Supreme Court Orders Installation Of Vapour Recovery System At Retail Petroleum Outlets
The Supreme Court has directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to ensure that all the retail petroleum outlets in cities having population of more than 10 lakh and having turnover of more than 300 KL/Month shall install the Vapour Recovery System (VRS).
The bench of Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice J.B. Pardiwala directed that the VRS mechanism shall be installed within the fresh timeline as prescribed in CPCB’s Circular dated June 04, 2021.
“The CPCB shall ensure that all the retail petroleum outlets located in different cities having population of more than 10 lakh and having turn over of more than 300 KL/Month shall install the VRS mechanism within the fresh timeline as prescribed in its Circular dated 04.06.2021.”, the Court directed.
The Court ordered this while dealing with a batch of appeals filed by Oil marketing companies against the Order passed by the National Green Tribunal in 2021.
Senior Advocates Jay Savla, Pinaki Mishra, A Sirajudeen, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for Parties.
On the question of whether the NGT has the power and jurisdiction to issue directions to the CPCB/its delegates to take all such measures if in a given case the NGT finds that such directions are necessary in the interest of justice, the Court observed that-
“…the NGT was well within its powers and jurisdiction to issue the directions which have been impugned before us.”
The Court observed that “We are not inclined to disturb the impugned directions issued by the NGT, Chennai in regard to installation of the VRS. The CPCB shall ensure that these directions are scrupulously followed and complied with.”
However, the Court set aside para 69(iii) and (iv) of NGT’s Order making it mandatory to obtain Consent to Establish and Consent to Operate for new petroleum outlets.
“We are at one with the learned counsel appearing for the respective appellants that asking the existing ROs to obtain CTO is something very unreasonable and may lead to various difficulties. Even directing the ROs that may come up in future to obtain the CTE and CTO would be cumbersome and time consuming and thus we do not find it reasonable.”, the Court observed.
“We set aside the directions issued by the NGT in the impugned order as contained in para 69(iii) and (iv). Instead, we direct the CPCB to instruct all the State Pollution Control Boards to ensure that the guidelines issued by it vide the Office Memorandum dated 07.01.2020 are strictly adhered to.”, the Court directed.
The Court has also ordered that it shall be the legal obligation of all the State Pollution Control Boards to ensure that the directions issued by the NGT in regard to the installation of the VRS mechanism is complied with within the fresh timeline as prescribed by the CPCB.
Cause Title- M/s Indian Oil Corporation Limited v. V.B.R. Menon & Others