Environment and Sustainable Development: A Study of Judicial Role in Realising Sustainable Development
Sustainability in development has been a challenge to the human community. Protection of environment and its limited natural resources has been the confronting situation in the era of competitive industrial development. International and regional communities have time and again tabled their concern at various international forums so as to check and balance the degrading quality of the environment. The conventions, declarations and treaties have been a step forward towards sustainability in developmental approach. Post Stockholm development in ‘environmental jurisprudence’ brings into picture the Indian Constitutional, legislative and judicial commitment in tackling the distressing environmental state of affairs. Unrestricted and imbalanced growth has been leading the degrading and undignified human environment and thereby violating the constitutional right to live in the pollution free environment. The study of liability provisions point out the liability of a corporation and the state in cases of accidents which aims at restituto in integrum. The ‘Public Trust Doctrine’ holds in to check the authority of the government which holds the environmental resources as a trustee of the commons. The ‘precautionary principle’ and ‘polluter pays principle’ have been employed by the judicial system as component principles of sustainable development to rectify the developmental approach. The paper brings out the approach of Indian judicial system in balancing the economic centric approach and the environment centric approach in a harmonious manner so as to achieve sustainable development.
Objectives of the study:
1. To analyze the approach of Indian judicial system.
2. To study the principle based approach of sustainable development in environmental jurisprudence.
Need of the study.
The present study is based on the growing concern towards indiscriminate use of limited natural resources. The economy based approach of government and private firms has lead to disastrous levels of degraded environment which requires the researcher to initiate the study in context of the judicial system in light of various constitutional and legislative aspects. The illegal and ill-equipped techniques have lead the globally imbalanced atmosphere. The global commitments made at international forum and india being signatory to it makes it obligatory upon us to realize the promises made by checking the overt steps towards ill equipped developmental approach.
Traditional legal research or Doctrinal research has been applied in order to study the problem. Secondary sources such as books, journals, and magazines have been taken help of in order to study the problem.
“Environment is everything that is not me”
“For the greatest environmentalists, humans are of lesser importance than the abundant diverse flora and fauna of the planet. Humans are defined as a recent addition to the livestock and are considered to have been wholly disruptive influence on a world which was a paradise before their arrival.”
Let us not however flatter ourselves over much on the account of our victories over nature. For each such victory, nature takes its revenge on us. Each victory, it is true, in the first place brings about the result we expected, but in the second and the third place it has quite unforeseen effects which only too often cancels the first. In an article on sustainable development, it was pointed out that, India’s model of development focussing certainly on certain material goods and services is profoundly unsustainable. Natural resources are extracted at a rate far greater than their capacity to regenerate. Pollutants are pumped back into the natural ecosystems at rates higher than they can be absorbed and cleaned up. The expert estimates on the economic losses usually do not include the losses due to ecological destruction.The development mindset still centres on the monetary or materialistic indicators like per capita income, per capita energy consumption, and industrial production. Natural and cultural resources are still alien to the budgeting and planning process.
The drastic increase in the global population has lead to a situation where the basic requirements of life appear to be far behind the present requirement of the day. To meet the challenge, efforts are made to utilize technologies in hand to achieve high productivity in a sustainable manner.
“Environment”, “environmentalist”, and “environmentalism” have become buzzwords, nowadays in every society. Moreover all are very much concerned about keeping the environment clean and maintaining sustainable growth graph and checking environmental degradation.
Sustainable development means something which is conducted without depletion of natural resources. The United Nations World Commission on environment and development (WCED) in its 1987’s report Our Common future defines sustainable development as “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising with the future generations to meet their own needs.”
Pollution often referred to as, environmental pollution is the addition to environment of any substance or energy from (e.g. heat) at the rate faster than the environment can accommodate it by dispersion, break down, recycling or storage in some harmless form. Pollution of natural environment is unintended or an unwarranted consequence of the human activities in manufacturing, transportation, agriculture and waste disposal.
“Pollution is a civil wrong, by its very nature, it is a tort committed against the community as a whole. A person therefore has to compensate for the damages for the restoration of environment and ecology.”
Should pollution and progress go together? As observed in M.C. Mehta v. Union of India,science and technology are increasingly employed in producing goods and services calculated to improve the quality of life there is certain element of hazard or risk inherent in the very use of science and technology, and it is to reduce the element of hazard or risk to the community by taking all necessary steps. Locate industries in a manner which pose least risk of danger to the community and which would maximise the safety requirements.
