BY-Bhavya Balyan


If anyone intentionally spoils the water of another, let him not solely pay damages, however purify the stream or cistern that contains the water.
It is the commonly accepted practice that folks who produce pollution should bear the prices of managing it to stop damage to human health or the environment. As an example, a factory that produces a potentially poison as a byproduct of its activities is usually held responsible for its safe disposal. It should be mentioned that in environmental law, the polluters pay principle doesn’t ask fault. instead , it favors a curative approach which cares with repairing ecological damage. It’s a principle in environmental law wherever the polluting party pays for the harm done to the natural environment. It is a a part of the 1992 Rio Declaration which provides broader principles to guide sustainable development worldwide.  The Polluter Pays principle was introduced within the and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guiding Principles Concerning International Economic Aspects of Environmental Policies, 1972.
 India has time and once more vouched for the implementation of ‘Polluter Pays’ principle on international carbon emissions. The aim and objectives behind this policy is to achieve sustainable environment globally. Under this principle it’s not the responsibility of the govt. to satisfy the prices involved in either prevention of environmental damage, or in completing remedial action, because the effect of this is often ready to be to shift the financial burden of the pollution incident to remunerator.


The PPP was initial outlined and suggested by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1972 as a guideline for national environmental policy where under the polluter was held responsible for the environmental damage and pollution. Subsequently, the city Declaration arranged down the principles for property development which means thereby how to cater the needs of this generation while not compromising the needs of the long haul generation. Further the aim of property development metropolis Declaration Principle sixteen of the metropolis Declaration enshrined the bad person Pays principle stating that the bad person ought to bear the value of pollution.

Flaws within the PPP:

It is true that polluter pays principle features a positive effect to scale back pollution. The principle appears quite relevant for pollution that happens throughout industrial activity, though it remains inefficient inside the case of historical pollution. As Rege (1994) points out, this is often thanks to adverse economic conditions. Legal theorists found few loopholes of this rule.

  • Firstly, ambiguity still exists in determining ‘who may be a polluter’.

In legal nomenclature, a ‘polluter’ is somebody WHO directly or indirectly injurys the atmosphere or WHO creates conditions regarding such damage.

  • Second, an outsized number of poor households, informal sector firms, and subsistence farmers cannot bear any additional charges for energy or for waste disposal.
  •  Third, small and medium-size firms from the formal sector, which mainly serve the house market, find it difficult to expire higher costs to the domestic end-users of their products.
  • Lastly, exporters in developing countries usually cannot shift the burden of cost internalisation to foreign customers thanks to elastic demand.

Property Rights and Making the Polluter Pay

As noted at the outset, the thought that polluters should be made to shop for the damages that they cause features a basic appeal to our sense of justice and fair play. It’s an easy extension of the idea that people should be held responsible of their actions, and if one person does harm to another, then compensation is so as. What makes these elementary principles of justice coherent ar property rights. When it’s said that person B does harm to person D, it is understood that B is claimed to the worth of this damage. The last word point is for B to make D whole again; that’s to the extent possible, B should provide full restrictions for D’s suffering.

It is right that environmental policy should make the polluter pay goodbye because its grounded in these basic principles. Nobody has the proper to harm the person to harm the person or property of others or maybe to make use of other people’s property without their permission. Therein context, ambiguities about what sorts of emission or by-products of production processes should be characterized as pollution, who should be identified as a polluter and what the polluter will have to pay and to whom are greatly reduced. If a producer releases a substance into the air, a body of water or into the ground, and thus the emission cause health problems to people within the community or damage to their property, then those emissions would be correctly characterized as pollution and thus the company as a polluter. The payments that the company would be forced to make would not go to the govt within the sort of a tax or to other companies to somehow buy permission to pollute, but to those within the community who suffered from polluting activates.

This straightforward “polluter pays principle,” which is predicated on the sense notion
that we should always all respect other people’s persons and property, gives rise to a singular way of
viewing environmental problems and the way they arise. From this perspectiv , such issues are
the results of conflicts over the utilization of property or some resource. Persons A and B would both
like to use an equivalent resource or other property for conflicting purposes. Usually the presence
of private property allows for such conflicts to be resolved both peacefully and during a mutually
beneficial way, even when the difficulty involves the environment.

Indian Judiciary and Polluters Pay Principle

The Indian Judiciary has incorporated the Polluter Pays Principle as being a neighbourhood of the Environmental Law regime is clear from the judgments passed.

Vellore Citizens’ Welfare Forum vs. Union of India 1996: The Court command that once the activity carried on is risky or inherently dangerous, the person carrying on such activity is liable to observe the loss caused to the opposite person by his activity despite the actual fact whether or not he took guardianship whereas carrying on his activity. The rule is premised upon the terribly nature of the activity carried on.

The Oleum Gas Leak case (M.C. Mehta vs. Union of India) 1987 :The Court laid down that an enterprise engaged during a hazardous or inherently dangerous industry which poses a possible threat to health and safety persons operational within the plant and to those residing within the skirting areas, owes associate degree absolute and non-delegable duty to the community to create positive that no hurt results to anybody on account of hazardous or inherently dangerous nature of the activity which it’s undertaken. The enterprise is completely susceptible to catch up on such harm and regardless of all due care taken on his account.The larger and more prosperous the enterprise, greater must be the amount of the compensation collectible for the damage caused on account of an accident inside the carrying on of the risky or inherently dangerous activity by the enterprise.

M. C. Mehta vs Kamal Nath & Ors (1997): The Court held that pollution may be a tort and may be a tort committed against the community as an entire Thus, an individual guilty of inflicting pollution possesses to pay damages (compensation) for restoration of the ecology and environment. Under the Polluter Pays Principle, it’s not the role of state to satisfy the prices involved in either prevention of such damage, or in completing remedial action, because the effect of this is able to be to shift the financial burden of the pollution incident to the taxpayer.


With the rapid development of industry and technologies, environment degradation is inevitable and addressing it becomes important for human existence. Its great that Republic of  India  imbibed the Polluter Pays Principle (PPP) in their Law of land. And, it conjointly had truly helped in imposing damages on the polluter however still the matter with this principle is that it hasn’t been implemented properly. If we glance at the exemplary damages granted to span motels doesn’t serve the aim of the exemplary damages . Ten lakhs rupees is nothing for the massive corporations like span motels. For them a minimum of 10 crores Rs. exemplary damages should tend . And once more if we tend to look at the penalty obligatory among the Vellore Citizens case, then it simply shocks me that how 10,000 rupees will justify the pollution spreaded by the tanneries within the nearby areas. The Author personally feels that this is often often not an efficient way of fund raising. we should always reconsider the criteria’s laid to form a choice the compensation amount . This principle wants a strict interpretation from our judiciary with immediate impact that we tend to simply cannot afford any quite delay in its correct implementation in developing country, like India.