National Green Tribunal

Why in news?

In July 2018, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel was appointed the new Chairperson of the National Green Tribunal by the Central Government. He is the 3rd  Chairperson to hold this post, after the establishment of the National Green Tribunal.

 

What is Green Tribunal

The National Green Tribunal was established in 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010, passed by the Indian Parliament. NGT has principal branch in New Delhi, while regional benches in Pune (Western Zone Bench), Bhopal (Central Zone Bench), Chennai (Southern Bench) and Kolkata (Eastern Bench).

 

Key Provisions 

  • Enforcement - National Green Tribunal Act was passed by the Parliament in 2010, and National Green Tribunal was established on 18th October 2010. The Tribunal started functioning from 4th July, 2011.
  • India is the third country after Australia and New Zealand to have special tribunals dedicated for Environmental matters, dealing not only with environmental matters, but also providing for compensation and damages.
  • Composition- The act provides for establishment of a statutory body, i.e. National Green Tribunal with a Chairperson and Judicial and Technical Members (10-20 each) for its four benches. The term being fixed for five years for both the Chairperson and the members.
  • Chairperson- The Chairperson must be someone who is a retired Judge of the Supreme Court/Retired Chief Justice of High Court and is appointed and removed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
  • Removal of Chairperson - It takes place only when the chairperson has been adjudged an insolvent; or has been convicted of an offence which, in the opinion of the Central Government, involves moral turpitude; or has become physically or mentally incapable; or has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his functions; or has so abused his position as to render his continuance in office prejudicial to the public interest.

 

  • Powers - The NGT has the power to hear all civil cases relating to environmental issues and questions that are linked to the implementation of laws listed in Schedule I of the Act such as Water Act, Air Act, Forest Conservation Act among others.
  • The NGT is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice and is also not bound by the rules of evidence as enshrined in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
  • Thus, it is a lot easier for parties to present facts and issues before the NGT, including pointing out technical flaws in a project, or proposing alternatives that could minimize environmental damage but which have not been considered.
  • While passing orders, the NGT is to apply the principles of sustainable development, the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principles.
  • Thus, it has wide jurisdiction to deal with not only violations of environmental laws, but also to provide for compensation, relief and restoration of the ecology in accordance with the ‘Polluter Pays’ principle and powers to enforce the ‘precautionary principle’.
  • Appeal against the orders of National Green Tribunal can mainly be made before the Supreme Court of India, within 90 days of the order.

 

Purpose and object

The objective of the Act is to provide a specialized forum for effective and speedy disposal of cases pertaining to environment protection, conservation of forests and for seeking compensation for damages caused to people or property due to violation of environmental laws or conditions specified while granting permissions.

 

MCQ's

1 What is correct with respect to National Green Tribunal.

 

  1. It is a constitutional body.
  2. It is established as a specialized forum for effective and speedy disposal of cases pertaining to environmental protection, conservation of forests and for seeking compensation for damages caused to people or property due to the violation of environmental laws.
  3. It is headed by a Chairman and 4 Members.

 

 

 

 

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 and 3
  3. Only 2
  4. 1, 2 and 3

 

 

 

2 Consider the following statements with respect to National Green Tribunal.

 

  1. The NGT has the power to hear all civil and criminal cases relating to environmental issues and questions that are linked to the implementation of laws listed in Schedule I of the National Green Tribunal Act.
  2. India is the 1st Country to have special tribunals dedicated for Environmental matters, dealing not only with environmental matters, but also providing for compensation and damages.

 

 

 

 

  1. 1 only.
  2. 2 only.
  3. Both 1 and 2.
  4. None of the above.

 

 

 

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