Expansive interpretation of Right to Life (Article 21) by Maneka Gandhi judgement, dilution of locus standi and introduction of PILs (Article 32 & 226), Introduction of environmental protection under Article 48A (DPSP) and Article 51A(g) (Fundamental Duties) paved way for environmental jurisprudence by SC.
- Dehradun Quarrying Case: Right to live in a health environment as part of Article 21 was first recognised.
- MC Mehta Case: Right to live in pollution free environment was recognised as fundamental right under Article 21 of Constitution.
- PA Jacob vs Superintendent of Police Kottayam: Freedom of speech under Article 19(1)(a) does not include freedom to use loudspeakers and hence, loudspeakers can be controlled under Article 19(1) of the constitution.
- Cooverjee B. Bharucha vs Excise Commissioner, Ajmer, 1954: Courts can impose reasonable restriction right to trade (Article 19(1)(g) and occupation to protect environment.
- Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum case: Precautionary Principle and Polluter Pays Principles are essential features of sustainable development.
SC has continuously expanded the scope of constitution by reading new rights into it. This has made Indian constitution a living document for ensuring a life of dignity to both society and individuals.