This research paper not only deals with the environment and social issues
associated with them but an insight of environmental criminality in India and
what actually is the cause of this ignorance towards the environment not only by
the authorities but by the society as a whole itself.
We will be going through
the evolution of environmental law internationally and how global development
forced India to create a framework for a changing need of society. The
constitutional aspects related to environmental law, legal rights, and penal
provisions which deals with the environmental issues. The judicial aspect role
and jurisdiction of the national green tribunal.
This research paper will also try to analyse and compare the national crimes
record bureau's data with the prevailing condition in the other developing
countries, and try to come up with an answer to why there is a very low
conviction rate in India or is it happening in all the other countries as well
and if so the serious question arises do we want to continue this way? Or there
is a scope of making a difference.
The world is being dredged of its natural resources, with much of what we rely
on for our livelihoods at risk from a new threat: environmental crime
Environmental crimes are one of the most profitable criminal activity most
likely the fourth largest crime sector in the world after drugs, counterfeit and
human trafficking and growth of these crimes are astonishing. Criminal activity
which involves exploitation of natural resources and bio- diversity are
comparatively a low risk for offenders. Most countries do not recognise the
environmental offences as a priority which results in the lack of appropriate
and proportionate response. Environmental crimes impact the already fragile
planate hence compromising the future health and wellbeing on an unprecedented
scale as well as the present sustainable development goals needless to say the
acceleration of climate change.
Brief History Of International Environmental Law
To understand the environmental criminality, we first need to understand how it
developed and took shape over the years and what caused international community
to get to the place where it is now. The protection of environment is now a
global issue and is not just isolated to one nation, the collective approach of
the international community over the years has helped in the development of laws
and policies relating to the environment.
Development of these laws are directly
related to the economic development of a nation. As economic development is
secured through the increase in the agricultural and industrial production which
causes disturbance in the ecosystem. These processes of development have done
so much of damage to the ecology that we have accepted it to a fact that the
idea of development comes with the cost of environmental degradation.
Development is necessary but doing it at the cost of sacrificing the environment
is not only dangers to the present generation but to the future generation as
well. While the scientific and technological progress of man has invested him
with immense power over nature, it has also resulted in the unthinking use of
the power, encroaching endlessly on nature.
The united nations conference on
human environment and development at Stockholm in 1972 resulted in the adoption
of a Stockholm declaration which is considered to be the magna carta of
environmental protection and development. But The development of international
environmental law can be separated into three distinct periods. Which are prior
to 1972, during 1972 to 1992 and from 1992 to 2012.
Before 1972 environmental
law had no discrete domestic and international statute of its own and there were
very few multilateral agreements related to environment and majority of the
countries lacked environmental legislation. Earlier prevailing rule of
international law was more of a national sovereignty of a country over its
natural resources and allowed countries to extract as many resources as they
want within their territory.
Edith Brown Weiss in her evolution of environmental
law describes this period as early glimmers as only during this period the
countries started drafting agreements related to the protection of biodiversity.
Initially the focus of the states were to protect the environmental problems
such as marine pollution from oil and civilian use of nuclear energy. States
were not trying to punish those who depleted the environment but rather formed
bilateral agreements and policies to curb the damage.
As at that time most of
the pollution was caused by the state owed operations itself therefore there
were no criminal legislation related to environment. It was not until 1960s when
these concerns were broadened and few conventions were signed.
The basic development of the framework on environmental laws were started when
the united nations conference on the human environment was organised in 1972, It
was the first international inter-governmental conference to identify and
address environmental problems. This conference is also known as Stockholm
The central issue was the potential conflict between economic
development and environmental protection which resulted in the concept of
sustainable development it was in this conference when the idea of sustainable
development emerged it also laid down certain principles. For example, principle
3 of the Stockholm declaration says that the earth's capacity to produce vital
renewable resources be preserved and wherever practical, restored. Principle 5
of this declaration states that non-renewable resources must be used in such a
way that they are protected against the danger of their future exhaustion.
