The most significant achievement of modern law in India is the constitutionalization of environmental problems by the Supreme Court. Discuss this statement with the help of relevant case laws. (150 words) [2022]

The constitutionalization of environmental problems by the Supreme Court of India is a significant achievement of modern law in India. The Supreme Court has recognized the importance of protecting the environment and has used its powers under the Constitution to address a range of environmental issues.

One of the key case laws that exemplifies this achievement is the landmark judgment in M.C. Mehta v. Union of India (1987), also known as the “Oleum Gas Leak case.” In this case, the Supreme Court recognized the right to a healthy environment as a fundamental right under Article 21 (right to life) of the Indian Constitution. The Court held that the State has a duty to protect and improve the environment and that citizens have the right to seek legal remedies if this duty is not fulfilled.

Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra v. State of Uttar Pradesh (1987): This case involved the destruction of forests and wildlife in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The Supreme Court held that the right to a healthy environment is a fundamental right under Article 21 and directed the state government to take steps to protect and preserve the environment.

In another important case, Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum v. Union of India (1996), the Supreme Court recognized the right to a healthy environment as a fundamental right under the Constitution. This case dealt with the problem of pollution caused by the tanning industry in the city of Vellore, and the Court ordered the closure of several polluting tanneries.

These cases demonstrate the ability of the Supreme Court to address environmental problems through the use of its constitutional powers. By recognizing the right to a healthy environment as a fundamental right, the Court has ensured that the protection of the environment is given due importance in India.

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