How is the National Green Tribunal (NGT) different from the regular judiciary? Critically analyse the performance of the NGT with respect to its mandate.(250W/15M)

Mentors Comment:

Question is simple and straightforward. You have to discuss how Ac of 1919 or Montagu Chelmsford Reform (MCR) influenced our present day constitution. Most of the discussion on constitution takes into the account GoI Act of 1935 and how it influenced provisions in our constitution. But of not more then equally important was MCR with respect to our constitution. Most of the important provisions of our present day political system are the result of MCR.

Features like bicameral legislature, devolution of power to local self governance, federal polity with state governments, state lists & union lists, public service commission, practice of voting in choosing our representatives etc are some of the key features of MCR that got reflected in our constitution.

Before ending the answer, mention few shortcomings of MCR but not in details.

Model Answer:

The NGT was established in 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010, passed by the Central Government. The stated objective of the Central Government was to provide a specialized forum for effective and speedy disposal of cases pertaining to environment protection, conservation of forests and for seeking compensation for damages caused to people or property due to violation of environmental laws or conditions specified while granting permissions.

Mandate of NGT:

The NGT has the power to hear all civil cases related to:

  • 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; (aka EPA)
  • The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991; (good option to confuse)
  • The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

How NGT is different than regular judiciary:

  • The NGT is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.
  • NGT is also not bound by the rules of evidence as enshrined in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Thus, it will be relatively easier for conservation groups to present facts and issues before the NGT, including pointing out technical flaws in a project, or proposing alternatives that could minimize environmental damage but which have not been considered.
  • While passing Orders/decisions/awards, the NGT will apply the principles of sustainable development, the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principles.

Performance of NGT so far:

  • NGT as an institution has kept itself immune from the political pressure. Some of its decision like banning old diesel cars without bothering political pressure is laudable .
  • Quick disposal of cases is an achievement of NGT. Indian judicial system is characterised by delays and deadlocks . NGT proved itself more efficient and quick.
  • NGT did not compromise with environmental degradation and take strong actions. Eg: imposing fine on art of living for degrading ecology of Yamuna basin.
  • NGT has expert from environment field , unlike our judiciary system. one of the criticism of indian judiciary is its judges have limited knowledge in different field and lack of interest in updating knowledge.
  • By cancellation of clearance of Coal blocks in Chhattisgarh forests, imposing fine on burning waste in open and highlighting Bellandur lake pollution, NGT touched the environmental issues that affected the common people.
  • Many judgment like Posco case judgment for sustainable development in favour of local communities, Goa foundation case for implementation of western ghat expert panel report, sand mining order put a ban on all forms of Illegal River and Ocean bed sand mining which were rampant across the country are very important in sustainable development and environmental protection.
  • NGT ordered to set up panel to monitor Sunderbans as NGT observed violation of Coastal Regulation Zone.

Issues with NGT:

  • It has faced criticism over judicial activism without taking into considerations of economic impact of its decisions on common people.
  • People from other parts of the country are to some extent restricted from easily accessing the it.
  • The members of NGT are chosen from among serving/retired judges and bureaucrats. This has reduced it to being a parking lot for retired judges and bureaucrats, which does not augur well.
  • The Act doesn’t provide jurisdiction to Tribunal over all laws related to environment such as Wildlife Protection Act (1972), Indian Forest Act 1927, Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights Act) 2005 and various other state legislation’s.
  • Despite various proactive support being taken by the tribunal the pollution levels has been continuously rising over the years. This is due to lack of effective support from government both at the centre as well in states.
  • Inefficiency of Central and State pollution control boards is another reason for it. This often results in delays in implementing the tribunal’s decision.
  • In the act there is a provision for appeal to tribunal within a period of 6 month of origin of cause of environmental problem. This is small time for reflection of negative impacts of environmental changes.


