Air Pollution and Judicial Response


By Dr. Christabell Joseph, LL.M.,Ph.D (Law),

Assistant Professor, Hyderabad.


Ancient Indian thinkers emphasized the importance on the purity in air. They were eagerly conscious to convey the value of pure air.  We find in the vedic literature at various places, this view of the sages revealed to them I their exalted state of meditation, which they expressed in the form in vedic sukts.


In the Sukta Vayu/air has been organized and recognized as a primary source of human life without the purity of which human life on earth is difficult.  It shows that the process of Yajna and importance attached to Yajna in vedic literature recognizes beyond doubt the importance of pure air because at that Yajna was considered to be one of the best means to purify atmospheric pollution.  Even today, the importance of Yajna is a fact self proved which clears the air pollutative elements.


The insight, knowledge and views of ancient thinkers may be utilized for removing air pollution in modern times because ideas are not limited by time and place.  It seems the vedic sages knew the possibility of pollution of environment by the human agencies and therefore they pray that ,mankind should always strive to keep the environment free from pollution for the well being of mankind since pollution of environment can cause inconceivable miseries.


Environmental pollution has assumed serious proportion in modern times.  Environmental problems in a country are related to the level of the economic development, availability of natural resources and lifestyle of the population.  Poverty poses special problem for an over populated country with limited resources.  In this paper an attempt, is made to highlight some problems cause by air pollution.  In India most vehicles and industries are the main culprits for air pollution.  But the main question is that inspite of the fact that we have legislation on protection of environment and over the years Supreme Court has also come out with laudable judgments which deal with the menace of environmental degradation, consequences and cure but the problem still remains unsolved.




The Supreme Court has taken a very serious note on air pollution caused by vehicular remissions. In M.C. Mehta Vs. Union of India (1991) 2 SCC 137), concerning the high air pollution in Delhi caused by the number of petrol and Diesel vehicles in the city, the Delhi Administration was asked to furnish a list of prosecutions launched against heavy vehicles for causing pollutions and directed the installation of devices brought out by Nation Environment Engineering Institute to be in-built into every vehicle manufactured after April 1 1991.





According to the chart we find that the number of commercial/transport vehicles are;


a.   More than 25 years old                5,718

b.   Between 24 and 25 years old          954

c.   Between 23 and 24 years old          635

d.   Between 22 and 23 years old          524

e.   Between 21 and 22 years old          748

f.   Between 20 and 21 years old           770


Therefore, the total numbers of vehicles which are more than 20 years old are 9,349.  These vehicles are all commercial vehicles which have been registered and on which road tax has been paid.  The count of vehicles which are more than 15 years but less than 20 years old are:


      a.   Between 17 to 19 years           3,200

      b.   Between 15 to 16 years           4,962


The court further held that (a) all commercial/transport vehicles which are more than 20 years old shall be phased out and not permitted to ply in the National Capital Territory, Delhi after 2nd October, 1998: (b) all such commercial/transport vehicles which are 17 to 19 years old shall not be permitted to ply after 15th November, 1988.  This order shall apply to all commercial/transport vehicles whether registered in the National capital territory, Delhi or outside which are more than the stipulated age.


All these directions which are given by the Supreme Court for the prevention of air pollution in urban areas are well doing.  But real question is how to enforce and implement the directions?  What is the role of state and NGO’s in preventing pollution, preventing the safe, clean and healthy environment?






By: christy joseph

About the Author:


Their Lord ships Mr. Justice Arijit Pasayat and Mr. Justice P. Sathasivam held that steps to register all marriages in all communities will be a progressive step. It will be within the framework of the constitution base upon secular concept in every walk of life (2007(6) ALT 39 (SC) = 2007 (8) SCJ 17). Though as long back as Feb.2006 the Supreme Court order to frame rules for compulsory registration of marriages in all communities states have yet to march forward for giving a positive effect to create a separate registration authority in all the Districts and Mandals investing them with the powers to issue Marriage Certificate.

To achieve this noble object the states need not feel shy to protect that Nationality is not based on religious type of marriage. Each religion has different strokes to perform the marriage. But such recognition cannot be termed as National recognition. To get recognition that they are married to be legally termed as husband and wife has to be steamed up by registration of marriage with the appropriate Registration Authorities obtaining the marriage certificate. Once the certificate is issued then only the authenticity of marriage deemed to have been established for all practical purpose be it a right and liability against one another.

Composting Bins

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