“Life means not only physical existence. It means the use of every limb or
faculty through which life is enjoyed…… the right to life includes the right to
healthy environment.” - Justice PN Bhagwati
It is the dream of every person to have healthy environment because environment
is the most important factor to support not only human life but also life of
many species. But now a days in the name of modernization, urbanization,
economic development etc man himself creating a harmful environment around him.
For this no country can claim an exception either it is a developed country or
developing country can claim an exception. So, India is also one among these.
Here people, organizations as well as government all are playing a vital role.
Because of greedy towards quick development without having consciousness about
environment and failure of the state agencies in making and implementation
effective enforcing environmental laws has resulted in degrading of the
environment. Moreover, we are witnessing ecological imbalance, traumatic
subversion of the eco-system, global warming, cyclones, earthquake, tsunami,
floods, radiation problems and pollution in atmosphere in case of air, water,
land and what not.
It is the known fact that healthy environment is basic need of everyone. So,
obviously everyone should feel it as their duty to protect environment.
Protection of environment is need not only for present generation but also for
enjoyment and continuation of life by our next generations. In fact the concept
of environment protection is not a new concept in India it has been prevalence
from times immemorial in our country in the name of customs, religious rites
etc. in one word during ancient period man and environment were said t be
During medieval and modern period science and technologies have given place for
too many environmental problems for which state started to make laws to prevent
these problems. In this regard there are several specific as well as general
laws including constitution of India specifically provided by State which
require the state and the citizens to protect environment.
Here it is worthwhile to note that in the year 1972 (June 5 to 16) United
Nations Organization conducted a world countries meet to discuss about
environmental problems in the name of ‘the United nations conference on the
Human environment’, it was held at Stockholm, in Switzerland. This meet was
famous as Stockholm declaration 1972. In this meet the then PM Smt. Indira
Gandhi represented our country. After this, UNO has been creating a plat form by
conducting several meets and conference among member countries and other
countries to deal about environmental issues. By which it still trying to create
awareness and exchanging of ideas for reduction of environmental pollution.
Among them Earth summit-1992, Jamesburg convention, Rameswar convention etc are
more important. The fortunate thing is that in all most all of these conventions
India is one of the member and signatory country.
This Stockholm declaration provided a chance to industrially developed nations
as well as to developing nations to deal about rights of the human to have a
productive, healthy, clean and green environment. More over the declaration
declared that there is an urgent need to work for economic development as well
as environmental protection for which every country should strive for
“sustainable development”. The concept of sustainable development says that one
should maintain environmental safety without compromising economic development.
It means there is a need for thoughtful use of resources by present generation
without damaging interest of the coming generations. For this noble work India
also inspired and it also taken several steps in furtherance.
The dynamic leader the than PM Smt. Indira Gandhi inspired by this conference
and under her leader ship Indian government proposed 42nd amendment in the year
1976 to the Indian Constitution and inserted several new provisions to
Constitution of India and also passed several statutory laws specifically to
protection and promotion of clean and green environment and to prevent
But due to many reasons this protection guidelines become dead letters in our
country. So, the responsibility regarding prevention of environmental pollution
and promotion of health environment has taken by the Indian Judiciary through
Judicial Activism in Environmental protection. Mainly higher judiciary such as
high courts and apex court of India especially by means of various Public
Interest Litigation, under original jurisdiction and even by suo-moto action, in
accordance with the growing national needs and with the global scenario like
right to healthy environment, sustainable development etc.
The researcher used the doctrinal research methodology to write this present
research article. For this researcher collected the data from both primary as
well as secondary source. The primary data consists of the provisions provided
by International Conventions, the Constitution of India, Several other statutory
laws, judicial pronouncements given by Judiciary such as high court and apex
court of India and law commission reports etc. The secondary data contains
various research papers, text books, articles by eminent professionals in
various journal print as well as online and information from electronic media,
and from internet source etc.
Objectives of the present study
The specific objectives of the present study are
- To analyze the role of Indian Judiciary in enhancing environmental
jurisprudence in detail
- To study the position of environmental protection in India before and after
- To find out international conventions and declarations impact on Indian
- To study Constitutional provisions regarding environmental protection and
reduction of environmental pollution.
