Indian Judicial System: Legal Aid and Environmental Protection

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Course Overview:

The Course is designed to give an outline of the Judicial System in India, and its development from the ancient to modern times. It covers various aspects of Supreme Court, High Courts, Constitutional Law, Civil Justice System, Criminal Justice System, Special Courts and Tribunals. It helps the student to learn the significance of legal aid in the path to achieve justice. The shortcomings of judicial system and the need for alternative dispute resolution system are also emphasised. Further, the course focuses on the environment, its protection under the law in India and the role of judiciary in provision of remedies.   Need for the Course:   Ignorance of Law is not excused for any person, and it is no defense in a legal proceedings. The judiciary is entrusted with the responsibility to sit in judgement over the functioning of the legislature and executive, by interpreting the law of the land. The courts are the institutions that deliver justice to the aggrieved persons in the society, and play a crucial role in maintenance of the rule of law. As such, it is necessary for every individual to have a basic understanding of the judicial system of the country to effectively harness its benefits. Further, in the endeavor to cater justice to all sections of society including poor and vulnerable sections, the provision of legal aid has been carved out in law, for providing access to justice to all. Environmental Protection has become a necessity as human beings due to their increasing greed for development are polluting the environment immensely, leading to problems such as global warming, ozone layer depletion and acid rain etc. There are several laws in India which provide for the protection of environment and regulate the pollution. Further, special tribunals are also established to govern the implementation of environmental laws in India and judiciary has played a pro-active role with regard to environmental protection. Hence, this Course would be useful to all citizens, students, environmental activists, NGOs and provides the necessary knowledge to enforce their rights effectively.   Objectives of the Course:
  • To enable the students to understand the history and development of judicial system in India
  • To make the students understand the composition and functioning of Supreme Court, High Courts, Civil Courts and Criminal Courts in India
  • To give a basic idea about the constitutional law and its significance
  • To make the viewers aware of the Ombudsman System, Special Courts and Tribunals functioning in India
  • To explain the concept of legal aid and its importance for provision of access to justice, particularly in India
  • To realize the need and significance of the Alternative Dispute Resolution System
  • To provide basic understanding about the emerging area of Online Dispute Resolution and its application in India
  • To realize the significance of environment and its protection
  • To explain the various facets of environmental protection and the human and constitutional rights associated with environment
  • To trace the various laws providing for environmental protection in India and its legal framework
  • To discuss the laws prohibiting various kinds of environment pollution at national and international levels
  • To study the importance of bio-diversity and its protection
  • To give an understanding about the exercise of judicial activism, its need and limitations, particularly with respect to environment

MOOC Team   Course Coordinator:

Prof. (Dr.) G.B. Reddy,

Professor of Law, University College of Law,
Osmania University, Hyderabad.  
Subject Experts and Presenters:

Prof. (Dr.) G.B. Reddy,
Professor of Law, University College of Law,
Osmania University, Hyderabad.

Prof. (Dr.) Nimushakavi Vasanthi,
Professor of Law, NALSAR University of Law,
Justice City, Shameerpet, Hyderabad.

Dr. P. Vijaya Kalyani,
Principal, Padala Rama Reddi Law College,
Ameerpet, Hyderabad.

Dr. S.B. Md. Irfan Ali Abbas,
Part-time Faculty, University College of Law,
Osmania University, Hyderabad.  
Teaching Assistant:

Dr. S.B. Md. Irfan Ali Abbas,
Part-time Faculty, University College of Law,
Osmania University, Hyderabad.




Week 1 Objective


  1. Modern Judicial System and Various Components
  2. Judicial System in India during Ancient Times and Pre-Constitutional Era
  3. Judicial System of India & Supreme Court of India



Week 2 Objective

  1. High Courts in India – Composition, Jurisdiction and Functions
  2. Criminal Justice System of India – General Principles, Hierarchy and Jurisdiction of Criminal Courts
  3. Civil courts in India – General Principles, Hierarchy and Jurisdiction


Week 3 Objective

  1. Special Courts and Tribunals – Need, Classification and Functioning
  2. Constitutional Law – An Overview
  3. Legal Aid: Constitutional and Legal Perspectives


Week 4 Objective

  1. Role of Judicial Activism in Administration of Justice
  2. Ombudsman System in India
  3. ADR System in India, Modes and Methods



Week 5 Objective

  1. Online Dispute Resolution in India
  2. Environment – An Introduction
  3. Environmental Ethics in India


Week 6 Objective

  1. Introduction to International Environmental Law
  2. Common Law remedies and Environmental Protection in India
  3. Constitutional Provision and Environmental Protection



Week 7 Objective

  1. Law Relating to prevention and Control of Water Pollution in India
  2. Law Relating to prevention and Control of Air Pollution in India
  3. Environmental Protection and Law



Week 8 Objective

  1. Forest Conservation in India and Law
  2. Wild Life Protection Laws
  3. Environmental Protection & Sustainable Development


Week 9 Objective

  1. Biodiversity: Law and Practice
  2. Hazardous Waste Management; Law and Practice
  3. Trans-boundary Pollution



Week 10 Objective

  1. Human Rights and Environment
  2. Judicial Activism and Environment
  3. Environmental Protection – Future Challenges