M C Mehta
Landmark Cases

Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world and the pride of India was facing serious threat from pollution caused by Mathura Refinery, iron foundries, glass and other chemical industries. As a result of very high toxic emissions from these industries, the Taj Mahal and 255 other historic monuments within the Taj trapezium were facing serious threat because of acid rain.
The Petition was filed in the year 1984. The Supreme Court of India delivered a historic Judgement in December 1996. The apex Court gave various directions including banning the use of coal and coke and directing the industries to switch over to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Three landmark judgments and a number of Orders against polluting industries numbering more than fifty thousand in the Ganga basin passed from time to time. A substantial success has been achieved by way of creating awareness and controlling pollution in the river Ganges. In this case, apart from industries, more than 250 towns and cities have been ordered to put sewage treatment plants.
Six hundred tanneries operating in highly congested residential area of Kolkata have been shifted out of the City and relocated in a planned Leather Complex in the State of West Bengal. A large number of industries were closed down by the Court and were allowed to reopen only after these industries set up effluent treatment plants and controlled pollution. As a result of these directions millions of people have been saved from the effects of air and water pollution in Ganga basin covering 8 states in India.

Against vehicular pollution in India the Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgment in 1992. A retired Judge of the Supreme Court was appointed along with three members to recommend measures for the nationwide control of vehicular pollution.
Orders for providing Lead free petrol in the country and for the use of natural gas and other mode of fuels for use in the vehicles in India have been passed and carried out. Lead-free petrol had been introduced in the four metropolitan cities from April 1995; all new cars registered from April 1995 onwards have been fitted with catalytic convertors; COG outlets have been set up to provide CNG as a clean fuel in Delhi and other cities in India apart from Euro 2 norms. As a result of this case, Delhi has become the first city in the world to have complete public transportation running on CNG.

About 10 million people living in Delhi and millions of people living along the banks of river Yamuna were exposed to health hazards from water contamination due to total absence of sewage treatment plant in many areas of Delhi. A time bound programme was given by the Supreme Court to the Delhi Municipal Corporation for setting up of treatment plant in 16 different localities in this case.
Articles on M C Mehta
Environment Jurisprudence
Landmark Cases
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