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Leading Case Environment Law


M.C. Mehta (Petitioner)


Union of India (Resondent)

Ref: AIR 1996 SC 750

Sub:- This case is based on the pollution of the environment which is caused due to hazardous industries.

Facts of the Case :-

1. M.C. Mehta is an environmentalist who has filed a public interest litigation before the Supreme Court on the ground that environ- mental pollution is increasing rapidly in Delhi due to industries.

2. A master plan was implemented in Delhi in 1962 under the Delhi development Act, 1957 which was aimed at re. reducing the pollution level in Delhi.

3. In Delhi there are so many such industries which comes under the category of the Hazardous industries and which are polluting environment there.

4. The upshift discharged from these industries is also caus- ing soil pollution in one way or other.

5. The upshift material discharged from such industries is ei- ther thrown over the land or buried under the land which causes much pollution.

6. In a developed City like Delhi, it is not proper to live in the city from the environmental point of view keeping in mind the hazardous industries. Therefore, these industries are required to be shifted elsewhere.

7. Hazardous process means such an activity where special precaution is taken and discharge produced from it affects the health of people and such industries are specified in the first schedule.

8. Efforts have been made at the international level with re- gard to environmental pollution

9. Delhi, which is a developing State and in its development, environmental protection remedies are also to be required to be taken into alongwith its special features and special requirements and for this purpose it is very necessary to shift the industries outside Delhi.

10. The master plan which was applied for Delhi in 1962, could not be executed in an effective way,as a result of which a hazardous condition has emerged from these industries situated in the city of Delhi.

11. Therefore, now it is required that a proper arrangement should be made to shift all the industries from Delhi. In this connection, notices should be issued to the owners of these industries and their objections be invited with regard to their shifting so that their objections be decided in such a way that no workman gets unemployed.

Judgment: The Supreme Court disposed of the petition with directions to the Government.

Law points :-

1. The hazardous industries means such industries which are specified in the first schedule.

2. Such hazardous industries pollute the environment which causes danger to the health of human beings.

3. It is necessary to shift such industries outside the city of Delhi.

4. While shifting, the employment of the workmen should be kept in mind.



Muraina Mandal Sahkari Shakkar Karkhana (Petitioner)


M.P. Board (Respondent)

Ref: 1993 MPLJ 270

Sub:- This case is based on Sections 25, 26 and 49 of the Water Pollution (Prevention and Control) Act.

Facts of the case :-

1. Muraina Mandal Sahkari Shakkar Karkhana is situated at Kailarus, District Muraina, MP which produces (Manufactures) sugar.

2. This factory, by violating Sections 25 and 26 of the Water Pollution (Prevention and Control) Act, emitted out pol- luted discharge, which is causing water pollution.

3. The Secretary of the MP Pollution Prevention Board, Mr. RK Khare filed prosecution sheet before the Court of the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Sabalgarh on 7 August 1985.

4. Following two were made accused in this prosecution sheet:

1. Muraina Mandal Sahkari Shakkar Karkhana, Ltd.

2. The General Manager of the factory.

And, they have been charged with the violation of Sections 25 and 26 of the Water Pollution (Prevention and Control) Act.

Trial Court:-

The Magistrate dismissed the prosecution case on 12 June, 1987 on the ground that at the time of the incident, the present General Manager was not on this post.

Sessions Court:-

The MP Board filed a revision petition against this order before the Sessions Court. The Sessions Court held that the violation is a continu- ing offense and it makes no difference whether the present General Manager was present on the day of incident or not and allowed the revision petition.

High Court:-

Against this order, the Petitioner (Muraina Mandal Sahkari Shakkar Karkhana) presented a revision petition before the High Court. The Petitioner took two grounds against the prosecution

1. Present General Manager is not liable to be prosecuted

2. This prosecution has been presented without confirma- tion of the State Board which is a violation of Section 49. This prosecution sheet was presented on behalf of the State Board, not by the State Board and the State Board had not delegated the power of filing case to the Secretary. 

Section 49 provides that a Court will take cognizance of the complaint only after confirmation by the State Board about the violation of any provision of the Act.

Therefore, the Court is of the opinion that in this case prior permission of the State Board was not taken and the Secre- tary incompetent to file this case. Therefore, the order of the Sessions Court is liable to be dismissed and the order of the Magistrate was upheld.

