Amendment to environment law ready: Polluters could pay up to Rs 1 crore without judicial review
The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has prepared an amendment to the Environment Protection Act, 1986 to impose fines of up to Rs 1 crore on polluters without going through a lengthy judicial process prescribed in the law at present.
Currently, the maximum fine that can be imposed on a polluting industry or other entities is Rs 1 lakh along with a jail sentence of up to five years. This, too, requires the government agencies to first file a complaint with a magistrate at the district level and secure a favourable order against the polluter.
In 2016, the government had informed the Supreme Court that it had not been able to jail any polluter for several years under these provisions and a maximum fine of Rs 25,000 had been imposed in a few cases.