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In India, Kerala witnessed the worst floods of all times in 2018. It left 483 people dead and the destruction caused was more than the annual outlay of Kerala (Economic Times:2018). It left people devastated and scarred for life. Natural disasters of such magnitude violate the principle of “inter-generational equity”. The genesis of sustainable development can be traced back to the principle of “rule of law”. It is based on the fundamental requisite of equality and absence of arbitrary powers. Environmental degradation violates rule of law because it exposes people to risk of natural disasters. Rule of Law is the harbinger of environmental governance. Secretary General of UN defined rule of law as “a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights norms and standards” (UNEP: 2015). It also forms the bulwark of SDGs. The 13th SDG of “Climate Action” aims to help the vulnerable countries to adapt to climate change and how disaster risk measures can be integrated into the national strategies (UNDP).Natural disasters not only result in the loss of life and property, it also brings forth the social and economic inequalities exiting in the society. In India various vulnerabilities like caste, gender, poverty are aggravated in the wake of disasters. This calls for the integration of rule of law in disaster management. The violation of environmental laws has the potential to undermine sustainable development which hampers ‘rule of law’. In the proposed paper we try to critically evaluate the upcoming idea of environmental rule of law and appraise its evolution and application in the larger framework of Disaster Law in India.

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How to Cite
Kamthan, D. M. (2019). Rule of Law and Natural Disasters in India. Think India Journal, 22(3), 158-172. Retrieved from