The Supreme Court of India has been playing a crucial role in the protection and conservation of the environment since the early 1980s. Some landmark cases have been decided by the Supreme Court of India, which has significantly shaped the environmental jurisprudence in India.

1. M.C. Mehta v. Union of India (1986): This case is considered as the foundation of the modern Indian environmental law. The Supreme Court directed the closure of some hazardous industries in Delhi and shifted them to other locations. It also directed the use of clean technologies and the payment of compensation for environmental damages.

2. Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum v. Union of India (1996): The Supreme Court emphasized the polluter pays principle in this case and held that industries that pollute the environment should be strictly liable for the damage caused. The Court also laid down guidelines for preventing pollution of water bodies.

3. M.C. Mehta v. Kamal Nath (1997): In this case, the Court introduced the concept of sustainable development and held that the environment must be protected while balancing the developmental needs of the country. The Court also directed the formulation of an action plan for the preservation of the Taj Mahal.

4. Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action v. Union of India (1996): The Court directed the closure of limestone quarries in the Mussoorie hills of Uttar Pradesh due to their adverse impacts on the environment, wildlife, and local communities.

5. Subhash Kumar v. State of Bihar (1991): This case highlighted the importance of the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, which includes the right to a clean and healthy environment. The Court ordered the closure of tanneries in Kanpur due to their pollution of the Ganga river.

6. A.P. Pollution Control Board v. Prof. M.V. Nayudu (1999): The Supreme Court directed the closure of polluting industries in Andhra Pradesh, which had violated environmental norms. The Court also held that the public has the right to access information on environmental quality.

7. T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad v. Union of India (2006): The Supreme Court held that forest lands cannot be diverted for non-forest purposes without the prior approval of the Central government. The Court also ordered the eviction of illegal encroachers from forest lands across the country.

These landmark Supreme Court cases have played a significant role in shaping the environmental jurisprudence of India. They have emphasized the importance of sustainable development, polluter pays principle, right to a clean environment, and the conservation of forests and wildlife.

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