M.C. MEHTA v. UNION OF INDIA, 1986 – TAJ TRAPEZIUM CASE

EQUIVALENT CITATION: 1987 AIR 1086, 1987 SCR (1)819

NAMES OF JUDGES INVOLVED IN THE JUDGEMENT: KULDIP SINGH, FAIZAN UDDIN

PETITIONER: M.C. MEHTA

RESPONDENT: UNION OF INDIA & ORS.



INTRODUCTION

This case is popularly called the Taj Trapezium case. Taj Trapezium refers to a place of 10,400 sq. km. trapezium fashioned location around Taj Mahal, overlaying 5 districts within the city of Agra. The Taj Mahal is one of the most famous and exquisite monuments in the world. The Taj is one of the fine examples of Mughal architecture in India. It was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 1984, M.C. Mehta, a public hobby attorney, visited the Taj Mahal. He noticed that the monument’s marble had become yellow and became pitted due topollution from nearby industries. This pressured Mehta to record this petition earlier than the Supreme Court and in 1986 he filed a writ petition.

The writ petition became connected with the document of the Expert Committee called “Report on Environmental Impact of Mathura Refinery” (Varadharajan Committee) posted with the aid of the Government of India in 1978. The document indicated the reassessment of pollutants within the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ).



FACTS

In the view of the petitioner, the harm to Taj changed into being because of chemical industries, foundries and the refinery at Mathura. The deteriorating circumstance of the Taj Mahal because of the pollutants, instigated the petitioner to record a petition earlier than the Apex Court. The petitioner highlighted that sulphur dioxide emitted with the aid of the Mathura Refinery and the adjacent industries ended in Acid Rain that had a corrosive impact at the white marble of the monument. The sulphur dioxide emitted with the aid of using the Mathura Refinery adjacent industries whilst mixed with Oxygen-with the useful resource of moisture withinside the surroundings fashioned sulphuric acid called “Acid rain”. Therefore, the number one cause behind the deterioration of this monument’s splendour have been the diverse polluting retailers emitted with the aid of those industries. The acid rain had a negative impact upon the marbles at the monument. The harm changed so that the marble had begun turning yellow. There have been additionally positive brown and black spots growing on it. This degradation of one of the most stunning monuments of the arena changed into a critical count of subjects. This changed into a countrywide subject as Taj Mahal changed into part of the seven wonders of the arena.



ARGUMENTS OF THE PETITIONER

The foundries, chemical industries, and the refinery are the primary reasserts of the harm to the Taj Mahal. Gases like Sulphur-dioxide emitted with the aid of using those industries integrate with Oxygen with the assist of moisture withinside the ecosystem and end result in “Acid Rain”. This has a corroding impact at the marble of the Taj Mahal. Damage to the marble used inside the Taj Mahal is visible. A yellow pallor pervades the whole monument. At a few locations the yellow spots are magnified with the aid of using unpleasant brown and black spots. Taj Mahal is a monument of global repute. However, it's miles on its manner to degradation because of atmospheric pollution. Thus, the petitioner sought instructions from the Court to the government to take powerful measures in opposition to the worried polluters.



ORDERS PASSED BY THE APEX COURT BEFORE FINAL JUDGEMENT

On eighth January, 1993, the Supreme Court after listening to M.C. Mehta and taking awareness of the file at the ‘Control of Urban Pollution’ with the aid of using the Central Pollution Control Board reached to the belief that the principle reasserts of pollutants are iron foundries, ferro-alloy industries, rubber processing, lime processing, engineering, chemical industry, brick refractory and vehicles. The Court similarly directed the U.P. Pollution Control Board (U.P.P.C.B.) to get a survey executed of the region and put together a listing of all of the industries and foundries that are the reasserts of pollutants withinside the region. The courtroom docket directed the U.P.P.C.B. to issue notices to all of the foundries and industries in that location to fulfil the Board that important anti-pollutants measures had been undertaken with the aid of using the stated industries/foundries.



JUDGMENT

The concluding judgment of this example was given on thirtieth December 1996 through a Division Bench such as of Justice Kuldip Singh and Justice Faizan Uddin.

The courtroom docket recounted that The Taj Mahal is a piece of artwork and has a global reputation. Not handiest this however it’s additionally a huge supply of earnings to the United States of America due to the substantial traveller enchantment it brought. The suggestions given through the courtroom docket are: - ·

The 292 industries noted withinside the listing shall employ the Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) for allowing commercial fuel line-connection previous to February 15, 1997. · The GAIL will take the very last verdict in regard to all of the programs for allowance of fuel line connections through March 31, 1997 and bring the allowance letters to each enterprise.



The courtroom docket similarly directed the subsequent to display the air pollutants in TTZ –

(a) The positioning of the hydro cracker department and numerous different gadgets through the Mathura Refinery. (b) The positioning of fifty sanatorium beds and transportable dispensaries through the Mathura Refinery to offer medicinal resources to the general public living in TTZ.

(c) Building of Agra passes to redirect all of the transportation which passes through the metropolis of Agra.

(d) Extra sum overall of Rs. 99.fifty-four crores authorized through the Planning Commission to be utilized by the State Government for the development of electricity delivery plans to certify one hundred in step with cent limitless energy to the TTZ.

(e) The production of Gokul Barrage, water deliver paintings of Gokul Barrage, roads round Gokul Barrage, Agra Barrage and water delivery of Agra barrage, have additionally been started out on a time table foundation to deliver consuming water to the human beings of Agra.



CONCLUSION

This landmark judgement of Taj Trapezium Case helped apprehendthe problem of environmental harmacross the Taj Mahal. Not simplest did it assistdiscoversomereasons for the depredation of the marbling of the monument, howeveradditionally implicitly recognizeddifferent environmental issuesassociated with it. The Apex Court took a terrific initiative through giving due attention to numerousconceptsand ideas of environmental law.



This article is written by Shreya Lal of Mumbai University.

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