The Indian Heritage and Culture has a special connection with the preservation
and security of the environment. The Indian State has also blessed it in the
Constitution which needs both the State and the Citizen to protect and enhance
the environment. The Environment Act, 1986 is one of those acts which spread to
the whole of India without any limitation.
Constitutional Interpretation of Environment:
The 42nd Amendment to the Constitution of India appended Article 48A and 51A (g)
which originates under the Directive Principle of State Policy and the
Fundamental Duties respectively.
The Supreme Court of India in Sachidanand Pandey v. State of West Bengal
 declared that the Court is obliged to carry
in mind the before said articles whenever a case linked to Environmental
difficulty is brought to the Court. The Article 48A declares: The State shall
Endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forest and
wildlife of the country.
The Article 51A(g) commands a duty upon every citizen
of India to protect and enhance the natural environment and presents right to
come before the Court for relevant relief.
The Apex Court in Deodar Rao v. S.O. Municipal Corporation
 believed that
the environmental pollution and destruction which is deliberately destroying and
poisoning the environment should also be considered as amounting to a violation
of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
Public Liability and Public Nuisance:M.C. Mehta and Anr. Etc vs. Union Of India and Ors.
 explains the theory of
Public Liability. This case is also known as Oleum Leakage Case. It is a
landmark judgment in which the principle of Absolute Liability was put down by
the Supreme Court of India. The Court believed that the support for bringing out
any dangerous industry very close to the human occupancy could not be given and
the industry was relocated.
The immediate case developed the Deep Pocket Principle
. This judgment
conducted the Parliament to add a new chapter to the Factory Act, 1948. The
Public Liability Act was enacted and the policy for the Abatement of Pollution
Control was also installed.
When the Directive Principles of State Policy has clear legal definitions then
the Court will not allow Municipal Government to make fun of the Statutes by
resting idly. It was determined by the Supreme Court in the Municipal
Corporation, Ratlam vs. Vardhichand
. The case of lack of capital will be
weak alibi when people in pain cry for justice. The office in charge and even
the selected delegates will have to face punishment if they infringe the
constitutional and other statutory directives.
The Bench of Justices PN Bhagwati and Ranganath Mishra in Rural Litigation and
Entitlement Kendra, Dehradun vs. State of Uttar Pradesh presented the concept
of Sustainable Development
. An NGO described RLEK filed a case against
limestone quarrying in the valley in 1987. It was declared that the hard assets
of humanity are not to be consumed in one period. The natural resources should
be practised with necessary consideration and attention so that environment and
climate may not be interested in any severe way.
Environmental Impact Assessment. Justice Jeevan Reddy in the landmark judgment
of Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action vs. Union of India
that the financial costs of checking or mitigating damage produced by pollution
should lie with the hazards which cause the pollution by choosing the Polluter
The Court set a time limit for the bordering states to express coastal
management plans and prevented industrial or construction activity within 500
metres of the High Tide Line.
The writ appeal filed by the activist advocate M.C. Mehta in the Supreme Court
highlighted the abuse of the Ganga river by the dangerous industries located on
its banks. Justice ES Venkataramiah gave a famous judgement in M.C. Mehta vs.
Union of India
 commanding the closure of a number of poisoning tanneries
In this judgment, it was mentioned that just like an industry which cannot pay
minimum wages to its workers cannot be permitted to exist, a tannery which
cannot set up a central treatment plant cannot be allowed to proceed to be in
The Hon'ble Supreme Court in banned Jallikattu and other animal races and
competitions. It was mentioned that the Bulls cannot be making animals in the
case of Animal Welfare Board of India vs. A. Nagaraj and Ors.
The court alluded to the section 3 and section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty
to Animals Act, 1960 and said that animal conflicts influenced by humans are
unlawful, even those carried out under the guise of law and practice. The Court
listed severe references and improved the sentences and fines in the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 to operate completely.
The pride of India and one of the miracles of the world i.e., Taj Mahal, was a
challenging threat due to high toxic radiations from Mathura Refineries, Iron
Foundries, Glass and other chemical industries. The acid rain was a dangerous
threat to the Taj Mahal a 255 other historic monuments within the Taj Trapezium.
The Apex Court in M.C. Mehta vs. Union of India presented its historic
judgment in 1996 giving various regulations including preventing. the use of
coal and cake and directing the industries to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
Environmental Awareness and Education Case
The Supreme Court in M.C. Mehta vs. Union of India ordered the Cinema
theatres all over the country to show two slides free of cost on the environment
in each show. Their permits will be eliminated if they fail to do so. The
Television network in the country will give 5 to 7 minutes to televise programmes on environment aside from giving a general weekly programme on the
The environment has shifted a mandatory subject up to 12th standard from
academic session 1992 and University Grants Commission will also include this
subject in higher classes in different Universities.
- AIR 1987 SC 1109
- AIR 1987 AP 171
- Etc 1986 SCR (1) 312
- AIR 1980 SC 1622
- AIR 1987 SC 2187
- AIR 1999 SC 1502
- AIR 1988 SCR (2) 538
- (2014) 7 SCC 547
- (Taj Trapezium Case) AIR 1987
- WP 860/1991