Judicial Activism on Environment in India
15 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2014
Date Written: January 22, 2014
The Indian judiciary demonstrated willingness to exercise its power whenever the political/executive organs of the state failed to discharge their constitutional obligations effectively. This willingness has been often termed as ‘judicial activism’. Around 1980, the Indian legal system, particularly the field of environmental law, underwent a sea change in terms of discarding its moribund approach and instead, charting out new horizons of social justice. This period was characterized not only by administrative and legislative activism but also judicial activism. A subset of this has been environmental activism, which has developed in India in a very major way. One of the reasons for judicial activism in specific environmental cases has been the relaxation of the rule of locus standi giving a chance to the public to approach the Court under Articles 32 and 226 of the Indian Constitution. Also, the recognition of environmental rights as a ‘fundamental right’ under Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Indian Constitution has given a constitutional sanctity to the right to enjoy a clean and healthy environment.
Keywords: Environment, Constitution, Court, PIL
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