i Introduction

India has moved up 23 places in the World Bank's 'ease of doing business' rankings,2 down from rank 100 in 2017 to rank 77. This reflects the various measures initiated by the government of India to attract investment in the country. However, balancing growth imperatives with environmental responsibilities continues to remain the key challenge for the world's sixth-largest economy and second-most-populous nation. In the past few years, the government has introduced a slew of environmental regulations in consultation with diverse stakeholders, ensured mandatory implementation of 24/7 real-time emission and effluent monitoring in industries, upgraded emission standards for polluting industrial sectors, and taken stringent action, including closure against polluting industries.

More recently, the statutory authorities have also initiated criminal prosecution in environmental matters. The judiciary, be it the National Green Tribunal (NGT) or the Supreme Court of India, continues to play an even more proactive role. Tackling air and water pollution, waste, and water conservation and management remain the key challenges. India continues to move towards cleaner options for mobility, renewable forms of energy and environmentally sustainable methods of manufacturing. Forest, wildlife and overall biodiversity conservation are key to sustaining the growth model of a country keen to emerge as one of the most reliable investment destinations out of the success of its initiatives such as 'Make in India' and 'Invest India'. The process of seeking environmental clearances and consents continues to remain streamlined.

The fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was awarded the UN's 'Champions of the Earth' Award this year along with the French President Emmanuel Macron for championing the International Solar Alliance as well as for pledging to eliminate all single-use plastic in India by 2022 highlights India's focus on environmental issues.

Ii LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK

India adopted the objectives of the Stockholm Declaration of 1972 through the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution of India in 1976.3 The Amendment led to the insertion of certain provisions and set the tone for the statutory framework for environment protection in India. The Constitution of India is among the few constitutions in the world that contain specific provisions on environmental protection.4 The Constitution embodies environmental protection and promotion as a fundamental right guaranteed to Indian citizens.5 That apart, Article 48-A, which forms part of the Directive Principles of State Policy of India, although not enforceable as an obligation of the state, acts as the guiding principle for policy formulation and mandates that the state should endeavour to protect and improve the environment and safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country. Additionally, Article 51-A(g) of the Constitution of India imposes a fundamental duty on every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment.

Apart from the general constitutional mandate on both the state and the citizens, a suite of statutes also exists that protects and regulates various environmental aspects. The Environment (Protection) Act 1986 (EPA) is the umbrella legislation that deals with environment protection in India.

Some of the other key specialised legislation include:

  1. the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974 (the Water Act) to provide for the prevention and control of water pollution and maintaining or restoring the wholesomeness of water;
  2. the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980 to provide for the conservation of forests;
  3. the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981 (the Air Act) to provide for the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution;
  4. the Biological Diversity Act 2002 to provide for the conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the use of biological resources, knowledge and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto; and
  5. the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 (the NGT Act) to provide for the establishment of the National Green Tribunal for the effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and the conservation of forests and other natural resources, including enforcement of any legal right related to the environment, and giving relief and compensation for damage to persons, property and for connected or incidental matters.

These statutes, along with various rules, regulations and notifications, implement the statutory mandate to protect various other facets of the environment in India.

Two key notifications worth noting are the Coastal Zone Regulation Notification 2011 (the CRZ Notification) and the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification 2006 (the EIA Notification).6 These notifications regulate the grant of environment clearance to various projects in India. The CRZ Notification notifies the coastal stretches of the country and the water area up to its territorial water limit as a coastal regulation zone and primarily applies to developmental activities undertaken in such zones that impact the coastal environment. The EIA Notification, on the other hand, covers any new constructions or expansion of existing projects listed in the Schedule to the Notification. The Notification prescribes processes such as screening, scoping, public consultation and appraisal of the upcoming project prior to grant of the environment clearance for the project. The main purpose of the exercise is to assess the impact of a proposed project on the environment and the people in an attempt to abate the same. The onus to prove that a project is environmentally benign is on the project proponent.