- To study various judicial pronouncements given by Indian higher judiciary in
implementation of environmental administration and promoting environmental
Justice in India.
Importance of Judiciary in promoting justice (environmental rights to)
Judiciary is one of the organs of the State which aimed to provide justice.
India is one of the biggest democratic countries in the world. So, obviously in
a democratic country judiciary plays a pivotal role. So, it performs various
important role and functions; most importantly Indian judiciary has a
constitutional duty to protect and safeguard Individuals rights in the country,
and to safeguarding constitutional goals.
Thus, one can say that judiciary is
the guardian of the constitution and people. In general, judiciary in democratic
state must confine to interpretation of laws in accordance with the ‘doctrine of
separation of powers’, but the Judiciary in India do not remain confined within
the traditional jurisdiction of Civil and Criminal and mere interpretation of
laws. Being a custodian of constitution and individual rights judiciary has been
expanding its functions to protect people in number of issues. It is also true
in regard to environment protection; it had recognized pollution free, clean and
green environment as a fundamental right under Art.14 and 21 of the constitution
and as primary human right under UDHR.
At the same time by introducing numerous
legal doctrines and by interpretation of constitution it also recognized that,
it is the fundamental duty of the state as well as the individual to protect
environment, where ever necessary there courts also providing suggestions and
even punishing the wrongdoers. To know more elaborately about Indian judiciary
contribution regarding environmental protection one has to know about the events
before and after 1972 that means position before and after Stockholm declaration
held at Sweden.
Evolution of Legal Principles and Doctrines in Environmental Jurisprudence in
Position of Environmental protection in India before 1972
Prior to 1972, that means during ancient period in the name of customs and
religious practices and even during British period and after independence, laws
provided scope to Indian judiciary to protect environment in direct and indirect
way in the form of rights and duties of an individual towards the other in civil
and criminal laws like nuisance, trespass, negligence, strict liability etc and
protection of forest, animals, prevention of pollution etc. but being a
developed country all these laws were not adequate to deal with growing
environmental pollution and to safeguard environment. Here the Stockholm
declaration, 1972 played a vital role to activate Indian judiciary regarding
protection of environment and to prevent and control environmental pollution
through proper laws, principles and doctrines.
Significance of Stockholm declaration
The government of Sweden had taken an initiative step to host the UN conference
on “United Nations Conference on the Human Environment” at Sweden, which, was
held conducted in the year 1972 (June 5–16). In the international environmental
law this conference is the first major multilateral meet. This meet ultimately
come to a final declaration on environment which is known as “Stockholm
Declaration”. This conference is the most important one in the history regarding
the issues relating to clean, safety, healthy and pollution free etc human
environment. Prior to Stockholm, there were several treaties between nations
regarding environmental matters but all of those resulted from specific issues
that to between those countries which are geographically nearer to one another.
So, those treaties were called as either bilateral or regional. In fact
environmental treaties were anthropocentric since they were made mainly to
secure the interests of the participant countries only. Best example for this is
“The International Convention for the Protection of Birds Useful to Agriculture
(Paris) 19 March 1902”.
Later because of many incidences like “the Trail Smelter dispute”  etc. world
countries started to gave a fresh thought to the industrialization. Nations
started to think development with environmental protection. This scenario led to
the international as well as national legislation on environmental protection by
agreeing upon a declaration, which has 26 principles about the environment and
development and also it has Action Plan with 109 suggestions and several
resolutions.. So under the obligation of this conference States started to
make legislations for the protection of environment, it was also true in case of
India. India made numerous legislations as well as it mad 42nd constitutional
amendment. In fact all these pawed a away for the Indian Judiciary to
interpret the environmental issues in best way after 1972 then prior to it.
