The National Crime Record Bureau's latest report has shown that overall India's crime cases increased by 28 per cent in 2020, in comparison to the previous year. However, cases under the 'environment-related offences' category increased by 78.1 per cent in the country in 2020.
Environment-related offences include violations of the Forest Act, the Forest Conservation Act, the Wild Life (Protection) Act, The Environmental (Protection) Act, the Air & the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act, Noise Pollution Acts and the National Green Tribunal Act.
In 2020, under the category of environment-related crimes, India reported 61,767 cases. This was an increase of 78.1 per cent, in comparison to cases in 2019. This excluded 7,154 cases pending since 2019.
States With Highest, Lowest Number Of Environmental Offences
Among the states, Tamil Nadu is the worst performer with 42, 756 cases. Tamil Nadu is followed by Rajasthan with 9,543 cases. In 2019, this number was 10,782 cases. Uttar Pradesh came third with 2,981 cases in 2020. In 2019, the state registered 1,882 cases. The states that have fared well are Mizoram with zero cases and Sikkim with just 1 case.
Four-fifths of the environment-related crimes were registered under the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act. There were 49,710 cases of violations of this rule, or 80.5 per cent of total environment-related cases in 2020. Violations of noise pollution control laws of both the Union and state governments formed the second-highest number of environment-related cases (7,318). These violations accounted for 11.8 per cent of the total cases.
Crimes under The Air and The Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act increased 286 per cent in a year (2020 compared to 2019). A total of 589 cases were registered under these two acts in 2020 compared to 160 cases in 2019, according to data.