IIi THE REGULATORS

Government agencies regulating and enforcing environmental and climate change rules in India include the following.

i The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) is the Ministry responsible for implementation of policies and programmes relating to conservation of the country's natural resources, including its lakes and rivers, its biodiversity, forests and wildlife, ensuring the welfare of animals, and the prevention and abatement of pollution. The MoEF&CC plays a crucial role in granting environmental clearances to certain major projects that are required to seek such clearances from it under the EIA Notification. Certain other projects with lesser perceived environmental impacts are required to seek such clearances from state authorities. The MoEF&CC is also responsible for notifying the environmental standards for various industries, including the emission and effluent standards.

ii Central Pollution Control Board

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is a statutory body responsible for: advising the central government on any matter concerning prevention and control of water and air pollution; executing a nationwide programme for the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution; and coordinating the activities of the state boards and resolving disputes between them. CPCB is the statutory authority at the national level responsible for assessing and recommending to the MoEF&CC for fixing the environmental standards. It is also responsible for issuing technical guidelines for various industries.

iii State pollution control boards and pollution control committees

Each state has a state pollution control board (SPCB) and each Union Territory has a pollution control committee (PCC) entrusted with the implementation of the provisions of the Water Act and the Air Act and for the overall enforcement of the provisions of the EPA and the Rules framed thereunder. SPCBs and PCCs have been given powers that include issuing closure notices to polluting industries, imposition of fines, implementation of remediation measures for restoration of the environment, etc. An SPCB is responsible for the regular monitoring of all industries that require environmental consents to establish and operate. It ensures that all industries operate as per the prescribed environmental standards. An SPCB also has the power to initiate criminal action against polluting industries.

iv Environmental Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority

The Environmental Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) is a technical committee constituted by the central government in compliance with the order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. EPCA has been constituted with the objective of protecting and improving the quality of the environment, and preventing and controlling environmental pollution in the National Capital Region. EPCA has been playing a crucial role by assisting the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in various environment-related matters. EPCA was first constituted in 1998 but its tenure has been extended ever since. More recently, the recommendations by EPCA have had a national bearing as its recommendations for the National Capital Region have been found relevant and therefore extended and implemented in various parts of the country by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India.

v Other authorities

Additionally, under Section 3(3) of the EPA, the central government is empowered to appoint various authorities to carry out the functions of the central government under the Act. One such authority is the Central Ground Water Authority, which regulates and controls groundwater development and management in the country. Another such authority is the Central Wetland Regulatory Authority, which is responsible for the conservation and management of wetlands in the country.

vi Judicial role in environment regulation

India is one of the very few countries in the world that has a specialised quasi-judicial authority to deal with cases involving a 'substantial question relating to environment'. The NGT, which was constituted in 2010 and comprises both judicial and technical members, plays a very proactive role in the protection of environment. Environmental matters are also heard by the state high courts and the Supreme Court of India in the form of public interest litigation or under their writ jurisdiction. Appeals from the NGT are heard by the Supreme Court of India. With environmental issues and concerns gaining centre stage in India, the judiciary has been playing a very proactive role. While the NGT is the specialised tribunal for dealing with environmental disputes, various state high courts and, most importantly, the Supreme Court, have been dealing with environmental matters much more frequently owing to the writ petitions and public interest litigations being filed before them. With criminal prosecution being initiated more frequently in environmental matters by SPCBs, the courts of criminal jurisdiction are also dealing with environmental cases more frequently.

Iv ENFORCEMENT

i Public interest litigation (PIL)

Since the 1980s, PIL has been widely used as an effective tool in India to redress public grievances pertaining to unfair and unjust public policies, arbitrary actions of the government, human rights violations by the state and violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India. A PIL can be filed in the Supreme Court or the state high courts under Articles 32 and 226 of the Constitution of India, respectively, by any person in India seeking to petition a cause, which may affect a section of the society, regardless of whether the petitioner has a substantial stake in the grievance. PIL has been used as a very effective tool by public-spirited persons and activists in the environmental context. Some of the key principles that have been adopted for the adjudication of environmental disputes are the polluter-pays principle,7 sustainable development,8 precautionary principle, public trust doctrine,9 strict liability and absolute liability.10

ii Statutory or legal remedy

In 2010, India enacted the much overdue NGT Act to provide for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to the environment. Ever since, the NGT has been playing a proactive role in ensuring enforcement of the environmental laws, mainly through the imposition of heavy penalties on erring industries and injuncting industries from proceeding with development projects that do not have the requisite environmental consents and clearances.

