National Green Tribunal

National Green Tribunal

In 1995, the Central Government established the National Environment Tribunal (through the National Environment Tribunal Act 1995) to provide for strict liability for damage arising out of accidents caused from the handling of hazardous substances.

2011 is distinctive for the establishment of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). The MoEF was galvanised by the Supreme Court in this direction. Created to focus on environmental issues, the law constituting the NGT received presidential assent in June 2010, but was only enforced by October 18 that year, through a Central Government notification. The coming into force of the NGT Act implied an automatic repeal of two existing laws: the National Environment Tribunal Act 1995, and the National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997, and, therefore, the closure of the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) — a quasi-judicial body empowered to hear appeals against the environmental approvals granted (or not) to projects. All the cases pending before the NEAA were to be heard by the NGT.


National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 (No. 19 of 2010)

The National Green Tribunal has been established on 18.10.2010 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. It 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’s dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts. 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 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 4 place of sitting of the Tribunal.

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