Moreover, the principle 11 of the declaration requires that the environmental
protection policies of all countries should support and not to have detrimental
effect on the present or future development potential of developing
countries. This document set the stage for the further development of
principles of international environmental law. Apart from this there were a
considerable number of other conventions, treaties, agreements and united
nations commission reports on environment and development such as:
commission report: our common future
 defined sustainable development and
brought into common use; the united nations conference on environment and
development (UNCED) also known as earth summit was held with the view to provide
principles of economic and environmental behaviour for individuals and the
nations of the world community it also resulted in Rio declaration and agenda
21 which intended to provide an agenda for local, national regional and global
action into the 21st century.
These initiatives established a foundation for
linking human rights and environmental protection, declaring that man has a:
Fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an
environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being, and he
bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present
and future generations.
Despite these efforts the united nations though
accepts that Human rights and the environment are intertwined; and human rights
cannot be enjoyed without a safe, clean and healthy environment; and sustainable
environmental governance cannot exist without the establishment of and respect
for human rights, but fails to criminalise the offences against the environment.
In the joint report of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and
INTERPOL in 2016 stated that the environmental crime worldwide has accelerated
at a phenomenal rate. It also identifies it as the fourth largest criminal
enterprise globally, right behind drug smuggling, counterfeiting, and human
trafficking. We understand that the recognition of environmental crimes is
relatively new in comparison to the conventional crimes it is also true that the
crimes in this area is easy with low risk as there is not much serious
deterrence against these offences.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is the governing
document which sets out the existing international Crimes. Initially Ecocide was
also to be included as an international crime in earlier drafts, until it was
removed in 1996. So, what is ecocide? According to Polly Higging ecocide is the
extensive damage to, destruction of, or loss of ecosystem of given territory
whether by the human agency or by any other causes, to such an extent that the
Peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that Territory has been severely
In other words, the criminalised human activities that violates the
principle of environmental justice, such as causing extensive damage or
destroying ecosystem or harming the health and wellbeing of a species is known
as ecocide. The reason why ecocide was removed from the Rome statue still
remains a mystery as no official reason or explanation was given by the
The only reference to environmental crimes is appearing in article
8(2)(B)(iv) of roman statute, which is very limited and can only be used in
the international armed conflict and the wording of the article makes it even
more defective to ensure a successful prosecution. Ecocide should be added to
roman statue as it will help curtail the progression of climate change. In 2010
Polly Higgins proposed that the Rome statue be amended to include the crimes of
Though the proposal is still pending before the united nations. In
December 2019 at 18th session of the assembly of states parties to the Rome
statue of ICC, two sovereign states Vanuatu and the Maldives, in their official
statements called for serious consideration of the addition of a crime of
ecocide to the statue.
The international community has evolved rapidly in accordance with the
environmental crimes in recent years but there is a long way to go, just the
acknowledgement of clean environment as a human right is not enough, criminal
prosecution against those who cause the environmental crimes are also necessary
not only limited to individuals or industries but against a country as well.
Amending the Rome statue will help to take one step forward.
A Brief History About Environmental Laws In India
In India, the concept of Environment Preservation is as old as the nation
itself. Since the beginning of our civilisation men and women have constantly
strived to protect and preserve the Mother Earth. This ancient tradition of
environment preservation even reflects in our modern-day India. India is the
member of almost all the conventions, declarations, Conferences and Protocols
dedicated to the protection of Environment Law. Some of them are the Stockholm
Declaration, United Nation Environment Program, Rio Declaration, Kyoto Protocol
Indian Judiciary and Legislation is striving to build good legislations
backed up by judicial precedent so that a strong foundation for Environmental
Law Jurisprudence could be construed. International measures are accompanied
by the efforts of national legislatures throughout the world consisting of
enactment and remodelling of existing environmental laws. India has also enacted
and constantly amended the existing environmental laws to suit the changing
Though there were several legislations related to environment
existed prior to the independence but it was only after the Stockholm's
declaration that India started the legislations related to environment such as
the National Council for Environmental Policy and Planning was set up in 1972
within the Department of Science and Technology to establish a regulatory body
to look after the environment-related issues.
