Singh & Ors Vs. State of Punjab & Ors  Insc 9 (5 January 2007)
Arijit Pasayat & S.H. Kapadia Dr. Arijit Pasayat, J.
in this appeal is to the order passed by a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissing
the Writ Petition filed by the appellants.
facts in a nutshell are as follows:
Writ Petition was filed in the year 1994, taking the stand that industries by
non official residents were operating in residential areas and, therefore, they
were liable to be closed. This stand was resisted by the respondents on the
ground that the factories in question were situated in Sector 16 which in terms
of the Old Master Plan was an industrial area. Therefore, the grievances of the
writ petitioners were without substance. The High Court asked for report of the
Punjab Pollution Control Board (in short the 'Board'). The Board's report which
is re-produced in the order of the High Court reads as follows:
the action taken report was filed on 8.4.2002 by the Board showing that 61
units have complied with the provisions of the Air (Prevention & Control of
Pollution) Act, 1981.
remaining 27 units, 16 units have been closed down by the Board under Section
21/31-A of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. 8 Units
have closed down their units themselves. Remaining 3 number units have not
installed Air Pollution control devices. Thereafter 2 more units have installed
Air Pollution Control Devices and 1 unit has changed its fuel from furnace oil to
Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) in which Air Pollution Control Devices is not
required. Hence, all the remaining industrial units have complied with the
provisions of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
for the kind information of the Hon'ble Punjab and Haryana High Court for issue
of appropriate order in the case." Taking note of the report, the High
Court disposed of the Writ Petition specifically directing that the pollution
norms and standards have to be verified periodically and if there was found to
be any deviation, action was to be taken.
support of the appeal, learned counsel for the appellants submitted that in the
new Master Plan 2000-2021 the properties in question fall within Sector 10
which is earmarked as a residential area. Therefore, the High Court's judgment
is not in order.
stand is resisted by the respondents pointing out that as yet the new Master
Plan has not become operative and has not been notified and, therefore, the
grievances of the appellants are without any basis.
this connection, the affidavit filed by the State of Punjab in compliance of this Court's order
dated 7.2.2005 is relevant. A few paragraphs of the affidavit need to be noted.
Master Plan was prepared by this department which was published in the Punjab
Govt. Gazette vide Notification No.8/9/84-1HGIV/1079 dated 18.1.1989 for public
suggestions/objections. However the same was non-statutory.
Gobindgarh, the city in question, does not fall under any duly notified Controlled
Area, declared under the provisions of the Punjab Scheduled Roads and
Controlled Areas (Restriction) of Un-regulated Development Act, 1963, now
repealed. Thus there are no Controlled Area restrictions at Mandi Gobindgarh,
in view of the above legal position.
Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department of the Govt. of Punjab in
compliance with the orders of Hon'ble Supreme Court has also convened a meeting
on 31.5.2005 to discuss the issue with the concerned Departments viz.
Department of Industries and Commerce, Department of Science and Technology and
Environment, Punjab Pollution Control Board, Chief Administrator, PUDA,
Department of Local Government, Chief Town Planner, Punjab etc.
take an overall view of the latest position.
the course of discussion, it was unanimously agreed upon that all the
Departments (Punjab Pollution Control Board in particular) shall be more strict
in initiating penal action against the units violating environmental laws, not
only against those which are party to the present Special Leave Petition but
against all those who are violating the Master Plan. This would ensure
compliance of the orders of the Hon'ble High Court passed in the present
case." Since the Master plan which forms the foundation of the appellants'
challenge has not yet been notified, the effect thereof cannot be considered at
this juncture. When the writ petition was filed the old Master Plan was in
force and continues to be in force. If, as and when there is any change
introduced by any subsequent Master Plan, the effect thereof has to be
considered in terms of the Notification of the said Master Plan. That being the
position, this appeal deserves dismissal which we direct. There will be no
order as to costs.