Position of Environmental protection in India before 1972
After 1972, being one of the signatory country Indian government passed several
laws for the protection environment and also provided constitutional safeguard
by 42nd amendment more over if one try to analyze several judgments of the
Supreme Court, it is clear that it had and has been trying at its best in a hard
manner to prevent pollution and to protect water, land, coastal areas, towns and
cities, air, forest and wildlife etc. More over it is notable point that Indian
Judiciary declared that pollution free, clean, green and healthy environment is
a fundamental right under Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution and at
the same time it also insisted governments to provide pollution free and healthy
environment to people as it primary duty of the government even though it was a
DPSP under Article 48A. More over it also insisted individuals to follow their
fundamental duty under Article 51A (g) as it their primary duty towards present
and future generations.
There are so many case laws through which Indian judiciary evolved numerous
legal principles and doctrines for protection of environment and prevention and
control of environmental pollution. Some of them are
- Absolute Liability Principle
- Polluter Pay Principle (PPP)
- Precautionary Principle (PP)
- Public Trust Doctrine
- Intergenerational Equity Principle
- Doctrine of Sustainable Development and etc
Absolute Liability principle:
The concept of ‘Absolute Liability Principle’ is not a traditional principle in
environmental jurisprudence. Absolute liability principle is also referring as
‘no fault liability’, where the wrong doer has no opportunity to claim
exceptions. This absolute liability is a principle which was created by Indian
judiciary in the place of strict liability, where wrong doer has some
exceptions. The strict liability principle is a concept pronounced by
the House of Lords in the case of Rylands v. Fletcher. This case has created
new arena in English tort law.
The principle of Absolute liability is more stringent from of strict liability,
and was recognized by Supreme Court of India in M.C. Mehta v. Union of
India (Oleum gas leak case). This case originated in the aftermath of oleum
gas leak from Shriram Food and Fertilisers Ltd. complex at Delhi. This gas
leak occurred soon after the Bhopal gas leak in Madhya Pradesh and created a lot
of panic in Delhi. Bhagwati CJ. was a pioneer in this important development,
felt that the rule laid in Rylands v. Fletcher is not suitable in this case and
there is a need for new principle by which wrong doer should not escape by any
exception and victims should get definite justice. While deciding this case he
also stated that the concept of strict liability was evolved in 19th century at
England and at that time the industrial developments was at starting stage, but
now in this modern society industrialization was at peak stage. So, it is the
duty of the court to safeguard society from hazardous substances of the
industry. In furtherance of this aim the old principle strict liability is not
suitable in India scenario.
So, the Supreme Court created the principle of absolute liability or no fault
theory in the place of the strict liability. This principle clearly says that
those industries which are dealing with dangerous or hazardous substances while
they are engaging their activities caused to any accident and resulted in harm
to anyone then that enterprises are absolutely liable to compensate without any
exceptions. More over court also held that for filing a case regarding this type
of case there will be no burden of proof on the petitioner to explain how it was
happened or it was caused because of negligence of employer or employee(s) of
that respective industry. Here the notable point is that there is no need to
show locus standee by the petitioner. In fact this locus standee and burden of
proof creates barriers to petitioners to approach court and to plead relief
immediately. Later, to strengthen this principle Indian government passed a
statute known as “The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991”, where this
principle was recognized even in legislation.
In Indian Council for Environmental Legal Action v. Union of India (‘H’ acid
case)  the Supreme court of India strictly held that absolute liability
principle which laid in olieum gas case is not mere an obiter dicta, it should
be followed strictly. In recognition of the principle of absolute liability SC
had given its dynamic precedents in Narmada Bacho Andolan v. Union of India and
Others and in M.C. Metha v. Kamal Nath and Others etc cases.
Polluter Pays Principle (PPP):
The polluter pays principle is not a new concept it’s just an extension and
provided broadens to the absolute liability principle. So, this principle is
also known as ‘extended producer responsibility’. The notable point in this
principle is by applying this principle the damage caused to environment will be
remedied by the court. In fact this concept is very much important to achieve
the aim of the sustainable development. This principle was well explained by
apex court of India while deciding Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action v.
Union of India (1996) as "The polluter is liable to pay the cost to the
individual sufferers as well as the cost of reversing the damaged ecology”.
