Right to Clean Air: Its Constitution Validity and Its Administration

Bhakti vakil
Prestige Institute of Management and research, Department of law, Indore, India

Volume II – Issue I, 2020

“Our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty. The objective is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all other human beings and all other living creatures.”  – GAYLORD NELSON

The quality of life depends on the quantity of environment. Besides being a human right, right to live in clean and healthy environment is also a basic fundamental right of human being. Our country India is the largest democratic nations in the world and the first country to insert an amendment into its constitution allowing the state to protect and improve the environment for safeguarding the public health, forests, and wildlife. The paper tends to conceptualize the right in reference to constitution of India and therein case laws. The Stockholm Conference held in the year 1972 in its first principle; “Man had the fundamental right to adequate condition of life, in an environment of a quality that permitted a life of dignity and wellbeing.” After great deal of deliberation, judicial activism and intervention, the right to clean air has been identified as element of right to life under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The various international principles are referred by the Courts of India to protect the environment. But irrespective of all the efforts made, many people do not have access to clean air and pure drinking water due to degradation of environment. The study depicts various facet of key changes made by the judiciary in making it a fundamental right. Especially, Public Interest Litigation which plays a vital role in developing environmental laws

Keywords: Environment, clean, healthy, fundamental right, judiciary and legislative.


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