Indian approach and Constitution of India
Since Vedic time the main motto of our social life was “to live in harmony with nature”. The literature olden times preached in one form or other a worshipful attitude towards plants, trees, mother earth, sky, water, air, animals and to keep benevolent attitude towards them. The basic element of environment according to the indigenous theory mentioned in Upnishads is that universe consists of five basic elements, The nature has maintained a status of balance between and among these elements and living creatures. Many verses in Rigveda and Atharvaveda have been devoted to the praise of Lord Surya (sun), Vayu Devta (Lord of the winds), Agni Devta (God of fire), Varun Devta (God of Water) Prithvi Mata (Mother Earth), Vanya Devi (Goddess of forests), etc. Therefore, cutting of trees, polluting air, water, land were regarded as sins as elements of nature were to be respected and regarded as Gods and Goddesses. Protection of their purity and wholesomeness was considered to be the duty of everyone. Hindu society did not considered it even proper to throw dust on a public path (highway). Rigveda, Manusmriti, Chakrasamhita have emphasised on the purity of water and healing and the medicinal value of water. Because of these injunctions a system of Maryada (code of conduct) developed in the Indian society to keep water clean and wholesome. it is also narrated in the Isa Upnishad (about 4000 years old Hindu scripture that it has roots in an age old Indian environmental ethics) the universe along with its creature belongs to the lord. No creature is superior to another. The eco-centric approach of ancient times stressed upon the intrinsic values of all naturally preset things.
Initially, Constitution of India contained no provision relating to Fundamental Duties and protection of environment. Two articles relating to environment were incorporated in the Indian Constitution –Article 48-A and 51-A (g). Article 48 A is a constitutional pointer to the state to protect and improve the environment and Article 51 A (g) confers the duty on the citizen of India to protect and improve the environment and to have compassion for the living creatures. The language used in these articles clearly indicates the principle of equity, coexistence and reverence for nature and non violence has been given the legal recognition. The terms “protection and improvement” implies the improvement of the natural environment and the improvement of quality of life. In dealing with the environmental cases, the courts discovered new dimension for a healthy environment under the right to life under article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Old doctrines were chiselled and new ones were created to support the fast changing strides in sustainable development. However, it took long time for the apex court to pronounce explicitly that the right to have a healthy environment, although high courts had gone ahead much earlier. There is a Constitutional imperative on the Central Government and the state governments and the bodies like municipalities, not only to ensure and safeguard proper environment, but also an imperative duty to take adequate measures to promote, protect and improve environment- man made as well as natural environment.
In, the Supreme Court considered construction of the dam as a symbol of wholesome development, and held that the right to sustainable development as a fundamental right. The concept cannot be singled out, and it is to be treated as integral part of right to life under Article 21. Article 21, though couched in negative language, confers on every person the fundamental right to life and personal liberty. The foreigners are as much entitled to these rights as the citizens.The “right to life”, under Article 21, means a life of dignity to be lived in a proper environment free from the dangers of diseases and infection.
Article 32 and 226 of the constitution empowers the Supreme Court and the High Court’s respectively to issue directions, orders or writs, including writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari. The writs of mandamus, certiorari and prohibition are generally resorted to in environmental matters. Taking suo motu action Supreme Court of India has imposed exemplary damages on the multinational companies such as coco cola and pepsi for damaging the ecology in the states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir by painting advertisements on the rocks. The Supreme Court of India directed the companies to remove the advertisements without further polluting the environment.
All the legislations have to flow from the shadow of this living and organic document. It is quite evident that when the Constitution of India was drafted, then at that relevant time the legislations related to the environmental concern were not incorporated. But with the dire need of the time as the degradation of the natural resources took place the need to have the particular pieces of the legislation was felt from the all the nook and corners. It is now evident that the environmental law is among the most vital and rapidly growing branches of law in India. From the various decisions given by the courts in the country this law has emerged and evolved through judgements rather than legislations. As the day goes by new horizons of environmental jurisprudence are revealed. By giving shape to various decisions of the judiciary legislations were laid down as per the need of the hour.
International conventions and conferences have been given a realistic shape under the umbrella of Article 253 of the Indian constitution. As a result numerous legislations have been passed by the legislature to combat the menace of unstable approach to development.
The broad language of Article 253 suggests that in the wake of Stockholm Conference in 1972, Parliament has the power to legislate on all the matters linked to the preservation of natural resources. Parliament used Article 253 to enact the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and Environment (Protection) Act of 1986 confirms this view.