This Council later evolved into a
full-fledged Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). The parliament also
passed the various legislation related to environment such as the water
(prevention and control of pollution) act, 1974, the air (prevention and control
of pollution) act, 1981, and the wild life (protection) act,1972 ETC. These acts
enacted for a wider purpose of protecting and improving the human environment, a
goal laid down by the Stockholm conference.
The Indian judiciary has also played a very positive role in laying down the
framework for the parliament to form policies and legislation related to safer
and cleaner environment it is necessary to build a good legislation backed up by
judicial precedents so that a strong foundation for the environmental law can be
In the case of Mc. Mehta V. Union Of India
the first jurisprudence
for the environmental law was laid down Supreme court in this case tried to
reinstate the faith in the system of justice by rectifying the mistake done in
Bhopal gas tragedy case, in this case the supreme court held that there has to
be a synthesis of environment and economic imperative for the greater good of
Industrialisation shouldn't mean genocide but human good. Then, time
and again our Indian Judiciary has been implementing the principles of
Environment Law in such a fashion that an Indian Jurisprudence can be devised
for aiding the legislators to implement statutes dedicated to Environmental Law
as per Indian conditions.
In various cases like People United For Better
Living In Calcutta V. State Of West Bengal the Calcutta High Court held that in
a country like India the economic growth should be according to the principle
Sustainable Development. A balance must be maintained between the economic
growth and environment such that none of them deters the other.  despite the
competent efforts of the judiciary the criminal prosecution of these cases are
still hard non the less the conviction rate is low.
The Constitution Aspect For Protection Of Environment
It was only in 1976 when the term environment
was introduced in the
constitution by the 42nd amendment which provides an obligation to both state
and its citizens to protect and preserve the environment.
Article 48(A) states that:
Protection and improvement of environment and
safeguarding of forests and wild life The State shall endeavour to protect and
improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the
This amendment also inserted the article 51A(g) which says It
shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural
environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have
compassion for living creatures the parliament inserted these article with
an intention to sensitise the citizens about their duty incorporated in article
51A of the constitution.
Among other things requiring a citizen to protect and
improve the natural environment including the forests, lakes, rivers and wild
life and to have a compassion for living creatures. The legislative intent and
spirit under Articles 48A and 51A(g) of the Constitution find their place in the
definition of environment
under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
parliament enacted various laws like the Air (Prevention and Control of
Pollution) Act, 1981, Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and
the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, the
Indian Forest Act, 1927 and the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and other
legislations with the primary object of giving wide dimensions to the laws
relating to protection and improvement of environment.
It is true that Part III
of the Constitution relating to Fundamental Rights does not specifically provide
any Article specifically to the Environment or protection per SE. However, with
the development of law and pronouncement of judgments by the Supreme Court,
Article 21 of the Constitution has been expanded to take within its ambit the
right to a clean and decent environment.
Constitutional provisions related to fundamental rights are invoked in the cases
related environmental problems. Here it is also notable that the principle 1 of
the Stockholm declaration finds its reflection in the article 14, 19 and 21 of
the constitution of India protecting the right to equality, freedom of
expression, and right to life and personal liberty.
Principle 1 of the
declaration states that Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and
adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life
of dignity and well-being, and he bears a solemn responsibility to protect and
improve the environment for present and future generations. The Permanent
Peoples' Tribunal on 19-24 October 1992 in its third session on Industrial and
Environmental Hazards and Human Rights regarded the anti-humanitarian effects of
industries are not only causing the environmental degradation but also violates
most of the fundamental rights of humanity which are the right to life, health,
expression, and access to justice.
The constitutional provisions related to part III and IV which deals with the
fundamental rights and directive principle of state policy which are
complimentary and supplementary to each other. Fundamental rights are the means
to achieve the goals indicated in the part IV of the constitution and thus must
be constructed in the light of directive principle.
