Qimpro Platinum Standard 2019

M C Mehta


Legal Activist, Environment Conservation

MAHESH CHANDER MEHTA is a lawyer by profession and a committed environmentalist by choice. He has made the fight to protect India’s environment his unending mission. Mr Mehta is proof that one man can make a difference.

Mr Mehta’s journey in the environmental field commenced in 1983, when he started his practice in the Supreme Court of India. Ayear later, he visited the Taj Mahal for the first time. Mr Mehta observed that the monument was turning yellow owing to air pollution stemming from neighbouring factories. This shock spurred Mr Mehta to file his first environmental case before the Apex Court. His sincerity of purpose was rewarded with landmark judgements for the protection of four world heritage sites, as well as over 250 national and state protected monuments.

The parallel positive impact of Mr Mehta’s activism was an improved quality of life for local citizens, traceable to cleaner air and cleaner water.

Over the years, Mr Mehta’s cases have led to the development of environmental jurisprudence in India, and several South Asian countries. More specifically, through his cases the Precautionary Principle, Polluter Pays Principle, Public Trust Doctrine, Principle of Exemplary Damages, Absolute Liability, Strict Liability, and Inter- Intra- Generational Principle, were established.

Apart from handling major environmental cases Mr Mehta works actively to create environmental awareness through seminars, conferences, Green Marches, tree plantation and field actions at the grass roots level. He has covered over 2500 kms by way of Green Marches and succeeded in getting more than 7.5 lakh trees planted, by mobilizing local people and students.

Mr Mehta is often described as the One-Man Enviro-Legal Brigade. is probably the only Supreme Court lawyer to have taken up legal cudgels with polluting Indian manufacturers and come out victorious.

A dedicated, fearless and extremely honest man, Mr Mehta pursues his goals with single-minded devotion. He has been conferred with several prestigious awards, national and international.

Mr Mehta has now established the M C Mehta Environmental Foundation, a non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to working nationwide for the protection of the environment; the rights of the people to clean and fresh water and air; the promotion of sustainable development; and the protection of the cultural heritage of India.

Mr Mehta believes that if we all unite, and take proper care of our limited natural resources, we can gift our children a better tomorrow.

We salute Mahesh Chander Mehta. Our Qimpro Platinum Standard 2019 for Environment.

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