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Indian Case Summary

A.P. Pollution Control Board vs Prof.M.V.Nayudu (Retd.) & Others on 27 January, 1999 – Case Summary

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In the case of A.P. Pollution Control Board vs Prof. M.V. Nayudu (Retd.) & Others on 27 January 1999, the Supreme Court of India was presented with a complex environmental dispute involving the A.P. Pollution Control Board and a company intending to establish an industry for the production of B.S.S. Castor oil derivatives. The case revolved around the issue of environmental pollution and the legal and technological aspects related to it.

Facts of the Case

The respondent company, incorporated in January 1995, aimed to set up an industry for the production of B.S.S. Castor oil derivatives. The company purchased land in Peddashpur village, Shamshabad Mandal, and applied for consent for the establishment of the industry through the single window clearance committee of the Commissionerate of Industries, Government of Andhra Pradesh, in November 1995. However, the A.P. Pollution Control Board rejected the application as the proposed site fell within 10 km of the Himayat Sagar & Osman Sagar lakes, a location deemed not permissible as per GOMs 111 dated 8.3.96.

The company appealed against the rejection under section 28 of the Water Act. The appellate authority under section 28 of the Water Act, Justice M.Ranga Reddy, (retd.) allowed the appeal of the Company based on the reports and affidavits filed by the company and other experts stating that the industry “is not a polluting industry”.

Issues Raised

The case raised several issues concerning the validity of the orders passed by the A.P. Pollution Control Board, the correctness of the order of the Appellate Authority under Section 28 of the Water Act, and the validity of GOMs No.153 dated 3.7.97 by which Government of A.P. granted exemption for the operation of the 10 km rule in GOMs 111 dated 8.3.1996. Questions also arose regarding the alleged breach of the provisions of the Act, Rules, or notification issued by the Central Government and the standards prescribed under the Water Act or rules or notifications.

Court’s Observations

The Court observed that the case presented complex issues involving pollution and related technology. It noted the difficulty faced by environmental courts in dealing with highly technological or scientific data. The Court also acknowledged the uncertain nature of scientific opinions in the environmental field, which has led to the formulation of new legal theories and rules of evidence.

The Court referred to the Precautionary Principle and the new Burden of Proof as formulated in International Conferences due to the uncertainty of scientific proof. The Court also referred to the Vellore case, which dealt with the Precautionary Principle.

In conclusion, the case of A.P. Pollution Control Board vs Prof. M.V. Nayudu (Retd.) & Others presented complex issues related to environmental law, scientific uncertainty, and the role of courts in adjudicating such matters. The case highlighted the need for a multi-faceted, multi-skilled body capable of effectively overseeing and enforcing safeguards for environmental protection.