Article 14 of the constitution deals with right to equality and provides, that
the state shall not deny any person right to equality before the law or equal
protection of the laws within the territory of India. Article 14 ensures that
there is no arbitrariness in the state actions and that there is fairness and
equality of treatment. In the case of Bangalore Medical Trust v. B. S Muddappa
the supreme court stopped the arbitrary actions of the state to convert the
public park into a nursing home.
The court held that the protection of the
environment, open spaces for recreation and fresh air, playgrounds for children,
promenade for the residents, and other conveniences or amenities are matters of
great public concern and of vital interest to be taken, and preservation of open
spaces for parks and playgrounds cannot be sacrificed by leasing or selling such
sites to private persons for conversation to other user…
Furthermore, the court held that the states action to convert an open space
reserved under the scheme of public park into constructing hospital and to allot
the site to the private person or body of persons for this purpose was vitiated
by non- application of mind and was arbitrary and hence ultra vires and violates
article 14 of the constitution.
This decision of the supreme court has followed
in several other cases too to stop sates authority from any arbitrary actions.
Hence, it was established that the article 14 can be invoked to challenge the
actions of the government granting permission for activities with high
environmental if it is granted arbitrarily.
Generally article 51A and 48(A) is read with article 21 which guarantees that
'No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to
procedures established by law.' This article is the core of all the other
fundamental rights thus the Indian judiciary from various cases tried to
establish environment as a basic fundamental right. Article 21 expands the scope
of the environmental protection in India; thus, the Indian judiciary has
broadband the concept of life to include clean, safe and healthy environment.
This means the right to pollution free environment is the fundamental right.
In Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra v. State of U.P
also known as Dehradun quarrying case, the supreme court observed that lime stone quarrying
pollution is adversely affecting the health and environment of the people and
hence it should be stopped as it is violating the article 21. It was in this
case when that the apex court held that the wholesome environment is a part of
right to life and personal liberty guaranteed under article 21 of the
Moreover, in the case of Subhash Kumar v State of Bihar
apex court held that the clean and pollution free water and air is the
fundamental right under article 21. This case laid down the foundation of
environmental litigation which incorporated the pollution free environment under
the ambit of fundamental right.
Apart from this the article 253 of the Indian constitution provides Parliament
the power to make any law for the whole or any part of the country for
implementing any treaty, agreement or convention with any other country.
This article was used to implement the principles of the Stockholm conference
and to legislate on all the matters related to the preservation of natural
Connecting fundamental rights and environment is necessary to explores and
expand the horizon of environmental and fundamental rights legislation. We can
ensure fundamental equality and adequate conditions of life in an environment
that permits a life of dignity and well-being. Indeed, health has seemed to be
the subject that bridges gaps between the two fields of environmental protection
and human rights.
Penal Provisions Related To Environmental Law
If we look into the history of legal provisions available for the control of
environmental pollution Indian penal code, 1860 provides it's first attempted to
curb the environmental related offences generally water and atmosphere through
criminal sanctions. Chapter XIV of the Indian Penal Code under section 268A to
194A deals with offences affecting public health and safety. The sole purpose of
Chapter XIV is to make those act punishable which pollute environment or
threatens the life of the people.
Section 278 of Indian penal code provides: - Whoever voluntarily corrupts or
fouls the water of any public spring or reservoir, so as to render it less fit
for the purpose for which it ordinarily used, shall be punished with
imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three
Section 278 of Indian penal code provides: - Whoever voluntarily vitiates the
atmosphere in any place so as to make it noxious to the health of persons in
general dwelling or carrying on business in the neighbourhood or passing along a
public way, shall be punished with fine which may extend to five hundred
The above two provisions are related to environmental protection as it penalises
the air and water pollution, however it has failed to achieve the objective
because of the technicality of the laws needs to be satisfied every aspect of
the offence as mentioned in the penal provision. The above-mentioned provisions
do not provide criminal justices.
This is also a sad reality of our society that
the people who violate the very environment we live in can walk freely even
after causing dangerous health issues to the people at large and damaging the
natural environment. Though the IPC provides protection of the environment but
it has failed to create a deterrence in the society. The amount 500/Rs as a fine
is very low for those commit such crimes.