Judgment: Revision petition allowed.

Law points:-

1. Work should always be done under the delegated power.

2. One of the conditions of Section 49 is that a case cannot be filed without permission of the State Board.



Santosh Kumar Gupta (Petitioner)


Secretary, Ministry of Environment (Respondent)

Ref: AIR 1998 MP 43

Sub: This case is related to Section 31 A of the Air Pollution (Preven- tion and Control) Act, 1981

Facts of the case: -

1. In this case, two public interest litigation petitions have been filed before the Gwalior Division Bench of the High Court.

2. First petition has been filed with a complaint that vehicles filled with kerosene oil, diesel etc in an Unauthorized manner are being run in Gwalior and its surrounding areas. 

3. It has created polluted environment in and around Gwalior areas and residents are facing health hazards there.

4. In this petition, it was prayed that the Court should issue directions to the Respondents for regular checking of the vehicles and to restricts the number of vehicles and to reduce the pollution level.

5. In the second petiton, it was prayed that the Court should constitute a pollution committee which will check the vehicles so that air pollution may be prevented and controlled.

6. The Government of MP be directed to make available smoke meter, etc. to the checking staff and give directions according to the provisions of the Air Pollution Act.

7. Since, clean air and clean water is the Fundamental Right of the citizens. Therefore, the Court should issue directions to control environmental pollution in the public interest.

High Court :-

The Court has considered that efforts for controlling the air pol- lution created by the vehicles are not sufficient on the part of the State Government and it has issued the following directions --

1. The MP Government should make available at least four smoke meter and one gas analyzer to measure carbon mon- oxide and other polluting gasses being emitted from the motor vehicles plying in the city of Gwalior.

2. The State Government should make available modern equipments to check the carbon monoxide so that it may not take much time in checking.

3. The Inspector General of Police, MP should issue directions to his subordinate officers to implement the ingredients of Rule 16 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules.

4. The State Government should earmark such roads which may be declared one-way for public vehicles.

5. The Additional Advocate General, Gwalior will obtain a compliance report under Rule 16 from the Chief Secretary, Transport Commissioner and Director General of Police within three months and present it before this Court.

Judgment: The petition is disposed of as per aforesaid directions.

Law points :-

1. Clean environment is the Fundamental Right of every citizen.

2. Regular checking of such vehicles is necessary which are causing pollution, this is the duty of the State.

3. The State Government should issue directions to its different departments to control the pollution by vehicles.



Madhya Pradesh Rice Mill Association (Plaintiff)


State of M.P. (Defendant)

Ref: AIR 1999 (1) MPLJ 315

Sub:- This case is based on the constitutionality of the consent fees and license fees being collected from the rice mills under the Water Pollution (Prevention and Control) Act, 1974.

Facts of the case: -

1. Petitioner, MP Rice Mills Association, Raipur, which is a registered society, has filed a special petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution.

2. In this petition, the petitioner prayed that a consent fees and license fees are collected by the State of MP from the rice mill owners for renewal of the licence under the Rice Milling Industry Regulation Act, 1958 which is beyond the jurisdiction of Sections 4 and 5 of the Water Pollution (Prevention and Control) Act, 1978.

3. Since, these rules should apply to only those industries which release polluted water streams whereas rice mills flow out the discharged water only on the land.

4. Rice mills do not create any type of water pollution and business of these mills is seasonal and it is only for 4 to 6 months in a year.

5. The industries dealing with 'Usna Rice Method' emit 3 to 8 thousand liter water for 3 to 4 hours per day which is not injurious to health and this water increases the fertility of the soil.

6. With these facts the plaintiff stated before the court that the State Government has no jurisdiction to collect con- sent fees and licence fees and it has no right to make rules in this regard.

Judgment - The Court, while refusing to accept all the pleas of the Petitioner, declined to allow the petition and no order was passed regarding fees. The petition was dismissed

Law points :-

1. The State Government has a jurisdiction to make rules re- garding consent fees and license fees.

2. The imposition of license fees and consent fees should not be unconstitutional and unreasonable.

3. Rice mills also come under the category of the industries and the provisions of the Water Pollution (Prevention and Control) Act, 1974 will apply to these mills also.



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