Indian council for enviro legal action v. union of India and others
The petitioner, the Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action brought this action to prohibit and remedy the pollution caused by several chemical industrial plants in Bichhri village, Udaipur District, Rajasthan. The Respondents operated heavy industry plants there, producing chemicals such as oleum (a concentrate form of sulphuric acid), single super phosphate and the highly toxic “H” acid (the manufacture of which is banned in western countries). The Supreme Court gave its verdict on the long impending judgment on the Bichhri case, Writ Petition No. 967 of 1989. It imposed a fine of Rs 38.385 crores on Hindustan Agro Chemicals Ltd (HACL) with compound interest since 1997 for the remediation of over 350 hectares of land in Bichhri. The Court also slapped a fine of Rs 10 Lakh on HACL for keeping the litigation alive for almost 15 years even though the court had disposed the petition in 1997, imposing Polluter Pays Principle according to which polluter must pay for the damage done to the human beings and environment.