Thomas Lindhvist, a Swedish government person probably is the first person who
explained the true meaning of the principle. In fact originally this
principle applied by the courts where one is actually involved in environmental
pollution by emission, etc., but later this principle started to apply in all
the cases where an activity caused for deterioration of the environment.
This principle was clearly mentioned in Stockholm declaration 1972, Brundtland
report 1987, and in Rio declaration 1992 etc. After participation of India in
Stockholm declaration it incorporated this ‘Polluter Pay Principle’ in several
legislations to regulate, control and to prevent solid wastes, hazardous
substances emissions. One of the best examples for this is the environment
protection Act, 1986. This Act clearly says about the liability of the occupier,
transporter, and operator handling hazardous waste to enforce the principle.
Non-compliance of this was made as civil as well as criminal liability.
Moreover, the Public insurance liability Act also specified how much
compensation was to be paid for every degree of injury or death of civilians
and/or workmen and it is also worth to remember here about section 20 of the
National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, which clearly says about the principle upon
which this Tribunal should function.
In case of Indian Council for Enviro Legal Action v. Union of India, the
apex court of India provided remedial action and compensation for the loss
sufferer by citizens due to environmental pollution. In several cases
like Research Foundation for Science v. Union of India, in Vellore Citizens
Welfare Forums case and in M.C. Metha v. Kamal Nath and Others Supreme
court of India interpreted the ‘Polluter Pays Principles’ as ‘the absolute
liability of the wrong doer in case of causing harm to the environment extends
not only to compensate to the victims of pollution, but also the cost of
restoring the environmental degradation”.
Thus polluter pay principle says liability not only to the victims of the
incident but also to the damaged ecology to restore the environment. In fact
this remediation of the damage and environment is part of the process of
Precautionary principle (PP):
The precautionary principle is principle based on the prevention concept. The
main aim of this concept is it is better and safe to take prevention methods
than say sorry after happening of an event. This principle will lay where there
is risk of severe damage to environment or to the human(s) or to the both. Most
interesting point here is that there is no need of definite scientific proof or
conclusive proof to apply this principle.
Generally in traditional legal system in case of environment or in some cases
there is a policy of wait and see. But, by this new principle even prior to the
happening of an event one can take anticipate or preventive step to prevent harm
to humans as well as to environment. It is in fact based on “Precaution is
better than cure”. The term ‘precautionary principle’ had its origin in the
German word Vorsorgeprinzip. Though the principle had its origin in the German
environmental jurisprudence, it has entered in to the global environment policy
due to several global environmental treaties. In simple terms, the PP conveys
the common-sense based advice – to err on the side of caution. The principle
intends to prevent harm to humans, environment, and eco-system at large.
The principle suggests that where there is an identifiable risk of serious or
irreversible harm, including to humans or to the eco-system it should be stopped
before its happening. The Supreme Court of India since 1996 applying this
principle to protect and preserve environment. One can witness this in several
cases like A. P. Pollution Control board Case, Narmada Bacho
Andolans’ case, Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum v. Union of India,
Godavarman Thirumal Pad v. Union of India, K. M. Chinnappa v. Union of
India, Noyyal River Ayacutdars Association’s case and so on. The apex
court applied this principle. In the Research Foundation case, the Supreme
Court of India held that ship breaking cannot be allowed unless the company
adheres to the precautionary principle. In the Court on Its Own Motion case,
the apex court clearly stated that precautionary principle is an integral part
of the life under Article 21 of Indian Constitution.
In case of Orissa Mining case, the forest advisory committee pleaded before
the Supreme Court that the PP is only available remedy to prevent the
irreversible damage to the ecosystem. This plea was accepted by the court in
this case to prevent harm to the environment. In G. Sundarrajan case, the
apex court of India accepted that this PP principle along with several other
international environmental principles helps in preventing environmental
degradation. In State of Tamil Nadu case, the Supreme Court of India
suggested that though this PP concept can apply in case of lack of strict
scientific proof many times people may fell that unless there is a proof how
they can approach court.
So, the competent authority like pollution control
boards must anticipate and apply this principle to prevent environmental damage.
