Courts, Media and Civil Society in Regulating the Regulator: Lessons from Delhi Air Pollution Case

30 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2009

See all articles by Francis Rathinam

Francis Rathinam

International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)

A. V. Raja

University of Hyderabad - School of Economics

Date Written: June 1, 2009

Abstract

Environmental regulation by the State in the developing countries suffers from problems of enforcement. Lack of information and public awareness are fundamental factors that allow the State to shirk. Under such circumstances who regulates the regulator? Informal regulation such as pressure from the civil society has limitations in developing countries. We argue that the success of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in India, as an effective method of enforcing regulatory standards, legally empowers civil society which makes information of State failure public and also binds the State legally to act, both of which the State cannot afford to ignore. We test whether the reduction in air pollution in New Delhi was due to the PIL filed and public information generated thereof, after controlling for other factors. Autoregressive distributed lag models and univariate structural break analysis show that judicial intervention and public information was effective in containing pollution levels.

Keywords: public interest litigation, information, regulatory failures, structural breaks in time series

JEL Classification: K41, I18

Suggested Citation

Rathinam, Francis Xavier and Raja, A. V., Courts, Media and Civil Society in Regulating the Regulator: Lessons from Delhi Air Pollution Case (June 1, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1433743 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1433743

Francis Xavier Rathinam (Contact Author)

International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) ( email )

1029 Vermont Avenue, NW
Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005
United States
1149894456 (Phone)
110017 (Fax)

A. V. Raja

University of Hyderabad - School of Economics

Gachibowli
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh 500046
India

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