Environment Protection Act, 1986 is a watershed. The law generated plethora of rules and regulations and facilitated the delegation of powers from the Central Government to various agencies –centre and state- through length and breadth of the country.
The United Nation also emphasized on the importance of purity of water when it proclaimed on 10th November, 1980 “International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade” water being a “state subject”, the Parliament can exercise the power to legislate on water only under Article 249 and 252 of the constitution of India. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 represents India’s first attempt to deal with the environmental issue comprehensively. One of the fundamental objective of the water Act of 1974 is to provide clean and drinking water to the citizens.
Besides major sources of pollution Tobacco also adds to the air pollution. According to W.H.O. tobacco related deaths can rise to seven million per year. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 was enacted by the parliament under the article 253 of the Indian Constitution to implement the decision taken at the UN Conference on Human Environment at Stockholm in the year 1972. The act is a specialized measure to tackle with one of the facet of environmental pollution. With some basic objectivesthe Act defines Air pollution as the presence in the atmosphere of any air pollutant.
Public Liability Insurance Act, of 1991 is one of most important legislative measure enacted in India to provide immediate relief to the victims of the accidents which occur while handling the hazardous substances. This Act came in response to the Bhopal disaster. This Act for the first time acknowledged the principle of “No Fault,” liability.
Principles of Sustainable Development
To be sustainable, the development must possess both economical and ecological sustainability. In this regard the environmental jurisprudence which has evolved in the recent past is a result of a judicial activism which has given shape to the aspirations of the international community. The tide of judicial considerations in the environmental litigations in India symbolises the anxiety of the court in finding the appropriate remedies for the environmental maladies. The adherence to the principle of sustainable development has become constitutional requirement.
People has responded well to the environmental crisis caused by the indiscriminate quarrying, mining, stone crushing, near the populated areas and the National Highways and felling of trees resulting in the deforestation and other environmental degradation. Rural Litigation Entitlement Kendra V. State of U.P. (popularly known as the Doon Valley Case) was the first case of its kind in the country involving the issues relating to the environment and ecological balance which brought into sharp focus the conflict between the development and conservation and the court emphasized the need for reconciling the conflict between the two in the larger interest of the country. The court appointed the expert committee to advise the bench on the technical issues and on the basis of the report of the committee the court ordered the closure of number of limestone quarries.
The court was also conscious of the consequences of the order which rendered the workers unemployed after the closure of the limestone quarries and caused hardships to the lessees. The court observed that, “this would undoubtedly cause hardship to them, but this is the price that has to be paid for protecting and safeguarding the right of the people to live in the healthy environment with minimal disturbance of ecological balance and without avoidable hazard to them and their cattle, homes and agricultural land and undue affection of air water and environment.”
All environment related developmental activities should benefit more people while maintaining the environmental balance. The adherence to the sustainable principle is sine qua non for the maintenance of symbiotic balance between the right to environment and development. The concept of sustainable development has grown since its inception at the international fora and it has acquired different dimension in terms of economic growth, development and environment protection. Some salient principles of sustainable development as culled out from the Bruntland report and other international documents such as Rio Declaration and Agenda 21 are as under:-
(1) Inter generational equity,
(2) Precautionary principle,
(3) Polluter Pays Principle,
(4) Public Trust Doctrine, and
(5) Eradication of poverty.
The principle of intergenerational equity is of recent orign. The 1972’s declaration refers to the Principle 1 and 2 The central theme of the theory of intergenerational equity is the right of each generation of human beings to benefit from the cultural and natural inheritance of the past generations as well as well as obligation to assist and cooperate in preserving such heritage for the future generations. In Consumer Education Research Society v. Union of India,in this case the court observed that if an attempt is made by the state legislature and the state government to balance the need of environment and the need of economic development it would not be proper to apply the “principle of prohibition” in such a case. It would thus be proper and safer to apply the “principle of protection” and the “polluter Pays Principle” keeping in mind the principle of “sustainable development,” and the principle of intergenerational equity.
The precautionary principle has been recognized in almost all the major international instruments. It has been adopted by the United Nations Environmental Programme. It has also been adopted by various international conferences on the prevention of pollution of seas. In Bergan Declaration on sustainable development in the European Community while reaffirming the precautionary principle provided that the environment related action should predict, prevent and suppress the environmentally harmful factors. The main purpose of the precautionary principle is to ensure that the substance or the activity posing threat to the environment is prevented from adversely affecting the environment, even if there is no conclusive scientific proof of linking that particular substance or activity to the environmental damage. In Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum v. Union of India, the court expressed the view that the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle are the essential features of the sustainable principle and that they have been accepted as the part of the law of land.
