The Indian judiciary adopted the technique of public interest litigation for the cause of environmental protection in many cases. The basic ideology behind adopting PIL is that access to justice ought not to be denied to the needy for the lack of knowledge or finances. In PIL a public spirited individual or organization can maintain petition on behalf of poor & ignorant individuals. In the area of environmental protection, PIL has proved to be an effective tool.
M.C. Mehta vs. Union of India
The Supreme Court held that air pollution in Delhi caused by vehicular emissions violates right to life under Article-21 and directed all commercial vehicles operating in Delhi to switch to CNG fuel mode for safeguarding health of the people.
Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra vs. State of U.P.
The Supreme Court prohibited continuance of mining operations terming it to be adversely affecting the environment.
Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action vs. Union of India
The Supreme Court cautioned the industries discharging inherently dangerous Oleum and H acid. The court held that such type of pollution infringes right to wholesome environment and ultimately right to life.
India vs. KKR Majestic Colony Welfare Association
The Supreme Court observed that noise pollution amounts to violation of Article-21 of the Constitution.
Vellore Citizens' Welfare Forum vs. Union of India
In this landmark case, The Supreme Court allowed standing to a public-spirited social organization for protecting the health of residents of Vellore. In this case the tanneries situated around river Palar in Vellore (T.N.) were found discharging toxic chemicals in the river, thereby jeopardizing the health of the residents. The Court asked the tanneries to close their business.