top of page

Environmental Law: Short Notes 2023

World Environment Day on 5 June 2023

The theme for World Environment Day on 5 June 2023 will focus on solutions to plastic pollution under the campaign #BeatPlasticPollution. The world is being inundated by plastic.

Short Notes :- Topic

1. Constitutional Provisions and the Environment

Constitutional Provisions and the Environment Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties

Courts in India have developed the concept of environmental rights, to ensure that the Directive Principles of State Policy, and the fundamental right to life, as enshrined in the Constitution of India (“the Constitution”), are enforced. A.21 confers the right to life as a fundamental right; this has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to include the right to a wholesome environment. Enjoyment of life, including the right to live with human dignity, encompasses within its ambit the protection and preservation of the environment, ecological balance free from pollution of air and water, and sanitation, without which life cannot be enjoyed. (Virender Gaur v. State of Haryana, 1995 (2) SCC 577) Illustration: Certain companies obtained mining leases for the excavation of limestone. The operation of these mines and uncontrolled quarrying were causing danger to the adjoining lands, water resources, forests, wildlife, ecology, environment, and inhabitants of the area. The lessees of the limestone quarries were directed to close down operations permanently, after the consideration of the review committee. The court held that the lessees had invested large sums of money and expended time and effort, but that heed had to be paid to protecting and safeguarding the right of the people to live in a healthy environment, with minimal disturbance of ecological balance and undue affectation of air, water, and environment. The directions to close operations were valid. (Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra v. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1988 SC 2187 (Dehradun Quarrying case)) The right to life includes the right to livelihood. This right has been used to check governmental actions with an environmental impact that threaten to dislocate poor people and disrupt their lifestyle. Illustration: Certain tribal forest dwellers were ousted from their forestland by a government agency in order to implement a power project. The court permitted the acquisition of the land only after that agency agreed to provide certain court-approved facilities to the ousted forest dwellers. (Banawasi Seva Ashram v. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1987 SC 374) The Constitution provides protection against arbitrary permissions, granted by the Government, that do not provide an adequate consideration of environmental impact. (A.14 of what law-Article 14 of the Constitution is with regard to Equality before the law) The Constitution (Forty Second Amendment) Act, 1976, added A.48A to the Directive Principles of State Policy and A.51A(g) to the fundamental duties for protection and improvement of the environment: A.48A declares; “The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country”. A.51A(g) imposes a responsibility on every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures. Illustration: X, an individual, ran a factory which discharged effluent water on roads and/or into the public drainage system. The municipal commission sent a notice to remind X of her fundamental duty to protect the environment. X cannot assert her right to carry on business without any regard to her fundamental duty. Such restriction placed on fundamental rights under A.19(1)(g), to carry on trade or business, are in the interest of the general public, and are constitutionally valid and no citizen can claim an absolute right to carry on business, without complying with the restrictions placed in this way. (Abhilash Textile v. Rajkot Municipal Corporation, AIR 1988 Guj 57) The 42nd Amendment also moved ‘forest’ and ‘protection of wildlife and birds’ from the State List to the Concurrent List. There is both, a constitutional indicator to the state and a constitutional duty of its citizens, not only to protect but also to improve the environment, and to preserve and safeguard forests, flora, and fauna, and rivers, lakes, and other water resources in the country. Fundamental norms, recognised by the Supreme Court to guide the development of environmental jurisprudence, include:

