Presented Before :
Ms. Sabina Salim,
Presented By :
Nupur Walia (38/10)
Abhishek Walia (45/10)
Malika Chatly (171/10)
The Environment Protection Act, 1986 with
BACKGROUND AND EVOLUTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS
Two international conferences on environment and development,
namely the Stockholm Conference in 1972 and another at Rio de
Janerio in 1992 have influenced environmental policies in most
countries including India.
Many countries and international agencies have accepted the polluter
pays principle, the precautionary principle and the concept of
intergenerational equity as guidelines for designing environmental
Environmental laws have evolved mainly in four policy periods :
1. Pre Independence Period to 1947.
2. From Independence to Stockholm Conference (1947-1972).
3. From Stockholm Conference to Bhopal Disaster (!972 - 1984).
4. Bhopal Tragedy (1984) to 1998.
I. PRE - INDEPENDENCE PERIOD TO 1947
In first two periods, there were no major legislations relating to environmental protection.
Pertaining to the first time period, The Indian Penal Code 1860, which was enacted during
the British rule, contains one chapter (Chapter XIV) on offenses affecting public health,
safety, convenience, decency and morals. Some of the legislations pertaining to this timeline
Shore Nuisance (Bombay-Kalova) Act, 1893 [Enacted to check wastes and marine water
The Oriental Gas Company Act, 1857 and the Bengal Smoke Nuisance Act, 1905 [Enacted
to prevent or reduce atmospheric pollution in and around Calcutta].
For preservation of forests, the Cattle Trespass Act 1871 and Indian Forest Act 1927
The Indian Easement Act of 1882 [It guaranteed property rights of riparian owners against
“unreasonable” pollution by upstream users.]
II. FROM INDEPENDENCE TO STOCKHOLM CONFERENCE, 1972
Part XI of the Constitution governs the division of legislative and administrative authority
between the Centre and states. Article 246 divides the subject areas for legislation into
three lists, viz, Union List, State List and Concurrent List. Some of the earliest legislations
during this period were :
The Factories Act, 1948.
The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954.
The River Boards Act, 1956.
The Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957.
The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
The Atomic Energy Act, 1962.
The Insecticides Act, 1968.
III. STOCKHOLM CONFERENCE TO THE BHOPAL DISASTER, 1972 - 1984
The UN Conference on Human Environment held at Stockholm in 1972 exerted
major influence on environmental legislations in India. A National Committee on
Environmental Planning and Coordination (NCEPC) was set up in the Department
of Science and Technology in 1972 to make necessary preparations for the
The Government of India took a number of steps to implement the decisions
taken at the Conference by means of amendments to the Constitution, new
legislations relating to environmental protection and creation of institutions for
implementing the legislations.
Many Supreme Court judgments in the late eighties and the nineties refer to
the decisions made at the Stockholm Conference.
CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATE : The 42nd Constitution Amendment Act, 1976,
inserted specific provisions for environmental protection in the form of Directive
Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties. Article 48A (Directive
Principles) enunciates that ‘the state shall endeavor to protect and improve the
environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country’.
Article 51A(g) (Fundamental Duties): ‘To protect and improve the natural
environment including forests, lakes, rivers, wildlife and to have compassion for
living creatures’. Two entries 17A – Forests and 17B – Protection to wild animals
and birds were added in the Concurrent List.
Stockholm Conference exerted great pressure on policy making, leading to an
amendment of the Constitution and with the pasage of time, several important
legislations came up, namely :
THE WILDLIFE PROTECTION ACT, 1972
THE WATER (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT, 1974
THE FOREST CONSERVATION ACT, 1980
THE AIR (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT, 1981
IV. BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY (1984) TO 1988 :
In the aftermath of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in 1984 which claimed more than 3000
lives, the ENVIRONMENT (PROTECTION) ACT, 1986 was passed. The Statement of
Objects and Reasons of this Act refers to the decisions taken at the Stockholm
Conference in June 1972 and expresses concern about the decline in
environmental quality, increasing pollution, loss of vegetal cover and biological
diversity, excessive concentrations of harmful chemicals in the ambient
atmosphere, growing risks of environmental accidents and threats of life system.
Presently, the EPA is the most effective and bold measure to fight the problem of
environmental menace in the country.
“Hazardous Substance” means any substance or preparation which, by
reason of its chemical or physico-chemical properties or handling, is
liable to cause harm to human beings, other living creatures, plant,
micro-organism, property or the environment.
“Environment” includes water, air and land and the inter-relationship
which exists among and between water, air and land, and human
beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organism and property.
