India is the largest democracy and owns one of the largest emerging economies. It also has a high level of concentration of individuals who belong to the category of extreme poverty. They experienced a surge of environmental justice movements because of the desire to growth make themselves part of the society and the ecosystem. India's judiciary has evolved a crucial role in environmental claims. Mainly because of legislative provisions: Article 21 of the constitutional right to life, Article 48-A(4) of the Directive Principles of State Policy and Article 51-A(g) of the Indian Constitution on the fundamental duties of every citizen of India. The Supreme Court through a series of cases has tried to strike a balance between growth, equity and sustainability.
Bhopal tragedy of 1984 the Supreme Court declared "issues of the environment must and shall receive the highest attention from this court".This launched in India neo-liberal reforms and its pathway to re-emergence as a global economic power. In Subhash Kumar V State of Bihar, the Supreme Court observed that that " the right to live is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution and it includes the right of enjoyment of pollution-free water and air for full enjoyment of life". This landmark interpretation by the Supreme Court set the foundation for the expansion of right-based approaches to challenging environment impacts of growth.
The progress of environmental jurisprudence in India was at the right space and followed uniformity. First of these cases, which instil the Magna Carta of the environmental jurisprudence for recognition of public rights to decent living was a treatise by Justice V.R Krishna in Municipal Council, Ratlam V Vardhichand. The recognition of PIL has become a catalyst for environmental justice. The apex court took many unpopular decisions which have proved beneficial in the long run. Judicial directions in matters like pollution our holy rivers, the Ganges and the Yamuna, pollution of the underground, choking of Delhi, Calcutta and other metros due to air pollution, protection of national historical monuments like the Taj Mahal, have rendered great service to humanity. Seeds have been planted, the path has been shown and direction has been given.
Tags : Environmental justice and jurisprudence