In Research Foundation for Science (18) v. Union of India, the Supreme Court has explained that the precautionary principle generally describes an approach to the protection of the environment or human health based on the precaution even where there is no clear evidence of harm or risk of harm from and activity or substance. It is a part of principle of sustainable development. It provides for taking action against specific environmental hazard by avoiding or reducing environmental risk before specific harms are experienced.
Principle 15 of the Rio summit also provides that, in order to protect the environment, precautionary approach shall be widely applied by the states according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for proposing cost effective measure to prevent such degradation.
The Polluter pays principle as interpreted by the Supreme Court of India, means that the absolute liability for harm to the environment extends not only to compensate the victims of pollution but also the cost of restoring the environmental degradation. Thus it includes environmental costs as well as direct cost to the people or the property. Remediation of the damaged environment is the part of the process of the sustainable development and as such the polluter is liable to pay the cost to the individual sufferer as well as the cost of reversing the damaged ecology. Under this principle it is not the role of government to meet the cost involved either in prevention of such damage or in carrying out remedial action, because the effect of this would be to shift the financial burden of the pollution incident to the taxpayer.
In 1972 the members countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) agreed to base their environmental policies on polluter pays principle (PPP). In the case of OECD the guideline on the PPP were intended to discourage subsidies that could lead to distortions in trade. They promoted the principle when there was great interest in environmental issues.
Principle 16 of the Rio Declaration of 1992 also enunciates, “Polluter Pays Principle”. It provides that the national authorities should endeavour to promote the internationalisation of environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into account the approach that the polluter should in principle bear the costs of pollution with regard to the public interest and without distorting international trade and investment.
Despite the difficulties inherent in defining the principle, the European community has accepted it as fundamental part of its strategy on environmental matters. The Action on environment have laid down certain basic principles of European Community environment policy. The most important are set out in Article 130 R (2).
They are that:
a. Preventive action is to be preferred to the remedial measures;
b. Environmental damage should be rectified at source;
c. The polluter should pay for the costs of the measures taken to protect the environment; and
d. Environment policies should form the component of the European community’s other policies.
Thus, according to the “polluter pays principle”, the responsibility to repair the environmental damage is that of a polluter.
Our legal system is based on the English Common Law and includes Public trust Doctrine as a part of its jurisprudence. The state is the trustee of all natural resources which are by nature meant for the public use and enjoyment. The State as a trustee is under legal duty to protect the natural resources. The public trust doctrine primarily rests on the principle that certain resources like air, sea, water and forests have such a great importance to the people as whole that it would be wholly unjustified to make them subject of private ownership. The said resources being the gift of nature, they should be made freely available to everyone irrespective of the status in life. The doctrine enjoins upon the government to protect the resources for the enjoyment of the general public rather than to permit their use for private ownership and commercial purposes. the public trust is more than an affirmation of the State’s power to use the public property for public purposes. it is an affirmation of the duty of the state to protect the people’s heritage of streams, lakes marshlands and tidelands, surrendering the rights of protection only in rare cases when the abandonment of the right is consistent with the purposes of the trust. The lease granted by the government of eth riparian forest land for commercial purposes to the private company having Motel located at the bank of river Beas was Questioned through PIL. The Motel management was interfering with the natural flow of the river by blocking the natural relief//spill channel of the river. The court stated that the state has committed the breach of “Public Trust.” The doctrine of public trust implies following restrictions on the governmental authority:
1. The property subject to the trust must not only be used for public purposes, but it must be held available for the use of general public.
2. The property must not be sold, even for fair cash or equivalent.
3. The property must be maintained for only particular type of uses.
Millions continue to live below the minimum levels required for the decent human existence, deprived of adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, health and sanitation. The sustainable development has to address the problem of large number of people who live in absolute poverty and who cannot be satisfy their basic needs. At Stockholm Conference in 1972, our Former Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi said: “ of all pollutants we face, the worst is poverty”. The Bruntland report has rightly pointed out that poverty reduces the people’s capacity to use resources in a sustainable manner and hence it intensifies the pressure on the environment. Most of the developing countries are under the stress of poverty. Therefore it is necessary that the growth must be revived in developing countries because that is where the links between economic growth and, alleviation of poverty and environmental conditions operate directly. Principle 5 of the Rio Declaration endeavours to eradicate poverty and to achieve equal standards of living.
