The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday afternoon rebuked IIT Bombay and threatened to punish the institution with contempt proceedings if it carried through with its intention to withdraw from the “smog tower”project with the Delhi government.
The court reportedly said that it would punish the institution for backing out of the project approximately 6 months after visiting the site with Tata Projects officials and a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was drawn up by the Central Pollution Control Board in January, reported NDTV.
"I can't tolerate this nonsense. We will punish IIT Bombay and other authorities for delaying court orders. How can they back out after six months? How can they back out from a government project? I will draw up a contempt case against them,"said Justice Arun Mishra.
The matter has been listed for Thursday.
Justice Mishra reportedly grilled the soliciter general. He first asked the counsel to provide a reply from IIT Bombay within 30 minutes and then 15 minutes.
"I cannot in 15 minutes. Give me 24 hours. Nothing will change in 24 hours. Your lordship, please put yourself in my position," the Solicitor General said.
"Then we will issue contempt. Why did not you reply to the letter by IIT Bombay. Why are you saving IIT Bombay? No, you cannot do this. IIT Bombay are already in contempt and now they are backing out from assurances also," Justice Mishra said.
The Bench stated that it was “not at all happy with the state of affairs”.
The Solicitor General had said that despite many letters, IIT Bombay had backed out of the project and that the government was in talks with IIT Delhi and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).
On July 14, IIT Bombay had written an email in which the institution stated that it would not be able to accept conditions laid down in the MoU.