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Report No. 186

Special Acts and appellate powers:

Environment (Protection) Act & Rules made thereunder:

Section 3(3) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 enables the Central Government to constitute an authority or authorities for the purpose of exercising and performing such of the powers and functions of the Central Government under that Act (including the power to give directions under section 5 of that Act) and for taking measures with respect to the matters referred to in section 3(2) and subject to the supervision and control of the Central Government.

Several rules have been framed under section 25 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. These rules provide for 'authorities' who implement 93the rules and also provide for 'appellate authorities' who are all officers or Departments of Government. Various rules have been made under section 25. Some rules framed under the Act regarding appointment of 'authorities' do not prescribe appellate authorities.

In the Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989, Rule 18 provides for an appeal against any order of grant or refusal of an authorization by the Member-Secretary, State Pollution Control Board (or any officer designated by the Board.- to the Secretary, Department of Environment of the State Government.

In the Rules of 1989 relating to Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous chemicals, Rule 2(b) refer to the 'authority' mentioned in Col. 2 of Schedule 5 as being the authority which will perform various functions under Rule 3. The said Schedule 5 designates various authorities or persons to exercise the functions such as

(1) Ministry of Environment and Forests under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986;

(2) Chief Controller of Imports and Exports under the Import and Export (Control) Act, 1947;

(3) The Central Pollution Control or the State Pollution Control Board or Committee under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986;

(4) Chief Inspectors of Factories under the Factories Act, 1948;

(5) Chief Inspector of Dock Safety appointed under the Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, 1987;

(6) Chief Inspector of Mines appointed under the Mines Act, 1952;

(7) Atomic Energy Regulatory Board appointed under Atomic Energy Act, 1972;

(8) Chief Controller of Explosives appointed under the Explosives Act and Rules, 1973. No provision is made for an appeal in these Rules.

In the Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, various functions are to be performed by the Municipal Authority, State Governments, Union Territories, Central Pollution Control Board and State Pollution Control Board or Committee. No appeal provision is made.

In the Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation & Control) Rules, 2000, various functions have to be performed by the authority specified in Schedule V thereof. Here, in Col (4), the Schedule specifies the 'authority' and Col. 6 specifies the appellate Authority also. The appellate authorities are Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, or in certain cases, the Dy. Secretary in the same Ministry.

In the Noise Pollution (Regulation & Control) Rules, 2000, Rule 2(c) defines 'authority' as an authority or officer authorized by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, in accordance with the laws in force and includes a District Magistrate, Police Commissioner or any officer not below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police. There is a definition of 'Court' in Rule 2(d) but the Rules do not deal with the functions of the 'Court'. No appellate authority is referred.

Bio-Medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 1998 defines 'Prescribed Authority' under Rule 7 for enforcement of the Rules and designates the authority as the State Pollution Control Board in States or such Committees in Union Territories. Rule 13 defines the appellate authority as the authority to be notified by the State Government or Union Territory.

Thus, it will be seen that in the various Rules made under section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, there are authorities/(or in some cases) appellate authorities constituted but there is no appeal to a judicial body. Nor do the appellate authorities, wherever they are constituted, have any expert assistance. They are all bureaucrats.

Proposal to Constitute Environment Courts Back

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