General Studies IIEnvironment and EcologyJudiciary

National Green Tribunal

About National Green Tribunal:

  • The National Green Tribunal has been established on 18.10.2010
  • It 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.
  • India has become the third country in the world after Australia and New Zealand, for setting up a specialized environmental tribunal and also the first developing country to do so.
  • The National Green Tribunal has a total of five places of sittings namely: Bhopal, Pune, New Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai, amongst which, New Delhi is the Principal place of sitting.

Structure of National Green Tribunal

  • The Tribunal comprises of the Chairperson, the Judicial Members and Expert Members. They shall hold office for term of five years and are not eligible for reappointment.
  • The 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.

Objectives of National Green Tribunal (NGT)

Some of the major objectives of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) are as follows:

  • Effective and expeditious disposal of cases that are related to the protection and conservation of the environment, forests, and other natural resources.
  • To give relief and compensations for any damages caused to persons and properties.
  • To handle various environmental disputes that involve multi-disciplinary issues.

Powers & Jurisdiction National Green Tribunal (NGT)

  • The Tribunal has jurisdiction over all civil cases involving substantial question relating to environment (including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment).
  • Being a statutory adjudicatory body like Courts, apart from original jurisdiction side on filing of an application, NGT also has appellate jurisdiction to hear appeal as a Court (Tribunal).
  • The Tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908, but shall be guided by principles of ‘natural justice’.
  • While passing any order/decision/ award, it shall apply the principles of sustainable development, the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle.
  • NGT by an order, can provide
    • relief and compensation to the victims of pollution and other environmental damage (including accident occurring while handling any hazardous substance),
    • for restitution of property damaged, and
    • for restitution of the environment for such area or areas, as the Tribunal may think fit.
  • An order/decision/award of Tribunal is executable as a decree of a civil court.
  • The NGT Act also provides a procedure for a penalty for non compliance:
    • Imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years,
    • Fine which may extend to ten crore rupees, and
    • Both fine and imprisonment.
  • An appeal against order/decision/ award of the NGT lies to the Supreme Court, generally within ninety days from the date of communication.
  • The NGT deals with civil cases under the seven laws related to the environment, these include:
    • 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 and
    • The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
  • Any violation pertaining to these laws or any decision taken by the Government under these laws can be challenged before the NGT.

National Green Tribunal (NGT)

Benefits of NGT

  • Dedicated Court For Environmental Matters: NGT ensures enforcement of any legal right relating to the environment and provides relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
    • Apart from this, the burden on the High Courts and the Supreme Court is also reduced.
  • Allows Specialization: NGT is staffed with judges and environmental experts. This makes it a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.
    • The NGT also employs legal and scientific methods and assessed environment impact assessment reports before deciding the case.
  • Wider Reach: The quality of time spent on these issues could also be increased as, unlike the Supreme Court, the tribunal could have benches in various States, thereby increasing access to all citizens.
  • Time Bound Disposal of Cases: The Tribunal is mandated to make an endeavor for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.

 National Green Tribunal Act, 2010

The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 is an Act of the Parliament of India which enables the creation of a special tribunal to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues. It draws inspiration from India’s constitutional provision of (Constitution of India/Part III) Article 21 Protection of life and personal liberty, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment. Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) is a department to control pollution in Delhi.

Definition under NGT acts 2010:

The legislate Act of Parliament defines the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 as follows:

An Act to provide for the establishment of a National Green Tribunal for the 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.

The Tribunal’s dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts. 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 is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of the filing of the same. Initially, the NGT is proposed to be set up at five places of sittings and will follow circuit procedure for making itself more accessible; New Delhi is the Principal Place of Sitting of the Tribunal and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai shall be the other place of sitting of the Tribunal.

 


 

 

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