The question here we have to ask our
self that how much value is there for life that it can be sold for mere amount
of 500/Rs and the offender would maximum have a jail time of 6 months. Does
value of a life mean nothing in todays world? These sections and laws needs to
be amended to keep up with the current situation. Environmental law violators
are usually hit with criminal fines, probation, jail time, or a combination of
these punishments. While jail time may be the most formidable punishment for
individuals who commit environmental crimes, fines are intended to deter lar
After the Bhopal gas tragedy, the government enacted the Environment
(Protection) Act, 1986. Laws that were existed earlier to this enactment were
mainly focused on specific pollutions such as air and water. The single
statutory law to govern the entire problems related to the environment was only
ensured through this enactment. It provided a framework for central government
to coordinate various policies with state, established under previous laws.
The Law Of Torts And Environmental Pollution
Although the law of torts does not specifically deal with the environmental laws
and pollution control. Still, the principle evolved out of certain aspect of
In India most of the cases of torts comes under four major categories:
That which annoys and disturbs one in possession of his
property, rendering its ordinary use or occupation physically uncomfortable to
him. A nuisance may be public or private in nature. Hence, any inconvenience
caused due to smell, noise, fumes, gas, heat, smoke, germs, vibrations, etc. can
be the basis of an action under nuisance.
The omission to do something which a reasonable man,
guided by those ordinary considerations which ordinarily regulate human affairs,
would do, or the doing of something which a reasonable and prudent man would not
do. In other words, specific tort on which a common law action to prevent
environmental pollution can be constructed. When some damage, loss or
inconvenience is caused due to lack of care which had to be taken then it
amounts to be negligence.
Doing of unlawful act or of lawful act in unlawful manner to
injury of another's person or property. In the environmental related cases tort
of trespass constitutes a deliberate attempt of damage to plaintiff's
- Strict liability:
Liability without fault, or when neither care nor
negligence, neither good nor bad faith, neither knowledge nor ignorance will
save defendant. This tort has significant relevance in the matters related
to environmental pollution.
While the environmental law deals with the regulations which intend to protect
the general public health, whereas the law of torts was bought in order to
compensate for damages caused to individual. Also, dealing in environmental laws
the burden of proof is on defendant while in torts plaintiff has the burden of
showing the action caused damages.
Remedies Under Law Of Torts
In law of torts two remedies available; damages and injunction
A pecuniary compensation or indemnity, which may be recovered in the
courts by any person who has suffered loss, detriment, or injury, whether to his
person, property, or rights, through the unlawful act or omission or negligence
of another.  the continuous efforts of supreme court for awarding when the
environmental harm carrying on hazardous or inherently dangerous activity.
the case of M. C Mehta v. union of India
where the Oleum gas leak caused a
significant environmental harm. The apex court held that quantum of damages
awarded must be appropriate
to the magnitude and capacity of the polluter to pay.
Injunction- A prohibitive writ issued by a court of equity, at the suit of a
party complainant, directed to a party defendant in the action, or to a party
made a defendant for that purpose, forbidding the latter to do some act, or to
permit his servants or agents to do some act, which he is threatening or
attempting to commit, or restraining him in the continuance thereof, such act
being unjust and inequitable, injurious to the plaintiff, and not such as can be
adequately redressed by an action at law. In other words, it is a judicial
remedy which can play important role abating
or preventing pollution.
Tort law has traditionally provided a blunt instrument for remedying harms to
the environment. Indeed, the lack of a neat fit between certain harms to
environmental interests and a remedy through the common law tort system has been
a significant catalyst for the increase in environmental statutes and
regulations over the past several decades. Nevertheless, general tort law
theories have been successfully applied to remedy numerous types of harm to the
Role Of National Green Tribunal
As the burden on supreme court increased and cases started to pile up the apex
court time to time expressed the urgent need for an alternative forum to deal
with the environmental cases without any delay. In M. C Mehta v. union of India
the supreme court first time indicted the need for separate alternative forums
to deal with the environmental cases on a regional basis with two experts from
environmental science research group and a professional judge.
effects to the global declarations on environment and provides a specialised
forum for effective and quick disposal of environmental cases. The parliament
enacted the national green tribunal act in 2010, it confers NGT the power to
hear complaints as well as appeals under various environmental laws. It follows
the internationally recognised principle of sustainable development while
issuing the order.
