CRPC AND ENVIRONMENT POLLUTION By Trapti Pareek

Chapter X CrPC– Part B, has provided a provision for public nuisance which relates to environmental pollution. Section 133 CrPC empowers a District Magistrate, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, to stop the nuisance on receiving information.
In Govind Singh v. Shanti Sarup (1979) nuisance was defined in very liberal terms and includes the construction of structures, disposal of substances, the conduct of trade and occupation; under this section, the court issues conditional order for the removal of the nuisance.
The imperative tone of Section 133 CrPC read with the punitive temper of S.188 of IPC make the prohibitory act a mandatory rule (Municipal Council, Ratlam v. Vardichan, 1980). In this case, it was made clear that a citizen can always bank upon S.133 CrPC for the removal of the nuisance of pollution. It is of greater significance in view of the fact that the Water Act and Air Act do not provide for the affected parties a right to prosecute violators of the
provisions. Another significant point is that corporate bodies like companies and corporations can also be held responsible for pollution nuisance under these provisions. The Court observed that “whenever there is a public nuisance, the presence of section 133 must be felt and any contrary opinion is contrary to the law.”

It has been clarified that sub-section (I) of Section 133 gives ample powers to make an order prohibiting the discharge from a factory into a river of an effluent that might be injurious to the health of the community which has the right to use the water of the river.

Shaukat Hussain and Anr. v. Sheodayal Saksaina (1957), in this case an application was filed alleging that the small particles of cotton are blown in the air by a cotton carding machine of five horsepower situated in the town of Rewa. It was causing breathing problems to the people and the machine was also producing noise and disturbance to public peace. It was observed that Section 133 of CrPC provides an efficacious, and expeditious remedy in case of urgency where the danger to public health and interest is considered.

Paragraph 3 of Section 133 runs as follows: “That the conduct of any trade or occupation, or the keeping of
any goods or merchandise, is injurious to the health or physical comfort of the community,
and that in consequence such trade or occupation should be prohibited or regulated or such
goods or merchandise should be removed or the keeping thereof regulated.” The term
“community”  means that the public at large or all the residents of that locality.

SECTION 144 OF THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION
Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code confers powers on an executive magistrate to deal with emergent situations by imposing restriction on the personal liberties of individuals, whether in a specific locality or in a town itself, where the situation has the potential to cause unrest or danger to peace and tranquility in such an area, due to certain disputes.In addition s. 144 of Cr. P.C provides for situations of emergency where orders can be passed exp-parte, without giving notice etc. The magistrate has wide powers under s.133 to stop or remove the
nuisance even he can pass orders requiring public bodies to perform their mandate.

Police Act, 1861
The Police Act of 1861 provides immense powers to the Superintendent of Police and his subordinates regarding the regulation of noise on the occasion of ceremonies, processions, festivals, marches, etc. Section 30A of the Act vests in the police the power to disperse off the crowd in case of excessive noise pollution during these occasions. This is also seen as one of the drawbacks of the act. Also, the act is silent on the question of noise pollution emitted by various activities under private premises.

 

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