“Environmental Pollutant” means any solid, liquid or gaseous
substance present in such concentration as may be, or tend to be,
injurious to environment.
"Environmental Pollution” means the presence in the environment
of any environmental pollutant.
Miscellaneous clauses which are not pertaining to
environment but are guidelines for functioning and
conduct of officers and government representatives.
First chapter - PRELIMINARY -
It describes the definitions of
various entities that are
related to environment. Some
of the definitions that are
directly taken from S. 2 of the
• Role of Central Govt. to take measures for environment protection
and its improvement alongwith the economic development.
• Includes :
appointment of officers
powers to give directions
rules to regulate environmental pollution
laying down of procedures and standards for industrial waste,
emissions, hazardous waste etc.
• Prevention, control and abatement of environmental
pollution. As per the guidelines, a person running an
industry or operation can not emit or discharge
environmental pollutants in excess of the permissible
limit. Central government or its officers may take samples
of air, water, soil or other substance from any factory for
the purpose of analysis and upon failure to satisfy the
norms, shall liable to be proceeded against and punished
OVERVIEW OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1986
Second chapter deals with
'GENERAL POWERS OF THE
Third chapter deals with
'PREVENTION, CONTROL AND
Fourth chapter lists
Salient Features of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
The EPA has 26 Sections and it has been divided into four chapters relating to : i) Preliminary, ii)
General Powers of the Central Government, iii) Prevention, Control, and Abatement of Environmental
Pollution, iv) Miscellaneous.
The Act empowers the Central Government to take all appropriate measures to prevent and control
pollution; establish effective machinery for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the
environment and protecting controlling and abating environmental pollution.
The Central Government or any other person duly authorised is empowered to collect the samples of air,
water, soil or other substances as evidence of the offences under the Act.
The Act prescribes a special procedure for handling hazardous substances and the concerned person has
to handle the hazardous substances according to the procedure of the Act.
EPA has relaxed the rule of “Locus Standi” and because of such relaxation even a common citizen can
approach the Court provided he has given a notice of sixty days of the alleged offence and his intention
to make a complaint to the Central Government or any other competent authority.
In the commission of the offence under this Act by Government Department, the Act holds the Head of
the Department as guilty of the offence unless the head of the Department proves that the offence was
committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of
Immunity to the officers of the Government for any act done under the provisions of this Act or under
the powers vested in them or functions assigned to them under this Act.
The Central Government is also empowered to enter and inspect any place through any person or
through any agency authorised by Central Government.
The Act debars the Civil Courts from having any jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in
respect of an action, direction, order issued by Central Government or other statutory authority under
Under the Act, there will be supremacy of provision. In other words, the provisions of this Act and the
rules or orders made under this Act shall have effect and supremacy over anything inconsistent
contained in any enactment other than this Act.
U/S 3 :
U/S 5 : May
U/S 6 :
objectiveU/S 7 : Persons
U/S 8 : Persons
U/S 4: May
Power of Central Govt to protect and improve the
quality of environment
Coordination of actions by state government officers and
other authorities under this act or under any law.
Laying down standards for the quality of environment in
Laying down standards for emission or discharge of
environmental pollutants from various sources
Laying down procedures and safeguards for handling of
Examination of manufacturing process, materials and
substances which are likely to cause pollution
Carrying out and sponsoring investigations and research
relating to problems pollution
Establishment and recognition of laboratories
To exercise powers and perform functions central
government may constitute authority
Rules to regulate environment
pollution (U/S 6)
The Central govt. may, by
notification in the official
Gazette, makes rules in respect of
all or any matters referred to in S.
PUNISHMENT OR PENALTIES
TYPE OF VIOLATION
Under Section 15: Failure to comply with
1. any of the provisions of the Act
2. any of the rules made under this Act
3. Orders or directions issued.
Imprisonment upto 5 years or a fine upto one lakh
rupees or both.
Under Section 16 : Offence by Companies
Punishment to the company and its directors,
secretary or manager according to the offence.
Under Section 17 : Offence by Government
Punishment to the Head of the Deptt. according to
- Any authorised officer of the Board can lodge a complaint in the court.
- Any person can lodge a complaint after a notice of at least 60 days.
- Central Government has powers to make rules regarding various matters.
- A guilty person does offence again and again, then an additional fine up to to 5, 000 rupees and
an imprisonment of 7 years should be extended.
