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Water Act and Air Act bestow an urgent power are an exceptional power on the pollution Control Board whereby closure of unit is required on an emergency basis: Telangana High Court

This particular decision is upheld by the High Court of Telangana through the learned bench led by a Division Bench of CHIEF JUSTICE RAGHVENDRA SINGH CHAUHAN AND JUSTICE B. VIJAYSEN REDDY in the case of Kosher Pharmaceutical (P) Ltd. v. State of Telangana (WRIT PETITION No.10085 of 2020).

Facts:

Petitioner claimed to be a pharmaceutical company of bulk drugs. It claims that it is engaged in the manufacturing of bulk drugs. Further, it was also granted the Certificate For Establishment (CFE) to manufacture fifteen (15) bulk drugs with a maximum production capacity of 1900 kg/day, with a condition that the Industry shall not produce more than four products, and individual capacities mentioned therein at any given point of time. Subsequently, the company was granted the Consent For Operation (CFO) under the Hazardous Waste Act for manufacturing two products at a given point of time, out of fifteen products.

According to the petitioner, the CFO was renewed and continues to be valid till 31-03-2023. Respondent 2 had received a complaint with regard to the discharge of acid water causing groundwater pollution. Hence an inspection was carried out and a closure notice was issued.

In view of the above-stated position, the present petition was filed challenging the legality of the closure notice passed by respondent 3.

Judgement:

Bench referred to Section 33A of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and 31A of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. Section 33A of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and 31A of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 do not necessarily require that the principles of natural justice should be followed, moreover the stated provisions bestow an urgent power, or an exceptional power, on the Pollution Control Board whereby the closure of a unit may be required on an emergent basis.

Court states that a post-decisional hearing can always be given by the Pollution Control Board to the erring unit to rectify the defects or the violations committed by the erring unit. Further, the Court added that though the report submitted the Pollution Control Board clearly reveals that there is a large number of lacunae/defects/violations of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, and of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act committed by the petitioner still a chance must be given to rectify the errors committed.

In light of the above-stated, the petition was disposed of.

Judgement reviewed by – Arvind Roshan

Click here to view the Judgement

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