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“The most significant achievement of modern law in India is the constitutionalization of environmental problems by the Supreme Court.” Discuss this statement with the help of relevant case laws.

Answer:
Indian constitution Provides for the Supreme court of India (SC) under Article 124. It was envisaged as the final interpreter of the constitution.

In contemporary times with rise of global and domestic climate risk and supra national organisation and engagement with these SC has constitutionalized environmental Problems as:
1. MC Mehta Case: brought in the concept of “absolute liability” against strict liability.
2. Inclusion or declaration of Right to have clean environment as part of Article 21
3. Setting up one member committee under Justice Locus to check stubble burning and subjecting them to standards of Constitution
4. Phasing out BS3 vehicles and setting standard for Auto fuels by invoking and interpreting Article 21 as right to have pollution free environment
5. Recent banning of fire crackers in Delhi.
6. Ranjit Sinha Case: Installation of diverters to protect Great Indian Bustard from electrocution.
How it is a significant achievement?
1. Take forward the constitutional principle under Article 48A.
2. Fills in legislative and executive vacuum.
3.Linked with other issues also
Eg: Protection of Taj Mahal
4. Furthers India’s international commitments.
Eg: Ramsar convention, Banner Pledge.
Issues
Judicial activism and over reach which is encroachment over executive and legislative domain
Thought judiciary has done positive job, but it must proceed with consultation with legislature and executive.

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