•Environmental laws must be strictly enforced by the enforcement agencies. (Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action v. Union of India, 1996 (5) SCC 281, 294, 301) •The polluter pays principle: a polluter bears the remedial or cleanup cost as well as the amount payable to compensate the victims of pollution. Illustration: A, a private company, which operated as a chemical company, was releasing hazardous wastes into the soil, thereby polluting a nearby village. The company was being run without licenses. On a motion initiated by B against A, the court found the activity to be hazardous or inherently dangerous, and ordered the person carrying on such activity to make good the loss caused to any other person by the activity, irrespective of whether or not she took reasonable care in carrying on the said activity. Polluting industries are absolutely liable to compensate villagers in affected areas, for the harm caused by these industries to soil and underground water and hence, are bound to take all necessary measures to remove sludge and other pollutants lying in affected areas. (Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action v. Union of India, AIR 1996 SC 1446) •The Precautionary Principle: This requires government authorities to anticipate, prevent, and attack the causes of environmental pollution. Illustration: The land in a particular area became unfit for cultivation and agriculture because of the operation of tanneries in that area. A forum filed an action to stop tanneries from discharging untreated effluents into agricultural fields. The Supreme Court of India strongly supported the application of the precautionary principle as a part of international customary law. The court held that the Central Government, vested with powers and authority to control pollution and protect the environment, had failed to exercise these powers, and directed that the Central Government ensure that all tanneries set up common effluent treatment plants, or individual pollution control devices, and that failure to do so would authorise the Superintendent of Police and the Collector / District Magistrate / Deputy Commissioner in each of the respective districts to close the plants down. No new industries were to be permitted within listed prohibited areas.Reversing the burden of proof, the court directed that the proponents of the activity demonstrate that such activity is environmentally benign. (Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum v. Union of India, AIR 1996 SC 2715, 2721) Government development agencies charged with decision making ought to give due regard to ecological factors including: (a) the environmental policy of the Central and state government; (b) the sustainable development and utilisation of natural resources; and (c) the obligation of the present generation to preserve natural resources and pass on to future generations an environment as intact as the one we have inherited from the previous generation. (State of Himachal Pradesh v. Ganesh Wood Products, AIR 1996 SC 149, 159, 163) Implementation of India’s International Obligations in Domestic Law A.253 of the Constitution empowers Parliament to make laws implementing India’s international obligations, as well as any decision made at an international conference, association, or other body. Entry 13 of the Union List covers participation in international conferences, associations, and other bodies, and implementing decisions made thereat. A.253 read with Entry 13 would thus empower Parliament to enact laws on virtually any entry contained in the State List. Parliament, under A.253 read with Entry 13, has enacted the Air (Prevention, Control, and Abatement of Pollution) Act, 1981, and the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986. The preamble to each of these provides that these Acts were passed to implement the decisions reached at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held at Stockholm in 1972. Illustration: State laws proved inadequate to protect coastal ecology. The Central Government used the power vested in it by A. 253 read with Entry 13, List I, to impose stringent national coastal development norms. The norm restricted the nature of development on 3000 of land along the entire Indian coast. The affected states questioned such assumption of power by the Centre, since the subject was part of delegated legislation. The Centre’s norms were upheld and the ruling further recognised that the coastal regulations would have overriding effect, and would prevail over the law made by the legislatures of states. (S. Jagannath v.Union of India, AIR 1997 SC 811, 846, (Shrimp culture case)) Constitutional Remedies Writ Jurisdiction Aa.32 and 226 of the Constitution empower the Supreme Court as well as the high courts to issue writs, directions, or orders. Any person complaining of an infringement of fundamental rights may seek redress in either forum. Writs of mandamus, certiorari, and prohibition are generally resorted to in environmental matters. Illustration: A certain locality lacked a proper drainage system for discharge of water, as a result of which, dirty water from houses and rainwater was accumulating in its lanes. Growth of moss and insects in the area increased the possibility of an epidemic. Y, a local resident, filed a writ of mandamus to enforce the municipal corporation’s function of constructing sewers and drains for discharge of water. The writ petition was allowed and the municipal corporation was directed to remove the water and filth collected in the locality by constructing sewers and drains, within three months. (Rampal v State of Rajasthan, AIR 1981 Raj 121) Illustration: A writ of certiorari will lie against a municipal authority that permits construction contrary to development rules, or acts in excess of jurisdiction or in violation of