The growing consciousness about the environment has led to a lot of debates and studies across the globe on the aspect of environmental deterioration and solutions to protect the environment for future generations. One principle commonly used to affix liability on the polluters of the environment is the principle of polluter pays. It has been used as a common principle to impose penalties upon the polluters of the environment which generally includes the compensation to be provided to the victims of environmental degradation as well as the costs to restore the biodiversity of the concerned place.
In the present paper, the author traces the history of the principle and examines its significance, especially in the Indian context. The principle of polluter pays and the precautionary principle has been made a part of Indian environmental jurisprudence by the honourable courts through a number of cases. This paper discusses the application of the principle by the Indian judiciary and the National Green Tribunal along with the limitations of the principle in affixing liability. The issues in the implementation of the principle have also been discussed along with the possible suggestions to improve its applicability.