Environment and Wildlife Laws in India

Today, the conservation, safety and improvement of human surroundings are foremost problems all around the world. Both bodily and biological environment are interrelated. Industrialisation, urbanisation, explosion of population, over-exploitation of resources, disruption of herbal ecological balances, destruction of a large number of animal and plant species for financial reasons are the factors that have contributed to environmental deterioration. Indian wildlife species and products normally smuggled in another country are tiger and leopard skins, their bones and other body components, rhino horns, ivory, turtles and tortoises, sea horses, snake venom, mongoose hair, snake skins, Tokay gecko, sea cucumber, chiru fleece, musk pods, bear bile, medicinal plants, red sanders wooden.

Environment and Wildlife Laws in India

Constitutional and Legislative measures in India

The innovative position of judiciary has been top notch and laudable. Pursuant to the Constitutional provisions contained in Articles 48A and 51A(h), many Public Interest Litigation have been filed in courts against many industries for failing to offer adequate pollutants control and additionally to pollutants control forums to direct them to take suitable measures to ensure reduction in pollution.

There are several of legislations on the concern:

  • The Water (Prevention and control of pollution) Act, 1974
  • The Water (Prevention and control of pollution) Cess Act, 1977
  • The Air (Prevention and control of pollution) Act, 1981
  • The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
  • Public liability insurance Act, 1991
  • The National environment Tribunal Act, 1995
  • The National environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997
  • The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972
  • The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
Environment and Wildlife Laws in India

The Water Act gives for the prevention and control of water pollution and the keeping or resorting of the wholesomeness of water. The Act prohibits any toxic, noxious or pollutant from getting into any stream. In M.C. Mehta v. Union of India [AIR 1988 SC 1037], the Supreme Court held that the economic potential of the tanneries ought to be taken into consideration as inappropriate whilst requiring them to establish primary remedy vegetation. The Court directed to forestall these tanneries and also not to release other effluents from the tanneries both directly or indirectly into the river Ganga without processing effluents as authorized by State Pollution Control Board.

The Water (Prevention and control of pollution) Cess Act, 1977 aims to provide levy and series of cess on water used by industries and local government to enhance the sources of the principal Board constituted for the prevention and control of water pollutants. The object is to realize cash from those whose activities cause pollution and who need to bear the fee of maintaining and running of such boards.

The Air Act has been enacted to reduce air pollution. The major contributors of air pollution are industries, motors, domestic fires, etc.

Environment and Wildlife Laws in India

The Environment (protection) Act, 1986 was enacted to offer for the safety and improvement of the quality of surroundings and preventing, controlling and reducing environmental pollution. The Act came into existence as an immediate result of the ‘Bhopal gas Tragedy’. The National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995 came into force to offer strict legal responsibility for damages springing out of any coincidence taking place even handling of any dangerous substance. The Act offers a National Environment Tribunal for effective and expeditious disposal of cases coming up from such accident.

Environment and Wildlife Laws in India

The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 was enacted in order to offer for the protection of untamed animals, birds and plant life. The Act prohibits hunting of animals and birds as detailed in the schedules. The Act additionally prohibits uprooting and destroying any specific variety or species of plant from any forest area. The Act formed a national flora and fauna Advisory Board to advise the national authorities for safety and conservation of the wildlife and specified flora; and in choice of regions to be declared as Sanctuaries and National parks.

The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1986 came into effect with the aim of preventing deforestation of forests. The Act affords that no destruction of forests or use of forestland for non-forest purposes can be authorised without the preceding approval of the concerned authorities. The conservation of forests consists of not only protection and safety of forests but also re-afforestation.

Judicial Contribution

The right of people to pollution free environment is a part of basic rights. Article 21 of the Constitution of India ensures an essential right to life and personal liberty. The Supreme Court has interpreted the right to life and personal liberty to encompass the right to healthful environment.

In M.C. Mehta v. Union of India [AIR 1997 SC 734], the Supreme court issued instructions that coal and coke based industries in Taj Trapezium (TTZ) which had been detrimental to Taj have to either change over to natural gasoline or to be relocated outside TTZ.

Environment and Wildlife Laws in India

In Rural Litigation & Entitlement Kendra v. State of U.P. [AIR 1985 SC 652], carrring haphazard and dangerous limestone quarrying in the Mussorie Hill range of the Himalaya, mines blasting out the hills with dynamite, extracting limestone from thousand of acres had disturbed the hydrological system of the valley. The Supreme court observed, “this will certainly cause hassle to them, but it’s miles a charge that needs to be paid for defensive and safeguarding the right of the people to live in wholesome environment with minimal disturbance to ecological stability…”

In Murli S. Deora v. Union of India [(2001) 3 SCC 765], In 2001, the Supreme court of India imposed ban on smoking of tobacco in public places. Smoking causes damage not only to the people who smoke however additionally to non-smokers who are forced to inhale the pollutant air. More than three million people die each year in India because of smoking tobacco together with bidis and cigarettes.

In M.C. Mehta v. Union of India [AIR 1986 SC 1086], a major leakage of Oleum gas affected a huge number of people, each among the workmen and public. The Supreme court upheld that in which an organisation is engaged in a hazardous or inherently dangerous activity and has a negative effect on any individual as a consequence of an accident as a result of the operation of such risky and inherently dangerous activity ensuing in the release of a toxic gas, the corporation is absolutely liable to compensate all individuals who are affected by such an accident.