SC on National Green Tribunal (NGT)

  • IASbaba
  • October 15, 2021
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SC on National Green Tribunal (NGT)

Part of: Prelims and GS II – International relations

Context The Supreme Court has declared the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) position as a “unique” forum endowed with suo motu (action taken by a court of its own accord) powers to take up environmental issues across the country.

Key takeaways from SC‘s judgement

  • The exercise of power by the NGT is not circumscribed by the receipt of applications. 
  • When substantial questions relating to the environment arise and the issue is civil in nature and those relate to the Act, the NGT, even in the absence of an application, can self-ignite action either towards Improvement or towards prevention of harm.
  • The court explained that the role of the NGT was not simply adjudicatory in nature. The Tribunal has to perform equally vital roles that were preventative, ameliorative (improvement) or remedial in nature.
  • NGT is a complimentary, competent, specialised forum to deal with all environmental multidisciplinary issues both as original and also as an appellate authority.

What is NGT?

  • It is a statutory body established in 2010, as per the National Green Tribunal Act. 
  • It is a specialised judicial body equipped with expertise solely for the purpose of adjudicating environmental cases in the country. 
  • The chairperson of the NGT is a retired judge of the Supreme Court 
  • It 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. 
  • Tribunal’s orders are binding and it has power to grant relief in the form of compensation and damages to affected persons.

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