Supreme Court warns IIT Bombay of consequences for backing out
New Delhi : Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon warned IIT Bombay of contempt proceedings if it continues with its intention to withdraw from a government project to install a "smog tower" to control air pollution in the national capital.
In a stern warning, the court said it would punish the institution for backing out after six months of draft MoU 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.
"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 are already in contempt and now they are backing out from assurances also," a furious Justice Mishra said.
Eventually, declaring itself "not at all happy with the state of affairs", the court said "as per Solicitor General's request, let the matter be listed tomorrow".
According to news agency PTI, funds amounting to Rs 18.52 crore have been sanctioned for the project.
Smog towers are large-scale purifiers designed to reduce air pollution in surrounding areas.