A national seminar on ‘Emerging Issues Relating to Environmental Laws: National Perspectives’ was organized by ICFAI Law School, ICFAI University, Dehradun, on 30thand 31st March 2018. The seminar was inaugurated amidst the presence of globally renowned eminent personalities like Prof Usha Tandon, Prof MZM Nomani, Prof SK Gupta and Prof Yogesh Pratap Singh.
In the inaugural ceremony, Monica Kharola, the director of the national seminar, emphasized the need to protect the environment in her welcome address. She was followed by G Vinodini Devi who briefly introduced the guests on the dais.
Prof MZM Nomani, the keynote speaker for the occasion, speaking for his chair glorified the historical movements and actions taken for the protection and growth of environment. Emphasizing the need to inter-link Economic laws, Human Rights laws, and Environment laws, he also mentioned Dominique Mc Gold’s theory of sustainable development, and how the same needs to be incorporated in today’s scenario.
Prof Tabrez Ahmad, guest of honour for the occasion, focused on the issue of widescale displacement of tribal population across the nation. He concluded by quoting some real-life examples and field observations on the scope and implications of environmental degradation.
He was followed by Prof Yogesh Pratap Singh who expressed that environmental law is not a subject only for law students, lawyers, or legal academia members; rather it’s a subject of humanity.
Prof SK Gupta, Guest of Eminence for the occasion, pointed out that the Bhopal Gas Tragedy case has been a very prominent case of failure of Indian Laws, as such, and environmental laws, in particular. He also praised the ‘absolute liability’ principle by Justice PN Bhagwati, stating that it is the only principle in the world that has absolutely no exceptions; however, he thereafter went on to point out that no case has so far applied this great principle. He concluded by appreciating BHU’s ‘Cycle Club’ app and providing some practical approaches to energy and environment conservation.
The chair of the Chief Guest for the inaugural session was adorned by Prof Usha Tandon. Speaking for her chair, Prof Tandon highlighted the ‘absolute liability’ principle and its successful implementation, differing from the views of Prof Gupta. She went on to discuss the emerging trends in environmental law, quickly referring to her present research work.
Post-inauguration, six technical sessions were held which witnessed more than 120 paper presentations. There were provisions for best paper award in each technical session, which were won by Himani Agrawal, Snigdha Kuriyal, Anoop Bhakuni, Madhu Khatri, Abhishek Aggarwal, Ashmita Banerjee, Richita Jakhwal, and Saloni Sinha.
The seminar got concluded amidst the presence of Padmashree Avdhash Kaushal, Prof BM Dimri, Prof Yogesh Pratap Singh and Prof SK Gupta. The session started with Anshuman Sahoo briefly introducing the guests on the dais.
Guest of Honour Prof BM Dimri, in his speech, started by talking about the importance of environmental education, and the ways to not only prevent but also cure environmental damages. He was followed by Prof Yogesh Pratap Singh, who shared his work experiences at various branches of RLEK, and also paid gratitude to Padmashree Avdhash Kaushal.
Speaking for his chair, Prof SK Gupta mentioned how law is an ‘ought’, comprising of Justice, Morality, Human Rights, and Fundamental Rights. The chair of the Chief Guest for the valedictory session was adorned by Padmashree Avdhash Kaushal. Speaking for his chair, Kaushal highlighted the country’s glorifying history in environment protection, emphasizing upon the Chipko Movement.
The conclusion of the national seminar was marked by vote of thanks and distribution of certificates.