SC sends 23-year-old case pertaining to Yamuna cleaning to NGT

SC sends 23-year-old case pertaining to Yamuna cleaning to NGT
The Supreme Court on Monday sent a 23-year-old matter pertaining to cleaning up of river Yamuna for consideration before the National Green Tribunal.

After noting that the green panel was already hearing a similar plea, a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said, "we don't to have a parallel jurisdiction on the same issue."

The bench, however, said if any constitutional issue arises before the panel, Amicus curiae Ranjit Kumar may approach the apex court for direction. The matter relating to monitoring of steps to clean Yamuna river was being heard by the apex court since 1994.

It was all started as the apex court took suo motu cognisance of a news report in 1994. Notably, the apex court had already sent similar matter filed by environmental activist M C Mehta on Ganga pollution before the NGT for examination and  passing appropriate directions.

During the hearing, Kumar said, "I must express my anguish that 23 years have gone by. Thousand of crores spent but the condition of river has gone from bad to worse." He urged the court to seek audit of the works undertaken to clean up the river. Kumar said the money was being spent by the central as well state governments of Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh on it.

The bench, however, said, "we are satisfied that the NGT is dealing with the matter effectively. We think it appropriate to send the writ petition before the NGT." In 2012, the court had expressed concern over the zero result achieved in nearly two decades while noting that over Rs 1,000 crore had been spent but the river was dirtier than before.

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