The judicial pronouncements made by the higher judiciary are the trend setters. Judicial activism towards environmental justice has kept its pace at par with the right to development through Judicial interventions by directing a balanced approach. On one hand the principles like polluter pays have aimed at restituito in integrm to restore the damaged environment to its previous position by imposing absolute liability on the defaulters whereas on the other hand application of precautionary principle has been a mitigating step in the direction of preventing environmental disasters. The Trust doctrine has been checked by the judicial interventions so that community may have access the natural resources. The promises made at Stockholm and Rio are being given a practical shape by application of various principles by the Indian judicial systems. The environmental jurisprudence has developed through the judicial decisions holding up international commitments made during various international meets. Sustainable development and its component principles have been accepted as the law of land and has been applied under various situations so as to check and balance the development.
# Albert Einstein
# S.C. Shastri, Environmental Law, (2012) 4th edn. p.1
# P. Leelakrishnan, Lexus Nexus Butterworth’s (2006) 2nd edn. p. 7 K.M. Chinappa v. Union of India, AIR 2003 SC 724 at 732
# P. Leelakrishnan, environmental law in India (2006) 2nd edn, , p. 127
# Ishita chatterjee, Biotechnological Intervention for Attaining Global Food Insecurity, Nyaya Deep 14 (1&2) 2013
The term environment has been derived from the word “environ” which means “to surround”. Thus environment means surrounding conditions, circumstances affecting people’s life. Environment includes biotic and abiotic components. Unimpeded human activities have disturbed the ecological balance as a result of which climate shift, global warming etc, have become a challenging problem of the present day. According to Section 2 (a) of Environment Protection Act, 1986, ‘environment’ includes water, air, land; and the interrelationship which exists among and between water, air, land, human beings, living creatures, plants micro – organisms and property. According to P.N. Bhagwati J. “The term refers to the conditions within and around an organism, which affects the behaviour, growth and development or life processes directly or indirectly. It includes the conditions with which the organism interacts.” The word ‘environment’ is a broad spectrum which brings within its sweep the hygienic atmosphere and ecological balance. Virender Gaur v. State of Haryana (1995) 2 SCC 577
# The term sustainable development was first referred in Cocoyoc Declaration in the year 1970.
# Vinay Sharma and Pooja Sood, Green Economy and Sustainable development; 50 (Cr.L.J.) p.287
# According to section 2 (c) of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, pollution is the presence in environment of any environmental pollutant.
# The New Encyclopedia Britanica, Vol 9, Micropedia , (2002)p. 570
# Tort is a civil, wrong which is redressible by an action for unliquidated damages and which is other than mere breach of contract or breach of trust.
# M.C. Mehta v. Kamal Nath, (2006) 6 SCC 213
# AIR 1987 SC 967
# Supra note 2 at P. 2
# Land or earth, Water, Light or lustre, Air and Ether.
# Supra note 2 at pp. 4-5
# S.C. Shastri, Environmental ethics Anthropogenic shift to eco-centric approach : A paradigm Shift, 55 (Journal of Indian law institute) p. 523
# Eco-centric approach to the environment stresses upon the moral imperatives to respect the intrinsic value, and integrity of all form of life. Eco centrism supports the protection of all forms not just those which are of values to humans or their needs and underlines the fact that humans are just one among various forms on earth.
# M.P. Jain, Constitution (2008) p. 4215 Part IV of the constitution has been inserted by the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act of 1976 in accordance with the recommendation of Swarn Singh Committee. It brings our Constitution in line with the Article 29 (1) of the universal declaration of human rights and the constitution of Japan, China and U.S.S.R.
# Article 48-A of the Constitution of India. Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding forests and wildlife: The state shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
# Article 51 A (g). It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for the living creatures.
# Article 21 protects right to life and as a fundamental right. Enjoyment of life and its attainment, including right to live with human dignity, encompasses within its ambit the protection and preservation of environment ecological balance free from pollution of water and air, sanitation without which life cannot be enjoyed.
# See supra note 4 at p. 315
# N.D. Jayal v. Union of India, AIR 2001 SC 867
# V.N. Shukla, Constitution of India, revised by M.P. Singh (2001) at p. 164
# P.S. Jaswal and Nishtha Jaswal, Environmental Law (2010) at p.15
# Id at 16
# M.C. Mehta v Union of India, AIR 1987 SC 1086 etc.
# The post Bhopal disaster lead to the evolution of Hazardous Waste Management and Handling rules, 1989 Public Liability Insurance Act,1991 National Environment Appellate Authority 1995, NGT National Green Tribunal 2010
# Stockholm Conference of 1972, Rio Declaration 1992, Kyoto Protocol, Indian Maritime laws etc.
# The Constitution empowers the Parliament to make Laws implementing India’s international obligations as well as any decision made at an International Conference, Association or other body. Entry 13 of the Union List covers: ‘participation in International Conferences, associations or other bodies and implementing of the decisions made thereat.’ In view of broad range of issues addressed by International Conventions, Conferences, Treaties and Agreements, Article 253 read with Entry 13 apparently gives Parliament the powers to enact the Laws virtually on any entry contained in the State List.
