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Judicial Activism for Environment Protection in India

Author Affiliations

  • 1Graduate School of Social Sciences, Waseda University, Tokyo, JAPAN

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 4, Issue (4), Pages 7-14, April,14 (2015)


The environment protection was a least priority in Indiaís post-independence era due to need of industrialization and political disturbances. However, the Bhopal Gas tragedy acted as an eye opener and brought Environment protection at the Centre stage. After which, there was a widening of existing environmental laws in the country and increase in judicial activity. The Supreme Court and High Court have worked from case to case for making environment as a fundamental right and then extending its meaning to right for compensation, clean water and air. The closure of limestone quarries in UP, halting of polluting tanneries along the Ganges river, the introduction of the principle of Absolute Liability for hazardous firms are some of the landmark decisions. In response to the courtís order different rules and policy changes have been developed such as CNG Policy in Delhi, Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules and Karnataka Municipal (Amendment) Act. However, the effectiveness of judicial activism in bringing about the social transformation is questionable. Although, the judiciary is able to form some strong foundation for environmental protection, but the developments brought about by judicial activism have been proven insufficient to bring satisfactory outcomes.


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