Environmental laws and acts in india pdf

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environmental laws and acts in india pdf

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The Indian Constitution lays down the foundation for all environmental laws. Since the late s and early s, there has been a clear trend of environmental policies being driven by the activist judiciary in India.

Six environmental laws to be amended soon

The Indian Constitution lays down the foundation for all environmental laws. Since the late s and early s, there has been a clear trend of environmental policies being driven by the activist judiciary in India. The fundamental right to life enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution has been expanded by judicial interpretation to include the right to a clean, healthy and pollution-free environment.

The interactions between these enforcement agencies and regulated entities still tend to be based on a carrot-and-stick approach. As a result, only a few companies tend to be proactive or forthcoming with their environmental compliance issues. That said, in our experience, voluntary disclosures are well received by all enforcement agencies, although there are no formal guidelines relating to such situations, and explicit rewards are absent for such voluntary disclosures, so local companies often lack the confidence to approach enforcement agencies.

However, such approaches remain the exception rather than the rule. The power of the SPCBs to cut off these basic supplies can at times be unnecessarily harsh on a company, but seems to be the only effective tool which the SPCBs have at their disposal to enforce environmental laws. Hence, all companies must ensure that they take these SCNs very seriously and duly reply, ideally with legal guidance.

As per the respective environmental laws, all companies are also granted the right to be heard before such drastic measures such as the stoppage of basic supplies will be enforced. Moreover, if a site is found to be in grave non-compliance such as operating without an environmental permit , the SPCBs will not hesitate to commence a proceeding before the NGT, with a request to impose a penalty and, in some cases, criminal prosecution of the directors or management of a company can also be initiated.

There are some exemptions to this otherwise broadly drafted right to information, such as: personal information of officers; evidence yet to be presented in a court of law; and also, importantly, commercially confidential information, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information.

We may also add here that many SPCBs and authorities supervising EC applications increasingly place information on their respective websites pertaining to applications received, pending, refused and granted.

Do note that an integrated permit system is in place in most States. It is worth noting that separate pieces of legislation will trigger separate permit obligations.

Hence, depending on the type of activities undertaken by a company, multiple permits may need to be obtained. Similarly, an order granting or refusing an Environment Clearance passed by a regulatory authority can also be challenged before the NGT.

Environmental Audits have not yet been made mandatory but some of the States such as Gujrat, Maharashtra and Karnataka; do offer incentives to the industrial units obtaining an ISO certification. Many export-oriented industries also undertake environmental audits, driven by their global clients. As mentioned in question 1. The SPCBs can initiate prosecution before the courts. Moreover, Environmental Compensation amounts can also be imposed on the polluting industries see question Various waste rules contain different definitions of wastes and impose different sets of obligations on different entities, such as the occupier, the transporter, the recycler, the importer or exporter, etc.

The HW Rules further clarify that waste includes the materials that may be generated during the extraction of raw materials, the processing of raw materials into intermediate and final products, and the consumption of final products, but excludes residuals recycled or reused at the place of generation. A by-product is defined as a material that is not intended to be produced but gets produced in the production process of the intended product and is used as such.

Various environmental laws do specify that all the parties be it manufacturer, producer, importer, transporter, dismantler, recycler, etc. Failure to obtain the required Consent Order or environmental permit will trigger the penalty provisions. For instance, under the Water Act, any person who breaches the consent application process is punishable with imprisonment for at least 18 months, which can be extended to six years, and a fine.

Importantly, the NGT Act contains penalty provisions which are considerably higher compared to previously adopted environmental laws. Most likely all existing environmental laws will be amended at some point to be aligned with the NGT Act penalty provisions. More specifically, section 26 1 of the National Green Tribunal Act states that a person who fails to comply with an order or award or decision of the Tribunal is punishable with imprisonment for a term of up to three years, or with a fine of up to INR10 crore, or both 1 crore is equal to 10 million.

Moreover, if a company fails to comply with any order, award or decision of the Tribunal, the company is punishable with a fine up to INR25 crore. Under these Acts, every person who is in charge when an offence is committed, and is responsible to the company for the conduct of its business, is guilty of the offence and liable to be prosecuted and punished accordingly.

However, such person will not be held liable if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge, or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the offence. Further, if the offence was committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect by, a director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, the other person is also guilty of the offence, and liable to be prosecuted. Moreover, the Supreme Court and the State High Courts can and do impose exemplary damages for damage to the environment.

For instance, in the Sterlites Industries case , one of the largest copper smelter plants in India was found to be operating without a valid renewal of its environmental consent to operate. About 30 years ago, the Supreme Court evolved two far-reaching environmental civil liability concepts which are now engrained in Indian case law:. Yes, the principle of absolute liability discussed above under question 4.

As discussed under question 4. As mentioned above, defences are provided in these laws as well, and a person will not be held liable if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge, or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the offence. The market for insurance policies for personal liability is not mature in India, whereas such insurance is available to cover companies against environmental damage claims.

