Tort Law and Polluter Pays Principle | 06 Nov 2019

Why in News

The Supreme Court has sought an explanation from the governments of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh on why they should not be punished under tort law and be made to pay a hefty penalty for stubble fires seen so far this season. The court has said that the Polluter Pays Principle applies to all states and local bodies.

Tort Law

  • Tort law is the body of laws that enables people to seek compensation for wrongs committed against them. When someone’s actions cause some type of harm to another, whether it be physical harm to another person, or harm to someone’s property or reputation, harmed or injured person or entity may seek damages through the court.
  • Generally the compensations are monetary awards ordered by the court to be paid to an injured party, by the party at fault.
  • The types of damages that may be awarded by the court for civil wrongs, called “tortious conduct” of an individual or entity include:
    • Reimbursement for property loss or property damage
    • Medical expenses
    • Pain and suffering
    • Loss of earning capacity
    • Punitive damages

Polluter Pays Principle

  • It is the commonly accepted practice that those who produce pollution should bear the costs of managing it to prevent damage to human health or the environment. For example, a factory that produces a potentially poisonous substance as a byproduct of its activities is usually held responsible for its safe disposal.
  • It is part of the 1992 Rio Declaration which gives broader principles to guide sustainable development worldwide.

Source: TH