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PUBLIC INTEREST ENVIRONMENTAL LITIGATIONS IN INDIA: Contributions and Complications

Geetanjoy Sahu
The Indian Journal of Political Science
Vol. 69, No. 4 (OCT. - DEC., 2008), pp. 745-758
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41856466
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
PUBLIC INTEREST ENVIRONMENTAL LITIGATIONS IN INDIA: Contributions and Complications
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Abstract

This paper analyses the role of PIL for environmental protection in the Supreme Court of India. Through the instrument of PIL, environmental NGOs and social activists have filed a number of cases for the effective enforcement of environmental laws and protecting citizens' right to healthy environment. Hearing a series of public interest environmental litigations the Supreme Court of India has not only ensured fundamental right of citizen to healthy environment but also has contributed immensely to the evolution of new principles in environmental jurisprudence. The Court's approach in entertaining PILs for environmental protection, however, has not been consistent. For example, while the Court has entertained PILs on environmental problems such as water pollution, air pollution, and forest degradation from industrial activities, it has maintained a distance from PILs for environmental protection due to infrastructure projects such as big dam, thermal power plant, airport and railway construction, etc. It is also observed that there has been an attempt within the judicial system to lay down guidelines for entertaining public interest litigations thereby creating fear among the public spirited persons for their fight for environmental justice.

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