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National Green Tribunal

National Green Tribunal:

The Supreme Court has declared the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) position as a “unique” forum endowed with suo motu powers to take up environmental issues across the country.

  • The court said the NGT need not wait for the “metaphorical Godot” to knock on its portal to flex its considerable muscles to save the environment.
  • 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, in our opinion, even in the absence of an application, can self-ignite action either towards amelioration or towards prevention of harm.
  • Supreme court dismissed objections from the Centre, legal experts and even the court’s own amicus curiae who all argued against the NGT clothed with suo motu powers.
  • 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 or remedial in nature.
  • The judgment described the NGT “as a complimentary, competent, specialised forum to deal with all environmental multidisciplinary issues both as original and also as an appellate authority, which complex issues were hitherto dealt with by the High Courts and the Supreme Court”.