Environmental Jurisprudence in India Geetanjoy Sahu ...cdem. . Sahu_Environmental Jurisprudence in... ·

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  • EnvironmentalJurisprudenceinIndia

    GeetanjoySahuAssistantProfessor

    SchoolofHabitatStudiesTataInstituteofSocialSciences(TISS),

    Deonar,Mumbai400088Emailid:geetanjoy@tiss.edu

  • NodearthofenvironmentallawsinIndia

    Around200environmentallaws

    MultipleRegulatoryAuthorities

    However,implementationhasbeenineffective

  • SomeFacts....

    WaterPollution

    *150pollutedrivers

    *GroundWater:122districtsareaffectedbysalinity,in66districtsbychloride,in224districtsbyfluoride,in35districtsbyarsenicandin368districtsbynitrate

    *SPCBsareyettodevelopacomprehensiveplan

  • Contd...

    AirPollution*95citiesidentifiedasnonattainmentwith

    respecttonationalambientairqualitystandards(NAMPDataofCPCB)

    *20citiesinIndiaareworld'smostpolluted(WHO2014)andNewDelhihastheworld'sdirtiestairoutof1600cities

  • WHO2016

  • Contd...

    SolidWasteManagement*Nosystemoftreatingsofaronlycollectedand

    dumped(Deonarisoneexample)*70%iscollectedanddumpedinanunsanitary

    manner*Landfillsitesarenotavailable(NIMBY)

  • Contd...

    CoastalZoneManagement*Statesareyettodevelopintegratedcoastal

    managementplan*NoMappingofcoastalareasatthestatelevel

  • SE

    A

    LowTideLine HighTideLine

    CRZ

    500Metres

    L A N D

    CoastalRegulationZone

  • ForestDegradation

    Unprecedentedrateofclearance(200711,11thFYP)

    8,284projects granted forest clearanceand2.04 lakhhectare(ha)offorestlanddiverted25percentofall forest land diverted for development projectssince1981.

    Inone singleyear2009asmuchas87,884haofforestwascleared

  • Trendofforestlanddiverted:19802011(CSE,2014)

  • ChangesintheLandHoldingPattern

  • OtherMajorConcerns...

    Displacement of people: 60 million people, of which40%aretribal

    Agricultural Land holding pattern has come down to1.6 ha in 2011 and 0.38 for marginalised farmersfrom2.28hain1971(2014AgriCensusReport)

    CommonPropertyResourcehascomedownby26%to63%from1950to1995(Grazingland,villagewaterbodies)

  • FastandFuriousProcess

    The Minister of Environment, Forest and ClimateChange (MoEFCC), had cleared over 2000projects worth 10 lakh crore over the last twoyears,andhadbroughtdowntheweightedaveragetime for granting environmental clearances (ECs)from599.29daysto192.59days.TheMinisteralsoclaimed that this speed had been achieved withoutcompromising environmental norms, which hestatedhadbeenappliedevenmorestringently.

    MoEFReport2016,PrakashJavadekar'sStatement

  • Regulatory Capacity and Resource Mobilisation

    SPCBs are dominated by state bureaucracies (WB and AP are exceptional)

    Frequent replacement of chairpersons (For example: UP has changed 24 chairpersons in the last 24 years)

    Staff crunch (KPCB had 60 % vacant positions) Non-technical staff dominate the boards Workload has increased, while the number of sanctioned posts

    has gone down Time spent on inspection and monitoring is inadequate

    (TISS Environmental Regulatory Report: July 21, 2013, The Hindu)

  • Ground Reality

    Implementation Failure

    Variations in enforcement

    Poor Monitoring

    Staff crunch

    Lack technical skills

    Inadequate funding

    Political interference

  • WhenImplementationFails?

    Resistance/Dialogue

    ElectoralPolitics

    LegalActionJudiciary

  • LegalFramework

    Legislature,ExecutiveandJudiciary

    DeclineandFallofParliamentarySovereignty

    AssertiveJudiciaryJudicialActivism

  • JudicialisationofEnvironmentalGovernance

    RatlamtoAravaliJudgment(221environmentaljudgments)ofSupremeCourtfrom19802010

    102judgeswerepartofvariousenvironmentaljudgments

  • SupremeCourtCases(19802010)

    TypesofCases

    Industry(PrivateParty)vs.Environment

    State vs. Environment (Micro structure vs. environment,Macrostructurevs.environment)

    Communityvs.Environment

  • 20

    Questions

    Whathasbeentheprocessofjudicialisation?

    HowGreenistheIndianJudiciary?

    WhathasbeentheimpactofitsgreennessofEnvironmentalGovernance?

  • ProcessofJudicialDecisionMaking

  • Contd..

    AmicusCuriae

    SpotVisit

    CourtMonitoringCommittee

    GreenBench

  • NotConfinedtoLegalFramework

    Righttohealthyenvironmentisapartoffundamentalrighttolife(Article21)

    IntroductionofEnvironmentalPrinciples

  • PublicInterestEnvironmentalLitigation

    WritPetition(Article32&226)&PIL

    Subjectnotidentityofthepetitionerisimportant

    Majorityofthecasesarefiledbyindividuals

  • Contd..ForExample: In theGangaPollutionCase, theCourtheld

    thatthepetitionerbeforetheCourtwasnodoubtnotariparianowner.Hewasaperson interested inprotecting the livesof thepeoplewhomadeuseofthewaterflowingintheriverGangaandhis right to maintain the petition could not be disputed. Thenuisance caused by the pollution was a public nuisance, widespreadinrangeandindiscriminateinitseffect,anditwouldnotbereasonabletoexpectanyparticularpersontotakeproceedingstostopitasdistinctfromthecommunityatlarge.