The act provides that the tribunal may, by an order provide
relief and compensation to the victims of pollution and other environmental
damages arising under the enactment of this act. Which includes accident
occurring while handling any hazardous substances or restitution of the
environment for the areas as the tribunal may think fit. This act was also a
response to implement the apex court's pronouncement that the right to healthy
environment is also a part of right to life under article 21 of the
Jurisdiction Of National Green Tribunal
the NGT has the power to hear all the civil cases related to the environmental
issues and complaints that are linked to the implication of laws listed in the
scheduled 1 of The National Green Tribunals Act
, 2010, which includes:
- The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1947;
- The Water (Prevention and
Control of Pollution ) Cess Act, 1947;
- The Forest ( Conservation ) Act, 1980;
- The Air ( Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981;
- The Environment (Protection) Act, 1991;
- The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991;
- The Biological Diversity Act, 2002;
However the NGT has not been vested with the powers to hear
any matter relating to Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, The Indian Forest Act,
1927, Laws enacted by States relating to Forests, Tree Preservation etc.
therefore any substantial issues related to these laws cannot be challenged
before the tribunal. Apart from this the National Green Tribunal also enjoys the
powers of suomoto.
National Crimes Record Bureau (Data Analysis)
In the year 2018 the National Crime Record Bureau
(herein referred as NCRB)
released yearly report from 2016 to 2018 related to the offences which are
registered under environment related crimes. The report of the NCRB is not only
shocking but also raises many questions instead of answering them.
To put it
into the perspective let us examine the report. From 2016 to 2018 total number
of cases related to environment were 4732, 42143, 35196 respectively from which
41.3% of the total cases were registered from Tamil Nadu followed by Rajasthan
with 27.8% and kerela with 16.3% whereas not even a single case was recorded in
north-eastern states with dense forest, biodiversity and mining-rich geology but
what concerns the most is that the cases which were recorded as environmental
offence were under the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 which is
not an act which primarily deals with the pollution or environmental
Tamil Nadu being a major contributor to the environmental offences
in record only registered 1 case under The Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986
and The Forest Act & the Forest Conservation Act, 1927 and total of only 17
cases were recorded under The Air (1981) & The Water (Prevention & Control of
Pollution) Act, 1974 in all over India and only 85 cases under The Environmental
This has been released when 30 cities in the world with most polluted air, 22
were found in India with Delhi being one of the most polluted cities in the
world yet according to the NCRB'S report not even a single case was recorded
under The Air (1981) & The Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
The data shows similar situation in with the Uttar Pradesh which is known for
its polluted river bodies like ganga and Yamuna yet it recorded only one case.
The NCRB report poses a very disturbing figure as most of the states and union
territory are not even reporting a single case related to environmental issues
whereas 85.3% of the total cases in India comes from only three states and
majority of these cases are recorded under the acts which not even deals with
the actual environmental related issues. According to environmental performance
index India stands at 177th rank out of total 180 countries.
According to world
health organisation air quality and water quality of India in most of the parts
are way (below) than the standard safety. Which forces us to question and doubt
the NCRB report is to why the states are not reporting any crimes related to
environment does it mean that in India crimes related to environment do not
exist?, or we are not taking environment related offences seriously to that
extent we are not even reporting it?
According to Prerna Bindra, former member,
National Board for Wildlife the NCRB data is a good start, but is in no way an
accurate reflection of either the scale or gravity of environmental crimes
The laws related to environment has evolved significantly in last couple of
decades as various international and national efforts and through social
activism with strategic environmental initiatives. But despite these efforts the
crimes related to environment is still not in control and according to the
reports it's the 4th largest area of crimes in the world. The situation is much
serious than it is being taken.
