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Report No. 186

"Article 24: Everyone has the righ.-

(a) to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well being; and

(b) to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generation, through reasonable legislative and other measures tha.-

(i) prevent pollution and ecological degradation;

(ii) promote conservation; and

(iii) secure ecologically sustainable development and use of national resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development."

The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution refers to the right to safe drinking water, clean environment and proposed the insertion of Article 30D in the Constitution. Article 30D as recommended by the Commission reads as follows:

"Article 30-D. Right to safe drinking water, prevention of pollution, conservation of ecology and sustainable development.- Every person shall have the righ.-

(a) to safe drinking water;

(b) to an environment that is not harmful to one's health or well being; and

(c) to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations so as t.-

(i) prevent pollution and ecological degradation;

(ii) promote conservation; and

(iii) secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development."

The above Commission states in paras 3.22.1 and 3.22.2 (Vol. 1) that the right to healthy environment and its protection and the right to development are "group rights" now loosely described as "third generation rights". The right to "sustainable development" has been described by the UN General Assembly as an inalienable right. The Declaration recognizes that "Human being is the central subject of the development process and that the development policy shall make the human being the main participant and beneficiary of development".

"Development" is defined as "a comprehensive, economic, social, cultural and political process, which aims at the constant improvement of the well being of the entire population in development and in the fair distribution of benefits therefrom". The Rio Conference of 1992 declared human beings as centers of concern for sustainable development. Human beings are, it is said, entitled to a healthy and protective life in harmony with nature (Principle 1). "In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be considered in isolation of it". The 1997 Earth Summit meeting of 100 nations in New York affirmed these principles.



Proposal to Constitute Environment Courts Back




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