NATIONAL GREEN TRIBUNAL: A “UNIQUE” FORUM ENDOWED WITH SUO MOTO POWERS

Recently, the Supreme Court has declared the position of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) as a "unique" forum empowered by suo moto (a unique initiative) to address environmental issues across the country.

Key Points

Highlights of the Judgment:


Not limited to the role of judgment: The role of NGT is not just judgmental. The arbitral tribunal has an equally important role, with the potential for prevention, remediation, or remediation.

• NGT's functional capabilities require the use of extensive power to fully fulfill its environmental mission.

• The rights of Article 21 cannot be based on a narrow interpretation framework. Article 21 of the Constitution protects the right to life and the freedom of the individual.


• Interdisciplinary Role: NGT as a complementary, competent and professional forum dealing with all interdisciplinary environmental issues as both the founder and the appealing body.

• International Initiatives: NGT embodies India's international commitment to the environment.

• NGT is considered one of the most progressive courts in the world.

• This legal leap has allowed India to join a group of fairly exclusive countries that have established such a system with broad authority.


About National Green Tribunal:

§ It is a specialized frame installation below the National Green Tribunal Act (2010) for powerful and expeditious disposal of instances regarding environmental safety and conservation of forests and different herbal resources.

§ With the status quo of the NGT, India have become the 1/3 us of a withinside the global to installation a specialized environmental tribunal, handiest after Australia and New Zealand, and the primary growing us of a to do so.

§ The NGT Act supplied a specialised function to the tribunal to behave on troubles in which a dispute arose below seven designated laws (stated in Schedule I of the Act): The Water Act, The Water Cess Act, The Forest Conservation Act, Air Act, Environment Protection Act, Public Liability Insurance Act and the Biological Diversity Act.



§ NGT is remitted to make disposal of packages or appeals eventually inside 6 months of submitting the same.

§ The NGT has 5 locations of sittings, New Delhi is the Principal location of sitting and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai are the alternative four.

§ The Tribunal is headed through the Chairperson who sits withinside the Principal Bench and has at the least ten however now no longer extra than twenty judicial participants and at the least ten however now no longer extra than twenty professional participants.

§ Decisions of the Tribunal are binding. The Tribunal has powers to check its very own decisions. If this fails, the selection may be challenged earlier than the Supreme Court inside 90 days.


Associated Challenges:

§ Persistent Vacancies: In the ultimate 9 years, the NGT has by no means were given the minimal power of ten judicial and ten professional contributors to deal with the growing quantity of environmental litigations throughout the country.

§ Implementation of Orders: There also are extreme demanding situations as some distance as implementation of the NGT`s orders is concerned.


§ The NGT Act specifies that the reimbursement quantity as ordered through the tribunal need to be remitted to the authority of the Environmental Relief Fund inside a duration of 30 days from the date of order.

§ However, it's miles discovered that the polluters don`t abide through this rule.

§ Further, there may be no institutional mechanism to make sure that the environmental regulatory government observe the orders of the tribunal.

§ Appeals to Supreme Court: The NGT orders are more and more more challenged withinside the Supreme Court, wherein a heavy penalty has been imposed through the tribunal.


Way Forward

§ More autonomy and expansion of NGT coverage is required to effectively protect the environment in balance with human development activities.

§ Government must provide adequate human and financial resources - if NGT is not to perish.


§ NGT provides an avenue for the development of environmental legislation by establishing an alternative dispute resolution mechanism. It eases the burden of litigation in higher courts in environmental matters.



This article is written by Shreyansh Prakash of Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

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