As is the case in many other jurisdictions, in the event of a share sale, the buyer also acquires all liabilities, including environmental liabilities, incurred by the company. Typically, in India, even in the event of an asset sale, the buyer will take over these liabilities, but the parties can contractually decide otherwise. This is because environmental laws in India do not address historical pollution and the regulatory authorities in India typically connect environmental liability to the current occupier, i.

As a result, parties will settle this point via the insertion of contractual warranties relating to environmental liabilities, which highlights the importance of a robust environmental due diligence prior to the purchase. However, lenders increasingly undertake an environmental risk assessment of the projects of their customers and will include contractual clauses pertaining to environmental compliance in their loan documents. Lenders normally undertake prior due diligence and insist on appropriate conditions before granting a loan, requiring the management of the company to take effective measures to minimise their environmental liability.

Unlike many other jurisdictions, environmental laws in India do not explicitly address the situation of historic pollution and related remediation. Similarly, India has no specific legislation addressing soil contamination and remediation yet, but major changes with a step-wise approach are in the pipeline.

Environmental consultants have already prepared reports mapping the priority most contaminated sites which should be covered in a first stage. Importantly, the remediation would not be merely parameter-based but takes into account the expected use of the land. Allocating environmental liability is not always an easy undertaking, particularly in industrial zones, or manufacturing or chemical clusters, with a long history of different activities having been undertaken over the years.

However, the NGT in many cases has divided the cost of remediation equally amongst the responsible parties, when it is found that more than one legal person is responsible for such contamination. The environmental regulatory authority could impose additional works or remediation activities, particularly if the desired result is not being achieved within the agreed time.

However, the principles of natural justice would apply, and such decisions by the regulator could be challenged by a company based on the grounds that the decision is arbitrary, unreasonable, no personal hearing was granted, etc.

As mentioned above, there is no specific law in India addressing contaminated land and historical pollution. Such private rights seeking contribution from the previous owner would, therefore, have to be contractually foreseen, otherwise the purchaser would have no such right.

Yes, the Supreme Court, High Courts and the NGT have all recovered environmental damages from companies for the pollution of public or historical assets, or public assets such as rivers. For instance, a company was held liable for INR1 billion for loss of ecology as well as pollution caused in the Arabian Sea near the port city of Mumbai.

Also, the industries operating within a km radius from the Taj Mahal monument were ordered to shut down. Furthermore, in a series of judgments, the NGT as well as the Supreme Court imposed costs on industries which were directly or indirectly polluting the River Ganges. The officials of the SPCBs are empowered to inspect sites, examine and test the processes and plants, take samples for testing and conducting research, verify records and give directions to industries in order to control environmental pollution caused by companies.

Yes, the occupier of the land is under an obligation to immediately inform the concerned authorities and affected third parties in the event of discharges of pollutants above the standards contained in the General Standards specified under the EP Act and related Rules, or in the event of an accident as regulated under, e.

The issue is not as obvious in cases where the off-site migration is caused by activities which neither infringe the valid Consent Order or environmental permit, nor exceed the generally applicable discharge of environmental pollutant standards, simply because such situations have not been foreseen by environmental laws in India.

However, companies may still decide to inform the regulatory authorities in such situations. There is no statutory obligation for investing land contamination except for the obligation to submit a pre-feasibility Environmental Impact Assessment report as part of the Environmental Clearance approval process. The transferor must disclose a detailed schedule highlighting liability issues. The enforcement of indemnification for limiting actual or potential environmental liability is possible.

A company is under an obligation to disclose potential environmental liabilities as contingent liabilities in its financial audit. Non-disclosure of any such liability in the account shall be treated as fraud or falsification of accounts, which are punishable with imprisonment or fine or both.

Under Indian law, a company is a separate legal entity deemed to be acting through its directors. Thus, the shareholders of a company cannot be held liable for breach of environmental law unless there is no distinction between the shareholders and directors and the facts require lifting of the corporate veil.

India adopted the Whistle-blower Protection Act, , with a prescribed mechanism to investigate alleged corruption and misuse of power by public servants and to protect anyone who exposes alleged wrongdoing in government bodies.

However, no such whistle-blower laws are applicable to private companies. However, many larger companies in India have adopted internal whistle-blower guidelines based on good corporate governance principles. Yes, there are instances where class action suits have been filed by groups of affected people. As mentioned above, exemplary damages are frequently imposed by the Supreme Court as well as NGT benches with amounts at times being as high as INR1 billion.

In India, there are hardly any procedural hurdles for any citizen or NGO to file a PIL, as long as the issue highlighted is in the public interest. Historically, the locus standi was deliberately lowered, particularly to ensure that the poor and deprived had access to the courts.

