National Green Tribunal(NGT)

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News:The National Green Tribunal (NGT) is currently reeling under vacancies of judges and expert members making its four zonal benches across India non-functional.

Facts:

About NGT:

  • The National Green Tribunal(NGT) came into existence in 2010 under the National Green Tribunal act 2010.
  • The act provides for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
  • The tribunal is guided by principles of natural justice and is not bound by the mainstream code of civil procedure.
  • The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.
  • The tribunal has five places of sittings with New Delhi as the Principal place of sitting and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai are the other four.

Composition:

  • The Tribunal comprises of the Chairperson, the Judicial Members and Expert Members.They shall hold office for a term of five years and are not eligible for reappointment.
  • The chairperson is appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
  • Judicial and expert members are appointed on recommendations by the Selection Committee.

Qualifications:

  • Chairperson: A person who is or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or Chief Justice of the High Court.
  • Judicial Member: A person who is or has been a Judge of a High Court
  • Expert Member: Qualification and experience in relevant scientific and technological field or practical experience in dealing with environmental matters.

Jurisdiction:The NGT deals with civil cases under the seven laws related to the environment, these include:

  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act,1974,
  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act,1977,
  • The Forest (Conservation) Act,1980,
  • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act,1981,
  • The Environment (Protection) Act,1986
  • The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 and
  • The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

Note:The Wildlife (Protection) Act,1972 and Scheduled Tribes and Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 have been kept out of NGT’s jurisdiction.