National Green Tribunal is a specialized forum for the speedy disposal of environment-related matters like pollution, forest conservation, etc. It was established in the year 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010. The principal bench of NGT has been set up in New Delhi and regional branches have been set up in Pune, Bhopal, Chennai, and Kolkata. Each of these regional branches has geographical jurisdiction over many states.
Members of NGT
NGT shall consist of –
- Full-time chairperson
- Judicial members
- Expert members
A judge of the Supreme Court of India or chief justice of high court can become chairman of the National Green Tribunal; even existing or retired judges of the high court are eligible to become members of NGT.
A person is eligible to become an expert member at NGT if he has MSc. with a doctorate degree or Master of Engineering or Master of technology and he has an experience of fifteen years in that particular field including five years of practical experience in the field of environment and forests
These members shall not hold any other office during his tenure at NGT
Jurisdiction of NGT
- National Green Tribunal has original jurisdiction over matters related to the environment which affects the public at large. The tribunal is also competent to hear matters for several acts such as the Forest Conservation Act, Environment Protection Act, Biological Diversity act 2002, etc. NGT is not bound by acts such as CPC (Civil Procedural code), the Indian Evidence Act, etc. However, while passing an order, NGT must keep in mind the principle of natural justice and sustainable development.
- NGT cannot hear matters related to the Wildlife Protection Act,1972.
- Civil courts cannot hear matters related to environment issues
Who can file a case before a NATIONAL Green Tribunal and what is the procedure to be followed?
- Any person can file a case before NGT but he must be well acquainted with the facts of the case along with the law and procedure. The process for filing an application to NGT is a simple and not complex one. The official language of the National Green Tribunal in English and everyone must follow it.
- A fee of Rs.1000/ is to be paid while filing the application in cases where no compensation is involved. However, in cases where compensation is claimed, a fee of one percent of the amount along with a fee of Rs. 1000/ must be paid by the applicant.
- One more important point to be noted here is that no application for the claim of compensation will be entertained if the application is not made within a period of five years from the date on which the cause for such claim arose first.
Review, Appeal and Non- compliance with the order of NGT
- Rule 22 of the NGT rules contains the provisions for seeking a review or revision of order passed by NGT. Even an NGT order can be challenged before the supreme court within 90 days.
- Non- compliance with the order of NGT may result in the penalty in the form of imprisonment for three years or fine or with both.