# From 6th June To 15th June, in 1972 the representatives of 113 World Governments assembled in this UN Conference and resolved 26 principles to protect and improve the environment. “The UN Conference on Human Environment” is said to be “the Magna Carta on Human Environment”
# The Environment Protection Act was passed with the foreign background and to fulfill the constitutional obligation as provided under Article 48- A. the Act was passed to fulfill the obligation as provided under the Stockholm Declaration of 1972.This declaration came out with 26 Principles which are known as the Magna Carta of the human environment. It was suggested by the Stockholm Declaration that the governments must evolve necessary laws to protect and improve flora and fauna, nonrenewable resources, wildlife and human health. The Act consists of 26 sections divided into four chapters. Seven schedules dealing with emission standards of air, noise, effluents etc. have also been apprehended to it.
# Op.cit. P. leelakrishnan 1
# Supra note 26
# In the pursuance of Article 252 (1)of the Indian constitution, resolutions were passed by the house legislature’s of the State’s of Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tripura, and west Bengal to the effect that the matters relating to the prevention and control of water pollution should be regulated by the parliament by law. Accordingly, the Parliament enacted the Water (Prevention and Control of pollution) Act, 1974
# The Water Act was first amended in 1978 and then on 1988 to conform with the provisions of EP Act, 1986. Again it was amended in the year 2003.
# A.P. Pollution Control Board v. M.V. Nayudu, (2001) 2 SCC 62 at 79
# Fuel, coal, petroleum and industries are considered to be the major sources of pollution.
# To provide for the prevention control and abatement of pollution; to provide for the establishment of State and Central Pollution Control Board, with a view to implement the abovementioned purpose.; to provide by conferring on such boards functions relating thereto; and to lay down the standards to maintain the quality of air.
Section 2 (b) of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution), Act 1971
# The UN Conference on Environment and Development at Rio de Janerio in June 1992, in which India also participated, called upon the State’ s to develop National Laws regarding the Liability and compensation for the victims of pollution and other environmental damage. Also see Principle 16 of Rio declaration.
# Supra note 26
# T.N. Godavarman Thirumalpad v. Union of India, (2002) 10 SCC 606 at 625
# N.D. Jayal v. Union of India, (2004) 9 SCC 362
# Principle 1 of the Stockholm Declaration: Man has a fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in and environment of quality that permits a life of dignity and well being, and bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for the present and the future generations….
# Principle 2 of the Stockholm Declaration: the natural resources of the earth including air, water, land, flora and fauna are especially the representative samples of the natural ecosystems, and must be safeguarded for the benefit of the present and the future generations through careful planning and management, as appropriate.
# (2002) 3 SCC 599 at 605, Intellectual Forum v. State of A.P., (2006) 3 SCC 549 at 576
# Supra note 26 at p. 126
# The application of precautionary principle is not always very easy or in strait jacket. If the activity is allowed to go ahead then there may be irreparable loss to the environment and if it si stopped then there may be irreparable damage to the economic interest. In case of doubt the protection of environment would have precedence over the economic interest. Moreover the precautionary principle requires anticipatory action to be taken to prevent the harm.
# The substance and activity imply the substances and the activities introduced as a result of the human intervention.
# (1995) 5 SCC 647 at 658.
# (2005) 13 SCC 186.
# Supra note 26
# Carolyn Shelbourn, “Historic pollution – Does the polluter Pay,” Journal of Planning and Environment Law, (1974)
# Karnataka Industrial area Development Board v. C. Kenchappa, (2006) 6SCC 378 at 379
# Supra note 26 at p. 151
# M.C. Mehta v. Kamal Nath (1997) 1 SCC 388
# Id at 407
# Supra note 26 at p. 458
# Principle 5 of the Rio Declaration: All States shall co-operate in the essential task of eradicating poverty as an indispensible requirement for sustainable development, in order to decrease the disparities in standard of living and better meet the needs of the majority of the people of the world.