The Supreme Court on Friday sought response from the Centre on a plea seeking establishment of an ‘Indian Environment Service’, against the backdrop of several environmental issues across the country.
A bench of Justices S.K. Kaul and M.M Sundresh noted: “The prayer made is for creation of ‘independent’ Indian Environment Service as an All-India Service. This prayer is stated to be arising from the recommendation of the T.S.R Subramanian Committee.”
The petitioner Samar Vijay Singh, cited a report submitted by a high-level committee constituted by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, in 2014, under the chairmanship of former Cabinet Secretary Subramanian. The plea contended that this committee recommended creation of a new All-India service, the “Indian Environment Service”.
During the hearing, the bench noted that it has prima facie doubt whether a writ of mandamus can be issued on such a prayer. In its order, it said: “Prima facie it is doubtful whether any mandamus can issue for creation of a service but it is suggested that an inquiry may be made as to whether the Government proposes to act in pursuance to the high-level committees or not. Issue notice. A copy of the order to accompany notice.”
The plea contended that the committee noted the need for an institutional framework to meet future needs, and in its report proposed a National Environment Research Institute on the lines of the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education.
Citing the air pollution crisis in Delhi NCR, the plea said the pollution has crossed the safe limits of breathing and made policymakers look for instant solutions to bring relief to the citizens.
It also highlighted the issue of environmental degradation, as one of the primary causes of diseases and health issues and sought direction to set up an Indian Environmental Service Academy to train officers for environmental law enforcement.