Principles of Indian Environment Law – Environment Law Notes

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Polluter Pays Principle

Whoever pollutes the environment has to pay compensation for the pollution caused. Restitution is the basic idea behind compensation. This principle is applied after the pollution has been caused (ex-post application).

It is after the pollution has been caused since you need to establish a harm or causality between the action of polluter and harm caused. Causality is important to measure the damage.

Polluter pays principle is only applied to actual damage which is substantial in nature. It cannot be applied to future or potential damage.

Based on Utilitarian ethics – the Greatest good for the greater number – since you are not holding the state liable but the polluter liable for the damage caused.

Economic principle – encourages rational/ efficient use of scarce resources- internalize the cost of pollution control.

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