Environment and Health

Healthy Environment, a Human Right: The Apex Court has held that,

A responsible Municipal Council constituted for the precise purpose of preserving public health and providing better finances cannot run away from its principal duty by pleading financial inability. Decency and dignity are non-negotiable facets of human rights and are a first charge on local self-governing bodies. Similarly, providing drainage system not pompous and attractive, but in working condition and sufficient to meet the needs of the people cannot be evaded if the municipality is to justify its existence.

The court has held that as per Art. 47 of the Constitution of India it is the duty of the state to provide for proper facilities for public health.

Under Article 47 of the Constitution of India, it is the responsibility of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health. It is incumbent on State to improve the health of public providing unpolluted drinking water. State in present case has failed to discharge its primary responsibility. It is also covered by Article 21 of the Constitution of India and it is the right of the citizens of India to have protection of life, to have pollution free air and pure water

The Supreme Court in Murli S Deora vs. Union of India and Ors5, recognized the harmful effects of smoking in public and also the effect on passive smokers, and in the absence of statutory provisons at that time, prohibited smoking in public places such as,1.auditoriums, 2. hospital buildings, 3. health institutions, 4. educational institutions, 5.libraries, 6. court buildings, 7. public office, 8. public conveyances, including the railways.

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