Indian Law on E waste: The mismatching variable?

Author :- Saumya Dwivedi


Increment utilization of electronic and electronic items combined with expansion in population and changing utilization design is producing waste at a disturbing rate in India. This is because of the progression or improvement in innovation. These advancements in the cutting edge times have prompted indication of issue’s which incorporate the issue of gigantic measure of dangerous waste and other waste created from electric items. 

These perilous wastes represent a colossal danger to human wellbeing and the previously draining environment. The danger to the environment is in ascent as the way toward reusing of E-waste in India is finished by the unorganized areas who don’t have the necessary innovation to deal with and control the electronic waste, even with the toxins eliminated reusing will cause sway in the environment because of the discharge while removing important materials.


E-waste gets reused in a protected, suitable, and effective way in the developed country. Alternately, the situation in most agricultural nations like India is very disrupting. The purposes behind the present circumstance is a helpless framework, absence of mindfulness and incapable execution of enactment, as an exceptionally little level of the complete e-waste produced gets reused in India. The vast majority of the electronic waste is being sold as scrap and is additionally crushed, destroyed and reused by the informal sector.

At present, a greater part of e-waste in India is being overseen by the enormous coordinated informal area which doesn’t have the satisfactory methods or attention to manage E-Waste properly. Informal area revels basically in manual destroying where they end up in open consuming to recover valuable materials utilized in E-waste, and open unloading of remaining. Therefore, this thus prompts insufficient e-waste on the board which makes gigantic harm to the environment just as human wellbeing. 


This issue stayed ignored seemingly forever until late, no laws, arrangement or gatherings by nations to control electronic waste The principal advancement at the International level arose in 1989 when The Basel Convention appeared, the reason for which was to diminish the developments of perilous waste among countries and explicitly to keep move of unsafe waste from developed to less-developed nations. 

At the public level, the Environment Protection Act 1986 for protection and improvement of the environment and the anticipation of dangers to individuals, other living animals, plants and property in the wake of Bhopal Gas Tragedy This Act being umbrella enactment managed e-waste as it manages perilous substance. Not long after that, the principal exhaustive Rules to manage risky wastes were given by the Central Government, in July 1989, called the Hazardous Waste Management and Handling Rules 1989, outlined under the empowering arrangements of EPA, 1986. In any case, the 1989 Rules experienced certain characteristic limitations. In this way, the principles have been corrected later in the years 2000, 2003 and with conclusive notice of the Hazardous Waste Management, Handling and Transbounday Movement Rules, 2008. 

Ministry of Environment, forest and Climate Change, interestingly, informed a bunch of rules known as Electronic waste administration and dealing with Rules in 2011 under Section 6 of Environment Protection Act, 1986.

These principles were shipped in to handle the safe and environment cordial administration, moving, putting away, reusing of e-waste and to decrease the utilization of unsafe substances during assembling of electrical and electronic equipment’s. 

E-waste rules were subsequently reconsidered in 2016 and became E-waste management Rules, 2016. Interestingly, the idea of ‘Extended Producer Responsibility EPR was likewise presented which made makers at risk for the safe removal of electronic goods. The E-Waste Management Rules, 2016 have of late been changed by the Center through a notice dated 22nd March 2018 to facilitate viable execution of the ecologically solid administration of e-waste and it additionally revised the assortment focuses under EPR arrangement.


The ecological quality is lessening at an exceptionally high speed because of such informal, spontaneous and undeveloped treatment of E-wastes and different reasons could be appointed for such disintegration. Yet, one critical reason for such ecological corruption because of E-wastes is the failure of the law to discourage violators. In numerous nations, there are currently enactments and resolutions set up explicitly to deflect such violations. 

In India additionally, numerous natural enactments and standards are there which are managing E-waste either straightforwardly or by implication. Such enactments have not brought about forestalling natural degradation as reformatory arrangements in ecological laws managing electronic wastes are powerless, merciful, difficult to force, and improbable to influence. The circumstance is exasperated by different issues like lethargic equity conveyance framework, helpless observing and requirement limit of controllers, and absence of extensive data sets to confirm infringement, among others. 

There are different enactments/rules managing E-wastes in ecological laws either straightforwardly and by implication, to give some examples are: 

  1. Electronic waste (management) rules 2011
  2. Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008 
  3. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 
  4. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 
  5. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974


At the point when we take a look at sections that manage E-waste, one would discover different ambiguities inside these arrangements. Initially, the punishment and penalty gave in section 15 of EPA, Section 37 of the Air Act and Section 41 of the Water Act accommodates is neither tough nor strict. Maybe the punishment is by all accounts merciful seeing the immense issue of environmental contamination. It ought to be settled on a case to case premise keeping in foundation the corrupting effect that these informal reusing exercises have on the environment.

This is likewise not in consonance with the “Polluter Pays Principle” of International Environmental Law, which expresses that the polluter should pay concerning the harm caused to the environment. The level of attentiveness given in every one of the correctional arrangements managing environmental degradation is additionally one of the escape clauses that can be effectively recognized. 