VICARIOUS LIABILITY AND IMMUNITY : S.16 of EPA incorporates the principle of “vicarious
liability” of a person in charge, director, manager, secretary or any other officer for the
offence if committed by a company. When a offence is committed by company, then the
company as well as the person directly in charge and responsible of conducting the business
of a company shall be deemed to be liable. However the person in charge for the conduct of
the company is not held liable if: a) That offence was committed without his knowledge.
b) That he exercised all the due/care to prevent the commission of such offence.
PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF AIR POLLUTION : A STUDY OF THE
AIR (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT, 1981
• We breathe around 35 lbs. of air in a day. Air pollutant means any solid, liquid or
gaseous substance, including noise, present in the atmosphere, in such
concentration as may be injurious to human beings or other living creatures or
plants or property or environment.
• A legal definition of air pollution is the presence in the outdoor atmosphere of any
air pollutant. These can be in the form of substances or contaminants put there by
man in quantities or concentration and of a duration as to cause any discomfort to
a substantial number of inhabitants of a district or which are injurious to public
health or the safety of human, plant or animal life or property, or which interferes
with reasonable or comfortable enjoyment of life and property.
• Simply put, air pollution as: “the concentration of foreign matters in the air which
adversely affects the well being of the individual or causes damage to the
Salient Features of Air Act, 1981:
The Act deals with the particular type of pollution and presents an integrated approach
to tackle the problem of pollution. This Act is an important legislative measure which has
been enacted (under Article 253 of the Indian Constitution) to implement the decision
taken in the United Nations Conference on Human Environment held in June 1972 at
Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981 is an appropriate step for the
preservation of the natural environment on the Earth which includes the preservation of
the quality of air and control of air pollution. In other words, this is an Act to provide for
the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution.
The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981 has 54 Sections and is divided into
seven chapters relating to i) Preliminary, ii) Central and State Boards for the Prevention
and Control of Air Pollution, iii) Powers and Functions of Boards, iv) Prevention and
Control of Air Pollution, v) Funds, Accounts and Audit, vi) Penalties and Procedures, and
The Act provides that the State Government, in consultation with the State Board, is
empowered to declare any area or areas within the jurisdiction of the concerned State
an “Air Pollution Control Area”.
The Act provides that the Central and State Boards established under the Water
(Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 will also exercise and perform powers
and functions respectively under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
In other words, the Air Act, 1981 provides that the Central or State Board for prevention,
control and abatement of water pollution shall exercise the powers and perform the
functions of the Central or State Board for the prevention, control and abatement of air
• The Act provides that the State Government in consultation with the
State board has a power to give instructions to the registration authority
under the Motor Vehicle Act, 1939 (Act 4 of 1939) for ensuring standard
for emission from automobiles driven with the help of petrol or diesel.
• The Act provides for the imposition of restriction on the use of certain
industrial plant in any pollution control area without the previous
permission and consent of the State Board.
• The Act provides that the Board has the power to make an application to
the Court for restraining persons from causing air pollution.
• The Act provides that whoever:
operates or establishes any industrial plant in an pollution control area
without the consent of the State Board
allows emission of an air pollutant in excess on the standard laid down by
the State Board,
violates any direction issued by the Board, in the above situation, is
punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one
year and six months but which may extend to six years and with fine.
If this fails or contravention continues, the guilty person is punished with
the additional fine which may extend to five thousand rupees for every
day during which such failure or contravention continues even after the
conviction for the first such failure or contravention.
If it continues beyond a period of one year after the date of conviction,
the offender shall be sentenced to imprisonment fr a term which shall not
be less than 2 years & may extend to 7 years & with fine.
This Act has five Sections which deal with conservation of forests.
The Act was enacted with the twin objectives under Section 2 of restricting the use of forest
land for non-forest purposes, and preventing the de-reservation of forests that have been
reserved under the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
However, in 1988 the Act was further amended to include two new provisions under
Section 2, where it sought to restrict leasing of forest land to private individuals, authority,
corporations not owned by the Government, and to prevent clear felling of naturally grown
The Act empowers the Central Government to constitute a committee to advise the
Government with a grant of approval under Section 2, as also on any other matter connected
with the conservation of forest and referred to it by the Central Government.
The Act provides for the punishment of imprisonment, extendable to fifteen days for the
contravention of the provisions of the Act.
The Act provides for punishment of offenders from the Government Departments, including
Head of the Departments and authorities. However, these persons can escape criminal
liabilities if they can prove that:
• The offence was committed without their knowledge,
• They had exercised all due diligence to prevent the committing of such offence.
Under section 33 of this act, imprisonment for a term of 6 months or more or fine of Rs 5,000
or both is the penalty for any person who violates any of the rule under this act.
Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
The Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 has 66 Sections and has been divided
into seven chapters relating to :
ii) Authorities to be Appointed or Constituted under the Act
iii) Hunting of Wild Animals,
- iii A) Protection of Specified Plants,
iv) Sanctuaries, National Parks (Omitted 1991) and Closed Areas
- ivA) Central Zoo Authority and Recognition of Zoos,
v) Trade or Commerce in Wild Animals, Animal Articles and Trophies,
- vA) Prohibition of Trade or Commerce in Trophies, Animal articles, etc
derived from Certain Animal.
vi) Prevention and Detection of Offences,
- viA) Forfeiture of Property Derived from Illegal Hunting and Trade, and
vii) Miscellaneous, and Schedules:- I, II, III, IV, V, VI.
• PENALTIES :
Chapter 6 deals with prevention & detection of offences.
The Wildlife Protection and The Law
The most significant legislation on wildlife protection which is based on the
ecosystem approach and a regulatory regime of command and control is the Wild
Life Protection Act, 1972 (No. 53 of 1972).
The objective of this enactment was three-fold, i. e :
• to have a uniform legislation on wild life throughout the country;
• to establish a network of protected areas, i. e., national parks and sanctuaries and
• to regulate illicit trade in wild life and its products.
The term ‘wild life’ actually includes all the living organisms i.e. All plants, animals
and micro - organisms living in their natural habitat in wild state other than the
cultivated plants and domesticated animals.
The need for conserving wildlife directly conserves the bio - diversity and maintains
the ecological balance.
The Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 is an ‘An act to provide for the protection of
wild animals, birds and plants and for matters connected therewith or ancillary or
incidental thereto with a view to ensuring the ecological and environmental
security of the country.’
Various species are classified in Schedules I to VI.
• Species in Schedule I can be hunted only in very special conditions if they are a
threat to human life.
• Species in Schedule II can be hunted if they are a threat to human life or property.
• Trade of species in Schedule I or Part II of Schedule II invites very stringent
• Species in Schedule VI are specified plants whose possession, collection, sale etc. is
regulated by Chapter III--A
• Species in Schedule V are Vermin which can be hunted freely. This includes :
Common crow; Fruit bats; Mice and Rats.
Sec 2 of the Act deals with definitions. One important definition is that of ‘Captive
animal’ U/S 2(5) which means any animal specified in Schedule I, II, III or IV which is
captured or kept or bred in captivity.
HUNTING OF WILD ANIMALS : Sec 2 (16) deals with ‘Hunting’ which includes:
• Killing or poisoning of any wild or captive animal or any attempt to do so
• Capturing, coursing, snaring, trapping, driving or baiting any wild or captive animal
and every attempt to do so.
• Injuring or destroying or taking any part of the body of such animal, or damaging the
eggs or nests of such birds or reptiles.
S2 (36) defined wild animal as any animal specified in Schedules I to IV and found
wild in nature. whereas S. 2 (37) says that Wild life includes any animal , aquatic or
land vegetation which forms part of any habitat.
The Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 as amended by Amendment Act 16 of
The Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill 2002 proposes…
- To provide that captive animals and wild animals included in Schedule I and part II of
Schedule II of the Wildlife Act and their parts and products can be acquired only by
way of inheritance.
Sec 40: Every person in possession or custody of any captive animal specified in
Schedule I or part II of Schedule II is required to declare this to the Chief Wildlife
2 --A: No person except one with a certificate of ownership can keep, acquire , keep in
control etc. any captive animal specified in Schedule I or part II of Schedule II
except by Inheritance.
2 -- B: Such inheritance to be declared within ninety days to CWLW.
Sec 42: Certificate of ownership -- to be granted only after ensuring that the applicant
has adequate facilities for housing, maintenance and upkeep of the animal
Sec 43: No person who has with him a captive animal with a certificate of ownership
shall transfer by way of sale or offer for sale or any other commercial
consideration, any captive animal.
Chapter 6 deals with prevention & detection of offences. Section 51 deals
Sec 51 Penalties :
• Offence related to animal of Schedule I or Part II of Schedule II -- Minimum
• Imprisonment up to 7 yrs. AND fine not less than 10,000/-- On second and
subsequent offence, Minimum 3 yrs. Imprisonment up to 7 yrs minimum
fine 25,000 years
• Hunting in a National Park or Sanctuary or alteration of boundaries :
Minimum 3 yrs. Imprisonment up to 7 yrs. AND fine not less than 10,000/--
On second and subsequent offence, minimum 3 yrs. Imprisonment up to 7
yrs. AND fine 25,000 years.
