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UPSC Mains 2022

“The most significant achievement of modern law in India is the constitutionalization of environmental problems by the Supreme Court.” Discuss this statement with the help of relevant case laws.

General Studies Paper - 2, Topic: Supreme Court

Dec 29, 2022

2 min read

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The statement "The most significant achievement of modern law in India is the constitutionalization of environmental problems by the Supreme Court" refers to the way in which the Supreme Court of India has used its powers to interpret and apply the Constitution of India to address environmental issues. This has included using its powers to hear and decide cases related to environmental protection and conservation, as well as issuing directives and orders to government agencies and other bodies to address environmental concerns.

 

One significant example of the Supreme Court's role in constitutionalizing environmental issues is the landmark case of M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, also known as the "Oleum Gas Leak Case." In this case, the Supreme Court addressed the issue of industrial pollution and its impacts on the environment and public health. The Court issued a number of directives to the government and other bodies to address the problem of industrial pollution and to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

 

Another example is the case of Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum v. Union of India, in which the Supreme Court addressed the issue of the environmental impacts of the construction of a thermal power plant. The Court issued a number of directives to the government and the power company to address the environmental concerns raised in the case, and also ordered the company to pay compensation to those affected by the project.

 

In both of these cases, the Supreme Court used its powers under the Constitution of India to address and resolve environmental issues, demonstrating the importance of the constitutionalization of environmental problems in modern Indian law.

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