Environment or other rights: Supreme Court differs in 4 days

The Supreme Court has expressed, in the course of four days, divergent views on whether preservation of the environment should take a backseat when other rights are at stake.

By Krishnadas Rajagopal, Read the entire article at The Hindu


Justice Banerjee said the lack of prior environmental clearance was only a “procedural lapse”. “The court cannot be oblivious to the economy or the need to protect the livelihood of hundreds of employees and others employed in the project and others dependent on the project, if such projects comply with environmental norms,” he reasoned.

However, on Tuesday, a Bench led by Justice Khanwilkar tipped the scale in favour of the environment. Justice Khanwilkar orally said the environment “must prevail” over other rights. Forest has to be preserved… It is only because of the strict interpretation and exposition by this court that the forest cover is increasing,” he stated.