In View Of Brahmapuram Fire, Kerala High Court Vacates Stay On NGT Directions To Cochin Corporation
In view of the fire which erupted in the Brahmpauram waste dumping yard, the Kerala High Court on Monday vacated the stay it had granted in 2018 on the directions passed by the National Green Tribunal to the Cochin Corporation. In October 2018, the NGT had imposed a fine of Rs. 1 Crore on the Cochin Corporation for its delay in setting up a solid waste treatment plant at Brahmapuram in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
The Division Bench comprising Justice S.V. Bhatti and Justice Basant Balaji passed the order vacating the stay, after taking note of the report submitted by the High Level Committee constituted by the Court, which indicated several several deficiencies and shortfalls in implementing the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
"There is consensus that the site cannot be measured as a facility from any perspective under the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 (for short, Rules 2016). The basic requirements for handling solid waste upon site delivery are unavailable", the Court noted while opining that the Corporation is not entitled to have the benefit of the stay.
The court was of the opinion that the Cochin Corporation should not be allowed to take advantage of its failure to discharge its obligations under the 2016 Rules. The court noted that to “gain momentum on the directions issued by the National Green Tribunal”, the stay granted by the court needed to be vacated.
While considering the plea of the Corporation challenging the fine imposed by the NGT, the court had also orally remarked that the appropriate forum to challenge such an order of the NGT would be the Supreme Court under the NGT Act and the plea was liable to be dismissed on such a ground alone.
Case title: Corporation Of Cochin V Jith Kumar and Others