Judiciary system plays an important role in environmental conservation in India. Discuss withsuitable examples

The judiciary system in India indeed plays a crucial role in environmental conservation.

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It has been instrumental in interpreting and enforcing environmental laws, ensuring compliance, and protecting the rights of citizens and the environment. Here are some examples highlighting the significant contributions of the judiciary in environmental conservation in India:

  1. Public Interest Litigation (PIL): The Indian judiciary has been proactive in entertaining Public Interest Litigation cases related to environmental issues. PIL allows any citizen or organization to approach the courts on behalf of the public interest. Several landmark environmental cases, such as the Taj Trapezium Case and the Vellore Citizens’ Welfare Forum Case, have been initiated through PIL, resulting in significant environmental protection measures.
  2. Forest Conservation and Wildlife Protection: The judiciary has played a pivotal role in protecting India’s forests and wildlife. In the Godavarman Case, the Supreme Court issued a series of orders to regulate forest activities, curb illegal logging, and protect ecologically sensitive areas. The Court’s intervention led to the establishment of the Central Empowered Committee to monitor and oversee forest-related matters. Similarly, the judiciary has taken measures to safeguard endangered species, such as banning activities like tiger poaching and illegal wildlife trade.
  3. Control of Industrial Pollution: The judiciary has taken decisive steps to control industrial pollution and promote environmental compliance. In the Vapi Pollution Case, the Supreme Court ordered the closure of polluting industries and directed the implementation of pollution control measures. The ‘Polluter Pays’ principle has been consistently upheld, holding industries accountable for the environmental damage they cause and requiring them to pay compensation for pollution.
  4. Protection of Water Bodies: The judiciary has intervened to protect water bodies from pollution and encroachment. In the Bellandur Lake Case, the Karnataka High Court issued directives to address the severe pollution of the lake caused by untreated sewage and industrial effluents. The Court’s intervention led to the formulation and implementation of action plans to restore and rejuvenate the lake.
  5. Coastal Zone Management: The judiciary has played a crucial role in protecting India’s coastal areas from unauthorized development and environmental degradation. In the Goa Foundation Case, the Supreme Court ordered the closure of illegal mining activities in Goa, emphasizing the need for sustainable and responsible mining practices. The Court’s intervention resulted in the formulation of guidelines for coastal zone management and the protection of ecologically sensitive coastal areas.
  6. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): The judiciary has closely monitored the implementation of the Environmental Impact Assessment process. In several cases, the courts have ensured that projects undergo proper environmental assessment and follow the prescribed procedures. They have emphasized the importance of public participation and transparency in the EIA process to safeguard the environment and the rights of affected communities.

These examples illustrate how the judiciary in India has played a pivotal role in environmental conservation by interpreting and enforcing environmental laws, addressing environmental violations, and protecting the rights of citizens and the environment. The judiciary’s interventions have led to significant improvements in environmental governance and the preservation of India’s natural resources.

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