The NGT Act is broadly worded and provides that 'any person' may approach the Tribunal if it is aggrieved by an environment clearance issued to an industry for any development project, directions issued by the SPCBs under the Water Act or the Air Act, any policy decision on benefit sharing by the state biodiversity board, etc.11 Further, any person who is a victim of environment damage, whose property has been damaged, or the CPCB, an SPCB or any local authority constituted under the EPA may approach the Tribunal for grant, relief, compensation or settlement of a dispute relating to the environment.12 Because of the boradly worded nature of the NGT Act, many environmental activists and non-government organisations who may not be directly or substantially affected by the alleged grievance but who are generally interested in the restitution of the environment, have also been given the right to approach the NGT.

However, the NGT in one of its orders13 directed that every applicant and appellant must approach the concerned authority against which they intend to file an appeal or application and give such authority a time period of 15 days to respond. Thereafter, when the applicant or appellant approaches the NGT, it is obligatory that the response received from the concerned authority is also mentioned in the application or appeal filed before the NGT. This has been done to discourage frivolous litigation in environmental matters besides giving the concerned authorities an opportunity to address the grievance if possible, before it is brought before the NGT for its consideration.

The NGT is bestowed with the power to provide relief and compensation to victims of pollution, pass directions for restitution of damaged property and the environment and impose fines commensurate to the extent of the damage caused and even order imprisonment. The NGT can even punish the head of the government department for non-compliance with the orders of the Tribunal.14 The Tribunal is guided by the principles of sustainable development, the precautionary principle and the polluter-pays principle in its decision-making. 15

iii Remedies in criminal law

The Indian Penal Code 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 provide for remedies against public nuisance. Public nuisance is essentially an unreasonable interference with the general right of the public. On receipt of a complaint, the magistrate has the power to order the removal of the nuisance complained of within a time-bound period. For instance, in the case of a complaint regarding a company discharging contaminated water, the magistrate may direct the company to immediately stop such discharge, failing which the officials in charge of the company would be liable for imprisonment. Environmental legislation in India, such as the EPA, the Water Act and the Air Act, also have provisions that provide for imposition of a fine and imprisonment. In cases of environmental damage having been caused by projects, instances of criminal proceedings being initiated against the officials responsible for the operations have become more frequent.

V REPORTING AND DISCLOSURE

i General reporting obligations

The Rules framed under the EPA mandate industries to submit a yearly environmental statement disclosing, inter alia, the quantity of water and air pollutants discharged by the industry; the concentration of pollutants in discharges; and the percentage of variants from prescribed standards with reasons.16 The consent to operate or the environment clearance granted for the development activity to be undertaken by an industry also imposes reporting obligations on the person in charge. The reporting obligations in most cases have become quarterly and biannual as per the conditions prescribed in the environmental consent granted and renewed by the SPCBs in various states. With the online monitoring systems being installed in most states and connected to the servers of the SPCB and, in some cases, the CPCB, it has become easier for the authorities to monitor and control pollution. It has accordingly become more convenient for the industries to report compliance with prescribed emission and effluent standards.

ii Disclosure of excessive discharge or emissions

The EPA and the Rules framed thereunder also impose an obligation on the person in charge of the place to furnish information to the concerned authorities and agencies regarding occurrence or apprehension of occurrence of discharge of environmental pollutant in excess of the prescribed standards owing to any accident or unforeseen act or event.17 There is a similar obligation under Section 31 of the Water Act of furnishing information to the SPCB if there is discharge or likelihood of discharge of polluting matter in any stream pursuant to an accident, or other unforeseen act or event. Non-compliance with the reporting and disclosure obligations attracts punishment in the form of a fine and imprisonment under the EPA.

Vi ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

i Air quality

The Air Act, in tandem with the EPA, provides for the prevention, control and regulation of air quality in India. Under the Air Act, the CPCB and the SPCB are the designated authorities for this purpose. The state government in consultation with the SPCB has the power to declare any area as 'air pollution control area'.18 A consent to establish, followed by a consent19 to operate, must be taken from the SPCB before establishing any industrial plant. Further, compliance is ensured through regular monitoring and imposition of fines and imprisonment for non-compliance. The industry or operation-specific standards for emission or discharge of environment pollutants are periodically revised by the MoEF&CC through the CPCB.