• Contravention of Chapter V--A--Trade in species of Schedule I or Part II of
Schedule II-- Minimum 3 yrs. Imprisonment up to 7 yrs. AND fine not less
than 10,000/-- On second and subsequent offence, minimum 3 yrs.
Imprisonment up to 7 yrs. AND minimum fine 25,000 years.
• Other provisions: Imprisonment for up to 3 years or fine up to 25,000 OR
both. Forfeiture of property derived from illegal wildlife trade -- Chapter
VI -- A-- Section 58 -- A-- Y.
WATER POLLUTION AND THE LAW :
WATER (PREVENTION AND CONTROL
OF POLLUTION) ACT, 1974
Meaning of Water pollution
Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers,
oceans, aquifers and groundwater). Water pollution occurs when pollutants
are directly or indirectly discharged into water bodies without adequate
treatment to remove harmful compounds.
Reason of water pollution
• Sewage, sludge, garbage, and even toxic pollutants are all dumped into
• Across the world, about half of all sewage is dumped into water bodies in
its original form.
• Even if sewage is treated, problems still arise. Treated sewage forms
sludge, which is sent out into the sea and dumped.
• Many cities and countries dump sewage out at sea. Often, they place it
not far from their own coastline, often killing all the sea wildlife in the
• In addition to sewage, chemicals dumped by industries and governments
are another major source of water pollution
Effects of Water Pollution.
•Harms the ecosystems
•Also climate change/global warming
•More diseases Water Pollution
•Rise in water from melting glaciers It's harmful for you
•Each year about 250,000 people are admitted to hospitals or
emergency rooms with pesticide poisoning
Using of Natural fertilizers & Eaxamples of
• Automobile oil should be re-used as far as possible. Also, it is important to
keep your automobile well maintained in order to prevent leakages of toxic
fluids like antifreeze and oil.
• Actively conserve water by turning the tap off when you do not need running
water, such as while brushing teeth. Apart from preventing water shortages, it
lessens the amount of water that needs to be treated.
•Try using environmentally friendly household products
Some examples of Pollutants
• Factories & Refineries (Oil and industrial waste) • Agriculture (Pesticides,
fertilizers, Eutrophication ) • Human Sewage (Failing septic tanks, pit latrines)
• Marine Dumping • Mining (sediment run off) • Agriculture (Pesticides,
herbicides and fertilizers) • Household chemicals (soap, oven cleaners etc.) •
Dumping (non-biodegradable (plastic bottles)
How can we stop Water Pollution?
• Laws- Environmental and conservation laws for industries (fishing, boating,
• Education- promoting programs e.g. involving recycling and proper disposal
in schools and in the work place.
• Economics- for example clean up plans and programs.
• Dispose of rubbish correctly. “Think before you toss!”
• Use water wisely.
• Do not throw chemicals, oils, paints and medicines down the sink drain, or
• Buy more eco-friendly products.
• Plant a lot of trees and flowers around your home.
Objective of the law for making of an act
Pollution in rivers is increasing. industrial effluents should not be allowed to
be discharged into the water without adequate treatment, as otherwise,
water becomes unsuitable for human consumption, irrigation and fish life.
The Act covers fields of water and irrigation, which are State subjects.
Hence, it is applicable only to States which have approved or adopted the
What is board…
Central pollution control board (sec. 3) Or
State pollution control board (sec. 4)
Prevention and Control of Water Pollution
1.Power to take samples of effluents and procedure to be followed.
2.Prohibition on use of stream or well for disposal of pollution matter.
3.Restrictions on new Outlets and new discharges.
4.Provision regarding discharge of sewage or trade effluent.
5.Refusal for withdrawal of consent by state board.
1. Penalty for contravention of provisions of Section 24:- Imprisonment for
not less than one year and six months.
2. Penalty for contravention of provisions of Section 25 or 26:-
imprisonment for not less than one year and six months but with fine.
3. Penalty for contravention of provisions of section 45-A: imprisonment
for not less than one year and six months but extended up to three
months with 10,000 rupees fine.
M.C Mehta V/s Union of India and Others , 12th
This case is about pollution river GANGA
A lawyer name Mr. M.C. Mehta found that people are pollution water of river
GANGA by bathing in it, by washing clothes in it, by throwing dirty things in
river. And as is it was duty of municipal corporation to seen that water of the
river do not get dirty, Mr. M.C. Mehta filed a case against municipal
corporation for breach of duty.
