Designed by HSPCB IT CELL


The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution ) Act, 1981

This is an Act to provide for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in the country so as to preserve the quality of air. Central and State Boards constituted u/s 3 & 4 of Water [ Prevention and Control and Pollution ] Act, 1974 were deemed also as Central and State Boards for prevention and control of air pollution.

An Act to provide for the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution, for the establishment, with a view to carrying out the aforesaid purposes, of Boards, for conferring on and assigning to such Boards powers and functions relating thereto and for matters connected therewith.

WHEREAS decisions were taken at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in June, 1972, in which India participated, to take appropriate steps for the prevention of the natural resources of the earth which, among other things, include the preservation of the quality of air and control of air pollution.

AND WHEREAS it is considered necessary to implement the decisions aforesaid in so far as they relate to the preservation of the quality of air and control of air pollution.

The Salient Points of the Act are :

  • The Act is applicable to whole India.

  • U/s 19 of the Act, Central / State Govt. in consultation with SPCB is vested with power to declare AIR POLLUTION CONTROL AREA in which the provisions of the Act shall be applicable.

  • As per provisions in section 21 [2], no person can establish or operate any industrial plant without the consent of State Pollution Control Board shall complete the formalities to either grant or refuse consent. During the course of the processing consent application, Board may seek any information about the industry after giving notice in Form-II.

  • As per section 21 [4], Within a period of four months after the receipt of the application for consent referrd to in sub-section(1), the State Board shall, by order in writing, 18[and for reasons to be recorded in the order, grant the consent applied for subject to such conditions and for such period as may be specified in the order, or refuse such consent];.

  • Under section 22, 22(A) operating any industrial plant so as to cause emission of any air pollutant in excess of standard laid down by State Board, is liable for litigation by the Board.



Any person empowered by State Board shall have right to enter the industry premises for determining status of pollution control equipment or otherwise compliance of the Act, and the person concerned of the industry shall be bound to render all assistance as deemed necessary for ensuring measures, and carrying out functions laid down in the Act.


State Board or any person empowered by it shall have power to samples of air or emissions from any chimney, flue or any duct or any other outlet in such manner as may be prescribed.


State Board may direct the industry for its closure, prohibition or regulation can also issue directives for the stoppage or regulation of supply of electricity. Water or any other services.


Whoever fails to comply with the provisions of section 21, 22 or with direction as per section 31 [A], shall be punishable with minimum improvement of one and half years extending up to 6 years and with fine, in case the failure continues, an additional fine extending to five thousand rupees for every day during which such failure continues. The above terms of imprisonment in extreme case may extend to seven years with fine………………………… [u/s 37 ]

The penalties shall also be meted out of the following :

  • · Tempering with notice of the Board.
  • · Obstructing the act of the person authorized by the Board.
  • · Damaging any work or property of the Board.
  • · Failure to furnish information sought by Board.
  • · Failure to contain emission of air pollutant within prescribed norms.
  • · Making false statement.

1. Section 37 : Failure to comply with the provision of section 21 or section 22 or with the directions issued under section 33(A).
A) Section 21/22/31(A) : Imprisonment - 11/2 years (mini) 6 years maximum & with fine.
If failure continues a) Rs. 5,000/- day
b) Continues beyond a period of one year after the date of conviction.
Imprisonment - 2 years (mini) 7 years & with fine.

2. Section 38 : Penalties for certain acts like destroys, obstruct any person of Board damages property of Board, fails to furnish information Board, fails to intimate occurrence of accident (section 23 (1)), giving false statements etc.
Imprisonment - 3 months or with fine of Rs. 10,000/- or with both

3. Section 39 : Penalty for contravention of certain provisions of the act.
Contravenes any provision of the act ore fails to comply with any order or direction issued under this act, for which no penalty has been elsewhere provided in this act.
Imprisonment – 3 months or fine upto rs.10,000/- or with both.

