Who can you complain to regarding a grievance under the law?

Last updated on Jun 21, 2022

Police

You can file an FIR (First Information Report) at the nearest police station under Section 277 of the Indian Penal Code against a person or industry that is intentionally contaminating and corrupting the water of a public spring or reservoir.1 The person who is polluting the water can be punished with jail time and/or fine.

District Magistrate 

For immediate action, a person can directly complain to the District Magistrate by an application under Section 133 of Code of Criminal Procedure2. Under the law, the Magistrate has the power to issue a notice to the person or industry causing the pollution to remove such nuisance or stop the polluting activity.3

 State Pollution Control Boards

State Pollution Control Boards are responsible for redressal of water pollution complaints. You can file a complaint by visiting the regional offices of the State Pollution Control Board of the state or on the complaint portal available on its website. Now, grievances can also be communicated to the authorities via social media handles.

States like West Bengal have set up an Integrated Grievance Management system (IGMS)4 which lays down a comprehensive process for the filing of such complaints by way of a 24*7 helpline and the West Bengal Paribesh app5. Other states like Uttar Pradesh have introduced an online portal where complaints can be filed by filing a form.6

National Green TribunalCitizens can directly file cases of water pollution with the National Green Tribunal at: https://ngtonline.nic.in/efiling/mainPage.drt.  The complaint can be filed as an individual, advocate, a representative of a law firm or NGO or as a representative of the Government of India.

  1. Section 277, Indian Penal Code 1860.[]
  2.  Section 133, Code of Criminal Procedure,1973.[]
  3. Municipal Council, Ratlam v. Vardhi Chand [AIR 1980 SC 1622.][]
  4. West Bengal Pollution Control Board, accessed at:  https://www.wbpcb.gov.in/public-grievance-redressal#.[]
  5. West Bengal Paribesh App (WBPCB), accessed at: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=in.gov.wbpcb.paribeshapp.[]
  6. Public Grievance, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, accessed at: http://www.uppcb.com/public_grievances.htm.[]

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Related Resources

What are the offences and punishments under air pollution laws?

The offences include releasing of harmful pollutants  into the environment, violation of Pollution Under Control Certificate, etc. 

What is water pollution?

Water pollution is changing of the physical, chemical or biological properties of water or the emission of sewage or industrial discharge.

Who are the authorities regulating water pollution under the law?

The main authorities for the purposes of regulating water pollution are the Central and State Pollution control boards.

Who can you complain to about a grievance under air pollution law?

You can complain to the Police, Central and State Pollution Control Boards, Courts and the National Green Tribunal.

What is the responsibility of industries to prevent water pollution?

The Central Pollution Control Board and the State Pollution Control Boards fix industry specific standards on water pollution.

What is Air Pollution?

Air pollution is the presence of dust, fumes, gas, mist, odor, smoke or vapour, in the atmosphere, in quantities that can cause injury to human, plant or animal life or harm the environment.