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How is ‘Environment’ defined under Indian Law?

How is ‘Environment’ defined under Indian Law?

According to Section 2(a) of the Environmental Protection Act, 1986, ‘Environment’ includes –
a) Water, air and land
b) The inter-relationship which exists among and between,
i) water, air, land, and
ii) human beings, other living creatures, plants, microorganisms and property.

Environmental law – or “environmental and natural resources law” – is a collective term describing the network of treaties, statutes, regulations, and common and customary lawsaddressing the effects of human activity on the natural environment.

Three key policies relating to environmental protection in India. They are –

  • The National Forest Policy, 1988
  • Policy statement for Abatement of Pollution, 1992
  • National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development, 1992.

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.

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