Haroon Farooq v. Government of Punjab & others, W.P. No.227807/2018 (Pakistan)
The decision originated from a social action petitions, asserting that the government has taken insufficient steps to counter the climate crises. The petitions sought to compel the State to invest in climate mitigation strategies. A primary concern was the preservation of water resources and ground water levels.
The court cited the Constitution of Pakistan which requires the State to ensure elimination of all forms of exploitation, which can only be fulfilled if the State takes meaningful measures for the control of environmental degradation and for climate justice to be enforced. Moreover, the Constitutional right to life is given the expansive view that includes life which is free from hazards caused by environmental pollution to nurture a healthy and robust life.
The decision extensively cited the Asian Development Bank's Climate Change, Coming Soon to a Court Near You Report (the "ADB Report") series, to establish that climate litigation is on the rise in Asia and the role of the courts in rights-based environmental litigation as guardians of climate justice.
In the course of the proceedings, the court transitioned to supervisory jurisdiction or a continuing mandamus. Judicial directives were issued on which the executive was required to report back to the court. These include orders on waste water treatment, prevention of groundwater contamination by the sugar industry, water conservation, formation of a Judicial Environmental Commission, as well as reduction of smog and vehicular emissions.