Environmental law in India

Environmental law in India

Environmental law in India-

Environmental protection and its preservation is at present the concern of the mankind. The environment is one of the clearest example that all human activities on this earth are connected. At present time, society’s interaction with nature is so expansive that environmental question has assumed all proportions affecting all humanity.

Environmental degradation and pollution has seriously threatened human life, health and livelihood. Accordingly, there has been a thrust on the protection of environment the world over.

If the quality of life is to be assumed to the present generation and if the future generation is to be saved from environmental catastrophe, the natures gift to us in the form of flora and fauna has to be preserved in the natural form.

The proper balance of the ecosystem is the need of today. The only answer to tackle this problem is environmental law.

The object of environmental law is to preserve and protect nature’s gift to man and woman such as water, air, earth and atmosphere from pollution.

Notwithstanding political division of the world into national units, the oceanic world is interconnected whole and winds that blow over the countries are also one.

Such observation was made by the Supreme Court in M.C. Mehta v. union of India (1991) to SCC 353. If the nuclear test is carried out in one part of the world, the fall out may be carried out by winds to any other part of the world and such fall out of irresponsible disposal of radioactive waste from a remote energy may turn out to have greater effect on the neighbouring then the danger of full-fledged war.

Due to the agriculture chemicals, solvents and mercury, which flowed into the Rhine river during a warehouse fire in Switzerland millions of fish were killed and the drinking water in the Federal Republic of Germany and the Netherlands was threatened.

Industrialisation, urbanisation, population explosion, poverty, over exploitation of resources, depletion of traditional resources of energy and raw materials and the research for new resources of energy and raw materials are some of the dominant factors which have contributed to environmental deterioration the world over.

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. This view was expressed by the apex court in Shri Sachidanand Pandey v. state of West Bengal, AIR 1987 SCourt 1109.

The acute poverty in the country requires development process to be accelerated  , But we cannot do so at the cost of environment thereby endangering not only the present generation but also that future generation.

Accordingly, the concept of sustainable development came to be evolved. It means that development which meets the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Such was conclusion of the world commission on environment and development. .

All the above factors are responsible for the evolution of environmental law. The function of environmental law is to protect environment and control environmental pollution. In India numerous laws have been in acted for this purpose.

such laws are

The water (preservation and control of pollution) act 1974,

The Air (prevention and control of pollution) act 1981,

The environment (protection) act, 1986;

The national environment appellate authority act, 1997;

The Public (liability insurance) act 1991;

The national environment Tribunal act, 1995 and so on.

In international scenario the important legal instruments are Stockholm declaration on the human environment, the Rio-declaration on environment and development, 1992; Convention on climate change, 1992; convention on biological diversity, 1992 and so on.

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