The Supreme Court gave the decision in favor of Mr. M.C. Mehta as water
pollution is crime and it is polluting water which is a basic need for living
beings. The court ordered municipal corporation to give Rs. 20,00,000 as
fine for their breach of duty.
In this case the court also directed Municipality to take measures for
construction of adequate sewage system and direction also given to control
pollution caused by cattle's
Municipality also directed not to give license to any industry unless it
makes provisions for treating industrial effluents and direction also given to
Central Government to make sure that students are given classes on
Unwanted sound that penetrates the environment
Any noise irritating to one’s ear which comes from an external source
In relatives terms one’s may be pollution to others
Sound which pleases the listeners in music and which causes pain and
annoyance is noise
Noise affect us in hearing , ability to communicate and behavior
Sources of noise Pollution
Indoor source ( Radio, T.V , AC , home appliances)
Less maintained vehicles produce more sounds
What is noise pollution and its sources
Noise pollution can cause:
High Stress Levels,
Annoyance and Aggression,
Effect on Animals
Physiological effects: increase in heart rate, stress
Behavioral effects: loss of ability to reproduce
Ecological effects: it leads to migration of birds which disturbs the
Effect Of Noise Pollution On Human's Health
Protect workers from risks to their hearing caused by noise.
Prevent hearing loss and deafness as a result of exposure to noise at work
Legal Requirements placed on Employers
Identify noise problems and if noise levels are above 85dB(A),measurements
must be taken and assessed by a competent person. Such measurements should
be repeated at appropriate intervals.
SCHEDULE (see rule 3(l) and 4(l) Ambient Air Quality Standards in Respect of
(A) Industrial area 75 70
(B) Commercial area 65 55
(C) Residential area 55 45
(D) Silence Zone 50 40
Note: 1. Day time shall mean from 6.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.
2. Night time shall mean from 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m
Objectives For Making Of Law
Factories Act 1948: The Factories Act does not contain any specific
provision for noise control. However, under the Third Schedule Sections
89 and 90 of the Act, noise induced hearing loss, is mentioned as
notifiable disease. Similarly, under the Modal Rules, limits for noise
exposure for work zone area have been prescribed.
Motor Vehicle Act 1939: In Motor Vehicle Act, rules regarding use of
horns and any modification in engine to reduce noise levels are made.
Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Act, 1987:
The word noise was inserted under the definition of air pollutants by the
Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Act.
Indian Penal code (I.P.C.) Public Nuisance 268-295: Chapter IV of
Indian Penal code deals with offences relating to public health, safety,
decency , morals under Sections 268, 269, 270, 279, 280, 287, 288, 290
291 294. Noise pollution can be penalized with the help of above section.
Law Realting To Noise Pollution
Plant trees and bushes around you house. They help keep the air clean,
absorb sound, give privacy, and add nice design and looks to a house
Turn off the TV or radio when you aren't actually fully listening to it
Don't blast music on the radio or computer or speakers. Be considerate
of your own ears and those of other around you.
Sound proof rooms that might have music conducted in them, like a
room with a piano or if someone in the house plays drums or guitar or
Strict legislative measures need to be enforced to control the nuisance
of noise pollution some of the measures are
A) Minimum use of loud speakers, near silence zones.
B) Banning pressure horns in automobiles
C) Framing a Separate noise pollution act.
What we can do & Control of noise Pollution
• In this case the Supreme Court approving the decision of High Court
held that the directions issued under the Madras City Police Act,
1888 and madras Town Nuisance Act,1889 were valid which were
issued to control noise pollution. Alongwith it the Supreme Court held
that the direction issued under the Environment(protection)Act, 1986
and Noise pollution(Regulations and control)Rules,2000 read with
rile 5 of environment Protection rules,1986 were valid.
• No religion prescribes or preaches that prayers required to be
performed through voice amplifiers or by beating of drums. If there
be any such practice It should not adversely affect rights of others
including that of being not disturbed in their activities Use of
microphones and loud speakers in prayers in Church Directions
issued by High Court for control justified.
Church Of God Vs. Kkr Majestic Colony AIR
2000 SC 2773
• Undisputedly, no religion prescribes that prayers should be performed
by disturbing the peace of others nor does it preach that they should be
through voice-amplifiers or beating of drums. In our view, in a civilized
society in the name of religion, activities which disturb old or infirm
persons, students or children having their sleep in the early hours or
during day-time or other persons carrying on other activities cannot be
permitted. It should not be forgotten that young babies in the
neighbourhood are also entitled to enjoy their natural right of sleeping in
a peaceful atmosphere. A student preparing for his examination is
entitled to concentrate on his studies without there being any
unnecessary disturbance by the neighbours. Similarly, old and infirm
are entitled to enjoy reasonable quietness during their leisure hours
without there being any nuisance of noise pollution. Aged, sick, people
afflicted with psychic disturbances as well as children upto 6 years of
age are considered to be very sensible to noise. Their rights are also
required to be honoured.