Like, above in many case the apex court has interpreted this PP principle to
prevent pollution and to protect environment. Here it is also important to note
that ‘The rule of EIA’ (Principle of Environmental Impact Assessment) based on
this PP and PPP principles.
Public Trust Doctrine:
The concept of ‘Public Trust Doctrine’ has its roots in the ancient Roman Empire
legal policy. This principle says that certain resources like water, air, sea,
land and the forest etc are the gifts of the God or nature and they should be
made freely available to everyone to enjoy their life irrespective of the stares
of the persons. And it is not good to provide private ownership on these
valuable resources (except on land). More over this principle provides a duty on
the king/ government to protect these resources for the enjoyment of public
rather than to permit their enjoyment or use by some private entities either for
their own or for commercial purpose.
The doctrine of public trust serves mainly two purposes; they are
- This doctrine says about affirmative action by the nation for effective
and optimum management of the natural resources. And
- This principle also empowers citizens to question miss/ ineffective
management of the resources.
In fact this is also a common law concept. Many jurists and academicians defined
and addressed this concept in several countries like US, UK etc. though it is a
old concept in recent decades this principle got the importance and providing a
scope for placing a duty on the state to hold natural resources in trust for the
benefit of the general public and it also given teeth to the courts to interpret
environmental problems basing on this concept and to prevent degradation of
environment and to protect ecosystem. Being a follower of the common law by the
Indian courts applied this concept in numerous cases. Among them the important
case is M. C. Mehta v. Kamal Nath, which is a landmark
case in Indian environmental law based on this important principle. In this case
apex court interpreted this principle in widest form and held that it is the
duty of the government to manage the natural resource and prevent miss
management of resources. More over it also held that natural resources should
not be transferred to private ownership they should be available for the use of
general public. Here the governments should act only as trusty the ultimate
beneficiary are general public only.
Like above in several cases like M. I. Builders v. Radhey Shyam
Sahu, Rambabu v. Divisional Forest Officer, Intellectual Forum v. State
of A.P., Andhra Pradesh State Fihserman’s case, Fomento Resorts and
Hotels Ltd., v. Minguel Martins case etc. and more importantly in a recent
and popular spectrum allocation case the Supreme Court applied this Public
Intergenerational equity principle:
The concept of ‘Inter generational Equity’ is also not a new principle if one
has a close look in the sustainable development principle and in resource
conservation idea finds this inter generational equity principle is an integral
part. The main aim of this principle is to put a moral obligation on the present
generation regarding management of balances between environmental safety and
economic development. It stresses on the reorganization equal rights of the
present and future generation on the environmental resources. This principle
says that there is no difference between past, present and future generation’s
welfare on this earth by the way of rights to enjoy natural resources. In fact
all these generations has a close link, moral and legal obligation to protect
this environment. This theory also says that no present generation can claim
preferential rights over the future generation.
In several case the Indian judiciary recognized this principle clearly. In the
case of State of Himachal Pradesh v. Ganesh Wood Products, the court held
that a state’s approval is contrary to public interest. More over court also
held that maintenance and preservation of forest, natural resources etc for
future generation is a duty on the part of governments as well as on the
citizens based on the concept of sustainable development and inter-Generational
equity principle. Like this in several pronouncements in many cases like Dighi
Koli Samaj Mumbai (Regd) v. Union of India, Dr. Meenakshi Bharath v. State
of Karnataka etc reiterated the sustainable concept as well as inter
generational equity rights principle by recognizing future generation’s
interests on this earth.
