Environment includes water, air and land and interrelationship which exists among and between water, air and land, and human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organisms and property.
While disposing the case M.C.Mehta Vs. Union of India (1987) Sec. 165, the Supreme Court explained the environment as follows, “A point has, been reached in history when we must shape our actions throughout the world with a more prudent care for the environmental consequences. Through ignorance or indifference we can do massive and irreversible harm to the costly environment on which our life and well being depend. Conversely, through fuller knowledge and wider action, we can achieve for ourselves and our posterity better life in an environment more in keeping with human needs and hopes. There are broad vistas for the enhancement of environmental quality and the creation of a good life.”
Environment is a combination of the various physical and biological elements that affect the life of an organism. The Indian Parliament brought various environmental legislation including the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981, the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the Wild life Protection Act 1992 etc. The legislation brought in India spread the environmental awareness in the Indian people. The environment can be controlled by law.
Environments is God Gift. Water, air. Soil are the most important things for living being. Since the starting of existence of living beings physical and biological processes have been continuing in the environment. However, these normal environmental processes are adversely affected by the contamination by human beings by excess use of natural resources and human resources.
(1) Natural Environment pollution, (2) Population growth, (3) Industrialization,
The first category of environmental pollution is caused by nature. The second and third categories are caused by artificial pollution that too mainly by human interference. The nature adjusts the natural environmental pollution caused by it gradually. It is a natural phenomenon. However, the artificial pollution caused by population growth and industrialization has already destroyed the environment. It has to be checked. These are checked by laws or by framing legislation. Various laws have been framed by our Indian Legislators in the regard. The preamble of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 says that the Act is to provide for the protection and improvement of environment and for matters connected there with.
The Supreme Court adopted ‘Polluter’ pays principle. This principle demands that the financial costs of preventing or remedying damage caused by pollution should lie with the undertakings which cause the pollution or produce the goods which cause the pollution. The water Act and the Air Act are special, Acts brought on the statute, books and constitute code, for prevention and control of water and air pollution by and trade or industry. In these Acts the breach of the provision is an offence and punishable.