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The relationship between trade and environment has, over the last decade, become an important focus for

many environmental and other civil society groups.

The thesis is that the state of trade and environment law has evolved in some important ways since the issues first came on the scene, and that assessing the current state of that evolution will help negotiators and civil society to define both what the law is today and what the law in this area ought to be.

The common law remedies against the environmental pollution are available under the law of torts. Tort is the civil wrong other than the breach of trust or contract. Any tortuous action resulting in damage to property, person or reputation of an other person is punishable and the affected party can claim damages, compensation or injunction or both.

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Was formulated in 1868 by the House of Lords in Rylands vs. Fletcher case. The rule is: If a person brings on his land anything which is likely to do mischief if it escapes, he will be prima facie answerable for the damage caused by its escape though he had not been negligent. For application of rule, there must beDangerous thing Escape Non-natural use of land

Plaintiffs own default Act of God Consent of the plaintiff Act of third party Statutory Authority

Was formulated in 1987 by M.C.Mehta vs. Union of India in Supreme Court. The rule of absolute liability was more stringent than the strict liability.

Common Law offers various remedies which will be sought by the plaintiff depending upon the particular circumstances of each caseDamages Injunction Abatement

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The concept of Mensrea (guilty mind) in environmental offences and the problem of enforcement by penal sanctions have attracted the criminal law into the domain of environmental law. Relevant provisions of the act are given below:1.) Public Nuisance (sec. 268) 2.)Negligent Act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life (sec. 269) 3.)Malignant Act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life (sec. 270) 4.)Fouling water of public spring or reservoir (sec. 277)

5.) Making atmosphere noxious to health (sec. 278) 6.) Negligent conduct wrt. Poisonous substance (sec. 284) 7.) Negligent conduct wrt. Fire or combustible matter (sec. 285) 8.) Negligent conduct wrt. Explosive substance (sec. 286)

The environmental protection legislations dates back to 1970s when the Government of India drew immense inspiration from the proclamation adopted by the United Nations conference on the human environment. The legislation includesThe Water Act, 1974. The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The Forest Conservation Act, 1980. The Air Act 1981, Environmental Act, 1986. Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991.


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The Constitution of India obligates the state as well citizens to protect and improve the environment. The articles dealing with Environmental protection are:Article 19 (1)(g) - Right to practice any profession. Article 21 - Right to life and personal liberty. Article 47 - Imposes duty on the State to raise the standard of living. Article 48A - Protection & improvement of the environment and safeguard of forest. Article 51A(g) - To protect and improve the natural environment.

Milkmen Colony Vikas Samiti- an association engaged in the business of selling milk and milk products in the city of Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Was allotted 332 plots under Masuria colony Scheme by govt. of Rajasthan. Owners shifted to this area and started living, continuing their business which was not accepted by the other citizens of the area. Health of animals was also getting affected as they ate plastic bags and other hazardous plastic material thrown in open place by the Municipal Corporation that led to higher death rate of cattle. Residents filed a public interest petition before the High Court stating how the unhygienic and unhealthy conditions affecting their quality of life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. High court took quick action and found a place to shift the diaries from the city with the assistance of state government to the outskirts of the city.

The court issued further directions to shift their dairies to a new identified area provided by the collector. Collector- provided 2500 bighas of land and gave 30 days time to apply for the allotment of land along with the requisite deposit money to the Urban Improvement Trust. Fail to shift- Municipal Corporation was entitled to seal their dairies and impound the cattle. But the owners didnt shift and said that the new area provided at Barli is a hilly area unsuitable for bovine animals. High Court rejected their contention and gave an extension of 2 weeks to shift from the city to allotted place. If they refuse, the Municipal Corporation was authorized to seize their dairies. Even after that the owners and the milkmen refused to shift. The court left with no other option again extended the period of shifting. The Samiti asked for a different place to shift but it was not accepted by the High court. Later the Samiti preferred an appeal before the Supreme Court.

Is the High court justified in issuing directions to evict the milkmen from the land allotted to them by the Government for the purpose of milk diaries after accepting allotment charges? Is the high Court justified in not appreciating the fact that the land allotted for the shifting of cattle was located in a hilly area and that the concerned authorities did not provide any rehabilitation facilities?