The Apex Court on 1st April, 2020
issued an order for payment of compensation in order to preserve the environment taking in consideration the precautionary principle. The bench comprising of Justice Dr D.Y. Chandrachud
and Justice Ajay Rastogi
have put forth a balanced approach that have held the industries responsible for having operated without any environmental clearances in the past.
The directions have been issued under Article 142
ofConstitution of India
deals with enforcement of decrees and orders of Supreme Court and unless as to discovery, etc. Industries listed are : Alembic Pharmaceuticals Ltd., United Phosphorus Ltd and Unique Chemicals Ltd. who have been directed to deposit the compensation amount of Rs. 10 crores with the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB)
. The time period given for the deposit of money is four months from the date of receipt of the certified copy of the judgement
There was an acute abdication of authority on part of these industries. The industries had obtained the environmental clearance as laid down in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification of 1994 but preferred to operate with the EC, thereby causing disruption to the environment around and not adhering to the standards. The process listed in obtaining an Environmental Clearance allows for minimising the adverse impact the industrial activities would have on the environment. An ecological outlook needs to be adopted in order to preserve the environment. The issue the court is concerned about is the likelihood of failure the industries might witness in obtaining the Environmental Compliance within the given period. These industries are located at Ankleshwar in the State of Gujarat. "Though we have come to the conclusion, for the reasons indicated, that the direction for the revocation of the ECs and the closure of the industries was not warranted, we have issued the order for payment of compensation as a facet of preserving the environment in accordance with the precautionary principle. These directions are issued under Article 142 of the Constitution. Alembic Pharmaceuticals Limited, United Phosphorous Limited and Unique Chemicals Limited shall deposit the amount of compensation with GPCB within a period of four months from the date of receipt of the certified copy of this judgment. This deposit shall be in addition to the amount directed by the NGT. Subject to the deposit of the aforesaid amount and for the reasons indicated, we allow the appeals and set aside the impugned judgment of the NGT dated 8 January 2016 in so far as it directed the revocation of the ECs and closure of the industries as well as the order in review dated 17 May 2016,"
the court held. The Supreme Court thereby allowed the civil appeals filed and set aside the 2016 Judgement of the National Green Tribunal
in Electrotherm (India) Ltd.
v. Patel Vipulkumar Ramjibhai
. [Read Order]