Publications

Environmental Jurisprudence and the Supreme Court: Litigation, Interpretation, Implementation

Geetanjoy Sahu

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About the Book
Since the 1980s, the Supreme Court of India has intervened regularly and actively in cases involving environmental issues, calling both state and private agencies to task on environmentally destructive actions and policies and asserting itself in the implementation of its judgments. It has thus earned itself a widespread and formidable reputation as a ‘green court’. But how ‘green’ is it really and what does it even mean to be green in an Indian context?

Environmental Jurisprudence and the Supreme Court sheds light on these questions by offering the first comprehensive empirical analysis of cases pertaining to environmental litigation that appeared before the Supreme Court between 1980 and 2010. This analysis, supplemented by interviews with judges, lawyers and petitioners in environmental litigations, reveals that there is no single stance or attitude governing the Supreme Court’s approach to environmental issues. Rather, the Court has reacted differently in different cases, sometimes in ways that seem contradictory to its own precedents.

The current volume examines a range of judicial attitudes, concerns, pressures and trends with respect to environmental jurisprudence. It emphasises that environmental litigation and activism in India cannot ever be studied or practised in isolation but must rather be concerned in tandem with the twin (and sometimes rival) concerns of development and social justice. It also contextualises the Supreme Court’s decisions within the wider framework of environmental discourse in India, which itself assumes a variety of radically different forms. These range from the so called ‘environmentalism of the poor’, which privileges people’s traditional use and stewardship of natural resources to the more rarefied environmentalism of the middle class, which jettisons concerns of social welfare and development to focus on the intrinsic value of nature.

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Traversing Bihar : The Politics of Development and Social Justice

Manish K. Jha and Pushpendra

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About the Book
To a curious onlooker, Bihar seems like a place full of paradoxes. It has a rich cultural heritage from the civilisational past, but evokes images of being ‘uncultured’, ‘primitive’ and ‘rustic’ in the present.

Traversing Bihar depicts and interprets Bihar’s internal contradictions and struggles. The volume examines and analyses crucial political, social and developmental concerns of the state over the past two decades.

Between 1990 and 2005, Bihar under Lalu Prasad Yadav witnessed a social churning, called the politics of social justice. This period ushered in a process of de-elitisation of politics with far-reaching consequences. However, over time, Yadav’s regime became chaotic and failed to combine change and development.

In 2005, the people voted for a change and brought the Nitish Kumar-led JDU-BJP coalition to power. The new regime restored the state—the police, the quiescent bureaucracy, the rule of law. It seemed to be making concerted efforts to improve the climate of development in the state.

The 13 chapters of this volume, divided into three sections, look into issues such as growth and development, the politics of water resources, social exclusion in flood response, land rights, agrarian relations, the Left movement, and voting patterns in Bihar.

Well into its second term, the concerns about Bihar have re-emerged. Is Nitish Kumar’s model of development devoid of social justice? Does it re-elitise politics? Why did the new developmental state renege on its promises of tenancy reforms? Is the bureaucracy not responsible for raising the scale of corruption? Was the restoration of law and order and the model of development geared to satisfy middle-class demands for security and well-being?

In asking these questions and providing in-depth analyses of Bihar’s contemporary issues, this one-of-a-kind book will be an invaluable guide for scholars and students of economics, development studies and political science.

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O. P. D. No. 17

Vineeta Chitale

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H. I. V. Related Information

Vineeta Chitale

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