Supreme Court on National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) position

Supreme Court in a landmark judgement noted that, “National Green Tribunal does have suo moto powers and it can hear environmental issues on its own”.

Key Points

  • This order came even though Union government said NGT does not have powers to hear environmental cases on its own.
  • Court also noted that, holding any other interpretation will go against the public good and render environmental watchdog ineffective and toothless.
  • This decision is significant for the wellbeing of nation and its people.
  • It will bring about flexible mechanism for addressing all the issues related to environmental damage and resultant climate change in a bid to leave behind a better environmental legacy for future children and generations thereafter.

National Green Tribunal (NGT)

NGT was established on October 18, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010. It was established for effective and expeditious disposal of cases related to conservation of forests, environmental protection and conservation of other natural resources besides enforcement of any legal right related to environment. This Tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down under “Code of Civil Procedure, 1908”. It is guided by principles of natural justice.

National Green Tribunal Act, 2010

It is an Act of the Parliament that lead to the creation of a special tribunal for handling the expeditious disposal of cases related to environmental issues. It was inspired from constitutional provision of Article 21.

Function of the Tribunal

The Tribunal is having a dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters. Thus, it provides speedy environmental justice and help in reducing the burden of higher courts. It is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals within 6 months.

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