By providing functional autonomy like UPSC and RBI, maintaining transparency and bringing it under RTI and upgrading NGT from that of a tribunal to a court will go a long way in its working and efficiency. NGT has done well so far. India is among the few countries which have dedicated judiciary for environment protection. Lets build upon this achievement and provide a sustainable future to the nation while maintaining balance between development and environment.

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Pritam Kumarprafull sharmaPuru RajputInvinciblePriya Recent comment authors
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Pritam Kumar

Hello Bazzi…
-Introduction is good…
-The mandate mentioned is of less importance and are too general…need to be specific…
-You have brought more points in its working…but the question demands more points in criticism…Your criticisms are of narrower context….think wider criticisms….
Overall your attempt is average….many points are of general manner….
May improve for sure if practice continues….keep writing…

Puru Rajput
Puru Rajput

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please check

Pritam Kumar

Hello Puru Rajput….
-Its difficult to read your answer because its not arranged properly…You have also written on margin and clicked picture in slanting way making the word difficult in appearance…It has bee my suggestion since beginning that please write in proper sheet leaving margin on both edges of the page…its for your benefit only as you will be habitual in writing on the proper sheet….Such presentation will have adverse effect on constructive remarks and suggestion….Its my request kindly consider this….

-Introduction is okay…okay…
-2nd para is not at all relevant…NGT does not follow executives decision…rather it works on the philosophy of Natural justice…
-The other differences mentioned are of less importance though okay….but is show you have less idea about the topic….
-Criticisms presented are of less relevant….we need to talk like…judicial activism without considering economic impact, parking lot for retired judges and bureaucrats, strict implementation of its laws etc…..etc….
-Avoid using shortcuts for any words….like Govt., No (for number), Org (for organization) etc….complete words should be written…
-Conclusion is missing….You would have mentioned conclusion instead of way ahead….
Overall poor presentation…may improve further….keep writing….

Kindly mention ID provided by us while uploading answers….


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Pritam Kumar

Hello Priya…
-Good Introduction….
-Mandates mentioned are okay….
-You have brought very few points as criticism….More relevant criticism required….as per the demand of the question….like…judicial activism without considering economic impact, parking lot for retired judges and bureaucrats, strict implementation of its laws etc…apart from what you have mantioned….
-Conclusion is missing…
Your approach is good but answer need to be completed….in format and framework…
good attempt….keep writing….
Marks awarded: 4.5/15

Puru Rajput
Puru Rajput

question jo pucha hain vo nahi likha apne

prafull sharma

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Pritam Kumar

Hello Prafull…
-Good introduction…with very good points arranged beautifully…
-Well presented ideas…Good points in criticism though very few…Bring more relevant points in criticism….
-However, conclusion is missing…
-Good attempt….keep writing…
Marks awarded: 6.5/15

prafull sharma

It is there in way ahead…. one quick question,how do i improve speed ?

Pritam Kumar

-Hi Prafull
-Practicing is the only thing by which we can improve speed….
-Write from what you can recall…and not by referring the hints, notes, books, internet, again and again while writing…you can read from all sources…before writing…then mug it up in your mind….think what question is asking…and sit for framing answer….This will surely improve your timing…
-150 words answer should not take more than 7-8 min of time…in actual writing…it includes everything…thinking, jotting down the points, prioritizing the points…and writing….

So, Only practice can improve the way we write…
-Join the telegram group if possible….


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Pritam Kumar

Hello Invincible…
-In introduction…NGT can work as a court of appeal…
-The 2nd para narrows the range of functioning of NGT …Like…The NGT has the power to hear all civil cases related to:
● 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; (aka EPA)
● The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991; (good option to confuse)
● The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
-The content of the third para should be mentioned in intro itself…
-Under mandate….your point is contradicting the idea you have provided in Intro…’Appeal’…
-Points mentioned are too general…nothing much mentioned about the difference in the judiciary and NGT…very limited points that too less relevant one…
-Refer our Model answer for better clarity….
Though attempted in general manner…may improve further for sure…keep writing…
Marks awarded: 3.5/15