SC expands scope of rights to life, equality; says ‘climate crisis impacts...’

In a recent judgement, Supreme Court, ruled that climate change impacts constitutional guarantee of rights to life and equality provided under Article 14 and Article 21

Livemint
First Published8 Apr 2024, 03:02 PM IST
A Supreme Court bench in a recent judgement said right against protection from climate change is a part of rights to life, equality.
A Supreme Court bench in a recent judgement said right against protection from climate change is a part of rights to life, equality.(HT)

Emphasising the impact of climate change on people's lives, the Supreme Court in a judgement said that the “right against the adverse effects of climate change,” falls under the scope of Articles 14 and 21 that guarantee rights to equality and life. 

The judgement was passed by an SC bench on a petition by wildlife activist MK Ranjitsinh and others for the protection of the Great Indian Bustard (GIB), which is a critically endangered bird found mainly in Rajasthan and Gujarat. The order was passed by the apex court on March 21, but it was uploaded recently.

The measures for protection of GIB clash with the installations of major solar and wind energy-producing projects which are majorly operational in the same area of the country. Citing the same reason, the Centre claimed the SC decision will harm India's global commitments to reduce the carbon footprint, reported Hindustan Times.

In the order, which was passed on March 21, and was uploaded recently, the bench formed an expert committee to suggest ways to balance two objectives, ie the protection of the critically endangered bird without hindering solar and wind projects in Rajasthan and Gujarat, which are an essential part of India's effort to achieve sustainable development goals. The committee consists of independent experts, members of the National Board of Wildlife, power company representatives, and other stakeholders. The first report of the committee is expected to be out by July 31.

There is a right to be free from adverse effects of climate change, says SC

While addressing the concerns presented by the Centre, the bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud underlined that the “right to life is not fully realised”, without a clean and stable environment.

"The right to health (which is a part of the right to life under Article 21) is impacted due to factors such as air pollution, shifts in vector-borne diseases, rising temperatures, droughts, shortages in food supplies due to crop failure, storms, and flooding... From these, it emerges that there is a right to be free from the adverse effects of climate change,” HT quoted the SC bench's statement.

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First Published:8 Apr 2024, 03:02 PM IST
HomeNewsSC expands scope of rights to life, equality; says ‘climate crisis impacts...’

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