50,000 environment-linked crime cases await court hearings: CSE

About 50,000 court cases relating to wildlife and pollution were pending trial, according to a report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and part of the organisation’s annual State of India’s Environment (SoE) Report.

In 2019 — the most updated figures available — 34,671 environment-related crimes were registered. Over 7,000 cases were pending police investigation. A similar number of cases (34,503) were reported in 2018 according to the previous edition of the SoE.

Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra accounted for a 77% of India’s wildlife crimes in 2019. Between 2018 and 2019, some States saw an increase in wildlife crimes. These included Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal and all the States of the Northeast.

In 2019, there were 86 cases on average (under all environment and pollution-related laws) that were disposed off by the courts every day.

“The maximum number of cases that courts are managing to dispose of currently come under the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act and the Noise Pollution Act. We need to clear the backlog under the other laws as well. Environmental crimes — as the United Nations has pointed out — have the potential to threaten security and sustainable development of nations, and must be dealt with a heavy hand,” Richard Mahapatra, managing edditor, Down To Earth, which is the affliated to the CSE, said in a statement.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 12:30:57 PM |

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