With increasing concerns about poor air quality in India, especially the capital region of Delhi, steps such as banning the burning of waste and crop residue, banning the registration of petrol and diesel vehicles older than 15 and 10 years, respectively, and banning the import and usage of petroleum coke as a fuel have been taken. The Hon'ble Supreme Court has ordered20 that, from 1 April 2020, only vehicles compliant with BS-VI standards would be sold in India.

ii Water quality

The Water Act, along with the EPA, primarily deals with regulation of water resources in India. The Water Act is comprehensive and applies to streams, inland waters, subterranean waters, and sea or tidal water. There is a consent procedure whereby no industry that is likely to discharge sewage or trade effluent can commence operations without the previous consent of the SPCB.21 The Water Act generally prohibits disposal of polluting matter in excess of the standards established by the EPA or SPCB. Industry or operation-specific standards for the discharge of effluent or the quality of water are periodically prescribed by the MoEF&CC through the CPCB, and enforced by the SPCBs through the consents granted to the industries.22

The Prime Minister of India in his address on World Environment Day 2018 acknowledged tackling water pollution as one of the biggest challenges for India and expressed hope that initiatives such as the Namami Gange Programme would help clean rivers like the Ganges. As a result, effluent treatment plants have been established all along the river and SPCB has become more stringent in monitoring effluent discharge by industries.

iii Chemicals

The Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules 1989 regulate handling and dealings in hazardous chemicals. The rules apply to industrial activities in which a hazardous chemical as specified in the schedule to the rules is involved. Any industrial activity in which there might be a threshold quantity of a hazardous chemical is not to be undertaken without approval from the relevant authority.23 The rules further cast an obligation on the entity who has control of such industrial activity to provide evidence to show that it has identified the major accident hazards and taken adequate steps to prevent major accidents or limit their consequences to persons (including persons working on the site) and the environment. The rules require the occupier to notify any major accident within 48 hours to the concerned authority and thereafter furnish a report relating to the accident in instalments in the format prescribed in the schedule to the rules. The authority concerned is in turn required to undertake full analysis of a major accident and send the requisite information to the MoEF&CC.24

iv Solid and hazardous waste

The waste management rules of the country were completely revamped in 2016.25 As part of this initiative, the government has notified the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 (the SW Rules) and the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules 2016 (the HW Rules). The new HW Rules provide for a single window clearance for setting up a hazardous waste disposal facility and import of other wastes.26 Co-processing of waste has been given preference over disposal. The approval for co-processing of hazardous waste to recover energy has been streamlined on an emission norms basis. The import or export of waste under the HW Rules was streamlined and the list of waste regulated for import or export has been revisited. Further, import of scrap metal, paper waste and various categories of electrical and electronic equipment for reuse purposes no longer needs the permission of the MoEF&CC. Since January 2016, new guidelines are in place to determine financial liability for causing contamination due to improper handling, storage, transport or disposal of hazardous substances.

The new SW Rules introduced the concept of segregating and storing the waste generated at source in three separate streams, namely biodegradable, non-biodegradable and domestic hazardous waste, in suitable bins before the same is handed over to authorised waste collectors.27 Further, spot fining for littering and non-segregation has been introduced.

v Contaminated land

The HW Rules together with the EPA, the Water Act and the rules framed by the respective state governments for the regulation of ground water provide the regime for controlling and preventing contamination of land and groundwater by the disposal of hazardous wastes. The rules impose the liability for damage caused to the environment or third party as a result of improper handling and disposal of hazardous waste on the occupier, importer, exporter and operator of a facility. The occupier and operator are also liable to financial penalties as may be levied by the SPCB in consultation with the CPCB.

VII CLIMATE CHANGE

In his address at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in January 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi identified climate change as the biggest challenge facing our civilisation. This highlighted the high priority India accords to climate change and related issues. With the second-largest human population of the world, India is confronted with the serious challenge of balancing economic development and greenhouse gas emissions.