rules of natural justice, for instance, wrongly sanctioning an office building in an area reserved for a garden. When a fundamental right, which includes the right to a wholesome environment, is violated, Aa.32 and 226 provide an appropriate remedy. A.21, which guarantees the fundamental right to life, includes the right to a wholesome environment. A litigant’s right to a healthful environment may be enforced by a writ petition to the Supreme Court or to a high court. Illustration: A, an individual, was troubled by the excessive noise pollution and vibrations caused by electrical motors, diesel engines, and generators used by a hotel, B. The high court held that an affected person can maintain a writ petition, while rejecting B’s plea that a civil suit would be a proper remedy. Further, it issued several directions to abate nuisance, with directions to the authorities to periodically inspect B. (E. Sampath Kumar v. Government of Tamil Nadu, 1998 AIHC 4498) Courts have decided cases, including M. C. Mehta v. Union of India and Others, 1988 SCR(2)530 (the Ganga Pollution case), M. C. Mehta v. Union of India, AIR 1987 SC 1086 (the Shriram Gas Leak Case), and the Bhopal Gas Leak case, under writ jurisdiction. A rapid increase in the complexity of environmental laws and the need for expertise in environmental disputes has resulted in the establishment of special tribunals. The Supreme Court has also recommended the establishment of environmental courts on a regional basis. (M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, AIR 1987 SC 1446) The National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995 (“NETA”), covers areas of strict liability for damages arising out of hazardous industrial accidents. The National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997 (“NEAAA”), covers appeals on restrictions or safeguards under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (“EPA”). Public Interest Litigation (“P.I.L.”) Public interest cases involve grievances against the violation of basic human rights or based on the content or conduct of government policy. A Petitioner could be any person, not necessarily the aggrieved, who approaches the Supreme Court or a high court for legal redress, in public interest. The principle features of environmental public interest litigation are: • Generating awareness, educating citizens, and creating values in society; • Preventing an illegitimate policy from continuing in the future; • Corrective rather than compensatory relief sought; and • Resolution of intra- and inter-sectoral conflicts of law on mandatory delimitation. Illustration: Several tanneries are discharging effluents into the river Ganga thereby polluting it. A, interested in protecting the lives of people who make use of the water flowing in the river Ganga, files a petition in this regard alleging that the nuisance caused by the pollution of of the river Ganga is a public nuisance. A’s right to maintain the petition cannot be disputed and the petition is entertained as a public interest litigation. (Ganga Pollution (Municipalities) Case, AIR 1988 SC 1115) Illustration: A makes an offer to B, a steel plant, for carrying away slurry, with an intention of making profit. The steel plant refuses A’s offer. A files a public interest litigation petition under A.32, claiming that the slurry discharged from B’s plant was polluting the Bokaro river and was a serious health risk to the neighbouring community. A asked the court to prohibit B’s discharges and filed an application seeking permission to carry away the slurry flowing into the river. The court found the real intent of A and finding no merit in the allegation of pollution, held that the Petitioner A was out to harass the company B with a view to making a profit. The petition was dismissed on the ground that personal interest in the garb of public interest litigation cannot be enforced under A.32 of the Constitution. (Subhas Kumar v. State of Bihar, AIR 1991 SC 420) Illustration: A journalist complained to the Supreme Court that the national coastline was being sullied by unplanned development that violated a Central Government directive. The Supreme Court registered the letter as a petition, requested the court’s legal aid committee to appoint a lawyer for the petition, and issued notice to the Union Government and the governments of all the coastal states. (Mahesh R. Desai v. Union of India, WP 989 of 1988) To construct a complete framework of facts, a judge often requires the concerned public officials to furnish detailed, comprehensive affidavits. In cases where the impartial assessment of facts is needed and the official machinery is unreliable, slow, or biased, the court appoints special commissions to gather facts and data. The power to appoint an assessment agency or commission is an inherent power of the Supreme Court under A.32 of the Constitution and of the high courts under A.226. Illustration: The public challenged the development of a resort in Goa in a petition. The High Court of Bombay appointed a commissioner to inspect and report on the extent of construction. (Sergio Carvalho v. State of Goa, 1989 (1) Goa Law Times 276, 302) Illustration: In pollution cases, the Supreme Court frequently relies on the National Environment Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur (“NEERI”), to submit its field report. The Nilay Choudhary Committee was requested to advise the court on whether Shriram’s hazardous chemical plant should be allowed to recommence operations in Delhi. A monitoring committee was set up in the Dehradun Quarrying case to oversee the running of three limestone mines that had been allowed to continue operations, and to monitor reforestation measures. Relief in most P.I.L. cases is obtained through interim orders until a final decision is reached for redressing public grievances.

