Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding damage to the environment due to discharge of API residues by pharma companies, Himachal Pradesh, 24/05/2022

  • 24/05/2022

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Veterans Forum for Transparency in Public Life Vs State of Himachal Pradesh & Others dated 24/05/2022.

The application has been filed by the MoEF&CC for review of order of this Tribunal, April 6, 2022 - the court dealt with the grievance of damage to the environment due to discharge of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) residues by pharma companies. Reason for not preventing such damage according to the Himachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Boardwas that proposed standards had not been finalised.

The Tribunal directed that proposed standards be acted upon in the interest of environment. The order was found necessary to address the grievance of discharge of toxic waste by the pharmaceutical industries which could not be treated by CETP and, thus, posed serious damage to the environment and public health. The MoEF&CC proposed standards but did not mention anything about them in the final Notification.

The Tribunal accordingly directed under Section 15(1) of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 that standards laid down in the draft Notification be followed, which was necessary for protection of the environment In the review application stand of the MoEF&CC is that since the standards in the draft Notification have not been included in the final Notification, order of the Tribunal is not called for.

The court dismissed the application and said that there is no merit in the review application. "The issue in question was duly considered and rehearing cannot be allowed in the guise of a review application. Jurisdiction of this Tribunal is not dependent on MoEF&CC’s decision alone. To enforce sustainable development under section 20 of the NGT Act, direction under section 15 can be issued even beyond the decision of the MoEF&CC," the bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Sudhir Agarwal and Arun Kumar Tyagi directed, May 24, 2022.