• Research/Scholar Paper name – POLLUTER PAYS PRINCIPLE: implementation progress and challenges in India
  • Author: Himanshu Mishra
  • Institution: ICFAI Law School, Hyderabad
  • Affiliation: Centre for Study of Contemporary Legal Issues
  • Date of Publication: 19/08/2022


The research work titled POLLUTER PAYS PRINCIPLE: implementation progress and challenges in India.is undertaken to study, and understand the Polluter Pays Principle in a broader sense. The research will primarily focus on the evolution of the ‘polluter pays principle (PPP)’ in Indian environmental law and policy, with a focus on the supreme court’s role in institutionalizing the idea in the constitution of India which was envisaged by the makers of the Indian constitution. It also analyses the various rules and regulations by, a relatively new organization, National Green Tribunal (NGT), and its role in embedding the ‘polluter pays principle (PPP)’ in India’s environmental justice.

In a purely free market one only faces private costs; however, due to the externalities created there is an additional cost which is the environmental cost. Thus, the polluter pays principle is the idea of paying the total social cost of the act rather than only paying the private cost. It is a method of internalizing the externality. Environmental law is one of the most rapidly evolving areas of the law. It is widely accepted that people who inflict injury or damage should be held accountable in some or the other way for such wrongdoing.[1] Such harm can be done to society, our environment, or our bodies on a personal basis. It, therefore, became extremely difficult to keep an eye on harmful operations due to a lack of consequences under environmental law. This necessitated the implementation of a penalty to penalize those who harmed the environment. This gave rise to the ‘Polluter Pays Principle,’ as we know it today.[2]

This principle is regarded as the most effective environmental policy and has been included in several international and regional pollution treaties. This idea of polluter pays existed long before the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) acknowledged it as a recognized principle of environmental law.

The study is being conducted to find out a problematic feature of the PPP in India which is the frequency with which it is applied against government bodies. The project will tell us about the various landmark judgments that uphold this very principle. The project work includes rules laid down by Indian courts for violation of this principle, and its repercussion on the Industrial sector in India.

POLLUTER PAYS PRINCIPLE: implementation progress and challenges in India

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