Supreme Court Recognizes Right to Freedom from Adverse Effects of Climate Change in Landmark Decision

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In a groundbreaking ruling dated March 21, the Supreme Court of India has officially acknowledged the right to be free from the detrimental impacts of climate change as a distinct legal right. This historic decision underscores the significance of Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantee equality before the law and the right to life and personal liberty, respectively, as key sources of this newfound right.

The judgment, authored by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, emphasized that the right to equality and the right to life must be interpreted in light of the state’s actions and commitments at both national and international levels, as well as the scientific consensus on climate change. The Court highlighted the importance of recognizing this right while also safeguarding the rights of affected communities, such as the right against displacement.

Notably, these observations were made within the context of a case concerning the conservation of the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) and the installation of overhead and underground power lines in priority areas. The Court constituted an expert committee to examine this issue, considering the collision-related deaths of Bustards with overhead transmission wires at solar panel projects.

Furthermore, the Court’s detailed judgment delves into India’s international obligations to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change. It underscores the need for a balanced approach that prioritizes environmental conservation while also fulfilling commitments to sustainable development.

By recognizing the right to freedom from the adverse effects of climate change, the Court has paved the way for prioritizing environmental protection and ensuring the well-being of present and future generations. This landmark decision reinforces India’s responsibilities under international law, including its obligations to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and protect fundamental rights in a healthy and sustainable environment.

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In summary, the Supreme Court’s ruling advocates for a holistic approach that does not compromise environmental conservation or the protection of vulnerable species like the GIB. It underscores the importance of striking a balance between conservation efforts and sustainable development initiatives.

Stay updated on legal developments and environmental issues with ApniLaw, your go-to platform for comprehensive legal content in India.

Tags: Supreme Court, Climate Change, Legal Rights, Environmental Conservation, Indian Constitution

Meta Description: The Supreme Court’s landmark decision recognizes the right to be free from the adverse effects of climate change, emphasizing the importance of environmental protection and sustainable development in India. Stay informed with ApniLaw for detailed coverage of legal and environmental matters.

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