We as humans always take steps through which we can harness the beauty of nature. Deforestation and the Red list is the evidence which depicts the unpalatable fact that how fluently we damaged the Environment. The worst part is we have no regrets for our own actions. During this global pandemic, some of us realized the importance of the Environment. We even often observed that during the lockdown the Biodiversity has been recovering. Isn't it enough evidence that we are liable for the mess? But what really happened? Are they punished for their actions? 5% to 10% are punished for what they do.
Samir Mehta v. Union of India is among those few cases where the wrongdoers are punished for their actions. National Green Tribunal in the year 2016 ordered Adani Group to pay ₹5 crores as a number of damages and Delta Group to pay ₹100 crores under the Pollution Pay Principle. The aforementioned Case was regarding the incident of marine oil spillage into the Arabian Sea. But here the question arose that what is the Polluter Pay Principle? Before we delve into the principle, let's see the popular case - Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum v. Union of India. In this case, the court formulated two principles to safeguard.
Environment form industrial exploitations i.e Precautionary Principle and Polluter Pay Principle.
1. Precautionary Principle- Under this principle, the Court laid down certain guidelines to be followed by industries as a precaution because There are well-known quotations like "Precaution is better than cure." The Court advised them to plant more trees around the industrial areas, updating their technologies, sewage system, handling hazardous gases with proper precaution, availability of required equipment.
2. Polluter Pay Principle- In this principle, the Court held that if industries didn't take proper precaution and follow the guidelines then they must pay the number of damages created by them. This principle was formulated to create fear of punishment among wrongdoers.
But do you think anything really happened? Are we able to minimize the exploitation of resources and nature? Are we able to save Biodiversity? The result is as clear as crystal. Wrongdoers really don't care about anything. For instance- Bhopal Gas Tragedy, Vizag Gas Tragedy. They wait until the tragedy occurred and portray themselves as the most innocent statue. National Green Tribunal (NGT) unlike any other authorities works effectively and efficiently which may be the reason that few are punishable. Although half of the wrongdoers are engaged in malpractice and offering bribes to the officers.
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