Fundamental Duties and Constitutional Provisions for Environment Protection.

The Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976 inserted part IV-A into the Constitution of India. This new part prescribes certain fundamental duties for the citizens of India. The sole Article of this part, Article 51-A, specifies ten fundamental duties.

It shall be the duty of every citizen of India (g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures; Then Indian Constitution has imposed a joint responsibility upon the State; and every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment. In the words of Ranganath Mishra, J.: “Preservation of environment and keeping the ecological balance unaffected is a task which not only Government but also very citizen must undertake. It is a social obligation and let is remind every citizen that it is his fundamental duty as enshrined in Article 51-A (g) of the Constitution”[1] After making reference to Article 48-A and Article 51-A (g), the High Court of Himachal Pradesh concluded Thus, there is both a Constitutional pointer to the State and a Constitutional duty of the citizens not only to protect but also to improve the environment and to preserve and safeguard the forests, the flora and fauna, the rivers and lakes and all the other water resources of the country. The neglect or failure to abide by the pointer or to perform the duty is nothing short of a betrayal of the fundamental law which the State and, indeed, every Indian high or low, is bound to uphold and maintain.[2] The Courts have reminded time and again to both State as well as citizens about their duties towards environment while deciding environmental issues by referring to Article 48-A and 51- A(g) of the Constitution.

In L.K Kollwal v. State of Rajasthan, a straightforward writ petition by voters of

Jaipur compelled the municipal authorities to produce adequate sanitation. The court observes that once each national owes a constitutional duty to safeguard the surroundings (Art.51A),

the national should be conjointly entitled to enlist the court‟ said in imposing that duty

against recalcitrant State agencies. The Court gave the administration six month to wash up

the complete town, and laid-off the plea of lack of funds and employees.[3]

Article 51 A(g) states that we are blessed with clean environment and we must not only pledge to protect our environment but also to enhance its quality. We must preserve our environment for our future generations.

[1] Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra v. State of U.P., AIR 1987 SC 359, 364.

[2] Kinkri devi v. State of Himachal Pradesh, AIR 1988 HP 4,8.

[3] Arnold H T Sangma, R Dhivya, Constitutional Obligations in the Protection of Environment, 120, Int J Pure Appl Math, 2247, 2018.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

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