The High Court of Karnataka expresses its displeasure at the functioning of the State Pollution Control Board. The court stated that the Board must act as a watchdog and must be vigilant against all types of pollutions. The Board must not confine itself to air and water pollution but any other kinds of pollution such as noise pollution should also be taken into consideration. The court suggested the state government put up a direct inquiry conducted by the senior civil servants into this matter and the irresponsible manner in which the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) is functioning. In the light of which the High Court has directed the State Government to respond in this matter. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty issued a direction that the Board was unaware of the orders passed on April 16, 1987, by the Central Government regarding clause (a) of Section 19 of Environment Protection Act, 1986, which authorized various authorities and officers to file complaints in regards to the offenses punishable under the said act of 1986.
Till October 2020, when the High Court passed issued orders to the Board only then complying with those orders they submitted a copy of notification issued by the Chairman of the Board designating the jurisdictional Environmental Officers working at the Regional Offices as Regional Officers. The court lamented the fact that the Board did not produce any material to show that the Environmental Officer who is filing a prosecution complaint in the court under Section 19 of the said act is an authorized party to file the complaints. It was observed that the Assistant Environmental Officer who even today is not designated as a Regional Officer was made to file prosecution complaints. The order stated it was very saddening to notice that in all these years, the Board did not even bother to find out who are the authorized parties appointed by the Central Government in accordance with Section 19 of the Act. The court stated that this was the reason why every either these complaints are discharged or the accused is acquitted.