To balance its developmental imperatives with climate change adaptation and mitigation, the Indian government launched the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) in 2008. The eight national missions that form the core of the NAPCC represent multipronged long-term and integrated strategies for achieving key goals in the context of climate change. The two most prominent missions are the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, which seeks to promote solar energy by enhancing the capacity to 100GW by 2022; and the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency, which seeks to unlock the energy-efficiency market on a public–private partnership basis. Under it, specific energy consumption targets have been set for 478 designated consumers across eight sectors. Incentivising action through trading in energy-saving certificates is envisaged under this mission.

It is pertinent to discuss some of the key initiatives for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

i Clean Energy Initiative

In April 2018, the Prime Minister announced 100 per cent electrification of Indian villages. This essentially meant that, while electricity had reached every village in India, by all estimates it would reach every household by the end of the year 2018. While this is a huge achievement for a developing economy like India, to ensure that it meets its meets its nationally determined contribution commitments under the Paris Agreement, India must ensure that it shifts to clean energy. To achieve its emission-reduction targets, India has set itself the goal to achieve a solar power capacity of 100GW by 2020. This would help India honour its climate change commitments.

As a part of its clean coal technology initiative, India has mandated all new large coal-based generating stations to use supercritical technology, besides setting mandatory targets for old thermal power stations to improve energy efficiency; however, more than 60 per cent of India's energy requirement is still based on thermal energy and the transformation from coal to clean energy must therefore be gradual. As part of its commitment towards clean energy, India also introduced the National Clean Energy Fund 2010 (NCEF), which imposed a statutory cess on coal. The NCEF is used to promote clean energy technologies. Further, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) also issued a Renewable Purchase Obligations Regulation, specifying the share of renewable energy in the electricity mix. In order to assist in meeting renewable purchase obligations, the CERC has set up the renewable energy certificate mechanism enabling the obliged entities to purchase renewable energy certificates to meet their commitments.

ii Green Buildings Initiative

Residential and commercial buildings currently account for about a third of the total electricity consumption in India, a significant part of which goes into heating, cooling and lighting. Therefore, the government has taken a number of initiatives to promote energy efficiency in the building sector. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency has developed the Energy Conservation Building Code, which prescribes the minimum standard for energy use in new commercial buildings and major retrofits. The code is voluntary at the national level and the Ministry of Urban Development and state governments are responsible for its implementation and enforcement. LEED India is the localised version of the international rating system and is administered by the Indian Green Building Council. With 752 LEED-certified projects covering over 20.28 million gross square meters of space in December 2017, India ranks third in the list of US Green Buildings Council annual rankings.

A Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) is the national rating system for green building design, developed and implemented by the Energy and Resources Institute and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. All new central government and public sector buildings in India are to comply with the requirement of at least three star GRIHA ratings. Further, the Department of Telecommunication has also issued certain guidelines for licensees to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy in all their establishments.

iii Mobility and public transportation

The public transportation infrastructure in India has grown substantially in the last few decades but in the major cities such as Delhi it is still less than a third of the requirement. Clean and efficient modes of mobility remain a challenge for India. With its burgeoning population and clean air challenges, India has already taken the leap from BS-IV to BS-VI emission standards and, as per the direction of the Supreme Court of India, no vehicle that does not adhere to BS-VI emission norms will be sold in India from 1 April 2020. BS-VI compliant fuel is already available in Delhi. Petrol vehicles older than 15 years and diesel vehicles older than 10 years have already been banned in Delhi, the government has already started ordering electric vehicles for its offices, and to dispose of old vehicles, Delhi has notified the guidelines for scrapping old vehicles, though its implementation remains a challenge.

In the aviation sector, the Director General of Civil Aviation has issued various circulars to promote efficiency by addressing issues regarding use of aircraft power supply, fuel efficiency, single-engine taxi and data reporting. Indian Railways has already launched Its first solar-powered train and first solar-powered railway station. In November 2018, the Prime Minister launched India's first multimodal terminal on inland waterways as a part of the World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikas Project. Be it roadways, railways, airways or waterways, there is an unprecedented push by India on non-polluting modes of mobility.

