Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
3. Power of Central Government to take Measures to Protect and Improve Environment
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government shall have the power to take all such measures as it deems necessary or expedient for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing, controlling and abating environmental pollution.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (1), such measures may include measures with respect to all or any of the following matters, namely :
(i) co-ordination of actions by the State Governments, officers and other authorities –
(a) under this Act, or the rules made thereunder; or
(b) under any other law for the time being in force which is relatable to the objects of this Act;
(ii) planning and execution of a nation-wide programme for the prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution;
(iii) laying down standards for the quality of environment in its various aspects;
(iv) laying down standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from various sources whatsoever :
Provided that different standards for emission or discharge may be laid down under this clause from different sources having regard to the quality or composition of the emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from such sources;
(v) restriction of areas in which any industries, operations or processes, or class of industries, operations or processes shall not be carried out or shall be carried out subject to certain safeguards;
(vi) laying down procedures and safeguards for the prevention of accidents which may cause environmental pollution and remedial measures for such accidents;
(vii) laying down procedures and safeguards for the handling of hazardous substances;
(viii) examination of such manufacturing processes, materials and substances as are likely to cause environmental pollution;
(ix) carrying out and sponsoring investigations and research relating to problems of environmental pollution;
(x) inspection of any premises, plant, equipment, machinery, manufacturing or other processes, materials or substances and giving, by order, of such directions to such authorities, officers or persons as it may consider necessary to take steps for the prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution;
(xi) establishment or recognition of environmental laboratories and institutes to carry out the functions entrusted to such environmental laboratories and institutes under this Act;
(xii) collection and dissemination of information in respect of matters relating to environmental pollution;
(xiii) preparation of manuals, codes or guides relating to the prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution;
(xiv) such other matters as the Central Government deems necessary or expedient for the purpose of securing the effective implementation of the provisions of this Act.
(3) The Central Government may, if it considers it necessary or expedient so to do for the purposes of this Act, by order, published in the Official Gazette, constitute an authority or authorities by such name or names as may be specified in the order for the purpose of exercising and performing such of the powers and functions (including the power to issue directions under section 5) of the Central Government under this Act and for taking measures with respect to such of the matters referred to in sub-section (2) as may be mentioned in the order and subject to the supervision and control of the Central Government and the provisions of such order, such authority or authorities may exercise the powers or perform the functions or take the measures so mentioned in the order as if such authority or authorities had been empowered by this Act to exercise those powers or perform those functions or take such measures.
Comment: In the case quoted below the Supreme Court directed that :
(a) all commercial/transport vehicles which are more than 20 years old (9,349) shall be phased out and not permitted to ply in the National Capital Territory, Delhi after 2nd October, 1998;
(b) all such commercial/transport vehicles which are 17 to 19 years old (3,200) shall not be permitted to ply after 15th November, 1998;
(c) such of the commercial/transport vehicles which are 15 years and 16 years old (4,962) shall not be permitted to ply after 31st December, 1998.
(d). This order shall apply to all commercial/transport vehicles whether registered in the National Capital Territory of Delhi or outside (but ply in Delhi) which are of more than the stipulated age.
(e). This ban order shall also be applicable to all such vehicles which do not have any authority or permit to ply in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. M. C. Mehta v. Union of India AIR 1999 SUPREME COURT 291