August 29, 2015

Environment in Indian Constitution

Status of Environment in Indian Constituion and What are the articles in Indian constitution concerned with Environment:
The State’s responsibility with regard to environmental protection has been laid down under Article 48-A of our Constitution, which reads as follows:
“The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country”.

Environmental protection is a fundamental duty of every citizen of this country under Article 51-A(g) of our Constitution which reads as follows:
“It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.”

Article 21 of the Constitution is a fundamental right which reads as follows:
“No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.”
Though this Article does not explicitly mention the environment, the Supreme Court and the various High Courts of the country have given a wider interpretation to the word “life” in this Article. According to the courts, the right to life includes the right to a living environment congenial to human existence.
The Supreme Court in Subhas Kumar V. State of Bihar (AIR 1991 SC 420) held that right to environment is a fundamental right of every citizen of India and is included in the “right to life” guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is maintainable in the High Court or Supreme Court at the instance of affected persons or even by a group of social workers or journalists for prevention of pollution.

Common or Concurrent List Entries

  1. Forests
  2. Protection of wild animals and birds
  3. Economic and social planning
  4. Population control and family planning


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