Since then, PILs have flourished and are omnipresent, to the point that courts have started imposing fines for abuse of the PIL process. There is no specific carbon trading scheme in place in India. The ESCerts may be traded among companies to meet their mandated compliance requirements or may be banked for the next cycle of energy savings requirements. There are no mandatory GHG reporting obligations, but there are several industry-driven voluntary initiatives to encourage such GHG reporting.

India is an active member of the International Solar Alliance launched between various countries in and in the recent UN Climate Action Summit, India announced its renewable energy target would be GW. See also the answer to question 9. The Supreme Court imposed a ban on the manufacturing and mining of blue and brown asbestos Kalyaneshwari v.

Union of India. The Supreme Court also addressed the harmful consequences of asbestos, making the employer responsible to pay damages to workers whose health has been affected due to asbestos exposure. A prior environmental clearance must be obtained and a related EIA report must be prepared for industries proposing to engage in activities relating to asbestos milling and asbestos-based products. The insured must contribute an amount to this fund which is equivalent to the premium paid under the PLI Act Policy.

The environmental risks insurance market is growing but is still limited compared to other jurisdictions. As mentioned, the environmental risk insurance market is still in its infancy and not much is publicly available pertaining to such insurance claims. Recently, the NGT, while dealing with a matter pertaining to illegal coal mining, held that a State failing to enforce the rules properly would be considered as conniving or colluding with the polluters. Further, in a matter questioning the Environmental Clearance granted to a project developer, the Supreme Court held that the arbitrary actions of the government officials against the environment is to be considered as a direct violation of the Public Trust Doctrine.

As a result, the environmental clearance relating to the project was quashed. The genesis of preparation of the formula to compute the Environmental Compensation came after the directions of the NGT, ordering the CPCB to ensure that the discharge quality of environmental pollutants should remain within the notified standards, and left it open for CPCB to take penal actions and to assess and recover compensation for damage caused to the environment by defaulting parties. The number of days of violation is one of the multiple factors in the formula, along with location factor which is determined on the basis of distance from densely populated areas or cities.

In its related report, the CPCB had listed more than polluted industrial clusters in India, based on their pollution indexes.

India: Environment & Climate Change Laws and Regulations 2020

Passed in March , it came into force on 19 November It has 26 sections and 4 chapters. They relate to the protection and improvement of the human environment and the prevention of hazards to human beings, other living creatures, plants and property. This act was enacted by the Parliament of India in As the introduction says, "An Act to provide for the protection and improvement of environment and for matters connected therewith: Where as the decisions were taken at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held at Stockholm in June, , in which India participated, to take appropriate steps for the protection and improvement of human environment.

ICLG - Real Estate Laws and Regulations - India covers key topics relating to practical points and commercial terms in leasing, investment, development, and financing in 20 jurisdictions. Laws relating to leases of business premises should be listed in response to question Those relating to zoning and environmental should be listed in response to question Those relating to tax should be listed in response to questions in Section 9. Real estate in India is governed and impacted by a combination of Federal and State-specific laws.

The Botanical and Zoological Survey of India, etc. ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AND RULES. Major environmental laws dealing with protection of environment can.

Contemporary Issues in International Law

This third edition is revised, enlarged and updated till August The previous two editions and have been received very well not only in India but in many other countries. Considerable changes have taken place in India during with regard to Environmental Governance and enactment of legislations.

In this article, we will look at the important Environmental Legislation and discuss the main features of such legislation. This is a very important topic for UPSC and State PCS prelims as well as the Main Exam because of the increasing number of questions from the environment section and also due to their increasing relevance in the wake of rising Environmental Awareness in the country. The need for the protection and conservation of the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources is reflected in the constitution of India as well as in the international commitments of India. The Indian Constitution under Part IVA Art 51A-Fundamental Duties gives upon the citizens of India a duty to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, rivers, lakes and wildlife and also to have compassion for living creatures. Several legislations on Environmental protection existed even before India got its Independence.

Short title, extent and commencement. Restriction on sale and purchase of loose 2-T oil. Batteries Management and Handling Rules, 1. Short title and commencement 2.

India: Environment & Climate Change Laws and Regulations 2020

Environmental Legislation in India (Part-1)

His research papers have been published in various international and national journals. His main areas of specialization are intellectual property laws and arbitration law. Skip to main content Skip to table of contents. Advertisement Hide.

An ongoing conference in the capital to decide on changes in crucial environmental laws, as proposed by the Centre. The Centre is likely to amend six crucial environmental laws to be tabled in the Parliament after the recess ends on April 23, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change said. At the meeting, state environment ministers, officials and experts discussed issues like forests, wildlife, pollution, biodiversity and climate change over three breakout sessions. Talks were also held on eco-sensitive zones and the Western Ghats. After it ends, the ministry will finalise its recommendations, prepare a note and bring it before the cabinet so that the amended bills can be tabled in the second half of the Parliament session, environment minister Prakash Javadekar said.


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