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Judicial Activism in Protecting the Environment

Posted On : April 28, 2017
The judiciary in our country is seen as the protector of the rights of the individuals. But its work is not limited to protecting the rights of the individuals. The judiciary by itself has has been very active in order to be more efficient in protecting the rights of the individual. The concept of Public Interest Litigation has been introduced in the legal system of our country. This is not the only new concept which the judiciary has  introduced. The whole environmental jurisprudence for environmental law has been developed by the Supreme Court of India. Over the course of which the Supreme Court has introduced and accepted some brilliant doctrines  regarding environment law.


  1. The doctrine of Absolute Liability
The Supreme Court of India propounded this doctrine in the case of Union Carbide Corporation vs Union of India. For this situation, the court held that, where a venture is involved with an inalienably perilous or a risky action and mischief results to anyone by righteousness of a disaster in the operation of such hazardous or actually dangerous development coming to fruition, for example, in getaway of toxic gas, the undertaking is entirely and totally committed to reimburse each one of the people who are impacted by the mishap and such hazard is not subject to any exceptions. In like manner, Supreme Court made another pattern of Absolute Liability with no exclusion. 2. Polluter Pays Principle Polluter Pays Principle has turned into an extremely well known idea of late. The Supreme Court developed this principle in the case of Vellore Citizen Welfare Forum vs Union of India.  ‘If you make a mess, it’s your duty to clean it up ‘. This is the essential premise of this trademark. It ought to be said that in condition law, the 'polluter pays rule' does not insinuate "blame." Instead, it bolsters a therapeutic technique which is worried with repairing normal damage. It's a run in worldwide ecological law where the contaminating party pays for the mischief or harm done to the indigenous habitat.   3. Precautionary Principle The Supreme Court of India, in Vellore Citizens Forum Case, built up the accompanying three ideas for the prudent rule: (a)Natural measures must suspect, avert and assault the reasons for ecological debasement (b)Absence of logical assurance ought not be utilized as an explanation behind putting off measures (c)Onus of evidence is on the on-screen character to demonstrate that his activity is favorable.   4. The Public Trust Doctrine The Supreme Court propounded the Public Trust Doctrine in the case of M.C Mehta vs Kamal Nath . The Public Trust Doctrine fundamentally lays on the rule that specific assets like air, water, ocean and the backwoods have such an awesome significance to individuals all in all that it would be completely unjustified to make them a subject of private possession.   5. Doctrine of Sustainable Development The World commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in its report conspicuously known as the 'Brundtland Report' named after the Chairman of the Commission Ms. GH Brundtland highlights the idea of sustainable development . According to Brundtland Report, Sustainable improvement implies " advancement that addresses the issues of the present without trading off the capacity without bounds eras to address their own issues". In the case of Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra v. State of UP ,the court for the first time dealt with the issue relating to the environment and development; and held that, it is always to be remembered that these are the permanent assets of mankind and or not intended to be exhausted in one generation.    
Written By :
Yugantar Singh Chauhan

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