Class 8 and studied till graduation in Gujarati medium.
“We are sailing in the same boat. My law was in English medium,” Mehta said.
The apex court has termed the rise in air pollution in the Delhi-NCR region an “emergency” and asked the Centre and the Delhi government to take immediate measures to improve air quality, suggesting steps such as stopping vehicles and clamping a lockdown in the national capital.
“We want the pollution to decrease ultimately. Nothing else,” the chief justice said.
The bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant, said there are other reasons for pollution such as vehicular emissions, firecrackers and dust, and singling out stubble burning is not the solution.
“Your projection is as if farmers are responsible for this pollution. Seventy per cent. First let the Delhi people be controlled. Where is the effective mechanism to control fire crackers, vehicle pollution etc?
“We understand some per cent is stubble burning. Rest is crackers, vehicular pollution, industries, dust pollution etc. You tell us how to bring AQI levels from 500 to 200 points in Delhi. Take some immediate urgent measures like a two-day lockdown,” the bench said.
The observations came while hearing a plea filed by environmental activist Aditya Dubey and law student Aman Banka, who sought directions to provide stubble-removing machines to small and marginal farmers for free.
I am a farmer, I know poor farmers can’t afford machinery for stubble management: SC judge
Supreme Court judge Justice Surya Kant on Saturday said he is a farmer and Chief Justice N V Ramana hails from a farmer family and they know that poor and marginalised farmers in northern states cannot afford to buy machinery for stubble management.
“You are saying two lakh machines are available, but the poor farmers cannot afford these machines. After the agrarian laws, the landholding in UP, Punjab and Haryana is less than 3 acres. We can’t expect those farmers to purchase those machines,” Justice Kant told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
“Why can’t the Centre and the state governments provide the machines. Take away the stubble for use in paper mills and various other purposes. In winters the stubble can be used for fodder for goats, etc. in Rajasthan,” he said.
The apex court was hearing a plea filed by environmental activist Aditya Dubey and law student Aman Banka, who sought directions to provide stubble-removing machines to small and marginal farmers for free.
Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the top court that these machines are being made available at 80 per cent subsidised rate.
The top court judge asked Mehta, appearing for the Centre, can the officials assisting him point out the actual price after subsidy.
“Can the farmer afford it. I am a farmer and I know it, the CJI is also from a farmer family he also knows it and my brother (judge) also knows it,” Justice Kant, who was sitting as part of a special bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana and also having Justice D Y Chandrachud, said.
Justice Kant also said it has become a fashion to blame the farmers for air pollution.
Justice Kant also demanded whether other measures such as firecracker ban and vehicular emission control were implemented.
“Be the petitioners, the Delhi government or anybody else — it has become a fashion to blame the farmers. Have you seen how crackers are being burnt in Delhi for the last seven days? What was the Delhi police doing?” he asked.
The observations came after senior advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi government, mentioned the issue of stubble burning.
The apex court has asked the Centre to hold a meeting with stakeholders and revert on Monday.