Compliances Relating to Environmental Laws – Setting Up of Business Entities and Closure Important Questions

Compliances Relating to Environmental Laws – Setting Up of Business Entities and Closure Important Questions

Question 1.
Write a short note on the Regulatory framework for environmental protection in India. [June 2009 (5 Marks)], [June 2011 (5 Marks)]
Answer:
With the endowed protection to the environment under the Constitution and Specific Statutes, all persons, be it natural or legal including a Company owes a duty to conduct themselves in such a manner that their act or omission should not pollute the environment. Therefore, a company is necessitated to abide by various laws in order to protect the environment.

For pollution control and protections following laws are enacted by the Central Government:

  • Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
  • Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
  • Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
  • Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977
  • Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991
  • National Green Tribunal Act, 2010
  • Biological Diversity Act, 2002
  • Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008

Question 2.
Satvik is running a dyeing factory seeks your guidance in knowing various responsibilities imposed upon his business and to have complied under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. [June 2019 (5 Marks)]
Answer:
Section 25 in specific along with other relevant sections of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 provides certain responsibilities for the person establishing or taking any steps to establish any industry, operation or process, or any treatment and disposal system or any extension or addition thereto, which is likely to discharge sewage or trade effluent into a stream or well or sewer or on land. In short, it provides a certain process ) for carrying certain types of industrial activities or running an Industrial j unit, which involves discharging the trade effluent into a stream or well or sewer or on land.

Responsibilities of the owner/occupier under the Act:

  • Obtain ‘Consent to Establish industry’. Consent to be deemed as granted automatically and unconditionally after 4 months from the date of an application already given or refused before this period. Refusal of consent to be recorded in writing.
  • Obtain ‘Consent to Operate industry’.
  • Apply for renewal of the ‘Consent to Operate’ before the expiry of the validity period.
  • Pay Water Cess as indicated in the assessment order.
  • Consent to be deemed as granted automatically and unconditionally after four months from the date of an application already given or refused before this period.
  • Refusal of “Consent” to be recorded in writing
  • Pay Water Cess as indicated in the assessment order.
  • Affix water meters of the prescribed standards.
  • Provide access to the officers of the SPCB.
  • Pay interest in case of delay in paying the Water Cess.
  • Pay penalty for non-payment of Cess.
  • The industry is entitled to a 25% rebate if it meets certain conditions.

Question 3.
State the purpose for which the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 has been enacted.
Answer:
Objectives of the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 is

  1. To provide for the prevention, control, and abatement of air pollution,
  2. Establishment of Boards at Central and State Level To achieve the above objective following are various functions under this Act
  3. To counter the problems associated with air pollution, ambient air quality standards were established under the Act.
  4. Prohibiting the use of polluting fuels and substances, as well as by regulating appliances that give rise to air pollution.
  5. The Air Act empowers the State Government, after consultation with the SPCBs, to declare any area or areas within the State as air pollution control areas or areas.
  6. Establishing or operating any industrial plant in the pollution control area requires consent from SPCBs.
  7. SPCBs are also expected to test the air in air pollution control areas, inspect pollution control equipment, and manufacturing processes.

Question 4.
‘Consent to Operate’ given under the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 by the State Board is subject to certain conditions. You are required to enumerate those conditions.
Answer:
As per Section 21 of the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, every person to whom consent has been granted by the State Board shall comply with the following conditions:

  1. Control equipment shall be installed and operated in the premises as per approved specifications by the State Board.
  2. Existing control equipment shall be altered or replaced as per directions of the State Board.
  3. Control equipment shall be kept at all times in good running condition.
  4. The chimney shall be erected as per approved specifications.
  5. Other conditions may be specified by the State Board.
    State Board can vary above condition if there is a technological change or otherwise the State board forms opinion to change the condition.

Question 5.
Discuss the object, scope, and scheme of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. [June 1999 (10 Marks)], [June 2001 (10 Marks)]
Answer:
The Environment Protection Act, 1986 to provides for the protection and improvement of the environment and the prevention of hazards to human beings, other living creatures, plants, and property.

Objects of the Act are as follows:

  • To protect the quality of the environment.
  • To lay down standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants.
  • To provide safeguards for the prevention of accidents.
  • To provide safeguards in respect of handling hazardous substances.
  • To require persons to furnish information, issue directions.
  • To plan nationwide pollution control programs.
  • To co-ordination of the actions of various agencies and authorities etc.