“ Development that
meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future
generations to meet their own needs.”
-The Brundtland Commission’s 1987
Report, ‘Our Common Future’
• This is the definition which comes to mind most often,
although the idea can be traced back to at least 1972
and the United Nations Stockholm Conference on the
1. To meet current and future needs and aspirations
where environment is considered to be integral part
of human well-being.
2. To maintain fairness in development between
different sectors. Eg., ‘poor’ & ‘rich’ Nations or
classes of society.
3. Also, for future generations, i.e., inter generational
equity – preventing future generational development
on the same level as ours would be unfair.
4. An assumption we make – impact of current activity
in terms of resource depletion and ability of
environment to absorb pollution can be identified.
So, right decisions cannot be made which are
needed to be made to achieve the goal of
sustainable development if there are doubts over
the nature of risks involved.
“The Balance between Environmental protection
and developmental activities could only be
maintained by strictly following the principles of
Adherence to sustainable development
principle is a sine qua non for the
maintenance of the symbolic balance
between the right to environment and
• The concept of ‘precautionary principle’
originated in mid 1980’s from German law
termed as 'Vorsorgeprinzip‘.
• The “precautionary measure” which had been
taken at national and international level has
been acknowledged by participating parties in
1985 Vienna Convention for the protection of the
• The decisions adopted by the states within
the North Sea Ministerial Conference mark
the first use of this principle in international
Principle of Precaution involves:
• Anticipation of environmental harm
• Taking measures to avoid it
• Choose the least environmentally harmful activity
• Must be triggered by suspicion of concrete danger,
justified concern or risk potential.
Though accepted as part of the international customary law,
'the consequences of its application in any potential situation
will be influenced by the circumstances of each case‘
The principle suggests that it may be appropriate to place
‘Burden of Proof’
• On the person or entity proposing the activity that
is potentially harmful to the environment
• where there is uncertainty as to the extent or
nature of the damage
• where there is an identifiable risk of serious or
irreversible harm, including, extinction of species,
widespread toxic pollution is the major threat to
essential ecological processes
Mainpurpose of “Precautionary Principle”
– To ensure that a substance or activity posing a threat to the
environment is prevented from adversely affecting the environment.
– This is ensured even if there is no conclusive scientific proof of linking
that particular substance or activity to environmental damage.
– The words ‘substance’ and ‘activity’ imply substances and activities
introduced as a result of human intervention.
In context of municipal law, “precautionary principle”:
– Environmental measures by the State Government
and the local authorities must anticipate, prevent and
attack the causes of environmental degradation
– Where there are threats of serious and irreversible
damage, lack of scientific certainty should not be
used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent
– The "onus of proof" is on the actor or the
developer/industrialist to show that his action is
Principle 6 of the Stockholm Declaration
of 1972 revealed a concept known as
‘assimilative capacity’ rule. This rule
formed basis for approach to
environmental protection which occurred
initially between 1972 and 1982.
This principle assumed
– that science could provide policy-makers with
the information and means necessary to avoid
encroaching upon the capacity of the
environment to assimilate impacts
And it presumed
– that relevant technical expertise would be
available when environmental harm is
predicted and there would be sufficient time
to act in order to avoid such harm
In the 11th Principle of the UN General
Assembly Resolution on World Charter for
Nature, 1982, the emphasis shifted to the
'Precautionary Principle' and this was
reiterated in the Rio Conference of 1992 in
its Principle 15
“In order to protect the environment, the
precautionary approach shall be widely applied by
states according to their capacities. Where, there are
threats of serious or irreversible damage lack of full
scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for
proposing cost-effective measures to prevent
In regard to the cause for the emergence of this
principle, Chairman Barton’s observations
– inadequacies of science is a real basis that has led to
the precautionary principle of 1982
– the prit is better to err on the side of caution and
prevent environmental harm, which may indeed
– principle of precaution involves the anticipation of
environmental harm and taking measures to avoid it
or to choose the least environmentally harm activity. It
is based on scientific uncertainty
Environmental protection should not only on at
protecting health, property and economic
interests but also protect the environment for its
own sake. The precautionary duties must not
only be triggered by the suspicion of concrete
danger but also by justified concern or risk
• The Court stressed the view that "the
precautionary principle" and "the polluter pays
principle" are essential features of sustainable
development and that they have been accepted
as part of the law of the land
• The Court had no hesitation in holding that the
precautionary principle and the polluter pays
principle are part of the environmental law of the
• The Court also observed that even otherwise, the
above said principles are accepted as part of the
customary international law and hence there
should be no difficulty in accepting them as part
of our domestic law.