    MCMehtav.UnionofIndiaAIR1988SC1115

  • SuoMoto

    HindustanTimesv.CPCB(2000):JusticeSRajendraBabu

    InterlinkingofRivers(2002):JusticeBNKripal

  • ProceduralFlexibility

    M C Mehta v. Union of India (1996): Ganga WaterPollutionCase(JusticeKuldipSingh)

    T N Godavarman v. Union of India (1996): ForestGovernanceCase(JusticeJSVerma)

    AlmitraH.Patelv.UnionofIndia(2000)

  • IncreasingImportancetoAmicusCuriae

    TNGodavarmanv.UnionofIndia(19962017)

    InterlinkingofRivers(20022012)

  • SpotVisit

    RatlamMunicipalCouncilv.Vardhichand(1980):JusticeVRKrishnaIyer

    RLEKv.UnionofIndia(1985):JusticePNBhagwati

    NBAv.UnionofIndia(2000):JusticeSPBharucha

  • ImplementationofCourtOrders

    GreenBench:VelloreLeatherindustrialpollutioncase

    CourtAppointed Monitoring Committee: DelhiVehicular Pollution case, Dahanu Power PlantCase,CentralEmpoweredCommittee

  • Process:MultiProngedStrategies

    Section 133 of Criminal Procedure Code (PublicNuisance) Ratlam, Oleum Gas Leak, AlmitraPatel

    Articles:21,32&226

    Articles:48(A)&51A(g)

    Open&ShutCase:ViolationofEnvironmentalLaw

  • (2)GreennessoftheIndianJudiciary

    ConsistentlyInconsistent:WhoisthePolluter?

    *IndustrialPollution(PrivateParties)vs.Environment

    *Communityvs.Environment

    *Statevs.Environment

  • IndustrialPollutionCases

    Kanpur,Vellore,Patancheru,Vapi,BichhriCases

    IntheGangaWaterPollutioncase,theCourtemphasisedthatclosingdownofindustrieswouldundoubtedlycausehardshipstobusinessgroupandworkmen,butitisapricethathastobepaid for protecting and safeguarding the environment. (AIR1988SC1037)

    TheoryofResourceInequality(MarcGalanter)doesn'twork

  • 34

    Communityv.Environment

    Slum Dwellers/Forest Dwellers

    *CityBeautificationQuestionsrightsofslumdwellers*DisplacementofTribals(ExceptionalcaseNiyamgiriHill)*TigerConservationismoreimportant

    TNGodavarmanv.UnionofIndia(1996)WWFv.UnionofIndia(1999)CentreforPublicInterestLitigationv.UnionofIndia(2006)

  • ForExample...

    In the Centre for Public Interest Litigation v. Delhi MunicipalCorporation,inMay2006.

    TheSCheldthatslumdwellersareencroachersandtheyhavenoright whatsoever on public land, not even for a minute.Desperation does not mean they will do something illegal byencroaching public land. In India, we have three weatherconditions heat,rainandwinter.Ifweacceptyourargument,there will never be an appropriate time to demolish illegalstructures standing on public land. The Bench said: "NobodyforcedyoutocometoDelhi.IstherearighttoliveinDelhionly?Staywhere you can. If encroachments onpublic landare to beallowed,therewillbeanarchy."

  • StateBeingAPolluter

    MicroStructures(MunicipalCouncils)

    MacroStructures(UnionorStateGovernments)

  • 37

    MicroStructuresv.Environment

    IntheRatlamMunicipalvs.Vardhichand,theSupremeCourtstated that A responsible Municipal Council constitutedfor providing basic amenity of public convenience cannotrun away from its principal duty by pleading financialinability.Decencyanddignityarenonnegotiable facetsofhumanrightsandareafirstchargeonlocalselfgoverningbodies.(AIR1980,SC1625)

  • 38

    MacroStructuresv.Environment

    Infrastructure Projects & Huge Investment Cases

    (Dams,PowerPlants,Airports,Flyover,Metro,CommonwealthGame,AkshardhamTemple,Artof

    Living)

    In the Tehri Dam case, the Court clarified that the casebrought forthan intricatequestion relating to scienceandengineering and the court does not possess the requisiteexpertisetodealwithit.(AIR1992Supp(1)SC644)

  • HandsOffApproach

    HugeInvestmentCases(CommonwealthGames,AkshardhamTemple)

    InfrastructureCases(PowerPlants,Dams,RailwayNetwork,Flyover,Airport,etc.)

  • Justification

    PolicyMatters

    Toolatetoentertainpetition

    ScienceandTechnicalDetails

    InvolvesLargerPublicInterest

  • Departurefromtheprincipleofsocialjustice

    ProEnvironmentbuttribal,workers,slumdwellers'rightsaresidelined

    Tribalsareencroachers Evictionorderforslumdwellers RightsofFishingCommunitiessidelined Workers'rightsareignored

  • 42

    BalancingApproach

    Environment,HumanRightsandDevelopment

    In the Oleum Gas leak case, the Court held that Industries, even ifhazardous, have to be set up since they are essential for economicdevelopmentandadvancementofwellbeingofthepeople.TheCourtalso held that the closing down of