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National Green Tribunal

National Green Tribunal

  • National Green Tribunal (NGT) 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 Article 21, which assures the right to a healthy environment for the citizens of India.
  • The sanctioned strength of the tribunal currently includes 10 expert members and 10 judicial members although the Act allows up to 20 each.
  • Every bench of the tribunal must consist of at least one expert member and one judicial member.                  National Green Tribunal
  • The chairman of the tribunal is required to be a serving or retired Chief Justice of a High Court or a judge of the Supreme Court of India.
  • Members are chosen by a selection committee (headed by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court of India) that reviews their applications and conducts interviews.
  • The judicial members are chosen from the applicants, who are serving or retired judges of High Courts.
  • Expert members are chosen from applicants who are either serving or retired bureaucrats, not below the rank of an Additional Secretary to the Government of India.
  • The tribunal has original jurisdiction on the matters of ‘substantial question relating to environment’ (i.e. a community at large is affected, damage to public health at a broader level) and ‘damage to environment due to specific activity’ (such as pollution).
  • However, there is no specific method defined in the law for determining ‘substantial’ damage to environment, property or public health.
  • The powers of tribunal related to an award are equivalent to a Civil Court.
  • However, the tribunal is not required to follow the code of civil procedure.                                National Green Tribunal
  • The Bill specifies that an application for dispute related to environment can be filed within six months from the time when dispute arose for the first time (provided tribunal can accept application even after six months, if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the application).

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Environment & Biodiversity

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