The Indian Constitution is perhaps one of the rarest constitutions of the world which reflects the human rights approach to environmental protection through various constitutional mandates. The Constitution of India imposes a duty towards the “State” as well as “Citizen” to protect and improve the environment.
Environment is a difficult word to define. In this connection, Einstein once observed, “Environment is everything that is not me”. However a specific meaning is given to environment which covers the physical surrounding that are common to all of us in this sense environment includes air, space, water, land, plants and wildlife. Researcher observed that problem of environmental pollution is not new, it is as old as the emergence of Homo sapiens on the planet and it was realized in the times of Plato, 2500 years ago. However different dimensions of the problem of environment protection and its management have taken a serious turn in the present era. Today, society’s interaction with nature is so extensive that questions pertaining to environment have assumed proportions of importance affecting all humanity. Antihumanitarian effect of Industrial and Environmental hazards is not an unavoidable part of the existing industrial system, but rather a pervasive and organized violation of the most fundamental rights of humanity.
Article 21 of Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental right to life, a life of dignity, to be lived in a proper environment, free of danger of disease and infection. It is the basic right of all to live in a healthy environment. Ratlam Municipality v. Varichand is a monumental judgment where the Supreme Court followed the activist approach and provided flesh to the dry bones of statutory provisions.
Researcher will examine in this paper the constitutional provisions which protect the environment and the duties toward environment, of a citizen.