Appellate Authorities under Pollution Control Laws in India: Powers, Problems and Potential


Shibani Ghosh
Fellow, Centre for Policy Research,
Supreme Court of India,
Corresponding author

Sharachchandra Lele and Nakul Heble

Senior Fellow and PhD scholar respectively,
Centre for Environment & Development,


An aspect of environmental grievance redressal that is often over-looked in India is the effectiveness of the grievance redressal forums. Effectiveness of such forums may be evaluated on two broad dimensions: (1) ability to deliver good quality decisions and (2) accessibility. We seek to contribute to an emerging worldwide literature on environmental grievance redressal forums by examining the functioning of state-level Appellate Authorities. We analyse their effectiveness by asking some basic questions such as whether they have been set-up, who heads them, do they include experts, and how accessible are they? Our research based on RTI applications, interviews and review of government websites and documents reveals much scope for improvement. While in certain states Appellate Authorities have not been constituted, in others the composition and functioning of the Authorities do not inspire much confidence in the quality of the adjudicatory process. Finally, if popularised and strengthened, these Authorities can positively impact the access to environmental redressal in the country.


Appellate Authority, access to justice, Air Act, environmental governance, grievance redressal, persons aggrieved, State Pollution Control Boards, Water Act.             Revue LEAD - ISSN 1746-5893