Research Findings – Courting the Environment

Implementation of Environmental Judgments

The Indian judiciary has played an immense role in developing a progressive environmental jurisprudence. It has intervened in issues ranging from the protection of coastal areas to the improvement of air quality in the Delhi National Capital region to protect the Taj Mahal, to the discharge of industrial effluents into rivers and lakes. As important as these interventions have been, and as path-breaking, as the environmental legal principles the judiciary has articulated are, it is also the case that not all environmental judgements have been implemented as effectively as they should have been.

Although, there is enough and more scholarly literature on judicial activism in environmental governance and the role of public interest litigation (PIL), there are very few studies that are data-driven and seek to understand the variation in enforcement of environmental judgements. While the immediate objective of the study is to identify ground-level challenges and concerns with the implementation of environmental judgments, it is also intended to create social awareness about the imminence of environmental degradation and initiate a conversation on strengthening post-judgment monitoring. This is ultimately intended to leverage policy reform for the stronger implementation of environmental laws.

This report is part of the project ‘Courting the Environment’ where Vidhi has tracked the implementation of five landmark environmental judgments through documentary films and case briefs. To know more about the project and watch the films visit the Courting the Environment project page