MediaJustitia.com: The panel of judges at the Central Jakarta District Court finally granted some of the citizens’ claims over Jakarta’s air pollution. A number of penalty points against 5 defendants and 2 co-defendants were read out at the trial on Friday (17/09) after repeated delays.
This case was filed by 32 citizens who sued five parties, namely the President of the Republic of Indonesia, the Minister of Environment and Forestry, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Home Affairs, and the Governor of DKI Jakarta. In addition, the Governor of Banten and the Governor of West Java are also involved as co-defendants.
The Panel of Judges rejected all of the Defendants’ exceptions. In this case, it means that the plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit in accordance with the provisions of the required procedural law, including having a legal interest to sue the state’s negligence in fulfilling the right to clean air. However, the panel of judges refused to declare any human rights violations.
The decision of the Central Jakarta District Court Judges determined that the President of the Republic of Indonesia, the Minister of Environment and Forestry, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Home Affairs and the Governor of DKI Jakarta had violated the law and were guilty of air pollution in the capital city. The Panel of Judges also sentenced the five defendants to do a number of things to improve air quality in Jakarta, among others:
- The President of the Republic of Indonesia was sentenced to tighten national ambient air quality standards that are sufficient to protect human health, the environment and ecosystems, including the sensitive populations’ health.
- The Minister of Environment and Forestry was sentenced to supervise the Governor of DKI Jakarta, Governor of Banten, and Governor of West Java in conducting an inventory of cross-border emissions of the three provinces.
- The Minister of Health was sentenced to supervise and foster the performance of the Governor of DKI Jakarta in controlling air pollution.
- The Minister of Home Affairs was sentenced to calculate the reduction in health impacts due to air pollution in the DKI Jakarta province which needs to be achieved as a basis for consideration by the Governor of DKI Jakarta in formulating a strategic air pollution control action plan.
- The Governor of DKI Jakarta was sentenced to supervise everyone’s compliance with the statutory provisions in the field of air pollution control and/or the provisions of environmental documents.
In IQAir’s 2020 World Air Quality Report, Jakarta is ranked the ninth worst globally and in terms of levels of PM 2.5 or fine particulate matter, Jakarta’s air pollutants can be harmful to humans at high levels.
Therefore, the plaintiffs considered the judge’s decision to be appropriate and wise. Especially considering that the evidentiary process in court has clearly proven that the government is negligent in controlling air pollution.
The plaintiff’s attorney, Ayu Eza Tiara, said that the defendant should be able to accept defeat wisely and focus on making efforts to improve air conditions rather than doing useless things such as legal efforts like appeals and cassation.