B.L Wadhera V. Union of India   AIR 1996 SC 2969

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The sovereign intensity of India is the Constitution of India, which set out the standards under and compliant with which the Government could work its different multidimensional functions. That constitution of India itself moreover gives fundamental central rights to each specific individual of India. The fundamental rights allowed by the constitution of India under Part III of the Constitution.

The Indian Constitution is one of only a handful not many in the globe with the specific environmental protection principles in its text. The Directive Principle of State Policy and the section on essential obligations unequivocally grants the domestic declaration to protecting and improving the climate. In articulating these actions, the Indian legal executive has made a doctrinal web to shield basic liberties and to advance the reason for environmental equity and help individuals to remember their essential commitment for the safeguarding of the climate by the way of fundamental rights and crucial obligations as referenced in the Constitution of the Republic of India.

Moreover, the term ‘Life’ referenced in Article 21 has played a vital objective in deciphering the arrangements of environmental equity by the Judiciary. Albeit a few laws have been established to defend the climate from contamination and for the execution of these laws, municipal authorities of each states are given due power. In the present article, one such case  where the intervention of judiciary was required in order to protect the environment is elaborated.

Facts of the Case

In this petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner has approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India seeking direction to grant necessary orders to Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to perform their statutory duties in particular the collection, removal and disposal of garbage and other waste.

In particular this case was concerned about the waste or garbage collection related to the Safdarjung hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia hospital and Lady Harding Medical college comprising Kalavati hospital and Sucheta Kriplani Hospital which are under the control and supervision of the Ministry of Health, Government of India. Safdarjung hospital has installed incinerator with waste disposal capacity of 230 kgs per hour. The said hospital generates about 2000-2500 kgs. of waste every day.

It is stated that the incinerator functions in two shifts for 10 hours for 7 days a week.  It was the case of the petitioner that the present incinerators were insufficient to collect the amount waste generate by the hospital and moreover, the Incinerators have not been installed in the other hospitals. It is stated that proposal to install incinerators in RML hospital and Lady Harding Medical College is under consideration for a long time.

Therefore, the present case has come up for consideration before this Hon’ble Supreme Court.

Issues Raised

Issue that has arise before the court was;

“Whether the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) are rightfully performing their statutory duties provided under the Delhi Act.”

Summary of the Decision

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that it is clear from various provisions of the Delhi Act and the New Delhi Act that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) are under a statutory obligation to scavenge and clean the city of Delhi. It is obligatory for these corporations to gather and discard the trash/squander produced from different sources around there. We have no wavering in seeing that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC)have been completely neglectful in the presentation of their legal obligations. Apart from the rights guaranteed under the Constitution the residents of Delhi have a statutory right to live in a clean city.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court opined that the courts are justified in directing the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to play out their obligations under the law. Non accessibility of assets, deficiency or shortcoming of the staff, inadequacy of hardware and so forth can’t be argued as reason for non-execution of their legal obligations.

Further it was seen that the municipality will thin its financial plan on low need things and elitist undertakings to utilize the reserve funds on disinfection and general wellbeing. And it is not the goal that the ward which has woken up to its privileges alone need be managed the cost of these rudimentary offices. And held that all the wards should be profited without litigation. The Hon’ble Supreme Court affirmed the exploratory plans put under the steady gaze of this Court by Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) whereunder certain areas have been chosen for appropriation of polythene sacks, house to house assortment of trash and its removal.

Compliant with that, the Supreme court requested the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) through Commissioner appointer under Section 54 of the Delhi Act and any other officials of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to have the city of Delhi rummaged and cleaned each day. The trash/squander will be lifted from assortment focuses each day and moved to the assigned spot for removal. All repositories/assortment focuses will be kept spotless and clean each day. The trash/junk will not be discovered spread around the assortment focuses and on the streets.

In reference to this specific case, the Hon’ble Supreme Court requested Ministry of Health, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi through Secretary, Medical and Public Health, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) through its Commissioner and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) through its Administrator to develop and introduce incinerators in every one of the clinics/nursing homes, with 50 beds or more, under their regulatory control. This might be done ideally within nine months. A mindful official of every one of these specialists will document an oath in this Court inside two months showing the advancement made in this regard.

Also, the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), New Delhi through its Director were provided guidance to introduce adequate number of incinerators, or a similarly viable substitute, to discard the clinic squander. Also, ordered the Director to document an affidavit within two months to demonstrate the advancement made in this regard.

