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SC appoints ex-judge MB Lokur as 1-man panel to prevent stubble burning

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday appointed a one-man panel of retired Apex Court judge Justice M B Lokur to monitor the steps taken by the neighbouring states to prevent stubble burning while brushing aside objections of the Centre, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

The top court ordered the deployment of National Cadet Corps (NCC), National Service Scheme (NSS) and Bharat Scouts and Guides for assisting in the monitoring of stubble burning in the agricultural fields of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi-NCR, saying all it wants is that people of Delhi-NCR can breathe fresh air without any pollution.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde directed the court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) and Chief Secretaries of Delhi and the three states to assist the Lokur panel to enable physical surveillance of fields where stubble is burnt.

The bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian accepted the suggestion of senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing petitioner Aditya Dubey (minor) who has raised concern over rising pollution level, that a former Judge of this Court who is aware of the problem be appointed to monitor the situation in Delhi-NCR and these neighbouring states.

"We, accordingly, accept the suggestion and appoint Justice Madan Lokur, a former Judge of this Court to act as the one-man Monitoring Committee to monitor the measures taken by the States to prevent stubble burning."

The bench also directed the Chief Secretaries of the concerned states to assist the Justice Lokur panel in devising additional means and methods for preventing the burning of stubble.

"We trust that the authorities in-charge of these forces shall enlist their services to the extent possible, to assist the one man Justice Lokur Committee for this purpose," it said.

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