The idea of ‘sustainable development’ emerges from both industrial development and environmental movement going on around 70s and 80s; the idea was that there should be balance between development and environmental protection. For the first time ‘Doctrine of Sustainable development’ was introduced in year 1972 at the Stockholm convention held in Sweden, it gives us ‘Stockholm deceleration’ (26 principles). Thereafter in 1981 ‘Brundtland commission’ report was submitted where an effort was made to link economic development and environmental protection, based on this report issue was further discussed under agenda 21 of UN conference on environment and development held in June 1992 at Rio de Jenerio, Brazil. Some of the main principles of ‘Doctrine of Sustainable Development’ as described in ‘Brundtland Commission; are:-(a) Inter generation equality; (b) The precautionary Principle; (c) Polluter Pays Principle.
In India first case in which the apex court had applied the doctrine of ‘sustainable development’ was Vellore citizen welfare forum V. Union of India in this case Hon’ble Supreme Court held that- we are not hesitant to use these principles and the precautionary Principle and Polluter Pays Principle are integral part of Environmental Law in India.
Environment and development are the two side of the same coin, any one of these cannot be sacrificed for the healthy society. This paper deals with the same issue i.e. Growth versus sustainable development and how these two can be balanced, this paper also deals with the laws related to it with national and international perspective.