Continuing contravention :
Rs.5,000/- day

4. Section 40 : Offences by companies.

5. Section 41 : Offences by government departments

6. Section 43 : Cognizance of offences.

A) No court shall take cognizance of any offence under this act except on a complaint made by.

A board or any officer authorised in this behalf by it.

Any person who has given notice not less than 60 days in the manner prescribed, of the alleged offence and of his intention to make a complaint to the board or officer authorised.

No court inferior to that of metropolitan magistrate or a judicial magistrate of Ist class shall try any offence punishable under this act.

7. Section 46 : Bar of jurisdiction.

No civil court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of any matter under this act and no injunction shall be granted by any court or other authority in respect of any action taken or to be taken under this act.

8. Section 52 : Effect of other laws.

Same as otherwise provided by or under the atomic energy act, 1962 (33 of 1962) in relation to radioactive air pollution the provisions of this act shall have effect not withstanding anything in consistent therewith contained in any enactment other than this act.


1) No inconsistency with section 133 cr.p.c. provisions compared.
(Lal’s hand book page nos.230 & 231)

2) Power of magistrate not affected.

3) Public nuisance described under section 133 to 143 of cr.p.c. 1973 (2 of 1974) and as defined in section 268, IPC.
(in order to attract the applicability of 133 cr.p.c., there must be a imminent danger to the health or physical comfort of the community in the locality in which the trade or occupation is conducted without such imminent danger jurisdiction under this section cannot be exercised)


Any person aggrieved by an order made by the State Board may appeal within 30 days of receipt of the order. The appeal shall be made to an Appellate Authority constituted by the State Govt. On receipt of an appeal, its disposal shall be ensured as expeditiously as possible.

Important Provisions in the Act:

1) Section 17 (g) : To lay down standards for emissions.
Section 17 (h) : To advise the state government on location of any industry.
Section 17(2) : To establish as recognised laboratories.

2) Section 18 : Powers to give directions to state boards by central pollution control board / state government.

3) Section 19 : Power to declare air pollution control areas.
Remarks : Rule 27 of a.p. air (prevention and control of pollution) rules, 1982 states that this act shall be applicable to the entire state of andhra pradesh.

4) Section 19 (3) : To prohibit the use of fuel.
Section 19(4) : To prohibit the use of appliance.
Section 19(5) : To prohibit burning of any material (not fuel).

5) Section 20 : Powers to give instructions for ensuring standards for emissions from automobiles.

6) Section 21 : Restruction on use of certain industrial plants. Require consent to establish or operation of any plant from the board.

7) Section 22 : Persons carrying on industry not to allow emission of air pollutants in excess of the standards laid down by the board under section 17(1)(19)

8) Section 22 (a) : Powers of board to make application to court for restraining persons from causing air pollution.
Remarks :
The board shall make an application to a court not inferior to metropolitan magistrate or a judicial magistrate of the Ist class.

9) Section 23 : Furnishing of information to state boards and other agencies in certain cases like accidents, unforeseen act or event etc.

10) Section 24 : Power of entry and inspection.
Section 24 (4) : If any person willfully delay and or obstructs any person empowered by the board in discharging duties shall be guilty of an offence under this act.

11) Section 25 : Power to obtain information.

12) Section 26 : Power to take samples of air or emission and procedures to be followed in connection therewith.

13) Section 27 : Reports of the results of analysis on samples taken under section 26 & procedures to be followed.

14) Section 31 : Appeals.

15) Section 31 (A) : Powers to give direction (closure, stoppage of electricity, water or any other service)

Important Forms in Connection with Implementing the Provisions of the Act :

1) FROM – I : Application for consent.

2) FORM – II : Notice for making enquiry into application for consent.

3) FORM – III : Notice for collection of samples under sub-section (1) of section 26.

4) FORM – IV : Report of board analyst.

5) FORM – V : Report by government analyst.

6) FORM – VII : Form of appeal.

7) FORM – VIII : Form of notice for intimation by Appellate Authority to the Member Secretary and Appellant.

     © Copyright 2003, Haryana State Pollution Control Board