top of page



The main purpose of this research paper is to shed light on the environmental crimes being done by corporations without any accountability. It is to determine the criminal liability of a company for committing crimes related to the protection of the environment. The offender of such environmental laws can be a corporate entity or a natural person. However, the determination of who gets the blame and becomes liable for the crimes is a huge conflict that is constantly being debated in the legal community. It’s a fact that natural persons hide behind the corporate veil because of the limited liability offered to them such as the major industrial companies[1]. These industrial companies dominate without the fear of being questioned therefore this paper seeks to research and find out the real take and position of such corporations’ criminal liability hiding behind the veil of corporate veil.


Corporate criminal responsibility may be characterized as a crime performed by persons, or groups of people committing certain acts or omissions prohibited by status and guilty of the good of the business or of others outside the company, in order to promote a mutual interest or benefit in their work. In some cases, the principle of keeping a company accountable was not applied in some cases, since it is an abstract legal person.[2] This is not punishable because there has been a lack of employees as a company, which is not a true person. The objective of the said paper is to bring to light the multifarious human rights violations that have been undertaken by huge multinational corporations in the garb of making unlawful gains and hiding behind the defense of corporate veil for the several environmental law violations committed by them.

Thus, in this paper I have reviewed certain companies in India and abroad, which have been rampantly violating the environmental law for gaining additional profits as well as highlighting certain laws, which deal with the same. The current literature on corporate criminal responsibility further illustrates major concerns surrounding the enforcement of corporate mens rea or criminal liability, arguing that through different rules, benefits and rights, the government has given companies considerable freedoms and security mechanisms.

The first company to be reviewed and brought to light is Chevron Corporation, The case of Chevron-Texaco in Ecuador is one of the world's most significant oil contaminations since it continues to impact the region where the company worked from 1964 to 1992. Chevron-Texaco is also well renounced. The region affected includes the areas around the wells, the stations that processed the extracted crude and the environments to which the oil was discharged directly without some kind of protective measure. Contaminated water, soil and air – the whole ecosystem are the repercussions of this destructive methods used by the industries

In the prevalent literature on the topic of research, Ritwik Jaiswal noted in his study article that the theory of total liability alone was found to be inadequate in the Indian context to offer justice for those caused by industrial incidents involving the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, as he claims that it was not just the Union Carbide Corporation, In order to fully grasp the notion of obligation in many ways that an corporation can have, this concept is essential for the analysis of the subject at hand.[3]

Limited Literature

The research paper's main objective is to study the Corporate Liability of the corporations in relation to the Environmental Laws. But this paper is not exactly focusing on the current situation as it is going to study it on the basis of the past cases and literature. The paper is restricted to a past view and has not taken any recent developments of the topic at hand into consideration due to lack of research and literature available on it. With many amendments, including the Environmental Impact Assessment Bill, 2020 and the improvements brought on by the new COVID-19 pandemic in the activity and transparency of companies worldwide, the popular study material has not been able to keep up with the current times, especially in the light of Indian environmental law.


The research paper has used a qualitative method and the data was collected from various other literatures presented by different people. In order to gain more knowledge on the same various environmental laws were looked upon in detail and were compared to the legislation provided in Companies Act 1956 Understanding these viewpoints and ideologies will be a basis for the development and resolution of research issues. The objective of this small survey is to know if people are aware of the environmental impacts of the fast fashion industry and if after knowing the facts and statistics will they adopt a more careful approach to make their next purchase.

Analysis of the survey

The fashion industry has a devastating impact on the environment. In fact, it is the second largest polluter in the world, just after the oil industry and the environmental damage is increasing as the industry grows.

The survey collected 22 responses, most of them being between the age of 18-50 years. The survey collects the data and the opinions of people regarding these multinational corporations and whether they are aware of the illicit activities these corporations do to earn profit and hide behind the garb of corporate veil to save face.

In the current times, online shopping is the most preferred because of the fear of the pandemic. As consumers worldwide buy more clothes, the growing market for cheap and fast items takes a toll on the environment. Online methods, though considered safe and easy, have increased the use of plastic and unsustainable packaging. Production of clothes has doubled since 2000.

The above chart clearly shows how popular fast fashion is nowadays. In most of the countries in which garments are produced, untreated toxic wastewaters from textile factories are dumped directly into the rivers.

The above chart shows that most of the people when asked answered yes when asked if they know the implications of shopping, however the minority stated that they did not have any idea which shows that people are still either in denial or not educated or aware enough.

Most of the people when asked if the brands should be answerable and held responsible for all the damage they cause answered yes, almost everyone is aware of climate change. Clothing has clearly become disposable. As a result, we generate more and more textile waste. Synthetic fibers, such as polyester, are plastic fibers, therefore non-biodegradable and can take up to 200 years to decompose. Synthetic fibers are used in 72% of our clothing.

In recent years, there’s been an explosion of resale culture. Young people pushed this renaissance by subscribing to the trend of individuality. Second-hand stores and yard-sales used to carry a stigma, but nowadays everyone is searching for something unique. The fact that a vintage Nike windbreaker could cost less than a sandwich is an added bonus. People have taken the opportunity to decide for themselves what is ‘cool’ and ‘in style,’ excited by the chance of stumbling upon gold. Such is the appeal to thrifting as an alternative to fast fashion, particularly among Generation Z.