Role of Statutory Bodies in Environmental Protection

Statutory bodies are the bodies which are established by laws that the parliament and state may adopt. Speaking fundamentally, a statutory body is a governmental organization which is not defined in the Constitution of India but, whose powers, rules of service and authority are conferred by an act of Parliament or state legislatures. Statutory bodies are generally created to perform specific functions that a government considers to be effectively fulfilled outside the traditional ministerial framework. These complete the requirement of operational independence from the government, funding policies that do not depend on annual budget appropriation processors to establish a separate legal body.

With the view of the law, statutory bodies are organizations with the power to control the activities of subjects and check whether these institutions are legal. Statutory bodies are the governmental bodies which are generally found in countries governed by a form of parliamentary democracy. To explain this, we can have an example of a statutory organization established by an act of parliament ‘The Universities Grants Commission Act, 1956’ called the Universities Grant Commission formed on November 1956 as a statutory body of the Government of India for better coordination, determination, and maintenance of standards of university education in India. This organization act as an agency for providing grants to eligible universities and keep a check on the standards prescribed by the act.

In the environmental context,  the parliament has also passed some acts which provide for powers, rules, regulations, and authority for the conservation of the environment. Some of them are the Central Pollution Control Board, National Green Tribunal, Animal Welfare Board of India, Forest Survey of India, etc.

The Central Pollution Control Board acts as a regulatory body, accountable for exercising autonomous authority over some areas of human activity in a supervisory capacity. The National Green Tribunal was formulated for the effective working of environment-related cases and speedy trials of the same.

Moreover, the meaning of statutory bodies may differ depending upon the legislation through which it is passed. All the statutory bodies are established and operate under the provisions of their own enabling legislation, which sets out the purpose and specific powers of the body and a certain level of independence. Despite being independent of the state, these bodies are subject to varying degrees of ministerial control identified in the legislation of the statutory body.

Certain advantages of statutory bodies are described as follows-

  • Since there is no interference from the government in day-to-day work, it enjoys a high degree of freedom in the right management of the institution.
  • Political changes do not affect these bodies and maintain continuity of policies and operations.
  • They usually get special privileges for customization of law under the ambit of it.
  • These bodies can have an expertise workforce for better administration which is not possible with a government servant.


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