In an affidavit at the Madrs High court, the petitioner, Sriperumbudur-based Global Warming Environment Protection Society represented by its president Swami Govinda Ramanuja Dasa said unhygienic conditions prevailing in slums was a matter of concern. Most of them were situated close to river courses that had become a source of diseases due to large-scale dumping of garbage and letting out of sewage. It was the duty of the government to keep those localities clean.
Opposing the Plea of the petitioner, the Government pleader T.N. Rajagopalan said that there was no evidence produced about the pollution by the petitioner but the chief justice said the government should not stand on technicalities on such issues.
Justice Selvam wondered why the government should expect a representation from a public interest litigant when it was duty-bound to keep all localities clean and hygienic. “Is it not your primary and vital duty to protect citizens from all kinds of pollution? Can you please tell us where there is no pollution in Tamil Nadu? People suffer from lung cancer due to air pollution. Is it not the duty of the State government to take effective steps to protect the citizens?”