Question 6.
What is the penalty for the offense by a company under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986? [June 2007 (5 Marks)], [Dec. 2008 (5 Marks)]
Answer:
Offenses by Companies [Section 16]: Where an offense under the Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offense has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other officers of the company, then all person or officers shall be deemed to be guilty of that offense and shall be liable to be proceeded against and published accordingly.

Penalty for Contravention [Section 15]: Contravention of any provisions or any rules are punishable:

  • With imprisonment up to 5 years or
  • With fine up to ₹ 1 lakh or
  • With both.

An additional fine of ₹ 5,000 would also be leviable for every day of continuing default.

Where such contravention continues beyond a period of 1 year then it shall be punishable with imprisonment up to 7 years.

Question 7.
Write a short note on Environmental Audit [Dec. 2005 (3 Marks)], [Dec. 2009 (4 Marks)]
Answer:
Following are some of the important points relating to Environmental Audit:
1. Rule 14 of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 provides for the submission of the environmental audit report.

2. Every person carrying on an industry, operation or process requiring consent under following Acts or Rules arc required to submit an environmental audit report.

  • Section 25 of the Water Act or
  • Section 23 of the Air Act or
  • Hazardous Wastes (Management & Handling) Rules, 1989.

3. Environmental audit report has to be submitted in Form V.

4. Environmental audit report has to be submitted for the financial year ending on 31st March every year on or before the 15th May to the concerned State Board.

Question 8.
Briefly explain the major provisions of the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991. [Dec. 2002 (5 Marks)], [Dec. 2006 (5 Marks)]
Answer:
Following are the important provisions of the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991:
1. Liability to give relief in certain cases on the principle of no-fault [Section 3]: Owner shall be liable to give relief as specified in the Schedule to | the Act for death, injury, or damage caused due to an accident. For I this purpose, injury includes permanent total or permanent partial disability or sickness resulting out of an accident. As per Schedule to j the Act a person can get the following relief:

2. Duty of owner to take insurance policies [Section 4]: Every owner J shall take insurance policies, before starting the handling of hazardous I substance. Such insurance policy can be used to discharge the liability under Section 3. The amount of insurance policy should not be less than the paid-up capital of the undertaking and more than ₹ 50 Crore.

Such insurance policy should be renewed from time to time before the expiry of the period of validity throughout the period during which such handling of hazardous substances is continued.

3. Verification & publication of accident [Section 5]: Whenever it comes to the notice of the Collector that an accident has occurred at any place within his jurisdiction, he shall verify the occurrence of such accident.

4. Application for a claim for relief [Section 6]: An application for a claim for relief may be made by-

  • The person who has sustained injury.
  • Owner of the property to which damage has been caused.
  • In the case of death resulting from an accident, by all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased.
  • Duly authorized agent.

Every application is required to be submitted to a collector in Form I along with prescribed documents within 5 years of the occurrence of the accident.

5. Award of relief [Section 7]: The collector, on receipt of an application for a claim for relief, to hold an inquiry into the claim or each of the claims, after giving notice of the application to the owner and after giving the parties an opportunity of being heard and make an award determining the amount of relief payable to person or persons.

The insurers have to deposit the amount within 30 days from the date of announcement of the award as specified by the collector. The collector then arranges to pay from the relief fund to the persons such amount in the prescribed manner as may be specified in the scheme.

6. Establishment of Environment Relief Fund [Section 7A]: The Central Government is empowered to establish Environment Relief Fund, by notification in the Official Gazette, to be utilized for paying relief under the Act. This provision is applicable for the industries established by Central or State governments that are not required to take insurance policies as per Section 4. In such a case, the amount of relief shall be paid out of the Environmental Relief Fund.

7. Provisions as to other rights to claim compensation for death, etc. [Section 8]: If a person also claims compensation for death, injury, or damage to property under any other law then compensation payable under that Act will be reduced by the relief claimed under this Act.

Question 9.
Write a short note on Public Liability Insurance [June 2019 (3 Marksj]
Answer:
The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 has been passed in the background of Bhopal Gas Tragedy in the factory of Union Carbide on the night of 2.12.1984 and a caustic chlorine plant accident in Delhi. The growth of hazardous industries and processes accompany the risk of accidents not only to workmen but also to innocent members of the public. Mandatory public liability insurance is felt necessary to provide for liability of such hazards to victims of the accident.

