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SC: Right against Climate change a fundamental right


Why is it in the news?

  • The Supreme Court of India has recognized the right against climate change as a distinct fundamental and human right.

More about the news

  • The Supreme Court recognized the right to a healthy environment as a fundamental human right, emphasizing protection from the adverse impacts of climate change.
  • The court associated the right against climate change with Articles 21 (right to life) and 14 (right to equality) of the Indian Constitution, asserting that without a clean and stable environment, the realization of these rights would be incomplete.
  • The judgment highlighted the interconnectedness between climate change and various other human rights, such as the right to health, indigenous rights, gender equality, and the right to development, indicating the broad impact of environmental degradation.
  • The Supreme Court stressed the urgent need for India to develop a dedicated climate law. It noted the inadequacy of current legislation, like the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, in addressing the complexities and challenges posed by climate change.
路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The right to a healthy environment is considered integral to the fundamental rights granted to citizens by the Constitution of India.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Article 21 of the Indian Constitution guarantees the fundamental right to life, and this has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to encompass the right to live in an environment free from pollution. Therefore, ensuring a healthy environment is seen as essential for the protection of life.

路聽聽聽聽聽 The Supreme Court has previously acknowledged sustainable development as a crucial aspect of fundamental rights. It has emphasized that sustainable development should not be compromised by environmental degradation.

 

 

Important SC judgments regarding constitutionalization of environmental problems

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 M.C. Mehta v. Kamal Nath (1996): Any disturbance of basic environment elements, namely air, water and soil, would be hazardous to 鈥渓ife鈥 within meaning of Article 21.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Virender Gaur v. State of Haryana (1994): Right to clean environment is an integral facet of right to a healthy life.

Constitutional Provisions related to Environment

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Article 48A: State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Article 51A (g): Duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures.

 

 

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