Approach of Indian Judiciary towards Sustainable Development in India
Sustainable development is increasingly promulgated in international and national legal contexts, but there is a long way to go in terms of implementation. In recent years, there has been a sustained focus on the role played by the higher judiciary in devising and monitoring the implementation of measures for pollution control, conservation of forests and wildlife protection. Many of these judicial interventions have been triggered by the persistent incoherence in policy-making as well as the lack of capacity-building amongst the executive agencies.
However, recently, Judiciary is playing the vital role in the protection of environment. One of the main developments in the Indian Judiciary is the Public Interest Litigation. It is the new jurisprudence and is called “Jurisprudence of Masses”. The role of Indian Supreme Court in resolving environmental disputes has contributed immensely to the evolution of environmental jurisprudence and principles in India. This includes recognizing right to healthy environment as a part of fundamental rights and the various principles of environmental protection. It appears that the international environmental law principles have been utilized by the Indian courts not only to ‘formulate’ much of the contemporary environmental jurisprudence in India but also to ‘enrich’ the same. This process is still going on and is a strong approach towards the achievement of sustainable development.