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National Green Tribunal: What is it?

By Arunesh Bhardwaj July 29, 2016


The working of National Green Tribunal

Introduction

In order to ensure that the cases related to environmental protection are being effectively and expeditiously disposed, the National Green Tribunal [NGT] was established under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.[i]

 

Composition

As per the Act, the tribunal has a Chairperson and judicial members along with expert members in the range of ten to twenty [Section 4].

 

Jurisdiction

Original

The jurisdiction of the tribunal extends to all the civil cases wherein the substantial question is related to the environment and the question arises out of the implementation of any of the enactments that are mentioned in Schedule I of the Act. The limitation as prescribed in the Act for entertaining an application for adjudication of the dispute is a period of six months. [Section 14]

 

Appellate

The Tribunal also has an appellate jurisdiction in the case where any person is aggrieved by any order or decision of the Tribunal passed under following sections of their respective Acts:

 

Sl. No.

Section

Act

01.

Section 28

Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

02.

Section 29

Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

03.

Section 33A

Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

04.

Section 13

Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

05.

Section 02

Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

06.

Section 31

Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981

07.

Section 05

Environment (Protection) Act, 1986

Apart from the table given above, the tribunal also has appellate jurisdiction in the matter wherein the grievance is related to the grant or rejection of pre-clearance under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. [Section 16]

Procedure

Who can Apply?

As per Section 18 of the Act, the application can be made by any of the following:

  1. The person who sustained the injury
  2. The owner of the property to which the damage has been caused.
  3. In case a person has died, the legal representative of the deceased.
  4. Any aggrieved person
  5. Central Government or State Government or SPCB or CPCB or any local authority or any environmental authority established under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

 

How to Apply?

Section 18 of the NGT Act, directs that the application for any appeal or for solving any dispute concerning environment will be made in the prescribed procedure and the procedure for the same has been prescribed in National Green Tribunal (Practices and Procedures) Rules, 2011 [NGT Rules].

As per Rule 8 of the NGT Rules, the application to the Tribunal has to be in the manner as prescribed in Form I and will be presented to the Registrar and in case the application has to be filed under Section 15 of the Act, the prescribed form will be Form II.

The application has to be submitted in three copies wherein the copy must have two compilations:

  1. Application or appeal, as the case may be, with impugned order, if any;
  2. All other documents and annexures that are referred in the application. [Rule 8]

In case there is any defect in the application, the Registrar shall notify in Form V on the Notice Board of the Tribunal fixing a time for rectifying the defect. [Rule 10]

Rule 13 of the NGT Rules further gives us the format of the application wherein it has been mentioned that the typed application has to be typed in double space on one side of the paper.

 

Time Limit

The Tribunal has been established with the objective that the dispute will be resolved expeditiously and hence as per the Act, the Tribunal will try to dispose of the application or the appeal as the case may be within six months from the date of filing of the application or appeal. [Section 18 (3)]

 

Power

The Tribunal for the purpose of discharging its function has the same powers as are vested in the civil court under Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Further, the Tribunal isn’t bound by any procedure of Indian Evidence Act, 1872. [Section 19]

 

Appeal

In case a person is aggrieved by the order of the Tribunal, an appeal can be filed in the Supreme Court within 90 days from the date of communication of the award. [Section 22]

 

Penalties

In case of any dispute regarding the penalty imposed by the pollutions boards, the matter can be referred to NGT and then accordingly the sentence will be passed. As per the Act, NGT has the power to pass any order that provide relief or compensation in accordance with the Act given in the Schedule I of the Act. Apart from that, the Tribunal can ask the offender for restitution of the property damaged or the environment that has been affected. Further, the Tribunal after regarding the damage to the public health, property and environment can ask the offender to provide compensation to the claimants. [Section 15]

In case a person doesn’t comply with the orders of the Tribunal, the offender will be punishable with imprisonment and the term can extend to three years or with  fine which can extend to ten crore rupees or both. In case the contravention continues, additional fine per day will be levied on the offender which may extend to twenty five thousand. In case, the offender is a company, then fine can extend to twenty five crore and in case the contravention continues, additional fine per day will be levied on the offender which can extend to one lakh rupees. [Section 26]

 


[i]http://www.advocatekhoj.com/library/bareacts/nationalgreen/index.php?Title=National%20Green%20Tribunal%20Act,%202010 last visited on June 30, 2016.

 

Picture Credits: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/150522/nation-current-affairs/article/green-tribunal-stops-work-bio-methanation-plant

Tags: National Green Tribunal , Environmental Law , Pollution , Environmental Protection Act , Forest Conservation Act


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