International criminal court should handle the crimes related to environment as
mentioned in its initial drafts of the roman statute. The international
community has evolved rapidly in accordance with the environmental crimes in
recent years but there is a long way to go, just the acknowledgement of clean
environment as a human right is not enough, criminal prosecution against those
who cause the environmental crimes are also necessary not only limited to
individuals or industries but against a country as well. Amending the Rome
statue will help to take one step forward.
In India the cases related to pollution and environmental related problems are
not seen as a criminal offence hence the offenders are not punished and the mere
amount of compensation is not enough to create a deterrence in the society that
will significantly drop the pollution and case related to environment.
system needs to be changed with the ever-evolving society. It is the requirement
of the time to criminalise the offences which harm the environment as it affects
not just a group of people but humanity at large the government needs to realise
the importance of a safe and clean environment for the citizens and whoever
pollutes the purity of the nature needs to be behind the bars. Indian judiciary
although has played a very vital role in laying down the framework for the
The NGT is the most consistent and progressive environmental authority in India.
Unlike the Supreme Court, the NGT does not routinely favour infrastructure
projects, nor does it cause a delay in resolving the cases before it. It had
redefined the role of environmental experts and the criteria to select such
experts. It has been largely successful in implementing its orders, which
usually relate to staying environmental clearances.
The regional green tribunals
seem even more active and aggressive than the NCT in Delhi, as the regional
judges are fearless and have no ambition for national positions. Finally, the
NGT seems to have encouraged a number of lawyers all over India to specialise in
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 Dr. J.J.R. UPADHYAYA, ENVIRONMENTAL LAW (5TH ED 2018)
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 Edith Brown Weiss, The Evolution of International Environmental Law,
Georgetown University Law Centre (2011)
 UN General Assembly, United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, 15
December 1972, A/RES/2994
 Our common future—the world commission on environment and development
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 United Nations Conference on Environment & Development, 1992
 Principle 1, United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, 1972
 Nellemann, C., et al. (eds.) (2016), The Rise of Environmental Crime: A
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 Ecocide should be treated like a war crime, U.K. lawyer says, The
 18th session of the Assembly of States Parties opens in The Hague
 pratyush pandey, History of Environmental Law (19th may 2020)
(ref: - http://lawtimesjournal.in/history-of-environmental-law/)
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 AIR 1993 Cal 215, see also 97 CWN 142
 The Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976
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 See also:
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Industrial and Environmental Hazards and Human Rights on 19-24 October
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 Unni Krishnan v. State of Andhra Pradesh (1993 AIR 2178, see also 1993 SCR
 (1991) 4 SCC 54
 Article 21, the constitution of India 1949
 1985 AIR 652, see also 1985 SCR (3) 169
 1991 AIR 420, see also 1991 SCR (1) 5
 Article 253, the constitution of india, 1949
 See also:
 Section 277, Indian penal code,1860
 Section 278, Indian penal code,1860
 Mayank Shekhar, Law Of Crimes & Environment, (28th May 2020) (See Also
 Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary,1290 (11th Ed 2019)
 Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary,1260 (11th Ed 2019)
 Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary,1751 (11th Ed 2019)
 Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 1667 (11th Ed 2019)
 Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary,542 (11th Ed 2019)
 1987 SCR (1) 819, See Also Air 1987 965
 Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary,999 (11th Ed 2019)
 . Jamie Cassels (1989), Judicial Activism and Public Interest Litigation in
India: Attempting the Impossible?
 M.Tony Mathew, L. Priyadharshini, Tortious Liability For Environmental Harm
In India-A Review, International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics, Volume
120 No. 5 2018, 463-475
 1987 SCR (1) 819, see also AIR 1987 965
 The National Green Tribunals Act, 2010
 National Crime Records Bureau, crimes in India 2018, volume II, Ministry Of
(ref link :- https://ncrb.gov.in/crime-india-2018)