2. What is the mandate of the National Green Tribunal (NGT)? What is its organisational composition? Discuss. (10 Marks)
राष्ट्रीय हरित अधिकरण (NGT) का अधिदेश क्या है? इसकी संगठनात्मक संरचना क्या है? चर्चा कीजिए।
Students are expected to write into two parts where in the first part, you need to discuss the mandate of National Green Tribunal (NGT) and in the second part, you need to discuss organization composition.
The National Green Tribunal has been established in 2010 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.
Mandate of NGT
- To dispose of cases dealing with any environment law violation, conservation of forests and natural resources.
- Eg. The NGT has the power to hear all civil cases relating to environmental issues including the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974; Forest (Conservation) Act, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981; Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991; Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
- Recommend penalties and fine.
- Recommend policies for environment protection.
- Disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the application.
- Enforcement of any legal right relating to environment
- Giving relief and compensation for damages
- Has power of civil courts. Tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, is guided by principles of natural justice.
For example, Ban on sand mining activity in Goa by NGT has been termed as judicial overreach. It would impact the construction industry thereby hampering the developmental activity of the state.
It’s judgements have had far reaching consequences and have helped saved fragile environments like in the case of Save Mon Federation Vs Union of India case where the NGT suspended a ₹6,400-crore hydro project to save the habitat of a bird.
- The Chairperson of the NGT is a retired Judge of the Supreme Court, Head Quartered in Delhi. Other Judicial members are retired Judges of High Courts. Each bench of the NGT will comprise of at least one Judicial Member and one Expert Member. Expert members should have a professional qualification and a minimum of 15 years’ experience in the field of environment/forest conservation and related subjects.
- Initially, the NGT is proposed to 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 four place of sitting of the Tribunal.
- NGT hasn’t had full strength. The lack of human and financial resources has led to high pendency of cases – which undermines NGT’s very objective of disposal of appeals within 6 months.
The NGT has been the most consistent and progressive environmental authority in India. Unlike the Supreme Court, it has lesser delays in resolving the cases before it. It had redefined the role of environmental experts and the criteria to select such experts. Thus, it can be said to have largely successful in implementing its orders and has had tremendous impact in India.