On January 31, 2018, the Supreme Court ordered that the NGT should not constitute a single-member bench but a division bench comprising an Expert member as well as a judicial member. Hence as per the order of the Supreme Court, hearings at all benches, including Pune, which had a single-member bench, were suspended.
However, on January 2, 2020 the NGT chairperson had posted Siddhanta Das as an Expert Member and stated that the Pune bench will become functional from February 1, subject to the joining of a Judicial Member. However, the bench couldn’t start functioning as it didn’t have a Judicial Member yet.
The NGT chairperson appointed Sheo Kumar Singh as a Judicial Member for the western zone bench, with effect from April 1, thereby clearing the way for the bench to start functioning. Asim Sarode, former president of the NGT Bar Association for western zone bench said “We will raise issues of health hazard due to improper solid waste management in the city before the NGT. There are too many cases pending before the NGT but we will urge the bench to give priority to issues that pose health hazards for local residents at a time when there is a coronavirus outbreak in the city.” He recently submitted a memorandum to the Pune Municipal Corporation, pointing out that the civic body was acting in contempt of NGT directions, while adding to the issues of public health in Pune. “The spread of coronavirus in Pune is a result of such constant neglect to health hazards on various levels for the PMC due to its irresponsible behaviour towards garbage management, and pollution of the river, which affects the quality of groundwater…,” said Sarode.
But unfortunately, the NGT which was supposed to start working on April 1 is further pushed by a month amidst the nationwide lockdown. The cause list of April 1, 2020 is adjourned and rescheduled on May 11, 2020.
Cause List: scan cause list 01-04-2020_0