The courts do not encourage all public interest litigation. The Supreme Court in State of Uttaranchal v. Balwant Singh Chaufal, (Civil Appeal No 1132 -1134 of 2002) in its judgment dated January 18, 2010, issued the following guidelines:

•Courts must encourage genuine and bona fide P.I.L. and effectively discourage and curb those filed for extraneous considerations.

•Courts must, before entertaining a P.I.L., prima facie verify the credentials of a petitioner and the correctness of the contents of the petition.

•Courts entertaining a P.I.L. must ensure that the P.I.L. is aimed to redress genuine public harm or public injury, and that there is no personal gain, or private or oblique motive behind filing the P.I.L.

•Courts must also ensure that petitions filed by busybodies for extraneous and ulterior motives are discouraged by imposition of exemplary costs or by adopting similar novel methods to curb frivolous petitions and petitions filed for extraneous considerations.

2. Environmental Laws in India

Environmental Laws in India

Spreading awareness and consciousness, and at international conferences on environmental protection resulted in Parliament enacting comprehensive laws on matters related to forest, wildlife, environmental protection, and water, air, and land pollution.

Environmental statutes are regarded as ‘beneficial’ legislation, enacted to advance the Directive Principles of State Policy, contained in A.48A of the Constitution.

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (“the Water Act”)

The enactment of the Water Act was India’s first attempt at dealing with an environmental issue. The Act prohibits the discharge of pollutants into water bodies beyond a given standard, and lays down penalties for non- compliance with its provisions.

The Water Act was amended in 1988 to conform with the provisions of the EPA, 1986. It set up the Central Pollution Control Board (“the C.P.C.B.”), which lays down standards for the prevention and control of water pollution. At the state level, the State Pollution Control Board (“the S.P.C.B.”) functions under the direction of the C.P.C.B. and the state government.The preamble to the Water Act lays down its objectives, which include the prevention and control of water pollution, the maintaining of wholesome water, and the establishment of Boards to carry out its objectives.

Illustration: A river supports an overwhelming majority of people in a town. Some industries, through the discharge of sewage in the river, were ruining the quality of water. The court prohibited the discharge of industrial effluents into the river, and directed the establishment of monitoring stations on each of the drains leading to the river, and also directed the administration to take effective measures against such industries. (News item, ‘Hindustan Times,’ A. Q. F. M.; Yamuna v. C. P. C. B., 1999 (5) SCALE 418, 419)

S.2(a) defines the Board to mean the Central Board or the State Board.

As per S.2(e) of the Water Act, "pollution" means such contamination of water or such alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of water or such discharge of any sewage or trade effluent or of any other liquid, gaseous, or solid substance into water (whether directly or indirectly) as may, or is likely to, create a nuisance or render such water harmful or injurious to public health or safety, or to domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural, or other legitimate uses, or to the life and health of animals, plants, or of aquatic organisers.

The word “sewage effluent” is defined in S.2(g)as effluent from any sewage system or sewage disposal works, and includes sullage from open drains; and S.2(k) defines "trade effluent" to include any liquid, gaseous or solid substance which is discharged from any premises used for carrying on any industry, operation or process, or treatment and disposal system" other than domestic sewageThe Water Act provides for a permit system or ‘consent’ procedure to prevent and control water pollution. The Act generally prohibits disposal of polluting matter in streams, wells, and sewers, or on land, in excess of the standards established by the state boards.

Ss.3 and 4 of the Act establish the Central and State Pollution Control boards at the Central and State levels, respectively, and confer board members with powers required by them to carry out the purposes of the Act. The Central and State boards perform functions as set out in Ss.16 and 17 of the Water Act.

The Central Board may perform the following functions (S.16):

• Promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the country;

• Advise the Central Government on water pollution issues;

• Co-ordinate the activities of state pollution control boards;

• Sponsor investigation and research relating to water pollution; and

• Develop a comprehensive plan for the control and prevention of water pollution.

In conflicts between the Central Board and a state board, the Central Board prevails.

The State Boards may perform the following functions (S.17):

•Lay down standards for discharge of sewage and trade effluents;

•Plan a comprehensive programme for abatement and control of water pollution and training of persons engaged in such a programme;

•Collect, compile, publish, and disseminate information and technical data relating to water pollution;

•Conduct and participate in investigations and research on water pollution problems;

•Inspect facilities for sewage and trade effluent treatment;

•Advise state governments on the location of any industry which may pollute water; and

•Perform such other functions as may be prescribed under the Water Act.

S.21 of the Act provides detailed procedures for sampling effluents. The analysis of a sample is not admissible as evidence in any legal proceeding under the Water Act, unless the sample is taken in accordance with this section.

