On Friday, a discontented Supreme Court clarified that the decision to shut schools in Delhi because of the worsening air quality was not entirely on its advantage.
“One thing we have noticed, don’t know whether intentional or not but media and other sections tried to present us as the villain and we want schools closed,” Chief Justice N V Ramana said. He told Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared for the Delhi government, that it was them who said “they will impose a lockdown, close schools.”
“But after reading today’s newspaper, that is my complaint too. You must blame them. Today one newspaper has conveyed in particular that the hearing was an angry combat and suggested that the court wants to take over administration,” the CJI added.
Sanghvi said that “the fact that one newspaper is at disagreement with the two others shows the hypocrisy in it.” “You can go and explain and criticize… but what will we do… Freedom of the press… They can pick up anything.. you can have press conference too, we cannot…,” the CJI said, while asking Sanghvi as to which newspaper did it.
Earlier, during the hearing, while taking note of the Centre’s affidavit regarding setting up of an ‘Enforcement Task Force’ to tackle Delhi’s air pollution, the Supreme Court asked the Centre and NCR states to implement the directions of the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) and deferred the hearing by a week.