National Green Tribunal is an Act of Parliament which defines the National Green Tribunal Act 2010. It can be defined as An Act to provide for the establishment of a National Green Tribunal for the 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 there with or incidental there to.
At the time of the summit of United Nations Conference on Environment and Development which held on June 1992, India vowed the participating states to provide judicial and administrative remedies to the victims of the pollutants and other environmental damage.
So there lie many reasons behind the setting up of this tribunal. After India’s move with Carbon credits, such tribunal may play a vital role in ensuring the control of emissions and maintaining the desired levels. This is the first body of its kind that is required by its parent statute to apply the “polluter pays” principle and the principle of sustainable development.
This court can be called ‘special’ because India is the third country following Australia and New Zealand to have such a system. Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) works under the act of (NGT).
Why This Act of NGT 2010 was made?
This Tribunal is for fast and speedy hearing of matters related to environment or we can also say that 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 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 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.
What are the Places of sitting of the Tribunal?
New Delhi is the Principal Place of Sitting of the Tribunal and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai shall be the other place of sitting of the Tribunal.
The Principal Bench of the NGT is in New Delhi. It has regional benches in Pune (West), Bhopal (Central), Chennai (South) and Kolkata (East). Each Bench has a specified geographical jurisdiction in a region. Further, mechanism for circuit benches are also available. For example, the Southern Zone bench, which is based in Chennai, can decide to have sittings in other places like Bangalore or Hyderabad.
A retired Judge of the Supreme Court is the Chairperson of the NGT and its head quartered is in New Delhi. On 18 October 2010, Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta became its first Chairman. Retired justice Adarsh Kumar Goel is the incumbent chairman. Other Judicial members are retired Judges of High Courts. Each bench of the NGT will comprise 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.
NGT is working toward a safe and pollution free environment which is very essential because safe and pollution free environment is basic right of every human being living on this globe.