VIII OUTLOOK AND CONCLUSIONS

India is witnessing an unprecedented phase of stringent environmental norms and stricter enforcement. The new laws focus on self-regulation, while imposing severe penalties for misrepresentation or suppression of facts and providing for environmental offences being cognisable and non-bailable. The proactive role of the judiciary, especially the NGT, has ensured that compliance is mandatory. Forfeiture of bank guarantee by SPCBs, imposition of heavy fines on violators, issuance of closure notices and other such stringent steps are the order of the day. Invoking the 'deep pocket principle' and the 'last man standing principle' is a common practice. Assessing and addressing environmental risk is material to doing business in India. Regulations are being revised rapidly. Environmental risk is no longer a technical issue, but has to be seen in light of public perception and community expectations.

India has moved down from rank 141 in the Environment Performance Index (EPI) 2016 to rank 177 in EPI 2018, resulting in a fair share of criticism. However, the complete ban on plastic in various states, and initiatives to ensure that plastic waste management and handling is carried out in an effective way has also won the country accolades internationally. With a rapidly increasing population, India is gearing up to manage its waste more effectively.

Environmental consciousness in India has moved from philanthropy to the mandatory corporate social responsibility. The companies in India pay much more attention to water conservation, afforestation, pollution control, mitigation and the related health and safety issues. With stricter enforcement, non-compliance is no longer an option. The focus has shifted from compliance and operational risks to sustainability risks involving water, waste, climate change, energy efficiency, product safety and regulatory changes. Environmental issues are now determining the business strategy in India.


Footnotes

1 Sanjeev Kapoor is a senior partner and Nawneet Vibhaw is a partner at Khaitan & Co.

2 World Bank, 'Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform', October 2018.

3 Nawneet Vibhaw, Environmental Law - An Introduction, 1st Edition, 2016, LexisNexis.

4 Shyam Diwan and Armin Rosencranz, Environment Law And Policy In India, 2nd Edition.

5 The right to a clean environment has been recognised as an integral part of right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

6 These notifications have been issued by the central government under Section 3 of the EPA.

7 The Supreme Court of India in the case of Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action v. Union of India AIR 1996 SC 1446 has held that, 'The polluter pays principle means that absolute liability of harm to the environment extends not only to compensate the victims of pollution, but also to the cost of restoring environmental degradation. Remediation of the damaged environment is a part of the process of sustainable development.'

8 In Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum v. Union of India, AIR 1996 SC 2715 the Supreme Court held that, 'The traditional concept that development and ecology are opposed to each other, is no longer acceptable. Sustainable development is the answer.'

9 MC Mehta v. Kamal Nath (1997) 1 SCC 388: The SC used this doctrine for the first time in this case in the context of protection and preservation of natural resources and held that the state is under a duty to protect natural resources and they cannot be converted into private ownership.

10 MC Mehta v. Union of India, AIR 1987 SC 1086: the Supreme Court departed from the English law of strict liability and evolved the principle of absolute liability. It held that an enterprise engaged in an inherently dangerous activity owes an absolute duty to the community to ensure that no harm is caused by the activities undertaken by it. Since the pronouncement of this judgment, the defence of reasonable care and absence of negligence are no longer valid defences for enterprises engaging in inherently dangerous activities to avoid liability.

11 Section 16 of the NGT Act.

12 Section 18 of the NGT Act.

13 Order dated 19 July 2018 by NGT, New Delhi in the case of Shivpal Bhagat v Union of India.

14 Sections 26 to 28 of the NGT Act.

15 Section 20 of the NGT Act.

16 Rule 14 of the Environment (Protection) Rules 1986.

17 Section 9 of the EPA read with Rule 12 of the Environment (Protection) Rules 1986.

18 Section 19 of the Air Act.

19 Section 21 of the Air Act.

20 Supreme Court Order, dated 24 October 2018 in MC Mehta v Union of India.

21 Section 25 of the Water Act.

22 Section 24 of the Water Act.

23 Rule 7 of the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules 1989.

24 Rule 5 of the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules 1989.

25 While the rules relating to electronic, biomedical, plastic, solid and hazardous wastes were revised, new rules relating to the management and handling of construction and demolition waste were brought into effect in 2016.

26 Rules 6 and 13 of the HW Rules.

27 Rule 4 of the SW Rules.