10 Dec 2016

Report On National Conference on Environmental Jurisprudence in India

Scholars ExamineLegal Aspects of Environmental Protectionat National Conference

–Ishika Mishra and Marina Wheeler, BA LLB, Fourth Year

We held our‘National Conference on Environmental Jurisprudence in India’ on 12 November 2016. The event served as a platform for innovative and curious minds from various universities to engage in a discourse on current measures of environmental protection and their shortcomings. It was dignified by the presence of environment crusader, Padma Shri MC Mehta, and notable academic, Prof. AfzalWani.

Following the felicitation of the guests and the lighting of the lamp, the audience was treated to an inspirational address by our Director General, Hon’ble Mr Justice Bhanwar Singh. The guests of honour then took the stage to address the gathering. Prof. AfzalWani’sbeautiful speech on the environment wove poetry with aphorisms. Mr MC Mehtathen deliveredan inspirational address, tracing his experiences in life through the plethora of cases that he fought before the constitutional courts of the country. It is not very often that legal scholars and academics get to meet a legend in the flesh, and the members of the audience were thrilled to be able to question and interact with him. The ceremony ended with a video made by our very own law students with the help of members of the faculty. Finally, our Vice Chairman, Mr Aman Sahni, delivered the vote of thanks.

The conference was divided into four sessions, of which two ran concurrently at a given time in the Nelson Mandela Auditorium and the Moot Court Hall. Participants were allotted four minuteseach for their presentations, following which they fielded questions from the co-chairs of the session, other participants and observers. Dr Seema Singh and Dr Rakesh Sharma were invited as co-chairs of the first session, revolving around India’s laws and policies on environmental protection. The second session, chaired by Dr MdSalim and Dr Asad Malik, invited discussions on the contribution of non-governmental organisations, corporations, and communities towardsthe protection of the environment. The third and fourth sessions were held post-lunch. Chaired by Prof. (Dr) Meenu Gupta and Mr Aftab Ali, the third session evaluated the judicial precedents that have led to the development of environmental jurisprudence in the country, in the absence of detailed legislations and cohesive public policies. The fourth and final session broadened its scope to look at environmental laws at the regional and global levels. Chaired by Prof. (Dr) DP Kanwal Singh and Dr Bhavish Gupta, the session served to assess India’s dual duties towards development and environmental protection, keeping in mind its pledge to honour its international obligations.

The conference ended with the valedictory session, where our Principal Academics, Prof. (Dr) Vikram Dutt addressed the members of the audience. He was followed on the podium by our chief guest, Mr RanjanChatterjee, retired IAS officer and present Chairman of the Airport Authority of India. Mr Chatterjee delivered a highly informative talk on the issues of environmental protection, urging the members of the audience to do their bit to help save the planet. The winners of the best papers in each session were then announced. They were awarded with a trophy and certificate to a round of applause. Finally, the conference concluded with a vote of thanks by the faculty convener for the event, MsAditi Singh.