Revamping the Environmental Sector : Criminal Action will Sought Against Persons Violating Environmental Laws in India

The violation of environmental legislations is declared to be criminal wrongs and penal action will be taken against the wrongdoers according to the high-level committee. The high-level committee was constituted in August to review six important green laws. The committee had given its report on 18th of November suggesting that there should be effective mechanism for major revamping of the environmental laws giving special emphasis on the modification and control of the sector, generalization of process, scrutinizing environmental approvals given to industries and formation of new legislation to make violation of environmental law as crime.

The report consisted of about 100 pages and the Chairman of the committee was T S R Subramanian, former Cabinet Secretary who suggested various methods for the complete revamping of the environmental fields within a period of 20 years. The report further proposes to take actions for the constitution of the National Environment Management Agency as well as National Environment Protection Agency. One of the fundamental plans given by the committee is the inclusion of Indian Environmental Service under the Civil Services and to harmonize the environmental protection and development as both are two sides of the same coin. Formation of Environmental Sciences Laboratory is another major move in the field of environment.

Further, the report aims to make drastic changes in the rules and regulations that deal with environment. It further intends to preserve forests and improve the mode of environmental clearances, modifications required for the legislation and rules framed for the related matters. A new legislation is also to be framed to fortify the implementation of these laws. The committee was constituted to review Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and Indian Forest Act 1927 to make them in tune with the changes in the society. In the report, the committee evaluated the enforcement of these legislation and to consider different case laws relating to environmental matters. The committee had already forwarded the report to Prakash Javadekar, who promised that measures will be taken on the report within a month.