Friday, 12 December 2014 05:42



National Green Tribunal Act (NGT) was established in 2010, under India's constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India, the right to a healthy environment.

The enactment of the law takes into account the (i) United Nations Conference on the Human Environment which took place at Stockholm in June, 1972 and also the (ii) United Nations Conference on Environment and Development which took place at Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, in both of which India was a participant.

It 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. NGT 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 would have four circuit Benches. It would deal with all environmental laws on air and water pollution, the Environment Protection Act, the Forest Conservation Act and the Biodiversity Act. With this effort, India would join Australia and New Zealand, which have such specialized environment tribunals.

The Government has appointed four Expert Members and two Judicial Members in the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

The members are:

• Sitting Judge of Supreme Court nominated by the Chief Justice of India in consultation with Ministry of Law and Justice will act as a Chairperson of the NGT

• Secretary to Government of India, M/o Environment & Forests      Member

• Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur                          Member

• Director, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad                   Member

• President, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi                         Member

The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same. Initially, the NGT will 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 4 place of sitting of the Tribunal.

With the launch of National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, the National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995 and the National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997 have been repealed. The cases pending before the National Environment Appellate Authority at the time of establishment of the National Green Tribunal have been transferred to the National Green Tribunal.