Illustration: A, a company, was suspected of discharging effluents into a river. Without complying with the requirements of S.21 of the Water Act, representatives of the board got the sample analysed from a laboratory not recognised by the state administration. The court ruled that the samples are inadmissible as evidence and that therefore, the board failed to prove that A’s discharge exceeded the limits prescribed. (Delhi Bottling Co. Pvt. Ltd. v. C. B. C. P., AIR 1986 Del 152)

S.24 prohibits the use of a stream or well for disposal of polluting material. The polluter violating S.24 is subject to criminal penalty under S.43 of the Water Act.

S.25 is an important section; it imposes restrictions on new outlets and new discharges. A person must obtain consent from the state board before taking steps to establish any industry, operation, or process, any treatment and disposal system, or any extension or addition to such a system, which might result in the discharge of sewage or trade effluent into a stream, well, or sewer, or onto land.

Illustration: P, a company, was charged with releasing untreated effluents into a nearby canal. The state board consented to the operation on condition that P set up effluent treatment plants within a prescribed time limit. However, mere consent orders obtained by P cannot insulate it against the requirement of putting up the effluent treatment plants and complying with the standards of tolerance limits prescribed. (Narula Dyeing and Printing Works v. Union of India, AIR 1995 Guj 185, 191)

S.26 is with regard to existing discharge of sewage or trade effluents.Contravention of S.25 or S.26 of the Water Act shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term, which shall not be less than one and half year, but which may extend to six years with a fine under S.44 of the Water Act.

S.27 empowers the state board to decide on whether or not to grant its consent to the bringing into use of a new or altered outlet, unless the outlet is so constructed as to comply with any conditions imposed by the board to enable it to exercise its right to take samples of the effluent.

S.28 gives a remedy to any person aggrieved by orders issued by the state board under Ss. 25, 26, and 27. An appeal is provided against the order under S.28, and S.58 bars the jurisdiction of civil courts to entertain any suit or proceeding against an order passed by the appellate authority.

The Board can issue directions for closure of an industry and disconnection of electricity in case of persistent defiance by any polluting

industry under S.33A of the Water Act. Prior to the adoption of S.33A, a state board could issue direct orders to polluters under S.32 of the Act. A state board can exercise this power if the pollution arose from any accident or other unforeseen act or event.

Illustration: The S.P.C.B. issued directions to Z, an industry, to ensure proper treatment and storage of effluents in lagoons. Z did not comply with some of the directions, and as a result, some effluent reached the river Yamuna and polluted the water. Despite enough time given by the S.P.C.B., Z did not take any remedial steps, and the S.P.C.B. directed the closure of the industry under S.33A of the Water Act.

The reluctance of courts to exercise broad injunctive power under S.33 may be one reason for granting state boards the authority to issue directions under S.33.

The state board can also apply to the courts for injunctions to prevent water pollution under S.33 of the Act.

Under S.41, the penalty for failure to comply with a court order under S.33, or a direction from the board under S.33A, is punishable by fines and imprisonment.

Illustration: The S.P.C.B. directed closure of an industry under S.33A. The industry refused to obey its closure order. The state board directed the deputy commissioner to seize the unit and secure compliance. The commissioner’s office moved the magistrate, who ordered closure. In revision, the high court quashed the magistrate’s order holding that the board had no power to get its closure orders executed through the Deputy Commissioner, but that it could initiate penalty proceedings under S.41. (Executive Apparel Processors v. Taluka Executive Magistrate, ILR 1997 Kar 2020)

Amendments in 1988 modified S.49 to allow citizens to bring actions under the Water Act. A complaint under the Act can be made by a board, or by any person authorised on its behalf, or by any person who has given a

notice of 60 days of her intention to make a complaint. Now a state board must make relevant reports available to complaining citizens, unless the board determines that the disclosures would harm ‘public interest’.

Courts are still involved in enforcing S.33A as the boards have no direct power to exact fines, order imprisonment, or otherwise compel compliance with their directions.

The use of water in a manner detrimental to others creates a cause of action, which is challengeable in a court of law. Regulation and control of water by the state creates rights and obligations between states inter se. Any violation of such rights gives rise to a variety of litigation – civil and criminal.

