Procedural Environmental Rights in Indian Law

Procedural Environmental Rights in Indian Law

in Indian Environmental Law: Key Concepts and Principles
Orient Black Swan

About the Chapter

Ghosh examines three procedural environmental rights – the right to information, the right to public participation, and the right to access to justice – in detail, and identifies loopholes and limitations in the adjudication of each right. In particular, the chapter refers to relevant provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986, the EIA Notification 2006, the Right to Information Act 2005, the Forest Rights Act 2006, and the National Green Tribunal Act 2010. Ghosh concludes that despite statutory expression of procedural environmental rights, there is no room for complacency as these three rights are routinely curtailed and denied.

About the Book

For more than three decades now, the Indian courts have delivered far-reaching judgments on a range of significant environmental matters. In their effort to adjudicate complex disputes with serious environmental repercussions, involving the interplay of multiple social, economic and political factors, the courts have developed a framework of environmental rights and legal principles, which now forms an integral part of Indian environmental jurisprudence. The judiciary invokes this framework creatively to identify constitutional, statutory and common law obligations of public and private actors to protect the environment, and to enforce the performance of related duties. There is, however, limited in-depth study of these crucial rights and principles in existing legal literature.

Indian Environmental Law: Key Concepts and Principles fills this gap through its critical analysis of the evolution of this environmental legal framework in India. It studies the origins of environmental rights, substantive and procedural, and the four most significant legal principles— principle of sustainable development, polluter pays principle, precautionary principle and the public trust doctrine—and elaborates how Indian courts have defined, interpreted and applied them across a range of contexts.

As environmental litigation and legal adjudication struggle to respond to worsening environmental quality in the country, conceptual clarity about the content, application and limitations of environmental rights and legal principles is crucial for the improvement of environmental governance. This book explores the judicial reasoning and underlying assumptions in landmark judgments of the Supreme Court, the High Courts and the National Green Tribunal, and aims to provide the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the framework of rights and principles.