There are about two hundred laws dealing with environmental protection both before and after independence in India. However, the pre-independence laws have not dealt with environmental protection exclusively.
For example, the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, had a chapter (chapter XIV) which dealt with offences affecting public health, safety and convenience, which covered aspects like water, air and noise pollution, whereas the post-independence laws mentioned above deal exclusively with environmental protection.
Environmental law is a complex mix of federal, state and local laws, regulations, policy choices, science, and health concerns. In addition, it is a dynamic area of the law with changes occurring rapidly.
Environmental law – or “environmental and natural resources law” – is a collective term describing the network of treaties, statutes, regulations, and common and customary laws addressing the effects of human activity on the natural environment.