This leaves a spot for equivocal understanding as to choose whether an offence is cognizable or non-cognizable. The individual informalities of contamination and wellbeing perils delivered by misusing electronic waste can’t record a FIR against the blamed people. Thusly, discernment of offence must be taken by the focal government or any position or officially approved for this benefit by that Government. For a situation when an individual needs to document a grumbling, he needs to give notification of at the very least sixty days, in the way recommended, of the supposed offence and of his aim to submit a question, to the Central Government or the position or official approved. This submits the question component complex and frequently postponed because of the absence of inspiration among the concerned specialists. 

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the Central Pollution Control Board to place a ‘review and action-taken’ report for ensuring enforcement of the 2016 Rules and Environment Protection Act, 1986 by 31st January 2020. This Order was passed by the Principal Bench while considering a plea for remedial action against irrational disposal of e-waste resulting in contamination of groundwater and soil acidification. It is a compliance report that was filed in this case by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on 14 September 2018 that showed that India is the fifth largest producer of e-waste in the world. 95% of e-waste is recycled by the informal sector and only 5% is recycled by the formal sector. However, the total quantum of e-waste that is recycled has not emerged clearly.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has requested all makers and makers of electrical and electronic gear (EEE) in three states MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan for setting up assortment communities and arrangement of reclaiming disposed of electronic products. The board requested saving 10% of publicizing spend for mindfulness among customers about appropriate administration and treatment of e-waste in three states. The seat called for exacting execution of broadened maker’s obligation under e-waste Rules, 2011 whereby makers and fabricates will be liable for overseeing gear after the finish of life once buyer disposes of items and the court likewise educated the Manufactures to give contact subtleties of approved assortment place to customers and make mindfulness through distribution, commercial, banners and different methods for correspondence, about the administration of e-waste. 

Also, makers need to get enlisted and get approval from State Pollution Control Boards. None of the three states have begun executing the e-waste rules of 2011 and neither required number of assortment focuses, dismantlers and reusing focuses have been approved so far to deal with the enormous amount of E-waste that is being generated.

  • In Mahendra Pandey v Union of India fine of Rs.10,00,000 was imposed on the UP Government for not taking adequate action to ensure the removal of hazardous e-waste from the banks of river Ram Ganga. Despite the NGT directive to the District Magistrate to require steps for fixing up temporary treatment, storage and disposal facilities, the Ram Ganga incident offers a crucial reminder of the stakes involved if the problem of e-waste is taken as lightly as it is taken today. 

It was the Court’s consideration of the contentions of the Petitioner who relied upon the Basel Convention and therefore the High Powered Committee of Prof. Menon that paved the way for the Hazardous Waste Management and Handling Rules, 2003 to come into force. The import of toxic materials was banned in this judgment; however, the reality even today is very different.


  1. Efficient implementation of EPR and bringing the spirit of EPR into action mode is important for the successful management of e-waste. 
  2. The distribution of tasks and duties for compliance with specific targets is essential for the far-reaching impact of e-waste management. 
  3. The collection, transportation and management of electronic waste to authorized agencies/recyclers as notified by local self-governance authorities from time to time.
  4. Relevant and correct information to be made available to regulator and policymakers about the threats posed by e-waste and the necessity of compliance to targets. 
  5. Sufficient funding to be made available for collecting and recycling e-waste. 
  6. Awareness to be created amongst citizens regarding the toxicity of e-waste, the hazards thereof and the need to report improper practices.
  7. Responsible reliance to be placed on private entities to ensure efficient management of e-waste if the government continues to fare as poorly as it does today in managing the same.


Electronic waste has become a tremendous issue for the world as we keep on developing innovation and become their slaves. On the off chance that a moment move isn’t made immediately, it will proceed to develop and will turn into a lot more serious issue for the planet. Likewise, it has a monstrous bearing on the environment and human existence if not dealt with in an earth sound way. There must be adequate rights for residents to take a lawful plan of action for harms caused to their wellbeing, environment and property. 

Hence, it has become the need of an opportunity to deal with electronic waste in a coordinated and safe way with reasonable reusing innovations. There is a requirement for tough corrective arrangements and vigorous checking instruments to arrange and coordinate with electronic misuse of present occasions. there is a need to embrace a viable system to support the re-use, renovating or reusing of e-waste in specific offices to forestall ecological defilement and human wellbeing chances. The mishap that we are confronting today is the zero requirements or execution of the existing administrative system. As it very well may be closed after the point by point investigation of this examination paper, that we have sufficient laws to manage electronic waste be it Environment Acts (EPA, Water Act and Air Act) or IPC. The just issue is that they have not been carried out well. 

Need of great importance is to assimilate in brains of individuals the soul of administration and congruity with the environment so the blunders of the past are not rehashed. Thirdly, insufficient business-related security for the individuals who are associated with.

Author Saumya Dwivedi is currently pursuing BBA LLB (H) from Amity University, Lucknow.

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