The Doctrine of Sustainable development:
The main motto of the sustainable development principle is the development must
possess both economic and ecological sustainability. Sustainable development is
not a new concept to India as well as in other countries. Even during primitive
human society they recognized the solidarity between humans, economic needs and
environment safety. Because of which in the name of traditions, customs,
religious principles they tried to protect relation between human and
environment. But in this 21st industrial and information society these were
become dead letters so to reinforce these principles nations for the protection
of environment created a concept of ‘sustainable development’. This concept has
evolved and developed in Indian environmental jurisprudence because of judicial
The history of sustainable development in the international platform can be
traced back to Stockholm conference 1972. This conference declared that “to
defend and improve the human environment for present and future generations has
become an imperative goal for mankind”. By this principle this conference
created an idea of ‘sustainable development’ although the phrase itself was not
Following on from this conference, the UN General Assembly established the World
Commission on Environment and Development in 1983. This commission was chaired
by the former PM of Norway, Gro Harlum Brundtland. So, this was famous as
“Brundtland Commission”. This commission submitted their report in the year 1987
with title “Our Common Future”. Because of this commission this concept was
popularized. In this report it was held that sustainable development is a
development that meets the needs of the present generations without compromising
the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. That means economic
development with environmental safety.
Indian judiciary by creating direct link between sustainable concept and article
21 of the Indian Constitution in several cases it reiterated this principle as
one of the primary element in governance of state. Though this concept was
international law principle it was interpreted by the court as it is municipal
law under the Constitution of India.
In several cases like Soman v. Geologist, Thilakan v. Circle Inspector of
Police and Other, T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad v. Union of India and
others etc Indian judiciary accepted this principle and held that
sustainable development is a universally accepted principle.
Hence, the concept of Sustainable Development helps to maintain equilibrium
between economic development and conservation of resources. This can be achieved
with the help of effective usage of technology by remembering environmental
Establishment of NGT
Like above apex court in its numerous pronouncements worked hard to protect
environment from environmental pollution. But at the same time it also
recognized the need for new directions and speedy remedy to provide
environmental education and awareness among people it proposed for ‘Green
Courts’, Because environmental issues needs an expert, scientific assistance and
at the same time immediate action to do justice. At the same time there are
several demands from various communities in the society and based on the 186th
law Commission recommendations finally “The national green tribunal Act, 2010”
came in to force with effect from 18th September, 2010.
This Act created NGT as
a special form and as a quasi judicial body. More over this Act has given short
term as well as long term objectives to NGT for the prevention and control of
environmental pollution and at the same time to protect and promote
environmental safety. Presently NGT has been working greatly in our society,
which one can witness from recent orders passed by NGT in various cases.
After detailed analysis finally one can come to a conclusion that Indian
judiciary has been striving hard in a great manner for protection and promotion
of healthy environment. But it is not enough. So for the better future through
environmental protection the author would like to recommend some of the
following suggestions. They are
There is an urgent need to create awareness among the people regarding
protection and promotion of environment and to prevent environment pollution.
It is the need of the hour for many more harmless scientific and legal
There is a necessity global understanding and all Governments must have an
effective laws, implementation plans and monitory mechanisms at International,
national and local level.
Through legal frame work stringent punishments must be provided for violations
of environmental rules and regulations.
Print and electronic media has to play an important role to create mass
Every person should feel that it is their duty to protect mother earth.
Like above the Indian judiciary including national green tribunal has been
playing a pivotal role in protection and promotion of safe environment not only
for present generation but also for future generations. In this journey Indian
judiciary has been creating several new environmental principles with the help
of international and national environmental principles and contributing its
wonderful part for evolution and enhancement of Indian environmental
jurisprudence. It has evolved new doctrine and principles to deal with
conflicting interests of various group of the society. Here it is the notable
point that Indian judiciary through its various land mark judgments recognized
that right to have healthy environment as one of the basic human right as well
as fundamental right. All these are welcome steps but it is not enough, Indian
judiciary as well as Indian environmental jurisprudence has miles to go in which
State as well as its subjects has to take part.
Hence, it is true that it is not
only the duty of judiciary to protect the environment, but it is duty of every
nation and every person to protect the environment. All we should remember that
we have only one mother earth in this universe without which life existence and
continuity is not possible. As rightly said by Sri David Attenborough
“Surely we have a responsibility to leave for future generations a planet that
is healthy and habitable by all species” 
 Art. 48A and Art. 51A)g).
 The Indian Forest Act, 1927
 Prevention of cruelty to animals, 1960
 The Trail Smelter case is a case between Canada and the USA. In fact this
case is the main responsible event for the creating “The harm principle or
Polluter principle” in the jurisprudence of environmental law.