The liability is on a ‘no fault’ basis. Industries storing hazardous substances beyond the specified limits are liable to pay victims in case of accidents. Public sector units are also made liable but they can payout special funds set up by the government of India instead of taking an insurance cover.

Application for relief is to be made by the applicant to the Collector within 5 years of the accident, who, after giving notice to the owner and the insurer and giving the parties an opportunity of being heard, shall make the award determining the amount of relief payable. The victim will however be free to approach the Court for higher compensation.

Question 10.
Public Liability Insurance intends to provide protection to the general ( public against any unforeseen industrial accident. Elucidate [Dec. 2019 (3 Marks)]
Answer:
The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 has been passed in the background of Bhopal Gas Tragedy in the factory of Union Carbide on the night of 2.12.1984 and a caustic chlorine plant accident in Delhi. The growth of hazardous industries and processes accompany the risk of accidents not only to workmen but also to innocent members of the public. Mandatory public liability insurance is felt necessary to provide for liability of such hazards to victims of the accident.

The owner shall buy one or more insurance policies before he/she starts handling any hazardous substance. When an accident comes to the knowledge of the Collector, then he/she shall verify the occurrence of the accident and order for relief as he/she deems fit.

Question 11.
Write a short note on Objects of National Green Tribunal Act, 2010
Answer:
The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 intend to provide for the establishment of a National Green Tribunal for the effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to:

  • Effective and speedy disposal of the cases relating to environmental protection
  • All previous cases will be heard by the Tribunal
  • Environmental protection
  • Conservation of forests and other natural resources
  • Enforcement of any legal right relating to the environment
  • Giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property
  • For matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Question 12.
Write a short note on the Power of the National Green Tribunal to settle disputes
Answer:
Tribunal to settle disputes [Section 14]: The Tribunal shall have the jurisdiction over all civil cases where a substantial question relating to the environment including enforcement of any legal right relating to the environment is involved and such question arises out of the implementation of the enactments specified in Schedule I.

The Tribunal shall hear the disputes and settle such disputes and pass order thereon.

Application for adjudication of a dispute under this section shall be made within a period of 6 months from the date on which the cause of action for such dispute first arose.

However, the Tribunal may, if it is satisfied that the applicant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the application within 6 months, allow it to be filed within a further period not exceeding 60 days.

The NGT has been given the power to regulate the procedure by itself. The Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice.

National Green Tribunal shall have the same powers as of civil court which is as follows:

  • Issuing summons and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
  • Requiring the discovery and production of documents;
  • Receiving evidence on affidavits;
  • subject to the provisions of sections 123 and 124 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, requisitioning any public record or document or copy of such record or document from any office;
  • issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;
  • reviewing its decision;
  • dismissing an application for default or deciding it ex parte;
  • setting aside any order of dismissal of any application for default or any order passed by it ex parte;
  • pass an interim order (including granting an injunction or stay) after providing the parties concerned an opportunity to be heard, on any application made or appeal filed under this Act;
  • pass an order requiring any person to cease and desist from committing or causing any violation of any enactment specified in Schedule
  • any other matter which may be prescribed.

Question 13.
Harpreet is doing Masters’s Degree and he is studying environmental legislation. He is inquiring about the ‘Green Tribunal’. Brief him ] about Green Tribunal and its objectives. [Dec. 2019 (3 Marks)]
Answer:
The National Green Tribunal (NGT), 2010 was established keeping in mind The Rio Conference of 1992 and based on the international environment principles of ‘polluter pays principle’ and ‘sustainable development. This legislation was established to deal with environment-related disputes, a speedy disposal of these cases, and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected or incidental thereto.

NGT was established for the effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to the environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Objects of National Green Tribunal:
The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 intend to provide for the establishment of a National Green Tribunal for the effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to:

  • Environmental protection
  • Conservation of forests
  • Other natural resources
  • Enforcement of any legal right relating to the environment
  • Giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property
  • For matters connected .therewith or incidental thereto.

Setting Up of Business Entities and Closure Questions and Answers

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *