ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Environmental Impact Assessments

Ex post facto clearances of violations will only serve to weaken the regulatory regime.

The stay order by the Supreme Court to temporarily suspend ex post facto (retrospective) environmental clearances is a welcome step. It raises hopes that the judiciary may finally permanently terminate a critical loophole in environmental law. In fact, retrospective clearances were the major lacunae that allowed violators to circumvent the regulations and cause substantial environmental damage in the last few decades.

The issue of retrospective environmental clearance goes three decades back when the government first issued an environmental impact assessment (EIA) notification in January 1994. The notification under the Environmental Protection Act, 1986 gave legal backing to the EIAs, which was earlier based on administrative action. EIA was thus the first legal instrument to grant green clearances after examining the expected impact of any new activity on the overall environment.

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Updated On : 20th Jan, 2024
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