Delhi HC sets aside DPCC order levying EC on industrial units

The Delhi High Court has set aside two orders of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) levying Environmental Compensation (EC) of Rs 42.6 lakh and Rs 12.4 lakh on two industrial units respectively for operating without valid consent to establish from it.

Justice Navin Chawla asked the DPCC to consider the contents of the two petitions as a representation against levying of the EC and take a decision after reviewing the pleas.

“In view of the submissions, the impugned order, in so far as it levies EC of Rs 42.6 lakh on the petitioner, is set aside. The respondent no. 2 (DPCC) shall consider the contents of the present petition as a representation to it against levy of EC and decide the same after granting an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner and pass a speaking order thereon,” the court said.

The high court said if the DPCC order would be adverse to the petitioner, it should not be implemented for two weeks to enable him to avail his legal remedy against it.

It also passed a similar order in the other petition.

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Advocates Amit Chadha and Rituparn Unniyal, representing both the petitioners, said the orders were passed by the DPCC without issuance of any show-cause notice or an opportunity of hearing to them.

They sought quashing of the orders passed by the DPCC under provisions of the Air Act and the Water Act.

The petitioners also sought direction to authorities to de-seal their premises hand over its possession to them.

The plea filed by Ajay Kumar Pandey, who was running a factory of jeans dyeing and washing, challenged the August 29 order of DPCC directing the closure of the unit and levying EC of Rs 42.6 lakh on him.

He was running the business of washing readymade garments at the premises.

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The other petition was filed by Guru Kripa challenging the August 29 order of DPCC directing the closure of the petitioners unit and levying EC of Rs 12.4 lakh on him.
Both the tenanted premises are located at DSIIDC Bawana Industrial Complex here.

In August, the DPCC team carried out inspections at the petitioner’s tenanted premises, which were shut down on that day, and the authorities passed the order in their absence in an arbitrary and unjust manner, directing closure of the units and imposition of EC.

The DPCC had directed that the amount be deposited with the authorities within 10 days of issuance of the directions.

The pleas alleged that no sample was either collected or taken by the DPCC from their factories for ascertaining any environmental damage.

It said the premises was sealed by the SDM concerned in October allegedly without following the due process of law and violating the principles of natural justice.