3. Judicial Remedies and Procedure

Citizens have three civil remedies to obtain redressal:

• A common law tort action against the polluter; • A writ petition under Aa.2 and 226 of the Constitution of India; and • In the event of damage from a hazardous industry accident, an application for compensation under the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991, or the National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995.The Law of torts provides for the oldest of the legal remedies to abate pollution. The majority of the cases under the law of torts are classified under the categories of: •Nuisance: Remedy for private nuisance is by way of bringing an action for injunctive relief as well as damages. Illustration: The smoke and fumes from Z’s chimney, which were interfering with the comfort of Y (Z’ s neighbour) were enough to constitute private nuisance. Z’s defence that the nuisance existed long before Y came to live in the neighbourhood, does not relieve the offender. The court ordered Z to seal the holes of the chimney facing Y’s property. (B. Venkatappa v. B. Lovis, AIR 1986 AP 239)

• Negligence: A suit for damages can be instituted for losses that would result from the negligent act.

•Absolute liability: A company which is engaged in a hazardous or inherently dangerous industry which poses a potential threat to the health and safety of the persons working in the factory and residing in the surrounding areas, owes an absolute and non-delegable duty to the community to ensure that no harm results to anyone on account of the nature of the activity being undertaken.

• Strict liability: The rule in Rylands v. Fletcher,L.R 1 Ex. 265, holds a person strictly liable when she brings or accumulates on her land something likely to cause harm if it escapes, and for damage that arises as a natural consequence of its escape.A plaintiff in a tort action may sue for damages or an injunction, or both.Damages are the pecuniary compensation payable for the commission of a tort.

Damages are of two types: •Substantial damages: These are compensatory in nature and compensate the plaintiff for the wrong suffered.

•Exemplary damages: These are punitive in nature and intend to punish the wrongdoer.

Illustration: A dangerous gas escaped from a unit of X, a company, which injured people living in the locality. Exemplary damages were awarded to the affected persons because the compensation must be punitive and have a deterrent effect. The larger and more prosperous the enterprise, the greater must be the amount of compensation payable by it. (Shriram Gas Leak Case) An injunction is a judicial order whereunder a person who has infringed, or is about to infringe the rights of another, is restrained from pursuing such acts.

Injunctions are of two types: •Temporary; and •Perpetual. Public Nuisance Remedies for a public nuisance are: • A criminal prosecution for an offence under S.268 of the IPC; • A criminal proceeding before a magistrate for removing a public nuisance under Ss. 133–144 of the Cr.P.C.; and • A civil action by the advocate general or by two or more members of the public with the permission of the court, for a declaration, an injunction, or both under S. 91 of the Cr.P.C.

Class Actions and Representative Suits In a class action, one or more members of a class that have suffered common injury, or that have a common ‘interest’, may sue or defend on behalf of themselves and all the other members of that class. The purpose of a class action suit is to provide an economical and convenient forum to dispose of similar lawsuits, because, among other things, separate suits could result in the establishment of inconsistent obligations for persons opposing the class. A ‘representative’ or a class action suit is recognised under Order I, Rule 8 of the Code. Illustration: Where effluents discharged by an industry into a river kill fish and imperil the livelihood of several villagers downstream, the effect of pollution on any individual fisherman might be too small to justify a conventional lawsuit seeking compensation. In the aggregate, the impact on all the affected fishermen may be substantial enough to seek redress in a class action suit. On a practical level, while an individual fisherman might not be able to bear the cost of litigation, the group as a whole may find it easier to finance a single class action suit. The advantages of a representative suit are: •As a rule, courts do not grant monetary compensation in writ proceedings. Monetary recoveries from tortfeasors in environmental cases can only be obtained through a suit.

•The procedure in representative suits appears more suited than the writ procedure to accommodate detailed evidence, including cross-examinations.

Some key differences between representative suits and P.I.L.s include: •P.I.L.s can be filed only against the state or public authorities, in the High Court and Supreme Court under A.226 and A.32 of the Constitution, respectively, whereas representatives suits can be filed against any entity, including private entities.

•The plaintiff in a representative suit must necessarily have suffered a legal injury and must have a financial interest in the suit, unlike a P.I.L. where the plaintiff is not required to have sustained damage due to the wrong doing alleged in the petition.

Environmental Law

Short Notes 2023


bottom of page