03 couts on public nuisance

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Env Law


Law of Public Nuisance

Courts and public nuisance

Deshi Sugar Mill v Tupsi Kahar. AIR 1926 Pat 506

About a hundred people approaching, magistrate ordered to discontinue two sugar mills draining dirty, toxic water into the river) Court recognized the magistrates power to apply law of nuisance in s133 to pollution did not interfere - no sufficient evidence to pinpoint which of the two contaminated the river. no complaint against the one on the upstream till the one in the downstream came into being. A civil surgeon and a chemist saying pollution of the river due to vegetable growth.

Ram Baj Singh (Dr) v Babulal, AIR 1982 All 285brick-powdering mill generating dust entering doctors chamber, causing physical inconvenience to him and his patients the machine installed without valid permission after the doctor had started his consulting chamber

Philosophy of Nuisance

public nuisance - consequence of ones acts no longer remains confined to his own property, but spills over in a substantial manner to the property belonging to anotherreasonable persons do not consider trivial consequences as nuisance something done by the owner of a neighboring land upon his own land which is not comfortable or is wholly uncomfortable with physical comfort and human existenceperson aggrieved gets a right to sue - act of the neighbor an actionable nuisance.

A note of cautionto judge whether the air has been polluted to an extent that it has ceased to be comfortable with human comfort and existence standard to be employed again is that of a sober and reasonable mindConcepts of elegant and dainty living wholly out of place - the location of a property a relevant circumstance person living in an industrial locality cannot claim to have as much fresh air as a person living in a non-industrial area

Special damagespecial damage indicates damage caused to a party contrary to damage caused to the public at largeWhen an act amounts to public nuisance, an individual can sue in his own right. This can be done if he is able to prove special damage to himself, i.e, damage personal to him as opposed to damage or inconvenience caused to the public at large or to a section of the public. Single act amounting to pub.nuicedamage caused to public at large, on account of a nuisance, is referred in law as public nuisance. a single act may amount to a public nuisance providing cause of action to an individual to sue - Exampleheaps of night soil on the side of a public highway nuisance to the general public as well as a private nuisance to a person who lives in a adjoining house.

Test of the reasonable manDust emanated from the crushing of bricks - assessment of substantial injury is to be made by the test of reasonable man and not by the susceptibilities of hypersensitive persons. The court said, Causing of actual damage by the act complained of as a nuisance is beside the point. If actual damage or actual injury were to be the criterion a person will have to wait before the injury becomes palpable or demonstrable before instituting a suit or its abatement.the high court issuing a permanent injunction against using the offending brick grinding machine - nuisance created by the defendants brick powdering machine caused common injury, danger or annoyance to the patients visiting the consulting chamber people were using road dividing the defendants place of business and the plaintiffs chamber no debate whether such nuisance would come within the ambit of public nuisance under s. 133 of Cr PC, although the case was filed as a suit.


Govid Singh v Shanti SwaroopAIR 1979 SC 143

nuisance of smoke from a bakery - magistrate ordering demolition of the oven and the chimney and winding up e businessapproving magistrate use of the oven and chimney was virtually playing with the health of the people emission of smoke injurious to the health and physical comfort of people in the proximityHeld, not merely the right of a private individual but the health, safety and convenience of the public at large is involved

Govind Singh continuesthe safer course to accept the view of the Magistrate, who saw for himself in a local inspection the hazardcarry on the trade of a baker but should not use the oven and the chimney. How can a baker carry on his trade if the oven and the chimney for his bakery were demolished ? Not examined in the case. Supreme Court of India has captured the potentiality of the law of nuisance in Cr PC as a remedy for environmental assaults - went into wider parameters of public nuisance

Municipal Council, Ratlam v Vardhichand , AIR1987 SC 2734 Residents within Ratlam, suffering from pungent smell from open drains and slums and the malodorous liquids flowing on to the street from the distilleries magistrate ordered time bound six-month program for constructing drainage and public latrines municipality opted to challenge this pleading financial constraints and inability to carry out the scheme

