SC issues notice to Centre seeking response on plea for creating “Indian Environment Science”

The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Centre seeking a reply on a plea for the creation of The “Indian Environment Service” for saving and protecting the environment at ground level.

A bench of Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundresh, issued a notice to the Union Environment Ministry, the bench remarked that it has doubt as to how a writ of mandamus can be issued on such a prayer of creation of a new All India Service, ie “Indian Environment Service”. The court suggested an enquiry to be conducted as to whether the Central Government proposes to adopt the recommendation or not.

“This prayer made is for creation of “independent” “Environment Service” in All India Service. This prayer is stated to be arising from the recommendation of the TSR Subramanian Committee. Prima facie it is doubtful whether any mandamus can be issued for creation of the service, but it is suggested that an enquiry may be made as to whether the Government proposes to act in pursuance to the High Level Committee or not.”

The petitioner, Samar Vijay Singh submitted the petition which relied upon the report submitted by a High-Level Committee which was constituted by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF) under the chairmanship of former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian in 2014 which had recommended creation of a new “All-India Service”.

The report also mentioned about the proposal of a National Environment Research Institute “on the lines of the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education” to bring high end technology in the environmental governance.

“While India has a strong environmental policy and legislative framework, much of the problem relates to weak implementation of the various acts and the rules there under. Conservation advocates, project proponents and judiciary none is satisfied with current environmental governance and the policy tools currently deployed in the management of the sector.”

The petitioner highlighted the problem of air pollution in Delhi and other parts of the country.

“In the current situation, the air pollution level in the Delhi NCR region and other metropolitan cities has crossed the safe limits of breathing and made policy makers look for instant solutions to bring relief to the citizens.”

The plea has sought setting up an Environmental Service Academy to train the officers for environmental law enforcement.

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