Sher Singh v. State of Himachal Pradesh

Jurisdiction: National Green Tribunal

Side B: State of Himachal Pradesh (Government)

Core objectives:

Court on its own motion issued restrictions to curb black carbon emissions, among other things.

Archived because same case as 'In re Court on its own motion v. State of Himachal Pradesh & Others'

In February 2014, India's National Green Tribunal issued a ruling on its own motion imposing a number of restrictions on activity around the Rohtang Pass, an environmentally sensitive area in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh. The court found that Black Carbon, which can be produced through vehicle use, is a major causative factor for rapid melting of glaciers in the Himalayan region. The court cited a study suggesting that 40% of the glacial retreat could be attributed to Black Carbon impact and concluded that, therefore, Black Carbon emission reduction can address glacial melting. The court concluded that Indian citizens have the right to a wholesome, clean and decent environment, derived from Article 48A of the Constitution (which requires the state to protect and improve the environment), Article 51A (requiring a citizen to protect and improve the natural environment) and Article 21 (protecting the right to life as a fundamental right).

The court ordered the state government and its agencies to undertake sweeping measures to reduce pollution, including random pollution checks, and restricting transport in certain areas to compressed natural gas and electric buses. The court embraced the principle that "[o]ne who pollutes must pay" in designing measures to address glacial melt.
Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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