National Green Tribunal

SEP 27

Preliminary   > Polity   >   Election   >   Tribunals

Why in news?

  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) does not possess suo motu powers but it can act on letters or communication addressed to it raising environmental concerns, the Centre told the Supreme Court recently.

About National Green Tribunal:

  • The National Green Tribunal has been established under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.
  • The Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.
  • The Tribunal's dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts.

Time bound disposal of cases

  • The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.

What is the Tribunal’s composition?

  • The Tribunal has a presence in five zones- North, Central, East, South and West.
  • The Principal Bench is situated in the North Zone, headquartered in Delhi.
  • The Central zone bench is situated in Bhopal, East zone in Kolkata, South zone in Chennai and West zone in Pune.
  • The Tribunal comprises of a Chairperson, Judicial Members and Expert Members, who hold office for term of five years and are not eligible for reappointment.
  • Chairperson is appointed by the Central Government in consultation with Chief Justice of India (CJI).
  • A Selection Committee shall be formed by central government to appoint the Judicial Members and Expert Members.
  • There are to be least 10 and maximum 20 full time judicial members and Expert Members in the tribunal.

Jurisdiction:

  • Any person seeking relief and compensation for environmental damage involving subjects in the legislations mentioned in Schedule I of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 may approach the Tribunal.
  • The statutes in Schedule I are:
    • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;
    • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977;
    • The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980;
    • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981;
    • The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986;
    • The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991;
    • The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
  • The Tribunal has jurisdiction over all civil cases involving a substantial question relating to environment and the question.
  • Additionally, any person aggrieved by an order/direction of any of the Appellate Authorities under the legislations mentioned above can also challenge them before the National Green Tribunal.

Are decisions of the Court binding?

  • Yes, decisions of the Tribunal are binding. The Tribunal’s orders are enforceable as the powers vested are the same as in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.   

Are decisions of the Tribunal final?

  • The Tribunal has powers to review its own decisions. If this fails, the decision can be challenged before the Supreme Court within ninety days.

 

PRACTICE QUESTION:

Which of the following statements are correct regarding National Green Tribunal (NGT)?

1. The decision of NGT can be challenged before the Supreme Court within ninety days

2. NGT is guided by the principles of natural justice.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

 Answer