Ratlam continuesmunicipal legislation casting a duty on the municipality to maintain clean roads and clean drains and IPC punishment for contravening magistrate s direction are imperative tones demanding a mandatory duty under s133 Cr PC municipality cannot plead that notwithstanding the public nuisance, its financial inability validly exonerated it from statutory liability Cr PC operates against statutory bodies regardless of the cash in their coffers because human rights have to be respected by the state irrespective of budgetary provisions statutory agencies should not defy their duties by urging in self-defense, a self-created bankruptcy of perverted expenditure budget.

Ratlam generated innovative ideas Decency and dignity are non-negotiable facets of human rights and are a first charge on the local self-governing bodies. Similarly, providing drainage systems not pompous and attractive, but in working condition and sufficient to meet the needs of the people cannot be evaded if the municipality is to justify its existenceThe processes having a social justice component The remedies and the powers under the are conducive to the demands of the rule of law necessitated by the conditions of developing countries municipality should prepare a scheme and abate the nuisance.

Ratlam : a landmark in path of environmental jurisprudenceThe judicial activism of the eighties - an important role in reaching new horizons of environmental jurisprudence in India - Ratlam a significant milestone in the path - identified responsibilities of local bodies towards the protection of environment - developed law of public nuisance as a potent instrument for enforcement. served to offset the insufficiency of the legal mechanism and enforcement not only in the laws governing local bodies but also in other environmental legislations such as Water Act, Air and EPALocal self-governing institutions can hardly take up welfare and development plans, unless they have sufficient funds - In certain instances, directions of the court may prove to be unenforceable. Was plea of financial inability rejected in a realistic manner?73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution - more powers, responsibilities and financial strength - Ratlam period might have been different with perpetual negligence in providing basic amenities and performing clean-up duties - their zeal in spending money for litigation instead of providing civic amenities - obvious factors that weighed with the court in brushing aside the plea of financial inability a trendsetter - widened the scope and amplitude of the jurisdiction of e magistrate under s 133 of Cr PC - a useful antidote to the crisis of sanitary environment management in the Indian scenario the case lays down basic guidelines in determining the primary responsibilities of local bodies and industries Emphasis on accountability of both public and private agencies in a welfare state - public bodies are accountable for callous negligence of corporate bodies for their persistent violation of emission standards.

Krishna Gopal v State of (1986) Cr LJ 396

manufacturing of medicine in a residential locality with the aid of a booming boiler resulting in emission of smoke noise MP High Court held the community or large number of complainants need not complain s 133(1): jurisdiction of magistrate can be invoked on receiving a report of a police officer or other information, and on taking such evidence if any, as he thinks fit rejected contention that the inconvenience to the inmates of the house is not public nuisance, but only private nuisance - undoubtedly injurious to health as well as the physical comfort of the community - dismissed revision petition with costs.Krishna Gopal applied both to air and noise pollution - found a wider scope for the law of public nuisance for protecting the environment - facts showing several public authorities colluding to grant license to the company - a parallel civil suit decreed ex parte against one of the authorizes Ratlam gave substance to the provision in s 133, Krishna Gopal renders it a new vigour.

Noise as public nuisanceRaghunandan v Emperor AIR 1931 All 433magistrate forbidding operation of factory engines from 9 pm to 5 am as it was injurious to the physical comfort of the community Himmath Singh v Bhagwana 1988 CrLJ 614 (working of the fodder cutting machines caused noise and offensive smell - sand-laden winds carrying particles of fodder to the residential colony close by People could not sleep, nor could wet clothes be sun dried) Rajasthan High Court held that all these constituted public nuisance justifying interference of the magistrate.Madhavi v Thilakan (1989) Cr LJ 499 (nuisance by automobile workshop in residential area)We recognise every mans home to be his castle which cannot be invaded by toxic fumes, or


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