In Supreme Court of India
Writ Petition (Civil) No.17832 of 1997
1994 (3) SCC 1
A.P. Pollution Control Board
Prof. M.V. Nayudu (Retd.) & Others
Date of Judgement
Justice S.B. Majmudar, Justice M. Jagannadha
1. In this case the respondent industry is ought to be establish a new factory for the production of vegetable oils in the State of Andhra Pradesh. Respondent industry purchased a piece of land inIndore village named Peddashpur. Within the range of the village the reservoirs that provides drinking water for the 5 million of people around the area.
2. In the year 1988 the Ministry of Forest and Environment prepare the red list of hazardous industries. In that red list, name of respondents industry was also listed.
3. This notification was issued by the Central Government based on its power under the Eater prevention and control of Pollution Act of 1974 as well as the Air prevention and control of pollution Act of 1981.
4. In 1994 under the Directive Principles of Central Government, the State Government imposes a notification in which it was mentioned that establishment of any industry within 10 kilometre of reservoirs is to be prohibited by law.
5. In 1995 couldn’t applied for getting the NOC from the state of Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board for the establishment of his industry into that area. It was accepted by the environment authority of the state.
6. Government reaffirmed the rule in 1996. Thus,State of Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board rejected the application because of that rule .
7. The Commission of Industries informed the respondent he must selectin alternative area but he didn’t listen to the commission of industries various civil works and installed machinery.
8. Once again, respondent applied for an NOC from the State of Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board.
9. Then also the Board rejected the application.
10. Then responded contended that he invest a large amount of money on the establishment of the industry and its operations
11. Afterwards ,State Government after taking an account of request made by the respondent
12. Then the permission and the prescription along with the guidelines to the respondent were given to be followed water pollution.
13. Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board prepared a list of precautions to be followed but does not accepted the application of NOC by the respondent.
14. Afterwards respondent filed an appeal in front of appellate Authority under Section 28 of Water Act.
15. Appellate authority reverse the orders made by the state of Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board by giving reasoning that the respondent had used the latest means of to prevent environmental pollution.
16. Finally, issuing of NOC is permissible to the respondent.
1. Whether the respondent-industry a hazardous one and what is its pollution potentiality, taking into account the nature of the product, the effluents and its location?
2. Whether the operation of the industry is likely to affect the sensitive catchment area resulting in pollution of the Himayat Sagar and Osman Sagar Lakes supplying drinking water to the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad?
The appellant of this case was A.P Pollution control board which contended that the respondent industry could not start its civil works and construction without obtaining a clearance from the A.PPollution control board Moreover,A.P. Pollution Control Board submitted that the products manufactured by respondent industry would lead to the following sources of pollution:
“(a) Nickel (solid waste) which is a heavy metal and also a hazardous waste under the Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989.
(b) There is a potential of discharge or run-off from the factory combined joining oil and other waste products.
(c) Emission of sulphur dioxide and oxide of nitrogen.”
After the rejection of letter of the respondent industry for getting the NOC, they appealed under Section 28 of Water Act before the appellate authority.Along with this the respondent submitted an affidavit of Shri Santapa who was a traffic officer of the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board which was in the favour of respondent industry. In that affidavit it was stated that industry had followed as well as adopted eco friendly technology by using all the safeguarding measures for the protection of environment.
Furthermore, responded industries Director submitted and affidavit explaining the details regarding the technology used in the erection of the plant. Another report was also submitted by the respondent industry declaring employed by them is obtained from the Indian Institute of Chemical technology of Hyderabad which is a very renowned and that industry had given a certificate declaring that this industry will not discharge any acidic influents which is harmful for the environment. On the basis of above affidavit and reports it was contended that industry is not a polluting industry
The court reverse the decision made by the appellate authority and considers the application of respondent for obtaining. First of all court focus on a question that whether Central government to exempt and individual hazardous industry within the 10 km area around the reservoir even if he is following all the procedures and protection measures to safeguard environment. For this particular question court comes to a conclusion that for the protection of environment And with the regard of 10 kilometer rule the exemption should not to be appropriate in nature and NOC to the respondent could not be issued.Secondary Court considered second issue that whether as per the report submitted in the court, respondent could claim exemption from the court or not. In the light of this question court came to an outcome that the respondent industry will not cause any water pollution even if it was established under the 10 kilometer area of reservoirs because respondent promised to take necessary actions and measures to safeguard environment. But Court rejected promissory estoppel made by the to take necessary action and precautions. Court came to the conclusion that reservoirs is significant as million of public relied upon his reservoirs for drinking water and to give safeguard measures to respondent. Court held that safeguards good could be failed because of any error human operation or by an accident. Court does not want to take risk in this matter and you lied on the precautionary principle. Therefore it was held that court can’t supersedes the policy decision of the Government thus cannot issue NOC to respondent .
Significance and critical analysis of the judgement:-
As per my view the judgement given by the honourable judges is reasonable and justified as court cannot exercise its power in favour of any particular individual or an industry. This exercise of power in such a manner will lead to the arbitral behaviour of the court which is against the public interest as the two reservoirs which were in question are very significant for that area because million of people are relied on that reservoir for getting fresh drinking water. If the court act arbitrarily they will surely affect people at large. Along with this, it will be in violation of Right to clean water under the ambit of Article 21 of Constitution of India . Therefore, by applying Precautionary Principle court act in a justified manner and ensures public morality.