Available at : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_Smelter_dispute
 Available at
 The Wild Life Protection Act, 1972, the Water Act, 1974, the forest
(conservation) Act, 1980, the Air Act, 1981,the Environment (Protection) Act,
1986, protection of plant variety and farmers right Act, 2001, Biological
Diversity Act, 2002 and National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 etc.
 Inserted 48A and 51A(g).
 Even prior to 1972 courts also deal with environmental issues under
concepts of nuisance, trespass, negligence and strict liability under Tort law,
Cr.P.C 1973 and under IPC 1980. But all these are not adequate.
 Strict liability had 5 important exceptions like consent of the plaintiff,
plaintiff’s own default, Act of stranger, act of God or Vis major, where escape
caused for common benefit of plaintiff and defendant and statutory authority
 (1868) LR 3 HL 330:LRI and available at
 AIR 1987 SC 965
 This is a case came before the Supreme Court of India through a PIL
petition under Article 32 of the Indian constitution. This case was a gas
leakage case which was happened on the 4th and 5th December, 1985 from one of
the units of Shriram Foods and Fertilizers Industries, Delhi. Because of this
leakage several people were dead and many were injure among them one Advocate is
also there. So, to provide proper remedy to victims M.C Mehta, A lawyer by
profession and a committed environmentalist by choice approached the apex court
 The Bhopal disaster is world’s worst industrial disaster happened in the
year 1984 at Bhopal in Madhya pradesh. In this incident Methyl iso cyanate gas
(MIC) gas and several other chemicals leaked and caused for loss of life and
property of the several people.
 Section 3 of the public liability insurance Act, 1991.
 AIR 1996 SC 1446
 AIR 2000 SC 3751; (2000) 10 SCC 664
 (2006) 6 SCC 213
 The International institute for industrial Environmental economics at Lund
University, Sweden(2000). Available at
 Rule 16, the Hazardous Wastes Management and Handling Rules 1989.
 Section 15, the Environmental protection Act 1986.
 Section 3 read with the Schedule of the Public liability insurance Act,
 (1996) 5 SCC 218
 (2005) 10 SCC 664.
 Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum v. Union of India, AIR 1996 SC 2715; (1996)
5 SCC 647
 (2006) 6 SCC 213
 A. P. Pollution Control Board v. M. V. Nayudu, (1999) 2 SCC 718; AIR 1999
 Narmada Bacho Andolan v. Union of India (2000) 10 SC 664
 AIR 1996 SC 2715; (1996) 5 SCC 647
 AIR 2000 SC 1636
 AIR 2002 SC 724
 (2009) 9 SCC 737; AIR 2010 SC 3645
 Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy v.
Union of India AIR 2012 SC 2627
 Court on Its Own Motion v. Union of India (2012) 12 SCC 497
 Orissa Mining Corporation Ltd. v. Ministry of Environment and Forest (2013)
6 SCC 476
 G. Sundarrajan v. Union of India (2013) 6 SCC 620
 State of Tamil Nadu v. State of Kerala AIR 2014 SC 2407
 (2006) 6 SCC 213
 (1999) 6 SCC 464.
 AIR 2002 Kant. 123
 (2006) 3 SCC 549
 (2010) 3 ALD 300; 22; (2006) 6 SCC 371, para. 83.
 (2009) 3 SCC 571 at paras. 52-55 and 65.
 9 Centre for Public Interest Litigation v. Union of India, (2012) 3 SCC 1.
 AIR 1996 SC 149 at 163.
 2009 (5) Bom. CR 97.
 2012 (4) Kar LJ 248.
 2004 (3) KLT 577 at para 15; Ashwani Chobisa v. Union of India and Ors, RLW
(2005) 1 Raj 389 at para. 24.
 AIR 2008 Ker. 48 at para 17.
 AIR 2000 SC 1636
 Available at
Written By: Dr. Koneru Anuradha - Assistant Professor in Law, SVD Siddhartha Law College,
Kanuru, Vijayawada, Krishna DT, AP State, India. Pin code: 52007.
Phone no. 9491448532. Email: [email protected]