Further, coordinated the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to give notification to every one of the private clinics/nursing homes in Delhi to make their own plans for the removal of their trash and emergency clinic squander. They be approached to develop their own incinerators. In the event that these clinics are allowed to utilize offices (for assortment, transportation and removal of trash) given by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) at that point they might be approached to pay reasonable charges for the assistance delivered as per law.

Analysis of the Decision

It becomes pertinent to understand the roots of the present case which arises from Article 32 of the India Constitution. Article 32 of the Indian Constitution gives the privilege to people to move to the Supreme Court to look for equity when they feel that their privilege has been ‘unduly denied’. The peak court is given the position to give bearings or orders for the execution of any of the rights offered by the constitution as it is considered ‘the defender and underwriter of Fundamental Rights’.

Under Article 32, the parliament can likewise entrust some other court to practice the power of the Supreme Court, given that it is inside its Jurisdiction. And unless there is some Constitutional amendment, the rights guaranteed by this Article cannot be suspended. Subsequently, we can say that a guaranteed right is ensured to people for authorization of key rights by this article as the law gives the privilege to a person to straightforwardly move towards the Supreme Court without following a lengthier interaction of moving to the lower courts first. The primary motivation behind Writ Jurisdiction under Article 32 is the implementation of Fundamental Rights effectively.

In the current case it was presented that at present around 4000 metric tons (MT) of trash is gathered day by day by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). The removal of the trash is done principally via ‘Land Fill Method’. It is expressed in the that at present the absolute number of trash assortment focuses are 1804. The trash assortment trucks gather the trash from the assortment communities and take it to the closest Sanitary Land Fill (SLF) 19 Hospitals, 156 Dispensaries, 160 Maternity and Child Welfare focuses, 5 Primary Health places, and 14 centers are working heavily influenced by Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

But one hospital, no other emergency hospital has introduced incinerator to consume the hospital’s squander. It is featured that about 45% of the absolute populace of Delhi is living in ghettos, unapproved settlements and groups. There are around 4,80,000 Jhuggies in Delhi. As indicated by a best guess around 6 people stay in each Jhuggi. They toss their trash out and about or close by dustbins

In any case, irrespective of the amount of waste generated by the public or by t he hspitals itbecomes the duty of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to keep the city clean and While adjudicating the present case, the court took note of J. Krishna Iyer’s words ,The State will realise that Article 47 makes it a fundamental guideline of administration that means are taken ‘for the improvement of general wellbeing as among its essential obligations’

Directions regarding the compost plant at Okhla was revived and put into operation. It was ordered that the MCD shall also examine the construction of four additional compost plants as recommended by Jag Mohan Committee. And it was ordered that the MCD shall not use the filled-up SLFs for any other purpose except forestry. There are twelve such sites including Rajiv Gandhi Smriti Van.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) were given directions to construct/install additional garbage collection centres in the form of dhalaos/trolley/steel bins within four months. An affidavit in this respect shall be filed by a responsible officer of each of these authorities within two months indicating the progress.

Further contemplating a greater picture, the Hon’ble Supreme court coordinated the Union of India and NCT Delhi Administration through their individual proper Secretaries to consider, the solicitations from Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) for monetary help, in an equitable and reasonable way. These Governments will think about the award of monetary help to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) via grant or some other way to empower these specialists to satisfy their commitments under law as coordinated by the Supreme Court.

 It was further observed that that the NCT Delhi Administration through its Chief Secretary and furthermore the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to hold hands and connect with a specialist body to discover substitute strategy/techniques for trash and strong garbage removal. The NCT Delhi Administration will document sworn statement in this Court inside two months demonstrating progress made in this regard.


The privilege to a clean climate is essential. It is both ward upon and a precondition to various other basic freedoms, including common, political, monetary, social, and social rights. For instance, the safeguarding, protection, and reclamation of the climate are fundamental for the delight in the rights to wellbeing, to food, and to a respectable, stately life. The privilege to a perfect climate is certifiably not an absolutely singular right. Maybe, it has an aggregate aspect, having a place similarly with people in the future and native groups whose societies rely upon the climate for their existence and propagation.

As observed in the case of M. C Mehta v. Kamal Nath, any aggravation of fundamental natural components specifically air, water and soil which are essential for life would be risky to life and can’t be polluted.Therefore, by the way of present petition the were ordered to perform their statutory obligations under the law related to the environmental protection and to guarantee the citizens a life that is free from any garbage pollution.

Also Read  M/S Bhavani Boards Pvt. Ltd. vs. The Registrar of Companies (Karnataka) (CO. PET. No.156/2012)