• During the period between the Stockholm
Conference of 1972 and the Rio Conference of 1992,
there have been great changes in environmental
concepts due to the "uncertainty" of scientific proof
and its changing frontiers from time to time.
• In Vellore Citizens' Welfare Forum v. Union of
India, a three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court
referred to these changes, to the "precautionary
principle" and the new concept of "burden of proof' in
• The learned Judges also observed that the new
concept, which places the burden of proof on the
developer or industrialist who is proposing to alter
the status quo, has also become part of our
Difficultyin applying‘Burdenof proof’
• If an activity is allowed to go ahead, there may be
irreversible or irreparable damage to the
environment and if it is stopped, there may be
irreparable damage to the economic interests
• In case of doubt, however, protection of
environment would have precedence over the
• If without degrading the environment or
minimizing adverse effects thereupon by applying
stringent safeguards, it is possible to carry on
development activity by applying the principle of
sustainable development, in that eventuality,
development has to go on
• It as a part of the environmental law, the
Supreme Court once again confirmed the
• The following the reasonable man test, the
exemptions under Sec. 19 of the Water Act,
1974, were held to have dangerous
potential, as they clearly ignored the
precautionary principle, which could be
• Reversal of Burden of Proof
– inadequacies of science have led to the
– the said "precautionary principle" in its turn,
has led to the special principle of burden of
proof in environmental cases where burden as
to the absence of injurious effects of the action
proposed, is placed on those who want to
change the status quo
– otherwise in environmental cases, those
opposing the change would be compelled to
shoulder the evidentiary burden, a procedure
which is not fair.
– it is necessary that the party attempting to
preserve the status quo while maintaining a
less polluted State should not carry the
burden of proof and the party who wants to
alter it, must bear this burden
Precautionaryprinciple leads to a question:
• In such a situation, the burden of proof is to be placed on those
attempting to alter the status quo.
• They are to discharge this burden by showing the absence of a
"reasonable ecological or medical concern".
• That is the required standard of proof. The result would be that if
insufficient evidence is presented by them to alleviate concern about
the level of uncertainty, then the presumption should operate in
favour of environmental protection.
If the environmental risks being run by regulatory
inaction are in some way "uncertain but non-
negligible", then regulatory action is justified, but
what is the "non-negligible risk“?
• The "precautionary principle" has been recognized in
almost all the major international instruments
• adopted by the United Nations Environment Programme
• adopted by various international conferences on
prevention of pollution of seas
• 1990 - Bergen Declaration on Sustainable Development
in the European Community while affirming the
precautionary principle provided that environment
related action should predict, prevent and suppress
environmentally harmful factors
• 1991 - "Caring for the Earth" a document jointly
produced by the World Conservation Union, United
Nations Environment Programme and World Wide Fund
for Nature, emphasized that the precautionary principle
be made the basis of decisions on development and
• 1992 - The "Earth Summit' of Rio recognized the
precautionary principle in many ways.
• Rio Declaration does not see any difference in
principle between sustainable development and
the precautionary principle
• Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration expresses the
expectation that governments will apply the
precautionary principle widely according to their
• once the activity carried on is hazardous or
inherently dangerous, the person carrying on
such activity is liable to make good the loss
caused to any other person by his activity
irrespective of the fact whether he took
reasonable care while carrying on his activity.
• In India, the Courts have applied "polluter pays
principle" in many cases.
• The Supreme Court has explained that the
"Precautionary Principle" generally
describes an approach to the protection of
the environment or human health based on
precaution even where there is no clear
evidence of harm or risk of harm from an
activity or substance.
• It is a part of the principle of sustainable
• It provides for taking protection against
specific environmental hazards by avoiding
or reducing environmental risks before
specific harms are experienced.
• By applying the
precautionary principle, it
will become easier to set
course for a society which is characterized
by sustainable development
• The movement towards adopting the
precautionary principle has definitely
widened the scope of corporate
accountability, but the interpretation
taken by the court mitigates the relevance
and incorporation of this principle in
Indian Jurisprudence for the protection
and preservation of the pristine
environment of nature
It is better to
be safe than