The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has been established
under the NGT Act, 2010 on 18th October, 2010 is headed by Chairperson L.S.
Panta, a Retired Supreme Court Judge.
The Tribunal has been established 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 therewith or
The Law Commission in its 186th Report recommended for
setting up of environmental courts in each State or for a group of States
for exercising all powers of a civil court in its original jurisdiction and
with appellate judicial powers against orders passed by the concerned
authorities under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974,
the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, the Environment
(Protection) Act, 1986, the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991.
The Law Commission’s Report was considered in the
Ministry. In view of the growing environmental challenges, it was decided to
set up a green tribunal as a specialized body equipped with the necessary
expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary
The Tribunal has the same powers as are vested in a civil
court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
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 an endeavor 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. The five places of its sitting are at Delhi, Bhopal, Pune,
Kolkata and Chennai.
The Tribunal has the original jurisdiction over all civil
cases where a substantial question relating to environment, including
enforcement of any legal right relating to environment is involved.
The Tribunal shall hear disputes arising out of the
implementation of environmental laws mentioned in Schedule I of the NGT Act,
The Government is empowered to add any Act of Parliament
having regard to objectives of environmental protection and conservation of
The Tribunal is competent to provide relief over and
above as is admissible under the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991. In
order to ensure access to justice, pollution control boards and local
authorities have also been empowered under the NGT Act to file an
application or appeal before the Tribunal on behalf of the affected person.
Appeal against any order of the Tribunal shall lie to the
No civil court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any
appeal in respect of any matter which the Tribunal is empowered to determine
under its appellate jurisdiction.
No injunction shall be granted by any civil court or
other authority in respect of any order passed by the Tribunal.
At present, the Tribunal consists of Chairperson and 3
Expert Members and 2 Judicial Members. The Expert Members are experts in
physical and life sciences, engineering and law including persons having
practical knowledge and administrative experience in the field of
environmental policy and regulation. The Ministry is in the process of
filling up of the remaining vacancies of Members in the Tribunal since NGT
Act, 2010 provides for a minimum of 10 Expert Members and equal number of